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.


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)


3 carrots

1 large broccoli

5% fat Philadelphia cream cheese



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.


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.


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


3-4 large slices of low fat ricotta

1 punnet baby tomatoes

1 shallot, finely chopped

fresh basil


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.


Chicken Souffle


This souffle is very easy to make, looks good and tastes delicious!




Ingredients: (2 souffles)

A cup of cooked chicken pieces


2 small cups skim milk

2 eggs, separated


Chop up a few slices of cooked chicken very finely and add some chopped or dry herbs.   Put 2 small cups of skim milk to heat until almost boiled, take off heat.  Beat 2 egg yolks and add chicken and egg yolks to milk, stir together.   Beat egg whites in separate bowl until stiff, then fold into yolk/chicken/milk mixture.  Pour into 2 ramekins and put into oven at 200C for about 15 minutes or until brown on the top.


Crusty Lo Carb Bread


This bread is tasty and made entirely of bran – so will not affect your blood sugar levels if eaten in moderation.




 Bowl 1:

4 packets of fast yeast

10 tablespoons of water

8 tablespoons of 0% fat yogurt

Bowl 2:

16 tablespoons of oat bran

16 tablespoons of wheat bran

8 tablespoons of wheat germ

20 tablespoons of skim milk powder

2 teaspoons of baking powder

2 teaspoons of salt

2 tablespoons of 0% fat yogurt

6 eggs


In a small bowl, mix the yeast, water and yogurt together and leave aside.

In a large bowl, mix the other ingredients together thoroughly, then add the mix from bowl 1.  The mixture should be thick but not too sticky.

Pour the mixture into a large loaf tin that has been lined with greaseproof paper.

Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds.

Bake for 10 minutes at 200C then another 20 minutes at 180C.


Luscious Lemon Meringue Pie



This pie is absolutely delicious and yet will not pile on the pounds.  It is quick and easy to make as well!



600 ml skim milk

rind and juice of 4 lemons (organic unwaxed)

3 tablespoons of cornflour

4 eggs – separated

5-6 tablespoons of Xylitol


1 tablespoon oatmeal bran

1 tablespoon 0% fat yogurt

1 egg


Mix the oatmeal bran with yogurt and egg and spread over base of round pie dish.  Don’t worry if it does not cover the entire dish.  Put into oven for about 10-15 minutes  at 180C until it has risen slightly and is cooked.

Heat the milk on the stove with the rind of 4 lemons until hot but not boiling.  Meanwhile, mix the cornflour with lemon juice in another bowl until smooth.   Separate eggs, put whites aside and beat the yolks with 2 tablespoons of Xylitol.  Add a tablespoon of the hot milk to the cornflour and egg mixes, and mix before adding back into the hot milk on the stove.  Continue stirring until the mixture thickens, but make sure it doesn’t boil or the egg will curdle.

Pour this mixture into the pie dish and put back into the oven for about 10 minutes.  When ready take it out and let it cool for about 1 hour.

Beat the egg whites until stiff then add 4-5 tablespoons of Xylitol until it tastes sweet and the mixture is firm.   Spread onto the top of the lemon mixture, forming little peaks.  Place into the oven for about 10-15 minutes until the tips are brown.  Take out and put in the fridge for a couple of hours to cool.


Smoked salmon and cream cheese rollups

This appetiser or snack is one of my favourites. Try it on your guests as an appetiser before a meal, or just have some for breakfast one day.






smoked salmon (preferably organic)

low fat philadelphia cream cheese

1 tbsp oat bran

1 egg

1 tbsp 0% fat yogurt



Mix the oat bran, egg and yogurt in a bowl and cook in a small galette pan until you get a thin flat pancake (no oil).  Turn it over once and take it out after a few minutes or when it is brown.

When it is cool, use a knife and apply a thin layer of cream cheese on the pancake, a few sprigs of chopped parsley, then place slices of smoked salmon on top.  Roll carefully, and then slice it into pieces.  Serve with a sprig of parsley!



Creamy Chocolate Mousse

Here is the recipe for a delicious and creamy chocolate mousse that takes seconds to make and tastes delicious!


A tub of 0% fat Greek Style yogurt or equivalent

A tablespoon of Xylitol or other sweetener (to taste)

A 1/2 to 3/4 of a tablespoon of 0% fat Organic cocoa (available in most health food shops)


Place the yogurt in a bowl, add the sweetener and cocoa, mix together and enjoy!

It will set a little more if you leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours, but it’s still great straight away.


Curbing the Carbs

When I used to diet in the past, I would decide that going drastic was the only way, in other words, cutting out all carbs.  I would experience instant and very gratifying results, that would keep me motivated to go on.   The only problem was that after about a week I would start getting cravings for something sweet.  Anything sweet!   So I would go out and buy a cream cake from the supermarket, wolf it down, and then resume the low carb lifestyle until another craving emerged.

After much trial and error, I realized that I needed to balance my pure carb intake with something sweet, but not something that would spike my insulin levels.  I discovered Xylitol, a delicious natural sugar substitute that I can use instead of sugar.  I can cook with it, eat it raw, use it in tea and coffee – it’s delicious!  Check out my page on Xylitol and other sweeteners and where to get them on Sweets on this blog.

This led me to improvise and create a series of desserts that I now enjoy on a daily basis.  I rarely go out and buy those cream cakes any more – I don’t need to, I have my own version to eat at home!