Thai Red Chicken Curry

 

From time to time, we have requests from our lovely readers for Thai curry. There are a quite a few types of curry that can be adapted to be keto-friendly. For today’s we post will talk about the most common curry you would find in any Thai restaurant, Red Curry.

 

Like all ethnic food, Thai food outside Thailand is always different from food you get in Thailand. The main reason is that some ingredients are not available outside the country and another reason being that the food are adjusted to suit foreigners’ taste bud. I am by no means an expert cook. The recipe given here, to the best of my knowledge, is how Thai curry is made. It might be different from what you have made or tasted, or maybe not. We have found that even in Thailand, the food these days are very sweet. There is sugar in everything. In this recipe we are trying to make it keto-friendly without compromising its authenticity.

If I were to make a proper curry, I would have to use fresh coconut milk and make curry paste from scratch. (I’ll be happy to post a recipe for curry paste if anyone would like it.) As of now let’s make it simple and use what’s readily available in your local stores. One word of advice is for you to try to buy products that are made in Thailand. They are of better quality and you get a more authentic flavor.

This curry recipe is just a basic guideline. The amount of ingredients can vary according to your preference. Nothing is written in stone. Your ingredients will be different from mine. Especially, when you use store-bought curry paste, not all two are the same so just use this recipe as a guide and feel free to make adjustment to suit.

The long and short of our curry ingredients are down below.

Let me direct your attention to that bunch of little green things on top of the picture below. They are pea eggplants. They might not be available in your area so please feel free to use any type of eggplant you can find. The common variety found here are in the picture below. All can be used in curry but the larger the eggplant, the milder the flavor.

The green leaves you see are sweet basil which is crucial. Thai curry is not complete without these beauties. You don’t need much because a little bit goes a long way. You can use your normal basil but it will not taste the same. Sweet basil has a distinctive aroma with a touch of licorice scent. It has purple flowers and the stem is also purple. Mine looks a bit sad because it’s been sitting out for a few days.

I threw in a few kaffir lime leaves and peppercorns here as well but it’s optional. There is chicken breast meat for convenience’s sake. But for more flavor you can use chicken thighs or drumstick on the bone. Traditionally, people would use whole chicken and cut them up in small pieces but who has the time to do that these days? You see we have a carton of coconut cream (250 ml). If your coconut milk comes in a can, it’s fine too. When you buy coconut milk or cream, pay attention to the label and try to get the one that contains no emulsifiers or thickening agents. You will find out why later in the post.

Above are two most popular brands of coconut milk/cream. We prefer the one on the right. It said ‘coconut cream’ on the carton. It’s somewhat thicker than regular coconut milk but won’t solidify when refrigerated. If you use something similar to the one on the right, you might need a little bit more coconut milk, maybe 25% more.

Once you get all your ingredients ready, let’s get started. Once again this is how Thai people make curry. It might be different from what you’ve seen on TV or read elsewhere. First we have to boil down the coconut milk on low heat till it reduces and turns into oil. Then you use that oil to sautée curry paste till well combined. The pictures below show the progression of the process. It goes counter-clockwise, starting from the bottom left.

If your coconut cream contains thickening agents, it will turn into goo instead of oil. In that case you would need to add 1 – 2 tablespoon of coconut oil to help it along because you need the oil to sautée the curry paste.

Once you have got your curry paste well mix with the oil, turn up the heat and in goes the chicken. You won’t have to thoroughly cook the chicken. Just sautée till it is opaque then pour in the rest of the coconut milk. Crank up the heat to high and let it come to rolling boil for a few minutes to make sure chicken is cooked (notice the layer of fat floating on top, that’s a good sign) then add the eggplants. Let it come to boil again and at this point, give your curry a little bit of taste. We normally don’t add much salt because our curry paste has a fair bit of salt in it already. If it’s not salty enough then yo add salt, or fish sauce if you like. I personally don’t like fish sauce so I would normally use chicken stock cube. According to my dad, red curry would need no sweetener because the coconut milk already has enough sweetness in it. But I sometimes sneaked a smidgin of palm sugar in it to balance the flavor. I add no sweetener to this recipe but it’s your choice. You need to recalculate your macros if you do.

We don’t cook our eggplants for too long because we like them crunchy. Once the curry comes to boil again you would add all the herbs and turn off the heat. Just press all the fresh herbs down and let the residual heat cook them through.

And there you have it. We don’t add any other vegetables of any kind but if you like your veggies, feel free to make it your own. The color of our curry is not bright red due to the curry paste we used. We got ours from the lady at the market who makes her own curry paste. Different brands gives out different colors but if kept for too long the paste will turn dark in color.

