As of a couple of weeks ago, I reverted back to a low carb diet (lifestyle), as my body dictated so, apparently. I’ll be referring back to some posts from a couple of years ago to keep sane in certain situations. But for now -one of the principal rules for this lifestyle is ALWAYS BE PREPARED! So it begins again #lowcarbdiaries …

Nigella describes this soup as ‘almost-instant’ in her recipe, and I have to agree. You can basically go from start to having a comforting soup on the table in 15 minutes, with next to no prep time. Of course if you like you could add some other ingredients, such as onion and garlic, or some pancetta/prawns/tofu to add interest, and protein. I kept it extremely simple this time. Y

ou will need:

2 tablespoons Green Thai Curry paste (or to taste)

1 400ml can of coconut milk

500g frozen spinach (or fresh, if you prefer)

250ml freshly boiled water 1/3 cube or mixed herbs / vegetable broth

optional chili flakes / fried pancetta / cooked prawns IMG_20150927_203835 In a deep pot, dissolve the Green Thai Curry paste in a little coconut milk over a medium flame. Stir until consistent, then add the remaining coconut milk, and the frozen spinach. Dissolve the stock in 250ml boiled water, and add to your pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes until all the spinach has heated through. Taste, and adjust flavour with salt and pepper. Serve hot, with garnish or toppings of your choice.


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This recipe took a bit of time to make, but in my opinion the result is worth the effort. In addition, the stuffed onions reheat well and they can be used at BBQs too, just cook the second stage on the BBQ with the onion wrapped in foil. Make a few while you’re at it! The following amounts make 2 very large onions but with leftovers for a little wonderful treat too i.e. you could probably fill 4 large onions in reality, or 6 small ones.

You will need:

– either one large or 2 small-medium white onions

– 250 grams minced beef

– 2 teaspoons cumin

– 2 cloves of garlic

– 1 cup beef broth (1/4 cube in water)

– 1/2 cup grated cheese e.g. Parmesan / Grana

– 1 egg

How to make it:

First off you will need to peel and prepare your onions. Remove all inedible skin and then flatten at both ends, ideally using medium to large onions.

Set some water to boil and depending on the size of the onion you need to cook sufficiently to be able to remove some of the middle layers without letting the outer layers come apart. When using very large onions, I needed to boil them for 30 minutes until they were soft enough. Medium onions will need about 15 minutes. You can test their readiness by inserting a knife into the centre, when they are ready for the next stage, the flesh will give easily.

Scoop out of the water and let them cool for ten minutes before attempting to remove the inner layers with a spoon, leaving about 3 layers on the outside and they should look something like this:

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Whilst your onion is cooling down, set your oven to pre-heat to 180 degrees C.

Once you scoop out the inner layers, chop these up and transfer them to a heated pan with a dollop of olive oil. You might not want to use all the onion pieces if you had very large onions to start off with. Add the garlic and meat and cook until all the meat has browned.

Turn off the heat and while your mixture is still in the pan, add half the cheese and the egg and mix thoroughly.

Place the onions in an oven dish and stuff the insides with your mixture to the very top. Cover the tops with the remaining cheese. Pour your stock around the onions and place in the oven for 30 minutes, making sure to pour some stock from the dish itself over the top of the onions (you can do this with a teaspoon, be careful it will be very hot!) half way through.

While the oven was hot, I decided to cook an aubergine too. I wrapped this in foil and let it cook for 30 minutes. Then I scooped out the insides after letting it cool for a few minutes. I mixed the insides of the aubergine with the remaining meat mixture and then topped this up with leftover onion pieces and some cumin and olive oil. Then I cooked this for a further 30 minutes. Delicious!

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This meal was a delight for all the senses. You can prepare a vegetarian version and it will still be very tasty – simply omit the bacon and prawns and there is really no need to substitute with anything else (although adding some nuts would be fun) because the flavours are already there. This was my starting point, then I did my usual thing of taking a tangent…

Incidentally – the correct spelling is Brussels sprout.

You will need:

A big bunch of fresh spinach; rinsed and dried and with rough stalks removed.

A dozen or so brussels sprouts

2 or more rashers of bacon, chopped

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 – 2 cups shelled king prawns

Method:

Heat up a nonstick deep pan and cook your bacon (doesn’t need additional oil) until crisp or to your liking. Remove from the pan, keep any oils that came out of the bacon and if necessary (i.e. there is approximately less than one tablespoon of fat left in the pan) add some olive oil.

In the meantime, wash and remove any dried up parts of the brussels sprouts. Chop off the very outer edge of the stalk. Peel off a few leaves from each brussels sprout until they become too fiddly to remove. This step is not obligatory if you don’t have the patience; however the little ‘cups’ of brussels sprout leaves will be perfect for holding juicy flavours. Slice the rest of each brussels sprout.

Place the sliced brussels sprouts in the pan, flat surface down and add some drops of balsamic vinegar (be careful because this will cause a splatter with the oil). Let them brown for a few minutes before flipping them around and adding the leaves that you removed earlier.

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Make some space in your pan and add the prawns. Let them cook for 1-2 minutes before turning them around. Add the bacon that you cooked earlier add some freshly ground pepper and rock salt, then cover everything with the spinach. Cover your pan with a lid and let it be for 3-4 minutes.

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By now the spinach would have wilted and the prawns cooked.

To plate: divide the spinach into two plates and form a flat pile. Stir and serve the rest of the ingredients on top of this. Garnish with roasted pine nuts and freshly ground pepper.

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