Cauliflower pizza with steak and onions

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Pizza doesn’t have to be a diet crasher, although the magnificence of cheese, crispy crust and meat toppings do invite hungry diners to (sometimes) overeat. Enter cauliflower pizza! Instead of making a traditional flour base for your tasty wheel, why not use cauliflower (or cabbage) instead?

I have tried making this pizza several times and although it will never have the exact same flavour or texture as a classic Italian margharita, it is probably the closest you can get with vegetables as a base.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head of grated cauliflower (boiled or microwaved)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup of Mozzarella
  • 2 cloves of garlic, shredded
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour (optional)
  • 200 g. of skirt steak
  • 2 large onions
  • 1/2 cup of olives (optional)
  • 1 can tinned tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • 1 fresh chilli (or chilli flakes)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and turn on the oven to 200 C. Boil or microwave the grated or blended cauliflower until tender, make sure it is properly cooked through as otherwise you will have a very crunchy pizza. Ensure that your cauliflower is also very well blended.

Once boiled let the cauliflower cool, and then place in a tea towel. Wring out all the water (this may take a few minutes), and once dry place in a bowl. Mix in the egg, Parmesan cheese (leave a few tablespoons to use as topping for your pizza), almond flour, garlic, salt and pepper.

Mix well until the cauliflower base becomes dough-like. Place on the parchment paper and using your hands kneed the dough out and form a circular pizza base. The thickness of the base is a personal choice, I prefer to have it quite thin as this makes it crunchier, however be warned – it is harder to pick up if it is very thin!

Place the cauliflower base in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until darkened and crispy. Keep an eye on the base as oven times may vary.

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While the base is in the oven you can begin preparing your toppings. I chose to use some leftover steak I had in the fridge and onions. Slice and fry the onions in a bit of olive oil. Place on a plate and fry the steak in the same pan as the onions. Season with spices and herbs of your choice.

Now it’s time to prepare your pizza sauce. I find that using a tin of canned tomatoes, and literally just blending this with some garlic, fresh basil, oregano, chilli, salt and pepper gives a great, easy to make, tomato sauce.

Once the cauliflower base is ready top with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, steak, onions, olives, and whatever else you like on your pizza. Turn up the oven to 275 C, and once it is piping hot put the pizza in the oven. Keep a close eye on it, as it only needs 4-5 minutes for the cheese to melt and your cauliflower pizza with steak and onions to be ready!*

Enjoy!

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FOOD FACT: CAULIFLOWERScreen shot 2013-09-07 at 12.30.03 PM

Cauliflower is packed with nutrients, including indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, which helps prevent prostate, ovarian and cervical cancer. This cheap vegetable is also filled with Vitamin B, C and K.  Cauliflower provides humans with two core antioxidants, manganese and Vitamin C, which helps lower the risk of oxidative stress in human cells.

Chronic oxidative stress—meaning chronic presence over overly reactive oxygen-containing molecules and cumulative damage to our cells by these molecules—is a risk factor for development of most cancer types. via. whfoods.com

*The cauliflower pizza base in these pictures is a little on the burnt side, the ideal pizza base would be a little lighter in color.

 

Tuna and spinach salad with fresh garden peas and feta

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Summer is here and here in Denmark we are experiencing one of those very rare heat waves (which means it’s above 25 °C for 3 days in a row). Denmark and Danes are not very well equipped for too much heat, and the temperatures don’t need to rise above 20 °C before people start complaining about it being too hot.

When the weather is like this I always have a hard time figuring out what I want to eat: everything just seems too heavy and cooking also feels like too much work. Which is where fresh summer salads come in! I love tuna sandwiches, but a tuna and spinach salad with fresh garden peas and feta seemed like a very good alternative to the classic sandwich option.

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This recipe is easy, cheap and diet friendly, and if you are serving your meal to non-dieters you can just switch out the spinach leaves with some Ciabatta bread or a baguette.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can tuna
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
  • 1/2 lime
  • 10 fresh garden peas (peeled)
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat feta cheese (I use 3%)
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon capers (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Siracha (optional)

Mix canned tuna with low-fat sour cream, mayonnaise, juice of half a lime, 1/2 finely chopped onion, Dijon mustard, capers, Siracha, salt and pepper. Mix well and taste. Add more salt, pepper or lemon juice if needed.

Wash spinach and place in a bowl. Top with garden peas and low fat feta cheese. Add as much tuna as you like and garnish with lime wedges and black pepper.

Enjoy!

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FOOD FACT: TUNA

TScreen shot 2013-07-23 at 1.45.19 PMuna is very high in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which means it is a great option for lowering triglyceride levels as well as controlling blood pressure. Eating tuna may also help lower your risk for stroke, heart disease, cancer, eye disease as well as help fight depression.

Women who consume more than five servings of baked or broiled fish a week have the lowest risk of heart failure. via. Healthyeating.sfgate.com

Grilled chicken with pesto, capers and Shirataki noodles

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This was my first attempt at using Shirataki noodles, and instead of making a classic Asian meal I decided to try to whip up an Italian inspired pasta dish.

Although the texture of Shirataki noodles is slightly rubbery, all in all they are a great alternative to classic high-carb pastas and noodles. In order to get the best flavour out of them you should rinse the noodles thoroughly before boiling (for 2 – 3 minutes in warm water), then boil for 4 – 5 minutes after which you should rub the noodles with olive oil to keep them from becoming sticky.

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Shirataki noodles come in two forms, tofu Shirataki and regular Shirataki. Both types contain a yam flour base and the only difference between the two is that tofu Shirataki has a small amount of tofu (well duh!). Shirataki noodles contain 0 calories per serving as they are almost entirely made up of fiber. Tofu Shirataki noodles contain around 20 calories per serving (because of the extra tofu). The noodles I bought were regular Shirataki noodles, and apparently tofu Shirataki noodles have a more pasta-like texture.

