Perfect Rib Roast

The Perfect Rib Roast
My easy, Perfect Rib Roast

It seems as though we’re running toward another Christmas feast at breakneck speed.  As we had our annual turkey on Thanksgiving, I’m planning to serve a beef rib roast for Christmas this year.  This is my favorite method for cooking rib roasts so I am re-posting this recipe in case some of you also plan on cooking one during the holidays.  Folks, it just doesn’t get any easier or tastier! This method has never, EVER failed me.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Ketogenic diets (and Primal-Paleo if you use coconut aminos in lieu of soy sauce).

My roasts are usually bone-in as I think they cook more evenly with the bones in them.  I do remove them after cooking to make slicing the meat easier (above photo is after I they were cut off).  Occasionall I get a good deal on a boneless roast and will avail myself and cook one boneless (shown belos).  I usually serve my rib roasts with horseradish sauce and with sides of French-style green beans or broccoli, and a tasty cauliflower casserole of some sort and a family-traditional Grand Marnier fruit salad on the side.  Mmm, Mmm, Mmm!

We like our beef medium rare and you can see in the photos (cooked on different occasions), it cooks perfectly & effortlessly with this method.  My roasts average 3.5 pounds after removing the bones, so I shoot for a 4.5 pound bone-in roast at the market.  You should allow ½ lb. meat per person when buying a roast.  I usually get 8 nice servings (3/8″ thick slices) from this size roast.   Prime Rib Christmas Dinner 2014

INGREDIENTS:

4½ lb. bone-in beef rib roast (3½ lb. boneless)  [use larger if needed, adding 15 min. cook time per lb.)

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

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

¼-1/3  tsp. coarse cracked black pepper (I will use more to coat meat well)

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

Check center of the roast with a meat thermometer (be sure the thermometer tip isn’t touching bone).  The meat is rare at an internal temperature of 115º; medium rare at 120º; well done at 125º and probably overcooked and thoroughly “dead” (dry and tough) at 130º or higher.   I personally think it is a crime to eat such a wonderful cut of meat well done, but to each his own preference.    Since we like our rib roast medium rare, I always take it out of the oven when it reads (115º rare) as it will continue to cook as you let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes before carving.  You don’t want to bypass the sitting period or the minute you start slicing your roast, all the wonderful juices will ooze out making it tougher and dryer when served.  Carve off the bones and set aside.  Then carve up 8 nice 3/8″ slices and serve at once.

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

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

846 cals, 69 g  fat (less if you trim all visible off), 0.7 g  carbs, 0.2 g  fiber, 0.5 g  NET CARBS, 52 g  protein, 209 mg sodium

Creamy Smoky Turkey (or chicken) Casserole

creamy-smoky-chicken-casserole

This delicious casserole is a GREAT way to use up a bit of leftover turkey meat!  The flavor layers will surprise you.  The bit of smokiness from the cheese is the magic here.  Despite the fact that it looks cobbled together, this stuff is amazingly good!  It’s also very nutritious with the kale added, which was actually an after thought the night I created this one.  Thinking it might not be so photogenic for my blog, I decided to make my Savory Casserole Topping for it, which turned out to be a GOOD decision.  It added another flavor layer to an already tasty 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, but if you have ideas to make it work, GO FOR IT!  You won’t be sorry.

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 the crumble topping evenly over the top.  Cover 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

Einkorn Cranberry Walnut Cake

Einkorn Cranberry Walnut Cake

This little snack or breakfast coffeecake is delicious topped with a dollop of whipped cream.  I’ve decided to add it to my Thanksgiving dessert tray.  I used cranberries that were previously frozen in the bag, but you could use fresh as well, or sugar-free dried berries if you make your own using a low-carb recipe.  This recipe isn’t suitable until you reach the nuts and berries rung of the Atkins Phase 2 OWL carb ladder.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. my Einkorn Bake Mix (or use a lower-carb bake mix for lower carbs)

1/3 c. heavy cream

3 large eggs, beaten

3/4 c. erythritol sweetener

Dash of stevia (I used 1/8 tsp. KAL stevia)

1 c. chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

½ c. walnuts, coarsely chopped

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease a baking pie plate or quiche dish with coconut oil and set aside.  Chop the berries and walnuts coarsely (I did so in my food processor pulsing a few times).  Add the bake mix and sweeteners and stir/pulse until blended.  Add the eggs and cream and pulse 1-2 more times to mix well into a chunky batter.  Scrape batter into prepared dish, spreading evenly.  Pop into 350º oven for 35-40 minutes or until center passes a toothpick test.   Slice into 6 servings and serve warm with coffee or cool and add a dollop of sweetened whipped cream when serving if you like.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains (not including whipped cream):

264 cals, 23g fat, 9.25g carbs, 3.01g fiber, 6.24g NET CARBS  (lower with other low-carb bake mix), 9.81g  protein, 97 mg sodium

Jalapeno Meatloaf Burgers

jalapeno-meatloaf-burgers

I want a quick meal tonight so I’m making what has become a favorite at our house.  I have been weeding in my garden most of the day and I’m flat out too tired for a complicated meal prep.  When I created this recipe, I basically started with my meatloaf recipe and added half of a huge jalapeno.  Ate these babies on a Carb Smart hamburger bun.  DEEEEEliscious!  WE make these often now!  Not quite the same as a meatloaf sandwich (without the tomato sauce topping one typically puts on a meatloaf), but super tasty in a new, bold way!  These are not suitable until late in Phase 2 Atkins OWL unless you substitute a phase approved bread for the Joseph’s pita or Carb Smart bun.  These will also fit into other Keto dients provided the carbs will fit your daily limits.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. lean ground beef (I used grass-fed with a stronger flavor)

8 oz. lean ground pork

1 oz. red bell pepper, chopped

½ large jalapeno, chopped fine (use the whole thing if you like “spicy” food)

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 large stalk celery, chopped fine

2 T. olive oil

½ c. parsley, chopped

¼ tsp. dried oregano

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1 Joseph’s Flax-Oat Fiber Pita, moistened with a little water and mushed up

2 large eggs

¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:  In a non-stick skillet, saute the celery, bell pepper and jalapeno in the olive oil.  When getting tender, add to a medium mixing bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients and stir well with a fork or use your hands to blend like a meatloaf.  Form into 6 patties and brown on both sides on a lightly oiled griddle until they firm up and no longer exude pink juices.  Serve on your favorite low-carb bun and ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 large burgers (we could only eat one!), each contains:

337 calories, 26 g fat, 3.08 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2.10 g NET CARBS, 24.3 g protein, 190 mg sodium

Einkorn Dinner Rolls

Einkorn Dinner Rolls (2)

These will make a lovely addition to your next dinner party table.  I like to double this recipe and make a loaf of bread as well as a batch of rolls.  This will freeze nicely for about a month. 🙂  These are, bar none, my best low-carb rolls to date and this is now my go-to bread recipe!  Soft inside; slightly chewy outer crust and a marvelous flavor and texture.  They rise up nice, too!

My Inspiration for these is a bread recipe of Maria Emmerich.  I made several changes and am quite pleased with my results. My husband even said these were quite good and he’s very picky about his bread.  So good hot out of the oven with butter!  I think you’ll find these have the kind of mouth feel one finds in a good traditional yeast bread.  I include some dissolved yeast but that’s just added for flavor.

These make make very nice sliders, too.  Click the close-up so you can see the smooth texture:

I order my non-GMO Einkorn flour direct from Jovial Foods.  Some have found it at Safeway and other stores, but you won’t find it in many stores yet.  I think the Jovial folks are expanding their market base slowly, so stay tuned.  Einkorn is an ancient form of wheat, that has not been hybridized.  I use only the tiniest amounts in recipes to bring the improved texture and flavor for as few carbs as possible.  This recipe is not suitable until you are near goal weight (Pre-Maintenance on Atkins).

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VARIATION:   Sprinkle and press on some of my 8-Seed Blend on the tops of the rolls before baking:

DRY INGREDIENTS:

½ c. almond flour

2 T. Einkorn flour (use 2 T. more almond flour for gluten-free version)

½ c. egg white protein powder (I use NOW brand)

2 T. oat fiber (use 100% certified gluten-free oat flour for gluten free version)

2 T. coconut flour

1 T. baking powder

2 T. golden flax meal (dark flax or a mixture can be used for a darker, nuttier-tasting bread)

¼ tsp. sea salt

3 T. psyllium husk powder (I use NOW brand)

WET INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp. dry yeast dissolved in 2 T. warm water + pinch sugar (consumed by yeast)

5 large eggs, beaten

3 T. olive oil

¼ c. egg whites (I used the ones in a carton)

½ c. boiling water (added last)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease or oil a standard muffin tin and set aside.    Dissolve yeast in 2 T. warm water and add a tiny pinch sugar.  Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, measure out all dry ingredients.  Stir well.  In another medium bowl, add the first 5 wet ingredients (all but the boiling water) and beat with a fork.  Add the dissolved yeast mixture to the wet ingredients and stir.   Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat well using a rubber spatula. Slowly add the boiling water to the batter and stir to blend. Batter will be lumpy.  Now, using a whisk, beat until batter is smoother (about 15 times is all it should take).  Spoon batter into greased muffin tin cups 3/4 full evenly distributing the batter as best you can.  I actually used a silicone muffin pan.  Bake at 350º for around 30 minutes, but check them at 20 minutes as ovens vary. If not firm and dry to touch on tops, cook 5 or so minutes longer.  Remove from oven and in a few minutes, lift out with knife tip or tip onto board to finish cooling.  Serve warm.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 12 dinner rolls, each contains:

123 calories, 8.56 g fat, 6.53 g carbs, 3.93 g fiber, 2.6 g NET CARBS, 4.85 g protein, 222 mg sodium

Blue Crab Stuffing

Click to enlarge
For Christmas we often cook lobster tails with a side of stuffed crab.  How we both adore seafood and have really missed the qualaity seafood we had access to when we lived on the Texas Gulf Coast where we lived for over 30 years.  This is the crab stuffing recipe I’ve made for many, many years.   I developed this recipe in an attemps to imitate the wonderful stuffed crab I ordered many times at Gaido’s seafood restaurant, perched on the Galveston Island seawall.  where we lived for over 20 years.  This was one of my favorite dishes on their menu.  Bar none, the best stuffed crab I have ever eaten.  My take on it is fairly close, so I am still cooking this to this day.  It’s easy to prepare and always at hit with dinner guests.  If you have access to fresh, picked crab meat, you’ve GOT to try this one!  This is also great used to stuff baked fish or stuffed mushrooms!  

INGREDIENTS:

1½ lb. crab meat, shelled and picked well for bits of shell (Blue crab is the sweetest and best for this)

3 Flax Sandwich Buns  (or other low-carb bread)

4 oz. finely chopped onion

4 oz. finely chopped celery

1 oz. finely chopped green pepper (or mixture of red and green if you like)

½ oz. parsley

2 oz. heavy cream

¼ tsp. salt

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 tsp. dry mustard powder

½ c. (1 stick) unsalted, melted butter

DIRECTIONS:    Using a large bowl, carefully pick out all bits of shell from crab meat.  Soak 2 of the pieces of bread with the cream and crumble over the crab.  Crumb the remaining roll into fairly fine crumbs.  Set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add celery, onion, bell pepper, salt, cayenne and mustard powder and saute until slightly tender. Add parsley and saute couple minutes longer.  Pour sauteed veggie mixture over crab/bread mixture in the bowl.  Gently toss ingredients to mix well.  Spoon mixture into 6 large crab shells (if you have them) , into individual 6 oven-safe ramekins or stuff into fish prepared for baking.  Top with bread crumbs and bake in preheated 350º oven for 30 minutes (whole 1 lb. fish should be nicely done in that amount of time, but check for flaky done stage on your fish to be sure).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each serving has: (numbers are just for stuffing & does not include fish)

351.3 cals, 25.9g fat, 5.4g carbs, 2.47g fiber, 2.93g NET CARBS, 25.3g protein, 120 mg. sodium

Shrimp-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Next time you’re having grilled, baked or fried fish, you are going to want to try these delicious stuffed mushrooms I cooked tonight to accompany our salmon.  The cheeses and spices made these so yummy.  They are simple to make as well, so what more could you ask for to serve such deliciousness?!  You can use larger mushrooms for hungrier eaters; you can use smaller mushrooms and serve at your upcoming holiday gatherings or other special occasions.  (may require adjusting recipe ingredient amounts).  These are suitable once you reach Phase 2 of Atkins and will fit into most ketogenic diets.

INGREDIENTS:

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

¼ c. olive oil

1 T. unsalted butter

2 medium green onions, chopped

8 large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped

2 oz. cream cheese

1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Dash each salt & pepper

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

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

1 T. more butter

VARIATION:  Use about 1/2 c. picked crab meat in place of the shrimp.  Yummy!

