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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Cauliflower-crust Pizza

I know Mud and Love is coming late to the cauliflower-pizza party, but its only because I have been trying to develop a low-carb recipe that not only works, but an alternative to the one that has huge amounts of cheese in the base. I have made plenty in my time, but found that so many still tasted like cauliflower (which I don’t mind … but let’s be real here). Follow my version below and and gut will thank you. It’s not only high in fibre, but with the addition of regular toppings (which are your choice), you could fool yourself and your family that you are having The Real Thing. I won’t lie, it may too fragile to be eaten like a conventional pizza, but the effort will be worth it. 

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Keto Breakfast Muffins

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. 

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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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Chicken Breasts stuffed with Creamy Pesto

I have made this dish so many times and it just keeps getting better. It’s not easy doing something remarkable with chicken breasts. They are somewhat underwhelming and can easily dry out. I love the idea of smoked paprika and that was my main seasoning here. It also added to the beautiful colouring of the grilled fillets. And the stuffing? Oh my gosh, two dead-simple, off-the-shelf products that – when combined – are simply out of this world. Enjoy this simple, mid-week meal – it may become your new breast friend. Ah, corny …

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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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