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

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

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

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

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

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

Mega Meatballs

002

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

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

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

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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.

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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

 

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

 

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

Eggplant-Beef Lasagna

Eggplant beef Lasagna2

I’m defrosting spaghetti sauce for tonight, but since I have an eggplant I’m going to lose if I don’t use it ASAP, I think I’ll make us some lasagna tonight.  This dish is real tasty if you’re an eggplant fan.  It is Atkins Induction-friendly if you can fit the carbs into your day’s limits.  🙂  With all the cheese here, I do not recommend adding any salt to this dish.  This is not a particularly large recipe, so if you want extra for leftovers, double the recipe.  This recipe is not suitable until Atkins Phase 2 OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss).  It is not suitable for Primal-Paleo due to the cheese.

INGREDIENTS:

10 oz. eggplant

1 T. olive oil

1 c. low-carb spaghetti sauce with meat  (I use this recipe:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/peggys-spaghetti-sauce/)

4 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated

4 T. Parmesan cheese

1/3 c. ricotta cheese

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

294.3 calories, 19.7 g  fat, 11.13 g  carbs, 3.65 g  fiber, 7.48 g. NET CARBS, 19.2 g  protein, 250 mg sodium

 

Indonesian Beef Soto

Soto0021

Our best friends of some of 30+ years are wonderful cooks and often introduce us to interesting Indonesian foods and spices.  Though he is as American as apple pie, she is American-born Indonesian and often cooks Indonesian foods.  This dish came about from my exposure eating dinner with them and my reading of a number of Beef Soto recipes in cookbooks.  I combined a mixture of spices traditional to the dish, and then added some veggies I thought would also be good in it. The result of this experiment was delightful, and quite simple since the grass-fed beef brisket I used in this was already cooked.  This dish would also be good made with cooked lamb or venison.  What a hearty, rib-sticking meal this was!  You can prepare this from scratch with raw beef, but it will naturally take much longer than my version made with leftover meat, as the meat will have to be first browned in oil and then simmered in the broth/water for at least an hour to get tender before adding veggies to the pot.  This dish could also be served as a dinner entree if you made it with less broth, thickened it with your favorite thickener or mashed veggie puree and served it over basmati rice (for the non-lowcarbers, of course).  This dish is suitable for Atkins Induction and passes Paleo-Primal muster as well.   🙂

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. palm oil (or coconut oil)

3 oz. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 shallot, chopped fine

10 oz. lean, cooked beef (or lamb), cubed large

8 oz. summer squash, cut up large (calaba, zucchini, or yellow)

12 cherry tomatoes

1 tsp. dried red guajillo chiles (these are mild), seeded and chopped coarsely

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Guajillo Chiles

½ tsp. ground cinnamon (or 1″ stick if you prefer)

1 tsp. Thai red curry paste

Dash of chipotle chile powder (or ½ canned chipotle chile, seeded and mashed)

1 thin slice ginger, minced

½ tsp. galangal powder (optional)

½ tsp. turmeric

around 2 c. beef stock (or water) (enough to cover meat)

DIRECTIONS:   In a large soup pot, heat the palm oil.  Brown the onion until it begins to caramelize.  Add shallot and continue to saute until shallot begins to “toast” a bit.  Add garlic and cubed meat and saute a few minutes longer.  Lower heat, add liquid and the cinnamon, guajillo chiles, ginger, turmeric and galangal powder, along with the Thai curry paste.  Simmer for 15 minutes if meat was already cooked, simmer for 30 minutes or longer if meat was raw when you started.  This will allow the spices to mingle with meat and the meat to get tender.  Add cubed squash and continue to simmer until squash is done.  Add tomatoes and cook just until tomatoes have softened up a bit, but have not fallen apart.  Thickening is optional, but you can if so desired.  I had a dab of leftover sweet potato puree in the freezer and added 3-4 tablespoons of that for thickening my soup a bit.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 3 large servings, each contains:

309 calories

19.8 g  fat

9.23 g  carbs, 2.23 g  fiber, 7 g  NET CARBS

24.2 g  protein

627 mg potassium

193 mg sodium

Bœuf Bourguignon (Beef Burgundy)

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

3 T. coconut or extra light olive oil

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

2 large carrots, peeled, cut in ½” slices

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

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

2 large cloves garlic, minced (or 3 small)

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

¼ t.. sea salt

¼ t. coarse black pepper

10 large button mushrooms (8 oz.)

½ c. rich beef broth or bone broth

Water to cover pot contents

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 large servings, each contains:

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

Indian Samosas

I made Indian food for dinner tonight, which consisted of my Indian Creamed Spinach (Saag Paneer), Indian Baked Chicken (done in my air fryer) and I tried my hand at samosas.  My husband just loves samosas, so I put my thinking hat on.  Thought I could use my Mozzy Dough as it’s pretty flexible to be manipulated.  For the filling, my Kheema Matar meat mixture would do nicely.  They came out wonderful!  I used a little of my Sofrito and chopped mint mixed with a bit of olive oil to dip them into. They are traditionally dipped into a tamarind sauce.  I have tamarind but haven’t picked a recipe for that sauce yet and was not wanting to bother tonight anyway.  Here is a link to a Youtube video on how to make a tamarind dipping sauce.  But samosas to me, are truly good with no dipping sauce.  I think next time I’ll just make 6 samosas to see if that affords me enough dough for each one to make them in the traditional triangular shape.  Don’t know until you try.  🙂

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe my Mozzy Dough

1 recipe my ground meat Kheema Matar

DIRECTIONS:  Make the Kheema Matar meat mixture by that recipe’s instructions and set by your work area.  Make the dough by that recipe’s instructions.  After final kneading, roll into a log and divide into 12 equal parts.  For easier construction, you may prefer to make just 6 larger samosas.  But I wanted small ones tonight as I’m eating a lot less these days.

Roll each of the 12 (or 6) portions of dough into a ball and set on a silicone sheet or plastic wrap.  Press the dough into a 4″ round with your fingers and the but of your palm.  Fill each round of dough with 2 T. meat filling and press it firmly into a mound.  Gently lift opposite sides up over the filling (all four) and to the center to cover the meat completely, pinching the dough at the top to seal well.  If dough tears, dump the meat back into the skillet, roll and press the round of dough out again and refill.  Heck, the dough is a little delicate.  Even I had to redo one myself.  Place the samosas onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Continue until all 12 (or 6) samosas are made.  Preheat oven to 350º and pop pan into oven.  Bake for about 15 minutes until just browning on the tops.  Remove and serve as a snack, appetizer or with a full Indian meal as a first course.  If you want a little dipping sauce, mix 2 T. of my Sofrito (and 2 T.fresh mint, if you have some) in 2 T. olive oil.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 12 small or 6 large samosas.  A serving consists of 1 large or two small samosas and will contain:  Does not include any dipping sauce.

