quick summer black soya bean spaghetti (vegan, gluten free)

When the sun is shining in Scotland and temperatures goes up it’s not the time to sit indoors. This weather is not going to last for long, so the best you can do is to try to enjoy it as much as you can. If your work allows you to take advantage of the sun and spend time on the beach or hiking – good for you. To take the most of the Summer and do not die starving you definitely need a quick, healthy and delicious meal you can prepare effortlessly in your kitchen in less than 30 minutes.

So here comes fresh and colourful veggie pasta. But it’s not an ordinary spaghetti. It’s black soya bean spaghetti – gluten free, dairy free, wheat free. Free of almost everything 😉 If it would be carbohydrates free it would be ideal 😉 But it contains 15g of carbs per 100g, so it’s half less than in regular pasta.

Veggie season is officially opened – I started receiving my organic and local veggie delivery and it always inspire me to prepare something new, fresh and delicious. I love having plenty of veg in my fridge because it’s so easy to cook with them – you can easily prepare something yummy, good looking almost from nothing. I keep on learning new things about veggies, about their edible parts we usually put to rubbish (to learn more about this click here) and it gives even more opportunities to make the most of each vegetable.

I highly encourage you to include more veggies into your diet, Summer is the best moment for that. Experiment with veggies you don’t know and never tried, prepare salads, smoothies, stir fry or grill veggies if you have a chance. Veggies are the easiest and quickest to prepare if you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. But remember to buy locally, veggies that didn’t travel thousands of miles, but are locally grown with love are the best veggies.

So today we have easy-peasy and quick gluten free and vegan spaghetti with stir fry veggies and bunch of delicious spices. Although you don’t need to use these exact spice mix. If you have your own favourite mix – use it. If you want to try something new grab some fenugreek, nigella seeds, fennel, coriander seeds, black pepper and cloves. You can use a mortar to grind them together or simply pop them into the coffee grinder. Then add dried tomato flakes, chilli flakes, some dried parsley and chives, mix with some onion powder and voila!

quick summer black soya bean spaghetti

(vegan, gluten free)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pak choi cabage
  • handful of sugar snap peas
  • couple cherry tomatoes
  • small tin of chickpeas
  • 1 spring garlic (or couple garlic cloves plus spring onions)
  • 200g black soya bean spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds oil
  • natural rock salt to taste and to cook spaghetti
  • mix of spices: onion powder, fenugreek, tomato flakes, nigella seeds, chilli flakes, fennel, coriander seeds, parsley, black pepper, chives and cloves

DIRECTIONS

Cut of the ends of sugar snap peas and boil in water for 4-5 minutes, then drain. Also cook black soya bean spaghetti in salted water for 2-3 minutes as describe on the packaging. Slice spring garlic, finely chop its green part. Also thoroughly rinse and chop pak choi. Cherry tomatoes cut in halves.

Heat a large pan adding 3 tbsp of olive oil, add snap peas and chickpeas, fry for 3-4 minutes and add all the spices. Then add sliced spring garlic, leaving the green part on the side. Add cooked spaghetti, tomatoes and pak choi cabbage. Give it 4-5 minutes so pasta can soak all the flavours. Add more spices if needed. At the end drizzle with a tablespoon of sesame seeds oil and sprinkle with green part of garlic.

Serve fresh and hot. Enjoy!

cinnamon sweet potato gnocchi

Gnocchi comes from Italy, but they are very popular in many European countries in a slightly different forms and with multiple ingredients. That gives basically endless variety of options of sizes, shapes and flavours. It’s a great meal idea if you’re on a budget, although maybe not extremely nutritious (depending if you use as a main course or just addition) but for sure delicious and filling.

It’s not something I would prepare as our everyday meal but from time to time it’s a great idea to prepare your own gnocchi – homemade, freshly cooked always taste better than the one from the supermarket.

I had three lonely sweet potatoes and some time, so I decided I will make some homemade gnocci as my carb treat 🙂 My partner wasn’t really fancy about them, but when he saw me frying them with butter and cinnamon he couldn’t resist and grabbed himself a portion. As I always say – butter makes everything better, in this case butter, cinnamon and a little sweetness made them even better 🙂 I sprinkled my portion with pumpkin seeds – I like adding seeds to everything.

I used plain wheat flour and spelt flour in proportion 1:1, but you can use only plain flour. Also if you have an option to steam sweet potatoes rather than cook them – it will be a great idea, as they soak up a lot of water during cooking. And less watery they become – less flour you’ll need to use to prepare dumplings.

Also you don’t need to fry them. If you want to keep them soft, just melt some butter and drizzle all over cooked portion of gnocchi, sprinkle with cinnamon and any type of sugar. Frying makes them a bit harder, but golden and crispy on the outside. So use a method that’s the best for you.

cinnamon sweet potato gnocchi

INGREDIENTS for 2 large portions:

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • plain flour and spelt flour in proportion 2:1
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 -2 tsp xylitol, honey or other type of sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter

DIRECTIONS

Peel and cook sweet potatoes until tender, steaming will also be a great method, as they want soak up water. Drain and mash them with potato masher and set aside to cool down completely.

