Cheese Steak on Zoodles

We low-carbers tend to think of zoodles (zucchini noodles) only for Italian recipe applications.  But I’m finding the zoodles versatile and tasty enough for other uses.  Today, with a nice hunk of leftover sirloin steak in the fridge, I was thinking along the lines of a Philly Cheese Steak for lunch, but not with the traditional Frankenfood cheese sauce in a jar.  And certainly not with a big old carb-laden bun (although I have some low-carb psyllium hotdog buns cooked and at the ready).  I was thinking more along the lines of a Swiss cheese Patty Melt, but on noodles.  The above lunch is what I ended up doing.  It came out quite tasty!  My husband REALLY liked this!  It was very filling, too!

This recipe is acceptable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and those Primal folks that eat some dairy.  The portions were quite large and you might find this will feed 2 adults and 2 children quite nicely.  But I have calculated the numbers below for 3 equal adult servings.


16 oz. zucchini, cut into noodles

4 T. olive oil (total)

6 oz. cooked steak, sliced thin (I used pan-seared sirloin)

4 oz. yellow onion, sliced thin

6 oz. cheese, shredded (I used a mix of Swiss & Monterrey Jack)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat broiler.  Have two non-stick skillets ready, one large enough to fry steak and onions, one to cook the zoodles.  Cut the zucchini into “noodles” with a spiral tool or julienne peeler and have ready.  Slice the steak and onions and brown them in 2 T. of the oil in one skillet.  You want the onions to begin to brown and caramelize to release their natural sugar. When nearly done, heat remaining 2T. oil in the second skillet and place the zoodles in the hot oil.  Reduce heat to medium and stir-fry the zoodles just until they are no longer opaque, but not too soft. Plate the zoodles onto 3 serving plates and top with 1/3 of the meat and onion mixture.  Top with 1/3 of the cheese and pop into hot broiler just long enough to melt the cheese on top.  Remove with pot holder and serve at once.  Simple as that!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 large servings, each contains:

513 cals, 39g fat, 8.66g carbs, 2.3g fiber, 6.36g NET CARBS, 32.2g protein, 521 mg sodium


Iraqi Grilled Cornish Hens

Up until now, I have only used my Baharat spice in braised chicken dishes (cooked in liquid): braised beef and braised lamb.  When I created this recipe, I tried it both grilled and baked in the oven.  I was most pleased with both methods of preparation actually.  Very tasty both ways!  In Iraq, they would likely use whole, cut-up chicken pieces as I don’t think Cornish hens are available there.  I especially like to use Cornish hens for serving company, if I can get them,  simply for the cute visual impact on the plate.  The meat doesn’t taste one bit different than larger chicken.  This recipe would be very for preparing quail, dove or other wild game fowl as well.  

I allow a half a bird per person when buying your Cornish hens but make sure there is one half bird extra for a bigger eater.  Most women and men will only eat ½ Cornish hen when two sides are served.  I have seen a man with a hefty appetite eat a whole hen on one occasion.  I have only done so once in my life, but it was a particularly small hen.   If I fix 2 sides, ½ Cornish hen fills me right up.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo as well.


2    1-1¼ pound Cornish hens (or appropriate # pieces cut up chicken for 4 people)

4 T. unsalted butter  (use less if you need to cut calories)

1 tsp. my homemade Baharat Spice Blend

½ tsp. Aleppo pepper  (or dried, ground ancho chile pepper)

1/4 tsp. onion powder

Optional:  1/2 tsp. sumac (if available)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Melt the butter in a saucer in the microwave.  Stir in the spices to mix well.  Split the hens in half up the back bone with a knife or kitchen shears.  This technique is referred to as spatchcocking or butterflying the bird.   If grilling, prepare the fire.  When it is hot, place the pieces evenly (or butterflied Cornish Hens cut side down) on the grill.  If baking them, place on a grate set inside a baking pan to catch juices. 

Using a brush, baste the hens well with the spice-butter mixture.  If baking, pop pan into 350º oven and bake for 45 minutes.  If grilling, turn once midway through cooking. Cook to internal temperature of 165º in the breast.  Turn up oven to 375º and continue to roast for about 15 more minutes to brown the skin.   Watch them closely this last 15 minutes, as ovens can vary.  When a meat thermometer poked in the center of the breast meat reads 165º they are properly cooked.  Remove from oven or grill and serve half a Cornish Hen to each person at the table to start off.   Only the hardiest of eaters will eat more, most likely.     

Traditionally, this meat is grilled.  Try it that way first as it is truly memorable grilled!  But also try it just baked in your oven sometime so you can see the difference.  This meat pairs nicely with any side dishes you like, but particularly nice with my Shawarma Roasted Vegetables.  I also like to enjoy it with my Iranian Mint Cucumber Salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings (I allow ½ hen per person), each contains:

501 cals, 39.3 g fat, 0.62 g carbs, 2.50 g fiber, 2.12 g NET CARBS, 34.1 g protein, 347 mg sodium

Salmon with Pink Tarragon Cream

Now THAT is a plateful of nutritious food!  Just look at the nutritional info below for this recipe!  I included more than I usually do here to drive home that point.  And those numbers are just for the fish and sauce!  If you add in values for the spinach and broiled tomatoes………WOW!  You can’t eat any healthier!  It probably almost meets your entire RDA nutritional requirements for the day!  This delicious sauce I have used on so many different things.  It’s good on with sautéed spinach, chicken, and over grilled shrimp.  It’s marvelous on scrambled eggs at breakfast (using diced tomato instead of tomato paste). I’m sure I’ll continue to find new ways to use this tasty pink sauce, changing up the herbs and spices.

I have discovered recently this is delicious on salmon.  It never disappoints! I served it alongside broiled tomatoes and sautéed spinach.   My husband isn’t terribly fond of salmon but he definitely liked this rendering of a very healthy fish that is very rich in Omega 3’s.   In order to be acceptable for Atkins Induction you must omit the wine.  It’ll still be good, just not quite as good.  😉  Wait until you get to Phase 2 OWL to add the wine.  This recipe is suitable for Keto diets but you might want to omit the wine as it may throw you out of ketosis.  It is perfectly OK for Primal-Paleo followers if you substitute coconut cream or coconut mild for the heavy cream.


12 oz. salmon filet (skin removed)

2 T. butter (I use unsalted)

½ c. heavy cream (or coconut cream or coconut milk)

½ c. water (or ½ c. more cream, if you can afford the extra carbs)

2 T. tomato paste

½ tsp. dried tarragon leaves  (or about 1½ tsp. fresh, chopped)

Dash each salt and black pepper

¼ c. rose or white wine (omit for Induction)

1/8 tsp. xanthan gum or guar gum (or your favorite thickener)

1 sprig parsley, chopped or more tarragon (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS:  Cut the fish into two equal servings.  Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Sear the pieces of salmon on both sides over high heat until golden and flesh is fully done (peek in the center with a fork).  This will only take a couple minutes on a side.  Remove to a platter and pop into warm oven to hold while sauce is made.  Lower heat to medium.  Add the water, cream, tomato paste and tarragon to the skillet.  Bring to a slow simmer for about 3-4 minutes.  Add salt and pepper.   Dust the xanthan/guar gum slowly, a little at a time over the sauce and whisk it into the cream mixture.  Stir constantly as it begins to thicken.  Turn off heat, plate the fish and dip sauce on top.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley or bit more tarragon.  Save any unused sauce for your scrambled eggs in the morning!  So yummy on eggs!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes two 6-oz. servings, each contains:  (including half the sauce)

580 cals, 43.7g fat, 4.85g carbs, 0.6g fiber, 4.25g NET CARBS, 38.8g protein, 275 mg sodium, 92 mg potassium

57% RDA Vitamin A, 66% B6, 300% B12, 7% C, 18% E, 10% D, 10% calcium, 16% copper, 19% iron, 20% magnesium, 91% niacin, 71% phosphorous, 115% selenium, 20% thiamin, 12% zinc



Dad’s Peppered Beef Marinade

This recipe was my Dad’s pride and joy.  In 80 years of cooking he never found a marinade he liked better.  I often make this truly out-of-the-ordinary roast for company and holidays, but we do it on smaller cuts of beef year-round!  It’s DELICIOUS!  You grilling fanatics MUST try this recipe sometime!  This is truly my all-time favorite beef marinade as well and has been since I was in high school over 40 years ago.  We invariably have this recipe for Christmas dinner, because we are usually turkey’ed out by then.  This recipe makes enough marinade for an 8 lb. boneless rib roast, which will (after shrinkage) serve 10 nice servings, with some leftover for the most delicious cold roast beef sandwiches you ever had.  I do not recommend reheating this meat, as the meat and marinade loose some of their impact on reheating.   But it makes the best cold roast beef sandwiches you ever ate!  🙂

Once I realized this marinade could just as easily be used on smaller cuts of beef, we enjoy it much more often now.  I have used it for rib roast (shown top above), lean boneless chuck roasts, sirloin of varying sizes (shown above) and individual ribeye steaks.  It’s also good on wild game you want to do on the grill.  It’s a truly unique flavor when cooked over charcoal (not so good oven-cooked though).  It is Atkins friendly (just not Induction friendly, because of the wine).  Leaving out the wine just isn’t an option for this recipe, so wait until the Atkins OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss) phase to enjoy this wonderful dish.  I guarantee, this is so good you’ll be fighting over who gets the two end slices, just like at my house.  🙂  

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

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

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

¼-½ c. dry red wine (burgundy or claret work nicely but any dry red will do)

1 T. tomato paste

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

DIRECTIONS:  Pound the coarse ground black pepper over all surfaces of an 8 rib roast (or sirloin, or chuck roast) using the butt of your palm or the smooth side of a meat cleaver. Use less pepper if doing a smaller piece of meat. Place meat in glass dish. I drizzle marinate every half hour (as often as you can remember to stop and do it) most of a day (minimum 6 hours). Most efficient way to marinate without disturbing pepper coating is to use a basting brush. Do not touch the meat with your brush, or you’ll wipe all the pepper off! Hold it over the meat and let it drip off the brush. When surface is soaked, put in refrigerator to marinate between “bastings”.  I baste hourly until cooking time.


This recipe really is not good cooked inside in your oven. Not sure why, but it just isn’t.  It seems it is the marriage of the marinade with charcoal smoke that makes this recipe taste divine.  You need to grill the 8 lb. rib roast for about 2 hours over medium coals (using a rotary spit if you own one).  If you don’t have one, like me, just turn the meat every half hour to sear all surfaces nicely. Best if not cooked past medium to medium rare stage.  I take mine off when my meat thermometer reads 120º degrees and set it on my cutting board for another 10 minutes to “rest”.  A piece of meat this large will continue to climb to around 130º while resting. That’s usually a nice pink medium-rare inside.

If doing sirloin or chuck roast (around 3-4 lb.) grill about 20 minutes on a side for medium-rare. This marinade really does a nice job of tenderizing a chuck or sirloin roast.  Cook rib steaks just like you usually would to your desired doneness.

This recipe always gets the WOWS when I serve it.  Hope you folks will try it! I think you’ll find you won’t be sorry you did! The outside slices are so good we always fight over them at home.  🙂


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

The entire batch of marinade has:

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

Mexican Meatloaves with Chili Gravy


My husband REALLY complimented this variation on my regular meatloaf recipe.  Especially the sauce on top, and he’s not a big gravy  person!  Very simple dish to put together, too!  These little meatloaves were good on their own merit, so you could form this into a large meatloaf for slicing and not serve the sauce at all.  It would, of course, take longer to cook if made into a single large loaf.

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets, however not suited to Primal or Paleo diners unless the sauce is omitted or modified.

Many delicious low-carb recipes like this can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends (me included).  Chef George Stella also brings a wealth of his personal recipes to several of our books!  Order yours TODAY! from Amazon  or our direct order site: 


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

1 lb. very lean ground pork

¼ c. + 2 T. Herdez Mild Red Salsa (in a jar) 

1/3 c. cilantro, chopped

1 large jalapeno, seeded and minced fine

½ tsp. ground cumin

1 T. chia seeds, ground & soaked 10 min. in 2 T. water

Dash salt & black pepper


¼c. Herdez Green Tomatillo Salsa (half a 7oz. can), or 1/4 cup jar Herdez Guacamole Salsa

3 oz. cream cheese

½ c. heavy cream

1/3 tsp. chili powder (I used my Smoky Chipotle Spice Blend)

Little water if needed (only if sauce gets too thick as it simmers)

Pinch stevia only if tomatillo salsa is very “acidic” tasting (tomatillos can be)

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Soak the chia seed in the water in a small dish to form a gel-like slurry.  While it is soaking, in a large mixing bowl, using a fork or your hands, mix all the listed meatloaf ingredients along with the soaked chia gel and mix well. Form into 4 oval mini meatloaves and place on a non-stick or greased baking dish.  Pop dish into 350º oven for about 35-40 minutes.  While they are baking, in a non-stick pan over medium heat, warm up the Herdez green tomatillo salsa.  Add the cream cheese and with a rubber spatula, blend in the melting cream cheese until it is smooth mixture.  Add the cream and chili powder. Stir well and lower heat to lowest setting.

When meat is done (130º on meat thermometer), remove from oven and lift meatloaves onto serving platter.  Thin the sauce, if necessary, with a dab of water and pour into a sauce/gravy boat for table serving alongside the meatloaves.

NOTE:  If making one single large meatloaf, it will take about an hour (maybe a bit longer, as ovens vary) to reach 130º in the center with a meat thermometer.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes four 6½-0z mini loaves, each contains:  

656 calories, 53 g fat, 3.30 g carbs, 0.37 g fiber, 2.93 g NET CARBS, 41 g protein, 662 mg sodium

Mushroom-Spinach Chicken Breasts

This dish is lip-smacking delicious!  The hemp hearts add a slight nutty taste.  We both gave this creative dish two thumbs up!  It was simple to put together, in the oven in 15 minutes and baked itself effortlessly to delicious perfection!  This will definitely make my regular chicken recipe rotations again!  It had, as you can see in the photo, lovely pan juices for basting during cooking and last minute drizzling over the meat when done.  This recipe is suitable for Phase 2 of Atkins once you have reached the grains level of the carb re-introduction ladder (it has Joseph’s pita bread in it).  You could use flax meal instead of the Joseph’s bread and enjoy this recipe once you reach the the nuts & seeds level of Phase 2, but it will have a grainier taste with that change.  This recipe is not suitable for Atkins Induction or Primal-Paleo followers.

