Oxtail Soup - Gluten Free, Keto

Sunday, September 13, 2020

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Oxtail Soup is a clear broth soup that makes use of oxtail as the main ingredient, together with fresh ginger, star anise, chilli pepper flakes, pak choi, spring onions, and cilantro. The oxtail is the tail of a steer, usually skinned and cut into several sections. It's marbled with fat and the meat is gelatinous and flavourful, therefore it's ideal for slow cooking, braising or in soups.

  • 1.2 kg Oxtails, cut into about 4-5 pieces
  • 3-4 slice Ginger, peeled
  • 3 Whole star anise
  • 1 tsp Whole white peppercorns
  • 750 ml Homemade beef broth
  • 750 ml Water
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Spring onions, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch Cilantro, chopped
  • Baby pak choi
  • 1 Lime, cut into wedges
  • Chilli pepper flakes
  • Ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Place the oxtails on a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the roasted oxtails from the oven and place them in the Instant Pot with ginger slices, star anise, peppercorns, beef broth and water. Cover and set to “Soup”, 30 minutes.
  2. When the oxtails are done cooking, let the pressure release naturally. If you’re in a hurry, just release the pressure manually after 30 minutes has elapsed.
  3. Arrange pak choi in 2 soup bowls. Add in a piece of oxtail or two, and then ladle the soup into the soup bowls. Garnish with lime wedges, crushed red pepper flakes, ginger matchsticks, cilantro, and green onions.

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Haricots Verts and Freekeh with Tahini Dressing

Friday, September 11, 2020

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A high-fiber whole grain, freekeh (Grünkern) is spelt that's harvested while still soft, young and green, then sun-dried and smoked. It is very rich in nutrients and perfect as a side dish like rice, for salads, cold or warm, and the freekeh flour makes fantastic bread.
Freekeh is sold as “whole” and as “cracked.” The cracked freekeh cook faster because it's been broken into smaller pieces. I usually buy whole green wheat directly from the farm. Freekeh and haricots verts can be cooked 2 days ahead. Cover and chill separately.

Tahini Dressing
  • 150 g Whole green wheat freekeh
  • Salt
  • 400-500 g Haricots verts, trimmed
  • 10 Walnut halves, toasted and coarsely-chopped
  • 20 g Fresh herbs
  • Red currants, optional
  • 1 Large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Tahini
  • 1 tsp Maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • Sea salt
  1. Cook green wheat freekeh in a large saucepan of salted simmering water until al dente, 12–15 minutes for cracked and 30–35 for whole. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook haricots verts in a small pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain, then pat dry.
  3. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat walnut halves until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and coarsely chop.
  4. Whisk garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, maple syrup, and water in a bowl. Season with salt. Add freekeh and haricots verts and toss gently to coat. Season with salt.
  5. Divide the green wheat and haricots verts into two serving plates. Top with fresh herbs, red currants if using and sprinkle chopped walnuts over.

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Plum Hazelnut Crumble Cake

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

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The cake requires only half of the plum filling. The rest I used to make 4 individual ramekin crumble. So you might want to make an extra portion of streusel for the ramekins later. They're excellent with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or chantilly cream. A scrumptious single-serving dessert without the mess, perfect for portion control, satisfying, and guilt-free.

FillingCrust and Crumble
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 300 g / about 2 cups Chopped fresh plums
  • 2 tbsp Coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla paste
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • A large pinch nutmeg
  • 2 Plums, stoned and chopped
  • 150 g Refined spelt flour
  • 30 g Hazelnut meal
  • 2 tbsp Coconut sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 100 g Butter, lightly softened
  • 1 tsp Vanilla paste
  • 1 tbsp Chopped hazelnuts, optional
  1. Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan and add the remaining filling ingredients, except 2 plums. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the plums are cooked, some of the liquid evaporates and the mixture becomes a bit jammy. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat oven to 190C/375F, and line a 20-22cm springform pan with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, stir together the spelt flour, hazelnut meal, coconut sugar and sea salt. Cut in butter and vanilla paste. Rub everything together until the mixture forms streusel-like crumbs.
  3. Press 2/3 of the crust into the bottom of the prepared pan, reserving the rest for the topping.
  4. Spread cooled plum jam in an even layer over crust. Top with the chopped plums, then sprinkle remaining streusel mixture over top of fruit. (the cake requires only half of the plum filling. Use the rest to make individual ramekin crumbls or for breakfast) Sprinkle some chopped hazelnuts over if using.
  5. Bake until jam bubbles at edges and topping is lightly browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely before slicing into bars or wedges.

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Roquefort Walnut Banana Cake

Sunday, September 06, 2020

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Pair Roquefort with banana in a cake? Yes, the combination works surprisingly well and tastes so good. The blue cheese adds just right amount of depth and robust flavor to the banana bread which is moist, soft and so delicious. Once cooled, the cake is then topped with a simple thin glaze and walnuts for a perfect dessert your family will love.
Roquefort is a blue mold cheese made from sheep milk from France. If it's too intense for you, then use the Gorgonzola mild, Cambozola Black or Danish Blue instead.

