All posts by Valerie Azinge

Valerie Azinge is a cookbook author and the founder of My Digital Kitchen, a food blog and dessert catering company with the mission to cater to multiple diets and happier, healthier lives. She has been featured in several publications like BuzzFeed, Food Network, The Huffington Post and many more.
keto arancini in white bowl with parsley

Try This Keto Cauliflower Arancini for a Healthy Snack

Yes, you can absolutely enjoy cheesy arancini and wine with a keto twist! Unlike traditional arancini which is often deep-fried, this arancini with a garlic butter wine sauce is a feel-good alternative packed with tons of flavour, texture and of course, good cheese. You can also easily make this vegan by swapping in vegan dairy and eggs.

keto arancini in white bowl with parsley

Keto Cauliflower Arancini

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups riced cauliflower or cauliflower crumbs
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
⅔ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded
2 egg yolks
⅓ cup almond flour
¼ coconut flour (optional)
½ cup almond flour
¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
½ stick of unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ dry white wine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

keto arancini ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a saucepan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Once the pan is hot, add in cauliflower, oregano, sea salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Related: Keto-Friendly Snacks That Are Simple to Make (and Super Satisfying)

2. Transfer cooked cauliflower into a bowl. Add mozzarella, Parmigiano, egg yolks and almond flour and mix until smooth. Now check the consistency of your batter. If your batter seems a little loose or too sticky, add in coconut flour and adjust as needed. You want to be able to form the shape of a ball without it flattening.

keto arancini ingredients in white bowl

3. Using an ice cream scoop or a ⅓ cup, scoop the batter onto the lined baking sheet until you have 6-8 medium sized balls. In a separate plate, combine almond flour and parmigiano cheese. Roll each arancini ball in the almond-cheese mixture and return to the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add butter. Once melted, add garlic and saute for about a minute. Add wine and simmer until reduced, about 1 minute. Turn the heat off and stir in fresh parsley. Pour the garlic butter wine sauce over the keto arancini. Top with additional parsley, if desired.

keto arancini in white bowl with parsley

Like Valerie’s keto arancini? Try her air fryer corn “ribs” or healthy oven-fried chicken.

Vegan spinach dip in bowl with toasted pita chips next to it

This Yummy Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip is the Perfect Appetizer

You definitely won’t miss the cheese in this Can You Vegan It? spinach and artichoke dip. The traditional asiago cheese is swapped out for creamy pureed cashews and flavoured with garlic, Dijon and bell peppers. It’s a perfect crowd pleaser (and so quick to whip up!).

Vegan spinach dip in bowl with toasted pita chips next to it

Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups unsalted roasted cashews
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
½ yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp chickpea flour
Juice of one lime
1 Tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard (optional)
2 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
4 cups fresh spinach
¾ cup canned artichoke hearts, drained

Vegan spinach dip ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Soak cashews in 2 cups of boiled water for about 5 minutes. Strain and set aside.

2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic powder until softened and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat off and transfer the mixture into a blender.

Related: Party-Perfect Vegan Appetizers That Anyone Can Make

3. In the blender, also add in cashews, almond milk, chickpea flour, lime juice, Dijon, sea salt, pepper, spinach and artichokes. Pulse until semi-smooth.

Vegan spinach dip ingredients in blender

4. Transfer the puree into a 9-inch round baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Serve with toasted pita chips or veggies.

Vegan spinach dip in bowl with toasted pita chips next to it

Like Valerie’s vegan spinach and artichoke dip? Try her air fryer corn “ribs” (that are trending on TikTok) or her sweet chili chicken wings.

Sweet chili chicken wings on white plate

The Only Air Fryer Recipe You Need in Your Life (Sweet Chili Chicken Wings!)

These lip-smacking, finger-licking chicken wings are a quick and simple way to win over your meat-loving dad this Father’s Day. Plus, it’s perfect for the health-conscious individual because it all comes together in an air fryer and is perfectly crispy with every single bite.

