Living Without Carbs

Living Without Carbs

About This Blog

If you battle with your weight, have type 2 Diabetes or simply crave a delicious alternative to the complex carb diet we have all been led to believe is good for us, then you may find the following pages of interest. We aim to add a lot of recipes, menus, fact feeds and so much more to help anyone who wants to keep their health and diet in check.

Please share these feeds so more are aware that there is something they can do too. You can also follow me on twitter @Nocarbsnicky

My taste of Italy

RecipesPosted by Nicky Wed, January 31, 2018 11:05AM
My taste of Italy. Yes, it’s Spaghetti Bolognese but not as you know it….

One of our families favourites has always been Spaghetti Bolognese, but when on a no carb diet, the Spaghetti bit is out. So we have tried the fake noodles which were actually ok, but on experimenting with other things, I decided to fry up some cabbage in olive oil and salt, keeping it crisp and fresh. This is now one of our favourites to have with anything like Bolognese or Chilli. The salt and olive oil add a lovely flavour and I would be quite happy just eating a plate of the cabbage. I tend to mix it up using both red and green cabbage, I love both, but red cabbage packs quite a punch in vitamin C, in fact there is more of the stuff in red cabbage than in an orange!

Anyway, back to the cooking bit, I slow cook mine so it can take on all the lovely flavours and develop a rich sauce over the course of the day. You could easily do this in the oven if you do not have a slow cooker, just adjust the temperature to allow the sauce to develop over a long period of time.

My slow cooker was set to low and cooked for 8 hours. The smell when you come home from work and open the door is wonderful.

This dish would easily feed a family of four.

400 - 500 grams of beef mince

1 large Carrot diced small

2 Celery sticks diced small

2 Garlic Cloves, crushed

1 Red Onion diced small

6 Chestnut Mushrooms

1 tbsp Italian Seasoning

2 Beef stock Cubes

1 tbsp Tomato Puree

400 gram Tin of Chopped Tomatoes

1 Bouquet Garni

2 Bay leaves

Salt and Pepper

200 - 250ml of water (dependant on how runny you like your sauce)

Start by dry frying your beef mince. What I mean by this is don’t add any more oil or fats to the pan as a lot will come out, you could buy leaner mince which tends to be more expensive but I on average buy whatever is on offer or reduced to save some money.


Once your meat is browned transfer to the slow cooker.



You can now see just how much fat comes out of the meat, but don’t waste it, this will be used for the veg.




Add the diced carrot, celery, garlic and onion to the fat and sweat down until just soft, then add to the slow cooker.



Then add the mushrooms and stock cubes.



Add everything else, the Italian seasoning, the tomato puree, the bouquet garni and the bay leaves.




To finish add the tin tomatoes, water and salt and pepper, stir gently to incorporate everything and cook all day.



This one was after 4 hours of cooking the rest is self explanatory.





The Verdict

I think the bottom picture tells you the answer to that one. When you can get a 6 year old to eat veg she says she hates, then you are onto a winner.


The Nerdy Bit

Onions are a good source for your dietary fiber and contain a high amount of vitamin c, along with calcium, iron and protein, they are also very low in sodium and of course contain no fat.

Celery, we all know it is good for us, but did you know that celery nourishes and moisturises our skin with the help of its anti ageing vitamins, like vitamin E, along with vitamins A and C, which act as anti-oxidants protecting our skin from signs of ageing, now tell me who doesn’t think that's a great reason to eat celery?

Tomato Puree is a great food, as it is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, but it also helps with our daily intake of fiber.

Garlic for me is a wonder food, there is pretty much a trace of all nutrients in garlic which help combat so many illnesses. The common cold is one such sickness that garlic has proven to help. On another positive note, it can also help maintain good blood pressure, helping to reduce cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks or strokes.







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Little cups of heaven

RecipesPosted by Nicky Wed, January 24, 2018 12:23PM
Little cups of heaven



These egg cups are perfect for Breakfast, Brunch or Lunch, whichever you prefer. They are so quick to make and eat. Which is why these are one of the regulars on our weekly meal plans.

Pre heat the oven to 180 fan or gas mark 4

Makes 12 Egg Cups

9 Eggs

Handful of rough chopped Spinach

Handful of chopped Ham

Handful of grated Cheese

Mix up the eggs in a measuring pouring jug and then place a small amount in each muffin case. Add in your ingredients excluding the cheese.





Then top up with the remaining egg.


Add the grated cheese and place in the oven.