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 10 pieces, each contains:

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

If making appetizers, use 20 smaller mushrooms.  Just divide the above numbers by 2 to calculate the values for each of the smaller ones.

Mom’s Chicken Stew

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

INGREDIENTS:

6 medium pieces of chicken (I used 3 legs and 3 thighs)

3 carrots, peeled, cut in 1″ chunks

3 stalks celery, cut in 2″ pieces

1 large onion, cut into wedges

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

½ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

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

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

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

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

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

Roasted “Candied” Carrots

Roasted Candied Carrots

This was always a favorite of my mother.  Of course, she always made them with real brown sugar, but mine taste just as good!  Honest!!  These are seriously good and you really need to try them if you’ve never roasted or candied carrots!  She would serve these tasty carrots with roasted turkey at holiday time, or alongside baked chicken or pork roasts throughout the year.  They shrink a lot during the roasting process, so be sure to make plenty for your crowd.  🙂  These are a bit higher in carbs than the green beans on the plate above, but can be enjoyed occasionally once you’ve passed the initial 2-week Induction period of your low-carb diet.  I’m serving them with baked chicken and some broccoli tonight.  Can’t wait! 🙂

INGREDIENTS: 

5-6  medium carrots (5-6″ long), peeled and sliced into 3-4 long strips

2 T. melted butter

1 T. erythritol or sweetener of choice equivalent to 1 T. sugar

¼ tsp. maple extract

Dash salt (optional)

Dash pepper (optional)

VARIATION:  Lay 2-3 slices bacon on top while baking.  Adds a lovely flavor layer to the final product!  

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Peel and slice the carrots lengthwise (3-4 slices per carrot, or about 3/16″ thick). Melt the butter in a 9×13 baking pan (I used metal).  Needs to be this large for easy tossing during cooking and to be sure they lay in a single layer.  Remove from oven and add maple extract, sweetener, salt and pepper if using.  Stir well.  Lay the carrots in a single layer at the bottom, flipping them to coat both sides with the butter mixture.  Pop into oven and bake around 40 minutes, tossing/flipping them once at the 20 minute mark.  They should be fairly tender when done, but if thicker slices are slightly underdone, no problem.  They will be just be a little chewier, which I kind of like, personally. 🙂  Enjoy with your favorite meat and green entree!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 adult servings, each contains:

119 cals, 7.9g fat, 11.76g carbs, 3.43g fiber, 7.33g NET CARBS, 1.23g protein, 190mg sodium

Dumpling Lasagna

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QUICK & DELICIOUS!

When you have just 1 cup of delicious spaghetti meat sauce leftover, give it a whirl on my delicious dumplings for a quick lunch for 1-2 people.  Man, is this ever delicious!!!  We’re having it again for dinner tonight!  When I first created this one, I felt like I was eating real gnocchi or noodle layers!!   This has made my regular recipe rotations and has since hopped right on up to the top of that list!  We just love Italian food.  Although I made the dumpling dough in small round dumplings, it really seemed like I was eating flat lasagne noodles with each delicious bite.  The dumplings held up well in the sauce and did not break down during the baking process (I thought they might).  This is  sooooooo good if you haven’t tried it yet, you need to soon!  Recipes is suitable once you reach Atkins Phase 2 OWL (ongoing weightloss), and is also suitable for Keto dieters.  It would not be appropriate for Primal or Paleo followers due to the dairy.

INGREDIENTS:

(pot of simmering water to make dumplings)

1 recipe my Dumplings

1 c. my meaty Spaghetti Sauce (or low-carb Italian meat sauce of your choosing)

½ c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

¼ c. ricotta cheese

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Mix up the dumplings per that recipe’s instructions.  Form the dough into 24 small balls about 3/4″ in diameter.  Drop into boiling water and lower to a gentle simmer, cover and simmer for 8-9 minutes, DO NOT LIFT THE LID during cooking.   Drain off the water and pour the dumplings into a baking dish (no need to grease it).  Dot evenly with your spaghetti sauce.   Dot evenly with the ricotta.  Sprinkle the mozzarella over the top evenly and finally, top with the Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350º for about 15 minutes to heat all and melt the cheese.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:

286 cals, 18.7g fat, 13.93g carbs, 6.76g fiber, 7.17g NET CARBS, 21.03g protein, 451 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, as I always keep some cans of these in my pantry.  This dish is a favorite of my husband.  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 blended well.  Spoon into eight 1-cup ramekins or serving dishes of choice.  Optional garnish (not included in nutritional stats): 1-2 extra orange sections and a sprig of fresh mint, 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

Iranian Kubideh (ground meat kebabs)

Iranian Kubideh 2

When I was 10 years old, my family lived in Teheran, Iran.  Dad, USAF,  was  teaching their  then fledgling air force,  to fly F-86 jets.  Our motor pool driver, Reza, loved good food and sometimes would cook for us to show off his skills in the kitchen.  Kubideh was one of his favorites.  Although I don’t have his actual recipe (which he cooked simply as small meat patties), my creation evokes the flavor of his specialty.  The jalapeno is not traditional but I like it in these.  It does not make these spicy “hot”, just adds a nice flavor layer in my opinion.

These kubideh can be made with the more traditional lamb, but I prefer using ground beef.  Unless I can have mild Iranian lamb, which is highly unlikely now, I will not eat lamb in the States.  Just tastes awful to me.  When grilling your kubideh, you want them somewhere between the done stage between these two photos.  I like them as shown upper left; the hubs likes them as shown lower right.    The other skewers in the photo are some lamb kebabs we grilled to freeze for a future meal.  🙂  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef or lamb (preferably 80-90% lean)

1 egg, beaten

¼ c. parsley

1 oz. onion, minced very fine

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. black pepper

Optional:  1 T. bacon grease (if using very, very lean meat)

DIRECTIONS:   Soak wooden skewers for 20-30 minutes (if using).  This retards scorching of sticks during grilling.  Mix all ingredients well in a bowl with a fork or your hands like you would a meatloaf.     Dry off the skewers.  Form hot-dog like meat shapes on the wooden skewers, pressing the meat on tightly and as evenly as possible.   Set them on a platter as you form them. Prepare a hot charcoal fire.  Gently place the skewers of meat on your charcoal fire, disturbing the skewers as little as possible until the first side is lightly browned.  Carefully, with a large spatula, flip the skewers over.  If you use tongs, they are likely to tear up on you.  The voice of experience here.  Brown the second side of the kubideh.    Serve at once with a nice creamed spinach, a cucumber-tzatziki, sour cream mint salad or perhaps a quinoa side.  ENJOY! 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 kubideh, each contains:

371 cals, 30.4g fat, 1.95g carbs, 0.40g fiber, 1.55g NET CARBS, 21.4g protein, 93 mg sodium (I prefer to add salt to meat at the table so as not to dry it out during cooking)

Greek Olive Tapenade

Greek Olive Tapenade

This is my take on the olive spread often served with the bread and salad course at Greek Restaurants.  We just love this stuff and it disappears sooooo fast at my house.   Truly addictive flavors here.  I love to  spread it on my Almond-Flax Crackers or my Almond-Arrowroot Crackers for a delicious snack.  Just made a fresh batch this afternoon as we have someone coming to dinner and this makes a great appetizer!  🙂  Other ways to use this tasty spread:   stuffed inside slit chicken breasts before baking along with a dab of Boursin or cream cheese, spread on top of broiled fish filets when serving, atop tomato slices for a unique salad, or with a little more oil and balsamic vinegar, it’s great as a Greek salad dressing!  This recipe is Induction friendly.    

INGREDIENTS:

6 oz. pitted black olives (I use a mixture of canned black olives & kalamata olives)

1 small clove minced garlic

¼ c. olive oil

2 T. chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS:  Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until uniformly coarse texture, smooth but not reduced to a paste.  You want it very finely chopped.  You can pulse in a blender if you do not have a food processor.  Serve with your favorite low-carb crackers or Greek bread (for those not on Atkins).

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes about 3/4 cup or serves 6, each 2 T. serving contains:

111.5 cals, 11.7g fat, 2.2g carbs, 1g fiber, 1.2g NET CARBS, 0.4g protein, 200 mg sodium

Crab-Pumpkin Bisque

Crab-Pumpkin Bisque

I love seafood and especially a good seafood bisque.  I have a cup of picked crab meat and a fresh-baked pie pumpkin to use up and decided to make them into a crab bisque for lunch today that came out super delicious!  We both decided this one was good enough to share with my readers.  This recipe is not suitable for Induction unless you omit the wine.  It is OK for all other phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  This soup is not suitable for Primal or Paleo as it is dairy heavy.

INGREDIENTS:

3 slices bacon, chopped

1/4 c. onion, chopped

1/4 c. celery, chopped

8 oz. softened cream cheese

1 c. pumpkin (preferably the fresh)

Dash each black pepper and cayenne pepper

½ c. dry white wine (use more stock if still in Induction)

2 c. seafood stock (or chicken broth)

1 c. water

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

8 oz. white crab meat, picked of all shell

DIRECTIONS:  Brown bacon over medium-high heat.  Add onion and celery and saute until tender. Add white wine.  Add cream cheese and stir to blend.  Add the seafood stock and water.  Stir well.  Add pumpkin the spice blend, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Stir and lower heat to low.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Stir in crab and simmer 1-2 minutes longer only, or the crab will fall apart.  Serve at once with your favorite low-carb crackers.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 6 large servings, each contains:

256 cals, 21.2 g fat, 4.86 g carbs, 0.63 g fiber, 4.23 g NET CARBS, 10.7 g protein, 550 mg sodium (use less cream cheese to lower sodium)

Swiss Chard Sauté

I’m trialing small-scale veggie gardening using 20 gallon grow bags on a rear, unused driveway at my home. Things are germinating and my Swiss Chard was ready to harvest today. Thought I’d try a little sauté to go with our broiled chicken breasts tonight. Chard is nearly as nutritious as kale and spinach, so I like to add it and many green, leafy veggies to our diet as much as possible. I tend to cut the stems off as I find it strong tasting, but they are edible and you can add the stems to your chard dishes. This side dish was absolutely delicious! It just took minutes to prepare from start to finish. This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins as well as other Keto diets, including Paleo.

INGREDIENTS:

8 leaves Swiss Chard

3 slices thick-sliced bacon, chopped

3 oz. yellow or red onion, sliced in thin wedges

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS: Cut bottom of stem off chard leaves (if you wish). Wash leaves well under cold water and pat dry both sides of leaves with paper toweling. Cut into 1″ strips and set aside on towel or paper plate.

Chop bacon coarsely and fry over high heat in a medium skillet until browned and starting to crisp. Using slotted spoon, dip bacon bits onto paper towels to drain and await final plating.

In the same bacon grease you just generated, place the onion wedges, separating the slices as you sauté them over high heat and stir. When they have softened and caramelized, add in the chard strips and sauté just until chard goes limp. Plate the onion/chard mixture and top with bacon crisps. Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 3 servings, each contains:

170 cals, 12.4g fat, 10.5g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 7g NET CARBS, 12.8g protein, 542 mg sodium

Pumpkin Cake

pumpkin-cake

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

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. almond flour

1 c. plain whey protein powder

1 c. Splenda or equivalent sweetener of choice

2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1 T. + 1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. nutmeg

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

3/4 c. (1½ sticks) butter, softened

1 c. fresh (or canned) cooked pumpkin puree

4 large eggs

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

1 tsp. vanilla

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 14 slices, each contains:

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

Greek Spinach Crustless Quiche

greek-spinach-beef-pie

I got to thinking earlier this week about those wonderful Spanakopita spinach-stuffed phyllo pastries they serve at Greek restaurants and decided that’s the taste I wanted today.  I thawed ground beef and just threw together my typical ingredients for Spanakopita and made a “pastry-less” version.  It  came out just about as good as my traditional Spanakopitas, just without the phyllo pastry.  We had it for dinner tonight.  I’ll freeze the leftovers for warming up one night later in the week. This is a particularly healthy entree with all the nutrients in spinach.   This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  It can also be enjoyed by Primal followers.

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. olive oil + 1 T. butter

2 oz. onion, chopped

12 oz. ground beef

10 oz. frozen chopped spinach (cooked per directions, strained & squeezed dry to make about 1 c.)

