Shrimp-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Next time you’re having grilled, baked or fried fish, you are going to want to try these delicious stuffed mushrooms I cooked tonight to accompany our salmon.  The cheeses and spices made these so yummy.  They are simple to make as well, so what more could you ask for to serve such deliciousness?!  These are suitable once you reach Phase 2 of Atkins and will fit into most ketogenic diets.

INGREDIENTS:

18 oz. medium Portobello mushrooms (about 2¼” diameter)

¼ c. olive oil

1 T. unsalted butter

2 medium green onions, chopped

8 large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped

2 oz. cream cheese

1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Dash each salt & pepper

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

1 low-carb roll or slice low-carb bread (I used this one)

1 T. more butter

DIRECTIONS:  Wipe mushrooms of any dirt.  Remove stems with small knife without destroying the mushroom caps.  Pour the olive oil into a medium bowl and drizzle the olive oil over them.  Toss to coat them well.  Place mushroom caps onto a baking pan and set aside while you make the filling.

Melt 1 T. butter in small non-stick skillet.  Chop the mushroom stems and add to the pan.  Chop green onion and also add to pan.  Add chopped shrimp.  Saute until they are all done.  Sprinkle a dash of salt, pepper and the seafood spice blend over the mixture.  Now add the cream cheese and mash/stir until melted and blended well.  Add cheddar shreds and stir/fold the mixture well allowing it all to heat, melt and bind together.   Turn off heat.  Now preheat your oven to 375º.

Stuff each mushroom cap with about 1 T. of the mixture to fill them to capacity using up all your filling with as even a distribution as your can.

Crumb the low-carb bread/roll with the remaining 1T. butter in a food processor, blender or crumb by hand & melt/stir them into the melted butter in a skillet.  Sprinkle the crumb topping over the 10 mushrooms.  Pop the pan into a hot 375º oven for about 20-25 minutes (watch then as ovens vary).  Larger mushrooms will take up to 30-35 minutes to get fully heated and golden on top.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 10 pieces, each contains:

151 calories, 12.9g fat, 4.15g carbs, 1.26g fiber, 2.89g NET CARBS, 6.29g protein, 142mg sodium

If making appetizers, use 20 smaller mushrooms.  Just divide the above numbers by to to calculate the values for the smaller ones.

 

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Another holiday classic, the ever-popular green bean casserole!  And now you can have it low-carb!   My husband thinks this is even better than the original fried onion-topped version I made for years.  So this is the only way I make it now.

I owe many thanks to Jennifer Eloff for her foundation topping recipe:  Casserole Topping, to which I made a few additions.  I finally got around to trying it, Jen, and it really does work with cheese and bake mix!  I had visions of it sinking down into the bean mixture during baking, but it didn’t!  I added even more crunch with the addition of a few pork rinds, which I couldn’t even taste in the final casserole.  🙂

I also used homemade, Low-Carb Condensed Cream of Mushrooom Soup (scroll down the page) for this dish, which I adore for so many things now.  If you haven’t tried it yet, you simply MUST!    This delicious recipe is not suitable until you have gotten to Atkins Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance because of the grain in the bake mix.  Sub in coconut flour in the mix if you avoid grains.

INGREDIENTS:

3 c. frozen green beans, regular or French style

½ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s low-carb, homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

1  6-oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained (about ½ c.)

Dab olive oil to grease dish

1 recipe crumble topping (see below)

CRUMBLE TOPPING:

½ c. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

1/3 c. Jennifer Eloff’s Splendid Low Carb Bake Mix

2 T. cold unsalted butter

10 medium pork rinds

1 T. toasted, dehydrated (or fresh) shallots

¼ tsp. my Cajun Seafood Spice Blend

1 T. hemp hearts (optional, adds a nutty flavor)

DIRECTIONS:  Oil a 2-qt. baking dish.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Place defrosted beans (uncooked), soup and mushrooms in a large bowl and toss well to coat.  Scrape the mixture into your lightly oiled baking dish.

To make topping, toss all ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to make a crumbly mixture.  Sprinkle topping over the green bean mixture and pop into 350º oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 5 servings, each contains:

237 calories, 18.3 g fat, 9.52 g carbs, 3.32 g fiber, 6.2 g NET CARBS, 10.3 g protein, 294 mg sodium

Dad’s Poultry Seasoning

My Dad, the REAL cook in the family, made a lot of his own spice blends.  This was one he nailed!  I got ready to make some holiday cornbread dressing this afternoon and realized I was completely out of this blend and had to make a new batch today.  So I thought I’d share his special recipe in case you might like to try it on for size for your Thanksgiving recipes.  This recipe has a little more intense flavor, with a little less sage and a dash of cayenne, but I think it’s much better than commercial poultry seasoning.  It has a dash of garlic powder for a nice twist, too.  In a 9×13 pan of dressing, I tend to use around 1T.+2 tsp. of this mixture. This recipe usually lasts me about a year.  It’s great in stuffing, on roast pork, pork chops and baked chicken.  You may even think of more uses for this tasty spice blend.

INGREDIENTS:

1½ T. dried sage

1½ T. onion powder

1½ T.  black pepper

1½ T. celery seed (not celery SALT)

1 T. + 2 tsp. dried thyme

1½ T. dried marjoram

2¼ tsp. dried rosemary

½ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and spoon into dark, tinted storage jar with a tight lid.  Or store in a dark cabinet.  Spices store best away from light exposure.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes about 11 tablespoons (33 teaspoons).  Each tsp. contains:

4.79 cals, 0.12g fat, 0.95g carbs, 0.31g fiber, 0.64g NET CARBS, 0.18g protein, 1 mg. sodium

Pumpkin Pie (Minis or large)

Pumpkin Pie
Individual pies (4″ mini pie pans) using FRESH pumpkin

This is my favorite traditional pumpkin pie filling recipe.  I have been baking this recipe of my mother’s for many years now.  It is very light and fluffy as the egg whites are whipped separately.   Of course, those still on Induction will need to leave off crust as shown to the right.  It’s very good that way.  Those that are already to the OWL Phase 2 level of Atkins can pour this filling into an uncooked low-carb pie crust of your choice and then bake.  Mine are shown on my “Flour” Pie Crust.  With that crust recipe, each pie (minus topping) contains 9 net carbs.  I usually use canned pumpkin for this but tried it with fresh today and it was delicious, although a tad milder in flavor I think.    This recipe is only suitable for Induction if made crustless.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 c. granular Splenda (or equivalent sweetener of your choice)

1 T. erythritol (or pinch stevia extract)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground ginger (optional)

1/8 tsp. salt

1 c. canned or fresh baked pumpkin flesh (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)

1/2 c. heavy cream

3 large eggs, separated per directions below

1 recipe my “Flour” Pie Crust

DIRECTIONS:  Make pie crust by that recipe’s directions.  Roll and shape in pans, crimping edges decoratively (9-10″ large pan or 4 mini pans)

For the filling, break and beat one whole egg in a medium mixing bowl.  Take out another medium mixing bowl.  Separate the two remaining eggs, putting the yolks into your first bowl with the whole beaten egg.  Put the whites in a clean, dry, separate bowl.

In the bowl with the 1 whole egg and 2 yolks, add all other pie ingredients.  Beat will with a stick blender or hand mixer until smooth, especially if using fresh pumpkin, as it can be lumpy.  Slowly stir in the cream and blend until smooth.

Beat the 2 egg whites to “stiff peak” stage using an electric mixer.  With a rubber spatula, fold the beaten whites into the pumpkin mixture.  When all is incorporated well, pour the mixture into 4 mini pie crusts or one 9-10″ pie plate.  For the crustless version, pour into a well-buttered baking dish. 

IMPORTANT:  For the large pie version, if you use an 8″ pie plate, this amount of filling will likely overflow during baking.  9-10″ pie plate works better, but if 8″ is the only size pie plate you have, only fill the prepared crust 3/4 full.  Put remaining filling into a buttered small dish to bake separately for the kids, who often don’t like crust anyway.

Bake at 350º for 40-45 minutes.  Filling will puff way up during cooking and then fall level when removed from the oven and cooled.  When totally cooled, Serve with a dollop of whipped cream sweetened with the sweetener of your choice.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (for filling):   Makes 4 mini pies or 1 large pie.  Each mini contains enough filling to tally up the following numbers:  (Does NOT include topping or crust)

191 cals, 15g fat, 9.52g carbs, 2.2g fiber, 7.5g NET CARBS, 6g  protein, 72 mg sodium

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (for crust):  Entire crust recipe contains:  (divide by # servings you cut from your large pie)

612 cals, 70.7g fat, 70.8g carbs, 63.84g fiber, 6.8g NET CARBS, 26.4g protein, 648 mg sodium

Crustless Version

Chipotle-Lime “Sweet Potatoes”

Chipotle-Lime Sweet Potatoes

OK, it’s officially close to Thanksgiving now that I have bought 2 sweet potatoes to add to my fresh pumpkin dish that has become a holiday tradition in my house:  Chipotle-Lime “Sweet Potatoes”.  I clipped a high-carb sweet potato recipe out of the Houston Post many years ago, but I low-carbed it by using fresh pumpkin (the whole variety) so that I can now have it without breaking the “carb bank”.  I have personally never been very fond of sweet potatoes as a veggie side, but ever since finding this recipe, I just love them!  I bake this recipe OFTEN, and with a wide variety of meats and seafood!

This is NOT your granny’s sweet potatoes!  Chipotle peppers are highly smoked jalapenos and taste nothing like green jalapeno peppers, in my opinion.  They, in combination with the lime zest, add a most unique “twist” to a popular vegetable more commonly seasoned with orange zest.  My brother, who was an Executive Chef at Top of the Mark in San Francisco at one time, just raved about this dish when I served it to him!  He went on to serve it often to dinner guests  in his own home over the years.  When I can’t get fresh pumpkin, I have been known to use butternut squash in this recipe in a pinch, but in all honesty, it’s not quite as good as the fresh pumpkin.  I tried it one time using acorn squash, and it was a “different animal” altogether, and not one I was terribly fond of.

I find this dish particularly tasty with baked, fried or grilled seafood, grilled meat, especially wild game, Texas-style BBQ, baked ham and of course that Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey or duck.  The flavor combination of lime, smoky chipotles and maple extract (¼ c. very high carb packed brown sugar in the original recipe) is a real winner!  The color of the final dish is more golden than orange as it is with all potatoes, thus my addition of red food coloring to correct color aesthetics.

Absolutely DO NOT SUBSTITUTE CANNED PUMPKIN or you are going to be extremely disappointed.  Just not the same dish.  Once you reach the starchy vegetable rung of the OWL Phase of Atkins and can afford a few more carbs,  I would recommend using just 1½ lb. pumpkin and adding 1 lb. cooked, mashed sweet potato (2 medium) for both flavor, color and a much creamier, tastier final dish. You will of course need to adjust nutritional info if you make that change as my numbers are for pumpkin only.

This dish does not freeze well.  As a general rule, cooked pumpkin flesh does not freeze well at all when used as a vegetable side dish.  Its water separates out in the bottom of your baking pan upon thawing the made-ahead dish for final heating/serving.  This doesn’t happen with muffins, cookies and cakes, but in invariably does with veggie sweet potato recipes.  That really ruins the final dish for me.  No matter how I try to drain that water off, it just keeps bleeding out more water it seems!  Totally spoils it for me, so I never, EVER freeze pumpkin.

This recipe appears in Vol. 1 of Jennifer Eloff and friend’s cookbook series, LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.   I hope you’ll take a look on their Facebook page to see a sampling of the types of recipes that await you in this now 10-volume set.  Any low-carb cook would be proud to serve the recipes shared by these very talented cook, ……….including famed George Stella (and a sprinkling of mine as well)!  You can order the entire set or individual volumes at Amazon or here:  http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

2½ lb. cooked fresh pumpkin (DO NOT USE CANNED PUMPKIN.  It’s horrible in this IMO!)

½ c. heavy cream

4 T. butter

¼ tsp. salt

2 T. fresh lime juice

zest of 1 large lime (2 if they are small)

½ c. granular Splenda

1 tsp. maple extract (or 2 T. sugar-free maple syrup)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1-2 chipotle peppers (canned, in adobo sauce) seeded, rinsed & mashed

few drops red food coloring to achieve orange color of sweet potatoes (optional)

VARIATION:  For very special occasions and holidays, I sometimes reduce the fresh pumpkin in these and add 2 small, “real” sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed for a more authentic recipe that comes even closer to the original recipe. 

DIRECTIONS:  Remove stem and cut a small 4-4½ lb. pumpkin in half.  Remove seeds (you can roast them for snacks) and turn cut side down into baking pan.  Fill pan with 1″ water and bake pumpkin at 350º until tender when fork is stuck into it (about 45 minutes).  Remove and cool enough to handle.  Scoop/scrape  the pumpkin flesh out of skin/shell and weigh. Should yield about 2-2½ lb. flesh.  (freeze any overage for future use).  Cool a bit before whipping the pumpkin with an electric mixer, blender or food processor to get it as smooth as possible.  Add all remaining ingredients except chipotle peppers.

For the holidays or very special occasions, I will bake 2 medium sweet potatoes, scoop out flesh, mash and add for richer flavor, but this ups the carbs quite a bit.  When I do this, I reduce the pumpkin by the volume of sweet potato I sub in.  I have not included any sweet potatoes in the numbers below.

These little chipotle peppers (smoked jalapenos) are very HOT, so special handling is recommended.  Either wear plastic gloves (homemade  “sandwich bag gloves” will do) or be sure you wash your hands well after handling.  Take 1 chipotle pepper (about 1½” long) out of the can.  Rinse, and remove seeds and ribs with a knife.  Finely mash wall flesh into a puree on a flat wooden board or paper plate.  Add to pumpkin mixture, stir well and taste to see if this is hot enough for you.  You don’t want to get this dish too hot.  A little tingle on the tongue is what you’re looking for.

If you want even more smoky taste or a hotter dish, carefully repeat, adding just ½ pepper at a time, re-tasting after each addition.   If you add pepper in stages like this, you won’t ever ruin the whole batch getting it too hot (I did one time).  Never forget that not everyone at your dinner table or social occasion will like things as hot as others.

