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.

 

Banana Bread with Walnuts and Cinnamon

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Banana bread is one of my favorite desserts, and after making Paleo Crisp Bread I decided to use the leftovers to make this delicious, Paleo Banana Bread with Walnuts and Cinnamon. This is perfect for breakfast, brunch, dessert or just as a snack. You could also whip up some killer Paleo French Toast delights based on this recipe.

I made a Paleo Cherry Compote to go with the bread, which gave the bread that extra sweetness you sometimes miss when on a diet, but without the excessive sugar and guilt that come with regular jam and marmalade.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a batch of Paleo Crisp Bread
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Turn your oven on to 375 F / 200 C

Mix together the bananas, eggs and honey into the Paleo Crisp Bread mixture. Mush the bananas into small and large pieces (I like to have some consistency left in the bananas so you get the real banana taste in the bread) and make sure everything is well mixed together before placing in a bread pan. I use parchment paper and place it in the pan so that the bread doesn’t stick, but you could also use oil.

Chop up the walnuts and sprinkle on the bread. Add additional honey on top if you wish.

Bake at 375 for one hour. This could be a little less or more, depending on your oven, so keep an eye on the bread. Serve with Paleo Cherry Compote or other topping of your choice.IMG_8888

FOOD FACT: WALNUTS

IMG_8820-001According to Health.com, 14 walnut halves contain 185 calories, 18 grams fat, and 4 grams protein. The health benefits of walnuts are aplenty, and beyond lowering cholesterol, it appears that consuming walnuts and walnut oil also potentially reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Here’s a fun fact about these super nuts: Walnuts are the oldest known tree food — they date back to 10,000 BC! (via. www.nutritioulicious.com)

Paleo Crisp Bread with Seeds and Nuts

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Paleo Crisp Bread with Seeds and Nuts is inspired by traditional Nordic crispbread, which is often served with cheese, ham or other light cold-cuts and toppings. This version is completely Paleo friendly, and contains no gluten or wheat at all. I chose to test something new with this recipe, and added half a head of cabbage to the seeds and nut mixture, giving the bread fill and lending enough mass to make Banana Bread with Walnuts and Cinnamon with half the batch!

This bread can last up to a week when stored in an air tight container. Paleo Crisp Bread is perfect on its own as a snack, as an accompaniment to soup or salad or as a base for delicious sandwiches.

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup hazelnuts (or almonds, whatever nuts you have and like will do)
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup dried, unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 1 cup flaxseed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Blend the walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and flaxseed in a food processor. Once finely ground, add the cabbage and coconut and continue blending. Mix in the eggs and oil slowly, and process until the consistency is almost like a smooth paste.

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Add the sesame seeds and mix by hand (this is so you have some varying textures in your bread, and added crunch).

Heat your oven to 300 °F / 150 °C.

Roll out half the mixture on a piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of your dough, and roll the batter out until thin with a bottle or other object. Any additional dough can be added back to the other half of the mixture you still have (this can be used for Banana Bread with Walnuts and Cinnamon or just to make more Paleo Crisp Bread with Seeds and Nuts).

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Roll the dough until you have a thin bread, and then cut it with a sharp knife (I usually make pretty small square like shapes, but you can also make larger or smaller pieces, it’s totally up to you).

Once you have bread that looks like this (below) you can put it in the oven.

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Bake in the oven for up to 40 minutes, preferably on dry heat, as this dries out the bread rather than burns it. Keep an eye on the bread as you go along, as oven time may vary. Store bread in an airtight container for up to a week.

FOOD FACT: FLAXSEED

Flaxseed is full of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, and has been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.

flaxseedHere’s a fun fact about flaxseed: Flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC. In the 8th century, King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it.  Now, thirteen centuries later, some experts say there is preliminary research to back up what Charlemagne suspected. (via. WebMD.com)

Paleo Breakfast Pina Colada

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This is an alternative take on the classic Pina Colada, something I tried making as a breakfast treat recently. If you add rum this drink tastes exactly like something you would be served at a resort in the Maldives, so alcohol-it-up if you want!  Refrain from adding alcohol and this is a healthy and fun option for the whole family.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium pineapple – chopped
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 1 large banana
  • Ice
  • Rum (optional)

Blend all the ingredients together and voila! You have your very own Paleo Breakfast Pina Colada 🙂

FOOD FACT: PINEAPPLE

pineappleFresh pineapple is an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C. 100 g of pineapple contains 47.8 or 80% of this vitamin. Vitamin C is required for collagen synthesis in the body and collagen is the main structural protein in the body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones.

Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents (boosting immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.

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)