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Archive for the ‘Beef’ Category

Beef Pot Pie

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So far, I’ve done a Chicken Pot Pie, a Turkey Pot Pie but I’ve never done a Beef Pot Pie.  So tonight I gave it a whirl as I wanted to try some Einkorn flour in my best pie crust, slightly tweaked.   I order my Einkorn flour direct from Jovial Foods. Yes, I’ve read the books and yes, I understand what eating wheat does to us metabolically.  This is ancient wheat that has not been genetically modified and I chose to do some moderate experimenting with it.  If you do not wish to eat it, use 1/4 c. more of the bake mix in your crust.  I often serve a light cream sauce atop my pot pies and it was delicious added to this one.  But I know that’s not traditional, so I didn’t picture it that way above.

The final dish was absolutely delicious!  I decided I wanted a 2-crust pie, and I’m glad I did.  The final dish was not to wet; not too dry……just the right moisture level.  It was also a good filling-to-crust ratio!  I could even slice it like a real pie!  My husband just loved this dish.   The carb count is a little higher than I like, but not bad really, considering there is ¼ c. real flour in it!  This recipe is not suitable until you reach the grains level at Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance in the Atkins program.  This recipe is probably too high in carbs for a Keto diet unless you are at or near goal weight.  It is not suitable for Primal-Paleo, but if you sub in a plan-suitable crust you could certainly eat this. :)

DOUBLE CRUST INGREDIENTS:

½ c. Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten Free Bake Mix

¼ c. Einkorn flour (or ¼ c. more of the bake mix above)

2/3 c. golden flax meal

2/3 c. oat fiber (I order from Honeyvillegrains.com)

¼ tsp. salt

4 T. cold butter

2 eggs, beaten

3 oz. heavy cream (¼ c. + 2 T.)

MEAT FILLING INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. lean ground beef (I used grass-fed)

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 c. carrots, diced

1 c. frozen green beans, chopped small

1 c. yellow squash, diced (1 small one)

¼ c. homemade mayonnaise

2/3 c. good beef gravy (I save any leftover after cooking roasts and freeze for such uses)

1 beaten egg

Dash each salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:   Make the pie crust dough first.  Measure all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Stir to blend. Cut in the butter until it is well blended and the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Beat the eggs with the cream and work it into the crumbly mixture with a fork until it is well-blended and forms a solid ball of dough.  Set the dough in your fridge to chill while you make the filling.

Preheat oven to 350º.  Remove the pie crust from the fridge and divide it into 2 portions, one slightly larger than the other.  Take the larger portion and set it on the bottom of the pie plate or baking dish (I used a spring form pan).  Press the dough evenly onto the bottom and up 1¼” up the sides of the pie plate or whatever dish/pan you are using.  Place remaining dough back into the fridge for further chilling. Pop the bottom crust into a preheated 350º oven and bake until half done and dry to the touch but not brown (about 15 minutes).

Prepare the filling while the bottom crust is baking.  For the filling, brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring and crumbling as it cooks.  When almost done, add the vegetables.  Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, but not mushy.  Turn the heat off and stir in the prepared beef gravy, the beaten egg, dash of salt and pepper and the homemade mayo (I used my seasoned Shawarma Mayo). Set the meat mixture aside.  The bottom crust should be done now.   Remove it from the oven.  Spoon the beef filling carefully into the bottom crust.  Set aside.

Now place the remaining chilled ball of dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap on your counter.  Place a  second sheet of plastic wrap on top, press down with your hand a bit.  With a rolling pin, roll the crust slightly larger than your pie plate or baking dish.  It will be about 3/16″ thick. Remove the top piece of plastic.  You’re going to pick up and let the pastry fold downward onto itself by pick it up, plastic and all, holding it at an imaginary mid-point line, allowing it to fold downwards, plastic touching plastic.  Lay the folded crust side onto the top of the pan, lining up the fold with the mid-point of the pie plate.  Then gently unfold the other half and peel off the plastic wrap gently.   Press down the top crust onto the bottom crust to try and seal it a bit to avoid juices oozing out during baking.  If your top crust breaks apart a bit (mine did a bit), just press the portions together with a moistened finger as necessary.  Set the pan on a cookie sheet pan (to catch any that bubbles-over) and pop it into a hot 350º oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until browned nicely.  I served this with a tossed green salad topped with a raspberry vinaigrette.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings, each contains:

424 calories

36 g  fat

20.42 g  carbs, 12.22 g  fiber, 8.2 g  NET CARBS

22.6 g  protein

219 mg sodium

234 mg potassium

34.5% RDA Vitamin A, 9% B12, 7% C, 18% copper, 33% iron, 15% magnesium, 23% manganese, 16% phosphorous, 15% riboflavin, 15% selenium, 20% thiamin, 16% zinc

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Braised Oxtails & Dumplings

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Oxtail is a cut of beef that is usually used in soups, but it braises nicely, too.  The above dish was made with grass-fed oxtail.  I added a recipe of my Dumplings with a little parsley added.  The final dish was incredibly delicious!  The stock was very rich and didn’t even require any thickening!  This was absolutely delicious!  I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten oxtail any way but in soups before and will definitely fix them this way again!

I used my pressure cooker to speed up the cooking and tenderizing of this meat that tends to be a bit tough.  But you can slow cook them in any stew pot with success.  This dish is not suitable for Atkins Induction unless you omit the red wine.  It is OK for all other phases.

Very little of the flour clings to the meat during dredging and ends up in the stock during cooking  (I started out with 1 c. total and measured what was left in the bag and had virtually 1 c. left!).  Therefore I only calculated 1 T. of each dry “flour” in the nutritional tallies below, but I am absolutely certain even less (more like 1 tsp. each) is actually consumed. :)

INGREDIENTS:

1½ lb. bone-in beef oxtails (I used grass-fed)

2 T. olive oil

½ c. oat fiber

½ c. Einkorn flour (I order from Jovial) or oat flour

2 oz. onion, sliced or chopped

Water to cover meat

¼ c. red wine (any dry red will do) [omit for Induction]

1/16 tsp. thyme

Dash each salt and black pepper

1 recipe my Dumplings

¼ c. parsley, chopped (for dumplings)

DIRECTIONS:  Mix the flour and oat fiber in a small paper bag.  Add the oxtail pieces, close and shake to dredged the meat uniformly with the coating.  Heat the oil in your stew pot or pressure cooker over high heat.  Add dredged pieces of meat and brown well on all sides.  The browning is what gives your stock a rich, dark brown color so do not under brown it.  Cover meat with water.  Add the onion, thyme, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil (or pressure point) and then lower heat and cook under pressure for 30 minutes.  If you don’t own a pressure cooker, simmer on low heat for about 1 hour or until meat is tender.  Add more water when the meat is done if a lot has cooked away.  You need at lease 2″ of stock to cook your dumplings in.  Lift the meat out onto a serving dish and pop into a warm oven while you make the dumplings.

