Archive for the ‘SIDE DISHES’ Category

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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.


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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Whenever I make up a batch of my Olive Tapenade, I love to use part of it for a lovely salad dressing.  This salad came about in just such a scenario.  We had enjoyed the tapenade I made this week on my Almond-Arrowroot Crackers and there were just a few tablespoons left.  I had an open bag of fresh spinach, with just enough left for two salads, so I took the balance of the tapenade and created a tasty spinach salad to go with our dinner tonight.  It was DELISH!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal-Paleo as well.

More delicious low-carb salads 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 1, 2, 4 and 5! 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


3 c. fresh spinach leaves

12 slices cucumber

8 tiny San Marzano tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), sliced in half

2 T. my Olive Tapenade

3 T. olive oil

3 T. red wine vinegar

Dash each salt and pepper

Sprinkle of Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Few Slivers of red onion (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Plate half the spinach in each of 2 salad bowls or plates.  Top each decoratively with 6 slices of cucumber and 4 of the tomatoes.  Add red onion if using.  Sprinkle with Parmesan if using.  Drizzle each salad with half the dressing and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 salads, each complete salad contains:  (does not include Parmesan or red onion)

254 calories

26.3 g  fat

4.15 g  carbs, 2.2 g  fiber, 2.95 g  NET CARBS

1.75 g  protein

239 mg sodium

390 mg potassium

9% RDA Vitamin B6, 32% A, 25% C, 27% E, 12% copper, 20% iron, 14% magnesium, 27% manganese, 10% riboflavin.

DRESSING ALONE:  half recipe contains: 239 calories, 26 g  fat, 1.2 g  carbs, .5 g  fiber, .7 g NET CARBS and .2 g  protein

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This salad dressing has previously appeared on my website with a delicious kale salad I posted not long ago:   Kale-Orange-Walnut Salad.

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I am posting the dressing separately to add it to the salad dressing category so it won’t be overlooked when readers are reviewing Salad Dressings.   Just today, I used this dressing, adding a bit of Sofrito to create this tasty chickpea salad.  I suspect you talented cooks out there will think of lots of creative ways to use it.

This recipe is not suitable until you reach Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  It is perfectly acceptable for Keto diets and Primal-Paleo.

VARIATION:  You can substitute 1 oz. sugar-free dried cranberries for some of the orange juice or just add them to this recipe as written and have a a totally different taste that is equally good!  Just add the cranberries to the dressing ingredients and when they have softened, mash them with the back of a spoon and blend them into the dressing.


1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/8 tsp. garlic powder)

3 T. fresh-squeezed orange juice

3 T. extra virgin olive oil  (I used a combination of Black Walnut oil and olive oil)

1 T. balsamic vinegar

Few shakes each of salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS:   Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and stir.  Chill until ready to use.  Should keep a week if any is leftover.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes a total of 6 tablespoons or 3 servings of 2 T. each.  Each 2 T. serving contains:

133 calories

13.65 g  fat

2.76 g  carbs, .06 g  fiber, 2.7 g  NET CARBS

.2 g  protein

104 mg sodium

39 mg potassium

10% RDA Vitamin C

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I just keep finding more and more fun ways to use my Sofrito sauce.  This salad was absolutely delicious!  It’s a mixture of a common Indian salad and classic Middle Eastern Tabouleh and some Sofrito thrown in for fun.  If you are in a hurry and don’t want to make up the Sofrito, just add some chopped cilantro and a tiny bit of finely minced red bell pepper to your salad for what the sauce will bring in flavor.  I chose to serve the salad in layers as shown above, but it could just as easily be all tossed together.   Because chickpeas are high in carbs, this dish is not suitable for those on Atkins Induction or still in the early stage of your Ketogenic Dieter.  Wait until you’re nearly to goal or are already in Maintenance to enjoy this delicious salad.  This salad is not suitable for Primal-Paleo.


6 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters

1 c. canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed in a colander

1 recipe Tabouleh (below)

1 recipe Orange Vinaigrette (below)

TABOULEH INGREDIENTS:  Mix the following up in a medium bowl and set aside.

1 c. parsley, chopped

¼ c. fresh mint, chopped (1 2 tsp. dried, crumbled leaves)

1 6″ green onion , chopped

1 T. fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, ninced

3 T. extra virgin olive oil

Dash each salt and pepper

ORANGE VINAIGRETTE INGREDIENTS:  Mix the ingredients below in a small bowl and set aside.

1 T. fresh-squeezed orange juice

½ clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1 T. walnut oil or olive oil

3 T. Sofrito sauce

ASSEMBLY:  If you are going to serve this layered as shown in the pic above, using a 3rd bowl, add the chickpeas and the cut up tomatoes.  Stir to mix. Add the vinaigrette to the chickpea-tomato mixture and stir well.  Spoon up 1/3 of the Tabouleh onto each plate, then top with 1/3 of the pea-tomato mixture.  Serve at once or keep chilled until ready to serve.  If tossing altogether and serving that way, well I don’t have to give you instructions on how to do that, do I?  :)  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 3 servings, each contains:

309 calories

22 g  fat

24.56 g  carbs, 5.63 g  fiber, 19.93 g  NET CARBS  (I DID say this is not for Induction! :) Chickpeas are carb-y!)

