Air Fryer Jamaican Jerked Pork Loin

These were some small 4-oz. pieces of pork loin I took out of the freezer tonight and I wanted to try my latest spice creation on them.  I chose to do these in my air fryer, but am sure they would be even better done on the charcoal grill.  Tomorrow is another day :).  Man, were these ever tasty!  Much better than the jerked chicken I had one time in a little cafe here in town (that has since folded, maybe that’s why).  I see many Jamaican Jerk meats in my future with my toned-down version of Jamaican Spice.   This recipe, with the typical brown sugar eliminated from my version of the spice, should be suitable on any eating program, ketogenic or otherwise.

INGREDIENTS:

4   4-oz. pieces boneless pork loin

¼ c. light olive oil

2 T. my Homemade Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend

1 oz. onion, minced fine (I used red onion)

DIRECTIONS:   Pour the olive oil into a marinating dish.  Add the spice blend and minced onion to the dish.  Stir.  Dip each “chop” into the mixture, using it all up, trying to get the minced onion evenly onto all sides of the meat.  Cover and marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

To air-fry, preheat your fryer to 375º for 3 minutes.  Open and place meat in the basket so they do not touch.  Cook at 375º for about 12 minutes.  Turn and if any left in the marinating pan, brush any marinade remainders onto the exposed side.  Raise fryer to 400º and cook for another 3-4 minutes.  As fryers vary, check before time is up to be sure yours doesn’t cook hotter than mine.  If charcoal grilling, have your coals very hot and place meat on the grate and grill for about 15 minutes on each side or until thoroughly done but not dried out.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 adult servings (shrink to about 3.2 oz. cooked ad they are so lean to begin with). Two chops contain:

578 cals, 40g fat, 6.9g carbs, 1g fiber, 5.9g NET CARBS, 49.1g protein, 204 mg sodium

Chicken “Risotto”

This tasty dinner comes together in under an hour, from start to sitting down to table.  I always buy chicken breasts with bones, as I stew the bones to strip for adding those bits of meat to my dog’s food and making chicken broth.  But you can certainly use boneless breasts for this dish if you wish to speed up this quick meal even more.  This risotto-like dish is very psychologically satisfying, as well as being literally quite filling.  My husband and I feel like we were eating a real rice or cous-cous dish!  This recipe is extremely low-carb and suitable for all phases of Atkins, other Keto diets, Primal Blueprint and if the wine and cheese are omitted, it is also acceptable for Paleo followers.

INGREDIENTS:

5 T. butter, unsalted

20 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend (or seasoning of your choice)

¼ tsp. black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

3/4 c. chopped parsley (I used flat leaf, but either type will work)

2 T. white wine (optional)

¼ tsp. sea salt

1 pkg (14 oz) Zeroodles brand Shirataki Rice-Shape Noodles w/ oat fiber

4 T. grated Parmesan Cheese (added at table)

VARIATION:  Add some chopped mushrooms when you saute the chicken

DIRECTIONS:  Melt butter in large skillet over high heat.  Add chicken strips and begin to brown.  As it is browning, sprinkle with half the Seafood Spice Blend, salt and black pepper. Turn the pieces of meat over and brown the other side.  Sprinkle remaining spices on the side of meat now up.  When meat has nicely browned a bit on both sides, add in the parsley, garlic and wine (if using).  Lower heat to medium and stir occasionally as it simmers for about 5-10 minutes.  Open noodle package and drain in a sieve under running cold water to rinse.  Pour noodles into skillet and stir to blend ingredients well.  Continue cooking another 10 minutes and remove from heat.  Serve at table allowing each serving to receive 1 T. grated Parmesan on top.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

365.3 cals, 22.9g fat, 5.95g carbs, 4.42g fiber, 1.53g NET CARBS, 31.1g protein, 590 mg sodium

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits

When I first started low-carbing, I missed the taste of buttermillk biscuits.  Oh, I’d come up with some pretty good drop biscuits, but they all lacked that buttermilk taste that makes biscuits so good!  This was my first foray down this food testing road and it came out very good………….not grainy, crumbly or dense like so many low-carb biscuits.  These come out pretty light actually.   This recipe was inspired by one posted by “EnglishLit” on Low Carb Friends forums.  I have changed it up quite a bit, but the basic flour she begins with in her version is unchanged in my version below.  This recipe is not suitable until you reach the grains level of the Atkins carb re-introduction ladder.

INGREDIENTS:

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

2 tsp. baking powder

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

1 tsp. glucomannan powder (or xanthan gum)

½ c. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

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

4 T. sour cream

4 T. melted butter

1 c. 2% buttermilk

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

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

NUTRITONAL INFO:   Makes 8 biscuits, each contains:

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

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 besides its wonderful flavor, is how easy it is to make!  Traditionally served over white rice, as a low-carber, I tend to spoon ours over a heaping serving of my Foolproof Mashed Cauliflower.  I’m very pleased with this one and had it again for dinner tonight.  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.  That’s my change to a classic dish.  I also been known to add 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.  It’s delicious with or without.  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 I just mentioned.

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

Sock-It-To-Me Cake

sockittomeBack in the 70’s and 80’s, this was my mother-in-law’s favorite cake.  While still living in her own home, she made it every year for Christmas.  What didn’t get eaten at Christmas Eve dinner, was finished off with breakfast coffee Christmas morning.  It’s typically made with some chopped pecans, but I leave them out as my husband isn’t too fond of nuts in his baked goods.  Be sure to figure in the calories for anay nuts you add to your cake.  To be more authentic, you would use sour cream in this, but carbs will be  a tad higher for that also if you do.   I don’t make desserts very often as I’m just not a fan.  However I DO bake them for my husband, who has no trouble finishing them off before they spoil.  This recipe is not suitable until the grains rung of Atkins OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss) carb ladder.  Carbquik®, much like Bisquick®, has some flour in it, albeit specially processed to reduce the carb load. I order my Carbquik online at Netrition, but some have told me they found it locally where live, usually at health food stores.

PLEASE NOTE MY BAKING PAN SIZE BELOW.  THIS IS NOT A FULL-SIZED CAKE.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. granular Splenda®

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 c. homemade Jennifer Eloff’s Splendid Low Carb Bake Mix

1½ c. CarbQuik® bake mix

½ c. plain whey protein

2 T. golden flax meal

1 T. coconut flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ c. + 2 T. erythritol

3 large eggs, beaten

3 T. sugar-free maple syrup

1/4 tsp. maple extract

4 T. melted butter, unsalted (for batter)

2 T. melted butter, unsalted (to drizzle on cake)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

liquid sweetener to equal 1/3 c. sugar (about 20 drops of Splenda®)

2 T. water

¼ c. + 1 T. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease an 8″ round, deep cake pan or 8″ round ceramic baking dish (the Corning “French” vegetable dish I used is 8″ in diameter, 3″ deep and the cake rose all the way to the top without overflowing).   Mix 2 T. granular Splenda with cinnamon (and nuts, if using) on paper plate and set aside for now.  In a large mixing bowl,  measure and mix all the dry ingredients. In a separate mixing bowl, melt 4 T. butter.  Beat in egg  and all other wet ingredients.  Whisk until fairly smooth.  Blend well.   Drop approximately 1/3 of the batter onto bottom of baking dish by tablespoons sort of randomly.  Sprinkle with about 1 T. of the cinnamon topping.  Drop another layer of 1T. blobs of batter on top.  Again sprinkle with about 1 T. cinnamon topping.  Drop the final 1/3 of the batter on top in 1T. blobs and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon topping.  Drizzle 2 T. melted butter across top of cake evenly.  Pop into 350º oven and bake for about 30 minutes.  Gently remove from oven and check for doneness with toothpick stuck in center.  Mine took exactly 40 minutes.  It is done when toothpick stuck in center comes out completely dry.  Cool 5-8 minutes before tipping out onto serving platter.  Can be enjoyed either warm or cooled.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 slices, each contains:

250 calories, 20.7 g  fat, 14.23 g  carbs, 9.96 g  fiber, 4.27 NET CARBS  (4.6 NC if you add 2 oz. chopped pecans), 18.49 g  protein, 218 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!  🙂

Who says low-carb eating is boring?  Low Carbing Among Friends cookbooks will ldispel that notion and shows you through photographs a sampling of the delicious low-carb recipes you can have at your fingertips.  You can order your own copies of these low-carb cookbooks by Jennifer Eloff and her low-carb  friends.  Some of MY recipes are even in there! You’ll be amazed at the kitchen talent of the team of chefs Jennifer has brought together over the years to present an array of delicious dishes that will guarantee your meals are NEVER boring. You can order here Amazon or here

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 saute 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 saute until done.   Add fresh spinach and garlic.   Saute 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., 23g fat, 6.8g carbs, 2g fiber, 4.8g NET CARBS, 49g protein, 200mg sodium

Pork in Queso Flameado Sauce

Pork in Queso Flameado
Pork in Queso Flameado Sauce

If you’ve ever ordered 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 considered an appetizer.  It is sooo good!  Well, this new dish I created this it taking it 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.

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 famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs 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 5-volume set TODAY! (available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

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

Peggy’s Original Dumplings

dumplins

For those who miss dumplings and noodles, here ya go!  A lot of work, off and on, went into creating these tasty gems.  I hope you enjoy them with your family.  I get a lot of questions about whether the amount of glucomannon is correct.  I’ll say up front it is not in error.  The stuff swells in liquid.  🙂

When you can’t have flour, it’s really really hard to make dumplings that will hold together during cooking. I’ve used almond flour, coconut flour, flax meal and a variety of alternate flours.  You name it and I’ve probably tried that alternate flour to make a dumpling.  This challenge was no easy low-carb feat but I just wouldn’t stop experimentation until I got there.  I had to have that old familiar taste and mouth feel as the dumplings I made before my low-carbing days.  All attempts before this one were mediocre, at best.

Somewhere on the net some years back, someone on a forum mentioned they made dumplings with glucomannan powder.  Not being at all familiar with this product, I ordered some from Netrition.com and began to experiment.  Its gel-like, fibrous qualities lend themselves to a dumpling, providing structure and texture.  It is also useful for thickening gravies, sauces and puddings.  I’ve even found a tad of this stuff enhances low-carb cake, cookie and bread baking results, both in volume and texture.  I’d love to give credit to my inspiration on this recipe, but I must admit I failed to write down the name of the person who’s ingenious idea this really was.  But I’m thankful they triggered off some experimentation that has paid off!

Glucomannan powder, it comes from the Konjac tuber, and is used to make shirataki noodles seen in Asian cooking.   It can be used as a binding agent in some recipes.  It is virtually a zero carb food, in that the fiber content is so high, it virtually negates the few carbs it contains, as fiber is indigestible and passes right out of the system with zero blood sugar impact.   Most importantly, glucomannan adds the structure and elasticity needed for dumplings and noodles.