Sweet chili chicken wings on white plate

Sesame Garlic Sweet Chili Chicken Wings

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 chicken wings

Ingredients:

Chicken Wings
12 chicken wings
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp paprika
1 Tbsp baking powder

Sweet Chili Sauce
1 Tbsp coconut aminos
2 Tbsp stir-fry sauce
3 Tbsp Sriracha
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp melted honey
1 ½ Tbsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp kosher salt
Juice from one lime
¼ cup warm water
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1-2 scallions, chopped

Sweet chili chicken wing ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Add chicken wings to a large bowl and dab with a paper towel. Add in salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika and baking powder and toss until the wings are coated. Line a basket of the air fryer with parchment paper and add wings. You may have to fry it in batches depending on how big your air fryer basket is.

2. Fry the wings in the air fryer at 400°F for 20 minutes, flipping the wings half way through. Make sure they’re fully cooked by checking with a food thermometer.

Related: Easy Air Fryer Recipes That Are Simply Delish

3. In the meantime, set your oven settings to broil and line a baking sheet with foil. Set aside.

4. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add in coconut aminos, stir-fry sauce, Sriracha, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, garlic powder, ginger, salt, lime juice and water. Simmer the sauce until reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the sauce to a large bowl and keep warm.

5. Place the cooked chicken wings in the large bowl with the sauce. Toss the chicken wings until fully coated in the sauce. Place coated chicken wings on the lined baking sheet and broil for about 4 minutes so that the sauce sticks to the chicken wings.

Sweet chili chicken wings on baking tray

6. Remove the wings from the oven and transfer to a serving plate. Top with sesame seeds and scallions.

Sweet chili chicken wings on white plate

Like Valerie’s air fryer chicken wings? Try her air fryer corn “ribs” (popular on TikTok) or her healthy Sriracha-honey oven-fried chicken.

These Air Fryer Corn “Ribs” Popular on TikTok Are So Easy to Make

The viral TikTok corn “ribs” just got a new spin with the addition of a creamy Mexican-inspired sauce. And while the sauce has dairy, you can simply omit for a fully Can You Vegan It? recipe. These elote-style corn ribs will be your new fave summer side dish, giving your palate sweet and smoky hints from the chipotle in adobo, as well as tangy hints from lime. Plus: this must-try dish only take 15 minutes!

TikTok corn ribs on plate

TikTok Corn Ribs

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

2 medium sweet corn
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
3 tsp garlic powder, divided
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp BBQ sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
1 medium chipotle chili in adobo, chopped
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ lime, juiced
Crumbled feta cheese (or Cotija), for topping

Equipment:

Air Fryer

TikTok corn ribs ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Start by preparing the corn. Remove the corn from the husk and cut off the ends, then wash and cut the corn into quarters. Make sure you use a sharp, sturdy knife and work slowly while cutting the corn, since the cob is quite thick.

Related: Fresh Corn Recipes You’ll Absolutely Love

2. In a medium bowl, whisk olive oil, 2 tsp of garlic powder, paprika and BBQ sauce. Brush the corn with the mixture until coated, then place them in an air fryer basket. Fry at 400°F for 10 minutes.

TikTok corn ribs cooking in air fryer

3. In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise, yogurt, chili in adobo, remaining garlic powder, cilantro leaves and lime juice. Brush the cooked corn with the mixture until coated and store any leftovers in the fridge. Top with additional cilantro and feta cheese.

TikTok corn ribs on plate

Like Valerie’s corn ribs? Try her crustless quiche and vegan steak recipes.

crustless quiche in white serving dish

Savour Spring Veggies With This Crustless Quiche Recipe

Quiche for breakfast? You bet! A great way to utilize your spring veggies is to use them in a quiche. I’ve used spinach, onion and zucchini here, but you can easily use whatever spring veggies you have on hand: asparagus, fiddleheads, kale, etc. You’ll love this crustless, low-carb flavourful quiche with smoky hints of paprika, the tartness of Dijon and the creamy texture of sharp Cheddar.

crustless quiche in white serving dish

Crustless Veggie Quiche

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium zucchini, chopped
⅔ cups frozen spinach, defrosted
1 small onion, sliced
3 strips chicken bacon, chopped
6 large eggs
1 cup half and half
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp paprika
1 tsp Dijon mustard
⅔ cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
Chopped parsley, for garnish

crustless quiche ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a round 9-inch baking dish.