5.63 g  fiber

19.9 g  protein

318 mg sodium

451 mg potassium

17% RDA Vitamin A, 31% B6, 62% C, 16% E, 7% calcium, 24% copper, 45% iron, 14% magnesium, 38% manganese, 14% phosphorous, 15% zinc




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This is one of my older recipes that has proven to be a real winner in my collection. I thought I’d feature it again today as I’m making it for dinner tonight.  It’s one of my favorite cauliflower creations.  The recipe was inspired by one I saw in my copy of Dana Carpender’s 500 Low-Carb RecipesThe original recipe uses cheddar cheese, but I found that switching  to  Smoked Gouda turned out to be sheer heaven for me.  Smoked Gouda doesn’t melt easily, but once it does, it truly transforms the ordinary into the sublime.  It is the smoked Gouda that truly sets this dish apart from all the other cauliflower casseroles I have ever eaten.  I served it to my brother, who was once an executive chef at Top of the Mark in San Francisco and he RAVED about it!  It’s Atkins Induction friendly, too!

This recipe appears in Volume 1 of Low Carbing Among Friends (click for more info) by best-selling author Jennifer Eloff and other talented chefs.  There are 5 volumes already released and two more due out soon!  More info on their Facebook page here:    You can order Vol. 1 or the entire set here or at Amazon.com.  These cookbooks are filled with easy, gluten-free, tasty low-carb creations by a group of very creative cooks. You’re going to WANT these fast-selling cookbooks, folks.  GET YOURS TODAY!


1 medium-large head cauliflower

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 oz. smoked Gouda cheese, grated

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

Dash salt

Optional:  chopped chives or green onion to top


Cut up cauliflower into manageable pieces and boil or steam until tender.  Drain off any water and mash the chunks up slightly with a fork (do not puree, however).   Stir in softened cream cheese until it is melted and blended well.  Grease glass casserole dish and spoon half the cauliflower mixture in.  Sprinkle with half the grated smoked Gouda.  Spoon remaining cauliflower into dish and top with rest of Gouda cheese.   Sprinkle with just a dash of salt, as the cheese has a lot of sodium.  If you are sodium sensitive, I wouldn’t add ANY salt.   Sometimes I add some chopped chives or green onion to the top, but this is not in the nutritional info below.  Bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 6, each serving contains:  (you may get up to 8 servings and that will lower the net carbs even more)

190.3 calories

15.22 g  fat

6.17 g  carbs

2.4 g fiber

3.77 g  NET CARBS

8.77 g  protein

312 mg  sodium

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I always hesitate to cook cabbage.   It’s my husband’s least favorite vegetable in all the world.  He will eat it, but usually begrudgingly, as he is really not very fond of it.   I, on the other hand, just love the stuff!  I love the green, savoy, Chinese.  I love it stir-fried, boiled, steamed, raw or cooked into soups, casseroles and especially cooked as is done in India, with exotic Indian spices.  But I do try to find creative ways to cook it so that my husband might actually enjoy it.  To that end, I have had a few successes.  Last night’s creation was another one of these please-your-man successes.  He said nothing during the meal, but as we cleared the table, He said:  “That cabbage dish was pretty tasty!”  Coming from him, the compliment definitely put a smile on my face.

This recipe is a bit carb-y for such a simple vegetable side, but the carbs are good carbs, all from the vegetables themselves.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto, Primal and Paleo nutritional lifestyles.


3 oz. onion, sliced thinly

2 c. shredded purple cabbage

1 c. raw kale, stemmed and sliced coarsely

1 T. my Sofrito sauce

Dash each salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Heat the olive oil in a skillet or wok over high heat.  Add the onion and saute until it is softened and just beginning to caramelize.  Add the cabbage and kale and stir-fry just until the cabbage is softening, as you don’t really want to lose all of the crunchiness or the pretty color.  The kale should be cooked adequately by the time cabbage is done just right.  Stir in the Sofrito and sprinkle on the salt and pepper.  Remove from heat.  I served mine with my Montreal Baked Chicken and they were delicious together!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:     Makes 4 servings, each contains:

93 calories

7.6 g  fat

5.1 g  carbs, 1.32 g  fiber, 4.78 g  NET CARBS

1.3 g  protein

21% RDA Vitamin A, 10% B6, 56% C, 7% E, 7% copper, 13% manganese

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I was so taken with the Kale-Orange-Walnut Salad I made last Fall, I decided to give it a go with dried cranberries to have with our grilled rib-eye steaks tonight.  WOW!  It was amazing!  The combination of sweetened cranberries, tangy onion and earthy walnuts is just amazing with kale!  This salad is not acceptable until you reach the berries level of the Atkins carb re-introduction ladder.  It is perfectly suited to Ketogenic, Primal or Paleo lifestyles as well.