Make the dumplings by that recipe’s directions, adding the chopped parsley to the dry ingredients. Form 12 ball-shaped dumplings using either your palms to roll or use 2 spoons to form dumplings.  In GENTLY simmering broth, carefully drop the dumplings. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.  Lift lid and dip the dumplings onto the meat and gently pour the stock over all.  Serve at once.  I served mine with steamed broccoli.  Be sure to note the fantastic nutritional info for this meal:

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings (3 dumplings per serving).  Each serving contains:

549 calories

32.6 g  fat

8.45 g  carbs, 5.55 g  fiber, 2.9 g NET CARBS

55 g  protein

606 mg sodium

520 mg potassium

35% RDA Vitamin B6, 174% B12, 7% C, 7% E, 30% copper, 84% iron, 14% magnesium, 6% manganese, 33% niacin, 58% phosphorous, 82% selenium, 14% thiamin, 222% zinc

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Peppered Rib Roast

Peppered Rib Roast

I often make this for company and holidays.  This is truly my all-time favorite beef marinade and has been since I was in high school.  We invariably have this recipe for Christmas dinner, because we are usually turkey’ed out by then.  This recipe makes enough marinade for an 8 lb. boneless rib roast, which will (after shrinkage) serve 10 nice servings, with some leftover for the most delicious cold roast beef sandwiches you ever had.  I do not recommend reheating this meat, as the marinade gets strong upon reheating, in my opinion.

In the beginning, I only made this roast for large dinner parties and holidays, not because it was hard to make, but because that’s when I tend to purchase, cook and serve rib roasts. But once I realized this marinade could just as easily be used on smaller cuts of beef, we enjoy it much more often now.  I have done it for a  3-4 lb. rib roast, lean piece of boneless chuck, sirloin roasts and individual steaks.  It’s also good on wild game you plan to do on the grill.  It’s a truly unique flavor when cooked over charcoal (not so good oven-cooked though).  It is Atkins friendly (just not Induction friendly, because of the wine).  Leaving out the wine just isn’t an option for this recipe, so wait until the Atkins OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss) phase to enjoy this wonderful dish.  I guarantee, this is so good you’ll be fighting over who gets the two end slices, just like at my house.  :)

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ latest cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a myriad of delicious recipes you are going to want in your collection.  Order your set of cookbooks (also available individually) TODAY from Amazon or here:  http://amongfriends.us/order.php

DISCLAIMER:  I do not get paid for this book promotion nor for the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so merely because they are GREAT cookbooks.  Any low-carb cook would be proud to serve any of the recipes to family or guests.

MARINADE INGREDIENTS:

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

1/8 c. low-sodium soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos

1/2 c. dry red wine (burgundy or claret work nicely here)

1 T. tomato paste

1½ T. coarse ground black pepper (or enough to entirely coat your meat on all sides)

DIRECTIONS:

Pound the coarse ground black pepper over all surfaces of an 8 rib roast using the butt of your palm. Use less if doing a small piece of meat. Place meat in glass dish. I drizzle marinate every half hour (as often as you can remember to stop and do it) most of a day (minimum 6 hours). Most efficient way to marinate without disturbing pepper coating is to use a basting brush. Do not touch the meat with your brush, or you’ll wipe all the pepper off! Hold it over the meat and let it drip off the brush. When surface is soaked, put in refrigerator to marinate between “bastings”.  I baste hourly until cooking time.

COOKING:

This recipe really is not good cooked inside in your oven. Not sure why, but it just isn’t.  It seems it is the marriage of the marinade with charcoal smoke that makes this recipe taste divine.  You charcoal the 8 lb. rib roast for about 2 hours over medium charcoal fire, using a rotary spit. If you don’t have one, like me, just turn the meat every half hour to sear all surfaces. Best if not cooked past medium-medium rare stage.  I take mine off at 120º degrees on my meat thermometer and set it on my cutting board for another 10 minutes to “rest”.  A piece of meat this large will continue to climb to around 130º while resting. That’s usually a nice pink medium rare inside.

If doing chuck roast or individual rib steaks with this, cook a 3-4 lb. chuck about 20 minutes on a side for medium rare. Cook the steaks as you usually would.

This is a most unusual taste when grilled outside. It always gets the WOWS when served. Hope you folks will try it. I think you’ll find you won’t be sorry you did! The outside slices are so good we always fight over them at home.  :)

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:

The marinade is discarded when you cook the meat.  No further basting should be done while cooking as there is now raw meat juice int eh marinade.   Calculating how much marinade is consumed is difficult.  It would also be impossible for me to know how many servings you are able to get out of your roast.  So I’m providing the totals for the entire batch of marinade and you will have to see how much it makes and how much is left in the pan before discarding to determine roughly how much is staying on the meat and thus consumed by how many people you are serving.   Most of the sauce goes down the drain, to be perfectly honest, so you’re getting mostly sodium from the soy sauce and a few carbs from the wine and tomato paste that cling to the surface of the meat (a little more if you get the end slices).  The figures below DO NOT INCLUDE THE MEAT.

Entire batch of marinade has:

131 calories

.7 g. fat

18 g. carbs

4.6 g. fiber

5.5 g. protein

approx. 1070 mg. sodium

15.4 NET CARBS

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We recently grilled some delicious German Beef Brats I can get from my grass-fed beef supplier. The seasoning blend in his sausages is simply delicious!  Very heavy with black pepper, but we like that.  With the 3 leftover links I defrosted tonight, I created a quick, stir-fried dish that’s both tasty, satisfies and yet stays low in carbs, despite all the vegetables in it. This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto, Paleo and Primal nutritional programs.  You could also make this using any type of brats, smoked sausage or Kielbasa with equally good results.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. bacon grease

8 oz. German beef brat sausages (or any lean link sausage), precooked & sliced

1 c. frozen green beans

4 oz. onion, sliced thinly

4 oz. green cabbage, sliced

1 large clove garlic, minced

4 oz. red bell pepper, sliced

4 oz. sliced mushrooms, drained

Dash each salt and black pepper

¼ tsp. Sriracha chili sauce

DIRECTIONS:    Heat the bacon grease in a non-stick wok or skillet.  Saute the green beans and onion until to begins to wilt.  Add the cabbage and garlic next and continue sauteing until it just begins to soften.  Add the bell pepper, stirring as it softens just a bit (but isn’t mushy).  Add sausage, mushrooms, salt, pepper and Sriracha sauce and stir well for 2-3 minutes for flavors to blend. Remove and enjoy.   I ate mine plain, but it would be good on brown rice for non-low-carb guests.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

274 calories

22.5 g  fat

10.1 g  carbs, 3.05 g  fiber, 7.05 g  NET CARBS

8.7 g  protein

384 mg potassium

725 mg sodium

9% RDA Vitamin A, 20% B6, 6% B12, 66% C, 15% copper, 16% iron, 8% magnesium, 14% manganese, 18% niacin, 17% phosphorous, 17% selenium, 26% thiamin, 25% zinc

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Bone broth is so very good for you!  I make it, freeze it and use it at every opportunity in my cooking.  I like to collect my grass-fed beef bones in a large plastic bag in the freezer.  Then when I have a big batch, I make extra rich bone broth from them.  I happened to have  1½ quarts of made-up broth in my freezer today and decided it was a good day for soup for lunch.   I didn’t add too much to the pot…just a few vegetables and some leftover grass-fed brisket that was also in the freezer.  I tossed in a couple things to spice it up and VOILA!  Another delicious, hearty soup for a chilly winter day.  This soup is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal-Paleo as well.

