Monday, 26 January 2015

Broccoli crust pizza


Well, I have been dying to share this recipe with you for such a long time as I was so so pleased with it when I tried it so I’m sure you will all love it too! It’s another pizza recipe this time made using broccoli rather than cauliflower as the base and the reason I love it so much is firstly it’s lots easier because you don’t have to squeeze all the water out like you do with the cauliflower - definitely the worst part! Also there’s no cheese in the base which means you can add even more as a topping without feeling guilty because you’ve already used so much in the base! Just like the cauliflower one, you will not taste the broccoli in the base, especially if you overpower it with lots of herbs, like I did!
You will need the slightly unusual ingredient psylium husk which can be hard to get hold of, I found it in a local health food shop, but you can get it online easily. This ingredient is so good as it soaks all the moisture out of the mixture up, and changes it from being a gooey wet mess to a dough!

Without further ado, here’s how you do it:

You will need:

The florets from 1 small head of broccoli
1 onion
3-4 cloves of garlic, more if you like it really garlicky…
3 eggs
2 tablespoons of Psylium husk
A good handful of fresh basil leaves- optional but will add lots of flavour

Method:
  • Start by preheating the oven to 200°C / 400°F.
  • Put the, broccoli, onions, basil and garlic in a food processor until it’s finely chopped and roughly a uniform consistency. Add the eggs, psyllium husk, some salty, pepper and dried mixed herbs and pulse again until all well combined. Leave it to stand while you prepare your toppings. At this stage it will seem a very wet mixture but while it stands it will start to thicken and hold together.







  • Prepare your toppings, I sliced the tomatoes, and courgettes (zucchini), crumbled the goats cheese and sliced some peppers. I then put the peppers into the oven for 15 minutes to roast to bring out their flavour even more.
  • Pour the broccoli mixture onto a pizza stone, or baking tray lined with parchment/ grease proof paper. Use the back of a large spoon, or a spatula to spread it out until it’s even. Make the edges slightly thicker so they don’t burn. Pop into the oven for 15 minutes.  

 
  • Remove the crust from the oven. I always turn it upside down at this point by putting a plate on top of the crust then quickly flipping them both upside down and peeling the greaseproof paper off, this is just to make sure the base cooks well on both sides but is optional.



    • Start adding your toppings. I use sundried tomato purée as it has far fewer carbs than normal tomato purée and spread it all the way to the edges of the crust.  I then add the courgettes, sliced tomatoes, the peppers and then the goats cheese then a sprinkling of Parmesan. 



    • Put the pizza back in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

    • Remove from the oven and top with some greens, I used a mixture of rocket and baby kale.

    • Enjoy and marvel about how something that feels so unhealthy is actually so good for you!  
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    Monday, 19 January 2015

    Back on induction day 7


    Hi and so sorry for the delay in putting this post up. It’s taken me so long to actually put it up that I have even started a new regime during this time which I am now a few days into and will be sharing with you soon. I will point out though that I have only started something completely different not because low carb doesn’t work but because I wanted to see what the effects would be if I completely changed things around. Anyway more of that another time.

    Well the last day was quite challenging as one of the worst things when you’re dieting happened, I had to eat out. I always dread this when I’m dieting as it means I obviously won’t know exactly what went in my food but it couldn’t be avoided. Plus it wasn’t actually that bad as we were having a Christmas celebration (I know it’s very late but some of my family hadn’t been around for Christmas so we had to do it in jan!). we did do it at a relatives house though which was good as it meant I had some input into what we were eating. I was able to request two very low carb starters and as we were having a traditional Christmas main meal I was able to just eat the lower carb vegetables from that. Then for pudding my Auntie who incidentally is doing the dukan, made an egg custard type pudding with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg and we had a cheese board so that was fine also.

    So while I don’t have exact carb counts for what it ate this day I do know it was quite low!
    So for starters we non-meateaters had two choices; egg mayonnaise and a tomato and onion salad. I went pretty heavy on both (though went quite easy on the onions !




    The main course I didn't photograph as I didn't really want to take pictures while we were eating so just took ones before people came in for the starter and before the dessert as we had had a break then and people had dissipated! Main course for me though was a lot of green beans in lemon butter, a couple of small pieces of carrot, a lot of broccoli and some cauliflower cheese. 

    Dessert as I said above is an Atkins and Dukan friendly egg custard with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. 


