Low-carb microwave bread

This low-carb microwave bread is a compromise. It’s not true bread, of course. But if you’re trying to control your carbs, or need to avoid gluten, this microwave bread adds a nice variety to breakfast and lunch. The “bread” is ready in less than five minutes, and has a spongy texture that readily soaks up butter or honey . It’s also good topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon, or with mustard and ham.IMG_3758

 

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    Instructions
    1. In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix the ingredients until very smooth.
    2. Using a spatula, transfer to small ramekin. I made enough of the mixture for 5.IMG_3761
    3. Microwave on high for 90 seconds. Bread will puff up while “baking,” then deflate. When done, it will look like a muffin. Make sure it appears set, otherwise microwave 30 more seconds (but 90 seconds should be enough, and overcooking can dry it up). I do mine individually.
    4. Gently, with a small knife, loosen the bread edges and remove from the bowl onto a plate. Slice into two slices and top with your favorite toppingsIMG_3767

Creamed spinach

1 small onion, finely chopped

200  g  mushrooms, chopped

25 g butter

2 tbsp plain flour

200 ml milk

2 x 200 g bags spinach

100 ml cream

Method

1. Heat the butter in a saucepan, then add the onion and mushrooms and cook for 5 mins until softened. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 mins, then slowly start to whisk in the milk. When it has all been incorporated, gently cook for 5 mins until the sauce has thickened.

2. Meanwhile, place the spinach in a large colander. Pour over a kettle full of boiling water until the leaves have wilted (you may have to do this twice). Place the spinach in a clean dishcloth, squeeze out any excess liquid, then roughly chop.IMG_2011

Stir into the sauce with the cream, gently heat, then finely grate over some nutmeg and season well.IMG_2013

Cupcakes

My husband loves cake and asked me to bake a butter cake.  I decided to use my trusted recipe and make some cupcakes instead.

IMG_1903Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup(s) Sifted Cake Flour
  • 3 teaspoon(s) Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) Salt
  • 45 ml Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 large Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup(s )whole Milk

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly grease a muffin pan with butter and dust with all-purpose flour. ( I did not use paper cups) Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  2.  Beat  eggs and sugar till light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla  beat on medium-high, just until blended.  Add the dry ingredients to this mixture. Mix well.
  3. Bring butter and milk to the boil and add it the the mixture. Mix well.
  4. Pour into the prepared muffin pans and bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean —15 minutes. Cool cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  5. Un-mold and cool completely. Ice with any icing you like.IMG_1916

Savoury Mince Spiral Scone Roll

Scones

2½ cups all-purpose flour

10 ml castor sugar

20 ml baking powder

2 ml salt

200 ml (180 g) butter, cut into small pieces

100 ml milk, plus extra for brushing

1 large egg

1. Reheat the oven to 200 C and line a baking tray with      parchment paper.

2.  Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a             large bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture is                 rough and crumbly.

3. In a separate bowl, milk and egg together.IMG_1483

Add this to the flour mixture and stir to just bring the dough  together, turning out onto a lightly floured work  surface to complete bringing it together with your hands. Roll the dough out into a rectangle.IMG_1484

 

Savoury Mince

15 ml olive oil

1  onion, finely chopped

500 g  lean beef mince

10 ml dried Italian herb mixture

salt and freshly-milled black pepper  to taste

45 ml parsley, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce

Hint: This is subjective cooking at its best! You can add (or omit) any seasoning, herb or spice. You can add chili, garlic, curry and even vegetables such as diced potato and/or diced carrot, sliced mushrooms or peas. Enjoy being inventive!

Heat the oil and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the mince and brown lightly. Add the rest of the ingredients. Lower the heat and simmer with a lid on for  about 20 to 30 minutes.

Beat 2 eggs and add it to the mixture whilst stirring. Stir fry until it becomes thick.  Cool down .

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Spread the cooled mince on the dough.IMG_1486

Roll the dough up and form a circle.

Use a pair of kitchen scissors and cut into slices.

Brush the dough with some milk and bake for 20 to 30 minutes  until lightly browned.

