Course: Main Dish

Creamy Baked Salmon with Spinach & Tomatoes

Salmon Baked in Cream

Funnyman tasted this salmon with spinach bake and said “babes, you don’t get older – you just get better!” Ha! I am my own worst critic and often make and remake dishes plenty of times before I write up the recipe and post them. This lovely dish has such simple, readily-available ingredients. The salmon is quickly fried skin-side down, then baked in a warm cream containing spinach and cherry tomatoes. It would be lovely served over Cauliflower Rice, Cauliflower Mash or any konjac/shirataki noodles that take your fancy (my favourite one is Eat Water’s ‘fettucine’). I kept the skin on the salmon (which helps hold the fish together) but it softens when baking and you will likely skip it when dishing up. The acidity of the lemon squeezed over at the end is essential, so don’t forget about it.. 

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Steak Tagliata

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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Coconut Milk Poached Salmon

Keto Salmon Coconut Milk
Keto Salmon Coconut Milk

I just love konjac / shirataki noodles and clean out the shelves at Holland & Barret when they have a penny sale! I have tried many brands, but UK company Eat Water has got them spot on (this post is not sponsored, none of the posts on M&L are). In this recipe, I poached salmon in coconut milk which was infused with lemongrass, chili and ginger, then served it over warm ‘fettuccine‘ and added toasted desiccated coconut for additional texture and flavour. Its a lovely, light dish which happens to be very filling – all this at only 7.7g carbs per serving: perfect!

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Spicy Low-carb Cottage Pie

Keto Low carb Cottage Pie
Keto Low carb Cottage Pie

When I was young, Cottage Pie was one of the first things I learnt to make. Its dead-easy and the humble flavours make it such a hearty, welcome dinner – you simply can’t go wrong. I added cayenne pepper into the beef to give it some kick, but that is entirely optional (especially if you are cooking for the kids). Top your cooked mince with creamy cauliflower mash and cover the lot in grated cheese before popping in the oven to melt and gratin. Lush! A perfect, guilt-free low-carb cottage pie. Step-by-step pics to help you along…

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Spicy Low-carb Zuppa Toscana

Spicy Low carb Zuppa Toscana
Spicy Low carb Zuppa Toscana

This is a rich, deeply-flavoured family chicken dish. Funnyman and I love spicy food so I added a whopping half tablespoon of ground cayenne pepper which added a satisfying ‘kick’, but you can omit it if you are cooking this for kids, or reduce the amount for the those who don’t like spicy food. This creamy chicken dish can be enjoyed over Cauliflower Mash, Cauliflower Rice or shirataki / konjac noodles… It’s absolutely delicious!

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Fathead Dough Pizza Base

Fathead Pizza
Fathead Pizza

This recipe shows you step-by-step how to make a flop-proof Fathead dough pizza base. * I have not included any toppings in the macro-calculations, because we all have our favourite ones. (Funnyman loves pepperoni or spicy salami, and I love seafood with fresh mozzarella.) These pizza bases are big and very filling, so the macros are based on 1/2 pizza base, so please adjust accordingly if you plan to devour a whole one (no judgement here). Also, as mentioned plenty throughout the site, please invest in a kitchen scale if you do not already have one: this recipe (and all the others on M&L) are carefully developed using a scale: this ensures success with the end-product and helps with keeping an eyeball on your macros.

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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 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 bread rolls 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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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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