Light meals & Appetisers

Smaller meals when you just aren’t that hungry, the recipes listed on this section are for those with a smaller appetites, or when you need quick lunch ideas. Some are also great options to serve as tapas or even an appetiser at your next dinner party…

Cuppa Creamy Tomato Soup (Low-carb)

Cream of Tomato Cup of Soup
Cream of Tomato Cup of Soup

Nostalgia is a strange thing and it was only my time spent at the Fat Duck that really made me appreciate the link between nostalgia and food. Although I live in UK now, I am from Cape Town and grew up in Johannesburg. Winters were bitterly cold in Joeys, and there was no such thing as central heating to help you through those months. Soups were standard and my favourite one was a creamy tomato soup my mother made (from a packet!). I attempted a homemade one the other day and was delighted that it was just how I remember (even better that I knew exactly what went into it). Its a hefty 9.8g carbs per cup, but worth it since its so filling and moreish. I used the gluten-free Knorr chicken stock pots, but you can use your own homemade chicken broth for an even cleaner soup. 

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Salmon & Cream Cheese Domes (Keto)

Salmon Cream Cheese

Need a pretty-looking appetiser in a hurry? These little domes are made from seasoned cream cheese and wrapped in smoked salmon. To achieve the cute ‘dome’ shape, I simply created them using lined mini pudding (dariole) moulds, then tipped them out upside down. They can also be made ahead of time, then popped out just before serving. Try these with slices of toasted Quick Chia Keto Bread* for a lovely, fresh appetiser for four people.

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Mixed Seed Bread (Keto; Paleo)

Keto Seed Loaf
Keto Seed Loaf

I have worked so hard to make keto bread… and let me tell you, its not easy! This one is loosely based on the 90-second microwave bread I feature (its a fantastic recipe and I get loads of awesome feedback on it). The only issue is that that recipe needs a very specific Tupperware-size to make it and THIS one doesn’t. It requires only a bread baking tin (mine was 18 x 9cm / 7-in x 3.5-in) and I feel like I have a real winner with this one! I liken this bread to what I remember rye bread being. Its fairly dense, makes a smallish loaf – and really delivers on flavour! 

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Keto Jalapeño Poppers

Keto Jalapeno Poppers

There are many nights where Funnyman and I sit and brainstorm new dishes to create for the blog. I only feature dishes on this blog that we LOVE to eat and WANT to eat, so please forgive me if there aren’t many“10-minute-minimum-effort-meals” because that’s not the kind of cooking I like to do. I love being in my kitchen and I love experimenting with ingredients in my pantry! As a chef, I know ingredients need to be respected and cooked in a way that will make them shine. As a blogger, this is where I love to get stuck in because I love a challenge (see my community group on Facebook called Keto Recipes for Foodies). Anyway, back to the post, Funnyman and I were recently reminiscing about our trip to Cozumel, and he firmly instructed me to make keto jalapeño poppers. So I did….

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Shakshuka

Low carb Shakshuka
Low carb Shakshuka

I know, I know …. how flipping cute is this breakfast? I bought several mini cast-iron pans (13cm / 5-in diameter) just so that I can make this breakfast for house guests. My version of Shakshuka is super simple: the cooked tomatoes are spiced with ground cumin, cayenne and smoked paprika, then an egg is cracked into the centre and baked to perfection. To finish, I used smoked sea salt flakes to season. TIP: These would be great served with my Keto Breakfast Muffins. Enjoy your brunch!

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Steak Tagliata (Keto)

Beef Tagliata

I know summer is still a while away here up north, but this is a great idea for you to bookmark if you are cooking for one and can’t be bothered with an accompanying sauce or cooking up vegetables. After frying the steak to perfection (I hope your perfection is the same as my perfection: medium-rare) and leaving it to rest, I simply deglazed the pan with lemon juice and used the zingy rendered juices from the pan (after cooling a little) and tossed it with wild rocket (arugula). The steak tagliata only requires a generous scattering of salt flakes and finely shaved Parmesan. If you have a microplane, finely grate a little lemon zest into the salad too. Winner winner singleton’s dinner! 

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Roasted Bone Marrow on Keto Chia Toast

Roasted Bone Marrow on Keto Toast
Roasted Bone Marrow

Be still, my heart!‘ This was my reaction when I spotted packaged bone marrow at the Trose. Roasted bone marrow needs only a scattering of sea salt flakes and some micro-herbs to season and garnish. Do not be alarmed that this is such a small meal (one bone per person) as its a sickly-rich little dish: gloriously high-fat and satisfying. I spread it on toasted Quick Keto Chia Bread, which happens to be one of the most popular recipes on the blog. If you don’t have a store that sells handy marrow portions, scoop out the fatty marrow from your bones after making Bone Broth. The macros were calculated on using the full recipe of the Quick Keto Chia Bread (3 slices > 1.5 slices per person, as pictured). 

