Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chicken and Brussels Sprouts

Chicken and Brussels SproutsI never much liked Brussels sprouts growing up. It wasn't something we ate often and its reputation as a "yucky" food didn't help much. In college, I attended a Thanksgiving dinner with another family and was served some Brussels sprouts in cream sauce. They were delicious. Here is a non-creamy, low-carb, still delicious way I now enjoy eating them. As an added bonus, the kids love it, too!

2 chicken boneless, skinless breasts (1 lb)
3 T oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2½ c Brussels sprouts, halved (8 oz)
¼ c chopped red pepper (1½ oz)
2 T lime juice
2 T soy sauce
  1. Cook chicken in a large frying pan with 1 T oil over medium heat until juices run clear, turning once (about 15 min)
  2. Remove chicken from pan and add garlic, sprouts, and peppers, sauté for one minute or until garlic is fragrant
  3. Add remaining coconut oil, lime juice, and soy sauce; cover and let cook for 5-7 minutes or until sprouts are just tender
  4. Cut chicken into 1- to 2- inch pieces and add back to the pan
  5. Continue to cook, uncovered until the sauce thickens (about 5 min)
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size ¼ recipe (approx. 1 c)
Serving per Recipe 4
Amount per Serving
Calories 224
Total Fat 10.9 g
  Saturated Fat 8.9 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 55 mg
Sodium 696 mg
Potassium 253 mg
Total Carbohydrates 7.5 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
  Sugars 2.0 g
Protein 25.7 g

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reader Questions

I've actually gotten two e-mails this week with questions from readers of this blog! I'm humbled to see that more people than just family members are actually enjoying my recipes. Thanks!

    Q: How many carbs a day do you have in your diet?

I've found that I do best keeping it under 40 net carbs (total carbohydrate grams minus dietary fiber grams) each day. Most of my recipes are at or under 10 net carbs per serving, which allow me to have 1-2 servings at each meal and an occasional snack or sweet treat as well.

    Q: How I get access to ALL the recipes that you've posted from the weekly menus?

I haven't actually posted all of the recipes in my weekly menus yet. Often they have been recipes I'm trying out for the first time or still testing to improve. I'm also currently in the process of revising my weekly menus, and publishing just one a month, with a focus on recipes I've already posted.

If there is a particular dish you would like to make, please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail and I will be happy to post the recipe or let you know the status of it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Waffles

Pumpkin Pie WafflesI made my own pumpkin pie spice blend this year and it smells so wonderful, I've been using it for as many different pumpkiny foods as I can manage. These waffles were inspired by my new favorite spice and a leftover jack-o-lantern pumpkin that had been sitting on my counter.

1¼ c pecan halves (4½ oz)
4 T oil
1 t baking soda
1 t vinegar
½ t salt
4 eggs
¾ c mashed pumpkin (6 oz)
1 t pumpkin pie spice
¼ c dates (1½ oz)
  1. Puree together all ingredients until smooth
  2. Pour onto ungreased waffle iron by half-cup measure
  3. Bake each waffle for 2½-3 min or until golden
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 round waffle
Serving per Recipe 5
Amount per Serving
Calories 574
Total Fat 48.8 g
  Saturated Fat 16.9 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 9.6 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 18.8 g
Cholesterol 719 mg
Sodium 837 mg
Potassium 513 mg
Total Carbohydrates 11.8 g
  Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
  Sugars 6.8 g
Protein 26.9 g

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Fresh Salsa and Almond CrispsWhen we lived in Illinois, one of the local supermarkets made their own fresh salsa. It took me several recipe revisions, but I was finally able to recreate the yummy, fresh taste. Now that tortilla chips are off the menu, I eat it with Pecan Crackers or Almond Crisps.

8 medium Roma tomatoes (2 lbs)
1 small onion (5 oz)
2 garlic cloves
1 small jalapeño (½ oz)
½ bunch fresh cilantro (1 oz)
¼ t dried oregano
½ t salt
¼ t pepper
pinch cayenne
pinch cocoa powder
  1. Mince all ingredients and stir together. Alternately, pulse in a blender or food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Refrigerate 1 hour to overnight.
  3. Drain up to 1 c accumulated juices before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size ¼ c
Serving per Recipe 12
Amount per Serving
Calories 31
Total Fat 0.4 g
  Saturated Fat 0.1g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 108 mg
Potassium 296 mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.8 g
  Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
  Sugars 0.1 g
Protein 1.2 g

Monday, December 5, 2011

Deviled Eggs

Deviled EggsVersatile, naturally low-in-carbs, eggs are one of our favorite foods. When we're looking for something a little different than scrambled, boiled, baked or fried; we'll add a little devilment into the kitchen. We've brought this dish to a bunch of parties and, no matter how many dozen we carry over, we have yet to bring a single egg home.

1 doz eggs
½ c mayonnaise
2 t mustard
2 t vinegar
¼ t paprika
  1. Place eggs in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 min. Carefully remove to a bowl of ice water until cool enough to handle.
  2. Peel eggs and slice lengthwise. Remove yolks. Mash yolks together with mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar until smooth.
  3. Fill egg whites with two spoons or a piping bag. Sprinkle a pinch of paprika over each egg.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2 egg halves
Serving per Recipe 12
Amount per Serving
Calories 131
Total Fat 12.0 g
  Saturated Fat 2.6 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 2.0 g
Cholesterol 215 mg
Sodium 118 mg
Potassium 66 mg
Total Carbohydrates 0.7 g
  Dietary Fiber 0.0 g
  Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 6.4 g

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dark Chocolate Strawberry Pancakes

Dark Chocolate Strawberry PancakesI can't recall exactly what led up to the creation of this recipe beyond a chocolate craving one morning. But, really, does there need to be a reason to eat chocolate and strawberries?

⅔ c whole almonds (3 oz)
4½ t coconut oil
3 T cocoa powder
1½ c strawberries (6 oz)
¼ c dates (1½ oz)
4 eggs
½ t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t vinegar
1 t vanilla
  1. Puree together ingredients until smooth
  2. Pour batter by ¼ c onto lightly-greased griddle over medium heat
  3. Cook for 5-6 min, turning once
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2 pancakes
Serving per Recipe 6
Amount per Serving
Calories 195
Total Fat 14.4 g
  Saturated Fat 4.7 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 6.2 g
Cholesterol 123 mg
Sodium 451 mg
Potassium 286 mg
Total Carbohydrates 11.7 g
  Dietary Fiber 3.8 g
  Sugars 6.8 g
Protein 8.0 g

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Changes Around Here

It's been a while since I've updated this blog. A few different things happened rather all at once a few months ago.
  1. I ran out of well-tested recipes
  2. I began posting to this blog after about three months of low-carb eating. During those first months, I'd built up a pretty good stash of recipes that had been working well for us. Unfortunately, posting a new recipe every day, I quickly ran through my collection of go-to goodies. I tried to keep up for a few weeks, making sure I had at least one untried recipe on the menu every day, but that only worked so long as the recipes turned out well the first time. I do have a pretty good knack for "sight-eating" (figuring out how a dish will taste just by reading the recipe), but I'm not good enough that I can make it fabulous each and every time I try something new.

