Wednesday, December 31, 2008

LOW CARB Old World Cabbage and Pepper Saute

Cabbage, peppers, and spices like paprika and caraway seeds make this quick and easy vegetable dish special.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small head of cabbage (perhaps 4 cups chopped)
  • 1 medium red Bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic (or one clove garlic, minced or pressed)
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • Oil to coat pan

Preparation:

Heat oil in pan. Saute' pepper for a minute or two, then add cabbage. After another minute, add the seasonings. Cook until vegetables are tender. If the pan gets too dry as it cooks, add a little white wine, chicken stock, or water.

Nutritional Information: Each serving has 4.5 grams effective carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber, 2 grams protein, and 35 calories (not counting oil).

How To Make a Crustless Quiche

Making a crustless quiche is not much different than making a regular quiche. Actually it's easier, as there is one less thing to fiddle with. You do need some fat in the recipe to make it easy to remove from the pan, but unless you are making a super-low-fat version (using fat free milk, for example), you don't need to worry about greasing the pan.

Here's How:

  1. Prepare the solid ingredients - sauté and season any raw meats and vegetables. About 1 to 1½ cups of these work well for one quiche - more if there is no or little cheese. About 1½ to 2 cups total solid ingredients for a 9" pie pan is about right.
  2. Spread meats and vegetables into a deep-dish pie pan.
  3. Spread shredded cheese on top of the other ingredients.
  4. Make the custard, using either a bowl with whisk, or (my favorite) a blender. A standard quiche might use 4 eggs to 1 and 1/2 cups of liquid, and this amount works well for a deep-dish 9" pie pan. You can use cream, milk, unsweetened soy milk, or a combination. Include seasonings as desired. I usually use salt, pepper, an herb or two if not already in the pan, and perhaps some dried mustard powder.
  5. Pour the custard over the solid ingredients, and put onto center rack of 375 F. oven for 30-45 minutes.
  6. Begin checking at half an hour. You want the outside to be done (a knife inserted comes out clean), but the center will be soft. (It will continue to cook after removing from oven.)
  7. Remove from oven. The center will cook in a few minutes. You can eat it warm, cold, or room temperature.

Tips:

  1. Make sure all ingredients other than the egg are fully cooked before adding to the pan.
  2. When layering ingredients, heaviest go in first, and cheese last.
  3. If top is browning too fast, cover with foil.
  4. Sprinkling the top with paprika is a nice touch.

What You Need:

  • 9" pie pan (Pyrex works well, or dark metal. Shiny metal isn't as good.)
  • Whisk or blender
  • Eggs
  • Other ingredients as desired

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

LOW CARB Easy Spinach Casserole

This spinach casserole is easy to throw together. If you have certain spice mixtures or salad dressing seasonings that you like, feel free to add them. It's easy to adapt. One thing to try, depending on what you're serving the casserole with, is add half a teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice Powder for a different twist.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes frozen chopped spinach, 10 oz each
  • ¼ chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon oil or butter
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or a mixture is nice)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt or other spice mixture to taste
  • 1-2 Tablespoon dry white wine if you have it around
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice if you don't have the wine
  • 1 drop liquid sweetener or a pinch of a powder (just a small amount to balance flavors)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Defrost spinach in the boxes or in a 2-quart casserole dish.
  3. Fry onion in the oil or butter until it begins to soften.
  4. Mix all ingredients except for the Parmesan cheese in the casserole dish. Sprinkle Parmesan on top.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean and cheese on top begins to brown.

Makes 8 servings. Nutritional Information: Each serving has 3 grams effective carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber, 10 grams protein, and 202 calories.

Special Low-Carb Ingredients for Cooking and Baking

Although anyone can follow a low carb way of eating with no special ingredients at all, there are certain ones that are helpful in cooking and baking
  • Almond Flour/Almond Meal
    A very versatile low carb flour. It can be used for cakes, muffins, quick breads, biscuits, and more. (You can make this out of roasted almonds put through a food processor, but watch that it doesn’t turn to nut butter.)

  • Flax Seeds and Flax Seed Meal
    This is a high-nutrient, high-fiber, low carb alternative.

  • Coconut Flour
    Very high in fiber and requires different amounts of other ingredients than other nut flours.

  • Other Nut Flours
    Hazelnut and walnut flours have their place.

  • Vital Wheat Gluten
    This is just the protein part of the wheat, so it is low carb.

  • ThickenThin Thickeners
    This, and similar Expert Foods products, can be useful. StarchNOT is popular.

  • Liquid Sucralose/Splenda
    This contains zero carbs and can be used in almost anything in place of powders.

  • Artificial sweeteners of your choice

  • Erythritol
    This sugar alcohol has almost no impact on blood sugar. It works really well with chocolate. Be sure to get the powdered type if you can, rather than granulated.

  • Good, unsweetened chocolate (quality really makes a difference.)

  • Cocoa powder

  • Powdered Egg Whites
    Help give structure to certain baked goods. Least expensive form is as "Egg White Protein Powder" such as NOW brand.

  • Gelatin (plain)

  • Xanthan or Guar Gum
    These are useful for thickening and binding.

  • Unsweetened Soy Milk
    This contains fewer carbs than any other milk and is neutral in taste.

  • Carb Counters Instant Mashers
    A versatile ingredient for binding crab cakes, making latkes, and even gnocchi.

  • TVP
    You serve as a substitute for rice in casseroles, bread crumbs in meatloaf, and even be a hot breakfast cereal.

  • Whey Protein Powder

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Coconut Oil

  • High Oleic Safflower or Sunflower Oil
    I use olive oil whenever possible. But for high-heat cooking, or baking that requires a more neutral taste, these are my favorite oil choices. These are specially bred to be high in monounsaturated fat, and have a relatively high smoke point. Saffola is one brand. You must be certain to get the high oleic types, as most of these oils are high in polyunsaturated fat, which is not what we want.

  • Better Than Bouillon

Monday, December 29, 2008

LOW CARB Southwest Squash Casserole

This summer squash casserole comes out similar to a corn casserole, partly because the yellow squash is put through a food processor, making it sort of corn-like.

Ingredients:

  • ~1¾ lbs yellow summer squash
  • 4 green onions, chopped (keep white and green parts separated)
  • 1 small can chopped green chiles (about 6 oz)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ cup shredded cheese (Monterey Jack and cheddar work well; use Jack cheese with spicy peppers, if you like)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ~1 teaspoon worth sugar substitute

Preparation:

Heat the oven to 375° F.

1) Cut the squash into 1 to 2-inch lengths, and run through a food processor, using the large blade. Alternatively, you can grate the squash.

2) Heat oil in a large skillet. Sauté the white part of the green onions in the oil for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the squash and green part of the onion. The idea is to get quite a bit of the moisture out of the squash. Season with salt and pepper to taste, (use seasoned salt, if you wish) and cook for an additional 5 to 6 minutes.

3)Push the squash toward the outside of the pan, add a trace of oil in the center, and sauté the garlic for 30 seconds or so. Mix it all together and turn the heat off.

4) Transfer the squash mixture to a casserole dish (2 quarts or so). Mix in the can of green chilis, one cup of cheese, and the sour cream. Taste for seasoning. If you like it spicier, add a little powdered chile.

5) Add the eggs and mix together. Scrape down the sides of the casserole dish. Sprinkle the other half cup of cheese on the top.

Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes, until cheese turns a golden brown.

Makes 8 servings as a side dish.

Nutritional Information: Each serving has 4.5 grams effective carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber, 9 grams protein, and 172 calories.

O Pasta, Where Art Thou?

The fear of pasta deprivation is one of the things that turns people away from low carb diets. The cries ring out: “I can’t live without my pasta!” Fear not. There are many low carb alternatives to pasta, and at least one good low carb pasta on the market.

The Role of Pasta

There are some true hard-core pasta-lovers. These people would just as soon sit down to a serving of plain pasta as anything they can think of. But for most of us, plain pasta doesn’t cut it – it’s the sauces and toppings we want most. For us, pasta is mostly a vehicle for other flavors. So we need to find a different vehicle to fill that role.

Enter: Vegetables

Many vegetables are bland enough to use as a “blank canvas” for pasta sauces, and most of them are far more nutritious than pasta ever thought of being. Take the classic, spaghetti squash. Cup for cup, it has fewer than 25% of the calories and carbs of regular spaghetti (even whole wheat) – AND beats out the pasta in most nutrient categories. Calorie for calorie, it simply leaves pasta in the dust, nutritionally speaking. It’s delicious with pesto, creamy sauces, you name it. It can also be used in casseroles, like Turkey Tetrazinni. If you've never cooked spaghetti squash before, have no fear; it’s easy.

Other veggies that serve as good “beds” for pasta sauces:
  • Zucchini or other summer squash, shredded, julienned, or just cut into ribbons with a peeler.
  • Cauliflower “Rice”
  • Cabbage - shredded and sautéed (nice with a little sliced onion in it)
  • Bean sprouts – lighted sautéed on their own, or throw them in with the cabbage for the final minute.
  • Use your imagination – many veggies have compatible flavors with sauces, such as green beans with pesto sauce or eggplant strips with marinara.

Low Carb Asian Noodles

You may have to do some looking for these - or then again, maybe not. They are great for making Asian noodle dishes, and other dishes as well:

Shirataki Noodles – More and more widely available, (the Safeway near me carries it, as well as health food stores) this stuff is something of a miracle food. The noodles are made from a plant called different things in different languages - you might see it called “yam noodle” or “Konnyaku”. The great thing about these noodles is that they are almost completely fiber – they hardly have any calories or carbs at all – plus there is some evidence that they may have other health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol and blood sugar. It comes packaged in liquid, which you rinse off. If you run it under the hot water tap, it’s all ready to eat – no need to cook further!