258 cals, 23.8g fat, 13.8g carbs, 7.7g fiber, 6.1 NET CARBS, 27.1g protein, 808 mg sodium (mostly from the cheese in the dough)

Buttery Sriracha Pot Roast

Buttery Sriracha Pot Roast

The pan juices this roast make, melded with the butter, Sriracha sauce and caramelized onion are so sweet and tasty I spoon it out onto my meat. I make sure to not use much Ranch seasoning so as not to drown out the magic of the other flavors.  Man, is this roast ever good! If you’re a pot roast fan, this one is definitely worth a try.  I’ll bet you add it to your regular rotation roast recipes.  It’s THAT good!    It’s incredibly simple, too.  For those that shy away from spicy foods, there was a bit of tingle on my tongue, but this was not very hot with Sriracha really.  It wasn’t too hot for me, and I don’t like my food very spicy when push comes to shove.  🙂  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.

INGREDIENTS:

2¼ lb. beef chuck roast (this was a very small roast)

½ pkg. Ranch Buttermilk dressing powder

3 oz. onion, sliced pretty thin

2 tsp. Sriracha sauce

4 T. unsalted butter, cut into smaller bits

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Place meat in suitable pan.  I used a 9×9 square metal pan.  Sprinkle the Ranch powder over the top surface of the meat.  Next top with the sliced onions.  Now invert Sriracha bottle and in a zig zag motion like they do chocolate sauce over desserts in the fancy restaurants, zig-zag about 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce over the onion layer.  Next dot with small pieces of the butter to evenly cover.  Top with a good sprinkling of black pepper.  Pop into oven without a cover and bake for about 2 hours.  Chuck takes longer to get tender.  There is a fair amount of shrinkage, so you’ll only end up with about 2 lbs. cooked meat which will serve 4 people nicely, perhaps even 5.  I’m calculating for 4 adult servings.  Cut meat into thick slices and serve with pan juices (that’s the best part!).  No need to thicken the pan juices.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Serves 4 adults, each generous serving contains:

397 cals, 19g fat, 2.9g carbs, 0.2g fiber, 2.7g NET CARBS, 50.7g protein, 432 mg sodium

 

 

 

Iranian Kubideh (meat kebabs)

 

Iranian Kubideh 2When I was 10 years old, my family lived in Teheran, Iran.  Dad, USAF,  was  teaching their  then fledgling air force to fly F-86 jets.  Our motor pool driver, Reza, loved good food and sometimes would cook for us to show off his skills in the kitchen.  Kubideh was one of his favorites.  Although I don’t have his actual recipe, my creation evokes the flavor of his specialty.  The jalapeno is not traditional but I like it in these.  It does not make these spicy “hot”, just adds a nice flavor layer in my opinion.

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

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends.  Chef George Stella also brings you a wealth of delicious recipes you will love!  Order yours TODAY! from Amazon or our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef or lamb (mine is 90% lean; omit bacon grease below if using fattier meat)

1 egg, beaten

¼ c. parsley

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

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. black pepper

Optional:  ½ jalapeno, seeded and minced fine

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 kubideh, each contains:

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

Mediterranean Meat Wraps

0033
Mediterranean Meat Wraps (using low-carb Flour tortilla)

These wonderful little meat patties can be ready in just 15 minutes!  I most DEFINITELY like the flavor and confess ate two of them on my wrap.  Delicious!  I served them with some tzatziki yogurt sauce and a lovely Greek salad.  This meat mixture would also make great meatballs and be great added to Mediterranean casserole dishes with eggplant, tomatoes and feta. I already had some low-carb no-flour tortillas made up so the sandwich you see above was on the table in no time.  This recipe can also be made with beef or lamb and is suitable for all phases of Atkins.  Primal-Paleo folks can eat this meat on a Greek salad or plan-suitable “wrap”.  When used in wraps, my delicious tzatziki sauce is also very good on these sandwiches, particularly with a little extra chopped parsley sprinkled on top!   Click here for the recipe for the tortilla wraps.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 10-volume set TODAY and get special discounted prices! (available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. lean ground pork (ground beef or lamb are more traditional)

about 1/3 c. kale (what I could easily pick up in 1 hand with my fingertips)

about ¼ c. parsley

1 oz. onion

1 clove garlic

½ jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine

¼ c. feta cheese, crumbled

Dash each salt and black pepper

1/8 tsp. Homemade Cavender’s Greek Seasoning

1 T. my chimichurri sauce

1 medium egg

DIRECTIONS:  Place all but the meat in a food processor or blender. Pulse until fine, but don’t reduce it to paste in texture.  You want it about like pesto sauce.  Place the meat in a bowl and with a rubber spatula, scrape the spice/herb mixture on the meat.  With a fork or your hands, blend it all together like you would a meatloaf mixture.  Form into 6 equal patties.  These are traditionally cooked over charcoal on your grill, but almost as good browned in non-stick or lightly oiled skillet on each side until meat in completely cooked.  Your choice. Serve at once with your favorite sides or veggies OR let it cool off a bit, slice the patties laterally so that each one will make a Mediterranean-style wrap sandwich on your favorite plan-suitable tortilla/pita type bread.  If you are using cold, leftover meat for a sandwich the next day, after slicing the patties, I would sear a couple seconds in a non-stick skillet to warm them slightly.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 patties, each contains:  (numbers are only for the meat)

240 cals. 19g fat, 1.65g carbs, 0.33g fiber, 1.32g NET CARBS, 15g protein, 155 mg sodium

Perfect Rib Roast

The Perfect Rib Roast
The Perfect Rib Roast

It seems as though we’re running toward another Christmas feast at breakneck speed.  As we had our annual turkey on Thanksgiving, I’m likely to cook a beef rib roast for Christmas this year (I think I did lobster last year).  This is my favorite method for cooking rib roasts in case some of you also plan on cooking one for Christmas or New Year’s.  This is how my mother roasted them for years and folks, it just doesn’t get any easier or tastier! This method has never, EVER failed me.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Ketogenic diets (and Primal-Paleo if you use coconut aminos in lieu of soy sauce).

My roasts are usually bone-in as I think they cook more evenly with the bones in them.  But I do remove them after cooking to make slicing the meat easier.  I usually served my rib roast with horseradish sauce and typically, French-style green beans or broccoli and a tasty cauliflower mash along with a lovely Grand Marnier fruit salad on the side.  All I can say is……………Mmm, Mmm, Mmm!

We like our beef medium rare and you can see in the photo, it cooks perfectly effortlessly with this method.  My roasts average 3.5 pounds after removing the bones, so I shoot for a 4.5 pound bone-in roast at the market.  I usually get 8 nice 8-oz. servings (3/8″ thick slices) from this size roast.   My little rat terrier usually gets one of the meaty bones for her Christmas dinner.  She is in sheer heaven along with the rest of us.  🙂

Prime Rib Christmas Dinner 2014

INGREDIENTS:

4½ pound beef rib roast (bone-in)

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

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

¼-1/3  tsp. coarse cracked black pepper

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

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

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

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

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

Mega Meatballs

Click to enlarge

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.

