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Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Low Carb

Sicilian Style Codfish Cakes

Makes 8-10 cakes

Ingredients

1 pound fresh cod fish fillets, poached (see directions below)
1 pound potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, grated
1 large egg
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Flour
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for coating the patties
1 cup breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil for shallow frying

Directions for making fish cakes:

Drain the poached fish and flake the fish with a fork. Be sure to remove all bones. Let cool.
Cook the potatoes in salted water and mash with the olive oil. Add the Parmesan cheese, chopped onion, garlic, 1 egg, the flaked codfish, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the fish mixture into eight equal portions, then, with floured hands form each into a flat cake, about 3-inch rounds; 1/2 inch thick.

Beat the egg with the water. Dip each fish cake into the beaten egg and then into the breadcrumbs

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the fish cakes for about 3-5 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden
Drain on paper towels and serve with a remoulade or tzatziki sauce.

Poached Cod Fish

3 cups cold water
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 medium bay leaf
A large branch of fresh thyme
3 chive stalks
Salt and pepper
1 lb cod fillets
1/2 medium lemon, sliced paper-thin
3 fresh parsley sprigs, stems trimmed and coarsely chopped

Directions

Combine all the ingredients except the fish in a large, shallow-sided pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low until liquid is at a simmer. Add fish in a single layer, making sure it is completely covered with liquid. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper.
Poach until the cod flesh is opaque and flakes easily (the internal temperature should be 175ºF).

Low Carb Codfish Cakes

Makes 4 cakes

For this version, I made mashed cauliflower and mixed it with butter and sour cream for a previous dinner side. I reserved a ½ cup of the mixture for the codfish cakes.

Ingredients

Cakes

1 lb poached cod fillets
1/2 cup leftover mashed cauliflower mixed with sour cream
1/2 medium shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Coating

Arrowroot powder
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for coating the patties
1 cup store-bought Low Carb panko bread crumbs or homemade, recipe below
Vegetable oil for shallow frying

Directions for making low carb fish cakes:

Drain the poached fish and flake the fish with a fork. Be sure to remove all bones. Let cool.
Add the leftover cauliflower, chopped shallots, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, flaked codfish, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for several hours.

Divide the fish mixture into four equal portions, then, with arrowroot powder floured hands form each into a flat cake.

Dip each fish cake into the beaten egg mixture and then into the low carb breadcrumbs

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the fish cakes for about 3-5 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden.
Drain on paper towel and serve with the tzatziki sauce.

Low Carb Panko Crumbs

I buy low carb bread, such as Smart Buns, and turn them into homemade croutons or panko crumbs.
Slice the bread into cubes.
Place cubes on a sheet pan and toast, in a single layer in a 350 F degree oven. Store the croutons in a zip-top bag in the freezer.

To make breadcrumbs: Place the toasted cubes in a food processor and pulse to create course breadcrumbs.
Store the remainder in an air-tight, zip-seal bag in the freezer.

Tzatziki Topping (cucumber yogurt sauce)

Mix 1/2 cup plain whole milk Greek-style yogurt with ¼ of a cucumber (seeds removed, grated and squeezed to remove extra liquid), 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese and 1 tablespoon chopped dill.

Spiralized Carrot & Beet Salad

Servings 4-6 servings

Ingredients

2 carrots spiralized or one 12 oz package of frozen Green Giant carrot spirals, defrosted
2 beets spiralized or one 12 oz package of frozen Green Giant beet spirals, defrosted
1/2 of a shallot, minced
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
A generous handful of chopped parsley

Dressing
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
A couple of dashes of hot sauce

Directions

Peel and spiralize the carrots and beets or defrost the frozen spirals in a colander and dry on paper towels.


Cut the spirals into shorter strands for the salad and place in large salad bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the shallots, chives, parsley, and almonds.
In a separate small bowl whisk together lemon and olive oil with a couple dashes of hot sauce.
Pour dressing over veggies and mix well. Serve with the codfish cakes.

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Pizza Burgers

Add a salad or green vegetable if you have a hearty appetite.

2 servings

Ingredients

2 mozzarella string cheese sticks
12 oz lean ground beef
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Marinara or Pizza sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Form the burgers earlier in the day if possible. Mix the beef with the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Form into 4 thin patties. Cut each cheese stick into 4 equal pieces. Place 4 cheese pieces on 2 of the burgers. Place a plain burger on top of the cheese and form into a large burger patty. You should have 2 cheese stuffed burgers. Refrigerate until serving time.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a medium ovenproof skillet and brown the burgers on one side. Turn the burgers over and top with 1/4 cup of marinara sauce Move the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take the pan carefully out of the oven and top each burger with shredded mozzarella cheese. Return the pan to the oven and bake the burgers for 5 more minutes. Serve the burgers with cooked spaghetti squash and extra marinara sauce on the side.

Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

1 small spaghetti squash about 2 pounds
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1/4 cup finely minced parsley or basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Pierce the squash a few times with a sharp paring knife (to let steam escape). Bake the spaghetti squash for 60 minutes, or until a paring knife pierces easily through the skin with little resistance. Let squash cool for 10 minutes.
Cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Use a fork to remove and discard the seeds. Continue using the fork to scrape the squash to get long, spaghetti-like strands.
To serve: use about 1 cup of the spaghetti squash strands per person. Heat a large saute pan with the butter and the garlic over medium-low heat. Then add the parsley, salt, pepper and spaghetti squash strands. Toss well, sprinkle in the parmesan cheese and serve.


Filet Mignon

Two 4-ounce filet mignon, (1-inch thick)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper

Asparagus

½ lb asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Creamy Garlic Shrimp

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 large shrimp deveined, tails removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dry white wine or low-sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream
1 tablespoon freshly shredded parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

For the asparagus:

Oil a baking dish that will fit the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Place the dish in the oven about 10 minutes before you are ready to cook the steak.

For the steaks:

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator at least 20-30 minutes before cooking. Season the steaks liberally with salt and pepper. Place a small heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the oil and swirl the pan to coat the surface. When the oil shimmers, add the steaks and don’t move them for 3 minutes. Gently work a spatula under the steaks and turn them over. Cook for another 3 minutes and place the skillet in the oven with the asparagus. Cook for 5 minutes and remove the steaks to a serving dish to rest. Let the asparagus cook for another 5 minutes.

Turn the oven to broil and move the oven rack closer to the broiler.

For the shrimp:

In a second small skillet, heat the butter; add the garlic, sauté one minute.
Pour in the white wine (or broth), and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the cream and continue simmering, while stirring. Add in the parmesan cheese; allow to melt in the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
Add the shrimp and cook until just pink on one side, about 1 minute; turn the shrimp over and cook until pink; about 1 minute. Place the shrimp and sauce on top of the steaks and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve the asparagus on the side.

Broiled Tomatoes

2 servings

Ingredients

1 large beefsteak tomato, halved
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat broiler. Arrange tomato halves, cut side up, in an oiled baking dish.
Mix garlic, parsley, and olive oil; pour over tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese.
Broil 5 inches from the heat for 3 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Serve.


Depending on where you live you’ll find everything from the first apples of the season to fresh broccoli, pumpkin and other squashes, grapes, cauliflower, root vegetables, melons, and sweet potatoes to just name a few. Incorporate these foods throughout your menu: try apples in your pancakes, stuff, and roast an acorn squash, add grapes to your chicken salad, make broccoli or cauliflower soup or add roasted root vegetables to your homemade pizza. There are endless possibilities.

Salmon Saltimbocca

2 servings

Ingredients

Olive oil
2 salmon fillets about 6 oz each, skin removed
Salt & pepper to taste
2 slices prosciutto
4 sage leaves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Pat the fish dry with paper towels and place in an oiled baking dish. Sprinkle the salmon with salt & pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Lay two sage leaves on the non-skin side of the fillets and place a slice of prosciutto on top of each fillet.

Tuck the edges of the prosciutto underneath the sides of the salmon. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake the salmon for 10 -12 minutes.

Roasted Broccoli With Creamy Italian Dressing

Ingredients

1 large head of broccoli (4 stalks)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Dressing

1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Pinch of sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

To make the dressing:

Whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, dried seasoning, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the parsley and cheese. (The dressing will keep, refrigerated, up to 1 week.)

For the roasted broccoli:

Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalk and slice into 2-inch pieces.
Place the broccoli florets on an oiled baking sheet large enough to hold them all in a single layer. Sprinkle with the salt and red pepper flakes. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
Remove the broccoli from the oven and.serve with the dressing.

Garlic Butter Sautéed Rutabaga or Potatoes

Rutabaga is a great fall root vegetable to serve. If you don’t care for this vegetable substitute Yukon gold potatoes in the recipe below,

2 servings

Ingredients

1 ¼ lb rutabaga or Yukon gold potatoes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
Chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

Peel the rutabaga. Trim the ends, and then cut into 1-inch cubes. Put the rutabaga in a large pot and cover with cold water.

Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Cover, turn down the heat and cook until just tender, but not soft or mushy, about 20 minutes.
Drain the rutabaga in a colander and then place on paper towels for a few minutes to dry.


.Heat the butter in a medium skillet and add the garlic. Cook for a minute. Add the dried rutabaga cubes, salt, and pepper to taste. Saute the cubes until brown and crispy, turning them over several times, about 15 minutes.


Oven Baked Southwestern Baby Back Ribs

Ingredients

2 Baby Back Rib slabs
1 cup BBQ sauce (your favorite)

Spice Ingredients
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
½ tablespoon Mexican chili powder
½ tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ tablespoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon allspice
Pinch of ground clove

Directions

Combine the spice ingredients and rub on all sides of the ribs. Wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
The next day, place the ribs in a large baking dish and cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake for 2 ½ – 3 hours,; until the ribs are tender but not falling apart.
Remove the baking dish from oven and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Pour off all liquid in the baking dish. Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce and cook for 15 minutes or until the sauce is heated through and starting to get a little sticky. Remove the ribs to a cutting board and cut into two-rib sections to serve.

