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Archive for the ‘Vegetables’ Category

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

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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

 

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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

 

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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

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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

 

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Chipotle-Lime Sweet Potatoes

Chipotle-Lime “Sweet Potatoes”

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

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

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

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

½ c. heavy cream

4 T. butter

¼ tsp. salt

2 T. fresh lime juice

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

½ c. granular Splenda

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

1 tsp. cinnamon

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

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

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

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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

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