Stir well and pour into buttered ceramic/glass baking dish.  Sprinkle with a dash more cinnamon and bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Serves 8, each serving contains: (using all pumpkin)

114 cals, 7.6g fat, 12g carbs, 4g fiber, 8g net carbs, 2g protein, 121 mg. sodium

Roaster Oven Turkey

Roasted Turkey (done in a roaster oven)

I love roasting turkey in a roaster oven.  If you don’t own one, they are excellent for extra oven space when you entertain or during holiday gatherings and your oven is full to the brim.  They bake cakes, muffins, cookies, and meats just beautifully!  And they are getting so cheap, one can be had for sometimes as little as $29 during the holiday season sales.  I paid $60 for my first one in the 60’s, when $60 was worth a lot more than it is today!  I find a roaster oven to be the most useful and versatile small appliance in my kitchen after an electric mixer.  I can carry it out onto the patio to cook outdoors in summertime, eliminating excess kitchen heat, as well.  🙂

You go about cooking turkey in a roaster oven pretty much as you would in a regular oven.  Just be sure you buy a bird that will FIT in your roaster oven!  I cover the wing tips and drumstick knobs with foil when I first put it in the oven, as the bird sits so close to the lid where heat can rise and overcook those areas.  They consistently come out delicious, moist and tender.  More moist that my usual inside oven turkeys in fact!   The skin doesn’t get quite as crispy cooked in a roaster oven, but it is crisp enough for me to get that level of moist cooking. Turkey is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto, Primal and Paleo diets alike.

INGREDIENTS:

1  12-13 lb. turkey, thawed (follow chart on wrapper for a larger bird)

4 T. melted butter

Dash each of salt and black pepper

4 small pieces of foil

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 325º.  Open turkey wrapper and remove bird to a clean sink.  Remove the leg binding gadget.  Remove giblets and set aside for making your gravy.  I only use the neck meat for gravy and my dog usually gets the liver, heart and gizzard in her dinners over a week or so.   I like to eat them; I just don’t like them in my gravy much.

I like to rinse out the inside of the bird.  Pat the exterior dry with paper towels.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave.  Place turkey, breast side up in a pan large enough to hold it.  Baste with the butter all over on the outside and inside with a basting brush, using half the butter.  Sprinkle bird inside and out with salt and pepper.  I cook my dressing outside the bird as I like it to brown.  You can add some chunks of celery, onion and parsley if you like to the cavity, but I do not.  Your call there, but be sure to add those carbs below if you do. Cover wing tips and leg knuckles with foil so they will not burn.

Place pan with bird into the roaster oven, cover with lid and cook, for 1½ hours.  Open oven and baste with remaining butter.  Recover and cook for 1 hour and check for doneness with a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast and around the thing-leg joint (slowest area to get done).  You want the thermometer to read 170º.  Cook for another 30 minutes or so, checking with thermometer every 10-15 minutes now so as to not over cook.  Remove when it has reached 170º internal temperature. Set on cutting board for 15-20 minutes before attempting to carve to avoid tearing up the meat and all the juices running out.  You want those juices to STAY in the meat.  This turkey should be extremely moist.  Roaster ovens do an incredibly good job at moist heat roasting.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   I can’t know what pieces or amount you will eat, so I’ll provide some numbers for both white meat and dark meat.

4 oz. dark meat contains:  250 calories, 13 g  fat, 0 carbs, 0 fiber, o net carbs, 31 g  protein and 269 mg sodium

4 oz. white meat, skin eaten contains:  222 calories, 9.4 g  fat, 0 carbs, 0 fiber, 0 net carbs, 32.3 g   protein and 255 mg sodium

Pumpkin Cake

pumpkin-cake

This moist, delicious pumpkin cake will be just perfect for your holiday dessert.  It is moist, delicious, cooks perfectly and has a lovely smooth texture.  I don’t care for the texture of low-carb cakes made exclusively with almond flour, so I use a mixture of almond flour and a bit of whey protein powder for a smoother texture.  I typically choose fresh pumpkin rather than canned, but you could use canned if you prefer.  This one’s a keeper for our holiday baking, for sure!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal as well.  The cream cheese knocks this out of suitability for Paleo, unless there is a suitable substitute that meets that program’s requirements.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. almond flour

1 c. plain whey protein powder

1 c. Splenda or equivalent sweetener of choice

2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1 T. + 1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. nutmeg

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

3/4 c. (1½ sticks) butter, softened

1 c. fresh (or canned) cooked pumpkin puree

4 large eggs

½ c. sugar-free maple syrup or caramel sugar-free syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Line the bottom of a tube pan with parchment cut-to-fit, or use a lightly oiled non-stick bundt pan.  Oil the sides and post of your tube pan as well.  In a medium bowl, soften cream cheese and butter.  With electric mixer, blend them well.  Add eggs, syrup, pumpkin and vanilla.  Whip on high until very smooth.  In a separate bowl, measure out all dry ingredients and stir well to blend to a uniform mixture.  Add to the wet ingredients and beat with the electric mixer until a smooth batter is achieved.  With a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the cake pan spreading it as evenly as possible.  Bake at 350º for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and dry.  Cool almost totally before loosening with a knife and tipping onto a cake plate for serving.   You can top with dollop of fresh whipped cream if you  like.

VARIATION:  Use lightly oiled silicone muffin pans for a muffin version.  Should make 12 large muffins that will take about 20-25 minutes to bake at 350º.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 14 slices, each contains:

295 calories, 25.8 g fat, 7.28 g carbs, 2.30 g fiber, 4.98 g NET CARBS, 12.4 g protein, 287 mg sodium

Smoked Gouda Cauliflower

Smoked gouda Cauliflower

I’m making this to go with some baked chicken tonight and thought I’d re-share one of my all-time most popular recipes on the blog here.  It remains a favorite in our household.

This recipe was inspired by one in Dana Carpender’s 500 Low-Carb Recipes. Most people do not cook cauliflower casseroles with this particular cheese as it doesn’t melt easily (why it is mixed into the dish here rather than being spread on top).  But once it DOES eventually melt, it truly transforms the ordinary into  the sublime.  In my opinion, 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!

NOTE:  I have finally tried this with frozen cauliflower, and although I personally prefer the incredible flavor with this made from the fresh cut vegetable, the flavor tonight was still good, made with frozen cauliflower, just noticeably a little little softer/mushier result in my honest opinion.  But I WOULD not hesitate to use frozen if that’s all I had on hand.  🙂

This recipe appears in Volume 1 of Low Carbing Among Friends (click for more) by best-selling author Jennifer Eloff and other talented chefs.  You can order Vol. 1 or the entire set from here or at Amazon.com.  These cookbooks are filled with easy, gluten-free, tasty low-carb creations by a group of very talented cooks. GET YOURS TODAY!

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium large head cauliflower

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 oz. smoked Gouda cheese, grated

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

Dash salt

Optional:  chopped chives or green onion to top

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.  Spoon remaining cauliflower into dish and top with rest of Gouda cheese.   Sprinkle with just a dash of salt, as the cheese has a lot of sodium.  If you are sodium sensitive, I wouldn’t add ANY salt.   Sometimes I add some chopped chives or green onion to the top, but this is not in the nutritional info below.  Bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly.

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

190.3 cals, 15.22g fat, 6.17g carbs, 2.4g fiber, 3.77g NET CARBS, 8.77g protein, 312 mg  sodium

Marinated Wild Duck

Dad's Grilled Marinated Duck

My Dad was quite the hunter when he was living and was quite a cook!  This recipe evolved over several duck hunting trips, but this final version is still my favorite way to prepare duck. My husband, on the other hand, is NOT a hunter, so I usually have to substitute domestic duck when I get a craving for this recipe.  But this is just about as good done with domestic duck as it is done with wild duck.

This recipe is NOT Induction friendly due to the wine.  I just don’t think it would be good without it, so I recommend waiting to do this recipe justice.  It’ll be acceptable once you get to Atkins Phase 2 (and beyond).  I KNOW you’ll be glad you tried this!

INGREDIENTS:

2 wild ducks, de-feathered, gutted and butterflied (cut up backbone and flattened out)

12 oz. dry white wine

¼ c. chopped parsley

1 stalk chopped celery

1 clove garlic

2-3 whole cloves (or 1/8 tsp. ground cloves)

1/3 tsp. thyme

6-10 black peppercorns

2 whole bay leaves

1 T. Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS:  After plucking and gutting the ducks, cut up the back, flatten with a hammer or cleaver (to butterfly or spatchcock the birds).  Place in glass or plastic marinating pan skin side up.  Mix all marinate ingredients above (except bay leaf) in either a food processor or blender and pulse until all fairly fine.  Pour marinate over duck and add bay leaves to the pan.  Marinate for 6-12 hours, drizzling marinate over ducks or turning them occasionally.

Light charcoal fire.  When coals are hot, place ducks on grill back behind the coals so they get INDIRECT heat.  Place a foil “pan” under duck to catch the fat that drips out as it cooks.  This is essential if using domestic duck which is VERY fatty!  Adjust vents on your grill so you can close grill and smoke/slow cook the birds for 1-1½ hours.  Time will vary depending on the size of the ducks.   Check for doneness where leg joins body like you would a turkey.  Be sure there is no blood at the joint.  Duck flesh (even the breast) is dark meat and can be served slightly pink.

If you are at the grain rung of OWL or beyond, this is excellent with wild rice dressing: https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/wild-rice-stuffing-2/  Wild rice is the lowest carb rice out there 109 NC per cup raw compared to 136 NC for a cup of raw brown rice.  Haven’t made it in eons but it’s really good with any fowl or game.  Here’s another delicious stuffing that’s great with duck:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2009/09/26/sherry-pecan-bacon-stuffing/

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each containing:

675.3 cals, 44.5 g fat, 4 g carbs, 1.7 g fiber, 47.4 g protein, 2.3 NET CARBS

Peggy’s Original Dumplings

dumplins

For those who miss dumplings and noodles, here ya go!  Only took me 4 years to develop these! This one’s for you Dano!  🙂  I made a tasty batch last night for dinner!

When you can’t have flour, it’s really really hard to make dumplings that will hold together during cooking. I’ve used almond flour, coconut flour, flax meal and a variety of alternate flours.  You name it and I’ve probably tried that alternate flour to make a dumpling.  This is no easy low-carb feat.  I wanted a similar taste and similar mouth feel as the dumplings I made before my low-carbing days.  All attempts thus far have been mediocre, at best.

Somewhere on the net a year or so ago, on some forum (probably Low Carb Friends, but not sure), someone mentioned they made dumplings with glucomannan powder.  Not being at all familiar with this product, I ordered some from Netrition.com and began to experiment.  Its gel-like, fibrous qualities lend themselves to a dumpling, providing structure and texture.  It is also useful for thickening gravies, sauces and puddings.  I’ve even found a tad of this stuff enhances low-carb cake, cookie and bread baking results, both in volume and texture.  I’d love to give credit to my inspiration on this recipe, but I must admit I failed to write down the name of the person who’s ingenious idea this really was.  But I’m thankful they triggered off some experimentation that has paid off!

If you’re not familiar with glucomannan powder, it comes from the Konjac tuber, and is used to make shirataki noodles seen in Asian menus.   It can be used as a binding agent in some recipes.  It is virtually a zero carb food, in that the fiber content is so high, it virtually negates the few carbs it contains as fiber is indigestible and passes right out of the system with zero blood sugar impact.   Most importantly, glucomannan adds the structure and elasticity needed for dumplings and noodles.  So I began experimenting.

I’m getting more comfortable using this tricky ingredient and have finally come up with a “dumpling” that feels and almost tastes like my dumplings of old.  This will now be my go-to low-carb dumpling recipe.  As you can see in the pic above, they hold together nicely during very gentle simmering (unlike all previous attempts), and the gluc powder also slightly releases in to the broth to thicken it as well!  NICE!

For you “experimenters”  under no circumstances, increase the oat fiber!!  I did once and they came out just awful, hard as a rock plus they did not absorb any flavor from the chicken broth because of the density.  Trust me, you DON’T want to go there!  This balance of ingredients it really pretty special and all attemps to “improve” them have been less impressive.

These were the best low-carb chicken and dumplings I’ve had in 4 years!  My husband gave these dumplings two thumbs up today, and he’s pretty picky.  They don’t have much taste, but pick up the flavor of whatever broth you cook them in.  The carb count for these dumplings is simply amazing!  Guilt free dumplings at last!!  YAAAAAAY!

The recipe posted elsewhere on my site for chicken and dumplings is good, don’t get me wrong.  But you have to bake the rolls separately for that recipe.   With this dumpling recipe, I can stir the ingredients together, drop them into the broth, and the dumplings are simmering immediately!  Much easier!  And you regular readers know I’m really in to EASY cooking.

These made up smaller work nicely in  soups and I have made small, oblong shapes for marvelous gnocchi served in rich cream sauces.  Some more adventurous cooks at Low Carb Friends forums are even using pasta extruders and coming up with all kinds of noodle shapes for this dough!  But I don’t own an extruder and probably wouldn’t go to that much trouble for noodles.  Just being very honest.  I’m a lazy cook. 🙂

These dumplings are not suitable until the grains rung of the Atkins OWL ladder due to the oat fiber, but omitting it is just not an option for good results.   I’m very proud to have developed a dumpling recipe that many who have tried freely admit fills a dumpling/noodle void in their low-carb lifestyles.  🙂

My Lobster Linguine recipe is the first time I tried rolling and cutting it into noodles and the final dish was quite good.

This recipe isn’t 100% gluten-free.  But you’ll find many other tasty and easy to cook recipes in her cookbooks.  Any hostess would be happy to serve any of these recipes to family or guests. Click here for a photo preview of some of those tasty dishes here:  LCAF Cookbook Facebook Page.  Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: here

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1½ T. glucomannan powder (Konjac powder)

1½ T. oat fiber (For gluten-free version, try substituting oat flour ground from 100% gluten-free oats, but I’m not making any promises that will work.  It SHOULD, however.    Carbs will be only slightly higher.)

1/8 tsp. salt

¼ c. +2 T. water

1 extra large or jumbo egg, beaten

VARIATION:  Add 1-2 T. finely chopped parsley to the dry ingredients

DIRECTIONS:   Beat the egg in a small bowl with a fork.  Add the water and beat until well blended.  On a paper plate or in another bowl, mix the dry ingredients 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 gently in your palms into a ball shape.  I set the balls on my counter or a silicone sheet until all are made.  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 using your hands, roll the dough into ropes on plastic wrap and cut into short lengths for gnocchi, if that’s your pleasure.

