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Tzatziki

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This well-known Greek sauce is one of those recipes I’ve been meaning to put up on my site for ages and ages and just kept forgetting to do it.  This year I’m really trying to get to posting all those recipes I make often but are the meal “extras” and not the “main attraction”.   This is typical condiment with Greek grilled kebabs and koftas or Greek Baked Chicken.  It’s also great with seafood croquettes and on shawarma wrap sandwiches.  I’ve even used this on cucumber-tomato salads as a dressing!  It’s ever so simple to make, too!

Be sure to squeeze out as much water from your grated cucumber as you can before combining all the ingredients or else it will bleed out its water into the sauce and really weaken the flavor and spoil the appearance.  This recipe is not suitable for Induction due to the yogurt, but you could make it with all sour cream and enjoy 2-3 Tbsp.  This sauce is suitable for other Keto diets and Primal Blueprint (occasionally), but not at all Paleo approved.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large 8-9″ cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated

1 c. drained or Greek yogurt, or half yogurt and half sour cream (my personal preference), or all sour cream (for lower carbs)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T. yellow onion, minced finely

½ tsp. dried dill weed (or 2 sprigs fresh, chopped)

½ tsp. dried mint (or 1 T. fresh, chopped fine)

Dash each salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  At least 1 hour before serving, peel the cucumber.  Cut in half and seed with a spoon.  Grate the cucumber onto paper toweling double thick or a clean cotton kitchen towel (not terry cloth, please).  Blot or wrap and squeeze to remove water.  Repeat with fresh paper towels as there will be more water!  Get as much water out as you can.  Add cucumber to a medium bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients and stir well.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes about 2 cups or 4 servings (perhaps more depending on how much people eat).  1/4 of the batch contains:

102 calories

8.1 g  fat

4.6 g  carbs, .8 g  fiber, 3.8 g  NET CARBS

3.2 g. protein

110 mg sodium

290 mg potassium

<10% all macronutrients.

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When I thawed chicken this morning, I thought I was thawing 2 nice chicken breasts in those ziploc freezer bags.  However when I went to debone them, what I had thawed was two leg quarters, and not very large ones at that.  So I skinned them, deboned and switched my menu plans to a little casserole of some kind. Had a leek I wanted to use, so this dish started forming in my head.  I grabbed the bacon of the refrigerator shelf and started the creative cogs.  The resulting dish was sinfully delicious and my husband said said to be sure to put this on my website.  That’s a thumbs up in my book, as he doesn’t like spaghetti squash very much.  :)

This dish is a little carb-y, but virtually all the carbs are coming from the spaghetti squash and leek…..all healthy carbs, so I’m not worried there.  It is suitable for Atkins Induction and Keto diets if you can fit it into your daily numbers.  This would not be suitable for Primal-Paleo.  This recipe is high in sodium, from the cheese and bacon, so be forewarned.  If you are extremely sodium sensitive, you may need to cut back the cheese and bacon a bit.

INGREDIENTS:

5 oz. bacon, chopped small

5 oz. leek, chopped small

13 oz. chicken meat, cut into small pieces

¼ c. heavy cream

¼ c. water

3 oz. smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

dash of xanthan gum (or your favorite thickener) to thicken

3 c. spaghetti squash threads (this is what my half of a squash yielded)

2 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Cut your spaghetti squash in half, reserving one half for another use.  Place one half, cut side down in a baking dish with ½” water and microwave for 13 minutes on HI.  You can also bake them in your oven (which I have never done) but it will take much longer, probably around 30-45 minutes?  When tender, holding in your hand with a hot pad, fork/strip the threads out onto a paper plate and set aside.  Preheat your oven now to 350º.

While the squash is cooking in the microwave, brown the bacon in a skillet over high heat.  Remove and drain on paper towels about 2 T. of it to use for top garnish.  Add the chopped leek to the skillet along with remaining bacon and continue sauteing until the leeks are nearly tender.  Add the chicken and continue sauteing until it too is done.  Lower heat to medium and add the water, cream and most of the Gouda cheese, reserving just a little cheese (about 3 T.) to sprinkle on the top of the casserole(s).  Stir the cheese into the mixture until it begins to melt.  Move the solids to the edges of the pan and dust a wee bit of xanthan gum/thickener into the middle puddle of liquid, stirring briskly and allow to thicken up.  You don’t want this very thick, so I only dusted it one time.

