Low-Carb Berbere-spiced broccoli cheese “flatbread” with Tahini sauce

xolvp9yIngredients for the sauce: 

  • 1/2 cup tahini paste
  • 2/3 cup full fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves of garlic – smashed and then minced
  • two hand-fulls of flatleaf parsley – finely chopped
  • two hand-fulls of mint leaves – finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses (optional)
  • 2 Tbs high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup+ water

Ingredients for the flatbread:

  • 1 x 15oz bag of riced broccoli (you can also use cauliflower or any other riced veggie blend or rice your own with a food processor and a few pulses)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic – smashed and then minced
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbs shredded mozarella
  • 2 large eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • scant 1/2 tsp berbere spice mix (you can buy this online here at World Spice)

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce, except for the water in a bowl. Add the water, a little at a time, until you have a thick sauce with a pour-able consistency. You may need to add a bit more water depending on the thickness of your tahini paste and other ingredients.
  2. Preheat your oven to 425F.
  3. Add your riced broccoli into a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover it and heat on high for around 6-7 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Give it a few stirs to start cooling it down. Add the garlic, and berbere and stir. Once it has cooled a bit add the shredded cheese. Stir to incorporate and then add the eggs and stir the mixture again.
  4. Onto a large baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, add your broccoli mixture. Use a large spatula to spread it around. I like to keep mine on the thinner side (a little less than 1/4″ thick) as it helps to give it a nice dry consistency when it is done. Bake for 25 minutes on a middle rack. Give it a check and rotate it after 17 minutes.
  5. Cut it up into your desired shape. I find a pizza cutter works well. Serve with tahini.
  6. This recipe also works well as a low-carb wrap bread. I find it pairs well with my Israeli Chicken Meatballs.

 

 

Israeli Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Garlic and Sumac Sauce

anmimic1I love, love, love this recipe. So often chicken turns out dry. So often, when we’re trying to avoid starches (breading), meatballs have this dry, grainy texture. Not with this recipe. Plus, it is packed with flavor. Then there’s the ridiculously delicious sauce. As wonderful as the meatballs are, and they are, the sauce is the shining star of this dish. With a base of sour cream and thick greek yogurt, it too can be a healthy addition to any diet (even a low cab one) if you use it in moderation.  Continue reading

Chicken Tikka Masala

I’m posting this one with no photo mostly because I had some friends request the recipe. It is suitable for the maintenance phase of a low-carb lifestyle so long as you omit the rice. I choose to pair it with a leafy veg side dish and if I’m feeling celebratory I will maybe have a small piece of low carb bread to go with it. If you want a bread that doesn’t taste low carb I like the to toast HALF a piece of the “light Original Flat out Wraps” which comes to 3 grams of carbs after you sub out the fiber. Seriously, it tastes like bread, I don’t know how they do it.

This recipe is fairly heavy on cream but I’ll make no apologies. I think full fat dairy is delicious, satisfying, and very filling. You won’t have to eat much of this dish to be properly full for a long time especially if you pair it with a good side of veggies. I never use food coloring because I find it unnecessary but if you want to be more authentic you can add 1/4 tsp tandoori food coloring to the chicken marinade which you can purchase at most Indian grocers. My version of this recipe isn’t strictly authentic anyways, so if you’re a purist, consider yourself warned. I’ve also omitted most of the chilli pepper heat to make it more palatable to my milk-mouthed husband and also to children. Feel free to spice it back up with some cayenne or any other powdered peppers you prefer.

The spice mixes can all be purchased at World Spice Merchants. If you’re lucky enough to live near Seattle, they have a shop at Pike Place Market. You can also order online and I’ve included links below, just click on the spices in the recipe.

