Nutprococo II

Due to a cupboard shortage yesterday, I had to improvise when making my Nutprococo and what a lucky cupboard shortage that turned out to be.  Nutprococo is my go-to when I’m craving not just sweet but satisfaction too – chocolaty chewy crunchy and not too sweet. Low carb, low GI/GL and it’s paleo too if you substitute the tsp sweetener for honey;  and it’s tailored to fit into an alkaline diet too.  Whether it’s low calorie or not depends on how much you eat.

And that I am sharing my new & improved Nutprococo recipe with you is proof that I love you very very much indeed.

Warm & Fragrant Moroccan Chicken

This has such a rich, complex mesh of flavours – fragrant, warm, spicy – but all of them delicious.  This is definitely on my All Time Top Ten favourite dishes.    

If you want to Paleo it, then exclude the chickpeas;  if you want to LowCarb it, then exclude the raisins and if you’re feeling particularly determined, the chickpeas too;  if you want to LowCal it, then go easy on the oil and de-skin the chicken thighs.

This does great on my Starch days.


 

In a wide frying pan, using a tablespoon or three of oil (I prefer rapeseed) and a moderate heat, brown 12 chicken thighs (I prefer to keep them on the bone, but de-skin them first);  this should take between 5 and 10 minutes.  Depending on the width of your frying pan, and if you prefer, brown them in batches – just ensure you’ve returned all the chicken to the pan for the next stage.

Add to the pan 1 onion, sliced and 2 garlic cloves, crushed.  On a low heat, stir together for 5 minutes.  Now add 1 tbsp rose harissa (if you can’t get that, then harissa will do);  a good pinch of saffron (if you’re feeling flush);  1 tsp salt;  1 cinammon stick (or 1/2 tsp cinammon if you don’t have any to hand) and a good few grinds of black pepper.  Add to this 600ml chicken stock, bring to the boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Add 75g raisins and 2 x 410g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed.  Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.  Remove cinammon stick.

Serve alone or with couscous or flatbread.

Nutprococo

This won’t spike your blood sugar and it will fill you up – however, I make no claims that it’s especially low calorie, although the carb count is deliberately kept low.  It’s also relatively high in protein and fibre, so the GI/GL load is low.  It’s packed with goodness and is something you could eat as a meal in itself.  It’d taste rubbish with a salad though.


 

Break 100g 85% dark chocolate into pieces and place into a large mixing bowl.  Microwave in 30 second bursts on full power, gently stirring between bursts, until the chocolate is melted – this took 2 minutes 30 seconds in my microwave.  Add to this 2 tbsp peanut butter powder (such as Tru-n).  Stir to combine.

Break 100g pecans into pieces and stir into the mixture, along with 100g pumpkin seeds100g dessicated coconut, 1 tsp sweetener (I use Whole Earth Sweet Granules with Stevia) and up to 1/3 cup redbush tea. Stir until fully combined.

Eat warm as a “pudding” on its own or with cream or slightly thawed frozen banana;  or store in a tub for later. I don’t know if this would have an expiry date. Mine has never lasted long enough to find out.

This can be spread out into a baking tray, portioned and frozen to make a more portable treat.

 

Parsnip Rice

This Parsnip Rice is delicious in all sorts of contexts – personally I can eat it off the spoon – but it’s especially great for making grain-free sushi:  simply use it in place of rice.


 

In a food processor, pulse 250g raw parsnip, and to it add 1tbsp apple cider vinegar – although cyder vinegar, which is easier to find and cheaper, is fine;   2 tsps miso paste – I like Tesco’s own, but experiment;  1/4 cup pine nuts1/2 tsp salt,  himalayan or otherwise;  and 1tbsp rapeseed oil, or your preferred oil.

Pulse again.  Enjoy.

I adapted this from a recipe by  the very wonderful Russell James, The Raw Chef.

Instant Cherry Pie

I do this with frozen sweet dark cherries – my favourites are Tesco or Sainsbury’s own (I’m afraid not Asda’s morello cherries, they aren’t sweet enough) – and my nuts of choice are almonds.  Experiment with ingredients and amounts – these are simply the amounts I like – you may prefer more nut, less fruit.  If you want to make it extra luxurious, pour some cream over it.  Or creme fraiche, if you’re me.  If you strongly feel the need to sweeten the cherries then do.  Personally, I don’t.


Ingredients

Defrost 200g frozen cherries for 90 seconds in a microwave.  Pulse 75g almonds in a food processor until the consistency of crumble.  Sweeten cherries if required – personally I don’t.  if you’re going to I’d recommend Whole Earth Sweet Granules with Stevia, which for me has a convincing taste without an unpleasant aftertaste or blood sugar spike.  Gently stir cherries and pour over the almonds.  Add cream if you’d like, or creme fraiche if you were me and eating dairy.

Stuffed Chestnut Mushrooms

If you’re feeling flush and can find them, try this with mini Portobello mushrooms.  Chestnut mushrooms are a little cheaper and much easier to find.

All mushrooms release alot of water when cooked, and I find this ruins the stuffing in them;  so the preparatory grilling of the mushrooms is my way around that.  Experiment with the stuffing – the lime juice might not be to everyone’s taste, but I love it.  Use this recipe as a base for what pleases you.  I have these for breakfast – the night before I grill the mushrooms and make the filling.  The next morning I stuff the mushrooms and cook them.  They are surprisingly filling and easily do me until lunch – or even 4 o’clock or so if that’s how it has to be.


 

Destalk 250g chestnut mushrooms, and turn them so the gills are facing down, place them on a rack over a container that will catch the water they release, and grill them for 5 or 10 minutes, depending on your grill.  The tops will begin to wrinkle as the water is released.  Place them gill side down on paper towel until you’re ready to stuff (and be astonished at how much water they’ll still put out!)

Meanwhile, finely chop the stalks, melt a sliver of butter in a small frying pan and fry the stalks until they stop putting out steam, which takes about five minutes on a low-medium heat.  Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes.

Then add the juice of half a lime, a heaped dessertspoon of tahinia heaped dessertspoon of a seed mix (sunflowers, pumpkin seeds, linseeds – whatever you choose;  pine nuts are good if you’re feeling wealthy);  a heaped dessertspoon of nutritional yeast (Sainsbury stocks it, otherwise Holland & Barrett or most health stores, alternatively online);  2 finely chopped sundried tomatoes;  a handful of basil leaves finely chopped.  Combine ingredients, and this makes the stuffing.

If you want to eat immediately, stuff the mushroom cups and cook on 200°C for 15 minutes.  Alternatively, refrigerate the cups (still on paper towel) and stuffing separately until ready to eat.

This recipe is adapted from the delicious Ella Woodward/Mills.

Buttered Cauliflower

Personally I can make a bowl of this and just sit and eat it on its own.  This is fabulous comfort food.


 

Pulse 500g cauliflower florets in a food processor until it resembles rice.  Melt 15g butter with 15ml oil in a wide frying pan.  When the butter/oil is sizzling pour into it the cauliflower. Turn the heat down low and gently fry the cauliflower, moving it around the pan frequently so it doesn’t stick.  It’s a matter of taste as to how long you cook it for – personally I prefer it browning with crispy bits, which takes about 10 minutes.  Season with salt – it’s a matter of taste how much.

If you feel particularly self-indulgent, add another knob of butter.