You can have many more tasty low-carb recipes like this at your fingertips with your very own copy of the latest publications by Jennifer Eloff and friends: LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS. There are now 10 volumes in our complete cookbook collection.  Order yours today to get special discount pricing on complete sets.  Available individually as well.  Order at Amazon or at our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

DISCLAIMER: By personal choice I accept no payment for this cookbook promotion nor the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so simply because they are filled with fantastic recipes any cook, low carb or otherwise, would be proud to add to their cookbook library.

MEATBALLS:

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.

QUICK MARINARA SAUCE:

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.

FINAL PLATING:  Plate about 1 cup zoodles on each 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 calories, 23 g  fat, 1.18 g  carbs, .8 g  fiber, .38 g  NET CARBS and 20.2 g  protein, 155 mg 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

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.

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

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

Beef-Eggplant Curry

Beef Eggplant Curry
Beef Eggplant Curry

This is a quick, tasty and wonderful way to use up leftover beef pot roast (chuck).  I made it again for dinner last night so I thought I’d share again for new followers to try.  This one’s a keeper, both for ease of prep and incredible flavor layers!  We are always pleased with this quick curry.  What it lacks in photogenic qualities, it gains in taste!  Using the Garam Masala spice mixture makese it taste more Indian; the Baharat makes it taste more Middle Eastern.  This dish can also be made with lamb.  I love how easy most Indian curries are to prepare!  This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto and Primal-Paleo as well.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Order your 10-volume set TODAY for special set pricing! (available individually also) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. olive oil or coconut oil

2 c. cooked beef (or lamb), trimmed of fat, cut in ½” dice (or use ground meat)

6 oz. eggplant (I used Japanese purple eggplant), cut in 1″ cubes

3 oz. onion, diced large

½ c. red bell pepper, chopped (omit for lower carbs)

½ c. cilantro, cut roughly

1 large tomato, cut in 1″ cubes (2 oz.)

2 tsp. my Garam Masala Spice blend (or 1 tsp. Baharat Spice Blend)

1/4 tsp. curry powder

1/8 tsp. turmeric

Dash salt

½-1 c. water (beef stock if you have some is better)

OPTIONAL:  ½ tsp. crushed fenugreek leaves if available

DIRECTIONS:   Cut up meat, eggplant and onion as indicated above. Heat oil in non-stick skillet over hi heat.  Add onion and slightly brown.  Add eggplant and continue to saute, stirring often.  Add beef and brown a bit.  Add cilantro, tomato and all spices.  Add water as needed to just barely surround meat.  Lower heat.  You don’t want this soupy, but add more water as you cook the dish if all evaporates.  Simmer on medium heat about 15 minutes to allow flavor to mingle.  Serve on cauli-rice, cauli-mash, toasted low-carb bread or muffins, or eat it straight up!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

237 cals. , 12.5g fat, 7.05g carbs, 2.77g fiber, 4.28g NET CARBS, 24g protein, 107 mg sodium

Mediterranean Meat Wraps

Click to enlarge (wrap made with patty sliced laterally)
(On a homemade Flour tortilla)

These wonderful little meat patties were ready in just 15 minutes!  I most DEFINITELY liked the flavor and confess I ate two of them they were so good.  I served them with some tzatziki yogurt sauce and a lovely Greek salad.  The leftovers, 2 days later, ended up in the sandwiches you see pictured above.  The flavor of the leftover meat seemed to have improved on the refrigerator shelf!  This meat mixture would also make great meatballs and be great added to Mediterranean casserole dishes with eggplant, tomatoes and feta. I already had some low-carb no-flour tortillas made up so the sandwich you see above was on the table in no time.  This recipe can also be made with beef or lamb and is suitable for all phases of Atkins.  Primal-Paleo folks can eat this meat on a Greek salad or plan-suitable “wrap”.  When used in wraps, my delicious tzatziki sauce is also very good on these sandwiches, particularly with a little extra chopped parsley sprinkled on top!   Click here for the recipe for the tortilla wraps.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella, myself and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Order your 10-volume set TODAY! (available individually also) from Amazon or find special sales pricing at: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. lean ground pork (ground beef or lamb are more traditional)

about 1/3 c. kale (what I could easily pick up in 1 hand with my fingertips)

about ¼ c. parsley

1 oz. onion

1 clove garlic

½ jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine

¼ c. feta cheese, crumbled

Dash each salt and black pepper

1/8 tsp. Homemade Cavender’s Greek Seasoning

1 T. my chimichurri sauce

1 medium egg

DIRECTIONS:  Place all but the meat in a food processor or blender. Pulse until fine, but don’t reduce it to paste in texture.  You want it about like pesto sauce.  Place the meat in a bowl and with a rubber spatula, scrape the spice/herb mixture on the meat.  With a fork or your hands, blend it all together like you would a meatloaf mixture.  Form into 6 equal patties.  These are traditionally cooked over charcoal on your grill, but almost as good browned in non-stick or lightly oiled skillet on each side until meat in completely cooked.  Your choice. Serve at once with your favorite sides or veggies OR let it cool off a bit, slice the patties laterally so that each one will make a Mediterranean-style wrap sandwich on your favorite plan-suitable tortilla/pita type bread.  If you are using cold, leftover meat for a sandwich the next day, after slicing the patties, I would sear a couple seconds in a non-stick skillet to warm them slightly.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 patties, each contains:  (numbers are only for the meat)

240 cals, 19g fat, 1.65g carbs, 0.33g fiber, 1.32g NET CARBS, 15g protein, 155 mg sodium

Indian Kheema Matar (Beef with “Peas” and Mint)

 

233
Shown on bed of sauteed cabbage

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef, lamb or goat

1 T. olive or coconut oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove minced garlic

½ tsp. minced ginger

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. ground coriander

¼ tsp. salt

2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped

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

1 carrot, cut into small dice

2 T. chopped cilantro

2 T. chopped fresh mint (I use spearmint)

½ jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1½ tsp. my Garam Masala

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

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

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

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

Skillet Pizza

Click to enlarge
Skillet Pizza (for 1)

I’m currently revisiting Atkins Induction for a “reset” and remembered this delicious recipe that literally got me through Atkins Induction 10 years ago.  I’ve tried so many of the popular low-carb pizza crust recipes and just don’t like but a few that I have developed or tried in the interim.  A lot of sodium in pizza toppings.  Even this amount of sausage and cheese packs a whopping amount of sodium, as seen in the nutritional stats below!  But hey, when you’re still on Induction and craving pizza, this’ll do occasionally.  Best of all, it can be ready in 10-15 minutes!  Moreover, I don’t end up with “sausage fingers” and swollen ankles the next day from water retention due to the sodium in most low-carb crust recipes.  I’m so sodium sensitive, I leave off pepperoni from my pizzas as a rule.  Just increase ingredients accordingly if you need more servings.

