Monday, August 30, 2010

A Little Bragging of My Own

Lately, some of our OFL's have been really enjoying their fairly new grandchildren and sharing pictures here and there. So, since I do mouth off about my granddaughter Elisabeth, who is also my daughter (I raised her from an infant), I decided to share a picture of her and Zora, our beloved dog! Nothing to do with food, also! Sorry, I felt like bragging too. Elisabeth is almost nineteen and off at school and doing well. I felt like posting her picture because she is home for three days right now- pure joy with this sweet child!

Zora, our mutt, a rescue dog (also a passion of mine), is a border collie/chow mix according to our vet. A large for a border collie- but does have some of the chow traits- also a sweet-natured reward for us!

Passion for the environment, et al

Once again, this post has nothing to do with food, exactly, except maybe using our natural food resources wisely and not destroying our species in our greed for certain things! This is a passion of mine, and will continue to be. As a species, Homo sapiens has managed to really mess a lot of things up on this planet!

First of all, I would love for you all to browse through my sister-in-law's website of her art of the natural Florida. She is profoundly disabled and yet continues to share her zeal for preserving the environment with award-winning art. Take a few moments and have a look at her bio, awards and then the breath-taking art created with one arm. Read what she has to say about the environment! We all need to take heed and each do what we are able to do! I applaud all you OFL's who take time to garden and produce at least some of your own food! And as always, please, buy our own local produce. Everything imported you buy takes food from the mouths of our own farmers! Here is Kathy's website- it's worth the few minutes it takes to browse through! 

http://artgoinggreen.com/index.html

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Greek Cucumber Salad Courtesy of Florence

This sounds like a wonderful way to use some of those abundant cucumbers that grow this time of year. Thanks, Florence!

Greek Style Cucumber Salad

2 cups quartered and sliced cukes
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 seeded and chopped plum tomato
1/2 cup feta
1 container Dannon Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill or 1 tsp dried dill
salt & pepper

Mix all and let marinate for 1/2 hr before serving
 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ginger

I just got to thinking that maybe a lot of people don't know how extremely simple it is to grow their own ginger! It is a lily and the actual eating part grows and spreads underground. This root is called a hand, because as it grows and spreads, it resembles fingers reaching out in different directions.

I keep some planted in a little bed especially for the ginger in the middle of my herbs, as it does spread and make more lilies. When I want some ginger for cooking or making gingerale, I put a spade in the ground and just barely dig up the root, and break a little off. I quickly re-settle the plant and let it keep living to make more. It kind of dies back in winter, and little lilies sprout up every spring. So, I really have ginger anytime I want it! I always harvest from the outer edge of its bed to keep it in one spot.

To begin your ginger bed, start with a fairly large hand from the grocery store- maybe five or six inches in diameter. It should not be too dried out looking and have a few "bumps" on it- that's where the lilies sprout from. Plant it in fairly warm loose soil- it takes a couple of months to see it spread from more lilies growing. Easy! I really like the flowers too.

Caution: start your ginger from grocery store ginger! There is a commercial nursery grade ginger lily that is sold for the flowers, because they look like a larger version of food grade ginger. The rhizomes are edible, but not like real ginger.

Home Made Gingerale

If you read the last post, you know I've had some kind of bug. Not only was I stuffed up, but the old gastrointestinal tract was working overtime in both directions, if you get my drift :(   So, I made up some home made gingerale, and got very quick relief! Ginger is a very ancient remedy for this sot of thing.

Well, anyway, here's the extremely simple recipe I use for making home made ginger ale. There is another recipe I used to use with a little yeast so it makes its own carbonation, but it requires sugar for the yeast to feed on, so.... here was what I came up with:

3/4 cup of fresh peeled and grated ginger- when buying ginger, I look for smaller diameter hands. They tend to be better in flavor and not so full of tough fiber.
2 1/2 cups of water
4 packets of splenda (you'll have to taste once the ginger ale is made- I'm not big on very sweet drinks- you may want more)
Club soda- this should already be sugar free, but check to make sure.

Grate the ginger and place in a small saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently for about ten minutes. Add the splenda. Pour the ginger water through a strainer lined with cheese cloth (a paper towel will do nicely in a pinch). Discard the ginger. Use a funnel and pour the ginger water into a clean two liter bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with club soda, and cap tightly. Be sure to leave about two inches of head room at the top of the bottle. Taste and adjust the amount of Splenda to your liking.

Drink this over ice, with a squeeze of lime or lemon. Delicious and refreshing, even if a bug hasn't bitten you! For those of you wanting to be a little "bad", a splash of spirits goes nicely in it!

Miracle Cure for Stuffed-up Sinuses

Good morning all. For the first day in about four, I have actually felt like sitting at the computer! Have had some miserable bug that snuck up on me. So, I'm just sharing something that I use for the sinuses when you are so stuffed up and can't breathe. This isn't about food- although I don't think it would hurt you if you drank it- bitter! LOL!!

