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Archive for the ‘Soups & Stews’ Category

I no longer live on the Texas Gulf Coast and can’t get the wonderful fresh seafood I was accustomed to for 30+ years.  Most of what I can get up here in Central Texas is either frozen or canned.  Sigh.  But you work with what you have.  I wanted to make a new seafood chowder this week so I picked up some frozen and canned seafood at the local grocery store for this purpose.  You can, of course, change out the seafood in this recipe, but you’ll need to recalculate the nutritional info if you do. Gulf Redfish, if you live on the Gulf Coast, is delicious in ANY chowder, in my opinion.

Note:  the yellow color in the photo is due to the oil the mussels were are in.  Rinse this off if the color bothers you.

This recipe is high in sodium (due to canned items and the fact that seafood lives in well…….the sea, which is salty).  To reduce the sodium load in this, drain the canned seafood juices into a large measuring cup (missing out on all that flavor, sigh).  You can even rinse the solids in a colander to lower sodium a little more.  Then just add an equal amount of homemade chicken or seafood stock for the amount of drained off seafood liquid in your measuring cup.  You can either freeze the drained off seafood juices for parceling out in future chowders or discard.  Your call.  This is not suitable for Atkins Induction Phase unless you omit the wine.

INGREDIENTS:

5 thick slices bacon (6 oz.), cut coarsely

3 oz. onion, chopped

12 oz. crawfish tail meat (use fresh if you can get it.  I used frozen)

2 small lobster tails (5.5 oz. meat) shelled, coarsely cut up

1 can whole mussels (4 oz.) (or fresh if you can get them)

2  8-oz. cans whole oysters (or fresh if you can get them)

1½ c. white clam sauce (canned, I used Progresso brand)

1½ c. homemade seafood or chicken stock

½ white wine (I used Riesling) [omit if still in Atkins Induction Phase]

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. parsley, chopped

¼ tsp. black pepper

Few drops fish sauce (Thai Kitchen or Red Boat)

1 c. diakon radish (or turnip or red radish), chopped

1 c. heavy cream

1/8-¼ tsp. glucomannan or your favorite thickener

DIRECTIONS: Brown bacon in soup pot over high heat.  Add onion to pot when bacon is nearly done.  Saute until onion is caramelizing.  Add all other ingredients but lobster, cream and thickener.  Bring all to a boil and lower heat to allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add cream.  Simmer 10 more minutes.  Add glucomannan slowly (I dust on with an old salt shaker), stirring to allow time to thicken up.  Remove from heat and serve with a nice salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 bowls (about 1¼c. each), each one contains:

348 cals, 27.5g fat, 7.55g carbs, 0.60g fiber, 6.95g NET CARBS, 22.7g protein, 1049 mg sodium (use the tips I gave above recipe to lower the sodium number)

 

 

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Indonesian Beef Soto

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

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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 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) and turmeric

around 2 c. beef stock or water (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

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Condensed Soup for recipes that can also be diluted for ready-to-eat soup!

Condensed Soup for recipes that can also be diluted for ready-to-eat soup!

I just LOVE Jennifer Eloff’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup recipe.  It’s a no-cook food that I can whip up fast when I need a casserole or recipe “binder.” Well, I was wanting a Condensed Cream of Chicken version this week and thought I had seen one on her site before.  So I went to grab a copy and lo, despite much searching there, alas, I did not find one!  Maybe I just imagined seeing it there, or saw it elsewhere.     Sooooo, I took the mushroom version, omitted the mushrooms and subbed in canned chicken.  I made a couple other changes and VOILA!  A very tasty condensed soup that rivals what comes in the Campbell’s can, and ever so much healthier!

