For St. Patrick’s Day I ended up making a corned beef brisket but forgot to buy the cabbage. Thankfully I had some Brussels sprouts in my fridge. They are the same species as cabbage and green too! Whew!
I was planning to add bacon to the sprouts when I came across this recipe in The Real Meal Revolution. For some reason I never thought to lightly saute steamed Brussels sprouts in the rendered bacon fat. Add in creme fraiche and awesomeness happens.
As promised, here’s the stuffing dish I’m making this Thanksgiving. While I enjoyed last year’s stuffing that I made using an awesome Keto Bread recipe I found, I decided to try something simpler. So no “bread.” Just root veggies, mushrooms and sausage.
It came out pretty awesome. For an added burst of flavor, I highly recommend adding in some sun dried tomatoes in oil. Oh my mouth is drooling thinking about it.
Typically my husband and I celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and have our own low carb Turkey Day over the weekend. This year is no different. This Thursday I will be eating more carbs than normal. But it is the holiday, so I’m not stressing over it. What I am stressing over is finding a low carb stuffing recipe to make on Saturday.
For the last few years I’ve tried different recipes, and they turned into disasters. The “bread” – made from almond OR hazelnut flours – always turned out too heavy, lumpy, or grainy. Also, it tasted like a mock stuffing. Not really what I was going for.
I’m beginning to think low carb stuffing is just a myth – an urban legend we low carbers spread from forum to forum. It’s as elusive as the sasquatch, or my husband’s clothes actually making it into the hamper… Read More
This little side dish is a great way to play with veggies. Next time I plan to add broccoli and diced red pepper to my Cauliflower Muffins.
Made with cauliflower, almond four and flax seeds, these spongy muffins are a nifty little side dish for dinner. This recipe is from George Stella’s The Complete Low-Carb Cookbook. The recipe makes 12 muffins total, so you’ll have plenty of leftovers.
I did make the mistake of chopping the cauliflower too small, which resulted in over cooking it. The cauliflower ended up too mushy rather than crunchy in the muffin. Lesson learned for next time.
While the bacon, cheddar and Parmesan makes for a nice flavor, I needed a little more punch. I ended up salting my muffins and melting a little butter on top. Yum! Read More
What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? To have the smarts to plan my menu before Turkey Day arrives. A food strategy is the best way to make sure you don’t pig out! (Image via marthastewart.com)
Well Turkey Day is upon us and that means its time for another low-carb holiday menu. We’re staying put for Thanksgiving so that makes it easier for me to control the points and carb count. My goal for my weigh in after Thanksgiving is to maintain my weight. That means I need a menu that is both filling and delicious.
You can take a look at a snapshot of my menu with the carb and Weight Watcher point count. Below you’ll find either the recipes or links to the recipes for my Turkey Day menu.
Building My Menu
I’m allowing myself to eat up to 25g of net carbs. I have 29 daily Weight Watcher points. Because I plan to have wine and dessert, I’m going to tap into a handful of my weekly allowance points. But that doesn’t mean I go crazy. I’m allowing myself between 4-7 extra points. No more. I need to keep control. Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean food is the most important thing. Being with family is what it’s about…oh god, maybe I need to budget more points for wine!Read More
Getting my ingredients ready! This healthy, low carb alternative to loaded mashed potatoes is delicious and easy to make.
One food I miss is the wonderful potato and all of its delicious incarnations – fried, mashed, baked and soup. But at 37g of carbs, it’s not the best thing for weight loss. Once I’m closer to my goal, I’ll start adding healthy, higher carb foods, like potatoes, back into my diet.
So I’m always on the lookout for low carb recipes to replace my beloved potato dishes. This one is from George Stella’s The Complete Low-Carb Cookbook. Cauliflower purée takes the place of the mashed potatoes. It’s a great, healthy alternative, but I have to admit, this recipe had me at bacon. Read More
GreenLiteBites.com is a great resource for easy to make, healthy recipes. The recent Cheesy Zucchini Tomato Bake is officially one of my favorites.
If you haven’t checked out GreenLiteBites.com I suggest you do. You’ll find some great, healthy recipes that are easy to make. On Friday I made the Cheesy Zucchini Tomato Bake (the day the recipe posted…yes it sounded that awesome to me!).
