Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Very low carb bread




I have very recently caught onto the trend of using almond flour, and there's no going back! It makes such a good substitute for so many grain-y things; flour, breadcrumbs and even oats... It's so versatile I've been buying a bag a week for the last few weeks.

My favourite use for it by far, though has to be in this amazing low carb bread. I call the bread amazing for several reasons; it is very low carb, it's absolutely delicious and also it requires no kneading so it is so quick and easy to make-if you do it right you only need to dirty two dishes while making it!

Even better than that, it's packed with flaxseeds/linseeds which are so so good for you, and it has less than 2g of carbs per slice (when the loaf is cut into 20 slices- which is can be easily).

You will need (makes one medium/large sized loaf):
  • 8 eggs 
  • 2 cups ground linseeds/flaxseeds- you can buy these in the supermarket already ground- sometimes called flax meal
  • 1 cup ground almonds- also sometimes called almond meal
  • 1/2 cup of water 
  • A small pinch of baking powder
Then to make it:
  • Beat the eggs with the water in a large bowl
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and beat together well- you can also do this all in a food processor; just make sure you add the eggs and water first, mix them then add everything else and mix again until it's all completely combined 
  • Pour into a baking tin- I lined mine with greaseproof paper first- and bake at 200 degrees C/400 degrees F for 20 minutes 
  • Remove from the oven and enjoy hot, with thick lashings of butter!

I hope you love it- sure you will! It keeps really well in the fridge and toasts really well. I enjoy mine with creamy avocado, pink Himalayan salt and chilli flakes nearly every morning- yum!




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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Low carb Staffordshire lobby with low carb bread

One of my very favourite things to do on this blog and in general while cooking is have a go at making low carb versions of things that you might not usually be able to eat while following a low carb diet plan. take for example my cauliflower fried rice, broccoli crust pizza, granola and low carb pancakes. One of my biggest victories to date has to be the low carb bread that I perfected a month or so ago, which is amazing in sandwiches, toasted, and especially dunked into soups. Incidentally, one of my all time favourite soups/ dishes has got to be Staffordshire lobby. Now, you may or may not be familiar with this, particularly if you're not from the UK (which I know many of you reading are not). Lobby is a type of stew which is very popular in Staffordshire (where I'm from). It's super easy to make, cheap (as you can pretty much throw in any veg etc you have hanging around), and it's completely delicious- comfort food at it's best. Unfortunately, it's usually pretty carb heavy and it also contains meat...  One mouthful of this and I'm transported back to my childhood!

So, I've come up with a version that's much lighter on the carbs and vegetarian- win win! It's worth saying that while it is far lighter on the carbs than the original, it is probably not suitable if you're following the induction stage of the Atkins diet, but if you're in the next stage or trying to maintain your weight then it's great! It's so easy to make that it barely needs a recipe, but the recipe is useful of you're not sure which vegetables are lower in carbs, particularly as the more hearty root vegetables are generally high in carbs. If you are used to this dish you'll also know that lobby is a desperately personal affair and everyone has their own version, here I have tried to recreate the version we had as closely as I can.



I've used celeriac and turnip which are great low carb root vegetables, which taste quite like potato when cooked but have far fewer carbs than potato. Butternut squash is a great carrot alternative which adds colour and a lovely sweet flavor but is a lot less carb heavy. Broad beans are a lower carb alternative to normal peas and the riced cauliflower is a very low carb alternative to pearly barley which you can of course add meat, though I haven't done here as I wanted to keep the dish vegetarian.

Without further ado, here's how you make it.

You will need (serves 2 hungry people with some leftovers for lunch the next day):
  • One turnip
  • Half a celeriac
  • Half a butternut squash
  • One leek
  • 50g frozen broad beans
  • Two spring onions
  • 1/2 a cauliflower- food processed so it is a rice/couscous like texture
  • One tablespoon sundried tomato puree (much lower in carbs than normal tomato puree)
  • One bouquet garni
  • Two vegetable stock cubes
Making it is really easy:
  • If you are using meat then cut it into chunks and fry it in some olive oil first to seal it
  • Cut all your vegetables into medium size chunks.
  • Add the chopped cauliflower to a food processor and process until its the consistency of rice/couscous. You can also grate it to get the same effect.
  • Make the stock up using 1.5 litres of boiling water
  • Place in a large casserole dish or slow cooker and add the vegetables apart from the cauliflower
  • Add the bouquet garni and sundried tomato paste
  • Place in the oven on a medium temperature or turn the slow cooker on
  • Leave to cook for about 4-5 hours
  • When you are about 30 minutes away, add the cauliflower
  • Serve and enjoy with big hunks of buttered low carb bread!




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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Giveaway!



Well I am very very excited to be writing this post. I am hosting my first giveaway! I decided to do this for two reasons, firstly to celebrate hitting one thousand followers on instagram, and secondly to celebrate the launch of my revamped website, (which you will be looking at now if you are reading this post). Some of these products were gifted to me, but mostly they're ones I bought myself as I knew exactly what I wanted to include. Best of all the giveaway is worldwide so anyone can enter!

I have decided to give away a range of products which are delicious and low carb- none of the products have more than 10g of carbs per portion. I have included a mixture of snacks, as well as some of the ingredients for the recipes that I use the most. That was obviously quite restrictive as I could only include dry ingredients, but still there's lots to get you started with low carbing in there, Everything in there is vegetarian and most of the things are vegan as well! And, like I said, there's lots of snacks in there and if you're a low carber like me, you'll know that low carb snacks are hard to find!

