Eggplant Parmigiana Sandwiches

EggplantSandwich

I’m planning on making these tonight for dinner with the beautiful eggplant my husband brought home yesterday.  I never tire of eggplant in ANY form.  This recipe is deep in my blog archives so I thought I’d re-share it for my newer followers.  This recipe is inspired by a dish my mother used to make when I was growing up.  Of course, she used bread crumbs to coat her eggplant (not the pork rinds) as she was not watching carbs.  Her dish didn’t have meat in it, just the eggplant.  However the side dish she made to a complete meal!  This is a delightful tasting and quite filling!  I like to serve it with a tossed green salad.  This dish can also be made with ground lamb if you prefer.  It is suitable for Atkins Induction Phase as well.  Despite their name, it takes a fork and knife to eat these “sandwiches”.

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 oz. crushed pork rinds

6 oz. ground beef (or lamb)

2 slices provalone cheese

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

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

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

2 T. Parmesan cheese

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes two servings, each contains:

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

Advertisement

Roasted Shawarma Chicken and Vegetables

Roasted Shawarma Chicken and Vegetables

I have made these Roasted Shawarma Vegetables before as a side dish, but not until I added chicken to the mix had I found a wonderful meal in a pan!  Good decision!  This meal that virtually cooks itself is so delicious!  I saved out 1 chicken breast from this whole chicken to use for something else this week but cooked all the remaining pieces.  If you omit the chicken, this vegetable dish is a marvelous side with grilled steak and chicken!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo as well.  So ENJOY everybody!

INGREDIENTS:

¼ c. extra virgin olive oil

1 whole chicken, cut up (minus 1 of the breasts reserved for another use)

10 cloves garlic, peeled

1 medium zucchini, sliced thick

1 yellow squash, sliced thick

8 oz. Japanese eggplant, cubed or sliced thick (I don’t peel it)

1 2 3/4″ tomato, cut into wedges

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

1 tsp. my Shawarma Spice Blend

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  I used my convection settting to speed mine up a bit.  Oil a large metal baking pan with some of the olive oil.  Lay the chicken pieces evenly in the pan (I cut my chicken breast into 2 pieces, as they tend to be large nowadays).  Next add the sliced vegetables evenly around the pieces of chicken. Sprinkle on the Shawarma spice Blend and last of all, place the garlic (whole) around the pan, cutting larger cloves in half.  Pop into 350º oven.  If using convection roast, it will take about 35-40 minutes, or until chicken reads 170º on your meat thermometer.  If using standard oven, it will probably take a full hour, perhaps a bit longer if your chicken is big or you cut your vegetables larger than shown in my photo.  I like to baste the chicken and veggies with pan juices mid-cooking.  🙂  Serve with a nice green salad.   This is delightful with nutty-tasting basmati rice for your non-low-carbing dinner guests.  🙂  I don’t eat anything with mine.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes around 6 servings, each contains:

384 cals, 25 g fat, 8.08 g carbs, 2.56 g fiber, 5.52 g NET CARBS, 32 g protein, 457 mg sodium

Maple-Bacon-Bourbon Sauce

0035

      Shown on seared pork chops

I often make compound butters and store them in my freezer.  There are literally limitless flavorings you can blend into butter for serving on grilled meats and vegetables.  They’re quick to make and ever so handy when you want an exotic taste FAST!  My Maple-Bacon-Bourbon Butter is one of my favorites.  I occasionally put it to work in creamy sauces like the one pictured above over pork chops.  This sauce is divine on pork chops and what a quick meal for week nights!  This recipe is not suitable until you reach Atkins Phase 2 (OWL) due to the bourbon.   It is not suitable for Primal-Paleo on several levels.

INGREDIENTS:

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

4 large mushrooms, sliced (optional)

3 T. Bacon-Bourbon Butter

1 tsp. sugar-free maple syrup

¼ c. cream

1/3 c. water

2 T. bourbon

Dash of your favorite thickener (optional)

Dash sea salt and black pepper

1 tsp. parsley, chopped (for garnish)

VARIATION:  Serve over seared chicken or duck breast for an interesting change.

DIRECTIONS:   Fry the chopped bacon in a skillet.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel.  If planning to serve with skillet-seared meat, sear the meat over high heat to nearly done stage right in the same skillet in that delicious bacon grease.  Or have your spouse grill the meat outside over charcoal to the desired stage.  When skillet chops are browned and done, remove them to a plate while you put the sauce together.  Add the 3 T. Bacon-Bourbon butter to the pan juices, melt and add the mushrooms.  Saute until mushrooms are done.   Lower to medium heat and add water, cream, bourbon, salt, pepper, and maple syrup.  Stir well and lay pork chops on top of the mushroom sauce.  If doing grilled meat, you won’t do this step. Simmer sauce on low heat 5-10 minutes to reduce/thicken the cream.  If not thick enough for you, you can slightly thicken with a dash of your preferred thickener. Gently pour mushroom sauce onto serving platter and set the meat on top.  Garnish with chopped parsley.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains: (does not include meat)

496 cals, 48.2g fat, 5.35g carbs, 0.95g fiber, 4.4g NET CARBS, 7.65g protein, 475mg sodium

Chicken Bolognese

Click to enlarge

This dish is very easy to prepare (provided you have the spaghetti meat sauce on hand) and quite tasty!  It can either be served as shown above, or place the chicken on a bed of zucchini or shirataki tofu noodles and spoon the sauce on top of the chicken.  This extremely nutritious dinner is suitable for your Atkins Phase I Induction menu rotations provided you omit the bit of red wine. Each serving consists of 5 oz. raw chicken breast, which cooks down to about 4.5 oz.  Of course, you may choose to use larger portions of chicken, and I did for my husband.  But the smaller portion filled me up quite nicely.

INGREDIENTS: 

20 oz. deboned chicken breast, skinless (5 oz. per serving)

1 c. low-carb spaghetti meat sauce (I used spaghetti meat sauce)

4 basil leaves, chopped

4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

1 oz. (2 T.) red wine (omit for Induction compliance)

2 T. olive oil

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Pound the chicken breasts with a meat cleaver between two sheets of plastic wrap until they are just about ¼-3/8″ thick.  Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet and sear the chicken on both sides until golden and nearly done.  Turn off heat.  Spoon ¼ c. meat sauce over each of the four pieces of browned chicken.  Next drizzle ½ T. red wine over each serving.   Next sprinkle ¼ of the chopped basil on each piece, followed by 1 oz. of mozzarella on each.  Finally sprinkle the top of each portion with 2 T. Parmesan.    Pop that skillet into your preheated 350º oven.  Bake 20 minutes to finish off.  Serve with your favorite green vegetable or a nice green salad.  If I have some Oopsie Rolls in the fridge, I love to make some low-carb garlic bread to serve with this.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

475 calories, 28.4 g  fat, 6.4 g  carbs, 1.3 g  fiber, 5.1 g NET CARBS, 45.7 g  protein, 702 mg sodium

Swedish Meatballs

These meatballs are fantastic!  Love the allspice and nutmeg that is typically used in these.  We always have some when we shop at IKEA.  My husband just loves these things.  This is a very BIG recipe, so either make a half recipe or just freeze any leftover.  These are suitable for Atkins Induction ONLY if you omit the white wine in the sauce and use an Induction approved bread like this one in the meatballs.

MEATBALL INGREDIENTS:

1¼ lb. (20 oz) 80% ground beef

4 oz. pork breakfast sausage meat (or plain ground pork)

3 oz. onion

¼ c. parsley

Dash each salt and black pepper

¼ tsp. each nutmeg and allspice

2 large eggs

2 low-carb tortillas (HEB Carb Sense have 3 net carbs)

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

1 c. beef broth

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. white wine (omit if still in Induction Phase)

4 oz. can sliced mushrooms with juice

Few sprinkles xanthan gum to thicken (if needed)

Dash coarse black pepper

½ c. chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  You can brown your meatballs in a skillet if you prefer, but baking is so much simpler.  Place all meat ingredients in food processor and pulse until it it well blended and onion is well-chopped.  With your hands, form into 28 meatballs (about 1½”) and place on large parchment-lined baking pan (close together but not touching).  Bake at 350º for about 30 minutes or until they begin to brown nicely.  Remove pan from oven and using parchment to facilitate, lift the meatballs over to an awaiting large skillet.  Turn heat to high and allow to brown a little more in their pan juices, shaking skillet to roll them around a bit.

Add all sauce ingredients to the pan and let meatballs simmer in the gravy to allow flavors to co-mingle and to be sure meat is fully done.  Only thicken with xanthan gum or your preferred thickener if you feel the sauce is too thin.  Serve at once with your favorite green side dish (I served with buttered, steamed broccoli).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 28 meatballs.  Allowing 4 meatballs per serving, so this should serve 7 people nicely.  Each serving contains:

452 cals, 36g fat, 7.58g carbs, 3.61g fiber, 3.97g NET CARBS, 21.6g protein, 362 mg sodium

Beef Stroganoff

IMG_4983

Shown over Al Dente’s Carba-Nada egg fettucine noodles

This is how I usually put this famous dish together…..pretty simple, actually.  Takes under an hour to prepare. We low-carbers can serve it over low-carb noodles (I can highly recommend Al Dente’s “Carba-Nada” fettucini noodles), shredded stir-fried cabbage or mashed cauliflower.  I don’t care for it much on zucchini noodles, but you might like it that way.   This recipe is suitable for Induction if served over the cauli-mash or zucchini noodles AND you omit the red wine.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. sirloin steak, trimmed & cut in thin strips

4 T. butter, unsalted

4 oz. onion, chopped

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

1 c. beef broth (or deglaze the skillet with water)

¼ c. red wine (omit if still in Atkins Induction)

½ c. sour cream

xanthan gum or your favorite thickener

Low-carb noodles or veggie “noodles” of your choice

DIRECTIONS:  In a large non-stick skillet or wok, brown the onion.  Add meat strips and continue searing until nicely browned.  Add mushrooms at this point.  Saute for a few more minutes until they, too, are done.  Lower heat to lowest setting.  Add beef broth & red wine.  Simmer 5-10 minutes to blend flavors.  Cover with lid and simmer (or bake at 350º ) for 30 minutes or so.  Check and stir occasionally during cooking.  Slightly thicken with a very light dusting of xanthan gum or your favorite thickener, whisking continuously between additions.    Right before serving, with fire off, remove lid and gently stir in sour cream.  Lower heat and simmer just a few minutes.  Do not let boil after adding sour cream or it can curdle and be visually off-putting.  Serve over buttered stir-fried cabbage shreds, cooked zucchini noodles, Carba-Nada noodles or mashed/riced cauliflower.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Please note the numbers below do not reflect the veggie or noodles you serve this on.  The numbers below are for the meat sauce only.

