Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

This is my go-to creamy sauce recipe, cooked with chicken and served over low carb spaghetti. Prepare to have your pasta cravings satisfied.

Serves 4

Ingredients

500g chicken, evenly cubed.

2 packs Slendier konjac spaghetti*

2 tsp oil (to cook the chicken)

For the sauce

2 cups fresh basil leaves**

2 large (or 4 small) cloves of garlic, crushed

1/4 cup olive oil

60g pine nuts

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

2 cups full fat cream***

salt & pepper to taste

Pesto

Method

Prepare your konjac spaghetti by giving it a good rinse to get rid of any smell. Put it in a bowl and cover with boiling water for 1 minute, then drain and set aside.

Add the basil and garlic to your food processor

Turn it on, start whizzing and add your oil very slowly in a thin stream. Stop to scrape down the sides if you need to.

Process until the mixture starts to emulsify, usually takes about 45 seconds.

Add the pine nuts and parmesan and blend until evenly combined. Should take about a minute.

Put your pesto aside and warm your oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. When using oil to cook meat, use one with a high smoke point like rice bran oil. Check the smoke points of common cooking fats here. 

Place your cubes of chicken into the pan in a single layer. The pieces shouldn’t touch each other. If you have too much chicken for one layer, cook in two batches or risk accidentally boiling your meat. Gross.

Cook one side until golden brown, between one and two minutes.

Flip the chicken over and cook the other side in the same way.

Keep turning the chicken for a further four to six minutes, or until all sides are sealed and the largest piece is white all the way through.

Turn off the heat and remove the chicken from the frypan.

Add the cream to the still hot pan and stir.

Add the pesto, salt and pepper to the cream and stir to combine.

Return the chicken to the pan, followed by the pre-prepared konjac spaghetti. Combine everything well.

Turn the heat back on, keeping it low. Re-heat gently, being careful not to boil. Once heated through, serve. 

3.2g active carbs per serving

pestopasta

Slendier is a brand of konjac noodles and pasta. You can now find it on shelves in most Australian grocery stores. Check the health food aisle. Konjac noodles are insanely low calorie and carb. They have the texture similar to rice noodles and are as easy to cook as regular pasta, if not easier.

** The difference between fresh picked basil and the stuff you buy from the shops is huge. Basil loses flavour rapidly after being picked. The fresher the better.

*** Creams vary wildly in carb count, so shop around. I use Sunnydale Dairy heavy whipping cream (0.9g carb per 100g) or Gippsland Dairy pure double cream (1.9g carb per 100g.)

Brandspesto

Brownie Chia Pudding

Makes 4 Servings

This basic chia pudding is keto friendly and, unlike a lot of low carb recipes, you’ll find all the ingredients at IGA, coles or woolies. You can even forgo the chocolate and walnuts, although it might be a bit boring.

Ingredients

400ml tin coconut cream or milk*

1/3 cup chia seeds

25g cocoa powder**

¼ cup Queen sugar free maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla essence°

50g walnuts, roughly chopped

40g sugar free dark chocolate melts°°

IMG_0225

Method

You can make this all in the bowl or jar you intend to store it in, or you can portion it out like I have in the picture. Jars are not mandatory but will make you look like an insufferable hipster, if that’s your thing.

Empty coconut milk/cream into bowl. If the fat has separated just warm the milk in the microwave until it reincorporates.

Add cocoa and whisk until combined.

Add maple syrup and vanilla essence. Combine.

Add the chia seeds and stir well. The seeds will clump if you let them, so give it a good stir. 

Add the chopped walnuts and chocolate buttons and stir. Reserve some for garnish if you wanna get fancy with it.

Split into 4 portions and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Top with a big drizzle of syrup, chopped walnuts and chocolate buttons. 

Keeps in the fridge for 4 days

3.4g active carbs per serve

*Always check the label. Some brands are higher in carbohydrates or even sweetened with sugar. I like Trident brand coconut cream.

** Carb count varies wildly between brands, as does flavour. Check the label. I like Equagold Premium Dutch Cocoa. Steer clear of Nestle.

° Do I sound like a broken record yet? Check the label. Watch out for sugar in vanilla extracts. Queen brand artificial vanilla flavouring is sugar free. Alternatively you can make your own.

°° Well Naturally is the brand sold at Coles, Woolies and IGA, you should find them in the health food section.