Category Archives: Recipes

Mushroom Party Creations

I love stuffed mushrooms and it was ages since I last had a mushroom party, so I was excited for the one last week. A party means an opportunity to get creative with the fillings, meaning it was time to experiment. Between the roomie and me, we made four really super-tasting mushroom fillings and I’m sharing three with you – Turkey Teriyaki, Pesto Italian Sausage and Tamale Pie.

Each recipe made 18 to 24 plus stuffed mushrooms, so adjust down if you don’t want to make that many or bag and freeze the extra stuffing for another time. If, by any chance, you don’t like mushrooms, these fillings also work well in hollowed out zucchini or as a topper on toast or vegetable rounds.

This photo is actually from the first experiment that didn’t include the rice or cabbage. Adding these really brought the flavor in to the dish.

Teriyaki Stuffed Mushrooms

The objective was an oriental flavor in the filling and I think this one worked very well.

1 pound Lean Ground Turkey
1/2 cup Water chestnuts
2 tablespoons Onions, chopped
24 large Mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
1/4 cup Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce & Marinade or a similar product
1 packet Swanson Chicken Flavor Boost or chicken bouillion
1/4 cup Celery, diced
1/4 cup Bean sprouts, chopped
1/2 cup Cabbage, fresh, shredded
1/2 cup cooked White Rice or riced cauliflower
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

Makes 24 stuffed mushrooms

Clean and prepare mushroom caps. Lightly oil and bake, top down, for about 10 minutes in 400 degree oven.

In a large skillet. Add 1 tablespoon butter and sauté onion and celery until onion just begins to turn translucent. Remove from pan to a bowl. Add cabbage and stir fry until it is limp. Remove to a bowl with onion and celery. Wipe excess butter from the pan and add ground turkey. Cook until lightly browned. Add mushroom stems, water chestnuts and chicken broth. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes then add the rest of the vegetables, rice and teriyaki sauce. Stir until well mixed and cook about 10 minutes longer. Stuff each mushroom cap with the filling and serve.

Nutrition per mushroom (with rice) (24 yield)

Calories: 39.8   Net Carbs: 1.7 g    Protein: 4.5 g

Pesto Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Pesto Sausage Mushrooms, ready for the oven.

These have a nice Italian flavor without any tomatoes in it, which pleases my friends who don’t like them.

2 Italian Sausage, pork, links
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese, whole milk
1 Egg, large
1/4 cup Baby Spinach, fresh and chopped
1 tablespoon Dried Onion Flakes in a tablespoon water
1 teaspoon Parsley, dried or 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
2 tablespoons sweet pepper, diced
1/4 cup Pesto Sauce (I used Classico Basil Pesto)
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, Finely shredded
1 to 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
18 to 24 Mushrooms, fresh, cleaned and trimmed – save stems for other uses

Heat the broiler and broil sausages until they are browned. Remove and cut into small pieces.

Put 1 teaspoon olive oil in skillet and heat. Sauté peppers in hot oil, then add onions. spinach and parsley. Cook and stir for a few minutes until spinach is limp, but bright green. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, combined ricotta cheese and egg until mixed well. Add vegetables and pesto sauce and mix well. Stir in sausage and mozzarella.

Spray a pan with cooking spray. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure mushrooms are dry, then stuff each mushroom with about a tablespoon of filling and place in the pan. If you have leftover filling, refrigerate until you use it. This also makes a great filling for a stuffed zucchini.

Sprinkle mushrooms with parmesan cheese, then bake 25 to 30 minutes.

Nutrition Info for 1 mushroom (18 yield)

Calories: 112   Net Carbs: 1.6 g    Protein: 6.6 g

Tamale Pie ‘Shrooms

This, like the Teriyaki recipe, uses a couple of forbidden items unless you are on maintenance. But, honestly, it doesn’t use a lot and the carb count is still pretty low, so for special events, I think it’s a nice treat to include them. To stay legal on the OWL phase, omit the baby corn and cornmeal.