1/3 c. parsley, chopped

1 tsp. dried mint (or 2 T. fresh, chopped)

Dash each salt & black pepper

Pinch dried dill weed

1 oz. cream cheese (optional, but makes it very rich)

½ c. crumbled feta cheese, rinsed well in strainer

2 large eggs

1/4 c. heavy cream

VARIATIONS:  Substitute ground lamb or goat for the beef

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º.  Melt butter and add olive oil to medium non-stick skillet.  Add onion and saute over medium heat until it begins to brown and caramelize.   Add ground meat and cook until done.  Lower heat and add spinach, herbs, spices and cheeses.  Mash cheeses with back of spoon to speed up melting/blending into meat mixture.  Stir mixture well.  In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the cream and drizzle it evenly over the meat mixture.  Tilt pan to spread egg evenly over the top.  Pop into 350º oven for about 20 minutes just until egg is set in the center.  Serve with a nice Greek green salad and your favorite low-carb dinner rolls and butter.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each containing:

428.3 calories, 31.9 g  fat, 4.95 g  carbs, 1.55 g  fiber, 3.4 g  NET CARBS, 30.38 g  protein, 656 mg sodium

Curried Pumpkin “Puppies”

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There is a recipe I came across a number of years ago.  But as with most recipes, so many to try and so little time.  🙂  Well, I’m sure glad I finally got around to tinkering around with a basically great foundation recipe.  They remind me of Southern hush puppies, both in texture and a little bit in taste.  My inspiration was a Pumpkin Fritter recipe I saw on allrecipes.com maybe 8 years ago.  After substituting low-carb flours and adding curry powder and Garam Masala to push the flavor in a new direction, the result is astounding!  These are sooo good, they’re almost like eating a dessert!  The Indian spices are optional but a phenomenal flavor twist on a traditional recipe.

These “pumpkin puppies” are not suitable until Atkins Phase 2 OWL, grains rung of the reintroduction carb ladder.  They are not suitable for Primal-Paleo without “flour” substitutions.

INGREDIENTS:

1 scant cup pure pumpkin puree (exactly half of a 15-oz. can)  DO NOT USE PUMPKIN PIE FILLING!

2 large eggs, beaten

6 drops liquid stevia (or a little sweetener of your choosing)

½ c. plain whey protein (I use NOW brand)

3 T. oat flour (grind from 100% certified gluten-free rolled oats if you need a gluten-free version)

1/3 c. coconut flour (I use Honeyvillegrains)

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. curry powder (optional)

1 tsp. optional Garam Masala

1/8 tsp. sea salt

½ packet stevia or Splenda (optional)

½ tsp. glucomannan (konjac) powder (or xanthan gum)

Your preferred oil for frying (I used part palm shortening and part coconut oil)

DIRECTIONS:  Measure the pumpkin into a medium mixing bowl.  Beat the eggs into the pumpkin.  Add the sweetener and stir.  Measure all dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula.  Fold the batter on top of itself several times to mix the ingredients and let the glucomannan powder “set up” the batter a bit thicker.  Heat your choice of frying oil in a deep skillet or wok over medium high heat. Drop the batter/dough by tablespoons into hot oil.  I had enough batter to make 16 and only fried 8 at a time to avoid overcrowding and oil cooling off too much.   Fry the fritters for about 1minute on a side.  When both sides are golden grown, remove them with a slotted spoon to paper toweling to drain.  Serve immediately with Indian foods or whatever you like!  You won’t be sorry!.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 16 fritters, each contains: (assumption: after draining, ¼ tsp. oil is still consumed per fritter)

38 calories, 1.8 g  fat, 3.24 g  carbs, 1.2 g  fiber, 2.04 g  NET CARBS, 3.9 g  protein, 59 mg sodium

Creamy Smoky Chicken Casserole

creamy-smoky-chicken-casserole

This delicious casserole evolves and changes often based on whatever bits of leftover veggies that invariably are staring at me in the fridge when I start making dinner.  Despite that fact, this is consistently a good dinner!  It’s also very nutritious when kale is included.  The Savory Casserole Topping is optional, but quite good on this dish.  It does add some flavor to the simple basic flavor profile of 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 chicken meat, chopped (I left skin on mine)

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

VARIATION:  Add a pinch of thyme or poultry seasoning to the mixture before baking. 

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 chicken 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 (or green veggie of choice) and stir one last time.  Sprinkle remaining Gouda over the top and then add the crumble topping evenly over the top of the casserole.  Cover 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 calories, 30.7 g fat, 8.73 g carbs, 2.55 g fiber, 6.18 g NET CARBS, 17 g protein, 539 mg sodium

Chicken Tenders with Bang Bang Sauce

My husband asked me to make some chicken tenders tonight.  I have developed a great Southern Fried Chicken coating recipe and just took that to a new level, serving as tenders with a dipping sauce with a “bite”.

This coating has been my best low-carb chicken coating to date and it didn’t fail me on these tenders tonight.  I’m so pleased with this recipe!!  It’s my first time to try a spicy sauce with tenders and we loved it! The hubs said please make these again!  They were nice and crispy!  By the way, chicken coated with this coating is great leftover, cold, right out of the fridge!!  It also reheats nicely (crispy) in the oven at 350º for about 20 minutes.

As I can’t know how you cut up your chicken strips, it’s not possible to really provide nutritional stats per serving.  Instead, I am providing nutritional info for 1/10 of the coating, as I cooked 10 nice-sized strips of chicken breasts (off 2 large breasts I de-boned).  There was at least 1-1½c. coating and some egg/cream mix that didn’t get used, so this recipe would coat quite a few more tenders if you have a big family.  No need to double the recipe for say 15-18 tenders.  Therefore, the carb numbers are actually even lower than shown below.  Woo! Hoo.

INGREDIENTS:

2 large chicken breasts (skinned, boneless) – for 10 tenders

3/4 c. plain whey protein

1 c. crushed pork rinds (about 2 oz.)

1 T. oat fiber (omit if on Induction or for gluten-free version)

1 tsp. my Seafood Spice blend (or seasonings of your choice)

½ tsp. onion powder

½ c. Parmesan cheese

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

2 large eggs

¼ c. heavy cream

¼ c. water (or more heavy cream if you prefer)

½-3/4″ deep hot oil (I use coconut oil) in a large 13-14″ skillet

OPTIONAL BANG BANG SAUCE: ½ c. homemade mayonnaise, 1 T. Sambal Oelek chili paste, 2 tsp. Sriracha, dash each salt and black pepper.  Stir all in a small bowl.  Sauce adds approximately 0.35 net carbs for each serving (1 serving = 1 T.).

DIRECTIONS: Preheat holding oven to 350º.  Measure out and mix all dry ingredients in a paper or plastic bag by shaking well.  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream and water together.  Cut chicken breast meat into long strips about 4″ x 1″.  Dip each one into the egg mixture and turn several times to well coat each piece.  Pick each piece of meat out of the bowl and drop into the seasoned “flour” in the bag.  This makes coating easier and less messy.  When you have 3 pieces in the bag, holding the top of the bag closed, shake the bag to coat the chicken with the dry mix.  Don’t put more than 3 pieces into the bag at a time or they will not coat well.

Heat 3/4″ deep oil over high heat.  Remove the coated chicken strips carefully from the bag and place the pieces closely together in the skillet of hot grease.  If you’re creative, you can get about 8 strips in a 13″ skillet.  Repeat the coating process with the remaining pieces of chicken.  Brown the chicken well on one side disturbing as little as possible as they cook.  With a fork, flip pieces over gently to brown the second side.   When brown on both sides they should be done (about 15 minutes total) remove to paper toweling to drain and if still frying more pieces, place the platter of first-cooked tenders in your preheated oven until all meat has been fried.  When you have finished cooking all pieces of chicken, serve at once with the Bang Bang dipping sauce.

VARIATION:  Serve with a good cream gravy rather than the Bang Bang Sauce. 

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes enough coating for more than 10-15 tenders of chicken.  Numbers are for the coating only. Be sure to add in the info for the chicken piece(s) you eat and whatever dipping sauce you use!  1/10 batch of the entire coating recipe contains:

113.4 cals, 7.26g fat, 1.72g carbs, 0.53g fiber, 1.19g NET CARBS (less if not all coating and egg wash used), 12.8g protein, 209 mg sodium (sauce adds little to these numbers (mostly fat grams) and is nearly impossible to provide a per serving figure for as that would be person dependent in how liberally they used the sauce.

Summer Vegetable Sauté

I’m serving a grilled, marinated chuck roast tonight for dinner. I’ve decided to serve a nice, light, vegetable sauté with it. The particular summer veggies you choose for this dish can vary, but you will want to recalculate the recipe if you make changes. Today, I have yellow summer squash and bell peppers on hand, the other things I always have around, but this particulay combo makes an overall “sweet” mix of summer freshness.

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets. For Primal Blueprint/Paleo, use all olive oil instead of butter/OO mixture specified in recipe.

VARIATION: You could use sliced red radishes instead of the celery for more color! Remember, they taste very different sauteed than they do raw in a salad. You could even add some sliced fresh mushrooms to this dish!

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. extra light olive oil

1 c. carrot, peeled and sliced thin

3 oz. onion, sliced or cut in wedges

½ c. celery, sliced on the diagonal

2 T. unsalted butter

1½ c. summer yellow squash, sliced ¼” thick

1 oz. red bell pepper, sliced

2 oz. green bell pepper, sliced

Pinch sea salt

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS: Heat olive oil + 1 T. of the butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté carrots, onion & celery first until just slightly softened. Dip out onto paper plate Add rest of butter to skillet. Add yellow squash and sauté just until it begins to look slightly transluscent (as to not over cook). Add bell peppers and continue to sauté couple minutes just until the green pepper is slightly tender. Add back the carrot-onion mixture, stirring and sautéeing another minute to meld the flavors. If vegetables are added in the specified order, they should all be perfectly tender-crisp. Cook longer only if it is your personala preference. Sprinkle on salt and pepper, stir well and serve at once with your favorite grilled beef, pork, chicken or seafood.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each contains:

143 cals, 12.75g fat, 7.3g carbs, 2.1g fiber, 5.2g NET CARBS, 1.2g protein, 106 mg sodium

Chocolate Delights

Click to enlarge

A birthday treat for my husband in a little over a week. Other than toasting the coconut, these require no baking and are delicious!  If you are in maintenance, a few finely chopped raisins added to this recipe is very good, say 2-3 tablespoons.  This recipe is not suitable for Induction, but you may enjoy it once you get to the seed/nuts rung of the OWL carb re-introduction ladder.  Adding chopped nuts of your choice would be a nice touch as well, but be sure to add raisins or nuts added to your nutritional numbers.

INGREDIENTS:

1/3  c. coconut, unsweetened, toasted

4 T. melted butter

24 drops liquid Splenda or liquid stevia (or to taste)

1 tsp. erythritol

4 T. cocoa powder, unsweetened

2 T. roasted pumpkin seeds

2 T. sunflower seeds

DIRECTIONS: Toast coconut in 350º for about 5-8 minutes.  As ovens vary, check often lest you burn it.  In medium bowl, melt the butter in microwave.  Stir in cocoa powder and erythritol, stirring until smooth.  Add coconut and all remaining ingredients and blend well.  Drop onto parchment paper, silicon mat or plate, piling into six clusters.  Place in freezer for 15 minutes to set up.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings each contains:

133 cals, 13.1g fat, 3.97g carbs, 2.03g fiber, 1.94g NET CARBS, 3g protein, 32 mg sodium

Slivered Beef Spaghetti Sauce

My parents came across a recipe for spaghetti sauce some 50 years ago that used slivered sirloin rather than ground beef.  They tweaked it a bit, as all good cooks tend to do, and this was their final result.  To this day, I think it one of the best spaghetti sauce recipes I serve.  Dinner guests are amazed how different from traditional Bolognese sauce this tastes, considering the meat form is the only dramatic change from traditional recipes.  I don’t think to make it that often, but am doing so for dinner tonight and thought I’d share it again with my newer readers. I have substituted very lean chuck for the sirloin in the original recipe and that is very good.  Tonight I’m trying it with some lean round steak I found in my freezer.  This recipe is Induction friendly provided you serve it on faux noodles like zoodles (zucchini noodles), spaghetti squash threads or chunks/slices of cooked eggplant.

