Archive | April 2018

Amish Breakfast Casserole Goes Low Carb

The climate our kids live in has changed. Life seems more about children than about family and as a result the coming and going of family from home to home has ended. For us anyway. We got so sick of hearing our siblings say they have to ask their kids about an event or holiday that we stopped asking. If you think that is harsh, you should hear what we actually said to our own children!

From the days when aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and even family friends came and went, staying for days at a time, we all have great recipes for getting a nice meal set out without a lot of prep time away from guests. This is actually one of those, but done over in low carb. It is completely fine to prep this the night before and refrigerate until you put it in the oven. Another great thing about this casserole, the meat is completely optional. It does not change the quality of the dish. For my example, I only put on 6 strips of crumbled bacon on top. I have made the original with no meat, with soy meat, ham, bacon, sausage, turkey. As an added bonus, it reheats beautifully.

Serves 8 large portions as a main or 16 side portions as an accompaniment.
Per each of 8 servings, Calculated by Verywellfit com

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 509
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30.2g 39%
Saturated Fat 10.7g 54%
Cholesterol 196mg 65%
Sodium 1781mg 77%
Total Carbohydrate 16.3g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2.3g 8%
Total Sugars 4.9g
Protein 41.4g
Vitamin D 12mcg 58%
Calcium 190mg 15%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 770mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet.2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Recipe analyzed by Very Well Fit

Ingredients
1 pound Bacon or Sausage, cooked and crumbled (Optional)
1 cup diced onion
6 eggs, beaten
2 cups Zucchini, grated
2 cups Sweet Potato (this is just one whole potato), peeled and diced
8 ounces Cheddar, shredded
16 ounces small curd cottage cheese

Place potato pieces in a small pot of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes. Drain and quickly rinse with cold water. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Evenly spread mixture in a lightly greased pan(s), either two 8×8 or one 9×13. Bake at 350°F/176°C for 40 minutes. Serve.

Kid Lovin’ Chicken

“It’s Shake ‘n’ Bake! And I helped!!”

Do you remember that commercial? When I first started cooking, that stuff was always in my cabinets. I bet I had a dozen recipes that called for it.

This works the same, but in a healthier way.

Serves 8
Per Serving
Calories 399
Carbs 4 grams

Ingredients
½ cup Nonfat Dry Milk Powder
¾ cup Parmesan
1 T Paprika
½ T each Thyme, Garlic Powder and Black Pepper
3 pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice chicken lengthwise for strips or widthwise for nuggets. About ½” thick. In a large container with a lid, mix all the dry ingredients together. Add chicken and shake! Lightly spray or grease baking pan(s). Spread chicken in single layer on pan(s). Bake for 30 minutes. Serve.

Better than the Pub Poppers

I love jalapeño! When I can find them crispy with perfect heat, I will eat them every meal until I run out. I’ve had zero luck growing my own. Fingers crossed, this is the year!!!!

The standard low carb recipe for poppers, however, always leaves me kinda bummed. It’s good. Well, oven fresh they are good. But, to serve them for a get together….well, you are going to have leftovers. They get soggy, they don’t crunch. I think a good popper should snap when you bite it and ooze completely yummy stuff into your mouth.

Do you agree?

First, ditch the oven. That heat is losing your crispy goodness.

Nutrition. As figured by me. Yikes! I promise I double checked my math.
Per Popper
Calories 79
Carbs 2 grams

Makes 18 poppers
4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
½ cup sour cream
6 ounces bacon cooked crisp and crumbled OR ½ f a 2.5 oz package of real bacon pieces
¼ whole Red Onion, diced finely
2 cloves roasted garlic, or garlic powder to taste
4 ounces Cheddar Cheese, shredded
18 jalapeños, raw, whole

Beat cream cheese, sour cream, bacon, onion, garlic, and cheddar until fairly smooth. Cut off the top of your peppers. Put on protective gloves and safety glasses. Cut a slit down one long side of each pepper, scrape out seeds and membranes carefully so you don’t break the pepper completely. Stuff with mixture and press back together. Serve or cover and refrigerate.

Recipe Notes:
If you’ve never done your own crumbles before, the method I like (remember I am very lazy) is cook and drain your bacon put all of it on paper towels in the freezer, wait a few hours and crush it with your hands.

Not everyone digs heat. I totally get that. Swap mini sweet peppers for the jalapeños and done.

Some people love heat. Swap jalapeños for habaneros and halve the filling.

Zuccoti

Zuccotti – A Low Carb Manicotti

Manicotti is crazy important in my house. It was one of those dishes that I revised before ever making and it was an instant hit. However, I hate making it. It is messy and time consuming.

I only made it for special occasions, especially my first born’s birthday. There are no parties for birthdays in our house. The kids get a present and they get to pick their homemade dinner and dessert. There have been times a party would have been cheaper and less work. For example, manicotti was most commonly served with oven fried chicken, chocolate on chocolate cake and homemade coffee ice cream.

There are no birthdays for a couple weeks but I’m missing my angel, so I broke out the notepad and pans. I hope you like it.

Serves 6. Per Serving
511 Calories and 16 g Carbohydrates

Ingredients
½ cup Salt (optional)
Large bowl of water (optional)
6 Zucchini
1 pound ground sausage (mild, medium or hot)
4.5 ounces sliced black olives
2 large eggs
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
Garlic, Basil, and black pepper to taste
1 ½ cups Marinara or sauce of your choice
2 cups Shredded Mozzarella

Cut ends off and peel zucchini down to white. Core zucchini. I found the best way to do this was the saw thingy that came out of one of those jack o lantern kits.