Just get a small pot of boiling water and put about ten drops of peppermint oil in it. Put your face over the pot and breathe in for about four or five minutes, tissues in hand! Better than any prescription I've ever had, and it doesn't jack up your heart rate. It is so nice to get the relief of breathing clearly after this trick! And you get a facial to boot!

Peppermint oil is available in all health food stores- buy a small bottle- it lasts for ages! I think I actually found mine at Wal Mart.

Caution- don't get so close to the boiling water that you burn yourself! Steam burns hurt!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sharon's Easy Sun Pickles

What can be easier than Sharon's sun dill pickles! I love big fat crunchy dills, and the good news is that they are extremely low in carbs! So try this method, folks! 


Now I'm looking for a recipe for pickled okra!

Sharon's Easy Sun Dill Pickles


I make really good pickles with cukes. I take a big pickling jar, put a bunch of dill in the bottom, one jalapeno pepper and two or three big cloves of garlic cut in quarters. Then I fill the jar with cukes, add water (warm from the tap, with the hot water just a tiny bit on, not all cold water) and a few tablespoons of kosher salt, shake the jar a few times to dissolve the salt and move the garlic around, and taste it. It has to taste like the ocean -- not saltier, but not less salty either. Leave the jar in the sun for a day with the lid on. At that point the pickles will still be crunchy. This is when I put the jar into the fridge.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dreamfields Pasta

Ok, folks. A lot of us have been wondering about Dreamfields Pasta- supposted to be low carb. I tried it once only after ordering five different kinds, because I was scared about the info- supposed to be five net carbs, but looked like it had the same contents as regular pasta! It didn't make me gain, but I did it on a day off. Our sweet Doreen on the OFL forum has researched this for us- have to admit I was too lazy. So, here's the skinny on it (tongue it cheek!)

Just ordered some low carb goodies from our Canadian supplier and found this about Dreamfields. I know there have been concerns about it so thoght you all might be interested.
How it works:

Dreamfields Pasta makes the claim of "Net 5g of digestible carbs per 56g dry pasta serving". If you look at the ingredient list, it is made with enriched semolina, B Vitamins, Fiber Blend, Sorbitol, Wheat Gluten and Potassium Chloride, pretty much the same as the regular pasta. So how come there are only 5g of digestible carbs?

On the box of the pasta, it shows that there is 42g total carbohydrates per serving, 5 of fiber, and 31g of Protected Carbs, making it 42-5-31=5g of digestible carbs. What is the secret behind these Protected Carbs?

Unlike a lot of the other low carb pasta, where majority of the carbohydrates are replaced by fiber and protein, dreamfields pasta is in fact a brilliant product created under a special manufacturing process, made possible by modern technology.

According to the inventor or the process, Dr. Anfinsen, the technology behind Dreamfields Pasta results in most of the carbohydrate grams becoming “protected” or non-digestible. It involves molecular interactions that help block the enzyme from attacking the carbohydrate start granule. It is not encapsulated, rather a situation is created where there is a matrix more or less that has a tendency to attract the enzyme to the matrix and not the carbohydrate. These non-digestible carbohydrates are not counted as fiber, but they start to act as fiber in the colon, according to Dr. Anfinsen.

Many people have tried the pasta and tested themselves for blood glucose levels before and after a Dreamfields Pasta meal. Most people do not detect a significant jump (or no change at all) in blood sugar levels 1 hour or 2 hours after consuming the pasta. People who are HIGHLY insulin resistant may still experience a jump in blood sugar levels. For people who are extremely high insulin resistance, however, eating ANY carbohydrates could cause a spike, explained Dr. Anfinsen.

Here is a tip for cooking the pasta: Do not cook it directly in an acidic sauce, such as tomato based sauce. It seems cooking the pasta in high heat in an acidic sauce will destroy the low-carb characteristics and the carbs become available for digestion. It is recommended to boil the pasta in water, and stir the cooked pasta into the sauce. This finding is reported by a consumer of the product, and you can find the details at http://www.mendosa.com/dreamfields_pasta.htm

Dill Pickles Courtesy of Doreen.

This is another recipe contributed by Doreen on our forum. I'm a true dill pickle lover, so will definitely give these a try! And they do look really easy to make. Sharon also contributed a recipe for sun dills, that I will dig up and post here too- they are simple to make.

Dill Pickles (when I have lots of cukes)
1 ice cream pail full of cucumbers wash and scrub
garlic gloves cleaned
Dill flowers that are almost in full seed

8 C Water
4 C Vinegar
1/2 C Pickling Salt

Boil 10 - 15 minutes

Sterilze jars, insert dill, garlic and pack with cukes. Fill to 12 inch from top with boiling vinegar mix.
Seal.
Makes apprx. 5 jars

Sweet PIckle Relish Courtesy of Doreen

As you probably know any type of sweet relish and sweet pickle recipe is just loaded with sugar. Well, Doreen, smart girl she is adapted and "million dollar relish" recipe for all of us low-carbers. Thanks, Doreen! I had switched to dill relish because of the sugar in regular sweet relish.

