Mandarin Orange Cheesecake Pudding

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

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. heavy cream

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

½ c. ricotta cheese

½ c. sour cream

½ c. Splenda granular or equivalent of your favorite sweetener

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

10 drops Boyajian Pure Orange Oil

1 tsp. unflavored gelatin powder

3 T. madarin orange juice drained from can

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

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

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

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

Iranian Kubideh (ground meat kebabs)

Iranian Kubideh 2

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 egg, beaten

¼ c. parsley

1 oz. onion, minced very fine

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. black pepper

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 kubideh, each contains:

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

Greek Olive Tapenade

Greek Olive Tapenade

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 small clove minced garlic

¼ c. olive oil

2 T. chopped parsley

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

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

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

Crab-Pumpkin Bisque

Crab-Pumpkin Bisque

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

INGREDIENTS:

3 slices bacon, chopped

1/4 c. onion, chopped

1/4 c. celery, chopped

8 oz. softened cream cheese

1 c. pumpkin (preferably the fresh)

Dash each black pepper and cayenne pepper

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

2 c. seafood stock (or chicken broth)

1 c. water

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

8 oz. white crab meat, picked of all shell

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 6 large servings, each contains:

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

Swiss Chard Sauté

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

INGREDIENTS:

8 leaves Swiss Chard

3 slices thick-sliced bacon, chopped

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

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 3 servings, each contains:

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

Pumpkin Cake

pumpkin-cake

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

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. almond flour

1 c. plain whey protein powder

1 c. Splenda or equivalent sweetener of choice

2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1 T. + 1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. nutmeg

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

3/4 c. (1½ sticks) butter, softened

1 c. fresh (or canned) cooked pumpkin puree

4 large eggs

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

1 tsp. vanilla

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 14 slices, each contains:

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

Greek Spinach Crustless Quiche

greek-spinach-beef-pie

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. olive oil + 1 T. butter

2 oz. onion, chopped

12 oz. ground beef

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

1/3 c. parsley, chopped

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

Dash each salt & black pepper

Pinch dried dill weed

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

½ c. crumbled feta cheese, rinsed well in strainer

2 large eggs

1/4 c. heavy cream

VARIATIONS:  Substitute ground lamb or goat for the beef

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each containing:

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

Curried Pumpkin “Puppies”

Click to enlarge

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

2 large eggs, beaten

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

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

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

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

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. curry powder (optional)

1 tsp. optional Garam Masala

1/8 tsp. sea salt

½ packet stevia or Splenda (optional)

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

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

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

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

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

Creamy Smoky Chicken Casserole

creamy-smoky-chicken-casserole

This delicious casserole evolves and changes often based on whatever bits of leftover veggies that invariably are staring at me in the fridge when I start making dinner.  Despite that fact, this is consistently a good dinner!  It’s also very nutritious when kale is included.  The Savory Casserole Topping is optional, but quite good on this dish.  It does add some flavor to the simple basic flavor profile of the dish!  This recipe is suitable once you get to phase 2 of Atkins.  Omit the topping and you Induction folks can enjoy this as well.  This recipe is not suited for Primal or Paleo followers due to the dairy in it.

INGREDIENTS:

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

2 T. coconut oil

3 oz. onion, chopped

2 large carrots, sliced or chopped

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

2 T. cream cheese

3/4 c. heavy (whipping) cream

2 c. cooked chicken meat, chopped (I left skin on mine)

3 oz. Smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

Dash black pepper

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

½ recipe of my Savory Casserole Topping

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings, each contains:

390 calories, 30.7 g fat, 8.73 g carbs, 2.55 g fiber, 6.18 g NET CARBS, 17 g protein, 539 mg sodium

Chicken Tenders with Bang Bang Sauce

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

3/4 c. plain whey protein

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

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

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

½ tsp. onion powder

½ c. Parmesan cheese

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

2 large eggs

¼ c. heavy cream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summer Vegetable Sauté

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. extra light olive oil

1 c. carrot, peeled and sliced thin

3 oz. onion, sliced or cut in wedges

½ c. celery, sliced on the diagonal

2 T. unsalted butter

1½ c. summer yellow squash, sliced ¼” thick

1 oz. red bell pepper, sliced

2 oz. green bell pepper, sliced

Pinch sea salt

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each contains:

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

Chocolate Delights

Click to enlarge

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

INGREDIENTS:

1/3  c. coconut, unsweetened, toasted

4 T. melted butter

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

1 tsp. erythritol

4 T. cocoa powder, unsweetened

2 T. roasted pumpkin seeds

2 T. sunflower seeds

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings each contains:

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

Slivered Beef Spaghetti Sauce

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

INGREDIENTS:

¼ c. olive oil

6 oz. chopped yellow onion

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

14.5 oz. can of tomatoes, crushed

8 oz. can of tomato sauce

2 cloves minced garlic

2 tsp. oregano, crushed

¼ tsp. each salt and black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS:

