Pork Chops with Roasted Poblano Gravy

Pork Chops in Poblano GravyI picked up a couple of medium-size poblano peppers at the store yesterday as I wanted to make a creamy sauce for some pretty pork chops.  I added a mashed avocado to my sauce, which added nutrients, but absolutely no flavor whatsoever and I will not add it in future.  Waste of a good avocado in my opinion.  😉

This recipe was quite tasty if you like the taste of poblanos.  As a rule, these peppers are not spicy hot, especially when you roast them as I did for this recipe.  Although there are the occasional hot ones out there.  However, that has only happened to me one time in 45+ years of cooking with them.

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal followers.  Use coconut milk instead of the cream for Paleo dining.

Variation:  Substitute 2 portions of seared boneless chicken breast or chicken thighs for the pork.

INGREDIENTS:

2  medium poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded, cut into halves

2   pork chops (mine were 7-oz bone-in)

1-2 tsp. bacon grease

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ c. chopped cilantro

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. chicken broth (I use homemade)

Dash each salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  In a skillet, melt the bacon grease and cook the pork chops until brown on both sides and thoroughly done.  Remove to a platter for now.

Preheat oven to 375º.  Stem, seed and cut pepper into halves lengthwise.  Place cut side down on a baking pan and roast for about 20 minutes.  Peel as much of the papery skin off as you can get off. Cut into ¼” strips and set aside.

In the skillet you seared the meat in, add the garlic, pepper, cilantro, salt, pepper and saute over medium heat for a few minutes.  Add the chicken broth and reduce heat to medium-low.  Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes.  Replace chops on top and allow them to reheat on low fire.  Serve with half the gravy dipped over each chop.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 adult servings, each contains:

552 cals, 39.3g fat, 5.4g carbs, 1.3g fiber, 4.1g NET CARBS, 41.7g protein, 239 mg sodium

 

Stuffed Focaccia

Stuffed Focaccia

I wanted something Italian tonight, but not pizza and not pasta.  So I decided to try a stuffed focaccia.  GOOD decision, as this came out VERY good!

variation, add a few sliced black olives, but I didn’t have any on hand.

Before Cutting
Before Cutting

This recipe is suitable for Phase 2 Atkins, Keto diets, Primal folks if consumed only occasionally.  This recipe is only suitable for Paleo if you use a plan suitable bread.

VARIATION:  Add a few sliced black olives to the filling

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef (or ½ beef and ½ Italian sausage removed from casings)

½ tsp. total Italian Spice blend

½ c. almond flour

¼ c. golden flax meal

¼ c. plain whey protein powder

1 tsp. baking powder

3 T. cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs, beaten

1½ c. shredded white mild cheese (I used a combo of Monterey Jack & Mozzarella)

1 tsp. cider vinegar

1 T. heavy cream

1 T. water

1 tsp. yeast dissolved in another 1 T. warm water (optional, for flavor)

FILLING:  6 oz. sliced mozzarella cheese + 1/4 tsp. Italian Spice Blend

TIP:  If you are not gluten-free, I find 1 T. oat fiber added improves this bread’s texture greatly.  But remember, oat fiber is NOT 100% gluten-free.

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Brown the beef in a skillet.  Add half of the Italian Spice and a dash garlic powder if you like.  Stir well, remove from heat and set aside.

Soften cream cheese in medium mixing bowl in microwave.  Beat in the eggs, cream, water, vinegar, both cheeses and dissolved yeast (if using).  Measure and add in all the dry ingredients and stir well with a rubber spatula. Line an 8 x 11 pan (I used metal) with parchment paper or silicone sheet.  Spoon up around 1/2 of the batter onto the paper and spread to a thin layer with a fork. Batter will be about ¼” thick.  Use 9 x 13 pan for thinner stuffed focaccia results.

Drain meat of any excess grease and spread evenly on bottom layer of batter.  Place the sliced mozzarella cheese on next.  Sprinkle with the rest of the Italian Spice blend.  Dot with the remaining batter, spreading with a fork as best as you can, but it doesn’t have to be perfect coverage.  As it will spread out a bit during baking.  Pop into 350º oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until dry to the touch in the center and lightly browned.  Cool 3-4 minutes and cut into 6 equal portions.  Lift carefully with spatula, avoiding parchment on bottom and serve with a nice green salad on the side.  Store leftovers covered in the pan or in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.  Goes well with a green, tossed salad with a light vinaigrette dressing.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 large slices, each contains:

487 calories

37 g  fat

5.61 g carbs, 2.43 g fiber, 3.18 g NET CARBS

36.3 g protein

558 mg sodium

Beef Stroganoff

 

IMG_4983
Shown over Al Dente’s Carba-Nada egg fettucine noodles

This is how I usually put this famous dish together…..pretty simple, actually.  Takes under an hour to prepare. We low-carbers can serve it over low-carb noodles (I can highly recommend Al Dente’s “Carba-Nada” fettucini noodles), shredded stir-fried cabbage or mashed cauliflower.  I don’t care for it much on zucchini noodles, but you might like it that way.   This recipe is suitable for Induction if served over the cauli-mash and the red wine is omitted.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. sirloin steak, trimmed & cut in thin strips

4 T. butter, unsalted

4 oz. onion, chopped

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

1 c. beef broth (or deglaze the skillet with water)

¼ c. red wine (omit if still in Atkins Induction)

½ c. sour cream

xanthan gum or your favorite thickener

Low-carb noodles or veggie “noodles” of your choice

DIRECTIONS:  In a large non-stick skillet or wok, brown the onion.  Add meat strips and continue searing until nicely browned.  Add mushrooms at this point.  Saute for a few more minutes until they, too, are done.  Lower heat to lowest setting.  Add beef broth & red wine.  Simmer 5-10 minutes to blend flavors.  Cover with lid and simmer (or bake at 350º ) for 30 minutes or so.  Check and stir occasionally during cooking.  Slightly thicken with a very light dusting of xanthan gum or your favorite thickener, whisking continuously between additions.    Right before serving, with fire off, remove lid and gently stir in sour cream.  Lower heat and simmer just a few minutes.  Do not let boil after adding sour cream or it can curdle and be visually off-putting.  Serve over buttered stir-fried cabbage shreds, cooked zucchini noodles, Carba-Nada noodles or mashed/riced cauliflower.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Please note the numbers below do not reflect the veggie or noodles you serve this on.  The numbers below are for the meat sauce only.

Serves 4, with each serving containing:

344 calories

21.9 g  fat

5.6 g  carbs, 83 g  fiber. 4.82 NET CARBS

28.8 g  protein

313 mg. sodium

Orange Marmalade

orangmarm0012

I reached for some sugar-free marmalade the other day and hubby had used it all up without telling me so I could replenish.  I really wanted some for my low-carb toast, so I grabbed my last 3 California naval oranges out of the refrigerator crisper and decided I was gonna try to make a batch.  The result was pretty good, so I’ll share with you here.  This recipe is not suitable until the fruit rung of the OWL ladder.  I like to add 1 drop each red/yellow food coloring to mine, but this is not necessary.  And it goes without saying this can be turned into lime marmalade, or lemon marmalade by substituting about 6 lemons or limes for the recipe.  If you’ve never had lime and lemon, you’re in for a real treat!  Be prepared to have to increase the sweetener for lemon and lime marmalade.

INGREDIENTS:

3 medium oranges

Orange juice from 3 oranges (I got about 1 cup)

Peeling from 3 oranges (about 1½-2 cups)

Water to equal 2½ cups total liquid with the juice above

1 c. granular erythritol sweetener

½ c. granular Splenda  (use liquid Splenda to lower carbs nearly half what is shown below)

1 packet (9 grams) unflavored gelatin

DIRECTIONS:  Wash oranges and slice off all the peeling in largish pieces, trying to get as little of the white membrane as possible.  This membrane will make your final marmalade a bit more bitter/intense.  I am perhaps unique in that I actually like a slightly bitter/not-too-sweet marmalade, but most do not.  Cut peeling into matchstick slivers and if you like, place in food processor or blender and pulse to chop as fine as you like it.

Now cut the oranges in half and squeeze out as much juice and pulp as you can, avoiding any section membrane getting into the juice.  I do this with my hands, but you can use a strainer if you prefer.  Take care to not get seeds into the mix.  Add enough water to equal a total of 2½ cups liquid.  Place juice/water mixture into a saucepan along with sweeteners, gelatin and peel and stir to dissolve.  Turn on burner to medium and cook/stirring for about 5-10 minutes.  Turn off fire, add red/yellow food coloring if desired to make it more orange.  Chill a bit before spooning into 4 small jelly jars (I got mine into 3 jars).  Will get thicker overnight in the refrigerator.  You may have to stir the marmalade a bit right before serving if the peeling bits are fairly coarse/large, as the larger they are, the more they tend to sink before the gelatin sets.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4-4½ cups or 36 servings of 2T. each.  Each serving contains:

11.33 cals, 0.03g fat, 2.35g carbs, 0.58g fiber, 1.77g NET CARBS, 0.63g  protein

Indian Chicken Tandoori & Roasted Vegetables (Sheet Pan)

This dish goes together in 30 minutes and can be on the table in no time with a convection oven feature on your oven.  Just marinate the chicken a half hour, cut the veggies up into your sheet pan and it cooks itself…….REALLY!  My kind of meal, as my regular readers know.  I’m such a lazy cook! This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto programs, Paleo and Primal Blueprint as well!  You can make it as spicy as you like, increasing the Tandoori spice and curry powder, but I’ve kept this recipe fairly “tame” as that suits my palate.

INGREDIENTS: 

2 large chicken thighs, bone-in

1 large chicken breast, cut into 3 portions (they’re so big nowadays)

2/3 c. sour cream (or yogurt)

1 tsp. each curry and tandoori powders

1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

6 oz. sweet onion (I used yellow and red), cut into wedges

3 oz. red bell pepper, cut 1″ pieces

10 oz. eggplant, cut in large cubes (about 1-1½”)

1 very small head cauliflower (yield about 2½c. florets)

3 Roma tomatoes, cut into 4 wedges

1 tsp. minced ginger root

¼ c. cilantro chopped

Dash black pepper

¼ tsp. sea salt

2 tsp. my Garam Masala

DIRECTIONS:  In a large mixing bowl, measure out the sour cream or yogurt.  Add the tandoori and curry powders.  Stir well to blend.  Dip each piece of the chicken into the mixture, coating well on all surfaces.  Place bowl in fridge for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, Preheat convection oven to 350º (375º for a regular oven).  Place the EV Olive Oil into a large baking sheet pan.  Cut the eggplant into 1-1½” cubes (I do not peel mine) and put it in the pan.  Cut onions, separate the segments and add to the pan.  Cut red bell pepper into 1″ pieces and add to the pan.  Add the cauliflower pieces as well.  Next add the ginger, Garam Masala spice, salt and pepper.   With a spoon or rubber spatula, stir all so the vegetables get well-coated with the oil and spices.  Add the tomato wedges last and toss once or twice, very gently.  Lay the chicken pieces on top of the vegetable melange and sprinkle all with the chopped cilantro.  Pop into a hot 350º convection oven (or 375º regular oven) and bake under convection for about 40 minutes; for about 1 hour in a regular oven, or until meat is properly done.  Please check before time is up, as ovens, convection or not, can vary quite a bit.  Remove and serve with your favorite low-carb flat bread (if you can fit it into your daily number limits).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 5 servings, each contains:

410.2 cals, 29.66g fat, 12.04g carbs, 3.96g fiber, 8.08g NET CARBS, 24.52g protein, 461g sodium

 

 

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits

Well these certainly came out delicious!  The hubs said he really liked them.  I wanted the taste of buttermilk in a biscuit and had not tried that to date.  I’m pleased with the resulting biscuits, which are not grainy, crumbly or dense like so many low-carb biscuits.  These are actually pretty light.   This recipe was inspired by one posted by “EnglishLit” on Low Carb Friends forums.  I have changed it up quite a bit, but the basic flour she begins with is unchanged in this version.  This recipe is not suitable until you reach the grains level of the Atkins carb re-introduction ladder.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. CarbQuik bake mix (or other low-carb mix)

2 tsp. baking powder

1 T. egg white protein powder (optional rise booster)

1 tsp. glucomannan powder (or xanthan gum)

½ c. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

1 egg, beaten (use 2 eggs if you omit the egg white protein above)

4 T. sour cream

4 T. melted butter

1 c. 2% buttermilk

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 425º.  Oil an ebilskiver or turnover pan, muffin pan, muffin-top pan, or parchment line a baking sheet.

