Meandering Lanes of Lush, Verdant Green – The Boundless Bounty of Spring…

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With nature, there is always something to wait for. Whilst the fields and hedgerows burst forth their frenetic Spring growth; the trees have yet to majestically unfurl their leaves into the hazy warmth of the soft April sun.
The verges of England’s green lanes seem to swell with a crescendo of life – the bright vivid blues of speedwell and forget-me-nots surge upwards; basking in sunlight, before slowly ebbing away into the dusk, when delicate evening-primroses take up their candescent chorus of colour.

An army of busily chattering beaks sing out their joy; japing and scolding between hastily guzzled mouthfuls of gruesome grubs and foraged fauna. Their soaring song trills to the sky, proclaiming a bliss which none can know, yet can’t be confined.

Whether Winter, Summer or Spring, the meandering lanes seem timeless in their slow, ambling journey. Their routes may be familiar, yet the subtle changing of seasons ensures there’s always a new sight to behold ’round each last lazy corner. Like the stage in a theatre, the backdrop is constant; the scenery evolves.

Few things can share this sense of eternal transition. Like all things ephemeral, one blink and you miss it!

So like the hedgerows’ wild flowers; take every opportunity to drink in nature’s rich warmth… But take heart when it’s fleeting; there’s equal beauty ’round the next corner.

Thanks for reading,

Adam.

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Decadent Raspberry Frangipan Pudding – A Low Carb ‘One Bowl’ Classic, Ready In 30 Minutes!

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There’s one recipe I always cook when I want a fast & delicious low carb pudding; and this is it!

Not only is this dish ‘super low in carbs’; the other fantastic ‘string to its bow’ is that it’s all prepared in just one bowl. This makes it 100% mess free and incredibly straightforward. If you’re not a fan of raspberries, these can be substituted with blueberries or left out entirely. As both of these fruits are wonderfully low in carbohydrate; this dish can be enjoyed by ketogenic-dieters, diabetics or indeed anyone who simply wishes to cut down on starch in their diet. So give this recipe a go – puddings don’t get any quicker or easier than this!

Choose a mixing bowl or large soufflé dish that’s oven proof, so you don’t need to transfer the mixture prior to cooking. Measure in 4oz of ground almonds, 1oz of dessicated coconut, half a teaspoon of baking-powder and 4oz of xylitol sweetener (or 3/4 cup of Splenda). Next, add in 4oz of unsalted butter, a few drops of sugar-free vanilla essence, then break in 2 eggs.

Beat the lot with an electric-whisk until well amalgamated. You want the texture to be a reluctant dropping consistency, that just falls off the spoon. If you need to add a little liquid, pour in half a cupful of milk, cream or water (depending on your carb-tolerance). Then simply makes some ‘wells’ in the mixture with the back-end of the whisk, and drop in your raspberries one at a time. I used a generous handful, but quantity is ultimately to preference.

Cover these over with the mixture, so that the top doesn’t ‘marble’ in the oven whilst cooking; then bake for 20-25 minutes in a medium oven (circa 180ºc) until pleasingly risen and a light golden on top. You should be able to touch the top with a finger, and the surface bounces back without sinking.

Once baked to perfection, serve piping hot with a drizzle of double cream or a large dollop of yoghurt. Add a final raspberry or two to garnish; then simply dig in! Just one word alone is needed to sum this dish up – heavenly!

Browse this and other recipes by picture on my pinterest page: country walks in ketosis pinterest.

Thanks for reading and bon ap!

Adam.

Earthy Spiced Cumin and Coconut Chicken with Creamy Turmeric Turnips – Hearty & Substantial Low Carb Cooking!

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Low-carb food can sometimes have a disappointing tendency to feel a tad on the ‘anaemic’ side! Well not so with this dish! Few recipes can feel more heart-warmingly substantial and filling than this one! Not only do all the ingredients possess that definitive ‘comfort factor’; but the spices used are warm, aromatic and ‘earthy’; producing the kind of rich, moreish ‘soul-food’ you just want to ladle into large bowls and eat on your lap!

Turnip is categorically one of the great, unsung low-carb food-heroes. Much like celeriac; it’s amongst the only root-vegetables not packed to the gunnels with starch! At around 4g of net carbs per 100g, you’d be hard pushed to beak the daily carb-bank with such low levels…

It can require careful cooking however. What do I mean? The traditional turnip has a slightly sharp, peppery taste, much like a radish (next time you cut into one, eat a tiny slice raw and you’ll soon see what I’m talking about!). This means that it often needs to be accompanied by warm flavours such as bacon, butter or aromatic spices to detract from the sharpness. On the flip side however, this also makes it great in oriental dishes, where its pepperiness serves only to accentuate the finished result! Another huge boon is that it’s quick to cook; softening in half the time of things like celeriac or carrot. For all these things then, it’s an everyday winner in my book!

