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Archive for the ‘SIDE DISHES’ Category

mashed-cauliflowerAlthough I have been mashing cauliflower since I began low-carbing in 2009, I only recently discovered a way to really firm up this ever-popular dish, as they can mash up a little “soupy” if you get in a rush.  That secret ingredient is glucomannan powder, derived from the konjac tuber.  Although a bit pricey, a bag of this stuff will last you a year (or longer!), as you use such tiny amounts in cakes, cookies and puddings for thickening or texture enhancing of your baked goods.  In this recipe, only ¼-½ tsp. is needed to do the job.  Glucomannan is what they make shirataki noodles from if you do not know this factoid.  I purchase it from at Netrition.com.  It’s pure fiber and will do wonders for your mashed cauli if you have problems with moisture bleeding out of the cauliflower after whipping, resulting in a “soupy” batch.  It is also said to help maintain steady blood glucose levela, so a good food for my Type2 diabetic husband to consume regularly.  This mashed cauliflower makes a wonderful Shepherd’s Pie topping!  Suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium head cauliflower

4 T. butter

2 T. cream cheese

1/8-¼ tsp. sea salt

¼-½ tsp. glucomannan powder

VARIATION:   Add 2-4 T. heavy cream for even richer results

DIRECTIONS:   Stem and cut up cauliflower into flowerettes.  Place in 4-qt. saucepan, cover with water and bring to boil.  Lower heat to medium and cook until very tender when poked with a knife or fork.  Drain off water in a colander or sieve.  After water is drained, using the back of a spoon, press the cauliflower against the wall of the colander or sieve to press out even more water until most appears to be released.  Spoon back into the saucepan.

Add the butter cheese and salt and whip with a hand mixer or stick blender until very smooth.  Add ¼ tsp. of the glucomannan and pulse the blender/mixer a few seconds.  If still a pretty loose mixture add the rest of the gluc powder, whipping once again to incorporate it throughout the mixture.  The mixture will continue to firm up a little more more as it sits on your table.  You don’t want to overdo gluc powder, as it will REALLY get stiff if you put too much!  Any leftovers on this dish are fantastic great reheated with a bit of chopped green onion and cheese on top. 😉

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains: (not including any heavy cream)

109 calories, 11.36 g fat, 5.26 g carbs, 2.45 g fiber, 2.81 g NET CARBS, 2.35 g protein, 96.33 g sodium

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0011

We just LOVE creamed spinach!  In India they have mastered this wonderful way to prepare spinach.  With the addition of a few aromatic spices, it takes this dish to a new flavor profile.  This dish is Atkins Induction friendly and suitable for other Keto diets as well.

(Plain Version INGREDIENTS):

2 T. butter

Saag Paneer (Indian variation_

Saag Paneer (Indian variation)

2 oz. yellow onion

16 oz. frozen chopped spinach

1 c. water

3 oz. cream cheese

1/3 c. heavy cream

Dash salt and pepper

INDIAN VERSION:  To the above ingredients, add 1 tsp. my Garam Masala spice blend, ½ tsp. grated ginger root, ½ c. chopped cilantro, and ½ seeded jalapeno chopped and paneer cheese cubes (if you know how to make it or can buy frozen at an Indian grocery).

DIRECTIONS:  Sliver up the onion very thin or chop finely.  Melt butter in skillet and saute onion over medium heat in non-stick skillet.  Add spinach and water, cover and simmer just until spinach is done (about 5 minutes).  Drain off any remaining water.  Now dot the surface with cream cheese and stir in to melt.  If making the Indian version, add all spices and jalapeno pepper now.  Stir.  Lower heat to lowest setting and add cream.  Simmer uncovered for 2-3 minutes to allow  flavors to blend.  Sometimes I pop it into a 350º oven for 15-20 minutes, but that is not actually necessary.  The dish shown in the pic above WAS baked in the oven a bit.   Great with grilled kebab, chicken or fish.  Mmm Mmm Mmm.  I just love this stuff!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings each contains

193 cals, 16.4 g  fat, 7.9 g  carbs, 3.9 g  fiber, 4g NET CARBS, 197 g  sodium

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001

This was our lunch today.  I love this recipe in the summertime!  So easy to throw together for lunch without heating up the kitchen.  To clear out the last of some Tahini I had on hand, I added it to the dressing this time and that is the dressing in the picture.  It was good, but since I don’t usually do this, I have calculated the nutritional info below without the tahini.  Despite the small amount of tahini (sesame seeds, not acceptable until OWL) each serving would get, I think you could enjoy this on Induction without doing irreparable damage to your weight loss program When I have a little leftover cooked chicken or steak, I like to add it to the top of this salad to make it a complete meal.  But this salad is delicious without any meat at all!  :).

