Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada (Eggplant)

I found a wonderful multi colored bag of eggplant a couple of days ago and I have been wanting to try an enchilada dish. Sometimes I just get that overwhelming craving for my Mom's amazing enchilada's. Had to try it casserole style. Same great flavor. This really turned out fabulous with that creamy enchilada flavor it's all about and of course... no pasta.
Really guys, we've so proved we can make amazing dishes without all the gluten and carbs. Why are we so surprised when it really does taste great. This is one of the keepers.
Of course as with most all great casseroles, this is great made the day before and then baked. Flavors just seem to kick it up a notch.

Ingredients:
1 lb chicken-(I like thighs)
2 med eggplants-1/2" slices

1 cp sour cream
1 cp SF enchilada sauce
1 med onion

2 cps jack cheese or mexican blend-divided
2 4oz can chopped green chilies
1 lg can whole black olives-optional


(what's great about the whole olives is if you don't like them or do not want the extra carbs you can just pick them out and give them to the olive lover in the family)



Process:
  • Bring chicken and just enough water to cover to boil on stove top. Turn heat to low and simmer for 30 min. Take chicken out of pot and set aside to cool a bit. When cooled to enough to handle, shred or dice.
  • Slice eggplant lengthwise 1/2" thick. Brush both sides with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper.
  • Broil on low until soft, turning over mid way. about 15 minutes on each side depending on your broiler. Watch carefully.
  • In a medium sized bowl, mix all other ingredients except 1/2 of cheese. Stir together until mixed well.
  • In a casserole dish or dutch oven layer beginning with eggplant, chicken, sauce. Repeat.
  • Bake covered for 40 minutes. Uncover and add cheese to top continue cooking 15 minutes.  Let rest for 15-20 minutes to firm up.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Creamed Spinach

Ingredients:
2 1/2 lbs spinach-  a BIG bag
1/4 cream-warmed
4 ounces cream cheese-room temp
1/8 tsp nutmeg or to taste
2 TBL butter
1/2 white onion-minced
4 cloves garlic
salt, pepper to taste
1 cp parmesan cheese-
(good stuff, not the green can)


Sauce: Heat cream and cream cheese (small pieces) on stove to melt cream cheese, mix in nutmeg .
Saute: Melt butter in deep skillet or pan on medium, add onions, garlic salt & pepper. Cook until onions are slightly soft. Add spinach and saute til tender. Add sauce.

A really great side dish. We served this along side the yummy oven fried chicken. Here's a peek into my kitchen conversation. Mark: NOOOOOOO, I don't like creamed spinach. Me: I have a separate salad if you don't like it but at least try it. Dinner time..... Me: want the salad? Mark: NOOOOOOO, this is amazing I want more creamed spinach.
We scooped a piece of oven fried chicken into the creamed spinach. All I heard was ooooh's and ahhhhhhh's. So gotta say, if I made a believer out of my hubby, it has to be fabulous.

inspired by several recipes including Martha Stewarts

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oven Fried Chicken


I am the "fried chicken queen". Not that I have cooked much of it through the years .... I just love to EAT IT!!!!
I have to say that fried chicken has been my one single downfall from time to time while traveling or for that matter the famous Murph's Gaslight in Bermuda Dunes, CA near where we live. I have liked this style as it does not have a heavy coating.
My mother and grandmother were famous for their fried chicken so growing up we consumed our fair share. I'm sure it, among other southern cooking is why I must do my best now to recreate some of our family favorites into a healtier version.
I have played around with several variations and combinations for fried chicken, nuggets and strips. I am always partial to bone in although I have landed on this one and it works fabulously for all of them.

Ingredients:
4 chicken breast halves
   or 1 whole chicken cut up
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups almond flour- fine
3/4 cp Parmesan cheese-fine
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp Celtic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
olive oil spray

Preperation:
Preheat oven 350.
  • Spray a foil lined baking sheet with olive oil spray.
  • Mix eggs in medium bowl. Mix almond flour with the rest of the dry ingredients in another medium bowl.
  • Cut chicken breast halves into 3 pieces each.
  • Dip the pieces into egg mixture then coat with almond coating. (I will often divide almond mixture into two batches as it helps keep it from getting wet clumps into the mixture which enables it to cling to the chicken better)
  • Place chicken onto baking sheet
  • Spray tops of breded chicken with more olive oil spray.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes. For a crispy outside, turn broiler on low and broil each side for 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on it.
In my freezer
____________________________
 
I like to double this recipe and freeze it on a pan right after breading the chicken. When it is frozen I put it in a Ziploc to bake at a later date. Couldn't be easier.
____________________________
 I served this with a creamed spinach that was fabulous to dip the bites of fried chicken into.
Recipe to follow

Monday, October 29, 2012

Twice Baked Cauliflower


Ok, I know these are not actually baked twice but you or any of your guests will never know it when you get done this fabulous concoction. This is actually the same recipe that we have done for years for our potatoes at Christmas and Thanksgiving. It as well is my husbands 1st choice with a nice big roast featured in my previous post. So I recreated it a couple of years ago with cauliflower and he is one happy guy. He has never even asked to go back to the actual potatoes.
We usually make a big batch of this dish because we love the left overs as much or more than the 1st night.