Cook for 20 minutes.



Enjoy.


The Verdict

So easy to make that a child could do this, they are great for changing the ingredients and also to eat on the go. Only problem is they go too quickly!


The Nerdy Bit

Eggs are great for so many reasons, they give us a source of protein, iodine and essential vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin D, B6, Zinc, Copper and Iron.

Ham is also up there with the protein, along with added Iron. It is also low in fat.

Spinach, well where do you start, it is low in fat and can even lower cholesterol, it is also high in zinc as well as protein, fibre vitamins, calcium, iron the list just goes on.

Cheese, even though it is high in fats, they are good fats and therefor eaten in controlled amounts can help you stay fuller for longer and help you not to snack. It is also packed with protein and calcium. A winner all round in our house.



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No sugar BBQ Chicken

RecipesPosted by Nicky Wed, January 24, 2018 11:45AM

No sugar BBQ Chicken

We love BBQ’s even in the winter, when you crave something a bit more hands on. This is my really easy recipe for BBQ Chicken with no added sugar. If you don’t like too much heat, then just adjust the paprika to 1/2 tsp.

6 - 8 Chicken Drumsticks ( you decide on how many for your family )

2 tsp Smoked Paprika

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Garlic Salt

1 tsp ground pepper

1 tsp Onion Granules

2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

3 tbsp Olive Oil

Pre heat the oven to 180 fan or gas mark 4 ( once you are ready to cook chicken )


Mix all sauce ingredients together and then in a large bowl place the chicken and cover with the thick sauce. Leave to marinate for as long as you can, overnight is perfect but for at least 2-3 hours.



Place in a baking tray and cook for approx 40 minutes, or until all juices run clear from the chicken.

Serve with whatever side dishes you like, I chose a big hearty Salad which was great.



The Verdict

Really tasty BBQ Chicken, that honestly does not need any sugar, it really was great. The family asked when could we have them again, so for me a major result.


The Nerdy Bit

Cumin is more than just taste or flavour, it is known to help in losing weight, improving digestion and treating insomnia and respiratory disorders. There also seems to be some ongoing research, that cumin, along with a number of other spices, have a powerful effect in preventing diabetes by reducing the chances of hypoglycemia.


Paprika is rich in Antioxidants. Like so many nutrient rich foods and spices, paprika seems to have the potential to help in regulate your blood sugar levels and help diabetics in their fight against diabetes. It really does seem to be a power food.

Apple Cider Vinegar. It all seems to be about Diabetics on this meal. This vinegar as we all know is one of the most popular and we can see why with all the health benefits. It is claimed to help with weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and improve the symptoms of diabetes.

So BBQ Chicken is really good for you. Go on, get another on the Barbie!





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Sausage Skillet

RecipesPosted by Nicky Fri, January 19, 2018 11:26AM
Sausage Skillet

This is one of my favourite quick and easy evening meals. There is a bit of a kick for those that like heat, but cool enough for the faint hearted.

This again is one of my just throw it all in and see what happens meals. Love it.

Dash of Rapeseed Oil.

2 Red Onions Chopped rough.

4 Good quality Sausages, 97% meat preferable. Chopped into chunks.

3 Garlic cloves, crushed or chopped to your liking.

1 Red and Orange Pepper, chopped in good sized chunks.

1 Courgette, Halved lengthways and then sliced in small chunks.

5 Chestnut Mushrooms, chopped in quarters.

1/2 tsp or to taste Chilli flakes. For those that like it hotter add in 1 fresh chilli.

1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning.


First get your Wok or Skillet pipping hot with the rapeseed oil, then add the onions and mushrooms.




Fry for a bit until the sausages start to turn brown.


Then add all other chopped ingredients, herbs and spices. Cook for 10 - 15 minutes until sausages are cooked through, serve and enjoy.




The Verdict

So filling, quick and easy to make. This is again one of our families favourites, Friday Fry up as we call it.

The Nerdy Bit

Well you do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that there will be a lot of good stuff in this one. You could also take out the sausages and make with Chicken or Turkey if you prefer an even healthier version.

Red Peppers :- The highest amount of Vitamin C in a bell pepper is concentrated in the red variety. In fact, they contain more than 200 percent of your daily vitamin c intake. They are also a great source of vitamin B6 and folate both of which help prevent anemia. Vitamin A, which help support healthy eyesight and as we all know by now they provide a great source of antioxidants.