Serves 4, with each serving containing:

344 cals, 21.9 g fat, 5.6 g carbs, 83 g fiber. 4.82 g NET CARBS, 28.8 g protein, 313 mg. sodium

Chicken Sofrito

Click to enlarge

This delightful dish, which uses sofrito, a Puerto Rican/Spanish  condiment, goes together in about 30 minutes start to finish if your sofrito mixture is already made up.  My kind of dinner!  Just sear the chicken, the bacon, layer it all and pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  Very easy; very tasty!  This dish is not suitable for Paleo due to the cheese.  This is acceptable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.

INGREDIENTS:

2   5-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. butter

2 slices bacon, chopped (I used thick slices)

2 oz. Monterrey Jack Cheese, grated

2 T.  sofrito

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Slice breasts laterally not quite cutting in two.  Lay them out flat and pound a bit with a meat cleaver or rolling pin so they are thinner, to speed up cooking. Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over high heat. Sear meat on both sides.  When nearly done, push chicken to the side of the skillet and add chopped bacon.  Let it brown, stirring as it cooks.  When both are fully done, turn off heat.  Carefully place evenly 1 oz. cheese on each breast.  Top each evenly with half the bacon.  Finally, evenly dot 1 T. prepared sofrito on top of each serving. Pop skillet into preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.    Serve with a nice guacamole salad or sides of your choice.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

367 cals, 23.5 g fat, 1.15 g carbs, 0.25 g fiber, 0.9 g NET CARBS, 36 g protein, 770 mg sodium

Chicken à la King

002

This dish comes together amazingly fast and is very easy.  And it’s DELICIOUS!  Because of the slightly higher carbs of carrots and peas, this is not really Induction friendly or Keto friendly as written.   However, if you substitute cut green beans for the peas, use a little less of the condensed soup and add a bit more broth/water, you could fit it into Induction and a Keto program.  This recipe is not suitable for Primal-Paleo.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with a number of low-carb cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your books TODAY! (available individually or as a set) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS: 

1 large chicken breast (8-10 oz.) (or chopped white turkey meat)

1 T. butter, unsalted

2 oz. frozen peas

2 oz. carrot, chopped

5 oz. daikon radish, chopped

1 oz. red bell pepper, chopped

1 oz. green bell pepper, chopped

1 oz. onion, chopped

Dash black pepper

½ recipe my low-carb Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

DIRECTIONS:  Cut up the vegetables and simmer in boiling water until just tender.  While they are cooking, skin the chicken and remove from bone with a sharp knife. Slice the chicken into 3 lateral slices for 3 equal portions.  Pound with meat tenderizing tool without tearing them apart.  Sear the chicken until nicely browned on both sides.

When veggies are tender (in about 10-15 minutes), strain off water.  Stir in the condensed soup and toss gently with a spoon.  If too thick, add a bit of water of chicken broth to thin.  Plate the chicken “filets” and spoon the sauce over them. Serve at once with a lovely green salad.

An alternate method of cooking and serving is to cut up the chicken into bite-sized pieces and saute that way and add it right into the creamed veggie mixture.   Then serve over toasted low-carb bread of some sort. Be sure to calculate the bread into the numbers below if you serve it that way, which is traditional for Chicken à la King.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 3 servings, each contains (varies with size of chicken breast):

437 calories, 27 g  fat, 10.9 g  carbs, 2.8 g  fiber, 8.1 g  NET CARBS, 25.6 g  protein, 917 mg sodium

Chicken Brussels Sprouts Casserole

Click to enlarge

The dish was literally a toss-in-a-little-of-this-and-a-little-of-that creation.  As is often the case, sometimes those dishes come out tasting quite good.  This one has proven to be extremely popular amongst my Facebook fans.  My husband ate seconds, which is always a good indicator, so I thought I’d share this one with you since I plan to fix it this evening for dinner.  Although quinoa is technically a seed, this recipe is not suitable until you reach the higher-carb grains rung of the Atkins carb ladder (Phase 2 OWL).

You may find this dish a bit carby for your nutrition program, but all the carbs are pretty much coming from the Brussels sprouts and quinoa.  But quinoa is a super food (just take note of the nutritional stats below!)I like to include in my diet once in awhile.  If you are still on Induction or wish just to lower the carb count, you could omit the quinoa altogether, or substitute in rice-shaped shiratake ‘noodles’.  🙂  Hemp hearts are a good low-carb substitution for the quinoa also, but those are still not suitable for Induction.  Sorry.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. homemade chicken broth

¼ c. quinoa (substitute hemp hearts for much lower carb count)

10 oz. chicken breast, deboned, skin removed, cut in small pieces

4 slices bacon, chopped

2 T. butter

1 c. celery, chopped

2½ oz. onion, chopped

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

¼ c. heavy cream

Dash each salt and black pepper

3 oz. Smoked Gouda cheese, shredded  (or cheese of your choice)

5 oz. frozen Brussels sprouts, cut into quarters lengthwise (do not precook)

DIRECTIONS:    Preheat the oven to 350º.  First, prepare the mushroom soup, set ½ the mixture into a medium bowl for inclusion in this recipe.  Store the remaining soup in the refrigerator for another use.  Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, add the quinoa and simmer covered for about 5-10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.  In a large skillet, fry the bacon until done.  Add the butter, celery, onion, salt and pepper and saute until the vegetables are getting tender.    Add the pieces of chicken next and sautée until no longer pink. Lower the heat and add the soup mix and cream.  Stir well.  Next add the shredded Gouda and Brussels sprouts.  Turn off heat and stir gently.  Add in the quinoa and remaining broth (or steamed cauliflower if substituting).  Toss the mixture well with a spoon.  Pop into a preheated 350º oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

468 cals, 33g fat, 15.27g carbs, 2.9g fiber, 12.37g NET CARBS, 25.8g protein, 880 mg sodium

Momma’s Baked Chicken

Momma's Baked Chicken

This was the baked chicken I was raised on.  Throughout my childhood, I disliked intensely the sour taste of vinegar.  Wouldn’t eat pickles, wouldn’t eat pickled vegetables, wouldn’t eat salads or even condiments that contained vinegar.  But man, when my mom made this baked chicken, I just could not believe I watched her douse it with such an “evil” ingredient and LIKED IT!!!  The natural red grape sugar in the red wine vinegar caramelizes under high heat and gives the chicken skin such a sweet, tangy taste.  The pan juices make a lovely gravy/baste for the drier breast meat.   Fortunately, my taste has changed over the years and I will now consume vinegar without hesitation, provided the food isn’t drowning in vinegar.  🙂

This recipe can be used on a split/butterflied/spatchcocked chicken as pictured, or you and cut the chicken up into pieces.  This method is delicious on Rock Cornish Hens, too.  It is also excellent for BBQ’ing of the chicken, and even for BBQ pork.  This recipe is perfectly suited to all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo as well.

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

6 T.  melted butter

3 T. red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)

1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper

THAT’S IT!!

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 400º.  Place butter in baking pan (I use a metal pan) as the oven is heating up.  Remove pan and add red wine vinegar to the butter, as well as the salt and pepper.  Prepare the chicken.  You can either split the chicken up the back with kitchen shears and spread it out as shown above, or cut the bird up into quarters or single pieces.  Using a brush, baste the pieces of chicken all over.  Sprinkle lightly with the salt and pepper and pop into hot oven for about an hour (less time for smaller birds, a little more for the butterflied bird shown) or until golden brown and reaches internal temp of 170º at the joint where the thigh meets the torso and in the thickest part of the breast.  I like to baste the chicken once or twice during cooking for the tastiest result on the skin.  I’m a skin fan, so that’s real important to me.  My husband just rips it off and hands it to me.  That works out just great, huh?  🙂 Remove from oven and serve at once with your favorite sides.  Be sure to put a spoon or brush into the pan for diners to baste their meat with the buttery juices if they wish (or pour the juices into a gravy boat).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  These numbers are for the baste/sauce only.  You will have to add in the values for whatever pieces of chicken you eat.  Makes enough for 10 pieces of chicken (1 whole l cut-up chicken).  Each portion of the sauce, assuming you even eat that much of the sauce, has:

62 calories, 6.9 g fat, 0.02 g carbs,  0.00 g fiber, .02 g NET CARBS, 0.13 g protein (add in your piece of chicken)

Spicy Boursin Chicken

Click to enlarge

A little Boursin cheese (also known as Gournay), salsa and the right spices mixed with chicken (or fish) creates a wonderful combo.  We both really liked this new creation!  This dish is quite rich, so one bundle is all I could eat. This recipe is quite suitable for Induction.  Calories can be reduced doing this with fish filets rather than chicken.  This dish freezes well, too!

