Slow cooked lamb with butter, cumin and paprika

Served 3/4 people

Half leg lamb

100g butter

Teaspoon of ground cumin

Teaspoon of smoked paprika

Salt and pepper

Mix the spices with the butter and then smother the lamb.

Place the lamb in a slow cooker (or casserole dish with lid). Cook slowly for at least 4 hours, basting with the butter mix regularly.

Serve with whatever you like, I served with stewed vegetables (Greek twist – see recipe)

The lamb literally falls apart.

Vegetables with a Greek(ish) twist

This served three of us (with lamb – see recipes for details of lamb dish).

One aubergine

One courgette

Two red onions

Tin of tomatoes

(You could also add some potatoes if not doing low carb)

Handful of green beans

Handful of black olives

Handful of chopped mint

Handful of goats cheese crumbled

Garlic cloves x2 crushed

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the chopped onions and green beans and season.

Cook for 5 minutes then add the diced aubergine, diced courgette and garlic. Cook for a further 10 minutes minutes then add the tin of tomatoes, fill can with some water and add this too. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes remove lid and let cook for a further 10 minutes. When you’re ready to serve, throw in the chopped fresh mint, cheese and olives and add another glug of oil.

Chicken, cheese and asparagus all wrapped in bacon

This was delicious and easy to do. I made the chicken ahead of going into work and left in the fridge until I needed to cook it.

Chicken breasts x3

One red onion – diced

Two sticks of celery – diced

Olive oil

Asparagus I used 2 to 3 per chicken breast

10 rashers of streaky bacon – 4 rashers diced (set aside the other 6)

Chicken stock – 250ml

Small tub of creme fraiche or cream

Salt & Pepper

Cheese of your choice (a lovely soft melty cheese works really well – I used taleggio) cut three chunks – good size to fit your chicken.

Parmesan grated

Firstly dice your celery, onion and 4 rashers of bacon and place (with a glug of olive oil) in a pan until soft and bacon is slightly browned – took approx 30 minutes on medium heat.

whilst that’s cooking down prepare your chicken.

Butterfly the chicken breast out (make a small pocket) so that you can fill with cheese and top with asparagus. Then grate some Parmesan and Season chicken.

Take the remaining bacon – 2 rashers per chicken breast. Place the chicken on the bacon. Now carefully roll up as tightly as you can and secure with a skewer/cocktail sticks. Rub a little olive oil over the chicken and bacon package.

I then placed the chicken (and the cooked down bacon/celery/onion mix) in the fridge for a couple of hours until I returned from work. You don’t need to do this although I would place chicken in the fridge for an hour to ensure the cheese is nice and solid for when you cook it later.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken (this takes approx 40 minutes) place the vegetables and chicken in a pan and cook chicken until brown – turning over ensuring a nice colour all round the chicken – takes approx 10 minutes to brown the chicken.

Once browned, add stock to the mix and cover the pan, cook for a further 20-30 minutes. Once chicken is cooked stir in the creme fraiche and serve.

I served it with roasted broccoli and courgette.

Sea Bass and Roasted Veggies

Serves 2

X2 sea bass (Filleted)

Aubergine

Courgette

Green pepper

Handful of cherry tomatoes

Lemon

Olive oil/butter

Fresh coriander

Chop green veg into chunks and place on a baking sheet with some olive oil, seasoning and half a lemon.

Place in a hot oven and roast for approx 45 minutes – keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

Meanwhile, 10/15 minutes before serving, melt a mix of butter, olive oil in a pan and place the fish skin side down in the pan – leave untouched for 5/6 minutes. Once browned, turn over and leave again for 4/5 minutes take off the heat and leave to sit for a couple of minutes whilst you plate up the veggies (squeezing some of the lemon over the veggies).

Serve with some fresh coriander and some of the lemon/oil mix from pan

Enjoy 😊

Growth

Life moves at such a quick pace that I sometimes forget to stop, take a moment and reflect on how far I have come. Sean and I have now been on this keto journey for just coming up to a year and I feel it was definitely the right move for us – maybe not for everyone but definitely right for us.

Along the way we’ve tried to incorporate other healthy lifestyle choices and I feel that they all go side by side. Now been doing Pilates once a week since January and I still absolutely love it and never want to miss a class, even arranging trips away around my classes – sad!

My running is still slow and i do wish I could improve on this – perhaps it feels almost too difficult and Un-achievable so continue at my plodder pace; telling myself something is better than nothing !

I’m 48, the best I’ve ever felt and trying to keep as fit and healthy as I can. So pat on the back to me, keep loving Pilates, keep running slowly and definitely keep eating low carb πŸ’™

Parmigiana Di Melanzane

I love this recipe, you can always add some chicken if you don’t want it to be meat free. Personally I think it’s amazing on its own.

You will need (this recipe was made with three aubergines and I served an entire aubergine as a portion. You could however serve this as a side dish, just slice across (in discs) and arrange in a dish instead of lengthwise like the above.

Aubergines x3

Large red onion

4 cloves of garlic

Olive oil

X2 tins of tomatoes

250g Mozzarella

150g Parmesan

Handful of Fresh basil

Seasoning

Chili flakes

Firstly slice the aubergines lengthwise fairly thinly and place on the side – sprinkle with salt and leave for an hour.

Then rinse the aubergines and pat dry. Now dry fry the aubergines in a hot pan (no oil in the pan) until browned on both sides – set aside on kitchen towel (this will allow for any moisture to be removed).

Meanwhile. Make the sauce – easy.

Dice the onion, peel the garlic and add a splash of olive oil to a pan.

Now add some chilli flakes – personal taste. Then add the tomatoes, seasoning and a cup of water. Leave to cook down and thicken for approx 45 minutes.

Once cooked and nicely thickened take a hand blender and blend everything together, add another glug of olive oil and stir.

Now take an oven dish and begin by putting a couple of spoonfuls of sauce in the bottom. Now place the aubergine slices in the dish and cover with a layer of sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and fresh basil

Then repeat until all the slices are arranged and top the final layer with everything apart from fresh basil, as this will burn.

Place in a hot oven (180) and cook for an hour.

Serve on its own, with chicken, salad or green veggies.

Garlic & Saffron Prawns with Asparagus, Cauliflower and Broccoli

Serves 4

Approx 750g Prawns / Clams / Mussels / Calamari (or whatever you love)

Head of broccoli

Small cauliflower

Small aubergine

Clove of garlic- crushed

Tsp paprika

Red onion

Pkt of asparagus tips

Celery stick x2

Olive oil

Rosemary

Bunch of fresh mint

Bunch of fresh parsley

Saffron

Turn the broccoli and cauliflower into rice by cutting away the stalk and blitzing in a food processor for a couple of minutes. Add to a large frying pan with a splash of water and juice of one lemon, cover and cook for approx 5 minutes.

Prepare your prawns if using shell on prawns, or use already prepared uncooked prawns. Place these in a marinade of olive oil, sprig of chopped fresh rosemary, salt and saffron. Leave for at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely dice the aubergine, celery, onion and add to another pan with a splash of olive oil, a tsp of paprika and the crushed garlic. Cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

Now add the vegetable mix to the broccoli and cauliflower rice and stir to combine everything. Add the chopped mint and parsley. Bunch of each.

Now take your mix of shellfish (whatever you like) and place in a pan with the asparagus and cook for approx 10 minutes with a little butter and splash of water.

Once cooked, transfer the broccoli and cauliflower mix to a bowl and top with the shellfish and asparagus.

Finally, finish with a large spoonful of full fat Greek yoghurt, fresh chopped mint and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and serve