Oven-Fried Summer Squash

fried sauzh

This dish is one of the most popular recipes on my website with over 13,000 fans now.  It is super easy to make and super good!  No standing over a skillet of hot grease either!  So good, it was impossible to refrain from having a second serving!  🙂  This recipe works with yellow squash, green zuccini or the Mexican calaba squash that looks like lighter green zucchini.  Some call it Mexican zucchini.  Calaba has less water content that its darker green “cousin” and is very nice for baking because of this quality.  The flesh inside is a wee bit yellowish, but the flavor I cannot detect as different from the darker green zucchini.  The inside gets fully cooked in 20 minutes without par-boiling first.  The pork rinds make it crunchy on the outside and will satisfy your desire for crunchy, fried food.  This dish is Atkins Induction friendly.  This coating works nicely on a variety of other vegetables as well.  Put your experimenting hat on and have fun!  So far I’ve used the coating/method on pkra, onion rings, and eggplant with consistent success.  coating.

DO NOT USE A SILICONE SHEET to bake this squash or it will not brown properly.  Bake them directly on a non-stick or lightly oiled metal pan. 

INGREDIENTS:

16 oz. zucchini, calaba (its cousin) or yellow squash

2 oz. pork rinds, plain, finely crushed

1/3 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

6 T. my Homemade Mayonnaise

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 450º.  Crush rinds and add spice blend on a paper plate or saucer and mix well.  Dip out mayo onto another paper plate or saucer.  Cut stems and bottom tip off squash and cut into ¼” slices lengthwise.  Lay the squash slices on paper towels.  After 15 minutes or so, blot off all water they bleed with dry paper towels. When they are no longer bleeding their water, holding the very tip of each piece with one  hand, with a basting brush in your other hand, baste both sides of the squash slices with a coating of mayo.  Set brush down and  with your now free hand, sprinkle rinds on both sides of the squash and then place on a non-stick sheet pan.  Repeat for each piece.  I’ll tell ya up front, if you just dip these babies down into the rinds (more will stick on) you ARE going to run out of rinds before you’ve coated all the squash.  Been there; done that;  🙂   So trust me on this one…….just sprinkle it onto each side, letting the excess fall back into the plate and you should have enough for the entire batch.  Place each coated piece of squash on a lightly oiled metal pan. Pop into a 450º oven for 20 minutes or until nice and brown.  No need to turn during baking as the bottoms get nicely browned where they touch the pan. ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

245.3 cals, 21.3g fat, 4.18g carbs, 1.25g fiber, 2.93g NET CARBS, 10.8g protein, 250 mg. sodium

Advertisement

Turkey Day Feast

Roasted Turkey (done in a roaster oven)
Roaster Oven Turkey

CLICK THE LINKS UNDER EACH PHOTO TO SEE RECIPES:

I’m fond of turkey roasted in my roaster oven as they always come out so moist cooked that way.   This year I actually found a small (10#) bird so we won’t have so much leftover (we are but two).  Roaster ovens are especially nice for extra oven space needed holiday gatherings and your oven is full to the brim.  This year my double wall oven died (it’s been giving me signals for over a year now) and my new one is on order, but it won’t be installed until Dec. 9th.  Needless to say this happening just now isn’t the best timing, so my Thanksgiving meal will be much simpler, with as much made ahead as possible.  My roaster oven will be a true blessing for getting the bird and stuffing cooked in time.

What turkey would be complete without a good batch of stuffing?  This recipe, modified to be low-carb, has been in my family for years.  I think you’ll like it.  I like to bake my dressing separately from the bird as I like the crusty bits on top:

Southern Cornbread Dressing or Stuffing

Although we debate on what side dishes we want to have “this year” with the two basics above, we keep coming back to these two recipes:

Green Bean Casserole
Smoked Gouda Cauliflower

And of course, there must be a sweet, tangy cranberry sauce to top things off.  And why not spike it a bit?:

Bourbon-Pecan Cranberry Sauce

To top it all off, a lovely dinner roll is in order for the holiday table:

Einkorn Dinner Rolls

That just brings us to the pièce de résistance, dessert.  Oh, the dilemma!  I usually decide on light rather than rich and heavy dessert as most folks are stuffed to the brim before dessert.  Although pumpkin pie is typical at my house, I think I’ll be doing a sweet potato pie instead this year.  I just substitute an equal amount of cooked sweet potatoes (mashed) in my regular pumpkin recipe.  This year I’m making a large pie and several small ones to save for later in the the holiday season.  A person can never have pumpkin/sweet potato pie too often in my book.  🙂

Mom’s Light Fluffy Pumpkin Pie

At a time to be thankful for family, friends and good food to share with them, I can’t imagine a more bountiful meal to serve.  May all my readers be blessed with a lovely holiday get together this year.

Pumpkin Cake

pumpkin-cake

I could eat my weight in this moist, delicious pumpkin cake.  With the holidays just around the corner, this one is sure to be a hit on your dessert table.  I even like it for breakfast!  It cooks perfectly for me every time and has a lovely smooth texture.  I don’t care for the texture of low-carb cakes made exclusively with almond flour, so I use a mixture of almond flour and a bit of whey protein powder for a smoother texture.  I typically choose fresh pumpkin rather than canned, but canned works just as well in cakes.  This one’s a keeper for our holiday baking, for sure!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal as well.  The cream cheese knocks this out of suitability for Paleo, unless there is a suitable substitute that meets that program’s requirements.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. almond flour

1 c. plain whey protein powder

1 c. Splenda or equivalent sweetener of choice

2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1 T. + 1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. nutmeg

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

3/4 c. (1½ sticks) butter, softened

1 c. fresh (or canned) cooked pumpkin puree

4 large eggs

½ c. sugar-free maple syrup or caramel sugar-free syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Line the bottom of a tube pan with parchment cut-to-fit, or use a lightly oiled non-stick bundt pan.  Oil the sides and post of your tube pan as well.  In a medium bowl, soften cream cheese and butter.  With electric mixer, blend them well.  Add eggs, syrup, pumpkin and vanilla.  Whip on high until very smooth.  In a separate bowl, measure out all dry ingredients and stir well to blend to a uniform mixture.  Add to the wet ingredients and beat with the electric mixer until a smooth batter is achieved.  With a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the cake pan spreading it as evenly as possible.  Bake at 350º for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and dry.  Cool almost totally before loosening with a knife and tipping onto a cake plate for serving.   You can top with dollop of fresh whipped cream if you  like.

VARIATION:  Use lightly oiled silicone muffin pans for a muffin version.  Should make 12 large muffins that will take about 20-25 minutes to bake at 350º.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 14 slices, each contains:

295 calories, 25.8 g fat, 7.28 g carbs, 2.30 g fiber, 4.98 g NET CARBS, 12.4 g protein, 287 mg sodium

Breakfast Sticks

Breakfast Sticks

Realized I hadn’t made one of my more popular recipes in quite some time this morning.  I resurrected this tasty ‘Top o’ the Morning’ treat today.  You can use the bottom of muffin cups for these (circle shape) or muffin-top pans (flatter shape) as well.  These are simply delicious!  Just the right amount of cheese to make them a bit creamy without it being overpowering.  These are suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal Blueprint as well.  Omit the cheese for Paleo adherence.  Below is a photo of the pan I used.  Although they still make it (BTW, it is rimmed in metal framing for support, which I really like), it is difficult to find on the internet.  You can make this recipe using muffin pans however.  I stumbled upon these two metal-rimmed Chicago Bakeware pans at my local Tuesday Morning store several years ago and snatched them up. 🙂  Other companies make similar pans:  http://www.amazon.com/Purple-Silicone-Sponge-Finger-Bakeware/dp/B00AFRALOS.

Bar Mold

This recipe has garnered more Facebook fans than any other recipe I have ever posted there.  Simply amazing!  Thanks to all my readers and fans for making the recipe go viral on its original posting.  When you try these, you’ll see why it went off the chart!  🙂    Capture

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. oil of choice

2 slices bacon, chopped

3 oz. breakfast sausage

2 large green onions, chopped

4 large eggs, beaten

1 oz. (¼ c.) shredded Monterrey Jack or Mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Oil your muffin/pan slots with oil using a brush and set aside.  Beat the eggs with the shredded cheese in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.  Using a non-stick skillet, brown the bacon. Add the sausage crumbled, stirring and cooking until it is no longer pink.  Add onion and saute just until onion begins to cook/wilt.  Remove from heat and cool 1-2 minutes.  Add the meat mixture to the egg mixture and beat together well with a spoon.  Using a ¼c. measuring cup, scoop up ¼ c. of the mixture into each of 8 slots.  Pop into preheated 350º oven for about 15-20 minutes (ovens do vary) until just set and barely beginning to brown on tops.  Remove from pans/slot with a knife tip and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 Breakfast Sticks, each contains:

142.4 cals, 12.3g fat, 0.73g carbs, 0.16g fiber, 0.57g NET CARBS, 7.16g protein, 220 mg sodium

Asian Shrimp Patties

shpatties0032

These tasty shrimp patties make a wonderful, quick lunch or light dinner for 2-3 people.  We both LOVE these things served with a nice green salad.  They are suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets.

INGREDIENTS FOR SHRIMP PATTIES:

8 oz. raw, peeled shrimp
1/2 tsp. Sambal Oelek chile paste
2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp. minced shallots or green onion
juice of 1/2 lime
3/4 tsp. dried lemon grass, ground (or 1½ tsp. fresh, finely chopped)
1/4 of a Revo Roll (Cloud Bread) crumbled  (http://www.genaw.com/lowcarb/improved_revolution_rolls.html) [or any other low-carb roll on hand]

INGREDIENTS FOR DIPPING SAUCE:
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 equivalent sweetener of your choice
1 T. low sodium soy sauce

Pulse all shrimp pattie ingredients in blender or food processor until well blended. Shape into 6 small patties and brown in a lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat. You’ll know when they are done as they become visibly opaque when properly cooked.  This recipe is technically not suitable until 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.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  Makes 3 servings, each contains:

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

Iranian Kubideh (meat kebabs)

Iranian Kubideh 2When I was 10 years old, my family lived in Teheran, Iran.  Dad, USAF,  was  teaching their then fledgling air force to fly F-86 jets.  Our motor pool driver, Reza, loved good food and sometimes would cook for us to show off his skills in the kitchen.  Kubideh was one of his favorites.  Although I don’t have his actual recipe, my creation evokes the flavor of his specialty.  The jalapeno is not traditional but what can I say?  We put jalapeno in everything!  🙂  It does not make these overly spicy “hot”, just adds a nice flavor layer in my opinion.

These kubideh can be made with the more traditional lamb, but I prefer using ground beef.  Unless I can have mild Iranian lamb, which is highly unlikely now, I will not eat lamb that’s available here in the U.S.  Just tastes awful to me.  When grilling your kubideh, you want them somewhere between the done stage between these two photos.  I like them as shown upper left; the hubs likes them as shown lower right.    The other skewers in the photo are some lamb kebabs we grilled to freeze for a future meal.  🙂  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef or lamb (mine is 90% lean; omit bacon grease below if using fattier meat)

1 egg, beaten

¼ c. parsley

1 oz. onion, minced as fine as you can get it

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. black pepper

Optional:  ½ jalapeno, seeded and minced fine

Optional:  1 T. bacon grease if your meat is very lean

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)

Smoked Chicken-Broccoli Casserole

Smoked Chicken-Broccoli CasseroleThis recipe came about from a huge chicken breast we smoked on the grill last week that was not eaten.  This casserole is a perfect meld of flavors that is sure to please.  It is edibly rich and delicious.  My husband rants about this one when I make it.  The smoke flavor of the meat is what makes it so tasty!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets if you can fit it into your daily macro limits.  You can lower the nutritional numbers below by stretching this to 5 servings or reducing the heavy cream, the cream cheese but bear in mind the final dish will be somewhat “thicker” on the fork.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large grilled chicken breast, chopped (mine yielded 2½ c.)

