Low Carb Big Breakfast

Saturday mornings means Big Breakfast for us at home. After a busy work week, we like waking up a wee bit late and enjoying a fancier version of our usual bacon & sunny side up eggs.

Ingredients

4 strips streaky bacon
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 tomato, sliced into rounds
3 cups spinach, sliced 2″ thick
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon oyster sauce or soy sauce
pepper to taste

Procedure

For the Streaky Bacon, lay the strips flat on a frying pan. Add a small amount of water, and crank heat up to medium. Fry both sides until crispy. Set aside.

For the Scrambled Eggs, beat eggs together with fresh cream. Heat frying pan (medium heat) and slide in butter. Slowly pour in eggs, let it sit at least 30 secs before lightly pushing the edges towards the center. Remove from pan while top is still moist. Don’t overcook.

For the Sauteed Spinach, fry minced garlic in oil over medium-high heat. Add in chopped spinach, saute until coated in oil (it also prevents garlic from burning). Add in oyster sauce and season with pepper. Stir and cook until spinach is soft/wilted.

Share evenly on two plates, add tomatoes and serve hot with your favorite morning drink. Enjoy!

What do you like having for breakfast? I would love to try them too. 😉

Chicharon (Pork Crackling)

One of our go-to snack when we feel hungry in between meals is chicharon or pork crackling. Its crunchy, fatty, salty, filling, and low carb.

Chicharon brings me back to my childhood years when we holiday in our province. During the annual town fiesta, they make chicharon from the surplus pork skins. I would watch my Tata (my great grandpa) continuously stir pork skins in a giant kawa (cauldron). He would store it in bottles soaked in its own fat/lard. For breakfast, he would scoop out enough chicharon and fry them. And we would dip it vinegar and garlic and eat it with rice. Yum!

Now, when we crave pork cracklings, we buy pork skin in asian stores priced around $3.00 per kilo. With that, we can make a batch that can last for a week. Cheaper than chips!

Chicharon just needs 2 ingredients – pork skin and salt. The process I follow takes 2 days because drying/resting it overnight makes it extra crispy. I promise it’s worth the wait.

I hope you try this. If you have any queries feel free to ask. I would love to receive suggestions on what I can cook next time.

Ingredients:

Pork Skin

Salt

Procedure:

Preheat oven 150C.

Depending on the size, rub salt all over the pork skin (at least 2 teaspoons). Lay flat on a roasting dish.

Bake pork skin for 20 minutes or just until the skin is soft enough to be sliced easily.

Cool the baked skin until warm enough to handle. Place on a chopping board with the skin side down. Trim off excess fat and try to make it even as possible. It would help with the cooking later on. (The fat trimmings will also be cooked so no waste.)

Slice skin into 3cm squares. Return in roasting dish and bake for another 30 minutes (Alternatively, you can fry it in a pan) until skin is bubbly. It will produce lots and lots of fat/oil.

Transfer cooked pork skin into baking sheet lined with paper towel. Allow to dry overnight. Keep the fat/lard. We will use it to fry the pork skin once dry.

Heat up pork lard in a small saucepan. Fry pork skin in small batches. You may need to fry it twice for a bubblier, crispier, crunchier chicharon.

Once cooled, store leftover chicharon in an airtight container (preferably glass containers). It lasts up to 5 days. In case it becomes chewy, just refry it.

Low Carb Carrot Bread

When you’re having lunch or snack and you’re surrounded with bread-chomping-people! 🙄 Life is tough! But never fear, this carrot bread is a lifesaver!

It has a mildly sweet and nutty flavor from the carrots & seeds. We like having a slice or two with cream cheese or butter and a cup of coffee for afternoon tea. On weekends, it’s an addition to our usual bacon & eggs. The texture of the bread may be denser than the normal bread but hey I’m not complaining!

I mostly use coconut flour in my bread recipes as it not only costs less but you also need smaller amount of coconut flour per recipe compared to almond flour. Again texture-wise, it’s more compact and dense but heating it in the toaster will soften it up.

We like our bread on the sweet side hence the addition of sweetener. You can always choose not to add sweetener, instead add extra salt (1/4 teaspoon more salt to be exact).

