Ginger and sesame mini cheesecakes (no refined carbohydrates)

Ginger sesame mini cheesecakesI have been experimenting with sesame flour lately. Sesame flour is very simple to make, not too expensive and is low in carbohydrates To make sesame flour I simply process sesame seeds into a coarse flour texture. Sesame flour has a nutty taste. I have not done a lot of baking with sesame flour but I have found that the texture works well in bases of cheesecakes and slices.

Sesame flour was the perfect ingredient to use for the base of these Asian inspired Ginger and sesame mini cheesecakes. I used a combination of sesame flour and coconut flour for the bases, along with erythritol, ground ginger, tahini and coconut oil. I used more ground ginger, tahini and sesame seeds in the cheesecakes, as well as low fat cream cheese, low fat coconut milk and 1 egg.

Ginger sesame cheesecakes 3The ground ginger adds spiciness while the sesame seeds and tahini add a delicious nutty flavour. Very tasty, low in carbohydrates and high in dietary fibre. The sesame seeds are quite nutritious too, as they are rich in a range of minerals, including copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1 and zinc. So eat up!

Ginger and sesame mini cheesecakes

Makes 6 mini cheesecakes

Ingredients

Base

½ cup sesame seeds

½ cup coconut flour

1 tablespoon erythritol

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon tahini

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Cheesecakes

2 x 250 gram tubs of low fat cream cheese

1/3 cup low fat coconut milk

2 teaspoons ground ginger

¼ cup erythritol

1 tablespoon tahini

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 egg

Utensils

Measuring cups and spoons

Food processor

Mixing bowl

Spoon

6 pan muffin tray

Baking paper

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 150°C.
  • To make the base firstly add the sesame seeds to a food processor and process until they resemble the texture of coarse crumbs. Tip the sesame flour into the mixing bowl.
  • Add in the coconut flour, erythritol and ground ginger and mix well to combine.
  • Add the tahini and coconut oil to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  • Line the pans of a muffin tray with baking paper. Divide the base mixture between the lined muffin tray pans and press down with wet hands until it is firm and even.
  • Bake the bases for 15 minutes at 150°C.
  • While the bases are baking prepare the cheesecake mixture by adding the low fat cream cheese, coconut milk, ground ginger, erythritol and tahini to the food processor.
  • Process until the mixture is even and smooth.
  • Add in the sesame seeds and egg and process until combined.
  • Remove the bases from the oven and although them to cool.
  • Pour the cheesecake mixture over the bases and smooth them out with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake the cheesecakes for about 40 minutes at 150°C.
  • Remove the cheesecakes from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature before removing them from the muffin tray using the excess baking paper.
  • Chill the mini cheesecakes completely in the fridge before serving.Ginger sesame mini cheesecake 2

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.

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.

Olive and Sriracha hummus

Make this tasty hummus as spicy as you like by varying the amount of Sriracha chilli sauce.

olive sriracha hummus

Olive and Sriracha hummus

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ a 350 gram jar of pitted kalamata olives, drained

1 heaped tablespoon of tahini

2 tablespoons coconut milk

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, roasted

Salt

Pepper

1 tablespoon Sriracha chilli sauce (vary this amount depending on your taste)

Utensils

Strainer

Measuring cups and spoons

Food processor

Spoon

Method

  • Add the chickpeas to the food processor and process until they are roughly chopped.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and process until the hummus is smooth (some lumps may still remain). Scrape the sides of the food processor as necessary.
  • Taste and add more Sriracha chilli sauce to achieve your desired spiciness.

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.

Healthy Coconut and blueberry soft serve (no refined carbohydrates)

Healthy Coconut and berry soft serveHere is the recipe for the Healthy Coconut and blueberry soft serve that I suggested you serve with my Low carb raw chocolate cookie dough. This is a variation of my usual ‘soft serve’ or ‘ice cream’ recipe (link to recipe here). The only real effort and time required to make this soft serve is in the processing of the frozen coconut milk and Greek yoghurt. This can take up to 10 minutes, however, it only involves you standing there and making sure that the food processor doesn’t bounce off the kitchen bench. Occasionally you may need to scrape the soft serve off the sides of the food processor bowl with a spoon, but this will allow you to have a taste of your delicious creation.

Healthy Coconut and blueberry soft serve

Makes 2 serves

Ingredients

250ml coconut milk

1 ½ cups Greek yoghurt

1/3 cup frozen blueberries

2 tablespoons desiccated coconut

½ teaspoon coconut essence

1 tablespoon stevia

Utensils

Measuring cups and spoons

Small containers to freeze the coconut milk and Greek yoghurt in (see examples here)

Sharp knife

Chopping board

Food processor

Spoon

Method

  • Pour the coconut milk and Greek yoghurt into the small containers. Freeze for at least two hours.
  • Remove the frozen coconut milk and Greek yoghurt from the containers by running hot water over the bottom of the containers.
  • Chop the frozen coconut milk and Greek yoghurt into chunks on a chopping board using a sharp knife. Gradually add the frozen chunks into a food processor until a ‘soft serve’ with a smooth, even consistency  is achieved. Add the blueberries, desiccated coconut, coconut essence and stevia to the food processor during the processing once the soft serve is almost at the required texture.
  • Divide the soft serve between two bowls and serve immediately or freeze for an additional 30 minutes for a firmer texture.