Creamy chicken

This is one of my favourites at the moment. It’s hearty and delicious, yet low carb. Imagine a creamy chicken pasta with flavours of bacon, garlic and mushroom, and this is what you get – except without the carbs. Think that all the cream and butter is bad? Read this. And this. This makes enough for dinner for me and my boyfriend, with a large portion for lunch the next day. If you don’t feel like making the courgetti, just have the chicken bake as it is, or have it with some cauliflower rice on the side.

chicken
SERVES 4
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 5g  / fat 27.5g / protein 67.5g

INGREDIENTS
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
4 chicken breasts
1 cup of mushrooms
4 rashers of bacon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup of cream
2 large zucchini
Splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper

DICE, SLICE, PEEL, MINCE, CHOP, SPRINKLE, HEAT, FRY, ADD, POUR, BAKE…
Dice the bacon, slice the mushrooms, peel and dice the onion, and peel and mince the garlic. Chop the herbs.

Wash the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a fry pan with a little olive oil and brown for a few minutes on each side. Remove and place in a roasting pan.

In the same pan, fry the bacon and onion for a few minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further minute or so. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the cream and herbs and simmer for another minutes. Remove from heat. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the roasting tray and bake for 15-20 minutes.

creamy chicken with bacon and mushrooms

creamy chicken with bacon and mushrooms

 

Minty pea soup

green pea soup
This is an incredibly quick and easy soup to make, and very nutritious.

SERVES 4
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 12g / fat 2.5g / protein 8g

INGREDIENTS
500g frozen peas
1 brown onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped mint
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in boiled water
1 tablespoon oil or butter

PEEL, DICE, MINCE, HEAT, SAUTE, ADD, FILL, COVER, SIMMER, REMOVE, BLEND, SERVE…
Peel and dice the onion, and peel and mince the garlic. Heat a saucepan with the oil or butter and saute the onion until soft, then add the garlic for a further minute. Add the peas, stock and water to fill the pot to just over the top of the peas. Add the mint, parsley, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes or until the peas are soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Blend with a hand blender until smooth. If it’s too thick, add in a little boiled water to thin it out. Serve as it is, or with a garnish of sour cream, pumpkin seeds, or chopped fresh herbs such as mint, parsley or chives.

Chicken & ‘rice’

I have very fond memories of my Baba’s chicken and rice – salty, savoury, garlicky, with aromas of chicken stock and roast chicken. It’s great to know that this low carb version brings back all the flavours, with extra veggies and no impact on blood sugar levels. I threw in half a grated zucchini (courgette) when I made this one.

chickenricemain

INGREDIENTS
CAULIFLOWER RICE
1 cauliflower head
1 broccoli head
1 chicken stock cube dissolved in a cup of boiled water (or 1 cup of liquid stock)
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, marjoram or tarragon
1 clove of garlic
Pinch of sea salt
Crack of black pepper
CHICKEN
500 grams of chicken (drumsticks, thighs or breasts)
Pinch of sea salt
Grinding of black pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of fresh herbs, such as parsley, marjoram, tarragon
1 teaspoon of cumin
2 tablespoons of butter

GRATE, ADD, MIX, SPREAD, SEASON, PLACE, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.

Grate or blend the cauliflower and broccoli into ‘rice’, discarding the stalk. Add the cup of chicken stock, a  pinch of salt and crack of black pepper, chopped herbs, and minced garlic. Mix to combine and spread out in a roasting tray.

Wash the chicken and season with the salt, pepper, minced garlic and cumin, coating the chicken well. Place the chicken pieces on top of the cauliflower and broccoli rice and top with knobs of butter. Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

Ginger miso soup

If you’re craving a ramen-style soup, this hits the spot. The inspiration for this is from Fork Knife Swoon with my own variations. I have used zucchini noodles for a low carb option, but you can substitute for soba noodles for a low GI carb. In the picture I have used just zucchini noodles, greens, fresh chilli and coriander with the miso ginger broth – but you can also add tofu, a boiled egg and sesame seeds on top as per the recipe. 

