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Monday, July 15, 2013

Baked or Grilled Garlic Asparagus

In the summertime, one of the best vegetable side dishes you can serve with a steak is grilled asparagus. It's so easy to cook, and when done right, tastes so delicious. This simple recipe all pair wonderfully with your favourite slow carb recipes, especially steak or chicken recipes. Give it a try and let me know what you think.


  • Asparagus stalks (bend them near the root end, and where they naturally crack, you can cut and dispose of the bottoms)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a few cloves of garlic (to taste)
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  2. Crush/dice the garlic.
  3. Mix the seasonings and garlic into the olive oil in a small bowl.
  4. Place the asparagus on a baking tray, and spoon the olive oil mixture over it. Move around to try to coat as much as possible.
  5. Cover the baking tray with a lid or aluminum foil, and bake for about 10 minutes. This will help steam the asparagus.
  6. After 10 minutes, remove the lid/foil and continue baking for another 5-10 minutes to crisp the edges of the asparagus and garlic. For faster browning, you can try using the broiler for a few minutes, but pay close attention to it!

Options and recommendations

As an alternative to baking in the oven (especially in the hot summer weather!), I love cooking my asparagus on the grill alongside my steaks. You can toss the vegetables with the olive oil mixture ahead of time, and then place the stalks individually on a cooler section of the BBQ. If you do this method, you might also want to consider using an oil with a higher smoke point, as olive oil tends to burn at the high temps of your grill. Try a bit of canola oil or grapeseed oil if you wish!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Slow Carb Breakfast Burrito Recipe

When you're trying your best to stick to an honest slow carb diet, sometimes you get into a groove of repeated the same recipes over and over, and they end up getting boring.  In the worst case, they make it easier for you to be less diligent on your diet, and you may cave in and eat something you shouldn't.  To avoid this, sometimes it is a good idea to change things up.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mushroom-Smothered Pork Chops

Pork chops are one of my favorite dinners.  The recipe that I've typically had in my family is some variation of coating with flour or bread crumbs, and then frying.  Not very appropriate for a slow carb diet.  However, we modified the recipe a little and combined several other ideas, and the result was this slow carb mushroom-smothered pork chops recipe that is bound to please!  What they lack in the crispy crunch department is more than made up with the delicious flavors!


  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped (or more, depending on your preference)
  • 1-2 lbs of mushrooms, sliced/chopped (use any variety or mixture you like!)
  • White cooking wine (or flavor of your preference again)
  • Olive oil
  • Pork chops (I like boneless the best!)
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper


  1. Preheat a large pan on the stove to medium-high heat.
  2. Add a bit of olive oil to a frying pan, and add the diced onions.
  3. Cook the onions, mixing frequently to prevent burning, until they have softened.
  4. Add the chopped garlic.
  5. Add the sliced mushrooms.  Mix things around, and as the mushrooms shrink with the heating, they will free up more space to add more if you don't have the room to add them all in one go.
  6. Continue cooking until it is the consistency that you like.  Then add 1/2 cup of wine, mix, and allow that to cook off for a few minutes longer.  While that's finishing, season the pork chops with the salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme.
  7. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside momentarily.
  8. Add the pork chops to the pan and cook on medium high for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they are nicely cooked.  I sometimes throw in a dash of the wine at this point.  (An alternate method that I like to do is to sear the pork on high heat briefly on each side to give it a bit of crispiness, and then immediately reduce the heat or remove the pan from the heat, and finish up the cooking under medium heat).
  9. Remove the pork, and if desired you can cover it to keep it warm and allow it to continue cooking itself a bit longer.
  10. Transfer the pork chop to a plate, and then smother it in the sauteed mushrooms.
Options and Recommendations:
I enjoy this pork chop recipe with a nice salad, and maybe a side of some sort of beans.  A typical slow carb presentation!  I also think that a glass of wine goes well with this meal.  Enjoy!
I'm keen to try another variation of this by coating the pork in almond or walnut flour before frying, similarly to how is done in my slow carb chicken fingers recipe.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Slow Carb Chicken Strips

Being on a slow carb diet doesn't necessarily mean that you have to give up some of your favorite comfort foods!  Sometimes, we have craving for sweets or deep-fried goodness that don't at all feel like they deserve a place in any diet plan.  But, that doesn't have to be the case!  With a few smart tweaks to conventional recipes, you can prepare dishes that will still be within the rules of your diet and will satisfy your craving.  As a bonus, this recipe will even be loved by your kids, so you can stick to your diet and satisfy them at the same time!  This recipe for slow carb chicken strips that I have here I found on the Slow Carb Foodie website.  The crunch of these chicken tenders will totally hit the spot, and when paired with other slow carb diet foods, such as black beans and broccoli, or this low calorie edamame and carrot salad, you'll have a wonderful meal that you won't feel guilty about eating!