Mix dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Stir in the cheese shreds.  In a small bowl, beat the egg, sour cream, butter and buttermilk together with a whisk.  Scrape the wet ingredients into the dry and mix/wold well with a rubber spatula to form a nice ball of dough that is mildly wet.  Form into eight equal portions, shaping them taller than flatter if using s sheet pan.  Place into oiled pan slots or equally spaced on your baking sheet.   Pop into 425º oven for 12-15 minutes. Watch them closely after the 12 minute mark, as ovens vary.   Slice and butter or serve with jams of your choosing.

NUTRITONAL INFO:   Makes 8 biscuits, each contains:

127.4 calories, 12.9g fat, 8.58g carbs, 5.46g fiber, 3.12g NET CARBS, 6.7g protein, 307 mg sodium

Chicken-Eggplant Parmigiana Casserole

Chicken Eggplant Parmegiana Casserole

If you love Italian food, you are really going to LOVE this dish!  So tasty!  This casserole  was created with leftover cooked chicken breast meat I had in the refrigerator and a small amount of cooked spaghetti sauce and some commercial no-sugar sauce I wanted to use up.  I bought a beautiful eggplant yesterday and some mushrooms, so I created a quick Parmigiana casserole.  You can just omit the ‘shrooms if you’re not a fan.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Primal followers that eat occasional cheese.  This meal would not be suitable for Paleo diners.

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz. cooked chicken meat, cut in bite size pieces

2 T. olive oil

6 oz. mushrooms, sliced

5 oz. eggplant, sliced 1/4″ thick (I do not peel)

¼ c. low-carb spaghetti sauce (I use Lucini with no added sugar)

3/4 c. homemade spaghetti sauce   [or all homemade, or all Luccini]

6 oz. Mozzarella cheese, grated

½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

½ tsp. dried oregano (or 1 tsp. fresh, chopped)

¼ tsp. dried basil (or 1 tsp. fresh, chopped)

¼ tsp. dried rosemary (or ½ tsp. fresh, chopped)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 400º. Use a small amount of the oil to grease your casserole dish and a small baking sheet.  Place eggplant on baking sheet and bake at 400º for about 15 minutes, turning once during this pre-cooking.  Remove from oven and lower temperature to 350º.

In a non-stick skillet, saute the mushroom slices in the rest of the olive oil. Place eggplant in a single layer on the bottom of your greased casserole dish.  Top with the shredded chicken meat.  Spoon half the spaghetti sauce over the meat. Sprinkle on half the Parmesan and half the mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle with half the spices.  Spoon on the remainder of the sauce. Sprinkle on the rest of the two cheeses and the last of the spices.  Top with the sauteed mushroom and pop into your 350º oven for about 30-35 minutes or until cheese is melted and the casserole is hot hot in the center.  Serve with your favorite salad or green vegetable and some garlic bread made with low-carb bread.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

427 calories, 26.1 g  fat, 10.4 g  carbs, 2.98 g  fiber, 7.42 g  NET CARBS, 38 g  protein, 270 mg sodium

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are moist, dense cake-like in texture, and incredibly tasty!  My picky husband really liked these, and he usually isn’t too fond of low-carb desserts.  These are not Induction friendly due to the almond flour and nuts.  Sometimes I leave out the chopped nuts to lower calorie/carb count even more.

VARIATION:  If you like a chewier cookie, use the sugar-free honey (I use Honeytree from Walmart) instead of the DaVinci vanilla syrup.   For a crunchier cookie, bake them longer/browner.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. almond flour

¼ c. + 2T. unsweetened, plain whey protein

1 tsp. baking soda

½ c. chopped nuts

½ c. sugar-free chocolate chips

¼ c. granular Splenda

4 T. erythritol sweetener

3 T. melted, unsalted butter

1 egg, beaten

¼ c. sugar free honey+1 tsp. vanilla (about 1/4 c. DaVinci Vanilla sugar-free syrup, added slowly and just enough to create a thick batter)

1 T. water (omit if you used Davinci syrup)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl.  Add all wet ingredients.  Blend well and let batter sit for a couple minutes to firm up.  Spoon onto greased or non-stick baking sheet in 1″ globs.  They don’t spread out much when cooking, so I slightly  flattened with my fingers, but not too much.  Bake for about 12 minutes at 350º.  Cool on cloth or racks.  I got exactly 26 cookies.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 26 cookies, each contains:

55.85 cals, 4.79g fat, 2.04g carbs,0.84g fiber, 1.2g NET CARBS, 1.8g protein, 54 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

Master Cook® Compatibility!

I’m very pleased to share with my regular followers that one of my readers just informed me the old theme on my website for many years did not allow her to download directly to her MasterCook® software.  Not sure why though.  The new site theme installed a couple months ago is now allowing her to download my recipes to her MasterCook®!  She is very happy and so am I!  I changed themes to get more colorful/visible links, as they were dark green on the old theme and a little difficult to see until you hovered directly over them with your mouse.  The new light blue links embedded in my recipes now stand out quite nicely the minute you open up the recipe!  All goodness for all of us.

Greek Chicken & Spinach

Greek Chicken & Spinach

This chicken I’ve made for many years, but tonight I got the idea to add bacon to this dish and well,  we really liked that addition!  This goes well with a Greek salad but I have served it with broccoli and sauteed leeks as well.  I make my own Cavender’s Greek Seasoning, but you can use Cavender’s no-salt Seasoning if available.  Otherwise, just black pepper, thyme and oregano.  This recipe is Induction friendly.

This dish doesn’t freeze too well as the homemade mayo tends to separate upon freezing and reheating.

INGREDIENTS:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach

½ c. Feta cheese, crumbled and rinsed well with cold water in strainer.

2 oz. onion, chopped

¼ Parmesan cheese

pinch dill

1 c. total my homemade mayonnaise:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2009/07/27/homemade-mayonnaise/

4 slices finely chopped bacon

½ tsp. my homemade Cavender’s Greek Seasoning

½ c. crushed plain pork rinds

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 400º.  Cut chicken breasts in half, making 8 pieces.  Using 1/4 c. of the mayo, baste each piece of chicken on both sides and set aside.  If using whole pieces of bone-in chicken, make several slits in the flesh with a knife first to speed up cooking time.  In a medium bowl, stir spinach, Feta cheese, chopped onion, dill and Cavender’s seasoning.  Add 3/4 c. of the mayo and stir well.

Pour spinach mixture into baking dish (no need to grease pan).   Now place chicken pieces on top of the spinach mixture.  Sprinkle pork rinds and Parmesan over the pieces of chicken.  Place the finely chopped bacon over entire dish, being sure some gets on each piece of chicken.    Place in 400º oven and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes.   For a faster-cooking dish that will be ready in only 45 minutes, pound chicken breasts with mallet before brushing with mayo.   This dish is chock full of nutrients, including 168% of selenium, 129% vitamin B12, 110% riboflavin recommended daily requirements!  And lots more other good stuff!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings of 2 pieces of chicken each.  Each serving contains:

734 calories, 63.5 g  fat, 5.25 g  carbs, 2.75 g  fiber, 2.40 g  NET CARBS, 46.6 g  protein, 655 mg. sodium

Indian Cashew Chicken Curry

Cachew Chicken Curry

This curry recipe is quite unique in flavor from any others I’ve made.  The fenugreek is what makes the difference.  If you’re a curry fan, you will want to give this delicious recipe a try.   I have had my jar of fenugreek for some time.  I bought it for Iranian cuisine, which uses fenugreek often.  I had this notion to try it in an Indian curry and WOW!  Great decision!  An added note:  despite the pepper(s) in this, the final dish is NOT too spicy.  As always, I don’t like food too spicy and you won’t find many on my blog that are.  Something about cooking Indian recipes seems to tone down jalapeno and cayenne in the final dish.  Not sure why, it just does.  This recipe is suitable for Phase 2 of Atkins and beyond, and Keto diets as well.  Omit cashews or use almonds for Atkins Induction folks.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. coconut oil (or butter)

16 oz. chicken breast, boned, skin removed, cut into big chunks

4 oz. onion, sliced

1 jalapeno, seeded and slivered (will not be hot in the final dish)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. black pepper (a key flavor in this recipe yet too too hot)

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (final dish was NOT hot)

1 tsp. fenugreek seed, ground

Dash salt

¼ tsp. my Garam Masala

Dash turmeric (1-2 shakes from a shaker)

3/4 c. heavy cream

½ c. chicken broth

2 oz. cashew nuts (raw or roasted is OK)

3 Roma tomatoes, cut in chunks

1/8 tsp. xanthan gum (optional, if you want it thicker)

Garnish with a sprig of cilantro if you like

DIRECTIONS:   Melt coconut oil over high heat in a non-stick wok or skillet.  Add chicken and saute to brown on all sides.  Add onion and saute until it, too, begins to brown.  Add slivered jalapeno and garlic.  Add all spices, cream and chicken broth, nuts and tomatoes.  Lower heat to LOW and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until flavors have had a chance to meld.  Serve alone or over steamed cauliflower rice.  For those not low-carbing at your table, I would offer a bowl of steamed basmati rice.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 5 servings, each contains:  (does not include cauli-rice or basmati rice)

353 cals, 19g fat, 9.40g carbs, 1.48g fiber, 8.92g NET CARBS, 34.4g protein, 457 mg sodium

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

 

Einkorn Cake Donuts

Low-Carb Cake Donuts

I modified my original cake donut recipe to make an Einkorn flour version.  I’m very pleased with the results.  I don’t seem to see this recipe up on my blog, although I have in my hand a printed copy of it posted on May 4 2014, so I know it was there at some time in the past.  I do see my original Cake Donut recipe via my site search feature, just not the Einkorn version.  Strange indeed.  Perhaps it is in the Twilight Zone.

We prefer plain, unadorned donuts, but you can frost if you prefer.  These are a bit softer in texture than my first donut recipe.  These donuts are not suitable for Atkins Induction but are OK once you get to Phase 2 OWL, grains level, if you can fit the macro numbers into your daily limits.  See the WHERE TO BUY tab above for unusual ingredient source suggestions.