SERVES 2
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 10.5g / fat 13g / protein 9g

INGREDIENTS
1/2 a red onion
2 cloves of garlic
A thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in a cup of boiled water (or a cup of liquid stock)
2 tablespoons of miso paste (red or yellow)
1 zucchini (courgette)
A handful of Chinese greens, such as bok choi, gai lan or choy sum (or spinach)
1 soft boiled egg
Fresh or dried chilli, to taste
Fresh coriander, to serve
Sesame seeds, to serve

SLICE, MINCE, GRATE, HEAT, SAUTE, ADD, DISSOLVE, JULIENNE, ADD, SIMMER, STIR, ASSEMBLE…
Peel and thinly slice the red onion, peel and finely mince the garlic, and peel and finely grate the ginger. Heat the sesame oil in a saucepan and saute the onion for a couple of minutes until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a couple more minutes, then add the soy sauce, cooking for a further minute or so.

Dissolve the stock cube in a cup of boiled water if you aren’t using liquid stock. Add the cup of stock to the saucepan with another 2 cups of boiled water. Cover and let it simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavours develop.

Using a julienne peeler or spiraliser, make the zucchini noodles. Add to the broth with the greens and simmer for 5 minutes. If you are using soba noodles, now is the time to add them.

Dissolve the miso paste in a cup of boiled water. Stir into the soup and turn the heat off so the miso doesn’t come to a boil.

Assemble the soup in bowls, adding tofu, the boiled egg cut in half, a sprinkling of sesame seeds, fresh coriander, and chilli on top, if you like. Add a little extra soy sauce if you want it saltier. Enjoy!

ramen

Spicy pumpkin soup

Creamy, warming and spicy, this pumpkin and sweet potato soup is hearty, low GI and gluten free. It’s not low carb, but sweet potatoes are low GI, making them a perfect carb for diabetics that doesn’t spike your sugar levels. Combining sweet potato and pumpkin actually lowers the glycemic load of the pumpkin, making this meal low GI. Sweet potato is an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, as well as other essential vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin B6. Both pumpkin and sweet potato are high in fibre, keeping you fuller for longer with the benefits of aiding your digestive health. All the health benefits aside, it really is just a delicious, hearty soup. The coconut milk and coriander cools off the spice, and the earthiness and sweetness of the pumpkin and sweet potato keeps you coming back for more. I like to use an Indian type of curry powder, but red curry paste is also delicious and adds a Thai flavour. You could also just make your own by combining spices (cumin, paprika, turmeric, ginger, coriander and chilli makes a good mix).

coconut curry sweet potato and pumpkin soup

SERVES 6
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 23g / fat 9.5g / protein 6g

INGREDIENTS
1 kilogram butternut pumpkin
1 sweet potato
1 onion (red or brown)
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of curry powder or curry paste (or a spice mix of your own)
200mL of coconut milk, plus extra for serving
1 vegetable or chicken stock cube (or liquid stock)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or olive oil or butter)
1 fresh red chilli (optional)
A handful of fresh coriander (optonal)

PEEL, CHOP, CRUSH, HEAT, ADD, SAUTE, COOK, DISSOLVE, FILL, STIR, SIMMER, BLEND…
Peel and roughly chop the onions, pumpkin and sweet potato. Peel and crush the garlic.

Heat a large saucepan with the oil (or butter). Add the onion and saute for a couple of minutes until soft. Add the garlic and curry powder or paste with a pinch of salt and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add the diced sweet potato and pumpkin. Dissolve the stock cube in a mug of boiled water, if using, and add to the saucepan with the coconut milk. Fill the pot to the top of the vegetables with water. Stir, turn the heat down and put a lid on the saucepan. Let it simmer for 30 minutes or until the veggies are soft. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and a little pepper or chilli if needed.

Allow to cool slightly, then blend the soup with a hand-held blender.

Serve with a little drizzle of extra coconut milk, sliced fresh chilli, and roughly chopped fresh coriander on top. Enjoy!