Courgettes I think, are so under used, being very low in calories at only 17 calories per 100g they are a great filler for dinners. You can also do so much with them including courgetti style pasta and making courgette style lasagne sheets. They also contain no saturated fats or cholesterol. The skin on a courgette contains a great source of fibre, that could help reduce constipation.

Chestnut Mushrooms :- They contain vitamins and minerals. They are particularly rich in Copper and Vitamin B5. Low in Carbohydrates and Fat, but high in Protein.













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Baked Scotch Eggs

RecipesPosted by Nicky Wed, January 17, 2018 11:12AM
Baked Scotch Eggs

This recipe makes 4 large scotch eggs. These are great as part of a salad or as my husband will agree, make a great packed lunch when you are busy and are always on the go. They fill you up and keep you going until dinner time, so no mid afternoon snacks required.

4 eggs

1 Large pack of good quality sausage meat, 97% meat if you can.

2 tbsp of mixed herbs.

1 tsp of onion granules.

A good liberal sprinkling of ground almonds.

Pre heat the oven to 180 fan or gas mark 4

Start by boiling the eggs, I normally bring them up to boil, simmer for a couple of minutes then let them cool down in their water until they can be touched and peeled.

While you are waiting for the eggs to cool, place all other ingredients in a mixer until thoroughly mixed through.

A little trick I have learnt is make sure the meat is really cold, almost freezer point, as when handling to make the balls, it sticks together better and just makes it a lot easier to handle.

Lay out some cling film and take one ball of meat at a time, flatten it out into a round shape, take one of the eggs and bring the cling film up and peel off the meat and egg and form a nice round ball. Once you have all four place in a baking tray.



Bake in the pre heated oven for 35 minutes or until golden and either serve hot or store for packed lunches.




The Verdict

So delicious, one of my husbands favourite lunches, I personally have trouble eating a whole one, but the flavours are lovely. This is a family favourite so made at least once a week.

The Nerdy Bit

Yes these will be fairly high in fat, but as these get eaten on a couple of times a week and on a day when our dinner will be low in fats then this is ok.

These baked variety, with no breadcrumb or extra flour are so much more healthier for you, knocking out unwanted sugars and carbs.

Eggs :- Great for your daily intake of Protein and essential vitamins.










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Wok This Way

RecipesPosted by Nicky Tue, April 04, 2017 08:22PM

Wok this way

Splash Rapeseed Oil

190g Bavette Steak sliced thinly

2 Garlic Cloves finely chopped

1 Green Chilli finely chopped

1 inch Ginger finely chopped
piece

1 Red Onion Sliced

1 Bunch of Spring Onions Sliced

250g Mushrooms sliced

200g Cauliflower florets

1 Courgettes Sliced

1 Red Pepper Sliced

2 Pak Choi Chopped

1tsp Chinese 5 Spice

2tbsp Soy Sauce


You could cook this in a frying pan, but I love my Wok and make sure that it is very hot when I start.

So the list of ingredients is written in the order that they go into the dish to make this a really easy recipe to follow.

The reason I use Rapeseed oil over others, is it can stand a higher heat and is still really good for you.

Heat the Rapeseed Oil in the Wok until it is nearly spitting. Add the Bavette Steak and flash fry, stirring, flipping all the time, you do not want to over cook this meat as it really only needs a couple of minutes. Once sealed remove from the oil and keep to one side.

Next add the Garlic, Chilli and Ginger, Red Onion and Spring Onion and fry for about 2 minutes


Next add the Mushrooms, Cauliflower Florets and Red Pepper.


Fry for about 2 minutes and then sprinkle on the 5 Spice. Mix around covering everything and add the chopped Pak Choi, cook for a minute and add in your Soy Sauce.


Add back in the beef and the juices that have come from it.


Finish off for about 1 more minute and serve.

Enjoy.


The Verdict

So filling I was unable to eat all of mine, so full. Would make this again and again.

The Nerdy Bit

Well you do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that there will be a lot of good stuff in this one.

Pak Choi :- Has so many vitamins in it, naming Vitamin A, C, K and B6. It is low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol, plus has a great source of minerals in it such as Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Potassium.

Red Peppers :- Again the vitamins in here are amazing, A, C, K, B6, (which is important for the formation of red blood cells)

They are also low in Saturated Fats, Cholesterol and Sodium.

Courgettes :- I use this a lot, so already covered this in my Cheeky Kicking tomato soup. But be assured they are really good for you.










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Cheeky kicking tomato soup.

