Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Minestrone zoodle soup

Well, the weather is slowly changing and therefore, so is my appetite for warmer foods, like hot salads, baked zoodles dishes and of course, soup.
This soup is a bit of a take on one of my favourites, it's so quick to make, the recipe is not nearly as sophisticated or time consuming as normal minestrone soup ones but it still tastes delicious!

It's a twist on minestrone soup but the pasta and beans have been replaced by courgette/zucchini and carrot noodles, making it lighter and far more acceptable to indulge in an least one additional bowl! If you don't have a spiralizer yet, get one! This Spiralizer is my weapon of choice, and it's excellent!

While carrot is one of  the vegetables that is higher in carbs, spiralizing it means it goes so much further. The recipe only has one carrot in, just enough to add a little bit of texture while still staying very light, in carbs, calories and fat.

I did however, keep the potatoes out and instead kept the rest of the ingredients pretty low in carbs and calories, while still maintaining the minestrone taste and feel.

The lightness of the vegetables means it cooks far quicker than a traditional minestrone.

I also popped a cheeky small glass of red in, but this is optional and you could leave it out if you're so inclined.

To make two generous bowl, you will need:
  • Two stock cubes 
  • One tin of chopped tomatoes 
  • One courgette- spiralized using the small noodle blade 
  • One carrot- spiralized using the small noodle blade 
  • 100g broad beans
  • One orange pepper
  • Two cloves of garlic 
  • One glass of red wine 
  • A handful of basil
To make it:
  • Heat the oil up in the bottom of a saucepan, and add the peppers, chopped into medium size chunks and the garlic- crushed. 
  • Once they've started to brown, add the stock cubes, break them up into the oil, the basil (saving a small amount to garnish) and form a paste before adding about a litre of hot water, stir it in well.
  • Add the glass of wine and chopped tomatoes
  • Cook for about 5 minutes 
  • Add the beans, carrot and courgette and cook for two more minutes 
  • Serve immediately, and season well
  • You can make more and reheat but the noodles will lose their shape a bit the more they're cooked and will eventually become quite soft. This won;t impact their taste but will chnage the way it looks. 
  • Enjoy with big buttered pieces of my low carb bread 


Thursday, 12 November 2015

Low carb cheese and tomato baked aubergines

This is such a classic comfort food dish, it literally is like a big hug in a bowl and is just perfect for this time of year. Layers of delicious, just crispy aubergine, sandwiched between rich tomato sauce and oozing ribbons of cheese, you'd never guess it was low in carbs as well!

And if  you needed another excuse to make it, you only need three ingredients (plus oil and seasoning).

Without further ado, here's how you do it. To serve two, you will need:
  • Two aubergines
  • A tube of sundried tomato purée (lower in carbs than normal tomato puree, and tastier as well)
  • 100g vegetarian grated parmesan cheese
  • Some basil to garnish 
Then to make it:
  • Cut your aubergines lengthways into strips about 1.5cm thick- you don't need to be at all precise about this!
  • Lie them flat on a baking tray and drizzle in oil, be pretty generous with the oil!
  • Bake in an oven on a medium heat for about 20 minutes or until they're looking crispy at the edges and have started to brown in the middle 
  • Remove from the oven and put one layer in a baking dish
  • Cover in one layer of the tomato purée- this will be about 1/3 of the tube, use the back of a spoon to smear the tomato puree all over the aubergines so they're all covered. 
  • Sprinkle a layer of the cheese over 
  • Repeat these steps until all the aubergine and tomato purée is used up
  • Sprinkle a final layer of cheese over the top followed by some basil- I used Greek basil
  • Place back in the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes on a medium heat until the cheese has browned and the top has started to bubble. 
  • Remove, serve immediately and enjoy. 


Friday, 6 November 2015

Low carb London- Juice Baby

Juice Baby is a compact little juice bar situated at the end of the Kings road that also sells a good range of food alongside their cold pressed juices, smoothies and milks. Everything there is plantbased, refined sugar free, organic and mostly raw, aside from a few steamed grains.

It's a lovely light space, full of extremely cool looking yoga types, with lovely window seats which are perfect for people watching.

 I couldn't find their nutritional information anywhere but it's pretty easy to find the low carb dishes and drinks as all the ingredients are clearly marked and you can see exactly what's in each thing.

The hot drinks are all made with cashew milk making a low carb cappuccino a very tempting prospect. There's not sweetener though so you might want to take your own if you usually have that in your drinks.

My favourite is the Raw Detox bowl which is full of kale, cucumber, tomatoes, and a delicious avocado pesto dressing, as well as lots of sprouts and seeds

Also very worth a mention is the Glow bowl (pictured), this one's full of herby quinoa (not terribly low carb I know, but a very small portion that you could easily miss out or probably fit within your carb budget), kale, roasted courgette strips and an amazing turmeric mustard dressing that I keep unsuccessfully trying to recreate.

They also serve two gazpachos: one red, one green, that are on my list for the next things to try.

Also delicious are their little snacks/ desserts. I've only tried a bit of my friends sticky toffee balls which were amazing but will have higher carbs as they contain dates, though they're very small so you could possibly afford to have them if you're not being too strict.

My friend also had a wheatgrass shot, as she's quite a hardcore juicer. These are pretty strong if you're not used to the taste (like me!).

If you do go, pop along early rather than smack bang in the middle of lunch time as it's a small space so can be difficult to find a seat, oh, and make sure you try the Glow bowl- you won't be disappointed!
© The Vegetarian Atkins Diary

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