Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Low Carb Strawberry Smoothie

After the pumpkin smoothie, I decided to try a strawberry smoothie. Sooooo simple. Soooo yummy.

No pictures yet because I keep drinking it all before I remember I'm supposed to take a picture. Oops!

Ingredients for 1 to 2 Servings:

  • 1/2 cup Frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup Plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (such as Stonyfield's Oikos brand or Fage)
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream (or other dairy substitute)
  • 1 tablespoon Smuckers Reduced Sugar Strawberry Jam
  • 1 tablespoon Ground flaxseed

Instructions

1.Puree the strawberries. I like to set them out on the counter for an hour or two so they aren't rock hard.

2.Add the vanilla, cream and jam. Blend.

3.Blend in the flaxseeds and serve.

If you double or triple the recipe, this will keep nicely in the fridge (sans flaxseeds) for a quick breakfast on the go. Just don't add the flaxseeds as they gum up and form yucky clumps over time.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Easy Low Carb: Ham, Cheese & Fruit Roll Ups



Got leftover ham? Try this as a quick snack or add a salad to make it a meal.

Take your ham, add brie, top with your favorite reduce sugar or sugar free jam, roll up and serve.

For appetizers, slice into bite sized pieces and insert a toothpick.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Low Carb Holiday Appetizer: Fruit, Cheese & Nuts













This elegant appetizer comes together with minimal fuss. All you have to do is toast some nuts and assemble.

Got kids? This would be a good recipe to delegate to them.

The cheese contrasts beautifully with the sweetness of the jam and the roasted nuts provide a richness of flavor that makes you go 'mmmm.'





Ingredients
  • Cheese of your choice: I used brie and a white cheddar
  • Reduced Sugar or Sugar Free Jam of your choice: I used E.D. Smith brand which has 6g carb per tablespoon.
  • Toasted nuts: I recommend walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts.

Quantities depend on how many appetizers you want to make. You'll want 1tsp of jam and 1 nut per piece of cheese.

Instructions

1.Toast nuts at 350F for approximately 5 minutes. They will become fragrant when done.

2. If you want to smash the nuts do so, or leave whole. Or mix and match like I did.

3.Slice cheese and top with 1 tsp of jam (2g carb) and then finish with nuts.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Low Carb Pumpkin Smoothie: Healthy & Delish!


So everyone is sick around here and it was time for a treat. The sugary version of this recipe on Pioneer Woman inspired mine. It is really yummy and very adaptable to paleo, low carb, dairy free etc... ways of eating.

Perfect for breakfast (just add a little protein powder!) or an afternoon pick-me-up on the days the germs seem to be winning the war.



Ingredients for 3 Small Servings
  • 1/2 cup Frozen pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup Stonyfield Greek yogurt, plain or vanilla (or tofu or other non dairy substitute)
  • 1/2 cup Cream (or rice milk, almond milk, or coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup Walden Farms sugar free pancake syrup (or real syrup or honey)
  • 1/2 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Ground flax
Instructions

1. Dump ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Low Carb Crockpot: 15 Minute Chicken Marinara


Sometimes I just throw things in a crock pot and hope for the best. Sometimes it works out, sometimes we go out for dinner.

I ran across a skillet meal the other day that sounded delicious, but required too much of my time. There was frying, removing food, putting food back in, and then putting the pan in the oven--very fussy recipe.

Since I don't have time these days for fussy cooking, I adapted it for the crockpot, threw everything in and crossed my fingers.

This time, I scored. Totally yum-o Italian chicken, akin to Chicken Cacciatore.

Make this on those super busy days where you don't know whether you're coming or going. It takes about 15 minutes to prep.

Ingredients for 4 Servings
  • Chicken, either 4 boneless, skinless thighs or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 26oz jar of Marinara sauce
(Netrition.com has a nice low carb pasta sauce if you are having a hard time finding one locally or don't want to make your own.)

Instructions

1.Throw everything the crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours. No really, that's it.

Serving Suggestions

Serve over mashed cauliflower, zucchini noodles or low carb pasta.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Low Carb Haluski (Cheap Low Carb Dinner)


Haluski (pronouned ha-loosh-key) is an Eastern European dish. It's like their version of a stir-fry.

While it's not terribly photogenic, it is full of bacon-y goodness.

It's a one skillet meal that comes together in less than an hour and is also cheap.

The main ingredients are affordable, especially if you are shopping at Costco (seriously, bacon is half the supermarket price).


