Creamy Broccoli and Mushrooms

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Creamy Broccoli and Mushrooms

This dish is a variation on a broccoli dip a friend of many years often served at parties.  I didn’t chop my broccoli as fine as she did, and there was no cheese in her dip.  Mine instead is made with a delicious low-carb soup.  The flavor was so memorable I decided to try and reproduce it as a vegetable side dish today.  It came out delicious!  Just as good as her dip, maybe even better with my addition of cheese!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets but not acceptable for Primal or Paleo.

VARIATIONS:  Add 1 c. cooked leftover chicken or 1 cup cooked shrimp for a complete meal

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:

½ bunch broccoli, stems and flowerettes cut into medium chunks (about 3 cups)

1 oz. onion, chopped

6 large mushrooms, sliced (or a 4-oz can sliced mushrooms, drained)

1 T. olive oil

½ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

½ c. shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

¼ c. heavy cream

Dash black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Lightly grease a medium casserole or vegetable dish and set aside. Make a recipe of the mushroom soup.  You will only use half of it for this recipe.  The remaining soup should be reserved for some other use.  It will keep a week in the refrigerator.  Chop and steam the broccoli over water or in your microwave just until tender crisp.  Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and brown the onion and mushrooms until nearly tender.   Turn off heat.    Toss the broccoli into the skillet and toss lightly.  Stir the cream into the soup mixture and blend well.   Spoon it over the broccoli-mushroom mixture, add the cheese and stir gently with a spoon to mix. Sprinkle with black pepper and bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 4 servings, each contains: (does not include optional meat)

215.5 calories

18.35 g  fat

7 g  carbs, 2.22 g  fiber, 4.78 g  NET CARBS

6.45 g  protein

348 mg sodium

268 mg potassium

13% RDA Vitamin A, 10% B6, 9% B12, 64% C, 8% E, 20% copper, 15% iron, 8% manganese, 8% niacin, 15% phosphorous, 13% riboflavin, 7% selenium, 8% thiamin and 11% zinc.

 

 

Spinach Mayonado (with optional Sausage Meatballs)

Spinach Mayonado (optional meatballs)

Spinach Mayonado (optional meatballs)

This is essentially a creamed spinach dish, but with a very special cream indeed.  I decided to not stir it altogether as that does not photograph so prettily.  The flavor of this creamy spinach dish will blow you away.  It’s sinfully rich and ever so good!  So good, in fact, I lick every bit of the sauce off the spoon and food processor bowl.  Seriously good eats.

Of course, you can always stir the sauce right into the spinach. It certainly ends up mixed on my plate while eating it.  :)  To be quite honest, ANY meat, seared chicken breast strips, beef or pork meatballs or smoked sausage would be good alongside (or on top as shown) this extremely nutritious dish.

This recipe is Atkins Induction friendly, as well as being suitable for Keto diets, Primal and Paleo followers as well.

VARIATION:  This makes a great side dish without meat.  In fact, that is the first way I ate it when I created this creamy sauce.

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:

5 oz. lean pork bulk sausage (I use homemade sausage but any low-carb sausage will do)

6 T. my Shawarma Homemade Mayonnaise

1 avocado

16 oz. bag of frozen, chopped spinach

Water to cover spinach

DIRECTIONS:  Place spinach in large saucepan, cover with water and bring to boil and cook per package directions, about 5 minutes.  When done, drain spinach in strainer pressing out excess water as best you can.  Set aside while you make the rest of the dish.

While spinach is boiling, roll sausage into 6 small meatballs and brown in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, turning and rolling them frequently to brown all sides.  Cook until fully done (about 10-15 minutes, turn off heat remove and drain meatballs on paper towels.

In a bowl of a food processor (or blender), process the avocado with the 6 T. homemade mayo until fairly smooth.  You can also just mash it well with a fork, as it doesn’t have to be perfectly smoothe.  Add a few drops of lemon juice (to prevent darkening) and pulse.

Spoon the spinach into your serving dish, Add the thick, creamy mayonado sauce to the top as shown (or stir into the spinach if you prefer) and top with your cooked meatballs.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 3 servings, each contains:

468 calories

48 g  fat

12.03 g  carbs, 8.66 g  fiber, 3.37 g  NET CARBS

15.2 g  protein

453 mg sodium

 

Tzatziki

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Greek Tzatziki

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 food and  Middle Eastern/Mediterranean grilled beef or lamb kebabs and ground beef/lamb koftas.  It’s also great on tuna, salmon or crab cakes or on shawarma gyros-type sandwich wraps.  I’ve even used this sauce 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.

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:

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 even better, place it in a clean cotton woven kitchen towel (not terry cloth, please).  Blot the water away with paper towels or wrap, twist and squeeze it in the kitchen towel to remove all water.  You want to get as much water out as you can.  Add the cucumber to a medium bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients and stir well.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.  If it bleeds out more water, blot it from around the edges with a paper towel, stir and 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

 

Smoky Chicken-Squash Gratin

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Smoky Chicken-Squash Gratin

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

5 oz. bacon, chopped small

5 oz. leek, chopped small

13 oz. chicken meat, cut into small pieces

¼ c. heavy cream

¼ c. water

3 oz. smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

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

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

2 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 3 servings, each contains:

569 calories

42.5 g  fat

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

30 g  protein

1365 mg sodium

512 mg potassium

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

 

 

 

 

 

Asian Dipping Sauce

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Asian Dipping Sauce

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

INGREDIENTS:

2 tsp. sesame oil

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

2 T. rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. ginger root, minced fine

2 cloves garlic, minced

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

2-3 drops liquid stevia or sucralose

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

1 T. green onion (finely minced)

2 T. water

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

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

23 calories

1.45 g  fat

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

.32 g  protein

71 mg sodium

34 mg potassium

 

Einkorn Dumplings

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Einkorn Dumplings

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

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

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

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

It goes without saying this recipe is not suitable until the last and final grains rung of Phase 2 Atkins OWL.  These are suitable for Keto if you eat wheat and can fit the carbs into your daily limits, but clearly would not be acceptable for Primal-Paleo.  FYI I buy my Einkorn flour from Jovial Foods on-line.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 ts. baking powder

1½ T. glucomannan powder

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

1/8 tsp. salt

1 T. Einkorn Flour

¼ c. + 2 T. tap water

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

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

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

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

10.33 calories

.74 g  fat

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

1.00 g. protein

66 mg sodium

9.9 mg potassium

Chicken Florentine

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

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

Who says low-carb eating is boring?  Visit a team of chefs that will dispel that notion in no time!  Low Carbing Among Friends shows you through photographs a sampling of the delicious low-carb recipes you can have at your fingertips.  Just order your own personal copy of these wonderful low-carb cookbooks by Jennifer Eloff and friends.  Some of MY recipes are even in there! You’ll be amazed at the kitchen talent of the team of chefs Jennifer has brought together to bring you an array of dishes that will guarantee your meals are NEVER boring. You can order your cookbooks from Amazon or here

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

INGREDIENTS:

3 large chicken breasts, deboned and skinned

1 T. unsalted butter

½ lb. fresh mushrooms sliced thick

1 clove minced garlic

Pinch salt and pepper

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

1/3 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. chicken broth

3 T. grated Parmesan

2 T. white wine (optional)

Pinch xanthan gum (if needed to thicken)

DIRECTIONS:

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings each with:

467 calories

26 g  fat

6.8 g  carbs

2 g  fiber

4.8 g  NET CARBS

49 g  protein

200 mg sodium

Pork-Sweet Potato Cabbage “Rolls”

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Pork Sweet Potato Cabbage Rolls

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

This dish is not suitable for Atkins Induction due to the carb-y sweet potatoes.  It is OK for Keto diets if you can fit the carbs into your daily menu numbers.  This is not be suitable for Primal-Paleo.

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:  

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

2 slices bacon, chopped

2 oz. onion, chopped

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

1 c. chopped green cabbage

1 oz. cream cheese

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

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

Dash each salt, black pepper

Dash ground cumin & chili powder (I used Spanish Smoked Chili Powder)

¼ c. Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains:

408 calories

35 g  fat

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

16.1 g  protein

508 mg sodium

453 mg potassium

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

Chia-Chai Chewies

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Chia-Chai Chewies

Today I took my reliable Almond Butter Cookie batter and made yet another tasty variation.  I just keep thinking of new cookies for this batter!  Although the name of these cookies may appeal to children, this may not be a cookie that children like as much as their parents do.  Chai tea spices are unusual to the immature palate.  That said, I think they taste FANTASTIC!  And they just seem to mellow and get tastier every day they sit in your fridge or freezer.  This recipe is going into my Holiday cookie rotations. :)

You might want to add chopped pecans or walnuts to these, but my husband doesn’t like nuts much and I also wanted to post just a basic recipe with the dried prunes (a great raisin replacement for lower carbs).  I have added nutty-tasting hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds) and some chia seed for the bit of crunch and nutrition these two ingredients bring to these cookies.   The sugar-free honey is essential for these to be chewy, so do not sub out this honey with any other sweetener or you are NOT going to get a chewy cookie (trust me, been there, done that).   This recipe is not suitable for Atkins Induction.  Wait until you are nearing Pre-Maintenance to enjoy these, as they are a little higher carb than most of my cookies, having prunes in them.

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. coconut oil (preferably not in liquid form, so do not melt)

2 T. almond butter

1 T. vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

¼ c. sugar-free honey (I can buy it at Walmart)

4 dried prunes, chopped

1½ c. almond flour

¼ c. + 3 T. hemp hearts

1 T. ground chia seeds (I use 50:50 white and black)

½ c. coconut flour

1 T. oat fiber

1 tsp. glucomannan powder (konjac powder)

1/8 tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking soda

1 T. erythritol

½ c. granular Splenda or equivalent sweetener to equal ½ c. sugar

2 tsp. my Chai spice blend

VARIATION:  You can just use 2 tsp. ground cinnamon if you are not fond of Chai spice flavors

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Measure all the wet ingredients into a small bowl.  Beat with an electric hand mixer until smooth.  Stir in the chopped prunes and if using nuts, add them now.  In another bowl, measure out all the dry ingredients and stir well.  Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until all are uniformly mixed into a solid cookie dough.  It will be pretty thick and stiff if your coconut oil wasn’t liquid.   Form into 24 roughly 1″ balls (I use a scooper to be sure they are all about the same size) and set on parchment lined cookie sheets about 3/4″ apart.  These don’t spread much during cooking.

Pop into preheated oven for about 12-13 minutes.  Ovens can vary, so yours may take a little less or a little more time.  They will be slightly firm to the touch in the center when done, and just beginning to brown a bit on the edges.  Remove and DO NOT REMOVE FROM PANS UNTIL COMPLETELY COOLED.  These are quite fragile when hot and will break apart if not cooled completely before handling.  When fully cool, remove from pans and ENJOY!  Store remainders in a lidded container.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 24  2-inch cookies, each cookie contains:

126 calories

10.9 g  fat

5.44 g carbs, 2.38 g fiber, 3.06 g  NET CARBS

3.36 g  protein

53 mg sodium

56 mg potassium

12% RDA iron, 7% magnesium, 14% manganese, 8% phosphorous, 4.6% zinc

Chai Tea Spice Blend

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Chai Tea Spice Blend

We just love Indian Chai tea.  Having lived in Tehran, Iran for a couple of years when I was 10-12 years old, I just loved drinking their unspiced plain hot tea from the little 2″ tall sipping glasses they serve tea in there.   It always reminded me of my childhood days, playing “house” and having “tea parties” with my dolls.

