Raw cauliflower sushi

Raw cauliflower sushiI am aware that cauliflower sushi is not new, however, I have never really been bothered to try it. Given my recent injury (a sliced tendon in my right thumb – read about how it happened here) I had a little bit of extra spare time with less training and time off work. So I had a go at making Raw cauliflower sushi.

I put my own spin on this recipe by using a few good tablespoons of tahini to help the cauliflower ‘sushi rice’ stick together. The tahini also gave it a nutty, smoky flavour. I roasted some thin strips of pumpkin in a drizzle of sesame oil and soy sauce to use as a filling, along with baby spinach, carrot, cucumber, red capsicum and avocado. The dipping sauce consisted of soy sauce, tahini, rice wine vinegar, some ground ginger and a touch of erythritol for sweetness.

So what is the verdict? Pretty damn tasty and not too difficult to prepare either. I just threw the cauliflower into the food processor along with the tahini, as well as some rice wine vinegar and a touch of honey, and processed it until it formed almost a thick paste. I spread this onto my nori sheets with wet hands and prepared it in exactly the same way as preparing normal sushi. I was quite impressed with this low carb version of sushi.

Raw cauliflower sushi

Makes 4 rolls

Ingredients

Cauliflower ‘sushi rice’

1 small head of cauliflower or ¾ of a large head, broken up into florets

4 tablespoons tahini

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons honey (swap with another sweetener for a vegan version)

 

4 nori sheets

Fillings – roast pumpkin, spinach, thinly sliced carrot, capsicum, cucumber and avocado (or any other fillings you like)

Utensils

Food processor

Chopping board

Sharp knife

Measuring cups and spoons

Sushi mat

Cup of water

Method

  • Add the cauliflower florets gradually to a food processor and process until the cauliflower resembles the texture of rice.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients and process until the cauliflower rice starts to form a thick paste.
  • Lay one nori sheet on to the sushi mat. Spread out the cauliflower ‘sushi rice’ using wet hands on two thirds of the nori sheet.
  • Place the fillings at the end of the nori sheet covered with the cauliflower sushi rice (if you are unsure how to prepare sushi Google it).
  • Wrap up the sushi roll using the sushi mat. Seal the nori with wet fingers. Chill in the fridge while you preparing the remaining rolls of sushi.
  • Slice the sushi rolls into bite size pieces with a sharp knife and serve with dipping sauce.

Creamy mustard and chive chicken with mashed cauliflower (low calorie, low carb)

Creamy mustard and chive chickenI arrived home tonight after a massive day, which consisted of 2.5 hours of cycling starting at 4:30am this morning, with about 1300m of elevation, followed by a 10 hour day in the lab. I had one thing on my mind – food. As I was driving home I thought to myself ‘Could I really be bothered cooking dinner when I get home? Perhaps I will just have some scrambled eggs.” But, being the foodie that I am, I ended up putting in a bit of effort and making this low calorie, low carb Creamy mustard and chive chicken.

I am competing in a 20km trail running race this Saturday, so I have reduced my training this week so that I feel fresh. This means that I need to keep an eye on the amount of calories I am consuming so that I don’t start the race carrying extra weight. Therefore, I kept the calories low in this meal by cooking the chicken in water and vegetable stock and using Greek yoghurt to create the creaminess.

I am all about practical and affordable recipes on this blog and fresh chives are not something that I expect most people would have in their fridge. The only reason why I used fresh chives was because we have some growing on our balcony. If you don’t have fresh chives then dried chives would be fine. Or just leave them out altogether and make this dish Creamy mustard chicken.

I served mine with mashed steamed cauliflower mixed with a little bit of tahini and salt, which was delicious. If you require additional carbohydrates serve this with mashed potatoes or some rice.

Creamy mustard and chive chicken

Makes 2 serves

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts, cubed

1 vegetable stock cube

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 red capsicum, diced

300 grams mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons hot English or Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped

1 cup Greek yoghurt

Salt and pepper, to taste

Utensils

Sharp knife

Chopping board (I like to use separate chopping boards for vegetables and meat – you become hyperaware of cross contamination as a microbiologist)

Non-stick saucepan

Wooden spoon

Measuring cups and spoons

Method

  • Crumble the vegetable stock cube into the saucepan and add enough water to line the bottom of the saucepan. Add the chicken and garlic to the saucepan and cook over medium to high heat adding water as necessary to prevent sticking.
  • Once the chicken is cooked through, add in the capsicum and mushrooms. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
  • Turn the heat down to low and add in the mustard, chives, Greek yoghurt, salt and pepper. Mix well and simmer until the sauce thickens.

