Greek Olive Tapenade

Greek Olive Tapenade

This is my take on the olive spread often served with the bread and salad course at Greek Restaurants.  We just love this stuff and it disappears sooooo fast at my house.   Truly addictive flavors here.  I love to  spread it on my Almond-Flax Crackers or my Almond-Arrowroot Crackers for a delicious snack.  Just made a fresh batch this afternoon as we have someone coming to dinner and this makes a great appetizer!  🙂  Other ways to use this tasty spread:   stuffed inside slit chicken breasts before baking along with a dab of Boursin or cream cheese, spread on top of broiled fish filets when serving, atop tomato slices for a unique salad, or with a little more oil and balsamic vinegar, it’s great as a Greek salad dressing!  This recipe is Induction friendly.    

INGREDIENTS:

6 oz. pitted black olives (I use a mixture of canned black olives & kalamata olives)

1 small clove minced garlic

¼ c. olive oil

2 T. chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS:  Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until uniformly coarse texture, smooth but not reduced to a paste.  You want it very finely chopped.  You can pulse in a blender if you do not have a food processor.  Serve with your favorite low-carb crackers or Greek bread (for those not on Atkins).

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes about 3/4 cup or serves 6, each 2 T. serving contains:

111.5 cals, 11.7g fat, 2.2g carbs, 1g fiber, 1.2g NET CARBS, 0.4g protein, 200 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

Creamed Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

We low carbers love our creamed spinach.  But did you ever think about creaming Brussels Sprouts?  Well I gave it a try and I’m so glad I did.  It took this vegetable that I’m not terribly fond of to a totally different realm.  My husband said “Be SURE to put this one on your blog!”  It was not only rich and creamy, but the bit of Parmesan, bacon and onion all took this one over the top for this non-fan!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal blueprint.  The dairy makes it unsuitable for Paleo, however.

INGREDIENTS:

3 thick slices bacon, chopped coarse

4 oz. red onion (or yellow), chopped coarsely

1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts (or frozen could be used)

2 oz. cream cheese

½ c. heavy cream

2 T. Parmesan grated cheese

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Cut stems off sprouts and slice each into ½” slices.  Place in ceramic dish with 1/2″ water and microwave 1 minute, stir and then 1 min. longer.  Remove from microwave (all water will be evaporated, or drain off any left).  Set aside.  In a skillet over high heat fry bacon until browning.  Add onion and saute until tender.  Lower heat and add cream cheese to melt and blend in evenly.  Add cream.  Now toss in sprouts and toss gently.  Grease the baking dish you used before.  Pour the sprout mixture into the dish.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.  Pop the dish into a 350º oven and bake 15 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each contains:

154 cals, 11.8g fat, 8.85g carbs, 3.06g fiber, 5.79g NET CARBS, 7.3g protein, 121 mg sodium

Artichoke Salad

Italian Artichoke Salad

We are very fond of salads, especially with grilled meats.  I’m digging out one of my older salad recipes to have with our grilled steaks tonight.  This low-carb, low-cal number is both tasty and filling.  It takes just minutes to make and I think your family will enjoy it!  You can use pitted calamata olives here if you prefer.  This is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, and Primal-Paleo as well.

INGREDIENTS:

1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained

15 pitted black olives (or calamata olives)

1 Roma plum tomato, cut up into chunks (use 2 if they are pretty small)

5 fresh basil leaves, torn into several pieces

Dash of granulated garlic or minced dried onion

¼ tsp. your favorite Italian Seasonings (I use Victoria Gourmet’s Sicilian Seasoning)

Dash each salt and black pepper

1 T. a good balsamic vinaigrette

1 T. good quality extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:  Open and drain the artichoke hearts.  Add them to a medium bowl. You can cut them in halves if you prefer (I did).  In a small dish, add the olive oil to the vinaigrette and stir.  Add the seasonings and stir once more.  Now add the cut-up tomato and olives to the artichokes.  Stir to mix.  Tear the basil leaves into small bits and add.   Add the vinaigrette mixture, toss lightly and chill for 1 hour.  Serve as a side salad or as an entree.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 side servings, each contains:  (if serving as an entree, serves 2 with double the numbers below in each)

101 cals, 7.8g fat, 7.6g carbs, 3.55g fat, 4.05g NET CARBS, 2.2g protein, 34 mg sodium (more if using calamata olives)

Blue Crab Stuffing

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I haven’t cooked this in years!  I picked up a carton of crab meat at the store today so I could make it for dinner tonight.  This is the crab stuffing I developed while I lived on Galveston Island in the 70’s and 80’s.   My recipe was inspired by the crab stuffing served at Gaido’s Seafood restaurant on Galveston seawall. One of my favorite items on their menu.  Best I’ve ever eaten, bar none. But this one I created is pretty darn close! It’s so easy to prepare and is always a hit with dinner guests! If you have access to fresh crab meat, I highly recommend this dish as an entree or use it to stuff baked flouder or other fish of choice.

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

Kale-Orange-Walnut Salad

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I bought a lovely bunch of kale at the store today and decided rather than cook it all, I’d like a salad with part of it for my leftover BBQ Brisket tonight.  Since kale is a bit strong to me, I like to add a bit of fruit to round it out for salads.  It does that so nicely!  The earthy taste of the walnuts and walnut oil playing off the taste of orange are what make this for me.  This salad is delicious alone, butis also delightful with boiled or grilled shrimp, or any meats and seafood as well.

This recipe is not suitable until you reach the the higher fruit level of the Atkins OWL carb ladder (Phase 3).  It is perfectly OK for Ketogenic diets (although you may want to use lower-carb berries rather than oranges).  It is also suitable for Primal and Paleo as well.

BASE SALAD:

1½ oz. kale leaves, stems removed, sliced thinly  (this was 2 large leaves for me)

With red onion.

2 oz. raw onion, sliced thinly (only had white on hand, but red onion is better)

½ oz. walnuts, coarsely broken apart  (about 7 halves)

2   ½”-slices of orange, cut into thirds

VARIATION:  Add some peeled, sliced jicama to the salad.  It is VERY good in this recipe!

ORANGE VINAIGRETTE:

1 medium orange (use leftover part for a nice Pimm’s Cup!)  🙂

2 T. walnut oil (important not to substitute other oils here)

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

2 T. orange juice (fresh squeezed)

Dash each salt and coarse black pepper

Dash garlic powder (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Cut the orange in half across the segments.  Peal one half of the orange with your knife.  Cut away 2 slices about the size of two large sections and cut the two into about 6 bite-sized pieces.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, squeeze out 2 tablespoons of orange juice from the uncut half.  To the orange juice, add the walnut oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and if using, the garlic powder.  Stir and set aside.

Remove the tough stems from the kale.  Wash and dry the leaves.  Julienne slice the kale (thinly) and place into a medium salad serving bowl (unless you plan to plate the salads individually). In that case, you can use any old bowl large enough to toss this in.  Add the thinly sliced onion, walnuts and pieces of orange.  Place the bowl of greens and fruit in your refrigerator until ready to serve.

Right before serving, pour the orange vinaigrette over the greens and toss well to coat.  If you wish to plate it, place half the salad onto each of two individual serving plates. Garnish with a slice of orange if desired.  I didn’t have any tonight, but a sprinkle of pomegranate kernels would be delicious as well as pretty on this salad.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains:

206 calories, 18.4 g  fat, 9.85 g carbs, 3.20 g  fiber, 6.65 g  NET CARBS, 2.3 g protein, 90 mg sodium

Roasted Summer Vegetables

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This dish is incredibly easy to pull together and is exceptionally good with charcoal grilled meats.  Tonight I’m serving this with grilled pork loin chops.  I have even been known to cook this veggie dish in a grilling basket right on the grill with the meat!  Honestly, it’s even BETTER that way!   I’ve also used Chachere’s salt-free Cajun Seasoning in this, which is good, but not quite as good as the Seafood Blend (similar to Emeril’s spice mix).  I also like this dish made with my Chicken Shawarma Spice Blend.  No matter which spice you decide to try on this dish, it always elicits a MmmMmmmMmmm response from dinner guests.  If you don’t like very spicy food, reduce spice to 1T.  Atkins Induction friendly recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium yellow squash cut in 1″ chunks (or zucchini is OK)
1 small eggplant (about 10-12 oz) cut in ½” slices, then cut those in quarters
4 plum tomatoes cut into quarters
1 green, yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and cut in 1″ chunks
1 red bell pepper seeded and cut in 1″ chunks
1 purple onion cut into ½” wedges, layers separated
12 cloves garlic (entire bulb, cloves peeled but left whole)
1-2 Tbsp. Chicken Shawarma Spice blend or my Cajun Seafood Spice Blend
¼ tsp. each salt & black pepper

Splash of extra virgin olive oil (I like to use more personally)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 450º.  Cut up all veggies and place in large mixing bowl.  Drizzle olive oil over all and stir well to coat all veggies with oil and seasonings.  Toss to try and coat all veggies with oil.  Pour into glass casserole pan and bake at 450º for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 6, each serving contains:

107 cals, 7.08g fat, 11.6g carbs, 3.3g fiber, 3g protein, 103mg. sodium, 7.3g NET CARBS

Boursin Bacon Brussels Sprouts

I’ve finally found a way to prepare Brussels sprouts that I really like.  I think the key was to cook them in the microwave instead of steaming or boiling them.  They came out so mild…….not bitter, or chemical tasting at all!  And the Boursin soft cheese gave them a nice flavor layer to complement the bacon topper.  In my grocery store, the Boursin is usually near the deli with the other specialty cheeses.  You’re talkin’ to a Brussels sprouts hater here, so all you sprouts haters be sure to try these sometime.  You’ll be amazed how much milder they are than steamed or boiled sprouts.  And the green color is preserved cooking them in the microwave!