1 stalk broccoli, stem removed, cut into small flowerets

2 T. butter, unsalted

2 oz. onion, slivered thinly

6 large mushrooms, sliced

8 oz. cream cheese

2/3 c. heavy cream

¼ c. hemp hearts (optional)

1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Dash coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Melt butter in skillet and saute onion & mushrooms until translucent.  While it is cooking, cut up the chicken into bite-size pieces.  Add the broccoli to the pan and saute for just 1-2 minutes.  Dot the skillet with small pieces of the cream cheese and blend to aid in melting.  Add the cream, shredded Parmesan hemp heart and fold all together lightly to blend.  Remove from heat and pour/spoon into a lightly oiled baking dish.  Pop into 350º oven for 20-25 minutes to allow flavors to meld and develop.  Remove and serve with a nice green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings each containing:

736 cals, 59g fat, 8.32g carbs, 2.15g fiber, 6.17g NET CARBS, 44.3g protein, 916 mg sodium

 

 

Chicken Chile Relleno Casserole

Chicken Chile Relleno Casserole

It’s what’s for dinner tonight.   We just love chiles rellenos, but I don’t like all the fuss of actually stuffing them.  So I just make the dish up in a layered casserole that comes out delicious every time!  Tastes exactly the same, but it’s much less trouble to put together.   This Atkins Induction friendly recipe has over a millions Facebook fans.  Primal diners who eat cheese can also enjoy this dish, though it is not suitable for Paleo followers.

INGREDIENTS: 

3 poblano peppers (mine weighed 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 and chopped fine (optional)

¼ tsp. dried ancho chile powder (optional)

¼ tsp. chili powder  (use ½ tsp. if guajillo and ancho above are omitted)

¼ tsp. garlic powder

3/4 c. Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, solids only (the mild ones unless you like “hot”)

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.  Saute onion until tender.  Add chicken and saute 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

London Broil

When you want to tenderize a tougher cut of meat, like flank steak or London Broil, you have to marinate it to loosen up those meat fibers a bit.  This is one of my favorite steak marinades to use on London Broil.  If you can’t get flank or London Broil, use a piece of lean chuck roast. The flavor on the outer crust of meat is just divine.  The longer you marinate the meat, the more tender the meat will get.  Marinating all day long is preferred, but a minimum of 4-5 hours is a must lest you end up with a very tough, difficult to chew experience.  My husband cooked ours tonight a bit too long (medium) for our personal taste, as we prefer medium rare, but it was still quite tasty and still fairly tender.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins beyond Induction.  If you are still on induction, sub in some beef broth for the red wine.

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. piece of London Broil or flank steak

½ clove garlic, minced

1½ tsp. tomato paste

½ c. red wine (or beef broth if still on Induction)

¼ c. low sodium soy sauce

2 T. balsamic  vinegar

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

DIRECTIONS:  Coat the meat with the black pepper and set in a glass or plastic marinating pan.  Add the remaining ingredients, stirring in the tomato paste well until it is evenly distributed in the liquid.  Using a basting brush, drizzle the marinade over the meat and place marinating pan in the refrigerator.  Marinate for at least 4 hours to all day long, drizzling over the meat carefully hourly.  Turn the meat once or twice while marinating.

When ready to cook, prepare a hot charcoal fire.  Lift meat out of marinating pan and discard the marinade.  Place meat directly over the hot coals and grill for about 8-10 minutes on a side or until it reaches your desired stage (around 8 minutes per side for medium rare; around 10 for medium as shown).  These two cuts of meat are really too tough to cook them well done.  Just being honest.  Serve with a nice salad or your favorite green side dish.  This is delicious with compound butter, if you have a favorite recipe.  Here’s the one I used tonight:  Garlic Herb Butter.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  As the marinade is discarded, a firm count per serving is difficult to arrive at.  No more than 1 T. is consumed on the meat surfaces, if THAT much.  1 T. marinade contains around 1.27 net carbs, so that is what is added to the serving below.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Serves 6-7 people nicely (maybe 8), so each serving of meat with 1 T. marinade contains around:

297 calories, 12g fat, 1.3 carbs, 0 fiber, 0 NET CARBS, 44 g protein, 101 mg sodium

Momma’s Baked Chicken

Momma's Baked Chicken

This was the baked chicken I was raised on.  Throughout my childhood, I disliked intensely the taste of vinegar.  Wouldn’t eat pickles, wouldn’t eat pickled vegetables, wouldn’t eat salads or even condiments that contained vinegar.  But man, when my mom made this baked chicken, I just could not believe I watched her douse it with such an “evil” ingredient  and LIKED IT!!!  The natural red grape sugar in the red wine vinegar caramelizes under high heat and gives the chicken skin such a sweet, tangy taste.  The pan juices make a lovely gravy/baste for the drier breast meat.   Fortunately, my taste has changed over the years and I will now consume vinegar without hesitation, provided the food isn’t drowning in vinegar.  🙂

This recipe can be used on a split/butterflied/spatchcocked chicken as pictured, or you and cut the chicken up into pieces.  This method is delicious on Rock Cornish Hens, too.  It is also excellent for BBQ’ing of the chicken, and even for BBQ pork.  This recipe is perfectly suited to all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo as well.

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

6 T.  melted butter

3 T. red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)

1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper

THAT’S IT!!

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 400º.  Place butter in baking pan (I use a metal pan) as the oven is heating up.  Remove pan and add red wine vinegar to the butter, as well as the salt and pepper.  Prepare the chicken.  You can either split the chicken up the back with kitchen shears and spread it out as shown above, or cut the bird up into quarters or single pieces.  Using a brush, baste the pieces of chicken all over.  Sprinkle lightly with the salt and pepper and pop into hot oven for about an hour (less time for smaller birds, a little more for the butterflied bird shown) or until golden brown and reaches internal temp of 170º at the joint where the thigh meets the torso and in the thickest part of the breast.  I like to baste the chicken once or twice during cooking for the tastiest result on the skin.  I’m a skin fan, so that’s real important to me.  My husband just rips it off and hands it to me.  That works out just great, huh?  🙂 Remove from oven and serve at once with your favorite sides.  Be sure to put a spoon or brush into the pan for diners to baste their meat with the buttery juices if they wish (or pour the juices into a gravy boat).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  These numbers are for the baste/sauce only.  You will have to add in the values for whatever pieces of chicken you eat.  Makes enough for 10 pieces of chicken (1 whole l cut-up chicken).  Each portion of the sauce, assuming you even eat that much of the sauce, has:

62 calories, 6.9 g fat, 0.02 g carbs,  0.00 g fiber, .02 g NET CARBS, 0.13 g protein (add in your piece of chicken)

Pork Chops in Mushroom-Tomato Cream

Pork Chops in Tomato-Mushroom Cream

I love to sear off meats and then create a lovely sauce from de-glazing the pan of the tasty brown bits and adding a little of this and that for a delicious sauce to add moisture to a meat that I find somewhat dry typically.  This delicious dish pulls together in about 30 minutes.  I serve this with a side of seasoned French frozen green beans, but a salad is also nice with these.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and even Paleo if you sub in coconut milk for the cream.

VARIATIONS:   Substitute 2 boneless, butterflied chicken breasts for the pork.  Add 1/4 c. white or rose wine of your choice, simmering off the alcohol at least 4-5 minutes.  Just discovered a few weeks later that 4 oz. of either lean chopped cured ham or bacon, pre-browned added is quite good in this recipe.  Chop pork before browning and serve this dish over zucchini noodles for a totally different taste.

photocat
With optional cured ham added, served on “zoodles”

INGREDIENTS:

2   6-oz bone-in center-cut pork chops or 10 oz. boneless pork loin (yield two 5-oz. portions)

3 tsp. bacon grease for frying

¼ tsp. lemon pepper (I use Victoria Gourmet No-Salt Lemon Pepper)

½ c. water (or pork or chicken broth)

¼ c. heavy cream

1/3 c. chopped parsley

1 6-oz can sliced mushrooms, with their juice

10 cherry or San Marzano tiny tomatoes, cut in halves

Dash sea salt

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Heat the bacon grease in a skillet over high heat.  Coat the surfaces of the chops with the lemon pepper.  Sear them in the hot skillet until golden and completely done.  Lift them out onto a plate briefly.  Or you can remove the bone and chop the pork if you prefer and then sear the pieces.  I often do that if I plan to serve this on zucchini noodles. Add the water or broth to the skillet and with a rubber spatula, de-glaze the tasty brown bits stuck to the pan.  Add the cream, parsley, mushrooms with juice, salt and black pepper.  Simmer a few minutes to allow the cream sauce to thicken slightly on its own.  Add the tomatoes and simmer just until they begin to soften.  If sauce is still not thick enough for your preference, dust the smallest amount of xanthan gum lightly over the top, whisk constantly and allow time to thicken before repeating.  Place chops back in the pan and simmer just a couple minutes more.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes two 5-oz. servings (adjust for more people).  Each serving contains:

448 calories, 28 g fat, 6.85 g carbs, 2.30 g fiber, 4.55 g NET CARBS, 40.99 g protein, 432 mg sodium

Montreal-Chipotle Pulled Pork

Montreal-Chipotle Pulled Pork

Occasionally my local grocer puts pork roasts on sale and I bought one recently, a picnic shoulder roast.  We didn’t feel like firing up the grill for this, so I just baked the pork roast low and slow in the oven.  Wanted falling-off-the-bone tender and that’s what we got!  I saved all the wonderful baking juices and froze them for future soup making.  Didn’t want the entire piece done as seasoned pulled pork, so I baked it just with salt, pepper and a little Homemade Montreal Seasoning on the surfaces.  Man, did this roast come out delicious!!  One of the best pork roasts I’ve ever done with this particular sauce.  Then I decided to put tonight’s dinner’s worth on the table as a seasoned pulled pork and went about making my sauce.  Mmmm.  Delicious indeed!  Next time we’ll perhaps do it on the grill, for that added smoked flavor layer.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo (provided you use ghee for the butter).

INGREDIENTS:

1 pork roast (I used a 9# bone-in picnic shoulder roast, but a Boston butt, shank, or loin will do)

Sea Salt and black pepper

1 tsp. my Homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning

SAUCE:  6 T. melted butter, 1 tsp. red wine vinegar, 2 tsp. Homemade Montreal Steak Spice Blend, ½-1 tsp. Tobasco Chipotle Sauce® and 1/4 tsp. liquid smoke (any brand, but I use “Amish Meadow”.   Sorry, don’t remember where I ordered it from).

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 325º.  Place pork roast skin/fatty-side up in a 9×13 baking pan.  Coat all surfaces with Black pepper, 1 tsp. Montreal Spice Blend, and I use Pink Himalayan Sea Salt.  Cover pan tightly with foil.   Pop into 325º oven and bake for 30 minutes to allow it to heat to the center.  Reduce oven to 250º and continue slow baking (for an 8-9# bone-in roast) for about 5 hours. This could be done in a slow-cooker, but I’m not experienced with them, so check for a slow-cooker recipe on-line for guidelines for a 9# roast for setting and time.

Make the sauce in a small sauce pan over low heat, simmering the ingredients for 2-3 minutes only.  Remove from heat.

