Category Archives: Recipes

Seafood on Meatless Monday is okay

Photo: Scallops and Zucchini crepes

If you like seafood, then it’s okay, according to my sources, to have it on “Meatless Monday,” but if you don’t feel free to substitute another vegetables into this lovely recipe for scallops and vegetable crepes. I wanted to make Coquilles Saint Jacques, a deliciously wonderful creamy dish with scallops, mushrooms, and wine, but I didn’t have all the ingredients. So I settled for this light, but delicious dish of crepes with scallops and zucchini.

Making crepes can be a hit or miss situation. I don’t make them often enough to perfect six at a time, so usually, I can figure on one or two of them being unusable.  It takes a bit to get the temperature of the skillet just right and to pour the right amount of batter, even though you’re sure you put in 1/4 cup. So don’t be discouraged if your first one comes out a little messy. The dog will probably like it.

I used a small copper skillet to make mine. It’s the omelet pan size, so it’s perfect for a six-inch crepe. Getting flipped it another issue. You have to let the batter cook long enough that it moves on the pan easily, then gently slide the spatula — one without any raised edges– under the crepe and turn it over.

The filling uses scallops and zucchini, but you can substitute in other vegetables for the scallops or zucchini if you wish. Mushrooms, butternut squash, kohlrabi, turnips, spinach,  and kale are a few possibilities. For this recipe, I used CarbQuick as my flour, but you can use any other low carb flour. Almond flour will probably not work as a thickener, so I wouldn’t suggest it.

I used a hard Romano cheese so I could use the hand cheese grater, but you can purchase it already grated.

 

Scallops with Zucchini and Cream Sauce


Photo: Crepes with scallops and asparagus

For the Crepes:

2 Eggs
1/2 cup Low Carb Flour
1/4 cup Almond Milk
1/4 cup Vegetable Stock
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Melted Butter
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Herb and Garlic Seasoning

For the Filling:

1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Low Carb Flour
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/8 cup Water or Wine
1/2 cup Zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon Onion Flakes
1/2 teaspoon Herb Seasoning
8 oz. Sea Scallops, rinsed and drained
1/8 cup Romano Cheese, grated

Make the crepes:

In a blender or drink mixer, add eggs, low carb flour, almond milk, stock, salt, seasonings, and melted butter. Pulse until mixed, then blend to get any lumps out. If batter is too thick — it should be pourable — then add a little water until it is fairly thin, Put in the refrigerator about an hour.

Heat a non-stick 6 or 8-inch skillet or a 8-inch cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add a little cooking spray. Put the batter jay back on the blender and pulse a couple of times to remix and check the consistency. Add a little water if needed.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet, then lift it and swirl it around until it coats the bottom evenly. Cook the crepe for 2 to 3 minutes, checking to see if it is drying on the top and that the bottom is not getting too brown. When the crepe is done enough, it should slide without too much effort. Use a spatula to carefully flip the crepe over. Cook the back side for 1 minute. Remove to a plate, place a piece of wax paper on top and cook the next crepe. Repeat. Batter should make six crepes.

Make the filling:

In the skillet or a sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat, then add the flour, stirring until it is mixed in. Add the cream and stir it to make a creamy sauce. Add the water or wine and stir together. Add in the zucchini, onion flakes, and seasoning. Cook a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the scallops and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the size of the scallops, until they are done all the way through. Don’t overcook as they will get rubbery.

On a plate, place one of the crepes, add 2 tablespoons of filling, fold it into a roll, then place seam side down on a serving plate. Repeat with three more crepes. Put shredded Romano cheese over each crepe.

Recipe makes four filled crepes. You have two extra crepes (if they all came out successfully). These are smaller crepes, so two filled crepes is a good serving portions. Each filled crepe is 4.1 grams of carbs, so both are 8.2 grams per 2 crepe serving.

Hint: You can make this same recipe with shrimp, lobster, or diced chicken in place of the scallops.

Image: Crepes Nutrition Info Image: Scallops filling nutrition info

 

A Simply Delish Vegetable Pie

Photo: Cabbage and Celery Root Pie

Here’s recipe with a long list of ingredients, but it really goes together pretty quickly once the vegetables are cut up. The taste is perfect with the hint of celery and potato-like texture that comes from the celery root.  If you can’t find celery root, then substitute in kohlrabi or turnips, but the celery root is worth finding if a market near you carries it.

I used Carbquick for my biscuits, which is available from Netrition.com and Amazon. You can use any low carb flour to make them, although the almond flour and coconut flour will have a different taste and texture as well as being slightly higher in carbs.

If you’re not aiming for a meatless meal, this is a yummy side dish for any main meat, such as chicken, pork roast, or steaks.  Would go very well with salmon or any white fish.