Ingredients for 4-6 servings:
  • 1/2 pkg. bacon, finely diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green cabbage, diced
  • 1/2 pkg. cooked Carba Nada noodles (optional)
  • 2-3 tbsps butter (optional)
  • 1 container cottage cheese (estimate 1/2 cup per serving) (also optional)

Serving Suggestion: For those of you really watching your carbs, omit the noodles, they aren't low carb enough for active weight loss. If the protein content isn't high enough, serve with some roasted chicken (although remember that bacon fat is very satiating).

And yes, the cottage cheese actually tastes pretty good. It's a substitute for an Eastern European cheese called Brinza. No, it's not typically added to Haluski proper, but it's used in similar dishes (meaning the flavor works) and is a good way to bump up the protein content.

Instructions:

1. Put the pot on to cook the noodles and chop your veggies while you're waiting for the water to boil. Remove the noodles from boiling water once they are cooked.

2.Dice the bacon and throw into a large skillet. Add the onion.

3.Saute the bacon and onion on medium heat until well caramelized--takes about 15-20 minutes. If the pan bottom gets too brown, add a few tbsps of water and scrape the bottom.

4.Add the diced cabbage and cook until it wilts. About 5 minutes.

5.Now it's time for the cooked noodles. Cook everything for another 5 to 8 minutes. Add in a couple tbsps of butter if you wish (we like it).

6.Stir in a 1/2 cup or so of cottage cheese into each serving. Garnish with salt and pepper.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cookie Photo Shoot

I've made more almond cookies, trying to get a good picture as I haven't been happy with the ones I have. I think this time I captured their deliciousness. What do you think?

Oh, and recipes are here, here and here. And yes, they are low carb even though they look sinfully delicious.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Low Carb Chicken Broccoli Divan


This is a 'slop' recipe. Tastes great, looks terrible. I did the best I could with pictures.

I actually wasn't sure about this recipe. It uses a sauce made out of sour cream and mayo, which sounded kind of iffy to me.

However, it was delicious and a great way to use up leftovers or work ahead by grilling extra chicken for making this dish later in the week.

It also makes a lot, so this would be a good dish to make when you have a hungry crowd to feed.

One note of interest, the mayo-sour cream mix could be used as an easy stand-in for cream-of-mushroom soup in green bean casserole.

Ingredients for 6-8 servings

-3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (can substitute canned chicken)
-1 bag frozen broccoli
-1 large container Durkee Fried Onions
-1 1/2 cup shredded cheese
-1 cup sour cream
-1 cup mayonaise
-1 tbsp McCormick Perfect Pinch Rotisserie Seasoning

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2.Mix sour cream and mayo in a large bowl--large enough to hold all the ingredients. Stir in McCormick Seasoning.

3. Add chicken, cheese and frozen broccoli, stir until combined.

4. Spoon into a large casserole dish (or two in my case) and top with Durkee Fried Onions.

5.Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Low Carb 'Antipasto' Platter

Remember when I mentioned I was going to do an Eastern European 'antipasto' platter for a quick, no-cook meal on Sundays? Here's how it turned out. Beautiful!



Pictured are; brie, marinated mozzarella balls, smoked Hungarian kielbasa, carrots, green pepper, and lightly steamed green beans with hummus for dipping.

Here's a view that shows the whole platter.



Because we bought many of these items in bulk at Costco, it was a cost effective meal. If you were to buy these items at your local grocery store, it might get pricey. However, you don't have to use what I used. Make a list of low carb finger foods and create your own antipasto platter.

The thing I really loved about it was people could graze for several hours. There was no rush to sit down and eat, which is always good for toddlers. The hubby had a nice meal and got out the door on time too.

Related Posts:

Low Carb Lunch: No Cooking!

Cheap Low Carb Dinner: Chicken Thighs and Green Beans


This meal comes together with just a few inexpensive ingredients: Chicken thighs and green beans.

Chicken thighs are a tasty, yet cheap cut of chicken. Green beans are on sale right now for 99 cents a pound. Cheap, cheap, cheap.

Not to mention this meal has become one of my favorites as it is delicious too.

Ingredients for 4 People:

-8 chicken thighs with skin (assuming 2 per person)
-4 tbsps. butter or olive oil
-As much as you like of McCormick Perfect Pinch Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning (Love this stuff, it is awesome!)
-1 1/2 lbs green beans
-2 strips of bacon, diced
-1/2 an onion, finely diced

Instructions:

1.Preheat oven to 400F (sometimes I cook it at 375F, so somewhere in there is great.)

