Archive for the ‘low carb’ Category

postheadericon Spinach Pie

Once upon a time, when asked “What’s the best restaurant in Boston?”, Spenser (Robert B. Parker’s detective) answered, “The best restaurant in Boston isn’t in Boston, it’s Rosalie’s in Marblehead.” Rosalie’s is now out of business, but the building is very close to my house. This is my family’s memory of Rosalie’s Spinach Pie. We love this recipe, and it is completely open to many variations – vegetarian or not, lots of vegetables or not… It doesn’t work without dairy and eggs, however.

This is a delicious gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and vegetarian recipe.

This is a really fun recipe to play with – add and subtract veggies and meat options. Just don’t change the spinach, amount of cheeses, and eggs. Sometimes we don’t have zucchini, so we add extra mushrooms. Sometimes we have a picky person who doesn’t like mushrooms, so we just leave them out. I’ve frequently made 2 of these at a time – one vegetarian and one for the omnivores. It’s incredibly easy and delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 10oz baby spinach
  • 1lb ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • 2 TB coconut or olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning or Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute, or your favorite spice mix
  • 1/2 zucchini, sliced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 lb (that’s 4oz) fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup cooked sausage (optional)
  • 4 strips bacon (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a deep pie plate or a glass baking dish no larger than 8″x11″. A 9×13 is too big.

In a large sautée pan with a lid, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, and stir for a minute. Add the mushrooms, zucchini, and bell pepper and sautée until the vegetables are tender. Add the baby spinach to the pan, turn the heat down to medium-low, and cover. Lift the lid after a minute to stir, then repeat. After a couple minutes, the spinach should be bright green and wilted.

Take the cooked veggies off the heat, pour into a colander, and drain well.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, cheese, and seasoning. Mix in spinach mixture, then add in the sausage and/or bacon, if using. Mix just well enough to combine, then pour into the baking dish.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the center is clearly set. Let sit for 5 minutes after baking, then cut and serve. Yum!

 

postheadericon CSA Veggies and Chicken

We are now part of a CSA, an Eastern Seaboard CSA that gives us fresh (and mostly organic) veggies from farmers on the East Coast of the USA before the Farm Direct Coop starts up for the late Spring/Summer. The price for organic produce is much better through a CSA, and the food has been amazing – and seeing how much my girls like eating rainbow chard sautéed with garlic and olive oil is priceless!

Stirring after simmering

This is a 1-pot meal that can use up a good amount of fresh produce, and a great way of getting chard into people who might be leery of eating any dark leafy green that isn’t spinach. They don’t really have to know it’s chard!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and top 8 allergen free recipe. This recipe is Faux Fast Food, and can be made in under 45 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 TBS olive oil

  • 1-2 TBS butter/margarine
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3-4 lbs boneless/skinless chicken
  • 6-8 oz baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 2 small-medium zucchini
  • 2 small-medium summer squash
  • 1/4 cup apple juice or cooking wine
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes (this is tricky to find corn-free, but a few brands don’t contain citric acid/ascorbic acid)
  • 1 bunch swiss, red, or rainbow chard
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, stemmed and roughly chopped

Method:

Ready to eat!

Start by doing all the prep work with the veggies and the chicken. There’s a lot of chopping for this recipe, and you don’t want to end up overcooking something because you need more time to chop!

Mince the onion and garlic, and set aside. Chop the chicken thighs into cubes about 2 inches long. Rinse and slice the mushrooms, and set aside. Slice the zucchini and summer squash in half length-wise, and cut into half-moons. If the zucchini/summer squash is quite wide, you may wish to cut them into quarter-moons.

To prepare the chard, first break off the bottom stem, then rip the chard in half. Use a salad spinner (I love the OXO Salad Spinner, myself) to rinse the chard, then dry and roughly chop the greens. You want to have pieces that are about the size you’d use for lettuce in a salad.

Simmering Chicken with CSA veggies

Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and warm the butter/margarine and olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic, and sauté. When the onion and garlic are tender, add the chicken. Stir with tongs (I use the Oxo Good Grips 12″ Tongs), until chicken begins to brown.

Add the mushrooms, salt, and dried herbs to the chicken mixture, and keep stirring with tongs. When the mushrooms start to soften and the chicken is looking browner, add the zucchini and summer squash. Stir well to combine, then cover and let simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Open only once or twice to stir. The steam will help the chicken and veggies finish cooking.

Drain the “juice” that has accumulated in the pan. Next, deglaze the pan with about a little apple juice or wine. Stir again with tongs, then add the crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine, and let simmer for another 5 minutes with the cover on.