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 6-8

1/6 batch:

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

approx. 96 mg. sodium, 9.74 g  NET CARBS

1/8 batch:

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

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

Banana Pancakes

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. unsalted butter, melted

2 beaten eggs

1 T. cream

1 banana (3/4 c. mashed)

1 pkt. stevia or Splenda

½ c. flax meal

2 T. almond flour

2 tsp. coconut flour

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. cinnamon

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

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

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

Chipotle-Jack Chicken Cutlets

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

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (four)

1 tsp. my Smoky Chipotle Spice Blend

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

2 T. unsalted butter

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creamed Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

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

INGREDIENTS:

3 thick slices bacon, chopped coarse

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

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

2 oz. cream cheese

½ c. heavy cream

2 T. Parmesan grated cheese

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each contains:

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

Chipotle-Guajillo Baked Chicken

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Yum!!!!!

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 whole chicken, butterflied

4 T. unsalted butter, melted

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

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

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. onion powder

Dash of salt

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

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

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

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

Quick Danish

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Blueberry version

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

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

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

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Pineapple Version

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

Click to enlarge (blackberry version)
Blackberry Version

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Granola Bars

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

2 c. dark flax meal

¾ c. vanilla whey protein

½ c. granular Splenda

10 drops liquid stevia

½ c. sesame seeds

¾ c. grated coconut meat

1½ T. cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

½ c. coconut oil (or butter), melted

½ c. sugar free maple syrup

¼ c. water

2 c. pecans, chopped

½ c. walnuts, chopped

½ c. almonds, coarsely chopped

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

¾ c. sunflower seeds (I use unsalted)

½ c. pumpkin seeds, roasted, salted

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 30 bars, each contains:

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

Artichoke Salad

Italian Artichoke Salad

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained

15 pitted black olives (or calamata olives)

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

5 fresh basil leaves, torn into several pieces

Dash of granulated garlic or minced dried onion

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

Dash each salt and black pepper

1 T. a good balsamic vinaigrette

1 T. good quality extra virgin olive oil

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

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

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

Eggplant-Sausage Rollatini

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

INGREDIENTS:

1  medium (12 oz) eggplant

¼ c. olive oil

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

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

1 oz. baby spinach leaves

4 oz. cream cheese

3/4 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese

1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

1 Roma tomato, sliced into 8 thin slices

1/4 tsp. crushed dried basil leaves

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 rollatini, each contains:

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

Blue Crab Stuffing

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I haven’t cooked this in years!  I picked up a carton of crab meat at the store today so I could make it for dinner tonight.  This is the crab stuffing I developed while I lived on Galveston Island in the 70’s and 80’s.   My recipe was inspired by the crab stuffing served at Gaido’s Seafood restaurant on Galveston seawall. One of my favorite items on their menu.  Best I’ve ever eaten, bar none. But this one I created is pretty darn close! It’s so easy to prepare and is always a hit with dinner guests! If you have access to fresh crab meat, I highly recommend this dish as an entree or use it to stuff baked flouder or other fish of choice.

INGREDIENTS:

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

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

4 oz. finely chopped onion

4 oz. finely chopped celery

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

½ oz. parsley

2 oz. heavy cream

¼ tsp. salt

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 tsp. dry mustard powder

½ c. (1 stick) unsalted, melted butter

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

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

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

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

Einkorn Heavenly Biscuits

EinkornHeavenlyBiscuits

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

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

½ c. shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

2 large eggs, beaten

2 T. coconut flour (I use Honeyville Grains)

¼ c. cream

¼ c. water

1 T. olive oil (to oil pan)

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

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

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

Grilled Steelhead Trout

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

6 T. unsalted butter, melted

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

2 lg. cloves garlic, minced

3/4 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 adult servings, each contains:

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

Paleo Pot Pie

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Made with Chicken

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

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

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

2 c. homemade chicken stock

1 1/3 c. carrot, diced

1 1/3 c. red radishes, diced

½ c. red bell pepper, diced

1½ c. green beans, cooked and chopped a bit

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

2 c. chicken breast, cooked, diced

½ tsp. glucomannan powder (or your favorite thickener)

Dash black pepper

3 T. coconut cream

3 T. homemade mayo

Dash olive oil to grease baking dish

TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

1 c. almond flour

2 T. butter or ghee, softened

1 whole egg

1 T. coconut cream or coconut milk

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

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

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

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

Shrimp and Sausage Bisque

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

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INGREDIENTS:

3 oz. bacon, coarsely chopped

1 c. celery, chopped

3/4 c. green bell pepper, chopped

3 oz. onion, chopped

½ c. parsley, chopped

6 oz. pork breakfast sausage

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

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ tsp. Cajun Seafood Spice Blend