2. Place thighs in a pan and smear the skin of each thigh with 1/2 tbsp. of butter and top with the McCormick seasoning--just shake it on, as much as you want.

3.Bake for 45-55 minutes. Don't take it out until the skin is nice and crisp.

4.While the chicken is cooking, steam the green beans for 5 minutes.

5.In a skillet, brown the onion and bacon. This takes 5-8minutes. Watch it closely so it doesn't burn!

6. Add the green beans and toss everything together.

7.Turn off the burner, put a lid on the pan and set aside while the chicken finishes cooking.

Related Posts:

Indian Butter Chicken

Low Carb Grilled Chicken Indian Style

Low Carb Dinner: Tortilla Pizza and Salad


This low carb tortilla pizza and salad was dinner a few weeks ago. Quick and simple,which was what we needed as it was one of those crazy busy nights.

The trick to a crisp 'thin crust' pizza effect when using low carb tortillas, is not using a lot of sauce and baking the pizza for a loooooong time.

I've also noticed the tortillas tend to get damp once the package is opened, so be sure to store them in an air tight container.

I use just one spoonful of sauce and spread it very thinly. For those that like more sauce, a cup of marinara is provided for dipping.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Low Carb Two Week Meal Plan

Summer is winding down and we are actually managing to get tired of our grill menu. Believe it or not, I find myself yearning for soup and cold weather casseroles.

Yes, I do kick myself. Because the heat will be gone before we know it and then we'll have the cold to whine about. I am trying to savor the season, but the food is getting old.

So, in an effort to spice things up, I put together this two week menu plan. Still lots of grilling, but also new flavors and foods we haven't seen in a while.

Plus, even though the cold weather is more than a month away, I do need to get cracking on the crockpot as school is starting and time is more limited than ever. We need dinner to be ready and waiting for us so we're not late to various evening commitments.

Another tricky day for us, dinner-wise, is Sunday. Dinner needs to be done early so hubby can make it to various evening engagements. The thing is, I always forget, and,too many times, he's left the house without eating. So I came up with the idea of an Eastern European Antipasto platter. Smoked kielbasa, cheese, veggies, pickles and olives. No cooking required and minimal prep. Perfect! I'll be sure to post pics once I make it.

Okay, enough talk, here's the menu.

Low Carb Two Week Menu

1.Flank steak fajitas in lettuce

2.Grilled Chicken with crudites (cucumber, peppers, carrots)

3.Chicken Broccoli Divan Casserole

4.Slow Cooker Hungarian Goulash

5.Roast Beef with gravy and green beans

6.Sunday Eastern European Antipasto x 2--brie, cheese, olives, fresh veggies and smoked kielbasa

7.Bunless cheeseburgers with rutabaga fries

8. Spaghetti over high protein soy noodles

9. Taco salad with ground turkey

10.Chili dogs without the bun

11. Kielbasa on the grill or in the slow cooker with sauerkraut

Related Posts:

7 Days of Low Carb Grillin'



Saturday, August 20, 2011

Low Carb Appetizer: String Beans and Hummus


Depending on your low carb plan, hummus may or may not be 'forbidden'. However, it is relatively low carb and an easy way to throw together a party appetizer everyone will enjoy. I say go for it.

Which is exactly what I did on our recent vacation. Green beans are great hummus dippers. I wouldn't have guessed they would be so tasty, but wow, they are really yummy.

People gobbled them up, thrilled with the flavor and the fact that this was a truly good-for-you delicious snack.

Ingredients
  • 12 to 16oz of store-bought or homemade hummus
  • 1 1/2 lbs Green beans (I used one package each of green and yellow beans with the stems already trimmed for me)

Instructions

1.Bring a pot of water to a boil.

2.Quickly blanch beans for roughly 2 minutes. I found one minute wasn't enough, but 2 minutes had them still crispy yet not too hard.

3.Remove beans from water with tongs.

4. Arrange on a plate and serve.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Low Carb Cookies: Molasses Crackle Top Cookies




My claim to fame as a baker are molasses crackle top cookies and this gluten free, sugar free version of the recipe is quite tasty. It also looks like a regular 'ol crackle top and I would bet some people won't be able to tell the difference.

This recipe makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies and would be perfect for the holidays.

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup Splenda brown sugar blend (don't recommend using other sweeteners in this recipe as this isn't just adding sweetness, but also flavor)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsps. blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tbsps. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tbsps. ground ginger
  • 2 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
Cookie coating (optional)
  • 1/4 cup regular white sugar
Instructions:

1.Combine butter and Splenda brown sugar blend in mixer.

