Chana chaat (Chickpea and fruit salad) – Phase 3 and Phase 1

20160508_212758

This chana chaat is a healthy Indian recipe that works for Phase 3 lunches and Phase 1 if you skip the olive oil.

Ingredients:

1 cup boiled chickpeas or 1 19oz. can
1/2 cup Chopped pineapple
3 tblsp Chopped raw mango (optional)
1/2 cup Chopped cucumber
1/3 cup Pomegranate seeds
1/2 a bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup Chopped tomato
1/4 cup Roasted sweet potato cubes (optional)

For Dressing:
10 Mint leaves, chopped fine
3 tsp Olive oil
A pinch of stevia (optional)
1 tbsp Lemon juice
1/2 tsp Chilli flakes
1/2 tsp Grated ginger
1/2 tsp Pepper powder
1/2 tsp Black salt (optional)
1/2 tsp Chat masala
1/2 tsp Salt

Method:

Mix all the ingredients of dressing.
Add all the fruits and vegetables in a big bowl.
Mix in the dressing and chill for at least half an hour before serving.

Advertisements

Veggie meat sauce with Sprouted Grain Pasta

I found sprouted grain pasta at my nearest Whole Foods – which is quite far. I thought I’ll try it to see how it tastes. I found this meat sauce recipe from Haylie’s cookbook. The pasta cooks really fast (in 4-5 minutes) and it’s a fine line between cooked and overcooked, so keep an eye on it. I drained it immediately and placed it under cold running water. The pasta tastes like a bran muffin or bread, which is fine with me. But do not expect it to be a good substitute for pasta as it’s nowhere near it. For the diet, it will do. I tried the penne for my week 3 phase 1. I also have a box of fettuccine which I will try at a later time. You can also use brown rice pasta if you like (original recipe suggests this).

As for the meat sauce, it is a tomato based sauce, with a ton of different veggies. Its an easy one pot meal. The prep is the only time consuming part. Then its just combining it all together and slow cooking it. I cooked it on stovetop but you can also use a slow cooker if you have one. I liked the sauce, but my husband found it boring, but as I said he loves spicy food. Also I only had a pound of ground beef with me at the time. The recipe would require 2 pounds if you want to get a proper protein serving over 8 meals (4 meals for 2). This left my husband hungry the first time he had it. So I added some cooked chicken breast to it later to up the protein intake. I also baked some sweet potatoes, since he loves those and keeps him satiated. I only had 6 cups of pasta, so I had my last meal with brown rice. It reminded me of a Mexican bowl – again, my husband did not like it but was able to eat it.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. lean ground beef
2 nos. zucchini, chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 cups chopped bell peppers – I used 1 whole bell pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
1 cup chopped portobello or shitake mushrooms (optional – I did not use)
1/2 cup sliced green onions (scallions), white and green parts
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 cups organic vegetable broth – I used bone broth
1/2 cup tomato paste – I used a small can of Hunt’s tomato paste
2 tablespoons sea salt
8 cups cooked sprouted grain pasta

Method:

Put all ingredients except the pasta together in a large dutch oven, stir and cook on medium until the mixture starts to boil. Then lower the heat to low. Cover and cook for about 2 hours. Spoon equal amounts of the meat sauce over each serving of the pasta and serve.

Perfectly cooked Chicken Breasts – All Phases

I find baked chicken breasts to be too dry for my liking. So I found this method to be the best when you want you chicken breasts to be perfectly cooked and juicy. This can be used in pasta, salads, soups or anything else you like. You can even marinate the chicken breasts before doing this technique. If you are using this for Phase 1 or Phase 2, skip the olive oil. It doesn’t given you browned or grilled flavor (for that, try the grill or a grill pan), but it does give you plain and basic yet super juicy chicken breasts to slice for lunches and salads.

Ingredients:

1 chicken breast (or 2 per pan)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional) – for Phase 3 only.

Method:

Pound the chicken for even thickness. I did not bother pounding these chicken breasts when I was in a hurry and it still turned out fine. Lightly salt and pepper them on both sides. Heat the saute pan over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Turn the heat down slightly to medium and add the chicken breasts. Cook them for about 1 minute to get them a little golden brown on one side. Then flip the breasts over. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat to low. Don’t lift the lid and don’t peek. Set a timer for 10 minutes and walk away. The chicken is getting poached from the inside out in it’s own juices. Then turn off the heat. Let it sit for another 10 minutes. It has to stay covered the whole time. After the 10 minutes are up, take the lid off the pan and your chicken is done. Slice up the chicken to put in your salad, pasta or anything you like. No more leathery dry chicken breasts!