Now this “pizza” isn’t one you can pick up and eat with your hands.  Even as it cools a bit and the cheese firms up, you’ll still have to eat with a fork.  So I don’t do this recipe for company.  🙂  But I find not being able to pick it up and eat by hand doesn’t bother me one bit.  This tastes just like the best sausage, mushroom, bell pepper pizza I ever had in any Italian restaurant or pizza parlor!  You may prefer to use all sausage or all beef, your call, but nutritional info is for the recipe as written.  If watching your sodium intake on doctor’s orders, using all ground beef and also lowering the cheese to 2 oz. would be wise choices.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Order your set TODAY! Special pricing going on right now, too!  Books are always available individually or as a set from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

001
Ready to dig in!

2 oz. pork sausage (breakfast or Italian)

1 oz. ground beef (or more pork sausage)

¼ tsp. fennel seed

Dash oregano

Sprinkle of garlic and onion powder

1/3 can drained, canned mushrooms (or 2 fresh, sliced)

2 oz. bell pepper

3 T. low carb spaghetti sauce (I use Bello Vita)

2 oz. grated mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS: Brown meat in no-stick skillet on medium heat.  Add veggies and continue to cook until pretty tender, about 5 minutes.  Add spices and stir.  Using spoon or spatula, neatly push ingredients away from the edges of the skillet as shown in picture.  Dot the surface with the tomato sauce but no need to stir.  Top with the cheese, trying to keep it pretty much on the ingredients.  Cover and lower heat to lowest setting and heat long enough to melt cheese.   Should be ready in just a few minutes.  Allow to cool a couple minutes so cheese will firm up a tad before attempting to “slice” into two slices.  Using a broad spatula, slide a portion out of the skillet onto the serving plate (or toasted French bread, for non-Atkins eaters). Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 1 and contains:

531 cals, 39.3g fat, 11.2g carbs, 2.9g fiber, 8.1g NET CARBS, 34 g  protein, 1312 mg sodium

Indonesian Beef Soto

Soto0021

Our best friends of some 30+ years are wonderful cooks and often introduce us to interesting Indonesian foods and spices.  Though he is as American as apple pie, she is of Indonesian heritage.  This dish came about after receiving some Indonesian spices from them for Christmas one year as well as much personal reading of Beef Soto recipes on-line.  I combined a mixture of spices traditional to the dish, added a bit of the spice blend they gave me, and then added my personal choice of veggies I thought would also be good in the soup. The result of this experiment was delightful, and quite simple since the grass-fed beef brisket I used in this was already cooked.

This dish would also be good made with cooked lamb or venison.  What a hearty, rib-sticking meal this was!  You can prepare this from scratch with raw beef, but it will naturally take much longer than my version made with pre-cooked beef meat, as the meat will have to be first browned in oil and then simmered in the broth/water for at least an hour to get tender before adding veggies to the pot.  This dish could also be served as a dinner entree if you made it with less broth, thickened it with your favorite thickener or mashed veggie puree and served it over basmati rice (for the non-low-carbers, of course).  This dish is suitable for Atkins Induction and passes Paleo-Primal muster as well.   🙂

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. palm or coconut oil

3 oz. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 shallot, chopped fine

10 oz. lean, cooked beef (or lamb), cubed large

8 oz. summer squash, cut up large chunks (calaba, zucchini, or yellow)

12 cherry tomatoes

1 tsp. dried red guajillo chiles (these are mild), seeded and chopped coarsely

Click to enlarge
Guajillo Chiles

½ tsp. ground cinnamon (or 1″ stick if you prefer)

1 tsp. Thai red curry paste

Dash of chipotle chile powder (or ½ chipotle chile, seeded and mashed (from canned chipotle in adobo sauce)

1 thin slice ginger, minced

½ tsp. each galangal powder (I use Penzey’s)

½ tsp. turmeric

2 c. beef stock (or water), enough to cover meat

OPTIONAL:  1-3 tsp. Thai Seasoning Blend ( I used The Gourmet Collection brand)

DIRECTIONS:   In a large soup pot, heat the palm oil.  Brown the onion until it begins to caramelize.  Add shallot and continue to saute until shallot begins to “toast” a bit.  Add garlic and cubed meat and saute a few minutes longer.  Lower heat, add liquid and the cinnamon, guajillo chiles, ginger, turmeric and galangal powder, along with the Thai curry paste.  Simmer for 15 minutes if meat was already cooked, simmer for 30 minutes or longer if meat was raw when you started.  This will allow the spices to mingle with meat and the meat to get tender.  Add cubed squash and continue to simmer until squash is done.  Add tomatoes and Thai Seasoning (if using).  Cook just until tomatoes have softened up a bit, but have not fallen apart.  Thickening is optional, but you can at this point if desired.  I had a dab of leftover sweet potato puree in the freezer and added 3-4 tablespoons of that for thickening my soup a bit.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 3 large servings, each contains:

309 cals, 19.8g fat, 9.23g carbs,2.23g fiber,7g NET CARBS,24g protein,193 mg sodium

Eggplant Parmigiana Sandwiches

EggplantSandwich

I’m planning on making these tomorrow night for dinner.  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 growing up.  Of course, she used bread crumbs and not the pork rinds I used in mine to keep them lower-carb.  Her dish didn’t have meat in it, just the eggplant.  However this recipe takes it 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.  It is suitable for Induction, too.  Despite their name, it takes a fork and knife to eat these “sandwiches”.

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 oz. crushed pork rinds

6 oz. ground beef (or lamb)

2 slices provalone cheese

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

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

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

2 T. Parmesan cheese

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes two servings, each contains:

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

 

Indian Kheema Matar (Beef with “Peas” and Mint)

 

Indian Beef with Mint "Kheema Matar"

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef, lamb or goat

1 T. olive or coconut oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove minced garlic

½ tsp. minced ginger

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. ground coriander

¼ tsp. salt

2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped

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

1 carrot, cut into small dice

2 T. chopped cilantro

2 T. chopped fresh mint (I use spearmint)

½ jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1½ tsp. my Garam Masala

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

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

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

Ribeye Steak in Tequila Cream

Taken stove-top, which has yellowish lighting
Taken stove-top, under yellow spectrum light.

