You don’t have to be boring with the Slow Carb Diet.
It doesn’t take long to go from being repetitive to being creative. Even though I am huge fan of Irish beef, I became tired of eating skirt steak with just salt and pepper. While game meats were more exciting, the real deal was when I tried Montreal steak rub, as well as a combination I called “CRP”, cumin, rosemary, and paprika.
It’s delicious, and it’s also biochemically beneficial for your heart health and anti-inflammatory.
Slow-Carb meals can sometimes be a form of culinary deja vu for many people, especially bachelors who are not chefs. This often comes with common frustrations for beginners:
How can I have coffee without milk? (Answer: cinnamon and/or vanilla extract)
– What can you put on your eggs? (Answer: Read this post)
These solutions are not difficult to find. Along with our qualified chef, we will be focusing on spices in this post. It includes beginner tips, a recipe experiment, and a shopping guide.
I found the Slow-Carb Diet to be very boring. Simplicity doesn’t have to be boring. Healthy food can be fun and tasty especially in Dublin, we have some of the healthiest meal delivery in Ireland.
You can create amazing dishes and a whole new world of flavour if you’re willing to learn about seasoning.
Five Tips to Overcome Boredom with the Slow-Carb Diet and eating healthy
1. Salt & pepper are the foundation
This is one of the most important and oldest tricks in the book. It is vital to properly season your food to maximize flavor. You don’t have to worry about high sodium intake. The amount of sodium you will be adding is minimal compared with what food manufacturers put in. Salt should be added to slow-cooked dishes early so that it can spread throughout the dish. Seasoning other dishes at the end is a good idea.
2. Get the power of acid
Although the Thai people are warm and charming, I discovered this balance during my time as a winemaker.
We did many experiments at winemaking school where we would “doctor” a wine with different acid levels. Then, we would taste and decide which of the samples was best. It was amazing to observe the effect of sourness on the wine. The wine would taste brighter and more alive if it had the right acid level. It would sing.
This is how I learned to cook. If something tastes a bit stale or has lost its freshness, I add some vinegar or lemon juice. This will make a huge difference in the taste of wilted spinach or steam vegetables.
3. With humble soy sauce, unleash umami (a flavour explosion).
The fifth taste, umami, was first recognised by the Japanese. Also known as “savouriness”, it is also called “savouriness”. Delicious tasting foods high in umami components include beef, tomatoes, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese.
Soy sauce is believed to have been invented by Buddhist monks in order to make vegetarian food taste like meat. Umami is the key to soy sauce. A little bit of it can transform almost any dish (not only Asian dishes) into an umami explosion.
4. Chilli adds depth
A little chilli can give you a wonderful warm feeling. It’s not about how hot it is, but it’s more about the warmth and being able to enjoy what you’re eating. Dave’s 6-chilli pepper flake shaker is a good choice for various heat levels.
5. Spices & herbs – The accessories for the kitchen
You can have fun with spices and herbs. A pinch of curry powder can transport your taste buds to India. However, the same dish with chili, lime, fresh cilantro and fresh cilantro can take you to Acapulco. For more inspiration on how herbs or spices can be used, see the suggestions below.
Here are some suggestions for starting experiments to try
Beef and broccoli stir-fry with beans
Serves 1-2[5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
You can adjust the seasoning to suit your taste. Because they look great, I prefer dried chilli flakes. But you can also use whole dried chilies and chili powder.
You can substitute fresh broccoli for 1 to 2 heads, chopped into florets. I used white cannellini beans, but you could also use pinto beans, black beans, and so on. They are all equally delicious.
Ground beef, preferably Irish, 1 450g.
450g, bag frozen broccoli
1 to 2 teaspoons dried chilli flake
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 can of beans 400g, well-drained
Heat a large skillet or wok on high heat. Then, add a few tablespoons macadamia oil or peanut oil to the pan.
Stir the beef in a little oil and fry it for about 5 minutes.
