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Archive for the ‘MAIN DISHES’ Category

eggplant-torte-before-slicing-2I’m really on an eggplant kick this week.  It’s so delicious and versatile as well.  So many ways to prepare it, either alone or in combination with other vegetables and meats.  I even have a Jicama-Eggplant Dressing  and an Eggplant-Sausage Stuffing that are both out of this world!

I’m always been fascinated by layered terrines when the chefs press them into terrine pans on television cooking shows.  They are even prettier, and can be quite colorful with the right ingredients, when they are sliced.  My only terrine experiment to date has been one with eggplant and ground beef that resembles lasagna in appearance and flavor.  For that one, I used a non-stick meatloaf pan that is extra long (12″ x 4″).  I debated on whether to use spaghetti sauce or a beaten egg-cream mixture and opted for the red this time.  I will be trying the other version soon though. 🙂  I used “Classico” brand Tomato & Basil spaghetti sauce (6 NC per ½ cup) and used VERY little of it between each layer of the torte to avoid it being “soupy”.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal Blueprint.

VARIATIONS:  Omit the pound of ground beef for a more dominant eggplant-tasting dish.  Another variation would be to omit the red spaghetti sauce and use a sauce of 4 eggs beaten with 1/4 c. heavy cream spread between the layers.  You will need to recalculate carbs with these variations.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. eggplant, sliced thin 1/8″ thick (allow more time for thicker slicing)

1 lb. ground beef

1 c. low-carb  meatless spaghetti sauce of your choice

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

8 basil leaves, chopped

¼ c. shredded Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:    Preheat oven to 350º.  Oil a terrine pan or meatloaf pan lightly and set aside.  Stem and cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/8″ thin slices (for fastest cooking time).  Set aside.  In a skillet brown the ground beef.  Add the basil and stir until it is wilted.  Remove from heat.

To construct the terrine, place a single layer of eggplant slices on the bottom of the oiled pan.  Dot with about 3 T. sauce and spread evenly with the back of your spoon. This is not much sauce, but you do not want this torte to come out soupy, so this is intentional. Top with about ¼ of the meat.  Sprinkle with ¼ c. mozzarella.  Place another layer of eggplant on the top.  Press all down firmly with your fingers to compact.  Repeat with the sauce, ¼ of the meat and cheese.  Place the third single layer of eggplant slices and again press down firmly.  Repeat with the sauce, ¼ of the meat, and cheese. Place the final layer of eggplant on top, the rest of the sauce, the last of the meat and the last of the mozzarella shreds. Press down again to compact the layers.

eggplant-torte-before-slicing-1If you should have any unused eggplant slices,  you can either decorate a final layer as shown (left) if serving to company, save the remaining eggplant for another day’s soup or chop it up for a future casserole.  Sprinkle the top of the torte with the ¼ c. Parmesan cheese and cover tightly with foil.    Bake at 350º for 45 minutes,then remove foil and bake another 10 minutes or until lightly browned on top.  If knife goes into center easily, it is completely done.  Thicker eggplant will require probably 15 more minutes cooking time.    Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before attempting to cut into four equal servings.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 4 servings, each contains:

445 calories, 31 g fat, 10.15 g carbs, 3.92 g fiber, 7.23 g NET CARBS, 30.6 g protein, 516 mg sodium

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Shrimp-Crawfish PiroguesThis dish was born from 1 c. of leftover Cheesy Crawfish-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.

Of course, you are not going to have this Cheesy Crawfish Casserole leftover in your freezer, so you might want to make 1/3 recipe of that dish in the afternoon (or on a prior occasion) to have the 2 cups needed for this dish.

