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 ‘fettuccine’ (< 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.
I woke up particularly well this morning. Mr Higgins* snuggled right up against me the entire night, and I woke up with his little nose breathing small amounts of snot onto my cheek: bliss. It certainly beats one Winter morning last year while still half asleep, in an effort to cover my shoulders with the duvet, my hand slipped and I punched myself in the face. Yeah, I would take a bit of Scottie snot any day.
Off topic, apologies… Having been to Thailand twice in my travels, I think its fair to say how incredible and fresh the flavours are, and there is a strong Asian influence in this salad. It is also 100% keto, fast, simple and satisfying!
The first time I ever tried padrón peppers was in Barafina in Soho, London about 2 years ago. Funnyman and I were out drowning our sorrows for some or other reason, I cannot recall exactly but I suspect it was something financial. The irony was that we sat in this restaurant for about 4 hours and ordered three-quarters of the tapas menu items throughout the evening, washed down with plenty of wine (this was LBK- life before keto). Whatever was bothering us that night was soon forgotten (along with our financial common sense) – but the padrón peppers were thankfully as memorable as they were delicious. Eaten whole, this is a risky little appetiser as some are hot and some are not – you just don’t know what you will get. They are simply the perfect appetiser for someone who likes to live on the edge and I was delighted when I saw they are now readily available at the supermarket. I have made this several times and never encountered a spicy one, so perhaps it’s not that risky after all. A lovely, simple tapas – you should give it a try!
How could I start a food blog without addressing escargot? While many cringe at the thought of eating snails, it was my favourite thing to order in a restaurant since I was very young. Back in South Africa, I could purchase them from the supermarket, but here in England I have to order them online. I even own the cheesy retro snail dishes #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 as is, or mop the butter up with a slice of keto bread … enjoy.
These little zero carb ‘muffins’ are something of a mini-frittata. They are very rich, so one batch could last you a couple of mornings (they store well in the fridge). Pop them in the microwave for a quick keto-friendly breakfast. Do change up the filling – mushroom, peppers and different cheese all work well. If you can’t be bothered with cleaning the muffin tin (eggs are notorious for sticking), use cupcake cases. One serving = 2 muffins.
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 so many of them. This is for you LDB, I know it doesn’t compare to yours – but I slurped my version up with a longing lump in my throat. The recipe makes two hearty bowls, filling enough as a main meal, but you could make it stretch to 4 servings and enjoy it as a late-afternoon light meal (cup-of-soup) and halve the macros accordingly..
Smoked salmon brings back such fond memories for me when I worked on a cruise ship in Alaska in my early twenties. We pretty much had smoked salmon on tap – it was excellent quality and it was bliss! Now, just to be clear, working on cruise ships may sound glamorous, but it its not. At least, it wasn’t for me. I was hired as a photographer, but the small print indicated that I also had to dress up in giant animal outfits and have my picture taken with guests like a port mascot on most days. When we docked in Ketchikan on Wednesdays, I was a beaver (see pics below for proof!); on Thursdays in Juneau, I was either a moose or a polar bear. Every Friday, at the tender port of Sitka, I was a bald eagle… And every second Monday when we docked in Vancouver, I was fully-kitted out as a Mountie, fake rifle included! Thankfully, Saturdays were sea days, so I was spared the humiliation of kids trying to knock my giant beaver head off.
Off-piste, apologies … back to the salad! This has to be one of my favourite salads to throw together. Apart from the delicious, fatty salmon and avocado generously covered in fresh lemon juice, it boasts capers, toasted pine nuts and shaved Parmesan. That’s just about all my favourite ingredients in one fairly posh salad!