Indian Butter Chicken

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. whole cumin seed

2 T. olive oil

3 oz. sliced onion

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

¼ tsp. salt

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

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ T. fresh ginger root, peeled and minced fine

¼ tsp. ground turmeric

1T. + 1 tsp. my homemade Garam Masala 

4 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 c. chicken broth

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

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

4 T. more butter

3/4 c. heavy cream 

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 5, each serving contains:

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

Indian Chicken Tikka Masala or Curry

Chicken Tikka Masala

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. whole cumin seed

2 T. olive oil

3 T. butter

3 oz. sliced onion

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

¼ tsp. salt

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

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ T. minced fresh ginger

½ tsp. ground turmeric

1 T. my homemade Garam Masala 

4 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 c. chicken broth

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 3, each serving containing:

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

Einkorn Tuna Pimiento Cheese Muffins

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

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INGREDIENTS:

4 beaten eggs

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

1½ c. my Einkorn Bake Mix

3/4 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

¼ tsp. sea salt

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

1 lg. green onion, chopped fine

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 24 muffins, each contains:

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

Beef Chile Relleno Casserole

beef-chile-relleno-casserole1

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

INGREDIENTS: 

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

12 oz. lean ground beef

2 oz. onion, sliced

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

¼ tsp. dried ancho chile powder (optional)

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

¼ tsp. garlic powder

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

¼ c. cilantro, chopped (optional)

6 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, grated

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   REcipe makes 4 servings, each contains:

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

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

Hot Roast Beef Poor Boy

Hot roast Beef Poorboy

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

Just before adding thickener

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. chuck roast, trimmed of major fat

2 T. olive oil

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

2 c. celery, diced large

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

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

Thickener of your choice

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

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

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

Indian Samosa Cups

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

MEAT FILLING INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 T. olive oil

3 oz. yellow onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. fresh ginger root, minced

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. ground coriander

¼ tsp. sea salt

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

¼ c. cilantro, chopped

1 medium 6″ carrot, peeled & chopped fine

1 T. fresh mint, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped fine

2 tsp. Garam Masala

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

VARIATION: Substitute lamb for the beef

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 6 samosa cups, each contains:

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

Lobster Andouille Jambalaya

Lobster Andouille Jambalaya
Lobster Andouille Jambalaya

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

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

3 oz. breakfast sausage, crumbled into large bits

3 oz. onion, chopped

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

2 large stalks of celery chopped

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

½ c. parsley, chopped

3 Roma tomatoes, diced large

1 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

Dash each thyme and black pepper (DO NOT SALT)

Few drops Tobasco or Sriracha sauce

1 large head worth of my cauliflower rice

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

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

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

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

Sloppy Joes

IMG_4535

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

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

MEAT MIXTURE INGREDIENTS:

2 lb. ground beef

3 oz. onion, chopped

1  6-oz. can tomato paste

1 c. water

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

½ c. red bell pepper, chopped

1 tsp. sugar equivalent of you preferred sweetener

¼ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

½ tsp. paprika

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

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

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

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

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

Italian Chicken Tart

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

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

CRUST INGREDIENTS:

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

2 T. unsalted butter, pre-melted

½ c. Jennifer Eloff’s GF bake mix

½ c. Carbquik Bake Mix

1/8 tsp. each onion and garlic powder

1 T. oat fiber

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

1 egg, beaten

TOPPINGS:

1 c. fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped

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

1½ c. cooked chicken, coarsely chopped

½ tsp. each dried basil and oregano leaves

½ c. additional mozzarella cheese

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

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

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

Lobster Dien Bien

LobsterDienBien

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

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

Click to enlarge crawfish version
Crawfish version

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 stick unsalted butter

½ c. onion, chopped

1 c. celery, chopped

1 carrot, grated

1 2 oz. jar pimiento, drained

1/3 c. parsley, chopped

¼-½ tsp. cayenne pepper

10 drops Tobasco

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

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

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

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

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts with Sofrito Sauce

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

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

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHICKEN: 

2 medium chicken breasts, skin left on

4 tsp. baking powder (I use aluminum free)

¼ tsp. each onion and garlic

¼ tsp. sea salt

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE:

2 T. butter, unsalted

1 T. my Sofrito Sauce

1 Roma tomato, chopped

Dash each salt and pepper

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

(thickener of choice if you feel a need)

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

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

Smoked Sausage Twinkies®

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

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

2 large eggs, beaten

½ c. heavy cream

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 12 Twinkies®, each contains:

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

Iranian Stuffed Peppers

I had these peppers when we lived in Teheran, Iran (I was a young girl then).  Our maid used to make them for us occasionally.  She put raisins in the meat filling, but that jacks up the carbs too much so I don’t put them in the filing now that I’m a low-carber.  She also used bulgur wheat, whereas I used very lower-carb hemp seeds.  Even with my changes, the peppers themselves have quite a few grams of carbs.  But they are so good for you, so I don’t care.  I’m going to fix stuffed peppers once in awhile. One of these was filling enough to satisfy me as a meal.  🙂  These are suitable once you get to Phase 2 Atkins.  Keto folks can probably fit these macros into their day with menu planning.  These are also suitable for those following Primal or Paleo programs.

INGREDIENTS: 

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

20 oz. lean ground beef

2½ oz. onion, chopped

3/4 c. chopped parsley

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

3 T. hemp seeds/hearts (or soaked bulghur wheat, with higher carbs)

1 tsp. each turmeric, dried mint and dried dill

1½ tsp. ground cinnamon

Dash each salt and pepper

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

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

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

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

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

Dumpling Lasagna

Italian Dumplings

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 recipe my low-carb dumplings

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

½ c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

¼ c. ricotta cheese

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Mix up the dumplings per that recipe’s instructions.  Form the dough into 24 small balls about 3/4″ in diameter.  Drop into lightly boiling water and immediately lower heat to maintain a very gentle simmer.  Cover with lid and simmer for 8-9 minutes, DO NOT LIFT THE LID during cooking.   Drain off the water and tip the dumplings into a baking dish or 3 individual dishes as shown (no need to grease them).  Dot evenly with your spaghetti sauce.   Dot evenly with the ricotta.  Sprinkle the mozzarella over the top evenly and finally, top with the Parmesan cheese. Bake at 250º for about 15 minutes to heat all and melt the cheese.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:

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

Eggplant Parmigiana “Sandwiches”

EggplantSandwich

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 oz. crushed pork rinds

6 oz. ground beef (or lamb)

2 slices provalone cheese

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

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

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

2 T. Parmesan cheese

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes two servings, each contains:

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

Chicken Tenders with Bang Bang Sauce

My husband asked me to make some chicken tenders recently.  Long ago I developed a great Southern Fried Chicken coating recipe so I just used that one.   This recipe takes fried chicken strips to a new level for us!   This particular coating has been my best to date and it didn’t fail me on the tenders.  I’m so pleased with this recipe!!  It’s my first time to try a spicy sauce with tenders and we loved it! The hubs said please make these again!  They were nice and crispy!  By the way, chicken coated with this coating is great leftover, cold, right out of the fridge!!  It also reheats nicely (crispy) in the oven at 350º for about 20 minutes.

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

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 c. plain whey protein

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

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

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

½ tsp. onion powder

½ c. Parmesan cheese

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

2 large eggs

¼ c. heavy cream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Duck Soup

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 c. chopped onion

1 c. chopped celery

1 c. chopped carrot

½ c. chopped parsley

2 cloves minced garlic

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

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

water to cover meat and veggies

3/4 tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. coarse black pepper

1 large bay leaf (or 2 small)

3 T. Hemp Seed Hearts

1 4-oz can mushrooms with liquid

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 6 large bowl, each contains:

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

London Broil

London Broil
Shown with Garlic Herb Butter.

When you want to tenderize a tougher cut of meat, like flank steak or London Broil, you have to marinate it to loosen up those meat fibers a bit.  This is one of my favorite steak marinades to use on London Broil.  If you can’t get flank or London Broil, use a piece of lean chuck roast. The flavor on the outer crust of meat is just divine.  The longer you marinate the meat, the more tender the meat will get.  Marinating all day long is preferred, but a minimum of 4-5 hours is a must lest you end up with a very tough, difficult to chew experience.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins provided those still on Atkins Induction sub in some beef broth for the red wine.  It’s also delicious with my Garlic Herb Butter.

