Asian Shrimp Patties


These tasty shrimp patties make a wonderful lunch for us.  We both LOVE them.  They are suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  This recipe was one of the first ever posted on my blog back in 2009.  But it is still a keeper for us!


8 oz. raw, peeled shrimp
1/2 tsp. chili paste (I used Sambal Oelek)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp. minced shallots or green onion
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp. lemon grass, grated (if available)
1/4 of a Revo Roll crumbled

1 ¾ tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. peanut butter
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. grated ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 tsp. chili paste or Sriracha sauce
1 tsp. Splenda or sweetener of your choice
1 T. low sodium soy sauce

Process all the ingredients for the patties in a food processor or blender until well blended. Shape into 6 small patties and brown in a skillet rubbed with an oiled paper towel.  You’ll know when they are done as they become visibly opaque and golden brown.  This recipe is technically not suitable until Phase 2 OWL due to sauce ingredients, but the patties themselves are OK for Induction and there’s so little PB and rice vinegar in the sauce, it probably won’t cause you problems or cravings even if still in Atkins Induction phase.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  Makes 3 servings, each contains:

142 cals, 6.33g fat, 3.5 g  carbs,0.92 g fiber, 2.58g NET CARBS, 17.6 g protein, 178 mg. sodium


Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

Click to enlarge


This is my version of a dish that we used to order regularly at Szechuan East, a Chinese restaurant that was once (and may still be for all I know) at the Galleria on Westheimer in Houston, TX.  It was truly one of the very best Chinese dishes I’ve ever eaten in my life.  I admit, up front, eggplant can be visually off-putting, but the flavor on this dish is just amazing!  All at the same time it is sweet–sour–and spicy.   One night while enjoying dinner in this particular restaurant, we saw Debra Paget (well-known 50’s actress who played Indian princesses in more than one film) enjoying a meal across the room, all alone at her table.  My husband told me her last husband was a wealthy, business Asian, but reading his bio , he was well-known in his own right.  Being children of this film era, we were quite excited to see someone who had been so famous at one time and my husband went quietly over to her table after her meal concluded and asked for her autograph.  She seemed genuinely pleased she had been recognized and was delighted to do so.  Sorry, I digress.  🙂

Though this dish is also off-putting texturally (pieces are quite slippery when properly cooked and sauced), the flavor is so delightful it continues to be a favorite in many Chinese restaurants.  Both my husband and I can get past the look and texture to appreciate the subtle flavor nuances of this dish.  It is typically eaten atop rice, but it’s not bad eaten alone or incorporated into a simple shrimp-stir-fry.  It is outstanding with grilled Asian Marinated meat.  If you like eggplant and are not bothered by its sometimes slippery texture, you will REALLY like this dish.  🙂

VARIATION:  This is also good with RED bell pepper strips sauteed and added to the mix.  Colorful, too.


1   1-lb. eggplant, peeled and cut into ¼” strips

4 T. olive oil

½ tsp. HOT sesame oil

½ pkt. Splenda or Stevia   

1 T. rice wine vinegar (no substitions)

1½ T. low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos

3 small cloves garlic, minced

½ c. chicken broth

1/2-1 tsp. oriental chili paste like Sambal Oelek (or use crushed red pepper flakes)

1/8 tsp. xanthan gum to thicken

1 tsp. sesame seeds (optional and not included in numbers below)

DIRECTIONS:   Peel eggplant and cut into ¼” strips.  Heat olive and hot sesame oil in non-stick skillet or wok.   Add eggplant strips and gently stir fry.  Keep gently tossing them around on the hot pan surface and they WILL eventually get limp and soft.  When they are all starting to look translucent, add all remaining ingredients and simmer 1-2 minutes.  Add a tiny bit of your favorite thickening agent and stir well until slightly thickened.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 3 servings, each containing:

214.7 cals, 19.8g fat, 9.37g carbs, 4.77g fiber, 4.6g NET CARBS, 2.23g protein, 355 mg sodium

Shrimp Stir-Fry on Shirataki Noodles

Click to enlarge

I’ve been occasionally using the opaque variety of shirataki noodles (made from the konjac tuber) and I am definitely liking the ones that contain oat fiber much better than the translucent variety.  I need my noodles to be opaque.  The tofu shirataki noodles definitely LOOK like flour-based pasta, but are anything but.  They are actually fairly tasteless on their own.  Instead they take on the taste of whatever delicious sauce/food you put over the top of them or cook them in.  And that’s OK with me.  Even if just a mind game, they are filling and they psychologically allow me to have noodles (a tabu food for low-carbers) on my low-carb journey.  🙂  Eaten on shirataki noodles, this dish is OK for all phases of Atkins provided those still on Atkins Induction omit the sherry/wine.

This dish got a two thumbs up from my husband.  Whenever he gets this excited about a recipe, I definitely like to share it here with my readers.  This dish has few ingredients and goes together in about 10 minutes, so it’s a great recipe for those days you fall asleep all afternoon. 😉    I’m honored the nice folks at Konjac Foods featured my recipe on their website amongst a number of other tasty-looking recipes on their recipes page!   🙂


24 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

2   8-oz. packages of tofu shirataki noodles (Konjac noodles)

1½ T. coconut oil

2 oz. onion, slivered into thin strips

2 oz. red bell pepper, slivered into thin strips

1 very large jalapeno, seeded and slivered into thin strips

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ tsp. ginger root, peeled and minced

1 T. sherry or white wine (omit if on Induction)

1 T. low-sodium soy sauce

Pinch black or toasted sesame seeds

1 c. chicken broth (homemade) or 1 cube in 1 c. water

1/8 tsp. xanthan gum

OPTIONAL:   Sambal Oelek chile sauce to taste.

DIRECTIONS:  Open bags of noodles and rinse them for 3-4 minutes under hot water to get the fishy odor off of them. Drain on paper toweling.  Trust me the shrimp topping will kill any remaining odor on the noodles after rinsing. Set aside. Prepare all the vegetables and have them at the ready by the stove.  Crumble the bouillon cube into the hot water.  Add soy sauce, garlic and ginger.  Heat coconut oil in a non-stick wok or skillet.  Stir-fry the onion, red pepper and jalapeno until just begins to get tender.  Add shrimp and sauté until they are curling and opaque.  Pour chicken bouillon mixture into pan and sauté 1-2 minutes.  Sprinkle xanthan gum over top of mixture and stir/sauté 1-2 minutes or until it begins to slightly thicken the sauce and the liquid is adhering to the shrimp and veggies, turn off fire.  Plate half the noodles on each of two dinner plates and dip half the shrimp mixture up over the noodles.  Serve with a nice green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 adult servings, each contains:

237 calories, 13.15 g  fat, 11.7 g  carbs, 4.1 g  carbs, 7.6 g  NET CARBS, 17.8 g  protein, 1135 mg sodium

Pepper & Bok Choy Chicken

chinese-chicken-with-peppers-bokchoyYesterday I shared my Pepper Steak recipe.  Today let’s do that classic with chicken and a little bok choy thrown in for color and flavor!  This colorful creation is simply yet delicious.  It is quite “light” in flavor yet satisfies my desire for Chinese stir-fry.  Once you have all the sauce ingredients handy and the veggies cut up, you can be eating this tasty meal in 15 minutes!  We ate it as is since rice isn’t allowed on a low-carb regimen, but you could serve this on a nice bed of steamed cauli-rice.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal-Paleo as well, provided you omit the xanthan gum or use a plan-suitable thickener.


1 large chicken breast, de-boned, skinned  & cut into small pieces (mine yielded 10 oz.) save skin and bones

3 T. coconut or light olive oil

3 oz. yellow or white onion, sliced in wedges

1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced thin

3 oz. red bell pepper, cut into small pieces

2 cups bok choy (1-2 stalks), sliced, keeping white & green parts separate

½ c. canned mushrooms, drained  (or 1 cup fresh, sliced)

¼ c. green onion tops, chopped ½”

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. minced ginger root

1 c. chicken broth  (from boiled bones/skin you saved)

2 T. low-sodium soy sauce

¼-½ tsp.  Sambal Oelek chili paste  (or ½ tsp. Sriracha sauce)

¼ tsp. xanthan gum or your favorite thickener

OPTIONAL:  Sprinkle on some sesame seeds.

DIRECTIONS:   Debone chicken breast, cutting meat into small pieces.  Set meat onto a paper plate.  In small saucepan, boil bones and skin for the needed broth.  Discard bones and skin.  Discard all but 1 cup of the broth.  Stir the soy sauce, Sambal Oelek, garlic, ginger root and xanthan gum into the broth and set aside while you cut up the veggies.

Cut up the carrots and onion and place in one paper plate.  Open and drain mushroom liquid into the bowl of broth (or slice up fresh mushrooms if using fresh). Place mushrooms on paper plate.  Tear apart bok choy leaves and place on mushroom paper plate.  Slice the white stems and place in a separate paper plate with the sliced green onions.  Line up these plants so they’re right by your stove.

Heat a wok empty over high heat a couple minutes.  Add the oil and chicken immediately before the oil fully heats up.  Old Chinese cook’s saying: “Hot Wok, Cold Fat”.  This method prevents meat from sticking to the pan. Stir-fry until chicken is no longer pink and just beginning to slightly brown.  Add the yellow onion and carrots.  Continue stir-frying until they just begin to soften a bit but are still quite firm.   Add red pepper and white bok choy stems next.  Stir fry until they are just slightly softened.  Add mushrooms, bok choy green leaves and green onion last, stirring a few times.    Lower heat to medium-high and now pour in the sauce you set aside.  Simmer just long enough for the bok choy to go limp, or about 2 minutes.  If using, add sesame seeds and stir one last time. Serve at once as is or on steamed cauli-rice.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 large adult servings, each contains:

250 calories, 13.2 g fat, 9.30 g carbs, 2.92 g fiber, 6.38 g NET CARBS, 25 g protein, 712 mg sodium

Asian Cabbage Salad


When we lived in Galveston, we discovered a fun fast-food Chinese place near a favorite shopping center in Houston called General Joe’s Chopstix.  Their menu was varied, but their steamed dumplings and seared pot stickers were to-die-for and a real bargain!  They put just the right amount of jalapeno in them for me, too!  A year later, one of these places opened up right on the Seawall in Galveston.  We were ecstatic!!  One of their specialties we loved to order at lunch was a tasty light chicken salad made with napa cabbage and a most interesting dressing.  It had crisped rice noodles on top for a bit of crunch.  My husband was particularly fond of this salad.

Sadly, General Joe’s went out of business a number of years later (not sure why), so I had to create my own version of this delicious salad we just couldn’t get enough of.  I love this recipe in the summertime when we tend to eat light!  So easy to throw together and no heating up the kitchen.  When I have a little leftover cooked or grilled chicken, I like to add it to the top of this salad.  But this salad is actually delicious without any meat on top!  🙂 .  This tasty dish can be enjoyed by people on all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  It is suitable for Primal-Paleo followers as well.


2 T. lime juice

2 T. rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. plum sauce or my homemade hoisin sauce

2T. + 2 tsp. sesame oil

¼ tsp. Sriracha sauce

3-4 drops liquid sweetener

3 T. low-sodium soy sauce

1 tsp. minced fresh ginger

6 c. shredded napa cabbage

1 c. chopped fresh cilantro

1 shredded carrot

½ large or 1 small fresh jalapeno, seeded, sliced thinly

OPTIONAL:  2 T. peanut butter added to dressing (not calculated in below).  Leftover cooked chicken chopped or sliced.  Adding ½ c. chicken adds about 150 calories, 9g fat, 18g protein to each serving.

DIRECTIONS:  Whisk first 7 ingredients together in a small bowl for the dressing.  Set aside.  Shred/slice napa cabbage and place in large bowl.  Add grated carrot, cilantro and julienned jalapeno.  Toss well and plate servings.  You can alternately plate directly in layers on each person’s plate if you prefer (what I did in the photo above).  If adding any meat, sprinkle in equal amounts on each serving.  Provide dressing in individual small cups for each person to add as they like.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each containing approximately:

95 calories, 3.6 g  fat, 2.9 g  protein, 13.5 g  carbs, 5.0 g  fiber, 8.5 g  NET CARBS, 350 mg sodium

Hot and Sour Soup

This is my version of the well-known Hot and Sour Soup.  I always enjoy this soup when we’re at our local Chinese restaurant buffet.  Mine reminds me so much of the Hot and Sour soup served there, all but the tofu, that is.  I try to avoid soy as much as possible and used bean sprouts in place of tofu, but if you consume tofu, add about 1 c. small cubes of firm tofu to the pot during cooking for a more authentic soup.  This recipe is suitable for Atkins, ketogenic diets, Primal and Paleo as well.


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

few drops of toasted sesame oil

¼ c. rice wine vinegar (no substitutions)

½ Tamari or soy sauce (I use Kikkoman low-sodium soy sauce)

2 cloves garlic, minced

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

Water (as needed to adjust excess saltiness lower)

½ tsp. xanthan gum to slightly thicken

Dash toasted sesame seeds

VARIATIONS:  Add 1 c. diced firm tofu.  You can also sub in slivered canned bamboo shoots for the bean sprouts for a different look but not much flavor change.

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.  Add optional tofu cubes if using.  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.)


Lets head out of North Africa and take the shortest route west, through the Middle East, stopping in China.  I’d like to spend this week sharing some Asian classics as well as personal creations of Oriental foods.  You just can’t think about Chinese and Southeast Asian foods without first thinking of rice, a staple in that part of the world.  Sadly, low-carbers do not eat rice typically served with Asian foods.  Well, some clever genius out there invented what is known as cauliflower rice (Cauli-rice for short).  Lord only knows who offered this “mock rice” dish first, but it has become a staple in low-carb kitchens around the world now.  Commercial food distributors even offer it pre-frozen for convenience!  Asian foods are no longer eschewed in the low-carb kitchen!    

