Rainbow chard and mushroom stir-fry

I love rainbow chard, and the fact that it is the most colourful member of the cabbage family. It has a lovely, earthy taste and doesn’t need much interference for this deliciousness to surface, making it a fabulous accompaniment for rich meaty dishes and light seafood or veggie dishes alike!

Rainbow chard – 200 g, roughly chopped (stems and leaves separated)
Mushrooms – 130 g, roughly chopped
Garlic − 3 cloves, minced
White wine − 4 tablespoons
Salt − ¼ teaspoon
Erythritol Gold− 2 teaspoons
Rapeseed oil spray
Ground black pepper to taste

Heat 1 spray olive oil in a wok, and sauté garlic on low heat until it starts to brown.
2. Add in the mushrooms and white wine, followed by chard stems. Keep the heat low. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
3. Add chard leaves and salt. Stir-fry until the leaves start to wilt.
4. Add the erythritol, and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Cabbage carbonara

I absolutely love spaghetti carbonara, but it is full of things that should not be part of my diet (spaghetti = refined carb; bacon, oil, egg yolk = saturated fat and cholesterol). So I created my own version, free of refined carbs and evil fats, and crossed it with my one of my favourite vegetables, cabbage! This also reminds me a little bit of a dish that my dad used to make when I was small, red cabbage in a creamy white cheese sauce, that I simply loved (but can’t eat anymore because it contains milk, flour, butter and cheese). 

*This can easily become vegetarian if you omit the ham, and be a vegan dish if you omit both egg white and ham. Huzzah!!

Red cabbage − 1, sliced into long strips
Onions − 4, medium, sliced into thin rings
Mushrooms − 100 g, roughly chopped
White wine − 50 ml
Salt − ⅓ teaspoon + ⅓ teaspoon
Cashew nuts − 2 tablespoons
Almond flour − 2 tablespoons
Roasted unsweetened almond milk − 200 ml
Maggi stock cube − 1, crumbled (use half a stock cube if using any other brand as Maggi cubes are small)
Erythritol Gold− 1 tablespoon 
Garlic powder − ⅓ teaspoon
White of 1 egg (optional)
Lean ham − 60 g diced into 0.5-cm pieces (optional)
Fresh coriander or parsley − 1 handful, leaves finely chopped (optional)
Sweet pointy red pepper − ⅓, diced into small pieces
Fresh ground black pepper

 Boil the red cabbage with ⅓ teaspoon salt on a gentle simmer until slightly soft (approximately 7−10 minutes), then drain. Make sure not to over-boil!
2. Blend cashew nuts, almond flour, almond milk, stock cube, erythritol and garlic powder together until very very smooth, to make creamy white sauce. Then add in the egg white if desired, and blend further until mixed well.
3. In a large pan or wok, add onions, mushrooms, white wine and ⅓ teaspoon salt, and sauté until the onions start to become soft. Add splashes of water if necessary.
4. Then add in the cooked cabbage and ham (optional), and sauté on low heat for another 3−4 minutes. Add more splashes of water if necessary.
5. Turn down the heat, and mix in the white sauce, followed by the sweet red pepper, and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. 
6. Now mix in the coriander/parsley if desired; this is somewhat unconventional, but nothing about this dish is conventional! 😀
7. Serve with fresh ground pepper sprinkled on.

Thai turkey meatball soup

This Thai-inspired soup has a bit of an east meets west situation going on, as it contains some typical Thai flavours and my tempting turkey meatballs! I usually use coconut milk powder rather than tinned coconut milk/coconut cream in order to control the amount of saturated fat, while adding a hint of a coconutty taste to this light dish inspired by my most favourite cuisine. A sure win-win for your body and your taste buds!

White cabbage − 1, small, leaves roughly torn
Mushrooms − a large handful, roughly chopped (I used shiitake mushrooms, but any type will do)
Shallots − 4, finely diced
Ginger − 4 cm, minced
Mild red chilli − 1, minced
White wine − a large splash
Kaffir lime leaves − 3-4
Stock cube − I used 2 Maggi stock cubes in 500 ml boiling water; if using any other brand of stock cube, only use 1 cube
Maggi coconut milk powder − 1.5 tablespoons (if using tinned light coconut milk, use only 2-3 tablespoons)
Unsweetened roasted almond milk − 200 ml (I use Alpro)
Erythritol Gold − 2 tablespoons (or substitute with Agave nectar/Maple syrup if not too worried about the carbs)
Spring onions − 2, thinly sliced into rings
Tempting turkey meatballs

1. Add 1 spray of oil to a wok and sauté the shallots, ginger, and chilli for 2 minutes, then add the cabbage leaves and mushrooms with a pinch of salt and sauté, adding splashes of water if necessary.
2. Add a large splash of white wine and simmer on low heat for 3 minutes.
3. Crumble stock cube(s) into 500 ml boiling water, and mix well. Add to wok.
4. Turn up the heat to a medium flame. Now add in the almond milk, coconut milk powder, kaffir lime leaves and erythritol. Simmer for 10 minutes. 
5. Then lower in the freshly baked tempting turkey meatballs into the simmering broth, and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes. 
6. Garnish with fresh spring onions to serve.