Add one egg and start adding flour, spoon by spoon and start kneading. Add flour until you get non sticky dough. Divide dough in couple pieces, using your hands make a thin roll, flatten it slightly with your hand and cut off small chunks using a knife.

Boil lots of salted water, boil gnocchi for about 4-5 minutes from the moment they start to float on the surface. Remove from the pot using slotted spoon.

Heat the large non stick pan with some butter, add gnocci and fry until golden on both sided, sprinkle with cinnamon and xylitol/honey and serve.

Enjoy!

vegetarian spaghetti with sesame seeds

This spaghetti was inspired by a dish that we used to eat in one vegan restaurant many years ago. We really liked the combination of spaghetti with sesame seeds. The specific taste and ingredients are a rather vague memory of that spaghetti, but we used to like it very much. So because we explore the world of carbohydrates now I decided to cam back to this recipe and see how we like it now. The minimum amount of very simple ingredients seemingly gives the impression of not very tasty dish. But I guarantee you that the end result will surprise you. However, it is very important to use good, aromatic oil for spaghetti – extra virgin olive oil works great, you can also use sesame seeds oil – it will smell amazing. Also using coconut oil for fryiing will add a lot of different flavour. In this recipe oil is a very important ingredient, so feel free to experiment with different flavours. I encourage you to try this recipe, because the effect may surprise you.

I chose organic durum wheat spaghetti , but you can use vegan or gluten free option if needed. Wholemeal spaghetti will also work well adding some more texture and flavour to this dish.

Although I don’t thing my body need pasta and it’s not a really nutritious food for me I really enjoyed this vegetarian spaghetti – plenty of flavours from the oils, sweetness of carrot, nutty mushrooms and earthy flavour of celeriac – it all gives a surprisingly tasty dish. If you fancy enough you can toast a little bit of sesame seeds on a pan and sprinkle on top before serving – it will add extra flavour to your spaghetti. If you’re in a rush though take a pinch of sesame seeds and toss them on top of your portion.

You can prepare it quickly with only couple basic ingredients, on the very busy days. Also you definitely should try to prepare this recipe if you’re fan of pasta.

vegetarian spaghetti with sesame seeds

INGREDIENTS for 2 servings:

  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/4 large celery root (celeriac)
  • couple white mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds plus extra for topping
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • pinch of natural rock salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of garlic granules
  • 1/3 tsp sweet paprika powder
  • optionally: 1-2 tbsp sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil for aroma
  • organic durum wheat spaghetti for two servings

DIRECTIONS

Start with preparing veggies. Peel and wash carrot and celery root, do the same with white mushrooms. Grate the carrot and celery on a coarse-mesh grater, chop the mushrooms.

Heat a large pot with salted water to cook pasta. Cook spaghetti al dente and drain.

Heat a wok adding 2-3 tbsp of olive oil and toss mushrooms keeping the heat quite high, so mushrooms will fry nicely. After mushrooms starts getting golden add carrot and celery root. Salt the whole thing and add freshly ground black pepper, pinch of garlic granules and sweet paprika powder, and finally sesame seeds. Stir and fry until tender – just a couple minutes, so the flavours can combine. Now it’s time for pasta – toss it into the wok. Give it a good stir. Before serving, you can drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle with some more sesame seeds. If you fancy enough you can toast some sesame seeds and then sprinkle on top. It will give some extra flavour to your spaghetti.

Enjoy your meal!

quick & easy pesto chicken skillet (ketofriendly)

I remember when I first time tried pesto many years ago, I bought small jar in the shop and prepared with fried chicken and pasta. Smelled weird and tasted awful, even my dog didn’t want to try it, even though she loved pasta 😉 It tasted terrible and for the next few years I didn’t eat any more pesto. Until I started working in the restaurant over five years ago and I learned how to make homemade pesto. It was way better that the one I remembered. Simply delicious! Made with pine nuts, fresh basil and garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Just loved it! So if you ever tried store bought pesto, and you didn’t like it, try to make it yourself.

You can use pine nuts, but cashews or sunflower seeds (pine nuts 13g of carbs in 100g, sunflower seeds 20g of carbs, cashews 30g of carbs) will also work great. I used sunflower seeds as pine nuts are pretty expensive, and sunflower seeds work good as well. I use quite a lot of garlic, but the amounts in the recipe are not obligatory, so take it more as a guide. You should get a thick green paste, you can spread nicely over the chicken. Pesto is very universal, you can add it to pasta or rice if use them in your kitchen. You can mix it with fried or oven baked veggies, or spread over the sandwich.

In this recipe, mixed with double cream, gives delicious creamy and aromatic sauce. If you have a food processor or chopper you can prepare pesto in seconds, so preparation of whole dish won’t take longer than 30 minutes. I served it with pan fried courgette and mushrooms – very quick and easy.

