Brunch Omelette

Serves 2

1 tsp butter
1 tsp rapeseed oil
Finely chopped red onion
Handful of button mushrooms
5 slices of streaky bacon
5 eggs
1oz goats cheese
½ fresh avocado
Seasoning to taste

Fry the butter, oil, onion and bacon for 5 minutes until onion is softened and bacon is starting to crisp. Add mushrooms and allow them to cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile beat the eggs. Pour the eggs over the fried ingredients and as the egg sets gently pull it into the middle of the frying pan and allow the unset egg to run into the empty space. Continue until the egg is no longer runny. Allow it to set on the bottom and then put it under the grill to set any runny egg on the top. Sprinkle over the goats cheese and grill until it is starting to soften and brown. Slice over the fresh avocado and serve with sour cream and chives.

 

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Rich Red Wine Meatballs with Vegetable Pasta

There is nothing better on a chilly day that a warming rich bowl of something tasty and satisfying. Try this low carb version of meatballs and pasta. I use ready made meatballs from a reputable source.

Serves 4

16 large meatballs (4 per serving) baked for about 30 minutes (180 fan oven)

Rich Red Wine Sauce

1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. of garlic flavoured oil

1 red onion sliced

2 small glasses of red wine

1/2 small glass of port

1 tsp italien herbs or bouquet garni

1 beef oxo cube

salt and pepper

Fry the onion in the oil and butter until starting to caramelise, add herbs. Pour in red wine and port, oxo cube and seasoning. allow to reduce until it is starting to thicken. this will take about 30 minutes, but is well worth the wait!

Vegetable Pasta

1 good sized butternut squash peeled and spirallized

4-5 large carrots peeled and spirallized

1/2 savoy cabbage finely sliced

1 Pack of Pepperoni (or you could use bacon if you prefer)

1/3 pint of vegetable stock

salt and pepper

Place the spirallized butternut squash and carrots in the lidded wok and pour over the vegetable stock, put the lid on and allow to steam for 10 minutes. Meanwhile fry the pepperoni until beginning to crisp and add the finely sliced cabbage stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, but do not allow it to burn. Tip the cabbage into the spirallized vegetables, remove the lid and allow the remaining stock to evaporate off.

Assembly

Divide the vegetable pasta between 4 serving bowls with 4 meatballs per person. Pour over the red wine sauce and serve.

 

 

 

Warming Coconut and Parsnip Soup

I don’t know about you, but I struggle to eat a healthy salad on a cold winters day. It is much more satisfying to have a tasty warming soup to banish those January blues.

Although, parsnips are not the lowest in carbs they are precisely the perfect winter vegetable for this warming and healthy homemade soup. This delicious soup is perfect for winter lunchboxes and it freezes beautifully. I pop it in my lunch-bag – straight from the freezer – and it’s defrosted by lunchtime ready for a quick whizz in the microwave. Simple!

You will need:

1 onion

1 tsp of coconut oil for frying

5 good sized parsnips (peeled and chopped into smallish chunks)

I can of coconut milk

½ pint water

1.5 tsps of Sumac (or 1 tsp of ground cumin also works well)

Salt for seasoning

Fry the onion until softened in the coconut oil. Add the spices (Sumac or cumin) and lightly fry to release the flavours. Throw in the parsnips and stir in coating them with the spices. Pour in the coconut milk and the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat. Allow the soup to cool a little and blend to make a smooth soup. Taste and season. Serve with a teaspoon of cream circled into it to make it extra creamy.

 

‘Healthy’ British Fry-Up

A healthy fry-up? Despite the apparent oxymoron for low-carbers this one works pretty well. For me it covers all the areas that a good fry-up requires. It is very satisfying and it is my ultimate savory comfort food – so much so that occasionally we have it for tea (evening meal/dinner). I guess that would almost make it a mixed grill in theory? Either way it is one of my favourites – quick and satisfying, but impressive enough to serve to non-carbing breakfast/brunch guests.

Obviously the quantities depend on how many you are feeding…

Irish sausages (Clonakilty ones are the best, but Richmond are good too)

Rashers of bacon (for a traditional English/Irish breakfast this has to be back bacon)

Chestnut mushrooms (fried in butter)

Tinned Plum Tomatoes

Fresh free range eggs (I like Duck eggs for a treat)

Gallettes (makes 4 large gallettes) – 4 heaped tablespoons of oat bran; 3 tablespoons ground linseed; 1 beaten egg; 2-3 oz grated cheddar cheese; 1-2 tablespoons cream; salt and pepper.

