Low-carb dinners: osso buco with celeriac mash

Think about your everyday diet – it’s a fair bet most of your meals include carbs. Imagine cutting every single piece of pasta, rice, bread and potato out … that’s what I was forced to do five years ago when I was diagnosed with multiple disaccharide deficiencies. Geez it was tough, almost impossible. And I was sooooo hungry until my body readjusted and the dietician let me eat nuts. But in the long run I felt much better for it. Lighter, happier and less bloated.

There are many benefits to cutting down on carbs, even if you don’t have a disaccharide deficiency. Weight loss, reduced blood glucose for diabetics and pre-diabetics, decreased blood pressure, increased energy and fewer mood swings, just to name a few.

Recently, I’ve been eating the evil carbs again, though they still give me the occasional twinge. And I’ve packed on a few kilos as a result. So I’ve resolved to return to my old diet, with occasional carb splurges. Generally, I’m eating eggs for breakfast, no toast. Lunch is usually chicken or fish and salad. For dinner I’m experimenting with a series of low-carb recipes.  And I thought I’d share them with you, just in case you’d like a few less carbs in your life.

(I add rice, pasta, oven-baked fries or roti bread to the dishes for the ravenous Sprogs.)

Here’s last night’s dinner …

Recipe: Osso Buco

Olive oil

8 pieces of veal shin

2 onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 carrots, diced (technically carrots are a teeny bit carby, so substitute zucchini or eggplant if you’re hard-core)

3 sticks celery, thickly sliced

1 cup beef stock

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup of passata (Italian tomato sauce)

METHOD: Add a few sploshes of olive oil to a heavy based pan. When oil is hot, pan-fry veal shins until brown. Place in a slow-cooker. Add a dash more oil to the pan and saute onions and garlic until soft. Add to slow-cooker. Add carrots, celery, stock, wine and passata to the slow-cooker. Cook for 8 hours on low. Serve with celeriac puree (a low-carb alternative to potatoes) and gremolata (a delicious topping that really amps up the flavour, optional)

 Celeriac mash

Peel and dice a couple of celeriac. Boil until soft. Drain, mash with 1/2 cup of cream, butter and salt.

Gremolata

Place 1/2 bunch of continental parsley, grated rind of a small lemon and 1 clove of garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Sprinkle over the osso buco .  Serve.

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