Tofu Noodles – I can only find these in Asian stores. Make sure that tofu is the only ingredient. Again, these come already cooked. I just put them in a strainer and run them under the hot water faucet while I separate them with my fingers. I use them for almost any pasta application, including pesto.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

LOW CARB Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

This sauce is good with pasta or chicken dishes or a dish that combines the two with low-carb noodles. (You could also try to add a bit of heat such as garlic, onion & maybe red pepper flake)

Ingredients:

  • 3 roasted red peppers - canned or fresh-roasted (if canned, rinse if there is sugar added)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream (add a little more if needed for consistency)
  • 1 teaspoon mild powdered chile, such as ancho, or paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder or smoked paprika or cayenne to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt if needed

Preparation:

Put ingredients in food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Heat before serving, in saucepan or microwave.

Make approximately 2 1/2 cups of sauce. Each 1/2 cup would have approximately 3 grams effective carbohydrate plus 1 gram fiber, 1 gram protein, and 177 calories.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

You've heard spaghetti squash is a great substitute for pasta, and you've lugged one home from the store. Now what do you do?

Just about any way you can think of to apply heat can be used to cook spaghetti squash. The big question is: to cut or not to cut before cooking? You can do it either way. Here are the pros and cons of each.

Cutting Up Spaghetti Squash

Advantages to cutting the spaghetti squash up before cooking: It cooks faster.
Disadvantages: Like any winter squash, hacking it up takes muscle and a sharp knife or cleaver. It's also a bit more work to scrape out the seeds and pulp when they are raw.

Method: Just get in there and cut it in half (lengthwise) or quarters. You don't want to cut it up too small unless you want short strands. Scrape out the seeds and pulp as you would with any squash or pumpkin.

Bake rind side up about 30 to 40 minutes at 375 F.
Microwave 6 to 8 minutes (let stand for a few minutes afterwards)
Boil 20 minutes or so.

Separate strands by running a fork through in the "from stem to stern" direction.

Cooking Spaghetti Squash Whole

Advantages to cooking the squash whole: It�s easier.
Disadvantages: It takes longer to cook, and you need to watch out for burns when removing the pulp and seeds.

Method: Pierce the squash several times with a sharp knife. (Do this especially if you're microwaving it, or you may end up with a "Squash Explosion.")

Bake about an hour in the oven at 375 F.
Microwave 10 to 12 minutes, then let stand for 5 minutes or so afterwards to finish steaming.
Boil for half an hour or so.
Slow Cooker/Crock Pot: Put it in with a cup of water and let it go on low all day (8 to 10 hours).

When done, cut open �at the equator,� remove seeds and pulp (I use tongs and an oven mitt -- it is HOT) and separate strands with a fork.

Did You Know? Any squash seeds can be roasted just like pumpkin seeds (pumpkin is a kind of squash). They are low-carb, nutritious, and delicious: How To Roast Pumpkin or Squash Seeds

Spaghetti Squash Storage Tip

Like pumpkin and other winter squashes, whole uncooked spaghetti squash is best stored between 50 to 60 degrees, and will last up to six months this way. If you have a room in your home that isn't well-heated, maybe you can use some space in it as a "root cellar" to store onions, squash, apples, and the like. Our guest room often has vegetables on the bed in the cooler months of the year. On the other hand, spaghetti squash will keep several weeks at room temperature.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Woohoo

I am so excited. Prince Charming has said that he is going to join me on my low carb diet in January. That means that I will only have to cook us one meal a night. That means one set of groceries as well. This will make everything so much easier.

LOW CARB Zucchini Casserole

Start the casserole on a higher heat to dry it out a bit, and then add the last of the cheese on the top (otherwise it gets too brown or could even burn). This works with any kind of zucchini or green summer squash, including a combination of squashes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. zucchini (approximately 2 medium)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 of a medium onion)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 lb. tomatoes (fresh or canned - about a one lb. can of whole tomatoes, drained)
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs or oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup Italian cheese mixture (packaged, or a mix including, for example, Mozzarella, Parmesan, provolone)

Preparation:

Heat oven to 400° F.

1) Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Sauté the onion in the oil for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 30-60 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant. Cut tomatoes in 3-5 pieces, and add, along with the herbs and spices.

2) Cook over medium heat until the liquid is mostly gone (but not dry), stirring occasionally - it should end up being about a cup. This should take about 5-10 minutes.

3) Meanwhile, cut the zucchini into slices approximately ¼ inch thick. Take the largest slices and line the bottom of a 9 X 9" or 8 X 8" pan.

4) Spread about ¼ of the tomato mixture on the zucchini (don't even try to spread evenly; it won't work), followed by ¼ cup of the cheese.

5) Continue layering. It should come out to four layers, but if it only makes three, just try to divide things relatively evenly. Don't put the final layer of cheese on yet.

6) Bake for 20 minutes. Top with the rest of the cheese, and lower the temperature to 375. Bake for about 20 more minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.

Makes 9 smallish servings.

Nutritional Information: Each serving has 3 grams effective carbohydrate plus 1 gram fiber, 5 grams protein, and 78 calories.

How to Make Cheap Steak Taste Good

  • Skirt steak works great when it's marinated for several hours. Either have your butcher cut it in strips (make sure against the grain) or cut it yourself, before or after grilling -- again, against the grain. It is delicious and a classic in fajitas.
  • Flank steak is often mentioned as an inexpensive cut. But where I live, it's sort of mid-range in price. Like skirt steak, it has a pronounced grain and works well with a marinade, and cut across the grain, as in Korean-Style Beef.
  • Flank steak and skirt steak are best medium-rare, or, most, medium. This happens quickly since the steaks are thin. These meats also cook more evenly if they are flipped more often -- once every minute or so.
  • Top sirloin is one of the least expenisve steaks, but it can easily get that livery flavor. In one experiment, four different pieces of top sirloin were put in two identical pairs. In each pair, one of each was marinaded for 4 hours in a standard steak marinade and the other one was salted in a technique found on The Steamy Kitchen Blog. The marinaded ones looked better, but surprisingly: The salted ones far exceeded the marinaded ones, both in texture and flavor. They were delicious.

    To do the salt technique, take the steaks out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking, and heavily salt them with kosher salt. If you'd like, you can rub other seasonings on as well. Some juice will be pulled out of the meat -- don't worry about this. Before cooking, rinse the steaks (really), and pat dry. You can add pepper at this point, but no more salt. They will be perfectly seasoned. I have also seen instructions to leave the salt on them for up to 3 hours.

  • All Inexpensive Steaks: Make sure steaks are at least room temperature before you cook them, as fast cooking makes them less likely to develop the myoglobin. Warming the meat before cooking produces the best results. You can either by put the meat in a zippered-type bag which is submerged in warm water, or for thick cuts (from Cook's Illustrated Magazine) cooked in a warm oven (275 F. for 20-25 minutes). When the steaks are warmed up, they only need quick cooking in a very hot pan or on a grill to finish them.

Friday, December 26, 2008

LOW CARB EGG DROP SOUP

3 whole eggs, beaten (maybe less?)
1 bunch green onions, chopped (I use about 4 onions)
4 cups chicken broth
2 Tablespoons soy sauce

Beat eggs with a fork, but do not cook yet.

Add remaining ingredients to a pot and bring to boil.

Once boiling, take a spoon and turn it upside down from the way we
eat with it. Pour the beaten eggs very slowly, in a thin stream,
over the spoon and into the broth. The result should be ribbons of
egg in the broth.

Total Carbs: 2
Fiber: trace
Net Carbs: <2

Thursday, December 25, 2008

LOW CARB Pan Gravy

Ingredients:
  • Pan Juices from Roast (chicken, pork, etc.)
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet


Collect the pan juices from your roast. Skim off about half of the fat. Add all ingredients to the pan, blending over low heat. Be sure to use a wire whisk to smooth out the gravy. Never use high heat, as this tends to break the gravy. Makes 1 cup.

Total net grams of carbohydrate in recipe: 10.7 grams.

LOW CARB Mashed Cauliflower (Cauliflower Puree)

Pureed or mashed cauliflower is a great substitute for mashed potatoes. Low in carbs and high in nutrients, the "cauli-taste" is very mild. Try it even if you think you won't like it! You can flavor it up in any way you like - adding garlic is a great addition, or Parmesan cheese, or both!

Ingredients:

  • raw cauliflower - a medium head makes about a pound of florettes
  • any combination of butter, milk, cream, or whatever you use when you make mashed potatoes - about 1/4 cup
  • salt and pepper
  • If you have low carb "instant mashed potatoes", add up to 1/4 cup for texture (Optional)
  • Options: minced garlic (a clove or two); garlic powder (1/2 to 1 teaspoon); cheese

Preparation:

  1. Break the cauliflower up into florets, or just chop. I like to cook it in the microwave in a container that I prepare and serve it in, but you can steam it. Cook it until it's tender - a fork should easily pierce it.
  2. The easiest thing to do is to add the rest of the ingredients to the container the cauliflower is cooked in, and then use a stick (hand) blender to put it all together. Or you can put it all in a regular blender or food processor.
  3. Assuming 4 servings from a pound of cauliflower, each will have about 3 grams of usable carbohydrate plus three grams of fiber. The calories will depend on what else you add.
  4. You can use the same process to make a cauliflower soup. The only thing to add is some shredded sharp cheese before blending. Hold back some of of the smallest florets from being mashed, and add just before serving, to add texture to the soup. Sprinkle a little of the shredded cheese on top as garnish.
  5. You can also add half&half to the mash ingredients on occasion for extra creaminess.

Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries

This recipe is low carb, sugar free, gluten free and wheat free.

Don't be afraid to squish them down in the first phase, or they won't fully dry - the soluble fiber in them "gels" and retains water unless it's exposed to the air.

These are great as part of a low carb trail mix.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: ~8 hours,

Ingredients:
  • 1 bag (12 oz) fresh whole cranberries
  • 1 C sugar substitute of your choice (can vary to taste)
  • 1/2 C water

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 200 F.

