Quick and Easy Frittata

Tuna, chilli and onion frittata

For such a simple mix of ingredients, this frittata has knock-out flavour.  It is super-quick to whisk up and makes an ideal low-carb lunch that is filling enough to keep you going until dinnertime. The frittata will keep in the fridge for 2 days, so you can cut a slice and take it to work or add it to a kid’s lunchbox. Eat it hot, cold or at room temperature. To reheat pop it in the microwave for a few seconds until piping hot.

 

Serves 4

 

5 spring onions (white and green parts) or 1 onion or 1 leek, finely chopped

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for greasing

Half a teaspoon chilli flakes or finely sliced fresh chilli added to taste

8 eggs

2 x 250g (7oz) cans of tuna in oil or water, drained

50g (2oz) Parmesan, finely grated (optional)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 200°C (180 fan),  400F or gas mark 6.

Fry the onions in the oil in a frying pan over a low heat. They will take about 7 minutes to soften. Season in the pan and add the chilli.

Meanwhile, line an ovenproof dish roughly 25 x 20 x 6cm (10 x 8 x 2½in) with baking parchment and brush with a little oil.

Beat the eggs in a bowl with seasoning. Add the rest of the ingredients including the onions and stir together. Pour into the lined dish and bake for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch, cooked through and lightly browned on top.

Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving with salad or green vegetables.

Per serving: Total carbs: 5.2g, fibre 0.4g, 31.3g protein, 23.5g fat, 364 kcal

Suitable for Keto, Low-Carb.

Seed and Nut Loaf

This dense nutty brown loaf is adapted from Sarah Britton’s Life-Changing Loaf recipe that she developed while living in Denmark. The bread did literally change her life as the recipe from her blog – www.mynewroots.org – went viral. This is our version minus the maple syrup. You can use oats if you can’t find quinoa flakes, but the carb count is higher.

This loaf is just gorgeous with butter, Marmite, cheese or pâté. As it is packed with nuts and seeds it has a high fat content, so don’t scoff too much in one go.

 

MAKES 1 LOAF

(16 finger-width slices)

135g (4¾oz) sunflower seeds, plus 1 tablespoon extra (optional) to finish

60g (2½oz) ground flaxseeds

65g (2½oz) hazelnuts or almonds

75g (2¾oz) quinoa flakes or oats

2 tablespoons chia seeds, ground

3 tablespoons psyllium husk powder

1 teaspoon fine salt

oil, to grease

 

Per slice 5.1g carbs, 4.5g protein, 9.1g fat, 5.7g fibre, 131kcal

Put the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add 475ml (17 floz) of cold water and stir through with a metal spoon to form a firm, heavy dough. Leave to firm up for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C/fan 180˚C/gas mark 6. Line the base and long sides of a loaf tin with a long rectangle of baking parchment that flaps over the sides to help lift the loaf out. Grease the short ends. Alternatively, use a silicone loaf mould.

Use your hands to transfer the dough into the tin and flatten down the top, scattering over the extra sunflower seeds (if using).

Bake for 45 minutes.

Slide a knife around the loaf and tip it out of the tin using the paper.

Put it onto a rack in the oven and remove the paper.

Bake it for a further 30 minutes until it sounds hollow when tapped and is firm to the touch.

Remove the loaf from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature on a wire rack before slicing.

If not freezing, store in a bag or sealed container for up to 5 days in the fridge or a cool place.

 

This recipe is from The Diabetes Weightloss Cookbook published by Kyle Books with photography by Susan Bell.

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

On our travels to Vietnam, I was amazed to see the quantity of herbs used, huge bunches of them, instead of salad leaves. They give so much zing and flavour; don’t stint on them. If you don’t have enough of one herb, just add more of another. If you use red cabbage, your chicken will be purple in colour, which is amusing although the flavour is the same. This recipe is a good way to use up leftover cooked chicken or turkey, in which case miss out the poaching instructions. Traditionally, the dressing has garlic, but you can omit this if you care about breathing over colleague.

