Friday, October 14, 2011

Cheating On My Primal Diet

Everything that I made with Debe on our baking day was non-primal except for the Thai Red Chicken Curry before I put it over rice. I kid you not, I gained 5lbs from one cheat day. 5LBS!! That's ridiculous. But so worth it. We made apple pie, chocolate chip cookies with a toffee flavor, coconut cream cheesecake with a chocolate shortbread crust, pork and cabbage potstickers, avocado eggrolls, pork lo mein and Thai red chicken curry. It was a fabulous day. The next day, when I woke up hurting all over from being on my bare feet for 10hrs, weighing in 5lbs heavier and doubled over with a tummy ache, was not so fabulous. Worth it? Absolutely.

I'll share my Thai Red Chicken Curry recipe with you since it was the least cheat-y. Thai curries are pretty basic: garlic, red or green curry paste (I prefer red), coconut milk, protein, veggies and Thai basil and/or cilantro. Add more curry paste if you like it spicier. Steeping some lemongrass in the coconut milk and broth adds a nice, bright note too.

WARNING: DO NOT USE CURRY POWDER INSTEAD OF CURRY PASTE! They are very different things. If you do, you'll end up with something closer to yellow curry, which is AWFUL and smells like feet.

So here's how I did it. I didn't have Thai basil, so I subbed regular basil and mint. (Got that idea from Cook's Illustrated.) It made a pretty good substitute.

Shelly's Thai Red Chicken Curry

1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp garlic
1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
3 Tbsp red curry paste (I like it spicy!)
1/2 small onion, chopped small
1 large red bell pepper, large dice
1 can bamboo shoots, sliced
1/2 lb carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped small, about 1/2" pieces
1/2 bag bean sprouts
2 cans coconut milk
1/4 c chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, sliced thin
1/2 tsp lime juice or 3-4 lime leaves, minced
1/2 c basil
1/2 c mint
1/4 c cilantro
Chile-garlic sauce to taste (I only added this because I ran out of curry paste.)

In a large pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat for 2 min. Add garlic and ginger, saute 1-2 min or until fragrant. Add curry paste and stir to combine. Add veggies and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Shake up cans of coconut milk before opening and pour into pot along with chicken broth. Bring to boil and stir in chicken. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 3-4 min. Stir in lime juice or leaves and herbs. Add chile-garlic sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

This curry was the best I've made yet. The sauce was thick and, since I added cauliflower to the curry, I didn't need to serve it over rice or cauliflower "rice." It was even better the next day. This is one recipe that I will be craving on a regular basis. And that is surprising since I kind of just pulled the recipe out of my...hat.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I had been wanting some chocolate zucchini bread for a while. I tried to make Mom's recipe low carb, but it was having non of it. Turned out totally gross. I foudn this recipe on Healthy Indulgences. It is lower carb, because I used buckwheat flour. But it's very tasty. I used a little more zucchini than it calls for, because my first attempt just tasted like chocolate bread.

6 tablespoons melted butter
3 large eggs
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup erythritol or xylitol
3/4 teaspoon stevia extract
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2-1 ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups nut meal (I used almond flour)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour (buckwheat, millet, etc.)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon sea salt (I used kosher, because that's what I had)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups grated zucchini or grated and peeled and grated apple

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8x5 loaf pan well. Cut parchment paper to fit in pan. (I left it longer on the sides to use as a kind of sling.) Grate zucchini or apple and press between a dishcloth or paper towels to get out moisture. Whisk melted butter, eggs, whites, vanilla, stevia, and erythritol or xylitol. Beat until sweetener is dissolved. Melt chocolate in 30 second intervals in microwave. Scrape into batter and beat well. Sift together dry ingredients. Add zucchini. Beat well for 2 - 3 minutes. Scrape into pan. Bake for 1 hour, until top springs back when touched. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack for 1 hour. It freezes well.

I couldn't wait an hour for it to cool completely. I wanted a warm piece of chocolate zucchini bread with some butter. It did turn out great. I don't think I use the same size loaf pan this girl does, so mine didn't get very tall. I would recommend beating the whites and folding them into the batter, if you want more lift.

Happy eating!