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower
1/2 Bacon Ends and Pieces-medium chunks
4 oz cream cheese
4 TBS butter
2 green onions-sliced1 cp sharp cheddar cheese-shredded
Salt, Pepper to taste


I have seen many different variations of this dish in the LC world. We all seem to have our own version of it and each one as yummy as the other.

Preparation:
Preheat oven 350
Steam cauliflower on stove top until well tender. Thoroughly drain.
Cut and brown bacon on stove top. Do not over cook as it will still be baked further in the oven.
Whip cauliflower well with mixer, add butter, cream cheese and 1/2 cp cheddar cheese and mix until smooth. If needed add a bit of cream. Add bacon and green onion and blend in.

Pour mixture into a casserole dish.  Bake for 25-30 min. Sprinkle with rest of cheddar cheese 1/2 way through.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Perfect Roast

A roast really is one of the least labor intensive items to cook. I often get a call from one of my girls..... "Mom, tell me exactly how to cook this particular roast again". So our family loves meat....and goes crazy over a good roast.
If you have read very many of my posts you may have come across the fact that we lived on a farm and raised our own meats. So when we sent our beef out to the butcher to hang for 21 days and cutting and wrapping we made sure to have lots of roasts cut. I was taught early on how to roast a perfect big prime rib or one of our favorite growing up was the rump roast. It is often referred now as a bottom round these days. We always prefer the bone in. It may be trickier to slice but gives much more flavor while cooking. Of course to get bone in these days, you often will need to special order.

Click for a larger view
The flavor of the "Rump Roast" is amazing although it is more economical as it is a bit tougher than the rib roast due to much less fat running through it because it is from the area of the beef that gets exercise more while walking and running. However growing up my father knew that cutting against the grain and slicing very thin resulted in fabulous servings of great taste.
We didn't have time to special order a "standing rump roast" (often referred to today as a botton roast) today so grabbed a nice rib roast. We try to find one that has a nice fat cap on top that will baste the roast as it cooks. This is not a roast for you if you are on a calorie restricted diet (go for the Rump) but for those of us adhering to low carb, either is perfect. 

The Perfect Roast
Rib, Rump, Bottom Round, Sirloin Roast
Olive Oil
Garlic puree
Preferred Seasoning-(I use Jocko's)
or kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder
Rosemary-to taste (optional)
If you have time, season the night before or a few hours before, cover and place in fridge. Not critical however will allow seasoning to penetrate. Then bring out to room temp 60 min before roasting.


  • Preheat oven 400 then turn down to 325 (after 20 min of cooking turn down to 325)
  • Smear olive oil over roast then smear garlic puree all over. Season with your seasonings. Sprinkle with rosemary if using it.
  • Insert a "leave in meat thermometer" into center of roast, not near a bone where you will be able to see it through oven glass while roasting. (Do not use an instant read so you do not have to keep opening the oven door to check temp).
  • Place in roaster with low sides on a wire rack to provide even airflow. Do not cover.

Rule of thumb
5lb Rib Roast
20 minutes pr pound for med rare (however since ovens cook differently check meat thermometer).
130-very rare
140-med rare
150-med
160-med well
170-very well
 
Take roast out 7-10 degrees from your desired temp as it will continue to cook after it comes out of the oven.
Let roast rest for 20 min before slicing as the meat molecules will reabsorb the juices that they have let go of during cooking. This will result in much juicier slices of meat instead of loosing all the juices onto the cutting board. 
Another Rule of thumb
Bone in Roasts
  1lb pr person
Boneless Roasts
  1/2 lb pr person
         _______________________________
We used to serve this fabulous meal with twice baked potatoes and a nice green slaw or salad. Since we are cutting the carbs we now serve it with twice cooked baked cauliflower. It truly tastes almost exactly the same. Not one person misses the potatoes. I will post the twice cooked cauliflower next my next post.
 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Gingerbread Scones

Yesterday my daughter came over and we did some baking experiments for the fall. She has a blog as well, featuring Organic, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Clean eating. Check it out here The Girl Cooks Clean. Similar to The LC Kitchen although not quite as low carb.  Amber has some great recipes as well as research information that is very useful with this lifestyle of eating.

Since we created and baked together, and then I took the photos while Amber helped style and prop we thought it fitting to share on both blogs.


