Tag Archives: step-by-step recipe

LCHF Coconut Granola

5 Jul

NNG fin2So I sat down to blog again and realised with a back to reality horror that the last time I blogged was NOVEMBER!!!!

In my defense a whole heap of stuff has happened since November.  I started an amazing  new job that is keeping me busy and,  on the odd occasion,  away from home – and it’s hard to blog from a hotel room.  I also started a new diet.  Some foodies have all the luck and are able to eat tons of yummies and still stay slim.  I am unfortunately not one of those foodies.

On a trip back to South Africa earlier this year I was introduced to Tim Noakes’s Real Meal Revolution – which is in essence a low carb, high fat diet – or as he would prefer – a low carb, high fat way of life.   The verdict – I’m hooked.  Weight has been coming off at a nice and steady pace, I don’t feel hungry or for that matter that I’m dieting AND I don’t miss carbs nearly as much as I thought I would.  I have had to make changes to the way I cook and that hampered the blogging, but I’ve had  a few successes and I’m back on track.

One thing that has been difficult has been for me is breakfasts.  Not weekend breakfasts when you have ample time to cook omelets and fry-ups and frittatas, but weekday breakfasts when you’re rushing out the door to beat the traffic. Yogurt works, but lets face it, it can be a bit tedious, so I’ve been playing around with carb free granola and I’ve finally found one I really like.

NG INGTo start take:

  • 90ml Coconut Oil
  • 100gms Dessicated Coconut
  • 100gms Pecan Nuts
  • 100gms Almonds
  • 100gms Macadamia Nuts
  • 50gms Sunflower Seeds
  • 50gms Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • Spices to Taste

NG SpicesA Note on the Spicing – you can use whatever spicing you happen to enjoy.  I’ve used cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom.  I also like mine quite flavourful so I’ve used 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp of nutmeg and 1 tsp of ginger and then the seeds from 6 cardamom pods.

NG ProcessPreheat the oven to 160 °C  and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Then process your nuts (not the seeds or the coconut) briefly until they are coarsely chopped.

NG MixedAdd the coarsely chopped nuts, seeds and coconut to a large bowl and mix well.

NG CardamonIf you’re using fresh spices – and if you’re not, give it a try as the flavours are SOOOOO much better – chop, grate and grind your spices.

NG PanIn a large pan (I used my wok) add the coconut oil, spices and the honey and heat over a low heat until the coconut oil has melted and the honey is runny.

NG CoatAdd the nut mixture and stir to coat it evenly in the oil and spice mix.

NG Baking Tray 2Spread the granola mix evenly out over the two trays and place them in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the nuts are golden and toasty, but keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn as this will make your granola quite bitter.

NG ToastedLeave the mix to cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container.

NG fin2

Add a dollop of yogurt, a sprinkle of blueberries and enjoy!

Champagne and Raspberry Jelly (Shots)

15 Sep

CRJ Final shot 4So there comes a time in your life when you realise that no matter how much you want to deny it, you are too old for vodka jelly shots . . . and well, they’re just not quite appropriate to take in to work.  Which really sucks because they would liven up Monday meetings no end.  BUT thankfully all hope is not lost because while vodka jelly shots are taboo, champagne jelly shots (or sparkling wine – for my more pedantic readers) is elegant, sophisticated and perfectly above board.  In fact with the glorious weather we’ve been having, they are my new favourite summer dessert.  If you decide that you are too old for shots, even champagne jelly shots, don’t despair – set the jelly in a martini glass or a posh tumbler and you had a wonderfully elegant end to a summer meal.

CRJ IngTo start take:

  • 375 ml of pink sparkling wine
  • 400 ml of water (use bottled or filter water for a clearer jelly)
  • 4-6 leaves of gelatine (4 for a soft set jelly – easier to swallow; 6 for a firmer spoon-able jelly)
  • 100 gm golden caster sugar
  • raspberries
  • mint leaves (optional – I left these out, but chop them finely and add when adding your raspberries for a delicious alternative)

This will make about 18 double shot glasses of jelly or 6-8 larger portions.

CRJ SugarPut the water in a small saucepan over a medium heat and add the sugar.  CRJ SimmerStir the mixture to dissolve the sugar and then bring the water to a boil and leave to simmer for about five minutes.