Many delicious low-carb recipes like this one can be at your fingertips with your very own set of cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and her low-carb friends (including me).  Famous Chef George Stella also brings to these cookbooks a wealth of his personal recipes you will want to try!  Order yours from Amazon or the direct order site: 


2  medium chicken breasts, skin on, boneless (boil bones for delicious stock for soups!)

2 T. unsalted butter

4 large mushrooms, chopped or sliced

2 c. spinach, chopped (1 c. packed)

2 T. Boursin soft cheese, ‘garlic and fine herb’

3 T. shredded Monterrey Jack

1/2 Joseph’s Flax and Oat Bran Pita Bread, softened with water (or 1 low-carb flour tortilla)

2 T. hemp hearts

Dash coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Run a sharp knife between the rib bones and the chicken meat to remove the rib bones from the breast.  Boil them down for delicious chicken stock for future uses.  I freeze mine.   With a large knife, laterally slice the breast 3/4 of the way through making a pocket or shelf for the filling.  Place them in a lightly oiled baking dish and set aside.   In a non-stick skillet, heat the butter and sauté the mushrooms until no longer opaque.  Add the spinach and sauté just until it is limp.  Stir in the Boursin and Jack cheese.  Turn off heat.  Add the hemp hearts and stir filling well to blend the cheese.  With your fingers, mush up the softened bread and add it, stirring again.  Spoon half the mixture into each breast and fold the skin half over the filling.  Press lightly and sprinkle with pepper.  Pop the pan into a 350º oven and bake for about 1 hour (less time for small breasts, more for large ones).  When the skin has browned nicely on top, they should be done.   Serve in the baking dish pan so the pan juices can be dipped over the top if desired. 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains:  (adjust ingredients for more servings)

478 calories, 33 g fat, 5.90 g carbs, 2.85 g fiber, 3.05 g NET CARBS, 39.35 g protein, 645 mg sodium

Greek Twinkies®

As a low-carber, I can’t have the typical puff pastry one uses to make Greek Spanakopitas, but I like to use my Mozzy Dough as a foundation for such applications.  It has a a hint of cheese and often works in such recipes.  These are delicious served with a Greek cucumber salad.  I think they would make great party finger food as well.  My husband gave these a two thumbs up and said they would be good with Tzatziki Sauce.  I think he’s on to something there and will definitely do that next time.  Click the above link for that recipe.  This is certainly not an authentic Greek recipe, but it has that Greek flavor we all love. 

These are not suitable until you reach the grains rung of the Atkins OWL Phase 2 carb reintroduction ladder.  Although high in calories & fat (not a bad thing if you need to boost your fat intake to meet daily macros), these are quite low in carbs.  🙂


1 recipe my Mozzy Dough

1 lb. 90% lean ground beef

5 oz. frozen chopped spinach

1/3 c. parsley, chopped

½ tsp. onion powder

¼ tsp. dried dill weed

1 tsp. dried mint (or 1 T. fresh)

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

1 oz. cream cheese

½ c. Feta cheese crumbles

4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

VARIATION:  Use ground lamb or ground goat meat instead of the ground beef. 

DIRECTIONS:  Brown meat over medium heat in skillet and drain off excess grease.  Add the spinach, parsley and all spices.  Stir for several minutes to be sure spinach is cooked. Dot the mixture with the cream cheese and Feta and allow to melt and blend, stirring often.  Add the 4 oz. mozzarella, which acts as a binding agent and stir until it melts into the mixture.  Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the dough.

Preheat oven to 350º.  Make the Mozzy Dough per that recipe’s instructions.  Form the dough into a large log and divide it visually into 12 equal balls of dough.  Press each one into the slots of a Twinkie pan.  If you don’t own a Twinkie pan, use a muffin pan and fill 12 cups.  Press the dough into the slots as evenly as you can, pushing it up the sides to form a boat or wall for your dough cups.  Fill each pastry cup with 1/12 of the meat-spinach mixture (about 1/3 c.).  When all are filled, press down a bit and evenly distribute any mixture still unused.

Pop pan into 350º oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until to desired doneness.  Bottoms will be browned nicely, so don’t over cook.  Serve with a nice Greek cucumber salad and if you like, some Tzatziki sauce.  I found two of these filled me right up, so this recipe should serve 12 adults, but I’m providing stats, per my usual, per piece.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 12 Twinkies®, each contains:

282 calories, 20g fat, 6.39g carbs, 3.6g fiber, 2.79g NET CARBS, 22.6g protein, 474 mg sodium

Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta a la Puttanesca

This tasty dinner sure goes together easily and FAST!  I would have used prosciutto (traditional) in this if I had any in the house.  Instead, in such cases, I either use dry-cured ham or dry-cured sausage, which my husband buys often.  I would NOT recommend using regular smoked sausage for this recipe.  It would not be very good and way too greasy for this dish.  Lean bacon will do in a pinch, but a totally different taste there.

I use Classico brand of sun-dried pesto sauce as it is only 7 net carbs per ¼ cup, spread out among the 4 servings.  I have calculated nutritional stats as if I had used the prosciutto, which is traditional for this dish, however.  This was outstanding in flavor profile!  My husband said I could make it again any time and I loved it as well.  This recipe is suitable once you get to phase 2 of Atkins, but those still on Induction need to leave out the white wine.


2 T. unsalted butter

3 oz. onion, chopped (I used red onion)

4 slices prosciutto, chopped (or 4 oz. highly smoked dry-cured sausage  or dry-cured country ham, sliced)

1 fresh Roma tomato, coarsely chopped

½ c. canned sliced mushrooms with liquid (or 4-5 fresh medium, sliced)

10 black olives, sliced

½ c. parsley, chopped

½ c. white wine

Dash red pepper flakes

¼ c. Classico Sun-dried tomato Pesto (sold in a jar)

½ c. heavy cream

11 oz. Zeroodles “Penne” noodles with oat fiber (or 4 servings your preferred noodle alternate like zucchini noodles)

DIRECTIONS:   Melt butter in medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Sauté until tender.  Add all remaining ingredients but the cream and noodles.  Lower heat to medium and add cream.   Simmer until it begins to thicken up a bit.  Add the noodles and toss well to coat.  I let mine simmer for about 5 minutes longer.  Serve at once with a nice green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

276.3 cals, 20.2g fat, 12.2g carbs, 5.92g fiber, 6.28g NET CARBS, 6.75g protein, 586 mg sodium

Topless Tamale Pie

I haven’t made this oldie but goodie in eons and am craving Mexican food tonight. I think I’ll make this quick and delicious meal tonight. Who needs those high-carb cornmeal toppings from tamale pies of old?  Walmart’s Great Value brand of canned corn only has 9g carbs per ½ c. minus 2g fiber or 7 net carbs per ½ cup.  Spread out in an entire recipe like this, if not still in Induction, you can use half a can (3/4 c.) in a recipe and get the real flavor of corn for mot too many carbs per serving.  Check out the numbers below.  This dish is so yummy I like to splurge a bit once in awhile and serve this.

This recipe is only suitable during Atkins Induction if you omit the corn.  It’s OK for other phases of Atkins however if it fits your daily macro goals. For those in Maintenance Phase, and can afford a few more carbs, here is my recipe with an actual topping on it: Tamale Pie.  


1 lb. lean ground beef

2 oz. chopped onion

1 jalapeno, seeded, chopped

½ tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. granulated or garlic powder

3/4 c. canned corn, no-salt, drained

2.25 oz. can sliced black olives

4 slices American Deluxe cheese

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

½ c. canned diced tomatoes (no-salt)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 300º.  Cook ground meat over medium heat until no longer pink.  Add onion and jalapeno and cook until onion is softening.  Add all spices and stir.  Add tomatoes, corn, olives and the shredded Cheddar cheese.  Stir and simmer for 4-5 minutes.  The cheese will begin to get sticky and bind the mixture a bit.  Top with the 4 slices of American cheese.  Pop in a 300º oven for 5-8 minutes just to melt the cheese.   Serve directly in the baking pan or dish up onto a serving platter.  Pairs nicely with a guacamole or green salad of choice.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 4 servings.  Each serving contains:

493 cals, 31.5g fat, 10.1g carbs, 2.4g fiber, 7.7g NET CARBS, 39.8g protein, 882 mg sodium

Salisbury Steak

This delicious Atkins Induction-friendly dish is also acceptable for you other Keto & Paleo plans.  It is VERY easy to prepare.  When I was still teaching, I would often cook this when I came home particularly tired, or had a lot of papers to grade that night.  I have also done this recipe chopping up the mushrooms real fine and adding to the patties themselves.    It’s very good done that way, too.  This entrée pairs nicely with butter-rich mashed cauliflower and a green vegetable of your choice. This recipe is only suitable during Induction if you omit the wine.


½ lb. ground beef

½ lb. ground pork (or more ground beef)

2 T. finely minced yellow onion

1 T. chopped parsley

1 beaten egg

½ c. crushed plain pork rinds

1/3 c. sliced fresh mushrooms (or small can with juice)

½ c. low-sodium beef bouillon (preferably homemade)

¼ c. heavy cream (optional)

1 T. olive oil

2 T. white or red wine (omit during Induction)

Dash onion powder

Black pepper to taste

OPTIONAL:  Add some chopped celery to the pan after browning meat. It is very nice in the sauce.

VARIATION:  Add 1 T. finely minced red bell pepper to the meat for a slightly different taste.

DIRECTIONS:  Mix the meats, parsley, onion, pork rinds and egg together in a bowl with your hands.  Form into 4 patties.  Coat non-stick skillet with olive oil and brown patties over medium heat.  Lower heat to low and add bouillon, wine and cream.   Slice mushrooms and add to skillet.  Add seasonings and celery if using.  DO NOT SALT the meat mixture as the pork rinds will provide enough salt to this meat.   Cover and cook about 20 minutes longer, turning patties once during coking to ensure even cooking.  Uncover and simmer to reduce cream to thicken.  If not thick enough, dust on a couple light dustings of xanthan gum or guar gum.  Stir after each addition to prevent lumps.  Great with mashed cauliflower and some green vegetable.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:  (not including optional red bell pepper)

451.75 Calories, 34.28 g  fat, 2 g  carbs, 0.25 g fiber, 1.83 NET CARBS, 31.23  g  protein

Beef-Broccoli Pie

I was originally planning on doing empanadas (small hand pies) for dinner, but we just drove back from our rural cabin to mow the property and we’re both pooped when we got home.  So instead I’ll make a single large pie.  That’ll go much faster and is much easier.  I have some pie dough in the freezer I can thaw enough to roll out, so this will be much easier. 

I adore broccoli steamed, but I’m frankly not too fond of it added to casseroles.  It invariably cooks too long and gets strong-tasting.  I had strong misgivings about adding it to this meat pie recipe.  I think I must have used just the right amount of broccoli, because I LOVED this final dish and the broccoli, putting it in raw, did just fine! 

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.


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


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 yogurt (I used Fage 2%)

¼ c. cream

Dash each salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

1½ c. broccoli, coarsely chopped (I used mostly flowerettes)

DIRECTIONS:  Make the blender soup (linked above) per that recipe’s instructions.  You will only use half of this soup. Store the remaining half in your refrigerator for another use.  Set aside what you will be using for now.

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.  Sauté until veggies are nearly tender.  Add the chopped mushrooms and sauté 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 diced broccoli, salt and pepper last.  The broccoli will cook sufficiently in the oven baking process.

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 in any fashion you like. Make some vent hole 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

Cajun Balsamic Fish Filets

This is a quick and delicious meal that takes almost no time to thaw and prepare for your family. I have tried my Homemade Cajun Seafood Spice on fish before, but I wanted to see what a dash of Balsamic vinegar would bring to that picture. Let’s just say we were both pleasantly surprised how much we liked that addition! Of course, if you’re not a balsamic fan, you can substitute lemon juice or just omit altogether. That will result in a delicious, classic Louisiana Cajun fish presentation.

This is low in calories yet filling! Best of all, it is suitable for Atkins Induction phase! This recipe would lend itself to a variety of white-flesh fish you may have available (I use what I can get in Central TX), but it would be delicious on 0salmon as well! I also think this recipe would be delicious grilled over charcoal.


2 6-oz. fish filets of your choice

4 T. unsalted butter

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. my Homemade Cajun Seafood Spice blend

VARIATION: Use jumbo shrimp, shelled all but tails & deveined.

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400º. Prepare fresh or defrost frozen filets. Pat dry with paper towels. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the balsamic vinegar and spice blend and remove from the burner. Using a brush, coat all 4 sides of the two filets with the mixture and place them on a metal baking pan. Place pan into preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes. If fish is fully opaque & flakes nicely with knife tip (indicating it is done) but is not yet brown enough for you, turn the oven to broil and brown to your satisfaction for a couple minutes. Alternately, you can grill these over a hot charcoal fire, but be gentle lest they tear up in the handling. We love grilling fish! Serve with your favorite sides. We had ours with buttered cauliflower and my own home-grown green beans that were lightly sautéed in 50:50 butter/bacon grease a few minutes. Mmmm….This was a delicious meal!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 2 servings, each contains:

426 cals, 31.5g fat, 1.29g carbs, 0.2g fiber, 1.09g NET CARBS, 32.44g protein, 226 mg sodium

Beef & Bacon Stuffed Squash

This delicious dish is so rich and creamy you’re going to love it!  Not a lot of ingredients but a nice combination of flavors in this one.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, and Primal diets.


1½ c. cooked spaghetti squash threads (I used a 6″ squash which was perfect.)

2 slices thick bacon, chopped coarsely

10 oz. ground beef (I used 90% lean grass-fed)

3/4 tsp. Victoria Gourmet No-Salt Lemon Pepper

2 large green onions, chopped

2 oz. (4 T.) cream cheese

¼ c. shredded mozzarella cheese

VARIATION: Use other seasonings (Italian, Cajun).  I have made these with Montreal Steak Seasoning and I can vouch that one is super good!

DIRECTIONS:  Cut squash in half lengthwise and invert in a shallow dish with a little water.  Microwave on HI for 13 minutes. Remove and fork out the threads into a waiting bowl, being careful so as not to tear the outer shells that will become their own “bowl”.  You will only be using 1½ c. of the threads.  Reserve the rest for another use.

