Aioli is hardly more than mayo with garlic, but it’s oh so delicious and is a GREAT slow-carb condiment to add onto chicken, steak, or as you see in the amazing photo I found on flickr, to a bouillabaisse.
You’ll need a food processor with a blade, or a blender. I’ve found it works better in a small processor, but you use what you have. I haven’t tried it yet, but as I type this I’m thinking about trying it in our stand mixer with the whisk attachment at a super high speed. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Prepare the chimichurri marinade. Chop all the herbs. Combine the herbs and garlic in a bowl. Alternatively, you could use a food processor if you want a smoother marinade/dressing. Add the oil and a splash of vinegar or lime. Correct the seasoning, adding salt or vinegar, to taste. The chimichurri should be highly seasoned.
Pour a 1/2 of the chimichurri into a baking dish just large enough to hold the meat you want to marinade. Add meat. Cover and store in the fridge for a few hours (at least 30 minutes!) Set the rest of the chimichurri aside.
Heat up a large skillet. Cook meat until thoroughly cooked (3-5 minutes should do.) If cooking steak, you can leave medium rare.
Combine veggies in a large salad bowl. Toss with the chimichurri you set aside. Add meat. Serve and top with sprigs of cilantro.
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.
Balinese Spicy Fried Chicken
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
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.
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
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.
I love Asian food, but going out to eat regularly just isn’t an option when you have no idea what is going into your food and have no control over it.
Sure, some items on the menu are going to be better than others, and they certainly aren’t as bad as downing a loaf of bed, but when you’re trying to be strict with your Slow Carb or Paleo diet, these little sneaky condiments can completely derail all your positive efforts.
Lots of restaurant Asian dishes contain MSG and sugar. Most contain soy sauce and/or oyster sauce, both of which have wheat/gluten in them.
This is an easy mid-week meal I can prep in about 15 minutes when I’m craving Asian food and don’t want to worry about “mystery ingredients”. I love this recipe because it is so simple to switch up the flavor combos with different spices or add whatever veggies you have sitting in the fridge. It also travels well for work-lunch leftovers and can be eaten hot or cold.
Lettuce leaves (Boston lettuce or Napa Cabbage works well)
1 Tbs macadamia nut oil
1lb ground meat (works well with ground turkey, chicken or pork mince)
Minced garlic 1-5 cloves (I use about 5 cloves, but not everyone likes garlic like I do!)
½ Red Onion or 1-2 shallot, finely chopped
½ Tbs ginger, finely minced (I use fresh if I have it, but out of a jar is fine too)
1 Tbs tamari or soy sauce (preferably gluten free!)
Cilantro (or coriander as they call it down under) to garnish. You could also use Thai basil or mint.
For some extra protein and crunch, I add chopped nuts at the very end. Peanuts work well for Slow Carb-ers. For Paleo-ites, try macadamia nuts.
Diced veggies like zucchini, green beans or mushrooms (or whatever is about to go “off” in your fridge) make great add-ins. Just toss them in for a few minutes after you’ve added the spices and sauces!
For super crunchy shells, I’ll sometimes use raw cabbage. It’s sweet and doesn’t fall apart as easily as lettuce.
Heat oil in a large fry pan on medium high. Add onion and cook till translucent but not too soft (about 2 minutes). Add garlic and ginger and cook or another minute being careful not to burn garlic.
Add meat and cook until browned. Drain any excess grease if you wish. I usually don’t have much, so I’ll leave it in for flavor.
Add soy sauce/tamari and chilli paste
Add any extras you wish. I normally add chopped nuts and cilantro. Sometimes I’ll add some fish sauce or a squeeze of lime. Zucchini and mushrooms are great too if you’re looking to add more veggies.
Put filling into a serving bowl and serve in lettuce cups.
This is a delicious, healthy and versatile soup that can be served hot or cold (sort of like a chicken tortilla soup.)
It keeps well in the fridge for a few days and due to the moderate carb content from the sweet potatoes, it makes an awesome Paleo “recovery” meal after a tough workout.
Just to be clear, this is not a Slow Carb friendly soup – though it would probably work for you (in terms of a reasonable number of carbs and glycemic load) if you swapped out all beans and legumes for the day. Otherwise, keep it in mind for a super healthy cheat-day meal.
4 chicken thighs or 2 large chicken breasts
1 tbs butter or ghee
2 tbs olive oil
4 medium leeks, washed, trimmed, sliced
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 large orange sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
5 cups chicken stock
Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh spring onion to garnish
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook chicken until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from pan, and set aside.
Using the same pan, add the leeks and onion and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in the sweet potato and cook, stirring frequently, for a further 10 minutes.
Add the chicken stock. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender.