I like to remove chicken, meat or large chunks of vegetables to a platter before putting on the dumplings to cook.  This allows ample room for the dumplings to rise and swell up.Have your soup/broth boiling.  Drop the round dumplings/gnocchi into slowly simmering broth and immediately turn fire medium-low so it will only gently simmer.  This is IMPORTANT, as you don’t want to “rough up” these delicate babies.  Cover with tight lid.  From the time you cover the pot, set timer for exactly 10 minutes for dumplings (8 minutes for smaller gnocchi).   DO NOT LIFT THE LID or disturb the pot during cooking.  After 10 minutes  (8 minutes for gnocchi), lift the lid and VOILA!!  They’re done!  You may have to thicken the stock further depending on your personal preference, but the dumplings themselves usually take care of thickening, as some of the glucomannan in then sloughs off into the broth, thickening it right up.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 12 medium-large 1½” dumplings (24 gnocchi), each contains:  (halve the numbers for each gnocchi)

7.17 calories, 0.49 g  fat, 1.38 g  carbs, 1.29 g  fiber, 0.1 g  NET CARBS, 0.61 g  protein, 55 mg sodium

Hot Roast Beef Poor Boy

Hot roast Beef Poorboy

When I was a wee lass, age 4-5, my father was stationed in Springfield, Illinois.  During our stay there, with some regularity, my folks would order these incredibly delicious hot beef poor boy sandwiches from a little Italian restaurant known then as Twins’ Corner.  It wasn’t very far from our house, actually.  I have since discovered on-line that it is still operating as Saputo Twins’ Corner!  It has been operated continuously by the Saputo family since 1948.  These poor boy sandwiches were so good, and so popular, you had to order them early in the day to insure you would get one and at that, STILL had to wait in line to pick them up!  But they were well worth every minute you had to wait!  They would just melt in your mouth!!!  As the delicious juices permeated the homemade chewy Italian hoagie roll, they would be fairly messy to eat, but who cared?  They were so good!  The beef was slow-simmered all day long to render  it so tender no chewing was needed really.  I was shredded up in the very liquid is was cooked in.  Mmmmm …….that flavor has remained with me to this day.  I have come up with my version of that sandwich  and find it VERY close to the original at Twins Corner, other than the fact that I must serve mine on a low-carb roll, above it is shown on two of my 5″ long hoagie rolls:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/peggys-hotdog-buns-or-hoagie-rollbuns/.   These low-carb buns will not support the juice for picking it up with your hands, unfortunately, and therefore will require a fork.  I’m currently using a tougher, sturdier bread for my poor boys:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/einkorn-arrowroot-sandwich-buns-2/.   Or you can serve them on any plan-suitable Induction-friendly low-carb bun of your choice.

I always get asked, so I’ll address this topic up front.  I would not personally ever cook this in a crock pot.  I ditched two of them because I never ate anything cooked in them I liked.  Just really not fond of crock pots.   If you try using one for t his recipe, however, be certain the crock pot is big enough to totally cover the meat and veggies with water and stay covered with water until the end of cooking.  The last thing you want is for all the juice to cook away.  I have done this dish in a pressure cooker a couple of times, but again, it wasn’t as good as the slow, half-day cooking method in a regular old stew pot.  Here’s what mine looks like in the pot, so you can see the level of water you want to maintain:

Just before adding thickener

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. chuck roast, trimmed of major fat

2 T. olive oil

1 large onion, sliced (mine was 6 oz.)

2 c. celery, diced large

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

Water to just cover meat (add more as needed to maintain the meat being just covered)

Thickener of your choice

DIRECTIONS:  Trim off any major fat bands off the outside of your chuck roast.  Heat olive oil in a deep Dutch oven or soup pot (mine is non-stick).  Brown meat well on both sides on high heat. I like to cut my roast into 3 smaller pieces to speed up cooking, but it is not really necessary.  Add to the pot the sliced onion and celery.  Pour enough water over all the ingredients to just cover.  Add salt and pepper and bring to a full boil.  Lower fire to just a gentle simmer, cover and cook for about 4 hours (5 hours if you don’t cut the roast into 3 smaller pieces) or until the meat is literally beginning to fall apart when tested with a fork. If you use a pressure cooker, you can have this tender in under an hour.  Once the meat is tender, break up the meat into nice, small pieces, some shreds.  See the pic above. I don’t like to reduce it totally to shreds, as I find that to be a bit visually off-putting after reheating leftovers. Just my personal hang-up there, so you can shred it up however you like.   While low heat is still on the meat, add a little of your favorite dry thickener to just slightly thicken the liquid surrounding the meat.  I dust a few sprinkles of xanthan gum successively (Paleo folks will want to use arrowroot to thicken) stirred in until the liquid surrounding the meat is just barely thickened and clinging to the meat.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings (possibly more).  1/8 batch of the meat mixture contains:

254 calories, 7.09 g  fat, 2.54 g  carbs, .69 g  fiber, 1.85 g  NET CARBS, 38.3 g  protein, 682 mg potassium, 23 mg sodium, 66% RDA Vitamin B6, 125% B12, 22% copper, 41% iron, 14% magnesium, 60% niacin, 51% phosphorous, 25% riboflavin, 86% selenium, 14% thiamin and 122% zinc

Garlic Dinner Rolls

My Mozzy Dough, somewhere between the Flathead Pizza Crust recipe on the Diet Doctor’s website and Jennifer Eloff’s Miracle Dough recipe, makes excellent dinner rolls.  Delicious hot with butter!  Also good split, toasted with melted butter brushed on the tops and a sprinkle of Italian herbs and Parmesan cheese.  Makes delicious toasted garlic bread!  This dough has good elasticity, flavor and is so versatile.  This recipe is not suitable until you get closer to goal weight on Atkins.

INGREDIENTS:

1½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1 T. cream cheese

1½ T. melted butter

1 egg, beaten

½ c. Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten-Free Bake Mix

½ c. Carbquik (or another ½ c. gluten-free mix)

1 T. oat fiber

1/4 tsp. psyllium husk powder

1 small clove garlic, minced

Dash oregano

1 T. dry grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Line baking sheet with parchment or silicone sheet.  Measure out all dry ingredients in small bowl, stir well and set aside.  Place mozzarella cheese shreds, minced garlic and cream cheese in glass or ceramic bowl and microwave on HI for about 1-1½ minutes to melt it.  Remove and stir quickly with a fork.  Add the egg and melted butter and stir again.  Quickly pour in the dry ingredients and stir quickly with a fork to form a single ball of dough, scraping it down off the sides of the bowl.  Knead or stir a few minutes to be sure all is uniformly mixed.  Divide into 6 equal portions and roll smooth into a ball.  Place them spaced out on parchment-lined pan.  Press slightly flat if you like, but not really necessary.  Sprinkle tops with oregano and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350º for about 18 minutes until dry to touch and lightly browned as shown.  Remove and serve hot with butter.

CORRECTED NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes enough for a 9″-10″ pie-crust with lovely fluted edge, 4 hand pies, 12″ pizza crust or 6 dinner rolls which have 6.26 net carbs each if made/cut into 6 portions.

ENTIRE RECIPE CONTAINS:  1140 calories, 95.8 g fat, 58.6 g carbs, 37.6 g fiber, 21 g NET CARBS, 81.2 g protein, 1542 mg sodium (divide by number of servings/pieces for the specific application you use this dough for)

 

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Spaghetti Squash CarbonaraI decided last night tonight we hadn’t cooked Spaghetti Carbonara in ages and I wanted to give a classic recipe a new twist using spaghetti squash for the noodles.  It was delicious!  I think my husband liked it even more then me!  And he usually doesn’t care for spaghetti squash.

Unfortunately, I was out of black olives, and classic carbonara usually has some in it.  I tossed in a small can of drained mushrooms instead and this version came out GREAT!  This recipe is a little high in carbs because the spaghetti squash itself if a bit carb-y.  On the brighter side, it’s all healthy carbs, so you can eat this one guilt-free. 🙂  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo folks will want to use coconut milk for the cream.

I wish I could get smaller squash, but our stores only seem to stock them 3# and larger as a rule. It would be so pretty to serve a half on each plate.  But I’ve only found a small squash ONE time at the store in the 17 years I’ve lived in this town.  Maybe it’s because everything’s bigger in Texas?

NOTE:  If you can get smaller squashes, or grow your own, I would use two smaller 1-1½# squashes for serving 4 people and place one half on each plate.

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. raw weight spaghetti squash (yields 4 cups cooked threads)

1 c. chopped low-sodium bacon

2 oz. red onion, chopped coarsely

1 oz. red bell pepper (or any color)

1 clove garlic, minced

½ c. parsley

¼ c. heavy cream

1 egg yolk

¼ c. shredded Parmesan cheese

VARIATIONS:  Add a few sliced black olives for a more authentic dish (I was out); or toss in a small can of drained mushrooms (or 4 fresh ones sliced, added to the saute pan with the onion).

DIRECTIONS:  Cut off squash stem.  Cut squash in half lengthwise.  Place face down in dish with 1/2″ water and microwave on HI for about 25 minutes (only 13 minutes if you do them one at a time).  When done, drain off water, scoop out seeds and discard.  Fork out the threads into the baking dish and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Place the squash shells in a baking pan.

Mix the cream, egg yolk and Parmesan in a dish and beat with a fork to blend well. Set aside for a few minutes.

In a skillet, brown the bacon.  Add onion and saute until tender.  Add red pepper and garlic and saute a couple minutes.  Stir in the parsley and let it wilt a couple minutes as well.  Lower heat.   Stir in the egg-cheese mixture.  Stir the squash threads in now.  Spoon the filling back into the shells and pop the pan into your preheated oven.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cheese-egg mixture appears done.   Each filled half will probably feed two people, especially if you have a salad or other vegetable with this.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

237 cals, 25g fat, 13.35g carbs, 2.87g fiber, 10.48g NET CARBS, 10.72 g protein, 867 mg sodium

Iranian Curry

This is going to be my dinner tonight.  My husband just LOVES this dish.  It is traditionally made with lamb in Iran, but as I’m not fond of American lamb (too strong for me), I now make this with beef.  This was a dish  we ate often when I lived in Iran as a child.  Iranian lamb is processed under a year of age, and is thus not strong at all, so I could eat this curry made with lamb when we lived there.  But not once we got back to the States, where lamb is processed much older.  😦  This dish is quite simple to throw together and must simply simmer awhile for the flavors to develop.  Traditionally served over wonderful, nutty, aromatic Iranian rice (similar to basmati, but even  better!).  On Atkins we have to avoid the rice, so instead, serve this curry over a bed of grated cauliflower that has been lightly steamed 4 minutes.  Bananas (only for people on Maintenance) seared in butter are GREAT eaten with this particular curry! This is actually quite different from Indian curries, so I hope you like it.   This recipe as written is Induction friendly.  Sometimes dried pitted prunes or a few snipped raisins (if you are to the fruits rung of OWL only) and some walnuts are added to Iranian curries, so have fun with those variations.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 lb. slivered lamb, lean beef chuck or sirloin
2 T. olive oil
Enough water just to barely cover the meat
1/2 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
4 oz. chopped yellow onion
2 T. chopped parsley
2 tsp. high quality curry powder (I use Sharwood’s mild)
1 T. tomato paste
Xanthan gum to thicken

Dash salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:  Brown meat in olive oil over high heat. Cover with water and add remaining ingredients. Simmer covered with lid for about 1 hour or until meat is tender. Time will vary with different meats and thickness used in slivering it up. When your meat is tender, lightly dust the curry with xanthan gum 2-3 times, stirring between each addition to see how thick it’s getting. Stop when you’re satisfied with thickness (usually about 1/8-1/4 tsp total in my experience).

If you need fewer servings, go on and cook the whole recipe, as it freezes well and like Italian spaghetti sauce, it just gets better each time you reheat it!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  Serves 4, each serving has:

290.3 cals,12.6g fat, 3.88g carbs, 1.93g NET CARBS, 1.95g fiber, 38.58g protein, 39 mg  sodium

Loquat-Orange Preserves

Click to enlarge

At our last house there was a young loquat tree in the back yard.  Clearly planted by previous owners, but in a very shady area of the yard.  Either they didn’t know it would need full sun or perhaps the line of trees along the fence were not so big and blocking its sunlight when they first planted it.  Either way, it wasn’t flowering at all and just provided a bit of green in winter when most else is leafless.  Didn’t produce flowers or fruit for years.  Then about 2 years ago, we cut out a hackberry tree nearby and suddenly the loquat was getting a wee bit of dappled sunlight throughout the day for the very first time in its life.  The next season it produced a few bloom pods, but no fruit.  The next, many more bloom pods, but still very little fruit, maybe a dozen or so, which the local squirrels decimated.  This year, it has gone wild producing hundreds and hundreds of loquats!!  I pick up about 3# off the ground and off low limbs every single day!  I’ve always heard they make great preserves, but they’re so small (most are 1-1½”), I thought “what a pain” to peel and seed these tiny things for so little flesh yield. Yesterday I bit the bullet and decided to try my first batch of loquat preserves.

Loquats don’t have a lot of flavor to me. Sort of a cross between a plum, apple and apricot.  But I decided to add a little of my no-cook Meyer Lemon-Orange Marmalade to the preserves and EUREKA!  That was magical indeed.  Even my husband was quite pleased with these preserves, and he’s quite the jam connoisseur!  🙂  I’m glad there was a huge, established loquat tree at my new house, too.  🙂

Loquats grow in clusters

This recipe is not acceptable until the higher up fruits rung of the OWL ladder.  But if you have a loquat tree,  I highly recommend you not ignore those annoying fruit on the ground any longer and give this a try!  Well worth the 45 minutes it took to get the fruit peeled and prepared.  I plunged them into boiling water a couple minutes to help loosen the peeling like you can do when peeling tomatoes for canning.  The cooking part only took 4-5 minutes and the results were FANTASTIC! I’ll not be ignoring my loquat crop anymore!

As with all things using sweetener, I strongly recommend adding half the sweetener and tasting and add remaining sweetener to suit YOUR taste.  Everyone’s sweetness preferences vary and I lean toward the sweet side.  🙂

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. ripe (fully yellow, not green) loquats, raw (weighed unpeeled)

2 c. equivalent sugar (I used 2 c.granular Splenda) (use 50 drops EZsweets small bottle)

2 T. erythritol (or 2 T. more Splenda)

1 c. water

2 pkgs. unflavored Knox gelatin

1/2 c. sugar-free marmalade (I used my no-cook Meyer Lemon-Orange recipe)

DIRECTIONS:  Wash and stem the loquats.  Bring some water to a boil, enough to just cover the fruit and simmer 2-3 minutes.  Remove, drain and cool.  When you can handle them, peel skin down, slice in center and dig out seed cluster.  When all fruit have been peeled and seeded put the fruit and all listed ingredients (except gelatin) into large saucepan, bring to a boil.  Lower to medium and cook just until loquats are tender but not reduced to mush, or about 4-5 minutes.  Add gelatin last and stir until it is dissolved.  Remove from heat, cool and spoon into airtight lidded jars.  Makes about 4 c. preserves.  It will get thicker in the refrigerator overnight.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes about 4 cups, or 64 Tbsp.  Each tablespoon contains:

13.45 cals, 0.05 g fat, 2.73g carbs, 0.4g fiber, 2.33g NET CARBS, 0.85 g  protein, 2.3 mg sodium

Flat Bread (low-carb)

I developed a new flatbread you might enjoy.  Texture is chewy like an Indian chapati; flavor is very similar to a whole wheat flour chapati.  But for me, best of all……is it has no coconut taste!  Man, I love coconut, but I just really get tired of that coconut taste in everything baked with coconut flour.  This new bread recipe is excellent hot with just butter, will work well as a naan substitute with your favorite curry recipes, or for rolling or dipping into hummus or Syrian Za’atar herb/oil mixture well-known throughout the Middle East.  I think any way you decide to serve this bread, it will come very close to your expectations.  See variation notes below for also making tortillas with this batter and the nutritional numbers for that variation.