2.Add in vanilla, egg, molasses and spices and blend.

3.Add almond flour and baking soda and blend.

4.Roll dough (which can be sticky) into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball.

5.Dip balls in sugar (optional).

6.Place dough on cookie sheet and press down gently with fingers, forming as close to a circle as you can.

7.Bake at 350F for 10-13 minutes. I start with 10 minutes and then check, adding time based on how far along the cookies are at the 10 minute mark.

8.Let cool and enjoy!

Also pictured in those last two pictures are my low carb lemon sugar cookies.

Low Carb Cookies: Lemon 'Sugar' Cookies



These cookies have just a touch of sweetness and a lovely lemon flavor that would go well with tea or coffee.

They can be made either sugar free or reduced sugar (which is what I give my toddler).

The recipe makes a few cookies more than 12, with the exact number depending on how big you want them to be.


Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sweetener (either honey, Truvia, or Splenda)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Zest of one lemon
Cookie coating (optional)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup regular white sugar, optional
You can either use both the sugar and coconut together or each alone or skip them altogether.

Instructions:


1.Combine butter and sweetener in mixer and blend.

2.Add in vanilla, egg and lemon zest, blend.

3.Add almond flour and baking soda and blend.

4.Roll dough (which can be sticky) into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball.

5.Dip balls in coating as desired.

6.Place dough on cookie sheet and press down gently with fingers, forming as close to a circle as you can.

7.Bake at 350F for 10-13 minutes. I start with 10 minutes and then check, adding time based on how far along the cookies are at the 10 minute mark.

8.Let cool and enjoy!

Note the last two pics include the molasses crackle top cookie dough, which is why there are yellow and dark brown cookies. In case you were wondering! The gluten free low carb molasses crackle top cookie recipe will be posted next.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Three Quick WooHoos!

1.The little salad ebook I did (as an experiment) hit #4 on the Kindle top seller list for salads.That was exciting. (You can see it in the sidebar over there, just scroll down a bit.)

2.My copycat Longhorn chili recipe was published in a newsletter. A nice compliment because they found me and asked to use it.

3.After a seven month weight loss stall due to medical issues, I have finally started losing weight again.

YAY!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Low Carb Grilled Chicken Indian Style


This recipe takes the flavors of my Indian Butter Chicken and makes them into a grill rub.

I invited my toddler to make the marinade with me and she had a ton of fun smelling all the spices. It was nice to spend time making something healthy as opposed to the more traditional carb-laden baking our culture tends to do with kids.

This chicken is a nice change of pace from BBQ and all the usual summer grill flavors. This is deliciously different and low carb!


Ingredients:
  • 4 Chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, diced
  • 1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tbsps. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ cup oil
Instructions

1.Mix all the spices and herbs and oil in a dish.

2. Slice chicken breasts in half to reduce grilling time and add to the dish.

3.Stir and let marinate 6-8 hours (or overnight).

4.Grill until done.

5.Top with fresh cilantro.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Low Carb Asian Flank Steak


This is an unusual recipe because it uses no sugar. When was the last time you saw an Asian recipe that didn't list sugar??? I think this was the first time for me.

I had flank steak. I needed a recipe and ended up using this one as inspiration. I made some changes.

I always make changes. That's the Joy of Cooking. The ultimate in personalization.

Anyway, this Asian flank steak is succulent and would be delish in an Asian lettuce 'taco' or in a salad. Or, you could just eat it plain, like I did. Because it was too good to stop eating and make anything else.

I had it for lunch the next day as well. Yum!


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 of a fresh lemon, juiced
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 flank steak, fat trimmed

Instructions

1.Combine the marinade ingredients. This is not the wettest marinade, there's not a lot of liquid, don't panic.

2.With your hands, slather the marinade on the steak and place in Tupperware (or other dish with lid). Seal container and marinate overnight.

3.Grill until done.

4.Slice very thinly across the grain to serve. Use the sharpest knife you have.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Low Carb Lunch: No Cooking!


I don't know about you, but the last thing I want to do in warm weather is slave over a hot stove.

So this lunch really hit the spot. No cooking and minimal clean up yet still full of yumminess.

What's in the picture?

Left over brat reheated in the microwave served with brie and sliced pickling cucumbers with a pinch of sea salt.

Took less than five minutes to pull together.