I’m getting more comfortable using this tricky ingredient and have finally come up with a “dumpling” that feels and almost tastes like my dumplings of old.  This will now be my go-to low-carb dumpling recipe.  As you can see in the pic above, they hold together nicely during very gentle simmering (unlike all previous attempts), and the gluc powder also slightly releases in to the broth to thicken it as well!  NICE!

For you “experimenters”  under no circumstances, increase the oat fiber!!  I did once and they came out just awful, hard as a rock, plus they did not absorb any flavor from the chicken broth because of the density.  Trust me, you DON’T want to go there!  This balance of ingredients it really pretty special and all attempts to “improve” them have been unpleasant to me.

Best low-carb chicken and dumplings I’ve had in all my low-carbing now.  My husband gave these two thumbs up today, and he’s pretty picky.  They don’t have much taste, but pick up the flavor of whatever broth you cook them in.  Guilt free dumplings at last!!  YAAAAAAY!

The recipe posted elsewhere on my site for chicken and dumplings is good, don’t get me wrong.  But you have to bake the rolls separately for that recipe.   With this dumpling recipe, I can stir the ingredients together, roll gently in my palm, I again stress, simmer them GENTLY with surface water barely bubbling!  Much easier!  And you regular readers know I’m really in to EASY cooking.

The ones made up smaller (about 1/2″ raw balls of ‘dough’) work nicely in soups.  I have made small, oblong shapes for marvelous gnocchi served in rich cream sauces.  Some more adventurous cooks at Low Carb Neighborhod forums are even using pasta extruders and coming up with all kinds of noodle shapes for this dough!  But I don’t own an extruder and probably wouldn’t go to that much trouble for noodles.  Just being very honest.  I’m a lazy cook. 🙂

These dumplings are not suitable until the grains rung of the Atkins OWL ladder due to the oat fiber, but omitting it is just not an option for good results.   I’m very proud to have developed a dumpling recipe that many who have tried freely admit fills a dumpling/noodle void in their low-carb lifestyles.  🙂

My Lobster Linguine recipe is the first time I tried rolling and cutting it into noodles and the final dish was quite good.

This recipe isn’t 100% gluten-free.  But you’ll find many other tasty and easy to cook recipes in Jennifer Eloff’s cookbooks, with a few of mine included.  Any hostess would be happy to serve any of these recipes to family or guests. Click here for a photo preview of some of those tasty dishes here:  LCAF Cookbook Facebook PageAlso available at Amazon or: here

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1½ T. glucomannan powder (Konjac powder)

1½ T. oat fiber (For gluten-free version, try substituting oat flour ground from 100% gluten-free oats, but I’m not making any promises that will work.  It SHOULD, however.    Carbs will be only slightly higher.)

1/8 tsp. salt

¼ c. +2 T. water

1 extra large or jumbo egg, beaten

VARIATION:  Add 1-2 T. finely chopped parsley to the dry ingredients

DIRECTIONS:   Beat the egg in a small bowl with a fork.  Add the water and beat until well blended.  On a paper plate or in another bowl, mix the dry ingredients well.  Slowly sprinkle the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring with a fork or whisk.  Switching to a rubber spatula, stir and begin to fold the slowly thickening mixture over and over itself until it is a contiguous batter and eventually turns into a thick, almost dry dough.  I let mine sit by the stove 2-3 minutes.  Then, using a teaspoon, dip 3/4″-1″ dollops of the dough into your palm.  This step is important:  roll them GENTLY without much pressure to form a ball shape.  I set the balls on my counter or a silicone sheet until all are made as a few minutes of sitting seems to help them structurally.  If you just drop them directly into the broth from the spoon without rolling, they tend to fall apart in the broth during cooking.  For gnocchi, roll the dough into “rope shape” on your counter and cut into 3/4″ lengths.  then cook as already described.

I like to remove chicken, meat or large chunks of vegetables to a platter before putting on dumplings to cook.  That approach seems to be best for these dumplings as well.  This allows ample room for them to rise and swell without getting ‘beat up” by chicken pieces.

Bring your soup/broth to a rolling boil to get started.  Make up your dough as instructed above.  Drop the round dumplings/gnocchi into slowly simmering broth and immediately turn heat to low so it will only gently simmer.  I can’t stress this enough.  If using an electric stove-top, wait for cool down with bubbles very small.  Cover with tight lid.  Set a timer for exactly 10 minutes for dumplings (8 minutes for smaller gnocchi).   DO NOT LIFT THE LID or disturb the pot during cooking.  When time is up, lift the lid and VOILA!!  They’re done!  You probably won’t have to add thickener to the stock, as some of the glucomannan sloughs off into the broth, thickening it right up enough for us.  But as always you can always addd your favorite thickener if you prefer a thicker final result.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 12 medium 1½” dumplings (24 gnocchi), each contains:  (halve the numbers for each gnocchi)

7.17 calories, 0.49 g  fat, 1.38 g  carbs, 1.29 g  fiber, 0.1 g  NET CARBS, 0.61 g  protein, 55 mg sodium

Coffee Mousse

CoffeeMousse-1

This one’s for all you coffee lovers out there!  This is delightfully light after a big meal.  Been making this since before low-carb was a household word!  This recipe is even OK for Atkins Induction and Keto diets alike, without modifications.

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.  They are filled with tasty dishes from famous low-carb Chef George Stella, Jennifer Eloff, and other talented cooks (myself among them).  Order your set today, or you can order individual volumes if you prefer.  These make wonderful gifts!  Order at Amazon or get your special pricing at our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS: 1½ tsp. unflavored gelatin stirred into 2 T. cold water

1 tsp. instant freeze-dried coffee crystals, dissolved in 2T. boiling water

2 pkts. Splenda, Truvia or sweetener of your choice

1 T. butter, unsalted

1 ice cube

4 oz. heavy cream, whipped

½ tsp. vanilla

DIRECTIONS:  Sprinkle gelatin over 2T. cold water in small saucepan.  Stir and let stand for 1 minute.   Add 2 T. more water and bring the mixture to a boil.  Lower heat to lowest setting.  Add the coffee granule/hot water mixture.  Heat this mixture stirring constantly until gelatin appears to be completely dissolved.  Add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat.  Stir in sweetener, ice cube and stir until ice is melted and mixture begins to thicken.

In separate bowl, whip heavy cream until thick, add vanilla and stir to blend.  Reserve 2-3 T. for garnish. When the mocha mixture is cooled down, slowly stir most of the whipped cream (be sure you saved out 2-3 T. for garnish) into the mocha mixture.  Spoon into two pretty clear serving dishes.  Top with a nice dollop of sweetened whipped cream that you reserved.  Sprinkle a few crushed coffee granules over each serving and garnish with a sprig of mint or a strawberry slice.  Chill.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes two servings, each containing:

258 cals, 28 g fat, 2.6g carbs, 0g fiber, 2.6 NET CARBS, 1.56g protein, 24 mg sodium

Southern Fried Chicken

Southern Fried Chicken

My husband asked me to make “real” skillet-fried chicken for dinner 7 years ago when I was only a few years into my low-carb adventure.  I caved that day and gave it my best stab.  Hadn’t been pleased with any of the low-carb fried chicken recipes I’d tried to date, so I decided to put on my experimenting hat and give it a whirl.

You regular readers already know how I hate to stand over a hot skillet of grease to fry anything, but what we do for love.  I invariably get popped with hot grease and get burned when frying, but ever so glad I gave it a stab back then, as it has become a staple coating for chicken and a multitude of other fried foods as well!

I really wan’t sure where to begin, but remembered reading a recipe somewhere on the web for a coating that used whey protein powder, so I decided that would be my foundation ingredient.  To that I added crushed pork rinds for crunch and a touch of oat fiber for a flour-y taste.  BINGO!  The resulting coating was the closest to my old high-carb flour coated chicken. I was astounded!  Although I didn’t make any cream gravy with the browned skillet bits, I tasted them and they would have made an excellent batch of gravy had I been in a mood for some gravy.

I’m so pleased with this recipe we make it again and again!!  Great flavor!  Crispy!  Until you try this one, you just won’t believe it tastes just like flour coated chicken!  A real keeper in my opinion!!!  It’s great leftover, cold, right out of the fridge!!  Hubby said this was the best low-carb fried chicken I have cooked to date on my low-carb journey.  My heretofore popular Oven-Fried Chicken, although very good, is just not the same as classic Southern Fried Chicken, ya know?  Not like my Granny made, at least.  This new recipe is almost exactly like my Granny’s and my mom’s fried chicken!

As I can’t know how you cut up your chicken, or what size pieces you tend to eat, I can’t really provide nutritional stats for the entire final meat dish.  Instead, I am providing nutritional info for 1/10 of the coating, as it was just enough to coat 10 pieces of chicken: 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings and 4 pieces of breast as I cut them into halves to speed cooking time.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 c. plain whey protein

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

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

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

½ tsp. onion powder

½ c. Parmesan cheese

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

2 large eggs

¼ c. heavy cream

¼ c. water

½-3/4″ deep hot oil (I used palm shortening) in a large 13-14″ skillet

DIRECTIONS:  Measure out and mix all dry ingredients in a paper bag by shaking well.  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream and water together.  Toss in the pieces of cut up chicken into the egg wash and turn several times to well coat each piece.   Pick each piece of meat out of the bowl and drop into the bag of seasoned “flour” and when you have 3 pieces in the bag, holding the top closed, shake the bag to coat the chicken.  Don’t put more than 3 pieces into the bag at a time or they will not coat well.

Heat 3/4″ deep oil over high heat.  Place the pieces closely together.  If you’re creative, you can get an entire chicken in a 14″ skillet.  Lower heat to medium-high so larger pieces don’t over-brown before done. Repeat the coating process with the remaining pieces of chicken.  I was only able to fry 8 pieces of chicken in my largest skillet at a time, so I saved the wings for last as I knew they would cook quite fast.  Brown the chicken well on one side disturbing as little as possible.  Turn pieces of chicken over carefully to brown the second side.   When brown and done (about 30 minutes) remove to paper toweling to drain.  Finish cooking the remaining pieces if you were unable to get them all in your skillet.   Serve at once with your favorite sides.  I served mine with steamed cauliflower I topped with cheese and chives.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes enough coating for 10 pieces of chicken.  Numbers are for the coating only.  Be sure to add in the info for the chicken piece(s) you eat!  1/10 batch of the coating contains:

113.4 cals, 7.26g fat, 1.72g carbs, 0.53g fiber, 1.19g NET CARBS, 12.8g protein, 209 mg sodium

Boursin Scrambled Eggs

Click to enlarge

I keep Boursin  soft cheese “Garlic and Fine Herbs” flavor in the door of my refrigerator almost always.  Not something I like to run out of.  I keep finding interesting things to try it in or on.  It reminds me a lot of cream cheese, but much more intense flavor.  I find it way too heavy all by itself, as a dip or spread.  But I am really starting to like it in small amounts in a variety of odd places.  This morning’s eggs is yet another example.  Very tasty and not the usual frowns and winces from my husband who prefers plain eggs.  So I thought I’d share this Induction friendly recipe with everyone.  I’m going to try the “Chive and Onion” Boursin in my eggs next time!  Boursin cheeses are usually found in the deli or specialty cheese section of better grocery stores.