Sesame chickpea and halloumi salad with Creamy roast garlic dressing

Sesame chickpea halloumi salad 2If you haven’t experimented with halloumi cheese then you need to start. This cheese is so delicious, is lower in fat content than hard cheeses (halloumi has 25 grams of fat per 100 grams while tasty cheese has 36 grams of fat per 100 grams), is high in protein (20 grams per 100 grams) and is very low in carbohydrates. Pan-fry several slices as a filling addition to a salad or to serve along side poached eggs and avocado.

I used halloumi cheese last night to make this tasty and healthy whole food salad. It was easy to prepare, satisfying and packed with dietary fibre, as well as a range of vitamins and minerals thanks to the kale, tomatoes and avocadoes.

The ingredients are nothing too complicated or out of the ordinary; canned chickpeas baked with sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and chilli flakes, kale massaged with olive oil, lemon juice and salt, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, pan fried halloumi cheese and a delicious dressing made with roasted garlic, Greek yoghurt, tahini, white wine vinegar and salt – a simple Sunday night dinner.

Sesame chickpea halloumi saladSesame chickpea and halloumi salad with Creamy roast garlic dressing

Makes 2 serves

Ingredients

Sesame chickpeas

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I did not use all of the chickpeas – save some for a salad the following day)

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

½ tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Sprinkle of chilli flakes

Creamy roast garlic dressing

1 clove garlic, roasted

¼ cup Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon tahini

1 tablespoon water

Salt

Salad

Two handfuls of kale leaves (Aldi now sells chopped kale by the bag which I am very pleased about!!)

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Salt

1 tomato, diced

½ cup cucumber, diced

½ an avocado

250 grams halloumi cheese

Utensils

Baking tray (I used a silicone non-stick tray)

Measuring cups and spoons

Spoon

Aluminum foil

Small mixing bowl

Salad bowl

Sharp knife

Chopping board

Non-stick fry pan

Tongs

Method

  • For the Sesame chickpeas place the drained and rinsed chickpeas into a baking tray. Cover them with the sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and chilli flakes and mix until the chickpeas are covered. Bake the chickpeas at 170°C for about 30 minutes.
  • To roast the garlic, wrap a peeled garlic clove in foil and roast in the oven at 170°C for about 20 minutes. Mix the roasted garlic clove (which will be mushy) with the Greek yoghurt, vinegar, tahini, water and salt.
  • Place the chopped kale into a salad bowl. Drizzle the kale with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Massage the kale until it softens and is well covered with the oil, lemon juice and salt.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, cucumber and avocado.
  • Slice the halloumi cheese (about ½ cm thick) and pan fry in a non-stick fry pan over medium heat until the cheese is golden brown on both sides.
  • Add the Sesame chickpeas to the salad and divide between two plates. Top the salad with slices of the fried halloumi cheese and the Creamy roast garlic dressing.

Spinach, pumpkin and chickpea patties with Carrot tzatziki

Spinach pumpkin chickpea pattiesThis meal is absolutely loaded with vegetables. I baked these tasty Spinach, pumpkin and chickpea patties to keep them low in calories, but they are still full of flavour. I served them with a tasty Carrot tzatziki. I used the food processor to do the majority of the work for the patties and the tzatziki, so it was actually quite simple, too. Serve the patties with a side salad for a complete meal.

Spinach, pumpkin and chickpea patties

Makes 10 small patties

Ingredients

1 cup pumpkin, cubed

200 grams frozen spinach

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 clove garlic

¼ cup fresh chives (I used chives because I have some growing in a pot, but fresh parsley would work too)

½ tablespoon dried basil (or fresh if you have it)