    I also followed this slightly later on with some cheese board, also not pictured. 

    Right so as I said I'm not really able to calculate the exact carb count for this- unhelpful I know. We ate at 4 so the meal was also my lunch and dinner combined, though I did have breakfast. 

    I'll do my best anyway at working out the rough carb count using my fitness pal below:

    Sunday 11.01.15
    Meal
    What I ate
    Carbs
    Total carbs
    Breakfast
    Two egg omelette with cheddar and asparagus
    3g
    3g
    Lunch/ dinner
    About 2 eggs with mayonnaise and lettuce
    Tomato and onion salad with olive oil, salt and pepper
    Mixed vegetables
    One egg custard tart with eggs, double cream, and almond milk
    A small plate of cheeses  with a couple of pieces of celery
    A few glasses of white wine 
    2g

    5g

    7g
    1g

    4g

    6g
    5g

    10g

    17g
    18g

    22g

    28g

    Like I said, that's approximate! So I managed it and I was so pleased I'd managed to stay on track, though it was made much easier by the fact I'd managed to have input into what we were eating. The only downfall was the wine as I had read that while alcohol doesn't have that many crabs, your body burns it first before using the fat stores that it normally burns in ketosis. 

    I did get weighed the following day, and gad managed to lose 4.5lbs (about 2kg). I was pleased though had secretly hoped for more! Nit sure if it was on the low side because I'd had the drink or if I'd still had a few too many crabs as the induction does reccommend staying below 20g per day but that is hardly possible if you don't eat meat or fish. 

    Anyway as I mentioned above I then decided to try something completely different as I have also read that switching things up completely can really help keep your body guessing, so expect to hear about that very soon...
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    Wednesday, 14 January 2015

    Back on induction-day 6

    It’s day 6 today which is so exciting as it’s so close to one full week now!

    Today wasn’t too bad as I made a huge salad to have at lunchtime which was so filling and also I found this new yogburt in the supermarket which is made from coconut milk and is therefore very low in carbs and also very filling. It’s so nice but the only problem is it’s quite expensive so it is going to have to be very much of a treat.


    Saturday 10.01.15
    Meal
    What I ate
    Carbs
    Total carbs
    Breakfast
    Two pieces of toasted livlife bread with butter
    7.8g
    7.8g
    Lunch
    Big tomato, feta and pesto salad
    5g approx
    12.8g
    Snack
    Chocolate coconut milk yoghurt
    5g
    17.8g
    Evening meal
    3 egg cheese omelette with asparagus
    5g
    22.8g

    I do think finding the livlife bread has been such a saviour for me as I really did miss bread and wasn’t that happy with most of the alternatives like the broccoli bread I made, or the cauliflower bread I’d attempted!

    Really looking forward to our weigh in, hoping to have shifted quite a few pounds though I do have some stiff competition from someone on the 5:2 so not sure I’ll be the winner. In any case, I’ll let you know!



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    Back on induction- day 5 and low carb muffins


    Well it's day 5 which means I've very nearly finished week one which I am so excited about! Another thing worthy of excitement is the new recipe I tried today which was for low carb muffins! Admittedly they do need a bit of tweaking and are not extremely low in carbs, but I can already tell how good they will be and they are the closest thing to a cake that I’ve tried since doing this thing.


    The recipe uses soy flour and almond meal (ground almonds) rather than normal flour and greek yoghurt/fromage frais, rather than butter.

    You will need (makes 6 big muffins):
    ·        120g of soy flour
    ·        75g of almond meal
    ·        2tsp baking powder
    ·        10tbsp powdered sweetener
    ·        3 beaten eggs
    ·        70ml greek yoghurt/fromage frais or sour cream
    ·        70ml coconut oil
    ·        Very generous shake of mixed spice seasoning
    ·        Generous shake of cinnamon powder
    ·        Seeds to garnish- I used pumpkin

     For the frosting you will need:
    ·        200g cream cheese
    ·        400g fromage frais/greek yoghurt
    ·        3tbsp powdered sweetener
    ·        Generous shake of mixed spice seasoning
    ·        Generous shake of ground ginger

    Then it’s quite similar to a normal cake in terms of preparation:

    ·        Mix the dry ingredients together with a spoon until they’re well combined
    ·        Beat together all the wet ingredients- I did this in a food processor
    ·        Add the dry ingredients to the food processor and mix together until combined- the final mixture will be quite thick, that’s fine!
    ·        Using a spoon, pop the mixture into the muffin tray- I used a silicone one, if you use a normal one you will need to grease it first
    ·        Top with your seeds
    ·        Bake at about 200˚C for 25 minutes until they have risen and browned
    ·        Let cool for a few minutes then turn out of the tray and enjoy one immediately- I had mine with butter!

