The other week I walked past some weird green things on sale in my local Lidl and did a double take, wondering why the watermelons were in the vegetables section. Lucky for me, because that hesitation reminded me of the humble (and often watermelon coloured) Marrow, a member of Cucurbitaceae family (siblings include the Squash, Pumpkin, Courgette, Gourd and even the similarly styled Watermelon and Cucumber) which I had had as a kid in unappetising things like stews, but never learned to appreciate. After taking one home and baking several slices and still having a ton leftover thanks to the Marrows often huge size, I decided to use up the remainder trying out pizza boats, which I’ve now come to love and eat regularly ever since.
Not only are they low-carb but they’re absolutely packed with fibre and high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron, Folate and Potassium meaning it’s a powerhouse of nutrition. Add the fact that it’s very filling and satiating yet ridiculously low in calories (just 28 calories per 100g of marrow) and even has some good protein and it’s easy to see why it’s now a regular in my recipes and diet.
Here’s the recipe for low-carb, low calorie filling Marrow Pizzas.
- 3 Thick Marrow< Slices
- 50g Mozzarella or any combination of grated cheeses
- Toppings: Mushrooms, Red Onion, Cherry Tomatoes
Pizza Base Sauce
- 100ml Passatta or chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- Paprika, Basil, Salt & Pepper to taste
Serves: 3 Slices
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
First blend all the ingredients for your tomato pizza-base sauce for 2 minutes until smooth.
Slice your Marrow for a nice thick base and lay on a baking tray. Pour a couple spoonfuls of sauce onto each and spread out smoothly using the back of the spoon in a spiral motion from the centre.
Take a small handful of grated cheese and scatter evenly over the sauce. Optionally, add another grind of black pepper to make it look and taste a little fancier.
Slice and add your toppings as needed. If you’re using meat as a topping it’ll need to be pre-cooked since 13 minutes of baking generally isn’t enough to cook anything but thin bacon.
Finish with any herbs, spices or extra seasoning you want then slide the tray in the oven at Gas Mark 6 (400F/200C) for 15 minutes or until the base and cheese turn golden brown.
Plate and serve however you like.
I put this together one night and it came out super tasty so I scribbled down the ingredients, slapped on a name and put together a recipe. The combination of frying and boiling pork belly has always been a favourite cooking method of mine because it comes out far more tender and quicker than baking or grilling. This works well as both a keto dish and a regular low carb meal as it has plenty of both fat and protein and very few carbs.
Time: 35 minutes
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Parsnip
- 1 Handful of Horseradish
- 4-6 Strips of Pork Belly, full fat
- 1 splodge or 2 tbsp Blanched Peanut Paste or Peanut Butter
- 1 splodge or 2 tbsp Walnut Paste
- 235ml/1 cup near-boiling Stock- Veg or Chicken Stock pref
- 1 dash Soy or Worcester sauce
Salt and then saute Pork Belly strips on a high heat in a high sided frying pan while dicing the veg.
Turn heat down to medium and add the veg to the pan, saute the meat & veg together for another 5 minutes.
Pour in the stock, add the nut butters and simmer for 25 minutes or until ready.
Plate and serve with a dash of Worcester or Soy Sauce to taste.
If you’re using a store-bought peanut butter try to get one without added salt. If making your own pastes buy blanched peanuts as it brings out the taste of the meat further. Simply food process them until they become nut butters.
The carrot and parnsip are the main sources of carbs but are fairly key to adding flavour. If substituting, use more vegetable stock.
After making my own almond butter and peanut butter in the past almond milk became a staple part of my diet. It’s ridiculously filling for so few calories and probably tastier (at least in my opinion) compared to the store bought stuff, not to mention cheaper. Nut butters like peanut-butter are pretty bloody dense in calories and great for adding weight but conversely nut milks are very low in calories for volume, lower than even skimmed milk. To boot, they’re lactose-free, some (like Peanut and Almond milk) can be high in protein, and they taste great so they’re fantastic for cutting and at times I’ll just replace my breakfast and lunch with a litre of thick Almond milk and it keeps me going while avoiding hunger.
