So many more options become possible in March. Here, on the Gulf Coast, strawberries are in season and they are beautiful. They taste wonderful in a smoothie. I look forward to this time of year, so I can purchase artichokes because we love them stuffed. Asparagus make delicious salads and so does fennel. And, broccoli rabe is at its best in the spring, so look for it at your market.
Italian Seasoned Fresh Bread Crumbs
2 cups fresh bread crumbs (about 8 slices of regular, low carb or gluten-free bread), crusts removed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Tear the bread slices into pieces. Process into crumbs and place in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.
4 large artichokes, trimmed
2 cups Italian seasoned “bread” crumbs (see recipe above)
8 cloves garlic, smashed with the flat of your blade and minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (chili)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cut off the stems so the artichokes will stand upright. Slice off the top third of the artichokes and pull off some of the tough outermost leaves.
Trim off the pointed tips of the remaining leaves with kitchen shears. Wash the artichokes and turn them cut side-down to drain.
Rub the cut parts with a little lemon juice. Use your thumbs to open the leaves the rest to make room for stuffing and set aside.
Heat the oven to 425° F and place a small stock pot or tea kettle with water on the stove to boil.
Combine the bread crumbs, garlic, cheese and red pepper flakes.
Stuff one artichoke at a time by scooping out 1/2 cup of stuffing, placing the artichoke in the bottom of the bowl and sprinkling with the 1/2 cup of stuffing.
Use your fingers to work the stuffing in between the leaves. Be sure to get a bit of the stuffing between each of the outer leaves and in the top.
Transfer the stuffed artichokes to a baking dish just large enough to hold the artichokes upright.. Continue until all artichokes are stuffed and placed in the baking dish.
Drizzle each artichoke with lemon juice and olive oil. Pour boiling water from the kettle or pot to fill the dish about an inch high.
Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake about 45 minutes. Check for tenderness by sliding a knife easily through the base of the artichokes.
Once tender, uncover and bake for 15 minutes, or until the artichokes turn golden brown.
Place each artichoke in an individual bowl and pour some of the broth in the baking dish over the artichokes before serving.
Spring Asparagus Salad
Variations: add cooked beets or crispy bacon to the salad.
1 bunch fresh, thin asparagus
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon whole-grain or Dijon-style mustard
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
3 scallions (green onions), sliced thin
Bibb Lettuce cups
Bring a large pot or deep skillet of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt.
Trim and discard the tough woody asparagus ends.
Carefully place the asparagus spears in the boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes, or just until the vegetable is bright green and tender but not soft.
Drain and place the asparagus in a large dish filled with ice water.Let the asparagus cool in the ice bath for about 5 minutes.
Transfer the asparagus to a kitchen towel to dry. Cut the asparagus into two-inch pieces and then place them on a platter or individual salad plates lined with lettuce.
Whisk together the lemon juice, oil, mustard and a pinch of salt in a liquid measuring cup, until well blended, to form a vinaigrette.
Sprinkle the sliced scallions over the asparagus and then sprinkle the chopped egg on top.
Spoon the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to coat.
Easy Strawberry Smoothie
2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup regular milk or unsweetened almond or coconut milk
Sweetener of choice to taste
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses to serve.
Fennel Walnut Chicken Salad
1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast or 2 halves, cooked and diced
1/2 of a fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon roasted garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
In a large bowl, toss the chicken cubes with the lemon juice, garlic powder, fennel, fennel seeds, black pepper and walnuts until combined.
Add the mayonnaise to the chicken mixture and toss to coat thoroughly. Taste the salad and see if you would like to add salt.
Cover the salad and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Broccoli Rabe Parmigiano
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (chili)
2 lbs Broccoli Rabe
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz cooked pasta, optional
Cut off about one inch from the bottom of the broccoli rabe stalks. Wash the broccoli very well. Cut into two-inch lengths.
In a large, deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and pepper flakes; sauté 30 seconds.
Add broccoli rabe, broth, lemon juice and lemon zest; mix well. Cover skillet and cook over medium heat 8 minutes or until the broccoli rabe is crisp-tender.
Add the salt, black pepper and grated cheese. Mix well and cover the pan. Let the mixture sit for five minutes before serving. This sauce is delicious served over pasta.
March 5, 2018 at 10:13 am
Asparagus season indeed! On a low carb diet at the moment so will have to see if the local fields have started producing.
March 5, 2018 at 10:27 am
Hope you find them, They are a great asset to my low carb diet also.
March 5, 2018 at 10:17 am
Hi Jovina, I hope you’re having a pleasant day!
I’ve been following your wordpress posts since I retired and you have actually inspired me to bake. It took a while but I finally started. Someday I hope to try doing some of your delicious creations!
I hope you don’t mind me asking you a question.
I’ve been following this ketogenic diet (low carb/high good fat). So I found this recipe for a coconut bread. For my first baking adventure, I followed the recipe below but the bread came out dense or no rise at all, nothing like what’s shown on the recipe picture. I was wondering if you know why or what could I do differently to get the bread to rise.
March 5, 2018 at 10:32 am
Most low carb breads are nothing like the bread you were used to prior to going low carb. Most of them are not worth making. Normally when I want some type of bread I purchase Joseph’s Middle Eastern Bakery’s low carb pita bread or their lavash. I do have one recipe from Buzz Feed that works well for bread that you can actually slice for a sandwich. Here is the recipe and video:
How to make Low Carb Bread
Recipe only 3.9 carbs per slice
for 12 servings
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
2 cups almond flour
⅓ cup oil
1 tablespoon baking powder
salt, to taste
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Carefully separate 6 eggs, placing the yolks in a large bowl and the the whites in a medium size bowl.
Place the 2 whole eggs in the large bowl with the yolks and add the oil. 4. Beat together with a fork or whisk until smooth.
Add the almond flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt to the egg yolk mixture. Stir the mixture with a spatula until well incorporated and set aside.
Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
Use a rubber spatula to transfer ⅓ of the whipped egg whites to the almond mixture and gently fold the batter together.
Add the next ⅓ of the whites to the batter and fold in until smooth.
Gently fold in the remaining egg whites just until the batter is smooth and no white streaks remain.
Line the bottom of an ungreased loaf pan with parchment paper and pour in the batter.
Bake for 40 minutes, until the top has set and formed a golden crust.
Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes before running a thin knife along the inside of the pan to release the sides of the loaf. Gently unmold the loaf from the pan and remove the parchment paper on the bottom.
Let the cake cool at room temperature for 1 hour before slicing.
Marisa Franca @ All Our way
March 5, 2018 at 10:39 am
I ready for spring — warm weather, lighter meals. We do love our asparagus and now we are really seeing at the stores. Your recipes sound yummy and I like that they’re on the lighter side.
March 5, 2018 at 10:40 am
Thanks Marisa. Springtime is great.
March 5, 2018 at 11:38 am
Those look so lovely. We’ll have about two more months to wait. I’ll save your recipes till then 🙂
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For the Love of Cooking
March 6, 2018 at 9:50 am
I love spring! The artichokes look delicious and so does that smoothie!
March 7, 2018 at 1:55 am
It’s good and easy to make recipes in no time! It was my first time trying broccoli rabe, and it was very yummy.
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