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. piece of London Broil or flank steak

½ clove garlic, minced

1½ tsp. tomato paste

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

¼ c. low sodium soy sauce

2 T. balsamic  vinegar

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

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

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

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

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

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

Marinated Wild Duck

Dad's Grilled Marinated Duck
Dad’s Grilled Duck

My Dad was quite the hunter when he was living and was also quite a gourmet cook!  This recipe evolved over several duck hunting trips, but this final version is still my favorite way to prepare duck. My husband, on the other hand, is NOT a hunter, so I usually have to substitute domestic duck when I get a craving for this recipe.  But this is just about as good done with domestic duck as it is done with wild duck.  This is what I’m planning for Christmas this year.  This recipe is NOT Induction friendly due to the wine.  I just don’t think it would be good as without it, so I recommend waiting to do this recipe justice with the wine in the marinade.  It’ll be acceptable once you get to Atkins Phase 2 (and beyond).  I KNOW you’ll be glad you tried this!

INGREDIENTS:

2 wild ducks, de-feathered, cleaned and butterflied (or a 4# purchased domestic duck)

12 oz. dry white wine

¼ c. chopped parsley

1 stalk chopped celery

1 clove garlic

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

1/3 tsp. thyme

6-10 black peppercorns

2 whole bay leaves

1 T. Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS:  After plucking and gutting the ducks, cut up the backbone, flatten with a cleaver or your hands (this is called ‘butterfly’ or ‘spatchcock’ in poultry preparation).  Place in glass or plastic marinating pan breast up.  Mix all marinate ingredients above in either a food processor or blender and pulse until all fairly fine.  Pour marinate over duck and add bay leaves to the pan.  Marinate for 6-12 hours, drizzling marinate over ducks (or inject if you have an injector), turning them occasionally.

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

If you are at the grain rung of OWL carb re-introduction ladder, this is excellent with wild rice dressing: https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/wild-rice-stuffing-2/  Wild rice is the lowest carb rice out there 109 NC per cup raw compared to 136 NC for a cup of raw brown rice.  Another good stuffing for duck is this one:   https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2009/09/26/sherry-pecan-bacon-stuffing/

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each containing:

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

Shrimp-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Next time you’re having grilled, baked or fried fish, you are going to want to try these delicious stuffed mushrooms I cooked tonight to accompany our salmon.  The cheeses and spices made these so yummy.  They are simple to make as well, so what more could you ask for to serve such deliciousness?!  These are suitable once you reach Phase 2 of Atkins and will fit into most ketogenic diets.

INGREDIENTS:

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

¼ c. olive oil

1 T. unsalted butter

2 medium green onions, chopped

8 large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped

2 oz. cream cheese

1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Dash each salt & pepper

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

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

1 T. more butter

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 10 pieces, each contains:

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

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

 

Roaster Oven Turkey

Roasted Turkey (done in a roaster oven)

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

4 T. melted butter

Dash each of salt and black pepper

4 small pieces of foil

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marinated Wild Duck

Dad's Grilled Marinated Duck

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

12 oz. dry white wine

¼ c. chopped parsley

1 stalk chopped celery

1 clove garlic

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

1/3 tsp. thyme

6-10 black peppercorns

2 whole bay leaves

1 T. Olive Oil

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each containing:

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

Hot Roast Beef Poor Boy

Hot roast Beef Poorboy

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

I always get asked, so I’ll address this topic up front.  I would not personally ever cook this in a crock pot.  I ditched two of them because I never ate anything cooked in them I liked.  Just really not fond of crock pots.   If you try using one for this recipe, however, be certain the crock pot is big enough to totally cover the meat and veggies with water and stay covered with water until the end of cooking.  The last thing you want is for all the juice to cook away.  I have done this dish in a pressure cooker a couple of times, but again, it wasn’t as good as the slow, half-day cooking method in a regular old stew pot.  Here’s what mine looks like in the pot, so you can see the level of water you want to maintain:

Just before adding thickener

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. chuck roast, trimmed of major fat

2 T. olive oil

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

2 c. celery, diced large

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

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

Thickener of your choice

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

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

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

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Spaghetti Squash CarbonaraI decided last night tonight we hadn’t cooked Spaghetti Carbonara in ages and I wanted to give a classic recipe a new twist using spaghetti squash for the noodles.  It was delicious!  I think my husband liked it even more then me!  And he usually doesn’t care for spaghetti squash.

Unfortunately, I was out of black olives, and classic carbonara usually has some in it.  I tossed in a small can of drained mushrooms instead and this version came out GREAT!  This recipe is a little high in carbs because the spaghetti squash itself if a bit carb-y.  On the brighter side, it’s all healthy carbs, so you can eat this one guilt-free. 🙂  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo folks will want to use coconut milk for the cream.

I wish I could get smaller squash, but our stores only seem to stock them 3# and larger as a rule. It would be so pretty to serve a half on each plate.  But I’ve only found a small squash ONE time at the store in the 17 years I’ve lived in this town.  Maybe it’s because everything’s bigger in Texas?

NOTE:  If you can get smaller squashes, or grow your own, I would use two smaller 1-1½# squashes for serving 4 people and place one half on each plate.

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. raw weight spaghetti squash (yields 4 cups cooked threads)

1 c. chopped low-sodium bacon

2 oz. red onion, chopped coarsely

1 oz. red bell pepper (or any color)

1 clove garlic, minced

½ c. parsley

¼ c. heavy cream

1 egg yolk

¼ c. shredded Parmesan cheese

VARIATIONS:  Add a few sliced black olives for a more authentic dish (I was out); or toss in a small can of drained mushrooms (or 4 fresh ones sliced, added to the saute pan with the onion).

DIRECTIONS:  Cut off squash stem.  Cut squash in half lengthwise.  Place face down in dish with 1/2″ water and microwave on HI for about 25 minutes (only 13 minutes if you do them one at a time).  When done, drain off water, scoop out seeds and discard.  Fork out the threads into the baking dish and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Place the squash shells in a baking pan.

Mix the cream, egg yolk and Parmesan in a dish and beat with a fork to blend well. Set aside for a few minutes.

In a skillet, brown the bacon.  Add onion and saute until tender.  Add red pepper and garlic and saute a couple minutes.  Stir in the parsley and let it wilt a couple minutes as well.  Lower heat.   Stir in the egg-cheese mixture.  Stir the squash threads in now.  Spoon the filling back into the shells and pop the pan into your preheated oven.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cheese-egg mixture appears done.   Each filled half will probably feed two people, especially if you have a salad or other vegetable with this.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

237 cals, 25g fat, 13.35g carbs, 2.87g fiber, 10.48g NET CARBS, 10.72 g protein, 867 mg sodium

Iranian Curry

This is going to be my dinner tonight.  My husband just LOVES this dish.  It is traditionally made with lamb in Iran, but as I’m not fond of American lamb (too strong for me), I now make this with beef.  This was a dish  we ate often when I lived in Iran as a child.  Iranian lamb is processed under a year of age, and is thus not strong at all, so I could eat this curry made with lamb when we lived there.  But not once we got back to the States, where lamb is processed much older.  😦  This dish is quite simple to throw together and must simply simmer awhile for the flavors to develop.  Traditionally served over wonderful, nutty, aromatic Iranian rice (similar to basmati, but even  better!).  On Atkins we have to avoid the rice, so instead, serve this curry over a bed of grated cauliflower that has been lightly steamed 4 minutes.  Bananas (only for people on Maintenance) seared in butter are GREAT eaten with this particular curry! This is actually quite different from Indian curries, so I hope you like it.   This recipe as written is Induction friendly.  Sometimes dried pitted prunes or a few snipped raisins (if you are to the fruits rung of OWL only) and some walnuts are added to Iranian curries, so have fun with those variations.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 lb. slivered lamb, lean beef chuck or sirloin
2 T. olive oil
Enough water just to barely cover the meat
1/2 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
4 oz. chopped yellow onion
2 T. chopped parsley
2 tsp. high quality curry powder (I use Sharwood’s mild)
1 T. tomato paste
Xanthan gum to thicken

Dash salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:  Brown meat in olive oil over high heat. Cover with water and add remaining ingredients. Simmer covered with lid for about 1 hour or until meat is tender. Time will vary with different meats and thickness used in slivering it up. When your meat is tender, lightly dust the curry with xanthan gum 2-3 times, stirring between each addition to see how thick it’s getting. Stop when you’re satisfied with thickness (usually about 1/8-1/4 tsp total in my experience).