CRJ ChampersPour the champagne sparkling wine into a heat-proof bowl.

CRJ GeletinPlace the gelatine in the sparkling wine and leave to soak for about five minutes.

CJR WhiskRemove the gelatine leaves from the sparkling wine and add to the hot sugar mix in the saucepan and whisk until the gelatine has dissolved completely.

CRJ MixAdd the sugar mix to the sparkling wine and whisk to combine.  Leave to cool for about an hour.

CRJ ShotsOnce the jelly mixture is cool pour it into the molds you have set aside and place these in the fridge for about an hour until the jelly is just starting to thicken.  Place the mint and raspberries into the jelly and leave to set.  If you are doing shots I wouldn’t place more than one raspberry in the glass as it could be a choking hazard, if you’re doing them in large glasses throw in as many as you wish.  Place back in the fridge for  6-8 hours until set.

CRJ FinishedEnjoy and bottoms up!

Blueberry and Pistachio Pancakes

27 Apr

BPP FinishedThe BH and I have had a bit of a trying year.  We’ve both changed jobs AND we’ve bought a house.  Add to this a missing camera charger and you have a very guilty me apologising for the HUGE hiatus in my blogging.  That said this weekend rolled around and to both of our absolute surprise and wonder, there was nothing planned.  I’m not going to lie, we were both more than a little shell shocked by this and for a while just stared at each other, not really sure what to do.  Then, thankfully, sloth instinct kicked in and pancakes and old episodes of the X-Files were the order of the day.  Now I must confess, I simply can’t resist the urge to mess with pancakes, these however are my current favourites.

BPP IngTo start take:

  • 500gms self raising flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder (you want them to be really light and fluffy)
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 gms butter
  • 1 litre milk
  • 200 gms blueberries
  • 100gm roasted salted pistachios
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla essence if you prefer)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (optional)

BPP Melting ButterMelt the butter in a small sauce pan and allow it to cool.  Then add  the milk to the butter.  Beat the eggs and add these along with the vanilla bean paste to the melted butter.  You want to make sure the butter is cool and you add the milk before you add the eggs otherwise you’re going to be eating buttery,  vanilla flavoured scrambled eggs, which I don’t think will taste as good as it sounds.

Sift BPPSift together your flour, salt, baking powder and sugar (if you’re using it) in a large mixing bowl.

BPP BatterThen slowly add the milk mixture to the flour mix and whisk until the mixture is smooth and lump free. BPP Chopped PistachiosRoughly chop your pistachios and wash and dry your blueberries.  Put these in two separate bowls next to your griddle or frying pan.

BPP FryingHeat your pan or griddle and using a paper towel, apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to the pan/griddle.  Using a soup ladle, spoon a circle of batter on to your griddle pan and then top with blueberries and pistachios.  When the batter bubbles, turn your pancake over and cook on the underside.

BPP Frying 2

Sorry, I just love the colours of the pistachios on the batter, so you’re being subjected to another photograph.  Place the pancake in a warming draw or oven on a low heat and repeat the process until you have used all the batter.

BPP YumDrizzle your pancakes with honey, you can use any syrup that takes your fancy, but there is something about the pistachios and blueberries that just really works with honey, and enjoy.

 

Frozen Peanut Butter and Banana Pie with a Caramel Swirl

28 Jul

PBP Finished 2If you read my last post you’ll remember that I’ve been assigned the role of desserts and salads provider for the barbecue season.  So this is my latest offering, a frozen peanut butter and banana (because let’s face it, if Elvis thought they were a marriage made in heaven, who am I to argue) pie with a caramel swirl.  Its a recipe I’ve stolen unashamedly from those wonderful people at BBC Good Food and tweaked slightly to make it mine.  It’s sweet, slightly salty and silky smooth and the best part is that it can be prepared in advance and it’s ridiculously easy to make, so no missing out on that beautiful sunshine.  Oh and there is no baking, so no standing around in a hot kitchen.   I’ve used a 12cm spring form tin to make an individual pie for these picture, and the recipe will make four of these or one large pie in a 24 cm tin.