I made 3 individual 6″ long oval casseroles, but you can just make one using an 8/11 baking dish you have oiled lightly.  Spoon the mixture into your oiled baking dish(es).  Top the casserole(s) with the reserved cheese and the chopped parsley (if using).  Pop into preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes to allow flavors to meld and mellow.  Serve with a nice green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 3 servings, each contains:

569 calories

42.5 g  fat

17.23 g  carbs, 2.86 g  fiber, 14.37 g  NET CARBS

30 g  protein

1365 mg sodium

512 mg potassium

23% RDA Vitamin A, 38% B6, 23% B12, 14% C, 7% E, 23% c alcium, 21% copper, 29% iron, 16% magnesium, 21% manganese, 51% niacin, 24% riboflavin, 46% selenium, 24% thiamin, 34% zinc

 

 

 

 

 

Asian Dipping Sauce

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This versatile Chinese-style dipping sauce is good for pork patties, Chinese dumplings, Korean BBQ and for using on various Chinese stir fries.  You can play around with the amount of peanut butter and Sambal Oelek chili sauce in this and change the overall flavor and spiciness to suite your taste.  This sauce is not suitable until the Atkins Phase 2 OWL level.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. creamy natural peanut butter (I use Laura Scudder’s)

2 T. rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. ginger root, minced fine

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. Sambal Oelek chili sauce (or to taste)

2-3 drops liquid stevia or sucralose

1 T. low sodium soy sauce (or coconut aminos)

1 T. green onion (finely minced)

2 T. water

DIRECTIONS:  Stir the peanut butter into the sesame oil until smooth.  Add all remaining ingredients and serve with Chinese dumplings, Korean BBQ or other Asian marinated grilled pork or beef.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes about 1/2 c. sauce (8 Tbsp.).

23 calories

1.45 g  fat

.91 g  carbs, .08 g  fiber, .83 g  NET CARBS

.32 g  protein

71 mg sodium

34 mg potassium

 

Einkorn Dumplings

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For those who are familiar with my incredible Dumplings made with glucomannan powder, they just got BETTER!  I added a mere 1 T. Einkorn flour (non-genetically modified wheat flour) and cannot believe the improvement!  If you Google Einkorn Flour, you’ll find a lot of information on this flour made from non-GMO wheat, often referred to as ancient wheat.  Even my husband, who isn’t very vocal about such things, said it was a great texture and flavor improvement over my straight glucomannan dumpling recipe.  Now granted, the carb count jumped from .1 g per dumpling to 1.65 g per dumpling with this modification. However the difference is worth the increase and these are still very low carb dumplings by anyone’s definition of “low-carb per serving”.  This new version has more “structure” and “body” and definitely has a bit of flour-y taste!  All goodness and desirable improvements in my opinion. :)

Yes, I have read Wheat Belly and Grain Brain and am eliminating modern wheat products from my diet.  But I don’t think we have to live in an all or nothing world.   I sure don’t want to.  I espouse reasoned moderation over food fanaticism.  I’m still going to continue to experiment and consume the older form of wheat, Einkorn wheat, in very small amounts.  My old recipes I introduce Einkorn wheat in, will acquire the word Einkorn at the beginning of their name, for easy spotting by me in the archives, and to facilitate reader searches using the search box.  If you’re wanting to explore recipes with Einkorn flour, you will just need to type “einkorn” into the search box to pull up just those recipes to view.  :)

I ate 4 of these dumplings (1/3 the batch) at dinner tonight in my chicken and dumplings and was quite satisfied.   So we could say this recipe should serve 3 adults.  But stats are provided below per dumpling to make it easier for you.  That means I got a mere 1 tsp. of Einkorn wheat flour in my digestive track.  Certainly not the 1/4 c. or so one would probably get in a whole slice of traditional store-bought or bakery bread would have in it, and also a lot less (and better flour,  I might add) than those low-carb tortillas low carbers are so quick to say proudly they eat regularly because they “only have 4 net carbs per tortilla”.

We all get to make our own food choices in life.  My choice is to experiment with Einkorn flour in tiny amounts < 1/4 c. total per entire recipe (usually much less).  I’m astounded at what a mere 1-2 T. brings to a recipe in both flavor and texture.  I don’t wish to justify that position on each and every recipe in which I use Einkorn flour and do not plan to do so.  If you’re not interested in those recipes, please just ignore the ones that begin with the work Einkorn and move on.  I’m not taking down any of the previous versions of those recipes, as I know many are gluten-free or choose not to eat the tiniest amount of real wheat, even non-GMO wheat.  That’s your choice.  It’s just not my choice.