1.25 lbs Lean Ground Turkey
Egg, fresh, 1 large
Onions, raw, .5 cup, chopped
4 oz can diced green chiles, drained
2 tablespoons Red Chile Powder
1 15 oz. can Diced Tomatoes
2 tablespoons Black Olives, chopped
3 oz (1/3 cup) Baby Corn – chopped
24 to 30 Mushrooms, stems removed and trimmed
1/2 teaspoon Tumeric
1 cup Shredded Mexican Four Cheese blend
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
3 tablespoons Corn Meal Flour

In a skillet, crumble and cook the ground turkey until it is slightly browned. Remove to a bowl. Add the onions to the pan and cook them until they are just tender. Add the chiles, chile powder, tumeric, diced tomatoes, black olives, baby corn and the corn meal to the pan and stir together until all ingredients are well mixed. Cook for about five minutes. Add to the turkey and add ricotta cheese, Mexican cheese and egg and mix well.

Spray a pan with cooking spray. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure mushrooms are dry, then stuff each mushroom with about a tablespoon of filling and place in the pan. If you have leftover filling, refrigerate until you use it.

Sprinkle mushrooms with parmesan cheese, then bake 25 to 30 minutes

Makes 24 to 30 mushrooms

Nutrition Info (Yield 24) Calories: 64 Net Carbs: 1.4 g Protein: 7.1 g
(Yield 30) Calories: 58.3 Net Carbs: 1.3 g Protein: 6.1 g

Originally POSTED BY RENE AVERETT AT 1/30/2013 3:48 PM

Savory Stuffed BCT Mushrooms

BCT? What’s that, you may ask? Well, picking up from BLT for Bacon, lettuce and tomato, it’s what I call my Bacon, Cheese and Tomato stuffed mushrooms. These are delicious little snacks that can liven up a party or make a dinner when you stuff portobello mushrooms. The cheese in it is a combination of cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Or you can substitute in mozarella or an Italian mix cheese for the cheddar. The recipe is flexible.

Bacon, Cheese and Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

24 whole Mushroom caps, stems removed (about 1 pound)
4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
2 tablespoons Fresh Chives
4 tablespoons Bacon Bits
1/4 cup chopped fresh Spinach
1/4 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom of a baking pan with olive oil cooking spray. Place mushroom caps open side down and spray the tops. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool a little before stuffing.

Beat cream cheese with a spoon until it is smooth, then stir in the other ingredients, except the mushrooms. Scoop a teaspoonful of the mixture and fill the a mushroom cap. Place in the baking pan and repeat with the rest of the mushrooms. If you have more mix than mushrooms, distribute the remainder as evenly as possible over the mushrooms or eat the evidence.

Bake in the oven or a toaster oven for about 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Just before serving, you can add a festive touch with a craisin and a sprig of parsley on the top of each mushroom or sprinkle chopped parsley over the tops.

Nutrition Info per mushroom: Calories: 33.5 Net Carbs: .6 g Protein: 1.8 g

Dinner version:

This Portobello mushroom was stuffed with an Italian 4 cheese mix.


Use 6 baby Portobello mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed
All other ingredients are the same as above.

Roast mushrooms In 350 degree F oven, hollow side down and lightly oiled with olive oil for about 15 minutes.

Beat cream cheese with a spoon until it is smooth, then stir in the other ingredients, except the mushrooms. Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture and fill the a mushroom cap. Place in the baking pan and repeat with the rest of the mushrooms. If you have more mix than mushrooms, distribute the remainder as evenly as possible over the mushrooms.

Makes 3 servings, 2 mushrooms per serving.

Calories: 211  Net carbs: 6.8 g   Protein: 11.2 g

Originally POSTED BY RENE AVERETT AT 12/10/2012 1:50 PM

Not Your Mama’s Nachos

When you’ve grown up with nachos as a frequent snack, it’s not easy to forego them when those darn corn chips are just loaded with carbohydrates. Finding a good substitute for corn in recipes isn’t easy, no matter what you do. But I have found a work around when it comes to corn chips and nachos. This isn’t a recipe, but really just a quick substitution… use chicarrones (pork rinds or bacon curls) in place of the corn chips. I know I’m not the first person to stumble on this but I wanted to share it with anyone else who might be looking for a way to have your gooey cheese and salsa without blowing the carbs!