At the 5 hour mark, open oven, remove meat from oven and remove foil.  Slice off any thick skin and the fat layer from the top of the meat (it should almost slide right off effortlessly if meat is done properly to 160-170º internal temperature).  I freeze this for other uses and seasoning. My dog sometimes gets a bit on her dinner.  It’s very good for a dog’s coat and skin and highly digestible for dogs.

Increase oven heat to 350º and return pan uncovered to the oven.  Allow meat surfaces to slightly brown , about 30 minutes.  Remove meat from oven and cool slightly.  Shred off the meat with a fork or tongs, pulling off as much meat onto your serving platter as you think your family will consume.  Using a brush, baste the shredded meat with the warm Montreal-Chipotle butter sauce, coating it well.  Serve at once with your favorite sides or a salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Each 3 oz. portion of meat contains:

350 calories, 28.1 g fat, 0.90 g carbs, 0.30 g fiber, 0.60 g NET CARBS, 23 g protein, 87 mg sodium

Indian Kheema Matar

 

233
Shown on bed of sauteed cabbage

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 and served atop basmati steamed rice.  But I have I found it is just as good with made small cut frozen green bean pieces (to lower carbs) and then served on a bed of shredded, sauteed cabbage.  I think I may even like it that way better than over the traditional basmati rice!    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.

INGREDIENTS:

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

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. chicken stock and simmer a bit for a moist gravy.  Thicken a bit with your favorite thickener if desired.

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.  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

Crawfish al Pesto on Eggplant “Pillows”

Crawfish al Pesto on Eggplant

This recipe grew out of a delicious spaghetti squash alfredo dish I created some time back.  At first I had my doubts on  crawfish for this, but it came out DELICIOUS!  I made a batch of my Oven-Fried Fish coating and baked off the eggplant first, as you would for classic Eggplant Parmigiana.  The crunchy coating on the eggplant very quickly loses its crunchiness, so serve this quickly and don’t hold it over for any reason.  This sinfully rich dish was so good I will definitely be doing this again!  It freezes nicely, too, getting even tastier upon re-baking!  The eggplant will lose that crunchiness from freezing, but the dish still tastes fantastic when reheated.

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto, and for Primal folks that consume occasional dairy products.  This would not be suitable for Paleo followers.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. eggplant, sliced into eight ½” slices

3 oz. plain pork rinds, crushed fine

6 T. homemade mayonnaise

Dash salt

4 T. butter

1 large leek, ends trimmed off, washed well, sliced or chopped into small pieces (about 1½ cups)

¼ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

¼ c. Parmesan cheese, grated

1½ T. homemade pesto sauce (or commercial)

8 oz. frozen crawfish tail meat, defrosted (or shrimp)

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

1 c. grated mozzarella cheese

2 T. chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 450º.  Lightly oil a baking sheet.  Cut the eggplant into ½” slices.  Baste all surfaces with the mayonnaise using a brush.  Spoon crushed pork rinds over each slice, coating well.  Place the coated slices on the oiled pan and pop into oven, baking at 450º for 20 minutes.

While the eggplant bakes, prepare the topping.  Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Add leeks and saute until tender. Lower heat to medium.  Add the mushroom soup, the Parmesan, crawfish meat, cream and water and simmer over low heat until eggplant is done.  It will thicken as it cooks. Add the pesto and stir.  Be sure to stir the mixture often during cooking so the flavors will blend.

When the eggplant is tender, remove from oven, top each slice with 2 T. of the mozzarella and then spoon 1/8 of the topping (about 1/3 cup) onto each slice of eggplant.  I made the mistake of putting 1 T. under and 1 T. over the topping and popped the pan back into the oven while my garlic toast cooked in the broiler to melt the cheese on top.  But it didn’t completely melt by the time the toast was done.  So in future, I’ll put all 2T. of the cheese underneath the bubbly hot topping so it will melt nicely for me.  Garnish tops with chopped parsley and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 8 servings, each contains:

355 cals, 30.5 g  fat, 6.06 g  carbs, 1.88 g fiber, 4.18 g  NET CARBS, 14.8 g  protein, 421 mg sodium

Crab-Pumpkin Bisque

Crab-Pumpkin Bisque

I love seafood and especially a good seafood bisque.  I have a cup of picked crab meat and a fresh-baked pie pumpkin to use up and decided to make them into a crab bisque for lunch today that came out super delicious!  We both decided this one was good enough to share with my readers.  This recipe is not suitable for Induction unless you omit the wine.  It is OK for all other phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  This soup is not suitable for Primal or Paleo as it is dairy heavy.

INGREDIENTS:

3 slices bacon, chopped

1/4 c. onion, chopped

1/4 c. celery, chopped

8 oz. softened cream cheese

1 c. pumpkin (preferably fresh)

Dash each black & cayenne peppers

½ c. dry white wine (use stock if still in Induction)

2 c. seafood stock (or chicken broth)

1 c. water

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

8 oz. white crab meat, picked of all shell

DIRECTIONS:  Brown bacon over medium-high heat.  Add onion and celery and saute until tender. Add white wine.  Add cream cheese and stir to blend.  Add the seafood stock and water.  Stir well.  Add pumpkin the spice blend, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Stir and lower heat to low.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Stir in crab and simmer 1-2 minutes longer only, or the crab will fall apart.  Serve at once with your favorite low-carb crackers.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 6 large servings, each contains:

256 cals, 21.2 g fat, 4.86 g carbs, 0.63 g fiber, 4.23 g NET CARBS, 10.7 g protein, 550 mg sodium (use less cream cheese to lower sodium)

Baked Chicken and Vegetables

Baked Chicken with Vegatables

This dish is a “set it and forget it” kind of meal. Love to throw this in the baking pan when I’m tired and want dinner to cook itself.  This recipe delivers on that!    Doesn’t get any easier!  And it is ever so good!  This dish is simalar to my Lebanese Baked Chicken, but this one has no lemon juice in it.  The carrots make this one not suitable for Atkins Induction Phase 1, but you can increase the jicama, substitute zucchini or white pattypan squash, or just omit the carrots altogether until you get to Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  I used calaba squash (Mexican Zucchini) instead of jicama in the batch pictured above.  I change up the veggies depending on what I have on hand and what is in season.  Eggplant works well in this dish with some of my Shawarma Spice Blend (instead of the oregano).   Just so you know, the original recipe I modified for this dish calls for potato wedges instead of jicama.

INGREDIENTS:

20 oz. deboned chicken breasts, to make 4 servings

5 oz. jicama, peeled (or any veggies mentioned in VARIATIONS below)

4 oz. yellow onion

8 large cloves garlic

4 Roma tomatoes

½ tsp. oregano

2 tsp. chopped fresh Rosemary

2 tsp. Chachere’s Cajun seasoning (or 2 tsp. my Shawarma Spice Blend)

Dash salt & black pepper

3 T. olive oil

2 medium carrots (optional but included in nutritional numbers below)

VARIATIONS:  Substitute zucchini, yellow squash, turnips, red radishes or white daikon radish for the jicama.  They’re all low in carbs and wont’ greatly impact the carbs count on this dish.  Eggplant is lovely as a substitute for the jicama, but the eggplant will up the carbs a bit, but not a lot.  Use different spice blends of your choice!  Get creative!

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 425º.  Leaving skin on, place chicken on safe surface and flatten a bit with a cleaver to shorten cooking time.  Drizzle l T. of the olive oil in a large glass baking pan (9×13 or lasagna pan).  Dip skin side of chicken into olive oil in the pan, turn skin side up and arrange evenly in pan.  Next, peel and cut jicama into potato-like pieces.  Space evenly around the chicken pieces.   Peel and cut carrots into 1″ pieces and arrange around the meat also.  Next cut the tomatoes into wedges and space decoratively, skin side up,  around the pan.  Try to avoid laying the tomato wedges directly atop the chicken or the skin won’t brown as nicely. Next cut the  onion into small wedges, separate layers,  or cut into ringlets and arrange the onion over the entire pan next.   Cut garlic cloves and arrange evenly in pan, being sure to get some of that atop the chicken itself!  Now sprinkle on the spices and drizzle the remaining olive oil over all.  Try to moisten everything with oil.  Bake uncovered at 425º for about 1½ hours.  Smaller, thinner pieces of chicken, smaller dicing of veggies and varying ovens will impact cooking time, so check the dish after 1 hour if your chicken pieces are less than 6-8 oz. in size.   Voila, a meal in one pot fit for a king!  Hubby just LOVES this dish!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 serving, each containing:

410 cals, 21.3g fat, 9.85g carbs, 2.9g fiber, 6.95g NET CARBS, 43.3g protein, 604 mg. sodium

Classic Shrimp Scampi

My father introduced us to this dish when we lived in Hampton, Virginia.  Of course, we had all the fresh seafood there in the world anytime we wanted it.  What is amazing about Shrimp Scampi besides its wonderful flavor, is how easy it is to make!  Traditionally served over white rice, as a low-carber, I tend to spoon ours over a heaping serving of my Foolproof Mashed Cauliflower.  I’m very pleased with this one and had it again for dinner tonight.  I like to add a bit of my Seafood Spice Blend to most of my seafood dishes, but it is not seen in most shrimp scampi recipes.  That’s my change to a classic dish.  I 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 there.  It’s delicious with or without.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Keto diets, as well as for Primal and Paleo followers.  Those still on Atkins Induction should not add the white wine I just mentioned.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 T. butter, unsalted

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. parsley, chopped

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

¼-½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

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

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

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

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

Chicken (Pork) and Spanish “Rice”

It’s what’s for dinner tonight!

When I was growing up my mother made a braised chicken dish she called Chicken and Spanish Rice.  Of course, that was before the low-carb movement, so she browned and used REAL rice in the dish I had as a child.  The skin-on chicken pieces were first browned in oil, the rest of the dish was put together and then the masterpiece was oven-baked in a deep, tightly-covered Dutch oven.  Man, was it ever good!  The smell drove us wild while it was cooking.  I was thinking about that today and wondering what to do for dinner with 2 drumsticks and 2 chicken thighs.  Decided on this childhood favorite.  This consistently comes out fantastic, although I do change it up a bit with bits of leftover cooked squash, green peas, a few sliced green olives or some diced carrots.  I usually use all cauliflower rice in this dish, but had some rice I cooked for my husband for Indian food recently and just tossed that cup into the skillet to get it out of the refrigerator. 

This recipe is suitable for Atkins Induction, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo as well. 🙂  

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. cauliflower, riced by hand or processor coarsely

2 T. olive oil + 2 T. chicken fat or finely diced chicken skin (or 1/4 c. olive oil)

3 oz. onion, chopped coarsely

4 oz. green bell pepper, chopped coarsely

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp. ground cumin

4-6 pieces chicken (I like thighs and drumsticks for this recipe)

Dash each chili powder and black pepper

2 chicken bouillon cubes

1/4 tsp. oregano (preferably Mexican oregano leaves if you have them)

1 can tomatoes, drained and chopped coarsely (or 3 fresh Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced)

Dash saffron threads (I use 3 threads only as too much is NOT a good thing!)

2 T. cilantro, chopped (optional)

VARIATION:  Add 1/2 c. sliced pitted green olives.

DIRECTIONS:  Heat cumin in dry skillet over medium heat until it smells toasty but is not burned.  Pour onto paper towel for now and set aside.  Rice the cauliflower either with a hand box grater or in a food processor.  I like to do the stems first and a little extra before ricing the flowerettes. Set aside to be added later. 