In Iran, sugar was sold in huge solid blocks and they would just hammer off chunks, pop a piece into their mouths and sip the hot tea right through that sugar “cube”.  At age 10, what fun!  Pure sugar in your mouth!  :)  What can I say?  My views on sugar sure have changed.  :)  I very quickly learned considerable Pharci language at age 10, mostly from our maid, Fatimeh, who spoke little English.  When we would pass a tea shop in the bazaar she would make a sipping gesture and ask:  “Chai meekhawheed?” (sp?) which I quickly figured out meant “Do you want some tea?” I learned the proper response in no-time flat “Adeh, chai meekhawham” (sp?), “Yes, I want some tea!”.  I also knew in that setting, I’d get it served Iranian style, with those fun chunks of rock sugar, something my mother would never  allow at home.  Wasn’t I a naughty little 10 year old?   Mom was always worrying about that evil, Mr. Tooth Decay (those old enough, remember him from the Colgate TV commercials in the late 50’s?).  Moms always over worry, don’t they?  My teeth haven’t all fallen out after all!  LOL  Wonder if Chai tea is served with rock sugar in India?  Sorry, I digress with my boring nostalgia trip………..

Cardamom Pods, cloves, black peppercorns and cinnamon sticks

Cardamom Pods, cloves, black peppercorns and cinnamon sticks

It was not until today, looking on the internet for the origins of the word CHAI, that I learned Indian hot chai tea, infused with all its lovely aromatic spices, actually gets its name from the Persian word for tea, CHAI (pronunced in Iran with second syllable stressed  CHA – EEEEEE )   Ya learn something everyday!

I really avoid commercial spice preparations as much as I can, what with all the “extras” they add to those prepared mixes, beaucoup salt and sugar.  So I decided to take the most common spices I can taste in a cup of chai tea and just make up my own, using equal amounts (roughly) of the likely spices.  I quickly learned it needs to be a little top-heavy with cinnamon and doubled that 1 ingredient.  The final spice blend, brewed into a 2-cup pot of tea, was DELICIOUS!  So I thought I’d share my new blend here with my readers.

I’m a lazy cook by nature and don’t like the nuisance of shelling cardamom seeds from those big pods, so once I saw that Penzey’s sells it already shelled, well you know I was on that one like a fly on flypaper!  :)  I order already shelled cardamom seeds from Penzey’s Spices on-line or their catalog.  Therefore, I have no earthly idea how many cardamom pods it will take to yield 1 tsp. seeds, but probably around 10-15?  There are about 8-10 little black seeds in the average green cardamom pod.

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:

¼” slice of fresh ginger root (about 1 tsp.)

6 black peppercorns

10 whole cloves

2 tsp. cinnamon (or 1 3″ stick broken up)

1 tsp. cardamom seeds

3/4 tsp. fennel seeds

DIRECTIONS:  Place all ingredients in a blender or spice grinder (I use a dedicated cheap coffee grinder for spices) and grind until all is pretty fine.  Store in a lidded jar in a dark cabinet or your refrigerator if you’re worried about the ginger.   To make tea from this spice blend, boil your water in a proper teakettle and add your teabag(s) or loose tea in an infuser (my pot has a built-in infuser that lifts in and out).  Add 1 tsp. Chai Spice Blend to the infuser along with your tea for every 2 cups of water/tea you want to serve.  Steep for 5 minutes with the lid on and serve in cups with milk or cream and sweetener of your choice.  Rock sugar, too, if you can get it!  (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) LOL Just kidding, I don’t eat real sugar anymore.  :)

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes about 9 tsp. of spice blend, each teaspoon (amount to brew 2 cups chai tea) contains:

3 calories

.1 g  fat

.75 g carbs, .45 g  fiber, .3 g  NET CARBS

< .1g protein

Stuffed Crust Chicken-Spinach Pizza

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Stuffed Crust Chicken-Spinach Pizza

This is one of those dishes that is MUCH tastier than it looks there in the photograph.  Even my husband had his doubts until he tasted this.  He LOVED it!

I thawed a chicken breast for dinner but my mid afternoon, still hadn’t decided what I was going to make for dinner tonight.  I looked in the fridge and saw that I had a little chive and onion cream cheese in the tub I wanted to use up.  I had thawed some frozen spinach, as my husband needed to have some Vitamin K intake.  He is on Coumadin therapy and needs to keep his Vitamin K levels consistent from day to day and I realized he had not eaten anything with K today.

As I thought about how I could incorporate spinach and chicken in our dinner, I remembered the chicken and spinach quesadillas I used to order at Pappacitos Cantina  on the Gulf Freeway in Houston years ago (in my pre-low-carb life).   Thought I might either try making something like that or an Alfredo-type pizza, but use a real simple open-faced presentation to avoid the grilling step.

At 5:00 pm, I sure didn’t feel like baking focaccia bread from scratch or making this more complicated than need be.  So I reached for the last two sheets of Joseph’s Whole Wheat, Oat and Flax Lavash bread in the refrigerator.  I opted to pre-bake the sheet that was going to be the bottom of my creation and then just started layering until I was satisfied and ready to bake the final dish.  This creation turned out quite delicious and not as “rich” as we thought it would be.  I will definitely be making this again.  The Joseph’s lavash on the bottom really crisped up nicely, too!

This recipe isn’t suitable until Atkins Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance because of the whole-wheat flour in the lavash bread.  It is low enough in carbs to be OK for Keto diets, but is totally unacceptable for Primal-Paleo.

INGREDIENTS:

2 full sheets of Joseph’s Whole Wheat, Oat, Flax lavash bread

4 T. chive & onion cream cheese, softened (or plain cream cheese + 1 T. ch. green onion)

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1½ c. cooked chicken breast, shredded

1 c. frozen chopped spinach (uncooked), squeezed of all water (about ½ c. packed spinach)

½c. shredded Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Place 1 sheet of lavash on a non-stick or parchment lined baking sheet.  Pop into hot oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until no longer soft, but not very brown or overly brittle/crisp.  Remove from oven and slightly cool.   Spread with the cream cheese.  Sprinkle 2/3 c. of the shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the crust.  Next evenly spread the shredded chicken. Dot the chicken with half the frozen spinach. Sprinkle half the Parmesan on top next.  Next sprinkle another 2/3 c. mozzarella cheese on top.  No place the second sheet of lavash bread on top and press down with your hands.  Sprinkle the final 2/3 c. mozzarella on top of the top sheet of bread, followed by the rest of the spinach and finally the last of the Parmesan.  Pop back into the hot oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges like pizza crust.  The top cheese should be completely melted.  Remove and cut into 6 equal slices.  Serve with a nice green salad and ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 slices, each contains:

272 calories

15.5 g  fat

7.71 g  carbs, 2.80 g  fiber, 4.91 g NET CARBS

667 mg sodium

236 mg potassium

36% RDA Vitamin A

19% B6, 46% B12, 8% C, 7% E, 34% Calcium, 8% copper, 20% iron, 13% magnesium, 11% manganese, 34% niacin, 49% phosphorous, 24% riboflavin, 34% selenium, 8% thiamin, 22% zinc

Banana-Coco-Nutty Candy

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Banana-Coco-Nutty Candy

I don’t eat many sweets, but when I do, it’s usually candy or pure chocolate.  I got to thinking about my Peanutty Coconut Candy yesterday and wondered what it would be like with banana in it.  So I mashed one of the beautiful bananas I bought at the store yesterday morning and just took equal amounts of the main ingredients I wanted to include and formed some of the tastiest candies!  They are very filling, too, and one takes the edge off my occasional sweet tooth.  I think I may even like this version better than the original peanut-coconut version!  After popping the candies out of the mold slots, I decided to store them in a zip-loc bag in the freezer.  They don’t get hard, just firm and chewy, so they can be eaten right out of the freezer!

I used 1″ square silicone candy molds to make mine,  but you could also just roll into balls and if desired, coat with more dessicated coconut.  You could also roll into balls and flatten into hockey puck disks.  Or you might roll then into little logs and coat with finely chopped peanuts!  HAVE FUN SHAPING THEM!

These are not suitable until the higher fruit rung of the Atkins Pre-Maintenance or Mainitenance Phase.  They are suitable for Keto diets as well.   The sweetener would have to be modified for this to be acceptable for Primal-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 cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in the 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: 

1     6-oz. banana, mashed

1 c. dessicated coconut (unsweetened)

1 c. natural peanut butter (I use Laura Scudder)

3/4 c. erythritol (or other sweetener to equal 3/4 c. sugar)

2 pkts. stevia (I used NuNaturals)

DIRECTIONS:   Using a fork, mash the banana in the bottom of a mixing bowl.  I added the juice of a wedge of lemon to prevent darkening, as candy is slow to be eaten in my house.  Add the peanut butter and stir well to blend.

Add coconut and blend it into the mixture until all ingredients are uniformly mixed.  Press into silicone molds, pressing down firmly.  Set mold on a flat pan and place in freezer for about 2 hours.   The mixture will make 28 small 1″ candies of about 1½-2 T. of the mixture.   Your numbers may vary, so I will provide the nutritional values for the entire recipe so you can calculate your per piece figures from the number you get.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    (does not include any additional coconut/peanut coating)  Entire recipe contains 3,034 calories, 239 g  fat, 133 g. carbs, 48.3 g fiber, 84.7 g. NET CARBS, 95.7 g. protein.

If yield is 28 pieces, each piece contains:

108 calories

8.55 g  fat

4.75 g  carbs, 1.72 g  fiber, 3.03 g  NET CARBS

3.41 g  protein

37 mg sodium

 

Stuffed Pork Chops

 

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Stuffed Pork Chops

Oh my, I’ve not used my Jicama-Eggplant Stuffing any way but as a side dish with a holiday turkey before.  But it makes a WONDERFUL stuffing for such things as pork chops and probably stuffed shrimp and crab, too!  Whipping this stuffing together is fast…..you just have to wait for the final stuffed chops to bake. But you can sit down and put your feet up after a long day at work and let them cook themselves.  That’s my kind of meal!  Of course, any phase-suitable, plan suitable bread can be used for your ½ slice low carb bread called for in this recipe.  I used what I had on-hand cooked, a slice of my gluten-free Individual White Bread.

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal-Paleo programs if you use a plan-suitable bread.  It will also freeze beautifully for you.

You’ll find many more delicious low-carb recipes in the latest cookbook series by Jennifer Eloff and friends.  Visit their Facebook page to see a sampling of the recipes this group of very talented cooks have collaborated to bring to you:  Low Carbing Among Friends.  Like their page if you like what you see and get your very own copies of this 5-volume set at Amazon or here: http://amongfriends.us/order.php.  It will be ever so nice to have such an array of easy recipes right at your fingertips!

DISCLAIMER:  I do not receive any remuneration for this promotion nor for the inclusion of a few of my recipes therein.  I simply support the effort this team has put forth to bring you the “tasty fruits” of their kitchen labors!