I tried it with melting the cheese over the pork rinds, then putting the salsa on top and that works if you eat quickly otherwise the rinds get mushy. My preferred method, as pictured above, it to put the salsa and a dollop of guacamole in a separate container and dip the rinds. I still melted the cheese on the rinds by covering them with cheese and popping them in the microwave for about 25 seconds, give or take a few. Just watch until you see the cheese melting, then take them out.

I used Lowry’s Microwave Pork Rinds (hot & spicy) for this batch and they worked wonderfully. Just cook them as directed, then pour the hot rinds onto a plate, cover with cheese and zap them back in the microwave until the cheese melts. One tip if you are not familiar with the microwave rinds, they look hard as a brick if you under-cook them, small hard pieces of pork that you think you’ve ruined. It takes up to two minutes to puff them up and those little bricks have not reached the puffed stage yet. I threw away three or four packets thinking they were bad.

If you don’t want to use the microwave variety, there are several brands of chicaronnes on the market, including Bacon-ets, Guerrero and Kroger. I think Kroger has one of the best ones I’ve tasted, but the Guerrero are right behind. They are crunchier and may hold up to salsa being splashed on the top better.

So, try a plate and even if it isn’t corn chips, it’s still a tasty nacho treat and – the best part – it’s really low carb’d at less than 1 carb for the pork rinds, less than 1 carb for cheese and around 2 carbs for the salsa. Happy snacking!


Tomato Spinach Cheese Puffs Are So Tasty!

It started with a challenge from the roomie — a recipe for Sun Dried Tomato Spinach Cheese Puff, in the October 1 issue of First for Women Magazine — can you make it low carb?

To be honest, it was pretty straight forward on some points, but the main one was the puffs are made with refrigerated crescent rolls, so I would have to find a substitute for those. As it turned out, I tried two variations that both tasted wonderful, but also different. Version #1 uses a biscuit dough made from CarbQuick and makes a light, flakey biscuit topped with spinach, tomatoes, green onions and cheddar cheese. Version #2 is based on the Oopsie roll from from Your Lighter Side’s web site and is topped with the same ingredients, but it has more of a quiche flavor. So, here they are — two delightful appetizers to start your next party or to just have around for a low carb, low calorie snack!

Version 1 – Biscuit base

When I made these, I rolled out the biscuit dough into a rectangle, sprinkled the topping ingredients on top, then rolled it up and cut it. I believe you get the same effect and flavor by mixing the ingredients into the dough or just putting them on top. It’s certainly easier and quicker to make dropped biscuits than rolled biscuits, so that’s what I’m going with.

Makes 24 mini muffin puffs

1 1/2 cup Spinach, fresh
1/4 cup Scallions or green onions
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes
1/2 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/4 cup bacon bits

Biscuit mix
2 cups Carbquick
4 tablespoons Shortening or butter
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic and herb seasoning or other seasonings of choice
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Using cooking spray, grease a 24 slot or 2 12 slot mini-muffin pans or insert mini-muffin cups.

Mix Carbquick, baking powder, seasonings and salt, then cut in the shortening or butter. Mix until the dough pieces form pebbles. Add whipping cream and water. Dough should be firm, but easy to drop from a teaspoon. If not, add a little more water. Set aside.

Sauté spinach and scallions (or green onions) in 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat for a minute or two until spinach is limp. Remove from burner and add chopped dried tomatoes and bacon bits.
Drop the biscuit dough by teaspoonfuls into the mini-muffin wells to about 2/3 full. Drop about a half a teaspoon of the spinach mixture on top. Distribute as evenly as possible. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of the tomatoes and bacon bits.

Dough puffs ready for the oven.

Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes, remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes until puffs are done and lightly browned.

Makes 24 puffs, each is about 60 calories, less than 1 g net carb and 2.5 g of protein.

Version 2 – Cream Cheese Roll Base


Cream cheese puffs ready to bake.


1 1/2 cups fresh Spinach, packed
1/4 cup Scallions, chopped
1/4 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, minced
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/4 cup bacon bits

Cream Cheese Puff Dough:
2 large Eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 oz Cream Cheese
2 tablespoons Carbquick or any low carb flour
1/4 teaspoon garlic and herb seasoning

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Using cooking spray, grease a 24 slot or 2 12 slot mini-muffin pans or insert mini-muffin cups.

Sauté spinach and scallions (or green onions) in 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat for a minute or two until spinach is limp. Stir in minced tomatoes and bacon bits. Set aside.

