Slow Carb and Paleo Spicy Balinese Chicken with Sambal

Today’s Slow Carb recipe is inspired by my recent trip to Indonesia.  First I’d like to apologize.  I know it’s been ages since I last posted.  I’ve been pretty consumed with other projects as well as a few weeks on vacation.  I plan to resume posting and make some bigger changes to the format of the site in November.

I’ll also confess, I did not stick to my Slow Carb eating while I was away.  I made the decision not to before I left.   I was going for a big wedding, and well… it’s vacation.

I’d actually planned to stay gluten free, but a week spent in a little town in Java with only beer (no wine or liquor) at the local stores had me drinking beer again after over a year of no beer.

Oh well.  I’m back – off the beer, eating healthy again and inspired with some new flavors.

Now back to the food.  I really don’t remember Indonesian food being as good when I visited Bali a few years ago.  I remember it being pretty blah compared to other Southeast Asian cuisine.  That was before I discovered the range of sambals and all of the different types of regional cuisine you can get in Java.

Feel free to email me if you’d like some tips, especially if you love spicy food!

Now on to today’s recipe.  This chicken dish is out of this world.  It can be served on its own or with a spicy sambal.  I’ve provided recipes for both.

The chicken component of dish is borrowed from Almost Bourdain (who adapted it from Bill Granger’s Bills Sydney Food).  I think we share fairly similar taste in food.

It’s probably a bit too much work for a Wednesday night, but if you’re in the mood to entertain, you could do a whole theme meal around it.

*** Alternatively, you could just make a big jar of sambal and throw it on chicken or lentils or anything you want to liven up throughout the week.  In Indonesia they just keep jars of this stuff in the kitchen with all different levels of intensity.

Paleo Balinese Fried Chicken
Slow Carb and Paleo Balinese Fried Chicken

Balinese Spicy Fried Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk
3 kaffir lime leaves, or zest of 1 lime
2 Asian red shallots, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 x 2 cm (3/4 in) piece galangal (or ginger) root, sliced ( you could also used ginger in a jar in a pinch)
3 green chillies, roughly chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp salt
1 x 1.5 kg (3 lb) chicken, cut into 16 pieces
Oil for frying

Directions

1. Place coconut milk, lime leaves (or zest), shallots, garlic, galangal root (or ginger), chillies, turmeric, salt and 2 1/2 cups (20 fl oz) of water in large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for 20 minutes or until chicken is tender and just cooked. Remove chicken from saucepan and leave to cool on a wire rack.

2. Heat oil to 3 cm (1 1/4 in) in a wok or deep frying pan on high heat. Cook the chicken in batches, being careful not to overcrowd, until golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve with sambal, cucumber slices and coriander sprigs.

Tomato sambal

Ingredients
4 tablespoons oil of choice
15 shallots, peeled and sliced
10 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
14 large red chilies, seeds removed, sliced
2 medium-sized tomatoes cut in wedges (I used canned)
2 teaspoons roasted dried shrimp paste
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Sea Salt to taste

Directions

1. Heat oil in a heavy saucepan or wok. Add shallots and garlic and sauté 5 minutes over low heat. Add chillies and sauté another 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes and shrimp paste and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add lime juice.

2. Put all ingredients in a food processor and puree coarsely. Season to taste with salt. Cool before using. You can freeze leftovers or keep in the fridge and use on meat or vegetables throughout the week.

Spice Roasted Veggies

Slow Carb Roast Vegetables Recipe

 

For those who already roast their veggies, this is just a new way to spice them up.  If you’re new to roasting veggies, you are in for a treat.  Roasting vegetables caramelizes them, bringing out their natural sweetness, and if you roast for long enough, your vegetables will turn out crispy and crunchy.  Depending on what veggies you roast, sometimes it almost feels like you’re “cheating” on your diet.

Today I roasted sweet potatoes (**Note: Sweet potatoes are not Slow Carb approved unless you’re refuelling after an intense workout and under 20% bodyfat!)

Sweet potatoes really complement the exotic spice blend in this recipe – you get a hint of salty, spicy and sweet all at once.  Plus, they’re full of fiber, nutrient dense and a much slower burning carb than white potatoes.

If you’re not at that phase in your fitness, you could try these out on cheat day for a healthy and benign cheat, or do this recipe with just about any vegetables. I’d recommend trying a mix of zucchini, onions and pumpkin.  Cauliflower is also fantastic roasted.  I let it get nice and crispy so it’s a bit like popping some potato chips.

