This Slow-Carb Diet I’ve been on-and-off on for the past month (now on for good, by the way) has been such a revelation. However, it’s really no joke that there are only so many things you’re allowed to eat. Thus, it’s called for a certain level of creativity on my part to try to use the same ingredients differently.
When I first got back to Singapore, I made a quick grocery run, trying to stay within my goals of: 100% Slow-Carb, and 100% WITHIN BUDGET. The “Healthy Haul” was a success and I managed to purchase: cabbage, Baby Butterhead lettuce, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, a dozen eggs, chickpea flour, canned tuna, canned chickpeas, and frozen spinach for about $45.* Armed with those things, and the spices, lentils, and mustards I brought with me from the Philippines*; as well as the frozen Sutchi (Catfish) Fillets I’d bought before leaving for vacation; I challenged myself to cook almost every single one of my 4 daily meals using these ingredients – nothing more, nothing less*.
Immediately rising to the challenge, I have devised a number of different recipes for what I have on hand. Here’s one I enjoy because it’s really quick and easy to do:
Horse Radish Mustard-Marinated Catfish Fillet with Garbanzos, Tomatoes and Asparagus
The process is simple. Defrost your fillet (half of one is enough), coat it in pepper, chili pepper flakes, and horse radish mustard. Let it sit while you chop up the veggies, and mince the garlic.
Start with the vegetables. Over low heat, take a tsp of sunflower butter, and a little bit of olive oil and let the garlic simmer. Throw in the vegetables and chickpeas and sautee them all together. When they’re closer to done, throw in more chili, mustard, horse radish mustard, apple cider vinegar, and black pepper. You are also welcome to throw in salt if you feel the need.
Plate the vegetables and move on to your fillet…
I chopped mine up while sauteeing it over olive oil in the pan.
Then voila! There you have it. Moist, tasty fish and vegetables. It clocks in at 270 kcal, with a lot of protein, and very little fat. 🙂
1/2 cup of chickpeas (soaked in water)
1/2 Sutchi fillet
5 cherry tomatoes (chopped)
5 asparagus stalks (chopped)
red chili pepper powder
black pepper grind
Horse Radish Mustard to taste
3 cloves of garlic
*This will get its own post one day…
*A lot of groceries are much cheaper in Manila. Gah!!! And that’s a funny story actually, because my suitcase coming back to Singapore was full of cans. I had maybe 1 kg worth of clothing…and then 21kg worth of cans – mostly organic canned lentils in water, Great Northern beans, white beans, artichoke hearts, spices, and mustards. It’s sad that the aforementioned range from half to a third the price of their same counterparts here (at normal groceries, anyway). The other day, though, a refreshing re-visit to Mustafa Shopping Centre re-exposed me to the wonders of grocery shopping there. Though they don’t trump Manila prices at everything, they do MATCH them with LEGUMES and other flours like dall, chickpea, etc. SO ALL IS NOT LOST!!!!!!!
*With the exception of 3-4 eat-out meals on the weekend. Which means that the $45 worth of grocery (plus the bonuses from the Philippines, so lets just pretend it’s about $55) should be enough to make 24-25 meals. That’s less than $2.
Disclaimers and Afterthoughts:
*At home we’re actually out of onions but I didn’t want to go “over budget” so to speak, I do think this will taste better if I do it again with onions. That said, it already tastes pretty good. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely not RESTAURANT-worthy, and I don’t see myself going around craving for it. BUT it’s a perfectly good home-cooked meal; and given that FOOD IS FUEL, I would be happy to FUEL my life with this kind of food all day long. 🙂