I hope you find this post helpful. There is so much more to curry making. This is only a rough guide. I will probably need to do a separate post just on curry alone. Please let me know if you are interested in learning more. I don’t know everything but I’m happy to share with you what I know.

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Thai Red Chicken Curry

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 2

Serving Size: 1/2 bowl

Calories per serving: 364

Fat per serving: 21.9

Carbs per serving: 2.5

Protein per serving: 30.8

Red curry is one of the most popular Thai dishes. It can be very hot and spicy or but in this recipe we make it hot enough without sacrificing the curry flavor. It makes 2 big servings but can be easily make 4 if you serve with other side dishes..

Ingredients

  1. 250 g coconut cream
  2. 15 g red curry paste
  3. 200 g chicken meat cut into bite size
  4. 80 g pea eggplants
  5. Salt or fish sauce to taste
    For garnish
  1. One sprig of basil
  2. One or two chilli sliced
  3. A few kaffir lime leaves (optional)
  4. Green peppercorns (optional)

Instructions

  • Pour about 50-60 g of coconut cream into a fry pan and put it on low heat. Stir constantly to keep it from sticking and burning at the bottom.
  • After 5 minutes or so the coconut cream should boil down and turn into oil. If the coconut cream is still liquidy, keep stirring a bit longer. When you start seeing oil in the pan, it's ready. If your coconut cream contain thickening agent, you wouldn't get the oil separation. In this case you would need to add a little bit of coconut oil to it so that you have oil to sautée the curry paste and chicken in the next step.
  • Once the oil starts to separate, add curry paste and stir. Make sure the curry paste is well combined with the oil. At this point you would smell all the spice and chilli all around. This is done on low heat still.
  • Turn up the heat to high and add the chicken in one single layer. Let it sit for a few minutes and turn. When the chicken looks opaque and the pan is still sizzling, pour in the rest of the coconut cream. Let it come to boil. You can transfer it into a sauce pan and cover.
  • Allow the chicken to cook in the curry sauce for a few minutes. While it's still rolling boil add the eggplants and cover the pan if you want it to cook faster.
  • When the curry is boiling again add all the aromats (basil, chilli, lime leaves and peppercorn, if using). Gently press it down and turn off the heat.
  • Serve immediately or leave it standing until you are ready to serve. The flavor will improve if you let it soak for a while. We normally find it tastes better the next day.

Notes

If using other kinds of eggplants, cut them into small pieces and soak in water for at least 15 minutes to get the bitter taste out. As you leave the curry to stand, the liquid will reduce and you will find your curry thickens. You can add up to 1/2 cup of water and put it to boil. The carbs count given here is net carbs. Use more curry paste if you like spicy. Use less if you don't like spicy. Macros data is from MyFitnessPal.

http://i-stayfit.com/2017/02/28/thai-red-chicken-curry/

Valentine’s Chocolate

 

Love is in the air..Everywhere I look around ❤️. I think that is the best song ever.

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, it’s only fitting to post a chocolate recipe. And what’s more fitting than chocolate hearts? These hearts are special because they have strawberry filing inside. They are in fact dairy free chocolate fat bombs with strawberry chia jam filling. Any day plain old chocolate fat bombs will do but if it’s a special occasion for special someone, you’ve got to make it extra special. If this does not bring a smile to his or her face, I don’t know what else would.

 

With these fat bombs, the recipe is based on our Dairy Free Chocolate Fat Bombs which uses avocado. We use a little more avocado in this recipe to give it a softer, more tender texture like dark chocolate ganache. But you can also opt for our Chocolate Rummy Bears if you are not dairy sensitive.

For the chia jam, we use strawberries blended together with chia seed and leave it to set beforehand. The first batch we made, we used raw strawberries. Personally, I don’t like that raw fruit flavor. The strawberry flavor is not coming through like it should. So we made a little adjustment by microwaving the strawberries for 20-30 seconds and blend in the chia seeds and sweetener. To me, it tastes more like strawberry jam and I like it better. Please remember one thing. This is chia jam so the flavor won’t be as sharp and intense as your regular jam. You need a fair bit of sweetener to get the flavor to pop. We have even tried to sneak some vodka in the jam but the taste wasn’t what we expect. I know if you want more flavor you need more berries but to be keto-friendly, we tried not to overdo the fruit. You would only get just a suggestion of strawberry flavor, enough to make it different from the usual fat bombs.