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. boneless pork loin, sliced into four equal 4-oz. “chops”

1 oz. raw bacon, chopped (about 2 thin slices)

2 oz. onion, chopped fine

2 oz. celery, chopped fine

3 oz. jicama, peeled and grated (about 3/4 cup)

1 c. eggplant, cubed small

3 sprigs parsley (2 T.), chopped

Dash each salt, black pepper and poultry seasoning or thyme

1 egg, beaten

1 T. water

1 slice low carb or plan suitable bread or roll

 

DIRECTIONS:  Cook the chopped bacon until half done in a skillet over high heat.  Add onion, celery, jicama and saute until vegetables are half tender.  Add the eggplant and continue to saute until the eggplant is tender but not mushy.  Add parsley, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.  Remove from heat.  Crumble in the slice of bread.  Beat the egg with the water in a dish and add it to the mixture and stir to moisten the entire mixture well.  It should hold together nicely, but if not, add 1-2 tsp. more water slowly as needed.   Divide it off int he skillet into 4 equal portions and set aside for now.

Preheat the oven to 350º. Cutting on the fat edge (if there is a fat edge), slice the pork chops laterally in half being careful not to quite cut them all the way through at the back edge where you will “hinge” them open to stuff.  Open each chop in one palm and with a spoon, pack 1/4 of the stuffing into it firmly.  Set it onto a greased ceramic or metal baking pan and press the top half of the meat down onto the stuffing slightly.  With a brush, baste the top layer of meat with a film of bacon grease or olive oil to keep it from drying out during baking.  Place the pan into preheated 350º oven and bake for about 1 hour.  Serve with your favorite green vegetable or salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 4 large servings, each contains:

275 calories

14 g  fat

5.72 g  carbs, 2.52 g  fiber, 3.20 g  NET CARBS

32 g  protein

271 mg sodium

650 mg potassium

41% RDA Vitamin B6, 42% B12, 8% C, 7% calcium, 17% copper, 25% iron, 11% magnesium, 44% niacin, 52% phosphorous, 40% riboflavin, 82% selenium, 93% thiamin, 29% zinc

 

 

Salmon with Pink Tarragon Cream

Salmon with Pink Tarragon Cream

Salmon with Pink Tarragon Cream

Now THAT is a plateful of nutritious food!  Just look at the nutritional info below for this recipe!  And that’s just for the fish and sauce!  Add in values for the spinach and broiled tomatoes and WOW!  It probably almost meets your entire RDA nutritional requirements for the day!  This delicious sauce I have used on so many different things.  It’s good on/with sauteed spinach.  It’s marvelous on scrambled eggs at breakfast (using diced tomato instead of tomato paste). I’m sure I’ll continue to find new ways to use this tasty sauce.

Tonight, I decided to try it on salmon and once again, it did not disappoint!  It was delicious with broiled tomatoes and some spinach sauteed in a tablespoon of bacon grease.   My husband isn’t terribly fond of salmon but he definitely liked this rendition of this very healthy fish.   This dish, in order to be acceptable for Atkins Induction must have the wine omitted.  It will still be good, just not quite as good.  Wait until you get to Phase 2 OWL to add the wine.  This recipe is suitable for Keto diets but you might want to omit the wine as it may throw you out of ketosis.  It is perfectly OK for Primal-Paleo followers if you substitute coconut cream or coconut mild for the heavy cream.

Join me and a great team of other low-carb cooks (including George Stella!) on the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page.  There you’ll see other delicious recipes that appear in Jennifer Eloff’s cookbook series by the same name.   You can order your copy of these cookbooks (Vols 1-5 released; Vol 6 due out later this year) at Amazon or here:  http://amongfriends.us/order.php

I do not receive money for this promotion nor for the inclusion of my recipes.  I do so because they are GREAT cookbooks!

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. salmon filet (skin removed)

2 T. butter (I use unsalted)

½ c. heavy cream (or coconut cream or coconut milk)

½ c. water (or ½ c. more cream, if you can afford the extra carbs)

2 T. tomato paste

½ tsp. dried tarragon leaves  (or about 1½ tsp. fresh, chopped)

Dash each salt and black pepper

¼ c. rose or white wine (omit for Induction)

1/8 tsp. xanthan gum or guar gum (or your favorite thickener)

1 sprig parsley, chopped or more tarragon (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS:  Cut the fish into two equal servings.  Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Sear the pieces of salmon on both sides over high heat until golden and flesh is fully done (peek in the center with a fork).  This will only take a couple minutes on a side.  Remove to a platter and pop into warm oven to hold while sauce is made.  Lower heat to medium.  Add the water, cream, tomato paste and tarragon to the skillet.  Bring to a slow simmer for about 3-4 minutes.  Add salt and pepper.   Dust the xanthan/guar gum slowly, a little at a time over the sauce and whisk it into the cream mixture.  Stir constantly as it begins to thicken.  Turn off heat, plate the fish and dip sauce on top.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley or bit more tarragon.  Save any unused sauce for your scrambled eggs in the morning!  Mmmmm.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes two 6-oz. servings, each contains:  (includes half the sauce)

580 calories

43.7 g  fat

4.85 g  carbs, .6 g  fiber, 4.25 g  NET CARBS

38.8 g  protein

275 mg sodium

92 mg potassium

57% RDA Vitamin A, 66% B6, 300% B12, 7% C, 18% E, 10% D, 10% calcium, 16% copper, 19% iron, 20% magnesium, 91% niacin, 71% phosphorous, 115% selenium, 20% thiamin, 12% zinc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blueberry Pie

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Blueberry Pie

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Blueberry Pie (Side view)

We have company in from Dallas tonight and I made a blueberry pie to serve using my new Einkorn flour-Almond flour pie crust.  I wasn’t exactly sure I was going to pull the top crust off, as low-carb pie dough is so fragile, but with much care I managed to get it onto the berry-filled bottom crust just fine.  It sliced nicely, tasted wonderful and will be a lovely dessert to serve my company. This recipe is one of the carbiest on my website and is therefore not suitable until you reach the berry rung of the Atkins Phase 2 OWL carb reintroduction ladder, and it would probably be wise to wait until you are nearly at goal weight for enjoying this one.  The higher carb count is mostly attributable to the berries themselves, as the crust is only responsible for around 7 of the 17.7 net carbs.   So I’m afraid the only way to cut carbs on this would be to cut the pie into smaller pieces.   This pie is not suitable for Primal-Paleo followers.

INGREDIENTS:

2 lb. frozen blueberries, unsweetened

¼ c. erythritol (or equivalent sweetener to equal ¼c. sugar)

1½ tsp. glucomannan powder (or your preferred thickener)

2 recipes my Einkorn-Almond Flour Pie Crust

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Make a double recipe of the pie crust as instructed in the recipe linked above.   Divide the dough in half and form into balls.  Chill for 30 minutes.  Take one of the portions from the refrigerator and place it on a piece of parchment paper.  Lay a piece of plastic wrap on top and using a rolling pin, roll it into a circle slightly larger than you pie plate.  Invert the plate centered over the dough and grabbing plate, dough, paper and all, flip the plate back upright with the sheet of dough now on top.   I find gravity pulls the the dough right down into the pie plate.  Gently peel off the parchment paper.  If crust tears, just press it gently with your fingers to “mend the cracks”.  :)  Crimp the edges decoratively however you like.  Pop into a preheated 350º oven for 10 minutes, precooking just to the stage the dough feels dry on the surface (half cooked, but not brown yet).

While the bottom crust is cooking, place blueberries in a medium bowl.  Sprinkle with the erythritol and glucomannan powder (or whatever thickener you prefer).  Stir them every few minutes to allow the filling to begin thickening (though it will not be fully thickened until it has baked and cooled).  Remove the bottom pie crust from the oven as soon as it is dry to the touch.  Cool it a few minutes and then stir the berries one last time and fill the bottom crust, spreading the berries evenly in the pie shell.

Remove the remaining dough from the fridge.  Run a damp sponge over your counter and place a piece of plastic wrap on it so it is smooth.  The water keeps it from sliding around.  Place the chilled ball of dough on top.  Lay a second piece of plastic wrap on top and roll it just the size of your pie plate.  Slide the crust, plastic and all onto a sheet pan or the back of a cake pan lid and set in the refrigerator to chill 15 minutes.  Remove from the fridge and carefully remove the top sheet of plastic wrap.  Quickly flip the crust onto your left hand that is centered right over the bottom crust, simultaneously sliding your left hand out from under it as you let the crust fall onto the pie below.  Remove the remaining piece of plastic wrap carefully.  Crimp the top crust and bottom crust together along the edges as best you can.  Pop the assembled pie into a 350º oven for about 35 minutes or until the top crust is browned in the center. The very center of mine was SLOW to brown (not sure why), thus, as you see in the pics, mine browned a bit too much on the edges.  Next time I will definitely use my metal crust protector ring so that won’t happen.  You might want to use foil to protect the edge of your pie from browning so much.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings, each contains:

318 calories

25 g  fat

29.32 g  carbs, 11.57 g  fiber, 17.75 g  NET CARBS  (14.2 net carbs per serving if cut into 10 slices)

7.07 g  protein

161 mg sodium

66 mg potassium

8% RDA Vitamin A

36% iron, 27% zinc

Einkorn Pie Crust

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Einkorn Pie Crust

I’ve been low carbing for 5 years now and had come up with some very good recipes for pie early on in my weight loss journey.  But I stopped eating soy by products and have cut out most wheat intake a year or so ago.  That pretty much eliminated most of those pie crust recipes. :(  They are still up on my site here, but I’ve had to start trialing new recipes to find a good one that doesn’t use (or uses less of) those ingredients.  I’ve tried 4 or 5 now, but have not happy with any of them.  So I tried mixing the ingredients I’ve had the best luck with last night and BINGO!  I think I may have found my prize!  This balance of “flours” is going to be my go-to pastry recipe henceforth.  It should make cobblers, meat pies and single or double crust pies quite nicely!  I had no trouble rolling it out between parchment/plastic sheets and plan to try a double crust this week to see if getting the top crust on a pie works or ends up in a crumbled mess.

I’ve been experimenting with Einkorn flour for several months.  This is the ancient form of wheat that has not been genetically modified and that is supposed to be digested better than today’s hybrids wheat.  Therefore this recipe IS NOT GLUTEN FREE, but I’ve never had issues with gluten.   Yes, I’ve read Wheat Belly and yes, I understand the dietary and metabolic risks.  There are very few farms producing Einkorn wheat today.  I try never to use more than 2-4 tablespoons in a recipe in order to keep carbs as low as possible.

The addition of oat fiber brings even more “floury” flavor and better floury texture to baked goods.  So that is also a winner here.  Honestly, this is the very first crust I’ve made in ages that isn’t “short” and cookie-like!  That’s OK for cobblers, but not for pies in my opinion.  I like my crusts a little brittle and flaky.  Well I got brittle here, but not quite flaky.  If you had blindfolded me and had me do a taste/texture test on this one, I’d have said I was eating my pie crust of olden days, made with Pillsbury all-purpose flour.   :)  This one is not only tasty, it holds up nicely to a moist filling overnight in the fridge (coconut cream, at least :) ) .   It also boasts a very acceptable carb count (considering it has ¼ c. real flour in it)!  Check our the numbers below!