INGREDIENTS:

¼ c. olive oil

6 oz. chopped yellow onion

2 lb. very thinly slivered sirloin  (easier if partially frozen about an hour before slicing)

14.5 oz. can of tomatoes, crushed

8 oz. can of tomato sauce

2 cloves minced garlic

2 tsp. oregano, crushed

¼ tsp. each salt and black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS:

In deep stew pot heat oil and brown meat over high heat, stirring occasionally,  until begins to brown nicely.  Add onions and continue to brown both until onion begins to soften and caramelize.  Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer over lowest heat possible for 1 hour.  Check and stir every 15 minutes to avoid sticking/burning.  Add a little water if it is drying out too much.   Serve over your favorite lo-carb pasta, zucchini pasta or spaghetti squash threads.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 6-8

1/6 batch:

336.3 calories, 15.52 g  fat, 12.72 g  carbs, 1.98 g  fiber, 35.9 g  protein,

approx. 96 mg. sodium, 9.74 g  NET CARBS

1/8 batch:

250 calories, 11.64 g  fat, 9.0 g  carbs, 1.43 g  fiber,

26.9 g protein,  approx. 73 mg. sodium, 7.57 g NET CARBS

Banana Pancakes

Banana Pancakes
                   Shown with butter, Cary’s sugar-free maple syrup & bacon, of course

I’m getting real close to pancake heaven here.  The real banana in these pancakes makes them delicious but unacceptable until you reach the “other fruits” rung of the OWL carb re-introduction ladder on Atkins or until you are at Pre-maintenance or Maintenance.  But the carb count on these is respectable, considering the real banana.  You can always lower carbs by lessening the amount of mashed banana and adding in some banana extract to compensate.  These would be an occasional treat only using real banana, but a REAL tasty treat!  I’ll be experimenting with this basic batter in future, as I think these were hands down my best low-carb pancakes to date.  I will be trying these with other berries, maybe crushed pineapple one day, pumpkin/winter squash, or maybe even use the batter for plain pancakes.  I’m not personally a big fan of pancakes but my husband sure is, so I experiment to find one that will be healthy for us both.

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. unsalted butter, melted

2 beaten eggs

1 T. cream

1 banana (3/4 c. mashed)

1 pkt. stevia or Splenda

½ c. flax meal

2 T. almond flour

2 tsp. coconut flour

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:  Melt butter in a medium microwavable bowl.  Add mashed banana and beat in the eggs.  Add cream and stir well.  Measure and add in all dry ingredients.  Stir well to a smooth batter. If batter is too thick, add a tiny bit of water, but mine did not require this.  Preheat griddle and lightly grease.  Using a ¼ c. measuring cup, dip ¼ c. batter onto hot, greased griddle into 6 pancakes, spreading batter out to size you like while still loose.  When 1st side is brown, slide spatula quickly under each and flip to brown second side.  These will puff up nicely.  Serve hot with butter and your favorite sugar-free maple syrup (I use Cary’s).

NUTRITIONAL INGREDIENTS:  Makes six 4″ pancakes, each contains:

132.3 cals, 9.52g fat, 8.78g carbs, 3.88g fiber, 4.9g NET CARBS, 4.87g protein, 91.7 mg  sodium.

Chipotle-Jack Chicken Cutlets

There was such a ginormous chicken breast in the package my husband brought home from the store this week, one in particular would feed 4 people.  So this is what I made for lunch today with the monster and I’ll have two portions for another meal!  I wanted a Mexican food flavor, so I came up with these tasty cutlets.  This dish is quick to make and your family will love it!  If you’re not a fan of pork rinds, substitute almond meal instead.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets.  Paleo followers would have to delete the cheese.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (four)

1 tsp. my Smoky Chipotle Spice Blend

2 oz. crushed pork rinds (about 1½ c.)

2 T. unsalted butter

3 oz. pepper jack cheese (3-4 slices)

OPTIONAL SAUCE:   Some homemade mayo with a bit of the chipotle spice blend stirred in, to be served at table.

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Crush pork rinds (or use almond meal) in a blender, processor or in a plastic bag.  Remove any big, hard bits.  Add the spice blend and mix well.  I used one single, huge chicken breast and cut up into 4 equal portions.  If you buy the ready-cut boneless, skinless breasts (I never have), probably 4 of those will serve 4 people nicely.  Sprinkle the spice-crumb mixture evenly on both sides of the chicken.   Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and melt the butter.  Add the chicken pieces and brown nicely on all sides.  Chicken will likely be nearly done by then.

You can bake this dish in the skillet if it has a heatproof handle or you can place the pieces of chicken into a baking dish.  Top the meat decoratively with the pepper-jack cheese and pop into a 350º oven for about 15-20 minutes or until cheese is well-melted.  Chicken should be fully done by then.  Serve with a green salad or your favorite guacamole.  I added a top dressing to my chicken made of homemade mayo stirred up with a bit of the chipotle spice blend.  It was VERY good on top of my chicken.  That sauce also makes a tasty salad dressing for a green salad. 🙂

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

324 calories, 18.8g fat, 1.25g carbs, 0.22g fiber, 1.03g NET CARBS, 35.6g protein, 835mg sodium

Creamed Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

We low carbers love our creamed spinach.  But did you ever think about creaming Brussels Sprouts?  Well I gave it a try and I’m so glad I did.  It took this vegetable that I’m not terribly fond of to a totally different realm.  My husband said “Be SURE to put this one on your blog!”  It was not only rich and creamy, but the bit of Parmesan, bacon and onion all took this one over the top for this non-fan!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal blueprint.  The dairy makes it unsuitable for Paleo, however.

INGREDIENTS:

3 thick slices bacon, chopped coarse

4 oz. red onion (or yellow), chopped coarsely

1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts (or frozen could be used)

2 oz. cream cheese

½ c. heavy cream

2 T. Parmesan grated cheese

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Cut stems off sprouts and slice each into ½” slices.  Place in ceramic dish with 1/2″ water and microwave 1 minute, stir and then 1 min. longer.  Remove from microwave (all water will be evaporated, or drain off any left).  Set aside.  In a skillet over high heat fry bacon until browning.  Add onion and saute until tender.  Lower heat and add cream cheese to melt and blend in evenly.  Add cream.  Now toss in sprouts and toss gently.  Grease the baking dish you used before.  Pour the sprout mixture into the dish.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.  Pop the dish into a 350º oven and bake 15 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each contains:

154 cals, 11.8g fat, 8.85g carbs, 3.06g fiber, 5.79g NET CARBS, 7.3g protein, 121 mg sodium

Chipotle-Guajillo Baked Chicken

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Yum!!!!!

It’s what’s for dinner tonight!  This simple baked chicken recipe delicious and a wonderful choice when you don’t feel much like cooking. Those are the nights I tend to bake chicken as simply as possible.  The seasoning flavor profile is subtle here and once you try it, you’ll be baking this bird again.  I usually serve this tasty dish with an avocado/green salad and ½ roasted sweet potato.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and also for Paleo-Primal diners.  Clarify the butter if you follow a Paleo diet.

INGREDIENTS:

1 whole chicken, butterflied

4 T. unsalted butter, melted

½ tsp. guajillo chile powder (or 1 seeded, ground whole dried guajillo chile)

¼ tsp. smoky chipotle powder (or 1 rinsed, seeded & mashed/minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce)

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. onion powder

Dash of salt

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 450º.  Cut up the back of the chicken (butterfly or spatchcock).  Melt the butter in your baking pan (I prefer metal pans for roasting meats) and brush over all chicken surfaces.  Mix the spices in a small saucer or paper plate and sprinkle over the chicken.  Sprinkle with a dash of salt to facilitate browning.  Pop pan in the oven and in 15 minutes, take it out.  Using a brush, baste the chicken with the melted butter.  Return to the oven and bake at 450º for around 20 minutes.  Remove and lower heat to 350º.  Baste again with buttery pan juices and return to hot oven.  Bake an additional 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer stuck into the leg/thigh joint reads 180°-185º and breast reads internal temp of 175º.  Baste one last time with pan juices and serve with a nice guacamole or green salad and/or your favorite, low-carb vegetable(s).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  I will provide the nutritional info for 1/10th of the basting marinade as I get 10 pieces of chicken from a whole bird.  Bear in mind the pan juices are not all consumed, but there is no other way to break this down as it is dependent upon how much of those you actually eat.  You will need to add in the info for the specific piece(s) of chicken eaten.

Will coat 8-10 pieces of chicken (1 whole chicken); One serving of spice mix contains: (does not include the particular pieces of chicken, since I can’t know which you will eat, co add meat values to these spice baste numbers)

46.3 cals, 5.1g fat, 0.31g carbs, 0.08g fiber, 0.23g NET CARBS (seasoning only), 0.07g protein, trace sodium

Quick Danish

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Blueberry version

This is a wonderful new way to use my Peggy’s Sliced Bread recipe! TIP:  I keep some sort of plain, unflavored low-carb sheet bread cooked and at the ready in a gallon Ziploc bag in my refrigerator at all times, so making this for breakfast takes about 10 minutes total!

If using other fruits, you will want to use some other DaVinci syrup (vanilla or appropriate berry flavor) or use other sweetener of your choice with 2-3 T. water added to compensate for the syrup’s water. This is not suitable until the grains rung of OWL.

You can sure pull the carb count down using other berries.   As you can see, I have explored several varieties of this Quick Danish.  By the way, this reminded me very much of pineapple upside-down cake, just without the cherry.  But that could be remedied on special occasions! 🙂  With a dollop of sweetened whipped cream on top, this would make a lovely, easy dessert for unexpected company!  If serving on black/dark plates, for visual impact, I would dust the plate with powdered sweetener/erythritol along with the cinnamon.  Of course, you can use any plan-suitable bread you prefer over the bread I used, but you wil have to calculate your nutritional info from scratch.

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Pineapple Version

PINEAPPLE VERSION (right) :  Slice the bread laterally into 2 thins slices and place 1 on a plate.  Set aside.  Place in a saucepan ¼ c. crushed pineapple, juice pack (I didn’t drain), ½ T. unsalted butter, dash cinnamon, dash xanthan gum, 2 T. Davinci Pineapple sugar-free syrup (or sweetener to taste).  Heat, stirring until slightly thickened.  Remove. Spoon half onto the slice of bread on the plate.  Top with 1 T. softened cream cheese (sweeten if you like).  Place the second thin slice of bread on top and spoon on the rest of the fruit mixture.  Warm a few seconds in the microwave on defrost and serve while hot.

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Blackberry Version

BLUEBERRY or BLACKBERRY VERSION:  Mash 2 oz. berries with a fork in a saucepan with 1-2T. water, pinch of stevia + 2 drops liquid Splenda and a sprinkle of xanthan gum to thicken.  Cook on medium heat a couple minutes until thick.  Slice bread laterally and place 1 thin slice on a plate.  Spoon half the berry mix onto it.  Top with about ½ T. cream cheese. Placed second half-slice bread and add remaining berries to top and dot with cream cheese.  Mmmmm.   this recipe is not suitable for Atkins Induction.

NUTRITIONAL INFO (for the pineapple version, the first one I made):  Makes a single serving which contains:

256 calories, 21 g  fat, 16.2 g  carbs, 3.7 g  fiber, 12.5 NET CARBS, 8.5 g  protein, 243 mg sodium

Strawberry Version:  Use 3 medium strawberries sliced:  5.3 NET CARBS

Blackberry Version:   Use 1/4 c. frozen blackberries: 7.3 NET CARBS

Cherry Version:  Use 1/4 c. canned tart cherries:  10.9 NET CARBS

Blueberry Version:  Use 1/4 c. fresh blueberries: 7.6 NET CARBS

Granola Bars

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My husband asked me for a granola bar this week.  So I pulled out one of my older recipes on the site.  Making him a batch of these today so I thought I’d share this “oldie but goodie”.  To give credit where due, this bar recipe was inspired by a recipe from Dana Carpender’s granola cereal recipe in her book 500 Low Carb Recipes.  I seriously increase sweetener, increase the syrup, add sugar-free honey and increase cinnamon to get the flavor I like in what we eat as a dessert bar.  I also use whole toasted oats rather than oat bran in my version.  I am quite pleased with the final taste on these so I rarely change this up, unless to add a few snipped raisins to the bars.  Just so you know what to expect, I would describe these as firm, but not brittle/hard like Nature’s Valley brand granola bars.  This makes a huge pan of bars, so you may want to make half a recipe or simply freeze half.  I’ve found they freeze really well without getting  dry or crumbly.

These can be crumbled up for a granola cereal if you like.  They also make a nice crunchy topping for baked “fruit” or “fruit” pies and other fruit bar cookies.  🙂  The inspirational recipe mid-cooking time, is crumbled and baked for the last half of the time, as it is offered in the book as a cereal recipe, not a bar.

This recipe is not suitable until Phase 2 Atkins but they are well worth the wait, folks!  They are very nutrient dense.