Shirataki noodles are highly recommended (in my book) and you can look forward to many more Shirataki noodle recipes to come!

Grilled chicken with pesto, capers and Shirataki noodles

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet Shirataki noodles (enough for one person or two if you are not that hungry)
  • 1 piece of chicken breast
  • 1/2 glass of pesto (I was lazy, you can also make your own which would obviously taste way better)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Handful of Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme or basil

Place the Shirataki noodles in a bowl and cover with warm water. Rinse for 2 – 3 minutes, then boil for 4 – 5 minutes. Rub one tablespoon of olive oil into the noodles and set aside.

Prepare the chicken breasts by slicing into chunks and marinating in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, vinegar, thyme (or basil) and salt and pepper. Set aside. Slice up an onion and grate the cheese. Turn on the frying pan and wait until hot. Add marinated chicken (with garlic), and once almost ready add the onions. Fry the chicken and onions until done.

If the Shirataki noodles have gone cold heat them up quickly in the microwave. Add as much pesto as desired, as well as capers and the chicken and onion mixture. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and black pepper.

ENJOY!

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FOOD FACT: CAPERS

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 5.05.22 PMCapers are flower buds, which make them very low in calories (23 calories per 100 g.), containing phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and vitamins that are essential to your health.

Capers are very rich in quarcetin (180 mg/100 g), second only to tea leaves, a very powerful anti-oxidant. According to research studies quarcetin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Did you know? Usually the small, cream coloured caper buds are handpicked in the early hours of the day (otherwise the plants unfold into whitish-pink sepal flowers with long purple tassels). Not long after harvesting the caper buds are washed and allowed to wilt for a few hours in the sun before being placed in jars and covered with salt, vinegar, brine or olive oil. Via. Nutrition-and-You.com

Roasted chickpeas with chilli and garlic

I found this low-carb recipe on Pinterest, and decided to make my own version with Asian spices and finish off the crunchy chickpea delights with a little fresh coriander on top.

FOOD FACT: CHICKPEAS

Chickpeas are a vegetarian source of protein. One cup supplies more than 25 percent of the dietary reference intake, or DRI, for protein as well as more than 40 percent of the DRI for fiber.

chickpeasCooked chickpeas contain little fat, as one cup contains only 4.3 g. Nearly half of this fat is polyunsaturated fat. One cup of cooked chickpeas contains less than 0.5 g of saturated fat and no cholesterol. (via. www.livestrong.com)

Low-Carb Madame and Gentleman Deluxe Burgers

Low-Carb Madame and Gentleman Deluxe Burgers

Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy a deluxe burger once in a while. Just make it’s low-carb (no bun) and with sugar free condiments.

The low-carb gentleman deluxe burger with fried onions (front) and a low-carb madame deluxe burger with horseradish and mustard (back).

Dieting should be painless, easy and in my opinion, fun. Instead of thinking of all the things you can’t eat, start exploring the things youcan. Fresh vegetables, filling legumes, homemade hummus and olive tapenade, pickled assorted vegetables, oh god, the things you can’t make with healthy, organic ingredients. And the great thing with a diet like South Beach, or Atkins for that matter, is that you can also eat as much low fat protein as you like, and low-fat cheese.

A burger can be an indulgent, healthy, no-sin experience, if you just tweak it a little. Remove the classic bun, replace this with lettuce, or even portobello mushrooms or fried celeriac if you want something with more fill. Forego the bacon and fried onions (although this is still low-carb, so if you really want it, have it!) and use plenty of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and low-sugar condiments as you like. I usually opt for mustard, a tiny bit of mayonnaise and horseradish (the Low-Carb Madame Deluxe Burger) while my boyfriend, who usually eats his burger with a bun, prefers his a classic burger, with ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and fried onions (very Danish of him).

The low-carb gentleman deluxe burger lays on a bed of lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise, topped with melted cheddar cheese and fried onions

The Low-Carb Gentleman Deluxe Burger

Ingredients:

  • 2 hamburger patties
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/3 of a cucumber
  • 1/2 cup fried onions
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon oil

Start off by taking out all your ingredients and placing them on the tabletop in front of you. Turn on a pan and warm up a frying pan with 1 teaspoon oil. Throw both hamburger patties in the pan, making sure they both have enough oil under them so that they do not stick. Let them fry on medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes.

Meanwhile chop up your lettuce in fine strands, and chop your cucumber and tomato as you please (I prefer to cut the vegetables in small chunks, so it feels more like a hamburger salad with vegetables all over the place) but it’s completely up to the diner 🙂 Arrange the greens on two separate plates and add the mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise to both plates. Flip the burgers and let them continue to fry, turning down the heat a little if they start to burn. Add the cheese to both burgers and let it melt (putting a lid over the frying pan for the last 2-3 minutes lets the cheese melt really nicely).

When the burger patties are ready arrange them on the two beds of salad. Dress the gentleman burger with fried onions(you could also add a fried egg if you like).

Low-Carb Madame Deluxe Burger

The only difference between the gentleman and the madame burger is that the Low-Carb Madame Deluxe Burger is served with horseradish rather than fried onions.

And voila! There you have Low-Carb Madame and Gentleman Deluxe Burgers from the Low-Carb Fairy!

FOOD FACT: BEEF

Screen shot 2013-06-09 at 12.52.44 PMAlmost half of the fat in beef is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid—the same heart-healthy fat that’s found in olive oil and most of the saturated fat in beef actually decreases your heart-disease risk—either by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, or by reducing your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (good) cholesterol.

Besides being one of the most available sources of high-quality protein, beef also provides many important nutrients such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins. (via. www.menshealth.com)