I order my Einkorn flour direct from Jovial Foods on-line.  I store the surplus in my freezer, as I do all my flours.  This recipe is not suitable until you reach the final grains level of Pre-Maintenance of Atkins or toward the end of you Ketogenic weightloss efforts.  This would not be suitable for Primal-Paleo followers.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. blanched almond flour (I use Honeyvillegrains)

1 tsp. erythritol (this sweetener is optional)

¼ c. Einkorn flour, unsifted

¼ c. oat fiber (do not substitute)

¼ tsp. salt

4 T. butter, unsalted (if using salted, omit salt above)

4-5 T. ice water

DIRECTIONS:     Preheat oven to 350º.  this recipe is for a single crust pie.  Measure out the dry ingredients either into a bowl or your food processor. Stir/pulse to blend.  Add the butter and with a fork cut in or pulse the butter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Slowly add the water, beginning with 3 T. and add 1 tsp. at a time as needed to form a ball of dough.  Stir with a fork or pulse until if will form a single ball of dough.  Only add as much as you need to form a thick ball of dough.  You don’t want the dough to be too wet.  Remove onto a sheet of parchment paper.  Press out a bit with your hand.  Place another sheet of parchment on top and roll out slightly larger than your pie plate.   Carefully remove the top parchment.  Invert the pie plate onto the dough, centering.   Now lift everything, parchment, crust and plate and invert.  The crust may begin to drop down into the pie plate on its own from gravity.  Carefully remove the parchment and help the crust settle down into the pan gently.  Press it down gently all around and on the bottom. Crimp the edge as you like.  Prick it on the sides and bottom with a fork.  Pop the pan into a preheated 350º oven for about 20-25 minutes, but check at 15.  I you will be filling with a filling you must bake again, you don’t want to over brown your bottom crust or it will burn during second cooking. If filling with a chilled filling, you want it browned to completion as pictured above.    Remove crust from oven when done and cool a bit before filling.

NUTRUTIONAL INFO:  Makes a single crust pie, 8 servings.  1/8 of the crust contains:

130 calories

12.2 g  fat

7.6 g  carbs, 4.1 g  fiber, 3.5 g  NET CARBS

3.4 g  protein

79 mg sodium

<10% RDA all other nutrients

Orange Vinaigrette

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Orange Vinaigrette

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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Kale Orange-Walnut Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

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 a  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.

INGREDIENTS:

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

Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad

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Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad

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.

INGREDIENTS:

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

 

 

 

Beef Pot Pie

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Beef Pot Pie

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

Crawfish with Eggplant

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Crawfish with Eggplant

This would be Ecrévisses aux Aubergines in Louisiana or French-speaking Québec, but as the lion’s share of my readership is in the U.S. and Canada, I decided the title needed to be in English.  This tasty, cheesy, extremely nutritious  recipe came together as a result of a couple leftovers in my refrigerator:  ½ bag of crawfish tail meat and a few slices of eggplant,.  Both were leftover from making my  Crawfish al Pesto on Eggplant “Pillows” earlier in the week.  All the other ingredients listed below are pretty much always in my pantry and refrigerator/freezer.  Whenever I bake low-carb breads or muffins and have a couple leftover, I throw them in a plastic bag and freeze them for just such casserole “filler” use.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets, however it is not suitable for Primal-Paleo as written.  Be sure to notice the impressive nutritional info on this dish!

INGREDIENTS:

3 T. unsalted butter

1 T. extra light olive oil

6 oz. crawfish tail meat (I use Boudreaux’ brand, frozen)

2 oz. onion, chopped

5 oz. eggplant, diced in ½” cubes or smaller

¼ c. celery, finely minced

1/3 c. red bell pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

1 small low-carb roll of your choice, crumbled (I used ½ slice of my Jalapeno Cheese Bread)

Dash each salt and black pepper

3/4 c. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º.  Melt the butter over high heat in a skillet and add the olive oil.  Sauté the onion and celery until they begins to soften a bit.  Add the eggplant and saute until the eggplant is nearly done (but not mushy).  Add the red bell pepper and minced garlic and sauté just to tenderize the bell pepper.  Next add the salt, black pepper and the Seafood Spice Blend and stir to blend. Next crumble the low-carb roll/bread into the mixture.  Stir one final time and remove from heat.  Spoon 1/4 of the mixture into 2 lightly oiled ceramic dishes.  Top each with 1/4 of the cheese.  Spoon the remaining mixture equally in the dishes and top each with half of the remaining cheese.  Pop into a 350º oven and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted well and bubbly around the edges.  Serve with a green salad or your favorite green vegetable.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes two 1¼ c. servings, each contains:

538 calories

43.3 g  fat

11 g  carbs, 4.25 g  fiber, 6.75 g  NET CARBS

907 mg sodium

570 my potassium

28% RDA Vitamin A, 17% B6, 48% C, 22% E, 9% calcium, 72% copper, 25% iron, 15% magnesium, 39% manganese, 19% niacin, 45% phosphorous, 19% riboflavin, 64% selenium, 10% thiamin and 22% zinc

Blueberry Chia Pudding

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Blueberry Chia Pudding

This is a quick treat if you have blueberries on hand.  I always keep a big bag of them in my freezer (along with a bag of strawberries) so I can whip up quick 1-2 serving desserts like this.  Although I used frozen berries in my pudding shown above, you could certainly use fresh blueberries instead.  This recipe is not suitable for Atkins Induction, but you can enjoy it once you get to the nuts and seeds level of Phase 2.  This is not suitable for Paleo-Primal followers as written, but you could certainly make it so with a couple little tweaks.

More delicious low-carb desserts 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:

1 c. fresh or frozen (unsweetened) blueberries

½ c. coconut milk

¼ c. DaVinci blueberry sugar-free syrup (or vanilla)

2 T. ground chia seeds

OPTIONAL TOPPING:  ¼ c. heavy cream, whipped and sweetened to taste

DIRECTIONS:  Place all pudding ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the berries are smooth.  Dip into two serving dishes.

For the optional topping, whip the heavy cream.  I used a Cuisinart stick blender and the narrow plastic measuring cup that came with it as it’s almost impossible to whip such a small amount of cream in a larger bowl with a hand or stand mixer.  Place a dollop of whipped cream on both portions and chill until ready to serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 2 servings, each contains (does not include optional topping)

187 calories

15 g  fat

14.8 g  carbs, 4.9 g  fiber, 9.9 g NET CARBS

20 mg sodium

175 mg potassium

18% RDA Copper, 25% iron, 10% magnesium, 39% manganese, 19% phosphorous, 8% zinc

Crawfish al Pesto on Eggplant “Pillows”

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Click to enlarge

This recipe grew out of a delicious spaghetti squash alfredo dish I did earlier this week.  At first I had my doubts on  crawfish for this, but it came out DELICIOUS!  I made a batch of my Oven-Fried Fish coating and baked off the eggplant first, as you would for classic Eggplant Parmegiana.  The crunchy coating on the eggplant very quickly loses its crunchiness, so serve this quickly and don’t hold it over for any reason.  This sinfully rich dish was so good I will definitely be doing this again!  It freezes nicely, too, getting even tastier upon re-baking!  The eggplant will lose that crunchiness from freezing, but the dish still tastes fantastic when reheated.

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto, and for Primal folks that consume occasional dairy products.  This would not be suitable for Paleo followers.

You can have many more delicious low-carb recipes at your fingertips with your own copies of Low Carbing Among Friends, Vols. 1-5 (Vols. 6 & 7 coming soon!)  These cookbooks by Jennifer Eloff are packed with delicious recipes from not only Jennifer, but from a number of the most popular low-carb chefs on the web, including George Stella and Maria Emmerich.  Get your copies to day at Amazon or here.

DISCLAIMER:  I do not receive remuneration for promoting Low Carbing Among Friends nor the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I promote them simply because they contain great recipes and are a wonderful addition to any low-carber’s cookbook library.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. eggplant, sliced into eight ½” slices

3 oz. plain pork rinds, crushed fine

6 T. homemade mayonnaise

Dash salt

4 T. butter

1 large leek, ends trimmed off, washed well, sliced or chopped into small pieces (about 1½ cups)

¼ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

¼ c. Parmesan cheese, grated

1½ T. homemade pesto sauce (or commercial)

8 oz. frozen crawfish tail meat, defrosted (or shrimp)

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

1 c. grated mozzarella cheese

2 T. chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 450º.  Lightly oil a baking sheet.  Cut the eggplant into ½” slices.  Baste all surfaces with the mayonnaise using a brush.  Spoon crushed pork rinds over each slice, coating well.  Place the coated slices on the oiled pan and pop into oven, baking at 450º for 20 minutes.

While the eggplant bakes, prepare the topping.  Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Add leeks and saute until tender. Lower heat to medium.  Add the mushroom soup, the Parmesan, crawfish meat, cream and water and simmer over low heat until eggplant is done.  It will thicken as it cooks. Be sure to stir the mixture often during cooking so the flavors will blend.

When the eggplant is tender, remove from oven, top each slice with 2 T. of the mozzarella and then spoon 1/8 of the topping (about 1/3 cup) onto each slice of eggplant.  I made the mistake of putting 1 T. under and 1 T. over the topping and popped the pan back into the oven while my garlic toast cooked in the broiler to melt the cheese on top.  But it didn’t completely melt by the time the toast was done.  So in future, I’ll put all 2T. of the cheese underneath the bubbly hot topping so it will melt nicely for me.  Garnish tops with chopped parsley and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 8 servings, each contains:

355 calories

30.5 g  fat

6.06 g  carbs, 1.88 g fiber, 4.18 g  NET CARBS

14.8 g  protein

421 mg sodium

261 mg potassium

23% RDA Vitamin A, 12% B6, 59% B12, 20% E, 10% calcium, 38% copper, 21% iron, 10% magnesium, 20% manganese, 9% niacin, 34% phosphorous, 29% riboflavin, 52% selenium, 8% thiamin, 19% zinc.

Olive-Hummus Canapes

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Click to enlarge

Next time you’re entertaining, try these tasty little canapés.  You can make as many or as few as you need.  I whipped up a dozen for our lunch today!  Of course, I already had the crackers on hand, as these are my go-t0 crackers.  You can use other low-carb crackers, but the black pepper in these crackers really enhances the total flavor of these tasty treats.  But you could just sprinkle some black pepper on them if using some other crackers. You will also need to make up the hummus and the olive tapenade before assembling.

These are not suitable until you reach the legumes rung of the Atkins carb re-introduction ladder.  But they are OK for Keto followers as written, if you can fit the carbs into your daily numbers.   They would not be acceptable for Primal-Paleo unless you sub in a plan appropriate hummus.

INGREDIENTS:

¼ recipe my cauliflower Hummus

½ recipe my Olive Tapenade

24 my Almond-Arrowroot Crackers (or low-carb crackers of your choice)

12 tiny pieces jar pimiento (optional)

DIRECTIONS: Make the crackers by that recipe’s instructions and completely cool.  Make up a half recipe of the hummus by that recipe’s instructions and set aside.  Make the olive tapenade in your food processor or blender by that recipe’s instructions.

Olive mixture leftovers keep for about a week in the refrigerator in a covered container.  It makes an excellent additive to salad vinaigrette dressing!  :) The hummus doesn’t keep well, so unless you’re making a lot of these for a party, you might want to only make up a 1/4 recipe of the hummus so you won’t have a bunch leftover.

