Split peas with garlic and mint

Based on this recipe. I’ve enjoyed the original recipe from From Curries to Kebabs, even though I mostly made it with dried mint. Right now, I have a ridiculous amount of mint in my garden, so I decided to try it again. It’s great, even with the change to split peas.

Obviously, neither split peas nor lentils is a low carb food, but I was cooking with a friend so I was a bit more flexible. I probably ate 1/4 of the recipe, so maybe 20 net carbs, and the rest of the day was relatively low carb.

You could certainly increase the fat further (deliciously) by using more butter. I ate this with raita (in this case, drained yogurt mixed with grated cucumber, finely grated garlic, and salt).

2 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee

2 cloves of garlic, crushed to a pulp

2 cloves of garlic, sliced along their length into 3 wide slivers

3/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 cup dry split peas

1/2 tsp turmeric

salt

4 tbsp finely chopped mint

2 cloves of garlic, minced

4 dried red chiles, broken in half and seeds shaken out

a tablespoon or two of butter (the original recipe called for ghee but butter worked fine)

METHOD:

1. Put the oil, first two amounts of garlic, and cayenne in a pan.

2. When it starts to sizzle, stir once or twice, and add split peas, turmeric and 750 ml water. Stir, bring to boil, and reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for about 55 min or until the split peas are tender.

3. After the split peas are nearly done, add salt to taste and mint. Stir and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt.

4. To make the tarka, put the butter in a pan, and add garlic and dried chiles. When the garlic starts turning golden, empty the contents of the pan into the pan with lentils, and put the lid on tight for a minute. Then, stir the dal for the flavours to combine. 

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TOPS weigh-in – down 2 1/2 lbs to 214.5 lbs

I missed TOPS last week and was happy to find that this week I was down 2 1/2 lbs over the two weeks. I thought I’d be up based on the fit of a particular pair of shorts, but since I’ve switched to summer clothes in the last couple weeks and picked up some new shorts, it’s not too surprising that the fit of shorts is not a reliable indicator of weight.

TOPS has a summer challenge where you put in $3 and commit to losing a certain amount of weight between the end of June and the end of September, I believe. If you succeed, you get some sort of prize. I don’t often buy in to things like that so I’m unlikely to do this one, but it did make me wonder what weight I might predict for that time. My weight loss over my time at TOPS averages 0.4 lbs per week. (I track it on the same spreadsheet I use to make the graph below.) On the other hand, my weight loss since I lost my job has averaged 1 lb per week. If I keep up the same pace, I could weigh between 197 lbs and 208 lbs, either of which would be pretty darned exciting. (It’s been a very, very long time since I weighed under 200 lbs.)

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Low carb dogs eat liver

Normally I buy chicken or duck liver from the Chinese market for 99 cents a pound but they’ve been out lately and it often costs twice at much at other stores. Today, I noticed that pork liver only costs $1.29 per pound, so that’s what they’ll bee eating for the next couple days.

I try to give them a meal or two of liver a week, on average. Sometimes they get it as just liver for the meat portion of their meal, sometimes it’s mixed in with chicken or fish, and sometimes it’s mixed in with tofu. I’m very lucky that they like everything and don’t have issues digesting any of these combinations.

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Flax-rhubarb squares

Based on this recipe. I’m out of ground almonds (or plain almonds I can grind) so I was looking for a recipe that doesn’t require almond flour. I didn’t find any rhubarb ones that appealed, but figured that subbing it in for cranberries would work well.

I like the balance of sweetness and tartness in this recipe, and I think that the rhubarb goes well with flax. The texture is a bit creamy although I’d argue it’s fully cooked. It tastes best toasted.

As always with flax-based recipes, remember that 1/8 of the recipe contains over 2 Tbsp. of ground flax and go easy on your portion sizes for the sake of your digestion! (Yes, I ate a piece, thought “I’d like another” but decided against based on past experience.)

I’ve been avoiding making muffins because I only have a six muffins tin, but I watched a Good Eats in which Alton used heatsafe mugs instead of muffin cups. I tried that the second time I made this recipe and it worked pretty well. (I preheated the oven with Corelle mugs on a baking sheet in it, then took the mugs out, buttered them, and filled them halfway with muffin batter. I slid a knife around the edges of the muffins after they came out to loosen them. The recipe made 6 fairly large muffins.)

  • 1 cup diced rhubarb (I chose small, pink stalks and diced them small)
  • 1 1/4 cup flax seed meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 3 packets sodium cyclamate sweetener, or 2 Tbsp. Sugar Twin
  • 2 Tbsp. generic splenda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Liberally butter a 9×9 pan.
  3. Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then mix them together with the rhubarb.
  4. Let mixture stand for 10 minutes to thicken.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake about 15 minutes (a little longer if you’re only making 12) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Keeps up to a week in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.

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Pizza

I made this pizza for supper tonight. My change was to use 1/3 cup, packed, of grated mozzarella instead of the parmesan. I topped it with satay sauce, hot peppers, roasted garlic, and mozzarella. I found it a bit dry and crumbly, which could have been caused by the cheese substitution. Back to the drawing board!

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Meatball and Tomato cabbage

Based on this recipe. I started making the egg and tomato cabbage then remembered the homemade, cooked meatballs I had in the freezer and decided to use them.
Put neutral oil in a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon each minced garlic and ginger, and cook for 15 seconds; add shredded savoy cabbage (1 small cabbage). Season with salt, pepper, fish sauce or soy sauce, and vinegar or citrus juice. Once cabbage is soft and slightly brown, add 1 cup chopped tomatoes and several cooked meatballs, quartered. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meatballs are heated through. Add chopped chives and stir through. Drizzle on sriracha at the end.

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