  • 2 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, cut into strips
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • your preferred seasoning (e.g. chili powder, paprika, oregano, cumin... whatever you like!)
  1. Preheat your oven's broiler on it's high setting.
  2. Cut the large chicken breasts into appropriately sized fingers / strips.
  3. Add and mix the almond flour, sea salt, black pepper, and other seasonings (use as much or as little as you like!) to a large dish or Ziplock bag.  Use something that has enough room to shake / move things around.  Don't use a small bowl or you will make a mess!
  4. Break the egg into a bowl and beat it.
  5. Dip the chicken strips into the beaten egg to coat it well.
  6. Transfer the chicken to the seasoning bag or container, and shake or mix to coat it well with the seasoning mixture.
  7. Place the chicken on a pan, and then put the pan in the oven beneath the broiler.
  8. Broil for 10 minutes, then remove the pan, flip the chicken, and broil for another 5 minutes or so.  The chicken is done when the coating begins to brown nicely.
  9. Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite dipping sauces or condiments (slow carb friendly, of course!)
Options and Recommendations:
Almond flour works well for this recipe, but feel free to try any other nut flour to replace the regular flour or cornstarch that you would normally use.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Edamame and Carrot Salad

This recipe is a simple and healthy one that is promoted by The Heart and Stroke Foundation. It may not be the strictest slow carb recipe that I have, but it's simple, tastes good, and is good for you. I'm sure that it could find a place in anyone's slow carb diet repertoire. If nothing else, it at least is a change of pace from the usual beans and lentils recipes. You know what I mean. ;)  A 3/4 cup serving of this recipe only has 107 calories, 8 g of protein, 6 g total fat, and 8 g of carbs (4 g are fiber).


  • 500 g shelled soy beans (edamame)
  • 3 large carrots, shredded
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander or parsley
  • 2 tbsp sesame seed paste (tahini) or peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 small clove if garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp chili paste or hot sauce (optional)


  1. Cook the edamame for 4 minutes in boiling water.
  2. Drain and rinse the edamame in cold water, then transfer them to a large bowl.
  3. Add the shredded carrots and coriander/parsley.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients to make the dressing. Whisk well to mix.
  5. Add the dressing to the beans and carrots, and mix well to coat everything.
  6. Serve!

Options and Recommendations:
Though not absolutely required, I enjoy this dish best when it's cold, so I cover and refrigerate for a while if I have time. This makes a great appetizer for a nice summer meal or barbecue.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kidney Beans Nutrition Facts

Given that beans are such a regular part of a slow carb diet and slow carb recipes, I thought that it might be a good idea to take a look at what exactly makes them so healthy.  On that note, this post is all about kidney beans nutrition facts, and why you should incorporate them into your diet.  I'm sure that anyone who has been following the slow carb diet (made popular by Tim Ferriss in his book "The 4 Hour Body") knows how frequently their meals include some kind of beans or legumes.  Luckily, there are several different varieties to choose from, so it doesn't always have to be the exact same meal every single day. Undoubtedly, though, you will be find favorite recipes as you progress through the diet.  One of my favorite ingredients that seems to be a staple for many of the meals I consume are kidney beans (so it's a good thing I like them!).

Kidney beans are actually the seeds of a bean plant, with the Latin name Phaseolus vulgaris.  The beans themselves grow in the large green pods like those that inhabit so many people's home gardens.  Think about green beans or string beans, but much fatter pods.  The beans themselves are typically dark red or reddish brown, though you can also readily find white kidney beans (or, simply, white beans).  These common beans are used around the world, both dried or canned, in a wide range of both hot and cold recipes.  They are truly versatile!

One of the first things the people always seem to want to know is the kidney bean's calories.  If they're so frequently included as diet foods, they must be low-calorie, right?  I took at look at the fitbit nutrition database (as I'm pretty into my new fitbit ultra right now, but that is a story for another time!) Well, they're pretty good, coming in at 307 calories in a 1 cup serving of cooked beans.  However, these are not all simple carbohydrate calories, because most of them derive from the protein and fiber.  Let's look a little closer at the kidney bean's nutrition, including the main three biomolecule classes of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.  (I love applying my biochemistry education to real life!)