Anyway, entering is so easy, you can either:

  • Find me on twitter, instagram, or pinterest (I'm called vatkinary on all three), find the photo above with all the goodies, follow me and repost it using the hashtag #vatkinary1k *OR
  • Follow me here, then comment on this post saying you've entered OR better still, 
  • You can do all four and each one will count as an entry. So for example if you follow me on pinterest, twitter and instagram and repost the picture with the hashtag #vatkinary1k then follow me on here and comment on the post, then you will have effectively entered 4 times so will have 4 times the chance of winning! 

A little bit more about what's included:
  • Diablo chocolate- (two 85g bars) there is less than 10g of carbs in the whole bar! (Yes you did read that right!)
  • Atkins crispy milk chocolate bar- 30g. These are such a go to snack and taste delicious- 1.6g in the whole bar.
  • Quest bar- chocolate chip cookie dough. If you haven't tried quest bars then you simply must! they are super low in carbs (3g per bar) and taste amazing, but better still you can cook them and melt them to make different snacks like little energy balls etc. They are not readily available in the uk so you have to order them online usually and they are pretty pricey!
  • Nothing but Strawberry and banana snack- 10g. This is a brand new snack i've just found out about, it's freeze dried strawberry and banana slices that you eat like a nag of crisps. there's under 7g in a pack and one bag counts as one of your five a day!
  • Happy kale BBQ kale crisps 25g. Again another bag of crisps style snack, this time with only 4.2g of carbs per bag. 
  • Itsu crispy seaweed thins- 5g This pack has an amazing 0.4 g of carbs per pack!!
  • Keto slim high protein shake sachet in vanilla (one shake). Only 2g of carbs per shake. 
  • Itsu 3 vegetarian miso soups. these are amazing and can be made so quickly just like a cup a soup- only 42 calories per soup and 4.6g of carbs per soup
  • Gia sundried tomato puree- this is even tastier than normal tomato puree but there's around 20g carbs in the whole tube. It's perfect smeared all over a cauliflower or broccoli crust pizza!
  • Sacla basil pesto 175g. Less than 10g of carbs in the whole tube, comes in a handy squeezy container and perfect for pouring over zoodles, salads, topping a cauliflower or broccoli crust pizza with, the list goes on, it's a fridge staple!
  • Cypressa tahini. 300g. This is amazing on salads or with zoodles and has less than 6g in the whole jar!
  • Neals yard remedies virgin coconut oil. Another low carb staple- this has so many health benefits, and you can use it for baking, stirfrying, roasting, in salad dressings, smoothies, bulletproof coffee and you can even pop some in your hair/ on your skin when you've finished!
  • Neals yard rememdies organic reviving tea. A beautiful tea with elderflower and peppermint, perfect pick me up after a hard days blog reading or instagramming!
  • Nomilk almondmilk+strawberry 330ml. This is an almond milk and fruit puree blend and is absolutely delicious as well as being super handy when you're on the go. 
  • Virginia harvest cold milled flaxseed/linseed, 175g. This is great sprinkled over an avocado, in my favourite kale salad, or mixed with almond meal and eggs to make my low carb bread. Less than 2g of carbs it the whole bag!
  • The chia co chia shots 8g. This handy sachet is perfect for on the go, you can pour it into a coconut yoghurt or over a salad, or make a chia bowl with it, and it gives an extra boost of omega 3 and protein and tastes great! Less than 1g carbs per sachet
  • Lastly a magic spiral, this isn't something you can eat but is such a handy little tool for making fun spirals out of cucumber or courgette/zucchini which will make your food look amazing. Its is so quick to use and I use it lots when I can't be bothered to get the spiralizer out as it's so easy and only takes a few seconds to wash up because it's so small!
Phew, that's quite a long list, anyway, I'm really excited about this, the giveaway will close on the 22nd March, and I'll announce on here and on my social media channels who the lucky winner is.

Good luck!

* Remember if your accounts are private I won;t see your entry so either comment on my post and tell me you've entered or enter one of the other ways, ie follow my blog on here and comment to tell me you've done so instead!
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Friday, 6 March 2015

Chia breakfast bowl




I have been so excited about sharing this with you, these are just the easiest thing ever to make and are so delicious and really filling as well! You can make them pretty much before you go to bed at night and wake up to a big bowl of deliciousness in the morning. The ones I make are vegan, though you can change the coconut yoghurt for normal yoghurt if you prefer and they would be vegetarian instead. They are also completely customisable; you just add whichever flavours and toppings you fancy and they're good to go!


You will need:
  • Chia seeds- about half a cup
  • 1-2 tablespoons of almond meal (optional)
  • Coconut yoghurt- one small carton- about 200ml
  • A few berries- I use strawberries, raspberries and blackberries but any would do. I go quite easy on them because of the carbs, but berries do have less carbs than most fruits.
  • A generous sprinkling of nuts and seeds.
  • Powdered cinnamon
Making them is so so simple. Simply add the seeds and almond meal to a bowl or glass with the yoghurt and mix well. You don't need to use coconut yoghurt but I use it as it has hardly any carbs. You can also use almond or coconut milk which is very low in carbs as well.
Pop the mixture in the fridge and leave for an hour or so, but I always leave it overnight. when you remove it in the morning it will have thickened to a lovely thick consistency. pop some berries (I chop them up a bit first so they go further and you can use less) on top, sprinkle with some cinnamon, and scatter the seeds over and you're done.

This is especially great made in a jar to eat on the go, then you can just pop the lid back on when finished and worry about the washing later!

You can completely adapt this for example using flavoured yoghurts, the brand I use does a chocolate flavour yoghurt with cacao in it which is lovely. If you're being less strict with carbs, you could sweeten it up with some honey or agave nectar also. sometimes I also top with chunks of coconut, dried rose petals and mint, which work really well together. You can also use vanilla powder, mixed spice, ginger, nutmeg, cocoa-  the possibilities are endless!








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