INGREDIENTS:

1½ qts. (6 cups) beef bone broth

1 c. rich, beef gravy (I used some leftover made from chuck roast pan drippings)

8 oz. cooked beef chuck or brisket, diced (I used grass-fed brisket)

½ c. Rotel tomatoes with green chilies

1 c. diced tomatoes (I used no-salt canned)

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 small carrots, chopped

4 T. my chimichurri sauce:  (or 2 T. each fresh parsley, cilantro and minced jalapeno pepper)

½ tsp. blend of your favorite chili powder blend (I used a blend of smoky chipotle, guajillo and ancho)

2 cloves garlic, minced

Dash each salt and coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS:   Place all ingredients in a large soup pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer for at least 1 hour to cook vegetables tender and to blend the flavors together.  Serve with your favorite low-carb crackers.  I served mine with my new Almond-Arrowroot Crackers.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 large bowls (about 1-1¼c. each).  Each serving contains:

228 calories

14.5 g  fat

6.01 g  carbs, 1.61 g  fiber, 4.4 g  NET CARBS

16.4 g  protein

262 mg sodium

199 mg potassium

23% RDA Vitamin A, 13% B6, 127% B12, 9% C, 7% calcium, 14% copper, 52% iron, 5% magnesium, 37% manganese, 42% niacin, 21% phosphorous, 25% riboflavin, 38% selenium, 5% thiamin, 62% zinc

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Well, I made it through yet another Christmas feast!  Now, my husband is sound asleep in his favorite chair so I thought I’d post my favorite method for cooking rib roasts that I used tonight.  It’s how my mother roasted them for years and years and folks, it just doesn’t get any easier or any tastier! This method has never, EVER failed me.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Ketogenic diets and Primal-Paleo if you use coconut aminos.

My roasts are usually bone-in as I think they cook more evenly with the bones in them.  But I do remove them after cooking to make slicing the meat easier.  I served my roast tonight with French-style green beans and a tasty cauliflower mash along with a lovely Grand Marnier fruit salad on the side.  All I can say is……………Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

We like rib roast medium rare and you can see, it cooked perfectly for me as always.  My roast was 4.5 pounds and after removing the bones, I got 8 nice 8-oz. servings (3/8″ thick slices) from the hunk of lean meat remaining.   My little rat terrier got one of the meaty bones for her Christmas dinner.  She was in sheer heaven.  :)  No doubt, my husband will eat the other one for lunch tomorrow.  He just loves to gnaw the bones.

INGREDIENTS:

4½ pound beef rib roast (I usually buy bone-in and allow 1# to serve 2 people when buying)

1 T. coconut aminos, tamari or low-sodium soy sauce

½ clove garlic (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

¼-1/3  tsp. coarse cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat the oven to 325º.  Place the roast on a cutting board or right in your roasting pan if you prefer.  If using fresh garlic, the first step is to cut your clove in half and rub the cut surface all over the surfaces of the meat (all sides, including the bony side).   If not using fresh garlic, step 1 is to drizzle the coconut aminos or soy sauce over the meat surfaces and rub it in with your fingers.  Step 2 is to sprinkle the garlic powder on the meat surfaces.  Last, sprinkle the black pepper all over the meat surfaces.  Place roast bone side down in your roasting pan.  Roast at 325º for 15 minutes to the pound.

Check center of the roast with a meat thermometer (be sure the thermometer tip isn’t touching bone).  The meat is rare at an internal temperature of 115º; medium rare at 120º; well done at 125º and probably overcooked and “dead” (dry and tough) at 130º or higher.   I personally think it is a crime to eat such a wonderful cut of meat well done, but to each his own preferences.    Since we like our rib roast medium rare, I always take it out of the oven when it reads (115º rare) as it will continue to cook as you let it sit on the counter for 5 minutes before carving.  You don’t want to bypass the sitting period or the minute you start slicing, all the wonderful juices will ooze out onto the cutting board and be wasted.  Carve off the bones and set aside.  Carve up 8 nice 3/8″ slices and serve at once.

I like to deglaze the roasting pan with a dab of water over low heat while the meat is “sitting”. Just stir to get up all the brown bits to make your “au jus” sauce.  Add a dash of salt and pepper to the juice if needed.  Serve your roast with horseradish sauce if desired.  My recipe for that sauce is here:  Horseradish Sauce

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes eight 8-oz.servings (plus the meaty bones leftover).  Each 8-0z. slice contains:

846 calories

69 g  fat (less if you trim all visible off as you eat)

.7 g  carbs, .2 g  fiber, .5 g  NET CARBS

52 g  protein

209 mg sodium

671 mg potassium

35% RDA Vitamin B6, 220% B12, 23% copper, 169% iron, 15% magnesium, 59% niacin, 56% phosphorous, 40% riboflavin, 88% selenium, 15% thiamin, 163% zinc

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Bought some beef shanks recently that were too pretty and lean to pass up!  I like to braise them in beer or wine as a rule.  This is one of my all-time favorite braised beef recipes and ever so simple.  Cooks itself really, after searing the meat.   This dish is equally good made with large pieces of chuck roast or with beef short ribs, if you can’t get shanks.  The carbs are coming from the leeks but they are really good with this meat.  This dish is Induction friendly and offers an incredible nutrient analysis.  I served mine with buttered, steamed carrots and my Seeded Dinner Rolls:  http://buttoni.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/seeded-dinner-rolls/ . My husband likes his leeks stewed to “death”, as they appear in the photo.  But I would recommend if you like yours less “dead” (as do I), wait to add them to the pot after the meat has simmered for the first hour hour.   I thicken my broth with xanthan gum, but you can use whatever thickener is acceptable for your eating plan.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

DISCLAIMER: I do not get paid for this book promotion or for the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so merely because they are GREAT cookbooks any low-carb cook would be proud to add to their cookbook collection

INGREDIENTS:

29-30 oz.  lean, cross-cut beef shanks  (about 1 3/4 lb. raw, weighed bone in)

1 T. coconut oil

2 oz. yellow onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 leek, cleaned and chopped into 2″ pieces

7 oz. large mushrooms, wiped clean

12 oz. low-carb beer (I used Michelob Ultra at 2.6 carbs per bottle)

1/4 tsp. ground thyme

1½ c. rich beef broth

about 1 c. water (enough to cover meat)

thickener of your choice

DIRECTIONS:   Cut root tip and top 1″of green part off the leek.  Slice it lengthwise and wash carefully with water between layers to get all “hiding” dirt out.  Cut into 2″ pieces and set aside.  Wipe mushrooms clean with a dry cloth, cut huge ones in half, leave others whole.  Set aside.    Heat a large dutch oven or stew pot until nearly smoking and add coconut oil.  Sear the pieces of meat on high flame until they are well browned on each side.  Add yellow onion, garlic, broth, beer, water thyme, salt and pepper.  Cover and lower heat to  slow simmer.  Simmer 1 hour.   Add mushrooms and leeks, lightly stirring them into the broth.  Cover again and simmer for about 30 more minutes or until meat is very tender.  Serve with your favorite low-carb bread or dinner rolls and a salad or another vegetable if you prefer.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains: (I have calculated the stats below assuming you consume an entire 1/4 of  the thickened broth, which is probably unlikely.  Actual consumed net carbs on the broth might be less than the 6.22 g. shown below.  But the actual consumed would be difficult to calculate any other way than I have shown at 1/4 the broth, 1/4 of the meat and 1/4 of the veggies.)

