Low Carb Vegetable Pasta with Buffalo Mozzarella and Steak

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

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Turn the humble zucchini and carrot into noodles to enjoy a healthy, quick, and low carb weeknight meal. I use some leftover entrecôte for the noodles, but any kind of steak can be used for this recipe. Use regular cow milk mozzarella if you can't find buffalo mozzarella, which is so much creamier, softer and so much more flavourful. Feel free to swap in traditional pasta if you are not into low carb.

TzatzikiNoodles & Steak
  • 1/2 Cucumber, deseeded
  • 400 g Full fat Greek yoghurt
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Dill, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  1. Grate the cucumber and strain. Combine the yoghurt with cucumber, minced garlic, olive oil, and herbs in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. Using a stand or handheld spiraliser, cut zucchini and carrot into long thin strips. A julienne peeler would also work.
  3. Place the vegetable noodles in a large bowl. Pour in half of tzatziki sauce and toss to combine. Divide the noodles into two serving plates. Top with sliced entrecôte and tear in some mozzarella. Sprinkle some chopped herbs over. Serve with the remaining tzatziki.

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Spicy Lamb Meatballs with Greek Yoghurt and Mint Raisin Pesto

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

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Juicy, tender, and ultra-flavourful lamb meatballs, thanks to all the wonderful spices, served with creamy Greek yoghurt and mint raisin pesto. They are baked in the oven and all cooked evenly throughout without hovering over the skillet and flipping when you are pan frying them.
The mint pesto keeps well in the fridge for a few days. It also freezes well – leftover can be frozen in an ice cube tray. You can also make an extra batch of meatball and keept them frozen for up to 2 months.

MeatballMint Raisin Pesto
  • 1 Large egg
  • 50 g Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1/3 tsp Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Ground turmeric
  • 1 Large garlic clove, minced
  • A handful of flat parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Bacon fat, melted (or olive oil)
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 400 g Ground lamb
  • 35 g Mint leaves, thick stems removed
  • 20 g Parsley leaves, thick stems removed
  • 3 tbsp Golden raisins
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Lemon zest
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 120 ml Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • Plain Greek yoghurt (for serving)
  • Red Peppercorns (optional, for serving)
  1. Preheat oven to 220C/425F. Combine egg, panko, cumin, red pepper flakes, turmeric, minced garlic, finely chopped parsley, bacon fat, and salt in a large bowl. Add in ground lamb and mix well.
  2. Roll teaspoons of mince mixture into balls. You should have about 30 meatballs. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, spacing evenly apart. Bake meatballs in the middle of hot oven until browned and cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
  3. Process mint, parsley leaves, raisins, garlic clove, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, and salt in a blender until smooth. Taste pesto and season with more salt if needed.
  4. Spread yoghurt over plates and divide pesto and meatballs on top. Sprinkle some red peppercorns over if using.

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Seedy Pickle Juice Cracker Sticks

Saturday, April 17, 2021

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Crispy, aromatic and delicious gluten free cracker sticks that pair well with dips (I love it with homemade wild garlic pesto), soups or salads. You can also enjoy these healthy snacks by themselves whenever you need a quick pick-me-up. Instead of tossing your pickle juice out, put it to good use in this delicious cracker recipe. It adds a very pleasant briny flavour to the crackers. You can use water instead, but increase the salt to 1 teaspoon.

  • 135 g Sunflower seeds
  • 85 g Pepitas
  • 100 g Chia seeds
  • 30 g Sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp Dukkah, optional
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional yeast, optional
  • 1/4 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Dill
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 200 ml Pickle juice
  • 100 ml Water
before bakingafter baking
  1. Measure all dry ingredients and place them together in a mixing bowl. Heat the pickle juice and water in a saucepan until warm. Add to the seeds. Set aside, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  2. Preheat oven to 140C/285F fan-forced. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  3. Spoon the mixture onto prepared tray, spreading until 4-5mm-thick. Cut into 1 cm wide x 12cm long sticks with a pizza cutter. Bake for 1 hour or until golden and crisp. Cool completey on tray before separating them into sticks. Store the cracker sticks in a an airtight container for up to a week.

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Middle Eastern Beef Mince Kebabs

Thursday, April 15, 2021

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These kebabs are easy to make and cook fast on a grill or pan. Serve them with flatbreads (or on a bed of greens), zesty sumac red onion salad and a garlic yoghurt dressing. Great for entertaining when friends are over or for family dinner.
Lebanese seven- spice and baharat are both Middle Eastern spice blends. Aleppo pepper, or pul biber, is flaked mild red Turkish chilli pepper. You can buy them both from Middle Eastern stores or online. These days you can find almost anything on Amazon. If you are interested in making your own spice blend, check out the recipes here and here.

