Low-Carb Adventures with a Pizza Oven

 

Landed—in our garden, one pizza oven. Given that the pizza doesn’t feature in low-carb diets apart from in a bastardised form, what else can you do in an outdoor oven?

All kinds of things, it turns out. Yes, the pizza oven is a vegetable’s dream destination, the wood smoke turning them into delicious, charred things you want to toss into a warm salad and scoff. We’ve yet to try out a steak in there, but the vision already dances in my head.

Black lines, a crispness to the outside and then meltingly soft pinkness within, anointed with a blue cheese sauce that slowly melts into the crevices of the meat…

But for now? Chicken wings, EB! That’s what you’ll do.

Having hit upon the idea, I decided information overload was the next logical step. I headed for the internet and entered the search terms chicken wings in the pizza oven, low-carb chicken wings, best chicken wings etc., until I had far too many options in front of me.

[Does anyone else do this? I usually flip through hundreds of recipes on line before reverting to my trusted Mary Berry cook book.]

A lot of the recipes for chicken wings featured sugar, honey or flour. I found one that used a third of a cup of flour—not a lot, but I used coconut flour instead.

The coconut flour has sat in my cupboard long enough for it to go out of date. But flip, it’s so pricey I couldn’t face throwing the bag out. Now, I was going to use it. And then toss the rest as the use-by date was…

Embarrassingly long ago. Don’t do this at home, folks!

The true joy of chicken wings is the dip that goes with them. You’ll have gathered from the steak description above, blue cheese features so often in my life it’s got my number on speed dial. There are lots of variations on the blue cheese dip, but one I’ve been making for years is criminally simple—Greek yoghurt, mashed up blue cheese in proportions of about one to two parts. Add pepper if you want to be fancy.

I worried coconut flour would make the drumsticks too coconut-y. I love coconut, but the distinctive flavour doesn’t belong in a lot of places it finds itself these days. (Coconut oil for roast potatoes—I ask you!) Luckily, the spices masked the flavour. But swap the flour for cornflour and cut down the quantity to a quarter cup if you want.

Another swap was drumsticks instead of wings, seeing as Morrison’s had none of the former.

Low-Carb Chicken Drumsticks with

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 10 chicken drumsticks
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1tbsp paprika
  • 1tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1tbsp garlic salt
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3tbsp rapeseed oil and one teaspoon butter
  • 250g Greek yoghurt
  • 125g blue cheese, crumbled.

Heat your oven – it needs to be about 180 degree C to cook the drumsticks. Mix the flour, paprika, pepper, garlic salt and cayenne. Add to a plastic bag.

Put half the drumstick in the bag and shake well to coat. Do the same with the rest of the drumsticks.

Line a sturdy baking tray with foil and place the oil and butter on it. Heat in the hot pizza oven for five minutes. Place the drumsticks on it and spread out. Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes, turn the drumsticks over and cook for another five minutes until crisp.

Combine the yoghurt and blue cheese and serve. You’ll need plenty of napkins as this is one messy dish.

About 10g carbs per portion and 5g fibre.

Next up—the steak. Or baba ghanoush as a pizza oven would make short work of blackening those aubergines…

And finally, does this count as food porn for we low-carbers? Here’s the pizza we made in the oven. My husband’s a pizza gourmet. He promised me this was amazing. Wood smoke does incredible things to food.

Low Carb Go-To Meals

picture of chorizo sausage, the Diabetes Diet
I’d probably eat this Every. Single. Day.

What are your go-to meals? Everyone has them, the ones you eat at least once a week or more. We choose them for their mix of taste and convenience.

When you throw diabetes into the mix, the go-to meals are usually the ones where you know the exact carb count, how much insulin you need to take with them and they’re probably quick and easy.

I go through phases too—eating one dish for weeks and weeks before getting thoroughly bored of it. I add the odd newbie into the mix occasionally, usually picking something I find online. I like simple dishes—a generous helping of protein, two of vegetables and fat in the form of mayo, cheese or nuts thrown in.

My ‘go-to’s’ are:

  • Chopped cooking chorizo fried with mushrooms on top of salad generously dressed with balsamic vinegar and a bit of chopped avocado.
  • Prawns in home-made cocktail sauce with salad leaves and broccoli
  • Low-fat cauliflower cheese with salad leaves and two eggs to give extra protein
  • Any home-made soup with boiled eggs
  • Roasted chicken legs with broccoli or cauliflower and…you guessed it, salad leaves.

For all that we post recipes giving you lots of choices for your low-carb diet, I wonder how many of you are like me? Do you too return to the same meals time after time and are they as simple (boring!) as mine?

 

Avoiding Boredom on a Low-Carb Diet

Yawnsville. I’m so bored of gazelles…

Boredom is the enemy of healthy eating, right? It’s easy to be enthusiastic five days into low-carb dieting, but 20 days later? Not so much.

I suffer from this myself. Sometimes, you long to nose-dive into a gigantic bowl of crisps. Or scarf down eight slices of bread, covered in butter. Here are some ideas for keeping boredom at bay.

Do try out lots of different recipes. Most of us rotate the same meals week in/week out. When you’re restricting what you’re eating, that’s a double whammy. We’ve lots of suggestions here, but the Grand Daddy of diabetes-friendly recipes is The Diet Doctor. There, you’ll find various carb counts, vegetarian choices, fish, meat and eggs ideas in abundance.