If you need fewer servings, go on and cook the whole recipe, as it freezes well and like Italian spaghetti sauce, it just gets better each time you reheat it!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  Serves 4, each serving has:

290.3 cals,12.6g fat, 3.88g carbs, 1.93g NET CARBS, 1.95g fiber, 38.58g protein, 39 mg  sodium

Asian Pork Patties with Dipping Sauce (dumplings optional)

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Finally, a way I can have Pot Stickers on the table and EAT them, too!  But since low carbers like me can’t have the dumplings they are traditionally wrapped in,  I’ve found a way to have this tasty dish without the wrappers!   Instead, I make a batch of very small simmered dumplings that I make with glucomannan powder, sear separately from the meat bites and eat them “along with” the meat and dipping sauce.  It’s almost like eating real steamed Chinese dumplings!!  So good!!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets.  To make these suitable for Primal-Paleo, do not use the peanut butter in the dipping sauce and use a plan-suitable vinegar  and coconut aminos for the soy sauce.

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With optional seared “Dumplings”

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. lean ground pork

1 beaten egg

2 jalapenos, seeded, ribs removed and minced fine

2 tsp. coconut aminos (or low-sodium soy sauce)

2 cloves, garlic, minced

2 T. olive oil (for frying)

OPTIONAL:  1 recipe and a half of my Dumplings

DIPPING SAUCE:

2 tsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. creamy natural peanut butter (omit if on Atkins Induction)

2 T.  rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. ginger root, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. Sambal Oelek chili sauce (or Sriracha sauce)

2-3 drops liquid stevia or sucralose

1 T. low sodium soy sauce (or coconut aminos)

1 T. finely minced green onion

2 T. water

VARIATION:  Add 1 tsp. peanut butter to the dipping sauce, stirring in well.

DIRECTIONS:   If you wish to serve this dish with the dumplings on the side, prepare a recipe and a half of my glucomannan dumplings at the link above according to that recipe’s instructions, simmering them in plain water that is barely at a simmer.  Be sure to make them real tiny, about ½” is what I did, as they swell to about 3/4″ during simmering.  When they are done, using a slotted spoon, dip them gently onto a plate.  With paper towels, blot away as much water from around them as you can.  Set the plate of dumplings aside for now.

Mix the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Mix up the meat ingredients in a medium bowl with either a fork or your hands.  Heat the 2 T. olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Form into 10 patties (mine were about 1½ oz. each and about 2″ long).  Place the meat patties in the skillet and brown on both sides until golden brown, making sure pink juices are no longer coming out of the meat when slightly pressed with the edge of your spatula.  Turn off heat and dip them onto a serving platter in a circle.  If serving with dumplings, serve those in the middle of the platter.  You can rewarm the dumplings on defrost in your microwave if you feel so compelled, but I find room temperature is just fine since the meat is piping hot.  Pour the dipping sauce into 3 tiny bowls and place one at each person’s place at table.   I forked 1 dumpling with a bite of meat, dipped into the sauce and shoved the two right into my mouth!  Pure heaven it was. I swear it tasted just like steamed dumplings!  Must try to brown my little dumplings in a skillet next time!   Pic of the fried version shown above.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes ten 1½-oz. meat patties.  Each meat patty & sauce contains:  (includes 1/10th of the sauce).  NOTE:  The info below does NOT include the optional dumplings, but since they have negligible food value, I wouldn’t worry about them too much.  They are virtually pure fiber.  I get around 36-40 mini-dumplings or gnocchi out of the dumpling recipe so 3 dumplings only have around 0.1 net carb (or less)!  Like I said, virtually negligible. 

167 cals, 14g fat, 1.11g carbs, 0.16g fiber, 0.95g NET CARBS, 8.7g protein, 142mg sodium

Mom’s Chicken Stew

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

INGREDIENTS:

6 medium pieces of chicken (I used 3 leg quarters)

3 carrots, peeled, cut in 1″ chunks

3 stalks celery, cut in 2″ pieces

1 large onion, cut into wedges

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

½ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

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

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

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

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

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

Tuna Cakes

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This is how I’ve made my tuna “croquettes” (as my mother called them) for many years now.  When I was still teaching, this was often what I cooked when I had forgotten to defrost any meat for dinner, but didn’t  really want to eat out.  It’s easy, fast and DELICIOUS!  This recipe also works with salmon, crab and fish.  My Pink Cream Sauce is delightful spooned over the top of these.

To make my old recipe low-carb, I just had to change the slice of conventional bread to a slice of low-carb bread.  Probably any low-carb bread would be fine, but today I had Sherrilee Artisan Flatbread made up and used ¾ slice.  The Revolution Roll (Oopsie) mentioned in the recipe will add the fewest carbs:  .  A piece of flax bread or leftover low-carb biscuit, or even 1 T. plain flax meal + 1 T. water would work also.    This recipe is OK for Induction.  If you prefer, you can coat the croquettes with the breadcrumbs rather than mixing them into the fish mixture.  But personally, I don’t see any difference in flavor.  The outside will get a bit crunchier if the crumbs are on the outside.  Your call there.

INGREDIENTS:

6.5 oz. foil-pouch tuna, oil-pack, drained, or salmon or fresh crab (5 oz. can will work, or two smaller 2.5 oz. pouches)

2 beaten eggs

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

3 T. my homemade mayo

½ c. celery, finely chopped

1/3 c. green onion, chopped

2 oz. yellow onion, chopped

¼ c. red bell pepper (best as it is sweeter, but any color is fine)

1 Revolution Roll (Oopsie) (or other low-carb biscuit or bread you have on hand)

Dash black pepper

2 T. olive oil (to saute veggies)

1 T. olive oil (to fry croquettes)

DIRECTIONS:  Heat the 2T. olive oil in non-stick skillet and saute veggies until tender.  Scrape into mixing bowl.  Add all other ingredients to bowl (except remaining tablespoon of oil).  Stir well to blend smoothly.  Form into 6 small patties and brown in the 1 T. oil in the skillet over medium-high heat.  Try not to disturb or flip them until the first side is fully browned or they will likely tear up on you.  Serve at once with your favorite cream sauce or tartar sauce, low-carb ketchup.  I like to serve these with a light cream sauce or homemade mayo into which I’ve stirred a bit of the Seafood Spice Blend or my Shawarma seasoning.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 tuna cakes, each containing:

201 cals, 16.3g fat, 2.13g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 1.63g NET CARBS, 12.9g protein, 127 mg sodium

Asian Pork Riblets

If you love those ribs on a classic Chinese Pu-Pu Platter you will want to give these a try.  They are not too sweet but have a little sweet edge and Asian spices to make them a nice addition to your next stir-fry dinner!  Or have them as snacks or appetizers.  These are suitable once you get past the first 2 week Induction Phase of Atkins and are OK for most Keto diets if the numbers below fit into your daily macro limits.

