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Cucumber Za’atar Salad

This Middle-Eastern salad is quick and easy to prepare and low in kilojoules.

2 English cucumbers

Vinaigrette
15 ml sugar
5 ml vinegar
15 ml olive oil
2.5 salt

To garnish
5 ml Za’atar Spice Mix
cherry tomatoes, halved
fresh parsley, finely chopped

  1. Peel, seed and slice the cucumbers into thin slices.  Or use an apple corer to seed the cucumber (see photo below).
  2. Combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a medium mixing bowl and mix well.
  3. Add the cucumber slices to the mixing bowl and toss lightly to mix.
  4. Place the cucumber slices decoratively on a salad platter and sprinkle with the Za’atar spice mix.
  5. Garnish with cherry tomatoes or parsley before serving.

Cucumber Zaatar Salad

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Avocado Ritz

Avocado ritz is delicious and an easy starter to make since avocados are plentiful throughout the summer.  Although it is not the most economical starter with the price of avo’s being what it is, it is a South African favourite. The seafood salad can also be spooned onto a bed of lettuce.

Prep time       20 minutes plus cooling time for cooked fish
Cook time      10 minutes

3 firm ripe avocado’s
± 400 g boneless, skinless white fish
± 250 g cooked, peeled prawns or shrimps
1 x quantity Pink Seafood Sauce

To serve
fresh bread or crackers

  1. Place the fish into a dish, cover with cling wrap, leaving an air vent and microwave on HIGH for 6 – 8 minutes or until the fish becomes firm and cooked. Drain and cool and break up into chunks without flaking too finely.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the dressing, add to the fish together with the prawns or shrimps, toss all together lightly and refrigerate until ready to serve or up to two days.
  3. When ready to serve, halve the avocados, remove stones and place onto individual plates or a serving platter. Spoon the filling into the avocado halves and sprinkle with black pepper.

Servings             6 as a first course or 3 as a light meal

Notes
To ensure that the avocado halves will sit stable on the plates for serving, slice a small section off the bottom to create a flat surface.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book p. 54.

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Open-faced Omelet or Frittata

Frittata is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette or crustless quiche, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables or pasta. The word frittata is Italian and roughly translates to “fried”, i.e. egg fried in a pan.  It was apparently Delia Smith who described a frittata as “Italy’s version of an open-face omelette” for the first time.  All you need is a few eggs and a small quantity of almost any raw or cooked, fresh or leftover ingredients from the refrigerator.

Frittata
6 large eggs
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
30 g butter
± 500 ml variable ingredients

Variable ingredients:
± 100 ml finely diced red pepper or mixed peppers
±  200 ml finely shredded young green cabbage
± 100 ml chopped mixed herbs
± 100 ml chopped spring onion or chives
± 125 ml cooked or smoked ham, cut into strips
± 125 ml smoked salmon or trout, cut into strips + capers, rinsed
± 125 ml Danish or Greek Feta or grated Cheddar cheese
100  to 200g Haloumi cheese, cut into strips or diced (optional)

To serve
Green salad (optional)

  1. Combine the eggs and herbs in a mixing bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the butter in a shallow non-stick saucepan (± 25 cm in diameter).
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and turn the heat down to its lowest setting.
  4. Cover the pan with a lid and cook gently for about 10 minutes or until set and lightly browned on the one side. The frittata should still be runny on top.
  5. Remove the lid and scatter the variable ingredients evenly over the surface.
  6. To complete the cooking on top, transfer the pan to the oven and place under the grill (not too close) and cook briefly to allow the egg to set. This will take 20 to 30 seconds. This can only be done if the handle of the pan is oven proof.
  7. Slip the frittata onto a warm serving platter.  Cut the frittata into wedges and serve as is for breakfast or with a green salad for a light meal.

3 generous or 6 moderate servings.

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Oven-baked Chicken With Sumac & Tomato

This fragrant baked chicken dish can easily be turned into a one-dish meal by adding vegetables such as quartered onions, green beans, baby marrow, etc. to it.