  3. I was feeling depressed about not eating very well for a few weeks (and having the not-so-great end-of-month measurements to show for it)
  4. The first couple of months after I started eating low-carb, I was overjoyed by the drops in weight and inches I was seeing. "This isn't so hard," I told myself. "How can anyone not stick to a diet that encourages eating bacon cheeseburgers?" Still, like many people who have spent years battling their weight, knowing what foods to eat and stocking the house with them isn't the whole issue. The fact that Adam discovered he could gorge on Halloween candy and still be losing weight did not help me one bit. I didn't actually eat any of the kids' Halloween candy, but even my favorite homemade chocolates ceased to be a low-carb treat when I ate enough of them.

  5. I decided to really start following a more paleo/primal concept, which meant I've been having to revise a lot of my recipes to cut out dairy, legumes, and so forth
  6. Just when I thought I had down this new way of eating, I had to come to grips with the fact that I really can't have dairy--especially the quantities in which I'd been consuming it! Even sticking to just cream and butter made from cow's milk and restricting cheeses to goat's or sheep's milk was leaving me with allergy symptoms. Finally, I broke down and bought a jar of coconut oil. For every use other than buttering my morning muffins, it has worked really well. I also found that almond or coconut milk can be substituted for cream is almost every instance, though some recipe tweaking is often necessary. Going without cheese is a little sadder for me, but it's at least a battle I've gone through once before. I've heard good things about the cheesy taste of nutritional yeast from my vegan friends, so maybe I'll try some of that eventually. Meanwhile, I've put the search for the perfect pizza crust on hold indefinitely.

  7. Since all that, I mostly just haven't gotten back into the habit
  8. I won't be going back to make changes to all my old recipes, but I do plan to revamp my categories a bit. For recipes that have changed significantly, I will post the new versions as I'm satisfied that they're fully tested. I've also decided to scrap the weekly menu lists. Given the regularity with which I've been creating new recipes, I plan to post only once or twice a week, so before long a weekly list of foods would end up overwhelming the actual recipe content of the blog.
All things considered, the past few months haven't been a complete waste. Since my last check in, I've lost another 15 pounds. My body fat has gone down by 3% and my BMI has dropped 3 points. I've also lost 2" at my waist and 2½" from my hips.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fudgy Cookie Bites

Fudgy Cookie BitesMy daughter wanted to make cookies the other day. I was in the mood for chocolate and peanut butter, but we only had a handful of peanuts in the house. I decided to try my idea with almond butter instead and I think it worked out pretty well. These are truly tiny, bite-sized cookies. My only problem is to keep from eating "just one" more!

1 c almond butter (9 oz)
¼ c cocoa powder
4 t oil
¼ c honey
½ t baking soda
1 egg
  1. Beat together all ingredients until well blended
  2. Form dough into 1" balls,* flatten slightly, and place ½" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet
  3. Bake at 350°F for 9-11 minutes, until set through
  4. Let cool on pan 2-3 min before removing to wire rack
*You could make a dozen 2" balls to make larger cookies if you prefer, simply bake them an additional 5-7 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 3 cookies
Serving per Recipe 12
Amount per Serving
Calories 172
Total Fat 13.4 g
  Saturated Fat 1.4 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 3.3 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 8.1 g
Cholesterol 15 mg
Sodium 131 mg
Potassium 195 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.9 g
  Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
  Sugars 6.9 g
Protein 5.6 g

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekly Menu #13

Sunday
Breakfast: Spiced Peach Pancakes
Lunch: Hamburgers with Fresh Salsa
Dinner: Pepperoni Pizza

Monday
Breakfast: Double Apple Muffins
Lunch: Ginger Pork Medallions
Dinner: Coconut Chicken Drumsticks

Tuesday
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and Bacon
Lunch: Baked Chicken and Green Beans
Dinner: Bacon Meatloaf Burgers

Wednesday
Breakfast: Raspberry Smoothies
Lunch: Breakfast Strata
Dinner: Beef Pot Roast

Thursday
Breakfast: Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Lunch: Cream of Mushroom Soup with Meatballs
Dinner: Citrus Pork

Friday
Breakfast: Maple Bacon Waffles
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Stuffed Peppers

Saturday
Breakfast: Sausage and Onion Omelets
Lunch: Bacon Apple Tart
Dinner: Roast Chicken and Creamed Spinach

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sweet Apple Tart

Almond Flour Pie CrustApparently it's "apple week" here on Real Food. This was one of the first things I made with the apples we picked at the local orchard. Adam had mentioned that apple pie sounded good for dessert, so I was inspired to see if I could make one. For a savory version of this dish, see my Bacon Apple Tart post from earlier this month.

Crust
1½ c finely ground almond flour (6 oz)
½ t salt
2 T cold butter
1 egg white
2 T ice water (approximately)
  1. Combine almond flour, salt, and butter with a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  2. Beat egg white with 2 t water and stir into flour mixture.
  3. Add remaining water 1 t at a time just until dough comes together.
  4. Press evenly into a 10” tart pan or pie plate.
Filling
1 T butter
1½ T honey
½ t cinnamon
¼ t nutmeg
1 egg yolk
3 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (12 oz)
  1. Melt together butter, spices, and honey over low heat.
  2. Beat egg yolk, pouring butter mixture in a thin stream until fully incorporated.
  3. Add apple slices and stir to coat.
  4. Arrange apples in an even layer atop crust.
  5. Cover loosely with foil and bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 30 min.
  6. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 min or until crust is golden and apples are tender.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 slice
Serving per Recipe 8
Amount per Serving
Calories 198
Total Fat 15.5 g
  Saturated Fat 3.7 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 1.4 g
Cholesterol 35 mg
Sodium 186 mg
Potassium 203 mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.7 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
  Sugars 8.3 g
Protein 5.4 g

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Double Apple Muffins

Double Apple MuffinsI got away from making muffins for a while after we got our new waffle maker. We got a new toy a couple of weeks ago--a standard-sized muffin tin--so I've been playing with that. This is one of my favorites, especially when the apples are fresh from the orchard.

⅔ c almond butter (6 oz)
6 T butter, softened
4 eggs
2 t honey
¼ t vanilla
½ c applesauce (4 oz)
2 T coconut flour (½ oz)
1½ t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
¼ t salt
1 c diced apple (4 oz)
  1. Blend together butters, eggs, honey, vanilla, and applesauce
  2. Stir coconut flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and salt with diced apple until well coated
  3. Combine apples with egg mixture
  4. Scoop by ¼-cup measure into a well-greased muffin pan
  5. Bake at 350°F for 35-40 min until deep golden brown.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2 muffins
Serving per Recipe 6
Amount per Serving
Calories 359
Total Fat 31.4 g
  Saturated Fat 10.8 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 4.7 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 13.9 g
Cholesterol 154 mg
Sodium 445 mg
Potassium 294 mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.9 g
  Dietary Fiber 4.4g
  Sugars 7.3 g
Protein 10.6 g

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weekly Menu #12

Sunday
Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Lunch: Sausage Focaccia Sandwiches
Dinner: Best Ever Beef Roast

Monday
Breakfast: Bananaberry Smoothies
Lunch: Bacon Apple Tart
Dinner: Spaghetti Squash Bolognese

Tuesday
Breakfast: Blackberry Yogurt
Lunch: Spinach Garlic Burgers
Dinner: Carolina BBQ Pork Medalions

Wednesday
Breakfast: Maple Bacon Waffles
Lunch: Baba Ghanoush
Dinner: Citrus Pork

Thursday
Breakfast: Gingered Carrot Muffins
Lunch: Breakfast Strata
Dinner: Wild Riced Casserole

Friday
Breakfast: Caramelized Peach Custard
Lunch: Honey Almond Granola Bars
Dinner: Meatballs with Tzatziki

Saturday
Breakfast: Sweet Cinnamon Popovers
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Garlic Pork

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mini Beef Soft Tacos

Mini Beef Soft TacosIn the season finale of MasterChef America last month, one of the contestants used blanched jicama slices to wrap spring rolls. It's been on my mind ever since to try jicama in place of tortillas. I finally did and I am please to share that it works fabulously!