Indian baked chicken breasts – Phase 2

20160424_114253.jpg

I wanted these chicken breasts to taste like chicken tikkas. One of the main ingredients that make chicken tikkas so tender is yogurt, which of course can’t be used in this diet. So I used a lot of lemon juice to tenderize the chicken.

Serving size is 1/2 chicken breast.

Serves: 8

4 pcs Chicken breasts

8 cloves of garlic

1 inch piece of ginger

Lemon juice from 2 lemons

2 tsp Chilli powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

2 tsp garam masala (or 1 tsp each of ground cardamom, cinnamon and cloves)

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 tsp salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wash the chicken breasts and pat them dry. Butterfly them into halves. Score the chicken breasts to aid absorption of the marinade. Put them into a gallon ziploc bag. Grind the remaining ingredients in a blender (or indian mixie in chutney jar). Pour the mixture into the ziploc bag and seal. Now massage the marinade into the chicken breasts from the outside of the ziploc bag.

You can store this bag in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake. Ideally, marinate it for 3 to 4 hours, at least. I marinated it for 1 hour and it still came out tender and juicy.

Bake in the oven in a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil for 18 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes before serving. If you have a grill, you can grill these instead of baking.

Serve with a salad or grilled veggies.

Chana Masala – Phase 1

I made this chana masala without oil using the recipe from this pin I found on Pinterest.

I had it for both lunch and dinner for Phase 1. While it was good and easy to eat, it does get boring. My husband especially found it boring lol! But that’s because we only had the chana masala over quinoa. I should probably make some grilled veggies to make it more interesting. But it’s definitely a good recipe.

I did not use canned chickpeas for this. I had soaked dry chickpeas overnight, then added the soaked chickpeas with all the other ingredients. This is a slow cooker recipe, but as I do not have a slow cooker, I used a pressure cooker. It definitely speeds up the cooking process. If you want to use a slow cooker, check the link in the pin for instructions.

Serves 8

4 cups water
1 large onion, diced
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
6-oz. can tomato paste
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp garlic powder (I used 4 cloves of fresh garlic)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like more of a kick)
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp sea salt
3 cups dried chickpeas – soaked overnight

Method:

Combine everything in your pressure cooker and cook for 6 whistles, or until the chickpeas are tender.

 

Foil wrapped Cilantro-chilli-lime fish – Phase 2

You can use any white fish that is allowed in Phase 2 for this recipe. I used lemon sole fillets. It’s easier to marinate the fish beforehand and refrigerate.

Serves 2

2 fish fillets – Sole/halibut/flounder/dory fish/cod/scrod

1 bunch cilantro

1/2 a lemon’s juice

2 cloves of garlic

2 green chillies (leave out if you dont like the heat)

small bunch of dill (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Score the fish fillets for better absorption of the marinade.

Blend all the ingredients except fish of course. Then spread evenly on the fish fillets. Refrigerate until 20 minutes before meal time.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a roasting pan with foil, with more left to cover the fish. Place the fish fillets on the foil. Cover the foil over the fish and close into a nice airy packet. Do not pack the foil tight, make sure the foil is not touching the fish, so the fish has room to steam within. Bake for 20 minutes.

Tip: You can also add some phase specific vegetables to the fish, like bell pepper strips and zucchini, but up the temperature to 400 or 450.

I served this in Phase 1 too over quinoa.

Mint-cilantro chutney – All phases

This is a popular Indian green chutney that you would use with a lot of Indian snacks. This is perfect to go with Phase 2 snacks. It can be used in any phase really.

1 bunch cilantro

1 bunch mint leaves

1/2 a Lemon’s juice

1 tsp cumin seeds

tiny piece of ginger (1/4 tsp)

tiny clove of garlic (optional)

small bunch of dill (optional)

pinch of stevia (optional)

salt to taste

Method:

Blend all ingredients in a blender/indian chutney mixer. Store in the refrigerator and serve cold.

You can also add a small teaspoon of pomegranate seeds in phase 3.