In that 1 cup serving of kidney beans, there is a total carbohydrate amount of 56 g, of which only 8 g are sugars, but 19.5 g are dietary fiber.  This is one of the biggest reasons why beans are so good for you: their high fiber content!  In addition, another great testament to the nutrition of these beans is their low fat content, with only 1.2 g of total fat (of which 0.1 g is saturated).  In terms of protein, our bean serving has 22.2 g, which is also pretty decent.

Of course, whenever people look at the nutrition facts and labels, they are not just interested in those three classes of molecules or the calories.  One of the other big numbers is the cholesterol.  Obviously, the cholesterol value is very important to people who have cardiovascular health problems such as hypertension or atherosclerosis, as they would want to minimize the amount of cholesterol in their diets.  Luckily for them, the kidney bean's nutrition label shows that it is like a super food, with 0 (zero!) cholesterol!  Also on the topic of cholesterol, I will also point out the value of having high dietary fiber, which as I showed above, these beans certainly do.  Fiber actually works to lower the "bad" cholesterol that is already in your body.  (I'm not getting into a discussion of "good" vs. "bad" cholesterols.  Maybe another time!)  So, you can see why including kidney beans in a slow carb diet, or any weight loss plan, is absolutely essential to helping lower fat and cholesterol.

The kidney beans nutritional information label also gives more info about the vitamins and minerals in our single serving amount we've been looking at.  I won't go into details about what each of these important molecules actually do in the body (maybe that's also another post!), but I will just list them off here in terms of their percentage of the daily recommended allowance:

  • Vitamin A: 0%
  • Vitamin C: 11%
  • Calcium: 15%
  • Iron: 39%
  • Thiamin: 65%
  • Riboflavin: 24%
  • Vitamin B6: 37%
  • Niacin: 19%
  • Magnesium: 74%
  • Phosphorus: 75%
  • Zinc: 31%
  • Copper: 101%
  • Pantothenic Acid: 14%

The point is that kidney beans contain a wide assortment of these vitamins and minerals that are needed by your body for it to work properly.

Kidney beans are used by several cultures around the world.  They are very popular, and very common.  They can be dried for prolonged storage, and then simply rehydrated when it's time to use them, or they can be purchased canned and ready to eat.  With the multitude and diversity of recipes available that include kidney beans (I have lots on my site!  Check out my traditional chili recipe or my turkey chili recipe!), there really is no excuse to not include these in your slow carb diet plans!  I hope that you learned something from this post and you can now better appreciate one of the slow carb "super" foods.  Please remember to +1 me if you enjoyed it (top right of the page)!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Poached Eggs with Asparagus

This recipe for poached eggs with asparagus makes a very light meal which would be perfect for a slow carb diet, or any diet for that matter.  It would make a great breakfast that doesn't take very long at all to prepare.  For the hard core slow carb dieters, you could very easily add a portion of your favorite slow carb legume to the plate and have a very satisfying and filling breakfast.  This feels like a meal best prepared on a sunny spring morning using fresh asparagus and free range eggs, and then eaten out on a patio.


  • A bunch of asparagus
  • Eggs, as many as you like (I prefer free range, with the deep yellow yolk!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bend the asparagus and discard the ends where they naturally break.
  2. To a frying pan, add a small amount of water and boil.
  3. At the same time, fill a pot of water and set to a low boil.
  4. Add the asparagus to the water, and cover to steam for 4 or 5 minutes (until they are nicely softened but not mushy).
  5. Meanwhile, to the lightly boiling / simmering pot of water, gently break the eggs into the water.  Allow to cook for 2-4 minutes.  
    • Perfect poached eggs will still have a runny yellow yolk, before it has begun to become hard-boiled.  This may take some practice.  The amount of time depends on how hot the water is.  Also, if it is rapidly boiling, the bubbles with turn the uncooked egg into a giant mess.  No boiling!
    • Some people prefer to break an egg into a bowl and then gently pouring the egg into the water.  Also, some people recommend adding a shot of white vinegar to the water, as the acidity helps to keep the egg together.
    • An obviously easier way it to get a set of egg poachers.  :-)
  6. Remove the asparagus from the pan and distribute to breakfast plates.
  7. Scoop out the eggs with a slotted spoon and serve over top of the asparagus.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
  9. Serve alongside a helping of black beans, or other slow carb diet staples.