This next part is totally optional. Mix the salt and water together and brine the zucchini for half an hour. Let drain completely on towels while you prepare the rest.
Crumbled, brown and drain the sausage. Drain the olives.
Mix olives, sausage, ricotta, eggs and seasoning in a bowl.
Stuff zucchini with mixture.
Lay stuffed zucchini in a lightly sprayed 9 * 13 pan.
Distribute leftover mixture evenly along the tops of your stuffed zucchini.
Top with sauce and cheese.
Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.
Serve.

We served ours with Salad and a low carb cheese bread that is just amazing.

Tofu Stirfry in Peanut Sauce

Tofu? Low carb? You betcha. Tofu has this amazing 3 protein:1 carb ratio. Indulge away vegetarians! Learn to love it my fellow perimenopausers! Soy is great for boosting low estrogen levels.

Years ago, when I moved in with my now husband, my stepdaughter was a vegetarian. Her parents had let her make this decision but did not really understand it, so she ate the meatless side dishes and then was allowed to have junk.

Um, no. Protein is still crazy important and you are a child.

One of the many vegetarian things I became extremely good at was tofu. So, at the end of this little recipe I’ll give a little instruction on how to make it a hit your first time out.

Serves 4
Calories 358
Carbs 23

Ingredients
28 ounces Extra firm tofu, drained and cubed (bake ahead if you wish)
24 ounces frozen stir-fry vegetables
A little oil for stir-frying (couple tablespoons)
For the peanut sauce:
1.5 Tablespoons Olive Oil (really any oil is fine here)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
5-10 squirts of Stevia (I used 5), or equivalent sweetener of your choice
1 teaspoon Sriracha (or sweet chili sauce)
3 tablespoons peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)

Mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add frozen vegetables carefully to hot oil. If you did NOT bake tofu ahead of time, add it now. Cook, stirring often until desired doneness. Reduce heat a little and add sauce (and tofu if you baked it ahead of time). Cook for another few minutes stirring gently often. You want the sauce to coat everything but not puddle or stick to the pan.
Serve.

Tofu: Prepare and bake.

Take your tofu, open, drain and wrap it in two kitchen towels. Place a plate on top and let the towels absorb the juice for a couple hours. Open and dice. You want inch sized chunks. Dust with yeast. Yep, yeast. Spray a cookie sheet lightly, and spread tofu pieces on it. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until it chunks are golden. Use soon after baking.

MrsBMcV’s Comfort Pork

Right now I’m concentrating on comfort food. Cindy was telling me about Brunswick Stew, which, I had never heard of nor have ever tasted. It’s a Southern dish, in general, consisting of barbecue leftovers. No one makes it exactly the same and everyone is positive their way is the way it should be made. And, dear heavens, do NOT ask where it originated.

Anyway, after loads of notes on different types of Brunswick stew and the makings of Carolina style barbecue sauce (sorry, Georgia!), I wrote up a low carb reconstructed version.

It turned out awesome but I wouldn’t dare call it Low Carb Brunswick. It tastes sweet and sour with a barbecue-y undertone. The vinegar smell is very strong the first couple hours it’s in the oven, after that, it smells like you are hosting a pretty nice barbecue. The nutrition info is as if you divided the dish evenly into 8, but we didn’t consume most of the liquid.

Nutrition per serving.
Calories 416
Fat 26 g
Carbs 14 g

Ingredients
8 pork chops (around 2 pounds)
½ cup Butter, unsalted
3 cubes Chicken bouillon
2T dried minced onion
4 cloves minced garlic
3 mini sweet peppers or one red bell, diced
1 cup frozen corn
2T Paprika
1/2t Salt
1 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
¼ cup Ketchup
1T Brown Sugar
1t Sweet Chili Sauce (Sriracha)
1t ground black pepper
1t Worcestershire sauce

Spray a 9*13 pan with cooking spray (or grease lightly). In a saucepan, on medium heat combine all other ingredients. Heat and stir until onions expand, butter melts and powders dissolve. Remove from heat and pour evenly over pork chops. Bake uncovered for 4 hours at 250°F/121°C.

Recipe Notes:

Rice Wine Vinegar is not something everyone has. You can sub another vinegar but because of the mild flavor in the rice vinegar, use ½ vinegar and ½ water.
This could use alternative sweeteners to sweeten the dish. Ideally this would have ¼ cup brown sugar instead of 1 tablespoon.

King Ranch Casserole – Low Carb Version

I loved this dish when my kids were little. It always came together so solid and tasty. However, since the original recipe calls for canned soups and tortillas, I had to ditch it even before I started low carb. In this recreation, the cheese really holds the casserole together but it is not going to be the solid portions that accompany the original dish.

Nutrition info for casserole only as calculated by Happy Forks
Serves 6
Calories 434
Protein 46.22 g
Fat 24.56 g
Carbohydrate 5.93 g

1.5 pounds Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies
8 ounces canned mushrooms
1 cup Sour Cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°C/177°F. Dice or chunk the chicken, cook and season as desired. I sautéed in a bit of oil and seasoned with dried onion, chili powder and coarse black pepper. Drain the meat, mushrooms and tomatoes. Mix together with the cheddar and sour cream. Mix thoroughly. In a LIGHTLY greased 9*13 pan, spread the mixture. Bake for 45 minutes.

Recipe notes –
You can totally use fresh mushrooms for this but you will want to cook and drain them first.
The dish has a quesadilla type quality, so it could be served on tortillas to the high carb crowd.