1 lb ground beef
½ c chopped onions (3 oz)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ t chili powder
½ t ground cumin
¼ t pepper
2 t salt, divided
2 c chopped tomatoes (14 oz)
1 15-oz can black soybeans*, drained
1 lb jicama, peeled and thinly sliced
1 c shredded lettuce (2½ oz)
½ c mashed avocado (4 oz)
½ c shredded cheddar cheese (2 oz)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced (½ oz)

NOTE: If you can't find black soybeans, you may substitute black beans, increasing the net carbs to 4.5 g per taco.
  1. Brown ground beef with onions over medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic, spices, pepper, and ½ t salt. Sauté until fragrant (30-60 sec).
  3. Stir in tomatoes and soybeans. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20-30 min or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, boil 4 qts water with remaining salt. Add jicama slices and cook until very pliable, 8-10 min. Drain well.
  5. Divide beef mixture and lettuce among jicama slices. Top as desired with avocado, cheese, and jalapeño.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 loaded taco
Serving per Recipe about 24
Amount per Serving
Calories 107
Total Fat 7.5 g
  Saturated Fat 2.8 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 2.9 g
Cholesterol 19 mg
Sodium 230 mg
Potassium 195 mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.7 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
  Sugars 0.6 g
Protein 5.7 g

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sweet Cinnamon Popovers

Sweet Cinnamon PopoversOne of my early muffin tests resulted in a baked good reminiscent of fallen popovers. I stored away the idea for later and pulled it out a few weeks ago. A couple of tweaks here and there, et voilà perfectly popped popovers. A little cinnamon and honey make them an extra yummy treat!

Scant ½ c almond butter (4 oz)
4 T oil
6 eggs
¾ c almond milk
2 T honey
2 t cinnamon
½ t salt
  1. Blend ingredients until thick and frothy
  2. Pour into 12 well-greased popover or muffin cups
  3. Bake at 400°F for 40-45 min until puffed with crispy golden tops
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 popover
Serving per Recipe 12
Amount per Serving
Calories 145
Total Fat 12.2 g
  Saturated Fat 1.9 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 3.1 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 6.3 g
Cholesterol 93 mg
Sodium 175 mg
Potassium 121 mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.1 g
  Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
  Sugars 3.3 g
Protein 5.3 g

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Carolina Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Carolina Bourbon BBQ SauceA departure from sweeter tomato-based sauces, this lightly sweet and tangy mustard-based sauce is perfect if you're counting your carbs. I think it goes best with pork, but it's also good on chicken. The very first time I made it, I used it to marinate pork chops that I added to an Asian-style stir fry.

½ c yellow mustard
¼ c bourbon
1½ T honey
1 T melted butter
1½ t soy sauce
1½ t lemon juice
  1. Stir together all ingredients until completely blended.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2 T
Serving per Recipe about 8
Amount per Serving
Calories 55
Total Fat 2.0 g
  Saturated Fat 1.0 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 4 mg
Sodium 250 mg
Potassium 30 mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.8 g
  Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
  Sugars 3.4 g
Protein 0.7 g

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cauliflower Almond Butter Pizza Crust

Beef and Onion PizzaI still haven't found that just-right combination of flavor and texture that replicates a good pizza crust for me. Maybe I never will, but I keep trying. This one is good enough we've used it several times. I like the combination of ingredients because I feel like it's a little more nutritionally balanced than some recipes I've seen.

2¼ c cauliflower florets (8 oz)
Scant ¼ c almond butter (4 oz)
4 T butter
2 eggs
¾ c grated mozzarella cheese (3 oz)
  1. Grate cauliflower using a small-holed grater or grind in a food processor.
  2. Blend together cauliflower, butters, eggs, and cheese until well combined.
  3. Spread evenly onto a well-greased (or parchment-lined) 12" round pan or 9x13 pan.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 60 min.
  5. Top with your favorite ingredients and broil until cheese is bubbly.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 slice
Serving per Recipe 8
Amount per Serving
Calories 187
Total Fat 16.2 g
  Saturated Fat 5.7 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 7.2 g
Cholesterol 68 mg
Sodium 165 mg
Potassium 220 mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.5 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
  Sugars 0.7 g
Protein 7.9 g

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Maple Bacon Waffles

Maple Bacon WafflesBased on the food competition shows Adam and I tend to watch, bacon has settled in nicely as a fashionable accessory to otherwise sweet foods. Bacon being pretty well its own food group in our house, it seemed only natural to try it in my next waffle experiment. These were a big hit in our family. In fact, this was the first batch of waffles we completely polished off at one sitting. YUM!

8 slices bacon (½ lb)
⅔ c almond butter (6 oz)
6 eggs
4 T butter, softened
1½ t baking powder
3 T maple syrup
  1. Cook bacon until crisp. Drain between layers of paper towels.
  2. Blend together remaining ingredients until smooth.
  3. Crumble bacon into batter and stir until well mixed.
  4. Brush a small amount of butter or oil over cooking surface.
  5. Pour a generous ⅓ c batter onto waffle iron and cook for 2½-3 min.
  6. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing surface between every other waffle.
  7. Waffles may be enjoyed immediately or frozen and toasted.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 waffle
Serving per Recipe 7
Amount per Serving
Calories 338
Total Fat 28.2 g
  Saturated Fat 8.0 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 4.7 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 13.8 g
Cholesterol 184 mg
Sodium 439 mg
Potassium 305 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.8 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
  Sugars 6.3 g
Protein 13.5 g

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Weekly Menu #11

Sunday
Breakfast: Asparagus Omelet
Lunch: Roast Chicken and Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
Dinner: Sausage and Onion Focaccia

Monday
Breakfast: Breakfast Casserole
Lunch: Peanut Chicken
Dinner: Beef Roast with Roots

Tuesday
Breakfast: Granola Bars
Lunch: Baked Chicken and Green Beans Almondine
Dinner: Royal Egg Burgers

Wednesday
Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Lunch: Beef Jicama Tacos
Dinner: Carolina BBQ Ribs with Jicama Slaw

Thursday
Breakfast: French Toast
Lunch: Chicken Salad
Dinner: Meatloaf Burgers

Friday
Breakfast: Gingered Carrot Bread
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Washday Red Beans

Saturday
Breakfast: Bacon Maple Waffles
Lunch: Coconut Chicken Fingers
Dinner: Eggplant Romano

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Candies

Chocolate Peanut Butter CandiesWhen I found a recipe for homemade chocolate peanut butter cups recently, I wanted to try it immediately. The only problem was I didn't have any chocolate in the house. Well, that and the fact that each piece contains a full day's worth of carbs. I decided to make my own version and skip the cup entirely. This is now my new favorite chocolate candy!

