Tag Archives: zucchini

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

 

Seafood on Meatless Monday is okay

Photo: Scallops and Zucchini crepes

If you like seafood, then it’s okay, according to my sources, to have it on “Meatless Monday,” but if you don’t feel free to substitute another vegetables into this lovely recipe for scallops and vegetable crepes. I wanted to make Coquilles Saint Jacques, a deliciously wonderful creamy dish with scallops, mushrooms, and wine, but I didn’t have all the ingredients. So I settled for this light, but delicious dish of crepes with scallops and zucchini.

Making crepes can be a hit or miss situation. I don’t make them often enough to perfect six at a time, so usually, I can figure on one or two of them being unusable.  It takes a bit to get the temperature of the skillet just right and to pour the right amount of batter, even though you’re sure you put in 1/4 cup. So don’t be discouraged if your first one comes out a little messy. The dog will probably like it.

I used a small copper skillet to make mine. It’s the omelet pan size, so it’s perfect for a six-inch crepe. Getting flipped it another issue. You have to let the batter cook long enough that it moves on the pan easily, then gently slide the spatula — one without any raised edges– under the crepe and turn it over.

The filling uses scallops and zucchini, but you can substitute in other vegetables for the scallops or zucchini if you wish. Mushrooms, butternut squash, kohlrabi, turnips, spinach,  and kale are a few possibilities. For this recipe, I used CarbQuick as my flour, but you can use any other low carb flour. Almond flour will probably not work as a thickener, so I wouldn’t suggest it.

I used a hard Romano cheese so I could use the hand cheese grater, but you can purchase it already grated.

 

Scallops with Zucchini and Cream Sauce


Photo: Crepes with scallops and asparagus

For the Crepes:

2 Eggs
1/2 cup Low Carb Flour
1/4 cup Almond Milk
1/4 cup Vegetable Stock
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Melted Butter
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Herb and Garlic Seasoning

For the Filling:

1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Low Carb Flour
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/8 cup Water or Wine
1/2 cup Zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon Onion Flakes
1/2 teaspoon Herb Seasoning
8 oz. Sea Scallops, rinsed and drained
1/8 cup Romano Cheese, grated

Make the crepes:

In a blender or drink mixer, add eggs, low carb flour, almond milk, stock, salt, seasonings, and melted butter. Pulse until mixed, then blend to get any lumps out. If batter is too thick — it should be pourable — then add a little water until it is fairly thin, Put in the refrigerator about an hour.

Heat a non-stick 6 or 8-inch skillet or a 8-inch cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add a little cooking spray. Put the batter jay back on the blender and pulse a couple of times to remix and check the consistency. Add a little water if needed.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet, then lift it and swirl it around until it coats the bottom evenly. Cook the crepe for 2 to 3 minutes, checking to see if it is drying on the top and that the bottom is not getting too brown. When the crepe is done enough, it should slide without too much effort. Use a spatula to carefully flip the crepe over. Cook the back side for 1 minute. Remove to a plate, place a piece of wax paper on top and cook the next crepe. Repeat. Batter should make six crepes.

Make the filling:

In the skillet or a sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat, then add the flour, stirring until it is mixed in. Add the cream and stir it to make a creamy sauce. Add the water or wine and stir together. Add in the zucchini, onion flakes, and seasoning. Cook a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the scallops and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the size of the scallops, until they are done all the way through. Don’t overcook as they will get rubbery.

On a plate, place one of the crepes, add 2 tablespoons of filling, fold it into a roll, then place seam side down on a serving plate. Repeat with three more crepes. Put shredded Romano cheese over each crepe.

Recipe makes four filled crepes. You have two extra crepes (if they all came out successfully). These are smaller crepes, so two filled crepes is a good serving portions. Each filled crepe is 4.1 grams of carbs, so both are 8.2 grams per 2 crepe serving.

Hint: You can make this same recipe with shrimp, lobster, or diced chicken in place of the scallops.