Many low-carbers complain they just can’t seem to get their riced cauliflower to come out to their liking.  I sure had my problems cooking with it in the beginning.  We’ve all tried steaming it over water, but that tends to overcook it and make it too odiferous and soggy for my liking.  We’ve all tried sautéing it in oil in a skillet, but I find that is the path to overcooking.  My preferred method of preparing it is actually in my microwave!  Who’da thunk?   I’ll tell ya, it comes out perfect every time!  Here a how to explanation:


1 large head cauliflower (about 6½-7″ in diameter)

DIRECTIONS:   Remove the leaves and with a heavy large knife, cut the flowerets off the stalks.  Place them in a food processor and pulse 8-9 times or enough to reduce the flowerets to little “pellet” like pieces.  I do not use the stalks as that doesn’t chop up so nicely, but you can.  If you do, I would process them by themselves first a couple pulses  Me, I usually eat those while I’m cooking dinner.  I simply LOVE raw cauliflower. 😉

Scrape the riced cauliflower into a medium-large bowl.  DO NOT ADD ANY WATER!  Cover with a microwave dome or loose fitting plate or microwaveable paper plate.  Microwave on HI a total of 3 minutes, stirring completely after each minute.  The stirring is essential!  Remove, taste and if not quite done to your liking (microwaves vary), cook 1 minute longer.  If going to use your cauli-rice in a casserole, add it to the casserole UNCOOKED.  If using in a wetter dish like étouffée, jambalaya or gumbo, stir the cooked meat mixture right into the cooked cauli-rice and serve at once.  When serving company, I prefer to dip the cooked meat mixture on top of the cauli-rice as is shown below, as this is more attractive on the platter.

Shown with Cajun Lobster Andouille on top

Shown with Lobster Andouille

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes approximately 6 servings of 1 cup of cauli-rice, each (slight variables: exactly how big your head of cauliflower is and whether you riced the stalks or not). Each serving contains approximately:

34 cals, 0.13 g fat, 7.41 g carbs, 3.5 g fiber, 3.91 g NET CARBS, 2.76 g protein, 42 mg sodium

Moroccan Chicken and Olives

I absolutely love olives but tend to think of them as a food eaten separately, or atop salads.  However every time I adventure out and put them into meat dishes I’m always amazed at what they bring to the final dish.  This was yet another example of a tasty surprise for me.  Since they have a lot of olive trees on the shores of the Mediterranean, they do tend to use them in a variety of ways.  

The Baharat spice blend I chose for this dish is also prevalent in this region.  So I put 2 and 2 together and voilà, a dish to remember!  If you haven’t tried it yet, I think you’ll like this spice on chicken.  I highly encourage you to give this blend a try sometime, even if not on this particular dish.    It was incredible on the chicken tonight and it’s great on baked or grilled fish.  The cinnamon and cloves come through the most, but the other spices in the blend have a subtle flavor presence as well.  The spice here is the key flavor ingredient here so I would not encourage substitutions or you will be creating a totally different dish.   This meal is suitable for Atkins Induction, Keto diets, and Primal-Paleo lifestyles as well.  Be sure to use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe.  


3 medium chicken thighs

3 medium chicken drumsticks

3 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. my Baharat Spice Blend  (the key flavor, so don’t substitute)

4 oz. purple onion, sliced lengthwise

3 plum tomatoes, each cut into 4 wedges

24 medium black olives

Dash each salt and pepper

VARIATION:   Substitute my Moroccan Spice Blend for the Baharat Spice mentioned in the ingredients.  Makes a slightly spicier final dish.  🙂  

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 425º.  Place olive oil, Baharat spice and minced garlic in a pan large enough to hold your chicken without any crowding.  Stir it well.  Take each piece of chicken and dip each side into the oil mixture.  Rub or baste each piece all over well.  Evenly space the pieces skin-side up in the pan.  Cut the tomatoes into wedges and space them evenly around the chicken in the pan, trying not to cover the pieces of chicken.  If covered, the juice from the tomato will inhibit browning of the skin.

Next place the olives evenly around the chicken pieces.   Lastly, separate the slivers of onion and spread them all around the chicken.  Dip a basting brush into the olive oil mixture and baste the olives and vegetables with the oil (add more oil if needed).  Lightly sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Pop into a preheated hot 425º oven and bake for about 1 hour, re-basting at 30 minutes cooking time to be sure the vegetables don’t dry out.   I served this with buttered, steamed asparagus.  It would also be good with a Greek salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 adult servings (serving = 1 drumstick + 1 thigh).  Each serving contains:

438 cals, 32g fat, 8.26g carbs, 2.26g fiber, 6g NET CARBS, 29.8g protein, 742 mg sodium

Moroccan Grilled Chicken


The Moroccan spice blend in this grilled chicken is an interesting creation that will take ordinary grilled chicken to a whole new level.  I have also used it on on grilled beef chuck, lamb, pork and even for a whole grilled fish with good results.  For those who don’t do much grilling, this recipe bakes nicely in your indoor oven.  This one is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets.  I do hope you’ll try it someday.  I think you’ll like it if you do!


1 lb. chicken breasts or 4 thighs, deboned only if you wish to speed up cooking

3 T. olive oil

1 T. my Moroccan Spice Blend

6 T. your favorite low-carb BBQ sauce + 3 T. water

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 400º.  Slice deboned chicken breasts laterally on an angle to form 4 thinner pieces.  If using thighs, slit with knife so you will be able to spread the meat out as flat as possible.  Place oil in baking sheet.  Dip each piece of chicken into oil to coat.  Sprinkle the spice blend over all meat surfaces.  Lay coated chicken onto awaiting hot charcoal grill or your oiled baking pan  if cooking indoors.   If meat is deboned, grill for about 12-13  minutes on a side.  Alternately, bake at 400º oven for about 20-30 minutes.  Baste with sauce a couple times during cooking.  Time will slightly vary depend on thickness of meat, type of meat/fish and of course, the heat stage of your fire/oven.   If grilling, cook as you normally would the particular meat you are doing, basting with sauce several times during cooking to keep meat moist.  I recommend serving with a green salad topped with tahini dressing, tabouleh salad, or roasted/grilled veggies of your choice.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

306 cals, 19 g fat, 3.1 g carbs, 0.95 g fiber, 2.25 g NET CARBS, 33.7 g  protein, 42% RDA Vitamin B6, 30% iron, 102 % niacin, 34% phosphorous, 275 mg potassium and 50 % selenium.  Another very healthy dish!

Mediterranean Meat Patties

Click to enlarge (wrap made with patty sliced laterally)

Served on (Flour tortilla)

One can’t talk about Middle Eastern food without thinking of  meat wraps.  These I whipped up for lunch one day.  I was transported to all the Middle Eastern cafes I’d had wraps in in various places.  These wonderful little meat patties can be ready in just 15 minutes!  Grilling them, which is traditional, will of course take a little longer.  I most DEFINITELY liked the flavor and confess I can eat two of them they are so good.  I serve them typically with tzatziki yogurt sauce or my Shawarma mayo.  The flavor of the leftovers only  improves these!  This meat mixture would also make great meatballs added to Mediterranean casserole dishes with eggplant, tomatoes and feta. If you have some low-carb tortillas on hand, make the wrap shown above,  on the table in no time.  This recipe can be made with beef or lamb and is suitable for all phases of Atkins.  Primal-Paleo folks can eat this meat on a Greek salad or plan-suitable “wrapper”.  When used in wraps, my delicious tzatziki sauce is very good on these sandwiches, particularly with a little extra chopped parsley sprinkled on top!   Another great choice is some of my homemade Shawarma Mayo as the sauce reminds me of Shawarma sandwich wraps I’ve had in the past.  Click here for the recipe for my no-flour  tortilla wraps.


1 lb. ground beef or lamb (pork works for me, but pork is not eaten in the Middle East)

about 1/3 c. kale or spinach leaves

¼ c. parsley

1 oz. onion

1 clove garlic

½ jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine

¼ c. feta cheese, crumbled

Dash each salt, pepper & allspice

1/8 tsp. my salt-free Homemade Cavender’s Greek Seasoning

1 T. za’atar sauce

1 medium egg

DIRECTIONS:  Place all but the meat in a food processor or blender. Pulse until fine, but don’t reduce it to paste in texture.  You want it about like pesto sauce.  Place the meat in a bowl and with a rubber spatula, scrape the spice/herb mixture on the meat.  With a fork or your hands, blend it all together like you would a meatloaf mixture.  Form into 6 equal patties.  These are traditionally cooked over charcoal on your grill, but almost as good browned in non-stick or lightly oiled skillet on each side until meat in completely cooked.  Your choice. Serve at once with your favorite sides or veggies OR let it cool off a bit, slice the patties laterally so that each one will make a Mediterranean-style wrap sandwich butter-grilled on your favorite plan-suitable tortilla/pita type bread.  If you are using cold, leftover meat for a sandwich the next day, after slicing the patties, I would sear a couple seconds in a non-stick skillet to warm them slightly.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 patties, each contains:  (numbers are only for the meat)

240 cals, 19g fat, 1.65g carbs, 0.33g fiber, 1.32g NET CARBS, 15 g protein, 155 mg sodium

Lebanese Baked Chicken (Frarej)

Lebanese Baked Chicken

This recipe has been one of my most popular Middle Eastern recipes therefore I would be remiss in not including it in our adventure through my Middle Eastern recipe collection.  It has garnered millions of Facebook fans where I once maintained a presence, during those years I was on the Low Carbing Among Friends team.  I no longer maintain a Facebook page or presence. 

Our dear friends in Dallas have taken us several times to a wonderful little Lebanese restaurant over in Ft. Worth named Hedary’s.  Family-operated for many years by a Lebanese family.  I can say their tabouleh  salad and kebabs are the best I’ve ever eaten.  So is their slow-roasted baked lemon chicken known as Frarej.  For those tables positioned close enough to do so, they used to serve their fresh-baked Lebanese bread all the way from behind the counter on long, paddled poles used to place them into and out of the ovens for cooking.   Don’t know if they still do that, but is sure was fun to watch!  Next time you’re in Ft. Worth, give Hedary’s a try! 

In the meantime…………………..experience their delicious baked chicken at home!  This Induction friendly version of their ever-popular lemony chicken dish is slightly changed, but just as yummy nonetheless.  The original dish has potato wedges, so I always substitute rutabaga or turnip wedges to keep the carbs reasonably low.  I did not include the root vegetables in the nutritional info below as I don’t always include them in the pan.  I tend to vary the vegetables I use based on what I have on hand.  So be sure to calculate the veggies you add (and consume) over and above what I consider to be the base recipe of onion, garlic and tomatoes.  If you have family that are not on Atkins, I would definitely use a few wedges of potato for those folks, as they soak up those tasty pan juices like a sponge and are sooooooo tasty.

My rendition is very close to the inspirational dish from Hedary’s, though the tomatoes are my personal addition.  I must confess, mine is good, but not QUITE as it is at Hedary’s.  Sigh.  I understand Hedary’s has left the original location and moved farther out in Ft. Worth somewhere.   This meal is easy to prepare and the oven basically does the work for you!  Gives a whole new meaning to Ron Popeel’s expression “Set it & forget it.” for a sheer heavenly, delicious dinner almost effortlessly.  🙂  Please follow directions closely as they are KEY to getting the best results.


4 T. olive oil

1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces, cutting breast in half (Do not remove skin or you will ruin this dish)

4 oz. onion cut into wedges (separate layers)

2 Roma tomatoes cut into wedges

6-10 cloves garlic, (leave half of them whole, mince the rest)

½ tsp. oregano

Juice of 1 lemon

Dash salt and pepper

OPTIONAL: Original dish had potato wedges and whole carrots roasted in the pan with the chicken.  The carrots are OK  but I’d substitute in pieces of rutabaga, turnip or daikon radish for the potato wedges to keep carbs down.

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 500º (therefore do NOT use a ceramic baking dish!).  Cut up chicken into separate pieces making 8 pieces in all.   I never use the back as I simmer that for broth to freeze for other purposes or it becomes dinner for my dogs.  🙂  Drizzle 1 T. of the olive oil on the bottom of a very large METAL baking/roasting pan (I use a 12 x 15 stainless steel metal pan).    If you don’t yet have a really large, good quality stainless steel roasting pan, I think it is one of the single most important investments you can make in your kitchen tools.  Place chicken skin side up  in the pan.  You don’t want any overlapping or crowding.  Do not use a glass/ceramic baking dish as it will break in a 500º oven.  

Crowding of this chicken and the veggies in the pan will result in deeper pan juices.  Deeper juices keeps chicken from crisping of the chicken, so use a really large pan.  Place tomato wedges around and in between chicken pieces.  Do the same with the onion pieces and add the garlic.  If using the root vegetables, cut them up and place them evenly around the chicken.  Squeeze the lemon over everything in the pan.  Drizzle remaining olive oil over the pan contents as well.   Lightly sprinkle some oregano or Greek seasoning over all (about 1/4-½ tsp, I don’t measure it).   Bake 30 minutes at 500º.  Baste with pan juices, lower heat to 350º and bake another 20 minutes or to internal temperature of 170º on a meat thermometer.   Baste with pan juices just before serving.  I like to place the juices in a gravy boat and have it on the table for basting the drier breast meat while eating.  If there are any juices leftover after the meal, I always freeze them and add them to the bottom of the next pan I make of this recipe (which is often!).  Each successive pan is therefore better than the last!  I like to serve this chicken dish with my Cucumber Mint Salad or my Tabouleh salad

NUTRITIONAL INFO: (does NOT include the optional vegetables).
Please note, these numbers are only approximate, because the actual counts will vary depending on which pieces of chicken and which roasted veggies you consume.

Serves 4, each 2-piece serving contains: (these numbers do not include the carrots or rutabaga)

447 cals, 30.4 g fat, 7.98 g carbs, 1.1 g fiber, 6.88 g NET CARBS, 34.8 g protein, 39 mg. sodium

Roasted Shawarma Vegetables


If you’re a Middle Eastern food fan, this is a must try!  This dish is incredibly easy to make and is exceptionally good with charcoal-grilled meats.  Shown above with a rib-eye steak but these are equally good with grilled chicken or shrimp.  This flavor reminds me so much of the eggplant stew Khoresh-e-Bademjan I ate when we lived in Teheran.  I have even been known to cook the veggies in a grilling basket right on the grill with the meat!  It’s even BETTER that way!   This dish always elicits a thumbs up from diners and definitely sits proudly amongst my very best-tasting veggie recipes.  You can certainly use other spice blends here, but the Shawarma blend is what makes this recipe truly unique!  This is an Atkins Induction friendly recipe.  If you have leftovers, I often cut up any leftover grilled meats and toss it right in the vegetables for lunch the next day.  You will find that this is one of those dishes that just tastes better every time you reheat it, assuming there ARE any leftovers! 😉  This veggie or veg with meat combo dinner is also good baked in the oven when the weather doesn’t accommodate grilling.


