Thursday, 19 March 2015

Low carb Staffordshire lobby with low carb bread

One of my very favourite things to do on this blog and in general while cooking is have a go at making low carb versions of things that you might not usually be able to eat while following a low carb diet plan. take for example my cauliflower fried rice, broccoli crust pizza, granola and low carb pancakes. One of my biggest victories to date has to be the low carb bread that I perfected a month or so ago, which is amazing in sandwiches, toasted, and especially dunked into soups. Incidentally, one of my all time favourite soups/ dishes has got to be Staffordshire lobby. Now, you may or may not be familiar with this, particularly if you're not from the UK (which I know many of you reading are not). Lobby is a type of stew which is very popular in Staffordshire (where I'm from). It's super easy to make, cheap (as you can pretty much throw in any veg etc you have hanging around), and it's completely delicious- comfort food at it's best. Unfortunately, it's usually pretty carb heavy and it also contains meat...  One mouthful of this and I'm transported back to my childhood!

So, I've come up with a version that's much lighter on the carbs and vegetarian- win win! It's worth saying that while it is far lighter on the carbs than the original, it is probably not suitable if you're following the induction stage of the Atkins diet, but if you're in the next stage or trying to maintain your weight then it's great! It's so easy to make that it barely needs a recipe, but the recipe is useful of you're not sure which vegetables are lower in carbs, particularly as the more hearty root vegetables are generally high in carbs. If you are used to this dish you'll also know that lobby is a desperately personal affair and everyone has their own version, here I have tried to recreate the version we had as closely as I can.

I've used celeriac and turnip which are great low carb root vegetables, which taste quite like potato when cooked but have far fewer carbs than potato. Butternut squash is a great carrot alternative which adds colour and a lovely sweet flavor but is a lot less carb heavy. Broad beans are a lower carb alternative to normal peas and the riced cauliflower is a very low carb alternative to pearly barley which you can of course add meat, though I haven't done here as I wanted to keep the dish vegetarian.

Without further ado, here's how you make it.

You will need (serves 2 hungry people with some leftovers for lunch the next day):
  • One turnip
  • Half a celeriac
  • Half a butternut squash
  • One leek
  • 50g frozen broad beans
  • Two spring onions
  • 1/2 a cauliflower- food processed so it is a rice/couscous like texture
  • One tablespoon sundried tomato puree (much lower in carbs than normal tomato puree)
  • One bouquet garni
  • Two vegetable stock cubes
Making it is really easy:
  • If you are using meat then cut it into chunks and fry it in some olive oil first to seal it
  • Cut all your vegetables into medium size chunks.
  • Add the chopped cauliflower to a food processor and process until its the consistency of rice/couscous. You can also grate it to get the same effect.
  • Make the stock up using 1.5 litres of boiling water
  • Place in a large casserole dish or slow cooker and add the vegetables apart from the cauliflower
  • Add the bouquet garni and sundried tomato paste
  • Place in the oven on a medium temperature or turn the slow cooker on
  • Leave to cook for about 4-5 hours
  • When you are about 30 minutes away, add the cauliflower
  • Serve and enjoy with big hunks of buttered low carb bread!


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