Category Archives: Vegetarian

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 quick stir fry made easier

Image: Shrimp Pad Thai

Happy Saint David’s Day! I should have included a leek in today’s recipe in honor of the patron saint of Wales. But I didn’t.  I’ll post a Welsh recipe later in the week, then it will be on to the Irish recipes for St. Patrick’s Day.  But for today, I was thinking Asian when I made this for dinner last night.

I like to experiment with the products I find in the produce department. A couple of days ago, I found Taylor Farms Pad Thai Kit. While it is not too high in carbohydrates, it is a little higher when made with the included sauce than I can use in my daily intake. So, I tossed the enclosed pack of sauce and made my own. This was about 6 or 7 carbs lower a serving than using theirs. If you can enjoy around 30 or more net carbs in the day, then this might work well for you.

I turned to making my own Pad Thai sauce with what I had on hand in the house. You can use fish sauce in it if you wish. I found the vegetables were pretty well chopped or sliced, but not as evenly as I’d like and some pieces required cutting. The carrots are thin slices where I would prefer thin rounds or sticks that cook faster, but they worked out okay. I made mine with 2/3 pounds of medium-sized shrimp, about 27 of them. You can also add in tofu or mushrooms as an alternate protein in the dish. This makes it a good candidate for meatless Monday.

If you can’t find the Taylor Farms mix, you can make your own. The vegetable selection for this includes about 1/3 cup each of Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, green cabbage, snap peas, bok choy, and carrots. Most are chopped or sliced thinly.

Shrimp Pad Thai with Spaghetti Squash 

6 ounces Shrimp, cleaned
1 package Taylor Farms Pad Thai Kit (vegetables only)
1-1/2 cups Spaghetti Squash (about 1-1/2-pound squash)
1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup Chicken Broth or Bullion
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Thai Chili Sauce
1/8 teaspoon Ground White Pepper
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar Substitute (Swerve or LC Brown)
1 tablespoon Canola Oil

Cook the spaghetti squash by roasting it or cooking it in the microwave until tender. It’s easier to remove the seeds if you cut the squash in half and use a spoon to scoop them out before cooking it. Use a fork to shred the squash into strings.

Clean shrimp, removing shells and veins. Cool until ready to use.

Prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, add the rice vinegar, chicken broth, soy sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar substitute, and pepper. Stir together to combine completely. Set aside.

Heat a bowl-sided skillet or wok on medium high heat. Add oil and swirl to distribute. Add the shrimp and cook until pink on both sides, about a minute and a half on each side for medium-sized shrimp. Larger shrimp will take a little longer. Remove the shrimp to a platter and cover to keep warm.

Add the vegetables from the Pad Thai kit into the pan and stir them around. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, continuing to stir frequently. Lower the temperature to medium and add the prepared sauce. Stir it in and cook the vegetables a few more minutes, then add the shrimp back to the pan. Heat for two more minutes.

Put 1/2 cup of spaghetti squash in each serving bowl, then spoon the vegetables and shrimp on top. Sprinkle with chili flakes if you’d like a little more spice.

Makes 3 servings.

Nutrition Information

Warming Broccoli with Irish Cheddar Soup

Photo Broccoli Cheese Soup

Switching on a dime, the temperatures in Reno went from spring-like mid-50s to snowing today. Perfect time for delicious and warming soup. I ran across a recipe for broccoli cheese soup and made a couple of small changes to make this scrumptiously rich-tasting version using sharp Irish cheddar cheese.

Broccoli Soup with Irish Sharp Cheddar Cheese

3 tablespoon Butter, melted
1/2 cup Onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
3 tablespoons All Purpose Low Carb Flour
1 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Water
2 cups Chicken Stock
2 1/2 to 3 cups Broccoli, chopped
1 Carrot, peeled and chopped
2 Celery stalk, cleaned and diced
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Spicy Seasoning
7 oz. Kerry Gold Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large pot, melt butter and sauté onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the top and stir to make a paste. Add the chicken stock and stir or whisk to blend the flour in, then add the cream and water. Stir together over medium heat.