Million Dollar Relish

6 lbs Cucumbers, with peel
2 lbs Onions
3 Green peppers, seeds removed
2 Red peppers, seeds removed

1/2 C Course pickling salt (or less)
10 C Boiling water

2 1/2 C White vinegar
4 1/2 C Splenda
2 tbsp Mustard Seed
1 tbsp Tumeric

3 tbsp Xanthan Gum
couple drops green food coloring (optional)

Cut cucumbers, onions, green & red peppers into chucks. Put through food grinder into large saucepan.

Sprinkle with salt. Pour boiling water over all. Cover and let stand overnight on counter.

In the morning, drain mixture well. Add vinegar, Splenda, mustard seed and tumeric. Bring to a boil over med. heat. Stir often. Boil slowly for 30 minutes.

Stir in xanthan until thickened slightly. Pour into hot sterilized pint or 1/2 pint jars to within 1/2 inch of top. Place sterilized metal lids on jars and scr@w metal bands on securely. For added assurance against spoilage, you may choose to process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Makes about 7 pints or 14 1/2 pints.

I add the green food colouring to make it look more like green relish in hopes that the hubby will eat it instead. Hasn't worked so far! Everyone else loves it though!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Raw Vegetable "Pasta" with Tomatoes and Herbs courtesy of Estelle

This beautiful dish was contributed to our OFL forum by Estelle. I think my vegetable peeler must be dull, because I ended up getting the mandolin out to do the slicing- was very easy that way. One comment I have is to carefully read labels on sun-dried tomatoes- some seem to be very high in carbs. Someone has mentioned using cucumbers in this, and I think that would be fine. Also, ichiban eggplants (the long skinny ones) would also be good if they are the young ones. I used regular chopped tomatoes instead of the cherry ones, red onion instead of the shallots and used the viniagrette I made for the chicken and eggplant salad. I also added some fresh chopped garlic chives from the garden. You all probably know by now that I'm always tweaking recipes! LOL!

Note: Estelle found this recipe on the Whole Foods Market site.


Raw Vegetable "Pasta" with Tomatoes and Herbs

Serves 6

Try this delicious "pasta" made from strips of summer squash and zucchini tossed with tomatoes, olive oil and fresh basil and oregano for a dish packed with bright flavors.

Ingredients

2 zucchini squash, shaved thinly lengthwise with a vegetable peeler
2 yellow summer squash, shaved thinly lengthwise with a vegetable peeler
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
5 oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
1 teaspoon finely chopped oregano

Method

In a large bowl, gently toss together all ingredients. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Per serving (about 6oz/169g-wt.): 60 calories (25 from fat), 3g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium, 7g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 3g sugar), 2g protein
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/1339?utm_source=Responsys&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=07_21_10_Recipe

Friday, August 20, 2010

Steak and Cheese Quesadillas

I love this recipe, because it is so quick and easy and SATISFYING! It is fine for all phases of the Atkins WOE except phase I. If you are on Phase I, it is still good if you omit the tortilla and eat the contents. This recipe can be used with chicken or pork also, and you can make it as spicy or as mild as you like it. We like a little spice with ours, so omit the jalapenos if you don't.

Steak and Cheese Quesadillas

4 Low Carb tortillas ( I use the garlic and herb tortillas from La Tortilla Factory- 4 net carbs)
1 pound of steak cut in stir-fry strips ( I like sirloin, because it is very tender when cooked this way)
1-2 Jalapeno peppers, seeds and veins removed- cut into fine julienne strips or finely diced
1 medium red onion cut in half and then cut into fine strips
1 small bell pepper cut in thin strips
1 small tomato seeds and pulp removed, cut into small diced pieces
1 teaspoon cumin
healthy splash of Teriyaki Sauce or Soy Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
4-5 ounces of grated cheese of your choice- I like Monterey Jack, Mozzarella or a Mexican Cheese Mix
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Cut steak and place in a bowl, with salt, pepper, cumin, and Teriyaki or Soy sauce. Toss it around so the seasoning gets on every piece.
Heat one tablespoon of oil in a skillet pretty hot (not so hot that it burns.) Toss the steak in and turn frequently till browned and of the doneness you like. Remove the steak and put aside.
Add the other tablespoon of oil to the skillet and re-heat. Toss all the veggies in except the tomatoes, and stir-fry until just crisp done- not soggy. Remove and set aside.
Wipe the skillet dry and one by one, place a tortilla in. To one side only of the tortilla, place a sprinkling of cheese, then steak, then stir-fried veggies and tomatoes on. Add more cheese.
Fold the tortilla in half over the contents. When warm and golden on one side, carefully turn it over and brown the other side till the cheese is melted.
Repeat with each tortilla.

Note: Please personalize this in any way you choose. For my heat- loving daughter, I omit the tomatoes and add a dollop of hot salsa, for instance. This is especially eye-pleasing if you use red bell peppers instead of green, and has a slightly sweeter flavor.

Caution! Fire is Nothing to Play With!

This little excerpt has nothing whatsoever to do with food, but a couple of our OFL's are experiencing fire either first hand or second hand! I live three miles from the Osceola National Forest. Three years ago, during a drought, someone's lit cigarette butt started a forest fire that seared over 55,000 acres, killed multitudes of wildlife and sent dozens of people to the hospital with smoke inhalation, asthma attacks and even a few heart attacks!