We wanted to bake something that launched fall for us here in the desert. Even though we have bright sunny days here right now, it has just turned to a crisp nip in the evening and mornings. I SMELL FALL!!!!
We landed on trying a gingerbread scone that we have seen several different recipes for. We made a couple of batches that were just not great when finally we landed on the tweaks we thought were amazing. The final combination was moist and had that wonderful gingerbread aroma and flavor. Not sure if a scone is supposed to be considered moist, but I gotta tell you, these are fabulous. You could of course make them round and turn them into cookies if you like. Either way, they make you envision "golden maple leaves floating in the air while you walk down the street wearing your favorite fall boots". I think there's a song in there somewhere.....
Cinnamon Coffee and Gingerbread. What could be better to launch the fresh fall season.

Ingredients
2 -1/8 cups almond flour/meal*
1/4 cup Swerve
(or your choice of sweetener)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 TBS heavy cream
1 TBS 
Just Like Brown Sugar (or 2 tsp molasses)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract
 
*if dough is too wet then add 2 or 3 more TBS of almond meal/flour
 
Frosting:
2 TBS butter, soften
1/4 cup powdered swerve (OR your choice of sweetener)
1/4 tsp vanilla
4 oz cream cheese
 
 Preheat 325 / Servings 8
  • Whisk together almond flour, swerve, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves in a large bowl.
  • Add eggs, butter, cream, brown sugar, vanilla, and stir until dough comes together
  • Form a ball out of the dough and turn out onto parchment-lined baking sheet and shape by hand into a rough circle (7-8 inch diameter).
  • Using a pizza cuter or knife, slice 8 even wedges and seperate carefully, then space evenly around the baking sheet.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes, or until scones are firm and lightly browned. (keep eye on the bottoms to make sure they don't burn)
  • Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
Frosting:
  • For the frosting, mix butter, powder swerve, vanilla, and cream cheese.
    Spread over COOLED scone.



Monday, October 1, 2012

Jimmie Jan's Jalapeno Poppers


Cream Cheese Bacon Poppers
Mark and I had a sleepover at my sister's house a few days ago. She and her husband Rich live in Yelm, WA where you may remember we relocated my mother to a care facility a few months ago. I am able to go visit her and often stay at my sister's beautiful home. She is quite the Martha Stewart and is a LC'er as well, so we hang great together. 
When we got up in the morning she was in full swing cutting up Jalapeno peppers for a little breakfast snack. Jalapeno popper with cream cheese wrapped in bacon. Then while they were in the oven cooking she whipped together some homemade jam sweetened with our beloved Swerve. 
See, I told you....Martha Stewart.
These were a great morning treat and made the house smell fabulous. Could hardly wait for them to come out of the oven. I just had to do a little photo shoot, her kitchen has amazing light.

Ingredients:
12 fresh Jalapenos-halved & seeded
8 oz cream cheese-softened
1 pkg bacon-slightly thick




Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cut and seed Jalapenos. It's a good idea to wear kitchen gloves for this.
Fill halved Jalapenos with cream cheese. Wrap with bacon.
Bake 45-60 minutes to desired crispness.


 Jimmie Jan will be launching her own blog soon showcasing her dishes made from an amazing all natural freeze dried product line she represents and uses to develop recipes. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Eggplant Lasagna

As a low carber one of the types of foods we may lament over is pasta dishes. Our very favorite place to spend time away from home is Italy. I've told you already about Mark's favorite meal of all being meatloaf, well neck and neck with that is LASAGNA.... so I had to join the ranks of coming up with a great noodleless make over. I have made several versions of lasagna that were good but when we sat down to this one..... heaven opened, a great light shown, and angels sang!!! ok, ok I'm back.
 I love it when recreating a dish comes out with nothing lacking from the original version. This recipe I developed from merging several others together.
 I think what made a big difference here is I found a great marinara sauce at Wholefoods that is SF, GF, and very LC.

 Rao's Homemade Vodka Sauce. It is kind of like a pink sauce instead of the dark red. I'm sure you can add a little cream or sour cream to another jarred sauce to get the same effect. It simply softened the flavor a bit which added to that velvety feel.
The best thing about lasagna is not just the flavor but those layers that meld together and give that luscious feel in your mouth. I can feel it even now.

You will get every bit of that and seriously, if you did not know there was not a noodle in this dish, it would simply be the best lasagna recipe without question all on it's own. You will never have to apologize with this dish that it does not have the beloved noodle in it. You will only get oooooz and ahhhzzz!!
As with almost any casserole dishe, the leftovers the next day are actually the best, so make extra. Mark and I actually had the leftovers for breakfast. Did I say we are also kinda weird. Now you have it.