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. lime juice

2 T. rice vinegar

2T. + 2 tsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. hot sesame oil

3-4 drops liquid sweetener

3 T. low-sodium soy sauce

1 tsp. minced fresh ginger

6 c. shredded Napa cabbage

1 c. chopped fresh cilantro

1 shredded carrot

½ fresh jalapeno, seeded, sliced in small julienne strips

OPTIONAL:  2 T. peanut butter added to dressing (not calculated in below).  Leftover cooked steak (or chicken as shown above).

DIRECTIONS:  Whisk first 7 ingredients together in a small bowl for the dressing.  Set aside.  Shred/slice napa cabbage and place in large bowl.  Add grated carrot, cilantro and julienned jalapeno.  Toss well and plate servings.  You can alternately so plate directly in layers on each person’s plate if you prefer (what I in the photo above).  If adding any meat, sprinkle in equal amounts on each serving.  Provide dressing in individual small cups for each person to add as they please.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 large servings, each containing approximately:

95 calories, 3.6 g  fat, 2.9 g  protein, 13.5 g  carbs, 5.0 g  fiber, 8.5 g  NET CARBS, 350 mg sodium

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Chipotle-Lime Sweet Potatoes

Chipotle-Lime “Sweet Potatoes”

OK, it’s officially close to Thanksgiving now that I have bought 2 sweet potatoes to add to my fresh pumpkin dish that has become a holiday tradition in my house:  Chipotle-Lime “Sweet Potatoes”.  I clipped a high-carb sweet potato recipe out of the Houston Post many years ago, but I low-carbed it by using fresh pumpkin (the whole variety) so that I can now have it without breaking the “carb bank”.  I have personally never been very fond of sweet potatoes as a veggie side, but ever since finding this recipe, I just love them!  I bake this recipe OFTEN, and with a wide variety of meats and seafood!

This is NOT your granny’s sweet potatoes!  Chipotle peppers are highly smoked jalapenos and taste nothing like green jalapeno peppers, in my opinion.  They, in combination with the lime zest, add a most unique “twist” to a popular vegetable more commonly seasoned with orange zest.  My brother, who was an Executive Chef at Top of the Mark in San Francisco at one time, just raved about this dish when I served it to him!  He went on to serve it often to dinner guests  in his own home over the years.  When I can’t get fresh pumpkin, I have been known to use butternut squash in this recipe in a pinch, but in all honesty, it’s not quite as good as the fresh pumpkin.  I tried it one time using acorn squash, and it was a “different animal” altogether, and not one I was terribly fond of.

I find this dish particularly tasty with baked, fried or grilled seafood, grilled meat, especially wild game, Texas-style BBQ, baked ham and of course that Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey or duck.  The flavor combination of lime, smoky chipotles and maple extract (¼ c. very high carb packed brown sugar in the original recipe) is a real winner!  The color of the final dish is more golden than orange as it is with all potatoes, thus my addition of red food coloring to correct color aesthetics.

Absolutely DO NOT SUBSTITUTE CANNED PUMPKIN or you are going to be extremely disappointed.  Just not the same dish.  Once you reach the starchy vegetable rung of the OWL Phase of Atkins and can afford a few more carbs,  I would recommend using just 1½ lb. pumpkin and adding 1 lb. cooked, mashed sweet potato (2 medium) for both flavor, color and a much creamier, tastier final dish. You will of course need to adjust nutritional info if you make that change as my numbers are for pumpkin only.

This dish does not freeze well.  As a general rule, cooked pumpkin flesh does not freeze well at all when used as a vegetable side dish.  Its water separates out in the bottom of your baking pan upon thawing the made-ahead dish for final heating/serving.  This doesn’t happen with muffins, cookies and cakes, but in invariably does with veggie sweet potato recipes.  That really ruins the final dish for me.  No matter how I try to drain that water off, it just keeps bleeding out more water it seems!  Totally spoils it for me, so I never, EVER freeze pumpkin.

