Tag Archives: lowcarb

#lowcarb Italian feast with #shareGalbani

#lowcarb Italian feast with #shareGalbani

gioie della tavola – the joys of the table

Italian Meatballs #lowcarb

The Italians know best when it comes to food and family. As a nation, their history, their customs and their love of family seems to have been forged around the dinner table. There is something so unique and so special about their traditions that I often feel that somewhere in my heritage or a previous life I must have been part Italian. When it comes to food, there is simply nothing better than sitting around a table with friends or family sharing a day filled with good food and wine – just like the Italians do.


Being on low-carb food regimen (…yes we are still going strong), you may think that preparing an Italian feast may prove a little tricky with all the pasta, gnocchi, bread and the likes. But as I gleefully found out that with the right cheese in hand and a touch of creativity, you can make a three course feast that is as good as any Italian mamma’s lunch.

Low-carb pizza
For starters, I had to create something that in a way imitated bread or pizza. I made a low carb base from cauliflower topped with generous pieces of Galbani’s fresh mozzarella. The cauliflower base was both crispy and extra cheesy, and the topping of salty pancetta mixed with the scented basil provided the perfect ‘antipasto’ for my Italian feast. Click here for how to video!

Low carb pizza

Cheesy meatballs with tomato sauce
Moving onto the main dish, I know that nothing beats a good, homemade Italian meatball served on a bed of pasta. I added grated Galbani mozzarella cheese to the meatballs. Instead of pasta I replaced this with zoodles. For those not in the know – and watching their waistline, zoodles are uncooked strips of zucchini and the perfect healthy replacement for pasta. Just ask your local supermarket for a supply as most stock them these days.

Low carb spaghetti and meatballs

Pears and figs with honey and lemon scented mascarpone
For dessert I kept it simple with whole pears and figs poached in a cinnamon and vanilla syrup. I flavoured the Galbani mascarpone with a dash of lemon juice. The fresh fruit paired brilliantly with the lemony mascarpone; it was subtle yet a little tangy.


It was a special and delightful kind of feast…and such a beautiful way to celebrate with friends and familia.


Low-carb pizza
(makes three small pizzas)
800 g cauliflower
3 large eggs
30 ml parsley chopped
250 ml (1 cup) Galbani mozzarella cheese, grated
75 ml (+- 1/3 cup) parmesan, grated
2.5 ml salt
2.5 ml ground black pepper
9 slices pancetta, crispy fried
250 ml (1 cup) Galbani fresh mozzarella, torn
15 tomatoes on the vine
olive oil
handful fresh basil
handful rocket
maldon salt

Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Chop cauliflower up in smaller pieces and blitz into a “rice” like texture in the food processor. Place cauliflower into a big bowl and cook (uncovered) in the microwave for 10-12 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave. Once cooked, allow to cool for a few minutes. Scoop cauliflower into a cheesecloth or clean dishtowel and squeeze as much liquid out as possible. The more liquid you get out, the crispier the pizza base will be. Put the cauliflower back into the bowl and add the eggs, parsley, grated mozzarella, parmesan, salt and pepper and mix well. Divide mixture in three to form three basis. Pat dough down into a baking pan on a sheet of baking paper. Make sure not to make your bases too thin. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
Take out and add the pancetta, mozzarella and tomatoes. Pop it back into the oven for a further 10 – 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Give it a good drizzle of olive oil and finish with some basil, rocket and maldon salt.

Cheesy meatballs with tomato sauce
500 g mince
1 onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
170 ml (2/3 cup) Galbani mozzarella, grated
1 egg
handful of finely chopped parsley
1 garlic clove, grated
5 ml salt
2.5 ml pepper
5 ml psyllium husks (you find this at any good grocery store)
Tomato sauce
200 ml extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, whole
handful fresh basil
900 g Rosa tomatoes
black pepper
500 g courgette noodles, cooked as per packet instruction (I prefer it raw)
olive oil
handful of Galbani mozzarella, grated

Mix all the meatball ingredients very well together, form into golf ball sizes. Set aside
Add the olive oil, garlic and basil leaves to a large pan. Heat very slowly on low-medium heat – we want to infuse the oil with the garlic and basil. Infuse for about 5 minutes –don’t burn the garlic. Add the tomatoes, turn up the heat to about medium high and cook for +- 20 minutes without the lid. You will see the tomatoes will start to burst open and infuse with the olive oil. Season generously with salt and freshly grounded black pepper. Add the meatballs and cook another 20 minutes or until done. Stir carefully now and then but don’t break meatballs. Scoop courgette noodles in a large serving bowl and top with the meatballs and sauce, finish with a drizzle of olive oil and grated mozzarella.

