Air Fryer Jamaican Jerked Pork Loin

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

INGREDIENTS:

4   4-oz. pieces boneless pork loin

¼ c. light olive oil

2 T. my Homemade Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend

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

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

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

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

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

Chicken “Risotto”

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

INGREDIENTS:

5 T. butter, unsalted

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

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

¼ tsp. black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

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

2 T. white wine (optional)

¼ tsp. sea salt

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

4 T. grated Parmesan Cheese (added at table)

VARIATION:  Add some chopped mushrooms when you saute the chicken

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

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

Classic Shrimp Scampi

My father introduced us to this dish when we lived in Hampton, Virginia.  Of course, we had all the fresh seafood there in the world anytime we wanted it.  What is amazing about Shrimp Scampi besides its wonderful flavor, is how easy it is to make!  Traditionally served over white rice, as a low-carber, I tend to spoon ours over a heaping serving of my Foolproof Mashed Cauliflower.  I’m very pleased with this one and had it again for dinner tonight.  I like to add a bit of my Seafood Spice Blend to most of my seafood dishes, but it is not seen in most shrimp scampi recipes.  That’s my change to a classic dish.  I also been known to add a couple tablespoons of white wine to this dish, but do not always do that, so I don’t show it in the ingredients below.  Your call there.  It’s delicious with or without.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets, as well as for Primal and Paleo followers.  Those still on Atkins Induction should not add the white wine I just mentioned.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 T. butter, unsalted

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. parsley, chopped

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

¼-½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

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

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

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

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

Chicken Florentine

Chicken Florentine

This has, over time, become one of the most popular recipes on my website.  Sometimes we food bloggers get so wrapped up in creating new dishes, we can easily get lost and forget some of the old favorites and need to be reminded of them from time to time.  I’m making this again tonight, so I thought I’d share it with my newer followers that may not have seen this one. This recipe takes a mere 20-30 minutes to pull together.  It’s amazingly tasty and worth every one of those minutes.  So attractive on the platter, too!  And better yet, it’s Induction friendly!  The creamy spinach-mushroom topping compliments the seared chicken so nicely and is also good on seared salmon!  If in Atkins OWL Phase 2, adding 2 T. white wine to the spinach mixture is very, very good!  🙂

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INGREDIENTS:

3 large chicken breasts, deboned and skinned (I used 30 oz.)

1 T. unsalted butter

½ lb. fresh mushrooms sliced thick

1 clove minced garlic

Pinch salt and pepper

6 oz. fresh spinach (3-4 oz. if using frozen)

1/3 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. chicken broth

3 T. grated Parmesan

2 T. white wine (optional)

Pinch xanthan gum (if needed to thicken)

DIRECTIONS:  If using frozen spinach, cook in water as directed on package in a saucepan and drain well.  Set aside.  Now slice each chicken breast diagonally into 3-4 thinner slices to speed up cooking.  Melt butter in non-stick skillet and saute the chicken slices or “filets”, as I call them,  until lightly browned and thoroughly cooked (medium-high heat).  This won’t take long at all, which is precisely why I like to slice them.  Remove chicken to serving platter.  Add mushrooms to the same skillet and saute until done.   Add fresh spinach and garlic.   Saute until spinach is wilted.  Lower heat and add cream, broth, wine and cheese to spinach/mushroom mixture in skillet.  Add pinch of salt and pepper.  Lightly dust with xanthan gum 2-3 times, stirring between each addition to slightly thicken sauce.   Pour sauce over chicken.  Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley if desired.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings each with:

436 cals., 23g fat, 6.8g carbs, 2g fiber, 4.8g NET CARBS, 49g protein, 200mg sodium

Pork in Queso Flameado Sauce

Pork in Queso Flameado
Pork in Queso Flameado Sauce

If you’ve ever ordered Queso Flameado in a Mexican restaurant, it’s a flavor you won’t soon forget. It’s a thick melted cheese fondu with chorizo crumbled in it served with flour tortillas to roll it up in. It is considered an appetizer.  It is sooo good!  Well, this new dish I created this it taking it to the entree level.  If you love Mexican food, you’ve GOT to try this dish!  It has been one of my more popular recipes!  My husband just loved it, as did I!   This dish also sports some very impressive nutritional numbers below, so it’s a keeper in my book.  It is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Ketogenic diets.