INGREDIENTS:

1½ lb. pork spareribs (I used the point end of a rack with little bone)

10 drops liquid smoke

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. ginger root, peeled & minced

2 T. low sodium soy sauce

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

1 tsp. rice wine vinegar

1/8 tsp. dry mustard

1 T. molasses

1 T. my homemade low-carb Hoisin Sauce

¼-½ tsp. Sriracha sauce

1 T. dry sherry (or dry white wine which helps tenderize meat)

2 T. tap water

DIRECTIONS:  Cut ribs along bones.  If using the point end of a rack of ribs, that is almost totally boneless, cut any wider strips of boneless meat into strips about 3/4″ wide, or roughly the  size of the bon-in ribs.  Set them aside for a few minutes.  In a large mixing bowl, measures out all other ingredients.  Stir to blend well.  Add meat and toss well to coat.  Cover and chill for 1-2 hours.  When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400º.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place marinated meat strips onto pan making sure they are not touching.  With a brush baste lightly with marinade.  When oven is hot, place in oven and cook for about 20 minutes.  Turn and baste the other side of the meat pieces and cook another 15-20 minutes.  When browned nicely on both sides, remove meat to a platter and serve with whatever other Asian fare you like or enjoy these as an appetizer.  Be forewarned this is finger food and they are a little sticky & messy to eat, so have plenty of napkins on hand. 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

515 cals, 40g fat, 6.17g carbs, 0.27g fiber, 5.9g NET CARBS, 29.7g protein, 428mg sodium

Lobster Dien Bien

LobsterDienBien

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

I can’t get very good lobster in Central Texas, so I make this more often now with shrimp or crawfish, but it is no doubt best made with lobster. I have even made this dish with large sea scallops and fresh lump white crab meat (when I lived on the Gulf Coast).  All versions have been been very tasty.  As is true of most seafood dishes, this one really packs in the nutrients!  This dish is suitable for Atkins Induction, so enjoy.

Click to enlarge crawfish version
Crawfish version

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 stick unsalted butter

½ c. onion, chopped

1 c. celery, chopped

1 carrot, grated

1 2 oz. jar pimiento, drained

1/3 c. parsley, chopped

¼-½ tsp. cayenne pepper

10 drops Tobasco

½ tsp. ground thyme

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

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

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

Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken

I finally got around to trying a whole, roasted chicken in my Power XL 7 qt. air fryer last night.  The meat of the nearly 5# bird was moist and cooked perfectly done (even at the joints).  My husband just loves chicken that is baked or roasted!  Also tried my new Peggy’s Poultry Rub on it and that was a winner, too!  I may add even more of the rub next time!  Yummy!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other keto diets, as well as for Paleo-Primal folks.

INGREDIENTS:

1 whole chicken (mine was 4.75 lbs)

1 t. olive oil

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

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

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

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

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

1 tsp. spice blend = 0.84g NET CARBS

Kielbasa with Cabbage & Kale

kielbasa-with-cabbage-kaleHaving made keilbasa and cabbage many a time I don’t know WHY it took me so long to  throw in a little kale into the skillet.  Once I did, there was no turning back.  This vegetable combo is so tasty!  The cabbage mellow any bitterness in the kale; the kale gives depth of flavor to the blander cabbage.  Even my husband wolfed this down and he’s not a fan of either one!  So it sounds like a keeper to ME.  🙂 The caramelized onion brings the perfect touch of magic sweetness to the flavor profile.

I use Burton’s brand of sausage (newly discovered at my HEB & Walmart grocery in Texas).  I always like a brand that  has much less garlic than most people.  Many companies put way too much garlic in their smoked sausage for my palate.   This hearty, delicious dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins, other Keto diets and Primal-Paleo as well.

INGREDIENTS:

2  T. bacon grease

4 links your favorite smoked sausage, sliced ¼”

3 c. chopped green cabbage

2 c. chopped kale (larger stem parts removed)

2 oz. slivered sweet yellow onion

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

VARIATION:  Add a splash of your favorite vinegar to the skillet for the last few minutes of cooking for a more Polish or Czech-style of this famous dish. 

DIRECTIONS:   Heat  bacon grease in a non-stick wok or skillet over high heat.  Add sausage and stir fry until it begins to lightly brown. Add the onion and saute until starts to wilt and caramelize. Add cabbage and chopped kale, sauteing  just until cabbage begins to wilt.   Sprinkle with the black pepper and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:     Makes 4 adult servings, each 1½-cup  serving contains:

266 calories, 21 g fat, 9.37 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 6.87 g NET CARBS, 11.1 g protein, 378 mg sodium

Cajun Shrimp and “Grits”

This dish came out so good.  Frankly, I was quite surprised!  I essentially took my method for making shrimp scampi, added some Cajun spices to take it up a notch, topped with buttery Parmesan bread crumbs and served over a bed of seasoned cauli-rice.  Man………this is definitely a keeper!  My husband just ranted about his dinner tonight!  I confess it was one of the better shrimp dishes I’ve created in quite some time!  Provided you use an Induction-friendly bread for the bread crumbs, this is suitable for Atkins Induction and all other Atkins diet phases!  Just leave out the 2 T. white wine until Phase 2, please.  🙂

BASE INGREDIENTS:

4 T. unsalted butter

2 oz. yellow onion, slivered as thinly as possible

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 T. (1 fluid oz) white wine (omit if still in Atkins Induction Phase)

30 large peeled shrimp (I used pre-cooked, tail-on, but raw will work also)

CRUMB TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

2 slices plan-suitable low-carb bread, crumbed

2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

½ c. chopped parsley

4 T. more unsalted melted butter

‘GRITS’ INGREDIENTS:

½ small head cauliflower, cut into chunks

1 small carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

1/8 tsp. each onion and garlic powder

¼ tsp. (more if you like thinks spicy) my Cajun Seafood Spice Blend

1 c. Cheddar Cheese shreds

½ c. chopped green onions or chives

DIRECTIONS:  Begin by making the “grits” first.  Place the chunks of cauliflower and carrot in you food processor (or blender) and pulse until riced coarsely.  Scrape into microwavable bowl and cook on high for about 4-6 minutes or until no longer raw/hard (but not overly done)  Stir the spices in along with the green onions and cheese shreds.  Set aside while you make the rest of the layers.  In a large skillet (I used non-stick), over medium-high heat, melt one whole stick (8 T.) butter.  Carefully pour just half the melted butter into the bread crumb mixture and blend to moisten the crumbs evenly with the butter. Again, set the topping aside for now.

Preheat oven to BROIL.  In the 4 T. melted butter remaining in the skillet, add the slivered yellow onion and garlic.  Add cayenne and salt and continue to saute a couple more minutes to soften & caramelize them.  Add white wine and simmer 1-2 minutes only.   Spread mixture evenly in the skillet.  Scrape the cheesy grits mixture over the top of the caramelized onion mixture, spreading it evenly.  Next arrange the shrimp in a single layer, 2 concentric circles, tail out, placing shrimp fairly close together as they shrink during cooking.  If you end up with a few shrimp left out of the two circles, put those in the center, tail centered and pointing upwards.  That will look attractive for table presentation.

Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the shrimp.   When broiler is hot (450º-475º) pop skillet into broiler and broil until bread crumb topping is golden brown as shown above.  Shrimp cooks fast, so they should get properly done even if you are using raw shrimp. Those mounded in the center will cook the slowest, so check to insure they are properly cooked.

VARIATION:  You can construct this differently, by cooking the “grits” in a separate microwavable serving baking dish and cook the shrimp separately in the skillet.  Then simply top 1/3 portion of the “grits” on each of 3 plates and top with 1/3 the broiled shrimp mixture.  Your call on the construction method.  Will taste great either way.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains 10 shrimp & 1/3 the grits

643.6 cals, 52.5g fat, 15.8g carbs, 4.76 g fiber, 11.04g NET CARBS, 32.3g protein, 781mg sodium.  To reduce carbs, eliminate the carrot, reduce cheese & use 1 slice bread for crumb topping………or make it stretch for 4 servings. 🙂  )

 

 

 

Mega Meatballs

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Browsing my favorite food blogs, I came across a lovely picture of meatballs, something I’ve not made in ages.  I decided it was high time I did some meatballs for dear hubby and I love them, too!   The dish I came up with is not classic “saucy” spaghetti and meatballs, as actually very little sauce is put on each serving.  But an adequate tomato-y edge was there and made this a delightful dinner.

I’m providing the nutritional information for the individual parts of this, as many will use this meatball recipe with other sauces, serve it over other bases than the zucchini noodles and will use this thick veggie-heavy marinara sauce for other applications.  This dish is not suitable until Phase 2 Atkins due to the ricotta.  It is OK for Ketogenic diets.  It is however not acceptable for Primal-Paleo.

