These 4 Low Carb Meals Are Actually Delicious

1. Asian-glazed salmon with stir-fried greens

Serves four. Preparation: 25 minutes. Cooking: 15 minutes. Twelve grams of carbs per serve.

INGREDIENTS

  • Olive oil spray, for cooking
  • 2 teaspoons kecap manis
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • 1½ tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon julienned ginger
  • 4 × 150g salmon fillets, skin on and pin-boned
  • 40g raw unsalted cashews, roughly chopped
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded

Stir-fried greens:

  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 baby bok choy, halved, or quartered if large
  • 1 bunch choy sum, trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths, stems and leaves separated
  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths
  • 200g snow peas, halved on the diagonal
  • 100g bean sprouts, trimmed
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2cm piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1½ tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt-reduced soy sauce

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven grill to high. Line a roasting tin with foil or baking paper and place an ovenproof wire rack on top for grilling the salmon. Spray the rack with olive oil.
  2. Place the kecap manis, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil and ginger in a small bowl and stir to combine. Place the salmon on the wire rack, skin-side down, then spoon half of the kecap manis mixture over and rub to coat the salmon. Turn and spoon the remaining kecap manis mixture over the skin-side, rubbing it in evenly. Set aside while you start stir-frying the vegetables.
  3. Heat two teaspoons of the olive oil in a wok over high heat. Add the bok choy and choy sum stems and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes or until softened, then add the choy sum leaves and stir-fry until wilted. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add another teaspoon of oil to the wok and stir-fry the asparagus and snow peas for two minutes or until tender but still crisp, then add to the bowl with the bok choy and choy sum.
  5. Add another two teaspoons of the oil to the wok and stir-fry the bean sprouts for 1–2 minutes or until warmed through. Transfer to the bowl with the other vegetables.
  6. Add the remaining oil to the wok, then add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Pour in the mirin, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce and bring to the boil, then boil for one minute. Return the vegetables to the wok, then turn off the heat and toss to coat in the sauce.
  7. Meanwhile, place the salmon under the hot oven grill and grill for 4–5 minutes or until the skin has become crisp and golden. Carefully turn each fillet over, taking care not to tear the flesh, and grill for another two minutes for medium, or continue until cooked to your liking.
  8. Place one-quarter of the stir-fried vegetables on each of four plates. Top with a salmon fillet, scatter evenly with the cashews and sprinkle with shredded kaffir lime leaves, then serve immediately.

    2. Portuguese chicken with cucumber and fennel salad

    Serves four. Preparation: 20 minutes, plus refrigeration time. Cooking: 35 minutes. Twelve grams of carbs per serve.

    INGREDIENTS

    • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
    • 2 long fresh red chillies, roughly chopped
    • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 600g chicken pieces, fat removed
    • 4 small zucchini, halved lengthways
    • 1 lemon, thickly sliced
    • Olive oil spray, for cooking
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 40g pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 2 tomatoes, halved lengthways
    • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, sliced
    • 1 bulb baby fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
    • 200g baby kale leaves
    • 40g raw almonds, toasted

    METHOD

    1. Place the lemon zest, chilli, paprika and three of the garlic cloves in a mortar, and pound with a pestle until a paste forms. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper, then add the olive oil and stir to combine. (Alternatively, blend in a small food processor until combined.)
    2. Place sauce in a large bowl or zip-lock bag with the chicken and rub over the chicken to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for three hours or overnight.
    3. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).
    4. Heat a chargrill pan or barbecue to medium heat. Cook the chicken for 2–3 minutes or until well marked on one side. Turn and cook for a further three minutes or until well marked on the other side.
    5. Place the zucchini and sliced lemon in a large roasting tin and spray lightly with olive oil. Place the chicken on top of the zucchini and roast for 20–25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
    6. Meanwhile, crush the remaining garlic clove and place in a small bowl with the parsley, pecans and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Spread the mixture over the chicken as soon as it is removed from the oven.
    7. Toss the tomato, cucumber, fennel, kale and almonds together. Divide among four plates and serve with the chicken, zucchini and lemon.

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