1 kg chicken portions, skin on and bone in
15 ml butter or coconut oil, melted
2.5 ml salt
10 ml Sumac
250 g cherry tomatoes
250 ml cream (optional)

Garnish
15 g flatleaf parsley, finely chopped

To serve
350 g Woolworths Babymarrow Spaghetti
10 g butter or coconut oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a large oven roasting tin.
  2. Place the chicken pieces in a single layer in the roasting tin.
  3. Brush the skin-side of the chicken pieces with butter or coconut oil.
  4. Season the chicken pieces on both sides with the salt and sumac.
  5. Cover the roasting tin with foil, place the roasting tin in the oven and roast for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove the roasting dish from the oven and add the tomatoes and cream if used.
  7. Return the dish to the oven uncovered and increase the temperature to 200°C to crisp up the skin.
  8. Meanwhile, melt the butter or coconut oil in a saucepan and add the babymarrow spaghetti.  Stir-fry until cooked.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  9. To serve, spoon the babymarrow spaghetti onto a large serving platter and top with the chicken pieces.  Alternatively, spoon the babymarrow spaghetti onto individual plates and top with the chicken.
  10. Garnish with parsley.

4 servings

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Low-fat Panna Cotta

Authentic Italian pannacotta is quite high in fat and kilojoules, but in this lighter version some of the cream is replaced by milk, making it a viable dessert option for those following a low-fat lifestyle. It is just as tasty though!  Serve as is or with a fruit or chocolate sauce for a dreamy dessert.  Scroll down for the recipe for Coffee Panna Cotta.

500 ml milk
1 cinnamon stick or strip of lemon peel
50 ml sugar or xylitol
15 ml gelatine
50 ml cold water
few drops almond essence
250 ml cream, stiffly beaten

Garnish
Chocolate drizzle (recipe below) OR
± 1 cup (250 ml) blueberries, raspberries or strawberries

+/- 100 g coarsely chopped chocolate or any flaked chocolate bar preferred OR
250 ml f
ruit sauce, e.g. raspberry, strawberry, blackcurrant, etc.

  1. Place the milk into a saucepan with the cinnamon stick or lemon peel and bring to boil.  Remove from heat as soon as it boils and stir in the sugar. 
  2. Place the gelatine into a 500 ml ovenproof bowl or jug and cover with the water.  Microwave on MEDIUM for 30 seconds – 1 minute or stand over the steam of simmering water until melted.
  3. Stir the gelatine into the hot milk, remove the cinnamon stick or lemon peel and pour into a bowl to cool.
  4. Stand the bowl in a basin with water and ice or refrigerate until the mixture just starts to set at the sides.  Stir gently from time to time until softly set.
  5. Beat the cream until stiff and beat it into the partly set milk mixture until evenly blended.
  6. Pour into 6 to 8 ramekin dishes into stemmed bowls or glasses, ready for serving.
  7. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving from the stemmed bowls or glasses or loosen the sides and carefully turn out the moulded desserts onto a large platter or individual plates.
  8. To prepare the chocolate drizzle, melt 50 g dark chocolate with 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of cream in the microwave on Medium for 30 seconds or until the chocolate has softened. Mix well with a teaspoon to create a glaze and use to garnish the serving plates or drizzle over the Pannacotta.
  9. Alternatively decorate with fruit sauce or chocolates.

6 to 8 servings. 

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Coffee Pannacotta

375 ml cream
125 ml milk
50 ml sugar
15 ml gelatine powder
150 ml strong coffee for instance Espresso OR
150 ml boiling water, plus 15 ml  instant coffee granules
50 ml Kahlua or similar coffee liqueur

Garnish (optional)
125 ml  whipped cream
chocolate drizzle (see below) or chocolates (e.g. Cadbury Whispers)

  1. Place the cream, milk and sugar into a saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  2. Place the gelatine into a 500 ml ovenproof jug or bowl and add the coffee or water and the instant coffee granules.  Microwave on MEDIUM for 30 seconds – 1 minute or stand over the steam of simmering water until melted.
  3. Add the gelatine and liqueur to the cream and mix well until evenly blended.  Pour the mixture into individual small or one large bowl to set.
  4. Garnish with the cream and/or chocolate drizzle or chocolates.

Recipes by Carolié de Koster.

Variations

  • To add texture and flavour a chopped or flaked chocolate bar may be used instead of the fruit sauce.  Make the stemmed bowls or glasses half full with the cream mixture and spinkle half of the chocolate over the cream before adding the remaining cream and chocolate.
  • Make a gorgeous layered dessert (twice as much in the end!) by using Coffee Panna Cotta and allowing it to set before covering with chopped or flaked chocolate bar and plain pannacotta.  Allow to set completely and decorate with more chocolate or as desired.  See a photo of this here.

Notes

  • Cover well and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • This dessert is excellent to make for many.  The dessert may be moulded in small individual bowls or moulds or  in large moulds or decorative dessert bowls.
  • If you plan to unmould the pannacotta, refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours before unmoulding.

