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Update

Hey, I know it’s been a while since my last blog post, sorry about that! Admittedly I’ve been quite busy!!

I’ve been away quite a few times in the Summer, first York which was lovely, then Scarborough. It was also my birthday in October, the joys of getting older, but we did have a long weekend in York with both dogs. Lots of walks, shopping and meals out. Since then Ive started a degree in Creative Writing. I’m enjoying it so far but I am still getting into the swing of it all, it’s a lot to take in.

On top of all that we also got a new puppy a Cavapoochon called Lola, she’s currently 4 months old and is your typical puppy! If she’s not pooping or weeing somewhere, she’s off destroying something she shouldn’t, but more often than not she can be found playing with our other dog Fae. Fae gives speaking looks for us to remove Lola. At 4 months old Lola is 3 times Fae’s size. The vet laughs as Lola is meant to be a toy dog.

She is delightful though very mischievous and affectionate, she’s already brought so much joy to our lives. Though that being said she does have this ungodly habit of somehow managing to smell like a cesspit whenever she’s been out for a walk. Let’s just say she’s nothing like ‘perfect’ Fae, if Fae were a ‘Lady’ Lola’s definitely the opposite, maybe ‘Ladette’ is the correct term. I’m not sure. Either way you get the picture ones refined and dignified, and the other a right scruffiian!

The last picture below, Lola is 2 months old. We were at a sports centre set in a quarry. Lola is in the water and Fae is looking at her in bafflement. At the next visit Lola jumped in still attached to her extendable lead, swam with the many fish, and ended up needing treatment for giardia. The dog is impulsive. The concerning thing is we saw people swimming in the quarry lake.

If you can’t already tell, it’s been a whirlwind few months!

Now, I’m looking forward to Bonfire Night, we usually have family round and set off a load of fireworks in the garden, though I’m not actually sure if we’ve ought any? I’ll get someone onto that!

However, I will be posting new recipes including the first one which trials air fryer pizza rolls.

Keto Lemon Bars

I wanted a light lemon cake and 1.7 net carbs per large slight is light enough for me! This recipe certainly met my needs. It was very easy to make as you just add ingredients into a food processor as outlined in the recipe and I found it very accurate. It has to be whisked up strongly to make sure it’s light. I wanted it to be ultra lemon flavour so I decided to make some lemon syrup and drizzle over the cooked cake. I put the juice of two lemons in a pan with two tablespoons of erythritol, bring it to the boil and watch until it thickens slightly. I then used a skewer to make small holes in the cake, spooned the syrup over the top of the cake and left it to cool. Cut into eight pieces or 16 if you want smaller slices. It was easy to get out of the dish. This is a truly delicious cake and not too sweet. I’m going to make it again with less lemon but with raspberries added and unsweetened desiccated coconut sprinkled on top. Try it and enjoy!

Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 35 mins | Servings: 8

Nutrition (per bar): Calories: 336 | Total Carbs: 3.6g | Net Carbs: 1.7g | Protein: 10.4g | Fat: 30.8g | Saturated Fat: 11.8g | Fibre: 1.9g | Sugar: 2.6g

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs 
  • ½ cup / 120g sour cream (I used lactose-free single cream)
  • ½ cup / 120g butter, softened (I used lactose-free butter)
  • ¼ cup / 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cup / 200g almond flour or ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder (I used gluten-free baking powder)
  • ⅓ cup / 40g powdered erythritol (I didn’t have any powdered erythritol so I decided to make an erythritol/lemon juice syrup).

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 175 Celsius / 350 Fahrenheit. Grease a oven-proof dish or baking tray with butter / grease-proof paper.
  • Beat the eggs until frothy.
  • Next, add the sour cream and softened butter and blend using a food processor or electric mixer until combined.
  • To the mixture, add the lemon juice, grated lemon zest and powdered erythritol. Blend until well combined.
  • Lastly, add the almond flour and baking powder and mix until the batter is smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared dish / baking tray.
  • Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and a knife inserted comes out clean. 
  • Once baked allow to cool completely before cutting or removing from the pan. Almond flour cakes are fragile when hot, but they firm up as they cool down. 
  • Once cooled, dust the cake with powdered erythritol.
  • Slice, serve, and enjoy!!
  • Note: The cake can be stored in the fridge in an air-tight container, for up to 1 week.

