Tag Archives: broccoli

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

Vegetable Dinner Dish with Zing

Photo: Garden Vegetables with Cheese

For a quick, but tasty meatless meal, this easy skillet dish comes together in about thirty minutes. Starting with a frozen vegetable base, you can stir fry it, add in the fresh vegetables, make a cream sauce with cheese, and serve three people. If you want, you can make a flat bread, like this one, to go with it.

If you’re not worried about staying meatless, you can add in sliced sausages, bacon, or ham. Or you can add in shrimp and still count it as meatless.

The key in this is having the celery root peeled and cubed before you begin cooking. It will take the most time of any of your prep. But it brings a slight celery flavor along with a texture similar to potatoes, that gives this dish a unique, but delicious component. If you want to skip this, you can replace with sliced celery or chopped turnips.

I used cheddar cheese, but you can vary with other ones to change the flavor of the dish slightly. If you use an Italian cheese, change the seasonings to an oregano mix to bring in that flavor profile. With Mexican cheese, add in more chili spice to give it more bite.

Garden Vegetables with Cheese Sauce

1 10–oz package frozen Cauliflower, Broccoli & Carrot Mix
1 cup Celery Root, cubed into 1/2″ inch pieces
1/2 cup Asparagus, chopped
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
1/2 cup Vegetable Broth or Better than Bullion Vegetable base
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese
1 teaspoon Low Carb Flour or Corn Starch
1 teaspoon Seasoning Salt or Mrs. Dash
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

Partially cook the frozen vegetables in a microwave so they are defrosted. Cook the cubed celery root for 1 minute in the microwave. This will speed up the cooking time on the stove.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the garlic. Cook for about 20 seconds, then add the vegetables to the pan. Stir and cook the vegetables for a few minutes, then add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Add seasoning and let cook for about ten minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.

In a cup, add 1/4 cup water and flour or corn starch, then stir to mix. Add the cream to the pan, then add the water mixture. Stir into the vegetables. This will begin to thicken after a few minutes. Add the cheese and stir in to make the cheese sauce. Cook a few minutes until it’s a thick sauce, then serve.

Makes 3 servings.

Image: Nutrition Info for Garden Vegetables

Quick Vegetable Stir-fry

Photo: Vegetable Stir Fry

Ready for “Meatless Monday?” Here’s a quick to make rice-less fried rice. This replaces the starch with a variety of crumbled or riced vegetables to give you a deliciously satisfying Asian-flavored vegetable stir-fry. To make this even easier, you can start with a bag of Green Giant’s Cauliflower Crumbles “Fried Rice” Blend, which is cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and onions. If you are on phase 1, you might want to make your own riced vegetables and omit the carrots.

If you can’t find the mix at your grocery, you can use your food processor or grater to process cauliflower, broccoli stems, carrots, and onions to make your own mix. You’ll need three cups for the recipe with about 2 cups of it being cauliflower with the rest split between the broccoli, carrots, and onions.

I added in mushrooms and my adapted recipe adds in fresh spinach, but I didn’t have any in the house. I’ve listed even more possible add-ins at the end of the recipe.  Even on Monday, you can add any seafood to the stir fry. Shrimp is a great option. Any other time you want to make this, you can add chicken, beef, or pork to it.

For my friend and others who are trying to keep sodium low, I’ve included a recipe for a substitute soy sauce. It doesn’t taste like soy sauce, but it brings flavor to the dish without a lot of sodium.

 

Vegetable Stir Fry

3 cups (1 package) California Crumbles Fried Rice Blend (GG)
2 Eggs, beaten
1 cup Mushrooms, sliced (optional)
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Ginger paste
1 cup Spinach, fresh (optional)
2 stalks Green Onions, chopped
1 tablespoon Oil

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add garlic and ginger and stir for a minute or two. Add in the fried rice blend and mushrooms. Stir them in. Cook and stir for about 5 to 7 minutes until the vegetables are almost tender.

Stir in the beaten eggs and mix them into the vegetables, continuing to stir until the eggs are cooked. Add soy sauce or Non-Soy Sauce, which is much lower in sodium. Stir to mix. Top with chopped green onions if you wish.

Makes four servings.

Optional add-ins: peanuts, almonds, cashews, shrimp, any greens chopped, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, chopped celery or chopped peppers. Add Hawaiian flare on a non-meatless night by stirring in 1 cup of diced SPAM and 1/4 cup of chopped fresh pineapple. (The pineapple will boost those carbs a bit, but it really adds the island vibe.)

Just add in the carb counts for the additions.

Nutrition Information for Vegetable Fried Rice

Non-Soy Asian Sauce

For those with worries about low sodium or gluten or soy allergies, here’s a soy sauce substitute that adds flavor to the stir fry or anywhere else you might use soy sauce.

1 Beef Bone (sometimes butchers have these under soup bones)
3 cups of Water
2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
A pinch of garlic powder, ground ginger, and white pepper
Or Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning

Put water in a small pot and add the beef or soup bone. Bring to a boil, then lower to a low simmer. Cook for about one hour for the bone to flavor the meat. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Continue to simmer until the mixture is reduced to about two cups.

