Tag Archives: Recipes

Ketogenic Breakfast Special – Shakshouka

23 May

I thought it’s time to share with you one of my favourite ketogenic recipes – something really special: Shakshouka

Shakshouka is a staple of Tunisian, Libyan, Algerian and Moroccan cuisines traditionally served up in a cast iron pan with bread to mop up the sauce. It is also popular in Israel, where it was introduced by Tunisian Jews. Like in Libya, Shakshouka is a traditional breakfast meal in Israel. In Hebrew Shakshouka (actually a word derived from a North African dialect) means “all mixed up”.

The dish has been said to challenge hummus and felafel as a national favourite, especially in the winter. According to some food historians, the dish was invented in the Ottoman Empire, spreading throughout the Middle East and Spain, where it is often served with spicy sausage. Another belief is that it hails from Yemen, where it is served with zhug, a hot green paste.

Shakshouka is normally made from tomatoes. My version is a spinach variety (with thanks to my eldest daughter). Here goes – for 4 servings:

1 medium sized onion, diced

4 gloves of garlic, peeled and sliced

4 eggs

500 gms fresh spinach

50 gms butter

1/4 cup full fat cream

1/4 cup goats milk

50 gms grated cheese (chedder or whatever)

handful of wallnuts –broken into smallish pieces (“the secret ingredient”)

Heat butter in medium-sized frying pan – or wok – and sauté onions over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until onions are golden brown. Add the garlic and spinach and steam for about 3 minutes (to steam I simply cover the mixture with a lid).

Add the cream and goat’s milk and keep stirring for about another 5 minutes.

Drop in the eggs – I try not to break the yolks – and cover with the grated cheese and walnuts. Let the whole dish cook for another 2 minutes on a low light. Take care not to overcook.

Enjoy – needless to say without bread – unless it’s ketogenic (see my recipe from 5th March 2012)

Why the Ketogenic Diet?

23 Apr

Following the positive interest shown in my recipe for cauliflower kugel last week-end – including from “The Ranting Chef”  http://rantingchef.com who described the recipe as “awesome” – I thought I ‘d share with you why the ketogenic diet and food supplements are so important. Let me introduce you to the thoughts of Chris Kresser. For this introduction I must thank my friend, Laurie Bean.

Incidentally, Laurie’s dad is an example we could all follow. How happy I was to see him back at the golf club yesterday. A nonagenarian, just recovering from a shoulder injury. He regularly goes round the course in a score lower than his age – and has recorded seven holes-in-one (so far!).

Chris Kresser, according to his own web site,  is a licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of integrative medicine. He did his undergraduate work at UC Berkeley, where he was introduced to Eastern spirituality and a wide range of health modalities and practices, from nutrition to meditation to tai chi, yoga and massage. While traveling inIndonesia, he contracted a mysterious tropical illness which became a chronic condition. He saw more than twenty doctors around the world in an effort to diagnose and treat the condition and realized he would have to treat himself. Today, he gathers and analyzes medical research to stay abreast of the latest developments.

Here’s a link to a transcript of one of his latest medical interviews. I’ts long and not exactly in “Queen’s English”. If you’ve got the time and patience – go for it. If not, read my summary underneath.


He reminds us that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and something that works for people who are sick may actually cause harm in people who are well. The interview deals with burning fat, boosting energy, and preventing and reversing disease without drugs – probiotics, stress-relief and antioxidants.  He looks at pancreatic cancer treatment at the Integrative Medical Center in New Mexico.

I’m NOT suggesting you follow him blindly – if at all. But he is apparently extremely knowledgeable and well researched. Here’s an extract:

“The Integrative Medical Center in New Mexico is using a protocol that involves two components: intravenous administration of alpha lipoic acid at 300 mg to 600 mg two days a week and 4.5 mg of low-dose naltrexone, which is the standard low dose of naltrexone.  They also were giving 600 mg per day, of oral alpha lipoic acid; 400 mcg per day of selenium and 1,200 mg per day of milk thistle extract, which is another potent antioxidant. 

Chemotherapy can help people to survive cancer, but you would never give chemotherapy to somebody who doesn’t have cancer, right?  And I think that’s a more extreme example than this, but if someone’s just under extreme amounts of oxidative stress, as you find with cancer, something like high doses of all of these antioxidants might be beneficial, but in someone who’s otherwise healthy, it may have undesirable effects.  In the same way, you know, we get questions about diet.  If somebody has no gallbladder and a lot of difficulty digesting fat, they may have trouble with a really high-fat diet, but that doesn’t mean someone who has an intact gallbladder and good digestion is gonna have trouble with a high-fat diet.  So, we always have to consider who we’re talking about, what the goal is, and even what the length of time is that we’re talking about, you know, short-term versus long-term supplementation, or supplementation for therapeutic uses versus supplementation for longer-term, just kind of indiscriminate, indefinite use”.

Beware, the ketogenic diet may be the answer for me and you – but it’s certainly not easy.



A Ketogenic Kugel (Pie)

20 Apr

My tenacity at sticking to the ketogenic diet is invariably met with marvel rather than “I’ll kick the carb habit too”. So to help those that might find the prospect of diet daunting, here’s a recipe to try – Cauliflower Kugel (Pie).

It’s good as a side dish to meat or fish or can become a meal in itself. The chosen cauliflower could just as easily be changed for courgettes, broccoli, mushrooms or whatever takes your fancy. This is for 4 to 6 servings:

1 large cauliflower (900 gms)

2 large eggs

1 tbl ground almond

2 tbl extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

half tsp tumeric

half tsp cumin

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

cayenne pepper or paprika to taste (for topping)

Divide cauliflower into medium florets. Slice leaf stems and/or stalks.

Boil/steam for 8 to 10 minutes until tender. Take care not to overcook.

Drain well and when cool mash (or blend) but not too finely. Transfer to bowl.

Heat olive oil in medium-sized pan and sauté onions over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until onions are golden brown. Add tumeric and cumin for a final quick stir.

Add the onions to cauliflower and fold in the eggs and ground almonds.

Oil a shallow 20-cms square baking dish and add in the mixture. Sprinkle another tbl olive oil over the top and your preferred spice to taste.

Bake in upper third of oven pre-heated to 190C until lightly browned on top – about 40 minutes.