Substituting carbs 2.- Lettuce Tacos

Getting into the swing of no/low carbs for dinner my next magical creation was lettuce tacos with homemade guacamole and salsa. Now once again I have seen a couple of recipes online for this but in the spirit of mixing it up a bit we do like to put our own little stamp on it.

So for this recipe breakdown for each bit! – This comfortably serves 1 Mr Willetts size portion and 3 normal size portions.

Mince tacos & filling:

-2 Cos Lettuce hearts

-500g Lean 5% fat mince meat

-1 Tin of Chopped tomatoes

-2 red onions (chopped)

-1 red pepper (chopped)

-half a packet of mushrooms (sliced)

-1/2 red chilli (chopped)

-Small tin of refried beans

-1 sachet El Do Paso Smokey BBQ Fajita Mix

In a pan, place the chopped onions, mushrooms and mince meat and cook until brown. Then add the chopped red pepper and the tin of chopped tomatoes, then stir. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes and then add the refried beans and sprinkle the packet of El Do Paso Smokey BBQ Fajita Mix over the top and stir in. Sprinkle the 1/2 chopped chilli over the top and allow to simmer for around 20/25 minutes. Remember to keep checking and stirring.

While the taco filling cooks, break your leaves off the Cos lettuce individually and wash. You’ll find the first 6/8 leaves that come off and the rest are a little to small. Fear not you can pop these back into the fridge and use them for a side salad in another dinner!

I like to serve this meal family style as you can see from the picture above and we basically throw everything onto the table and let people fill them as they want! Serve these with some low fat feta cheese and sour cream as a topping and some corn on the cob. Accompany it with some of Mr and Mrs Willetts lovely Guacamole and Pico De Gallo which you can find the recipes for HERE and you’ve got the perfect carb free dinner!

Once again Mr Willetts is never really satisfied with a completely carb free dinner so you could serve it up with a free corn chips to fill him up a bit!

We love this dinner and we hope you do to!

Mrs Willetts x

 

Homemade Mexican favourites

When Mr Willetts gets into something… he obsesses over it. Especially with food, if he find something he really enjoys he will eat it on repeat until he gets bored or finds something new and better.

Over the past few weeks in fact even months he’s got a new found love for Avocado. He has it on everything. Burgers, sandwiches, on toast… even just scooping the avocado straight out of the skin and eating it. So I thought it was a perfect time to explain to him ho execute homemade Guacamole. Since then every time he’s made it he’s changed the recipe slightly to find the perfect version for him (This is starting to sound like a Goldie Locks story) but heres the basic Mrs Willetts version of the recipe for you guys to use and play around with.

I also thought this is a great time to tel you about my Salsa. it’s technically a Pico De Gallo because its dry salsa but it’s the ultimate accompaniment for ALL Mexican dishes we make at home!

So the Guacamole…

This recipe will feed 1 Mr Willetts and 3 normal appetites as a dinner side

-2 Avocados – nice and ripe. The softer the better.

-1 1/2 cloves of garlic

-1 red onion

-2 sprigs of coriander

-1/2 Lemon

-Plenty of salt ad pepper

Firstly de-skin the avocados (is there a technical term for that). take out the stone and place into a bowl.

Then dice the red onion into the smallest squares you can. At this point you don’t need to be too neat because it will be blended eventually. Add that to the bowl. Next finely chop the 1 1/2 cloves of garlic and then pour a little salt over the top of it and crush together under a knifes edge and add to the bowl. Squeeze in your half a lemon and pepper for extra flavour.

Blend the entire contents of the bowl until smooth. This is where the Goldie locks element comes into it. We are divided because I like to blend but still have a few good lumps in my Guacamole but Mr Willetts likes his as smooth as it comes… the choice is yours but I assure you mine is better!

And its a simple as that! once blended transfer it into a clean bowl, and sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve!

Next, the Pico De Gallo

This recipe again is very simple but VERY tasty and can be used as a lovely dip or served on top of a chilli or fajita dish.

This recipe will serve 1 Mr Willetts and 3 regular appetites and you will need:

-4 spring onions

-1 red onion

-A handful of cherry tomatoes

-2  normal sized tomatoes

-2 heirloom tomatoes (yellow is preferable, if you don’t have these to hand then use normal sized tomatoes instead)

-1 glove of garlic

-1 red chilli

-Salt and pepper for flavouring

-free pour of olive oil

Super simple with this one finely dice the spring onions, red onion, all the tomatoes and the chilli into a bowl. FYI – I don’t really like the middle slimy bit of the tomatoes so I tend to scoop these out but its perfectly fine to leave them in! Then slice and crush the garlic with a little salt and add to the bowl. stir around to mix all the ingredients together. Then add a generous helping of olive oil and season with salt and pepper (again to taste, I like everything quite peppery) and serve! As simple as that! The flavours all together is amazing… sometimes if I’m feeling a little cheeky I’ll add a couple of mint leaves believe me when I tell you it’s delicious!

