People tend to balk at the things that people on the keto diet do NOT eat. “No rice? No potato? I LOVE pasta! How will I manage without bread? I simply cannot give up my fruit!” My response to them is always the same: “And how is that working for you?” Radio silence. It’s plain crazy to want change and keep doing the same things. I also tell them that I choose to focus on what we can and do eat! There’s a whole new, colourful, exciting, delicious world out here in keto-land! One of the things I told myself when I started this keto journey over a year ago is that I’m going to treat this as an adventure and learn to make delicious low-carb dishes that utilize the local ingredients that I grew up with here in Jamaica. I am going to prove to myself and others that the keto diet is possible and sustainable right here in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. I started documenting my journey on Instagram, to showcase my awesome food 🙂 and also as away of holding me accountable. Yup…can’t afford to quit publicly, right? Here’s how I use Jamaican callaloo to make keto dishes that even non-low carbers LOVE!
So on a Sunday, I really throw down, in my kitchen. I plan my menu days in advance. Then round about noon I turn the radio dial to Fame 95 (retro…what else?!), fill a glass with ice cubes, add some rum and COOK! On any given Sunday I pull from the following items: braised ox-tails, baked chicken, curried shrimp, pot roasts of beef or pork, rice and peas, sitr fried veg, mac and cheese, fried rice, chow mein, baked plantains, garden salad…
But I’ve decided to go low-carb for a while, to reset my body and mind, so…sigh…gotta find a way to keep the fun in Sundays. So instead of rum, we do water. Yup. Water and a lot of ice. And I still blast my retro tunes. And here’s what today’s fare looked like:
I call it “Smothered Chicken with Steamed Veggies”.
The steamed veggies are simply broccoli and cauliflower steamed with garlic, parsley and basil and finished with butter (salted of course). Yum!
Here’s the main event:
4 chicken breasts
2 stalks celery
1 cup coarsely cut button mushrooms
1 medium tomato
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small sweet pepper
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Flatten the chicken breasts. Wash with lime juice and season with salt, pepper, jerk-flavoured hot sauce, soya sauce and let marinate overnight.
Heat 2 tbsp veg oil in a non-stick frying pan and quickly sear the chicken on both sides. It should be just brown and the entire browning process should not take more than 3 min all told.
Remove from frying pan and place the pieces of chicken a flat baking sheet and allow to rest.
Chop all seasonings (onion, celery, tomato, garlic and sweet pepper) and add to the same pan you used to brown the chicken. Saute for 2 min. Add the mushooms and a pinch of salt and stir for another minute.
Turn on your broiler.
Spoon equal amounts of this mixture on to each piece of chicken breast already on the baking sheet.
Sprinkle equal amounts of cheese over the dressed chicken pieces and place the dressed and cheesed chicken breasts on the baking sheet under the broiler.
Broil for approximately 5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and just turning brown.
Remove and let rest for 3 minutes.
Serve hot with veggies.
Now…who says low-carb has to be boring? 😀