Because of the ‘low-carbohydrate’ nature of everything in this dish, the recipe is perfect for diabetics or those on a ketogenic-diet. There’s also nothing that a paleo-protagonist or gluten-intolerant can’t eat, so it’s a true ‘meal-solution’ for anyone and everyone. As such, I can’t recommend this recipe highly enough. Give it a try and make sure to tell me how you got on!

Start by roughly dicing some smoked bacon. Add some butter to a pan and sauté the bacon until it starts to brown. At this point, tumble in one finely sliced onion and stir well to coat. Crush in two cloves of garlic, then add your chicken breasts (one per person). Seal these on each side, then sprinkle in a generous teaspoon of cumin. As soon as then mixture starts to panic, pour in a cupful of water and crumble in two chicken stock-cubes. Follow this with half a can of full-fat coconut-milk, add a flourish of dried oregano, then leave to pan to simmer on a low heat for 25 minutes until the sauce is thick and creamy.

Now you can start on your turnips. Peel about 2 per person and chop into a 1.5cm dice. There’s no need to top and tail the vegetable; it’s quite soft enough to peel directly over the root-line and sprout-top. Slice another onion and soften this again in butter. Whilst this is cooking, finely chop a jalapeño chilli and two cloves of garlic. Add these to the onion and pile in the diced turnip. Sprinkle a large teaspoon of turmeric on top and stir the mixture well to ensure that everything is well coated. Then crumble in two more chicken stock-cubes and pour on sufficient boiling water so that the pan’s contents are at ‘chin-height’ in liquid. Now simply simmer on a medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has all but evaporated and the turnip is meltingly soft.

Once the turnip is cooked, stir through a large tablespoon of double cream and taste to adjust the seasoning.  Ladle the chicken into bowls, ensuring a generous spoonful of coconut sauce per portion. Spoon the turnip mix to one side and garnish the lot with chopped fresh coriander leaves and toasted almond-slices. Then simply dig in! Truly sublime in every way!

Browse this and other recipes by picture on my pinterest page: country walks in ketosis pinterest.

Thanks for reading and bon ap!

Adam.

Cumberland Sausages with Bacon, Peas and Ham – delicious ‘Great British’ low carb meal ideas!

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Quite often, the simplest meals are the best! And few things can beat this delicious twist on a classic; either in terms of taste or speed! Since the 18th century; peas and ham have featured as a trusted combination in the English culinary repertoire to stupendous effect. Pea and ham soup has been a firm favourite for generations, as has the more interestingly named Pea & Ham Pudding (savoury). In this recipe however, I aim to ‘de-clutter’ things; providing all the rich taste and flavour of the original in a way that’s fast and fuss-free to prepare!

Like all recipes on this blog, there’s virtually no carbohydrate here. This makes it great for diabetics or those on a ketogenic diet. Also, because there’s no gluten, coeliacs or those with an intolerance to wheat can also dig straight in! If you’re a strict ‘paleo-protagonist’, you may wish to pass on the parmesan cheese, but I leave that up to personal preference to decide.

Before we start, just a quick word on frozen peas. Be sure to read the back-of-pack to check the carbohydrate content, as this can vary hugely. I used petits pois which come in far lower than standard ‘mature’ peas (circa 3g net carbs per 100g v 8g); but the net carb rule of thumb will guide you to the optimum choice (hyperlink as follows: net carb calculation).

Start by placing your sausages onto a baking-tray. Drizzle on a little oil to prevent them from sticking and season well. Into a hot oven they go for circa 25 minutes until succulent and sizzlingly golden.

In the meantime, dice your bacon and place this into a heavy-based pan on the hob. Seal on a medium heat with a little butter until the bacon starts to brown. At this point, add in one large finely sliced onion.

Lower the heat slightly and soften the onion for circa five minutes until it starts to turn translucent. Once you’re there, crush in two cloves of garlic and season well.

Two minutes after adding the garlic, it’s time to crank up the heat once more. Add a large bowlful of frozen peas and stir well to heat through. You now have two choices – you can either de-glaze the pan with a generous glug of dry stout sherry followed a minute later with chicken stock; or you can be abstemious and opt for just the stock. I don’t have to tell you which method I prefer, but I certainly shan’t judge you if you plump for the prohibition version! Either way, you want the liquid to just cover the peas. And with regards the stock – boiling water and stock-cubes will do the job admirably! Whilst absolutely delicious, home-made stock is difficult to fit into the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you have this luxury however, I salute you!

Once the liquid has gone in, finely chop a couple of slices of smoked ham for background ‘warmth’ and add these to the pan. Reduce the contents on a medium heat for 15 minutes until the water is all but gone. Then stir through a large handful of grated parmesan cheese and a generous knob of butter.

By this time your sausages should be browned to perfection. Remove these from the oven and place at intervals over the surface of your peas. Finish the dish with a final flourish of chopped herbs (basil, parsley, oregano or sage are a delight) and voila! Your delicious low-carb dinner is ready! And all within half an hour! (I salute that too!).

Browse this and other recipes by picture on my pinterest page: country walks in ketosis pinterest.

Thanks for reading and bon ap!

Adam.