Thai Green Curry Chicken Skewers with Ginger “Quinoa”



Sometimes, especially when I’m busy, I lack creativity and ideas.  This is when I pull out my favourite cook books.  I have many favourite authors, but my go-to recipes are always by Donna Hay, Jamie Oliver and Giada DiLaurentiis.  When I flip through the pages of these cookbooks, I salivate because the food looks so fresh, flavourful and satisfying.  Although these particular chefs have healthy ideas, their recipes aren’t particularly low-carb.  So this is where I work my magic.  So today, I’m taking liberties with Donna Hay’s recipe of the same name from her latest cook book, Fresh and Light.


My biggest change?  I didn’t use quinoa.  I used cauliflower.  This recipe is super filling because you really can eat as much cauliflower as you want with good conscience.  You’re also getting a nice big dose of protein because each serving is a whole chicken breast.

Why you should eat this :

1. Protein.  You need protein to build those nice, lean, sexy muscles and to recover quickly from your workouts. It also is satisfying, so you won’t need a midnight snack if this is your dinner.

2. Cauliflower.  A.k.a. cruciferous vegetables.  These should be a part of every diet where fat-loss and an increase in muscle are the goals. Just ask Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper. They both encourage eating these every day. Aside from all the nutrients cruciferous veggies provide, they may also increase testosterone.  This might sound scary for the ladies, however, this is a good thing for burning fat, increaseing muscle, and generally having an elevated motivation for physical activity. So eat up!

What you need :

  • 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream
  • 4 chicken breasts sliced as evenly as possible into strips
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • a head of cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon of finely grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • lime cheeks and extra coriander to serve

How to make it :

1.  Soak your skewers!  If you’re using wooden rather than metal skewers, you must soak them for a long time.  I soaked them for 30 minutes and this wasn’t even close to being enough time.  At least an hour should help to prevent the skewers from burning.

2.  Start with your washed head of cauliflower.  Put it in the food processor on the grater setting.  I don’t have one of these nifty kitchen appliances, so I went to my mom’s house and used hers. This will save you so much time.  Honestly if I tried to grate it all by hand it would probably take me at least 15 minutes.  With the processor it was about 2.  The entire head yielded about 4-5 cups of shredded cauliflower “quinoa.”


3. Make sure your chicken breasts are evenly sliced.  Mine weren’t, which lead to a bit of a hassle when it came to grilling them.  I made 4 slices per breast, but feel free to make more.  With the topping for the chicken, the meat stays nice and moist even if you cook them well and have small pieces.  IMG_0132

4. With that out of the way, mix up the coconut cream and the curry paste.  I used these brands and they worked well and tasted amazing:


The creamed coconut has almost the consistency of lard, so it’s a bit finicky to mix it, but it’s definitely worth it in the end because it tastes so good.


5. Now it’s time to smear it all over those breasts.  You’ve really got to work it in so that every square millimetre of surface area is covered to maximize the flavour.


I know it looks a bit nasty, but it smells delicious!

6.  Now time to skewer the meat.  Make sure you do it well so that the meat stays on the skewer throughout the grilling and eating process. I sort of weaved mine onto the skewers.


7.  Onto the grill!  I preheated my grill for about 10 minutes on high and then reduced the head to medium high.  The pieces are small enough that they cook through fairly quickly so a hot grill is ok.


Grill for 5-7 minutes and then flip and cook for another 5.

8. Meanwhile, we can get going on the “quinoa” which isn’t really quinoa.  Now I know that quinoa is a super trendy health food with a very high protein content considering that it’s a grain.  My thing about quinoa is that it’s quite calorie dense and I don’t really care about it as a source of protein because I eat meat.  Not to mention the fact that it only has about 5 grams of protein per serving, when I’m looking a whole lot more than that for my meal.  So anyway, enough about that.  In a pre-heated pan on medium heat, heat some olive oil (or grape-seed or whatever you want).  Then add in your cauliflower and sauté.  Then add in your tablespoon of ginger, green onions and sesame oil.  Once some of the cauliflower gets a bit golden, add in your cilantro and then remove it from the heat.  This doesn’t need a ton of cooking time, really the purpose of the sauté is to add flavour and to mix all of these beautiful ingredients together.


