Caulipizza with Mushrooms & Prosciutto

April 10, 2014 in Baking, LCHF

Caulipizza

I finally gave into the viral “banting” sensation that is “Caulipizza”. If you haven’t heard of it already, it is a carb free (no flour at all) pizza base made of fresh cauliflower, mozzarella cheese, a bit of parmesan and eggs. I made it this week for J and I and we were both pleasantly surprised. Look, if you’re not a fan of cauliflower, you ain’t gonna like it but having said that, it’s a pretty subtle flavour coming through and if you top it with ingredients that complement the earthy sweetish cauliflower taste – you’ll be transported to a foodie nirvana. I chose to top mine with thin slices of brown mushrooms, prosciutto, fresh rocket, parmesan shavings and truffle infused oil – Oh my yum, mouth-watering stuff. Also, it really does feel like you are devouring a pizza, although, you find yourself getting satiated rather quickly – which is a good thing. The whole point of doing a caulipizza is to cut out carbs without feeling deprived and losing weight in the process. Yay! I’m in love with caulipizzas.

After looking at loads of recipes over the internet, I’ve come up with a mixture that works pretty well and it makes 2 large pizzas. To see my step-by-step photo gallery, hop over to my official Bits of Carey website. Enjoy and may the cauliflower be with you ;-)

Caulipizza with mushroom, prosciutto, rocket, parmesan shavings and truffle infused oil

Makes 2 large pizzas

Ingredients:
Cauliflower pizza base:
1 large head of cauliflower, grated
2 c (500 ml) grated mozzarella cheese
¼ c (60 ml) finely grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

Topping:
½ c (125 ml) grated mozzarella
1 c (250 ml) very thinly sliced brown mushrooms
pinch of dried thyme
8 slices prosciutto, Parma ham or Black forest ham
1 c (250 ml) wild rocket
Truffle infused olive oil

Method:
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Microwave or steam the cauliflower for 10- 12 minutes until soft. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Mix with the cheese and eggs until well combined. Season well.
Divide mixture between 2 baking paper lined baking trays. Press down firmly to form thin bases. Par-bake for 12 minutes.
Top par-baked bases with mozzarella and sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden and crispy around the edges.
Top with prosciutto, rocket, parmesan shavings and a little drizzle of truffle infused oil. Season again.
Eat immediately!

caulipizza

 

 

 

Chicken & Pork Sausage Cassoulet

March 19, 2014 in Chicken, Curries and casseroles, Meat

Chicken and pork sausage cassoulet

I’m sitting at my desk happily gazing through the window at the rain pouring down here in CT. Am I the only one that gets excited when it rains? I love the smell, the freshness and the chill in the air, it makes me feel alive! And because I’m a sucker for rib-sticking comfort food, I couldn’t ask for better weather today. So with that in mind, I’m sharing one of my favourite recipes I did for Crush issue 21. My chicken and pork sausage cassoulet. It’s the perfect dish to warm the hearts and bellies of family and friends. Tender chicken pieces, juicy pork sossies, smoky bacon, tomatoes, red wine , cannellini beans – it’s a kitchen sink full of robust flavours!  All topped with fresh breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese to make a crusty gratin topping. Cutting out  the carbs? Leave the breadcrumbs out and you’re good to go. Enjoy!

Chicken and Pork Sausage Cassoulet

Serves: 6-8
Prep: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

1 T (15 ml) sunflower  oil
8 free range chicken drumsticks and thighs
8 good quality pork sausages

250 g streaky bacon, diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, diced
2 large carrots, diced
250 g button mushrooms
1 t (5 ml) dried thyme
3 bay leaves
1 c (250 ml) red wine
2 tins whole tomatoes
2 fat cloves garlic, chopped
1 t (5 ml) sugar
1 tin cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper to taste

Crumb topping:
1 c (250 ml) fresh breadcrumbs
3 T (45 ml) grated parmesan
Handful Italian parsley, chopped

For the method, please hop over to my official website.

chicken and pork sausage cassoulet

Lavender infused creme brulee

February 13, 2014 in desserts

A perfectly cooked creme brulee is something quite special. This is my husband’s favourite dessert of all time, so I thought it’s only fitting to post my creme brulee recipe – with a twist of course. This one is infused with lavender. The trick is not to have the lavender overpower the dessert but rather to add a subtle flavour to the custard. Delicious!