SERVES 2

3 spring onions, finely sliced

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

150g (5.oz) white or red cabbage

1 small carrot

1/2 red or yellow pepper

50g (1.oz) roasted peanuts

a large handful of a mixture of Thai basil, coriander and mint, leaves roughly torn and stalks finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely grated ginger

For the dressing

juice of 2 limes

4 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce or 3 tablespoons nam pla

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon mild honey

1/4 – 1/2 hot red or green chilli, finely chopped or a good pinch of chilli flakes

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped or grated (optional)

 

Per serving 20g carbs, 8g fibre, 41g protein, 27g fat, 522kcal

 

Soak the spring onions in cold water for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside. Poach the chicken in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 15–20 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink inside. Leave to cool in the water for 10 minutes, then drain and leave to cool completely.

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan, stirring frequently until they start to pop and turn golden brown, then remove from the heat and tip onto a plate to cool.

Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

Finely slice the cabbage with a very sharp knife on a chopping board.

Take time to get the shreds very thinly sliced. Tear the chicken into shreds.

Cut the carrot and pepper with a sharp knife into julienne strips, or use a gadget that shreds, and add them straight into the dressing in a large bowl to prevent them browning.

To assemble the salad, mix the chicken, cabbage, peanuts and herbs into the bowl with the carrot, pepper, ginger and dressing.

Arrange on a serving platter and scatter over the toasted sesame seeds.

 

Recipe from ‘The Reverse Your Diabetes Cookbook’ published by Kyle Books with photography Maja Smend.

Smoked Mackerel Fishcakes with Horseradish & Lemon Crème Fraîche

Smoked mackerel gives a familiar, traditional taste to the fishcakes and brings all the goodness of oily fish; to vary them, use hot-smoked salmon, canned salmon or sardines.  I have served these with lettuce, tomato and the Horseradish & Lemon Crème Fraîche.  These are also delicious made half the size to serve as canapés.

SERVES 4/MAKES 8 FISHCAKES

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or ghee, to grease

200g (7oz) smoked mackerel fillets, skinned

4 spring onions

3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

265g (9½oz) cooked or canned, drained Puy or green lentils, cooked from 130g (4½oz) dried lentils

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1 egg

½ teaspoon salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper

(unless using peppered mackerel)

lemon wedges, to serve

For the horseradish & lemon crème fraîche

juice of ½ lemon

100g (3½oz) crème fraîche

2 tablespoons horseradish sauce

salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Per serving 13g carbs, 3.5g fibre, 19g protein, 28g fat, 391kcal

 

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas mark 7.

Grease a baking tray with the oil.

To make the fishcakes, either chop the fish, onions and parsley by hand, mash the lentils with a fork in a bowl and then combine with the remaining ingredients, or put all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you have a rough textured paste.

Divide the mixture into 8 balls (each one will weigh roughly 70g/2½oz) and shape into patties about 7cm (2¾in) diameter and 2cm (¾in) thick. Lay them onto the prepared baking tray and cook for 20 minutes or until hot inside and firm to the touch. They should be lightly browned.

Meanwhile, make the horseradish and lemon crème fraîche. Mix the ingredients together briefly in a small bowl, adjust the seasoning to taste and put in the fridge to chill.

Serve the fishcakes warm or at room temperature with the lemon wedges and the horseradish and lemon crème fraîche and lettuce.

 

This recipe is from The Reverse Your Diabetes Cookbook published by Kyle Books with photography by Maja Smend.

Salmon, Asparagus and Pea salad

Salmon, asparagus & pea salad with watercress dressing

serves 6

This quintessentially English dish of pink poached salmon against a verdant selection of leaves is as vibrant as a sunny spring day.

It is easy to put together and the fish and dressing can be prepared in advance, so it’s ideal for entertaining.

 

750g fillet of salmon or 1 side of a small salmon, skin on and pin-boned

2 tablespoons white wine

a small handful of pea shoots

salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:-

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

100g watercress

200ml crème fraîche

For the salad:-

12 asparagus spears, woody ends removed

300g fresh peas

a small handful of dill, stems removed

a small handful of mint leaves, roughly torn

a small handful of tarragon leaves, stems removed

a handful of watercress

English cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced

juice of  a lemon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Per serving: Total carbs 13g, fibre 3.7g, fat 26.3g, protein 35g, 430kcal

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

Put the salmon on a large piece of baking parchment, spoon over the wine, season and secure the edges of the parchment to form a parcel, then cook for 20–25 minutes or until just cooked through.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients. When cool enough to touch, remove the skin and flake the fish into large pieces.