INGREDIENTS:     

2 T. butter, unsalted

4 large eggs, beaten

1½ T.  Boursin cheese, (I used Garlic and Herb flavor)

2 T. parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS:   Melt butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add Boursin cheese and stir to dissolve.  Cheese will look like it’s curdling, but don’t worry, not a problem.  Add all the parsley but 1 tsp. reserved for garnish.  After 1 minutes, add beaten eggs and cook until done.  Serve with garnish of remaining parsley.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 2 servings, each contains:

262 cals, 23g fat, 1.2g carbs, 0.15g fiber, 1.05g NET CARBS, 13.1g protein, 165 mg sodium

If you’re not familiar with Boursin cheese, it’s a soft cheese that comes in a foil wrapper in a little box that looks like this.  It’s usually in the specialty cheese/delicatessen are of your grocery store.HerbBoursin

Louisiana Shrimp Gumbo

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This is what I’m making for dinner tonight as I haven’t made it in awhile.  I’m using bulk pork sausage in tonight’s batch, but smoked sausage is always good.  I have made this many times before, but change it up every time as to what seafood I throw in the pot.  Tonight I plan to add 12 oz. crawfish tails to the mix.  This recipe is Atkins Induction suitable if you skip the flour/roux step or use sifted Carbquik or oat flour instead.  As always, you can always just thicken it with xanthan gum, but it isn’t quite as good, without the nutty depth of flavor a roux gives Cajun food.  If you omit the roux step entirely, be sure to omit the olive oil used in that step.

A teacher I used to work with taught me how to make “roux” and a good gumbo.  She was born and raised in Louisiana and cooked gumbo for a teachers’ holiday social gathering once years ago.  Though she used smoked sausage instead of bulk pork breakfast sausage, I find I like breakfast sausage a little better in gumbo.  Two things I have added to the recipe are the stick of butter and the parsley.  She used chicken stock and I prefer a mixture of chicken broth and seafood stock I keep in the freezer.  I make my seafood stock from boiling shrimp or lobster shells for 10 minutes in 1½ quarts of water and freeze in 1 cup portions.  Be sure to adjust the nutritional info below if you make changes in the seafood you use.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. Carbalose flour (or oat fiber for lower carbs)

2T. olive oil

1 stick butter (1/2 c.)

½ c. chopped onion

½ c. chopped parsley

3 cloves minced garlic

6 oz. crumbled breakfast sausage (or sliced smoked sausage if you prefer)

3/4 c. chopped green bell pepper

½ c. chopped celery

3 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or a 14-oz. can diced tomatoes)

4 small bay leaves

2 tsp. thyme

10-15 drops Tobasco

¼ tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more if you like things spicier)

2 lb. shrimp in their shells, heads on (I often do half shrimp and half crawfish tail meat)

1qt. (4 c.) seafood stock made from shrimp shells (or chicken stock)

1½ c. frozen okra slices  (added last 5 minutes)

1 tsp. gumbo file powder (added last 5 minutes)

OPTIONAL:  Add 1-2 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

VARIATION:  Add 1 can smoked oysters well-rinsed of oil or 1 c. fresh oysters (if available).  Add 12 oz. crawfish tail meat.  You can also add chunks of fish filets, but do so at the very last 10 minutes of cooking so they don’t fall apart from overcooking.

DIRECTIONS:  First make the seafood stock by peeling the shrimp and boiling the shells in 1½ qts. water in a large cooking pot for about 10-15 minutes.  Scoop shells out of the broth with slotted spoon and discard.  Pour stock into bowl and set aside.   Wipe moisture out of pot.

Chop all your vegetables and have them at the ready by the stove top, because once you start to make the roux, you can’t stop to cut them up.  Now you’re ready to make the roux and start the gumbo.  The roux imparts a nutty, browned flour taste to the broth of this dish and if this step is bypassed, you will merely be making an ordinary fish soup with much less depth of flavor.

There is an art to making roux with respect to knowing when to “kill” the browning action just short of it burning, which gives it an unpleasant, bitter taste.  If it burns, you just have to toss it out and start again and you’re butter is wasted.  I’ve burned it one time in hundreds and hundreds of batches.  Once you get the hang of it, it’s really quite easy!

Heat oil and add Carbalose flour (or oat fiber for lower carbs) and whisk constantly on high heat.   You want to brown the roux as dark as you can get it without it getting black. I shoot for chestnut horse color myself.  If you see black bits of burned bits that look like pepper in it, it’s ruined and willl spoil your gumbo.  Start again and whisk constanly.  This can burn in the blink of an eye, so absolutely do not get distracted or walk away from the stove while making a roux!    The second it gets to a dark brown color, immediately dump the chopped vegetables in the pan to drop the temperature of the roux and halt further browning.  Lower heat to medium.  Now add the stick of butter, relax and continue sauteing the vegetables for 5-10 minutes until they wilt and begin to caramelize.  If still on Induction,  thicken with xanthan gum or your favorite thickener instead.  You won’t get that nutty flavor browning the flour gives to the final dish, but it will still be a good seafood stew.

If on Atkins Induction and omitting the roux, just begin by melting the butter and sauteing the veggies until tender.  Now add all remaining ingredients (except the gumbo file), including the seafood stock.  Simmer covered on lowest heat for about an 1-1½ hours to allow flavors to mellow.  Add okra and Gumbo File powder and simmer 5-7 minutes longer to let okra get just tender.  Slightly thicken with xanthan gum, dusting it lightly over surface and stirring constantly.  Repeat xanthan gum additions until gumbo reaches desired thickness (takes about 1/4 tsp or so total).  Serve with a nice salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: As a full meal, this recipe should serve 6 people a large bowl of gumbo.  If serving a small cup of gumbo as an appetizer to another entree, it will make about 10 servings.

6 Servings: each contains 450 calories, 30.28 g fat, 7.83 g carbs, 2.23 g fiber, 36.45 g protein, approx. 96 mg. sodium 5.6 NET CARBS

10 Servings: each contains 272 calories, 18.17 g fat, 4.7 g carbs, 1.34 g fiber, 21.87 g protein, approx. 58 mg. sodium, 3.36 NET CARBS

Grilled Chicken & Spinach Pizza

Grilled Chicken-Spinach Pizza
This pizza is absolutely delicious.  I call it my white pizza.  It’s so different from the classic red-sauced pizzas at most pizza parlors.  I think I’ll add even more spinach next time as it was really tasty on top.  I used ½ cup on this one but will use 3/4 c. next time and have calculated for that below.  The red onion is key to the flavor so wait until you can get a red one for this recipe.  They have a sweeter, fruitier taste than other onions.

This recipe is not suitable for Atkins Induction but will be OK for all other phases.  The carb count is certainly low enough for most Keto diets.

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe my Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

1 c. grilled chicken breast, chopped (skin on)

½ c. grilled chicken thigh meat, chopped (skin on)

3/4 c. (3 oz) shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

3/4 c. (3 oz) shredded Mozzarella Cheese

3/4 c. baby spinach leaves

¼ tsp. dried oregano leaves, crushed  (or 1 tsp. fresh, chopped)

Pinch garlic powder (optional)

1 oz. red onion, slivered as thinly as possible

2 oz. heavy cream

2 T. Parmesan cheese (kind in green canister is fine)

Pinch (about 1/16 tsp.) glucomannan powder (to thicken Alfredo sauce)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.   Make the pizza crust by that recipe’s instructions, on a 16″ pizza pan (preferable pan with holes) lined with parchment.  Remove crust from oven and prepare to top.

For your Alfredo sauce, mix the cream, Parmesan and glucomannan in a saucer and let it sit for a few minutes.  Should thicken up a bit.  When it appears thicker, spread it on the crust as evenly as possible, almost to the edges of the crust.  It needs to be a fairly thin layer or it will cause your crust to get soggy.  Next evenly spread the Jack cheese on the crust.  Next spread the Mozzarella cheese evenly on top.  Sprinkle with the oregano.  Sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder if you like also.  Next evenly top with spinach leaves. They may overlap if need be.  Next evenly place the diced chicken meat on the pizza and the final topping is the wafer thin onion slivers.  Pop into the still hot oven and cook until the cheese appears to be melted and the onion is cooked, or about 15-20 minutes.    ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 slices, each contains:  321 cals, 23.5g fat, 4g carbs, 1.7g fiber, 2.3g NET CARBS, 23g protein and 281 mg  sodium

Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

It’s what’s for dinner tonight!

When I was growing up my mother made a braised chicken dish she called Chicken and Spanish Rice.  Of course, that was before the low-carb movement, so she browned and used REAL rice in the dish I had as a child.  The skin-on chicken pieces were first browned in oil, the rest of the dish was put together and then the masterpiece was oven-baked in a deep, tightly-covered Dutch oven.  Man, was it ever good!  The smell drove us wild while it was cooking.  I was thinking about that today and wondering what to do for dinner with 2 drumsticks and 2 chicken thighs.  Decided on this childhood favorite.  This consistently comes our fantastic, although I do change it up a bit with bits of leftover cooked squash, green peas, a few sliced green olives or some diced carrots.  I usually use all cauliflower rice in this dish, but had some rice I cooked for my husband for Indian food recently and just tossed that cup into the skillet to get it out of the refrigerator. 

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. cauliflower, riced by hand or processor coarsely

2 T. olive oil + 2 T. chicken fat or finely diced chicken skin (or 1/4 c. olive oil)

3 oz. onion, chopped coarsely

4 oz. green bell pepper, chopped coarsely

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp. ground cumin

4-6 pieces chicken (I like thighs and drumsticks for this recipe)

Dash each chili powder and black pepper

2 chicken bouillon cubes

1/4 tsp. oregano (preferably Mexican oregano leaves if you have them)

1 can tomatoes, drained and chopped coarsely (or 3 fresh Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced)

Dash saffron threads (I use 3 threads only as too much is NOT a good thing!)

2 T. cilantro, chopped (optional)

VARIATION:  Add 1/2 c. sliced pitted green olives.

DIRECTIONS:  Heat cumin in dry skillet over medium heat until it smells toasty but is not burned.  Pour onto paper towel for now and set aside.  Rice the cauliflower either with a hand box grater or in a food processor.  I like to do the stems first and a little extra before ricing the flowerettes. Set aside to be added later. 

