broccoli stir fry with red rice and oriental sauce

Again old recipe inspired by Tesco magazine I used to collect when I was shopping there. I rarely buy from Tesco nowadays but this stir fry was very good. And because at the moment we are in a stage of trying different things I went back to this recipe. We eat less meat now so we’ve decided to incorporate rice and some grains into our diet. And soon we’re planing to make our own bread, so if it will be somehow successful I will post you about that.

We try not to label foods as good – keto and not good – carbs. Rather – nutritious or not nutritious. The one that actually serving us and not serving. And because recently we don’t eat so much meat as before, we need to replace it with other foods. And will see, in couple months we might come back to keto if we won’t be entirely happy with this meal plan. And as we both work full time, I try to make our diet as flexible as possible, so it meet the needs of both of us. And I would rather call it a lifestyle than a diet, because the word “diet” is associated with some kind of restrictions. And it’s more a matter of our own choice, not something imposed in advance by someone else. It seems to me that it’s just a healthier approach, that gives more freedom and does not make us feel guilty if for some reason we “go off the road”.

Our chosen type of rice is either brown, red, black or wild.

White rice is the most popular variety of rice, but the least nutritious. In the production of white rice grains, the top layers are removed along with the most valuable vitamins, minerals and fiber. As with most of the grains, the husk contains the most nutritional value, if we remove the husk, we will have pure carbohydrates. Brown rice is rich in numerous nutrients, as it is only deprived of inedible husk. Its grains remain “unclean”, and therefore contain fiber, magnesium, iron and B vitamins. They also have high fiber content. Red and black rice is paddy, medium grain, very similar to brown but with a red or black husk. It contains many valuable nutrients. Of course, it all depends on where (on what soil) the rice is grown, as the nutrient content also depends on it. And whether pesticides or other chemicals have been used in its cultivation. Unfortunately, we are not always able to check this. Most of the times we can only trust that we buy a healthy product.

If you like oriental flavours this recipe will be perfect for you – mix of sweet, spicy tangy and salty taste with amazing aroma of sesame seed oil. Sesame seed oil so flavoursome, makes the whole kitchen smell like in a oriental restaurant.

I used red bell pepper to make this stir fry, but if you’re a fan of really spicy flavours you can add chilli peppers instead. Or simply add both. Red rice was my choice, but you can either use brown or wild rice – they both will work perfectly. All of them are very aromatic with a nice nutty flavour.


broccoli stir fry with red rice and oriental sauce


NOTE: my cup is regular 250ml glass

INGREDIENTS for stir fry:

  • 1 broccoli
  • 1 red sweet pepper (you can use chilli pepper instead of sweet)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • bunch of spring onions
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of red rice
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

INGREDIENTS for sauce:

  • 1 tbsp of miso paste
  • 1 inch (2.5cm) fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or pressed through a press
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

DIRECTIONS

Boil the rice in salted water until tender. In a bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients and let it sit for a while.

Wash your broccoli, divide it into florets. Chop spring onions, cut the pepper into thin strips, ginger in very thin slices. Heat the olive oil in a wok and add broccoli. Season with salt and fry over a large heat until golden and semi-soft, add pepper and half of spring onions. Fry for a while, then add garlic and ginger chopped into thin slices.

Mix fried vegetables with cooked rice, pour over prepared sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and the rest of spring onions.

Bon Appetit!

quick and easy chickpeas & tomato wholemeal pasta

Last couple weeks was pretty hectic, and it looks like it’s just a beginning. I struggle to accommodate working, sleeping eating with doing the things I like to do. To the disadvantage of the last ones. On my way back from work I always make plans what I’m going to do, but when I eventually get home it turns out my head is barely working and all I can do is eat and sleep. And that’s how I didn’t post any new recipe which is very disappointing for me, I guess none else doesn’t really care, but I had so many plans in my head and it’s so frustrating that I don’t have enough energy to pick up myself from the sofa and do something more creative than watching YouTube.

And our current diet doesn’t help us much. Because we’ve decided that during Spring and Summer we will stop with keto and start more plant and carb based diet also meant that we need to eat more often. Or at least I have to. Which is pretty annoying comparing to 2 meals that we have had on keto, I feel like I’m constantly hungry. Working in a restaurant doesn’t really help and turns out that my favourite trousers from last Summer can barely fit me. Well I tell to myself that this shall past as well.

In the meantime I would like to introduce one of the quick and easy meals that I serve right now. It’s my old recipe, but works on these days when cooking is the last thing I’d like to think of. Pasta – perfect base for all easy-peasy thoughtless meals. At least I try to choose a little bit more nutritious ones and buy wholemeal.

