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

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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.

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Healthy Chilli Gobhi (Roasted Cauliflower with Red chilli, Cilantro and Lime) – Phase 3

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This is a delicious recipe I tried from REMCooks blog. Its perfect for Phase 3.

My favorite tip from this recipe is slow roasting the cauliflower for an hour to an hour and a half at 325 degrees F. My husband couldn’t stop trying it and I had to stop him, because we were still on Phase 2 when we aren’t allowed to eat this.

Ingredients:

1 large head cauliflower
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp toasted cumin powder
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 lime juice
Salt to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Chop cauliflower florets into even sizes. In a large bowl, mix the garlic, chilli powder, chilli flakes, cumin powder, salt and olive oil. Now add the cauliflower florets and toss gently to coat. Spread it onto a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour, stirring once at the 45 min. mark. Take it out of the oven and drizzle lemon juice and sprinkle cilantro.

I’m definitely going to try this with broccoli next time.

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.

Chicken Waldorf Salad – Phase 3

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After realizing that I cannot have grains during Phase 3 lunches, I had to change my strategy. Imagine I lost 9 lbs. by committing this mistake the last time on this diet, can I lose more now? It doesn’t seem like it as the scale isn’t being very friendly to me. More on that later. If there are no grains then I think it has to be either a soup or a salad. It has to be something that I can take to work, as phase 3 falls on Mon-Wed for me. A grilled chicken salad seemed like a good option, but now I wasn’t sure how I could add fats. I finally settled on a Chicken Waldorf salad. That requires mayo. The only mayo allowed on the diet is safflower mayo and I couldn’t find any that didn’t have sugar in it. So Haylie provided a recipe for homemade mayo. Read more about this mayo on this blog post. This salad turned out to be pretty tasty but the husband found it a bit bland. But that’s because he likes spices and these don’t have any. He told me that he added some hot sauce over it and he loved it after that. That made me almost puke but hey, whatever floats your boat honey. You can use shredded whole chicken for this recipe, but I used poached chicken breasts. Here is my link to perfectly cooked chicken breasts. This salad can be kept refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, cooked (grilled or poached)
1 apple, chopped into cubes
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
2 green onions (scallions), finely chopped, mostly green parts (optional)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped dill (optional)
1/3 cup canola mayonnaise (such as Spectrum organic)
5 or 6 pcs. of walnuts or almonds chopped to bits
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
2 teaspoon turkey bacon bits (optional)

Method:

Combine all ingredients except mayonnaise and toss. Then add the mayonnaise and gently combine. Chill 30 minutes. Serve over bed of greens. I used a spring mix and some arugula.

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!

Homemade Mayonnaise – Phase 3

I made mayo!!! The only mayo that is allowed on this diet is safflower mayo, but I couldn’t find any that did not contain sugar. Haylie suggests you can make your mayo from this newsletter. Now I used grapeseed oil from a spray bottle and some olive oil. I have to admit, I did not like the flavor of the oil in this mayo, and I’m not sure if it was the grapeseed oil or the olive oil. But when combined into a salad I couldn’t get the off flavor. I may try this again with olive oil or grapeseed oil alone, to see which is better. I made the uncooked version as I’m not worried about using a raw pasteurized egg.

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients:

1 large egg
1 Tbls. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. sea salt
3/4 cup grapeseed or olive oil (or a combination)

Method:

In a blender or food processor, blend the egg, lemon juice, mustard, and salt until smooth. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil in a very slow stream until the mayonnaise is thick. This mayo will keep nicely in the fridge for up to a week.

Cooked variation: First whisk the egg and lemon juice in a small saucepan over low heat until frothy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Immediately transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate. When the egg mixture has cooled to room temperature, blend it in the blender with the mustard and salt and add the oil slowly (as above).

Savoy cabbage with peppers and bacon – Phase 2

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This is my own recipe using savoy cabbage as a side for a phase 2 meal. The turkey bacon I used was just for flavor, not much in quantity. So pair this dish with a protein like marinated chicken breasts.

Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoon caraway or cumin seeds
4 cups thinly sliced Savoy cabbage (1 head)
4 pcs uncured turkey bacon, cooked and chopped into bits
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper or 2 green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup vegetable stock or defatted reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method:

Heat a large pot. Add 2 tbsp. broth and garlic, green chillies and caraway or cumin seeds. Stir for about a minute, then add bell peppers. Allow bell peppers to turn crisp-tender, takes about 4 or 5 minutes. Add cabbage, toss and cover pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the cabbage is tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Then add mustard; toss to coat evenly. Stir in bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.