Slice the chicken into strips.
Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
Process soup in 2 batches in a food processor or blender or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.
Place soup in a clean saucepan and reheat over medium-low heat. Check seasoning and top with sliced chicken. Serve garnished with the spring onion.
After a brief posting hiatus while I was visiting friends and family in California, I’ve returned to Melbourne and am back to eating healthy (and blogging about it.) Today’s recipe is a guest post from Brian Valentin over at Four Hour Body Zone. Brian blogs about his experiences on the Slow Carb Diet and Paleo eating plans as well as other health and fitness related topics.
Brian and I started the Slow Carb Diet around the same time so following his journey has been invaluable to my own experience. Like me, Brian’s continued to adjust and tweak the diet in order to figure out what works best for him, and by doing so, the rest of us are able to learn from his experiences. If you haven’t checked out his blog, I highly encourage you to do so.
The typical western diet is very high in Omega 6 fats – the ideal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is basically 1:1 or 2:1 at worst. For most of us,we are running somewhere in the 15:1 or 20:1 range! One way to fix that ratio is to supplement with Omega 3 Fish Oil supplements – but another tastier way to increase our Omega 3’s is to eat good fatty fish and seafood.
I’ve never been much of a seafood eater even when growing up on Long Island where there was a lot of fresh seafood available. Now that I’m landlocked, there is even less options for someone trying to experiment with seafood. I tend to stick to frozen fish as that’s the most available fish around here. I also prefer to eat the milder fish that I can add flavors to – so when I eat fish it tends to be tilapia, but I’ve also found that I enjoy salmon too.
This recipe is one that I heard the basis of while listening to an NPR piece about fish markets and a chef that was being interviewed described a simple preparation he makes. This is my version of that – it has a lot more added to it, but it is still a pretty simple dish.
Blackened Tilapia over Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 small onion – thinly sliced
1/2 tsp minced garlic (or 1 clove minced)
pinch red pepper flakes
7-8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1-2 fish fillet – fresh or frozen (I used frozen tilapia – salmon would work well too)
salt/pepper to taste
pat of butter – grass fed butter is best if available (optional)
squeeze of lemon (optional)
Preheat oven to 375.
Heat olive oil in an oven proof skillet over med heat, add onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and pinch of salt and saute until soft and onions are translucent – about 5 to 8 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes to skillet and cook for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, season fish fillets with blackened seasoning.
Move cherry tomatoes to edges of skillet and place fish fillets down in center of skillet.
Place skillet in preheated oven and bake for approximately 12 minutes – flipping fish over halfway through cooking. With about 1 minute left you can add a pat of butter to pan. When time is up, transfer tomatoes and onions to a plate, then put fish fillets over tomatoes.
If you’d like you can squeeze a little lemon over the fillets. I prefer to have a large salad and some steamed vegetables with this. If you’re doing slow carb or 4HB style, add 1/2 cup of black beans as a side.
I don’t have a lot of time to shop for food during the week, so I keep a lot of frozen chicken in the freezer that I can pull out in the morning so it’ll defrost while I’m off at work. These are a handful of my go-to recipes
Chicken and Mushrooms
This is a simple two-ingredient recipe (excluding your basic pantry items) where the ingredients really shine through. For such a simple recipe with no spices, the taste is shockingly delicious. No really, it is. It made me come to the realization that I tend to drown a chicken and mushroom dish in wine sauce and am normally tasting my sauce, not the ingredients.
Check out the video recipe here and go for it. As simple as it is, I promise you won’t be disappointed
FYI – I used chicken thighs (no skin) instead of his recommended chicken breast (skin on), and it turned out great. I’d recommend using free-range organic chicken and organic grass-fed butter. Not necessary, but it’ll make the dish all the more delicious.
Mmmmmmmm. Total French-cooking comfort food! This is one of those dishes to make you appreciate that you aren’t watching your calories or fat content.
This Nigella Lawson recipe is great for those who want to simplify this traditional French dish. For those Slow Carb-ing, you may want to halve the cream to keep it within Tim Ferris’ suggested serving size. I don’t bother, but I also don’t make rich dishes like this more than once a week.
There are so many different ways to roast a chicken, ranging from simply seasoning the bird and popping it in the oven to a bit more complex methods of messing around with special racks, trussing and basting. It’s a bit overwhelming knowing where to start if you’re a novice chef.
When I learned Thomas Keller does a pretty basic roast chicken (no basting, no buttering), it confirmed to me that there is absolutely no reason to get all fancy with it. If it’s good enough for Thomas Keller, it’s good enough for me…and you.
I love that roasting a chicken is a low-involvement process. Once the bird is in the oven, you can set the timer and don’t have to think about it until it’s done.