Marinade the day before:

  • 1/2 Tbs smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbs kashmiri garam masala – ground (you can use regular garam masala if you like but I prefer the kashmiri version)
  • 1 Tbs tikka masala spice mix – ground
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • zest of 1/2 lemon – grated
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic – roughly chopped
  • 2″ section of ginger – peeled and thinly sliced against the grain
  • 1/2 cup cilantro – roughly chopped stems and all
  • 1/2 cup full fat plain yogurt (Greek yogurt works very well)
  • 1 to 1.5 lbs chicken breast – cubed about 1 to 1.5 inches
  • salt to taste (if you grill over propane I like to use some alderwood smoked salt to give it better flavor)
  1. Into a food processor add the paprika through cilantro and pulse until everything finely chopped. Make sure the ginger and garlic have no large pieces left. Add the yogurt and pulse into a paste. Add to the cubed chicken breast and mix thoroughly. Chill and marinade overnight.

Grilling and Stewing – the day of:

  • 1 recipe chicken tikka (above) marinated from the day before
  • 1 Tbs olive oil or ghee
  • 1 small onion – finely chopped
  • 1 small shallot (or half an american shallot) – finely chopped
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed and then minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tbs Tikka Masala spice mix – ground
  • 1x 14 oz can of finely diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 Tbs kashmiri garam masala – ground
  • a pinch of coconut sugar (optional)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream (you can substitute up to a few tablespoons of it with 2% or whole milk)
  • 1 Tbs ground almonds
  • salt to taste
  • chopped cilantro for garnish
  1. Put your chicken on skewers (pre-soak if using wooden ones) and grill over low-medium heat to cook with minimal charring but so that the chicken is cooked through. Reserve the left over marinade.
  2. Into a deep walled, heavy pan over low-medium heat cook the onions and cardamom until the onions become translucent and begin to brown, stirring often.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a minute then add the tikka masala and cinnamon. Cook for another 30 seconds to a minute or until the spices warm and become fragrant.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook until they soften, loose shape, and the sauce becomes thick and almost paste-like. This may take 30 minutes or more, lower the heat if necessary to prevent sticking to the pan or burning.
  5. Add the garam masala and coconut sugar (optional) and then the cream, almonds, and the grilled chicken masala. Stir and simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the chicken is warmed through.
  6. Add salt to taste and serve garnished with cilantro. If you can have brown basmati rice as part of your diet or whole-wheat naan bread serve accordingly. Low-carb substitutes would be cauliflower rice or 1/2 a light original flat out wrap (toasted).

Beef Pho – Getting Back to Basics

Vietnamese Comfort Food

Pho was one of the first meals I remember eating (besides baby food). I have memories of my mother standing at the stove, skimming the foam off the broth of a big pot of pho. Most of the time, she made chicken pho (pho ga), but on special occasions she would tackle the tedious task of preparing beef pho (pho bo) from scratch. Every family recipe is different and is passed on from generation to generation; with little amendments here and there as daughters and sons make it their own. Continue reading

Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork – Thit Nuong

Vietnamese Grilled Pork

Vietnamese Grilled Pork

The other day I was video chatting with my mother in Vietnam. The topic eventually ended up about food, as it so often does; all the tasty things I can’t get here in the US and all the recipes that she never taught me when I was younger and busy going to school. I decided to ask her how to make one of my favorite dishes – Thit Nuong. The instructions I got were less than easy to follow. In typical Asian Mother fashion she simply said, oh a little bit of this, a little bit of that. After several minutes of prompting, I was finally able to get the ingredient list wrestled from her memory. That was it. She gave me no instructions and no measurements. After some experimentation I came up with something quite wonderful. I hope you love this dish as much as I do. Continue reading

Kimchi Pancake (kimchijeon)

Kimchi Pancakes with Soy Dipping Sauce

I went out with my extended family for Korean food at a local place called Dolsot. I have never had a bad dish there so if you live in the PacNW drive out to Issaaquah and try them out. On a whim, we decided to order the kimchi pancake. I’ve been obsessed with this tasty little treat since that first bite. After thinking about them non-stop for a whole day, there was nothing to do but to figure out how to make them at home. I could have gone back to Dolsot that instant but my local Uwajimaya was closer and they carry fresh kimchi. Continue reading