Einkorn Sausage-Cheese Balls

Einkorn Sausage-Cheese Balls

This is an ever-popular party appetizer that never goes out of favor with your guests.  When I’m hosting the appetizers phase of our neighborhood annual Christmas round-robin dinner, this easy treat is easy to make ahead, heat and serve.  I have another Sausage Cheese Ball recipe on my website that rings in at only 1 net carb per ball but I like this one a bit better because it’s a little easier to put together.  It features my convenient homemade Einkorn Low-Carb Bake Mix (similar to Bisquick and Carbquik).  Even with the bake mix, these only have 1.76 net carbs per ball!  Not bad for the convenience of just 3 ingredients.   These are not suitable until the grains rung of the carb re-introduction ladder of Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  They are OK for Keto diets if you can fit them into your daily carb limits.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. breakfast sausage (I used my homemade breakfast sausage recipe)

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

2 c. my Einkorn Bake Mix  (For gluten-free version, use Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten-Free Bake Mix or another GF mix of your choice)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º. Mix the above ingredients in a medium bowl with your hands as you would a meatloaf mixture.  When thoroughly blended, form into 30 1″ balls and place on non-stick baking sheet or one lined with parchment or silicone sheet for ease of clean-up. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove to paper towels to drain off any excess grease (mine had none actually).  Serve warm and ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 30  1″ balls, each sausage ball contains:

95 calories, 7.81 g  fat, 2.4 g  carbs, 0.64 g fiber, 1.76 g  NET CARBS, 4.82 g  protein, 81 mg sodium

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English Muffin

English Muffin

This is my lowest carb English muffin experiment to date.  It sure toasts nicely and psychologically allows me to feel like I’m having an English muffin.  The flavor is nice, especially with jam.  I tried to take my picture so you could see the inside texture well.  The air bubbles brought about with the addition of baking powder really do facilitate crisper toasting and promote the resemblance of a flour-based English muffin, I think.  These would not be suitable until the OWL phase of Atkins since they have almond flour.  **For you recipe tweakers…….do not substitute coconut flour in this recipe.  I did one that way and it was hard as a rock, didn’t toast so well, and not very good flavor-wise either.

A considerably improved version and my favorite now, you might also want to try this improved version of a low-carb English muffin.  However, at double the carbs, you will want to wait until you get to or are nearly to Atkins Maintenance level to enjoy this higher carb iteration:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/einkorn-english-muffin/

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  Therein she brings you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in each of the first 5 volumes! Order your set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS: 

2 T. melted butter, unsalted

1 large egg, beaten

pinch salt (omit if using salted butter)

1 T. almond flour or meal

1 tsp. oat fiber   (Available at Netrition.com.  Substitutions will result in more carbs; omitting will give different texture)

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. psyllium husk powder (optional for slightly chewy muffin)

DIRECTIONS:   Melt butter in microwave in a small round bowl.  I used a 4″ ceramic ramekin.    Beat in the egg until smooth.  Add dry ingredients and beat until batter is smooth. Microwave on HI for 2 minutes.  Tip muffin out onto cutting board and carefully slice in half laterally.  Toast to desired brownness and butter or serve with your favorite no-sugar jam or fruit topping.  My picture is shown with sugar-free blackberry jam.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 1 English muffin which contains (total both halves):

294 calories, 27 g  fat, 7.4 g   carbs, 4.6 g fiber, 2.8 g  NET CARBS, 10.9 g  protein, 217 mg sodium

Chicken à la King

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This dish comes together amazingly fast and is very easy.  And it’s DELICIOUS!  Because of the slightly higher carbs of carrots and peas, this is not really Induction friendly or Keto friendly as written.   However, if you substitute cut green beans for the peas, use a little less of the condensed soup and add a bit more broth/water, you could fit it into Induction and a Keto program.  This recipe is not suitable for Primal-Paleo.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with a number of low-carb cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your books TODAY! (available individually or as a set) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS: 

1 large chicken breast (8-10 oz.) (or chopped white turkey meat)

1 T. butter, unsalted

2 oz. frozen peas

2 oz. carrot, chopped

5 oz. daikon radish, chopped

1 oz. red bell pepper, chopped

1 oz. green bell pepper, chopped

1 oz. onion, chopped

Dash black pepper

½ recipe my low-carb Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

DIRECTIONS:  Cut up the vegetables and simmer in boiling water until just tender.  While they are cooking, skin the chicken and remove from bone with a sharp knife. Slice the chicken into 3 lateral slices for 3 equal portions.  Pound with meat tenderizing tool without tearing them apart.  Sear the chicken until nicely browned on both sides.

When veggies are tender (in about 10-15 minutes), strain off water.  Stir in the condensed soup and toss gently with a spoon.  If too thick, add a bit of water of chicken broth to thin.  Plate the chicken “filets” and spoon the sauce over them. Serve at once with a lovely green salad.

An alternate method of cooking and serving is to cut up the chicken into bite-sized pieces and saute that way and add it right into the creamed veggie mixture.   Then serve over toasted low-carb bread of some sort. Be sure to calculate the bread into the numbers below if you serve it that way, which is traditional for Chicken à la King.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 3 servings, each contains (varies with size of chicken breast):

437 calories, 27 g  fat, 10.9 g  carbs, 2.8 g  fiber, 8.1 g  NET CARBS, 25.6 g  protein, 917 mg sodium

Chicken Brussels Sprouts Casserole

Click to enlarge

The dish was literally a toss-in-a-little-of-this-and-a-little-of-that creation.  As is often the case, sometimes those dishes come out tasting quite good.  This one has proven to be extremely popular amongst my Facebook fans.  My husband ate seconds, which is always a good indicator, so I thought I’d share this one with you since I plan to fix it this evening for dinner.  Although quinoa is technically a seed, this recipe is not suitable until you reach the higher-carb grains rung of the Atkins carb ladder (Phase 2 OWL).

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. homemade chicken broth

¼ c. quinoa (substitute hemp hearts for much lower carb count)

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

4 slices bacon, chopped

2 T. butter

1 c. celery, chopped

2½ oz. onion, chopped

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

¼ c. heavy cream

Dash each salt and black pepper

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

468 cals, 33g fat, 15.27g carbs, 2.9g fiber, 12.37g NET CARBS, 25.8g protein, 880 mg sodium

Spinach Cheese Bread

Spinach Cheese Bread

Not quite wanting pizza for lunch yesterday, I turned to an old, simpler recipe created sometime back.  I had not baked it in a very long time.  This was created with my best pizza crust recipe modified it a bit.  I just added more cheese and some spinach and MAN!  Was this ever good!  And look how low-carb it is!!!!!    Even my husband said “This is really, really good, Peggy!  Be sure to upload this onto the blog!”  And it is so easy to put together.  You can enjoy this delicious treat once you have reached Atkins Phase 2 or are beyond that point in your weight loss journey.

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. almond flour

¼ c. whey protein powder, unflavored

¼ c. golden flax meal (or more whey protein powder)

1 tsp. baking powder

2 T. oat fiber (not the same thing as oat bran!)

4 T. (2 oz) cream cheese, softened

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1 T. heavy cream

1 tsp. dry yeast, well-dissolved in 2 T. warm water

2 c. shredded Monterey Jack or Mozzarella cheese

1 c. frozen chopped spinach (I did not thaw)

VARIATION:   Remove from oven before fully done, spread a few tablespoons Alfredo sauce and some more sprinkles of spinach on top.  Dust with Parmesan and pop back into oven for more of a true spinach pizza result.  (variation not figured in the nutritional numbers below)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  In a medium mixing bowl, measure out all dry ingredients but the yeast.  Stir well.  Dissolve the yeast in the 2 T. water.  Add to bowl with dry ingredients.  Add in the beaten eggs, cream, vinegar and softened cream cheese.  Beat the wet ingredients into the dry a few strokes.  Add the Jack or mozzy cheese shreds and un-defrosted spinach (break up clumps as you go) and stir to form a thick batter.  Line a 9″ x 12″ sheet pan with silicone or parchment.  Spread batter evenly to fill the pan.  Pop into 350º oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned and dry to the touch in the center.  Remove and cool a few minutes.   Cut into 12 pieces and serve.  If you eat it while still real hot, you will need a fork.  It gets easier to handle in your hand (and tastier) as it begins to cool a bit.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 12 servings, each contains:

154 cals, 12.3 g fat, 3.75 g carbs, 2.49 g fiber, 1.26 g NET CARBS, 9.5 g protein, 232 mg sodium

Bacon Maple Twists

Bacon Maple Twists

My husband asked for pancakes today, but honestly, that is NOT one of my favorite foods.  It’s not the flavors I don’t like; it’s the bulky, cake-like mouth feel of pancakes that just doesn’t seem like breakfast food to me.  So today I created a mock “pancake” thingie that really tasted just like pancakes, maple syrup and bacon without all that voluminous bulk pancakes give you.  These have a slightly chewy texture in your mouth.

I only used half a recipe of dough making 4 twists for the two of us today.  Honestly, they are so filling a serving would be just one twist I think.  They were delicious with our eggs and I will definitely be making these again.  If you’re feeding a large family or have some breakfast company, baking a full recipe of these will make your breakfast task much easier.  This recipe is not suitable until you are well along in Phase 2 Atkins.

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe my Mozzy Dough

8 slices thick-slice bacon

2 T. sugar-free maple syrup (I use Cary’s brand)

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Make the Mozzy Dough per that recipe’s instructions.  On your countertop, roll the ball of dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or silicone sheets) into the form of a rectangle (one side the length of your bacon.  Remove top piece of plastic wrap.  Gently cut into 8 equal strips with a knife scoring completely the dough, but if using silicone sheet on the bottom, be careful not to cut your silicone sheet with your knife!  Using a brush, baste each slice of dough with the maple syrup.  Lay a slice of bacon down each strip of dough.  Sprinkle with the black pepper.  Next step is a little tricky, but doable if you don’t rush it.  Gently lift your plastic wrap or silicone sheet along the outermost strip of dough/bacon and tip it carefully over onto your hand.  Carefully grab each end with both hands now and lift over to baking pan.  Twist the dough assembly 2-3 times.  Pop into 350º oven and bake for about 15-17 minutes or until the dough is golden and bacon should be done as well.  Remove, allow to “set up” a minute or so before removing from pan with an extra-long spatula.  If you don’t own one yet, I highly recommend an investment in a long spatula.  They are invaluable for such tasks as this and lifting meatloaves or broiled/baked fish out of pans. Mine has an 8″ lifting blade.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 twists, each one contains:

228 calories, 187 g fat, 7.51 g carbs, 4.81 g fiber, 2.7 g NET CARBS, 15.8 g protein, 376 mg sodium

Spicy Cheese Thins

Spicy Cheese ThinsThis recipe is a variation of an Almond Thins cracker recipe posted on Low Carb Friends forums.  It was originally posted there by a member known as Miredkitty, but am not sure if it is in fact Miredkitty’s own recipe.   It has been tweaked by so many good cooks they have come up with a ton of wonderful savory and sweet variations.

I took the basic almond flour thins recipe, doubled it, omitted the Splenda and then added cheese and one of my favorite seasoning combinations to come up with a spicy little snack cracker reminiscent of Cheez-its or Pepperidge Farm Goldfish.  These are very thin and VERY crispy if you allow them to brown a bit!  They are good alone or they are delicious with soup! You can eat five of these crackers for under 2 net carbs!!   My kind of cracker!  These are not suitable until you get to the nuts and seeds rung of the Atkins OWL ladder.

