low fat, low carb, full of flavor
i had a fun time at the BCAE cooking class inna and i attended! the low fat, low carb class was taught by a personal chef who modeled the class after one of her client’s who lost a significant amount of weight following a low carb diet. her client is middle eastern and enjoys food with LOTS of flavor, and the dishes we made really delivered on that.
i honestly didn’t know what to expect from this class. some low carb diets rely on lots of artificial stuff in place of real foods, so i was a little afraid of that. but basically, we learned to prepare mostly lean proteins with lots of flavor from spices and herbs. you can easily add more vegetables and a grain to these dishes for a complete (not so low carb, but still low fat) meal.
here are the dishes we made:
we split up into five groups of 2-3 and worked on our assigned dishes. inna and i chose to do #5: spice rubbed tilapia with mango salsa, and coconut macaroons. i’m not just saying this because we made them, but our dishes really came out the best and were the most popular! my second favorite was #4. i’ve never heard of “chicken cakes” but they turned out amazing, i’m looking forward to trying them out on my own.
anyway, i’ll recap the dishes from all groups in the order shown above. we just tasted as everything was completed, so they’re kinda mixed up in my camera, and that seems like the easiest way to do it:
1) gazpacho shrimp salad (pictured with ginger beef) & korean bbq chicken
the gazpacho shrimp salad was basically a shrimp “salsa” served with roughly torn romaine on the side. i don’t think it worked, and it was hard to eat cus all the components were a different size. i’m thinking, chop up the shrimp and serve in lettuce cups, or wrap in a tortilla.
the korean bbq chicken was not a hit. this was supposed to be a variation on “spicy pork bulgogi” using chicken breasts. korean bbq can either be sweet or spicy, the spicy kind is obviously more low carb but the sweet kind is the amazingness that most usually associate with korean bbq. anyway, we didn’t have an indoor grill, so this chicken was baked, a little dry, and the flavor was a bit intense.
2) ginger beef & garlic stuffed chicken
the ginger beef (shown above in #1) was de-li-cious! i need to start cooking with ginger- it added so much flavor to this dish. i’m making this for sure, it’d be perfect with chinese broccoli and rice.
eh, i didn’t get any garlic stuffing in the chicken, so this tasted exactly like it looks…chicken breast with some parsley.
3) pork chops in creamy garlic glaze & haddock with ginger soy marinade
the pork chops didn’t really taste like anything but pork. i brought a whole bunch home for tommy since he’s a pork monster, i think i’ll make fried rice with it or something.
the haddock filet was so so good- cus no surprise, it had ginger in it! it was nice and flakey, and absorbed the marinade well. the sauce tasted very “asian,” i’m sure i’ve had something similar over fish, beef, and tofu in chinese, korean, and japanese restaurants. i think you can just figure out what’s in it by the name/ picture and it seems pretty flexible. for the more adventurous, this would be a great marinade/sauce for a whole fish- but i think i’ll give it a try with pan fried tofu.
4) french vanilla pudding & chicken cakes with horseradish aioli
i like pudding, but not enough to make my own though. but if the occasion ever arises, i’m prepared 🙂
the chicken patty was one of my favorite dishes from the class. i still haven’t looked at the recipe but i’m assuming it’s easy to make because it was one of the first ones complete. it tastes like a crab cake/ salmon cake but with chicken which is a big deal for me because tom hates/ refuses to eat seafood. the horseradish aoli was sinus clearing strong but i enjoyed that too.
and last but not least
5) spice rubbed tilapia with mango red onion salsa & coconut macaroons
these were made by yours truly and my sous chef inna. haha i kid, inna totally took the reigns with the tilapia- i’m a big wuss when it comes to the stove. i don’t know how i manage to cook every night 🙂
all i have to say is. how come no one ever told me how simple and flavorful a spice rub is? i feel like everyone already knew this but me. thanks a lot guys.
and umm…macaroons. i’m 99% positive that these were not low-fat or low-carb, but they were very much full of sweet coconuty flavor! i want to make a batch, but only if someone will help me eat them! melinda, nay…do you guys like macaroons? please say yes!
and lastly, some more pics!
tilapia & salsa!