The idea for this casserole was taken from the accidentally discovered couple years ago culinary show “Lidia’s kitchen” or something like that . Lidia is an American of Italian origin, therefore many of the dishes she prepares have Italian character or somehow refer to Italian cuisine. I like cooking programs that focus the viewer’s attention on the dish being prepared, and not on the person of the cook. Where the various stages of the preparation of the dish are presented, along with the final landing on the plate, and where the chef explains not only what, but also why, he or she prepares the dish exactly the way it is. And so from the episode watched, the most memorable thing for me is the casserole of wholemeal pasta with chickpeas and tomato sauce. Simple, fast and nourishing. And tasty.

I used to make this kind of pasta very often. If you’d like to see more of these kind of recipes let me know I have quite a lot of it up my sleeve 🙂

quick and easy chickpeas & tomato wholemeal pasta

INGREDIENTS for 2 large portions with leftovers:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • about 300g wholemeal penne
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • natural rock salt
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • your favourite cheese (parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella)

DIRECTIONS

In a large non-stick pan (or a non-stick pot in my case) heat up some olive oil. Garlic is cut into slices and fry for literally 2 minutes, so that it does not burn and become bitter. Then add chopped tomatoes, bay leaves and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Simmer over low heat, boiling salted water for pasta in another pot.

Cook the pasta al dente – when baking it will absorb the liquid from the tomato sauce and soften it.

Add chickpeas and a pinch of chilli to the stewed tomatoes. Stir and finally add the cooked pasta. Mix thoroughly so that all the pasta is covered with sauce. Now either put it in a greased baking dish, sprinkle generously with cheese and bake in the oven (180 ° C, until the cheese melts), or, in my case, leave it on the plate for another 10 minutes, until the cheese melts. Which is also much faster.

Serve immediately, if left for a few hours, the pasta will drain all the liquid from the sauce and soften. Although, go ahead if you don’t mind. Enjoy your meal!


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!

chimichurri prawns – low carb dinner in less that 30 minutes

As I mentioned in my post with 10 tips for beginners: how to start keto in 2021, spices are important part of my keto cooking. Even if you are restricted with variety of foods you can eat, with adding different spices and herbs, making your own blends you can create many different meals. Spices and herbs give you a lot of opportunities, if your spice cupboard is stocked up, you will never get bored with your food.

If you don’t have enough cooking experience in preparing your own blends, you can look for ready-made blends on the Internet and, suggesting their ingredients list, prepare your own. Why make your own mixes instead of just buying them if you can? For two simple reasons: ready-made blends are usually more expensive and also contain various unwanted additives such as palm oil, sugar, food additives and anti-caking agents. If you have your favourite spice mixes that you usually buy, why not consider making your own blends? Making your own blends will give you endless options.

This way I prepared this chimichurri blend. Couple weeks ago I bought small pack of chimichurri spice, and because I repeated this purchase couple more times I decided that cheaper will be to make my own chimichurri blend, since I have all the ingredients in my spice cupboard. And that’s how this recipe came out – we liked it so much I had to make it twice this week 🙂

Originally chimichurri is an uncooked sauce used in Argentina and Uruguay in cooking and as a table condiment for grilled meat. Chimichurri sauce is always made from finely chopped parsley, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt, black pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, and sunflower or olive oil. Some recipes add shallot or onion, coriander and lemon juice. It’s usually served with grilled steaks or roasted sausages, but also with poultry or fish. Using dried herbs you can make your own spice blend and enjoy with meat or veggies. Or using fresh herbs, some onion, garlic and olive oil prepare delicious salsa you can enjoy with grilled meat or fish during summer months.

To prepare chimichurri prawns, you need less than 30 minutes (I don’t take time to defrost prawns or green beans) and you have aromatic and flavoursome meal ready on your table. If you’re not a fan of prawns, you can use chicken – I tried it couple times already and was also delicious.

chimichurri prawns

INGREDIENTS for 2 portions:

  • 450 g prawns (I use frozen cooked and peeled prawns)
  • 2 medium courgettes
  • 2-3 handfuls of green beans
  • 1 brown onion
  • thick slice of butter
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried coriander leaves
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • pinch of coarse pepper
  • optionally: pinch of chilli flakes
  • natural rock salt

DIRECTIONS

If you also use frozen prawns defrost them first and drain from water. Cut onion in half and lengthwise in thick slices. Wash courgettes and cut them in half-slices.