Ideally, you should make your chia jam well in advance. You want the chia jam to be firm enough so as not to bleed into the chocolate. We left our jam overnight and it firmed up quite nicely.

We used heart shaped molds for this occasion. We want the chia jam to stay in the middle  just like what you would get in fancy chocolates. We have tried many different ways starting from half filled the molds with chocolate and freeze it till set. Then carefully spoon the chia jam in, taking care not to let it touch the side because we didn’t want to filling to show. Then we tried filling the mold with chocolate and freeze the molds for 5 minutes to let the edge set then scoop out the soft center to make a well for the chia jam and then fill it up with the chocolate mixture. In the end, I just realized the best way. Keep it simple, stupid. Yes, simplicity is the best. All I have to do is fill up the molds and then drop the chia jam into the liquid chocolate mixture.  If your strawberry jam is runny, it might blend into the chocolate and give it a swirly effect which is still attractive. The whole idea is that you would have soft chocolate (almost like chocolate ganache) with jam on the inside.

We have so much strawberries at this time so we use them in the jam. We like to use all natural ingredients in our recipes and our strawberry jam had a little muted red color. To make it a bit more vibrant, we added a little bit of beetroot juice, and I mean a little; you don’t need much.  Normally we wouldn’t bother but if you want to make it look pretty, it’s not a bad idea. Having said that, if you use other types of berries, you might find that their natural colors might already be pretty without having to add any color and the carbs value might change slightly.

Remember this these are fat bombs which consist mostly of coconut oil. For those of you in cold countries, they would probably stay solid long after taken out of the fridge which is a plus. For us here in the tropic they melt minutes after they are out. However, the chocolate still melts in your mouth and we do hope you and your sweetheart will like them.

 

Valentine’s Chocolate

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 1 piece

Calories per serving: 79

Fat per serving: 8.5

Carbs per serving: 0.8

Protein per serving: 0.5

Ingredients

    For the chocolate
  1. 40 g avocado
  2. 60 g virgin coconut oil, melted
  3. 2 tbs (16 g) cocoa powder
  4. Sweetener of choice to taste ( We use about 30 drops of stevia at least)
    For chia jam filling
  1. 40 g strawberries
  2. 1 tsp chia seeds
  3. 1 /2 tsp beetroot juice (optional)
  4. Sweetener to taste

Instructions

    For chia jam
  • Make your chia jam by microwaving the strawberries till soft (about 20 secs) then put in a grinder (a blender might be too big for a small amount of berries) or break it apart with a fork.
  • Add chia seeds and sweetener then blitz for 10-20 seconds. If mixing by hand, just add the chia seeds and stir till well combined. Pour into a jar and leave in the fridge to set.
    For the chocolate
  • Mash avocado very finely. We like to use the back of a teaspoon and lightly scrape the avocado meat. Remove any fibers tissue, if any. You can also push it through a sieve which would give you a very fine and smooth texture.
  • Add cocoa powder and half of coconut oil to the avocado and mix it all together.
  • Add another half of coconut oil and sweetener and stir till smooth and well-combined. Use the back of the spoon to break down any lumps that may remain. Again you can put it through a strainer or sieve to get a really fine mixture. It may still look a bit grainy but not to worry. Once the chocolate is set, it will look smooth and shiny.
  • Fill up 8 small molds (heart shaped in our case) with the chocolate mixture.
  • Use a teaspoon scoop up the chia jam and drop it in the middle of the mold. You might need to push it down till the jam mixture completely submerge. Repeat till you fill all the chocolate with the jam.
  • Put the chocolate in the fridge for it to set, about an hour or 15 minutes in the freezer. Keep refrigerated till ready to serve.

Notes

The carbs count here is net carbs. We use liquid stevia but you can use any sweetener you like and as much or little as you like depending on how sweet you want your chocolate to be.

http://i-stayfit.com/2017/02/10/valentines-chocolate/

Neapolitan Chia Pudding

 

Inspired by Neapolitan or Harlequin ice cream that has three flavors, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, all rolled into one, this chia pudding is nothing short of amazing, if I do say so myself. But don’t take my words for it. The proof is in the pudding (excuse the pun.)🍮

One day I will have to make keto Neapolitan ice cream but for the time being, let’s settle for something simple. If you have read our chocolate chia pudding or, better yet, have made it, you will know how easy it is to make. This recipe is no different. It’s Level 1 kind of easy. All you need is time (to let each layer set.) You have to make the first layer and let it set before you pour the second layer, then the third layer. It’s great to prepare it ahead of time or overnight. This recipe makes for two servings. We use one jar but you can use two smaller glasses to make it into 2 servings. It’s a good idea to make a big batch and keep in the fridge so you can enjoy it anytime you like. Just double, triple, quadruple, etc. the recipe. If you are having a dinner party, this would make a perfect dessert because you can prepare it well ahead of time and keep it chilled in individual jars. It looks so pretty your guest would sure love it.