LAVENDER CRÈME BRULEE
Makes 6-8

1 vanilla pod, seeds removed
2-3 sprigs of lavender, washed and roughly chopped
500 ml cream
200 ml milk
75 ml sugar
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
50 ml brown sugar

For the method, click here

Ribeye steak on beetroot and cauliflower mash with red wine jus

February 12, 2014 in Meat, Sauces, vegetables

This dish my ultimate Valentine’s Day main. Medium rare rib eye steak with rich red wine jus on a duo of mash consisting of beetroot & sweet potato and creamy cauliflower. I also add some wilted baby spinach to the dish for some greenery and a slight earthy bitterness.
I would say the star of the show is actually the jus, this takes up most of my time than any other element but is so worth it.

Caro, the editor of Food24 is my inspiration for this dish. I attended the Food24 Winter Feast Dinner last year and she prepared slow cooked lamb on beetroot mash and cauliflower puree and since then I’ve been hooked. What’s more to love is that this dish is a typical LCHF meal, so it’s perfect for the “banters” out there. Enjoy!

Rib eye Steak with Red wine jus on a duo of veggie mash with wilted greens
Serves 2

The jus:
200 g beef or lamb bones
1 T vegetable oil, 1 T butter
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 T dried rosemary
½ t dried thyme
3 bay leaves
500 ml good quality red wine – try cabernet sauvignon or pinotage
+- ¼ c cream
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pot, brown the bones in the oil and butter, then remove.
Add the vegetables and dried herbs and sauté until aromatic and softened. Add bones back to the pot and add the wine.
Bring to a gentle simmer and cook away for at least 1 hour. Then strain all the bones etc. out of the wine. Put infused wine back onto the stove and continue reducing until it becomes thicker and flavourful. Should be reduced by at least half.

Beetroot mash:
200 g baby beetroot, boiled until tender
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and boiled until tender
1 T butter
Salt and pepper

Peel the beetroot and add to the strained cooked sweet potatoes. Add the butter and mash until there are no more lumps, use a hand blender to make the mash nice and smooth. Season to taste.

Cauliflower mash:
1 small head of cauliflower broken into small florets
1 T butter
+- 1/3 c (80 ml) cream
pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the cauliflower until very tender. Then place in a sieve and use the back of the spoon to squash out any excess liquid. Pot put back into an empty pot with butter, cream and seasoning and heat through. Use a hand blender to make the cauliflower silky smooth.

Steaks:
2 juicy rib eye steaks (remove from fridge 30 minutes before cooking)
1 T butter 1 T oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan. Lightly season the steaks and sear until browned on both sides then cook over a moderate heat for +- 3 minutes a side(depending on thickness) for medium rare. You will see blood droplets rising to the surface of the steaks – then you know the steaks are medium rare. Allow to rest for 5 minutes covered foil before serving.

Finish off the jus: Pour the reduced stock into the pan (to get the flavours of the steak) and simmer until reduced to a consistency you desire. Add cream, heat though and season to taste.

Wilt 100 g of spinach in a pan with salt, pepper, and lemon juice and zest.

Serve: Spoon the duo of mash onto 4 plates, top with wilted spinach and steaks. Spoon the jus generously over the steaks. Or serve on the side. Eat immediately.

To see my Valentine’s Day starter idea or other delish recipes hop over to my Bits of Carey website 
Follow me on Facebook and twitter @bitsofcarey  too!

 

Jacket sweet potatoes with horseradish cream and rare roast beef

February 6, 2014 in Crush mag recipes, Meat, vegetables

Sweet potatoes are gorgeous things aren’t they?  Low GI with great a source of fibre and nutrients – guilt free potatoes!  This is one of my favourite ways to enjoy this sweet spud. To make it even more special, try and get the orange flesh potatoes, I know Woolies have them at the mo.

Baked sweet potatoes with horseradish cream and rare roast beef
This combination is truly a match made in heaven.

Ingredients:
4 small red skinned sweet potatoes or orange fleshed
Olive oil
Maldon salt
Topping:
2 spring onions, chopped
3 sprigs flat leaf parsley, chopped
45 ml (3 T) creamed horseradish
250 ml (1 c) creme fraiche/sour cream
Freshly ground black pepper
4 or more slices rare roast beef from your favourite deli
30 g (large handful) watercress

Method:
Preheat the oven to 200˚C
Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with hot water. Boil until partially cooked (15 – 20 minutes). Drain from the water and dry well.
Place onto a greased and salted baking tray. Rub with some olive oil and season with salt. Bake for 45 minutes or until the skin is crispy and the flesh is fluffy.
Prepare the topping while the potatoes are baking.
Combine the spring onions, parsley, horseradish and sour cream. Season with black pepper.
Make a slit in each potato, squash open and fill generously with the horseradish cream. Top each one with a slice of rare roast beef and watercress.