This recipe is not suitable until you are at the grains rung of the Atkins carb re-introduction ladder as there is flour product in this batter.  But I found this necessary as all trials for such flat breads using coconut flour alone, almond flour alone or any combination thereof just has not done it for me.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. low-carb CarbQuik bake mix (I order at Netrition)

1 c. almond flour

½ c. Einkorn flour (I order from Jovial Foods)

3 T. psyllium husk powder (no substitute available)

1½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. sea salt

2 T. olive oil

1¼ c. boiling water (added slowly, as all may not be needed)

1 T. olive oil for browning on griddle

DIRECTIONS:   Bring a kettle of water to boil and pour off 1¼ c. into a measuring cup (preferably one with a pour spout) and have by your work bowl.  Measure dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir well to blend ingredients evenly.  Drizzle the 2 T. olive oil over the dry ingredients.  With water in your left hand and a fork in your right, slowly pour most of the water (1 c.) over the dry ingredients whisking with your fork continuously as you do so.  All should begin to come together into a single mass of dough.  It will firm up as you work the dough.  Only add the remaining water (in small increments) if the mass of dough seems too dry to knead.  Dough will be a little sticky at first, but it dries slowly as you work it.  Use a silicone spatula to help you work the dough into a contiguous ball of dough and to scrape down the sides of the bowl to get all the dough.  Let dough sit on counter for 12-15 minutes or until you can hand knead it.

Knead the dough 8-10 times.  You can dust your hands with some low-carb flour to help you with handling if need be, but if the dough has set long enough, it should be getting dry enough extra flour dusting should not be necessary.

Set dough ball on a silicone sheet (or a piece of plastic wrap “glued” to your counter with a swipe of water), form a log shape with the dough.  Cut the log into 8 equal pieces.  Roll each into a smooth ball of dough with your palms and set on the edge  of your silicone sheet while you work.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel if you are a slow worker so it won’t dry out.  Heat a non-stick griddle to medium-high heat.  The remaining 1 T. olive is for oiling the griddle.  With your spatula, dot the griddle lightly between batches as you cook the breads, much as you do when making pancakes.

I cook 2 flat breads at a time on my griddle (spans 2 stove burners).  Using your palms and fingers, press 1 ball of dough on your silicone sheet into a 5-5½” circle.  Again, you can dust your hands with low-carb flour if need be, but I found it wasn’t necessary.  Lifting the silicone sheet, tip the flat dough round onto your free hand and transfer to hot, oiled griddle (toward the back).  Repeat for 2nd ball of dough on the front of the griddle.  Brown them to a golden color on both sides.   Remove to a serving platter and set near stove to keep warm while you cook the remaining 6 breads.  Serve at once with butter, za’atar herb/oil mix, as a wrap or alongside your favorite Middle Eastern food.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 flat breads, each contains:

157 cals., 13.8g fat, 16.7g carbs, 9.62g fiber, 7.08g NET CARBS, 6g protein, 224mg sodium

VARIATION:  To make as tortillas (10) simply divide dough into TEN portions, roll as thin as possible, and cook on the griddle.  Each tortilla will have 126 cals, 11g fat, 13.37g carbs, 7.7g fiber, 5.67g NET CARBS, 4.8g protein, 180 mg sodium

Broiled Shawarma Tomatoes

broiltomato

I did my broiled tomatoes a bit different last time.  I added some of my homemade shawarma mayo in lieu of the crushed pork rinds on top.  Came out VERY tasty this way!  This dish is nice with baked or broiled seafood and it pairs nicely with grilled steak.  This recipe is also good cooked on top of a bed of fresh spinach that was first sauteed in butter, for an even more nutrient-dense  dish!

VARIATION:  Omit the mayo and spice blend, sprinkle some oregano and crushed pork rinds on the tops before baking for an Italian version.

INGREDIENTS:

4 large Roma tomatoes (or 5 small), sliced 1/2″ thick

¼ c. my homemade mayo

½ tsp. Shawarma Spice Blend

1/3 c. green onion, finely chopped

¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

Pinch salt and black pepper

2 tsp. olive oil (to grease pan)

DIRECTIONS: Slice tomatoes about ½” thick.  Place on non-stick pan oiled with the 2 tsp. olive oil.  These tend to stick badly, even on Teflon, thus the oil.  Next, stir the spice blend into the mayo and brush each slice with seasoned mayo.   Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.   Next sprinkle the chopped green onion over all.  Finish with the Parmesan cheese.  Broil until bubbly and browning or bake at 350º for about 20 minutes until they begin to get tender.  Don’t cook these too long as the natural sugar tends to make them burn fast.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 4, each serving contains:

190 calories, 17.7 g  fat, 3.53 g  carbs, 1.28 g  fiber, 2.25 NET CARBS, 7.03 g  protein, 125 mg sodium

 

Asian Pork Patties with Dipping Sauce (dumplings optional)

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Finally, a way I can have Pot Stickers on the table and EAT them, too!  But since low carbers like me can’t have the dumplings they are traditionally wrapped in,  I’ve found a way to have this tasty dish without the wrappers!   Instead, I make a batch of very small simmered dumplings that I make with glucomannan powder, sear separately from the meat bites and eat them “along with” the meat and dipping sauce.  It’s almost like eating real steamed Chinese dumplings!!  So good!!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets.  To make these suitable for Primal-Paleo, do not use the peanut butter in the dipping sauce and use a plan-suitable vinegar  and coconut aminos for the soy sauce.

Click to enlarge
With optional seared “Dumplings”

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. lean ground pork

1 beaten egg

2 jalapenos, seeded, ribs removed and minced fine

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

2 cloves, garlic, minced

2 T. olive oil (for frying)

OPTIONAL:  1 recipe and a half of my Dumplings

DIPPING SAUCE:

2 tsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. creamy natural peanut butter (omit if on Atkins Induction)

2 T.  rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. ginger root, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

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

2-3 drops liquid stevia or sucralose

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

1 T. finely minced green onion

2 T. water

VARIATION:  Add 1 tsp. peanut butter to the dipping sauce, stirring in well.

DIRECTIONS:   If you wish to serve this dish with the dumplings on the side, prepare a recipe and a half of my glucomannan dumplings at the link above according to that recipe’s instructions, simmering them in plain water that is barely at a simmer.  Be sure to make them real tiny, about ½” is what I did, as they swell to about 3/4″ during simmering.  When they are done, using a slotted spoon, dip them gently onto a plate.  With paper towels, blot away as much water from around them as you can.  Set the plate of dumplings aside for now.

Mix the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Mix up the meat ingredients in a medium bowl with either a fork or your hands.  Heat the 2 T. olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Form into 10 patties (mine were about 1½ oz. each and about 2″ long).  Place the meat patties in the skillet and brown on both sides until golden brown, making sure pink juices are no longer coming out of the meat when slightly pressed with the edge of your spatula.  Turn off heat and dip them onto a serving platter in a circle.  If serving with dumplings, serve those in the middle of the platter.  You can rewarm the dumplings on defrost in your microwave if you feel so compelled, but I find room temperature is just fine since the meat is piping hot.  Pour the dipping sauce into 3 tiny bowls and place one at each person’s place at table.   I forked 1 dumpling with a bite of meat, dipped into the sauce and shoved the two right into my mouth!  Pure heaven it was. I swear it tasted just like steamed dumplings!  Must try to brown my little dumplings in a skillet next time!   Pic of the fried version shown above.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes ten 1½-oz. meat patties.  Each meat patty & sauce contains:  (includes 1/10th of the sauce).  NOTE:  The info below does NOT include the optional dumplings, but since they have negligible food value, I wouldn’t worry about them too much.  They are virtually pure fiber.  I get around 36-40 mini-dumplings or gnocchi out of the dumpling recipe so 3 dumplings only have around 0.1 net carb (or less)!  Like I said, virtually negligible. 

167 cals, 14g fat, 1.11g carbs, 0.16g fiber, 0.95g NET CARBS, 8.7g protein, 142mg sodium

Mom’s Chicken Stew

It’s what’s for dinner tonight!  My mother started making this tasty stew when I was a senior in high school.  To this day, it’s the only recipe I use when I stew a chicken.  We love to serve this year round, but it is particularly good on a cold winter evening.  You can thicken the broth if you like with your favorite thickener, but I have made it both ways and like the clear broth just as well as the thickened broth.  You’ll note there are 3 small new potatoes in the photo, as my husband doesn’t low-carb as strictly as I do, but I have NOT calculated those carbs below.  Turnips would be a suitable sub for a low carber to enjoy in this dish, but I don’t always have those on hand and really don’t need them to enjoy this delicious dish.  Without the potato, this dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets, but as it is vegetable heavy, it is a little higher in carbs than many of my recipes.  Only way to pull the carbs down is to eat less of the vegetables. 😉

INGREDIENTS:

6 medium pieces of chicken (I used 3 leg quarters)

3 carrots, peeled, cut in 1″ chunks

3 stalks celery, cut in 2″ pieces

1 large onion, cut into wedges

½ tsp. dried, crushed thyme leaves (or 1 T. fresh, chopped)

½ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

¼ c. dry white wine (I usually use Chardonay)

Enough tap water to cover chicken pieces in the pot (for a richer result, you can use homemade chicken stock if you have enough in your freezer). 🙂

DIRECTIONS:   Place chicken into large stew pot.  If using breasts, cut into 6 portions.  Add enough water to just cover the meat.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat and simmer  with lid on the pot until very tender, or about 1 hour.  Add the cut up vegetables on top of the meat at this point and bring back up to a boil.  Stir them under the broth so they are all moist (add a wee bit of water if necessary).  Lower heat a second time and simmer covered for about 20 minutes, or just until carrots are tender in the center when stuck with a sharp knife.   Thicken if desired and serve at once with a lovely green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings of 1 piece chicken + veggies.  Each serving contains:

182.6 calories, 7.7 g fat, 9.16 g carbs, 2.06 g fiber, 7.1 g NET CARBS, 15.3 g protein, 953 mg sodium

Tuna Cakes

Click to enlarge

This is how I’ve made my tuna “croquettes” (as my mother called them) for many years now.  When I was still teaching, this was often what I cooked when I had forgotten to defrost any meat for dinner, but didn’t  really want to eat out.  It’s easy, fast and DELICIOUS!  This recipe also works with salmon, crab and fish.  My Pink Cream Sauce is delightful spooned over the top of these.

To make my old recipe low-carb, I just had to change the slice of conventional bread to a slice of low-carb bread.  Probably any low-carb bread would be fine, but today I had Sherrilee Artisan Flatbread made up and used ¾ slice.  The Revolution Roll (Oopsie) mentioned in the recipe will add the fewest carbs:  .  A piece of flax bread or leftover low-carb biscuit, or even 1 T. plain flax meal + 1 T. water would work also.    This recipe is OK for Induction.  If you prefer, you can coat the croquettes with the breadcrumbs rather than mixing them into the fish mixture.  But personally, I don’t see any difference in flavor.  The outside will get a bit crunchier if the crumbs are on the outside.  Your call there.

INGREDIENTS:

6.5 oz. foil-pouch tuna, oil-pack, drained, or salmon or fresh crab (5 oz. can will work, or two smaller 2.5 oz. pouches)

2 beaten eggs

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

3 T. my homemade mayo

½ c. celery, finely chopped

1/3 c. green onion, chopped

2 oz. yellow onion, chopped

¼ c. red bell pepper (best as it is sweeter, but any color is fine)

1 Revolution Roll (Oopsie) (or other low-carb biscuit or bread you have on hand)

Dash black pepper

2 T. olive oil (to saute veggies)

1 T. olive oil (to fry croquettes)

DIRECTIONS:  Heat the 2T. olive oil in non-stick skillet and saute veggies until tender.  Scrape into mixing bowl.  Add all other ingredients to bowl (except remaining tablespoon of oil).  Stir well to blend smoothly.  Form into 6 small patties and brown in the 1 T. oil in the skillet over medium-high heat.  Try not to disturb or flip them until the first side is fully browned or they will likely tear up on you.  Serve at once with your favorite cream sauce or tartar sauce, low-carb ketchup.  I like to serve these with a light cream sauce or homemade mayo into which I’ve stirred a bit of the Seafood Spice Blend or my Shawarma seasoning.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 tuna cakes, each containing:

201 cals, 16.3g fat, 2.13g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 1.63g NET CARBS, 12.9g protein, 127 mg sodium

Asian Pork Riblets

If you love those ribs on a classic Chinese Pu-Pu Platter you will want to give these a try.  They are not too sweet but have a little sweet edge and Asian spices to make them a nice addition to your next stir-fry dinner!  Or have them as snacks or appetizers.  These are suitable once you get past the first 2 week Induction Phase of Atkins and are OK for most Keto diets if the numbers below fit into your daily macro limits.

INGREDIENTS:

1½ lb. pork spareribs (I used the point end of a rack with little bone)

10 drops liquid smoke

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. ginger root, peeled & minced

2 T. low sodium soy sauce

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

1 tsp. rice wine vinegar

1/8 tsp. dry mustard

1 T. molasses

1 T. my homemade low-carb Hoisin Sauce

¼-½ tsp. Sriracha sauce

1 T. dry sherry (or dry white wine which helps tenderize meat)

2 T. tap water

DIRECTIONS:  Cut ribs along bones.  If using the point end of a rack of ribs, that is almost totally boneless, cut any wider strips of boneless meat into strips about 3/4″ wide, or roughly the  size of the bon-in ribs.  Set them aside for a few minutes.  In a large mixing bowl, measures out all other ingredients.  Stir to blend well.  Add meat and toss well to coat.  Cover and chill for 1-2 hours.  When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400º.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place marinated meat strips onto pan making sure they are not touching.  With a brush baste lightly with marinade.  When oven is hot, place in oven and cook for about 20 minutes.  Turn and baste the other side of the meat pieces and cook another 15-20 minutes.  When browned nicely on both sides, remove meat to a platter and serve with whatever other Asian fare you like or enjoy these as an appetizer.  Be forewarned this is finger food and they are a little sticky & messy to eat, so have plenty of napkins on hand. 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

515 cals, 40g fat, 6.17g carbs, 0.27g fiber, 5.9g NET CARBS, 29.7g protein, 428mg sodium

Cake Donuts

Low-Carb Cake Donuts

My husband has always liked really plain cake donuts: no icing, no flavors, no sprinkles, no powdered sugar, no cream fillings, no nothing extra beyond vanilla extract and nutmeg.  He was so fond of Dolly Madison cake donuts when I met him. When we were still dating, I couldn’t believe we’d go into Dunkin’ Donuts on Congress Avenue, downtown Austin and he would order plain cake donuts!!  All those luscious donut varieties staring back from the glass display cases didn’t phase him at all!  Only other donut I ever saw him order was a glazed, strawberry jelly donut (talk about contrast LOL).