The chocolate layer is our own Chocolate Chia Pudding. The vanilla layer is basically the same but instead of cocoa powder, we use vanilla protein powder. You can omit the protein powder and simply add vanilla extract. The strawberry layer uses the same base with added strawberry puree. It may seem time-consuming but it’s time well-spent.

Neapolitan Chia Pudding

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 2

Serving Size: 1

Calories per serving: 808

Fat per serving: 81.1

Carbs per serving: 7.9

Protein per serving: 11.4

Ingredients

    Chocolate layer
  1. 1/4 c thickened cream
  2. 1/4 c coconut cream
  3. 1 tbs cocoa powder
  4. 1 tbs chia seeds
  5. Sweetener to taste
    Vanilla layer
  1. 1/4 c thickened cream
  2. 1/4 c coconut cream
  3. 10 g vanilla protein powder
  4. 1 tbs chia seeds
    Strawberry layer
  1. 1/4 c thickened cream
  2. 1/4 c coconut cream
  3. 30 g very ripe strawberry
  4. 1 tbs chia seeds

Instructions

  • Make your chocolate layer by combining all ingredients together and stir well. Pour it into 2 jars or clear glasses. Put in the fridge to set.
  • After 30 minutes or so, make your vanilla layer the same way you do the chocolate one. Check if the first layer is set and firm. If so, pour the second layer. If not leave it a while longer and check back, then follow the same procedure.
  • Mean while puree the strawberries in a blender or with such a small amount you can microwave it for 30-40 seconds to soften them and break them up with a fork.
  • Add other ingredients and blend it all together. If strawberries are not fully ripe, the color would be pale but you would still taste the strawberry. As always if you would like more strawberries, you can add more but it would bring up your carbs. For a more distinct pink color, add a few drops of beetroot juice if you like.
  • Pour the mixture over the vanilla layer that is set an firm. Leave it in the fridge till ti's time to serve.

Notes

Another way to make this pudding is to prepare the base by combining 3/4 c of cream and 3/4 c coconut milk with sweetener then took 1/2 c of the liquid out to blend with chia seeds and cocoa powder. While it's setting, take another 1/2 c of the cream and coconut mixture to combine with chia and protein powder and follow the same procedure and so on.

As with all our recipes, the carbs count is net carb. The nutritional value is based on ingredients available here.

http://i-stayfit.com/2017/02/03/neapolitan-chia-pudding/

 

Dairy Free Keto Chocolate Waffles

 

 

This dairy free chocolate waffle is our new superhero of a dish. It’s not an overstatement but we are so happy with it. For those of you who have seen or tried our Keto Chocolate Waffles, this dairy free version knock it out of the park. Don’t think that without the dairy cream, you can’t make anything yummy and decadent.

These waffles are nutritionally-correct (if there’s such a word.) Not only are they dairy free and keto-friendly, they also contain bone broth protein powder (not the run-of-the-mill variety that contains bulking agents, milk solids and all other nasties.) I wasn’t sure how the waffles would turn out using mostly natural ingredients but I couldn’t be any happier. that they look the part and taste even better than the dairy version. You bet this will be our go to recipe from now on.

 

Why do we like these chocolate waffle so much? The texture is soft, moist with fine crumbs. Still hold their shape like good waffles should. We used cooked pumpkin and mashed it. Of course, you can use canned pureé but some people don’t want to open the whole can only to use a little bit of it. Yeah right! Like they have no brainpower to think that they can use it in other dishes or put it in a jar and keep it in the fridge for later use. 😮

The next key ingredient is homemade coconut flour.  You see we have superb quality locally grown coconuts here and they are dirt cheap. I thought local coconut flour would be cheap too but no siree! The only one brand available cost 6 bucks a pound. You gotta be kidding me! You can get coconut pulp (after the milk had been extracted) at the market for free. All you have to do is get the pulp, dry it in the sun or in the low oven and put it in the blender till very fine. Now you see why I can never justify spending good money on something I can get for next to nothing. I will have to write about making your own coconut flour some day. It will probably save you a bit of money too. For this recipe, I ran out of my homemade coconut flour so I used desiccated coconut and ground it till very fine. The taste and texture came out great so I will stick with it. Not going to change a thing.

