Category Archives: Vegetarian

Delicious Turkey Ragout feeds the soul

Photo: Turkey & Vegetables Ragout

A rainy night or two ago, I pulled a package of frozen turkey from the freezer and pondered what I could throw together with it that suited this chilly night. I had canned tomatoes, an eggplant that needed to be used, and some of the mini-peppers in my fridge. So I threw this saucy dish together. It’s not quite a ragu nor is it a ragout exactly, but it’s closer to the latter, so that’s what I decided to call it. It’s a lovely combination of meat, vegetables, and sauce with Italian seasonings.

For my seasoning salt, I used Emeril’s Essence, but any seasoning salt will work. I also used red onion, which brings a bit more sweetness than a white or yellow onion, but any of them will work. In fact, this is a versatile recipe, so if you don’t care for eggplant, substitute in another vegetable, such as summer squash or mushrooms. Of course, you can also use ground beef in place of the turkey. For a vegetarian option, omit the meat and add in more vegetables, like the aforementioned mushrooms or chopped kohlrabi. Be aware that replacing the turkey with additional vegetables will increase the carb count a little.

Turkey and Vegetable Ragout

1 lb. Ground Turkey
1 15-oz. can Diced Tomatoes
1 tablespoon Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Onion, chopped
1 cup Eggplant, cubed
3 Mini-Peppers, sliced
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup Water or White Wine
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon ground Pepper

In a large saucepan, brown the ground turkey, chopping into small pieces as it cooks. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent.

Add the eggplant and peppers and continue to cook another few minutes, stirring a few times, then add the canned tomatoes and 1/4 cup of water (or white wine). Add all the seasonings and stir the whole pan together.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for about 20 to 30 minutes until the liquid is reduced to a delicious sauce and the vegetables are tender. Taste the sauce and adjust any seasonings.

Serve with cooked zucchini noodles. You can either buy these in the frozen food section or make your own with a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler. Or you can do a wide shred with a food grater.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Info for Turkey Vegetable Ragout

Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Broccoli

Photo: Thai Peanut Chicken with Broccoli

This is my take on a recipe for Thai-style broccoli and spaghetti squash. I like to make it a meaty main dish, so I added chicken and changed out a couple of ingredients to make it low carb. If you’d like to make it a vegetarian dish, then omit the chicken.

Thai Peanut Chicken and Broccoli Over Spaghetti Squash

1 small spaghetti squash, about 2 pounds
2 Chicken breasts, cut into cubes

For the Roasted Broccoli
1 small broccoli crown, broken into florets (2 cups)
1-2 tsp. sesame oil, can sub another vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste

For the Peanut Sauce
3 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. sugar-free maple syrup
1 tbsp. lime juice
1-2 tbsp. water, as needed
1 tablespoon Thai Chili Sauce

1-2 scallions, chopped
2 tbsp. roasted peanuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375°.

Prepare the squash by cutting in half length-wise with a sharp kitchen knife. Scoop out the seeds, but don’t dig into the inner pulp. Oil the insides of the squash and place face down on a foil-covered baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove to a plate to cool until you can handle them.

About mid-way through the roasting time for the squash, begin preparing the broccoli. Place broccoli, oil, and garlic into an oven-safe pan or baking dish and toss until broccoli is coated. Put in the oven with the squash and roast until it is fork tender but still crisp. This should be about 15 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil then add the chicken cubes. Cook until lightly browned, but not overdone, then remove to a plate to rest.

In the same skillet, add the ingredients for the peanut sauce and stir together with a wooden spoon. Add as much water as needed to keep it a smooth, pourable sauce. Do not cook at this point.

Using a fork, rake the insides of the squash to loosen the noodles. It will shred easily and yield about two cups of noodles.

When the broccoli comes out of the oven, add the chicken to the peanut sauce and warm over low heat. Stir in the broccoli with salt and pepper and coat the chicken and broccoli.

Serve over the spaghetti squash and garnish with chopped green onions and roasted peanuts. Makes four servings.

Beginning with this recipe, I am posting more nutrition information for those who need a little more detail. For those who just want the nitty-gritty net carb total, this dish is 8.9 net carbs per serving.

Nutrition Thai Chicken

Yummy Bacon and Cauliflower Salad is Cool

Photo: Cauliflower salad

As I was getting ready for a 4th of July BBQ potluck, I found this recipe for a delicious-sounding potato salad with ranch dressing and bacon. Hard to go wrong with that, but of course, I had to substitute in a different vegetable. Not content to do one, I added another one as well. Actually, I had the asparagus in the ‘fridge, and I needed to use it before it turned.

The result is a wonderful summer salad that is reasonably low in carbs and big in flavor. I did find the original recipe a little bland, so I added  salt, garlic pepper and a touch of sweetness to it. I think I might add a little red pepper to add zing to it the next time I make it.

The full recipe makes about 12 servings, which is great for a potluck while the half size makes 6 servings.  The carb count is the same for both.

Bacon and Cauliflower Salad with Asparagus


Full-sized recipe makes 12 servings:
2 to 2-1/4 pounds Cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 (16 ounces) container sour cream
1 package ranch dressing mix
1¼ cups cooked bacon, crumbled
1½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
10 green onions, thinly sliced
12 spears medium Asparagus, chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons Cream
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Garlic Pepper
1 teaspoon Sugar Substitute (optional)

1/2-sized recipe makes 6 servings:
1 to 1-1/4 pounds Cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
8 ounces sour cream
1/2 package ranch dressing mix
3/4 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
5 green onions, thinly sliced
6 spears medium Asparagus, chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon Cream
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Garlic Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Sugar Substitute (optional)

Trim the cauliflower of the leaves and the tougher part of the stem and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Slice green onions and trim and cut asparagus ahead of time. Cook the bacon. I used a block of bacon ends that are less expensive than sliced bacon. I cut off slices of the bacon ends which makes nice-sized bacon pieces. Cook in batches in the microwave until you have enough for the recipe. Or you can spread them out on a rack on a baking sheet and bake them about 15 minutes until crisp at 400 degrees (F.)