Keto sausage and mushroom lasagne

This is a ‘clear the freezer and fridge’ recipe. It’s Keto-friendly as I put the ingredients into the ‘verywellfit’ site to get the nutritional analysis. The lasagne was delicious; far better than I expected! It wasn’t the standard wet texture when you use courgettes instead of lasagne sheets (zucchini in US). Salting the courgette slices to remove water and then washing off the salt and drying them out on a rack at a low temperature helped it remain firm. I’m trying to be more inventive in using up ordinary ingredients and converting them into something delicious. The cost of living is rocketing here so we don’t want to waste food. Everyone said the lasagne was a success. A member of my family who would never (ever) eat a sausage loved it. The recipe made six portions. Try it and enjoy!

Nutrition: (one-sixth of the lasagne): 336 Calories/ Total carbs 10.1g/ Fibre 3.2g/ Net carbs 6.9g/Total fat 23.4g/saturated fat 12.5g/ Protein 24.2g/Vitamin D 170mcg/ Calcium 116mg/Iron 4mg/Potassium 919mg.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz lean sausage meat (I removed the sausage meat from 2 packs of good quality sausages)
  • 10oz mushrooms
  • 6oz chicken in low carb tomato sauce
  • 30 g tomato puree (2 Tbspn)
  • 300g cream cheese (I used lactose-free)
  • 8oz frozen spinach
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese (or any cheese I use lactose-free cheese)
  • 3 large courgettes

Method

  • Remove the sausage meat from the skins. Break it up and mix it together.
  • Slice the mushrooms and fry slightly in a little oil in a hot skillet. Take out and put in a bowl.
  • Add the sausage meat to the skillet and break it up as you fry so that it’s in small pieces of sausage meat. You don’t want big chunks.
  • Add the mushrooms to the pan and mix with the sausage meat. Add a little water/stock and stir in the tomato puree. You want quite a thick sauce. Continue cooking gently. Taste the sauce and add salt, pepper, Italian herbs and garlic salt to taste.
  • As this is a use up the leftovers recipe, I added a small container of chicken in a Keto tomato sauce that was in the freezer. (it was about 6oz chicken) I broke up the chicken into small pieces to mix in.
  • Turn the oven on low temperature about 160C/140C fan assisted.
  • Prepare the slices of courgette. You want it to be thin but holding its shape. I used a mandolin to make the slices. To make it easier I cut off the top and the bottom of the courgettes.
  • Put the slices on a tray and sprinkle with salt and leave for 5-10 minutes. You will see the bubbles of water appearing. Wash the salt off and pat dry.
  • Put the slices of courgette on a tray in the oven and let it dry out. You can see the change in consistency. It takes about 10-15 minutes. I used a rack on a tray as then the courgettes don’t stick. A silicone mat or greaseproof paper would be good too. Keep checking them and remove when the slices seem dry.
  • Make up the cream cheese and spinach layer by mixing it together. I added a little unsweetened coconut milk to help the mixture and then half a cup of the grated cheddar. Check flavour and add seasoning to taste. It could be a little nutmeg, garlic salt or Italian herbs. I used basil.

  • Prepare the baking dish with a little olive oil. start to layer ups the lasagne. First layer was half of the sausage meat mixture, then half of the courgettes, then cheese and spinach topped by the sausage mix. Layer the rest of the courgettes topped by the cheese and spinach layer. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over.
  • Cook for 30 minutes at 160C/140C fan assisted until brown
  • Let the lasagne stand for 10 minutes so it firms up.
  • Slice into 6 pieces and serve

Baked Salsa Chicken with Restaurant Style Salsa

I wanted something different for dinner, I really enjoy ‘Tex-Mex’ food so this recipe seemed perfect. The combination of flavours was wonderful, the spices blended together to create a lovely sweet and smokey flavour with a kick of spice. The real winner however was the salsa recipe , they really weren’t exaggerating when they said it was restaurant style salsa. Trust me, once you make this version, you’ll never buy store bought again! It had a great authentic flavour and was so quick and easy to make. Just chuck it all together in a food processor, give it a light whizz, and voila it’s done! This is such a quick and easy recipe, especially for those nights you want something that isn’t complex and doesn’t take too long to cook. I loved everything about this meal, and its definitely a firm family favourite! Try it for yourself and enjoy!!

Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 35 mins | Servings: 4

Nutrition per serving: Calories; 216 | Carbs: 4g | Net Carbs: 2g | Fibre: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sugar: 4g

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 ½ cups salsa (see ingredients below)
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese (I used a lactose-free cheddar cheese)
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Ingredients for Salsa

  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsps diced jar jalapeno
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsps lime juice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander, optional

Method

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness.
  • Season the chicken with the garlic salt, chili powder, and cumin. Set aside.
  • To make the salsa, add all the ingredients to a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  • Taste the salsa, and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Add additional lime juice, or jalapeños as desired. Note the longer it sits the spicier it will become.
  • Pour ½ cup of salsa in the bottom of a baking dish and spread to coat the bottom.
  • Place the chicken on top of the salsa.
  • Pour the remaining salsa over the top of the chicken.
  • Bake for around 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. 
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top of the chicken with cheese. Return to the oven for 3-4 minutes to melt the cheese.
  • Sprinkle with coriander before serving.
  • Serve & enjoy!! I had mine with a side of cauliflower rice, broccoli and green beans!

Keto Coffee Cake

Recently I’ve enjoyed going out for coffee, and of course that means getting a cake to go with it, unfortunately the free-from options are pretty dire! They’re either hard to come by, or just plain and boring, who wants that when everyone else gets to enjoy a scrumptious looking cake? Not me. I took it upon myself to research cake recipes with the sole purpose of being paired with a good cup of coffee, and I found this recipe, coffee and cake for breakfast you can’t go wrong!

This cake is everything I hoped it would be, almost a bakery-esque quality. It has a wonderful texture, fluffy and light inside, with a great crunch on top from the nut crumble. I didn’t have a round tube pan like the original recipe suggested, so I just used a normal cake tin. Not everyone in my family likes walnuts, so I compromised and used a mixture of almonds and hazelnuts instead. It was simple to make and the recipe was easy to follow, it at first seemed odd to mix water in at the end, but this helped the consistency of the batter massively. I just used a hand mixer until it was all blended together. I’ll be making this one again, try it and enjoy!!!!!!

Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 55 mins | Servings: 20

Nutrition per slice: Calories: 221 | Carbs: 5.8g | Net Carbs: 2.9g | Fibre: 2.9g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18.4g

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts (not everyone in my family like walnuts, so I used flaked almonds with a few chopped hazelnuts)
  • ⅓ cup swerve Brown
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 ¾ cup almond flour
  • 6 tbsp coconut flour
  • 6 tbsp whey protein powder (or egg white protein powder)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder (I used a gluten-free baking powder)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened (I used a lactose-free butter)
  • ¾ cup Swerve Sweetener (I used erythritol)
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ to 1 cup water

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (177C/157C fan-assisted) and grease a 9-inch pan well (I used a large round, heavy cake tin). Line the bottom with grease-proof paper.
  • In a bowl, mix together the walnuts (I used a mixture of almonds and hazelnuts), swerve Brown, and cinnamon. Then, set aside.
  • In another bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, protein powder, baking powder, and salt.
  • Next in a separate bowl, beat the butter with the swerve (I used erythritol) until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, once this is done, add the vanilla extract and whisk until fully incorporated.  
  • To the egg mixture, fold in the flour mixture and mix until well combined.
  • Then whisk in ¾ cup of the water. If the batter is quite thick, add additional water as necessary. The batter should scoopable and spreadable but not quite pourable. 
  • Spread about half the batter into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with half of the nut mixture.
  • Spread the remaining batter in the pan and sprinkle with the remaining nut mixutre.
  • Bake for around 45 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown and just firm to the touch. (A toothpick / knife inserted in the centre should come out clean).
  • Remove and let cool in the pan.
  • Once cooled, slice, serve and enjoy!