Category Archives: Vegetarian

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

Quick Vegetable Stir-fry

Photo: Vegetable Stir Fry

Ready for “Meatless Monday?” Here’s a quick to make rice-less fried rice. This replaces the starch with a variety of crumbled or riced vegetables to give you a deliciously satisfying Asian-flavored vegetable stir-fry. To make this even easier, you can start with a bag of Green Giant’s Cauliflower Crumbles “Fried Rice” Blend, which is cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and onions. If you are on phase 1, you might want to make your own riced vegetables and omit the carrots.

If you can’t find the mix at your grocery, you can use your food processor or grater to process cauliflower, broccoli stems, carrots, and onions to make your own mix. You’ll need three cups for the recipe with about 2 cups of it being cauliflower with the rest split between the broccoli, carrots, and onions.

I added in mushrooms and my adapted recipe adds in fresh spinach, but I didn’t have any in the house. I’ve listed even more possible add-ins at the end of the recipe.  Even on Monday, you can add any seafood to the stir fry. Shrimp is a great option. Any other time you want to make this, you can add chicken, beef, or pork to it.

For my friend and others who are trying to keep sodium low, I’ve included a recipe for a substitute soy sauce. It doesn’t taste like soy sauce, but it brings flavor to the dish without a lot of sodium.

 

Vegetable Stir Fry

3 cups (1 package) California Crumbles Fried Rice Blend (GG)
2 Eggs, beaten
1 cup Mushrooms, sliced (optional)
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Ginger paste
1 cup Spinach, fresh (optional)
2 stalks Green Onions, chopped
1 tablespoon Oil

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add garlic and ginger and stir for a minute or two. Add in the fried rice blend and mushrooms. Stir them in. Cook and stir for about 5 to 7 minutes until the vegetables are almost tender.

Stir in the beaten eggs and mix them into the vegetables, continuing to stir until the eggs are cooked. Add soy sauce or Non-Soy Sauce, which is much lower in sodium. Stir to mix. Top with chopped green onions if you wish.

Makes four servings.

Optional add-ins: peanuts, almonds, cashews, shrimp, any greens chopped, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, chopped celery or chopped peppers. Add Hawaiian flare on a non-meatless night by stirring in 1 cup of diced SPAM and 1/4 cup of chopped fresh pineapple. (The pineapple will boost those carbs a bit, but it really adds the island vibe.)

Just add in the carb counts for the additions.

Nutrition Information for Vegetable Fried Rice

Non-Soy Asian Sauce

For those with worries about low sodium or gluten or soy allergies, here’s a soy sauce substitute that adds flavor to the stir fry or anywhere else you might use soy sauce.

1 Beef Bone (sometimes butchers have these under soup bones)
3 cups of Water
2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
A pinch of garlic powder, ground ginger, and white pepper
Or Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning

Put water in a small pot and add the beef or soup bone. Bring to a boil, then lower to a low simmer. Cook for about one hour for the bone to flavor the meat. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Continue to simmer until the mixture is reduced to about two cups.

Let cool, then pour into a jar. If you have more than you can use within 10 days, pour the rest into an ice cube tray and freeze. When frozen remove the blocks to a plastic bag to store until you need them. Each cube will be about one tablespoon.

Makes 32 1-tablespoon servings.

Nutrition information for Non-Soy Asian Sauce

Fantastic Low Carb Veggie Chili

Photo: Low carb veggie chili

Ready for another meatless Monday? As the weather is turning cooler in my part of the world, I’m looking at a tricky beast to manage to make a low carb vegetables-only chili. While most of the root vegetables that give this dish some substance are lower in carbs than potatoes, the amount used to replace the meat option adds in quite a few carbohydrates into the overall dish.  So this offering checks in at a little under 11 net carbs per serving. If you only have 20 or 25 net carbs to spend, this could really push your limit. But if you plan for it, you can have a nearly 0 carb breakfast (omelet with cheese) and lunch (green salad with cucumber) to free up those carbs for the chili.

While this is a meatless option, it doesn’t lose any of the spicy and delicious chili flavor of the meat version. The vegetables are delicious with the butternut giving a hint of sweetness in the dish, and they are firm enough to satisfy.  If you want a short-cut on the seasonings, Mrs. Dash Chipotle Seasoning is very good and includes almost all of the spices listed. The Jalapeno seasoning is also good.

One other thing, this chili would work well as a filling for a meatless omelet and you would only need about 1/2 cup for it. Or make a burrito with a low carb tortilla and 1/2 cup of filling.

Low Carb Veggie Chile

1 3-1/2 oz. can Jalapeno chiles, chopped
1 15 oz. can Tomatoes with chile
1 cup Butternut Squash, cubed
1 cup Kohlrabi, cubed
1 cup Turnips, cubed
1 can Baby Corn, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup Onions, chopped
3 stalks Celery, chopped
1 cup Pumpkin Puree
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Chili powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 tablespoon dried Parsley or Cilantro
1 tablespoon dried Oregano
2 tablespoon chopped Basil
1 teaspoon Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Chop your butternut squash, kohlrabi, and turnips to about the same-size cubes. The bigger they are, the longer they will take to cook. If you can’t find kohlrabi, you can substitute in zucchini or cauliflower.

In a large pot, add oil and heat, then add garlic and onions and cook until they are fragrant. Add the chopped celery, stir, and cook about two minutes. Then add all the other ingredients except the pumpkin puree. Add enough water to just cover the vegetables.

Stir everything in the pot and bring to a boil then reduce heat to a low cook, just above a simmer. Cover and cook for an hour. Check on the vegetables to see if they are fork-tender, If not, add more water if needed, then cook another 20 minutes. Test again. Check your seasonings. If you need more spice, add it now. If the vegetables are fork-tender, then add the pumpkin puree, stir in, cover, and cook another 10 to twenty minutes. The pumpkin will help thicken the chile.

Serve in bowls with a little cheddar jack cheese and sour cream if you wish.

Makes eight 1-cup servings. If you want a little fewer carbs, a 3/4-cup serving will bring the carb count down to 8.5 nc per serving.

Photo: Nutrition Information

Give this a try and let me know how you like it and/or any other ways to serve it.