Category Archives: Vegetables & Salads

Cauli-Potato Pancakes: Make an old favorite with fewer carbs!

Photo: Cauliflower Potato Pancakes

For the most part, I’ve avoided potatoes because of their higher carb count. But when mixed with cauliflower, this lowers the hit considerably. Mashed potatoes are lower than some of the other ways of serving them, but they can be cut with cauliflower to lower the carbs. This recipe is a great one for using leftover cauli-potato mash, or you can make them just to make the pancakes. You can add in other ingredients, such as bacon bits, onion flakes, chopped green onions, garlic, or chopped green chile. Do not add cheese to the mix, but you can top it with cheese after they are cooked.

Eggs and flour help hold the mash together while you cook it. You can use any low carb flour, but if you use coconut flour, use 1/4 cup and allow time for it to absorb the liquid before cooking. Low carb flours break easily, so you need to allow time for the cakes to cook until the top looks dry before flipping. Even then, they might split apart. Smaller cakes work best as it’s easier to get the entire pancake over the spatula. I used Bakesquick in mine, and they held together pretty well.

Photo: Pair of pancakes
A pair of nicely browned cauliflower-potato pancakes.

The instructions below are to make the pancakes from scratch for this recipe. If you have leftovers, use 2 cups of the cauli-potato mash and omit the cream and butter. Then, skip to the second paragraph of the instructions.

 

Cauliflower and Potato Pancakes

1 cup Mashed Potatoes
1 cup Mashed Cauliflower
2 tablespoons Heavy Cream
2 tablespoon Butter
2 large Eggs
1/2 cup low carb Flour
Salt and Pepper
Seasonings of choice

Optional add-ins:
Chopped Green Onions
Drained Chopped Green Chiles
Bacon Bits or Pieces
Chopped Onions

To make the cauliflower and potato mash, combine one cup of cooked and cubed potatoes and one cup of chopped cauliflower in a pan of boiling water. Cook until tender, about 15 min. depending on the size of the pieces. Drain and dry off as much as possible. Put back in the pan and add cream, butter, salt, and pepper. Mix together and use a masher to break up the potatoes and cauliflower, or use a mixer or a food processor. They can be lumpy. Put in a medium-sized bowl and chill about an hour. (You can do this the day before if you wish.)

In a large bowl, mix the mashed cauliflower and potatoes, eggs, and flour together. Add seasonings to taste. If you are using add-ins, add them now. Mix well. The dough should be fairly thick.

Coat a skillet or griddle with baking spray and let it heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-high. Put a heaping tablespoon of the mixture in the pan or on the griddle and press to form about 1/2″ thick cake.

Photo: Pancakes cooking in a pan.
My square copper skillet can handle four pancakes. You can also cook them on a griddle.

Cook about 3 to 5 minutes per side, then flip to cook the other side about the same time. If the cake doesn’t hold together when you first try to turn it, give it a couple of more minutes. Remove to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the cauliflower-potato mix.

Photo: Cheese-topped cauliflower potato pancakes
As this picture shows, not all of my cakes held together. I can attest they still taste great and a little cheese covers the failure. The garlic honey pork chop recipe will be coming up soon.

Serve with a cheese sauce, sour cream, or ranch dressing, although the cakes are tasty just the way they are.

Nutrition Information

Try fish for your Cinco de Mayo celebration!

Photo: Mexican-style Tilapia

For a long time, I haven’t included fish in my Mexican or Tex-Mex eating. Truth is, I am not a big fish fan, although shellfish is a whole different story. But I do like white fish, such as tilapia, cod, and halibut along with salmon. I never considered using them in Mexican food, but I decided it was time to try it out. I started with this delicious dish.

Mostly, I’m relying on seasoning to bring the flavor to the fish. I used Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning, but you can use your own favorite. This dish easy to make. Add about 1/4 cup of black beans or frijole beans as a side dish along with the riced turnips with chile I posted a few days ago or with the amazingly good riced golden beets I’m adding the recipe for below. I usually use them as a couscous substitute, but they work well with this fish.

Mexican-style White Fish

2 tilapia fish fillets (4 oz. each) or other white fish
1 cloves garlic minced
1/2 lime juiced
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

In a shallow pan or bowl, add garlic, seasoning, salt, and lime juice and mix. Rub the mixture over the fish fillets, making sure to cover them on both sides.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, place the fillets in the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn and cook the reverse side the same amount of time. Turn off heat, flip the fish back over, and let it sit another minute.

Serve with a salad, beans, riced beets, or cauliflower rice along with guacamole, sour cream, sliced onions, and tomato as preferred.

Makes two servings.

Photo: Riced golden beets

Riced Golden Beets

1 medium golden beet, peeled
1/4 cup Hot Water
1/2 teaspoon Better Than Bullion Chicken
1 tablespoon Butter
1/2 cup Diced Onions (optional)
Salt to taste

Cut beet into cubes and use a food processor to chop until the pieces are rice-sized.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add butter. Add onions and sauté for two minutes.