In a non-stick skillet or wok over high heat, fry the bacon.  When partially cooked, add the beef, breaking it up with your spoon as you cook the two completely until completely done.  Add the seasoning you have chosen and the green onions.  Just sauté until onion is slightly softened.  Add the cream cheese and stir until it is uniformly melted and blended with the meat mixture.  Remove from heat.  Spoon the meat mixture onto the spaghetti squash threads and stir to blend well.   Spoon half the mixture into each empty squash shell.  Sprinkle 2 T. mozzarella shreds over each filled squash half.  Pop into 350º oven for around 20 minutes or until cheese is melted on top and slightly beginning to brown.  Serve at once with a salad or green veggie.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 adult servings, each contains:

627 cals, 43.6g fat, 10.8g carbs, 2.25g fiber, 8.55g NET CARBS, 46.2g protein, 1100 mg sodium (in the bacon)

BBQ Crack Cabbage with Ham

I found a small package of grilled pork slices in my freezer this morning I need to use up.  Since I have cooked this recipe numerous times now and my husband and I just LOVE it, it’s what’s for dinner tonight!  It’s so simple to make you’ll want to try this some time.  The mystery added ingredient, to what is basically the Crack Slaw recipe, makes all the difference in the world!  The BBQ sauce is the KEY INGREDIENT, so don’t omit that.  The flavor impact is astounding.   Without the sauce, it’s pretty much just an ordinary Crack Slaw in my opinion.  Carb count is a little high on this dish, but it is all in the healthy vegetables in it.  This recipe provides your daily requirements for Vitamins B6, C, iron, manganese, niacin, phosphorous and thiamin.  So the carbs are well worth it in nutrition alone!

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


3 T. bacon grease

8 oz. cooked cured ham, cut in small strips

2 oz. red bell pepper, cut in small strips

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

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

¼ c. low-carb BBQ sauce (I use G.Hughes, thinned with 1 T. each vinegar & water)

Dash of coarse black pepper

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

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

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

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

Beer-Braised Beef Shanks with Leeks


The farmer that lease’s our pasture down on our cabin property gave us some beef shanks off the last Brangus he took to butcher.   I like to braise shanks with a little beer (low-carb, of course) or wine.  This is one of my all-time favorite braised beef recipes and ever so simple.  Cooks itself really, after searing the meat.   This dish is equally good made with large pieces of chuck roast or with beef short ribs, if you can’t get shank.  The carbs are coming from the leeks but they are really good with this meat.  This dish is only Induction friendly if you omit the beer. I served mine with buttered, steamed carrots and my Seeded Dinner Rolls . My husband likes his leeks stewed to “death”, as they appear in the photo.  But I would recommend if you like yours less “dead” (as do I), wait to add them to the pot after the meat has simmered for the first hour hour.   I thicken my broth with xanthan gum, but you can use whatever thickener is acceptable for your eating plan.


2½ lbs. lean, cross-cut beef shanks (or chunks of beef chuck/shoulder)

1 T. coconut or olive oil

2 oz. yellow onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 leek, cleaned and chopped into 2″ pieces

7 oz. large mushrooms, wiped clean

12 oz. low-carb beer (Michelob Ultra is low-carb)

1/4 tsp. ground thyme

1½ c. rich, homemade beef broth

about 1 c. water

thickener of your choice

VARIATION:  Use 1 c. white or rose wine instead of the beer

DIRECTIONS:   Cut root tip and top 1″of green part off the leek.  Slice it lengthwise and wash carefully with water between layers to get all “hiding” dirt out.  Cut into 2″ pieces and set aside.  Wipe mushrooms clean with a dry cloth, cut huge ones in half, leave others whole.  Set aside.    Heat a large dutch oven or stew pot until nearly smoking and add coconut oil.  Sear the pieces of meat on high flame until they are well browned on each side.  Add yellow onion, garlic, broth, beer, water to cover meat, thyme, salt and pepper.  Cover and lower heat to  slow simmer.  Simmer 1 hour.   Add mushrooms and leeks, lightly stirring them into the broth.  Cover again and simmer for about 30 more minutes or until meat is very tender.  Serve with your favorite low-carb bread or dinner rolls and a salad or another vegetable if you prefer.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains: (I have calculated the stats below assuming you consume an entire 1/4 of  the thickened broth, which is probably unlikely.  Actual consumed net carbs on the broth might be less than the 6.22 g. shown below.  But the actual consumed would be difficult to calculate any other way than I have shown at 1/4 the broth, 1/4 of the meat and 1/4 of the veggies.)

310 cals, 10.4g fat, 7.55g carbs, 1.33g fiber, 6.22g NET CARBS, 40.2g protein, 450 mg sodium

Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken

I finally got around to trying a whole, roasted chicken in my Power XL 7 qt. air fryer and we loved the results.   Haven’t tried it  on the Air Fryer setting on my new wall oven though.  I’m sure it will cook as well in the oven.  Must try that soon.   

The meat of the nearly 5# bird came out moist and cooked perfectly (even at the difficult hip joint).  My husband just loves chicken that is baked or roasted, so he was a fan for certain!  Also tried out my new Peggy’s Poultry Rub on it and that was a delicious choice!  I may add even more of the rub next time!  Yummy!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other keto diets, as well as for Paleo-Primal folks.


1 whole chicken (mine was 4.75 lbs)

1 t. olive oil

1 T. Peggy’s Poultry Rub (or seasoning of your choice)

DIRECTIONS:  Pat the chicken dry of any water/moisture with paper towels.  Rub olive oil all over the chicken getting all skin surfaces damp with oil.  You’ll want to wash and dry off your hands at this point.  Next sprinkle 1 tsp. of the seasoning bland over the top surfaces of the chicken.  Sprinkle 1 tsp. over the bottom surfaces of the chicken.  Invert chicken to expose the carcass opening and sprinkle the remaining spice blend as best you can inside, rubbing until it is distributed.  Although I did not do it this, next time I may make a slit into the lower leg quarter joints and rub a tad in that joint as well as a tad underneath the breast skin as I am able.

Preheat your air-fryer at 350º a few minutes (mine requires 4 min. preheat).  Open basket/drawer and place seasoned bird into the basket/drawer breast side down. Cook the bird for 30 minutes.  Then open drawer and using a heavy kitchen fork, turn the bird over, now breast up.  Cook for 20 minutes and open basket to (check leg quarter with a meat thermometer (165º internal is done).  Also check thickest part of breast.  If not to 165º yet, continue cooking another 5-10 minutes and check again.  My 4.75# bird took precisely 25 minutes on side two.  Cookers vary, so the rule of thumb with air fryers is CHECK YOUR FOOD OFTEN to avoid under cooking, or worse, over cooking and major disappointment.   Always remember that any air-fryer recipe is just a guideline and nothing more.  Cookers vary for any recipe cookbook for them to be always spot on……….even the manufacturer’s cookbook!  Food size and volume/weight impact any instructions and cooking times/temps.

ADDED NOTE:  I recommend soaking your basket in 1″ water while you enjoy your meal (for easier cleanup).  Also don’t forget when fully cooled, to wipe off (use a soapy sponge) the element at the top and back walls of cooker to get any grease splatters there.  If you don’t do that, the cooker is likely to smoke heavily at next use and you’ll think the machine is dying on you.  It just wasn’t thoroughly cleaned after roasting meat.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  I can’t really provide that for you as I can’t know what pieces you eat, how large your bird is, nor how many pieces you will eat.  I certainly can’t know how much of the seasoning you will be ingesting on any particular piece.  Best calculation I can recommend for you is to take the stats for the piece/size of piece(s) of chicken you eat and add 1/8 tsp. of the spice blend for each piece you consume.  That said, this recipe is so low-carb…………I wouldn’t bother calculating anything but the meat itself that you consume.  One can get too anal about any diet in my opinion.  Just enjoy this delicious recipe and know that you are not breaking the carb bank doing so!

1 tsp. spice blend = 0.84g NET CARBS

Blue Crab Stuffed Fish

This is a delicious and very easy dish to prepare.  It’s one I developed while we lived down on the Texas Gulf Coast, where I had access to the freshest, sweetest Blue Crab right off the dock.  Now, since retiring and settling in Central Texas (to get away from hurricanes), I have to make do with what comes in a little carton in the seafood aisle of my grocery store.   Not as good, to put it mildly.  But even that beats the heck out of boarding up and preparing your home for 2-3 hurricanes a season.  Because this dish uses low-carb flax-based bread, this is OK for Induction.  I would NOT recommend substituting pork rinds in this recipe.   I think you will be disappointed if you do.


½ recipe my Blue Crab Stuffing

6   4-oz. flounder filets  (or any mild white-flesh fish filets)

2 T. butter, unsalted

1/4 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Make the stuffing as instructed in that recipe.  Using the spoon you used to stir the stuffing, equally mark off 6 portions in the skillet.  This helps ensure each filet will get an equal portion of filling.  Melt the 2T. butter in a baking pan.  Take each fish filet in one hand, placing the center of the filet in your palm.  Spoon 1/6th of the stuffing into the center.  Then with your other hand, fold the tail flap over the stuffing, then the header flap on top.  Gently turn over and place seam down onto the baking pan in the melted butter.   With a brush, baste the top and sides of each “roll” with butter from the pan.  Sprinkle each with a bit of Seafood Spice Blend.  Pop into a 350º oven for about 25-30 minutes.  Lift gently with a long spatula when plating, so as to not disturb the filling that invariably spills out of the roll at each end.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each contains:

280 cals, 18.3g fat, 2.87g carbs, 1.23g fiber, 1.64g NET CARBS, 26.7g protein, 350 mg sodium

Fish Filet in Shawarma Sauce

This quickly thought-up menu turned out to be one of the best fish dishes I’ve created in a VERY long time!  I just can’t believe how good it is to be so simple.  A great recipe for weeknights when you’re tired after a long day at work.  This recipe just made my regular fish recipe rotations, for sure!  I don’t believe I’ve ever used my shawarma spice on seafood before, but will be definitely be doing so again in the future!  It’s truly delightful on fish!  It was almost like a Hollandaise sauce, but without all the fuss, since I keep a fresh batch of homemade mayo made up all the time.  This dish is acceptable for Atkins Induction and is Paleo friendly if you use coconut milk in lieu of the cream.  You can use Swai, sole, flounder, tilapia, bluefish, halibut or any mild fish.  I’ve even used this sauce on broiled salmon and liked the results.  I keep this spice blend made up in my spice rack so making this is a snap at my house. 🙂


4   5-oz. fish filets or fish filet portions of your choice

2 T. unsalted butter

1½ tsp. Shawarma Spice blend

1/3 c. homemade mayonnaise

2 T. heavy cream

Pinch salt

DIRECTIONS:    Stir 1 tsp. of the spice blend and the cream or coconut milk into the mayo in a small saucepan and set on burner set to lowest possible heat setting.  Now to sauté the fish.  Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Pat any moisture off the fish with paper towels and sprinkle both sides evenly with the remaining ½ tsp. shawarma seasoning and a pinch of salt.    Raise heat to high and sear the fish on both sides until golden brown and done in center (takes just about 3-4 minutes on a side.  Plate the filets and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the creamy sauce over each portion.    Serve with a green vegetable or nice green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

338.5 cals, 25g fat, 0.63g carbs, 0.13g fiber, 0.5g NET CARBS, 28.3g protein, 83 mg sodium


Indian Broiled Fish

A lot of Indian food fans don’t realize what a stellar job they do with fish in India.  Many menus don’t have it on the menu, but a quick perusal of an Indian cookbook will have you realizing they eat a lot of fish.  Their exotic spices compliment fish in the most wonderful way. 

Originally posted in 2010, I thought of this recipe today and am fixing this for dinner tomorrow night, I think.  This baked fish dish goes together really fast, so it is an easy meal prep during the summertime when you’d rather be outdoors having fun than cooking in the kitchen.  If you wish, you can use whole fish for this recipe.  This spice mixture would also be good on flounder or trout.  This recipe is Induction friendly.  The batch pictured has 1 small Roma seeded and finely chopped.  I enjoy this entrée both with and without the tomato.  I have not included the tomato in the recipe or nutritional stats, however.


2   8 oz. tilapia or flounder filets (or white flesh fish of choice)

1 tsp. minced ginger root

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 finely chopped jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 T. chopped cilantro

¼ tsp. turmeric

Dash each of cayenne & black pepper

3 T. unsalted butter, melted

Dash/sprinkle of Garam Masala spice blend

OPTIONAL:  2 tsp. tomato sauce or 1 small tomato chopped on fish before spices added is very good.

DIRECTIONS:  Mix all ingredients in a glass bowl.  Do not use a plastic bowl or the turmeric will permanently stain it.  Add melted butter and mash it all up together.  Place fish on oiled, non-stick or parchment-lined pan.  Spread tomato sauce or chopped tomato on side that is up (if using), add seasoning mixture evenly on the top of each filet.  Broil for about 10 minutes (15or so for whole fish), until thickest part of the filet is firming up.  Or, you can bake for about 20 minutes (30 minutes for whole fish, depending on size), but I personally think broiling is best.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 2, each serving contains:

327 cals, 15.5g fat, 1.6g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 1.1g NET CARBS, 45.5g protein, 123 mg sodium

Asian Shrimp Patties

These super easy, tasty shrimp patties make a wonderful lunch for us.  We both LOVE ’em.  They are suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  This recipe was one of the first ever posted on my blog back in 2009.  But it is still a keeper  we enjoy occasionally.  


8 oz. raw, peeled shrimp
1/2 tsp. chili paste (I use Sambal Oelek)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp. minced shallots or green onion
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp. lemon grass, grated (if available)
1/4 of a Revo Roll or other low-carb roll, crumbled

1 ¾ tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. peanut butter
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. grated ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 tsp. chili paste or Sriracha sauce
1 tsp. Splenda or sweetener of your choice
1 T. low sodium soy sauce

Process all the ingredients for the patties in a food processor or blender until well blended. Shape into 6 small patties and brown in a skillet rubbed with an oiled paper towel.  You’ll know when they are done as they become visibly opaque and golden brown.  This recipe is technically not suitable until Phase 2 OWL due to sauce ingredients, but the patties themselves are OK for Induction and there’s so little PB and rice vinegar in the sauce, it probably won’t cause you problems or cravings even if still in Atkins Induction phase.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  Makes 3 servings, each contains:

142 cals, 6.33g fat, 3.5 g  carbs,0.92 g fiber, 2.58g NET CARBS, 17.6 g protein, 178 mg. sodium

Tuna Casserole

Back in 2009 when I began my Atkins journey, there weren’t all the low-carb noodle options out there we have today.  And since tuna casserole was a personal favorite, I had to get creative.  This was one of the earliest creations back in 2009 when I started low-carbing.  I threw this together one night with some leftover green beans and decided I didn’t need noodles to enjoy a favorite comfort food.  It came out tasty and had a new twist.  I added in some jicama.  The jicama gives a crunch similar to water chestnuts, but jicama has even fewer carbs!  The jicama adds no flavor, just crunch, so you can omit it if you like.


