Category Archives: Recipes

Easy Cheese Pie makes great snacks!

 

Photo: Cheese Pie sticks

Whether you want a side dish,  the main course, or snacks, this cheese pie is a quick and versatile option. I adapted this from a recipe at 12 Tomatoes to a low carb version, which is only a couple of changes. You can use any cheese you like, although mozzarella holds it together well. You can also add your favorite seasoning or mix it up. Use a Mexican cheese mix with taco seasoning and add in chopped green onions for variety. Mix in broccoli and garlic herb seasoning with mozzarella and Reggiano. The possibilities abound.

My flour choice was Bakesquick from Dixie Diner, but you can also use any other low carb flour, including almond flour. If you use coconut flour, use 1/3 cup and add an extra egg. You can use 1 full cup of milk instead of the heavy cream and almond milk, or use the heavy cream and add water to make 1 cup.

Photo: Cheese Pie

Cheese Pie

2 Eggs
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
2/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 cup Low Carb Flour
3/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
3/4 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Ground Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Use cooking spray or butter to grease a 9-inch pie plate or a baking dish.

Add the eggs to a medium bowl and whisk until they are mixed together. Add cream, almond milk, and flour, and seasonings and whisk until they are fully incorporated. You can use a blender to combine these. Stir in both cheeses and any other additions. Make sure they are mixed in well. Pour cheese mixture into the greased baking dish and use a spoon or spatula to smooth the top.

Bake between 25 and 30 minutes until top turns golden brown. When a knife blade inserted in the middle comes out clean, it is done. Remove to a counter or a trivet and let cool for 5 minutes.

This makes six servings for a luncheon or dinner. Or cut into snack pieces, by cutting into slices about 3 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide. Makes about 12 slices.

Keeps well in the refrigerator for several days if it lasts that long. You can warm them for about 10 seconds in the microwave if you wish.

Image: Cheese Pie Nutrition

A Touch of Spice in Honey Sriracha Pork Chops

Photo: Honey Sriracha Pork Chops

When I wanted to spice up a pair of pork chops for dinner, I borrowed a recipe for Honey Garlic Chicken and added in Sriracha Sauce to the mix. This turned out wonderfully. The sugar-free honey gives it just enough sweetness while the sriracha adds the zing to it. It’s easy to do and can be done in one stove-to-oven pan. I have a set of copper skillets that can all go into the oven and broiler, but a cast-iron or any other skillet rated for the oven will work as well.

The same recipe works with chicken if you’d rather have bird for dinner. You can use chicken thighs or breasts, but allow a little more cooking time for thicker breasts or cut them horizontally and lay flat if they are too thick. You can easily double the sauce to make more than two pieces.

Honey Sriracha Pork Chops

1 tablespoons Butter
1/2 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Sriracha Sauce
1 pinch Salt
Ground Black Pepper to taste
3 tablespoons Sugar-free Honey
2 Pork Chops, 4-6 ounces each

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In an oven-usable skillet, such as copper or cast iron, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in honey and Sriracha sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Measure out half the sauce into a small bowl or cup and set aside.

Dip pork chops into the sauce, coating on both sides. Leave chops in the pan and use a pastry brush to coat any extra sauce on top of the chops.

Bake for about 30 minutes. Pork chops should be about 145 degrees on a food thermometer inserted to the middle of the chop. Remove pan from oven, turn the pork chops over with a fork to coat the top. Next, pour the reserved sauce over each chop and put under the broiler for 5 minutes to brown the edges.

Makes 2 servings.

Image: Nutrition

Cauli-Potato Pancakes: Make an old favorite with fewer carbs!

Photo: Cauliflower Potato Pancakes

For the most part, I’ve avoided potatoes because of their higher carb count. But when mixed with cauliflower, this lowers the hit considerably. Mashed potatoes are lower than some of the other ways of serving them, but they can be cut with cauliflower to lower the carbs. This recipe is a great one for using leftover cauli-potato mash, or you can make them just to make the pancakes. You can add in other ingredients, such as bacon bits, onion flakes, chopped green onions, garlic, or chopped green chile. Do not add cheese to the mix, but you can top it with cheese after they are cooked.

Eggs and flour help hold the mash together while you cook it. You can use any low carb flour, but if you use coconut flour, use 1/4 cup and allow time for it to absorb the liquid before cooking. Low carb flours break easily, so you need to allow time for the cakes to cook until the top looks dry before flipping. Even then, they might split apart. Smaller cakes work best as it’s easier to get the entire pancake over the spatula. I used Bakesquick in mine, and they held together pretty well.

Photo: Pair of pancakes
A pair of nicely browned cauliflower-potato pancakes.

The instructions below are to make the pancakes from scratch for this recipe. If you have leftovers, use 2 cups of the cauli-potato mash and omit the cream and butter. Then, skip to the second paragraph of the instructions.