Remember, whenever you are cooking, especially in the summer months where there's a lot more fun stuff to do than cook, throw a few extra whatever on the grill for a quick no cook dinner/lunch later in the week.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Low Carb Meal Plan: 7 Days of Low Carb Grillin'


Here are seven simple ways to grill dinner. No muss, no fuss. One for every day of the week. All you need are some spices, meat and a grill.

Note: Chicken and brats are ideal for making extra to use for lunch the next day or for whipping up a super quick dinner later in the week.

Also, recipes below make four servings.


1.Italian marinated chicken.
(Pictured above with green beans and a plate of crudites in the background.)

Recipe:
4 chicken breasts
1 bottle Italian salad dressing (cheap off brand is fine).

Instructions:The morning of, dump dressing in a bag, add chicken, seal and marinate.

2.Kielbasa or brats.

Instructions: Open package and grill. This is a great meal for the busiest day of your week as it couldn't be simpler. You can even grill these a day or two in advance so all that needs to be done is reheat and plate 'em up.


3.Bunless cheese burgers.

Instructions:Form patties and grill, topping with cheese in the last 30-45 seconds of cooking. ( Cajun burger alternative: use1 tbsp of cajun seasoning per burger along with 2 tbsps of bleu cheese--mix into meat and form patties.)


4. Cajun chicken.

Recipe:
4 chicken breasts
4 tbsps. cajun spice mix,
4 tbsps. Splenda brown sugar blend.

Instructions: Mix spices and Splenda, rub on chicken and grill.

5. Paprika pork chops.

Recipe:
4 pork chops
2 tbsps hot paprika
2tbsps sweet paprika
2 tbsps Splenda brown sugar blend
2 tbsps garlic powder,
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp caraway seed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3-4 tbsps olive oil.

Instructions:Combine spices and olive oil, rub mix on meat and grill.

6. Tex-Mex flank steak.

Mustard is fantastic in a marinade and is what makes this grilling recipe smokin' awesome.

Recipe:
1 flank steak
1 cup mustard--you want Stadium or Dijon mustard.
1 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper


Instructions:

Mix mustard and spices, slather on meat and let marinate either overnight or for 6 to 8 hours.

7.Chicken marinated in garlic.

Don't let this simple recipe fool you, the marinade yields succulent, flavorful chicken.

Recipe:
4 chicken breasts
1 to 1 1/2 cup olive oil
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Instruction:
Combine olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, add chicken and marinate overnight. Grill on foil (to keep the oil from smoking).

And voila! There you have it, a week of low carb summer grilling. I hope this makes your summer meal planning a little less painful.

Not sure what to serve on the side? We do a lot of simple salads. Just buy a big tub of organic spinach from the local warehouse club (i.e. Costco) and it will last you about 4 days. To keep it interesting we vary the cheese we use, the veggies (carrots, cucumbers, peppers) and the salad dressing (ranch, ceasar, bleu cheese etc...).

Low Carb Appetizers: Brie and Fruit

Brie is usually served with grapes, which are sweet little sugar bombs. Not for the low carb set.

So I thought I would try brie with strawberries instead. It was good.

This would make a nice summer appetizer.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Becoming a Slave


So basically, I've not been feeling so hot and, thus, haven't been cooking as much. Which, in turn, means not as many recipes here.

When I do cook?

I'm making those low carb cookies I posted a few weeks ago.

When I'm not making the cookies I'm taking pictures of them, trying to get used to my new camera. (As you can tell, this is going to take a while.)

And when I'm done taking pictures, I eat the cookies.

Because they are deeeelicious!

Rinse and repeat.

These cookies should come with a warning.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Low Carb Salads: Goat Cheese, Blueberries and Spinach


Here's a salad that will get your goat.

Okay, bad pun, but I couldn't resist.

This is an easy-peasy salad. It looks gourmet. It tastes gourmet.

But all you have to do to make this fabulous healthy salad?

Assemble it.

Yep, that's it. Just put Tab A into Slot B.

Nothing fancy about it other than its looks and taste. I swear.

The goat cheese melds well with the mild sweetness of the blueberries, and the salad gets a zing of contrast from Balsamic dressing. Top with grilled chicken to make a complete low carb meal.

This is a great salad to take to work for lunch. Or to pack on a picnic.

The next time you're grilling dinner? Throw on a couple extra chicken breasts, put this salad on the meal plan and get a head start on the next night's dinner.