To see more recipes – hop over to my Bits of Carey website where you’ll find loads of recipes to suit your every food mood.

This recipe was published in Crush 12

 

 

Creamy chicken and veg bake

January 23, 2014 in Chicken, Sauces, vegetables

Click on image to visit Facebook page

I posted this chicken and veggie bake pic on my Facebook page some time ago, and I must say it went viral. I’ve had so many requests for this recipe so I’ve finally put fingers to keyboard and thought I’d share it with you today.

But first, I need to mention my friend, Kirsten Hartmann, owner of  The Conscious Kitchen. She prepares amazeball comforting, nutritious, low GI frozen meals. She only uses the freshest ingredients and believes she wouldn’t serve anything she wouldn’t eat herself. She cooks with love, you can taste it. Kirsten is a health bunny of note with the same nutrition and food science background as myself (only I don’t have as much willpower as she does!). So when I’m too busy or can’t face standing next to the stove, I admit, I have a freezer full of her meals. Low fat chicken a la king, moussaka, spicy meatballs with chickpea ratatouille, low fat lasagne, low GI beef or chicken cottage pie…you name it. Kirsten is based in Milnerton, Royal Ascot.

So now that I’ve shared my little secret to surviving a busy week, let me share my chicken and veg bake recipe that is obviously inspired by Kirsten. Note: This is not her recipe, but very similar. She goes easy on the cheese, butter and breadcrumbs I’m sure.

Chicken and veg bake – a family favourite

Serves: 6

1 packet chicken breast fillets
750 ml low fat milk
1 onion, sliced
1 stick celery, sliced
2 bay leaves
500 g butternut cubes, cut into bite size pieces
500 g mixed cauliflower and broccoli florets
250 g courgettes, thickly sliced
1 T (15 ml) olive oil
3 T (45 ml) butter
250 g mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/3 c (80 ml) cake flour
1 c (250 ml) mature cheddar cheese or Tussers
Nutmeg, salt and pepper

Topping:
¼ c (60 ml) grated cheddar or mozzarella
¼ c (60 ml) fresh bread crumbs
A sprinkle of dried rosemary

For the method, hop over to my website.

Thanks for stopping by! C x

“Haddock”, broccoli and cheese fishcakes

January 19, 2014 in Fish

I do love a fishcake, but I’m a fussy one.  ”Crumbage” is important and so is the fish. I usually go for a mixture of haddock(the orange stuff you buy at supermarkets) mixed with some hake. Another favourite of mine is smoked snoek. I’m not the hugest fan of using a beautiful (and expensive) cut of norwegian salmon or salmon trout. I believe if you are going to spend that amount of money on fish, you shouldn’t mush it up in a fishcake but rather serve it in all it’s glory.  That’s just me, but anyhoo. You will however find me using smoked salmon offcuts in a fish cake.

My latest find is “smoked haddock” from Ocean Jewels in Woodstock. It’s fresh hake that has been beautifully cold smoked and is completely dye free. This fish is absolutely mouthwatering. Perfect simply grilled and smothered in a cheesy mornay sauce or even just some tartar sauce. And used in a fishcake? To die for!

I think delicately smoked “haddock” works so well with cheese and broccoli, so why not smush it all into a fish cake, crumb it generously and fry until golden and oozing cheese. Yes please!

Smoked “haddock” fishcakes with broccoli and cheese
Makes 6-7 

1 large potato, peeled and diced into small cubes
250 g broccoli, cut into small florets
2 c (500 ml) weak vegetable stock
+- 300 g Ocean Jewel’s smoked hake or smoked haddock
4 spring onions, finely chopped
zest of 2 lemons
1 c (250 ml) grated cheddar or mozzarella
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

Crumbing:
1 c (250 ml) seasoned flour on a plate
2 eggs, beaten on a plate
1 1/2 c (375 ml) dried bread crumbs
vegetable oil for shallow frying

For the method, hop over to my official Bits of Carey website. 

 


Retro roasted tomatoes stuffed with spinach and feta

January 13, 2014 in Crush mag recipes, Meatless meals, vegetables

Stuffed tomatoes are about as retro as they come – everyone needs a little retro in their lives, I think anyway. There is something so comforting and delicious about stuffing a classic mixture of sauteed onions, wilted spinach and danish feta into big juicy tomatoes. For a texture element, I do a gratin vibe by topping with Parmesan and breadcrumbs. The smell that wafts through the kitchen is described as pure happiness. Enjoy with grilled lamb chops, steak or chicken – or simply on their own.