INGREDIENTS:

16 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into six portions (or mild fish filets)

12 oz. frozen chopped spinach

3 oz. red bell pepper, finely chopped

3 T. Herdez canned “hot” red salsa, drained solids only (drained RoTel will also work)

5 oz. package Boursin Cheese with garlic and herbs

¼ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2009/08/20/my-seafood-spice-blend/

Dash black pepper

Available in the specialty cheese bin at Walmart and other grocery stores.

3 T. melted butter

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º.  Defrost and squeeze the frozen spinach to remove water and set aside, allowing it to continue draining in a colander or sieve while you prepare the chicken.  Diagonally slice the chicken into 6 thin filets.  Place plastic wrap on top and pound chicken quite thin (without tearing apart) using a mallet.   Now place the spinach in a mixing bowl and add in the Boursin cheese, bell pepper, salsa and black pepper.   Stir well to blend ingredients.  Spoon evenly onto the center of the 6 flattened pieces of chicken and fold the meat over the top.  Place seam side down in baking dish.  Sprinkle well with the spice blend and with a brush, baste each bundle with melted butter.  Pop into hot oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until meat is golden brown (fish will cook faster, say in about 20 minutes). Spinach/cheese mixture will spill out of the bundles, but not in a messy way, as you can see in the pic above.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 6 servings, each contains:

323 cals, 27.3 g fat, 4.48 g carbs, 2.05 g fiber, 2.43 g NET CARBS, 26.5 g protein, 580 mg sodium

Eggplant-Beef Lasagna

Eggplant-Beef Lasagna

When I have an eggplant on hand, I often end up making this dish with it.  Comes out real tasty every time.  This dish is Induction friendly if you can fit the carbs into your day.  🙂  I find with all the cheese, this dish is salty enough without added salt. This is not a particularly large recipe, so if you want extra for some to be leftover for freezing, I would recommend doubling the recipe.  This recipe is not suitable until Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  It is suitable for Primal if you eat occasional dairy, but not for Paleo due to the cheese.

INGREDIENTS:

10 oz. eggplant

1 T. olive oil

1 c. low-carb spaghetti sauce with meat  (I use homemade, my recipe here:

4 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated

4 T. Parmesan cheese

1/3 c. ricotta cheese

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

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 400º.  Stem the eggplant and slice into ¼” slices.  Oil sheet pan with olive oil and place each slice on sheet, coating both sides of them with oil as you go.  Bake until eggplant is nearly done, turning once (takes about 8-10 minutes on a side.  Remove from oven and lower heat to 350º.  Layer half the eggplant slices on the bottom of a well oiled baking dish.  Spoon half the spaghetti sauce over the top.  Evenly spread all the ricotta cheese on next.  Now sprinkle on half the mozzarella followed by 2 T. of the Parmesan.  Spread the chopped basil on next.  Now place the remaining slices of eggplant on top, reserving out one nice slice to decorate the top of the dish.  Add the remaining sauce. Sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella and then the Parmesan cheese.  Place the last slice of eggplant center dish and pop into 350º oven for around 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.  Garnish with colorful fresh basil leaves if desired.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

294.3 cals, 19.7g fat, 11.13g carbs, 3.65g fiber, 7.48g NET CARBS, 19g protein, 250 mg sodium

Swiss Steak

Swiss SteakSwiss Steak, it’s what’s for dinner tonight!  This is a dish my mother fixed often when I was young.  We just LOVED it! She was inclined to serve it with a side of mashed potatoes, but I serve mine now with a side of seasoned cauliflower.  Just as good in my opinion.  Mom didn’t put the red wine I show below in her Swiss Steak either, but I think it transforms the ordinary into something special.  You should omit the wine if still on Induction.  You can use cube steak, round, chuck, sirloin or I even occasionally use 20-21 oz. raw beef shank (5 oz. worth of marrow bone must be trimmed out).  I like to pound whatever meat I use for this with a cleaver to tenderize it a bit.  The oat fiber I dredge over this meat before browning isn’t necessary, but it only adds 0.25 net carbs per serving and tends to make a much browner, tastier gravy. Your call on that one. You can just brown the meat directly in the oil and save the fraction of a carb from each serving, if you don’t have oat fiber or prefer to not use it.  This extremely nutritious dish is Atkins Induction friendly if you omit the wine and resistant starch coating.  Check out the stats below!

INGREDIENTS:

16 oz. beef cube steak, round, chuck or sirloin (I used Grass-fed flank steak)

1 T. oat fiber (omit for fewer carbs)

2 T. coconut or olive oil

4 oz. sliced onion

1 large green bell pepper, sliced

3 Roma tomatoes, cubed large

Dash each salt and black pepper

¼ c. red wine (omit if still on Induction)

2 c. water (or beef broth)

Small amount of favorite thickener (I use a light dusting of xanthan gum)

DIRECTIONS:  Cut meat into 4 portions.  Pound meat on both sides with a cleaver to tenderize it a bit. Dredge both sides of each piece with the oat fiber.  Heat oil in non-stick skillet and brown over high heat until nicely browned on both sides.  If you prefer, you can omit the oat fiber and sear the meat directly.  The gravy won’t get as brown, but will taste OK.  Add onion and brown a minute or two.  Add bell pepper and tomato, the water (or broth) and wine.  Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  you want the meat to get tender, but not to cook the veggies to death.  If I can remember, I wait 15-20 minutes into the simmering before adding the bell pepper so it doesn’t totally fall apart.  If needed, thicken gravy with a sprinkle of thickener, but I find it is rarely necessary when properly cooked down.  Serve topped with a generous portion of the veggie sauce.  This is nice with mashed cauliflower or zucchini noodles.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes four 4-oz servings (meat and vegetable sauce only, no underlayment), each contains:

352.3 cals, 15.75 g fat, 8.3 g carbs, 3.28 g fiber, 5.02g NET CARBS, 40 g protein, 97 mg sodium

Lebanese Baked Chicken (Frarej)

Lebanese Baked Chicken

This recipe has been one of my most popular and most visited recipes.  Our best friends in Dallas have taken us several times to a wonderful little Lebanese restaurant over in Ft. Worth named Hedary’s.  Family-operated for many years, I can say their tabouleh  salad and kebabs are to die for!  So is their slow-roasted baked lemon chicken known as Frarej.  For those tables positioned close enough to do so, they used to serve their fresh-baked pita bread all the way from behind the counter on long, paddled poles.   Don’t know if they still do that, but is sure was fun to watch!  Next time you’re in Ft. Worth, give Hedary’s a try!  But in the meantime…………………..experience their delicious baked chicken at home!  This Induction friendly version of their ever-popular lemony chicken dish is slightly changed.  The original dish has potato wedges, so I always substitute rutabaga or turnip wedges to keep the carbs reasonably low.  I did not include the root vegetables in the nutritional info below as I don’t always include them in the pan.  I tend to vary the vegetables I use based on what I have on hand.  So be sure to calculate the veggies you add (and consume) over and above what I consider to be the base recipe of onion, garlic and tomatoes.  If you have family that are not on Atkins, I would definitely use a few wedges of potato for them, as they soak up those tasty pan juices like a sponge and are sooooooo tasty.

My rendition is very close to the inspirational dish from Hedary’s, though I must confess, not QUITE as good.  This meal is easy to prepare and the oven basically does the work for you!  Gives a whole new meaning to “Set it & forget it”.  🙂

INGREDIENTS:

4 T. olive oil

1 cut up whole chicken or 8 pieces

4 oz. onion cut into wedges (separate layers)

2 Roma tomatoes cut into wedges

6-10 cloves garlic, (leave half of them whole, mince the rest)

½ tsp. oregano

Juice of 1 lemon

Dash salt and pepper

OPTIONAL: Carrots and wedges of rutabaga or turnips (for non-low-carbers, potato wedges)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 500º.  Cut up chicken into separate pieces making 8 pieces in all.   I never use the back as I simmer that for broth to freeze for other purposes or it becomes dinner for my dogs.  🙂  Drizzle 1 T. of the olive oil on the bottom of a very large baking/roasting pan (I use a 12 x 15 stainless steel metal pan).   I do not recommend glass/ceramic ware for such high temperature cooking.  If you don’t yet have a really large, good quality stainless steel roasting pan, I think it is one of the single most important investments you can make in your cooking tools.  Place chicken skin side up  in the pan.  You don’t want any overlapping or crowding.  I do not recommend using a glass or ceramic baking dish at the very high temperature called for in this recipe.  Glass can be unpredictable, can even break, above 450º.  Crowding of this chicken and the surrounding veggies will result in deeper pan juices around them and that will impede crisping of the chicken.  Place tomato wedges around and in between chicken pieces.  Do the same with the onion pieces and add the garlic.  If using the root vegetables, cut them up and place them evenly around the chicken.  Squeeze the lemon over everything in the pan.  Drizzle remaining olive oil over the pan contents as well.   Lightly sprinkle some oregano over all (about 1/4-½ tsp, I don’t measure it).   Bake 30 minutes at 500º.  Baste with pan juices, lower heat to 350º and bake another 20 minutes or to internal temperature of 170º on a meat thermometer.   Baste with pan juices just before serving if desired.  I like to place the juices in a gravy boat and have it on the table for basting the drier breast meat.  If there are any juices leftover, I freeze them and add them to the bottom of the pan next time I make this recipe (which is often!).  I like to serve this with a Tabouleh parsley salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: (does NOT include the optional potato, turnips or carrots).
Please note, these numbers are only approximate, because the actual counts will vary depending on which pieces of chicken and which roasted veggies you eat.