Salt

Pepper

1/3 cup coconut flour, sifted

1 egg

Utensils

Sharp knife

Chopping board

Measuring cups and spoons

Medium sized pot

Strainer

Food processor

Large baking tray

Baking paper

Spoon

Spatula

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
  • Boil enough water in a pot to cover the pumpkin well. Once the water is boiling add in the cubed pumpkin and the frozen spinach and boil until the pumpkin is soft.
  • Meanwhile, add the rinsed chickpeas to a food processor along with the garlic and herbs. Process until the chickpeas form a smooth paste.
  • Once the pumpkin is soft, drain the pumpkin and spinach. To save washing up, add the processed chickpeas to the pot. Now add the boiled pumpkin and spinach to the food processor and process until smooth. Add the processed pumpkin and spinach back into the pot along with the chickpeas. Mix to combine.
  • Add the coconut flour, egg and salt and pepper to taste to the pattie mixture. Mix well.
  • Line the baking tray with baking paper. Use the spoon to scoop out 10 small patties onto the lined baking tray. Flatten and smooth the patties with the back of the spoon. Bake at 170°C for 45 minutes (if you feel like carefully flipping them after 30 minutes you can, but it is not totally necessary).

Carrot tzatziki

Carrot tzatziki

Ingredients

1 clove garlic, roasted

2 small or 1 medium carrot, peeled

1 cup Greek yoghurt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey

½ teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon paprika

Salt

Utensils

Foil

Sharp knife

Peeler

Measuring cups and spoons

Food processor

Method

  • Peel the clove of garlic and wrap it in foil. Roast the garlic in the oven at 170°C for 15 minutes.
  • Cut the ends off the carrots and peel. Roughly chop the peeled carrots and add them to the food processor. Process them until they are finely chopped.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients and process until all ingredients are well combined.

Cauliflower rice sushi bowl with teriyaki chicken

Cauliflower rice sushi bowlI quite like sushi but there are several reasons why I don’t really buy/eat/make it anymore. 1. I don’t really want to eat the carbs (it is easier for me to maintain a healthy weight range by avoiding refined carbs). 2. It’s quite expensive and not overly filling. 3. I am not willing to devote the time to making it. But having a sushi bowl with cauliflower rice resolves all of these issues. 1. I eliminated the refined carbs. 2. These sushi bowls are cheap to make. 3. These sushi bowls are quick and easy to make.

I quickly prepared the teriyaki marinade and chopped the chicken before work, then in between cooking the chicken this evening I made the sauce and chopped the salad ingredients. Very simple, fresh, tasty and healthy. If you want extra calories/carbohydrates replace the cauliflower rice with steamed white rice.

Cauliflower rice sushi bowl with teriyaki chicken

Makes 2 serves

Ingredients

Teriyaki chicken

2 chicken breasts, cubed

½ cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

½ tablespoon stevia

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

A few sprinkles of chilli flakes and onion powder

 

2 cups cauliflower rice

1 carrot, julienned

¼ of a cucumber, diced

1 cup shredded lettuce

1 – 2 yaki nori sushi sheets (depending on how much you like), cut into bite size pieces

Sauce

4 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

½ teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon honey

½ teaspoon ground ginger

Utensils

Measuring cups and spoons

Large bowl with a lid (to marinate chicken)

Chopping board

Sharp knife

Non-stick fry pan

Wooden spoon

Food processor

Small mixing bowl

Spoon

Method

  • Mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, stevia, ground ginger, garlic, chilli flakes and onion powder in a large mixing bowl. Add in the cubed chicken breasts and stir until the chicken is completely coated.
  • Put the lid on the bowl and allow the chicken to marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
  • Cook the chicken over high heat in a non-stick fry pan, stirring often.
  • Divide the cauliflower rice between two bowls and microwave for 3 minutes.
  • To prepare the sauce mix all the ingredients together well in a small mixing bowl.
  • To assemble the sushi bowls cover the cauliflower rice with the carrot, cucumber and shredded lettuce. Top with the teriyaki chicken and pieces of yaki nori sheets and drizzle with sauce.

Low carb bibimbap

Given that my article entitled “Everything you always wanted to know about fermented foods” has just been published on the informative blog Science-Based Medicine I thought that I would re-post this older post on how to make low carb bibimbap. It is a very tasty way to use kimchi .

I have not actually holidayed in South Korea. I have only stopped at the airport a number of times on transit to other parts of the world. But every time I stop at Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea, I head straight for the food court to get a big bowl of bibimbap. If you are not familiar with bibimbap it is a signature Korean dish meaning ‘mixed rice’. It is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with various seasoned vegetables, and a delicious and spicy sauce containing sunchang gochujang, (a Korean hot pepper paste made from red chilli, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and salt) soy sauce and sesame oil. A fried egg and beef are also often added to this dish. I also love to top it with kimchi. Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables, most commonly napa cabbage, with a variety of seasonings, the most common including brine, scallions, spices, ginger, chopped radish, garlic, shrimp sauce and fish sauce.

