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:  http://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

Einkorn Tuna Pimiento Cheese Muffins

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

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INGREDIENTS:

4 beaten eggs

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

1½ c. my Einkorn Bake Mix

3/4 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

¼ tsp. sea salt

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

1 lg. green onion, chopped fine

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 24 muffins, each contains:

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

Beef Chile Relleno Casserole

beef-chile-relleno-casserole1

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

INGREDIENTS: 

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

12 oz. lean ground beef

2 oz. onion, sliced

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

¼ tsp. dried ancho chile powder (optional)

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

¼ tsp. garlic powder

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

¼ c. cilantro, chopped (optional)

6 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, grated

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   REcipe makes 4 servings, each contains:

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

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

Hot Roast Beef Poor Boy

Hot roast Beef Poorboy

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

Just before adding thickener

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. chuck roast, trimmed of major fat

2 T. olive oil

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

2 c. celery, diced large

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

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

Thickener of your choice

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

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

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

Indian Samosa Cups

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

MEAT FILLING INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 T. olive oil

3 oz. yellow onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. fresh ginger root, minced

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. ground coriander

¼ tsp. sea salt

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

¼ c. cilantro, chopped

1 medium 6″ carrot, peeled & chopped fine

1 T. fresh mint, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped fine

2 tsp. Garam Masala

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

VARIATION: Substitute lamb for the beef

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 6 samosa cups, each contains:

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

Lobster Andouille Jambalaya

Lobster Andouille Jambalaya
Lobster Andouille Jambalaya

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

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

3 oz. breakfast sausage, crumbled into large bits

3 oz. onion, chopped

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

2 large stalks of celery chopped

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

½ c. parsley, chopped

3 Roma tomatoes, diced large

1 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

Dash each thyme and black pepper (DO NOT SALT)

Few drops Tobasco or Sriracha sauce

1 large head worth of my cauliflower rice

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

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

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

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

Sloppy Joes

IMG_4535

Sloppy Joes have always been a comfort food for me, especially in the winter.   These came out great!  When I created the original recipe, I just started throwing things into the pot because I really wasn’t sure what all to add, or in what amounts, since I used to use one of those envelope seasoning mixes in my former life to make  Sloppy Joes.  Well, I guess I grabbed the right ingredients, because my husband gave these Sloppy Joes two thumbs up.  So we’re having them for dinner tonight, as they just seem to suit the current arctic cold front hovering over Texas this week.

You can serve over my Einkorn Sandwich Buns , a Flax bun or a Muffin in a Minute (without sweetener and cinnamon, of course).  Any other low-carb bun you have will work.  These are OK to enjoy on Paleo-Primal diets if you use a plan-suitable bun.

MEAT MIXTURE INGREDIENTS:

2 lb. ground beef

3 oz. onion, chopped

1  6-oz. can tomato paste

1 c. water

¼-½ c. apple cider vinegar (or other vinegar you have)

½ c. red bell pepper, chopped

1 tsp. sugar equivalent of you preferred sweetener

¼ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

½ tsp. paprika

NOTE: You will need 8 low-carb Buns of your choosing, not included in nutritional numbers below.

DIRECTIONS:  Brown the ground beef over high heat in a large non-stick pan (I used a non-stick wok).  Add the onion and bell pepper and saute the two together until meat is browned and veggies are pretty tender.  Drain grease off if excessive (I did not have to).  Add tomato paste and stir in until evenly distributed.  Add water and stir.  I suggest adding half the vinegar to start out as you may not like yours as tangy as we do.  Stir well.  Add all the spices and lower heat to lowest setting.  Simmer with a lid on the pot, stirring often to prevent sticking.  Only add remaining vinegar if you like things tangy.  Low simmer for about 30 minutes for vinegar to develop fully and flavors to co-mingle.

I like to split and toast my buns and spoon the meat mixture over both halves.  Your call on whether you toast or not toast.  Dip about 2/3 cup meat mixture into each bun or serve open-faced if you prefer.