The recipe made exactly 21 oz. or 2 cups, so it is equivalent to two cans of condensed soup and can be used in recipes you have that call for 1 can of soup!  How’s THAT for convenient?  Only thing is this should not be frozen or the cream cheese will break down.  Just whip it up in your food processor or blender right when you need it.  Any leftovers can be stored for probably up to a week in the fridge.  If you choose to make this up as soup, this undiluted soup should be diluted 1 for 1 with water:  1 cup undiluted + 1 c. water or broth = 2 cups finished soup.  This entire recipe, diluted with 2 cups of liquid (5o:50) will yield 4 c. finished soup or four 1-cup servings ready to eat.

INGREDIENTS:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

½ cup heavy cream

2 T. hot water

1 chicken bouillon cube (or 2 T. homemade broth reduced to be VERY concentrated with chicken fat)

1 T. olive oil

Dash onion powder

¼ tsp. xanthan gum or glucomannan powder (to thicken)

2 drops liquid sucralose (optional)

1  13-oz can chicken meat, undrained (Daily Chef at Sam’s chicken in water & salt only)

DIRECTIONS:   Place all ingredients in food processor or blender but the chicken.  Process until smooth.  Add chicken with its liquid and pulse a few times to chop and blend.  Scrape out into 2 storage containers equally.  Each 10.5 oz half of this recipe is equivalent to 1 undiluted can of commercial soup to use in recipes or to reconstitute as soup with water, chicken broth or milk.  There will be 10.5 oz. mixture in each. Cover and refrigerate if not using immediately.  Keeps about a week in the fridge.  DO NOT FREEZE!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes two 10.5 oz. soup cans worth of condensed (undiluted soup). Each “can” worth of my undiluted soup (half the recipe) contains:   660 cals., 52 g fat, 8.1 g carbs, .65 g fiber, 7.45 g NET CARBS, 5.9 g  protein, 1392 mg sodium.

NOTE:  If reconstituted with water or broth this recipe will make four 1-cup servings of reconstituted cream of chicken soup.  You should dilute with 50:50 water and plain chicken broth for each 1-cup serving of soup to contain:  330 calories, 26.2 g  fat, 4.0 g  carbs, .3 g  fiber, 3.7 g  NET CARBS, 2.9 g  protein, 696 mg sodium.

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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

Dried Guajillo

INGREDIENTS:

Serrano

3 lb. ground beef or trimmed, diced chuck roast

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

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Cream of Broccoli soup

Cream of Broccoli soup

I just love creamed soups and plan to make this one again from a crown (not a full bunch) of broccoli I have on hand.   Because I’m short on broccoli, I’ll only make up a half recipe today.  I’m not seeking a real cheesy soup, but rather a creamy one here.  I think I’ll try Smoked Gouda in my soup today rather than traditional Cheddar.

I use water making my soup unless I have enough homemade chicken broth in my freezer, which makes it even tastier.   We actually like a little bit of Sriracha sauce in this, but omit if you don’t like things spicy.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets, although it will not fit a Paleo plan.  I don’t add salt to recipes with cheese, as it has so much in it already.  If sodium is a serious health issue for you, you can always cut back on the cheese in this recipe or eliminate it entirely.  🙂

INGREDIENTS:

20-oz. head of broccoli, cut into chunks

Water to cover nicely, (about 3-3½ cups)

¼ tsp. coarsely black pepper

½ tsp. onion powder

10 oz. shredded or sliced Cheddar cheese or a mixture of American Deluxe and Cheddar (I did the latter)

1 c. whipping cream

VARIATION:  1-2 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce; use different cheeses for a change-up