1. Put cranberries in large skillet, and pick through to remove soft and/or brown ones.

2. If sweetener is powdered, dissolve in water. (comparison of sources of "liquid Splenda"). Pour over cranberries and stir.

3. Heat on medium high until cranberries pop, about 4-5 minutes. Stir every minute or two. When all seem popped, turn off the burner and let them cool for 10 minutes.

4. Squish them down with the back of a large spoon. Don't worry if it seems they are melding together. Let cool another 5 minutes or so.

5. Cover baking sheet with three layers of paper towels and a piece of parchment paper. (I'm sure this would work great in a food dehydrator, but I don't have one.)

6. Spread cranberries on the parchment. Have faith -- they will mostly "individuate" again as they dry. If unpopped ones remain, squish them down now.

7. Put in oven and turn heat down to 150 F.

8. In 2-4 hours, replace parchment and flip paper towels over. (You don't have to do this, but it speeds up the process.)

9. Start checking after 6 hours. Total time depends upon humidity and other factors. It usually takes me about 8 hours. It also depends on whether you want to dry them to the point where they still have some "give" or whether you like them "crispier".

10. Separate them, and store covered (zip-type bags work well).

Carb Count:The whole recipe has 25 grams of effective carbohydrate and 16 grams of fiber.

LOW CARB baked yams with cauliflower

  • 8 small sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups cooked, mashed cauliflower
  • 1 package cream cheese*
  • salt and pepper
  • butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place yams on cookie sheet. Cut cross-hatch into the top (an "x") and bake for an hour. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Change oven temperature to 350 degrees

Carefully peel back top edges from the yams. Leaving the shells intact, scoop out the innards. Keep half*, and save the rest for another recipe. Mash yam innards. Add mashed cauliflower, cream cheese and butter and mix until fluffy.

Spoon or pipe mixture back into the shells and bake for 20 minutes or until warm.

Optional: Top with sour cream, butter,bacon bits and cheese for a loaded version. For a sweeter flavor, sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon, and a small pat of butter. (Adjust nutritional values according to additions)

Makes 8 small yams.

*Nutritional information: Calories: 170, Carbohydrates: 14g, Fiber: 3 g, Net Carbohydrates: 11 g, Protein: 4 g, Fat: 12 g
More sides for Thanksgiving are coming, so keep checking back!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

How to Make Low-Carb Gravy

Sometimes cooks are in the middle of making a low-carb meal, seemingly with no problems, only to become stumped by gravy. How much carbohydrate is in gravy? Although some commercial gravies have a lot of added starch, it's quite easy to whip up a homemade gravy that works fine for those who are cutting carbs. Here are the basics of gravy-making, with considerations for low-carb eaters.

What is Gravy?

Gravy is a sauce made from the pan drippings of roast meat. If there aren't drippings, it isn't "real gravy" -- it's technically just a sauce.

The 3 Basic Ingredients of Gravy

You can use all kinds of fancy ingredients for gravy, and some of them are delicious, but all you really need are three basic ingredients:
  1. Pan drippings (usually with most of the fat removed)
  2. Liquid (usually stock or broth; milk gravies include some milk)
  3. Thickener

What are "Drippings"?

Drippings are what's left on the bottom of the pan when you're done roasting a piece of meat. They include the fat from the meat, juices left from the meat and vegetables cooked along with the meat (if any), any basting liquid used in the process, and, most importantly, the brown stuff stuck on the bottom of the pan.

The Basic Procedure for Making Traditional Gravy

  1. Remove the meat and vegetables from the roasting pan.
  2. Pour off the drippings, ideally into a fat separator. My favorite one has a strainer on top that sifts out larger pieces.
  3. If you can put your roasting pan on the stove, this is ideal. Heat it and deglaze the pan with chicken broth or stock, stirring to dissolve all the brown bits. If you are using flour to thicken the gravy, add it now, with about the same amount of fat from the drippings as flour. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes (this is to remove the "raw" taste of the flour.)
  4. Whisk in the rest of the drippings (not the rest of the fat, which would make the gravy too greasy). A whisk helps avoid lumps.
  5. Whisk in more broth or stock, if needed. If you want to use alternative thickeners (see below), this is the time to add them.
  6. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes -- longer if you want to reduce the gravy more.

    The gravy will have some salt and seasonings from the meat, but you may need to adjust amounts.

What About Low-Carb Gravy?

The only potentially problematic part of the gravy for people who are cutting carbohydrates is the thickener. There are a few alternatives here. I have included links to some low-carb gravy recipes around the net using the various thickeners.

Consider just reducing the sauce with no thickener.
This is called "au jus" rather than gravy. The nice thing about gravy is that you don't need as much thickener as some other sauces, since a certain amount of gelatin-like substances are in the drippings. Just boil the sauce down until it is the thickness you want.

Consider whether you really care about the carbs in flour.
One tablespoon of flour will thicken a cup of gravy, and adds 6 grams of carbohydrate. So ¼ cup of gravy thickened with flour has about 1½ grams of carbohydrate. This just might not make that much of a difference when you come right down to it.

But there are alternatives:

  • Cornstarch- Cornstarch has a little over 7 grams of carb per tablespoons, and that tablespoon will thicken about 1½ to 2 cups of gravy. The gravy won't be as opaque, and will be glossier.
  • Arrowroot - Arrowroot has the same carb count as corn starch, and about a teaspoon will thicken a cup of gravy. Again, the sauce will be clearer and glossier.
  • Reduced Cream - Some recipes use cream to thicken, and then the mixture is reduced. Cream has 6.6 grams of carb per cup.
  • Sour Cream - Some low-carb recipes suggest whisking in sour cream to thicken the gravy. Sour cream has about 10 grams of carbohydrate per cup.
  • Vegetable Gums - Xanthan gum, guar gum, and proprietary products made from them, such as ThickenThin not/Starch, are thickeners with no carbs (and they contribute fiber). You have to use the plain xanthan or guar gums with care because you can easily go too far and get a sort of slimy mess. If you sprinkle it slowly and stop at the right time, however, gums can be effective. ThickenThin is less tricky, in my experience. These products can also produce a somewhat "slick" texture that bothers some people more than others.

LOW CARB Fresh cranberry sauce

Fresh cranberry sauce
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp stevia powder (more or less to taste)
  • 1-1/2 cups water

Mix all ingredients in a 4 quart saucepan on the stove. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until all sweetener is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook until skins burst, about 5 minutes. Serve warm or refrigerate.

Makes 8, approx. 1/2 cup servings.

Nutritional information for 1/8 of the recipe: Calories: 25, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 2 g, Net carbohydrates: 4 g, Protein: 0g, Fat: 0 g

LOW CARB baked yams (with pumpkin)

  • 8 small sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • 1 package cream cheese*
  • salt and pepper
  • butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place yams on cookie sheet. Cut cross-hatch into the top (an "x") and bake for an hour. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Change oven temperature to 350 degrees

Carefully peel back top edges from the yams. Leaving the shells intact, scoop out the innards. Keep half*, and save the rest for another recipe. Mash yam innards. Add pumpkin, cream cheese and butter and mix until fluffy.

Spoon or pipe mixture back into the shells and bake for 20 minutes or until warm.

Optional: Top with sour cream, butter,bacon bits and cheese for a loaded version. For a sweeter flavor, sprinkle with nutmet and cinnamon, and a small pat of butter.(Adjust nutritional values according to additions)

Makes 8 small yams.

*Nutritional information: Calories: 137, Carbohydrates: 10g, Fiber: 1.5 g, Net Carbohydrates: 8.5 g, Protein: 3 g, Fat: 9 g

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Taco Seasoning

1 T chili powder
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t dried oregano
1/2 t paprika
1 1/2 t ground cumin
1 t sea salt
1 t black pepper
Mix together and add 3 T to make taco meat.

Five Minute LOW CARB Sweet Spiced Pecans

This recipe is low carb, sugar free, gluten free and wheat free.

You can start making these yummy spiced pecans when the guests pull into the driveway. By the time they get into the house, it will be filled with delicious smells. Minutes later, the pecans are in a dish, ready to be nibbled on. These pecans are also great in salads.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne or other hot pepper
  • artificial sweetener equal to about 3 T sugar
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preparation:
  1. Use a large enough skillet so the pecans are in one layer. A nonstick skillet works well.
  2. Melt the butter in the skillet and add the hot pepper. If you are using liquid artificial sweetener, add it now.
  3. Add pecans to skillet and cook over medium heat. Stir every 30 seconds. After 2 or 3 minutes, stir them constantly until they just begin to brown. Pecans burn quickly, so keep your eyes on them. If the butter starts smoking before this point, turn off the heat and call them done.
  4. Stir in cinnamon, salt, and powdered sweetener if you're using it. Remove from pan and place in bowl (pecans can still burn sitting in the hot pan).
  5. When they seem cool enough to taste, adjust seasonings accordingly (if you want more salt or sweetener)

. Carbohydrate Information:1/4 cup of pecans have 1 gram of effective carbohydrate plus 3 grams of fiber.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Low-Carb Pizza Bites

This recipe is low carb, sugar free, gluten free and wheat free.

These are like pizza-flavored mini-quiches using pepperoni as the crust in a mini-muffin pan. They also can be made without the pepperoni. You can use small amounts of whatever pizza ingredients you like.

Ingredients:
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ cup sugar-free pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, or combination mozzarella and other cheese such as Parmesan
  • ¼ cup finely minced green pepper or other pizza topping
  • 24 slices of thin-sliced pepperoni, preferably in large thin slices
Preparation:
Heat oven to 350° F.

1. Poke the pepperoni slices into the bottoms of the mini-muffin cups, or butter the cups well if you aren't using the pepperoni (I find that oiling the pans doesn't work as well).
2. Cream the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs, garlic, and oregano, and beat until smooth.
3. Mix the rest of the ingredients in by hand.
4. Fill the muffin cups with the egg and cheese mixture.
5. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and set in center. Remove from oven, and cool for a few minutes (5-10), then run a knife around the top to loosen (I use a plastic knife for my nonstick pan). Remove to a plate.