Preheat oven to 350º.  In your skillet (14″ skillet in my photo), heat the oil over high heat.  Add the meat and brown to golden on the surfaces.  Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper.  If using any raw carrot or yellow squash in the dish, saute those now as well.  Saute just to partially tenderize veggies. Add roasted cumin back to skillet, salt, pepper, chili powder, oregano and saffron threads, minced garlic and bouillon cubes.  Stir in the tomatoes.  Add the cilantro last, if using.  Stir to blend uniformly.  Turn off heat.  Add the UNCOOKED cauli-rice to the pot and stir to mix it evenly into the veggie mixture.  Top the dish with seared chicken pieces.  Cover skillet with a tight-fitting lid.  Pop into 350º oven for about 35-40 minutes and allow flavors to blend.  Check to be sure chicken pieces are thoroughly cooked before turning oven off.  Pairs nicely with a lovely guacamole or green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 4-6 servings (based on pieces of chicken), each contains approximately:

240 cals, 14.4g fat, 8.61g carbs, 2.93g fiber, 5.68g NET CARBS, 18.6 g protein, 166 mg sodium

Iranian Stuffed Peppers

I haven’t had these since I was very young living in Iran.  Think I’ll make them tonight for dinner.  Our maid in Iran used to make them for us occasionally.  She put raisins in the meat filling, but that jacks up the carbs too much for me on my low-carb regimen, so I left them out.  She also used bulgur wheat, whereas I used lower-carb hemp seeds.  Even with my changes, the peppers themselves have quite a bit of carbs.  But they are so good for you, I don’t care.  I’m going to fix stuffed peppers once in awhile. One of these was filling enough to satisfy me as a meal.  🙂  These are suitable once you get to Phase 2 Atkins.  Keto folks can probably fit these macros into their day with menu planning.  These are also suitable for those following Primal or Paleo programs.

INGREDIENTS: 

4 medium-large green peppers (or any other color you like)

20 oz. lean ground beef

2½ oz. onion, chopped

3/4 c. chopped parsley

1   14.5-oz (total) can diced low-sodium tomatoes

3 T. hemp seeds/hearts

1 tsp. each turmeric, dried mint and dried dill

1½ tsp. ground cinnamon

Dash each salt and pepper

VARIATIONS:  Use ground lamb instead of beef.  Use cooked lentils instead of hemp seeds (carbs will go up with lentils).  If you can are in maintenance and can afford the extra carbs, add 2 T. snipped raisins to the meat mixture before filling the peppers. 

DIRECTIONS:   Cut the tops off the peppers.  Pull out the seed cluster and discard.  Save the “lids” if you want to use them for plate presentation, otherwise, chop the flesh and save all but the stem in a baggie in the refrigerator for future pepper needs.  Parboil the peppers in a braising/soup pot of water 1″ deep for just 2-3 minutes to slightly cook them.  Carefully drain off water and stand the peppers cut-side up in the pot.  Set aside for now.

For the filling, in a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the meat and onion together.  Add half of the can of tomatoes (just solids) to the meat and stir.  Add all remaining ingredients and simmer 5 minutes to cook off any water in the tomatoes.  Preheat oven to 350º while you are simmering the meat.  After 5 minutes of cooking, spoon the filling equally into the peppers.  Place pepper “lids” on top if using. Pour the remaining diced tomatoes and their liquid down into the bottom of the pan around the peppers as shown below to help the peppers remain moist during cooking.  Pop your cook pot into a 350º oven for about 40-50 minutes.  The amount of time will depend upon the size of your peppers and the thickness of the pepper “walls”.  Bigger/thicker peppers will take more time.  If they look like they are about ready to  collapse, they’re definitely done!  As the filling is totally cooked, you just want to cook the peppers until they are tender and not fall-apart stage, so keep an eye on them (ovens vary).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 stuffed peppers, each contains approximately:

391 cals, 22g fat, 17.07g carbs (in the tomatoes and peppers), 5.9g fiber, 12.17g NET CARBS, 32.7g protein, 443 mg sodium

Garlic Dinner Rolls

I’m making my Garlic Dinner Rolls again to have with our Swiss Steak tonight.  They are made with my Mozzy Dough, Which in flavor and texture lies somewhere between the Flathead Pizza Crust recipe on the Diet Doctor’s website and Jennifer Eloff’s Miracle Dough recipe.  It makes excellent dinner rolls!  Delicious hot with butter!  They are also good split, toasted with melted butter brushed on the tops and a sprinkle of Italian herbs and Parmesan cheese.  Or they will make an excellent toasted garlic bread!  This dough has good elasticity, flavor and is so versatile in a variety of applications.  This recipe is not suitable until you get closer to goal weight on Atkins.

INGREDIENTS:

1½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1 T. cream cheese

1½ T. melted butter

1 egg, beaten

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

½ c. Carbquik (or another ½ c. gluten-free mix)

1 T. oat fiber

1/4 tsp. psyllium husk powder

1 small clove garlic, minced

Dash oregano

1 T. dry grated Parmesan cheese

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

½ c. Carbquik (or another ½ c. gluten-free mix)

1 T. oat fiber

1/4 tsp. psyllium husk powder

1 small clove garlic, minced

Dash oregano

1 T. dry grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Line baking sheet with parchment or silicone sheet.  Measure out all dry ingredients in small bowl, stir well and set aside.  Place mozzarella cheese shreds, minced garlic and cream cheese in glass or ceramic bowl and microwave on HI for about 1-1½ minutes to melt it.  Remove and stir quickly with a fork.  Add the egg and melted butter and stir again.  Quickly pour in the dry ingredients and stir quickly with a fork to form a single ball of dough, scraping it down off the sides of the bowl.  Knead or stir a few minutes to be sure all is uniformly mixed.  Divide into 6 equal portions and roll smooth into a ball.  Place them spaced out on parchment-lined pan.  Press slightly flat if you like, but not really necessary.  Sprinkle tops with oregano and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350º for about 18 minutes until dry to touch and lightly browned as shown.  Remove and serve hot with butter.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes enough dough for a 9″-10″ pie-crust with lovely fluted edge, 4 hand pies, or a 12″ pizza crust or in this recipe, 6 dinner rolls which have 6.26 net carbs each.

ENTIRE RECIPE CONTAINS:  1140 calories, 95.8 g fat, 58.6 g carbs, 37.6 g fiber, 21 g NET CARBS, 81.2 g protein, 1542 mg sodium (divide by number of servings/pieces for the specific application you use this dough for)

Pork Loin in Mushroom-Wine Sauce

To be so simple to prepare, these boneless pork loin chops were both delicious and especially tender.  My husband just loved these tonight and said to “please do these often!”  A quick pan dinner for a busy week-night when you’re tired, for sure.  Simply sear, simmer and EAT!  This recipe is not suitable until Atkins Phase 2 due to the wine, but subbing in chicken stock would allow this for those still in Atkins Induction Phase.

INGREDIENTS: 

2 boneless pork loin chops (or bone-in chops)

¼ tsp. my Homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning

3 T. butter

6 large mushrooms, cut into quarters

1 clove minced garlic

Dash black pepper and sea salt

¼ c. white wine (I used Riesling)

DIRECTIONS:  Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle Montreal Steak Seasoning on both sides of the pork.  Sear both sides of the meat until light brown.  Lift meat out to a plate when both sides are golden (meat will not quite be done).  Add garlic, mushrooms, black pepper and sea salt.  Saute  mushrooms until nearly tender, push them to the outside of the pan and replace meat in pan.   Lower heat to medium-low. Add wine to both de-glaze the brown bits from the pan bottom and to continue cooking the meat.  Simmer over low heat about 5-7 minutes or until meat is firmed up and fully done.  Remove from stove and serve at once with you favorite sides.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains:

443 cals, 31g fat, 3.3g carbs, 0.65g fiber, 2.65g NET CARBS, 33g protein, 143mg sodium

 

 

Indian Beef (or Lamb) Koftas

Delicious with or without gravy!

I like to throw my favorite Indian or Middle Eastern spices into ground meat and make what I call “mini meat loaves”.  The correct name for these is Koftas (or Keftas in some countries) and they are even better if cooked over hot charcoal! This goes together so fast you can be eating them in 30 minutes from the time you start mixing your ingredients.  It’s what’s for dinner tonight!  I’ll be tossing some leftover frozen peas and cooked carrots into the curry gravy for a change of pace.  I’ll be serving a nice cucumber salad as well.

I like to mix this stuff up in my food processor, but you can just blend it in a bowl like you would meatloaf if you are more comfortable doing it that way.  These little meat patties are often served without a sauce, but I like a little moisture with mine, so I included below a light cream curry sauce recipe.  Greek Tzatziki is also good with these meat patties.  These are often done with bread crumbs or grated potato, but my lower-carb choice of rutabaga ended up being good and made these indistinguishable from other koftas I’ve eaten in restaurants.  By using grated jicama, sauteed a few minutes, instead of the rutabaga, these would be acceptable for Induction.  But as written, this recipe is not suitable until OWL.

VARIATION:  Use Baharat Spice Blend instead of Garam Masala, making these more Middle Eastern than Indian.  🙂

INGREDIENTS (for Koftas):

20 oz. ground meat (beef or lamb)

2 tsp. grated ginger root

2 large cloves minced garlic

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped very fine

2 oz. onion, chopped very fine

1 beaten egg

½ tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. my Garam Masala

1 c. cilantro, chopped

1 tsp. spearmint leaves, chopped (Optional.  I grow my own. :))

¾ c. rutabaga, peeled and grated (use grated jicama, pre-sauteed for Induction compliance)

2 T. olive oil for frying

INGREDIENTS (for sauce):

2 oz. heavy cream

¼ c. water

1 T. tomato paste

½ c. beef stock or bouillon

Dash more my Garam Masala spice blend (or Baharat, if doing the Middle Eastern version)

Dash Tandoori spice (I use Sharwood’s brand)  (omit for Middle Eastern version)

Dash salt & black pepper

DIRECTIONS: Place all meat ingredients except olive oil in food processor (or bowl) and blend well.  I process until quite smooth for this recipe.  These are great cooked over charcoal, or just heat oil in large skillet and fry.  I form meat mixture into 2-2.5″ oblong patties.  Fry until lightly brown on both sides.  Lower heat to lowest setting and add all sauce ingredients.  Stir, simmer 5 minutes and serve.  These go nicely with my Indian Spiced Cabbage or Indian Cauliflower dishes here on my blog.  Fresh mushrooms are a nice addition to the sauce, too!  For the non-Atkins folks at the table, some basmati rice is excellent with these.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 12 koftas, (2 patties per serving).  Each serving has:

332.3 calories, 22.95 g  fat, 4.13 g  carbs, 1.0 g  fiber, 3.13 g  NET CARBS, 26.3 g  protein 465 mg sodium

BBQ Crack Cabbage with Ham

I have cooked this recipe three times now and my husband and I just LOVE it!  It’s so simple and the mystery added ingredient to what is basically the Crack Slaw recipe, makes all the difference in the world!  The BBQ sauce is the KEY INGREDIENT, so don’t omit that for the true flavor impact of this dish.  Doing so would make it pretty much just an ordinary Crack Slaw in my opinion.  Carb count is a little high on this dish, but it is all in the healthy vegetables in it.  This recipe provides your daily requirements for Vitamins B6, C, iron, manganese, niacin, phosphorous and thiamin.  So the carbs are well worth the carbs in nutrition alone!