China worthy
Ingredients:
2 lg eggplants, 1/2 slices
  olive oil spray
2 cps mozzarella cheese-shredded-(to top it off at end)


Sauce

1 lb ground chicken thighs
2 tsp dried fennel
1/2 lg white onion-diced
12 oz crimini mushrooms
2 24oz jars marinara sauce
1/4 cp red wine
1 TBS garlic powder
1TBS onion powder
1 TBS Italian seasoning
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp crushed red pepper




Ricotta Mixture:

1 15oz ricotta cheese
1/2 cp Parmesan/Romano cheese
1 cp mozzarella cheese
3 lg eggs
3 TBS fresh basil-chopped
 salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven 400
  • Add fennel to ground chicken. Squish with hands to blend well. In a sauce pan brown meat, 1/2 way through add onion. Add the marinara sauce and all of the rest of the sauce ingredients. Simmer while making the rest of the dish.
  • Slice eggplant in 1/2" slices. Easiest with a mandolin slicer. Sprinkle eggplant with salt & pepper. Spray both sides with olive oil spray. Place in 2 large baking sheets and bake until soft 10-15 min. Turn slices halfway through.
  • In bowl combine all ricotta mixture ingredients.
  • Pike Place Market Eggplant
  • Lower oven temp to 350.
  • In 9x13 baking dish spread pasta sauce on bottom. Layer eggplant, ricotta mixture. Repeat. Finish with a layer of eggplant & sauce and top with a layer of mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Take off foil. Bake another 20-30 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes or more to set up.  

Adapted from: A Pinch of Salt and verious other recipes over the years

Monday, September 24, 2012

Corn Dogs-Firstborn, Firstborn

We went to the Puyallup Fair a couple of weeks ago. I grew up going to this fair and my kids grew up going also. I have probably bought every gadget they have hocked there over my 38 yrs of marriage.
Firstborn, Firstborn
(my firstborn with his firstborn)
A few years ago I even took Peoples Choice 1st place in the international photography competition. I wasn't even able to go that year but sent in my entry.  I hadn't told anyone outside Mark and the kids that I had entered the competition. You send the entry in so long before the judging that I had actually forgot about it. All of a sudden one day I started getting phone calls from friends telling me  "You have a great big 1st place ribbon on your photo"...they actually recognized my son in this photo. (I did not intend on sharing about this photo, however the memory came flooding back as I wrote about the fair....nice memory). Now that we are in the desert more I often miss getting to go.

I digress.....Back to the fair...
Of course every year we ate our way across the fair. One of the treats I looked forward to, of all things, THE CORN DOG!!! I shutter now, although I must say seeing them walking  by got my mouth salivating.
My husband is in Honduras right now, so I am home for a few days on my own. Since the corn dog would not be his treat, I decided to ravage the Internet to see if I could find something that would come close and still be LC, SF, GF.
Many of the online interpretations for LC didn't come close to something I would recommend. Then doing a search on one of my favorite sites....Score!!! Maria always has great recipes she has developed. The  reason she would have a corn dog is because.....she has kids. My kind of house. We always have one, two, three or all four grand kids here so I refer to her site often.
I see that there is a corn dog gadget made specifically for corn dogs. Didn't have one of them lying around BUT...I do have a little Baby Cakes gadget that I got around Christmas last year. Bought them for all the women in our family during one of those blow out sales at Kohl's.                   
Voila!!! Let's try it...
Of course me being me I had to tweak Maria's recipe just a bit.
The Process
Ingredients
2 TBS coconut flour
2 TBS almond flour
2 eggs
4 TBS beef broth
1/2 tsp gelatin
2 beef dogs-(all natural, no nitrites or nitrates)

Preparation:
Heat beef broth & add gelatin, stir to dissolve. Mix all other ingredients except hot dogs. All broth/gelatin mixture, mix well. Set aside to thicken up a minute or two. Cut hot dogs into 1" lengths or however long your procedure accommodates.
Turn on what ever cooking gadget you are using .
When your unit is hot, fill 3/4 full of batter, push corn dog down into middle. Close lid, cook for 4 to 5 minutes depending on the darkness you like.
You can try cooking these in simply oil in a skillet as well. I have not used this method, however I'm  sure it would work with practice
Take out serve with ketchup & mustard or toppings of your choice.

Results: The Baby Cakes gadget worked beautifully. There are many other little gadgets along the same line that would work as well. Experiment with whatever you may have. Of course the "ol skillet with a bit of oil" will work I'm sure.

Friday, September 21, 2012

FYI: Swerve is having a BIG SALE!!!


Swerve has now become what those of us cooking LC,SF and GF are using in much of our recipes.
It measures like sugar, does not have that cooling after effect as some other erythritols or that licorice after flavor of many stevias.  Where we used to blend etythritols with stevia or stevia glicerite in most recipes it is not necessary with Swerve. It is my 1st "go to" for a sweetener now.