NUTRITIONAL INFO (Meat Mixture alone):  Make eight 2/3c. portions of meat filling.  1/8 batch meat contains:

246 calories, 15.4 g  fat, 5.65 g  carbs, 1.23 g  fiber, 4.42 g  NET CARBS, 22 g  protein, 301 mg sodium

Italian Chicken Tart

With just 1½ cups of leftover cooked chicken in the refrigerator, I am going to revisit my Italian Chicken Tart for lunch today.  We just loved it when I first developed this recipe and I confess I haven’t cooked it again since.  So today’s the day!  With the fresh spinach layer and the tomato base, here, there are 2 servings of vegetables right in the tart!  This delicious recipe is suitable once you reach Phase 2 of Atkins and is acceptable for most Keto plans.

VARIATION:  For a smaller version, divide the dough into 12 balls and press the dough onto the bottom and up the sides a bit of each cup of a muffin pan.  Distribute the toppings on all 12 portions.  Baking time probably won’t change for the smaller version.  You could even divide dough into 24 balls and press into the real mini-muffin pans.  Reduce cook time a bit for those.  Another variation would be to sub in 2-3 Italian sausage links, skinned, crumbled and pre-browned for the chicken in this recipe.  Subbing in an Alfredo sauce for the red marinara would change this up quite a bit, too.

CRUST INGREDIENTS:

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (I used whole milk variety)

2 T. unsalted butter, pre-melted

½ c. Jennifer Eloff’s GF bake mix

½ c. Carbquik Bake Mix

1/8 tsp. each onion and garlic powder

1 T. oat fiber

1/2 tsp. psyllium husk powder (I use NOW brand)

1 egg, beaten

TOPPINGS:

1 c. fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped

¼ c. low-carb spaghetti sauce (jar) (I used Classico brand with basil)

1½ c. cooked chicken, coarsely chopped

½ tsp. each dried basil and oregano leaves

½ c. additional mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Place cheese in glass bowl and set in microwave.  Melt cheese on HI for around 2 minutes.  Remove bowl from.  Drizzle melted butter over the top of cheese and stir with fork.  Add in the two bake mixes, the psyllium, oat fiber, the beaten egg, onion and garlic powder.  Stir well with fork until it forms a ball and pulls away from the bowl.  Knead once or twice with hands in the bowl and then place dough into a classic tart pan (the kind where the bottom pushes up/out).  If you don’t have one, use a large pie plate.  This crust wanted to stick to the pan a bit, despite the fact my tart pan is non-stick, so you might want to lightly oil the pan with coconut oil.  Press the dough out evenly on the bottom with your hands, pushing it up the sides a bit to form a “wall” around the edge.  Just so you know, my tart pan is 11″ in diameter.  Pop into 350º oven for about 12 minutes to set up the dough surface. Remove when it just beings to get tan on the edges.  Remove.  Place the spinach evenly on the bottom of the tart.  Next add the chopped chicken, oregano and basil.  Top with the additional ½ c. mozzarella cheese.  Raise oven temp to 375º and pop back into oven.  Bake until lightly browned, or about 15 minutes.   Watch it, as ovens do vary.  Cut into 6 slices and serve hot.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 6 slices, each contains:  (I ate 2 and the hubs ate 3)

333 calories, 25 g fat, 10.83 g carbs, 6.65 g fiber, 4.18 g NET CARBS, 27 g protein, 549 mg sodium

Lobster Dien Bien

LobsterDienBien

This is the recipe I pulled out for our dinner tonight, only I am making it this time with shrimp.  I will be using lobster stock I made (and froze) from the lobster tails we had New Year’s Eve.  When I lived in Hampton, VA while in high school, my family often drove to Yorktown 30 miles away to eat at a wonderful restaurant called Nick’s Seafood Pavilion, operated by a Greek chef.  Sadly, it no longer exists:  http://www.pbase.com/airlinerphotos/image/21276281.  I often think fondly of one of their signature dishes, Lobster Dien Bien.  My parents managed to concoct their own recipe of the dish over time and I still make it to this day over 50 years later.  This version is very close to that served at Nick’s place, but I cannot have the rice that was traditionally in it, being on a low-carb diet.  For the best flavor, the 1 cup of rice needs to be cooked in seafood stock.   The rice is then stirred into the seafood/vegetable mixture right before serving.  This dish in some regards is vaguely reminiscent of Spanish paella when the rice is included. I now served it over steamed grated cauliflower “rice” or I stir it in at the last minute right before serving.  