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and most Keto programs.  Paleo/Primal Blueprint folks must use a plan-acceptable BBQ sauce.

INGREDIENTS:

3 T. bacon grease

8 oz. cooked cured ham, cut in small strips

2 oz. red bell pepper, cut in small strips

1 leek (12 oz.), washed, sliced ½” (or 1 lg. yellow onion)

12 oz. green cabbage, cut in ½” stir-fry slices

¼ c. low-carb BBQ sauce (I use G.Hughes, thinned with vinegar & water)

Dash of coarse black pepper

VARIATIONS:  Instead of ham, use thinly-sliced smoked sausage, leftover grilled pork meat, breakfast sausage mini-meatballs, or grilled chicken meat.  Brown all meats first as was done with the ham in the directions.

DIRECTIONS:  In a large non-stick wok or skillet, melt the bacon grease over high heat.  Add cut-up ham and stir-fry to caramelize and lightly brown it for about 3 minutes.  Add the red bell pepper next and saute until just barely starts to soften.  Add leeks and stir-fry until it just begins to go limp (about 4-5 minutes).   Add the cut-up cabbage and cook all together just until cabbage begins to soften.  Drizzle the water/vinegar- diluted BBQ sauce over the top and turn off heat.  Stir to mix the sauce to coat all ingredients with its smoky, sweet goodness.  Sprinkle top of mixture with a quality coarse black pepper.  At this juncture, you have two choices.  You can either serve the dish at once if you like your cabbage to still be a bit crunchy.  Or you can pop it into a 350º oven for 15-20 minutes for flavors to develop further and for veggies to get a bit softer.  Your call.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Made with leek rather than yellow onion, makes 5 servings, each contains:

199 cals, 11.72g fat, 12.02g carbs, 2.78g fiber, 9.24g NET CARBS (only 7.5g NET CARBS using yellow onion), 11.78g protein, 768 mg sodium

Fluffy Biscuits

Fluffy Biscuits

These delicious biscuits are hands down one of the lightest, fluffiest biscuits I’ve made in 40 years!  And man, my husband will eargly tell you, I’ve been trying to find a good biscuit recipe for the entire time I’ve been married!!!  Who would have ever thought the best would end up being a low-carb recipe?!  🙂  They can’t shine a light to Frank Williamson’s buttermilk biscuits at Galveston’s Professional Bldg. Pharmacy snack bar (my benchmark of melt-in-your-mouth buttermilk biscuits), but they’re pretty darn good considering they are not made with real flour.

My inspiration was Jennifer Eloff’s focaccia bread recipe, which I tweaked a bit.  I just made the resulting batter into drop biscuits and man were they good!  These are not suitable until the grains rung of OWL because of my CarbQuick addition.  If you use all Jennifer’s Gluteln-Free bake bix and no CarbQuick, they would be suitable once you get to Atkins Phase 2 OWL nuts & seeds rung of the carb re-introduction ladder.  This change would also make them gluten-free.

If you are not needing a gluten-free biscuit, and are much closer to goal weight, my Einkorn Fluffy Biscuits or my Einkorn Heavenly Biscuits might please you even more!  They are still pretty low in carbs even with the bit of Einkorn flour in them.  🙂

VARIATION:  If you substitute cheddar cheese for the Parmesan, and add a pinch of garlic powder, these are more like Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits!

INGREDIENTS:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

½ c. Jennifer Eloff Gluten-Free bake mix:   

¼ c. CarbQuick  bake mix (substitute ¼ c. more Jennifer’s mix for gluten-free)

1 T. Parmesan Cheese, grated

½ c. Monterrey Jack Cheese, grated

½ tsp. each baking powder and baking soda

dash salt

1 T. olive oil

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Soften cream cheese and beat in the eggs.  Add all remaining ingredients and stir just until mixed well.  Dip with a large spoon, shaping a bit with floured hands, onto parchment lined baking sheet, forming 9 large drop biscuits.   Pop into preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes or until nicely browned.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 9 large biscuits, each containing:

134.5 cals, 11.9g fat, 4.04g carbs, 2.04g fiber, 2g NET CARBS, 7.56g protein, 199 mg sodium

Homemade Hoisin Sauce (low-carb)

I made some Moo Shu Pork for dinner last night.  We just love the stuff!  I use low carb flour tortillas for my wrappers.  I had to make up a fresh batch of my Homemade Hoisin Sauce to go with it as my supply was used up.

The commercial sauces either have sugar, high fructose corn syrup or molasses in the ingredient listing.  I had tried a couple homemade recipe I found on-line over the years and found we didn’t like either of them, so I finally set about creating one of my own when a reader asked me if I had one.  Since Hoisin is basically a seasoned plum jam/sauce, and I had an open bag of no-sugar-added prunes (which is just dried plums) in my pantry, I started with 10 of those.  Then I added a few ingredients that store-bought brands mention on their labels, guessing the amounts for those items, tasting as I went along.

Well, I’m here to tell you the final sauce came out pretty darn good!  Not exactly like the high-sugar stuff right out of the jar from the Asian grocery store, but it gets closer to that flavor when it has “aged” a bit.    All in all, not bad for my first shot at a low-carb version of this essential Chinese condiment. Most commercial hoisin sauce has around 8 carbs per tablespoon, so this number is trimmed down considerably in mine.  Using liquid Splenda lowers carbs a tad more.

My basic recipe for Moo Shu Pork comes from Gloria Bley-Miller’s marvelous cookbook The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook  , my “Bible” for Chinese cooking.  I can now almost cook Moo Shu pork blindfolded.  I do have to order a couple of the unusual ingredients on-line (clour ear fungus and dried tiger lily buds), since we have no Asian groceries where I live.  I was spoiled when we lived near Houston, with many such groceries I eagerly patronized.  This recipe is suitable once you get to Phase 2 of Atkins, since it is used in such small amounts on the “pancake” that you will use to roll up the Moo Shu Pork.  This sauce is totally unsuitable for Primal or Paleo due to the soy beans, as all legumes are avoided in those food plans.  Sauce will keep a long time in a jar in the refrigerator.  Mine is now 3 months old and it smells/tastes just fine.

INGREDIENTS:

10 large dried prunes (4 oz) Delmonte brand no sugar added

½ c. water

1 T. rice wine vinegar

3 T. low-sodium soy sauce (use regular if you prefer)

¼ tsp. Chinese 5-Spice powder

3 T. granular Splenda (liquid Splenda will lower carbs a smidge)

2 T. Eden soy black beans, well-mashed to a paste (or fermented black bean paste)

DIRECTIONS:  Place prunes in small saucepan with about ½ c. tap water.  Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer until they are soft, or about 5 minutes.  Mash well into the water with a fork until pretty smooth.  You can puree in a blender or food processor if you like, but I did not think this necessary.  Remove from heat.

Mash the beans on a paper plate to as smooth a paste as possible and stir into the prune mixture.  Add vinegar, soy sauce and 5-Spice powder to the pot and stir well.  Spoon into a serving dish or lidded jar and store any not used immediately in your refrigerator.  I do not know how long this keeps yet, and it sure has no preservatives in it.  But since it’s just made from dried fruit+vinegar (a preservative by nature)+soy sauce (fermented), I suspect a pretty long time.  Perhaps 2 weeks?  Maybe longer?  Just don’t know.  The soy beans will be what spoils first in this combo.  I’ll try to remember to post back my findings on that when mine no longer seems to smell/look right to me and I toss it out.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes about 1 cup (16 Tbsp.).  Each tablespoon using granular Splenda contains:

17.2 cals, 0.1g fat, 3.65g carbs, 0.51g fiber, 3.14g Net CARBS (2.89 NC with liquid Splenda), 0.45g protein, 101 mg sodium

Homemade Everything Bagel® Spice Blend

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Just made a fresh batch of my Everything Bagel spice blend.  Next time you bake low-carb bagels, baguettes or dinner rolls, try my mock version of this popular spice/seed blend.  It’s great on top of my low-carb dinner rolls https://wordpress.com/post/buttoni.wordpress.com/25406 or sprinkled atop your favorite low-carb loaf breads.  Though not quite the same, it’s real close to the taste of the well-known proprietary blend, considering I’m just guessing on the amounts of each spice/seed that appear in the ingredients listed on the commercial spice bottles.  It works for me anyway.   If you’d like to try a more aromatic blend, you might also like to 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 granules (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

Pork Rind French Toast Cakes

Click to enlarge

This is a slight variation on the YOU WON’T BELIEVE IT’S FRENCH TOAST recipe floating around on the web.  This is the particular recipe that was my inspiration:  http://www.lowcarbluxury.com/recipes/recipe-bread13.html.  I added some golden flax meal and we like it even better than the original recipe.  These really do taste a lot like traditional French toast; just don’t look like traditional French toast.  They have that little bit of crunch that the surface of French toast has!  These are DELICIOUS with sugar-free maple syrup or your favorite fruit preserves!  You simply cannot tell there are pork rinds in them!  for those wanting a more traditional, fluffy pancake, and you’re farther along in your weight loss, try this one instead, but this one is not Induction suitable.

This recipe is Induction friendly.  Another low carber on the Atkins Community Forums  reported after making these:  “I froze the leftovers and ate the next day toasted and they were still GREAT!!!”  So you working people can double/triple the recipe and save some frozen for another day!  Bear in mind, if you like a sweeter pancake, you can add a few drops of liquid sweetener to this batter, but we find the syrup on top does the trick for us.  Your call on that one.  🙂

INGREDIENTS:

1½ oz. pork rinds, crushed fine (about 1¼ c.)

2 T. golden flax meal

2 eggs, beaten

¼ c. cream

½ tsp. vanilla

¾ tsp. cinnamon

2 T. water

DIRECTIONS:  Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and let it set for about 2-3 minutes and get thick.  Making 4 “french toasts”, dip the batter onto an oiled, hot griddle, pancake style, forming into roundish “cakes” with the back of a spoon.  Brown on first side and flip.  When both sides nicely browned, serve with your favorite low-carb syrup (I use Cary’s) and breakfast meat.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 french toast “cakes”, each contains:

141 cals, 9.5g fat, 2.8g carbs, 1g fiber, 1.8g NET CARBS, 10.8g protein, 278 mg sodium

Bacon “Risotto”

This delicious low-carb version of risotto was ready for our lunch in about 30 minutes flat.  Really nice flavor and I could not taste “cauliflower” in this AT ALL.  Next time I think I’ll try it with crumbled Italian sausage, but bacon was all I had to work with today. This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal-Paleo as well.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium 5-6″ head of cauliflower, leaves & stem removed

3 oz. raw bacon, chopped (3 thick or 4 thin slices)

1 c. green onion, chopped

1 tsp. lemon pepper (I use this one: http://www.vgourmet.com/no-salt-lemon-pepper)

1 oz. cream cheese

3/4 c. shredded Parmesan Cheese

VARIATION:   Substitute yellow or white onion for the green.  Other tasty variations:  use crumbled Italian sausage or regular smoked sausage chopped in lieu of the bacon.