Red Onion SaladKebabs
  • 1 Medium red onion, halved and finely sliced
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp Sumac
  • 1 tbsp Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 500 g Beef mince
  • 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Ground allspice
  • 2 tbsp Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Baharat or Lebanese seven-spice
  • 11/2 tsp Aleppo pepper powder
  • 25 g Pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil, to cook
  • Pine nuts, toasted, to serve
  • Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, to serve
  • Flatbread, to serve
  • Pickled chilli peppers, to serve
  • Garalic yoghurt dressing, to serve
  1. Put the sliced onion into a bowl with the lemon juice and salt. Mix well and leave to macerate for 15 minutes.
  2. Put all the ingredients for the kebabs into a large bowl andthoroughly mix everything together until completely combined. Form into 6 sausage- shaped patties and thread the meat onto skewers.
  3. Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Cook half of the kebabs, without letting them touch, for 3-4 minutes on each side or until charred and juicy. Repeat with another half.
  4. Add the sumac and parsley to the macerated onions and mix well.
  5. Place a flat bread on a plate, then lay the kebabs on top and pile on the onions. Sprinkle with some more chopped parsley and roasted pine nuts. Serve with garlic yoghurt sauce. You can also serve them with rice, tabouli salad, hummus or baba ganoush (eggplant dip).

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Crispy Battered Onion Rings with Garlic Yoghurt Dip

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

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There's just something special about a perfectly crunchy onion ring that explodes with flavour with each bite. A flavorful batter infused with honey, hot paprika, cumin and sparkling water is the secret to these popular delicious bites. Feel free to adjust the spices (cayenne, mustard, za'atar or garam masala) according to your taste and dunk them into your favourite dipping sauce (spicy ranch dip, mustard or just ketchup). They make a satisfying snack when you're on the run or a perfect side or appetizer for your juicy steak burger.

Garlic Yoghurt DipOnion Rings
  • 150 g Greek yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1-2 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Dill, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Large yellow onions, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 120 g Plain flour
  • 50 g Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Hot paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 220 ml Sparkling water / or beer
  • 1 kg Lard, for frying
  1. For the dip, combine everything in a bowl. Season to taste. Chill until ready for use.
  2. Peel the onions and slice them crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Separate each slice into individual rings and then remove the inner membrane of each ring.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, paparik, cumin and the salt. Use some of the flour mixture to coat the onion rings. Shake off the excess flour. Set aside.
  4. Now add honey and sparkling water into the flour mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Heat the lard in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 190C/375F. Line a large plate or baking tray with paper towels.
  6. Dip a small batch of onion rings in batter, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Carefully lower into the hot oil and deep-fry until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place the onion rings on the prepared plate or baking tray to drain.
  7. Repeat with the remaining onion rings and batter. Serve onion rings hot or at room-temperature with the prepared garlic yoghurt dip.

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White Bean, Cevapcici and Tomato Salad

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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White bean, cevapcici and tomato salad is a simple but tasty food that is very quick and easy to prepare and bursting with flavours. It is perfect for a lunch or supper with your family. Cevapcici (aka Cevapi) is a type of casing-less, finger-sized sausage from the Balkans and southeastern Europe. I made white beans from the scratch with Instant Pot. It's cheaper, healthier and more flavourful, but a canned variety works just fine too. The cooking time can vary depending on the variety of white bean and quantity you're using. Instead of cevapcici, you can use shrimp or tuna for the salad too.

DressingSalad
  • 1 tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • 1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Pink salt and black pepper
  • 60 ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • 250 g Dried white beans
  • 750 ml Water
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 200 g Cooked cevapcici leftover, sliced
  • 125 g Grape tomatoes, halved
  • A handful of baby salad leaves or mixed herbs (such as tarragon, parsley and arugula)
  1. Whisk vinegar with garlic, mustard and sugar, then season with pink salt and black pepper. Gradually whisk in olive oil until emulsified and thick.
  2. Combine white beans, water, salt, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, garlic and bay leaf in your instant pot. Lock the lid, and turn the valve to sealing. Select 'pressure cook' and cook for 12 minutes. Once cooking is complete, let the pressure release naturally on its own. Strain and set aside.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil and brown the sliced cevapcici on both sides. Turn off the heat and add beans to the skillet with half the dressing, gently toss to warm through, then transfer to a large serving platter.
  4. Add in tomatoes and herbs and gently toss to combine. Serve with remaining dressing.

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