Category Archives: Asian Recipes

Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Broccoli

Photo: Thai Peanut Chicken with Broccoli

This is my take on a recipe for Thai-style broccoli and spaghetti squash. I like to make it a meaty main dish, so I added chicken and changed out a couple of ingredients to make it low carb. If you’d like to make it a vegetarian dish, then omit the chicken.

Thai Peanut Chicken and Broccoli Over Spaghetti Squash

1 small spaghetti squash, about 2 pounds
2 Chicken breasts, cut into cubes

For the Roasted Broccoli
1 small broccoli crown, broken into florets (2 cups)
1-2 tsp. sesame oil, can sub another vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste

For the Peanut Sauce
3 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. sugar-free maple syrup
1 tbsp. lime juice
1-2 tbsp. water, as needed
1 tablespoon Thai Chili Sauce

Garnishes:
1-2 scallions, chopped
2 tbsp. roasted peanuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375°.

Prepare the squash by cutting in half length-wise with a sharp kitchen knife. Scoop out the seeds, but don’t dig into the inner pulp. Oil the insides of the squash and place face down on a foil-covered baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove to a plate to cool until you can handle them.

About mid-way through the roasting time for the squash, begin preparing the broccoli. Place broccoli, oil, and garlic into an oven-safe pan or baking dish and toss until broccoli is coated. Put in the oven with the squash and roast until it is fork tender but still crisp. This should be about 15 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil then add the chicken cubes. Cook until lightly browned, but not overdone, then remove to a plate to rest.

In the same skillet, add the ingredients for the peanut sauce and stir together with a wooden spoon. Add as much water as needed to keep it a smooth, pourable sauce. Do not cook at this point.

Using a fork, rake the insides of the squash to loosen the noodles. It will shred easily and yield about two cups of noodles.

When the broccoli comes out of the oven, add the chicken to the peanut sauce and warm over low heat. Stir in the broccoli with salt and pepper and coat the chicken and broccoli.

Serve over the spaghetti squash and garnish with chopped green onions and roasted peanuts. Makes four servings.

Beginning with this recipe, I am posting more nutrition information for those who need a little more detail. For those who just want the nitty-gritty net carb total, this dish is 8.9 net carbs per serving.

Nutrition Thai Chicken

Go Far Exotic with Tasty Chicken Tikka Masala

Photo: Chicken Tikka Masala

I am a big fan of Indian food, but I haven’t delved into making it too much. Mostly, I’ve added a little garam masala to season chicken. When I spotted this recipe from skinnytaste.com, I decided to give it a try. First I adjusted a few things in it to make it lower in carbohydrates than the original. One thing I swapped out was to replace the yogurt with sour cream, which is lower in carbs. I used fewer tomatoes for the same reason, and I added in green beans to add a little more flavor and a pop of color.

This is very easy to make and tastes delicious, although, like many things with spices in them, the leftovers taste better than the original dish as they’ve had time to sit and for the flavors to fully develop in the sauce. So, the best bet is to make it the day before you want to serve it and reheat it that day. Or, just make the sauce and refrigerate it, then warm it up, add the chicken and beans, and you’re ready for a fresh meal with deep flavor.

I served mine over one-half cup of riced cauliflower, but you could also use riced kohlrabi or angel hair shredded cabbage as a base. The cauliflower and kohlrabi are available in frozen packages or you can make your own.

Chicken Tikka Masala

2 tsp Canola Oil or Butter
1 small Onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon Ginger Paste
1 tablespoon Garlic, minced
1 cup canned Tomatoes, crushed or diced
1 cup frozen Green Beans
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Chicken Broth or Bullion
1 tablespoon ground Cumin
1 tablespoon Garam Masala
1 teaspoon Turmeric
1/2 tablespoon Chili Powder
Salt to taste
24 ounces boneless chicken breasts (about three large)
4 tbsp fresh Cilantro or Parsley
3 cups Riced Cauliflower or Kohlrabi

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Set aside in the refrigerator until needed.

In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, then add the onions and cook until softened and aromatic. Add the ginger paste and garlic and cook another two minutes. Add in the spices and mix well, cooking two minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, sour cream, and broth or bullion mix. Stir to mix well. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Add chicken pieces and stir into the sauce and simmer another 10 minutes, then add the green beans. Cook five or ten minutes more until the chicken is completely cooked and the green beans are hot.

Serve over 1/2 cup of riced cauliflower or kohlrabi or over lightly cooked angel hair cabbage.

Makes 6 servings

Nutrition Information per serving: (without riced cauliflower)
Calories: 291.4 Fat: 17.0 g Net Carbs: 6.9 g Protein: 27.0 g

Did you try making this dish? Let me know what you think!

Taste of the Orient in Broccoli Pork Stir Fry

Chinese food, Thai food, Indian food– I love it all.  The flavors are just so satisfying.  I had just seen a post for Broccoli Beef on the Chinese Quest website the day before I made this and I thought, “Why not use the pork I had on hand instead of beef?”  So, I did,  This recipe isn’t exactly like the one at Chinese Quest, so be sure to check out that recipe as well.