310 calories

10.4 g  fat

7.55 g  carbs, 1.33 g  fiber, 6.22 g  NET CARBS

40.2 g  protein

450 mg sodium

932 mg potassium

64% RDA Vitamin B6, 240% B12, 36% copper, 62% iron, 88% niacin, 60% phosphorous, 55% riboflavin, 66% selenium and 152% zinc

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This delicious, hearty beef casserole was inspired by this very simple Hamburger Recipe .   Linda has so many delicious, simple casserole recipes and was my cooking-Bible when I began low-carbing and had no idea what I was doing.

For my final dish, I substituted a somewhat richer creamy ingredient:  Jennifer Eloff’s marvelous Condensed Mushroom Soup (scroll down on the page) .  You should omit the xanthan gum in her soup recipe, as I also add a fair amount of Smoked Gouda cheese to the recipe, which nicely takes care of thickening the liquid in this recipe.  I also greatly increased the vegetables in the recipe for deeper flavor and added parsley and cayenne pepper.

This dish is very quick to make and can even be baked in the same skillet you used for sauteing!  I’m all about easy in the kitchen!  This entree would be suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal diners who eat occasional dairy.  This one is not appropriate for Paleo.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

DISCLAIMER: I do not get paid for this book promotion or for the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so merely because they are GREAT cookbooks any low-carb cook would be proud to add to their cookbook collection

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 head (5-6″) cauliflower, cut into flowerettes, steamed or boiled

1 T. butter, unsalted, melted

1 c. celery, chopped

½ c. onion, chopped

1 lb. ground beef (I used 90% lean grass-fed)

½ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s Condensed Mushroom Soup: (omit xanthan gum)

¼ c. chicken broth (I use homemade)

1  4-oz. can sliced mushrooms, undrained

1/8 tsp. black pepper

Dash salt

Dash cayenne pepper (optional)

¼ c. parsley, chopped

6 oz. shredded Smoked Gouda Cheese

DIRECTIONS:  Make the mushroom soup by that recipe’s directions, omitting the xanthan gum.  You will use half for this dish and can store the balance in the refrigerator for about a week.  Set aside for now.  Steam or boil the cauliflower until tender (about 15-20 minutes).  Drain well and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350º.   In an oven-proof skillet over high heat melt the butter.  Add the onion and celery and saute/stir until they are tender.   Crumble the meat on top and continue to cook until the meat is no longer brown.  Add all remaining ingredients but the parsley (including the condensed soup and cooked cauliflower).  Stir gently to mix well and turn off the heat.  Sprinkle the parsley on top and press slightly into the surface of the casserole.  Pop skillet into your preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Serve with a green vegetable or green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 servings (my skillet is 15″).  Each serving contains:

267 calories

20 g  fat

6.67 g  carbs, 2.17 g  fiber, 4.5 g  NET CARBS

17 g  protein

488 mg sodium

286 mg potassium

12% RDA Vitamin B6, 37% B12, 17% calcium, 14% copper, 25% iron, 10% phosphorous, 9% riboflavin, 4% selenium

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Zucchini and Steak Bake

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This very simple tasty dish is a marvelous way to use up that 4-6 oz. of leftover grilled steak we find ourselves with occasionally.  Not a common occurrence in our household ;) , but it DOES happen from time to time.  This dish takes under 15 minutes to throw together in a skillet and bakes in about 15-20 minutes.  You can even bake it in the same skillet you saute the ingredients in.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, other Keto diets and any Primal followers that eat occasional cheese. This is NOT suitable for Paleo devotees.

VARIATION:  You can reduce the steak and increase the bacon to 6oz.  I have even done this dish with NO steak and ALL bacon.  It’s good any way you combine the meats.  I suspect it would be good made with shrimp and bacon as well.

INGREDIENTS:

4 oz. raw bacon, cut up coarsely

2 oz. onion, sliced

6 oz. zucchini, sliced ¼” thick

6 oz. leftover grilled steak, sliced thin

1 plum tomato, coarsely cut up

Few dashes of black pepper

4 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º. Brown bacon in skillet over high heat until nearly done.   Add onion and zucchini and saute until bacon begins to brown and squash is beginning to get translucent.  Add steak and let brown lightly.   Add tomato and stir/cook until tomato begins to get soft.  Sprinkle with black pepper to your liking.  Dip half the mixture into a greased baking dish (I used an 8″x11″ dish).  Spread half the cheese over the mixture.  Spoon the remaining mixture evenly on top and finally top with the remaining cheese.  Pop into oven just long enough for cheese to melt completely, as the mixture is fully cooked already.  Enjoy with a nice green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Serves 4, each serving contains:

340 calories

27.4 g  fat

5.02 g  carbs, .9 g fiber, 4.12 g  NET CARBS

18.2 g  protein

566 mg sodium

400 mg potassium

11% RDA Vitamin A, 20% B6, 70% B12, 16% calcium, 12% copper, 18% iron, 9% magnesium, 9% manganese, 21% niacin, 40% phosphorous, 24% riboflavin, 31% selenium, 15% thiamin, 34% zinc

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Browsing my favorite food blogs, I came across a lovely picture of meatballs, something I’ve not made in ages.  I decided it was high time I did some meatballs for dear hubby and I love them, too!   The dish I came up with is not classic “saucy” spaghetti and meatballs, as actually very little sauce is put on each serving.  But an adequate tomato-y edge was there and made this a delightful dinner.

I’m providing the nutritional information for the individual parts of this, as many will use this meatball recipe with other sauces, serve it over other bases than the zucchini noodles and will use this thick veggie-heavy marinara sauce for other applications.  This dish is not suitable until Phase 2 Atkins due to the ricotta.  It is OK for Ketogenic diets.  It is however not acceptable for Primal-Paleo.

I like to make large batches of meatballs and freeze the extras for quick uses later on.  This recipe makes 20 meatballs or 10 servings of two meatballs.  Adjust your recipe as your needs dictate.

I absolutely love the Lucini “Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce” that I found at my local Walmart.  It’s made with all natural ingredients, has a lovely taste and I buy it for quick sauces and us it for quick pizza sauce.  It’s a great flavor foundation to build on.  :)   It costs somewhere around $3.99/jar if I remember right.  Ingredients in Lucini Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce: Vine-Ripened Plum Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, Lucini® Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Carrots, Onions, Basil, Sea Salt, Citric Acid (naturally derived)

You can have many more tasty low-carb recipes like this at your fingertips with your very own copy of the latest publications by Jennifer Eloff and friends: LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS. Volumes 1-5 are released.  Vol. 6 is due out later this year and Vol. 7 will be released in early 2015.  Order yours today at Amazon or here: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

I receive no remuneration for this cookbook promotion nor the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so simply because they are filled with fantastic recipes any cook, low carb or otherwise, would be proud to add to their cookbook library.

