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Beef Bok Choy

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The Bok Choy was particularly fresh and pretty in the grocery store yesterday so I bought the first bunch I have bought in a very long time.  The day before we charcoal grilled a marinated piece of grass-fed beef brisket and there was a lot leftover.  So I slivered some of the leftover meat just as thin as I could slice it to create this dish. Upon examining the refrigerator, I could see fresh mushrooms and a pretty red pepper were calling out to be added to this creation.. Mmmm.  The final dish was delicious!  This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Paleo-Primal as well.

I make my own Hoisin Sauce and the link is the recipe I’m currently using.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. coconut oil

1 lb. thinly sliced beef

2 oz. onion, sliced

2 stalks bok choy, washed and sliced ½” thick

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Bok Choy

2 oz. red bell pepper, sliced or ½” dice

6 medium mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp. ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp. chile sauce (I use Sambal Oelek)

3 T. my homemade Hoisin Sauce

½ c. beef broth

1 T. low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos

a bit your favorite thickener (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Slice, dice and mince all the listed vegetables and set by the stove burner. Set the bok choy white part and leafy part in two separate stacks   Gather all other ingredients and have them close at hand.  Heat a wok or large skillet and add the oils.  When the oil is hot, add the onion and saute 1 minute.  Next add the beef and saute about 2-3 minutes or until no longer pink.  Add all  vegetables BUT the green leafy part of the bok choy.  Also add garlic and ginger.  Saute all until vegetables are tender crisp, about 2-3 minutes.  Now add the leafy part of the bok choy to the pan.  Add the hoisin sauce to the beef broth and stir well.  Add this mixture and all other ingredients and allow flavors to blend a couple minutes, stirring several times.  If you want a thicker sauce, sprinkle a dash of your favorite thickener and stir until slightly thickened. Serve at once either alone or atop steamed riced cauliflower.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

281.3 cals, 15.5g fat, 7.73g carbs, 2.08g fiber, 5.65g NET CARBS, 27.7g protein, 512 mg sodium

 

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mashed-cauliflowerAlthough I have been mashing cauliflower since I began low-carbing in 2009, I only recently discovered a way to really firm up this ever-popular dish, as they can mash up a little “soupy” if you get in a rush.  That secret ingredient is glucomannan powder, derived from the konjac tuber.  Although a bit pricey, a bag of this stuff will last you a year (or longer!), as you use such tiny amounts in cakes, cookies and puddings for thickening or texture enhancing of your baked goods.  In this recipe, only ¼-½ tsp. is needed to do the job.  Glucomannan is what they make shirataki noodles from if you do not know this factoid.  I purchase it from at Netrition.com.  It’s pure fiber and will do wonders for your mashed cauli if you have problems with moisture bleeding out of the cauliflower after whipping, resulting in a “soupy” batch.  It is also said to help maintain steady blood glucose levela, so a good food for my Type2 diabetic husband to consume regularly.  This mashed cauliflower makes a wonderful Shepherd’s Pie topping!  Suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium head cauliflower

4 T. butter

2 T. cream cheese

1/8-¼ tsp. sea salt

¼-½ tsp. glucomannan powder

VARIATION:   Add 2-4 T. heavy cream for even richer results

DIRECTIONS:   Stem and cut up cauliflower into flowerettes.  Place in 4-qt. saucepan, cover with water and bring to boil.  Lower heat to medium and cook until very tender when poked with a knife or fork.  Drain off water in a colander or sieve.  After water is drained, using the back of a spoon, press the cauliflower against the wall of the colander or sieve to press out even more water until most appears to be released.  Spoon back into the saucepan.

