Slow carb dinners and lunches

Slow carb meals involved a lot of beans, and a lot of veg. That’s pretty much by design – you can’t have too much fat so you end up using spices to liven things up a bit.

Lunches were leftover dinners, pretty much every time. Omelettes still featured heavily. So did spicy egg (e.g. shakshuka or huevos ahogados or eggs in purgatory or any other variant of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce). For the ubiquitous beans and the lentils, my slow cooker saw a lot of action.

As with many diets planning was key – a couple of times we had slow cooker chili and slow cooker beans which involved doing the beans overnight, cleaning the slow cooker, then cooking the chili during the day whilst I was at work.

Chili and refried beans

This superbly simple but a slightly bland slow cooker refried beans recipe featured a lot this month. It works great – although it works even better if you multiply the cumin by 16, quadruple the chili, and cut the salt in half. (So that’s 2tsp salt, 2stp cumin, and 2 chilis). It keeps fine for a while in the fridge.

For a veggie chili to have with it, the key thing is to ensure you’ve got enough non-hot spices. Too many veggie chilis I have in pubs and so on have lots of chili but no real other flavour. I like to use smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, and some cocoa powder to give it a rounder taste. scd1

Veggie curry

Hansa’s cookbook is one of the best books ever. Every single recipe in that book is great, and if you leave out the ones which have potatoes in, and use decent extra virgin oil (and not too much of it) they’re broadly slow-carb friendly. No rice of course. Or bread. But I don’t mind curry without bread or rice now, it’s still tasty curry.

Curry recipes which I can broadly call “mine” that I either adapted for slow carb or are suitable for slow carb include my favourite

Roast chickpea and cauliflower curry

Par boil a cauliflower. In a baking tray, put a bit of oil, and a teaspoon each of black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and any other nice curry flavour seeds you have lying around (ajwain? caraway? cardamom? chuck ’em in). Salt and pepper and turmeric, about a teaspoon of each too.  Chuck in a tin of chickpeas and 2 roughly chopped onions and the cauliflower. Bake at 220c/gas mark 7ish until crispy, turning lots.

Note: this is even better with potatoes, but hey.

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Less successful dietary endeavours

Cottage pie, with a fake mash made from cauliflower and haricot beans, was something of a disappointment. Roasted sprouts can liven up many a meal, but they didn’t manage to save this one.

Another meal of brown food with brown stuff with some yellowy stuff on the side. THAT LOOKS APPEALING.

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