I’ve never cooked with tequila before, but I like margaritas, so I thought it was high time I give it a whirl.  This rib steak, which I was originally just going to butter sear tonight, transformed in my skillet into a delicious, saucy dinner my husband and I just loved!  I served this with steamed cauliflower and fresh green beans.  Omit the tequila if still in the initial Inducation phase of Atkins.  Suitable for all other phases of Atkins and Keto diets.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS. She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and other wonderful cooks to bring you a wealth of recipes you will love! Some of my low-carb creations appear in each of the 10 volumes! Order yours TODAY! from Amazon or our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

Taken in normal lighting
In normal lighting (truer sauce color)   🙂

INGREDIENTS:

16 oz. rib-eye steak, cut into three portions (or other tender cut of beef)

1 clove garlic

3 T. unsalted butter

2 T. canned green chiles, undrained

1 c. rich beef broth

1/3 c. heavy cream

Dash each salt and coarse black pepper

1 oz. tequila (I used Hornitos)

¼ c. chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS:   Mince garlic and rub both sides of the meat with it.  Melt the butter in a large, non-stick skillet.  Sear the steaks on both sides until done to your liking.  Add all remaining ingredients except cilantro.  Remember to omit the tequila if still in Induction.  Reduce to low heat and simmer about 5-7 minutes for flavors to blend. Add cilantro and simmer 1 minute longer.  Remove meat to temporary plate.  Pour sauce into a serving platter.  Place meat on top and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:

443 cals., 34g fat, 1.13g carbs, 0.4g fiber, 1.9g NET CARBS, 48.1g protein, 443 mg sodium

 

Oven Roasted Grass-Fed Beef Brisket

001

Because grass-fed, grass-finished beef is so much leaner than ordinary mass-produced commercial beef in grocery stores, it tends to cook up drier and a bit tough if you don’t take special precautions to compensate for that.   The 5# chunk of brisket you see in the pic above was cooked slow, surrounded by a little water and covered with foil during cooking except the last hour. It came out tender and VERY flavorful.  Healthy goodness!  I usually put a bit of rub on mine. This is suitable for all phases of Atkins and for Paleo-Primal diners as well. I served mine with a broccoli souffle and a tomato/cucumber salad.

INGREDIENTS:

1   4-5# grass-fed beef brisket

½ tsp. coarse ground black pepper

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. minced dehydrated garlic

½ tsp. onion powder

¼ tsp. dill seed

¼ tsp. dehydrated red bell pepper (optional)

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º. Mix all the spices together and sprinkle over all surfaces of the meat.   Place meat in large roasting pan, cover tightly with foil and pop into oven for 1 hour.  Lower heat to 275º and remove pan from oven.  Pour ½ ” water in the bottom of the pan around the meat.  Recover with foil and pop back into oven and cook for 4-5 more hours.  Check once more after about 2 hours, replenishing water if below 1/4″ deep.  Uncover for the final hour of cooking to get a nice brown crusty surface on the meat.  Meat is well done (how I prefer oven-roasted cuts like this) when it reaches an internal temperature of 140º on your meat thermometer.  I may like rare steak, but I don’t like my brisket rare.  🙂  Remove from the pan and let it sit on a cutting board for 10 minutes before cutting/slicing.  Thicken the juices in the pan with your favorite thickener, deglazing any tasty brown bits stuck to the sides of the pan, seasoning as needed with salt and pepper. Serve with your favorite sides.  Leftovers freeze and reheat well in foil.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   One 4 oz. serving contains:

340 cals, 22 g  fat, 0 g  carbs, 0 fiber, 0 NET CARBS, 32 g  protein, 50 mg sodium,

Peggy’s Texas Chili

Peggy's Texas Chili

It has been quite chilly (sorry, couldn’t help myself, LOL) in Central Texas today, so a big batch of chili seems in order.  I’m going to change this up and use a cut-up, trimmed 3# chuck roast for this batch rather than the ground beef.  Since chili has to simmer quite awhile for the flavors to blend, I like to make big batches.  This recipe makes 8 large bowls.  The nutritional info is calculated with the can of Eden black soy beans, making the recipe as written unacceptable for Induction.  If you omit the beans, as many may prefer, this chili recipe is perfectly OK for Atkins Induction!  I’ve never had a die-hard Texas back away from my chili, so I hope you’ll give this one a try. 🙂

You non-bean chili folks, here’s one reader’s story I think you’ll appreciate:

It cracks me up every time I hear someone say that real Texas Chili doesn’t have beans and/or tomatoes in it. My granddaddy was a true old world cowboy, he did one of the last real cattle drives from South Texas up into Nebraska and I well remember him talking about the food that their “Texan” Cookie served and chili WITH beans was a mainstay on the trail. Tomatoes were added when available.

I use several different chile peppers in this recipe, but each has a distinctive flavor they bring to the chili, in my opinion.   Of course, you can change the peppers called for herein, if you can’t get some of them, but in doing so, you will definitely change the final flavor.  Here are some pics of the peppers I use in my chili:

Dried Ancho Pepper

Dried Guajillo Pepper

INGREDIENTS:

Serrano Chile Pepper

3 lb. trimmed diced beef chuck roast or ground beef

4 oz. onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

2   4 oz. cans chopped green chiles (mild)

1  10 oz. can tomatoes with green chiles (I use Rotel mild)

1  14.5 oz. can diced/crushed tomatoes, no-salt

3 c. water

1 T. chili powder (I use ½ Bolner’s Fiesta and ½ Chimayo pictured below right)

½ tsp. ancho chili powder (or ¼ dried ancho pepper, seeded, chopped) 

2 tsp. ground cumin

1  dried Guajillo chile pepper, seeded and chopped

1 Serrano pepper, seeded and chopped (or Jalapeno pepper)

2 tomatillos, skin removed and chopped

1 c. cilantro, chopped

1 oz. tomato paste

1  14.5 oz. can Eden Black Soy Beans with liquid (optional, OMIT for Induction)

DIRECTIONS: Over medium-high heat, brown meat and onion in large stew pot.  When done, add all remaining ingredients.  After the chili comes to a boil, reduce fire to lowest setting, cover tightly and simmer for 1-2 hours (the longer the better, so the tomatoes literally cook apart into the liquid).  Stir often to avoid scorching on the bottom of the pan.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 8 servings, each contains:  (these numbers include the optional beans, as I don’t care for chili without them)

540 calories, 32 g  fat, 10.6 g carbs, 4.73 g fiber, 5.87 g NET CARBS (less without the beans), 49.5 g protein, 935 mg sodium

Lasagna Eggplant Slices

I made a quick dinner tonight.  The hubs was in Austin and a few minutes late getting home, so I almost over browned this dinner.  I’m sure that has happened to you a time or two.  🙂  This dinner was scrumptious!  Lasagna without all the time and effort.  About 15 minutes to put together (if sauce is in your freezer at all times like at my house)  and 40 minutes to bake.  I do hope you’ll try this sometime.   You can sub in a commercial low-carb sauce and perhaps cut a few carbs off my recipe for sauce.  Your family will love you for trying this recipe.   This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto plans and Primal Blueprint if you do dairy occasionally.

INGREDIENTS: 

14 oz. eggplant

4 T. olive oil

3/4 c. ricotta cheese

1 c.  my homemade spaghetti sauce

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

4 T. grated Parmesan

½ c. heavy cream

1 large egg, beaten

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment for clean-up ease.  Cut the stem off the eggplant.  Sliver off (lengthwise) the outer skin off the left and right sides.  Cut the remaining eggplant into four thick ½” slices.  Heat oil in large skillet and sear eggplant (2 at a time) on both sices until the slices just begin to turn translucent and slightly soften. this speeds up cooking time and insures the eggplant will get done in the oven.