Ideally, the bread is stored uncut in a sealed container and sliced as you consume so it won’t dry up. But for us, we store the bread in the fridge already sliced and packed in snack bags. This is just for a quick packing of our lunch box in the morning. The bread is good up to 5 days in the fridge.

Enjoy!

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Note: This carrot bread was inspired by the Banana Bread recipe by Craig Rodger of What the Fat? You can check it out, too.

Ingredients:

120 grams carrots, grated
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup psyllium husk powder
2 tablespoons sweetener, optional
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
6 large eggs
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Procedure:

Preheat the oven 180C.

In a big bowl, combine grated carrots, coconut flour, psyllium husk powder, sweetener, baking powder, cinnamon powder, pumpkin seeds and salt. Stir well. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add in cream and vanilla. Continue beating until smooth.

Slowly pour the egg-cream mixture into the dry mixture. Beat until combined well. The batter will be thick.

Line loaf pan with baking paper and transfer the batter into the loaf pan by the spoonful. Smoothen the top before putting inside the oven.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean.

Cool & cut into 12 slices.

Serve with butter or cream cheese.

Serving size: 2 slices (but I’m alright with just 1 slice)

1 Day Ketogenic / Low Carb Meal Plan for Beginners

Ever wondered what this Ketogenic & Low Carb lifestyle is all about? How are they eating so much meat & butter but still keep losing weight so fast? Would you like to live in their shoes for a day? Have a go on what they eat in a day, everyday?

I have made a 1 day sample meal plan for you to try and have a feel of the ketogenic diet. The meal plan includes 3 meals and 2 snacks. It is good for 2 so you can share it with your partner, mate or bestie OR you can have the same meals the next day if you’re keen on saving and hate waste.

Ketogenic diet basically restricts the carbohydrate intake to less than 20 grams net carbs per day. This is to make the body undergo ketosis wherein fat is used up as the main energy source instead of carbohydrates.

LCHF diet is also carbohydrate restricted but the carb allowance per day is between 30 to 50 grams or even up to 100 grams. This diet counts total carbs (fiber+sugar) instead of net carbs (sugar only) and includes more fruits or vegetables varieties.

Both diets/lifestyle avoid sugar, sugary products, rice, grains, bread, starchy vegetables and most fruits. Both diets have high fat consumption to compensate for the carb restriction but still ensuring that your daily energy requirement is maintained.

I usually plan weekly & prepare meals from scratch as this is more economical but today I decided to use easy cook, ready-prepared and ready-cooked food from the grocery. This is because:

  • I want you to concentrate on the meals itself and not on the meal preparation.
  • I want to keep the budget low and so you wouldn’t buy more ingredients
  • I also assumed you have butter, salad dressing and that you are awesome in preparing bacon & eggs.
  • And if you like this, you may want to continue this lifestyle and then plan & cook meals from scratch too.

Your day will start with a healthy big breakfast made up of bacon & eggs with a large side of sauteed mushrooms. Lunch is a quarter roasted deli chicken with steamed broccoli.  Come dinnertime, you can have shredded roasted chicken on a bed of salad greens. For snacks, have some nuts or cheese or both.

So, here are the meal plan and the grocery list I promised you.

And before I forget, please drink lots and lots of water.

Happy shopping & enjoy your meals!

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1 Day Meal Plan

Breakfast

  • Bacon & 2 Eggs (cooked your way)
  • Mushrooms sauteed in garlic & butter

Morning Tea/Snack

  • 1/4 cup peanuts

Lunch

  • Quarter Roasted Chicken
  • Steamed Broccoli

Afternoon Tea/Snack

  • A pottle of unsweetened yoghurt or half wheel of brie/camembert

Dinner

  • Quarter Roasted Chicken
  • Mixed Greens Salad with your choice of dressing

Grocery List

1 250 grams Streaky Bacon

1 dozen Eggs (good for 6 serves)

1 300 gram pack mushrooms

1 300 gram pack salad mix

1 whole roasted chicken

1 200 gram pack almonds or peanuts

1 head broccoli

1 twin pottle greek style yoghurt or 1 120g brie or camembert

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NOTE: If you tried the meal plan & liked it (or not), I hope you give comments on how I can serve you better and drop in few suggestions on what kind of meal plans you want to see posted here.

