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

002

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. CarbQuick 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

Pork Chops with Roasted Poblano Gravy

Pork Chops in Poblano GravyI picked up a couple of medium-size poblano peppers at the store yesterday as I wanted to make a creamy sauce for some pretty pork chops.  I added a mashed avocado to my sauce, which added nutrients, but absolutely no flavor whatsoever and I will not add it in future.  Waste of a good avocado in my opinion.  😉

This recipe was quite tasty if you like the taste of poblanos.  As a rule, these peppers are not spicy hot, especially when you roast them as I did for this recipe.  Although there are the occasional hot ones out there.  However, that has only happened to me one time in 45+ years of cooking with them.

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal followers.  Use coconut milk instead of the cream for Paleo dining.

Variation:  Substitute 2 portions of seared boneless chicken breast or chicken thighs for the pork.

INGREDIENTS:

2  medium poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded, cut into halves

2   pork chops (mine were 7-oz bone-in)

1-2 tsp. bacon grease

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ c. chopped cilantro

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. chicken broth (I use homemade)

Dash each salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  In a skillet, melt the bacon grease and cook the pork chops until brown on both sides and thoroughly done.  Remove to a platter for now.

Preheat oven to 375º.  Stem, seed and cut pepper into halves lengthwise.  Place cut side down on a baking pan and roast for about 20 minutes.  Peel as much of the papery skin off as you can get off. Cut into ¼” strips and set aside.

In the skillet you seared the meat in, add the garlic, pepper, cilantro, salt, pepper and saute over medium heat for a few minutes.  Add the chicken broth and reduce heat to medium-low.  Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes.  Replace chops on top and allow them to reheat on low fire.  Serve with half the gravy dipped over each chop.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 adult servings, each contains:

552 cals, 39.3g fat, 5.4g carbs, 1.3g fiber, 4.1g NET CARBS, 41.7g protein, 239 mg sodium

 

Stuffed Focaccia

Stuffed Focaccia

I wanted something Italian tonight, but not pizza and not pasta.  So I decided to try a stuffed focaccia.  GOOD decision, as this came out VERY good!

variation, add a few sliced black olives, but I didn’t have any on hand.

Before Cutting
Before Cutting

This recipe is suitable for Phase 2 Atkins, Keto diets, Primal folks if consumed only occasionally.  This recipe is only suitable for Paleo if you use a plan suitable bread.

VARIATION:  Add a few sliced black olives to the filling

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef (or ½ beef and ½ Italian sausage removed from casings)

½ tsp. total Italian Spice blend

½ c. almond flour

¼ c. golden flax meal

¼ c. plain whey protein powder

1 tsp. baking powder

3 T. cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs, beaten

1½ c. shredded white mild cheese (I used a combo of Monterey Jack & Mozzarella)

1 tsp. cider vinegar

1 T. heavy cream

1 T. water

1 tsp. yeast dissolved in another 1 T. warm water (optional, for flavor)

FILLING:  6 oz. sliced mozzarella cheese + 1/4 tsp. Italian Spice Blend

TIP:  If you are not gluten-free, I find 1 T. oat fiber added improves this bread’s texture greatly.  But remember, oat fiber is NOT 100% gluten-free.

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Brown the beef in a skillet.  Add half of the Italian Spice and a dash garlic powder if you like.  Stir well, remove from heat and set aside.

Soften cream cheese in medium mixing bowl in microwave.  Beat in the eggs, cream, water, vinegar, both cheeses and dissolved yeast (if using).  Measure and add in all the dry ingredients and stir well with a rubber spatula. Line an 8 x 11 pan (I used metal) with parchment paper or silicone sheet.  Spoon up around 1/2 of the batter onto the paper and spread to a thin layer with a fork. Batter will be about ¼” thick.  Use 9 x 13 pan for thinner stuffed focaccia results.

Drain meat of any excess grease and spread evenly on bottom layer of batter.  Place the sliced mozzarella cheese on next.  Sprinkle with the rest of the Italian Spice blend.  Dot with the remaining batter, spreading with a fork as best as you can, but it doesn’t have to be perfect coverage.  As it will spread out a bit during baking.  Pop into 350º oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until dry to the touch in the center and lightly browned.  Cool 3-4 minutes and cut into 6 equal portions.  Lift carefully with spatula, avoiding parchment on bottom and serve with a nice green salad on the side.  Store leftovers covered in the pan or in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.  Goes well with a green, tossed salad with a light vinaigrette dressing.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 large slices, each contains:

487 calories

37 g  fat

5.61 g carbs, 2.43 g fiber, 3.18 g NET CARBS

36.3 g protein

558 mg sodium

Beef Stroganoff

 