Serves 4, each 2-piece serving contains:

447 cals, 30.4 g fat, 7.98 g carbs, 1.1 g fiber, 6.88 g NET CARBS, 34.8 g protein, 39 mg. sodium

Pork in Queso Flameado Sauce

Pork in Queso Flameado

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

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She brings you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your set TODAY! (available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. pork loin, cut into 4 portions

1 link chorizo, removed from the skin and crumbled

2 T. unsalted butter

4 large green onions, chopped

1/2 c. red bell pepper, chopped

1 c. cilantro, chopped

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. water

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

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

Chicken Florentine

Chicken Florentine

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

Who says low-carb eating is boring?  Low Carbing Among Friends cookbooks will dispel that notion and shows you through photographs a sampling of the delicious low-carb recipes you can have at your fingertips.  You can order your own copies of these low-carb cookbooks by Jennifer Eloff and friends.  Some of MY recipes are even in there! These cookbooks will guarantee your meals will NEVER be boring. You can order here Amazon or here

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 T. unsalted butter

½ lb. fresh mushrooms sliced thick

1 clove minced garlic

Pinch salt and pepper

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

1/3 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. chicken broth

3 T. grated Parmesan

2 T. white wine (optional)

Pinch xanthan gum (if needed to thicken)

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings each with:

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

Mediterranean Chicken and Olives

Click to enlarge

 Shown with added link of chorizo formed into balls

I absolutely love olives but tend to think of them as a food eaten separately, or atop salads.  But when I put them into meat dishes I’m always amazed at what they bring to the final dish.  This was yet another example of a tasty surprise for me.

The Baharat spice blend I chose for this dish is prevalent in the countries along the extreme eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea.  I think you’ll like it on chicken and it is equally good in stewed beef curries and on roasted vegetables.  I highly encourage you to give this blend a try sometime, even if not on this particular dish.    It was incredible on the chicken tonight.   The cinnamon and cloves come through the most, but the other spices in the blend have a subtle flavor presence as well.  The spice here is the key flavor ingredient here so I would not encourage substitutions or you will be creating a totally different dish.   This dish is suitable for Atkins Induction, Keto diets, and Primal-Paleo lifestyles as well.   Be sure to use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe.  Note the incredible nutritional stats below!  Healthy, this one!

You may notice some small round brown meatballs in the pic above.  That’s 1 link of chorizo broken up into little pieces.  But we decided we don’t like it in this dish.  The spices in the chorizo conflict too much with the Baharat spices.  So I won’t ever put that in this recipe again. I suppose you can try it if you’re a big chorizo fan or you could try regular breakfast sausage for a variation.  You might even like it!  The link of chorizo, however, is not calculated in the nutritional info below.

INGREDIENTS:

3 medium chicken thighs

3 medium chicken drumsticks

3 T. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. my Baharat Spice Blend  (the key flavor, so don’t substitute)

4 oz. purple onion, sliced lengthwise

3 plum tomatoes, each cut into 4 wedges

24 medium black olives

Dash each salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 425º.  Place olive oil, Baharat spice and minced garlic in a pan large enough to hold your chicken without any crowding.  Stir it well.  Take each piece of chicken and dip each side into the oil mixture.  Rub or baste each piece all over well.  Evenly space the pieces skin-side up in the pan.  Cut the tomatoes into wedges and space them evenly around the chicken in the pan, trying not to cover the pieces of chicken.  If covered, the juice from the tomato will inhibit browning of the skin.

Next place the olives evenly around the chicken pieces.   Lastly, separate the slivers of onion and spread them all around the chicken.  Dip a basting brush into the olive oil mixture and baste the olives and vegetables with the oil (add more oil if needed).  Lightly sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Pop into a preheated hot 425º oven and bake for about 1 hour, re-basting at 30 minutes cooking time to be sure the vegetables don’t dry out.   I served this with buttered, steamed asparagus.  It would also be good with a Greek salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 adult servings (serving = 1 drumstick + 1 thigh).  Each serving contains:

438 cals, 32g fat, 8.26g carbs, 2.26g fiber, 6g NET CARBS, 29.8g protein, 742 mg sodium

Mexicali Spaghetti Squash

I created this dish while on Weight Watchers years ago.   Spaghetti squash is a bit “carb pricey”, so plan your day’s meals to be sure this will fit in without pushing you over on your net carb limitation for the day.

This recipe will serve 2 adults.  This is pretty baked in the squash shell as a “bowl”, but if that tears up after cooking the squash in the first step, just butter a glass baking dish instead and bake the filling like a regular casserole.  This recipe is  OK for Atkins Induction, Keto diets and Primal.  Omit the cheese if doing Paleo.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. spaghetti squash threads (half of 1 lb. squash’s yield)

3 oz. chopped onion

3 oz. chopped bell pepper (any color)

1 lg. plum tomato, chopped

1 clove minced garlic

2 T. chopped cilantro (optional)

½ tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. ground cumin

4 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated

8 oz. ground beef

dash pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Cooking the squash:

Using large kitchen knife cut squash in half lengthwise.  Wrap one half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for some other use.  Place the other half, cut side down, in a microwave proof baking dish.  Add ½ c. water to the pan.  Microwave on HI for 12-14 minutes or conventional 350º oven for about 30 minutes.  Outer skin will begin to give when touched when the squash is done.  Take out of microwave and pour off water.  Turn squash over and using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard.  With the tines of a fork, strip out the squash “threads” into a bowl.    Try not to tear the squash shell, as you are going to use this shell as a baking “dish”.  If it tears up, discard and use a greased glass dish instead.

Making the filling:

Brown ground beef in non-stick pan over medium heat. It will probably produce enough grease on its own to continue, add a little if not.   Add onion and bell pepper and sauté until they begin to get soft.  Add garlic, tomato and all seasonings. Continue to cook until vegetables are tender.  Pour over squash threads in the bowl, add ¾ of the cheese and stir to mix all ingredients well.  Spoon mixture into the squash shell.  Top with the bit of reserved cheese.   Place back into pan you originally used to bake the squash.

Bake about 3-4 minutes in a microwave on HI; or bake 15-20 minutes in 350º conventional oven.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 2, each serving contains:

573 cals, 38g fat, 15.35g carbs, 2.85g fiber, 12.5g NET CARBS, 43g protein, 900 mg. sodium

Oven-Fried Chicken (KFC style)

photocat

This Induction friendly recipe is one of the many low-carb ways I like to bake chicken now. I haven’t made this in ages and plan on doing so tonight.  This recipe reminds me a little of the KFC Chicken “original recipe” with all the herbs and spices.  Cooking chicken in crushed pork rinds is actually not that unique in the low-carb community.  But I wanted to re-post it for those NEW to my site.  The flavor of this chicken coating changes depending on what spices you use.  For those not so fond of pork rinds, the Parmesan and spices are pretty much in the “driver’s seat” flavor-wise in this dish.  🙂

INGREDIENTS:

3 chicken thighs

3 chicken drumsticks

1/4 c. unsalted butter (or you can use homemade mayonnaise)

½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

2 T. Ranch dressing powder, my Ranch Dressing Powder Blend recipe, an on-line KCF spice recipe, or my Seafood Spice Blend

2 T. parsley, chopped very fine

1/8 tsp. black pepper

¼ c. finely crushed plain pork rinds

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º. Melt butter in microwaveable bowl.  In a separate container, mix all dry ingredients.  Dip each piece of chicken into butter, rolling to completely cover.  Then roll in the dry coating mix to cover on all sides.  Place directly on metal baking pan or on foil covered baking sheet.  DO NOT USE A SILICONE SHEET OR IT WILL INHIBIT BROWNING AND CRISPNESS.  Bake at 350º for 1 hour.  If exceptionally large thighs, check for doneness with a knife, right next to the bone.  Add more cooking time if needed.  Serve at once with your favorite side dishes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 3 servings, each contains:

579 cals, 40.7g fat, 1.4g carbs, 0.07g fiber, 1.33g NET CARBS, 47g protein, 500-1000 mg sodium (depending on spice blend sodium level)

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!!!  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!  It has been extremely popular with my Facebook fans in the past (I’m no longer on FB).  Although I made the dumpling dough in small round dumplings, it tasted 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 you need to try it soon!  This 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 due to the dairy.

INGREDIENTS:

(pot of simmering water to make dumplings)

1 recipe my glucomanan 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

Zuppa Toscana

Creamy Italian Sausage SoupThis soup is similar to Zuppa Toscana at Olive Garden restaurants, but mine has diced cauliflower standing in for potatoes.  I tend to use ground pork rather than Italian sausage, as I can control spices and salt doing that.  You just need to add oregano, fennel and garlic really.  But you can certainly substitute in commercial Italian sausage if you prefer for convenience.  It will almost DOUBLE the sodium and increase carbs though.   Just be aware of that.  This soups is delicious and we both gave it a resounding thumbs up.  It will make the rounds at our house. 🙂

VARIATIONS:  Substitute 1/2 c. chopped parsley for the kale; substitute diced rutabaga for the cauliflower.

INGREDIENTS:

6 slices bacon, cut into 3/4″ bits

12 oz.  lean ground pork, coarsely broken up to 1/2″ chunks

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1½ c. coarsely chopped kale (about 3 leaves after stemming)

3 oz. cauliflower, diced to ½”-3/4″ pieces

1 oz. pimiento (half a 2 oz. jar)

3 large mushrooms, sliced or cut however you like

4 c. homemade chicken broth (32 oz.)