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Chilli Con Carne

IMG_13131 medium onion

1 cloves garlic

1 green pepper

olive oil

2  teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

half a teaspoon origanum

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

400 g tinned red kidney beans

400 g tinned chopped tomatoes

500 g quality minced beef

 Peel and finely chop the onion, garlic and the green pepper. Place in a casserole-type pan on a medium high heat. Add olive oil and all your chopped vegetables. Add the chilli flakes, curry powder and  cumin with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir every  until softened and lightly coloured.

Add the kidney beans and the tinned tomatoes. Add the minced beef, breaking any larger chunks up with a wooden spoon. Fill one of the empty tomato tins halfway with water and pour this into the pan, turn the heat down to a simmer with a lid slightly askew for about an hour, stirring every now and again to stop it catching.

This can be  served with fluffy rice or on a jacket potato and a salad.

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Home-Style Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni with chunks of Cheddar cheese is baked until bubbling for a soothing and satisfying supper.

200 g  uncooked elbow macaroni
50 g butter or margarine
45 ml plain flour
500 ml milk

225 g  softened cream cheese

2 ml salt

2 ml pepper

10 ml country -sty le Dijon mustard

225 g  cubed 1 cm Cheddar cheese

125 g  fresh breadcrumbs

30 g   butter or margarine, melted

30 ml chopped fresh parsley

Heat oven to 200°C . Cook macaroni according to directions; drain.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan melt 50 g butter; stir in flour. Cook over med. heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth and bubbly (l min.). Stir in milk, cream cheese, salt, pepper and mustard. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened (3 to 4 min.). Stir in macaroni and cheese. Pour into casserole dish.

In small bowl stir together remaining ingredients; sprinkle over macaroni and cheese.
Bake for 15 to 20 min. or until golden brown and heated through.

Microwave Directions:

Cook macaroni according to  directions; drain. Meanwhile, in casserole dish melt 50 g butter on HIGH (50 to 60 sec.). Stir in flour.

(I used a packet of creamy mushroom soup to make the sauce and did not use salt or pepper .)

Microwave on HIGH until bubbly ( about 1 min.). Stir in milk, cream cheese, salt, pepper and mustard. Microwave on HIGH, stirring after half the time, until thickened (4 to 5 min.). Stir in macaroni and cheese. ( I added  pieces of bacon too!)Macen cheese

In small bowl stir together remaining ingredients; sprinkle over macaroni and cheese.

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Microwave on HIGH until heated through (8 to 10 min.).

Home-style macaroni and cheese
Home-style macaroni and cheese

Fruit squares

Fruit squares 
145 grams butter/margarine
145 grams sugar
1 tablespoon syrup or marmalade
Melt the above in a pot over a very low heat. Allow to cool.
Beat 1 egg and add slowly to the above — stirring vigorously.
Add the following to the mixture:
250 grams flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup currants, or raisins or sultanas
Fruit squaresSpread in a well greased Swiss roll tin and bake at 190 °C for 15 mins.
Cut into squares while still hot and dribble the following icing over them.
Icing:
1 cup icing sugar
1 dessert spoon vanilla essence
Boiling water to mix to desired consistency—thick but slightly runny. 

 

fruit squares1

Banoffee tart

Banoffee tart

My husband loves this tart!

Banofee Tart

This banana and caramel tart is well worth the wait and requires little actual prep time. I like to use Tennis biscuits, but just about any sweet plain biscuit works well.

80 g unsalted butter, melted

250 g packet biscuits

1 can caramel

4 medium bananas

300 ml whipping cream

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Preparation method 

To make the base: blend or crush the biscuits until they are small crumbs. I have put mine in a Ziploc bag and used a roller pin to crush it. No mess, no fuss!IMG_1057

Stir crumbs and melted butter together in a small bowl. Press crumb mixture into the base of a 22 cm pie dish. Chill this while you make the filling.

Whip the cream, sugar and vanilla until thick.

Spread the caramel from the can over the pie crust base with a spatula or the back of a spoon.IMG_1058

Mash the bananas and layer on top of caramel.IMG_1060

Spread the whipped cream over bananas. IMG_1064