Healthy Low-Carb Recipes for Chilling and Grilling — Nourishing World Blog

Some party and outdoor recipe ideas for low-carb courtesy of the Nourishing World Blog.

With the Summer Party season about to get underway, I wanted to share some great keto-Friendly Summer recipes. My Daughter and I recently did another round of the 21-Day Detox and found a few new healthy recipe favorites. This Buffalo Wing Sauce is keto friendly, Paleo and Whole30 friendly. My daughter ate this almost every […]

via Healthy Low-Carb Recipes for Chilling and Grilling — Nourishing World Blog

Low-carb veggie curry

vegetable curry in a bowlAs a one-time vegetarian, I love vegetable or pulse-based curries. I’d choose them over meat-based ones any day. I’m also a fan of tamarind paste—it adds amazing tangy flavour to any curry.

Last week, I made a veggie curry using the left-overs in the fridge and combining them in a rich sauce. Had I been the only one eating it, I would have added cauliflower but my husband hates the stuff and veggie dishes are a hard sell to him so I left it out.

Recipes often specify coconut milk, which is fine if you need a whole tin of it. I keep packets of creamed coconut in my store cupboards (fridge in the summer) as it’s much more versatile. You can use however much you need without waste, and it can be a thickener or made into a cream.

Vegetable Curry

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 300g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, cut into batons
  • Half a red pepper, sliced
  • 1 large courgette cut into chunks
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1tbsp tamarind paste
  • 50g creamed coconut, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 chillies, chopped
  • Salt to taste.
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Strictly speaking, you should put the onions in first, fry till translucent, then add the peppers, courgette and carrot, cook for five minutes and add the mushrooms last. I’m too lazy to add the veggies one by one so I threw them all in at once and cooked for about six minutes.
  2. Add the curry powder, tamarind paste and chillies and cook for another minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil. Mix in the creamed coconut and turn down to a simmer. Cook for about five minutes. The creamed coconut will thicken the sauce. Add seasoning to taste.
  3. To make it more of a main meal, You could add some fresh chicken stock to this and turn it into a sauce for chicken thighs or throw in a good handful of cooked prawns and cook for a minute to warm through. Another worthy addition is two or three balls of frozen spinach. Defrost and warm through beforehand, obvs.

Allow about 15-18g of carbs per portion. Serve with naan breads (low-carb version here) or rice for the carb-lovers in your life.

Chicken Caesar Salad – crouton-free

picture of chicken caesar saladEaster greetings to you all… here’s an idea for lunch or dinner for you. Now, Caesar salad without the croutons?! C’est sacrilege, surely? But if you follow a low-carb diet, the concept of tearing up the rule book on food is one you embrace.

I’m back from a terrific few days in the Scottish Borders (abbey-visiting a-plenty), and my favourite meals while there was a Chicken Caesar salad I had in the Townhouse in Melrose. Now that one did feature croutons, albeit small ones, but the dressing and the juicy chicken made it stick out.

I decided to re-create it at home. Issue one—chicken breast, a dry and often flavour-free meat. Issue two—my husband hates anchovies and they’re are often added to the salad or at least the traditional dressing.

Poached, not fried or roasted chicken

To avoid dry chicken, I poached mine in chicken stock (I used two cubes) with a handful of sage and thyme added to the cooking liquor. And to make an anchovy-free dressing*, I found an American recipe online and adapted it.

Here it is—crouton-free Chicken Caesar Salad suitable for low-carb and gluten-free diets.

Chicken Caesar Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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<em>A fresh, light recipe that is still filling and perfect for a late spring or summer dinner</em>.


Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (the best quality you can afford)
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • Handful fresh sage leaves and several thyme twigs)
  • 3 rashers smoked back or streaky bacon
  • 2 Little Gem lettuces
  • 10 baby plum or cherry tomatoes
  • 30g Parmesan shavings

Dressing

  • 4tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard

Steamed green beans to serve (and boiled new potatoes for your carb-lovers).

  1. Bring the chicken stock to a simmer and add the breasts. Depending on their thickness, they will take 10-15 minutes to cook, but you shouldn’t have any pink meat remaining.
  2. Meanwhile, wash the Little Gem lettuces and pull off the outer leaves. Use them to line a wide bowl so you have a ‘tray’ for your salad. Shred the rest of the leaves finely, slice the tomatoes and put in a bowl with the lettuce. Add the Parmesan shavings. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss the salad to coat it evenly with the dressing.
  3. Grill the bacon until crispy. Once the chicken is cooked, chop or slice it and add to the plate. Top with the grilled bacon (one and half slices each).

About 5-7g carbs per serving.

Please note—the dish is high in protein and protein can affect your blood sugar levels after a few hours. Test your blood glucose accordingly. Our book The Diabetes Diet outlines how to deal with the protein content in meals.

 

*Ssh, don’t tell my husband one of the main ingredients in Worcestershire sauce is… you guessed it, anchovies.

Peppercorn Sauce for steak #low-carb

plate with steak and peppercornsauceThis week, I tried a cooking method I’ve never used before—low cooking. For those unfamiliar with the term, low cooking can be used for tender cuts of meat. You sear it in a pan and then place in an oven at a very low temperature and cook for a long time.

