Berry Bites

Strawberry Breakfast Bites

Last year I made hubby a cake for Valentine’s Day.  This year I think I’ll resurrect these tasty morsels.  If you don’t have the Nordicware pan I used, you can use any mini-muffin pan you have, they just won’t have the flower shapes.  These were so easy to make and so good my husband just couldn’t stop.  They are delightful with morning coffee.  Sprinkle with powdered sweetener and serve them as a dessert with an afternoon cup of tea.   These are suitable once you get to the berries rung of the Atkins Phase 2 OWL carb ladder. They are also OK for most Keto diets.

NOTE: If you are gluten free, use all gluten-free mix, as my Einkorn mix is not gluten free.

INGREDIENTS:

4 large eggs, beaten

¼ c. Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten-Free Bake Mix

¼ c. my Einkorn Bake Mix (or more Jennifer’s mix for gluten-free)

1 c. frozen strawberries, drained and chopped (or other berries if you like)

2 T. erythritol

2 T. Splenda, granulated

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1 T. + 1 tsp. coconut oil

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º. Melt coconut oil in your mini muffin baking pan and brush 24 slots well with oil.

Beat the eggs in a small mixing bowl.  Add the bake mix.  You can use any low-carb bake mix you prefer.  Add sweeteners, vanilla and chopped berries.  Fold all together until smooth.   Using a 2 T. measuring cup, spoon batter into mini muffin pan slots.  Right is the Nordicware pan I used.

They will be nearly full to the brim.  Don’t worry, Mine didn’t overflow in the pans, although they do temporarily rise above the top like a soufflé…..and then fall a bit when done and cooled.

Pop into oven and bake for 16-18 minutes or until risen and firm in the center.  Remove, cool a couple minutes and with knife tip, lift them out and serve while warm.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 24 Berry Bites or “mini muffins”, each contains:

32.3 cals, 2.4g fat, 1.55g carbs, 0.37g fiber, 1.18g NET CARBS, 1.67g protein, 16 mg sodium

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Eggplant Parmigiana Sandwiches

EggplantSandwich

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 oz. crushed pork rinds

6 oz. ground beef (or lamb)

2 slices provalone cheese

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

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

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

2 T. Parmesan cheese

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes two servings, each contains:

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

Breakfast Sticks

Breakfast Sticks

Realized I hadn’t made one of my more popular recipes in quite some time this morning.  I resurrected this tasty ‘Top o’ the Morning’ treat today.  You can use the bottom of muffin cups for these (circle shape) or muffin-top pans (flatter shape) as well.  These are simply delicious!  Just the right amount of cheese to make them a bit creamy without it being overpowering.  Just the right amount of chopped vegetables to not dominate the flavor profile so the eggs still speak up.

These are suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal Blueprint as well.  Omit the cheese for Paleo adherence.  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.

Bar Mold

This recipe garnered more Facebook fans than any all other recipes I have posted here.  Simply amazing!  Thanks to all my readers and fans for making the recipe go viral on its original 2015 posting.  When you try these, you’ll see why it went off the chart!  🙂    Capture

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. oil of choice

2 slices bacon, chopped

3 oz. breakfast sausage

2 large green onions, chopped

4 large eggs, beaten

1 oz. (¼ c.) shredded Monterrey Jack or Mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Oil your muffin/pan slots with oil using a brush and set aside.  Beat the eggs with the shredded cheese in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.  Using a non-stick skillet, brown the bacon. Add the sausage crumbled, stirring and cooking until it is no longer pink.  Add onion and saute just until onion begins to cook/wilt.  Remove from heat and cool 1-2 minutes.  Add the meat mixture to the egg mixture and beat together well with a spoon.  Using a ¼c. measuring cup, scoop up ¼ c. of the mixture into each of 8 slots.  Pop into preheated 350º oven for about 15-20 minutes (ovens do vary) until just set and barely beginning to brown on tops.  Remove from pans/slot with a knife tip and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 Breakfast Sticks, each contains:

142.4 cals, 12.3g fat, 0.73g carbs, 0.16g fiber, 0.57g NET CARBS, 7.16g protein, 220 mg sodium

Roasted Shawarma Chicken and Vegetables

Roasted Shawarma Chicken and Vegetables

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

INGREDIENTS:

¼ c. extra virgin olive oil

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

10 cloves garlic, peeled

1 medium zucchini, sliced thick

1 yellow squash, sliced thick

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

1 2 3/4″ tomato, cut into wedges

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

1 tsp. my Shawarma Spice Blend

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes around 6 servings, each contains:

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

Bacon-Onion Heart Quiche

img_5611

Who doesn’t love the smell of bacon and onion cooking together in the kitchen?  One of my favorite culinary aromas, for sure.  These little gems pictured above are something I enjoy year ’round, but when shaped like hearts, are a cute and delicious treat for Valentine’s Day.  So tasty and easy to put together!  I think I’ll make something Indian for dinner that night, since you can’t get into a restaurant on Valentine’s Day with a shoehorn and Indian is his favorite food!  I make these in a fun little pan I found somewhere years ago ( shown right).  You KNOW I just had to have it!  The slots are only 3/4″ tall, so it makes individual portion cakes (or whatever).  heart-cake-panThese tasty breakfast “hearts” are as easy as pie to make.  You can use any shaped pan molds, silicone molds or regular cupcake pans (or whatever you have available).  There is nothing sacrosanct about the shape here.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets.  Primal-Paleo will need to use a plan-suitable bread at the bottom.

INGREDIENTS:

4 slices bacon, chopped fine

2 oz. onion, chopped fine

1 slice low-carb bread (I had this on-hand focaccia bread)

3 extra-large eggs (or 4 large), beaten

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Using a brush, oil your baking pan slots with a dab of olive oil.  Crumbled the bread evenly into the bottoms of the slots.  Pour the beaten egg mixture into the slots.