IMG_4983
Shown over Al Dente’s Carba-Nada egg fettucine noodles

This is how I usually put this famous dish together…..pretty simple, actually.  Takes under an hour to prepare. We low-carbers can serve it over low-carb noodles (I can highly recommend Al Dente’s “Carba-Nada” fettucini noodles), shredded stir-fried cabbage or mashed cauliflower.  I don’t care for it much on zucchini noodles, but you might like it that way.   This recipe is suitable for Induction if served over the cauli-mash and the red wine is omitted.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. sirloin steak, trimmed & cut in thin strips

4 T. butter, unsalted

4 oz. onion, chopped

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

1 c. beef broth (or deglaze the skillet with water)

¼ c. red wine (omit if still in Atkins Induction)

½ c. sour cream

xanthan gum or your favorite thickener

Low-carb noodles or veggie “noodles” of your choice

DIRECTIONS:  In a large non-stick skillet or wok, brown the onion.  Add meat strips and continue searing until nicely browned.  Add mushrooms at this point.  Saute for a few more minutes until they, too, are done.  Lower heat to lowest setting.  Add beef broth & red wine.  Simmer 5-10 minutes to blend flavors.  Cover with lid and simmer (or bake at 350º ) for 30 minutes or so.  Check and stir occasionally during cooking.  Slightly thicken with a very light dusting of xanthan gum or your favorite thickener, whisking continuously between additions.    Right before serving, with fire off, remove lid and gently stir in sour cream.  Lower heat and simmer just a few minutes.  Do not let boil after adding sour cream or it can curdle and be visually off-putting.  Serve over buttered stir-fried cabbage shreds, cooked zucchini noodles, Carba-Nada noodles or mashed/riced cauliflower.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Please note the numbers below do not reflect the veggie or noodles you serve this on.  The numbers below are for the meat sauce only.

Serves 4, with each serving containing:

344 calories

21.9 g  fat

5.6 g  carbs, 83 g  fiber. 4.82 NET CARBS

28.8 g  protein

313 mg. sodium

Orange Marmalade

orangmarm0012

I reached for some sugar-free marmalade the other day and hubby had used it all up without telling me so I could replenish.  I really wanted some for my low-carb toast, so I grabbed my last 3 California naval oranges out of the refrigerator crisper and decided I was gonna try to make a batch.  The result was pretty good, so I’ll share with you here.  This recipe is not suitable until the fruit rung of the OWL ladder.  I like to add 1 drop each red/yellow food coloring to mine, but this is not necessary.  And it goes without saying this can be turned into lime marmalade, or lemon marmalade by substituting about 6 lemons or limes for the recipe.  If you’ve never had lime and lemon, you’re in for a real treat!  Be prepared to have to increase the sweetener for lemon and lime marmalade.

INGREDIENTS:

3 medium oranges

Orange juice from 3 oranges (I got about 1 cup)

Peeling from 3 oranges (about 1½-2 cups)

Water to equal 2½ cups total liquid with the juice above

1 c. granular erythritol sweetener

½ c. granular Splenda  (use liquid Splenda to lower carbs nearly half what is shown below)

1 packet (9 grams) unflavored gelatin

DIRECTIONS:  Wash oranges and slice off all the peeling in largish pieces, trying to get as little of the white membrane as possible.  This membrane will make your final marmalade a bit more bitter/intense.  I am perhaps unique in that I actually like a slightly bitter/not-too-sweet marmalade, but most do not.  Cut peeling into matchstick slivers and if you like, place in food processor or blender and pulse to chop as fine as you like it.

Now cut the oranges in half and squeeze out as much juice and pulp as you can, avoiding any section membrane getting into the juice.  I do this with my hands, but you can use a strainer if you prefer.  Take care to not get seeds into the mix.  Add enough water to equal a total of 2½ cups liquid.  Place juice/water mixture into a saucepan along with sweeteners, gelatin and peel and stir to dissolve.  Turn on burner to medium and cook/stirring for about 5-10 minutes.  Turn off fire, add red/yellow food coloring if desired to make it more orange.  Chill a bit before spooning into 4 small jelly jars (I got mine into 3 jars).  Will get thicker overnight in the refrigerator.  You may have to stir the marmalade a bit right before serving if the peeling bits are fairly coarse/large, as the larger they are, the more they tend to sink before the gelatin sets.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4-4½ cups or 36 servings of 2T. each.  Each serving contains:

11.33 cals, 0.03g fat, 2.35g carbs, 0.58g fiber, 1.77g NET CARBS, 0.63g  protein

Indian Chicken Tandoori & Roasted Vegetables (Sheet Pan)

This dish goes together in 30 minutes and can be on the table in no time with a convection oven feature on your oven.  Just marinate the chicken a half hour, cut the veggies up into your sheet pan and it cooks itself…….REALLY!  My kind of meal, as my regular readers know.  I’m such a lazy cook! This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto programs, Paleo and Primal Blueprint as well!  You can make it as spicy as you like, increasing the Tandoori spice and curry powder, but I’ve kept this recipe fairly “tame” as that suits my palate.