½ tsp. dried thyme leaves

¼ tsp. black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

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

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

1 c. heavy cream

¼ c. white wine

Tiny dusting of xanthan gum or your favorite thickener

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

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

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

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

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

“Frosted” Sausage Donuts

Sausage Donuts

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

INGREDIENTS:

5 oz. pork bulk sausage

4 medium mushrooms, chopped

1 green onion, chopped

3 medium eggs, beaten

¼ c. shredded Monterrey Jack or Mozzarella cheese

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

1 c. heavy cream

¼ tsp. dried tarragon

Dash each salt, pepper and cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp. xanthan gum or your favorite thickener

OPTIONAL:  Chopped parsley to garnish

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

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

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

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

Sausage-Bacon Croquettes

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

6 oz. smoked sausage (I use Burton’s)

2 slices thick-slice bacon

1 tsp. bacon grease  (if bacon too lean)

1 oz. each red and green bell pepper

1½ oz. yellow onion

1 clove garlic, minced

Dash black pepper

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

2T. + 1 tsp. golden flax meal

1 large egg, beaten

1½ c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or mozzarella)

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 croquettes, each contains:

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

Montreal-Chipotle Pulled Pork

Montreal-Chipotle Pulled Pork

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

Sea Salt and black pepper

1 tsp. my Homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pineapple Bars

Pineapple Bars

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. warm water

1 tsp. dry yeast

¼ tsp. sugar (consumed by the yeast)

½ c. almond flour

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

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

¼ c. golden flax meal

¼ c. plain whey protein powder

1 tsp. baking powder

3 T. cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs, beaten

1½ c. shredded Monterrey Jack or mozzarella cheese

1 tsp. cider vinegar

1 T. heavy cream

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

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 9 servings, each contains:

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

Beef-Broccoli Pie

beef-broccoli-pie

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

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

CRUST INGREDIENTS:

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

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

½ c. coconut oil or cold butter

¼ tsp. sea salt

1/3 c. ice water

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

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

6 large mushrooms, sliced chopped coarsely

1/3 c. red bell pepper, chopped

2 oz. onion, chopped

½ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

½ c. drained or Greek yogurt

¼ c. cream

Dash each salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

1½ c. broccoli, raw, coarsely chopped

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains:

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

London Broil

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

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. piece of London Broil or flank steak

½ clove garlic, minced

1½ tsp. tomato paste

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

¼ c. low sodium soy sauce

2 T. balsamic  vinegar

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

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

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

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

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

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

Eggplant Parmigiana “Sandwiches”

EggplantSandwich

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 oz. crushed pork rinds

6 oz. ground beef (or lamb)

2 slices provalone cheese

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

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

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

2 T. Parmesan cheese

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes two servings, each contains:

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

Gluten-Free Grain-Free Cinnamon Bread

Click to enlarge

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. almond flour

¼ c. golden flax meal

¼ c. unflavored, unsweetened whey protein powder

1 tsp. baking powder

3 T. cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs, beaten

1 c. grated Monterrey Jack cheese

½ c. grated Mozzarella cheese

1 tsp. cider vinegar

1 T. heavy cream

1 T. water

Cinnamon

about 2 tsp. Steviva or sweetener of your choice

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 9 pieces, each contains:

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

Sausage Cheese Biscuits

 

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

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 c. whey protein, unflavored, unsweetened

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

4 oz. pork breakfast sausage, cooked

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1½ tsp. coconut flour

1 T. almond flour

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

Pinch garlic powder

1 egg, beaten

¼ c. melted butter, unsalted

3 T. cream

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 biscuits, each contains:

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

Indian Butter Chicken

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. whole cumin seed

2 T. olive oil

3 oz. sliced onion

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

¼ tsp. salt

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

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ T. fresh ginger root, peeled and minced fine

¼ tsp. ground turmeric

1T. + 1 tsp. my homemade Garam Masala 

4 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 c. chicken broth

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

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

4 T. more butter

3/4 c. heavy cream 

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 5, each serving contains:

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

Indian Chicken Tikka Masala or Curry

Chicken Tikka Masala

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. whole cumin seed

2 T. olive oil

3 T. butter

3 oz. sliced onion

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

¼ tsp. salt

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

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ T. minced fresh ginger

½ tsp. ground turmeric

1 T. my homemade Garam Masala 

4 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 c. chicken broth

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 3, each serving containing:

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

Cherry Mini Bites

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

INGREDIENTS: 

1 recipe my Mozzy Dough

½ can Lite Cherry Pie Filling

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 24 Cherry Bites, each contains:

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

Kale-Orange-Walnut Salad

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

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

BASE SALAD:

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

With red onion.