3 T cocoa powder
1½ T butter, softened
1 T honey
3 T peanut butter
1 T heavy cream
  1. Beat 2½ T cocoa powder with other ingredients until smooth.
  2. Place in the freezer for 20-30 min until chocolate has set.
  3. Spread remaining cocoa powder in a flat dish.
  4. Remove mixture from freezer and form 1-in balls.
  5. Roll in cocoa powder to coat.
  6. Store in refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 candy
Serving per Recipe 9
Amount per Serving
Calories 69
Total Fat 5.4 g
  Saturated Fat 2.2 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 7 mg
Sodium 35 mg
Potassium 31 mg
Total Carbohydrates 3.9 g
  Dietary Fiber 0.9 g
  Sugars 2.1 g
Protein 1.7 g

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry PancakesAfter all the waffles we've been having lately, it was rather a treat to make pancakes for a change. This recipe makes nice fluffy cakes with just a touch of sweetness. I didn't even miss the maple syrup on top.

⅔ c almond butter (6 oz)
5 eggs
6 T butter
¼ t salt
1½ t baking powder
½ t cardamom
1 T honey
1 c blueberries (5 oz)
  1. Beat together first 7 ingredients until well combined.
  2. Fold in the blueberries.
  3. Pour by scant ¼ c onto greased griddle over medium heat.
  4. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2 pancakes
Serving per Recipe 6
Amount per Serving
Calories 354
Total Fat 30.7 g
  Saturated Fat 9.7 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 4.9 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 14.2 g
Cholesterol 185 mg
Sodium 457 mg
Potassium 298 mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.1 g
  Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
  Sugars 6.7 g
Protein 11.7 g

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bacon Apple Tart

Bacon Apple TartI had bookmarked a pastry crust recipe made with almond flour several weeks ago, but hadn't ever gotten around to making it. This week I had the wonderful combination of a fresh bag of apples straight off the tree, half a package of leftover bacon bought on sale, and nearly-free-to-me bulk walnuts. Adam called this dish "brilliant" and "amazing." He also told me Chef Ramsay would be proud.

Updated to note: If you're looking for something more appropriate for dessert, check out my Sweet Apple Tart recipe.

Crust
1 c walnuts (4 oz)
¼ t salt
1½ T cold butter
1 egg white
1 t icy water
  1. In a coffee grinder or food processor, pulse walnuts and salt until finely ground. Let cool in refrigerator 20 min.
  2. Combine ground walnuts and butter with a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  3. Beat egg white with water and stir into walnut mixture.
  4. Press evenly into an 8-in tart or springform pan.
Filling
6 strips bacon, diced (5 oz)
¼ c minced onion (2 oz)
1 T maple syrup
1 egg yolk
2 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (9 oz)
  1. Sauté together bacon and onion over medium-high heat until bacon is browned and crisp.
  2. Drain, reserving 1 T grease.
  3. Stir in syrup and reserved grease. Let cool for a few minutes.
  4. Beat egg yolk with a small spoonful of bacon mixture.
  5. Pour egg into pan and stir together until fully incorporated.
  6. Add apple slices and toss to coat.
  7. Arrange apples in even layers atop crust. Top with any remaining bacon mixture.
  8. Cover loosely with foil and bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 30 min.
  9. Remove foil and bake an additional 10-15 min or until crust is golden and apples are tender.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 slice
Serving per Recipe 8
Amount per Serving
Calories 193
Total Fat 16.4 g
  Saturated Fat 3.9 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 7.4 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 4.0 g
Cholesterol 35 mg
Sodium 179 mg
Potassium 112 mg
Total Carbohydrates 9.0 g
  Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
  Sugars 1.9 g
Protein 4.6 g

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Washday Red Beans

Washday Red BeansI attended grad school, very briefly, in Louisiana. On my first visit, the head of the department took me out to lunch. Not being a big seafood fan, I chose red beans and rice. I was told I'd chosen a classic Louisiana dish that was traditionally served on Mondays, washdays. I found polish sausage on sale last week and was really craving red beans and rice. This dish isn't quite authentic, but it comes close enough to make my taste buds happy.

1½ lbs yellow squash
1 t salt, divided
½ c chopped onion (2 oz)
¾ c chopped green bell pepper (4 oz)
1 c chopped celery (4 oz)
1 T oil
14 oz polish sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced
½ c canned red beans, undrained (4½ oz)
½ t thyme
½ t black pepper
½ t cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
2 T butter
  1. Using a julienne peeler or a sharp knife, make long, thin noodles from squash skin and flesh. Cut noodles into ½-in pieces.
  2. Sprinkle squash with ½ t salt, stir to combine, and set aside.
  3. Sauté onion, pepper, and celery in oil over medium high heat until softened.
  4. Add sausage and cook until browned.
  5. Pour in beans, thyme, peppers, bay leaf, and remaining salt. Add enough water to cover contents. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and let simmer uncovered 2 hours, stirring occasionally. (Add more water as needed).
  7. Drain squash well. Sauté in butter over medium high heat until tender (6-8 min).
  8. Serve sausage and beans atop squash.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size ¼ recipe
Serving per Recipe 4
Amount per Serving
Calories 467
Total Fat 37.9 g
  Saturated Fat 14.5 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 4.5 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 16.5 g
Cholesterol 85 mg
Sodium 1630 mg
Potassium 720 mg
Total Carbohydrates 15.2 g
  Dietary Fiber 5.1 g
  Sugars 2.6 g
Protein 17.1 g

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pecan Crackers

Pecan CrackersI was in the mood for a savory sort of snack the other evening. Looking online, I found a simple recipe for almond crackers that looked like it would do the trick. Upon opening up the cupboard, I discovered we didn't have any almonds I could use. Instead, I decided to try it with some pecans. They were so good, Adam and I (okay, in all fairness, mostly I) gobbled up the entire batch while watching The Marriage Ref on Hulu.

1 c chopped pecans (4 oz)
1 egg white
½ t salt
  1. Using a coffee grinder or food processor, pulse pecans until they form a fine meal.
  2. Stir in egg white and ¼ t salt until thoroughly combined.
  3. Divide dough into quarters. Roll each quarter into an 8x8 square between two pieces of parchment. Set on baking sheets and carefully peel off top parchment layer.
  4. Using a pizza cutter, slice each square of dough into 2-in crackers.
  5. Sprinkle remaining salt evenly over crackers.
  6. Bake at 325°F for 10-12 min until crisp and lightly golden.
  7. Let cool a few minutes on a wire rack before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 oz (16 crackers)
Serving per Recipe 4
Amount per Serving
Calories 200
Total Fat 20.4 g
  Saturated Fat 1.8 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 6.1 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 11.6 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 304 mg
Potassium 116 mg
Total Carbohydrates 3.9 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.7 g
  Sugars 1.1 g
Protein 3.6 g

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sausage Scramble

Sausage ScrambleI had been planning to make my Breakfast Strata a few weeks ago, but I hadn't gotten around to baking any Ozark Muffins for the bread layer. I was also running late and getting hungry. In other words, I didn't have the patience to wait an hour for dinner to bake. Instead, I created this dish as a quicker stovetop version of our usual breakfast casserole.