Boil or steam the peas and asparagus – about 10 minutes for the peas and 5–8 minutes for the asparagus. Plunge the vegetables into cold water to cool quickly and keep their colour.

Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by frying the shallot in the oil with salt and pepper in a small pan over a gentle heat until softened, but make sure it does not take on any colour. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Pour this into a food processor, add the watercress and whizz. Add the crème fraîche and pulse until well blended. Season to taste.

Put all the salad vegetables and herbs in a large bowl, toss in the lemon juice and olive oil and arrange around the edge of a platter.

Lay the salmon on top, in the centre, and splash on the crème fraîche dressing or serve on the side. Scatter the pea shoots on top of the salmon.

 

From ‘ Around the World in Salads’ by Kyle Books with photography by Helen Cathcart, available here.

Lentil-Less Dahl

This has all the comforting softness of a traditional dal but hardly any of the carbs. It is delicious served with curries or for breakfast or lunch with a couple of fried eggs. If I want to make it more presentable, I scatter over coriander or dollop on some Greek yogurt and mint leaves… delicious.

Make sure you have all the ingredients ready before you begin as the recipe requires quick cooking at the start.

 

SERVES 8

3 tablespoons ghee, extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

1 dried red chilli, stalk removed or pinch of chilli flakes

3 garlic cloves, grated

1 white onion, finely chopped

10g (¼oz) fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 medium round tomato, finely chopped or coarsely grated

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

50g (2oz) dried red lentils, washed (optional)

600g (1lb 5oz) Brussels sprouts, cauliflower (leaves and head), Romanesco or broccoli, riced

1 teaspoon unsmoked paprika

1 green chilli, split

salt and freshly ground black pepper

600ml (20fl oz) hot vegetable stock or water, plus up to 100ml (3½fl oz) to finish

small bunch coriander, leaves roughly chopped, stems finely chopped, to serve

 

Per 122g serving without lentils

5.6g carbs, 3.2g protein, 6.2g fat, 3.7g fibre, 99kcal

Per 125g serving with lentils 6.5g carbs, 3.6g protein, 6.2g fat, 4g fibre, 105kcal

 

Heat the fat in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the cumin seeds and dried chilli and fry for about 15 seconds. Add the garlic, stir through for a few seconds, then add the onion and stir again.

 

Reduce the temperature to medium, add the ginger and tomato and stir through. Let everything soften for a few minutes and then add the turmeric, lentils (if using), sprouts, paprika, green chilli and seasoning. Fry for a few minutes and then add the stock or water.

Stir well and put the lid on.

Cook over a medium heat for 1015 minutes, or until the riced sprouts have softened, stirring occasionally. It might need a little longer, and a little more stock, if you are using lentils.

Remove the chillies and blend with a stick blender or in a food-processor.

Warm through in the pan and add a little more stock or water as necessary to get a thick, soupy consistency. Stir through the coriander leaves and serve straight away.

 

Lamb and Halloumi Kebabs

Lamb and Halloumi Kebabs

 

This is the ultimate fast food as the kebabs take just 3 minutes to cook on each side. The lemony marinade shown to us by friends Sandie and Peter Draper stops the meat from drying out. These can be done under a hot grill if you don’t have glowing coals outside. Serve the kebabs with lettuce wraps and a bowl of the Lemon Yogurt Sauce.

Serves 8

For the marinade: 

150ml extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves

Half to 1 medium hot red chilli, (according to taste)

1 20cm sprig rosemary

½ teaspoon chilli flakes

6 sprigs of thyme (leaves picked)

2 bay leaves

juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

For the kebabs

600g lean lamb (leg meat is good), diced into 3cm cubes

2 red peppers, cut into 3cm squares

250g small chestnut mushrooms, brushed clean

1 red onion, cut into quarters and layers separated

2 x 250g halloumi, cut into bite-sized cubes

3 baby gem lettuces, leaves separated to serve

A small handful parsley, leaves coarsely chopped and stems finely chopped, to serve

1 quantity Lemon Yogurt Sauce (see below) to serve

 

To make the marinade, put all the ingredients into a small food-processor with a good few twists of pepper and blend until emulsified. Alternatively, you can chop the dry ingredients together finely by hand and mix with the oil.