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

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

2   ½”-slices of orange, cut into thirds

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

ORANGE VINAIGRETTE:

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

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

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

2 T. orange juice (fresh squeezed)

Dash each salt and coarse black pepper

Dash garlic powder (optional)

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains:

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

Roasted Summer Vegetables

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 6, each serving contains:

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

Einkorn Tuna Pimiento Cheese Muffins

Tuna is always in my pantry, so I reached for some to make lunch today.   These two-bite mini-muffins I created today, honestly……..my husband had trouble stopping at SIX of them!  But he’s a big eater.  I stopped at four. 🙂  These go together fast and only took 13 minutes to bake.  I highly recommend slightly cooling before attempting to loosen them from even a non-stick pan, as baked egg tends to stick to whatever pan you use.   I’ve not had good luck baking tuna items in silicone pans.  Tuna likes browning.  I used a 24 ct. metal pan to bake these.  This recipe is not suitable until Phase 2 Atkins  when you are nearing maintenance, due to the Einkorn Bake Mix.   You can lower the carb count per muffin even more using a lower carb bake mix than mine, which has Einkorn Flour in it.  But the count is already pretty darn low in my opinion.  Those still in the initial 2-week Induction Phase of Atkins need to eliminate the bake mix entirely and increase the eggs to about 6.  The muffins will naturally have a different, and somewhat eggier texture than mine here, but should taste about the same.  These should freeze nicely for about a month.  If you do the Induction version, adding 1-2 T. flax meal to that variation would add a little firmer structure to them.

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INGREDIENTS:

4 beaten eggs

3 small pouches (7.8 oz. total) water-pack tuna

1½ c. my Einkorn Bake Mix

3/4 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

¼ tsp. sea salt

1 lg. 4-0z. jar chopped pimiento, drained

1 lg. green onion, chopped fine

2 2/3 slices American Deluxe or Cheddar cheese, 2 cut into 9 squares, 1 cut into 6 squares

VARIATION:   Add a few drops of Tobasco or a few shakes of cayenne pepper to the batter for a spicier muffin.

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Beat the eggs in a medium bowl.  Add all other ingredients but the cheese.  Oil 24 slots of a mini-muffin pan.  Using a 2 T. scoop, add one level scoop to each slot.  They will be nearly full and there should be just enough batter for 24.  Place 1 square of cheese atop each and push it down slightly into the batter.  Pop into hot 350º oven.  Bake for 13-15 minutes or until they puff up and the cheese just begins to brown on top.  Remove and cool slightly.  If you try to remove while too hot, they will tear up on you.  Gently loosen with a knife tip or fork and enjoy.  A modest serving would be 4 mini-muffins.  A big eater will want 6 of these minis.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 24 muffins, each contains:

22 calories, 0.9 g fat, 0.35 g carbs, 0.08 g fiber, 0.27 g NET CARBS, 3.22 g protein, 74 mg sodium

Boursin Bacon Brussels Sprouts

I’ve finally found a way to prepare Brussels sprouts that I really like.  I think the key was to cook them in the microwave instead of steaming or boiling them.  They came out so mild…….not bitter, or chemical tasting at all!  And the Boursin soft cheese gave them a nice flavor layer to complement the bacon topper.  In my grocery store, the Boursin is usually near the deli with the other specialty cheeses.  You’re talkin’ to a Brussels sprouts hater here, so all you sprouts haters be sure to try these sometime.  You’ll be amazed how much milder they are than steamed or boiled sprouts.  And the green color is preserved cooking them in the microwave!

INGREDIENTS:

10 fresh Brussels sprouts (cut larger ones in half)

3-4 T. water

Dash each salt and black pepper

2 T. Boursin “Garlic Herb and Chive” soft cheese (more if you like)

3 thick slices bacon, chopped 1″ and browned

DIRECTIONS:  Cut tiny bit off sprouts stems.  Cut larger sprouts in half lengthwise.  Place them in a ceramic or glass dish.  Add the water and microwave for 2 minutes, stir and microwave 2 more minutes.  While they are cooking, brown the bacon in a skillet and drain on paper toweling.  Remove sprouts from microwave and stir the Boursin cheese gently into the sprouts to melt.  Don’t be too rough here or the sprouts may fall apart on you.  Top with bacon crisps and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

221 cals, 18.3g fat, 9.05g carbs, 3.6g fiber, 5.45g NET CARBS, 13.2g protein, 321 mg sodium

Beef Chile Relleno Casserole

beef-chile-relleno-casserole1

I just love chile rellenos, but I don’t like all the fuss of actually stuffing them.  So I just make the dish up in a layered casserole.  Tastes exactly the same, but it’s much less trouble to put together.   My last similar recipe was with chicken.  This is how I make this dish with beef.   This recipe is Induction friendly and Primal diners who eat cheese can also enjoy this dish. It would not be suitable for Paleo followers.

