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Next time you bake low-carb bagels, baguettes or dinner rolls, try my new mock version of this popular spice/seed blend.  It’s real close to the taste of the real proprietary blend.  Not quite the same, but hey….I am guessing here for the amounts of each spice/seed that appear in the ingredients listings on the bottles.   It’s close enough to work for me anyway.   If you’d like to try a more aromatic blend, try my 8-Seed Blend sometime!  It’s got a wider variety of spices and is very good in its own right.

INGREDIENTS:

3 T. dried minced onion flakes

2 T. dried minced garlic flakes (I find at Sam’s)

3 T. white sesame seeds

4 T. toasted white sesame seed

1 T. coarse black pepper

1 tsp. Sea Salt (I used Himalayan pink)

4 T. Black Sesame Seeds (I order on-line)

DIRECTIONS:   In your broiler, toast the 4 T. sesame seeds on a small baking sheet until lightly browned.  Please do not get distracted as they can burn in the blink of an eye!  Been there myself a time or two.  Remove and cool.  Pour them onto a paper plate.  Measure out remaining ingredients and stir well.  Fold the paper plate to pour them up into an awaiting lidded jar.  I always keep my old spice jars when emptied as they are so convenient to have when I make a new homemade spice blend such as this one.  This blend will keep for months, as the only real perishable thing in the blend are the sesame seeds, with their high oil content.  As with all spices, store in a dark cabinet or closed spice rack.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 18 T. or 54 tsp.  1 tsp. contains:

12.44 cals, 1.6g fat, 1.09g carbs, 0.34g fiber, 0.75g NET CARBS, 0.4g protein, 44.7 mg sodium

Broccoliwithcreamsauce

If you’re tired of the same old steamed broccoli, the usual cheese sauce and the not so unusual 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

½ c. water

Dash pepper

1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:  Cook broccoli stems until completely done and drain well a few minutes.  Lay broccoli stems  decoratively on your serving dish.  In non-stick skillet over med-high heat, saute onion and garlic in butter until the onion begins to brown and caramelize.    Lower heat and add cream and Parmesan.  Add pepper and taste.  Add pinch of salt if needed.  Simmer a few minutes and it will slightly thicken.  Add water.  Simmer a few more minutes.  Should be the right thickness when done.  If the water made it too thin, add a bit of your favorite thickener.  Dip or pour over broccoli and serve.

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

The delicious smoke taste on this Steelhead Trout was just amazing!  I get this fish at my local Sam’s Club and just love that they are milder than regular salmon.  The buttery chipotle-lime sauce was so good on it! The flavor profile was just sublime.  This recipe goes together in just 15 minutes or so once your charcoal fire is ready.  This is one of the healthiest dinners you can have since this salmon-family fish is also very rich in Omega-3 oil.

INGREDIENTS:

2#  Steelhead Trout filet (use salmon if you can’t get the trout)

4 T. butter, unsalted

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 c. parsley, chopped

1 chipotle pepper (canned in adobo sauce), seeded and mashed

1 T. the adobo sauce from the can

Juice of 1 lime (about 1 T.)

DIRECTIONS:  In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.  Mince the garlic and add.  Add all remaining ingredients and simmer 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Prepare charcoal fire.   With a paper towel, lightly oil te grill grate surface to help prevent sticking.  Using a basting brush, baste the flesh side of the filet.  When coals are white hot ready, place basted flesh side of the filet down on the oiled grill right over the coals.  Cook about 5 minutes.  Baste the skin side now.  With extra long spatulas, gently turn the fish over to grill the skin side next.  Basting the flesh side again.  Cook 5 minutes on this side as well.  Remove to service platter, serving the extra butter sauce at the table for each diner to brush on their serving of fish.  I served this with a cauliflower-broccoli cheesy gratin but it would be equally good with a lovely Greek Salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   After cooking shrinkage this makes 4 6-7-oz servings.  Each contains:

433 cals, 25.7g fat, 2.62g carbs, 0.79g fiber, 1.83g NET CARBS, 46.7g protein, 220 mg sodium

Cheddar Cheese Sauce

We all love a good cheese sauce for broccoli and cauliflower.  This one goes together quick and is extra thick.  Because of the amount of cheese, please note the high sodium content of this sauce.  No way to reduce that unless you cut back on cheese, resulting in a thinner, less cheesy sauce.  I like to pour some of the sauce on my veggies and bake off awhile, topping at the table with another spoonful per serving.  But that isn’t necessary.  You can just dip the sauce over the veggies right at the table when serving!