2. Place a skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Saute the zucchini, spinach, onion and chicken bacon in the skillet for about 2 minutes, until cooked. Remove from heat and transfer the ingredients to the prepared baking dish.

crustless quiche ingredients cooking in pan

3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, half and half, salt, pepper, paprika and mustard. Add in half of the cheddar cheese and whisk until incorporated. Pour the egg mixture into the prepared baking dish on top of the sauteed ingredients. Top with the remaining cheese.

Related: Quick and Easy Low-Carb Recipes From The Pioneer Woman

4. Bake for 35 minutes. Top with parsley and serve.

Like Valerie’s crustless quiche recipe? Try her healthy Sriracha-honey oven-fried chicken or her spicy vegan cassoulet.

You’ll Never Guess the Secret Ingredient in This Vegan Steak Recipe

Steaks are a weeknight staple for so many, but for those who would like to indulge in the flavour and texture of steak without the animal protein, this Can You Vegan It? recipe is for you! The key ingredient that gives these steaks their meaty texture is seitan (made from vital wheat gluten), a delicious meat alternative that is a growing food trend among vegans and vegetarians. Plus, topping these steaks with chili chimichurri gives it an oh-so spicy, herby and tangy finish.

Vegan steak with broccoli, sweet potatoes

Vegan Steaks

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 48 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Steaks
½ cup mashed chickpeas
1 ¼ cup vital wheat gluten flour
2 tsp coconut aminos
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup vegetable stock
Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying

Marinade
⅔ cup coconut aminos
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp paprika
½ tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp olive oil

Chilli Chimichurri
1 tsp ancho chili powder
Handful of parsley
Handful of cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot, chopped
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper

Vegan steak ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, add in chickpeas, flour, coconut aminos, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper and sea salt. Mix all ingredients until crumbly, then gradually incorporate the vegetable stock and knead until firm. Add more stock if the dough is too dry or more flour if it’s too sticky.

Vegan steak ingredients in bowl

2. Roll the dough into a log and cut into four portions. Roll out each portion until about ½ inch thick. Steam steaks on stovetop for 45 minutes.

Four formed vegan steak patties

3. While the steaks are steaming, make the marinade. Combine coconut aminos, garlic powder, paprika, sea salt and oil in a resealable plastic bag.

4. Once the steaks are steamed and fully cooked, place the steaks in the resealable plastic bag and coat them with the marinade. Let it marinate in the fridge for half an hour.

Vegan steak marinaded on white plate

5. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Once the pan is hot, add in marinated steaks and sear both sides for about 30 seconds until lightly brown. Do not sear them for too long or they will burn. Once the steaks are seared, rest them for about 3 minutes while you make the chili chimichurri sauce.

Related: Vegan Comfort Food Trends to Look out for This Year

6. In a food processor, add in chili powder, parsley, cilantro, garlic, shallot, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sea salt and black pepper. Puree until smooth. Add more oil if needed for looser consistency.

7. Top steaks with chili chimichurri and serve with broccoli and sweet potato wedges or any side of choice.

Vegan steak with chimichurri sauce on top

Like Valerie’s vegan steak recipe? Try her vegan West African peanut lentil stew or her 20-minute vegan zucchini ramen noodle soup.

West African mafe AKA peanut lentil stew - in a bowl

Vegan West African Peanut Lentil Stew: The Comfort Food You Need

This hearty and flavourful stew, also known as mafé, is one of many delicious delicacies that hails from West African cuisine. Traditional West African peanut stew uses ground peanuts and contains beef, but my Can You Vegan It? spin uses natural peanut butter since it’s more accessible, as well as lentils for extra protein. However, the sweet potatoes in this quick 45-minute dish perfectly seal the deal.

