Category Archives: Recipes

Cod with Tomatoes is a great combination

Photo: Spicy Cod with Tomatoes

I am not a huge fan of fish, although I really love shrimp, scallops, and lobster. But I do enjoy a nice fish filet such as salmon, cod, trout, tilapia, and catfish. Some fish have too fishy a taste for me while others have an off-putting texture. Even though I enjoy them on occasion, I don’t cook them very often. So, I have resolved to prepare fish more frequently. Frequent is a nicely undefined term, so we’ll see how that works out.

With this in mind, I found a recipe for cod with butter and tomatoes and changed it slightly to what I had available in my pantry. I used Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning, but you can use any Chipotle seasoning mix you like. Cod is mild flavored, so the addition of the seasonings and sauce ingredients adds more dimension to the dish. It was not too spicy and very flavorful. Timmy, my male cat who turned 16 this month, enjoyed the few bites he got and was disappointed I wanted to eat my own dinner.

Cod in Spicy Butter & Tomato Sauce

2 Cod Filets 4 to 5 oz. each
2 tablespoons Butter, salted
1/4 teaspoon Better than Bullion Chicken
2 tablespoons Boiling Water
2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
10 Cherry Tomatoes
2 teaspoons  Southwest Chipotle Seasoning

Using the Southwest Chipotle seasoning, generously sprinkle on all sides of the cod filets and pat it into the fish.

Warm a skillet over medium heat. Mix the bullion with 2 tablespoons of boiling water (or use chicken broth). Add the broth, wine vinegar, and cherry tomatoes. Cook about 5 minutes or until tomatoes split open and release the juices. If they don’t split, poke them with a sharp knife to start the process.

Add the butter and stir until the butter melts. When is melted, add the cod filets. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, looking for the fish to turn white half-way up before flipping them over. (This may vary, depending on the thickness of the filets.) Be careful to not overcook the fish.

Remove the cod to a serving plate and spoon the tomatoes and sauce over each filet. Sprinkle with parsley and add a slice of lemon if you wish.

Makes two servings.

Nutrition Info: Cod in Spicy Butter & Tomato Sauce

Easy and tasty Korean Beef Bowl

When you’re looking for something quick and easy to make, especially when it’s warm out and you don’t want to heat up the kitchen too much, try cooking a simple skillet dish.

For a taste of Korean-style food, this easy to make Korean Beef Bowl fits the bill. If you want to make it a little lower in carbohydrates, reduce the soy sauce to 1/4 cup. This reduces it 1 net carb per serving.

Korean Beef Bowl

1 pound lean ground beef
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup Low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Swerve Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 Green Onions, chopped, divided
2 stalks Celery, chopped
4 cups riced Cauliflower, cooked
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Using a large skillet, heat it over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles on it. Add ground beef and use the spatula to cut and crumble it into small pieces. Cook until browned, about 7 minutes. Drain any excess grease from the pan.

Stir in the garlic, ginger, and sesame oil and cook for about 2 minutes until you can smell the seasonings. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, and crushed peppers to the pan and cook about another 7 to 8 minutes until some of the beef absorbs some of the sauce. Add 1/2 of the chopped green onions and stir.

Spoon the beef mixture over the cooked cauliflower rice in 4 dinner bowls. Sprinkle the rest of the chopped onions and sesame seeds over the beef and serve. A crisp cucumber salad – sliced cucumbers, sliced red onions, and a little shredded daikon radish in rice wine vinegar – makes a refreshing side dish.

Makes 4 delicious servings.

Tip: For variety, use a cauliflower-zucchini rice or a cauliflower-broccoli rice instead of plain cauliflower. Also, add a little beef bullion to the rice combination as it cooks. I’ve also used riced turnips as a rice substitute.

A Variation on a Classic Sandwich

Photo: Baked Monte Cristo Sandwich

This recipe comes from Chef Gregory at Tova Foods, the makers of Carbquik. It’s easy to make and tastes great. The flavors go together and appreciate the slight sweetness from the jam in it. I like to eat it with Cranberry Mustard, although any mustard or mayonnaise will complement the sandwich.

Although I used Carbquik to make it, you can use almost any low carb baking mix. If you want to try almond flour, it will probably work, but you may need to add 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder, a pinch of salt, and about 2 tablespoons of softened butter to the bowl. Like Bakesquick, Carbquik has these ingredients mixed into it.

I recommend using parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. It will prevent sticking. Even with spraying baking spray on the pan, I’ve had my baked goods stick to the pan. So cut a piece to fit and spray it with baking spray, and this should come out easily. I used LC Foods sugar-free Raspberry Jam for my sandwiches, and I also tried it with thin slices of apple in place of the jam. If you use Smucker’s sugar-free jam, the carbs will come out about 1 carb higher per sandwich.