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

Splash of  olive oil (about 2 T., or more if you can afford the calories)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 425º.  Cut up all veggies and place in large mixing bowl.  Drizzle olive oil over all and stir well to coat all veggies with oil and seasonings.  Toss to try and coat all veggies with oil.  Splash on the extra olive oil if using.  Pour all into glass casserole dish and bake at 425º for about 30-40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 6, each serving contains:

91 calories, 5.0 g  fat, 11.45 g  carbs, 3.48 g  fiber, 7.97 NET CARBS, 2.22 g  protein, 105  mg. sodium

Iraqi Grilled Chicken

Up until now, I have only used my Baharat spice in braised chicken dishes, braised beef and braised lamb.  When I created this recipe, I tried it both grilled (traditional) and baked in the oven.  I was most pleased with both methods of preparation actually.  Very tasty both ways!  In Iraq, they would most likely use whole, cut-up chicken pieces as I doubt Cornish hens are available there.  When I do this dish for company, I like use Cornish Hens simply for the visual impact at the table.  Meat doesn’t taste one bit different.  

Allow a whole bird per person when buying your Cornish hens; allow 2 pieces of cut-up whole chicken per person.  Most women and men will only eat ½ Cornish hen, generally speaking, when two sides are served with it.  I have seen men eat a whole Cornish hen, as some sold are quite small (others can be pretty good size).  I rarely can eat a whole bird if serving with just salad (which I do often).  If I fix 2 sides, ½ Cornish hen fills me right up.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo as well.


2    1-1¼ pound Cornish game hens

4 T. unsalted butter  (use less if you need to cut calories)

1 tsp. my homemade Baharat Spice Blend

½ tsp. Aleppo pepper  (or dried, ground ancho chile pepper)

1/4 tsp. onion powder

Optional:  1/2 tsp. sumac (if available)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Melt the butter in a saucer in the microwave.  Stir in the spices to mix well.  Split the hens in half up the back bone with a knife or kitchen shears.  This technique is referred to as spatchcocking or butterflying the bird.   If grilling, prepare the fire.  When it is hot, place the pieces evenly (or butterflied Cornish Hens cut side down).  I baking them, place on a grate set inside a baking pan to catch juices. 

Using a brush, baste the hens well with the spice-butter mixture.  Pop pan into 350º oven and bake for 45 minutes.  If grilling, cook (turning once midway) to internal temperature of 165º in the breast.  Turn up oven to 375º and continue to roast for about 15 more minutes to brown the skin.   Watch them closely this last 15 minutes, as ovens can vary.  When a meat thermometer poked in the center of the breast meat should read 165º at which time they are properly cooked.  Remove from oven or grill and serve 1 Cornish Hen to each man at the table;  half a bird to the women at the table.  The other halves of the women’s birds are usually leftover at my house.  

Traditionally, this meat is grilled.  Try it that way first as it is truly memorable grilled!  But also try it just baked in your oven sometime so you can see the difference.  This meat pairs nicely with any side dishes you like.  I serve it with a sauté of spinach and kale and my Iranian Mint Cucumber Salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings (I allow ½ hen per person), each contains:

501 cals, 39.3 g fat, 0.62 g carbs, 2.50 g fiber, 2.12 g NET CARBS, 34.1 g protein, 347 mg sodium

Iraqi Stewed Shrimp

I created a tasty dish using Baharat and shrimp some time ago.  This dish is not an authentic Iraqi recipe, but it might be if it were done with chunks of fish filets added the last 5-7 minutes of cooking instead of using shrimp.  Being land-locked, Iraq doesn’t have access to shellfish other than down on the small coastline along the Persian Gulf.    I like to call this creation ‘Iraqi gumbo’.  It certainly reminds me of gumbo in appearance, although not much like Louisiana gumbo in flavor.  This shrimp entrée really delivers on flavor.  Hope you’ll try it and do think you’ll like it!  This curry-like dish is quite different from Indian curries.  The flavor of cloves in the Baharat spice, so unique to food in the Arab world, is really quite nice with shrimp.  Guess that’s why it is always in those pouches of shrimp boil spices we buy at the grocery store.  

As written, this recipe is suitable for Induction.  If you have already reached the fruit rung of OWL, this is greatly enhanced served with a side of butter-seared, lengthwise sliced banana halves.  In fact, this banana side dish is outstanding with ALL curry dishes, in my opinion.  For those not on a low-carb diet, this is usually served with basmati rice, but low carbers can have it on steamed cauliflower rice or it is also delicious on my Seared Eggplant slices.    


2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 T. butter, melted (I use unsalted)

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 oz. onion, sliced

3 Roma tomatoes, quartered

¼ c. each parsley and cilantro, chopped

1 tsp. turmeric

Dash each black and cayenne pepper

1½ c. water (or mixture of water and seafood stock if available)

1 T. Iraqi Spice Blend (Baharat):

about ¼ tsp. xanthan gum or guar gum

12 oz. zucchini or Mexican zucchini (calaba squash), cut into 1″ chunks (unpeeled eggplant is a great substitute here)

DIRECTIONS: Peel shrimp and set aside.  Melt butter in large stew pot.  I use a large non-stick oven-proof wok for such dishes.   Add onion and cook over high heat until lightly browned. Add spices and saute 1 minute so the spices release their aroma.  Add parsley, cilantro, tomatoes and water/stock.  If using cubed squash add now, along with  water/stock and stir well.  Once the stew reaches a boil, lower heat and cover.  Simmer about 60 minutes total, when squash should be fully done and the flavors will have blended nicely.  If using eggplant, add about 20 minutes before stew is done cooking so it won’t completely fall apart.  Lightly dust a bit of the xanthan gum over the surface and slowly stir in, allowing the sauce to “set up” between dustings, as you don’t want this to get too thick.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Depending on how you’re serving this dish, as a gumbo/stew, or served atop cauliflower rice or eggplant, I can’t know exactly how many servings you will get from this recipe.  So I’m giving macros as follows:

Entire recipe contains 1978 cals, 65g fat, 83g carbs, 21g fiber, 61g NET CARBS, 249g protein 5547 mg sodium  

Served as stew/gumbo, it should serve 5-6 people with a 1½ c. serving that will contain approximately: 329.67 cals, 10.83g fat, 13.83g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 10.33g NET CARBS, 41.5g protein, 924.5 mg sodium 

Served atop cauli-rice or eggplant, your serving sizes will be more like 1 c. and you’ll probably realistically get 9 servings, I would imagine.  I’ll let you do that math from the “entire recipe” stats above, based on how generous you are with the mixture when dipping up onto each plate.     

Iranian Kubideh (meat kebabs)

Iranian Kubideh 2

I’ve mentioned living in Teheran in my childhood.  Dad, USAF,  was  basically teaching their officer pilots to fly the newly acquired American F-84 and F-86 jets.  Our assigned motor pool driver, Reza, a serving soldier in the Iranian Army, loved to cook and hunt.  Dad & Reza hunted duck, pheasant and gazelle a number of times while we were there.    One time, Reza shot a prairie chicken that was right along the roadside on one of our drives down to Isfahan.   The area was wide-open desert terrain, no habitation, so why not?   Reza hid the feathered bird  in a cloth tucked under his arm as we entered the hotel restaurant that evening and were being seated.  Reza asked the waiter if the chef would be willing to cook it up for us.  In just a few minutes, the chef came to our table and said he’d be delighted to whip up a tasty braised Fesenjan (Reza’s self-proclaimed favorite food), if we could be patient.   This chicken in this dish is braised in the oven and has walnuts and pomegranate kernels in the sauce.  Took a long time, but man, was it ever worth waiting for when it came to the table!  There’s not much meat on a single prairie chicken, but all 5 of us got a small portion.  Luckily, we ordered plenty of other tasty dishes to round out the meal.  I still make Fesenjan and definitely need to post in here here on the blog.

On the rare weekend, Reza would even cook one of his favorites in our home, to show off his culinary skills.  On one such occasion he made us Kubideh on the grill, another of his favorites.  Although I have been able to run down many recipes for it on-line.  My version evokes the flavors of his.  The jalapeno is not traditional but what can I say?  I’m in Texas and we put jalapeno in most everything we grill!  🙂  It does not make these overly spicy “hot”, just adds a nice flavor layer in my opinion.  Your call on adding it or not.

Kubideh are traditionally made with lamb, but as I explained in my last post,  I prefer using ground beef.   When grilling your kubideh, you want them somewhere between the doneness stage of the kubideh on the left side of the platter and the kebabs on the right side of the platter in the photo above.  Obviously my husband’s fire was uneven on this occasion.   You’re aiming for a nice, light char on the meat.  The skewers in photo right are some lamb kebabs we grilled to freeze for a second, future meal.  We do that often when grilling.  🙂  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo.


1 lb. ground beef or lamb (preferably 80% lean)

1 egg, beaten

¼ c. parsley

1 oz. onion, minced very fine

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. allspice

¼ tsp. black pepper

Optional:  ½ jalapeno, seeded and minced fine

Optional:  1 T. bacon grease or softened butter, only if using 90% meat.  Not needed for 80% or 70% meat.

DIRECTIONS:   Soak wooden skewers for 20-30 minutes (if using).  This retards scorching of sticks during grilling.  Mix all ingredients well in a bowl with a fork or your hands like you would a meatloaf.     Dry off the skewers.  Form hot-dog like meat shapes on the wooden skewers, pressing the meat on tightly and as evenly as possible.   Set them on a platter as you form them. Prepare a hot charcoal fire.  Gently place the skewers of meat on your charcoal fire, disturbing the skewers as little as possible until the first side is lightly browned.  Carefully, with a large spatula, flip the skewers over.  If you use tongs, they are likely to tear up on you.  The voice of experience here.  Brown the second side of the kubideh.    Serve at once with a nice creamed spinach, a cucumber-tzatziki or sour cream mint salad or perhaps a quinoa side.  ENJOY! 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 kubideh, each contains:

371 cals, 30.4 g fat, 1.95 g carbs, 0.4g fiber, 1.55 g NET CARBS, 21.4g protein, 93 mg sodium (I add salt to meat at table so as not to dry meat out during cooking)

Iranian Lamb Curry

Continuing our journey throughout the Middle East, this has to be one of my fondest memories of our years there.   This dish Mom traditionally made with Iranian lamb, and I would eagerly eat it then.  I’m not fond of American lamb as it is much stronger tasting, so I now make this dish with beef.  Iranian lamb is processed under a year of age, and has thus not yet developed the stronger taste older lamb gets over time.  Once we got back to the States, where lamb is processed much older, I could no long stand the taste of lamb (not even New Zealand imported lamb).

I cannot stand to even smell lamb cooking in the kitchen, as it reminds me of the smell of the unrefrigerated meat markets we had to patronize in Iran!    Back in 1960, there was only one chain of meat markets in Teheran (German operated) that had refrigerators.  You haven’t lived until you’ve smelled pork and lamb carcasses hanging on the hook for hours in the summertime, heat often as high as 112º in the shade.  That olfactory memory just never goes away.  Nope, I just can’t do lamb, even though I’ve tried a few times since.  When my husband cooks lamb on the grill for himself, I make him clean the grill grate before we can do ribeyes on that grill again, my issues with U.S. lamb are so bad.  As we don’t have easy access to the mild tasting lamb of Iran, lamb is a non-meat for me.  Beef will have to do in those recipes.

This delicious curry is very simple to cook.   Traditionally served over Iranian rice, a most unique rice  and the best rice in the world in my opinion.  I has a wonderful, indescribably nutty, highly aromatic flavor (similar to basmati rice , but much, much better!).   It’s so unique my family shipped 250 lbs. of it back to the states in a huge metal storage drum.  We ate that rice for the next 6 years, until I graduated from high school actually!

On Atkins I avoid rice due to high carbs, plus I can’t get Iranian rice anymore, so I serve this curry over a bed of steamed, mashed cauliflower.  Or sometimes I grate the raw cauliflower into riced bits and microwave it 4 minutes on HI, stirring each minute.  Bananas sliced in half lengthwise (if you’ve reached Atkins Maintenance) seared off in a skillet with melted butter are absolutely GREAT eaten with this particular curry!   I just have to have my fried bananas with this curry!!  Try them with it  and you’ll see what I mean!  This curry sauce is actually quite different from Indian curries, in my opinion,  so I hope you’ll try this one if you’re a curry fan.  This recipe (without the bananas) is Atkins Induction friendly.


1 ½  lb. thinly-slivered lamb, beef chuck, flank or sirloin
2 T. olive oil
Enough water to cover the meat
1/2 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
4 oz. chopped yellow onion
2 T. chopped parsley
2 tsp. high quality curry powder (I use Sharwood’s mild)
1 T. tomato paste (2 if you’ve overdone the water)
Xanthan gum to thicken further, if desired

DIRECTIONS:  Brown meat over high heat in a deep skillet or wok. Cover (just) with water and add remaining ingredients. Simmer covered with lid for about 1 hour or until meat is fully tender. Time will vary with different meats and thickness used in slivering it up. Maintain water covering, adding a bit as you cook down the curry.  When your meat is tender (chuck will take the longest to get tender), lightly dust the curry sauce with xanthan gum a couple times (it doesn’t take much at all), stirring between each addition, allowing it to develop/thicken before adding more.   Too much is not a good thing when it comes to xanthan gum.   Stop when just when you’re satisfied with thickness (it only takes about 1/8-1/4 tsp xanthan gum in my experience).  Taste for salt and add to your taste.