9.  Plate it up and enjoy!  This made 4 meals for me, each serving with a mountain of cauliflower “quinoa.”


Taco-less Salad


So I fell off the wagon a little bit.  This weekend was my 30th birthday.  So it was a little bit excessive.  But awesome.  And worth it.  But now’s the time to get back on to continue with my progress.  Just a little update – I’ve gone down 2 sizes since I started eating this way.  So it works!

Recently, I’ve started to try to go a little lighter on the fats.  Some fats are good, but perhaps, in the long run, the quantities of saturated fats that I’ve been consuming might do more harm than good.

The following recipe is a result of this lower-fat variation on my diet.  It has nice bright flavours that make you happy to eat.



  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 450 g ground meat – I used chicken
  • 1 tsp each of cayenne pepper, dried oregano, ground cumin, ground coriander
  • 5 mini-sweet peppers – or 2 large bell peppers – I used orange and red ones
  • 1 large lime
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt – I used course sea salt
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • a good amount of fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 head ice burg lettuce
  • 1/2 romaine lettuce
  • 4 tbsp 0.5% pressed cottage cheese (you could probably also use light feta)


1. Turn up the heat on a large frying pan.  Add non stick cooking spray lightly – maybe 2 seconds worth.

2.  Chop onions as small as you want.  I had the patience and skill to do this:


It all shrinks down in the end.  But if you want it to sort of melt into the ground meat, then go smaller.  Add to the pan.

3. Cook onion for about 5 minutes over medium heat.


4.  Mince garlic as small as you can and add to the pan.  Cook for about 2 minute and then add the meat.  Cook in the pan for another few minutes – til it starts to brown.


5.  Add the spice blend.  Oregano, cumin, coriander, cayenne.  At this point you could add a bit of salt too.  I didn’t though – with the delicious salsa that’s coming up next, I found the seasoning was great.


6.  Give a good stir and then add 1/4 cup of water.  Let this cook for another 10 minutes or until all water is evaporated and the meat is cooked through.  Then shut off the stove and let it stand while you assemble the rest of the salad ingredients.

7.  For the salsa, finely chop all peppers – the jalapeños more finely than the sweet bells.


7.  Chop cilantro and add.  Squeeze all the juice from the lime over and add in your tsp of salt.  Mix it up.  Taste it.  Mmmmm.


8. Remove the flesh of the avocado from the peel and the pit.  Slice/chop it and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over it to prevent it from turning brown.  I feel justified adding in a high-fat ingredient like an avocado because we’ve skipped on the fat elsewhere in this recipe.


9.  Chop the lettuce.  I chopped it into 1 inch by 1 inch squares.

10.  Assemble!  You can do this all on one plate to present to a small crowd or you can plate it up in individual portions on 4 plates.  Start with the lettuces, then  pile on the beef.  Then 1/4 of the avocado mixture and the salsa.  Top it off with the cottage cheese – which adds salt and texture and it also looks nice.  Dig in!

Zucchini Pasta with Kale Pesto


Trying to maintain a low-carb diet, but craving something Italian?  Well you’re in luck.  Here is an alternative to pasta that’s delicious and packed full of good stuff.


This pesto would be really good on practically anything.  I made two batches of it, so I’m thinking that sometime this week, I’ll grill some white fish and top it with this delicious pesto.

For the Pesto:


  • 1/3 bunch of kale
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 glove of garlic (or 2 if they’re small)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste


1. Wash and take the ribs out of 1/3 of a bunch of kale.


2. Pack as much kale as you can into the food processor.


3. Process Kale until it it’s in little tiny pieces.

4. Toast almonds on high heat.  This doesn’t take long.  Just do it until you can smell the nuttiness and you can start to see a little colour.


