Low carb porridge with chia and flax seeds – low carb, vegan, gf, high protein

It’s not carb free, but it does taste great and simulate the consistency of porridge without all the crappy lethargic feeling you get afterwards. I guess it’s high protein too.¬† Either way I feel far better after eating this than the regular version.

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Ingredients: serves 1 generously

1 tbsp white chia seeds, organic if possible
3 tbsp ground flaxseeds (linseed) with goji berries and sunflower seeds (or 2 tbsp plain and add your own berries /seeds)
1 tbsp gluten free organic porridge oats
1 cup rice milk (or milk of choice)
1 tsp rice malt syrup (or sweetener of choice)
Optional: cinnamon and dried sour cherries

Method:
1. Put everything in a saucepan on a medium/low heat
2. Stir well until mixture thickens to porridge consistency
3. Serve immediately

Enjoy!

7 minute “chicken” curry

Wait, what? Everyone knows you can’t make a good curry from scratch in 7 minutes, right? Actually, you can, if you know the shortcuts to use and *why* curries take hours to begin with. It’s the slow cooking of all those onions and tomatoes down to a thick sauce… So by using those pre-cooked crispy onion pieces you buy in tubs and passata, you get a similar enough sauce in a fraction of the time. Once you’ve added the spices and chicken substitute (we used quorn) you can hardly tell the difference from the much longer version (see one of our previous posts, sweet potato & spinach curry).

Use whichever spices you like, or if you want to get realy fancy, fry and grind your own… But then you may aswell make the curry the long way. This recipe is more about good, healthy, yummy and fast than authenticity, although it is far superior in that respect too to most other speedy options.

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Ingredients – serves 2
500g passata
1/3 tub good quality crispy onion pieces (nothing but onion, flour, salt and oil please – we used top taste)
500g chicken substitute of choice (we used quorn chicken style pieces)
1/3 tsp each turmeric, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, chilli flakes (or to taste)
2 tsp garam masala or curry powder
Salt to taste
Rice to serve

1. Put everything in a saucepan at once. Add a little water then bring to the boil
2. Cook for about 7 min or until the chicken pieces are done. Stir every so often and add a lil more water if required to stop it catching on the bottom of the pan
3.  Serve with rice or naan.
Enjoy!

Deep filled Spinach & feta pie

This was inspired by the pie at Muffin Break. I’d never seen so much spinach packed into anything before, especially not anything this delicious!  Great to boost those iron & vitamin levels too ūüôā

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Ingredients – makes one 10″ pie

250g pastry of choice (we used puff pastry – but use your favourite)
1kg spinach, frozen or fresh
2 medium onions
2 medium – large carrots
1 sweet pointed red pepper (ramiro)
150g crumbled feta cheese (up to 300g if you prefer)
3 egg whites or 2 small whole eggs
1/2 cup mature grated cheddar to top
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 level tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
3-5 tbsp olive oil to fry
3 tbsp dried or 5 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Place a large saucepan with the oil on a medium heat.
2. Peel & quarter onions then finely chop in food processor (don’t wash it yet, we still need it). Add to pan and fry until translucent.
3. Peel and cut carrots into chunks then process until finely chopped. Add to pan & fry 1-2 min.
4. De-seed pepper & food process until fine. Add to pan & fry for 2 mins. Tip filling into a large bowl. (now you can wash the food processor)
5. Fry spinach in the pan until wilted and the juices are starting to run out. You need to reduce the liquid so you can either squeeze it out carefully using ladles and spoons before placing in the filling bowl, or fry until the liquid dries up. Either way, spinach less water goes into the bowl.
6. stir in all of the other ingredients except the pastry and cheddar. This is your filling, hooray!
7. Line or grease (or both) a deep 10″ pan, I used a cake tin lined with foil, should have greased it too as it stuck a little. Roll out the pastry to cover the base & edges in a very thin layer.
8. Spoon filling into pastry, top with cheese then bake for around 1 hour, or until set in the centre & cheese is golden.
slice when cool for best results
Enjoy!

The most delicious peach tart ever – paleo, GF, vegetarian, no refined sugar, low fat, vegan option

This was yesterday’s experiment. ¬†We had 4 very large, firm nectarines, not particularly sweet, and not a lot to do with them – so this tart/ pie/ slice kinda happened. ¬†And boy am I glad it did… I think this has to be one of my favourite dessert recipes period, which is quite amazing given the fact it contains no sugar except what is naturally found in the fruit. ¬†The peach topping is just delicious, I could eat a bowlful on its own. ¬†In honesty, that’s what makes this dessert – you could use any pastry, cake or cheesecake base you’d like (or none at all) and it would probably be fabulous – meaning you can easily make this vegan too. ¬†But if I can make something fast and low-carb to hold all that delicious topping (the pastry does meet these criteria) then all the better. ¬†It’s also firm enough not to fall apart if you decide to pick up a slice to eat while wondering about. ¬†Yum ūüôā

Incidentally, because our fruit wasn’t that sweet or soft and yours might be, you may find you need less stevia/ sugar that specified, and a shorter cooking time before the peaches dissolve into a beautiful, fruity sauce. ¬†Play with the sweetness if you need to, and if your fruit has melted into a glorious soup you could combine it with the fruity custard in the saucepan before pouring it on top of the tart to help it set better.

Or you could just eat it with a spoon, straight from the pan. ¬†Whatever makes you happy ūüėČ

paleo-peach-slice

would you just look at all that yumminess? 