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INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. pork loin, cut into 4 portions

1 link chorizo, removed from the skin and crumbled

2 T. unsalted butter

4 large green onions, chopped

1/2 c. red bell pepper, chopped

1 c. cilantro, chopped

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. water

6 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded (or more if you can afford the carbs)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Pound the 4 pieces of pork with a meat tenderizer.  Melt butter in large skillet over high heat.  Brown pork on both sides until nearly done.  Remove.  Add crumbled chorizo and brown, crumbling as small as you can as it cooks.   Add the green onions, bell pepper and saute until they are tender.  Lower heat to medium low and add cream, water and cilantro.  Simmer a couple minutes to reduce a bit. Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce and lay pork on top.  Pop into preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly and the meat appear to be done.  Serve 1/4 of the sauce over each portion of meat.  This pairs nicely with mashed cauliflower or a nice guacamole salad alongside.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

567 cals., 45g fat, 4.35g carbs, 1.15g fiber, 3.2g NET CARBS, 36g protein, 654 mg sodium

Southern Fried Chicken

Southern Fried Chicken

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

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

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 c. plain whey protein

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

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

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

½ tsp. onion powder

½ c. Parmesan cheese

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

2 large eggs

¼ c. heavy cream

¼ c. water

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

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

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

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

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

Louisiana Shrimp Gumbo

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

2T. olive oil

1 stick butter (1/2 c.)

½ c. chopped onion

½ c. chopped parsley

3 cloves minced garlic

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

3/4 c. chopped green bell pepper

½ c. chopped celery

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

4 small bay leaves

2 tsp. thyme

10-15 drops Tobasco

¼ tsp. salt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grilled Chicken & Spinach Pizza

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe my Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

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

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

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

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

3/4 c. baby spinach leaves

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

Pinch garlic powder (optional)

1 oz. red onion, slivered as thinly as possible

2 oz. heavy cream

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

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

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

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

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

Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

It’s what’s for dinner tonight!

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. cauliflower, riced by hand or processor coarsely

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

3 oz. onion, chopped coarsely

4 oz. green bell pepper, chopped coarsely

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp. ground cumin

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

Dash each chili powder and black pepper

2 chicken bouillon cubes

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

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

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

2 T. cilantro, chopped (optional)

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

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

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

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

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

Iranian Stuffed Peppers

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

INGREDIENTS: 

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

20 oz. lean ground beef

2½ oz. onion, chopped

3/4 c. chopped parsley

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

3 T. hemp seeds/hearts

1 tsp. each turmeric, dried mint and dried dill

1½ tsp. ground cinnamon

Dash each salt and pepper

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

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

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

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

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

Pork Loin in Mushroom-Wine Sauce

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

INGREDIENTS: 

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

¼ tsp. my Homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning

3 T. butter

6 large mushrooms, cut into quarters

1 clove minced garlic

Dash black pepper and sea salt

¼ c. white wine (I used Riesling)

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains:

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

 

 

Indian Beef (or Lamb) Koftas

Delicious with or without gravy!

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS (for Koftas):

20 oz. ground meat (beef or lamb)

2 tsp. grated ginger root

2 large cloves minced garlic

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped very fine

2 oz. onion, chopped very fine

1 beaten egg

½ tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. my Garam Masala

1 c. cilantro, chopped

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

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

2 T. olive oil for frying

INGREDIENTS (for sauce):

2 oz. heavy cream

¼ c. water

1 T. tomato paste

½ c. beef stock or bouillon

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

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

Dash salt & black pepper

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

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

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

BBQ Crack Cabbage with Ham

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

3 T. bacon grease

8 oz. cooked cured ham, cut in small strips

2 oz. red bell pepper, cut in small strips

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

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

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

Dash of coarse black pepper

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

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

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

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

Bacon “Risotto”

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

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

1 c. green onion, chopped

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

1 oz. cream cheese

3/4 c. shredded Parmesan Cheese

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 5 servings, each contains:

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

Chicken-Eggplant Parmigiana Casserole

Chicken Eggplant Parmegiana Casserole

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

INGREDIENTS

8 oz. cooked chicken meat, cut bite size

2 T. olive oil

6 oz. mushrooms, sliced

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

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

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

6 oz. Mozzarella cheese, grated

½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

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

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

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

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherds Pie

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef

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

2 medium carrots, diced

1 c. zucchini squash, diced

1 c. frozen green beans

2 oz. onion, chopped

Dash salt and black pepper

1 medium (6-7″ diameter) head cauliflower

4 T. butter or ghee

¼ c. heavy cream

Paprika to garnish (optional)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coconut Pork & Vegetable Stir-Fry

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

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. lean pork loin, sliced

2 T. each coconut and olive oil

2 oz. yellow onion, sliced

½ c. carrot, sliced

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

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

1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms

2 medium green onions, cut in 1″ pieces

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

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

1 c. homemade chicken broth

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. fresh ginger root, minced

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

1¼ tsp. Sambal Olek chili paste

1 T. rice wine vinegar

3 T. sherry

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each contains:

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

Marinated Wild Duck

Dad's Grilled Marinated Duck

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

12 oz. dry white wine

¼ c. chopped parsley

1 stalk chopped celery

1 clove garlic

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

1/3 tsp. thyme

6-10 black peppercorns

2 whole bay leaves

1 T. Olive Oil

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each containing:

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

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts with Sofrito Sauce

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

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

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHICKEN: 

2 medium chicken breasts, skin left on

4 tsp. baking powder (I use aluminum free)

¼ tsp. each onion and garlic

¼ tsp. sea salt

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE:

2 T. butter, unsalted

1 T. my Sofrito Sauce

1 Roma tomato, chopped

Dash each salt and pepper

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

(thickener of choice if you feel a need)

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

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

New England Clam Chowder

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

INGREDIENTS: 

4 oz. bacon, coarsely chopped

3 oz. onion, chopped

10-oz can of clams, with juice

1 c. daikon radish, peeled and chopped

½ c. parsley, chopped

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

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

½ c. heavy cream

1 cup water (or seafood stock if available)

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

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

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

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

Italian Meatloaf

Italian Meatloaf

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

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

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

1 T. bacon grease

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 c. parsley, chopped fine

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

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

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

4 oz. can tomato sauce (no added sugar)

1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:

Makes 6 servings, each 4 oz. serving has:

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

Shrimp and Sausage Bisque

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

INGREDIENTS:

3 oz. bacon, coarsely chopped

1 c. celery, chopped

3/4 c. green bell pepper, chopped

3 oz. onion, chopped

½ c. parsley, chopped

6 oz. pork breakfast sausage

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

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ tsp. Cajun Seafood Spice Blend

½ tsp. dried thyme leaves

¼ tsp. black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

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

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

1 c. heavy cream

¼ c. white wine

Tiny dusting of xanthan gum or your favorite thickener

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

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

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

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

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

Perfect Rib Roast

The Perfect Rib Roast
My easy, Perfect Rib Roast

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creamy Smoky Turkey (or chicken) Casserole

creamy-smoky-chicken-casserole

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

2 T. coconut oil

3 oz. onion, chopped

2 large carrots, sliced or chopped

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

2 T. cream cheese

3/4 c. heavy (whipping) cream

2 c. cooked turkey (or chicken), chopped

3 oz. Smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

Dash black pepper

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

½ recipe of my Savory Casserole Topping

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings, each contains:

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

Jalapeno Meatloaf Burgers

jalapeno-meatloaf-burgers

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

8 oz. lean ground pork

1 oz. red bell pepper, chopped

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

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 large stalk celery, chopped fine

2 T. olive oil

½ c. parsley, chopped

¼ tsp. dried oregano

1/8 tsp. black pepper

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

2 large eggs

¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

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

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

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

Blue Crab Stuffing

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

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

4 oz. finely chopped onion

4 oz. finely chopped celery

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

½ oz. parsley

2 oz. heavy cream

¼ tsp. salt

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 tsp. dry mustard powder

½ c. (1 stick) unsalted, melted butter

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

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

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

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

Shrimp-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

¼ c. olive oil

1 T. unsalted butter

2 medium green onions, chopped

8 large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped

2 oz. cream cheese

1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Dash each salt & pepper

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

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

1 T. more butter

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

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 10 pieces, each contains:

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

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

Mom’s Chicken Stew

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

3 carrots, peeled, cut in 1″ chunks

3 stalks celery, cut in 2″ pieces

1 large onion, cut into wedges

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

½ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

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

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

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

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

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

Dumpling Lasagna

003-1
QUICK & DELICIOUS!