How easy is this recipe to make? All you need is a large zucchini, 1-2 large tomatoes, provolone cheese, salt and some sriracha (found in Asian section of your grocery store). That’s it. If you can’t find sriracha, try using hot sauce instead.
While I love any food with melted cheese, I have to confess the spicy kick the sriracha added made this dish soar. I served this with chicken quarters and a small side salad. Yum.
My hubby and I both loved it. As an added bonus, it’s just as tasty reheated. This is real important since veggie dishes rarely make great leftovers (I like ’em fresh).
It’s something I plan to make again, but I’m going to switch out the provolone cheese for fresh mozzarella. Why? Because I always have fresh mozzarella in my fridge…that’s just the way I roll, baby!
Wow I’m drooling just thinking about it. Hmm…maybe I’ll whip it up tonight.
A serving size equals 3g net carbs or 3 points if you are doing Weight Watchers’ PointsPlus. Obviously you can cut the Weight Watchers points by using low-fat cheese (but why do that!?!).
Leftovers for my hubby’s lunch! This little meatball dish turned out very tasty although it is a lot of points.
I pulled this rabbit out of a hat last night. Fearing we’d had to eat out, I found a mix of beef, pork and lamb sitting in my freezer — perfect for meatballs! I used an Atkins recipe, so it’s low carb, high in fat and protein. A mix that is not as Weight Watchers friendly as I’d like. But if you have the points, it is very yummy.
The broccoli/bok choy dish is a modified version from Martha Stewart. I tried to make this from memory as both my iPad and iPhone were dead. Turns out I didn’t include the garlic, ginger or soy sauce. But thankfully I thought of using red pepper flakes. Delish!
I ended up serving 1/2 of a hot-house tomato on the side — just to add a splash of color to our plate. It added a couple of carbs, but since I did my muscle workout, I had a few to spare.
Baked Meatballs with Sautéed Broccoli & Bok Choy
Net Carbs: 7
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 13
Servings: 6 (You’ll have 2 leftover servings of the meatballs)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 green onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lbs. ground veal
1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 lbs. ground pork
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Sautéed Broccoli & Bok Choy Ingredients*
1 lbs. bok choy
1 lbs. broccoli
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil and add the onion, cooking onion for 5 minutes or until onion is soft. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Add in 3 cloves of minced garlic and cook for another minute.
Transfer the garlic and onion to a bowl and add in veal, pork, beef, cheese, eggs, salt and pepper. Mix ingredients.
Take pieces of the mixture and roll into golf ball size meatballs. Place meatballs in a 2-1/4″ deep roasting pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the white stalks from the bok choy into 1-inch pieces and coarsely chop the green leaves. Keep the stalks separated from the green leaves.
Cut broccoli into bite size florets.
Using your large skillet, boil 1/2 c water. Add the broccoli and the bok choy stalks, reserving the leaves for later and cover. Simmer over medium-low until broccoli is bright green, about 5 minutes. Uncover, cook on high until remaining water evaporates, 2-4 minutes.
Add bok choy greens, remaining olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and toss often, cooking for about 2 minutes.
December Food Challenge #2: Mushrooms! I selected the Cremini to go with my roasted chicken.
I chose mushrooms as my food challenge for the week. Why? Since my childhood, I’ve hated mushrooms and have avoided them like the plague. Pretty tough to do growing up in a mushroom-loving home.
No matter what, it seemed that mushrooms always ended up in our food.
What is it about their taste that had me avoiding mushrooms for so long? I have no idea. In truth, I’d never really tried them. I think I grew up hearing all those tales about poisonous wild mushrooms, so I took the message to heart and stayed away.
Last month I gave fish a try (I’ve eaten sushi 4 times since!). It only makes sense that I give my mighty foe, the mushroom, a fair shake.
I knew I’d be roasting a whole chicken last night. I needed a side dish, so I settled on cremini mushrooms and red pearl onions. Why that combo? It struck my fancy.
Ok, the mushrooms smelled wonderful while I sautéed it in butter with pearl onions and red pepper. But would I like the taste?
Roasted Chicken with Sautéed Mushrooms and Pearl Onions Net carbs: 9g Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 5 (assumes 3-oz chicken breast, no skin)
Whole chicken (4-6 lbs.)
4 Tbsp. of butter, separated (2 of the 4 should be soft)*
2 C Cremini mushrooms, washed and stems removed (halve large mushrooms)
½ C Diced red bell pepper
10 Red pearl onions, skins removed (if using frozen, thawed)**
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Clean chicken, removing neck and giblets; pat dry with paper towel. Place on rack in roasting pan.