Image: Crepes Nutrition Info Image: Scallops filling nutrition info

 

A Simply Delish Vegetable Pie

Photo: Cabbage and Celery Root Pie

Here’s recipe with a long list of ingredients, but it really goes together pretty quickly once the vegetables are cut up. The taste is perfect with the hint of celery and potato-like texture that comes from the celery root.  If you can’t find celery root, then substitute in kohlrabi or turnips, but the celery root is worth finding if a market near you carries it.

I used Carbquick for my biscuits, which is available from Netrition.com and Amazon. You can use any low carb flour to make them, although the almond flour and coconut flour will have a different taste and texture as well as being slightly higher in carbs.

If you’re not aiming for a meatless meal, this is a yummy side dish for any main meat, such as chicken, pork roast, or steaks.  Would go very well with salmon or any white fish.

Photo: Slice of Cabbage Pie

Cabbage, Celery Root, & Squash Pie

For the filling:
2 cups Cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup Celery Root, cubed
1/2 cup Butternut Squash, cubed
1/4 cup Zucchini, sliced
1/4 cup yellow onion
6 Baby Carrots, diced
1 tablespoons Butter
1/3 cup Cream
1 cup Vegetable Broth
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoons all-purpose Low Carb Flour
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Table Blend Seasoning

For the Biscuits:
1 cup low carb biscuit mix or low carb flour
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder (if not using a mix)
3 tablespoon Butter, cold
2 to 4 tablespoons cold Water
1/4 cup Egg Whites (if using coconut flour)

Preheat oven to 400 F.degrees. Have a small baking pan (6″x6″) or loaf pan ready.

In a medium skillet, add 1 tablespoon Butter and the cabbage. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until the cabbage is limp and shiny. Put cabbage in a bowl.

In the same pan, add the olive oil and onions and cook until it is translucent, then add the celery root, butternut, carrots, and onions. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove to the same bowl as the cabbage.

In the pan, add the broth, thyme, oregano, and seasoning. Stir and cook until it is heated, then add the cream and mix it in. Add the flour to begin thickening it. You can also use a teaspoon of guar gum to help it thicken more. Mix the flour in well, then reduce heat to a high simmer. Cook and stir until it begins to thicken. Add the vegetables back to it and stir it well, reduce to a low simmer and cook until the sauce is about the thickness of heavy cream.

Remove from heat. Prepare the biscuit dough.

Biscuit dough
Use 1 cup low carb Biscuit flour mix, such as CarbQuick, Bakesquick, or a similar flour product. You can use a combination of 1/2 cup almond flour plus 1/2 cup coconut flour or soy flour. Mix 3 tablespoon butter into the flour until it resembles crumbles. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of cold water. If you use coconut flour, you will need to add a 1/2 teaspoon baking powder to it and 1/4 cup of egg whites to get it to rise. Add the egg whites after you’ve added the butter and mixed it in.

Divide the biscuit dough into four balls and shape each one into a circle and distribute evenly over the top of the vegetables. If it is easier to roll the dough out to the shape of your pan, then do that or shape it to fit.

Bake about 20 to 25 minutes. Let rest a few minutes, then serve. Makes 4 servings.

Photo: Nutrition Info for Cabbage PIe

Meatless Pizza Monday

Photo: Zucchini, Eggplant, & Beets Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza? And what do we miss when trying to stay low carb? You betcha! Good news. We have pizza crust alternatives that work very well for making pizza. If you haven’t tried any of these, give them a shot. First, there’s the cauliflower crust, which you can make yourself or now buy at places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. For that matter, you can order them online from Amazon. However, check the carbs on these as some of them are higher than making them yourself.

You can also make a pizza crust using low carb flour. I use LC Foods Pizza and Calzone mix to make this delicious crust, but I have also used DCC All Purpose Flour to produce an equally good, but slightly sweeter crust. You can also use a large portobello mushroom as a pizza base. While white meat chicken makes a great pizza base, that doesn’t work so well on Meatless Monday. You can also use a low-carb tortilla to make a fairly crispy crust, but be careful not to overcook it.