VARIATION:  For an even cheesier taste, you can add 2 T. Nutritional Yeast to the dry ingredients when mixing the dough. 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. almond flour

2 egg whites from large eggs

¼ tsp. onion powder

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional, use more if you like things hot)

1/8 tsp. chili powder

1 c. grated Cheddar cheese (½ more if you want them cheesier)

¼ tsp. salt (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 325º. Cut parchment paper to fit exactly the bottom of an 11″ x 16½” sheet pan.  Just set the paper on your kitchen counter for now.  Mix almond flour and seasonings in a bowl.  Add egg whites and stir with a fork.  Add cheese and continue stirring until it forms a moist dough.  Spoon (or crumble with your hands) the dough evenly onto parchment working from the center out. Cover the dough blobs with a sprayed/oiled sheet of waxed paper the same size.  Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a single, smooth rectangular sheet of dough the size of the parchment.  Be careful to not let the dough exceed the piece of parchment paper. If it does, put those bits back into the sheet and roll smooth again.  You definitely want this dough to go all the way to the edges of the parchment paper so the crackers will be thin enough to be crisp.

Slowly and carefully lift off the waxed paper.  Use the tip of a pointed knife to lift up two corners and with your hands, applying tension to keep the sheet stiff, carefully lift parchment, dough and all onto the baking sheet.  If you cut it the right size, it should sit right down on the bottom nicely.  Using your sharp knife, carefully (and gently since the dough is fragile) score the dough into cracker shapes (8 x 10, making 80 crackers total).  Pop into your preheated 325º oven and bake for about 10-11 minutes or until lightly browned.  The outer rows brown faster, so you will likely need to remove outer rows as soon as they are browned so those don’t get over-browned while  the center ones finish cooking.  Cool a few minutes and separate into separate crackers along your score lines.  Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag.  NOTE:  If these lose their crispness on day 2 or 3 (due to high oil content of cheddar cheese) re-crisp on a baking sheet in a 325º in the oven for about 10 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 80 crackers, each cracker contains: (using 1 c. cheese only)

23.5 cals, 1.98g fat, 0.64g carbs, 0.3g fiber, 0.34g NET CARBS, 1.12g protein, 20 mg sodium

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan with Bacon

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan Bake

This side dish is simply delicious, considering how little is in it!  The bacon and onion really GO together!  If you don’t overcook the squash and are careful when removing the threads, you can serve this right in the shell for its own “bowl” for festive occasions!   One reader suggests roasting the squash traditionally in the oven for added flavor if you have the time.  This is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with a number of talented low-carb cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in the cookbooks! Order yours today from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

½ large spaghetti squash (yields about 4-5 c. cooked threads)

4 slices bacon, chopped fine

3 oz. chopped onion

1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Dash salt

¼ tsp. pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Cut a large spaghetti squash in half.  Remove seeds with a spoon and discard them. Place one half of the squash face down in glass baking dish, reserving the second half for some other use.  Surround with with ½” water and microwave 13-15 minutes.  Drain off water, invert, remove/discard seeds (or feed to the birds in your yard 🙂 ) and fork out the threads into the same dish.  If you prefer to roast your squash:  after you cut and seed the squash, add 2 cups water (1/2 inch deep) to a ceramic casserole dish; add squash face up and place in a 375 degree F oven for 45 minutes.  Then cover for 10 minutes with foil.  Fork out the threads onto a plate. Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet, brown bacon bits and onion until bacon is done and onion is tender.   Sprinkle salt, pepper and Parmesan on top of squash.  Then spoon into the empty squash shell.  Spread onion/bacon mixture evenly on top.  Microwave 5 minutes on high, or bake in oven at 350º for 20 more minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Makes 4 servings each containing:

107 cals, 6.7 g fat, 4.8 g carbs, 0.8 g fiber, 4 g NET CARBS, 7.1 g protein, 429 mg sodium

Momma’s Baked Chicken

Momma's Baked Chicken

This was the baked chicken I was raised on.  Throughout my childhood, I disliked intensely the sour taste of vinegar.  Wouldn’t eat pickles, wouldn’t eat pickled vegetables, wouldn’t eat salads or even condiments that contained vinegar.  But man, when my mom made this baked chicken, I just could not believe I watched her douse it with such an “evil” ingredient and LIKED IT!!!  The natural red grape sugar in the red wine vinegar caramelizes under high heat and gives the chicken skin such a sweet, tangy taste.  The pan juices make a lovely gravy/baste for the drier breast meat.   Fortunately, my taste has changed over the years and I will now consume vinegar without hesitation, provided the food isn’t drowning in vinegar.  🙂

This recipe can be used on a split/butterflied/spatchcocked chicken as pictured, or you and cut the chicken up into pieces.  This method is delicious on Rock Cornish Hens, too.  It is also excellent for BBQ’ing of the chicken, and even for BBQ pork.  This recipe is perfectly suited to all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo as well.

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

6 T.  melted butter

3 T. red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)

1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper

THAT’S IT!!

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 400º.  Place butter in baking pan (I use a metal pan) as the oven is heating up.  Remove pan and add red wine vinegar to the butter, as well as the salt and pepper.  Prepare the chicken.  You can either split the chicken up the back with kitchen shears and spread it out as shown above, or cut the bird up into quarters or single pieces.  Using a brush, baste the pieces of chicken all over.  Sprinkle lightly with the salt and pepper and pop into hot oven for about an hour (less time for smaller birds, a little more for the butterflied bird shown) or until golden brown and reaches internal temp of 170º at the joint where the thigh meets the torso and in the thickest part of the breast.  I like to baste the chicken once or twice during cooking for the tastiest result on the skin.  I’m a skin fan, so that’s real important to me.  My husband just rips it off and hands it to me.  That works out just great, huh?  🙂 Remove from oven and serve at once with your favorite sides.  Be sure to put a spoon or brush into the pan for diners to baste their meat with the buttery juices if they wish (or pour the juices into a gravy boat).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  These numbers are for the baste/sauce only.  You will have to add in the values for whatever pieces of chicken you eat.  Makes enough for 10 pieces of chicken (1 whole l cut-up chicken).  Each portion of the sauce, assuming you even eat that much of the sauce, has:

62 calories, 6.9 g fat, 0.02 g carbs,  0.00 g fiber, .02 g NET CARBS, 0.13 g protein (add in your piece of chicken)

Spicy Boursin Chicken

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A little Boursin cheese (also known as Gournay), salsa and the right spices mixed with chicken (or fish) creates a wonderful combo.  We both really liked this new creation!  This dish is quite rich, so one bundle is all I could eat. This recipe is quite suitable for Induction.  Calories can be reduced doing this with fish filets rather than chicken.  This dish freezes well, too!

INGREDIENTS:

16 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into six portions (or mild fish filets)

12 oz. frozen chopped spinach

3 oz. red bell pepper, finely chopped

3 T. Herdez canned “hot” red salsa, drained solids only (drained RoTel will also work)

5 oz. package Boursin Cheese with garlic and herbs

¼ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2009/08/20/my-seafood-spice-blend/

Dash black pepper

Available in the specialty cheese bin at Walmart and other grocery stores.

3 T. melted butter

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º.  Defrost and squeeze the frozen spinach to remove water and set aside, allowing it to continue draining in a colander or sieve while you prepare the chicken.  Diagonally slice the chicken into 6 thin filets.  Place plastic wrap on top and pound chicken quite thin (without tearing apart) using a mallet.   Now place the spinach in a mixing bowl and add in the Boursin cheese, bell pepper, salsa and black pepper.   Stir well to blend ingredients.  Spoon evenly onto the center of the 6 flattened pieces of chicken and fold the meat over the top.  Place seam side down in baking dish.  Sprinkle well with the spice blend and with a brush, baste each bundle with melted butter.  Pop into hot oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until meat is golden brown (fish will cook faster, say in about 20 minutes). Spinach/cheese mixture will spill out of the bundles, but not in a messy way, as you can see in the pic above.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 6 servings, each contains:

323 cals, 27.3 g fat, 4.48 g carbs, 2.05 g fiber, 2.43 g NET CARBS, 26.5 g protein, 580 mg sodium

Cake Donuts

Low-Carb Cake Donuts

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

So I decided to ry my hand at a low-carb version of his beloved Dolly Madison cake donuts. I couldn’t be more pleased with the result! My inspiration here were two lovely ladies doing much kitchen experimentation on Low-Carb Friends forums:  Ouizoid with her bake mix experiment ratios of my 1st 6 listed ingredients below; and Sungoddess with her Chai Spiced Donut recipe that helped me with the liquid ratios.  These donuts have a lovely texture, the required hint of nutmeg, and I’m certain Dolly herself would be proud if she were alive and could taste these!  These donuts are not suitable for Atkins Induction but are OK once you get to Phase 2 OWL if the oat fiber, a virtual carb wash at 96% fiber, doesn’t cause you any issues or weight gain.  They are OK for other ketogenic diets but not for Paleo-Primal devotees.  See the SUPPLIERS tab above for unusual ingredient sources.

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

INGREDIENTS: 

1/2 c. oat fiber

1/2 c. + 3 T. coconut flour

¼ c. plain, unsweetened whey protein powder

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

1 T. baking powder

1½ tsp. glucomannan powder (or xanthan gum)

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground nutmeg(preferably fresh, grated)

1 pkt. stevia

½ c. sugar equivalent of your favorite sweetener

1/3 c.granular erythritol

3 T. melted butter, unsalted

3 large eggs, beaten

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

½ c. heavy cream (or coconut milk)

½ c. water

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

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

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

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

Eggplant-Beef Lasagna

Eggplant-Beef Lasagna

When I have an eggplant on hand, I often end up making this dish with it.  Comes out real tasty every time.  This dish is Induction friendly if you can fit the carbs into your day.  🙂  I find with all the cheese, this dish is salty enough without added salt. This is not a particularly large recipe, so if you want extra for some to be leftover for freezing, I would recommend doubling the recipe.  This recipe is not suitable until Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  It is suitable for Primal if you eat occasional dairy, but not for Paleo due to the cheese.

INGREDIENTS:

10 oz. eggplant

1 T. olive oil

1 c. low-carb spaghetti sauce with meat  (I use homemade, my recipe here:

4 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated

4 T. Parmesan cheese

1/3 c. ricotta cheese

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

294.3 cals, 19.7g fat, 11.13g carbs, 3.65g fiber, 7.48g NET CARBS, 19g protein, 250 mg sodium

Swiss Steak

Swiss SteakSwiss Steak, it’s what’s for dinner tonight!  This is a dish my mother fixed often when I was young.  We just LOVED it! She was inclined to serve it with a side of mashed potatoes, but I serve mine now with a side of seasoned cauliflower.  Just as good in my opinion.  Mom didn’t put the red wine I show below in her Swiss Steak either, but I think it transforms the ordinary into something special.  You should omit the wine if still on Induction.  You can use cube steak, round, chuck, sirloin or I even occasionally use 20-21 oz. raw beef shank (5 oz. worth of marrow bone must be trimmed out).  I like to pound whatever meat I use for this with a cleaver to tenderize it a bit.  The oat fiber I dredge over this meat before browning isn’t necessary, but it only adds 0.25 net carbs per serving and tends to make a much browner, tastier gravy. Your call on that one. You can just brown the meat directly in the oil and save the fraction of a carb from each serving, if you don’t have oat fiber or prefer to not use it.  This extremely nutritious dish is Atkins Induction friendly if you omit the wine and resistant starch coating.  Check out the stats below!