INGREDIENTS: 

3 poblano peppers (mine weighed 2-2.5 oz. each)

12 oz. lean ground beef

2 oz. onion, sliced

½ tsp. dried guajillo chile, seeded and chopped fine (optional)

¼ tsp. dried ancho chile powder (optional)

¼ tsp. chili powder  (use ½ tsp. if guajillo and ancho above are omitted)

¼ tsp. garlic powder

3/4 c. Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, solids only (the mild ones unless you like “hot”)

¼ c. cilantro, chopped (optional)

6 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 450º.  Roasting your peppers will make them milder and sweeter, so don’t bypass this step.  Cut tops off poblano peppers and remove seed cluster.  Cut in halves, lay the halves on a non-stick baking sheet and roast in 450º oven for about 15-20 minutes, turning once during roasting.  Remove and cool.  Lower oven to 350º. Peel tough skin gently off the peppers.

While they are roasting, heat ground beef in non-stick skillet over high heat.  When meat is no longer pink, add onion and saute until tender.  Add all remaining ingredients except the cheese.  Simmer 3-4 minutes for flavors to meld together.  Lay the skinned poblano pepper pieces in the bottom of 4 individual casserole dishes or one larger casserole dish if you prefer.  For the next layer, spoon half of the beef mixture equally amongst the 4 dishes.   Spread half of the cheese equally over the tops of the 4 servings. Next, place the remaining beef filling equally in the 4 dishes.  Finally top each equally with the remaining cheese.  Pop them into a 350º oven for about 20 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese is melted.  Serve at once with a nice guacamole salad (and if you are in Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance, this is nice with a ½ c. of heated refried beans).

VARIATION:  If your are at goal weight and you can afford the extra carbs, a thin layer of refried black soy beans is delicious on this (I usually start out with the bean layer, or you can dot them on top before adding the final cheese).  

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   REcipe makes 4 servings, each contains:

412 calories, 27.7 g fat, 6.72 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 4.72 g NET CARBS, 32.6 g protein, 897 mg sodium

(adding ½ c. mashed soy black bean layer increases carbs to 10.7 g, fiber 5.5 g, net carbs 5.22 g).

Lupin Flour Bread

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My inspiration for this <1g-net-carb-bread was the recipe here:  http://chocolatechillimango.com/2013/01/19/lupin-protein-bread/#.UVhdElfa7jU.   Once I discovered just how low-carb lupin flour is, I ordered some and have been experimenting with it lately.  First off, I just had to do something to reduce the yellow color lupin flour gives baked goods.  Yellow might be OK for a cornbread recipe, but I don’t want yellow sandwich bread.  So I set about making considerable changes to the inspirational recipe.

I’m quite pleased with my first loaf of bread made with this flour.  I’ve also tried some other items, including a delicious Lupin Flour Lemon Cookie.  This bread has a nice firm texture and is moist.  It does not crumble apart like almond flour breads tend to do.  It has a more pleasant taste than most flax breads.  I will continue to experiment with the ingredients to try to achieve a whiter appearance and more “flour-y” taste.  I order my lupin flour direct from: http://www.lopino.com/product/21 .   Netrition.com also has recently started carrying lupin flour.  This recipe is not suitable until the grains rung of the Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  This recipe is unsuitable for Primal-Paleo on several levels.  I might mention that because of its slight “corn taste” this bread makes an excellent bread to crumble up for making cornbread stuffing!

CAUTION:  Lupin beans are a legume closely related to peanuts.  If you have a peanut allergy, I must inform you there are reports some peanut sensitive people react negatively to lupin beans.  Many of my low-carb cooking friends have had no problems eating lupin products whatsoever.  I, on the other hand, have found I do not tolerate this ingredient well.  It causes quite a blotchy red rash all over me.  Funny thing is I am NOT allergic to peanuts!  Go figure…..no other legumes (or any foods at all) bother me.  So I must suspend my experiments with this product.   

This recipe appears in Vol. 4. (p.136) of LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbook series by Jennifer Eloff and friends.  Jennifer has brought together a group of very talented low-carb chefs, including none other than George Stella, to offer some of their very tastiest low-carb creations.  Visit them on Facebook at the link above and if you like the photo preview there, like their page and buy the team’s cookbooks at Amazon or here.

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. lupin flour

¼ c. almond flour

1 T. golden flax meal

2 T. oat fiber (omit if gluten free)

2 T. coconut flour

2 T. plain, unsweetened whey protein powder (I use NOW brand)

1 T. egg white protein (I use NOW brand)

1½ tsp. each baking powder and baking soda

Dash garlic powder

½ tsp. sea salt

2 tsp. glucomannan powder (konjac powder) (optional, but enhances texture & rise)

1 c. grated Monterrey Jack cheese

3 T. water + 1 T. heavy cream

1 T. olive oil

6 beaten eggs

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Lightly grease/oil a loaf pan.   Mine is an unusual shape at 4″x3″x10″.  In a large mixing bowl, measure out all dry ingredients and stir well.  Make a well in the center and add the eggs, oil, water and cream and using a for, beat the liquid ingredients up in the well and slowly incorporate the dry ingredients to form a smooth batter.  Mine was fairly thick.  Spoon into the greased loaf pan, leveling with your rubber spatula.  Pop into preheated 350º oven for 30-40 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test in the center.  Remove, cool slightly and loosen from the pan with a knife.  I easily slice mine into 16 ½” slices using the 10″ loaf pan.  Using a deeper, shorter more standard loaf pan, you will need to see how many slices you get and recalculate your per slice stats.  I will provide the numbers for the entire loaf to facilitate recalculating.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  I get 16 slices from my 10″ long loaf:

1/16 loaf contains: 95 cals., 6.7 g  fat, 4.21 g  carbs, 3.34 g fiber, .87 NET CARBS, 6.78 g protein

Entire recipe contains:  1501 cals., 108 g  fat, 67.3 g  carbs, 53.4 g  fiber, 13.9 g  NET CARBS, 108 g  protein

Homemade Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend

I have eaten Jamaican Jerked chicken in restauranats before but have always found it way too spicy for my palate.  I have read that the spices used and amount of each one varies from household to household, much like gumbo recipes vary dramatically in Louisiana from home to home.  Many of the commercial Jerk seasonings are heavy with salt, and of course, sugar also.  I have worked around that by adding a small amount of maple extract to the final marinades to mimic the brown sugar typically found in most jerk seasonings.  Worked well for me!  I’m extremely pleased with my final blend, having now tested it out on oven-baked chicken, grilled shrimp and air-fried pork.  We loved it on all 3 meats!  This spice is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets as well as Paleo and Primal Blueprint followers as well.  Here’s a delicious air fryer jerk pork recipe I created with this seasoning mix you might like to try some time.

INGREDIENTS: 

1 T. Spanish Smoked Paprika (I order mine on-line)

2 T. onion powder or granulated onion

3 T. garlic powder

2 T. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. crushed red pepper (more if you like things real spicy)

2 T. crushed dried thyme leaves

1 T. allspice

1 T. ground cinnamon

2 T. dried parsley

1 T. coarse black pepper

1 tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS:   Measure out all ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. Stir well.  Spoon into an old empty spice jar or other jar with tight lid.  Tip:  when making spice blends, pour the mix onto a paper plate, fold the plate to make a handy “funnel” to tap your new spice right into the receiving jar.  My Dad taught me this trick as he loved concocting his own blends.  As with all spices, store in a dark cupboard or spice cabinet that has doors. I use 2 T. for pork chops, 3 T. for whole chicken or equivalent parts, and 2 T. on shrimp.  I always rub either olive oil or butter all over the meat surfaces so the spice will adhere well.  Marinate for 1 hour (covered) in the refrigerator before cooking.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes about 14 tablespoons of spice.

1 T. contains:  20.6 cals, 0.31g fat, 4.71g carbs, 1.07g fiber, 3.64g NET CARBS, 0.72g protein, 169 mg sodium

1 tsp. contains: 6.9 cals, 0.1g fat, 1.57g carbs, 0.35g fiber, 1.22g NET CARBS, 0.24g protein, 56.33 mg sodium

Hot Roast Beef Poor Boy

Hot roast Beef Poorboy

This was what we had for dinner tonight.  It’s one of our favorite beef meals, in fact!  When I was 4-5 years old, my father was stationed in Springfield, Illinois.  With some regularity, we would enjoy these incredibly delicious hot beef poor boy sandwiches served on chewy Italian bread from a little Italian restaurant near our house.  I have since discovered on-line that it is still operating as Saputo Twins’ Corner!  It has been operated continuously by the Saputo family since 1948.  These stewed beef poor boy sandwiches were so good, and so popular, you had to order them early in the day to insure you would get one.  They would just melt in your mouth!!!  As the delicious juices permeated the homemade chewy Italian hoagie roll, they would be fairly messy to eat, but who cared?   They were so good!  The beef was slow-simmered all day long to render it so tender no chewing was needed really.  Mmmmm …….that flavor has remained with me to this day.  I have come up with my version of that sandwich and find it VERY close to the original from Twins Corner, other than the fact that I must serve mine on a low-carb roll, above it is shown on two of my 5″ long hoagie rolls:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/peggys-hotdog-buns-or-hoagie-rollbuns/.   These low-carb buns will not support the juice for picking it up with your hands, unfortunately, and therefore will require a fork.  I’m currently using a tougher, sturdier bread for my poor boys:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/einkorn-arrowroot-sandwich-buns-2/.   Or you can serve them on any plan-suitable Induction-friendly low-carb bun of your choice.

Just before adding thickener

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. chuck roast, trimmed of major fat

2 T. olive oil

1 large onion, sliced (mine was 6 oz.)