6.5 oz. canned or foil pouch tuna (I use oil pack)

2 c. cooked frozen green beans (French style or cut whole)

½ c. jicama, peeled or water chestnuts, julienne sliced (or slivered almonds)

½ c. canned mushrooms (2 small cans), with their liquid

½ c. cream

¼ tsp. onion powder

¼ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend (key flavor ingredient, so don’t skip)

2 slices American cheese

½ c. grated Cheddar cheese

Dash pepper

1/4 tsp. xanthan gum

VARIATION:    Add some finely diced red bell pepper or pimiento for a slightly different flavor.  🙂

DIRECTIONS: Cook the frozen green beans until just, drain and put in a mixing bowl.  Peel and dice the jicama and add to the bowl.  Add the canned mushrooms, cream, tuna and all spices.    Stir in xanthan gum and blend all well.  Pour into microwaveable baking dish.  Top with American cheese slices first and then with the grated cheddar.  Pop into a 350º preheated oven for 20-30 minutes to blend flavors and thicken up.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains (using jicama):

307 cals, 22g fat, 9.53g carbs, 3.55g fiber, 5.98g NET CARBS, 19g  protein, 450 mg sodium

Shrimp-Stuffed Eggplant

Shrimp Stuffed Eggplant

It’s what’s for dinner tonight!  We never tire of this recipe.  This is a bit higher in carbs than most of my low-carb entrées, but this tasty dish brings so many nutrients to your plate, it’s worth it.  There’s a good bit of your daily total veggie requirements in one meal!  This dish is OK for Atkins Induction Phase, by the way.  You can eat the entire thing, too, filling and shell, as the shell is so tender by the time it’s done you won’t find that skin tough at all!   Hope you’ll try this yummy dish soon!  If you’ve never had seafood and eggplant together, you’re going to find out that’s a flavor match made in Heaven.


10 oz. peeled shrimp, cut into thirds

1 whole 10 oz. eggplant, stem cut off

3 T. unsalted butter

1 clove minced garlic

2½ oz. each chopped onion, celery and red bell pepper

1/3 c. chopped parsley

2 slices bacon, chopped

10 drops Tobasco®

¼ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend (optional)

1/2 flax sandwich bun, crumbled (or other low-carb bun)

1 T. parmesan cheese, grated, for topping

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375º.  Fill baking dish with ½” water.  Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and place cut side down in water.  Bake for about 30 minutes until flesh is tender.  Cool slightly, carefully scoop out pulp, leaving about 1/4″ flesh attached to skin for better support of the filling.  Try not to tear/cut outer skin when scooping out the pulp.  When cool, chop the scooped out eggplant pulp up and set aside.  Pour off any remaining water from the baking dish, lightly grease and place the empty shells right back in the same pan.

Over high heat, brown the bacon in non-stick skillet.  Drain off grease for some other use.  Melt butter in the skillet and add garlic, chopped onion, celery and red bell pepper.  Sauté until vegetables are tender.  Add parsley, shrimp, spice blend, Tobasco®.  Cook until shrimp are opaque.  Crumble sandwich bun and add.  I also like to add a shake or two of cayenne pepper.  Add chopped eggplant pulp, and stir to mix all ingredients well.  Fill shells (will be mounded quite a bit), sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Lower oven to 350º and bake for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned on top.  Serve with a nice green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 2 adults.  Each stuffed eggplant half contains:

513 cals, 32 g fat, 19.3g carbs, 8.35g fiber, 10.95g NET CARBS, 41g protein, 571 mg sodium

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

Seafood with a Hawaiian twist.  We just love these.  These air-fried Parmesan-coconut shrimp are so good you need to try them.  If you don’t have an Air Fryer, just bake them off on a sheet pan at 350º until they are browned on both sides.  No strong with coconut flavor, but that suits us both fine.

I would have never bought myself an air fryer, but my husband went and did so for my Christmas present, so I’m trying to learn how to cook different things in it.  I’ve since had to purchase a new wall oven and it has an air fryer feature built in.  I use my Power XL basket fryer for small amounts of food; the Frigidaire oven ‘air fryer’ mode for larger amounts of food.

I’ve seen so many recipes for coconut shrimp on the internet, but the coatings can be pretty high carb.  I have trimmed down the carbs and reached a total count of 1.8 net carbs per 6-shrimp serving!  I did this by looking to my popular Oven-Fried Fish coating and then modified it even further.    The end result is a dish we have had several times now.  My husband really loves these shrimp and he’s not particularly fond of coconut!  The Parmesan helps tone down the coconut taste a bit for us.  This meal is suitable once you get to Phase 2 of Atkins ‘nuts and seeds’ level.


26 medium-large raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined

1 low-carb slice of bread or roll (I used a Smart Bun )

½ c. pork rind crumbs (about 1 c. whole pieces)

¼ c. grated dry Parmesan

1 oz. desicated unsweetened coconut

1/3 c. Carbquik or other low-carb bake mix

3 egg whites

¼ tsp. my homemade Seafood Spice Blend

¼ tsp. sea salt


½ c. homemade mayo (or from jar if you prefer)

1 T. Sambal Oelek Asian chili saucebang-bang-sauce

2 tsp. Sriracha sauce

Dash each salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:   Mix up the sauce ingredients well in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve shrimp.   Drain off any water in the bag of shrimp.

In a food processor, crumb the pork rinds until fine, removing any large, hard chunks.  Add the low-carb bread/roll, Parmesan cheese, coconut, spice blend and salt.  Pulse until smooth mixture.  Pour into a medium bowl.  Break the egg whites into another small bowl.  Place the Carbquik in yet a third small bowl.  Line the bowls up beside a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat:   flour first, egg whites second and crumb mixture last.  Dip the shrimp first into the flour with your left DRY HAND, then drop into the egg whites.  With your right WET HAND, turn each shrimp in the egg white to coat both sides.  With the wet hand, drop the shrimp lastly into the crumb mixture without touching the crumb mixture with your WET HAND.  With your left DRY HAND, toss the crumbs up over the shrimp to also coat on the tops (will be coated on the bottom from having been dropped into the crumbs).  With your left DRY HAND, pick up and place gently on the parchment lined pan.  Repeat until all shrimp have been cooked.   If your hands get gooey/messy, just wash and dry them off mid process.

Preheat you air fryer for 3 minutes.  Also preheat your regular oven at the lowest setting or around 200º-250º.  I can do 12-13 large shrimp in my 7-qt. Power XL fryer at a time, so that means 2 batches.   Do not crowd the shrimp even if you have to cook three batches if using a smaller fryer than mine.

Fry first batch of shrimp at 370º for 4 minutes.  Gently turn shrimp over and fry 4 more minutes.    When I placed the remaining shrimp on the fryer tray and turned it on for 8 more minutes (turning at 4 minute mark), I then placed the pan with the first batch into my regular oven to keep it warm until the second batch was done.   If needed, fry your third batch similarly.  When all are done, plate and serve with the Bang Bang Sauce or other sauce of your choosing.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes four 6-shrimp servings, each contains (not including sauce):  176 cals, 10g fat, 11g carbs, 8g fiber, 3g NET CARBS, 19.37g protein, 509 mg sodium

1/4 batch sauce adds:  200 calories, 22g fat, 1.05g carbs, .02g fiber, 4.5g protein and 175 mg sodium

Shrimp Cauliflower Curry


We just love Indian food and I make it a little different every time, to be quite honest.  I rarely use a recipe but they always come out good!   This boasts a complex spice flavor profile I think you’ll like.  I often add cauliflower or mushrooms (or both) to curried chicken or shrimp, so this curry has just the cauliflower .  Pretty good combination, actually.  Indian cuisine uses a lot of cauliflower, in fact.  This Induction friendly dish pairs nicely with a cucumber mint salad or a crisp green salad.


2 lb. raw shrimp, shelled and cleaned

4 oz. onion, chopped or sliced thinly

1 T. olive oil

3 T. butter

3 plum tomatoes, cubed quite large

2 c. cauliflower, cooked until just barely tender

1½ c. chicken or seafood broth

4 oz. cream

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger root

2 tsp. my Garam Masala   

2 tsp. curry powder

1½ tsp. cumin seed

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. turmeric

½ c. cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)

¼-½ tsp. Xanthan or guar gum to thicken.

DIRECTIONS: Heat a non-stick wok or large non-stick skillet over high heat.  Add cumin seed and Garam Masala and dry roast for a minute or two, stirring until it smells aromatic.   Add oil and butter and sliced onion.  Saute until onion begins to brown.  Add shrimp, tomatoes, chicken broth, ginger, ground cumin, turmeric and lower heat to medium-low.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Lower heat to lowest setting and add cooked cauliflower, cilantro and cream.  Stir well and continue to simmer on low heat.  When cilantro loses it’s vibrant green color, thicken with successive light dustings of the xanthan or guar gum, stirring continuously, waiting a couple minutes between dustings so as not to overdo the thickening.  When thickened to suit, serve immediately. For anyone at the dining table NOT ON ATKINS, this is divine on steamed basmati rice.  Me, I eat it like a soup or stew, with a spoon. 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 6 servings, each containing:

290 cals, 3.5 g fat, 7.43 g carbs, 2.4 g fiber, 5.03 g NET CARBS, 33.67 g protein, 438 mg sodium

Chipotle-Lime Shrimp Scampi

Once you get your ingredients together, this dish goes together in about 15 minutes flat!  My kind of recipe!  Both hubby and I REALLY liked this slightly different shrimp scampi creation.  This recipe is the reason I use unsalted butter exclusively.  The shrimp has a lot of sodium in it naturally.  One serving provides 57% RDA vitamin B12, 45% vitamin D, 35% vitamin A, 38% copper, 42% iron, 26% niacin and 38% phosphorous, so this is a very nutritious dish!  It is also acceptable for Atkins Induction Phase and other Keto diets.  When you get to OWL (Ongoing Weith loss), 2 T. white wine added to this adds a nice flavor layer!


1 lb. shrimp, peeled and cleaned

2-3 cloves minced garlic (I use 3)

½ stick unsalted butter

Juice of 2 limes (about 2-3 T.)

1/4 c. finely chopped parsley

1/8 tsp. smoked chipotle powder (if you can’t get it, use cayenne pepper)

¼ c. heavy cream

Sprinkle of xanthan gum to slightly thicken

2 c. spaghetti squash threads (½ c. per serving)

DIRECTIONS: Cut a medium spaghetti squash in half, remove seeds and put cut side down into shallow dish filled with 1/4″ water.  Microwave on HI for 13 minutes.  Drain and fork out threads and put in serving bowl with tight cover so squash will stay hot while you cook the shrimp topping.  In a non-stick skillet, melt butter.  Add minced garlic and sauté until cooked but not burned.  You don’t want a raw garlic taste to dominate the final dish.  Add chipotle powder and shrimp and sauté until shrimp curl and are opaque.  Add parsley and lime juice and immediately lower heat to lowest setting.  Add cream and stir well.  Dust lightly with xanthan gum and stir until slightly thickened.  Serve over spaghetti squash threads with a nice green salad!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each containing:

303 cals, 19.2g fat, 9.15g carbs, 1.38g fiber, 7.77g NET CARBS, 24.4g protein, 194 mg sodium

Seafood Pirogues

I like to re-invent leftovers so they are, visually or taste-wise, quite different than their first incarnation.  This particular dish was born from 1 c. of leftover Cheesy Crawfish-Yellow Squash Casserole I had in my freezer.  I bought some gorgeous large shrimp at Sam’s last week and they were right by the zip-loc bag of this leftover in my freezer.  I thought on it a few minutes and came up with this delightful dinner.  We have not had seafood in awhile, so this really sounded good and the dry ingredients for my Mozzy Dough are always made up at the ready in my pantry.  So piece of cake, as my Dad always said.

You are not going to have this Cheesy Crawfish-Yellow Squash Casserole leftover in your freezer, so you might want to mix up that recipe  up to just before baking it off step.  Then you will have some of the mixture to make these pirogues with and also have a little leftover mixture you can thaw for a quickie dinner/lunch one day.    


2 c. (1/3 recipe) my Cheesy Crawfish-Yellow Squash Casserole (minus final  breadcrumb topping)

1 recipe Mozzy Dough

20 large shrimp, shelled, peeled and de-veined

3 T. unsalted butter

¼ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend (homemade Emeril’s blend)

3 T. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:  Make the crawfish-squash recipe per recipe instruction only do not put the topping on or bake it.  Dip up 2 cups of the mixture for this pirogue recipe and freeze the rest for another meal or use. Stir the 3 T. cream into the 2 c. of seafood mixture and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350º.  Make a recipe of mozzarella Dough at the above link per that recipe’s instructions.  Divide the dough ball into four equal portions.  Press each portion either into the bottom and high up the sides of an oblong, oval pirogue-shaped pan, banana split dishes, or corn-on-the-cob dishes.  You can also use some other oval dish, as shape isn’t rocket science.  Alternately you can just roll out the dough into four 7″x3½” boat shapes on parchment-lined pan and curve the edges up a bit with your fingers if you don’t own these special-shaped pans.  Flat should still work as the filling is quite thick. 

Dough will slide down in the silicone pans during cooking (at least they did in mine), so you’ll end up with a much shallower boat in the end anyway, so be sure to press the dough high up the sides to start out.  The size of my boat crusts started out 2″ tall yet ended up more like 1″ tall after shrinkage.  I only have 1 of these little pirogue silicone pans (bought it on a clearance rack), so I bake my shells one at a time.  No problem, I’m retired.  Pan I used is shown photo right. 

Pop the pastry shells (support silicone pans on outer metal pan) into a preheated 350º oven and bake about 15 minutes or just until browning a bit around the edges.  Remove from oven, slightly cool and tip the shells out onto a full-sized baking sheet.  Gently fill each shell with ½ c. of the creamy crawfish casserole mixture.   Set aside while you broil the shrimp.