INGREDIENTS:

16 oz. beef cube steak, round, chuck or sirloin (I used Grass-fed flank steak)

1 T. oat fiber (omit for fewer carbs)

2 T. coconut or olive oil

4 oz. sliced onion

1 large green bell pepper, sliced

3 Roma tomatoes, cubed large

Dash each salt and black pepper

¼ c. red wine (omit if still on Induction)

2 c. water (or beef broth)

Small amount of favorite thickener (I use a light dusting of xanthan gum)

DIRECTIONS:  Cut meat into 4 portions.  Pound meat on both sides with a cleaver to tenderize it a bit. Dredge both sides of each piece with the oat fiber.  Heat oil in non-stick skillet and brown over high heat until nicely browned on both sides.  If you prefer, you can omit the oat fiber and sear the meat directly.  The gravy won’t get as brown, but will taste OK.  Add onion and brown a minute or two.  Add bell pepper and tomato, the water (or broth) and wine.  Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  you want the meat to get tender, but not to cook the veggies to death.  If I can remember, I wait 15-20 minutes into the simmering before adding the bell pepper so it doesn’t totally fall apart.  If needed, thicken gravy with a sprinkle of thickener, but I find it is rarely necessary when properly cooked down.  Serve topped with a generous portion of the veggie sauce.  This is nice with mashed cauliflower or zucchini noodles.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes four 4-oz servings (meat and vegetable sauce only, no underlayment), each contains:

352.3 cals, 15.75 g fat, 8.3 g carbs, 3.28 g fiber, 5.02g NET CARBS, 40 g protein, 97 mg sodium

Lebanese Baked Chicken (Frarej)

Lebanese Baked Chicken

This recipe has been one of my most popular and most visited recipes.  Our best friends in Dallas have taken us several times to a wonderful little Lebanese restaurant over in Ft. Worth named Hedary’s.  Family-operated for many years, I can say their tabouleh  salad and kebabs are to die for!  So is their slow-roasted baked lemon chicken known as Frarej.  For those tables positioned close enough to do so, they used to serve their fresh-baked pita bread all the way from behind the counter on long, paddled poles.   Don’t know if they still do that, but is sure was fun to watch!  Next time you’re in Ft. Worth, give Hedary’s a try!  But in the meantime…………………..experience their delicious baked chicken at home!  This Induction friendly version of their ever-popular lemony chicken dish is slightly changed.  The original dish has potato wedges, so I always substitute rutabaga or turnip wedges to keep the carbs reasonably low.  I did not include the root vegetables in the nutritional info below as I don’t always include them in the pan.  I tend to vary the vegetables I use based on what I have on hand.  So be sure to calculate the veggies you add (and consume) over and above what I consider to be the base recipe of onion, garlic and tomatoes.  If you have family that are not on Atkins, I would definitely use a few wedges of potato for them, as they soak up those tasty pan juices like a sponge and are sooooooo tasty.

My rendition is very close to the inspirational dish from Hedary’s, though I must confess, not QUITE as good.  This meal is easy to prepare and the oven basically does the work for you!  Gives a whole new meaning to “Set it & forget it”.  🙂

INGREDIENTS:

4 T. olive oil

1 cut up whole chicken or 8 pieces

4 oz. onion cut into wedges (separate layers)

2 Roma tomatoes cut into wedges

6-10 cloves garlic, (leave half of them whole, mince the rest)

½ tsp. oregano

Juice of 1 lemon

Dash salt and pepper

OPTIONAL: Carrots and wedges of rutabaga or turnips (for non-low-carbers, potato wedges)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 500º.  Cut up chicken into separate pieces making 8 pieces in all.   I never use the back as I simmer that for broth to freeze for other purposes or it becomes dinner for my dogs.  🙂  Drizzle 1 T. of the olive oil on the bottom of a very large baking/roasting pan (I use a 12 x 15 stainless steel metal pan).   I do not recommend glass/ceramic ware for such high temperature cooking.  If you don’t yet have a really large, good quality stainless steel roasting pan, I think it is one of the single most important investments you can make in your cooking tools.  Place chicken skin side up  in the pan.  You don’t want any overlapping or crowding.  I do not recommend using a glass or ceramic baking dish at the very high temperature called for in this recipe.  Glass can be unpredictable, can even break, above 450º.  Crowding of this chicken and the surrounding veggies will result in deeper pan juices around them and that will impede crisping of the chicken.  Place tomato wedges around and in between chicken pieces.  Do the same with the onion pieces and add the garlic.  If using the root vegetables, cut them up and place them evenly around the chicken.  Squeeze the lemon over everything in the pan.  Drizzle remaining olive oil over the pan contents as well.   Lightly sprinkle some oregano over all (about 1/4-½ tsp, I don’t measure it).   Bake 30 minutes at 500º.  Baste with pan juices, lower heat to 350º and bake another 20 minutes or to internal temperature of 170º on a meat thermometer.   Baste with pan juices just before serving if desired.  I like to place the juices in a gravy boat and have it on the table for basting the drier breast meat.  If there are any juices leftover, I freeze them and add them to the bottom of the pan next time I make this recipe (which is often!).  I like to serve this with a Tabouleh parsley salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: (does NOT include the optional potato, turnips or carrots).
Please note, these numbers are only approximate, because the actual counts will vary depending on which pieces of chicken and which roasted veggies you eat.

Serves 4, each 2-piece serving contains:

447 cals, 30.4 g fat, 7.98 g carbs, 1.1 g fiber, 6.88 g NET CARBS, 34.8 g protein, 39 mg. sodium

Pork in Queso Flameado Sauce

Pork in Queso Flameado

If you’ve ever ordered the appetizer Queso Flameado in a Mexican restaurant, it’s a flavor you won’t soon forget. It’s a thick melted cheese fondu with chorizo crumbled in it served with flour tortillas to roll it up in. It is sooo good!  Well, this new dish I created takes that dish to the entree level.  If you love Mexican food, you’ve GOT to try this dish!  It has been one of my more popular recipes!  My husband just loved it, as did I!   This dish also sports some very impressive nutritional numbers below, so it’s a keeper in my book.  It is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Ketogenic diets.

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INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. pork loin, cut into 4 portions

1 link chorizo, removed from the skin and crumbled

2 T. unsalted butter

4 large green onions, chopped

1/2 c. red bell pepper, chopped

1 c. cilantro, chopped

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. water

6 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded (or more if you can afford the carbs)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Pound the 4 pieces of pork with a meat tenderizer.  Melt butter in large skillet over high heat.  Brown pork on both sides until nearly done.  Remove.  Add crumbled chorizo and brown, crumbling as small as you can as it cooks.   Add the green onions, bell pepper and saute until they are tender.  Lower heat to medium low and add cream, water and cilantro.  Simmer a couple minutes to reduce a bit. Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce and lay pork on top.  Pop into preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly and the meat appear to be done.  Serve 1/4 of the sauce over each portion of meat.  This pairs nicely with mashed cauliflower or a nice guacamole salad alongside.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

567 cals., 45g fat, 4.35g carbs, 1.15g fiber, 3.2g NET CARBS, 36g protein, 654 mg sodium

My new Frigidaire ‘Everything’ Double Wall Oven

At the request of one of my followers, I’m posting a couple photos of my new 27″ double wall oven. As I’ve said before, it does “everything’ but the laundry. It ought to……….as it sure cost enough. This one bakes, broils, Convection Bakes, Steam Bakes, Convection Roasts, has a No-Preheat setting, it Air Fries, cooks Sous Vide and is fully self-cleaning and does steam cleaning, for quick cleanup jobs.

My old oven was an Electrolux installed by the last owner. In all honesty, it was a better appointed oven that this one, with all shelves being finger-touch glide outs. Frigidaire bought out Electrolux, so I guess they are cutting corners to save $$$ now in this economy.

This Frigidaire only has ONE glide-out shelf, but the other 5 pull out nicely manually, so I’m OK with that. Another difference is this oven’s broiler tray (not two of them as my Electrolux had) does not have the drain tray that sits on top of the broiler pan (which I thought odd). It’s just an open pan as seen in the above photo. Luckily, I saved one of the boiler trays from my old oven so I have that drip tray.

The lights in the ovens are very bright, so you can really see that baking cake well when you turn them on. My Electrolux lights were not a bright, so that is an improvement, for sure.

Another ‘cutting corner’ thing I find disappointing, is that if you’re going to market an oven to be an Air Fryer, one of the shelves should be the Air Fryer shelf. Not. You have to go out and but it off their site for $65-75……and it doesn’t even have a drip pan at that! I just bought two air-fryer wire baskets that will sit side by side on any shelf and place my 13×15 sheet pan on a shelf underneath to catch grease drips & anything that falls through. Cheaper and those baskets actually will hold more food in a single layer than the Frigidaire AF shelf anyway.

So when they say newer is necessarily better…………..I ain’t buying it.

I’m not in a rush to try out the Sous Vide cooking feature yet. First of all, I don’t own a vacuum sealer anymore. I sold mine as it never really got a perfect seal. And I’m not sure, from my reading, I’d like Sous Vide cooking anyway, as it seems like it’s not really different from a good, slow braise or pressure cooker approach. I like a nice caramelization surface on my meats. But I may get enthused about Sous Vide wonders one day and use that method of cooking in this oven. I’m slow to accept changes in the kitchen. When you’ve been cooking as long as I have (around 60 years) you get kind of set in your ways.

The No-Preheat setting did a very nice, quick job on a couple slices of pizza last week, as well as some Tater Tots my husband asked for with his burgers. Not sure how that feature works, but I think it’s basically on broil but at only 350º degrees instead of the 550º broil bursts on at. I heated the pizza in like 10 minutes without overbrowning the toppings like a broiler would. I also want to try the Air Fryer mode on reheated leftover pizza sometime.

The control panel on my old Electrolux was much more user friendly, and more sophisticated/flexible I might add, but after reading the manual thoroughly, I’m now getting used to this Frigidaire panel.

I was as bluntly honest with my review on the Frigidaire site, letting them know Electrolux’s oven was appointed nicer inside IMHO. I am finding their version satisfactory for my needs and the smudge-proof stainless steel surface was indeed very nice. So far I’m overall pleased. 🙂

Einkorn RWS Biscuits

Einkorn Resistant Wheat Starch Biscuits

Einkorn RWS Biscuits

These biscuits are the best I’ve made in 12 years of low-carb biscuit experiments.  So often low-carb biscuits are either dry, hard as a rock, crumbly, taste like baking soda or powder, are too cheesy, too coconut-y…….in other words, 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 of leavening on your tongue!  🙂  Einkorn flour is ancient grain wheat that is not modified like modern wheat).  I think the Einkorn and the Resistant Wheat Starch (RWS) are what make this recipe stand out amongst my others.  These biscuits are not suitable until you are near goal weight as there is a little real flour product in them. Wait until later in Phase 2

If you prefer a biscuit without wheat flour and with a much lower carb count, you will want to check out my Peggy’s Fluffy Biscuits.  They’re yummy. too!

Panful of Deliciousness!

A pan of sheer delicious!

