Sunday Roast Beef

I am mindful that many people have not the money or inclination to cook roast beef, and yet it is a very filling and tasty treat, especially if done well. It is also very low carb, and healthy fat so excellent for diabetics and people who want use up their body fat stores, as well as being highly nutritious for us all. Just don’t eat too much of it- 75-100g(3-4 ounces) should do.
If you eat it when out for lunch, have it with the leafy vegetables, and avoid the starchy potatoes, chips, gravy, and Yorkshire puddings. You can always ask for extra other vegetables and a good helping of meat..
When cooking beef, consider using brisket( or other cheap cuts) and cook it nice and slow:
1kg brisket
beef dripping
salt and pepper
300ml stock
a bunch thyme and bay-leaf
Melt the dripping, sear the beef till browned, put it in pot, add ingredients above, cover with foil and a tight fitting lid, and put in oven for 3 hours at 140 degrees Celsius(gas mark 1, 275 deg f)
plenty of above ground veg* to serve
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If you want to make it a bit more interesting add in any of:
6 small whole onions
4 small carrots
4 sticks celery
120g chestnut or other mushrooms before it goes in the oven.

* include cabbage, cauliflower, courgettes, broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, leeks, onion

Low carb vegan

Can you be a healthy low carb vegan?

One of my friends has recently improved her health enormously by changing from a standard British diet to a whole food vegan one.

She had never liked eating meat or fish but she never really thought about eating the most nutritious food possible- within her health beliefs– so she did eat a lot of junk food. Indeed, she thought that the state of her body and mind could not be improved much with changing the food she ate.

By chance, she saw a shocking programme about animal welfare and so made the switch to whole food veganism within a few days. The effects on her health have been astounding. The health problems that have plagued her for years have now gone.

Why should this be so, and what do I think of this as a GP? As a whole food vegan she will be eating a lot less sugar, salt and additives. She will also be getting more nutrients than in her previous diet that included a lot of processed foods. In avoiding processed food, she will also be eating a lot less wheat, and as wheat is broken down to glucose, it means her glucose load is a lot less. In avoiding dairy, she will also be reducing her sugar intake- think of the sugar in fruit yoghurts, milk, milk shakes, ice cream and fruit cheeses. Some people also have an unrecognised dairy intolerance, and this may have been the case with her.

I urged her to stick to whole food, unprocessed food, to take B12 supplements and to be mindful of getting enough nutrients. Consulting a dietitian would be the best way to find out how to do this, as my main concern with a low carb vegan lifestyle is nutrient deficiency.

Here is a website with some good low carb recipes for people who wish to follow the vegan lifestyle.

Chickpea salad

1 red onion in wedges
2 thickly sliced courgettes
1 red pepper cut into chunks
400g chopped tomatoes
5 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons chopped herbs like chives, parsley or mint
2 400g tins of chickpeas drained
100g feta cheese cubed
Green salad to serve

Method
Heat fan oven to 200 degrees
Put veg in shallow roasting tin with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
Roast for 30 minutes, stirring half way through
Meanwhile mix the rest of the olive oil and herbs and lemon juice
Remove veg from oven and cool for 5 mins
Then mix all together and serve with your crunchy green salad

Baked buttery squash

1 butternut squash
half a teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons snipped chives
3 tablespoons of creme fraiche, normal fat or low fat as you prefer, whatever works for you.
30g ground almonds
a knob of butter
30g grated cheese

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees fan
Halve the squash length ways, take out the seeds
and discard
Season well with salt and pepper and put in a roasting tin, half filled with water
Cover with foil and bake for 40 mins or until tender
Drain and transfer to a cooling tray
Once cool enough to handle scrape out the flesh and transfer to a bowl, leaving a thin rim of squash skin behind
Mix the paprika, chives and creme fraiche with the squash flesh and transfer the mixture back into the shell.
Season again if you wish to
Mix the ground almonds with the butter and the cheese and sprinkle over the squash.
Bake for 15 minutes till lightly browned.