Be sure to also try the basic Authentic Panna Cotta and the Goat’s Cheese Panna Cotta With Raspberries recipes.

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Spinach Gnudi

Gnudi (pronounced nude-y), is basically meatless meatballs, and the best way to eat spinach!  I adapted this recipe from a recipe by Canadian-Italian celebrity chef David Rocco.   It is a firm family favourite and I get requests to make it often!

600 g baby spinach leaves
1 large egg, (yolk only)
60 ml spring onion, finely chopped
200 g ricotta cheese, crumbled
50 g parmesan cheese, grated
5 ml salt
10 ml crushed garlic
150 ml cake flour or additional grated parmesan cheese

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180º C and grease an ovenproof dish (20 x 20 cm) with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Transfer the spinach in a large saucepan with just the water that clings to the spinach and sauté gently until wilted. 
  3. Transfer the spinach to a colander and set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
  4. Combine the egg yolk, spring onion, ricotta cheese, salt and garlic in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Squeeze out as much as possible of the liquid out of the spinach and chop the spinach finely.
  6. Take a handful of the chopped spinach at a time and squeeze again to get it as dry as possible before transferring it to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.  Do the same with the rest of the spinach.
  7. Add just enough flour or additional grated parmesan cheese to bind the mixture, i.e. the mixture must hold its shape when formed into a ball.
  8. Using oiled hands, take a tablespoon of the mixture at a time and shape into 16 to 20 balls – about the size of a golf ball.
  9. Place the balls in the dish and brush with a little olive oil.
  10. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  11. Serve the gnudi warm as a vegetable side dish.

Makes between 16 and 20 balls.

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Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

Also known as Souffle Cheesecake, this delightful cake is a cross between a cheesecake and a sponge cake. This quick and easy version is delicous with only 3 ingredients, but this simple cake lends itself to a variety of flavours.  See the suggested variations below.

6 large eggs, separated
250 g white chocolate
1 x 250 g cream cheese or creamed cottage cheese

To serve
icing sugar, sifted

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC.  Have a 22 cm spring form cake tin ready.
  2. Cut a circle the size of the bottom of the spring form cake tin. out of baking paper and place it in the tin.  Spray itwith non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Cut a collar out of baking paper and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.  Place the collar in the tin.  Set the tin aside.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler on the stove.  When melted, stir until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites with an electric hand mixer to the firm peak stage.
  6. Add the cream cheese to the melted chocolate and mix well.
  7. Add the egg yolks and mix well.
  8. Add one-third of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture and mix well.
  9. Add the rest of the egg whites and mix well.
  10. Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake tin.
  11. Place the cake tin in a roasting pan or ovenproof dish and pour boiling water halfway up the side of the cake tin. I have had success without the water bath as well!
  12. Please the pan or dish in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  13. Lower the temperature of the oven to 160ºC and bake for a further 15 minutes.
  14. Switch the oven off and leave the cake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  15. Remove the cake tin from the oven and set it aside to cool.
  16. Remove the outer ring of the spring form pan and invert the cake onto a cake platter.
  17. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Variations:

  • Substitute the white chocolate for milk or dark chocolate.  This cake can be turned into a banting-friendly cake if 85% or 90% dark chocolate is used.
  • Add flavourings such as finely chopped lemon zest, coffee or vanilla extract.  You can even add used ground coffee (i.e. the coffee that you usually chuck in the bin!)
  • Drizzle the cake with melted white or dark chocolate or a combination of both!

Note
I used a 25 cm spring form cake, which rendered a very flat cake.  I recommend baking it in a 22 cm spring form pan lined with baking paper in the bottom and a collar along the sides or a 30 cm quiche dish (see 2nd photo).

Japanese Cotton Cake

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Cherry Tomato & Green Bean Salad With Lemon

I love to make this dish, which can be served either hot or cold, during the festive season, as it reminds me of Christmas trees and Christmas Baubles, but you can definitely enjoy it right through the year!

