Strawberry ‘Cream’ Layer Cake

I bought a punnet of organic strawberries one day (they aren’t always available) and decided to make a low carb, low cal version of a rich, creamy Strawberry Cream Layer Cake.  You won’t be disappointed.

strawbcake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had to do a bit of trial and error, but I think I have the right formula now.  Here are the ingredients:

For the cake:

6 eggs

3/4 cup of xylitol, erythritol or other artificial sweetener

2.5 cups almond flour/ground almonds (same thing)

1 tsp baking powder

Icing:

1 500g tub greek yogourt (I use the full fat as it creamier, but you can also use low fat)

2 tbsp erythritol or sweetener

1 punnet chopped strawberries

To make:

Beat the eggs and sweetener until thick and creamy.  Add the almond flour and baking powder, and mix well. Pour into a cake pan that you have lined with baking paper, and cook in the oven at 170C for about 45m (test it with a knife).  Take it out and let it cool, then slice it into two or more layers.

Icing:

Mix the yogurt with chopped strawberries and sweetener.  Spread onto the layer or layers, keeping it thick.  Place the cake layer back onto the top, and spread that with the icing.  Cover the top with leftover chopped strawberries and put it in the frige.

Indulge!

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Prawn and tomato, garlic and chile ‘Linguine’

This dish is one of my favourites.  It’s based on a classic Italian linguine dish that I ate at Bruno’s, a great restaurant in Wollombi, a small town about an hour of of Sydney.  The pasta is replaced by courgette spirelli, the olive oil by coconut oil.

prawns1Here are the ingredients:

3-4 large garlic cloves, chopped

2 Tsp of chili (I use a jar) or chop a chilli

Coconut oil – a couple of tablespoons

1 packet of cooked, de-veined prawns

1 packet of cherry tomatoes

2-3 courgettes, turned into sprirals using a spiralizer

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Start off by heating a couple of large tablespoons of coconut oil (you can also use the Coconut Oil Cuisine, that has no coconut flavour) and then toss in the garlic and chilli.  When the garlic starts to brown, throw in the tomatoes, followed soon after by the cooked prawns.

Add more coconut oil if you think it needs it – for several reasons, mostly scientific, you can’t really put on weight with coconut oil.  It’s because it is made of Medium chain fatty acids, that aren’t stored as fat, but go to the liver to be used as energy.  It’s certainly been my experience, I never seem to put on an ounce even when I have tons of it!.  Read this if you’re not convinced:  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/22/coconut-oil-and-saturated-fats-can-make-you-healthy.aspx

Stir around for a few minutes, until the tomatoes start to soften slightly, and the oil and flavours have infused the prawns.  Finally, add the courgette spirals and stir until ‘al dente’.  Make sure you don’t leave them in too long, or they will get soggy.

Serve with parmesan on top.

prawntomato 2

Delicioso!

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Carb free Pasta Putanesca

nocarbpastaIf you love pasta, try this carb-free option that tastes even better than the real thing!  You can also use carb-free noodles such as Slendier instead of zucchini/courgettes, although the latter taste better for this recipe!

Ingredients:

3 courgettes (zucchini)

Anchovies (you wont taste them, they just give a salty richness to the dish)

2 cloves of garlic

Handful of capers

Handful of pitted black olives

Chilli flakes

Carton of chopped tomatoes

Olive oil or flavourless Coconut oil

Parmesan

Heat up a deep frypan or wok, then turn down to medium heat.  Add oil to coat the bottom, add 2 crushed cloves of garlic and 3-4 anchovies.  When the anchovies start to disintegrate and the garlic browns and softens, add sprinkle of chilli flakes, then chopped black olives and capers.  Stir it around for a while, then add the tomatoes.

When the flavours are piping hot, toss in the spiralled courgettes, that you have cut with a vegetable spiraller.  Don’t leave them in too long, or they will soften too much and liquify. Just toss them for a couple of minutes until hot, and remove from pan.  Sprinkle with parmesan.  Delicious!

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Delicious gluten-free low carb bread

Food_Seed_Loaf.JPEG-0b9f1_t770My friend Amanda suggested the recipe for this loaf – it is far better than any other I have made and has no flour, eggs or sugar.  All seed goodness.  Try it, you won’t regret it!

 

 

Ingredients (1 large loaf):

2 cups sunflower seeds

1 cup ground flax seeds

1 cup of nuts of choice (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts)

3 cups gluten-free rolled oats

4 Tbsp Chia seeds

8 Tbsp Psyllium husks

2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp xylitol, or erythritol, or other natural sweetener

6 Tbsp melted coconut oil

2 cups water

Method:

In a bowl or silicon loaf pan, mix dry ingredients.  Beat oil and water together, then add to dry mix.  Mix thoroughly then let sit around 2 hours.  When ready, it should keep its shape even when sides come away.

Preheat oven 170C.  After 2 hours, if you are using a silicon loaf pan, put straight into the oven.  If using a standard loaf pan, line it with greaseproof paper then pack the mix into it.    Let it cook for 20 minutes, then remove it from the pan, turn it upside down and let it cook for another 40 minutes on the oven rack.  Take it out then let it cool, and try not to cut it until it is perfectly cool – otherwise it will crumble!  It becomes firmer when you put it in the fridge overnight.  It toasts beautifully too!!!