In a non-stick skillet, brown the bacon.  When it is done but not quite crisp, add the onion and sauté until the bacon is browned and onion is beginning to brown as well.  Sprinkle about 1 T. of the bacon-onion mixture over the tops of each portion.  Pop pan into 350º oven for about 13-15 minutes or until egg is set up in the center when touched with your finger.  Do not over cook lest they dry out.   Lift them out gently with the tip of a knife and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 5 Heart Quiches, each contains:

146.4 calories, 11.8 g fat, 1.74 g carbs, 0.40 g fiber, 1.34 g NET CARBS, 9.14 g protein, 225 mg sodium

Chicken Sofrito

Click to enlarge

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

INGREDIENTS:

2   5-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. butter

2 slices bacon, chopped (I used thick slices)

2 oz. Monterrey Jack Cheese, grated

2 T.  sofrito

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

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

Momma’s Baked Chicken

Momma's Baked Chicken

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

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

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

6 T.  melted butter

3 T. red wine vinegar

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

1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper

THAT’S IT!!

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

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

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

Spicy Boursin Chicken

Click to enlarge

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

12 oz. frozen chopped spinach

3 oz. red bell pepper, finely chopped

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

5 oz. package Boursin Cheese with garlic and herbs

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

Dash black pepper

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

3 T. melted butter

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 6 servings, each contains:

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

Lebanese Baked Chicken (Frarej)

Lebanese Baked Chicken

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

4 T. olive oil

1 cut up whole chicken or 8 pieces

4 oz. onion cut into wedges (separate layers)

2 Roma tomatoes cut into wedges

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

½ tsp. oregano

Juice of 1 lemon

Dash salt and pepper

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

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

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

Serves 4, each 2-piece serving contains:

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

Pork in Queso Flameado Sauce

Pork in Queso Flameado

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

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INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. pork loin, cut into 4 portions

1 link chorizo, removed from the skin and crumbled

2 T. unsalted butter

4 large green onions, chopped

1/2 c. red bell pepper, chopped

1 c. cilantro, chopped

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. water

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

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

Mexicali Spaghetti Squash

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

3 oz. chopped onion

3 oz. chopped bell pepper (any color)

1 lg. plum tomato, chopped

1 clove minced garlic

2 T. chopped cilantro (optional)

½ tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. ground cumin

4 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated

8 oz. ground beef

dash pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Cooking the squash:

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

Making the filling:

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 2, each serving contains:

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

Broccoli with Caramelized Onion Sauce

Broccoliwithcreamsauce

If you’re tired of the same old steamed broccoli, the usual cheese sauce and the typical broccoli casseroles, give this recipe a whirl.  It’s easy and ready in minutes.  The sweetness of the caramelized onions in this sauce really smooths out the oft-perceived bitter taste of broccoli in an amazing way!  This dish is Atkins Induction-friendly and suitable for other Keto diets as well.  Primal-Paleo followers will want to sub in coconut milk for the cream and of course ghee for the butter.

INGREDIENTS:  

9 oz. broccoli, cut up into large pieces or small spears

2 T. butter, unsalted

2 oz. yellow onion, sliced thin

½ clove garlic, minced

½ c. heavy cream

¼-½ c. water

Dash pepper

1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

OPTIONAL:  a sprinkle of your favorite thickener if desired

DIRECTIONS:  Cook broccoli stems until completely done and nicely browned.   Drain well a few minutes on paper towels.  Lay broccoli stems  decoratively on your serving dish.  In non-stick skillet over med-high heat, sauté onion and garlic in butter until the onion begins to brown nicely and caramelizes.    Lower heat.  Add cream and Parmesan.  Add pepper and taste.  Add pinch of salt.  Simmer a few minutes and it will slightly thicken.  Add water.  Simmer a few more minutes.  Should be the right thickness when done.  Add a bit of your favorite thickener if the thickness is not to your liking.  Dip or pour over broccoli and serve or let diners serve dip it over own serving on the plate.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 3 servings each containing:

164 calories, 13.1 g  fat, 9.4 g  carbs, 2.57 g fiber, 6.83 g  NET CARBS, 4.5 g  protein, 73 mg sodium

Montreal Baked Chicken

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 recipe my Montreal BBQ Sauce

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

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

Turkey Day Feast

CLICK THE LINKS UNDER EACH PHOTO TO SEE RECIPES:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breakfast Sticks

Breakfast Sticks

Realized I hadn’t made one of my more popular recipes in quite some time this morning.  I resurrected this tasty ‘Top o’ the Morning’ treat today.  You can use the bottom of muffin cups for these (circle shape) or muffin-top pans (flatter shape) as well.  These are simply delicious!  Just the right amount of cheese to make them a bit creamy without it being overpowering.  These are suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal Blueprint as well.  Omit the cheese for Paleo adherence.  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 metal-rimmed 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.

Bar Mold

This recipe has garnered more Facebook fans than any other recipe I have ever posted there.  Simply amazing!  Thanks to all my readers and fans for making the recipe go viral on its original posting.  When you try these, you’ll see why it went off the chart!  🙂    Capture

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. oil of choice

2 slices bacon, chopped

3 oz. breakfast sausage

2 large green onions, chopped

4 large eggs, beaten

1 oz. (¼ c.) shredded Monterrey Jack or Mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Oil your muffin/pan slots with oil using a brush and set aside.  Beat the eggs with the shredded cheese in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.  Using a non-stick skillet, brown the bacon. Add the sausage crumbled, stirring and cooking until it is no longer pink.  Add onion and saute just until onion begins to cook/wilt.  Remove from heat and cool 1-2 minutes.  Add the meat mixture to the egg mixture and beat together well with a spoon.  Using a ¼c. measuring cup, scoop up ¼ c. of the mixture into each of 8 slots.  Pop into preheated 350º oven for about 15-20 minutes (ovens do vary) until just set and barely beginning to brown on tops.  Remove from pans/slot with a knife tip and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 Breakfast Sticks, each contains:

142.4 cals, 12.3g fat, 0.73g carbs, 0.16g fiber, 0.57g NET CARBS, 7.16g protein, 220 mg sodium

Upside-Down Bacon-Onion Omelet

Upside-Down Bacon-Onion OmeletThis is a scrumptious, quick and easy omelet that is made flat in a pan and baked in the oven.  Plan to make it for breakfast tomorrow.  I love to make omelets this way as I think they cook so evenly.  I’ve messed up more than one folded omelet that I attempted to cook stovetop.  I find the eggs don’t get quite done enough in the center for my liking.   Besides, I think eggs are pretty served up this way, too!  This delicious recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo. 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