 

Cauliflower and Potato Pancakes

1 cup Mashed Potatoes
1 cup Mashed Cauliflower
2 tablespoons Heavy Cream
2 tablespoon Butter
2 large Eggs
1/2 cup low carb Flour
Salt and Pepper
Seasonings of choice

Optional add-ins:
Chopped Green Onions
Drained Chopped Green Chiles
Bacon Bits or Pieces
Chopped Onions

To make the cauliflower and potato mash, combine one cup of cooked and cubed potatoes and one cup of chopped cauliflower in a pan of boiling water. Cook until tender, about 15 min. depending on the size of the pieces. Drain and dry off as much as possible. Put back in the pan and add cream, butter, salt, and pepper. Mix together and use a masher to break up the potatoes and cauliflower, or use a mixer or a food processor. They can be lumpy. Put in a medium-sized bowl and chill about an hour. (You can do this the day before if you wish.)

In a large bowl, mix the mashed cauliflower and potatoes, eggs, and flour together. Add seasonings to taste. If you are using add-ins, add them now. Mix well. The dough should be fairly thick.

Coat a skillet or griddle with baking spray and let it heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-high. Put a heaping tablespoon of the mixture in the pan or on the griddle and press to form about 1/2″ thick cake.

Photo: Pancakes cooking in a pan.
My square copper skillet can handle four pancakes. You can also cook them on a griddle.

Cook about 3 to 5 minutes per side, then flip to cook the other side about the same time. If the cake doesn’t hold together when you first try to turn it, give it a couple of more minutes. Remove to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the cauliflower-potato mix.

Photo: Cheese-topped cauliflower potato pancakes
As this picture shows, not all of my cakes held together. I can attest they still taste great and a little cheese covers the failure. The garlic honey pork chop recipe will be coming up soon.

Serve with a cheese sauce, sour cream, or ranch dressing, although the cakes are tasty just the way they are.

Nutrition Information

Garlic Honey Chicken made easy!

Photo: Garlic Honey Chicken

Looking for a simple but delicious dinner? This one fits the bill. It comes together quickly and doesn’t take long to bake in the oven. Even though you need to use an imitation sugar-free honey, it does bring the flavor and keeps the carbs down. Most of the sugar-free honey brands come to 1 net carb per tablespoon, so that’s what I used for the nutrition calculations.

I served mine with a side of steamed Brussels sprouts and butternut rotini. A nice salad would go well with it, as would broccoli or green beans.

Garlic Honey Chicken

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1-1/4 teaspoons dried rosemary or 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup honey
4 4-5 oz. skinless chicken breasts or thighs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Mix in garlic powder, rosemary, salt, and pepper.

Cook for 1 minute. Stir in honey and bring sauce to a boil. Turn the heat to a low simmer. Dip each chicken breast into the sauce, coating it completely, then place in a baking pan or an oven-safe skillet. Spoon the remaining honey over the tops.

Bake about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on thickness. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part should show 165 degrees F. Remove from oven; Use tongs or a fork to turn each piece over to coat it in the sauce on the bottom. If you want to get more color on the chicken, put it under the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes.

Makes 2-4 servings.

Image: Nutrition Information

Enjoy the spicy taste of tacos

Photo: Zucchini Taco Boat

As May draws to a close and warmer weather is coming to many places, here’s another Mexican-style dish that is quick and easy to prepare. This brings the spicy flavor of a taco to a low carb option of a zucchini base rather than using tortillas. Add fresh fruit or a green salad for a delightful, guilt-free meal.

I found the original recipe by Lauren Miyashiro on Delish.com and adapted it a little more to make it easier and lower carb’d.

Zucchini Taco Boat

2 Zucchini, 6 to 8″ long
2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/3 cup Onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
2/3 pound Ground Beef
1 teaspoon Taco Seasoning
1/2 cup Pico de Gallo
1 cup Cheddar Jack Cheese, shredded
Freshly chopped Cilantro for garnish
1 Haas Avocado, sliced

Preheat oven to 350° (F).

Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a sharp paring knife to cut around the edge, leaving about 1/4 of an inch. Score across the inside piece to almost the bottom, then remove the insides. Chop into small cubes and set aside for later.

Place hollowed out zucchini halves, cut side up, into the bottom of a baking dish large enough to accommodate all four. Drizzle or brush 1 tablespoon oil over the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes to soften the zucchini. Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat remaining oil in a  skillet over medium-high heat and add onion and reserved zucchini. Stir and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add ground beef, breaking up the meat with a spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until beef is no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Drain off excess liquid.

Stir in taco seasoning and salt and pepper. Add Pico de Gallo and mix well. If you don’t have any, use equal amounts of chopped onions and tomatoes, one chopped green chile, and 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro. Spoon the mixture into the zucchini bottoms and sprinkle cheese over the top of each.

Photo: Zucchini Boats in the pan from the oven.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes until the zucchini is tender and cheese is melted. Garnish with chopped cilantro and sliced avocado on the side. Serve with sour cream and/or salsa.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Information for Zucchini Taco Boats