Chicken Adobo

Adobo is a popular Filipino dish made from either meat or vegetable and a combination of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bayleaf & peppercorns for its simmering sauce. Every household has their own adobo recipe – same basic ingredients but differs in proportions plus some other secret ingredients they add.  It’s delicious freshly cooked but reheating the following day further develops its flavour.

I remember my college professor way back telling us that adobo can last for days mainly because vinegar and soy sauce acts as preserving agents (like pickles I suppose). At home, we cook double the amount and then keep it in a sealed container in the fridge and reheat a few scoops of it when we want to eat some.

I usually use the Philippine brand of soy sauce and vinegar (Datu Puti found in Asian Stores) to make it more of our taste. But with this recipe, I used apple cider vinegar and store brand soy sauce in case you cannot get a hold of them. I can guarantee you it tastes just as good.

The way I do my adobo is, I combine all ingredients, give it a quick stir and let it simmer until meat is cooked but not soft. Then, I remove the meat and onions and fry them until it caramelizes. I then add spoonfuls of the sauce into the pan and slowly reduce until it becomes thick.

Mind you, your kitchen will be smelling like adobo for days. So keep your exhaust fan on high, open your window or better yet cook it outside. But it’s gonna be worth it.

Go ahead and try this recipe. Hope you like it as much as we do. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1/2 head of garlic, smashed (5-6 cloves)
2 bayleaves
1/4 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
500 grams chicken thighs
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil (or any vegetable oil)

Procedure:

In a saucepan, combine onion, garlic, bayleaf, cracked peppercorns, vinegar, soy sauce. Stir. Add in chicken thighs. Roll it in the marinade so its well coated.

Turn on stove to medium heat and allow the chicken-marinade mixture to boil. Turn the chicken thighs once in a while to cook evenly. Cook with cover slightly open for about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat.

You will notice that it will have more liquid. Separate the chicken & onion/garlic from the liquid and transfer to a skillet. DO NOT throw away the liquid, set it aside.

On medium heat, allow the chicken & onion/garlic to caramelize with 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil. Once caramelized, slowly add in the liquid a few spoonfuls at a time. Let the liquid reduce until thick and saucy.

Serve hot.

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NOTE:  Best eaten with steamed rice but since we’re on LCHF &/or Keto, here are some suggested side dishes

Steamed Broccoli

Pickled Cucumber

Diced Tomatoes & Salted Eggs

Easy Garden Salad

Easy Garden Salad

Vegetables are essential in low carb & keto diet. It adds color, flavor, texture and bulk to meals. Vegetables are good source of vitamins and fiber which our body requires. The best part is (for people eating high fat foods), it helps keep our liver healthy.

High fat diets (like LCHF and ketogenic) can result in fatty liver (steatorrhea) and consuming lots of vegetables can help flush out all the fats we consume.

When we eat at home, we make sure we consume at least a cup of vegetables (either raw or cooked) with every meal. It keeps us feel full for a longer time.

This garden salad is so easy to make – just slice all vegetables, drizzle dressing of choice and toss. Sooo fast! It’s also versatile, you can add cheese, bacon, chicken, halloumi or any topping of choice.

What do you like to put in your salad?

Ingredients:

3 cups mixed salad greens (200 grams approx)
1/3 of telegraph cucumber, cut lengthwise then sliced across 5mm thick
1/2 of medium sized red capsicum
1 medium tomato, cubed
1/2 of small onion, sliced thinly
1-2 tablespoons balsamic dressing or any dressing of your choice

Procedure:

Make a bed of salad greens on a large bowl. Add in cucumbers, capsicum, onion and tomatoes evenly on top.

Drizzle balsamic dressing over the salad and toss. Or serve the dressing on the side.

Serves 2.

Pan-grilled Sriracha Chicken & Beansprouts Stir-fry

This mild sweet-spicy sriracha chicken is so easy to make. Marinade for at least 30 minutes (overnight is better), pan fry and you got yourself a flavourful grilled chicken.

It’s one of our go-to meat dish because it complements a lot of vegetable sides like coleslaw, garden salad, steamed broccoli etc. We always make sure we’re eating lots of greens as we consume a higher amount of fat every meal.