Roasted tomatoes stuffed with spinach and feta
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:
6-8 large, juicy ripe tomatoes
400 g steamed Swiss chard spinach (squeeze excess liquid out)
2 t (10 ml) olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
200 g Danish feta, cubed
½ c (125 ml) grated parmesan cheese
¼ c (60 ml) breadcrumbs

For the method, please hop over to my website where you can save or print the recipe.

 This recipe also featured in Crush online magazine

 

Perfect scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and fresh avo

January 8, 2014 in Breakfast, Eggs, Fish

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to eat breakfast everyday.  Having a nutrition background, you think I’d practice what I preach but I have a nasty habit of skipping brekkie. I find myself nibbling on all the naughty stuff  throughout the day because my blood sugar drops and I need a “quick fix”.  All in all, not eating breakfast slows the metabolism down and I end up putting on weight!

So I have started the year off by eating a low GI or high protein breakfast. I have to say, it’s working wonders, I feel satiated until lunch time, I have more energy and my concentration levels are off the charts. *Happy dance*

I love scrambled eggs, but they have to be soft and creamy. J & I often go to Carlucci’s in Tableview for a slap up breakfast. Every time we go I order the same thing(creature of habit I am), the smoked salmon scramble. Soft perfectly cooked scrambled eggs with bits of smoked salmon and spring onion on 1 slice of wholewheat bread topped with avo. Perfection.

Here’s my version of the “salmon scramble” and how to cook the eggs perfectly.

Creamy Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and fresh avo
Serves: 2 

4 free range eggs, well beaten
3 T (45 ml) salted butter
freshly ground black pepper
1-2 spring onions, finely chopped
80 g smoked salmon or salmon trout, diced or off cuts
Malden salt to taste
2 slices wholewheat, health or rye bread, toasted
1/2 ripe avo, sliced
zest of 1 lemon
Lemon wedges

For the method, hop over to my Bits of Carey website to read my secret to making perfect scrambled eggs every time. You won’t do it any other way after trying it.

 

NYE nosh: Spicy prawns and gazpacho shots

December 30, 2013 in Crush mag recipes, Fish, Meat, Snacks, Soups


Wowzer! New Year’s eve tomorrow!  What a year it’s been!  Wishing you a happy, safe and blessed New year and may 2014 be a goodie for all of us!

For those of you that are hosting a NYE soirée, here’s some last minute inspiration. Easy, light and summery.

First up, Spicy smoked paprika prawns with gazpacho shots. There’s nothing better than tucking into whole prawns – sucking the juices out of the shells is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Washed down with an ice cold shot of gazpacho with lots of Tabasco. A bit of crusty bread is good too, mops up any juices you may not want to leave behind. Happiness.

Spicy smoked paprika prawns with gazpacho

Serves: 6
Difficulty: easy
Prep time:  20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
Gazpacho:
500 g ripe baby tomatoes
½ red onion
½ cucumber or 1 small one, peeled
1 small red pepper, seeds removed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
3 T (45 ml) red wine vinegar
200 ml ( 1 tin) tomato juice or tomato cocktail
200 ml chilled prepared vegetable stock
1 t (5 ml) sugar
handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Tabasco, freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Prawns:
350 g frozen whole prawns(thawed), cleaned and deveined
2 T (30 ml) cooking oil
3 T (30 ml) butter
2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
½ t (2 ml) cayenne pepper
1 t (5 ml) smoked dried chilli flakes
2 T (10 ml) smoked paprika
¼ c (60 ml) butter, cut into small cubes
Zest and juice
3 T (45 ml) chopped flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Gazpacho:
Place all the ingredients into a blender (except for seasoning) and blitz until smooth and well combined. Season to taste with tabasco, salt and pepper. Pop in to the fridge and chill until ready to serve.
Serve with spicy prawns and crusty bread.

Prawns:
Heat the cooking oil and 30 ml butter until sizzling, add the prawns and fry until starting to turn pink. Add the garlic, and spices and toss through for a ½ a minute. Add the 60 ml butter, juice and zest and heat through for +- another minute. Add fresh parsley and serve immediately with the chilled gazpacho and crusty bread.

For more ideas – check out my  Bits of Carey website. I’ve posted 2 other NYE nosh recipes, Meatballs kebabs – caprese style and beef sang choy bow.

 

These recipes featured in Crush online magazine

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