1 c. water

1 c. heavy cream

Dash black pepper

Dash crushed red pepper

3-4 drops Tobasco hot sauce

¼ tsp. dried oregano leaves

½ tsp. fennel seed, crushed

DIRECTIONS:  In a large Dutch oven or soup pot over high heat, cook the bacon.  Add the pork, onion and garlic and sauté until meat is no longer pink.  Lower heat to medium.  Add all remaining ingredients but the cream.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Add cream and simmer 5 more minutes.  Thicken with xanthan or gum if desired.   Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes six 1-1¼c. servings, each contains:

356 cals, 30.5g fat, 5.51g carbs, 1.08g fiber, 4.43g NET CARBS, 15.6g protein, 865 mg sodium

Chicken Scallopini

Chicken Scallopini

Chicken Scallopini

This is a recipe I’ve been cooking for many years now.  It’s truly Atkins OWL friendly without a single modification.  It’s rich, but I love this one every once in awhile.  Vermouth has a distinctive flavor, but if you don’t have it, you could use an equal amount of dry white wine instead.  This will, however, greatly impact the final flavor.  This is real easy to put together yet it really delivers on flavor!  If you omit the vermouth/wine, this is suitable during Induction.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in the cookbooks! Order your set TODAY! also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

4  4-oz skinless, boneless pieces chicken breast

1 ½ T. olive oil

8 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

¼ c. chopped parsley

½ tsp. dried tarragon

1/3 c. heavy cream

3 T. dry vermouth or white wine (omit if on Induction)

Dash Salt & Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:  Pound chicken breasts between two pieces waxed paper until flattened to about ¼” thickness.  Lightly salt and pepper.  In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 T. of the oil and sear chicken until lightly browned on both sides.  Just cook until done (no pink juice exuding).   Remove to a platter and cover with plate or foil to keep warm.

Add remaining olive oil to skillet and saute mushrooms, stirring occasionally  until lightly browned and done, about 5 minutes.  Lower heat and add vermouth, cream, tarragon, parsley and deglaze any brown bits off bottom of pan.  Pour mushroom cream sauce over chicken.  Decorate with a sprig of parsley or a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 4, each serving containing:

368 calories

21.43 g  fat

4.25 g  carbs, 1.0 g  fiber,3.25 NET CARBS

36.88 g  protein

39 mg. sodium

Beef Enchiladas

0041

Above are my classic Tex-Mex gooey, cheesy beef enchiladas.  They don’t always dip up so pretty with low-carb tortillas, but man, are they ever good!!!  What they lack in appearance they sure make up for in flavor!  It’s how I’ve made these things for over 40 years, other than the low-carb tortilla part.  I can’t live without my regular fix of enchiladas, so I just HAD to come up with some kind of  low-carb “corn” tortilla so that I could indulge in.   They’re like enchiladas that have sat too long over a restaurant buffet warming tray and falling apart, but for me, that’s just when enchiladas start getting GOOD!  The flavors have mellowed by then.  😉

I created that low-carb corn tortilla this afternoon.  Not as good as the real deal. I’d be lying if I said it was. But hey, I do what I must to stay low-carb.  They were every bit as good as my traditional tortilla enchiladas!!  Guacamole was a perfect complement to this Mexican dish. These enchiladas are not suitable until the nuts and seeds rung of the Atkins Phase 2 OWL carb ladder.   They are not suitable for Paleo or Primal due to the tablespoon of cornmeal in the tortillas.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef

8 low-carb tortillas (I used my homemade low-carb “corn” tortillas)

3 oz. onion, chopped

1 tsp. chili powder blend

1 tsp. dried guajillo chiles, seeded and chopped fine (or 1/2 tsp. ground guajillo chile powder)

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ tsp. ground cumin

4 oz. grated cheddar cheese

8 oz. (8 slices) American Cheese (or more cheddar if you prefer)

1 c. homemade red enchilada sauce

½ c. canned green tomatillos

DIRECTIONS:  Make the “corn” tortillas by that recipe and set aside.  Grease baking dish and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350º.  Brown ground beef along with the chopped onion in a non-stick skillet.  Add the salt, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin and dried guajillo chile to the meat mixture.  Cook until onions are tender and meat is no longer pink.  Spoon about 2 oz. meat mixture  (1 large soup spoonful) onto one of the tortillas.  Add ½ slice of the American cheese.  Gently roll the tortilla around the meat/cheese mixture and place it seam down into the greased baking dish.  Repeat with remaining 7 enchiladas, pushing them snugly together in the pan so they will all fit.  I usually have to put 1 or 2 on the side of the dish as well.  If there is a bit of meat mixture leftover, just spoon it over the top of the rolled enchiladas.  Set the pan aside while you make the red enchilada sauce per the recipe instructions at the above link.  Add the canned green tomatillos to a saucepan on medium heat.  Next add the remaining 4 slices of American cheese to the tomatillos and allow to melt.  Add the enchilada sauce and stir until all is smooth.  Spoon the sauce over the enchiladas in the pan.  Top with the grated cheddar cheese and pop into a preheated 350º oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted nicely.  Serve with your favorite guacamole or green salad. ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 enchiladas, each contains:

283 cals, 21.06g fat, 5.50g carbs, 0.67g fiber, 4.83g NET CARBS, 19.4g protein, 40 mg sodium

Sausage-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

If you’re a mushroom fan you MUST try these.  You can use either breakfast bulk sausage or Italian sausage to make them.  They will be delicious either way.  My Homemade Italian Sausage is what I used, as it is low in sodium or you can use my Homemade Breakfast Sausage for a different flavor.  If you use commercial sausage, bear in mind the sodium count will be much higher than shown below.   For the breadcrumbs, I used a slice of my homemade Grain-Free Fluten-Free Focaccia because I have it currently made and on hand.  Using other low-carb bread for your bread crumbs will also impact numbers and require recalculations be done. This recipe is suitable once you are at Phase 2 Atkins.

INGREDIENTS:

4 Portobello mushroooms (about 4 oz. each)

3 T. olive oil

14 oz. ground Italian (any casing removed) or bulk breakfast sausage, crumbled

1/3 c. chopped red bell pepper (or green)

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ c. chopped parsley

¼ tsp. dried oregano, crushed

1/8 tsp. dried basil

1/8 tsp. each sea salt and coarse black pepper

¼ tsp. Sriracha sauce (or 6-8 drops Tobasco)

1 slice low-carb bread (I used my gluten-free focaccia)

1 beaten large egg

4 oz. mozzarella cheese shreds

¼ c. grated Parmesan

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Wipe mushrooms clean with a dry, clean cloth.  Stem and with a spoon, scoop out and discard black gills in center.  Chop stems and set on paper plate.  Chop/mince all listed vegetables and add to that same paper plate.  Heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Brush mushroom cap domed sides with olive oil and place on baking sheet.  In remaining oil saute the sausage crumbles, breaking up smallish.  Add all listed vegetables, including the chopped mushroom stems, cooking until all are tender.  Turn off heat.  Add all spices shown and the Sriracha sauce (or Tobasco).  Crumb your low-carb bread and add to the mixture.  Beat the egg in a small bowl and add.  Stir the finished filling mixture well so all gets moistened with the egg.  Fill each of the mushroom caps with 1/4 of the filling.  Sprinkle 1 T. Parmesan on top of each mushroom.  Finish with 1 T. mozzarella shreds sprinkled on top.  Pop pan into preheated 350º oven.  Bake 20-25 minutes.  Enjoy with a lovely green salad or green side of your choosing.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

522 cals, 40g fat, 10g carbs, 3.37g fiber, 6.63g NET CARBS, 32.3g protein, 316 mg sodium

Indian Cashew Chicken Curry

Cachew Chicken Curry

This curry recipe is quite unique in flavor from any others I’ve tested.  The fenugreek is what makes the difference.  If you’re a curry fan, you will want to give this delicious recipe a try.   I have had my jar of fenugreek for some time, but I bought it for Iranian cuisine, which uses fenugreek often.  I had this thought of using it in an Indian dish and WOW!  A great decision!  An added note:  despite the pepper(s) in this, the final dish is NOT too spicy.  As always, I don’t like food too spicy and you won’t find such on my blog.  Something about cooking Indian recipes seems to tone down jalapeno and cayenne in the final dish.  Not sure why, it just does.  This recipe is suitable for Phase 2 of Atkins and beyond, and Keto diets as well.  Omit cashews or use almonds for Atkins Induction folks.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. coconut oil (or butter)

16 oz. chicken breast, boned, skin removed, cut into big chunks

4 oz. onion, sliced

1 jalapeno, seeded and slivered (will not be hot in the final dish)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. black pepper (a key flavor in this recipe yet too too hot)

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (final dish was NOT hot)

1 tsp. fenugreek seed, ground

Dash salt

¼ tsp. my Garam Masala

Dash turmeric (1-2 shakes from a shaker)

3/4 c. heavy cream

½ c. chicken broth

2 oz. cashew nuts (raw or roasted is OK)

3 Roma tomatoes, cut in chunks

1/8 tsp. xanthan gum (optional, if you want it thicker)

Garnish with a sprig of cilantro if you like

DIRECTIONS:   Melt coconut oil over high heat in a non-stick wok or skillet.  Add chicken and saute to brown on all sides.  Add onion and saute until it, too, begins to brown.  Add slivered jalapeno and garlic.  Add all spices, cream and chicken broth, nuts and tomatoes.  Lower heat to LOW and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until flavors have had a chance to meld.  Serve alone or over steamed cauliflower rice.  For those not low-carbing at your table, I would offer a bowl of steamed basmati rice.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 5 servings, each contains:  (does not include cauli-rice or basmati rice)

353 cals, 19 g fat, 9.4 g carbs, 1.48 g fiber, 8.92 g NET CARBS, 34.4 g protein, 457 mg sodium

Montreal Baked Chicken

Montreal Baked ChickenThis Induction friendly recipe is super easy…..super good!  It has been one of the more popular posts on my blog.  The secret to the crisp skin is to bake at high heat to start, then lower.  This recipe is Induction friendly and I’m proud to say is also appears in Jennifer Eloff’s Low Carbing Among Friends, Vol. 2.  This cookbook series (Vols. 6 & 7) is a wonderful collection of original recipes by some of the most talented low-carb cooks on the net!  Whether you’re a sweet person or a savory fan (like me) you’ll want to grab a set of these cookbooks at Amazon or here to add to your low-carb kitchen arsenal.  This recipe is also suitable for Keto followers, Primal and Paleo as well.  🙂

VARIATION:  A pinch of garlic powder and 1-2 T. Parmesan added to this is very good!