6 thin (or 3 thick) slices bacon, diced large

2 oz. onion, diced (I used red onion)

4 large eggs

DIRECTIONS:    Preheat oven to 350º.  In a good non-stick skillet or wok, cook the bacon until nearly brown.  Add the onion and saute until the bacon is fully browned and the onion is getting soft and also beginning to caramelize/brown.   In a bowl, using a fork, beat the eggs well.  Slowly pour the eggs over the bacon-onion mixture so as not to disturb the mixture much.  Pop the pan into a 350> oven for 10-12 minutes or until eggs are just dry to the touch in the center.  Try not to brown the top of the flat omelet, as that just overcooks the eggs making them dry and rubbery.  Remove from oven.  Place a large plate (larger than your pan in diameter) over the plate and lifting skillet with one hand and holding the plate over it with your other hand, flip is quickly.  The grease from the bacon should allow it to drop right out of the pan.  Cut into 3 wedges and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 3 adult servings

231 cals, 19.4 g  fat, 2.13 g carbs, 0.16 g fiber, 1.97 g NET CARBS, 11.8 g protein, 331 mg sodium

Iranian Kubideh (meat kebabs)

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 egg, beaten

¼ c. parsley

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

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. black pepper

Optional:  ½ jalapeno, seeded and minced fine

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 kubideh, each contains:

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

Momma’s Baked Chicken

Momma's Baked Chicken

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

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

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

6 T.  melted butter

3 T. red wine vinegar

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

1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper

THAT’S IT!!

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

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

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

Pork Chops in Mushroom-Tomato Cream

Pork Chops in Tomato-Mushroom Cream

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

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

photocat

With optional cured ham added, served on “zoodles”

INGREDIENTS:

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

3 tsp. bacon grease for frying

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

½ c. water (or pork or chicken broth)

¼ c. heavy cream

1/3 c. chopped parsley

1 6-oz can sliced mushrooms, with their juice

10 cherry or San Marzano tiny tomatoes, cut in halves

Dash sea salt

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

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

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

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

Chicken in Sofrito Cream

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1½ T. butter

1 c. homemade chicken stock

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

Sprinkle xanthan gum

2 T. Sofrito sauce

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes two adult servings, each contains:

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

Indian Kheema Matar

 

233

Shown on bed of sauteed cabbage

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef, lamb or goat

1 T. olive or coconut oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove minced garlic

½ tsp. minced ginger

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. ground coriander

¼ tsp. salt

2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped

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

1 carrot, cut into small dice

2 T. chopped cilantro

2 T. chopped fresh mint (I use spearmint)

½ jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1½ tsp. my Garam Masala

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

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

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

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

Baked Chicken and Vegetables

Baked Chicken with Vegatables

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

INGREDIENTS:

20 oz. deboned chicken breasts, to make 4 servings

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

4 oz. yellow onion

8 large cloves garlic

4 Roma tomatoes

½ tsp. oregano

2 tsp. chopped fresh Rosemary

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

Dash salt & black pepper

3 T. olive oil

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 serving, each containing:

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

Classic Shrimp Scampi

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 T. butter, unsalted

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. parsley, chopped

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

¼-½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

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

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

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

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

Blue Crab Stuffing

Click to enlarge

For Christmas we often cook lobster tails with a side of stuffed crab.  How we both adore seafood and have really missed the qualaity seafood we had access to when we lived on the Texas Gulf Coast where we lived for over 30 years.  This is the crab stuffing recipe I’ve made for many, many years.   I developed this recipe in an attemps to imitate the wonderful stuffed crab I ordered many times at Gaido’s seafood restaurant, perched on the Galveston Island seawall.  where we lived for over 20 years.  This was one of my favorite dishes on their menu.  Bar none, the best stuffed crab I have ever eaten.  My take on it is fairly close, so I am still cooking this to this day.  It’s easy to prepare and always at hit with dinner guests.  If you have access to fresh, picked crab meat, you’ve GOT to try this one!  This is also great used to stuff baked fish or stuffed mushrooms!  

INGREDIENTS:

1½ lb. crab meat, shelled and picked well for bits of shell (Blue crab is the sweetest and best for this)

3 Flax Sandwich Buns  (or other low-carb bread)

4 oz. finely chopped onion

4 oz. finely chopped celery

1 oz. finely chopped green pepper (or mixture of red and green if you like)

½ oz. parsley

2 oz. heavy cream

¼ tsp. salt

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 tsp. dry mustard powder

½ c. (1 stick) unsalted, melted butter

DIRECTIONS:    Using a large bowl, carefully pick out all bits of shell from crab meat.  Soak 2 of the pieces of bread with the cream and crumble over the crab.  Crumb the remaining roll into fairly fine crumbs.  Set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add celery, onion, bell pepper, salt, cayenne and mustard powder and saute until slightly tender. Add parsley and saute couple minutes longer.  Pour sauteed veggie mixture over crab/bread mixture in the bowl.  Gently toss ingredients to mix well.  Spoon mixture into 6 large crab shells (if you have them) , into individual 6 oven-safe ramekins or stuff into fish prepared for baking.  Top with bread crumbs and bake in preheated 350º oven for 30 minutes (whole 1 lb. fish should be nicely done in that amount of time, but check for flaky done stage on your fish to be sure).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each serving has: (numbers are just for stuffing & does not include fish)

351.3 cals, 25.9g fat, 5.4g carbs, 2.47g fiber, 2.93g NET CARBS, 25.3g protein, 120 mg. sodium

Swiss Chard Sauté

I’m trialing small-scale veggie gardening using 20 gallon grow bags on a rear, unused driveway at my home. Things are germinating and my Swiss Chard was ready to harvest today. Thought I’d try a little sauté to go with our broiled chicken breasts tonight. Chard is nearly as nutritious as kale and spinach, so I like to add it and many green, leafy veggies to our diet as much as possible. I tend to cut the stems off as I find it strong tasting, but they are edible and you can add the stems to your chard dishes. This side dish was absolutely delicious! It just took minutes to prepare from start to finish. This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins as well as other Keto diets, including Paleo.