1½ oz. kale leaves, stems removed, julienned or broken apart coarsely

1 oz oz. raw onion, sliced thinly (I used white, but red onion would also be good)

½ oz. walnuts, coarsely broken apart  (about 7 halves)

Sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


1 oz. sugar-free dried cranberries

2 T. walnut oil or flax oil

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Dash salt

½ packet stevia (optional, if cranberries are particularly tart)

DIRECTIONS:  Mix the salad dressing ingredients (all but the berries) in a small bowl.  Add the dried cranberries and allow them to macerate in the dressing while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Remove the tough stems from the kale.  Wash and dry the leaves.  In a medium bowl (or directly on the serving plates) tear apart the kale (or cut up smaller if you prefer).

Atop the bed of kale, thinly slice the onion, add the walnuts and pieces of macerated cranberries.  Toss lightly.  Plate the greens onto two plates and refrigerate until ready to serve.

With the back of a spoon, mash completely 3-4 of the softened cranberries.  Stir and set aside for dressing flavors to further develop.

Right before serving, spoon the vinaigrette over the greens being sure the cranberries are evenly distributed over the two servings of greens. Sprinkle with a wee bit of Parmesan if using (it really does add a bit of flavor).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains:

192 calories

18.35 g  fat

6.8 g carbs, 1.7 g  fiber, 5.1 g  NET CARBS

2 g protein

90 mg sodium

150 mg potassium

23% RDA Vitamin A, 7% B6, 35% C, 7% E, 20% copper, 8% iron, 23% manganese, 6% phosphorous

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I created an absolutely delightful spinach dish tonight.  I served it alongside some grilled ribeye steaks, but it would be great with any meat or broiled seafood.  It’s incredibly simple to put together and only needs 20-30 minutes bake time!  Both I and my husband liked the flavors of this very creamy dish a lot and I’ll definitely be making it again.  It is suitable for all phases of Atkins but it is not appropriate for Paleo.  Primal folks that eat occasional dairy can certainly have this once in awhile.

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


10 oz. frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained

½ c. sour cream

3 oz. quality smoked Gouda cheese, shredded or grated

3 slices bacon, chopped and browned (save grease to oil your baking dish)

3 oz. onion, chopped (I used a purple onion)

2 T. my Sofrito sauce

Dash salt

1 T. bacon grease

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat the oven to 350º.  Place the defrosted, drained spinach in a medium mixing bowl.  Add the sour cream and stir.  Brown the bacon and using a slotted spoon dip it up into the spinach mixture.  Add the Gouda cheese, Sofrito sauce, salt and stir well.  Grease a small baking dish with the grease created from frying the bacon (I had 1 T. total).  Pour the spinach mixture into the greased dish.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until hot throughout and the the cheese is fully melted.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

250 calories

20.5 g  fat

7.12 g  carbs, 2.50 g  fiber, 4.6 g  NET CARBS

11.12 g  protein

575 mg sodium

350 mg potassium

68% RDA Vitamin A, 28% C, 15% E, 10% B6,  25% calcium, 14% copper, 19% iron, 17% magnesium, 29% manganese, 10% phosphorous, 19% riboflavin, 10% selenium, 8% thiamin, 5% zinc.

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I absolutely LOVE the Middle Eastern Spice Bland known as Baharat.  The hint of cinnamon and cloves (or allspice) enhances so many foods in that part of the world!  It’s used on many chicken, duck, pheasant and fish dishes of the region.  But I’ve discovered it is wonderful on vegetables as well.   Tonight I tried it on some roasted vegetables and the final dish, simple as it was, far exceeded my expectations.  This would be wonderful to serve alongside your Holiday turkey or baked ham!

Parsnips and carrots are both a little high in carbs, but it’s what I had on hand.   I’ve been a little under the weather and need to get to the grocery store soon. Subbing in fresh pumpkin or winter squash chunks for the carrots and cauliflower or turnips for the parsnips would greatly reduce the carb count for this a dish, and likely be just as good.  This recipe is not suitable for Atkins Induction.  You should wait until Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance, or until you reach goal weight on your Keto program before enjoying this dish.  This dish is perfectly suitable for Primal-Paleo devotees.

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


1½ c. carrots, peeled, cut into ¼” slices (or cubes)

1½ c. parsnips, peeled, cut into ¼” slices (or cubes)

4 oz. onion, slivered thinly

4 T. olive oil

Dash black pepper

1 tsp. my Baharat Middle Eastern Spice Blend

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat the oven to 400º.  Cut up the vegetables and place in a baking dish.  Sprinkle with the spice blend and black pepper and toss well.   Drizzle with the olive oil and stir several times to distribute the oil to all pieces.  Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes, stirring twice during the baking.  Serve with your favorite  meats.  I served mine with a seared sirloin strip and some Brussels sprouts.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 5 servings, each contains:

149 calories

11 g fat

12.6 g  carbs, 3.5 g  fiber, 9.1 g  NET CARBS

1 g  protein

31 mg sodium

294 mg potassium

44% RDA Vitamin A, 8% B6, 13% C, 8% copper, 16% E, 16% manganese

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I was originally going to make my regular Chicken Waldorf Salad recipe for super tonight.   But my husband wanted a green salad, so we agreed to compromise and serve the Waldorf Salad basically atop a nice tossed green salad.  I used the Shawarma Mayo Dressing I usually use on my Waldorf Salad but also added a bit of the Shawarma seasoning to the chicken when I sauteed it in the skillet.  This salad is delicious!  I can get by using a little less dressing serving it this way, too.  :)  This salad is not suitable until Atkins Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance due to the apple, unless you have reached the higher-carb fruits level of the carb ladder in Phase 2.  It’s one of the carbier recipes on my website with the apple in it.