Now for the chicken “two ways” :
#1 Classic Roast Chicken – If company is coming over, I follow Keller’s basic roast chicken recipe. And, if it’s just for me, sometimes I can’t even be bothered to truss the chicken. Instead I simply turn it upside down so the breasts are on the bottom (keeps them juicy), season with salt and pepper and roast it. It’s still pretty good. #2 Curry Roasted Chicken – For those times, when a roast chicken sounds a bit blah, and I’m looking for some kick, I use this equally simple method. Find a jar of curry paste with no added sugar or other fillers (check ingredients and carb counts.) I use Valcom. Coat the chicken with paste and roast on the bottom rack of your oven for approximately 50 minutes at 425F.
On occassion, I’ll make fresh curry paste, but it’s a bit of an effort so if I do that, I’ll normally use the paste to make an actual curry. This is really just a quick fix.
Whether you’re Paleo, Primal or Slow Carb, you aren’t going to be having a bun with your burger. My philosophy is – if you top your burger right, you won’t even miss the bun, or the sugar-y condiments. Here are two of my favorite combinations for inspiration.
My burger recipe is simple, just a little sea salt and pepper with high quality grass-fed organic beef cooked to medium rare, served with killer toppings. By all means, make it with ground turkey, buffalo or lamb if you prefer.
Serves 4 (or 6 depending on who is eating!)
1lb beef mince
2 cloves of garlic
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
Mix ingredients in a bowl. Form patties of uniform shape and size. Grill on the BBQ or in a frying pan with a bit of oil.
Now for the fun part… here are a few suggestions on how to make your burger more interesting.
Classic Burger with Sautéed Mushrooms and Bell Peppers over Garlic Cauliflower Mash
1 red bell pepper, chopped into long strips
1 large onion, chopped into long strips
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 cup of chicken stock (make sure there are no additives)
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
Optional: ghee or parmesan cheese
Sauté sliced mushrooms and onions in a bit of oil or ghee until tender (or even go for crispy if you like them a bit caramelized.
Put cauliflower florets into a pot of water. I generally fill the pot an inch or two with chicken stock or broth to give the florets something to steam in. Put a lid on the pot and turn heat to medium high. Steam the florets in the broth for about 4-5 minutes until tender (I open up the pot and poke them with a fork to check.)
Once tender, use an hand blender to blend until smooth. If you don’t have a hand blender, you can toss the cauliflower and liquid into a normal blender, but BE CAREFUL and make sure the top is on. You don’t want a face full of steaming hot faux cauliflower.
Season with salt and pepper. If you’d like something a bit richer, you can add ghee and/or a bit of parmesan cheese (depending on if your diet allows.)
Serve the meal by placing the burger over the cauliflower and topping with the onions and peppers.
Bacon and Egg Burger with Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions and Avocado Slices on the side
1 large onion, chopped into long strips
2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
1 egg per burger
1 slice of bacon (the bacon I use in Australia is center cut bacon which is more similar to a Canadian bacon than typical American bacon.)
½ avocado per person
Sauté sliced mushrooms and onions in a bit of oil or ghee until tender (or even go for crispy if you like them a bit caramelized.
In a separate pan, fry up eggs and bacon.
Serve the meal by placing the burger on the plate and topping with the bacon first, then the egg, then the onions and mushrooms. If you want to be like the Aussie’s, try adding some beetroot. I still haven’t figured out the appeal in this, but the people I’m surrounded by seem to love it.
Normally following a cheat day, I am itching to recharge my body with nutrient-dense superfoods. For me, this means spinach and salmon. This could get a little boring after awhile so I try to experiment with various seasonings to keep Sunday dinner interesting.
I’ve tried to take a small tour around the globe to influence my salmon recipes. So far I’ve hit:
For this salmon dish, I was looking for a bit of Southeast Asian influence (possibly Thai, though to actually call it Thai and include my Frank’s Red Hot would be a huge stretch!) In any case, this salmon dish is packed with flavor, yet still light and refreshing. It’s also quick and easy to make and great served cold if you want to make extra to toss in a salad the next day.
¼ – ½ t hot pepper sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot because there’s no added wheat or sugar)
In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper and coriander. Sprinkle over salmon.
In a non-stick skillet, add oil. Once pan and oil are hot, add salmon and cook over medium heat, browning the outside. This normally takes about 3 minutes on each side but may vary depending on how hot your pan gets. Do not overcook. Salmon does not need to be cooked through at this point as you will continue to cook it.
Add the garlic, lime juice and hot pepper sauce. Reduce heat. Cover and cook 3-4 minutes longer or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to overcook or your salmon will be dry.
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.
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)
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.
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.
Roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Flip veggies once during cooking.