Sale through 9/30
                                    


Sale prices will be reflected on final checkout page before you complete purchases as "Promotions Applied"
Learn more about Swerve: Click Here         
Thanks for the heads up Maria         
 _____________________________________________________________

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

If it were Green it would be......

So, I have been craving that flavor you get when you cook beans and ham hocks or split pea soup with ham hocks. If you've been following posts you know  I grew up on southern home style cooking. There is just something about that flavor of the smoked pork cooked in the juices of these southern style dishes that if you have a "hankerin" for it, nothing else will do... it just will not go away. Thinking, thinking..... I got it. Tweak the cauliflower soup, it morph's into just about anything.
Did it.... and I am sooooo amazed at how close this was. If it were green, I would have thought I was eating split pea with ham hocks. Close my eyes, I'm there.
I shared a recipe a while back for the Cauliflower Cheese Soup. Here's is a take off, that tastes competely different with the extra flavor of the bacon ends & pieces. This was so rich in flavor and creamy that it did not need the cream added that my orginal recipe used. The Trader Joes Uncured Bacon Ends and Pieces are actually like chunks of ham not sliced bacon so it is perfect for that chunky ham hock effect.
    -A little Trivia: growing up we had our own smoke house and smoked our own ham and bacon from the pigs we raised-
Southern Ham Hock Cauliflower Cheddar Soup
Ham chunks really are in here at the bottom 
Ingredients
2 cps chicken broth
1 lg head cauliflower-cut in large pieces
1pkg Trader Joe's Uncured Bacon Ends -large chunks
2 stalk celery, chunks
1 carrot-chunks (optional)
1 lg onion-chunks
1 cp water-or more to desired thickness
1 cp or more shredded cheddar (I like sharp)
Salt & pepper to taste
garnishes: finishing oils/salts of your choice,  thin sliced leek...the options are limitless 
Praparation:

Add all ingredients except cheese and water to a large pan. Bring to a boil and turn down to a low simmer for 90 mins. Ladle mixture and remaining water into blender and process until very smooth and desired consistency. (May need to do this in 2 batches). Mixture expands so be very careful not to over fill 1/2 way especially if it is hot. Return pureed mixture into saucepan. When hot stir in cheese to taste.
With GF Tamari Roasted Pepita's
__________________________
 
As you know, I love to garnish with flavored oils and salts. I used just a drizzle of lemon oil.
This one I also added a few GF Tamari Roasted Pepita's I get from my health food store. They're a great little snak and adds a great crunch to an aray of dishes.
 
__________________________

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Suace

 Mark and I recently took a french cooking class in Woodenville, WA. The chef that instructed the fun class was from the Seattle area as well. We of course asked "what is your favorite restaurant in downtown Seattle"? He said with no hesitation.... Long Provincial on 2nd and Stewart. Well, our condo is literally 1 block from Longs, a place that we have walked right past for 4 years and never walked into. The next night we went. A wonderful Vietnamese restaurant that has now become one of our very favorites. Very intriguing decor and live jellyfish, carved furniture with banana palms.
 One of the most amazing items we love on the menu is the Spring Rolls. Now it is a bit more carbs than I want to have so I decided to recreate it at home..... Drum Roll Please.....These were off the charts and so easy!!!

Spring Rolls
meat filling
1 1/2 lb gr turkey (gr chicken or pork)
1/2 med onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 TBL Thai basil, finely chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger

Other Fillings
match stick size slices
crimini mushrooms
green onion or chives
cucumber
carrot-optional (I do not use carrots)
Thai basil leaves
mint leaves
cilantro
Kelp Noodles

Butter Lettuce leaves for rolling

Peanut Dipping Sauce
6 TBL organic natural peanut butter-sugar free1 TBL soy sauce
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
hot water to desired thinness

 
Preparation:  Mix all ground meat filling ingredients in a bowl. The easiest way is to just squish it together with  your hands. Saute over medium heat. Place in a bowl and cool in frig. Cut your other fillings making them like match stick size as much as possible.
Boil water. Put peanut butter into small bowl. Add soy sauce to peanut butter, stir and add enough water to your desired thinness for dipping sauce. (I like to use Trader Joe's Valencia Peanut Butter with Roasted Flax seeds). Refrigerate.
Place a spoonful of the ground meat on 1 or 2 butter lettuce leaves. Add your other fillings. Do not over fill or it will not roll well.  Roll the leaves around the filling. You may want to secure with a bamboo pick or small shish kabob stick.