INGREDIENTS:

1 whole chicken cut up (I pull out the back, neck and fat to make chicken stock)

1 recipe my Montreal BBQ Sauce

DIRECTIONS:   Cut up the chicken (I cut breasts in half, remove back, making 10 pieces) and place pieces in a zipper plastic gallon bag.  Mix up the marinade and add to bag.  Manipulate well with your hands and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.  When ready to cook Preheat oven to 475º.  Place pieces of chicken on metal baking pan large enough the pieces don’t overlap, for best browning.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove and baste with juices in the pan.  Lower heat to 350º and continue baking for 20-30 minutes.  Time will vary due to size of chicken pieces and ovens vary.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 10 meaty pieces or 5 servings.  It would be impossible for me to calculate the exact figures for a serving because that depends upon the pieces of chicken eaten.  But to give you a rough idea, each 2-piece serving will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 393 calories, 28 g  fat, .26 g carbs, .1 g fiber, .16 g net carbs, 33.12 g  protein, 642 mg sodium.  Basically, take the nutritional info for the particular piece of chicken and add in the nutritional info for 1T. of the sauce (.16 net carbs) shown on that recipe.

Crawfish al Pesto on Eggplant “Pillows”

Crawfish al Pesto on Eggplant

This recipe grew out of a delicious spaghetti squash alfredo dish I did earlier this week.  At first I had my doubts on  crawfish for this, but it came out DELICIOUS!  I made a batch of my Oven-Fried Fish coating and baked off the eggplant first, as you would for classic Eggplant Parmigiana.  The crunchy coating on the eggplant very quickly loses its crunchiness, so serve this quickly and don’t hold it over for any reason.  This sinfully rich dish was so good I will definitely be doing it again soon, but perhaps with lobster of scallops.  This dish freezes nicely, too, getting even tastier upon re-baking!  The eggplant will lose that crunchiness from freezing, but the dish still tastes fantastic when reheated.

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

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. eggplant, sliced into eight ½” slices

3 oz. plain pork rinds, crushed fine

6 T. homemade mayonnaise

Dash salt

4 T. butter

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

¼ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

¼ c. Parmesan cheese, grated

1½ T. homemade pesto sauce (or commercial)

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

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

1 c. grated mozzarella cheese

2 T. chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 8 servings, each contains:

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

Turkey Day Feast

CLICK THE LINKS UNDER EACH PHOTO TO SEE RECIPES:

I’m fond of turkey roasted in my roaster oven as they always come out so moist cooked that way.   This year I actually found a small (10#) bird so we won’t have so much leftover (we are but two).  Roaster ovens are especially nice for extra oven space needed holiday gatherings and your oven is full to the brim.  This year my double wall oven died (it’s been giving me signals for over a year now) and my new one is on order, but it won’t be installed until Dec. 9th.  Needless to say this happening just now isn’t the best timing, so my Thanksgiving meal will be much simpler, with as much made ahead as possible.  My roaster oven will be a true blessing for getting the bird and stuffing cooked in time.

What turkey would be complete without a good batch of stuffing?  This recipe, modified to be low-carb, has been in my family for years.  I think you’ll like it.  I like to bake my dressing separately from the bird as I like the crusty bits on top:

Although we debate on what side dishes we want to have “this year” with the two basics above, we keep coming back to these two recipes:

And of course, there must be a sweet, tangy cranberry sauce to top things off.  And why not spike it a bit?:

To top it all off, a lovely dinner roll is in order for the holiday table:

That just brings us to the pièce de résistance, dessert.  Oh, the dilemma!  I usually decide on light rather than rich and heavy dessert as most folks are stuffed to the brim before dessert.  Although pumpkin pie is typical at my house, I think I’ll be doing a sweet potato pie instead this year.  I just substitute an equal amount of cooked sweet potatoes (mashed) in my regular pumpkin recipe.  This year I’m making a large pie and several small ones to save for later in the the holiday season.  A person can never have pumpkin/sweet potato pie too often in my book.  🙂

At a time to be thankful for family, friends and good food to share with them, I can’t imagine a more bountiful meal to serve.  May all my readers be blessed with a lovely holiday get together this year.

Jalapeno Meatloaf Burgers

jalapeno-meatloaf-burgers

I want a quick meal tonight so I’m making a favorite of ours.  We drove down to our cabin place this morning and I’m tired, so simple is the plan.  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 they are so good!  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 diets 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

Bœuf Bourguignon (Beef Burgundy)

A long time favorite of my parents when they were living.  I was pretty fond of it myself!  We haven’t had it in ages so I fixed it for dinner last night with the small 2# chuck roast I defrosted.  Yum!  I forget how good this French stewed beef dish is.  This evening I used a fairly small piece of chuck roast, only 2#, but it made enough dinner for 4 very ample servings.  We consumed two and I froze the remainder for another meal!  This dish is not suitable for Atkins induction or Keto dieters in the first 2-3 weeks because of the wine.  But once you’ve been on plan for awhile you can enjoy this delightful, rich, hearty dish from the Burgundy region of France.

INGREDIENTS:

2 lb.   beef chuck, cut in 1½” cubes, trimmed of all fat and gristle

3 T. coconut or extra light olive oil

¼ c. Einkorn flour (or sifted Carbquik bake mix, to reduce carbs)

2 large carrots, peeled, cut in ½” slices

4 oz. yellow onion, cut in wedges (1″ whole onions are traditional)

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

2 large cloves garlic, minced (or 3 small)

½ c. Burgundy wine (or other full-bodied red wine)

¼ t.. sea salt

¼ t. coarse black pepper

10 large button mushrooms (8 oz.)

½ c. rich beef broth or bone broth

Water to cover pot contents

Thickener of your choice (I used a light dusting of xanthan gum)

VARIATION:  Add some cubed rutabaga or turnip (potato sub) when you add in the carrots

DIRECTIONS:  Cut beef into 1½” cubes.  Trim all visible fat and gristle off that you can.  Using a large stew/soup pot, heat up the 3T. oil on high heat.  While it is heating, Place the meat into a bag with the flour, salt and pepper.  Shake well to coat.  Place pieces of meat into hot oil and brown the bottom surfaces.  When really browned, turn the pieces and brown the other side.  Add 1-2 c. tap water to slow the cooking.  Next add wine and all remaining ingredients listed.  End with enough more water to cover all solid ingredients, about 1/2″ past, actually.  Allow to come to a boil on high heat.  When it is bubbling lower to lowest heat setting and simmer for about 2 hours.  Cover only if too much water is evaporating and contents are not well-covered. Stir about every 15-20 minutes.  When all is tender and veggies are not too overdone, thicken liquid with your preferred thickener.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 large servings, each contains:  (does not include potato sub)

462 cals, 19.1g fat, 16.3g carbs, 3.3g fiber, 13g NET CARBS, 138 mg sodium (to reduce carbs, eat a smaller portion than 1/4 of the batch)

Asian Shrimp Patties

shpatties0032

These tasty shrimp patties make a wonderful, quick lunch or light dinner for 2-3 people.  We both LOVE these things served with a nice green salad.  They are suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets.

INGREDIENTS FOR SHRIMP PATTIES:

8 oz. raw, peeled shrimp
1/2 tsp. Sambal Oelek chile paste
2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp. minced shallots or green onion
juice of 1/2 lime
3/4 tsp. dried lemon grass, ground (or 1½ tsp. fresh, finely chopped)
1/4 of a Revo Roll (Cloud Bread) crumbled  (http://www.genaw.com/lowcarb/improved_revolution_rolls.html) [or any other low-carb roll on hand]

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

Pulse all shrimp pattie ingredients in blender or food processor until well blended. Shape into 6 small patties and brown in a lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat. You’ll know when they are done as they become visibly opaque when properly cooked.  This recipe is technically not suitable until OWL due to sauce ingredients, but the patties themselves are OK for Induction and there’s so little PB and rice vinegar in the sauce, it probably won’t cause you problems.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  Makes 3 servings, each contains:

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

Iranian Kubideh (meat kebabs)

Iranian Kubideh 2When 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, my creation evokes the flavor of his specialty.  The jalapeno is not traditional but what can I say?  We put jalapeno in everything!  🙂  It does not make these overly 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 that’s available here in the U.S.  Just tastes awful to me.  When grilling your kubideh, you want them somewhere between the done stage between the meat on the left and the right side of the platter in the photo above.  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 (mine is 90% lean; omit bacon grease below if using fattier meat)

1 egg, beaten

¼ c. parsley

1 oz. onion, minced as fine as you can get it

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. black pepper

Optional:  ½ jalapeno, seeded and minced fine

Optional:  1 T. bacon grease if your meat is very lean

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 or sour cream mint salad or perhaps a quinoa side.  ENJOY! 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 kubideh, each contains:

371 cals, 30.4 g fat, 1.95 g carbs, 0.4g fiber, 1.55 g NET CARBS, 21.4g protein, 93 mg sodium (I add salt to meat at table so as not to dry meat out during cooking)

Smoked Chicken-Broccoli Casserole

Smoked Chicken-Broccoli CasseroleThis recipe came about from a huge chicken breast we smoked on the grill last week that was not eaten.  This casserole is a perfect meld of flavors that is sure to please.  It is edibly rich and delicious.  My husband rants about this one when I make it.  The smoke flavor of the meat is what makes it so tasty!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets if you can fit it into your daily macro limits.  You can lower the nutritional numbers below by stretching this to 5 servings or reducing the heavy cream, the cream cheese but bear in mind the final dish will be somewhat “thicker” on the fork.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large grilled chicken breast, chopped (mine yielded 2½ c.)

