Monday, January 31, 2011

Bowl Lickin' Indian Butter Chicken

I love Indian cuisine. Love love love LOVE. If I could bathe in curry, I would. Unfortunately, making Indian food at home has not been easy for me. For years, I've read recipes and daydreamed, but never found one that met me where I was at as a cook.

Well, this past week, that all changed as I finally found a recipe that worked. This Indian Butter Chicken is easy to make, comes together quickly and will seduce you with its exotic flavor. It is richly satisfying.

Here's how good it is: My picky toddler? Took the bowl away from her father and ate his entire adult-sized portion. She licked the bowl.

Licked. The. Bowl.

Made her momma proud, oh yes she did.

Note that the recipe does require a bit of an investment in spices, roughly $20 by my calculations. However, if you love Indian food as much as I do, it's worth it.
  • 4 chicken breasts cut into chunks
  • 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
  • 1 cup cream
  • 4 tbsps. butter
  • Fresh cilantro
Optional: Fresh spinach which can be added to the sauce to boost the nutritional value.


1.Saute onion, 3 tbsp. ginger and jalapeno pepper 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 2 minutes.

3.Add tomato paste and chicken broth, stir to combine.

4.Add in cream and turn burner down to low.

5.In a large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp oil and 1tbsp butter. When hot, add chicken and saute until brown.

6.Add sauce and remaining 3 tbsp butter and simmer until chicken is done, about 20 minutes. (If using spinach, add it once the chicken is cooked through.)

7. Serve over cauliflower (mashed, rice, etc...) and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Yummy Low Carb Breakfast Photo

Had a delish breakfast today. 2 eggs scrambled in 1tbsp butter with 2 tbsp shredded cheese and fresh black berries on the side.


What did you have for breakfast today?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Low Carb Salads: Longhorn BLT Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Recently my husband was out of town for a week on business and it was just me and one very high energy toddler.

I took her swimming, to the library, to gym class, to dance class, to the store. Basically trotting all over town to keep her occupied.

One night, I just couldn't face cooking so we went to Longhorn, where I love love love their chili (totally low carb too at 9g carb per bowl). I also tried their BLT salad which made me check to be sure I hadn't died and gone to Low Carb Heaven. Sooooooo delish and it looked simple enough that I was pretty sure I could re-create it at home.

Here's the recipe. You HAVE to try this. The flavors are perfect for a salad and this would be an excellent choice for when people come over for dinner.

The combination of bacon with the creamy tang of ranch dressing and the dry saltiness of the cheese followed by the tart sweetness of the balsamic glaze is fantastic. This is really something special.

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

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Low Carb Garden Veggie Roll Ups with Bacon

So the other day I posted the veggie cracker stacker recipe which makes a boat load of Ranch cream cheese spread.

Here's a tasty way to use that spread. I made these as a snack, but if you pack in enough bacon, you can make a meal.

Ingredients for however many you want to make:
  • Leafy lettuce such as green leaf or red leaf or romaine.
  • Veggies of your choice. We used carrots and peppers.
  • Bacon--1 to 2 slices per roll up.
  • Ranch cream cheese spread. (Click link for recipe.)


1.Wash and prep your veggies while the bacon cooks in the oven (390F for 15-18 minutes).

2.Smear cream cheese on lettuce, layer with bacon and veggies, roll up and eat.


Monday, January 24, 2011

MTM: Quesadilla Lunch for Toddlers (and Adults!) Plus How to Make Guacomole

Here's our lunch today. A low glycemic fiesta with a low carb cheese quesadilla, homemade guacomole and fresh salsa (from the store).

Also, blueberries!!!! Squeeee! We love blueberries around these parts.

Not too much sugar. 10+ grams of fiber for the entire lunch and two servings of veggies.

If you haven't made guacomole before, it's super simple and a wonderful, fresh addition to your meals.

It's also something that's fun to do with toddlers. I let mine squeeze the lime while I prepped all the ingredients. She also got to stir and mash the avocado as well as add the salt. That passes for High Excitement in our house.