Add the broccoli to the beef when it is no longer pink. Cover the pan with foil, a baking sheet or lid and let it cook on high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Test the broccoli by stirring. The broccoli should be bright green with no visible ice in the middle. Continue cooking for about a minute longer if it is still cold.
Stir in chilli and soy sauce. Mix well and taste. Add more salt or soy to give it a taste boost. The chilli should be heated to the same degree as the soy sauce.
Add the drained beans. Stir until beans become warm.
To help you understand the steps, here is a video version:
Alternative Serving Suggestions
After you have mastered the basics, you can make it more interesting by changing the way you cook your meal. You’d be amazed at how much this dish can change with just a few tweaks.
Option #1: Beef and broccoli on a bed made of mashed beans
Instead of adding the beans in step 6, you can crush the beans with a fork. Then, add some olive oil to the beans. Add the beef and broccoli to the mash. The beans will be warmed by the heat of the stir-fry.
Option #2: Beef and beans with steamed broccoli on the side
This is a great option for those who are shy about eating greens. You can either microwave the broccoli for 4-5 mins or boil it for 3 minutes, then drain. Follow the recipe for beef and beans, except skip steps 4 and 5.
Option #3: Beef served on a bed made of mashed beans and steamed broccoli.
Use a fork to crush the beans. Add a few drops of olive oil. The broccoli can be microwaved separately or boiled for 3 minutes. Follow the directions above to cook beef. Serve the beef with mash and broccoli.
Bonus: Essentials to a Perfect Pantry
The following list will help you get started in building your pantry.
Salt. Salt flakes such as Maldon are my favourite. They have a large flake structure that is ideal for crushing over last-minute meals. Iodised salt is great if you don’t eat seafood and can be used to treat hypothyroidism. Plain kosher salt can also be a delicious option.
Pepper. A disposable container of peppercorns purchased from the supermarket is sufficient if you don’t have a pepper grinder. There is no substitute for freshly ground pepper. Black peppercorns are my preference, as I don’t like the unpleasant odor of white pepper.
Sauces. A bottle of soy sauce is a great way to start. It’s not just for Asian-inspired dishes. You can also use it as a substitute for salt when you desire a stronger, more savoury flavour. A bottle of Sriracha will satisfy your cravings for spicy foods. Thai food lovers will love oyster sauce.
Spices. Slow down. Start with chilli powder, dried chilli flakes or whole chilies. Next, add 1-2 of these ingredients to your pantry:
Ground cumin. Mix one tablespoon of this oil with an equal amount olive oil and use it to marinate your meat before you cook. Hummus can also be enhanced with a pinch of cumin.
Ground coriander. Sprinkle it on cooked pork or fish. You can also add it to your spinach after microwaving.
– Curry powder. Before heating lentils for lunch, add a few tablespoons. I love adding a little to my scrambled egg.
– Smoked paprika. You can use it as a dry rub for chicken before grilling. It can also be used with tomato-based dishes.
Acids. Vinegar is the best because it can last for many years. You can choose from balsamic, red or sherry vinegar. For a sugar-free, instant salad dressing, combine 1 part vinegar and 2 parts olive oil. Warm canned lentils can be brought to life by adding a tablespoon of vinegar to the mixture.
Citrus juice has a refreshing flavour that is hard to beat. Our experiments also showed that lemon juice can lower your glycemic response. For drizzling on cooked spinach, I keep a few lemons in my fridge. You can also use lime to give your home a Mexican flair.
Herbs. Dried herbs can make everything taste like stale marijuana. You should avoid herbs until you are ready to grow your own plants in a window box or handle fresh herbs. For their wonderful freshness, you can start with basil (great with any tomato-based dish) or cilantro (coriander).
Any other tip? I keep canned tomatoes and tomato paste in my pantry. Also, I have a jar full of roasted red bell peppers. They are not seasonings but can be used to add variety and some instant veg. A pesto jar can also be a delicious flavour addition.