INGREDIENTS:

10 fresh Brussels sprouts (cut larger ones in half)

3-4 T. water

Dash each salt and black pepper

2 T. Boursin “Garlic Herb and Chive” soft cheese (more if you like)

3 thick slices bacon, chopped 1″ and browned

DIRECTIONS:  Cut tiny bit off sprouts stems.  Cut larger sprouts in half lengthwise.  Place them in a ceramic or glass dish.  Add the water and microwave for 2 minutes, stir and microwave 2 more minutes.  While they are cooking, brown the bacon in a skillet and drain on paper toweling.  Remove sprouts from microwave and stir the Boursin cheese gently into the sprouts to melt.  Don’t be too rough here or the sprouts may fall apart on you.  Top with bacon crisps and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

221 cals, 18.3g fat, 9.05g carbs, 3.6g fiber, 5.45g NET CARBS, 13.2g protein, 321 mg sodium

Kale Mango Mint Salad

This colorful little salad came out yummy at dinner last night!  I would have rather used walnuts, but was out, so I made do with pecans.  They were good, but will use walnuts next time.  The onion and garlic tang along with the mint in the dressing are what pull this mango delight together in the flavor department.  This takes minutes to prepare and your family will love you for making them one of these salads.  Just increase the ingredients for the number of servings you need.  This recipe is for just one salad.  This recipe is not suitable until you get nearly to goal weight, as the mango is carb-y.  Strawberries could be subbed in for the mango to pull this down in carbs.

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

1 cup curly kale, stemmed & torn into small pieces

1 oz. mango, peeled and chopped

1 oz. jicama, peeled and chopped

1 tsp. onion slivers (I used red onion)

5 walnut or pecan halves, broken in half again

GARLIC MINT DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

½ clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. dried mint (or 2 tsp. fresh chopped)

Dash each salt and black pepper

VARIATION:   Substitute 2 sliced strawberries for the mango to lower carbs.  You could also sub in roasted sunflower seeds roasted pumpkin seeds for the walnuts/pecans.

DIRECTIONS:  Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Set aside to make the base salad.  Stem kale and cut up the leafy part coarsely (not too fine or it’s more difficult to eat with your fork.  Place on service plate.  Peel mango and chop into small bites.  Add mango to greens.  Cut off about 1 oz. jicama, peel and chop into bite-size bits.  Add on top of greens evenly.  Sliver the thinnest possible bits of  (preferably red) onion and sprinkle on top.  Add broken nuts halves and drizzle salad dressing on top.  Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 1 individual salad which contains:

245 cals, 19.2g fat, 17.8g carbs, 4.2g fiber, 13.6g NET CARBS, 3.5g protein, 190mg sodium

Portobello Mushrooms in Wine Sauce

I just realized this evening (we grilled ribeyes for dinner) that I have never posted my mushroom recipe on the site before! Oh, my! I don’t know how I could forget this favorite. They’re simple to prepare and ready in 5-10 minutes! I usually start these when the steaks go out to the hot charcoal fire. Omit the red wine and use ½ c. more beef stock if you are still on Atkins Induction.

Whenever I make a chuck roast or oven-baked brisket, I always save all the broth and freeze it in 1/2 c. blocks for just such quick recipes. You can use canned broth, but your final dish won’t be quite as tasty.

INGREDIENTS:

2 large portobello mushrooms

3 T. butter

1 large clove garlic, minced

½ c. rich beef stock

¼-½ c. dry red wine (I usually use Merlot or Cabernet)

Dash each sea salt and coarse black peppper

Optional: chopped parsley to garnish

DIRECTIONS: Wipe any dirt off mushrooms with a paper towel. Never rinse mushrooms in water else it will bleed into your sauces! Chop mushrooms into 1″ chunks. You can scoop out the gills if you like, but frankly, I never bother. Melt butter in skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and minced garlic to the pan and sauté a few minutes or until they begin to look translucent. Add wine and beef stock and simmer a few minutes longer or until ‘shrooms are done. 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes two 3/4 c. servings, each contains:

232 cals, 19g fat, 7.4g carbs, 2.7g fiber, 4.7g NET CARBS, 6.5g protein, 93 mg sodium

Baked Sweet Potato Halves

Mom's Favorite

My mom just loved baked sweet potatoes with nothing but butter on them.  Me, I like to dress them up with a hint of cinnamon and a hint of brown sugar.  So I have blended her favorite way to cook them along with mine for this creation.  This method of preparation is effortless, fast and you can make a lot of them for a crowd at one time using a larger baking pan!   I just love to have any leftover halves for breakfast the next day, dotted with more butter and cinnamon. 🙂  Shown above with pork chop and delicious kale with bacon.  But tonight, I’m serving these potatoes with some baked ham leftover from the holidays.

Now sweet potatoes aren’t something a low-carber should be eating daily, mind you, but I have a couple left in the house from the Holidays, so I’m springing for higher carbs to finish them off.  Sweet potatoes are so nutritious and have a fiber deduction on the carb count as well, something white potatoes can’t really boast about.  These are not suitable until you are in Pre-Maintenance or have reached goal weight.  Added note:  these are wonderful with baked fish, pork, ham, BBQ beef or JUST BY THEMSELVES!

INGREDIENTS:  

1    medium 6-oz sweet potato, washed

2 T. melted butter

1/8-¼ tsp. cinnamon (I use Vietnamese cinnamon from Penzey’s)

OPTIONAL:  few drops maple extract stirred into the melted butter for brown sugar flavor

DIRECTIONS:  Wash potato and cut tips off each end.  Cut in half lengthwise.  Turn oven on to 400º.  Melt the butter in pan as the oven preheats, right in your metal baking pan. Remove pan from oven and stir in the cinnamon and maple extract, if using.   Now rub the cut side of the potato in the cinnamon-y butter.  With cut side of the potatoes still down, place pan back in oven and bake at 400º for about 30 minutes (longer for larger potatoes).  When a knife tip can be inserted easily, they are done.  Remove, serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

175 calories, 11.5 g  fat, 17.35 g carbs, 2.7 g fiber, 14.6 g  NET CARBS, 1.54 g  protein, 48 mg sodium

Ranch® Buttermilk Salad Dressing (or dip)

Ranch Buttermilk Dressing
Ranch Buttermilk Dressing

Ranch Dip for Veggie Tray
Ranch Dip for Veggie Trays

I finally came up with a low-carb version of Ranch® Dressing for my husband, who just loves it on salads.  I think my version tastes better than what is sold in the bottle (which I actually don’t like).  No unhealthy ingredients in mine, either.

I’m not too fond of dill, so I tend to reduce it in most recipes.  But my husband LOVES dill and likes more in recipes, thus the range of dill shown in the Ranch® Powder recipe linked below.  I basically used equal amounts of the herbs I selected except the dill and thyme.  A tablespoon of thyme would have been waaaaay too much!   This dressing is super yummy!  Try it and see if you don’t agree it’s even better than the famous bottled stuff!  As you well know, this also makes an excellent dip for raw vegetable party trays.  All you have to do for the dip is increase the sour cream to make it thicker.  You’ll have to recalculate carbs to add in the extra sour cream.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. homemade mayonnaise

3/4 c. sour cream (add ¼ c. more if using as a veggie dip)

¼ c. buttermilk (only 2 T. if using as a veggie dip)

1 T. my Ranch Dressing Powder Blend

2 tsp. red wine vinegar

1/8 tsp. salt

OPTIONAL:  1/8 tsp. glucomannan powder if you like a thicker dressing

DIRECTIONS:  Measure the first 3 ingredients into a medium bowl.  Whisk well to blend to a smooth mixture.  Add my Ranch Dressing Powder Blend, vinegar and salt and whisk a couple minutes until the herb mixture is thoroughly blended in.  If using the glucomannan thickener, whisk it in last.  Transfer to a saved empty plastic dressing bottle (I always keep and wash them for homemade dressings) if you have one, or a lidded jar.  Close tightly and chill.  Serve on crisp green salads or as a dip for raw veggies.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes two cups or eight ¼ c. servings, each contains:

251 calories, 26.8 g  fat, 1.81 g carbs, 0.1 g  fiber, 1.71 g  NET CARBS, 1.72 g  protein, 66 mg sodium

Sherry-Pecan-Bacon Stuffing

wild-rice-stuffing-horiz-a-1600

It’s getting close to the holiday feast so I will be posting some of my favorite holiday recipes over the next few weeks.  This particular stuffing is a low-carb modification of famed Chef James Beard’s wild rice stuffing I’ve been making for many, many years.  It is outstanding with venison, wild game, roasted chicken or turkey.  This year I’m serving it with duck we’re marinating & grilling outside.  Mmmmm!   The inspirational recipe is made with 2 cups of cooked wild rice, so clearly not for those still in Atkins Induction. However those in Atkins maintenance who can eat such things, could certainly make this using a quality wild rice.  Admittedly, these modifications make my low-carb version a little different, but not so much as you might think.  I sometimes compromise and use half bread cubes with half wild rice and I get the best of both worlds without too many carbs for a once-a-year treat.  🙂

This dish is not acceptable before the grains rung of OWL as written.  You could sub in a Muffin in a Minute toasted for the Artisan Flatbread and have this at the nut rung of OWL. I do not stuff my turkeys, but prefer to bake my stuffing in a separate pan so the top can get toasty.  The toasting of the sherry-soaked bread cubes  is essential to the  overall taste and texture of this dish.  When I was in high school, I’d always pick those out and eat them, as I carried the dish to the dining room table.  Annoyed my mother to no end.  But they were sooooo good!  A lush at 17, yet ironically I hardly drink at all as an adult.  I DO cook with wine a great deal, however.