I can’t get very good lobster in Central Texas, so I make this more often now with shrimp or crawfish, but it is hands down best with lobster. I have even made this dish with large sea scallops and fresh lump white crab meat (when I lived on the Gulf Coast).  All versions have been been very tasty.  As is true of most seafood dishes, this one really packs in the nutrients!  This dish is suitable for Atkins Induction, so enjoy.

Click to enlarge crawfish version
Crawfish version

If you are not following a low-carb diet:  Add 1 c. cooked white rice cooked in seafood stock, stirred in right before serving.  If using the rice addition, it is essential that you cook it in seafood stock!  Use 1 c. raw rice, rinsed well in a sieve/sifter with cold water to remove surface starch.  Then bring the rice to a boil in 2 c. lobster or shrimp stock. Lower heat to lowest setting, cover pot with a paper towel followed by a tight fitting lid and steam the rice over lowest heat possible until done (about 18 minutes).  Add the rice to the sautéed seafood mixture, folding in gently.  Serve at once!  Mmmm…….this is my all-time favorite seafood dish EVER!  I serve this with a Greek Salad or regular green salad.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. lobster meat cut into bite-size pieces (or peeled, de-veined shrimp)

1 stick unsalted butter

½ c. onion, chopped

1 c. celery, chopped

1 carrot, grated

1 2 oz. jar pimiento, drained

1/3 c. parsley, chopped

¼-½ tsp. cayenne pepper

10 drops Tobasco

½ tsp. ground thyme (or 1 tsp. crushed dried leaves)

DIRECTIONS: Sauté onion, celery and carrot in melted butter until onion and celery are completely tender.  Add parsley and pimiento.  Add seafood and remaining seasonings.  Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes only, stirring often.  For non-Atkins diners, add the seafood-stock steamed cooked rice.  Stir to incorporate all ingredients uniformly.  For Atkins diners, serve over steamed cauli-rice, spaghetti squash or oven-baked thick eggplant slices.  (To steam cauli-rice, grate or food process 3-4 c. raw cauliflower to coarse grains and steam in microwave for 3-4 minutes, stirring every minute).

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 3 servings, each with:  Steamed cauliflower not figured into the numbers below.

466 cals, 33g fat, 9.1g carbs, 2.3g fiber, 6.8g NET CARBS, 32 g  protein, 283 g  sodium

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts with Sofrito Sauce

I keep seeing recipes on air fryer Facebook 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

Smoked Sausage Twinkies®

When you only have a small bit of smoked sausage in the fridge, give this recipe a try!  Wow!  These were amazingly good, and not at all heavy like one would think.  I ate 3 of these things and am pleasantly full.  My husband won’t be home from Waco until dinner, so I’ll let him try them for a late snack perhaps.  I just KNOW he’s going to love these delicious treats!

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. Carbquik Bake Mix (or other low-carb mix)Smoked Sausage Twinkies (2)

1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

6 oz. Burton’s Smoked Sausage (or any brand you have), chopped

2 large eggs, beaten

½ c. heavy cream

VARIATION:  Add a little minced green onion to the batter.  For a change, use 6s oz. breakfast sausage (pre-browned) in placee of smoked sausage.

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º.  Using a brush, oil a non-stick twinkie-shape pan (12-slot).  I used a food processor to chop up my sausage, but you could finely dice with a knife if you prefer.  Scrape into a medium bowl.  Add all other ingredients and stir until uniformly moistened and blended.  Spoon the stiff batter into the 12 slots of the twinkie pan.  Batter will be nearly to the top of each slot.  Slightly press batter down to eliminate air holes.    Pop into 350º oven for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned as shown above.  Remove from oven.  Cool 3-4 minutes before attempting to loosen and lift out of the pan of they may break apart.  Serve warm and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 12 Twinkies®, each contains:

123 cals, 11.2g fat, 4.81g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 1.31g NET CARBS, 7.46g protein, 296 mg sodium

Iranian Stuffed Peppers

I had these peppers when we lived in Teheran, Iran (I was a young girl then).  Our maid used to make them for us occasionally.  She put raisins in the meat filling, but that jacks up the carbs too much so I don’t put them in the filing now that I’m a low-carber.  She also used bulgur wheat, whereas I used very lower-carb hemp seeds.  Even with my changes, the peppers themselves have quite a few grams of carbs.  But they are so good for you, so 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 (or soaked bulghur wheat, with higher carbs)