Preheat oven to 350º.  In your skillet (14″ skillet in my photo), heat the oil over high heat.  Add the meat and brown to golden on the surfaces.  Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper.  If using any raw carrot or yellow squash in the dish, saute those now as well.  Saute just to partially tenderize veggies. Add roasted cumin back to skillet, salt, pepper, chili powder, oregano and saffron threads, minced garlic and bouillon cubes.  Stir in the tomatoes.  Add the cilantro last, if using.  Stir to blend uniformly.  Turn off heat.  Add the UNCOOKED cauli-rice to the pot and stir to mix it evenly into the veggie mixture.  Top the dish with seared chicken pieces.  Cover skillet with a tight-fitting lid.  Pop into 350º oven for about 35-40 minutes and allow flavors to blend.  Check to be sure chicken pieces are thoroughly cooked before turning oven off.  Pairs nicely with a lovely guacamole or green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 4-6 servings (based on pieces of chicken), each contains approximately:

240 cals, 14.4g fat, 8.61g carbs, 2.93g fiber, 5.68g NET CARBS, 18.6 g protein, 166 mg sodium

Indian Beef (or Lamb) Koftas

Delicious with or without gravy!

I like to throw my favorite Indian or Middle Eastern spices into ground meat and make what I call “mini meat loaves”.  The correct name for these is Koftas (or Keftas in some countries) and they are even better if cooked over hot charcoal! This goes together so fast you can be eating them in 30 minutes from the time you start mixing your ingredients.  It’s what’s for dinner tonight!  I’ll be tossing some leftover frozen peas and cooked carrots into the curry gravy for a change of pace.  I’ll be serving a nice cucumber salad as well.

I like to mix this stuff up in my food processor, but you can just blend it in a bowl like you would meatloaf if you are more comfortable doing it that way.  These little meat patties are often served without a sauce, but I like a little moisture with mine, so I included below a light cream curry sauce recipe.  Greek Tzatziki is also good with these meat patties.  These are often done with bread crumbs or grated potato, but my lower-carb choice of rutabaga ended up being good and made these indistinguishable from other koftas I’ve eaten in restaurants.  By using grated jicama, sauteed a few minutes, instead of the rutabaga, these would be acceptable for Induction.  But as written, this recipe is not suitable until OWL.

VARIATION:  Use Baharat Spice Blend instead of Garam Masala, making these more Middle Eastern than Indian.  🙂

INGREDIENTS (for Koftas):

20 oz. ground meat (beef or lamb)

2 tsp. grated ginger root

2 large cloves minced garlic

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped very fine

2 oz. onion, chopped very fine

1 beaten egg

½ tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. my Garam Masala

1 c. cilantro, chopped

1 tsp. spearmint leaves, chopped (Optional.  I grow my own. :))

¾ c. rutabaga, peeled and grated (use grated jicama, pre-sauteed for Induction compliance)

2 T. olive oil for frying

INGREDIENTS (for sauce):

2 oz. heavy cream

¼ c. water

1 T. tomato paste

½ c. beef stock or bouillon

Dash more my Garam Masala spice blend (or Baharat, if doing the Middle Eastern version)

Dash Tandoori spice (I use Sharwood’s brand)  (omit for Middle Eastern version)

Dash salt & black pepper

DIRECTIONS: Place all meat ingredients except olive oil in food processor (or bowl) and blend well.  I process until quite smooth for this recipe.  These are great cooked over charcoal, or just heat oil in large skillet and fry.  I form meat mixture into 2-2.5″ oblong patties.  Fry until lightly brown on both sides.  Lower heat to lowest setting and add all sauce ingredients.  Stir, simmer 5 minutes and serve.  These go nicely with my Indian Spiced Cabbage or Indian Cauliflower dishes here on my blog.  Fresh mushrooms are a nice addition to the sauce, too!  For the non-Atkins folks at the table, some basmati rice is excellent with these.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 12 koftas, (2 patties per serving).  Each serving has:

332.3 calories, 22.95 g  fat, 4.13 g  carbs, 1.0 g  fiber, 3.13 g  NET CARBS, 26.3 g  protein 465 mg sodium

Blue Crab Stuffing

Click to enlarge
For Christmas we often cook lobster tails with a side of stuffed crab.  How we both adore seafood and have really missed the qualaity seafood we had access to when we lived on the Texas Gulf Coast where we lived for over 30 years.  This is the crab stuffing recipe I’ve made for many, many years.   I developed this recipe in an attemps to imitate the wonderful stuffed crab I ordered many times at Gaido’s seafood restaurant, perched on the Galveston Island seawall.  where we lived for over 20 years.  This was one of my favorite dishes on their menu.  Bar none, the best stuffed crab I have ever eaten.  My take on it is fairly close, so I am still cooking this to this day.  It’s easy to prepare and always at hit with dinner guests.  If you have access to fresh, picked crab meat, you’ve GOT to try this one!  This is also great used to stuff baked fish or stuffed mushrooms!  

INGREDIENTS:

1½ lb. crab meat, shelled and picked well for bits of shell (Blue crab is the sweetest and best for this)

3 Flax Sandwich Buns  (or other low-carb bread)

4 oz. finely chopped onion

4 oz. finely chopped celery

1 oz. finely chopped green pepper (or mixture of red and green if you like)

½ oz. parsley

2 oz. heavy cream

¼ tsp. salt

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 tsp. dry mustard powder

½ c. (1 stick) unsalted, melted butter

DIRECTIONS:    Using a large bowl, carefully pick out all bits of shell from crab meat.  Soak 2 of the pieces of bread with the cream and crumble over the crab.  Crumb the remaining roll into fairly fine crumbs.  Set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add celery, onion, bell pepper, salt, cayenne and mustard powder and saute until slightly tender. Add parsley and saute couple minutes longer.  Pour sauteed veggie mixture over crab/bread mixture in the bowl.  Gently toss ingredients to mix well.  Spoon mixture into 6 large crab shells (if you have them) , into individual 6 oven-safe ramekins or stuff into fish prepared for baking.  Top with bread crumbs and bake in preheated 350º oven for 30 minutes (whole 1 lb. fish should be nicely done in that amount of time, but check for flaky done stage on your fish to be sure).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each serving has: (numbers are just for stuffing & does not include fish)

351.3 cals, 25.9g fat, 5.4g carbs, 2.47g fiber, 2.93g NET CARBS, 25.3g protein, 120 mg. sodium

Crab-Pumpkin Bisque

Crab-Pumpkin Bisque

I love seafood and especially a good seafood bisque.  I have a cup of picked crab meat and a fresh-baked pie pumpkin to use up and decided to make them into a crab bisque for lunch today that came out super delicious!  We both decided this one was good enough to share with my readers.  This recipe is not suitable for Induction unless you omit the wine.  It is OK for all other phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  This soup is not suitable for Primal or Paleo as it is dairy heavy.

INGREDIENTS:

3 slices bacon, chopped

1/4 c. onion, chopped

1/4 c. celery, chopped

8 oz. softened cream cheese

1 c. pumpkin (preferably fresh)

Dash each black & cayenne peppers

½ c. dry white wine (use stock if still in Induction)

2 c. seafood stock (or chicken broth)

1 c. water

½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

8 oz. white crab meat, picked of all shell

DIRECTIONS:  Brown bacon over medium-high heat.  Add onion and celery and saute until tender. Add white wine.  Add cream cheese and stir to blend.  Add the seafood stock and water.  Stir well.  Add pumpkin the spice blend, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Stir and lower heat to low.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Stir in crab and simmer 1-2 minutes longer only, or the crab will fall apart.  Serve at once with your favorite low-carb crackers.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 6 large servings, each contains:

256 cals, 21.2 g fat, 4.86 g carbs, 0.63 g fiber, 4.23 g NET CARBS, 10.7 g protein, 550 mg sodium (use less cream cheese to lower sodium)

Swiss Chard Sauté

I’m trialing small-scale veggie gardening using 20 gallon grow bags on a rear, unused driveway at my home. Things are germinating and my Swiss Chard was ready to harvest today. Thought I’d try a little sauté to go with our broiled chicken breasts tonight. Chard is nearly as nutritious as kale and spinach, so I like to add it and many green, leafy veggies to our diet as much as possible. I tend to cut the stems off as I find it strong tasting, but they are edible and you can add the stems to your chard dishes. This side dish was absolutely delicious! It just took minutes to prepare from start to finish. This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins as well as other Keto diets, including Paleo.

INGREDIENTS:

8 leaves Swiss Chard

3 slices thick-sliced bacon, chopped

3 oz. yellow or red onion, sliced in thin wedges

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

DIRECTIONS: Cut bottom of stem off chard leaves (if you wish). Wash leaves well under cold water and pat dry both sides of leaves with paper toweling. Cut into 1″ strips and set aside on towel or paper plate.

Chop bacon coarsely and fry over high heat in a medium skillet until browned and starting to crisp. Using slotted spoon, dip bacon bits onto paper towels to drain and await final plating.

In the same bacon grease you just generated, place the onion wedges, separating the slices as you sauté them over high heat and stir. When they have softened and caramelized, add in the chard strips and sauté just until chard goes limp. Plate the onion/chard mixture and top with bacon crisps. Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 3 servings, each contains:

170 cals, 12.4g fat, 10.5g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 7g NET CARBS, 12.8g protein, 542 mg sodium

Paleo Pot Pie

Click to enlarge
Made with Chicken

I want to use up some leftover baked chicken meat for dinner tonight and my husband voted for chicken pot pie.  I have even made this recipe with leftover pork before and it is quite good as well. I have a pot pie recipe on my site already that is Atkins suitable, but that recipe has Carbquick in it and I’m trying to cut back on my use of Carbquik.  I fall back on this recipe of old and it’s just as tasty.  This should satisfy his desire for one of his comfort foods tonight.  We both just love chicken pot pies and like this recipe equally.

This dish is suitable for anyone who has reached the nuts and seeds rung of the Atkins OWL ladder or who follows a Ketogenic or Paleo-Primal program.  The nutritional stats below are very impressive, making it a most nutritious dinner! This would also be good made with turkey or even with rabbit, if you have access.

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

2 c. homemade chicken stock

1 1/3 c. carrot, diced

1 1/3 c. red radishes, diced

½ c. red bell pepper, diced

1½ c. green beans, cooked and chopped a bit

½ tsp. red palm oil (optional, this is for yellow color only)

2 c. chicken breast, cooked, diced

½ tsp. glucomannan powder (or your favorite thickener)

Dash black pepper

3 T. coconut cream

3 T. homemade mayo

Dash olive oil to grease baking dish

TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

1 c. almond flour

2 T. butter or ghee, softened

1 whole egg

1 T. coconut cream or coconut milk

DIRECTIONS:  Pour chicken stock into 4 qt. saucepan.  Add diced carrot and radish.  Bring to boil and simmer until almost tender.  Add bell pepper and cook until it is just softened a bit.  Turn off fire and add chopped green beans.  Stir in coconut cream and mayo.  Dust the glucomannan powder (or whatever thickener you prefer) evenly over the broth and stir quickly to disperse into the sauce.  Sauce should begin to thicken right up.  Add black pepper and stir to blend all ingredients.  Preheat oven to 350º. Grease an 8×11 baking dish with a bit of olive oil and pour chicken filling into the dish.  Set aside while you make the topping.

In a small bowl, measure the almond flour.  With a fork, beat in the soft butter, then the egg and finally the coconut cream or coconut milk.    It will form a medium thick dough.  With the fork and a spoon, drop small dots of the dough evenly all over the top of the chicken filling.  Pop into the preheated 350º oven for about 40 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned on top.  This is nice served with a green salad.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 5 nice 1¼ cup servings, each containing:

426 cals, 33g fat, 12.5g carbs, 5.56g fiber, 6.94g NET CARBS, 24.3g protein, 382mg sodium, 58% RDA Vitamin A, 33% B6, 31% B12, 45% C, 15% E, 37% iron, 48% niacin, 34% phosphorous, 30% riboflavin, 48% selenium, and much more.