Ingredients for 2 servings:
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 garlic clove put through a presss
  • 1/2 a lime
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro to taste

1.Take a knife and run it in a circle around the avocado. Twist to pull apart from the large pit in the middle. With a spoon, scoop the avocado into a bowl.

2.Mash the avocado with a fork.

3.Squeeze lime over avocado.

4.Add some dashes of salt, the garlic and cilantro.

5.Taste and add more salt, lime or garlic as necessary.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Low Carb Dumpling Recipe

Finally the dumpling recipe is ready!

Sorry the pics aren't great. Have I mentioned my camera is like 5 years old, which is ancient tech these days and the flash is like a car dealer spot light? It whites out everything.

Any way the recipe is an adaptation of the Matzo ball recipe from the Elana's Pantry cookbook.

Things you can make with this recipe include:

Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken Paprikash
Matzo Ball soup

Some experimental ideas:

Mac 'n' cheese 'gnocchi' type dumplings
'Gnocchi' with meat sauce

The dumplings are also simple to make and a really great addition to my repertoire of low carb recipes.

Ingredients for 16 to 18 dumplings for 5-6 servings (approximately 3-4g carbs per dumpling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup almond flour


1.Beat the eggs until fluffy.

2.Add the spices and almond flour.

3.Put dough in the freezer for 30 minutes or the fridge for an hour or two. You can get by with less chilling time, but forming the dumplings will be messier. If aesthetics are important to you, chill the dumplings.

NOTE: My dumplings were chilled in the fridge for maybe 15 minutes. I made them while also simultaneously giving a very tired toddler a bath. I did not have time for chilling. I'm not just talking about the dumplings either!

4.Bring a pot of water to a boil.

5.Form all your dumplings at the same time so they can go into the water about the same time.

6.Steam, with the lid on, for about 8 to 10 minutes. They will puff up and you'll see air pockets inside when cut, this means they are done.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

MTM: Veggie Cracker Stackers Like Winning the Mom Olympics

MTM stands for Muffin Tin Monday which is a thing where parents make amazing lunches in muffin tins.

It can get quite creative.

However, there is often a dearth of veggies and a heavy focus on carbs, so I thought I would submit this carb conscious meal with the veggie cracker stackers.

Okay, yes, those are chicken nuggets. They aren't too bad carb count wise. About 15g. My toddler actually didn't eat them. She fed them to the dogs. All she ate where the veggie cracker stackers and the kiwi. We are having a ton of success over here with these, she readily eats them and gets a full serving of raw, fresh veggies.

I am over the moon.

This is like winning the Mom Olympics.

Here's what they look like when they aren't stuffed in a muffin cup.

How to make veggie cracker stackers:

  • Crackers--I used 5 Wheat Thins Fiber Select Garden Veggie flavor.
  • 8 oz (1pkg) cream cheese
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1/2 package of Hidden Valley Ranch mix
  • Veggies of your choice.
  • Cheese of your choice.


1.Nuke the cream cheese until soft, about 30 to 45 seconds.

2.Mix in the Ranch seasoning and 1/2 cup of sour cream, stir until combined.

3.Rinse and prep your veggies.

4.Using the Ranch cheese mix as 'glue' layer veggies and cheese on a cracker. Just a dab will do ya (and you'll have leftover cheese spread which can be used for other things or throughout the week to make more stackers. If that much leftover worries you, halve the cream cheese and sour cream amounts.)

Also, kids are great at making their own stackers so be sure to invite them to participate.

For low carbing parents, it would be very easy to make a LC garden veggie pizza on a Wasa cracker (you can even use those for the kids, but I like the small precut crackers better). Or check out my low carb nachos which are in a similar vein.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Low Carb Swedish Meatballs

Okay, first, don't shoot me. I know people are waiting on the dumpling recipe. Here's the problem, I don't have any chicken. None. We tried to stop at Costco and they had the nerve to close for New Year's Day and we haven't been back (it's a bit of a trip). The local grocery store sells chicken I wouldn't feed to my dogs--frozen, refrozen and then sold at top dollar to unsuspecting consumers.