INGREDIENTS:

8 leaves Swiss Chard

3 slices thick-sliced bacon, chopped

3 oz. yellow or red onion, sliced in thin wedges

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS: Cut bottom of stem off chard leaves (if you wish). Wash leaves well under cold water and pat dry both sides of leaves with paper toweling. Cut into 1″ strips and set aside on towel or paper plate.

Chop bacon coarsely and fry over high heat in a medium skillet until browned and starting to crisp. Using slotted spoon, dip bacon bits onto paper towels to drain and await final plating.

In the same bacon grease you just generated, place the onion wedges, separating the slices as you sauté them over high heat and stir. When they have softened and caramelized, add in the chard strips and sauté just until chard goes limp. Plate the onion/chard mixture and top with bacon crisps. Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 3 servings, each contains:

170 cals, 12.4g fat, 10.5g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 7g NET CARBS, 12.8g protein, 542 mg sodium

Summer Vegetable Sauté

I’m serving a grilled, marinated chuck roast tonight for dinner. I’ve decided to serve a nice, light, vegetable sauté with it. The particular summer veggies you choose for this dish can vary, but you will want to recalculate the recipe if you make changes. Today, I have yellow summer squash and bell peppers on hand, the other things I always have around, but this particulay combo makes an overall “sweet” mix of summer freshness.

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets. For Primal Blueprint/Paleo, use all olive oil instead of butter/OO mixture specified in recipe.

VARIATION: You could use sliced red radishes instead of the celery for more color! Remember, they taste very different sauteed than they do raw in a salad. You could even add some sliced fresh mushrooms to this dish!

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. extra light olive oil

1 c. carrot, peeled and sliced thin

3 oz. onion, sliced or cut in wedges

½ c. celery, sliced on the diagonal

2 T. unsalted butter

1½ c. summer yellow squash, sliced ¼” thick

1 oz. red bell pepper, sliced

2 oz. green bell pepper, sliced

Pinch sea salt

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS: Heat olive oil + 1 T. of the butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté carrots, onion & celery first until just slightly softened. Dip out onto paper plate Add rest of butter to skillet. Add yellow squash and sauté just until it begins to look slightly transluscent (as to not over cook). Add bell peppers and continue to sauté couple minutes just until the green pepper is slightly tender. Add back the carrot-onion mixture, stirring and sautéeing another minute to meld the flavors. If vegetables are added in the specified order, they should all be perfectly tender-crisp. Cook longer only if it is your personala preference. Sprinkle on salt and pepper, stir well and serve at once with your favorite grilled beef, pork, chicken or seafood.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each contains:

143 cals, 12.75g fat, 7.3g carbs, 2.1g fiber, 5.2g NET CARBS, 1.2g protein, 106 mg sodium

Paleo Pot Pie

Click to enlarge
Made with Chicken

I want to use up some leftover baked chicken meat for dinner tonight and my husband voted for chicken pot pie.  I have even made this recipe with leftover pork before and it is quite good as well. I have a pot pie recipe on my site already that is Atkins suitable, but that recipe has Carbquick in it and I’m trying to cut back on my use of Carbquik.  I fall back on this recipe of old and it’s just as tasty.  This should satisfy his desire for one of his comfort foods tonight.  We both just love chicken pot pies and like this recipe equally.

This dish is suitable for anyone who has reached the nuts and seeds rung of the Atkins OWL ladder or who follows a Ketogenic or Paleo-Primal program.  The nutritional stats below are very impressive, making it a most nutritious dinner! This would also be good made with turkey or even with rabbit, if you have access.

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

2 c. homemade chicken stock

1 1/3 c. carrot, diced

1 1/3 c. red radishes, diced

½ c. red bell pepper, diced

1½ c. green beans, cooked and chopped a bit

½ tsp. red palm oil (optional, this is for yellow color only)

2 c. chicken breast, cooked, diced

½ tsp. glucomannan powder (or your favorite thickener)

Dash black pepper

3 T. coconut cream

3 T. homemade mayo

Dash olive oil to grease baking dish

TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

1 c. almond flour

2 T. butter or ghee, softened

1 whole egg

1 T. coconut cream or coconut milk

DIRECTIONS:  Pour chicken stock into 4 qt. saucepan.  Add diced carrot and radish.  Bring to boil and simmer until almost tender.  Add bell pepper and cook until it is just softened a bit.  Turn off fire and add chopped green beans.  Stir in coconut cream and mayo.  Dust the glucomannan powder (or whatever thickener you prefer) evenly over the broth and stir quickly to disperse into the sauce.  Sauce should begin to thicken right up.  Add black pepper and stir to blend all ingredients.  Preheat oven to 350º. Grease an 8×11 baking dish with a bit of olive oil and pour chicken filling into the dish.  Set aside while you make the topping.

In a small bowl, measure the almond flour.  With a fork, beat in the soft butter, then the egg and finally the coconut cream or coconut milk.    It will form a medium thick dough.  With the fork and a spoon, drop small dots of the dough evenly all over the top of the chicken filling.  Pop into the preheated 350º oven for about 40 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned on top.  This is nice served with a green salad.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 5 nice 1¼ cup servings, each containing:

426 cals, 33g fat, 12.5g carbs, 5.56g fiber, 6.94g NET CARBS, 24.3g protein, 382mg sodium, 58% RDA Vitamin A, 33% B6, 31% B12, 45% C, 15% E, 37% iron, 48% niacin, 34% phosphorous, 30% riboflavin, 48% selenium, and much more.