Sausage-Bacon Croquettes

These delicious cheesy croquettes were quite a surprise, considering I just started throwing stuff from the fridge into the skillet, having forgotten to defrost any major meat for dinner.  After Texas’ horrific arctic blast of single-digit temps in February, we all lost a lot of landscape shrubs and trees.  Over 3 months now of digging up dead ones, pruning those struggling to stay alive and as always, finding a few new ones I’d like to try.  So lately I’m choosing to work in my garden over cooking.  I often ‘overdo’ it in the garden, and fatigue blocks my energy to cook dinner………………..so meals on such days are real simple.

My husband loved these and ate three!  We both agreed this one’s a keeper for a simple, quick meal.  There’s just enough cheese in these to pull all the flavor layers together and to facilitate browning but you can use less if you need to pull the sodium count down a bit.  To these I chose to use a hint of Cajun seasoning, but you can use any favorite seasoning blend you like to enhance smoked meats.  These tasty patties are suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal Blueprint followers.  With the cheese, they are not acceptable for Paleo.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. cooked spaghetti squash threads (half medium squash)

6 oz. smoked sausage (I use Burton’s)

2 slices thick-slice bacon

1 tsp. bacon grease  (if bacon too lean)

1 oz. each red and green bell pepper

1½ oz. yellow onion

1 clove garlic, minced

Dash black pepper

3/4 tsp. my Cajun Seafood Spice Blend (or spices of your choice)

2T. + 1 tsp. golden flax meal

1 large egg, beaten

1½ c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or mozzarella)

VARIATION:  Use different cheese of choice; use diced shrimp.

DIRECTIONS:  Cook the squash with your preferred method.  You will only be using half the squash for this recipe, so reserve the rest in the fridge for another use.  I cut the stem end off my squash, cut the squash in half lengthwise and microwave face down in a dab of water for about 13 minutes.  With a towel, hold the cooked squash in one hand and fork out the threads onto a cutting board.  Chop, place into a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

On a cutting board chop the onion, red pepper & green pepper fairly small.  Next chop the sausage & bacon into 1/4″ dice.  Over medium-high heat, cook the bacon & sausage in a skillet until nearly done.  Add chopped veggies to the pan and cook all until thoroughly cooked and veggies are softened.  I had to add 1 tsp. bacon grease to the pan (included in the fat number below) as my bacon was so lean.  You can leave that out if your bacon is fatty enough to fry the mixture properly.   Remove from heat and spoon over the squash threads in your bowl.  Add garlic, pepper and Cajun Seafood Spice Blend and stir to mix.  Add the cheese shreds, beaten egg, flax meal and again stir to blend well.  Let mixture rest a few minutes for the egg and flax to properly set up.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle to medium-high.  Using a serving spoon, spoon out 8 fairly equal portions of the mixture on the hot griddle.  Slightly press the mixture piles flatter.  DO NOT move these around as they are quite fragile until they are browned on one side.  When the first side is browned upon peeking, quickly flip them to the other side and brown as shown in the photo.  You don’t want to under-brown these as it is the browning of the mixture at pan contact that helps them taste their best.  I served these with a bowl of buttered broccoli, but they would be nice with any green vegetable or a lovely salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 croquettes, each contains:

191 cals, 14g fat, 5.75g carbs, 2.11g fiber, 3.64g NET CARBS, 11.7g protein, 484 mg sodium

Montreal-Chipotle Pulled Pork

Montreal-Chipotle Pulled Pork

I have been wanting to cook a large pork roast this week for a few meals and to have some leftovers for sandwiches and snacks.   My grocery store had fresh pork picnic on sale for $.97 per# this week so I bought a 9# bone-in picnic shoulder roast.  We didn’t feel like firing up the grill for this, so I just baked the pork roast low and slow in the oven.  Wanted falling-off-the-bone tender and that’s what we got!  I saved all the wonderful baking juices and froze them for future soup making.  Didn’t want the entire piece done as seasoned pulled pork, so I baked it just with salt, pepper and a little Homemade Montreal Seasoning on the surfaces.  Man, did this roast come out delicious!!  One of the best pork roasts I’ve ever done with this particular sauce.  Then I decided to put tonight’s dinner’s worth on the table as a seasoned pulled pork and went about making my sauce.  Mmmm.  Delicious indeed!  Next time we’ll perhaps do it on the grill, for that added smoked flavor layer.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo (provided you use ghee for the butter).

INGREDIENTS:

1 pork roast (I used a 9# bone-in picnic shoulder roast, but a Boston butt, shank, or loin will do)

Sea Salt and black pepper

1 tsp. my Homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning

SAUCE:  6 T. melted butter, 1 tsp. red wine vinegar, 2 tsp. Homemade Montreal Steak Spice Blend, ½-1 tsp. Tobasco Chipotle Sauce® and 1/4 tsp. liquid smoke (any brand, but I use “Amish Meadow”.   Sorry, don’t remember where I ordered it from).

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 325º.  Place pork roast skin/fatty-side up in a 9×13 baking pan.  Coat all surfaces with Black pepper, 1 tsp. Montreal Spice Blend, and I use Pink Himalayan Sea Salt.  Cover pan tightly with foil.   Pop into 325º oven and bake for 30 minutes to allow it to heat to the center.  Reduce oven to 250º and continue slow baking (for an 8-9# bone-in roast) for about 5 hours. This could be done in a slow-cooker, but I’m not experienced with them, so check for a slow-cooker recipe on-line for guidelines for a 9# roast for setting and time.

Make the sauce in a small sauce pan over low heat, simmering the ingredients for 2-3 minutes only.  Remove from heat.

At the 5 hour mark, open oven, remove meat from oven and remove foil.  Slice off any thick skin and the fat layer from the top of the meat (it should almost slide right off effortlessly if meat is done properly to 160-170º internal temperature).  I freeze this for other uses and seasoning. My dog sometimes gets a bit on her dinner.  It’s very good for a dog’s coat and skin and highly digestible for dogs.

Increase oven heat to 350º and return pan uncovered to the oven.  Allow meat surfaces to slightly brown , about 30 minutes.  Remove meat from oven and cool slightly.  Shred off the meat with a fork or tongs, pulling off as much meat onto your serving platter as you think your family will consume.  Using a brush, baste the shredded meat with the warm Montreal-Chipotle butter sauce, coating it well.  Serve at once with your favorite sides or a salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Each 3 oz. portion of meat contains:

350 calories, 28.1 g fat, 0.90 g carbs, 0.30 g fiber, 0.60 g NET CARBS, 23 g protein, 87 mg sodium

London Broil

When you want to tenderize a tougher cut of meat, like flank steak or London Broil, you have to marinate it to loosen up those meat fibers a bit.  This is one of my favorite steak marinades to use on London Broil.  If you can’t get flank or London Broil, use a piece of lean chuck roast. The flavor on the outer crust of meat is just divine.  The longer you marinate the meat, the more tender the meat will get.  Marinating all day long is preferred, but a minimum of 4-5 hours is a must lest you end up with a very tough, difficult to chew experience.  My husband cooked ours tonight a bit too long (medium) for our personal taste, as we prefer medium rare, but it was still quite tasty and still fairly tender.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins beyond Induction.  If you are still on induction, sub in some beef broth for the red wine.

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. piece of London Broil or flank steak

½ clove garlic, minced

1½ tsp. tomato paste

½ c. red wine (or beef broth if still on Induction)

¼ c. low sodium soy sauce

2 T. balsamic  vinegar

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

DIRECTIONS:  Coat the meat with the black pepper and set in a glass or plastic marinating pan.  Add the remaining ingredients, stirring in the tomato paste well until it is evenly distributed in the liquid.  Using a basting brush, drizzle the marinade over the meat and place marinating pan in the refrigerator.  Marinate for at least 4 hours to all day long, drizzling over the meat carefully hourly.  Turn the meat once or twice while marinating.

When ready to cook, prepare a hot charcoal fire.  Lift meat out of marinating pan and discard the marinade.  Place meat directly over the hot coals and grill for about 8-10 minutes on a side or until it reaches your desired stage (around 8 minutes per side for medium rare; around 10 for medium as shown).  These two cuts of meat are really too tough to cook them well done.  Just being honest.  Serve with a nice salad or your favorite green side dish.  This is delicious with compound butter, if you have a favorite recipe.  Here’s the one I used tonight:  Garlic Herb Butter.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  As the marinade is discarded, a firm count per serving is difficult to arrive at.  No more than 1 T. is consumed on the meat surfaces, if THAT much.  1 T. marinade contains around 1.27 net carbs, so that is what is added to the serving below.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Serves 6-7 people nicely (maybe 8), so each serving of meat with 1 T. marinade contains around:

297 calories, 12g fat, 1.3 carbs, 0 fiber, 0 NET CARBS, 44 g protein, 101 mg sodium

Indian Butter Chicken

This is my husband’s favorate Indian dish.  He always orders it when we eat Indian out, so I thought I’d try to duplicate it using my favorite chicken curry recipe as a starting point.  The flavors are very similar in my opinion, but this dish is richer (with all the butter and cream added) and it has more tomato in it than my regular curry recipe.  This is ever so easy to make once you have the ingredients on hand, and the results are simply stellar!  This dish is suitable for those still on Atkins Induction Phase and is also suitable for Primal diners.  Paleo followers will need to use coconut milk and ghee (clarified butter) instead of the cream or regular butter.  

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. whole cumin seed

2 T. olive oil

3 oz. sliced onion

2 deboned 7-8 oz. chicken breasts, cut into 1-1½” chunks

¼ tsp. salt

¼-½  tsp. cayenne pepper  (use ½ tsp. only if you like food really HOT with spice)

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ T. fresh ginger root, peeled and minced fine

¼ tsp. ground turmeric

1T. + 1 tsp. my homemade Garam Masala 

4 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 c. chicken broth

2  Roma tomatoes (3″) , cut into large cubes or wedges 

4 T. tomato paste (about ½ of 6-oz small can)

4 T. more butter

3/4 c. heavy cream 

DIRECTIONS:  In a dry non-stick skillet or wok, dry roast the whole cumin seed, stirring, just until they become fragrant but not burned (about 1-2 minutes).  Add olive oil and onions & saute a few minutes until onions are translucent.  Add chicken and continue to saute until chicken is no longer pink.  Add all remaining ingredients except heavy cream. Simmer covered on lowest heat setting about 30 minutes until tomatoes are tender and falling totally apart.  Some use a stick blender to puree the mixture at this point, but I personally do not do this as I like the onions to remain visible in my curry.  Your call there.  Add the heavy cream and continue to simmer (unlidded) over low heat for 5-10 minutes longer.  It should thicken right up as the cream reduces.  You can eat this as  is at this point, or…… if you prefer, you can serve it over steamed cauliflower, baked eggplant slices, or for any non-low-carbing diners at your table, over steamed basmati rice.   Those are not included below, however.  Make the necessary recalculations if you serve your Butter Chicken atop one ov these.  

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 5, each serving contains:

463 cals, 35.5g fat, 7.88g carbs, 1.68g fiber, 6.2g NET CARBS, 29g protein, 530 mg. sodium (omit salt & recude cream if you are sodium sensitive)

Boursin Bacon Brussels Sprouts

I’ve finally found a way to prepare Brussels sprouts that I really like.  I think the key was to cook them in the microwave instead of steaming or boiling them.  They came out so mild…….not bitter, or chemical tasting at all!  And the Boursin soft cheese gave them a nice flavor layer to complement the bacon topper.  In my grocery store, the Boursin is usually near the deli with the other specialty cheeses.  You’re talkin’ to a Brussels sprouts hater here, so all you sprouts haters be sure to try these sometime.  You’ll be amazed how much milder they are than steamed or boiled sprouts.  And the green color is preserved cooking them in the microwave!