INGREDIENTS: 

1/2 c. oat fiber

1/2 c. coconut flour

½ c. plain, unsweetened whey protein powder

¼ c. egg white protein powder (pure powdered egg whites)

¼ c. Einkorn all-purpose flour

1 T. baking powder

1 T. glucomannan powder (or xanthan gum)

½ tsp. salt(omit if using salted butter)

1¼ tsp. ground nutmeg(preferably fresh, grated)

1 pkt. stevia powder

½ c. Splenda (or equivalent your favorite sweetener)

½ c. granular erythritol

3 T. unsalted butter, melted

3 large eggs, beaten

3 T. Monin, DaVinci or Torani vanilla sugar-free syrup

½ c. heavy cream (or coconut milk)

½ c. water

OPTIONAL:  Low-carb frosting of your choice (not included in macros below)

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Measure all the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and stir well.   Break the eggs into the center of the dry ingredients and beat well.   Add cream, water, sugar-free vanilla syrup and melted butter.  Stir well until batter is smooth.  Batter will be quite thick so you may want to use a silicone spatula.  Well oil the 12 slots of 2 donut pans with oil of your choice.  Spoon batter into slots until they are almost full.  There is just enough batter for 12 donuts in this recipe. Even out the batter with  the back of a water-moistened teaspoon.  These do not rise much during baking, so overflow shouldn’t be a problem.   Pop into 350º oven for about 17 minutes or until firm to the touch and just beginning to brown on the edges.  Remove from oven and cool a few minutes. Loosen them with a knife tip and serve cooled off a bit for best flavor.  Top optionally with low-carb frosting of your choosing.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 12 donuts, each contains: (topping or optional icing not included)

124 calories, 9.38g fat, 10.50g carbs, 5.47g fiber, 5.03g NET CARBS, 7.48g protein, 240 mg sodium

Mandarin Orange Cheesecake Pudding

I got this idea from a cheesecake pudding recipe of Linda Genaw I have made many, many times.  I have added a little ricotta cheese to her basic recipe, Increased the whipped cream and added gelatin (to firm it up) to make up for the lower amount of cream cheese.  The flavoring I chose for this version was mandarin orange.  It was yummy!  My husband and I loved this one!  This recipe is suitable for all Atkins phases and all keto diets.  Not suitable for Paleo due to all the dairy products.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. heavy cream

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

½ c. ricotta cheese

½ c. sour cream

½ c. Splenda granular or equivalent of your favorite sweetener

Liquid sweetener (I used Splenda) to bring to your desired taste

10 drops Boyajian Pure Orange Oil

1 tsp. unflavored gelatin powder

3 T. madarin orange juice drained from can

2 c. canned mandarin oranges, drained (reserving 3 T. for dissolving gelatin)

DIRECTIONS:  Whip the heavy cream in a medium mixing bowl to nice soft peak stage.  Set aside.  Open and drain canned mandarin oranges reserving 3 T. of the juice to dissolve gelatin in.  Place the orange sections in a food processor or blender.  Process the fruit until smooth.  Bring the 3 T. mandarin orange juice to a boil, add gelatin and stir until dissolved.  To the processor or blender, add all remaining ingredients.  Process until all is well blended.  Spoon into eight 1-cup ramekins or serving dishes of choice.  Optional garnish (not included in nutritional stats): 1-2 extra orange sections if desired. Chill for at least 1-2 hours or until it firms up nicely.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes eight 1-cup servings, each contains:

369 cals, 34g fat, 9.26g carbs, 0.56g fiber, 8.7g NET CARBS, 8.37g protein, 119mg sodium

Flat Bread (low-carb)

I developed a new flatbread you might enjoy.  Texture is chewy like an Indian chapati; flavor is very similar to a whole wheat flour chapati.  But for me, best of all……is it has no coconut taste!  Man, I love coconut, but I just really get tired of that coconut taste in everything I bake with coconut flour.  This new bread recipe is excellent hot with just butter, will work well as a naan substitute with your favorite curry recipes, or for rolling or dipping into hummus or Syrian Za’atar herb/oil mixture well-known throughout the Middle East.  I think any way you decide to serve this bread, it will come very close to your expectations.  See variation notes below for also making tortillas with this batter and the nutritional numbers for that variation.

This recipe is not suitable until you are at the grains rung of the Atkins carb re-introduction ladder as there is flour product in this batter.  But I found this necessary as all trials for such flat breads using coconut flour alone, almond flour alone or any combination thereof just has not done it for me.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. low-carb CarbQuik bake mix (I order at Netrition)

1 c. almond flour

½ c. Einkorn flour (I order from Jovial Foods)

3 T. psyllium husk powder (no substitute available)

1½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. sea salt

2 T. olive oil

1¼ c. boiling water (added slowly, as all may not be needed)

1 T. olive oil for browning on griddle

DIRECTIONS:   Bring a kettle of water to boil and pour off 1¼ c. into a measuring cup (preferably one with a pour spout) and have by your work bowl.  Measure dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir well to blend ingredients evenly.  Drizzle the 2 T. olive oil over the dry ingredients.  With water in your left hand and a fork in your right, slowly pour most of the water (1 c.) over the dry ingredients whisking with your fork continuously as you do so.  All should begin to come together into a single mass of dough.  It will firm up as you work the dough.  Only add the remaining water (in small increments) if the mass of dough seems too dry to knead.  Dough will be a little sticky at first, but it dries slowly as you work it.  Use a silicone spatula to help you work the dough into a contiguous ball of dough and to scrape down the sides of the bowl to get all the dough.  Let dough sit on counter for 12-15 minutes or until you can hand knead it.

Knead the dough 8-10 times.  You can dust your hands with some low-carb flour to help you with handling if need be, but if the dough has set long enough, it should be getting dry enough extra flour dusting should not be necessary.

Set dough ball on a silicone sheet (or a piece of plastic wrap “glued” to your counter with a swipe of water), form a log shape with the dough.  Cut the log into 8 equal pieces.  Roll each into a smooth ball of dough with your palms and set on the edge  of your silicone sheet while you work.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel if you are a slow worker so it won’t dry out.  Heat a non-stick griddle to medium-high heat.  The remaining 1 T. olive is for oiling the griddle.  With your spatula, dot the griddle lightly between batches as you cook the breads, much as you do when making pancakes.

I cook 2 flat breads at a time on my griddle (spans 2 stove burners).  Using your palms and fingers, press 1 ball of dough on your silicone sheet into a 5-5½” circle.  Again, you can dust your hands with low-carb flour if need be, but I found it wasn’t necessary.  Lifting the silicone sheet, tip the flat dough round onto your free hand and transfer to hot, oiled griddle (toward the back).  Repeat for 2nd ball of dough on the front of the griddle.  Brown them to a golden color on both sides.   Remove to a serving platter and set near stove to keep warm while you cook the remaining 6 breads.  Serve at once with butter, za’atar herb/oil mix, as a wrap or alongside your favorite Middle Eastern food.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 flat breads, each contains:

157 cals., 13.8g fat, 16.7g carbs, 9.62g fiber, 7.08g NET CARBS, 6g protein, 224mg sodium

VARIATION:  To make as tortillas (10) simply divide dough into TEN portions, roll as thin as possible, and cook on the griddle.  Each tortilla will have 126 cals, 11g fat, 13.37g carbs, 7.7g fiber, 5.67g NET CARBS, 4.8g protein, 180 mg sodium

Blueberry Fat Bombs

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If you’re looking to up your fat intake on a ketogenic diet, I can’t think of a tastier way to do that than Fat Bombs!  Some are like eating fudge, some more like ice cream, and some are more like candy, but what all types have in common is THEY ARE DELICIOUS!  I keep my lemon-coconut version and this recipe chocolate version  in the freezer at all times, but do get tired of just the two flavors all the time.  Today I decided to try a blueberry version!  Made them two different ways: with whole berries; and with pureed berries. Not sure which is my fav, but I think the pureed version makes for nicer eye candy.  🙂

I just bought a large carton of blueberries this week and modified my lemon-coconut fat bomb recipe, making the obvious changes for this fruit.   These came out delicious!  I confess the pureed version was a little grainy, but blueberries don’t get all their lovely fiber count from nowhere, ya know.  But the taste was delightful.  As with all fat bombs, you have to eat them straight out of the freezer, as they melt quickly in your hands.  These are suitable for Atkins Phase 2, OWL once you get to the berries level of the carb ladder.  They are OK for Primal, but not Paleo.  Below is a pic of the silicone ice-cube trays I used.  Of course, you can use other silicone molds or even make these in a small, shallow pan and cut into squares, twisting the pan slightly to pop out the frozen squares.  Plastic ice-cube trays work nicely, too.

Note:  Coconut cream is NOT the same thing as the cream of coconut bartenders use, which has a lot of added sugar.  What I use is pure coconut cream.  I used to order by the case on-line, but now I can get it at my local Natural Grocers.  This is what I use: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A16310101%2Ck%3Acoconut%20cream .  I suspect Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s carries it.  Tropical Traditions has it also.  If you chill a can of coconut milk overnight, coconut cream is the thick stuff that rises to the top.  Spoon that off and you have coconut cream.  🙂

The pan I used (2)
Silicone ice cube tray I used (2)

INGREDIENTS: 

1 scant cup blueberries (about 9/10 cup)

1 stick butter (4 oz)

3/4 c. coconut oil

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼ c. coconut cream

Preferred Sweetener to taste

DIRECTIONS:  You can put these together in either of two ways: using whole berries; or pureeing the ingredients.  The latter more uniformly diffuses the blueberries.  I like them both ways equally.

Place silicone candy molds onto a baking pan for support and set them near your work area.  I used honeycomb silicone ice-cube trays to make the ones shown above.  The recipe made 24 fat bombs for me that are about 1″x 1″.  If your molds have smaller, shallower slots, you will undoubtedly get more than I did.

Pureed Version:  Place berries, coconut cream and softened cream cheese in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.  In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and coconut oil.  Cool slightly for 5 minutes and add to the food processor.  Puree again until smooth.  Add your sweetener of choice.  Add sweetener slowly, tasting and adjusting to suit your preference level.  I like to transfer the mixture to a spouted measuring cup or pitcher and gently pour the mixture into the molds not quite to the top.  Place pan on level surface in your freezer and freeze about an hour.  Pop them out and enjoy or freeze in plastic bags.

Whole Berry Version:  Place 3-4 blueberries into each mold slot.  In a saucepan, melt the butter and coconut oil over low heat.  Remove from heat and slightly cool for 5 minutes or so.  Add all remaining ingredients and whip well with a whisk or stick blender if you have one.  The cream cheese will separate a bit, but not to worry, as it will taste just fine in the final treats.    Add sweetener slowly, taste and adjust to your sweetness preference. Transfer the mixture to a spouted pitcher or spouted measuring cup for easy pouring into the molds.  Fill each slot not quite full. Place in freezer on level surface for about 1 hour.  Pop them out and enjoy or freeze in plastic  bags.

Whole Berry Version
Whole Berry Version

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Number of servings will vary, depending on size of molds.

1/24 batch:  116 cals., 13g  fat, .44g  protein, 1.02g  carbs, .18g  fiber, .84g NET CARBS

Entire recipe:  2788 calories, 311 g fat, 24.5 g  carbs, 4.3 g  fiber, 20.2 g  NET CARBS

Eggplant-Beef Lasagna

Eggplant beef Lasagna2

I’m defrosting spaghetti sauce for tonight, but since I have an eggplant I’m going to lose if I don’t use it ASAP, I think I’ll make us some lasagna tonight.  This dish is real tasty if you’re an eggplant fan.  It is Atkins Induction-friendly if you can fit the carbs into your day’s limits.  🙂  With all the cheese here, I do not recommend adding any salt to this dish.  This is not a particularly large recipe, so if you want extra for leftovers, double the recipe.  This recipe is not suitable until Atkins Phase 2 OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss).  It is not suitable for Primal-Paleo due to the cheese.

