Tangy yet sweet tomato chutney, perfect as a topping or side

Last year I took the first steps of trying to grow my own vegetable & herb garden.  It’s been an amazing learning process: with many successes & failures!
I find it utterly amazing, seeing how certain vegetables grow – I had no clue!  It’s been an eye opening experience.

Through it all, you realise how imperfect your vegetables grow, which lead then to so many questions on how we only see “perfect” vegetables in our stores, and what it takes to make them so “perfect”.

But putting that aside, I had a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes, and thus out of the need to preserve and not throw away, I made copious amounts of ‘tomato chutney’ for me, my family & friends.

image of tomato chutney and the making

It’s delicious & sweet, which makes it a perfect accompaniment with cheese, or a topping on your fish, chicken etc.  Use it in whatever you’d normally use ‘tomatoes’ and/or onions for!  Just experiment!

Ingredients (recipe can be halved, doubled, quartered etc)

  • 500g red onion (chunky chopped or thinly sliced)
  • 1kg cherry tomatoes
  • 150ml red wine vinegar
  • 250g xylitol
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • optional: 2 chillies OR 5 cm ginger, 10 cardamom seeds, 1 tsp paprika
    Note: I ran out of red wine vinegar, so added apple cider vinegar!   So use other vinegars if you don’t have red wine vinegar….

How to make?

  1. Fry the onions in the coconut oil, until nicely softened and translucent.
  2. Now add all the other ingredients into the pot and stir.  Get the mixture to a gentle simmer and allow it to cook slowly.
  3. My quantity took close to 90-120 minutes to cook down to a nice thick consistency similar to jam.  Timing will be dependent on the quantity you cook.   I suggest you check it ever now & then & stir, when it appears to be nearly complete, then keep stirring, since you don’t want the bottom to burn, due to the caramelisation of the mixture.
  4. Then decant into sterilised glass containers and seal.  Keep in fridge.  Once open consume within a 2 week period.
  5. If you want to make it more into a tomato sauce, simply puree it in a blender!  And voila ‘tomato sauce’.
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Roasted Cauliflower Head…why haven’t I done this before?!?

image of roasted cauliflower head  Roasting cauliflower is so simple.  And more importantly, it is utterly delicious.  And to create a variety of flavours with it, is so easy to do!

And I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to roast one.  Now it’s a weekly must in my kitchen.

Ingredients:-

  • 1 large head cauliflower (can be broken into little florets)
  • 1 cup greek full-fat yoghurt
  • 1 crushed clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Ras-el-hanout (a complex wonderfully fragrant & tasty Moroccan spice, which can contain anything from 10-100 spices, depending who makes it or where you are buying it from).  If you’d like to make it yourself, you can find the recipe below this one.
    If you don’t want to use an exotic spice mix, then use whatever you fancy, for example mixed herbs, paprika & chilli OR fresh rosemary and other italian herbs & spices.  It’s simply up to you and your taste profile what you would like to put on the cauliflower. Variety being the spice of life!!!

How to make?

  1. Mix the spices and garlic into the full-fat yoghurt.
  2. Pre-cook the cauliflower.  Place in a pot of water, get to a gentle boil & cook for 20 minutes.  Remove from the water.
  3. Place into the yoghurt mix & fully coat the cauliflower.
  4. Place onto a roasting pan or dish (I usually put baking parchment down, so as to minimize the mess) and bake at 180 degrees for 40 minutes.

If you want to make the Ras-el-hanout yourself, instead of store bought, simply mix the following:-

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground mace
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground anise seeds
    Place in a glass jar, and store with your other spices.  It’s great on vegetables, chicken

Can Brussel Sprouts be tasty? I’m a convert!

 

image of brussel sprouts with bacon

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

 

I have always had a hate-hate relationship with Brussel Sprouts.  I kept the opinion, that not only did they smell like smelly socks, but they tasted awful.

But something changed, this year, in my journey on LCHF food.

a.  I have a limited amount & type of vegetable/s, when eating =<20g of carbs per day

b. Experimentation is the spice of life.

c. Never believed I would not long for carbohydrates, especially the refined ones, so all my frames of reference & opinions on new or old foods, needed to be rechecked.

d.  My taste buds have changed and everything tastes just “more”, “more” intense, just “more”.

And lo’ and behold, I have developed a liking, not yet loving for brussel sprouts.

But key is the way they are prepared.

The two methods I use are as follows:-

1) Rubbing them in macadamia nut oil & herb salt, then roasting them in the oven at 180 degrees for approximately 30minutes until nicely brown & crisp. The nut oil gives them amazing flavour!

2) Frying bacon & cutting the bacon up.  And using the bacon oil to either fry the brussel sprouts in them OR rubbing them in the bacon fat, and roasting them in the oven (like above) and then mixing the bacon in with them.  Delicious.

Why don’t you give it a try!