Category Archives: Main Dish

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

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

Try fish for your Cinco de Mayo celebration!

Photo: Mexican-style Tilapia

For a long time, I haven’t included fish in my Mexican or Tex-Mex eating. Truth is, I am not a big fish fan, although shellfish is a whole different story. But I do like white fish, such as tilapia, cod, and halibut along with salmon. I never considered using them in Mexican food, but I decided it was time to try it out. I started with this delicious dish.

Mostly, I’m relying on seasoning to bring the flavor to the fish. I used Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning, but you can use your own favorite. This dish easy to make. Add about 1/4 cup of black beans or frijole beans as a side dish along with the riced turnips with chile I posted a few days ago or with the amazingly good riced golden beets I’m adding the recipe for below. I usually use them as a couscous substitute, but they work well with this fish.

Mexican-style White Fish

2 tilapia fish fillets (4 oz. each) or other white fish
1 cloves garlic minced
1/2 lime juiced
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

In a shallow pan or bowl, add garlic, seasoning, salt, and lime juice and mix. Rub the mixture over the fish fillets, making sure to cover them on both sides.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, place the fillets in the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn and cook the reverse side the same amount of time. Turn off heat, flip the fish back over, and let it sit another minute.

Serve with a salad, beans, riced beets, or cauliflower rice along with guacamole, sour cream, sliced onions, and tomato as preferred.

Makes two servings.

Photo: Riced golden beets

Riced Golden Beets

1 medium golden beet, peeled
1/4 cup Hot Water
1/2 teaspoon Better Than Bullion Chicken
1 tablespoon Butter
1/2 cup Diced Onions (optional)
Salt to taste

Cut beet into cubes and use a food processor to chop until the pieces are rice-sized.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add butter. Add onions and sauté for two minutes.

Add one cup of the riced beets and stir into the butter and onions for a couple of minutes. Heat water to boiling, then add chicken bullion. When melted add to the skillet, add salt, and stir in. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Check a couple of times to make sure the rice doesn’t dry out. Add water as needed. Check to be sure beets are tender.

Makes two 1/2 cup servings.

Image: Nutrition Info Mexican whitefishImage: Nutrition Info - Riced Golden Beets