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. sweet onion, chopped

½ stick unsalted butter

1 lg. stalk celery, chopped

2 c. jicama, peeled and grated

¼ c. parsley, chopped

½ c. pecan halves

4 slices bacon, coarsely chopped, cooked and drained

¼ tsp. dried tarragon

¼-½ black pepper

2 c. Artisan Flatbread, cubed and toasted (or 1 c. bread + 1 c. cooked wild rice)

4 T. sherry

HOLIDAY VARIATION:  Add a few dried, sugar-free cranberries or mushrooms to the stuffing

DIRECTIONS:  Make Artisan bread per that recipe’s instructions in a 13×15″ pan.  Cool and cut into 12 “slices”.  It should take two slices to produce the required 2c. of cubes. Put remaining slices into a gallon zip-lock bag and store your refrigerator for sandwiches or whatever.  BTW this makes great bread for serving with Italian foods.  It keeps very well in the fridge, too.  Toast the 2 c. of cubes on the same pan in your oven, stirring several times as they dry out and get toasty.

Coarsely chop up and fry bacon in a skillet. If you have one, doing this in a large wok will eliminate the need to transfer to a large bowl later (saves on dirty dishes).   Drain bacon on paper towels.  Pour off grease for another use.  Now melt butter in same skillet/wok and saute the onion and celery until tender.  Next add grated jicama and continue to saute until jicama is tender.  Add parsley, tarragon and pepper and stir well.  Turn off heat and pour mixture into a large bowl, if required, to facilitate stirring.  Mix sherry with water.  Bunch the bread cubes together on their baking sheet  and drizzle the sherry water  over them, tossing once, trying to be sure each cube gets a bit of the liquid and that all liquid is absorbed.    Now add the bread cubes and pecans to the veggie mixture and give it a final stirring to blend all ingredients.

Grease a large casserole dish with butter and pour dressing into the pan.  If you can afford the calories, dot with 2 T. butter.  Bake at 350º for about 20-30 minutes until bread cubes on top are toasted a bit.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 6, each serving contains:

230 calories, 20g  fat, 6.17g  carbs, 2.67 g  fiber, 3.5g NET CARBS, 4.6g  protein, 195 mg. sodium

Shrimp-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

¼ c. olive oil

1 T. unsalted butter

2 medium green onions, chopped

8 large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped

2 oz. cream cheese

1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Dash each salt & pepper

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

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

1 T. more butter

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 10 pieces, each contains:

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

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

 

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Another holiday classic, the ever-popular green bean casserole!  And now you can have it low-carb!   My husband thinks this is even better than the original fried onion-topped version I made for years.  So this is the only way I make it now.

I owe many thanks to Jennifer Eloff for her foundation topping recipe:  Casserole Topping, to which I made a few additions.  I finally got around to trying it, Jen, and it really does work with cheese and bake mix!  I had visions of it sinking down into the bean mixture during baking, but it didn’t!  I added even more crunch with the addition of a few pork rinds, which I couldn’t even taste in the final casserole.  🙂

I also used homemade, Low-Carb Condensed Cream of Mushrooom Soup (scroll down the page) for this dish, which I adore for so many things now.  If you haven’t tried it yet, you simply MUST!    This delicious recipe is not suitable until you have gotten to Atkins Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance because of the grain in the bake mix.  Sub in coconut flour in the mix if you avoid grains.

INGREDIENTS:

3 c. frozen green beans, regular or French style

½ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s low-carb, homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

1  6-oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained (about ½ c.)

Dab olive oil to grease dish

1 recipe crumble topping (see below)

CRUMBLE TOPPING:

½ c. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

1/3 c. Jennifer Eloff’s Splendid Low Carb Bake Mix

2 T. cold unsalted butter

10 medium pork rinds

1 T. toasted, dehydrated (or fresh) shallots

¼ tsp. my Cajun Seafood Spice Blend

1 T. hemp hearts (optional, adds a nutty flavor)

DIRECTIONS:  Oil a 2-qt. baking dish.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Place defrosted beans (uncooked), soup and mushrooms in a large bowl and toss well to coat.  Scrape the mixture into your lightly oiled baking dish.

To make topping, toss all ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to make a crumbly mixture.  Sprinkle topping over the green bean mixture and pop into 350º oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 5 servings, each contains:

237 calories, 18.3 g fat, 9.52 g carbs, 3.32 g fiber, 6.2 g NET CARBS, 10.3 g protein, 294 mg sodium

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 and friend’s cookbook series, LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.   I hope you’ll take a look on their Facebook page to see a sampling of the types of 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 famed George Stella (and a sprinkling of mine as well)!  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 IMO!)

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)

VARIATION:  For very special occasions and holidays, I sometimes reduce the fresh pumpkin in these and add 2 small, “real” sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed for a more authentic recipe that comes even closer to the original recipe. 

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 wall flesh 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, adding just 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

Smoked Gouda Cauliflower

Smoked gouda Cauliflower

I’m making this to go with some baked chicken tonight and thought I’d re-share one of my all-time most popular recipes on the blog here.  It remains a favorite in our household.

This recipe was inspired by one in Dana Carpender’s 500 Low-Carb Recipes. Most people do not cook cauliflower casseroles with this particular cheese as it doesn’t melt easily (why it is mixed into the dish here rather than being spread on top).  But once it DOES eventually melt, it truly transforms the ordinary into  the sublime.  In my opinion, it is the smoked Gouda that truly sets this dish apart from all the other cauliflower casseroles I have ever eaten.  I served it to my brother, who was once an executive chef at Top of the Mark in San Francisco and he RAVED about it!  It’s Atkins Induction friendly, too!

NOTE:  I have finally tried this with frozen cauliflower, and although I personally prefer the incredible flavor with this made from the fresh cut vegetable, the flavor tonight was still good, made with frozen cauliflower, just noticeably a little little softer/mushier result in my honest opinion.  But I WOULD not hesitate to use frozen if that’s all I had on hand.  🙂

This recipe appears in Volume 1 of Low Carbing Among Friends (click for more) by best-selling author Jennifer Eloff and other talented chefs.  You can order Vol. 1 or the entire set from here or at Amazon.com.  These cookbooks are filled with easy, gluten-free, tasty low-carb creations by a group of very talented cooks. GET YOURS TODAY!

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium large head cauliflower

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 oz. smoked Gouda cheese, grated

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

Dash salt

Optional:  chopped chives or green onion to top

DIRECTIONS: Cut up cauliflower into manageable pieces and boil or steam until tender.  Drain off any water and mash the chunks up slightly with a fork (do not puree, however).   Stir in softened cream cheese until it is melted and blended well.  Grease glass casserole dish and spoon half the cauliflower mixture in.  Sprinkle with half the grated smoked Gouda.  Spoon remaining cauliflower into dish and top with rest of Gouda cheese.   Sprinkle with just a dash of salt, as the cheese has a lot of sodium.  If you are sodium sensitive, I wouldn’t add ANY salt.   Sometimes I add some chopped chives or green onion to the top, but this is not in the nutritional info below.  Bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 6, each serving contains:  (you may get up to 8 servings and that will lower the net carbs even more)

190.3 cals, 15.22g fat, 6.17g carbs, 2.4g fiber, 3.77g NET CARBS, 8.77g protein, 312 mg  sodium

Broiled Shawarma Tomatoes

broiltomato

I did my broiled tomatoes a bit different last time.  I added some of my homemade shawarma mayo in lieu of the crushed pork rinds on top.  Came out VERY tasty this way!  This dish is nice with baked or broiled seafood and it pairs nicely with grilled steak.  This recipe is also good cooked on top of a bed of fresh spinach that was first sauteed in butter, for an even more nutrient-dense  dish!

VARIATION:  Omit the mayo and spice blend, sprinkle some oregano and crushed pork rinds on the tops before baking for an Italian version.