2 c. celery, diced large

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

Water to just cover meat (add more as needed to maintain the meat being just covered)

Thickener of your choice

DIRECTIONS:  Trim off any major fat bands off the outside of your chuck roast.  Heat olive oil in a deep Dutch oven or soup pot (mine is non-stick).  Brown meat well on both sides on high heat. I like to cut my roast into 3 smaller pieces to speed up cooking, but it is not really necessary.  Add to the pot the sliced onion and celery.  Pour enough water over all the ingredients to just cover.  Add salt and pepper and bring to a full boil.  Lower fire to just a gentle simmer, cover and cook for about 4 hours (5 hours if you don’t cut the roast into 3 smaller pieces) or until the meat is literally beginning to fall apart when tested with a fork. If you use a pressure cooker, you can have this tender in under an hour.  Once the meat is tender, break up the meat into nice, small pieces, some shreds.  See the pic above. I don’t like to reduce it totally to shreds, as I find that to be a bit visually off-putting after reheating leftovers. Just my personal hang-up there, so you can shred it up however you like.   While low heat is still on the meat, add a little of your favorite dry thickener to just slightly thicken the liquid surrounding the meat.  I dust a few sprinkles of xanthan gum successively (Paleo folks will want to use arrowroot to thicken) stirred in until the liquid surrounding the meat is just barely thickened and clinging to the meat.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings (possibly more).  1/8 batch of the meat mixture contains:

254 calories, 7.09 g  fat, 2.54 g  carbs, .69 g  fiber, 1.85 g  NET CARBS, 38.3 g  protein, 682 mg potassium, 23 mg sodium, 66% RDA Vitamin B6, 125% B12, 22% copper, 41% iron, 14% magnesium, 60% niacin, 51% phosphorous, 25% riboflavin, 86% selenium, 14% thiamin and 122% zinc

Einkorn Blueberry Crumble

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My husband pointed out today there is a carton of blueberries I have been overlooking in the fridge.  So I’m going to make us a simple baked crumble or crisp tomorrow.  This is my best low-carb crumble topping to date.  I think you’ll like it as it is very close to my higher-carb version of many years ago.

Blueberries are a little higher in carbs than some berries, so if you’re still in the Induction phase of the Atkins, use strawberries or raspberries to lower the carb count below.  To lower carbs further, omit the Einkorn flour totally.  It simply adds a nice flour taste and pastry texture that almond flour alone can’t do.   🙂  This recipe is not suitable until you have reached the nuts and berries level of Phase 2 Atkins.  It’s a little high carb for Keto diets.  This is not suitable for Primal-Paleo plans.

INGREDIENTS:

1½ c. fresh blueberries

3/4 c. Jennifer Eloff’s Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix (or other low-carb mix)

2 T. Einkorn flour

3 T. Swerve® sweetener (or equivalent sweetener to equal 3 T. sugar)

2 T. oat fiber

1 large egg

3 T. butter

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Rub butter lightly on a 6″ square baking dish and fill with the blueberries.  Set dish aside.  Put rest of the butter in a medium bowl.  Add all the dry ingredients on top of the butter.  Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry mixture until it resembles coarse cornmeal.  Add the egg on top, beat it with a fork and slowly work it into a dough with the dry ingredients.  Using a fork or your fingers, crumble the dough evenly on top of the fruit.  Pop into preheated 350º oven and bake for about 20-23 minutes or until lightly browned on the top.  Slightly cool and enjoy warm.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

240 calories, 18 g  fat, 20.25 g carbs, 7.12 g fiber, 13.13 g NET CARBS (half the carbs are from the blueberries alone, so use raspberries or strawberies for a lower carbs), 13 g protein, 46 mg sodium

Indian Samosa Cups

I was thinking of making samosas for dinner tonight, but wanted a little simpler assembly and decided to fill muffin cups with my tasty meat filling and just top each with a “cap” of pastry. These came out delicious! We had them as a main course, but you could serve just one as a side dish with your favorite curry recipe! I will definitely be making them again, as my husband just loves Indian food. I used my regular Peggy’s “Flour” Pie Crust recipe to complete this dish. This recipe is not suitable until you reach the grains rung of the Atkins OWL carb re-introduction ladder (near goal weight).

MEAT FILLING INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 T. olive oil

3 oz. yellow onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. fresh ginger root, minced

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. ground coriander

¼ tsp. sea salt

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

¼ c. cilantro, chopped

1 medium 6″ carrot, peeled & chopped fine

1 T. fresh mint, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped fine

2 tsp. Garam Masala

CRUST RECIPE: Peggy’s “Flour” Pie Crust at this link.

VARIATION: Substitute lamb for the beef

DIRECTIONS: Make the pie crust per that recipe’s instructions. Set aside for now.