Photo: Slice of Cabbage Pie

Cabbage, Celery Root, & Squash Pie

For the filling:
2 cups Cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup Celery Root, cubed
1/2 cup Butternut Squash, cubed
1/4 cup Zucchini, sliced
1/4 cup yellow onion
6 Baby Carrots, diced
1 tablespoons Butter
1/3 cup Cream
1 cup Vegetable Broth
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoons all-purpose Low Carb Flour
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Table Blend Seasoning

For the Biscuits:
1 cup low carb biscuit mix or low carb flour
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder (if not using a mix)
3 tablespoon Butter, cold
2 to 4 tablespoons cold Water
1/4 cup Egg Whites (if using coconut flour)

Preheat oven to 400 F.degrees. Have a small baking pan (6″x6″) or loaf pan ready.

In a medium skillet, add 1 tablespoon Butter and the cabbage. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until the cabbage is limp and shiny. Put cabbage in a bowl.

In the same pan, add the olive oil and onions and cook until it is translucent, then add the celery root, butternut, carrots, and onions. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove to the same bowl as the cabbage.

In the pan, add the broth, thyme, oregano, and seasoning. Stir and cook until it is heated, then add the cream and mix it in. Add the flour to begin thickening it. You can also use a teaspoon of guar gum to help it thicken more. Mix the flour in well, then reduce heat to a high simmer. Cook and stir until it begins to thicken. Add the vegetables back to it and stir it well, reduce to a low simmer and cook until the sauce is about the thickness of heavy cream.

Remove from heat. Prepare the biscuit dough.

Biscuit dough
Use 1 cup low carb Biscuit flour mix, such as CarbQuick, Bakesquick, or a similar flour product. You can use a combination of 1/2 cup almond flour plus 1/2 cup coconut flour or soy flour. Mix 3 tablespoon butter into the flour until it resembles crumbles. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of cold water. If you use coconut flour, you will need to add a 1/2 teaspoon baking powder to it and 1/4 cup of egg whites to get it to rise. Add the egg whites after you’ve added the butter and mixed it in.

Divide the biscuit dough into four balls and shape each one into a circle and distribute evenly over the top of the vegetables. If it is easier to roll the dough out to the shape of your pan, then do that or shape it to fit.

Bake about 20 to 25 minutes. Let rest a few minutes, then serve. Makes 4 servings.

Photo: Nutrition Info for Cabbage PIe

Variations on Enchiladas

The seasons begin to turn, and I have been craving a little Mexican food this past week. It’s a fundamental part of my diet since I grew  up in a Southwest border town. But I also wanted to use a meatless variety choice, so I went for this adapted recipe for enchiladas. Just cheese in these logs of tortillas is common and can be found in most Mexican restaurants, so a little twist or two on the recipe makes it a more interesting and flavorful combination. This version is destined to become one of my favorites for a Meatless Monday or any time you want a light dinner.

For my ingredients, I used Great Value Fiesta Cheese mix, found at Wal-Mart, which includes four varieties of Mexican cheese and is really low in carbohydrates. You can select other cheese mixes or just Monterrey Jack cheese. I also used Jalapeno Cheese, which adds just a little kick. The butternut squash is a delicious, but mild stand-in for meat and adds a little substance to the dish.

Other add-ins could include chopped olives, chopped green chiles, green onions, chopped and cooked tomatillos, and additional seasonings such as cumin, cayenne pepper, and cilantro to adjust it to your preferences. Also, I made this batch with red enchilada sauce, but you can use green chile enchilada sauce or green chile salsa. Each change will affect the overall Carb count though. Anytime you are making Mexican food, you can expect the net carbs in the dish to push toward the 10 net carb mark, so figure any changes into the meal.

Photo: Enchilada cut open.
Enchilada cut open to reveal the cheesy interior. I served mine with a apple, kohlrabi, and cabbage coleslaw

Butternut and Cheese Enchiladas

4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cups Salsa
1/4 cup Onions, chopped
1/2 cup Jalapeno Jack Cheese, grated or shredded
1 cup Butternut Squash, cubed
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese or Mexican Cheese Mix
6 7-inch Low Carb Tortillas
1 cup Red Enchilada Sauce
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.)

Cook the butternut squash cubes for 1 to 2 minutes in a microwave until they are just tender. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the cream cheese and salsa and beat it to mix together. (I used a wooden spoon to work it together, but you can also use a hand mixer.) Add the onions and 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack or Fiesta Cheese and mix together well, then stir in the butternut squash. This is the filling for your enchiladas.

In a baking pan or a oven-safe skillet, add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/6th of the filling down the middle of a tortilla and roll it into a log over the filling. Place seam down in the pan. Repeat with the next 5 tortillas, fitting them snugly into the pan or skillet. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with 1/2 cup Cheddar Jack or more Mexican Cheese Mix.