It goes without saying this recipe is not suitable until the last and final grains rung of Atkins OWL, would be suitable for Keto if you eat wheat and can fit the carbs into your daily limits, but clearly would not be acceptable for Primal-Paleo.  FYI I buy my Einkorn flour from Jovial Foods on-line.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 ts. baking powder

1½ T. glucomannan powder (konjac powder)

1½ T. oat fiber (do not use oat flour or oat bran)

1/8 tsp. salt

1 T. Einkorn Flour

¼ c. + 2 T. tap water

1 extra large egg, or 1 large egg, or 2 small-medium eggs, beaten

DIRECTIONS:   Beat the egg in a small bowl with a fork.  Add the water and beat until both are blended well together.  On a paper plate or in another bowl, measure out the dry ingredients.  Stir well.  Slowly sprinkle the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring with a fork or whisk.  Switching to a rubber spatula, stir and begin to fold the slowly thickening mixture over and over itself until it is a contiguous batter and eventually turns into a thick, almost dry dough.  I let mine sit by the stove 2-3 minutes.  Then, using a teaspoon, dip 3/4″-1″ dollops of the dough into your palm.  This step is important:  roll them slightly into a ball shape in your palms.  If you just drop them directly into the broth from the spoon without rolling, they tend to fall apart in the broth during cooking.  Or for gnocchi, using your hands, roll the dough into ropes on plastic wrap or parchment and cut into short lengths for gnocchi, if that’s how you want to use this dough.

Drop the dumplings/gnocchi into gently simmering broth or soup and cover.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  This is IMPORTANT, as you don’t want to “rough up” these delicate babies. From the time you cover the pot, set timer for exactly 10 minutes (only 8 minutes for small gnocchi).  I like to remove chicken, meat or large chunks of vegetables to a platter while the dumplings are simmering to allow ample room for the dumplings to rise and swell up. DO NOT LIFT THE LID or disturb the pot during this 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, lift the lid and VOILA!!  They’re done!  They rise up incredibly during cooking but fall a bit after the lid is lifted.  You may want to thicken the stock depending on your personal preference.  I put 1-2 T. of water into the bowl I mixed them in and scraped the bits off the sides of the bowl with my rubber spatula for a bit of thickener and stirred it right into the broth.  Waste not want not. Worked just fine. :)

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    UPDATED:  Math correction in the stats that actually lowers net carbs!  Yaaaaay!  This recipe makes twelve 1½-2 dumplings, each dumpling contains approximately ½ carb!

10.33 calories

.74 g  fat

1.62 g  carbs, 1.10 g  fiber, .52 g  NET CARBS

1.00 g. protein

66 mg sodium

9.9 mg potassium

Chicken Florentine

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I’m re-posting one of the most popular recipes on my website.  Sometimes we food bloggers get so wrapped up in creating new dishes, we can easily get lost and forget some of the old favorites and need to be reminded of them from time to time.  I’m making this tonight, so I thought I’d share it with you again today.

This recipe takes a mere 20-30 minutes to pull together.  It’s amazingly tasty and worth every one of those minutes.  So attractive on the platter, too!  And better yet, it’s Induction friendly!  The creamy spinach-mushroom topping compliments the seared chicken so nicely!  If in Atkins OWL Phase 2, adding 2 T. white wine to the spinach mixture is very, very good!  :)

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DISCLAIMER:  I receive no remuneration for this promotion nor for the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so simply because they are GREAT recipes you won’t want to miss out on!

INGREDIENTS:

3 large chicken breasts, deboned and skinned

1 T. unsalted butter

½ lb. fresh mushrooms sliced thick

1 clove minced garlic

Pinch salt and pepper

6 oz. fresh spinach (3-4 oz. if using frozen)

1/3 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. chicken broth

3 T. grated Parmesan

2 T. white wine (optional)

Pinch xanthan gum (if needed to thicken)

DIRECTIONS:

If using frozen spinach, cook in water as directed on package in a saucepan and drain well.  Set aside.  Now slice each chicken breast diagonally into 3-4 thinner slices to speed up cooking.  Melt butter in non-stick skillet and saute the chicken slices or “filets”, as I call them,  until lightly browned and thoroughly cooked (medium-high heat).  This won’t take long at all, which is precisely why I like to slice them.  Remove chicken to serving platter.  Add mushrooms to the same skillet and saute until done.   Add fresh spinach and garlic.   Saute until spinach is wilted.  Lower heat and add cream, broth and cheese to spinach/mushroom mixture in skillet.  Add pinch of salt and pepper.  Lightly dust with xanthan gum 2-3 times, stirring between each addition to slightly thicken sauce.   Pour sauce over chicken.  Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley if desired.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings each with:

