Cod in Dill Cream Sauce

Keto Cod in Dill Cream

This dish was inspired by a staff meal I enjoyed while working at the Duck several years ago (imagine having the chefs of a 3-Michelin star restaurant cooking your lunch every day?) It is one of my favourite dishes to make using cod and I can’t stress enough how delicious it is. You simply have to try it for yourself. Each cod portion is approx 120g / 4.2oz and is poached in an enormous amount of cream. The stars of the show are the jammy onions hidden under the cod when baking and the generous amount of freshly chopped dill scattered over after baking. Double up the recipe to make this for your family, and enjoy alongside some high-fibre vegetables. See M&L Side Dishes for some ideas, but I will lean heavily towards advising it over my Keto Cauliflower Mash to mop up all that glorious sauce. Step-by-step pics to help you along …

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Ronald’s Lamb & Tomato Stew

Low Carb Lamb Stew
Low Carb Lamb Stew

Today is Valentine’s Day. It would also have been my dad’s 70th birthday…

I was 18 years old when it happened. We never figured out what killed him – he had the doctors, specialists and pathologists scratching their heads while he was in ICU and my brother and I didn’t have Google back in 1997 to perform our own Dr Google diagnosis to try and challenge them. A bizarre, unidentifiable bacteria attacked his lungs and he was dead within weeks of getting a blocked nose. We all thought it was a bad case of the flu: it wasn’t. He had made a recent business trip to central Africa, but nothing identifiable came up on the pathology results after a battery of tests. It was – and still is – a medical mystery..

My worst birthday was four years ago when I realised I had lived longer on this earth without him than with him. Too bizarre a thought.. I can still smell him! I remember every detail of every pore on his skin, his hairline, the gap in his teeth, his laugh, his sense of humour, his integrity…… and his love of people, Roy Orbison, Elvis, wine .. and food! I could write a whole book about this incredible man who I like to refer to as the Wind Beneath My Wings.

Most (winter) Saturday mornings while my brother and I were still asleep, my dad, Ronald (who was a successful banker) would go to the shops and stock up ingredients for his famous stove-top potije (a stew in South Africa). He had swept and mopped the kitchen floors and had mowed the lawn before my brother and I even opened an eyelid. By 10am, the smell of his stew slowly cooking away in the kitchen – along with the smell of fresh bread rolls – would lure us like lanky, hungry teenagers into the kitchen. Of course, we weren’t allowed in because the floors were still wet! Later in the day, while he sat devouring his Saturday newspapers and settled into watching rugby or cricket on TV, sipping his G&T or dry white wine, the smell of the stew wafted intensely throughout the house, assaulting all our senses. If we were careful enough, we could tip-toe into the kitchen and lift the heavy lid of the cast-iron pot with a tea towel; carefully open the brown packet of breadrolls and dip one into the stew sauce… HEAVEN! But it was always followed by a loud “I can hear you! Leave it alone, don’t touch it!“. LOL.. Oh daddy, he had eyes on the back of his head, just as he warned my boyfriends! 

We loved each other intensely, Dad and I. He knew how much I loved him and I knew he was proud of me. I could grieve (and still do) without guilt, what-if’s or should-have’s. I am not sure many people can say that when they lose someone.

Many years later, when I tried to recreate my dad’s lamb stew, I phoned and emailed all my uncles, my dad’s friends, my brother: ‘can you remember what Dad did? What recipe did he follow?‘ – no one could help me. He didn’t follow a recipe. He simply threw it all in a cast-iron pot and it tasted good because he made it with such love, passion and patience.

My recipe below will never be as good as Dad’s .. not even close. It’s just a simple lamb stew in a tomato-based sauce with some vegetables I remember mopping up. He is probably looking down, commenting on things I left out.. but I (now as a chef) can look back up and say, “oh but Daddy, you forgot about the Maillard Reaction …” LOL! Yes, I added few cheffy tips along the way to get the best results. In my own limited capacity, this is the only way I know how to honour him. Thank you for reading.

(Recipe below serves 5-6 people. Macros calculated on a 300g / 10.5oz serving. Enjoy served over Cauliflower Mash, Cauliflower Rice or Keto Rosemary Rolls, as pictured.

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Mini Rosemary Keto Rolls

Mini Rosemary Keto Rolls
Mini Rosemary Keto Rolls

I need to do more research on the guy that invented Fathead dough, so I can find him and plant a big fat one on him! I use the concept for so many great dishes, but switched around some ingredient ratios until I was happy. Here, I made a batch of mini rosemary-flavoured ‘breadrolls’, yielding between 13 and 14 little rolls. The macros are calculated as one ‘serving’ being 2 mini rolls. You can use any appropriately-sized pan or baking tin, but I thought it would be attractive to bake, then serve (tear-and-share-style) straight from a cast-iron pan (mine was 20cm / 8-in diameter). Enjoy with just about anything and play around with different herbs – but I think I rocked these using rosemary..

