Wednesday, July 21st 2004

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Low-Carb Diet: Enjoy the flavors of summertime

TODAY’S LESSON: The vegetables and herbs of summer are bursting with flavor. Today we will capture the peak of summer’s freshness off the grill in an elegant but fast dish.

VEGETABLES AND CARBS: Vegetables can contribute quite a load of carbohydrates, especially at the peak of the season. Carbohydrates are naturally developed along with flavor, so the more tasty your vegetables, the higher the carbs.

Red and orange vegetables typically have the highest carbohydrate content, followed by yellow vegetables, then the green ones.

CHOOSE YOUR FAVORITES: Today we are going to cook with a couple of the most popular vegetables, tomatoes and sweet peppers. Both have their share of carbohydrates but we will use them effectively to make a great meal within our dietary goals.

SELECT YOUR TOMATOES: Look for heirloom varieties that are ripe with yellow, orange or even green colors. Green, yellow and orange-colored tomatoes have 40 to 60 percent of the carbs of a similar-sized vine-ripened red tomato.

Never, and I mean never, refrigerate tomatoes because the cooler temperature robs them of their full natural flavors. Store them in cool room temperatures, out of direct sunlight, and preferably without touching each other.

SPICE IS NICE: For the chicken, the little tenders that are under the breast are the best. You can buy them separate from the breasts in most supermarkets and are worth the few cents more in yield and tenderness. They are ready to cook once you remove the white coarse connecting tissue found at the broad end of the tender; just trim and discard.

TRICKS OF THE TRADE: The best flavor comes from fresh spices. Spices are best stored out of direct light and in a cool area; never over or on the back of your stove. Heat and sunlight cause them to quickly deteriorate and lose their true flavor.

TRY YOUR TECHNIQUE: Try Spicy Chicken Tender Stack with Heirloom Tomato Salad for a vibrant taste of summer.

Spicy Chicken Tender Stack With Heirloom Tomato Salad

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

1/4 cup olive oil (C=0g)
1 tablespoon ground coriander, toasted (C=.9g)
1 tablespoon ground cumin, toasted (C=.9g)
1 tablespoon paprika (C=.9g)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (C=.2g)
2 pounds of chicken breast tenders, boneless and skinless, trimmed of little white coarse connective tissue at broad end (C=0g)
Sea salt (C=0g)
2 medium, ripe yellow heirloom tomatoes, core removed, cut into 4 slices each (C=8.2g)
2 medium, ripe green heirloom tomatoes, core removed, cut into 4 slices each (C=6.8g)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (C=4g)
1/4 cup basil- or garlic-flavored extra virgin olive oil (C=0g)
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives (C=.1g)
1 red bell pepper, roasted on grill until the skin is blackened, peeled, cored and cut into fine dice (C=3g about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup chiffonade of fresh basil (C=.8g)

Instructions: Preheat the grill.

In shallow pan, pour the plain olive oil. Add coriander, cumin, paprika and half of black pepper. Add chicken, season generously with salt, mixing to thoroughly coat in the spices. Keep refrigerated until ready to cook.

On each of 4 serving plates, alternate 2 slices of yellow tomato and 2 slices of green tomato. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Reserve at room temperature.

In small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, basil oil, chives and red bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Adjust grill up or away from the heat. Brush grill grate to ensure it is clean. With tightly rolled piece of paper toweling dipped in olive oil, carefully brush grill grates to "season."

Place chicken tenders on grill, paying particular attention to flame-ups which would burn the spices, cooking until well seared but not burnt, about 3 minutes.

Turn chicken tenders over and close the grill or cover with oven-proof lid to allow heat to intensify and penetrate. Cook until done, about 2 minutes, depending on thickness of the tenders. Transfer to a clean plate and divide into 4 equal servings.

To serve: Position two of the chicken tenders, side by side, laying from 6 to 12 o’clock in the center of your heirloom tomato circle. Position the next two chicken tenders, laying perpendicular and atop the first set of tenders.

Position the next two chicken tenders like the first set, atop the second set of chicken tenders to form a stack. Repeat with the remaining chicken tenders to complete the plates.

Spoon the pepper vinaigrette over the chicken and tomatoes. Sprinkle the chiffonade of basil over the chicken and tomatoes. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings of under 7 grams carbohydrates each.

Low Carb Sugar Free Almond-Flour Pound Cake
Makes approximately 6 servings

Ingredients :
1 C butter
1 C Steviva Blend or equivalent
5 eggs
2 C almond flour
1 t baking powder
1 t lemon extract
1 t vanilla extract

Cream butter and Steviva Blend or equivalent well. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Mix flour with baking powder and add to egg mixture a little at a time while beating. Add lemon and vanilla extracts. Pour into greased 9" cake pan and bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes. Garnish with fresh berries.

Carbohydrates per Serving : 2.42 - Carbohydrates per Serving minus Fiber: 1.98

For More Low Carb and Sugar Free Recipes Go To Steviva Recipes!

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