CakeGlaze and Topping, optional
  • 180 g Refined spelt flour (Dinkel #550)
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 Large pinch of salt
  • 100 g Butter, melted
  • 150 g Erythritol (or white sugar)
  • 50 g Coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 Eggs, medium
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 100 g Roquefort, crumbled
  • 80 g Toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 Very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 100 g Icing sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tsp Cream or whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 30 g Toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced/350F. Grease a 20cm x 10cm x7cm loaf pan. Line base and sides with baking paper. Set aside. Whisk together spelt flour, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine together the melted butter, erythritol and coconut sugar. Add in eggs, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix well.
  3. Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture until smooth. Fold in the crumbled Roquefort, walnuts and bananas. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Smooth the surface.
  4. Bake in the middle of the hot oven for 50 minutes, cover the cake with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Remove and cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Whisk icing sugar, cream and vanilla extract together in a bowl. Stand for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Using a spatua or spoon, spread icing over top of cake. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over. Set aside for 30 minutes to set. Slice and enjoy!

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Coconut Chicken Salad with Mango

Friday, September 04, 2020

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For an appetiser that's bursting with freshness and packed full of flavour, you can't go past these Asian inspired lettuce cups with coconut milk poached chicken and mango salad. Poaching chicken breast in lemongrass-coconut milk ensures that it's tender, moist and flavourful. With sweet juicy mangoes and a sweet tangy lime dressing, this salad will be a guaranteed hit with your family.

DressingSalad
  • 1 tbsp Peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp Fresh lime juice
  • 2 Chicken breast, boneless and skinless
  • 1 tbsp Lemongrass paste (or 1 stalk fresh lemongrass)
  • 400 ml Light coconut milk
  • 1 Ripe, but firm mango, peeled, stone removed, cubed
  • 1 tbsp Fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp Lime zest
  • 1 Spring onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Cilantro or parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 Red chilli pepper, thinly sliced
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Lettuce leaves
  1. Stir the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or a glass. Chill until ready for use.
  2. Place the chicken breast, lemongrass paste and coconut milk in a saucepan. Add enough water to cover the chicken. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Set aside in the poaching liquid to cool completely.
  3. Remove chicken from the pan and coarsely shred the chicken. (the poaching coconut liquid can be used to cook rice or bake bread) Place them in a bowl together with the mango, lime juice, zest, spring onion, cilantro or parsley and chilli pepper. Combine and season.
  4. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a serving platter. Fill with spoonfuls of salad and drizzle over the dressing.

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Taboon Bread with Za'atar

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

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Taboon bread is a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine traditionally baked in a taboon oven. In the old days these ovens were built below the ground, and a key to heating them was hot, smooth stones that were at the bottom of the oven. The bread dough would be placed directly on the stones creating the signature bumps that distinguishes taboon bread from other types. Taboon ovens these days are built above ground, but the hot stones remainded as a way to bake the bread.
While most of us don't have such a clay oven at home, we can still use the conventional oven with a tray of pebbles (or a pizza stone or a cast iron skillet) to bake these Palestinian flatbread.
You can serve this flatbread with yoghurt, olive oil with zaatar (it's pronounced za-ah-tar), hummus, sumac chicken or even use it to make Turkish Lahmacun.
Za'atar, the Middle Eastern spice mixture is a blend of dried herbs (thyme, oregano or marjoram), sumac, cumin and coriander with sesame seeds. You can purchase pre-made za'atar or easily make your own.

BreadZa'atar
  • 500 g Plain flour (all-purpose flour), plus extra for dusting
  • 7 g Dry active yeast
  • 3/4 tbsp Raw sugar
  • 2 tbsp Za'atar
  • 3/4 tsp Sea salt
  • 320 ml Warm water
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil, plus extra for oiling bowl
  • 3 tbsp Za'atar for topping
  • 2 tbsp Sumac for topping
  • 1 tbsp Dried thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp Dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp Dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tbsp Whole cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Whole coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 1/2 tbsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp Sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tbsp Sumac
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  1. Mix all the ingredients for the spice blend together in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container. Store the za'atar in a cool, dark place in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
  2. For the dough, sieve the plain flour into a large bowl. Mix in the yeast, raw sugar, za'atar and sea salt. In a separate bowl mix the warm water and olive oil together before adding to the dry ingredients. Mix until you have a soft, sticky dough then cover with a cloth and set aside to prove for 10 minutes.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface, and knead the dough for 10 minutes until you have a soft, shiny dough.
  4. Grease a bowl with a bit of olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn it round so that its entire surface has a thin coat of olive oil. Cover with cling film and set aside to prove for up to an hour.
  5. Flour your hands and knock back the dough by turning it over three to four times in its bowl. Turn out onto a floured work surface and divide the dough into 4-6 equal pieces and form each piece into a ball. Roll each ball out to form a rough circle approximately 20 cm. Place the bread circle on a lightly floured cloth.
  6. Spray the dough circles lightly with water and sprinkle za'atar and sumac over the surface. Leave to prove again for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 275C/525F or to maximum temperature. The oven needs to be very hot. Place a roasting tray lined with pebbles, a cast iron skillet, or pizza stone on the middle shelf. Leave it to heat up for 20 minutes before baking the flatbreads.
  8. Bake two flatbreads at a time for 5-7 minutes, or until the flatbreads are puffy and brown spots start to develop. Remove the flatbreads from the oven and cover with a clean kitchen towel to keep them soft. Bake the remaining dough circles.

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