Tuna and spinach salad with fresh garden peas and feta

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Summer is here and here in Denmark we are experiencing one of those very rare heat waves (which means it’s above 25 °C for 3 days in a row). Denmark and Danes are not very well equipped for too much heat, and the temperatures don’t need to rise above 20 °C before people start complaining about it being too hot.

When the weather is like this I always have a hard time figuring out what I want to eat: everything just seems too heavy and cooking also feels like too much work. Which is where fresh summer salads come in! I love tuna sandwiches, but a tuna and spinach salad with fresh garden peas and feta seemed like a very good alternative to the classic sandwich option.

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This recipe is easy, cheap and diet friendly, and if you are serving your meal to non-dieters you can just switch out the spinach leaves with some Ciabatta bread or a baguette.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can tuna
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
  • 1/2 lime
  • 10 fresh garden peas (peeled)
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat feta cheese (I use 3%)
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon capers (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Siracha (optional)

Mix canned tuna with low-fat sour cream, mayonnaise, juice of half a lime, 1/2 finely chopped onion, Dijon mustard, capers, Siracha, salt and pepper. Mix well and taste. Add more salt, pepper or lemon juice if needed.

Wash spinach and place in a bowl. Top with garden peas and low fat feta cheese. Add as much tuna as you like and garnish with lime wedges and black pepper.

Enjoy!

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FOOD FACT: TUNA

TScreen shot 2013-07-23 at 1.45.19 PMuna is very high in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which means it is a great option for lowering triglyceride levels as well as controlling blood pressure. Eating tuna may also help lower your risk for stroke, heart disease, cancer, eye disease as well as help fight depression.

Women who consume more than five servings of baked or broiled fish a week have the lowest risk of heart failure. via. Healthyeating.sfgate.com

Oven baked chicken with celeriac fries

Do you find yourself craving french fries, but you’re trying to follow either a low-carb or Paleo lifestyle, and all you can make is sweet potato fries? Here’s a low-carb alternative to making your favorite fried tots, and with no guilt involved.

You can literally eat as many of these celeriac fries as you wish, and your waistline will continue shrinking with every bite!

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Even though it’s summer I reside in Denmark, and there is never, ever a guarantee for sunshine or warm temperatures in the summer months, even at the end of June. As I sit here writing my next tasty update the wind is howling tirelessly against the windows and giant rain drops are pounding on the grey tinted glass. Although I would prefer sitting on the beach with a Skinny B*tch (my favorite drink at the moment) there is one really great thing about cold summer days: you can make comfort food! Screw barbecuing freshly roasted meats and tossing light zesty salads with a cold Carlsberg in your hand, when the weather is in a bad mood there is only one thing to do, treat yourself.

I was really hankering for fried chicken with french fries, but as I am on a health kick I had to come up with something else that would hit the spot. To satisfy my comfort cravings I decided to make oven baked chicken with celeriac fries and a side of what I like to call cabbage slaw (although it is in no way shape or form the same recipe as what you would consider traditional coleslaw), and I must say (with as much humility as someone who thinks they really are a great cook, can muster) it tasted DIVINE! So here it is, my healthy rendition of fried chicken with french fries.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts or thighs (up to you)
  • 1 celeriac
  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Coriander (optional)
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Cumin
  • Curry powder

Preheat your oven to 350 °F / 180 °C

Marinate the chicken in cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, cumin and olive oil. Finely slice 2 cloves of garlic and add to the chicken. While the chicken is marinating cut up your celeriac into fries. You can do this as you please, and make them thin and crispy or big and soft, depending on your taste preferences. Once the fries are cut up toss them in olive oil, salt, black pepper and the remaining garlic.

Place chicken into a baking dish and put in the oven for around 45 minutes (depending on your oven).  Throw the celeriac fries on a baking sheet and place in the oven as well, turning after approximately 15 minutes (they should be done in around 35 – 40 minutes).

Slice up the cabbage, onions, carrots and remaining clove of garlic. Stir fry in a pot with olive oil, and add desired spices (I used cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper and curry powder), but you can really use anything you please.  Serve with coriander on top.

FOOD FACT: CELERIACScreen shot 2013-06-26 at 4.17.40 PM

Celeriac not only helps you lose weight by boosting your metabolism, it also contains high amounts of fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium besides containing vitamins B1, B2 and E. According to Giverecipe.com celeriac also helps cure kidney diseases and promotes healthy skin and hair.

Low-Carb Madame and Gentleman Deluxe Burgers

Low-Carb Madame and Gentleman Deluxe Burgers

Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy a deluxe burger once in a while. Just make it’s low-carb (no bun) and with sugar free condiments.

The low-carb gentleman deluxe burger with fried onions (front) and a low-carb madame deluxe burger with horseradish and mustard (back).

Dieting should be painless, easy and in my opinion, fun. Instead of thinking of all the things you can’t eat, start exploring the things youcan. Fresh vegetables, filling legumes, homemade hummus and olive tapenade, pickled assorted vegetables, oh god, the things you can’t make with healthy, organic ingredients. And the great thing with a diet like South Beach, or Atkins for that matter, is that you can also eat as much low fat protein as you like, and low-fat cheese.

A burger can be an indulgent, healthy, no-sin experience, if you just tweak it a little. Remove the classic bun, replace this with lettuce, or even portobello mushrooms or fried celeriac if you want something with more fill. Forego the bacon and fried onions (although this is still low-carb, so if you really want it, have it!) and use plenty of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and low-sugar condiments as you like. I usually opt for mustard, a tiny bit of mayonnaise and horseradish (the Low-Carb Madame Deluxe Burger) while my boyfriend, who usually eats his burger with a bun, prefers his a classic burger, with ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and fried onions (very Danish of him).

The low-carb gentleman deluxe burger lays on a bed of lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise, topped with melted cheddar cheese and fried onions

The Low-Carb Gentleman Deluxe Burger

Ingredients:

  • 2 hamburger patties
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/3 of a cucumber
  • 1/2 cup fried onions
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon oil

Start off by taking out all your ingredients and placing them on the tabletop in front of you. Turn on a pan and warm up a frying pan with 1 teaspoon oil. Throw both hamburger patties in the pan, making sure they both have enough oil under them so that they do not stick. Let them fry on medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes.

Meanwhile chop up your lettuce in fine strands, and chop your cucumber and tomato as you please (I prefer to cut the vegetables in small chunks, so it feels more like a hamburger salad with vegetables all over the place) but it’s completely up to the diner 🙂 Arrange the greens on two separate plates and add the mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise to both plates. Flip the burgers and let them continue to fry, turning down the heat a little if they start to burn. Add the cheese to both burgers and let it melt (putting a lid over the frying pan for the last 2-3 minutes lets the cheese melt really nicely).

When the burger patties are ready arrange them on the two beds of salad. Dress the gentleman burger with fried onions(you could also add a fried egg if you like).

Low-Carb Madame Deluxe Burger

The only difference between the gentleman and the madame burger is that the Low-Carb Madame Deluxe Burger is served with horseradish rather than fried onions.

And voila! There you have Low-Carb Madame and Gentleman Deluxe Burgers from the Low-Carb Fairy!

FOOD FACT: BEEF

Screen shot 2013-06-09 at 12.52.44 PMAlmost half of the fat in beef is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid—the same heart-healthy fat that’s found in olive oil and most of the saturated fat in beef actually decreases your heart-disease risk—either by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, or by reducing your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (good) cholesterol.

Besides being one of the most available sources of high-quality protein, beef also provides many important nutrients such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins. (via. www.menshealth.com)