In a clean bowl, beat 2 egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until stiff.

In another bowl, mix together egg yolks, cream cheese and Carbquick. Fold mixture into the egg whites being careful to not beat them down.

Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups to about 2/3 full. Bake for five minutes until the batter is just set. Pull out and spoon spinach topping on top of each puff. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of the spinach.

Return to oven and bake another 10 minutes. Cheese should be melted and lightly toasted.

Each puff is about 22 calories and .4 g carbs with about 3 g of protein.


Simple Rollups Make Great Game Snacks!

Here it is January again and that means the “big game”.  I have to be honest – the game doesn’t hold much sway around our house, but coming up really soon are the Olympics and we will be glued to the television for some of those events.  So while becoming couch potatoes, snack foods are the easy way to munch without losing too much game time.  I’ve already got a few snack options up on the blog, so check out those in the Appetizers section where there are things like Pollo Pequitos, Stuffed Mushroom, alternate chips and nachos.

Here are a couple of additional ideas for easy to do snacks that are low carb, guilt free munchies.  They’re good for at home or taking to a viewing party where you may not have many low carb options.  They are easily doubled or tripled for more people.

Turkey Rollups With Cream Cheese

4 slices of thinly sliced turkey

1 oz of cream cheese
1 teaspoon heavy cream or sour cream
Mrs. Dash Garlic Pepper seasoning or seasoning of your choice
4 teaspoons of guacamole or 8 thin slices of avocado
1 ounce of Queso Fresca or other crumbly cheese

Makes 8 roll-ups.

Let cream cheese soften, then mix with heavy cream or sour cream and seasoning until well blended.

Put a slice of turkey on a plate, spread 1/4 of the cream cheese mix onto the slice near the middle.  Spread 1 teaspoon of guacamole or place two slices of avocado along the cream cheese.  Sprinkle with crumbled queso fresca.  Fold one edge of the turkey in and roll it over the filling into a tube.  Cut the tube across the middle diagonally.  Repeat with the other turkey slices.  Makes 8 small appetizers, which is one serving for a solo snack.

To increase the recipe, just double or triple the amounts used.

For  24 small snacks, use:

12 slices of turkey
3 oz. of cream cheese
1 tablespoon of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of Mrs. Dash or more to your taste
4 tablespoon of guacamole or 24 slices of avocado
3 ounces of Queso Fresca

Nutrition Info per recipe:

Calories: 223.7  Fat: 7.5 g  Net Carbs: 4.7 g  Protein: 13.2 g

Per each small piece

Calories: 28     Fat: 2 g        Net Carbs: 0.6 g  Protein: 1.7 g

Ham and Pickle Rollups

Among our Irish friends, there’s a saying that any true Irish meal has two kind of potatoes.  Given our fondness for bacon, I think it could also be said that any true Irish meal around our house includes two kinds of pork.

4 slices of Deli ham,  or 8 1/4 inch ( or less) thick slices about 3″ x 2″
2 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup cheddar jack cheese or other cheese of your choice, grated
4 small sweet pickles, sugar free
2 slices of bacon, broken into pieces (optional)

Cut the ham slices in half so they are about 2″ by 3″.  Soften cream cheese by putting in the microwave for about 15 seconds so that it’s easily spreadable.  Spread cream cheese thinly on ham slices across the shorter side.  Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of grated cheese.  Cut pickles in half lengthwise and put in the middle of the cream cheese.  Put two or three small pieces of bacon against the pickle.  Roll up from one to the other and secure with a toothpick.

For the photos, I secured the rolls in two sections with a toothpick and cut them through the middle.  It makes a pretty display of the filling but isn’t necessary if you prefer to leave them as longer rolls.

I also made these using sliced spiral ham left over the New Year’s dinner.  The slices were more triangular and thicker so it is a more open roll.  These didn’t include bacon.  ou can also see that I tried a whole pickle, but it was a bit too much, both in fitting it into the roll and in flavor.

Makes 8 rolls or 16 half rolls.

Per each roll (with bacon):

Calories: 51     Fat: 4.2 g     Net Carbs: 0.5 g  Protein: 3 g

Originally POSTED BY RENE AVERETT AT 1/18/2014 2:38 PM