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. rolled oats, toasted (use 100% certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free version)

2 c. dark flax meal

¾ c. vanilla whey protein

½ c. granular Splenda

10 drops liquid stevia

½ c. sesame seeds

¾ c. grated coconut meat

1½ T. cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

½ c. coconut oil (or butter), melted

½ c. sugar free maple syrup

¼ c. water

2 c. pecans, chopped

½ c. walnuts, chopped

½ c. almonds, coarsely chopped

6 T. sugar free honey (I use Honey Tree from Walmart)

¾ c. sunflower seeds (I use unsalted)

½ c. pumpkin seeds, roasted, salted

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º.  On a 13×15 cookie sheet, toast oats until begin to lightly brown.  Remove from oven and lower heat to 250º.   Pour oats into large mixing bowl.  Add all other ingredients and stir well to be sure all ingredients are moistened.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Pour granola mixture onto paper and using plastic gloves or baggies over hands, press evenly into pan.  I like to take a glass loaf pan or sheet of parchment and press the surface evenly before baking.  Pop into oven and bake at 250º for approximately 1 hr. 30 minutes until dry to the touch in the center.  Remove from oven and when almost cool, cut into 30 rectangular bars (10 x 3 rows). This makes a nice size granola bar at an acceptable 4.05 net carb count.  Cutting into 60 squares will of course halve that number.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 30 bars, each contains:

239.7 Cals, 20.0 g  fat, 8.77 g  carbs, 4.72 g  fiber, 4.05 g  NET CARBS, 8.31 g  protein, 79 mg sodium

Artichoke Salad

Italian Artichoke Salad

We are very fond of salads, especially with grilled meats.  I’m digging out one of my older salad recipes to have with our grilled steaks tonight.  This low-carb, low-cal number is both tasty and filling.  It takes just minutes to make and I think your family will enjoy it!  You can use pitted calamata olives here if you prefer.  This is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, and Primal-Paleo as well.

INGREDIENTS:

1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained

15 pitted black olives (or calamata olives)

1 Roma plum tomato, cut up into chunks (use 2 if they are pretty small)

5 fresh basil leaves, torn into several pieces

Dash of granulated garlic or minced dried onion

¼ tsp. your favorite Italian Seasonings (I use Victoria Gourmet’s Sicilian Seasoning)

Dash each salt and black pepper

1 T. a good balsamic vinaigrette

1 T. good quality extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:  Open and drain the artichoke hearts.  Add them to a medium bowl. You can cut them in halves if you prefer (I did).  In a small dish, add the olive oil to the vinaigrette and stir.  Add the seasonings and stir once more.  Now add the cut-up tomato and olives to the artichokes.  Stir to mix.  Tear the basil leaves into small bits and add.   Add the vinaigrette mixture, toss lightly and chill for 1 hour.  Serve as a side salad or as an entree.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 side servings, each contains:  (if serving as an entree, serves 2 with double the numbers below in each)

101 cals, 7.8g fat, 7.6g carbs, 3.55g fat, 4.05g NET CARBS, 2.2g protein, 34 mg sodium (more if using calamata olives)

Eggplant-Sausage Rollatini

Eggplant-Sausage RollatiniThese little Italian delights were fun to make and absolutely delicious!  They would be a great dinner party choice as you can make them ahead so you can just pop them into the oven when guests arrive.  They bake themselves so you can enjoy visiting with guests.  They have a rich, creamy, cheesy lasagna-like flavor with a little spinach thrown in for some added nutrition.  I served this with a lovely green salad and two filled us right up!  Vegetarians can leave the meat out entirely and this is still a delicious dish.  🙂  Suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets.  Paleo followers will need to leave the cheeses out.

INGREDIENTS:

1  medium (12 oz) eggplant

¼ c. olive oil

3  links Italian sausage, casings removed (4″ links)

3/4 c. Classico Spaghetti Sauce with Basil (or other low-carb sauce)

1 oz. baby spinach leaves

4 oz. cream cheese

3/4 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese

1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

1 Roma tomato, sliced into 8 thin slices

1/4 tsp. crushed dried basil leaves

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 375º.  Cut the stem and bottom bits off the eggplant and slice lengthwise into 8 long 1/4″ slices.  Brush both sides with the olive oil and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Pop into hot oven and bake 10-15 minutes.  Turn and bake on the other side for 15 minutes.  You’re not looking for brown here, just softened (partially cooked).  🙂  Remove and cool for handling.  Lower oven to 350º.  Spoon 4 T. of the spaghetti sauce onto a ceramic baking dish and spread thinly to prevent sticking.

While the eggplant is baking, remove casings from sausage and using your hands as with meatloaf, mix the meat up into a single log.  Divide the log into 8 equal portions and shape into smaller thumb-size logs.  Lightly brown them in a skillet and then remove from heat.  When eggplant has cooled enough to handle, place a log of sausage, 1 T. cream cheese, 4-5 baby spinach leaves, a tiny bit of the Mozzarella (about 2 tsp.) on one end of each eggplant slice.  Carefully roll them as tightly as you can and place seam down into the baking dish.  Spoon the remaining spaghetti sauce evenly over the tops of the rolls.  There won’t be much sauce, but these are so rich, you won’t need any more!  Sprinkle the Parmesan over the tops of the rolls.  Next sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top.  Slice the tomato into 8 thin slices and place one on each roll and dust with the dried basil leaves.

Cover with foil and bake in a 350º oven for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and baked about 15-20 minutes more or until bubbly and cheese appears to be all melted on top.  Dip up with a spatula so as to get the sauce off the bottom of the pan with each serving.  Serve with a nice green salad and ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 rollatini, each contains:

280 cals. 23.3 g fat, 5.97 g carbs, 2.0 g fiber, 3.97 g NET CARBS, 12.5 g protein, 465 mg sodium

Blue Crab Stuffing

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This is the crab stuffing I’ve made for many years.   I developed this recipe to try to imitate the stuffed crab I ordered many times at Gaido’s seafood restaurant atop the seawall on Galveston Island, Texas where we lived for over 20 years.  This was one of my favorite dishes on their menu.  Bar none, the best stuffed crab I have ever eaten.  My take on it is fairly close, so I am still cooking this to this daay.  It’s easy to prepare and always at hit with dinner guests.  If you have access to fresh, picked crab meat, you’ve GOT to try this one!  This is also great used to stuff baked fish or stuffed mushrooms!  

INGREDIENTS:

1½ lb. crab meat, shelled and picked well for bits of shell (Blue crab is the sweetest and best for this)

3 Flax Sandwich Buns  (or other low-carb bread)

4 oz. finely chopped onion

4 oz. finely chopped celery

1 oz. finely chopped green pepper (or mixture of red and green if you like)

½ oz. parsley

2 oz. heavy cream

¼ tsp. salt

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 tsp. dry mustard powder

½ c. (1 stick) unsalted, melted butter

DIRECTIONS:    Using a large bowl, carefully pick out all bits of shell from crab meat.  Soak 2 of the pieces of bread with the cream and crumble over the crab.  Crumb the remaining roll into fairly fine crumbs.  Set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add celery, onion, bell pepper, salt, cayenne and mustard powder and saute until slightly tender. Add parsley and saute couple minutes longer.  Pour sauteed veggie mixture over crab/bread mixture in the bowl.  Gently toss ingredients to mix well.  Spoon mixture into 6 large crab shells (if you have them) , into individual 6 oven-safe ramekins or stuff into fish prepared for baking.  Top with bread crumbs and bake in preheated 350º oven for 30 minutes (whole 1 lb. fish should be nicely done in that amount of time, but check for flaky done stage on your fish to be sure).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each serving has: (numbers are just for stuffing & does not include fish)

351.3 cals, 25.9g fat, 5.4g carbs, 2.47g fiber, 2.93g NET CARBS, 25.3g protein, 120 mg. sodium

Einkorn Heavenly Biscuits

EinkornHeavenlyBiscuits

When you make these biscuits you’ll think you died and went to heaven!  These biscuits are some of the best I’ve made in 12 years of low-carbing.  Every experiment that preceded these turned out either dry, hard as a rock, crumbly, soda-tasting, too cheesy, too coconut-y, or just plain mediocre.  Well, I’ve finally gotten one that even my husband says tastes (and feels) just like a real flour biscuit in his mouth.  Not crumbly, browned nicely, soft, smooth-textured and no odd aftertaste in your mouth when you’re through eating one.  Definitely a keeper for us!  🙂

This one will truly WOW you.   If you’ve already purchased some Einkorn flour (made from anceint wheat that is not hybridized or modified like modern wheat)…….. get thee to thy kitchen and try this recipe ASAP.  These are unbelievably good!!  Truly heaven to your taste buds. I used an Ebelskiver pan to make mine, as the batter is not real thick and needs “confining”.   A muffin-top pan or even a regular muffin pan should work, too.

These are not suitable until you are near goal in Atkains Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance.  They’re a little carb-y for Keto, but if you want one bad enough, you might be able to fit it into your daily numbers occasionally.  These are not Primal-Paleo appropriate.

If you prefer a biscuit without any wheat flour at all,  not even Einkorn flour, you will want to check out my Peggy’s Fluffy Biscuits.  They’re yummy!

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. my Einkorn Bake Mix (I order Einkorn Flour @ Jovial Foods )

½ c. shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

2 large eggs, beaten

2 T. coconut flour (I use Honeyville Grains)

¼ c. cream

¼ c. water

1 T. olive oil (to oil pan)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 375º.  Lightly oil pan slots with the olive oil and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, measure out 2 c. my bake mix.  Though it helps to let the mix come to room temp, you still need to rework shortening lumps with a fork until the mix is again the texture of cornmeal.  Add all remaining ingredients and stir well.  Let batter sit on counter 3-4 minutes to “thicken” a bit.  Using a ¼ c. measuring cup, dip out 7 portions of batter and drop ¼ c. into each oiled pan slot.  If any remaining batter, evenly distribute it.  Pop pan into 375º oven for 15-17 minutes or until browned to your liking.  These rise up nicely baked in a pan this way.  If you try to do them like drop biscuits, I fear they will spread out and cook much differently than mine above.   You could reduce the water and try them as drop biscuits, but that’s YOUR experiment.  I’m happy with these. 🙂  Serve hot with butter and your favorite jams.  Leftovers should keep nicely for a week in the fridge in a ziploc bag or in the freezer for a month.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 7 large biscuits.  Each one contains:

297 cals, 25.5g fat, 10.68g carbs, 3.20g fiber, 7.48g NET CARBS, 12.4g protein, 191mg sodium

Grilled Steelhead Trout

We were in Sam’s a couple days ago and bought a pack of huge Steelhead Trout fiilets.  We enjhoyed them so much last year when we tried it for the first time, I decided do some on the grill for the Fourth of July.  Here’s a nice article on Steelhead Trout if you’re not familiar with this species that is closely related to salmon: Steelhead Trout

I will be doing it this time without the parsley added to the baste since I’m out of parsley, Oh, My!  May try it with cilantro or dried chervil today instead.  My husband isn’t too fond of salmon but he definitely likes Steelhead Trout! It is, in our opinion, much milder than salmon.  The skin of ths fish isn’t as “tough” as salmon skin either, so I actually eat it on this fish, whereas I will not do that with salmon skin unless charred very crisp.  When your husband, a lifetime fish hater, asks for seconds, you KNOW it’s gotta be good!!!  It is simply DELICIOUS!

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, all Keto diets, and Primal Blueprint as well.  Paleo followers will want to clarify the butter.   I like to make fish tacos with any leftover fish that is smoked.  🙂

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb.10oz. (approximately) filet of Steelhead Trout

6 T. unsalted butter, melted

1/3 c. parsley, chopped (or fresh cilantro)

2 lg. cloves garlic, minced

3/4 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

VARIATIONS:  Use different spice blends in lieu of the Seafood Blend shown.  You can also add 1-2 T. white wine to the sauce for a different flavor twist.

DIRECTIONS:  In small saucepan/skillet melt the butter.  Add garlic, spice blend and parsley.  Heat low for 2-3 minutes and remove.  Baste the skin side of the fish and let it sit on the counter while you prepare the charcoal fire as for grilling steaks.  You want to cook these hot and fast.  They will only take 5-6 minutes on a side.  When the fire is hot, Place the fish filet on the grate  skin side down.  Next baste the top side of the fish.  Bring leftover butter baste in the house to keep hot on the stove for serving at table with the meal.  Using an extra-long spatula gently flip the fish after 5-6 minutes.  Grill the second side of the fish for 5 minutes and it will likely be done.  You don’t want to overcook or dry it out.   Test for flakiness at the thickest part to be sure it is done.  Using an extra long spatula (or 2 shorter ones) carefully remove to a large platter.  Serve with the extra butter sauce reheated if cooled off (melt more butter if need be).  Lovely served with sweet potatoes and a green veggie or salad.  My Chipotle-lime “Sweet Potatoes” go particularly well with grilled fish, as does steamed, buttered broccoli or asparagus spears.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 adult servings, each contains:

358 calories, 26.1g fat, 1.32g carbs, 0.20g fiber, 1.12g NET CARBS, 29.2g protein, 80 mg sodium

Paleo Pot Pie

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Made with Chicken

I want to use up some leftover baked chicken meat for dinner tonight and my husband voted for chicken pot pie.  I have even made this recipe with leftover pork before and it is quite good as well. I have a pot pie recipe on my site already that is Atkins suitable, but that recipe has Carbquick in it and I’m trying to cut back on my use of Carbquik.  I fall back on this recipe of old and it’s just as tasty.  This should satisfy his desire for one of his comfort foods tonight.  We both just love chicken pot pies and like this recipe equally.