Serve with dipping sauce in individual small bowls.
                 _____________________________________________
I do not use the rice paper that would be used on the commonly known Vietnamese spring rolls, however you won't miss it with the amazing flavors in these. As for the rice noodles inside, I have discovered the Kelp Noodle. It is exactly a duplicate of a rice noodle without the carbs and calories. It has a slight crunch that is perfect in a spring roll.

Monday, September 3, 2012

List Happy Hour Seattle

So we often find ourselves flying into Seattle after being home in CA for a few weeks to an empty frig and of course no fresh food of any kind. What to do, what to do. Well we have over the last few years discovered the happy hour scene these days is all about the food and less about the drinks like in the past. We have many favorites that I will slowly post about. Most will even custom their happy hour items to suit a low carb intended diet. I say intended because we are quite aware that there may be a bit of sugar or carb here and there slipped in that you are not intending on but for the most part you can do great.
Last night we stopped in at List just 3 blocks from our condo in Belltown. They have a nice small area for outside seating if your lucky enough to get one of the few tables. I am very good at hovering so we do often end up out there when they weather is nice. The food here is fabulous and is not difficult to tweak your order to a low carb fare.         

The sea bass and prawns come on a bed a wonderful garlic kale and white beans. We just ordered no beans, extra kale.
Now these are just small plates so you want to order several, but if you are there for happy hour the price is accommodating.
These were great small plates to share.  All in all it was a very good choice when we find ourselves needing to eat at a restaurant which we do often with as much as we travel. They key is be creative, most restaurants will work with you. So, happy hour at List is from 4 to 6:30/9pm-midnight and Sunday-Monday all day. A great find.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Zucchini Noodles & Homemade Chicken Sausage

I went out and ran home with a Zucchini noodle maker yesterday. It is actually a french fry maker so the noodles are a little larger. I was not sure we would like it as well as the one that makes a smaller version but it was on sale for 14.99 at Sur La Table. We found we LOVE it. I actually have another one on order from Amazon that will be here next week however since I live in two locations I decided to go ahead and try this one out. I am so glad I did.
I also brought home organic ground chicken and decided to make sausage out of it and toss together a stir fry just to try out the new zucchini noodles.... WOW!!! The chicken sausage was so easy to put together and had the exact sausage taste you would expect from your favorite breakfast sausage.
It was an amazing dish together. Mark loved it so much he was looking through the frig today for lunch hoping there were leftovers. I had to promise to make it again soon.
Mark loves the flavor of the Jimmy Dean Maple flavored sausage and I like sausage with a little kick so I went looking for ways to recreate it. I think this first try is my keeper. We both felt this combination it hit the target.


Housemade chicken sausage & zucchini noodle stir fry

Homemade Chicken Sausage

1 lb ground chicken
1tsp fennel seed
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp dried chili peppers
1/4 tsp heaping gr all spice
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 TBS sugar free maple syrup


Zucchini Stir Fry

4 med zucchinis
1 med white onion
1 lb crimini mushrooms

Preperation: With hands mix all sausage ingredients together so herbs are blended.
Brown sausage in non stick skillet or wok. Take out and set aside. Add Zucchini to pan, toss for about 1 min add mushrooms and onions. Stir fry for 1 min and add back in sausage. Continue cooking until desired doneness on vegetables. We like our a little al dente.

 variations: can use any combination of stir fry veggies

Friday, August 31, 2012

Basic Grilled Romaine

Ok, so I know I already posted a Crabby Grilled Romain but it was not show cased, it was kinda tucked beneath the amazing rib BBQ. Grilled Romain is such a main event in our home now that it must have a top billing. The basic salad is phenomenal all by itself but you can get so creative with whatever you can come up with to top it off with.
Fire up the BBQ or an indoor grill and voila!!! Plain salad into ohhhhh ahhhhh salad.

Grilled Romaine
Basic Grilled Romaine
4 Romaine heads
  Vinaigrette
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Red wine vinegar
2tsp Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme or oregano) or
1tsp mixed dried herbs
3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
    _________
Finishing Salt of choice (I love smoked salts)
Shaved Parmesan or Romano to finish
Lemon wedge

Preperation: Combine vinaigrette ingredients. I like to whip up my dressing in my little bullet blender.
Anything you have will work great.
Take off the loose outside leaves of the romaine heads. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Cut length wise keeping end core intact to hold leaves together.
Flat side down drizzle a bit of the vinaigrette over romaine, rub it over outside of leaves. Turn over to flat side up and drizzle just a bit again to get a little down into leaves.
Grill on BBQ or indoor grill on all sides until charred. Watch this close only takes a couple of minutes.
Drizzle more dressing to taste, sprinkle on finishing salt and shaved Parmesan. Serve with a lemon wedge or two.
We usually love to eat 2 halfs each however if you have guests and a large menu for the meal then 1 half would do.
Serves 4- 2 halfs / Serves 8-1 half