Add one cup of the riced beets and stir into the butter and onions for a couple of minutes. Heat water to boiling, then add chicken bullion. When melted add to the skillet, add salt, and stir in. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Check a couple of times to make sure the rice doesn’t dry out. Add water as needed. Check to be sure beets are tender.

Makes two 1/2 cup servings.

Image: Nutrition Info Mexican whitefishImage: Nutrition Info - Riced Golden Beets

Delicious Stuffed Mexican-style Chicken Breasts

Photo: Stuffed Mexican Chicken breast and riced turnips with chile

As May starts, we’re only a few days away from Cinco de Mayo, which is a great time to celebrate Mexico and anything Mexican. The cuisine is spicy, bursting with flavor, and a favorite around the world. Just because you can’t go out to your favorite restaurant right now doesn’t mean you can’t have a great celebration at home. Even better, you can make low carb versions so you don’t have to worry about gaining back any hard-lost pounds.

I’m tossing out a shameless plug for my little cookbook that features over fifteen adapted Mexican food recipes. I tried  out and adapted every one of the dishes in the booklet to be under 10 net carbs. It includes my grandmother’s TexMex Spanish rice that I grew up with but adjusted to use cauliflower in place of the rice.  Delicious and flavorful, yet different from the Mexican restaurant version.

You can purchase a copy for only 99-cents from your favorite e-book seller by going to this one link:

https://books2read.com/u/mqzMyO

New Recipes

Now, on to the new recipes. I wanted to make a stuffed chicken breast that would celebrate the flavors of Mexico, so I came up with this delicious filling that gives enough spice to taste it, but not overwhelm the chicken. It’s easy to make and cooks in about thirty minutes, so less than an hour to prepare and have dinner on the table.

To compliment the dish, you can serve cauliflower rice or try the amazingly tasty recipe that follows the chicken dish  for riced turnips with green chiles. It’s so good, you won’t believe you’re eating turnips. They absorb the flavors of the dish and are a great substitute for rice.

Image: Stuffed Mexican Chicken breast

Stuffed Mexican Chicken Breast

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
2 teaspoons Taco Seasoning
1 tablespoons Chopped Green Chiles
1/2 tablespoon Dried Minced Onion
1/3 cup Cheddar Jack Cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle
2 tablespoons Southwest Style Salsa

In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, taco seasoning, chiles, and dried onions until blended and smooth. Add the cheddar jack cheese and mix it well.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F.)

Cut the chicken breasts in the thickest part almost the full length and close to the opposite side to make a pocket. Stuff one-half of the cream cheese mixture into each pocket. Use tooth picks to hold the pockets closed.

Put the chicken in an oven-proof skillet or in a baking dish. Sprinkle the southwest chipotle seasoning on top and rub it in. If you’d like it spicier, add additional. Spray the top with a bit of oil or cooking spray.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the chicken is done. If you poke the thickest part with a fork and the liquid coming out is clear, the chicken is done.

Add a tablespoon of salsa over the top of each breast and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Photo: Riced Turnips with chile

Riced Turnips with Chile

1 large Turnip, peeled and cut into cubes
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Green Chiles, diced
1/4 cup hot Water
1/2 teaspoon Better than Chicken Bullion
1/4 cup Onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Chipotle Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Salt

Boil water, pour into a 1/4 cup measure and add the bullion, stirring to dissolve.

Put turnip cubes into a food processor and pulse until it is chopped to the size of rice. In a medium-sized skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter, then add the riced turnips and onions. Sauté for about five minutes, then add the bullion water and stir it in. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Add chiles, salt and seasoning, stir and cook for another 10 minutes until the turnips are tender.

If the water cooks out, add more water. It should be about the same texture as cooked rice. Fluff up the turnips before serving.

Makes two 1/2-cup servings.

Image: Nutrition Stuffed Mexican Chicken Breast

 

Image: Nutrition Riced Turnips with Chile

Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts

Photo: Stir-fry Brussels sprouts

A member of the cabbage family, Brussels sprouts have some of the same flavors, but still have a unique taste of their own. They pair well with most meats and fish and can be cooked in many different ways, from boiled to roasted to baked or fried. This recipe combines the sprouts with another of my favorite flavors, celery. Add in a little onion and stir fry the whole dish, and you have a delicious side dish. If you want to add a bit more, then cook a couple of slices of bacon and crumble them into the mixture. Yummy.

Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts

2 cups Brussels Sprouts, shredded or sliced thinly
1 large stalk Celery, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon minced Garlic
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning
1/2 medium Red Onion, thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Clean and slice the Brussels sprouts thinly or shred or chop them in a food processor. Clean and slice the celery stalk. Cut the onion into thin slices.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, then add the onions and garlic. Cook for about two minutes. Add in the sprouts and celery slices and stir fry them about 8 to 10 minutes until the sprouts are cooked. Add seasonings and stir into the dish.

Makes 4 servings.

Image: Nutrition Info: Brussels sprouts

Broccoli and Cauliflower Crepes Are So Good

Photo: Broccoli and Cauliflower Crepes

Happy 2020. The start of a new year and a new decade. We’ve had better starts throughout the years, but let’s make this one the best we can. Right?