Pears and figs with honey and lemon scented mascarpone
3 lemons, zested and juiced
250 ml honey
3 cinnamon sticks
seeds of one vanilla pod
1 L water
6 pears, skin on
18 small fresh figs, skin on
250 ml Galbani mascarpone
pinch of salt

Place the lemon zest, honey and cinnamon sticks, vanilla seeds and water in a pot and bring to boil. Add the whole pears to the boiling liquid and turn down to simmer. Let it poach until the pears are soft (about 45 minutes). Switch off the heat. Add the figs for only three minutes to the hot liquid. Transfer the fruit into a serving bowl. Continue cooking the liquid until a thin syrup. Discard the spices and pour over the figs and pears. Mix the mascarpone, the juice of the three lemons and salt together (I used all the juice, but taste till you like the it). Serve dollops on the fruit.

easy #lowcarb pumpkin skin #chips with basil mayo

easy #lowcarb pumpkin skin #chips with basil mayo

I never thought I would say this … but folks we (my husband and I) are low-carbing … or Banting or Atkins or whatever you want to call it. But we are doing it my way. Not the perfect Tim Noakes or Dr A’s way. Nope, we are not Banting or Atkins fanatics and will never be, but this is for now our practical journey to weight loss and a better health.

These chips will definitely satisfy your savoury carb craving

These chips will definitely satisfy your savoury carb craving

How on earth did this happen?
Our GP told my hubby and I that we both needed to lose a few kg’s – a few? I think she said this just to make me happy. I know I need to lose at least 20kg’s and my man, well I think he is sexy the way he is, but he has a something of a beer belly and he is also keen to get a little fitter … or is it just a little less out of breath when he reached for the remote?

So …?
Well, it has been two weeks and I have lost an astounding 2.5 kg’s! Really? This morning I thought my scale was broken but no, I really have lost the weight.

It IS a schlepp!
I found that it is a schlepp to plan meals. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s going to be easy. Be prepared. I have been working from the very comprehensive books by Tim Noakes (The real meal revolution), Vickie de Beer (My low carb kitchen) and Inè Reynierse (Low carb is lekker twee) – and of course the internet. The difficult part is not the protein but the side dishes that has to be served alongside the protein. Tell me honestly, how much cauli-mash and salad can a person eat? But I am starting to get the hang of it and will share my journey with you.

Week 1- Get rid of …
Get rid of all the bread in your house… including those frozen croissants and ciabatta’s in the freezer. Pre-low-carbing, I found myself quickly defrosting a roll and then … well the rest is history.
Get rid of all my hidden sweets and sugars. Yes, go into each and every cupboard, under your bed, throw out those chocolates and the tins of caramel and the smarties. Give it away! Hubby struggled with it… can you believe I found out he was stashing sweets in MY car! Hahaha.

Shop simple
It can be very daunting to think you have to change your kitchen, household and shopping patterns. I used The real meal revolution’s green list to start with but I added small apples to my list.
Get your meat and freeze these in portion sizes. Buy loads of veggies to start. Make Vickie de Beer’s broth and get some feta cheese, olives and fresh herbs to pimp your salads.

I did not buy special oils, flour or mayo. I threw all the flour out in my home and am still using olive oil, normal cooking oil and my fav brand of full fat mayo.

Our menu so far
Breakfast: boiled eggs, omelette with cheese etc.
Lunch: Salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers etc) with the previous night’s protein.
Dinner: Protein and veggies (beans, cauliflower, pumpkin, cabbage)
Snacks when hungry: 30 g biltong + apple + Vickie’s broth.

How to help you with that savoury carb and starch craving
One of the veggies I was quite surprised that you are able to eat while on the low carb plan is pumpkin. So bought a whole pumpkin (at the moment it costs R20 at Fruit & Veg). I peeled and cut the pumpkin into blocks and froze it. I reckon with one whole pumpkin you will be munching on these orange blocks for a month or two.

Pumpkin - Anel Potgieter
Delicious and satisfying pumpkin skin chips
I looked at the skin of the pumpkin and did not want to throw it away, so I tried to make chips! Well … let me tell you it’s divine and definitely has a great bite to it – very much like potato chips. With a bit of salt and basil mayo it satisfies that starch-craving at least one night a week. And no I did not make my own mayonnaise – I just use my favourite C&B full fat mayo. Also the oil – I am not going to buy the expensive Coconut oil – I used canola oil – finish klaar! Remember its my way, the practical way but not the perfect way. But it seems like it is working!

Good luck if you are starting this journey. If you have any tips and hints or questions please email me at anelpot@telkomsa.net.

Scrumptious pumpkin chips with basil mayonnaise
Pumpkin skin with a bit of flesh on
Oil for deep fry
125 ml mayonnaise
10 basil leaves, finely chopped

Cut the pumpkin skin into small strips – about the same size you like your potato chips. I fried it then at 160 °C for exactly 2 minutes. That is it. Put on paper towel to drain the excess oil. Mix the mayo and basil together … and Bob’s your uncle. Enjoy!