I served this over Cauli-rice, which is a simple to make and very tasty alternative to rice.  It makes a great and satisfying meal.

Broccoli Pork Stir Fry

12 oz. Pork Ribs, country style
2 cups Broccoli, frozen or fresh
1 1/2 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1 teaspoons Ginger Paste
1/2 cup Mushrooms, sliced.
1/4 cup Onions, sliced or chopped
1/2 large Sweet peppers, sliced
1/4 cup Baby Corn, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon Chicken bullion or 1/2cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/2 tablespoon Sherry, dry
1 teaspoon Vinegar
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
2 tablespoons Oil

Cut pork into bite-sized cubes. Mix together soy sauce, sherry, and 1 teaspoon vinegar with one tablespoon oil Add the pork and mix it around. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the ‘fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

In a wok or slope-sided deep skillet, heat the oil, then add the minced garlic and onions and stir until they begin to brown. Remove from pan or slide it to one side and add the marinated pork. Brown the pork, then add the onions and garlic back in along with the ginger paste, broccoli, and sweet peppers.

Cook and stir until the broccoli is hot and still a little raw. Add the mushrooms and baby corn and stir them in. Mix the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix the chicken bullion with 1/4 cup hot water. Add the bullion and mix into the wok. Stir and cook the vegetables about three more minutes, then add the cornstarch mixture. This will thicken the sauce a little. Cook until the broccoli is just fork tender, then serve over cauli-rice.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Info per serving (without cauli-rice):
Calories: 308 Fat: 18.7 g Net Carbs: 6.9 g Protein: 23.9 g

Be sure to ask any questions you might have about this recipe or share your thoughts on it or if you’ve made other changes.

Sweet and Spicy Pork is Cool and Easy

On hot summer nights, you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen cooking and you don’t want to turn on the oven. Here’s a quick stir fry recipe that just fits the bill. You can prep the meal in the morning or the night before and store in the ‘fridge until you’re ready to cook. It has a great sweet and spicy taste from low carb honey and brown sugar substitute combined with Chinese style chili sauce. Just enough bite to give it zing and not too sweet. Add cauli-rice to serve and a nice green or cucumber salad to complete the meal. By the way, this recipe also works great with the other white meat – chicken!

Sweet & Spicy Pork

1 tablespoon Brown Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoons Sugar-free honey
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
2 teaspoons Ginger Paste
2 teaspoons chopped Garlic
2 tablespoons Chinese Chili Sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound boneless Country Pork Ribs, cut into 1″ cubes
3 Green Onions, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
1 tablespoon Oil (Olive or Coconut or Canola)

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar substitute (I use LC Foods), sugar-free honey, soy sauce, ginger paste, garlic and hot sauce. Cover with a plastic wrap until ready to use.

Lightly salt and pepper the pork cubes. Slice the onions, using most of the green sections as well as the bottoms.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over a medium high heat and add the onions. Cook and stir for about three minutes, then add the pork and brown the pieces on all sides. Takes about 4 to 5 minutes total. Pour the sauce over the pork and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Serve over 1/2 to 2/3 cup Cauli-rice for a fabulous meal. As an alternate to the cauli-rice, you can also serve over 1 cup stir-fried shredded cabbage or even mix the two for added flavor.

Nutrition Info per serving (pork dish only):
Calories: 365 Fat: 25.5 g Net Carbs:1.6 g Protein: 28.3 g

Tip: If you can’t find sugar-free honey, you can use 1 tablespoon regular honey. It will increase the net carbs to 6.4 g and calories to 385 per serving.

Simply Yummy Snow Peas

They have a nice snap and a sweet taste and make a wonderful addition to Chinese food, curries, and other vegetable combinations. Best of all, as far as peas go, they are reasonably low in carbohydrates. I most associate snow peas with Chinese food, but they can be used in any way you would use other peas. Experiment with them.

Although the snow pea originated in the Mediterranean region and were a popular variety of pea in the 19th century, they migrated to China where they quickly became the preferred pea and a key ingredient in Oriental cuisine. They thrive in a cool climate and should be picked five to seven days after flowering when they are at their peak flavor.

The French call the snow pea the mange-tout, meaning “eat it all” as it is one of only two pea varieties that you can eat the pod. The other pea with an edible pod is the sugar snap pea, although the snow pea has the more delicate pod. Easily recognized, snow peas have pale green pods that hold the small, flattened peas and are about two to three inches in length.

You can buy snow peas either fresh or frozen year round. Add them to stews in the winter or to salads in the summer. Delicious either way.

Nutrition information for 1 cup (98 g)
Calories: 41 Fat: 0 Net Carbs: 4 Protein: 3

Recipes:

Here’s a couple of recipes from Skinny Girl Bistro that feature snowpeas.

Cauliflower and Snow Peas Curry
Summer Harvest Cauli-risotto

Information for this article was taken from Specialty ProduceSelf Nutrition Data,  and Wikipedia.

Top photo is from Wikimedia, used with permission – By Rob Duval (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0