3 oz. raw chicken breast, cut in mite-sized pieces

1 T. unsalted butter

1½ c. mixed salad greens

2 oz. diced apple (or you can sub in 1 oz. pomegranate kernels)

8-9 walnut halves, broken up a bit

1½ T. homemade mayo

¼ tsp. my Shawarma Spice Blend

DIRECTIONS:   Mix most of the Shawarma Spice blend into the homemade mayo and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Melt the butter in a skillet.  Add chicken and sprinkle with a tiny bit of the Shawarma Spice blend as you saute it until golden brown.  Fill your salad bowl with mixed salad greens.    Top with chicken.  Sprinkle on broken up walnuts and diced apple.  Serve the Shawarma mayo dressing either in the center of the bed of greens or separately at the table.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes just 1 salad, so you’ll need to adjust for more people.  Each salad contains:

587 calories

51 g  fat

14.3 g  carbs, 4.7 g  fiber, 9.6 g  NET CARBS

28.8 g  protein

165 mg sodium

213 mg potassium

18% RDA Vitamin A, 41% B6, 12% B12, 42% copper, 216% iron, 19% magnesium, 40% manganese, 79% niacin, 37% phosphorous, 14% riboflavin, 40% selenium, 13% thiamin and 19% zinc.

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If you’re looking a low-carb version of Mom’s cornbread stuffing, you need look no further.  Southern girl that I am, I’m pretty fussy about cornbread stuffing!  I had about given up on finding a way to make it with low-carb breads and end up with MY definition of stuffing heaven. However………. this recipe is a great imitation of cornbread heaven for me.   It will grace your holiday bird, baked chicken, roasted pork or stuffed chops and make you PROUD!  It is hands down THE very best stuffing I’ve made since I began low-carbing over 4 years ago.   The bread in this recipe brings a slight corn taste to the stuffing (even if made without the corn flavoring!) that none of my previous stuffings have been able to achieve.  This is so close to my traditional buttermilk cornbread recipe, I’ll never make the higher-carb version again,……………not even for guests!

I’ve managed to trim down the carbs to make it acceptable for those following a low-carb lifestyle, something traditional cornbread stuffing can never do.  This recipe is NOT acceptable for Atkins Induction.  If you are still in the Induction Phase, try instead my Induction-friendly Eggplant-Jicama Stuffing.  This recipe is suitable for Keto diets but definitely not for Primal-Paleo.   By the way, this stuffing freezes well, as I have frozen it many times.  So you will be able to make your holiday stuffing ahead of time as long as you don’t actually stuff the bird cavity.  I have always preferred the toasty top stuffing gets outside the bird and don’t stuff the bird at our house. Just thaw and reheat your stuffing the day you roast your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey.  When I make stuffing ahead, I under-cook it a bit so that when it is reheated and browned, it doesn’t dry out too much.


1 recipe of my Jalapeno Cheese Bread

6 oz. chopped onion

6 oz. chopped celery

1 stick unsalted butter (8 T.)

1 c. chopped parsley, loosely filled

4 tsp. Dad’s Poultry Seasoning

½ tsp. black pepper

2 c. chicken broth, preferable homemade (stuffing is best if 1 cup of this is the pan juices from your turkey roasting pan. :))

DIRECTIONS: Cook the jalapeno cheese bread as instructed in that recipe.  When cooled, coarsely break it up in a large bowl  Add the parsley and stir. Set aside for now.

Preheat the oven to 350º/  Melt the butter in a skillet and saute the celery and onion until very tender.  I do NOT like crunchy bits in my stuffing! :)

Add the sauteed veggie mixture, butter and all, to the dry ingredients in the bowl.  Add seasonings and finally the broth.  You may have to add more broth if the resulting mixture is not fairly wet (but not soupy).  Stir well to blend all ingredients.  Pour into a well-buttered 9×13 baking pan or two round pans.  I personally like to drizzle 1-2 T. more melted butter on top, but that isn’t necessary or included in the numbers below. Bake at 350º for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 12 servings (approximately 3/4 c. each).  Each serving contains:

282 calories

26 g  fat

7.16 g  carbs, 3.16 g fiber, 4 g NET CARBS

9.1 g  protein

190 mg sodium

135 mg potassium

17% RDA Vitamin A, 12% B12, 11% C, 10% calcium, 27% iron, 19% phosphorous, 11% riboflavin, 14% selenium

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Man, I’ve discovered yet another delicious use for my tasty Sofrito sauce!  If you like kale, you really need to try this recipe.  Best kale dish I’ve ever eaten!  If you’re not so fond of kale, you might just like it cooked THIS way!  One tiny little addition to my usual boiled kale and onions recipe took it to a whole new flavor level.  What a flavor transformation!  Neither the kale nor the Sofrito tastes were dominant, but they complimented each other nicely.  The Sofrito addition rounded off that cruciferous taste kale has!……… TOTALLY!!  I sometimes fix kale as a side dish with a meat entree, but sometimes I will just eat 2 servings and call it a full meal…….usually at lunch time like today!