Indian Butter Chicken

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. whole cumin seed

2 T. olive oil

3 oz. sliced onion

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

¼ tsp. salt

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

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ T. fresh ginger root, peeled and minced fine

¼ tsp. ground turmeric

1T. + 1 tsp. my homemade Garam Masala 

4 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 c. chicken broth

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

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

4 T. more butter

3/4 c. heavy cream 

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 5, each serving contains:

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

Roaster Oven Turkey

Roasted Turkey (done in a roaster oven)

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

4 T. melted butter

Dash each of salt and black pepper

4 small pieces of foil

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kielbasa with Cabbage & Kale

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

2  T. bacon grease

4 links your favorite smoked sausage, sliced ¼”

3 c. chopped green cabbage

2 c. chopped kale (larger stem parts removed)

2 oz. slivered sweet yellow onion

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

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

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

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

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

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

Crunchy Parmesan-Boursin Chicken Filets

Crunchy Parmesan-Boursin Chicken Filets

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

4 T. my homemade Shawarma Mayonnaise

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

1 oz. pork rinds

½ c. parsley, chopped

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

¼ c. Parmesan cheese (any variety will work)

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:     Makes 4 servings, each contains:

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

Pork Chops with Roasted Poblano Gravy

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

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

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

1-2 tsp. bacon grease

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ c. chopped cilantro

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. chicken broth (I use homemade)

Dash each salt and black pepper

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 adult servings, each contains:

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

 

Indian Chicken Tandoori & Roasted Vegetables (Sheet Pan)

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

INGREDIENTS: 

2 large chicken thighs, bone-in

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

2/3 c. sour cream (or yogurt)

1 tsp. each curry and tandoori powders

1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

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

3 oz. red bell pepper, cut 1″ pieces

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

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

3 Roma tomatoes, cut into 4 wedges

1 tsp. minced ginger root

¼ c. cilantro chopped

Dash black pepper

¼ tsp. sea salt

2 tsp. my Garam Masala

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 5 servings, each contains:

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

 

 

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

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 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

Broccoli with Caramelized Onion Sauce

Broccoliwithcreamsauce

If you’re tired of the same old steamed broccoli, the usual cheese sauce and the not so unusual broccoli casseroles, give this recipe a whirl.  It’s easy and ready in minutes.  The sweetness of the caramelized onions in this sauce really smooths out the oft-perceived bitter taste of broccoli in an amazing way!  This dish is Atkins Induction-friendly and suitable for other Keto diets as well.  Primal-Paleo followers will want to sub in coconut milk for the cream and of course ghee for the butter.

INGREDIENTS:  

9 oz. broccoli, cut up into large pieces or small spears

2 T. butter, unsalted

2 oz. yellow onion, sliced thin

½ clove garlic, minced

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

Dash pepper

1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:  Cook broccoli stems until completely done and drain well a few minutes.  Lay broccoli stems  decoratively on your serving dish.  In non-stick skillet over med-high heat, saute onion and garlic in butter until the onion begins to brown and caramelize.    Lower heat and add cream and Parmesan.  Add pepper and taste.  Add pinch of salt if needed.  Simmer a few minutes and it will slightly thicken.  Add water.  Simmer a few more minutes.  Should be the right thickness when done.  If the water made it too thin, add a bit of your favorite thickener.  Dip or pour over broccoli and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 3 servings each containing:

164 calories, 13.1 g  fat, 9.4 g  carbs, 2.57 g fiber, 6.83 g  NET CARBS, 4.5 g  protein, 73 mg sodium

Classic Shrimp Scampi

My father introduced us to this dish when we lived in Hampton, Virginia.  Of course, we had all the fresh seafood there in the world anytime we wanted it.  What is amazing about Shrimp Scampi is how easy it is to make.  Traditionally served over white rice, as a low-carber, I decided to spoon mine over a batch of my Foolproof Mashed Cauliflower.  It was quite good actually.  I like to add a bit of my Seafood Spice Blend to most of my seafood dishes, but it is not seen in most shrimp scampi recipes.  Occasionally I like to add a splash of a couple tablespoons of white wine to this dish, but do not always do that, so I don’t show it in the ingredients below.  Your call there.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets, as well as for Primal and Paleo followers.  Those still on Atkins Induction should not add the white wine here.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 T. butter, unsalted

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. parsley, chopped

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

¼-½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

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

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

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

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

 

 

Chicken in Sofrito Cream

Chicken in Sofrito Cream

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1½ T. butter

1 c. homemade chicken stock

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

Sprinkle xanthan gum

2 T. Sofrito sauce

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes two adult servings, each contains:

590 calories

46.3 g  fat

2.6 g carbs, 0.3 g fiber, 2.3 g NET CARBS

37.4 g protein

470 mg sodium

Chicken & Italian Sausage on Zoodles

Chicken & Italian Sausage on Zoodles

Mmm, mmm, mmm.  This colorful dish was just as tasty as it looks!  And super, duper fast to get on the table for your hungry family!!  Just creamy enough without being too “heavy”.  My husband specifically asked for something light tonight since we went out for steak last night, had  oysters and the whole shebang.  🙂  He said I accomplished that goal of “light” with this wonderful new dish.  This is elegant-looking when served and most worthy of company fare.  It is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal folks who eat dairy, and Paleo followers provided you use coconut milk instead of the cream.

INGREDIENTS:

2   6-oz. zucchini (two 6″), cut into zucchini noodles or ribbons

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts around 11-12 oz. each

2 T. total olive oil

4 T. total butter (or ghee)

1 link Italian sausage, casing removed & cut into chunks

2 oz. onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. parsley, chopped (reserve 1T. for garnish)

8 cherry tomatoes, halved (or more if you like)

Several shakes coarse black pepper

Dash salt

½ c. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:  Place a non-stick skillet or wok on your burner.  Add 1 T. oil and coat entire pan surface.  Cut zoodles with a noodling tool, julienne peeler or ribbons using a vegetable peeler.  Slow saute over medium heat until they are no longer opaque and just barely beginning to soften.  Remove, dip out nicely onto a serving platter and keep in warming oven while you make the sauce.

Cut each chicken breast laterally into 2 thinner filets, cover with plastic wrap and pound with the flat side of a meat tenderizer or wooden kitchen mallet. I don’t pound them too thin, however.