This dish is suitable for anyone who has reached the nuts and seeds rung of the Atkins OWL ladder or who follows a Ketogenic or Paleo-Primal program.  The nutritional stats below are very impressive, making it a most nutritious dinner! This would also be good made with turkey or even with rabbit, if you have access.

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

2 c. homemade chicken stock

1 1/3 c. carrot, diced

1 1/3 c. red radishes, diced

½ c. red bell pepper, diced

1½ c. green beans, cooked and chopped a bit

½ tsp. red palm oil (optional, this is for yellow color only)

2 c. chicken breast, cooked, diced

½ tsp. glucomannan powder (or your favorite thickener)

Dash black pepper

3 T. coconut cream

3 T. homemade mayo

Dash olive oil to grease baking dish

TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

1 c. almond flour

2 T. butter or ghee, softened

1 whole egg

1 T. coconut cream or coconut milk

DIRECTIONS:  Pour chicken stock into 4 qt. saucepan.  Add diced carrot and radish.  Bring to boil and simmer until almost tender.  Add bell pepper and cook until it is just softened a bit.  Turn off fire and add chopped green beans.  Stir in coconut cream and mayo.  Dust the glucomannan powder (or whatever thickener you prefer) evenly over the broth and stir quickly to disperse into the sauce.  Sauce should begin to thicken right up.  Add black pepper and stir to blend all ingredients.  Preheat oven to 350º. Grease an 8×11 baking dish with a bit of olive oil and pour chicken filling into the dish.  Set aside while you make the topping.

In a small bowl, measure the almond flour.  With a fork, beat in the soft butter, then the egg and finally the coconut cream or coconut milk.    It will form a medium thick dough.  With the fork and a spoon, drop small dots of the dough evenly all over the top of the chicken filling.  Pop into the preheated 350º oven for about 40 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned on top.  This is nice served with a green salad.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 5 nice 1¼ cup servings, each containing:

426 cals, 33g fat, 12.5g carbs, 5.56g fiber, 6.94g NET CARBS, 24.3g protein, 382mg sodium, 58% RDA Vitamin A, 33% B6, 31% B12, 45% C, 15% E, 37% iron, 48% niacin, 34% phosphorous, 30% riboflavin, 48% selenium, and much more.

Shrimp and Sausage Bisque

I making a batch of my seafood bisque for dinner tonight.  This is a favorite of ours.  It can be ready in just 1 hour, start to finish!  It’s a modification of my trusty gumbo recipe of many years, adding in cream to make it rich and creamy.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, provided those still on Induction omit the white wine.  Those doning Paleo diets need to use coconut milk instead of cream.

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INGREDIENTS:

3 oz. bacon, coarsely chopped

1 c. celery, chopped

3/4 c. green bell pepper, chopped

3 oz. onion, chopped

½ c. parsley, chopped

6 oz. pork breakfast sausage

1 medium leaf kale, (about 3/4 c.), stemmed & chopped fine

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ tsp. Cajun Seafood Spice Blend

½ tsp. dried thyme leaves

¼ tsp. black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

22 large shrimp, (shell removed), cut in halves (12 oz tail-on pkg)

2 c. chicken broth (preferably homemade, or seafood stock)

1 c. heavy cream

¼ c. white wine

Tiny dusting of xanthan gum or your favorite thickener

11 San Marzano mini tomatoes cut into 4 pieces (or 22 cherry tomatoes left whole)

VARIATION:   Add 1 c. shelled/cleaned fresh crab meat + 1 c. extra chicken/seafood broth.  Mmmm.

DIRECTIONS:  In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, brown the bacon.  Add the Louisiana “Holy Trinity” (celery, bell pepper and onion) to the pot and saute until they begin to soften.  Add sausage and saute, crumbling as you do so.  Add kale, garlic and the four spices.  Lower heat to medium.  Add shrimp and saute until opaque.  Add chicken (or seafood) stock, white wine, and cream.   When returns to a simmer, lower heat to lowest setting.  Add tomatoes and simmer about 10 minutes.  Some like this stage of thickening from the cream.  But if you like your cream soups a bit thicker, add the light sprinkle of xanthan gum.  Alternately, if you like more broth in your soup, or ned to stretch this out for more servings (it was a bit thick with “solids”) you can always add 1-2 more cups of chicken stock to the pot.  If you do add more broth, you will definitely want to use a thickener.  Simmer a few minutes longer for the thickener to go to work.  Pour into a soup tureen and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings (as written), each containing:

382 cals, 31g fat, 7.01g carbs, 1.53g fiber, 5.48g NET CARBS, 16.3g protein, 410mg sodium

“Frosted” Sausage Donuts

Sausage Donuts

An interesting approach for a crustless quiche creation.  These rose halfway up the sides of the little pans and each one was a perfect portion for an adult!  And they were delicious! If you don’t like mushrooms, you can just omit them (carbs will go down a wee bit).  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets if you can fit the numbers into your daily routine.  They are suitable for Paleo-Primal folks if you substitute coconut milk for the cream.

INGREDIENTS:

5 oz. pork bulk sausage

4 medium mushrooms, chopped

1 green onion, chopped

3 medium eggs, beaten

¼ c. shredded Monterrey Jack or Mozzarella cheese

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

1 c. heavy cream

¼ tsp. dried tarragon

Dash each salt, pepper and cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp. xanthan gum or your favorite thickener

OPTIONAL:  Chopped parsley to garnish

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Crumble and cook the sausage, green onion and mushrooms over medium-high heat.  Spoon 1/4 of the mixture into two non-stick mini angel food cake pans.  If you don’t have those, use a donut pan (you will have to spread mixture and cheese out over 4 donut wells instead of 2 pans as I used).  Alternately, you could fill 2 large muffin pan wells or use two mini-loaf pans.   Sprinkle 1 T. cheese over each one.  Spoon in the remaining 1/4 mixture into each pan again.  Again, sprinkle 1 T. cheese over each one.  All filling and cheese should be distributed now.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl.  Slowly drizzle the egg mixture over all the “donut” shapes you are making.  If you need more egg using different pan, beat up another egg and finish filling them up to 1/2 the height of your well shape.  Pop pan into hot 350º oven and bake for around 10-12 minutes, watching closely so as not to overcook them.  Will be dry to the touch on top when done.

While they are cooking, make the sauce.  Heat the cream in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the tarragon, salt (omit if very sensitive to salt), pepper and cayenne.  Dust your preferred thickener over the top and stir until it thickens up for you.   When you remove the cooked donuts from the oven, tip them out of the pans onto your serving platter, using a knife tip to help removing them.  Spoon the sauce over the top and garnish with chopped parsley if desired.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

810 cals., 75.1g fat, 6.25g carbs, 0.85g fiber, 5.4g NET CARBS, 29.15g protein, 870 mg sodium

Since you may use different pans, I am providing the numbers for the entire recipe below.  Simply divide these numbers by the number of portions you made to get the values for one of YOUR servings.

ENTIRE RECIPE CONTAINS:  1621 calories, 150.2g fat, 12.5g carbs, 1.7g fiber, 10.8g net carbs, 58.3g protein, 1740 mg sodium

Sausage-Bacon Croquettes

These delicious cheesy croquettes were quite a surprise, considering I just started throwing stuff from the fridge into the skillet, having forgotten to defrost any major meat for dinner.  After Texas’ horrific arctic blast of single-digit temps in February, we all lost a lot of landscape shrubs and trees.  Over 3 months now of digging up dead ones, pruning those struggling to stay alive and as always, finding a few new ones I’d like to try.  So lately I’m choosing to work in my garden over cooking.  I often ‘overdo’ it in the garden, and fatigue blocks my energy to cook dinner………………..so meals on such days are real simple.

My husband loved these and ate three!  We both agreed this one’s a keeper for a simple, quick meal.  There’s just enough cheese in these to pull all the flavor layers together and to facilitate browning but you can use less if you need to pull the sodium count down a bit.  To these I chose to use a hint of Cajun seasoning, but you can use any favorite seasoning blend you like to enhance smoked meats.  These tasty patties are suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal Blueprint followers.  With the cheese, they are not acceptable for Paleo.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. cooked spaghetti squash threads (half medium squash)

6 oz. smoked sausage (I use Burton’s)

2 slices thick-slice bacon

1 tsp. bacon grease  (if bacon too lean)

1 oz. each red and green bell pepper

1½ oz. yellow onion

1 clove garlic, minced

Dash black pepper

3/4 tsp. my Cajun Seafood Spice Blend (or spices of your choice)

2T. + 1 tsp. golden flax meal

1 large egg, beaten

1½ c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or mozzarella)

VARIATION:  Use different cheese of choice; use diced shrimp.

DIRECTIONS:  Cook the squash with your preferred method.  You will only be using half the squash for this recipe, so reserve the rest in the fridge for another use.  I cut the stem end off my squash, cut the squash in half lengthwise and microwave face down in a dab of water for about 13 minutes.  With a towel, hold the cooked squash in one hand and fork out the threads onto a cutting board.  Chop, place into a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

On a cutting board chop the onion, red pepper & green pepper fairly small.  Next chop the sausage & bacon into 1/4″ dice.  Over medium-high heat, cook the bacon & sausage in a skillet until nearly done.  Add chopped veggies to the pan and cook all until thoroughly cooked and veggies are softened.  I had to add 1 tsp. bacon grease to the pan (included in the fat number below) as my bacon was so lean.  You can leave that out if your bacon is fatty enough to fry the mixture properly.   Remove from heat and spoon over the squash threads in your bowl.  Add garlic, pepper and Cajun Seafood Spice Blend and stir to mix.  Add the cheese shreds, beaten egg, flax meal and again stir to blend well.  Let mixture rest a few minutes for the egg and flax to properly set up.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle to medium-high.  Using a serving spoon, spoon out 8 fairly equal portions of the mixture on the hot griddle.  Slightly press the mixture piles flatter.  DO NOT move these around as they are quite fragile until they are browned on one side.  When the first side is browned upon peeking, quickly flip them to the other side and brown as shown in the photo.  You don’t want to under-brown these as it is the browning of the mixture at pan contact that helps them taste their best.  I served these with a bowl of buttered broccoli, but they would be nice with any green vegetable or a lovely salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 croquettes, each contains:

191 cals, 14g fat, 5.75g carbs, 2.11g fiber, 3.64g NET CARBS, 11.7g protein, 484 mg sodium

Montreal-Chipotle Pulled Pork

Montreal-Chipotle Pulled Pork

I have been wanting to cook a large pork roast this week for a few meals and to have some leftovers for sandwiches and snacks.   My grocery store had fresh pork picnic on sale for $.97 per# this week so I bought a 9# bone-in picnic shoulder roast.  We didn’t feel like firing up the grill for this, so I just baked the pork roast low and slow in the oven.  Wanted falling-off-the-bone tender and that’s what we got!  I saved all the wonderful baking juices and froze them for future soup making.  Didn’t want the entire piece done as seasoned pulled pork, so I baked it just with salt, pepper and a little Homemade Montreal Seasoning on the surfaces.  Man, did this roast come out delicious!!  One of the best pork roasts I’ve ever done with the sauce on it.  Then I decided to put tonight’s dinner’s worth on the table as a seasoned pulled pork and went about making my sauce.  Mmmm.  Delicious indeed!  Next time we’ll perhaps do it on the grill, for that added flavor layer.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo (provided you use ghee for the butter).

INGREDIENTS:

1 pork roast (I used a 9# bone-in picnic shoulder roast, but a Boston butt, shank, or loin will do)

Sea Salt and black pepper

1 tsp. my Homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning

SAUCE:  6 T. melted butter, 1 tsp. red wine vinegar, 2 tsp. Homemade Montreal Steak Spice Blend, ½-1 tsp. Tobasco Chipotle Sauce® and 1/4 tsp. liquid smoke (any brand, but I use “Amish Meadow”.   Sorry, don’t remember where I ordered it from).

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 325º.  Place pork roast skin/fatty-side up in a 9×13 baking pan.  Coat all surfaces with Black pepper, 1 tsp. Montreal Spice Blend, and I use Pink Himalayan Sea Salt.  Cover pan tightly with foil.   Pop into 325º oven and bake for 30 minutes to allow it to heat to the center.  Reduce oven to 250º and continue slow baking (for an 8-9# bone-in roast) for about 5 hours. This could be done in a slow-cooker, but I’m not experienced with them, so check for a slow-cooker recipe on-line for guidelines for a 9# roast for setting and time.

