Now that I'm supposed to maintain my carbs just high enough to keep me out of ketosis (thank you pregnancy), yet low enough to keep my blood sugar from spiking (thus requiring me to use insulin, which I am trying to avoid as much as possible) (thank you diabetes), I've been trying to find a healthy way to incorporate some carbohydrate into my diet.
I attempted to work in some whole grains, but that led to some serious gastrointestinal discomfort (oy vey – the gas, the cramps from the gas). So, grains are out.
I've decided the way to handle this is to go primal/paleo, keeping the carbs to about 80 net grams per day. How does that work? Well… basically, I use my usual low carb menu, then I supplement it with small to moderate amounts of nutritious fruits and vegetables that contain some carbohydrate, including berries, some beans, and sweet potatoes, for example.
I've found that my blood sugar stays stable if I eat the carbohydrate together with fat, which slows the digestion of the carbs. Also, it seems that my blood sugar responds differently to the same amount and type of carbohydrate depending on what time of the day I ingest that carbohydrate – the carbohydrate is better tolerated in the evening than in the morning. No idea why this is so.
Last night, I made the best dinner ever. I want to share it with you. It was pretty "primalicious", if I must say so myself. And it was a pretty meal… I should have taken photos. We demolished the entire dinner (and I made a ton of food). Even my picky-ish 4 year old approved.
Here's what we ate: Cashew Chicken and Homemade Sweet Potato Chips with Sea Salt. Yummo. Here's how to duplicate.
Sweet Potato Chips
1 x 1lb organic sweet potato
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup olive oil
Sea salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Scrub the sweet potato, but do not peel. Slice into a chip shape with your mandolin or v-slicer (get a cheap one if you must, as it is key to making these thin enough).
- Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Oil should cover the bottom of the pan.
- Fry the sweet potato slices in batches of 5-6 slices in the hot oil, until bright orange, soft and the edges are just beginning to curl up and lightly brown. It goes pretty fast.
- Place the cooked sweet potatoes on a foil-covered cookie sheet as you finish frying them. When all the slices are lined up on the cookie sheet, sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- Bake in the hot oven, on the upper rack, until they are brown and crisp. Check after five minutes, for every five minutes, to make sure they don't burn.
- Don't throw out the leftover oil! Use it to make the cashew chicken, below!!
1-1.25 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1" chunks
1/3 cup cashews
¼ cup olive oil
3 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp sriracha sauce
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
½ tsp sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
½ fresh mango, diced
½ cup red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
4 tbsp Olive oil, and 2 tbsp coconut oil (or leftover oil from chip recipe, above)
- Mix all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl, and marinade for at least an hour.
- Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
- Add mixture to hot oil, stir frying quickly, until chicken is brown and cooked through.
- Serve! You can add some thin scallion slices, chopped cilantro, or a bit of chiffonade basil to the top for some extra flavor and a bit of pizzazz.