INGREDIENTS:  (all are available at Netrition.com)

2 c. my Einkorn Bake Mix

½ c. shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

2 large eggs, beaten

4 T. Resistant Wheat Starch 75

¼ c. cream

about ¼ c. water, added last and slowly

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Place parchment or a silicone sheet on your baking pan 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 but the water and stir well.  Add water slowly but only enough to form a thick dough.  Let dough sit on counter 2-3 minutes to set up a bit.  Dip up 7 equal portions (about ½ c. batter each), form into balls and set them on pan spaced evenly.  Slightly press to a height of 1″  (2″ in diameter).    Pop pan into 350º oven for 15-17 minutes or until dry to touch in center and lightly browned.  These rise up nicely.   🙂  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:

283 calories, 23.11 g  fat, 11.82 g  carbs,  4.62 g  fiber, 7.2 g  NET CARBS, 12.11 g  protein, 190 mg sodium

Chicken Florentine

Chicken Florentine

This has, over time, become one of the most popular recipes on my website.  Sometimes we food bloggers get so wrapped up in creating new dishes, we can easily get lost and forget some of the old favorites and need to be reminded of them from time to time.  I’m making this again tonight, so I thought I’d share it with my newer followers that may not have seen this one. This recipe takes a mere 20-30 minutes to pull together.  It’s amazingly tasty and worth every one of those minutes.  So attractive on the platter, too!  And better yet, it’s Induction friendly!  The creamy spinach-mushroom topping compliments the seared chicken so nicely and is also good on seared salmon!  If in Atkins OWL Phase 2, adding 2 T. white wine to the spinach mixture is very, very good!  🙂

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INGREDIENTS:

3 large chicken breasts, deboned and skinned (I used 30 oz.)

1 T. unsalted butter

½ lb. fresh mushrooms sliced thick

1 clove minced garlic

Pinch salt and pepper

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

1/3 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. chicken broth

3 T. grated Parmesan

2 T. white wine (optional)

Pinch xanthan gum (if needed to thicken)

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings each with:

436 cals., 23 g fat, 6.8 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 4.8 g NET CARBS, 49 g protein, 200 mg sodium

Mediterranean Chicken and Olives

Click to enlarge

 Shown with added link of chorizo formed into balls

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

3 medium chicken thighs

3 medium chicken drumsticks

3 T. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

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

4 oz. purple onion, sliced lengthwise

3 plum tomatoes, each cut into 4 wedges

24 medium black olives

Dash each salt and pepper

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

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

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

438 cals, 32g fat, 8.26g carbs, 2.26g fiber, 6g NET CARBS, 29.8g protein, 742 mg sodium

Starting off the New Year with a Big Bang!

Santa brought me a surprise for Christmas this year. A kidney stone! Felt a funny, sharp twinge in my right mid-back in the afternoon one early day in December. By nightfall I was in the E.R. vomiting in pain. Cat scan verified I had a kidney stone making its way down the chute with a raging kidney infection behind it, they told me. Imagine, a “symptomless” acute urinary tract infection. Never had one without symptoms before. Wonder what’s up with that?

Long story short, they wouldn’t do the surgery to remove the stone that night with such an acute infection going on, so they rounded up a urologist to place the needed stent (used in removal surgery) for the procedure that would have to be done downstream (pardon the pun). He was already present placing a stent in a 94 y.o. lady who had SEVEN stones that needed removing. I can’t even imagine the pain she must have had with those!

Although by this time all my pain had miraculously ceased, they kept me overnight and put me on whopping IV antibiotics stronger than what they could have sent me home with. With still no pain at all on day two (guess the stone had gotten to a comfy place in its downward journey), I persuaded them to let me go home to ride out the course of antibiotics. What a way to celebrate New Year’s Eve (also my birthday), feeling so run down I didn’t feel like celebrating anything! They have taken out the stone now, so things should start to improve now. I’ve regained most of my strength and hope life will be getting back to normal once again, politics and current socio-economics aside.

I have a brand new Frigidaire double wall oven unit (my Electroluxe died the end of October). It does practically everything but the laundry! Seriously! It cooks Sous Vide, has an Air Fryer setting, it does Steam Baking, Convection Bake, Keep Warm and Convection Roast, complete with meat thermometer probe (which I’ve never had). I think I’m going to have lots of fun learning how to use all those features over the upcoming year.

I’ve decided my focus on the website this year will be more one of revival of delicious, older recipes, those with over 100,000 fans, which I tend to forget about in my desire to keep things ‘new’ on the site. I realize that many new people to the website have missed out on some really special creations. Since the site has been in existence since 2009, I think it worthwhile to revive ‘old favorites’ that are hard to improve upon. There will be new recipes added long the way as well, as I never tire of creating in the kitchen. Plan to experiment more with Einkorn flour and also with the ‘Sous Vide‘ setting on my new oven. Have always wanted to try Sous Vide to see what all the hullabaloo is about. 🙂

Here’s wishing a HAPPY & PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR to all my readers. May 2023 be markedly better than the last two years have been for us in America and around the world.

Jack Snacks

Jack Snacks (2)

Starting a low-carb diet?  Bet you’re wondering what YOU can snack on when the rest of the family is enjoying verboten foods.  Well this recipe, if you can call it a recipe, is one solution.  It’s suitable for Atkins Induction Phase, Keto diets and even Primal followers that eat occasional cheese.  Takes just minutes to make and bake!  This is now my #1 recipe in popularity, having garnered well over 30,000,000 fans in 2015 alone on Facebook, blowing my Lebanese Baked Chicken (my former #1 recipe) right out of the water. 🙂

And if you seed the jalapeno, like I did, these were not even all that hot (I don’t like real hot/spicy foods).  Leave the seeds in if you like to spice things up!  These are delicious and so low-cal/low-carb you could eat the entire batch if you were so inclined!  The hubs and I split this batch equally and we both loved these!  Now, to be quite honest, I’ve also just melted plain old pepper-jack cheese before, but these really are better for some reason.  Maybe the cheese is better; maybe the fresh pepper is just better.  All I know is these are much better than just melting jack cheese!  🙂  Some have asked, and if you try to save some and reheat, you better really watch them closely, as they are inclined to burn when reheated.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

1 medium fresh jalapeno, sliced real thin

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Place a sheet of parchment paper on a metal cookie sheet.  DO NOT use a silicone/silpat sheet, waxed paper or foil (unless it’s the special non-stick foil) to bake these or they will not cook properly.  Using a tablespoon, scoop up 1 T. of cheese and make a small pile on the parchment.  Press it slightly flat.  Repeat 15 more times. Place a slice of jalapeno on top of each pile.  Pop into 350º oven for about 10-12 minutes.  I would recommend browning them a wee bit more than shown in the photo for a firmer snack to serve at parties.  These are somewhat pliable if under browned. Allow them to completely cool and fully firm up before removing from the pan for best results. 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 16, each contains:

25.5 cals, 2.13 g fat, 0.10g carbs, 0.02g fiber, 0.08g NET CARBS, 1.63g protein, 60 mg sodium

Mexicali Spaghetti Squash

I created this dish while on Weight Watchers years ago.   Spaghetti squash is a bit “carb pricey”, so plan your day’s meals to be sure this will fit in without pushing you over on your net carb limitation for the day.

This recipe will serve 2 adults.  This is pretty baked in the squash shell as a “bowl”, but if that tears up after cooking the squash in the first step, just butter a glass baking dish instead and bake the filling like a regular casserole.  This recipe is  OK for Atkins Induction, Keto diets and Primal.  Omit the cheese if doing Paleo.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. spaghetti squash threads (half of 1 lb. squash’s yield)

3 oz. chopped onion

3 oz. chopped bell pepper (any color)

1 lg. plum tomato, chopped

1 clove minced garlic

2 T. chopped cilantro (optional)

½ tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. ground cumin

4 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated

8 oz. ground beef

dash pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Cooking the squash:

Using large kitchen knife cut squash in half lengthwise.  Wrap one half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for some other use.  Place the other half, cut side down, in a microwave proof baking dish.  Add ½ c. water to the pan.  Microwave on HI for 12-14 minutes or conventional 350º oven for about 30 minutes.  Outer skin will begin to give when touched when the squash is done.  Take out of microwave and pour off water.  Turn squash over and using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard.  With the tines of a fork, strip out the squash “threads” into a bowl.    Try not to tear the squash shell, as you are going to use this shell as a baking “dish”.  If it tears up, discard and use a greased glass dish instead.

Making the filling:

Brown ground beef in non-stick pan over medium heat. It will probably produce enough grease on its own to continue, add a little if not.   Add onion and bell pepper and sauté until they begin to get soft.  Add garlic, tomato and all seasonings. Continue to cook until vegetables are tender.  Pour over squash threads in the bowl, add ¾ of the cheese and stir to mix all ingredients well.  Spoon mixture into the squash shell.  Top with the bit of reserved cheese.   Place back into pan you originally used to bake the squash.

Bake about 3-4 minutes in a microwave on HI; or bake 15-20 minutes in 350º conventional oven.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 2, each serving contains:

573 cals, 38g fat, 15.35g carbs, 2.85g fiber, 12.5g NET CARBS, 43g protein, 900 mg. sodium

Oven-Fried Chicken (KFC style)

photocat

This Induction friendly recipe is one of the many low-carb ways I like to bake chicken now. I haven’t made this in ages and plan on doing so tonight.  This recipe reminds me a little of the KFC Chicken “original recipe” with all the herbs and spices.  Cooking chicken in crushed pork rinds is actually not that unique in the low-carb community.  But I wanted to re-post it for those NEW to my site.  The flavor of this chicken coating changes depending on what spices you use.  For those not so fond of pork rinds, the Parmesan and spices are pretty much in the “driver’s seat” flavor-wise in this dish.  🙂

INGREDIENTS:

3 chicken thighs

3 chicken drumsticks

1/4 c. unsalted butter (or you can use homemade mayonnaise)

½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

2 T. Ranch dressing powder, my Ranch Dressing Powder Blend recipe, an on-line KCF spice recipe, or my Seafood Spice Blend

2 T. parsley, chopped very fine

1/8 tsp. black pepper

¼ c. finely crushed plain pork rinds

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º. Melt butter in microwaveable bowl.  In a separate container, mix all dry ingredients.  Dip each piece of chicken into butter, rolling to completely cover.  Then roll in the dry coating mix to cover on all sides.  Place directly on metal baking pan or on foil covered baking sheet.  DO NOT USE A SILICONE SHEET OR IT WILL INHIBIT BROWNING AND CRISPNESS.  Bake at 350º for 1 hour.  If exceptionally large thighs, check for doneness with a knife, right next to the bone.  Add more cooking time if needed.  Serve at once with your favorite side dishes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 3 servings, each contains:

579 cals, 40.7g fat, 1.4g carbs, 0.07g fiber, 1.33g NET CARBS, 47g protein, 500-1000 mg sodium (depending on spice blend sodium level)

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!!!  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!  It has been extremely popular with my Facebook fans in the past (I’m no longer on FB).  Although I made the dumpling dough in small round dumplings, it tasted 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 you need to try it soon!  This is suitable once you reach the Atkins Phase 2 OWL, and OK 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 glucomanan 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

Zuppa Toscana

Creamy Italian Sausage SoupThis soup is similar to Zuppa Toscana at Olive Garden restaurants, but mine has diced cauliflower standing in for potatoes.  I tend to use ground pork rather than Italian sausage, as I can control spices and salt doing that.  You just need to add oregano, fennel and garlic really.  But you can certainly substitute in commercial Italian sausage if you prefer for convenience.  It will almost DOUBLE the sodium and increase carbs though.   Just be aware of that.  This soups is delicious and we both gave it a resounding thumbs up.  It will make the rounds at our house. 🙂

VARIATIONS:  Substitute 1/2 c. chopped parsley for the kale; substitute diced rutabaga for the cauliflower.

