Best of Banting: 5 recipes that are too good to miss

From quick-and-easy to downright decadent, we’ve got something for all low-carb lovers.

Banting meatball bake

Serves 6
Preparation: 25 min
Cooking: 25 min

  • 800 g lamb or beef mince

  • 2 eggs

  • handful of fresh coriander, chopped

  • 15 ml (1 T) mixed dried herbs

  • 10 ml (2 t) ground cumin

  • 80 ml (⅓ c) balsamic glaze

  • salt and pepper

  • 30 ml (2 T) olive oil

  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 3 red chillies, halved

  • 15 ml (1 T) tomato paste

  • 1 can (400 g) tomato purée

  • 500 ml (2 c) grated mozzarella cheese

  • roasted vegetables to serve

Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
1 In a bowl mix the mince, eggs, coriander, dried herbs, cumin, balsamic glaze, salt and pepper, making sure the ingredients are well combined. Using wet hands, roll 2 tablespoons at a time into balls.

2 Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Cook the meatballs in batches, turning frequently, for 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and set aside.

3 Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chillies, tomato paste, tomato purée, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

4 Pour the sauce over the meatballs in the dish and top with the cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden on top. Serve with the roast vegetable

Mushroom chicken burger

Serves 6
Preparation: 15 min
Cooking: 15 min
Marinating: 30 min

  • 6 chicken breasts


  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • 5 ml (1 t) Dijon mustard

  • 5 ml (1 t) paprika

  • generous pinch of salt


  • 150 ml buttermilk

  • 80 ml (⅓ c) grated Cheddar cheese

  • 5 ml (1 t) Worcester sauce

  • 5 ml (1 t) paprika

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 5 ml (1 t) Dijon mustard

  • handful of fresh parsley

  • pinch of salt


  • 200 g bacon rashers

  • 6 large brown mushrooms

  • handful of watercress

1 Put the chicken breasts between two sheets of clingfilm and bash with a rolling pin to flatten them. Transfer to a non-metal dish.

2 Marinade: Mix the ingredients. Cover the chicken completely with the marinade and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3 Dressing: Blend all the ingredients until smooth.

4 To complete: Heat a griddle pan and cook the chicken for 10 minutes or until done all the way through.

5 Cook the bacon in the griddle pan until crispy on both sides.

6 Cook the mushrooms in a dry pan for 2 minutes on each.

7 Put a mushroom on each plate and drizzle a little of the dressing over. Top with watercress, a chicken breast, bacon and more of the dressing.

Three-cheese chorizo bake

Serves 4
Preparation: 15 min
Cooking: 25 min

  • 1 chorizo sausage

  • 40 g butter

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 4 thyme sprigs

  • 350 g cauliflower, blanched (see tip)

  • 300 g broccoli, blanched

  • salt and pepper

  • 500 g cream cheese

  • 80 ml (⅓ c) mozzarella cheese

  • handful of chives, chopped

  • 125 ml (½ c) Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
1 Remove the casing from the chorizo. Transfer to a large pan and cook over medium heat, stirring and chopping to break up the meat as it cooks. Set aside.

2 Add the butter to the same pan and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the thyme, cauliflower and broccoli and sauté for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3 Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream cheese, mozzarella, chives and cooked chorizo.

4 Spoon into a baking dish and sprinkle the Cheddar cheese on top. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden on top.

Tip: To blanch the vegetables, submerge them in rapidly boiling water for 90 seconds then remove with a slotted spoon and immediately dip into ice-cold water to stop the cooking process.

Short rib curry

Serves 6
Preparation: 15 min
Cooking: 2 hours
Marinating: 2 hours or overnight

  • 6 beef short ribs

  • 375 ml (1½ c) plain yoghurt

  • juice of 2 lemons

  • 5 ml (1 t) turmeric

  • 5ml (1 t) dried chilli flakes

  • 5 ml (1 t) salt

  • 45 ml (3 T) oil

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 8 green cardamom pods

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 15 ml (1 T) garlic and ginger paste

  • 8 fresh tomatoes

  • 1 can (400 g) chopped tomatoes

  • 675 ml (2½ c) warm water

  • 10 ml (2 t) ground coriander

  • 10 ml (2 t) medium curry powder

  • 10 ml (2 t) ground cumin

  • pinch of ground cloves

  • 5 ml (1 t) black pepper

  • extra salt

  • handful of fresh coriander to garnish

1 Cut a few deep slashes in the thickest part of the ribs and put them in a non-metal bowl.

2 Whisk together the yoghurt, lemon juice, turmeric, chilli flakes and 5 ml (1 t) salt. Pour the marinade over ribs and rub it deep into the cuts. Set aside in a cool place for 2 hours or overnight.

3 Heat the oven to 180 °C.

4 Heat the oil in a large, ovenproof pot. Add the onions, cardamom pods and cinnamon and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft.

5 Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and cook for another minute without allowing the paste to brown.

6 Purée the fresh tomatoes in a blender and pour over the onions. Add the canned tomatoes and allow to bubble briskly for 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in the water and all the remaining spices. Season to taste with salt.

7 Put the ribs and their marinade into the pot and stir until the meat is well coated. Cover the pot with its lid or a tight layer of foil and bake in the oven for 1 hour.

8 Remove the lid, stir well to coat all the meat with the sauce then arrange the ribs in a single layer in the sauce. Bake uncovered for another hour or until the meat starts to fall from the bone.

9 Serve immediately with a sprinkling of fresh coriander on top.

Bacon-wrapped chicken with avo and green bean salad

Serves 4
Preparation: 15 min
Cooking: 20 min

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts

  • salt and pepper

  • 2 x 250 g streaky bacon

  • 225 g cherry tomatoes

  • 15 ml (1 T) olive oil

  • 1 red onion, sliced

  • 1 sprig of rosemary leaves, finely chopped

  • 300 g green beans, trimmed

  • 15 ml (1 T) balsamic vinegar

  • 2 avocados

Preheat the oven to 220 °C.
1 Season the chicken breasts and wrap 2-3 slices of bacon around each one. Place on a lightly oiled roasting pan and arrange the tomatoes around the chicken. Roast for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, but not dry.

2 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and rosemary and cook gently for 5 minutes until softened.

3 Stir in the green beans and cook for a further 5 minutes. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

4 Divide the mixture among 4 plates. Slice the avocados and serve with the chicken and roasted cherry tomatoes.

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