INGREDIENTS: 

2 large chicken thighs, bone-in

1 large chicken breast, cut into 3 portions (they’re so big nowadays)

2/3 c. sour cream (or yogurt)

1 tsp. each curry and tandoori powders

1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

6 oz. sweet onion (I used yellow and red), cut into wedges

3 oz. red bell pepper, cut 1″ pieces

10 oz. eggplant, cut in large cubes (about 1-1½”)

1 very small head cauliflower (yield about 2½c. florets)

3 Roma tomatoes, cut into 4 wedges

1 tsp. minced ginger root

¼ c. cilantro chopped

Dash black pepper

¼ tsp. sea salt

2 tsp. my Garam Masala

DIRECTIONS:  In a large mixing bowl, measure out the sour cream or yogurt.  Add the tandoori and curry powders.  Stir well to blend.  Dip each piece of the chicken into the mixture, coating well on all surfaces.  Place bowl in fridge for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, Preheat convection oven to 350º (375º for a regular oven).  Place the EV Olive Oil into a large baking sheet pan.  Cut the eggplant into 1-1½” cubes (I do not peel mine) and put it in the pan.  Cut onions, separate the segments and add to the pan.  Cut red bell pepper into 1″ pieces and add to the pan.  Add the cauliflower pieces as well.  Next add the ginger, Garam Masala spice, salt and pepper.   With a spoon or rubber spatula, stir all so the vegetables get well-coated with the oil and spices.  Add the tomato wedges last and toss once or twice, very gently.  Lay the chicken pieces on top of the vegetable melange and sprinkle all with the chopped cilantro.  Pop into a hot 350º convection oven (or 375º regular oven) and bake under convection for about 40 minutes; for about 1 hour in a regular oven, or until meat is properly done.  Please check before time is up, as ovens, convection or not, can vary quite a bit.  Remove and serve with your favorite low-carb flat bread (if you can fit it into your daily number limits).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 5 servings, each contains:

410.2 cals, 29.66g fat, 12.04g carbs, 3.96g fiber, 8.08g NET CARBS, 24.52g protein, 461g sodium

 

 

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits

Well these certainly came out delicious!  The hubs said he really liked them.  I wanted the taste of buttermilk in a biscuit and had not tried that to date.  I’m pleased with the resulting biscuits, which are not grainy, crumbly or dense like so many low-carb biscuits.  These are actually pretty light.   This recipe was inspired by one posted by “EnglishLit” on Low Carb Friends forums.  I have changed it up quite a bit, but the basic flour she begins with is unchanged in this version.  This recipe is not suitable until you reach the grains level of the Atkins carb re-introduction ladder.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. CarbQuik bake mix (or other low-carb mix)

2 tsp. baking powder

1 T. egg white protein powder (optional rise booster)

1 tsp. glucomannan powder (or xanthan gum)

½ c. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

1 egg, beaten (use 2 eggs if you omit the egg white protein above)

4 T. sour cream

4 T. melted butter

1 c. 2% buttermilk

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 425º.  Oil an ebilskiver or turnover pan, muffin pan, muffin-top pan, or parchment line a baking sheet.

Mix dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Stir in the cheese shreds.  In a small bowl, beat the egg, sour cream, butter and buttermilk together with a whisk.  Scrape the wet ingredients into the dry and mix/wold well with a rubber spatula to form a nice ball of dough that is mildly wet.  Form into eight equal portions, shaping them taller than flatter if using s sheet pan.  Place into oiled pan slots or equally spaced on your baking sheet.   Pop into 425º oven for 12-15 minutes. Watch them closely after the 12 minute mark, as ovens vary.   Slice and butter or serve with jams of your choosing.

NUTRITONAL INFO:   Makes 8 biscuits, each contains:

127.4 calories, 12.9g fat, 8.58g carbs, 5.46g fiber, 3.12g NET CARBS, 6.7g protein, 307 mg sodium

Chicken-Eggplant Parmigiana Casserole

Chicken Eggplant Parmegiana Casserole

If you love Italian food, you are really going to LOVE this dish!  So tasty!  This casserole  was created with leftover cooked chicken breast meat I had in the refrigerator and a small amount of cooked spaghetti sauce and some commercial no-sugar sauce I wanted to use up.  I bought a beautiful eggplant yesterday and some mushrooms, so I created a quick Parmigiana casserole.  You can just omit the ‘shrooms if you’re not a fan.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Primal followers that eat occasional cheese.  This meal would not be suitable for Paleo diners.

