A Week of Super Low-Carb!

diabetes diet
Mediterranean trout with kale.

This week, I’m going super low carb. The carb count has crept up lately. And I was ill for a while which sent the blood sugar levels soaring.

And yes, I wouldn’t mind knocking off a kilo or two. Then treating myself to a whole new wardrobe.*

Does anyone else love a spot of dietary planning? You dig out your recipe books, go online, write menu plans and shopping lists. All instead of doing the day job. Bliss!

I’ve researched the recipes I fancy, here and on Diet Doctor which has every kind of keto option you can imagine. A lot of them can be cream and cheese heavy (not a bad thing), but they do offer salad-y type stuff and dairy-free options too.

I thought I’d try these chicken drumsticks, the crunchy coating made from coconut and pork rinds. I’ll skip the coconut, though, as I don’t think I’d get that past my husband. [“Coconut flakes?! On drumsticks? Get thee behind me, Satan.”]

I’ll also be making the cauliflower cheese recipe from our website, and the Mediterranean trout with kale you see pictured above.

And I’ve already knocked up a batch of home-made mayonnaise, using rapeseed oil because I love the gorgeous yellow colour it gives.

Chocolate fudge is in the fridge ready for when the dreaded sweet tooth growls at me. And I’ll be making turkey curry with spinach to handle the spice craving.

I’ll report back on what happens.

 

*Kidding. Freelancing makes even shopping for clothes in Asda tricky. 

Seasonal Low-Carb Dishes

diabetes diet
Mediterranean trout with kale.

February is almost at an end – as it the season for many fruit and vegetables we associated with this time of year.

Nevertheless, we’ve done a round-up of what’s in season at the moment. If you eat seasonally, you get food at its best. It also means less food miles, as the food can be produced in the UK and has therefore not had to travel as far to get to your plate.

Fruit

  • Lemons
  • Clementines (coming to the end of their season)
  • Pears (coming to the end of their season)
  • Kiwis

Vegetables

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Leeks
  • Kale
  • Purple sprouting broccoli

Meat and fish

  • Turkey
  • Salmon

If you want some recipe ideas for what to do with what’s in season, you could try:

Enjoy!

 

Mediterranean Trout with Kale

diabetes dietInspired by the Diet Doctor – if you ever need low-carb recipe ideas this site is amazing – I created my own version of one of their recipes this week.

And, whisper it, I think mine’s better! I swapped salmon for trout fillets which brings down the cost substantially, replaced spinach with crispy kale and gave the dish an overall Mediterranean feel with some basil.

You end up with an extremely low-carb dish – about 3g net carbs – that’s also delicious and really filling. I bought my trout from Costco where I was able to buy a giant fillet that I cut up into eight 150g portions.

Kale is packed with vitamins and minerals – including beta carotene, and vitamins K and C – while trout has plenty of Omega 3s and B vitamins.

Mediterranean Trout with Kale

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 x 150g trout fillets
  • 4tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • 200g kale
  • 2tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 175 degrees C. Season the fish and place them on a baking sheet lined with grease-proof paper or foil, skin side down.

Mix the mayonnaise, tomato puree and basil and spread the mixture evenly over the two fillets. Cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

Five minutes before the end of the fish cooking time, heat a large saucepan or work with the butter. Add the kale and plenty of seasoning and cook until softened.

Serve with the fish.

 

A Day of Very Low-Carb Eating

What does a day of very low-carb eating look like? Bacon and eggs, chicken salad and then steak, blue cheese sauce and green beans?!

Okay, some of the low-carb clichés work well. I don’t mind bacon and eggs in some form for breakfast every day. Otherwise, I might have low-carb bread (and you can see our great recipe for this here) with butter and Marmite, or I have smoked salmon or leftovers from the night before.

Whisper it: I’m not fussed about steak. A great burger, on the other hand… I’m also keen on turkey, particularly turkey mince which is very versatile. Turkey tacos, turkey chilli, turkey burgers and turkey curry are regular features in my house.

Bacon and egg.

Two rashers of back bacon, chopped up and fried in a little egg. Once they have cooked, I add in one large egg and mix it up. The whole thing takes less than 10 minutes to make.