I launched my new year  with determination to conquer the crepe, so I bought a crepe maker. Not the dip and cook model I’d seen on Facebook that looks so simple, but the flat cooker that will make bigger crepes, not as big as the ones at the Las Vegas Paris Hotel’s buffet though. Those babies are huge! This one might go to a 10-inch crepe, but initially, I made the smaller and easier to flip 7 to 8 inch ones.  My first crepe on it was a mess, stuck, wasn’t completely cooked, and practically shredded when I tried to flip it. After that, I sprayed it with cooking spray, made sure it was up to high heat, and tried again with much better success.

New flash! It’s going to be a while before I’m an expert with crepe-making, but even with the odd-shaped pancakes, they do work and taste quite good.

So, I made a simply delicious broccoli-and-cauliflower-filled crepe with ricotta and spinach and an amazing cream sauce on the top. Pop in the oven to just lightly toast the sauce and warm the whole dish up and you have a great meal for a meatless Monday or a delightful side dish with any meat or seafood entree.

While I haven’t tried it yet, I believe you can make crepes with coconut flour and unsweetened coconut milk, which makes it easier to find the flour ingredients. I’ve posted the carb count and the recipe for coconut flour crepes in case you want to experiment. When I make a batch, I’ll update this to let you know how well it works.

So, without further ado, here’s the recipe for these heavenly crepes.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Crepes with Cream Sauce

1-1/2 cups of Cauliflower, chopped
1-1/2 cups of Broccoli crown and stems, chopped
3/4 cups Mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Baby Spinach
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
8 Cherry Tomatoes, halved

Cream Sauce
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Low Carb Flour
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Water or Vegetable Broth
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning
1/3 cup Parmesan Reggiano Cheese, grated

Crepe Recipe:
3/4 cup Low carb Flour
3/4 cup Cream
1/4 cup Water
2 Eggs
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
Basil or Oregano if desired

Make the crepes batter.  In a blender, add all the crepe ingredients and pulse until the ingredients are mixed together, then blend a little longer to make sure the flour is completely mixed in. Put in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

While the crepe batter is chilling, prepare the filling:

In a skillet, heat a tablespoon olive oil. Add cauliflower and broccoli and sauté until lightly browned. Add 1/4 cup of water plus Garlic and herb seasoning and stir. Cook a few minutes more until the vegetables are almost tender. Add sliced mushrooms and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove vegetables to a bowl and set aside.

Add about a teaspoon of olive oil to the pan and heat it a minute. Add spinach and sauté until it is limp. In a small bowl, place ricotta cheese and stir to loosen and smooth,, then stir in spinach. Add a little basil or Italian seasoning and mix. Set aside.

Cook the crepes: Heat an 8 inch skillet or crepe pan until a drop of water skittles across the surface. Spray the surface with cooking sprray for each crepe. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan, lift pan from the heat, and gently roll until the batter coats most of the pan. If you have a crepe pan, spread the batter with the back of a spoon or a spreader, keeping the rounded or oval shape. Cook until the crepe looks dry on the top then carefully slide a wooden or silicone spatula under the crepe and flip it to cook the back side.

Cook for about a minute, then put on a plastic, parchment, or foil sheet on a plate. Put another sheet on top, then make the next crepe. The recipe will make 8 crepes. You will only need four for this recipe, so save the others for another meal. You can fill with eggs and cheese for breakfast.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Assemble the crepes. Put the crepe in a baking pan, spread 1/4 of the ricotta mixture down the middle. Spoon in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the vegetables, then top with two cherry tomatoes cut in half. Roll or fold the crepe over the vegetables. (Mine looked more like tacos.) Slide the crepe to the end of the baking dish and repeat to make four crepes.

Photo: Top view of crepes.
A few of my tomatoes escaped during the plating, but they still tasted yummy. You can see these weren’t the neatest crepe yet they tasted wonderful. Cooking doesn’t have to be perfect.

Make the sauce. In a skillet or pan, melt the butter. Lower the heat to medium. Stir in flour and cook until it begins to form a paste. Add cream and water along with seasoning and stir until the liquid sauce begins to thicken. Add grated cheese and stir until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Spoon 1/4 of the sauce over each crepe. Bake for 15 minutes or until the sauce looks slightly browned.

Serve with a salad or riced cauliflower.

Makes 4 crepes. A pair of crepes make a substantial dinner serving, or you can use just one as a side dish.

Coconut Flour Crepe Recipe

5 tablespoons Coconut Flour
1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
2 Eggs
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
Basil or Oregano if desired

In a blender, add all the crepe ingredients and pulse until the ingredients are mixed together, then blend a little longer to make sure the flour is completely mixed in. Put in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Pulse a couple of times before using.

Cook as directed above. Take extra care in turning the crepes as they will be delicate.

Nutrition for Broccoli Cauliflower Crepe

Nutrition for Crepes with low carb flour and with coconut flour

Nutrition Information for filling
Nutrition information for the filling and sauce only.