This recipe appears in Vol. 1 of Jennifer Eloff’s latest cookbook series, LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.   I hope you’ll click the link to their Facebook page and take a look at a sampling of the recipes that await you in this now 10-volume set.  Any low-carb cook would be proud to serve the recipes shared by these very talented cook, ……….including famous George Stella!  You can order the entire set or individual volumes at Amazon or here:  http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

2½ lb. cooked fresh pumpkin (DO NOT USE CANNED PUMPKIN.  It’s horrible in this!)

½ c. heavy cream

4 T. butter

¼ tsp. salt

2 T. fresh lime juice

zest of 1 large lime (2 if they are small)

½ c. granular Splenda

1 tsp. maple extract (or 2 T. sugar-free maple syrup)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1-2 chipotle peppers (canned, in adobo sauce) seeded, rinsed & mashed

few drops red food coloring to achieve orange color of sweet potatoes (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Remove stem and cut a small 4-4½ lb. pumpkin in half.  Remove seeds (you can roast them for snacks) and turn cut side down into baking pan.  Fill pan with 1″ water and bake pumpkin at 350º until tender when fork is stuck into it (about 45 minutes).  Remove and cool enough to handle.  Scoop/scrape  the pumpkin flesh out of skin/shell and weigh. Should yield about 2-2½ lb. flesh.  (freeze any overage for future use).  Cool a bit before whipping the pumpkin with an electric mixer, blender or food processor to get it as smooth as possible.  Add all remaining ingredients except chipotle peppers.

For the holidays or very special occasions, I will bake 2 medium sweet potatoes, scoop out flesh, mash and add for richer flavor, but this ups the carbs quite a bit.  When I do this, I reduce the pumpkin by the volume of sweet potato I sub in.  I have not included any sweet potatoes in the numbers below.

These little chipotle peppers (smoked jalapenos) are very HOT, so special handling is recommended.  Either wear plastic gloves (homemade  “sandwich bag gloves” will do) or be sure you wash your hands well after handling.  Take 1 chipotle pepper (about 1½” long) out of the can.  Rinse, and remove seeds and ribs with a knife.  Finely mash into a puree on a flat wooden board or paper plate.  Add to pumpkin mixture, stir well and taste to see if this is hot enough for you.  You don’t want to get this dish too hot.  A little tingle on the tongue is what you’re looking for.

If you want even more smoky taste or a hotter dish, carefully repeat ½ pepper at a time, re-tasting after each addition.   If you add pepper in stages like this, you won’t ever ruin the whole batch getting it too hot (I did one time).  Never forget that not everyone at your dinner table or social occasion will like things as hot as others.

Stir well and pour into buttered ceramic/glass baking dish.  Sprinkle with a dash more cinnamon and bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Serves 8, each serving contains: (using all pumpkin)

114 cals, 7.6g fat, 12g carbs, 4g fiber, 8g net carbs, 2g protein, 121 mg. sodium

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Click to enlarge

Southern “Cornbread” Dressing/Stuffing

I made, baked and froze my Thanksgiving dressing today.  Just have to do those things ahead that do well being frozen.  If you’re looking for a low-carb version of Mom’s cornbread stuffing, you need look no further.  Southern girl that I am, I’m pretty fussy about cornbread dressing!  I had about given up on finding a way to make it with low-carb breads and get MY definition of stuffing heaven. However………. this recipe is a great imitation of cornbread heaven for me.   It will grace your holiday bird, baked chicken, roasted pork or stuffed chops and make you PROUD!  The cornbread brings a slight corn taste to the stuffing (even if made without the corn flavoring!) that none of my previous trials have been able to achieve.  This is so close to my traditional buttermilk cornbread recipe, I’ll never make the higher-carb version again,……………not even for guests!  This can be stuffed in your holiday bird, but I have always preferred the top to get brown and not stuff the bird. 🙂

This recipe is NOT acceptable for Atkins Induction. If you are still in the Induction Phase of Atkins, or on an ultra-low-carb phase of Keto diets, try instead my Induction-friendly Eggplant-Jicama Stuffing.

TIP:  When baking and freezing stuffing ahead, slightly under-cook it so that when it is reheated and browned, it doesn’t dry out too much.