Spruced up sprouts

Sprout the halls! Just in time for Christmas, here is a tangy, spicy recipe for Brussels sprouts that even the strongest sprout-critics might be willing to try; huzzah! And as for all the sprout enthusiasts out there − I do hope you will enjoy this tasty little dish… Merry Christmas to all! 🙂

Brussels sprouts − 500 g
Simon Howie haggis − 1 (the meaty one or the veggie one, depending on your preference)
Sweet chilli sauce − 1 tablespoon
Dried coriander leaf − 2 tablespoons
Chickpeas − 1 can, drained
Dried cranberries − 150 g
Black onion seeds − 3 teaspoons
Fennel seeds − 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds − 1 teaspoon
Ground cinnamon − ½ teaspoon
Ground cumin − 1 teaspoon
Ground paprika − ½ teaspoon
Low-sugar low-salt ketchup − 1 tablespoon
Erythritol Gold (or Stevia) − ½ tablespoon
Spray oil
Salt to taste
Fresh ground balck pepper

 Pierce the haggis skin with a fork, and boil for 10 minutes, change the water, then boil for another 10 minutes. This gets rid of a lot of the fat.
2. Cool the boiled haggis with cold water, then cut the skin open to take the haggis out. Mix the haggis with the sweet chilli sauce and dried coriander leaf, and set aside.
3. Boil the sprouts with salt until soft.
4. Once soft; cut off stems and trim the sprouts. Then rub on a little salt, cinnamon, cumin and paprika powder. 
5. In a large wok, add 1 spray of oil, black onions seeds and cumin seeds. Then add in the chickpeas, some salt and the ketchup, with a splash of water.  
6. Add in the sprouts and erythritol and cook on low heat until the sprouts start to brown. 
7. Mix in the haggis, then turn off the heat.
8. Toss in the dried cranberries, and sprinkle on some fresh ground black pepper to serve.

Savoy dim sum rolls

This is my take on a fresh, warming and satisfying prawn dim sum. With cabbage. And pumpkin – yum!

Savoy cabbage − 1, roughly torn and steamed
Pumpkin− 1, small, roasted whole
Small coldwater prawns – 250 g
Green chilli – ⅓, deseeded and minced
Ginger – 3 cm, minced
Chinese rice wine vinegar – ½ teaspoon
Mirin – 2 tablespoons
White cabbage – 1,  grated
Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
Black onion seeds – 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
Coriander seeds – ½ teaspoon
Maggi coconut milk powder – 1 tablespoon
Spring onion – 2, chopped diagonally into thin discs
Fresh coriander – a handful

 Roast the pumpkin (whole, without oil, of course) in the oven until very soft, for around 40 minutes at 200°C . Then remove skin and seeds, and mash with a bit of salt.
2. Steam the savoy cabbage leaves with a bit of salt until very soft.
3. Combine the ginger, chilli, prawns, mirin and rice wine vinegar in a small bowl, and set aside.
4. In a large wok, add 1 spray of rapeseed or sunflower oil,  black onion seeds, mustard seeds and coriander seeds and toast on low heat.
5. Add the grated white cabbage, bit of salt, cumin powder and splashes of water until the cabbage is cooked.
6. Add in the prawn mixture, and cook until the prawns are pink (this should not take more than a couple of minutes).
7. Add in the mashed pumpkin, coconut milk powder and mix well. Cook on low heat for a further 5 minutes.
8. Turn off the heat and mix in the spring onion and coriander
9. Roll up the mixture in the steamed savoy leaves and serve with a sweet soy sauce dip.

Zesty pistachio and cauliflower soup

Pistachio and cauliflower made into a soup? What a curious concoction! However, it does taste rather jolly! 🙂

Cauliflower – 1 large, separated into florets
Pistachios- ½ cup, ground in pestle and mortar
Sweet red pepper – ¼, diced
Apples − 3, peeled, cored and roughly diced
Ground cumin − 1 teaspoon
Ground coriander − 1 teaspoon
Maggi stock cubes − 2, crumbled (or use 1 if using a different brand as Maggi stock cubes are very small!)
Kaffir limes leaves – 3-4
Juice of half a lime
Fresh ground pepper and ground pistachios to garnish

Steam the cauliflower with salt until soft.
2. Combine cauliflower, pistachios, red pepper and apples with stock cubes and water, and blend until smooth.
3. Add the blended mixture to a large saucepan, add cumin powder, coriander powder, Kaffir lime leaves, and a bit more water if necessary.
4. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
5. Add lime juice for a refreshing zesty taste.
6. Serve topped with fresh ground pepper and ground pistachios.