Then along came the new player, bone broth protein powder. We heard good things about it and thought we would try it out. Our order arrived the other day so we started putting it to test.

As you can see here it’s got all the right stuff and free from dairy and other allergens. We will be using it in other recipes and will keep you posted. As for our waffle, it got a seal of approval.

The rest of the ingredients are coconut oil and coconut milk (or cream), eggs, chocolate powder, baking soda and orange extract. Since I used desiccated coconut, I had to grind it in the grinder, the one that comes with your blender. Then I put all other ingredients in that same grinder and blend it all in. The mixture may look like it’s not totally blended but not to worry. Just stir it through and you will be fine.

The mixture will be very smooth, unlike waffles made with almond flour, which will appear grainy. Better yet these waffles look as legit as can be and taste just as good, if not better than the regular waffles.

Even if you are not on dairy free diet, we would like you to try this and see what you think. We do prefer this version to the dairy one. If the results vary, it could be from the different protein powder or coconut cream so feel free to tweak it to suit. Enjoy your waffles!

Dairy Free Keto Chocolate Waffles

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 3

Serving Size: 1 piece

Calories per serving: 181

Fat per serving: 14.2

Carbs per serving: 2.5

Protein per serving: 9.6

A dairy free alternative to keto chocolate waffle that tastes better than the dairy version.

Ingredients

  1. 60 g cooked pumpkin, mashed
  2. 15 g desiccated coconut
  3. 1 scoop bone broth protein powder
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 30 g coconut oil, melted
  6. 15 g coconut milk or cream
  7. 1 tbs cocoa powder
  8. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  9. 1/2 orange extract or other extracts like cinnamon or vanilla

Instructions

  • Put desiccated coconut in the grinder and blend it for 20-30 seconds or till it turns to fine powder. We use fine coconut but if you have coconut flakes, it's OK too. You just have to blend it a bit longer. With coconut powder in the grinder, add the pumpkin and other ingredients and blend for 10-15 seconds. Stop to scrape the side of the grinder because solid ingredients tend to stick to the side. Then blend for another 10 seconds. Stop to check if everything is well blended. If stir the mixture and blend it some more till the mixture is smooth.
  • With waffle maker turned on medium, pour the mixture to fill it and cook per manufacturer's instructions. We have Belgian waffle maker so it makes 3 but if you will get 4-5 waffles if you use regular a waffle maker.
  • Serve with your choice of accompaniment.

Notes

We use coconut cream but ours looks like coconut milk and does not turn solid when refrigerated. It may be due to the fact that there is no thickening agents added to it. But please feel free to use whatever you have at hand.

For the pumpkin, it would be perfect if you have leftover roasted pumpkin but if you don't want to use pumpkin pureé, you can cut the raw pumpkin into small pieces and put in the microwave for 2 minutes or so with a little bit of water to keep it from drying out.

We use the grinder to blend all ingredients but you can beat it with a fork or whisk. Just have to make sure your pumpkin is finely mashed with no lumps left.

http://i-stayfit.com/2017/02/01/dairy-free-keto-chocolate-waffles/

Dairy Free Chocolate Fat bombs

This may be a great way to sneak vegetable in your fat bombs. We use avocado to substitute the cream. These chocolate fat bombs taste more like dark chocolate with soft texture that melts in your mouth.

Dairy Free Chocolate Fat bombs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 1

Calories per serving: 73.8

Fat per serving: 8.2.

Carbs per serving: 0.5.

Protein per serving: 0.4

Ingredients

  1. 15 g mashed avocado
  2. 1 tbs (8 g) cocoa powder
  3. 30 g. virgin coconut oil, melted
  4. Stevia drops to taste
  5. A pinch of salt

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, avocado and 10 g of coconut oil then mix till you have a thick paste. There should be no lumps of cocoa left.
  • Add salt and stevia (we use 12 drops but put more if you like it sweet.)
  • Add another 10 g of coconut oil and mix well. You need to add a little bit of oil at a time or the mixture won't blend or worse, it will separate.
  • Add the last 10 g of oil and stir it till well combined. The mixture would be runny and glossy. It might look a bit grainy but that's all right because once it's set, the texture will be soft and smooth.
  • Spoon the chocolate mixture into small silicon molds and put in the fridge till set, about an hour or so. You can also stick it in the freezer which would probably takes 20 minutes to set.
  • Unmold and enjoy.

Notes

This recipe makes 4-6 fat bombs depending on your molds.

http://i-stayfit.com/2017/01/29/dairy-free-chocolate-fat-bombs/