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Archive for the ‘Vegetables’ Category

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

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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

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Click to enlarge

Spinach Parmesan Bake

This has been a very popular side dish on my blog.  It is simple to make and I’m very please with the resulting flavor profile.  It went very nicely with our boneless baked rosemary-onion pork steaks tonight.   I did put 3 large sliced mushrooms in this, but they added absolutely nothing to the flavor impact, so I won’t include them again and I’m not including those in my recipe here.  This dish is Induction acceptable.  Popeye himself would brag on the nutritional stats for a serving of this spinach dish!

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. olive oil

2 oz. onion, chopped

Dash salt

10 oz. box frozen spinach, thawed and drained

2 oz. cream cheese

2 oz. heavy cream

1/3 c. homemade mayonnaise

2 large eggs

3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

With Chicken Added for a meal!

VARIATION:   Add 2 c. chopped raw, boneless chicken meat to the skillet with the onion and turn this side dish into a delicious meal.

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Heat olive oil in non-stick skillet over med-high heat.  Add onion and salt and saute the onion until tender.  Add the drained spinach and cook a few minutes, stirring several times.  Lower heat to medium.  Cut the cream cheese into little chunks and melt and stir it into the warm spinach.  Add mayonnaise and stir well.  Turn off heat.  Beat the eggs in a bowl with the cream and pour it evenly over the top of the spinach.  Top with Parmesan and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350º.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

420 calories, 38 g  fat, 6.78 g  carbs, 2.75 g  fiber, 4.03 NET CARBS, 15.28 g  protein, 622 mg sodium

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Shown with Cheese Sauce

Dinner was kind of fun to make tonight.  And isn’t this one colorful?!  I don’t own a ceramic loaf pan anymore, so I just used my metal 8″x4″ lined with parchment. to prepare this recipe.  This dish is quick to make and quite delicious, not to mention nutritious with all those veggies in it.  A quick cut, saute and fill the mold is all there is to it!  You could serve this tasty dish for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets.  Paleo and Primal will want to sub in coconut milk for the cream here.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large carrot, peeled, sliced thin

2 5″ zucchini (about 10 oz.), sliced thin

1 leek, washed well of dirt and sliced thin

3 T. olive oil

Dash sea salt and coarse black pepper

¼ tsp. garlic powder or 1 small clove garlic, minced

4 extra large eggs, beaten (or 5 large eggs)

2 T. coconut flour

1 oz. heavy cream

2 oz. water

1½ c. cooked, cured ham

VARIATION:  Substitute cooked bacon for the ham

CHEESE SAUCE:  5-10 minutes before terrine is done, mix 3 T. water, 2 T. cream in small saucepan set into larger saucepan (or use double boiler) and heat.  Add 4 slices American Deluxe or Cheddar Cheese.  Stir and blend until cheese is melted and all is incorporated into a smooth sauce.  Pour into serving bowl when terrine is out of oven, sliced and ready to serve.  Sauce will thicken fast, so do not dip it up one minutes before you need it.

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Line a metal or ceramic 4×8″ loaf pan with parchment.  I don’t line the ends of the pan and just oil there lightly.  Set aside for now.  Stem and slice up all veggies.  I used a food processor for uniform, thin slice. Heat olive oil in wok or large skillet.  Add veggies, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Saute stirring often over medium-high heat until veggies are tender but not mushy.  Stir in sliced/diced ham.  Turn off heat.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs, cream and water until smooth.  Add coconut flour.  Stir again.  Pour over veggies and stir well to blend.  With rubber spatula, scrape mixture into parchment-prepared pan.  Trim off excess paper above top of pan but leave a bit for “handles”. Pop into 350º oven for about 40 minutes.  Check at 30 min. as ovens do vary.  Top will be lightly golden and center should be firm (not damp) when touched.  Do not over brown as terrine will be dry if overcooked.  Remove from oven, run knife along ends of pan and lift out  of pan holding the paper, tipping onto your platter.  Slice into 6 slices (about 1″-1¼” thick).  Serve with cheese sauce (or some other favorite sauce if you prefer)

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains (including 1½ T. sauce):

288 cals, 21 g fat, 6.88g carbs, 1.48g fiber, 5.4g NET CARBS, 18.6g protein, 689mg sodium

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium head cauliflower

4 T. butter

2 T. cream cheese

1/8-¼ tsp. sea salt

¼-½ tsp. glucomannan powder

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

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

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

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

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

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0011

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

(Plain Version INGREDIENTS):

2 T. butter

Saag Paneer (Indian variation_

Saag Paneer (Indian variation)

2 oz. yellow onion

16 oz. frozen chopped spinach

1 c. water

3 oz. cream cheese

1/3 c. heavy cream

Dash salt and pepper

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings each contains

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

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Chipotle-Lime Sweet Potatoes

Chipotle-Lime “Sweet Potatoes”

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

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

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

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

½ c. heavy cream

4 T. butter

¼ tsp. salt

2 T. fresh lime juice

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

½ c. granular Splenda

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

1 tsp. cinnamon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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