Make the sauce in a small sauce pan over low heat, simmering the ingredients for 2-3 minutes only.  Remove from heat.

At the 5 hour mark, open oven, remove meat from oven and take foil off pan.  Slice off any thick skin and the fat layer from the top of the meat (it should almost slide right off effortlessly if meat is done properly to 160-170º internal temperature).  I freeze this for other uses and seasoning. My dog sometimes gets a bit on her dinner.  It’s very good for a dog’s coat and skin and highly digestible for dogs.

Increase oven heat to 350º and return pan uncovered to the oven.  Allow meat surfaces to slightly brown for about 30 minutes.  Remove meat from oven and cool slightly.  Shred off the meat with a fork or tongs, pulling off as much meat onto your serving platter as you think your family will consume.  Using a brush, baste the meat with the warm Montreal-Chipotle butter sauce, coating it well.  Serve at once with your favorite sides or a salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Each 3 oz. portion of meat contains:

350 calories, 28.1 g fat, 0.90 g carbs, 0.30 g fiber, 0.60 g NET CARBS, 23 g protein, 87 mg sodium

Pineapple Bars

Pineapple Bars

I made a delicious cake-like bar that can be eaten at breakfast or enjoyed as an afternoon snack.  Hot, it will need to be eaten with a fork on a plate; cooled you can pick them up and eat with your hands.  These would be a nice treat for a child’s school lunchbox.This recipe is not suitable until the higher-carb fruits rung of the Atkins Phase 2 OWL carb reintroduction ladder.

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. warm water

1 tsp. dry yeast

¼ tsp. sugar (consumed by the yeast)

½ c. almond flour

1 T. oat fiber (omit for a 100% gluten-free version)

1/3 c. granular erythritol (or sweetener to equal 1/3 c. sugar)

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 Monterrey Jack or mozzarella cheese

1 tsp. cider vinegar

1 T. heavy cream

1  20 oz. can of pineapple chunks, drained and chopped coarsely

STREUSEL TOPPING:  2½ T. cold butter, 1 T. cinnamon, 2 T. erythritol or Splenda, ¼ c. chopped walnuts (or other nuts) and ¼ c. flax meal

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease an 8″ square metal baking pan and set aside. Dissolve the yeast with the warm water and sugar in a small saucer.  Set aside for now.

Soften cream cheese in medium mixing bowl.  Beat in the eggs, cream, vinegar, shredded cheeses and stir well until smooth. Add the proofed yeast mixture and stir again. Finally add the pineapple and stir.  Measure all the dry ingredients on top of the wet and stir with a rubber spatula to blend until you have a uniform mixture.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly.

For the topping, using a fork, blend the cold butter, erythritol, 1 T. flax meal and cinnamon in a small bowl until it is a coarse, crumbly mixture.  Add the nuts, stir well.  Sprinkle evenly over the batter and pop pan into 350º oven.  Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until dry to the touch, firm in the center and lightly browned around the edges.  Cool a few minutes and cut evenly into 9 squares.  Serve warm on a plate with breakfast coffee or tea.   Store leftovers in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 9 servings, each contains:

235 cals, 20g fat, 4.48g carbs, 2.48g fiber, 2g NET CARBS, 11.8g protein, 265 mg sodium

Beef-Broccoli Pie

beef-broccoli-pie

I adore broccoli steamed, but I’m frankly not too fond of it added to casseroles.  It invariably cooks too long and gets bitter.  So I had strong misgivings about adding it in this recipe.  I think I must have used just the right amount of broccoli, because I LOVED this final dish and the broccoli didn’t get strong-tasting!!  My husband, when he carried his plate to the kitchen sink, after having wolfed down seconds, said “You can add THAT one to your regular rotations.”  That’s always a pretty good sign from him. 😉  The filling was quite creamy yet not overly wet.  Having used grass-fed beef for this, the beef flavor was rich indeed. Give this one a try! I’m certain you’re going to like it.  Although not suitable until you are closer to goal weight, this one is well worth the wait.  If you use Induction suitable biscuit dough (like flax muffin batter) and not do a bottom crust, those still in the initial Atkins Induction phase could still enjoy this recipe. 🙂

VARIATION:  You lamb fans could use ground lamb in this pie for a very nice variation.

CRUST INGREDIENTS:

1 1/3 c. CarbQuik bake mix (use a gluten-free bake mix for a gluten-free version)

¼ c. oat flour (from certified gluten-free oats if you require that)

½ c. coconut oil or cold butter

¼ tsp. sea salt

1/3 c. ice water

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

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

6 large mushrooms, sliced chopped coarsely

1/3 c. red bell pepper, chopped

2 oz. onion, chopped

½ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

½ c. drained or Greek yogurt

¼ c. cream

Dash each salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

1½ c. broccoli, raw, coarsely chopped

DIRECTIONS:  Make the blender mushroom soup (linked above) per that recipe’s instructions.  You will only use half of this soup for this recipe. Store the remaining half in your refrigerator for another use.

Measure out the dry ingredients for the crust in a medium mixing bowl.  Stir well.  With a fork or pastry cutter, blend in the coconut oil or cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal and visually appears to be uniformly blended.  Add the ice water slowly and with your fork, stir until it forms a solid ball of dough.  I had to knead mine 4-5 times to facilitate that. Divide dough into a chunk of 2/3 of the dough for the bottom crust and 1/3 of the dough for the top crust.  Roll bottom crust between 2 sheets of plastic wrap until 1-1½” larger than your baking dish.  I used a 7 x 11 ceramic dish.  Remove top plastic and lift the dough, plastic and all and gently tip it onto the pan, centered.  Remove plastic and press it in the bottom and along the sides of your baking dish.  If there are any tears, just press it together.  Perfection here is not an issue.  Set aside while you cook the filling.

Preheat oven to 350º.  Brown the meat in a non-stick skillet (mine is ceramic) over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and bell pepper.  Saute until veggies are nearly tender.  Add the chopped mushrooms and saute the mixture just until they are no longer opaque.  Stir in the condensed soup, yogurt and cream until they are uniformly blended.  Stir in the raw chopped broccoli, salt and pepper last.  Only saute 1 minute as you DO NOT want the broccoli really cooked much.  That happens in the oven.

With a rubber spatula, scrape filling into the crust.  Now roll out the remaining dough to roughly the size and shape of your dish (again between plastic wrap) and top the pie with it.  Seal the edges of the top and bottom crust crimping in any fashion you like. Make some vent holes with a knife tip or fork.  Pop into 350º oven for about 1 hour or until dough is golden brown.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains:

340 calories, 33 g  fat, 19.83 g  carbs, 11.26 g  fiber, 8.57 NET CARBS, 10 g  protein, 353 mg sodium

London Broil

When you want to tenderize a tougher cut of meat, like flank steak or London Broil, you have to marinate it to loosen up those meat fibers a bit.  This is one of my favorite steak marinades to use on London Broil.  If you can’t get flank or London Broil, use a piece of lean chuck roast. The flavor on the outer crust of meat is just divine.  The longer you marinate the meat, the more tender the meat will get.  Marinating all day long is preferred, but a minimum of 4-5 hours is a must lest you end up with a very tough, difficult to chew experience.  My husband cooked ours tonight a bit too long (medium) for our personal taste, as we prefer medium rare, but it was still quite tasty and still fairly tender.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins beyond Induction.  If you are still on induction, sub in some beef broth for the red wine.

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. piece of London Broil or flank steak

½ clove garlic, minced

1½ tsp. tomato paste

½ c. red wine (or beef broth if still on Induction)

¼ c. low sodium soy sauce

2 T. balsamic  vinegar

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

DIRECTIONS:  Coat the meat with the black pepper and set in a glass or plastic marinating pan.  Add the remaining ingredients, stirring in the tomato paste well until it is evenly distributed in the liquid.  Using a basting brush, drizzle the marinade over the meat and place marinating pan in the refrigerator.  Marinate for at least 4 hours to all day long, drizzling over the meat carefully hourly.  Turn the meat once or twice while marinating.

When ready to cook, prepare a hot charcoal fire.  Lift meat out of marinating pan and discard the marinade.  Place meat directly over the hot coals and grill for about 8-10 minutes on a side or until it reaches your desired stage (around 8 minutes per side for medium rare; around 10 for medium as shown).  These two cuts of meat are really too tough to cook them well done.  Just being honest.  Serve with a nice salad or your favorite green side dish.  This is delicious with compound butter, if you have a favorite recipe.  Here’s the one I used tonight:  Garlic Herb Butter.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  As the marinade is discarded, a firm count per serving is difficult to arrive at.  No more than 1 T. is consumed on the meat surfaces, if THAT much.  1 T. marinade contains around 1.27 net carbs, so that is what is added to the serving below.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Serves 6-7 people nicely (maybe 8), so each serving of meat with 1 T. marinade contains around:

297 calories, 12g fat, 1.3 carbs, 0 fiber, 0 NET CARBS, 44 g protein, 101 mg sodium

Eggplant Parmigiana “Sandwiches”

EggplantSandwich

This recipe is deep in my blog archives so I thought I’d re-post it for my readers that love Italian food.  This recipe is inspired by a dish my mother used to make when I was in high school.  Of course, she used bread crumbs and not the pork rinds I used to keep the final sammies  lower-carb.  Her dish didn’t have meat in it, just the eggplant.  However the meat takes a veggie side to a complete meal!  This dish, prepared with meat, makes a delicious dinner entree that will WOW! your dinner guests and family.  It is quite filling!  I serve this with a tossed green Italian salad.  This dish can also be made with ground lamb if you prefer, giving it a Middle Eastern flair.  This recipe is suitable for Induction, too.  Despite their name, it takes a fork and knife to eat these hearty “sandwiches”.

INGREDIENTS:

½  recipe of my Oven-Fried Eggplant (adding the 1 oz. crushed pork rinds below to coating)   

1 oz. crushed pork rinds

6 oz. ground beef (or lamb)

2 slices provalone cheese

2  1-oz. slices mozzarella cheese (or grated)

½ c. low-carb spaghetti sauce  (I used this:  http://buttoni.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/peggys-spaghetti-sauce/ )

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

2 T. Parmesan cheese

VARIATION:  Use ground lamb instead of ground beef for a Greek twist, subbing in feta cheese for the provalone.

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 450º.  Make ½ recipe my Oven Fried Eggplant per instructions for that recipe, with the one addition of 1 oz. crushed pork rinds to the coating mixture.  This takes about 20 minutes to bake at 450º.  While this is baking, form two nice beef patties from the meat and brown them in a non-stick skillet.  When eggplant is browned nicely, remove from oven (remember, it will be browner on bottom than on top).  Lower oven to 350º.  Place 2 T. spaghetti sauce atop each of two slices (the other two slices will form the second layer of these stacks).      Next place a browned meat patty on them.  Top them with a slice of provalone cheese and ½ T. of the Parmesan.  Sprinkle on half the basil.  Now place another slice of eggplant on top.  Spoon 2 more tablespoons of sauce on top.  Top each with 1 oz. grated or sliced mozzarella.  Top each with half the remaining Parmesan and basil.  I had one small slice of eggplant leftover and laid it on top of the serving simply for photographic impact, but I don’t usually do this.   Sauce and cheese are usually the final layer.  Pop sandwiches back into oven at 350º for about 5-10 minutes to melt cheeses. If the tops slide off, just push them back on top before serving.  🙂  Happens all the time to me.  Cheese is slippery. 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes two servings, each contains:

502 calories, 31.7 g  fat, 8.1 g  carbs, 3.4 g  fiber, 4.7 g  NET CARBS, 44.4 g  protein, 1144 mg sodium

Gluten-Free Grain-Free Cinnamon Bread

Click to enlarge

This is a tasty breakfast variation using my gluten-free focaccia bread recipe.  I just shaped the batter into 9 individual Cinnamon Bread Buns and sprinkled cinnamon and Steviva (blend of stevia and erythritol)  on them.   Hot out of the oven with butter they were VERY good.   They’re really too thin to slice, but making fewer would make them thicker, thus making it possible to slice them for broiler toasting (I would pre-butter if broiling).  This is suitable for Phase 2 of Atkins when you reach the nuts and seeds rung of the carb ladder.  These are not suitable for Primal-Paleo unless you eat whey protein powder and cheese occasionally.

VARIATION:  You can snip a very few raisins to add for a raisin bread version.  You can add a little finely chopped, peeled peach or nectarine for a tasty version. You need to add those carbs below if you add raisins or peaches.