INGREDIENTS:

10 oz. eggplant

1 T. olive oil

1 c. low-carb spaghetti sauce with meat  (I use this recipe:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/peggys-spaghetti-sauce/)

4 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated

4 T. Parmesan cheese

1/3 c. ricotta cheese

4 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or ¼ tsp. dried)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 400º.  Stem the eggplant and slice into ¼” slices.  Oil sheet pan with olive oil and place each slice on sheet, coating both sides of them with oil as you go.  Bake until eggplant is nearly done, turning once (takes about 8-10 minutes on a side.  Remove from oven and lower heat to 350º.  Layer half the eggplant slices on the bottom of a well oiled baking dish.  Spoon half the spaghetti sauce over the top.  Evenly spread all the ricotta cheese on next.  Now sprinkle on half the mozzarella followed by 2 T. of the Parmesan.  Spread the chopped basil on next.  Now place the remaining slices of eggplant on top, reserving out one nice slice to decorate the top of the dish.  Add the remaining sauce. Sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella and then the Parmesan cheese.  Place the last slice of eggplant center dish and pop into 350º oven for around 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.  Garnish with colorful fresh basil leaves if desired.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

294.3 calories, 19.7 g  fat, 11.13 g  carbs, 3.65 g  fiber, 7.48 g. NET CARBS, 19.2 g  protein, 250 mg sodium

 

Creamy Smoky Turkey (or chicken) Casserole

creamy-smoky-chicken-casserole

This delicious casserole came about from several little bits of this and that I had in the refrigerator.  Despite that cobbled together fact, this was an amazingly good dinner!  It’s also very nutritious with the kale added, which was actually an after thought.  Thinking it might not be so photogenic, I decided to make my Savory Casserole Topping for it, which turned out to be a GOOD decision.  It added another flavor layer to the dish.  This recipe is suitable once you get to phase 2 of Atkins.  Omit the topping and you Induction folks can enjoy this as well.  This recipe is not suited for Primal or Paleo followers due to the dairy in it.

INGREDIENTS:

½ medium head cauliflower, stemmed and chopped to 3/4-1″ pieces (about 2½ cups)

2 T. coconut oil

3 oz. onion, chopped

2 large carrots, sliced or chopped

1 c. my low-carb Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

2 T. cream cheese

3/4 c. heavy (whipping) cream

2 c. cooked turkey (or chicken), chopped

3 oz. Smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

Dash black pepper

1 leaf raw kale, stemmed, chopped fine (about 3/4 c. loose-pack)

½ recipe of my Savory Casserole Topping

DIRECTIONS:  Make the casserole topping per that recipe’s instructions (click blue link above).  Set aside. Preheat oven to 350º.

In a medium saucepan, cover cauliflower with water and boil only until half tender.  While it is cooking, heat oil over high heat in non-stick large skillet (I use a non-stick wok), add onion, carrot and saute until half-tender also.  Lower heat to medium, add cream cheese and heat until melted.  Lower heat to lowest setting and add the soup, cream, half the shredded Gouda, the pepper and turkey meat.  Stir lightly to mix well.  Drain water off cauliflower when half tender and add to the skillet mixture.  Stir again.    Add the raw, chopped kale and stir one last time.  Sprinkle remaining Gouda over the top and then add half the recipe of crumble topping evenly over the top.  Reserve remaining topping for future use.  Cover pan with foil and bake at 350ºfor 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 20 minutes longer or until topping is golden brown.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings, each contains:

390 cals, 31g fat, 8.73g carbs, 2.55g fiber, 6.18 g NET CARBS, 17g protein, 539 mg sodium

Indonesian Beef Soto

Soto0021

Our best friends of some of 30+ years are wonderful cooks and often introduce us to interesting Indonesian foods and spices.  Though he is as American as apple pie, she is American-born Indonesian and often cooks Indonesian foods.  This dish came about from my exposure eating dinner with them and my reading of a number of Beef Soto recipes in cookbooks.  I combined a mixture of spices traditional to the dish, and then added some veggies I thought would also be good in it. The result of this experiment was delightful, and quite simple since the grass-fed beef brisket I used in this was already cooked.  This dish would also be good made with cooked lamb or venison.  What a hearty, rib-sticking meal this was!  You can prepare this from scratch with raw beef, but it will naturally take much longer than my version made with leftover meat, as the meat will have to be first browned in oil and then simmered in the broth/water for at least an hour to get tender before adding veggies to the pot.  This dish could also be served as a dinner entree if you made it with less broth, thickened it with your favorite thickener or mashed veggie puree and served it over basmati rice (for the non-lowcarbers, of course).  This dish is suitable for Atkins Induction and passes Paleo-Primal muster as well.   🙂

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. palm oil (or coconut oil)

3 oz. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 shallot, chopped fine

10 oz. lean, cooked beef (or lamb), cubed large

8 oz. summer squash, cut up large (calaba, zucchini, or yellow)

12 cherry tomatoes

1 tsp. dried red guajillo chiles (these are mild), seeded and chopped coarsely

Click to enlarge
Guajillo Chiles

½ tsp. ground cinnamon (or 1″ stick if you prefer)

1 tsp. Thai red curry paste

Dash of chipotle chile powder (or ½ canned chipotle chile, seeded and mashed)

1 thin slice ginger, minced

½ tsp. galangal powder (optional)

½ tsp. turmeric

around 2 c. beef stock (or water) (enough to cover meat)

DIRECTIONS:   In a large soup pot, heat the palm oil.  Brown the onion until it begins to caramelize.  Add shallot and continue to saute until shallot begins to “toast” a bit.  Add garlic and cubed meat and saute a few minutes longer.  Lower heat, add liquid and the cinnamon, guajillo chiles, ginger, turmeric and galangal powder, along with the Thai curry paste.  Simmer for 15 minutes if meat was already cooked, simmer for 30 minutes or longer if meat was raw when you started.  This will allow the spices to mingle with meat and the meat to get tender.  Add cubed squash and continue to simmer until squash is done.  Add tomatoes and cook just until tomatoes have softened up a bit, but have not fallen apart.  Thickening is optional, but you can if so desired.  I had a dab of leftover sweet potato puree in the freezer and added 3-4 tablespoons of that for thickening my soup a bit.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 3 large servings, each contains:

309 calories

19.8 g  fat

9.23 g  carbs, 2.23 g  fiber, 7 g  NET CARBS

24.2 g  protein

627 mg potassium

193 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

Chocolate Shell

chocolate-shell-coating

This recipe is ideal for making a chocolate shell for ice cream bars and a variety of chocolate candies.  The sky is the limit on how it can be used for candy making, including multi-layer candies.  Pictured above are bite-size sweets made with (left) peanuts, (center) coconut-pecan, and (right) almond-dried cranberries.  Since what you add to your chocolate will vary, the nutritional information will vary.  Therefore I am providing just the counts for the chocolate coating mixture.  you will then have to add the nuts or fruits you add to each piece for an accurate count. This recipe is chilled to set, but it keeps at room temperature for a fairly long period, so you can serve these creations at parties without fear they will melt on the plate. Just pop any leftovers back in the fridge for longer term storage.  They should freeze OK, too.  🙂

The base chocolate shell recipe is suitable (as written) for all phases of Atkins.  Then, once you reach Atkins Phase 2 OWL, you can add nuts, coconut meat, fruit bits to your candy (whatever is allowed on your eating plan).

INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE SHELL COATING:

1 c. sugar free chocolate chips (I use Hershey’s)

1 square unsweetened baking chocolate (or 4 squares Lindt 90% chocolate)

¼ c. melted butter

1 T. coconut oil (or 1 T. more butter)

6 drops liquid Splenda (or 2 tsp.vanilla sugar-free syrup)

DIRECTIONS:  Set silicone candy molds on a sheet pan.  Place your nuts, coconut, or fruit bits into each of 48 silicone candy form cups.  Next, in double boiler or a small saucepan over another pan containing boiling water, melt the butter and coconut oil.  Add the square of chocolate and melt slowly.  Add the chocolate chips, stirring constantly so the chocolate will stay smooth.  It should make a smooth, silky (not lumpy) chocolate sauce.  Dip 1 tsp. of sauce onto each candy mold slot.  There should be enough to do all 48 slots.  Then go back and put any remaining sauce as equally on the 48 candies as possible, using it all up.  The chocolate will run down around the nuts/fruit and make a solid piece of candy once chilled.  If making a smaller batch, refrigerate (or freeze) any leftover sauce in a ziploc plastic bag for future use.  Pop the sheet pan into the refrigerator for about 15-30 minutes.  When the chocolate is hard to the touch, pop ’em out from the bottom and ENJOY!  The chocolate will not totally melt if at room, but don’t leave them out for hours.  The chocolate WILL melt under the heat of your fingers if held too long.

NUTRITIONAL INFO FOR SAUCE:  Makes about 1¼ cups or 20 T. (60 tsp.).  This will be enough for 48 1″ candies.  Each tsp. contains:

19 calories, 1.79 g  fat, 0.55 g  carbs,0 .21 g fiber, 0.34 NET CARBS, 0.20 g  protein, < 1 mg. sodium

A useful chart of nutrition info for possible candy add-ins:

additives

Montreal Baked Chicken

Montreal Baked ChickenThis Atkins Induction friendly recipe is super easy…..super good!  It has been one of the most popular posts on my blog.  Since I’m making it for dinner tonight, I thought I post it again for those who may have somehow missed this flavor delight.  The secret to the crisp skin is to bake at high heat to start, then lower.  This recipe is Induction friendly and I’m proud to say it also appears in Jennifer Eloff’s Low Carbing Among Friends, Volume 2.  Order any of these cookbooks (set pricing available) from Amazon or our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

VARIATION:  A pinch of garlic powder and 1-2 T. Parmesan added to this is very good!

INGREDIENTS:

1 whole chicken cut up (I pull out the back, neck and fat to make chicken stock)

1 recipe my Montreal BBQ Sauce

DIRECTIONS:   Cut up the chicken (I cut breasts in half, remove back, making 10 pieces) and place pieces in a zipper plastic gallon bag.  Mix up the marinade and add to bag.  Manipulate well with your hands and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.  When ready to cook Preheat oven to 475º.  Place pieces of chicken on metal baking pan large enough the pieces don’t overlap, for best browning.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove and baste with juices in the pan.  Lower heat to 350º and continue baking for 20-30 minutes longer.  Time will vary due to size of chicken pieces and of course, ovens will vary.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 10 meaty pieces or 5 servings.  It would be impossible for me to calculate the exact figures for a serving because that depends upon the pieces of chicken eaten.  But to give you a rough idea, each 2-piece serving will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 393 calories, 28 g  fat, .26 g carbs, .1 g fiber, .16 g net carbs, 33.12 g  protein, 642 mg sodium.  Basically, take the nutritional info for the particular piece of chicken and add in the nutritional info for 1T. of the sauce (.16 net carbs) shown on that recipe.

Asian Pork Riblets

If you love those ribs on a classic Chinese Pu-Pu Platter you will want to give these a try.  They are not too sweet but have that sweet edge and Asian spices to make them a nice addition to your next stir-fry dinner!  Or have them as snacks or appetizers.  These are suitable once you get past the first 2 week Induction Phase of Atkins and are OK for most Keto diets if the will fit into your daily macro limits.

INGREDIENTS:

1½ lb. pork spareribs (I used the point end of a rack with little bone)

10 drops liquid smoke

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. ginger root, peeled & minced

2 T. low sodium soy sauce

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

1 tsp. rice wine vinegar

1/8 tsp. dry mustard

1 T. molasses

1 T. my homemade Hoisin Sauce

¼-½ tsp. Sriracha sauce

1 T. dry sherry (or dry white wine which helps tenderize meat)

2 T. tap water

DIRECTIONS:  Cut ribs along bones.  If using the point end of a rack of ribs, that is almost totally boneless, cut any wider strips of boneless meat into strips about 3/4″ wide, or roughly the  size of the bon-in ribs.  Set them aside for a few minutes.  In a large mixing bowl, measures out all other ingredients.  Stir to blend well.  Add meat and toss well to coat.  Cover and chill for 1-2 hours.  When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400º.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place marinated meat strips onto pan making sure they are not touching.  With a brush baste lightly with marinade.  When oven is hot, place in oven and cook for about 20 minutes.  Turn and baste the other side of the meat pieces and cook another 15-20 minutes.  When browned nicely on both sides, remove meat to a platter and serve with whatever other Asian fare you like or enjoy these as an appetizer.  Be forewarned this is finger food and they are a little sticky & messy to eat, so have plenty of napkins on hand. 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

515 cals, 40g fat, 6.17g carbs, 0.27g fiber, 5.9g NET CARBS, 29.7g protein, 428mg sodium

Bœuf Bourguignon (Beef Burgundy)

A long time favorite of my parents when they were living.  I was pretty fond of it myself!  We hadn’t had it in ages so I fixed it for dinner tonight with the small chuck I defrosted.  Yum!  I forget how good this French stewed beef dish with burgundy wine and mushrooms is!  This evening I used a fairly small piece of chuck roast, only 2#, but it made enough dinner for 4 very ample servings.  We consumed two and I froze the remainder for another meal!  This dish is not suitable for Atkins induction or Keto dieters in the first 2-3 weeks because of the wine.  But once you’ve been on plan for awhile you can enjoy this delightful, rich, hearty dish from the Burgundy region of France.

