ALL THE Cooking Weekend – Zucchini Brownies, Cauli Pizzas, Cheesy “Bread” Sticks and Eggplant Pizza Bites

I cannot recall when last I’ve spent so much time in our kitchen! This past weekend was all about trying out new (and old and trusted) LCHF recipes to ensure we stayed legal and on the banting wagon. Some of us did better than others *cough cough looking at you Chicken cough cough*.

I’m now down 3kg’s since getting serious about what I eat again from 4th January. I really should be happier with my results as I’m only two weeks in and percentage wise that’s a fifth of what I want to lose, but somehow I’m not. When I got on the scale this morning I was actually rather disappointed – somehow my silly brain expected a miracle because I spent an extra 20 minutes on a treadmill walking this weekend HAHAHAHAHA. Anyway, it’s a start. ONWARD!

Here are the things we shoved in our faces this weekend.

Mini Cauliflower Pizza’s

Unlike most recipes for a cauliflower pizza base, this one doesn’t require ninja skills on drainage and odd scraps of material. I used a recipe from GirlVersusDough found on Tablespoon with two variations – I added an additional egg as well as a 1/4 cup of almond flour. Probably not strictly necessary but I felt it gave the “dough” a bit more substance and helps combat the natural excess fluid resulting from not going all ninja on your cooked cauliflower pre baking.


Brinjal Pizza Bites

Sensing a theme here? 😛 I love eggplant. It’s an odd looking vegetable and as a kid I despised the things, but with age comes a more refined (fussy, if you ask the other half) palate.

I made these by slicing an eggplant vertically into roughly 2cm thick slices, coating them with coconut oil and popping into a 180 degree C oven for about 40 minutes, flipping them regularly. While that was going I made a simple tomato sauce base which was one can chopped tomato and onion mix (All Gold – they tend to have the lowest carb count from the canned mixes), a sprinkle of Xylitol, chopped chilli’s and a few dashes of Maggi Aroma sauce (my absolute favorite secret weapon ingredient!) and let it all simmer away until it thickened to my liking. I topped the brinjal slices with the tomato base, added a mix of grated mozzarella and gouda on top, sprinkled some mixed herbs over it all, and popped back into the oven for 10 minutes. These are damn tasty.


Cheesy “Bread” Sticks:

I used up the remaining “dough” from my cauli mini pizzas to go with our braaied lamb chops yesterday to make a banting version of cheesy breadsticks, and they turned out damn well. Simply spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray, thin your “dough” out to roughly 1cm thick, top with your choice of toppings and cheese (I put dehydrated olives, chilli’s and mixed herbs on mine as well as a mix of grated mozzarella and cheddar), and pop into oven on low temp (mine was at 100 C) for about 40 minutes, or until you’re happy with the colour and texture. I didn’t manage to get a great pic of these, and they disappeared fairly quickly, but here you go none the less 😛


THE WEEKEND WINNER – Zucchini Brownies

OMFG. PERFECTION. Seriously – Karina deserves a damn medal for this recipe! The only thing I did differently to her instructions was to throw all my ingredients in one bowl and mix with spoon, because I’m lazy that way – she does dry first and then adds wet ingredients. So, her already easy recipe just got easier – my brownies were still ridiculously good. MADE WITH BABY MARROW’S. Yes, I know, I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one. These passed three sweet tooth tester’s palates, and all agreed they are fantastic. You don’t even feel like it’s a banting / low carb sub for a treat – it tastes just like the real thing. Here’s the recipe from Cafe Delites for you:


 Serves: 16 Brownies
Low Carb Zucchini Brownies are so incredibly moist and fudgy AND flour-less and healthy! All in one bowl! Hello low carb lovers!
Weight Watchers: 2pp per brownie!
  • 1 cup finely shredded zucchini (use the smallest blade on a cheese grater. It should look like a puree).
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, measured in melted state (or sub with any vegetable oil you have)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup natural granulated sweetener (or granulated sugar of choice — coconut; white sugar) *See Notes
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup peanut flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (or ¼ cup if you don’t like them too rich)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 squares Lindt 90% chocolate (or chocolate of choice), cut into pieces/chunks
  1. Preheat oven to 176°C | 350°F. Line a 8×8″ baking pan with baking?parchment paper, or lightly grease with oil spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the zucchini, butter, oil, egg, sweetener (or sugar), and vanilla until well combined. Add the peanut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; folding through slowly until just combined. The batter will be thick but shouldn’t be dry. (It depends on how much liquid your zucchini has! If too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of water). Fold in half of the chocolate chunks; pour batter into prepared pan; sprinkle remaining chocolate chunks over the top.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes or until the brownies spring back when gently touched. (If testing with a toothpick, they will be very moist in the centre BUT they do set and harden when removed from the oven.)
  4. Allow to cool completely (about half an hour); cut into squares and chill to semi-set.
  5. If storing at room temperature they’re best eaten within 2 days. If refrigerating, they last 3-4 days.
I use a sweetener that measures 1:1 with normal sugar. If using a stronger sweetener, measure the amount needed for ⅓ cup normal sugar.
Serving size: per brownie Calories: 71 Fat: 5.6g Carbohydrates: 4.3g Sugar: 1.3g Fiber: 1.6g Protein: 3.4g
So there you have it – a rather busy weekend in the kitchen and some truly good food, all legal if you’re banting / avoiding sugars and carbs.