INGREDIENTS:

4 large Roma tomatoes (or 5 small), sliced 1/2″ thick

¼ c. my homemade mayo

½ tsp. Shawarma Spice Blend

1/3 c. green onion, finely chopped

¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

Pinch salt and black pepper

2 tsp. olive oil (to grease pan)

DIRECTIONS: Slice tomatoes about ½” thick.  Place on non-stick pan oiled with the 2 tsp. olive oil.  These tend to stick badly, even on Teflon, thus the oil.  Next, stir the spice blend into the mayo and brush each slice with seasoned mayo.   Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.   Next sprinkle the chopped green onion over all.  Finish with the Parmesan cheese.  Broil until bubbly and browning or bake at 350º for about 20 minutes until they begin to get tender.  Don’t cook these too long as the natural sugar tends to make them burn fast.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 4, each serving contains:

190 calories, 17.7 g  fat, 3.53 g  carbs, 1.28 g  fiber, 2.25 NET CARBS, 7.03 g  protein, 125 mg sodium

 

Boursin-Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

I’ve done shrimp-stuffed mushrooms, herb-stuffed mushrooms, sausage-stuffed mushrooms, but last night I decided to do just a simple, rich herb-Boursin cheese filling.  Yummers!  These so “dressed up” a simple beef pattie dinner.  A side of fresh green beans was the perfect complement.  These would make great party snacks, using smaller mushrooms, of course.  This recipe is certainly a keeper for us as we love Boursin cheese!  And these gems have 30%-55% RDA of 11+ vital vitamins and minerals, so they are very nutritious for your family!  Best of all, they’re suitable for all you folks still on Atkins Induction!

INGREDIENTS:

6 large button mushrooms

2 T. olive oil + 2 T. unsalted butter

¼ c. chopped parsley

1 large green onion, chopped fine

1/8 tsp. each black and cayenne pepper

4 T. Boursin or Alouette “Garlic & Herb” soft cheese

1 slice low-carb bread or roll (I used this focaccia), crumbled

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Wipe clean and stem the mushrooms.  I saved the stems for some other use.  You can, of course, chop them up, saute and add to the filling mixture, but in doing so, you may not get all the filling into the mushroom cavities when stuffing.

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  With a brush, coat the outsides and insides of the mushrooms and set on baking pan.  To the remaining oil in the skillet, add the parsley, green onion, black and cayenne pepper.  Saute for a couple minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in the cheese to melt and blend.  Fold the bread crumbles into the mixture last and blend well.  Using a spoon, fill each mushroom cavity with 1/6 the filling, forcing it down well in the hole and allowing it to mound slightly.  If you have leftover filling, grab a 7th mushroom and fill it!  That will lower the numbers below a bit.  Pop pan into 350º oven and back around 25 minutes until mushrooms appear done and topping is slightly brown on top as shown above.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 stuffed mushrooms, each one contains:

128 cals, 12.4g fat, 2.2g carbs, 0.7g fiber, 1.5g NET CARBS, 3g protein, 78 mg sodium

 

Creamy Broccoli and Mushrooms

Creamy Broccoli and Mushsrooms

This dish is a variation on a broccoli dip a friend of many years often served at parties.  I didn’t chop my broccoli as fine as she did, and there was no cheese in her dip.  Mine instead is made with a delicious low-carb soup.  The flavor was so memorable I decided to try and reproduce it as a vegetable side dish today.  It came out delicious!  Just as good as her dip, maybe even better with my addition of cheese!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets but not acceptable for Primal or Paleo.

VARIATIONS:  Add 1 c. cooked leftover chicken or 1 cup cooked shrimp for a complete meal.  You can also substitute fresh coked green beans for the broccoli.

INGREDIENTS:

½ bunch broccoli, stems and flowerettes cut into medium chunks (about 3 cups)

1 oz. onion, chopped

6 large mushrooms, sliced (or a 4-oz can sliced mushrooms, drained)

1 T. olive oil

½ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

½ c. shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

¼ c. heavy cream

Dash black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Lightly grease a medium casserole or vegetable dish and set aside. Make a recipe of the mushroom soup.  You will only use half of it for this recipe.  The remaining soup should be reserved for some other use.  It will keep a week in the refrigerator.  Chop and steam the broccoli over water or in your microwave just until tender crisp.  Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and brown the onion and mushrooms until nearly tender.   Turn off heat.    Toss the broccoli into the skillet and toss lightly.  Stir the cream into the soup mixture and blend well.   Spoon it over the broccoli-mushroom mixture, add the cheese and stir gently with a spoon to mix. Sprinkle with black pepper and bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 4 servings, each contains: (does not include optional meat)

215.5 calories, 18.35 g  fat, 7 g  carbs, 2.22 g  fiber, 4.78 g  NET CARBS, 6.45 g  protein, 348 mg sodium

Asparagus with Bacon and Onion

Click to enlarge

I’ve always steamed or roasted my fresh asparagus, but sometimes I just saute it.  It is marvelous done this way!  By adding the smoky taste of bacon and the sweet edge of caramelized onion it takes an already delicious vegetable to a whole new flavor level.  Each ingredient enhances the other!  This side dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Paleo-Primal diners as well.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch of fresh asparagus (mine had 20 stalks in it)

2 oz. yellow onion, sliced

4 slices low-sodium bacon, sliced

Dash each salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Break the bottom ½” or so off the asparagus stems off. Cut in 2″ long pieces, separating out the tips for shorter cooking time. Brown the bacon in a non-stick skillet.  Remove and drain bacon bits on paper toweling. Add the onion and saute in the bacon grease until it begins to brown and caramelize.  Add the 2″ stem pieces (holding out the tip pieces for now).  Saute for 2-3 minutes or until stems are tender crisp.  Add the tip pieces and saute just until the tips are tender crisp as well.  Pour all into a serving dish and top with the browned bacon.  You can add the bacon to the skillet and toss before plating if you prefer.  I served this alongside some tender oven-roasted grass-fed beef brisket and a lovely tomato-olive salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

101 cals, 7.1g fat, 4.98g carbs, 2.22g fiber, 2.76g NET CARBS, 4.8g protein, 133 mg sodium

Eggplant Quiche

Eggplant Quiche

This was one of the earliest recipes I developed when I began low-carbing 11 years ago and it was our lunch once again today.  It is truly delicious if you’re an eggplant fan.  We found that 1/8th of the quiche filled us up nicely with a green salad.  Instead of my Seafood Spice Blend, you could substitute a blend of Italian spices like oregano, basil, and rosemary.  With the crust, this is not Induction-friendly.  But without crust, it is definitely OK for Atkins Induction.

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe “Flour” Pie crust 

10 oz. eggplant, sliced ¼” thick

1 large tomato, sliced thin

2 eggs

¼ c. heavy cream

¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Pinch each of salt, pepper and onion powder

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

VARIATION:  Add some cooked bacon crumbles in a layer in the middle. 

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º.  Place eggplant on non-stick baking sheet and bake 10 minutes on a side.  Bake tomato slices 10 minutes on a side as well. If you are lucky enough to own 2 non-stick sheets, you can do this all at the same time.  Make pie crust as directed in that recipe but take out of oven in about 10 minutes (before edges get brown).   Layer mozzarella cheese, Parmesan, eggplant, tomato, spices onto partially cooked pie crust.  Repeat layers until all eggplant and tomato slices are used up.  In a bowl, beat eggs and cream together and pour evenly over the layered quiche.  Bake at 350º for about 30 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 8 servings, each containing:

193.5 cals, 16g fat, 11.8g carbs, 8.3g fiber, 3.5g NET CARBS, 8.85g protein, 188 mg sodium

Pork & Chorizo Taco Salad

002

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

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz. lean ground pork

2 oz. chorizo sausage, removed from casing and crumbled

Dash ground cumin

¼ tsp. garlic powder

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

1/8 tsp. my Smoky Chipotle Spice blend

2 c. Romaine lettuce, chopped

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

½ c. tomato, chopped

2 slices Monterrey Jack Cheese

½ c. shredded Cheddar Cheese

OPTIONAL:  1 mashed avocado + dash garlic powder

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

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

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

 

 

Southern “Potato” Cakes

Click to enlarge
Southern “Potato” Cakes

We low-carbers know you can’t eat white potatoes on a low-carb plan.  However you can get creative with jicama and other vegetables and get that potato taste when fried.  These “potato” cakes stay crunchy as jicama is quite crunchy even after cooking.  The flavor is VERY close to real potatoes when cooked this way.  This recipe is OK for Induction.  You can also do this with grated, peeled turnip or rutabaga, but recalculate carbs if you change.  When you get to the OWL starchy veggie rung, using rutabaga is the best in these! 🙂  I have since original publishing, added the flax meal and resistant wheat starch.  These are optional, but really improve these in flavor and texture for me and I intend to include them always, so I have included in the nutritional info numbers below.  Those 2 added ingredients only increase net carbs by .17 g and boost calories from 47 to 53 per cake, so that is negligible and well worth the inclusion for what they bring to these “Potato” Cakes.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz jicama, grated (or daikon radish, or turnip, or rutabaga)

1/4 c. onion, grated

1 whole egg + 1 small egg white (I used 2 T. carton egg whites)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