 

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Tasty lamb and zucchini meatballs

meatballsIngredients:

400g of minced pork, chicken or lamb

3 zucchinis, grated

6 small spring onions, chopped

1/2 Tbsp chopped chillies

1 Tbsp mixed herbs

coconut oil

salt & pepper

 

Method:

Mix ingredients together until thoroughly mixed, then roll into small balls.  Heat coconut oil in a pan until hot, then fry in the oil, turning occasionally until browned on all sides and cooked through. Serve them with a sprig of parsley, and steamed broccoli on the side!

 

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Flourless Mandarin Cake

mandarinIngredients:

3-4 medium mandarins, chopped and unpeeled
6 eggs
3/4 cup xylitol (to taste)
2 1/4 cups almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder

Method:

Beat 6 eggs with xylitol in food processor/blender until creamy, then add chopped mandarin pieces (with peel) and blend until smooth.  Add almond meal and baking powder and blend.  Pour into cake pan that has been lined with baking paper, and bake 50 minutes at 170C.

When ready, take out a cool. Then you have the option of topping with a syrup or with icing.  For the syrup, melt a 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup mandarin juice and 2 tbs xylitol, then pour over the cake.  For a thick frosting, beat a packet of philadelphia cream cheese lite with 2-3 tbsp Erythritol and some lemon or mandarin juice, until thick and creamy.  Frost the cake and sprinkle with mandarin rind!

 

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Crepes Suzette

Try this delicious and tasty dessert, very quick and easy to make!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oat bran

1 egg

1 tablespoon low fat yogurt

juice 1/2 lemon

sprinkling of Xylitol

Beat the oat bran with the egg and yogurt in a bowl, pour into a non-stick frypan and cook both sides until golden brown (a few minutes).  Pour lemon juice over the top and then sprinkle with Xylitol.

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Moist Chocolate Almond Cake

Moist Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

6 eggs

200g ground almonds

.5 cup Xylitol (more if you prefer a sweeter cake)

3 tablespoons 0% fat Organic cocoa

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup slivered almonds

1 grated zucchini/courgette

a little water

Preparation:

Beat 6 eggs with ¾ cup Xylitol until  creamy.    Stir then beat the cocoa and baking powder into the mix.  Fold the ground almonds into the mixture, stirring well. Fold in the slivered almonds and the grated courgette (optional but it helps keep it moist for about a week). Add a little water if it is very dry, until it is smooth and creamy.  Sprinkle the top with slivered almonds, or make thick icing – see recipe below.

Pour into a cake tin, lined with greaseproof paper.   Bake in the oven for 50 minutes in 170C.

Thick creamy icing: Beat small packet Philadelphia cream cheese lite with about 2-3 tablespoons of Erythritol and 2 tablespoons of pure cocoa.  To lighten add a small amount of milk.  Spread on top of the cake and top with almonds or walnuts.

 

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Hearty Shepherd’s Pie (low carb version)

If you long for a hearty, filling meal to ward off those hunger pangs, then this is the dish for you.  This is one of my weekly staples – it is great to keep in the fridge then have a slice for lunch, with salad or when you get hungry.

Ingredients:

500g lean mince (beef, turkey, chicken, etc)

1 cup of organic lardons or chopped bacon

2 cups sliced mushrooms

2 carrots, chopped

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 packet tomato puree (or tomato chunks)

bay leaf, oregano, basil

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp chilli paste or 2 small chopped chillies

3 cups stock (or water with stock cube)

Topping:

3 carrots

1 large broccoli

5% fat Philadelphia cream cheese

parmesan

 Preparation:

Throw bacon or lardons into a deep pan and cook, then add the lean meat, cooking until browned.  Add the vegetables, then stock, tomato paste, tomato puree, seasonings, garlic, and chilli.  Season with a little salt and pepper.  Leave it on the stove to cook on low heat for about 1  ½ hours.

When most of the stock has been absorbed by the meat and the sauce is thick and red, turn off the pan and let it cool slightly.  In the meantime, boil the carrots and broccoli until tender, then mash them, adding salt, pepper and a tablespoon or two of Philadelphia.

Ladle the meat mixture into the bottom of a flat baking dish, then apply the carrot/broccoli mash over the top. Sprinkle with grated or ground parmesan and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Serve with salad.

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Ricotta Sun-dried and Baby Tomato Mediterranean salad

Now that the sun has started to emerge in rain-sodden Sydney, I thought a light summer salad with a twist would be perfect for a light supper this evening,  to accompany the Shepherd’s Pie I made earlier today (recipe to follow).

This salad is delicious but particularly because of it’s dressing!  All low carb and low fat as usual.

Ingredients:

Dressing 1: sun-dried tomatoes, about ½ cup

2 tbsp red wine or sherry vinegar

½ cup water

1 tbsp Xylitol

Dressing 2: 2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp red wine or balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp Xylitol

2 cloves garlic, crushed

ground black pepper

Salad:

3-4 large slices of low fat ricotta

1 punnet baby tomatoes

1 shallot, finely chopped

fresh basil

Preparation:

Combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, water and xylitol in a small pan and heat for about 15 minutes.  Blend until it turns into a paste.

Beat together ingredients for Dressing 2 in a bowl and set aside.  Chop tomatoes, shallot, fresh basil together and toss in Dressing 2.

Place slices of ricotta on a plate or platter and cover with dollops of Dressing 1.  Place the tomatoes and over the ricotta, and garnish with more fresh basil.

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