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

INGREDIENTS:

(pot of simmering water to make dumplings)

1 recipe my Dumplings

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

½ c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

¼ c. ricotta cheese

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:

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

Iranian Kubideh (ground meat kebabs)

Iranian Kubideh 2

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 egg, beaten

¼ c. parsley

1 oz. onion, minced very fine

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. black pepper

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 kubideh, each contains:

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

Crab-Pumpkin Bisque

Crab-Pumpkin Bisque

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

INGREDIENTS:

3 slices bacon, chopped

1/4 c. onion, chopped

1/4 c. celery, chopped

8 oz. softened cream cheese

1 c. pumpkin (preferably the fresh)

Dash each black pepper and cayenne pepper

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

2 c. seafood stock (or chicken broth)

1 c. water

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

8 oz. white crab meat, picked of all shell

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 6 large servings, each contains:

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

Greek Spinach Crustless Quiche

greek-spinach-beef-pie

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. olive oil + 1 T. butter

2 oz. onion, chopped

12 oz. ground beef

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

1/3 c. parsley, chopped

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

Dash each salt & black pepper

Pinch dried dill weed

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

½ c. crumbled feta cheese, rinsed well in strainer

2 large eggs

1/4 c. heavy cream

VARIATIONS:  Substitute ground lamb or goat for the beef

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each containing:

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

Creamy Smoky Chicken Casserole

creamy-smoky-chicken-casserole

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

2 T. coconut oil

3 oz. onion, chopped

2 large carrots, sliced or chopped

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

2 T. cream cheese

3/4 c. heavy (whipping) cream

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

3 oz. Smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

Dash black pepper

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

½ recipe of my Savory Casserole Topping

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings, each contains:

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

Chicken Tenders with Bang Bang Sauce

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

3/4 c. plain whey protein

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

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

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

½ tsp. onion powder

½ c. Parmesan cheese

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

2 large eggs

¼ c. heavy cream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slivered Beef Spaghetti Sauce

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

INGREDIENTS:

¼ c. olive oil

6 oz. chopped yellow onion

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

14.5 oz. can of tomatoes, crushed

8 oz. can of tomato sauce

2 cloves minced garlic

2 tsp. oregano, crushed

¼ tsp. each salt and black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS:

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 6-8

1/6 batch:

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

approx. 96 mg. sodium, 9.74 g  NET CARBS

1/8 batch:

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

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

Chipotle-Jack Chicken Cutlets

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

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (four)

1 tsp. my Smoky Chipotle Spice Blend

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

2 T. unsalted butter

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chipotle-Guajillo Baked Chicken

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Yum!!!!!

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 whole chicken, butterflied

4 T. unsalted butter, melted

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

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

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. onion powder

Dash of salt

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

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

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

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

Eggplant-Sausage Rollatini

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

INGREDIENTS:

1  medium (12 oz) eggplant

¼ c. olive oil

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

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

1 oz. baby spinach leaves

4 oz. cream cheese

3/4 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese

1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

1 Roma tomato, sliced into 8 thin slices

1/4 tsp. crushed dried basil leaves

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 rollatini, each contains:

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

Blue Crab Stuffing

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This is the crab stuffing I’ve made for many years.   I developed this recipe to try to imitate the stuffed crab I ordered many times at Gaido’s seafood restaurant atop the seawall on Galveston Island, Texas where we lived for over 20 years.  This was one of my favorite dishes on their menu.  Bar none, the best stuffed crab I have ever eaten.  My take on it is fairly close, so I am still cooking this to this daay.  It’s easy to prepare and always at hit with dinner guests.  If you have access to fresh, picked crab meat, you’ve GOT to try this one!  This is also great used to stuff baked fish or stuffed mushrooms!  

