diet

Low-Carb Breakfast: Bell Pepper Eggs

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There are some dishes that look prettier than they taste. For example: eggs baked in avocado. I don’t care what food blogger told you that it was ‘amazing,’ they are are filthy liars and shouldn’t be trusted. (Also, sorry about that time I Instagram’ed that exact dish and pretended it was amazing.) Bell pepper eggs are not like that. They actually taste as good as they look! Promise.

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I’ve tried it twice, and found the best method to be cutting the bell pepper in half, and using both halves as egg-holders. It does take some de-seeding, but it’s nothing major. Even a novice can tackle this dish.

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Pre-heat the oven to 350, and drop your eggs in those bell pepper cups. You’ll want to add salt and pepper, or even herbs! I added a handful of mozzarella to mine, but to make it Paleo, you can omit this.

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The baking time is closer to ~40 minutes (depending on how ‘done’ you want your eggs), but it’s worth it for the char you will eventually get on the pepper. This dish is absolutely delicious, and a fantastic way to get your veggies and protein in. I threw in some de-seeded jalapeños with cheese on my last bake, and everything came out cooked to perfection. Wait for the egg to look done, and the cheese to begin to brown, and you’ll know it’s ready.

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Thai Inspired Shrimp & Shirataki Noodles

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Shirataki noodles are those “scary” looking noodles that you may find near the meat alternatives/dairy products at your local grocery store. Generally, they’re stored somewhere cold. They promise 0 calories, or in some cases, 20 calories per serving, and are extremely low in carbs. I’ve been eating them for years, and highly recommend getting the type that’s blended with tofu. I was in the mood for Thai the other night, and whipped up a delicious shrimp stir fry to use with my noodles.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb frozen shrimp
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1″ peeled, chopped ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 red chilis
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • basil
  • cilantro
  • fish sauce
  • lemongrass
  • soy sauce
  • chili oil
  • toasted sesame oil

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I heated a large skillet with a blend of toasted sesame and chili oils. I added garlic, ginger, onion, tomato, zucchini, bell pepper, jalapeño, red chili, and fresh lemongrass (peeled and sliced in large chunks) to the oil. As I let that cook over medium-high heat, I thawed my frozen shrimp using cool, running water. As soon as the shrimp were ready, I added them to the pan, and used a colander to rinse my shirataki noodles for several minutes under hot water. Trust me, you want to do this. Shirtaki noodles have a strange smell to them until they’ve been either thoroughly rinsed, or par-boiled. With the shrimp now in the pan, I added both soy and fish sauce to taste. When the vegetables looked soft, and the shrimp were almost done, I added the juice of 2 limes, a bit of my fresh basil, and some green onions. At this point I poured the mixture, and subsequent sauce, over a bowl of shirataki. You may also want to try stirring the noodles into the pan ahead of time so that they absorb more flavor. Once it was all done, I covered the dish with even more basil, and a fistful of cilantro leaves. This dish is so low in both carbs and calories that you can enjoy it guiltlessly and frequently.


Food Find: Salata

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Healthy lunch options can be few and far between in North Austin, especially if you’re adhering to phase 1 of the Atkin’s diet. (It’s working great! I can fit into things I thought I’d never be able to wear again!) It was just my luck, rambling about my diet at a fancy party near downtown, that I ran into the owner of Salata, a fresh, healthy restaurant that lets customers completely customize their salads just minutes from where I work.  (more…)

Recipe: Cajun-Spiced Poached Egg Over Sautéed Mushrooms

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As a pescatarian on the Atkins diet, I have to cook a LOT of eggs. In fact, if I ever see an omelette again, I will scream. Given my extremely limited diet, I have become a Food Network star in the kitchen. (Most of the time. There was an unfortunate incident involving fish, but we won’t talk about that.) The cajun-spiced poached eggs that I made this weekend were truly one of the greatest things I’ve accomplished, and my partner can vouch for it. (He’s already requested that I make them again.) If you’re looking for something low-carb, low-cal, vegetarian-friendly, and exceptionally delicious – look no further than this recipe:

1 egg

oil (enough to cook with)

white vinegar and salt (just enough to poach the egg)

1T of veganaisse or mayonnaise

cayenne pepper

freshly cracked black pepper (don’t you dare use pre-ground pepper)

creole seasoning (Tony Chachere’s is the only brand you can use. I’m Cajun, trust me.)

handful of each of the following 3 ingredients:

arugula

mushrooms (sliced)

shredded romano cheese

If you don’t know how to poach an egg, don’t worry. I’m a complete screw-up, and if I can do it – you can do it. Get a pot of water boiling over medium-high heat. You don’t want it to be a violent rumble, like a crazy witch’s cauldron. You want just a gentle boil. Make sure that you add in a healthy splash of white vinegar and salt. I don’t know why vinegar makes the egg stay together, but it does. I’m not Neil deGrasse Tyson, so we’re just going to assume that vinegar is magic.

While you’re waiting for this, and if you feel like multi-tasking, go ahead and put some oil in a pan. On medium heat, sauté your sliced mushrooms, adding in the arugula and romano cheese once the mushrooms look almost done. Is that water boiling in the other pan yet? Okay. Time to poach the egg.

This is the moment of truth. Crack your egg into a bowl, and generously shake the creole seasoning onto it. Take a spoon, and stir the boiling water. Really stir it. Make a swirl. If you don’t get the water swirling, then you don’t get your poached eggs, so focus! Once the swirl is going strong, slowly pour your egg from the bowl into the center of the cyclone. Now turn that burner off. Don’t ask questions. Don’t touch anything, don’t move the pot, don’t mess with the egg. Just turn the burner off, and LEAVE IT ALONE for 4-5 minutes. This is a pretty exact science, so you better look at the clock.

Plate your mushroom mixture, and feel free to add salt or pepper if you haven’t already. This is all to your taste. Once the egg has been sitting for the 4-5 minutes, gently remove it with a slotted spoon. Let me stress this again: GENTLY. Lay the egg atop your vegetables, and add a dollop of veganaisse (I swear I think I’m misspelling this) on the side. Feel free to cover it all in cayenne and even more black pepper, because that’s how I roll, and pepper is delicious. The end. Enjoy your egg. 🙂