INGREDIENTS:

2 lb.   beef chuck, cut in 1½” cubes, trimmed of all fat and gristle

3 T. coconut or extra light olive oil

¼ c. Einkorn flour (or Carbquik bake mix, to reduce carbs)

2 large carrots, peeled, cut in ½” slices

4 oz. yellow onion, cut in wedges (1″ whole onions are traditional)

¼ tsp. dried thyme leaves, crushed (or 1 tsp. fresh, chopped)

2 large cloves garlic, minced (or 3 small)

½ c. Burgundy wine (or other full-bodied red wine)

¼ t.. sea salt

¼ t. coarse black pepper

10 large button mushrooms (8 oz.)

½ c. rich beef broth or bone broth

Water to cover pot contents

Thickener of your choice (I used a light dusting of xanthan gum)

DIRECTIONS:  Cut beef into 1½” cubes.  Trim all visible fat and gristle off that you can.  Using a large stew/soup pot, heat up the 3T. oil on high heat.  While it is heating, Place the meat into a bag with the flour, salt and pepper.  Shake well to coat.  Place pieces of meat into hot oil and brown the bottom surfaces.  When really browned, turn the pieces and brown the other side.  Add 1-2 c. tap water to slow the cooking.  Next add wine and all remaining ingredients listed.  End with enough more water to cover all solid ingredients, about 1/2″ past, actually.  Allow to come to a boil on high heat.  When it is bubbling lower to lowest heat setting and simmer for about 2 hours.  Cover only if too much water is evaporating and contents are not well-covered. Stir about every 15-20 minutes.  When all is tender and veggies are not too overdone, thicken liquid with your preferred thickener.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 large servings, each contains:

462 cals, 19.1g fat, 16.3g carbs, 3.3g fiber, 13g NET CARBS, 138 mg sodium (to reduce carbs, eat a smaller portion than 1/4 of the batch)

Chicken Fajitas

We usually do our fajitas (chicken or beef) on the grill, but it was kind of cold out this evening and I decided not to ask my husband to light a charcoal fire for this small meal and stand out in the cold cooking these.  Just did them in my searing skillet inside.  But they came out fantastic.  I didn’t measure my spices, but estimated 1 tsp. of each one.  This recipe is not suitable until you get past the first 2-wk. Phase 1 Induction of Atkins.

INGREDIENTS:

6 low-carb whole-wheat tortillas (I use Carb Sense from HEB)

2 large chicken breasts, deboned and skinned

3 T. total extra light olive oil or coconut oil

1 tsp. quality chipotle chile powder

1 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

3 oz. slivered onion

Optional:  If you like it, some chopped cilantro (about 1/4 c)

DIRECTIONS:  A couple hours before your meal, skin and debone the chicken breasts.  Boil the bones and skin to chop up for your pet and freeze the broth for soup making and recipes downstream.  Cut the chicken into long strips no more than 5/8″ wide.  Set meat aside a few minutes.

In a gallon ziploc bag (or bowl) mix the oil and spices, stirring well.  Add the chicken pieces and toss with a spoon (or manipulate the bag with your fingers to coat the meat well.  Zip up the bar (or cover bowl with plastic wrap) and place in fridge to marinate a couple hours.

When ready to cook, warm your tortillas on defrost in the microwave for 3 minutes (or in regular oven in a covered baking dish).  While those are warming, sliver the onion and have ready by stovetop.  Heat a non-stick large pan or seasoned cast iron skillet over high heat.  Lightly oil pan with remaining 1 T. olive oil and add the meat, sauteing until browned on first side of pieces.  Turn or stir meat to brown other surfaces of meat.  When nearly done, add the onion and saute with the chicken until the onions begin to turn brown and caramelize.

Remove to table for serving with the warmed tortillas and optional cilantro.  To serve, dip some meat and onions onto a flour tortilla.  Add cilantro if you like it.  I served these with a tasty guacamole salad.  Truth be told, I actually put the guacamole inside my fajita roll before rolling and ate it altogether!  Yummy!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 fajita rolls, each will contain:

168.33 cals, 10.03g fat, 14.26g carbs, 10.48g fiber, 3.78g NET CARBS, 14.4g protein, 430 mg sodium

Homemade Everything Bagel® Spice Blend

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Next time you bake low-carb bagels, baguettes or dinner rolls, try my new mock version of this popular spice/seed blend.  It’s real close to the taste of the real proprietary blend.  Not quite the same, but hey….I am guessing here for the amounts of each spice/seed that appear in the ingredients listings on the bottles.   It’s close enough to work for me anyway.   If you’d like to try a more aromatic blend, try my 8-Seed Blend sometime!  It’s got a wider variety of spices and is very good in its own right.

INGREDIENTS:

3 T. dried minced onion flakes

2 T. dried minced garlic granules (I find at Sam’s)

3 T. white sesame seeds

4 T. toasted white sesame seed

1 T. coarse black pepper

1 tsp. Sea Salt (I used Himalayan pink)

4 T. Black Sesame Seeds (I order on-line)

DIRECTIONS:   In your broiler, toast the 4 T. sesame seeds on a small baking sheet until lightly browned.  Please do not get distracted as they can burn in the blink of an eye!  Been there myself a time or two.  Remove and cool.  Pour them onto a paper plate.  Measure out remaining ingredients and stir well.  Fold the paper plate to pour them up into an awaiting lidded jar.  I always keep my old spice jars when emptied as they are so convenient to have when I make a new homemade spice blend such as this one.  This blend will keep for months, as the only real perishable thing in the blend are the sesame seeds, with their high oil content.  As with all spices, store in a dark cabinet or closed spice rack.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 18 T. or 54 tsp.  1 tsp. contains:

12.44 cals, 1.6g fat, 1.09g carbs, 0.34g fiber, 0.75g NET CARBS, 0.4g protein, 44.7 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

Grilled Chipotle-Lime Steelhead Trout

The delicious smoke taste on this Steelhead Trout was just amazing!  I get this fish at my local Sam’s Club and just love that they are milder than regular salmon.  The buttery chipotle-lime sauce was so good on it! The flavor profile was just sublime.  This recipe goes together in just 15 minutes or so once your charcoal fire is ready.  This is one of the healthiest dinners you can have since this salmon-family fish is also very rich in Omega-3 oil.

INGREDIENTS:

2#  Steelhead Trout filet (use salmon if you can’t get the trout)

4 T. butter, unsalted

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 c. parsley, chopped

1 chipotle pepper (canned in adobo sauce), seeded and mashed

1 T. the adobo sauce from the can

Juice of 1 lime (about 1 T.)

DIRECTIONS:  In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.  Mince the garlic and add.  Add all remaining ingredients and simmer 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Prepare charcoal fire.   With a paper towel, lightly oil te grill grate surface to help prevent sticking.  Using a basting brush, baste the flesh side of the filet.  When coals are white hot ready, place basted flesh side of the filet down on the oiled grill right over the coals.  Cook about 5 minutes.  Baste the skin side now.  With extra long spatulas, gently turn the fish over to grill the skin side next.  Basting the flesh side again.  Cook 5 minutes on this side as well.  Remove to service platter, serving the extra butter sauce at the table for each diner to brush on their serving of fish.  I served this with a cauliflower-broccoli cheesy gratin but it would be equally good with a lovely Greek Salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   After cooking shrinkage this makes 4 6-7-oz servings.  Each contains:

433 cals, 25.7g fat, 2.62g carbs, 0.79g fiber, 1.83g NET CARBS, 46.7g protein, 220 mg sodium

Cheddar Cheese Sauce

We all love a good cheese sauce for broccoli and cauliflower.  This one goes together quick and is extra thick.  Because of the amount of cheese, please note the high sodium content of this sauce.  No way to reduce that unless you cut back on cheese, resulting in a thinner, less cheesy sauce.  I like to pour some of the sauce on my veggies and bake off awhile, topping at the table with another spoonful per serving.  But that isn’t necessary.  You can just dip the sauce over the veggies right at the table when serving!

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. tap water

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I actually used 1 c. each American and Cheddar)

Dash coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS: Measure the cream and water into a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the cheese and black pepper.  Stirring constantly, heat mixture until cheese is fully melted and blending  (no visible bits or lumps) into a creamy smooth golden sauce.   You can either pour half over your veggies in an oven-proof dish and bake for 20 minutes at 350º.  Or simply serve the sauce in a bowl at table for each person to dip their own up over their pre-cooked veggies.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings of about ½ c. each.  Each serving of cheese sauce (approx. 1/4 batch) will contain:

305.5 cals, 27.05g fat, 3.77g carbs, 0.07g fiber, 12.42g protein, 618 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

 

Classic Shrimp Scampi

My father introduced us to this dish when we lived in Hampton, Virginia.  Of course, we had all the fresh seafood there in the world anytime we wanted it.  What is amazing about Shrimp Scampi is how easy it is to make.  Traditionally served over white rice, as a low-carber, I decided to spoon mine over a batch of my Foolproof Mashed Cauliflower.  It was quite good actually.  I like to add a bit of my Seafood Spice Blend to most of my seafood dishes, but it is not seen in most shrimp scampi recipes.  Occasionally I like to add a splash of a couple tablespoons of white wine to this dish, but do not always do that, so I don’t show it in the ingredients below.  Your call there.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets, as well as for Primal and Paleo followers.  Those still on Atkins Induction should not add the white wine here.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 T. butter, unsalted

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. parsley, chopped

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

¼-½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

1 oz. (optional) dry white wine, (Pinot Grigio, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc are good)

DIRECTIONS:    Preheat broiler.  In a large skillet melt the butter over high heat.  Add garlic and let saute a couple minutes.  Add shrimp and saute until the begin to get opaque and golden on the edges.  Add black pepper and spice blend.  Saute couple more minutes.  Finally add parsley and stir to blend.  Remove and pop into broiler long enough for the shrimp to begin to brown just a bit.  Remove from oven and serve immediately over bed of mashed cauliflower (or rice for non low-carbers at the table)

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:  (does not include mashed cauliflower, 1 cup of it would add around 2.8 net carbs to each serving)

306 cals, 18.1g fat, 3.73g carbs, 0.43g fiber, 3.3g NET CARBS, 31.4g protein, 233 mg sodium

 

 

Air Fryer Croutons (low-carb)

 

 

I just discovered I can make low-carb croutons in my air fryer (Power XL 7 qt 1700 watt basket style).  Using my familiar Einkorn English Muffin as the base, it was a piece or cake, or perhaps I should say a piece of “toast”. 🙂  This time I coated them with my spice mixture, but next time I’m going to put it right into the batter when making the muffin just for ease.  Doubt it will make a bit of difference in the end result.  We both thought these a tasty substitute for high-carb commercial croutons.  To lower carbs, you could use some other low-carb bread or merely eat less of them on your salad.