1 lb bulk sausage
½ c chopped onion (2 oz)
1 c grated jicama (5 oz)
2 c chopped spinach, well packed (5 oz)
8 eggs
½ c shredded cheddar cheese (2 oz)
  1. Brown sausage in a large pan over medium high heat. Drain, reserving 2-3 T grease.
  2. Add onions and jicama. Cook until vegetables are soft.
  3. Add spinach and continue cooking until wilted.
  4. Beat eggs with cheese until well blended.
  5. Add to pan and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until eggs are set.
  6. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 c
Serving per Recipe 6
Amount per Serving
Calories 449
Total Fat 37.4 g
  Saturated Fat 13.8 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 4.4 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 16.6 g
Cholesterol 310 mg
Sodium 781 mg
Potassium 428 mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.9 g
  Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
  Sugars 0.5 g
Protein 22.0 g

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Weekly Menu #10

Sunday
Breakfast: Blueberry Pancakes
Lunch: Bacon Burgers with Shoestring Carrot Fries
Dinner: Roast Chicken and Garlic Mash

Monday
Breakfast: Bacon Onion Omelets
Lunch: Pan-fried Chicken with Cream of Broccoli Soup
Dinner: Washday Red Beans

Tuesday
Breakfast: Banana Waffles
Lunch: Bacon Apple Tart
Dinner: Garlic Spinach Stuffed Burgers

Wednesday
Breakfast: Applesauce Bread
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: Beef Roast with Roots

Thursday
Breakfast: Faux-tato Pancakes
Lunch: Egg Salad
Dinner: Hot Dogs and Apple Chips

Friday
Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Waffles
Lunch: Honey Mustard Drumsticks
Dinner: Beef Sausage Scramble

Saturday
Breakfast: Gingered Carrot Waffles
Lunch: Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Brats
Dinner: Meatball Focaccia

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pesto Green Beans

Pesto Green BeansGreen beans have been on sale at our local grocery store for about three weeks running. We have, let's just say, an abundance of green beans in our house right now. Adam deserves the credit for this recipe as I'm not sure I ever would have thought to put a green sauce on green beans. Had I never tried it, though, I'd have missed out on a very nice side dish.

12 oz green beans
¼ c Spinach-Walnut Pesto
1 T butter
2 T water
  1. Steam beans for 4-6 min or until just tender.
  2. Stir together beans, pesto, butter, and water over medium heat. Simmer until thickened (about 5 min).
  3. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size ⅔ c
Serving per Recipe 4
Amount per Serving
Calories 118
Total Fat 9.9 g
  Saturated Fat 2.9 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.6 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 4.8 g
Cholesterol 9 mg
Sodium 73 mg
Potassium 221 mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.7 g
  Dietary Fiber 3.2 g
  Sugars 0.1 g
Protein 2.5 g

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Apple Chips

Apple ChipsOne of my favorite snacks is Carrot Chips. I've found the process works well with jicama and radishes, too. After a trip to our local orchard, we came home with a big bag of apples and a head full of apple recipes. This is the first one we tried. Yum.

2 medium apples (12 oz)
Oil for deep frying
½ t cinnamon
  1. Heat oil in a deep pan or electric fryer to 400°F.
  2. While oil is heating, core apples and slice thinly, less than ⅛-in thick.
  3. Deep fry carrot strips in small batches for 4-6 minutes or until deep golden brown and the edges are crispy, turning once.
  4. Remove to paper towels and sprinkle with cinnamon. Chips crisp as they cool.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 oz
Serving per Recipe about 6
Amount per Serving
Calories 74
Total Fat 4.6 g
  Saturated Fat 0.8 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 2.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 0.0 mg
Potassium 66 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.8 g
  Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
  Sugars 5.7 g
Protein 0.1 g

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Monthly Check In #2

Measuring TapeI was worried that this month I wouldn't see vast improvements in my metrics. I had gone over my self-prescribed 40 net carbs on a number of days. As I stepped on the scale (now that we have one) periodically throughout the month, I was disappointed to see how little weight I seemed to be losing.

Still, it wasn't all bad.

My highlights for August:
  • I lost 2½" from my waist and another 2½" from my hips
  • I did end up losing a total of 9 lbs over the course of the month
  • My body fat percentage went down 4%
  • My BMI dropped 1 point

Monday, August 29, 2011

Stuffed Peppers

Recipe Image Not AvailableI never much liked traditional stuffed peppers. With four red peppers in my refrigerator on the verge of getting too old to eat, however, I couldn't think of anything else to make. Since the traditional rice filling was out, I grated up some squash seed cores left over from a meal of Mock-aroni and Cheese I'd made earlier. I thought it tasted better than any other stuffed peppers I've had.

4 red bell peppers (1 lb)
1 lb ground beef
¼ c chopped onion (1½ oz)
1 clove garlic
½ c shredded yellow squash (4 oz)
1 egg, beaten
½ c grated Romano, divided (1 oz)
  1. Cut tops from peppers and remove seeds and ribs.
  2. Dice pepper tops. Sauté with beef, onion, garlic, and squash until beef is browned and vegetables have softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Boil 3 qts water. Set peppers in boiling water for 3-5 min until they turn bright red. Remove and let cool.
  4. Mix egg and ¼ c cheese into filling.
  5. Stand peppers in an 9x9 pan and spoon filling evenly among them. Top each with 1 T cheese.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 min or until cooked through.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 pepper
Serving per Recipe 4
Amount per Serving
Calories 441
Total Fat 33.7 g
  Saturated Fat 13.8 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.6 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 14.3 g
Cholesterol 150 mg
Sodium 185 mg
Potassium 376 mg
Total Carbohydrates 9.2 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
  Sugars 5.4 g
Protein 24.3 g

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bacon Chicken Kiev

Bacon Chicken KievBacon-Wrapped Stuffed Brats worked so well, I thought I'd branch out and try it with a non-pork-based meat product. I'd never made Chicken Kiev, or even eaten it, so when I looked up a few recipes, I was surprised to discover that the traditional method coats the chicken breast in breadcrumbs. I decided to skip that step entirely and just stick to the bacon.

