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Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Low Carb

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.

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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.


Smoky Eggplant Dip with Pita Chips

Ingredients

One Italian eggplant (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon tahini paste
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Za’atar dry spice, for garnish

Pita Chips
8 large pita rounds, cut into triangles
2 tablespoons za’atar dry spice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

Directions

Split the eggplant in half through the stem and score the flesh. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Grill the eggplant on a very hot grill pan or outdoor grill until the skins are wrinkled and black and the flesh side is charred.
When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, cut off the tops and scoop the flesh from the skin into a processor bowl.
Add the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, paprika, salt and cayenne pepper and puree until smooth. Add the olive oil and pulse again to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed. Pour into a serving bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of .za’atar.

To make pita chips.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the pita triangles on two rimmed cookie sheets. Combine the za’atar spice mix and extra-virgin olive oil in a bowl or jar and drizzle over the pita. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until crispy.

Grilled Stuffed Yellow Squash

4 servings

Ingredients

2 large yellow squash
1 garlic clove, grated
2 scallions, minced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 cup minced sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato oil (from the jar)
5 sage leaves, minced
1/4 cup jarred deli pepper rings, minced

Directions

Cut the squash in half lengthwise. With a grapefruit spoon, scoop out the squash flesh, leaving about a ¼ inch thick shell. Chop the squash flesh.

In a small skillet heat the sun-dried tomato oil over low heat. Add the garlic, scallions, and celery and cook until tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the squash flesh and saute until the squash is completely cooked and soft. Add the sage, sun-dried tomatoes and pepper rings, Stir and remove the pan from the heat. Cool to room temperature.
Fill the squash boats evenly with the stuffing.

Heat an outdoor grill to high and oil the grill grates. Turn the heat down to medium and place the squash boats on the grill, close the lid and grill for about 15 minutes until the shells are softened and the top of the stuffing is beginning to brown.

Swiss Chard Quiche

6-8 servings

You will need a 10-inch glass pie pan that is 2 inches deep.

Ingredients for Press in the Pan Pie Crust
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour or For Low Carb or Gluten-free Crust: 1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar or low carb sugar substitute
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons cold water

Ingredients for the Filling
One large bunch of Swiss Chard
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 whole scallions (green onions) diced
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
6 large egg
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Wash the chard and remove the stems. Save the stems for soup. Cut the leaves into smaller pieces. Heat the one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet and add the chard leaves. Cook just until wilted. Season with salt & pepper. Set the pan aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Coat a deep dish 10-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray. Place the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in the pie pan. Mix with a fork. Combine the vegetable oil and water in a measuring cup. Pour over the flour mixture in the pie plate. With the fork incorporate all oil mixture into the flour until it is completely moit=st. With your hands, press the mixture across the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.

Prebake the crust in the oven for 10 minutes.

Beat the eggs in a medium bowl and add the cream.

Remove the pie pan from the oven and place the scallions on the bottom crust. Top with 1 cup of the cheddar followed by the wilted chard. Pour the egg mixture over the chard and sprinkle the top with the remaining one cup of shredded cheddar.

Bake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Cool 15 minutes before cutting.

Noodles with Grilled Italian Sausage

2 servings

Ingredients

1/2 lb spicy Italian Sausage
Olive oil spray
2 oz thin spaghetti
1 zucchini, about 8 oz
1 yellow squash, about 8 oz
2 cups homemade marinara sauce
½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Prepare an outdoor grill with an area for indirect heat. Coat the sausage with olive oil cooking spray. Place the sausage over indirect heat and cook until golden brown on the outside and cooked through, about 30 minutes, turning them over after 15 minutes. Remove to a plate and cut into two-inch pieces

Using a spiralizer to make noodles with the zucchini and squash. Place on paper towels to remove the moisture.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti al dente. Drain.

Combine the marinara sauce and grilled sausage in a saucepan and heat.

To assemble: In the pot that the spaghetti was cooked, place half of the hot marinara sauce. Add the vegetable noodles and spaghetti. Stir gently and heat.
Divide the noodles into two pasta bowls, top with sausage and remaining sauce. Garnish with cheese and serve immediately



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