These pictures are what the sky outside my house looked like at three in the afternoon. It was scary!! Completely like night when it should have been bright Florida sunshine!














I do feel passionately about this needless destruction of life and earth's abundance! So, the next time you raise your hand with a lit cigarette butt to toss it out the window, please think again! 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Carole's Genius Potato Tip

This is a simple and ingenious tip for you people following the Atkins WOE! I'll have to admit- I was pretty skeptical about this, but I definietly stand corrected! Instead of potatoes in something like a pot roast, Carole uses radishes! Yes, you heard me- radishes. I tried this yesterday with a pot roast and it was amazing! I cooked them as usual with the other vegetables in the roast pot in broth. They look just like red new potatoes when cooked, and not only, that, the texture and taste is amazingly like potatoes!!

Next, I will try using them for hash browns. Yum! Ya gotta try it to believe it!

Thanks so much, Carole!

Roasted Cauliflower courtesy of Doreen

This is one very tasty recipe. Roasting always improves the flavor of vegetables! And, it too is suitable for all phases of the Atkins WOE.


ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

1 medium head cauliflower, about 2 pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Rinse the cauliflower and cut into serving-sized pieces. Place in a large zipper bag. In a small bowl, mix the oil, melted butter and seasonings; pour into the bag with the cauliflower. Seal the bag and gently toss to coat teh cauliflower with oil. Be careful that the bag doesn't come open. Spread the cauliflower in single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 400ยบ about 25-30 minutes, turning the cauliflower every 10 minutes. Roast until it is browned on the edges and tender.
Makes 4-6 servings
Can be frozen

Per 1/4 recipe: 168 Calories; 13g Fat; 5g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 6g Net Carbs
Per 1/6 recipe: 112 Calories; 9g Fat; 3g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 4g Net Carbs
From http://www.genaw.com/lowcarb/recipes.html low carb reciepe webb site.

Faux Gravy courtesy of Doreen

This is one delicious gravy! I tried it today and it makes a nice thick gravy. I used a sprinkle of Worctershire, garlic powder and a little extra beef broth ( unsalted from the can). And it's suitable for all phases of the Atkins WOE.


Remove roast from pan. Pour out remain juice, (leave just a little on the bottom), into a container. Put pan on burner, med. high heat. As the juice gets really brown (almost burnt) add little bits more until you have it all in. I also add more spices now so it will have lots of flavour. Add more water (I use the water drained from my cauliflower sometimes). I then whisk Xantham gum (sprinkle gentle on, you'll see why). This thickens the 'gravy'

Faux Mashed Potatoes courtesy of Doreen

This is another of Doreen's cauliflower recipes which is easy and sounds delicious! It's suitable for all phases of the Atkins WOE.


 Faux Mashed Potatoes
Boil cauliflower until very tender, drain
add sour cream, mayo, salt, pepper, (garlic optional)
Mash (I whip them with a hand blender)
You can put them in a casserol dish, put butter on top and bake awhile for a little different flavour.

Faux Rice courtesy of Doreen




This recipe sounds really delicious! I'll admit I haven't tried it yet, but I certainly will as soon as I find some beautiful fresh Cauliflower. Nice, because it is suitable for all phases of the Atkins WOE!


Faux Rice! (courtesy of Doreen)
20 ounces freshcauliflower, (1 medium)
Butter
Salt and pepper
Trim the leaves and most of the tough stalks of the cauliflower, then coarsely chop into manageable pieces that will fit the feed tube of your food processor. Using the grating disk, process the cauliflower; put in a 2 1/2 quart casserole with a lid.... Add 2-4 tablespoons of water, cover and microwave on HIGH 8-14 minutes. Stir every 4-5 minutes and check for doneness. When tender, but not mushy, add some butter; season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 6-10 servings
Freezing not recommended Per 1/6 recipe: 58 Calories; 4g Fat; 2g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 3g Net Carbs
Per 1/8 recipe: 43 Calories; 3g Fat; 1g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs
Per 1/10 recipe: 35 Calories; 2g Fat; 1g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs
Off of http://chattumslowcarbrecipes.webs.com/fauxpotatoandrice.htm webb site.

.

Mariinated Veggie Salad courtesy of Sue

Sue shared this delicious salad with us- it is from her mother's recipes. This is wonderful, but do give it overnight to marinate and have those flavors blend!

Please note- if you are on the Atkins Way of Eating, this salad is not for the earlier phases, because of the green peas, kidney beans and corn in it.

 
Marinated Veggie Salad
1 -10 oz pkg green peas, 1 can red kidney beans, 1 can green beans, 1 can corn...all drained, 1 C diced celery, 1 medium chopped onion, 1/2 C diced green pepper, and 1 -2 oz jar diced pimento. The dressing is 3/4 C vinegar, 1/2 C sugar (Splenda instead), 2 Tbls oil, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 Tbls water, 1/2 tsp paprika. Mix until thoroughly blended. Stir into veggie mixture, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Drain before serving.