700 g green beans, topped and tailed
5 ml canola or coconut oil
1 large onion, sliced
zest of 1 large lemon, finely chopped
5 ml crushed garlic or garlic & herb seasoning
500 g cherry tomatoes
2.5 ml salt or seasoning of your choice
freshly ground black pepper

  1. Weigh the beans with an electronic kitchen scale to determine the weight if you don’t have the exact amount.
  2. Cut the beans into 3 cm sections and rinse the beans in a colander under running water.
  3. Steam the beans for 5 to 8 minutes in a steaming basket on the stove, in an electric steamer or in the microwave.  Be careful not to overcook the beans – they need to be firm and crisp.
  4. Rinse the beans under cold water and set it aside.
  5. Zest the lemon with a zester and chop the zest finely.  Set it aside.
  6. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, lemon zest, garlic or garlic and herb seasoning and stir-fry with a turner for a few minutes until tender.
  7. Add the tomatoes and stir-fry for a further 2 to 3 minutes. The tomatoes must still be whole, i.e. remove the saucepan from the stove before they burst open.
  8. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  9. Add the green beans and heat through.
  10. Transfer the bean mixture to a serving dish and serve hot or at room temperature as a vegetable side dish.

8 to 10 servings.

Variation
Add slivers of Parmesan or Pecorino cheese to the beans when ready to serve.

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Nutty Bacon & Pea Salad

This is one of my favorite salads by far – and I am not really a pea person!  This is the banting-friendly version of Carolié de Koster’s Nutty Bacon & Pea Salad from the Art Of Cooking Recipe book p. 472.

250 g rindless bacon, cooked and finely chopped
100 g pecan nuts or walnuts, coarsely chopped
50 g Grana Padana or Parmigiano Regiano cheese, grated (optional)
250 ml frozen peas
250 ml celery, finely chopped
125 ml spring onion, thinly sliced
125 ml creme fraiche or natural yoghurt
salt & freshly ground black pepper
200 g mixed baby lettuce, rinsed and dried with paper towel

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 º C and line two large baking trays with Wizbake baking sheets.
  2. Place the bacon strips in a single layer on the baking trays and bake for about 10 minutes or until crispy. Alternatively, fry a few slices of bacon at a time in a saucepan.
  3. Chop the cooled bacon coarsely and set it aside.
  4. Prepare the rest of the ingredients (see photo below) and combine it in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Season to taste with salt, pepper or seasoning of your choice and mix well.
  6. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavours to blend.
  7. When ready to serve, tear the lettuce leaves into bite-sized pieces and line a large salad platter or individual plates with the lettuce.
  8. Add the bacon to the bowl and mix well.  Spoon the mixture onto the bed of lettuce and serve immediately.

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Meatballs With Basil, Lemon & Pine Nuts

This recipe is a modern take on “spaghetti and meatballs”, which is not an authentic Italian dish but an American invention.  The meatballs are given Italian flavors and is served with a marinara sauce.  Marinara sauce originates from Naples, Italy and comes from the Italian word, marinaro, meaning sailor.  In his book How Italian Food Conquered the World  John Mariani explains how the sauce was named: “There was a simple one of garlic, oil, and tomatoes called marinara, supposedly because it was made quickly, as soon as the mariners’ wives spotted their husbands returning fishing boats in the distance.”

50 g pine nuts, toasted
500 g beef mince
10 ml crushed garlic
125 ml onion, finely chopped
125 g Ricotta cheese, crumbled
1 lemon, zest only
50 g tomato paste
15 g fresh basil, finely chopped
1 large egg
2.5 ml salt
± 200 ml breadcrumbs or almond flour to make it banting friendly

Marinara Sauce
125 ml olive oil
½ large onion, finely chopped
10 ml crushed garlic
6 x 10 cm stalks of celery, finely chopped
2 x 400 g tin whole, peeled tomatoes, chopped
125 ml dry red wine
2,5 ml salt
Pinch chilli flakes or freshly ground black pepper

Garnish
15 ml fresh Italian parsley, chopped

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C and line a roasting pan with a Wizbake baking sheet.
  2. Dry-fry the nuts in a saucepan until it has a golden colour.  Transfer the nuts to a chopping board and set it aside to cool down.
  3. Combine the rest of the ingredients, except the bread crumbs or almond flour, in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
  4. Add sufficient bread crumbs or almond flour to the mincemeat until the mixture is stiff enough to form into balls.
  5. Take a heaped tablespoon of the mixture at a time and roll into a ball the size of a golf ball.  If you decided to make the smaller or bigger than a golf ball, you have to adjust the cooking time. Pack the balls slightly apart on the roasting pan.
  6. Roast for about 10 minutes until well-browned.  Turn the meatballs and roast for another 10 minutes.
  7. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion until translucent.
  8. Add the celery, salt and chill flakes or pepper and sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
  9. Add the tomatoes and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour.
  10. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste.
  11. Keep the sauce hot while the meatballs are baking.
  12. Transfer the meat balls to a serving dish and pour the sauce on top.
  13. Garnish with the parsley and serve piping hot with cooked pasta.

italian-meatballs-with marinara sauce

 

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Low-Carb Almond Bread

This bread is a great alternative to bread made with bread or cake flour.