1 stalk broccoli, stem removed, cut into small flowerets

2 T. butter, unsalted

2 oz. onion, slivered thinly

6 large mushrooms, sliced

8 oz. cream cheese

2/3 c. heavy cream

¼ c. hemp hearts (optional)

1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Dash coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Melt butter in skillet and saute onion & mushrooms until translucent.  While it is cooking, cut up the chicken into bite-size pieces.  Add the broccoli to the pan and saute for just 1-2 minutes.  Dot the skillet with small pieces of the cream cheese and blend to aid in melting.  Add the cream, shredded Parmesan hemp heart and fold all together lightly to blend.  Remove from heat and pour/spoon into a lightly oiled baking dish.  Pop into 350º oven for 20-25 minutes to allow flavors to meld and develop.  Remove and serve with a nice green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings each containing:

736 cals, 59g fat, 8.32g carbs, 2.15g fiber, 6.17g NET CARBS, 44.3g protein, 916 mg sodium

 

 

Chicken Chile Relleno Casserole

Chicken Chile Relleno Casserole

It’s what’s for dinner tonight.   We just love chiles rellenos, but I don’t like all the fuss of actually stuffing them.  So I just make the dish up in a layered casserole that comes out delicious every time!  Tastes exactly the same, but it’s much less trouble to put together.   This Atkins Induction friendly recipe has over a millions Facebook fans.  Primal diners who eat cheese can also enjoy this dish, though it is not suitable for Paleo followers.

INGREDIENTS: 

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

12 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces

2 T. olive oil

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

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 oil in non-stick skillet.  Saute onion until tender.  Add chicken and saute until meat is no longer pink.  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 3 individual casserole dishes (or use one larger casserole dish if you prefer).  Top the peppers in each serving dish with 1 spoon of the chicken filling.  Spread 1/3 of the cheese over the chicken filling in each dish. Place the remaining chicken filling evenly in the dish(es).  Top with the remaining cheese.  Pop 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).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:

547 cals, 35g fat, 07.7g carbs, 2.23g fiber, 5.47g NET CARBS, 47.7g protein, 620 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

Sour Cream Grilling Bread (low carb)

click to enlarge

Nothing like a delicious grilled cheese sandwich!

Sadly, most low-carb breads made with alternate flours simply do not toast well.  They just won’t get…….ummmm……………toasty!!!  😦

This individual serving bread recipe I developed I think is particularly suited for grilling sandwiches.  It toasts up better than any other low-carb bread I’ve tried toasting in 10 years of low-carbing and bread experimentaation. Not sure which ingredient is facilitating that toasty quality though.  Likely it is the oat fiber, but am VERY glad whatever ingredient is doing that!

You can bake this in any microwaveable square container.  I have a plastic bread-shaped container (which isn’t so healthy to cook in actually), so I have switched to using my 4″ square glass dish.  I have not tried baking this bread in a conventional oven, but suspect it would need 350º for around 10-15 minutes.  One recipe can be sliced laterally into two thinner slices after cooling to make 1 sandwich, as shown in the photo above. This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  It is not suitable for Primal-Paleo lifestyles.

INGREDIENTS:

¼ c. + 1T. flax meal, preferably golden flax meal

1 T. butter  (plus dab more for skillet or panini pan grilling)

2 T. sour cream

1 egg, beaten

½ tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. oat fiber, no substitutes! (omit for gluten-free)

Pinch salt

DIRECTIONS:   Melt the butter in microwave in a small mixing bowl.  Add beaten egg and sour cream. Add all dry ingredients and stir well.  With a rubber spatula, scrape batter into a 4″-5″ square microwaveable container and zap on HI power for 70 seconds or until dry to touch in center (microwaves can vary). Cool a minute and tip out onto cutting board.  Laterally slice as evenly as possible with a long-blade  knife to form two thinner slices.

When ready to construct your sandwich, melt a little butter or olive oil on a non-stick griddle and baste one side of each slice of bread.  Place one slice on griddle, buttered side down.  Add slice of your preferred cheese or meats and top with second slice of bread, buttered side up.  Brown well on both sides for best, “toastiest” results.  Slight over-browning is a GOOD thing here! 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 thin slices after cutting.  Entire recipe contains: (does not include sandwich fillings)

425 cals, 37.4g fat, 14.1g carbs, 11.3g fiber, 2.8g NET CARBS, 13.8g protein, 497mg sodium

Momma’s Baked Chicken

Momma's Baked Chicken

This was the baked chicken I was raised on.  Throughout my childhood, I disliked intensely the taste of vinegar.  Wouldn’t eat pickles, wouldn’t eat pickled vegetables, wouldn’t eat salads or even condiments that contained vinegar.  But man, when my mom made this baked chicken, I just could not believe I watched her douse it with such an “evil” ingredient  and LIKED IT!!!  The natural red grape sugar in the red wine vinegar caramelizes under high heat and gives the chicken skin such a sweet, tangy taste.  The pan juices make a lovely gravy/baste for the drier breast meat.   Fortunately, my taste has changed over the years and I will now consume vinegar without hesitation, provided the food isn’t drowning in vinegar.  🙂

This recipe can be used on a split/butterflied/spatchcocked chicken as pictured, or you and cut the chicken up into pieces.  This method is delicious on Rock Cornish Hens, too.  It is also excellent for BBQ’ing of the chicken, and even for BBQ pork.  This recipe is perfectly suited to all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo as well.

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

6 T.  melted butter

3 T. red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)

1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper

THAT’S IT!!

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 400º.  Place butter in baking pan (I use a metal pan) as the oven is heating up.  Remove pan and add red wine vinegar to the butter, as well as the salt and pepper.  Prepare the chicken.  You can either split the chicken up the back with kitchen shears and spread it out as shown above, or cut the bird up into quarters or single pieces.  Using a brush, baste the pieces of chicken all over.  Sprinkle lightly with the salt and pepper and pop into hot oven for about an hour (less time for smaller birds, a little more for the butterflied bird shown) or until golden brown and reaches internal temp of 170º at the joint where the thigh meets the torso and in the thickest part of the breast.  I like to baste the chicken once or twice during cooking for the tastiest result on the skin.  I’m a skin fan, so that’s real important to me.  My husband just rips it off and hands it to me.  That works out just great, huh?  🙂 Remove from oven and serve at once with your favorite sides.  Be sure to put a spoon or brush into the pan for diners to baste their meat with the buttery juices if they wish (or pour the juices into a gravy boat).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  These numbers are for the baste/sauce only.  You will have to add in the values for whatever pieces of chicken you eat.  Makes enough for 10 pieces of chicken (1 whole l cut-up chicken).  Each portion of the sauce, assuming you even eat that much of the sauce, has:

62 calories, 6.9 g fat, 0.02 g carbs,  0.00 g fiber, .02 g NET CARBS, 0.13 g protein (add in your piece of chicken)

Pork Chops in Mushroom-Tomato Cream

Pork Chops in Tomato-Mushroom Cream

I love to sear off meats and then create a lovely sauce from de-glazing the pan of the tasty brown bits and adding a little of this and that for a delicious sauce to add moisture to a meat that I find somewhat dry typically.  This delicious dish pulls together in about 30 minutes.  I serve this with a side of seasoned French frozen green beans, but a salad is also nice with these.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and even Paleo if you sub in coconut milk for the cream.

VARIATIONS:   Substitute 2 boneless, butterflied chicken breasts for the pork.  Add 1/4 c. white or rose wine of your choice, simmering off the alcohol at least 4-5 minutes.  Just discovered a few weeks later that 4 oz. of either lean chopped cured ham or bacon, pre-browned added is quite good in this recipe.  Chop pork before browning and serve this dish over zucchini noodles for a totally different taste.

photocat

With optional cured ham added, served on “zoodles”

INGREDIENTS:

2   6-oz bone-in center-cut pork chops or 10 oz. boneless pork loin (yield two 5-oz. portions)

3 tsp. bacon grease for frying

¼ tsp. lemon pepper (I use Victoria Gourmet No-Salt Lemon Pepper)

½ c. water (or pork or chicken broth)

¼ c. heavy cream

1/3 c. chopped parsley

1 6-oz can sliced mushrooms, with their juice

10 cherry or San Marzano tiny tomatoes, cut in halves

Dash sea salt

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Heat the bacon grease in a skillet over high heat.  Coat the surfaces of the chops with the lemon pepper.  Sear them in the hot skillet until golden and completely done.  Lift them out onto a plate briefly.  Or you can remove the bone and chop the pork if you prefer and then sear the pieces.  I often do that if I plan to serve this on zucchini noodles. Add the water or broth to the skillet and with a rubber spatula, de-glaze the tasty brown bits stuck to the pan.  Add the cream, parsley, mushrooms with juice, salt and black pepper.  Simmer a few minutes to allow the cream sauce to thicken slightly on its own.  Add the tomatoes and simmer just until they begin to soften.  If sauce is still not thick enough for your preference, dust the smallest amount of xanthan gum lightly over the top, whisk constantly and allow time to thicken before repeating.  Place chops back in the pan and simmer just a couple minutes more.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes two 5-oz. servings (adjust for more people).  Each serving contains:

448 calories, 28 g fat, 6.85 g carbs, 2.30 g fiber, 4.55 g NET CARBS, 40.99 g protein, 432 mg sodium