For this recipe, I’ve provided the toppings only and the carb count is just for them, so add in the count for the pizza base. My pizza recipe makes two personal-size pizzas, but you can make a larger eight-inch pizza and cut it in half. I like to cook my pizza on a rack since that allows the underside to brown evenly as well as the top. I really like this combination of vegetables and seasoning, but you can adapt it to others if you like. When buying pasta sauce, check the carb count. I used one that comes in at 3.5 net carbs for 1/4 cup.

Zucchini, Eggplant, and Beets Pizza Toppings

2 small Pizza Crusts
1/2 cup Zucchini, 1/4″ slices
1/4 cup Golden Beets, diced
1/4 cup Japanese Eggplant, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Spinach, fresh
1/4 cup Pasta Sauce
1/3 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F.)

Cook pizza crusts for 5 to 10 minutes if it isn’t already partially cooked.

Cook diced beets in a microwave for one minute. You can use the zucchini and eggplant raw or sauté them in a pan with a splash of Olive Oil for a couple of minutes to soften.

Spread 2 tablespoons of the Pizza Sauce on each pizza crust. Arrange the zucchini and eggplant slices on top of the sauce, then distribute the beets on top of them. Arrange enough spinach leaves over the tops to cover them. Sprinkle cheese over the top.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the crust is browned.

Serves two.

Photo: Nutrition Count for Pizza Toppings

Links to recipes for Low-Carb Flour Pizza Crust and Cauliflower Pizza Crust.

Celebrate the Harvest with this Meat-free Quiche

Image: Harvest Quiche

For many years, I’ve made my quiches with ricotta cheese. It adds firmness and texture to the mix so the egg doesn’t seem so much like custard.

This crustless, meatless quiche has plenty of fall vegetables, including a nice serving of mushrooms, to satisfy your hunger. Nearly every plant I used came from my garden in the almost last harvest of the year, and you can find them all in grocery stores now if you don’t have an outdoor source of your own.

I used Bakesquick for my flour to give the quiche a little more body and fill in for the missing crust, but it is optional. The recipe works quite well without it. Likewise, chili spices are optional, but I like a little kick in my food.

Feel free to substitute other vegetables if you don’t like one. Just be aware some vegetables may be a little higher in carbs, but most will come in close to the same amount. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

Photo: Harvest Ricotta Pie, top view

Harvest Spinach, Zucchini, & Ricotta Quiche

3/4 cup Spinach, fresh and torn (about 2 handfuls)
1 cup Zucchini, sliced
1 1/2 Tomatoes, ripe, 6 slices
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese, whole milk
2/3 cup Cheddar Jack Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Irish Cheddar Cheese (Or other sharp cheddar), shredded
4 Eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Whipping Cream
1/2 cup Mushrooms, sliced
3 Mini-Peppers, sliced down the middle
1/4 cup Low Carb Flour (optional)
1 teaspoon Garlic and Herb seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Chili Spices (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F.) Prepare a 9-inch deep dish pie plate by spraying with cooking spray.

Slice all the vegetables and set aside.

In a large bowl, add the ricotta cheese, the beaten eggs, and seasonings and whisk together until well mixed. Stir in the low carb flour if you are using it and mix until smooth. Set aside.

Line the bottom of the pie dish with sliced zucchini. This should make a fairly solid base for the pie. Top with mushrooms and spread them evenly. Put the torn spinach over the top and press it down a little.

Pour the egg mixture over the top, using a spoon to spread it evenly over the spinach. Place a slice of tomato at equal intervals around the edge to mark each slice. Place one-half chili between each tomato slice.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the pie is set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. Let sit about 10 minutes before serving.

Makes six servings.

Image: Nutrition Information for Harvest Quiche