375 ml almond flour
90 ml coconut flour
60 ml psyllium husks
2.5 ml salt or seasoning of your choice
7.5 ml baking powder
10 ml sugar or xylitol
5 large eggs
60 ml coconut oil or butter, melted
5 ml apple cider vinegar

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 º C and grease a small loaf tin (10 cm x 20 cm) with butter.
  2. Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, psyllium husks, sugar or xylitol, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl and mix until combined.
  3. Combine the eggs, coconut oil or butter and vinegar in a measuring jug and whisk it with a fork to combine.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Transfer the batter to the loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Set the tin aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack to cool before transferring it to a serving dish or storing it in an airtight container.

1 small loaf.

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Rosemary & Lemon Grilled Lamb Chops

This recipe can be done equally successfully in the oven or on a braai.

1 kg lamb chump chops

Marinade
50 ml olive oil
50 ml lemon juice
50 ml rosemary, finely chopped
5 ml garlic & herb seasoning
5 ml salt
freshly ground black pepper

To serve
Italian parsley, leaves removed from stalks

  1. Arrange the chops in a single layer in a shallow glass dish or a Tupperware marinating dish.
  2. To make the marinade, measure the olive oil and lemon juice with a 15 ml measuring spoon x 2 and add it to a small mixing bowl.  Set it aside.
  3. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, seasoning, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk with a form until blended.
  4. Pour the marinade over the chops, cover the dish with cling wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least 2 or for up to 24 hours turning the chops a few times to allow the marinade to coat the meat evenly on all sides.
  5. Place the rack in the top section of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 230 °C.
  6. Lift the chops out of the marinade and place it on a roasting rack in a roasting pan.
  7. Grill the chops under a pre-heated grilling element for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side.  Set an electronic kitchen timer so that you don’t forget about it!
  8. Transfer the chops to a hot serving dish and serve with Baby Marrow, Bacon & Mushroom BoatsRaw Beetroot & Carrot Salad, etc.

6 servings.

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Cauliflower-base Pizza

If you feel like pizza but don’t want the wheat, this is a pretty good-tasting home-made version of a “banting” and gluten-free pizza!

600 g cauliflower, cut into florets
2 large eggs yolks
250 ml white cheddar, Tussers, Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
15 ml Ina Paarman’s Italian Cheese Sprinkle
2.5 ml salt
freshly ground black pepper

Topping
25 cherry tomatoes, halved
5 ml mixed dried herbs or dried origanum
50 ml reserved cheese

Garnish
30 g fresh basil or rocket

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 ºC  and line a baking tray with a Wizbake sheet.
  2. Steam the cauliflower on the stove or in the microwave until soft but not mushy.
  3. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor and process with the pulse function until it looks like couscous.
  4. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor and process it for a few seconds with the pulse action until it looks like couscous.
  5. Place the cooked cauliflower in a clean kitchen cloth and squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. Transfer the cauliflower to a mixing bowl.
  6. Separate the eggs and transfer the egg whites to a mixing bowl.
  7. Transfer the egg yolks to the mixing bowl and mix well.
  8. Add 200 ml of the cheese to the bowl and mix well.  Keep 50 ml aside for the topping.
  9. Add the seasoning, salt and pepper  to the bowl and mix well.
  10. Transfer the mixture to the lined baking tray and flatten it into a circle with a spatula.
  11. Bake the pizza base for 15 to 20 minutes or until the base is firm and golden brown.
  12. Remove the baking tray from the oven and scatter the tomatoes on top.
  13. Crush the mixed dried herbs or dried origanum between your fingers before sprinkling it onto the base.
  14. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the base.
  15. Return the baking tray to the oven and bake for a few minutes to heat the topping.
  16. Garnish the pizza with the fresh basil or rocket and serve with salad.

4 to 6 servings

Variations
Tomato base

  • Spread 50 to 100 ml pasta sauce over the pizza base when it comes out of the oven – step 13.
  • Top with ingredients of your choice before returning it to the oven.

Be sure to try my Cauliflower CakesBaked Cauliflower Mash, and Cauliflower Fried Rice.