Kale and onions alone are pretty carb-y, so you might not be able to fit this dish into your meal plan during Atkins Induction Phase, although all the ingredients are allowable during Induction.  When you take stock of the nutritional info below, you are definitely going to want to fit this into your regular recipe rounds on a regular basis once you reach Phase 2 and begin to up your carb levels a bit.  Just look at how nutritious it is!  This dish is suitable for other Keto diets and Primal-Paleo programs as well.


2 slices bacon

2 oz. onion, chopped or sliced coarsely

1 small bunch kale (I forgot to weigh, but about 3-3½ cups after stemming and chopping)

2 T. my Sofrito sauce

Dash salt and coarse black pepper

Enough water to cover veggies

DIRECTIONS:  In a medium soup pot, brown the bacon partially, add the onion and saute until the onion begins to caramelize and brown.  Stem and coarsely cut up the kale leaves.  Add to the bacon and onions, along with the Sofrito, salt, pepper and cover all with water.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a gentle simmer for about 20-30 minutes.   I do not cover any green vegetables when cooking, as covering them makes them turn much browner or yucky green during cooking.  When done, drain off the liquid into freezing containers for future vegetable soup stock.  It’s wonderful that way plus you recapture vitamins and minerals that were lost to the  stock during cooking!    :)

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes two 1-cup main dish servings, each contains: (or 4  ½c. svgs. as a side dish, but do half the stats below)

180 calories

12.3 g  fat

13.1 g  carbs, 2.5 g  fiber, 10.6 g  NET CARBS

7.3 g  protein

365 mg sodium

523 mg potassium

110% RDA Vitamin A, 20% B6, 169% C, 12% calcium, 34% copper, 22% iron, 12% magnesium, 45% manganese, 8% niacin, 9% phosphorous, 12% riboflavin, 11% Thiamin, 6% zinc

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Click to enlarge (shown with my Balsamic Vinaigrette)

As of this week, I have returned to Atkins Induction (four years into my Atkins journey), as my very smart, very stubborn metabolism is fighting me tooth and nail to lose my last 20 or so pounds.  I have been stalled at the same weight for precisely 3½ years, with no appreciable gains, no appreciable losses.  I need to focus on the fact that I have maintained my weight for four years!  That alone is quite an accomplishment, considering my husband is NOT low-carbing 100% with me and often indulges in verboten foods in front of me.  I should not just dwell on the fact that I haven’t lost anymore after the initial 36#.

For this reason, I won’t be (baking or) posting very many breads, cakes or desserts for awhile.  Although eating them hasn’t outwardly caused me to gain weight, eliminating them for awhile just might facilitate my beginning to lose again.  You see the most of my dairy intake is from baked goods, so in ditching them, I ditch the major intake of cream, cream cheese, hard cheese and soft cheese, which may just be an issue for my weight loss efforts.  Plus, I find when baked goods are in the house, I eat them.  Simple as that.  So for awhile, the lion’s share of my posts will be main dishes, veggies, salads, and complimentary foods like sauces, condiments and spices I create.  I hope my readers will be patient with my temporary website “detour” and hope it will not last for long.  I am the eternal optimist. :)  Fortunately, I already have lots of dessert and baked goods recipes on the site for you to browse through and try out until I can afford to start eating such things again on a regular basis. I will do a little baking during the holidays, for hubby and family, but that’s all I can really do along those lines until I get to my goal weight.  :)

The light and delicious salad shown above was what we had for lunch today.   I remembered I had a char-grilled chicken breast in the freezer I decided to thaw and slice to have atop our salads.  We both love smoked meats on green salads!  A very nice and easy lunch!   This salad keeps me easily within my max carb number for the day.  This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal-Paleo consumption as well.


2½-3 c. loosely packed mixed salad greens of your choosing (enough to fill a dinner plate nicely)

¼ small carrot, sliced thinly (optional)

5 thin slices cucumber

3 cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves

3 oz. grilled chicken breast, sliced thin (I leave the skin on)

1½ T. my Balsamic Vinaigrette: http://buttoni.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/balsamic-vinaigrette/

DIRECTIONS:  Cut up and plate the salad greens, carrot, tomatoes and cucumbers.  Slice and add the grilled chicken.  Top with the dressing and serve.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes salad for 1 person.  This salad contains:

329 calories

20.2 g  fat

8.9 g  carbs, 4.1 g  fiber, 4.8 g  NET CARBS (3.6 if you omit the carrot)

