Light meals

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 an appetizer at your next dinner party…

Keto Bacon-wrapped Avocado Prawn Mini Kebabs

Bacon Prawn Avocado Skewers
Bacon Prawn Avocado Skewers

These mini skewers are like someone said, “let’s take all the best keto items and grill them on a skewer!” Bacon? “Yes please!” Prawns? “Yes please!” Avocado? “Oh, stop it, now you are just showing off!” A little finicky to make, but totes worth it in the end. A fun, tasty appetiser at your next braai (BBQ)…

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Keto Pesto Pasta (using Konjac noodles)

Keto Pesto Pasta

I have blogged about konjac / shirataki noodles before – they are the bomb! Made out of the konjac root, the company Eat Water in the UK has (over time) perfected a noodle-looking food that is so low in carbs, I can fool myself into thinking I am enjoying a good pasta. They are high in fibre, very filling and even look like the real thing. Available in ‘rice’, ‘noodles’, ‘penne’ and ‘fettucine’ (my favourite, they are indeed a godsend for those on keto / low-carb diets. I love big, bold flavours that slap me right through the face, and you simply cannot go wrong with an excellent homemade Basil Pesto. My pesto recipe is unbeatable and I highly encourage you to whip up a batch at home – you will never eat store-bought again. By all means, add a lovely portion of grilled chicken to it, just include it in your macros.

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Side Greens with Buttermilk Dressing and Crackling Crumb

While I simply love meat, a lot of my attention is focussed on the accompanying side dishes. Think further than frozen broccoli (gag), because there is a multitude of things you could do with veg and salads on the side making them interesting and fun. Here is one that is packed with flavour and can be served warm or as a side salad at your next braai…

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Courgette and Brie Soup

I am thrilled to be back at my old stomping ground, The Fat Duck twice a week. Not only do I get to see all my friends and colleagues whom I missed dearly in the 18 months I was away, but there is always something hilarious happening, food-wise. My colleague’s neighbour handed out some giant marrows / overgrown courgettes (who knows what they are, see pic at the end) and I was fortunate enough to nab one! This is one of the recipes I made using some of it. Of course, the courgettes you purchase will be regular, human-size, so just ensure you have enough to yield the trimmed weight in this recipe. Inspiration for this recipe came from my darling friend, Little Debbie Bryson who makes something similar at her sop-en-dop* birthday party every winter in Cape Town. Since moving to UK, I have sadly missed six of them. This is for you, LDB, I know it doesn’t compare to yours – but I slurped my version up! Albeit with a longing lump in my throat… 

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Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Pine Nuts Salad

Smoked salmon brings back fond memories of when I worked on a cruise ship in Alaska in my early twenties. We pretty much had smoked salmon on tap – it was bliss and it was excellent quality. Working on cruise ships I hear you ask? Don’t for a second think that my job was glamorous – it wasn’t. I had to dress up in giant animal outfits and have my picture taken with guests, like a port mascot. Every day we docked, I was a different animal. In Ketchikan every Wednesday I was a beaver. Thursdays in Juneau, a moose or a polar bear. Every Friday, at the tender port of Sitka, I was a bald eagle. (Saturdays were sea days so I was spared the humiliation of kids trying to knock my giant beaver head off.) Now, I was a popular beaver, so if I had to calculate, there are literally thousands of Americans that have a photograph of themselves with me with a caption that says “I saw a beaver in Alaska!” Sigh … the things we do for cash… and I did it for almost seven months. (Well, that’s not entirely true, in total I did it for two years, but the second contract was in Mexico and I might save that story for another time.

Back to the salad! This has to be one of my top 5 favourite salads to put together. Apart from the delicious, fatty salmon and avocado generously covered in fresh lemon juice, it shows off even more as it’s garnished with toasted pine nuts and shaved Parmesan. That’s just about all my favourite ingredients in one fairly posh salad. Enjoy! (… oh, and do click on the READ MORE, I have uploaded a beaver pic just in case you thought I was kidding!)

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Prawn, Asparagus and Sesame Stir-fry

Just before we bid farewell to the glorious asparagus season here in the UK, here is a stir-fry that you can throw together in less than 10 minutes. Pair asparagus with plump prawns and Asian flavours and you may have a new favourite dinner. I created this recipe for my fabulous clients here in London, Action Reaction Training – click here to see the recipe and the great work Olly and his team do.

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Greek Village Salad

Funnyman took me to Santorini in 2015 (life before keto) so that I could recover from a particularly unpleasant operation. We spent 8 days in the sun, drinking beer and Ouzo, myself naughtily puffing on the odd cigarillo, eating our body weight in seafood, lamb and salads – pretty much doing everything opposite to what the surgeons advised me. I couldn’t have cared less – we were in Greece, my life had changed forever and I felt sorry for myself. Apart from adding to deep facial pigmentation, Greece ruined tomatoes for me – forever. You see, the tomatoes in Greece are the most fantastically-delicious balls of heaven you will ever come across, and any tomato you eat after visiting Greece will be a disappointment. While olives and feta make Greek salads quintessentially Greek to most people, I find it is the oregano in the dressing that reminds me the most of our beautiful little getaway. And regarding tomatoes, before you cry into your expensive feta cheese, pay more attention to the tomatoes you buy from now on. Go organic, deep red, soft, sweet and on-the-vine – it may be the closest you will get to the tomatoes from the Med. (And please don’t store tomatoes in the fridge…)

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Brie-baked Mushroom with Jammy Onions

This lovely little dish can be served either as an appetiser for four people, or a light meal for two. It’s easy and delivers on flavour. The red onions are cooked down for a while on a very low heat, and their jammy sweetness balances the oozy Brie just perfectly. The general marrying of the two flavours are worth knowing, even for those that don’t like mushrooms. Some examples include Brie and onion jam keto sandwiches or toppings for grilled steak. And for those that LOVE the idea of a big, black mushroom – do this exact dish as it is written here and top your keto burger with it – you will never consider a bacon and Cheddar topping again! Of course, if you have Camembert on hand, it works just as well.

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Cloud Bread

I want to start by saying I did not invent this ‘bread’, nor the term Cloud bread. I have seen this concept referred to as Oopsie bread in places – and I am sure there is a great story behind it – but I am ashamed to say I haven’t even researched what that story is. I was too excited – and somewhat pressured – to speed it up and post my version. I initially followed a popular recipe that everyone seemed to use, but I tried it and found it left out a couple of essential techniques. Ones that would improve flavour and prevent flopping. (I went to culinary school, so these were glaring omissions to me). Anyhow, after a slightly failed first attempt using said recipe, I made it my mission to improve what I had seen out there drawing from my own experience in the kitchen. My recipe below may not be for everyone, but for the Keto Community around the world, I am sure it will make you very happy! It says that it makes 6, but essentially this means 6 halves (ie. 3 sandwiches / burgers). If you want more, double the recipe and use a second tray – it stores well. 

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Escargot

How could I start a food blog without addressing escargot? While many cringe at the thought of eating snails, I have been eating them on a pretty regular basis since I was 5 or 6 years old. Back in South Africa, I could purchase them from the supermarket, but here in England I have to order them from a specialist stockist online. I even own the cheesy retro snail dishes (seen on pic). #nerd. This recipe is uncomplicated grilled snails in garlic butter topped with Gruyere cheese and parsley. I infused the butter with garlic to avoid the chewing on clumps of garlic, which is a nifty little process to know anyway, so give it a read even if you are not into these umami-packed delights. Sigh… just too lovely… enjoy.

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