Category Archives: Main Dish

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

Celebrate the Harvest with this Meat-free Quiche

Image: Harvest Quiche

For many years, I’ve made my quiches with ricotta cheese. It adds firmness and texture to the mix so the egg doesn’t seem so much like custard.

This crustless, meatless quiche has plenty of fall vegetables, including a nice serving of mushrooms, to satisfy your hunger. Nearly every plant I used came from my garden in the almost last harvest of the year, and you can find them all in grocery stores now if you don’t have an outdoor source of your own.

I used Bakesquick for my flour to give the quiche a little more body and fill in for the missing crust, but it is optional. The recipe works quite well without it. Likewise, chili spices are optional, but I like a little kick in my food.

Feel free to substitute other vegetables if you don’t like one. Just be aware some vegetables may be a little higher in carbs, but most will come in close to the same amount. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

Photo: Harvest Ricotta Pie, top view

Harvest Spinach, Zucchini, & Ricotta Quiche

3/4 cup Spinach, fresh and torn (about 2 handfuls)
1 cup Zucchini, sliced
1 1/2 Tomatoes, ripe, 6 slices
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese, whole milk
2/3 cup Cheddar Jack Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Irish Cheddar Cheese (Or other sharp cheddar), shredded
4 Eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Whipping Cream
1/2 cup Mushrooms, sliced
3 Mini-Peppers, sliced down the middle
1/4 cup Low Carb Flour (optional)
1 teaspoon Garlic and Herb seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Chili Spices (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F.) Prepare a 9-inch deep dish pie plate by spraying with cooking spray.

Slice all the vegetables and set aside.

In a large bowl, add the ricotta cheese, the beaten eggs, and seasonings and whisk together until well mixed. Stir in the low carb flour if you are using it and mix until smooth. Set aside.

Line the bottom of the pie dish with sliced zucchini. This should make a fairly solid base for the pie. Top with mushrooms and spread them evenly. Put the torn spinach over the top and press it down a little.

Pour the egg mixture over the top, using a spoon to spread it evenly over the spinach. Place a slice of tomato at equal intervals around the edge to mark each slice. Place one-half chili between each tomato slice.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the pie is set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. Let sit about 10 minutes before serving.

Makes six servings.

Image: Nutrition Information for Harvest Quiche

Thai Coconut Soup Bring the Flavor

Photo: Thai Coconut Soup

This week’s “Meatless Monday” recipe isn’t entirely without “meat,” but as I understand it, seafood isn’t included in the ban. I’m using shrimp in this tasty and slightly-spiced soup, but if you’re vegetarian or don’t want to eat seafood, then you can leave it out or replace it with cubes of firm tofu.

The base recipe came from the Atkins web site; however, I added more to it to make it a heartier soup. While it is delicious, it isn’t completely filling, so maybe you can add a salad and/or a low carb roll or even make a grilled cheese sandwich to accompany. Although the recipe makes six one-cup servings, it is low enough in carbs that you can make four servings and gain another half cup of yum. You can also increase the amount of shrimp in it.

Thai Coconut Soup

3 cups Chicken Broth
13.5-ounce can Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 piece fresh Ginger, 1-inch, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices
1/2 cup Spinach or Bok Choy, chopped
2 tablespoons Fish Sauce or Worcestershire Sauce
1 Jalapeño Pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated Lime Zest
1 teaspoon Sugar Substitute
1/2 pound medium Shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 ounces Mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup Daikon Radish, cubed
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh Cilantro (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh Lime Juice

Peel and chop or slice all the vegetables before you begin to cook. Cut the daikon into  small cubes so it will cook quicker.

In an eight cup pot, add the chicken broth, coconut milk, ginger, jalapeño, fish or Worcester Sauce, lime zest, and sugar substitute. Cook on medium heat until it comes to a boil, stirring a few times, then reduce the heat to low, partly cover the top, and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the ginger slices and discard. Add the daikon and cook another 10 minutes to soften the daikon.

Add shrimp, mushrooms, and bok choy or spinach, Stir well and cook until shrimp are cooked, about four minutes. Stir in the green onions, cilantro if using, and the lime juice.

Spoon into bowls and enjoy.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Info: Thai Coconut Soup with Shrimp

Nutrition Info for Thai Coconut Soup