West African mafe AKA peanut lentil stew - in a bowl

West African Peanut Lentil Stew

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
2 tsp crushed red pepper (plus more to taste)
1 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
½ tsp ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
2 tsp cumin (optional)
½ tsp cardamom (optional)
5 cups low-sodium vegetarian broth
1½ cups red lentils
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
1 (16 oz) can crushed tomatoes, with liquid
1 cup natural raw peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
Fresh chopped parsley for topping (optional)

West African mafe AKA peanut lentil stew ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic and ginger in the hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with the crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, as well as the cumin and cardamom (if using).

Related: Best Vegan Soup and Stew Recipes You’ll Crave All Winter

2. Pour the broth over the mixture. Stir the lentils and sweet potatoes into the liquid and bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat to low and cover the pot partially with a lid. Cook at a simmer for 15 minutes.

West African mafe AKA peanut lentil stew - in a bowl

3. Stir in the tomatoes and peanut butter. Turn up the heat slightly to medium-low. Cover the pot and continue cooking for another 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with chopped parsley and serve.

West African mafe AKA peanut lentil stew - in a bowl

Like Valerie’s vegan mafé? Try her healthy sriracha-honey oven-fried chicken or her spicy vegan cassoulet.

vegan cassoulet in white dish

This Cozy Weeknight Cassoulet is Given a Spicy Vegan Makeover

A cozy weeknight favourite with a vegan spin, this French-inspired dish is booming with flavour and wholesome ingredients, while topped with a light panko crumb crust to add a nice crunch. While cassoulet traditionally contains meat, this Can You Vegan It? recipe gives the classic a plant-based twist. This recipe calls for harissa paste for a bit of a spicy kick, but if heat isn’t your thing, substitute black pepper in place of the paste. Plus, an added bonus: this meal all comes together in one pot and it takes just an hour to whip up!

vegan cassoulet in white dish

Spicy Vegan Cassoulet

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

3 medium leeks
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
3 large carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 parsley sprigs
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp ground cloves
1-1 ½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp harissa paste
3 (19 oz) cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups of water
1 ¾ cups organic panko crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme

vegan cassoulet ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. Cut and discard the green part of the leeks, leaving only the white and pale green parts to work with. Halve leeks lengthwise, then chop crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Place chopped leeks in a bowl or large strainer and rinse thoroughly until the sandy particles are gone.

2. Place a large Dutch oven pot over medium heat and add ¼ cup olive oil. Once heated, add leeks, carrots, zucchini, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, cloves, salt and harissa. Stir occasionally until veggies are semi soft and golden, about 15 minutes; then add in beans and water. Cook covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s One Pot Recipes That Will Make Dinner a Breeze

3. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, toss panko bread crumbs, 2 Tbsp olive oil, garlic powder and thyme. Place it on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes until toasted and light brown, stirring occasionally. Set aside and let it cool.

panko breadcrumbs roasted on cookie sheet

4. When the cassoulet is ready, discard bay leaf and parsley sprigs and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Top with toasted garlic panko before serving.

vegan cassoulet in white dish

Like Valerie’s vegan cassoulet? Try her low-carb vegan ramen or her healthy Sriracha-honey oven-fried chicken.

Plate of healthy fried chicken

This Healthy Sriracha-Honey Oven-Fried Chicken is Simply Delish

For all the fried chicken lovers out there who are looking for a much healthier way to enjoy delicious chicken — this paleo Sriracha-honey oven-fried chicken is right up your alley. It’s spicy, sweet and savoury, extremely flavourful and there’s no deep frying or oil required.

Plate of healthy fried chicken

Healthy Sriracha-Honey Oven-Fried Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour
1 tsp flaky sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 eggs
1 lb chicken breasts or thighs (4-5 pieces)
⅓ cup Sriracha hot sauce
⅓ cup pure honey
1 tsp garlic powder
Fresh chives or parsley, for topping

Ingredients for healthy fried chicken on countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt and pepper. In a smaller bowl, whisk eggs.

Related: Our Best Budget-Friendly Chicken Recipes to Have on Rotation

3. Dip each chicken breast in the whisked eggs, then coat with almond flour mixture and place on the lined baking sheet. Store any leftover almond flour mixture in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. This can be reused within 3 days.

Healthy fried chicken in batter on baking pan

4. Transfer the chicken to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

5. In the meantime, combine Sriracha hot sauce, honey and garlic powder in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the honey is melted and mixture is smooth. Turn off the heat and set the sauce aside.

