Keto Empanadas

Worth the time and these are delicious. I think a Keto version is such a win, as it’s meat wrapped in a cheese dough. I mean, how can that not be good?!

If you have leftover savoury ground beef these would be the perfect leftover plan. Also, I would suggest making the ground beef filling ahead and let it cool off completely as it’s easier to work with in the dough. Hot filling in a cheese dough is not fun to work with – I found that out as this was one of those spur of the moment “I need empanadas – after 3 years of none – in my life” now! Also let your dough chill in the fridge at least 30 minutes. It’s possible to make these in one go but you’ll see how hard it was to work with fresh warm dough and filling in my pics below.

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Quick Microwave Keto Bread and other Snippets

Yesterday I tried four different versions of quick microwave bread. I used little flat ramekins for each bread and then cut them like a pie slice to show the texture. They are easy to pop out, slice through the middle and toast, if that’s what you’re looking for. The secret I found to a perfect mix was 90% almond flour and 10% coconut flour. The coconut flour binds it nicely! I discovered this in the last of the 4 mixes I tried. The pure coconut flour was the one I liked the least – it was still good – just too heavy for my taste.

My favourite were the last two I made. One was a mix where I added a 1/4 cup of strong white cheddar cheese, the other was spiced and sweet. Another secret is to melt a tsp of butter into the dish you are going to use. I’m sure a large deep microwave safe saucer would work too! The melted butter prevents the batter sticking and gives a nice moisture to the bread base.

The last fave one I microwaved is the almond/coconut mix with a tsp of xylitol honey added and topped with allspice and cinnamon. It was delicious!

So here is the basic recipe with variations and method:

Ingredients

  1. 3 tablespoons almond flour
  2. 1 tsp (heaped) coconut flour
  3. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp grapeseed oil
  5. 1 egg (if *very* small eggs use 2)
  6. Tiny pinch of salt

Variations:

  • Leave plain for toasting!
  • Stir in 1/4 cup strong cheddar cheese
  • Dried herbs and garlic powder
  • 1 tsp keto honey and allspice and cinnamon sprinkled on top to taste
  • Top with 1 tbls fried onions and sundried tomatoes for mini savoury pie, maybe pitted sliced olives too?
  • 1 tbls powdered xylitol with mixed berries chopped up and maybe a ¹/⁴ tsp vanilla or almond essence
  1. Melt 1 tsp butter in baking receptacle
  2. Add dry ingredients to mixing bowl or jug
  3. Add egg and oil
  4. Mix well with large fork
  5. Add variation if using
  6. Pour into lil’ melted buttered dish
  7. Microwave for 1 minute and 35 seconds
  8. Let cool before slicing
  9. Or eat warm if you can’t wait!

I made all the breads in about 20 minutes. I had just baked a loaf of “real” bread for my partner that took 4 ¹/² hours!

I hope you try this it’s a really quick, light and tasty treat.

☝️ This is the mix with keto honey, then topped batter with spices

☝️My favorite, and this is the flour mix I settled on as the best!

Update: Toasts great!

Oh!

Quick tip!

Add a chunk of blue cheese to your cauliflower mash for a delicious change. Omgosh, it is fabulous! Or any mash for that matter.

Cat in a basket. Cats have a good life if they choose to move in with us from the streets. All our cat adoptions have been strays. Vinny helping me work from home.

New mask gifted to me!

I mean, how cute is this fabric … thanks my love!

Porch light added by my sweetie, it’s a gecko and purchased a loooong time ago at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in South Africa. We have two, and they are much treasured. If you ever have the opportunity to go to this festival – do it!

My sister has been braaing up a storm in South Africa! Excellent Roodeberg red wine from the Southwestern Cape in the Paarl area and where my Dad was born, is of course her accomplice. Check out her culinary skillz, our family like to cook! LOL. She is staying with my Mum in South Africa during these unprecedented and challenging times where they have just emerged from a very strict quarantine lockdown, and can now take walks and leave their homes.

Looks like they are doing just fine!!!

Oxtail, herbed chicken, stuffed pork loin, ribs … wow Spoti!

Mum made lemon marmalade from her lovely lemon tree and sent me this pic!

Stay safe out there! ❤

Battered Fried Eggplant and more snippets…

This dish was half way prepped and my partner asked … are you blogging this recipe? I paused. He was right the last time about posting something, so I scrambled to take a few photos at the start of making this dish and he took a few too. My Mum regularly made deep fried battered eggplant/brinjal/aubergines as a veg side dish for dinner growing up and she still does!

My parents ran a successful produce market agency. They sourced vegetables and fruits directly from farmers and sold to grocers, food vendors, restaurants and the public. There were other agencies like this at the municipal market place, probably around a half dozen or less. We were fortunate that fresh vegetables and fruit were in abundance in our home. Farm to table fresh! Looking back, despite the many bags of peas and beans my sister and I had to shell or string in peak freezing season, we were truly lucky and blessed with these bounties. (Sometimes this would extend to sheep and game too, but that is a blog post for another time!) Dad sourced produce requested by restaurants from Greek to Indian, Italian and Chinese. He had an uncanny eye for exotic delicacies. So eggplants were a standard in our home long before they were commonly found on grocery shelves. Some of my friends found eating at our home either peculiar…or delicious. I was very young, but I remember Dad inviting friends to our home to show him how to make Paella and other international dishes, or going to his friends in Malabar for delicious curry, unlike anything I’ll savour again. I’m talking late 1960’s and through the 70’s here friends! Continue reading

Roasted Butternut Soup, Squash with figs…and other snippets

Spring is almost here. Almost! We have had a glorious week of sunshine and by tonight the rain is back, but I never begrudge the blessing of rain. We’re lucky to live in a place where water is not a challenge and I never take this for granted. My heart hurts when I hear of the escalating devastation of droughts around the world.