Turn oven up to broil.  Melt the 3 T. butter in a medium metal baking pan in the oven.  Stir in the Seafood Spice blend.  Next dip each shrimp (both sides) into this seasoned butter and spread evenly in the pan.   Pop into hot broiler and broil shrimp for about 5-7 minutes.   I don’t bother to turn shrimp during cooking.   Watch them closely after 5 minutes to be sure you don’t over brown them, as ovens can vary.  You want them just golden brown as shown above.  Remove pan from broiler and line 5 shrimp atop each pirogue.  Lower oven to 350º and pop the pan back in the oven for about 5-7 minutes just to warm it all up.  Serve at once with a green vegetable or lovely green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 pirogues, each contains:

679.7 cals, 55.8g fat, 18.1g carbs, 9.9g fiber, 8.25g NET CARBS, 43.5g protein, 936 mg sodium (shrimp & crawfish both have sodium and carbs!)

Crawfish al Pesto on Eggplant “Pillows”

This recipe that I’m quite proud of grew out of a delicious spaghetti squash alfredo dish I created earlier that same year.   I hesitated using crawfish for this, but it turns out that was a good decision.  It came out DELICIOUS! 

I made a batch of my Oven-Fried Fish coating and baked the coated eggplant first, as you would for classic Eggplant Parmigiana.  The crunchy coating on the eggplant very quickly loses its crunchiness, so serve this quickly and don’t hold it over for any reason.  This sinfully rich dish was so good I will definitely be doing it again soon, but perhaps with lobster meat next time.  This dish froze nicely, getting even tastier upon re-baking!  The eggplant will lose that crunchiness from freezing, but the dish still tastes fantastic when reheated.

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


12 oz. eggplant, sliced in eight ½” slices

3 oz. plain pork rinds, crushed fine

6 T. homemade mayonnaise

Dash salt

4 T. butter

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

¼ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

¼ c. Parmesan cheese, grated

1½ T. homemade pesto sauce (or commercial)

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

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

1 c. grated mozzarella cheese

2 T. chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 8 servings, each contains:

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

Crawfish Pad Thai

I have been intrigued by recipes I see for Pad Thai, although I am very new to it.  Recipes for it would indicate every recipe for it is a little different although some ingredients are consistently in all the recipes, so I went about concocting my own version, pulling from this recipe and that recipe.  I had no idea if the final dish was going to be good.  Told my husband “If we don’t like it, we can just go out and eat.”  It far surpassed our expectations the first time I put this together!  Other than the fact I got it a little too hot with peppers, the overall flavor was truly OUTSTANDING!  I love when I make new culinary discoveries.  I now see why people rant and rave about Pad Thai.  I will definitely be making this dish on a regular basis in future!  I can’t wait to try it with pork, chicken and shrimp one day.

I’m showing a lesser amount of hot pepper ingredients below than went into my dinner tonight 😉 as it was way too hot for as I originally constructed it.  This meal would be suitable for Atkins Induction Phase, Keto diets and would even fit a Primal-Paleo lifestyle if plan-appropriate sauce ingredients are used.


3 cloves garlic, minced

3 T. rice vinegar

1 T. oyster sauce

1 T. low-sodium soy sauce

1 drop or pinch of your favorite sweetener (optional)

1 T. fish sauce

2 c. cooked spaghetti squash threads

2 T. olive oil

1 medium carrot, julienned lengthwise and cut into 2″ pieces

2 oz. purple onion

1 small jalapeno, seeded and cut into thin strips

1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like things HOTTER!)

1 c. bean sprouts (I had none and used 1/3 c. julienned water chestnuts)

4 large green onions, chopped, ½” pieces

12 oz. cooked crawfish tail meat, (or cooked shrimp)

3 large eggs, beaten

½ c. cilantro, chopped

1 T. butter

DIRECTIONS:  Cook half the spaghetti squash by slicing in half, removing seeds, putting cut side down into baking dish with 1/2″ water and microwaving on HI for 13 minutes.  Holding the squash half with a pot holder or towel, fork out threads from one half of the squash.  Reserve the other half of the squash for some other use.  In a small bowl, make a sauce of the first 6 ingredients.  Set aside.  Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet and scramble the beaten eggs lightly.  Chop with a knife a bit on a cutting board and set aside for now.  Cut up all the vegetables so they are ready for final cooking and assembly.  Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet.  Add the carrot, purple onion, green onion and sauté until tender crisp.  Add the cooked spaghetti squash threads, the bean sprouts (or water chestnuts) and crawfish tails (or shrimp).  Continue to stir-fry over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, to allow flavors to blend.  Add the scrambled egg now and then the cilantro, stirring to mix them in evenly.  Lower heat.  Stir the sauce you prepared and pour it evenly over the mixture.  Stir one last time to mix everything thoroughly.  Remove from heat and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each contains:

178 cals, 9.8 g fat, 8.9 g carbs, 1.9 g fiber, 7 g NET CARBS, 14 g protein, 715 mg sodium

Cajun Crawfish Pies

Man, oh, man, I was in heaven when I made these.   These little gems were one of the very best low-carb kitchen creations of my 14 years of low-carbing!  I’m even going to give this recipe my “mouthgasm” award.  I took my Gluten-Free Grain Free Focaccia Bread recipe and with some considerable effort, used it as a crust to create crawfish pies to rival any I have eaten in Louisiana.  My Mozzy Dough had not yet been developed, so I had to get creative. 

I wantonly admit to scarfing down a lot of these pies in Louisiana on our many visits there.  My filling consisted of basically my crawfish étouffée recipe, a little thickener and my focaccia bread for the crust. I knew as this idea was germinating in my head that  sealing the edges would be tricky and take some ingenuity, as I would be using a thick batter, not a traditional, rollable pie crust.  And IT WORKED for me!  Best of all, the bread dough ended up tasting amazingly like, ummmm…………real PIE CRUST!!!  Even my fussy, non-low-carbing husband said it tasted like piecrust  and gave tonight’s dinner two thumbs up! The ratio of filling to crust was just perfect on these, too!

I have even made this recipe up as mini crawfish pies (makes 30) for a party, but used my Carbalose Pie Crust as it is a dryer dough you can form into the mini crusts.  Here’s what the mini version looks like:  IMG_4973

I can’t tell you how pleased I am with this recipe and thought you’d enjoy listening to the song (one of my Dad’s favorites) that made this Louisiana Cajun delicacy famous to put you in the mood:  I can even see berry/fruit empanadas on the horizon!  These pies are suitable once you reach Phase 2 nuts & seeds rung of the Atkins OWL carb ladder.   They would not be suitable for Paleo-Primal due to the dairy in the bread.  By the way, I started preparing this meal at 4pm and we were eating it at 5:30!  Longer than most of my recipes, but much faster than I thought it would take to prepare!  


4 T. butter

2 oz. onion, chopped

½ c. each green bell pepper and celery, chopped (I used both red and green bell pepper in mine)

¼ c. each green onion and parsley , chopped

6 oz. crawfish tails (I use the frozen and defrost)

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice blend

1/8 tsp. salt

6 drops Tobasco® or other hot sauce

Dash each ground thyme and black pepper

1/3 c. chicken stock (preferably homemade)

¼ tsp. glucomannan powder, xanthan gum or your favorite thickener

1 recipe my Gluten-free Grain-free Focaccia Bread (or my Mozzy Dough you can shape in mini muffin cups)  

DIRECTIONS:  Melt butter in skillet over high heat. Add celery, green pepper and onion.  Add Seafood Spice Blend, salt, pepper and thyme.  Sauté until vegetables are completely tender.  Add Tobasco®.  Add green onion, parsley, garlic and crawfish and stir.  Add glucomannan powder (or your chosen thickener) and chicken stock and stir to blend altogether. Turn fire off.

Preheat oven to 350º.  Make the bread/”pastry” in a medium mixing bowl according to the directions for that recipe.  You need to decide on the shape you want your pies to have (I used a 3 x 6″ oval dish shape, but round or square would work as well) .  I cut parchment paper to fit a large sheet pan.  I inverted my dish on the parchment paper and drew five outlines of the dish with a marker pen, so I could be sure my pies would all be uniform in size and shape.  When the batter is ready, scoop up exactly 3 T. onto each drawn outline on your parchment.  Then, using a fork, very gently spread the batter out thinly to within ¼” of the outlines you drew (you don’t want the batter to touch the ink).  It will be thin, but should go nearly to the edges with effort.  Pop the pan into your 350º oven and bake just 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and increase oven temp to 375º.

Using a spoon, section off the seafood filling in your skillet into 5 equal portions and spoon 1/5 of the filling onto each of the baked bottom “crusts”.     Spread the filling evenly to within ¼” of the edge of the bottom crust. The filling should be slightly mounded in the center.  Again using a spoon, make 5 equal portions of the remaining batter in your bowl.  Here’s where it gets a little tricky.  I spooned one of the marked off portions of batter into one hand and using my fork, dotted the batter evenly over the top and sides of the pile of seafood filling, using the fork then to try to blend those tiny dots into a contiguous top “crust”.  It didn’t cover perfectly, but I was able to create a respectable top crust on each pie.  During the baking the top crust slightly spreads out to fill in most of those little gaps in the batter.

Pop the pan into  a now 375º oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on top.  Serve at once with a nice green salad or perhaps your favorite green veggie. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 5 large pies, each contains:

395 cals, 30.5 g fat, 8.62g carbs, 3.64g fiber, 4.98g NET CARBS, 24.6g protein, 471 mg sodium

Makes about 30 mini crawfish pies for party food, containing around 1.0 net carb per bite-size pie (with no top crust used)

Crawfish Dumpling Stew

Moving along in our food journey, I was thinking about how much I miss the seafood we could get the 30+ years we lived on the Texas Gulf Coast.  So I thought I’d post some of my favorite seafood recipes this week.  Man, I had the very best at my fingertips down on the coast.  Why ever did we move (hurricanes, that’s why)?  Moving up to Central Texas to get away from them when we retired, I’m relegated to using frozen crawfish, previously-frozen shrimp, not-too-good crab meat and just awful 1-2 day old whole fish (trucked in from the coast) unless you go fishing yourself and catch something worth cooking. 

I number of years ago I found a fantastic way to shake up my glucomannan dumplings recipe with crawfish! I hesitated to actually make it for the longest time, as I was afraid putting that much bulk into my dumpling batter would make them just totally fall apart in the simmering water.  As you can see in the pic, that just didn’t happen! 

This is 5-star restaurant eating experience as far as I’m concerned!  Not many recipes strike me that way, either.  It was every bit as good as the seafood fare served to me in the finest restaurants in Dallas or Houston, that’s for sure!  My husband and I were absolutely astounded at how good this idea I hatched one night would come out.    This opens the door for a world of new uses for this dumpling recipe.  

For those still on Atkins Induction, omit the wine and substitute 1/2 c. seafood stock or chicken stock in your sauce.  This recipe is suitable for Atkins OWL Phase 2 or beyond and Keto diets if it fits your daily carb limits.  You’d have to make the sauce with coconut milk for it to pass Primal-Paleo muster, but that would taste OK here.  By the way, these freeze beautifully and tasted even better than the first night they were made!  🙂

VARIATIONS:  Substitute either crab meat or shrimp for the crawfish.  These made smaller would also be lovely in a simple wonton-style soup, standing in for the meat-filled wontons.  🙂


6 oz. cooked, cleaned crawfish tail meat (the rest of the 12-oz. package goes in the sauce)

4 T. butter, unsalted

2 oz. celery, chopped

2 oz. green bell pepper, chopped

2 oz. yellow onion, chopped

½ c. green onion, chopped

1/3 c. parsley, chopped (3 more T. needed for the sauce, so go on and chop 1/2 c. total 😉 )

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

2 recipes my glucomannan Dumplings batter



4 T. unsalted butter, melted

6 oz. remaining crawfish

½ c. white wine (omit for Induction)

1 T. lemon juice

3 T. parsley, chopped

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

1 small clove garlic, minced

Dash each salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Chop all the vegetables up.  Melt 4 T. butter over high heat and add the celery, bell pepper, onion and minced garlic.  Sauté until they are tender.  Add 6 oz. of the crawfish, the parsley, and seafood spice mix.  Lower heat and let simmer 2-3 minutes for flavors to blend.  Turn off heat.

Bring a large stew pot of water to a boil.  While it is heating, make up a double recipe of my glucomannan dumpling batter and add the veggie crawfish mixture to the egg/water mixture and stir well. Stir the dry ingredients in and mix with a rubber spatula until it begins to thicken up.  Keep turning the dough until it is stiff enough to roll.  Roll 24 1″ dumpling in your palms and set on a sheet of silicone (best) or a baking sheet.  When all 24 are formed, your water should be at a rolling boil.  Drop all 24 dumplings gently into the water.  This will cool the water down a bit. You want a medium gentle rolling water bath.  Cover and cook for exactly 10 minutes without lifting the lid.

Make the sauce while the dumplings are cooking.  Melt 4 T. butter over medium heat in a skillet.  Add the remaining 6 oz. crawfish, garlic, wine, lemon juice parsley and simmer long enough to cook the garlic well. Add the cream and salt and pepper to taste.

When dumplings have cooked 10 minutes, lift lid and using a slotted spoon or tongs, gently lift onto a serving platter and spoon the sauce around them.  I served with steamed, buttered broccoli, but they would be good with a nice green salad and low-carb dinner rolls.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings of 4 dumplings each and ¼ c. sauce.  Each contains:

258 cals, 20.4g fat, 10.55g carbs, 5.96g fiber, 4.59g NET CARBS, 13.25g protein, 481 g  sodium


Ham & Veggie Terrine

I include this terrine with my vegetable extravaganza, but I did add ham to this dish, making it a complete meal.  Omit the ham for a veggie side dish.  These are kind of fun to make and so pretty and colorful! 

I don’t own a ceramic loaf pan anymore, so I just use my metal 8″x4″ loaf pan lined with parchment to make my terrines.  This dish is delicious, not to mention nutritious with all those veggies.  A quick cutting of the vegetables, a brief sauté, fill the mold and it’s in the oven in no time!  You could serve this tasty dish for breakfast, brunch gatherings, lunch or dinner.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets.  Paleo and Primal followers will want to sub in coconut milk for the cream here.  Omit the ham and you vegetarians can even enjoy this one!


1 large carrot, peeled, sliced thin

2 5″ zucchini (about 10 oz.), sliced thin

1 leek, washed well of dirt and sliced thin

3 T. olive oil

Dash sea salt and coarse black pepper

¼ tsp. garlic powder or 1 small clove garlic, minced

4 extra large eggs, beaten (or 5 large eggs)

2 T. coconut flour

3 T. oz. heavy cream, divided

5 T. water, total

1½ c. cooked, cured ham (omit for a vegetarian version)

VARIATION:  Substitute cooked bacon for the ham

CHEESE SAUCE:  5-10 minutes before terrine is done, mix 3 T. of the water, 2 T. of the cream in small saucepan set into larger saucepan (or use double boiler) and heat.  Add 4 slices American Deluxe or Cheddar Cheese.  Stir and blend until cheese is melted and all is incorporated into a smooth sauce.  Pour into serving bowl when terrine is out of oven, sliced and ready to serve.  Sauce will thicken fast, so do not dip it up one minutes before you need it.

