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This week's seasonal recommendation

 

What to cook this week?

Sat, 25 January, 2020

I truly admire professional chefs. Oh, no – not for their abilities but for the fact that they cook for others and get it right. They might even not like what they are cooking and often, I imagine, don’t even taste their dishes bar the necessary ‘more salt?’ spoonful.

I am not my usual skilful cook at the moment since I’ve gone keto. I don’t only cook for myself so I handle pasta or pizza every so often and my productions are frustratingly not as good as usual! The Weather Man bears the slump in quality patiently (he’s not on keto) but clearly, if your heart’s not in it (read: you won’t be eating it), your food won’t sing.

The dishes I still do well, obviously, are the ones with low carbs. So here’s a bunch of ideas that will serve whether you’re carbless or carbful.

Pan fried fish with spinach, and you can use the usual bass or bream but for a super-treat, see if you can get turbot or brill fillets. Cook a little longer if the fish is thicker. Or make a stir-fried salmon, served with raw broccoli salad.

You could roast a big slab of pork belly, marinated with black bean paste, soy sauce and honey. Winter rainbow salad will go nicely with it, and leftovers the next day can be stuffed into tacos or wrapped into lettuce leaves, keto-style. The same exercise can be done with braised beef brisket, if pork isn’t your preferred meat.

Vegetarian keto is a seriously tough call and I’m not sure if at all feasible – unless you count courgette gratin or a whole roasted cauliflower.

Cheese and mushroom omelette will be a breakfast treat for anyone, keto or not. And if you need sandwich (made of bread or of lettuce leaves) filler ideas, you could make chilli crab butter.

Cake – I won’t be kidding you, no proper cakes are keto-safe. The closest to dessert without sugar you can get is avocado ice cream but remember avo isn’t carb-free either. You could also make the chocolate mousse or panna cotta and cut down sugar a little. A lot? Experiment away, I think I prefer to wait till the end of my regime and have a small piece of biscuit de savoie then. Happy cooking!

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