Bibimbap is actually a very nutritious meal, however, I normally limit refined carbohydrates in my diet, so I set out to make a low carbohydrate, simpler version. This is not a dish that I would consider making on a week night, unless I had the seasoned vegetables and marinated meat left over from the weekend. I suggest that if you are going to prepare this meal, leave it to the weekend.

Bibimbap step 14

The nutritional components of bibimbap

As I was writing this post, I did a little bit of research into the components of bibimbap and came across the reported health benefits of kimchi. As it is a fermented product, I assumed that the bacteria contained within it were likely to be beneficial by adding variety to your existing gut microbial community, known as the microbiome. The predominant lactic acid bacteria involved in the fermentation process of kimchi include Weissella, Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc and Pedicoccus species (1 – 3). I came across a number of studies reporting various health benefits of kimchi including cancer prevention (4 – 7) and anti-obesity effects (8 – 10). Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that kimchi is going to cure cancer, and I also noticed that one of these studies was supported by the Globalization of Korean Food R and D program (slightly suspicious), but including this nutritious, fermented food as a part of your diet may have benefits to your long-term health.

I also discovered that sesame seeds and sesame oil contain a range of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron and vitamin B (in the whole seed only) and, interestingly, contain some of the group of natural compounds known as lignans. Sesame lignans include sesamin, sesamolin and sesaminol (11). There has been quite a bit of research into these lignans and studies have shown that the lignans display antioxidative properties, meaning these compounds can scavenge free radicals which can lead to life style disease such as circulatory disorders and aging (12 – 14) and may have serum lipid-lowering effects in experimental animals and humans. One recent study entitled Comparative Effects of Sesame Seeds Differing in Lignan Contents and Composition on Fatty Acid Oxidation in Rat Liver looked at groups of 6 – 7 rats starting with the same average body weight fed different experimental diets for 16 days. These experimental diets contained the same protein, fat, and fibre content, and mineral and vitamin composition, but either did not contain sesame or contained 200g/kg of one of 4 different variety of sesame. The results showed that those rats feed the diets containing sesame seeds had significantly increased levels of various hepatic enzymes involved in fatty acid oxidation and significantly decreased levels of enzymes involved in fatty acid synthesis. Serum triacylglycerol (type of lipid or fat) concentrations were significantly lower in the groups of rats fed the diets containing sesame seeds compared to the rats fed the control diet without sesame seeds. However, this study found that hepatic or liver cholesterol levels were higher in the rats fed the diets with sesame seeds and that after the 16 days there was no significant difference in the body weight of the rats in each group (15). I am not going to go into any more detail about the health benefits of sesame seeds and oil, but I found these antioxidant and serum lipid-lowering properties of the lignans quite interesting. Again, I am not declaring sesame seeds as a cure for disease, part as a part of whole food diet, consisting predominantly of vegetables and quality protein, sesame seeds may have benefits to your long term health.

In addition to the kimchi and sesame seeds served with bibimbap, the vitamins and minerals from the fresh and seasoned vegetables and the protein and fat from the meat and eggs make this a very nutritious and tasty meal so head down to your local Asian grocery store and get cooking!

Low carbohydrate bibimbap

Makes 2 large serves with a small amount left over (could be made into a third serve with an extra egg)

Ingredients

Meat

250 grams lean mince

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

½ brown onion

1 clove garlic, minced

Seasoned spinach

250 grams fresh spinach

1 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon soy sauce

½ tablespoon sesame oil

Seasoned bean sprouts

125 grams mung bean sprouts

1 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon soy sauce

½ tablespoon sesame oil

Bibimbap sauce

2 tablespoons Sunchang gochujang

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

Seasoned mushrooms

½ tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon shallots, finely sliced

1 cup mushroom, thinly sliced

½ clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon ground ginger

Water for cooking

1 carrot, peeled

1 Lebanese cucumber

2 eggs, fried

Kimchi to serve (see Note below)

2 cups cauliflower rice

Method

Step 1 – Take a trip to your local Asian supermarket and purchase Sunchang gochujang (I like the brand Daesang), kimchi, sesame oil, sesame seeds and bean sprouts.

Bibimbap step 1

Step 2 – Marinate your meat by combining the mince with the soy sauce, sesame oil, onion and garlic.