So I decided to try my hand at a low-carb version of his beloved Dolly Madison cake donuts. We were so pleased with the results of my efforts! These donuts have a lovely crumb/texture, the required hint of nutmeg, and I’m certain Dolly herself would be proud if she were alive and could taste these!  These donuts are not suitable for Atkins Induction but are OK once you get to Phase 2 OWL if the oat fiber, a virtual carb wash at 96% fiber, doesn’t cause you any issues or weight gain.  They are OK for other ketogenic diets but not for Paleo-Primal devotees.   See the SUPPLIERS tab above for unusual ingredient sources.

NOTE:   I made a lovely sweet dessert with 4 of these.  Sliced them in half laterally and placed in the bottom of a tart pan.  Topped with thin slices of peaches (3 small).  Dotted with butter all around.  Sprinkled cinnamon and erythritol on top and baked 30 minutes.  It was DELISH! 🙂

INGREDIENTS: 

1/2 c. oat fiber

1/2 c. + 3 T. coconut flour

¼ c. plain, unsweetened whey protein powder

¼ c. egg white protein powder (pure powdered egg whites)

1 T. baking powder

1½ tsp. glucomannan powder (or xanthan gum)

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground nutmeg(preferably fresh, grated)

1 pkt. stevia

½ c. sugar equivalent of your favorite sweetener

1/3 c.granular erythritol

3 T. melted butter, unsalted

3 large eggs, beaten

3 T. DaVinci vanilla sugar-free syrup (or 1 tsp. vanilla extract + 2½ T. more water)

½ c. heavy cream (or coconut milk)

½ c. water

Optional:  mix a bit of cinnamon with a bit of granular erythritol to sprinkle on top if desired

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Measure all the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and stir well.   Break the eggs into the center of the dry ingredients and beat them well.   Add cream, water, DaVinci syrup and melted butter.  Stir well until batter is smooth.  Batter will be quite thick.  Well oil the 12 slots of 2 donut pans with oil of your choice.  Spoon batter into slots until they are almost full.  There is just enough batter for 12 donuts in this recipe. Even out the batter with  the back of a teaspoon.  These do not rise much during baking, so overflow shouldn’t be a problem.   Pop into 350º oven for about 17 minutes or until firm to the touch and just beginning to brown on the edges.  Remove from oven and cool a few minutes. Loosen them with a knife tip and serve cooled off a bit for best flavor.  Top optionally with cinnamon/erythritol, powdered erythritol or low-carb icing of your choosing.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 12 donuts, each contains: (topping or optional icing not included)

128.6 calories, 9.56 g  fat, 11.77 g  carbs, 9.15 g fiber, 2.62 g  NET CARBS, 6.08 g  protein, 114 mg sodium

Lobster Dien Bien

LobsterDienBien

I lived in Hampton, Virginia while in high school & my family often drove to Yorktown 30 miles away to eat at a wonderful restaurant called Nick’s Seafood Pavilion, operated by a Greek chef.  Sadly, it no longer exists:  http://www.pbase.com/airlinerphotos/image/21276281.  I often think fondly of one of their signature dishes, Lobster Dien Bien.  My parents managed to concoct their own version of the dish over time.  My version is similar, but I cannot have the rice that is traditionally in it.  I’m on a low-carb diet.  The original dish had 1 cup of rice (cooked in lobster stock) stirred in just before serving.  This dish in some regards is vaguely reminiscent of Spanish paella when the rice is included. I serve my portion over steamed cauliflower “rice” or simple oven-baked eggplant slices.

I can’t get very good lobster in Central Texas, so I make this more often now with shrimp or crawfish, but it is no doubt best made with lobster. I have even made this dish with large sea scallops and fresh lump white crab meat (when I lived on the Gulf Coast).  All versions have been been very tasty.  As is true of most seafood dishes, this one really packs in the nutrients!  This dish is OK for Atkins Induction.

Click to enlarge crawfish version
Crawfish version

If you are not following a low-carb diet:  Add 2 c. cooked white rice stirred in.  If using the rice addition, it is essential that you cook it in seafood stock.  Use 1 c. raw rice, rinsed well in a sieve/sifter with cold water to remove surface starch.  Then bring the rice to a boil in 2 c. lobster or shrimp stock., Lower heat to lowest setting, cover pot with a paper towel followed by a tight fitting lid and steam the rice until done (about 18-20 minutes).  Add the rice to the seafood mixture, stir gently and serve!  Mmmm…….this is my all-time favorite seafood dish EVER!  (with the rice, of course 🙂 ).

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. lobster meat cut into bite-size pieces (or peeled, de-veined shrimp)

1 stick unsalted butter

½ c. onion, chopped

1 c. celery, chopped

1 carrot, grated

1 2 oz. jar pimiento, drained

1/3 c. parsley, chopped

¼-½ tsp. cayenne pepper

10 drops Tobasco

½ tsp. ground thyme

DIRECTIONS: Saute onion, celery and carrot in melted butter until onion and celery are completely tender.  Add parsley and pimiento.  Add seafood and remaining seasonings.  Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes only.  For non-Atkins diners, add some cooked rice.  For Atkins diners, serve with steamed cauli-rice, spaghetti squash, sauteed mushrooms or oven-baked eggplant slices.  (To steam cauli-rice, grate or food process raw cauliflower to fine grains and steam in microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute).

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 3 servings, each with:

466 cals, 33g fat, 9.1g carbs, 2.3g fiber, 6.8g NET CARBS, 32 g  protein, 283 g  sodium

Raspberry Mini Cheesecakes (Dairy Free)

Raspberry Mini Cheesecakes

I tried my hand at a non-dairy cheesecake by adapting a Blueberry Cardamom Cheesecake recipe at LifeIsStillSweet.com . I put no cardamom or lemon juice in my raspberry version.  I added some almond flour to the middle layer, and I changed up the sweeteners, as honey and dates are just too high in carbs for me.  I also decided to use coconut cream rather than coconut milk, as I find it richer.  This is still quite high in carbs and calories (one of the highest carb counts on my website, in fact), even with my changes.   So this special treat will be reserved for holidays and special occasions.  This recipe is suitable for Phase 2 OWL of Atkins.   Primal/Paleo folks will likely want to use the honey in the fillings and dates in the crust called for in the inspirational recipe, in lieu of the sweeteners I used below.  Below is the mini non-stick springform pan I used:

Click to enlarge. 4 3/4″ diameter

CRUST:

½ c. pecans, chopped

½ c. walnuts, chopped

3 T. granular erythritol (or sweetener of your choice)

¼ tsp. cinnamon

1 T. coconut oil

BOTTOM VANILLA LAYER:

1 c. raw cashew nuts

¼ c. almond flour

6-8 drops liquid stevia extract

2 T. coconut oil

¼ c. coconut cream

1½ tsp. vanilla

TOP RASPBERRY LAYER:

3/4 c. fresh raspberries

¼ c. coconut cream

2 T. coconut oil

6-8 drops liquid stevia extract

DIRECTIONS:  Soak cashews for 2 hours in water to soften them and set aside for now.

Measure all crust ingredients into a food processor and pulse to blend into a “dough”.  Press half the crust into the bottom of two greased or non-stick mini springform pans. 

Chill crusts while you wait on the cashews to soften.  Wash processor parts.

Drain water off cashews and place them in food processor bowl.  Measure all other vanilla filling ingredients into the bowl except sweetener.  Pulse until completely smooth and add sweetener slowly, pulse and taste to get it as sweet as you like.  Brands of sweetener vary greatly.  Spoon half the mixture onto each chilled crust and spread top even.  Chill while you make the raspberry top layer.  Wash processor parts.

Place berries in processor bowl.  Add coconut oil and cream and pulse to puree.  Add sweetener slowly again, tasting as you add between pulses, until you get the proper amount for your taste.  If your berries are real sweet, you may want less sweetener; you may need more if they are tart.  Spread half the fruit mixture evenly on top of each cheesecake, trying not to disturb the vanilla layer.  Optional garnish can be a single berry in the center or a sprig of mint.

Chill for 2 hours.  Each mini cheesecake serves two people as it is so rich.

Sliced View
Sliced View

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 mini cheesecakes.  Serving= ½ cheesecake.  Each serving  contains:

636 cals, 63.7g fat, 20.15g carbs, 6.0g fiber, 14.15g NET CARBS, 11.7g protein, 22 mg sodium

Boursin-Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

I’ve done shrimp-stuffed mushrooms, herb-stuffed mushrooms, sausage-stuffed mushrooms, but last night I decided to do just a simple, rich herb-Boursin cheese filling.  Yummers!  These so “dressed up” a simple beef pattie dinner.  A side of fresh green beans was the perfect complement.  These would make great party snacks, using smaller mushrooms, of course.  This recipe is certainly a keeper for us as we love Boursin cheese!  And these gems have 30%-55% RDA of 11+ vital vitamins and minerals, so they are very nutritious for your family!  Best of all, they’re suitable for all you folks still on Atkins Induction!

INGREDIENTS:

6 large button mushrooms

2 T. olive oil + 2 T. unsalted butter

¼ c. chopped parsley

1 large green onion, chopped fine

1/8 tsp. each black and cayenne pepper

4 T. Boursin or Alouette “Garlic & Herb” soft cheese

1 slice low-carb bread or roll (I used this focaccia), crumbled

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Wipe clean and stem the mushrooms.  I saved the stems for some other use.  You can, of course, chop them up, saute and add to the filling mixture, but in doing so, you may not get all the filling into the mushroom cavities when stuffing.

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  With a brush, coat the outsides and insides of the mushrooms and set on baking pan.  To the remaining oil in the skillet, add the parsley, green onion, black and cayenne pepper.  Saute for a couple minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in the cheese to melt and blend.  Fold the bread crumbles into the mixture last and blend well.  Using a spoon, fill each mushroom cavity with 1/6 the filling, forcing it down well in the hole and allowing it to mound slightly.  If you have leftover filling, grab a 7th mushroom and fill it!  That will lower the numbers below a bit.  Pop pan into 350º oven and back around 25 minutes until mushrooms appear done and topping is slightly brown on top as shown above.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 stuffed mushrooms, each one contains:

128 cals, 12.4g fat, 2.2g carbs, 0.7g fiber, 1.5g NET CARBS, 3g protein, 78 mg sodium

 

Creamy Broccoli and Mushrooms

Creamy Broccoli and Mushsrooms

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.  You can also substitute fresh coked green beans for the broccoli.

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 homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

½ c. shredded Monterrey 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

Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken

I finally got around to trying a whole, roasted chicken in my Power XL 7 qt. air fryer last night.  The meat of the nearly 5# bird was moist and cooked perfectly done (even at the joints).  My husband just loves chicken that is baked or roasted!  Also tried my new Peggy’s Poultry Rub on it and that was a winner, too!  I may add even more of the rub next time!  Yummy!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other keto diets, as well as for Paleo-Primal folks.

INGREDIENTS:

1 whole chicken (mine was 4.75 lbs)

1 t. olive oil

1 T. Peggy’s Poultry Rub (or seasoning of your choice)

DIRECTIONS:  Pat the chicken dry of any water/moisture with paper towels.  Rub olive oil all over the chicken getting all skin surfaces damp with oil.  You’ll want to wash and dry off your hands at this point.  Next sprinkle 1 tsp. of the seasoning bland over the top surfaces of the chicken.  Sprinkle 1 tsp. over the bottom surfaces of the chicken.  Invert chicken to expose the carcass opening and sprinkle the remaining spice blend as best you can inside, rubbing until it is distributed.  Although I did not do it this, next time I may make a slit into the lower leg quarter joints and rub a tad in that joint as well as a tad underneath the breast skin as I am able.

Preheat your air-fryer at 350º a few minutes (mine requires 4 min. preheat).  Open basket/drawer and place seasoned bird into the basket/drawer breast side down. Cook the bird for 30 minutes.  Then open drawer and using a heavy kitchen fork, turn the bird over, now breast up.  Cook for 20 minutes and open basket to (check leg quarter with a meat thermometer (165º internal is done).  Also check thickest part of breast.  If not to 165º yet, continue cooking another 5-10 minutes and check again.  My 4.75# bird took precisely 25 minutes on side two.  Cookers vary, so the rule of thumb with air fryers is CHECK YOUR FOOD OFTEN to avoid under cooking, or worse, over cooking and major disappointment.   Always remember that any air-fryer recipe is just a guideline and nothing more.  Cookers vary for any recipe cookbook for them to be always spot on……….even the manufacturer’s cookbook!  Food size and volume/weight impact any instructions and cooking times/temps.

ADDED NOTE:  I recommend soaking your basket in 1″ water while you enjoy your meal (for easier cleanup).  Also don’t forget when fully cooled, to wipe off (use a soapy sponge) the element at the top and back walls of cooker to get any grease splatters there.  If you don’t do that, the cooker is likely to smoke heavily at next use and you’ll think the machine is dying on you.  It just wasn’t thoroughly cleaned after roasting meat.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  I can’t really provide that for you as I can’t know what pieces you eat, how large your bird is, nor how many pieces you will eat.  I certainly can’t know how much of the seasoning you will be ingesting on any particular piece.  Best calculation I can recommend for you is to take the stats for the piece/size of piece(s) of chicken you eat and add 1/8 tsp. of the spice blend for each piece you consume.  That said, this recipe is so low-carb…………I wouldn’t bother calculating anything but the meat itself that you consume.  One can get too anal about any diet in my opinion.  Just enjoy this delicious recipe and know that you are not breaking the carb bank doing so!

1 tsp. spice blend = 0.84g NET CARBS

Peggy’s Poultry Rub

I’ve been trialing a new poultry rub recipe I’m developing for chicken and turkey.  Have tried it several times and I just kept increasing several of the ingredients as well as eliminating one that added nothing to the flavor profile.  I think it’s about right for my palate now.  I am quite pleased.  I have tested it on oven baked cut-up chicken parts and liked that method best, as the rub gets on more surfaces of the chicken flesh that way.  But last night I tested it on an air-fryer whole roasted chicken.  That was moist and delicious, but the seasoning does a better job on individual pieces, in my opinion.  Can’t wait to try this on duck!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto programs.  It is also OK for Paleo and Primal Blueprint followers.