Look for different texture. Low-carb foods can lack crunch. (Think crisps, crackers and more.) Pork rinds are crunch-tastic. Make them yourself by cutting pork skin into strips and tossing with a little sea salt and hot smoked paprika. Place them on a rack over a tray and whack in a very hot oven for 25-30 minutes. You can buy them too.

De-carb your favourite recipes. Missing bread? Try our easy, low-carb version here. Use cauliflower for rice or those zero noodles to make Chinese and Asian-inspired dishes. Cauliflower also makes fabulous mash.

Eat enough. Boredom might be hunger in disguise. Work out your calorie allowance for your levels of activity and ensure you’re meeting it. Adding cheese, cream and mayonnaise to dishes is an easy way to bump those numbers up.

Try new foods. Yes, branch out and eat something you thought you hated. Liver, cabbage and sprouts (not all together) might turn out to be delicious.

Have at least two or three go-to sweet recipes. Humans love a sweet taste. While you might want a low-carb diet to get rid of yours, the wise woman (or man) has low-carb options on hand just in case. Try our peanut chocolate fudge for a sweet hit. Or this recipe for ice-cream.

Eat high-carb occasionally. Make it worth it, though. I ate a slice of chocolate cake recently which was…average. I muttered to myself afterwards, “Well, that was a total waste of carbs.” Choose the very best you can and eat in the evening, rather than at lunchtime or breakfast as the resultant tiredness won’t matter so much.

Happy days!

For a book stuffed to the gunnels with low-carb recipes, The Diabetes Diet (now available in print and e-book format) is your number one choice.

Low-Carb Chicken Wings via Yummy Lummy

A super-duper low-carb options for chicken fans from Yummy Lummy…

Super hot and spicy chicken wings that are low carb too Spicy chicken wings were on my mind all day after I watched Megatoad (aka Matt Stonie) eating sixty-five (65) chicken wings on his YouTube channel. He starts mild and steps up to the really hot and spicy chicken wings towards the end and then […]

via Super hot and spicy chicken wings that are low carb too — Yummy Lummy

Gluten-free Gravy for Pork or Chicken

My husband likes to say he does love a nice drop o’ gravy, speaking the words in a terrible Yorkshire accent. I don’t know why. Are people in Yorkshire more associated with gravy loving?

I like to experiment with gravy-making from time to time, and last weekend I came up with this to accompany roast pork. It’s basically vegetables that have been cooked with the meat, and they and their juices then boiled up with some water and wine and pureed. I added a tablespoon of Bovril for added savouriness.

What I got a was a thick, tasty gravy – and then I twigged that I’d also made a gluten-free sauce, which happened to supply one of those magical five-a-days. Sometimes, I don’t know my own genius…

Anyhow, here’s the recipe for you. I think it will go better with pork and chicken, than lamb or beef, but you never know.

Gluten-free Gravy

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 whole chicken or a joint of pork
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into thick chunks
  • 5 or six cloves of garlic, peeled and bashed
  • 3-4 sticks of celery cut into sticks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thick chunks
  • 50ml white wine or cider
  • 300ml water
  • 1 teaspoon Bovril

Add a tablespoon of oil to a large roasting pan. Put the vegetables in the pan and roast the meat until it is cooked.

While the meat is resting, scape the vegetables and the meat juices into a saucepan, discarding any that are too blackened. Add the wine or cider and bring the mix to a boil. Add the water and the Bovril.

Allow to simmer for a few minutes and then liquidise so that you end up with a smooth, thick sauce. You might need to add some more water to thin it down.

Because of the carrots and onions, this does have some carb content (and also fibre). Allow roughly 5g of carbs per serving.

Spicy Tomato and Lentil Soup

In need of something warm, spicy and comforting as the nights draw in? Let me introduce the spicy tomato and lentil soup.

Just as in July and August we were in un dated with courgettes that morphed into marrows because we couldn’t pick ‘em fast enough, now the green house is giving up its goodies. Tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes – they keep on coming.

Nice as they are to eat in salads, I needed a recipe that would use up a lot of them so I hit on tomato and lentil soup. Yes, there are lentils in it and they do contain carbs, but they thicken the soup up marvellously and make it so delicious, they are worth it.

If you like your soup to be more of a main course than a starter, do as I always do and serve it topped with a poached egg or two. Some cooked chorizo would work too.

Spicy Tomato and Lentil Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 400g tomatoes, halved
  • 75g red lentils
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1tbsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp dried chilli flakes (more or less, depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 600ml boiling water
  • Salt

Heat the oil in a large saucepan/stock pan. Add the onion and pepper and cook for five minutes, until softened but not browned.

Add the tomatoes, garlic, cumin and chilli and cook for another five minutes until the tomatoes start to break down. Add the lentils and boiling water and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cover. Leave to cook for 15-20 minutes.

Use a hand blender to puree the soup. Add salt to taste – you should be generous with the salt, as lentils can take quite a bit of it.

20g carbs and 5g fibre per serving.

 

 

The Diabetes Diet – A Request

We are updating The Diabetes Diet! Our book has been on Amazon for a while now, and we’ve decided to give it a makeover (as well as get it ready for print).

We will be expanding the recipe section, and we wondered if any of our followers would like to contribute to this? Or, if you would like to provide a testimonial about how low-carb eating and matching insulin to your meals works for you, we would welcome that too.

We can’t offer you any money, but we will publicise your own blog or anything else. If you want to tell us about your success following low carb but would prefer to do it anonymously, that’s fine too.

You can find the book here.

To send us recipes or testimonials, please email: lowcarbdiabetesdiet@gmail.com

Thanks in advance!