Low Carb Pizza – Yes, there really is such a thing!

Hubby decide that for the first quarter of 2018 he wanted to adopt a high protein and low carb/no carb diet; and beyond keep to a lower carb diet as he feels his body runs better with that combination.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s a challenging one for me as “head chef”.  A few years ago we both engaged in Dr & Dr Eades Lose Your Middle Aged Middle, eating plan.  It worked. We both lost several inches around our middles.

However, and here’s the biggie for me, the diet plan made us completely antisocial.  Not because of the bad breath you might obtain from living solely on protein… we were very careful about our oral hygiene; but because it made it almost impossible to go out socially.

By making a few tweaks to the diet to better encompass our lifestyle we did find a way. For example, in restaurants we could have ham egg and chips without the chips or a mixed grill again without the chips.  I recommend you ask the waiter to leave the chips off the plate altogether because its much tougher just to choose not to eat them when they’re there and smelling so damned good!

For Hubby it was a great diet, He loves nothing more than a high meat content meal.  He loves grilled bacon and fried eggs for breakfast every day.  He doesn’t have high cholesterol or blood pressure so that’s OK.  According to the doctor he’s fit as a fiddle (even for a man of his age 😉 )  He could even stomach the disgusting body builder high protein meal replacement drinks.  I, on the other hand would wretch at the smell of them so in the end I just didn’t bother with the shakes at all.

Overall the diet was successful, we didn’t feel hungry, we weren’t miserable and we both lost 1.5 – 2 stone.

Several years on our weights have exceeded our pre diet weights.  As with all diets, they just plain don’t work long-term.  UNLESS you can find dietary habits that fit your lifestyle and the new eating regime becomes your lifestyle choice.

We’re trying again.  John is back to high protein / low carb and I’ve taken from the Dr Eades book those recipes and tips that worked before and done my own thing for him.  For Hubby I cook up loads of interesting meat based or egg based meals and he can have as much cheese as he wants with those. So I make lots of creamy/cheesy sauces which he loves, and as long as he supplements his diet with potassium, magnesium and multivits, hes a happy bunny.

I decided I don’t do as well on high protein and low carb. I could do it short-term but it wouldn’t be sustainable for me.   I prefer veggie options quite often and would rather have no meats than all meats.  I struggle to give up fruit and salad and much of that is a no go if you are being a strict no carb dieter.

I’ve chosen to cut out cake/alcohol/chocolate and crisps. and drastically reduce my bread and cheese intake.  Funnily enough the only one I’m struggling with is crisps.  I crave them constantly.  I’ve replaced those with natural seeds and nuts and I salt those myself – it seems to (almost) satisfy my needs. I also discovered during the first diet that nuts and seed vary greatly in their carb/protein ratio .. i can’t have walnuts but i tend to stick to hazelnuts, almonds and pecan and add pumpkin seeds to the mix.

You have to read this

Very occasionally I crave chocolate but other than a couple of teeny treats. I’ve managed that too, even when I’ve had PMT (big high-five to me).  (BTW I cannot stand carob, it’s NOT an equivalent option in my opinion, I don’t care what anyone says!  I’d rather do without completely.  )

These days there so many great alternatives on the market and many of them can be bought in mainstream supermarkets.

This alternative to spaghetti is available in our local Aldi store. It has 6.6g of carb per 100g compared to 76g in standard durum wheat spaghetti, most importantly hubby likes it and it only takes 3 minutes to cook.  So I can stick to my normal whole-wheat spaghetti and make a bit of this for him.

Of course there are fresh veg options to spaghetti, which are really easy to prep yourself but can be bought pre prepared , for example courgetti (which I think is available in the fresh veg section of most supermarkets these days – but is a very expensive way of buying fresh veg #justsaying) .  Really easy to make yourself though.

I make hubby mashed cauliflower or cauliflower cheese to sit in place of potato on his plate.  But you can also rice cauliflower….and if that sounds like a lot of hassle you can even buy it ready done… (I got this in Tescos)

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Then there are all the alternative flours.  I bought The Groovy Food Organic Coconut Flour from Tescos in my home delivery.  Only 16g carb compared to plain flour at 81g

I bought it to make this Fat Head low carb pizza base with a recipe from Ditch the  Carbs.com (thanks Graham Miller for this link) thinking it would be a good alternative to almond flour (which Tescos didn’t have ).  Subsequently I’ve discovered this Sukrin sesame flour with only 6g carb (although it was in my local whole food shop Vans Good Foods  in Llandindod Wells; and it wasn’t cheap).

So how did the pizza go?…..

I doubled up the quantity as Hubby can easily eat a whole normal pizza to himself and I can usually manage with a bit of patience and persuasion.  However, these were so filling even though his was bigger than mine we each only managed half.

Basically you plonk the mozzarella, and flour in a bowl with the egg and lightly microwave and it will mix into a dough – ts hard to believe, its like a magic trick, I really didn’t expect to get a rollable dough but…

surprisingly it rolls out very easily

TAH DAH!!!

After that its simply a matter of cooking the base, 15 mins in a gas 7/225 degree oven, taking it out, adding your toppings of choice (pre-cooked especially meats), then popping them back for 5 more minutes.  Whats more, Hubby said he would happily eat it again.  I would too but I might try the coconut or almond flour, I did find it a tad over sesame-y.  Extremely filling though and lovely rustic looking.

five minutes further cooking with the topping on and voila!
serving suggestion 😉

Just so you know, this post is not affiliates or sponsored in any way.  I have tried the products purely for our own health wellbeing and my views on the outcome and mine alone – as they would be even if someone were to ask me to review something (which I am more than happy to do #hinthint 😉 

My Random Musings

Letters to my Daughter

There’s no average day in the life of….