Mix together all the ingredients for the gallettes– you should get quite a solid looking mixture. Fry tablespoon sized dollops of the mixture in some butter or coconut oil – both work well – for about 5 minutes until lightly browned then filp them to brown the other side.

While you wait for the gallettes to brown you can start to grill the bacon. I like it cooked until it’s nice and crispy (this takes about 20 minutes – I use the grill on my combi microwave, but you could easily use a conventional grill). Then put the sausages into a baking tin (use a deep tin if you have one) and bake them in a pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes – 200°C.

Once the gallettes are lightly browned you can pop them in the oven (on a low shelf) to finish off – give them about 10 minutes so they are completely cooked in the middle. I find these can be kept in the oven until you need them as the cheese just gets crispier, but I wouldn’t leave them more than 20 minutes without turning the heat down!

Tip the tinned plum tomatoes into a saucepan and heat them up.

Quarter the mushrooms and fry in butter and oil – it is essential to combine the butter with some oil to prevent the butter burning – I use rapeseed oil for this (for an even healthier option you can simmer them in a little vegetable stock if you prefer – the result is just as good).

Once all the elements are ready it is time to fry the eggs – I like them flipped (is that ‘over-easy’ in the States?), but cook them however you like them. If you prefer you could poach or scramble them.

With the gallettes at the bottom,  to soak up all those amazing flavours, pile up all those delicious cooked ingredients and tuck in!

Variations/additions: Try adding some slices of black or white pudding; pork chops or pork loin; fillet steak; or if you are feeling adventurous try lambs kidneys.

 

 

 

 

 

Fajita Chicken

This is a really quick and tasty dish for those evenings where you just want something fast, simple and scrummy.

Fry chicken and bacon in coconut oil until cooked through and then smother with fajita seasoning. While the chicken is cooking, slice some onion and asparagus and fry in a little coconut oil. When the onion is just beginning to brown add a handful of button mushroom for the last few minutes of cooking and season. Use the last few minutes of cooking time to throw together a quick salad of iceberg lettuce, beef tomato, avocado, cucumber, red pepper and jalapeños and you’re ready to go. I like to serve it with a little houmous and some sour cream.

Mega-Omelette

We started ‘meatless Fridays’ to avoid the temptation of the evil Friday night takeaway that had become our mainstay. After a long week teaching, I resent having to cook when I get home on a Friday night and I needed something that was effortless, quick and very tasty as well as being speedy to prepare and cook. This Mega-Omelette is my ultimate fast food and can be prepared and ready to eat in about 10 minutes.

6 large eggs

1 packet asparagus (chopped)

1 medium onion (sliced)

4-5 chestnut mushrooms (sliced)

1 pointy red pepper (sliced)

2-3oz grated cheddar cheese (goat’s cheese also works well)

salt and pepper

1 tsp coconut oil

Serves 2-3

Preheat the grill on the highest setting. Using a frying pan that you can put under the grill safely, fry the onion, asparagus and pepper in the coconut oil. After 2-3 minutes add the mushrooms and fry for another couple of minutes while you beat the eggs. Season the vegetable and pour over the egg mixture. Keep the omelette on a high heat and use a spatula to slowly scrape the setting egg mixture into the middle to aid cooking. When the egg is still runny on top leave the omelette to set (or you’ll end up with scrambled egg – which would be just as tasty!). Once the bottom has started to brown (when the edges of the omelette will be beginning to brown the bottom will be too. Pop the omelette under the grill to finish off cooking the top. Then sprinkling over the grated cheese and allow it melt under the grill for a minute or two.

I like to sprinkle Sumac over the omelette to add an interesting twist and my husband likes to drizzle Balsamic Glaze over his.

This can be eaten on its own or you could serve it with a simple salad.

 

 

Pepperoni Side

I packet of fine asparagus spears

2-3 field mushrooms

I packet of pepperoni

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp butter

seasoning to taste

Serves 3-4

Fry the mushrooms in the butter and coconut oil until tender, put into an oven proof dish and keep warm in the oven. Dry fry the pepperoni until it is starting to crisp up – it will lose a lot of oil from the pepperoni -dry on some kitchen paper. Spread the pepperoni over the mushrooms and asparagus and season. Serve as a side dish and enjoy – it’s lovely with a chicken salad.