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz. cooked chicken meat, cut in bite size pieces

2 T. olive oil

6 oz. mushrooms, sliced

5 oz. eggplant, sliced 1/4″ thick (I do not peel)

¼ c. low-carb spaghetti sauce (I use Lucini with no added sugar)

3/4 c. homemade spaghetti sauce   [or all homemade, or all Luccini]

6 oz. Mozzarella cheese, grated

½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

½ tsp. dried oregano (or 1 tsp. fresh, chopped)

¼ tsp. dried basil (or 1 tsp. fresh, chopped)

¼ tsp. dried rosemary (or ½ tsp. fresh, chopped)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 400º. Use a small amount of the oil to grease your casserole dish and a small baking sheet.  Place eggplant on baking sheet and bake at 400º for about 15 minutes, turning once during this pre-cooking.  Remove from oven and lower temperature to 350º.

In a non-stick skillet, saute the mushroom slices in the rest of the olive oil. Place eggplant in a single layer on the bottom of your greased casserole dish.  Top with the shredded chicken meat.  Spoon half the spaghetti sauce over the meat. Sprinkle on half the Parmesan and half the mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle with half the spices.  Spoon on the remainder of the sauce. Sprinkle on the rest of the two cheeses and the last of the spices.  Top with the sauteed mushroom and pop into your 350º oven for about 30-35 minutes or until cheese is melted and the casserole is hot hot in the center.  Serve with your favorite salad or green vegetable and some garlic bread made with low-carb bread.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

427 calories, 26.1 g  fat, 10.4 g  carbs, 2.98 g  fiber, 7.42 g  NET CARBS, 38 g  protein, 270 mg sodium

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are moist, dense cake-like in texture, and incredibly tasty!  My picky husband really liked these, and he usually isn’t too fond of low-carb desserts.  These are not Induction friendly due to the almond flour and nuts.  Sometimes I leave out the chopped nuts to lower calorie/carb count even more.

VARIATION:  If you like a chewier cookie, use the sugar-free honey (I use Honeytree from Walmart) instead of the DaVinci vanilla syrup.   For a crunchier cookie, bake them longer/browner.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. almond flour

¼ c. + 2T. unsweetened, plain whey protein

1 tsp. baking soda

½ c. chopped nuts

½ c. sugar-free chocolate chips

¼ c. granular Splenda

4 T. erythritol sweetener

3 T. melted, unsalted butter

1 egg, beaten

¼ c. sugar free honey+1 tsp. vanilla (about 1/4 c. DaVinci Vanilla sugar-free syrup, added slowly and just enough to create a thick batter)

1 T. water (omit if you used Davinci syrup)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl.  Add all wet ingredients.  Blend well and let batter sit for a couple minutes to firm up.  Spoon onto greased or non-stick baking sheet in 1″ globs.  They don’t spread out much when cooking, so I slightly  flattened with my fingers, but not too much.  Bake for about 12 minutes at 350º.  Cool on cloth or racks.  I got exactly 26 cookies.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 26 cookies, each contains:

55.85 cals, 4.79g fat, 2.04g carbs,0.84g fiber, 1.2g NET CARBS, 1.8g protein, 54 mg. sodium

Cheesy “Hash Browns”

Cheese
        Shown with sausage added

We’ve all tasted and love that well-known hash brown casserole.  I certainly see no reason we low-carbing folks can’t still have it even though we can’t eat those real hash browns.  The only changes needed here were substituting cauliflower for the potatoes and a low-carb mushroom soup for commercial soup, thus making it OK for Induction.  This is also great with crumbled, cooked pork sausage on top!  I keep a double batch of this soup made up in my freezer all the time, frozen in plastic drink cups in 1 cup amounts.  It’s awfully convenient to just pop one out and defrost or put it right into the simmering pot.  Here’s my recipe with necessary low-carb changes.  This is Induction friendly, too!  Sometimes I add 1 lb. browned pork sausage to this and turn it into a main dish (as shown above)  No meat is calculated into the nutritional info below, however.  This is such a large recipe I cook a half recipe unless I have company.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c.  finely chopped green onion

1 c.  (4oz) grated cheddar cheese

2 T.  butter melted

1/4  tsp. pepper

1 head fresh cauliflower, cooked & chopped (or 3 10 oz. pkgs. frozen, thawed, drained, coarsely chopped)

1/2 c. sour cream

1 c.  Dottie’s Mushroom Soup for Recipes

OPTIONAL GARNISH:  sprinkle top with paprika before baking

DIRECTIONS:  Thaw the frozen (or cook the fresh) cauliflower & drain well.  Preheat oven to 350º.   If adding sausage, brown it in a skillet.  Mix first 7 ingredients in a bowl and stir in the sausage if using. Spray glass baking dish.  Pour mixture into greased dish and bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until bubbly and “hash browns” are tender but not reduced to mush.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 9   1-cup servings, each has:  (does not include sausage)

190   calories, 15.94 g  fat, 7.36 g  carbs, 2.78 g  fiber, 4.58 NET CARBS, 6.28 g  protein

Master Cook® Compatibility!