If you need fewer servings, go on and cook the whole recipe, as it freezes well and like Italian food, it just seems to taste even better each time you reheat and serve it!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  Serves 4, each serving has:

290.3 cals,12.6g fat, 3.88g carbs, 1.93g NET CARBS, 1.95g fiber, 38.58g protein, 39 mg  sodium

Iranian Grilled Chicken

Leaving Italy, let’s turn our fun food ‘tour bus’ a bit toward the east.   That part of the world produces so many  culinary delights.  As I’ve said before, we lived in Teheran for two years when I was just a wee lass of 10-12.  Sometimes we would take a 4pm hike on 6-lane Shimran Boulevard to go buy our daily fix of fresh-baked Iranian flatbread called ‘noon‘.  It was so good, some of the bread didn’t make it all the way home most trips.  🙂 

On our walk, we passed a number of merchant shops where turban-wearing shopkeepers were crouched down  cooking their dinner on portable Aladdin kerosene heaters they used as grills.  I still own our old Aladdin in fact.  They might be cooking a lamb grill or curry; perhaps kubideh meat rolls, or this popular grilled chicken.    It was fascinating to watch and the aromas on our ventures were indescribable!  Fatimeh, our maid and ‘translator’, would often stop & chat with the ‘cooks’.  They offered my brother and I a bite of their goodies more than once.  We knew just a few words of  Farsi, so we would just soak it all up, mesmerized.  This yogurt sauce with onions was about the sum total of what went on the chicken.       

This is a dish we attempted to copy, with pointers from Fatimeh and our motor pool driver, Reza.   Just talking about this evokes those olfactory memories.  I understand they renamed many streets after the Iranian Revolution so Shimran Blvd. may even be called something else now.  Not sure which aroma was more intense on our walks to get ‘noon’, the chicken or the fresh wheat bread sheets cooking in the kiln-like open-front pebble ovens.  At my age, it was always fun picking off the remaining pebbles when we got home, as some typically burned right into the bread surface.   

My changes to the traditional method on this dish:  subbed butter in for some of the yogurt to cut carbs; added the  Spanish paprika.  They used ALL yogurt in their marinates.  They used all sumac & turmeric for the spices, which can be obtained in better spice stores, ordered on-line from places like Penzey’s Spices.   Sumac is the ground, dried berries/fruit of the sumac bush.    It is slightly acidic, lemony tasting and is used in many Iranian, Israeli and other Gulf State dishes.  The yogurt and onions are in the flavor driver’s seat.   This recipe is Atkins Induction friendly and Paleo-Primal acceptable as well.  Because it is impossible to calculate the total nutritional info per serving on a portion of this meal, I will just provide the information for each of 10 servings of the marinade.  You will have to add in the values for the meat pieces eaten.


1 stick butter + ½ c. yogurt  (or 1c. yogurt & no butter to stay traditional)

Juice of 2 lemons

Dash each salt and black pepper

1 tsp. sumac 

1 tsp. Smoked paprika

½ tsp. turmeric

1 onion (either minced fine or sliver extremely thin)

1 whole chicken, cut in 10 pieces ( cut breasts in half)

DIRECTIONS:  Melt the butter in a small pot.   Remove from heat.  Stir in yogurt and add all other marinade ingredients.  Stir again well.  Cut up the chicken into 10 pieces (I reserve the back for making stock).  Place chicken into gallon Ziploc bag.  Pour 1/2 of the marinade over the chicken.  Zip bag and manipulate it to coat each piece of chicken well with marinade.   Set rest of marinade aside for basting meat during grilling.  Allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.  This is important as the yogurt tenderizes the meat. 

Although this chicken is OK baked in a regular oven (I have tried it) it is worlds better done on your grill.  Prepare charcoal fire.  When the coals are hot and white, place chicken on the grill and cook on each side until done (about 20 minutes per side).  Baste with the remaining marinade mix as it cooks.  Allow the last application of yogurt sauce to brown on both sides of meat before taking off fire.  You don’t want to have uncooked onions/sauce in the end.   Enjoy a true Iranian feast!   Typically served with butter basted grilled vegetables like long slices of summer squash, tomatoes, eggplant or bell peppers.  If we don’t grill veggies, I serve with my sour cream cucumber mint salad.  

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes ample sauce for 10 pieces of chicken.  Each serving of the marinade only contains:

95 cals, 9.2g fat, 2.87g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 2.67g NET CARBS, 1.8g protein, 17.9 mg sodium

Eggplant al Pesto

This delicious Italian dish can be a side with meat or seafood, an entrée (with ground beef or Italian sausage  added) or even a bruschetta for spreading on toasted low-carb bread!  Very versatile, this recipe.  I make my own pesto sauce and usually have some spaghetti meat sauce in my freezer, so this dish is real easy to whip up most of the time.  Fresh basil often doesn’t agree with my stomach, but I’m here to tell you this was one of the very best eggplant dishes I’ve eaten in a LONG time!  I used just a hint of my pesto sauce.  This is one of those dishes that isn’t so pretty, but it makes up for this photographic flaw in flavor!  DELICIOUS!

This recipe is suitable for Atkins Induction and it freezes well, too!  It is a fairly small side dish recipe, so double the recipe for a large family.  This serves 4 as a side. With the addition of a layer of pre-browned ground beef or ground Italian sausage, this would make a delightful entrée for 2 people.  As an appetizer bruschetta spread, each 1-2 tablespoons (1/4 serving) would contain around 55 cals, 4g fat, 1.6 g carbs, 0.66g fiber, 1g NET CARBS, 1.3 g  protein, 18 mg sodium (not counting the toasted bread you use).

NOTE:  As an alternative preparation method, to cut fat grams you can toss the cubed eggplant in just 1 T. olive oil.  Then spread onto onto a silicone-lined or non-stick baking pan lightly oiled with olive oil.  Your call there.    


8 oz. eggplant, peeled, sliced ¼” thick and then cut into smaller pieces about 1″ in size

3 T. olive oil  [see note in red above]

1 T. my pesto sauce

½ c. low carb spaghetti sauce

1 T. Parmesan cheese, grated

1/3 c. mozzarella cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  If sautéing eggplant, heat oil in non-stick skillet and sauté the eggplant, turning often with a spoon, until it is completely translucent (will be nearly done at this point).  If pre-baking your eggplant, lightly oil a pan and bake/broil the slices on a baking sheet at 350º about 10-20 minutes.  When nearly done, remove from heat.  Place the chopped eggplant in a small casserole-type baking dish (no need to grease the baking dish).  Dot the eggplant evenly with the spaghetti sauce first.  Then dot evenly with the pesto sauce.  Sprinkle on the Parmesan and finally spread the mozzarella evenly on top.  Pop into a 350º oven for about 20-30 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   As a vegetable dish, this serves 4.  As an entrée (8 oz. meat added) it serves 2 people.  Each side dish serving (no meat) contains:

214.5 cals, 18.5g fat, 6.3g carbs, 2.63g fiber, 3.67g NET CARBS, 7.08 g protein, 71 mg sodium

Classic Shrimp Scampi

My father introduced us to this dish when we lived in Hampton, Virginia (my senior year in high school).  Of course, we had all the fresh seafood in the world the year we lived in the Tidewater area.  What is amazing about Shrimp Scampi, besides its wonderful flavor, is how easy and fast it is to make, start to finish!  Traditionally served over white rice, but as a low-carber, I tend to spoon ours over a heaping serving of my Foolproof Mashed Cauliflower.  I’m very pleased with this recipe and fix it for dinner whenever I can get my hands on really good shrimp in Central Texas.  I like to add a bit of my Seafood Spice Blend to most of my seafood dishes, but it is not in traditional shrimp scampi recipes.  That’s my personal change to this classic Italian fare.  I’ve also been known to add 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 on the wine.  It’s delicious with or without.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other ketogenic diets, as well as for Primal and Paleo followers.  Those still on Atkins Induction should not add the white wine I just mentioned.


1 lb. large shrimp, headed, 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 would be good)

DIRECTIONS:    Preheat broiler.  In a large skillet melt the butter over high heat.  Add garlic and let sauté a couple minutes.  Add shrimp and sauté until the begin to get opaque and golden on the edges.  Add black pepper and spice blend.  Add white wine now if using.  Sauté 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-carber diners)

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

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

Zuppa Toscana

Having water on all 3 sides and that warm Mediterranean sunshine for gardening, you can imagine Italy would make some pretty incredible soups.  And they do!  Seafood chowders as well!  This soup I re-worked to be acceptable for my low-carb dietary plan, is similar to the Zuppa Toscana many of you have had at Olive Garden restaurants, but mine has diced cauliflower standing in for the potatoes in their soup.  

If I have some in the freezer, I use my Homemade Italian Sausage rather than Italian sausage from the store, as I find theirs to be excessively salty.  You just need to add oregano, fennel and garlic to ground pork really.  But you can certainly substitute in commercial Italian sausage if you prefer for convenience.  It will almost DOUBLE the sodium and increase carbs though.   Just be aware of that.  This soup is delicious and we both gave it a resounding thumbs up.  It will make the regular menu rounds at our house. 🙂

VARIATIONS:  Substitute 1/2 c. chopped parsley for the kale; substitute diced rutabaga or daikon for the cauliflower.


6 slices bacon, cut into 3/4″ bits

12 oz.  lean ground pork or Homemade Italian Sausage, coarsely broken up to 1/2″ chunks

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1½ c. coarsely chopped kale (about 3 leaves after stemming)

3 oz. cauliflower, diced to ½”-3/4″ pieces

1 oz. pimiento (half a 2 oz. jar)

3 large mushrooms, sliced or cut however you like

4 c. homemade chicken broth (32 oz.)

1 c. water

1 c. heavy cream

Dash black pepper

Dash crushed red pepper

3-4 drops Tobasco hot sauce

¼ tsp. dried oregano leaves

½ tsp. fennel seed, crushed

DIRECTIONS:  In a large Dutch oven or soup pot over high heat, cook the bacon.  Add the pork, onion and garlic and sauté until meat is no longer pink.  Lower heat to medium.  Add all remaining ingredients but the cream.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Add cream and simmer 5 more minutes.  Thicken with xanthan or gum if desired.   Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes six 1½ c. servings, each contains:

356 cals, 30.5g fat, 5.51g carbs, 1.08g fiber, 4.43g NET CARBS, 15.6g protein, 865 mg sodium

Chicken Bolognese

Traditional Chicken Bolognese is made with ground chicken that is put directly into a good Bolognese spaghetti sauce.  But I find the chicken flavor frankly gets lost in that co-habitation arrangement.  This dish is how I think the chicken can shine and it is actually easy to prepare (provided you have the spaghetti meat sauce on hand).  It is quite tasty this way and makes a nice plated dish for serving to company.   This extremely nutritious dinner is suitable for your Atkins Phase I Induction menu rotations provided you omit the bit of red wine. Each serving consists of 5 oz. raw chicken breast, which cooks down to about 4.5 oz.  Of course, you may choose to use larger portions of chicken for the men at the table, but the 4 oz. portions fill me up quite nicely.


20 oz. deboned chicken breast, skinless (4 oz. per serving after cooking)

1 c. low-carb spaghetti meat sauce (I used spaghetti meat sauce)

4 basil leaves, chopped

4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

1 oz. (2 T.) red wine (omit for Induction compliance)

2 T. olive oil

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Pound the chicken breasts with a meat cleaver between two sheets of plastic wrap until they are just about ¼-3/8″ thick.  Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet and sear the chicken on both sides until golden and nearly done.  Turn off heat.  Spoon ¼ c. meat sauce over each of the four pieces of browned chicken.  Next drizzle ½ T. red wine over each serving.   Next sprinkle ¼ of the chopped basil on each piece, followed by 1 oz. of mozzarella on each.  Finally sprinkle the top of each portion with 2 T. Parmesan.    Pop that skillet into your preheated 350º oven.  Bake 20 minutes to finish off.  Serve with your favorite green vegetable or a nice green salad.  If I have some Oopsie Rolls in the fridge, I love to make some low-carb garlic bread to serve with this.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

475 calories, 28.4 g  fat, 6.4 g  carbs, 1.3 g  fiber, 5.1 g NET CARBS, 45.7 g  protein, 702 mg sodium

Chicken Eggplant Mushroom Parmigiana Casserole

This Italian dinner was created by me and is not an authentic Italian recipe to my knowledge.  I used leftover cooked chicken breast meat, a small amount of cooked spaghetti sauce and some commercial no-sugar sauce (Lucini) from a jar.  I bought a beautiful eggplant and some nice mushrooms, so I created a quick Parmigiana dish I know you are going to like!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto lifestyle and Primal followers that eat occasional cheese.  This meal would not be suitable for Paleo diners due to the cheese.


8 oz. cooked chicken meat, cut bite size

2 T. olive oil

6 oz. mushrooms, sliced

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

1/4 c. low-carb spaghetti sauce (I use Lucini with no added sugar)

3/4 c. homemade spaghetti sauce   [you could use all homemade or all Luccini sauce]

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, sauté the mushroom slices in the rest of the olive oil. Place eggplant in a single layer on the bottom of your greased casserole dish.   Spoon half the spaghetti sauce over the meat. Top with the shredded chicken 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 sautéed 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 cals, 26.1g fat, 10.4g carbs, 2.98g fiber, 7.42g NET CARBS, 38g protein, 270 mg sodium


Still Cooling before Slicing

Still Cooling before Slicing

You can’t discuss Italian food without bringing up lasagna.  It’s a much beloved favorite.  Since low-carbers don’t eat regular pasta, I am using my Einkorn Dumplings dough rolled into lasagna noodles works just fine for me.   A double recipe of the dough makes exactly 12 long lasagna noodles about 1″ wide (6 per recipe), rolling it the thickness of pie crust (1/8″ thick). 

This lasagna I bake for TWO meals, so I make a huge batch of 8 servings and freeze half.  This lasagna is delicious and my only regret is I waited so long to try this dough as flat lasagna noodles!! 

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets, but not for Primal and Paleo.  I’m certain you’re going to be as amazed at how much like real lasagna noodles this is, too.  Even my picky husband said he was astounded how good this was.