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. almond flour

¼ c. golden flax meal

¼ c. unflavored, unsweetened whey protein powder

1 tsp. baking powder

3 T. cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs, beaten

1 c. grated Monterrey Jack cheese

½ c. grated Mozzarella cheese

1 tsp. cider vinegar

1 T. heavy cream

1 T. water

Cinnamon

about 2 tsp. Steviva or sweetener of your choice

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Soften cream cheese in medium mixing bowl in microwave.  Beat in the eggs, cream, water, vinegar and both cheeses.  Measure and add in all the dry ingredients and stir well with a rubber spatula. Line a sheet pan either with parchment paper or silicone sheet.  Scoop the batter onto the prepared pan into 9 equal portions. I used a 1/4 c. measuring cup.  Spreading the batter out the size of a slice of bread.  Sprinkle tops with cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. Steviva or other sweetener of your choosing.  Pop into 350º oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until done to the touch in the center and just beginning to lightly brown.  If you wish to broiler toast them, put some melted butter on top of each and broil to lightly toasted stage.  Store leftovers, once cooled, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 9 pieces, each contains:

149 cals, 11.5g fat, 3.5g carbs, 2.1g fiber, 1.4g NET CARBS, 10.1g protein, 204 mg sodium

Sausage Cheese Biscuits

 

How about a pan of these delicious hearty biscuits for breakfast in the morning?  I made them for us today.  My husband just sloved them!  They are not only tasty, but they are very light and not at all crumbly like so many low-carb bisctuits turn out.   Better yet, they are very simple to make!  This is certainly a breakfast treat suitable for Atkins Induction or other Keto diets if the numbers will fit into your daily menu limits.  

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 c. whey protein, unflavored, unsweetened

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

4 oz. pork breakfast sausage, cooked

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1½ tsp. coconut flour

1 T. almond flour

1 T. oat fiber (for gluten-free biscuits, omit or substitute 1 T. certified gluten-free oat flour)

Pinch garlic powder

1 egg, beaten

¼ c. melted butter, unsalted

3 T. cream

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Brown sausage in non-stick skillet, crumbling it up well.  Melt butter in mixing bowl in microwave.  Add cream and beaten egg.  Add sausage and cheese and stir.  Measure out all dry ingredients on top and stir all together just until ingredients are well mixed.  Using a 2T. measuring cup, scoop out rounded scoops (about ¼ c.) into 8 greased muffin cups (I use a silicon muffin pan).  If any batter is left in the bowl, top each off equally with the remaining batter.  I used a square muffin pan and this amount of batter made eight that rose nearly double, but did not mound very high, as you can see in the pic.  Bake at 350º for about 12-15 minutes, but check at 10 minutes as ovens vary.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 biscuits, each contains:

106 calories, 8.6 g  fat, 2.06 g carbs, 0.84g fiber, 1.12 g  NET CARBS, 8.79 g  protein, 189 mg sodium

Indian Butter Chicken

This is my husband’s favorate Indian dish.  He always orders it when we eat Indian out, so I thought I’d try to duplicate it using my favorite chicken curry recipe as a starting point.  The flavors are very similar in my opinion, but this dish is richer (with all the butter and cream added) and it has more tomato in it than my regular curry recipe.  This is ever so easy to make once you have the ingredients on hand, and the results are simply stellar!  This dish is suitable for those still on Atkins Induction Phase and is also suitable for Primal diners.  Paleo followers will need to use coconut milk and ghee (clarified butter) instead of the cream or regular butter.  

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. whole cumin seed

2 T. olive oil

3 oz. sliced onion

2 deboned 7-8 oz. chicken breasts, cut into 1-1½” chunks

¼ tsp. salt

¼-½  tsp. cayenne pepper  (use ½ tsp. only if you like food really HOT with spice)

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ T. fresh ginger root, peeled and minced fine

¼ tsp. ground turmeric

1T. + 1 tsp. my homemade Garam Masala 

4 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 c. chicken broth

2  Roma tomatoes (3″) , cut into large cubes or wedges 

4 T. tomato paste (about ½ of 6-oz small can)

4 T. more butter

3/4 c. heavy cream 

DIRECTIONS:  In a dry non-stick skillet or wok, dry roast the whole cumin seed, stirring, just until they become fragrant but not burned (about 1-2 minutes).  Add olive oil and onions & saute a few minutes until onions are translucent.  Add chicken and continue to saute until chicken is no longer pink.  Add all remaining ingredients except heavy cream. Simmer covered on lowest heat setting about 30 minutes until tomatoes are tender and falling totally apart.  Some use a stick blender to puree the mixture at this point, but I personally do not do this as I like the onions to remain visible in my curry.  Your call there.  Add the heavy cream and continue to simmer (unlidded) over low heat for 5-10 minutes longer.  It should thicken right up as the cream reduces.  You can eat this as  is at this point, or…… if you prefer, you can serve it over steamed cauliflower, baked eggplant slices, or for any non-low-carbing diners at your table, over steamed basmati rice.   Those are not included below, however.  Make the necessary recalculations if you serve your Butter Chicken atop one ov these.  

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 5, each serving contains:

463 cals, 35.5g fat, 7.88g carbs, 1.68g fiber, 6.2g NET CARBS, 29g protein, 530 mg. sodium (omit salt & recude cream if you are sodium sensitive)

Indian Chicken Tikka Masala or Curry

Chicken Tikka Masala

This particular curry recipe, similar to Chicken Tikka Masala, is the one I keep coming back to again and again.  I’m cooking this for dinner tonight with some leftover rotisserie chicken breast meat, so I thought I’d re-post this for those new to my site.  Typically one uses tomato paste in the creamy sauce for Tikka Masala, rather than whole tomatoes, but my husband really likes the fresh tomatoes chunks in curry. This is ever so easy to make with the ingredients on hand, and the results are simply DELICIOUS!  This recipe is also great made with a firm-fleshed fish or shrimp.  When doing it with fish, cut de-boned fish into large pieces and prepare sauce first.  Add fish the last 5-10 minutes of cooking so it won’t overcook and fall apart.  Firm-fleshed Red fish or Red Snapper are excellent choices for simmered dishes, if you can get it, as they are firm enough to not fall apart into the sauce!  This dish is OK for Induction and is also suitable for Primal diners.  Paleo followers need to use coconut milk instead of the heavy cream.  For true Tikka Masala, I use 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste instead of the chunks of whole tomato.  For Tikka, I also add more cream for its richness.  🙂

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. whole cumin seed

2 T. olive oil

3 T. butter

3 oz. sliced onion

2 deboned 7-8 oz. chicken breasts, cut into 1-1½” chunks

¼ tsp. salt

¼-½  tsp. cayenne pepper  (use ½ tsp. only if you like food really HOT with spice)

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ T. minced fresh ginger

½ tsp. ground turmeric

1 T. my homemade Garam Masala 

4 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 c. chicken broth

1   whole Roma tomatoes (3″) , cut into large cubes (use 1-2 Tbsp. tomato paste for Tikka Masala gravy or a Butter Chicken flavor and appearance).

¼ c. heavy cream [use ½ c. for Tikka Masala]

DIRECTIONS:  In a dry non-stick skillet or wok, dry roast the whole cumin seed, stirring, just until they become fragrant but not burned (about 1-2 minutes).  Add olive oil, butter and onions & saute a few minutes.  Add chicken and continue to saute until chicken is opaque.  If using fish or shrimp, wait to add later.  Add all remaining ingredients except heavy cream. Simmer covered on lowest heat about 30 minutes until tomatoes are tender but not falling totally apart.  Add heavy cream and continue to simmer 5-10 minutes longer.  If using fish or shrimp, add now and simmer just until it is done.  If desired, slightly thicken with a few successive, light dustings of xanthan gum or glucomannan powder, whisking or stirring vigorously between additions.  Serve over steamed cauliflower or basmati rice for non-low-carb guests.  Sometimes I add my cauliflower right into the curry the last 15 minutes of cooking for a change of pace.  Like the tomatoes, do not cook the cauliflower too long.  Adjust info below if you add cauliflower or other vegetables to the dish.

VARIATION:  Sprinkle in a few frozen green peas as shown above.  But just a few!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 3, each serving containing:

527 cals., 34.6g fat, 7.83g carbs, 2.03g fiber, 5.80g NET CARBS, 44.3g protein, 194 mg. sodium

Cherry Mini Bites

Yet another tasty use of my versatile Mozzy Dough recipe and a great way to use up half a can of opened lite cherry pie filling.  The hubs and I have been super strict, ultra low-carbing (under 20 NC a day) since the 1st of September.  We decided to treat ourselves tonight with something sweet.  These  took  a mere 35 minutes to make, start to finish.  I have a 24 slot non-stick mini-muffin pan that turned out to be perfect for this amount of dough and filling.  These come out to be 1.9 net carbs per piece, so an occasional indulgence like this can break the diet monotony without breaking the proverbial “carb bank”.  🙂  These are suitable for Atkins Phase 2 and beyond and most Keto diets.

INGREDIENTS: 

1 recipe my Mozzy Dough

½ can Lite Cherry Pie Filling

VARIATION:  Use other lite pie filling, like blueberry or what you make up from scratch with other fruit.  Another variation would be to dot each crust with 1/2 tsp. cream cheese before adding the fruit topping.  You will need to calculate numbers again if you do that. 

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Make a batch of the Mozzy Dough.  After kneading the ball of dough until smooth, break off 1″ balls of dough and press one ball into each of the 24 slots of mini-muffin pans.   The “bowls” of dough will be quite shallow in the pan slots.  Spoon just 2 cherries (with dab of filling) into each slot neatly.  Pop into 350º oven and bake for around 15 minutes or until the “crust” is lightly browned around the edges.  Remove, cool 1-2 minutes and lift out with knife tip onto serving plate.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 24 Cherry Bites, each contains:

67 cals, 5.1g fat, 3.61g carbs, 1.71g fiber, 1.9g NET CARBS, 4.5g protein, 95 mg sodium (in cheese)

Kale-Orange-Walnut Salad

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I bought a lovely bunch of kale at the store today and decided rather than cook it all, I’d like a salad with part of it for my leftover BBQ Brisket tonight.  Since kale is a bit strong to me, I like to add a bit of fruit to round it out for salads.  It does that so nicely!  The earthy taste of the walnuts and walnut oil playing off the taste of orange are what make this for me.  This salad is delicious alone, butis also delightful with boiled or grilled shrimp, or any meats and seafood as well.

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

BASE SALAD:

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

With red onion.

2 oz. raw onion, sliced thinly (only had white on hand, but red onion is better)

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

2   ½”-slices of orange, cut into thirds

VARIATION:  Add some peeled, sliced jicama to the salad.  It is VERY good in this recipe!

ORANGE VINAIGRETTE:

1 medium orange (use leftover part for a nice Pimm’s Cup!)  🙂

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

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

2 T. orange juice (fresh squeezed)

Dash each salt and coarse black pepper

Dash garlic powder (optional)

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains:

206 calories, 18.4 g  fat, 9.85 g carbs, 3.20 g  fiber, 6.65 g  NET CARBS, 2.3 g protein, 90 mg sodium

Roasted Summer Vegetables

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This dish is incredibly easy to pull together and is exceptionally good with charcoal grilled meats.  Tonight I’m serving this with grilled pork loin chops.  I have even been known to cook this veggie dish in a grilling basket right on the grill with the meat!  Honestly, it’s even BETTER that way!   I’ve also used Chachere’s salt-free Cajun Seasoning in this, which is good, but not quite as good as the Seafood Blend (similar to Emeril’s spice mix).  I also like this dish made with my Chicken Shawarma Spice Blend.  No matter which spice you decide to try on this dish, it always elicits a MmmMmmmMmmm response from dinner guests.  If you don’t like very spicy food, reduce spice to 1T.  Atkins Induction friendly recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium yellow squash cut in 1″ chunks (or zucchini is OK)
1 small eggplant (about 10-12 oz) cut in ½” slices, then cut those in quarters
4 plum tomatoes cut into quarters
1 green, yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and cut in 1″ chunks
1 red bell pepper seeded and cut in 1″ chunks
1 purple onion cut into ½” wedges, layers separated
12 cloves garlic (entire bulb, cloves peeled but left whole)
1-2 Tbsp. Chicken Shawarma Spice blend or my Cajun Seafood Spice Blend
¼ tsp. each salt & black pepper

Splash of extra virgin olive oil (I like to use more personally)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 450º.  Cut up all veggies and place in large mixing bowl.  Drizzle olive oil over all and stir well to coat all veggies with oil and seasonings.  Toss to try and coat all veggies with oil.  Pour into glass casserole pan and bake at 450º for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 6, each serving contains:

107 cals, 7.08g fat, 11.6g carbs, 3.3g fiber, 3g protein, 103mg. sodium, 7.3g NET CARBS