DIRECTIONS:  After removing stem from cauliflower, cut up into uniformly small flowerettes, placing them into a food processor bowl.  Pulse until it is fine like rice.  An alternate method is to grate it with a box grater but that can really get messy.  A blender will work but in small batches.  Set the cauliflower “rice” aside for now.

In a large non-stick wok or skillet, fry the bacon until done over high heat.  Add the green onion and stir fry until the onion wilts.  Lower heat to medium and add lemon pepper and stir.  Now spoon in the riced cauliflower.  Stir fry until cauliflower no longer smells raw (3-4 minutes) stirring often.  If it is browning, your heat is too high.  When it appears to be fully cooked but before it is cooked to mush, dot with the cream cheese and sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the top of the mixture.  Stir to melt and uniformly blend both cheeses throughout the dish.  Serve at once with your favorite green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 5 servings, each contains:

194 calories, 14 g fat, 8.44 g carbs, 3.40 g fiber, 5.04 g NET CARBS, 10.8 g protein, 426 mg sodium

Chicken-Eggplant Parmigiana Casserole

Chicken Eggplant Parmegiana Casserole

This Italian dinner was created with leftover cooked chicken breast meat, a small amount of cooked spaghetti sauce and some commercial no-sugar sauce (Lucini) from a jar.  I bought a beautiful eggplant and some nice mushrooms, so I created a quick Parmigiana dish I know you are going to like!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto lifestyle and Primal followers that eat occasional cheese.  This meal would not be suitable for Paleo diners due to the cheese.

INGREDIENTS

8 oz. cooked chicken meat, cut bite size

2 T. olive oil

6 oz. mushrooms, sliced

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

1/4 c. low-carb spaghetti sauce (I use Lucini with no added sugar)

3/4 c. homemade spaghetti sauce   [you could use all homemade or all Luccini sauce]

6 oz. Mozzarella cheese, grated

½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

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

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

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

Avocado Ranch Dip

A sinfully creamy dip or salad dressing!

Here around the house we call this concoction MAYONADO.  Nothing like coining your own words!  I’ve read recipes for mayonnaise with avocado added to it before but have never used homemade mayo or taken the plunge with the addition of Ranch® style flavorings added to the picture.  Man, is this ever good!  It is good on cucumber slices, with cherry tomatoes, raw cauliflower, broccoli flowerettes, sliced yellow squash or zucchini, carrots and celery celery.  Would make a tasty dip for chicken strips or “fries”, too.  In addition, this makes a GREAT dressing for a taco salad or a nice green salad if you add a dash of cream to thin it  out a bit!   This recipe is Atkins Induction friendly.

INGREDIENTS:

1 small avocado, peeled and pitted

6 T. my homemade mayonnaise

1 oz. yellow or white onion

Dash salt

few drops lemon or lime juice to prevent discoloring of the avocado

1 T. my Ranch Dressing Powder Blend

DIRECTIONS:  Peel and seed the avocado.  Using a spoon, scoop the flesh out and put into a blender or foo processor with all the other ingredients.  Pulse until it it smooth.   Serve any of the above mentioned ways or get creative and think of new applications for this delightful concoction!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes about 10 T.  Each tablespoon contains:

90.4 cals, 9.2g fat, 4.29g carbs, 2.08g fiber, 2.21g NET CARBS, 0.62g protein, 19 mg sodium

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherds Pie

I decided to try my hand at a low-carb version of this tasty British food that has now become an American staple as well.  My hubby is not so fond of mashed cauliflower, but even he admitted this was pretty darn good and said “Be sure to post this recipe on the blog!”  This meal is not suitable for Atkins Induction, but can be enjoyed once you reach the higher carb veggie rung of the Atkins OWL carb ladder where carrots reside.  This dish is perfectly OK for Primal-Paleo if coconut cream/milk is subbed in for the cream in the mashed cauliflower.sheppiesvg

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef

6 oz. homemade pork breakfast sausage (or ground pork, or use all beef if you prefer)

2 medium carrots, diced

1 c. zucchini squash, diced

1 c. frozen green beans

2 oz. onion, chopped

Dash salt and black pepper

1 medium (6-7″ diameter) head cauliflower

4 T. butter or ghee

¼ c. heavy cream

Paprika to garnish (optional)

OPTIONAL:   ½ c. leftover beef gravy  (I save and freeze all leftover gravy)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 375º.  Peel and dice the carrots.  Chop the zucchini into ½” dice.  You can substitute diced turnips for the zucchini if you prefer.  Chop the onion.  Place all these veggies and the green beans into a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower to a slow boil for about 5-6 minutes.  Cook just long enough to slightly soften them, trying not to overcook, lest their bright color be diminished in the final dish.  Drain veggies in a strainer/colander while you do the next step.

Clean and chop the cauliflower into smaller pieces, place in/over water and boil/steam until completely tender.  Drain well in a colander and put back into the cooking pot and puree, along with the cream and butter.  You can either do this with a stick blender if you have one, or in a food processor or regular blender in small batches to avoid overflow. Season with salt to taste.  If a little too thin for your preference, dust 1/8-1/4 tsp. glucomannan powder in and stir well to thicken the mash up a bit.

In a large no-stick pan, brown the beef and sausage, crumbling as it browns.  Gently stir the drained veggies into the meat mixture and toss gently.   Spoon off and discard as much excess grease/liquid that is in the pan as this can get soupy in the final dish.  Stir in leftover beef gravy (if using).  Spoon the meat/veggie mixture evenly into the bottom of a greased casserole dish.  Using a spoon or rubber spatula, evenly distribute the mashed cauliflower over the top.  Sprinkle with paprika to garnish if desired.  Pop into preheated 375º oven for about 35 minutes or until the top is beginning to slightly brown.  Serve and enjoy!

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

288 calories, 22 g  fat, 8.18 g  carbs, 3.18 g  fiber, 5 g  NET CARBS, 16 g  protein

Coconut Pork & Vegetable Stir-Fry

I don’t usually use coconut oil for my Asian stir fries, but I did so last night and man, is that ever good in a pork dish! I suspect a bit in chicken stir-fries would also be quite tasty. I actually used 50:50 coconut and olive oil, to be more precise. The hint of background coconut oil flavor in this dish was amazing! If you’re a fan of Asian food, you must try this one soon. I think you’ll be very pleased with the outcome and response from your family! If you don’t have any sherry in the house, white wine can be substituted. This dish is only permitted on Atkins Induction if you omit the sherry/wine, however. Won’t be quite as good, but still a great stir-fry. It is suitable for all other phases of Atkins & other Keto diets, provided the numbers below will fit into your totals for the day.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. lean pork loin, sliced

2 T. each coconut and olive oil

2 oz. yellow onion, sliced

½ c. carrot, sliced

1 c. Chinese bok-choi, around 3 stems (white part sliced)

Bok-Choi leaves from 3 stems (torn in large pieces)

1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms

2 medium green onions, cut in 1″ pieces

VARIATION: Add a few snow pea pods with the carrots for a spot of color.

LIQUID INGREDIENTS: Mix all but the xanthan gum in a small bowl and set aside until dish is ready to finalize in the wok.

1 c. homemade chicken broth

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. fresh ginger root, minced

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

1¼ tsp. Sambal Olek chili paste

1 T. rice wine vinegar

3 T. sherry

Hold back for last: 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum to thicken

DIRECTIONS: Old Chinese saying: “Hot wok; cold fat”. This prevents meat from sticking to the wok so it is one well worth remembering. Heat wok until very, very hot. Add the oils and immediately dump the pork into the hot oil. Stir fry until no longer pink and just beginning to brown slightly. I like to add the vegetables in the order shown above, the ones taking longer to get tender crisp are shown first. Add the onion and stir-fry until it begins to soften a bit. Add carrot and be sure to not overcook. Add white only part of the bok-choi stems, frying until slightly softening. Add mushrooms and green onions and stir-fry just until mushrooms begin to look a little softer and white look is gone. Lower heat and add green onion, torn bok-choi leaves and the liquid ingredients last. To thicken your final dish, slowly dust the xanthan gum into the liquid (tilt wok to help get it into the liquid). Allow each addition to thicken before adding more because everyone’s preference in thickness is different and you may want to use less or more xanthan gum than I’ve indicated. Serve alone or with a side of steamed, riced cauliflower (rice for non-low-carbers at the dinner table). Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each contains:

337 cals, 24.6g fat, 6.62g carbs, 1.72g fiber, 4.9g NET CARBS, 19.8g protein, 550 mg sodium

Creamed Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

We low carbers love our creamed spinach.  But did you ever think about creaming Brussels Sprouts?  Well I did last night to give it a try!  So glad I did, too, as it took this vegetable (I’m not terribly fond of) to a totally new world of deliciousness.  My husband said “Be SURE to put this one on your blog!”  The bit of Parmesan, bacon and onion are what take this one to the moon for me!  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

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 another 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 twelve 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

Ranch® Buttermilk Salad Dressing (or dip)

Ranch Buttermilk Dressing

Ranch Dip for Veggie Tray

I came up with a low-carb version of Ranch® Dressing for my husband, who just loves it on salads.  I think my version tastes even better than what is sold.

I’m personally not too fond of dill which is distinctly present in the commercially-sold Ranch® Buttermilk Dressing powder blend.  My husband, on the other hand, LOVES dill, thus the flexible amount of dill shown in the powder blend recipe linked below.  I basically used equal amounts of the herbs I selected except the dill and thyme.  A tablespoon of thyme would have been waaaaay too much!   This dressing is super yummy!  Try it and see if you don’t agree it’s even better than the famous bottled stuff!  As you well know, this also makes an excellent dip for raw vegetable party trays.  All you have to do for the dip is increase the sour cream to make it thicker.  You’ll have to recalculate carbs to add in the extra sour cream.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. homemade mayonnaise

3/4 c. sour cream (add ¼ c. more if using as a veggie dip)

¼ c. buttermilk (only 2 T. if using as a veggie dip)

1 T. my Ranch Dressing Powder Blend

2 tsp. red wine vinegar

1/8 tsp. salt

OPTIONAL:  1/8 tsp. glucomannan powder if you like a thicker dressing

DIRECTIONS:  Measure the first 3 ingredients into a medium bowl.  Whisk well to blend to a smooth mixture.  Add my Ranch Dressing Powder Blend, vinegar and salt and whisk a couple minutes until the herb mixture is thoroughly blended in.  If using the glucomannan thickener, whisk it in last.  Transfer to a saved empty plastic dressing bottle (I always keep and wash them for homemade dressings) if you have one, or a lidded jar.  Close tightly and chill.  Serve on crisp green salads or as a dip for raw veggies.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes two cups or eight ¼ c. servings, each contains:

251 cals, 26.8g fat, 1.81g carbs, 0.1g fiber, 1.71g NET CARBS, 1.72g protein, 66mg sodium

Marinated Wild Duck

Dad's Grilled Marinated Duck

My Dad was quite the hunter when he was living and was quite a cook!  This recipe evolved over several duck hunting trips, but this final version is still my favorite way to prepare duck. My husband, on the other hand, is NOT a hunter, so I usually have to substitute domestic duck when I get a craving for this recipe.  But this is just about as good done with domestic duck as it is done with wild duck.

