Low carb: recipes to help you reduce the carbohydrates in your diet, 240pp.
by The Australian Women’s Weekly Kitchens
Bauer Media Books, Sydney, 2016
Cooking on pages 32–33
People often turn to a low-carb diet as a way to lose or maintain weight. The theory is that by lowering carbs, you force your body to burn more fat. There is also a view that burning fat also slows digestion, meaning you feel full for longer.
Nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan, who wrote the introduction to this book, cautions that a low carb eating plan is not a license to eat. She recommends avoiding pre-packaged, processed foods. This book is filled with tempting recipes made from fresh ingredients.
Poor John and I have never followed such a diet, but I have friends who do. I checked this out of the local library, so I could compile a repertoire of suitable dishes.
Quinoa, zucchini and feta salad
3/4 cup (150g) white quinoa
1 1/2 cups (375ml) water
1/2 cup (70g) hazelnuts
2 medium zucchini (240g), cut into long thin strips
250g heirloom or mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 small red onion (50g), sliced thinly
100g feta, crumbled
1 cup loosely packed fresh small basil leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Rinse quinoa under cold water; drain well. Place in a medium saucepan with the water; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Transfer to a large serving bowl to cool.
Meanwhile, roast hazelnuts in a medium frying pan over medium heat for 4 minutes or until golden. Rub hot hazelnuts in a clean tea towel to remove most of the skin; discard skin. Coarsely chop nuts.
Add nuts to quinoa in bowl with zucchini, tomato, onion, half the feta and half the basil. Drizzle with combined oil and vinegar; toss gently to combine, season to taste. Serve topped with remaining feta and basil.
Use a julienne peeler, mandoline or V-slicer to cut the zucchini into long, thin strips, or coarsely grate it instead, if you prefer.
How it played out
I made this as written, using my scary mandoline to cut the zucchini. I have to admit that since starting this blog, I have become more confident with the mandoline. By the way, I wouldn’t grate the zucchini. It would make the salad too soggy. Also, my hazelnuts were already skinned and toasted so that saved a step.
Quinoa is so versatile. I often use it for people who have gluten issues. That wasn’t the case today. I served this with two other page-32 recipes—tomato and bread salad and spiced chicken. Coming soon.
Poor John and I are currently travelling in Vietnam. We’re here to visit our daughter, Petra, who is posted to the Australian Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City for several years. Hope you have time to check out my travel blog.