Add the vegetables and stir together. Add the spicy seasoning and stir, then lower the heat to a simmer. Let cook for 20 to 25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Add cheese, reserving about 1/4 cup for topping, then stir until it melts. Add the nutmeg, if desired.

Serve in one cup bowls and top with a pinch of reserved cheese.

Makes 4 to 6 servings depending on appetite.

Image: Nutrition Information Broccoli with Irish Cheddar Soup

Shrimp and Chicken Fried Cauli-rice

Photo: Shrimp fried Cauli-rice

Chinese New Year is coming up tomorrow, January 25th to start the Year of the Rat. But there’s nothing ratty about this quick-to-make and tasty cauliflower fried rice. You can get an easy start by using Green Giant’s Fried Rice Blend with carrots and broccoli all chopped up into crumbles to cook quickly. Or you can use one of the frozen rice blends with peas and carrots.

If you want the meat version, get pre-grilled chicken from the grocery store and shred or chop it into bite-sized pieces. Add in shrimp and you have a great celebration fried cauliflower rice that is low carb and delicious. To make this meatless for Meatless Monday, use just the shrimp or add tofu cubes. To make it vegetarian, use tofu only.

I did use a little too much soy sauce in mine, so I cut back on it in the recipe, but adjust to your own taste.

Shrimp and Chicken Fried Cauli-rice

12 oz. package Green Giant “Cauliflower Crumbles” Fried Rice Blend
1/3 cup sliced Snow Peas, fresh
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
2 teaspoons Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Ginger Root, minced or grated
1/3 cup Chicken Breast, cooked and chopped or Tofu, cubed
1/4 pound small Shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Eggs
2 stalks Green Onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/4 teaspoon Red Chile Flakes (optional)

Slice snow peas into small pieces and set aside. Slice green onions into thin slices using both the white and green parts.

In a deep skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for about 2 minutes. Add the fried rice blend vegetables and stir and cook for about 7 minutes until they are softened. Add the snow peas and chicken (if using) and cook two more minutes.

Beat the eggs in a bowl and set aside for now.

Add the sesame oil, then add the shrimp and chile flakes to the mix. Cook until the shrimp start to turn pink, then add the beaten eggs and stir into the rice. Cook until the egg is done, then add the green onions and stir in. Remove from heat and stir in soy sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Info for Fried Cauli-rice.

Italian Vegetable Sauce pairs with spaghetti squash

Image: Italian Veggie Sauce

Looking for a little comfort food on these cold winter nights? Want to keep on your Meatless Monday plan? Look no further!

This yummy meatless sauce with Italian seasonings and zucchini pairs well with spaghetti squash to give you a delicious and low carb alternative to pasta. While it comes in a little higher in carbs than I usually aim for with my recipes, it is still only 13.5 net carbs per serving.

If you’re just not into a meatless sauce, then feel free to add ground beef and/or Italian sausage to the dish. It works great either way.

Italian Vegetable Sauce with Spaghetti Squash

1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1/4 cup Onions, chopped
3 Sweet Mini-Peppers
1 teaspoon Garlic
1 15-ounce can Diced Italian Style Tomatoes
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning Blend
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 ounces Red Wine
3 cups Spaghetti Squash
1 cup Zucchini, diced
1/2 cup Mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Spinach, fresh

Preheat oven to 385 degrees (F.)

Cut the spaghetti squash in half, remove the seeds, rub with a little olive oil, and place face down on a foil-covered baking pan. Bake for about 40 minutes until a fork inserted into the squash goes through easily. Remove and set aside to cool.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil, then add onions and garlic. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes until the onion sweats. Add tomatoes, seasonings, and wines. Stir and cook for a few minutes, then lower the heat to simmer and cook about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be thickening. Add zucchini and cook about 10 minutes until it is almost tender. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook another few minutes.

Use a fork to separate the spaghetti strands of the squash and warm in the oven or a microwave for about three minutes.

Add the spinach to the sauce and stir it in until it is limp.

Put 3/4 cup of spaghetti squash on a plate, and top with 1/4 of the vegetable sauce. Grate Italian cheese over the top. Serve with a salad.

Makes 4 servings.

Image: Nutrition Info