INGREDIENTS:

10 fresh Brussels sprouts (cut larger ones in half)

3-4 T. water

Dash each salt and black pepper

2 T. Boursin “Garlic Herb and Chive” soft cheese (more if you like)

3 thick slices bacon, chopped 1″ and browned

DIRECTIONS:  Cut tiny bit off sprouts stems.  Cut larger sprouts in half lengthwise.  Place them in a ceramic or glass dish.  Add the water and microwave for 2 minutes, stir and microwave 2 more minutes.  While they are cooking, brown the bacon in a skillet and drain on paper toweling.  Remove sprouts from microwave and stir the Boursin cheese gently into the sprouts to melt.  Don’t be too rough here or the sprouts may fall apart on you.  Top with bacon crisps and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

221 cals, 18.3g fat, 9.05g carbs, 3.6g fiber, 5.45g NET CARBS, 13.2g protein, 321 mg sodium

Scrambled Eggs & Bacon Gravy

Scrambled Eggs & Bacon Gravy With half a carton of mushrooms on the top fridge shelf, I could quickly see what I wanted for breakfast today.  The final result was soooooo GOOD!  This creamy dish is one of the many ways I disguise eggs to be able to eat them daily.  You see, I’m just not very fond of eggs.  But they are the lowest carb and healthiest breakfast food there is, so I manage with spices, additives and a pinch of creativity to be able to face them day in and out.  🙂  Check out my EGGS category at the right.  I have lots of not-so-eggy egg recipes here.  🙂  This is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal Blueprint.  Use coconut milk instead of cream for a version that is more suited to a Paleo lifestyle.

INGREDIENTS:

4 large eggs, beaten

1 T. unsalted butter

2 thick slices bacon, chopped

4 oz. mushrooms, sliced (omit if you aren’t a fan)

2 medium green onions, chopped

Dash each salt and pepper

½ c. heavy cream

¼ cup water

2-3 light dustings of xanthan gum powder (or your preferred thickener)

DIRECTIONS:   Fry the bacon in a non-stick skillet over high heat until done.   Add the mushrooms (if using) and green onion.  When they are getting soft, add the water and cream.  Simmer a few minutes.  Dust lightly with xanthan gum and allow to thicken, stirring or whisking frequently.  As it is thickening, in your dedicated egg skillet, melt the butter.  Pour the beaten eggs in the skillet and scramble to your preferred stage.  Plate half the eggs on each of two plates.  Spoon half the bacon gravy over each and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:     Makes 2 servings, each contains:  516 calories, 47 g fat, 6.2 g carbs, 1.5 g fiber, 4.7 g NET CARBS, 18.4 g protein and 425 mg sodium

Duck Soup

This year I served an oven- roasted Marinated Duck for Christmas dinner. There isn’t all that much meat on a duck, but our 4-pound bird fed two of us amply with a nice amount of meat still left on the carcass. I love to make soup from leftover fowl carcasses, so soup it was today! After simmering the carcass for an hour and cooling, it yielded about 2-2½ c. duck meat for my soup pot. I wanted my soup fairly simple, with rich depth of flavor, so I added the duck fat it rendered during the initial roasting. I also used some homemade chicken broth to add even more flavor to the final soup. We were both very pleased with this creation! I used no recipe, but threw in the “usual suspects” for tasty game birds. My Marinated Duck had some bay leaf in it, so you will want to add a bay leaf to your pot.

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo followers.

INGREDIENTS:

4 slices thick bacon, cut into 3/4″ dice

1 c. chopped onion

1 c. chopped celery

1 c. chopped carrot

½ c. chopped parsley

2 cloves minced garlic

¼ c. duck fat (use butter if not available)

1 c. chicken broth (I use salt-free homemade)

water to cover meat and veggies

3/4 tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. coarse black pepper

1 large bay leaf (or 2 small)

3 T. Hemp Seed Hearts

1 4-oz can mushrooms with liquid

1 duck carcass (mine was from a 4# duck) or 2½ c. cooked diced duck meat

7 oz. pkg. shiritaki noodles with oat fiber, rice-shaped

DIRECTIONS: Brown bacon in soup pot over high heat. Add chopped onion, carrot, celery, garlic and parsley. Saute until onion begins to go translucent. Add all remaining ingredients to pot, bring to boil and lower heat to simmer. Cover and simmer for about 1½ hours, stirring every half hour.  Remove duck carcass and strip meat off bones, replacing meat into soup pot.  Discard bones.  Open package of noodles and rinse well in a sieve under running water. Add to pot and simmer 15 more minutes. I recommend serving this rich soup with a buttered low-carb dinner/sandwich roll if you have cooked and at the ready. 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 6 large bowl, each contains:

454 cals, 37.2g fat, 10.1g carbs, 3.85g fiber, 6.25g NET CARBS, 21.9g protein, 635 mg sodium

London Broil

London Broil
Shown with Garlic Herb Butter.

When you want to tenderize a tougher cut of meat, like flank steak or London Broil, you have to marinate it to loosen up those meat fibers a bit.  This is one of my favorite steak marinades to use on London Broil.  If you can’t get flank or London Broil, use a piece of lean chuck roast. The flavor on the outer crust of meat is just divine.  The longer you marinate the meat, the more tender the meat will get.  Marinating all day long is preferred, but a minimum of 4-5 hours is a must lest you end up with a very tough, difficult to chew experience.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins provided those still on Atkins Induction sub in some beef broth for the red wine.  It’s also delicious with my Garlic Herb Butter.

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. piece of London Broil or flank steak

½ clove garlic, minced

1½ tsp. tomato paste

½ c. red wine (or beef broth if still on Induction)

¼ c. low sodium soy sauce

2 T. balsamic  vinegar

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

DIRECTIONS:  Coat the meat with the black pepper and set in a glass or plastic marinating pan.  Add the remaining ingredients, stirring in the tomato paste well until it is evenly distributed in the liquid.  Using a basting brush, drizzle the marinade over the meat and place marinating pan in the refrigerator.  Marinate for at least 4 hours to all day long, drizzling over the meat carefully hourly.  Turn the meat once or twice while marinating.

When ready to cook, prepare a hot charcoal fire.  Lift meat out of marinating pan and discard the marinade.  Place meat directly over the hot coals and grill for about 8-10 minutes on a side or until it reaches your desired stage (around 8 minutes per side for medium rare; around 10 for medium as shown).  These two cuts of meat are really too tough to cook them well done.  Just being honest.  Serve with a nice salad or your favorite green side dish.  This is delicious with compound butter, if you have a favorite recipe.  Here’s the one I used tonight:  Garlic Herb Butter.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  As the marinade is discarded, a firm count per serving is difficult to arrive at.  No more than 1 T. is consumed on the meat surfaces, if THAT much.  1 T. marinade contains around 1.27 net carbs, so that is what is added to the serving below.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Serves 6-7 people nicely (maybe 8), so each serving of meat with 1 T. marinade contains around:

297 calories, 12g fat, 1.3 carbs, 0 fiber, 1.3 NET CARBS, 44 g protein, 101 mg sodium

Roaster Oven Turkey

Roasted Turkey (done in a roaster oven)

I love roasting turkey in a roaster oven.  If you don’t own one, they are excellent for extra oven space when you entertain or during holiday gatherings and your oven is full to the brim.  They bake cakes, muffins, cookies, and meats just beautifully!  And they are getting so cheap, one can be had for sometimes as little as $29 during the holiday season sales.  I paid $60 for my first one in the 60’s, when $60 was worth a lot more than it is today!  I find a roaster oven to be the most useful and versatile small appliance in my kitchen after an electric mixer.  I can carry it out onto the patio to cook outdoors in summertime, eliminating excess kitchen heat, as well.  🙂

You go about cooking turkey in a roaster oven pretty much as you would in a regular oven.  Just be sure you buy a bird that will FIT in your roaster oven!  I cover the wing tips and drumstick knobs with foil when I first put it in the oven, as the bird sits so close to the lid where heat can rise and overcook those areas.  They consistently come out delicious, moist and tender.  More moist that my usual inside oven turkeys in fact!   The skin doesn’t get quite as crispy cooked in a roaster oven, but it is crisp enough for me to get that level of moist cooking. Turkey is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto, Primal and Paleo diets alike.

INGREDIENTS:

1  12-13 lb. turkey, thawed (follow chart on wrapper for a larger bird)

4 T. melted butter

Dash each of salt and black pepper

4 small pieces of foil

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 325º.  Open turkey wrapper and remove bird to a clean sink.  Remove the leg binding gadget.  Remove giblets and set aside for making your gravy.  I only use the neck meat for gravy and my dog usually gets the liver, heart and gizzard in her dinners over a week or so.   I like to eat them; I just don’t like them in my gravy much.

I like to rinse out the inside of the bird.  Pat the exterior dry with paper towels.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave.  Place turkey, breast side up in a pan large enough to hold it.  Baste with the butter all over on the outside and inside with a basting brush, using half the butter.  Sprinkle bird inside and out with salt and pepper.  I cook my dressing outside the bird as I like it to brown.  You can add some chunks of celery, onion and parsley if you like to the cavity, but I do not.  Your call there, but be sure to add those carbs below if you do. Cover wing tips and leg knuckles with foil so they will not burn.

Place pan with bird into the roaster oven, cover with lid and cook, for 1½ hours.  Open oven and baste with remaining butter.  Recover and cook for 1 hour and check for doneness with a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast and around the thing-leg joint (slowest area to get done).  You want the thermometer to read 170º.  Cook for another 30 minutes or so, checking with thermometer every 10-15 minutes now so as to not over cook.  Remove when it has reached 170º internal temperature. Set on cutting board for 15-20 minutes before attempting to carve to avoid tearing up the meat and all the juices running out.  You want those juices to STAY in the meat.  This turkey should be extremely moist.  Roaster ovens do an incredibly good job at moist heat roasting.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   I can’t know what pieces or amount you will eat, so I’ll provide some numbers for both white meat and dark meat.

4 oz. dark meat contains:  250 calories, 13 g  fat, 0 carbs, 0 fiber, o net carbs, 31 g  protein and 269 mg sodium

4 oz. white meat, skin eaten contains:  222 calories, 9.4 g  fat, 0 carbs, 0 fiber, 0 net carbs, 32.3 g   protein and 255 mg sodium

Pumpkin Cake

pumpkin-cake

This moist, delicious pumpkin cake will be just perfect for your holiday dessert.  It is moist, delicious, cooks perfectly and has a lovely smooth texture.  I don’t care for the texture of low-carb cakes made exclusively with almond flour, so I use a mixture of almond flour and a bit of whey protein powder for a smoother texture.  I typically choose fresh pumpkin rather than canned, but you could use canned if you prefer.  This one’s a keeper for our holiday baking, for sure!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal as well.  The cream cheese knocks this out of suitability for Paleo, unless there is a suitable substitute that meets that program’s requirements.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. almond flour

1 c. plain whey protein powder

1 c. Splenda or equivalent sweetener of choice

2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1 T. + 1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. nutmeg

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

3/4 c. (1½ sticks) butter, softened

1 c. fresh (or canned) cooked pumpkin puree

4 large eggs

½ c. sugar-free maple syrup or caramel sugar-free syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Line the bottom of a tube pan with parchment cut-to-fit, or use a lightly oiled non-stick bundt pan.  Oil the sides and post of your tube pan as well.  In a medium bowl, soften cream cheese and butter.  With electric mixer, blend them well.  Add eggs, syrup, pumpkin and vanilla.  Whip on high until very smooth.  In a separate bowl, measure out all dry ingredients and stir well to blend to a uniform mixture.  Add to the wet ingredients and beat with the electric mixer until a smooth batter is achieved.  With a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the cake pan spreading it as evenly as possible.  Bake at 350º for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and dry.  Cool almost totally before loosening with a knife and tipping onto a cake plate for serving.   You can top with dollop of fresh whipped cream if you  like.