Add the butter cheese and salt and whip with a hand mixer or stick blender until very smooth.  Add ¼ tsp. of the glucomannan and pulse the blender/mixer a few seconds.  If still a pretty loose mixture add the rest of the gluc powder, whipping once again to incorporate it throughout the mixture.  The mixture will continue to firm up a little more more as it sits on your table.  You don’t want to overdo gluc powder, as it will REALLY get stiff if you put too much!  Any leftovers on this dish are fantastic great reheated with a bit of chopped green onion and cheese on top. 😉

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

109 calories, 11.36 g fat, 5.26 g carbs, 2.45 g fiber, 2.81 g NET CARBS, 2.35 g protein, 96.33 g sodium

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Shown on a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Sadly, most low-carb breads made with alternate flours simply do not toast well.  They just won’t get…….ummmm……………toasty!!!  😦

This individual serving bread recipe I developed I think is particularly suited for grilling sandwiches.  It toasts up better than any other low-carb bread I’ve tried toasting in 10 years of low-carbing and bread experimentaation. Not sure which ingredient is facilitating that toasty quality though.  Likely it is the oat fiber, but am VERY glad whatever ingredient is doing that!

You can bake this in any microwaveable square container.  I have a plastic bread-shaped container (which isn’t so healthy to cook in actually), so I have switched to using my 4″ square glass dish.  I have not tried baking this bread in a conventional oven, but suspect it would need 350º for around 10-15 minutes.  One recipe can be sliced laterally into two thinner slices after cooling to make 1 sandwich, as shown in the photo above. This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  It is not suitable for Primal-Paleo lifestyles.

INGREDIENTS:

¼ c. + 1T. flax meal, preferably golden flax meal

1 T. butter  (plus dab more for skillet or panini pan grilling)

2 T. sour cream

1 egg, beaten

½ tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. oat fiber, no substitutes! (omit for gluten-free)

Pinch salt

DIRECTIONS:   Melt the butter in microwave in a small mixing bowl.  Add beaten egg and sour cream. Add all dry ingredients and stir well.  With a rubber spatula, scrape batter into a 4″-5″ square microwaveable container and zap on HI power for 70 seconds or until dry to touch in center (microwaves can vary). Cool a minute and tip out onto cutting board.  Laterally slice as evenly as possible with a long-blade  knife to form two thinner slices.

When ready to construct your sandwich, melt a little butter or olive oil on a non-stick griddle and baste one side of each slice of bread.  Place one slice on griddle, buttered side down.  Add slice of your preferred cheese or meats and top with second slice of bread, buttered side up.  Brown well on both sides for best, “toastiest” results.  Slight over-browning is a GOOD thing here! 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 thin slices after cutting.  Entire recipe contains: (does not include sandwich fillings)

425 cals, 37.4g fat, 14.1g carbs, 11.3g fiber, 2.8g NET CARBS, 13.8g protein, 497mg sodium

Cheese Puffs

I decided to modify my Cheese Thin Buns recipe by adding some Carbquik to the ingredient line-up.   What a marvelous change that makes!  These tasty little snacks are less than 1 net carb per puff!  We both love snacking on cheese bread, but what we buy at the store isn’t exactly low-carb.  This is my answer to a late night snack that is suitable on a very low-carb diet.  These are easy to make and I’m certain they’ll be a hit with your family.  If you don’t like things spicy, omit the cayenne; if you do like things spicy, you may even want to increase the amount of cayenne!  🙂  These are suitable once you get to the end of Phase 2 Atkins.

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INGREDIENTS:

3 eggs, beaten

½ c. water

2 T. olive oil

2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

1 T. + 1 tsp. glucomannan powder (there is no substitute for this)

¼ c. whey protein powder (plain, unsweetened)

1 T. (3 tsp) baking powder

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. onion powder

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional, but greatly enhances flavor profile)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1 c. Carbquik (use a gluten-free bake mix if needed)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Measure out the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir well to evenly mix.  In a separate medium mixing bowl, beat the wet ingredients with an electric mixer or whisk.  While you are whisking the egg mixture, slowly add in the dry ingredients until all is well blended into a batter resembling pancake batter.  Stir in the cheese and mix it well.  Let the dough stand a few minutes as it will thicken/stiffen up a bit.