    To make the frosting, simply combine the ingredients in a bowl well, taste, add some more seasoning if necessary and then put giant dollops on top of your muffins!

    Using myfitnesspal, the carbs work out to just less than 6g per muffin


    Meanwhile, for the rest of the day here’s what I ate…

    Friday 09.01.15
    Meal
    What I ate
    Carbs
    Total carbs
    Breakfast
    One Atkins cappuccino nut bar
    3.9g
    3.9g
    Lunch
    Big aubergine salad
    5g
    8.9g
    Snack
    One low carb muffin
    6g
    14.9g
    Evening meal
    2 egg cheese omelette
    2g
    16.9g

    Also, in case you’re interested, the aubergine salad was inspired by a deliciously ella recipe I’d seen, but is basically half an aubergine cut into strips and roasted with a little olive oil and garlic, with lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and a basil oil dressing (which I will share with you very soon!).


    And on that note, I’ll see you tomorrow, good luck if you’re reading this because you’re doing it too!

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    Back on induction- day 4


    Well it’s day four which means I’m over half way through the first week and so feeling pretty pleased about that as the first, most difficult part is over with now! Today started with my new favourite way to eat eggs- egg clouds, which I shared the recipe for here. This time I had them on livlife low carb bread with avocado and this again was so filling that it lasted me for most of the day.

    I do now feel that it’s pretty easy to stick to at work, as long as I have prepared sufficiently and bought plenty of things in and have a big breakfast at home first. I used to always feel it was more difficult at work but I think that’s because I wasn’t bringing enough in with me.

    Without further ado, here’s what I ate:

    Thursday 08.01.2015
    Meal
    What I ate
    Carbs
    Total carbs
    Breakfast
    Three eggs in clouds, on two pieces of livlife bread topped with ½ a mashed avocado and ½ a chopped tomato   
    12g
    12g
    Snack
    One chocolate crisp bar
    1.8g
    13.8
    Lunch
    Small pot of cottage cheese  
    4g
    17.8g
    Dinner
    Cheddar and samphire 2 egg omelette
    3g
    21.8g


    I was pretty pleased that I managed to stick within the carbs again and wasn’t too hungry. I am slightly concerned that I ate 5 eggs though I di eat more than that when I’m on an egg fast so maybe it’s ok…

    I’ll let you know how tomorrow gets on!




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    Back on induction- day 3!


    Well it’s day three and I do think it’s getting easier. The scales today (I am cheekily weighing myself inbetween our weekly weigh-ins) reveal a 1lb weight loss which I’m pretty happy with, though obviously wish it was more!

    I am still having some carb cravings and am particularly wondering how to negotiate the weekend as I’m going to a big family meal but have decided that I am going to try and keep to the diet during the meal… I’ll let you know how that goes, but I am pretty determined and also I had promised to help out with the food prep so can hopefully just prepare myself some low carb things that I really like.

    My saviour yesterday was some low carb mini frittatas that I found in Marks and Spencers which really saved the day when I was on my way home from work and found them in the garage. They only have 5g of carbs in them each and taste really good so I had one of those and a small piece of snack sized cheese which they also sell and that lasted me until I got home. They’re pretty pricey though so I was a bit cross with myself that I hadn’t just made one at home which I easily could’ve done, never mind!

    Wednesday 07.01.2015
    Meal
    What I ate
    Carbs
    Total carbs
    Breakfast
    Three quorn sausages and two fried eggs from the work cafeteria  
    15.9g
    15.9g
    Snack
    One chocolate crisp bar
    1.8g
    17.7g
    Lunch
    Chargrilled veg salad 
    3g
    20.7g
    Snack
    One Atkins chocolate crisp bar
    1.8g
    22.5g
    Evening meal
    Goats cheese and mushroom frittata
    5g
    27.5g


    So I managed it and wasn’t really hungry very much apart from immediately before the little frittata, though I did check this morning and the ketostix do indicate that I’m not yet in ketosis which is disappointing… hopefully tomorrow. In any case I’ll keep you posted!

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