I like really meaty lasagna, but you can cut calories cutting back some on the meat.  You can also cut fat and carbs some reducing the cheeses.  But it was just perfect as written in my opinion. I truly know now this dough is really magical and WILL cook properly in a moist enough recipe like this.  I wanted to use 1c. frozen chopped spinach up and put it on the bottom of my lasagna, which you can see if you look closely at my photo above, but I have not included it in the ingredients or nutritional data as I don’t do this often and honestly, I couldn’t even taste that bit of spinach.


2 lb. lean ground beef

2½ low carb spaghetti sauce of your choice (I used Lucini’s “Tomato Basil”)

1 tsp. dried oregano leaves (or 1 T. fresh, chopped)

8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

½ c. grated Parmesan

3/4 c. ricotta cheese (or 3/4 c. cottage cheese, or 3 oz. cream cheese)

Optional:  1 cup frozen, chopped spinach 

2 recipes of my Einkorn Dumplings dough

DIRECTIONS:  Brown the ground beef (drain off 1-2 T. grease into your 9 x 13 baking pan to grease it well).  Stir in the sauce and oregano and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Make a double recipe of the dumplings dough per that recipe’s instructions (linked above).  Place dough on a silicone sheet (or plastic wrap on a moistened counter).  Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough and press out a bit with your hands.  Then with a rolling pin, roll dough into a rectangular sheet about 1/8″ thick roughly the length of your baking pan.  Gently with the back of a knife bland (so you won’t cut your silicone sheet) cut into twelve roughly 1″ wide noodles.

Now to construct your lasagna.  Preheat oven to 350º so it can be getting hot while you construct the dish.  Spoon about ¼ of the meat sauce evenly into the bottom of the greased baking pan or glass casserole dish in a dotting manner.  If using any spinach, dot it on top of the sauce now.  To remove noodles one at a time, slide your left hand under the silicone to lift and “tip” 1 noodle into your right hand.  Do this ever so gently trying not to tear them.  You will put 4 noodles on each layer, so place 4 noodles at this time lengthwise  on top of the casserole (there will be space between them).

The noodles require moisture to cook properly, so next spoon ¼ of the meat sauce over the top in a dotting motion again.  “Spreading evenly” is just not crucial with lasagna. 😉  Now sprinkle ½ of the mozzarella followed by ½ of the Parmesan cheese.  Dot with half the ricotta cheese.

Now position 4 more noodles on the casserole.  Spoon on ¼ of the meat sauce next.  Place the final 4 noodles on next.  Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Dot with the remnants of the Ricotta cheese.  Dot the casserole with the remaining sauce.

Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350º for about 40-50 minutes.  Uncover and bake another 15-20 minutes until top is just beginning to brown and the edges are getting bubbly.  Cool for at least 10 minutes before attempting to cut and serve.  As always, lasagna pairs nicely with a lovely green salad and low-carb garlic bread as well, if you can afford the extra carbs.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes eight 3″x4″ rectangular servings, each contains: (doesn’t include optional spinach)

545 cals, 36g fat, 11.5g carbs, 5.13g fiber, 6.37g NET CARBS, 45 g protein, 1176 mg sodium (from cheese)

Italian Meatloaf or Meatballs

Italian Meatloaf

What celebration of Italian foods would be complete without including meatballs?  After trying many meatloaf and meatball recipes over the years, I keep coming back to the recipe my mother before me made for many, many years.  It’s Italian in flavor, cooks up consistently and never fails to get compliments when served to guests.   I’ve not found a recipe I like better in nearly 55 years of cooking.

This tasty fare is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and if you omit the cheese, it is suitable for Paleo-Primal followers as well.  This is also the recipe I use whether I want a meatloaf or meatballs for some culinary application.  I bake my meatballs on a sheet pan for about 30 minutes (or you can fry them over medium heat).  When baked, I usually don’t bother turning them during cooking, so the ease in baking over frying is a no-brainer.

If you are avoiding flax, you can instead sub in 1 tsp. chia seeds soaked 10 minutes in 3 T. water OR just increase to 2 eggs in the meat mixture.  If you have one on hand, you can add one water-soaked and crumbled leftover low-carb slice of bread/biscuit.  You definitely want to do one of these things to avoid the meatloaf coming out dense or hard.


1.5 lb. lean ground beef (or 1 lb. beef+½ lb. ground pork)

2 oz. chopped yellow onion (more if you can afford extra carbs)

2 oz. chopped green pepper  (more if you can afford extra carbs)

1 T. bacon grease

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 c. parsley, chopped fine

1 egg, beaten (or 2, if you need to omit the flax meal below)

1 T. flax meal soaked 10 min. in 3 T. water (or crumbled low-carb biscuit/roll, or 1T. ground chia or another beaten egg)

2 T. Parmesan cheese, grated (more if you like)

4 oz. can tomato sauce (no added sugar)

1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS:  Soak flax meal or chia, if using, in water in a small bowl for about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally as it thickens up.  Place meat in large mixing bowl.  Chop onion, bell pepper and sauté both in bacon grease in an oven-proof skillet until very soft.  Add to the meat in the mixing bowl, grease and all.  Add oregano, parsley and Parmesan.  Add soaked flax meal, salt and pepper.  Add all remaining ingredients (except tomato sauce).  Using your hands or a fork, thoroughly mix all ingredients until well-blended.  Shape slightly and tip bowl to allow meat to fall onto baking pan (I use the same sauté pan, actually).  Reshape as desired.  If making meatballs, roll into ½” balls, placing fairly close together on large baking sheet.  Place in 350º oven and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes.  Meatballs will be done at this point.  If doing the meatloaf version, remove from oven and pour tomato sauce evenly over the top of meatloaf and return to oven for 30 more minutes baking.    Best to check at 15 minutes here as every oven cooks differently.  I can usually tell if the center is done by pressing lightly with a knife center top.  If it feels firm the meatloaf is done.  If still soft, cook a little longer.


Makes 6 servings, each 4 oz. serving has:

349  cals, 22.9 g  fat, 4.27g carbs, 1.1g fiber, 3.17g NET CARBS, 30.2g protein, 588 mg. sodium

Eggplant Parmigiana “Pizza”

Here’s a ‘pizza’ that doesn’t even have a crust!   I LOVE how the eggplant “crust’ came together to convey a sense of a real crust though.   Just as crunchy as classically battered and fried Eggplant Parmigiana.  Couldn’t even taste the pepperoni though.  Will put more next time.  What I do know is this was extremely filling and most delicious!   Pork rinds are just wonderful as a stand-in for breadcrumbs in Italian cooking.  If you keep some of the Lucini sauce in your freezer, it can be defrosted quickly in the microwave for such recipes.  Makes prep time a snap!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal Blueprint.

VARIATION:  Double the recipe, omit the pepperoni and make a full casserole pan of these slices for classic Eggplant Parmigiana.  🙂


2   slices eggplant, unpeeled, about 3/8″ thick

1½ T. homemade mayonnaise

1½ oz. pork rinds (2 handfuls) crushed

Dash your favorite seasoning blend

Dash Italian spice blend (or oregano)

1½ oz. shredded mozzarella (about 5 Tbsp.)

4 T. spaghetti sauce (I use Lucini brand I buy at Walmart)

½ oz. green bell pepper, sliced extremely thin

5 slices pepperoni, chopped a bit

2 T. Parmesan, grated

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 450º.  Line baking sheet with parchment.

Slice off eggplant slices and brush both sides with mayo.  Crush pork rinds and stir in spices. Sprinkle them onto both surfaces with pork rind crumbs, coating well.  Place slices onto parchment lined pan and bake at 450º for about 15 minutes.  No need to turn during baking.  Remove from oven and lower to 350º.

Sprinkle each slice with 2 T. mozzarella cheese.  Dot each with 2 T. sauce.  Place bits of green pepper next.  Evenly space the pepperoni bits.  Sprinkle each with Parmesan cheese and the remaining 1T. mozzarella.  Bake at 350º for 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese.  Serve (eat with a fork) and ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 slices, each contains:

310 cals, 23.1 g fat, 7 g carbs, 3.1 g fiber, 3.9 g NET CARBS, 18.9 g protein, 700 mg sodium

Mega Meatballs

I don’t make meatballs very often, but my husband and I both like them.  Thought I’d post the recipe I use when I do make them.  The dish shown above not classic “saucy” Italian tomato gravy with meatballs, as actually very little sauce is put on each serving in the shown dish. But it is an adequate tomato relish there to make this a delightful dinner.

I’m providing the nutritional information for the individual parts of this, as many will use this meatball recipe with other sauces, serve it over other bases than the zucchini noodles and will use this thick veggie-heavy marinara sauce for other applications.  This dish is not suitable until Phase 2 Atkins due to the ricotta.  It is OK for Ketogenic diets.  It is however not acceptable for Primal-Paleo.

I like to make large batches of meatballs and freeze the extras for quick uses later on.  This recipe makes 20 meatballs or 10 servings of two meatballs.  Adjust your recipe as your needs dictate.

I absolutely love the Lucini “Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce” (no added sugar).  It’s made with all natural ingredients, has a lovely taste and I buy it for quick sauces and use it for quick pizza sauce.  It’s a great flavor foundation to build on.  🙂   It costs somewhere around $3.99/jar if I remember right.


1 lb. ground beef (I used 90% lean grass-fed)

1 lb. ground pork

2 beaten eggs

½ c. ricotta cheese

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼ tsp. each onion powder, crushed fennel seed and dried basil

½ tsp. dried oregano, crushed

1 clove minced garlic

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

MEATBALL DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Measure out all ingredients into a large bowl and mix together with fork or hand until well blended.  Form large 1½” balls by rolling in your palms.  Place them on either a non-stick baking sheet or one with a silicone sheet liner.  Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned and no longer oozing pink juices.


3 T. olive oil

½ c. celery, chopped

4 oz. onion, chopped

¼ c. bell pepper, chopped

5 large mushrooms, chopped

1  25.5 oz. jar (3c.) Lucini “Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce”, all natural ingredients with 4 NC per ½c. serving

2/3 c. parsley, chopped

3/4-1c. water, as needed

DIRECTIONS FOR SAUCE:  Heat oil in skillet or large saucepan.  Add celery, onion and bell pepper and saute until nearly tender.  Add mushroom and saute until translucent. Add Lucini sauce, parsley and bring to a simmer on very low heat.  Cook on lowest setting while meatballs are baking.  Stir often, adding water, as needed, to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan and to maintain a thin marinara sauce consistency.

ZUCCHINI NOODLES “Zoodles”:    VARIATIONS: Serve over spaghetti squash.           

3 medium zucchini (about 10 oz. each)

1 T. olive oil

DIRECTIONS FOR NOODLES:   Cut the zucchini into noodle shapes either with a hand held julienne peeler, a Vegetti, or a spiralizing tool like the counter-top Spirooli  that I used to use, but whose handle broke off.  Heat olive oil in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.   Add zucchini threads to the pan and lightly saute just until they become translucent.  DO NOT OVERCOOK them or they will get mushy.

FINAL PLATING:  Plate about 1 cup zoodles on each plate.  Top with 1/2 c. sauce.  Place 2 meatballs on top and if desired, garnish with a sprinkle of grated fresh Parmesan.

MEATBALL NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 20 very large meatballs.  Two per serving.  Each 2-meatball serving contains:

290 calories, 23 g  fat, 1.18 g  carbs, .8 g  fiber, .38 g  NET CARBS and 20.2 g  protein, 155 mg sodium

SAUCE NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes ten 1/2 c. servings of sauce.  Each serving contains:

97 calories, 7.2 g  fat, 7.27 g  carbs, 1.93 g  fiber, 5.34 g  NET CARBS, 2.24 g  protein

ZUCCHINI NOODLES NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 10 servings of noodles.  Each 3 oz serving contains:

59 calories, 4.7 g  fat, 4.2 g  carbs, 1.4 g  fiber, 2.8 g  NET CARBS  1.5 g  protein

Homemade Italian Sausage

I’ve been making this Italian sausage for nigh on to 50 years now.  By making it yourself, you can ensure no sugar or hidden carb fillers are in your Italian sausage and you can control the salt as well!   I keep some made up in my freezer all the time.  It’s so good in recipes, with Italian food, in soups or just as a SNACK!  This recipe is Atkins Induction friendly and also suitable for Keto, Primal and Paleo lifestyles.

I’m proud to say this recipe appears in Vol. 2 (p.298) of Jennifer Eloff’s cookbook series:  Low Carbing Among Friends.  Some of the very best low-carb cooks on the internet collaborated with her in producing a marvelous collection of kitchen-tested tasty recipes that will help you stick with your low-carb efforts.  GET YOUR COPIES TODAY! at Amazon or here.    I receive no remuneration for this promotion or my recipe contributions.  I do so simply because these are GREAT chefs creating WONDERFUL recipes!


1 1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground beef 
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1 clove minced garlic
¾ tsp. fennel, crushed
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt

VARIATION:  For HOT Italian Sausage, add 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper.  I prefer the mild myself.    

Traditionally this sausage is made with veal and pork, but as veal is so pricey I just use regular 90% lean ground beef. If you have or can get veal easily, GO FOR IT, by all means! Sometimes I use all pork in this recipe.  For freezing, I like to carefully lay a sheet of plastic wrap on a sheet pan, extended longer than the pan. I prefer patty shape and set four on the plastic in pan.  Then I fold the sides over and ends up and simply accordion the four into a stack, as pictured below.  I then place these bundles into a gallon Ziploc bag and freeze.

Lined up on plastic wrap on pan

DIRECTIONS:  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with your hands or a fork.  Do not stop mixing until the garlic, parsley and spices are WELL-blended.  Shape either into 16 patties or 16 cylindrical link shapes.  If you prefer, you can stuff casings, if you have the equipment, but that’s way too much trouble for me.  😉   The patties/links will be approx. 2 oz. each. Freeze and use as needed.  For ease of defrosting, it’s essential that plastic separate each patty so you can just  pop the number you need off a stack (cutting plastic wrap if needed) and cook over medium-high heat to brown  These are great served alongside spaghetti.  Or you can put small meatballs of it right into your spaghetti sauce when it is cooked.  I sometimes put some crumbled right into my lasagna and other Italian casserole-type dishes.  And of course, it’s wonderful crumbled and browned for a pizza!