I used a non-stick mini-muffin pan.  The cheese will bleed out some oil, so you shouldn’t have to oil a non-stick pan.  But if yours is NOT non-stick, oil the cups of your mini-muffin pan lightly with a brush.  Using a measuring spoon, put 1 level tablespoon of batter into each cup raking it out with a finger to get it all.  Will make exactly 34 muffins, so a second baking will be necessary unless you own two mini-muffin pans.  Pop into 350º oven and bake for 17 minutes or until browning on top.  We found browning enhances flavor, so you may want to even bake yours a bit longer.  Remove from oven and cool a couple minutes.  If cooled a bit, they will come out of the pans with a knife tip’s help without tearing apart.  If removed too hot, you are going to tear them up.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 34 Cheese Puffs, each contains:

50.6 cals., 4.52 g fat, 2.13 g carbs, 1.43 g fiber, 0.70 g NET CARBS, 3.06 g protein, 138 mg sodium

Raspberry-Lemon Bites

Raspberry-Lemon Bites

Raspberry-Lemon Bites

I got this idea from a Lemon-Raspberry Cheesecake recipe by Stacey Crawford over at Beauty and the Foodie.  I made some raspberry sauce to keep on hand for a variety of uses as well as some lemon cookies this week and thought I’d combine the two.  What a WONDERFUL decision!  Delicious flavor combo, Stacey!  These are OK for all folks who have reached Phase 2 Atkins or beyond.  Keto fans can enjoy them if the carbs fit your daily limit.  These cookies would not be suitable for Primal or Paleo followers.

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe my Raspberry Coulis

1 recipe my Lemon Cookies

DIRECTIONS:  Make the cookies per that recipe’s instructions and chill.  Make the Raspberry Coulis per that recipe’s instructions and chill.  When ready to serve, remove them from the refrigerator and place 1/2 tsp. of the raspberry coulis atop each cookie and plate decoratively.  Enjoy at once!  If these are held over, the sauce may run off the top, but that won’t affect the flavor.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:     Makes 36 little cookies, each contains:

82 cals, 7.1g fat, 3.6g carbs, 1.8g fiber, 1.8g NET CARBS, 2g protein, 375mg sodium

Creamed Spinach

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We just LOVE creamed spinach!  In India they have mastered this wonderful way to prepare spinach.  With the addition of a few aromatic spices, it takes this dish to a new flavor profile.  This dish is Atkins Induction friendly and suitable for other Keto diets as well.

(Plain Version INGREDIENTS):

2 T. butter

Saag Paneer (Indian variation_

Saag Paneer (Indian variation)

2 oz. yellow onion

16 oz. frozen chopped spinach

1 c. water

3 oz. cream cheese

1/3 c. heavy cream

Dash salt and pepper

INDIAN VERSION:  To the above ingredients, add 1 tsp. my Garam Masala spice blend, ½ tsp. grated ginger root, ½ c. chopped cilantro, and ½ seeded jalapeno chopped and paneer cheese cubes (if you know how to make it or can buy frozen at an Indian grocery).

DIRECTIONS:  Sliver up the onion very thin or chop finely.  Melt butter in skillet and saute onion over medium heat in non-stick skillet.  Add spinach and water, cover and simmer just until spinach is done (about 5 minutes).  Drain off any remaining water.  Now dot the surface with cream cheese and stir in to melt.  If making the Indian version, add all spices and jalapeno pepper now.  Stir.  Lower heat to lowest setting and add cream.  Simmer uncovered for 2-3 minutes to allow  flavors to blend.  Sometimes I pop it into a 350º oven for 15-20 minutes, but that is not actually necessary.  The dish shown in the pic above WAS baked in the oven a bit.   Great with grilled kebab, chicken or fish.  Mmm Mmm Mmm.  I just love this stuff!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings each contains

193 cals, 16.4 g  fat, 7.9 g  carbs, 3.9 g  fiber, 4g NET CARBS, 197 g  sodium

We were in Sam’s Club last month and picked up what was labeled “Cowboy Ribsteak”.  What it was was a small bone-in rib roast about 3″ thick.  We bought one for my birthday dinner last night.  Yes, I’m a New Year’s Eve baby.  We used my dad’s favorite beef grilling marinade on it and WOW, was it ever good!  My husband grilled it about 15 minutes on a side and it was medium-rare to perfection!