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Line a metal or ceramic 4×8″ loaf pan with parchment.  I don’t line the ends of the pan and just oil there lightly.  Set aside for now.  Stem and slice up all veggies.  I used a food processor for uniform, thin slice. Heat olive oil in wok or large skillet.  Add veggies, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sauté stirring often over medium-high heat until veggies are tender but not mushy.  Stir in sliced/diced ham.  Turn off heat.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs, remaining 1 T. cream and remaining 2 T. water until smooth.  Add coconut flour.  Stir again.  Pour over veggies and stir well to blend.  With rubber spatula, scrape mixture into parchment-prepared pan.  Trim off excess paper above top of pan but leave a bit for “handles”. Pop into 350º oven for about 40 minutes.  Check at 30 min. as ovens do vary.  Top will be lightly golden and center should be firm (not damp) when touched.  Do not over brown as terrine will be dry if overcooked.  Remove from oven, run knife along ends of pan and lift out  of pan holding the paper, tipping onto your platter.  Slice into 6 slices (about 1″-1¼” thick).  Serve with cheese sauce (or some other favorite sauce if you prefer)

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains (including 1½ T. sauce):

288 cals, 21 g fat, 6.88g carbs, 1.48g fiber, 5.4g NET CARBS, 18.6g protein, 689mg sodium

Spinach Parmesan Bake

This has been a very popular side dish on my recipe blog.  Once you taste it, you’ll see why.  Facebook shares were amazing on this recipe.  This dish is simple to make and I’m very please with the resulting flavor profile.  The concept came to me one night when I thought about making a spinach soufflé, but wanted something a little denser and cheesier. 

This pairs nicely with roast pork and was delicious with our rosemary-onion pork steaks the night I created it.  I did put 3 large sliced mushrooms in this, but they added absolutely nothing to the flavor impact.  I won’t bother to include them again and I’m not including those in my recipe here.  This dish is Atkins  Induction suitable.  


2 T. olive oil

2 oz. onion, chopped

Dash salt

10 oz. box frozen spinach, thawed and drained

2 oz. cream cheese

2 oz. heavy cream

1/3 c. homemade mayonnaise

2 large eggs

3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

With Chicken Added for a meal!

VARIATION:   Add 2 c. chopped raw, boneless chicken meat to the skillet with the onion and turn this side dish into a delicious meal.

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Heat olive oil in non-stick skillet over med-high heat.  Add onion and salt and sauté the onion until tender.  Add the drained spinach and cook a few minutes, stirring several times.  Lower heat to medium.  Cut the cream cheese into little chunks and melt and stir it into the warm spinach.  Add mayonnaise and stir well.  Turn off heat.  Beat the eggs in a bowl with the cream and pour it evenly over the top of the spinach.  Top with Parmesan and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350º.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

420 calories, 38 g  fat, 6.78 g  carbs, 2.75 g  fiber, 4.03 NET CARBS, 15.28 g  protein, 622 mg sodium

Loaded “Potato” Casserole

Who doesn’t like a loaded baked potato?  This is the low-carber’s version, shown above, with meat added for a complete meal!  Just leave out the meat and you have loaded baked “potatoes.”  Not such a pretty dish photographically,  but a very tasty one we all love dearly!   I had a leek on hand so I just used that, but green onion is more traditional on a loaded baked potato.  This goes together fast and is truly delicious.  Makes a big casserole that will serve 6 hungry adults.  🙂  This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and those Primal folks that eat occasional dairy.


½ large head cauliflower, cut into smallish chunks

4 oz. bacon,  chopped

1½ c. green onion or cleaned leeks, chopped

1 lb. ground beef or pork (I use 90%),

2 oz. cream cheese

½ c. sour cream

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

VARIATION:   Omit the ground beef for a simple side dish for other meat entrées

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Steam or boil cauliflower until almost fully tender, but not quite.  While the cauliflower is cooking, in a large skillet or wok, brown the bacon.  Add the green onion or leeks and sauté until tender. Add black pepper and mix in well.  Salt won’t be needed with bacon and this much cheese. 🙂  Add ground beef, breaking apart and stirring as it cooks.  If using fattier ground beef, I recommend browning it first and draining off the excess grease before adding the bacon and other ingredients to the skillet.  This will result in a less greasy final dish.

Now add cream cheese to the skillet, stirring to allow it to melt and disperse evenly into the mixture.  Add sour cream and blend well.  Stir in the drained cauliflower gently. Top with grated cheese and pop into preheated 350º oven for 20-30 minutes to allow flavors to blend and cheese to melt.  Serve at once with a lovely green salad or green veggie of your choice.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains:

465 cals, 37g fat, 8.68g carbs, 2.41g fiber, 6.27g NET CARBS, 26.6g protein, 676 mg sodium

Lobster Salad

We bought a huge box of lobster tails at Sam’s at Christmas.  We’re down to the last two tails in the box.  Going to make a nice lobster salad for our dinner this evening.   Neither of us are terribly hungry and we’ve been at doctor’s appointments and physical therapy all day long.  Needless to say I forgot to defrost any meat and can thaw these tails fast.

This salad is visually appealing and its flavor matches its attractiveness on the plate.  With avocado added to the plate, it is also extremely filling, so I would definitely call this one a main dish.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets.  Paleo and Primal folks can enjoy this one as well!


4 c. mixed salad greens

10 leaves baby spinach

4 San Marzano mini tomatoes, sliced crosswise (or use 8 cherry tomatoes)

2 oz. red bell pepper, sliced thin

½ green onion, chopped into ½” pieces

1 ripe avocado, skin & seed removed, sliced

4 T. homemade mayonnaise, seasoned with your fav blend (I used my Shawarma Mayonnaise)

2 lobster tails (10 oz. in shell, 8 oz. meat yield total)

VARIATION:  Add some finely diced celery and a dash of cayenne pepper to the lobster salad mixture.

DIRECTIONS:  Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of water to a boil.  Drop in lobster tails and boil for about 7-8 minutes.  Remove, cool a bit and holding with a pot holder, cut the tail shell down the “belly” side and remove the meat from the shell.  Cut meat into 1/2″ bite-sized pieces and set aside for now to cool further.

While the lobster is boiling, plate your base salad greens, dividing the above vegetables equally between two serving plates.  In a small bowl, toss the cooled down lobster meat with the homemade mayo and spoon half of the mixture onto the center of the greens on each plate.  You can use a plain, unseasoned homemade mayo, but I like to use a seasoned mayo for salad dressings, particularly good that way with lobster.  Serve salads at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains:

414 cals., 35.4g fat, 13g carbs, 7.25g fiber, 5.75g NET CARBS, 26.45g protein, 415 mg sodium

Chicken Waldorf Salad

Once Atkins followers get to the OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss) carb re-introduction ladder, they can occasionally have a bit of fruit.  I only allow myself to indulge a couple times a month, but it sure is nice.  Sometimes we like to have salads as our main course, and my favorite is a good Waldorf Salad.  

If you use mostly (or all) peeled jicama for the apple in a classic Waldorf Salad, the carbs will be less.  But quite honestly, a little real apple greatly helps in taste.  The nutritional stats below reflect the apple as stated in the recipe.  As a result, this dish isn’t Induction friendly, but it isn’t half bad with just jicama, if you want to try it that way until you graduate out of the Induction Phase.  🙂


1        13 oz. can chicken meat (water pack only), well-drained and flaked apart

1        red apple, UNpeeled and diced

3/4 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 c.      diced celery

¼ c.   homemade mayo

DIRECTIONS: Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl with a spoon and serve in a pretty serving dish (over lettuce if you like).

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 3 servings, each contains:

551 cals, 44.9g fat, 11.9g carbs, 3.6g fiber, 8.3g NET CARBS, 31.6g protein, 152 mg sodium

Bacon Salad

shawarma-bacon-saladThis salad is one of my favorites.  It was the only salad I would eat when I was a child.   It combines two of my very favorite flavors:  bacon and creamy tangy onion.  This yummy salad makes a delightful, light lunch can be enjoyed during all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal-Paleo regiments as well!  Nutritional numbers are approximate, as I can’t know how much of the greens you will put into each salad bowl.   Salads aren’t an exact science in my opinion. Most of the calories and fat are, as you might expect, in the dressing.


6 oz. raw bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces

Enough greens for 4 salads:  romaine or lettuce of choice, green onion, celery, bell pepper

1 small carrot, peeled and slivered with peeler

8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves

6 slices cucumber, sliced again into halves

4 T. my Homemade Mayonnaise or my Shawarma Salad Dressing

3 T. hot bacon grease

DIRECTIONS:  Prepare the salad greens in a large salad serving bowl.  Set aside.  In a skillet, brown the bacon until fully done to your liking.  Dip bacon onto paper towels to drain.  Turn off heat and let skillet cool a few minutes.  Drain off for some other use all but 3 T. of the bacon grease. You only want 3 T.  left in the skillet.  Add the shawarma mayo to the skillet grease and stir quickly.  Pour over the salad greens and top with the cooked bacon.  Serve at once as this salad is supposed to be slightly warm at serving.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 salads, each contains approximately:

409 calories, 43 g fat, 6.45 g carbs, 2.75 g fiber, 3.7 g NET CARBS, 4 g protein, 380 mg sodium

Curried Sweet Potato Soup

As with most of my soups, this one was again a result of leftovers I needed to use up.  And as always, those soups often turn out to be the most delicious!  I had a lot of lean pork shoulder I whittled off a bone for my foundation.  I had two smallish baked sweet potatoes in the refrigerator.  I always have homemade pork stock on hand in my freezer, as I save broth from all roasted pork.  Then I just started adding ingredients I know to be delicious in Indonesian curries and a tasty, filling soup was the result.    

This soup is not suitable until Atkins Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance.  It is perfectly suited for Paleo and Primal diners.  You can reduce the carbs a bit (4.74 net carbs) by using only 1 small sweet potato or about 1/3 c. flesh.


2 oz. onion, sliced

1 T. coconut oil

1 lb. cooked, lean pork, chopped

1/2 tsp. fresh ginger root, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. dried lemon grass (or 1 small stem fresh, chopped, if available)

1/4 tsp. salt

Dash black pepper

1  13.5-oz. can coconut milk

3 c. homemade pork (or chicken) broth

2 c. water

1/4 tsp. Thai red curry paste

2 small baked sweet potatoes (about 3/4 c. flesh yield) [use less to lower carbs]

1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

DIRECTIONS:   Bake the sweet potatoes until done.  Heat coconut oil in a large soup pot and saute union until it begins to brown.  Add garlic and pork and saute a couple minutes.  Split the sweet potatoes with a knife.  Using a fork, mash the flesh and scoop it out and add to the soup pot.  Add to the pot the following:  garlic, ginger, all spices, lemon grass, coconut milk, broth, water and Thai curry paste (if using).  Stir well.  Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook about 5-10 minutes to allow flavors to meld.  Add cilantro and cook 1-2 minutes.  Using either a stick blender, or transferring to a blender in small batches, pulse a couple times to reduce to a not-quite-smooth soup.  Serve garnished with a 1-2 cilantro leaves and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes six  1¼-cup servings, each contains:

294 cals, 20 g fat, 6.73 g carbs, 0.45g fiber, 6.33g NET CARBS, 21 g protein, 262 mg sodium

New England Clam Chowder

Can’t have a soup exposé without including this classic New England clam chowder.  I like Manhattan style (tomato based) as well, but New England style is my preference.   It’s super yummy and always a hit with seafood lovers.  We occasionally drive a half hour to the neighboring town to go to a big Asian grocery store there.  I am able to pick up specialty Asian food items we just can’t get at our local grocery stores.  A couple daikon radishes and Japanese eggplants are usually on that grocery list, along with some Asian sauces and condiments I can’t find locally either.

My local grocers have NEVER carried daikon radishes in their produce department for some reason.  They are not considered to be all that exotic on the American culinary scene, so that’s surprising to me.  I could get them in Galveston, Texas City and just about any store I’ve ever used.   Daikon radish makes a wonderful potato sub in soups!  Very close in flavor and texture, much closer than turnips for a potato sub and much softer in texture than rutabaga as a potato sub.  Rain and chillier weather always makes soup a perfect choice for lunch or dinner!  I always keep a couple cans of clams around, so a no-brainer today.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets if the macros will work for you.


4 oz. bacon, coarsely chopped

3 oz. onion, chopped

10-oz. can of clams, with juice (or 2 6.5 oz. cans)

1 c. daikon radish, peeled, chopped

½ c. parsley, chopped

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

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

½ c. heavy cream

2 c. seafood stock or chicken stock (more, if thinning soup is required)

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

Chop bacon, onion, daikon and parsley and set each aside.  Brown bacon over medium high heat in a 4-quart saucepan.  When it is brown, add the onion and black pepper and sauté to allow it to begin to brown/caramelize.  Add the clams, daikon radish and parsley.  Stir well.  Add the mushroom soup concentrate, the cream and water.  Bring to low boil and lower heat to a simmer about 20-30 minutes or until daikon is just tender.  Stir occasionally during cooking to prevent scorching on bottom of the pan.  A little more water or stock (added very slowly) if soup gets too thick for your liking. Serve at once with some low-carb rolls and a salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes five 1½c. servings, each contains:

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

Kale-Turnip Soup


When you want to add in some greens to your menu plans but don’t want it as a side dish, I tend to go for a soup.  This one is easy to put together.   It one has a simple flavor profile but is quite tasty!  This soup is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo as well.

Many delicious low-carb recipes like this can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends (me included).  Chef George Stella also brings you a wealth of delicious recipes you will love!  Order your personal copies from  Amazon  or our direct order site:


12 oz. pork breakfast sausage

3 oz. red onion, sliced or chopped

2 c. turnip, cut into large cubes

1 medium stalk celery, sliced coarsely

1½ c. kale leaves, stemmed, coarsely cut up

6 c. homemade chicken broth

Dash each sea salt and coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Coarsely crumble the sausage into a soup pot and lightly brown.  Remove to a paper plate.  Sauté the onion in the same pot.  There should be enough grease from the sausage to accomplish this.  Add all remaining ingredients.  Bring pot to a boil and lower heat, simmering just until turnip pieces are tender (about 15-20 minutes maximum.  Kale leaves will be fully cooked at this juncture.  Add back the sausage, stir and serve at once.