One wrapped stack ready to freeze

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:     Makes 16 patties, each 2 oz. patty contains:

149.3 cal, 11.88g fat, 0.29g carbs,  0.14g. fiber,  0.15g NET CARBS, 9.68g protein, 36 mg. sodium

Clam Sauce on Zoodles

I have always loved a good clam sauce on pasta.   This recipe is one I often turn to when it’s late in the day and I’ve forgotten to defrost meat for dinner.  I make sure I always have a few cans of clams in my pantry for this reason. Though you can serve this on real pasta for your non-low-carb guests, it goes nicely for low-carbers over sautéed zucchini “noodles”, as shown above, or shirataki noodles.  Allow about 6 oz. zucchini noodles per person.  The zucchini noodles soak up the sauce’s wonderful flavor.   This dish is OK for Induction if served on zucchini noodles.  I do NOT think this would be good atop spaghetti squash threads as I think the squash taste will negatively impact the overall flavor of the clam dish.  If you are already to the OWL phase of Atkins, ¼ c. dry white wine is good added to this before thickening.  You want to talk healthy?  Get a load of the nutritional info below!!  I think clams (‘molluschi‘ in Italian) may just be the highest source of vitamin B12 in the food kingdom!  And it’s mostly in the juice!  Moral of the story:  EAT MORE CLAM LINGUINE!!  🙂


2  6-oz. cans clams with juice (do not drain)

4 slices bacon, cut into ½” pieces

2 T. butter, unsalted (or olive oil)

2 oz. onion, chopped

6 medium mushrooms, sliced

2 oz. red bell pepper, chopped coarsely

¼ c. parsley, chopped fine

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Dash black pepper

VARIATIONS:   A splash of white wine is good in this sauce.  It’s also tasty with about ½ c. heavy cream added.  This is more traditional served on low-carb linguine pasta.  I use Al Dente’s product called ‘Carba Nada’

DIRECTIONS:  Chop bacon and brown over med-high heat.  Add butter to melt in with the bacon drippings.  Add onion, mushrooms and garlic.  Sauté until onion and mushrooms are both tender.  Add red pepper, parsley and seasonings.  Add clams with their juice and simmer 2-3 minutes to blend flavors.   Thicken slightly with your favorite thickener and serve.   Garnish plates with a sprinkle of parsley if desired.  Serve on zucchini noodles or “zoodles” as shown above, Carba Nada linguine or shirataki noodles (the ones with oat fiber).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each containing:  (numbers are for sauce only, as written)

253 cals, 13.8g fat, 8.27g  carbs, 1.75g fiber, 6.52g NET CARBS, 23.8g protein, 330 mg sodium

Spaghetti Sauce Bolognese

This week I’m going to take you to Italy!  Italian foods are on the menu, so get set for some fun!   Some of the recipes I’ll showcase are authentic Italian fare; some are my own creations.  But I promise they are all delicious!  One can’t think of Italian food without immediately turning one’s thoughts to spaghetti!  This is the spaghetti sauce recipe I have used for nearly 75 years now.  It was my mother’s version long before me.  🙂  Haven’t found one I like better.  I usually double or triple this recipe and freeze some for convenience in other kitchen creations.  This recipe is acceptable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal-Paleo as well.


1 ½ lb. lean ground beef

½ c. green pepper chopped

½ c. parsley chopped

1 c. celery chopped

6 garlic cloves minced

6 oz. yellow onion chopped

2   14-oz. cans crushed or diced tomatoes (with no added sugars)

1   small (8 oz.) can tomato paste

½ tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (less if you don’t like it very spicy)

1 T. dried crushed oregano

1 bay leaf

1 T. fresh rosemary (or ½ tsp. dried)

1 T. fresh basil leaves, chopped (or ½ tsp. dried)

½ tsp. fennel seed, crushed

VARIATIONS:  Add 1½ c. diced eggplant, 6 sliced fresh mushrooms, or replace 1/2 lb. of the ground with with browned Italian sausage crumbles, balls or links.  Any of these variations are quite nice in this recipe.

DIRECTIONS:  Brown meat in large stew pot.  You may need a little oil if your meat is real lean.  Chop all veggies and add to meat and stir well.  Now add garlic, seasonings, tomatoes and tomato paste.  Simmer covered for 1½-2 hours on lowest heat possible.  Stir often during cooking and if it gets too thick to do so, add ½ c. water to think the sauce a wee bit.  Will yield about 8-9 cups of sauce, or 8-10 servings, depending on how saucy you like things and how you plan to use the sauce.   For my noodles, I use spaghetti squash threads, zucchini ‘noodles’ or I order on-line low-carb commercial noodles like Al Dente’s ‘Carba Nada’ line of pasta.  Those still on Atkins Induction might consider the shirataki noodles with oat fiber for your Italian dishes.  I think they are the best shirataki noodles out there.  I believe the brand I’ve tried is Zeroodle I obtained at  

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 10, each serving has: (excluding ‘noodles used)

295.3 cals, 20.75g fat, 13.18g carbs, 4.48 g fiber, 8.7g NET CARBS, 18.3g protein, 116 mg. sodium

Chicken Chile Relleno Casserole

Thought I’d post my chicken version of a chile rellenos casserole nowI just layer the common chile rellenos ingredients into a casserole dish and bake.  Doesn’t get much easier.   It comes out just as delicious every time, plus so much simpler than stuffing the peppers.  Another plus…….deep frying!  Tastes almost exactly the same as the real deal, but it’s much less trouble for the cook.   Of course, to serve this to company, I would go to the trouble to stuff the peppers and deep fry for authentic presentation.  This Atkins Induction-friendly recipe garnished millions of fans on Facebook when I was posting there regularly for the Low Carbing Friends team.  It deserves to be in my Mexican celebration of great great Mexican dishes.   This one is suitable for all ketogenic diets and Primal diners but is not suitable for Paleo followers.


3 poblano peppers (2-2.5 oz. each)

12 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces

2 T. olive oil

2 oz. onion, sliced

½ tsp. dried guajillo chile, seeded, chopped fine (optional)

¼ tsp. dried ancho chile powder (optional)

¼ tsp. chili powder  (use ½ tsp. if guajillo & ancho are unavailable)

¼ tsp. garlic powder

3/4 c. Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, solids only (mild)

¼ c. cilantro, chopped

6 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 450º.  Roasting your peppers will make them milder and sweeter, so don’t bypass this step.  Cut tops off poblano peppers and remove seed cluster.  Cut in halves, lay the halves on a non-stick baking sheet and roast in 450º oven for about 15-20 minutes, turning once during roasting.  Remove and cool.  Lower oven to 350º. Peel tough skin gently off the peppers.  While they are roasting, heat oil in non-stick skillet.  Sauté onion until tender.  Add chicken and sauté until meat is no longer pink.  Add all remaining ingredients except the cheese.  Simmer 3-4 minutes for flavors to meld together.  Lay the skinned poblano pepper pieces in the bottom of 3 individual casserole dishes (or use one larger casserole dish if you prefer).  Top the peppers in each serving dish with 1 spoon of the chicken filling.  Spread 1/3 of the cheese over the chicken filling in each dish. Place the remaining chicken filling evenly in the dish(es).  Top with the remaining cheese.  Pop into a 350º oven for about 20 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese is melted.  Serve at once with a nice guacamole salad (and if you are in Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance, this is nice with a ½ c. of heated refried beans).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:

547 cals, 35g fat, 07.7g carbs, 2.23g fiber, 5.47g NET CARBS, 47.7g protein, 620 mg sodium

Beef Chile Relleno Casserole


I just love chile rellenos, but I don’t like all the fuss of actually stuffing the poblano peppers.  Lazy me, what can I say.  So I just make the popular dish up in a layered casserole.  Tastes exactly the same, but it’s much less trouble to put together.   Shown above with a serving of black soy beans (not regular black beans which are higher in carbs) and guacamole salad.  This recipe is Atkins Induction friendly and Primal diners who eat cheese can also enjoy this dish. It would not be suitable for Paleo followers.


3 poblano peppers (2-2.5 oz. each)

12 oz. lean ground beef

2 oz. onion, sliced

½ tsp. dried guajillo or ancho chile, seeded & chopped (optional, but both very mild in heat)

¼ tsp. chili powder  (½ tsp. if guajillo & ancho chiles above are not available)

¼ tsp. garlic powder

3/4 c. Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, solids only (mild)

¼ c. cilantro, chopped

6 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 450º.  Roasting your peppers will make them milder and sweeter, so don’t bypass this step.  Cut tops off poblano peppers and remove seed cluster.  Cut in halves, lay the halves on a non-stick baking sheet and roast in 450º oven for about 15-20 minutes, turning once during roasting.  Remove and cool.  Lower oven to 350º. Peel tough skin gently off the peppers.

While they are roasting, heat ground beef in non-stick skillet over high heat.  When meat is no longer pink, add onion and sauté until tender.  Add all remaining ingredients except the cheese.  Simmer 3-4 minutes for flavors to meld together.  Lay the skinned poblano pepper pieces in the bottom of 4 individual casserole dishes or one larger casserole dish if you prefer.  For the next layer, spoon half of the beef mixture equally amongst the 4 dishes.   Spread half of the cheese equally over the tops of the 4 servings. Next, place the remaining beef filling equally in the 4 dishes.  Finally top each equally with the remaining cheese.  Pop them into a 350º oven for about 20 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese is melted.  Serve at once with a nice guacamole salad (and if you are in Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance, this is nice with a ½ c. of heated refried beans).

VARIATION:  If your are at goal weight and you can afford the extra carbs, a thin layer of refried black soy beans is delicious on this (I usually start out with the bean layer, or you can dot them on top before adding the final cheese).  

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   REcipe makes 4 servings, each contains:

412 calories, 27.7 g fat, 6.72 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 4.72 g NET CARBS, 32.6 g protein, 897 mg sodium

(adding ½ c. mashed soy black bean layer increases carbs to 10.7 g, fiber 5.5 g, net carbs 5.22 g).

Pork in Queso Flameado Sauce

Pork in Queso Flameado

I couldn’t have a Mexican Food celebration without one of my star creations in that repertoire.  Have you had the appetizer known as Queso Flameado in a Mexican restaurant?  If so, it isn’t a flavor you soon forget. Chorizo sausage at its best, in my opinion.  It’s a thick melted cheese fondu with Mexican chorizo crumbled in it.  It is served with flour tortillas so you can roll it up and enjoy.  It is sooo good!

Well, this dish I created takes Queso Flameado to a main dish.  If you love spicy chorizo, you’ve GOT to try this dish!  It has been one of the more popular recipes here on my blog!  My husband just loved it, as did I!   This dish also sports some very impressive nutritional numbers below, so it’s a keeper in my book.  It is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Ketogenic diets.

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12 oz. pork loin, cut into 4 portions

1 link chorizo, removed from the skin and crumbled

2 T. unsalted butter

4 large green onions, chopped

1/2 c. red bell pepper, chopped

1 c. cilantro, chopped (use parsley if not a fan)

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. water

6 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded (or more if you can afford the carbs)

VARIATION:   (shown in above photo)   For something completely different, throw a few crawfish tails into the sauce right before baking.  I have used 1/2 or so.  You’ll be amazed what THAT does to this dish.  That’s what I call going off in a totally different direction.

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Pound the 4 pieces of pork with a meat tenderizing mallet.  Melt butter in large skillet over high heat.  Brown pork on both sides until nearly done.  Remove.  Add crumbled chorizo and brown, crumbling as small as you can as it cooks.   Add the green onions, bell pepper and sauté until they are tender.  Lower heat to medium low and add cream, water and cilantro.  Simmer a couple minutes to reduce a bit. Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce and lay pork on top.  Pop into preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly and the meat appear to be done.  Serve 1/4 of the sauce over each portion of meat.  This pairs nicely with mashed cauliflower or a nice guacamole salad alongside.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

567 cals., 45g fat, 4.35g carbs, 1.15g fiber, 3.2g NET CARBS, 36g protein, 654 mg sodium


Click to enlarge

We’re having this delicious side with our pork chops tonight.  I’ve seen a wide variety of recipes for this dish over the years, but this version, with a few tweaks, is my favorite.  For those not familiar with what we Texans call Calaba squash, the pic below is an example of one popular strain in all our local grocery stores.  This squash is also referred to as Mexican Zucchini.  They are mild and very similar to zucchini in taste, but are shorter, lighter green, slightly striped (some have even darker stripes than the squash in the pic) and they are more oval in shape than zucchini.  The inside flesh is slightly firmer and yellower and best of all, it does not bleed water into your recipes as badly as regular Italian zucchini does. You can definitely substitute zucchini in this dish if you can’t get calaba squash where you live.  I’ve even been known to make this recipe with yellow summer squash.  Comes out tasting a little different, but still quite good.  This dish is Induction friendly.


1 lb. diced calaba squash (½-¾” dice)

½ large leek, sliced thin

4 slices lean bacon, chopped

1 T. butter, unsalted

½ c. sweet red pepper, chopped

3 oz. cheddar cheese

3 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese

Pinch each of black pepper, ground cumin and celery seed

VARIATION:  Omit the bacon entirely in this recipe.  That was one of my tweaks actually.  It’s not usually in calabacita.

DIRECTIONS: Brown the chopped bacon in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat (do not drain off grease unless there is more than 2 tablespoons).  When done, add butter and diced calaba squash, stirring often and cook until just about fully tender.   Add sliced leeks, red pepper and spices  and continue stirring for about 5-10 minutes until all veggies appear to be done.  Top with cheeses and pop into 350º oven for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted nicely.  This dish goes well with pork, fish and most Mexican food.  Leftovers often get frozen & dumped into the next pot of Mexican soup I make.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 large servings each containing:

235.5 cals, 17.7 g fat, 7.65 g carbs, 1.8 g fiber, 5.85 g NET CARBS, 12.9 g protein, 394 mg sodium

Peggy’s Chili

Peggy's Texas Chili

How about a bowl of hearty chili this week for lunch?  Cowboys on cattle drives up to the midwest learned to make chili from the vaqueros (Mexican horsemen and cattle handlers) on the drives with them.  Often the cooks on the drives were Mexican.  Although classic Mexican chile sauce does not have meat in it, cattlemen ate what was available when salted, dried meats ran out (hundreds of beef on the hoof all around them!) to create what has become an American tradition!  Doesn’t get better than a good bowl of Texas chili!