Oh! And I know goat cheese is expensive. The best price is often at warehouse stores like Costco. You can also opt for other cheeses, such as gouda, or bleu cheese or even a nice parmesan. Don't let mere cheese hold you back, pick something on sale or that otherwise fits your budget (or, you know, join Costco).

Ingredients for 4 servings:
  • 1 plastic tub of organic spinach (gotta get organic, spinach is a heavy pesticide crop)
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 12 Thinly sliced red onion rings (about 3 per person)
  • 1/2 cup roasted nuts: walnuts, pecans or almonds, your choice
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • Balsamic dressing (store bought, look for the lowest carb count)
Instructions:

1.Put spinach in a bowl. (Or, to make individual servings, just divide all the ingredients in fourths on plates.)

2.Top with onion.

3.Sprinkle with nuts and berries.

4.Scatter goat cheese on top.

5.Add sliced grilled chicken.

6.Serve with balsamic vinaigrette.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chocolate Cherry Cookies


These cookies were inspired by this recipe from the food fabulous All Day I Dream About Food blog. I had to adapt it as I didn't have all the ingredients on hand.

They look good, they taste good. Like a chocolate chip cookie. Yum. The recipe makes a nice cookie, perfect for packing as a snack.

I actually made them in anticipation of a farm visit/picnic tomorrow with my toddler, which, unfortunately, has since been canceled due to inclement weather. (It's been a rowdy Spring.)

The recipe is more a moderate carb one, not for anyone adhering to strict low carb for weight loss.

Here's how I made them.

Ingredients for 12 cookies

-1/3 cup Truvia (Splenda Brown Sugar blend)
-1/4 cup butter, melted
-1 tbsp vanilla extract
-1 egg
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 1/4 cups almond flour
-1/4 cup dried cherries (or other add ins such as cranberries or walnuts)
-1/2 cup Ghiradelli chocolate chips 60% cacao (naturally low carb)

Note: If you want to reduce the carbs, leave out the dried fruit and reduce the amount of chocolate to 1/4 cup.

Instructions

1.Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Cream sweetener and butter, then add the vanilla and egg. Mix until all wet ingredients are incorporated.

3.Add salt and baking soda.

4.Mix in the 2 1/4 cups almond flour.

5.Stir in the chocolate chips and cherries (or whatever add ins you are using)

6.Form into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball. Place on cookie sheet and flatten with your hands (they will not spread otherwise).

7.Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until they just start to brown on top. (The first time you make these, check them at the 8 minute mark to gauge how they are baking in your oven, just to be safe.)

8.Let cool for a few minutes before moving, otherwise cookies may fall apart. Cooling allows them to 'set' after which point they will not crumble and will behave like a good little cookie.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Low Carb Turkey Cheese Bake


This casserole yields a fair amount of leftovers, which is why I like to make it a few days before my busiest day. The leftovers are a quick and ready dinner for those nights I need to get out the door by 5pm.

Also, I'm actively trying to cut the amount of time I spend cooking in anticipation of warmer weather. I don't know about you, but I want to spend Spring outside and Summer at the beach, not sweating in the kitchen.

So I'm making a lot of meals that can be served again a few days later. Living a leftover life, that's me!

Anyway, this casserole bake is a twist on an old church pot luck recipe. It's comfort food without the carbs. It's also a very flexible recipe, don't be afraid to toss in veggies that are languishing in the fridge even if they aren't on the ingredient list. (Dirty secret: I put spinach in this time. Next time it might be broccoli.)

Enjoy!

Ingredients for 8-10 servings

  • 1 pkg ground turkey (can, of course, substitute ground beef)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
  • 1 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 cans tomato sauce (total of 15-16oz)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Veggies of your choice--I used spinach and some diced Hungarian hot peppers
  • 2 cups cauliflower cooked and coarsely mashed (we're going for lumpy, not smooth) OR Carba-Nada noodles
Instructions

1.Saute onion in olive oil (along with peppers if you're using them) and add turkey.

2.Once turkey is cooked through, add tomato sauce. Stir until warm and set aside.

3.Cook noodles, if you're using them and/or prep the cauliflower. Set aside.

4.Mix sour cream and cottage cheese together and season well with salt and pepper.

Tip: Use a fairly large bowl due to step 5.

5. Combine pasta or cauliflower with the sour cream/cottage cheese mix.

6.In a 9x13 casserole dish, alternately layer meat, cheese mix, and shredded cheese.

7.Top with cheese and bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dinner the Other Night



This was dinner the other night. BBQ chicken and my Longhorn BLT Salad--I really love Balsamic Glaze, that is good stuff.