NOTE:  My husband is on a low-sodium diet, so you will notice my spice blends have little salt (if any).  I can always add salt at the table if I want more.  You may want to increase the salt in the blend itself for your family’s palate. 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. Spanish paprika (regular is OK, but lacks the smoky flavor I love)

On a whole roasted chicken

1 T. chili powder

2 T. onion powder

1 T. garlic powder

1 T. black pepper

2 t. dried crushed sage leaf

2 t. dried crushed basil

2 t. dried crushed oregano leaf

1 t. sea salt

DIRECTIONS:  Mix all ingredients on a paper plate.  Stir well.  Fold plate and pour all into a spice jar (with a lid).  Close lid and shake well to distribute ingredients evenly.  Use about 1 T. on a whole (or cut up) chicken.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes about 9 T. of the rub (or 27 tsp).   Each teaspoon contains:

6.44 cals, 0.15g fat, 1.37g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 0.87g NET CARBS, 0.26g protein, 89.6 mg sodium

 

Kielbasa with Cabbage & Kale

kielbasa-with-cabbage-kaleHaving made keilbasa and cabbage many a time I don’t know WHY it took me so long to  throw in a little kale into the skillet.  Once I did, there was no turning back.  This vegetable combo is so tasty!  The cabbage mellow any bitterness in the kale; the kale gives depth of flavor to the blander cabbage.  Even my husband wolfed this down and he’s not a fan of either one!  So it sounds like a keeper to ME.  🙂 The caramelized onion brings the perfect touch of magic sweetness to the flavor profile.

I use Burton’s brand of sausage (newly discovered at my HEB & Walmart grocery in Texas).  I always like a brand that  has much less garlic than most people.  Many companies put way too much garlic in their smoked sausage for my palate.   This hearty, delicious dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins, other Keto diets and Primal-Paleo as well.

INGREDIENTS:

2  T. bacon grease

4 links your favorite smoked sausage, sliced ¼”

3 c. chopped green cabbage

2 c. chopped kale (larger stem parts removed)

2 oz. slivered sweet yellow onion

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

VARIATION:  Add a splash of your favorite vinegar to the skillet for the last few minutes of cooking for a more Polish or Czech-style of this famous dish. 

DIRECTIONS:   Heat  bacon grease in a non-stick wok or skillet over high heat.  Add sausage and stir fry until it begins to lightly brown. Add the onion and saute until starts to wilt and caramelize. Add cabbage and chopped kale, sauteing  just until cabbage begins to wilt.   Sprinkle with the black pepper and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:     Makes 4 adult servings, each 1½-cup  serving contains:

266 calories, 21 g fat, 9.37 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 6.87 g NET CARBS, 11.1 g protein, 378 mg sodium

Cajun Shrimp and “Grits”

This dish came out so good.  Frankly, I was quite surprised!  I essentially took my method for making shrimp scampi, added some Cajun spices to take it up a notch, topped with buttery Parmesan bread crumbs and served over a bed of seasoned cauli-rice.  Man………this is definitely a keeper!  My husband just ranted about his dinner tonight!  I confess it was one of the better shrimp dishes I’ve created in quite some time!  Provided you use an Induction-friendly bread for the bread crumbs, this is suitable for Atkins Induction and all other Atkins diet phases!  Just leave out the 2 T. white wine until Phase 2, please.  🙂

BASE INGREDIENTS:

4 T. unsalted butter

2 oz. yellow onion, slivered as thinly as possible

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 T. (1 fluid oz) white wine (omit if still in Atkins Induction Phase)

30 large peeled shrimp (I used pre-cooked, tail-on, but raw will work also)

CRUMB TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

2 slices plan-suitable low-carb bread, crumbed

2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

½ c. chopped parsley

4 T. more unsalted melted butter

‘GRITS’ INGREDIENTS:

½ small head cauliflower, cut into chunks

1 small carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

1/8 tsp. each onion and garlic powder

¼ tsp. (more if you like thinks spicy) my Cajun Seafood Spice Blend

1 c. Cheddar Cheese shreds

½ c. chopped green onions or chives

DIRECTIONS:  Begin by making the “grits” first.  Place the chunks of cauliflower and carrot in you food processor (or blender) and pulse until riced coarsely.  Scrape into microwavable bowl and cook on high for about 4-6 minutes or until no longer raw/hard (but not overly done)  Stir the spices in along with the green onions and cheese shreds.  Set aside while you make the rest of the layers.  In a large skillet (I used non-stick), over medium-high heat, melt one whole stick (8 T.) butter.  Carefully pour just half the melted butter into the bread crumb mixture and blend to moisten the crumbs evenly with the butter. Again, set the topping aside for now.

Preheat oven to BROIL.  In the 4 T. melted butter remaining in the skillet, add the slivered yellow onion and garlic.  Add cayenne and salt and continue to saute a couple more minutes to soften & caramelize them.  Add white wine and simmer 1-2 minutes only.   Spread mixture evenly in the skillet.  Scrape the cheesy grits mixture over the top of the caramelized onion mixture, spreading it evenly.  Next arrange the shrimp in a single layer, 2 concentric circles, tail out, placing shrimp fairly close together as they shrink during cooking.  If you end up with a few shrimp left out of the two circles, put those in the center, tail centered and pointing upwards.  That will look attractive for table presentation.

Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the shrimp.   When broiler is hot (450º-475º) pop skillet into broiler and broil until bread crumb topping is golden brown as shown above.  Shrimp cooks fast, so they should get properly done even if you are using raw shrimp. Those mounded in the center will cook the slowest, so check to insure they are properly cooked.

VARIATION:  You can construct this differently, by cooking the “grits” in a separate microwavable serving baking dish and cook the shrimp separately in the skillet.  Then simply top 1/3 portion of the “grits” on each of 3 plates and top with 1/3 the broiled shrimp mixture.  Your call on the construction method.  Will taste great either way.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains 10 shrimp & 1/3 the grits

643.6 cals, 52.5g fat, 15.8g carbs, 4.76 g fiber, 11.04g NET CARBS, 32.3g protein, 781mg sodium.  To reduce carbs, eliminate the carrot, reduce cheese & use 1 slice bread for crumb topping………or make it stretch for 4 servings. 🙂  )

 

 

 

Mega Meatballs

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

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

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

I absolutely love the Lucini “Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce” (no added sugar or bad ingredients) that I found at my local Walmart.  It’s made with all natural ingredients, has a lovely taste and I buy it for quick sauces and us it for quick pizza sauce.  It’s a great flavor foundation to build on.  🙂   It costs somewhere around $3.99/jar if I remember right.

MEATBALL INGREDIENTS:

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

1 lb. ground pork

2 beaten eggs

½ c. ricotta cheese

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

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

½ tsp. dried oregano, crushed

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

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

MARINARA SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

3 T. olive oil

½ c. celery, chopped

4 oz. onion, chopped

¼ c. bell pepper, chopped

5 large mushrooms, chopped

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

2/3 c. parsley, chopped

3/4-1c. water, as needed

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

ZUCCHINI NOODLES “Zoodles”:    VARIATIONS: Serve over spaghetti squash.           

3 medium zucchini (about 10 oz. each)

1 T. olive oil

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

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

MEATBALL NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 20 very large meatballs.  Two per serving.  Each 2-meatball serving contains:  290 cals, 23 g  fat, 1.18g carbs, 0.8g fiber, 0.38g NET CARBS, 20g protein, 155mg sodium

SAUCE NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes ten 1/2 c. servings of sauce.  Each serving contains:  97 calories, 7.2 g  fat, 7.27 g  carbs, 1.93 g  fiber, 5.34 g  NET CARBS, 2.24 g  protein

ZUCCHINI NOODLES NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 10 servings of noodles.  Each 3 oz serving contains:  59 calories, 4.7 g  fat, 4.2 g  carbs, 1.4 g  fiber, 2.8 g  NET CARBS  1.5 g  protein

Asparagus with Bacon and Onion

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I’ve always steamed or roasted my fresh asparagus, but sometimes I just saute it.  It is marvelous done this way!  By adding the smoky taste of bacon and the sweet edge of caramelized onion it takes an already delicious vegetable to a whole new flavor level.  Each ingredient enhances the other!  This side dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Paleo-Primal diners as well.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch of fresh asparagus (mine had 20 stalks in it)

2 oz. yellow onion, sliced

4 slices low-sodium bacon, sliced

Dash each salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Break the bottom ½” or so off the asparagus stems off. Cut in 2″ long pieces, separating out the tips for shorter cooking time. Brown the bacon in a non-stick skillet.  Remove and drain bacon bits on paper toweling. Add the onion and saute in the bacon grease until it begins to brown and caramelize.  Add the 2″ stem pieces (holding out the tip pieces for now).  Saute for 2-3 minutes or until stems are tender crisp.  Add the tip pieces and saute just until the tips are tender crisp as well.  Pour all into a serving dish and top with the browned bacon.  You can add the bacon to the skillet and toss before plating if you prefer.  I served this alongside some tender oven-roasted grass-fed beef brisket and a lovely tomato-olive salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

101 cals, 7.1g fat, 4.98g carbs, 2.22g fiber, 2.76g NET CARBS, 4.8g protein, 133 mg sodium

Cherry Strudel

Who doesn’t like strudel?  I’ve used my Mozzy Dough to make peach strudel, so I’m trying a cherry version now.  I like the peach better; my husband always prefers cherry anything.  This dessert/breakfast option is not suitable until you are at Phase 2 Atkins or near goal weight due to the flour in CarbQuik mix.

 

INGREDIENTS:  

1 recipe my Mozzy Dough

1 can red cherries (water pack)

liquid sweetener of choice to taste

3/4 tsp. glucomannan powder

1 tsp. coconut oil (to oil pan, or omit and use parchment paper)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Oil 8″x 12″ pan (or thereabouts in size) with coconut oil or line with parchment paper, your choice.  Stats below include oil on pan.  Make up the Mozzy Dough per that recipe’s instructions.  Press kneaded dough evenly into pan all the way to edges.  In a small bowl, stir glucomannan into cherries with liquid.  If you use xanthan gum instead to thicken your filling, you will have to heat the filling to a boil, then simmer and allow to thicken under heat to desired thickness.  Heating is not required for glucomannan to thicken……..just time.  When glucomannan is dissolved into cherry liquid and well-distributed, set aside for 10 minutes to thicken up.  Then spoon cherry filling down the center of dough lengthwise.  Gently lift one side of the dough up and over the cherry filling to the middle of the strudel.    Lift remaining side of dough up and over the filling, slightly overlapping the edge of the first flap of dough and set it down gently.  Press the dough seam lightly with fingertips.  Pop into 350º oven for about 20 minutes or until browned to your liking.  Cool slightly and cut into eight 2″ slices.  I like mine served warm, but we both think this dough is slightly improved when served at room temperature.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes eight 2″ slices, each contains:

163 cals, 11.77g fat, 12.56g carbs, 5.68g fiber, 6.88g NET CARBS, 10.5g protein, 197 mg sodium.

 

 

Fluffy Cheddar Biscuits

fluffycheddarbiscuits

These are incredibly light, fluffy and just melt in your mouth!  Rich enough they don’t NEED butter!  These are not the slightest bit dense or hard like many low-carb biscuits.  And they are just cheesy enough!  These are not suitable until the grains rung of OWL due to the bake mixes.  These kept just fine in plastic in the fridge for a couple days and rewarmed at 300º sliced with sausage sandwiched in them for wonderful Sausage Cheese Biscuits!  🙂

INGREDIENTS: 

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 eggs, beaten

½ c. Jennifer Eloff Gluten-Free bake mix

¼ c.+2T. CarbQuik bake mix (substitute more of Jennifer’s bake mix for gluten free version)

1 T. Parmesan cheese

1 c. grated cheddar cheese

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

pinch garlic or onion powder (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.   Soften cream cheese in a mixing bowl.  Add and beat in the dry ingredients.  Add beaten eggs and stir well.  Add grated cheeses.  Stir again to blend.  Spoon out onto greased or non-stick pans into 10 equal mounds.  I don’t flatten mine at all and they will spread a bit during cooking, so I find it takes a large sheet pan to do these.  Bake at 350º for about 13-14 minutes or until browned to your liking.  Do not over brown or they will dry out.   If you want to turn these into the Red Lobster edition, at 10 minutes cooking, take them out, baste with melted butter, a sprinkle of Italian seasoning and a sprinkle of garlic/onion powder blended.  Finish cooking for remaining time.  Mmmm.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 10, each containing:

142.5 cals, 12.6g fat, 4.56g carbs, 2.4g fiber, 2.16g NET CARBS, 8.2g protein, 306 mg sodium

 

Eggplant (or zucchini) Meat Loaf

Eggplant or Zucchini Meatloaf

This delicious meatloaf uses veggies as a filler and binding agent.  It is flavorful and goes well with most vegetable side dishes.  It is equally good with either vegetable, quite frankly.  I have even used grated yellow squash to make this meatloaf in the past and that came out quite good, too.  It is suitable for all phases of Atkins (those on Induction need to use the flax meal or a one minute muffin for the bread), Keto diets, Paleo and Primal followers as well.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. olive oil

1 ½ c. diced, cooked eggplant, mashed (or grated zucchini)

5 oz. chopped onion

1 large or 2 small cloves minced garlic

¼ c. chopped parsley

½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

¼ c. grated mozzarella cheese

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. oregano, crushed

1 egg, beaten

1 low carb bun, crumbled (or 1 T. flax meal or 1 additional egg)

1¼ lb. ground beef (or mixture of beef and pork)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.   Saute onion in olive oil in skillet until tender.  Add grated zucchini and continue to saute until zucchini begins to get soft.  Add minced garlic.  Turn off heat.  Put ground meat in large bowl.  Put veggies onto meat.  Add cheeses, seasonings and beaten egg.  Moisten flax bun with a bit of water and mush it up on top.  Mix all ingredients well with fork or clean hands  until it is well-blended.  Tip meat out onto baking pan and shape into loaf.  Bake at 350º about 1 ½ hours or until meat thermometer reads 170º in the center.   Should be firm in center when done.  If desired, halfway through cooking, top with thin slices of tomato or tomato sauce.  If you do so, this is not included in numbers below.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 5, each serving contains:

519 cals, 35.4 g  fat 6.28 g  carbs, 1.86 g  fiber, 4.42 NET CARBS 42.8 g  protein 116 mg. sodium

Eggplant Quiche

Eggplant Quiche

This was one of the earliest recipes I developed when I began low-carbing 11 years ago and it was our lunch once again today.  It is truly delicious if you’re an eggplant fan.  We found that 1/8th of the quiche filled us up nicely with a green salad.  Instead of my Seafood Spice Blend, you could substitute a blend of Italian spices like oregano, basil, and rosemary.  With the crust, this is not Induction-friendly.  But without crust, it is definitely OK for Atkins Induction.

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe “Flour” Pie crust 

10 oz. eggplant, sliced ¼” thick

1 large tomato, sliced thin

2 eggs

¼ c. heavy cream

¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Pinch each of salt, pepper and onion powder

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

VARIATION:  Add some cooked bacon crumbles in a layer in the middle. 