Another dressing for a similar salad used 1/4 C. salad oil, 2 Tbls water, 1/2 C or less sugar (Splenda instead), l C white vinegar, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, salt, pepper.

The peas, beans, and corn have higher carb content. Shouldn't be hard to get your carb count in. Granted, I did not sit and figure up carbs per serving yet. Not much for prep time either.

In this stifling hot weather, I like cold salads. I made a cabbage slaw this past weekend with a similar dressing.



Creamsickle Float courtesy of Doreen

This is one refreshing little treat and easy to make. Better still, it is very Atkins friendly for all phases! I use real heavy cream in mine, and it makes it very decadent! I have tried diet root beer for mine, and it was reminiscent of those A & W root beer floats I loved as a child!


1C ice
3-4 Tbls heavy cream (I used cool whip)
1/2 can diet orange crush (sweetened with splenda)
Blend in a blender.
Drink
Yum
You can add more of the diet pop before you drink, it gets foamier.

You can use what ever flavour you want - rootbeer, etc.

Chicken Avocado Salad with Citrus Marinade

This is an excellent salad for a lunch or even light supper! The marinade is the secret to the wonderful fresh taste!  Seafood would also be good instead of the chicken. Do make this far enough in advance to give the marinade time to penetrate the chicken. 

The marinade can be used for other salads or as a marinade for chicken or pork that is going to the grill!


Chicken Avocado Salad

Two boneless chicken thighs filet style ( You may use chicken breasts if you prefer.)
I avocado (mine is Florida- Haas is fine)
1 medium size tomato cut in chunks
1/4 red onion finely diced
1/4 bell pepper finely diced
1/2 stalk celery finely diced
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (or nuts of your choice- can be totally omitted- I just have pecans all year long in the freezer from our trees.)

Marinade and dressing:


1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 Tablespoon finely chopped basil (fresh) or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 packet of sugar free sweetener (more if desired)

Place all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and whisk briskly till well combined. Place chicken in a zip bag and pour 1/2 the marinade over it, turning it over a couple of times to make sure it's well-coated. Refrigerate for one hour, shake the bag and refrigerate for another hour. Remove chicken from the bag and discard marinade. Let sit for about ten minutes.

Place chicken on a grill pan, saute pan with a little olive oil or an indoor grill. Cook till no longer pink, but not dry. Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks and place in a bowl with all other diced and chopped ingredients. Drizzle the reserved marinade over the salad and gently toss so the avocado doesn't get mashed up. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a bed of romaine lettuce or other salad greens. 
This is basically a very chunky avocado salsa, but it is good. Works really well with shrimp also. Something cool for the dog days of summer. This makes salad for two, but if you need more, just increase the ingredients. The green part of scallions finely diced is good too- just didn't have any today.

Note: if you choose to use shrimp instead of the chicken, only marinate for one hour.

Sharon's Chocolate MIM's courtesy of Sharon

This is one of a lot of variations of the MIM's. Sharo is absolutely right! It definitely is slightly addictive! 


Sharon’s Chocolate MIM’s
                     
  1. Substitute 1 flat Tbsp unsweetened dried coconut for part of the flaxseed. 
  2. 2. Add 1 rounded tsp unsweetened cocoa powder to the dry ingredients.
    3. Cut into four slices. Let cool.
    4. Mix some soft cream cheese with 1 tsp sugar free strawberry syrup.
    5. Make two stacks of two slices each and use the cream cheese to frost them like two tiny two-layer cakes...

    Don't say I didn't warn you-all, but it's slightly addictive. I do NOT do this MIM every day or even every week.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Meat Rub

Okay, this is just an aside recipe I use quite often. I use it quite often for roasted meats, chicken and pork. It's also useful for the BBQ grill! I used to marinate a lot in teriyaki or soy sauce mixtures, but they both contain sugar, and we on Atkins do try to stay away from that.  Sometimes, I make double and just store it in an air tight container for future use. Caution: Omit salt from the meat, as the rub contains salt.


 Meat rub for Smoking, Roasting and BBQ

3 tablespoons of chicken seasoning- I get mine very inexpensively from the Mexican grocery, but almost every grocery carries it.
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano (I use Mexican, but any will do)
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

That's it- just mix all ingredients together and store in an air tight container till ready to use. Makes a nice variation from plain old pork or chicken.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is a classic Frech recipe, which sounds fancy and is impressive in looks, but turns out to be incredibly simple to make. So, if you're looking for something carb friendly, but different with chicken this is it!


Chicken Cordon Bleu

Cordon bleu:
Boneless skinless chicken breasts (allow one for each person)
Ham slices- one for each chicken breast
Swiss or Gruyere slices- one for each chicken breast (really any cheese you like!

