Low-Carb Adventures with a Pizza Oven

 

Landed—in our garden, one pizza oven. Given that the pizza doesn’t feature in low-carb diets apart from in a bastardised form, what else can you do in an outdoor oven?

All kinds of things, it turns out. Yes, the pizza oven is a vegetable’s dream destination, the wood smoke turning them into delicious, charred things you want to toss into a warm salad and scoff. We’ve yet to try out a steak in there, but the vision already dances in my head.

Black lines, a crispness to the outside and then meltingly soft pinkness within, anointed with a blue cheese sauce that slowly melts into the crevices of the meat…

But for now? Chicken wings, EB! That’s what you’ll do.

Having hit upon the idea, I decided information overload was the next logical step. I headed for the internet and entered the search terms chicken wings in the pizza oven, low-carb chicken wings, best chicken wings etc., until I had far too many options in front of me.

[Does anyone else do this? I usually flip through hundreds of recipes on line before reverting to my trusted Mary Berry cook book.]

A lot of the recipes for chicken wings featured sugar, honey or flour. I found one that used a third of a cup of flour—not a lot, but I used coconut flour instead.

The coconut flour has sat in my cupboard long enough for it to go out of date. But flip, it’s so pricey I couldn’t face throwing the bag out. Now, I was going to use it. And then toss the rest as the use-by date was…

Embarrassingly long ago. Don’t do this at home, folks!

The true joy of chicken wings is the dip that goes with them. You’ll have gathered from the steak description above, blue cheese features so often in my life it’s got my number on speed dial. There are lots of variations on the blue cheese dip, but one I’ve been making for years is criminally simple—Greek yoghurt, mashed up blue cheese in proportions of about one to two parts. Add pepper if you want to be fancy.

I worried coconut flour would make the drumsticks too coconut-y. I love coconut, but the distinctive flavour doesn’t belong in a lot of places it finds itself these days. (Coconut oil for roast potatoes—I ask you!) Luckily, the spices masked the flavour. But swap the flour for cornflour and cut down the quantity to a quarter cup if you want.

Another swap was drumsticks instead of wings, seeing as Morrison’s had none of the former.

Low-Carb Chicken Drumsticks with

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 10 chicken drumsticks
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1tbsp paprika
  • 1tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1tbsp garlic salt
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3tbsp rapeseed oil and one teaspoon butter
  • 250g Greek yoghurt
  • 125g blue cheese, crumbled.

Heat your oven – it needs to be about 180 degree C to cook the drumsticks. Mix the flour, paprika, pepper, garlic salt and cayenne. Add to a plastic bag.

Put half the drumstick in the bag and shake well to coat. Do the same with the rest of the drumsticks.

Line a sturdy baking tray with foil and place the oil and butter on it. Heat in the hot pizza oven for five minutes. Place the drumsticks on it and spread out. Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes, turn the drumsticks over and cook for another five minutes until crisp.

Combine the yoghurt and blue cheese and serve. You’ll need plenty of napkins as this is one messy dish.

About 10g carbs per portion and 5g fibre.

Next up—the steak. Or baba ghanoush as a pizza oven would make short work of blackening those aubergines…

And finally, does this count as food porn for we low-carbers? Here’s the pizza we made in the oven. My husband’s a pizza gourmet. He promised me this was amazing. Wood smoke does incredible things to food.

Homemadewithmess: Prawn courgetti with a red pepper sauce

courgettes spiralised
For the Red Pepper Sauce
1 red pepper – deseeded and roughly chopped
Splash olive oil
½ yellow pepper – deseeded and roughly chopped
165g cherry tomatoes – halved
2 cloves garlic – left whole
75ml red wine
Pinch sugar
1 tbsp tomato puree
150ml vegetable stock
For the courgetti
2 courgettes – spiralised
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 pinch sugar
To serve
1 red onion – finely sliced
Splash olive oil
200g raw king prawns
1 handful fresh basil
Parmesan shavings – to serve

Pre-heat the oven to 180’C
Toss the pepper in the olive oil and roast for 20 minutes
Add the tomatoes and garlic and cook for a further 20 minutes
Squeeze out the garlic from their skins and return to the dish. Stir in the red wine, sugar and tomato puree and cook for a final 10 minutes
Once cooked, blend the mixture together with the stock until smooth, and then push through a fine sieve to make even smoother.
Set-aside until ready to serve.
Spiralise your courgettes and then toss through the lemon juice and sugar and set aside.
Heat a large pan with a splash of oil and fry the onion until soft.
Add the sauce and once bubbling stir in the prawns
Cook through until the prawns have turned lovely and pink and then turn off the heat.
Fold in the courgetti and then plate up, sprinkling over your basil leaves and parmesan and enjoying with salad.