Ingredients – makes one 7 by 12″ tart¬†

  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch (or cassava flour, or regular flour if you want)
  • 7 tbsp egg whites, or 2 whole, medium eggs (beaten)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (good quality please)
  • 4 extra large (or 5-6 regular) peaches or nectarines, peeled and chopped
  • 18g Truvia (this is a 1% stevia/ 99% erythritol¬†sweetener available in the UK) or if you want to use sugar, try about 80g or to taste
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup (240ml) apple & mango juice (or pure fruit juice of choice)
  • 2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch in the US) – or for pure paleo, thickener of choice e.g. arrowroot (but I haven’t tried this)
  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C for a fan assisted oven or about 160 degrees C for a¬†conventional one. ¬†That’s about 300F I believe (doesn’t actually matter that much as the pastry is so thin). ¬†mix the arrowroot, ground almonds, egg, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth, then spread evenly over the base of a loose-bottomed, well-greased 7 by 12″ brownie pan (or 8 or 9″ square if you prefer). ¬†If you line the pan with paper you should probably brush the top of it with oil to prevent sticking too.
  2. Bake the pastry (or your own pastry of choice) until starting to turn golden at¬†the very edges. ¬†In the mean time, put the peaches, coconut oil and Truvia or sweetener of choice into a saucepan. ¬†on a medium-high heat, stirring frequently, cook until the fruit is softened and somewhat translucent. ¬†You’ll need to check the pastry every so often while you do this.
  3. Once the fruit is cooked (test the sweetness and adjust if necessary Рcooking a bit longer to avoid sugary grains if you add more) and the pastry is ready, spoon the fruit over the top of the tart base.  Spread in as even a layer as you can manage.
  4. put the cornstarch (or thickener of choice) in a saucepan and add about 1/4 of the fruit juice.  Stir quickly or whisk until all of the lumps are gone and you have a smooth, creamy coloured liquid.  Add the rest of the juice then put the saucepan on a medium heat, stirring all the time until the mixture starts to boil.  It is ready when the mix has thickened, become translucent and almost like a custard.
  5. Pour your amazing fruity custard over the top of the tart. ¬†As soon as it is cool enough to set, you can cut it into pieces and serve ūüôā

Enjoy!

superhealthy super-tasty mixed bean and pickle salad

This¬†dish is the kind of salad you could serve to someone who hates salad, and be pretty sure they’ll still like it. ¬†Unlike the standard leafy vegetables with cucumber, tomato, blah that salads can be, this is more filling, has a texture like “real” food, and is much more flavourful. ¬†Its like a far more delicious cold version of refried beans, with a few of the same crunchy ingredients as guacamole (minus the avocado). You can serve it as a side dish, or alongside more standard salad options such as lettuce, spinach, cucumber and flaked tuna as we did here – because these finicky perishable ingredients are served separately it means your lovely bean salad can be stored for up to a week in the fridge – if it lasts that long! ¬†It contains numerous super foods (beans being the top of the list), and is so healthy you could literally fill up on it at a relatively low caloric intake. ¬†It is also so good that my other half forgot all about the tuna – one of his favourite foods, and polished off three servings of this salad instead ūüôā

What makes this recipe so delicious is the flavour combination. ¬†Slow cooked beans, crunchy red onion, diced cherry tomatoes and red¬†peppers, chopped gherkins, capers, herbs and a special lemon and garlic dressing. ¬†What makes the dressing unique is the amount of acidity in it – a regular dressing contains twice the amount of olive oil as vinegar or lemon juice, this dressing has the opposite – an increase in tasty¬†sourness¬†being necessary to balance the unflavoured beans and to prevent indigestion from the beans and onions. ¬†Incidentally, when eating this (or any other dish containing pulses¬†or onion) I recommend drinking orange or apple juice, or lemonade or soda with it as opposed to water, because any dilution of your stomach acids can leave you feeling rather bloated (sour drinks help reduce¬†that). ¬†If you really don’t like those options, its best not to drink anything for an hour or so after eating.

superhealthy-mixed-bean-pickle-salad

Ingredients – serves 4 (recipe can be halved)

  • 3 cups mixed, cooked beans (or the contents of 3 cans of beans of choice such as kidney beans,¬†butter beans, chickpeas, mixed beans etc drained)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced finely
  • 1/2 punnet (about 150g) baby plum or cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 red pepper or pimento, diced
  • handful of baby gherkin pickles, diced
  • 2 tbsp capers, chopped
  • 4 sundried tomatoes or preserved slowbaked tomatoes (from a jar), finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp arabian dried thyme and sesame (or regular dried thyme)
  • 4 or 5 pieces of preserved artichoke (in oil- from a jar), diced
  • 4 tsp olive oil, or the oil from one of your jars such as¬†sundried tomatoes
  • 6 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt plus more to taste (varies if using canned or home cooked beans)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  1. combine all of the beans and chopped pickles/ vegetables in a large salad bowl.
  2. in a cup or small bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients to make a dressing.  Mix well.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to ensure everything is coated.  Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary РThe salad should be crunchy, flavourful and with a tart hit from the lemon and vinegar Рif the bean/ tomato/ herb flavours seem too bland it is probably lacking salt.  Carefully add more a pinch at a time, stirring well and tasting between additions.
  4. Serve immediately if desired, or store in the fridge for the flavours to develop. ¬†Can be made in advance and kept for up to a week. ¬†This makes a lot ūüôā ¬†Enjoy!