Wipe skillet out with paper towel if any zoodles are hanging on for dear life.  🙂  Add the other tablespoon of olive oil, 1 T. of the butter and heat over high heat.  Sear the chicken breasts on both sides until golden and remove to a temporary plate.  Add remaining 3 T. butter, sausage, garlic and onion.    Saute until onion is tender and sausage is no longer pink and begins to brown.  Add parsley and tomatoes next. Saute 1 minute and tomatoes barely begin to soften.  Finally, add cream, salt and pepper.  Simmer just a couple minutes until cream thickens up for you.

Remove platter with your zoodles from warming oven.  Place chicken filets across the top.  Spoon the creamy sausage sauce on top and garnish with that reserved tablespoon parsley.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

531 cals, 39g fat, 7.8g carbs, 1.8g fiber, 7g NET CARBS, 38g protein, 703 mg sodium

 

Twice Cooked Cauliflower and Leeks

Next time you’re contemplating making the low-carber’s classic dish, Loaded Baked “Potatoes”, try using leeks sometime instead of the green onion.  WONDERFUL change!

Man, did my husband ever rant about this cauliflower dish tonight.  I have my Twice Baked “Potatoes” that uses green onion, but leeks are much milder!  I used half a large leek and it sliced up to made 2 c. sliced up!  I used more cream cheese than I usually do in my similar dish and decided to use American Deluxe cheese tonight instead of cheddar cheese.  WOW!  What a difference in flavor those changes made.  Who’da thunk?  🙂  Hope you give this one a try!  This recipes is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto programs.  Primal followers can enjoy this as written.  Paleo people will need to leave out the cream cheese.  It’ll taste OK, but not quite as rich.  🙂

INGREDIENTS:

½ large head cauliflower (6-7″) cut into flowerets

3 oz. cream cheese, cut into small bits

6 T. total butter, unsalted

Dash salt (omit if using salted butter)

½ leek, sliced thinly

6 slices American Deluxe or Cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS:   Under running cold water, wash all dirt from between the leaves of the half leek.  Do this carefully, as the dirt hides on both sides of the leaves.  Nothing worse than biting into grit at the table.    Slice the leak thinly.  Melt 2 T. of the butter in a skillet over medium heat and saute leeks just until tender. Turn off heat and set aside.

Cut up the cauliflower into flowerets, place it into a 4-qt. saucepan.  Cover with water and bring to a boil.   Reduce heat and medium boil until soft, or about 15-18 minutes.  Remove from heat, pour all into a colander to drain and with a rubber spatula, mash out any water you can. Preheat oven to 350º.  Pour cauliflower back into the saucepan and drop in the cut up cream cheese.  Stir with you a rubber spatula to allow the cream cheese to melt a bit.  Add 4 of the 6 tablespoons of butter and the salt.  With a hand-held mixer or stick blender (I used the stick for mine), puree all until smooth.   Add the sauteed leek, scraping all the butter you can get into the pot.  Stir well to mix evenly.  With your rubber spatula, scrape the cauli-leek mixture into a lightly buttered baking dish (mine is about 7″x11″).  Top with 6 slices of cheese (you can shred the cheese first if you prefer).  Pop into 350º oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted nicely.  This tasty dish was delightful served with butter-seared pork chops and a salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains:

259.3 cals, 23.4g fat, 6.36g carbs, 1.99g fiber, 4.48g NET CARBS, 7.7g protein, 350 mg sodium

Bang Bang Dipping Sauce

This delightfully spicy sauce is amazing with fried shrimp or chicken tenders.  So much so I thought it deserved its own posting rather than just including the recipe with dishes I’ve created with it.  Have some other ideas up my sleeve for this sauce as well, so stay tuned.  You know what they say…………..the Saucier is the most important chef in a French Kitchen.  🙂

We just LOVE this stuff!  Me, I’m not so fond of overly hot, spicy food, but this has just a little bit of tingle on your tongue that I don’t think most folks will find it too spicy.  I do hope my readers will try it sometime, if you have not yet had the pleasure.   This sauce is suitable for all phases of Atkins & Keto diets, as well as Primal and Paleo folks!

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. homemade mayo

2-3 tsp. Sambal Oelek chili sauce

2 tsp. Sriracha

Dash each salt and black pepper

VARIATION:   Add ¼ clove minced garlic for a new twist

DIRECTIONS:     Measure out all ingredients into a small bowl, stir well and chill until ready to serve as a condiment with fried shrimp, chicken or whatever you little heart desires.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes five 2-T. servings of sauce, each contains:

161 cals, 17.68g fat, 0.84g carbs, 0.02g fiber, 0.82g NET CARBS, 0.52g protein, 140 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.

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)

Clam-Bacon-Mushroom Sauce (for “Pasta”)

Click to enlarge

(Shown on zucchini noodles)

I have always loved clam sauce on pasta and this recipe is one I often turn to when it’s late and I’ve forgotten to defrost meat for dinner.  I make sure I always have a few cans of clams in my pantry for this reason. Though you can serve this on real pasta for your non-low-carb guests, it goes nicely for low-carbers over sauteed zucchini “noodles”, as shown above, or shirataki noodles.  Allow about 6 oz. zucchini noodles per person.  The zucchini noodles soak up the sauce’s wonderful flavor.   This dish is OK for Induction if served on zucchini noodles.  I do NOT think this would be good atop spaghetti squash threads as I think the squash taste will negatively impact the overall flavor of the clam dish.  If you are already to the OWL phase of Atkins, ¼ c. dry white wine is good added to this before thickening.  You want to talk healthy?  Get a load of the nutritional info below!!  I think clams may just be the highest source of vitamin B12 in the food kingdom!  And it’s mostly in the juice!  Moral of the story:  EAT MORE CLAM LINGUINE!!  🙂

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DISCLAIMER:  I choose to receive no remuneration for this promotion nor for the inclusion of a few of my recipes therein.  I do so merely because I think they are some of the very best low-carb cookbooks available. 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

2  6-oz. cans clams with juice (do not drain)