To assemble the canapés, spread 1 tsp. hummus on the center of each cracker.  Nest place a ½ tsp. dollop of the olive tapenade in the center of the hummus. If using, top with 1 tiny piece of pimiento.  Place on a decorative tray and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 24 canapés, each contains:

50 calories

4.58 g  fat

1.95 g  carbs, .94 g  fiber, 1.01 g  NET CARBS

1.16 g  protein

71 mg sodium

8 mg potassium

< 10% all other macronutrients

Mediterranean Chicken and Olives

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Mediterranean Chicken and Olives (shown with added link of chorizo)

I absolutely love olives but tend to think of them as a food eaten separately, or atop salads.  But when I put them into meat dishes I’m always amazed at what they bring to the final dish.  This was yet another example of a tasty surprise for me.

The Baharat spice blend I chose for this dish is prevalent in the countries along the extreme eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea.  I think you’ll like it on chicken and it is equally good in stewed beef curries and on roasted vegetables.  I highly encourage you to give this blend a try sometime, even if not on this particular dish.    It was incredible on the chicken tonight.   The cinnamon and cloves come through the most, but the other spices in the blend have a subtle flavor presence as well.  The spice here is the key flavor ingredient here so I would not encourage substitutions or you will be creating a totally different dish.   This dish is suitable for Atkins Induction, Keto diets, and Primal-Paleo lifestyles as well.   Be sure to use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe.  Note the incredible nutritional stats below!  Healthy, this one!

You may notice some small round brown bits in the pic above.  That’s 1 link of chorizo broken up into little pieces.  But we decided we don’t like it in this dish.  It conflicts too much with the Baharat spices.  So I won’t ever put that in this recipe again. I suppose you can try it if you’re a big chorizo fan.  You might even like it!  The link of chorizo, however, is not calculated in the nutritional info below.

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:

3 medium chicken thighs

3 medium chicken drumsticks

3 T. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. my Baharat Spice Blend  (the key flavor, so don’t substitute)

4 oz. purple onion, sliced lengthwise

3 plum tomatoes, each cut into 4 wedges

24 medium black olives

Dash each salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 425º.  Place olive oil, Baharat spice and minced garlic in a pan large enough to hold your chicken without any crowding.  Stir it well.  Take each piece of chicken and dip each side into the oil mixture.  Rub or baste each piece all over well.  Evenly space the pieces skin-side up in the pan.  Cut the tomatoes into wedges and space them evenly around the chicken in the pan, trying not to cover the pieces of chicken.  If covered, the juice from the tomato will inhibit browning of the skin.

Next place the olives evenly around the chicken pieces.   Lastly, separate the slivers of onion and spread them all around the chicken.  Dip a basting brush into the olive oil mixture and baste the olives and vegetables with the oil (add more oil if needed).  Lightly sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Pop into a preheated hot 425º oven and bake for about 1 hour, re-basting at 30 minutes cooking time to be sure the vegetables don’t dry out.   I served this with buttered, steamed asparagus.  It would also be good with a Greek salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 adult servings (serving = 1 drumstick + 1 thigh).  Each serving contains:

438 calories

32 g  fat

8.26 g  carbs, 2.26 g  fiber, 6 g  NET CARBS

29.8 g  protein

742 mg sodium

 

Individual “Irish” Chocolate Cake

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Click to enlarge

Today I offer my readers a delicious, quick dessert to top off that corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day.  Tasty and quite easy, too!  The cake goes together in minutes, microwaves in 1 minute and the icing is just as easy.  And boy, oh, boy, is this icing ever tasty!  This is the very same batter I used in my recently posted Chocolate Tea Cakes batter as my base (a variation on the famed 3-Minute Chocolate Flourless Cake).  This cake is moist and has just the right amount of whiskey flavor.

I normally bake this cake for 1 minute in a glass dish in the microwave.  But since I wanted to use a very large, metal shamrock cookie cutter, I baked it this time in my regular oven (15 min 350º), using foil to form a “bottom” for the cookie cutter.  But when the cake was done baking and completely cooled, I still had trouble getting “the stem” out of the pan as the stem portion of the cookie cutter had for some reason, contracted inward.  Thus it formed a stem too narrow to remove and it broke off.  BOO HOO!  :(  So I had to piece a stem out of the 1 extra cupcake I made from the bit of batter leftover that wouldn’t quite fit into my shamrock “mold”.   Lucky I had that, actually.  Every cook has the occasional accident.  :)

I would recommend baking this either as 4 cupcakes or as I usually do, in a 5″ square or round glass or ceramic dish.  you could also use two small “mini-cake pans if cooking in the conventional oven.  If doing cupcakes, fill them evenly, which will be about 3/4 full.  Don’t worry, this batter doesn’t rise too much during baking.

This recipe is not suitable until phase 2 OWL of Atkins and those on Ketogenic diets may get bumped out of ketosis consuming alcohol.  But luckily there is very little whiskey in this, so that might not happen.   Of course, you can always leave the booze out entirely. :)

CAKE INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 T. butter, melted

4 pkts. stevia (I use Sweet Leaf)

¼ c. erythritol

2 large eggs, beaten

1 T. Irish Whiskey (I used Powers)

¼ c. cocoa powder, sifted

1½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. glucomannan (konjac) powder

1 tsp. oat fiber

CAKE DIRECTIONS:   Spray or grease your dish(s) or pan(s) with coconut oil or oil of your choosing.  Melt the butter and place in a medium glass bowl.   Add the stevia, erythritol and stir well.  Next beat in the two eggs.  Add the vanilla and Irish Whiskey and stir again.   Sift the cocoa on top and measure the remaining dry ingredients in next.  Stir gently to incorporate the dry into the wet ingredients.  Beat the batter with a spoon until it is smooth.    Pour into greased glass or ceramic pan(s) and bake for 1 minute on HI.   If using metal pans or conventional oven, bake at 350º about 13-15 minutes or until dry to the touch in the center.  Remove, cool completely and ice.

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:  

1 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 T. softened butter

2 tsp. Irish Whiskey (I used Powers)

¼ tsp. vanilla

2 T. plain whey protein powder (I use NOW brand)

2 pkts. stevia

3 T. powdered erythritol (I just powder it in my food processor)

FROSTING DIRECTIONS:  Soften the butter and cream cheese in a small bowl.  Add the protein, whiskey and vanilla.   Stir well until smooth.  Begin adding the sweeteners slowly, tasting as you go and STOP when it’s sweet enough for you, or add more if needed.  Everybody is different on sweetness preferences.    You can use food coloring to make your frosting green if you like (about 13-15 drops).  Frost the cooled cake(s) and serve at once or chill and then cover with plastic wrap if you must hold them over.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 2 large servings, each contains:

316 calories

23 g  fat

11.2 g  carbs, 5.1 g  fiber, 6.1 g NET CARBS

13.5 g  protein

434 mg sodium

121 mg potassium

31% RDA Vitamin A, 30% B12, 27% calcium, 36% irom, 66% phosphorous, 25% riboflavin, 29% selenium, 8% zinc

Peggy’s Italian Sausage

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Peggy’s Italian Sausage (all ready for the soup pot)

I’ve been making this Italian sausage for nigh on to 40 years now.  By making it yourself, you can ensure no sugar or hidden carb fillers are in your Italian sausage.   I keep some made up in my freezer all the time.  It’s so good in recipes, with Italian food, in soups or just as a SNACK!  This recipe is Atkins Induction friendly and also suitable for Keto, Primal and Paleo lifestyles.

I’m proud to say this recipe appears in Vol. 2 (p.298) of Jennifer Eloff’s cookbook series:  Low Carbing Among Friends.  Some of the very best low-carb cooks on the internet collaborated with her in producing a marvelous collection of kitchen-tested tasty recipes that will help you stick with your low-carb efforts.  GET YOUR COPIES TODAY! at Amazon or here.    I receive no remuneration for this promotion or my recipe contributions.  I do so simply because these are GREAT chefs creating WONDERFUL recipes!

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1 clove minced garlic
¾ tsp. fennel, crushed
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt

Traditionally this sausage is made with veal and pork, but as veal is so pricey I just use regular 90% lean ground beef. If you have or can get veal easily, GO FOR IT, by all means! Sometimes I use all pork in this recipe.  For freezing, I like to carefully lay a sheet of plastic wrap on a sheet pan, extended longer than the pan. I prefer patty shape and set four on the plastic in pan.  Then I fold the sides over and ends up and simply accordion the four into a stack, as pictured below.  I then place these bundles into a gallon Ziploc bag and freeze.

Lined up on plastic wrap in pan

DIRECTIONS:  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with your hands or a fork.  Do not stop mixing until the garlic, parsley and spices are WELL-blended.  Shape either into 16 patties or 16 cylindrical link shapes.  If you prefer, you can stuff casings, if you have the equipment, but that’s waaaay too much trouble for me.  ;)   The patties/links will be approx. 2 oz. each. Freeze and use as needed.  For ease of defrosting, it’s essential that plastic separate each patty so you can just  pop the number you need off a stack (cutting plastic wrap if needed) and cook over medium-high heat to brown  These are great with alongside Italian dishes or sometimes I crumbled it up right into Italian casseroles.

One wrapped stack ready to freeze

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:     Makes 16 patties, each 2 oz. patty contains:

149.3 calories

11.88g fat

.29g carbs, .14g. fiber,  .15 NET CARBS

9.68g. protein

36 mg. sodium

Braised Beef Oxtails with Einkorn Dumplings

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

Chocolate Tea Cakes

Click to enlarge

Chocolate Tea Cakes

These rich chocolate cake-like cookies are not too sweet yet they still satisfy your desire for chocolate and that sweet tooth.  They have a mere .82 net carbs per tea cake.  I used this pan to make these and although the picture is deceiving, the slots are only ½” deep, so they only hold about 2 T. batter at best.   I suppose you could also use a whoopie pie pan, but I’m not sure how many you will get from this amount of batter. I originally bought the braided cookie pan with the intention of using it to mold sugar cookies.  But it makes nice little cakes for toddlers hands or special occasion dessert trays.  This recipe is a tweaked version of the 3-minute Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe that is all over the internet. I’ve added 3 ingredients that I think give it better flavor, texture and structure than the original recipe.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and the rare indulgence won’t hurt someone on a Keto diet if you can fit the carbs into your daily numbers.  This recipe is not suitable for Paleo-Primal due to the oat fiber.

I have also cut this recipe in half and baked it in my microwave on HI for 1 minute for a quick 2-serving chocolate cake.  When I do this, I melt about 10-12 sugar-free chocolate chips on top while still hot and spread it thinly on the surface. Mmmm……a very good, fast chocolate fix.  :)

I know the amount of sweetener in these sounds like a lot, but they are not very sweet and it is always difficult to get chocolate desserts adequately sweet, in my honest opinion.