Slow Carb Roast Vegetables Recipe
Spiced Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 t ground coriander
  • 1/2 t ground fennel
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t dried red pepper flakes
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes or other veggies
  • 3 Tbs oil of your choice (I use macadamia nut oil)
  • ½ t whole coriander seeds left whole (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 425F.
  2. Use a nonstick baking tray or line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Mix spices and oil in a small bowl.  Set aside.  I prefer to use my own freshly ground spices.  It takes about 15 seconds in a “rocket” type blender or just a minute or two with a mortar and pestle.   If you use this method, make sure to set aside some whole coriander seeds that don’t get blended.
  4. Cut vegetables into wedges or large slices. Place on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle with spice mix, olive oil, and salt.  Don’t skimp on the salt.  Toss to evenly coat and spread potatoes in one layer with space between the pieces. Before putting them in the oven, I like to toss on some whole coriander seeds.
  5. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender.  Flip veggies once during cooking.
  6. Serve immediately.

Slow Carb Moroccan Chicken

Slow Carb Chicken Recipe

The past few weeks, I’ve been drastically cutting the beans and legumes from diet.  With not much weight left to lose, I didn’t feel they were serving me well anymore.  This has lead me to seek out recipes that fit well with the Paleo/Primal way of eating.

One of my favorites so far is Moroccan Chicken from Mark’s Daily Apple.  If you’re following Slow Carb and all its tenants, you could easily serve the dish with a side of white beans tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of parsley, or you could toss a can of chickpeas into the casserole before cooking.

I followed Mark’s recipe pretty closely with one modification.  I didn’t have the red pepper (capsicum in Australia) so I diced up a zucchini, which tasted great.  The dish made great leftovers for lunch the next day as well.

Slow Carb Chicken Recipe
Slow Carb Moroccan Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2-3 pounds of chicken
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger root, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional – the other spices will already add a bit of spiciness to the dish, so only add the cayenne if you want a really spicy dish)
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley or cilantro
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 lemon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

  1. The base of the casserole is cauliflower grated into a rice-like texture. Chop the head of cauliflower into small pieces. Push the pieces through a food processor using the grating blade. Spread the grated cauliflower out in a 9×13 rectangular baking pan.
  2. Salt and pepper the chicken. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a deep pan over high heat. Add the chicken, browning well, about 3-5 minutes a side.
  3. Remove the chicken from the hot pan and set aside. Turn heat down to medium and add onion, ginger, garlic and carrots. Cook until the onions are soft. Add remaining tablespoon of butter and all spices. Stir well
  4. Add red pepper, the can of tomatoes, minced parsley or cilantro and salt. Return the chicken to the pot and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Pour the chicken mixture over the cauliflower and mix really well, so the cauliflower is completely covered by the sauce. Slice a lemon into thin slices and lay on top of the casserole. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and cook for 25 minutes more.
  6. Garnish with more fresh parsley or cilantro before serving.

Slow Carb Ground Beef with Cauliflower and Tomatoes

This is a mild but flavorful curry.  It’s great served with lentils or daal or you can add lentils or chickpeas straight into the recipe.

I followed a recipe I found online and have translated it into US measurements – visit the site directly for metric conversions.   The recipe requires quite a few ingredients but is fairly straightforward to prepare.

Ground Beef with Curried Cauliflower and Tomatoes

4-6 Servings

 

Ingredients

  • 1lb of Minced Ground Beef
  • ½  Cauliflower, washed & cut into medium sized florets
  • 2 Onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes, blanched & chopped OR 1 can of tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 (½” piece) of Ginger Root, crushed
  • 4 Cardamom Pods, crushed
  • 2 Cloves (
  • 1 bunch of Fresh Cilantro Leaves, washed & finely chopped
  • 1 t Coriander Powder
  • 1 t Cumin
  • 1 tsp. of Dried Fenugreek (I didn’t have this and used a bay leaf)
  • 1 tsp. of Garam Masala
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh  Ground Pepper, to tase
  • Chilli Powder, to taste
  • 3 Tbs of ghee or macadamia nut oil

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large heavy pot and add the cauliflower in batches. Fry gently until it is golden brown. Set aside.
  2. In the same oil, add the cardamoms and cloves and as they start to darken add in the onions and fry well until they turn golden brown. Add in the ginger and garlic paste and fry. Add in the coriander powder, cumin powder, fenugreek leaves (or Bay Leaf), tomatoes, red chilli powder and salt and fry well until the oil starts to separate.
  3. Add in the minced meat, and fry on low heat until the excess water evaporates and the meat turns rich brown. Add as much water as would be needed to just cook the meat and cook in a pressure cooker. As soon as the cooker reaches maximum pressure, reduce the heat and cook for another 7-8 minutes. Let the pressure reduce by itself. Open the cooker and add in the cauliflower. Stir well, add more water if needed, cover and let it cook until the cauliflower is tender and there is no excess water left.
  4. Garnish with garam masala powder and coriander/cilantro leaves before serving.