Put a large pot of water on, add a little salt, and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower pieces and cook about 15 minutes until the pieces are fork tender. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking.

If you’re using asparagus, heat the water a second time to boiling, then add the asparagus pieces and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and cool the asparagus.

In a medium bowl, add the sour cream, cream, ranch dressing mix, salt, garlic pepper, and sugar substitute (if using) and mix together well.

In a large bowl, add the cauliflower, asparagus, onions, bacon, and cheddar cheese. Mix together with a large spoon or put on a food glove and use your hand. Add the dressing and mix it until all the salad is coated with the dressing.

Cover and chill for two to three hours before serving.

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 250 Fat: 18.4 g Net Carbs: 7.3 g Protein: 12.8 g

If you can’t eat dairy, omit the cheese, and use mayonnaise to mix the ranch dressing or substitute an alternate dressing such as a potato salad mayonnaise-type dressing.

If you are a vegetarian, omit the bacon pieces. You can add mushrooms for a little more protein in the mix.

Don’t like sour cream? Use plain yogurt (a little higher in carbs) or mayonnaise instead.

Will you try this recipe? Let me know how it turns out and if you like it.

Yummy Roasted Vegetables

Even in winter, we have a lovely selection of vegetables that are simply scrumptious when roasted. This recipe is based on one Yummly sent in my email, but I’ve made changes to only include low carb vegetables in the mix. No potatoes or carrots in it. I did go a little overboard when I prepared my vegetables and ended up with enough to feed ten to twelve people. Good thing I love these veggies. So, I scaled it down to half that size and this should make enough nice side servings for six.

Hearty Winter Roasted Vegetables

2 small Golden Beets
1 cup Kohlrabi
1 cup Turnips
1 cup Cauliflower flowerets
2 stalks Celery, medium-sized
1 medium Yellow Squash
1 large Zucchini
3 small Sweet Peppers
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut all vegetables into about 1-inch pieces. Try to keep them close to the same sized pieces for even cooking. Keep the softer vegetables (celery, squash, peppers) separate from the harder ones (beets, kohlrabi, turnips, cauliflower).

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (F). Line a sheet pan with foil for easy cleanup.

Add water about two-thirds up a large pot and bring to a boil. Add hard vegetables and boil for about five minutes to partially cook them. Drain and run cold water over them.

In a large plastic bag, mix the olive oil, vinegar, paprika, garlic salt, garlic powder,and pepper. Stir or slosh it around in the bag until combined. Add the vegetables to the bag, seal and turn a few times to coat all of them.

Spread the vegetables out on the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 125 Fat: 9.4 g Net Carbs: 6.5 g Protein: 2.3 g

Make these Low Carb Zucchini Mounds

To be frank, I haven’t created too much new this past month or so. Late September and early October were so chilly that I turned to a favorite of mine, a simple stew, just like this recipe. Other than that, I have easy to make Zucchini Mounds, which I adapted from a recipe I saw on line from Mel’s Kitchen. It’s low carb and very tasty, and it’s very similar to zucchini fritters, except it is baked instead of fried. You can also add in bacon bits and/or minced onion for more flavor. I think this would work well with shredded or chopped cauliflower as well. The key to getting a good result is to get the vegetables as dry as possible before mixing them with the other ingredients.

This recipe will make from 12 to 18 mounds, depending on how big you make the mound. I’ve given you the nutrition information for both 12 and 18 as well as made with and without the almond flour. In this recipe, the almond flour is optional and is replacing bread crumbs in the recipe. I don’t believe it is necessary to make a very tasty bite.

Baked Zucchini Mounds

1 1/2 cups packed shredded Zucchini (About 2 large zukes)
1 large Egg
1/4 – 1/2 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese or Cheddar Jack Cheese or other cheese or choice (harder cheeses work better)
1/4 cup Almond Flour (optional)
1/4 teaspoon dried Basil
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (F.). Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spray with a light coat of baking spray.

In a small bowl, beat the egg lightly to mix the white and the yolk.

Shred the zucchini, wrap in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze the excess water out to get it as dry as possible. Twist and wring the towel until the zucchini is very dry.

Put the zucchini in a medium bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix until combined together.

Drop tablespoon-sized mounds onto the baking sheet and press down with the back of the spoon to flatten and shape a little.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until they are lightly browned. Let cool a few minutes, then enjoy.

Makes between 12 and 18 mounds.

Nutrition Information per 12 (without almond flour)
Calories: 28.2 Fat: 1.9 g NC: 0.8 g Protein: 1.7 g

Nutrition Information per 18 (without almond flour)
Calories:19 Fat: 1.3 g  NC 0.6 g : Protein: 1.1 g

Nutrition Information per 12 (with almond flour)
Calories: 41.5 Fat: 3.1 g NC. 1.0 g: Protein: 2.1 g

Nutrition Information per 18 (with almond flour)
Calories. 27.7: Fat: 2.1 g NC: 0.7 g Protein: 1.5 g