VARIATION:  Add 3 T. rice wine vinegar to the pot during simmering for a slightly different tasting soup. Another variation would be to use ground beef or ground lamb instead of pork sausage.  Again, a slightly different tastes with those changes.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 6 nice bowls of soup (about 1-1¼ c. each).  Each serving contains:

243 calories, 19.2 g fat, 5.75 g carbs, 1.35 g fiber, 4.40 g NET CARBS, 18.2 g protein, 495 mg sodium

Louisiana Shrimp Gumbo


This is the best gumbo recipe I’ve found to date and it’s even Induction friendly if you omit the Carbalose® flour.  If you omit the Carbalose®, you can also omit the olive oil, which make up the “roux”.  If on Induction, skip the roux making altogether.  Won’t be quite as tasty, won’t really be gumbo, but rather a seafood stew or soup, but it will be OK for Induction and still have a very nice flavor.

A teacher I used to work with taught me how to make “roux”.  She was born and raised in Louisiana and cooked gumbo for one of our teachers’ social gatherings many years ago.  Though she used smoked sausage instead of bulk pork breakfast sausage, I find I like breakfast sausage better in my gumbo.  Sometimes I use a little of both types of sausage, actually.  Two things I have added to her basic recipe are the stick of butter and the parsley.  She used chicken stock and I prefer seafood stock I get from boiling the shrimp shells for 30 minutes in 1½ quarts of water.  Of course, you can add crab meat (and/or crawfish), but you would have to adjust the nutritional info below if you make these additions.


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

2 T. Carbalose® flour (or CarbQuik®, or oat fiber, for the lowest carb count)

2T. olive oil

1 stick butter (1/2 c.)

½ c. chopped onion

½ c. chopped parsley

3 cloves minced garlic

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

3/4 c. chopped green bell pepper

½ c. chopped celery

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

4 small bay leaves

1 tsp. thyme

10-15 drops Tobasco®

¼ tsp. salt

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

1qt. (4 c.) seafood stock

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

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

DIRECTIONS:  Shell the shrimp (and crawfish, if using).  Place them in a large soup pot and boil in 1½ qts. water 30 minutes.  I make seafood stock ahead and keep extra in my spare freezer in 1 cup portions in plastic tubs for such uses.  Saves so much time and effort when I want gumbo quick!  Then I can just pop one out and add to the pot for soups, gumbos and étouffées.  Scoop out shells with slotted spoon and discard.  Pour stock into bowl and set aside.   Wipe moisture out of pot.

Chop all your vegetables and have them at the ready by the stove top, because once you start to make the roux, you can’t stop to cut them up.

Now you’re ready to make the roux and start the gumbo.  The roux imparts a nutty, browned flour taste to the broth of this dish and if this step is bypassed, you will merely be making an ordinary fish soup with much less depth of flavor.

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

Heat oil and add Carbalose flour (or oat fiber/Carbquik for lower carbs) and whisk constantly on high heat.   You want to brown the roux as dark as you can get it without it getting black.  I you see black bits of burned flour that look like pepper in it, it’s ruined and you’ll have to start again.  This can burn in the blink of an eye, so absolutely do not get distracted or walk away from the stove while making a roux!    The second it gets to a dark brown color, immediately dump the chopped vegetables in the pan to drop the temperature of the roux and halt further burning.  Now add the stick of butter, relax and continue sautéing the vegetables for 5-10 minutes until they wilt and begin to caramelize.  If still on Induction, you could consider omitting the Carbalose flour/roux process entirely and thicken with xanthan gum instead.  You won’t get that nutty flavor browning the flour gives, but it would be OK to do this, I think.

If on Induction and omitting the roux, just begin by melting the butter and sautéing the veggies until tender.  Now add all remaining ingredients (except the gumbo file), including the seafood stock.  Simmer covered on lowest heat for about an hour to meld flavors.  Add okra and simmer about 10 minutes, just until tender.  Slightly thicken your gumbo with xanthan gum, dusting it lightly over surface and stirring constantly.  Repeat xanthan gum additions until gumbo reaches desired thickness (takes about 1/4 tsp or so total).  Add gumbo file last and only simmer 5 minutes longer.  Serve gumbo at once with a salad.

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

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

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

Montreal Chicken Soup


Take a little leftover baked chicken, add some cooked bacon and a little ground pork breakfast sausage, coconut milk and voilà!  A magical soup!  One of my best ever, in fact!    Since the leftover chicken used was some of my extremely popular Montreal Baked Chicken, I decided to increase the Montreal Steak Seasoning in the soup pot to pump the flavor profile up a bit more.  This seasoning has yummy amounts of black pepper and dill in it.  I’m not usually fond of dill, but with the right amount of black pepper, it’s yummy in this soup!

This dish is incredibly rich, has depth of flavor and the strong flavors of bacon and coconut in this soup are divine together.  I served it once as the soup course for our annual neighborhood round-robin dinner party and was it ever a hit!   This one’s a keeper and a must try for my readers who have not yet done so!  This soup is not suitable until the nuts and seeds reintroduction phase of Atkins OWL (Ongoing Weight Losss) phase due to the coconut milk.


12 oz. cooked baked chicken meat, diced

4 oz. bulk pork breakfast sausage or ground pork

4 oz. lean bacon, chopped coarsely

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 T. shallot, chopped (or green onion)

3 cloves garlic, minced

5 oz. mushrooms, sliced

1/3 c. chopped parsley

3/4 c. leek, well washed, thinly sliced

¼ tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1½ tsp. homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning

4 oz. cream cheese

1/4 c. heavy cream

3/4 c. coconut milk

2 c. homemade chicken stock (low sodium)

2-3 c. water (to desired thickness)

1 tsp. chia seeds, ground (I use 50:50 dark and white)

DIRECTIONS:  Cut up the chicken into small bites and set aside.  Cut bacon and brown a bit, add onion, leek and garlic.  Sauté until onion is getting tender.  Add sausage, mushrooms, parsley, and all seasonings.  Sauté, stirring for 4-5 minutes. Add in cream cheese in small bits at a time, the diced chicken, chicken stock, water, coconut milk and ground chia seed.  Simmer over low heat for about 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.  Lower heat and stir in heavy cream.  Simmer about 5 minutes longer at lowest heat to slightly thicken up. Add a bit more water if the overall soup is too thick or doesn’t have enough liquid for your liking.  I found I wanted 1 c. more water in mine, as I don’t like too high a solids to liquid ratio in my soups.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Entire recipe has 35 net carbs.  I found my recipe made eight 1-cup servings, each containing:

315 calories

25.4 g  fat

5.74 g  carbs, 1.38 g  fiber, 4.36 NET CARBS

16.5 g  protein

580 mg sodium

Shrimp and Sausage Bisque

This is one of my most scrumptious seafood bisque recipes.  It can be prepared in just 1 hour, too!  I used my trusty gumbo recipe of many years and basically made that (minus classic okra) and used cream instead of canned tomatoes in my gumbo recipe to make it more like a bisque.  WOW!  We LOVED IT!  This one is a keeper for sure!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, provided those still on Induction omit the white wine and those on Paleo use coconut milk instead of cream.

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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 3-4 pieces (or 22 cherry tomatoes, cut in half)

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

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

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

Thai Chicken-Pumpkin Soup

Texas is seeing quite a chill in the air for April.  I went out looking for some bedding plants and was so cold wandering my favorite nursery, I just drove back home when done there, despite having a haircut and grocery shopping on my errand list. 

When it’s a chilly 52º, it’s not quite cold enough for making chili, but pumpkin and winter squash soups are nice at such times.  For this delicious soup, I just need a couple things in my pantry.  I use Sam’s “Daily Chef” canned chicken meat as it only has chicken, salt and water in it.  No modified food starch or other junk ingredients.  I always have some homemade chicken stock in my freezer, so this is an easy lunch for me.  This soup is quite tasty and is very nutritious, too.  I went for a Thai flavor today.  GOOD choice for my key ingredients!  This recipe isn’t suitable until you reach the nuts and seeds rung of Atkins Phase 2 OWL carb ladder.  It is perfectly suited to other Keto diets and Primal-Paleo as well.


1  15-oz. can pumpkin puree (please do not use spiced pumpkin pie filling!)

1  can (13 oz.) coconut milk

3 c. homemade chicken broth

¼ c. packed, fresh cilantro, chopped

¼ tsp. salt

Dash black pepper

¼ c. green onion, finely chopped

1 tsp. Thai Red Curry Paste (or to taste)

1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce

½ tsp. Thai fish sauce (I use Thai Kitchen brand)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1  can (13 oz) chicken meat (salt/water pack, with broth)

OPTIONAL GARNISH:  Sprig of fresh cilantro or my 8-seed Spice Blend

DIRECTIONS:   Basically, place all ingredients into a large soup pot, stir well and bring to a boil and then lower heat.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Although not absolutely necessary, use a stick blender to puree the soup if desired.  Garnish with sprig of cilantro or seed blend of choice.  

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes five 1½ c. servings, each contains:

273 calories, 19.2 g  fat, 10.2 g  carbs, 2.6 g  fiber, 7.6 g  NET CARBS, 13.66 g  protein, 432 mg sodium

Tomato Soup al Pesto

I have never liked how sweet canned tomato soup was.  Wouldn’t eat the stuff as a child.   But for some strange reason, I was craving tomato soup today and thought I can must make mine from scratch……..even better!  Made it a little different though.  It was thick and very flavorful.  Cream can be added for extra richness, but that is not used or included here.  This is Atkins Induction friendly at all phases and Keto friendly as well.  Paleo and Primal folks can have this delicious soup, too.


2    14-oz. can of diced tomatoes, no-salt added

12 oz. cauliflower, cooked and well-drained ( ½ large head)

4 oz. onion, chopped

3 T. my pesto sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:  Cook cauliflower in your usual manner, drain and pour into a bowl.  Cook tomatoes and onion in the same pot until very tender.    Add the cauliflower to the tomatoes and onion.  Add the 3T. pesto sauce.  Either using a stick blender or a food processor (in small batches) pulse/blend until fairly smooth.  Add hot water if you find it too thick for your liking.  Serve garnished with a fresh basil sprig as shown, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, or a sprinkle of parsley.  This would pair nicely with a salad and a piece of your favorite low-carb garlic bread.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 5 large bowls, each contains:

116 cals, 6.2g fat, 11.8g carbs, 3.9g fiber, 7.4g NET CARBS, 3.5g protein, 174 mg sodium

Fish Dill Chowder

I’ve been making this chowder for many many years.  It was actually a recipe my father created when I was in high school.  Daddy was the real cook in the family.  I can only emulate his culinary skill in the kitchen now that he is gone.   I’m not very fond of dill, and yet this was delicious then and is still one of my all-time favorite seafood chowders.   this one will pleasantly surprise you should you decide to give it a go.  

In my opinion, Redfish is best for chowders.  It is so firm (often  have to cut with a steak knife) it holds up to cooking without falling apart in the soup.  although readily available when I lived in Galveston, it is hard to come by for most of us.  The other fish varieties indicated below will also work nicely in this chowder if added last just before serving.  I often have to use whatever fish I can get here in Central Texas, since I no longer live on Galveston Island. 

The flavor balance of the fish, wine and dill in this recipe is quite delicate, so this is one fish chowder I would NOT recommend adding additional shellfish to.   The one time I added shrimp or clams, this just wasn’t as good a soup.   Dill just doesn’t seem to compliment shellfish quite like it does whole fish.  My original recipe called for 2 c. diced potato, not allowed on a low-carb regimen.   I substitute diced red radishes, parsnips, daikon radish  or rutabaga for the potato stand-in here.  If you’re up to the starchy veggie rung of the OWL carb ladder, I’d lean toward the rutabaga myself.  

Added note: I regularly make seafood stock from all my shrimp/lobster shells (simmered 30 min. in water) and keep frozen at all times in 1 & 2 cup jars.  Makes a recipe like this easy to put together.

A nice variation on this recipe is to use a little coconut milk for some of the cream.  I find the bacon simmering in this adds enough saltiness for us, but by all means, add more if you feel it needs it.   🙂  Induction friendly recipe if wine is omitted.


6 slices bacon, coarsely chopped

3 oz. onion, chopped

¼ c. parsley, chopped

¼ tsp. dill seed

2 sprigs fresh dill

8 c. seafood stock

1 c. heavy cream

2 lb. mild fish filets (Redfish if available, otherwise, any boneless fish filets will do), cut into 1″ chunks

½ c. dry white wine (omit if on Induction phase)

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

¼ tsp. black pepper

DIRECTIONS: On high heat, brown bacon in large stew pot until just done, not crisp.  Add onion and sauté until onion begins to brown and caramelize.  If you wish to add a starchy vegetable, pass on the potatoes and add lower carb diced rutabaga, daikon radish, red radishes, turnip or rutabaga.  Be sure to add those values in to the nutritional info provided below.  Add all remaining ingredients except the fish and cream.  Allow chowder to come to a boil and then immediately lower heat.  Simmer 30 minutes or until all vegetables added are tender.   When tender, add fish and cream.  Continue simmering on lowest heat just long enough for fish to go opaque.  Do not overcook lest the fish fall apart into threads in your liquid.  Won’t hurt the taste, but somewhat less attractive visually.  I usually add right before I want to serve the chowder.   You can turn the fire off awhile before adding the fish and cream with no harm to final soup.  Thicken with your favorite thickener if not thick enough for your preference.  Garnished service bowl with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 8 large bowls, each containing:

180 cals, 9.86 g fat, 3.25 g carbs, 0.66 g fiber, 2.59g NET CARBS, 22.4 g protein, 993 mg sodium (can be reduced with less bacon)

“Tortilla” Soup

Tortilla Soup is one of my favorites at Mexican restaurants.  My rendition here is delicious beyond words so I hope you’ll try this one!

My very first exposure to Tortilla soup was at a little place in San Antonio called El Mirador (Spanish for ‘mirror’). My Dad and Mom kept bringing up how fantastic this soup was and we finally went there on one of my visits to try it.   What a flavor delight!  It was every bit as good as my parents had advertised!  Let me tell you, I’ve had it many places since and none shine a light to El Mirador’s rendering of it.  🙂  I know the restaurant is still there and assume they are still offering this wonderful soup, but it looks like at their website linked above, they have changed the name of the soup to Chicken Cilantro Soup.  I’m sure it’s the same soup though.  You San Antonio dwellers who were unaware of this culinary treat need to get on over to El Mirado and try it if you haven’t yet!  The rest of you might want to try my version of it.  