Heat a large skillet adding thick slice of butter. Add onion and fry until golden, then add prawns. If you use raw prawns you can fry them first then add onion.

Add chopped garlic cloves, courgettes and green beans, some salt and all the spices. Fry on medium heat until courgette and beans will be tender. If you use frozen green beans (defrosting them beforehand) it will take 10-15 minutes to be ready.

And it’s ready. Serve hot and enjoy 🙂

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 chicken korma

Since I’m back at work, I have less time for cooking and experimenting. At least one good thing of being furlough, is that you have plenty time for cooking, eating and trying for new recipes. Now I’m back to my old routine, looking for quick and healthy dinners and meals I can prepare in the morning, dump into my slow cooker and enjoy after coming back from work.

Recently I’ve discovered korma spice blend in my local eco shop, and I’ve already almost emptied it. I’m not the biggest fan of Indian spices, but this one is fantastic. There’s plenty of cinnamon in it, so it not only gives amazing aroma, but also a lot of sweetness. I’ve balanced it with couple spoons of tomato passata, it also gives it a bit more colour to the sauce. I’ve used double cream to make it very creamy, but coconut milk would work even better. For finish use some chopped fresh coriander, which gives this specific flavour. And of course quite a lot of fresh garlic, natural antibiotic and fresh ginger for extra warming effect. Ginger and garlic it’s a great combo for upcoming Autumn and Winter. Especially this year, our bodies needs an extra care and awareness. So it’s good to always have on hand fresh garlic cloves, ginger and when you feel like cold or runny nose is on their way to catch you, you can just finely chop large garlic clove (or use a garlic press) and mix it for example with cottage cheese or natural yoghurt and have this mixture once a day. To make a ginger tea, chop some fresh ginger and boil for about 5 minutes. Drink it while it’s warm but not boiling hot. It will warm you up from the inside on a colder days.

To make korma chicken, you won’t need more than 30 minutes. Remember to find good quality chicken, from local butcher or farmers market. You can serve it with bunch of cooked or fresh veggies, like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts or leafy greens.

If you can’t find korma seasoning, you can make your own blend using: ground coriander, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, ground cardamom, clove and chilli powder.

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keto chicken korma

INGREDIENTS for two portions + leftovers:

  • 500g chicken thighs
  • 350ml double cream (or a can of coconut milk for no dairy option)
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • about an inch (2.5cm) of fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter
  • about 3 tsp korma blend spice
  • pinch of coarse pepper
  • pinch of natural rock salt
  • about 3 tbsp tomato passata (or 1 tbsp tomato paste)
  • fresh coriander for finish

DIRECTIONS

Chop the chicken in smaller pieces, do the same with onion.

Heat a large skillet adding 2 tablespoons of clarified butter. Toss the chicken and fry on a high heat until it gets golden. Then add some salt and chopped onion. Fry for another couple minutes, so it also gets slightly browned.

Slice or use a garlic press, also finely chop a piece of ginger, and add to skillet. Lower the heat and add all the spices. Give it a good stir so the spices goes everywhere. Add double cream or coconut milk, about 3 tablespoons of passata, and simmer on a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

You should get thick, creamy and aromatic sauce. Just check if it’s salty enough, also if you like it a bit more spicy, sprinkle some chilli flakes on top. To finish sprinkle some fresh chopped coriander.

Serve hot with some fresh o cooked veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green beans, or some salad leaves.

Enjoy!

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mediterranean pork fillet skillet

I usually make a pork fillet very basic: with a lot of brown onion, fried on clarified butter with some salt and pepper. But this time decided to try something different for a change. Couple day ago I bought a few aubergines, also had a bottle of passata in my cupboard, so I though maybe adding kind of Mediterranean sauce to this pork would work quite well? I could add finely chopped aubergine to the sauce, to make it more aromatic. And it worked quite well. Thick tomato sauce, with lots of garlic and basil did a job.

Recently I’ve noticed some kind of reluctance to meat, especially red meat. My body for some reason doesn’t want any beef or pork, it’s much better with chicken though. As I cook also for my partner, I still prepare meat, but when it comes to consuming, I’d rather replace it with something else or eat just a little bit if I feel like. I don’t know what’s the reason for that, but I could literally eat veggies all day long.

Maybe that’s why I’ve enjoyed this Mediterranean pork fillet so much – because of the veggie sauce 🙂

I’ve added lots of dried basil to it, but even better if you have fresh one. I’m afraid of buying fresh basil pot, after couple months ago I’ve discovered plenty of tiny maggots living on my beautifully growing basil plant. Because they were living under the leaves, I haven’t seen them until I wanted to grab a bunch for homemade pesto. Whole plant finished in the bin, and I haven’t buy any other since then. But if you have beautiful and healthy basil on your windowsill or in the garden, do not hesitate and add a lot to this tomato sauce.