Taco Flavored Stuffed Zucchini

If making the zucchini boats with the ribs, bake them ahead and cover the dish with foil. Leave at room temperature. Reheat in the oven with the ribs after they are basted with BBQ sauce.

2 servings

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large zucchini
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
2 whole scallions, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon taco seasoning
1/4 cup jarred salsa
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh with a small serrated spoon leaving a quarter-inch shell. Chop the zucchini flesh. Oil a baking dish and place the zucchini shells in the dish.
Heat the oil in a small skillet and add the zucchini flesh, celery, scallions, and garlic. Saute until tender and all the liquid is gone. Add the taco seasoning and salsa. Stir and remove the pan from the heat.

Cool for 10 minutes.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.


Add the cheese to the filling and stuff the zucchini shells with the mixture. Bake for 45 minutes.

Creamy Coleslaw

Ingredients

16 ounces shredded cabbage
1⁄4 cup finely chopped green onions
1 cup shredded carrot
1 teaspoon honey or sugar substitute
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup heavy cream (whipping)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the coleslaw, carrots and green onion. Put aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the honey, salt, pepper, celery seed, mayonnaise, whipping cream, vinegar, and lemon juice, using a whisk.
Pour over the vegetables, stir gently to mix.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Stir before serving.


The history of southern tomato pie is largely based on conjecture. Some accounts point to 19th century Shaker recipes for pies with ripe tomatoes, cream, and bacon. David Shields, a historian of southern food and the author of Southern Provisions: The Creation and Revival of a Cuisine, writes that savory tomato pies have roots in the south as far back as the 1830s when they included meat.
The version made today with mayonnaise and shredded cheese has origins in the 1950s. Nancie McDermott, the North Carolina-based author of Southern Pies: A Gracious Plenty of Recipes, From Lemon Chess to Chocolate, says she’d put the pie in the “modern-classic category,” surmising that it’s a product of 20th-century magazine editors, Junior League cookbooks and Southern Living magazine all coming up with tasty ways to make use of summer’s abundance.

And, here is my version:

Regular Crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for working with the dough
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Low Carb/Gluten Free Crust
1 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon oat fiber (or coconut flour)
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon bacon fat (or coconut oil, ghee or butter)

Filling
4 large fresh vine ripe tomatoes, sliced thin
1/2 cup regular mayonnaise
2 slices bacon, cooked, diced and fat reserved
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup finely minced red onion
Dried basil

Directions

For regular crust:
Pulse flour, butter, sugar, and salt in a processor until moist crumbs form.
Transfer mixture to a 9-inch pie pan and with floured fingers press the dough evenly into the bottom and up the side of the pan.
Freeze until firm, 10 to 15 minutes; prick all over with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees F.until golden, pressing with a spoon if it puffs up, about 25 to 30 minutes; cool for 10 minutes before filling.

For low carb crust:
In a 9-inch pie plate mix parmesan cheese, almond flour, oat fiber, egg, bacon fat, and salt with a fork. Press onto the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees F. Cool for 10 minutes before filling.

To finish the pie:
Place sliced tomatoes on a double thickness of paper towels for an hour to drain off some of their moisture.
Place ½ cup shredded cheese in the bottom of the crust.
Place sliced tomatoes over the cheese, overlapping slightly.
Sprinkle bacon and red onion over the tomato slices.

Mix mayonnaise and remaining shredded cheddar cheese together. Spread the mixture over the sliced tomatoes, spreading the topping to the edges of the crust.

Sprinkle dried basil over the top.
Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake the pie for about 30 minutes until browned and bubbly. Let the pie rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. The pie is also good served at room temperature.


Beef Rolls
1 1/2 lbs boneless beef top sirloin or top round, cut into 4-6 thin slices
4-6 slices of prosciutto
Olive oil
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Filling
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper

Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup minced carrots
1/4 cup minced celery
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper (chili) flakes
One container (26-28-ounces) Italian finely chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
4 large basil leaves, torn into small pieces

Directions

Beef Rolls
Place each slice of beef between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat pounder until very thin, about 1/4 inch thick. Drizzle each with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Lay a slice of prosciutto on each one.

Mix together the parmesan cheese, onion, bell pepper, garlic and parsley and sprinkle evenly on top of the beef slices with prosciutto.

Roll up the slices, tucking in the ends and tie with kitchen string.

Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Cook the beef rolls until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.

Sauce
If needed add some more olive oil to the pan then add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and stir. Add the red wine and cook, stirring up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, about 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, salt, bay leaves, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.

Place the beef rolls back into the sauce, turn heat to low and cook at a simmer until beef is tender 1.5 – 2 hours. Remove the bay leaves.

Sprinkle the rolls with the mozzarella and basil leaves, cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes longer.



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