THE FAST LOW-CARB KICKSTART PLAN combines a delicious, low-carb eating plan with powerful intermittent fasting in a clear and punchy four-week kickstart programme that will help you lose weight and keep it off.
Ras-el-Hanout Chook with Chilli and Lime Yoghurt
With its flavoursome spices, this is one of my favourite ways to celebrate a roast chook. Ras-el-hanout is a spice mix found in varying forms in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. The name literally translates to ‘head of the shop’ and implies a mix of the best spices the seller has to offer.
- 250 g (1 cup) coconut yoghurt sea salt
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1.5 kg butterflied whole chicken (see Good to Know)
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil freshly ground black pepper
- 1 handful of coriander or flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly torn
- lime wedges, to serve
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
To make the ras-el-hanout, place all the ingredients in a small food processor or high-speed blender and blitz to a rough powder. I like to leave it on the rougher side, with some of the seeds left whole.
Transfer the ras-el-hanout to a large bowl or a shallow glass baking dish. Add the coconut yoghurt, 1 teaspoon of salt, the lime zest and juice and mix well.
Using a sharp knife, cut two shallow slits in each of the chicken breasts and legs, then place the chicken in the marinade and turn to coat well. Set aside on the bench to marinate for 30 minutes.
Preheat a chargrill pan or barbecue grill to medium–high and the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade allowing any excess to drip off. Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken then transfer, breast-side down, to the hot pan or grill and cook for 10 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown and charred all over.
Transfer the chicken, breast-side up, to the prepared baking tray and roast in the oven for 30–40 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
When ready to serve, cut the chicken into pieces and season generously with salt and pepper. Top with the herbs and serve with lime wedges for squeezing.
Choc Peanut Butter Pudding
This lovely little chia pudding makes an excellent brekkie, snack or even lunch on the run. It’s a great recipe to learn off by heart and make in bulk at the start of a busy week, so you have something quick and healthy to grab on your way out the door for those days when time gets away from you.
- 250 ml (1 cup) unsweetened almond, hemp or coconut milk
- 125 ml (½ cup) coconut milk
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste or powder
- 2–3 drops of liquid stevia or 2 tbsp monk fruit syrup
- 3 tbsp crunchy salted peanut butter, plus extra to serve
- 40 g (⅓ cup) white chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons cacao nibs
- 2 teaspoons roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
Place the milks, cacao powder, vanilla, sweetener of choice and peanut butter in a high-speed blender and blitz on high until smooth. Add the chia seeds and pulse a few times just to incorporate (you want to be careful not to blend too far as the chia seeds need to be left whole to do their thing), then transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight. You want it to chill and thicken to a pudding-like consistency.
To serve, divide the pudding between two glasses and top with the cacao nibs, toasted peanuts and a little extra peanut butter.
Good to know
I’ve called for a butterflied chook here as it results in a quicker, more even cook. Your local butcher will be able to do this for you on request but if for whatever reason you can’t get your hands on a butterflied chook, simply follow this recipe with a regular one instead. Omit the chargrill pan process and slip it into the oven for 40–60 minutes, or until cooked through and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer.
The Fast Low-Carb Kickstart Plan by Luke Hines, Published by Plum, RRP $29.99, Photography by Mark Roper