VARIATION:  Use lightly oiled silicone muffin pans for a muffin version.  Should make 12 large muffins that will take about 20-25 minutes to bake at 350º.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 14 slices, each contains:

295 calories, 25.8 g fat, 7.28 g carbs, 2.30 g fiber, 4.98 g NET CARBS, 12.4 g protein, 287 mg sodium

Creamy Broccoli and Mushrooms

Creamy Broccoli and Mushsrooms

This dish is a variation on a broccoli dip a friend of many years often served at parties.  I didn’t chop my broccoli as fine as she did, and there was no cheese in her dip.  Mine instead is made with a delicious low-carb soup.  The flavor was so memorable I decided to try and reproduce it as a vegetable side dish today.  It came out delicious!  Just as good as her dip, maybe even better with my addition of cheese!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets but not acceptable for Primal or Paleo.

VARIATIONS:  Add 1 c. cooked leftover chicken or 1 cup cooked shrimp for a complete meal.  You can also substitute fresh coked green beans for the broccoli.

INGREDIENTS:

½ bunch broccoli, stems and flowerettes cut into medium chunks (about 3 cups)

1 oz. onion, chopped

6 large mushrooms, sliced (or a 4-oz can sliced mushrooms, drained)

1 T. olive oil

½ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

½ c. shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

¼ c. heavy cream

Dash black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Lightly grease a medium casserole or vegetable dish and set aside. Make a recipe of the mushroom soup.  You will only use half of it for this recipe.  The remaining soup should be reserved for some other use.  It will keep a week in the refrigerator.  Chop and steam the broccoli over water or in your microwave just until tender crisp.  Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and brown the onion and mushrooms until nearly tender.   Turn off heat.    Toss the broccoli into the skillet and toss lightly.  Stir the cream into the soup mixture and blend well.   Spoon it over the broccoli-mushroom mixture, add the cheese and stir gently with a spoon to mix. Sprinkle with black pepper and bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 4 servings, each contains: (does not include optional meat)

215.5 calories, 18.35 g  fat, 7 g  carbs, 2.22 g  fiber, 4.78 g  NET CARBS, 6.45 g  protein, 348 mg sodium

Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken

I finally got around to trying a whole, roasted chicken in my Power XL 7 qt. air fryer last night.  The meat of the nearly 5# bird was moist and cooked perfectly done (even at the joints).  My husband just loves chicken that is baked or roasted!  Also tried my new Peggy’s Poultry Rub on it and that was a winner, too!  I may add even more of the rub next time!  Yummy!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other keto diets, as well as for Paleo-Primal folks.

INGREDIENTS:

1 whole chicken (mine was 4.75 lbs)

1 t. olive oil

1 T. Peggy’s Poultry Rub (or seasoning of your choice)

DIRECTIONS:  Pat the chicken dry of any water/moisture with paper towels.  Rub olive oil all over the chicken getting all skin surfaces damp with oil.  You’ll want to wash and dry off your hands at this point.  Next sprinkle 1 tsp. of the seasoning bland over the top surfaces of the chicken.  Sprinkle 1 tsp. over the bottom surfaces of the chicken.  Invert chicken to expose the carcass opening and sprinkle the remaining spice blend as best you can inside, rubbing until it is distributed.  Although I did not do it this, next time I may make a slit into the lower leg quarter joints and rub a tad in that joint as well as a tad underneath the breast skin as I am able.

Preheat your air-fryer at 350º a few minutes (mine requires 4 min. preheat).  Open basket/drawer and place seasoned bird into the basket/drawer breast side down. Cook the bird for 30 minutes.  Then open drawer and using a heavy kitchen fork, turn the bird over, now breast up.  Cook for 20 minutes and open basket to (check leg quarter with a meat thermometer (165º internal is done).  Also check thickest part of breast.  If not to 165º yet, continue cooking another 5-10 minutes and check again.  My 4.75# bird took precisely 25 minutes on side two.  Cookers vary, so the rule of thumb with air fryers is CHECK YOUR FOOD OFTEN to avoid under cooking, or worse, over cooking and major disappointment.   Always remember that any air-fryer recipe is just a guideline and nothing more.  Cookers vary for any recipe cookbook for them to be always spot on……….even the manufacturer’s cookbook!  Food size and volume/weight impact any instructions and cooking times/temps.

ADDED NOTE:  I recommend soaking your basket in 1″ water while you enjoy your meal (for easier cleanup).  Also don’t forget when fully cooled, to wipe off (use a soapy sponge) the element at the top and back walls of cooker to get any grease splatters there.  If you don’t do that, the cooker is likely to smoke heavily at next use and you’ll think the machine is dying on you.  It just wasn’t thoroughly cleaned after roasting meat.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  I can’t really provide that for you as I can’t know what pieces you eat, how large your bird is, nor how many pieces you will eat.  I certainly can’t know how much of the seasoning you will be ingesting on any particular piece.  Best calculation I can recommend for you is to take the stats for the piece/size of piece(s) of chicken you eat and add 1/8 tsp. of the spice blend for each piece you consume.  That said, this recipe is so low-carb…………I wouldn’t bother calculating anything but the meat itself that you consume.  One can get too anal about any diet in my opinion.  Just enjoy this delicious recipe and know that you are not breaking the carb bank doing so!

1 tsp. spice blend = 0.84g NET CARBS

Kielbasa with Cabbage & Kale

kielbasa-with-cabbage-kaleHaving made keilbasa and cabbage many a time I don’t know WHY it took me so long to  throw in a little kale into the skillet.  Once I did, there was no turning back.  This vegetable combo is so tasty!  The cabbage mellows any bitterness in the kale; the kale gives depth of flavor to the blander cabbage.  Even my husband wolfed this down and he’s not a fan of either vegetable!  So that sounds like a keeper to ME.  🙂 The caramelized onion brings the perfect touch of magic sweetness to the flavor profile.

I use Burton’s brand of sausage (newly discovered at my HEB & Walmart grocery in Texas).  I always like a brand that  has much less garlic than most people.  Many companies put way too much garlic in their smoked sausage for my palate.   This hearty, delicious dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins, other Keto diets and Primal-Paleo as well.

INGREDIENTS:

2  T. bacon grease

4 links your favorite smoked sausage, sliced ¼”

3 c. chopped green cabbage

2 c. chopped kale (larger stem parts removed)

2 oz. slivered sweet yellow onion

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

VARIATION:  Add a splash of your favorite vinegar to the skillet for the last few minutes of cooking for a more Polish or Czech-style of this famous dish. 

DIRECTIONS:   Heat  bacon grease in a non-stick wok or skillet over high heat.  Add sausage and stir fry until it begins to lightly brown. Add the onion and saute until starts to wilt and caramelize. Add cabbage and chopped kale, sauteing  just until cabbage begins to wilt.   Sprinkle with the black pepper and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:     Makes 4 adult servings, each 1½-cup  serving contains:

266 calories, 21 g fat, 9.37 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 6.87 g NET CARBS, 11.1 g protein, 378 mg sodium

Cajun Shrimp and “Grits”

This dish came out so good.  Frankly, I was quite surprised!  I essentially took my method for making shrimp scampi, added some Cajun spices to take it up a notch, topped with buttery Parmesan bread crumbs and served over a bed of seasoned cauli-rice.  Man………this is definitely a keeper!  My husband just ranted about his dinner tonight!  I confess it was one of the better shrimp dishes I’ve created in quite some time!  Provided you use an Induction-friendly bread for the bread crumbs, this is suitable for Atkins Induction and all other Atkins diet phases!  Just leave out the 2 T. white wine until Phase 2, please.  🙂

BASE INGREDIENTS:

4 T. unsalted butter

2 oz. yellow onion, slivered as thinly as possible

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 T. (1 fluid oz) white wine (omit if still in Atkins Induction Phase)

30 large peeled shrimp (I used pre-cooked, tail-on, but raw will work also)

CRUMB TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

2 slices plan-suitable low-carb bread, crumbed

2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

½ c. chopped parsley

4 T. more unsalted melted butter

‘GRITS’ INGREDIENTS:

½ small head cauliflower, cut into chunks

1 small carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

1/8 tsp. each onion and garlic powder

¼ tsp. (more if you like thinks spicy) my Cajun Seafood Spice Blend

1 c. Cheddar Cheese shreds

½ c. chopped green onions or chives

DIRECTIONS:  Begin by making the “grits” first.  Place the chunks of cauliflower and carrot in you food processor (or blender) and pulse until riced coarsely.  Scrape into microwavable bowl and cook on high for about 4-6 minutes or until no longer raw/hard (but not overly done)  Stir the spices in along with the green onions and cheese shreds.  Set aside while you make the rest of the layers.  In a large skillet (I used non-stick), over medium-high heat, melt one whole stick (8 T.) butter.  Carefully pour just half the melted butter into the bread crumb mixture and blend to moisten the crumbs evenly with the butter. Again, set the topping aside for now.

Preheat oven to BROIL.  In the 4 T. melted butter remaining in the skillet, add the slivered yellow onion and garlic.  Add cayenne and salt and continue to saute a couple more minutes to soften & caramelize them.  Add white wine and simmer 1-2 minutes only.   Spread mixture evenly in the skillet.  Scrape the cheesy grits mixture over the top of the caramelized onion mixture, spreading it evenly.  Next arrange the shrimp in a single layer, 2 concentric circles, tail out, placing shrimp fairly close together as they shrink during cooking.  If you end up with a few shrimp left out of the two circles, put those in the center, tail centered and pointing upwards.  That will look attractive for table presentation.

Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the shrimp.   When broiler is hot (450º-475º) pop skillet into broiler and broil until bread crumb topping is golden brown as shown above.  Shrimp cooks fast, so they should get properly done even if you are using raw shrimp. Those mounded in the center will cook the slowest, so check to insure they are properly cooked.