Sauce for healthy fried chicken in pot

6. When ready, take the chicken out of the oven, then turn the oven settings to broil. Using a pastry brush, brush the Sriracha-honey sauce on the surface of the chicken until coated. Place the chicken back in the oven and broil for 3-5 minutes.

Pan full of healthy fried chicken

7. When ready, top with fresh chives or herb of choice. Serve immediately.

Like Valerie’s healthy Sriracha-honey chicken? Try her low-carb mint lamb burgers or her low-sugar persimmon creme brulee.

Ramen with tofu and bok choy in white bowl

This Hearty 20-Minute Vegan Zucchini Ramen Noodle Soup Will Not Disappoint

No matter what, you always found yourself eating ramen out of a microwaved bowl in college. It was soupy noodles and not much else. Imagine if you found a veggie-based recipe that was full of flavor, packed with protein, low carb and delicious. That’s exactly what this ramen is: healthy good food. In this Can You Vegan It? recipe, we swap eggs for tofu — further transforming this classic comfort food.

Ramen with tofu and bok choy in white bowl

Zucchini Ramen Noodle Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

¼ cup sesame oil, divided
4 baby bok choy, quartered
2 Tbsp yellow miso paste (optional)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, chopped
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
¼ cup coconut aminos
8 cups vegetable broth
½ tsp kosher salt
4 zucchinis, spiralized
4-6 omega-3 eggs, boiled, peeled and sliced or cooked tofu
2 3-oz (85 g) packages enoki mushrooms
1 cup scallions, diced

Related: Genius Ways to Hack a Pack of Ramen Noodles

Directions:

1. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bok choy to the skillet and cook for roughly 2 minutes on both sides until lightly charred. Remove the bok choy from the skillet and set it aside.

2. Add the remaining oil, then add the miso (if using), garlic, shallots, ginger and coconut aminos. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add the broth and salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, then add the zucchini. Let the soup simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with the bok choy, eggs (or tofu), enoki mushrooms and a topping of scallions.

Like Valerie’s ramen noodle soup? Try her zesty lamb burgers or her low sugar persimmon creme brulee.

front cover of 30-Minute Low-Carb DinnersReprinted with permission from 30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners by Valerie Azinge, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Valerie Azinge, Yasaman Shafiei and Kabir Ali.

30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners, Amazon, $23.

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

The Perfect Fall Dessert: Healthy Low Sugar Persimmon Creme Brulee

This unique twist on the traditional creme brulee is an egg-free and sugar-conscious alternative that fits right into your fall dessert menu. Not only is it healthier — it mostly relies on a ripe persimmon for that creamy butterscotch-like sweetness — there’s no baking required. This dessert is a fun and fancy way to utilize persimmons during the fall season, especially since they are only around for a short time.

persimmon creme brulee

Persimmon Creme Brulee

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 medium very ripe persimmon, chopped
1 cup half and half creamer
⅓ cup + 4 Tbsp golden monk fruit sugar, divided
⅓ cup cornstarch
½ cup water
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Creme brulee ingredients

Directions:

1. Place the persimmon, creamer, ⅓ cup monk fruit sugar, cornstarch, water, sea salt and cinnamon in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth. Pour the puree into a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk until it thickens like a smooth custard and has no lumps. This should take about 25 minutes.

Persimmon creme brulee ingredients in blender

2. Divide the mixture between four ramekins that are 4 oz each. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight until solid.

Persimmon creme brulee ingredients divided into ramekins

3. When ready, let the creme sit at room temperature for 2 minutes. Top each ramekin with 1 Tbsp of monk fruit sugar, making sure the entire surface is equally coated. Melt the sugar with a brulee torch until golden brown or slightly darker if you prefer. You will get a golden brown-orange colour, since this is not a regular creme brulee.

Related: 17 Low-Sugar Dessert Recipes to Get You Through the Holiday Season

4. Let sit for 5 minutes until the sugar has crystallized. Garnish with persimmon slices and serve.

Like Valerie’s low-sugar creme brulee? Try her easy paleo butternut squash or 30-minute low-carb zesty lamb burgers.