2 cloves garlic
½ t salt
½ c butter, softened
2 T finely chopped parsley*
2 T finely chopped tarragon*
2 T finely chopped chives*
¼ t pepper
2 t lemon juice
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1½ lbs)
8 slices bacon (½ lb)
  1. Mash garlic with salt to form a paste.
  2. Mix with butter, herbs, pepper, and lemon juice until well blended.
  3. Roll into a log in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate until solid.
  4. Place chicken breasts one at a time in a gallon-size plastic bag and pound to about ¼-in thickness.
  5. Cut herbed butter into 4 pieces. Wrap a flattened breast around each piece.
  6. Roll bacon around breasts and secure with toothpicks.
  7. Bake at 375°F for 45 min or until juices run clear.
*NOTE: You can also substitute 2 t dried herbs, crumbled between your fingers.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 breast
Serving per Recipe 4
Amount per Serving
Calories 451
Total Fat 31.7 g
  Saturated Fat 17.4 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.8 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 9.7 g
Cholesterol 157 mg
Sodium 1056 mg
Potassium 127 mg
Total Carbohydrates 1.6 g
  Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
  Sugars 0.1 g
Protein 39.9 g

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weekly Menu #9

Sunday
Breakfast: Berries and Cream Smoothies
Lunch: Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Kiev
Dinner: Beef and Onion Pizza

Monday
Breakfast: Banana Waffles
Lunch: Granola Bars
Dinner: Eggplant Romano

Tuesday
Breakfast: Pear Bread
Lunch: Cheesy Herbed Chicken with Creamed Spinach
Dinner: Faux-tato Pancakes

Wednesday
Breakfast: Vanilla Maple Waffles
Lunch: Bacon Spinach Frittata
Dinner: Peanut Chicken

Thursday
Breakfast: Pear Custard
Lunch: Fish and Green Beans Almondine
Dinner: Leftovers

Friday
Breakfast: Bacon and Eggs
Lunch: Coconut Chicken Drumsticks
Dinner: Pork Sausage Focaccia Sandwiches

Saturday
Breakfast: Maple Bacon Waffles
Lunch: Chicken Pesto Lasagna
Dinner: Citrus Pork

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini MuffinsFor most of my early childhood, we had a huge garden in our backyard. One of the vegetables we grew way too much of every year was zucchini. I remember pulling wagonfuls through the neighborhood with my dad in an effort to share the abundance. Now that I've rediscovered zucchini as a low-carb staple, it seemed only fitting to recreate my mom's zucchini bread recipe as a low-carb dish.

⅔ c almond butter (6 oz)
4 eggs
2 T honey
6 T butter, softened
¼ t salt
2 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
½ t nutmeg
1 c finely shredded zucchini (6 oz)
  1. Beat together all ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  2. Divide batter evenly among 6 well-greased jumbo* muffin cups.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 60-65 min or dark golden brown and set in the centers.
*NOTE: This recipe can also be made in standard muffin cups. Divide batter up among 12 cups and cut the baking time about in half.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 jumbo or 2 standard muffins
Serving per Recipe 6
Amount per Serving
Calories 346
Total Fat 29.9 g
  Saturated Fat 9.5 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 4.7 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 13.9 g
Cholesterol 154 mg
Sodium 485 mg
Potassium 340 mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.2 g
  Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
  Sugars 7.7 g
Protein 10.7 g

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Vanilla Maple Waffles

Vanilla Maple WaffleTwo days before payday is often a culinary adventure in our house. The bananas I'd been planning to use for Banana Waffles had been eaten earlier in the week. Rather than completely redesign breakfast, I tweaked my intended recipe a bit and produced this dish. Adam tells me these are the best waffles he's had lately, which is really saying something considering how many waffles we've had for breakfast (and dinner) the past few weeks.

⅔ c almond butter (6 oz)
4 eggs
6 T butter
2 T maple syrup
¼ t salt
2 t baking powder
1 t vanilla
¼ c cream
  1. Beat together all ingredients until well blended.
  2. Brush a small amount of butter or oil over cooking surface.
  3. Pour ½ c batter onto waffle iron and cook for 2 min, 45 sec.
  4. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing surface between every other waffle.
  5. Waffles may be enjoyed immediately or frozen and toasted.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 waffle
Serving per Recipe 6
Amount per Serving
Calories 372
Total Fat 33.5 g
  Saturated Fat 11.7 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 4.8 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 14.9 g
Cholesterol 167 mg
Sodium 488 mg
Potassium 284 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.7 g
  Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
  Sugars 5.5 g
Protein 10.7 g

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pork Roast with Root Vegetables

Pork Roast with Root VegetablesOur local grocer had another sale on pork loin last week. Big haul of meat, little price. I was getting a bit tired of Garlic Pork and Citrus Pork, yummy though they both are. Having also found radishes on sale, I was inspired to make this dish. I used scallions as you see in the photo just because I had them on hand.

2 lbs boneless pork loin
½ lb carrots, cut into large pieces
½ lb radishes, whole or halved
½ onion, quartered (3 oz)
¼ t each salt and pepper, or to taste
  1. Place pork loin into the crock of a slow cooker.
  2. Surround with vegetables.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours until until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
  5. Remove from crock and let stand 5-10 minutes before slicing.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 slice pork and ⅛ vegetables
Serving per Recipe 8
Amount per Serving
Calories 191
Total Fat 7.1 g
  Saturated Fat 1.8 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 2.1 g
Cholesterol 67 mg
Sodium 151 mg
Potassium 543 mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.6 g
  Dietary Fiber 3.5 g
  Sugars 1.9 g
Protein 25.6 g

Monday, August 22, 2011

Raspberries and Cream Smoothies

Raspberries and Cream SmoothieI never used much sweetener in my smoothies, but I did tend to prefer fruits that have a high concentration of natural sugars, such as bananas. Here is my low-carb version of an old favorite. I made it most recently as a treat for my daughter who was disappointed to have missed out on the ice cream truck at the zoo.

1¼ c frozen raspberries (6 oz)
¾ c heavy cream
¼ c shredded coconut (1 oz)
½ t vanilla
1 t honey
  1. Blend together all ingredients until smooth.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size ½ c
Serving per Recipe 4
Amount per Serving
Calories 151
Total Fat 13.1 g
  Saturated Fat 9.2 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 2.4 g
Cholesterol 31 mg
Sodium 11 mg
Potassium 83 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.7 g
  Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
  Sugars 2.0 g
Protein 0.9 g

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekly Menu #8

Sunday
Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Waffles
Lunch: Roast Chicken with Baked Radishes
Dinner: Sausage and Onion Focaccia

Monday
Breakfast: Bacon Cheese Omelets
Lunch: Bacon Burgers with Fresh Salsa
Dinner: Garlic Pork

Tuesday
Breakfast: Raspberry Smoothies
Lunch: Beef Tacos
Dinner: Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

Wednesday
Breakfast: Banana Pecan Custard
Lunch: Coconut Chicken Drumsticks with Cucumber Tomato Salad
Dinner: Chopped Steak and Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Thursday
Breakfast: Maple Almond Pancakes
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Kiev with Green Beans

Friday
Breakfast: Beef Sausage and Egg Sandwiches
Lunch: Cheesy Herbed Chicken
Dinner: Citrus Pork

Saturday
Breakfast: Romano Popovers
Lunch: Bacon and Egg Salad
Dinner: Hamburgers with Carrot Chips

Cheesy Herbed Chicken

Cheesy Herbed ChickenI was planning to make Mediterranean Meatballs with Tzatziki one night, but I hadn't gotten around to making a new batch of yogurt for the sauce. I ended up just making hamburgers. I figured I could make a Mediterranean herbed chicken and serve that with tzatziki instead. But when I still hadn't made yogurt several days later, I just tossed the ingredients for the meatballs in with the chicken and this was the result. Very yummy and no need to plan ahead with the yogurt.