I’ve tried to recreate that wonderful soup ever since I tasted it!  I’ve gotten pretty close, but it’s still not quite as good as theirs.  Not a true “mirror” version, in other words.  This low-carb rendition, without the little strips of crisp tortillas strips (very high in carbs) typically atop tortilla soup, will blow your socks off!  If the base soup is good enough, you really don’t need the tortilla strips for this to be delicious.  This recipe is Atkins Induction friendly and also suitable for Keto and Primal lifestyles.  Paleo followers will want to omit the cream or sub in coconut milk (which will greatly change the final flavor).


13 oz. cooked chicken meat (canned with juice is just fine in this)

1 qt. water + 2 c. homemade, low-salt chicken broth

1  oz. tomato paste

1 c. yellow squash, diced (about ½ med-large squash)

2 oz. yellow onion

2 oz. green bell pepper

1 oz. poblano pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 tsp. chili powder

dash chipotle chile powder (or 1 small chipotle in adobo, rinsed, seeded and mashed)

1 small Guajillo chile, seeded and chopped (these are very mild and found in most stores’ produce dept. dried, sold in a bag)

Dash cumin

1/4 c. heavy cream

VARIATION:   Bake thin strips of 1 cut-up corn tortilla until crisp and top each serving with a few.  Be sure to recalculate your numbers if you make this carb-y change.

DIRECTIONS:  Cut chicken meat up into small pieces.  If using canned meat, just break up the large chunks.  Put all ingredients but the cream into soup pot.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer until squash and all veggies are tender but not falling apart (about 15-20 minutes).  Turn heat to lowest setting. Now add cream and stir.  If you like, you can puree this soup with a stick blender or in small batches in your food processor.  I’ve done the soup both ways and prefer it chunky, as El Mirador served theirs.  

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  Serves 4, each serving contains:

283 calories, 15.1 g.  fat, 6.95 g.  carbs, 1.6 g.  fiber, 5.35 NET CARBS, 26.3 g.  protein, 780 mg sodium

Lobster Bisque

It’s hard for me to believe I would NOT eat lobster (or crab) when I was a child.  We lived on the east coast when I was in high school and I still did not care for either seafood.  Now, they are my absolute favorite seafoods!   Go figure!  Whenever I buy lobster (which I often do at Christmas or New Year’s  feasting), I invariably have a tail or two leftover.  I tend to overbuy by 2 tails to be sure I have enough for even the hardy eaters. 

The lobster tails I bought this year were so large, the two leftover tails weighed in at 17 oz.  !  So I made one of my favorite lobster dishes for lunch with them,  Lobster Bisque.  I added the leek as an after thought, but it was actually quite good in it.  I had 1/3 of a huge head of cauliflower I needed to use up, so I cooked and pureed to add as thickener for my bisque.    Still had to use a bit of xanthan gum to get it as thick as I like.   If you want to trim the carb count on this, you could increase the lobster broth and decrease the cream, but I promise it won’t be as rich or good.  But that is certainly an option if you’re about out of carbs for the day.  One of the reasons the carb count is a bit high on this is that lobster itself has carbs!  This is not suitable for Induction unless you leave out the sherry.  Sadly it just won’t be as good without it, but it’ll be OK :).  Those still on Induction would also need to reduce the cream to 1 c. and increase the stock to 4 cups.


16 oz. boiled lobster tail meat (4 small or 2 large)

3 c. lobster stock (use the lobster boil water)

¾ leek, rinsed, sliced thin

1/3 large head cauliflower, cooked

2 c. heavy cream (to cut calories & carbs, use 1 c. cream + 1 cup seafood broth)

2 oz. tomato paste

3 oz. sherry (or white wine)

plan suitable thickener (I use xanthan gum, about ¼ tsp.)

1/2 stick butter (4 T.)

DIRECTIONS: Boil or steam cauliflower until tender.   Drain well and puree in blender or food processor.  Boil lobster tails in water 1 minute per tail oz.  Chop lobster meat coarsely.  Reserve 3 c. lobster water in the pot for this recipe and freeze the rest for future use.  You can either sauté the sliced leeks in a bit of butter or just simmer them in the 3 c. reserved stock until tender.  Add all remaining ingredients and stir well to be sure you diffuse the globs of tomato paste (using the back of your spoon against the wall of the cooking pot).  Simmer the bisque on lowest heat, covered, for about 30 minutes.   Right before serving, lightly dust your thickener on surface and stir in, waiting a minute or two to see how thick it is getting.  Repeat 2-3 times until desired thickness is achieved.  Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley if desired.  

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each containing:

332 calories, 15.8 g  fat, 14.98 g  carbs, 2.4 g  fiber, 12.5 g  NET CARBS, 28.68 g  protein, 923 mg sodium


Texas Bone Broth Soup

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Bone broth is so very good for you!  I make it, freeze it and use it at every opportunity in my cooking.  I like to collect my grass-fed beef bones in a large plastic bag in the freezer.  Then when I have a big batch, I make extra rich bone broth from them.  The man who leases our pasture down at our rural cabin property gives me grass-fed beef bones regularly, as he doesn’t save them.  His wife doesn’t cook much, apparently, and since he does most of the cooking, he isn’t into making soups and such and never keeps the bones.  His loss is my gain, is how I look at it.

I happened to have  1½ quarts of made-up broth in my freezer the day I made this soup.  Everyday is a good day for soup, non?   I didn’t need to add too much to the pot, it was so rich.  Just a few vegetables and some leftover grass-fed brisket that was also in the refrigerator.  I tossed in a couple things to spice it up and VOILA!  Another delicious, hearty soup for a chilly winter day.  This soup is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal-Paleo as well.


1½ qts. (6 cups) beef bone broth

1 c. rich, beef gravy or roast pan drippings (or beef broth)

8 oz. cooked beef, diced

½ c. Rotel tomatoes with green chilies

1 c. diced canned tomatoes (I use no-salt)

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 small carrots, chopped

4 T. my chimichurri sauce:  (or 2 T. each fresh parsley, cilantro and minced jalapeno pepper)

½ tsp. your favorite chili powder blend (I used smoky chipotle, guajillo and ancho)

2 cloves garlic, minced

Dash each salt & coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS:   Place all ingredients in a large soup pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer for at least 1 hour to cook vegetables tender and to blend the flavors together.  Serve with your favorite low-carb crackers.  I served mine with my new Almond-Arrowroot Crackers.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 large bowls (about 1-1¼c. each).  Each serving contains:

228 cals, 14.5g fat, 6.01g carbs, 1.61g fiber, 4.4g NET CARBS, 16.4g protein, 262 mg sodium

“Potato” Soup

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Probably the first low-carb soup I made when I began my low-carb journey 14 years ago.  Potato soup has always been my favorite creamy soup, so it was only logical it would be my first attempt at a low-carb version of one of my comfort foods.   My husband is a sandwich man at lunch, but I’ve always been a soup gal.  He tells me I have created probably  one new soup every week of my life.  My husband says I’ve never made a bad soup over the 54 years we’ve been married and I’ve almost made him a soup kind of guy now, too.

I have so many soups on my blog now, I think it is the largest category hands down.  I thought I’d feature come of my best soups this week.  This way I can share some oldies with my newer followers and remind my long-time readers of the many you keep meaning to try.  One of my favorite sayings applies here:  Too many recipes; too little time.

This “potato” soup is a low-carb version of the famous French Vichissoise, but I serve mine warm like a regular American potato soup.  I’ve never been fond of any of the famous cold soups:  vichissoise, ciopinno or gazpacho.  In Texas we like our my soup hot (in more ways than one  🙂 ).  This recipe is Atkins Induction friendly.  In fact, it (and the one-minute-muffin) are what got me THROUGH Induction, to be honest.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and other talented low-carb cooks over the years along the way to bring you a wealth of delicious low-carb recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in each of the volumes! Order yours from Amazon or:


1  medium head cauliflower (about 12 oz.)

4 c. chicken broth, low-sodium or homemade

1½ c. leeks, cleaned, chopped or sliced thin

2 shallots, chopped fine

½  stick (4 T.) unsalted butter

¼ tsp. each salt & black pepper

1 T. green onion or chives, chopped (optional garnish)

½ c. heavy cream

OPTIONAL:  ¼ c. dry white wine

DIRECTIONS:   Cut cauliflower into flowerets and place in large soup pot.  Cut root off l leek and then cut the leek lengthwise in half.  Wash all “hiding” dirt from between the leaves, as it will really hide there!  You don’t want grit in your soup.  Slice thin 1½ c. of leek off and add to the soup pot.  Add broth, shallots, salt, pepper and butter.  Bring to a boil and lower heat to a slow simmer.  Cook until leeks and cauliflower are completely done.  Add heavy cream (and wine if using wine) and simmer on lowest heat for about 5 more minutes.  Using either a stick blender right in the pot (LOVE my stick blender), or doing in small batches in your processor or regular blender, puree the soup until smooth.  Chill if serving cold, as is traditional for this soup.  When ready to serve, dip into 4 bowls and garnish with a bit of chopped green onion or chives.  Serve with your favorite, program-acceptable bread and a nice salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  Makes 4  servings about 1½ cups in size.  Each contains:

194 cals, 15.3g fat, 10.45g carbs, 4.10g fiber, 6.35g NET CARBS, 5.93g protein, 796 mg sodium

Peggy’s Texas Chili

Peggy's Texas Chili

How about a bowl of hearty Texas Chili (the dish is spelled this way) this week for lunch to wrap up our American foods celebration.  Doesn’t get more American in wintertime than a good bowl of hearty chili!  Many will tell you this is not American food, but I beg to differ.  You see chile  sauce is actually Mexican in origin.  But traditionally they do not put anything but cumin, chiles and garlic in chile sauce….no meat.    It is merely a sauce for topping meat-filled burritos and enchiladas in Mexico.  Food historians think the addition of meat and evolution of Texas chili came about when Mexican vaqueros (horsemen and cattle drivers) way back in Texas’ history, were hired to herd cattle and also to cook on those long cattle drives up to Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas.

I’ve read recipes that call for stale coffee, Mexican oregano, and even chocolate! In my elementary school in Alabama, they put a scoop of white rice on top of the chili they served.  THAT is most DEFINITELY sacrilege.  I always scooped it off mine the year we lived there.  😉   Although those other items I mentioned are often included at chili cookoff recipes, I am inclined to think only the stale coffee is accurate for what was eaten on cattle drives.

One tends to cook as you ate as a child, so these Mexican cooks surely knew how to make a simple chile sauce, having watched their mothers and grandmothers preparing it.  There was certainly plenty of beef and stale coffee available on cattle drives, so the transition to the American ‘variation on a theme’, adding meat, was only natural over time.  Truth be told, we may never solve the ongoing argument in Texas as to whether chili should or should not have beans, but what I DO know is one of my readers several years back took the time to chime in with a comment (see below).  His grandfather was a part of those cattle drives and came back telling stories of eating chili with beans, and tomatoes, too,  if they had any.  I’m sticking with his story.  🙂

I suspect they used canned small red beans, but don’t really know what kind of beans were canned in the 19th century when most of the cattle drives took place.  Right or wrong, I personally include beans to “tame” the heat of the chile peppers in it.  Many of my readers know well I don’t like food that is too spicy, nor does my body.  My entire family, 3 generations now, always included a small amount of beans into the chili pot.  But it’s clear to say, people are dead set on their chili preferences.  I guess it’s another example of “You do you; I’ll do me”.   For certain, I’ve never had a Texan back away from a bowl of my chili, so there you have it, as the Brits say.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you try my chili recipe.  🙂

Chili has to simmer quite awhile for the flavors to blend, so I make big batches and freeze the leftovers for future quick meals.  This recipe makes 8 large adult-size bowls or 16 small one cup servings for children.  The nutritional info is calculated with the can of Eden black soy beans, making the recipe as written unacceptable for Induction.  If you omit the beans, this chili recipe is perfectly suitable to enjoy during Atkins Phase 1 Induction!   🙂

I use several different chile peppers in this recipe, but each has a distinctive flavor they bring to the final bowl of flavor.  Anchos and guajillos are extremely mild as a general rule of thumb; the serrano and Chimayo are hotter.   Of course, you can change up the peppers called for (maybe hatch or ghost peppers?), if you can’t get some called for, but in doing so, you will definitely change the final flavor and most assuredly the ‘heat’ factor of your chili over mine as written. Below left dried ancho chilis are shown if you’re not familiar.  Guajillos shown below right.  Most grocery stores have them dried in the produce aisle of your store or on a special rack in the Mexican food aisle.


3 lb. ground beef

4 oz. onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

2   4 oz. cans chopped green chiles (mild)

1  10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles (mild, or original)

1  14.5 oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes, preferably no-salt

3 c. water

1 T. ordinary chili powder (I use 50:50 Bolners Fiesta & Chimayo blends)

½ tsp. ancho chili powder (or ¼ dried ancho pepper, seeded, chopped) 

2 tsp. ground cumin (more if you’re a fan)

1  dried Guajillo chile pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tiny Serrano pepper, seeded and chopped (or Jalapeno)

2 tomatillos, skin removed and chopped

1 c. cilantro, chopped (optional)

14.5 oz. can black soy beans (I use Eden brand)

2 T. tomato paste

DIRECTIONS: Over medium-high heat, brown meat and onion in large stew pot.  When done, add all remaining ingredients but the tomato paste and beans.  After the chili comes to a low boil, scrape bottom of pot, reduce fire to lowest heat possible, cover tightly and simmer for 1-2 hours (the longer the better, so the tomatoes literally cook apart into the liquid).  Stir often during the 2-hours of cooking to avoid scorching on the bottom of the pan.  Waiting to add beans the last 30 minutes of cooking will reduce this scorching tendency from the starch breaking down in the liquid if overcooked.  Add a little water throughout cooking, if needed, but only if mixture gets too thick to stir or is scorching too fast on the bottom of the pot.   When done, dip up and garnish with a sprinkle of Cheddar cheese (optional) and cilantro (if you’re a fan) on top for garnish.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 8 large 2-cup adult servings (or 16 one-cup servings).  Each adult-size 2-cup bowl contains:  (numbers calculated using the Eden soy black beans beans).  A 1-cup child portion has half this amount.

540 calories, 32 g  fat, 10.6 g carbs, 4.73 g fiber, 5.87 g NET CARBS (less without the beans), 49.5 g protein, 935 mg sodium