25.7 g  protein

356 mg sodium

415 mg potassium

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This delicious vinaigrette is good on green salads, cucumber salads, tomato or mushroom salads.   With a little more extra-virgin olive oil added, it makes a wonderful dipping oil for homemade breads to compliment your next Italian dinner!  I rarely actually measure any of these ingredients, but did so to develop a recipe I could finally get around to adding to my website recipe collection.  I have just never thought of dressings as needing recipes before.  I just start throwing stuff into a bowl until it tastes good enough to put on my salad.  :) I like to use this recipe also as a dip for bread when I serve Italian fare.  It is particularly good with my Gluten-Free Focaccia bread baked as a loaf, then sliced for dipping: http://buttoni.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/gluten-free-grain-free-focaccia/.   This recipe is suitable for Atkins Induction, Keto programs, and Primal-Paleo as well.


½ c. extra virgin olive oil

2 T. balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. onion powder

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (or 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne)

¼ tsp. dried oregano, crushed

Dash salt

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Mince garlic into a small bowl. Measure out all other ingredients into the bowl.  Stir ingredients well.  This is best made a day ahead, but that is not absolutely necessary.  Don’t be alarmed that your spices and garlic will turn dark overnight.  Balsamic vinegar stains foods that way. I transfer any leftover to an old bottle and just store in at room temperature in my pantry.  It keeps a very long time that way (the oil is the first to go rancid, so one smell will tell you when it is time to toss it out).  Store in your refrigerator if you prefer.  I usually use mine up in a week or so, so spoilage has never been a problem for me.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes about 10 Tablespoons of dressing.  1 T. contains:

99 calories

11 g  fat

.73 g  carbs, .40 g  fiber, .33 g  NET CARBS

.05 g  protein

36 mg sodium

7 mg potassium

10% RDA Vitamin E

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Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

I bought a lovely bunch of kale at the store today and decided rather than cook it all, I’d like to try a salad with part of it.  Since kale is a bit strong to me, I thought a bit of fruit might round it out.  And it did!  The earthy taste of the walnuts and walnut oil playing off the citrus in the orange vinaigrette are what make this for me.  This salad is delicious alone, but would be delightful with boiled or grilled shrimp added as well, or some cooked bits of white chicken meat, making it a complete meal.

This recipe is not suitable until you reach the the higher fruit level of the Atkins OWL carb ladder (Phase 3).  It is perfectly OK for Ketogenic diets (although you may want to use lower-carb berries rather than oranges).  It is also suitable for Primal and Paleo as well.

You will find many more delicious salads and dressings like this in the hottest selling Low Carbing Among Friends cookbooks.  International author Jennifer Eloff has pulled in the most incredible talent on the the low-carb cooking scene.  Together they bring to you a bevy of tasty recipes any cook would be proud to serve to friends or family.  Order your personal set (or individual volumes) today from Amazon or here:   http://amongfriends.us/order.php 

DISCLAIMER:  I receive no remuneration for this promotions nor for the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I promote them simply because these talented cooks are amazingly creative and you are going to want this low-carb collections of recipes in your culinary toolbox.


1½ oz. kale leaves, stems removed, sliced thinly  (this was 2 large leaves for me)

2 oz. raw onion, sliced thinly (I only had white on hand, but red onion would be perhaps even better)

½ oz. walnuts, coarsely broken apart  (about 7 halves)

2   ½”-slices of orange, cut into thirds


1 medium orange (you will only use part of it for this recipe)

2 T. walnut oil (important not to substitute other oils here)

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

2 T. orange juice (fresh squeezed)

Dash each salt and coarse black pepper

Dash garlic powder (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Cut the orange in half across the segments.  Peal one half of the orange with your knife.  Cut away 2 slices about the size of two large sections and cut the two into about 6 bite-sized pieces.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, squeeze out 2 tablespoons of orange juice from the uncut half.  to the orange juice, add the walnut oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and if using, the garlic powder.  Stir and set aside.

Remove the tough stems from the kale.  Wash and dry the leaves.  Julienne slice the kale (thinly) and place into a medium salad serving bowl (unless you plan to plate the salads individually). In that case, you can use any old bowl large enough to toss this in.  Add the thinly sliced onion, walnuts and pieces of orange.  place the bowl of greens and fruit in your refrigerator until ready to serve.

The final step right before serving is to pour the orange vinaigrette over the greens and toss well to coat.  If you wish to plate it, place half the salad onto each of two individual serving plates. Garnish with a slice of orange if desired.  I didn’t have any tonight, but a sprinkle of pomegranate kernels would be delicious as well as pretty on this salad.  :)

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains:

206 calories

18.4 g  fat

9.85 g carbs, 3.20 g  fiber, 6.65 g  NET CARBS

2.3 g protein

90 mg sodium

229 mg potassium

24% RDA Vitamin A, 10% B6, 58% C, 8% E, 23% copper, 10% iron, 8% magnesium, 25% manganese, 7% phosphorous

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Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

