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Low Carb Broccoli Tagliatelle

23 Sep

Oh, oh … what to do. Nothing much left in the fridge and today is Sunday. Shops don’t open on Sundays in Germany.

After taking stock of the situation this morning, I found some broccoli in the freezer. Googled and found a couple of pasta and broccoli recipes. Can I be bothered to make some low carb pasta? Why not, I didn’t have much planned for the morning anyway.

Looking through the recipes online, I couldn’t find any that suited what I had on hand. The simple ones seemed to boil the broccoli to death while others used onions and anchovies which I didn’t fancy using. So I just looked at what they used, decided what I would put into mine and viola, came up with this version. Except for the pasta making part which really isn’t so bad, this recipe is quick and easy.

Low Carb Broccoli Tagliatelle

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Low Carb Soy Flour Pasta/Noodles

22 Nov

I found this wonderful recipe to make soy pasta during one of my google searches for low carb recipes on a German forum for owners of a wonder kitchen multitask machine – it can do almost everything under the sun and is called Thermomix. If I were just starting out and had a bare kitchen and that kind of money to spare, this looks like a great thing to have. Well, unfortunately, I can’t afford the machine (the new model costs over €900) but I nevertheless tried the recipe. Or rather, I took the ingredients and used my own method since I did not possess the machine and could not relate to the instructions. I also did not want to use my bread machine as my Low Carb Sunflower Seed Loaf made in the machine was less successful than the version made by hand!

Result – I came up with some amazing low carb noodles! Thank you, Sputnik (pen name of the recipe owner on Wunderkessel). I have a cookbook called The Essential Pasta Cookbook and in the past, I really enjoyed cooking from it. But sadly, it was relegated to the back of my bookshelf when I stopped eating carbs. I even considered throwing it away so that I would not be tempted to make anything out of it. Well, I am so glad I didn’t throw the book away. Over the course of the last two and a half months, I’ve made Spaghetti Bolognese, Spaghetti Aglio Olio, Cannelloni, Lasagne, Chicken Vegetable Noodle Soup, Fettucine with Chicken and Mushrooms, Tagliatelle with Feta, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes and Chinese Stir-fried Noodles, just to name some of them, not all from the above book though.

Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino

Chinese Stir-fried Noodles

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Herbed Coconut Flour Pizza Crust

4 Mar

After reading in several places that coconut flour is high in fibre and fairly high in protein, low in digestible carbohydrates and therefore well-suited to a low carb diet, I finally took the step and ordered a packet from an online shop.

What exactly is coconut flour? Well, I searched the internet and found different explanations. One site (a distributor) said that coconut flour is the finely ground up fibre left from the coconut after it has been extracted for coconut oil. Another distributor site said that coconut flour is made from coconut meat that is dried, defatted and finely ground. The third site said that coconut flour is made from the by-product of extracting coconut milk! Well, whatever it is, it all boils down to the same thing. The leftover residue – in all 3 cases, the fibrous part – is ground into a fine flour. Good way to recycle the leftovers and make more money!

The first thing I made with my coconut flour was a pizza. Pizza is a food that sends my blood sugar rocketing sky high really fast. Who would think that such a thin dough could wreak such havoc? For me, it’s a lot worse than pasta. Since I was alone for lunch today, I decided I would try the pizza recipe found in Tropical Tradition’s recipe collection here.

This is my third attempt at making a low carb pizza. The first recipe I tried some time back, called for whey protein powder and eggs as the main ingredients and the second used grated zucchini and cheese. Attempt #1 was so-la-la. Actually come to think of it, I think I threw the recipe away! It was that great. The zucchini  pizza was nice but it wasn’t like how I wanted my pizza to be. This third recipe produced a firmer pizza base and I could actually hold up a slice of pizza in my hand. However, the taste still wasn’t quite right but I guess that’s personal. The other reviewers all thought it was great. The pizza had a slightly coconutty taste but then, I am using coconut flour so I suppose I can’t expect my pizza to taste like those from an italian pizzeria! The pizza was hard to swallow. It seems like it absorbs more liquid in your mouth (ie. your saliva!) and clumps in your throat when swallowing.

The pizza was really filling. I ate half and I was stuffed. Eating one-third would probably be my portion size without a side salad or just a quarter, accompanied by a small salad.

I’ve decided to post the recipe here although I am not 100% satisfied with the taste, for three reasons. Firstly, I had a good post-priandal blood sugar reading and I took a lot less insulin than I normally would take for a regular pizza. So, thumbs up here. Secondly, it is so easy to whip up. No need to wait one hour for the yeast dough to rise. Hooray! I whipped this batter up in the time it took for my oven to heat up. Thirdly, if I don’t find anything better, I’ll work on this. Maybe you would like to take it on where I left off and share you experience too.  I spread out the batter to fill about 2/3 of my baking sheet. It looked thin but I think the batter rose while cooking and became thicker. The final result was a cooked pizza base about 3/4 cm or 1/4 inch thick. I think if the pizza base were thinner (ie. spread the batter out to cover the whole baking sheet), it would not have clumped so much in my throat. Another solution would be to add one more egg to the batter. Coconut flour absorbs liquid like crazy hence the high egg content in the recipes you find out there on the web.

The recipe posted here was altered from the original. I did not have milk nor coconut milk on hand so I used soya milk. I also did not have dried basil.

Herbed Coconut Flour Pizza Crust

3 eggs

1 clove garlic, pressed

1 cup soya milk

1/2 cup (60gr) coconut flour, sifted (seemed like an unnecessary step unless your flour is clumped up)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp thyme

Preheat oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F)

Put the dried ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Add the soya milk, eggs and garlic and whisk till well mixed. Don’t panic if the batter looks liquidy. Wait a while and the coconut flour will soak up the liquid. The resulting batter should be thick but not like a pancake batter which is pourable. You want to be able to spread it and yet have it keep its form.

Turn out the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You must use parchment otherwise you’ll be truly sorry! Spread out the batter into the pizza shape you want – round, oval or rectangular. I found there was too much batter to make a perfect round pizza on my baking sheet. I didn’t want the base too thick.

Bake 20 min in the oven. When done, take out the pizza, turn it over onto a large plate or cutting board, peel off the parchment and put the pizza top-side down back onto the parchment on the baking sheet, so that the bottom is now facing up. You’ll see that the bottom is nicely browned. Be careful not to break the pizza when flipping over as it is slightly soft.

Top with your usual pizza toppings and bake for another 5-10 min or till the cheese has melted.

Print this recipe – Herbed Coconut Flour Pizza Crust

Nutritional information for the whole pizza without topping

Total cal- 575 kcal; Fat – 29.8 gr (4.5 gr saturated fat); Carbs 36.4 gr (27.1 gr fibre); Protein – 40 gr

I did a quick carbohydrate calculation on my regular pizza dough recipe and I got 199gr carbohydrates (using 2 cups white flour)!

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