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own copy of our cookbooks  LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  Volume 8, by Jennifer Eloff, Chef George Stella of Food Network fame, and myself, is almost exclusively comprised of my recipes with some new creations by Chef George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.  Order your copy (or any of our  cookbooks) from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. (1/3 recipe) my Cheesy Crawfish-Squash Casserole (without topping)

1 recipe my Mozzy Dough

20 large shrimp, peeled and de-veined

3 T. unsalted butter

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

¼ c. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:  Make the Cheesy Crawfish-Squash Dish per that recipe’s instruction only do not put the topping on it.  Dip up 2 cups of the mixture for this pirogue recipe and freeze the rest for another meal. Stir the 3 T. cream into the 2 c. of seafood mixture and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350º.  Make a recipe of my Mozzy Dough per that recipe’s instructions.  Divide the dough ball into four equal parts.  Press each portion either into the bottom and sides of an oblong, oval pirogue pan, in banana split dishes, corn-on-the-cob dishes or you can just roll out the dough into four 7″x3½” flat ovals on a parchment-lined pan 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 silicone), so you’ll end up with a much shallower boat than you started out with, so be sure to press the dough high up the sides to start out. Mine started out 2″ tall yet ended up about more like 1″ tall when done.  I only have 1 of the little pirogue silicone pans, so I baked my 2 shells one at a time.  No problem.  There are just 2 in my family so I halved this particular recipe for us.  Pan I used: 

Pop the pastry shells (place silicone pans on metal sheet pan for support in oven) 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!)

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This is one of those concoctions that doesn’t photograph too well, but it sure tasted good!  I had a small piece of smoked sausage leftover in the fridge I wanted to use up for our lunch today and this is what I came up with.  I went kind of light on spices, but it still had a distinct, yummy Mexican flair from the chili powder and cumin.  We both enjoyed this and I will make this one again.  It sure went together fast.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets.  Primal and Paleo devotees can also enjoy this one!

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own copy of our cookbooks  LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  Volume 8, by Jennifer Eloff, Chef George Stella of Food Network fame, and myself, is almost exclusively comprised of my recipes with some new creations by Chef George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.  Order your copy (or any of our  cookbooks) from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. bacon grease

2 oz. onion, chopped

6 oz. smoked sausage, sliced

8 oz. zucchini, sliced (I used calaba squash, zucchini’s cousin)

2 oz. red bell pepper, sliced

1 Roma tomato, diced coarsely

1/8 tsp. each chili powder, garlic powder & cumin

½ c. each Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese

½ c. cilantro, chopped

VARIATION:  Substitute 1/2 lb. ground beef or crumbled breakfast sausage for the smoked sausage and you will have two totally different ways to prepare this dish. 

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Melt bacon grease in skillet over high heat.  Add onion and saute until begins to brown.  Add squash slices and stir-fry until it, too, is beginning to brown.  Add the sausage slices, bell pepper and tomato.  Lower heat and add the spices and stir well.  Saute just a few more minutes and remove from heat.  You can bake/serve in this skillet or you can transfer to a lightly oiled baking dish.  Sprinkle the cilantro and both cheeses evenly on top.  Pop into hot 350º for about 20 minutes or until cheeses are melted and flavors have melded well.  Remove and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:

335 cals, 25.5g fat, 7.83g carbs, 2.1g fiber, 5.73g NET CARBS, 20g protein, 889mg sodium

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This was what we had for lunch today.  I love this recipe in the summertime!  So easy to throw together for lunch without heating up the kitchen.  When I have a little leftover cooked chicken or steak, I like to add it to the top of this salad to make it a complete meal.  But this salad is delicious without any meat at all!  🙂 .  This can tasty dish be enjoyed by people on all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  It is suitable for Primal-Paleo followers as well.

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own copy of our cookbooks  LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  Volume 8, by Jennifer Eloff, Chef George Stella of Food Network fame, and myself, is almost exclusively comprised of my recipes with some new creations by Chef George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.  Order your copy (or any of our  cookbooks) from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. lime juice

2 T. rice vinegar

2T. + 2 tsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. hot sesame oil (or ¼ tsp. Sriracha sauce)

3-4 drops liquid sweetener

3 T. low-sodium soy sauce

1 tsp. minced fresh ginger

6 c. shredded Napa cabbage

1 c. chopped fresh cilantro

1 shredded carrot

½ fresh jalapeno, seeded, sliced in small julienne strips

OPTIONAL:  2 T. peanut butter added to dressing (not calculated in below).  Leftover cooked steak (or chicken as shown above). Adding ½ c/ chicken to each serving adds about 150 calories, 9g fat, 18g protein to each serving.

