Mediterranean Trout with Kale

diabetes dietInspired by the Diet Doctor – if you ever need low-carb recipe ideas this site is amazing – I created my own version of one of their recipes this week.

And, whisper it, I think mine’s better! I swapped salmon for trout fillets which brings down the cost substantially, replaced spinach with crispy kale and gave the dish an overall Mediterranean feel with some basil.

You end up with an extremely low-carb dish – about 3g net carbs – that’s also delicious and really filling. I bought my trout from Costco where I was able to buy a giant fillet that I cut up into eight 150g portions.

Kale is packed with vitamins and minerals – including beta carotene, and vitamins K and C – while trout has plenty of Omega 3s and B vitamins.

Mediterranean Trout with Kale

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 x 150g trout fillets
  • 4tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • 200g kale
  • 2tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 175 degrees C. Season the fish and place them on a baking sheet lined with grease-proof paper or foil, skin side down.

Mix the mayonnaise, tomato puree and basil and spread the mixture evenly over the two fillets. Cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

Five minutes before the end of the fish cooking time, heat a large saucepan or work with the butter. Add the kale and plenty of seasoning and cook until softened.

Serve with the fish.


Low Carb Diets and Microwaves

We treated ourselves to a new cat bed, I mean microwave, in the January sales.
We bought a new cat bed, I mean microwave, in the January sales.

We treated ourselves to a new microwave recently – spending a whole £50 on one from Wilko.

Microwaves are great when it comes to low-carb diets and cutting down time in the kitchen. You can cook fish fillets in minutes in a microwave. Just remember to cover them up properly or you’ll find it difficult to get rid of the smell. Microwave half a lemon on high for a minute and this will help clean the microwave and banish fishy smells.

You can also poach eggs in a microwave. Crack an egg onto a greased saucer, prick the yolk a couple of times with a fork and cook at about 80 percent in three to four 20-second bursts, leaving the egg to rest for 20 seconds or so in between. It’s really important to prick the yolk and cook the egg in short bursts to stop it exploding…

Cook omelettes the same way. Beat up two to three eggs with a little milk or cream and pour onto a greased side or dinner plate. Cook in 20 and 30-second bursts until cooked.

You can also make scrambled eggs, again cooking the eggs in bursts and mixing well in between to break up the big ‘curds’ that develop. Cook them in a greased bowl, for easier cleaning.

Another trick is to use the microwave to soften avocados – you know, those ones you bought from the supermarket that promised you they were ready to eat?! Prick the skin all over and microwave on a medium or low setting in 30-second bursts. It should feel softer – if not, give it one more 30-second blast until it is.

The microwave can cook you a cupcake – a literal cupcake that it. We’ve got a low-carb recipe for a chocolate version here. And if you want to make our low-carb chocolate fudge, you can soften the ingredients in the microwave for mixing together.

For more low-carb microwave ideas, try the Spark People website for meatloaf, bread meatballs, egg custard and more.

Do you have any low-carb tips for microwaves? Please feel free to share them here.




Creamy Leeks & The Moggie Sous Chef

wp-image-1732445482jpg.jpgI’ll ‘fess up. The real reason I wanted to do this blog was so I could post a cute picture of my cat acting as the sous chef.

As cat owners will know, moggies love supervising in the kitchen. They get to sit up high with a bird’s eye view of everything, it’s nice and warm and there’s always the chance their owner might not pay full attention, allowing for the stealth theft of meat or cheese.

Non-cat owners might balk. This doesn’t look hygienic, I grant you. But pets are brilliant for your immune system as it gets to practise fighting germs on a small scale and makes it better prepared for bigger assaults.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The recipe is for creamy baked leeks, based on a Jamie Oliver recipe I adapted. It goes well with a roast chicken leg or on top of a steak.

Creamy Baked Leeks

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 large leek, washed and sliced
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 150ml double cream
  • 100g extra mature cheddar, grated
  • Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the onions and leeks. Turn down the heat and cook gently, stirring from time to time, for seven minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another couple of minutes.

Tip the lot into a bowl and add the grated cheese, cream and some salt and pepper. You won’t need much salt as the cheese is salty.

Pop in a shallow, oven-proof dish and cook in a pre-heated oven (180 degrees C) for 20 minutes.

Recipe contains about 10g net carbs per serving for three.



What To Do With Excess Tomatoes

diabetes diet recipesPuree them, roast them, sauce them, turn them into soup – honestly, there’s plenty you can do with a tomato glut. I’ve decided to turn mine into oven-dried tomatoes, with the aid of some homegrown herbs too.

What about the higher carbohydrate content of tomatoes, I hear you ask. A medium-sized tomato – roughly 100g, say – contains 4g of carbohydrates, 1.2g of fibre. If you’re going to use them for sauces, chances are you’ll be using quite a few of them. Eat your tomatoes with protein, as part of a salad with chicken or ham, for instance, or as a sauce in a curry.

It is easy to eat a lot of sun or oven-dried tomatoes. They concentrated flavour makes them very tasty, for one. Because they have lost a lot of water, they are smaller and denser than normal tomatoes and you could end up eating a lot of them – and a lot of carbohydrates as a result. Eat them sparingly, two or three added to salads or with some sliced meat.

I’ve used rapeseed oil here to keep my product as Scottish and local as possible, but you can also use extra virgin olive oil.

