Tag Archives: low-carb recipes

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Zoodles in a Quick Chicken Pho (Zucchini noodles in a Vietnamese soup)

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Have you tried PHO (prounched as “FUH”)??
Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup. The authentic soup is more like a broth(clear) made with a meat/ poultry as it’s base (with bones), spices and with herb and vegetable garnishes.┬áHere is a LOW-CARB version!! In this recipe, we have replaced the NOODLES with ZOODLES ­čÖé

Wondering what ‘ZOODLES’ are??┬á┬áZoodles= Zucchini noodles, or in other words noodles made by spiralizing zucchini (using a vegetable spiralizer). The resulting zoodles is a great low-carb substitute for any recipe that calls for noodles, pasta/spaghetti (or even rice)! You can even make zucchini sheets and use them instead of lasagna sheets. If you don’t have a vegetable spiralizer then use your vegetable peeler to make sheets, then cut the sheets into strips.

Zucchini sheets for lasagna/salads or cutting into noodles

Zoodles are a low-carb substitute for noodles/pasta if you are on a low-carb diet, low-calorie diet or just want to increase your vegetable intake. Zucchini is a member of the gourd family and is low in calorie, high in fibre, also rich in flavonoid antioxidants (mostly found in the skin), B-complex vitamins, folate, B6, B1, B2, B3, and choline, as well as minerals like potassium, zinc and magnesium.

This is great dish when you are feeling a little under the weather or need something warm or on a cold winter’s day or when you are feeling lazy to make an elaborate meal. It’s a one pot dish which will keep you full for a long time.

Ingredients for Quick Chicken Pho with Zoodles: (Serves 4)

  • Chicken: 500 gms cut into small pieces (with bone makes it tastier, but you can use boneless too)
  • Zucchinis: 3 large (spiralized )
  • Chicken stock/broth: 8 cups
  • Onion: 1 large (sliced)
  • Ginger: 3″ julienned
  • Star anise: 1no.
  • Cloves: 4
  • Pepper corns: 4nos
  • Fish sauce: 2 tbsp
  • Pepper powder: 1tsp
  • Green chillies/jalape├▒o (optional): 1-2nos (thinly sliced)
  • Bok choy: 2 heads
  • Bean/Moong sprouts- 1 cup
  • Cilantro/coriander leaves: 1 small bunch (chopped)
  • Basil: 1 sprig
  • Lime: 1 no. cut into wedges
  • Spring onions/ Scallions: 2 (sliced)
  • Sriracha/hot sauce(optional): to taste
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Heat 1-2 teaspoon of oil in a large pot, add the star anise, peppercorns, cloves and ginger strips. After a minute, add the sliced onions and saute till they are translucent. (this is an optional step as I find sauteing the onions and ginger adds a better flavour to the pho rather than boiling it all in the stock).
  2. Add the stock, the chicken, fish sauce, salt, black pepper and to the stock and bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat and let it simmer for 20-25 mins.(if you don’t want to saute the onions and ginger, then you need to add it directly to the stock along with the whole spices).
  3. Add the bok choy and cook till it wilts. (If you have used chicken with bones, you can take them out, remove the bones and put the chicken pieces back)
  4. Divide the zucchini noodles into 4 bowls.
  5. Ladle the piping hot soup into bowls and top with spring onion, bean/moong sprouts, basil, cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over, and hot sauce, extra fish sauce and sliced chilli to add to taste.

 

 


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Spaghetti Squash (and a Low-carb dish)

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So what’s so great about me putting up a photo of a plate of spaghetti??
Look more closely-that’s not your regular spaghetti-it’s a SQUASH!!!!! A couple of weeks back when I was chatting with my brother, he had mentioned that he had recently tried spaghetti squash and that got me intrigued and I quickly put it on my shopping list. I found it quite easily,but I wasn’t too sure if it was the right one as it looked no different from the rest of the squash where it was kept( I guess I was expecting something which at least vaguely resembled spaghetti),but the label on it very clearly said “Spaghetti Squash” and also had cooking instructions (thank you very much).

The instructions said that I could either bake it or microwave it-I microwaved it on high for about 7-8 minutes(after piercing the rind) and let it cool for sometime before cutting it open-and voila, there was the spaghetti just staring at me-beautiful!!!

