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Archive for the ‘Vegetables’ Category

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium head cauliflower

4 T. butter

2 T. cream cheese

1/8-¼ tsp. sea salt

¼-½ tsp. glucomannan powder

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Kale & Cabbage (with peppers)

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

2 c. cabbage, coarsely cut up

2 oz. yellow onion, sliced

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

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Dash black pepper

1 T. Sriracha chili sauce

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

1 T. bacon grease

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 5 servings, each contains:

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

 

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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, bu t not quite as rich.  🙂

Our latest LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, Volume 8 and soon-to-be-released Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included are a few tasty new creations of my friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   EARLY BIRD SECRET SALE!!  For estimated October delivery on Vol. 9, order it or any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php or at AmazonLIMITED TIME SPECIAL OFFER:  Currently we have a special offer on a bundle of all 8 previous volumes that reduces their individual price to only $13.22!  Don’t miss out on this incredible bargain!

And please, please, please, if you’ve already bought Volume 8 (or other of our books), we sure would appreciate your taking a moment to stop by this Amazon page to leave your personal review:

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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These healthy “noodles” will be delicious alongside a variety of meats or seafood.   Their flavor-profile is most adaptable to what you are serving.  Last night I served them with broiled shrimp.  They will also serve as a foundation for a number of delicious meat stir-fries, Italian meat sauces and creamy seafood dishes.   They are exceedingly quick to make and Induction friendly on Atkins of any Keto program.  This recipe is also acceptable for Primal or Paleo followers.

Our latest LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, Volume 8 and soon-to-be-released Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included are a few tasty new creations of my friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   EARLY BIRD SECRET SALE!!  For estimated October delivery on Vol. 9, order it or any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php or at AmazonLIMITED TIME SPECIAL OFFER:  Currently we have a special offer on a bundle of all 8 previous volumes that reduces their individual price to only $13.22!  Don’t miss out on this incredible bargain!

INGREDIENTS:

2 large zucchini (about 16 ounces)

2 T. unsalted butter

2 T. my Sofrito sauce

2 T. Parmesan cheese (finely grated)

VARIATION:  Use yellow summer squash instead of zucchini (or any combination of the two).  For added color impact, you could add some carrot you have run through the noodler.

DIRECTIONS:   Form the zucchini noodles in your preferred noodling tool.  I used my hand-held Vegetti® for this task as my larger Spirooli® broke irreparably not long ago.  I like the little Vegetti®!  I understand they make an electric Vegetti® now, but I’ve not seen them in the stores yet.  Saw it on the internet.  But the hand held model works just fine.  You will end up with about 3½-4 c. zucchini noodles.  Depending on your tool, you may want to cut them shorter with a knife (I did).    Place on a clean kitchen towel and pat/press to absorb all the water.  Wait a few minutes and press again to dry them well of their water.

Heat a non-stick skillet and melt the butter.  Add the noodles and with a large kitchen fork, stir them gently just until they go limp and translucent.  Add the Sofrito sauce and mix well.  Remove from heat and dip into a serving dish or onto plates.  Sprinkle Parmesan on top either in your serving dish or allow your diners to add it themselves at the table.  Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 4 servings (about 3/4 c. each after shrinkage).  Each serving contains:

108 cals., 8g fat, 5.95g carbs, 1.9g fiber, 3.05g NET CARBS, 3.1g protein, 60 mg sodium

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This triple cabbage delight 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.

Many more simple, tasty low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own copy of our cookbooks  LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  Volume 8 is almost exclusively comprised of my recipes with some new George Stella and Jennifer Eloff creations.  Volume 9, due out in October, once again has mostly my recipes with a sprinkling of George Stella’s and Jennifer Eloff delights.

EARLY BIRD SECRET SALE!!  Order here for estimated October delivery:  https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php

Order any of the team’s cookbooks from Amazon  or here: amongfriends.us/order.php.

LIMITED TIME SPECIAL OFFER:  Currently we have a special offer on a bundle of all 8 previous volumes that reduces their individual price to only $13.22!  Don’t miss out on this bargain!  And please, if you’ve already bought Volume 8, we sure would appreciate your taking a moment to stop by this page and leave your personal review:

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. shredded napa (Chinese) cabbage

2 c. shredded green cabbage

1 c. 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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