MEATBALLS:

1 lb. ground beef (I used 90% lean grass-fed)

1 lb. ground pork

2 beaten eggs

½ c. ricotta cheese

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼ tsp. each onion powder, garlic powder, crushed fennel seed and dried basil

½ tsp. dried oregano, crushed

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

MEATBALL DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Measure out all ingredients into a large bowl and mix together with fork or hand until well blended.  Form large 1½” balls by rolling in your palms.  Place them on either a non-stick baking sheet or one with a silicone sheet liner.  Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned and no longer oozing pink juices.

QUICK MARINARA SAUCE:

3 T. olive oil

½ c. celery, chopped

4 oz. onion, chopped

¼ c. bell pepper, chopped

5 large mushrooms, chopped

1  25.5 oz. jar (3c.) Lucini “Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce”, all natural ingredients with 4 NC per ½c. serving

2/3 c. parsley, chopped

3/4-1c. water, as needed

DIRECTIONS FOR SAUCE:  Heat oil in skillet or large saucepan.  Add celery, onion and bell pepper and saute until nearly tender.  Add mushroom and saute until translucent. Add Lucini sauce, parsley and bring to a simmer on very low heat.  Cook on lowest setting while meatballs are baking.  Stir often, adding water, as needed, to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan and to maintain a thin marinara sauce consistency.

ZUCCHINI NOODLES “Zoodles”:    VARIATIONS: Serve over spaghetti squash or Dreamfields pasta                           

3 medium zucchini (about 10 oz. each)

1 T. olive oil

DIRECTIONS FOR NOODLES:   Cut the zucchini into noodle shapes either with a hand held julienne peeler (what I use) or the more expensive tools like the counter-top Spirooli  that is designed to do this much faster. Heat olive oil in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.   Add zucchini threads to the pan and lightly saute just until they become translucent.  DO NOT OVERCOOK them or they will get mushy.

FINAL PLATING:  Plate about 1 cup zoodles on each plate.  Top with 1/2 c. sauce.  Place 2 meatballs on top and if desired, garnish with a sprinkle of grated fresh Parmesan.

MEATBALL NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 20 very large meatballs.  Two per serving.  Each 2-meatball serving contains:

290 calories, 23 g  fat, 1.18 g  carbs, .8 g  fiber, .38 g  NET CARBS and 20.2 g  protein, 155 mg sodium and 187 mg potassium

SAUCE NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes ten 1/2 c. servings of sauce.  Each serving contains:

97 calories, 7.2 g  fat, 7.27 g  carbs, 1.93 g  fiber, 5.34 g  NET CARBS, 2.24 g  protein, 306 mg sodium and 144 mg potassium

ZUCCHINI NOODLES NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 10 servings of noodles.  Each 3 oz serving contains:

59 calories, 4.7 g  fat, 4.2 g  carbs, 1.4 g  fiber, 2.8 g  NET CARBS  1.5 g  protein

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I have to say these burgers go down in the annals of our 45 years or grilling burgers as the  absolutely BEST burger I have ever EVER tasted, anywhere.  The grass-fed beef gives them a vibrant, rich beefy flavor.  Then the marinade mixture I blended into the meat took them to sheer hamburger Nirvana.  To put that comment into perspective, I do not put condiments on my burgers: I only use lettuce and tomato on them, so the flavor of the meat REALLY comes through on my burgers.  My husband, who puts EVERYTHING on a burger, said he couldn’t taste the marinate so much, only the smoke taste.  Mustard can be a powerful thing (why I don’t like it).  So hubby left the mustard off his second burger and then he agreed with me……. the taste of the meat was incredible. That would indicate this recipe will make incredible bunless grilled meat patties, perhaps wrapped in bacon, to serve with your favorite sides.

You can serve your burgers on your favorite low-carb buns.  I served mine on my new Gluten-Free Grain-Free Hamburger Buns.  They are neutral-tasting like high-carb white bread buns, soft, moist, yet sturdy enough to hold up to the juiciness of the meat and tomato.  These burger patties are suitable for Atkins Induction Phase, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo if eaten either without a bun or a plan/phase suitable bun.

Many more delicious low-carb burger recipes can be yours in Jennifer Eloff’s latest, best-selling cookbook venture LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  Click to see a preview of what’s in store for you in this 5-volume set.   Jennifer and other low-carb chefs, including well-known George Stella, have brought you a marvelous collection of tasty delights.   Order the set or order them individually in regular or coil binding at Amazon or direct.

DISCLAIMER:  I am not paid for this book promotion or the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so simply because they are a GREAT collection of recipes you are going to want to give a try.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. grass-fed ground beef  or ground lamb if you prefer (mine is 90% lean)

3 T. butter or ghee, melted

2 tsp. Sriracha hot chili sauce (or 1 tsp. Sambal Oelek sauce)

3/4 tsp. your favorite spice blend (I used homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning)

¼ tsp. onion powder

¼ tsp. garlic powder

DIRECTIONS:  Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the remaining ingredients.  Pour over the ground beef or lamb in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well with a fork, cover.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours.   When ready to cook the burgers, prepare a hot charcoal fire and grill the burgers as usual (about 7 minutes on a side for medium).  The butter in the meat will make them flare up, so don’t walk away to fix that adult beverage while these babies cook.  :)  Serve on your favorite low-carb buns along with your favorite condiments and side dishes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes four 4-oz. burger patties, each contains (not including your bun):

297 calories

24.7 g  fat

.97 g  carbs, .02 g  fiber, .95 g  NET CARBS

20 g  protein

247 mg sodium

5.9 mg potassium

10 %  RDA Vitamin A, 27% iron

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We grilled our first grass-fed T-bone steaks tonight.  Hubby had a baked potato with his; I had fried radishes & caramelized onions with mine.  You can’t go wrong serving a nice salad with grilled meat.  This was a very simple marinade I whipped up and it came out quite tasty!  The spices I used this time gave it a distinct Asian flavor.  This recipe is suitable once you reach Atkins Phase 2 OWL, as the bit of white wine is not allowed on Induction.  It would be acceptable for Paleo-Primal only if you consume small amounts of wine.  Of course, leaving out the wine is always an option.  As grass-fed beef can be a little tougher than other beef, I would not cook your steaks well-done or you are going to be doing A LOT of chewing.  :)

Many more delightful recipes can be yours when you order Jennifer Eloff and friends’ latest best-selling cookbook series LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  There currently are 5 volumes but they are available individually.  Jennifer, Chef George Stella and other talented cooks are sharing some of their tastiest low-carb creations.  Order yours TODAY, in regular or coil binding, from Amazon or direct.

DISCLAIMER:  I am not paid for this book promotion or for the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so simply because I have all 5 volumes and KNOW they are GREAT cookbooks!