So. No dumplings. Yet.

But a Costco run is in the cards for later this week.

Sorry for the delay.

In the meantime, I'm cooking from my freezer stash and came up with a low carb Swedish Meatball that is so good, I hope you will be tempted to forgive me on the dumpling delay.


  • 1 package ground turkey (around 1.5-2 lbs)
  • 2 onions finely diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cans chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup flour (or use thicknthin low carb thickener)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tbsps. butter (optional)

1.Cover bottom of frying pan with thin layer of olive oil, add in butter and let heat on medium heat. Preheat oven to 350F.

2.Moving fast, because the oil is heating, mix 1 onion, the egg, the spices and the meat. (If you don't like playing Beat the Clock when cooking, just mix up the meat first.)

3.Form meatballs and drop into pan.

4.Fry until brown on all sides. The meatballs are delicate so be gentle when turning them. A few will probably fall apart but that's okay.

5.Remove meatballs from pan and place in casserole dish.

6.Add the remaining onion and chicken stock to the frying pan. Scrape brown bits off bottom of pan.

7.Add in cream followed by flour and whisk rapidly to avoid lumps.

8.Pour gravy over meatballs.

9.Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve as is or over a low carb pasta or mashed cauliflower.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cajun Bleu Burger

This is a super tasty and simple burger recipe for those times you want something different. They have a nice kick from the Cajun spices followed by the sharpness of bleu cheese.


-Note: Quantities are per burger. Multiply by the number of people you are feeding to get total amounts.
-Ground beef 20% fat (or turkey if that is your thing)
-2 tbsp Bleu cheese crumbles per burger
-1 tbsp Onion, very finely chopped per burger
2 tsp or 1 tbsp per burger of Cajun seasoning blend (I've seen a few different brands and used them all)


1.Hand mix ingredients until blended.

2.Form patties and cook.

3.Serve with caramelized onions and consider melting some cheddar cheese on top. Bacon would be good too.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Low Carb Breakfast Ideas

Every New Year has people resolving to lose weight and many try a low carb diet, but have no idea what to eat.

Breakfast seems to be an especially challenging meal for many new low carbers. Particularly those that don't care for eggs.

I don't like eggs either, although I do eat them and even enjoy them at times. So I am a good person to ask "what should I eat for breakfast, if I don't like eggs?"

Here are some ideas.

1.Full fat cottage cheese. Just watch the amount as you don't want to over indulge. A serving is 1/2 cup.

2.Almond flour flax muffins. I make both a low carb chocolate muffin and low carb pumpkin cranberry muffin that even people who aren't low carbing love. These are not induction legal, but if you are really struggling with what to eat for breakfast and really hate eggs, they are a good option.

These muffins are also a good introduction to gluten free low carb baking and keep in the fridge for more than a week, making them a great on-the-go breakfast option.

3.Bacon Pepper Poppers. These could easily be assembled the night before and popped into the oven right before your morning shower.

4.Slice of cheese. Not usually enough calories, but fast and easy which is sometimes all you have time for

5.Bacon and sausage. Yes they are processed meats and salty, but still a good choice for breakfast. Now, if you eat them day in and day out all year long, that could be a problem, but once or twice a week is not bad. Also another food you can toss in the oven right before your shower. And easy to eat on the go.

Oh, speaking of processed meats, sometimes I buy a European salami (I'm lucky to live in a area with lots of European food stores) and just eat that in the morning with some cheese.

6.Leftovers or regular meals. This is the main piece of breakfast advice veteran low carbers give to newbies, however, I know I am picky in the morning. The last thing I want is roast beef, but this suggestion may work for you. There are few meals I like to eat in the morning for breakfast, chicken piccata for example always sounds like a good idea to my stomach at 6am.

Keep in mind not everything listed here is allowed on induction for most low carb diets. However, I have always played fast and loose with what was allowed for breakfast and never had a problem losing weight. Unless you have serious insulin resistance (and mine is pretty bad) I think you'll be okay. So if you are a picky morning eater like me, these ideas may help keep you on plan.