Chicken in Sofrito Cream

Chicken in Sofrito CreamThis quick dish is absolutely delicious and so incredibly easy to make!  I keep the Sofrito Sauce made up in my freezer in a plastic zip bag and just break off what I need for a recipe.  Once the chicken is seared, this takes only 8-10 minutes to simmer down to delectable deliciousness.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  Primal followers can enjoy if you do dairy but Paleo folks will want to use coconut milk instead of cream.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large chicken breast, skin on (1o oz. of deboned meat)

1½ T. butter

1 c. homemade chicken stock

½ c. heavy cream (use 2 T. less if still on Induction)

Sprinkle xanthan gum

2 T. Sofrito sauce

DIRECTIONS:   Melt butter in a non-stick skillet over high heat.  Slice meat at an angle laterally into 4 smaller filets.   I pounded mine, but that isn’t necessary.  Just a habit with me and chicken.  🙂   Sear the chicken in the hot butter, both sides, until golden.  Lower to medium when both sides are golden and the meat is fully done.  Add chicken stock around the meat.  Add cream and Sofrito sauce and simmer a couple minutes.  Lightly dust with xanthan (less than 1/8 tsp.).  Simmer until it slightly thickens, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and serve at once with you favorite sides or a nice salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes two adult servings, each contains:

590 cals, 46.3 g fat, 2.6 g carbs, 0.3 g fiber, 2.3 g NET CARBS, 37.4 g protein, 470 mg sodium

Montreal-Chipotle Pulled Pork

Montreal-Chipotle Pulled Pork

Occasionally my local grocer puts pork roasts on sale and I bought one recently, a 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 this particular sauce.  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 smoked 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 remove foil.  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 , 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 shredded 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

Indian Kheema Matar

 

233

Shown on bed of sauteed cabbage

This dish can be made with either ground lamb or ground beef and is equally good with both.  This Indian dish is traditionally cooked with peas and served atop basmati steamed rice.  But I have I found it is just as good with made small cut frozen green bean pieces (to lower carbs) and then served on a bed of shredded, sauteed cabbage.  I think I may even like it that way better than over the traditional basmati rice!    The nutritional info below does not include the cabbage (or rice).  My husband and I found my first attempt at Kheema Matar, which we have often had at Indian restaurants, to be pretty darn good!  It has rapidly moved into my quick and easy recipes category.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef, lamb or goat

1 T. olive or coconut oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove minced garlic

½ tsp. minced ginger

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. ground coriander

¼ tsp. salt

2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped

½ c. frozen cut green beans, cut again into halves

1 carrot, cut into small dice

2 T. chopped cilantro

2 T. chopped fresh mint (I use spearmint)

½ jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1½ tsp. my Garam Masala

OPTIONAL:  Add 1/2-1 c. chicken stock and simmer a bit for a moist gravy.  Thicken a bit with your favorite thickener if desired.

DIRECTIONS:  Place carrots and green bean pieces in small amount of water in saucepan and cook just until tender crisp.  Add oil to large skillet.  Brown chopped onion.  Add meat and break apart as it browns.  Add garlic, tomatoes, jalapeno and all spices except mint and cilantro.  Lower heat to simmer, cover and cook 15-20 minutes until tomatoes and onion well cooked.  Now add the drained carrot/bean mixture, cilantro and mint and stir well.  Cover again and cook additional 5-10 minutes or so for flavors to blend well.  Serve atop bed of shredded stir-fried cabbage (my preference) or basmati rice for those non-low-carbers at your table.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 4, each serving contains: (does not include cabbage base)

187 calories, 23.8 g  fat, 7.55 g carbs, 2.38 g fiber, 5.17 NET CARBS, 23.8 g  protein, 620 mg sodium

Crawfish al Pesto on Eggplant “Pillows”

Crawfish al Pesto on Eggplant

This recipe grew out of a delicious spaghetti squash alfredo dish I created some time back.  At first I had my doubts on  crawfish for this, but it came out DELICIOUS!  I made a batch of my Oven-Fried Fish coating and baked off the eggplant first, as you would for classic Eggplant Parmigiana.  The crunchy coating on the eggplant very quickly loses its crunchiness, so serve this quickly and don’t hold it over for any reason.  This sinfully rich dish was so good I will definitely be doing this again!  It freezes nicely, too, getting even tastier upon re-baking!  The eggplant will lose that crunchiness from freezing, but the dish still tastes fantastic when reheated.

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

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. eggplant, sliced into eight ½” slices

3 oz. plain pork rinds, crushed fine

6 T. homemade mayonnaise

Dash salt

4 T. butter

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

¼ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

¼ c. Parmesan cheese, grated

1½ T. homemade pesto sauce (or commercial)

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

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

1 c. grated mozzarella cheese

2 T. chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 8 servings, each contains:

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

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 fresh)

Dash each black & cayenne peppers

½ c. dry white wine (use 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)

Baked Chicken and Vegetables

Baked Chicken with Vegatables

This dish is a “set it and forget it” kind of meal. Love to throw this in the baking pan when I’m tired and want dinner to cook itself.  This recipe delivers on that!    Doesn’t get any easier!  And it is ever so good!  This dish is simalar to my Lebanese Baked Chicken, but this one has no lemon juice in it.  The carrots make this one not suitable for Atkins Induction Phase 1, but you can increase the jicama, substitute zucchini or white pattypan squash, or just omit the carrots altogether until you get to Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  I used calaba squash (Mexican Zucchini) instead of jicama in the batch pictured above.  I change up the veggies depending on what I have on hand and what is in season.  Eggplant works well in this dish with some of my Shawarma Spice Blend (instead of the oregano).   Just so you know, the original recipe I modified for this dish calls for potato wedges instead of jicama.

INGREDIENTS:

20 oz. deboned chicken breasts, to make 4 servings

5 oz. jicama, peeled (or any veggies mentioned in VARIATIONS below)

4 oz. yellow onion

8 large cloves garlic

4 Roma tomatoes

½ tsp. oregano

2 tsp. chopped fresh Rosemary

2 tsp. Chachere’s Cajun seasoning (or 2 tsp. my Shawarma Spice Blend)

Dash salt & black pepper

3 T. olive oil

2 medium carrots (optional but included in nutritional numbers below)

VARIATIONS:  Substitute zucchini, yellow squash, turnips, red radishes or white daikon radish for the jicama.  They’re all low in carbs and wont’ greatly impact the carbs count on this dish.  Eggplant is lovely as a substitute for the jicama, but the eggplant will up the carbs a bit, but not a lot.  Use different spice blends of your choice!  Get creative!

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 425º.  Leaving skin on, place chicken on safe surface and flatten a bit with a cleaver to shorten cooking time.  Drizzle l T. of the olive oil in a large glass baking pan (9×13 or lasagna pan).  Dip skin side of chicken into olive oil in the pan, turn skin side up and arrange evenly in pan.  Next, peel and cut jicama into potato-like pieces.  Space evenly around the chicken pieces.   Peel and cut carrots into 1″ pieces and arrange around the meat also.  Next cut the tomatoes into wedges and space decoratively, skin side up,  around the pan.  Try to avoid laying the tomato wedges directly atop the chicken or the skin won’t brown as nicely. Next cut the  onion into small wedges, separate layers,  or cut into ringlets and arrange the onion over the entire pan next.   Cut garlic cloves and arrange evenly in pan, being sure to get some of that atop the chicken itself!  Now sprinkle on the spices and drizzle the remaining olive oil over all.  Try to moisten everything with oil.  Bake uncovered at 425º for about 1½ hours.  Smaller, thinner pieces of chicken, smaller dicing of veggies and varying ovens will impact cooking time, so check the dish after 1 hour if your chicken pieces are less than 6-8 oz. in size.   Voila, a meal in one pot fit for a king!  Hubby just LOVES this dish!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 serving, each containing:

410 cals, 21.3g fat, 9.85g carbs, 2.9g fiber, 6.95g NET CARBS, 43.3g protein, 604 mg. sodium

Classic Shrimp Scampi

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 T. butter, unsalted

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. parsley, chopped

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

¼-½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

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

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

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

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

Southern Fried Chicken

Southern Fried Chicken

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

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

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 c. plain whey protein

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

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

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

½ tsp. onion powder

½ c. Parmesan cheese

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

2 large eggs

¼ c. heavy cream

¼ c. water

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

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

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

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

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

Chicken (Pork) and Spanish “Rice”

It’s what’s for dinner tonight!

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. cauliflower, riced by hand or processor coarsely

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

3 oz. onion, chopped coarsely

4 oz. green bell pepper, chopped coarsely

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp. ground cumin

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

Dash each chili powder and black pepper

2 chicken bouillon cubes

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

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

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

2 T. cilantro, chopped (optional)

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

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

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

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

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

Indian Beef (or Lamb) Koftas

Delicious with or without gravy!

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS (for Koftas):

20 oz. ground meat (beef or lamb)

2 tsp. grated ginger root

2 large cloves minced garlic

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped very fine

2 oz. onion, chopped very fine

1 beaten egg

½ tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. my Garam Masala

1 c. cilantro, chopped

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

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

2 T. olive oil for frying

INGREDIENTS (for sauce):

2 oz. heavy cream

¼ c. water

1 T. tomato paste

½ c. beef stock or bouillon

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

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

Dash salt & black pepper

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

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

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

Coconut Pork & Vegetable Stir-Fry

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

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. lean pork loin, sliced

2 T. each coconut and olive oil

2 oz. yellow onion, sliced

½ c. carrot, sliced

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

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

1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms

2 medium green onions, cut in 1″ pieces

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

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

1 c. homemade chicken broth

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. fresh ginger root, minced

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

1¼ tsp. Sambal Olek chili paste

1 T. rice wine vinegar

3 T. sherry

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each contains:

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

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