If you like the taste of smoky chipotle peppers, you’ll probably like this dish; if not, you probably won’t. It came out delicious as we both love that flavor!  I served this dish with butter-seared pork chops, as I didn’t want any competing flavors.  There are already a lot of flavor layers in this recipe.  This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins, other Keto diets and for those Primal diners that consume occasional cheese. This dish is not suitable for Paleo eaters.  VARIATION:  Substitute cauliflower for the broccoli.  I will be trying the cauliflower version soon as I think it may even be better than the broccoli version.  Stay tuned.   :)


4 c. raw broccoli, cut into chunks

6 oz. raw bacon, cut into ½” pieces

4 oz. red onion, chopped or sliced

4 large mushrooms, sliced

¼ c. my Chipotle Mayonnaise

1½ c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or cheese of your choice)

DIRECTIONS:  Cut broccoli into small-medium chunks.  Steam until done but still firm either over boiling water or in the microwave.  Remove and drain well.  Preheat oven to 350º.  While broccoli is cooking, saute the bacon in a skillet over high heat until nearly done.  Drain solids on paper towels.  In the remaining bacon grease, saute the onion until nearly tender.  Add mushrooms and continue sauteing until translucent.  Turn heat off.  Place onion/bacon mixture and broccoli into a large bowl.   Add 1 cup of the cheese, the mayo and toss to coat all of the mixture well.  Pour all into a greased 8×11 casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.  Garnish with tomato slices if desired (optional and not included in numbers below).  Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 servings, each contains:

249 calories

22g fat

4.90 g  carbs, 1.48 g  fiber, 3.42 g  NET CARBS

9.3 g protein

238 mg potassium

373 mg sodium

10% RDA Vitamin B6, 54% C, 9% copper, 11% niacin, 11% riboflavin, 11% selenium, 9% thiamin

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Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

I must admit, this is not the most attractive veggie dish I’ve ever made, but man was it ever tasty!  It’s a variation on a Rachel Ray recipe I saw her make one time.  She only used Parmesan and I not only increased the amount of Parm, but I added Monterey Jack to the mix.  It made it much creamier I think.    My husband openly admits he isn’t very fond of spaghetti squash, yet said this dish was MUCH better than he thought it was going to be.  Instead of his usual miniscule portion of spaghetti squash “to taste”, he actually ate a large portion of this dish!  That said a lot to me.  I actually LIKE spaghetti squash and found this savory dish had little of the “squash-y” taste that spaghetti squash usually has.  The red/green bell pepper and tomato design I added for visual impact added absolutely nothing to the flavor, so I’m not sure I will include that again, but it did make for a prettier picture than this dish would have had without it.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Ketogenic diets but is not suitable for Primal or Paleo followers due to the cheese.  The original recipe as I recall had meat, Italian sausage I believe, and I actually put 3 oz. of cooked breakfast sausage in mine.  But both of us found it to be an extraneous flavor that actually detracted from the dish a bit.  We were having shrimp as our entree anyway.  I won’t be adding the sausage again in future.


1  3# spaghetti squash, cut in half, seeded and cooked (you will use just half of it in this recipe)

2 oz. onion, sliced

2 T. olive oil

1 c. packed, frozen, chopped spinach (measured after thawing/squeezing out as much water as possible)

½ c. Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Dash each cayenne and black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Oil a medium casserole dish with a bit of the olive oil.  Cut spaghetti squash in half, seed and place cut side down in 1/2″ water in a dish and microwave for 15 minutes on HI. Fork out the threads.  Wrap the unused squash half and store in fridge for future use. Preheat oven to 350º. Squeeze out water from the spinach (or place spinach in sieve and press the water out with the back of a spoon).  Measure out 1 packed cup for this recipe.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a non-stick skillet.  Saute the sliced onion until it begins to brown and caramelize.  Add the spinach and continue sauteeing a few minutes.  Add the spaghetti squash threads and mix well using a fork.  Add the shredded Parmesan, cayenne and black pepper and stir well to blend all ingredients evenly.  I used no salt as I find cheese brings enough sodium to recipes for my taste.  Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with the shredded Jack cheese. Garnish or decorate the top as desired (not included in nutritional stats below).  Pop dish into preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each contains:

217 calories

18.3 g  fat

7.7 g  carbs, 2.05 g  fiber, 5.65 g  NET CARBS

9 g  protein

622 mg sodium (I told you the cheese would bring enough sodium to the dish!)

263 mg potassium

27% RDA Vitamin A, 13% C, 14% calcium, 13% iron, 10% magnesium, 15% manganese, 10% riboflavin

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Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

I have seen the occasional recipe that called for purslane over the years, but was never inclined to try any.  Quite honestly, I wasn’t very familiar with what it was.  But I have begun growing it on my front and back patios in huge pots.  It is so hardy and has such lovely blooms!  I decided I was going to finally taste it today.  The leaves, stems are edible.  Even those pretty blooms in my pic are edible!  To me, the flavor of all three parts of the plant I would liken to a lemony bib lettuce.  Purslane is powerhouse of nutrition:  http://www.naturalhealth-solutions.net/healthy-eating/powerhouse-of-nutrition-purslane.

