Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Low carb lemon and rose pancake cake

Well it’s pancake day and just as I get excited about most holidays (Christmas, Easter, Valentines day etc), I also get excited about pancake day, even more so since I discovered cream cheese pancakes last year. I wrote a post about how to make them, which I found on Pinterest last year so this year I thought I’d step things up a notch and experiment with them, particularly given that since last year my pancake making skills have improved considerably.

I have made them three different ways; small American style ones (I have recently discovered what we in the UK call pancakes are called crepes in the US), a huge pancake cake, sandwiched with a delicious rose and lemon cream, and a savoury pancake cake with spinach and ricotta sandwiched between savoury pancakes/ crepes and topped with cheese and tomato. Phew! That was a lot of cooking.

In this post I’m going to tell you how to make the huge cake as it’s quite easy and takes less time than you might think but is a real show stopper! Now I made this cake with lemon and rose as the dominant flavours but you really could change those flavours to whatever you like- coffee, mocha, chocolate, cinnamon, maple syrup... the world's your oyster. You just need sugar free flavourings, like either ground spice ie cinnamon, ginger, or flavoured syrup/ coffee syrup.

For the pancakes
· 6 Eggs
· 9oz cream cheese at room temperature
· 2 tsp vanilla powder
· 2tbsp sweetener- I used candrel
· 3tsp butter
· Ooh and quite a bit of patience as this bit takes some time…

For the filling
· 700ml cream or greek style yoghurt – cream has less carbs, yoghurt has less calories, it’s your call
· 500g mascarpone cheese- again at room temperature
· 4 tbsp sweetener
· 1 tbsp lemon curd- quite high in carbs I know but there is so many servings in this, that it doesn’t equate to that much at all per portion
· A generous dash of limoncello- optional but worth it!
· 50ml rose water
· Some fruit of your choice to decorate and edible flowers if you’re feeling particularly decadent

Then to make it:
First make the pancakes
· Mix the cream cheese with the beaten eggs and continue until it’s completely smooth
· Add the vanilla powder and sweetener and mix again until completely smooth- taste it, it should taste like a liquid cheesecake…
· Melt some butter in a on stick pan and swirl around so it’s all covered
· Once the butter has stopped foaming and calmed down, add some batter and again swirl around so the base is completely covered- don’t make it too thin
· Cook for about 4-5 minutes until completely set, then flip over cook again for 4-5 minutes and set aside
· Repeat until all the batter has gone- (about 20 times!)
· Once you get in the hang of it it’s definitely better to try and do a couple at a time, unless you are far more patient than me, as this will take ages otherwise. I had all four hobs going and was doing them 4 at a time!

While you wait for them to cool, start on the filling:
· If you’re using cream whisk it until it thickens and is starting to form peaks
· If you’re using yoghurt just start from here
· Add the mascarpone and sweetener to the cream/yoghurt and fold in
· Add the limoncello if using, lemon curd and rosewater and stir gently until all combined

Then it’s a case of assembling it:
· Pop a pancake onto a plate or cake stand
· Put a big dollop of mixture onto it and pat attention to how much you put on as you want to put the same amount onto each one to keep it as even as possible
· Use a big spatula to spread it out as evenly as you can, go over it at the end with a palette knife to try to ensure that it’s flat
· Repeat until all the pancakes are gone
 · Put your topping on, I used berries because they’re quite low carb but of course anything would do, including not topping it with anything at all which also looks amazing
 · Drink the rest of the limoncello, after all that cooking, you will have earned it!


Sunday, 8 February 2015

Valentines day kale salad

Well Valentines day is nearly upon is and as a consequence I thought I'd think of a couple of ideas which are healthy and low carb but also very much in the spirit of the day. I embrace all holidays wherever possible, valentines day, Easter, Halloween etc, largely because I have a December birthday, and if I don't I have almost a whole year to wait for excitement!

This recipe is very similar to a kale salad I posted a while ago, the difference here being I changed the dressing for something a bit lighter, and also changed the peppers and linseeds for blueberries and rose petals.

The result is something delicious, light and summery (though it is snowing outside, but for the purpose of this post, let's pretend it isn't).

Best of all, the salad takes mere minutes to whip up, and will keep in the fridge for several days.

The only slightly time consuming bit is messing with the cucumber strands to get the heart shape, but, this of course is entirely optional anyway-though why you would want to make something on Valentines day that isn't heart-y would be beyond my understanding...

You will need: (serves two lovebirds)
  • Two generous handfuls of curly kale
  • A small handful of blueberries
  • An avocado- chopped
  • A handful of pumpkin seeds
  • A lemon 1/2 a pomegranate
  • A couple of strips of cucumber (shaved off the side with a vegetable peeler)
  • 2 Tablespoons of rosewater
  • A small handful of dried rose petals

 first make the dressing:
  • Juice the lemon into a jar
  • Add the rosewater and 1/2 the rose petals
  • Put the lid on and shake vigorously
  • Set aside Then for the salad Ensure there are no hard stalks on the kale
  • Put the kale in a bowl and tip the salad dressing over
  • Scrunch the kale well with your hands to ensure that the dressing covers it completely- you should feel the kale start to wilt and soften
  • Scatter the avocado, pumpkin seeds, rose petals and blueberries over the salad and, if you're feeling romantic and want to add the heart: Flatten the middle of the salad with your hand so you have a nice flat surface
  • Take two strips of cucumber, and arrange them in a heart shape on the salad making sure they meet completely at the top and bottom
  • Scatter the pomegranates inside the heart shape you've made

    Serve and enjoy!

Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, 2 February 2015

Very low carb, grain free granola

Well, I am so excited to share this recipe with you. I tried it for the first time over the weekend and it was amazing first time and so so simple. I can see myself making this very regularly from now on. The thing I like the most about it is that I am always struggling to find things that I can have for breakfast without cooking and this exactly hits that spot. Another great thing about it is that I didn’t have to go shopping for any ingredients as I made it with things that I already had in and that I do usually have in.

You will need:
·         1.5 cups of mixed nuts- I used a mixture of pecans, almonds, cashews and hazlenuts
·         1 cup of mixed seeds- I used a mixture of linseeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
·         1 tablespoon of coconut oil
·         2 teaspoon of mixed spice

Then it really is so simple:

·         Put the nuts into a food processor and chop them roughly- you can also do this with a knife but it’s pretty hard work!

·         Add the seeds to the chopped nuts and mix together well

·         Add the coconut oil and mix well until combined- it’s easiest to do this with your hands as your hands melt the coconut oil

·         Add the mixed spice and stir well together

·         Pop the mixture onto a baking tray and then into an oven that heated to 150˚c for 20 minutes- take the mixture out half way though to stir it to stop it burning

·         Remove from the oven and pop into an airtight container- I used a jar

That’s it! It’s so good and so easy. I ate some of mine layered with greek yoghurt and then sprinkled dried rose petals over the top- delicious! 

© The Vegetarian Atkins Diary

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