DIRECTIONS:  Whisk first 7 ingredients together in a small bowl for the dressing.  Set aside.  Shred/slice napa cabbage and place in large bowl.  Add grated carrot, cilantro and julienned jalapeno.  Toss well and plate servings.  You can alternately so plate directly in layers on each person’s plate if you prefer (what I in the photo above).  If adding any meat, sprinkle in equal amounts on each serving.  Provide dressing in individual small cups for each person to add as they please.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each containing approximately:

95 calories, 3.6 g  fat, 2.9 g  protein, 13.5 g  carbs, 5.0 g  fiber, 8.5 g  NET CARBS, 350 mg sodium

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I just love roasted vegetables and this combination is a new one for me.  First time I’ve roasted cauliflower.  Very tasty!  Not sure it’s my personal favorite way to have cauliflower, but it was certainly delicious.  I know many just rave about roasted cauliflower, so this recipe should be their cup of tea.  And it’s so easy.  The luscious, garlic-y aroma from the kitchen while it bakes really gets your appetite going!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal/Paleo as well.

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own copy of our cookbooks  LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  Volume 8, by Jennifer Eloff, Chef George Stella of Food Network fame, and myself, is almost exclusively comprised of my recipes with some new creations by Chef George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.  Order your copy (or any of our  cookbooks) from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.

INGREDIENTS:

6 pieces of chicken, your choice (1 lg. breast, halved, 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs)

2 large plum tomatoes, cut in wedges

6 large flowerets cauliflower (I used 1 small head cut in 6 pieces)

4 oz. yellow onion, sliced lengthwise

6 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely

½ tsp. oregano leaves, dried, crushed

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

¼ c. extra virgin olive oil

OPTIONAL:  Juice of 1 small lemon

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375º.  I actually roasted mine on “convection/roast”.  Place chicken pieces on large baking pan with space between the pieces.  Place tomato wedges between the chicken pieces.  Add the cauliflower chunks evenly in the pan.  Finally poke the garlic between items.  Lay the slices of onion among and on top of the meat pieces.  You want a few of those to brown off while cooking, for the rich flavor they will acquire in browning.  Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice (if using) evenly over everything in the pan.  Sprinkle evenly with the pepper and oregano.  Pop pan into 350º oven and bake/roast for about 1 hour – 1hr. 10 minutes or until chicken pieces are fully done.  If you’ll make a cut into the thickest parts of the chicken pieces, they will cook faster and take only around 45 minutes.  Ovens vary, so keep and eye out and lower temperature to 350º if you think the food is browning too much way before the meat is done.  Remove and serve with a fresh green salad topped with an Italian or Greek dressing.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

385 cals., 39g fat if all pan juices consumed (unlikely), 8.46g carbs, 1.93g fiber, 6.53g NET CARBS, 43g protein, 610 mg sodium

 

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Shrimp "Crowned" Swai with Creamy Cauliflower

This delightful seafood dinner was just one of those incredibly successful uses of a dab of some leftovers in the refrigerator.   You’ve had those, too, I’m sure.  My husband calls me the Queen of Leftovers!  I had a little leftover Smoked Gouda Cauliflower , exactly 1 c. to be exact.  It was right at eye level in my refrigerator today, sitting beside the two fish filets and bag of shrimp I thawed for dinner.  I had yet to decide how to prepare my fish and shrimp this evening.   I just DO NOT like storing leftovers more than 2 days.  Thus, this idea “hatched” and what a tasty “egg” it turned out to be!  I decided to serve it atop a bed of sauteed fresh spinach, but that didn’t have great flavor impact on the final dish, so I’d say the bed of spinach is purely optional here.  But since that’s how I prepared it and photographed it, I have included it in the recipe and nutritional calculations below.  This dish is perfectly suitable for all phases of Atkins and Primal diners who eat occasional dairy.  This is not suitable for Paleo due to the cheese, but a creamy homemade mayo might be subbed into the cauliflower mixture, resulting in an equally tasty and allowable dish for my Paleo readers!