I’m very pleased to share with my regular followers that one of my readers just informed me the old theme on my website for many years did not allow her to download directly to her MasterCook® software.  Not sure why though.  The new site theme installed a couple months ago is now allowing her to download my recipes to her MasterCook®!  She is very happy and so am I!  I changed themes to get more colorful/visible links, as they were dark green on the old theme and a little difficult to see until you hovered directly over them with your mouse.  The new light blue links embedded in my recipes now stand out quite nicely the minute you open up the recipe!  All goodness for all of us.

Greek Chicken & Spinach

Greek Chicken & Spinach

This chicken I’ve made for many years, but tonight I got the idea to add bacon to this dish and well,  we really liked that addition!  This goes well with a Greek salad but I have served it with broccoli and sauteed leeks as well.  I make my own Cavender’s Greek Seasoning, but you can use Cavender’s no-salt Seasoning if available.  Otherwise, just black pepper, thyme and oregano.  This recipe is Induction friendly.

This dish doesn’t freeze too well as the homemade mayo tends to separate upon freezing and reheating.

INGREDIENTS:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach

½ c. Feta cheese, crumbled and rinsed well with cold water in strainer.

2 oz. onion, chopped

¼ Parmesan cheese

pinch dill

1 c. total my homemade mayonnaise:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2009/07/27/homemade-mayonnaise/

4 slices finely chopped bacon

½ tsp. my homemade Cavender’s Greek Seasoning

½ c. crushed plain pork rinds

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 400º.  Cut chicken breasts in half, making 8 pieces.  Using 1/4 c. of the mayo, baste each piece of chicken on both sides and set aside.  If using whole pieces of bone-in chicken, make several slits in the flesh with a knife first to speed up cooking time.  In a medium bowl, stir spinach, Feta cheese, chopped onion, dill and Cavender’s seasoning.  Add 3/4 c. of the mayo and stir well.

Pour spinach mixture into baking dish (no need to grease pan).   Now place chicken pieces on top of the spinach mixture.  Sprinkle pork rinds and Parmesan over the pieces of chicken.  Place the finely chopped bacon over entire dish, being sure some gets on each piece of chicken.    Place in 400º oven and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes.   For a faster-cooking dish that will be ready in only 45 minutes, pound chicken breasts with mallet before brushing with mayo.   This dish is chock full of nutrients, including 168% of selenium, 129% vitamin B12, 110% riboflavin recommended daily requirements!  And lots more other good stuff!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings of 2 pieces of chicken each.  Each serving contains:

734 calories, 63.5 g  fat, 5.25 g  carbs, 2.75 g  fiber, 2.40 g  NET CARBS, 46.6 g  protein, 655 mg. sodium

Indian Cashew Chicken Curry

Cachew Chicken Curry

This curry recipe is quite unique in flavor from any others I’ve made.  The fenugreek is what makes the difference.  If you’re a curry fan, you will want to give this delicious recipe a try.   I have had my jar of fenugreek for some time.  I bought it for Iranian cuisine, which uses fenugreek often.  I had this notion to try it in an Indian curry and WOW!  Great decision!  An added note:  despite the pepper(s) in this, the final dish is NOT too spicy.  As always, I don’t like food too spicy and you won’t find many on my blog that are.  Something about cooking Indian recipes seems to tone down jalapeno and cayenne in the final dish.  Not sure why, it just does.  This recipe is suitable for Phase 2 of Atkins and beyond, and Keto diets as well.  Omit cashews or use almonds for Atkins Induction folks.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. coconut oil (or butter)

16 oz. chicken breast, boned, skin removed, cut into big chunks

4 oz. onion, sliced

1 jalapeno, seeded and slivered (will not be hot in the final dish)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. black pepper (a key flavor in this recipe yet too too hot)

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (final dish was NOT hot)

1 tsp. fenugreek seed, ground

Dash salt

¼ tsp. my Garam Masala

Dash turmeric (1-2 shakes from a shaker)

3/4 c. heavy cream

½ c. chicken broth

2 oz. cashew nuts (raw or roasted is OK)

3 Roma tomatoes, cut in chunks

1/8 tsp. xanthan gum (optional, if you want it thicker)