Bibimbap step 2

Step 3 – Pour yourself a drink. It makes the process more enjoyable.

Step 4 – Roast 4 tablespoons of sesame seeds in a dry non-stick frying pan, stirring often.

Bibimbap step 4

Step 5 – Mince all the garlic and shallots.

Bibimbap step 5

Step 6 – Prepare the bibimbap sauce by combining the gochujang, sesame oil, honey, water, roasted sesame seeds, white vinegar and garlic into a small bowl and mix well.

Bibimbap step 6

Step 7 – Julienne the carrots and cucumber.

Bibimbap step 7

Step 8 – Prepare the seasoned spinach. I used frozen spinach to make life easier. Thaw the frozen spinach in the microwave for 4 – 5 minutes. Mix in the shallots, garlic, roasted sesame seeds, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Bibimbap step 8

Step 9 – Prepare the bean sprouts by mixing the shallots, garlic, roasted sesame seeds, soy sauce and sesame oil through the fresh bean sprouts.

Bibimbap step 9

Step 10 – Prepare the cauliflower ‘rice’. In order to reduce the carbohydrates and calories in this dish I used cauliflower ‘rice’ instead of white rice. The cauliflower ‘rice’ still has the same texture as white rice and absorbs all the flavours of the bibimbap. Add 2 cups of cauliflower florets to a food processor and process until a rice-like texture has formed.

Bibimbap step 10

Step 11 – Prepare seasoned mushrooms. This step is my own addition to bibimbap. Traditionally, shitake mushrooms are used in this dish, but to be honest, I just don’t really like them. So instead I made these seasoned mushrooms. Add the sesame oil to a non-stick pan and cook the shallots until soft. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the mushrooms are soft. Add water as required to prevent sticking.

Bibimbap step 11

Step 12 – Cook the marinated mince in a fry pan.

Bibimbap step 12

Step 13 – Fry the eggs. I prefer my yolk hard so I flipped the eggs, however, you can leave them sunny side up if you prefer a runny yolk.

Bibimbap step 13

Step 14 – Assemble the bibimbap by dividing the cauliflower ‘rice’ between 2 serving bowls. Top with the meat, seasoned spinach and bean sprouts, seasoned mushrooms, carrot, cucumber and the fried egg. Drizzle the bibimbap sauce over the top (see top photo).

Step 15 – Mix it all together and EAT!

Bibimbap step 15

  1. Choi, H. J., Cheigh, C. I., Kim, S. B., Lee, J. C., Lee, D. W., Choi, S. W. (2002). Weissella kimchii sp. nov., a novel lactic acid bacterium from kimchi. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 52:507–11.
  2. Kim, M., Chun, J. Bacterial community structure in kimchi, a Korean fermented vegetable food, as revealed by 16S rRNA gene analysis.(2005). Int J Food Microbiol. 103:91–6.
  3. Chang, J. Y., Chang, H. C. (2010). Improvements in the quality and shelf life of kimchi by fermentation with the induced bacteriocin-producing strain, Leuconostoc citreum GJ7 as a starter. J Food Sci. 75:M103–10.
  4. Kim, B. K., Choi, J. M., Kang, S. A., Park, K. Y., Cho, E. J. (2014). Antioxidative effects of Kimchi under different fermentation stage on radical-induced oxidative stress. Nutr Res Pract. 8(6):638-43.
  5. Hur YM, Kim SH, Park KY. (1999). Inhibitory effects of Kimchi extracts on the growth and DNA synthesis of human cancer cells. J Food Sci Nutr. 4:107–12.
  6. Badel, S., Bernardi, T., Michaud, P. (2011). New perspectives for Lactobacilli exopolysaccharides. Biotechnol Adv. 29:54-66.
  7. Son, T., Kim, S., Park, K. (1998). Antimutagenic activities of lactic acid bacteria isolated from kimchi. J Korean Assoc Cancer Prev. 3:65–74.7.
  8.  Han, K., Bose, S., Wang, J. H., Kim, B. S., Kim, M. J., Kim, E. J., Kim, H. (2015). Contrasting effects of fresh and fermented kimchi consumption on gut microbiota composition and gene expression related to metabolic syndrome in obese Korean women. Mol Nutr Food Res. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201400780.
  9. Choi, I. H., Noh, J. S., Han, J.-S., Kim, H. J., et al., (2013). Kimchi, a fermented vegetable, improves serum lipid profiles in healthy young adults: randomized clinical trial. Journal of medicinal food. 16: 223-229.
  10. Kim, E. K., An, S.-Y., Lee, M.-S., Kim, T. H., et al., (2011). Fermented kimchi reduces body weight and improves metabolic parameters in overweight and obese patients. Nutrition Research. 31: 436-443.
  11. Namiki, M. (2007). Nutraceutical Functions of Sesame: A Review. Crit Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 47: 651 – 73.
  12. Namiki, M. (1995). The chemistry and physiological functions of sesame. Food Rev. Int. 11: 281 – 329.
  13. Nakano, D., Kwak, C. J., Fujii, K., Ikemura, K., Satake, A., Ohkita, M., Takaoka, M., Ono, Y., Nakai, M., Tomimori, N., Kiso, Y.; Matsumura, Y. (2006). Sesamin metabolites induce an endothelial nitric oxide-dependent vasorelaxation through their antioxidative property-independent mechanisms: possible involvement of the metabolites in the antihypertensive effect of sesamin. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 318: 328-335.
  14. Nakano, D., Itoh, C., Ishii, F., Kawanishi, H., Takaoka, M., Kiso, Y., Tsuruoka, N., Tanaka, T., Matsumura, Y. (2003). Effects of sesamin on aortic oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction in deoxycorticosterone acetate-salt hypertensive rats. Biol. Pharm. Bull. 26: 1701-1705.
  15. Ide, T., Azechi, A., Kitade, S., Kunimatsu, Y., Suzuki, N., Nakajima, C. and Ogata, N. (2015). Comparative effects of sesame seeds differing in lignan contents and composition on Fatty Acid oxidation in rat liver. J Oleo Sci. 64: 211-22.