INGREDIENTS:

2   1″ thick steaks (I used a grass-fed T-bone (each was 14-oz bone-in; yield=10 oz. meat)

3 T. coconut aminos, tamari, or low-sodium soy sauce

2 T. olive oil

2 oz. white wine (omit if still in Atkins Induction)

1 clove garlic, minced

½ tsp. ginger, minced

1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper

1 tsp. toasted white sesame seeds

1 tsp. black sesame seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Mix the two types of sesame seeds with the red and black pepper in a saucer.  Poke the meat a few times with an ice pick, knife or kitchen fork to allow marinade to penetrate the meat a bit. Pound the sesame seed/pepper blend onto the surface of the meat either with the butt of your palm or a meat tenderizer mallet.  Place the steaks into a glass marinating dish.  Now add the coconut aminos (or soy sauce), wine and olive oil to the container.  Add the minced ginger and garlic.   Mix it up a bit and then, using a basting brush, drizzle the marinade over the meat carefully trying not to disturb the spices on the surfaces.  Cover and marinate for 4-5 hours in the refrigerator.  Remove steaks 30 minutes before ready to cook to bring them to room temperature.  While they come to room temp, prepare your charcoal fire.  When coals are white-hot, cook the steaks for about 7-8 minutes per side for medium to medium rare as shown above (or until done to your liking).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Naturally, not all the marinade is absorbed by the meat and consumed.  I show the total carbs for the marinade below, but you can assume around ½ g. net carb is consumed on the marinade. :)

Yields 2 adult servings (charcoal-grilled steak is the one time I indulge myself).  Each 10 oz. serving of steak contains:

478 calories

21.4 g fat

3.9 g carbs, 2.1 g  fiber, 1.8 g  NET CARBS  (around ½ g net carb is actually consumed)

62.8 g  protein

948 mg sodium

81 mg potassium

13% RDA Vitamin E, 10% iron and 10% manganese

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Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas

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Above are my classic gooey, cheesy, Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas.  It’s how I’ve made them for over 40 years.  I can’t live without them, so I just had to come up with a low-carb “corn” tortilla so that I could fine tune my family comfort food into enchiladas that would still fit into my low-carb lifestyle.  Not a very pretty dish, enchiladas, but trust me these make up for it in flavor!

I created that low-carb corn tortilla this afternoon.  Not as good as the real deal. I’d be lying if I said it was. But hey, I do what I must to stay low-carb.  These new tortillas made a very tasty enchilada dinner tonight.  They were every bit as good and as filling as my traditional enchiladas, just without all the carbs!!  Guacamole was a perfect compliment to this Mexican dish. These enchiladas are not suitable until the nuts and seeds rung of the Atkins Phase 2 OWL carb ladder.   They are not suitable for Paleo or Primal due to the tablespoon of cornmeal in the tortillas.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef (I used 90% lean grass-fed)

8 of my low-carb “corn” tortillas made by this recipe:  http://buttoni.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/low-carb-corn-tortillas/

3 oz. onion, chopped

1 tsp. chili powder blend

1 tsp. dried guajillo chiles, seeded and chopped fine (or 1/2 tsp. ground guajillo chile powder)

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ tsp. ground cumin

4 oz. grated cheddar cheese

8 oz. (8 slices) American Cheese (or more cheddar if you prefer)

1 c. homemade red enchilada sauce:  (I use this recipe: http://genaw.com/lowcarb/red_enchilada_sauce.html )

½ c. canned green tomatillos

DIRECTIONS:  Make the “corn” tortillas and set aside.  Grease baking dish and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350º.  Brown ground beef along with the chopped onion in a non-stick skillet.  Add the salt, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin and dried guajillo chile to the meat mixture.  Cook until onions are tender and meat is no longer pink.  Spoon about 2 oz. meat mixture  (1 large soup spoonful) onto one of the tortillas.  Add ½ slice of the American cheese.  Gently roll the tortilla around the meat/cheese mixture and place it seam down into the greased baking dish.  Repeat with remaining 7 enchiladas, pushing them snugly together in the pan so they will all fit.  I usually have to put 1 or 2 on the side of the dish as well.  If there is a bit of meat mixture leftover, just spoon it over the top of the rolled enchiladas.  Set the pan aside while you make the red enchilada sauce per the recipe instructions at the above link.  Add the canned green tomatillos.  Add the remaining 4 slices of American cheese to the enchilada sauce and stir until melted.  Spoon the sauce over the enchiladas in the pan.  Top with the grated cheddar cheese and pop into a preheated 350º oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted nicely.  Serve with your favorite Mexican side dish. ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 enchiladas, each contains:

283 calories

21.06 g  fat

5.50 g  carbs, .67 g  fiber, 4.83 g  NET CARBS

19.4 g  protein

40 mg sodium

172 mg potassium

21% RDA Vitamin A, 16% B12, 22% calcium, 20% iron, 29% phosphorous, 17% riboflavin, 10% selenium, 16% zinc

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Click to enlarge (Hubby’s plate.  I don’t eat beans)

This Atkins Induction-friendly entree goes together so quickly once you roast the poblano peppers, which takes some of the hotness out of them.  And it’s so tasty.  We just adore Mexican foods!  The refried beans on the plate would NOT be Induction-friendly or Keto-friendly, however.  Those are not suitable until the finaly rung of the carb reintroduction ladder, when you have reached Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance goal weight.   I always serve guacamole salad with Mexican food, and my very simple recipe is here: http://buttoni.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/guacamole-salad/ .  This would only be suitable for Primal if you eat occasional cheese; it is not acceptable for Paleo due to the cheese.

INGREDIENTS:

1 very large 6-7 oz. poblano pepper

10 oz. ground beef (I used 90% lean grass-fed)

3 oz. onion, chopped

1 tsp. chopped dried mild guajillo chile (sold in cello bags at the grocery store in fresh produce area)

½ tsp. chili powder blend

½ tsp. mild ancho chile powder (or chopped dried ancho chile)

¼-½ tsp. garlic powder

¼ c. shredded cheddar cheese

1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 400º.  Cut the poblano pepper in half lengthwise.  Remove seeds but leave stem in place so it will holg together better during baking.  Place pepper halves on baking sheet that is oiled or lined with silicone sheet and pop into preheated oven to roast.  After 10-15 minutes, turn the pepper halves over and roast the other side for 10 minutes.

While they are roasting, brown the beef and onion in a non-stick skillet. Add all spices and seasonings.  When the onion is tender and meat is fully done, stir in the cheeses to bind the mixture together.  Turn off fire and set aside.

When peppers are roasted nicely on both sides, remove from oven and cool.  Peel off as much of the tough, thin, plastic film-like skin as you can.  Set the pepper halves back down on the baking sheet cut side up.  Fill each of the halves  with half the meat mixture and pop the pan back into the oven for about 10 minutes to allow flavors to mingle.  Serve with your favorite guacamole recipe or whatever sides you like.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 large adult servings, each contains:

565 calories

42 g  fat

9.5 g  carbs, 2.5 g  fiber, 7 g  NET CARBS

42.3 g  protein

909 mg sodium

290 mg potassium

11% RDA Vitamin A, 23% B6, 6% B12, 82% C, 7% E, 9% calcium, 10% copper, 44% iron, 10% manganese, 24% phosphorous, 10% riboflavin

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Sometimes my husband just doesn’t feel like firing up the charcoal grill as it can often be 99º-103º here in Texas in the summertime.  Can’t say I much blame him.  This week I wanted to try the grass-fed beef back ribs I ordered from my panhandle cattleman so I decided to do them in the oven……something we haven’t done in a very long time.  Created a new BBQ sauce for them and cooked them slow and low in my roaster oven that lives out on my patio (used there to avoid kitchen heat in our hot, hot summers).  The ribs came out fall-off-the-bone tender and were “finger-lickin’ good”!  They of course lacked that smoky taste and surface “bark” only charcoal grilling can bring, but they were a delicious dinner, nonetheless.  I served them with baked beans for hubby (green veggie for me) and coleslaw.  This recipe (provided you use a low-carb sauce) is suitable for all phases of Atkins, other ketogenic diets, and also for Paleo and Primal regimens.