By the way, if you are not a picky eater, you should probably be eating eggs. (Try them hardboiled with a bit of butter on top. I set the water to boil while I get ready in the morning.)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Suggested Low Carb Diet Menu for the Beginner

Welcome to low carb eating. Also known as Primal, Paleo, Atkins, and South Beach. Whatever the name, they are all the same; a low carb diet.

If you have never been on a low carb diet before, you may be wondering what you should eat. Maybe you are a little stumped about how to make a low carb menu plan.

Well here is a basic menu plan that will keep you satisfied and away from carbs.

Eggs-scrambled, fried, hardboiled or poached--topped with a very small amount of cheese and served with bacon or sausage.

For mornings on the go, hardboiled seems to be easiest. Set the water to boil and go do something else to get ready to leave. Pop the eggs in for 10 minutes, do something else. Let cool and then crack and eat just before you're out the door. (Also cut in half and put a smidge of butter on top, delish!)

After you've done a week or two with eggs, you can switch to the low carb chocolate muffins for breakfast.

There are also low carb pancakes. But these are for after you've done a strict low carb diet for a while.

Tip: If you get bored with eggs, try scrambled eggs with a bit of cheese melted on top served with fresh salsa.

Lunch: Salad with protein
-Taco Salad
-Bacon Spinach Salad
-Greek Salad
-Chicken Cesar salad
-Cobb salad
-Tex Mex Flank Steak salad with roasted jalapeno onion chutney

Tip: Low carb dressings include; ranch, bleu cheese and cesar.

Dinner: Protein with green vegetable
-Roasted chicken with green beans
-Steak and asparagus...with butter
-Low Carb Chicken wings with celery and dip on the side
-Bunless burgers topped with swiss and sauteed mushrooms and onions
-Spaghetti meatballs with no pasta (use parmesan cheese instead of bread crumbs in the meatballs) and broccoli on the side
-Green bean casserole with chicken
-Pork with gravy and mashed cauliflower
-Ground Turkey Moussaka

-Celery with bleu cheese dressing
-Swiss Miss Diet Hot Chocolate
-Pepper Poppers
-Lunch meat wrapped around cheese

If you are on a specific plan it is best to follow your plan, but I well remember how overwhelming the learning curve was. This menu will keep you out of trouble until you assimilate all the ins and outs of your low carb diet.

Also, see this link on Low Carb treats and snacks which will give you even more ideas.

Good luck!

Low Carb Kids: Lunch with Vegetables that Were Actually Consumed! By Actual Children!

Here's the lunch I made my toddler today and it was a major SCORE! I am a very happy momma.

The menu?

  • Low Carb Swedish meatballs (recipe forthcoming)
  • Kiwi
  • Veggie stacker crackers
  • Water

The veggie stacker crackers were a divine inspiration. I used a garden veggie cream cheese as glue for a lettuce-cheese-lettuce stack.

Yes there were crackers. The highest fiber ones I could find. Small ones and I'm okay with some carbs in the toddler's diet.

The toddler helped assemble the crackers which helped pique her interest in actually eating them. I also promised her she wouldn't even taste the lettuce, which was true.

I have lots of ideas on how to expand on this idea. Finally a Good Idea when it comes to getting toddlers to eat their veggies.

By the way, here's my lunch. Which was equally delish. Swedish meatballs and sliced green pepper with some garden ranch dip.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


One thing I've never missed since going low carb is a hamburger bun. I just don't miss it. I actually prefer my burgers without buns.

I've also found that I really love to caramelize onions* in the oven and eat them on top of my burgers. So so so good.

How do you like your low carb burgers?

*Just slice the onions, toss with some olive oil and roast until brown at 390F to 400F. Takes about 20 minutes.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Leftover Ham Quiche-Souffle

This is what you do with leftover holiday ham, make a quiche-souffle. There's no fixed recipe, it's whatever you have on hand.