INGREDIENTS:

6 slices bacon, cut into 3/4″ bits

12 oz.  lean ground pork, coarsely broken up to 1/2″ chunks

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1½ c. coarsely chopped kale (about 3 leaves after stemming)

3 oz. cauliflower, diced to ½”-3/4″ pieces

1 oz. pimiento (half a 2 oz. jar)

3 large mushrooms, sliced or cut however you like

4 c. homemade chicken broth (32 oz.)

1 c. water

1 c. heavy cream

Dash black pepper

Dash crushed red pepper

3-4 drops Tobasco hot sauce

¼ tsp. dried oregano leaves

½ tsp. fennel seed, crushed

DIRECTIONS:  In a large Dutch oven or soup pot over high heat, cook the bacon.  Add the pork, onion and garlic and sauté until meat is no longer pink.  Lower heat to medium.  Add all remaining ingredients but the cream.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Add cream and simmer 5 more minutes.  Thicken with xanthan or gum if desired.   Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes six 1-1¼c. servings, each contains:

356 cals, 30.5g fat, 5.51g carbs, 1.08g fiber, 4.43g NET CARBS, 15.6g protein, 865 mg sodium

Creamy Broccoli and Mushrooms

CreamyBroccoli & Mushrooms

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

VARIATIONS:  Add 1 c. cooked leftover chicken or 1 cup cooked shrimp for a complete meal.  Substitute fresh cooked green beans for the broccoli.

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 oz. onion, chopped

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

1 T. olive oil

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

½ c. shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

¼ c. heavy cream

Dash black pepper

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

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

215.5 cals, 18.35g fat, 7g carbs, 2.22g fiber, 4.78g NET CARBS, 6.45g protein, 348 mg sodium

Almond-Arrowroot Crackers

Click to enlarge

Some time ago I came across a Crispy & Flaky Gluten-Free Thin (Pizza) Crust recipe by Brittany Angell on RealSustenance.com that looked intriguing.  I decided to adapt it to create what has become the BEST cracker recipe for me to date.  Making a batch today, so thought I’d re-post for new blog visitors.  This cracker is so good, I’ve now made this recipe dozens of times.  Good by themselves or with toppings and dips!  Even my non-low-carb husband likes these!  I think the magic here is the arrowroot and oat fiber, so I don’t recommend omitting or substituting for those two ingredients lest you end up with a totally different result.

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

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

You can also make round crackers that are slightly thicker but just as crisp (a bit more trouble though).  Using 1 level tsp. dough per round cracker, I only got 66 round crackers.  I show numbers below for the round version also.

Round version made in silicone muffin molds/liners

Round version made in silicone muffin molds/liners

VARIATION:   Omit the black pepper and add 1-2 T. of my 8-Seed Spice blend instead.

INGREDIENTS:

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

4 T. arrowroot flour/powder

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

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. sea salt

1 T. onion powder

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

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

¼ c. grated Parmesan Cheese

3/4 c. warm tap water

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

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

Preheat oven to 350º.  Stir the warm water and olive oil together in a small glass to mix well.  Measure out all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.   Stir well with a fork.  Add the water-oil mixture to the dry ingredients and blend with the fork to form a solid ball of dough.  I form the dough right in the bowl into in a log shape and cut in half to divide it equally.  Crumble half the mixture onto each parchment-lined pan.  Roll the dough or, wearing plastic gloves, press the dough in the first pan evenly and all the way to the edges.  It will be very thin, and I always think it isn’t going to make it, but half the dough WILL reach the edge of the pan.  I like to roll the surface with a straight-sided glass I own.  If rolling with a rolling pin or straight glass, cover crumbles with parchment and roll as evenly as possible all the way to the edges of the pan.  You’ll likely have to finish the edges with your fingers (use a piece of plastic wrap if need be).  With a large chef’s knife, score the rolled dough into rows of crackers 6 x 8 (48 crackers).  Repeat this process with the second pan of crackers.

To make round crackers, use silicone muffin pans or silicone cupcake liners.  You can also use paper liners in a metal muffin pan.  Measure 1 level teaspoon of dough into each mold and press down evenly with a your fingers (I use plastic glove to do this to avoid dough sticking to me). Set silicone muffin pans and/or molds onto metal sheet pans for support. Pop the pans into the preheated 350º oven and bake for for about 20-22 minutes.  Ovens vary, so start watching them at 18 minutes.  Do not over brown!  I recommend removing those around the edges as soon as they begin to brown and those on the outside are inclined to burn. When all have browned, remove, cool 1-2 minutes, re-score with the chef’s knife and then let them cool completely before eating.  These are not tasty hot in my opinion.  The flavor develops when they have cooled.

Break apart and enjoy plain, with butter, cheese spreads (I’m addicted to them with chive & onion cream cheese) or your favorite hard cheeses and meats!  Store remainders in a plastic zip bag or any canister of your choosing.  I just use a ceramic cookie jar on my counter.  These stay crisp for around 2 weeks.  Mine get eaten within 2 weeks, so I honestly don’t know if they would keep longer or not.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 96 square crackers, each cracker contains:

28.4 calories, 2.38 g  fat, 1.32 g  carbs, 0.68 g  fiber, 0.64 g  NET CARBS, 0.97 g  protein, 37 mg sodium

NOTE:  If you make round crackers pressed into silicone muffin molds/cups you will only get 66 crackers, using 1 level tsp. dough per cracker.  Each round crackers will contain 41.3 calories, 3.46 g  fat, 1.91 g  carbs, 0.98 g  fiber, 0.93 g  net carbs, 1.41 g protein and 54 mg sodium

Chicken Scallopini

Chicken Scallopini

Chicken Scallopini

This is a recipe I’ve been cooking for many years now.  It’s truly Atkins OWL friendly without a single modification.  It’s rich, but I love this one every once in awhile.  Vermouth has a distinctive flavor, but if you don’t have it, you could use an equal amount of dry white wine instead.  This will, however, greatly impact the final flavor.  This is real easy to put together yet it really delivers on flavor!  If you omit the vermouth/wine, this is suitable during Induction.

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INGREDIENTS:

4  4-oz skinless, boneless pieces chicken breast

1 ½ T. olive oil

8 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

¼ c. chopped parsley

½ tsp. dried tarragon

1/3 c. heavy cream

3 T. dry vermouth or white wine (omit if on Induction)

Dash Salt & Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:  Pound chicken breasts between two pieces waxed paper until flattened to about ¼” thickness.  Lightly salt and pepper.  In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 T. of the oil and sear chicken until lightly browned on both sides.  Just cook until done (no pink juice exuding).   Remove to a platter and cover with plate or foil to keep warm.

Add remaining olive oil to skillet and saute mushrooms, stirring occasionally  until lightly browned and done, about 5 minutes.  Lower heat and add vermouth, cream, tarragon, parsley and deglaze any brown bits off bottom of pan.  Pour mushroom cream sauce over chicken.  Decorate with a sprig of parsley or a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 4, each serving containing:

368 calories

21.43 g  fat

4.25 g  carbs, 1.0 g  fiber,3.25 NET CARBS

36.88 g  protein

39 mg. sodium

Beef Enchiladas

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Above are my classic Tex-Mex gooey, cheesy beef enchiladas.  They don’t always dip up so pretty with low-carb tortillas, but man, are they ever good!!!  What they lack in appearance they sure make up for in flavor!  It’s how I’ve made these things for over 40 years, other than the low-carb tortilla part.  I can’t live without my regular fix of enchiladas, so I just HAD to come up with some kind of  low-carb “corn” tortilla so that I could indulge in.   They’re like enchiladas that have sat too long over a restaurant buffet warming tray and falling apart, but for me, that’s just when enchiladas start getting GOOD!  The flavors have mellowed by then.  😉

I created that low-carb corn tortilla this afternoon.  Not as good as the real deal. I’d be lying if I said it was. But hey, I do what I must to stay low-carb.  They were every bit as good as my traditional tortilla enchiladas!!  Guacamole was a perfect complement to this Mexican dish. These enchiladas are not suitable until the nuts and seeds rung of the Atkins Phase 2 OWL carb ladder.   They are not suitable for Paleo or Primal due to the tablespoon of cornmeal in the tortillas.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef

8 low-carb tortillas (I used my homemade low-carb “corn” tortillas)

3 oz. onion, chopped

1 tsp. chili powder blend

1 tsp. dried guajillo chiles, seeded and chopped fine (or 1/2 tsp. ground guajillo chile powder)

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ tsp. ground cumin

4 oz. grated cheddar cheese

8 oz. (8 slices) American Cheese (or more cheddar if you prefer)

1 c. homemade red enchilada sauce

½ c. canned green tomatillos

DIRECTIONS:  Make the “corn” tortillas by that recipe and set aside.  Grease baking dish and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350º.  Brown ground beef along with the chopped onion in a non-stick skillet.  Add the salt, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin and dried guajillo chile to the meat mixture.  Cook until onions are tender and meat is no longer pink.  Spoon about 2 oz. meat mixture  (1 large soup spoonful) onto one of the tortillas.  Add ½ slice of the American cheese.  Gently roll the tortilla around the meat/cheese mixture and place it seam down into the greased baking dish.  Repeat with remaining 7 enchiladas, pushing them snugly together in the pan so they will all fit.  I usually have to put 1 or 2 on the side of the dish as well.  If there is a bit of meat mixture leftover, just spoon it over the top of the rolled enchiladas.  Set the pan aside while you make the red enchilada sauce per the recipe instructions at the above link.  Add the canned green tomatillos to a saucepan on medium heat.  Next add the remaining 4 slices of American cheese to the tomatillos and allow to melt.  Add the enchilada sauce and stir until all is smooth.  Spoon the sauce over the enchiladas in the pan.  Top with the grated cheddar cheese and pop into a preheated 350º oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted nicely.  Serve with your favorite guacamole or green salad. ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 enchiladas, each contains:

283 cals, 21.06g fat, 5.50g carbs, 0.67g fiber, 4.83g NET CARBS, 19.4g protein, 40 mg sodium

Broccoli with Caramelized Onion Sauce

Broccoliwithcreamsauce

If you’re tired of the same old steamed broccoli, the usual cheese sauce and the typical broccoli casseroles, give this recipe a whirl.  It’s easy and ready in minutes.  The sweetness of the caramelized onions in this sauce really smooths out the oft-perceived bitter taste of broccoli in an amazing way!  This dish is Atkins Induction-friendly and suitable for other Keto diets as well.  Primal-Paleo followers will want to sub in coconut milk for the cream and of course ghee for the butter.