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Bone Broth: Elixir of Life

Beefy Bone Broth
Keto Beefy Bone Broth

There is a long process to making this glorious bone broth, but the results are worth it. Most of the time is really the pressure cooker doing its thing and the overnight bit is so that the broth can chill so you can easily remove the fat for a more clarified broth. Not only is the broth itself a tasty warm drink (an elixir of life, some say) with numerous health benefits I will leave you to Google, but you can also: Use the bones a second time; use the mince in a meal the next day (although the mince will require plenty of seasoning); use the scooped marrow from the cooked bones and spread it on toasted Quick Keto Chia Bread. Not only that, you can use this exact recipe below as a base to make my Concentrated Beef Stock Cubes. If you haven’t already invested in a pressure cooker, I advise that you do because mine was inexpensive and I get a lot of use from it.

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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 a slice of this olive & sun-dried tomato low-carb bread with a thick layer of grass-fed butter and a crack of Pink Himalayan salt. (The loaf tin I used to bake this was 18 x 9cm / 7-in x 3.5-in in size.) Be sure to also check the other Keto Breads I have on the website..

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Mini Keto Soda Bread Loaf

Keto Mini Soda Bread Loaf
Keto Mini Soda Bread Loaf

I play around a lot with bread, and this was another attempt. The texture is great and you should give it a try at least once. Baked using bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), eggs, and a combination of almond and coconut flours, this bread took a few attempts to get me to this point. Since ingredients are pricey (and I want you to succeed first time) I encourage you to follow the recipe closely. The loaf (which you will notice is fairly small) will slice into approximately 8 mini slices, but the dense texture will make these rather filling. The macros are calculated per two slices of (35g / 1.2oz) each, so adjust accordingly. Enjoy topped with cream cheese or goat’s cheese and smoked salmon for a posh afternoon tea option, like I did here.

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Low-carb Prosciutto ‘Muffins’

Keto Prosciutto Muffins
Keto Prosciutto Muffins

This is just a quick post to show how lovely the Keto Breakfast Muffins are that I posted earlier today. A good spread of unsalted, grass-fed butter and topped with best-quality prosciutto and you have a quick lunch sorted for two people! My Keto Breakfast Muffins recipe (which is used in this recipe idea) makes two muffins, which are then essentially halved. Macros are calculated per one serving being two halves, exactly as pictured. 

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Keto Breakfast Muffins

Keto Breakfast Muffins
Keto Breakfast Muffins

These are quite similar to my Quick Keto Chia Bread recipe I posted last week, except I made these in ramekins which create perfect little muffin shapes (which I then sliced in half). This recipe will make 2 muffins and yield 4 slices, as pictured. The macros have been calculated per 1 serving (1 muffin cut into 2 slices). They can also be toasted by simply frying in a little olive oil. Top with a poached egg or butter and good-quality prosciutto, like I did on my Low-carb Prosciutto Muffins or (if you are very ambitious) make a super-posh Keto Salmon Eggs Benedict. Enjoy!

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Quick Chia Bread (Keto; Paleo)

90 second Keto Microwave Chia Bread
90 second Keto Microwave Chia Bread

I have to admit, even in LBK (Life Before Keto) I rarely ate bread. And when I did indulge, I always regretted it afterwards: I felt bloated and miserable and wouldn’t poop for a week (no bacon butty is worth that), so I didn’t miss it much when starting keto. However, being human and all, the craving for a slice of toast with butter-and-Bovril still slaps me through the face every now and again and I am well-chuffed with this alternative, where I used almond flour and ground chia seeds to achieve a lovely ‘bread’ texture and flavour. Give it a try and then pat yourself on the back for being so dedicated…

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Toasted Cheese & Tomato (using Quick Keto Chia Bread)

Keto Toasted Cheese
Keto Toasted Cheese

Another fab (and super-simple) idea using a slice of the Quick Keto Chia Bread: Keto toasted cheese & tomato sarnies! I used regular strong Cheddar cheese and tomato and calculated the macros for your benefit. Of course, its nothing fancy but it will hit the spot. One serving is one open slice, as pictured, but double it up and have two if your daily macros allow it…

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