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php DISCLAIMER: I do not get paid for this book promotion or for the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so merely because they are GREAT cookbooks any low-carb cook would be proud to add to their cookbook collection

INGREDIENTS:

2   6-oz. filets of mild fish of your choice

12 medium shrimp, peeled, de-veined, tails left on for visual impact

5 oz. raw spinach

1 T. bacon grease

2 T. butter (I use unsalted)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T. lemon juice

1 c. cooked cauliflower, drained and slightly mashed with a fork

1 oz. each cream cheese (softened) and Smoked Gouda (grated)

1/8 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

2 tsp. parsley, chopped (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat your broiler. Steam or boil cauliflower, slightly mash with a fork and stir in the two cheeses so they will begin to melt.  With the cold butter (or olive oil), lightly grease 2 individual baking pans or a heat-proof baking platter (which I used).  In another small baking pan, melt the rest of the butter in your oven.  Remove, add minced garlic and Seafood spice Blend to the butter and stir.  Holding the shrimps by the tail, coat each on both sides with the seasoned butter, lay them flat in the pan and broil the shrimp just a few minutes to slightly brown. Remove shrimp from broiler and change oven setting to 350º. In a small skillet, melt the bacon grease and saute the spinach leaves just until wilted.  Place half the spinach into two lengthwise batches on your platter (or into individual serving dishes), roughly the size of your fish filets.  Lay a fish filet atop each batch of spinach.  Neatly spoon half the cauliflower mixture down the center of each filet, pressing flat with the back of your spoon (which will allow for more even cooking of the fish).  Attractively lay 6 broiled shrimp in a row on each filet as seen int he pic above. Next, squeeze the lemon juice into the juices left in the pan you broiled your shrimp in.  Stir and drizzle over each serving.  Pop into 350º oven for about 20-30 minutes or until fish is opaque.  Shrimp should be beautifully golden now.  Remove from oven, garnish with the chopped parsley and ENJOY!  I served with a nice green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains:

435 calories, 31.6 g  fat, 7.6 g  carbs, 2.8 g  fiber, 4.8 g  NET CARBS, 34.1 g  protein

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Tamale Pie

Tamale Pie

My mother used to make a dish she called Tamale Pie that had a wonderful cornmeal masa topping that was baked on top.  I just loved this dish.  Well cornmeal is so carb-pricey I just won’t use it anymore.  But I tinkered around with my Mom’s old recipe and came up with a tasty low-carb version.  This casserole is pretty darn close to the original recipe in flavor.  This recipe is not suitable until Phase 2 Atkins since it has baby corn in it.

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 wonderful cooks to bring you a wealth of recipes you will love! Some of my low-carb creations appear in each of the 5 volumes! Order yours TODAY! from Amazon or our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

14 oz. lean ground beef

3 oz. onion, chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or half of a 15-oz can crushed tomatoes,drained)

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. dried ancho or guajillo chiles (both are mild), seeded and chopped

2¼-oz, pitted black olives, sliced and drained

6 oz. cheddar cheese, grated

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

¼ tsp. salt

15 oz. canned baby corn, drained, divided (I use Dynasty brand)

2 large eggs

½ c. almond flour

2 T. flax meal

1 tsp. corn bran (I order from Honeyvillegrains.com)

¼ c. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  You will need a medium casserole dish for this recipe, but no greasing will be necessary.

For the bottom meat layer:  brown meat over med-high heat until it releases its grease.  Add onion, garlic, salt, chili powder and crushed ancho chiles.  Saute until onion is getting tender.  Add tomatoes, olives and half of the baby corn, sliced or chopped coarsely.  Saute until tomatoes are getting soft and releasing their juice.

For the “masa” topping:  Blend or pulse the remaining half of the baby corn until smooth.  Add almond flour, flax meal, corn bran, cream and eggs and pulse until a smooth batter.

Pour the bottom meat layer into a ceramic casserole dish.  Sprinkle the cheese over the meat layer.  Then gently spoon the topping over the meat mixture.  Bake at 350º for 20 minutes or until topping is just cooked in the middle (just dry to the touch) but not really browned.   Serve with a nice sliced avocado lightly dusted with garlic powder or your favorite guacamole salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

625 calories, 43.6 g  fat, 15.7 g  carbs, 6.78 g fiber, 8.92 g NET CARBS, 43 g protein, 1322 mg sodium (mostly from  cheese)

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