Garnish with a sprig of cilantro if you like

DIRECTIONS:   Melt coconut oil over high heat in a non-stick wok or skillet.  Add chicken and saute to brown on all sides.  Add onion and saute until it, too, begins to brown.  Add slivered jalapeno and garlic.  Add all spices, cream and chicken broth, nuts and tomatoes.  Lower heat to LOW and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until flavors have had a chance to meld.  Serve alone or over steamed cauliflower rice.  For those not low-carbing at your table, I would offer a bowl of steamed basmati rice.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 5 servings, each contains:  (does not include cauli-rice or basmati rice)

353 cals, 19g fat, 9.40g carbs, 1.48g fiber, 8.92g NET CARBS, 34.4g protein, 457 mg sodium

Spinach Mayonado with Sausage Meatballs

Spinach Mayonado (optional meatballs)

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

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

6 T. my Shawarma Homemade Mayonnaise

1 avocado

16 oz. bag of frozen, chopped spinach

Water to cover spinach

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 3 servings, each contains:

468 cals, 48g fat, 12.03g carbs, 8.66g fiber, 3.37g NET CARBS, 15.2g protein, 453 mg sodium

 

Einkorn Cake Donuts

Low-Carb Cake Donuts

I modified my original cake donut recipe to make an Einkorn flour version.  I’m very pleased with the results.  I don’t seem to see this recipe up on my blog, although I have in my hand a printed copy of it posted on May 4 2014, so I know it was there at some time in the past.  I do see my original Cake Donut recipe via my site search feature, just not the Einkorn version.  Strange indeed.  Perhaps it is in the Twilight Zone.

We prefer plain, unadorned donuts, but you can frost if you prefer.  These are a bit softer in texture than my first donut recipe.  These donuts are not suitable for Atkins Induction but are OK once you get to Phase 2 OWL, grains level, if you can fit the macro numbers into your daily limits.  See the WHERE TO BUY tab above for unusual ingredient source suggestions.

INGREDIENTS: 

1/2 c. oat fiber

1/2 c. coconut flour

½ c. plain, unsweetened whey protein powder

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

¼ c. Einkorn all-purpose flour

1 T. baking powder

1 T. glucomannan powder (or xanthan gum)

½ tsp. salt(omit if using salted butter)

1¼ tsp. ground nutmeg(preferably fresh, grated)

1 pkt. stevia powder

½ c. Splenda (or equivalent your favorite sweetener)

½ c. granular erythritol

3 T. unsalted butter, melted

3 large eggs, beaten

3 T. Monin, DaVinci or Torani vanilla sugar-free syrup

½ c. heavy cream (or coconut milk)

½ c. water

OPTIONAL:  Low-carb frosting of your choice (not included in macros below)

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 well.   Add cream, water, sugar-free vanilla syrup and melted butter.  Stir well until batter is smooth.  Batter will be quite thick so you may want to use a silicone spatula.  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 water-moistened 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 low-carb frosting of your choosing.

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

124 calories, 9.38g fat, 10.50g carbs, 5.47g fiber, 5.03g NET CARBS, 7.48g protein, 240 mg sodium

Mandarin Orange Cheesecake Pudding

I got this idea from a cheesecake pudding recipe of Linda Genaw I have made many, many times.  I have added a little ricotta cheese to her basic recipe, Increased the whipped cream and added gelatin (to firm it up) to make up for the lower amount of cream cheese.  The flavoring I chose for this version was mandarin orange.  It was yummy!  My husband and I loved this one!  This recipe is suitable for all Atkins phases and all keto diets.  Not suitable for Paleo due to all the dairy products.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. heavy cream

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

½ c. ricotta cheese

½ c. sour cream

½ c. Splenda granular or equivalent of your favorite sweetener

Liquid sweetener (I used Splenda) to bring to your desired taste

10 drops Boyajian Pure Orange Oil

1 tsp. unflavored gelatin powder

3 T. madarin orange juice drained from can

2 c. canned mandarin oranges, drained (reserving 3 T. for dissolving gelatin)

DIRECTIONS:  Whip the heavy cream in a medium mixing bowl to nice soft peak stage.  Set aside.  Open and drain canned mandarin oranges reserving 3 T. of the juice to dissolve gelatin in.  Place the orange sections in a food processor or blender.  Process the fruit until smooth.  Bring the 3 T. mandarin orange juice to a boil, add gelatin and stir until dissolved.  To the processor or blender, add all remaining ingredients.  Process until all is well blended.  Spoon into eight 1-cup ramekins or serving dishes of choice.  Optional garnish (not included in nutritional stats): 1-2 extra orange sections if desired. Chill for at least 1-2 hours or until it firms up nicely.