¾ c minced onion (4 oz)
2 T fresh parsley (or 2 t dried)
1 t lemon pepper
¼ c oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1½ lbs)
½ c grated Romano (1 oz)
  1. Mix together onions, parsley, lemon pepper, and oil. Marinate chicken breasts 10 min to overnight.
  2. Bake on a metal rack over a baking pan at 400°F for 20 min.
  3. Sprinkle cheese over each breast and continue cooking for another 15 min or until cooked through.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 breast
Serving per Recipe 4
Amount per Serving
Calories 333
Total Fat 17.3 g
  Saturated Fat 4.1 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 4.4 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 6.8 g
Cholesterol 120 mg
Sodium 162 mg
Potassium 67 mg
Total Carbohydrates 2.8 g
  Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
  Sugars 0.1 g
Protein 42.6 g

Friday, August 19, 2011

Maple Almond Blondies

Maple Almond BlondiesI hadn't made a desserty dish in several days, so I looked at what I had on hand and created a new recipe. After just one bite, Adam proclaimed it "a definite win." I liked them at room temperature, but I thought the taste was significantly better after I'd set them in the freezer for an hour.

1 c almond butter (9 oz)
1 egg
3 T butter, softened
¼ c maple syrup
¼ c heavy cream
1 t vanilla
  1. Beat together all ingredients and pour into an ungreased 8x8 pan.
  2. Bake at 375°F for 45-50 min or until the center is set.
  3. Let cool 20-30 min before slicing.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 slice
Serving per Recipe 12
Amount per Serving
Calories 185
Total Fat 15.5 g
  Saturated Fat 3.4 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 2.9 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 8.3 g
Cholesterol 27 mg
Sodium 100 mg
Potassium 181 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.6 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
  Sugars 5.0 g
Protein 5.3 g

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Waffles

Apple Cinnamon WaffleSeveral big box stores had back-to-school waffle makers on sale this past week. Adam and I decided we should get one. We made waffles every morning for four days running. This was my favorite batch. My daughter's first comment was, "Waffles? Again??" But after she'd cleaned her plate, she changed her tune, "Are there more? I'm still hungry."

⅔ c almond butter (6 oz)
4 eggs
6 T butter
¼ t salt
1½ t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
2 t honey
¼ t vanilla
1 c shredded apple (8 oz)
  1. Beat together all ingredients until well blended.
  2. Brush a small amount of butter or oil over cooking surface.
  3. Pour ½ c batter onto waffle iron and cook for 3 min.
  4. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing surface between every other waffle.
  5. Waffles may be enjoyed immediately or frozen and toasted.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 waffle
Serving per Recipe 6
Amount per Serving
Calories 346
Total Fat 29.8 g
  Saturated Fat 9.4 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 4.7 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 13.9 g
Cholesterol 154 mg
Sodium 444 mg
Potassium 299 mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.8 g
  Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
  Sugars 7.2 g
Protein 10.7 g

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chicken Pesto Lasagna

Chicken Pesto LasagnaI was looking to make a baked noodle dish with something other than a traditional tomato-based sauce. Pesto seemed like a good bet and chicken breasts were on sale this week. I mixed it all up, added a dash of low-carb garlic bechamel, and made a very rich and delicious lasagna. Adam even commented that maybe it was just a little too rich. I, of course, scoffed at the very idea and helped myself to a second serving.

3 T butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ c heavy cream
Pinch nutmeg
1 recipe Almond Noodles
1 recipe Spinach Walnut Pesto
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and thinly sliced
½ c grated Romano cheese (1 oz)
  1. Melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 min.
  2. Stir in cream and nutmeg. Simmer until thick, about 6-8 min, stirring frequently.
  3. Layer noodles, pesto, chicken, and cream sauce in a 9x9 pan. Top with grated Romano.
  4. Cover and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20-25 min or until edges have browned.
  5. Let stand a few minutes before slicing.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 slice
Serving per Recipe 9
Amount per Serving
Calories 351
Total Fat 33.3 g
  Saturated Fat 10.0 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 5.2 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 16.0 g
Cholesterol 101 mg
Sodium 313 mg
Potassium 254 mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.9 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
  Sugars 1.0 g
Protein 10.1 g

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

Apple Pecan Chicken SaladThis is my has been my standard chicken salad recipe for a while now, with one small change: I usually make it with almonds. We had some extra pecans in the cupboard this week, so I threw those in instead. Positively delicious. I may be buying pecans regularly from now on just for this dish. My 6-year-old daughter ate half a recipe all by herself!

1 c diced apple (5 oz)
2½ c cooked diced chicken (12 oz)
½ c chopped pecans (2 oz)
½ c mayonnaise
1 t mustard
½ t salt
¼ t pepper
  1. Stir all ingredients together until well blended.
  2. Store in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 c (¼ recipe)
Serving per Recipe 4
Amount per Serving
Calories 381
Total Fat 31.3 g
  Saturated Fat 4.2 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 3.3 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 6.1 g
Cholesterol 57 mg
Sodium 500 mg
Potassium 298 mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.3 g
  Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
  Sugars 0.6 g
Protein 21.2 g

Monday, August 15, 2011

Eggplant Romano

Eggplant RomanoThis dish is a combination of three or four different recipes, mostly from Carol Gelles's 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes. It is definitely one of the more complicated and time-consuming meals we make, but I think it's worth the trouble occasionally as a special treat.

1 eggplant (1¼ lbs)
½ t salt, divided
1 lb ground beef
½ c minced onions (2 oz)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t oregano
½ t thyme
¼ t pepper
1½ c diced tomatoes (14 oz)
1½ c almond flour (6 oz)
1 c grated Romano cheese (2 oz)
1 egg, beaten with 2 T water
½ c heavy cream
½ c shredded mozzarella cheese (2 oz)
  1. Cut eggplant into ¼-in slices. Sprinkle with ¼ t salt and set in a colander to drain.
  2. Brown ground beef with onions. Drain grease and add garlic, oregano, thyme, and pepper. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 min.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and simmer until thick, stirring occasionally.
  4. Blend together almond flour and cheese until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  5. Pour almond mixture into a shallow dish and beaten egg into a second dish.
  6. Drain eggplant well and pat dry. Dip each piece in the egg and the into the almond mixture, lightly coating both sides.
  7. Fry slices over medium heat on a griddle brushed with oil until the coating is browned and crispy, about 4 min per side.
  8. Stir cream into tomato sauce and remove from heat.
  9. Arrange half the eggplant slices on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Cover with half the sauce. Make another layer of eggplant and cover with remaining sauce.
  10. Sprinkle mozzarella over the top layer of sauce.
  11. Bake at 350°F for 35-40 min or until cheese is browned and eggplant is cooked through.
  12. Let stand a few minutes before slicing.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 slice
Serving per Recipe 12
Amount per Serving
Calories 243
Total Fat 18.0 g
  Saturated Fat 6.0 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 8.5 g
Cholesterol 59 mg
Sodium 211 mg
Potassium 392 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.3 g
  Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
  Sugars 0.7 g
Protein 13.9 g

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Garlic Pork Roast

Garlic Pork RoastThis is my version of the Cuban Pork Roast II that has been floating around the internet for several years. I changed the spices slightly, used white wine instead of red, and left off the marinating overnight part because that requires me to plan entirely too far ahead. I also divided up the garlic cloves in order to spread the flavor more evenly through the roast.

