9 Eggs (medium)
300g Dark Chocolate (minimum 72% cocoa)
150g Inulin Powder
70g Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
30ml Double Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
(makes approx. 18 servings)
Pre-heat the oven to 140°C. Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over hot water (bain-marie) then stir through the double cream. Whilst the chocolate is melting separate the egg yolks and egg whites into two bowls. Whip the whites to form soft peaks. Combine the egg yolks with the inulin very gently (do not mix). Add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg yolks then sift in the cocoa powder and add the vanilla and combine together. Fold in the egg whites. Pour into a large round spring form cake tin (buttered if non-stick or lined if not) and place in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool so the cake comes away from the sides of the tin slightly. Serve with berries and a dollop of cream!
Proving once again, a low-carb diet can be plant-based*, I bring you the sausage, pepper and red lentil casserole!
My ‘beef’ (see what I did there) with the hi-jacking of the term ‘plant-based’, is that it’s assumed to mean vegan, whereas I’d argue you can eat meat, fish and eggs and still have most of your diet made up of plants.
Sausages and lentils have a long dating history. The French twin them together for cassoulets as lentils soak up meat juices and add cheap bulk to a dish. Bulk’s important to me. Who wants a small bowlful of food when you can have a big one?
The better quality your sausages, the better the finished dish. The casserole is great with buttered cauliflower or broccoli. Or you could add another 250-300ml of vegetable or chicken stock to turn it into soup.
And a cheeky helping of grated cheese on top always adds extra deliciousness.
Sausage, red pepper and lentil casserole
- Two peppers, insides removed and chopped
- 100g celery, sliced finely
- 100g mushrooms, sliced
- 75ml red wine
- Four, good quality pork sausages, each cut into chunks
- 75g chorizo, sliced
- 75g red lentils
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 400g tinned, chopped tomatoes
- 1 chilli, chopped (optional)
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper
Put everything into your slow cooker, stir well and put on the high setting for four hours.
The mix makes a soupy casserole because it’s done in the slow cooker. You might want to take the lid off yours for the last 20 minutes to get rid of some of the excess liquid.
To make the recipe on the stove, use a large saucepan. Place the chorizo slices in the pan, then turn on a gentle heat so the oils from the sausage run out. Add the other sausages, celery, peppers, mushrooms and garlic, mix well and cover. Cook over the gentle heat for ten minutes. Add the tomatoes, lentils, red wine, chilli and paprika, stir well and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for a further 30 minutes, mixing from time to time.
In both instances, add salt and pepper to taste.
Each portion has 17g carbs and 4g fibre.
*And also that my food styling and photography skills get no better.
3 lemon juices
1 liter water
A bunch of fresh mint leaves
½ tea spoon Stevia or sugar substitute to taste
Mix everything together. If you don’t have ice put the jar in the fridge. Enjoy!
My friend Marion says don’t plant mint in your garden. It is so easy to grow it will take over everything. Plant it in a pot and keep it on your patio.
If you read your way through my weeping and wailing post about meat-eating and ethics last week (congratulations, by the way), then this recipe will seem a natural follow-up.
To recap, I’m reading The Ethical Carnivore: My Year Killing to Eat by Louise Gray and hoping for easy-to-follow guidelines that assuage my conscience about eating meat, falling short of killing it myself as I’m pretty sure I can’t do that.
In the meantime, there is always low-carb vegetarianism. I know vegans argue that vegetarianism is little better than meat-eating given what goes on in the dairy industry, but it’s a start. Besides, I can’t imagine a life without cheese.
Here’s a low-carb veggie recipe for you—a bastardised version of aubergine parmigiana. Allow roughly 10g of carbs per portion.
Aubergine and Pepper Parmigiana
- A large aubergine
- One red pepper
- One yellow pepper
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2tbsp rapeseed oil
- Grated rind of one lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 75g grated parmesan cheese
- 50g grated cheddar cheese
Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees C.
Chop the aubergine and pepper into equal-sized pieces and toss in one tbsp of the oil. Cook on a griddle until softened—about ten minutes.
