Low carb pie

As most of you will know, there is a diet going on in the house. Me. Low carb. 800 calories a day. 14 hour fast daily (or rather, nightly).  Dinner at 20.00hrs. Breakfast after 10.00hrs.  I live with a man who can eat a plateful of carbs every meal and still has a waist that is only 2.5cm bigger than when we met 40 years ago.  That’s just not fair. Whereas I only have to look at a slice of bread and gain 2kg.

What’s my favourite diet meal, you might ask.  No it’s not the fish in coconut sauce, or the celeriac chips, or the quinoa porridge.  It’s my invention of a pie.  I needed pie. But not the carbs. So here it is.  My pie. The whole dinner (including 8 celeriac chips, plus lots of greens) is 380 calories and 26g of carbs out of my 40g daily limit).  The most important thing is it feels like I’ve eaten a whole meal. The pie makes four portions.  Two for today for him and me, and two for tomorrow.

I use a 20cm springform tin for this. Line the base first. It just makes it easier.

125g ground almonds in a bowl, add one teaspoon of grated parmesan, two teaspoons of olive oil and a little salt plus one beaten egg. Squidge it together as if you are making the base for a cheesecake with digestive biscuits.  Then load into the tin and press down hard and bring a little bit up the sides.

Steam 8 slices of 1.5cm thick butternut squash and one sliced courgette (or any other vegetables but make sure they are not watery).

Fry half a dozen chopped mushrooms in a little oil with lots of garlic and a few chilli flakes.  Add a dash of Lea and Perrins at the end, when they are cooked and all the liquid has evaporated.

Pile the mushrooms onto the base of the pie and spread them out.  Then layer with butternut squash and courgette on top.

Put 125g Quark or thick plain yogurt in a bowl. Add two beaten eggs, a little mustard and season well.  Pour over the top of the pie.  Cook in the oven at 190C for about 35 minutes. The top should be just wobbly and the bottom will be crispy, like pastry – but not!! Remove from the oven and slide a sharp knife round the edge of the pie. Leave for 10 minutes, then remove the springform sides of the tin.