Nutritional Info:
Calories – 316
Fat – 9g
Carbs – 26g
Sugars – 15g
Protein – 28g

 

Natural Low Carb Store: Choc chip cookies

Looking for something sweet to eat that still works with your diabetes? Try this…

choc chip cookies

150g almond flour

100g desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
1 tsp baking powder
120g butter (softened)
60g inulin powder (or granulated sugar substitute)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
30g 72% dark chocolate (chopped)

Pre-heat your oven to 160°C and line a baking sheet. In a bowl mix together the almond flour, coconut and baking powder. In a separate bowl cream the butter with the inulin, then beat in the vanilla and egg until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and the chocolate to form a dough. Divide the dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Press each ball gently with the heel of your hand to flatten to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 12-14 minutes until just browning. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet. Option – drizzle with melted chocolate for decoration!

(NB: Don’t try to cut up the chocolate in a mini chopper. I broke one attempting this. Katharine)

 

Yummy Lummy’s Low-Carb Chicken Casserole

This post belongs to Yummy Lummy – I cook, photograph and eat food with the occasional restaurant review!. Whisky flavoured chicken blue cheese casserole Whisky flavoured chicken and blue cheese casserole may sound weird but the taste is amazing, especially with some nice Danish blue cheese melted throughout the chicken and vegetable mix. 34 more…

via Whisky flavoured chicken blue cheese casserole — Yummy Lummy

Jovina cooks: Spinach stuffed salmon

spinach

Stuffed Roasted Salmon Rolls
For 2 servings – this recipe is easily doubled.
Ingredients
12 oz center-cut boneless, skinless salmon fillet, cut lengthwise into 2 strips
4 cups fresh raw spinach leaves, stems removed, cooked and squeezed dry
1/4 cup cream cheese with onion and chives, if available, or regular cream cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil
Directions
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking dish with olive oil.
Mix together the cream cheese, garlic and spinach until well blended then season with salt and pepper.
The mixture will be firm.

Season the salmon strips with salt and pepper and spread each fillet strip with the spinach filling.
Starting at one end, roll the salmon up tightly, tucking in any loose filling as you go.

Insert a toothpick through the end to keep the pinwheel from unrolling. Place the rolls in the prepared dish.

Repeat with the remaining salmon strip. Sprinkle the rolls with the lemon juice.
Bake the salmon rolls until just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the toothpicks before serving.

 

Jovina cooks: a magnificent Mexican feast

Planning a Mexican themed party is a great way to entertain. Much of the organization can be done in advance and guests can serve themselves. Offer options for toppings and sides that you think will appeal to your guests. If you know someone is vegetarian, then plan a vegetable filling along with fish and meat fillings. Don’t forget the margaritas and ice cream is great as a dessert for this type of meal.  You can provide tacos and tortillas for friends and family who are not low carbers. Plan on 2-3 tacos or tortillas per person. The beans are also a high carb item so eat sparingly or not at all if you are low carbing. As you can see there are some great options for you in this selection.
For the lime-cilantro sour cream sauce
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 scallion, minced
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Grated zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

pico de gallo.jpg
For the Pico de Gallo
2 large plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 small clove garlic, grated
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
For the shrimp marinade
2 teaspoons ground Ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound large shrimp (about 24), shelled and deveined
For the swordfish marinade
1 teaspoon Ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon Chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 oz swordfish fillet
For the steak marinade
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Kosher salt to taste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoons Chipotle chili powder
Two 12-ounce, 1-inch thick, boneless Ribeye or New York strip steaks
For the tacos (optional) 
12 6-inch corn tortillas or more depending on the number of guests