I’ve been wanting to make the zoodles for a while now – the LCHF “substitute” for pasta, but trying to make anything remotely resembling noodles with the various peelers I have at home has yielded what can only be referred to as something fit for stir fry’s. Or the bin. I now have three types of peelers, to put it into perspective.The spiralisers available online are quite pricey; the cheapest I could find on YuppieChef was over R300, and I was about to bite the bullet and buy one, when Sharon told me that they sell spiralisers at Clicks! So I found the below beauty at Clicks Fourways Mall for a whole ninety nine rond 😛 The good news? It was money well spent!

I just want to spiralise everything now. Next up are boodles I think (brinjal). Wondering if the sponginess will hold up, but doing it the same way I did the baby marrow noodles should work, which was as follows for those of you who want to try it:

zoodles veggie spiraliser

For two portions as pictured, I used:

– 3 medium sized courgettes

– handful of calamata olives, diced

– tablespoon of crushed garlic

– tablespoon of chilli fakes

– 3 tablespoons coconut oil

Run your courgettes through the spiraliser to make your zoodles. Throw all the ingredients in a tupperware and toss to coat the zoodles. Heat pan on high, and flash fry for maximum two minutes – VOILA! Easy and delicious.

I also have a giant tub of basil pesto at home, which I think will do nicely too, and think I’ll get some olive tapenade as a store cupboard item as well; olives add a nice meatiness to the flavour.


Best ever baby marrows!! Blue cheese is the star!

Simple and not exactly a “recipe” but this one was such a game changer for my seemingly never ending search for vegetable dishes that are #LCHF friendly while still being simple and tasty, that I just had to share it.

Meet the baby marrow blue cheese sexiness that is totally #LCHF friendly and bloody delicious to boot!

We had ours with chicken last night and it truly was a delicious meal – this is the second time I’ve made the marrows this way; first time was with pork belly and it was just as great then. The flavour of these veggies are robust enough to stand up to even ostrich I’d say, and I’ll be sure to test them for exactly that in the not too distant future.

So, let’s get down to it – how to produce this mouthwatering twist on fried baby marrow’s. It really is ridiculously simple and very much “to taste”, so I’ve guestimated quantities in all aspects here, but be sure to try it and go with your gut – as long as blue cheese is present you’re all set 😛

Slice red onion and throw in pan with ghee, garlic and chilli (always optional, though why anybody in their right mind would omit is beyond me).

Now add sliced baby marrows, toss and cook until they’re almost cooked through.

Next, add a healthy portion of blue cheese.

Reduce heat to simmer, and leave until the blue cheese “caramelises” and is nice and gooey. Serve and enjoy!

Baby marrow, tomato and cheese "starter"

I was a bit peckish Sunday night at around 11; and didn’t feel like defrosting meat or just snacking on straight cheese, so rummaged around my fridge and used a few ingredients, my trusty pan and the microwave to create an odd, but very tatsy snack for myself. I liked the crunchy topping and base concept so much that I recreated it with a few added tweaks and ingredients for myself and the other half as our “starter” to our braai chops last night. My favourite part of this has to be the crunch from the marrow parmesan “chips” – I’m going to be using these on so many things in future!!!

This is what I used to make two side plate servings:

2 x firm just ripened tomatoes
4 x medium baby marrow’s, sliced in rounds approximately 5mm thick
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Ghee for frying
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
3 green chillies, finely sliced (adjust for your heat preference)
1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic
sprinkle of rosemary salt to taste
4 slices of mozzarella / to taste
Avocado oil
Greaseproof paper

Throw the onion, chilli, garlic and half of the sliced baby marrows into a pan on high heat with enough ghee to fry and coat all ingredients. While that is going, place the rest of your sliced baby marrows into a container, drizzle some avocado oil over (you can use any LCHF friendly oil / fat, I just like the taste), shake around to coat all slices, and then place them in a single layer onto greaseproof paper on a plate. Ensure that there are minimal gaps between the slices and that they don’t overlap.Sprinkle your grated parmesan over the slices, and pop into the microwave on high for ten minutes.

Your fry up should be half way there by now – ensure you keep tossing everything in the pan so that the baby marrow slices are evenly browned as much as possible on both sides. While this and the microwave timer countdown continues, slice your two tomatoes into about 1cm thick slices and arrange as you wish on the two side plates; one tomato per plate. I overlapped mine in a circle – this is the base of your dish. Once the microwave is done you’ll see the parmesan has melted and crisped up over the baby marrow slices – crack / peel the bits off of the paper into a side bowl – this is your crunchy topping of win!

Now add the mozzarella slices to the mix in the pan and let the cheese melt, combining it with everything in the pan to make a glorious gooey mess 🙂 Once fully melted and combined, place half of the mix on each side plate on top of your tomato slices, spreading it as evenly as you can. Now sprinkle your crunchy marrow parmesan “chips” on top, and you have a #LCHF friendly side or starter that is absolutely delicious and bursting with great textures and contrasts! I really enjoyed this and will definitely make it again; and I cannot wait to find other applications for my marrow “chips” 🙂