Entertaining at lunchtime can be relaxing and informal for the host. If you have friends that are on special diets, a lunchtime menu can be an easy way to meet their needs and guests, not on a special diet will be happy with your menu, Here are two recipes that work well for everyone.
Bacon Swiss Quiche (Gluten-Free and Low Carb)
Press in the Pie Pan Crust
1 ½ cups almond flour
1 teaspoon sweetener (sugar substitute such as monk fruit)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter, melted
5 slices bacon
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese, divided
For the pie crust:
In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, sweetener, and salt. Stir in melted butter until dough comes together and resembles coarse crumbs.
Turn out into a glass or ceramic 9-inch pie plate. Press firmly with fingers into the bottom and up the side of the pie pan. Use a flat-bottomed glass or measuring cup to even out the bottom.
To prebake the unfilled crust:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. and bake the crust 10 minutes. Cool slightly before filling.
To prepare the filling:
Turn the oven up to 375 degrees F.
Cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy and remove to a paper towel to drain. Break into small pieces.
Drain all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the skillet. Add the chopped scallions to the skillet and cook until softened about 2 minutes.
Beat the eggs and cream together in a large measuring cup or a bowl.
Place 1 cup of the shredded cheese on the prebaked pie crust. Top with the crumbled bacon and cooked scallions. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet.
Add the egg mixture and top with the remaining shredded cheese.
Place the baking sheet on the middle shelf in the oven and bake the quiche for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before cutting.
No-Fuss Butternut Squash Soup
4-12 oz packages frozen pureed butternut squash or 4-15 oz cans organic butternut squash
32 oz container vegetable broth
4 oz container unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
Herbs for garnish, such as sage
Put all the ingredients in a Dutch Oven except the cream. Bring to a boil, stir well, lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes. Stir in the cream and serve garnished with fresh herbs.
Fish tacos are a favorite meal in our house. Just about any type of fish works in this recipe. I added the bell pepper topping because I think it helps make a tastier dish along with the Chipotle sauce.
Crispy Fish and Mini Bell Pepper Tacos
1 pound fish fillets
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
1 cup all-purpose flour, low-carb flour or gluten-free flour
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 cup sliced miniature sweet bell peppers
Tortillas (regular, low-carb or gluten-free), crispy or soft, see below
Chipotle Sour Cream, see recipe below and shredded lettuce or shredded cabbage
Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Cut the fish into two-inch pieces.
In a shallow dish, whisk together the cream, egg and taco seasoning. Place the flour in another shallow dish.
Dip the fish in the cream mixture and then into the flour. Repeat to coat the fish again in cream and flour. Place the breaded fish on wax paper or parchment.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Add fish to the hot oil (working in batches, if necessary).
Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels.
Drain the oil from skillet; wipe clean with a paper towel.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the peppers to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes or until crisp tender.
Serve the fish with peppers, shredded lettuce and Chipotle Sour Cream in tortillas.
For crispy tacos:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and drape the tortillas over the bars of the oven grill racks until they are crispy, about 5 minutes.
For soft tacos:
Heat the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Chipotle Sour Cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
2 tablespoons adobo sauce from the can
Pinch of kosher salt
Stir together the sour cream, lemon juice, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce and mix well. Season to taste with salt; refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado Salad
2 tomatoes, cored and diced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut each avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Carefully scoop the flesh from the shell and dice it.
Toss the diced avocado with the tomato, cucumber, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, oil and lemon juice. Stir to mix and season to taste with salt and pepper.