Makes 24 pieces

Nutritional Information: Each piece with pepperoni has 1 gram effective carbohydrate, 3 grams protein, and 67 calories. Without pepperoni, each has 1 gram effective carbohydrate, 2 grams protein, and 47 calories.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Low-Carb Thickeners

When making a white sauce or other sauce, stew, or soup requiring a thickener, many low carb cooks are unsure of the best approach, since traditional thickeners are starches. Sometimes if you are only using a little starch for a recipe that makes several servings, it may not matter. However, if you are cooking a thick sauce or soup, you might want to consider some lower carb alternatives. Here are some of the ins and outs of sauce thickeners. Feel free to mix and match according to the effect and carb level you are going for.

Traditional Starch Thickeners

Regular Flour - White flour is the most common thickener used in sauces. In some recipes, you might be fine using it. There are 6 grams of carbohydrate per tablespoon of regular flour. This will thicken one cup of a gravy (which has some thickeners from the meat), or a thin sauce. It takes two tablespoons of flour to thicken a sauce of medium thickness, and three for a thick sauce. Whole wheat flour has 4.5 grams effective carbohydrate plus 1 gram fiber per tablespoon. It takes slightly more to thicken a sauce than white flour.

When you use flour to thicken a sauce, you can't add it directly, as it will create lumps. The best way to add it is in a roux, where you heat it with a fat like oil or butter and cook it for a minute or two (stirring constantly) to get rid of the raw flour taste. Then whisk in the liquid. A roux will slowly get darker the longer you cook it, and some recipes will call for darker rouxs, however, their thickening power decreases as you cook them, so for low carb purposes, a white roux is best.

Other ways to add flour to a sauce are a slurry, where you stir or shake up the flour with cold water and then add to the sauce, or a beurre manié, where you mix the flour and butter into a paste and add it bit by bit. You can also add the flour to vegetables or meat as you are browning or sauteing them.

Cornstarch - Cornstarch has 7 grams of carb per tablespoon, but more thickening power. According to the corn starch manufacturers you only need half as much cornstarch as flour, but experts seem to vary on this point. Sauces thickened with cornstarch are less opaque and glossier. Cornstarch is generally added to cold water and then to the sauce. You don't have to worry about cooking it first.

Arrowroot - Arrowroot is similar to cornstarch and used the same way, except it makes a totally clear sauce and lends a glossier appearance. Stands up to acidic liquids better than cornstarch.

Making a Low-Carb White Sauce

To make a low-carb white sauce (Bechamel sauce), you can use any dairy product (see carb counts), or unsweetened soy or almond milk (check the ingredients carefully to make sure no sweetener is added), with any of the thickeners on this page.

Alternative Thickeners

If you want to avoid starches altogether, there are quite a few alternatives. Which one you choose will depend a lot upon what you're making.

Reduction - Simply simmering the sauce until enough water evaporates that the sauce is thicker works in some cases.

Vegetable gums - Yum! They may not sound really appetizing, but vegetable gums are just a type of fiber that absorbs water to make a sort of gel. They are often used as thickeners in commercial products. The most common are guar gum and xanthan gum, which can be purchased at most health food stores or online.

To use vegetable gums to thicken sauces, sprinkle them into the sauce while whisking. Often it only takes a small amount, so go slowly. Too much will overthicken and/or give the sauce a "slick" feel.

An alternative to plain vegetable gums are products based on them which are a little easier to use. Expert Foods makes several of these products for different uses. I particularly like the not/Starch.

Pureed vegetables - This is especially good for creamy soups, but works for other sauces as well. Almost any cooked vegetable can be blended and used to thicken a soup or sauce (think broccoli or pumpkin soup). Tomato paste is a great thickener. Eggplant, zucchini or other squash, cauliflower, or the lower carb root vegetables are all excellent choices when you don't want the vegetable to add too much flavor.

Cream - Cream will thicken as it reduces, so if you add cream to a sauce and boil it, the sauce will thicken more than reducing without the cream.

Sour cream is already thickened - whisk it into a sauce.

Cream cheese is thicker than sour cream, although it obviously has a distinctive flavor.

Butter - If you add cold butter at the end of cooking a pan sauce, it will have a thickening effect

Egg Yolk - Think of mayonnaise - at it's heart, it's nothing more than oil and egg yolk. Or think of hollandaise sauce. An egg yolk can really bring the right kind of sauce together, especially if there is oil or fat in it. Don't add the yolk directly to a hot sauce or it will scramble. To avoid this, "temper" the yolk(s) by adding a small amount of the sauce to the them to gradually bring them up to temperature. Then add the tempered eggs to the sauce.

Nuts and nut butters - Ground nuts were traditionally used to thicken sauces in olden times. Nut butters (peanut, almond, etc) work even better.

Flax seed meal - Flax seed meal does thicken liquids, but it's so grainy that I haven't found it to work well in many sauces. I like it to thicken shakes, though.

How To Make Whipped Cream

Making your own whipped cream is easy and the flavor and texture leaves the store-bought stuff in the dust (that stuff is usually neither whipped nor cream). How to make your own delicious homemade whipped cream in 5 minutes.

  1. Put cold heavy cream and flavorings in mixing bowl. Avoid ultra-pasteurized cream if possible (see tip below). Try 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract per cup of cream, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar equivalent such as Splenda or Equal. Adjust to taste. Other extracts or flavorings (such as mint or chocolate) can be used as well.
  2. With standing mixer with whisk attachment or electric hand mixer, beat cream (you can use a hand whisk; it just will take longer). Start slowly -- if you set it on high at first, you'll have cream all over the place. Set the mixer so it goes as fast as possible without splashing.
  3. As cream thickens, turn the speed up. As it gets foamier, start checking for a soft peak, which is what you want. The peak should bend over at the top when you remove the whisk. As it gets close, slow down, because if it goes too far, it will clump and separate (essentially become butter).
  4. If you forget to adjust flavorings, you can still do it at this point. Ta-da! Whipped cream!

Tips:

  1. Ultra-pasteurized cream is harder to whip, and the texture isn't the same, but it can be done. It helps if you use a metal bowl and the equipment is cold -- put the beaters and bowl in the freezer for a few minutes before using.
  2. One cup of heavy cream will yield about 2 cups of whipped cream. After a few hours, it will start to lose volume. But you can mix it again and it's still good to eat, even after a day or two.
  3. The higher the butterfat content, the better it will whip, since the whipped fat traps the air bubbles.
  4. Refrigerate whipped cream and anything you make with it (such as a frosted cake).
  5. When using sugar substitutes, liquid types of Splenda such as Sweetzfree work well but you can also use powdered.

What You Need:

  • Mixing bowl and beaters or whisk
  • Heavy cream
  • Vanilla, sweetener, and/or other flavorings

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Deep Dish Low-Carb Pizza

This recipe is low carb, sugar free, gluten free and wheat free.

I know this egg-based crust is going to sound strange, but I urge you to trust me and try this. I've tried a whole lot of low-carb pizza crusts over the years, and this is really the best one. No, it isn't like regular, but it's really good.
Ingredients:
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 oz cream cheese (3/4 package) at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoon oregano or other Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pinches of black and/or cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup (or a little more) shredded Italian cheeses, at least half of which is a hard cheese (Parmesan, Assagio)
Preparation:
Heat the oven to 350° F.

1) Be sure the cream cheese is at about room temperature. Using a regular blender, food processor, or (my preferred) stick blender, mix the egg and cream cheese until well blended. Add the salt and spices and blend again.

2) Spread cheese in bottom of well-buttered 9X13 pan. Pour egg mixture over the cheese, and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the top is browning.

3) Remove from oven, add pizza toppings, and bake until done - about another 10-15 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional Information: Each serving has 1.5 grams effective carbohydrate plus 11 grams protein, and 179 calories.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Really rich low carb bon bons

This is made up, so the measurements are not really measured, just go by taste and texture.

  • Hershey's cocoa (in the brown box) a couple of tablespoons
  • Splenda to taste
  • cream (enough to give a pasty texture)
  • and flavoring of choice try vanilla and orange extract, or butter rum extract
  • unsweetened coconut to roll the candy in

  1. Add sweetener to the cocoa, stir well (sweetener to taste)
  2. Add flavoring of choice (to taste)
  3. gradually add enough cream to make a paste like consistancy that can be formed into small balls.
  4. shape into balls and roll in coconut
  5. Refrigerate until firm OR just eat it!

Must be kept in refrigerator to avoid spoiling.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

LOW CARB CHINESE GREEN BEANS

Ingredients:
  • 8 ounce bag frozen green beans (or 14 ounces if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sweetener of choice
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
Directions:
  1. Place frozen green beans in microwaveable dish, sprinkle with bouillon, cover and microwave on high for about 4 minutes.
  2. Combine green onions, onions, garlic, ginger, Splenda, and soy sauce in small bowl; mix well.
  3. Pour sauce mixture over green beans and mix well. Cover and microwave on high for 2 to 4 more minutes or until well heated.
Using 8 ounces of beans, it is approximately 4 servings with 5 net carbs per serving. 14 ounces of beans would make about 6 servings with the same 5 net carbs per serving.

ORNISH POLENTA WITH TOMATO SAUCE

FOR THE POLENTA:
1 cup polenta
4 cups water or vegetable stock

FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE:
2 cups canned, chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine (or veg broth)
2 tbsp minced fresh garlic
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp dried oregano
salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
chopped fresh basil or italian parsley (for garnish)

TO PREPARE THE POLENTA:
Gradually add the polenta to the 4 cups water or stock, stirring as it is added to prevent lumps from forming. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, about every 5 minutes for about 30-40 minutes. The polenta burns easily. It has finished cooking when the mixture is hard to stir and the stirring spoon is able to stand within the polenta. Before it becomes too thick, you may want to add salt to taste. Add small amounts of liquid if the cornmeal is not cooked and too much liquid has evaporated.