INGREDIENTS:  

9 oz. broccoli, cut up into large pieces or small spears

2 T. butter, unsalted

2 oz. yellow onion, sliced thin

½ clove garlic, minced

½ c. heavy cream

¼-½ c. water

Dash pepper

1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

OPTIONAL:  a sprinkle of your favorite thickener if desired

DIRECTIONS:  Cook broccoli stems until completely done and nicely browned.   Drain well a few minutes on paper towels.  Lay broccoli stems  decoratively on your serving dish.  In non-stick skillet over med-high heat, sauté onion and garlic in butter until the onion begins to brown nicely and caramelizes.    Lower heat.  Add cream and Parmesan.  Add pepper and taste.  Add pinch of salt.  Simmer a few minutes and it will slightly thicken.  Add water.  Simmer a few more minutes.  Should be the right thickness when done.  Add a bit of your favorite thickener if the thickness is not to your liking.  Dip or pour over broccoli and serve or let diners serve dip it over own serving on the plate.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 3 servings each containing:

164 calories, 13.1 g  fat, 9.4 g  carbs, 2.57 g fiber, 6.83 g  NET CARBS, 4.5 g  protein, 73 mg sodium

Sausage-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

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

INGREDIENTS:

4 Portobello mushroooms (about 4 oz. each)

3 T. olive oil

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

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

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ c. chopped parsley

¼ tsp. dried oregano, crushed

1/8 tsp. dried basil

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

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

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

1 beaten large egg

4 oz. mozzarella cheese shreds

¼ c. grated Parmesan

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

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

Smoked Steelhead Trout Spread

With holiday socializing and friends popping in, you always want some munchies to serve.  We often cook Grilled fish which is delicious so many other ways.  Recently we had nearly 6 oz. leftover from a huge steelhead trout, so I got creative and made a fantastic spread for low-carb crackers or veggie dipping.  This was one of the yummiest dips/spreads I’ve ever created, so I do hope you’ll try it sometime!  Plan for it to disappear fast, as it it THAT good!   You can substitute grilled salmon if that is more readily available, but be aware that commercially smoked salmon will be considerably stronger in fish/smoke flavor and much higher in sodium than a fish you grill at home yourself.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. (8 oz) cream cheese

1/3 c. sour cream

1/3 c. my homemade Shawarma Mayo (or regular mayo)

4 T. green onion, finely chopped

½ tsp. Tobasco “Chipotle” Hot Sauce

Dash cayenne pepper

Dash sea salt

5-6 oz. smoked Steelhead Trout (or Salmon)

DIRECTIONS:  Place all ingredients but the fish into a food processor or blender.  Pulse until well blended.  Scrape out into a medium mixing bowl.  On a paper plate, flake the fish well with a fork.  Scrap into the bowl and stir just to blend the spread well.  Serve with you preferred dippers:  low-carb crackers, celery or carrot sticks, other raw veggies of choice.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2½ cups or 40 Tbsp. Each tablespoon contains: (does not include dippers)

42 cals, 4.32g fat, 0.30g carbs, 0.02g fiber, 0.28g NET CARBS, 1.3g protein, 29 mg sodium (sodium will be much higher if you use commercially smoked salmon)

Chia Strawberry Chantilly

Click to enlarge

My mother was very fond of Strawberry Chantilly.  She would often double her recipe when she wanted to make a strawberry filled cake roll.  Mmm.  I’ve modified how I have always made this, to incorporate the super food CHIA SEEDS:  http://www.mychiaseeds.com/Articles/Top10ChiaBenefits.html .  This mousse/pudding recipe is not suitable until the nuts and seeds rung of the OWL carb ladder in Phase 2 of Atkins.  This is yet another, delicious, easy way to incorporate chia seeds into my regular diet.  This dessert can be garnished with a fresh strawberry, strawberry preserves, a dollop of whipped, sweetened cream, a spring of fresh mint, or any combination of those.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. heavy cream, whipped until very thick

2 T. ground chia seeds, soaked for 15 minutes in 1 c. + 2 T. water (a gel will form)

3 oz. cream cheese, softened

6 extra large strawberries (about 1½” in diameter)

1 pkt. stevia

liquid Splenda to taste (add slowly and taste)

DIRECTIONS:   Soak chia seeds with water in lidded jar for 15 minutes.  Shake chia gel to uniformly mix the seed particles in the gel.  Whip cream until thick and set aside. Add chia gel to food processor.  Add berries, cream cheese and stevia.  Process until cream cheese is smoothly mixed with all ingredients.  Add whipped cream and pulse a couple times to blend.  Begin adding liquid Splenda in say 4 drip increments, pulse and taste.  Repeat, adding as many as needed to sweeten to your liking.  Spoon into 6 decorative dishes, chill for 1 hour.  You can garnish with a strawberry, preserves or whipped cream or fresh mint if you like.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains:  (garnish choices are not included below)

206 cals, 20.5 g fat, 4.8 g carbs, 1.62 g fiber, 3.18 g NET CARBS, 2.57 g protein, 585 mg sodium

Indian Cashew Chicken Curry

Cachew Chicken Curry

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

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. coconut oil (or butter)

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

4 oz. onion, sliced

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

2 cloves garlic, minced

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

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

1 tsp. fenugreek seed, ground

Dash salt

¼ tsp. my Garam Masala

Dash turmeric (1-2 shakes from a shaker)

3/4 c. heavy cream

½ c. chicken broth

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

3 Roma tomatoes, cut in chunks

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

Garnish with a sprig of cilantro if you like

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

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

353 cals, 19 g fat, 9.4 g carbs, 1.48 g fiber, 8.92 g NET CARBS, 34.4 g protein, 457 mg sodium

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pretty much my favorite pancake recipe now.  I took my Fluffy Pancakes recipe to a whole new level when I added some pumpkin and cinnamon.  Man, oh, man, are these ever good!  Light, fluffy and very moist.  Not grainy or dry like a lot of low-carb pancakes.  My husband said these are one of the very best pancakes he’s eaten since we started eating low-carb.  He likened them to commercial Bryce’s Sweet Potato Pancake Mix we bought years ago, but mine have no real sugar, flour or other junk ingredients.  🙂  These are not suitable until the grains rung of the Atkins Phase 2 OWL carb reintroduction ladder.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 c. pumpkin puree

3 large eggs, beaten

¼ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 pkt. Sweet Leaf stevia

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

½ c. Carbquik (or more of the above mix if you require gluten free)

2 tsp. baking powder

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

1 T. flax meal

Dash salt

¼-½ tsp. cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:   Measure out the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl.  Stir well.  Beat in the eggs, pumpkin, cream, water and vanilla.  Beat to blend into a smooth batter.  Add 1-2 T. more water if batter is too thick. Using a 1/3 c. measuring cup, dip batter onto oiled hot griddle over medium-high heat.  Spread with the back of the cup to a 5″ circle. Brown on first side, but allow them undisturbed to firm up and you see holes almost beginning to appear on the surface before attempting to flip.    Brown on the second side to your liking and serve at once with butter and maple syrup. ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes seven 5″ pancakes, each contains:

127 cals, 10.2g fat, 10.13g carbs, 5.97g fiber, 5.29g NET CARBS, 8.64g protein, 216 mg sodium

Montreal Baked Chicken

Montreal Baked ChickenThis Induction friendly recipe is super easy…..super good!  It has been one of the more popular posts on my blog.  The secret to the crisp skin is to bake at high heat to start, then lower.  This recipe is Induction friendly and I’m proud to say is also appears in Jennifer Eloff’s Low Carbing Among Friends, Vol. 2.  This cookbook series (Vols. 6 & 7) is a wonderful collection of original recipes by some of the most talented low-carb cooks on the net!  Whether you’re a sweet person or a savory fan (like me) you’ll want to grab a set of these cookbooks at Amazon or here to add to your low-carb kitchen arsenal.  This recipe is also suitable for Keto followers, Primal and Paleo as well.  🙂

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 recipe my Montreal BBQ Sauce

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

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

San Marzano Tomato Focaccia

This is what I’m fixing for lunch today.  I’m noticing in my old age I’m liking many fewer ingredients on what I think of as basically, um….  pizza.   I think I’ll add a few sliced black olives today.  I have some San Marzano smaller tomatoes to use up.  This is yet anotsher great use of my Mozzy Dough.  I’m having so much fun trialing new applications for this dough.  TIP:  As a general rule, I make up 10 batches of the dry ingredients pre-measured on paper plates.  Then I fold and pour each into a sandwich bag and store the bags in a shoe box in my pantry.  Very convenient…..as then all I have to do is grab a bag, melt the butter, add the beaten egg, melt the cheese and make my dough ball.  So easy that way.  I store the paper plates and baggies and re-use for the next batch. 🙂 

Boy, is this focaccia ever simple to make and so delicious!  I make mine fairly thin.  If you like focaccia thicker, make a smaller sheet (using fewer tomatoes, of course) and recalculate the nutritional info accordingly.  This recipe is not suitable until you get to Phase 2 grains reintroduction level of Atkins as the Carbquik has some flour in it.

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe my Mozzy Dough

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

25-27 San Marzano mini tomatoes (10 oz. bag)

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ shredded Parmesan cheese

2 cloves garlic, chopped fine

½ tsp. dried basil (or 1 T. fresh basil chopped)

¼ tsp. dried oregano

VARIATION:   Add a few sliced black olives

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Make the Mozzy Dough per that recipe’s instructions.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and press the ball of dough out to a 9″x12″ rectangle.  With a brush baste the dough with half the olive oil.  Sprinkle the chopped garlic evenly over the top and press it down a bit.  Now sprinkle 1/2 c. mozzarella over the crust evenly.  Slice the tomatoes lengthwise into halves and place skin-side down evenly over the top of the focaccia sheet.  Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on next and then the shredded Parmesan.  Sprinkle on the basil and oregano last.  Pop into oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the dough is browning on the edges and the tomatoes are looking cooked on top.  Serve with a nice green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 12 3″x3″ squares of focaccia, each square contains.

190 calories, 15 g fat, 6.88 g carbs, 3.61 g fiber, 3.27 g NET CARBS, 12.6 g protein, 276 mg sodium

Boursin-Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

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

INGREDIENTS:

6 large button mushrooms

2 T. olive oil + 2 T. unsalted butter

¼ c. chopped parsley

1 large green onion, chopped fine

1/8 tsp. each black and cayenne pepper

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Montreal BBQ Sauce and Marinade

Click to enlarge

This is a wonderful BBQ sauce for grilled pork!  You must try this one some time!  It has become a family favorite!  Simply delicious and so simple to make!  This sauce is Atkins Induction friendly.  You can also use this as a marinade for chicken pieces, shrimp and fish filets.  Marinate meat or seafood of choice in the refrigerator and then grill as usual.  Be sure to reserve some for basting during cooking for table use. We went out for dinner last night for ribs and the rub on the meat, although very tasty, was so heavy with sodium that I gained 1½ # when I did my morning weigh in today.  😦  I only had green beans with my ribs last night, so I KNOW it was all that salt in his spice rub.  My ankles and fingers swelled so much this morning.  Grrrrr.  I so wish restaurants wouldn’t put so much salt in everything.  I do not tolerate it well and it wreaks havoc on my blood pressure.

INGREDIENTS: 

2 tsp. “Montreal Steak” seasoning (recipe below)

1 stick butter, UNSALTED since the above spice has salt (but luckily no sugar!) (4 oz.)

1-2 tsp. red wine vinegar (more if you like)

1/8 – ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Melt butter, add Montreal Steak spice, vinegar and cayenne.   Simmer on lowest heat possible for 1-2 minutes.  Remove and use as marinade & grilling sauce.  Place meat and sauce (reserve a bit of sauce for table use) into a large zip bag with sauce.  Zip and manipulate to coat all pieces/ribs well.  Marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator.

My Homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning: 

  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, coarsely ground
  • 1 tablespoon dill seeds

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes about 8 tablespoons.  Should be enough to do a whole chicken, a full rack of ribs or 7-8 fish filets.  Each tablespoon of this sauce contains:

103 cals, 11.5g fat, 0.26g carbs, 0.1g fiber, 0.16g NET CARBS, 0.12g protein, 48 mg sodium

Einkorn Loaf Bread

Einkorn Loaf Bread

I took my Lupin Flour Bread recipe, eliminated the lupin flour totally and did some major tweaking to come up with a delicious Einkorn Loaf Bread today.  My husband even said this was quite good and he’s real hard to please with low-carb baking.  It has a nice elastic mouth feel one finds in a good traditional yeast bread.  I even included some dissolved yeast but I think it only impacts flavor, not rise.  There’s not enough gluten in 2 T. Einkorn flour for proper yeast “action”.  But it does give a little yeast taste.

I am not eating baked goods right now, so I only tasted and my husband will get to finish off this loaf.  This should make very nice sandwiches and slices into fourteen ½” slices or twenty-eight ¼” slices.  Yes, this bread has enough structure to be able to slice it into ¼” slices!  WOO HOO!  🙂

It doesn’t toast much better than most low-carb breads, so I use this mostly for sandwiches and making croutons.  But the crust toasts quite nicely.  Here’s a loaf that I sliced into 27 slices.  I failed to make sure of my 1/4″ accuracy along the way.  But I almost got 28 slices. 🙂

IMG_5168

This smoother crust was a result of heavy whisking of the batter.

I order my non-GMO Einkorn flour direct from Jovial Foods.  Some have found it in Safeways and other stores right on the shelf, but I’ve not been so lucky.  It’s not as expensive as some low-carb baking ingredients.  Einkorn is real, ancient wheat, that has not been hybridized.  I use only the tiniest amounts in the occasional baked goods recipes.  It brings so much texture and flavor for little carbs.  This recipe is not suitable until you are near goal weight (Pre-Maintenance).

DRY INGREDIENTS:

½ c. almond flour

2 T. Einkorn flour

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

2 T. oat fiber

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

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 5×8″ loaf pan 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 4 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 using a whisk, beat until smooth of lumps.  Spoon batter into greased loaf pan and bake at 350º for 30 minutes and test for doneness with toothpick.   If not done, cook 5-10 minutes longer.  Remove from oven and in a few minutes, tip onto board to finish cooling.  Stats below are calculated for 14 slices ½” thick.  I will also provide numbers for entire loaf so that you can figure out your own for the number of slices you choose to cut.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: 

Entire loaf:  1480 calories, 102.8 g  fat, 78.4 g  carbs, 47.2 g  fiber,  31.2 g  NET CARBS,     58.2 g  protein, 2669 mg sodium

If cut in 14 slices, ½”, @ contains: 106 calories, 7.3 g  fat, 5.60 g  carbs, 3.37 g  fiber, 2.23 g  NET CARBS, 4.15 g  protein, 191 mg sodium

If cut in 28 slices, ¼”, @ contains:  53 calories, 3.67 g fat, 2.8 g carbs, 1.68 g fiber, 1.12 g NET CARBS, 2.07 g protein, 95 mg sodium

Crawfish al Pesto on Eggplant “Pillows”

Crawfish al Pesto on Eggplant

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. eggplant, sliced into eight ½” slices

3 oz. plain pork rinds, crushed fine

6 T. homemade mayonnaise

Dash salt

4 T. butter

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

¼ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

¼ c. Parmesan cheese, grated

1½ T. homemade pesto sauce (or commercial)

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

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

1 c. grated mozzarella cheese

2 T. chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 8 servings, each contains:

355 cals, 30.5 g  fat, 6.06 g  carbs, 1.88 g fiber, 4.18 g  NET CARBS, 14.8 g  protein, 421 mg sodium

Cinnamon Rings

My husband just loves these!  Warm they are soft; cooled they get chewy.  Doing more experimenting with my Mozzy Dough always yields great stuff.  This is the first sweet application I tried it on.  I use a little specialty pan with 2″ ring slots to make these.  You can also use a mini donut pan or a mini bagel pan.  You could also just use the bottom of the slots in a regular muffin pan.  These are not suitable until Phase 2 Atkins.

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe my Mozzy Dough

2 T. erythritol

1 pkt. stevia or 2 T. granular Splenda

FLAVOR SPRINKLE MIXTURE:

1 T. melted butter

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 T. more erythritol or Splenda

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Melt 1 T. butter over low heat and brush the bottoms of your pan slots lightly.  Mix 2 T. erythritol and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle half of it into each pan slot with your fingers.  Set pan aside.

Make the Mozzy Dough per that recipe’s instructions, except add the first 2 T. erythritol and stevia (or Splenda) to the dry ingredients to sweeten it up a bit.  They get chewy as they cool down.  When these are totally cooled off, they firm up and are more like cookies.  If you want them more cake-like in texture and to remain soft, eliminate the psyllium in the Mozzy Dough recipe.  When the dough is in a uniform ball, form into a log and with a knife, divide into 12 equal portions.  If using donut, bagel or ringed pans, roll each dough portion into a little snake shape about 4″ long and encircle/place into the slots.  Slightly press down with fingers to seal where the two ends meet.  If using muffin pan, just press the dough into the bottom of the slots.  Sprinkle topping mixture evenly on top of each one.  Pop pan into 350º oven and bake for about 15 minutes.  Do not over brown or these will dry out.  Allow to cool a minute before gently lifting out of slots with a knife tip.  Invert them as you plate them up and serve warm a fresh cup of coffee or tea.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 12 cinnamon rings, each contains:

141.4 calories, 12.1 g fat, 5.15 g carbs, 3.30 g fiber, 1.85 g NET CARBS, 8.88 g protein, 188 mg sodium

Pecan Tassies

 Pecan Tassies

I’m not doing sweets currently, but as I haven’t made my husband anything sweet in ages, thought I’d make him some good old fashioned Pecan Tassies this afternoon.  This is basically my classic Pecan Pie recipe low-carbed and slightly modified for the miniature version.  They are so good.  The crust absorbs some of the liquid in the filling, so it is not as crusty as when used for other pies.  These almost seem like a pecan cookie bar to me.  These are not suitable for Induction.

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe my Tart Crust

3 eggs, beaten

1 c. granular Splenda (or other sweetener to equal 1 c. sugar)

1 tsp. vanilla

2 T. butter, melted

1 c. sugar-free maple syrup

1½ c. coarsely chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Make Tart Crust recipe per that recipe’s instructions.  Divide dough amongst 12 mini muffin cups.  Using plastic glove, carefully press dough onto bottom and sides of greased muffin cups.  However, bake for only 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Now beat eggs in a bowl.  Add melted butter and all filling ingredients and nuts.  Using small measuring cup, fill mini crusts just shy of the top edge.   Pop back into oven and continue to bake for about 30 minutes or until filing is done to the touch.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 12 tassies, each containing:

273 calories, 23.8 g  fat, 10.5 g  carbs, 6.0 g  fiber, 4.5 g  NET CARBS, 9.1 g  protein, 98 mg sodium

Einkorn Cracklin’ Cornbread

Crackling CornbreadNext time you whip up a pot of chili, try my Cracklin’ Cornbread to enhance the meal.  I truly had forgotten about this fun cornbread my Granny used to make in a cast iron skillet until someone mentioned it on a low-carb community forum not long ago.  Grandma’s was pretty coarse, as she made her own cracklin’s which were quite tough to chop up.  But a food processor fixes that problem right up.  My conrbread is therefore smoother than I remember hers.   This is a tasty little cornbread and if you’ve never had it, you’re in for a real treat.  It’s high in sodium because of the pork rinds, but nobody makes those unsalted to my knowledge (and I just won’t make them from scratch). This bread is so moist and it tasted very much like Grandma’s version.  Make yourself a batch and slather it in butter!  This is not suitable until you are quite a ways along in your weight loss efforts and nearly to goal weight (pre-Maintenance or Maintenance), due to the hominy.

INGREDIENTS:  

½ c. Juanita’s Mexican hominy, drained well

4 eggs

1 T. + 1 tsp. Fresh Corn Flavoring

3/4 c. buttermilk (2% is what I used)

4 drops yellow food coloring (totally optional)

1 c. my Einkorn Bake Mix  (use a gluten-free mix for gluten-free version or any low-carb bake mix)

2 tsp. baking soda

1 T. psyllium

1 c. pork rind flour (rinds crushed fine)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom of a 9″ round cake pan.  Grease the sides of the pan with oil. Place the hominy, buttermilk and eggs in the food processor.  Add the food coloring and corn flavoring.  Process until fairly smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.  Measure all dry ingredients on top and stir until if forms a smooth batter.  It will be a thick batter (you can add 1-2 T. more buttermilk if you think it is too thick. With a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the pan and spread it evenly with the spatula.  Pop into preheated 350º oven.  Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out dry and clean.  Ovens vary, so yours may take 5 minutes or so more cooking time.  Remove and slice into 8 pieces.  Serve warm with butter.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 slices, each one contains:

190 calories, 12.4 g  fat, 8.61 g  carbs, 2.3 g  fiber, 6.31 g  NET CARBS, 12.37 g  protein, 578 mg sodium  (from the pork rinds)

Oven-Fried Summer Squash

fried sauzh

This dish is one of the most popular recipes on my website with over 13,000 fans now.  It is super easy to make and super good!  No standing over a skillet of hot grease either!  So good, it was impossible to refrain from having a second serving!  🙂  This recipe works with yellow squash, green zuccini or the Mexican calaba squash that looks like lighter green zucchini.  Some call it Mexican zucchini.  Calaba has less water content that its darker green “cousin” and is very nice for baking because of this quality.  The flesh inside is a wee bit yellowish, but the flavor I cannot detect as different from the darker green zucchini.  The inside gets fully cooked in 20 minutes without par-boiling first.  The pork rinds make it crunchy on the outside and will satisfy your desire for crunchy, fried food.  This dish is Atkins Induction friendly.  This coating works nicely on a variety of other vegetables as well.  Put your experimenting hat on and have fun!  So far I’ve used the coating/method on pkra, onion rings, and eggplant with consistent success.  coating.

DO NOT USE A SILICONE SHEET to bake this squash or it will not brown properly.  Bake them directly on a non-stick or lightly oiled metal pan. 

INGREDIENTS:

16 oz. zucchini, calaba (its cousin) or yellow squash

2 oz. pork rinds, plain, finely crushed

1/3 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

6 T. my Homemade Mayonnaise

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 450º.  Crush rinds and add spice blend on a paper plate or saucer and mix well.  Dip out mayo onto another paper plate or saucer.  Cut stems and bottom tip off squash and cut into ¼” slices lengthwise.  Lay the squash slices on paper towels.  After 15 minutes or so, blot off all water they bleed with dry paper towels. When they are no longer bleeding their water, holding the very tip of each piece with one  hand, with a basting brush in your other hand, baste both sides of the squash slices with a coating of mayo.  Set brush down and  with your now free hand, sprinkle rinds on both sides of the squash and then place on a non-stick sheet pan.  Repeat for each piece.  I’ll tell ya up front, if you just dip these babies down into the rinds (more will stick on) you ARE going to run out of rinds before you’ve coated all the squash.  Been there; done that;  🙂   So trust me on this one…….just sprinkle it onto each side, letting the excess fall back into the plate and you should have enough for the entire batch.  Place each coated piece of squash on a lightly oiled metal pan. Pop into a 450º oven for 20 minutes or until nice and brown.  No need to turn during baking as the bottoms get nicely browned where they touch the pan. ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

245.3 cals, 21.3g fat, 4.18g carbs, 1.25g fiber, 2.93g NET CARBS, 10.8g protein, 250 mg. sodium

Turkey Day Feast

CLICK THE LINKS UNDER EACH PHOTO TO SEE RECIPES:

I’m fond of turkey roasted in my roaster oven as they always come out so moist cooked that way.   This year I actually found a small (10#) bird so we won’t have so much leftover (we are but two).  Roaster ovens are especially nice for extra oven space needed holiday gatherings and your oven is full to the brim.  This year my double wall oven died (it’s been giving me signals for over a year now) and my new one is on order, but it won’t be installed until Dec. 9th.  Needless to say this happening just now isn’t the best timing, so my Thanksgiving meal will be much simpler, with as much made ahead as possible.  My roaster oven will be a true blessing for getting the bird and stuffing cooked in time.