Salt and Pepper to taste
Paprika
Basil
Soy or Teriyaki sauce
Chicken broth
Canola oil

Butterfly each chicken breast- make a slice in the side of each breast almost to the other side- do not slice them all the way through.
Open up the chicken breasts and place on a meat board and cover with plastic wrap.
With a heavy skillet or meat mallet (use the flat side) gently pound the breasts so they are about 1/2 inch thick and of even thickness

Salt and pepper and a sprinkle of basil to taste on each one

Place a ham slice and a cheese slice on each breast to within 1/2 inch of the sides (important- don't completely cover the chicken with these slices)
Roll up each breast with the ham and cheese inside- secure with toothpicks or kitchen twine (cotton only)- I prefer the twine- makes for easier browning.

Sprinkle each roll with Teriyaki or soy sauce, paprika and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a skillet with canola oil- not a deep fry- just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet
Brown each chicken roll on all sides. Place on paper towels to drain off oil.

Place each roll in a baking dish, not quite touching each other.
Pour in chicken broth to about 1/4 inch- do not let it come way up on the chicken rolls- this is only to provide a little steaming action and moisture while baking.

Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30  minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the chicken shows juices running clear. Ovens vary, so test. Turn one over and test that to make absolutely certain they are cooked through.

Remove and serve with the saffron butter sauce I posted earlier, rather than the flour thickened cream sauce used by French chefs.

Very rich tasting, with the oozing cheese in the center!

NOTE: Sometimes, I wrap each one in bacon to lend more flavor and moisture to the chicken. Also adds calories in a relatively small portion! This IS a fat-burning diet and fat has to be taken in for it to work!

That's it. The only skill is butterflying, but that's easy. If you don't want to do it yourself, any self-respecting butcher in the meat department should be able to do it for you.

PS- about butterflying- here is a good video of how to butterfly and pound out chicken breasts. The only thing I do differently is not cut off any of the meat- I butterfly and pound what is there.

http://www.videojug.com/webvideo/how-to-butterfly-a-chicken-breast

Instant 50 Pound Weight Loss!

I have decided to share this wisdom contributed by Becky, obviously a dear OFL of considerable wisdom! The advice for instant weight loss of fifty pounds seems to work, no matter which way of eating you employ. 


So, if you have considerable blub..er, weight to take off, try this when posing for your next picture:


"I found that if you lean over someone's shoulder and stick out your chin, smile real big and make the picture a little blurry, you can lose 50 pounds, just keep that butt behind the chair!"

Thanks Becky!

Rhubarb Relish Courtesy of Doreen

Doreen told us all on our Atkins forum yesterday about a rhubarb relish her hubby made. They were making pulled pork on the BBQ and had the relish with it. Sounds absolutely delish!! So, I'm sharing this unque item!

Here is my Hubby's Rhubarb Relish recipe

1 qt. rhubarb, cut up
1 pint vinegar
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of pepper
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp salt
1 qt onions, cut fine
1 1/2 cups brown sugar splenda
Boil all together until fairly thick. Put in jars.
Makes 3 pints.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant parmesan is one of my old standby's. I usually make doubles batches of it and freeze it in portions. Keeps well up to a month or two if tightly sealed in the freezer. For those of you who really want meat in it, you can brown ground beef, pork or lamb and toss it in the marinara sauce before layering.


Eggplant Parmesan

Marinara Sauce- If using jarred sauce, read that label to make sure it's not loaded with added carbs!
1 large eggplant cut into slices crosswise about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick- extra salt for the eggplant
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water for an egg wash
3/4 cup of ground pecans ( you can use any nuts of your choice- I use pecans, since we have a tree and we shell in the fall and freeze in packages.) Note- you can omit the ground nuts entirely, if you want and just use the egg wash.

About 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese or other grated cheese of your choice
1/2 cup of ricotta cheese (cottage cheese also works- not so authentic, though)
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil

First, slice the eggplant and salt liberally. Place in a colander in the sink and let sit for at least thirty minutes to remove a lot of moisture. Then rinse, dry with paper towels and lightly pepper and salt the slices.

Heat oil in a skillet. Dip eggplant in the egg wash and then into the ground nuts. Place in the skillet and brown each side till crisp- don't worry about getting this done- just want the crispy exterior. Drain on paper towels.

In a bowl, thoroughly mix cheeses, sour cream, egg, basil and a good sprinkle of pepper.

Use a 9 X 13 baking dish

Place a layer of marinara sauce to cover the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on the bottom. Add more marinara and then cheese mixture. More eggplant slices, more marinara and cheese mixture. Top with more grated parmesan cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes till brown and bubbly. Let rest for at least fifteen minutes before cutting into squares.

This recipe can be put together without the top layer of grated parmesan, tightly sealed and frozen for a month or so. Just take out and thaw, put the top parmesan on and bake.

Note- You can make a single portion by cutting down on amounts, if you live alone like I do.


Basic Marinara Sauce

I am listing a basic marinara sauce early on in this blog, since I use it quite often in recipes. Some will argue with me about putting a grated carrot in it, saying it is not Italian. But I beg to differ- some Italians actually do put carrot in theirs. It depends on what region of Italy the sauce is coming from. For those on the Atkins Way of Eating, you really must read canned tomato labels! Some do have added sugar.  This recipe helps in getting the 12- 15 net carbs with added vegetables.