Once cooked, transfer the polenta to a baking dish or cookie sheet and smooth out until it is a uniform height. Allow to cool somewhat.

WHILE THIS IS COOLING PREPARE THE TOMATO SAUCE:
To start the sauce, puree the tomatoes with their canned liquid. Set aside.

Braise the onions in red wine with the garlic, basil and oregano.

When tie wine has been reduced and the onions are tender, add the pureed tomatoes. Cook for about an hour, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick and with little visible liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. There should be about 1 1/2 cups sauce.

Serve the polenta with tomato sauce ladled over the top. Garnish with basil or Italian parsley.

Servings: 4

POLENTA WITH TOMATO SAUCE AND ZUCCHINI

1 cup polenta (above recipe)
vegetarian tomato sauce (above recipe)
3/4 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 tbsp dried oregano, chopped
salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare 1 cup polenta and tomato sauce as per the instructions for Polenta with Vegetarian Tomato Sauce. Set the polenta out in a pan.

Toss the sliced zucchini with the garlic, basil, oregano and salt and pepper to taste, place on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.

After the polenta has been assembled, ladle the tomato sauce evenly over the polenta and arrange the zucchini over the sauce.

Bake for 15 minutes more.

Servings: 4

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Low Carb Sausage and Egg “Muffin”

Ingredients
  • 6 oz Ital. sausage
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/8 cup heavy cream
  • 3 oz cheese
  • OPTIONAL: salsa, bacon, onion
  1. Preheat oven 350.
  2. Spray 3 super large muffin tins with PAM.
  3. Cut up links and put two in bottom of each tin.
  4. Mix eggs and cream and salt & pepper.
  5. Pour some in each tin.
  6. Sprinkle with half the cheese.
  7. Pour remaining egg mixture in and sprinkle with rest of cheese.
  8. Bake about 20 min.(time may vary) until eggs are done and golden.
  9. Remove from oven and let sit few minutes. Use spoon to remove "muffins".

Serves 3 @ 2.3 carbs

W/O Sausage: 3 @ 1.6 carb

These puffed up about 2" and were really tasty

ORNISH TOFU GUMBO

Serve this rendition of a classic southwestern dish over long grain rice with a slice of corn bread on the side.

  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups canned crushed Italian tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup 1/4-inch-sliced carrots
  • 1 cup 1/4-inch-sliced celery
  • 4 cups 1/4-inch-sliced okra
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 cup sliced yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp Cajun Spice (recipe follows)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 (10 oz) tofu, pressed and cubed
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
In large saucepan, combine the onions, vegetable stock, tomatoes, carrots, and celery. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the okra, red and green bell peppers, yellow squash, corn, garlic, Cajun Spice, paprika, fenugreek and red pepper flakes. Continue simmer for another 10 minutes.

Add tofu and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Servings: 6-9
Serving size = 1 cup
Per serving: 116 calories, 2.3 grams fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 152 milligrams sodium without added salt

Cajun Spice
Makes 3/4 cup

This has a much more exuberant flavor than the premixed spices from the grocery. It is best when the ingredients are fresh.

  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder or flakes
  • 2 tablespoons ar11c powder or flakes
  • 1 tablespoon gumbo file
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (or whole seeds, toasted and ground)
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander (or whole seeds, toasted and ground)
  • 1/3 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground fenugreek (or whole seeds toasted and ground)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground fennel (or whole seeds, toasted and ground)
  • 1/3 tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper

In the large bowl of a food processor, combine all the ingredients and pulse for 30 seconds or until finely ground. Store in an airtight container in a cool place. Use within 3 months.

Cajun Spice serving size = 1 tablespoon
Per serving: 21 calories, 0.6 gram fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 296 milligrams sodium

Monday, December 15, 2008

LOW CARB ASIAN MEATBALLS

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ground turkey (or beef if you prefer)
  • 1/3 cup green onions, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon sweetener of choice
Directions:
  1. In medium bowl, combine ground meat, all onions, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and sweetener. Shape into 36 meatballs.
  2. Cover and pan fry over medium heat (with about 2 Tablespoons oil) for 5 minutes; turn, cover and fry another 5 minutes; turn, continue
  3. frying and turning until liquid has evaporated. Meatballs are done when internal temperature reaches 180.
Serves 6 with 4 net carbs per serving; 23 net carbs for the entire recipe.
These are also great to have in the frig for a quick bite of something when the urge to snack hits.

ORNISH Marinated Cucumber and Red Bell Pepper Salad (using cellophane noodles)

  • 2 oz dry cellophane noodles or bean thread noodles
  • vegetable broth (optional)
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, and sliced cucumbers
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red bell peppers
  • 1 cup no-oil Italian dressing or vinaigrette
  • 1 tbsp freshly minced basil
  • 1 tbsp freshly minced cilantro
  • 1/8 tsp red hot chili flakes
  • lettuce
Drop the noodles into boiling water or vegetable broth for 5 to 10 minutes or until done. Drain.

Toss all ingredients together and marinate for at least 1 hour. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Low Carb Fake French Toast

Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • dash cream, dash water
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1 pkt Splenda
  • 1 oz pork rinds (about 1/2 2.25 oz pkg)

  1. Beat all ingredients except rinds.
  2. Crumble rinds and let soak in egg mixture until thick gloppy batter.
  3. Heat butter in frying pan, and pour in batter, spreading around pan.
  4. Fry until brown on one side, flip and brown other side.
  5. Serve with maple syrup. Serves 1 @ 2.3 carbs

This was pretty good, but if you hate pork rinds, don't try it. The flavor is not real strong, but it's there.

ORNISH Eggplant Rollups

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into thin slices (vertically)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup (or more) fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Soy Cheese, mozzarella variety (I like Soy Station brand best)
  • Fat-Free Marinara sauce with mushrooms (I use Trader-Joe Organic)
Heat broiler. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Lay eggplant slices on cookie sheet in a single layer. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Place under broiler and broil, watching carefully so they don't burn until eggplant is golden brown. Turn eggplant slices over and lightly spray with cooking spray. Broil until second side is golden brown and eggplant is soft. Reserve.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix cottage cheese, egg replacement, nutmeg, salt and pepper and parsley together in a small bowl.

Spray a medium-size baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and spread a small amount of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the dish. Lay cheese slices on each eggplant slice. Spoon about 2 Tablespoons of the cottage cheese mixture onto each cheese covered eggplant slice and roll up. Place overlapping side down in pan in single layer. Cover with more marinara sauce.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until bubbly and hot throughout. If desired, sprinkle with shredded soy cheese after rollups have baked for 40 minutes. Continue baking for 5 more minutes until cheese melts. Remove from oven and let stand 14-20 minutes before serving.

Serve with tomato slices drizzled with balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with fresh minced garlic along with garlic rubbed whole wheat hamburger bun halves, lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and broiled until golden brown.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

LOW CARB STIR-FRIED CABBAGE RECIPE

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 or 2 stalks celery, chopped bite size
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sweetener of choice
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
Directions:
  1. Mix the soy sauce and sweetener in a small bowl.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat until amost smoking.
  3. Add the onions and stir-fry for a few minutes or until they start to soften.
  4. Add the celery, cabbage, garlic and ginger and cook until the celery is tender-crisp, stirring frequently.
  5. Add the soy sauce mixture. Cook and stir until the everything is desired consistency, about 1 minute.
  6. Serves 6 with 2 net carbs per serving; 12 net carbs for the whole recipe.

Friday, December 12, 2008

LOW CARB Cinnamon Cheese Danish

If you make it with liquid Splenda, you can get the carbs down to 2. Otherwise these are about 4..because of the Splenda's filler, or you could probably use the little packages
3=the sweetness of 1/4 cup.

Pastry portion:

3 extra large eggs, separated (reserving 1/2 yolk for filling)
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 cup granulated Splenda or 3 pkgs. of Splenda..or other
sweetners
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tbs. ricotta cheese or sour cream

Filling:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 egg yolk (from above)
1/4 cup granulated Splenda or 3 pkgs, etc.
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
you can add lemon, almond, orange, raspberry flavorings,
if you want to this filling-about 1/4 tsp

Pastry directions:

Separate eggs, putting the whites in a large bowl and the
yolks in a medium bowl. Take the 1/2 yolk out and put it in
a little dish to reserve for filling.

With your electric beater, whip whites and cream of tartar until very stiff.

Add sour cream or ricotta, cinnamon, sweetener to the yolks
and beat well until smooth

Gently fold yolk mixture into the whites, using a big spatula,
being careful to get it all blended well. Then spray a cookie
sheet or muffin top pan (the best way), and plop 6 equal
mounds of batter to make 6 Danish.

Make an indent on each mound and fill with filling. Bake about 25-35 minutes
at 300 until golden brown. Remove, cool and enjoy

Filling: Microwave cream cheese until soft. Remove and add
the 1/2 egg yolk, sweetener, extract, and flavoring. Fill pastries.

Pineapple Thai Rice

Ingredients:

1 1/2Cups Brown Rice
3 Cups Water
4 Green Onions
1 Large Red Chili or Poblano Pepper Seeded
2 Tablespoons Cilantroy
1 Can Unsweetened Pineapple Tidbits in Their Own Juice
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
1 1/2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce


Instructions:
-----------------------------------------------------
Place green onion, chili pepper and cilantro and process to finely chop them. Prepare rice according to package directions. While rice is cooking, mix pineapple tidbits and juice with chopped ingredients in small bowl. Combine garlic, soy sauce, and pineapple mixture in skillet and heat to a boil. Fold in cooked rice.