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:

1 T. butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¼ c. erythritol

4 pkts. stevia (I use Sweet Leaf)

1 tsp. oat fiber

1 tsp. glucomannan

1½ tsp. baking powder

¼ c. cocoa

1 T. powdered erythritol for sprinkling on top (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Spray or lightly oil your pan.  Measure out all the dry ingredients onto a paper plate or in a small bowl and stir.  Beat the eggs with a fork in a medium bowl, add the butter and vanilla and stir well.  Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Beat the batter with a spoon or rubber spatula until smooth.  The glucomannan will make the batter appear a little thick and sticky, but that is normal.  Either carefully spoon the batter evenly into the greased 12 pan slots or you can do like I did and fill a ziploc bag with the batter, cut a tiny hole in one corner and pipe the batter into the pan slots.  I’m glad I did, as I’d have made a mess trying to spoon it into the slots.  The slots will hold about 2½ T. batter each.  I had exactly enough batter to fill the 12 slots 3/4 full.  Pop the pan into your preheated oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until dry and slightly firm to the touch on top.  Cool completely and sprinkle with powdered erythritol if desired.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 12 tea cakes, each contains:

28.5 calories

1.95 g  fat

1.68 g  carbs, .76 g  fiber, .82 g  NET CARBS

1.39 g  protein

57 mg sodium

19 mg potassium

10% phosphorous, <10% all other macronutrients

Montreal Baked Chicken

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Montreal Baked Chicken

This Atkins Induction friendly recipe is very easy to prepare and has been one of the more popular posts on my blog.  The secret to the crisp skin is to bake at very high heat to start, then lower the oven temperature.  This recipe is Induction friendly and I’m proud to share that it also appears in Jennifer Eloff’s Low Carbing Among Friends, Vol. 2!  This 5-volume cookbook series (Vols. 6 & 7 coming out soon!)  is a wonderful collection of all-original recipes by some of the most talented low-carb cooks in the blogging world!  Whether you’re a sweets person or a savory fan (like me) you’ll want to grab a set of these cookbooks at Amazon or here to add to your low-carb kitchen arsenal.  :)

VARIATION:  A pinch of garlic powder and 1-2 T. Parmesan added to this is very good!

INGREDIENTS:

1 whole chicken cut up (I pull out the back, neck and fat to make chicken stock)

1 recipe my Montreal BBQ Sauce

DIRECTIONS:   Cut up the chicken (I cut breasts in half, remove back, making 10 pieces) and place pieces in a ziploc gallon bag.  Mix up the marinade and add to bag.  Manipulate well with your hands and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.  When ready to cook Preheat oven to 475º.  Place pieces of chicken on metal baking pan large enough the pieces don’t overlap, for best browning.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove and baste with juices in the pan.  Lower heat to 350 and continue baking for 20-30 minutes.  Time will vary due to size of chicken pieces and ovens vary.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 10 meaty pieces or 5 servings.  It would be impossible for me to calculate the exact figures for a serving because that depends upon the pieces of chicken eaten.  But to give you a rough idea, each 2-piece serving will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 393 calories, 28 g  fat, .26 g carbs, .1 g fiber, .16 g net carbs, 33.12 g  protein, 642 mg sodium.  Basically, take the nutritional info for the particular piece of chicken and add in the nutritional info for 1T. of the sauce (.16 net carbs) shown on that recipe.

Smoked Gouda Cauliflower

Smoked Gouda Cauliflower

Smoked Gouda Cauliflower

This recipe 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.  Smoked Gouda doesn’t melt easily, but if shredded, it usually melts OK.  In this dish, it takes an ordinary cauliflower casserole and transforms it 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!  I buy my smoked Gouda at Sam’s Club and have discovered, not all stores carry quality smoked Gouda.  The brand I bought in San Antonio at my mother’s grocery store was just awful….totally tasteless.

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 linked above.   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!

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium-large head cauliflower

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 oz. smoked Gouda cheese, grated or shredded

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

Dash salt (optional)

Optional:  chopped chives or green onion to top

DIRECTIONS:

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 (I do not recommend using slices for this.  Grate it to facilitate melting).  Spoon remaining cauliflower into dish and top with rest of Gouda cheese.   Sprinkle with just a dash of salt and pepper if desired, but 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

Indonesian Pork Bites

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Indonesian Pork Bites

I wanted meatballs for dinner tonight but not “the usual”.  So I opened up my spice cabinet by the stove and just started throwing Asian/Indonesian ingredients into the bowl.  It never ceases to amaze me that sometimes those “no-recipe” creations end up coming out soooooo tasty!   These had a very delicate flavor, despite the fact that the ingredients have pretty strong flavors.  I guess my ingredient amounts were spot on for our taste buds as we both just LOVED these little pork bites!  I served them with steamed cauliflower and green beans.  As the raw meat mixture was quite “sticky” (not sure why) they were difficult to roll into smooth, round meatballs.  So I improvised and ended up dropping little “roundish” blobs of meat onto my hot, greased skillet and then flattened them with the back of my spatula a bit.

Made even smaller and served with toothpicks, these would be great party food or a first course when entertaining.  As I used nut-based crackers, as written, this recipe would not be suitable until you reach the nuts and seeds level of the Atkins carb ladder in Phase 2 OWL.  Substituting an Induction suitable cracker, those on Induction could also enjoy these little pork delights.  These fit a Keto lifestyle nicely, too.  Paleo-Primal followers will want to use a nut butter in lieu of the peanut butter. :)

DIPPING SAUCE:  If you want one to go with these morsels, the one in this recipe is very nice.

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:

1 lb. lean ground pork

1 beaten egg

1 oz. onion, finely minced

2-3 T. chopped cilantro

¼ tsp. Thai green curry powder

1/16 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

4 low-carb crackers of your choice (I used Almond-Arrowroot Crackers ), crushed

1 tsp. coconut aminos (or low-sodium soy sauce or tamari)

1 small clove garlic, minced

2 tsp. fish sauce (I use Thai Kitchen brand)

2 T. all natural peanut butter or other nut butter of your choice

1 T. olive oil (for frying)

DIRECTIONS:   Mix all ingredients together using a fork or your hands in a medium mixing bowl.  Heat the oil in a  non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Form into 13 “rough” meatball shapes, drop onto hot greased skillet, and with the back of a spatula, press them slightly to  flatten to about ½” thick.  Fry until golden brown on both sides.   This will take about 5 minutes per side.  Serve at once with your favorite Asian stir-fried vegetable dish.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 13 pork bites, each contains:

133 calories

11 g  fat

1.2 g  carbs, .4 g  fiber, .8 g  NET CARBS

7.45 g  protein

133 mg sodium

 

Purple Cabbage and Kale

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Purple Cabbage and Kale (with a twist)

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 suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto, Primal and Paleo nutritional lifestyles.

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:

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

Kale-Cranberry-Walnut Salad

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Kale-Cranberry-Walnut Salad

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.

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

SALAD GREENS:

1½ oz. kale leaves, stems removed, chopped 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)

CRANBERRY VINAIGRETTE:

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

 

Dad’s Peppered Rib Roast

Peppered Rib Roast

Peppered Rib Roast

This recipe was my Dad’s pride and joy.  In 80 years of cooking he never found a marinade he liked better.  I often make this truly out-of-the-ordinary roast for company and holidays, but we do it on smaller cuts of beef year-round!  It’s DELICIOUS!  You grilling fanatics MUST try this recipe sometime!  This is truly my all-time favorite beef marinade as well and has been since I was in high school over 40 years ago.  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 meat and marinade loose some of their impact on reheating.   But it makes the best cold roast beef sandwiches you ever ate!  :)

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 (1/4 c. if you can tolerate the sodium, I don’t though)

1/2 c. dry red wine (burgundy or claret work nicely but any dry red will do)

1 T. tomato paste

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

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 need to grill the 8 lb. rib roast for about 2 hours over medium coals (using a rotary spit if you own one).  If you don’t have one, like me, just turn the meat every half hour to sear all surfaces nicely. Best if not cooked past medium to medium rare stage.  I take mine off when my meat thermometer reads 120º degrees 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 sirloin or chuck roast or individual rib steaks with this recipe, cook a 3-4 lb. chuck about 20 minutes on a side for medium-rare. This marinade really does a nice job of tenderizing a chuck or sirloin roast.  Cook steaks as you usually would to your desired doneness.

This recipe always gets the WOWS when I serve it.  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 in the 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.

The entire batch of marinade has:

131 calories

.7 g. fat

18 g. carbs, 4.6 g. fiber, 15.4 NET CARBS (entire batch)

5.5 g. protein

1070 mg. sodium

 

Chicken Curry with Chickpeas

Click to enlarge (photo taken before cream was added)

This delicious curry recipe is very easy to put together if you have all the ingredients on hand.   It is equally delicious made with or without the heavy cream added, so you folks who must eat dairy free can still consider this curry for your table.  It’s one of my favorites!  As written, this recipe isn’t suitable until you reach the higher carb fruits rung of the carb re-introduction ladder of Atkins.   If you omit the raisins, you still need to have reached the legumes rung of the carb ladder to have this.  It is acceptable for Keto if you can fit the carbs into your day, but not suitable for Primal-Paleo.

This recipe is a bit carbier than most of mine, but if still on Induction, you could always substitute cauliflower or chunks of summer yellow squash for the chickpeas and reduce the net carb count to around 4.4!  Cauliflower is often seen in Indian curries.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. olive oil

1 T. butter

1 tsp. cumin seed

3 chicken thighs + 2 chicken legs

3 oz. onion, sliced

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. turmeric

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. minced ginger root

1 tsp. Garam Masala

1 c. cilantro, chopped

1 c. chicken broth (preferably homemade)

3 Roma tomatoes, cut into large chunks

½ oz. raisins

2/3 c. canned chickpeas, drained

Dash salt

1/2 c. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:   Heat a non-stick wok or skillet.  Add the cumin sead and toast until they are fragrant.  Add the oil and butter.  Place chicken pieces in hot oil and brown on both sides.  Add the onion and allow it to begin to brown, stirring it around the chicken pieces with your fork or spoon.  Add all remaining ingredients except the cream. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until chicken is completely done (check with a knife).  Slowly stir in the cream and if desired, thicken with a light dusting of xanthan gum or your preferred thickener and whisk it in well.  Simmer 1-2 more minutes to allow your thickener to do its job and serve the curry at once.  I serve my husbands over basmati rice; mine I usually eat alone or occasionally have it with/over some steamed cauliflower.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 5 servings, each contains:

365 calories

26 g  fat

14.1 g  carbs, 2.6 g  fiber, 11.5 g  NET CARBS  (4.4 if you omit the chickpeas)

18.74 g  protein

324 mg sodium

320 mg potassium

23% RDA Vitamin A, 26% B6, 7% B12, 11% C, 10% E, 20% copper, 28% iron, 11% magnesium, 18% manganese, 28% niacin, 22% phosphorous, 18% riboflavin, 8% thiamin, 22% zinc

Down on the Bayou ♫♫ Cajun Soup

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Click to enlarge

I found myself humming the Credence Clearwater Revival (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) hit “Born on the Bayou” when I started to cook this soup yesterday and quickly went and popped the tape into my player.  I was quite fond of Credence in college.  I just LOVE their rendition of this particular song.  I was really just trying to use up a leftover chicken breast and a half bag of crawfish tails in my freezer and seeing the German brats on the refrigerator shelf right by the chicken, well….. I immediately thought of a Cajun concoction.  This creation is where that thought took me.

The final soup WAS DELICIOUS!  It has been so cold lately, soup is exactly the right kind of lunch these days.  The beans make this meal a little carb-y, but you could omit those for a lower net carb count (or if you’re on Atkins Induction.  But considering how many vegetables it has, it’s not surprising it’s a bit carb-y.  As written, this is not suitable until you reach the legume rung of the carb re-introduction ladder of the Atkins plan.  Get a load of the nutritional stats on this recipe!  A bowl of this delicious soup is worth every single carb nutrition-wise!  I’ll definitely be making this one again!

