Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Platters - low carb style :)

Inspired by Mona and her Food book , a few weeks ago, i embarked on a low carb diet.  The main aim of course was to lose weight, but also, it seems to be a diet that really suited me, and didn't go against my philosophy as most diets do.  Essentially i don't like eating artificial stuff, nothing that's come out of a lab.  This includes things like the over processed margarines, stuff like high fructose corn syrup (and the myriad of corn derivatives), basically anything with an ingredient list full of numbers and complicated names, rather than simple things that I could technically buy individually at a shop.  This diet, once I was reading into it, didn't sound like too much of a sacrifice at all!  Sure, i'd be giving up the almighty hobz biz- zejt and my favourite dish, PASTA!  but at least I could "console" myself with cheese, olive oil, nuts, ensuring that i wouldn't go hungry and just have to nibble on a peach which would essentially leave me hungrier than before!

One of the easiest and quickest ways to satisfy both the carb and non-carb eaters of this world together, is to have a massive platter full of delicious goodies.  I find I have no issue at all not replacing carbohydrates, as long as i have some kind of vegetable. Most of the time, at this time of year, it's tomatoes.  they feature very heavily, being my substitute fruit between meals, as well as being a great implement to throw some olive dip on, or eat with a piece of meat or cheese :)  I also like to add some kind of leaf.  This time it was Maltese rocket (aka insalata)For the carb eaters, I normally provide a small loaf of bread, or some galletti.

Here are some pictures of a couple of platters I've made in the past few weeks :)

Platter one: 

Homemade dried Maltese sausage (buy some of the freshest Maltese sausages, tell your butcher that you are planning to dry them.  Place them either hanging freely in a cold room, or if you only have access to a fridge (as I do), place them on kitchen towel, uncovered (or with just another piece of kitchen towel placed on them) for a couple of weeks.  I make sure to turn them every single day.   If they start to smell funny, throw them away.  They should smell pretty much exactly the same as when you bought them.  You can choose to eat them at any point during this time, however if you wait a couple of weeks, they become very salami like.  I love this! :)  My theory is that us Maltese always had planned to make salami with these sausages, but they tasted so good from the get go that we just went ahead and ate them raw :)
Insalata: aka Maltese rocket (not baby rocket).  much more intense, peppery and spicy compared to the imported stuff.  not for everyone, a great substitute for bread in my case (it wraps around ANYTHING! :D)
Maltese sundried tomatoes.  Salty goodness. oh yes. pity about the GM oil ffs.  but yeah.  I'm making an effort to go get some directly from a farmer soon.  
Salami romani (little tiny ones, really delicious!)

Middle plate:  raw salmon, trimmed of all skin and bones, marinated for a few hours with plenty of lemon, then dressed with a tiny amount of olive oil, salt and pepper.  fantastic.  Thanks Alison for this! :D

Back right: Mozzarella di Bufola Campagna.  Enough said.

Back left: A goat's brie style cheese, speck, prosciutto di san daniele, Old amsterdam cheese, kalamata olives and some large maltese ones (the slightly bitter ones).

Wayyyy back: tomatoes. 

We also served gorgonzola dolcelatte with this.  Needless to say we always have leftovers.  but who cares!?  It keeps, you can keep on nibbling until you're done, and you can also take leftovers later on :)

Platter 2:
Kalamata olives, stuffed green olives (with tuna and chilli), Jalapeno Bianco/havarti, tomatoes with plenty of pepper, fresh maltese sausage (some of the stuff that didn't make it the 2 weeks to become salami), walnuts, black olive tapenade, Parma ham, Danish blue. 


  1. I just wanted to advise you (and i know this may sound a little gross, so if you want to delete this comment, i totally understand) that low carb diets have a terrible problem of making ppl very constipated, even though they are a very effective weightloss plan. If this is a problem, be sure to drink loads of water and perhaps even a cup of green tea every now and again :)

  2. Hehehe thanks Marie :) It's not a problem at all as long as you eat plenty of non-digestible carbs, as in fibre :) The important thing is to eat plenty of leaves, and other veggies/fruit that are low in carbs (eggplant, peppers, tomatoes etc) as well as nuts, many of which are high in fat, protein but also fibre! :) It hasn't been a problem for me at all, as the important thing is to eat a proper balanced diet (for my digestive system, this seems to work better, even better than eating grains and fruit) :)