Additional comments:
-----------------------------------------------------
This serves around 6 for a side dish or 4 as a main dish. The heat from the peppers with the sweet of the pineapple is totally yummy! It would be good served it with zuchinni and squash that is cooked with onions and garlic in a little water until nice and soft.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I have to learn

I have to learn to love myself.

I have to learn to love my body. This body gave birth to two beautiful baby girls.

I have to learn to believe that it is possible for my husband to find me attractive even at this weight.

I have to learn not to let my weight and my diet be the measure of my success.

I have to learn not to see myself as hideous. Attitude is 90% of sexy. I need to feel that weight is not what makes you sexy, you are what makes you sexy. Once I get into that headspace, it is easier for me to lose weight, to feel better about myself, to believe that I am worth this.

Low Carb Atkins Cheesecake Muffins

Atkins Cheesecake Muffins (Induction Friendly)

2 (8 oz.) cream cheese

½ c. granular splenda or (1/4 cup davinci's syrup and a tsp. Fiberfit - for 0 carbs)

2 eggs

½ tsp. vanilla or preferred flavoring

Soften cream cheese about 30 seconds in the microwave. Add the rest of the ingredients. Beat with mixer until smooth. Pour the batter into 12 muffin tins that have been sprayed with a non-stick spray. Muffin papers sprayed with non-stick spray can also be used for easy removal. Bake at 350˚ for 20 minutes.

Carb Count: (if using granulated splenda)

Total Recipe: 26 carbs

Per Muffin: 2 carbs

Carb Count: (if using DaVinci and Fiberfit)

Total Recipe: 14 carbs

Per Muffin: 1 carb WOW!!

One carb per muffin seems too good to be true, but it is true. These are a terrific breakfast muffin and can be tweaked for a variety of flavors. During induction, use DaVinci syrups in a variety of flavors for a delicious change of pace. Here are a few examples for adding variety to the Atkins muffins:

¼ c. coconut DaVinci and 1 tsp. coconut extract

¼ c. coconut DaVinci with 1 tsp. pineapple extract (tastes like Pina Colada)

¼ c. Hazelnut DaVinci with a sprinkle of cinnamon

¼ c. Eggnog DaVinci with a sprinkle of nutmeg on top before baking (This is wonderful for Thanksgiving or the Christmas Holidays.)

Once induction is over, this recipe can be adapted to OWL (ongoing weight loss). Here is one variation for after induction:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ornish Diet Main Courses

Apple Flax Pancakes

Serves: 6
Nutrition Analysis per 2 pancackes:
130 Calories 5 grams fat

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 c. Whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c. All-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. Flax meal
  • 3 T. Sugar
  • 1 T. Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • Dash Nutmeg
  • 6 1/2 Tbsp. Pasteurized egg substitute
  • 1 1/4 c. Skim milk
  • 1 c. Pared and shredded apple
  1. Recipe Directions: Combine flours, flax, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat together egg substitute and skim milk. Add liquid ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined.
  2. Shred apple and add to batter.
  3. Spray pan with Pam. Pour 1/3 cup measure of batter onto pan. Cook pancake until bubbles appear on surface. Turn over and brown other side.
Balsamic Vegetables with Southwestern Vegetarian Rice

Serves 5

Ingredients:

  • 10 slices
  • Eggplant, fresh, sliced thinly with skin
  • 10 slices Zucchini, fresh, sliced thinly with skin
  • 10 slices Yellow Squash, fresh, sliced thinly with skin
  • 1 Tomato, diced
  • 8 Green Peppers Strips
  • 2/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Minced Garlic Clove
  • 2 tsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 # (raw weight) Brown Rice
  • 2 ½ cups Water
  • 2 tsp. Vegetarian Base
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Cumin
  • ¼ tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup Corn, frozen
Recipe Directions:

1. Mix balsamic vinegar, garlic and brown sugar.
2. Pour over vegetables.
3. Marinate for one hour before service.
4. Cook rice in water with seasonings.
5. Add corn and heat.
6. Keep hot for service.
7. Steam vegetables.
8. Serve over vegetarian rice.

Eggplant Parmesan

Makes 6 Servings

Ingredients:
  • 3 Large egg whites or equivalent amount of egg beaters
  • 1 cup Fine dry breadcrumbs (hard to find commercially, prepare your own)
  • 1/2 cup Grated parmesan cheese, soy based or fat free
  • 2 Medium eggplants, sliced into 1/4 thick rounds
  • 1/4 cup Fresh basil (use less if desired)
  • 2 1/2 cups Marinara sauce (make your own or substitute healthy choice or other fat free sauce)
  • 3/4 cup Fat free mozzarella cheese

Recipe Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. Beat/whisk egg whites/eggbeaters with 3 tablespoons water until frothy. Combine bread crumbs and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese with salt and pepper to taste in shallow dish. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then coat with breadcrumb mixture and place on baking sheets.
  3. Bake until golden brown, turn and bake again. This part takes about 1/2 hour.
  4. Mix basil with marinara sauce. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in baking dish, top with eggplant slices and cover with 1 cup of sauce and sprinkle with 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese. Cover with the rest of the eggplant slices. Top with the rest of the sauce, mozzarella and parmesan.
  5. Bake uncovered 20-30 minutes until bubbly. Allow to stand about 10 minutes before serving.
  6. One serving is high protein, low calorie, and nearly fat free.
Johnnie Marzetti

Makes 12 Servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 package (12 oz.) Whole wheat noodles
  • 1 1/2 package Morning Star soy crumbles
  • 4 Medium onions (chopped)
  • 2 cans Healthy Choice tomato soup
  • 1/2 pound Fat free cheddar cheese (or Kraft fat free slices)
  • 1 package (6 oz.) Sliced portabella mushrooms
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Fat free evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp. Cornstarch

Recipe Directions:

  1. Cook noodles until tender. Saute soy crumbles and onion mixture until tender in a non-stick skillet lightly sprayed with Pam. Heat 2 cans tomato soup, add cheese and stir until melted. Dice mushrooms, cook until tender in 2 cups of water, do not drain.
  2. Mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and stir until there are no lumps, and 1/2 cup of fat-free evaporated milk and stir until thickened. Add to mushroom mixture.
  3. Fold noodles into baking dish. Add crumbles and onion mixture. Stir, add tomato soup and cheese mixture. Stir and add mushroom mixture. Stir well. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Lentels, Eggplant, and Brown Rice
Serves 6
163 Calories 1 Gram Fat 10 mg Sodium

Ingredients
  • ½ cup Onion, diced
  • ½ cup Tomato, diced fresh
  • 1/8 teaspoon Coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon Pepper
  • Dash Cloves
  • Dash Cardamom
  • Dash Cinnamon
  • 1/3 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/3 teaspoon Fresh Grated Ginger
  • 1/3 teaspoon Garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Eggplant, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup Dried Lentils
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Zucchini, chopped
  • 2/3 cup Brown Rice (Dry Volume)
  1. Cook rice according to package directions.
  2. In medium non-stick pan, sautee' onions, fresh tomatoes, garlic, eggplant and spices about 7 minutes. Add lentils and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in zucchini; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Stir in rice.
  3. Keep hot for service.


Martha's Vegetarian Chili
Yield: 6 Servings

275 calories 5.6 grams fat 14 grams fiber

Ingredients for 6
  • 2 ½ cups Kidney beans (use bean liquid in sauce)
  • 1 cup Bulgur wheat
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 2 cups Chopped onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup Chopped green pepper
  • ¼ cup Diced carrots
  • ¼ cup Diced celery
  • 14 oz. can Diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz. can Tomato paste, diluted with 3 cans of water
  • 1 cup Tomato juice
  • 2 tsp. Basil
  • 2 tsp. Chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • ¼ tsp. Cinnamon
  1. Place bulgur wheat in bowl. Heat tomato juice to boiling and add to the bulgur wheat. Stir and let stand approximately 15 minutes.
  2. Sautee onions, carrots, peppers and seasonings in olive oil.
  3. Heat tomatoes, tomato paste, water, sautéed vegetables and seasonings for 15 minutes.
  4. Add kidney beans to simmering pot.
  5. Just 15 minutes before serving, add bulgur/ tomato juice mixture.
Meatloaf with Garlic Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound Smart Ground (Imitation Ground Beef)
  • 2 oz. Onions
  • 2 oz. Red Peppers
  • 1 cup Egg Beaters
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tbsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp. White Pepper
Recipe Directions:

  1. In a mixer, combine Smart Ground, onions, peppers, celery, pepper, and eggbeaters.
  2. Thicken the mixture by adding the whole wheat flour. Mixture should be thick enough to stick to the beaters in the mixer.
  3. Place the mixture in a baking mold wrapped in plastic wrap. Cover the top with plastic wrap and foil; Bake at 3500 for 40 minutes wrapped. Remove the wrap and bake uncovered for 8 minutes longer or until mixture browns.
  4. Remove from the oven and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  5. Slice and serve with Garlic Mushroom Sauce.
Garlic Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds Domestic Mushrooms cut into 1/4
  • 4 tbsp. Chopped Garlic
  • 2 tbsp. Parsley
  • 2 tbsp. Thyme
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tbsp. Vegetable base mixed with 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Soy Milk
  • Cornstarch and cold water to thicken
Recipe Directions:
  1. Place the mushrooms and garlic in a saucepan and cook over med-high heat until the mushrooms release water.
  2. Add the herbs and salt. Cook 5 minutes longer.
  3. Add the vegetable base and cook until almost dry.
  4. Add the water and soy milk and bring to a boil.
  5. Thicken with cornstarch.
Oat Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 4 ½ cups oats
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ cup Brewers yeast or nutritional yeast flakes
Recipe Directions:
  1. Bring water, soy sauce, and seasoning to boil.
  2. Turn down heat.
  3. Add onion and oats, mixing together.
  4. Turn off heat and allow to cool about 30 minutes.
  5. Form into patties.
  6. Suggestion: Use both parts of a canning lid.
  7. Fill with mixture then place on cookie sheet upside down, then remove both parts of lid. This will make equal size burgers.
  8. Bake until nicely browned at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
  9. Turn after 20 minutes.