Dash black pepper

2 T. bacon grease, or oil of your choice

1 T. flax meal (optional)

1 T. Resistant wheat starch (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Skin/peel back the brown outer skin of your jicama. Weigh out 12 oz. and grate. Pat out any moisture with paper towels and place grated jicama into a medium bowl.  Add all other ingredients and stir well. Put unused jicama in a ziploc bag in fridge for some other use.  Melt grease/oil in non-stick skillet over high heat.   Using fork or spoon, dip half the mixture into 5 portions onto the hot skillet, spreading it out fairly thin into 2½” patties patties.  Brown nicely on both sides.  I serve with my morning eggs and bacon/sausage or as a dinner side.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Makes 10 potato cakes, each has:

53 cals, 3.55g fat,4.19g carbs, 2.27g fiber,1.92g NET CARBS, 1.39g  protein, 30 mg. sodium

Cheesy “Hash Browns”

Cheese
        Shown with sausage added

We’ve all tasted and love that well-known hash brown casserole.  I certainly see no reason we low-carbing folks can’t still have it even though we can’t eat those real hash browns.  The only changes needed here were substituting cauliflower for the potatoes and a low-carb mushroom soup for commercial soup, thus making it OK for Induction.  This is also great with crumbled, cooked pork sausage on top!  I keep a double batch of this soup made up in my freezer all the time, frozen in plastic drink cups in 1 cup amounts.  It’s awfully convenient to just pop one out and defrost or put it right into the simmering pot.  Here’s my recipe with necessary low-carb changes.  This is Induction friendly, too!  Sometimes I add 1 lb. browned pork sausage to this and turn it into a main dish (as shown above)  No meat is calculated into the nutritional info below, however.  This is such a large recipe I cook a half recipe unless I have company.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c.  finely chopped green onion

1 c.  (4oz) grated cheddar cheese

2 T.  butter melted

1/4  tsp. pepper

1 head fresh cauliflower, cooked & chopped (or 3 10 oz. pkgs. frozen, thawed, drained, coarsely chopped)

1/2 c. sour cream

1 c.  Dottie’s Mushroom Soup for Recipes

OPTIONAL GARNISH:  sprinkle top with paprika before baking

DIRECTIONS:  Thaw the frozen (or cook the fresh) cauliflower & drain well.  Preheat oven to 350º.   If adding sausage, brown it in a skillet.  Mix first 7 ingredients in a bowl and stir in the sausage if using. Spray glass baking dish.  Pour mixture into greased dish and bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until bubbly and “hash browns” are tender but not reduced to mush.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 9   1-cup servings, each has:  (does not include sausage)

190   calories, 15.94 g  fat, 7.36 g  carbs, 2.78 g  fiber, 4.58 NET CARBS, 6.28 g  protein

Spinach Mayonado with Sausage Meatballs

Spinach Mayonado (optional meatballs)

This is essentially a creamed spinach dish, but with a very special cream indeed.  I decided to not stir it altogether as that does not photograph so prettily.  The flavor of this creamy spinach dish will blow you away.  It’s sinfully rich and ever so good!  So good, in fact, I lick every bit of the sauce off the spoon and food processor bowl.  Seriously good eats.

Of course, you can always stir the sauce right into the spinach. It certainly ends up mixed on my plate while eating it.  🙂  To be quite honest, ANY meat, seared chicken breast strips, beef or pork meatballs or smoked sausage would be good alongside (or on top as shown) this extremely nutritious dish.

This recipe is Atkins Induction friendly, as well as being suitable for Keto diets, Primal and Paleo followers as well.

VARIATION:  This makes a great side dish without meat.  In fact, that is the first way I ate it when I created this creamy sauce.

INGREDIENTS:

5 oz. lean pork bulk sausage (I use homemade sausage but any low-carb sausage will do)

6 T. my Shawarma Homemade Mayonnaise

1 avocado

16 oz. bag of frozen, chopped spinach

Water to cover spinach

DIRECTIONS:  Place spinach in large saucepan, cover with water and bring to boil and cook per package directions, about 5 minutes.  When done, drain spinach in strainer pressing out excess water as best you can.  Set aside while you make the rest of the dish.

While spinach is boiling, roll sausage into 6 small meatballs and brown in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, turning and rolling them frequently to brown all sides.  Cook until fully done (about 10-15 minutes, turn off heat remove and drain meatballs on paper towels.

In a bowl of a food processor (or blender), process the avocado with the 6 T. homemade mayo until fairly smooth.  You can also just mash it well with a fork, as it doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth.  Add a few drops of lemon juice (to prevent darkening) and pulse.

Spoon the spinach into your serving dish, Add the thick, creamy mayonado sauce to the top as shown (or stir into the spinach if you prefer) and top with your cooked meatballs.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 3 servings, each contains:

468 cals, 48g fat, 12.03g carbs, 8.66g fiber, 3.37g NET CARBS, 15.2g protein, 453 mg sodium

 

Kashmiri Mushrooms (Hedar)

Kashmiri Mushrooms We love Indian food and they often have a mushroom curry on the buffet table at our favorite Indian restaurants.  This is a recipe I’ve been cooking for some time now.  It was inspired by a recipe I saw in Neerja Matoo’s cookbook  Kashmiri Cooking. I’ve made quite a few changes and below is how I prepare this dish.  This is great with charcoal-grilled beef, lamb, chicken or your favorite curry recipe.  This recipe is Atkins Induction friendly and suitable for Keto diets as well. Use coconut milk for an acceptable Primal-Paleo version.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. mushrooms, wiped and cut into halves (leave whole if small)

2 T. butter, unsalted

2 oz. yellow onion, cut in thin slivers

2 cloves minced garlic

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Pinch black pepper

Pinch turmeric

½ tsp. my Garam Masala spice blend

Pinch Sharwood’s red-label Tandoori Spice (or regular mild curry powder if unavailable)

2 T. chopped fresh cilantro

¼ c. heavy cream

¼ c. chicken or beef broth/bouillon (preferably homemade)

DIRECTIONS: Wipe mushrooms clean of any dirt with a soft, clean dish cloth or paper toweling.  If you wash mushrooms, they do not saute as nicely.  If washed and then stored in the fridge, they will get slimy and rot faster. Remember:  dry mushrooms are delicious mushrooms.  🙂

Halve the mushroom if extremely large, otherwise leave whole.  Set the cleaned mushrooms aside.  Melt butter in a skillet.  Add onion, garlic and spices and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.  Add mushrooms and continue to saute, stirring until mushrooms are done (about 3-4 more minutes).  Lower heat, add bouillon and cream.   Simmer on lowest heat possible to slightly thicken.  Use your favorite plan suitable thickener if still not thick enough for your preference.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 4, each serving contains:  (this only serves 2 for hubby and I, we love it so!) 119 calories 11.5 g  fat 3.45 g  carbs, 0.7 g  fiber, 2.75 g  NET CARBS 1.88 Protein 33.6 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

Creamed Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

We low carbers love our creamed spinach.  But did you ever think about creaming Brussels Sprouts?  Well I did last night and gave it a try!  So glad I did, too, as it took this vegetable to a totally different realm.  My husband said “Be SURE to put this one on your blog!”  It was not only the rich creaminess, but the bit of Parmesan, bacon and onion that took this one over the top!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal blueprint.  The dairy makes it unsuitable for Paleo.

INGREDIENTS:

3 thick slices bacon, chopped coarse

4 oz. red onion (or yellow), chopped coarsely

1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts (or frozen could be used)

2 oz. cream cheese

½ c. heavy cream

2 T. Parmesan grated cheese

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Cut stems off sprouts and slice each into ½” slices.  Place in ceramic dish with 1/2″ water and microwave 1 minute, stir and then 1 min. longer.  Remove from microwave (all water will be evaporated, or drain off any left).  Set aside.  In a skillet over high heat fry bacon until browning.  Add onion and saute until tender.  Lower heat and add cream cheese to melt and blend in evenly.  Add cream.  Now toss in sprouts and toss gently.  Grease the baking dish you used before.  Pour the sprout mixture into the dish.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.  Pop the dish into a 350º oven and bake 15 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each contains:

154 cals, 11.8g fat, 8.85g carbs, 3.06g fiber, 5.79g NET CARBS, 7.3g protein, 121 mg sodium

 

Indian Samosas

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe my Mozzy Dough

1 recipe my ground meat Kheema Matar

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

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

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

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

Boursin Bacon Brussels Sprouts

I’ve finally found a way to prepare Brussels sprouts that I really liked tonight.  I think the key was to cook them in the microwave instead of steaming or boiling them.  They came out so mild…….not bitter, or chemical tasting at all!  And the Boursin soft cheese gave them a nice flavor layer to complement the bacon topper.  In my grocery store, the Boursin is usually near the deli with the other specialty cheeses.  You’re talkin’ to a Brussels sprouts hater here, so all you sprouts haters be sure to try these sometime.  You’ll be amazed how much milder they are than steamed or boiled sprouts.  And the green color is preserved cooking them in the microwave!