Marinara Sauce

3 14 oz. cans of diced or fine diced tomatoes
(Note- fresh tomatoes are wonderful, but not all of us have them all the time, and of course, not all want to go to the trouble of blanching tomatoes, getting the skins off and chopping them) Make sure the canned ones do not have added sugar- some do! I use Diane's Garden brand- It is really good, and there is not so much liquid compared to tomatoes.
1/4 cup finely diced bell peppers
1/4 cup of finely diced onion
1 medium carrot grated- approximately 1/2 cup grated
1 Tablespoon of basil dried- if using fresh chiffonade the basil and use 3 Tablespoons added at the last few minutes of cooking.

3 cloves of garlic minced very finely
1 small stalk of celery very finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar- regular cider vinegar will work if you don't have balsamic.

Salt and pepper to taste- be careful adding salt, as most canned tomatoes have it. Get the sauce going and cooking a bit before adding salt- always taste in advance- can't take it out once in!

3 tablespoons olive or canola oil

In a saute pan (skillet- whatever you have), heat oil; Place garlic, onions, peppers, carrots and celery into the oil and saute until the onions are becoming translucent- gently please- you do not want to brown anything, especially garlic, which can become bitter!

Remove from heat and place in a sauce pot large enough for all the tomatoes; add tomatoes and dried basil. Simmer till it has thickened to marinara or pasta sauce consistency ( you want no watery tomato juice in it). Taste for salt and pepper. Add if necessary. The carrots become almost invisible. Remember to add the chiffonade of fresh basil during the last ten minutes of cooking time for best flavor. That's it- takes about  1 1/2 hour. Freezes very well. I now (since I'm alone,) freeze in individual portions.

Note- if making spaghetti or lasagna, I add oregano, Italian parsley and rosemary and a touch of Splenda (about 1/2 packet.). I like to keep the sauce frozen in basic form, so I can do what I want with it when I use it.


Saffron Butter Sauce


Saffron Butter Sauce

This is an incredibly easy and decadent sauce to make-especially if you want to impress someone with your culinary skills.  And there is a way to cheat without sacrificing any flavor and making it a whole lot less pricy than using saffron from the bottle you buy. I usually make pork roulades which I would slice and top with the sauce. But, this will work with chicken, shrimp- almost anything except beef. Also a really different topping for a "white pizza" with spinach. Even just some pork chops. I have used it instead of the cheese topping on stuffed eggplant. So- here it is:

1/4 cup of butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 clove garlic, crushed or finely minced
1/2 packet of Goya Sazon con azafran- found in
the Mexican section of the grocery- very
cheap- less than $2 for about 8 packets- be
sure it is a yellow and orange box that
says "con azafran". These packets also
add much flavor to all kinds of soups
and stews. Note- you can add more of
the "con azafran" if desired after
tasting.
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley- (optional-
at the restaurant I used fresh chopped
flat leaf parsley)
salt and pepper to taste- do NOT add salt
till all ingredients have been mixed and
simmered for about five minutes! Taste first for the amount you want!

Another note- the con azafron has no
calories itself, but the butter and
cream will add some significant calories.

Gently melt butter over medium heat (do not brown). Add garlic and very gently simmer until garlic has cooked about five minutes and lost it's raw taste. Add the 1/2 packet of con azafron, and stir briefly. Begin to drizzle the cream in, stirring. When all the cream is in, taste to see if you want more of the con azafran- finished sauce is a true medium yellow. Let simmer about five minutes till thickened. stirring frequently. Add salt and pepper if needed. At the last minute add the chopped parsely. This whole process is about ten minutes. Maybe longer if your butter is cold from the fridge. I always had a tub of butter at room temp at the restaurant, because it was used in so much stuff.

Leftover sauce will keep for at least four or five days in the fridge.

Stuffed Eggplant

Okay, now you have the recipe for a MIM's, so I'll share my Stuffed Eggplant recipe. This gives you some needed veggies and is quite satisfying! I'll report in when I use it to stuff a chicken. Hmmm....Thanksgiving is coming!

Stuffed Eggplant

 1 medium eggplant- sliced lengthwise with skin and stem end left on. NC-2, Protein- .4 Calories-13

1 T finely chopped onion
1 T finely chopped green pepper
1 T shredded carrot
1/2 stalk celery- finely diced- NC- .9, Protein-
.75, Calories- 3
1 T frozen green peas 
1/4 Tomato chopped
1/2 tsp each of dried basil, oregano, garlic powder,
cumin and onion powder
About 1/4 cup of chicken broth- NC- .47, Protein-
2.8, Calories- 19.5
About 1/4 cup of grated cheese- NC- 0, Protein- 3.5
Calories 40
1 MIMs- NC- .817, Protein- 9.67, (No calorie count given with recipe.
Salt and pepper to taste

First, par-boil the split eggplant in heavily salted water till fork tender. The salt helps to draw out bitterness the eggplant might have. Remove the eggplant and drain cut side down on paper towels.

In a small saute pan, saute onions, peppers, celery, carrots and peas until tender.

Make a MIMs.