Again I’d love to see the pictures of your creations for this… and lets find out if you prefer your guacamole lumpy or smooth!!

Mrs Willetts x

 

 

Substituting carbs 1. – Pasta free lasagne

In order for me to complete or succeed at any sort of diet or exercise routine… I need an accomplice and as much as I love every single one of my friends… not one of them is great at keeping to a diet or going to the gym with me. We all work in the food and beverage industry which means one thing… you can be easily persuaded into a gin or two or frequently end up in a pub that hand makes warm, fresh sausage rolls (wheatsleaf in Borough Market) and as hard as we all try… we never succeed.

So this time around to help me drop some excess weight I seem to have picked up since getting married, Mr Willetts decided to help me out. So during the week we have been juicing during in the day and sticking to a low or no carb dinner. I have also been working out to Charlotte Crosby’s 3 minute Belly Blitz (which is amazing by the way) and also going to the gym when I can.

“you have let yourself go a little bit since the wedding but I’m still in great shape”- Mr Willetts

So I thought what a brilliant way to show you what I’ve been doing than to blog the meals we’ve (I’ve) been creating trying to substitute Carbs for something just as filling and nice to taste.

My first creation was pasta free lasagne. Now this has been done time and time again but 9/10 these recipes are vegetarian recipes. My one version combines meat and the idea of using courgettes and spinach as the layers. Now I’m no cooking expert and I’ve certainly NEVER made a cookery book or a recipe before, but in the name of blogging I’ll give it a try! I’m not using any technical measures because to be honest we normally guess anyway! and switch it up depending on whats in the fridge.

To serve 1 Mr Willetts and 3 normal size appetites. You will need:

-4 Courgettes – thinly sliced ( I try to use the big side of the cheese grater OR a potato peeler to get it nice and thin)

-half a bag of spinach

-2 tomatoes sliced

-3 dice size pieces of low fat feta

-Pesto

-1 500g packet of 5% fat minced beef

-1 beef stock cube

-2 red onions

-1/2 packet of mushrooms

-1 jar of Bolognese sauce… choose your own brand… we like Dolmio on our house

-1/2 tin on chopped tomatoes (or the small little carton you can get)

Firstly, Mr Willetts and I like to split the cooking dinner thing. We usually prep together and then I pull everything together to make it to the plate! (he’ll always claim he “MADE” dinner… even if he only chopped one onion).

Top tip- turn the oven on now to get it warmed up… Mr Willetts is rubbish at this and then wonders why he has to wait an extra 20 minutes for dinner. Place the oven on 180C. Now our oven doesn’t actually have the numbers on the dials anymore, the oven is so old that they have worn off so… we guess.

So start by chopping both onions and the half pack of mushrooms and we get those into the pan  with some fry light (maybe 5 sprays?). Add the full packet of mince and cook until browned. At this point Mr Willetts and I like to add a beef stock cube to create some extra flavour and then we pour away any excess water (That’s a Mr Willetts job as I would end up pouring the whole thing in the sink by accident). Then simply add 1/2 tin of tomatoes and the Dolmio sauce, stir and leave to simmer for about 15/20 minutes.

Take the Courgette slices and season with salt and pepper for extra flavour.

Once everything is nicely cooked off take a rectangular oven dish (preferably a glass one) and layer 1/3 of the meat on the bottom of the dish. Then add a layer of spinach (around half of what you have) on top and then add a layer of courgette, making sure to pack extra in on the layers as courgettes do shrink in the oven! Repeat this again for the next 2 layers. – Top tip that we’ve learnt after doing this a couple of times now… use the sliced tomato to top the Lasagne and this will stop the courgette layer from drying out when its in the oven.

Place the lasagne in the oven or around 20 minutes to bake. Once the tomatoes start to crips and the courgettes start to brown on the top layer take it out. Crumble the feta over the top and add some tea spoons of pesto to the top and spread around. Then pop it back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

When it’s done (you’ll know because the feta will melt over the top of the lasagne, take it out and leave it to rest for around 10 minutes… this is probably the most important bit because it allows the juices inside to settle a little so that it firms up and doesn’t fall apart when you cut into it.

Now we usually like to serve this with a rocket salad or sometimes with sweet potatoes baked in the oven but the world is your oyster in terms of what to serve it with. As we’re trying to keep to low carbs I would say the salad is the best option!

Why not try it out! Remember to tag me in pictures of your creations… I’d love to see them!

“This dinner is lovely, my version is always better because it has more layers. It doesn’t fill you up because there’s no bread…” – Mr Willetts

Mrs Willetts x