Choc chip cookies

Soft and chewy inside, with a light crumble on the outside, these are an ideal low carb and low sugar substitute for the good old choc chip cookie. They are honestly just as good as the real thing, and have the right flavour and texture that you want in a choc chip cookie; perfect for dipping in a glass of cold milk. I’d really recommend adding the coconut to the mix as it adds a chewiness that makes all the difference, otherwise the cookie can be a little on the crumbly side and less chewy. Use dark chocolate for a lower sugar content, or sugar free chocolate. They are also gluten free. 

MAKES 12
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER COOKIE
carbs 2g / fat 18.5g / protein 3.5g

INGREDIENTS
125 grams butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup xylitol, stevia or other sweetener
1 egg
1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup dessicated coconut (or an additional 1/4 cup of almond meal)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter; omit if using salted butter)
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped

CREAM, MIX, COMBINE, SCOOP, FLATTEN, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Cream the butter, sweetener, egg and vanilla extract together. Mix together the almond meal, coconut flour, coconut, baking powder and chopped chocolate and combine with the creamed mixture.

Scoop spoonfuls of mixture into round balls and flatten out on the tray.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool completely before taking out of the tray as they will be very soft until they cool.

Chicken veggie soup

A perfect soup for when you’re feeling a little under the weather. It’s high protein, low carb and full of healthy veg. Feel free to use whichever vegetables you prefer or have in the fridge.

SERVES 4
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 3g / fat 8.5g / protein 21.5g

INGREDIENTS
400 grams of boneless chicken (thighs or other pieces)
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium carrots
1 large celery sticks with the leaves
1/2 a broccoli
1/2 a cauliflower
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
Generous pinch of sea salt
Grinding of black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube (or 1 litre liquid stock)
1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter

PEEL, DICE, CHOP, SAUTE, ADD, SIMMER, SEASON…
Peel and dice the onion and peel and finely dice the garlic. Dice the carrots and celery. Chop up the broccoli and cauliflower finely. Chop the parsley.

Heat a large saucepan with the oil or butter and add the onions, carrot and celery. Saute for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic, paprika, cumin, thyme, salt and pepper for another minute. Add in the chicken and brown. Add in the cauliflower, broccoli, parsley, bay leaves, stock and water to fill the pot (about a kettle full). Simmer on low heat for an hour. Taste for salt and pepper, then serve.

chicken 3

Rich chocolate slice

This recipe is adapted from Ditch the Carbs. I first tasted it at a cake bake at work. It was one of the few low sugar and healthier cakes there (I made a flourless gluten free mandarin polenta cake) – but everything else was high in sugar and refined white flour. I was really happy to see that everyone who tried this cake really enjoyed it (including me), so I asked for the recipe. I tried baking it for myself and have adjusted the recipe slightly. It’s a great low sugar, low carb and gluten free treat that will satisfy any chocolate craving. I sometimes spread a little sugar free hazelnut chocolate spread on top or some homemade ganache for an icing substitute, which is very moreish.

INGREDIENTS
200 gram dark chocolate (70% cocoa or more)
100 grams butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
4 tablespoons double cream
1 tablespoon stevia (or other sweetener of your choice such as xylitol)
100 grams almond meal or crushed nuts such as walnuts (optional)

MELT, BEAT, POUR, WHISK, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius, and line a cake tin with baking paper (I used a square tin so I can cut these into square bites).

Melt the chocolate and butter together, then take it off the heat and set aside.

In a bowl, beat the eggs, cream, stevia and vanilla extract together for a good 5 minutes, either by hand or with an electric beater, until it goes light and frothy.

Slowly pour the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, whisking thoroughly until it thickens up. Stir in the almond meal or nuts if using (it’s fine to leave out).

Pour into a lined tin and bake at 180 degrees celcius for 30-40 minutes. If it starts to burn, turn the heat down.

Cut into pieces (I cut mine it into square bites). Serve as it is, or with some whipped cream, berries, or a little chocolate spread or ganache.

chocolate
chocolate2