More delicious low-carb soup recipes and lunch ideas 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:

¼ c. olive oil

1/3 c. oat fiber

2 oz. onion, diced

1 c. celery, diced

½ c. green bell pepper, diced

½ c. chopped parsley

¼ c. unsalted butter

8 oz. skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

4 oz. lean smoked sausage, sliced (I used a German Bratwurst)

1 c. frozen crawfish tail meat (or shrimp)

1 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

Dash each salt and pepper

1 T. rice vinegar

1½ c. seafood (or chicken) stock (I used homemade lobster stock)

½ tsp. Sriracha chile sauce

1½ c. no-salt diced canned tomatoes

1 c. canned canellini beans, drained (or navy beans)

Dash each salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Heat olive oil over high heat in a large non-stick pan.  Add the oat fiber.  Whisking constantly, allow the two to blend and brown to a golden maple syrup color (this is making a sort of roux).  Add the diced vegetables to cool the roux.  Add the butter now and saute until the vegetables are softening. Add the parsley and chicken and saute, stirring, until the chicken is no longer pink. Lower heat a bit and add all remaining ingredients but the beans.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes on low.  Add the beans, stir and serve at once with your favorite low-carb bread or crackers.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains:

328.7 calories

21.6 g  fat

15.5 g  carbs, 7.95 g fiber, 7.55 g  NET CARBS

23.3 g  protein

550 mg sodium

463 mg potassium

17% RDA Vitamin A, 22% B6, 44% B12, 32% C, 15% E, 27% copper, 31% iron, 10% magnesium, 13% manganese, 47% niacin,  28% phosphorous, 12% riboflavin, 36% selenium, 7% thiamin, 12% zinc

Chicken-Brussels Sprouts Casserole

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Chicken-Brussels Sprouts Casserole

I needed to get some Vitamin K into my husband’s daily food for the day.  He is now on Coumadin therapy and that requires we keep his Vitamin K intake consistent from day to day.  Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin K, so that was my best option considering the vegetables I had on hand.

I had thawed a large chicken breast but had not yet decided on how to cook it.  As I flipped through my chicken recipes, a picture of a creamy chicken dish triggered off this idea.  The dish was literally a toss-in-a-little-of-this-and-a-little-of-that creation.  Sometimes those dishes come out tasting quite good, as we all know well.  My husband ate seconds, which is always a good indicator, so I thought I’d share this one with you.  Although quinoa is technically a seed, this recipe is not suitable until you reach the higher-carb grains rung of the Atkins carb ladder (Phase 2 OWL).

You may find this dish a bit carby for your nutrition program, but all the carbs are pretty much coming from the Brussels sprouts and quinoa.  But quinoa is a super food (just take note of the nutritional stats below!)I like to include in my diet once in awhile.  If you are still on Induction or wish just to lower the carb count, you could omit the quinoa.  :)  Hemp hearts are a good low-carb substitution for the quinoa, but those are still not suitable for Induction.  Sorry.

More delicious low-carb casserole 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:

1 c. homemade chicken broth

¼ c. quinoa

10 oz. chicken breast, deboned, skin removed, cut in small pieces

4 slices bacon, chopped

2 T. butter

1 c. celery, chopped

2½ oz. onion, chopped

1/2 recipe Jennifer Eloff’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

¼ c. heavy cream

Dash each salt and black pepper

3 oz. Smoked Gouda cheese, shredded  (or cheese of your choice)

5 oz. frozen Brussels sprouts, cut into quarters lengthwise (do not precook)

DIRECTIONS:    Preheat the oven to 350º.  First, prepare the mushroom soup, set ½ the mixture into a medium bowl for inclusion in this recipe.  Store the remaining soup in the refrigerator for another use.  Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, add the quinoa and simmer covered for about 5-10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.  In a large skillet, fry the bacon until done.  Add the butter, celery, onion, salt and pepper and saute until the vegetables are getting tender.    Add the pieces of chicken next and saute until no longer pink. Lower the heat and add the soup mix and cream.  Stir well.  Next add the shredded Gouda and Brussels sprouts.  Turn off heat and stir gently.  Add in the quinoa and remaining broth (or steamed cauliflower if substituting).  Toss the mixture well with a spoon.  Pop into a preheated 350º oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

468 calories

33 g  fat

15.27 g  carbs, 2.9 g  fiber, 12.37 g  NET CARBS

25.8 g  protein

549 mg potassium

880 mg sodium

26% RDA Vitamin A, 30% B6, 18% B12, 38% C, 19% calcium, 33%, 33% copper, 34% iron, 15% magnesium, 22% manganese, 51% niacin, 36% phosphorous, 27% riboflavin, 26% selenium, 14% thiamin, 20% zinc

German Brats and Vegetables

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Click to enlarge

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

Smoky Sofrito Spinach

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Smoky Sofrito Spinach

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

INGREDIENTS:

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.

Tex-Mex Beef Bone Broth Soup

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Click to enlarge

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

Almond-Arrowroot Crackers

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Almond-Arrowroot Crackers

I recently came across a Crispy & Flaky Gluten-Free Thin (Pizza) Crust recipe by Brittany Angell on RealSustenance.com that looked intriguing.  I already have a pizza crust I’m very happy with.  But when she described how crispy it was, I decided to adapt it and create what has become the BEST cracker recipe!  Her recipe has no egg, and that’s what originally caught my eye.  I’m just not fond of eggs in crackers.  So I began to tinker around with her recipe and just see what I ended up with!   I couldn’t be happier!  The final result was so good, I’ve now made this recipe dozens of times and these tasty, crisp crackers blow all my other cracker recipes right out of the water!  Even my non-low-carb husband likes these things!  I think the magic here is the arrowroot and oat fiber, so I don’t recommend omitting or substituting for those two ingredients lest you end up with a totally different result.

Let me say up front, my method for making the crackers does not read at all like the original recipe, but it sure produces a crisp cracker that STAYS crisp for days and days!   I changed amounts of come ingredients, added a couple things and definitely spiced them up a bit!  Those changes and additions are noted below in blue, including the oven temperature.  I also added a bit of oat fiber for a flour-y flavor, crunch and fiber.

This recipe is not suitable for Induction due to the oat fiber and arrowroot flour.  It isn’t suitable for Primal-Paleo unless you omit the oat fiber and cheese.  This is a really BIG recipe that makes two full sheet pans of 48 crackers each.  Half the recipe if you do not want that many (tasting them will change your mind next time :) ).  That said, they do keep well and stay crisp in a loose-lidded ceramic canister on my counter for 2 weeks or so.  That’s much better than any of my other cracker recipes keep for me.

I look forward to trying the inspiration pizza crust recipe as a pizza crust, with no changes one day, just to see how it is as a pizza crust.  I’m thinking this recipe has some very exciting dessert potential as well.  :)

Many more cracker and snack recipes can be at your fingertips, with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff’s latest cookbooks Low Carbing Among Friends.   Check out their Facebook page for a sampling of many of the recipes in this 5-volume set authored by international author Jennifer Eloff, George Stella and a group of some of the most popular, low-carb food bloggers on the internet!  You can order from Amazon or here:  http://amongfriends.us/order.php

DISCLAIMER:  I do not receive remuneration for this promotion nor for the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I promote them because they are GREAT cookbooks!

INGREDIENTS:

3 c. lightly packed almond flour (weighed out it was 11 oz. (311.8 grams)

4 T. arrowroot flour/powder

2/3 c. flax meal (I use a 50:50 mix of dark & golden)

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. sea salt

1 T. onion powder

1-2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper (I use 2 tsp.)

2 T. oat fiber  (omit for gluten-free)

¼ c. grated Parmesan Cheese

3/4 c. warm tap water

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:  Line two large sheet pans (mine are 11½ x 17) with parchment.  I use plastic gloves to press crackers into my pans, or sometimes I cut a third piece or parchment, lay it on top and roll out the dough that way, using my gloved fingers to finish off the edges evenly.  The key is to get the cracker dough thin and even in the pan.  Thicker areas  don’t cook well; thinner areas will burn quickly.

Preheat oven to 350º.  Stir the warm water and olive oil together in a small glass to mix well.  Measure out all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.   Stir well with a fork.  Add the water-oil mixture to the dry ingredients and blend with the fork to form a solid ball of dough.  I form the dough right in the bowl into in a log shape and cut in half to divide it equally.  Crumble half the mixture onto each parchment-lined pan.  Roll the dough or, wearing plastic gloves, press the dough in the first pan evenly and all the way to the edges.  It will be very thin, and I always think it isn’t going to make it, but half the dough WILL reach the edge of the pan.  I like to roll the surface with a straight-sided glass I own.  If rolling with a rolling pin or straight glass, cover crumbles with parchment and roll as evenly as possible all the way to the edges of the pan.  You’ll likely have to finish the edges with your fingers (use a piece or plastic wrap if need be).  With a large chef’s knife, score the rolled dough into rows of crackers 6 x 8 (48 crackers).  Repeat with the second half of the dough in the second pan.  Pop the two pans into the preheated 350º oven and bake for for 20-25 minutes.  Ovens vary, so start watching them at 20 minutes.  Do not over brown!  I will sometimes even remove any on the edges getting brown faster. When lightly browned remove, cool 1-2 minutes, re-score with the chef’s knife and then let cool completely.  The flavor develops when they have cooled.  They’re not so good when hot.  Break apart and enjoy plain, with butter, cheese spreads (I’m addicted to them with chive & onion cream cheese) or your favorite hard cheeses!  Store remainders in a plastic zip bag or any canister of your choosing.  I just use a ceramic, lidded cookie jar on my counter.  These stay crisp for around 2 weeks.  Mine get eaten within 2 weeks, so I honestly don’t know if they would keep longer or not.  :)

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 96 crackers, each cracker contains:

28.4 calories

2.38 g  fat

1.32 g  carbs, .68 g  fiber, .64 g  NET CARBS

.97 g  protein

7.6 mg potassium

37 mg sodium

<10% all other nutrients

Chicken-Sausage Pho Soup

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Click to enlarge

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at Vietnamese Pho as I’ve heard so much about it.  The pictures always look divine!  Today the ingredients just seemed to be lined up on the top shelf of the refrigerator:  1 cooked chicken breast, a red bell pepper, and some calabacita squash (Mexican Zucchini).  I think it was meant to be.   VOILA! my lunch pictured above went together in about 10 minutes.  It was simply delicious!  Although not exactly traditional Pho, this healthy, low-carb version  is suitable for Atkins Induction, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo as well.

VARIATION:  You could substitute shiritaki tofu noodles for the calabacita squash and lower the carbs even more!