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Pizza base ready to go to the oven
Baked pizza base topped with tomato & cheese
Baked pizza base topped with tomato & cheese
Pizza topped with rocket and ready to serve
Pizza topped with rocket and ready to serve
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Asian Spinach Bundles

This is one of my favourite ways to eat spinach.  Be sure to try it – even if you are not a spinach fan!

200 g large, fresh spinach leaves (the leaves should be about the size of your hand)
250 ml coconut chips or shavings, toasted
2 medium lemons, thinly sliced
250 ml spring onion, thinly sliced
250 ml salted peanuts or almonds
250 ml sweet Thai chilli sauce

Dipping sauce
125 ml soy sauce
60 ml white vinegar
30 ml white sugar (or more to taste)

  1. Rinse the spinach leaves cut them smaller if necessary.
  2. Shake off the excess water and place the spinach leaves decoratively on a serving platter.  Set it aside.
  3. Toast the coconut chips in a dry pan until lightly browned.  Be careful not to burn them!
  4. Transfer the coconut chips to a serving bowl.
  5. Slice the lemon thinly on a chopping board with a cook’s knife and remove the pips.
  6. Chop the lemon finely and transfer it to a serving bowl.
  7. Transfer the spring onion and the nuts to serving bowls.
  8. Transfer the sweet thai chili sauce to a serving bowl.
  9. Cover each bowl with a lid or cling wrap and refrigerate until required.
  10. To make the dipping sauce, combine the soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk with a fork until the sugar is dissolved.  Transfer it to a serving bowl.
  11. To eat, place a spinach leaf on your plate.  Place half a teaspoon of each of the fillings in the middle of the leaf, fold it into a little bundle, dip it into the sauce and enjoy!

8 to 10 servings.

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Place half a teaspoon of the nuts, coconut, spring onion, lemon and Sweet Thai Chilli sauce onto the spinach
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Gather the spinach into a bundle
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Dip the bundle into the soy sauce and enjoy!
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Baby Marrow, Bacon & Mushroom Boats

These boats can be filled with a variety of stuffings.  Omit the bacon for a vegetable side dish.

500 g large baby marrows, topped and tailed
125 g bacon, diced
50 ml creme fraiche
250 g mushrooms, chopped
125 ml spring onion, thinly sliced
10 ml seasoning of your choice, e.g. Rosemary & Olive, Italian Cheese, etc.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
100 ml Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, grated

To garnish
fresh parsley

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 ºC  and line a baking tray with a Wizbake sheet.
  2. Cut the baby marrows in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds so that it looks like boats.
  3. Steam them in a steamer until almost cooked but not soft.
  4. While the baby marrows are steaming, fry the bacon in a non-stick pan until cooked.  Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a chopping board.  Chop it finely and set it aside.
  5. Add the creme fraiche, mushrooms, spring onion, seasoning and salt and pepper to the pan and stir-fry until cooked.
  6. Stir in the bacon and mix well.
  7. Transfer the baby marrow to the baking tray and scoop teaspoonfuls of the filling onto the baby marrows.
  8. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through.
  9. Transfer the baby marrow to a serving dish and garnish with parsley.

4 to 6 servings.

Variations
– Omit the bacon for a vegetarian dish.

BabyMarrowBoats

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Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Chicken Rolls

These chicken rolls are quite labour-intensive to make, but worth the effort once the compliments start coming in!

500 g rindless, long bacon strips
6 chicken breast fillets (about 125 g each)
salt and freshly ground pepper

Stuffing
5 ml canola or coconut oil
1 medium onion, sliced
50 ml demerera or treacle sugar (optional)
200 g danish feta cheese, cubed
15 ml chives, snipped