To harvest purslane, you can just pinch off individual stems from the mother plant, grab the end of the stem with one hand, and in one quick motion with your other hand’s thumb and index finger, strip the leaves off the stems like you would strip rosemary leaves off the stems.  Place the leaves (and blooms,, if using) into a colander or sieve.  Rinse under cold water to remove any dirt or insects hiding there.  Purslane wilts fast, so wait and prepare your salad right before serving.  This is what edible purslane looks like growing:

click to enlarge

CAUTION:  If you find and gather wild purslane, be sure to snap the stem.  If it oozes a white, milky-looking substance, BEWARE! What you have found IS NOT edible purslane!!  The plant that oozes the white milky substance when pinched is an inedible impersonator known as spurge that just happens to look like purslane!  If eaten by mistake, spurge will make you very sick!

The inspiration for this recipe is a Middle Eastern salad recipe known as Fattoush, which has toasted pita bread pieces in it.  Well, I decided to just omit the bread because I don’t need to be eating bread in my salads.  Never much liked croutons or bread sticks with salad anyway, so that wasn’t a problem for me.


1 c. purslane shoots and leaves, stripped off stems (I didn’t use stems except tips of stems and small offshoots)

2 c. romaine lettuce, broken into pieces

1/4 c. fresh mint, coarsely chopped

½ c. cucumber, peeled and diced

6 grape tomatoes (I cut mine into halves)

½ oz. red onion, slivered as thinly as possible

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 oz. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. sumac (optional but traditional in Fattoush)

Dash each salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Harvest the purslane leaves and rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper toweling.  Add the torn lettuce, mint, cucumbers, red onion, tomatoes and salt/pepper.  In a small dish mix the measure out and stir the oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic and sumac.  Drizzle over the salad greens and toss.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 3 servings, each contains:

101 calories

9 g  fat

4.66 g  carbs, 1.43 g  fiber, 3.23 g  NET CARBS

1.1 g  protein

61 mg sodium

258 mg potassium

16% RDA Vitamin A, 25% C, 10% E, 16% iron, 11% manganese

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Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This tasty, quick salad was a lovely compliment to our tuna patties and steamed cauliflower this evening. It was very hot in Texas today and I wanted a very light, refreshing no-fuss meal.  The sofrito gave this salad a little “bite”, which played off the sweetness of the jicama quite nicely.  If you like things “hot”, you might want to double the sofrito in this.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, as well as Primal and Paleo diners.  I suspect with the addition of some thin slices of cooked, smoked sausage or bratwurst, this would make a nice lunch entree.


2 c. jicama, sliced into small sticks

½ carrot, peeled and sliced

2 T.  red bell pepper, sliced

12 black olives (pitted)

1 T. my sofrito sauce:  (my recipe here: http://buttoni.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/sofrito/  ) (or any garlic/herb blend)

1½ T. Italian or balsamic vinaigrette

DIRECTIONS:  Cut jicama, carrot and bell pepper and place in a serving bowl.  Add the olives, sofrito and vinaigrette and toss. Chill for about 1 hour before serving.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

78.5 calories

5.3 g  fat

7.67 g  carbs, 3.9 g  fiber, 3.77 g  NET CARBS

.75 g  protein

120 mg sodium

\140 mg potassium

10% RDA Vitamin A, 25% C, 10% iron

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Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

I just love kale, and I find the simpler I fix it, the better I like it.  For years I cooked it like my mother and grandmother fixed it, simmered in shallow water, with caramelized onion and bacon or chopped country cured ham.  Color doesn’t come out so pretty that way, however.  Today I craved it for lunch and just washed and sauteed half of the lovely bunch I bought yesterday (hubby doesn’t like kale) with some bacon.  It was SO good!  And the lovely color isn’t lost with sauteed kale!  I just made a meal on that and a piece of buttered low-carb, gluten-free bread (sadly, I had none of my cornbread left from earlier in the week).  This was delish!  And only 1 skillet and 1 bowl to wash up!  This is most assuredly suitable for all phases Atkins, Primal and Paleo regimens.


½ bunch kale (about 2 c.), washed

2 slices thick bacon, chopped

Dash salt and pepper (if desired)

DIRECTIONS:  Remove large, tougher stems from kale and coarsely cut up the leaves.  A little smaller stem is OK to leave on. Fry the chopped bacon in a skillet over high heat until nearly done.  Lower heat to medium, add chopped kale and saute just until wilted and done, about 5 minutes.  You don’t want to brown the kale, as that will tend to make it bitter.   Serve at once with your favorite meat, or serve as a meal itself, with a piece of buttered, low-carb corn bread or your favorite low carb bread or rolls.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings (if serving as a side dish), each contains:

212 calories

19.4 g  fat

3.65 g  carbs, 1.30 g  fiber, 2.35 NET CARBS

6.05 g  protein

375 mg sodium

238 mg potassium

37% RDA Vitamin A, 12% B6, 12% B12, 53% C, 14% copper, 10% iron, 15% manganese, 14% niacin, 14% phosphorous, 16% selenium, 14% thiamin, 8% Zinc

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