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz. cooked chicken breast, shredded

2 oz. breakfast sausage, browned

6 oz. calabacita (or zucchini) squash, cut into noodles

2 green onions, chopped

1/3 c. fresh cilantro

2 oz. red bell pepper, chopped

3 c. chicken broth (I use homemade)

4 T. unsalted butter

1 tsp. sriracha chili sauce

1 tsp. minced fresh ginger root

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 tiny splash of fish sauce

DIRECTIONS:  Cut the calaba squash into “noodles” either with a Noodler-type tool or a julienne peeler.  Set noodles aside for now.  Brown the sausage in a soup pot.  Add shredded chicken and all other ingredients, including the calabacita “noodles”.  Simmer just until the noodles are slightly soft but not disintegrated into the broth (about 5 minutes).  Serve with extra sriracha sauce at the table for those who like to spice things up!  Salt to taste and ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

326 calories

21 g  fat

4.22 g  carbs, 1.27 g  fiber, 2.95 g  NET CARBS

500 mg sodium

527 mg potssium

19% RDA Vitamin A, 36% B6, 16% B12, 8% C, 23% copper, 19% iron, 13% magnesium, 84% niacin, 33% phosphorous, 26% riboflavin, 36% selenium, 16% thiamin and 17% zinc

Spiced Roasted Parsnips & Carrots

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Spiced Roasted Parsnips & Carrots

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

Creamy Dreamy Chicken-Broccoli Casserole

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Click to enlarge

I don’t usually like broccoli cooked into casseroles because it invariably gets “overdone” by the time the dish is cooked.  But I think I’ve found a solution to that issue with the method I used to put this sinfully rich, tasty casserole together tonight.  The broccoli went into the mixture uncooked!  Voilà! Problem solved.  The broccoli was still quite firm in this final dish and for once, I actually liked this  broccoli casserole!  My husband REALLY liked this and kept dipping up more and more!  I loved it, too!  Guess this one will be a keeper for us. :)

I used precooked chicken, but you could dice up your chicken breast and sear in grease if you don’t happen to have any pre-cooked on hand.  This recipe is EASY! PEASY!  Basically you just toss the ingredients together in a bowl,  pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish, top with cheese and bake!

This recipe is not suitable for Atkins Induction unless you omit the wild rice.  Just increase the broccoli by 1 more cup and the dish will taste just fine.  This recipe, because of the small amount of wild rice in it, should not be enjoyed until you reach Pre-Maintenace or Maintenance due to the rice.  This dish is not suitable for a Primal-Paleo regimen.

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:

2 c. cooked chicken meat, diced large

2 c. broccoli, cut into small flowerettes and stem pieces

5 oz. cream cheese, softened

3 T. melted butter

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. shredded Parmesan cheese

3 T. mayonnaise (I use homemade)

½ tsp. my Shawarma Spice Blend (or your favorite blend)

3/4 c. chicken broth (I use homemade)

Dash black pepper

1 c. cooked wild rice

4 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded (for topping)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Lightly oil a 9×13  or large oval casserole dish.  Cut up the broccoli and chicken and place in large mixing bowl.  Add the softened cream cheese and melted butter.  Stir well.  Now add all remaining ingredients except the  Monterey Jack Cheese.  Stir well to blend and pour into the greased baking dish.  Sprinkle the Jack cheese on top and bake at 350º for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  I served with a nice green salad and some garlic toast made with my favorite Gluten-Free Focaccia Bread.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains:

485 calories

39 g  fat

9.70 g  carbs, 1.30 g  fiber, 8.4 g  NET CARBS

25 g  protein

254 mg potassium

597 mg sodium

37% RDA Vitamin A, 19% B6, 30% B12, 35% C, 12% E, 15% calcium, 12% copper, 23% iron, 11% magnesium, 9% manganese, 29% niacin, 39% phosphorous, 30% riboflavin, 40% selenium, 7% thiamin, 21% zinc

Horseradish Sauce (for beef)

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Click to enlarge

I’m not personally fond of horseradish sauce with my prime rib roast.  It’s an acquired taste I just never acquired.   :)  I much prefer the “au jus” natural gravy the roasts make.  But my husband really likes it and this is the recipe he prefers.  This sauce is suitable for all phases of Atkins.  Here’s my foolproof Perfect Rib Roast recipe if you’d like to try it sometime.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. sour cream

1 T. horseradish

1 T. mayonnaise (I use homemade)

Dash salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Stir all ingredients together, chill and serve with rib roasts, New England Boiled Beef, or grilled steaks.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes eight servings.  Each 2-Tbsp. serving contains:

75 calories

7.5 g  fat

1.46 g  carbs, .06 g  fiber, 1.4 g  NET CARBS

.97 g  protein

Perfect Rib Roast

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Click to enlarge

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

Beer-Braised Beef Shanks with Leeks

Beer-Braised Beef Shanks with Leeks

Beer-Braised Beef Shanks with Leeks

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 only Induction friendly if you omit the beer. It sports an incredible nutrient analysis.  I served mine with buttered, steamed carrots and my 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:

2½ lbs. lean, cross-cut beef shanks, I used grass-fed

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

Crawfish Pad Thai

Click to enlarge

Crawfish Pad Thai

I’m very new to Pad Thai, although I’ve seen beaucoup recipes for it in cookbooks and on the internet.  I’ve deduced that it’s apparently like gumbo, in that every recipe is a little different.  There are similar ingredients in all of the recipes, however, so I went about concocting my own version, pulling from this recipe and that recipe.  I had no idea if the final dish was going to be good, and told my husband “If we don’t like it, we can just go out and eat.”  It surpassed our expectations!  Other than the fact I got it a little too hot with peppers, the overall flavor was truly OUTSTANDING!  I now see why people rant and rave about it.  I will definitely be making this dish on a regular basis in future!  I can’t wait to try it with pork, chicken and shrimp one day.

I’m showing a lesser amount of hot pepper ingredients below than went into my dinner tonight, as it was waaaaay too hot for us with 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper AND the jalapeno.   This meal would be suitable for Atkins Induction Phase, Keto diets and would even fit a Primal-Paleo lifestyle if plan-appropriate sauce ingredients are used.

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: 

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 T. rice vinegar

1 T. oyster sauce

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

1 drop or a whisper of your favorite sweetener (optional)

1 T. fish sauce

2 c. cooked spaghetti squash threads

2 T. olive oil

1 medium carrot, slivered lengthwise very thinly and cut into 2″ pieces

2 oz. purple onion

1 small jalapeno, seeded and slivered into very thin strips

1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like things HOT!)

1 c. bean sprouts (I had none on hand and used 1/3 c. slivered water chestnuts instead)

4 large green onions, chopped into ½” pieces

12 oz. crawfish tail meat, (I use cooked, frozen or you could substitute cooked shrimp)

3 large eggs, beaten

½ c. cilantro, chopped

1 T. butter

DIRECTIONS:  Cook half the spaghetti squash by slicing in half, removing seeds, putting cut side down into baking dish with 1/2″ water and microwaving on HI for 13 minutes.  Holding the squash half with a pot holder or towel, fork out threads from one half of the squash.  Reserve the other half of the squash for some other use.  In a small bowl, make a sauce of the first 6 ingredients.  Set aside.  Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet and scramble the beaten eggs lightly.  Chop with a knife a bit on a cutting board and set aside for now.  Cut up all the vegetables so they are ready for final cooking and assembly.  Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet.  Add the carrot, purple onion, green onion and saute until tender crisp.  Add the cooked spaghetti squash threads, the bean sprouts (or water chestnuts) and crawfish tails (or shrimp).  Continue to stir-fry over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, to allow flavors to blend.  Add the scrambled egg now and then the cilantro, stirring to mix them in evenly.  Lower heat.  Stir the sauce you prepared and pour it evenly over the mixture.  Stir one last time to mix everything thoroughly.  Remove from heat and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each contains:

178 calories

9.8 g  fat

8.9 g  carbs, 1.9 g  fiber, 7 g  NET CARBS

14 g protein

715 mg sodium

395 mg potassium

23% RDA Vitamin A, 15% B6, 65% B12, 11% C, 14% E, 53% copper, 21% iron, 12% magnesium, 27% manganese, 15% niacin, 33% phosphorous, 19% riboflavin, 53% selenium, 9% thiamin and 18% zinc

Currant-Spice Cookies

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

I’ve come up with a spice cookie for the holidays using my chewy Almond Butter Cookies basic dough.  All I did was add a splash of vinegar, blackstrap molasses and some spices and pressed a pecan half into each cookie.  They came out simply delicious!  Although similar to gingerbread cookies, the allspice makes these a little different in flavor.  My husband is quite fond of these and has eaten 3-4 already!  These cookies are not suitable until Phase 2 OWL of Atkins.  They are acceptable for Keto diets.  The oat fiber can be omitted making these OK for Primal-Paleo as well.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. almond flour

½ c. coconut flour

1 T. oat fiber (omit for Primal or Paleo)

1 tsp. glucomannan powder (from the konjac tuber)

½ tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. each allspice, nutmeg and cloves

½ tsp. ginger

1/16 tsp. cinnamon

liquid sweetener to equal 1/2 c. sugar

1 T. erythritol

1 large egg, beaten

2 T. almond butter

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cider vinegar (optional)

¼ c. imitation honey (use real honey for Primal-Paleo)

2 T. backstrap molasses

½ c. your favorite oil or softened butter

2 T. dried currants

24 pecan halves

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  In a large mixing bowl stir the almond butter and oil together until smooth.  Beat in the egg, vanilla and imitation honey.  Add the dried currants and stir.   Measure in all dry ingredients on top and stir well to form a smooth dough.   If your dough seems very dry or stiff (coconut flours vary), add in ½ beaten egg. Roll dough into 1″ balls and place them onto parchment lined baking sheet.  Dough is somewhat oily.  Leave 1″ space between cookies.  Press balls down to ¼” thick cookies with your fingers or the bottom of a glass.  Press 1 pecan half into each cookie center.  Pop pan into preheated oven.  Top with pecan halves and press slightly into the cookie.  Bake at 350º for about 7 minutes.  Do not over brown these cookies or texture will be drier and less chewy.  Remove from oven and cool completely on the pan before removing with a spatula.   These are delicate while hot but “firm up” nicely when they cool. Store in an airtight container.  These freeze nicely, too!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 24 cookies, each contains:

133 calories

11.6 g  fat

5.97 g  carbs, 2.17 g  fiber, 3.80 g  NET CARBS

2.95 g  protein

54 mg sodium

46 mg potassium

7% RDA Vitamin E, 10% iron and 7.5% manganese

Rum Balls

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

I have modified my traditional rum ball recipe I always do for the holidays and the low-carb version is VERY tasty.  These can also be made up as Bourbon Balls. I was amazed that they taste just like my tried-and-true original recipe!  They were a regular in my house when I was a child and they’ll make a wonderful addition to your Holiday candy tray! These are not acceptable for Atkins Induction Phase.  They are OK for all other phases and for Keto dieters as well.

INGREDIENTS:

¾ c. almond meal

¼ c. unflavored whey protein

1 c. finely chopped walnuts or pecans

½ c. cocoa, sifted

¼ c. powdered erythritol, sifted

4 T. melted butter

14 drops liquid sweetener of your choice (I use EZSweets)

2 T. rum  (or bourbon, if you prefer)

FOR OUTER COATING: 2 T. more erythritol + ½ c. more finely chopped walnuts or pecans mixed together in a small bowl.

DIRECTIONS: Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Add liquid sweetener and rum to melted butter and stir into batter until well mixed.  It should begin to form a smooth batter.  Spoon up and using hands, form into eighteen ¾-1″ balls.  To finish them off, roll around in pecan coating (I found I had to press firmly onto surface) for as even a coating as you can get.  Store in air-tight container with wax paper between layers.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.  These can be frozen.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 18 balls, each containing:

136 calories

12 g  fat

3.75 g  carbs

1.71 g  fiber

2.04 g  NET CARBS

4 mg. sodium