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.

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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!

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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.

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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
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Lemon poppy biscuits

These are so light and delicious – they’ll disappear pretty quickly. Low carb, sugar free and gluten free, too. 

MAKES 12

INGREDIENTS
2 cups almond meal
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
3 tablespoons xylitol or 1 tablespoon stevia (or other sweetener)
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 a lemon, pips removed
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

MELT, MIX, ROLL, FLATTEN, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Prepare a tray with baking paper.

Melt the butter or coconut oil and mix together with the almond meal, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract. If it’s not binding, add a little more melted butter or lemon juice.

Roll out tablespoon-sized balls and flatten with your hands onto the baking paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool before eating.

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Ginger soy salmon

Very easy to prepare and full of Asian flavours. Serve alongside some steamed greens. 

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS
2 fillets of salmon
1 tablespoon soy sauce
A thumbsize piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 fresh chilli or 1/2 teaspoon chilli paste, to taste
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Small handful of fresh coriander leaves
Wedges of lime, to serve
2 cups of Asian greens, to serve

PEEL, GRATE, DICE, TOP, BAKE, STEAM, SERVE…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.

Peel and finely grate the ginger, peel and mince the garlic, and finely chop the chilli. Mix the chilli, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce together. Put the salmon skin-down in a small baking dish or tray. Spoon over the ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil mix. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked to your liking. Try not to overcook it as it’s nice when it’s still a little pink on the inside.

In the meantime, steam the greens in a colander over boiling water for just a few minutes.

Serve the salmon straight out of the oven alongside the greens with a wedge of lime. Chop the coriander and sprinkle on top. Serve with a little extra soy sauce if a little salt is needed.

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Herb butter salmon

Such an easy recipe that takes a minute to prepare before throwing in the oven.

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS
2 fillets of salmon
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh herbs, such as parsley, dill, mint, coriander
2 cloves of garlic
Good pinch of sea salt
Crack of fresh black pepper

CHOP, PEEL, MINCE, MELT, POUR, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.

Chop the herbs finely, and peel and mince the garlic. Melt the butter and mix the herbs and garlic in. Place the salmon skin side down and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. With a spoon, pour the garlic herb butter over the top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.

Serve with some vegetables or salad on the side.

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