Croutons

INGREDIENTS: 

1 recipe my Einkorn English Muffin

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

¼ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

¼ tsp. each onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper

Dash sea salt

¼ tsp. baking powder

VARIATION:  Use other seasoning blends to change things up a bit

DIRECTIONS:  Make the English muffin by that recipe’s instructions (linked above).  If adding spices to batter, add to batter before baking.  DO NOT slice the muffin laterally when cooked.  Tip muffin onto cutting board.  When completely cooled cut into ½” cubes.  The croutons will toast better if not larger than ½” size.  I found the corner pieces (my dish is oval) toasted the best! Let cubes rest on cutting board for 1 hour to totally dry out.  Turn them over once to try to get them dry to the touch on all surfaces.

When about ready to get meal together, toss them into a medium bowl with 1 T. olive oil.  If adding spices to surface, mix it into the olive oil in the bowl and then toss in your cubes.  Stir well to coat.  Place them in the basket of your air fryer (or in a pan if you have the shelf type.  I placed a cake cooling wire rack on mine to be sure they didn’t fly around during cooking.  My fryer has a forceful fan!  Cook at 375º for about 6 minutes, checking often and shaking to get all sides brown and toasty.  Add more time if needed to get them to a firm and toasty state without them burning.  All fryers are different and the time is variable with each brand/model.  Cool completely before serving.

Low carb breads do not keep their crunchy quality for long, but if you have some leftover (I did) put remainders in a ziplock bag and reheat in the air fryer at 375º for 2-3 minutes to toast them right up again.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes enough to garnish 4 salads.  Each of the 4 servings will contain:

114 cals, 10.4g fat, 4.6g carbs, 2.25g fiber, 2.35g NET CARBS, 3.33g protein, 94 mg sodium

 

Chicken in Sofrito Cream

Chicken in Sofrito Cream

This was absolutely delicious and so incredibly quick to make!  I keep the Sofrito Sauce made up in my freezer in a plastic zip bag and just break off what I need for a recipe.  Once my chicken was seared, this took all of about 8-10 minutes to simmer to delectable deliciousness.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  Primal followers can enjoy if you do dairy but Paleo folks will want to use coconut milk instead of cream.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large chicken breast, skin on (1o oz. of deboned meat)

1½ T. butter

1 c. homemade chicken stock

½ c. heavy cream (use 2 T. less if still on Induction)

Sprinkle xanthan gum

2 T. Sofrito sauce

DIRECTIONS:   Melt butter in a non-stick skillet over high heat.  Slice meat at an angle laterally into 4 smaller filets.   I pounded mine, but that isn’t necessary.  Just a habit with me and chicken.  🙂   Sear the chicken in the hot butter, both sides, until golden.  Lower to medium when both sides are golden and the meat is fully done.  Add chicken stock around the meat.  Add cream and Sofrito sauce and simmer a couple minutes.  Lightly dust with xanthan (less than 1/8 tsp.).  Simmer until it slightly thickens, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and serve at once with you favorite sides or a nice salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes two adult servings, each contains:

590 calories

46.3 g  fat

2.6 g carbs, 0.3 g fiber, 2.3 g NET CARBS

37.4 g protein

470 mg sodium

Chicken & Italian Sausage on Zoodles

Chicken & Italian Sausage on Zoodles

Mmm, mmm, mmm.  This colorful dish was just as tasty as it looks!  And super, duper fast to get on the table for your hungry family!!  Just creamy enough without being too “heavy”.  My husband specifically asked for something light tonight since we went out for steak last night, had  oysters and the whole shebang.  🙂  He said I accomplished that goal of “light” with this wonderful new dish.  This is elegant-looking when served and most worthy of company fare.  It is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal folks who eat dairy, and Paleo followers provided you use coconut milk instead of the cream.

INGREDIENTS:

2   6-oz. zucchini (two 6″), cut into zucchini noodles or ribbons

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts around 11-12 oz. each

2 T. total olive oil

4 T. total butter (or ghee)

1 link Italian sausage, casing removed & cut into chunks

2 oz. onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. parsley, chopped (reserve 1T. for garnish)

8 cherry tomatoes, halved (or more if you like)

Several shakes coarse black pepper

Dash salt

½ c. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:  Place a non-stick skillet or wok on your burner.  Add 1 T. oil and coat entire pan surface.  Cut zoodles with a noodling tool, julienne peeler or ribbons using a vegetable peeler.  Slow saute over medium heat until they are no longer opaque and just barely beginning to soften.  Remove, dip out nicely onto a serving platter and keep in warming oven while you make the sauce.

Cut each chicken breast laterally into 2 thinner filets, cover with plastic wrap and pound with the flat side of a meat tenderizer or wooden kitchen mallet. I don’t pound them too thin, however.

Wipe skillet out with paper towel if any zoodles are hanging on for dear life.  🙂  Add the other tablespoon of olive oil, 1 T. of the butter and heat over high heat.  Sear the chicken breasts on both sides until golden and remove to a temporary plate.  Add remaining 3 T. butter, sausage, garlic and onion.    Saute until onion is tender and sausage is no longer pink and begins to brown.  Add parsley and tomatoes next. Saute 1 minute and tomatoes barely begin to soften.  Finally, add cream, salt and pepper.  Simmer just a couple minutes until cream thickens up for you.

Remove platter with your zoodles from warming oven.  Place chicken filets across the top.  Spoon the creamy sausage sauce on top and garnish with that reserved tablespoon parsley.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

531 cals, 39g fat, 7.8g carbs, 1.8g fiber, 7g NET CARBS, 38g protein, 703 mg sodium

 

Chocolate Mini Bundt Cake

This is what I made my husband for his Valentine’s Day treat.  He’s not going to have it until dinner but I think he’ll like it.  I used a little single serving cake recipe I worked up in 2009 when I first started Atkins for my starting point and just changed it up a bit as well as decorated it to make it special for the occasion.  The Jelly Bellies I decorated with for the holiday occasion are NOT included in the nutritional stats below. It is difficult to get chocolate desserts sweet enough with artificial sweeteners, so I find 2-3 in combination does the job better than just using one and increasing the amount.  Thus the 3 different ones in this.

This recipe is not suitable until you are closer to your goal weight in Atkins Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance as there is a wee bit of flour product in my bake mix.  Feel free to use any other low-carb bake mix you have on hand in this recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

¼ c. my Buttoni’s Low Carb Bake Mix (or other low-carb mix)

1T.+1tsp. cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)

Dash salt

2 T. erythritol, granular

1 T. Splenda

Dash pure stevia powder (I use KAL brand)

1 T. melted butter

1 large egg, beaten

½ tsp. vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven.  Set your mini bundt pan on a small baking pan.  If you don’t own one, use a jumbo muffin cup or small, straight-sided ovenproof bowl.  Add the butter to your pan and pop in oven on a sheet pan to melt the butter as the oven preheats.  Take it out when butter melts and brush it up the sides of the bundt pan.  Then pour off the butter into a small medium mixing bowl.  Add the vanilla and egg and beat well.  Measure the dry ingredients onto the top of the wet and stir well.  Scrape into the buttered mini bundt pan, tap to settle the batter and put back into hot oven.  Bake for 20-22 minutes or until dry to the touch or toothpick comes out clean/dry.  Cool and frost if desired.  Since I wasn’t eating this, for my frosting I just melted a block of Lindt 70% chocolate with 2 T. butter and drizzled over cake.  The frosting is NOT included in the stats below.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 1 mini cake which contains: (not including any frosting)

322 cals, 23.4g fat, 14.4g carbs, 4.9g fiber, 9.5 NET CARBS, 16.4g protein, 437 mg sodium

Low Carb Blueberry Buckle

I had some blueberries in the fridge I really needed to use up, as I’m not eating sweets these days.  Hubby was griping I’d not baked anything in ages, so I made this old-fashioned buckle.  If you’re wondering where it got its name, when constructed  in frontier days, the fruit was placed on top of the cake.  The weight of the fruit would sink the berries during baking causing the cake around the edges of the buttered cast iron skillet to puff up and then fall inward over the fruit.  Nowadays, people often just stir the berries right into the cake batter, but they still sink, causing dimples in the top of the buckle.  Whichever way you construct yours, they are wonderful desserts.  If you are watching carbs even tighter, you can lower the amount of berries.  But traditionally they used a high ratio to batter in this popular frontier dessert.  This recipe is not suitable until you reach the late stages of Atkins carb re-introduction ladder.  Please note there is no sugar in this recipe as I am off all sweeteners.   It is sweet enough for me as written, but if you like things sweeter you could add ¼c. sugar equivalent of your favorite sweetener either to the batter or sprinkled on top just before baking.

INGREDIENTS: 

1 c. Buttoni’s Low Carb Bake Mix (or other low-carb mix of choice)

½ tsp. sea salt

Zest from 1 small lemon

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

2 large eggs, beaten

½ c. (1 stick) butter, unsalted, melted in a 9″ cake pan

2 c. fresh blueberries

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Measure out dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.  Grate lemon zest and add to bowl.  Add the went ingredients and the berries.  Stir to mix and moisten all ingredients well but do not over mix.  Spoon into the already greased round cake pan.  Pop into 350º oven for 15 minutes or just until batter spots are dry to the touch.  Do not over cook.  Serve warm.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 srvgs., each contains: (based on my bake mix)

261 cals, 21.23g fat, 13.1g carbs, 3.6g fiber, 9.5g NET CARBS (use fewer berries for lower carbs), 8.6g protein, 256 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)

Hot and Sour Soup

This soup I made for our lunch today came out so good!  It reminds me so much of Hot and Sour soup served in Chinese restaurants, all but the tofu.  I try to avoid soy as much as possible and used bean sprouts in place of tofu, but if you consume it, add about 1 c. small french-fry strips to the pot for a more authentic soup.  This recipe is suitable for Atkins, ketogenic diets, Primal and Paleo as well.

INGREDIENTS:

5-6 oz. piece of pork loin, trimmed of all fat, slivered thin

1 T. olive oil

4 c. pork or chicken broth (I use homemade)

1½ c. bean sprouts, fresh (or canned, drained)

1 large green onion, chopped

1 bok choy leaf (green part only), or 1 leaf kale, chopped

4 oz. red bell pepper, sliced (not authentic, but very good)

¼ c. dried sliced shitake mushrooms (equivalent of 2 mushrooms)

½ c. dried clour ear fungi/mushrooms

sesame oil (my bottle says toasted)

¼ c. rice wine vinegar (no substitutions)

½ Tamari or soy sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. Sambal Oelek chili sauce (more if you like real spicy)

1 c. water (as needed)

½ tsp. xanthan gum to slightly thicken

Dash toasted sesame seeds

VARIATIONS:  Add 1 c. chopped tofu (french-fry shape).  You can also sub in slivered canned bamboo shoots for the bean sprouts for a different look but taste won’t be greatly changed with that sub.

DIRECTIONS:  Brown slivered pork in the tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of a 4 qt. saucepan.  Add all remaining ingredients but the last 3 (water, xanthan gum & toasted seeds).  Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat and simmer just until red pepper is starting to soften (but is not mushy, limp), or about 5-6 minutes.  Bok choy (or kale) will be done by then.  Taste broth.  If too salty for you add the water slowly until to your desired salty level.

I use a salt shaker for my xanthan gum.  Lightly dust it over surface and stir in.  Simmer a couple minutes to let it take action.  Repeat until soup is thick enough (or until all used).  This should be enough thickener even if you add the cup of extra water.  Add sesame seeds and stir or you can serve them with the soup at table, letting diners sprinkle seeds on their own.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

251 cals, 18g fat, 9.87g carbs, 4.85g fiber, 5.02g NET CARBS, 18.5g protein, 1207 mg sodium (Use low sodium soy sauce to reduce, but I was out of it.)

 

 

Air Fryer Jamaican Jerked Pork Loin

These were some small 4-oz. pieces of pork loin I took out of the freezer tonight and I wanted to try my latest spice creation on them.  I chose to do these in my air fryer, but am sure they would be even better done on the charcoal grill.  Tomorrow is another day :).  Man, were these ever tasty!  Much better than the jerked chicken I had one time in a little cafe here in town (that has since folded, maybe that’s why).  I see much many Jamaican Jerk meats in my future with my toned-down version of Jamaican Spice.   This recipe, with the typical brown sugar eliminated from my version of the spice, should be suitable on any eating program, ketogenic or otherwise.