I like to make large batches of meatballs and freeze the extras for quick uses later on.  This recipe makes 20 meatballs or 10 servings of two meatballs.  Adjust your recipe as your needs dictate.

I absolutely love the Lucini “Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce” (no added sugar or bad ingredients) that I found at my local Walmart.  It’s made with all natural ingredients, has a lovely taste and I buy it for quick sauces and us it for quick pizza sauce.  It’s a great flavor foundation to build on.  🙂   It costs somewhere around $3.99/jar if I remember right.

MEATBALL INGREDIENTS:

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

1 lb. ground pork

2 beaten eggs

½ c. ricotta cheese

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼ tsp. each onion powder, garlic powder, crushed fennel seed and dried basil

½ tsp. dried oregano, crushed

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

MEATBALL DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Measure out all ingredients into a large bowl and mix together with fork or hand until well blended.  Form large 1½” balls by rolling in your palms.  Place them on either a non-stick baking sheet or one with a silicone sheet liner.  Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned and no longer oozing pink juices.

MARINARA SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

3 T. olive oil

½ c. celery, chopped

4 oz. onion, chopped

¼ c. bell pepper, chopped

5 large mushrooms, chopped

1  25.5 oz. jar (3c.) Lucini “Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce”, all natural ingredients with 4 NC per ½c. serving

2/3 c. parsley, chopped

3/4-1c. water, as needed

DIRECTIONS FOR SAUCE:  Heat oil in skillet or large saucepan.  Add celery, onion and bell pepper and saute until nearly tender.  Add mushroom and saute until translucent. Add Lucini sauce, parsley and bring to a simmer on very low heat.  Cook on lowest setting while meatballs are baking.  Stir often, adding water, as needed, to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan and to maintain a thin marinara sauce consistency.

ZUCCHINI NOODLES “Zoodles”:    VARIATIONS: Serve over spaghetti squash.           

3 medium zucchini (about 10 oz. each)

1 T. olive oil

DIRECTIONS FOR NOODLES:   Cut the zucchini into noodle shapes either with a hand held julienne peeler (what I use) or the more expensive tools like the counter-top Spirooli  that is designed to do this much faster. Heat olive oil in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.   Add zucchini threads to the pan and lightly saute just until they become translucent.  DO NOT OVERCOOK them or they will get mushy.

Plate about 1 cup zoodles on each person’s plate.  Top with 1/2 c. sauce.  Place 2 meatballs on top and if desired, garnish with a sprinkle of grated fresh Parmesan.

MEATBALL NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 20 very large meatballs.  Two per serving.  Each 2-meatball serving contains:  290 cals, 23 g  fat, 1.18g carbs, 0.8g fiber, 0.38g NET CARBS, 20g protein, 155mg sodium

SAUCE NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes ten 1/2 c. servings of sauce.  Each serving contains:  97 calories, 7.2 g  fat, 7.27 g  carbs, 1.93 g  fiber, 5.34 g  NET CARBS, 2.24 g  protein

ZUCCHINI NOODLES NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 10 servings of noodles.  Each 3 oz serving contains:  59 calories, 4.7 g  fat, 4.2 g  carbs, 1.4 g  fiber, 2.8 g  NET CARBS  1.5 g  protein

Eggplant (or zucchini) Meat Loaf

Eggplant or Zucchini Meatloaf

This delicious meatloaf uses veggies as a filler and binding agent.  It is flavorful and goes well with most vegetable side dishes.  It is equally good with either vegetable, quite frankly.  I have even used grated yellow squash to make this meatloaf in the past and that came out quite good, too.  It is suitable for all phases of Atkins (those on Induction need to use the flax meal or a one minute muffin for the bread), Keto diets, Paleo and Primal followers as well.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. olive oil

1 ½ c. diced, cooked eggplant, mashed (or grated zucchini)

5 oz. chopped onion

1 large or 2 small cloves minced garlic

¼ c. chopped parsley

½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

¼ c. grated mozzarella cheese

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. oregano, crushed

1 egg, beaten

1 low carb bun, crumbled (or 1 T. flax meal or 1 additional egg)

1¼ lb. ground beef (or mixture of beef and pork)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.   Saute onion in olive oil in skillet until tender.  Add grated zucchini and continue to saute until zucchini begins to get soft.  Add minced garlic.  Turn off heat.  Put ground meat in large bowl.  Put veggies onto meat.  Add cheeses, seasonings and beaten egg.  Moisten flax bun with a bit of water and mush it up on top.  Mix all ingredients well with fork or clean hands  until it is well-blended.  Tip meat out onto baking pan and shape into loaf.  Bake at 350º about 1 ½ hours or until meat thermometer reads 170º in the center.   Should be firm in center when done.  If desired, halfway through cooking, top with thin slices of tomato or tomato sauce.  If you do so, this is not included in numbers below.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 5, each serving contains:

519 cals, 35.4 g  fat 6.28 g  carbs, 1.86 g  fiber, 4.42 NET CARBS 42.8 g  protein 116 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

 

 

 

 

Chipotle Beef Strudel

This dinner came out utterly delicious!  I’ve been wanting to try a strudel application with my Mozzy Dough and finally did it!  Didn’t tear up; didn’t fall apart, and the full recipe of dough was just the right ratio of dough to filling for this use.  Next I’ll be trying some fruit streudel with it, so stay tuned!  You want to use 90% lean beef in this recipe or drain your beef off VERY well.  This recipe is not suitable until you have reached the grains rung of the Atkins carb re-introduction ladder.

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe my Mozzy Dough

10 oz. lean ground beef (preferably 90%)

2 oz. onion, chopped

½ tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. garlic powder

½ c. Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles (drained solids only)

3 slices Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese, torn in half

OPTIONAL:  1-2 T. cilantro, chopped to garnish

VARIATION:  On nights you can afford the extra carbs, a band of 1/2 cup canned refried beans added down the middle would be delicious, but that addition isn’t calculated in below. 

DIRECTIONS:  Brown the ground beef and onion together in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chili powder and garlic powder.  Stir well.  Add the drained  tomatoes with chiles and reduce heat to medium.  Simmer until tomatoes have cooked up dry.  Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350º.  Line an 11×15 baking sheet with parchment and set aside.  Make the Mozzy Dough by that recipes instructions.  Form an oblong “log” of the dough and place lengthwise on the parchment lined pan.  Using a fork or your fingers lightly moistened, gently press into a rectangular shape about 10″x13″ and just under ¼” thick.  Do this carefully so as not to tear the dough.  Spoon the meat filling down the very middle of the dough rectangle, lengthwise, leaving at least 2″ uncovered dough on each long edge you will eventually be folding over the filling.   Next lay the jack cheese slice pieces down the meat filling from one end to the other.

Using the parchment to help you, using both hands, lift up the long edge of the dough up and over the filling.  Do the same with the other side of the dough.  Pull to the center if necessary so you can pinch the center seam of the dough together to seal it.  Pinch each end of the “strudel” as well so filling won’t ooze out.  Again, using the parchment to help handle the strudel, roll it over so it will be seam side down on the parchment-lined pan now.  Bake at 350º for 18-20 minutes.  Keep an eye out at the 15 minute mark, as some ovens cook hotter than others.  Remove when golden brown and garnish with the chopped cilantro.  Cut into 5 portions and serve with a lovely guacamole salad.  The Chipotle Mayo below is optional, but it is super yummy dotted on the top of each bite as you eat the strudel. 