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º.  Place eggplant on non-stick baking sheet and bake 10 minutes on a side.  Bake tomato slices 10 minutes on a side as well. If you are lucky enough to own 2 non-stick sheets, you can do this all at the same time.  Make pie crust as directed in that recipe but take out of oven in about 10 minutes (before edges get brown).   Layer mozzarella cheese, Parmesan, eggplant, tomato, spices onto partially cooked pie crust.  Repeat layers until all eggplant and tomato slices are used up.  In a bowl, beat eggs and cream together and pour evenly over the layered quiche.  Bake at 350º for about 30 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 8 servings, each containing:

193.5 cals, 16g fat, 11.8g carbs, 8.3g fiber, 3.5g NET CARBS, 8.85g protein, 188 mg sodium

Sausage-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

If you’re a mushroom fan you MUST try these.  You can use either breakfast bulk sausage or Italian sausage to make them.  They will be delicious either way.  My Homemade Italian Sausage is what I used, as it is low in sodium or you can use my Homemade Breakfast Sausage for a different flavor.  If you use commercial sausage, bear in mind the sodium count will be much higher than shown below.   For the breadcrumbs, I used a slice of my homemade Grain-Free Fluten-Free Focaccia because I have it currently made and on hand.  Using other low-carb bread for your bread crumbs will also impact numbers and require recalculations be done. This recipe is suitable once you are at Phase 2 Atkins.

INGREDIENTS:

4 Portobello mushroooms (about 4 oz. each)

3 T. olive oil

14 oz. ground Italian (any casing removed) or bulk breakfast sausage, crumbled

1/3 c. chopped red bell pepper (or green)

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ c. chopped parsley

¼ tsp. dried oregano, crushed

1/8 tsp. dried basil

1/8 tsp. each sea salt and coarse black pepper

¼ tsp. Sriracha sauce (or 6-8 drops Tobasco)

1 slice low-carb bread (I used my gluten-free focaccia)

1 beaten large egg

4 oz. mozzarella cheese shreds

¼ c. grated Parmesan

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Wipe mushrooms clean with a dry, clean cloth.  Stem and with a spoon, scoop out and discard black gills in center.  Chop stems and set on paper plate.  Chop/mince all listed vegetables and add to that same paper plate.  Heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Brush mushroom cap domed sides with olive oil and place on baking sheet.  In remaining oil saute the sausage crumbles, breaking up smallish.  Add all listed vegetables, including the chopped mushroom stems, cooking until all are tender.  Turn off heat.  Add all spices shown and the Sriracha sauce (or Tobasco).  Crumb your low-carb bread and add to the mixture.  Beat the egg in a small bowl and add.  Stir the finished filling mixture well so all gets moistened with the egg.  Fill each of the mushroom caps with 1/4 of the filling.  Sprinkle 1 T. Parmesan on top of each mushroom.  Finish with 1 T. mozzarella shreds sprinkled on top.  Pop pan into preheated 350º oven.  Bake 20-25 minutes.  Enjoy with a lovely green salad or green side of your choosing.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

522 cals, 40g fat, 10g carbs, 3.37g fiber, 6.63g NET CARBS, 32.3g protein, 316 mg sodium

 

 

 

 

Chipotle Beef Strudel

This dinner came out utterly delicious!  I’ve been wanting to try a strudel application with my Mozzy Dough and finally did it!  Didn’t tear up; didn’t fall apart, and the full recipe of dough was just the right ratio of dough to filling for this use.  Next I’ll be trying some fruit streudel with it, so stay tuned!  You want to use 90% lean beef in this recipe or drain your beef off VERY well.  This recipe is not suitable until you have reached the grains rung of the Atkins carb re-introduction ladder.

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe my Mozzy Dough

10 oz. lean ground beef (preferably 90%)

2 oz. onion, chopped

½ tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. garlic powder

½ c. Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles (drained solids only)

3 slices Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese, torn in half

OPTIONAL:  1-2 T. cilantro, chopped to garnish

VARIATION:  On nights you can afford the extra carbs, a band of 1/2 cup canned refried beans added down the middle would be delicious, but that addition isn’t calculated in below. 

DIRECTIONS:  Brown the ground beef and onion together in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chili powder and garlic powder.  Stir well.  Add the drained  tomatoes with chiles and reduce heat to medium.  Simmer until tomatoes have cooked up dry.  Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350º.  Line an 11×15 baking sheet with parchment and set aside.  Make the Mozzy Dough by that recipes instructions.  Form an oblong “log” of the dough and place lengthwise on the parchment lined pan.  Using a fork or your fingers lightly moistened, gently press into a rectangular shape about 10″x13″ and just under ¼” thick.  Do this carefully so as not to tear the dough.  Spoon the meat filling down the very middle of the dough rectangle, lengthwise, leaving at least 2″ uncovered dough on each long edge you will eventually be folding over the filling.   Next lay the jack cheese slice pieces down the meat filling from one end to the other.

Using the parchment to help you, using both hands, lift up the long edge of the dough up and over the filling.  Do the same with the other side of the dough.  Pull to the center if necessary so you can pinch the center seam of the dough together to seal it.  Pinch each end of the “strudel” as well so filling won’t ooze out.  Again, using the parchment to help handle the strudel, roll it over so it will be seam side down on the parchment-lined pan now.  Bake at 350º for 18-20 minutes.  Keep an eye out at the 15 minute mark, as some ovens cook hotter than others.  Remove when golden brown and garnish with the chopped cilantro.  Cut into 5 portions and serve with a lovely guacamole salad.  The Chipotle Mayo below is optional, but it is super yummy dotted on the top of each bite as you eat the strudel. 

Chipotle Mayo: Stir together 4 T. homemade mayo, ½ c. sour cream, ¼ tsp. chili powder, 1 seeded & mashed chipotle chili pepper (the kind in can packed in adobo sauce) & dash salt. Each tablespoon has about 0.5 net carb.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 5 servings, each contains (excluding sauce, as I can’t know how much you will use on your serving)

469 calories, 35.2g fat, 13.88g carbs, 8g fiber, 5.88g NET CARBS, 37g protein, 739mg sodium

Pork & Chorizo Taco Salad

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This is a variation on the popular taco salad we all know and love.  Constructing it with pork and chorizo, along with the spices and sofrito I included, was quite delicious and a pleasant change of pace.  I didn’t have an avocado in the house or else a dollop of  guacamole would have been added to the top.  You might want to consider adding one mashed up with a pinch of garlic powder to other recipe.  🙂  This salad is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz. lean ground pork

2 oz. chorizo sausage, removed from casing and crumbled

Dash ground cumin

¼ tsp. garlic powder

1-2 tsp. my sofrito sauce (optional, but real good in this)

1/8 tsp. my Smoky Chipotle Spice blend

2 c. Romaine lettuce, chopped

2 c. endive or curly leaf lettuce (green or purple), chopped

½ c. tomato, chopped

2 slices Monterrey Jack Cheese

½ c. shredded Cheddar Cheese

OPTIONAL:  1 mashed avocado + dash garlic powder

DIRECTIONS:  Have two plates ready by the stove.  If using guacamole layer as suggested above, make that now.  Brown ground pork in a non-stick skillet, along with the crumbled chorizo until they are done.  Add salt, cumin, smoky chipotle blend, sofrito and garlic powder.  Stir often as the meat browns.  Remove from heat when done.  Mix the two types of lettuce in a bowl and plate half on each of two plates.  Add half the chopped tomato on top of each.  Place 1 slice of jack cheese in the center of each stack of greens.    Top each with half the hot meat.  The heat should melt the jack cheese nicely.  If using guacamole, add it now.  Top each with ¼ c. of cheddar shreds.   Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 2 salads, each contains:  (does not include guacamole)

597 cals, 46.7g fat, 6.95g carbs, 2.2g fiber, 4.75g NET CARBS, 37g protein, 748 mg sodium  (coming from the chorizo and cheese)

 

 

German Brats and Vegetables

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We recently grilled some delicious German Beef Brats I 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 it 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 cals, 22.5g fat, 10.1g carbs, 3.05g fiber, 7.05g NET CARBS, 8.7g protein, 384 mg potassium, 725 mg sodium

BBQ Dogs

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When you BBQ a big piece of brisket, like we do from time to time, it seems there’s always so much leftover (there are just two of us here).  I like to chop some of the leftover meat, add a little of my low-carb BBQ sauce, so there is some convenient chopped beef BBQ for sandwiches throughout the week.

Last time we grilled a brisket, I also happened to need to bake some low-carb bread, as I was down to my last.  Then when I started stirring all those ingredients up in my mixing bowl this finger-food idea just popped into my head.  Using my protein bar silicone baking pan (but you could use a regular muffin pan), I formed the tastiest little treats!  These are great for parties, great snacks or even several for a grab-and-go lunch!  They’re low in carbs, too!

I have started adding 1 tsp. yeast dissolved in 1 T. warm water to my bread batter, not for rise, but for flavor.  You can omit that, but it will only lower net carbs by .13 g, so why not go ahead and add it for that touch of yeast flavor?  These are suitable once you get to the nuts level of Atkins Phase 2 (OWL, Ongoing Weight Loss).  If you add that cheese, be sure to add in those cheese carbs.  You can bake these in muffin pans if you don’t own or want to get the specialty pan shown below.  I just happen to have stumbled on a couple of these pans in my local Tuesday Morning store one day.

INGREDIENTS: 

1 recipe my gluten-free grain-free focaccia bread

12 oz. leftover chopped BBQ beef or pork

¼ c. low-carb BBQ sauce  (1-2 carbs per tablespoon or less)

VARIATIONS:  Add 1 tsp. shredded Cheddar cheese or some chopped green onion on top of the meat portion before topping with the “cover” batter.  🙂

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º. Make up the bread recipe per that recipe’s instructions.  If you like, you could add a little onion powder to the batter, or finely minced green onion, but be sure to add in those carbs if you do!  Toss the chopped beef with the ¼ c. BBQ sauce.  If not using silicone pans, grease your muffin cups generously to prevent sticking. Dip up about 2 tsp. batter into each of your pan’s 12 slots.  This should take about half the batter.   Using a spoon or fork, spread it evenly on the bottom of the form.  Next dip 1 oz (about 1 Tbsp.) chopped beef mixture onto the batter.  Gently spread the meat evenly.  Finally, spoon the remaining batter on top of the meat in each slot (about 2 tsp.).  Again, with the back of a spoon, spread that batter carefully and as evenly as possible.  You want to completely cover the meat as best you can.  There will barely be enough batter to complete the job, so it is important you measure the bottom and top batter as suggested to avoid running out before all 12 “dogs” are “constructed”.  Place silicone pan on a sheet for support and pop into 350º oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned as shown.  ENJOY!  Below is a photo of the pan I used.  Although they still make it (BTW, it is rimmed in metal framing for support, which I really like), it is difficult to find on the internet.  You can make this recipe using muffin pans however.  I stumbled upon these two Chicago Bakeware pans at my local Tuesday Morning store several years ago and snatched them up. 🙂  Other companies make similar pans:  http://www.amazon.com/Purple-Silicone-Sponge-Finger-Bakeware/dp/B00AFRALOS.

Click to enlarge

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 12 “dogs”, each contains:

193 cals, 13.3g fat, 2.71g carbs, 1.05g fiber, 1.66g NET CARBS, 15.7g protein, 145 mg sodium

 

Coconut Crust Fruit “Pizza”

CoconutFruitPizza

This is a very old recipe of mine I modified so it is now suitable for Atkins low-carb.  It’s a pretty dessert that impresses company and yet it is so easy to make!  You make the crust a day ahead and put it all together right before serving.  The crust is very dense (not at all crumbly) and is  easiest eaten with your hands just like pizza rather than a fork!  This recipe is not acceptable for Atkins Induction, but you can enjoy it once you get to the nuts and seeds level of Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  Softening 1-2 oz. cream cheese and blending into the whipped cream is a good variation for this.  But that is not calculated in the nutritional info below.

My favorite version of this dessert is one made with fresh peaches and a few drops of almond extract added to the whipped cream.  Sooooo good!

VARIATION:  Use sliced fresh peaches, use raspberries, use blueberries.  You can also add softened cream cheese to the creamy filling and reduce the whipped cream for a firmer, richer filling. 🙂

CRUST INGREDIENTS:

1  c. unsweetened coconut

1/2 c. chopped almonds

1/3 c. Splenda (or equivalent liquid sweetener)

2 ½ T. low carb bake mix or almond flour (or 1 T. coconut flour)

2 egg whites lightly beaten with a whisk until frothy

1 tsp. almond extract

TOPPING INGREDIENTS: 1 c. heavy cream, 1T. s/f syrup like DaVinci or Torani and 1 pt. fruit.   Alternately you can use only 3/4 c. whipping cream and fold in 1/4 c. softened cream cheese if you like.  You will need to recalculate stats below if you do that, however.

DIRECTIONS: Line a pizza pan with foil.  Grease with butter a 9-10″ circle.  Combine all crust ingredients in a bowl and stir well.  Using fingers, spread and press firmly the coconut crust mixture into a 9-10″ circle on a greased sheet pan.  Bake at 325º for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack.  Refrigerate overnight.

The day you want to serve, place crust on flat cake plate.  Whip cream with a splash of vanilla and sweetener of your choice (I like coconut or vanilla DaVinci sugar free syrup).   Spread whipped cream evenly over coconut crust and top with raspberries, sliced strawberries or if on the fruit rung of OWL, this is good with thinly sliced peaches.  Chill for an hour and then cut into 8 wedges and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 8, each serving (using strawberries) contains:

273 cals, 25g fat, 12g carbs, 5.1g fiber, 6.9g NET CARBS, 5g protein, 43 mg sodium

Taco Shells

Right out of the oven.

For Tacos or Chalupas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taco Shells that are somewhere between a browned pie crust, a cracker and a tortilla in texture.  Useful as a corn tortilla substitute.  They were quite tasty with our chili at lunch today, as well as those eaten alone with a smear of butter on top.   As you can see in the photo, they can be folded over nicely for a “taco shell” while still warm.  But you can also use them flat for making chalupas!  They are ever so slightly chewy in the very center 1″(from the psyllium, no doubt).   You could try browning them more for a crisper center, but be aware the edges are likely to over-brown and taste burned if you cook too long.

FYI, these can be fried, but when I fried some in oil they didn’t taste one bit better, were no crisper and were definitely greasier.  So my preference is to bake them and not have to stand over a hot skillet of oil.  This recipe is not suitable for Atkins Induction.

Cheese Crisps

INGREDIENTS:

Perfect with chili, too!

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

1 T. olive oil

1 egg, beaten

½ c. Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten-Free Bake Mix

½ c. Carbquik

1 T. oat fiber

1½ tsp. psyllium husk powder (I use NOW brand)

We used a spoonful of this for our tacos! Yum!