6 garlic cloves
2 lb boneless pork roast
½ t rosemary
½ t thyme
½ t oregano
¼ t salt
¼ t pepper
½ c dry white wine
  1. Quarter garlic cloves lengthwise.
  2. Make 24 deep slits into the pork. Stuff ¼ garlic clove into each cut.
  3. Blend together herbs, salt, and pepper. Rub mixture over surface of roast.
  4. Place in a slow cooker and add wine. Cook on low 7-9 hours until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
  5. Remove from crock and let stand 5-10 minutes before slicing.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 slice
Serving per Recipe 8
Amount per Serving
Calories 224
Total Fat 12.3 g
  Saturated Fat 4.3 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 5.5 g
Cholesterol 66 mg
Sodium 122 mg
Potassium 460 mg
Total Carbohydrates 1.0 g
  Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
  Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 23.3 g

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Weekly Menu #7

Sunday
Breakfast: Toasted Coconut Bread
Lunch: Cheesy Herbed Chicken with Jicama Slaw
Dinner: Chopped Steak and Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Monday
Breakfast: Bacon and Eggs
Lunch: Mediterranean Meatballs with Tzatziki
Dinner: Citrus Pork

Tuesday
Breakfast: Maple Almond Pancakes
Lunch: Coconut Chicken Drumsticks
Dinner: Wild Riced Meatballs

Wednesday
Breakfast: Gingered Carrot Bread
Lunch: Hamburgers on Almond Buns and Radish Chips
Dinner: Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Kiev with Green Beans

Thursday
Breakfast: Almond Butter Popovers
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Chicken Pesto Lasagna

Friday
Breakfast: Granola Bars
Lunch: Egg Salad
Dinner: Garlic Pork with Green Beans Almondine

Saturday
Breakfast: Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Lunch: Mock-aroni and Cheese
Dinner: Roast Chicken and Carrot Chips

Honey Caramels

Honey CaramelsAdam and I had never been successful at producing homemade soft caramels before we tested this recipe. We'd previously tried Gale Gand's recipe for Butter Caramels, but always seemed to overheat the sugar. In my search for caramel made with honey, I discovered a recipe for honey caramels from a 1940s Puerto Rican cookbook, on which I based this one. The instructions called for caramelizing honey and sugar with the butter and cream, which I believe has been the key to our success. Adam pronounced these candies "a lot better than Kraft Caramels."

6 T butter
¾ c honey
¾ c heavy cream
  1. Line an 8x8 pan with foil or parchment, letting the edges hang over the sides of the pan. Grease lightly.
  2. Melt butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add honey and cream. Stir until well blended.
  3. Reduce head to medium low and let boil until it has darkened slightly and the temperature has reached 248°F or a bit of the mixture dropped into ice water forms a solid ball that can be flattened with your fingers.
  4. Pour into an prepared pan and let cool completely.
  5. Grasp edges of liner and remove caramel from pan. Cut into 2-in by ⅔-in pieces (4 pieces by 12 pieces).
  6. Wrap candies individually in squares of waxed paper. Store at room temperature.
Variation: Salted Caramels
Sprinkle ½ t coarse salt over candies before wrapping (adds 20 mg sodium per serving).

NOTE: To make fewer candies, use 2 T butter and ¼ c each honey and heavy cream. Cut cooled caramel into 16 pieces and roll into cylinders before wrapping.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 caramel
Serving per Recipe 48
Amount per Serving
Calories 42
Total Fat 2.8 g
  Saturated Fat 1.8 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 9 mg
Sodium 12 mg
Potassium 6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.5 g
  Dietary Fiber 0.0 g
  Sugars 4.4 g
Protein 0.1 g

Friday, August 12, 2011

Creamy Green Beans Almondine

Creamy Green Beans AlmondineI really enjoy green beans, but it can get a little boring to just top them with butter and a little salt and pepper. As we usually have both almonds and cream in the house, I decided to try my own twist on Classic Green Beans Almondine.

1 lb green beans, cut into 1- to 2-in pieces
4 T butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ c heavy cream
½ c chopped almonds, toasted (2 oz)
¼ t salt
¼ t pepper
  1. Steam beans for 6-8 min or until they are no longer crunchy.
  2. Melt butter over medium heat. Stir in garlic, cooking until fragrant (about 1 min).
  3. Add cream, almonds, salt, and pepper. Simmer until sauce has thickened (about 6-7 min), stirring frequently.
  4. Pour sauce over (drained) beans and stir until well coated.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size ⅔ c
Serving per Recipe 6
Amount per Serving
Calories 219
Total Fat 20.1 g
  Saturated Fat 9.8 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.8 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 7.3 g
Cholesterol 48 mg
Sodium 164 mg
Potassium 253 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.3 g
  Dietary Fiber 3.7 g
  Sugars 0.5 g
Protein 4.1 g

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spiced Pear Custard

Spiced Pear CustardWith the success of my Caramelized Peach Custard, I've been trying several other fruits and a few slightly different techniques to make custard. This version turned out so well, it deserves a recipe all its own.

1 ripe pear, pitted and peeled (6 oz)
½ t cinnamon
Pinch ground ginger
Pinch ground cloves
¼ t salt
2 t honey
1 c almond milk
½ c cream
6 eggs
½ t vanilla
  1. Chop pear into ¼- to ½-in pieces.
  2. Stir pear, spices, salt, and honey together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add milk and cream. Heat, stirring occasionally until bubbles appear on the surface.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat together eggs and vanilla.
  5. Whisk milk mixture slowly into egg mixture and divide evenly among 4 10-oz* custard cups.
  6. Place cups in a 9” x 13” pan. Pour hot water into the pan until it is even with the level of custard in the cups.
  7. Carefully set pan in the center of a preheated 350°F oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until set.
  8. Remove cups from water bath and let cool on a rack before serving.
*NOTE: You may also use 6 6-oz cups. Baking time should be shortened by 15-20 min.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 10-oz cup or 1½ 6-oz cups
Serving per Recipe 4
Amount per Serving
Calories 255
Total Fat 19.4 g
  Saturated Fat 9.1 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 2.0 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 6.2 g
Cholesterol 318 mg
Sodium 307 mg
Potassium 232 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.9 g
  Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
  Sugars 3.0 g
Protein 10.4 g

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jicama Slaw

Jicama SlawI tried jicama for the first time just a few months ago, after I discovered it had fewer carbs than carrots. I was surprised by how sweet it is. I based this dish on a recipe for Green Apple Slaw that I'd found while researching coleslaw variations. The jicama adds a nice sweetness to the mix without all the carbs you'd get using apples.

¾ c mayonnaise
3 T vinegar
¾ t salt
Dash of black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
4½ c shredded cabbage (11 oz)
1¾ c shredded jicama (8 oz)
¾ c shredded carrot (3 oz)
½ c coarsely chopped roasted almonds (2 oz)
  1. Stir together mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and peppers until smooth.
  2. Pour dressing over vegetables and almonds, mixing until thoroughly combined.
  3. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Stir before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 c
Serving per Recipe 8
Amount per Serving
Calories 202
Total Fat 18.9 g
  Saturated Fat 2.6 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 2.4 g
Cholesterol 6 mg
Sodium 363 mg
Potassium 228 mg
Total Carbohydrates 7.0 g
  Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
  Sugars 1.3 g
Protein 2.6 g