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

369 cals, 34g fat, 9.26g carbs, 0.56g fiber, 8.7g NET CARBS, 8.37g protein, 119mg sodium

Flat Bread (low-carb)

This recipe I have been working on awhile.  Texture is chewy like an Indian chapati; flavor very similar to a whole flour chapati.  And best of all……yay! no coconut taste!  Man, I love coconut, but I just really get tired of that feint coconut taste in everything I bake.  It is excellent hot with just butter, will work well with your favorite curry recipes, or for rolling or dipping into some hummus or Syrian Za’atar herb/oil mixture well-known throughout the Middle East.  I think any way you decide to serve it, this bread will come very close to your expectations.  See variation notes below for making tortillas with this batter and their nutritional numbers if you do this as tortillas.

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 it.  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.

Although this can be used as an Indian chapati substitute (flavor is very similar), I’m presently working on a chapati recipe that will cook up even thinner and have more of a whole wheat taste, hopefully.  Stay tuned!

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 or your favorite Middle Eastern foods.

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:  Can be used to make 10 tortillas.  Simply divide dough into TEN portions, roll as thin as possible, cook the same way.  For 10 tortillas, each tortilla would have 126 cals, 11g fat, 13.37g carbs, 7.7g fiber, 5.67g NET CARBS, 4.8g protein, 180 mg sodium

 

 

 

Blueberry Fat Bombs

00111-1

If you’re looking to up your fat intake on a ketogenic diet, I can’t think of a tastier way to do that than Fat Bombs!  Some are like eating fudge, some more like ice cream, and some are more like candy, but what all types have in common is THEY ARE DELICIOUS!  I keep my lemon-coconut version and this recipe chocolate version  in the freezer at all times, but do get tired of just the two flavors all the time.  Today I decided to try a blueberry version!  Made them two different ways: with whole berries; and with pureed berries. Not sure which is my fav, but I think the pureed version makes for nicer eye candy.  🙂

I just bought a large carton of blueberries this week and modified my lemon-coconut fat bomb recipe, making the obvious changes for this fruit.   These came out delicious!  I confess the pureed version was a little grainy, but blueberries don’t get all their lovely fiber count from nowhere, ya know.  But the taste was delightful.  As with all fat bombs, you have to eat them straight out of the freezer, as they melt quickly in your hands.  These are suitable for Atkins Phase 2, OWL once you get to the berries level of the carb ladder.  They are OK for Primal, but not Paleo.  Below is a pic of the silicone ice-cube trays I used.  Of course, you can use other silicone molds or even make these in a small, shallow pan and cut into squares, twisting the pan slightly to pop out the frozen squares.  Plastic ice-cube trays work nicely, too.

Note:  Coconut cream is NOT the same thing as the cream of coconut bartenders use, which has a lot of added sugar.  What I use is pure coconut cream.  I used to order by the case on-line, but now I can get it at my local Natural Grocers.  This is what I use: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A16310101%2Ck%3Acoconut%20cream .  I suspect Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s carries it.  Tropical Traditions has it also.  If you chill a can of coconut milk overnight, coconut cream is the thick stuff that rises to the top.  Spoon that off and you have coconut cream.  🙂

The pan I used (2)
Silicone ice cube tray I used (2)

INGREDIENTS: 

1 scant cup blueberries (about 9/10 cup)

1 stick butter (4 oz)

3/4 c. coconut oil

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼ c. coconut cream

Preferred Sweetener to taste

DIRECTIONS:  You can put these together in either of two ways: using whole berries; or pureeing the ingredients.  The latter more uniformly diffuses the blueberries.  I like them both ways equally.

Place silicone candy molds onto a baking pan for support and set them near your work area.  I used honeycomb silicone ice-cube trays to make the ones shown above.  The recipe made 24 fat bombs for me that are about 1″x 1″.  If your molds have smaller, shallower slots, you will undoubtedly get more than I did.

Pureed Version:  Place berries, coconut cream and softened cream cheese in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.  In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and coconut oil.  Cool slightly for 5 minutes and add to the food processor.  Puree again until smooth.  Add your sweetener of choice.  Add sweetener slowly, tasting and adjusting to suit your preference level.  I like to transfer the mixture to a spouted measuring cup or pitcher and gently pour the mixture into the molds not quite to the top.  Place pan on level surface in your freezer and freeze about an hour.  Pop them out and enjoy or freeze in plastic bags.

Whole Berry Version:  Place 3-4 blueberries into each mold slot.  In a saucepan, melt the butter and coconut oil over low heat.  Remove from heat and slightly cool for 5 minutes or so.  Add all remaining ingredients and whip well with a whisk or stick blender if you have one.  The cream cheese will separate a bit, but not to worry, as it will taste just fine in the final treats.    Add sweetener slowly, taste and adjust to your sweetness preference. Transfer the mixture to a spouted pitcher or spouted measuring cup for easy pouring into the molds.  Fill each slot not quite full. Place in freezer on level surface for about 1 hour.  Pop them out and enjoy or freeze in plastic  bags.