Chipotle Mayo: Stir together 4 T. homemade mayo, ½ c. sour cream, ¼ tsp. chili powder, 1 seeded & mashed chipotle chili pepper (the kind in can packed in adobo sauce) & dash salt. Each tablespoon has about 0.5 net carb.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 5 servings, each contains (excluding sauce, as I can’t know how much you will use on your serving)

469 calories, 35.2g fat, 13.88g carbs, 8g fiber, 5.88g NET CARBS, 37g protein, 739mg sodium

Pork & Chorizo Taco Salad

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This is a variation on the popular taco salad we all know and love.  Constructing it with pork and chorizo, along with the spices and sofrito I included, was quite delicious and a pleasant change of pace.  I didn’t have an avocado in the house or else a dollop of  guacamole would have been added to the top.  You might want to consider adding one mashed up with a pinch of garlic powder to other recipe.  🙂  This salad is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz. lean ground pork

2 oz. chorizo sausage, removed from casing and crumbled

Dash ground cumin

¼ tsp. garlic powder

1-2 tsp. my sofrito sauce (optional, but real good in this)

1/8 tsp. my Smoky Chipotle Spice blend

2 c. Romaine lettuce, chopped

2 c. endive or curly leaf lettuce (green or purple), chopped

½ c. tomato, chopped

2 slices Monterrey Jack Cheese

½ c. shredded Cheddar Cheese

OPTIONAL:  1 mashed avocado + dash garlic powder

DIRECTIONS:  Have two plates ready by the stove.  If using guacamole layer as suggested above, make that now.  Brown ground pork in a non-stick skillet, along with the crumbled chorizo until they are done.  Add salt, cumin, smoky chipotle blend, sofrito and garlic powder.  Stir often as the meat browns.  Remove from heat when done.  Mix the two types of lettuce in a bowl and plate half on each of two plates.  Add half the chopped tomato on top of each.  Place 1 slice of jack cheese in the center of each stack of greens.    Top each with half the hot meat.  The heat should melt the jack cheese nicely.  If using guacamole, add it now.  Top each with ¼ c. of cheddar shreds.   Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 2 salads, each contains:  (does not include guacamole)

597 cals, 46.7g fat, 6.95g carbs, 2.2g fiber, 4.75g NET CARBS, 37g protein, 748 mg sodium  (coming from the chorizo and cheese)

 

 

German Brats and Vegetables

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We recently grilled some delicious German Beef Brats I get from my grass-fed beef supplier. The seasoning blend in his sausages is simply delicious!  Very heavy with black pepper, but we like that.  With the 3 leftover links I defrosted tonight, I created a quick, stir-fried dish that’s both tasty, satisfies and yet stays low in carbs, despite all the vegetables in it. This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto, Paleo and Primal nutritional programs.  You could also make this using any type of brats, smoked sausage or Kielbasa with equally good results.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. bacon grease

8 oz. German beef brat sausages (or any lean link sausage), precooked & sliced

1 c. frozen green beans

4 oz. onion, sliced thinly

4 oz. green cabbage, sliced

1 large clove garlic, minced

4 oz. red bell pepper, sliced

4 oz. sliced mushrooms, drained

Dash each salt and black pepper

¼ tsp. Sriracha chili sauce

DIRECTIONS:    Heat the bacon grease in a non-stick wok or skillet.  Saute the green beans and onion until it begins to wilt.  Add the cabbage and garlic next and continue sauteing until it just begins to soften.  Add the bell pepper, stirring as it softens just a bit (but isn’t mushy).  Add sausage, mushrooms, salt, pepper and Sriracha sauce and stir well for 2-3 minutes for flavors to blend. Remove and enjoy.   I ate mine plain, but it would be good on brown rice for non-low-carb guests.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

274 cals, 22.5g fat, 10.1g carbs, 3.05g fiber, 7.05g NET CARBS, 8.7g protein, 384 mg potassium, 725 mg sodium

BBQ Dogs

Click to enlarge

When you BBQ a big piece of brisket, like we do from time to time, it seems there’s always so much leftover (there are just two of us here).  I like to chop some of the leftover meat, add a little of my low-carb BBQ sauce, so there is some convenient chopped beef BBQ for sandwiches throughout the week.

Last time we grilled a brisket, I also happened to need to bake some low-carb bread, as I was down to my last.  Then when I started stirring all those ingredients up in my mixing bowl this finger-food idea just popped into my head.  Using my protein bar silicone baking pan (but you could use a regular muffin pan), I formed the tastiest little treats!  These are great for parties, great snacks or even several for a grab-and-go lunch!  They’re low in carbs, too!

I have started adding 1 tsp. yeast dissolved in 1 T. warm water to my bread batter, not for rise, but for flavor.  You can omit that, but it will only lower net carbs by .13 g, so why not go ahead and add it for that touch of yeast flavor?  These are suitable once you get to the nuts level of Atkins Phase 2 (OWL, Ongoing Weight Loss).  If you add that cheese, be sure to add in those cheese carbs.  You can bake these in muffin pans if you don’t own or want to get the specialty pan shown below.  I just happen to have stumbled on a couple of these pans in my local Tuesday Morning store one day.

INGREDIENTS: 

1 recipe my gluten-free grain-free focaccia bread

12 oz. leftover chopped BBQ beef or pork

¼ c. low-carb BBQ sauce  (1-2 carbs per tablespoon or less)

VARIATIONS:  Add 1 tsp. shredded Cheddar cheese or some chopped green onion on top of the meat portion before topping with the “cover” batter.  🙂

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º. Make up the bread recipe per that recipe’s instructions.  If you like, you could add a little onion powder to the batter, or finely minced green onion, but be sure to add in those carbs if you do!  Toss the chopped beef with the ¼ c. BBQ sauce.  If not using silicone pans, grease your muffin cups generously to prevent sticking. Dip up about 2 tsp. batter into each of your pan’s 12 slots.  This should take about half the batter.   Using a spoon or fork, spread it evenly on the bottom of the form.  Next dip 1 oz (about 1 Tbsp.) chopped beef mixture onto the batter.  Gently spread the meat evenly.  Finally, spoon the remaining batter on top of the meat in each slot (about 2 tsp.).  Again, with the back of a spoon, spread that batter carefully and as evenly as possible.  You want to completely cover the meat as best you can.  There will barely be enough batter to complete the job, so it is important you measure the bottom and top batter as suggested to avoid running out before all 12 “dogs” are “constructed”.  Place silicone pan on a sheet for support and pop into 350º oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned as shown.  ENJOY!  Below is a photo of the pan I used.  Although they still make it (BTW, it is rimmed in metal framing for support, which I really like), it is difficult to find on the internet.  You can make this recipe using muffin pans however.  I stumbled upon these two Chicago Bakeware pans at my local Tuesday Morning store several years ago and snatched them up. 🙂  Other companies make similar pans:  http://www.amazon.com/Purple-Silicone-Sponge-Finger-Bakeware/dp/B00AFRALOS.

Click to enlarge

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 12 “dogs”, each contains:

193 cals, 13.3g fat, 2.71g carbs, 1.05g fiber, 1.66g NET CARBS, 15.7g protein, 145 mg sodium

 

Chicken-Sausage Roulades

Chicken-Sausage Roulades

This is an excellent way to use up that dab of cooked spinach that I invariably seem to have leftover every time I cook it.  This dish is quick, easy and so flavorful!  You’ll want to give this a try sometime.  It’s suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  Primal followers can enjoy it but it is not suited to a Paleo lifestyle unless you omit the cheese or sub in a plan suitable creamy binder.

INGREDIENTS: 

9 oz, chicken breast, skinned

2 slices (1 ¾ oz.) Muenster cheese (you can use Swiss or Jack cheese)

2 oz. pork breakfast sausage (or Italian sausage)

¼ c. cooked spinach

Seasoning blend of your choice

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Oil a small baking pan.  Pound the chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap with a meat mallet.  Try not to tear it and strive for ” thickness.  Remove top sheet of plastic.  Cut into 2 equal portions.  Form sausage into two flat oblong pieces and fold the cheese slices around them.  Lay those “logs” in the center of each piece of chicken.  Spoon 2 T. spinach down each “log” of cheese & sausage.  Tightly roll chicken around the log of sausage and cheese.  Lift onto the baking pan, seam down.  Drizzle the roulades with the olive oil and brush with a brush to spread it evenly on the surfaces. Sprinkle the roulades with your favorite seasoning.  I used a blend of Mrs. Dash (original), onion powder and granulated garlic.  Pop into 350º oven for 20 minutes.  Remove and baste all surfaces with the olive oil in the pan (add more if needed).  Return to oven and bake another 15-20 minutes or until firm and golden brown.  Sausage will be done by now and cheese will have begun to run out the ends.  Plate and serve with mashed cauliflower or your preferred vegetable.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

456 cals, 27.9g fat, 1.65g carbs, 0.95g fiber, 0.7g NET CARBS, 48g protein, 913 mg sodium

Indian Curry Leaf Fish on Cauliflower Pilaf

Indian Curry Leaf Broiled Fish on Cauliflower Pilaf

I changed up my usual Indian broiled fish recipe tonight and my husband just LOVED the new ingredient and method of serving.    This dish goes together really fast, so it is an easy meal prep during the summer when it’s hot and you don’t want the oven on long.  If you wish, you can use whole fish for this recipe, but you will want to bake at 350º rather than broil if using whole fish.  If using whole fish, cooking time will be 20-30 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your fish.  This spice mixture would also be good on flounder,  trout or bluefish filets.  This recipe is Induction friendly.