INGREDIENTS:

10 fresh Brussels sprouts (cut larger ones in half)

3-4 T. water

Dash each salt and black pepper

2 T. Boursin “Garlic Herb and Chive” soft cheese (more if you like)

3 thick slices bacon, chopped 1″ and browned

DIRECTIONS:  Cut tiny bit off sprouts stems.  Cut larger sprouts in half lengthwise.  Place them in a ceramic or glass dish.  Add the water and microwave for 2 minutes, stir and microwave 2 more minutes.  While they are cooking, brown the bacon in a skillet and drain on paper toweling.  Remove sprouts from microwave and stir the Boursin cheese gently into the sprouts to melt.  don’t be too rough here ot the sprouts may fall apart on you.  Top with bacon crisps and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

221 cals, 18.3g fat, 9.05g carbs, 3.6g fiber, 5.45g NET CARBS, 13.2g protein, 321 mg sodium

 

Tzatziki

Click to enlarge

My late brother, Executive Chef many years ago at Top of the Mark in San Francisco, once said he thought the saucier was the most important chef in the kitchen.  I have always agreed with that assessment.   I have been asked more than once at someone’s house to “please make the gravy” so I think I may be pretty good at that.  I will be re-posting several of my favs this week on the site as they often get lost in the sea of “main attraction” posts.

Tzatziki is a well-known Greek condiment and one I enjoy frequently with several grilled meat entrees.   This Greek food condiment is marvelous with my Middle Eastern/Mediterranean grilled beef or Kubideh lamb kebabs or my Mediterranean Meat Wraps.  It’s also great on tuna, salmon or crab cakes or added to a shawarma gyros sandwich wrap.  I’ve even used this sauce on cucumber-tomato salads as a dressing!  It’s ever so simple to make, too!

NOTE:  Be sure to squeeze out as much water (with hands or clean kitchen towel) from your grated cucumber as possible before combining ingredients or else it will bleed out its water into the sauce and weaken the flavor as well as spoil appearance.  This recipe is not suitable for Induction due to the yogurt, but you could make it with all sour cream and enjoy 2-3 Tbsp.  This sauce is suitable for other Keto diets and Primal Blueprint (occasionally), but not at all Paleo approved due to the yogurt.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large 8-9″ cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated

1 c. Greek yogurt (I personally prefer half yogurt & half sour cream)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T. yellow onion, minced finely

½ tsp. dried dill weed (or 2 sprigs fresh, chopped)

½ tsp. dried mint (or 1 T. fresh, chopped fine)

Dash each salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  At least 1 hour before serving, peel the cucumber.  Cut in half and seed with a spoon.  Grate the cucumber onto paper toweling double thick or even better, place it in a clean cotton woven kitchen towel (not terry cloth, please).  Blot the water away with paper towels or wrap, twist and squeeze it in the kitchen towel to remove all water.  You want to get as much water out as you can.  Add the cucumber to a medium bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients and stir well.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.  If it bleeds out more water, blot it from around the edges with a paper towel, stir and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes about 2 cups or 4 servings (perhaps more depending on how much people eat).  1/4 of the batch contains:

102 calories, 8.1 g  fat, 4.6 g  carbs, .8 g  fiber, 3.8 g  NET CARBS, 3.2 g. protein, 110 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

Shrimp-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

¼ c. olive oil

1 T. unsalted butter

2 medium green onions, chopped

8 large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped

2 oz. cream cheese

1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Dash each salt & pepper

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

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

1 T. more butter

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

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 10 pieces, each contains:

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

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

 

Hummus

Hummus

I made some Middle Eastern Tabouleh Salad recently and wanted a bit of hummus to go along with it.  The flavors are a paired must for me.  Being traditionally made from basically chickpeas, this is far from a low-carbers “safe” food to eat.  But I recently I saw on another WordPress blog Cavewoman Cafe that cauliflower can be used to make hummus, so I pulled out my hummus recipe of many years and tried it.

I really wanted to add just a few chick peas for the flavor boost, but discovered I didn’t have any among my canned goods or cooked in the freezer either.  I thought a moment and remembered I have DO chickpea flour in my pantry.  After all, it’s made from finely ground chickpeas, non?  Hmmmm…..Why not?

So I whipped up a batch of my regular  hummus recipe, subbing cauliflower for chick peas, guessing how much chickpea flour to put in the mix.  Man, this came out not just good, it was to die for!  I honestly couldn’t really tell it apart from the carb-laden variety made with all chickpeas!   This recipe is not suitable until the legumes rung of the OWL ladder.  The bread sticks pictured are made from 1 slice of my focaccia bread

NOTE:  This is not so great leftover in my opinion.  The cauliflower taste comes through much stronger on day 2.  So only make up as much as you think will be consumed completely the day it is made.

INGREDIENTS: 

16 oz. cauliflower

2 T. tahini paste (sesame seed butter)

2 T. chickpea flour (or ¼ c. cooked chickpeas. mashed up well)

1 T. fresh lemon juice

½ clove garlic, minced

dash salt

1 T. olive oil (for the hummus mixture)

¼ c. olive oil for top garnish

Dash paprika for garnish

parsley sprig to garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:   Steam cauliflower over boiling water until tender.  Lift out of pot and put into food processor.  Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT the ¼ c. olive oil, paprika and parsley sprig.  Blend until smooth.  Scrape out onto serving dish.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Drizzle with ¼ c. olive oil, allowing some to pool around the edges.  Garnish with sprig of parsley (or chopped) and serve with your favorite low-carb breadsticks or crackers.  I personally love this stuff best when served with Tabouleh Salad and black or kalamata olives.  The flavors are wonderful together!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes about 2 cups or around five servings.  Each serving contains:

196 calories

17.76 g  fat

8.04 g  carbs, 3.16 g fiber, 4.88 g NET CARBS

3.46 g  protein

Asian Cabbage Salad

001

I love this hearty lunch salad recipe in the summertime!  So easy to throw together without heating up the kitchen.  I used Tahini (ground sesame seed paste) in the dressing when I made this originally.  It is very good in it.  But since many people don’t always have tahini on hand, I have calculated the nutritional info below without the tahini.  Remember tahini (sesame seeds) are not acceptable until OWL phase of Atkins plan). 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!  :).

Our LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks are selling fast! What are you waiting for? Volume 8, 9 and 10 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes! Included are some tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff. Special complete set pricing going on right now. Hurry and place your order today for one or more of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/sale.php or at Amazon. After your book(s) arrive, and you’ve had a chance to try a recipe or two, do stop by and leave a review at Amazon here.  Remember, I participate in this venture without pay by personal choice.  But these are definitely cookbooks worthy of adding to your ongoing cookbook collection.

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

Spinach Gratin

I worked up a delicious air fryer pork chop recipe tonight and created what turned out to be a very tasty cheesy spinach side dish to have along with the chops.  Both got a resounding thumbs up from the hubs.  I really liked both dishes, too.  I will be posting the pork recipe shortly, so stay tuned.  This simple to make spinach recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto programs.  Primal Blueprint folks can enjoy it but it is not suitable for Paleo with the cheeses.

INGREDIENTS:

4 tsp. bacon grease or butter

1 oz. yellow or red onion, chopped

½ c. drained canned sliced mushrooms (or 3-4 fresh, sliced thin)

16 oz. frozen chopped spinach, cooked in water per package instructions

1 oz. cream cheese

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (part skim)

1 Roma tomato, sliced

OPTIONAL:  1-2 T. grated Parmesan cheese to top

DIRECTIONS:  Cook spinach per package instructions and drain well in a sieve, pressing out water with the back of a spoon.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350º.   In a skillet, melt the bacon grease over high heat.  Saute chopped onion until tender.  Add mushrooms and saute a couple minutes as well.  Add spinach and cream cheese and stir mixture until cheese is melted.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add mozzarella shreds and stir just until incorporate shreds evenly.  Remove from heat.  Top decoratively with tomato slices and if using, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.  Pop into 350º oven and bake for 20 minutes or so to allow flavors to blend and tomatoes to cook nicely.  Remove and serve alongside your favorite meat.

VARIATION:  Use Smoked Gouda cheese instead of mozzarella for a different flavor!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each contains:

123.7 cals, 8.8g fat, 4.73g carbs, 2.23g fiber, 2.5g NET CARBS, 7.86g protein, 216 mg sodium

 

Chipotle-Lime “Sweet Potatoes”

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)

VARIATION:  For very special occasions and holidays, I sometimes reduce the fresh pumpkin in these and add 2 small, “real” sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed for a more authentic recipe that comes even closer to the original recipe. 

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 wall flesh 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, adding just 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

Vegetable Mac

This tasty lunch was developed from a few odds and ends in the refrigerator today.  As my husband is away for the day, I only had to make a very small amount of it.  With a bit of leftover pasta, a small piece of yellow squash and red pepper, 1 last leek, this dish was born.  And man, was it ever good!  The spice blend was the crowning touch!  This dish could also be served as a side dish, but I enjoyed it for my complete lunch today.  The little bit of cheese adds to the rich, creaminess of the final dish, without really tasking like a mac and cheese dish, per se.  You might prefer Parmesan sprinkled on top instead of the slice of American cheese.  You could even add a bit of leftover meat for a higher protein content, if you have in the fridge……but I had no leftover meat, so I ate this meatless.  This dish is not suitable for Atkins Induction unless you sub in shiritake noodles or cauliflower for the noodles I used.  As written, this recipe should perhaps be avoided until Pre-Maintenance, or at least until you’re fairly close to your goal weight on whatever Keto plan you follow.