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mediterranean pork fillet skillet

INGREDIENTS for 2 portions + leftovers:

  • 400g pork fillet
  • 1 small aubergine
  • couple mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp clarified butter
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 300-400ml tomato passata
  • 2 tsp dried basil (add fresh if you have)
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper (or 1/2 tsp coarse pepper)
  • natural rock salt

DIRECTIONS

Cut your pork fillet in thin slices – about half of an inch (about 1cm). Finely chop brown onion, wash aubergine and chop it as well. Slice garlic cloves or use a garlic press if you wish.

Heat a large skillet, adding 3 tbsp of clarified butter. Add meat, and fry on a high heat, until both sides slightly golden. Then add onion and salt and fry for about 5 minutes. Next add aubergine, mushrooms and all the spices: garlic, bay leaves, basil and lemon pepper, lower the heat and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add passata and simmer on a low heat for about 20 minutes. You might need to add some water, depending of the thickness of passata. Also while cooking liquid will evaporate, so you can add some water according to how thick you want sauce to be like.

Check the taste, if you feel like it needs more basil, add more, also you might need more salt. If you’re satisfied with the taste, switch off the heat and serve. Depending of your liking: salad leaves, couscous, gnocchi etc. I had mine with bunch of green leaves, as I try not to eat any high carb foods.

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keto tandoori chicken, prawn & courgette skillet

Another quick and easy recipe from the chicken series, you’ll prepare in less than 30 minutes. That’s another one, that my partner keep asking about, even though he doesn’t like courgette.

In this simple, one skillet option all you need is just toss each ingredient one by one, fry for a while a here you have – full of flavour keto tandoori chicken and prawn, courgette skillet. I love one pot meals – easy to make and there’s not many dishes you need to wash afterwards.

I like using already cooked and peeled prawns. I’m not the best with seafood, we mainly eat only small prawns (sometimes I buy frozen seafood cocktail). But if you’re good with it, you can easily take some fancy king prawns and arrange them nicely on top of the meal.

Also tandoori is one of my favourite spice blends: paprika, coriander, garlic, chilli, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, cumin – this mix gives a strong, rich flavour enhancing the taste of each ingredient in the same time. These spices warm your body and improve digestion. If you don’t have tandoori seasoning, but your spice cupboard is full of different spices, you can try make your own tandoori blend.

If you’d like to buy a ready made tandoori seasoning, always have a look at the ingredients list. Tandoori is known from it’s beautiful red colour, originally red chilli peppers provided this colour. While modern blends sometimes use red dye (E129) to enhance the red colour. Synthetic Red no. 40 is derived from either coal or petroleum byproducts. Natural food dye is made from cochineal, specifically the female, a species of insect (the insects are sun-dried, crushed, and dunked in an acidic alcohol solution to produce carminic acid, the pigment that eventually becomes carmine or cochineal extract, depending on processing). Synthetic Red No. 40 contain benzidene, a human and animal carcinogen permitted in low, presumably safe levels in dyes. If you’re interested in more informations about this subject, take a look on two articles I’ve linked below.

Anyway, whatever you buy, it’s always good to check the label and see what the manufacturer decided to add to a product, that potentially does not arouse suspicion and supposed to be natural. Sometimes you can be surprised what’s inside. I don’t want you to be paranoid though, but it’s good to know what you decide to put in your mouth. I’m afraid that if we would like to buy only 100% natural products, we would die starving. So lets keep the common sense, guys!

keto tandoori chicken, prawn & courgette skillet

INGREDIENTS:

  • 350g chicken thighs
  • 300g cooked and peeled prawns
  • pinch of natural rock salt
  • 3 tsp medium tandoori spice blend
  • 2 medium courgettes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves

DIRECTIONS

Dice chicken in smaller pieces. Rinse courgettes and dice them in half slices. Slice onion lengthwise and slice 2 large garlic cloves.

Heat the large skillet, adding 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Toss the chicken, sprinkle with some salt and fry until golden. Add prawns and tandoori spice blend, fry for 2-3 minutes. Next add sliced onion, courgettes and garlic, sprinkle with some more salt. Fry until courgettes will be ready.

Serve hot with side salad (in my case easy white cabbage salad) or other depending of your choice.

Enjoy!