Place the four seared slices of eggplant evenly on the parchment-lined pan.  Using the back of a spoon, spread half the ricotta evenly on the eggplant slices.  Place half the mozzarella shreds evenly on each slice next.  Using a measuring cup, spoon ¼ c. of the meat sauce over the top of each slice.  Place the remaining mozzarella cheese shreds evenly on top next.

Now, in a small bowl, using a spoon, whip the remaining ricotta cheese, egg and cream until a smooth sauce is formed.  It will thicken as you stir it.  Spoon it evenly down the center each slice so it won’t all roll off during cooking.  Pop pan into heated 350º oven and bake for 30-35 minutes (Mine pictured above cooked 40 min. total.)

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains (using my homemade sauce):

547 cals, 45g fat, 13.65g carbs, 3.97g fiber, 9.68g NET CARBS, 24.4g protein, 305mg sodium

 

Jalapeno Meatloaf Burgers

jalapeno-meatloaf-burgers

I want a quick meal tonight.  I’m tired from sweeping and steam-mopping 3 rooms.  I make these from my basic meatloaf recipe (know it by heart) and add half of a large jalapeno.  Rather than having them on Carb Smart Bun I think I’ll just make some vegetables to have with them.   This recipe is DEEEEElicious!  Not quite the same as a meatloaf sandwich, but super tasty with different flavors going on!  This recipe is a keeper, that’s for sure!  These are not suitable until late in Phase 2 Atkins OWL unless you substitute a phase approved bread to sub in for the Joseph’s pita called for below.  These will fit a Keto diet if the carbs will not push you over your daily limit.

INGREDIENTS:

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

8 oz. lean ground pork (or more beef if you prefer)

1 oz. red bell pepper, chopped

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

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 large stalk celery, chopped fine

2 T. olive oil

½ c. parsley, chopped

¼ tsp. dried oregano

1/8 tsp. black pepper

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

2 large eggs

¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

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

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

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

Beef Bok Choy

Click to enlarge

The Bok Choy was particularly fresh and pretty in the grocery store yesterday so I bought the first bunch I have bought in a very long time.  The day before we charcoal grilled a marinated piece of grass-fed beef brisket and there was a lot leftover.  So I slivered some of the leftover meat just as thin as I could slice it to create this dish. Upon examining the refrigerator, I could see fresh mushrooms and a pretty red pepper were calling out to be added to this creation.. Mmmm.  The final dish was delicious!  This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Paleo-Primal as well.

I make my own Hoisin Sauce and the link is the recipe I’m currently using.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. coconut oil

1 lb. thinly sliced beef

2 oz. onion, sliced

2 stalks bok choy, washed and sliced ½” thick

Click to enlarge
Bok Choy

2 oz. red bell pepper, sliced or ½” dice

6 medium mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp. ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp. chile sauce (I use Sambal Oelek)

3 T. my homemade Hoisin Sauce

½ c. beef broth

1 T. low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos

a bit your favorite thickener (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Slice, dice and mince all the listed vegetables and set by the stove burner. Set the bok choy white part and leafy part in two separate stacks   Gather all other ingredients and have them close at hand.  Heat a wok or large skillet and add the oils.  When the oil is hot, add the onion and saute 1 minute.  Next add the beef and saute about 2-3 minutes or until no longer pink.  Add all  vegetables BUT the green leafy part of the bok choy.  Also add garlic and ginger.  Saute all until vegetables are tender crisp, about 2-3 minutes.  Now add the leafy part of the bok choy to the pan.  Add the hoisin sauce to the beef broth and stir well.  Add this mixture and all other ingredients and allow flavors to blend a couple minutes, stirring several times.  If you want a thicker sauce, sprinkle a dash of your favorite thickener and stir until slightly thickened. Serve at once either alone or atop steamed riced cauliflower.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

281.3 cals, 15.5g fat, 7.73g carbs, 2.08g fiber, 5.65g NET CARBS, 27.7g protein, 512 mg sodium

 

Peppered Cowboy Ribsteak (or rib roast)

Peppered Cowboy RibsteakWe were in Sam’s Club last month and picked up what was labeled “Cowboy Ribsteak”.  What it was was a small bone-in rib roast about 3″ thick.  We bought one for my birthday dinner last night.  Yes, I’m a New Year’s Eve baby.  We used my dad’s favorite beef grilling marinade on it and WOW, was it ever good!  My husband grilled it about 15 minutes on a side and it was medium-rare to perfection!

This marinade recipe was truly my Dad’s creation and “pride and joy”.  In his 83 years on this earth, he never found a marinade he liked better.  I confess I have not either.  It’s unique; it’s DELICIOUS!  You grilling fanatics MUST try this recipe sometime!  This recipe makes enough marinade for an 8 lb. boneless rib roast, but my “Cowboy Steak” was only about 3.5 lb, so I made up a half recipe of marinade for this one.  This meat marinade isn’t as tasty reheated, so leftovers are best consumed in sandwiches unheated.

This would also be delicious for grilling a nice lean chuck or sirloin roast.   It is Atkins friendly (after you finish Atkins Induction 2-weeks).  Leaving out the wine just isn’t an option for this recipe, so wait until the Atkins OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss) Phase to enjoy this wonderful hunk of grilled melt-in-your-mouth beef.  I guarantee, this is so good you’ll be fighting over who gets the two end slices, just like at my house.  🙂

MARINADE INGREDIENTS: (remember, it is not all consumed)

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

1/8 c. low-sodium soy sauce (1/4 c. if you can tolerate the sodium, I don’t though)

1/2 c. dry red wine (I use burgundy or claret generally)

1 T. tomato paste (or tomato sauce)

1½ T. coarse ground black pepper (or enough to entirely coat your meat thickly)

DIRECTIONS:  Pound the coarse ground black pepper over all surfaces of a nice rib roast or extra thick rib steak using the butt of your palm or a meat cleaver. Use less pepper if doing a smaller piece of meat. Place meat in glass dish. I drizzle marinate every half hour (as often as you can remember to stop and do it) most of a day (minimum 6 hours). Most efficient way to marinate without disturbing pepper coating is to use a basting brush. Do not touch the meat with your brush, or you’ll wipe all the pepper off! Hold it over the meat and let it drip off the brush. When surface is soaked, put in refrigerator to marinate.  Baste hourly with my drip method until cooking time.

COOKING:  This recipe really is not good cooked inside in an oven. Not sure why, but trust me on this one, it just isn’t, so grill it for sure.  It seems the marriage of the marinade with charcoal smoke makes this recipe flavor profile so magical.