Easy Paleo Butternut Squash Tart Recipe: Your Fave Seasonal Squash Transformed!

We can all agree that the fall season is popular for all things pumpkin, particularly pies and tarts. However, you can also enjoy delicious fall desserts by transforming another seasonal favourite into a tasty tart. Introducing this rustic paleo butternut squash tart, made with a grain-free crust and a decadent buttery filling. It’s easy to make and a great way to enjoy butternut squash all season long.

Paleo Butternut Squash Tart

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours
Bake Time: 55 to 60 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8

Ingredients:

Crust
1 ¼ cup almond flour
½ cup arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
1 Tbsp cane sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 stick unsalted cold butter, cubed
¼ cup ice water

Filling
2 cups cooked and pureed butternut squash
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp paleo-approved brown sugar
4 ½ tsp arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted room temperature butter
2 eggs
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup warm water

Tip: To save time, you can purchase frozen prepared butternut squash cubes. Heat them up with 1.5 Tbsp of water in the microwave on high for five minutes. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Directions:

1. In a large bowl or a food processor, start by combining the almond flour, starch, sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter until the batter is crumbly. Add in 1 tsp of ice water at a time until the dough starts coming together. You may not need the full ¼ cup of ice water in the event that your dough already sticks together, so play it by ear. Once your dough is formed, but not too sticky, flatten it out into a 1 inch disk and wrap in saran wrap. Refrigerate for two hours or overnight.

Related: The Ultimate Squash Guide: All the Varieties and Their Best Uses

2. When your dough is ready to roll out, remove from the fridge and preheat your oven to 350°F. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper into a 10 inch round disk. If you find that the dough is too hard to roll, leave it at room temperature for about a minute. Remove the parchment paper and transfer the dough into a greased 10-inch round tart pan. Press the dough into the pan until all the edges are covered, then return it to the fridge.

3. Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix for 3 minutes until you get a smooth batter. It’s normal to see tiny clumps of butter in the batter after mixing.

4. Pour the filling into the tart crust and place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Place the tart in the oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. When ready, cool the tart on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Serve with toppings of choice.

Like Valerie’s paleo butternut squash tart? Try her 30-minute low-carb lamb burger recipe.

BBQ These 30-Minute Low-Carb Mint Lamb Burgers for Dinner Tonight

“This heavenly, satisfying burger is one of the many reasons I look forward to eating dinner at your house.” A true quote from my dear mother, who is also happy being my guinea pig whenever I’m testing meat recipes. These juicy, hot off the grill, zesty mint lamb burgers will have your mouth watering before they even hit your plate. Added bonus: they’re low-carb and can be made in 30 minutes!

Related: Satisfying Weeknight Recipes Where Veggies Replace Carbs

Zesty Mint Lettuce Lamb Burgers

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 burgers

Ingredients:

Burger
1 lb (454 g) ground lamb
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp (6 g) chopped mint leaves
1 shallot, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch kosher salt and ground black pepper

For Serving
1 head butter lettuce
1 red pepper, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
2 cups (400 g) store-bought zucchini chips (optional)

Related: Our 80 Most Popular Burger Recipes

1. To make the burgers, fire up the grill or grill pan to medium heat. I used a grill pan for this recipe. While the grill pan is heating up, mix the ground lamb with garlic, mint, shallot, lime juice, salt and pepper. Form 4 equal-sized lamb patties.

2. Now comes the fun step: grill the lamb burgers for approximately 4 minutes per side, making sure to only turn them once. You can also enjoy listening to the lovely sizzle in the pan while these burgers are cooking.

3. When the burgers are ready, it’s building time. Layer the lamb burgers on the lettuce leaves with red peppers and onions. Serve with zucchini chips, if desired.

Want more summertime grilling recipes? These pork banh mi burgers and grilled stuffed zucchini boats are sure to impress.

Reprinted with permission from 30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners by Valerie Azinge, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Valerie Azinge, Yasaman Shafiei and Kabir Ali.

30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners, Amazon, $23.

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