Hot & sweet tomato cabbage

Having my maternal roots in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India, I thought it would be fun to try and make a Bengali-inspired cabbage dish; using the classic Bengali five spice (panch phoron).

White cabbage – 1, roughly chopped
Green chilli − 1, thinly sliced
Plum tomatoes – 250g roughly chopped
Bengali panch phoron* − 1 tablespoon
Sukrin gold – 4 tablespoons
Balsamic vinegar − 1 tablespoon
Sea salt – 2½ teaspoons
Pinch of table salt
Olive oil spray
Fresh ground black pepper
Sweet red pointed pepper for garnishing

*Bengali panch phoron: Mixture of fennel seeds, mustards seeds, black onion seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds, in equal measures.

1. Steam the cabbage, with a bit of salt, until soft. 
2. In a heavy based wok, heat 2 sprays of olive oil and toast seed mixture until the seeds start to pop. Add in the tomatoes, green chilli, Sukrin gold, balsamic vinegar and sea salt. Simmer on low heat, with the lid on, for 20 minutes.
3. Mix in the cooked cabbage (add a bit more Sukrin/salt if necessary), and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
4. Garnish with thin slices of sweet red pointed pepper and fresh ground black pepper.


Tenderstem broccoli with an avocado-mustard sauce

I was craving avocado, but also wanted something warm and creamy. We had some tenderstem broccoli and some tofu in the fridge. This was the result. Give it a try, it is marvelously scrumptious!


Tenderstem broccoli – 250g, roughly chopped
Firm tofu (or paneer) – 100g, pressed and chopped into small cubes
Soy sauce − 1 tablespoon
Sweet chilli sauce − 1 tablespoon
Onion − chopped into thin rings
Garlic − 2 cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Avocado – ½, ripe
English mustard – 1 teaspoon
Mustard oil – ½ teaspoon (x2)
Chinese chilli oil – most of the oil drained off with chilli remaining, ½ teaspoon
Raw date palm syrup (or stick with Sukrin gold if you want to be strict with your carbohydrate intake)− 1 tablespoon
Red chilli flakes − 1 teaspoon
Juice of 1 lime

1. Heat chilli oil and brown tofu/paneer with sweet chilli sauce and a pinch of salt on low heat. Set aside.
2. In the same pan, heat ½ teaspoon mustard oil and sauté onion and garlic. Spray with a little water if necessary. When the onion becomes translucent, add in broccoli and soy sauce, and stir-fry on low heat until the broccoli starts to brown. Again, spray with a little water if necessary. Turn off the heat.
3. Place avocado flesh on a plate or shallow bowl and add English mustard, ½ teaspoon mustard oil, date palm syrup/Sukrin, lime juice and chilli flakes. Mash together until the avocado is smooth.
4. Combine broccoli, onions and garlic, tofu and avocado mash in an ovenproof dish, cover with tin foil, and bake at 180°C for 10 minutes.

Lentil soup with savoy cabbage

Very easy soup. AND… it includes cabbage. Huzzah!

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Red lentils − 2 cups
Savoy cabbage – ½, roughly chopped
Onions − 4, medium, sliced into thin rings
Ginger – 3 cm, minced
Maggi stock cubes − 2
Sukrin gold − 2 tablespoons
Fresh coriander − handful, roughly chopped

In a large saucepan, add lentils, cabbage, onions, ginger, black onion seeds, Sukrin and 1 litre of boiling water containing the stock cubes. Simmer on low heat, for 20 minutes.
2. Garnish with fresh coriander to serve. (For those who aren’t so keen on coriander, parsley would work too).

Golden cauliflower with green beans

People often think cauliflower is pretty boring. I beg to differ; I find it delectable. Here is a dish that will go with almost anything… 

Golden cauliflower with green beans

Cauliflower − 1 large, separated into florets
Green beans – 2 handfuls, roughly chopped
Chilli flakes − 1 teaspoon
Sukrin gold − 1 tablespoon
Salt and pepper to taste
Sunflower oil spray

1. Steam cauliflower and green beans, making sure that the cauliflower remains slightly al dente.
2. Heat 2 sprays of sunflower oil in a frying pan. Add cauliflower, beans and Sukrin, and salt to taste.
3. Stir-fry on low heat, with splashes of water until the cauliflower is soft and slightly browned.
4. Add chilli flakes, and mix well (or not, if you don’t want a wee bit of a kick).
5. Take off the heat, and grill at 150°C for 15 minutes.
6. Eat! ☺