INGREDIENTS:

4   4-oz. pieces boneless pork loin

¼ c. light olive oil

2 T. my Homemade Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend

1 oz. onion, minced fine (I used red onion)

DIRECTIONS:   Pour the olive oil into a marinating dish.  Add the spice blend and minced onion to the dish.  Stir.  Dip each “chop” into the mixture, using it all up, trying to get the minced onion evenly onto all sides of the meat.  Cover and marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

To air-fry, preheat your fryer to 375º for 3 minutes.  Open and place meat in the basket so they do not touch.  Cook at 375º for about 12 minutes.  Turn and if any left in the marinating pan, brush any marinade remainders onto the exposed side.  Raise fryer to 400º and cook for another 3-4 minutes.  As fryers vary, check before time is up to be sure yours doesn’t cook hotter than mine.  If charcoal grilling, have your coals very hot and place meat on the grate and grill for about 15 minutes on each side or until thoroughly done but not dried out.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 adult servings (shrink to about 3.2 oz. cooked ad they are so lean to begin with). Two chops contain:

578 cals, 40g fat, 6.9g carbs, 1g fiber, 5.9g NET CARBS, 49.1g protein, 204 mg sodium

Homemade Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend

I have eaten Jamaican Jerked chicken in a cafe before but found it way too spicy for my palate.  I understand the spices (and amounts) varies a lot from household to household, much like gumbos vary in Louisiana from family to family.  I have always found most commercial Jerk seasonings to be too heavy with salt, and of course, I also cannot have the sugar anymore, or in my case, not even substitute sweeteners.  I worked around that adding a small amount of maple extract to the final marinade to mimic brown sugar’s taste.  Works for me!  I’m extremely pleased with my final version, having now tested it out on oven-baked chicken, grilled shrimp and air-fried pork.  We loved it on all 3 meats.  This spice is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets as well as Paleo and Primal Blueprint followers as well.

INGREDIENTS: 

1 T. Spanish Smoked Paprika (I order mine on-line)

2 T. onion powder or granulated onion

3 T. garlic powder

2 T. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. crushed red pepper (more if you like things real spicy)

2 T. crushed dried thyme leaves

1 T. allspice

1 T. ground cinnamon

2 T. dried parsley

1 T. coarse black pepper

1 tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS:   Measure out all ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. Stir well.  Spoon into an old empty spice jar or other jar with tight lid.  Tip:  when making spice blends, pour the mix onto a paper plate (in 2-3 portions), fold the plate to make a handy “funnel” to tap your new spice right into the receiving jar.  My Dad taught me this trick as he loved concocting his own blends.  As with all spices, store in a dark cupboard or spice cabinet that has doors. I use 2 T. for pork chops, 3 T. for whole chicken or equivalent parts, and 2 T. on shrimp.  I always rub either olive oil or butter all over the meat surfaces so the spice will adhere and marinate for 1 hour (covered) in the refrigerator before cooking.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes about 14 tablespoons of spice.  Each 1T. serving contains:

20.6 cals, 0.31g fat, 4.71g carbs, 1.07g fiber, 3.64g NET CARBS, 0.72g protein, 169 mg sodium

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts with Sofrito Sauce

I keep seeing recipes on air fryer Facebook groups that use baking powder to coat chicken for frying.  Well, I’m here to tell you that flat WORKS!  You will simply be amazed!  I can’t convey how crisp this chicken came out.  My husband said I could “do this one again and SOON!”  I want to caution people who must restrict potassium this techniques is not for you, as 4 tsp. baking powder has 2020 mg potassium.  You could substitute 1/4 c. almond, coconut, low-carb bake mix or Parmesan cheese instead of the baking powder if you are potassium shy.  Might not come out quite as crisp, but doable.  The sauce I made for this is one I’ve used in many of my recipes, as I find Puerto Rican Sofrito to be almost addictive it is so delicious!  This dinner tonight, served with steamed cauliflower and fresh green beans, was a big hit with my husband!

Added note:  Please don’t think MORE is better when it comes to this coating.  This isn’t like flour coatings, where more may be better.  With the baking powder coating, MORE is NOT BETTER!  Too much baking powder will taste sharp, almost bitter.  Been there.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHICKEN: 

2 medium chicken breasts, skin left on

4 tsp. baking powder (I use aluminum free)

¼ tsp. each onion and garlic

¼ tsp. sea salt

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE:

2 T. butter, unsalted

1 T. my Sofrito Sauce

1 Roma tomato, chopped

Dash each salt and pepper

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

(thickener of choice if you feel a need)

DIRECTIONS:  De-bone the chicken breasts (I buy with the rib frame so I can boil the bones for broth and any bits of meat for my dog).  If your chicken breasts are quite large, often these days, slice them laterally and splay them out for more even cooking.  Measure and stir the baking powder and spices on a paper plate and coat the chicken pieces well on all surfaces.  Set aside for a few minutes.  Preheat your air fryer.  Place breasts into basket skin-side down on piece of parchment paper lining, as mine tended to want to stick to my basket.  Set fryer to 375º and cook 18 minutes skin-side down.  Open fryer, turn and cook skin-side up another 18 minutes.  Check them at 15 minutes both sides if your chicken breasts are small…….also air fryers can vary.

While they are cooking, melt the butter in a medium skillet.  Add the Sofrito Sauce and simmer on low heat for 2 minutes.  Add chopped tomato and simmer 3-4 minutes to break them down a bit.  Finally add cream and water and simmer 3-4 more minutes, allowing to reduce and slightly thicken.  If not thick enough for you preference, add a light dusting of your favorite thickener, stir and simmer 1-2 more minutes.  Serve with sauce spooned over each breast.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

736 cals, 51.5g fat, 9.1g carbs, 1.9g fiber, 7.2g NET CARBS, 60g protein, 1180 mg sodium

Cake Donuts

Low-Carb Cake Donuts

My husband has always liked really plain cake donuts: no icing, no flavors, no sprinkles, no powdered sugar, no cream fillings, no nothing extra beyond vanilla extract and nutmeg.  He was so fond of Dolly Madison cake donuts when I met him. When we were still dating, I couldn’t believe we’d go into Dunkin’ Donuts on Congress Avenue, downtown Austin and he would order plain cake donuts!!  All those luscious donut varieties staring back from the glass display cases didn’t phase him at all!  Only other donut I ever saw him order was a glazed, strawberry jelly donut (talk about contrast LOL).

So I went about creating a low-carb version of his beloved Dolly Madison cake donuts. I couldn’t be more pleased with the result! These donuts have a lovely texture, the required hint of nutmeg, and I’m certain Dolly herself would be proud if she tasted these!  See the SUPPLIERS tab at top of page for hard-to-find ingredients.

NOTE:   I made a lovely dessert with 4 of these.  Sliced them in half laterally and placed in the bottom of a tart pan.  Topped with thin slices of peaches (3 small).  Dotted with butter all around.  Sprinkled cinnamon and erythritol on top and baked 30 minutes.  A delicious dessert for your family. 🙂

INGREDIENTS: 

1/2 c. oat fiber

1/2 c. + 3 T. coconut flour

¼ c. plain, unsweetened whey protein powder

¼ c. egg white protein powder (pure powdered egg whites)

1 T. baking powder

1½ tsp. glucomannan powder (or xanthan gum)

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground nutmeg(preferably fresh, grated)

1 pkt. stevia

½ c. sugar equivalent of your favorite sweetener

1/3 c. granular erythritol

3 T. melted butter, unsalted

3 large eggs, beaten

3 T. DaVinci vanilla sugar-free syrup (or 1 tsp. vanilla extract + 2½ T. more water)

½ c. heavy cream (or coconut milk)

½ c. water

Optional:  mix a bit of cinnamon with a bit of granular erythritol to sprinkle on top if desired

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Measure all the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and stir well.   Break the eggs into the center of the dry ingredients and beat them well.   Add cream, water, DaVinci syrup and melted butter.  Stir well until batter is smooth.  Batter will be quite thick.  Well oil the 12 slots of 2 donut pans with oil of your choice.  Spoon batter into slots until they are almost full.  There is just enough batter for 12 donuts in this recipe. Even out the batter with  the back of a teaspoon.  These do not rise much during baking, so overflow shouldn’t be a problem.   Pop into 350º oven for about 17 minutes or until firm to the touch and just beginning to brown on the edges.  Remove from oven and cool a few minutes. Loosen them with a knife tip and serve cooled off a bit for best flavor.  Top optionally with cinnamon/erythritol, powdered erythritol or low-carb icing of your choosing.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 12 donuts, each contains: (topping or optional icing not included)

128.6 calories, 9.56 g  fat, 11.77 g  carbs, 9.15 g fiber, 2.62 g  NET CARBS, 6.08 g  protein, 114 mg sodium

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

 

Buttery Sriracha Pot Roast

Buttery Sriracha Pot Roast

The pan juices this roast make, melded with the butter, Sriracha sauce and caramelized onion are so sweet and tasty I spoon it out onto my meat. I make sure to not use much Ranch seasoning so as not to drown out the magic of the other flavors.  Man, is this roast ever good! If you’re a pot roast fan, this one is definitely worth a try.  I’ll bet you add it to your regular rotation roast recipes.  It’s THAT good!    It’s incredibly simple, too.  For those that shy away from spicy foods, there was a bit of tingle on my tongue, but this was not very hot with Sriracha really.  It wasn’t too hot for me, and I don’t like my food very spicy when push comes to shove.  🙂  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.

INGREDIENTS:

2¼ lb. beef chuck roast (this was a very small roast)

½ pkg. Ranch Buttermilk dressing powder

3 oz. onion, sliced pretty thin

2 tsp. Sriracha sauce

4 T. unsalted butter, cut into smaller bits

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Place meat in suitable pan.  I used a 9×9 square metal pan.  Sprinkle the Ranch powder over the top surface of the meat.  Next top with the sliced onions.  Now invert Sriracha bottle and in a zig zag motion like they do chocolate sauce over desserts in the fancy restaurants, zig-zag about 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce over the onion layer.  Next dot with small pieces of the butter to evenly cover.  Top with a good sprinkling of black pepper.  Pop into oven without a cover and bake for about 2 hours.  Chuck takes longer to get tender.  There is a fair amount of shrinkage, so you’ll only end up with about 2 lbs. cooked meat which will serve 4 people nicely, perhaps even 5.  I’m calculating for 4 adult servings.  Cut meat into thick slices and serve with pan juices (that’s the best part!).  No need to thicken the pan juices.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Serves 4 adults, each generous serving contains:

397 cals, 19g fat, 2.9g carbs, 0.2g fiber, 2.7g NET CARBS, 50.7g protein, 432 mg sodium

 

 

 

Southwest Ham-n-Cheese Squash

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Once again, the Queen of Leftovers creates a surprisingly delicious dish with a bit of “this and that” she has been staring at the last few days in the fridge.  One small piece of thick ham steak, half a spaghetti squash and an avocado getting way too ripe on my kitchen counter.  Just sounded like a Mexican meal in the making to me!  This creation sort of reminds me of Ham-Mac-and-Cheese.  But the generous handful of cilantro really takes it to a different flavor level.  For those that don’t like cilantro, just leave it out and sub in a little chili powder.  This dish will be nearly as good without it, I’m sure.