Baked Monte Cristo Sandwich

1 cup Low-Carb Baking Mix
2 tablespoons Golden Flax Meal
1/2 cup Half and Half Cream
1 Egg
4 ounces Swiss Cheese, thinly sliced
4 ounces Deli Ham, thinly sliced
4 ounces Deli Turkey, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Sugar-free Strawberry or Raspberry Jam

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F.). Prepare a 6x6x2-inch baking pan by cutting a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom. Spray the paper and sides with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix baking mix, flax meal, half and half, and egg together to make a thick batter. If the batter is too thick, add water, a tablespoon at a time, to make it thin enough to spread easily. Spread half the batter in the bottom of the baking pan.

Layer 1/2 of the turkey, then 1/2 of the ham, and 1/2 of the Swiss cheese. Spread the sugar-free jam over the top of the cheese. Then repeat the layers– turkey, ham, and cheese. Spread the rest of the batter over the top and smooth it to the sides of the pan.

Bake about 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let cool for five minutes. Cut into four pieces and serve.

Makes four 3×3-inch sandwiches. This will serve four when you add a side salad. If you’re really hungry, it will feed two.

Nutrition: Monte Cristo Sandwich


Crispy, Cool Salad for Warm Evenings

Photo: Shrimp Salad

As we move into the dog days of August, I think about cool and easy to prepare dinners. That often means a salad. In this instance, it’s a lovely combination of shrimp, asparagus, avocado, and cucumber over a nice bowl of mixed salad greens. Requiring only a little cooking for the shrimp and asparagus, this dish comes together in about thirty minutes or less. The lemon vinaigrette can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve.

For the salad:
8 oz Shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups Spring Mix Greens
10 spears Asparagus, trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces
1/2 Avocado, cubed
1/4 cup Red Onions, sliced
1 small Cucumber, peeled and sliced
Salt and Pepper, to taste

For the lemon vinaigrette
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1 large Lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon Sugar-free Honey
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1-2 cloves minced Garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste

Make the vinaigrette first. In a small bowl, add all the ingredients and whisk together. Taste to see if it needs more honey, salt, or pepper. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. Whisk again before serving. You can store any excess dressing in the refrigerator for about one week.

Heat a medium-sized pot to boiling and add the shrimp. Cook for about three minutes, then drain and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Heat olive oil in a saute pan and add the asparagus spears. Cook for about three minutes. Drain the shrimp, pat dry with a paper towel, and add to the pan and stir fry them for a couple of minutes to get slightly browned.

Remove the shrimp and asparagus to a pan or bowl to cool. Using two salad bowls, divide the spring greens and arrange half the onions and half the cucumber in each bowl. Divide the shrimp and asparagus between the bowls, then add avocado pieces. Spoon about two tablespoons of the lemon vinaigrette the ingredients in each bowl.

Serves two.

Tip: Buy pre-cleaned and deveined  frozen shrimp to save time, and it make less mess in the kitchen. If you don’t have a fresh lemon, use 6 tablespoons of lemon juice. 

Image: Nutrition Information: Shrimp Salad

Simple Cheese Bread Rounds

Photo: Cheese Bread Rounds

As bread for sandwiches or a snack, these easy-to-make cheese rounds are sturdy enough and quick to make. The recipe came from DCC Carb Counters using their Bakesquick for the small amount of flour they use. Although I haven’t tried any other flour options, I believe any low carb baking mix, or almond or coconut flour will also work. If you use coconut flour, use half the amount and add another egg white.

You can add any number of spices or seeds to the recipe to vary the flavor. Use hard cheeses, such as cheddar or Swiss for at least one of the options.

I used two of these rounds to make a chicken salad sandwich, and they worked beautifully. They cool to a sturdy, but still soft cheese bread round that holds up to the meat, mayo, lettuce, and tomato. I don’t know if it will work with a hamburger, but it might.

Two cheese bread rounds hold a chicken salad sandwich together.

Cheese Bread Rounds

1/3 cup Carb Counters™ Bakesquick™
1/4 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan or your favorite blend of shredded cheeses
2 Large or Extra Large Egg Whites or 6 tablespoons Liquid Egg Whites
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning *

Preheat Oven to 350°. Spread a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet or pizza pan (or coat the surface with non-stick cooking spray.)

In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and stir until they are blended together. Separate into 6 tablespoon-sized pieces and roll into balls. Place each on your cookie sheet, allowing 4″ between balls.

Use a piece of plastic wrap to press balls down to 4″ wide rounds. A plastic baggie works well to put your fingers in to do this. Bake for 12-15 minutes until they are a light golden brown. Cool on a rack.

Makes 6 flat bun-size rounds.

* You can use any add-ins to enhance the flavor that you like. Suggested seasonings are Italian, dried chives, dried onions, dried dill, and Mexican blend herbs for a spicy flavor. You can also add in sesame seeds or poppy seeds.

Image: Nutrition Information