Rub bird with two tbsp. of soft butter. Then season bird with salt and pepper.
Fold the wings under the bird and truss the drumsticks together.
Place bird in oven and cook 20 minutes for every pound. When the internal temperature reaches 165 F, the chicken’s done. When done, remove chicken from oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. This allows the juices to collect in the meat (yum!).
While chicken rests, in a skillet melt 1 tbsp. of butter over medium-high heat.
Add pearl onions and sauté, about 7 minutes. Add last tbsp. of butter, red peppers and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for an extra 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.
*I use 2 tbsp. of butter in the side dish — my fat count was running too low for the day. You can cut the amount to 1 tbsp. if you prefer.
**I only used 10 pearl onions because I wanted a lower carb count. If you are not counting carbs, use more if you like (it’s a power food on Weight Watchers).
The whole dang dish was yummylicious! I captured my husband’s dinner before he gobbled it down in record time.
My verdict on the cremini mushrooms?
Wow, I really enjoyed them. I was expecting something limp and slimy. Instead I got a nice, firm texture and a bit of a beefy taste, almost like the mushrooms were marinated in beef stock. I’m lovin’ that! While the cremini is the star of the dish, it didn’t dominate. Another bonus!
So will I use them in another dish? Yes! They were a nice, tasty treat. Since they are also known as baby bellas, I think there’s portabella mushroom out there with my name on it.
Now I need to think of another veggie to try next week.
My first time cooking a lamb roast in a slow cooker. It’s super easy and tastes wonderful!
Settling in for the snow and sleet heading our way, last night I made a healthy lamb roast and a side of asparagus with Dijon vinaigrette. The dish is low carb and great for those on Weight Watchers (10 point dinner).
It’s my first time attempting a lamb in a crock-pot but it turned out lovely. The recipe is easy to make and delicious – my kind of cooking! The directions below call for cooking potatoes in the crock-pot with the lamb. I did this, but if you are low carb like me, just don’t eat them.
Leg of Lamb Roast
Net Carbs: 0
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 8 (4-oz. serving size; does not include potato)
Leg of lamb roast, boneless (2.5-3 pounds)
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
Sprig of rosemary, woody stems removed
Sea salt and fresh crack pepper
1 potato per person, peeled
½ C beef stock
4 bay leaves
Score the lamb, diamond pattern (see video below)
Combine the minced garlic, rosemary salt and pepper; rub the mix all over the lamb, making sure to press in.
Roll the lamb and use butcher’s twine to tie it together.
Toss the potatoes into the crock-pot
Place your lamb on top of the potatoes.
Add the stock and bay leaves to the crock-pot. The roast should not sit in the liquids.
Cover the crock-pot and cook on high for 4-6 hours. Check on the lamb near the 4 hour mark by inserting a meat thermometer in the center. Medium-rare is 145 F.
When the thermometer reads 135-140 F, turn off the crock-pot, remove the lamb and let it rest for about 15 minutes on a cutting board. I wrapped my lamb in foil. It will continue to cook on the cutting board.*
After 15 minutes, slice lamb into ¼-inch thick slices and place on a serving platter.
Medium-rare (145 F) lamb roast. Cook yours longer for less red meat.
*Note: I cooked my lamb to medium-rare. The lamb is very tender. It’s also, as you see from my photo, red too.
If you don’t like seeing as much red or any red in your meat fear not. Simply cook your longer if you prefer.
For medium, the internal temperature for the lamb roast should be 160 F. And 170 F for well done.
However, you’ll need to check your temperature regularly or you run the risk of drying out the lamb in your crock-pot. I do recommend taking the lamb out of the crock-pot about 5-10 degrees below your desired temperature as the lamb still cooks while its resting on the cutting board.
A very simple and wonderful vinaigrette. Use it on salads or asparagus!
Asparagus with Dijon Vinaigrette
Net Carbs: 3.1
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 2
1 Pound thin asparagus, tough ends snapped off
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tsp for every six spears of asparagus
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1.5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp fresh chopped parsley
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Place asparagus on a baking pan.
Drizzle oil over the asparagus, then lightly season with salt and pepper.
Place the asparagus in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until tender.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together mustard, vinegar, oil and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove asparagus from serving dish, drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.