BBQ sauce is not generally low carb, but the amount is negligible so I don't worry about it. Especially if the rest of the day was very low carb, which it was in this case.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nacho Snack


The other night, I was in the mood to munch. So I popped a low carb tortilla in the microwave and made chips.

Then topped the chips with cheese and nuked until melted. Served with a side of fresh salsa, extra cilantro and yum!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Low Carb Salads: Strawberry Spinach Parmesan Salad



This is a lovely Spring salad that shows off strawberries to their advantage. It's also a no recipe salad; all about the ingredients and the way their flavors play off each other with zero cooking.

The sweet flavor notes of the strawberries kiss the tang of balsamic in a really wonderful way. I see now why balsamic vinegar and fruit is sometimes served as a dessert.

Then you have the saltiness of the cheese with the zing of onion. Very nice.

Pair with a nice grilled steak or chicken for a fast, elegant meal.

Ingredients for 4 servings:


-Fresh strawberries, roughly 2-3 strawberries per person
-Very thinly sliced red onion, about 1/4 of the onion
-8 oz. Good quality shaved Parmesan cheese--2 oz per person
-1 tub organic spinach
-Balsamic salad dressing (I used Ken's Creamy Balsamic Dressing which is a bit carby, but it tasted great.)

Instructions

1.Wash what needs washing.

2.Slice the strawberries and onion.

3.Build your salad.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dead or Alive?

I'm here! Sorry for the long break.

Food has gone on the back burner for a bit. I have lots of projects to juggle and I dropped Kicking Carbs!

But more recipes will be coming.

Right now, I'm impatiently waiting for Spring. I have a list of grill marinades as long as my leg to try.

Bear with me!

Low Carb Kids: Yet Another Toddler Lunch


The toddler is obsessed with hot dogs and cottage cheese, so those were her favorite parts of this meal.

The broccoli slaw has about a 30% chance of being eaten at any given meal. On this day, she fed it to the dogs.

Sigh.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Low Carb Root Beer Float


This is in no way shape or form good for you, BUT it is sinfully delicious and a perfect complement to a hot summer's night.

(Okay, it's not summer yet, but it's coming and I will totally be drinking this in August.)

Plus, it's about as easy to make as peeling a banana.

The heavy whipping cream gives you that melted vanilla ice cream taste and the frozen Cool Whip is a great stand in for ice cream.

Note that low carb ice creams such as Breyer's Carb Smart do not work. They ice up and the root beer destroys the ice cream texture.

Ingredients for one

  • 1 can Diet A&W Root Beer
  • Scoop of frozen Cool Whip OR 2-3 tbsp heavy whipping cream OR both!
Instructions

1.Pour heavy whipping cream into a tall glass.
2.Add root beer.
3.Top with Cool Whip.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekend Low Carb Menu Plan

Weekend menu plan is shaping up as follows:

Friday: BLTs wrapped in low carb tortillas and homemade tomato soup

Saturday: Kielbasa, kraut, rutabaga and carrots in slow cooker

Sunday:Taco Salad

I have a few new recipes in the pipeline. Waiting on a few things one of which is a new camera so I can take pictures again. That should arrive next week.

What's for dinner this weekend on your end?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Low Carb Salads: Grilled Chicken Salad


This salad is beyond simple, but also delicious. You probably already make it, but I thought I'd put the recipe up for anyone who doesn't know about the miracle of using Italian salad dressing to marinate meat.

Plus, I love the pic of this salad. So pretty!
Ingredients

  • Chicken
  • Italian salad dressing
  • Lettuce and veggies for salad

Tip: Grill some extra chicken so you have leftovers for lunch the next day.


Instructions

1.Marinate chicken in Italian Salad Dressing (generic brand costs about $1.20) overnight or for at least 6 hours.

2.Grill chicken.

3.Serve atop fresh greens with your choice of low carb salad dressing.

Note there's no cheese in this recipe. Which is nice. Because sometimes low carb salads rely too heavily on cheese for flavor. In this salad, all the flavor comes from the marinade.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Low Carb Salads: Asian Broccoli Coleslaw


This Asian inspired sweet-sour coleslaw recipe can be made ahead and munched on all week long. It does best if you make it the day before you plan to eat it, as this gives the flavors time to meld together.

The dressing should be made to taste, so consider the recipe amounts as a starting place and adjust flavor from there. You may want to add more soy sauce or ketchup or sweetener or vinegar depending on your taste buds.

Pair grilled chicken with this coleslaw for a filling low carb meal.