What turkey would be complete without a good batch of stuffing?  This recipe, modified to be low-carb, has been in my family for years.  I think you’ll like it.  I like to bake my dressing separately from the bird as I like the crusty bits on top:

Although we debate on what side dishes we want to have “this year” with the two basics above, we keep coming back to these two recipes:

And of course, there must be a sweet, tangy cranberry sauce to top things off.  And why not spike it a bit?:

To top it all off, a lovely dinner roll is in order for the holiday table:

That just brings us to the pièce de résistance, dessert.  Oh, the dilemma!  I usually decide on light rather than rich and heavy dessert as most folks are stuffed to the brim before dessert.  Although pumpkin pie is typical at my house, I think I’ll be doing a sweet potato pie instead this year.  I just substitute an equal amount of cooked sweet potatoes (mashed) in my regular pumpkin recipe.  This year I’m making a large pie and several small ones to save for later in the the holiday season.  A person can never have pumpkin/sweet potato pie too often in my book.  🙂

At a time to be thankful for family, friends and good food to share with them, I can’t imagine a more bountiful meal to serve.  May all my readers be blessed with a lovely holiday get together this year.

Strawberry Chocolate Torte

Click to enlarge

I’m not a big sweets eater, as many of my readers and forum acquaintances know by now.  But my husband IS!  And since he’s Type 2 diabetic, I do try to fix him low-carb treats so he won’t go and buy the awful junk at the grocery store and bakery that is laden with flour and sugar.   This dessert I created for his Valentine’s Day treat some years back and thought I’d share it again since holidays are just around the corner.

The basic chocolate cake batter in this recipe is actually not my recipe.  My inspiration was a recipe posted by a wonderful cook on LowCarbFriends forums named Gwen, known there as “The Chicken Lady”.  This cake is a testimonial to her incredible cooking skills. I’m very pleased with this chocolate cake!  And I can’t say that about many low-carb chocolate cakes I’ve tried. Despite it looking sinfully rich, it was very light.   I have made no changes to her original cake recipe.  🙂

I did bake my cake in ONE 9″ round cake (wax-paper lined) cake pan that is unusually deep (2½”) and the cake rose nearly to the top!  It would bake OK in two standard shallow 9″ cake pans also, but reduce the cooking time if you make that pan change.  You’ll have more trouble slicing it into 4 layers, and might prefer to just do a two-layer final cake instead of three.  Or you could bake the cake in a wax-paper lined stew pot/dutch oven.  That has worked for me many a time.  This cake is not suitable until the berries rung of the Atkins OWL carb reintroduction ladder.  Due to the artificial sweeteners and dairy, this dessert is not be suitable for Paleo-Primal followers without considerable modification.

VARIATION:  Substitute raspberries for the strawberries.

This cake is fairly carb pricey, but if you can’t afford the carbs, you could cut it into 12 pieces.  That’s a wee bit better.  This should be considered a very special occasion treat because it IS so carb pricey.  Be sure if substituting other than liquid sweeteners, to add in those carbs!

CAKE INGREDIENTS: 

4 c. almond flour
liquid sweetener to equal 2 c. sugar
½ c. granular erythritol (or equivalent of 1/3 cup of sugar)
4 pkts. stevia (equivalent for 8 tsp. sugar)  
½ c. cup cocoa powder
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/3 c. butter or coconut oil, melted
4 eggs, beaten
1 c. sour cream

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

2½ c. heavy cream, whipped

Pinch (less than 1/16 tsp.) glucomannan powder, dusted over cream as you whip it (optional, to help firm up the whipped cream)

14 oz. frozen whole strawberries, thawed and drained of juice, chopped

1 c. fresh strawberries, chopped (or 1 c. more frozen berries, or use all fresh berries)

Sweetener of choice to taste

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º.   Mix and beat the wet cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl.   If your almond flour isn’t room temperature, make it so and press out any lumps.  Measure and add in all dry ingredients to the bowl and stir well. Line your cake pan(s) with waxed paper or parchment.  Grease the sides of the pan(s) well.  Pour batter into pan spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Tap pan on counter to eliminate air pockets and pop into 350º oven.  Bake for about 60 minutes if using one, very deep pan like I did.  If using two 1″ x 9″ round cake pans, they will cook much faster, in about 25-30 minutes or so.   Toothpick test the center.  It should come out clean and dry when the the cake is done.  Completely cool before attempting to tip cake out onto a board to cut it into layers.  This cake can also be made in a rectangular 9 x 13″ pan, cut in half and each half then sliced laterally to form 4 layers (reserve 1 layer for another use as you only need 3 layers for this cake).  All sorts of possibilities with that cake size.

While cake is in the oven, make the frosting:  Whip the cream until thick.  Run the berries through a food processor (or chop coarsely) for a few seconds, but leave them coarse.  Fold the berries into the whipped cream. Dust the pinch of glucomannan powder over the mixture slowly, folding after each addition, until all of it has been incorporated.  Taste for sweetness and add your favorite sweetener to taste.  Chill frosting until cake is totally cool.

Next cut the cake layers:  I sliced the completely cooled cake very carefully with a long-bladed knife, using a piece of cardboard covered with foil to gently slide each layer onto to set aside while I filled/frosted the final creation.  This cake has a firm texture and is not as crumbly as some almond flour cakes.  All good, but you still need to be careful, as even firm cakes can break.

Place about 1¼ c. of the frosting on the bottom layer of the cake.  Spread evenly with a rubber spatula, going almost to the edges.  Place the second layer of cake gently on the top and press slightly.  Put another 1¼ c. frosting on this layer and spread it out evenly.  Place the top cake layer on the stack, press slightly and spread all remaining frosting on the top and sides. OPTIONAL GARNISH:  Decorate the top of your cake with fresh strawberry slices, a few strawberry leaves  or perhaps a sliced and “fanned out” single strawberry at the center.  Chill in the refrigerator with plastic wrap on top until ready to cut and serve.

This cake was simply DELICIOUS and I will definitely be making it again!   My thanks to The Chicken Lady for her wonderful chocolate cake recipe.  It truly made my Valentines treat a success!

CONFESSION TIME:  The reason I used both frozen and fresh berries in the topping is I only had one 14 oz. bag of the frozen diced unsweetened berries in my freezer.  I thought that would make enough frosting.  But 1½ c. cream and those berries didn’t make enough frosting to frost the sides of the cake!  So I had to whip up a little more frosting real quick with another cup of cream and berries, so the last batch of frosting had to be made with the few fresh berries I had on hand.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 10 servings, using the sweeteners specified, each serving contains:

632 cals, 57.8 g fat, 20.4 g carbs, 7.05 g fiber, 13.35 g NET CARBS, 15.2 g protein, 521 mg sodium

Pumpkin Cake

pumpkin-cake

I could eat my weight in this moist, delicious pumpkin cake.  With the holidays just around the corner, this one is sure to be a hit.

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

Breakfast Sticks

Breakfast Sticks

Realized I hadn’t made one of my more popular recipes in quite some time this morning.  I resurrected this tasty ‘Top o’ the Morning’ treat today.  You can use the bottom of muffin cups for these (circle shape) or muffin-top pans (flatter shape) as well.  These are simply delicious!  Just the right amount of cheese to make them a bit creamy without it being overpowering.  These are suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal Blueprint as well.  Omit the cheese for Paleo adherence.  Below is a photo of the pan I used.  Although they still make it (BTW, it is rimmed in metal framing for support, which I really like), it is difficult to find on the internet.  You can make this recipe using muffin pans however.  I stumbled upon these two metal-rimmed Chicago Bakeware pans at my local Tuesday Morning store several years ago and snatched them up. 🙂  Other companies make similar pans:  http://www.amazon.com/Purple-Silicone-Sponge-Finger-Bakeware/dp/B00AFRALOS.

Bar Mold

This recipe has garnered more Facebook fans than any other recipe I have ever posted there.  Simply amazing!  Thanks to all my readers and fans for making the recipe go viral on its original posting.  When you try these, you’ll see why it went off the chart!  🙂    Capture

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. oil of choice

2 slices bacon, chopped

3 oz. breakfast sausage

2 large green onions, chopped

4 large eggs, beaten

1 oz. (¼ c.) shredded Monterrey Jack or Mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Oil your muffin/pan slots with oil using a brush and set aside.  Beat the eggs with the shredded cheese in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.  Using a non-stick skillet, brown the bacon. Add the sausage crumbled, stirring and cooking until it is no longer pink.  Add onion and saute just until onion begins to cook/wilt.  Remove from heat and cool 1-2 minutes.  Add the meat mixture to the egg mixture and beat together well with a spoon.  Using a ¼c. measuring cup, scoop up ¼ c. of the mixture into each of 8 slots.  Pop into preheated 350º oven for about 15-20 minutes (ovens do vary) until just set and barely beginning to brown on tops.  Remove from pans/slot with a knife tip and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 Breakfast Sticks, each contains:

142.4 cals, 12.3g fat, 0.73g carbs, 0.16g fiber, 0.57g NET CARBS, 7.16g protein, 220 mg sodium

Upside-Down Bacon-Onion Omelet

Upside-Down Bacon-Onion OmeletThis is a scrumptious, quick and easy omelet that is made flat in a pan and baked in the oven.  Plan to make it for breakfast tomorrow.  I love to make omelets this way as I think they cook so evenly.  I’ve messed up more than one folded omelet that I attempted to cook stovetop.  I find the eggs don’t get quite done enough in the center for my liking.   Besides, I think eggs are pretty served up this way, too!  This delicious recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo. 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

6 thin (or 3 thick) slices bacon, diced large

2 oz. onion, diced (I used red onion)

4 large eggs

DIRECTIONS:    Preheat oven to 350º.  In a good non-stick skillet or wok, cook the bacon until nearly brown.  Add the onion and saute until the bacon is fully browned and the onion is getting soft and also beginning to caramelize/brown.   In a bowl, using a fork, beat the eggs well.  Slowly pour the eggs over the bacon-onion mixture so as not to disturb the mixture much.  Pop the pan into a 350> oven for 10-12 minutes or until eggs are just dry to the touch in the center.  Try not to brown the top of the flat omelet, as that just overcooks the eggs making them dry and rubbery.  Remove from oven.  Place a large plate (larger than your pan in diameter) over the plate and lifting skillet with one hand and holding the plate over it with your other hand, flip is quickly.  The grease from the bacon should allow it to drop right out of the pan.  Cut into 3 wedges and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 3 adult servings

231 cals, 19.4 g  fat, 2.13 g carbs, 0.16 g fiber, 1.97 g NET CARBS, 11.8 g protein, 331 mg sodium