The only problem I had was the time it takes to turn Almonds into Almond Butter. It couldn’t be simpler (literally just blend almonds until it turns into almond-butter) but it takes close to 25 minutes with my ageing blender. So after discovering a place where nut butters are pretty much the same price as the nuts themselves at NaturalChoice.co.uk (I’m not affiliated with this company in any way, I receive no benefit from their sales but I highly recommend them for anyone in the UK) and ordering a ridiculous amount of nut butters I’ve gotten back to experimenting with recipes and flavour combinations like Walnut and Cashew milk and Blanched peanut and paprika satay, so stay posted for some of those. Here’s my take on fresh homemade Almond milk in 3 minutes.
Time: 3 minutes
Serves: 1 litre
Carbs: 6.6g/serving or less
- 2 tbsp or approx 30g of almond butter
- 4 drops vanilla essence or 1/3 of a vanilla bean, scraped
- 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum1
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 litre of water
1This is the secret ingredient for thickness- most store bought nut milks use this and it’s not bad for you (made from cabbage weirdly enough!) and cheap over at Amazon or your local supermarket, so give it a try. Alternatively you can use something like chia or flax seeds, which also thicken in liquid, to turn it into more of a pudding, but if you’re worried about keeping it low carb I recommend xanthan.
Blend everything on high for 1-2 minutes and pour into a 1 litre bottle to drink throughout morning/lunch or whenever you like. If you’re die-hard about the smoothness and left with a little almond meal, or your blender isn’t very powerful you may want to pass it through a sieve. Pour into a bottle when done.
Customisation and extras
Add Greek Yogurt or Protein Powder to help thicken it up even more with that dairy taste. Maybe other sweeteners (no carb options like Erythritol, Stevia or even a single spoonful of Xylitol if you’re doing low carb) or something like zero calorie MyProtein flavour drops (Toffee and Maple Syrup are particularly awesome) for a sweeter, flavoured taste.
The whole thing takes 2-3 minutes and if you hold onto a couple plastic 2 litre soda bottles you can make a months worth of low calorie delicious almond milk in one go, but take note not to add dairy products like protein powder if you’re making a large batch as they tend to go bad in less than a week once added to water. I like to warm it up on the hob for 2 minutes before serving, especially in the winter for a comfortable cup of warming vanilla & toffee almond milk.
Being diabetic I naturally gravitate towards Keto recipes, particularly when cutting because it’s low-carb and great for stable blood sugars which reduce hunger cravings, and helps me feel fuller for longer because of the fat and protein. After looking through and trying countless Google results for what is probably the most written about keto recipe imaginable- the Low-Carb Pancake, and getting eggy and bland disasters or high calorie catastrophes, I’ve finally arrived at my personal and favourite recipe. I’ve tuned those other recipes to get fluffy pancakes that taste as close to normal high carb-pancakes as possible without that over-eggy or saturated coconut taste that isn’t great when warm and doesn’t taste like pancakes at all. Here my take.
Time: <10 minutes
Serves: 4-5 pancakes
Carbs: 12.2g per batch, approx. 3g/pancake
- 120g soft cream cheese
- 4 Eggs1
- A few drops vanilla essence or extract
- 2 tbsp sweetener of choice2
- 4 tbsp coconut flour or almond flour3
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- a splash of nut milk or cream4
- Yes, that’s a lot of eggs. No, it wont taste overly eggy.
- I recommend Erythritol but something like stevia or sucralose work equally well without adding calories.
- I prefer almond flour as it’s more mild and pancakey, but anything with the texture of flour is fine.
- Add as needed (if at all). Again, almond milk recommended as it’s mild but any low calorie milk will do.
Combine and whip/blend everything but the flour and baking powder- add those after combined and give a stir/final blend. Your batter should be thick, sweet and easy to fold.
Just like regular pancakes, fry your batter in butter until it bubbles or until golden brown on the underside, then flip, fry for another 2-3 minutes then serve.
Beware- this batch has about a bajillion calories (OK, roughly 700cals) but serves 4-5 good sized pancakes for about 140cals and 6-7g protein each, but it’s a lot more filling than regular pancakes so you might want to save some batter for later.
P.S. MyProtein make a range of Sugar-Free syrups which go particularly well on top of these pancakes (try the Maple Syrup and Raspberry flavours!). Happy eatin’.