This recipe is NOT Induction friendly due to the wine.  I just don’t think it would be good without it, so I recommend waiting to do this recipe justice.  It’ll be acceptable once you get to Atkins Phase 2 (and beyond).  I KNOW you’ll be glad you tried this!

INGREDIENTS:

2 wild ducks, de-feathered, gutted and butterflied (cut up backbone and flattened out)

12 oz. dry white wine

¼ c. chopped parsley

1 stalk chopped celery

1 clove garlic

2-3 whole cloves (or 1/8 tsp. ground cloves)

1/3 tsp. thyme

6-10 black peppercorns

2 whole bay leaves

1 T. Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS:  After plucking and gutting the ducks, cut up the back, flatten with a hammer or cleaver (to butterfly or spatchcock the birds).  Place in glass or plastic marinating pan skin side up.  Mix all marinate ingredients above (except bay leaf) in either a food processor or blender and pulse until all fairly fine.  Pour marinate over duck and add bay leaves to the pan.  Marinate for 6-12 hours, drizzling marinate over ducks or turning them occasionally.

Light charcoal fire.  When coals are hot, place ducks on grill back behind the coals so they get INDIRECT heat.  Place a foil “pan” under duck to catch the fat that drips out as it cooks.  This is essential if using domestic duck which is VERY fatty!  Adjust vents on your grill so you can close grill and smoke/slow cook the birds for 1-1½ hours.  Time will vary depending on the size of the ducks.   Check for doneness where leg joins body like you would a turkey.  Be sure there is no blood at the joint.  Duck flesh (even the breast) is dark meat and can be served slightly pink.

If you are at the grain rung of OWL or beyond, this is excellent with wild rice dressing: https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/wild-rice-stuffing-2/  Wild rice is the lowest carb rice out there 109 NC per cup raw compared to 136 NC for a cup of raw brown rice.  Haven’t made it in eons but it’s really good with any fowl or game.  Here’s another delicious stuffing that’s great with duck:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2009/09/26/sherry-pecan-bacon-stuffing/

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each containing:

675.3 cals, 44.5 g fat, 4 g carbs, 1.7 g fiber, 47.4 g protein, 2.3 NET CARBS

Breakfast Sticks

Breakfast Sticks

Realized this morning I hadn’t made my most popular recipe of all time in quite some time.  So I resurrected this tasty ‘Top O’ the Mornin’ simple treat today.  You can also cook these in the bottom of muffin cups (for a circle shape) or muffin-top pans (flatter, round shape) as well if you don’t want to invest in the specialty pan.  These are simply delicious!  Just the right amount of cheese to make them a bit rich and creamy without it being too dominant.  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 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. Another option from Etsy:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/659190209/finger-biscuit-baking-pastry-10-hole

Bar Mold

This recipe, on first posting, garnered more Facebook fans than any other recipe I had posted there at that time.  Simply amazing!  Thanks to all my readers and fans for making this recipe go viral on its original posting.  Few have surpassed it in sheer numbers since.  When you try these, you’ll see why it went viral!  🙂    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

Taco Shells

Right out of the oven.

For Tacos or Chalupas.

Tacos!  It’s what’s for dinner tonight!  I’ll be using these taco shells that are somewhere between a browned pie crust, a cracker and a tortilla in texture.  Useful as a corn tortilla substitute.  They were quite tasty with our chili at lunch today, as well as those eaten alone with a smear of butter on top.   As you can see in the photo, they can be folded over nicely for a “taco shell” while still warm.  But you can also use them flat for making chalupas!  They are ever so slightly chewy in the very center 1″(from the psyllium, no doubt).   You could try browning them more for a crisper center, but be aware the edges are likely to over-brown and taste burned if you cook too long.  I plan to do some further experimenting with this concept when I get to goal weight, adding a bit of cornmeal and Fresh Corn flavoring, but I personally think the cornmeal will jack up the carb count too much and probably not be enough corn flavor to be worth the carb count increase.

FYI, these can be fried, but when I fried some in oil they didn’t taste one bit better, were no crisper and were definitely greasier.  So my preference is to bake them and not have to stand over a hot skillet of oil.  This recipe is not suitable for Atkins Induction.

Cheese Crisps

INGREDIENTS:

Perfect with chili, too!

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

1 T. olive oil

1 egg, beaten

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

½ c. Carbquik

1 T. oat fiber

1½ tsp. psyllium husk powder (I use NOW brand)

We used a spoonful of this for our tacos! Yum!

Dash each onion and garlic powder (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper.  Place mozzarella and Cheddar shreds in a large glass or ceramic bowl and microwave on HI for about 2 minutes to thoroughly melt.  The key to success with this dough is to work quickly every step of the way, while the cheese is soft and pliable.  Remove bowl from microwave and quickly blot excess grease (from Cheddar) off the top with paper towels.  Stir quickly with a fork to blend together to blend.  Add the olive oil and stir again.  Add the dry ingredients and then beaten egg last.  Quickly stir to bring the wet cheese and flours to form a ball of dough, making sure to scrape all cheese/dough off the sides of the bowl as you do so.  Knead with your hand 5-6 times right in the bowl to be sure all ingredients are uniformly mixed.  When it is a smooth ball of dough, form a large log of the dough.  Divide the log in half.  Divide each half in half once again.  And finally, those pieces into halves making a total of eight (hopefully equal) balls of dough about 1½” round.  Roll and press onto your parchment-lined pan, pressing with the butt of your palm to about a 5″ circle (you want it very thin but not tearing anywhere).  Pop pans onto two racks in a 350º oven for about 7-10 minutes or until browned as shown above in the photo.  Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes.  These were great with chili at lunch today.  Just a hint of cheese taste, but any more and I don’t think you could form this into a workable dough, quite frankly.  You can go down that experiment road if you feel inspired.  FYI, cheddar is much harder to work with than mozzy in what is essentially a modification of the Fathead Pizza Dough recipe.  So if you increase cheese, my recommendation would be to increase the mozzy and not the Cheddar.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 taco or chalupa shells,  each contains:

164 cals, 13g fat, 8.15g carbs, 4.92g fiber, 3.23g NET CARBS, 12g protein, 287 mg sodium

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts with Sofrito Sauce

I keep seeing recipes on air fryer groups that use baking powder to coat chicken for frying.  Well, I’m here to tell you that flat WORKS!  You will simply be amazed!  I can’t convey how crisp this chicken came out.  My husband said I could “do this one again and SOON!”  I want to caution people who must restrict potassium this techniques is not for you, as 4 tsp. baking powder has 2020 mg potassium.  You could substitute 1/4 c. almond, coconut, low-carb bake mix or Parmesan cheese instead of the baking powder if you are potassium shy.  Might not come out quite as crisp, but doable.  The sauce I made for this is one I’ve used in many of my recipes, as I find Puerto Rican Sofrito to be almost addictive it is so delicious!  This dinner tonight, served with steamed cauliflower and fresh green beans, was a big hit with my husband!

Added note:  Please don’t think MORE is better when it comes to this coating.  This isn’t like flour coatings, where more may be better.  With the baking powder coating, MORE is NOT BETTER!  Too much baking powder will taste sharp, almost bitter.  Been there.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHICKEN: 

2 medium chicken breasts, skin left on

4 tsp. baking powder (I use aluminum free)

¼ tsp. each onion and garlic

¼ tsp. sea salt

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE:

2 T. butter, unsalted

1 T. my Sofrito Sauce

1 Roma tomato, chopped

Dash each salt and pepper

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

(thickener of choice if you feel a need)

DIRECTIONS:  De-bone the chicken breasts (I buy with the rib frame so I can boil the bones for broth and any bits of meat for my dog).  If your chicken breasts are quite large, often these days, slice them laterally and splay them out for more even cooking.  Measure and stir the baking powder and spices on a paper plate and coat the chicken pieces well on all surfaces.  Set aside for a few minutes.  Preheat your air fryer.  Place breasts into basket skin-side down on piece of parchment paper lining, as mine tended to want to stick to my basket.  Set fryer to 375º and cook 18 minutes skin-side down.  Open fryer, turn and cook skin-side up another 18 minutes.  Check them at 15 minutes both sides if your chicken breasts are small…….also air fryers can vary.

While they are cooking, melt the butter in a medium skillet.  Add the Sofrito Sauce and simmer on low heat for 2 minutes.  Add chopped tomato and simmer 3-4 minutes to break them down a bit.  Finally add cream and water and simmer 3-4 more minutes, allowing to reduce and slightly thicken.  If not thick enough for you preference, add a light dusting of your favorite thickener, stir and simmer 1-2 more minutes.  Serve with sauce spooned over each breast.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

736 cals, 51.5g fat, 9.1g carbs, 1.9g fiber, 7.2g NET CARBS, 60g protein, 1180 mg sodium

New England Clam Chowder

With a chill in the air, this scrumptious chowder is what I’m making for lunch today.  It’s a favorite and ever so easy to whip up.  We drove over to Killeen to a big Asian grocery this week and I picked up a couple daikon radishes.  They make a wonderful potato substitute in soups.  I always keep a couple cans of clams around, so a no-brainer today, this one.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets if the macros will work for you.

INGREDIENTS: 

4 oz. bacon, coarsely chopped

3 oz. onion, chopped

10-oz can of clams, with juice

1 c. daikon radish, peeled and chopped

½ c. parsley, chopped

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

1/2 recipe Jennifer Eloff’s homemade Condensed Mushroom Soup

½ c. heavy cream

1 cup water (or seafood stock if available)

DIRECTIONS:  Make Jennifer Eloff’s homemade Condensed Mushroom Soup recipe by her instructions at the link above.  Reserve half in your refrigerator for some other use and use just half the batch for this chowder recipe.

Chop bacon, onion, daikon and parsley and set each aside.  Brown bacon over medium high heat in a 4-quart saucepan.  When it is brown, add the onion and black pepper and saute to allow it to begin to brown/caramelize.  Add the clams, daikon radish and parsley.  Stir well.  Add the mushroom soup concentrate, the cream and water.  Bring to low boil and lower heat to a simmer about 30-40 minutes or until daikon is tender.  Stir occasionally during cooking to prevent scorching on bottom of the pan.  Add more water if it gets too thick for your liking.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes five 1½c. large bowls (as shown above).  Each bowl contains:

274 cals, 20g fat, 7.38g carbs, 1.08g fiber, 6.3g NET CARBS, 13.9g protein, 434 mg sodium

Italian Meatloaf

Italian Meatloaf

After trying many meatloaf recipes over the years, I keep coming back to the recipe I’ve made for 50+ years, using low-carb bread/flax to lower the carbs.  This one cooks up consistently every time!  Meatloaf is not something I usually serve with a planned dinner party, but it has never failed to garner compliments if shared with a surprise guest for dinner.  It’s what I’m having tonight, so I thought I revive this long-posted recipe in case you missed it before on my site.  This tasty fare is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and if you omit the cheese, it is suitable for Paleo-Primal followers as well.  This is also the recipe I use when I want to make meatballs, forming the meat into 1½” meatballs.  I bake my meatballs for about 30 minutes and usually don’t bother turning them during cooking.  If you are avoiding flax, you can instead sub in 1 tsp. chia seeds soaked 15 minutes in 3 T. water OR just increase to 2 eggs.  If available, you can add 1 water-soaked and crumbled leftover low-carb slice of bread/biscuit.  You definitely want to do one of these things to avoid the meatloaf coming out hard and dense.