Since chili has to simmer quite awhile for the flavors to blend, I like to make big batches and freeze it.  This recipe makes 8 large bowls.  The nutritional info is calculated with the can of Eden black soy beans, making the recipe as written unacceptable for Induction.  If you omit the beans, as many Texans would, this chili recipe is perfectly OK for Atkins Induction!  Although many Texans say “real” Texas chili doesn’t have beans, I beg to disagree.  I consider myself Texan (lived here 50 years now with my Texas husband) and I find chili without beans too rich and always put one can into a big batch to mellow out the heavy spices.  Quite honestly, I’ve never had a die-hard Texan in the “no beans chili” camp back away from my chili, my husband included.  So I do hope you’ll give this one a try. 🙂

I use several different chile peppers in this recipe, but each has a distinctive flavor they bring to the chili, in my opinion.   Of course, you can change the peppers called for herein, if you can’t get some of them, but in doing so, you will definitely change the final flavor and ‘heat’ factor. Below top photo are dried anchos.  Guajillos below.


3 lb. ground beef

4 oz. onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

2   4 oz. cans chopped green chiles (I use mild)

1  10 oz. can tomatoes with green chiles (I use Rotel ‘mild’)

1  14.5 oz. can diced/crushed tomatoes, no-salt3 c. water

1 T. chili powder (mine is a 50:50 mix of Bolners ‘Fiesta’ chile powder & Chimayo chile powder)

½ tsp. ancho chili powder (or ½ dried ancho pepper, seeded, chopped) 

2 tsp. ground cumin

1  dried Guajillo chile pepper, seeded and chopped

1 Serrano pepper, seeded and chopped (or Jalapeno pepper)

2 tomatillos, skin removed and chopped

1 c. cilantro, chopped

1 oz. (2 T.) tomato paste

1  14.5 oz. can Eden Black Soy Beans with liquid (optional)

DIRECTIONS: Over medium-high heat, brown meat and onion in large stew pot.  When done, add all remaining ingredients.  After the chili comes to a boil, reduce fire to low, cover tightly and simmer poon lowest heat for 1-2 hours (the longer the better, so the tomatoes literally cook apart into the liquid).  Stir often to avoid scorching on the bottom of the pan.  Add a little water throughout cooking, as needed.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 8 large 2c. servings, each contains:  (these numbers include the optional beans)

540 calories, 32 g  fat, 10.6 g carbs, 4.73 g fiber, 5.87 g NET CARBS (less without the beans), 49.5 g protein, 935 mg sodium

Meatza-Meatza® Quiche

Though I have many more delicious egg recipes on my site, this post will wrap up my blast from the past on eggs today.  Low carbers do not lack for quiche recipes, that’s a fact. Jack.  This one my husband liked better than a lot I have created.  “Just the right ratio on the ingredients” he said.  I have to agree.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto, Primal and Paleo followers.


3 large eggs, beaten

1 link diced smoked sausage

6 oz. pork bulk breakfast sausage

2 green onions, chopped

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Brown the breakfast sausage over high heat in a small non-stick skillet.  Add the smoked sausage and continue to cook on medium heat until it, too has cooked.  Add the green onion and saute a a couple minutes.  Remove from heat and slowly pour the beaten eggs over all.  Pop into hot oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until it puffs up and is firm in the center.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:

392.3 cals, 31.1 g fat, 2.13 g carbs, 0.43 g fiber, 1.7 g  NET CARBS, 24.8 g  protein, 917 mg sodium

Chorizo & Smoked Sausage Scrambled Eggs


             Entire recipe shown

My new egg creations are often the result of some little leftover or bit of food I fear won’t keep much longer.  On this occasion I wanted to use up the last of some cilantro in the fridge before it perished there.  So it was eggs with a Mexican twist for sure.  Those that don’t like “hot”, this half of a large jalapeno was not too much for me, and I do NOT like things too “hot”.  It just added a nice flavor layer.  Many lovers of real spicy food will want to use even more I suspect.  I use locally-made Texas smoked sausage and chorizo.  These will surprise you!  They mellow out the heaviness of both the chorizo and the smoked sausage.   Most of my long-time readers know I’m not that fond of eggs to begin with, but this recipe makes them regularly doable for me!

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Paleo-Primal regimens as well (using ghee for the butter here).


5 large eggs beaten

Dash onion powder

1 link chorizo or smoked sausage (or some of both)

¼ c. cilantro, chopped coarsely

½ seeded jalapeno, chopped very fine

Dash ground cumin

2 T. butter or ghee to cook eggs.

DIRECTIONS:  Beat the eggs with the onion powder in a mixing bowl and set aside.  Chop the sausage, cilantro and jalapeno.  Lightly brown the sausage in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the jalapeno and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add the butter to melt and then stir in the cilantro.  Lower heat to medium.  Slowly pour the eggs over the sausage mixture as evenly as possible.  Wait a couple minutes before stirring so the eggs and sausage begin to bond on the bottom and edges.  When the edges begin to bubble a wee bit, using a rubber spatula, slowly push in the outer edges toward the center to loosen.  Begin flipping sections of the mixture with spatula to fully cook the eggs to your desired doneness.  Remove from heat and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains:

363 calories, 33 g fat, 1.4 g carbs, 0.5 g fiber, 0.9 g NET CARBS, 22 g protein, 379 mg sodium

Boursin Scrambled Eggs

Click to enlarge

In the vein of the current theme of egg recipes, I present one of my all-time favs.  I keep Boursin  soft cheese “Garlic and Fine Herbs” flavor in the door of my refrigerator almost always.  Not something I like to run out of.  I keep finding interesting things to try it in or on.  It reminds me a lot of cream cheese, but much more intense flavor.  I find it way too heavy all by itself, as a dip or spread.  But I am really starting to like it in small amounts in a variety of odd places.  When I discovered a bit in scrambled eggs was jest heavenly in taste, this recipe became a regular in my rotations.  Very tasty and not the usual frowns and winces from my husband who prefers plain eggs.  So I thought I’d share this Induction friendly recipe with those new to my site.  everyone.  I’m going to try the “Chive and Onion” Boursin in my eggs next time!  Boursin cheeses are usually found in the deli or specialty cheese section of better grocery stores.


2 T. butter, unsalted

4 large eggs, beaten

1½ T.  Boursin cheese, (I used Garlic and Herb flavor)

2 T. parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS:   Melt butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add Boursin cheese and stir to dissolve.  Cheese will look like it’s curdling, but don’t worry, not a problem.  Add all the parsley but 1 tsp. reserved for garnish.  After 1 minutes, add beaten eggs and cook until done.  Serve with garnish of remaining parsley.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 2 servings, each contains:

262 cals, 23g fat, 1.2g carbs, 0.15g fiber, 1.05g NET CARBS, 13.1g protein, 165 mg sodium

If you’re not familiar with Boursin cheese, it’s a soft cheese that comes in a foil wrapper in a little box that looks like this.  It’s usually in the specialty cheese/delicatessen are of your grocery store.HerbBoursin

Greek Souvlaki and Grilled Vegetables

In my foray back into my old tried-and-true recipes, the theme for a couple days will be Greek foods.  When lived on  Galveston Island for over 25 years.  There is a large Greek community there that held an annual Greek Festival.  This dish was ALWAYS on the menu for the festival.  We both love Greek food immensely and so much of it is Atkins friendly! I’ve been making this dish for many years and thought I’d share with my low-carbing friends.  It is suitable for Atkins Induction, too!  By the way, this marinade is surprisingly good on grilled chicken and fish, as well!  Suitable for all phases of Atkins, most Keto diets and Paleo-Primal programs as well.


12 oz. trimmed, steak or lamb, cut into 1½” cubes (I’ve even used pork  for this)
4 oz. red bell pepper in 1½” pieces
4 oz. green bell pepper in 1½” pieces
2 small onions (1½” diameter or less)
8 oz. yellow squash(1½” thick slices)


3 T. extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1/2 T.)
1 T. white vinegar
2 small cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 small crushed bay leaves

Marinate meat in fridge in plastic bag/container 4-5 hours in the marinade. Stir occasionally or hand manipulate the bag to coat all pieces well. When ready to cook meal, parboil peppers 1 minute, squash 2-3 minutes, onions 3-4 minutes. Lift each type veggie out of water at appropriate number of minutes. I find veggies won’t get done as fast as the meat does if not parboiled.

For more even cooking control, we like to skewer veggies on their own skewers. Baste veggies in 1 T. more EVOO and a pinch of oregano or 1/4 tsp. Cavender’s No-Salt Greek Seasoning.

Now skewer meat on 5 long skewers.  Pieces can be pretty close together on the skewers. Grill over hot charcoal fire for approximately 10-12 minutes on a side, positioned VERY close to coals.  Voila! Dinner for three. If you have enough skewers (this amount takes 5 long skewers), this is a real easy company dinner served with a Middle Eastern cucumber, sour cream, mint salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  Makes 3 servings, each contains:  (Can be 4 smaller servings, but as this is so good, portion size is difficult!)

492.7 cals, 35.43 g fat, 10.7 g carbs, 2.93 g fiber, 7.77g  NET CARBS, 33.1 g. protein, minimal sodium

Indian Cauliflower

Click to enlarge


Took me awhile researching on the internet to find out what the black seeds often seen in this dish in restaurants were, but diligence was rewarded in the end.  They are nigella seeds, which go by a variety of other names as well.  The resulting experiment  came out pretty close in flavor to the dish served in many Indian restaurants, so I’m quite pleased.  We served it with charbroiled chicken we had marinated in a Tandoori seasoning I just got out of an Indian cookbook.   The spices are available in a bottle from Middle Eastern or Indian groceries, but as there isn’t where I live, I must order my exotic spices from Penzey’s on-line.  This is an Atkins Induction suitable recipe also OK for other ketogenic lifestyles.


1 whole cauliflower (about 16 oz.)

½ stick butter

½ tsp. whole cumin seed

¼ tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. finely minced, peeled ginger root

1 tsp. black or brown mustard seed (totally different from yellow variety).

½ tsp. nigella seeds.

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper


Cut cauliflower into fairly large chunks.  Place in a steamer over ½-1″ water and steam until just barely tender (10 minutes or less).

In a separate skillet, melt butter and saute all spices until they are fragrant and mustard seeds begin to pop.   When cauliflower is just tender, lift out of steamer and toss into the spice mixture.  Stir to coat cauliflower well with buttery spices.  Serve with Middle Eastern foods or Indian curries.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Serves 4.  Each 4 oz. servings has:

136 cals, 12 g fat, 6.7 g carbs, 3.05 g fiber, 3.65 g NET CARBS, 2.68 g protein, 36.5 mg  sodium

Indian Kheema Matar


Shown on bed of sautéed cabbage

My husband just adores this Indian dish he first had at the Taj Palace in Austin, TX.  My version is similar, but with less sauce surrounding the meat.  It’s so blinkin’ easy to make and tasty, we have it often.  My husband wants his on the traditional basmati rice.  I shred and sauté a quick serving of cabbage shreds to serve mine on.  This dish can be made with either ground lamb or ground beef and is equally good with both.  This Indian dish is traditionally cooked with peas rather than my low-carb green beans.  But I have I found it is just as good with small cut frozen green bean pieces (to lower carbs) and then served on cabbage.  I think I may even like the taste better on the cabbage presentation than the rice, to be honest!    The nutritional info below does not include the cabbage (or rice).  My husband and I found my first attempt at Kheema Matar, which we have often had at Indian restaurants, to be pretty darn good!  It has rapidly moved into my quick and easy recipes category.

This also makes an excellent filling for making samosas or meat hand pies. Just add a wee bit of leftover beef gravy or thickened beef stock to moisten/bind it all together.


1 lb. ground beef, lamb or goat

1 T. olive or coconut oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove minced garlic

½ tsp. minced ginger

1/8-¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. ground coriander

¼ tsp. salt

2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped

½ c. frozen cut green beans, cut again into halves

1 carrot, cut into small dice

2 T. chopped cilantro

2 T. chopped fresh mint (I use spearmint)

½ jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1½ tsp. my Garam Masala

OPTIONAL:  Add 1/2-1 c. beef or chicken stock (or leftover gravy) and simmer a bit for a moist gravy.  Thicken a bit with your favorite thickener to desired thickness.

DIRECTIONS:  Place carrots and green bean pieces in small amount of water in saucepan and cook just until tender crisp.  Add oil to large skillet.  Brown chopped onion in the oil over medium-high heat.  Add meat and break apart as it browns.  Add garlic, tomatoes, jalapeno and all spices except mint and cilantro.  Lower heat to simmer, cover and cook 15-20 minutes until tomatoes and onion well cooked.  Now add the drained carrot/bean mixture, cilantro and mint and stir well.  Cover again and cook additional 5-10 minutes or so for flavors to blend well.  Serve atop bed of shredded stir-fried cabbage (my preference) or basmati rice for those non-low-carbers at your table.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 4, each serving contains: (does not include cabbage base)

187 calories, 23.8 g  fat, 7.55 g carbs, 2.38 g fiber, 5.17 NET CARBS, 23.8 g  protein, 620 mg sodium

Indian Muthi Kebabs

Indian Muthi Kebabs

I came up with my version of the muthi kebabs that are often served with a Mixed Grill at Indian restaurants.  So I tinkered around with my Garam Masala spice blend and a few other common Indian seasonings and grilled the final result.   I managed to get my recipe pretty darn close to the taste I’m so familiar with.  This has since become my go-to Indian kebab recipe.  I like to serve these with various grilled vegetables, usually including onions, but sometimes with grilled tomatoes or grilled yellow squash.  Also pictured are dry-griddled Mission Carb Balance whole wheat flour tortillas (3 net carbs per tortilla) for a very similar taste to Indian whole wheat chapatis.  🙂

These kebabs can be made with either beef or lamb.  And although you can skillet cook or broil them indoors, grilling them over charcoal will achieve a flavor so similar to those done in a tandoori oven that once you’ve done them that way, you’ll not want them any other way.  Of that I am certain!  I have tried to mold these on skewers before, but I have never had much luck with that.  Gravity kicks in and mine drop off the skewer before I can even get the skewer to the grill, so we just do them in little patties instead.  🙂    This recipe is Atkins Induction friendly and is also suitable for Keto, Primal and Paleo.