In a medium mixing bowl, crumble the Mims into it, and add the sauteed veggies. Scoop out the centers of the two halves of the eggplant leaving about 1/2 inch all around and on the bottoms of the two halves. Place the two halves in a baking pan, skin side down. Chop what you scooped out of the eggplant into the mixing bowl. Gradually drizzle broth into this mixture until just wet, but not dripping.

Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes till all is heated through. Take out and cover with grated cheese. Place under a broiler till the cheese is beginning to brown and is melted through. I used an Italian blend of cheese that had five cheeses in it, but you can use any cheese you like.

Variations- for those of you who want meat, I think crumbled browned bacon or sausage would be good. Even ground beef or any meat you want. It also makes a nice side for a company meal!

MIM's

This is the recipe for a basic MIM's (Muffin in a Mug.) This little goodie is useful for all sorts of things. It can be eaten as is, or used for other stuff.  I sometimes leave the sweetener and cinnamon out and use it in stuffings or just as a savory "bread." It's loaded with fiber and has few net carbs!

MIM's Courtesy of Collete, our nutritionist on the Atkins online community.
 
Serving Size: 1

1/4 cup flax meal (8.09 total carbs, 7.6 fiber) (30 g)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (0.64 net carbs)
1 packet splenda packet (0.9 net carbs)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (1.84 total carbs, 1.2 fiber)
1 large egg (0.6 net carbs)
1 teaspoon butter

(total carbs is 12.07, fiber is 8.8; net carbs is 3.27)

Put the dry ingredients in a coffee mug.
Stir.
Then add the egg and the butter. Mix. (I melt the butter in the micro first before mixing.)

Microwave 1 minute (or more). Take out. slice, butter, eat.

Cream cheese would go nicely, too.
The shape of this can be changed by making it in a bowl.
It can be "toasted" once it's cooked.
The cinnamon can be replaced. I would imagine that any sugar free syrup
could be added.

Many people count the flax as a carb/fiber wash, so then the net carbs
would be 2.78.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Croutons

This is something incredibly easy to do. I am one that likes croutons, so have used our Atkins handy MIM's (Muffin in a Mug) recipe to make croutons. I will next post a MIM's recipe for those of you who have no earthly idea what that is. It's handy to have around to use in all sorts of recipes.


Croutons
  
I had a shrimp and chicken salad for lunch, with all sorts of veggies, olives and capers. Made a MIM without the sweetener and cinnamon. Sliced it about 1/2 inch thick and then into crouton sized squares. I then sauteed the croutons in a skillet with butter, garlic, sprinkle of parmesan and dried basil. Then baked spread on a cookie sheet till crispy- turning them once. Was really nice on a salad!



Frittata

I've found this to be an incredibly useful and tasty basic for the Atkins WOE (way of eating.) It's the Italian version of a quiche. Anything can be put inside it for variations. I tend to use little bits of leftover veggies and bacon or sausage for flavor. It can be eaten hot out of the oven, or at room temperature, and keeps well in the fridge for at least two or three days. It's perfect for a light lunch or dinner with a salad, and perfect for all stages of Atkins!


Frittata

4 or 5 large eggs
3/4 cup of any types of grated cheese (I use two or three types combined)
1/4 cup of half and half
1/4 cup of cottage cheese or sour cream
1 teaspoon dried basil or three teaspoons fresh chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon or 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh
salt and pepper to taste

Beat eggs, half and half, and sour cream well till fluffy, then stir in cheeses and herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Using a non-stick oven proof 12 inch saute pan, coat with about a tablespoon of olive oil, pour the egg mixture in and place on medium heat. Meanwhile, pre-heat an oven to 350 degrees. Let frittata cook gently till beginning to firm on the bottom and then place pan in the center of your oven. Bake just till a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. It's okay if it is not terribly firm- it will continue to cook for a few minutes once out of the oven.

Fillers: Absolutely anything you want to put in there that is legal: Sausage, bacon, leftover meats chopped, any veggies at all. Just remember to cook chopped bacon or crumbled sausage first. If you are using raw veggies, saute them also after chopping and before baking.

Note: Sometimes I sprinkle the top with parmesan or mozzarella before putting in the oven.

Well, good morning all. I have no earthly idea how to write a blog, but the instructions said to just write, so here I go. First of all this blog exists at the suggestion of a couple of ladies on an Atkins forum I am a member of. We are called the Old Fat Ladies, which may give you a hint as to why we are members of that particular forum. LOL!

As to the picture on my profile- no, that isn't me- that's my half chow, half border collie Zora. At the present time in my weight loss and healthier lifestyle journey, she will be much easier on your eyes than a picture of me. I avoid pictures at all costs anyway! Needless to say, I'm not yet svelte at 173 pounds and 5'4". I'll give you a peek at me when I've taken off another 25  pounds or so! 

Having been a chef in the past and now retired caring for two ninety year old parents, I have been sharing recipes with my dear Old Fat Ladies. At the suggestion of a couple, I am doing this blog. I will post ongoing recipes I've developed as well as those of other members of the forum. Also items of interest that crop up health and medical wise pertaining to this way of life.

So that's the background of this blog. Hope some of you out there find it useful!