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 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

Dumpling Lasagna

Italian Dumplings

When you have just a cup or so of leftover spaghetti meat sauce in the freezer you need to try this recipe! Using my quick delicious low-carb dumpling is the key.  Man, is this ever good!!!  You’ll feel like you’re eating real gnocchi or noodles in this!!   This recipe instantly made my lunch or dinner rotations.  In fact it hopped right on up to the top of that list!  Although I make the dumpling dough into small round dumplings, it tastes like real lasagna.  The dumplings hold up well in the sauce and throughout the baking process. Mmmm. This dish is suitable once you reach the Atkins Phase 2 OWL, and OK for Keto dieters.  It would not be appropriate for Primal or Paleo followers.

INGREDIENTS:

Pot of simmering water for dumplings (I like to keep some frozen all the time to have handy)

1 recipe my low-carb dumplings

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

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 lightly boiling water and immediately lower heat to maintain a very gentle simmer.  Cover with lid and simmer for 8-9 minutes, DO NOT LIFT THE LID during cooking.   Drain off the water and tip the dumplings into a baking dish or 3 individual dishes as shown (no need to grease them).  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 250º for about 15 minutes to heat all and melt the cheese.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:

286 calories, 18.7 g  fat, 13.93 g  carbs, 6.76 g  fiber, 7.17 g  NET CARBS, 21.03 g  protein, 451 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 is a delightful lunch or dinner entree and is quite filling!  It goes nicely with a tossed green 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:  http://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

Chicken Tenders with Bang Bang Sauce

My husband asked me to make some chicken tenders recently.  Long ago I developed a great Southern Fried Chicken coating recipe so I just used that one.   This recipe takes fried chicken strips to a new level for us!   This particular coating has been my best to date and it didn’t fail me on the tenders.  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:

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 (or regular) 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 homemade 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.

Duck Soup

This year I served an oven- roasted Marinated Duck for Christmas dinner. There isn’t all that much meat on a duck, but our 4-pound bird fed two of us amply with a nice amount of meat still left on the carcass. I love to make soup from leftover fowl carcasses, so soup it was today! After simmering the carcass for an hour and cooling, it yielded about 2-2½ c. duck meat for my soup pot. I wanted my soup fairly simple, with rich depth of flavor, so I added the duck fat it rendered during the initial roasting. I also used some homemade chicken broth to add even more flavor to the final soup. We were both very pleased with this creation! I used no recipe, but threw in the “usual suspects” for tasty game birds. My Marinated Duck had some bay leaf in it, so you will want to add a bay leaf to your pot.

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo followers.

INGREDIENTS:

4 slices thick bacon, cut into 3/4″ dice

1 c. chopped onion

1 c. chopped celery

1 c. chopped carrot

½ c. chopped parsley

2 cloves minced garlic

¼ c. duck fat (use butter if not available)

1 c. chicken broth (I use salt-free homemade)

water to cover meat and veggies

3/4 tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. coarse black pepper

1 large bay leaf (or 2 small)

3 T. Hemp Seed Hearts

1 4-oz can mushrooms with liquid

1 duck carcass (mine was from a 4# duck) or 2½ c. cooked diced duck meat

7 oz. pkg. shiritaki noodles with oat fiber, rice-shaped

DIRECTIONS: Brown bacon in soup pot over high heat. Add chopped onion, carrot, celery, garlic and parsley. Saute until onion begins to go translucent. Add all remaining ingredients to pot, bring to boil and lower heat to simmer. Cover and simmer for about 1½ hours, stirring every half hour.  Remove duck carcass and strip meat off bones, replacing meat into soup pot.  Discard bones.  Open package of noodles and rinse well in a sieve under running water. Add to pot and simmer 15 more minutes. I recommend serving this rich soup with a buttered low-carb dinner/sandwich roll if you have cooked and at the ready. 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 6 large bowl, each contains:

454 cals, 37.2g fat, 10.1g carbs, 3.85g fiber, 6.25g NET CARBS, 21.9g protein, 635 mg sodium

London Broil

London Broil
Shown with Garlic Herb Butter.

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.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins provided those still on Atkins Induction sub in some beef broth for the red wine.  It’s also delicious with my Garlic Herb Butter.