The Mexican Poinsettia stuck onto my guacamole was an afterthought, but I thought it came out very pretty!    I quartered 2 San Marzano tomatoes and 1 thin slice of jalapeno pepper for my flower.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Ketogenic diets, but is not suitable for Primal-Paleo.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 of a medium, 7-8″ long spaghetti squash (about 1¾ c. threads)

2 tsp. bacon grease

2 oz. onion, chopped (I used red onion)

4 oz. chopped ham

¼ c. red bell pepper, chopped

½ c. chopped cilantro

2 oz. American Deluxe or cheddar cheese, shredded

2 oz. Monterrey Jack Cheese (2 slices)

VARIATION:  Use bacon in place of the ham.

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Place the half squash cut-side down in a dish with ½” water and microwave on HI for 13 minutes.  Fork the threads into a bowl and save the shell to stuff.  While it is cooking, Melt the bacon grease in a skillet and saute the onion until tender.  Add the ham and bell pepper and saute until they are done/tender respectively. Turn off fire and stir in the cilantro.  Add half the ham mixture to the bowl of squash and stir well.  Add the American or cheddar cheese shreds and stir again.  Spoon into the squash shell.  Top with the 2 slices of Jack cheese any way you want to arrange/cut and place it.  Top with the remainder of the ham mixture and pop into the 3350º oven just long enough to melt the Jack cheese, or about 15 minutes.  Remove and scoop half the squash contents onto each plate and serve with guacamole or a green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 2 servings, each contains:

399 calories, 26.5 g  fat, 14.45 g  carbs, 2.65 g  fiber, 11.80 g  NET CARBS, 26 g  protein, 1600 mg sodium (soak ham in water for 1 hour before frying to lower sodium)

Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

My husband raved about our Char Siu tonight!  Throughout the meal he just wolfed it down saying “Yes!” over and over again, ending the meal with “You can make those again any time!”.  LOL  I have to admit, it did come out pretty darn tasty.  I had thawed 4 small pieces of lean pork loin, but when I decided to do an Asian grilled dinner, I thawed two more pieces so there would definitely be some leftover.  The marinade I came up with basically has all the usual things I like to put in my Chinese stir-fries.  I wanted a sweet edge, so other than the plum flavor in the hoisin sauce, all I had on hand was canned pineapple juice or fresh-squeezed orange juice.  But after seeing the carb count for both, I decided to go another route for the sweet factor needed:  diet orange drink and maple extract.  If you use the actual fruit juice, know your carbs will go up to around 8.5 net carbs per serving with the orange juice and around 10 net carbs with pineapple juice.

The vegetable combination in the side stir-fry was stellar with this delicious smoked meat.  If you don’t own a grill, you CAN bake this meat on a metal sheet pan in a 400º oven for about 30 minutes, but we don’t think kebabs of any sort are as tasty cooked inside.  🙂

MEAT:  1½ lb. boneless pork loin (leave bit of fat on edges), cut 3/4″ strips

VARIATION:  Substitute strips of chicken meat for the pork

MARINADE INGREDIENTS:

3 cloves garlic, minced

1½ tsp. fresh ginger root, peeled and minced

2 T. my Homemade Hoisin Sauce

3 T. soy sauce (I use low-sodium)

1 T. rice wine vinegar

2 T. toasted sesame oil

2 T. dry sherry (or white wine)

¼ c. diet orange soda (Zevia® brand with stevia) (or squeezed from orange)

½ tsp. maple extract

¼ tsp. each black and cayenne peppers

VEGGIE STIR-FRY SIDE:

3 T. light olive oil

2 oz. onion, sliced

3 oz. red bell pepper, diced to 3/4″

2 c. bok choy (2 stalks)

Remainders of meat marinade

DIRECTIONS: Cut boneless pork loin into 3/4″ strips and set aside.  Measure up all marinade ingredients into medium mixing bowl.  Stir well and add pork.  Stir, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.  Stir contents every 2 hours to be sure all meat is getting a good soaking in the marinade flavors.  Also soak your wood skewers in water (to prevent catching fire during cooking) while your meat is marinating.

When ready to prepare meal, set meat out on counter to come to nearly room temperature. While meat is sitting, cut up the onion, red bell pepper and have ready by the stove.  Next cut leaves off the bok choy stems and cut or tear them into large pieces.  Cut the white bok choy stems separately into ½” slices.  Have all veggies at the ready by the stove.

Now go over and skewer the pork as evenly as possible onto your skewers (I do mine like a “Z” or snake, piercing meat 2-3 times for stability during grilling).  I put 2 long strips on each skewer (3 smaller pieces on a couple skewers) using this “Z” method.  I do make every attempt to put equal portions of meat on each skewer.

Prepare charcoal fire in your outdoor grill. When your coals are white hot, place skewers of meat directly over coals.  Reserve the marinade for final recipe step.  If coals are plenty hot, this meat will only take 2-3 minutes on a side to get done, provided it was cut as directed.

While someone is cooking/watching the meat outside, prepare the veggie stir-fry at your stove-top.  Heat olive oil in skillet or wok over high heat.  Add onion, cut up white bok choy stems and diced red bell pepper.  Stir-fry until all just begin to soften.  Add bok choy leaves last and cook the veggies until bok choy leaves just go limp.  Finally, add in the reserved marinade, stir-frying, stirring continuously, long enough to insure the marinade juices are thoroughly cooked, for health reasons.  Raw meat juices in the marinate MUST be fully cooked to be safe to eat (about 3-4 minutes).  Plate the veggies alongside the grilled meat on your serving platter and serve.  This would be tasty with some favorite low-carb dinner roll or bread.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 skewers.  Each 2-skewer serving with 1/4 of veggie stir-fry contains:

437.5 cals, 26.3g fat, 8.35g carbs, 1.82g fiber, 6.53g NET CARBS, 39.72g protein, 561 mg sodium

Bernaise Sauce

Bernaise Sauce
Serve with Linda Genaw’s “Just Like Baked Stuffed Potatoes”. https://www.genaw.com/lowcarb/just_like_stuffed_baked_potatoes.html

This recipe is inspired by my mories of a wonderful steak with bernaise sauce I had at Galveston’s Wentletrap Restaurant some years back.  We moved away, so I don’t know if it survived Hurricane Ike though.  Sure hope so.  For those that don’t know, a wentletrap is a beautiful seashell.  This restaurant sure was a great place for fine dining.  I’ve loved bernaise sauce so much since, I have even been known to serve it on top of scrambled or fried eggs occasionally!  Yes, I know that may be odd, but it really is quite good!   Bernaise is actually just Hollandaise sauce with a tarragon-vinegar twist added.  This sauce is Induction friendly, albeit a bit fat/calorie pricey.  🙂  This recipe makes enough to serve atop 4 servings of eggs, a bowl of fresh asparagus, over a delicious grilled steak or butter-seared chicken breast.  If any is leftover, I just cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to two days.  To reuse, just melt 1-2 T. butter in a pan and slowly add in the leftover Bernaise a spoonful at a time, whisking continuously. Voilà, it’s reborn! 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

¼ c. red or white wine vinegar

1 T.  parsley, chopped

¼ tsp. dried tarragon (or 1 tsp. fresh, chopped)

3 egg yolks

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 stick butter, unsalted (4 oz. or 8 T.)

DIRECTIONS:   This sauce goes together pretty fast, so you really have your steaks about ready before you begin.  Now for the sauce, add vinegar, parsley and tarragon to a small saucepan and over medium heat, bring to boil, lower heat and simmer to allow it to reduce to about 1-2 T.  In another  non-stick skillet over med-low heat, whisk the egg yolks with the splash (1 tsp) lemon juice and 1-2 T. of the butter until smooth.  Whisking continuously, add the rest of the butter in small pats, whisking between each pat as it melts.  When all butter is melted and smoothly incorporated, add the tarragon-vinegar mixture to the Hollandaise egg-butter mixture and stir well.  Serve at once in whatever recipe you are using this for.  If you like a thinner Bernaise, just add more melted butter and adjust the nutritional info to reflect that addition.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes  about 1 cup, or 4 servings of  ¼ c. each.   A fourth of the recipe contains:

248 cals, 26g fat, 0.83g carbs, 0.1g fiber, 0.73g NET CARBS, 2.35g protein, 11 mg. sodium

Tzatziki

Click to enlarge

This well-known Greek sauce is one of those recipes I’ve been meaning to put up on my site for ages and ages and just kept forgetting to do it.  This year I’m really trying to get to posting all those recipes I make often but are the meal “extras” and not the “main attraction”.   This is typical condiment with Greek food and  Middle Eastern/Mediterranean grilled beef or Kubideh lamb kebabs and ground beef/lamb koftas.  It’s also great on tuna, salmon or crab cakes or on shawarma gyros-type sandwich wraps.  I’ve even used this sauce on cucumber-tomato salads as a dressing!  It’s ever so simple to make, too!

Be sure to squeeze out as much water from your grated cucumber as you can before combining all the ingredients or else it will bleed out its water into the sauce and really weaken the flavor and spoil the 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.

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

Einkorn Soft Pretzels

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I can’t take full credit for this recipe.  My inspirational recipe was Maria Emmerich’s “Healthified Sub” recipe. I changed the water, added yeast for flavor and of course, added some Einkorn flour.  Oh, I also reduced the salt.

Man, the house smells like a bakery while these are baking…..you know that smell!  These rose nicely, have a chewy crust and have a very nice texture inside, as you can see in the photo  above.  They have the mouth feel and taste of real yeast bread, perhaps a wee bit more firm and “elastic”, but not unpleasantly so.  These were simply DELICIOUS!!  I got 8 pretzels from this recipe.   Being made with psyllium, these are VERY filling. 🙂

It goes without saying this recipe, with a bit of flour, is not suitable until you reach the grains rung of the Atkins carb reintroduction ladder in  Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance.  I order my Einkorn Flour from JovialFoods.com.  I order my NOW psyllium husk powder from Netrition.com.

If you want a lower carb bun, either reduce the Einkorn flour, or I just make Maria’s bun as her recipe is written (no Einkorn flour at all), but I would still add the yeast and pinch of sugar, as that adds a lovely yeast taste and aroma to these buns.   As you can see by my picture, I’m not as talented with “shaping” pretzels as some. LOL  Must work on that.  But the dough is somewhat difficult to work with.  sounds like a good excuse to me.  🙂

INGREDIENTS:  

1½ c. almond flour

5 T. psyllium husk powder (I use NOW brand)

2 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. dry yeast

¼ c. Einkorn Flour (or 1/4 c. low-carb bake mix)

Pinch sugar (consumed by yeast)

2½ T. apple cider vinegar

3 egg whites

1 c. boiling water

OPTIONAL:  1 egg white to glaze tops for a sheen.  Coarse-ground sea salt on tops.

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Line a sheet pan with silicone sheet or parchment. Mix all the dry ingredients (including yeast) in a medium mixing bowl.  Stir well to be sure it is uniformly mixed.  Boil water.  Mix the egg whites and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork and add all at once to the dry ingredients.  I do not recommend using Konsyl brand psyllium.  Ruined a batch of bread with it one time.  Stir quickly with the fork, to make a thick dough.  Pour the 1 c. boiling water over the dough all at once and using the fork, stir quickly into a smooth mixture.  Now, using a rubber spatula and continue to stir quickly and fold as it thickens up.   Scoop out about 1/3 c. dough, roll on a silicone sheet into a 1/2″ “rope”.  Shape your pretzel, making two rings with a twist in the middle.  Repeat for other 7 pretzels. Place on the parchment/silicone lined pan fairly close together and pop into preheated 350º oven for a total of 45 minutes. If using egg wash, remove pan at 30 minutes cook time,  beat 1 egg white with 1 T. water and brush tops.  Sprinkle with coarse cracked salt.  Pop back into the oven and finish baking for about 15 minutes longer or until as brown as you desire.  Cool on pans before eating, as centers seem somewhat pack-y and “wet” if you don’t wait.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 pretzels, each contains:

154.4 cals, 10.6g fat,12.6g carbs, 6.98g fiber, 5.62g NET CARBS,6.53g protein, 193 mg sodium