467 calories

26 g  fat

6.8 g  carbs

2 g  fiber

4.8 g  NET CARBS

49 g  protein

200 mg sodium

There is an error in the instructions for my Gluten-Free Hamburger Bun recipe.  http://buttoni.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/gluten-free-grain-free-hamburger-buns/  It said to “scoop up the batter using a 1/2 c. measuring cup” and the batter would yield 7 buns.  However if you do that, you will only get FOUR buns!

That sentence should read to “scoop up the batter using a 1/4 c. measuring cup” and then the batter will truly yield 7 buns.

I apologize for this error a reader just discovered and brought to my attention.  Please correct your copies of this recipe so that when you make them, you will get the 7 buns the recipe and nutritional information indicates.

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This little lunch was created with leftovers from a dinner earlier this week.  I had bought a lovely head of cabbage at the store Saturday and it had particularly green, undamaged outer leaves.  Thought those pretty outer leaves sure would make some nice cabbage rolls.  So when I opened up the refrigerator at 11:00 wondering what to fix us for lunch, and with the single serving of leftover Gingerale Baked Sweet Potatoes (I’ll be posting that recipe soon, as it was soooo good!) sitting right by the single leftover pork chop, “Hello”, the light bulb went off in my head.  This is invariably why my husband calls me “Queen of leftovers”, because I can recreate them and end up with a totally different dish.   It’s my way of dealing with his personal preference of not liking leftovers.  ;)   My husband does not usually eat the outer leaves of cabbage rolls as he isn’t very fond of cabbage.  The outer leaves can be really tough sometimes if the cabbage has been picked awhile or long in getting to market, even with extra boiling.  But you certainly can eat them if you blanch them a little longer than inner leaves.  We found this to be delicious and I will definitely serve this again!

This dish is not suitable for Atkins Induction due to the carb-y sweet potatoes.  It is OK for Keto diets if you can fit the carbs into your daily menu numbers.  This is not be suitable for Primal-Paleo without modifications for the dairy.

 INGREDIENTS:  

2 large outer cabbage leaves (parboiled 2-4 min., depending on how tough they seem and whether you plan to eat them)

2 slices bacon, chopped

2 oz. onion, chopped

4 oz. cooked pork chop or pork steak, cut into small strips

1 c. chopped green cabbage

1 oz. cream cheese

2 T. my Shawarma Mayonnaise (or mayo of your choice)

3/4 c. cooked sweet potato, cut into small french-fry strips (½ of a small potato)

Dash each salt, black pepper, ground cumin and chipotle smoked chile powder (or any chili powder will do)

¼ c. Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded

DIRECTIONS:  Drop the 2 whole leaves of cabbage into simmering water and parboil for 2 minutes if you do NOT plan to eat the outer leaves;  boil for 4 minutes if you plan to eat the outer leaves.  While they are boiling, fry the bacon in a skillet over high heat.  When nearly done, add the onion and saute until tender.  Add the cooked pork to the skillet and saute until it begins to brown.  Lower heat to medium and add shredded cabbage.  Saute just until cabbage is wilted.  Add the cream cheese in dots and allow it to melt under the heat of the mixture, stirring often until it is fully melted and blended in.  Add the mayo and stir to mix well.  Finally, add the cooked sweet potato bits and all spices.  Stir to mix all uniformly.  Remove from heat and preheat your oven to 350º.

Next lay the whole cabbage leaves on an oven-proof serving platter.  Spoon half the filling along the leaf stem, in a column.  Spoon half the Jack cheese on top of the row of meat mixture.  Fold the base of the leaf inward on the other side and secure with a toothpick to close up one end, as shown in the picture.  Pop into 350º oven for about 1o-15 minutes.  Serve and ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains:

408 calories

35 g  fat

14.1 g  carbs, 3.25 g  fiber, 10.85 g  NET CARBS

16.1 g  protein

508 mg sodium

453 mg potassium

21% RDA Vitamin A, 24% B5, 24% B12, 41% C, 13% copper, 10% iron, 10% magnesium, 13% manganese, 18% niacin, 22% phosphorous, 18% riboflavin, 29% selenium, 33% thiamin and 15% zinc

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