INGREDIENTS:

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

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

4 oz. finely chopped onion

4 oz. finely chopped celery

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

½ oz. parsley

2 oz. heavy cream

¼ tsp. salt

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 tsp. dry mustard powder

½ c. (1 stick) unsalted, melted butter

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

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

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

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

Grilled Steelhead Trout

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

6 T. unsalted butter, melted

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

2 lg. cloves garlic, minced

3/4 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 adult servings, each contains:

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

Paleo Pot Pie

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Made with Chicken

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

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

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

2 c. homemade chicken stock

1 1/3 c. carrot, diced

1 1/3 c. red radishes, diced

½ c. red bell pepper, diced

1½ c. green beans, cooked and chopped a bit

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

2 c. chicken breast, cooked, diced

½ tsp. glucomannan powder (or your favorite thickener)

Dash black pepper

3 T. coconut cream

3 T. homemade mayo

Dash olive oil to grease baking dish

TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

1 c. almond flour

2 T. butter or ghee, softened

1 whole egg

1 T. coconut cream or coconut milk

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

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

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

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

Shrimp and Sausage Bisque

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

INGREDIENTS:

3 oz. bacon, coarsely chopped

1 c. celery, chopped

3/4 c. green bell pepper, chopped

3 oz. onion, chopped

½ c. parsley, chopped

6 oz. pork breakfast sausage

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

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ tsp. Cajun Seafood Spice Blend

½ tsp. dried thyme leaves

¼ tsp. black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

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

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

1 c. heavy cream

¼ c. white wine

Tiny dusting of xanthan gum or your favorite thickener

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

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

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

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

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

“Frosted” Sausage Donuts

Sausage Donuts

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

INGREDIENTS:

5 oz. pork bulk sausage

4 medium mushrooms, chopped

1 green onion, chopped

3 medium eggs, beaten

¼ c. shredded Monterrey Jack or Mozzarella cheese

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

1 c. heavy cream

¼ tsp. dried tarragon

Dash each salt, pepper and cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp. xanthan gum or your favorite thickener

OPTIONAL:  Chopped parsley to garnish

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

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

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

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

Sausage-Bacon Croquettes

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

6 oz. smoked sausage (I use Burton’s)

2 slices thick-slice bacon

1 tsp. bacon grease  (if bacon too lean)

1 oz. each red and green bell pepper

1½ oz. yellow onion

1 clove garlic, minced

Dash black pepper

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

2T. + 1 tsp. golden flax meal

1 large egg, beaten

1½ c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or mozzarella)

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 croquettes, each contains:

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

Montreal-Chipotle Pulled Pork

Montreal-Chipotle Pulled Pork

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

Sea Salt and black pepper

1 tsp. my Homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beef-Broccoli Pie

beef-broccoli-pie

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

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

CRUST INGREDIENTS:

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

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

½ c. coconut oil or cold butter

¼ tsp. sea salt

1/3 c. ice water

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

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

6 large mushrooms, sliced chopped coarsely

1/3 c. red bell pepper, chopped

2 oz. onion, chopped

½ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

½ c. drained or Greek yogurt

¼ c. cream

Dash each salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

1½ c. broccoli, raw, coarsely chopped

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains:

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

London Broil

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

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. piece of London Broil or flank steak

½ clove garlic, minced

1½ tsp. tomato paste

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

¼ c. low sodium soy sauce

2 T. balsamic  vinegar

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

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

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

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

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

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

Eggplant Parmigiana “Sandwiches”

EggplantSandwich

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 oz. crushed pork rinds

6 oz. ground beef (or lamb)

2 slices provalone cheese

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

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

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

2 T. Parmesan cheese

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes two servings, each contains:

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

Indian Butter Chicken

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. whole cumin seed

2 T. olive oil

3 oz. sliced onion

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

¼ tsp. salt

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

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ T. fresh ginger root, peeled and minced fine

¼ tsp. ground turmeric

1T. + 1 tsp. my homemade Garam Masala 

4 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 c. chicken broth

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

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

4 T. more butter

3/4 c. heavy cream 

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 5, each serving contains:

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

Indian Chicken Tikka Masala or Curry

Chicken Tikka Masala

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. whole cumin seed

2 T. olive oil

3 T. butter

3 oz. sliced onion

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

¼ tsp. salt

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

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ T. minced fresh ginger

½ tsp. ground turmeric

1 T. my homemade Garam Masala 

4 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 c. chicken broth

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 3, each serving containing:

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