4 slices bacon, cut into ½” pieces

2 T. butter, unsalted (or olive oil)

2 oz. onion, chopped

6 medium mushrooms, sliced

2 oz. red bell pepper, chopped coarsely

¼ c. parsley, chopped fine

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Dash black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Chop bacon and brown over med-high heat.  Add butter to melt in with the bacon drippings.  Add onion, mushrooms and garlic.  Saute until onion and mushrooms are both tender.  Add red pepper, parsley and seasonings.  Add clams with their juice and simmer 2-3 minutes to blend flavors.   Thicken slightly with your favorite thickener and serve atop zucchini noodles. Garnish plates with a few sprinkles of parsley if desired.  Serve on zucchini noodles or “zoodles” as shown above or shirataki tofu noodles.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each containing:  (numbers are for sauce only, so be sure to add in your “pasta” numbers)

253 cals, 13.8g fat, 8.27g  carbs, 1.75g fiber, 6.52g NET CARBS, 23.8g protein, 330 mg sodium

Indian Baked Chicken

photocat

I recently created a  tasty baked Indian chicken dish similar to tandoori chicken in flavor.  Typically I would just take Indian spices and marinate the meat for 1 hour using some yogurt or sour cream, but I had neither dairy product on hand and tried using heavy cream.  The cream worked just fine.  This simple dish is delicious with a piece of my Flat Bread.  We LOVE this recipe now and bake it often.  It is even better grilled over charcoal for that true tandoori smoke flavor to enhance the spices.   If baked indoors, the pan dripping are delicious basted up over the meat when serving, so don’t throw that away!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, and Primal as well.  Paleo followers will need to use coconut milk in lieu of the cream.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large chicken breast, skin on, cut in half crosswise

2 chicken leg quarters, cut apart at joint

1/3 c. heavy cream, (or yogurt, sour cream or coconut milk)

1 tsp. tandoori spice blend (I use Sharwood’s brand)

¼ tsp. turmeric

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. ginger root, peeled, minced

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

Juice of ½ lime

VARIATION:  Instead of indoor baking, prepare a hot bed of coals in your charcoal grill and cook about an hours until done.  Then it will taste a lot like classic restaurant Tandoori chicken.

DIRECTIONS:  Place cream in large marinating bowl.  Add all spices, ginger, garlic and onion.  Add lime juice and then the 6 chicken pieces.  Toss to coat well and refrigerate for 1 hour, turning once during marinating.  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375º.  Place chicken pieces on a large baking pan (I used metal pan).  Spread the marinating mixture atop each piece.  Pop into 375º oven and bake for 1 hour or until 170º on a meat thermometer and browned nicely.  Serve with your favorite side dishes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 3 adult servings (2 pc. each).  Serving contains approximately:  (using heavy cream)

465 cals, 28.3g fat, 2.93g carbs, 0.40g fiber, 2.53g NET CARBS, 47.4g protein, 694 mg sodium

 

 

Roast Duck with Blueberry Sauce

Since there are just two of us now gathering for Thanksgiving, I sometimes just roast a duck to avoid so many leftovers.  This is a delicious recipe for duck which cooks up very moist.  I usually serve a traditional cornbread stuffing and green beans with this delicious bird.  I have never liked orange sauce on duck, so I decided to work up this blueberry sauce with a hint of herbs some years ago and that turned out to be a good decision.  The herbs and bacon in the sauce bring so many flavor layers to the table.  This can be served with your wine of choice, even red.  This recipe is suitable once you reach the berry level of Atkins (OWL Phase 2).  It is suitable for all Keto diets, Primal Blueprint and Paleo if you omit the wine in the sauce.  This Tipsy Blueberry Sauce would be good with turkey, roast pork or probably any other wild game you might be cooking this holiday season.

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INGREDIENTS FOR DUCK:

5½ lb. duck

1/4 tsp. each onion powder, dried thyme and rosemary, crushed

Dash my Seafood Spice Blend (optional)

¼ tsp. salt

1 T. butter

DUCK DIRECTIONS:  Remove sauce packet (I throw it away) and the innards.  Boil the innards in 2 c. water for your dog.  🙂  Save the broth for your sauce.  Preheat oven to 375º.  Rub your fingers over duck checking for pinfeathers and remove any you find with the tip of a knife.  Mix the herbs and spices in a small dish with the salt.  Rub over duck skin all over.  Place duck on a grate that is then set down in a large roasting pan.  Baste with melted butter and pop into hot 375º oven for 1 hour.  Remove from oven, baste skin with remaining butter and return to oven for 30-45 minutes longer or until skin is brown, crisp and the duck read internal temperature of 180º.  While duck is roasting, prepare sauce.

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

3 green onions, chopped coarsely

1½ oz. bacon (3 slices), chopped coarsely

1 c. blueberries (dried, fresh or frozen)

1 c. broth (or a little more if you simmer too long)

2 T. Port wine or Sherry

Dash each thyme, rosemary, onion powder and salt

¼ tsp. xanthan gum or your preferred thickener

SAUCE DIRECTIONS:  Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add chopped bacon, brown it nicely.  Add onion and saute until onion is very tender.  Do not drain off grease.  Add all remaining ingredients but the thickener.  Allow to simmer until berries begin to burst open and turn the sauce blue.  Here, I go by smell, and appearance, but when all appears to be cooked and it smells wonderful, slightly thicken to desired level with your preferred thickener.  Allow guests to serve atop roasted duck slices at table.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings, each contains:

385 calories, 31 g fat, 3.82 g carbs, .81 g fiber, 3.10 g NET CARBS, 20 g protein, 277 mg sodium

Turkey Day Feast

CLICK THE LINKS UNDER EACH PHOTO TO SEE RECIPES:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BBQ Crack Cabbage with Ham

I have cooked this recipe three times now and my husband and I just LOVE it!  It’s so simple and the mystery added ingredient to what is basically the Crack Slaw recipe, makes all the difference in the world!  The BBQ sauce is the KEY INGREDIENT, so don’t omit that for the true flavor impact of this dish.  Doing so would make it pretty much just an ordinary Crack Slaw in my opinion.  Carb count is a little high on this dish, but it is all in the healthy vegetables in it.  This recipe provides your daily requirements for Vitamins B6, C, iron, manganese, niacin, phosphorous and thiamin.  So the carbs are well worth the carbs in nutrition alone!

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and most Keto programs.  Paleo/Primal Blueprint folks must use a plan-acceptable BBQ sauce.