My nutritional stats on the grass-fed beef are courtesy of US Wellness Meats.  I actually cut the meat off a couple of the bones to determine the average yield.  Average weight of meat per rib 2 oz. cooked meat.  So 3½ lb. bone-in ribs (raw weight), yielded about 1# of actual meat.

My supplier delivers his meat frozen, so my ribs were actually cooked from a frozen state.  Cooking time for fully-thawed meat would naturally be less.  As grass-fed beef requires much more time to get tender, if not using grass-fed meat, conventional grocery store beef ribs will take much less time than specified in this recipe:  probably only 1 hour covered with foil and 1 hour uncovered after saucing.  :)

INGREDIENTS:

3½ lbs. grass-fed beef back ribs (8 ribs, raw weight)

Dash salt

Dash black pepper

½ c. plan-acceptable BBQ sauce  (I used: http://buttoni.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/barbecue-sauce/ )

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven or roaster oven to 350º and then immediately lower to 250º.  Place rack or ribs in a pan large enough to hold them.    Sprinkle both sides with a dash of salt and black pepper. Cover pan tightly with foil.  Pop into preheated oven.  If using frozen ribs, initially cook for around 4 hours.    If using defrosted ribs, initially cook for around 3 hours.  Time may need to be shortened a bit if your ribs aren’t particularly meaty; time may need to be increased if they are particularly meaty.  When beginning to get tender (longer pink), remove from the oven, take off the foil cover and using a brush, baste both sides of the ribs with your BBQ sauce.  Put the pan back in the oven, UNCOVERED this time, for 30-40 more minutes of cooking.  This additional cooking will allow the sauce to caramelize on the surface of the meat. Remove, from oven when done and serve with your favorite side dishes or a nice summer green salad.  If preferred, you can pop the ribs into a hot broiler to caramelize and brown the sauce on the surface before serving.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings (2 ribs each, 4 oz. meat yield, including approx. 2 net carb sauce).  Each 2-rib serving contains:

300 calories

21 g  fat

2 g  carbs, 0 g  fiber, 2 NET CARBS (slightly varies with sauce used)

19 g  protein

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This is one of those dishes I just threw together.  I had family visiting. I needed easy.  I needed fast.   As with many “toss-in-the-skillet-as-you-go” recipes, they often turn out better than those sophisticated 20-ingredient, multi-phase culinary works of art.   But you guys know by now I’m all about EASY in the kitchen. All I can say is this dish didn’t let me down.  My brother, one-time executive chef, visiting this week really liked this dish.  Hubby liked it, too!  I call it Mediterranean,  but with the seasoning ingredients, it could just as easily have been called Spanish or Puerto Rican.  But regardless of what I named it, this one’s definitely a keeper and I’m sure I’ll be making it again!  This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins or similar ketogenic diets, Paleo, or Primal followers.  If serving to non-low-carbing dinner guests, you can offer rice to serve this on rather than the zucchini noodles pictured.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or here: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

DISCLAIMER: I do not get paid for this book promotion or for the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so merely because they are GREAT cookbooks any low-carb cook would be proud to add to their cookbook collection

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. zucchini (I used Mexican zucchini, called Calaba)

2 T. olive oil

1 lb. ground beef (I used grass-fed)

10 oz. eggplant, peeled and chopped coarsely

2 oz. onion, sliced or chopped

2 oz. red bell pepper, chopped

3 plum (Roma) tomatoes, chopped coarsely

8 black olives, pitted and chopped

3 T. my sofrito sauce:  http://buttoni.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/sofrito/

Dash each salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  I’m totally addicted to my new sofrito sauce.   :)  But if you’re not familiar with it and don’t happen to have that made up, make up a recipe of the sofrito sauce as instructed in that recipe at the link above and set aside for now. Using a julienne peeler or spiral noodle maker, cut the zucchini into “zoodles”, as I like to call them.  Set the “zoodles” aside for now as well.

In a large non-stick skillet or wok over high heat, brown the ground beef and onion until no longer pink and onion is about tender.  Add the eggplant cubes and saute on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften.  Add the red bell pepper and tomatoes and continue cooking, stirring as needed, until they just begin to soften.   Stir in the 3 T. sofrito sauce, salt and black pepper.  Simmer on low heat just until the vegetables are fully cooked but the eggplant is not reduced to mush.  Stir in the chopped olives last, as they really need no cooking.

While the meat mixture is simmering, saute the “zoodles in the 2 T. olive oil in another non-stick pan on low heat, gently lifting and stirring them with a kitchen fork, just until they are wilted and no longer taste raw (about 2-3 minutes max).  Again, you don’t want to overcook them for best visual appeal.  When all appears ready, plate ¼ of the “zoodles” on each plate and top with 1/4 of the meat mixture.  Serve at once with your favorite hot low-carb bread  and butter and ENJOY!

NOTE:  This would also be good made with ground lamb.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

352 calories

26 g  fat

12.3 g  carbs, 4.0 g  fiber, 8.3 g NET CARBS

22 g  protein

201 mg sodium

566 mg potassium

13% RDA Vitamin A, 15% B6, 45% C, 12% E, 21% copper, 40% iron, 11% magnesium, 23% manganese, 9% niacin, 10% phosphorous

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My husband requested grilled burgers for the 4th of July so that’s what we did.  I aim to please.  :) He, of course, had his on ciabatta buns with the classic toppings of lettuce, tomato and pickles.  I was originally planning on using one of my low-carb sandwich buns, but decided to eat mine bunless instead, as shown above with a nice, sweet microwaved baked turnip drenched in butter on the side.  Although two patties made for a prettier picture, the days of my being able to eat 2 burger patties are long gone.  I was only able to eat one of the patties shown.  This is yet another delicious use of my newly-discovered Sofrito recipe!  I confess I haven’t put this sauce on anything I haven’t liked it on!  LOVE this stuff!  This burger recipe is certainly suitable for all phases of Atkins, Primal Blueprint and Paleo as well.  I hope you enjoy these as much as we did.