On a lighter note we were gifted the lovely company of two very dear friends recently. The beautiful spring daffodils and tussie-mussie they each gave us are here to share with you. Outside, the birds are busy; leaf buds are sprouting and blossoms are on the plum trees.

Two quick recipes to post and then I bid you adieu until next time!

The first recipe is one for when you have inventive ingredients to hand, or just to post for fun. Try your own version!

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NY White Sauce

I had never heard of this sauce before, and just recently saw a recipe for it. There were a few ingredients I did not like in the recipe so I switched out a few, added some and omitted the sugar and vinegar. Super quick and easy to make.

It was great served over the roasted veg I made for lunch yesterday. Pretty sure you could put it onto just about anything savoury.

Here it is served with roast shoulder of seasoned beef, eggplant with green chili and Adobo spice, yams with Ancho spice and delicata squash with freshly grated turmeric. My fingers are still saffron yellow, but absolutely worth it. I found the fresh turmeric at the Mexican Mercado market I love to go to, but tbh, I don’t go often enough!

Here are the treasures I found at the Mexican market last Sunday. The ginger is fantastic and I have plans for that chorizo sausage! The green salsa is delicious but very hot and the little fingers of turmeric are absolutely perfect.

I just mixed the NY white sauce up in the yogurt tub I had.

See recipe below!

Quick tip for zesting citrus.

I find leaving zesting for after I’ve juiced a lime or any citrus, the juicer makes a perfect holding device for the skin. I’m always grating myself when just holding the citrus in my hand. This is my go to default way to zest without scrapes.

Be sure to have a pint sized jar for storage. If you would like this runnier for pouring or drizzling, add more cream or buttermilk at the end.

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Lime, Chili and Cilantro Coleslaw with roasted peanuts

My sister takes full credit for this tasty recipe shared with me recently.

It’s crisp, sparks with flavour and is a keeper.

Thanks SpotiD! 👌❤ it!

It will speak for itself, and here is what you need.

Slaw:

1 red onion, finely sliced
1 juice of lime
1 finely shredded red cabbage
3 carrots, grated
1/2 cup roasted peanuts

Mayo:
1 large lime, zested and juiced
1/4 cup good mayo
1/2 green chili finely chopped
Ground salt and pepper and 12 sprigs chopped fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves and a thumb of ginger crushed through a garlic press

Method:

Marinade finely shredded onion in lime juice and salt for 20 minutes

Mix mayo ingredients together. (Zest/juice of lime, crushed garlic and ginger, chili, spices and cilantro)
Mix shredded veg together
Add 1/2 cup peanuts
Add to marinated onion
Fold in mayo
Top with roasted peanuts

I served it with a splash of reduced balsamic vinegar infused with fresh mint. Serve with boiled eggs and kielbasa sausage slices.

Super good!

Orange Cardamom Thanksgiving Cake

Omgosh, the flavours of this LCHF cake are fabulous. Good to serve with coffee, as dessert after a meal or freshly baked and still warm with either mascarpone cheese or sour cream too. I kind of like sour cream or Greek yogurt with dessert!

What ingredients should you expect to have to bake this?

You’ll need one fresh orange for the zest and juice for sure, ground cardamon and vanilla paste to get the full flavours. Definitely almond flour and buttermilk. If you don’t like cardamom, ground ginger would work great too!

This was dessert after our Thanksgiving dinner of roasted veggies and duck with keto cranberry sauce.

I’m truly humbled, grateful and thankful for the many blessings we have, loving family and friends, and your sincerely appreciated visits. Thank you!

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Keto “English” cream tea Scones

I woke up this morning and needed a cream tea scone. It was that simple. Necessity being the mother of invention I created this recipe just now and holy cow, it worked. I’m recording it right now before I forget the quantities, and my future self can bake them again. They are truly delicious. We had them with butter, raspberry and strawberry keto jam and whipped cream. I’m pretty sure they would be fabulous topped with a good sharp cheese of your choice too. Though not everyone likes cheese with their scones I suppose, I might be in the minority!

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Dinner for Two

LCHF Waldorf Salad

Chicken Breast Pesto Rollmops

Roasted Petit Peppers

Spiced Cauliflower Mash

This whole meal started with a Waldorf Salad yearning, which usually is inspired by the beautiful apples in the grocers this time of year. Also, my partner was not feeling the best. I only know how to cook, not how to heal, though in some ways food has amazing properties of healing I suppose. I also wanted to partly test drive this chicken idea as I’d like to make a version if it when our friend comes to dinner.

This is going to be more a summary of what I made and not exact measurements. I’m pretty sure that anyone who visits this blog is a way more accomplished cook than I’ll ever hope to be! Run with your own measurements, instincts and culinary acumen!

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My Chaffle Recipe (sweet) with berries and cream

I’ve been putting off trying out the mini waffle maker my partner bought for me … well, I think more nervous about making a keto chaffle itself!

The trick is to work fast, and I mean really fast.

Wow, are they are delicious!

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