Spaghetti squash

I hadn’t even thought of what to do with it. I could make spaghetti(after all it was named after it) or I could use it as noodles. Since this was the first time,I settled with a simple spaghetti dish with sauteed vegetables along with grated Parmesan cheese (you could try adding chicken, meatballs). ┬áThe result was a nice crunchy dish( and it was all vegetables!!) which was very filling.

Spaghetti Squash

Next time I’m going to be a little more adventurous and try out something new-maybe a salad, or maybe a stir-fry dish,or use it as noodles. Any suggestions??

Question: How would you like to try out Spaghetti squash?


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Palak Paneer- Creamy, Healthy version (Cottage cheese in Spinach gravy)

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Here’s a healthy version of Creamy Palak Paneer:
Ingredients for Palak Paneer (low calorie version):

  • Palak: 4 big cups or 250 gms
  • Tomatoes: 2 big
  • Garlic: 4nos.
  • Ginger: 1″piece
  • Green chilies: 2-3 (or according to taste)
  • Paneer: 250gms (cut into cubes)
  • Skim milk: 1 1/2 cups
  • Cumin seeds: 1tsp
  • Hing(asafoetida): a pinch
  • Bay leaf: 1
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp (or 1 tsp curry powder)
  • Coriander powder: 2tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp
  • Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 3tsp
Method:
  1. Puree the tomato along with the garlic and ginger.
  2. Bring some water to boil and then blanch the palak leaves for 3-5 minutes. Take out the leaves and puree when cool.
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the bay leaf and cumin seeds, when they start to brown add the hing.
  4. Then add the tomato puree, garam masala, coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric/curry powder and stir fry till you see the oil separating out.
  5. Then add the palak puree and mix well.
  6. Cover and cook for 10 minutes stirring in between.Add salt to taste.
  7. Lower the flame and add in the milk . Mix well and then cover and cook for about 5mins.
  8. Add the paneer pieces and mix. Cover and cook for another 5-6 minutes while stirring gently in between.
Serve the creamy palak paneer with phulkas or plain rice and dal.

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Besan Dosa/ Besan Chila (How to make chickpea flour crepes/pancakes)

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Besan Dosa/ Besan Chila (Chickpea Flour Crepes)

Besan or chickpea flour or gram flour is a great source of fiber, is GLUTEN FREE and can be helpful in lowering cholesterol and blood sugars.

When I was growing up in Bombay,Besan dosa was a very popular dish in most Udupi restaurants and was even sometimes called “Vegetarian Omelet”. Besan dosa was also sold as a filling inside sandwiches which were named “Veggie omelet sandwich”! Funnily enough,I hated them at that time and preferred my regular ‘egg omelet’ to the veggie omelet. Finally,one day I tried it out and to my amazement, loved it(thankfully it was appreciated by hubby and little brat) and so now it’s a regular feature at home. Make sure you use a good non-stick pan when you make this-that way,you won’t need to use a lot of oil.

Besan or Chickpea flour is a high fibre, high protein, gluten free flour which is made from garbanzo/chickpeas. Being high in fibre, it can be helpful for lowering blood sugar levels and cholesterol.

Here is a quick and easy recipe that can be had for breakfast or even lunch/dinner:

Ingredients for Besan Dosa/Chila (Chickpea flour crepes):Serves 4

  • Besan/Gramflour/Chickpea flour: 2 cups
  • Rice flour: 2 tbsp (optional)
  • Onion:1/2 small(finely chopped)
  • Tomatoes:1 small(finely chopped)
  • Green chillies:1-2(finely chopped)
  • Corriander leaves/Cilantro: 2 tablespoon,finely chopped
  • Grated zucchini/ bottlegourd: 1/2 cup (optional)
  • Hing/asafoetida: a pinch
  • Turmeric powder: 1/4th teaspoon
  • Jeera/Cummin seeds:1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda: 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Salt:to taste
  • Oil/Butter/Ghee: to grease the pan

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients.
  2. Add enough water to make a batter of dosa/pancake consistency. If adding zucchini/bottlegourd, you may need less water as the bottlegourd/zucchini will leave some of its moisture.
  3. Spread the oil on a non-stick pan on medium flame.
  4. Pour a ladle of the batter and spread like a dosa. Cover for a 3-4 minutes.
  5. Then,flip the dosa over to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes.Make sure not to burn them.
  6. Serve the besan dosa hot with mint,ketchup or a spicy chutney.

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