Today, we paired it with beansprouts. Beansprouts are naturally sweet and crunchy and low carb (about 6 grams total carb per 100 grams). It’s also cheap and cooks real fast. When we ate it with sriracha chicken, we both agreed that it’s like we’re eating rice noodles. Sweet!

This recipe satisfied our noodle cravings. Try it & I hope you like it as much as we do.

Ingredients

For the Sriracha Chicken:

400 grams boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (or salt)

For the Beansprouts Stir-fry:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
50 grams sliced pork (you can substitute it with chicken, shrimp or tofu)
1/2 of broth cube (fish, chicken or vegetable)
500 grams Beansprouts
1-2 tablespoons oyster sauce
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Procedure

For Sriracha Chicken:

In a bowl or ziploc bag, combine sriracha sauce, olive oil, fish sauce and garlic. Add chicken, make sure its coated well. Set aside to marinade for at least 30 minutes (overnight is best).

Heat up non-stick pan to medium heat. Place marinated chicken on pan and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Turn over and cook the other side. Make sure that the inside is fully cooked before removing from pan.

Cover cooked chicken in tinfoil to keep warm.

For Beansprouts Stir-fry:

Saute onion and garlic in oil over medium heat. Add your chosen meat and stir until cooked. Add broth cube, oyster sauce and beansprouts, toss until translucent. Season with salt and pepper.

You can add some chopped coriander and chili flakes on top for extra flavour.

Serve hot with grilled chicken.

Serves 2-3.

Seafood Chowder

Creamy seafood chowder! Is that even low carb? Yes! Approximately 12 grams total carbs (more or less) for the entire creamy seafood-y goodness. And its good for 2.

Last week at work, they served seafood chowder made with surimi & creamy seafood soup mix. I couldn’t help it, I ate maybe 2 tablespoons…ok 4 (😅). Sooo hard! Anyway, I decided to make one that we can indulge in without guilt. And here it is..

Ingredients

250 grams frozen marinara mix
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables (50 grams)
1/2 of a fish broth cube (chicken or vegetable broth will also do)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chopped parsley to garnish

Procedure

Thaw out marinara mix in the fridge overnight or if in a hurry just defrost in microwave for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion until soft. Add the marinara mix, frozen mixed vegetables and the fish broth cube. Stir and allow to cook for 3 minutes.

Pour in milk, curry powder and fish sauce. Stir well and allow to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. (Although fish sauce is optional, I highly recommend adding it as it adds umami or savory taste.)

Add in cream then season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer again for 5 minutes or until cooked.

Pour in bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve warm.

Good for 2-3 persons.

Stir Fried Vegetables with Black Fungus

What can we do with those sad looking vegetables in the fridge at the end of the week? Make stir-fry! It’s a day before our grocery day and we still have a quarter cabbage, slightly wilted spring onions and some cauliflower florets. I thought about the vegetable stir-fry we had when we went out so I decided to make my version of it.

My stir-fry was well received!😜 It was served with my two-ingredient fried chicken. The vegetables are tender and has hint of sweetness which came from the soy & oyster sauce and a slight heat from the chili flakes. Will definitely be added to our meals. Have a go and tell me if you like it too.

Ingredients

300 grams cauliflower, cut into florets

300 grams cabbage, sliced

20 grams dried black fungus

2 stalks spring onion, cut into 3 inch sticks

2 tablespoon rice bran oil or coconut oil

1 medium onion, sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 inch thick ginger, peeled and sliced thinly

1 chicken broth cube dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon chili flakes

salt & pepper to taste

Procedure

Soak dried black fungus in hot water for 30 minutes. Rinse in cold water to remove sediments. Drain and cut/tear into pieces. Set aside.

Heat oil in a pan or wok over medium heat. Saute onion, ginger and garlic. Add cauliflower and black fungus and stir fry for around 2 minutes.

Pour in chicken broth, soy sauce and oyster sauce. Add the sliced cabbages and spring onions. Stir fry again until sauce is boiling. Add in sesame oil and chili flakes. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.

Serve hot on its own or with fried chicken.