PBP IngFor the pie take:

  • 3 bananas (one for decoration)
  • 300gm your favourite digestive type biscuit (graham crackers, hobnobs ect)
  • 100 gm butter
  • 150 mls double cream
  • 140g icing sugar
  • 400gm soft cheese (cream cheese)
  • 250gm smooth peanut butter
  • 1tsp vanilla paste
  • 200 gms tinned caramel or Dulce de lech
  • roasted peanuts to decorate

For the toffee sauce take:

  • 40 gms butter
  • 50 gms sugar
  • 150 mls double cream

PBP crumbsFirst blitz the biscuits in a food processor (or pop them in a zip-lock bag grab, a rolling pin and get rid of some pent up aggression, you know, whatever floats your boat)

PBP butter crumbsMelt the butter and add the crumbs to the pan and mix well.

PBP tinAdd the butter-biscuit mix to the tin(s) and press down firmly.  Then place the tin(s) in the fridge while you make the filling.  I’m going to apologise in advance, you’re about to witness a lot of brown, white, off-white and beige mixes sitting in bowls.  I wish there was a way around it, but . . . well . . . there isn’t.

PBP creamIn a clean bowl, whip the cream until it can hold its own shape and set aside.

PBP soft cheeseIn a separate bowl mix the soft cheese, the icing sugar and the vanilla bean paste and then set aside.

PBP mashed bananaIn a completely different bowl, mash two of the bananas until completely smooth.

PBP Peanut butterIn a fourth bowl (I’d like to apologise to who ever washes your dishes, if it isn’t you please apologise to them on my behalf, if it is you, I’m so very sorry) use a fork to soften the peanut butter by whisking it.

PBP fillingAdd the cream cheese mix to the peanut butter and beat well to combine.  Then mix in the mashed bananas and finally, fold in the whipped cream.

PBP caramel swirlTake the spring form tin(s) out of the fridge and top the biscuit crust with the filling then swirl in the caramel.  The two consistencies are very similar, so be careful not to over mix.  Pop the pie in the  freezer for at least 3 hours or overnight.  (This will keep in the freezer for about a month)

Before you serve take it out of the freezer and leave at room temperature for about 20-30 mins and get cracking with the toffee sauce.

PBP Toffee saucePlace the sugar, butter and cream in a pot and bring to a boil.

PBP Toffee sauce boiling

Allow to cool and then top your pie with sliced bananas, chopped roasted peanuts and toffee sauce.  Enjoy!

PBP ready to eat

Fruit Salad with Meringue Nests

22 Jul

FS2 Finished

I am currently enjoying my first British summer.  This is my third July in the UK, but lets face it the last two summers were completely rubbish.  The best bit about this weather is that it finally feels like barbecue (or braai) season.  As a South African, cooking meat outdoors over a flame is a deeply engrained cultural pastime.  One bordering on religious fanaticism.  I would dearly love to share some of the amazing meals we enjoy with you, but unfortunately braaing (or barbecuing)  is strictly “men’s work.”  Now as liberated and enlightened my BH is in every other aspect, I have more chance of spontaneously combusting then I do of  being given charge of the Braai (Barbecue) tongs.

My job in this summer performance is to prepare salads and dessert.  That’s it. That’s all us women get and surprisingly, none of us complain.  Weird, huh?

So that’s why this is yet another sweet post and why there will probably be a few more in the next couple of days.  Well that’s my story at least and I’m sticking to it.  Anyway in weather like this, you need something cool and refreshing and that requires minimal time in the kitchen.  Fruit salad is always a winner and here it’s dressed in a honey, lime and mint dressing served with meringue nests and chantilly cream.

FS IngThis serves 8:

Meringue nests:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 250gm caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional, but so yummy)

Salad:

  • A mix of your favourite fruit, I used grapes, strawberries, mangoes, blueberries and pineapple
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 2 limes
  • 2 Tbs of honey

Chantilly Cream:

  • 200 mls double cream
  • caster sugar to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

FS Sep EggsFirst preheat the oven to 110 °C and then separate the eggs and place the whites in a clean bowl.  Save the yolks for pannacotta or a nice quiche.

FS egg whiteAdd the cream of tartar and the lemon juice and then beat until soft peaks form.

FS sugarWeigh out your sugar.  A handy tip to remember is to use 50gms of sugar per egg white.