It differs from slow cooking in that slow cooking is usually used for tougher cuts of meat and involves liquid. I used the low cooking technique to cook a ribeye steak we got from Donald Russell. If you live in the UK and buy certain magazines or Sunday newspapers, a Donald Russell flier will have fallen out of them at some point.

True cost of meat

‘Donald Russell’ is a farm in Inverurie (Aberdeenshire) which supplies many top end restaurants and Balmoral with meat and fish. I can vouch that the quality of the produce is superb. It is also stonkingly expensive, but that will reflect the true cost of meat especially if you want to buy meat that comes from animals that have lived a life as close to the one they are supposed to. If (and that’s a big if) my writing career ever makes me decent money, this will be the only meat I buy.

Anyway, I cooked the steak for three minutes all-in on a high heat and then popped it in the oven at 80 degrees C for 35 minutes, and served it with peppercorn sauce and salad (and fried potatoes for my carb-loving husband). Here’s the peppercorn sauce recipe. It isn’t the classic one as I find fiddling around with sauce recipes too much to resist. The sauce has about 5g of carbs per serving.

Peppercorn Sauce for Steak

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 50g butter
  • 1tbsp peppercorns, crushed
  • 50ml brandy or white wine
  • 1tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 100ml beef or chicken stock
  • 50ml cream (I used crème fraiche as I had some left over, double cream or sour cream will work too)
  1. Melt the butter in a pan and add the onions. Fry gently until softened—about three to five minutes.
  2. Add the pepper, mustard, garlic and mix well. Add the brandy or white wine and bring to a simmer. Cook for three minutes and add the beef or chicken stock. Cook for another three minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat and add the cream and stir through until thickened. Serve with steaks or chicken. Or use it to make a sublime vegetable side dish.

Have you used the low cooking technique before and what’s your favourite sauce to serve with steak?

The Weird and Wonder of Low-Carb Eating

pickled beetroot eggs on the Diabetes DietLadies and gentlemen – the pickled eggs were a huge success, though I’m the only fan in our household. And reader views varied as you will see in the comments on my original post and recipe.

I think you’ll agree they make the prettiest egg mayonnaise, though. Dollop a generous portion next to some poached or fried white fish or just put in a bowl, arm yourself with a teaspoon (smaller mouthfuls make it last longer) and eat like that. Before I completely repulse you with my slovenly eating habits—oh, scratch that, while we’re here, let’s continue with the weird and wonderful…

Embrace the odd

When you decide to eat a wholefood, low-carb diet, you can embrace odd combinations, pairings and dishes that stray from the well-trodden path. An oft-quoted saying for low-carb eating is that meals cease to be so different from each other.

Take breakfast as the best example. What can you eat if you shun the sugar, chemical load that is most cereals, you don’t eat bread but yet another plateful of bacon and eggs feels like a chore? Last night’s leftovers of course! A meal isn’t only dinner just because it’s got vegetables in it. Heat up your stew and have it for breakfast. Try a burger, chicken leg or a bowl of warming winter vegetable soup.

I like salad so I’ll add a side helping of it to anything, including the afore-mentioned bacon and eggs. Yolks that melt into salad leaves provide an instant dressing. A tin of anchovies, chopped up and mixed with steamed broccoli and cauliflower, gives you a side dish par excellence.

Cheese, cheese food of the Gods

I haven’t even started on cheese… Crumble blue cheese into minced beef cooked with peppers and mushrooms, top a curry with it, and always, always put it in meatballs and top it on burgers. Eat a lump of it with in-season strawberries, their sweet delicacy a nice contrast to a medium mature cheddar, or chop up carrots into batons and serve with a stronger farmhouse version. As we’re low-carb proponents, I can’t recommend this suggestion for frequent sampling, but a moist, dense fruit cake topped with a thin slice of blue cheese is heavenly… far better than icing overloaded cupcakes or birthday cake.

And then there’s the joy of butter—cooking, topping hot things with and paring off thin slices to eat as you cook. That might just be me. One of the more peculiar delicacies I like is two walnut halves stuck together with a bit of butter. Fatty heaven! I’m a big fan of creamed coconut too. You can cook amazing curries with the stuff, sure, but the real fun of creamed coconut is cutting yourself small cubes and allowing them to melt in your mouth. You can tell the warnings about saturated fat trotted down the road towards me, came to an abrupt halt and ran for the hills, screaming.

If a low-carb diet has been in your sights for a while but all that comes to mind is chicken, broccoli bacon and eggs and not much else, I promise you this way of eating is for food lovers; those of us who live to eat and who can spend hours planning, reading recipes, shopping and cooking. Take the starch out and other things rush to fill the space—weird, off the wall combinations individually tailored to your own tastes.

Enjoy!

Do you have any weird food combos or dishes you love to eat in secret? Let us know in the comments below.

PS—articles in the news recently focused on a study that stressed the importance of eating far less meat, fish and dairy for planetary and health reasons. For those of us who are concerned with both, there are some thought-provoking articles and arguments on the Diet Doctor website, which also focuses on low-carb diets for health.