Click to enlarge

Shown in the traditional oblong shapeINGREDIENTS:

24 oz. ground beef or lamb (not too lean, or add some fat)

4 oz. onion, minced fine

2-3 T. cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped fine

½ tsp. ginger root, minced

1 tsp. Garam Masala

¼ tsp. turmeric

¼ tsp. salt

1 small egg, beaten

Dash black pepper and cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS:   I have a food processor, so I throw all the ingredients in and process until all veggies are minced fine and blended well into the smooth meat.  Form into 8 equal patties.  I actually weigh mine and make them 3 oz. raw mixture for each patty.   Prepare charcoal fire and grill over hot coals for about 10 minutes on a side (will vary depending on how hot your fire is and how far the meat is from the coals).   I like to serve these kebabs with my Indian Creamed Spinach , assorted grilled veggies or my Roasted Shawarma Vegetables .  Mmmmm. Good Eats!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 patties, each contains:

237.6 cals, 15.2 g fat, 1.46 g  carbs, 0.29 g fiber, 1.17 g NET CARBS, 22.5 g  protein, 418 mg sodium

Indian Panch Puran Eggs

Indian Panch Puran Eggs

Inspired by a recipe on Linda Genaw’s site, I decided to take a combination of Indian ingredients and throw them into a new scrambled egg dish and discovered it is DELICIOUS!  Panch Puran is made with either 5 spices (and goes by that name), or with 7 spices).  It is a common Bengali and East Indian spice.  I have the 7-spice blend which is a mixture of cumin, nigella (kalongi or onion seed) , anise (fennel), fenugreek seed, mustard seed, cloves and allspice.   The 5-spice mix omits the cloves and allspice.  NOTE: this is not the 5-spice powder used in Chinese cooking! These spice blends can be purchased ready-made at import stores carrying Indian foods or on-line at places like Penzey’s.  There are also likely recipes on the internet for making it homemade.   I bought a bottle at a little Indian import place in San Antonio.

My husband doesn’t ordinarily like food that is “outside the box” at breakfast, but I’m up for any meal that takes ordinary food to a whole new level.   However, being an Indian food fan, he tried these and agreed they tasted very good, but went on to say would like them better as a side dish for an evening meal or for lunch better than at breakfast.  We agreed to disagree on that one, as I loved them and don’t usually eat breakfast AT ALL.  Very delicate flavors here and not heavy at all.   By the way, this dish is NOT hot from the jalapeno, as searing jalapenos takes a lot of the “heat” out of them.  Omit the cayenne if you don’t like very spicy foods.  This dish is Induction friendly and suitable for Keto or Primal-Paleo followers as well.


3 T. butter, unsalted (or ghee, or coconut oil)

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (or less)

1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped

½ clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

Pinch each ground coriander, turmeric, curry powder, cumin

Dash cayenne pepper (optional)

¼ tsp. Panch Puran 7-Spice Mix (see comments above recipe)

4 large eggs

1 T. chopped cilantro (omit if not a fan)

DIRECTIONS:   Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over med-high heat.  Sauté onion and jalapeno until tender.  Add garlic, ginger and tomato and cook down until the tomato is just tender.  Whisk eggs with all spices and pour into skillet.  Cook as you would your scrambled eggs until done.  Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro for best flavor and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains:

315 cals, 27.4 g  fat, 5.1g  carbs, 0.9 g fiber, 4.2g NET CARBS, 13.5 g  protein, very little sodium

Pork & Chorizo Taco Salad


This is a variation on the popular taco salad we all know and love.  Constructing it with pork and chorizo, along with the spices and sofrito I included, I have discovered is quite delicious and a pleasant change of pace.  You can increase the ratio of chorizo to pork if you like, just maintain the total amount of meat if you do so.  You could also use 8 oz. ground beef plus the 2 oz. chorizo.  Any combination on the meats…..I say go for it!  I didn’t have an avocado in the house the night I took this photo, but when I do, I layer a nice spoonful of guacamole as a dressing, before adding the final cheese topping.   This salad is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.


8 oz. lean ground pork

2 oz. chorizo sausage, removed from casing and crumbled (more, using less pork above, if you’re a fan)

Dash ground cumin

¼ tsp. garlic powder

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

1/8 tsp. my Smoky Chipotle Spice blend

2 c. Romaine lettuce, chopped

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

½ c. tomato, chopped

2 slices Monterrey Jack Cheese

½ c. shredded Cheddar Cheese

VARIATION:  Add 1 seeded, mashed avocado with a dash of garlic powder before the cheese is added last.

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

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

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

Loaded “Potato” Casserole

Loaded Potato casserole

Who doesn’t like a loaded baked potato?  This is the low-carber’s version, with meat added for a complete meal!  Not such a pretty dish; but a very tasty dish!   I had a leek on hand so I just used that, but green onion is traditional on a loaded baked potato.  This goes together fast and was truly delicious.  Makes a big casserole that will serve 6 hungry adults.  🙂  This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and those Primal folks that eat occasional dairy.


½ large head cauliflower, cut into medium chunks

4 oz. bacon ends (or lean bacon), chopped

1½ c. green onion (or leek), chopped

1 lb. ground beef or pork (I used 90% ),

2 oz. cream cheese

½ c. sour cream

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS:  Steam or boil cauliflower until almost fully tender, but not quite.  Drain well.  Preheat oven to 350º.  While the cauliflower is cooking, in a large skillet or wok, brown the bacon.  Add the green onion or leek and sauté until tender. Add black pepper and mix in well.  Salt won’t be needed with bacon and this much cheese. 🙂  Add ground beef, breaking apart and stirring as it browns.  Add cream cheese, stirring to allow it to melt and disperse into the mixture.  Add sour cream and blend well.  Stir in the drained cauliflower gently. Top with grated cheese and pop into preheated 350º oven for 20-30 minutes to allow flavors to blend and cheese to melt.  Serve at once with a lovely green salad or green veggie of your choice.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains:

465 cals, 37g fat, 8.68g carbs, 2.41g fiber, 6.27g NET CARBS, 26.6g protein, 676 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.  In its original form, it appears in Neerja Matoo’s cookbook  Kashmiri Cooking. I’ve made quite a few changes and this 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.

INGREDIENTS: 2 c. mushrooms, wiped and halved (leave whole if small ones)

2 T. butter, unsalted

2 oz. slivered yellow onion

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 you can’t get this)

2 T. chopped fresh cilantro

¼ c. heavy cream

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

DIRECTIONS: Wipe mushrooms clean.  Halve them if large, otherwise leave whole.  Set aside.  Meanwhile, melt butter in non-stick skillet.  Add onion, garlic and spices and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.  Add mushrooms and continue stirring/cooking until mushrooms are done (about 5 more minutes).  Lower heat, add bouillon and cream.   Simmer on lowest heat possible to slightly thicken.

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, .7 g  fiber, 2.75 g  NET CARBS 1.88 Protein 33.6 mg. sodium

Creamed Spinach

Click to enlarge

American style

We just LOVE creamed spinach!  This dish is Atkins Induction friendly and suitable for other Keto diets as well.


2 T. butter

Saag Paneer (Indian variation_

Saag Paneer (Indian style).

2 oz. yellow onion

16 oz. frozen chopped spinach

1 c. water

3 oz. cream cheese

1/3 c. heavy cream

Dash salt and pepper

VARIATION :  Try it as it’s made in INDIA sometime, where it is called Saag Paneer with pot cheese added.  Add 1 tsp. my Garam Masala spice blend, ½ tsp. grated ginger root, ½ c. chopped cilantro, and ½ seeded jalapeno chopped and paneer cheese cubes (if you know how to make it or can buy frozen at an Indian grocery).

DIRECTIONS:  Sliver up the onion very thin or chop finely.  Melt butter in skillet and sauté onion over medium heat in non-stick skillet.  Add spinach and water, cover and simmer just until spinach is done (about 5 minutes).  Drain off any remaining water.  Now dot the surface with cream cheese and stir in to melt.  If making the Indian version, add all spices and jalapeno pepper now.  Stir.  Lower heat to lowest setting and add cream.  Simmer uncovered for 2-3 minutes to allow  flavors to blend.  Optional bake-off:  Bake at 350º for 15 minutes.  Great with grilled kebab, chicken or fish.  Mmm Mmm Mmm.  I just love this stuff, especially the Indian version!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings each contains

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

Greek Olive Tapenade

Greek Olive Tapenade

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


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

1 small clove minced garlic

¼ c. olive oil

2 T. chopped parsley

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

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

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

Twice-Baked “Potatoes”

I have made this delicious side dish often throughout my nearly 14 years of low-carbing.  You just can’t beat an all-time favorite food!  Comfort food for sure at our house.  This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  It is not suitable for Primal-Paleo due to all the dairy.


24 oz. raw cauliflower (about 2/3 of a large head)

1 oz. heavy cream

1 oz. cream cheese

1 oz. sour cream

4 T. melted butter, unsalted

4 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded

2 large green onions, chopped

1 tsp. or less olive oil to grease dish

DIRECTIONS:  Cut cauliflower into smaller pieces and boil or steam until tender.  Drain well.  Stir in the cream cheese and butter to melt.  Add the sour cream and heavy cream and whip with a stick blender or hand mixer until smooth or nearly smooth.  Spread into a greased medium baking dish and top with half the cheese, then the onions and finally the rest of the cheese.  Bake in a preheated 350º oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each contains:

209 cals, 18 g  fat, 7.85 g  carbs, 2.98 g fiber, 4.87 g NET CARBS, 6.98 g protein, 257 mg sodium

Asian Cabbage Salad


I love this recipe in the summertime!  So easy to throw together for lunch without heating up the kitchen.  When I have a little leftover cooked chicken or steak, I like to add it to the top of this salad to make it a complete meal.  But this salad is delicious without any meat on top!  🙂 .  This tasty dish can be enjoyed by people on all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  It is suitable for Primal-Paleo followers as well.


2 T. lime juice

2 T. rice vinegar

2T. + 2 tsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. hot sesame oil (or ¼ tsp. Sriracha sauce)

3-4 drops liquid sweetener

3 T. low-sodium soy sauce

1 tsp. minced fresh ginger

6 c. shredded Napa cabbage

1 c. chopped fresh cilantro

1 shredded carrot

½ fresh jalapeno, seeded, sliced in small julienne strips

OPTIONAL:  2 T. peanut butter added to dressing (not calculated in below).  Leftover cooked steak (or chicken as shown above). Adding ½ c/ chicken to each serving adds about 150 calories, 9g fat, 18g protein to each serving.

DIRECTIONS:  Whisk first 7 ingredients together in a small bowl for the dressing.  Set aside.  Shred/slice napa cabbage and place in large bowl.  Add grated carrot, cilantro and julienned jalapeno.  Toss well and plate servings.  You can alternately so plate directly in layers on each person’s plate if you prefer (what I in the photo above).  If adding any meat, sprinkle in equal amounts on each serving.  Provide dressing in individual small cups for each person to add as they please.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each containing approximately:

95 calories, 3.6 g  fat, 2.9 g  protein, 13.5 g  carbs, 5.0 g  fiber, 8.5 g  NET CARBS, 350 mg sodium

Judy’s Parmesan Baked Yellow Squash

Judy's Parmesan Baked Yellow SquashI just love yellow summer squash (the slim, soft-skinned variety) and have cooked it a ton of different ways over the years.  But honestly, this recipe is by far the best way I’ve ever eaten it.   It’s so good, I make it often during the Holiday Season!  It goes so nicely with turkey and dressing in my opinion.  This is a recipe of a friend I used to work with years ago.  Parmesan is not usually the cheese people put on yellow squash dishes, but I’m here to tell ya this is an OUTSTANDING flavor combination.  And the sweet caramelized onions just bring so much to the combo.  I just use the Parmesan in the green canister we all are familiar with, as a rule, for this dish.  But you can use whole, grated Parmesan if you prefer. This recipe is OK for all phases of Atkins, Keto and Primal Blueprint programs.


6 yellow summer squash (medium, about 6″ long)

6 oz. yellow onion

1 Flax Sandwich Bun, crumbled (or slice other low-carb bread)

1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Dash of Salt and Pepper

3 T. butter

DIRECTIONS:  Slice onion into thin slivers and sauté in butter in no-stick skillet.  Cook until they begin to brown, as the caramelizing is essential to the flavor of this dish.  Turn off heat and let them cool.

Now grease a 9×13 glass casserole pan with butter.  Slice the squash laterally/lengthwise into 1/4″ slices (or thinner if you want to speed this dish up a bit).  This goes together in lasagna-type layers.  First sprinkle 1-2 T.of the flax bun crumbs on the bottom of the pan.  These will soak up moisture that bleeds out of the squash during cooking.  Now place a single layer of squash slices in the pan.  Jimmie them around, switching ends of slices so the pan is pretty much filled without gaps.  Top with 1/4 of the browned onions.  Next sprinkle 1-2 T. Parmesan cheese.  Repeat these steps until all ingredients are used, ending with onion on top.   Cover pan tightly with foil and bake 30-40 minutes at 350 º.  Uncover, add 2-3 T. water if there is no moisture left in the bottom of the pan.  Bake another 20-30 minutes (uncovered) or until squash feels tender when knife is stuck into it and onions on the top are toasty brown.  Toast top in broiler if need be.  You want the top layer of onion to be attractively toasted. This dish is a big hit every time I make it and it goes nicely with your holiday turkey dinners.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 6 servings, each containing:

150 calories, 10.35 g  fat, 9.88 g  carbs, 3.0 g  fiber, 6.88 NET CARBS, 7.2 g  protein, 26 g sodium