Roast pumpkin, feta and olive quiche with a low carb crust

Roast pumpkin feta olive quicheI regularly make crustless quiches because I try to avoid the refined carbohydrates typically used to make the crust. Then it occurred to me that surely, after all my years of eating low carb, I could come up with a refined carbohydrate free quiche crust (it is actually more of a base than a crust but I will refer to it as a crust). I used processed walnuts and coconut flour rather than traditional wheat flour, and added parmesan cheese for extra flavour. Homemade coconut butter and coconut milk were used as the binder. I used this low carb crust for a Roast pumpkin, feta and olive quiche, which was nutritious and tasty served warm or cold the following day.

Roast pumpkin feta olive quiche slice

There is not actually a great deal of preparation time involved in this recipe, however, due to the time required to roast of the pumpkin and the pre-bake the crust, this is not a recipe I would make on a weeknight. Save this for the weekend.

Roast pumpkin, feta and olive quiche with a low carb crust

Ingredients

Crust

1 cup walnuts

¾ cup coconut flour

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Salt

2 heaped tablespoons coconut butter (find out how to make coconut butter here) or coconut oil

½ cup coconut milk

 

¼ of a Jap pumpkin (about 500 grams), peeled and chopped into small cubes

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Balsamic vinegar

Salt

Pepper

6 eggs

12 black pitted olives, sliced

50 grams feta cheese, cubed

Utensils

Chopping board

Sharp knife

Large baking tray

Baking paper

Food processor

Large mixing bowl

Spoon

Round, deep quiche/tart dish

Roast pumpkin feta olive quiche 2Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the large baking tray with baking paper and spread out the chopped pumpkin on the lined baking tray. Sprinkle the pumpkin with the minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and roast it in the oven for about 30 minutes or until tender. Prepare the crust while the pumpkin is roasting.
  • Add the walnuts to a food processor and process until they form the texture of coarse crumbs. Tip the processed walnuts into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add in the coconut flour, salt and Parmesan cheese and mix to combine. Add in the coconut butter or oil and coconut milk and mix them into the dry ingredients.
  • Line the round, deep dish with baking paper (I had to overlap 2 pieces) and press the crust mixture evenly and firmly into the dish using wet hands. Bake the crust for 20 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown.
  • Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow it to cool. In the large mixing bowl combine the eggs, sliced olives and feta cheese. Add in the roast pumpkin along with the garlic covering it and stir it through the egg mixture.
  • Remove the base from the oven and pour the egg mixture over the base. Put the quiche back in the oven and cook it for about 45 minutes or until the quiche is completely firm. Allow it to cool before using the baking paper to remove the quiche from the dish (this can be tricky if you used overlapping pieces of baking paper so be careful). Slice and serve.