The recipe is part of my Scrumptious Salads ebook available on Amazon.com for just 99 cents.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Low Carb Kids: Another Toddler Lunch


The toddler had scrambled eggs with cheese, salsa and kiwi for lunch. She really enjoyed spooning the salsa onto her eggs.

The only drawback to this lunch was, I should have made more eggs!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Slow Cooker Low Carb: Longhorn Steakhouse Chili Recipe


I love the Longhorn chili and order it almost every time we go there. Even over and above steak, which is saying something.

Here's my interpretation of the Longhorn chili recipe using the slow cooker (or crockpot as some like to call it). It tastes pretty darn close to the real deal. Try it and tell me what you think.

If you haven't had Longhorn Steakhouse chili, it's an all meat chili with about 9g carbs (per their nutrition information) featuring large chunks of red pepper and sweet onion with a bright tomato flavor. Very yummy.

Note this is a two pan recipe. Sorry! I wish you could just dump everything in the slow cooker and go, but that's not how you get the best flavor. You're going to do some sauteing and then dump everything in the slow cooker with this recipe. The pan won't be too messy. Promise.

Ingredients for 4-6 servings
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, diced
  • 2 tbsps. chili powder
  • 1tbsp. cumin powder
  • 1 red pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 1 sweet onion quartered
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 jar medium salsa (any brand)
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil
  • Shredded cheddar cheese for garnish
Tip: Remember to not touch your eyes or other sensitive areas after handling jalapenos.

Instructions
1. Saute onion and jalapenos in olive oil in a pan over medium heat.

2.Add chili and cumin once the onion and jalapenos have started to brown. Stir.

3. Add ground beef, being careful not to mince it into small chunks. You want some small meatball sized pieces of beef, not finely ground beef, chunks make for a nicer chili. Brown for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring gently.

4.Transfer beef, onion, jalapenos and spices to a slow cooker. Gently stir in tomatoes, salsa, red pepper and onion.

Tip: Put some water in your pan for easier cleaning.

5.Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Low Carb Kids: The Lunch the Toddler Made for Herself


This is what my toddler choose to have for lunch the other day. Not too shabby.

-Greek yogurt with some reduced sugar strawberry jam and vanilla mixed in

-Kiwi

-Lettuce with ranch dressing and 1tbsp shredded cheese

She ate every bite.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Low Carb Meals:Faking Palak Paneer the Quick and Easy Way


For those of you who have not yet had Indian food, Palak Paneer consists of cubes of cheese and fresh spinach in a tomato sauce. It's yummy. It's vegetarian for those of us who want to do a low carb vegetarian meal and I pulled it together in 30 minutes, from start to finish.

While this Palak Paneer is not exactly authentic as I had to make some substitutions and took liberties with spice choices, but it is delicious, easy to make and a great addition to the low carb cooking repertoire. It builds on the Indian Butter Chicken recipe I posted previously.

(By the way, for the uninitiated who want to try Indian cuisine, but don't have an Indian restaurant nearby, Amy's brand of organic frozen meals has a few Indian dishes. You could try one or two of those to see if you like the flavors.)

Ingredients for 6 to 8 servings
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp. ginger, minced (peel the remaining root and freeze for future use)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tsps. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth (vegetable broth if you're going for a strictly vegetarian meal)
  • 1 package fresh organic spinach
  • 1 cup cream (optional, traditionally palak paneer has no cream, but we happen to like it with cream, it's your call.)
  • 1 tbsps. butter
  • 1 pkg. Queso Fresco cheese (this is a Mexican cheese that is similar to the Indian paneer cheese, but unlike paneer, Queso Fresco is readily available at most grocery stores.)
Other ideas: Grated zucchini would be a good way to boost the veggie content of this dish.

Instructions

1.Saute onion, 3 tbsp. ginger and jalapeno pepper in butter until browned.

2.Add in 2 minced garlic cloves, 4 tsps. garam masala, 2 tsp. chili powder, 2 tsp. cardamom, 1 tsp. coriander. Saute for 1 minute.

3.Pour in chicken broth and scrape bottom of pan to get up the brown bits.

4. Add in spinach (plus zucchini if you're using it) and let simmer until wilted.

5. Add tomato paste and stir until combined.

6.Add in cream followed by cheese, stirring until warm. Note: Don't 'cook' it with the cheese as the cheese will get soft. Add the cheese, stir to heat and remove from stove.

7. Serve over cauliflower (mashed, riced, etc...).