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‘Turkish Delight’ White Chocolate Mousse

Keto Low carb Turkish Delight Mousse
Keto Low carb Turkish Delight Mousse

Something for upcoming Valentine’s Day… This easy white chocolate mousse was made using only a few ingredients, with a distinct ‘Turkish Delight’ flavour coming from the necessary addition of rose water. Its a lovely, fragrant dessert that is so pretty to look at – and even better to tuck into! I added a little pink food colouring, but that is entirely optional. Each serving is approx 135g / 4.8oz, which is very generous, and only 2.8g carbs per serving, – you can get away with it! You can choose to simply divide the mixture between 4 dessert bowls, or you can pipe them in like I did. It was only afterwards I realised it resembles a pink rose (well, at a stretch), so I encourage you to put in the little extra effort. Important technique tip: Allow the melted cocoa butter buttons to cool sufficiently before adding to the cream to avoid a grainy mousse. Also, be careful not to over-whip the cream, nobody wants rose water butter…

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Low-carb Chicken, Lemon and Oregano Bake

Low carb Chicken Oregano Bake
Low carb Chicken Oregano Bake

I LOVE fresh oregano, but struggle to find it here in the UK. When I spot it in the Trose, I grab a packet and make this dish! Its key to the overall flavour. If you have the same struggle I do, I advise you wait until fresh oregano can be sourced, as dried oregano may alter the flavour I worked so hard to perfect. The other predominant element is the lemony flavour throughout the dish. Its a fresh and essential part of the dish. The tomatoes and roasted red onions bring a sweetness in every mouthful, and the whole lot bakes in a pre-cooked (non-cauliflower-tasting) cauliflower rice. A fantastic dish to break a fast or to enjoy at dinner if your macros allow for 12g carbs in one sitting. Its a rich and tasty dinner, and all the flavours just work. Step-by-step pics to help you along …

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Olive & Sun-dried Tomato Low-carb Bread

Olive and Sundried Tomato Bread
Olive and Sundried Tomato Bread

I am never running out of ideas to mimic a loaf of the good stuff. Each slice of this bread – made using almond flour and psyllium husk powder – comes in at 7g carbs (one slice is approx. 60g / 2.1oz). A bit of a hefty price to pay for such a small slice, but a great recipe to try anyway on your low-carb journey. Use the best quality, strongest-tasting black olives you can find and don’t omit the sun-dried tomatoes – they add a lovely sharpness with every bite. Serve with a thick layer of grass-fed butter and a crack of Pink Himalayan salt.

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Spring Onion Scramblies

Spring Onion Scramblies

Some inspiration may be needed after a while of wolfing down eggs on keto. I can hardly call this a ‘recipe’, as its merely an idea (where I took the liberty of calculating the macros for you). I made this for myself one night when Funnyman was away and I was in no mood to cook. I loved the sweetness the stir-fried spring onions brought to the eggs. They are flash-fried until bright green and partially caramelised before the eggs are added. What a way to pimp your scramblies…! (And fab served on a slice of toasted Quick Keto Chia Bread or Keto Breakfast Muffins*)

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Low-carb Cabbage and Mince Rolls

Keto Cabbage Mince Rolls
Keto Cabbage Mince Rolls

Get a little creative with ground beef and savoy cabbage and spend some time making these attractive little parcels. I used the full yield of the Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe for this dish, so be sure to have that prepped and ready before beginning. (You could, alternatively use 500g / 18oz of passata, but I want to encourage you to make your own sauces so you know exactly what has gone into them.) One serving = 2 parcels (as pictured) so this recipe will happily feed a family of 4.

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Low-carb Sausage and Cabbage Soup

Low Carb Sausage and Cabbage Soup

You wouldn’t think that such simple ingredients could create a soup that would pack such a punch like this one can – and its all thanks to the Poles who brought us delicious Kielbasa (a smoked sausage found in the deli meat aisle.) For my South African readers, these are what we have come to know and love as ‘Russians’. This recipe is a great example of what we refer to as Dirty Keto. Its a low-carb soup (only 10g carbs per hearty bowl)… but the small amount amounts of wheat and soy found in the sausages are considered highly frowned upon with the keto police. And they are correct, wheat is inflammatory and the Kielbasa itself is a processed meat. BUT …if you are not so strict and you are happy to give this a go on your low-carb / dirty keto journey, you will love the homely, hearty flavours the Kielbasa brings, along with the glorious flavour of smoked paprika. (Plus, its fun to be filthy once in a while….) If its not substantial enough as a main meal, serve it up with a slice or two of the Quick Chia Keto Bread.

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