Adding the green leafies

Finally, add the chopped fresh parsley and the chopped chard to the pan. Stir, cover, and let simmer for a final 5 minutes. The heat and steam will wilt the greens, and they will be perfectly cooked with little to no additional work.

Stir and serve. I like mine plain and with a salad on the side, but my daughters liked theirs with some Tinkyada Brown Rice Penne Pasta. Eat it up, yum!

postheadericon Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Spinach

Plated stuffed chicken

This is the first recipe to include dairy on this blog. My daughters passed a dairy challenge at the end of August, and our diet has started to include dairy. While most of the recipes on this site will still be dairy-free, an occasional recipe that includes dairy will appear, like this one.

One day when I was trying to come up with something new to make for dinner, I had an idea to make a stuffing for the chicken. This turned out to be beautiful as well as delicious, and easy.

This is a delicious gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and low-carb recipe. This meal can be on the table in 45 minutes, making this a faux fast food recipe.

Ingredients:

Ready to bake
  • 6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 8oz block cream cheese (you could sub soy cream cheese to make this dairy-free)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (home-made or premade – Amazon has several types of GF breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 or 1 tsp Italian-style seasoning – I like Trader Joe’s “21 Seasoning Salute” myself (if the breadcrumbs are pre-seasoned, use the smaller amount)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup, packed, raw baby spinach or kale
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 and oil a 9×13 pan.

Pounded chicken breasts

Separate the chicken breasts, then pound them flat one at a time. I have found it is best to place the chicken breast on a cutting board, place a layer of wax paper of plastic wrap on top, then use a mallet to pound the chicken flat. When pounding, you just want to get them flatter and thinner so they will roll well, don’t worry about making them perfectly thin.

Stuffed Chicken Breast Filling

In a food processor combine cream cheese, gluten-free breadcrumbs, seasoning, garlic, and spinach. Pulse until the mixture is well combined and evenly green.

Optionally, sprinkle a few spinach leaves on the bottom of the oiled pan, place the chicken rolls on top of that.

Spoon about 1/6th of the cream cheese mixture onto the middle of the chicken breast, then roll the chicken around it. Place the stuffed chicken breast in the pan, seam-side down. Repeat until all the chicken breasts are stuffed.

Rolling the chicken

Drizzle olive oil over the top of the chicken, then sprinkle a bit of kosher salt. A couple shakes of Italian seasoning on top looks nice, too.

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with a roasted vegetable, some roasted potatoes, and then quickly sauté spinach in garlic & olive oil.

Plate with the chicken sliced into rounds on top of the spinach – a perfect, yet easy, meal for a dinner party!

postheadericon Portuguese Linguiça and Kale Soup

I recently made my Kale and Black Bean soup, and my step-father got very excited – apparently it tasted almost the way his father’s Linguiça and Kale soup had tasted. So, I listened to his suggestions, and ended up with this soup. I recently served this to several relatives at a family party, and they all loved it!

Carb-less Linguiça and Kale Soup

Enjoy this hearty soup on a cold day, it will warm you up. It warms my heart along with my body – I see my family awash in memories, and my girls gobble it up. This is definitely approved by adults and kids!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, low-carb, and top 8 allergen free. While the soup can simmer for a while, this can also be ready within 45 minutes, a faux fast food!

Ingredients:

Portuguese Linguiça and Kale soup simmering
  • 1-2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, sliced into circles (note: 4 baby carrots equals 1 carrot)
  • 1 lb linguiça (double check this – most brands include milk, but there are a few which are milk-free)
  • 1 large bunch kale, rinsed, stemmed, and ripped into bite size chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups dry fava beans, rinsed, soaked, and cooked OR 2 14 oz cans kidney or black beans, drained (fava beans are the most authentic, but not as easily available)
  • 3 quarts liquid – 1 quart broth, 2 quarts water works well
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp Tony Chacheres Cajun seasoning to taste, or 2 tsp Italian seasoning mix + 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 white potatoes, cubed [optional]
  • 1/2 lb elbow rice pasta (we like Tinkyada Brown Rice Elbows or the Trader Joe’s rice pasta [also optional]

Method
Chop the onions, carrots, and garlic, and set aside. Slice the linguica in half length-wise, then slice in half again length-wise. Slice into quarter-moons about 1/2 inch thick.

Bring olive oil up to medium heat in a large soup pot. Sauté the onion, carrots and garlic until tender. When the veggies start to get tender, add the linguiça. Let cook for a few minutes, until the linguiça starts to brown.

