Category Archives: Vegetables & Salads

Savory Acorn Squash

Photo: Herb roasted acorn squash

If you’re like me, you haven’t thought about using acorn squash or butternut squash with savory seasonings. I grew up with it being covered in butter and brown sugar with cinnamon, so it was more of a sweet treat. It’s still a favorite way to eat the squash, but others are also delicious.

The herbs and butter mix on this one is wonderful, bringing a delightful flavor to the squash. It pairs well with ham, pork roast, or chicken.

This recipe is adapted from one at and is slightly easier, mainly because I use a pre-packaged mix of herbs rather than mixing several together myself. For this recipe, I used Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb Seasoning, one of the staples in my kitchen. Any garlic herb mix will work.

Herb-Roasted Acorn Squash with Parmesan

1 large acorn squash (about 4″ in diameter)
⅓ cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese
2–3 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb Seasoning
1 tablespoon Butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400℉. Prepare 2 baking sheets by covering with either aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Then slice each half into ½-inch thick slices.

In a small bowl, mix the spices, cheese, salt, and pepper.

Arrange the acorn slices on the baking pans with flat sides down. Spread the melted butter over each piece with a cooking brush. Use a spoon to sprinkle the herb and cheese mixture over the squash liberally. Coat the entire top of each slice.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the squash, and the parmesan cheese is crispy and slightly browned.

Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

Image: Nutrition Information

A surprising rice substitute

Photo: Riced Turnips with chiles.

Turnips are often overlooked when people think about vegetables. While we turn to cauliflower to provide for many low carb vegetable substitutes, we don’t think about some of the other low carb vegetables that can work as well. Among them are kohlrabi, celery root, zucchini, beets, and turnips. All of these can be riced and used as a rice substitute.

Turnips can also be cubed and shredded to stand in for potatoes in hash or home cooked hash browns.

When I made stuffed Mexican chicken a few months ago, I substituted turnips in my rice with chiles. It was wonderful! I love the flavor and was thrilled with how well it worked.

One key to working with turnips is to use them as soon as you can. Although they keep a long time, they tend to get bitter the longer they sit.

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, 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 and most of the water has evaporated.

If the water cooks out before the turnips are tender, 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 for Turnips with chile


Thanksgiving is Upon Us

Amazingly, we have arrived at Thanksgiving in the USA. Canada celebrated a month ago. For everyone else, think of it as a prelude to the end of the current season. Here, in Reno, Nevada, our non-evergreen trees have dropped the last of their leaves signaling that Winter is coming. Snow is already on the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I can recall more than one snowy Thanksgiving here, so it could be a possibility.

Hope all of you are well. This has been a particularly tough year for everyone, but we are still surviving and are so thankful for it. For me and the friends I cherish, this is the one thing I am so grateful to say. Our hopes are to have a resolution to the pandemic soon, but until then, to continue to stay safe and healthy.

This message is a little late getting out, but if you are looking to keep your carbohydrates down over Thanksgiving, here are a few recipes I’ve published to help you do that:

 Happy Thanksgiving 2013 – Pumpkin Panna Cotta – has links to Smashed Turnips with Leeks, Irish Style Celery and Kohlrabi, and Butternut Turnip Mash.


Easy Low Carb Stuffing Bread

Use it in your favorite stuffing.


Traditional Pumpkin Pie 

Includes crust recipe.




 No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake





Got leftovers?

Try this Turkey and Stuffing Pie



Use the search feature to find even more recipes for vegetables and desserts to compliment your feast.

I don’t have a new recipe for today because I’m scurrying to get everything prepped for Thanksgiving and doing NaNoWriMo (for those who don’t know, that is National Novel Writing Month, so I am writing as many words on a new novel as I can). I will have a recipe on Friday for low carb Pecan Pie. You won’t miss those carbs at all. Trust me.

Until then, have a very good Thanksgiving and stay safe.


Crispy, Cool Salad for Warm Evenings

Photo: Shrimp Salad

As we move into the dog days of August, I think about cool and easy to prepare dinners. That often means a salad. In this instance, it’s a lovely combination of shrimp, asparagus, avocado, and cucumber over a nice bowl of mixed salad greens. Requiring only a little cooking for the shrimp and asparagus, this dish comes together in about thirty minutes or less. The lemon vinaigrette can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve.

For the salad:
8 oz Shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups Spring Mix Greens
10 spears Asparagus, trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces
1/2 Avocado, cubed
1/4 cup Red Onions, sliced
1 small Cucumber, peeled and sliced
Salt and Pepper, to taste

For the lemon vinaigrette
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1 large Lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon Sugar-free Honey
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1-2 cloves minced Garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste

Make the vinaigrette first. In a small bowl, add all the ingredients and whisk together. Taste to see if it needs more honey, salt, or pepper. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. Whisk again before serving. You can store any excess dressing in the refrigerator for about one week.

Heat a medium-sized pot to boiling and add the shrimp. Cook for about three minutes, then drain and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Heat olive oil in a saute pan and add the asparagus spears. Cook for about three minutes. Drain the shrimp, pat dry with a paper towel, and add to the pan and stir fry them for a couple of minutes to get slightly browned.

Remove the shrimp and asparagus to a pan or bowl to cool. Using two salad bowls, divide the spring greens and arrange half the onions and half the cucumber in each bowl. Divide the shrimp and asparagus between the bowls, then add avocado pieces. Spoon about two tablespoons of the lemon vinaigrette the ingredients in each bowl.

Serves two.

Tip: Buy pre-cleaned and deveined  frozen shrimp to save time, and it make less mess in the kitchen. If you don’t have a fresh lemon, use 6 tablespoons of lemon juice. 

Image: Nutrition Information: Shrimp Salad

Cool Down with Cucumber

Photo: Thai Cucumber Salad

Summer has arrived with hot days and somewhat cooler nights. But with daylight lasting until almost 9 pm, I am not too keen on cooking right now.

Seeking a cool side dish, I pulled up this recipe for a cucumber salad. It has just a bit of kick from the peppers in it. It originally called for jalapeno pepper, but I had an Anaheim in my ‘fridge so I switched it. Takes away the hot bite for a milder one. It also used cilantro, which I didn’t have on hand, so I used fresh mint from the garden. Changes the flavor profile a bit, but it’s very tasty.

The onions are also my addition. I love the cucumber and onion combination. But if you don’t like onion, leave it out. The peanuts are part of the original recipe, but I forgot to add them when I served. We didn’t miss them at all, so up to you to add or not.

Thai Cucumber Salad

1 large Cucumber, peeled
1 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Sugar Substitute
3 tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 medium Onion, sliced and cut into pieces (optional)
1/4 Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon Spear Mint, chopped or cut into pieces
2 tablespoon Peanuts, chopped (optional)
4 leaves of Romaine lettuce, rinsed and dried

Peel a large cucumber and cut it down the middle lengthwise. Slice into 1/4-inch half-rounds. Put slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Turn the mixture with a spoon or your clean hands to spread the salt around. Let sit over the sink for 20 minutes. Wash off in cool water.

In a medium bowl, add the sugar substitute and the rice wine vinegar. Mix together until the sugar is dissolved. Add the sliced onion and chopped pepper. Mix in the cucumber slices and toss the salad to coat everything in the sugar-vinegar dressing. Sprinkle chopped mint leaves over the top. Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving.

Serve on a Romaine lettuce leaf or shredded lettuce. Top with chopped peanuts if you desire.

Serves 4 side salads or 2 large ones.

Nutrition Image for Thai Cucumber Salad