5. Peel the glove of garlic and toss it in the processor.  Add in the almonds, oil and a good amount of salt.  Blend.


This makes a delicious, thick, flavourful pesto.

For the Pasta:


  • Zucchini (4 small)
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp corriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • pesto (1 full recipe)
  • roasted red peppers (optional)
  • green onion (optional)


1. Cut ends off zucchini.


2. Thinly slice zucchini lengthwise.  I used a mandolin for this step.



3.  Take the thick slices, stack them and slice them into noodles.


4. Put raw chicken on a cutting board, cover with parchment or wax paper and pound it with your fists or whatever instrument you wish until it comes out nice and uniform in thickness.  This makes it cook faster and more evenly and makes it more tender and juicy.


5. Season the breast with the spice.  It seems like a lot, but it makes a nice coating which becomes crispy on the grill.


6.  I used my George Foreman grill on medium low heat to grill this.  You could also pan sear it in what ever fat you like or do it on a barbeque.


7.  When the chicken has char marks, it’s done.  Take it off the heat and let it rest for a while.


8.  Toss the zucchini noodles with whatever low-carb veggies you like (I think roasted red peppers would be amazing) and the pesto. I don’t bother cooking the zucchini.  I think it’s pretty good as is.


9.  Cut up the chicken and toss into the pasta.  Then eat up!  I’m looking forward to having this for my lunch, probably for most of the week.


Cilantro lime chicken salad


This delicious salad is inspired by Mexican flavours.  I needed something to remind me of somewhere hot while I’m being tortured by this long Canadian winter.  After going for nearly two weeks with very little carbs, these sweet potatos are a welcome treat.  Only to be eaten after 4:00PM, this salad is a great dinner option.

chicken salad

You’ll have to excuse the quality of the image.  I’m brand spanking new to food photography.  I’m new to any kind of photography for that matter.  But the dish itself was delicious, satisfying and helped to lift my mood because it has some feel-good carbs.  So here we go:

Ingredients and instructions:

Makes 4 servings.


  • 1/4 cup Mayo (see recipe below)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

To make: mix all ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste.


***I don’t use store-bought mayonnaise because there’s sugar in it.  No matter which one.  I’ve looked at all the labels.  The key here, is to avoid sugar.  So here is one way to avoid sugar.

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup oil (I used extra-virgin olive)
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • juice of 1 lemon

To make: blend egg, mustard and lemon in a food processor.  Keep the processor whizzing away until it’s frothy. Starting a few drops at a time, blend in oil.  Drizzle oil into the food processor very slowly!!!  Once all oil is incorporated, it should come together and look like a thick, yellow mayonnaise.  Keep the rest to make deviled eggs or to make a dip for veggies.


  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

To make: preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a pan on the stove-top, melt 1 tbsp coconut oil. Season breasts with the remaining ingredients. Sear breasts in a very hot pan.  Once the outside is brown on both sides, put the pan into the oven (if oven proof) or transfer chicken to a pan and put in the oven until cooked through (10 minutes??).  Once completed, let rest for a bit and then slice.

Sweet Potato:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped to 2cm cubes (roughly – doesn’t have to be perfect)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

To make: preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss potatoes with the remaining ingredients. Put on a baking sheet and put into the oven for approximately 20 minutes.  When done, they should be starting to brown and they should be nice and soft in the middle.


  • 1 cup chopped coriander
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1 avocado, chopped with juice of lime squeezed over it to prevent it from turning brown

To make:  Combine all ingredients in same bowl that dressing was made in.  Coat with dressing.

Feel free to double up on all of the salad items (except avocado) if you want to have a little more bulk to the meal.


Plate the salad, then add in chicken and potatoes.  Squeeze a generous amount of lime juice over everything.  Yummy!