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2957945/

https://www.livescience.com/36292-red-food-dye-bugs-cochineal-carmine.html

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!

keto chicken and prawn one pot gumbo

I found this recipe at the beginning of our keto journey. We liked this dish so much, that it stayed in our menu for good. Mix of chicken, prawns and chorizo with warming and aromatic spices – that’s something we like a lot.

Easy and quick one pot meal, full of good stuff – that’s something I like. Great idea on these days when you don’t have time or you just don’t want to spend it in the kitchen. One pot meal that will make you feel full for hours. It’s something you can also prepare in a slow cooker the day before and just heat it up and eat after coming back from work.

I’ve used chicken thighs to make this meal but you can also use chicken breasts, although they seem to be more dry and bland. Also imagine that I have chorizo in this gumbo. Because of lockdown, many of items are unavailable and my groceries delivery came without chorizo, so I had to skip it this time. But I always add chorizo to gumbo -it adds a lot of flavour to it. I always use cooked and peeld prawns because I’m not the best with seafood and this prawns I can just defrost and use straight away. Prawns are great source of protein – 100g of prawns contains about 25g of protein – almost the same as chicken or beef. Even though prawns contains large amouts of fats, they don’t rise your cholesterol levels, because they contain almost three times more Omega 3 Fatty Acid than they do Omega 6 Fatty Acid.

How nutritious are prawns? (source)

  • Proteins – essential components of muscles, skin, bones and the body as a whole.
  • Vitamin B12 – important for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system and plays a key role in the formation of red blood cells.
  • Selenium – plays a key role in the human body’s antioxidant defence system, preventing damage to cells and tissues
  • Vitamin E – helps protect cell membranes by acting as an antioxidant. Vitamin E deficiency has been related to cystic fibrosis, chronic liver disease, short-bowel syndrome, and other malabsorption diseases
  • Phosphorous helps to build strong bones and teeth, and to release the energy from the food we eat. All shellfish are a source of phosphorous
  • Omega-3 – they can help protect the heart and are believed to reduce the risks of developing some forms of cancers. 100g of prawns willprovide you with 13% of your recommended weekly intake of Omega-3.

So if you like prawns it’s a good option to include them to your menu more often. Although in my opinion it’s better to buy something better quality (for example from a fishmonger) or at least not the cheapest one in the shop. It’s like with fish and meat – bigger price usually means better quality and taste. Also the cheapest frozen prawns tends to have a lot of ice, so very often you loose 1/3 of weight after defrosting them.

OK, so let’s get into this delicious recipe.

keto chicken and prawn one pot gumbo

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g chicken thighs (or chicken breasts)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 450g celery
  • 1 large onion
  • 100g chorizo
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 400ml (1 can) coconut milk
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 250g prawns (I used cooked and peeled ones)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • natural rock salt
  • pinch of coarse pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic granules or 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 300-400ml tomato passata

DIRECTIONS

Cut chicken in smaller pieces. Wash and chop celery sticks and bell pepper. Slice chorizo. Rinse or peel the mushrooms and slice them.

If you use frozen prawns, defrost them first (you can do it quickly by rinsing them with warm water and leaving on the colander to drain).

Heat coconut oil in a large pot and add chicken pieces and some salt. Fry couple minutes on a high heat, then add chorizo and onion and fry for another couple minutes. Add all spices and stir thoroughly. Then add mushrooms, celery and bell pepper and some more salt. At the and add defrosted prawns.

Pour over can of coconut milk and tomato passata. Stir until combine, cover with lid and simmer on a small heat for about 15 minutes. Veggies should be soft but still firm. Check if it’s salty enough, add some more if needed. If you like it more spicy you can add some chilli flakes.

I sprinkled mine with some coriander leaves I had in the freezer, parsley will be good as well.

DIRECTIONS FOR SLOW COOKER

Cut chicken in smaller pieces. Wash and chop celery sticks and bell pepper. Slice chorizo. Rinse or peel the mushrooms and slice them.

If you use frozen prawns, defrost them first (you can do it quickly by rinsing them with warm water and leaving on the colander to drain). Never add frozen food to a slow cooker, it will extend the time of cooking and can cause that food won’t be able to cook properly.

Heat some coconut oil in a frying pan and add chicken pieces and some salt. Fry couple minutes on a high heat, then add chorizo and onion and fry for another couple minutes. Place it all in a slow cooker add spices, veggies, some more salt, coconut milk and tomato passata. If you use uncooked prawns add them with the rest of ingredients at the beginning. If you use cooked prawns as I do, add them in the last hour of slow cooking. Cook for about 4-5 hours on “low”.