if not using tacos put these items out on the buffet table:
2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
Grated Cheddar cheese
4 limes, quartered
Directions
To make the lime-cilantro sour cream sauce:
Combine all the ingredients in a 2-cup serving bowl and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate, covered, up to 4 hours until ready to use.
To make the Pico de Gallo:
In a medium bowl, mix together tomatoes, scallions, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, oregano and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature, covered, until serving time.
To prepare the shrimp:
In a small bowl, combine the Ancho powder, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper and stir to mix. Add the oil and whisk until a loose paste is formed. Add the shrimp and mix well to cover the shrimp in the spices. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
To prepare the swordfish:
In a small bowl, combine the chili powders, oregano, coriander and garlic. Stir in the oil to make a paste. Rub on all sides of the swordfish and set on a plate. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
To prepare the steak:
Combine all the ingredients for the steak rub in a small bowl and rub over the steaks. Place the steaks on a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
To grill the shrimp, swordfish and steak:
Light a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill on high. Oil the grill’s cooking surface. Let the coals burn down to a medium-hot fire or adjust the gas grill burners to medium.
Place the swordfish on a section of the grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning the fish half way through the cooking time. Let rest on a plate.
Place the steaks on another section of the grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning the steaks half way through the cooking time. Let rest on a plate.
Thread the shrimp on skewers. Grill over direct heat, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the skewers and transfer to a serving platter.
Cut the swordfish and steak into thin slices. Transfer to the serving platter with the shrimp.
Divide the tortillas into 2 stacks and wrap each in aluminum foil. Place on the grill until heated through, about 5 minutes.
To assemble the tacos:
In each tortilla place 3 grilled shrimp or swordfish slices or steak slices, a tablespoon of the sour cream sauce, a tablespoon of the Pico de Gallo and some of the cabbage and cheese. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the filling and fold the tortilla.
Guacamole Salad
Ingredients
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
Salt and pepper
4 scallions, sliced thin
1 small garlic clove, minced
½ tablespoon grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and finely minced
1 ripe avocados, pitted, skinned, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
Lettuce leaves
Directions
Mix together the tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheet and let drain 15 minutes.
Combine the scallions, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in large bowl. Let sit 5 minutes, then slowly whisk in oil.
Add the jalapeno chilies, avocados, cilantro and drained tomatoes to the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in lettuce cups.

Beans On The Side (optional as also high in carbs)
The beans taste better if made the day before serving.
Ingredients
To cook the beans:
1 ½ cups orca beans (white and black colorings), washed
1 onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
To finish the bean dish:
½ cup finely diced onion
½ cup finely diced celery
½ cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon chili powder
Directions
Place the beans in a medium-sized saucepan and cover with cold water by two inches high. Cover and soak overnight.
The next day, add the onion, garlic and salt to the soaking liquid and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 1 ½ hours until tender.
Chill the beans overnight in the refrigerator in their cooking liquid.
The next day, drain the beans. Stir in the cilantro and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic and chili powder. Saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the beans and heat. Serve as a side dish.

 

Hilda’s fit to serve: Lemon curd cheesecake

lemon curd.jpg

Hilda has done it again! She can produce a low carb version of nearly anything. You can also used the lemon curd as the filling in a low carb sponge cake or put different fruity toppings on the cheesecake. The cheesecake itself is not a baked one. 

Low Carb Coconut Crust

1 ½ cups of sugar-free coconut flakes
¼ of almond flour or 2 tablespoons of coconut flour for nut free version
½ cup of melted butter
Low Carb Lemon Curd Filling
½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup of sugar substitute I used Swerve
¾ cup of lemon juice about 3 large lemons
7 egg yolks
1 tablespoons of lemon zest
¼ tsp of sea salt
Low Carb Cheesecake Filling
1 package of cream cheese
½ cup sugar substitute
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin I used Great Lakes unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoon of cold water
Low Carb Lemon Curd Instructions
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan on low heat.
2. Once the better is melted, remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in the sugar-substitute, lemon juice and lemon zest. Keep mixing until well combined.
3. Return the saucepan to stove and whisk in the eggs yolk one at and cook on low heat until the curd starts to thicken.
4. Remove the lemon curd off the stove and strain into a small bowl.
5. Allow to cool at room temperature and then store in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
6. Spread the low carb lemon curd evenly to the coconut crust.
7. Pour the sour-cream topping to the pie and allow to set for at least 30 minutes before slicing and enjoying.
Low Carb Coconut Crust Instructions
1. Combine all the ingredients until well mixed. Press the coconut mixture into a 9-inch pie crust pan.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
3. Once the pie crust is cooked and while it is still warm, press the crust with the back of a metal spoon. I find that pressing the crust soon after it’s been cooked allows for a crispier crust.
Low Carb Cheesecake Filling
1. Mix the gelatin with the cold water and set aside.
2. Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar substitute.
3. Fold in the prepared gelatin into the cheesecake batter.
Pie Assembly Instructions
1. Once the pie crust is fully cooked and cooled add cheesecake filling.
2. Next spread the lemon curd topping to the cheesecake.
3. Allow for pie to fully set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before consuming.
4. Store pie in the refrigerator.