FS MeringueAdd the sugar a tablespoon at a time  and always ensure the sugar is completely incorporated before adding the next tablespoon of sugar.  Continue whisking until your mixture resembles the one above and then fold in the vanilla bean paste.

FS nestsLine a large baking tray with parchment paper and then using a star tipped nozzle and a piping bag, pipe your nests onto the paper.  Place in the oven and bake for two hours.  This should produce a relatively robust meringue that still has a squishy inside.

FS Lime Juice

Now get on with your fruit salad.  To make the dressing, squeeze the limes getting as much juice as you can from them.  The vitamin C in the juice will prevent your fruit from browning.

FS dressingAdd the honey to the lime juice and whisk with a fork until it’s incorporated.

FS MintFinely chop your mint leaves and add this to the lime-honey mix.

FS saladChop your fruit into bite sized pieces and toss with the dressing.  Chill until needed. FS cooked nests

Once your nests are ready, allow them to cool.   FS creamOnce they are cool, make the chantilly cream by adding the vanilla and sugar to the cream and beating it until it holds its shape.  Then assemble by topping the meringue with cream and fruit salad.  Enjoy.

FS Ready to eat

Cheese and Sundried Tomato Palmiers

4 May

pal finished

So when a glorious three day weekend  stretches out in front of you promising to bring with it warm sun drenched days, you know that you need to make the most of it.  By making the most of it I do mean sitting in the garden with potent fruity drinks and scrumptious nibbles with friends and family.  What you don’t want to be doing is spending your whole day in the kitchen making the nibbles and that’s where this recipe will serve you well.  It has an amazingly high return for remarkably little effort. I’ve used a sun-dried tomato pesto, cheese and basil filling, but you really could use almost anything.  I’ve used sausages removed from their casings, you could try it with basil pesto and feta, a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon or jam, and I’m really interested in trying it with lemon curd, but enough of my rambling,  get out there and enjoy that sunshine!

Pal ingTo start take:

  • 1 roll of puff pastry (of course if you make your own it will be delicious, but your effort to enjoyment ratio will be greatly diminished)
  • about half a jar of sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 200gm of cheese (I used a mature cheddar, but use whatever takes your fancy)
  • a few basil leaves

Pal pastryLightly dust the surface you are working on with flour and then roll out your pastry to roughly 30m by 40cm-ish.

Pal tomatoeSmear on the sun-dried tomato pesto leaving  a 1 centimetre border around the edges of the pastry.

Palm cheeseTop the tomato with the cheese and the basil.

pal rolledTaking the length of the pastry, roll one half of the pastry to the middle and then repeat with the other side to create something akin to a book scroll. Wrap the (sc)roll in cling film and place in the refrigerator for about an hour. Then preheat your  oven to 180°C. pal sliced

Remove the pastry from the fridge and thinly slice into palmiers.  How thick or thin you slice them really does boil down to taste, but I aim for slices that are between 0.5cm to 1 cm thick.

Pal baking trayPlace your pamiers on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown!  Enjoy.

Pal baked

Mmmm Cookies

2 Feb

OM - finCookies are good for you.  No, Seriously they are! They make you smile and smiling boosts your immune system and lowers your blood pressure and it relieves stress.  Don’t believe me, look here .  The added benefits of these cookies is that they are also packed full of fruit, nuts and oats, so you see you have NO excuses for not making them.  These are also the best smelling cookies I have ever made, so if you ever need to fill the house with baking , this should be your go to recipe.

OM  - IngTo make 24 cookies take:

  • 1 cup almonds (or any nuts of your choice)
  • 100 gm of plain flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 cups of rolled oats
  • 170 gm of butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of apricots (of any dried fruit of your choice)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla (essence, extract or paste)
  • a pinch of salt

OM - almondsPreheat the oven to 180°C.  Place the almonds on a baking tray and gently toast for about ten to fifteen minutes.  Allow them to cool slightly and then chop roughly into small chunks.  Toasted almonds have a much better flavour and will make a massive difference to the taste of your cookies.  While the nuts are toasting chop your apricots into raisin sized pieces.

om - creamNext cream your butter and sugar together until completely combined and fluffy. OM - vanilla

Add the egg and beat well and then add the vanilla and mix.  Scrape down the sides of your bowl and mix it again.