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. tap water

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I actually used 1 c. each American and Cheddar)

Dash coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS: Measure the cream and water into a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the cheese and black pepper.  Stirring constantly, heat mixture until cheese is fully melted and blending  (no visible bits or lumps) into a creamy smooth golden sauce.   You can either pour half over your veggies in an oven-proof dish and bake for 20 minutes at 350º.  Or simply serve the sauce in a bowl at table for each person to dip their own up over their pre-cooked veggies.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings of about ½ c. each.  Each serving of cheese sauce (approx. 1/4 batch) will contain:

305.5 cals, 27.05g fat, 3.77g carbs, 0.07g fiber, 12.42g protein, 618 mg sodium.

 

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

INGREDIENTS:

3 thick slices bacon, chopped coarse

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

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

2 oz. cream cheese

½ c. heavy cream

2 T. Parmesan grated cheese

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each contains:

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

 

Classic Shrimp Scampi

My father introduced us to this dish when we lived in Hampton, Virginia.  Of course, we had all the fresh seafood there in the world anytime we wanted it.  What is amazing about Shrimp Scampi is how easy it is to make.  Traditionally served over white rice, as a low-carber, I decided to spoon mine over a batch of my Foolproof Mashed Cauliflower.  It was quite good actually.  I like to add a bit of my Seafood Spice Blend to most of my seafood dishes, but it is not seen in most shrimp scampi recipes.  Occasionally I like to add a splash of a couple tablespoons of white wine to this dish, but do not always do that, so I don’t show it in the ingredients below.  Your call there.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets, as well as for Primal and Paleo followers.  Those still on Atkins Induction should not add the white wine here.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 T. butter, unsalted

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. parsley, chopped

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

¼-½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

1 oz. (optional) dry white wine, (Pinot Grigio, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc are good)

DIRECTIONS:    Preheat broiler.  In a large skillet melt the butter over high heat.  Add garlic and let saute a couple minutes.  Add shrimp and saute until the begin to get opaque and golden on the edges.  Add black pepper and spice blend.  Saute couple more minutes.  Finally add parsley and stir to blend.  Remove and pop into broiler long enough for the shrimp to begin to brown just a bit.  Remove from oven and serve immediately over bed of mashed cauliflower (or rice for non low-carbers at the table)

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:  (does not include mashed cauliflower, 1 cup of it would add around 2.8 net carbs to each serving)

306 cals, 18.1g fat, 3.73g carbs, 0.43g fiber, 3.3g NET CARBS, 31.4g protein, 233 mg sodium

 

 

Air Fryer Croutons (low-carb)

 

 

I just discovered I can make low-carb croutons in my air fryer (Power XL 7 qt 1700 watt basket style).  Using my familiar Einkorn English Muffin as the base, it was a piece or cake, or perhaps I should say a piece of “toast”. 🙂  This time I coated them with my spice mixture, but next time I’m going to put it right into the batter when making the muffin just for ease.  Doubt it will make a bit of difference in the end result.  We both thought these a tasty substitute for high-carb commercial croutons.  To lower carbs, you could use some other low-carb bread or merely eat less of them on your salad.

Croutons

INGREDIENTS: 

1 recipe my Einkorn English Muffin

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

¼ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

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

Dash sea salt

¼ tsp. baking powder

VARIATION:  Use other seasoning blends to change things up a bit

DIRECTIONS:  Make the English muffin by that recipe’s instructions (linked above).  If adding spices to batter, add to batter before baking.  DO NOT slice the muffin laterally when cooked.  Tip muffin onto cutting board.  When completely cooled cut into ½” cubes.  The croutons will toast better if not larger than ½” size.  I found the corner pieces (my dish is oval) toasted the best! Let cubes rest on cutting board for 1 hour to totally dry out.  Turn them over once to try to get them dry to the touch on all surfaces.

When about ready to get meal together, toss them into a medium bowl with 1 T. olive oil.  If adding spices to surface, mix it into the olive oil in the bowl and then toss in your cubes.  Stir well to coat.  Place them in the basket of your air fryer (or in a pan if you have the shelf type.  I placed a cake cooling wire rack on mine to be sure they didn’t fly around during cooking.  My fryer has a forceful fan!  Cook at 375º for about 6 minutes, checking often and shaking to get all sides brown and toasty.  Add more time if needed to get them to a firm and toasty state without them burning.  All fryers are different and the time is variable with each brand/model.  Cool completely before serving.

Low carb breads do not keep their crunchy quality for long, but if you have some leftover (I did) put remainders in a ziplock bag and reheat in the air fryer at 375º for 2-3 minutes to toast them right up again.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes enough to garnish 4 salads.  Each of the 4 servings will contain:

114 cals, 10.4g fat, 4.6g carbs, 2.25g fiber, 2.35g NET CARBS, 3.33g protein, 94 mg sodium