This marinade recipe was truly my Dad’s creation and “pride and joy”.  In his 83 years on this earth, he never found a marinade he liked better.  I confess I have not either.  It’s unique; it’s DELICIOUS!  You grilling fanatics MUST try this recipe sometime!  This recipe makes enough marinade for an 8 lb. boneless rib roast, but my “Cowboy Steak” was only about 3.5 lb, so I made up a half recipe of marinade for this one.  This meat marinade isn’t as tasty reheated, so leftovers are best consumed in sandwiches unheated.

This would also be delicious for grilling a nice lean chuck or sirloin roast.   It is Atkins friendly (after you finish Atkins Induction 2-weeks).  Leaving out the wine just isn’t an option for this recipe, so wait until the Atkins OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss) Phase to enjoy this wonderful hunk of grilled melt-in-your-mouth beef.  I guarantee, this is so good you’ll be fighting over who gets the two end slices, just like at my house.  🙂

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MARINADE INGREDIENTS: (remember, it is not all consumed)

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

1/8 c. low-sodium soy sauce (1/4 c. if you can tolerate the sodium, I don’t though)

1/2 c. dry red wine (I use burgundy or claret generally)

1 T. tomato paste (or tomato sauce)

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

DIRECTIONS:  Pound the coarse ground black pepper over all surfaces of a nice rib roast or extra thick rib steak using the butt of your palm or a meat cleaver. Use less pepper if doing a smaller piece of meat. Place meat in glass dish. I drizzle marinate every half hour (as often as you can remember to stop and do it) most of a day (minimum 6 hours). Most efficient way to marinate without disturbing pepper coating is to use a basting brush. Do not touch the meat with your brush, or you’ll wipe all the pepper off! Hold it over the meat and let it drip off the brush. When surface is soaked, put in refrigerator to marinate.  Baste hourly with my drip method until cooking time.

COOKING:  This recipe really is not good cooked inside in an oven. Not sure why, but trust me on this one, it just isn’t, so grill it for sure.  It seems the marriage of the marinade with charcoal smoke makes this recipe flavor profile so magical.

Prepare your charcoal fire and when coals are white hot, set the meat slightly off to the side (not directly over the coals).  Discard marinade now and do not baste again during cooking so raw meat juice doesn’t contaminate your meat at the end of cooking. You need to grill a 3-3½# piece of meat for about 30 minutes total time (15 minutes on a side) for medium-rare (125º internal).  Larger roasts of 4-6# will take around 20 minutes on a side.  If cooking a 6#-8# roast for a large dinner party, I would cook for 60-80 minutes total cooking time, (30-40 min per side) checking often with meat thermometer until an internal temp of 125º is reached for medium rare.  You should turn the meat every 10 minutes during cooking.  Rib roast/steak is best if not cooked past medium-rare or medium stage unless you like dry, tough meat.  I take mine off when my meat thermometer reads 120º degrees and let it sit on my cutting board for around 5-7 minutes to “rest” before slicing to avoid juices being lost when sliced.  Always remember that a piece of meat over 3# will continue to climb to higher temps while resting on the board (why I err on the side of removal at 120º).

This recipe always gets the WOWS when I serve it so I hope you folks will try it sometime! You won’t be sorry you did!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  The marinade is discarded when you cook the meat.  No further basting should be done while cooking as there is now raw meat juice in the marinade.   Calculating how much marinade is consumed is difficult.  It would also be impossible for me to know how many servings you are able to get out of your roast.  So I’m providing the totals for the entire batch of marinade and you will have to see how much it makes and how much is left in the pan before discarding to determine roughly how much is staying on the meat and thus consumed by how many people you are serving.   Most of the sauce goes down the drain, to be perfectly honest, so you’re getting mostly sodium from the soy sauce and a few carbs from the wine and tomato paste that cling to the surface of the meat (a little more if you get the end slices).  The figures below DO NOT INCLUDE THE MEAT.

The entire batch of marinade has:

131 cals, 0.7g fat, 18g carbs, 4.6g fiber, 15.4 NET CARBS (entire batch), 5.5g protein, 1070 mg. sodium