VARIATION:  You can construct this differently, by cooking the “grits” in a separate microwavable serving baking dish and cook the shrimp separately in the skillet.  Then simply top 1/3 portion of the “grits” on each of 3 plates and top with 1/3 the broiled shrimp mixture.  Your call on the construction method.  Will taste great either way.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains 10 shrimp & 1/3 the grits

643.6 cals, 52.5g fat, 15.8g carbs, 4.76 g fiber, 11.04g NET CARBS, 32.3g protein, 781mg sodium.  To reduce carbs, eliminate the carrot, reduce cheese & use 1 slice bread for crumb topping………or make it stretch for 4 servings. 🙂  )

 

 

 

Asparagus with Bacon and Onion

Click to enlarge

I’ve always steamed or roasted my fresh asparagus, but sometimes I just saute it.  It is marvelous done this way!  By adding the smoky taste of bacon and the sweet edge of caramelized onion it takes an already delicious vegetable to a whole new flavor level.  Each ingredient enhances the other!  This side dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Paleo-Primal diners as well.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch of fresh asparagus (mine had 20 stalks in it)

2 oz. yellow onion, sliced

4 slices low-sodium bacon, sliced

Dash each salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Break the bottom ½” or so off the asparagus stems off. Cut in 2″ long pieces, separating out the tips for shorter cooking time. Brown the bacon in a non-stick skillet.  Remove and drain bacon bits on paper toweling. Add the onion and saute in the bacon grease until it begins to brown and caramelize.  Add the 2″ stem pieces (holding out the tip pieces for now).  Saute for 2-3 minutes or until stems are tender crisp.  Add the tip pieces and saute just until the tips are tender crisp as well.  Pour all into a serving dish and top with the browned bacon.  You can add the bacon to the skillet and toss before plating if you prefer.  I served this alongside some tender oven-roasted grass-fed beef brisket and a lovely tomato-olive salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

101 cals, 7.1g fat, 4.98g carbs, 2.22g fiber, 2.76g NET CARBS, 4.8g protein, 133 mg sodium

Sausage-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

If you’re a mushroom fan you MUST try these.  You can use either breakfast bulk sausage or Italian sausage to make them.  They will be delicious either way.  My Homemade Italian Sausage is what I used, as it is low in sodium or you can use my Homemade Breakfast Sausage for a different flavor.  If you use commercial sausage, bear in mind the sodium count will be much higher than shown below.   For the breadcrumbs, I used a slice of my homemade Grain-Free Fluten-Free Focaccia because I have it currently made and on hand.  Using other low-carb bread for your bread crumbs will also impact numbers and require recalculations be done. This recipe is suitable once you are at Phase 2 Atkins.

INGREDIENTS:

4 Portobello mushroooms (about 4 oz. each)

3 T. olive oil

14 oz. ground Italian (any casing removed) or bulk breakfast sausage, crumbled

1/3 c. chopped red bell pepper (or green)

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ c. chopped parsley

¼ tsp. dried oregano, crushed

1/8 tsp. dried basil

1/8 tsp. each sea salt and coarse black pepper

¼ tsp. Sriracha sauce (or 6-8 drops Tobasco)

1 slice low-carb bread (I used my gluten-free focaccia)

1 beaten large egg

4 oz. mozzarella cheese shreds

¼ c. grated Parmesan

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Wipe mushrooms clean with a dry, clean cloth.  Stem and with a spoon, scoop out and discard black gills in center.  Chop stems and set on paper plate.  Chop/mince all listed vegetables and add to that same paper plate.  Heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Brush mushroom cap domed sides with olive oil and place on baking sheet.  In remaining oil saute the sausage crumbles, breaking up smallish.  Add all listed vegetables, including the chopped mushroom stems, cooking until all are tender.  Turn off heat.  Add all spices shown and the Sriracha sauce (or Tobasco).  Crumb your low-carb bread and add to the mixture.  Beat the egg in a small bowl and add.  Stir the finished filling mixture well so all gets moistened with the egg.  Fill each of the mushroom caps with 1/4 of the filling.  Sprinkle 1 T. Parmesan on top of each mushroom.  Finish with 1 T. mozzarella shreds sprinkled on top.  Pop pan into preheated 350º oven.  Bake 20-25 minutes.  Enjoy with a lovely green salad or green side of your choosing.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

522 cals, 40g fat, 10g carbs, 3.37g fiber, 6.63g NET CARBS, 32.3g protein, 316 mg sodium

 

 

 

 

German Brats and Vegetables

003

We recently grilled some delicious German Beef Brats I get from my grass-fed beef supplier. The seasoning blend in his sausages is simply delicious!  Very heavy with black pepper, but we like that.  With the 3 leftover links I defrosted tonight, I created a quick, stir-fried dish that’s both tasty, satisfies and yet stays low in carbs, despite all the vegetables in it. This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto, Paleo and Primal nutritional programs.  You could also make this using any type of brats, smoked sausage or Kielbasa with equally good results.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. bacon grease

8 oz. German beef brat sausages (or any lean link sausage), precooked & sliced

1 c. frozen green beans

4 oz. onion, sliced thinly

4 oz. green cabbage, sliced

1 large clove garlic, minced

4 oz. red bell pepper, sliced

4 oz. sliced mushrooms, drained

Dash each salt and black pepper

¼ tsp. Sriracha chili sauce

DIRECTIONS:    Heat the bacon grease in a non-stick wok or skillet.  Saute the green beans and onion until it begins to wilt.  Add the cabbage and garlic next and continue sauteing until it just begins to soften.  Add the bell pepper, stirring as it softens just a bit (but isn’t mushy).  Add sausage, mushrooms, salt, pepper and Sriracha sauce and stir well for 2-3 minutes for flavors to blend. Remove and enjoy.   I ate mine plain, but it would be good on brown rice for non-low-carb guests.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

274 cals, 22.5g fat, 10.1g carbs, 3.05g fiber, 7.05g NET CARBS, 8.7g protein, 384 mg potassium, 725 mg sodium

Chicken-Sausage Roulades

Chicken-Sausage Roulades

This is an excellent way to use up that dab of cooked spinach that I invariably seem to have leftover every time I cook it.  This dish is quick, easy and so flavorful!  You’ll want to give this a try sometime.  It’s suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  Primal followers can enjoy it but it is not suited to a Paleo lifestyle unless you omit the cheese or sub in a plan suitable creamy binder.

INGREDIENTS: 

9 oz, chicken breast, skinned

2 slices (1 ¾ oz.) Muenster cheese (you can use Swiss or Jack cheese)

2 oz. pork breakfast sausage (or Italian sausage)

¼ c. cooked spinach

Seasoning blend of your choice

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Oil a small baking pan.  Pound the chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap with a meat mallet.  Try not to tear it and strive for ” thickness.  Remove top sheet of plastic.  Cut into 2 equal portions.  Form sausage into two flat oblong pieces and fold the cheese slices around them.  Lay those “logs” in the center of each piece of chicken.  Spoon 2 T. spinach down each “log” of cheese & sausage.  Tightly roll chicken around the log of sausage and cheese.  Lift onto the baking pan, seam down.  Drizzle the roulades with the olive oil and brush with a brush to spread it evenly on the surfaces. Sprinkle the roulades with your favorite seasoning.  I used a blend of Mrs. Dash (original), onion powder and granulated garlic.  Pop into 350º oven for 20 minutes.  Remove and baste all surfaces with the olive oil in the pan (add more if needed).  Return to oven and bake another 15-20 minutes or until firm and golden brown.  Sausage will be done by now and cheese will have begun to run out the ends.  Plate and serve with mashed cauliflower or your preferred vegetable.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

456 cals, 27.9g fat, 1.65g carbs, 0.95g fiber, 0.7g NET CARBS, 48g protein, 913 mg sodium

Crunchy Parmesan-Boursin Chicken Filets

Crunchy Parmesan-Boursin Chicken Filets

This simple dish will really please your family.  It’s almost effortless to make if you have some of my Shawarma Mayo made up (I always keep it on hand in my fridge).  You can use regular homame mayo, but it won’t come out quite as good, as the Shawarma mayo linked in the recipe really is quite good with Boursin cheese.  This can be ready in 30 minutes or less! Truly delicious and suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal-Paleo as well.

INGREDIENTS:

24 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, in 4 nice portions

4 T. my homemade Shawarma Mayonnaise

4 T. Boursin Garlic-Herb cheese (or garlic-herb Alouette cheese)

1 oz. pork rinds

½ c. parsley, chopped

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

¼ c. Parmesan cheese (any variety will work)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer or mallet, pound the 4 breast filets between 2 sheets plastic wrap to flatten them a bit using the flat side of a meat tenderizer or mallet.  Real thin is NOT necessary here, just flatten them so they aren’t too thick for fastest baking. Place filets on an oiled baking pan making sure they are not touching.  Brush each with 1 T. of the Shawarma Mayo.  Then dot each with 1 T. of the Boursin cheese.  Place all remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse to make a nice crumb mixture.  Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the chicken filets and pop pan  in 350º oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:     Makes 4 servings, each contains:

500 cals. 29.3g fat, 1.5g carbs, 0.22g fiber, 1.29g NET CARBS, 59.5g protein, 975 mg sodium

Beef Stroganoff

 

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

4 T. butter, unsalted

4 oz. onion, chopped

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

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

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

½ c. sour cream

xanthan gum or your favorite thickener

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

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

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

Serves 4, with each serving containing:

344 calories

21.9 g  fat

5.6 g  carbs, 83 g  fiber. 4.82 NET CARBS

28.8 g  protein

313 mg. sodium

Greek Chicken & Spinach

Greek Chicken & Spinach

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach

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

2 oz. onion, chopped

¼ Parmesan cheese

pinch dill

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

4 slices finely chopped bacon

½ tsp. my homemade Cavender’s Greek Seasoning

½ c. crushed plain pork rinds

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

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

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

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

Indonesian Beef Soto

Soto0021

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

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. palm oil (or coconut oil)

3 oz. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 shallot, chopped fine

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

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

12 cherry tomatoes

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

Click to enlarge
Guajillo Chiles

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

1 tsp. Thai red curry paste

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

1 thin slice ginger, minced

½ tsp. galangal powder (optional)

½ tsp. turmeric

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 3 large servings, each contains:

309 calories

19.8 g  fat

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

24.2 g  protein

627 mg potassium

193 mg sodium

Chocolate Shell

chocolate-shell-coating

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

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

INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE SHELL COATING:

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

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

¼ c. melted butter

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

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

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

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

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

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

additives

Broccoli with Caramelized Onion Sauce

Broccoliwithcreamsauce

If you’re tired of the same old steamed broccoli, the usual cheese sauce and the not so unusual broccoli casseroles, give this recipe a whirl.  It’s easy and ready in minutes.  The sweetness of the caramelized onions in this sauce really smooths out the oft-perceived bitter taste of broccoli in an amazing way!  This dish is Atkins Induction-friendly and suitable for other Keto diets as well.  Primal-Paleo followers will want to sub in coconut milk for the cream and of course ghee for the butter.

INGREDIENTS:  

9 oz. broccoli, cut up into large pieces or small spears

2 T. butter, unsalted

2 oz. yellow onion, sliced thin

½ clove garlic, minced

½ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

Dash pepper

1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:  Cook broccoli stems until completely done and drain well a few minutes.  Lay broccoli stems  decoratively on your serving dish.  In non-stick skillet over med-high heat, saute onion and garlic in butter until the onion begins to brown and caramelize.    Lower heat and add cream and Parmesan.  Add pepper and taste.  Add pinch of salt if needed.  Simmer a few minutes and it will slightly thicken.  Add water.  Simmer a few more minutes.  Should be the right thickness when done.  If the water made it too thin, add a bit of your favorite thickener.  Dip or pour over broccoli and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 3 servings each containing:

164 calories, 13.1 g  fat, 9.4 g  carbs, 2.57 g fiber, 6.83 g  NET CARBS, 4.5 g  protein, 73 mg sodium

Classic Shrimp Scampi

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 T. butter, unsalted

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. parsley, chopped

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

¼-½ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

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

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

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

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

 

 

Hot and Sour Soup

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

1 T. olive oil

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

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

1 large green onion, chopped

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

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

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

½ c. dried clour ear fungi/mushrooms

sesame oil (my bottle says toasted)

¼ c. rice wine vinegar (no substitutions)

½ Tamari or soy sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

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

1 c. water (as needed)

½ tsp. xanthan gum to slightly thicken

Dash toasted sesame seeds

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

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

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

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

 

 

Air Fryer Jamaican Jerked Pork Loin

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

INGREDIENTS:

4   4-oz. pieces boneless pork loin

¼ c. light olive oil

2 T. my Homemade Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend

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

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

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

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

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