Linguiça and Kale soup over pasta

While the linguiça is cooking, prepare the kale. Rinse, peel from the hard stems, and rip into bite-sized chunks. Add to the soup pot and stir with tongs, it will cook down pretty quickly. Once the kale has cooked down a bit, add the beans, seasonings, and broth/water.

Turn heat up to high, and bring soup to a boil. Turn the heat down and let simmer for at least 10 minutes. If you want to add the optional potatoes or rice pasta, add them when the soup begins to simmer. Cook potatoes for 15 minutes, or pasta for amount of time suggested on the packaging.

Good to the last drop

Serve alone or with a salad and rolls. Smile as you watch your family enjoy every last drop!

postheadericon Sausage-Stuffed Chicken with Apples

For those who avoid pork, or who would prefer to eat chicken, this is an adaptation of my Sausage stuffed pork with apples recipe.

This is incredibly easy, delicious, and can be on the table in 45 minutes. Serve with some quinoa, rice, or roasted potatoes and pair with roasted vegetables and/or a salad.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and top 8 allergen free recipe.

Ingredients:

Sausage-stuffed chicken with apples
  • 2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken thighs

  • 1 lb chicken and apple sausage (uncooked is preferred)
  • 2 pinches kosher or sea salt
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp Tony Chacheres Cajun seasoning or another seasoning that has a touch of cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil, for the bottom of the pan

Method:
Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 9×13 or 9×11 baking pan (I line mine with Reynolds Release, which makes it much easier to clean up).

Delicious dinner

Lay a chicken thigh in the pan, skinned side down. Squeeze part of the apple sausage from the casing onto the middle of the chicken thigh. Roll chicken around sausage, and set in pan. Repeat until you have used up all the chicken and sausage.

Sprinkle the top of chicken rolls with a smidge of Tony Chacheres.

Core the apple and slice it into thin slices. Lay the apples on top of the rolled chicken. Sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt on top, then slide into the oven.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, until chicken and sausage are cooked thoroughly.

postheadericon Shrimp Stir Fry

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, and fish free recipe. This is a faux fast food recipe, ready in under 45 minutes. If served without rice, this recipe is acceptable as part of the South Beach Diet phase 1.

Ingredients:

Shrimp Stir Fry
  • 2 TBS canola oil

  • 1 small vidalia onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 handfuls snow peas
  • 1 orange or red bell pepper (or 1/2 orange bell pepper and 1/2 red bell pepper)
  • 6-10 crimini mushrooms, sliced (also called “Baby Bella” mushrooms)
  • 1 lb large shrimp, shells, veins, and tails removed
  • 8 oz baby spinach (approximately)
  • 2 TBS soy sauce (LaChoy soy sauce, SanJ wheat-free Tamari, and Braggs Amino Acids are all gluten-free)
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
Shrimp Stir Fry with Snow Peas

Method:
Dice the onion, mince the garlic, slice the mushrooms, and clean the shrimp. Remove the string from the snow peas. Slice the bell pepper into rings, and then slice the rings into smaller sections.

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a wok or a large skillet. Add onion and garlic to the heat, and stir. After they have cooked for a minute, add mushrooms, bell pepper, and snow peas. Use tongs or a wooden spoon to stir regularly, so they cook uniformly.

Shrimp Stir Fry and chopsticks

When the veggies begin to soften, add the shrimp. Keep the shrimp moving in the pan so they cook on both sides and cook evenly.

Add the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan, then add the spinach. Stir to combine, then cover and turn off the heat under the wok/skillet. Use the residual heat in the pan to wilt the spinach.

Stir to combine well, then serve over rice with chopsticks and additional soy sauce at the table – yum!

postheadericon Taco Soup

This recipe can be made in the Crock Pot or on the stove, depending on when you decide to make it! It is a favorite in our house, and wonderful served with corn chips and some avacado!

I used to make this recipe when vegetarian, just omitting the meat and adding an extra can of beans, it tastes great both ways

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, top 8 allergen free, vegan/vegetarian, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe.

Taco soup!

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/3 lb ground meat (omit if vegan/vegetarian)
  • 1 (14 oz) can corn kernels or hominy
  • 3 (14 oz) cans beans – pinto, kidney, & black works well (add 1 more can if vegan/vegetarian)
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (watch out for the ingredients! many include wheat flour)
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced chilis
      Optional toppings – tortilla chips, guacamole, avocado, black olives

    Stovetop Method
    This qualifies as faux-fast-food, as it will be ready in under 45 minutes!
    Warm oil in a a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, then add ground meat when the onion and garlic start to soften. Stir until meat is browned.

    Add canned goods, seasoning packet, and 1 28oz can of water, and stir well.