Gravy
2.5 ml beef stock powder
250 ml cream

  1. To prepare the stuffing, heat the oil a large saucepan.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the onion and stir-fry with a turner for a few minutes until tender.
  3. Add the sugar if used, and continue to stir-fry until the onions are caramelised.
  4. Set the onion aside to cool.
  5. Snip the chives into 2 mm pieces and add it to the bowl with the onion.
  6. Add the cheese to the and mix well.  Set it aside.
  7. Cut 6 pieces of foil (20 x 30 cm) and lay the pieces of foil out next to each other on a work surface.
  8. Brush a little oil onto the middle of each of the pieces of foil.
  9. Remove the bacon from the packaging and transfer the bacon to a large plate.
  10. Place two to three strips of bacon (it should be about 10 cm wide and 20 cm long) on each of the pieces of foil so that the bacon overlaps a little.  Set it aside.
  11. Tear a piece of cling wrap the size of an A4 page from the roll and place it on a chopping board.
  12. Tear a second piece of cling wrap from the roll and set it aside.
  13. Remove the chicken breasts from the packaging and transfer them to a the plate used for the bacon.
  14. Work with one chicken breast at a time and place it on the piece of cling wrap on the chopping board (pictured below).
  15. Flatten it into a rectangular shape with a rolling pin.
  16. Remove the chicken breast from the chopping board with a turner and place it on top of the bacon strips.
  17. Do the same with the rest of the chicken breasts.
  18. Season all the chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  19. Divide the stuffing into six equal portions and place it on the chicken breasts.
  20. Work with one chicken breast at a time and roll it up tightly to enclose the filling (pictured below).
  21. Wrap the chicken breast roll in the foil like a cracker (pictured below).
  22. Do the same with the rest of the filling and chicken breasts.
  23. Place the chicken rolls in a steaming basket in a large saucepan (pictured below) or use an electric steamer and steam the parcels for 20 minutes.
  24. Remove the rolls from the saucepan or steamer with tongs and set them aside to cool for a few minutes.
  25. Unwrap each parcel while holding it over a mixing bowl in order to catch all the juices.
  26. Transfer the chicken rolls to a chopping board and set it aside.  Discard the foil.
  27. Heat the oil a large saucepan.
  28. Place the saucepan on the stove and switch the stove on to heat the oil.
  29. When the oil is hot, transfer the chicken rolls to the pan and brown them on all sides.  Transfer the chicken rolls to a serving dish and set it aside to cool.
  30. To make the gravy, transfer the reserved juices to the saucepan and add the stock powder and cream.
  31. Bring the mixture to the boil while stirring or until the sauce has thickened.
  32. Season to taste and transfer the sauce to a gravy boat.
  33. Reheat the chicken in an oven preheated to 160 º C covered with a lid or foil.
  34. Serve the chicken with the warmed sauce on a bed of parslied cauliflower mash with colourful vegetables such as steamed steamed broccoli and tomato and red basil salsa (pictured below).

Notes
The recipe can easily be adapted to the amount of servings required.

Variations
Pear and Blue Cheese Stuffing
250 g dried pears, roughly chopped
125 g gorgonzola, crumbled
15 ml chives, snipped

IMG_3336
A chicken breast ready to be flattened
ChickenRoll-ReadyToRoll
Flattenend chicken breast on a bed of bacon with caramelised onion and feta stuffing
ChickenRoll-WithFilling
A chicken roll ready to be enclosed in foil
ChickenRoll-FoilParcel
A chicken parcel wrapped foil
IMG_3339
The chicken parcels in the steamer
IMG_3346
Browning the chicken rolls in a bit of butter
IMG_3353
The bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken roll on a bed of parslied cauliflower mash with a creamy mushroom sauce

 

 

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Wheat-free Egg Pancake With Fresh Berries

This is a quick and easy recipe and a fantastic way to get all the goodness of egg without flour.

10 g butter
2 extra large eggs, beaten
5 to 10 ml sugar (optional)

To serve
Nutella or melted dark chocolate (optional)
fresh berries
creme fraiche

  1. Place the pan on the stove and switch the stove on on a moderate heat to melt the butter.
  2. Add the eggs to the pan and cook in a similar was as if you were making a pancake.
  3. When the egg is set, slip it onto a chopping board, spread a little Nutella onto it or give it a dusting of icing sugar.
  4. Fold the pancake in half and in half again before transferring it to a serving plate.
  5. Serve with creme fraiche and fresh berries and a dusting of icing sugar.

1 serving

Notes
This recipe can be doubled or tripled according to need.

Variation
For a savoury version of this recipe, stir-fry 50 ml thinly sliced spring onion in a little butter and sprinkle it inside the pancake before you fold it. Serve it with creamed cottage cheese or creme fraiche, halved cherry tomatoes and snipped chives on the side.

EggPancakeWithBerries

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Thermomix ® Banting Bread

This bread is made from banting-friendly ingredients such as almonds, desiccated coconut and coconut oil.  The bread will be ready to eat in 45 minutes, which includes the prep and baking time!