RecipesPosted by Nicky Mon, April 03, 2017 02:07PM

1 400g Tin of tomatoes

1 Courgette sliced

10 Fresh Basil Leaves (Small) use your own judgement on larger leaves

200mls Water

1 Vegetable stock cube

To Taste Crushed Chilies

Literally throw it all in a pan as I do with most of my cooking and simmer for about 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes the colour will change and look more luxurious and rich.


Then blitz in a blender


The soup will change colour to a lighter shade.

Here is your lovely soup, sprinkle with extra fresh basil leaves if you like.



You could take out the Courgette and replace with about 100ml of Crème Fraîche, but the courgettes really do make this nice and creamy and there are so many health benefits with courgettes. See the nerdy bit at the bottom.


This version is just under 100 calories per portion and would serve 2. Great for a low calorie lunch.

The Verdict

Howard’s comment was “this is now my second favourite soup”. BAM. RESULT!

The Nerdy Bit

Tomatoes contain so many great things, including Vitamin A and C, but a number of studies have concluded that they can also reduce your chance of developing prostate, colorectal and stomach cancer. Lycopene which is a natural antioxidant found in tomatoes basically works by slowing the growth of cancerous cells. When tomatoes are cooked, this produces even more Lycopene. So whats not to like about tomatoes?

Basil is one of the healthiest herbs when it's fresh. It contains many vitamins and minerals, which include Vitamin A, C and K. Minerals you can find are Iron, Magnesium, Calcium and many more.

Chilli, well I love chilli except when I wipe my eye after chopping a fresh chilli. DO NOT REPEAT. You can find out the benefits of Chilli on my Little bit of Spicy and Sour dish.

Courgettes I think, are so under used, being very low in calories at only 17 calories per 100g they are a great filler for dinners. You can also do so much with them including courgetti style pasta and making courgette style lasagne sheets. They also contain no saturated fats or cholesterol. The skin on a courgette contains a great source of fibre, that could help reduce constipation.






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My little bit of Spicy and Sour (Prawn Curry)

RecipesPosted by Nicky Sun, April 02, 2017 10:24PM

I like easy to make food, throw it all in kind of cooking. I also like to experiment a bit with flavours.

On a Friday night in the past I would have given myself the night off and ordered in. My favourite is Curry. So since this way of eating, I have been experimenting a lot with flavours and dishes. Tonight I think I came up with a really nice simple Prawn curry.

This Prawn curry would easily feed 4 people. Just halve the ingredients if just the two of you.

Ingredients.

03 - Tablespoons coconut oil

32 - King Prawns, uncooked, but shells off. (8 prawns each)

02 - Medium Red Onions (chopped)

01 - Red Chilli (deseeded and chopped small)

01 - Green Chilli (deseeded and chopped small)

03 - Cloves of Garlic

02 - Tablespoon tomato puree

04 - Medium ripe tomatoes

02 - Tablespoons Lemon Juice

01 - Teaspoon ground cumin

01 - Teaspoon curry powder

1/2 - Teaspoon chilli flakes

1/2 - Teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 - Teaspoon turmeric

Fresh Coriander for sprinkling on at the end.

The good bit.

Place the oil into a frying pan, whilst this is warming add all the ingredients except for the prawns and the fresh coriander into a food processor and blend to a puree. Then add this to the pan of oil and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the raw prawns to the mix.


Cook until the prawns are pink.



Sprinkle on the Coriander and serve.


This dish does not have a hugely strong flavour, in fact quite delicate but that is perfect with the prawns. You could serve this with cauliflower rice if you are a fan.

The verdict

For me this one was nice and I would make again. As I said it was not particularly spicy even with the amount of chilli I put in, but I did notice my lips tingling a bit after I had finished. I would give this 8/10.

The nerdy bit

Chilli's are a great source of :-

Vitamin A (Red Chilli's are high in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body).

Vitamin C ( A powerful antioxidant, important for wound healing and the immune function).

B6 (An important function in energy metabolism)

K1 Essential for healthy bones and kidneys)

Potassium (Some say that an adequate intake of potassium may reduce the risk of heart disease)

Copper (Which is an essential antioxidant important for strong bones and healthy neurons.

Prawns are good for you because :-

They are a low fat source of protein, for example the 8 prawns each in this recipe contain only 101 calories but over 19 grams of protein and only 1.4 grams of fat. The unsaturated fats in prawns can help improve your blood cholesterol levels.



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