INGREDIENTS:

3 T. bacon grease

8 oz. cooked cured ham, cut in small strips

2 oz. red bell pepper, cut in small strips

1 leek (12 oz.), washed, sliced ½” (or 1 lg. yellow onion)

12 oz. green cabbage, cut in ½” stir-fry slices

¼ c. low-carb BBQ sauce (I use G.Hughes, thinned with vinegar & water)

Dash of coarse black pepper

VARIATIONS:  Instead of ham, use thinly-sliced smoked sausage, leftover grilled pork meat, breakfast sausage mini-meatballs, or grilled chicken meat.  Brown all meats first as was done with the ham in the directions.

DIRECTIONS:  In a large non-stick wok or skillet, melt the bacon grease over high heat.  Add cut-up ham and stir-fry to caramelize and lightly brown it for about 3 minutes.  Add the red bell pepper next and saute until just barely starts to soften.  Add leeks and stir-fry until it just begins to go limp (about 4-5 minutes).   Add the cut-up cabbage and cook all together just until cabbage begins to soften.  Drizzle the water/vinegar- diluted BBQ sauce over the top and turn off heat.  Stir to mix the sauce to coat all ingredients with its smoky, sweet goodness.  Sprinkle top of mixture with a quality coarse black pepper.  At this juncture, you have two choices.  You can either serve the dish at once if you like your cabbage to still be a bit crunchy.  Or you can pop it into a 350º oven for 15-20 minutes for flavors to develop further and for veggies to get a bit softer.  Your call.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Made with leek rather than yellow onion, makes 5 servings, each contains:

199 cals, 11.72g fat, 12.02g carbs, 2.78g fiber, 9.24g NET CARBS (only 7.5g NET CARBS using yellow onion), 11.78g protein, 768 mg sodium

Smoked Gouda Breakfast Pizza

smokedgoudabreakfastpizza

I often create new recipes when my husband is traveling out of town.  This is one of those.  When I open the fridge and just find a little dab of this, a bit of that, only one slice of something and think up a way to put them all together into something for a quick lunch or quick 1-serving meal.  You’ve all been there.  This is one of those recipes I created when the hubs ran down to Austin for a hobby convention.  It came out very tasty and even better, is Atkins Induction friendly, too!

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INGREDIENTS:

4 oz. seasoned, ground pork (or pork sausage, I make my own recipe.)

2 T. green onion, finely chopped

2 oz. smoked Gouda cheese, shredded or very thinly sliced to assist melting

2 beaten eggs

DIRECTIONS: Using a fork, press the raw pork sausage evenly into the bottom of a greased glass or non-stick quiche pan.   It will be thin.  I used a 7″ small quiche dish.   Top with chopped green onion.  I didn’t have any on hand, but chopped mushrooms would also be good in this.  Top with grated or thinly slivered smoked Gouda cheese (or whatever cheese you prefer).  Beat 2 eggs and carefully drizzle the egg evenly over the top. Bake at 350º for 15 minutes or until center is set.  Cut into “slices” and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 2 servings, each contains:

325 cals, 25g fat, 1.95g carbs, 0.35g fiber, 1.6g NET CARBS, 23g protein, 335 mg sodium

Chicken-Guacamole Salad

I had one leftover baked chicken breast in the fridge (didn’t even use it all, in fact) and 2 avocados that were at the peak of ripeness calling out to be used today, so I dreamed up this delicious little salad for lunch.  Pretty, isn’t it?  It rings in at just 4.95 grams net carbs (mostly the avocado), is very filling, ever so nutritious for your family, not to even mention it was delicious!

This simple-to-put-together dish can be enjoyed at all levels of Atkins and Keto diets if it fits your daily numbers limits.  This one would be suitable for Primal-Paleo as well.

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INGREDIENTS:

5 leaves romaine lettuce, chopped

1 Roma tomato, diced

1/3-1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine

2 avocados, skinned and seeded

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

4 oz. cooked chicken meat (more if desired, but adjust numbers below)

4 shakes/dashes of sea salt (1/16 tsp.)

VARIATION:  Instead of chicken, use 4 oz. leftover bits of grilled steak.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

406 cals, 30g fat, 18.45g carbs, 13.5g fiber, 4.95g NET CARBS, 21.4g protein, 497 mg sodium

Chicken “Risotto”

This tasty dinner came together in under an hour, start to sitting down to table.  I always buy chicken breasts with bones, as I stew the bones to strip for adding those bits of meat to my dog’s food and making chicken broth.  But you can certainly use boneless breasts for this dish if you wish to speed up this quick meal even more.  This risotto-like dish is very psychologically satisfying, as well as being literally quite filling.  My husband and I felt like we were eating a real rice or cous-cous dish!  It is extremely low-carb and suitable for all phases of Atkins, other Keto diets, Primal Blueprint and if the wine and cheese are omitted, it is also acceptable for Paleo followers.

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INGREDIENTS:

5 T. butter, unsalted

20 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend (or seasoning of your choice)

¼ tsp. black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

3/4 c. chopped parsley (I used flat leaf, but either type will work)

2 T. white wine (optional)

¼ tsp. sea salt

1 pkg (14 oz) Zeroodles brand Shirataki Rice-Shape Noodles w/ oat fiber

4 T. grated Parmesan Cheese (added at table)

DIRECTIONS:  Melt butter in large skillet over high heat.  Add chicken strips and begin to brown.  As it is browning, sprinkle with half the Seafood Spice Blend, salt and black pepper. Turn the pieces of meat over and brown the other side.  Sprinkle remaining spices on the side of meat now up.  When meat has nicely browned a bit on both sides, add in the parsley, garlic and wine (if using).  Lower heat to medium and stir occasionally as it simmers for about 5-10 minutes.  Open noodle package and drain in a sieve under running cold water to rinse.  Pour noodles into skillet and stir to blend ingredients well.  Continue cooking another 10 minutes and remove from heat.  Serve at table allowing each serving to receive 1 T. grated Parmesan on top.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

365.3 cals, 22.9g fat, 5.95g carbs, 4.42g fiber, 1.53g NET CARBS, 31.1g protein, 590 mg sodium