Scroll down for more quick & easy chicken skillet recipes.

quick & easy pesto chicken skillet (ketofriendly)

NOTE: my measuring cup is regular 250ml glass

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g chicken thighs
  • 1-2 tbsp clarified butter or coconut oil
  • about 300ml double cream
  • about 2 handfuls of fresh basil
  • about ⅓-½ cup sunflower seeds (but you can also use pine nuts or cashews)
  • parmesan cheese (I used about 1-2 tablespoons of grated parmesan)
  • good pinch of coarse pepper
  • about ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • pinch of natural rock salt
  • for decoration: few cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves

DIRECTIONS

Start with pesto. I If you have a food processor or this special chopping container you can connect with blender, just pop in all the ingredients and blend until smooth (sunflower seeds or nuts, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, coarse pepper, olive oil, pinch of salt, 2-3 garlic cloves). Amounts in the recipe are approximate, so if you feel like your pesto needs more pepper, basil or you like it to be more cheesy, adjust the amounts to your taste. I like a lot of garlic, 3 cloves is a lot, so you can start with 1 or 2. As you can see on the photos I had enough of pesto to put on the chicken, plus about 3 tablespoons for later (you can store pesto in the fridge in closed container for about 3 days).

My chopper is broken so what I’ve used was a blender and coffee grinder. I’ve used coffee grinder to blend sunflower seeds, blender to blend olive oil and fresh basil together and garlic press to smash garlic cloves. I have finely grated parmesan, so all I needed to do is to combine all the ingredients together to a paste: grounded sunflower seeds, olive oil and basil paste, garlic, parmesan cheese, coarse pepper and small pinch of salt.

Heat large skillet adding 1-2 tablespoons of clarified butter or coconut oil. Fry chicken thighs on both sides until golden on a quite large heat. And then season with salt on both sides. Add cream and lower the heat, it should only gently simmer. Spread generous amount of pesto on each piece of chicken, also add 2-3 teaspoons to cream sauce. Place couple cherry tomatoes and let it simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes. Place some fresh basil leaves before serving.

Serve with addition of your choice – on my plate courgette fried with mushrooms with some clarified butter, slightly salted with natural rock salt.

More quick & easy chicken skillet meals:

keto creamy paprika chicken skillet

Another recipe from quick and easy chicken series. Today we have delicate, creamy paprika chicken breasts skillet served with crispy toasted almond flakes. Soft sweet paprika flavour, nothing too intensive or too spicy. For more intensive paprika flavour add two teaspoons of sweet paprika, for more gentle one teaspoon will be enough. For the creamy sauce you can use coconut milk like I did (to make it dairy free), or you can use double cream – it will make a delicious creamy texture. Creamy chicken is topped with toasted almond flakes, that goes really good with its gentle flavour and also adds some crisp and crunchiness to that dish.

This dish it’s a great keto dinner option, you can prepare in less than 30 minutes. You can serve it with bunch of steamed veggies, some salad or if you don’t mind carbs or grains – with rice or couscous.

If you’re interested in more recipes from quick & easy chicken series, here’s couple more of them:

So let’s jump to today’s recipe for creamy chicken skillet.

keto creamy paprika chicken skillet

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 400ml coconut milk (thick one from a can) fromthe fridge.
  • handful of almond flakes
  • 1-2 tsp sweet paprika powder
  • pinch of lemon pepper
  • natural rock salt
  • slice of clarified butter (or coconut oil)

DIRECTIONS

First of all, place your coconut milk in the fridge, so the creamy part will solidify and water will remain on the bottom of the can. We want to use only the thick part of it. You can also use milk from the cupboard but it will take more time to evaporate.

Slice your chicken breasts lengthwise, so you get thinner cutlets. Sprinkle with some salt on each side.

Heat a skillet adding slice of clarified butter or some coconut oil (I recommend adding clarified butter, because regular one will burn). When fat is hot place chicken breasts and fry until golden, on a quite high heat.

When chicken is browned, lower the heat and add 1-2 teaspoons of sweet paprika powder. 1 teaspoon for more gentle, 2 teaspoons for more intensive paprika flavour. I used two teaspoons. Give it not longer than 30 seconds, so that the paprika won’t burn (if it burns it will get bitter) and add thick, creamy part of coconut milk. Sprinkle with pinch of lemon pepper, and tiny bit of salt. Give it a good stir and simmer on a small heat, for 10 minutes. If you feel like the sauce is to thick, add a bit of coconut water from the can.

In the meantime, on a separate frying pan, toss a handful of almond flakes and toast them slightly to get golden and crisp. It will literally take a minute. Remove them from the pan and place in a small bowl.

Serve your creamy chicken with addition of your choice: cooked veggies, salad, rice or couscous, sprinkled with crispy toasted almonds.

Enjoy!