Paella

Serves: 8

Nutritional Analysis Per ½ Serving
Calories 160
Total Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
Total Carbohydrate 33g
Vitamin A 15%
Calcium 4%
Sodium 440mg
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugar 3g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 40%
Iron 8%

Ingredients:
  • 2 2/3 cups Water
  • 2 tsp. *Low Sodium Vegetable Base
  • 1 cup + 2 ½ Tbsp. Brown Rice, dry
  • 2/3 cup Onions, diced
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. Paprika
  • ½ tsp. Turmeric
  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper
  • ½ cup Red Peppers, diced
  • ½ cup Green Peppers, cut in ¼ inch strips
  • 2/3 cup Green Peas, frozen
  • 1 1/3 cups
  • Artichoke Quarters, canned, drained, chopped
  • 2/3 cup Kidney Beans, canned, drained & rinsed
  • 2/3 cup Baby Corn, canned
Recipe Directions:
  1. In a kettle, mix vegetable base and water. (*Can substitute purchased low sodium, low fat vegetable broth for water and base) Add rice, seasonings, onion and garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes.
  2. Add vegetables. Cover and cook about 10 minutes more or until all the liquid is absorbed. Keep hot (above 145 degrees) for service.
Pineapple Sweet & Sour Stir-Fry

Ingredients:
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 Clove Garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger (fresh, minced)
  • 1 (19-oz.) Can Pineapple Chunks and their juice
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, seeded and cut into squares
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and cut into squares
  • 1/4 cup Sweetener of your choice
  • 1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • Optional Carrots (fresh,sliced)
  • Optional Celery (fresh, sliced)
  • Optional Mushrooms (sliced)
  • 2-3 cups Prepared tofu, seitan or textured vegetable protein (tvp)
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tablespoon of water
Recipe Directions:
  1. In a large, lightly sprayed wok ( use Pam or Pur), steam-fry over high heat: onions, garlic and ginger.
  2. When the onions become slightly translucent, add: the pineapple chunks/juice, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, sweetener, cider vinegar, kethcup, soy sauce, carrots(optional), celery(optional), and mushrooms(optional).
  3. Let the mixture come to a boil over high heat and stir in: the prepared tofu, seitan or tvp and constarch mixture.
  4. Cook over high heat until the sauce thickens and the tofu, seitan, or tvp is heated through. Serve immediately over brown rice.
Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers

Serving size: 1 stuffed pepper
229 Calories 0.65 g Fat 0 mg Cholesterol
50.2 mg Carbs 5.8 g Protein 45.0 mg Sodium
  • 8 large Bell peppers, preferably red
  • 2 1/2 c. Vegetable broth, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 c. Mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 c. Onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 c. Celery, finely diced
  • 2 c. Basmati rice
  • 1/2 c. Canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. Cumin seed
  • 1 c. Green peas, fresh or frozen
  1. Make "caps" for each pepper by slicing about 1/3 inch off the top of each one. Set the caps aside.
  2. Carefully remove the seeds and white ribs inside each pepper.
  3. Boil the peppers in a large pot of salted water until tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Drain and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. When cool, drain again and pat dry.
  5. Bring the broth to a simmer in a large saucepan.
  6. Add salt, pepper, mushrooms, onion, and celery.
  7. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add rice, tomatoes, and cumin.
  9. Return to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to lowest setting, and cook 18 minutes.
  10. Uncover and put peas on top; do not stir in.
  11. Cover pot again, remove from heat, and let stand 7 minutes to allow peas to cook through.
  12. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and fluff with a fork.
  13. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  14. Divide the stuffing evenly among the peppers; you should have about 1 cup stuffing for each pepper.
  15. Top with lids. Arrange them in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish; if they don't want to "stand," lay them gently on their sides.
  16. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until peppers are hot throughout.
  17. Serve with Black Bean Sauce.
Soy Burgers


Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. Smart Ground (By-LightLife)
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1/3 cup Oats
  • 1 medium Onion
  • to taste Onion powder
  • to taste Garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup catsup

Recipe Directions:

  1. Mix Smart Ground until crumbly,
  2. Saute onion- add to mixture.
  3. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
  4. Shape into burgers.
  5. Brown on both side in stick-free skillet that has been sprayed with fat-free Pam.
  6. Cover and let simmer (very low heat) around 5-7 minutes.
Spicy Arkansas Chili

Serves: 4 (serving size 2 cups)
247 Calories 0.3g Fat 0 Cholesterol
30.6g Carbohydrate 31.3g Protein 534.7mg Sodium (with no salt added

Ingredients:
  • 10 2.5 oz. Boca Burger "No Fat Original" patties
  • 1 c. Diced onion
  • 1 c. Diced green bell pepper
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 T. Chili powder
  • 1 T. Ground cumin
  • 1 c. Canned ground tomatoes, or diced
  • 1/4 c. Tomato salsa (no added fat)
  • Salt To taste

Recipe Directions:
  1. Cook Boca Burgers according to package directions.
  2. Chop coarsely.
  3. In a nonstick pot, combine onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, and cumin.
  4. Add 1/4 c. water, bring to a simmer, and simmer until vegetables are soft and water evaporates, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes, salsa, chopped Boca Burgers, and 2 cups water.
  6. Bring to a simmer, cover, and adjust heat to maintain a slow simmer.
  7. Cook until chili is thick and flavorful, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
Strawberry & Banana Stuffed French Toast

Ingredients:
  • 1 12" Loaf Whole wheat bread
  • 2 T. Strawberry jam
  • 4 oz. Fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1 lb. Strawberries
  • 3 Bananas
  • 6 Egg Beaters® (egg substitute)
  • 1/2 c. Soy milk, lite
  • 1/2 c. Apple juice, frozen concentrate
  1. Cut bread into 1-1/2 inch slices.
  2. Make pocket in each slice by cutting slit from top of the bread almost to the bottom.
  3. Combine jam, cream cheese, 1/2 cup chopped strawberries and 1/2 cup chopped bananas. (Use remaining strawberries and sliced bananas for garnish).
  4. Place heaping tablespoon of strawberry filling into each pocket.
  5. Press back together. Beat eggs and milk in wide shallow bowl.
  6. Add bread; let stand to coat, then turn to coat other side.
  7. Place half of the frozen apple juice in large skillet, over medium heat, add four bread slices.
  8. Cook until brown, turn and cook other side. Remove and keep warm.
  9. Repeat with remaining four bread slices. Garnish each plate with remaining strawberries and sliced bananas
  10. Can be served with warm syrup or a warm strawberry sauce of your choice.
Vegetable Lasagna

10 Servings

Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. Whole-wheat lasagna noodles
  • 2 lbs. Fat free cottage cheese
  • 1 c. Fat free Parmesan cheese or soy cheese alternative
  • 1 T. Garlic, chopped
  • 1 T. Basil, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3 oz. Egg substitute
  • 1 lb. Broccoli, chopped in small florets
  • 1/2 lb. Carrots, shredded
  • 3 c. Fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1-5 oz. package Veggie Shreds
  • 4 c. Tomato sauce
  1. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water until al dente, cool and set aside.
  2. Combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and egg substitute in mixing bowl and mix until smooth.
  3. Add vegetables to mixture, and continue to mix thoroughly.
  4. Lightly spray an 8 x 6-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  5. Line bottom of pan with lasagna noodles and place 1/2 of cheese and vegetable mixture on top of noodles.
  6. Cover cheese mixture with 2 cups tomato sauce.
  7. Repeat layer of noodles and rest of cheese mixture.
  8. Top with layer of noodles, remaining tomato sauce and Veggie Shreds.
  9. Cover with foil and bake in oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Vegetarian Chili

Servings: 6

Ingredients:
  • ½ pound Lentils, dry
  • 2 cups Northern Beans, cooked
  • ¾ cup Onions, diced
  • ¾ cup Green Peppers, diced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 2 cups Kidney Beans, cooked
  • 2 cups Tomatoes diced in juice
  • ½ cup Tomato Paste
  • 1 Quart Water
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp. White Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
Combine all ingredients. Simmer for about 1 hour until lentils are tender.
Vegetarian Sloppy Joes
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
  • 2 cups Boiling Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar

Recipe Directions:
  1. Mix the above ingredients together and set aside for 10 minutes, until tvp is reconstituted.
Ingredients:
  • 1 large can Manwich (can use Bold Manwich)
  • 2 tablespoons Prepared Mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar (Brown Sugar Splenda)
  • 1 1/2 cups Barbecue Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Green Peppers
  • 1/2 cup Onions
  • 1/2 cup Celery
Recipe Directions:
  1. Add the reconstituted tvp mixture to the remaining ingredients and cook until thick and vegetables are cooked.
  2. Serve on wheat buns, tortillas, etc.
Pasta Primavera
  • 1 pound whole grain spaghetti (whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa)
  • 1 cup carrot, peeled and cut julienne
  • 1 cup zucchini, cut julienne
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup yellow squash, cut julienne

Blanch vegetables in one quart of boiling salted water (1 teaspoon salt) or steam al dente 1 minute or less, depending on the size of the cut; refresh in iced water and drain.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender. (Check package directions for timing.) Drain well. Mix pasta and vegetables julienne, put in a mold and reheat in microwave or steamer. Serve with sauce. Garnish with broccoli florets. Serves 8.

Tester's note: The Ornish diet requires whole grain pastas. Chef Fullsack recommends quinoa or brown rice pastas as a taste preference to whole wheat pastas. This dish freezes well for individual servings at home or in restaurants. Fullsack freezes the pasta combo in an 8-ounce ceramic cup and freezes the sauce in 2-ounce servings (ice cube trays work well, he says).