OM - flourAdd the baking soda and salt to the flour and fold into the butter mix. OM - oatsAdd the oats and mix well to combine. OM - chocolateThen add the toasted nuts, the apricots and the chocolate chunks and mix again.  I’m not going to lie to you, at this stage the best way to ensure everything is mixed in properly is to use your hands.

OM - ShapedOnce everything is mixed well, roll the mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball and then flatten them into cookie shapes on a lined baking tray.  If the cookie dough is being uncooperative, it helps to wet your hands with a splash of water.

OM - bakedBake in the preheated oven for fifteen minutes until golden, brown and delicious.  Leave on the tray for a minute or so and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Pour your self a glass of milk and smile.

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

26 Jan

m hot chocolate

So the BH and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by eating at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s recently.  As much as I would love to tell you that it was over-rated and expensive, I honestly can’t.  It was perfect.  Every course was balanced and tasty and I can’t tell you when last I oohed and ahhed so much, but the thing that most blew my little mind was the marshmallow that was served with the  coffee.  It was a complete revelation.  You see, up until that amazing moment, I had only ever eaten commercially produced marshmallows AND I loved them, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to buy a marshmallow again.   Naturally, the moment I got home, I had to try making my own and luckily they turned out to be a close facsimile of the one I had, because otherwise it would have meant weekly trips to Claridge’s and a  steady financial decline for the BH and I.  I am also hugely excited about the flavour possibilities for these lovely little morsels.  I’m thinking coffee, lemon, chocolate,  raspberry, elderflower.  Oh my watch this space.

M ingTo start take:

  • 400 gms of caster sugar
  • 50 ml of golden syrup
  • two egg whites
  • 100 gms icing sugar
  • 100 gms corn flour
  • 20 gms geletine powder
  • 400 mls of cold water
  • 10 mls vanilla bean paste

M Icing SugarSift together the corn flour and the icing sugar and set aside.

M dustingLine the bottom of a glass baking dish with parchment paper and lightly oil the paper.  Then dust the bottom and sides with about an eighth of the icing sugar/corn flour mix.

M egg whiteBeat the egg whites in a heat proof bowl until stiff peaks form.  Then add half the water to a small sauce pan and sprinkle the gelatine powder on top to allow it to bloom.

M sugarAdd the remaining water to a large pot with the sugar and the golden syrup. Stir to dissolve the sugar and then turn on the heat. Without stirring bring the sugar mix to 130ºC. You will need a sugar thermometer for this.  While this is boiling away, slowly heat the gelatine mix until the gelatine has completely dissolved. When the sugar reaches 130ºC, slowly add the gelatine mix to the sugar mix.  IT WILL BUBBLE UP, so please be careful.

M beatingAdd the vanilla to the egg whites and whisk.  Then add the sugar/gelatine mix to the egg whites in a slow and steady stream while whisking.  Once it has all been incorporated, beat the mixture until thick and fluffy. This should take about ten minutes.

M spreadPour the mixture into the pre-prepared baking dish and smooth the top with an offset spatula and allow the mixture to set for at least four hours, but preferably overnight.

M dusted 2Put a generous dusting of icing sugar on the board you’re going to turn the marshmallow mix onto.

M cutCut the marshmallow into the shape you want.  Here again you can let your imagination run wide.  Heart shaped mallows for Valentines day, Gingerbread marshmallows at Christmas.  I am going to have so much fun with these 😀

m dryingDust the marshmallows liberally with the icing sugar/corn flour mix and leave to dry on a baking rack for about half an hour.  Store in an air tight container for about 3-4 days, if they last that long.

M finished

oh.four.one.

the port elizabeth blogger

The Banting Cook

Banting recipes – low carb, sugar free and gluten free. Banting recipes I have tried - those that have failed and those that have been a success! I am not a dietician, I'm just a gal who loves to cook banting food, and keep it as good as possible! Obviously all recommendations throughout this and other posts are not intended as an alternative, treatment, or prevention of diseases, medical treatments or advice. The reader takes full responsibility for counting nutritional information such as carbs, while trying any and all recipes :-)

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