INGREDIENTS:

1.5 lb. lean ground beef (or 1 lb. beef+½ lb. ground pork)

2 oz. chopped yellow onion (more if you can afford extra carbs)

2 oz. chopped green pepper  (more if you can afford extra carbs)

1 T. bacon grease

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 c. parsley, chopped fine

1 egg, beaten (or 2, if you want to omit the flaxmeal below)

1 T. flax meal soaked in 3 T. water (or a crumbled low-carb biscuit/roll, or 1T. ground chia soaked 10 minutes in 3-4 T. water. or another beaten egg)

2 T. Parmesan cheese, grated (more if you like)

4 oz. can tomato sauce (no added sugar)

1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS:  Soak flax meal or chia, if using, in water in a small bowl for about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally as it thickens up.  Place meat in large mixing bowl.  Chop onion and pepper and saute in bacon grease in an oven-proof skillet until very soft.  Add to the meat in the mixing bowl, grease and all.  Add oregano, parsley and Parmesan.  Add soaked flax meal, salt and pepper.  Add all remaining ingredients (except tomato sauce).  Using your hands or a fork, thoroughly mix all ingredients until well-blended.  Shape slightly and tip bowl to allow meat to fall onto baking pan (I use the same saute pan, actually).  Reshape as desired.  Place in 350º oven and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and pour tomato sauce evenly over the top of meatloaf and return to oven for 30 more minutes baking.    Best to check at 15 minutes here as every oven cooks differently.  I can usually tell if the center is done by pressing lightly with a knife center top.  If it feels firm the meatloaf is done.  If still soft, cook a little longer.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:

Makes 6 servings, each 4 oz. serving has:

349  cals, 22.9 g  fat, 4.27g carbs, 1.1g fiber, 3.17g NET CARBS, 30.2g protein, 588 mg. sodium

Gingerbread “Bigfoot”

Click to enlarge

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist when I named this Christmas creation. 🙂  I bought the pictured 14″ tall Wilton Gingerbread Man cookie pan a couple years ago and only pull it out at Christmas.  I came across a recipe on Robb Wolf’s website, posted by a Kim Ludeman, that inspired me to test this “behemoth” pan.

I changed up the sweeteners considerably to lower carbs and also added currants and raisins for decoration.  Original recipe had no flaxmeal and used all almond flour.  My longtime favorite gingerbread recipe has a bit of vinegar in the dough, so I also added a tablespoon to this recipe (don’t worry, you won’t taste it).  I think it improves rise, but this stiff dough did not rise too much during baking.  The resulting gingerbread cookie was moist and sort-of chewy on the edges, and most DEFINITELY tasty!!  This cookie is less stiff than classic Gingerbread cookies, so it will tear apart in pieces nicely for you.  Next baking I want to try this dough as individual cookies next baking, as I liked the chewy browned edges.

This recipe is fairly carby, since it has molasses in it, so I would not indulge in these unless you are in Atkins Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance phase.  You can eliminate the raisins/currant decorations and decrease the molasses and increase the sugar-free maple syrup by that amount to reduce carbs a bit.  My Paleo-Primal subscribers will of course want to use REAL maple syrup instead of the sugar-free maple syrup.  The Steviva called for is a blend of erythritol and stevia and is about twice as sweet as sugar, but you could use another sweetener (2 T. sugar equivalent) if you prefer.

INGREDIENTS:  

½ c. flax meal (I use 50:50 golden and dark mixed)

2½ c. almond flour

2 pkts. stevia

1 T. Steviva (a blend of erythritol and stevia)

1 tsp. each cinnamon and ginger

½ tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ c. blackstrap molasses

¼ c. sugar-free maple syrup (or regular maple syrup, or omit and use ½ c. total molasses for Paleo/Primal version)

1 T. white vinegar

DIRECTIONS:  Lightly grease or line a cookie sheet with coconut oil.  Preheat oven to 350º.   Beat all wet ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Measure the dry ingredients on top.  Slowly stir the dry into the wet below until smooth.  Dough will be fairly stiff.  If making a giant single cookie, spread the dough evenly onto the baking pan using plastic gloves or baggie “gloves”.  My gingerbread man pan is approximately 14″ tall x 9″ wide.   Use raisins for eyes and button, currants for his nose and mouth.  Pop into preheated 325º oven for about 18-20 minutes.  Do not overcook so you should remove from oven when the cookies are just browning a wee bit around the edges.  Cool and enjoy.

If making individual round cookies, this dough should make about 24 small 1½ round cookies.  I would roll dough into 1″ balls and then press flat into 1½-2″ cookies with your fingers or the bottom of an oiled glass.   The individual cookies should only require 10-12 minutes to get done.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 1 huge gingerbread man (torn off in twenty-four  smaller portions).  It will make around 24 round 1½-2″ cookies, each round cookie equals 1/24 of the giant cookie has: (calculated using sugar-free maple syrup).  If making smaller cookie cutter gingerbread men, this recipe (I’m guessing) would make 8-10 of them, depending on the size of your cutter and how thick you roll out the dough.

107.8 calories, 8.73 g  fat, 6.18 g  carbs, 2.08 g  fiber, 4.1 g  NET CARBS, 2.96 g  protein, 76.5 mg sodium

Shrimp and Sausage Bisque

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

INGREDIENTS:

3 oz. bacon, coarsely chopped

1 c. celery, chopped

3/4 c. green bell pepper, chopped

3 oz. onion, chopped

½ c. parsley, chopped

6 oz. pork breakfast sausage

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

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ tsp. Cajun Seafood Spice Blend

½ tsp. dried thyme leaves

¼ tsp. black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

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

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

1 c. heavy cream

¼ c. white wine

Tiny dusting of xanthan gum or your favorite thickener

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

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

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

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

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

Perfect Rib Roast

The Perfect Rib Roast
My easy, Perfect Rib Roast

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creamy Smoky Turkey (or chicken) Casserole

creamy-smoky-chicken-casserole

This delicious casserole is a GREAT way to use up a bit of leftover turkey meat!  The flavor layers will surprise you.  The bit of smokiness from the cheese is the magic here.  Despite the fact that it looks cobbled together, this stuff is amazingly good!  It’s also very nutritious with the kale added, which was actually an after thought the night I created this one.  Thinking it might not be so photogenic for my blog, I decided to make my Savory Casserole Topping for it, which turned out to be a GOOD decision.  It added another flavor layer to an already tasty dish.  This recipe is suitable once you get to phase 2 of Atkins.  Omit the topping and you Induction folks can enjoy this as well.  This recipe is not suited for Primal or Paleo followers due to the dairy in it, but if you have ideas to make it work, GO FOR IT!  You won’t be sorry.

INGREDIENTS:

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

2 T. coconut oil

3 oz. onion, chopped

2 large carrots, sliced or chopped

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

2 T. cream cheese

3/4 c. heavy (whipping) cream

2 c. cooked turkey (or chicken), chopped

3 oz. Smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

Dash black pepper

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

½ recipe of my Savory Casserole Topping

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings, each contains:

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

Einkorn Cranberry Walnut Cake

Einkorn Cranberry Walnut Cake

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1/3 c. heavy cream

3 large eggs, beaten

3/4 c. erythritol sweetener

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

1 c. chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

½ c. walnuts, coarsely chopped

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

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

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

Jalapeno Meatloaf Burgers

jalapeno-meatloaf-burgers

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

8 oz. lean ground pork

1 oz. red bell pepper, chopped

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

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 large stalk celery, chopped fine

2 T. olive oil

½ c. parsley, chopped

¼ tsp. dried oregano

1/8 tsp. black pepper

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

2 large eggs

¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

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

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

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

Einkorn Dinner Rolls

Einkorn Dinner Rolls (2)

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

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

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

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

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

DRY INGREDIENTS:

½ c. almond flour

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

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

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

2 T. coconut flour

1 T. baking powder

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

¼ tsp. sea salt

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

WET INGREDIENTS:

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

5 large eggs, beaten

3 T. olive oil

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

½ c. boiling water (added last)

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 12 dinner rolls, each contains:

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

Blue Crab Stuffing

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

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

4 oz. finely chopped onion

4 oz. finely chopped celery

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

½ oz. parsley

2 oz. heavy cream

¼ tsp. salt

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 tsp. dry mustard powder

½ c. (1 stick) unsalted, melted butter

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

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

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

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

Shrimp-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

¼ c. olive oil

1 T. unsalted butter

2 medium green onions, chopped

8 large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped

2 oz. cream cheese

1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Dash each salt & pepper

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

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

1 T. more butter

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

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 10 pieces, each contains:

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

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

Mom’s Chicken Stew

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

3 carrots, peeled, cut in 1″ chunks

3 stalks celery, cut in 2″ pieces

1 large onion, cut into wedges

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

½ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

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

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

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

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

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

Roasted “Candied” Carrots

Roasted Candied Carrots

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

INGREDIENTS: 

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

2 T. melted butter

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

¼ tsp. maple extract

Dash salt (optional)

Dash pepper (optional)

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 adult servings, each contains:

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

Dumpling Lasagna

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QUICK & DELICIOUS!

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

INGREDIENTS:

(pot of simmering water to make dumplings)

1 recipe my Dumplings

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

½ c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

¼ c. ricotta cheese

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:

286 cals, 18.7g fat, 13.93g carbs, 6.76g fiber, 7.17g NET CARBS, 21.03g protein, 451 mg sodium

Mandarin Orange Cheesecake Pudding

I got this idea from a cheesecake pudding recipe of Linda Genaw I have made many, many times.  I have added a little ricotta cheese to her basic recipe, Increased the whipped cream and added gelatin (to firm it up) to make up for the lower amount of cream cheese.  The flavoring I chose for this version was mandarin orange, as I always keep some cans of these in my pantry.  This dish is a favorite of my husband.  This recipe is suitable for all Atkins phases and all keto diets.  Not suitable for Paleo due to all the dairy products.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. heavy cream

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

½ c. ricotta cheese

½ c. sour cream

½ c. Splenda granular or equivalent of your favorite sweetener

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

10 drops Boyajian Pure Orange Oil

1 tsp. unflavored gelatin powder

3 T. madarin orange juice drained from can

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

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

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

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