To serve with the flourish of a chef, ladle the 2 ounces of heated sauce on plate. Invert cup of pasta on top of sauce. Add the basil leaf for garnish. Fullsack also added a border of balsamic vinegar with blanched garlic slices rolled in parsley.

Tomato and Roasted Bell Pepper Sauce
  • 1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and diced 1/4 inch
  • 2 bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
  • 1 onion, oven-roasted for 30 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees
  • 2 cloves garlic, oven roasted for 7 minutes
  • 1 pinch thyme, dried
  • 16 leaves basil, sliced
  • 1 drop Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 pinch salt
Combine tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, thyme and vegetable stock in saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Puree in blender and season with salt and Tabasco. Serve with fresh basil leaf.
Roasted Quesadillas with Chiquita Bananas

A surprisingly tasty sweet and spicy combination. The creamy texture of the bananas enhances the creaminess of the melted cheese and sets off the spicy flavors of the cilantro and jalapenos.

Yields: 7 servings
Recipe Cooking Time Preparation 10 minutes
Cooking 15 minutes
Ready In 25 minutes

Ingredients
  • 12 each corn tortillas fat free, optional: whole wheat tortillas
  • 6 ounces monterey jack cheese non-fat, grated, optional: cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped, fresh, optional: parsely
  • 2 each jalapeno peppers seeded, minced
  • 1 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 2 medium bananas sliced in thin circles
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place 6 tortillas on a nonstick baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese, cilantro, chiles, sprouts and bananas.
  4. Cover with the remaining tortillas and press down firmly.
  5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until cheese is soft and melted.
  6. Cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges and serve with hot sauce or salsa.
GARBANZO STEW
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup dried garbanzo beans
  • (chickpeas), soaked overnight
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh gingerroot
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the stock and black pepper. Garnish with the lime juice and chopped parsley. Serves 4.nd garbanzo beans. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 1 hour, or until just tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the cooked garbanzos, reserved liquid, onion, tomato, ginger, coriander, garlic, and cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Season to taste with freshly grou

PER SERVING

Calories: 240
Sodium: 460 mg
Protein: 11 grams
Carbs: 44 grams
Fiber. 10 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Fat: 3 grams
(11% of calories)
Sat. Fat 0 grams
(0% of calories)

ROASTED AUBERGINE HERO
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 eggplant (approximately
  • 1 pound), sliced into 1/2" rounds
  • 2 green bell peppers, cored and cut
  • into 1/2" slices
  • 1 tomato, cut into 1/2" slices
  • 1/2 onion, cut into 1/2" slices
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms, cut
  • into 1/4" slices
  • 1 24"-long thin French baguette

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 [degrees] F. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and mustard. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. On a large parchment-lined nonstick baking sheet, place the eggplant, green pepper, tomato, onion, and mushroom slices in a single layer. (It may be necessary to use 2 sheets.) Roast the vegetables for 30 minutes, or until tender but not dry.
  3. Slice the baguette lengthwise and spread each side with the yogurt and mustard mixture. Layer the roasted vegetables over the spread on half of the baguette. Cover with the second half of the baguette and cut the loaf into four 6" sandwiches. Serves 4.

PER SERVING

Calories: 260
Sodium: 500 mg
Protein: 12 grams
Carbs: 50 grams
Fiber. 6 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Fat: 2 grams
(5% of calories)
Sat. Fat: 1 gram
(2% of calories)

PASTA WITH RED PEPPERS, GREENS, WHITE BEANS, GARLIC, AND LEMON ZEST
  • 1/2 cup white beans, soaked in
  • water overnight
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/3 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2"
  • strips
  • 4 cups Swiss chard or escarole,
  • washed well and cut into 1/2"
  • strips
  • 1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/4 pound Whole Grain penne pasta, uncooked
  • 1/4 pound Whole Grain farfalle pasta, uncooked

Rinse the beans, put them in a saucepan, and cover with 2 cups cold water. Add the bay leaf and 2 cloves of garlic and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.

Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer in a saute pan over moderate heat. Add the pepper strips and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, then add the greens, 2 cloves of garlic that have been minced, and lemon zest and stir well, until the greens are wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the beans (most of the liquid will have been absorbed) from the cooking liquid with a slotted spoon and add them to the peppers and greens. Warm through. Season to taste with the salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Meantime, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and toss with the beans and vegetables. Serves 4.

PER SERVING

Calories: 300
Sodium: 410 mg
Protein: 14 grams
Carbs: 60 grams
Fiber: 6 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Fat: 1 gram
(4% of calories)
Sat. Fat: 0 grams
(0% of calories)

LOW CARB Chicken Breasts with Roasted Garlic-Goat Cheese Sauce

Serving Size : 6

  • 1 head garlic bulb
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces chevre cheese -- goat cheese
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • xantan gum - a sprinkling to thicken
  • 1 thinly sliced green onion, optional - for
  • garnish

  1. Brush the whole garlic head with olive oil, wrap it in foil, and bake for 2 hours in a 200 degree oven.
  2. Let the roasted garlic cool enough to handle.
  3. Melt the butter in a skillet.
  4. Cut off the top of the garlic and squeeze the soft cloves out into the skillet.
  5. Cook slowly, stirring, until the garlic combines with the butter into a smooth paste.
  6. Add the stock, cream and goat cheese and simmer until smooth.
  7. Thicken with a small sprinkling of xanthan gum if necessary.
  8. Season with salt and white pepper.
  9. Grill, bake, or sauté the chicken breasts until they just spring back when pressed with a fingertip.
  10. Serve with the garlic sauce.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 256 Calories; 13g Fat (45.9% calories from fat); 31g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 89mg Cholesterol; 545mg Sodium. Exchanges: 4 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2 Fat.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

LOW CARB Zucchini Pancakes with Blue Cheese, Pecans and Oregano

3 grams net carbs
Serving Size : 8

  • 1 pound zucchini -- coarsely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 4 each large eggs -- lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup Carbquik Bake Mix
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese -- (1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans -- or walnuts
  • olive oil for frying

1. In a colander, toss zucchini with salt and let stand 30 minutes to drain excess water. Press zucchini with the back of a spoon and then blot between paper towels. Place in a medium bowl.
2. Add green onions, eggs, bake mix, parsley, oregano, and pepper; mix well. Fold in the cheese and nuts.
3. Heat oven to warm setting. In a large non-stick skillet, heat a thin layer of oil over medium-high heat. In batches, drop zucchini in heaping tablespoonfuls onto skillet and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to oven to keep warm while preparing remaining pancakes. If you wish, top each hot pancake with a dollop of sour cream.

Yield: 16 pancakes
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Per Serving: 147 Calories; 11g Fat (55.5% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 113mg Cholesterol; 364mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2
Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Fat.

Ornish Diet Desserts

Blueberry Muffins

Serves: 12
Calories 119 Dietary Fiber 3.5g
Total Fat 0.75g Sugars 10.6g
Saturated Fat .1g Protein 4.3g
Cholesterol .5mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.7g
Sodium 165mg

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 1/2 cups All-Bran Cereal
  • 1 1/4 cups Skim Milk
  • 1/3 cup Pasteurized Egg Substitute
  • 1/4 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1 cup Coarsely Chopped Blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup Raisins
  • 1 tsp. Orange Peel
Recipe Directions:
  1. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, spice and sugar. Set aside.
  2. Measure All-Bran cereal and milk into large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Let stand 2 minutes or until cereal is softened. Add egg substitute and applesauce. Beat well. Stir in blueberries, raisins and orange peel.
  3. Add flour mixture, stirring only until combined. Portion batter into muffin-pans coated with cooking spray.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees about 22 minutes or until lightly browned.
Blueberry Banana Shake


Ingredients:
  • 2 c. Nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt
  • 1 c. EDENSOY® Organic Soy Beverage - Vanilla
  • 1 c. Blueberries
  • 1 Banana
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend at high speed until smooth.
Lemon Cream with Fresh Strawberries

Serves: 10

* Calories: 90 Dietary fiber: 1g
* Total fat: 0g Sugars: 12g
* Total cholesterol: 0mg Protein: 6g
* Sodium: 70mg Vitamin A: 6%
* Total carbohydrate: 18g Vitamin C: 80%
* Calcium: 15% Iron: 2%

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp. Unflavored gelatin
  • 1-32 oz. container Vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/3 pkg. Nutrasweet
  • 1/4 cup Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 pints Fresh strawberries, green removed and quartered
  1. Spray spring form pans with Pam.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin over fresh lemon juice in a small saucepan. Let stand 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir with heatproof rubber spatula over medium-low heat until steaming and gelatin dissolves.
  4. Put yogurt into bowl; add 1-2 drops yellow food color, if desired.
  5. Stir in NutraSweet and gelatin with a whisk until well blended. Divide among pans.
  6. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until set.
  7. When set, run knife or spatula around sides of pan. Release side of pan. Cut each cake in tens.
  8. Serve each piece with 1/2 cup fresh strawberries.
Spiced Pumpkin Bars

Serving size: 1 bar Serves: 24
102 Calories 0.1 g Fat 0 mg Cholesterol
23.0 g Carbs 2.4 g Protein 68.0 mg Sodium

Ingredients:
  • 1 c. Egg whites (from approx. 8 large eggs) or liquid egg substitute
  • 1 c. Unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 c. Splenda
  • 2 c. Canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • 2 c. Unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 T. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground cloves
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a 12 by 18 by 1-inch pan with nonstick spray (Canola oil).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, applesauce, sugar, and pumpkin.
  3. Sift or stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Gently fold dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture; do not overwork. Spread mixture evenly in prepared pan. Bake until firm to the touch and lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool, then slice into 24 bars.

**NOTE TO MY FRIENDS**
Come on in for a nice cup of coffee and a chat about my weight loss journey as well as all the healthy recipes I have found, including WW points and/or nutritional information if available. I am eating a vegetarian diet and concentrating on getting healthy and hopefully weight loss will follow. Thank to all my readers for their ongoing support.