I order my curry leaf powder on-line.  Many spice vendors carry it. If you can’t (or don’t wish to) order it I would substitute 1 tsp. dried mint leaves.

INGREDIENTS FOR CAULI PILAF:

1 small head cauliflower (or 1/2 larger head)

2 T. olive oil

2 oz. red onion, finely minced

2 T. cilantro (I used the stems only)

½ tsp. Garam Masala Spice Blend

1/8 tsp. turmeric

Dash sea salt

DIRECTIONS FOR PILAF:  Cut cauliflower into chunks and pulse in food processor or blender to coarse “rice” stage.  Microwave in covered bowl for 4 minutes, stirring once before removing from microwave.  Set aside a few moments.   Heat olive oil in non-stick pan over high heat and saute onion and cilantro until nearly tender.  Add Garam Masala, turmeric and salt.  Lower heat.  Using a yellow or metal spoon (turmeric will stain white or wooden tools) gently stir in the tender cauliflower rice and mix all  until well-blended.  Turmeric will turn the mixture light yellow.  This is normal and what you want.  Let pan set over lowest heat possible for flavors to mellow while fish is broiling.

INGREDIENTS FOR FISH:

4   Tilapia filets (about 4-5 oz. each) [or fish of choice]

1 tsp. minced ginger root

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 finely chopped jalapeno, seeded and chopped

2 T. chopped cilantro

¼ tsp. turmeric

Dash each of cayenne, black pepper & turmeric

1/2 tsp. curry leaf powder  (or 1 tsp. dried crushed mint leaves)

4 T. unsalted butter, melted

1 T. tomato paste + 3 T. water (or ¼ c. tomato sauce)

FISH DIRECTIONS:  Preheat boiler. Lightly oil or parchment line a medium a baking pan large enough to hold fish in single layer.  Lay filets in the pan white side up.  Mix all other ingredients in a glass or metal bowl.  Do not use a plastic bowl (or your food processor) as the turmeric stains them yellow.  Add HALF the melted butter and mash all the seasonings to blend well in to a thick paste.  Using the back of a spoon, spread seasoning paste evenly on the tops of the 4 filets.   Broil for about 10 minutes, until thickest part of the filets is firming up.  You can bake for about 20 minutes (30 for whole fish) at 350º if you prefer, but I think broiling this is best.  Fast is goodness in my book.  When done, remove and drizzle remaining melted butter on each portion and serve with the cauliflower pilaf as a base, trying to use 1/4 of the pilaf under each of the 4 servings.  This pairs  nicely with my homemade Samosas.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 4, each serving contains:

327.25 cals, 26.15g fat, 5.62g carbs, 2.15g fiber, 3.47g NET CARBS, 24.35g protein, 84.5 mg sodium

Crunchy Parmesan-Boursin Chicken Filets

Crunchy Parmesan-Boursin Chicken Filets

This simple dish will really please your family.  It’s almost effortless to make if you have some of my Shawarma Mayo made up (I always keep it on hand in my fridge).  You can use regular homame mayo, but it won’t come out quite as good, as the Shawarma mayo linked in the recipe really is quite good with Boursin cheese.  This can be ready in 30 minutes or less! Truly delicious and suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal-Paleo as well.

INGREDIENTS:

24 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, in 4 nice portions

4 T. my homemade Shawarma Mayonnaise

4 T. Boursin Garlic-Herb cheese (or garlic-herb Alouette cheese)

1 oz. pork rinds

½ c. parsley, chopped

¼ tsp. each black pepper, garlic powder & onion powder

¼ c. Parmesan cheese (any variety will work)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer or mallet, pound the 4 breast filets between 2 sheets plastic wrap to flatten them a bit using the flat side of a meat tenderizer or mallet.  Real thin is NOT necessary here, just flatten them so they aren’t too thick for fastest baking. Place filets on an oiled baking pan making sure they are not touching.  Brush each with 1 T. of the Shawarma Mayo.  Then dot each with 1 T. of the Boursin cheese.  Place all remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse to make a nice crumb mixture.  Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the chicken filets and pop pan  in 350º oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:     Makes 4 servings, each contains:

500 cals. 29.3g fat, 1.5g carbs, 0.22g fiber, 1.29g NET CARBS, 59.5g protein, 975 mg sodium

Mini Meatloaves

Mini Meatloaves

You just can’t go wrong with meatloaf!  But some nights you just don’t want to wait until a large meatloaf cooks.  That’s when I do what I call mini meatloaves, in the skillet.  These are quick to put together and just as good as the slow cooked larger version.  These are suitable for all phases of Atkins.

INGREDIENTS:

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

2 oz. yellow onion, chopped

2 oz. green pepper, chopped

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 c. parsley

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

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

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

1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

1 T. bacon grease or oil of choice for frying

4 oz. can tomato sauce (no added sugar)

DIRECTIONS:  Soak flax meal or chia, if using, in water in a small bowl for about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally as it thickens up.   While it is soaking, add all other ingredients (but tomato sauce and oil) to a food processor or blender and pulse to mix well, until vegetables are chopped really fine (why I pre-chop them).  Add soaked flax meal and pulse la couple more times to incorporate it well.  Using water-dampened damp hands, form mixture into 6 thick patties resembling miniature meatloaves, slightly rounded on one side.   Heat oil in skillet on high heat and brown the meatloaves on all sides until they are nearly done.  Add tomato sauce to skillet, scraping up brown bits from frying as you stir it in.  Put lid on skillet and simmer low for about 10 minutes or until meat is thoroughly cooked.  Serve with tomato gravy on top of each portion.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 6 servings, each 4 oz. serving has:

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

Bunless Sriracha Cream Burgers

A simple, quick, delicious meal for week nights when you’re tired.  These meat patties and sauce will only take 30 minutes to prepare!   And is this ever good!  This recipe is one you’ll find yourself making again and again.  There’s not enough Sriracha in the sauce to make this too hot for most people, but add it last to taste, as always.  This recipe is suited to all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, and Primal Blueprint.  Use coconut milk instead of the cream if you follow a Paleo lifestyle.

MEAT INGREDIENTS:

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

6 oz. breakfast pork sausage

1 tsp. my homemade Montreal Steak Spice Blend

1 tsp. no-salt lemon pepper (I use Victoria Gourmet brand)

1/4 tsp. Dad’s Poultry Seasoning (or your preferred brand)

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

4 T. butter, melted

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

¼ tsp. xanthan gum (or your preferred thickener)

1/3 c. green onion, chopped fine

2 tsp. Sriracha sauce

Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:  In a large bowl, mix the two meats and 3 spices listed.  Form into 4 patties and place in a hot non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown nicely on both sides.  Wile they cook, in a small saucepan, melt the butter, add the cream, water and green onion and bring to a light simmer.  Dust with the xanthan gum or your favorite thickener and whisk it in, simmering on low heat until the sauce thickens.  Add the Sriracha gradually and taste as you go, stopping when it is spicy to your liking.  Serve patties with 1/4 of the sauce over each serving.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 adult servings, each contains: (form 5 patties to lower cals. & fat)

575 calories, 50.7 g fat, 2.65 g carbs, 0.62 g fiber, 2.03 g NET CARBS, 29.3 g protein, 440 mg sodium

 

Pork Chops with Roasted Poblano Gravy

Pork Chops in Poblano GravyI picked up a couple of medium-size poblano peppers at the store yesterday as I wanted to make a creamy sauce for some pretty pork chops.  I added a mashed avocado to my sauce, which added nutrients, but absolutely no flavor whatsoever and I will not add it in future.  Waste of a good avocado in my opinion.  😉

This recipe was quite tasty if you like the taste of poblanos.  As a rule, these peppers are not spicy hot, especially when you roast them as I did for this recipe.  Although there are the occasional hot ones out there.  However, that has only happened to me one time in 45+ years of cooking with them.