Heat the other tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and add the chopped tomatoes, garlic and lemon rind. Allow to come to a boil and turn down to a simmer, stirring from time to time. Cook for about ten minutes to, allowing the sauce to become thick and concentrated.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper and sprinkle some on the cooked aubergine and peppers.
Layer up the vegetables, sauce and cheese in a gratin or rectangular casserole dish finishing with cheese. Cook for twenty minutes.
For other low-carb vegetable recipes, see:
This cake serves 8 and has 5.4 g of carb and 176 kcals a slice.
110g ground almonds
40 butter melted
50g inulin powder (or granulated sugar substitute)
1tsp vanilla extract
30mls double cream
Combine the ground almonds, melted butter, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the double cream and inulin. Chop the strawberries and add them to the mixture combining gently by hand. Pour into a buttered cake tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
Robert Carrier was a very popular television chef in the 80s. He was famous for ladling on butter, cream and booze onto anything on a plate and in due course fell out of favour with the fat police in the later stages of the 80s and into the 90s. Fortunately one of my flatmates bought me Carrier’s Quick Cook for a Christmas present in 1983 and I’ve used it ever since. As you know, we are not afraid to chuck fat or booze on our food and the lower the carbs in your diet, the more we encourage you to do so.
A few weeks ago I was visiting my son in Leeds and off we went for an outing to Harewood House. This elegant house is in amazing grounds landscaped by Capability Brown. It is a thought that this man laid out many Victorian gardens but never lived to see them attain their full glory.
The grounds include a gem of a second hand bookshop and there I purchased Robert Carrier’s New Great Dishes of the World. I already have his original Great Dishes of the World and was thrilled to have more boozy, creamy, meaty recipes at my fingertips.
I am now going to describe the late, great, Robert’s method to get perfect, rare roast beef with minimum effort. He insists that you must have at LEAST 2.5 kg of boned and rolled meat. I bought a stunningly expensive rib eye joint of this weight and having never had a disappointment in 34 years of cooking from Carrier’s books entrusted it to his experience.
This is what you do.
Take the meat out of the fridge at least 2 hours before cooking time and hide it from your cats.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees centigrade or 500 Fahrenheit or gas 10 for at least 20 minutes ahead of time. The oven must be roasting hot.
Rub the joint with salt and pepper and spread it with dripping or butter. This could be about 4 tablespoons or so. Don’t skimp.
Put the meat on a rack in a roasting pan in the oven and cook for 5 minutes per 450g/lb and then switch OFF the oven BUT DON’T OPEN THE DOOR.
Leave it all on its own for two hours.
Touch the meat with your fingers. If it is warm take out and serve. If it is cool but the oven back on at 250 /500/10 for ten minutes or so to warm it before serving.
Fish and Veggie Grilled Packets
Until I started cooking fish on the grill with this method, I never realized how delicious and moist the fish would taste.
16 oz Mahi Mahi fish fillets, about 1/2 inch thick and cut into 4 equal pieces
8 extra-large shrimp, cleaned and peeled
4 large sea scallops
4 fresh thyme sprigs
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 small red onion, cut into eighths
2 bell peppers, each cut into 12 thin slices
12 grape tomatoes, cut in half
Paprika, salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat grill to medium.
To make the packets: lay two 18-inch sheets of heavy-duty foil on top of each other (the double layers will help protect the contents from burning); generously coat the top piece with olive oil cooking spray. Repeat with six more pieces of foil.
Divide the onions and bell pepper equally on bottom of the 4 pieces of heavy-duty foil.
Place a piece of fish on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, Add 2 shrimp and 1 scallop to each packet.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add tomatoes, garlic and chives to each packet.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Bring the short ends of the foil together, leaving enough room in the packet for steam to gather and cook the food.
Fold the foil over and pinch to seal. Pinch seams together along the sides. Make sure all the seams are tightly sealed to keep steam from escaping.
Grill the packets until the fish is cooked through and the vegetables are just tender, about 15 minutes.
To serve, carefully open both ends of the packets and allow the steam to escape. Use a spatula to slide the contents onto plates. Serve with the lemon sauce.
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Dash or two of hot sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat on the grill or on the stove. Serve with the fish packet.