    Turn heat to high, and bring soup to a boil, stirring intermittently.

    After it comes to a boil, turn to low and let simmer for 30 minutes or so. Serve with tortilla chips, guacamole or avocado, and sliced black olives.

    Slow Cooker Method:
    Warm oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, then add ground meat when the onion and garlic start to soften. Stir until meat is browned.

    Add meat mixture to slow cooker, then add canned goods, seasoning packet, and 1 28oz can of water, and stir well.

    Turn heat to low, and cook for 6 hours. Serve with tortilla chips, guacamole or avocado, and sliced black olives.

    (I have added the meat, onion, and garlic to the crock pot without precooking, and it has worked fine for our family, just be cautious about the potential for food borne illness)

postheadericon Mexican Chicken & Beans One Pot

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and top 8 allergen free recipe. If you use brown rice or brown rice noodles, this recipe will also be fine for South Beach phase 2.

Enjoy this faux-fast-food one-pot meal on a day when you want something delicious but don’t have the time or energy to make an elaborate dinner. It was delicious!

Ingredients

Mexican Chicken & Beans cooking in 1 pot
  • splash olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb chicken, cubed (boneless/skinless breasts or thighs are great)
  • 2 14oz can black beans
  • 1 cup salsa (we use mild)
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cup rice or 1 lb rice pasta
  • sliced olives, salsa, and guacamole for garnish

Method
Warm oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat Add onion and garlic, and stir.

When the onions and garlic have started to soften, add the cubed chicken, and sauté until the chicken is browned.

Mexican Chicken & Beans 1 pot meal

Add all other ingredients and turn the heat to medium high. When the liquid boils, turn down to low and cover.

Let simmer covered for 20 minutes, stirring intermittently. Test rice/pasta for done-ness, and serve with olives, salsa, and guacamole as garnishes.

postheadericon Pulled pork for the masses

This is a classic southern dish that I had somehow never made. yummy and with a very juicy sauce. This is also the easy, don’t-heat-the-house-with-the-oven variation.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, shellfish free, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe.

Many thanks to one of my shirt-designer friends for linking to some inspiration.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar

  • 2 tsp dried minced onion (or 1/2 medium onion, chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is GF)
  • 1 teaspoon Franks Red Hot or another hot sauce
  • 3 to 4 pounds boneless pork roast
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Tony
    Chachere’s
    (or other Cajun seasoning)

  • 8 gf hamburger buns heated (optional, can also serve with rice or gf noodles)

Method
Mix vinegar, onion, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce in a gallon ziploc, and add pork roast. Put in refrigerator overnight (8-10 hrs). (pork is moist and at its best when marinated overnight, but you can make this without marinating, it will just be a bit dry, so dump sauce on it)

Dump sauce & pork into the Crock Pot or other slow cooker. Spread tomato paste over the roast.

Combine brown sugar and spices in a small bowl, then sprinkle over the roast in the Crock Pot.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until very tender (so you can pull it apart). Set pork on a tray for pulling apart, and then skim the fat off the sauce, and pour the sauce into a serving container.

Serve on gfcf buns, pasta, or rice, with sides of cole slaw, beans, or any other yummy veggies.

Serves 5 with some leftovers

postheadericon Mediterranean Chicken Pasta

This is a recipe that my oldest daughter and I created when we were trying to reach a comprimise between what I wanted to cook and what she wanted to eat! This worked well, it’s a one-pot meal that will be finished within 45 minutes, and can either be eaten alone or with a vegetable or salad on the side. If at all possible, include the kalamata olives, they add flavor and a bit of zing to the meal.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe.

Ingredients:

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta & Garlic Pan-fried Squash
  • splash olive or canola oil to coat bottom of pan

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1.5 lb chicken, cubed (boneless skinless breasts or thighs work well)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (or just add a bit more of each of the above)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • couple grinds black pepper
  • 1 splash wine
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 14oz can white beans
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced (watch ingredients for corn and other allergens)
  • 12oz to 1 lb gluten-free noodles (we like the Tinkyada rice noodles)

Method:
Warm oil over medium heat in a large, deep skillet or a large pot. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until they become tender.

Add cubes of chicken, and stir. Add seasonings, and stir, cooking until chicken is browned.

Delicious dinner

Deglaze the pan by adding a splash of wine and stirring the chicken mixture. Add tomatoes, beans, and olives, plus 1 (14oz) can of water, and turn heat to high.

Bring to a boil, and add pasta. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook as long as the pasta needs to be cooked, then test the pasta for done-ness.

Serve as is, with a salad, or with another vegetable, such as Garlic Pan-fried Squash. Enjoy!

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