Pour a third of the marinade into a shallow dish with the lamb, peppers, mushrooms and onion, and toss to combine. Cover and leave to infuse for at least 30 minutes and up to a day in the fridge. Put the remainder of the marinade into a jug and refrigerate.

To make the lemon yogurt sauce, mix the ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste. This will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days.

When you are ready to cook the kebabs, preheat the grill to high and heat a rack ready for the kebabs. Thread the lamb, peppers, mushrooms, onions and halloumi alternately onto metal kebab skewers. Discard any leftover marinade in the dish.

Lay the skewers onto a hot grill rack (if this is in an oven, put an oven tray underneath to catch the juices) and cook close to the heat souche for 3-4 minutes before turning and cooking again for 3 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and the meat is just cooked. These are also delicious barbecued.

Put the lettuce leaves and a bowl of the lemon yogurt sauce on a large serving dish. Add the hot skewers dressed with a little of the remaining marinade and sprinkled with parsley. Serve the remaining marinade in a jug.

Lemon yogurt sauce

Serves 8

8 tablespoons Greek yogurt

8 tablespoons mayonnaise

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste. This will keep in the fridge, covered, for 3 days.

 

Per serving 8g Carbs, 33g protein, 65g fat, 2.1g fibre, 755kcal

This recipe is from ‘The Diabetes Weight-loss Cookbook’ published by Kyle Books with photography by Susan Bell.

 

Lamb Shank Tagine

Lamb Shank Tagine

This is ideal entertaining food, as it can either be prepared in advance or it will sit patiently in the oven while you assemble the rest of the meal. It also freezes well. Saffron adds an earthy flavour and golden colour to the dish, but if you don’t have it, leave it out. And if you are being very low-carb, leave the prunes out.

 

SERVES 6

6 lamb shanks, approx. 350–400g

(12–14oz) each

4 tablespoons dripping, lard or extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, finely sliced into half moons

3 fat garlic cloves, lightly crushed

1 leek, finely chopped

6 prunes, pitted (optional)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 heaped teaspoon ground turmeric

1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon saffron strands (optional)

2.5 litres (4. pints) hot meat or chicken stock or hot water

salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/340F/gas mark 3.

Season the lamb shanks with a teaspoon of salt.

Heat the fat in a very large ovenproof saucepan or casserole dish and brown the lamb shanks. It will take around 30 minutes to get them really brown on all sides and on each flat end; keep turning them as each side browns.

Use tongs to remove the shanks from the pan and set aside in another dish or bowl. If there is a lot of fat, pour most of this away, but leave enough in the pan to fry the vegetables.

Add the onion, garlic and leek to the same pan and sweat them over a medium heat for 7–10 minutes or until the vegetables are translucent.

Return the lamb shanks to the casserole dish and add the remaining ingredients. Season with another teaspoon of salt and some pepper and bring to the boil. Push the lamb shanks under the surface of the liquid.

Cover with a lid or tightly with foil (or transfer to a tagine)and cook in the oven for about 2. hours or until the meat falls from the bone.

Scatter with the coriander sprigs and serve with cauliflower couscous.

Per serving 5.8g carbs, 1.4g fibre, 50g protein, 32g fat, 515kcal

 

Tandoori Salmon and Prawns on Indian Flower Salad

Zahda’s Tandoori Salmon and Prawns on Indian Flower Salad

This recipe is from the Punjab where Zahda Saeed’s family originated. Zahda is a teacher and runs supper clubs. She loves to teach her style of Indian cooking passed down through the generations. Tandoori chicken is usually made using chicken thigh meat but works just as well with seafood. If you are using chicken thigh meat cook it for an extra 10–20 minutes. Zahda often cooks barbecue-style for her large family and can entertain up to 20 people at a time so she likes to prepare and marinate meat and fish the night before and cook it the next day. Equally, when she was a working mum she would prepare this recipe in the morning and cook it in the oven for supper for her children. She likes the fact that it is healthy Indian food and serves it with warmed pittas and salad. The yellow egg powder adds a rich orangey red colour to the dish but it can be left out if you prefer a replace with turmeric for a golden colour.