Oven-dried tomatoes

  • Servings: 1-2 jam jars
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 250g tomatoes
  • Fresh oregano – about 8tbsp chopped
  • Fresh basil – about 3tbsp chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5-6 black peppercorns
  • Salt and pepper
  • Rapeseed oil
  1. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds. It’s easiest if you use your fingers, or you can use a teaspoon.
  2. Place the tomatoes, cut side down on a grill rack over a tray and leave for half an hour to drain.
  3. Preheat the oven to 100 degrees C.
  4. Mix together the crushed garlic, oregano, basil and salt and pepper. Using a teaspoon insert tiny amounts of the mixture into the tomato halves.
  5. Sprinkle a tray with a little of the rapeseed oil and place the tomatoes cut-side up on it. Cook in the low oven, turning the tray a few times, for three hours.
  6. Place in sterilised jars* and top with rapeseed oil.

Sun-dried/oven-dried tomatoes have roughly 23g of carbs (6g fibre) per 100g.

 *To sterilise jars, heat the oven to 140 degrees C. Wash the jars and their lids in hot, soapy water and place in the oven to dry out completely – about 7-10 minutes. Fill and seal.

Low-Carb Almond Chocolate Truffles



Almond Chocolate Truffles

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 50 g dark chocolate
  • 25 g butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups ground almonds
  • desiccated coconut

Heat the cream, add chocolate and stir until it is melted, add butter and stir until you have a truffle texture.
Add the vanilla and stir in the almond flour, you may need a bit more almond flour if the mixture is still too soft. Roll into balls. Dip the balls into the coconut flakes. Keep in the fridge. Eat. Enjoy.

Study Shows Success of Low-Carb Diet

low-carb diet mealThe Daily Telegraph reported this week that a large pilot study of low-carb diets has suggested that they can successfully control type 2 diabetes.

That’s no news to us here at the Diabetes Diet, but the study is interesting because it involved a huge number of people – 80,000 of them, who gave up low-fat, high carbohydrate diets and found that their blood glucose levels dropped after 10 weeks.

That study was carried out after what was described as “an online revolt” by patients in which 120,000 people signed up for the “low-carb” diet plan launched by the global diabetes community website, The low-carb plan goes against official advice given by the NHS and Diabetes UK.

More than 80 percent of the people surveyed said they had lost weight, with 10 percent of them losing 9kg or more. More than 70 percent of the patients experienced improvements in their blood glucose levels and a fifth of participants said they no longer needed drugs to regulate their blood glucose levels.

The people taking part had followed’s 10-week low-carb plan.

The website’s low carb plan is available here, but you can find plenty of help and advice for following a low-carb diet in our book, the Diabetes Diet. Our website also has lots of low-carb recipes – from starters, to main courses, snacks and sweets. Use the search button or check out the recipe category to find what you want.

Making the Most of Herbs

herbsThanks to the recent spell of good weather (in Scotland too!), we’ve got a glut of herbs. There’s something special about going out into the garden to pick herbs for a dish you’re making, but at the moment I can’t keep up with our herb growth rate.

I found a recipe for pork loin steaks the other day which neatly took care of some of the excesses. The delicious, tender results were an added bonus.

If you have any left-over herb paste, use it to baste fish or chicken, or dilute it slightly with more oil and a little vinegar, and use it in salads.

We got our pork steaks from the wonderful Nethergate Larder stall at the near-by Farmers’ Market, which runs at Loch Lomond Shores the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month.

Pork Loin Steaks with Herb Paste

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 4 pork loin steaks
  • Fresh basil (2-3 generous handfuls)
  • Flat-leaf parsley (1 generous handful)
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 4tbsp rapeseed or olive oil, plus a tsp
  • 1 heaped tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Take the pork steaks out of the fridge 15 minutes before cooking. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree C.

Place the basil, parsley, lemon zest, 4tbsp oil, mustard, salt and pepper in a mini food processor or blender and whizz till you get a thick, green paste.

Brush the pork steaks with the tsp of oil and fry on each side for a minute to seal and colour the meat. Remove from the heat, brush with the herb paste so each steak gets a thick coating.

Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the individual steaks. Pork meat should be cooked through and the meat white, but be careful not to overcook the steaks.

Serve with salad and green beans.

Carbs – about 2g per serving.



Seasonally-Inspired Low-Carb Recipes for May

seasonally-inspired low-carb recipes
Cute… and also darn tasty!

Need some seasonally-inspired low-carb recipe ideas for May?

Here at the Diabetes Diet, we are big fans of seasonal eating. Food is often cheaper – and it’s almost always more flavoursome.

What’s in season in May? Lamb, asparagus, spinach, prawns, cod, haddock, broccoli and crabs are a few of the seasonal ingredients low-carb dieters can make the most of.

Here are some seasonally-inspired low carb recipes that make the most of these delicious options:


You can’t let a seasonal round-up go past without mentioning asparagus. I think it’s better roasted or char-grilled than boiled. You can wrap it in Parma ham before roasting to make lovely low-carb canapés or why not try out some home-made Hollandaise?

Hollandaise is actually easier than you think to make – just pick the right recipe. Delia Smith’s foaming Hollandaise is a good one to try for the Hollandaise beginner.

Hollandaise Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • hollandaise2 large eggs, separated
  • 1tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1tbsp cider vinegar
  • 110g salted butter
  • Seasoning
  1. Put the egg yolks into a small food processor or blender along with the seasoning. Blend until combined.
  2. Heat the lemon juice and vinegar in a small saucepan. Let it start to bubble and then add to the egg yolks and blend well.
  3. Melt the butter in the same saucepan slowly – don’t let it brown. Begin to add slowly to the food processor (through the funnel) or blender. The process is similar to that you use when making mayonnaise.
  4. You will eventually end up with a smooth, buttery and lemon-y sauce. To make foaming Hollandaise – beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks and fold them into the finished sauce. This will lighten the sauce and make it go further.

The finished sauce has negligible carbohydrates – about 1-2g per serving.


Find more low-carb recipes in The Diabetes Diet.