Whole Berry Version
Whole Berry Version

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Number of servings will vary, depending on size of molds.

1/24 batch:  116 cals., 13g  fat, .44g  protein, 1.02g  carbs, .18g  fiber, .84g NET CARBS

Entire recipe:  2788 calories, 311 g fat, 24.5 g  carbs, 4.3 g  fiber, 20.2 g  NET CARBS

Eggplant-Beef Lasagna

Eggplant beef Lasagna2

I’m defrosting spaghetti sauce for tonight, but since I have an eggplant I’m going to lose if I don’t use it ASAP, I think I’ll make us some lasagna tonight.  This dish is real tasty if you’re an eggplant fan.  It is Atkins Induction-friendly if you can fit the carbs into your day’s limits.  🙂  With all the cheese here, I do not recommend adding any salt to this dish.  This is not a particularly large recipe, so if you want extra for leftovers, double the recipe.  This recipe is not suitable until Atkins Phase 2 OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss).  It is not suitable for Primal-Paleo due to the cheese.

INGREDIENTS:

10 oz. eggplant

1 T. olive oil

1 c. low-carb spaghetti sauce with meat  (I use this recipe:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/peggys-spaghetti-sauce/)

4 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated

4 T. Parmesan cheese

1/3 c. ricotta cheese

4 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or ¼ tsp. dried)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 400º.  Stem the eggplant and slice into ¼” slices.  Oil sheet pan with olive oil and place each slice on sheet, coating both sides of them with oil as you go.  Bake until eggplant is nearly done, turning once (takes about 8-10 minutes on a side.  Remove from oven and lower heat to 350º.  Layer half the eggplant slices on the bottom of a well oiled baking dish.  Spoon half the spaghetti sauce over the top.  Evenly spread all the ricotta cheese on next.  Now sprinkle on half the mozzarella followed by 2 T. of the Parmesan.  Spread the chopped basil on next.  Now place the remaining slices of eggplant on top, reserving out one nice slice to decorate the top of the dish.  Add the remaining sauce. Sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella and then the Parmesan cheese.  Place the last slice of eggplant center dish and pop into 350º oven for around 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.  Garnish with colorful fresh basil leaves if desired.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

294.3 calories, 19.7 g  fat, 11.13 g  carbs, 3.65 g  fiber, 7.48 g. NET CARBS, 19.2 g  protein, 250 mg sodium

 

Creamy Smoky Turkey (or chicken) Casserole

creamy-smoky-chicken-casserole

This delicious casserole came about from several little bits of this and that I had in the refrigerator.  Despite that cobbled together fact, this was an amazingly good dinner!  It’s also very nutritious with the kale added, which was actually an after thought.  Thinking it might not be so photogenic, I decided to make my Savory Casserole Topping for it, which turned out to be a GOOD decision.  It added another flavor layer to the dish.  This recipe is suitable once you get to phase 2 of Atkins.  Omit the topping and you Induction folks can enjoy this as well.  This recipe is not suited for Primal or Paleo followers due to the dairy in it.

INGREDIENTS:

½ medium head cauliflower, stemmed and chopped to 3/4-1″ pieces (about 2½ cups)

2 T. coconut oil

3 oz. onion, chopped

2 large carrots, sliced or chopped

1 c. my low-carb Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

2 T. cream cheese

3/4 c. heavy (whipping) cream

2 c. cooked turkey (or chicken), chopped

3 oz. Smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

Dash black pepper

1 leaf raw kale, stemmed, chopped fine (about 3/4 c. loose-pack)

½ recipe of my Savory Casserole Topping

DIRECTIONS:  Make the casserole topping per that recipe’s instructions (click blue link above).  Set aside. Preheat oven to 350º.

In a medium saucepan, cover cauliflower with water and boil only until half tender.  While it is cooking, heat oil over high heat in non-stick large skillet (I use a non-stick wok), add onion, carrot and saute until half-tender also.  Lower heat to medium, add cream cheese and heat until melted.  Lower heat to lowest setting and add the soup, cream, half the shredded Gouda, the pepper and turkey meat.  Stir lightly to mix well.  Drain water off cauliflower when half tender and add to the skillet mixture.  Stir again.    Add the raw, chopped kale and stir one last time.  Sprinkle remaining Gouda over the top and then add half the recipe of crumble topping evenly over the top.  Reserve remaining topping for future use.  Cover pan with foil and bake at 350ºfor 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 20 minutes longer or until topping is golden brown.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings, each contains:

390 cals, 31g fat, 8.73g carbs, 2.55g fiber, 6.18 g NET CARBS, 17g protein, 539 mg sodium