100 g flax or linseed
100 g almonds
30 g dessicated coconut
1.25 ml bicarb of soda
5 ml baking powder
5 ml salt
1.25 ml stevia
125 g water
5 large egg whites
2 large eggs
70 g coconut or olive oil
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 and grease and line a 10 x 20 cm loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Place the flax seed in the TM bowl and mill for 10 seconds on speed 10. St it aside.
  3. Place the almonds in the TM bowl and mill for 12 to 15 seconds on speed 10.  Set it aside.
  4. Place the almonds in the TM bowl and mill for 12 to 15 seconds Place the coconut in the TM bowl and mill for 15 seconds on speed 10. Set it aside.
  5. Place the almonds in the TM bowl and mill for 12 to 15 seconds. 
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and blend for 6 seconds on speed 4.
  7. Add the water, egg whites, whole eggs and oil of your choice.
  8. Blend for 20 seconds on speed 6. You may need to scrape down the sides after 15 seconds and continue after 5 seconds.
  9. Transfer the batter to the lined tin and sprinkle with additional seeds if you like.
  10. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  11. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the tin.
  12. Turn out and cool completely before cutting
Notes
  • Slice the bread and store in Ziplock bags in the freezer.
  • The bread can be toasted with great success.

Source:  www.facebook.com/sathermomix

Banting-Bread
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Coconut Macaroons

These low-carb macaroons should not be confused with French Macarons, which is made with egg whites, icing sugar, ground almonds and food colouring.  See my post Ode To The French Macaron for more info on Macarons.

2 extra large egg whites
a few drops Stevia or 15 ml Xylitol or table sugar
2.5 ml coconut essence (to mask the taste of the Stevia!)
250 ml desiccated coconut
100 g 70, 85 or 90% Lindt chocolate, finely chopped and melted

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160 ºC  and line a baking tray with a Wizbake sheet.
  2. Beat the egg whites until soft peak stage.
  3. Add the Stevia, Xylitol or sugar and beat for a few seconds longer.
  4. Fold in the coconut essence and desiccated coconut and place heaped teaspoonfuls on the baking tray.
  5. Bake the macaroons for 10 to 12 minutes until light-brown around the edges.
  6. Set the macaroons aside for a few minutes to harden.
  7. Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler.
  8. Place the macaroons in a single layer on a Wizbake sheet and  drizzle the chocolate over the top.
  9. Set the macaroons aside to set.
  10. Transfer the macaroons to a serving dish or airtight container.

Makes 16 to 20.

Note
Substitute the coconut essence with 2.5 ml clear vanilla essence.
The recipe can easily be doubled.

IMG_3340

IMG_3348

 

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Rainbow Mousse

This do-ahead mousse tastes as good as it looks!  Salad garnishes as preferred and crusty bread or crackers will set off the mousse perfectly.

1 cup (250 ml) cream, whipped and divided evenly into 3 to use 1/3 for each layer

Fish layer
1 Tbsp (15 ml) gelatine
½ cup (125 ml) water
1  x 200 g tin tuna or pink salmon, drained and flaked
½ cup (125 ml) mayonnaise
¼ cup (60 ml) tomato sauce
1  medium pickled cucumber or 1 Tbsp (15 ml) capers
½ medium onion

Avocado layer
1 Tbsp (15 ml) gelatine
½ cup (125 ml) water
2 large ripe avocados (± 1¼ cup mashed)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
¼ cup (60 ml) mayonnaise
good dash salt and white pepper

Egg layer
1 Tbsp (15 ml) gelatine
½ cup (125 ml) water
4 hard boiled eggs (10 minutes)
1/3 cup (75 ml) mayonnaise
1/3 cup (75 ml) plain yoghurt
few drops Tabasco sauce or good pinch cayenne pepper
good dash salt and white pepper

  1. Grease a (±) 23 cm loaf shaped dish or straight sided pie dish lightly with oil.
  2. Fish layer: Place the gelatine into a suitable dish and microwave on MEDIUM for 30 seconds or until melted.
  3. Blend with the remaining ingredients until smooth and mix into the whipped cream. Season, pour into the prepared dish and place into the freezer to set while preparing  the next layer.
  4. Avocado layer: Melt gelatine as explained above. Blend with the avocado, lemon juice and mayonnaise and mix into the whipped cream. Season and pour over the fish layer.
  5. Freeze again to set quickly before adding the last layer.
  6. Egg layer:  Melt gelatine as explained above.  Blend with the eggs, mayonnaise and yoghurt , mix into the whipped cream and pour over the set avocado layer.
  7. Refrigerate until set and turn out carefully to a serving platter.
  8. Garnish around the mousse with salad ingredients as preferred and cut into neat slices to serve.

36 – 48 slices, depending on the thickness of the slices

Recipe by Carolié de Koster for the Art Of Cooking Recipe Book p. 38.

Rainbow mousse