What are you waiting for? Volume 8, 9 and 10 of our cookbooks are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes! Also included are some tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff. Special complete set pricing going on right now. Hurry and place your order today for one or more of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/sale.php or at Amazon. After your book(s) arrive, and you’ve had a chance to try a recipe or two, do stop by and leave a review at Amazon here.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. butter, melted

1 T. olive oil

2/3 c. sliced yellow squash

½c. leek, washed well

¼ c. sliced red bell pepper (or roasted red pepper from jar)

1 slice American Cheese (or 1 oz. shredded cheddar)

1½ oz. (about 2/3 cup raw) Fiber Gourmet ‘Rotini’ pasta

¼ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

VARIATION:  Add a few bits of leftover chicken, beef or pork for a higher protein count.

DIRECTIONS:  In a small saucepan, boil the noodles until tender.  Drain off water and set aside.  While the noodles boil, quarter about 1/3-1/2 yellow squash and cut it then into thin slices.  Slice off ½c. leek.  Slice red bell pepper (or jarred roasted peppers).

Melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil.  Add squash and saute until tender.  Add leeks and red pepper and continue to saute until those are tender.  Add Seafood Spice Blend next.  Stir well.  If adding any bits of meat, now is the time.  Lower heat to low and add the slice of cheese, stirring until it has completely melted and blended into the vegetable mixture.  Finally, stir in cooked pasta, tossing several times to coat all ingredients well.  Dip up onto two plates and ENJOY!  This pairs nicely with a small green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

263 cals, 20.6g fat, 22.6g carbs, 13.3g fiber, 9.3g NET CARBS, 5.85g protein, 180 mg sodium

Jicama Cajun “Fries”

Jicama Fries

Man, I tried these on a whim and they are FANTASTIC!  And best of all, you don’t have to stand over a skillet of hot grease to make them!  I’ve tried making fries from turnips, eggplant, daikon, rutabaga and all sorts of veggies on my low-carb journey.  But I have to admit, these are really my favorite to date.  The Seafood Spice blend in the coating quite nicely takes away the inherent sweet taste edge that jicama has, without dominating the final fries.  So don’t side-step this part of the recipe.  It’s essential for best flavor results.  Other spices and blends could be substituted in if you prefer but may not mask that sweet edge as well.  I just don’t know. The coating really browned nicely and stayed crispy even as the fries cooled off (which really surprised me)!  Even my picky hubby gave these a thumbs up, and at first, he wasn’t even going to taste them!  These are Induction friendly, too!

Some may be tempted to take a shortcut and use spicy/BBQ pork rinds and omit the seasoning blend in my recipe.  CAUTION:  flavored pork rinds are laden with sugar and sometimes modified food starch as well……not acceptable ingredients for us low-carbers.  Just read the ingredients listed fully if you don’t believe me.  In fact, as a low-carber, you should ALWAYS read ingredient listings, for ALL processed foods.  Hidden ingredients can stall your weight loss.  The net carb count just isn’t the whole picture!

You’ll find many more snack recipes you’ll want to try in Jennifer Eloff’s latest best-selling low carb cookbooks.  Check out a sampling of those recipes on their Facebook page.  She and several other very talented cooks are offering therein a collection of mouth-watering dishes you’ll want to try.  The latest three volumes have a preponderance of my own recipes!  With special pricing for a complete set, hurry on over and place your order at Amazon or our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

What a Jicama looks likeAs always, you can order them individually if you prefer.

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz. jicama, peeled and cut into fries

2 T. homemade mayo

2 oz. plain pork rinds, crushed

1/2 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

Oil to coat baking pan if not using non-stick sheet pan

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 450º.  Peel and cut jicama into stick shapes.  Place in bowl and brush well with the homemade mayo.  Make certain you haven’t missed any spots or they won’t get coated at those spots. You want total coverage for the pork rinds to adhere to.  Crush the pork rinds in processor/blender.  Add spice blend to crushed pork rinds in a small bowl and stir well.  Now drop mayo-coated jicama (a few at a time) into the seasoned rinds and shake to coat well.   Alternately, you can use a plastic bag and shake them to coat.  Place fries directly on oiled or non-stick metal baking sheet.  A word of experience, DO NOT BAKE THESE ON SILICONE SHEETS, as they will not brown and crisp up properly on the bottom.  I found this out the hard way.  Bake for 10 minutes until tops are nicely browned.  Turn them and bake about 10 more minutes.  Bottoms brown where they touch the metal pan.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings each contains:

165 Cals, 11.4g fat, 5.5g carbs, 2.78g fiber, 2.22 NET CARBS, 11.2g protein, 276g sodium

Coleslaw

 

Click to enlarge

This is the basic coleslaw I’ve been making nearly 50 years now.  And my mother did some 50 or more years before me.  Only think I add is a bit of spice.  This recipe is Induction friendly.  🙂

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

INGREDIENTS:

½  c. mayonnaise  (preferably homemade)

¼  tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

Seasoning of your choice or a dash of my Seafood Spice Blend

1/8 tsp. celery seed (if using celery salt, be sure to reduce salt above)

1/8 tsp. granular Splenda or 1 drop liquid sweetener

1 T. wine vinegar

4 c. cabbage, finely grated or chopped (all green, or add some purple along with a little grated carrot if you like)

VARIATION:  Add 2 T. finely slivered red onion.

DIRECTIONS:  Stir Splenda into mayonnaise in large bowl.  Add all remaining dressing ingredients stirring well to blend.  Add the 4 c. finely grated cabbage and toss to coat all cabbage.  Chill 20-30 minutes before serving.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 servings, each will be about 2 tablespoons of the dressing.  Each serving has:

100 cals, 11.05g fat, 0.18g carbs, 0.03g fiber, 0.15g NET CARBS, 0.33 g  protein, 77 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.

Our latest volumes are selling fast! What are you waiting for? Volume 8, 9 and 10 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes! Included are some tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff. Special complete set pricing going on right now. Hurry and place your order today for one or more of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/sale.php or at Amazon. After your book(s) arrive, and you’ve had a chance to try a recipe or two, do stop by and leave a review at Amazon here.

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

Asian Cabbage Salad

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I love this hearty lunch salad recipe in the summertime!  So easy to throw together without heating up the kitchen.  I used Tahini (ground sesame seed paste) in the dressing when I made this originally.  It is very good in it.  But since many people don’t always have tahini on hand, I have calculated the nutritional info below without the tahini.  Remember tahini (sesame seeds) are not acceptable until OWL phase of Atkins plan). 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!  :).

Our latest volumes are selling fast! What are you waiting for? Volume 8, 9 and 10 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes! Included are some tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff. Special complete set pricing going on right now. Hurry and place your order today for one or more of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/sale.php or at Amazon. After your book(s) arrive, and you’ve had a chance to try a recipe or two, do stop by and leave a review at Amazon here.

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

Twice-Baked Portobello Mushrooms

I’m going to make these again tonight to go with our grilled rib-eye steaks.  We just love these.  So glad I tried this veggie combo so I can feel like I’m eating “high on the hog” as my Dad used to say.  Of course, you can use homemade mashed cauliflower, but the Birdseye was so good, and so convenient, why would you bother?  😉  This side dish is suitable for all stages of Atkins, Keto plans, Paleo and Primal as well.

Our LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks are calling you. What are you waiting for? Volume 8 and Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes! These volumes are filled with tasty creations from my dear friends Chef George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   Special set pricing available. Hurry and place your order today to take advantage of current discounts on one or more of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/sale.php or at Amazon. After your book(s) arrive, and you’ve had a chance to try a recipe or two, do stop by and leave a review at Amazon here.

INGREDIENTS:

3  Portobello mushrooms (mine were 3-oz. each)

3 T. olive oil

12 oz. pkg. frozen Mashed Cauliflower (I used Birdseye), Sour Cream & Chive

1 T. unsalted butter

¼ c. green onion, chopped

¼ c. Cheddar Cheese shreds

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Line a pan with parchment (optional).  Using a spoon, scoop the dark gills out of the mushrooms.  With a basting brush, brush both sides of the mushrooms with olive oil.  Set them curved side down on the pan.  Pop them in oven for about 8-9 minutes.

While they are pre-cooking, cook the cauli-mash as instructed on the box.  I microwaved mine.  Remove film from tray and stir in the butter to mix and melt.  Remove mushroom pan from the oven and spoon 1/3 of the mixture into each of the 3 mushrooms.  Top each with 1/3 of the Cheddar cheese shreds.  Finally, sprinkle the green onion evenly on all 3 servings.  Return the mushroom pan to the oven and bake about 10 minutes more or just until cheese is melted.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:

297 cals, 22.3g fat, 7.06g carbs, 2.33g fiber, 4.73g NET CARBS, 4.6g. protein, 261 mg sodium

Mushroom-Hemp Heart Pilaf

This recipe came about when I received my first order of  Zeroodle brand Shirataki (Rice Shape) “noodles” with Oat Fiber.  I swear by oat fiber.  It brings so much flour taste to baked goods; to shirataki noodles, it brings an improved opacity and texture.  Plus this type of shirataki does not have any of the off-putting rubber band smelling packaging water! The water these come in is odorless.  That’s a triple win in my book!  I like these MUCH better than tofu shirataki noodles, heretofore my favorite low-carb noodle substitute.  When cooked up with the right ingredients, these seem very similar to a classic risotto or rice pilaf/cous-cous dish.