Let cool, then pour into a jar. If you have more than you can use within 10 days, pour the rest into an ice cube tray and freeze. When frozen remove the blocks to a plastic bag to store until you need them. Each cube will be about one tablespoon.

Makes 32 1-tablespoon servings.

Nutrition information for Non-Soy Asian Sauce

Meatless Asian Stir-Fry is Yummy

Photo: Broccoli and Mushroom Stir Fry

An Asian stir-fry is a great way to make a vegetable dish that is full of flavor and satisfying. Since meatless Monday allows seafood, you could add shrimp or white fish to this easy stir-fry, but I made it strictly vegetarian.

The biggest part of making a stir-fry dish is prepping all the food before hand. With this many vegetables, you need to get them all cut and ready to go. I split mine into groups — the onions, garlic, and ginger first, then the bell peppers. The next group has the vegetables that take longer to cook, broccoli, carrots, and Daikon. The last group is zucchini. Then add the liquid and thickener and cook before adding the mushrooms to cook a bit before adding the bean sprouts.

I used an Asian Chile paste for a spicy bite, but it is optional. Omit if you prefer a milder dish. You can serve this over riced cauliflower or lightly sauteed angel hair cabbage if you wish.

If you want a non-meatless version, add chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp to the recipe. Cook the meats either before cooking the vegetables or mid-way through the cooking, before adding the zucchini, by shoving the vegetables to the edges of the pan, adding a little more oil and putting the meat into to middle to quickly sear. Stir them in and continue the recipe. If adding shrimp, wait until you add the mushrooms as the shrimp will cook in about five minutes.

Broccoli and Mushroom Stir-Fry

Photo: Stir-fry in the pan

1 cup fresh Broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup Portobello Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Bell Peppers, sliced into strips
1 cup Bean sprouts
1/2 cup Daikon Radish, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup Zucchini, sliced or chopped
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Asian Chile Paste (optional)
1/2 tablespoon Corn Starch
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 tablespoon Ginger, shredded or use paste
2 tablespoons Garlic, minced
1 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
1/4 cup Carrots, sliced into strips

Cut all vegetables as indicated and have them ready to go. Stir-fry comes together quickly.

In a wok or a deep skillet, add 1 tablespoon to heat, then add the minced garlic and onions. Stir and cook until they are fragrant, then add the sliced bell peppers and ginger, and cook a couple of minutes longer.

Add broccoli, carrots, and Daikon and stir to mix well. Cook and stir for about five minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for a few minutes. Add the vegetable broth and soy sauce and stir into the vegetables. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the vegetables until almost tender.

Meanwhile, add about 1/4 cup boiling water to the corn starch and stir to dissolve. Add to the skillet and stir it around then add the mushrooms. Cook a few more minutes, then add the bean sprouts last along with the chile paste (if you are using). Cook about two more minutes.

Serve with riced cauliflower if you wish. Makes four servings.

Photo: Nutrition Information

Tastes of the Season: Crustless Brussels Sprouts Pie

Depending on how you feel about baby cabbages, as we tend to call Brussels sprouts around our house, this could be a great recipe or one to avoid. I will mention here that you can substitute other vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kohlrabi, for the sprouts and it will make a very taste quiche.

I served this with prime rib for Christmas dinner and it was a hit with even someone who wasn’t that crazy about Brussels sprouts. So, for the adventurous, here’s a different side dish for the holidays or any time. This is based mostly on a recipe I got from 12Tomatoes.com and adapted a little bit. I eliminated the crust since most of the carbs are in it, which leaves a much lower carb’d dish. I also added a little ricotta to tone down the eggs and add more texture.

My Christmas dunner with prime rib, cranberry sauce, Brussels sprout pie, creamed cauliflower, and Harvard beets; all low-carb.

Crustless Brussels Sprouts Quiche

2 cups of Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and outer leaves removed
1 cups Heavy Cream or half-and-half
1 cup Gruyere or Swiss cheese, grated
2 Eggs
2 tablespoons Ricotta Cheese
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F.) Coat a pie plate with butter or cooking spray.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook Brussels sprouts for about five minutes until fork tender.

Arrange the sprouts in the bottom of the pie plate, standing them on end if possible. I used frozen sprouts and they refused to stand up. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top.

In a medium bowl, add eggs, cream, ricotta cheese, and seasonings. Whisk together until blended, then pour carefully over the sprouts.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool a few minutes before servings. It will deflate some.

Makes 6 to 8 servings depending on appetite.

Nutrition Information per serving (6 per pie):
Calories: 263 Fat: 23 Net Carbs: 3.8 g Protein: 10.2 g

Nutrition Information per serving (8 per pie):
Calories: 197.3 Fat: 17.3 g Net Carbs: 2.9 g Protein: 7.6 g

Have you tried this recipe? Let me know how you like it.