-around 10 Eggs
-around 1/3 to 1/2 cup Heavy whipping cream
-Chopped veggies (1 onion and 1 red pepper this time)
-1 cup shredded Cheese
-around 1 cup chopped Ham

The most important thing is to have enough eggs that the batter is a bit soupy. Not a lot soupy, but a bit, like a river full of flood debris. There's a lot of stuff, but still enough liquid to slush around.

Mix vigorously and bake at 350F until it looks as lovely as the picture here.

Done = Not jiggly in the center. Can take up to an hour.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Low Carb Meals: Pork in Mushroom Gravy with Mashed Cauliflower

Here's a simple meal that will stick to your ribs. I have become a big fan of pork chops with gravy and have come up with a spice blend for pork chops that is really tasty.

Ingredients for 4-6 servings

For the pork chops:
  • 6 Pork chops
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • Button mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbsps. flour

For the cauliflower:
  • 2 bags frozen cauliflower
  • 1 pkg. cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar
  • Durkee fried onions

1. Oil large frying pan and heat on medium heat.

2.Chop onion and throw into pan.

3.Mix dry spices on plate and dip pork chops to coat.

4.Sear pork chops until brown. 2 minutes each side.

5.Transfer pork chops to casserole dish.

6.Add mushrooms to onions in pan and saute.

7. Add the stock and scrape pan before adding cream and whisking in the flour.

Note: Don't reduce to gravy in the pan, just heat to incorporate, the gravy will cook down in the oven.

8.Pour gravy over chops.

9.Bake at 350F for about 40-45 minutes.

10. When you start to heat the oil in the frying pan for the chops, heat water to boil and cook the cauliflower until done.

11. Once chops are in the oven, mash the cauliflower with the cream cheese. (Don't dawdle here, you want to get this into the oven so it's done the same time as the chops!)

12. Mix in cheese and transfer to casserole dish.

13. Top with Durkee fried onions and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Did You Know? Bacon Cornucopias

My big food frustration this winter has been the lack of Hungarian Hot peppers. Or any mild-medium hot pepper with which to make pepper poppers.

Darn it.

So one day I threw caution to the wind and just wrapped some bacon around blobs of cream cheese.


Wouldn't have guessed that I would never miss the peppers.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Low Carb Dumpling Preview

Here is a pic of the low carb dumplings.Hard to get an attractive pic when chicken and dumplings, by definition, is slop in a bowl, but I tried.

See the paprika? That's me trying to make slop look like a supermodel.

I need another photo shoot. And a new camera.

I just have not had time to make them again--meal planning has not been my friend lately. But I did want to share this pic, a beacon of hope to all who just want to eat chicken and dumpling low carb style.

The recipe is coming. I promise.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Low Carb Salads: Face Planting into a Bacon Egg Spinach Salad

This salad is currently my favorite and I don't even like spinach! Yet I want to face plant into the salad bowl like I'm a competitive eater every time I make it.

It's a sweet-salty-savory salad. The dressing is a homemade French. This is an excellent main dish salad (add more eggs and bacon) as well as pot luck dish.

The recipe is originally from my step-grandmother, a lovely woman who has a large collection of vintage recipes. After much distraught begging on my part, she finally sent me the recipe from one of her 1950s era cookbooks.

And I am sharing it with you.

You don't even have to beg!

I know there are other versions of this salad on the internet, but I could not find the exact recipe so I think this is the first time this particular combination of ingredients has appeared on the web. This is also why you must try this salad, it's like nothing you've ever had before.

Go on. Experience the urge to face plant in a bowl of lettuce. I dare you.

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

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Low Carb Salads: Greek Salad Opa!

This Greek Salad comes together in just a few minutes. The fresh flavor is a great way to start detoxing from all the excesses of the holidays.

It reminds me of a lot of Panera's Greek Salad with the salt and vinegar flavor notes, but with many many more veggies.

The only thing is the leftovers won't keep too well so make only what you can eat in one sitting.

This recipe is part of my Scrumptious Salads ebook available on for just 99 cents.