My recipe’s inspiration was Barbo’s recipe for Mushroom Miracle Risotto posted recently on Low Carb Neighborhood forums.  Her recipe is more of a classic Italian risotto with cream and Parmesan cheese for richness.  Mine is more of a typical rice pilaf with a secret spice ingredient, as I wanted it to serve this alongside a delicious grilled Steelhead trout we did tonight. I can see this “risotto” being a great side for wild game or fowl.  I will be trying that application real soon!

I introduced hemp hearts to my pilaf for a slightly nuttier taste and some parsley, as I love it in such things.  I also threw in a bit of my Seafood Spice Blend so it would compliment the grilled fish we had tonight.   Man, was this mélange ever tasty!!  Even my picky husband, who doesn’t like shirataki noodles at all, loved this pilaf with the grilled fish!  He gave me the green light to fix this again any old time!

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. Special prices going on right now as all proceeds are going to help team leader Jen pay off some big medical bills resulting from cancer surgery. Hurry and place your order today for one or more of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/sale.php or at Amazon. After your book(s) arrive, and you’ve had an opportunity to try a recipe, do stop by and leave a review at Amazon here.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. unsalted butter

5 large mushrooms, chopped coarsely

½ c. green onion, chopped

2 T. parsley, chopped

½-1 clove garlic

1/8-¼ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

¼ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

¼ c. + 2 T. hemp hearts

14.11 oz. pkg. Zeroodle brand Shirataki Rice Shape with Oat Fiber

DIRECTIONS:  Pour shirataki rice into strainer and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.  In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat and saute chopped mushrooms, green onion, garlic and parsley.  Add salt, pepper and Seafood Spice Blend (linked above).  Saute 2-3 minutes. Now add in the drained shirataki rice and the hemp hearts.  Stir-fry a couple more minutes and serve at once.   Doesn’t get any easier!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

51 cals, 12.4g fat, 7.82g carbs, 6.22g fiber, 1.6g NET CARBS, 8.3g protein, 156 mg sodium

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan Bake

This side dish is simply delicious, considering how little is in it and how easy it is to make!  The bacon and onion really just seem to GO together!  If you don’t overcook the squash and are careful when removing the threads, you can serve this right in the squash shell for its own “bowl”.  I love to do this when we have company.  One reader suggests roasting the squash traditionally in the oven for added flavor if you have the time.  this has been one of the most popular recipes on my blog, garnering over a million fans now.  Thought I’d re-post it this week and I’m planning on making it tomorrow night.  This is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  You can order your 5-volume set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or get special sale pricing at our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

½ large spaghetti squash (yields about 4-5 c. cooked threads)

4 slices bacon, chopped fine

3 oz. chopped onion

1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Dash salt

¼ tsp. pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Cut a large spaghetti squash in half.  Remove seeds with a spoon and discard them. Place one half of the squash face down in glass baking dish, reserving the second half for some other use.  Surround with with ½” water and microwave 13-15 minutes.  Drain off water, invert, remove/discard seeds (or feed to the birds in your yard 🙂 ) and fork out the threads into the same dish.  If you prefer to roast your squash:  after you cut and seed the squash, add 2 cups water (1/2 inch deep) to a ceramic casserole dish; add squash face up and place in a 375 degree F oven for 45 minutes.  Then cover for 10 minutes with foil.  Fork out the threads onto a plate. Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet, brown bacon bits and onion until bacon is done and onion is tender.   Sprinkle salt, pepper and Parmesan on top of squash.  Then spoon into the empty squash shell.  Spread onion/bacon mixture evenly on top.  Microwave 5 minutes on high, or bake in oven at 350º for 20 more minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Makes 4 servings each containing:

107 calories, 6.7 g  fat, 4.8 g  carbs, .8 g  fiber, 4.0 g  NET CARBS, 7.1 g  protein, 429 mg sodium

Ranch® Buttermilk Salad Dressing (or dip)

Ranch Buttermilk Dressing
Ranch Buttermilk Dressing

Ranch Dip for Veggie Tray
Ranch Dip for Veggie Trays

I finally came up with a low-carb version of Ranch® Dressing for my husband, who just loves it on salads.  I think my version tastes better than what is sold in the bottle (which I actually don’t like).  No unhealthy ingredients in mine, either.

I’m not too fond of dill, so I tend to reduce it in most recipes.  But my husband LOVES dill and likes more in recipes, thus the range of dill shown in the Ranch® Powder recipe linked below.  I basically used equal amounts of the herbs I selected except the dill and thyme.  A tablespoon of thyme would have been waaaaay too much!   This dressing is super yummy!  Try it and see if you don’t agree it’s even better than the famous bottled stuff!  As you well know, this also makes an excellent dip for raw vegetable party trays.  All you have to do for the dip is increase the sour cream to make it thicker.  You’ll have to recalculate carbs to add in the extra sour cream.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks for several years now to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Many of my recipes are also in these cookbooks! Order your 10-volume set TODAY! There is special pricing on for a limited time!  You can always purchase volumes individually, too, from Amazon or for the best deals, order here: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. homemade mayonnaise

3/4 c. sour cream (add ¼ c. more if using as a veggie dip)

¼ c. buttermilk (only 2 T. if using as a veggie dip)

1 T. my Ranch Dressing Powder Blend

2 tsp. red wine vinegar

1/8 tsp. salt

OPTIONAL:  1/8 tsp. glucomannan powder if you like a thicker dressing

DIRECTIONS:  Measure the first 3 ingredients into a medium bowl.  Whisk well to blend to a smooth mixture.  Add my Ranch Dressing Powder Blend, vinegar and salt and whisk a couple minutes until the herb mixture is thoroughly blended in.  If using the glucomannan thickener, whisk it in last.  Transfer to a saved empty plastic dressing bottle (I always keep and wash them for homemade dressings) if you have one, or a lidded jar.  Close tightly and chill.  Serve on crisp green salads or as a dip for raw veggies.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes two cups or eight ¼ c. servings, each contains:

251 calories, 26.8 g  fat, 1.81 g carbs, 0.1 g  fiber, 1.71 g  NET CARBS, 1.72 g  protein, 66 mg sodium

 

 

 

Chipotle Chile Sauce

Chipotle Chile Sauce

This versatile sauce has a simply AMAZING flavor!   It’s a wonderful compliment to baked and broiled chicken, pork, seafood as well as being a delicious green salad dressing.  It’s marvelous on grilled fish tacos if you make those.  It makes a lovely dip for raw vegetables on a party tray.  It’s a wonderful dip for low-carb “Potato Chips” (from sliced, fried jicama or turnips).  Or you can smear a bit on your next grilled burgers or steak.  It’s great on turkey and chicken sandwiches.  It’s even very tasty dabbed onto scrambled eggs!  Shall I go on?   Needless to say, I think I’m addicted to this stuff.  LOL.   It is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal Blueprint followers.  It is not suitable for Paleo with the sour cream in it, but you could use all homemade mayo and it would then be suitable.  🙂

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own copy of our cookbooks  LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  Special sale going on right now on the complete 10-volume set ($9.99 per volume)!  Order your set or individual volumes from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. homemade mayonnaise

½ c. sour cream

½ tsp. chili powder

½ tsp. my Smoky Chipotle Spice Blend

1 small chipotle chile pepper (in adobo sauce in the can), rinsed, seeded and mashed (about 1″ long)

Dash salt

DIRECTIONS:   Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and serve at once.  Keeps well in the refrigerator and can be stored for a week or a little longer.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 1 c. total for 4 servings.  Each ¼ c. serving contains:

263 cals, 28.2g fat, 1.97g carbs, 0.37g fiber, 1.6g NET CARBS, 1.7g protein, 272 mg sodium

Cabbage Trifecta

This colorful triple cabbage side dish was most delicious with our broiled chicken last night.  I have always loved cabbage.  My husband, on the other hand, isn’t a big fan.  He’ll eat it, but gripes the entire meal.  But he dipped up seconds of this veggie side!  He “says” he doesn’t LIKE cabbage, but I prove him wrong on this regularly.  He prefers his cabbage raw in coleslaw.  In fact he LOVES coleslaw!  So maybe I got enough bacon in this recipe to disguise the flavor he finds offensive in cooked cabbage.  I know it was just right for my palate.  🙂  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto, Primal and Paleo eating programs.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. shredded napa (Chinese) cabbage

2 c. shredded green cabbage

1 c. shredded purple cabbage

3 oz. onion, sliced thin

5 slices bacon, cut in 1″ pieces

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Brown bacon in large skillet or wok until it begins to get crisp.  Add onion and saute until it begins to brown/caramelize.  Add green cabbage and saute until it begins to go limp.  Add napa cabbage and only saute a couple minutes until barely gets limp.  Add purple cabbage last so it won’t discolor too much.  Volume will reduce during cooking with cabbage. Sprinkle on the pepper, stir well and spoon up into your serving dish.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 1-cup servings (after wilting down), each contains:

193 cals, 16.2g fat, 7.37g carbs, 2.25g fiber, 5.12g NET CARBS, 5.65g protein, 324 mg sodium