We have designed our Indian flower salad to go with the flavours and textures of either the seafood or chicken version of the dish, based on what we grow in the garden in summer and exotic ingredients from our local Asian store. Ajwain is a seed that tastes a little like dried sage so if you can’t find it use sage instead or omit it altogether. This can be made at any time of year, you just won’t get the flowers so add a few coriander leaves instead. I have a bit of a thing for flowers as they just add such colour and zing to a dish. I particularly like the purple-blue star of the borage flowers against the orange mango.

 

Serves 6

 

For the fish or meat and marinade

1kg salmon fillet, skin-on and pin-boned and

8–10 shell-on tiger prawns

or 1.2 kilo boneless, skin-on chicken thighs

2 teaspoons salt

juice of 1 lemon

100g natural yogurt

6 garlic cloves, grated

¼ teaspoon ajwain or dried sage (optional)

2-3 heaped teaspoons chilli powder, according to taste

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon garam masala

1 teaspoon raw mild honey, optional

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

¼ teaspoon egg yellow powder or turmeric for colour (optional)

 

For the Indian flower salad

25g coconut shavings or desiccated coconut

50g cashews

2 large handfuls of sweet and strongly flavoured salad leaves, such as soft round lettuce, Little Gem, rocket, mustard, mizuna or nasturtium

1 mango, cut into 2cm dice

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

a large handful of edible flowers, such as nasturtium, blue borage, thyme, sage or coriander

1 avocado, sliced

 

For the dressing

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice (approx. 1 small lemon)

1 teaspoon clear honey

¼–½ red chilli, according to taste, finely chopped

1 heaped teaspoon finely grated fresh root ginger

salt

Per serving: Total carbs: 19.5g, fibre 5g, protein 50g, fat 33.5g, 574 kcal

Cut the salmon into 5cm cubes. Put the salmon and prawns or chicken, into a large bowl with the salt and the lemon juice and toss to combine. Leave for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the marinade by combining the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add the fish and prawns or meat to the marinade with any juices from the bowl and leave to marinate, covered, in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

Preheat the grill to 200°C/gas mark 6. Space out the pieces of salmon (not the prawns) or chicken onto a rack with a tray underneath to catch the juices. Splash any leftover marinade over the top and cook the salmon for 15–20 minutes or the chicken for 30–35 minutes. Start the chicken skin side up and turn when crispy to cook the underside. Add the prawns to the salmon for the last 5 minutes or until cooked through.

Toast the coconut and cashews separately (the coconut is quicker to cook) until lightly browned on a baking tray in the oven while the fish or chicken is cooking. Keep an eye on them as they burn easily and will be done in 5 minutes or so. This can also be done in a dry frying pan.

Arrange the salad ingredients apart from the flowers onto a serving dish.

Mix the dressing ingredients, altering the seasoning to taste with salt and chilli; drizzle over the salad and scatter the flowers over the top. Serve the salmon and prawns or chicken alongside the salad.

Tip

This recipe also works well on a barbecue in which case the pieces of meat or fish would be threaded onto skewers for easy turning over the coals. Make sure the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear when pierced with a skewer.

This recipe is from ‘Around the World in Salads’ published by Kyle Books with photography by Helen Cathcart. See here to purchase.

Watermelon and Feta Salad with a mint dressing…

Watermelon and Feta Salad with Mint Vinaigrette

 

Serves 4–6

For the dressing

8g mint leaves (no thick stems)

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

60ml extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

For the salad

500g watermelon flesh, deseeded and cut into 3cm cubes

200g feta cheese, cut into rough 1 x 3cm rectangles

150g cucumber, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes

a few small mint leaves, to garnish

 

Whizz the dressing ingredients together in a blender until smooth, it will be flecked with green. Mix the melon, cheese and cucumber gently together with the dressing. Enjoy straight away or keep in the fridge for up to 4 hours. Serve in chilled glasses and garnish with the mint leaves.

Per serving between four: Total carbs: 12.7g, fibre 1g, protein 8.1g, fat 24.5g, 295kcal

This recipe is from our book Around the World in Salads published by Kyle Books copies are available here.

Photography by Helen Cathcart.