DIRECTIONS:  Cut up broccoli into chunks, stems and all.  Place in a large soup pot.  Cover with water or homemade broth, if you prefer a richer soup.  Add salt, pepper, onion powder and stir.  Next add the Sriracha sauce (if using).  Bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium-low.  Simmer until the broccoli is quite tender and then remove from heat.  You can either process the broccoli in batches with a bit of the broth in your food processor/blender (do not over fill when pureeing hot foods!).  OR, if you own a stick blender, you can wait to do this step.  Add the processed broccoli back to the pot and place back over a very low fire.   Add the cheese, stirring to facilitate melting and blending.  If the fire is low enough, it should not stick to the bottom of the pot. Once the cheese appears to be fully melted, add the cream and stir until it slightly thickens.   Place your stick blender in the pot and pressing down on the broccoli chunks throughout the pot, begin to pulse/break them up a bit.  Then blend in a continuous blending motion throughout the soup mixture (keep stick blade under surface at all times lest it splatters) until you have a uniform mixture to your liking.  The stick blender will create a “frothy” surface but that settles down with a few minutes and will totaly vanish if you thicken the soup.   If not thick enough for you,  thicken with a light dusting or 2 (or 3) of xanthan gum (or your preferred thickener).   Serve with your favorite low-carb rolls or crackers. 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 6 large servings, each contains:

315 cals, 26.4 g fat, 9.96g carbs, 2.49g fiber, 7.48g NET CARBS, 11.9g protein, 500 mg sodium

 

 

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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

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This is what I made for dinner tonight and it was one of my best batches EVER!  I used Sam’s smoked sausage this time.  I only had 1# shrimp in the freezer and no shrimp stock.  So I added 1 can rinsed smoked oysters (which were quite good in it) and had to use chicken stock.  But man, was it ever good.  Even the hubs said “One of your better gumbos.”  This recipe I have been using for decades and can now make it blindfolded without a recipe.  It’s even Induction friendly if you omit the Carbalose or oat fiber roux.  You can always just thicken with xanthan gum, but you won’t get the brown flour’s depth or flavor the roux is used for.  If you omit the roux you can also omit the olive oil, which make up the “roux”.

A teacher I used to work with taught me how to make “roux”.  She was born and raised in Louisiana and cooked gumbo for a teacher’s holiday social gathering once years ago.  Though she used smoked sausage instead of bulk pork breakfast sausage, I find I like breakfast sausage better in my gumbo.  Two things I have added to the recipe are the stick of butter and the parsley.  She used chicken stock and I prefer seafood stock I get from boiling the shrimp shells for 10 minutes in 1½ quarts of water.  Of course, you can add crab meat (and/or crawfish), but you would have to adjust the nutritional info below if you make these additions.

Our latest three volumes of LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks are calling you.  Volume 8 and Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included in both editions are a few tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   Volume 10 is hot off the press with more delectable goodies.  EARLY BIRD SECRET SALE!!  Special pricing and limited-time free shipping so hurry and place your order today.  You can order these or any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php.  When you purchase our books, we would sure appreciate you stopping by Amazon to leave a review at this site.

INGREDIENTS:

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

2T. olive oil

1 stick butter (1/2 c.)

½ c. chopped onion

½ c. chopped parsley

3 cloves minced garlic

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

3/4 c. chopped green bell pepper

½ c. chopped celery

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

4 small bay leaves

2 tsp. thyme

10-15 drops Tobasco

¼ tsp. salt

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

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

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

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

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

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

VARIATION:  Add 1 can smoked oysters well-rinsed of oil or 1 c. fresh oysters (if available). 

DIRECTIONS:  First make the seafood stock by boiling the shrimp shells in 1½ qts. water in a large cooking pot for about 10 minutes.  I make seafood stock ahead and keep extra in my spare freezer in 1 cup portions in plastic tubs for such uses.  Then I can just pop one out and add to the pot for soups, gumbos and etouffees.  Scoop out shells with slotted spoon and discard.  Pour stock into bowl and set aside.   Wipe moisture out of pot.

Chop all your vegetables and have them at the ready by the stove top, because once you start to make the roux, you can’t stop to cut them up.

Now you’re ready to make the roux and start the gumbo.  The roux imparts a nutty, browned flour taste to the broth of this dish and if this step is bypassed, you will merely be making an ordinary fish soup with much less depth of flavor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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