Prepare your charcoal fire and when coals are white hot, set the meat slightly off to the side (not directly over the coals).  Discard marinade now and do not baste again during cooking so raw meat juice doesn’t contaminate your meat at the end of cooking. You need to grill a 3-3½# piece of meat for about 30 minutes total time (15 minutes on a side) for medium-rare (125º internal).  Larger roasts of 4-6# will take around 20 minutes on a side.  If cooking a 6#-8# roast for a large dinner party, I would cook for 60-80 minutes total cooking time, (30-40 min per side) checking often with meat thermometer until an internal temp of 125º is reached for medium rare.  You should turn the meat every 10 minutes during cooking.  Rib roast/steak is best if not cooked past medium-rare or medium stage unless you like dry, tough meat.  I take mine off when my meat thermometer reads 120º degrees and let it sit on my cutting board for around 5-7 minutes to “rest” before slicing to avoid juices being lost when sliced.  Always remember that a piece of meat over 3# will continue to climb to higher temps while resting on the board (why I err on the side of removal at 120º).

This recipe always gets the WOWS when I serve it so I hope you folks will try it sometime! You won’t be sorry you did!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  The marinade is discarded when you cook the meat.  No further basting should be done while cooking as there is now raw meat juice in the marinade.   Calculating how much marinade is consumed is difficult.  It would also be impossible for me to know how many servings you are able to get out of your roast.  So I’m providing the totals for the entire batch of marinade and you will have to see how much it makes and how much is left in the pan before discarding to determine roughly how much is staying on the meat and thus consumed by how many people you are serving.   Most of the sauce goes down the drain, to be perfectly honest, so you’re getting mostly sodium from the soy sauce and a few carbs from the wine and tomato paste that cling to the surface of the meat (a little more if you get the end slices).  The figures below DO NOT INCLUDE THE MEAT.

The entire batch of marinade has:

131 cals, 0.7g fat, 18g carbs, 4.6g fiber, 15.4 NET CARBS (entire batch), 5.5g protein, 1070 mg. sodium

Perfect Rib Roast

The Perfect Rib Roast
The Perfect Rib Roast

Well, I made it through yet another Christmas feast!  This year I served a baked ham with my Chipotle Sweet Potatoes and roasted asparagus rather than a rib roast.  But I thought I’d post my favorite method for cooking rib roasts in case some of you plan on cooking one for New Year’s.  This is how my mother roasted them for years and years and folks, it just doesn’t get any easier or any tastier! This method has never, EVER failed me.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Ketogenic diets and Primal-Paleo if you use coconut aminos.

My roasts are usually bone-in as I think they cook more evenly with the bones in them.  But I do remove them after cooking to make slicing the meat easier.  I usually served my rib roast with horseradish sauce and typically, French-style green beans or broccoli and a tasty cauliflower mash along with a lovely Grand Marnier fruit salad on the side.  All I can say is……………Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

We like rib roast medium rare and you can see, it cooks perfectly effortlessly with this method.  My roasts average 3.5 pounds after removing the bones, so I shoot for a 4-4.5 pound bone-in roast at the market.  I usually get 8 nice 8-oz. servings (3/8″ thick slices) from this size roast.   My little rat terrier usually gets one of the meaty bones for her Christmas dinner.  She is in sheer heaven along with the rest of us.  🙂  My husband usually gnaws on the remaining bones for a late night snack.

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Prime Rib Christmas Dinner 2014

INGREDIENTS:

4½ pound beef rib roast (bone-in)

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

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

¼-1/3  tsp. coarse cracked black pepper

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

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

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

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

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

Peggy’s Texas Chili

Peggy's Texas Chili

Since chili has to simmer quite awhile for the flavors to blend, I like to make big batches.  This recipe makes 8 large bowls.  The nutritional info is calculated with the can of Eden black soy beans, making the recipe as written unacceptable for Induction.  If you omit the beans, as many Texans would, this chili recipe is perfectly OK for Atkins Induction!  Although many Texans say “real” Texas chili doesn’t have beans in it, I beg to disagree.  I consider myself Texan (lived here 50 years now with my Texas husband) and I find chili without beans too rich.   I always put one can of these low-carb soy black beans into a big batch of chili to mellow out this heavily spiced Texas concoction.  Furthermore, I’ve never had a die-hard Texan who says “No beans in chili!” back away from my chili, my husband included.  So I do hope you’ll give this one a try.  🙂

I use several different chile peppers in this recipe, but each has a distinctive flavor they bring to the chili, in my opinion.   Of course, you can change the peppers called for if you can’t get some of them, but in doing so, you will definitely change the final flavor of this tasty chili.

Dried Ancho Chiles

Dried Guajillo Chiles

 

 

Serrano Peppers

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. ground beef

4 oz. onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

2   4 oz. cans chopped green chiles

1  10 oz. can tomatoes with green chiles (I use Rotel mild)

1  14.5 oz. can diced/crushed tomatoes, no-salt

3 c. water

1 T. chili powder (I use ½ Bolners and ½ Chimayo pictured below right)

½ tsp. ancho chile powder (or ¼ dried ancho pepper, seeded, chopped) 

2 tsp. ground cumin

1  dried Guajillo pepper, seeded and chopped

1 Serrano pepper, seeded and chopped (or Jalapeno pepper)

2 tomatillos, skin removed and chopped

1 c. cilantro, chopped

1 oz. tomato paste

1  14.5 oz. can Eden Black Soy Beans with liquid (optional)

DIRECTIONS: Over medium-high heat, brown meat and onion in large stew pot.  When done, add all remaining ingredients.  After the chili comes to a boil, reduce fire to low, cover tightly and simmer for 1-2 hours (the longer the better, so the tomatoes literally cook apart into the liquid).  Stir often to avoid scorching on the bottom of the pan.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 8 servings, each contains:  (these numbers include the optional beans)

540 calories, 32 g  fat, 10.6 g carbs, 4.73 g fiber, 5.87 g NET CARBS (less without the beans), 49.5 g protein, 935 mg sodium

Swedish Meatballs

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

MEATBALL INGREDIENTS:

1¼ lb. (20 oz) 80% ground beef

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

3 oz. onion

¼ c. parsley

Dash each salt and black pepper

¼ tsp. each nutmeg and allspice

2 large eggs

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

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

1 c. beef broth

½ c. heavy cream

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

4 oz. can sliced mushrooms with juice

Few sprinkles xanthan gum to thicken (if needed)

Dash coarse black pepper

½ c. chopped parsley

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

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

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

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

Sausage-Chicken Bean Soup

My husband had to go have some lab work done for his doctor this morning so he volunteered to get my groceries on the way home.  Of course, it started raining, is a might chilly out as well, so when I asked him what he wanted for lunch today, I wasn’t surprised he said soup!  Well, since I’m always trying to use up leftovers and one-of’s in the fridge, I put together what turned out to be a very tasty soup!  My husband was doubtful when I said what all I was throwing into the pot, but ended up eating TWO bowls of it, so clearly not a problem for his palate.  LOL

What I had to work with was a small piece of a smoked sausage rope, 1 baked chicken thigh, half of a large yellow squash, and some fresh kale.  Also had in my freezer the cooking pan juices from my last batch of Montreal Baked Chicken (I always save it for just such uses) and homemade chicken broth that is always in my freezer.   VOILA!  A delightful lunch fit for a chilly, rainy day that you can have once you get to phase 2 of Atkins.