In a skillet, brown the ground beef, onion and carrot until veggies begin to soften, stirring often. Add all other ingredients and simmer about 5 minutes, stirring often, so spice flavors will develop. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350º. Form a log of the pie dough and divide into 6 equal portions. Take one portion, pinch off and reserve 1/3 of it (for the “cap”) and press the remaining 2/3 into non-stick muffin cups (I used a jumbo muffin pan to make these). As you press the dough into the cup, press it up to the tops of the slots. Fill with 1/6 of the meat mixture (about 1/3 c.). Repeat these steps for the remaining 5 samosa cups. If there is any meat mixture unused, spread it evenly among the 6 servings. With the 6 bits of dough you pinched off, form small 2-2½” circles of dough with your fingers on a floured surface. Place a “cap” atop each samosa cup. No need to try to seal the edges. Place muffin pan on a baking sheet and pop into hot 350º oven. Bake about 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 6 samosa cups, each contains:

112.2 cals, 8.06g fat, 5.93g carbs, 2.96g fiber, 2.97g NET CARBS, 6.58g protein 216 mg sodium

Lobster Andouille Jambalaya

Lobster Andouille Jambalaya
Lobster Andouille Jambalaya

This recipe came out beyond delicious and I really wasn’t expecting to like the cauli-rice with this.  To date, I’ve only used cauli-rice as a side dish and not in or underneath foods as shown above.  But this was just marvelous!  Andouille is Cajun smoked sausage.  I find it not terribly different from regular smoked sausage so that is a good substitute.

This recipe is a little higher in carbs than most of my entrees, due to all the veggies in it and the veggie underpinning, but they are so healthy and so needed for the right flavor here.  If you need to cut carbs a bit on Induction Phase, trim off a little of the andouille, breakfast sausage and a little of the red or green pepper (or eat smaller servings).  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal-Paleo as well.  Shrimp can be substituted in this jambalaya but I would use more like 1/2 lb. of shrimp as it is milder in taste.

INGREDIENTS:

2 thick slices bacon, chopped (around 2-3 oz)

6 oz. Andouille sausage, sliced (or any smoked sausage)

3 oz. breakfast sausage, crumbled into large bits

3 oz. onion, chopped

1 oz. each red and green bell pepper (or all one color)

2 large stalks of celery chopped

4 oz. lobster tail meat, chopped coarsely (more if you want)

½ c. parsley, chopped

3 Roma tomatoes, diced large

1 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

Dash each thyme and black pepper (DO NOT SALT)

Few drops Tobasco or Sriracha sauce

1 large head worth of my cauliflower rice

DIRECTIONS:  Make the cauli-rice per that recipe’s instructions.  Set aside.  In a non-stick wok or large skillet over high heat, brown the bacon.  Add the andouille and crumbled pork sausage and cook until sausage is no longer pink.  Add the Holy Trinity, as Cajun cooks refer to the three veggies they put in just about everything but ice cream:  celery, bell pepper and onion.  🙂

Sauté until the veggies are tender.  Add the tomatoes  and just cook until they are softened a bit, stirring often.  Add the lobster, parsley and all spices and Tobasco. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes, stopping when the tomatoes are still discernible as such.  You don’t want to overcook this dish.  🙂 Arrange the cauli-rice on a serving platter and top with the seafood mixture and serve.  Goes nicely with a salad and your favorite low-carb bread.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 large adult servings, each contains:

250 cals, 14g fat, 13.4g carbs, 4.65g fiber, 9.7g NET CARBS, 16.3g protein, 479 mg sodium

Kale Mango Mint Salad

This colorful little salad came out yummy at dinner last night!  I would have rather used walnuts, but was out, so I made do with pecans.  They were good, but will use walnuts next time.  The onion and garlic tang along with the mint in the dressing are what pull this mango delight together in the flavor department.  This takes minutes to prepare and your family will love you for making them one of these salads.  Just increase the ingredients for the number of servings you need.  This recipe is for just one salad.  This recipe is not suitable until you get nearly to goal weight, as the mango is carb-y.  Strawberries could be subbed in for the mango to pull this down in carbs.

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

1 cup curly kale, stemmed & torn into small pieces

1 oz. mango, peeled and chopped

1 oz. jicama, peeled and chopped

1 tsp. onion slivers (I used red onion)

5 walnut or pecan halves, broken in half again

GARLIC MINT DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

½ clove garlic, minced

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

Dash each salt and black pepper

VARIATION:   Substitute 2 sliced strawberries for the mango to lower carbs.  You could also sub in roasted sunflower seeds roasted pumpkin seeds for the walnuts/pecans.

DIRECTIONS:  Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Set aside to make the base salad.  Stem kale and cut up the leafy part coarsely (not too fine or it’s more difficult to eat with your fork.  Place on service plate.  Peel mango and chop into small bites.  Add mango to greens.  Cut off about 1 oz. jicama, peel and chop into bite-size bits.  Add on top of greens evenly.  Sliver the thinnest possible bits of  (preferably red) onion and sprinkle on top.  Add broken nuts halves and drizzle salad dressing on top.  Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 1 individual salad which contains:

245 cals, 19.2g fat, 17.8g carbs, 4.2g fiber, 13.6g NET CARBS, 3.5g protein, 190mg sodium