INGREDIENTS:

2 lb. 90% ground beef, preferably grass-fed

8 tsp. bacon grease (omit if using 70% beef; only 4 tsp. if using 80% beef)

8 T. Sofritohttp://buttoni.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/sofrito/

2 ripe avocados

DIRECTIONS:  Prepare your charcoal fire.  While the fire is getting ready, make the Sofrito in a food processor or blender according to that recipe’s directions.  Using a fork or your hands, blend the bacon grease uniformly into the meat.  Form into eight  4-oz. patties.  When fire is hot, grill meat patties until done to your liking.  Plate the meat, slicing 1/4 avocado onto each patty.  Spoon 1 T. sofrito on top of each meat patty either as shown above, or if using buns, you might prefer to spread the sofrito evenly on the meat first and then top with the slices of avocado.  Serve with your favorite sides or on low-carb sandwich buns with a slice of tomato and/or whatever extra toppings you like.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings, each contains:

351 calories

29.4 g  fat

4.58 g  carbs, 3.14 g  fiber, 1.44 g  NET CARBS

21 g  protein

96 mg sodium

250 mg potassium

13% RDA Vitamin C, 9% copper, 30% iron, <10% all other macronutrients

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I decided to try my hand at a low-carb version of this tasty British food that has now become an American staple as well.  My hubby is not so fond of mashed cauliflower, but even he admitted this was pretty darn good and said “Be sure to post this recipe on the blog!”  This meal is not suitable for Atkins Induction, but can be enjoyed once you reach the higher carb veggie rung of the Atkins OWL carb ladder where carrots reside.  This dish is perfectly OK for Primal-Paleo if coconut cream/milk is subbed in for the cream in the mashed cauliflower.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef, preferably grass-fed

6 oz. pork breakfast sausage (I use homemade)

2 medium carrots, diced

1 c. (about 8 oz.) zucchini squash, diced

1 c. frozen green beans

2 oz. onion, chopped

Dash salt and black pepper

1 medium (6-7″ diameter) head cauliflower

4 T. butter or ghee

4 T. cream

Paprika to garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 375º.  Peel and dice the carrots.  Chop the zucchini into ½” dice.  You can substitute diced turnips for the zucchini if you prefer.  Chop the onion.  Place all these veggies and the green beans into a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower to a slow boil for about 5-6 minutes.  Cook just long enough to slightly soften them, trying not to overcook, lest their bright color be diminished in the final dish.  Drain veggies in a strainer/colander while you do the next step.

Clean and chop the cauliflower into smaller pieces, place in/over water and boil/steam until completely tender.  Drain well in a colander and put back into the cooking pot and puree, along with the cream and butter.  You can either do this with a stick blender if you have one, or in a food processor or regular blender in small batches to avoid overflow. Season with salt to taste.

In a large no-stick pan, brown the beef and sausage, crumbling as it browns.  Gently stir the drained veggies into the meat mixture and toss gently.   Spoon off and discard as much excess grease/liquid that is in the pan as this can get soupy int eh final dish.  Spoon the meat/veggie mixture evenly into the bottom of the casserole dish.  Using a spoon or rubber spatula, evenly distribute the mashed cauliflower over the top.  Sprinkle with paprika to garnish if desired.  Pop into preheated 375º oven for about 35 minutes or until the top is beginning to slightly brown.  Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes eight 1-cup servings, each contains:

288 calories

22 g  fat

8.18 g  carbs, 3.18 g  fiber, 5 g  NET CARBS

16 g  protein

31% RDA Vitamin A, 23% B6, 18% B12, 51% C, 31% iron, 13% manganese, 16% niacin, 17% phosphorous, 16% riboflavin, 15% selenium, 18% riboflavin, 17% zinc

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Beef Sofrito

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This delicious dinner takes all of about 10 minutes if you have the sofrito sauce made up and in the freezer.  I try to keep some made up all the time.  It’s delicious on so many things. My husband (who isn’t low-carbing 100%) said he would like to have his on steamed rice next time.  I’m sure that would be good for your non-low-carb diners.  But it was VERY good on my “zoodles” (zucchini noodles) and would doubtless be good over steamed, slightly mashed cauliflower.   This dish as written is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Primal and Paleo diners as well.

INGREDIENTS:

1.5 T. olive oil or coconut oil (I used half each)

2 oz. yellow onion, sliced

10 oz. lean beef chuck steak or sirloin (I used a small, grass-fed flat-iron steak)

4 T. sofrito sauce: (http://buttoni.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/sofrito/)

2  7-0z. zucchini or calaba squash (only outer part was used)

DIRECTIONS:   Slice your squash into noodles using a julienne peeler, or a Spirooli or Noodler if you own one of those tools.  I only cut down to the seeded part of the squash when I make zoodles, saving the center, seed-laden portion of the squash for other uses, usually casseroles.  So only 4 oz. of each 7-oz. squash actually went into this dish.

Trim your meat of all visible fat and gristle.  Pound thin and slice into small pieces.  In a medium non-stick skillet, heat about 1 T. of the oil and saute onion over high heat until it begins to brown.  Add meat and saute until it, too, begins to brown.  While it is browning, add zoodles to a second skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tsp. olive oil.  Saute-steam, stirring with a long-tined kitchen fork to stir.  Cook them until they are just beginning to get translucent and soft.  Turn heat off the zoodles.  Turn heat off the meat skillet now, too.  Add the sofrito sauce to the meat mixture and stir to blend.  Plate half the zoodles on each of your dinner plates and top each pile of zoodles with half the meat mixture.   I served this with a marinated cucumber and tomato salad but it would also be good with broiled, seasoned tomatoes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

400 calories

23.35 g  fat

8.4 g  carbs, 2.35 g  fiber, 6.05 g  NET CARBS

38.15 g  protein

203 mg sodium

816 mg potassium

9% RDA Vitamin A, 39% B6, 200% B12, 22% C, 31% copper, 58% iron, 18% magnesium, 12% manganese, 40% niacin, 53% phosphorous, 15% thiamin, 66% selenium, 141% zinc

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Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

These are incredibly quick, incredibly easy and incredibly good!  I keep all the ingredients made up in my freezer and refrigerator so that such lunches are a snap for me!  These little gems can’t be picked up and eaten like regular pizza as they are too wet/messy, so get out a fork to enjoy these.  This recipe is not suitable until you reach the nuts rung of the Phase 2 OWL carb ladder.  They are OK for Primal diners, but not Paleo. These would be lovely served with a nice green salad.  These can also be made with ground beef, or with a bit of shredded, cooked chicken.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. breakfast sausage (I use mine: http://buttoni.wordpress.com/2011/08/07/peggys-breakfast-sausage/)

1 egg, beaten

¼ tsp. each fennel seed and dried oregano leaves (or ½ tsp. Italian seasoning)

¼ c. low-carb spaghetti sauce (I use Lucini basil pesto sauce)

¼ c. pesto sauce (I use mine: http://buttoni.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/pesto-sauce/)

1 c. grated mozzarella cheese (about 4 oz.)

½ oz. thin sliced red or green bell pepper, cut into strips

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  In a medium mixing bowl, well mix the sausage, egg, fennel and oregano with a fork or your hands.  Spoon about 1 tablespoon of meat into each of 12 muffin cups and press down with the back of the spoon.  I used a silicone muffin pan.  Pop into your 350º preheated oven for 15 minutes.   Remove, tilt and blot off excess grease with paper toweling. Top each meat pattie evenly with 1 tsp. spaghetti sauce.  Next spread 1 tsp. pesto sauce on top.  Sprinkle each with about 1T. of the mozarella cheese, going back and using it all up evenly.  Top with a piece of bell pepper.  Pop back into oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.   Cool slightly and gently lift them out with a fork onto your serving platter.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 12 mini-meatzas, each contains:

161 calories

13.4 g  fat

1.44 g  carbs, .36 g  fiber, 1.08 g  NET CARBS

8.5 g  protein

136 mg sodium

109 mg potassium

12% RDA Vitamin B6, 33.5% B12, 14% iron, 14% niacin, 19% phosphorous, 15% riboflavin, 23% selenium, 30% thiamin, 20% zinc

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