2g carbs

Prawns and vegetables

imageI made my own Marie Rose sauce (2tbsp mayonnaise, a teaspoon of tomato puree and a dash of Tabasco), and mixed this with 100g king prawns. I served this with salad and steamed broccoli. I also had some dry-roasted peanuts.

10g carbs

Turkey steaks in mushroom sauce

I had one and half turkey steaks, diced with a cream sauce. The sauce was made from mushrooms fried in a little butter. I added a tablespoon of wholegrain mustard, 250ml double cream and some salt. (I used about a quarter of this sauce.) I served it with steamed cauliflower and salad.

8g carbs

atkins-barI finished with an Atkins bar – the chocolate coconut one that’s a bit like a Bounty bar. These bars are controversial in low-carb circles. They are heavily processed, after all. However, I really love the coconut chocolate one and I count 8g of carbs per bar, not the 2g of net carbs the label claims*.

8g carbs

 

 

 

*You need to figure this out yourself. The nutritional information for the Atkins bar subtracts polyols (the sugar alcohol used as a sweetener) from the total to give you the net carb content, but some people find polyols do affect their blood sugar levels.

Beef Stroganoff – Low-Carb Main Courses

low carb main coursesBeef Stroganoff is a quick and easy dish for two. All in all, it takes about 15 minutes to prepare. The classic accompaniment is rice or noodles. If you are following a low-carb diet, try cauliflower rice instead, broccoli or a huge salad.

Beef Stroganoff

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 300g rump steak (Aldi sells rump steaks in this size)
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 100g onion, finely sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1tsp Dijon or wholegrain mustard
  • 100ml reduced-fat crème fraiche
  • 2tbsp parsley, finely chopped

Chop the steak into 2cm chunks. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and cook the steak pieces. You might need to do this in batches to prevent over-crowding the pan.

Depending on how you like your steak, cook for 2-4 minutes – the lesser time will mean a rarer finished dish.

Remove the steak from the pan and add the onion and mushrooms. Cook for five minutes until softened and lightly browned. Add the salt and pepper, steak and mustard and cook for one minute. Add the crème fraiche and cook through. Top with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Allow about 10-12g of carbs per portion.

 

Spinach and Feta Crust-less Quiche

low-carb recipesI’m writing this in the middle of a heat wave. In Scotland. Yup, you read that right. For the last ten days, the BBC weather forecast has looked topsy-turvy with the western upper half of the island illustrated with suns, while the eastern section down below shivers in wind and rain.

Ha!

Heat waves don’t go along with cooking, unless it’s barbecue. Most barbecue foods lend themselves well to a low-carb diet, but if you’re bored of burgers, a crust-less quiche is a delicious alternative.

I don’t bother with fresh spinach these days. Frozen spinach is much cheaper and easier to use. It’s already shrunk down so you don’t have to battle with an over-flowing pan as you try to get it to wilt.

frozen spinach

Allow roughly 4g of carbs per serving.

This goes well with a sliced tomato salad. Slice tomatoes finely and dress with shredded basil, some olive oil, salt and balsamic vinegar.

For the carb-eaters, serve with a baked potato or some crusty bread.

 

 

Crust-less Spinach and Feta Quiche

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 300g frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 150g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C. Lightly butter a Pyrex or equivalent dish.
  2. Spread the spinach evenly over the bottom of the dish. Mix the eggs, crumbled feta, salt, pepper, garlic powder and double cream together.
  3. Pour over the top of the spinach and sprinkle with the chopped spring onions, along with a little extra black pepper.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Take the foil off and bake for another 10 minutes to brown the top.

 

 

Spinach pic thanks to Karen Arnold on publicdomain pics.

 

Happy New Year!

new-years-day-1064217_960_720Happy New Year to everyone who follows The Diabetes Diet blog. We wish you health and happiness (and normal blood sugar levels) in 2016.

If you’re planning to kick-start low carb eating or in need of low-carb menu planning ideas, check out our blog as we’ve got loads of delicious recipes here, and plenty of information via the D-Solve course and the How to course which will help you work out how to deal with your diabetes.

And if you want that little bit extra help in a book where all the information is in one place, check out the Diabetes Diet here.