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe of my Jalapeno Cheese Bread

6 oz. chopped onion

6 oz. chopped celery

1 stick unsalted butter (8 T.)

1 c. chopped parsley

4 tsp. Dad’s Poultry Seasoning (or whatever poultry seasoning you prefer)

½ tsp. black pepper

2 c. chicken broth, preferable homemade (best if 1 cup of this is pan juices from your turkey roasting pan)

DIRECTIONS: Cook the cheese bread (omit jalapenos if you prefer, but I don’t) exactly as instructed in that recipe.  When completely cooled, coarsely break it up into a large bowl  Add the parsley and stir. Set aside for now.  When ready to put stuffing together, preheat the oven to 350º.

Melt the butter in a skillet and saute the celery and onion until very tender.  I do NOT like crunchy bits in my stuffing! 🙂  Add the sauteed veggie mixture, butter and all, to the dry ingredients in the bowl.  Add seasonings and finally the broth.  You may have to add more broth if the resulting mixture is not fairly wet (but not soupy).  Stir well to blend all ingredients.  Pour into a buttered 9×13 baking pan or two round pans.  I personally like to drizzle 1-2 T. more melted butter on top, but that isn’t necessary or included in the numbers below. Bake at 350º for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 12 servings (approximately 3/4 c. each).  Each serving contains:

282 calories, 26 g  fat, 7.16 g  carbs, 3.16 g fiber, 4 g NET CARBS, 9.1 g  protein, 190 mg sodium

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Kale & Cabbage (with peppers)

I love braised kale and braised cabbage, but tonight’s creation with the two together was just amazing!  Combining with my ingredient lineup totally changed the flavor profile of BOTH vegetables.  This just might be a good dish to try on those kale and cabbage haters among you, as neither tasted like themselves.  I can’t say enough about how good this colorful, tasty combo is!  This vegetable side is a little carb-y, but all those carbs are in the incredibly nutritious kale and cabbage, so they’re all GOOD carbs!    This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets if you can fit the carbs into your daily allowance.  This recipe is also OK for Primal-Paleo diners.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in each of the 5 volumes! Order your set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

DISCLAIMER: I am not paid for this book promotion nor for the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so merely because they are GREAT cookbooks any low-carb cook would be proud to add to their cookbook collection.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch of kale (about 4 cups stemmed and coarsely cut up)

2 c. cabbage, coarsely cut up

2 oz. yellow onion, sliced

3 oz. bell pepper, cut into medium-sized pieces (your color choice)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Dash black pepper

1 T. Sriracha chili sauce

Water to cover all (I also added 3/4 c. baked ham broth/drippings)

1 T. bacon grease

DIRECTIONS:  Melt the bacon grease over high heat in a large stew pot and saute the onion until caramelized.  Add the stemmed, cut up kale, cabbage and water to cover.  Add bell pepper, salt, pepper and Sriracha sauce.  Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Serve at once.  This broth makes a tasty and nutritious base for soups, so I store mine in containers in my freezer.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 5 servings, each contains:

70 cals, 3.04g  fat, 9.92g carbs, 2.42g fiber, 7.5g NET CARBS, 2.48g protein, 60 mg sodium

 

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We grilled rib-eye steaks last night and I whipped up a delightful avocado dressing for our salad.  It was perfect with our steaks!  It only took 5 minutes to make and really pleased my husband!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets.

Our latest two LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks, Volume 8 and Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included in both editions are a few tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   EARLY BIRD SECRET SALE!!  Special pricing and limited-time free shipping so hurry and place your order.  Or you can order these or any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php.

When you purchase our books, we would sure appreciate you stopping by Amazon to leaving a review. Review here

INGREDIENTS:

1 ripe avocado, skinned, seeded

3 T. sour cream

3 T. my Shawarma Mayonnaise (or other homemade mayo)

1 T. red wine vinegar

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Place all ingredients in small bowl or whipping container for your stick blender.  Blend until smooth.  You can also use a large blender to do this job.  Spoon into a serving dish and slather atop your favorite green salad mix.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings (possibly 5), each of 4 servings contains:

168 cals, 19g fat, 4.42g carbs, 2.97g fiber, 1.45g NET CARBS, 1.5g protein, 102mg sodium

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