Serves 2 as a light meal, or 4 as an accompaniment.

Easy Granola

Yes it is grain free and low carb 🙂

Ginger & Cinnamon granola adapted from www.ditchthecarbs.com to fit in with my store cupboard ingredients

My recipe

Use 650g of your favourite mixed nuts(any except peanuts) and seeds
50g coconut oil melted
1-2 tsp cinnamon to taste
1-2 tsp ginger to taste

Mix all dry ingredients and add the coconut oil.
Bake for 20 mins at 160 deg c fan oven

Check and turn every 4 minutes- do watch like a hawk!
The end appearance will be a gentle toasted pale brown

This lasts me about 2-3 weeks and I serve it with Greek yoghurt and berries.

Roast lamb

Thanks to James Martin for this one!

Try shoulder of lamb this Easter, which gives the best flavour when slow-roasted.

Serves 4

• 1 x 2-2.5kg (4lb 8oz-5lb) shoulder or leg of lamb
• 1 small bunch of rosemary, stalks roughly chopped
• 1 garlic bulb, peeled and separated into cloves
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C/ fan 160°C/gas 4. Stud the lamb all over with rosemary and garlic cloves, then season and place in a large roasting tin.
Cook for around 3 hours or until the lamb is tender and cooked through. Remove the lamb from the oven and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes while you prepare your vegetables.
Serve with seasonal vegetables. Try roasted carrots or celeriac for a change, or roasted Mediterranean vegetables if you prefer.You can pull the meat apart at the table and it will fall off the bone.

Make sure you rest your lamb after cooking so that the meat is beautifully tender.

Chili Apple Beef Salad

When you are following a real food way of life, you want substantial meals that fill you up. This salad will definitely do that- no limp lettuce and watery tomatoes for me- or you- here. If you need to be strict low carb- the apple quantity could be reduced. One apple is about 14g carbs.

5 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons cider or wine vinegar
3 teasp wholegrain mustard
2 round lettuce
2 apples
some mint
a chili
250g left over beef
Method
Mix oil, vinegar and mustard
Shred lettuce and finely slice apples
Dice or shred beef

Mix it all together- dressing, apples, mint, chilli, beef.

For 2

Spicy Chicken and Veg

This is made with leftover chicken
for 2
8-10oz chicken pieces
2 tbsp olive oil or ghee
1 teaspoon chopped chillis
1 garlic clove
3 ripe tomatoes or half a tin
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
100ml cold water
1 tbsp natural full fat yoghurt
1 onion
1/2 courgette in ribbons or other green veg
bunch of spring onions/scallions

Method

Heat 1 tbsp oil in pan and add chilli, garlic and spices, ,tomatoes and salt for 3-4 mins
Don’t let it burn
Then add the chicken and mix
Pour over the water and yoghurt and cook for 8-10 minutes on a low heat.
Meanwhile saute the veg in another pan with the other tbsp of olive oil until soft.
At the last minute add the veg to the spicy chicken and stir.
Serve as it is or with cauliflower rice

Poached Eggs with cream & watercress

4 eggs
2 bunches watercress
1/2 pint soured cream or single if you prefer
1oz cheddar cheese
1 oz grated parmesan
lemon juice
1/2 oz butter

Method
Heat the soured cream and add the cheeses, and lemon juice
Saute the watercress in the butter in a separate pan till wilted
Poach the eggs for 3-4 mins each as you like them
Serve the watercress on a plate with the eggs on top and sprinkle with some extra Parmesan

Ginger-Cinnabon Granola

Ginger-Cinnabon Granola
Grain free

200g walnuts
125g almonds
60g chia seeds
130g sunflower seeds
130g pumpkin seeds
50g coconut oil
1-2 tsp ground ginger
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon- I prefer 2

Mix all dry ingredients and add the melted coconut oil and stir till fully coated.
Bake in oven at 160 deg fan oven for 20 mins turning every 3-4 minutes.
Keeps for 2w
Serve with plain full fat yoghurt or the milk of your choice.