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal followers.  Use coconut milk instead of the cream for Paleo dining.

Variation:  Substitute 2 portions of seared boneless chicken breast or chicken thighs for the pork.

INGREDIENTS:

2  medium poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded, cut into halves

2   pork chops (mine were 7-oz bone-in)

1-2 tsp. bacon grease

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ c. chopped cilantro

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. chicken broth (I use homemade)

Dash each salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  In a skillet, melt the bacon grease and cook the pork chops until brown on both sides and thoroughly done.  Remove to a platter for now.

Preheat oven to 375º.  Stem, seed and cut pepper into halves lengthwise.  Place cut side down on a baking pan and roast for about 20 minutes.  Peel as much of the papery skin off as you can get off. Cut into ¼” strips and set aside.

In the skillet you seared the meat in, add the garlic, pepper, cilantro, salt, pepper and saute over medium heat for a few minutes.  Add the chicken broth and reduce heat to medium-low.  Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes.  Replace chops on top and allow them to reheat on low fire.  Serve with half the gravy dipped over each chop.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 adult servings, each contains:

552 cals, 39.3g fat, 5.4g carbs, 1.3g fiber, 4.1g NET CARBS, 41.7g protein, 239 mg sodium

 

Stuffed Focaccia

Stuffed Focaccia

I wanted something Italian tonight, but not pizza and not pasta.  So I decided to try a stuffed focaccia.  GOOD decision, as this came out VERY good!

variation, add a few sliced black olives, but I didn’t have any on hand.

Before Cutting
Before Cutting

This recipe is suitable for Phase 2 Atkins, Keto diets, Primal folks if consumed only occasionally.  This recipe is only suitable for Paleo if you use a plan suitable bread.

VARIATION:  Add a few sliced black olives to the filling

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef (or ½ beef and ½ Italian sausage removed from casings)

½ tsp. total Italian Spice blend

½ c. almond flour

¼ c. golden flax meal

¼ c. plain whey protein powder

1 tsp. baking powder

3 T. cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs, beaten

1½ c. shredded white mild cheese (I used a combo of Monterey Jack & Mozzarella)

1 tsp. cider vinegar

1 T. heavy cream

1 T. water

1 tsp. yeast dissolved in another 1 T. warm water (optional, for flavor)

FILLING:  6 oz. sliced mozzarella cheese + 1/4 tsp. Italian Spice Blend

TIP:  If you are not gluten-free, I find 1 T. oat fiber added improves this bread’s texture greatly.  But remember, oat fiber is NOT 100% gluten-free.

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Brown the beef in a skillet.  Add half of the Italian Spice and a dash garlic powder if you like.  Stir well, remove from heat and set aside.

Soften cream cheese in medium mixing bowl in microwave.  Beat in the eggs, cream, water, vinegar, both cheeses and dissolved yeast (if using).  Measure and add in all the dry ingredients and stir well with a rubber spatula. Line an 8 x 11 pan (I used metal) with parchment paper or silicone sheet.  Spoon up around 1/2 of the batter onto the paper and spread to a thin layer with a fork. Batter will be about ¼” thick.  Use 9 x 13 pan for thinner stuffed focaccia results.

Drain meat of any excess grease and spread evenly on bottom layer of batter.  Place the sliced mozzarella cheese on next.  Sprinkle with the rest of the Italian Spice blend.  Dot with the remaining batter, spreading with a fork as best as you can, but it doesn’t have to be perfect coverage.  As it will spread out a bit during baking.  Pop into 350º oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until dry to the touch in the center and lightly browned.  Cool 3-4 minutes and cut into 6 equal portions.  Lift carefully with spatula, avoiding parchment on bottom and serve with a nice green salad on the side.  Store leftovers covered in the pan or in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.  Goes well with a green, tossed salad with a light vinaigrette dressing.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 large slices, each contains:

487 calories

37 g  fat

5.61 g carbs, 2.43 g fiber, 3.18 g NET CARBS

36.3 g protein

558 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 and the red wine is omitted.

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 calories

21.9 g  fat

5.6 g  carbs, 83 g  fiber. 4.82 NET CARBS

28.8 g  protein

313 mg. sodium

Indian Chicken Tandoori & Roasted Vegetables (Sheet Pan)

This dish goes together in 30 minutes and can be on the table in no time with a convection oven feature on your oven.  Just marinate the chicken a half hour, cut the veggies up into your sheet pan and it cooks itself…….REALLY!  My kind of meal, as my regular readers know.  I’m such a lazy cook! This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto programs, Paleo and Primal Blueprint as well!  You can make it as spicy as you like, increasing the Tandoori spice and curry powder, but I’ve kept this recipe fairly “tame” as that suits my palate.

INGREDIENTS: 

2 large chicken thighs, bone-in

1 large chicken breast, cut into 3 portions (they’re so big nowadays)

2/3 c. sour cream (or yogurt)

1 tsp. each curry and tandoori powders

1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

6 oz. sweet onion (I used yellow and red), cut into wedges

3 oz. red bell pepper, cut 1″ pieces

10 oz. eggplant, cut in large cubes (about 1-1½”)

1 very small head cauliflower (yield about 2½c. florets)

3 Roma tomatoes, cut into 4 wedges

1 tsp. minced ginger root

¼ c. cilantro chopped

Dash black pepper

¼ tsp. sea salt

2 tsp. my Garam Masala

DIRECTIONS:  In a large mixing bowl, measure out the sour cream or yogurt.  Add the tandoori and curry powders.  Stir well to blend.  Dip each piece of the chicken into the mixture, coating well on all surfaces.  Place bowl in fridge for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, Preheat convection oven to 350º (375º for a regular oven).  Place the EV Olive Oil into a large baking sheet pan.  Cut the eggplant into 1-1½” cubes (I do not peel mine) and put it in the pan.  Cut onions, separate the segments and add to the pan.  Cut red bell pepper into 1″ pieces and add to the pan.  Add the cauliflower pieces as well.  Next add the ginger, Garam Masala spice, salt and pepper.   With a spoon or rubber spatula, stir all so the vegetables get well-coated with the oil and spices.  Add the tomato wedges last and toss once or twice, very gently.  Lay the chicken pieces on top of the vegetable melange and sprinkle all with the chopped cilantro.  Pop into a hot 350º convection oven (or 375º regular oven) and bake under convection for about 40 minutes; for about 1 hour in a regular oven, or until meat is properly done.  Please check before time is up, as ovens, convection or not, can vary quite a bit.  Remove and serve with your favorite low-carb flat bread (if you can fit it into your daily number limits).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 5 servings, each contains:

410.2 cals, 29.66g fat, 12.04g carbs, 3.96g fiber, 8.08g NET CARBS, 24.52g protein, 461g sodium

 

 

Chicken-Eggplant Parmigiana Casserole

Chicken Eggplant Parmegiana Casserole

If you love Italian food, you are really going to LOVE this dish!  So tasty!  This casserole  was created with leftover cooked chicken breast meat I had in the refrigerator and a small amount of cooked spaghetti sauce and some commercial no-sugar sauce I wanted to use up.  I bought a beautiful eggplant yesterday and some mushrooms, so I created a quick Parmigiana casserole.  You can just omit the ‘shrooms if you’re not a fan.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Primal followers that eat occasional cheese.  This meal would not be suitable for Paleo diners.

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz. cooked chicken meat, cut in bite size pieces

2 T. olive oil

6 oz. mushrooms, sliced

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

¼ c. low-carb spaghetti sauce (I use Lucini with no added sugar)

3/4 c. homemade spaghetti sauce   [or all homemade, or all Luccini]

6 oz. Mozzarella cheese, grated

½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

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

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

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