Dash each onion and garlic powder (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper.  Place mozzarella and Cheddar shreds in a large glass or ceramic bowl and microwave on HI for about 2 minutes to thoroughly melt.  The key to success with this dough is to work quickly every step of the way, while the cheese is soft and pliable.  Remove bowl from microwave and quickly blot excess grease (from Cheddar) off the top with paper towels.  Stir quickly with a fork to blend together to blend.  Add the olive oil and stir again.  Add the dry ingredients and then beaten egg last.  Quickly stir to bring the wet cheese and flours to form a ball of dough, making sure to scrape all cheese/dough off the sides of the bowl as you do so.  Knead with your hand 5-6 times right in the bowl to be sure all ingredients are uniformly mixed.  When it is a smooth ball of dough, form a large log of the dough.  Divide the log in half.  Divide each half in half once again.  And finally, those pieces into halves making a total of eight (hopefully equal) balls of dough about 1½” round.  Roll and press onto your parchment-lined pan, pressing with the butt of your palm to about a 5″ circle (you want it very thin but not tearing anywhere).  Pop pans onto two racks in a 350º oven for about 7-10 minutes or until browned as shown above in the photo.  Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes.  These were great with chili at lunch today.  Just a hint of cheese taste, but any more and I don’t think you could form this into a workable dough, quite frankly.  You can go down that experiment road if you feel inspired.  FYI, cheddar is much harder to work with than mozzy in what is essentially a modification of the Fathead Pizza Dough recipe.  So if you increase cheese, my recommendation would be to increase the mozzy and not the Cheddar.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 taco or chalupa shells,  each contains:

164 cals, 13g fat, 8.15g carbs, 4.92g fiber, 3.23g NET CARBS, 12g protein, 287 mg sodium

Chicken-Sausage Roulades

Chicken-Sausage Roulades

This is an excellent way to use up that dab of cooked spinach that I invariably seem to have leftover every time I cook it.  This dish is quick, easy and so flavorful!  You’ll want to give this a try sometime.  It’s suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  Primal followers can enjoy it but it is not suited to a Paleo lifestyle unless you omit the cheese or sub in a plan suitable creamy binder.

INGREDIENTS: 

9 oz, chicken breast, skinned

2 slices (1 ¾ oz.) Muenster cheese (you can use Swiss or Jack cheese)

2 oz. pork breakfast sausage (or Italian sausage)

¼ c. cooked spinach

Seasoning blend of your choice

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Oil a small baking pan.  Pound the chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap with a meat mallet.  Try not to tear it and strive for ” thickness.  Remove top sheet of plastic.  Cut into 2 equal portions.  Form sausage into two flat oblong pieces and fold the cheese slices around them.  Lay those “logs” in the center of each piece of chicken.  Spoon 2 T. spinach down each “log” of cheese & sausage.  Tightly roll chicken around the log of sausage and cheese.  Lift onto the baking pan, seam down.  Drizzle the roulades with the olive oil and brush with a brush to spread it evenly on the surfaces. Sprinkle the roulades with your favorite seasoning.  I used a blend of Mrs. Dash (original), onion powder and granulated garlic.  Pop into 350º oven for 20 minutes.  Remove and baste all surfaces with the olive oil in the pan (add more if needed).  Return to oven and bake another 15-20 minutes or until firm and golden brown.  Sausage will be done by now and cheese will have begun to run out the ends.  Plate and serve with mashed cauliflower or your preferred vegetable.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

456 cals, 27.9g fat, 1.65g carbs, 0.95g fiber, 0.7g NET CARBS, 48g protein, 913 mg sodium

Indian Curry Leaf Fish on Cauliflower Pilaf

Indian Curry Leaf Broiled Fish on Cauliflower Pilaf

I changed up my usual Indian broiled fish recipe tonight and my husband just LOVED the new ingredient and method of serving.    This dish goes together really fast, so it is an easy meal prep during the summer when it’s hot and you don’t want the oven on long.  If you wish, you can use whole fish for this recipe, but you will want to bake at 350º rather than broil if using whole fish.  If using whole fish, cooking time will be 20-30 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your fish.  This spice mixture would also be good on flounder,  trout or bluefish filets.  This recipe is Induction friendly.

I order my curry leaf powder on-line.  Many spice vendors carry it. If you can’t (or don’t wish to) order it I would substitute 1 tsp. dried mint leaves.

INGREDIENTS FOR CAULI PILAF:

1 small head cauliflower (or 1/2 larger head)

2 T. olive oil

2 oz. red onion, finely minced

2 T. cilantro (I used the stems only)

½ tsp. Garam Masala Spice Blend

1/8 tsp. turmeric

Dash sea salt

DIRECTIONS FOR PILAF:  Cut cauliflower into chunks and pulse in food processor or blender to coarse “rice” stage.  Microwave in covered bowl for 4 minutes, stirring once before removing from microwave.  Set aside a few moments.   Heat olive oil in non-stick pan over high heat and saute onion and cilantro until nearly tender.  Add Garam Masala, turmeric and salt.  Lower heat.  Using a yellow or metal spoon (turmeric will stain white or wooden tools) gently stir in the tender cauliflower rice and mix all  until well-blended.  Turmeric will turn the mixture light yellow.  This is normal and what you want.  Let pan set over lowest heat possible for flavors to mellow while fish is broiling.

INGREDIENTS FOR FISH:

4   Tilapia filets (about 4-5 oz. each) [or fish of choice]

1 tsp. minced ginger root

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 finely chopped jalapeno, seeded and chopped

2 T. chopped cilantro

¼ tsp. turmeric

Dash each of cayenne, black pepper & turmeric

1/2 tsp. curry leaf powder  (or 1 tsp. dried crushed mint leaves)

4 T. unsalted butter, melted

1 T. tomato paste + 3 T. water (or ¼ c. tomato sauce)

FISH DIRECTIONS:  Preheat boiler. Lightly oil or parchment line a medium a baking pan large enough to hold fish in single layer.  Lay filets in the pan white side up.  Mix all other ingredients in a glass or metal bowl.  Do not use a plastic bowl (or your food processor) as the turmeric stains them yellow.  Add HALF the melted butter and mash all the seasonings to blend well in to a thick paste.  Using the back of a spoon, spread seasoning paste evenly on the tops of the 4 filets.   Broil for about 10 minutes, until thickest part of the filets is firming up.  You can bake for about 20 minutes (30 for whole fish) at 350º if you prefer, but I think broiling this is best.  Fast is goodness in my book.  When done, remove and drizzle remaining melted butter on each portion and serve with the cauliflower pilaf as a base, trying to use 1/4 of the pilaf under each of the 4 servings.  This pairs  nicely with my homemade Samosas.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 4, each serving contains:

327.25 cals, 26.15g fat, 5.62g carbs, 2.15g fiber, 3.47g NET CARBS, 24.35g protein, 84.5 mg sodium

Crunchy Parmesan-Boursin Chicken Filets

Crunchy Parmesan-Boursin Chicken Filets

This simple dish will really please your family.  It’s almost effortless to make if you have some of my Shawarma Mayo made up (I always keep it on hand in my fridge).  You can use regular homame mayo, but it won’t come out quite as good, as the Shawarma mayo linked in the recipe really is quite good with Boursin cheese.  This can be ready in 30 minutes or less! Truly delicious and suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal-Paleo as well.

INGREDIENTS:

24 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, in 4 nice portions

4 T. my homemade Shawarma Mayonnaise

4 T. Boursin Garlic-Herb cheese (or garlic-herb Alouette cheese)

1 oz. pork rinds

½ c. parsley, chopped

¼ tsp. each black pepper, garlic powder & onion powder

¼ c. Parmesan cheese (any variety will work)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer or mallet, pound the 4 breast filets between 2 sheets plastic wrap to flatten them a bit using the flat side of a meat tenderizer or mallet.  Real thin is NOT necessary here, just flatten them so they aren’t too thick for fastest baking. Place filets on an oiled baking pan making sure they are not touching.  Brush each with 1 T. of the Shawarma Mayo.  Then dot each with 1 T. of the Boursin cheese.  Place all remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse to make a nice crumb mixture.  Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the chicken filets and pop pan  in 350º oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:     Makes 4 servings, each contains:

500 cals. 29.3g fat, 1.5g carbs, 0.22g fiber, 1.29g NET CARBS, 59.5g protein, 975 mg sodium

Blueberry Muffins

blueberry0031

We love blueberry muffins so you KNOW I had to try to make them low-carb.  Originally, I did this recipe for a loaf bread, but decided to make them a second time as muffins.  That works much better for this batter.  🙂  These have a real good flavor and are very moist and light.  So many low-carb baked goods are too dense for my liking.  Not so with these.  This recipe is not acceptable until you reach the grains rung of Atkins OWL (ongoing weight loss phase) when you are nearing goal weight.

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. golden flax meal

½ c. Jennifer Eloff Vital Ultimate Bake Mix (click for her recipe)

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

6 T. Splenda, granular

1 pkt. stevia powder

2 eggs, beaten

½ c. water

2 T. coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla

¾ c. freeze-dried, frozen or fresh blueberries

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º and place 8 paper liners into a muffin tin.  Measure dry ingredients into mixing bowl.  Beat in eggs, water, coconut oil and vanilla.  Beat batter about a minute until it is smooth.  Gently fold in berries and using a spoon or 2T. measuring cup, carefully fill the paper cups evenly.  They will be about 3/4 full with batter.  Pop into preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes.  You can also do this in a greased loaf pan (won’t rise much though) and if done as a loaf, bake for about 25 minutes or until center springs back when touched.  Slice into 8 slices.  Serve warm.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 slices or 8 muffins, each contains:

130 cals, 9.56g fat, 7.18g carbs, 2.84g fiber, 4.34g NET CARBS, 5.2g protein, 160 mg sodium

Mini Meatloaves

Mini Meatloaves

You just can’t go wrong with meatloaf!  But some nights you just don’t want to wait until a large meatloaf cooks.  That’s when I do what I call mini meatloaves, in the skillet.  These are quick to put together and just as good as the slow cooked larger version.  These are suitable for all phases of Atkins.

INGREDIENTS:

1.5 lb. lean ground beef (or 1 lb. beef+½ lb. ground pork)

2 oz. yellow onion, chopped

2 oz. green pepper, chopped

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 c. parsley

1 egg, beaten (or 2, if you want to omit the flax meal below)

1 T. flax meal soaked in 3 T. water (or a water-moistened crumbled low-carb biscuit/roll, or 1T. ground chia soaked 10 min in 3-4 T. water)

2 T. Parmesan cheese, grated (more if you like)

1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

1 T. bacon grease or oil of choice for frying

4 oz. can tomato sauce (no added sugar)

DIRECTIONS:  Soak flax meal or chia, if using, in water in a small bowl for about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally as it thickens up.   While it is soaking, add all other ingredients (but tomato sauce and oil) to a food processor or blender and pulse to mix well, until vegetables are chopped really fine (why I pre-chop them).  Add soaked flax meal and pulse la couple more times to incorporate it well.  Using water-dampened damp hands, form mixture into 6 thick patties resembling miniature meatloaves, slightly rounded on one side.   Heat oil in skillet on high heat and brown the meatloaves on all sides until they are nearly done.  Add tomato sauce to skillet, scraping up brown bits from frying as you stir it in.  Put lid on skillet and simmer low for about 10 minutes or until meat is thoroughly cooked.  Serve with tomato gravy on top of each portion.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 6 servings, each 4 oz. serving has:

349 cals, 22.9g fat, 4.27g carbs, 1.1g fiber, 3.17g NET CARBS, 30.2g protein, 588 mg. sodium

Bunless Sriracha Cream Burgers

A simple, quick, delicious meal for week nights when you’re tired.  These meat patties and sauce will only take 30 minutes to prepare!   And is this ever good!  This recipe is one you’ll find yourself making again and again.  There’s not enough Sriracha in the sauce to make this too hot for most people, but add it last to taste, as always.  This recipe is suited to all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, and Primal Blueprint.  Use coconut milk instead of the cream if you follow a Paleo lifestyle.

MEAT INGREDIENTS:

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

6 oz. breakfast pork sausage

1 tsp. my homemade Montreal Steak Spice Blend

1 tsp. no-salt lemon pepper (I use Victoria Gourmet brand)

1/4 tsp. Dad’s Poultry Seasoning (or your preferred brand)

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

4 T. butter, melted

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

¼ tsp. xanthan gum (or your preferred thickener)

1/3 c. green onion, chopped fine

2 tsp. Sriracha sauce

Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:  In a large bowl, mix the two meats and 3 spices listed.  Form into 4 patties and place in a hot non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown nicely on both sides.  Wile they cook, in a small saucepan, melt the butter, add the cream, water and green onion and bring to a light simmer.  Dust with the xanthan gum or your favorite thickener and whisk it in, simmering on low heat until the sauce thickens.  Add the Sriracha gradually and taste as you go, stopping when it is spicy to your liking.  Serve patties with 1/4 of the sauce over each serving.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 adult servings, each contains: (form 5 patties to lower cals. & fat)

575 calories, 50.7 g fat, 2.65 g carbs, 0.62 g fiber, 2.03 g NET CARBS, 29.3 g protein, 440 mg sodium

 

Southern “Potato” Cakes

Click to enlarge
Southern “Potato” Cakes

We low-carbers know you can’t eat white potatoes on a low-carb plan.  However you can get creative with jicama and other vegetables and get that potato taste when fried.  These “potato” cakes stay crunchy as jicama is quite crunchy even after cooking.  The flavor is VERY close to real potatoes when cooked this way.  This recipe is OK for Induction.  You can also do this with grated, peeled turnip or rutabaga, but recalculate carbs if you change.  When you get to the OWL starchy veggie rung, using rutabaga is the best in these! 🙂  I have since original publishing, added the flax meal and resistant wheat starch.  These are optional, but really improve these in flavor and texture for me and I intend to include them always, so I have included in the nutritional info numbers below.  Those 2 added ingredients only increase net carbs by .17 g and boost calories from 47 to 53 per cake, so that is negligible and well worth the inclusion for what they bring to these “Potato” Cakes.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz jicama, grated (or daikon radish, or turnip, or rutabaga)

1/4 c. onion, grated

1 whole egg + 1 small egg white (I used 2 T. carton egg whites)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

Dash black pepper

2 T. bacon grease, or oil of your choice

1 T. flax meal (optional)

1 T. Resistant wheat starch (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Skin/peel back the brown outer skin of your jicama. Weigh out 12 oz. and grate. Pat out any moisture with paper towels and place grated jicama into a medium bowl.  Add all other ingredients and stir well. Put unused jicama in a ziploc bag in fridge for some other use.  Melt grease/oil in non-stick skillet over high heat.   Using fork or spoon, dip half the mixture into 5 portions onto the hot skillet, spreading it out fairly thin into 2½” patties patties.  Brown nicely on both sides.  I serve with my morning eggs and bacon/sausage or as a dinner side.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Makes 10 potato cakes, each has:

53 cals, 3.55g fat,4.19g carbs, 2.27g fiber,1.92g NET CARBS, 1.39g  protein, 30 mg. sodium