Photo: Enchiladas in a pan.
Six enchiladas just out of the oven in a square copper skillet.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is melted. Let sit for a few minutes, then use a spatula to remove each enchilada to the plate. Serve with a salad or Spanish riced cauliflower.

Makes 6 servings.

You might also like Chicken Enchiladas with ZucchiniCast Iron Skillet Enchiladas, and Apple, Kohlrabi and Carrot Slaw.

Photo: Info for Enchiladas

Meatless Pizza Monday

Photo: Zucchini, Eggplant, & Beets Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza? And what do we miss when trying to stay low carb? You betcha! Good news. We have pizza crust alternatives that work very well for making pizza. If you haven’t tried any of these, give them a shot. First, there’s the cauliflower crust, which you can make yourself or now buy at places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. For that matter, you can order them online from Amazon. However, check the carbs on these as some of them are higher than making them yourself.

You can also make a pizza crust using low carb flour. I use LC Foods Pizza and Calzone mix to make this delicious crust, but I have also used DCC All Purpose Flour to produce an equally good, but slightly sweeter crust. You can also use a large portobello mushroom as a pizza base. While white meat chicken makes a great pizza base, that doesn’t work so well on Meatless Monday. You can also use a low-carb tortilla to make a fairly crispy crust, but be careful not to overcook it.

For this recipe, I’ve provided the toppings only and the carb count is just for them, so add in the count for the pizza base. My pizza recipe makes two personal-size pizzas, but you can make a larger eight-inch pizza and cut it in half. I like to cook my pizza on a rack since that allows the underside to brown evenly as well as the top. I really like this combination of vegetables and seasoning, but you can adapt it to others if you like. When buying pasta sauce, check the carb count. I used one that comes in at 3.5 net carbs for 1/4 cup.

Zucchini, Eggplant, and Beets Pizza Toppings

2 small Pizza Crusts
1/2 cup Zucchini, 1/4″ slices
1/4 cup Golden Beets, diced
1/4 cup Japanese Eggplant, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Spinach, fresh
1/4 cup Pasta Sauce
1/3 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F.)

Cook pizza crusts for 5 to 10 minutes if it isn’t already partially cooked.

Cook diced beets in a microwave for one minute. You can use the zucchini and eggplant raw or sauté them in a pan with a splash of Olive Oil for a couple of minutes to soften.

Spread 2 tablespoons of the Pizza Sauce on each pizza crust. Arrange the zucchini and eggplant slices on top of the sauce, then distribute the beets on top of them. Arrange enough spinach leaves over the tops to cover them. Sprinkle cheese over the top.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the crust is browned.

Serves two.

Photo: Nutrition Count for Pizza Toppings

Links to recipes for Low-Carb Flour Pizza Crust and Cauliflower Pizza Crust.

If it’s Halloween, it must be Pumpkin Bread

Image: Pumpkin Loaf

I can’t believe I haven’t published a pumpkin bread recipe since pumpkin is one of my all-time-favorite flavors. This recipe is so delicious and really easy. The cream cheese adds flavor and texture to the loaf. I seldom specify a low carb flour, but in this case, I do recommend using Dixie Carb Counters All Purpose Flour to make a wonderful bread loaf. It will still turn out well using other flour replacements, such as almond flour, soy flour, or coconut flour, but not textured as beautifully.

Note if you use coconut flour, halve the amount it is replacing (1 cup of flour = 1/2 cup of coconut flour) and add two eggs or two egg whites since the rise will come from the eggs. Of course, other flour choices might change the net carb count.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Loaf

4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Butter
1 Sugar Substitute
1/4 cup LC Foods Sweet Brown or more sugar substitute
2 tablespoons Swerve Brown sugar blend
2 Eggs
1 cup canned Pumpkin
1 1/4 cup DCC All-Purpose Flour or other low-carb flour
1/2 cups Almond Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 cup chopped Pecans or Walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Prepare a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. I prefer using a layer of parchment paper on the bottom to prevent sticking, then spray with cooking spray over the bottom and up the sides.

In a large bowl, add the cream cheese, butter, sugar, brown sugar, and Sweet Brown (if you are using) in mixing bowl. Beat until creamed together. Beat in eggs, adding one at a time, then add the pumpkin.

In another bowl, mix the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Whisk until mixed. Pour the dry ingredients into the egg and cream cheese mixture and stir together until the flour is mixed in and evenly moistened, but don’t over mix. Stir in the nuts. Spoon into the loaf pan and spread it evenly.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove and cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan. If the sides are stuck, use a plastic knife or thin blade to go around the edges of the pan, then invert over a plate. Let cool on a rack.

Makes 12 slices.

Image: Nutrition Info for Pumpkin Loaf