Do you have an average day? I don’t. They’re all a bit different. Often evolving as they progress, rarely planned anything more than by a vague outline, and quite often a little ‘out of the norm’ . Saying I’m not a nine to fiver is a bit of an understatement.

Want to know what my day is doing? Well it’s now 11am and I’m here..

Yep. I’m working whilst in the bath!

So today is like this. I woke up at 8:30 and though ‘i fancy a bath’ so I popped off to the bathroom but there was a spider in the bath and I didn’t want to disturb him so I hopped back into bed. Hubby, as is his wonderful habit, appeared with a cup of tea and we sat in bed catching up on FB and Twitter and discussed our separate ‘plans’ for the day.

We have b&b guests this coming weekend so for me it was ironing bedding. I see ironing as a bit of a waste of time so whilst steaming away I practiced a belly dance routine (and I haven’t even told you before that I go to dance classes.. another day another blog); and did some toe exercises as prescribed by Katie Holland as ‘guaranteed to improve your dancing’… Katie, I’m doubtful that anything will help but I’ll let you know.

Having built up a steam iron sweat I’m now in the bath (fortunately Bernard the Bath  Spider had buggered off) but to make better use of the time I’m both writing this for you lot and sorting out my art catalogue, making sure all my work to date is listed and titled. I have an exhibition pending and I need to make sure I know what’s  where and ensure I have enough pieces in the collection. Plus I’m having half a dozen or so images printed up as cards and my photographer friend and technical whizz needs to have the wording for the backs covers.

Alongside getting this done….

and I’ve added a face pack…may as well spruce up properly.

It’s now noon. Too late for breakfast, so a quick brunch and then off to get some groceries.

Marmite and mushrooms on toast yumyum

May as well pack up my old bras and take them to the bra bank at Tescos whilst I’m at it.

Donating my old bras

It’s a gorgeous day so hoping to get back in time to garden at home. Still have several plants that need to go in the ground before winter sets in.

….it’s now evening. Needless to say the gardening didn’t happen. I had about £60 in my hand from a swishing event I organised at the last-minute to clear out my wardrobe. A swish, for those who don’t know (I didn’t when invited to one last year), is a clothes swap. I’d cleared out my cupboards and had a car boot full of clothes and shoes to get rid of , friends could have them for a donation to a local charity. It raised £58 and I still managed to drop 2 large sacks of goodies at the local community charity shop.

So having done my shopping I went back into Aldi and spent the £58 with a view to dropping it at the local food bank. Sadly the charity was closed so that will involve another trip but look how much I got for my money!!!! Six full bags of none perishables! Aldi really is better value

Just about to head into the garden when I remember we have a fridge freezer to pick up from a friend (I need extra storage for the catering for my 50th).

And then the doorbell rings. The landlords of the flats I manage are here from Spain and I forgot they were popping in. Still they came armed with plenty of wine so I’m not complaining.

By which time it’s supper time. I cook a meal for me and Hubby. Bulk cook a bolognaise to add to the new freezer. Watch a movie. Then suddenly it’s midnight so off to bed.

Guess who’s back?

Bernard the Bath Spider

I wonder how he filled his day?

Lucy At Home

My Random Musings

The Supermarket Comparison Test

I often think all this supermarket advertising is a scam, all these special offers and price match deals.

I mean, if you think about the “Price Match” it really is a safe bet for the supermarkets.  Over say an average £100 shop (average for me anyway) some items will be on ‘a deal’ , reduced or on promotion or you select ‘own brands’ which aren’t included; and others will be dearer. So, over the course of totting up the 70 or so items in your trolley the odds are the price total will even out .  However, just in case, the supermarkets add a proviso to their price promise… for Tesco, (who I’ve used for this experiment), they set their refund to a maximum £7 (I think).

Of course they only offer this price comparison over the ‘leading’ supermarkets: Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons.  I would at this point argue that Lidl and Aldi may have a claim to that title too  but I don’t think the BIG FOUR dare.

Watch the Aldi ad and you’re encouraged to: “Take the Aldi Challenge”

So I have. I wanted it to be a day I had a large shop to do so I ended up with a broad range of products.

I went to Aldi today and bought 94 items at a total cost of £86.45

My Aldi shop - 94 itemd, £86.45.... please ignore all the chocolate and concentrate on the fresh fruit
My Aldi shop – 94 items, £86.45…. please ignore all the chocolate and concentrate on the fresh fruit!

It was an interesting experiment because as I was adding things like yoghurt and frozen desserts I noticed that the portion sizes in Tesco were SMALLER.  In these instances I have added extra units to get the same grams.  With the meat I added the slightly smaller pack sizes (Rump Steak for example- 2 in Tesco =500g in  but in Aldi =566g that’s 10% more meat).

As such, the comparable Tesco order was made up of 109 items ( The luxury yoghurts in Aldi were 150g I had 12; the Tesco Finest were 125 g so I had to get 4 more:  The Aldi Chocolate desserts were 190g; the nearest equivalent, a Tesco Chocolate Surprise, was only 125g so instead of 12 I needed 18. The other differences in numbers were the loose red onions)

The total in Tesco was a staggering £123.03. 

 That’s  42% more expensive!!!

If I had more time I’d do the same on the Asda site but as my Brand Match is never more than a couple of ££ either way I don’t see much point.

Have you taken the supermarket challenge?  What did you find?