My husband and I have decided to try eating low carb again (or at least he has — I might eat high carb lunches to avoid becoming a perpetually hangry monster). But changing our diet means looking at our meals in a new way, without sides of bread, rice, and starchy vegetables to fill us up.
So today I pulled out my favorite cookbooks to pick out some new side dishes (and a few mains that called to me!) that are mostly low carb.
It’s fun to look through recipes with a new goal in mind — foods that previously looked uninteresting or that I had just overlooked suddenly stood out as appealing choices. It also cut down on the overwhelming feeling I always seem to get when I’m trying to choose a new recipe to try.
If you’re curious, here are the dishes that made the list:
Aubergine-wrapped ricotta gnocchi
French beans, mangetout, and hazelnuts
Broccolini with tofu
Chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic
Parsnip and pumpkin mash (but I’ll use celeriac and butternut squash)
Burnt green onion dip with kale
Mixed Chinese vegetables
Whole roasted celery root
Zucchini and manouri fritters
Beef brisket croquettes with Asian coleslaw
Five-spiced tofu, steamed eggplants, and cardamom passata
Fried tomatoes with garlic
Turkey and courgette burgers
What do you think? If you have any favorite low carb side dishes, please share! (Just no cauliflower … it smells and tastes rotten to me.)
We enjoyed two beautifully bright Ottolenghi salads over the past two days: Sweet and sour celeriac and swede (rutabaga), and Chargrilled asparagus, courgettes (zucchini) and manouri. I made a few tweaks based on what ingredients were more accessible (zereshk instead of sour cherries, and haloumi instead of manouri) but otherwise stuck pretty close to the recipes. Both salads were as tasty as they looked!
I don’t believe in continuing traditions for their own sake. (I’m looking at you, oyster stew on Christmas Eve!) But traditions you enjoy are a pleasure to keep alive.
One of those traditions for me is eating cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. When I was little, my parents would get up, twist open a package of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, and pour themselves coffee before we settled in to open our stockings. Licking the icing off my fingers before ripping open my stocking stuffers is a cherished part of Christmas.
This year, I decided to make those cinnamon rolls from scratch. I had baked the America’s Test Kitchen Quick Cinnamon Buns with Buttermilk Icing a couple times before, and thanks to the lingering effects of jet lag I woke up around 6 AM — plenty of time to bake before everyone woke up!
There’s something very meditative about baking when the house is quiet and you aren’t feeling rushed. And the joy of eating the results (and watching others enjoy the results, too!) was a gift in itself.
I am home from a long trip, and that combined with the new year is making me anxious to try some new recipes.
I was catching up on a backlog of Food52 posts when I saw a recipe for Instant Pot Butter Chicken that everyone in the comments was raving about. Ever since I made chicken tikka masala at home I have been wanting to try more home-cooked Indian food, and I’m always interested in making more use of my Instant Pot (which we bought without realizing it was super trendy!). So I’m putting together a grocery list and planning to make this tonight.
I was pleased to see that I already have all the necessary spices on hand. In fact, I have enough spices to fill two racks (they sit on each side of the stovetop) and an entire shelf in the cabinet. What can I say? I like to be prepared. 😉
This afternoon, we took a break from our work to go for a walk into town. One of our stops was at the grocery store, where my husband (who has a looming deadline) suggested we get a pizza for dinner. Now, our local grocery is wonderfully convenient, but its pizza is only good for dire time-and-energy shortages. I had both time and energy for a bit of cooking, so I vetoed the store-bought pizza and went for some mozzarella cheese and sliced chorizo instead.
After finishing my work, I started the dough (a recipe my brother gave me), chopped some onion and garlic, and set some canned tomatoes to simmer on the hob. Pizza sauce is really rather simple, as long as you’re patient — alliums, tomatoes, herbs. I blitzed it with an immersion blender to get it smooth at the end and that was it. Pat out the dough; add sauce, chorizo, cheese; pop onto the pizza stone for 15-20 minutes. All I added to that was a quick salad and we had a much tastier dinner than we had anticipated while standing in the aisle in front of the pizzas at the store!