Beetroot Pickled Eggs – low carb snacks

picked beetroot eggs on the Diabetes DietFor most of us, eggs are the mainstay of a low-carb diet. Poached, fried, scrambled, baked, turned into omelettes, used as a bulking or raising agent or the basis of delicious sauces such as mayonnaise and Hollandaise, there are many ways to eat an egg.

And I thought I’d done them all… but there was one thing I shied away from, too scared to touch it—the pickled egg. The thought of it did funny things to my stomach. I imagined unscrewing a jar of them, my senses assaulted by an over-powering sulphuric, vinegary smell. And that’s despite the fact I love sauerkraut, so you could argue I’m no stranger to the sulphuric, vinegary stuff.

Anyway, as part of my Keep Sundays Special Campaign, last week my husband and I lunched at the Shilling Brewing Company, a Glasgow city centre pub that has its own micro-brewery on location, and happens to do stone oven baked pizzas. I left that dietary choice to the carb-lover in my life and opted for the salad on offer—quinoa, beetroot, rocket, whipped Gorgonzola and a beetroot picked egg.

Blimey, it was delicious. I was determined to make my own. One whiffy afternoon later—pickling anything at home means your house reeks of vinegar for days afterwards—and the results are these purple-pink beauties. Put them in your salads, eat them as a snack, chop up and scatter over cooked cauliflower for colour and contrast.

  • 6 large eggs
  • 150ml water
  • 350ml cider vinegar (Asda sells this bottle size)
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • 1tbsp salt
  • 1 large raw beetroot

You’ll need a Kilner jar or other jar large enough to hold six eggs and half a litre of liquid

Sterilise your jar by washing it in hot soapy water and then drying it out for 30 minutes in a low oven (about 110 degree C).

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add a little malt vinegar as this will help you peel the eggs. Once the water is boiled, lower the eggs in gently, bring back to a simmer, cover and leave to cook for seven minutes. Run under cold water for two minutes to stop the cooking process and peel the eggs. Leave aside.

Peel and dice the beetroot. You might want to use plastic gloves for this, as the juice can stain. Place in a saucepan with the vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and then bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes and strain to remove the beetroot.

Put your eggs into the sterilised Kilner jar and pour over the eggs. Seal the jar and leave for a few days (advice online differs—from 48 hours until two weeks). Once you’ve opened the jar, store the eggs in the fridge and eat within a few days.

It’s hard to guess at a carb count. How much sugar and beetroot penetrate them? But I’d guess it’s minimal.

Vitamin B12 and Diabetes

vitamin B12 bottle on the Diabetes Diet
Vitamin B12 Gummies by icethim on flickr. Reproduced thanks to Creative Commons 2.0

In the news this week was an article about Vitamin B12 and its deficiency in those with type 2 diabetes*.

A new study by Nottingham researchers has shown that most people (64 percent of those assessed) people taking metformin (for type 2) were not being routinely tested for levels of vitamin B12 in their bodies. The assessment is needed to check for signs of nerve damage, a painful side effect of diabetes. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin the body requires to work properly.

The study’s author, Dr Kaenat Mulla from Hucknall Road Medical Centre said: “Current British Society of Haematology guidelines recommend that vitamin B12 levels are checked only when there is clinical suspicion of deficiency. However, peripheral neuropathy is irreversible and it may be too late once symptoms have developed.”

In an article on diabetes.co.uk, she stressed her warning wasn’t intended to discourage people from taking metformin, but she wanted to encourage doctors to monitor vitamin B12 routinely so deficiencies are picked up quickly and can be treated.

Before you all rush to Holland & Barrett to stock up, there are plenty of food sources that are rich in Vitamin B12. And funnily enough, we have a few recipes that feature them… Here’s what you might want to consider.

Liver and kidneys

Animal organ meats are a good source of the vitamin. A lot of people find the taste too strong—and I for one am never going to eat kidneys as their function puts me off—but chicken liver is more delicate than lamb’s for example, and might be more palatable.

Sardines

Sardines are another source and they are one of the few fish where Omega 3 levels survive the canning process. They are also cheap as chips and packed full of calcium as again the canning process softens the bones enough for you to eat them (and not notice you’re doing so).

Tuna, trout and salmon

More fish products that are super high in vitamin B12. You can find recipes on our site for salmon here and here, and trout here. I prefer trout to salmon as I find the flavour more delicate and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper too.

Dairy products

Milk, plain yoghurt and cheese have decent levels of the vitamin. Make a delicious sweet treat using Greek yoghurt, two teaspoons of good cocoa powder and a tablespoon of granulated sweetener and you’ve got a calcium, protein and magnesium packed pudding. And as for cheese, is there anyone out there who doesn’t love, adore like it? Hard, soft, strong, mild blue or from the cow, goat or sheep, there’s one that suits all. Want to make the most of it? Try our cauliflower cheese, broccoli and Stilton soup or our aubergine and pepper parmigiana.

For more information on vitamin B12 levels in food, check out healthline.com

*Please note—this article doesn’t constitute medical advice.