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, 1.3 NET CARBS, 44 g protein, 101 mg sodium

Marinated Wild Duck

Dad's Grilled Marinated Duck
Dad’s Grilled Duck

My Dad was quite the hunter when he was living and was also quite a gourmet 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 is what I’m planning for Christmas this year.  This recipe is NOT Induction friendly due to the wine.  I just don’t think it would be good as without it, so I recommend waiting to do this recipe justice with the wine in the marinade.  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, cleaned and butterflied (or a 4# purchased domestic duck)

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 backbone, flatten with a cleaver or your hands (this is called ‘butterfly’ or ‘spatchcock’ in poultry preparation).  Place in glass or plastic marinating pan breast up.  Mix all marinate ingredients above 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 inject if you have an injector), 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 but can be served slightly pink.

If you are at the grain rung of OWL carb re-introduction ladder, this is excellent with wild rice dressing: http://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.  Another good stuffing for duck is this one:   http://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

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?!  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

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 to to calculate the values for the smaller ones.

 

Roaster Oven Turkey

Roasted Turkey (done in a roaster oven)

I love roasting turkey in a roaster oven.  If you don’t own one, they are excellent for extra oven space when you entertain or during holiday gatherings and your oven is full to the brim.  They bake cakes, muffins, cookies, and meats just beautifully!  And they are getting so cheap, one can be had for sometimes as little as $29 during the holiday season sales.  I paid $60 for my first one in the 60’s, when $60 was worth a lot more than it is today!  I find a roaster oven to be the most useful and versatile small appliance in my kitchen after an electric mixer.  I can carry it out onto the patio to cook outdoors in summertime, eliminating excess kitchen heat, as well.  🙂

You go about cooking turkey in a roaster oven pretty much as you would in a regular oven.  Just be sure you buy a bird that will FIT in your roaster oven!  I cover the wing tips and drumstick knobs with foil when I first put it in the oven, as the bird sits so close to the lid where heat can rise and overcook those areas.  They consistently come out delicious, moist and tender.  More moist that my usual inside oven turkeys in fact!   The skin doesn’t get quite as crispy cooked in a roaster oven, but it is crisp enough for me to get that level of moist cooking. Turkey is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto, Primal and Paleo diets alike.

INGREDIENTS:

1  12-13 lb. turkey, thawed (follow chart on wrapper for a larger bird)

4 T. melted butter

Dash each of salt and black pepper

4 small pieces of foil

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 325º.  Open turkey wrapper and remove bird to a clean sink.  Remove the leg binding gadget.  Remove giblets and set aside for making your gravy.  I only use the neck meat for gravy and my dog usually gets the liver, heart and gizzard in her dinners over a week or so.   I like to eat them; I just don’t like them in my gravy much.

I like to rinse out the inside of the bird.  Pat the exterior dry with paper towels.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave.  Place turkey, breast side up in a pan large enough to hold it.  Baste with the butter all over on the outside and inside with a basting brush, using half the butter.  Sprinkle bird inside and out with salt and pepper.  I cook my dressing outside the bird as I like it to brown.  You can add some chunks of celery, onion and parsley if you like to the cavity, but I do not.  Your call there, but be sure to add those carbs below if you do. Cover wing tips and leg knuckles with foil so they will not burn.

Place pan with bird into the roaster oven, cover with lid and cook, for 1½ hours.  Open oven and baste with remaining butter.  Recover and cook for 1 hour and check for doneness with a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast and around the thing-leg joint (slowest area to get done).  You want the thermometer to read 170º.  Cook for another 30 minutes or so, checking with thermometer every 10-15 minutes now so as to not over cook.  Remove when it has reached 170º internal temperature. Set on cutting board for 15-20 minutes before attempting to carve to avoid tearing up the meat and all the juices running out.  You want those juices to STAY in the meat.  This turkey should be extremely moist.  Roaster ovens do an incredibly good job at moist heat roasting.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   I can’t know what pieces or amount you will eat, so I’ll provide some numbers for both white meat and dark meat.

4 oz. dark meat contains:  250 calories, 13 g  fat, 0 carbs, 0 fiber, o net carbs, 31 g  protein and 269 mg sodium

4 oz. white meat, skin eaten contains:  222 calories, 9.4 g  fat, 0 carbs, 0 fiber, 0 net carbs, 32.3 g   protein and 255 mg sodium