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INGREDIENTS:

3 T. unsalted butter

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 c. chicken meat, pre-cooked, chopped

4″ piece smoked sausage (beef or pork), sliced

1 can Eden soy black beans, with juice (not regular, high-carb black beans!)

2 large kale leaves, stemmed, rinsed and chopped

3 oz. yellow summer squash, diced or sliced

3 c. homemade chicken broth (mine is just chicken boiled in water)

¼-½ tsp. my homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning

¼-½ tsp. Sriracha Chili sauce (or other hot sauce to taste)

DIRECTIONS:  Melt the butter in a soup pot over high heat and saute the onions until they begin to brown.  Add the sausage and squash and saute until all are partially cooked.  Add all remaining ingredients and bring to just a simmer for about 15 minutes or just until the kale is just done.  Add salt to taste only if the sausage hasn’t already made the soup salty enough for your palate.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 4 servings (large bowls), each contains:

385 cals, 27 g fat, 12.25g carbs, 6.27g fiber, 5.98g NET CARBS, 21.4g protein, 485 mg sodium

 

 

Iranian Stuffed Peppers

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

INGREDIENTS: 

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

20 oz. lean ground beef

2½ oz. onion, chopped

3/4 c. chopped parsley

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

3 T. hemp seeds/hearts

1 tsp. each turmeric, dried mint and dried dill

1½ tsp. ground cinnamon

Dash each salt and pepper

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

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

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

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

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

Cheese Steak on Zoodles

Steak Melt on Zoodles

Most often we low-carbers think of zoodles (zucchini noodles) for Italian recipe applications.  Today, with a nice hunk of leftover sirloin steak in the fridge, I was thinking along the lines of a Philly Cheese Steak for lunch, but not with the traditional Frankenfood cheese sauce.  And certainly not with a big old carb-laden bun (although I have some low-carb psyllium hotdog buns cooked and ready today).  I was thinking more along the lines of a Swiss/white cheese Patty Melt sort of thing, but on noodles.  The above lunch is what evolved from that thought.  And it came out quite tasty!  My husband REALLY liked this!  It was very filling, too!

This simple, delicious and very popular recipe (over 3,000 fans) is acceptable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and those Primal folks that eat some dairy.  The portions were quite large and you might find this will feed 2 adults and 2 children quite nicely.  But I have calculated the numbers below for 3 equal adult servings.

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INGREDIENTS:

16 oz. zucchini, cut into noodles

4 T. olive oil (total)

6 oz. cooked steak, sliced thin (I used pan-seared sirloin)

4 oz. yellow onion, sliced thin

6 oz. cheese, shredded (I used a mix of Swiss & Monterrey Jack)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat broiler.  Have two non-stick skillets ready, one large enough to fry steak and onions, one to cook the zoodles.  Cut the zucchini into “noodles” with a spiral tool or julienne peeler and have ready.  Slice the steak and onions and brown them in 2 T. of the oil in one skillet.  You want the onions to begin to brown and caramelize to release their natural sugar. When nearly done, heat remaining 2T. oil in the second skillet and place the zoodles in the hot oil.  Reduce heat to medium and stir-fry the zoodles just until they are no longer opaque, but not too soft. Plate the zoodles onto 3 serving plates and top with 1/3 of the meat and onion mixture.  Top with 1/3 of the cheese and pop into hot broiler just long enough to melt the cheese on top.  Remove with pot holder and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 large servings, each contains:

513 cals, 39g fat, 8.66g carbs, 2.3g  fiber, 6.36 g  NET CARBS, 32g protein, 521 mg sodium

Mirepoix-Stuffed Beef Roll

This recipe was delicious, but quite rich.  You might want to serve it with some creamy mashed cauliflower to tone down the richness.  But we both loved this one.  My bacon slices there have been cut off on the ends and are merely laying atop the roll.  I’m bad about slicing off the ends of bacon for other recipes which shortens the remaining slices.  Guilty as charged this week.  LOL

The sauce is not absolutely necessary, but we quite liked it on top.  You know me, I’m a gravy nut.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins (those still on Induction must omit the wine in the sauce) and other Keto diets.  Primal folks can enjoy this but not Paleo.

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MEAT INGREDIENTS:

1lb. 10 oz. ground beef (I used 90%)

3/4 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning of other seasoning of your choice

1 T. chia seed + 9 T. water

FILLING INGREDIENTS: 

3/4 c. each carrot and celery, chopped or processed

2 oz. onion, chopped or processed

2 T. butter

4-oz. can mushrooms, drained and chopped or processed

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1 T. chia seed

4 oz. cream cheese  (I used 8 oz. and it was way too much)

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

All pan juices

any stuffing that oozes out of the meat during cooking

¼ c. dry white wine (omit if on Induction)

½ c. heavy cream

1/8-1/4 tsp. xanthan gum to thicken

½ c. green onion, chopped

FINISHING TOUCH:  4 oz. bacon slices

DIRECTIONS:  Place the chia seeds in a jar or small bowl and add 9 T. tap water.  Let them sit for 10 minutes or so to thicken.  Stir occasionally.  When gel is ready, work it and the Montreal Seasoning into the meat like you would a meatloaf, with a fork or your hands.  Spread the meat onto a silicone sheet (or plastic wrap) and form a 1/2″ thick 9″x10″ rectangle (approximate) with the meat.  Use a fork or your fingers to spread the meat.

Preheat oven to 350º.  In a non-stick skillet melt the butter and saute the celery, carrot and onion (known as a mirepoix) until tender.  Add the chopped mushrooms to the mirepoix mixture.  Add the cream cheese in chunks and stir to melt and blend all.  Spoon mixture down the center 1/3 of the meat rectangle.  Lifting the side with the plastic or silicone sheet, fold one side of the meat over the cream cheese filling.  Carefully lift the second side of the meat and bring it to the center, slightly overlapping the first flap of meat.  Press the seam lightly to seal.  Now using the plastic/silicone to help move it, roll the meat roll gently over into your baking dish (seam will be down).  Lay 7 short slices of bacon across the top, sprinkle them with more black pepper and pop pan into 350º oven for 1 hour.  Internal meat temp will be 130º when done.  I would recommend sticking the meat thermometer in the side of the bottom of the meat roll, trying not to touch the pan with the tip of the thermometer.  If bacon is not brown enough for your liking, put in broiler for 1-3 minutes (I had to).  Cut between bacon slices into 7 servings.  If your bacon is particularly “skinny” you may be able to get 8 servings out of this meal, which would also lower the per-serving carbs. 🙂

While the meat is sitting awaiting slicing/serving, carefully pour off the juices into a small saucepan.  Add the wine, green onion and heavy cream.  Bring to a low simmer and thicken with a little xanthan gum to you desired level.  Pour sauce into a gravy boat and serve alongside meat.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 7 servings, each contains:

627 cals, 55 g fat (omit sauce to lower), 5.94 g carbs, 1.88g fiber, 4.06g NET CARBS, 25.3g protein, 637 mg sodium (from the cream cheese and cream)