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In honor of Mom and Great BBQ

     I have been away from blogging for a bit as we recently had to drive my mother up here to the northwest to place her in a care facility due to progressed dementia. I have flown back and forth for a couple of months now and of course not on the computer much at all during this very difficult transition. My father has now sold their home by us in the Coachella Valley and is in the process of moving up here to be by my mom. We are very blessed that I have a sister who is the director of a wonderful care facility (Rosemont) in Yelm, WA where I grew up. I am so glad my Mom is able to be in such a place where she is being taken such good care of. Although we live in the desert in CA, we work here in the Seattle/Tacoma area so I am able to come up regularly and go visit her and my family that still live in Yelm. I am so very grateful that they are there to see her daily. My mother has been my inspiration in the kitchen in many ways. She was considered the most fabulous cook in our town. We would often have huge crowds of 50 or more people and my mom and dad would have amazing BBQ's with my mom cooking all the fixings to go with. Her pies would go for several hundred dollars at the pie auctions for our church fund raisers. Far more than anyone else's. She was FAMOUS for her cooking and baking.

Now saying all that, she did not know what all the carbs and sugars can do to our bodies. She just knew good old fashioned southern cooking. Then came diabetes. She learned from the doctor to cut out the sugars etc.... and did so, but frankly through mainstream medicine was never told anything about how carbohydrates convert to sugar in our bloodstream. The outcome has been many diabetes complications including the extreme dementia she now lives with.

Seeing what diabetes has done to my mother and knowing it is strongly inherited is what motivated me to go beyond the mainstream philosophies of what causes this disease (and so many more) and brought me to the research of what the wrong carbohydrates will do to our bodies long term. After a few years of Mark and I living a healthier lifestyle and so many of our friends wanting recipes of our way of eating,  "TheLCKitchen" was launched.
MOM...IN HONOR OF YOU...
THANK YOU FOR MY LOVE OF FOOD, FAMILY, FRIENDS AND MOST OF ALL...GOD!!!!
Spare Ribs
Mark and I live in the desert however we work in the Northwest. We build apartment communities in the Seattle/Tacoma area so we as well have a condo downtown Seattle. Since I am used to the 115-120 degree weather at our home in the desert this time of year, it was the best time to be up here in Seattle with a new project starting and to visit my mother.

Between trips down from Seattle to Yelm to visit my mom I broke out the BBQ at the condo in Seattle. The Blue Angels were practicing for Sea Fair while I was out on my 21st floor patio . What a show....I am about eye level with them as they roar by. Wanted to cook outside to watch the show and just enjoy the absolutely wonderful sunny day up here.


Slow Cooked Spare Ribs

2-lg racks spare ribs
Seasoning-I use Jocko's Seasoning
1/4 cp olive oil
1-TB SF Liquid Smoke
1 can light Beer
Seasoning or salt & pepper

Preheat oven 200. Brown spare rib racks on both sides on BBQ'er. Just browned good, not to cook. On the stove add all other ingredients and simmer just a couple of minutes. Place Rib racks in a dutch oven or heavy roasting pan with a tight lid. I cut mine in half. I like to place a small rack in the bottom to raise it just a little out of the juice.( I am wanting it to braise but not boil in the liquid). If you don't have that it is not imperative.
Bast each slab with basting and pour the rest of the basting over the top. Place on lid tight or foil tight. Cook in oven at least 3-4 hours. The longer the better.


Grilled Crabby Salad

3 TB olive oil (I use lemon or lime infused olive oil)
1 TB vinegar choice
1 tsp rosemary
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 lb crab of choice (we love fresh)
toasted almond slices

Cut romaine in half & take off loose leaves. Combine ooil, vinegar, rosemary, salt & pepper. Brush all over romaine half's. Grill on BBQ grill (med/high) on both sides for 1 to 2 minutes each side. Just till it gets grill marks. Place serving plates top with crab, almonds and drizzle desired amount of dressing.

Amazing dinner.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Spicey Cashew Ginger Chicken

At one time we were a big stir fry family. My kids used to take stir fry leftovers for their lunches several times a week.  At the end of every student teacher conference the new teacher would always want to know how we got our kids to eat veggies. Well, they grew up from the time they could eat real food on stir fry. To this day it is one of the hits in the family.
However through the years it seems to have faded to the wayside until I was browsing Carolyn's site: All Day I Dream About Food and decided to go for it. I have of course thrown my own spin on it and was met with oh's and ahs from my husband and of course the "why haven't we been eating this"? So dust off the WOK.... here we come
Stir fry over Quinoa


Ingredients:

Sauce
4 TBS soy sauce
2/3 cup water
1tsp xantham gum
1 tsp red pepper flakes

set aside, it will thicken while it sits. If it needs to be a bit thicker, add a touch more xantam gum




Stir Fry
2 Tbs oil
2 Tbs sesame oil
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 white onion slivered
1Tbs fresh ginger-grated
1 red pepper-slivered
3 cups broccoli florets-slightly steamed
1 cup crimini mushrooms-sliced (or your favorite)
1/2 cp cashews-toasted

 Preparation: In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients.
Heat half the oil in a wok or large skillet on med-high. add chicken and cook on each side. 3 to 5 min. Remove & set aside.
Add remaining oil. When hot add vegetables except mushrooms and cook stirring frequently, 3 to 5 min until slightly tender.
Add chicken, mushrooms & cashews. Stir sauce, add to pan. Stir to coat, simmer to thicken a bit more up to 1 minute.

        Serve over Quinoa simmered in chicken broth instead of water
(makes it much more delish in a savory dish)

My other Recipes using Quinoa:
  Stuffed Peppers
  Chicken Quinoa Tabouli

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Meetballs over Sauted Cabbage

Spaghetti is one of my husband's favorite meals. When you add meatballs...he wants to marry me all over again. When I want him to know he's still #1 in my book I whip out Spaghetti with meatballs or Meatloaf. Since we have been doing a LC lifestyle I have to be more creative and still get the same effect.
I was thrilled as could be when I gave Lisa's 
"Meatballs Roma" a try out of her 24/7 Low Carb Diner Plan E-book. I purchased it some time ago and have been enjoying cooking and tweaking may way through it. I printed it out, put each page into plastic sleeves and binder. If you don't know how to get started on a Low Carb lifestyle, Lisa's E-book is a great way to launch and the recipes are common daily food that are converted to Low Carb...Five Stars from my family.
Of course I tweaked Lisa's amazing recipe a bit just because I can't control myself....
I serve the Meatballs over "Sauteed Cabbage". This is so great that you will never miss the pasta... really!!!!
Ingredients
Meatballs
1 1/2 Italian sausage-bulk
1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 cup dry minced
1 cup Parmesan Cheese (the can)
2 eggs
 Sauce
1 15oz can tomato sauce
2/3 cup water
2 Tbs Italian Seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup equivalent sweetener of choice (Splenda, Swerve, Zsweet)
 Preparation: In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients. Get right in there with your hands. Make into meatballs, (I make ping pong ball size).
Bake 375 for 20-25 mins.
 While meatballs are cooking, make sauce by adding all ingredients into a sauce pan and simmer on low until meatballs are done.

*Lisa's version of this makes twice as much and then you are able to serve now and freeze some for later. I have done this many times and it freezes great.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

Bacon & Leek
I have to tell you that this soup makes the most AMAZING base for a cream soup. All by it's self it was a classy hit even for company. Statements like...."this could be on any high priced restaurant menu". But when you begin messin with it and adding this or that.... it morphs into a completely new wonderful delight.
I have made cream of cauliflower soup many, many times but I must say none has ever tasted as amazing as this one. I think the difference is that it is simmered for 90min on the stove before trying to blend it all together.     
WHAT A DIFFERENCE.
I have now made it 3 times and I made enough to be eaten for several meals. Each time I cook the left over soup, I make a different variation of it by adding various things.

I love using finishing oils and salts. Just before serving I add a drizzle of oil such as Lime Olive Oil and a couple pinches of finishing salt such as Smoked Garlic Sea Salt. OVER THE TOP. Fun to experiment.

Now these finishing oils and salts are not cheap by any means but just a few drops and pinches turns a good homey food into an exquisite chefs gourmet special.

Have I said we loved this soup????? I think you get the picture.

I have loved cream soups especially with cheese. Many however usually use some sort of high carb thickener to get that thick creamy feel. This one does not need any at all and has the most creamy thick consistency.

Ingredients
2 cps chicken broth
1 lg  head cauliflower-cut in large pieces
1 stalk celery, chunks
1 carrot-chunks
1 lg onion-chunks
1 cp whole cream
1 cp water-or more to desired thickness
1 1/2 cp shredded cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

garnishes: finishing oils/salts of your choice, crisp bacon, thin sliced leek, parsley,
optional: bacon,broccoli, kielbasa
                          the options are limitless

Bacon & Broccoli
Preparation: Add all ingredients except cream, cheese and water to a large pan. Bring to a boil and turn down to a low simmer for 90 mins. Ladle mixture into blender and process until very smooth. (May need to do this in 2 batches).
Return pureed mixture into saucepan and stir in cream and water to desired consistency. When hot stir in cheese.

 I have added bacon, broccoli, mini meatballs, kielbasa. All were amazing.

adapted from: framedcooks.com