Archive | low carb recipes

Keto Sushi – aka Cauliflower Rice Sushi

This Cauliflower Rice Sushi recipe (aka Keto Sushi) is a Guest Post by my wonderful daughter, Tesla!

keto sushi

keto sushi (cauliflower rice sushi)

Why Cauliflower instead of Rice?

One major benefit of working in a school district is having the summers off!  For me, that means Grandma’s Annual Fourth of July Party and lots of food- purchased and prepared for me by the parents (I know, rough life, right?).  There is a downside though, when my parents food preferences differ.   

If you’ve read any other posts on this site or if you know my mom at all, you know that we haven’t eaten rice at the HeathGlen homestead for at least five years.  Apparently, the absence of rice doesn’t bother my parents too much, but it’s especially hard for a sushi addict like me!  

Prior to going on a low-carb diet, my dad promised me we would make sushi together– that was 12 years ago and we even bought a mat and instruction book!  So I decided this year that, even though rice is now a four-letter word in our household, he could fulfill his promise to me.

Making Keto Sushi Simple

I attempted to make a low-carb cauliflower rice sushi once a few years ago but it was unsuccessful and frustrating because there were so many hard to find ingredients and I was in the middle of my Master’s program with very little money to spare on these rare ingredients.  

I finally found a much simpler recipe and used that as a guide to make this “keto sushi”.  I doubled the recipe because leftovers are a requirement in our household, especially on Fridays before the weekend farmer’s markets.  The recipe below is not doubled.  Even my mom, the sushi adversary, raved about it!

Recipe for Cauliflower Rice Sushi (aka Keto Sushi)

Serves  4

Ingredients

  • Half or 3/4 head of cauliflower (I used one whole cauliflower but had a little leftover)
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 5-6 sheets nori
  • Sushi fillings- we used these items but the options are endless:
    • 2 cucumbers (peeled and thinly sliced)
    • 3 carrots (peeled and thinly sliced)
    • 8 oz package of plain cream cheese
    • 2-3 cooked salmon fillets and 2 smoked salmon fillets since mom  doesn’t like raw fish, otherwise I would have definitely gone for the real deal raw stuff!
    • In the original recipe, the blogger uses fruit, and as you may know, according to my mom, “Fruit is just nature’s candy.”  So, needless to say we skipped out on the fruit.

** Note 1:  The recipe I adapted this from used a food processor and a sushi rolling mat.  We don’t have a rolling mat and I have made sushi rice a multitude of times in my Ninja blender so neither are necessary to make this recipe work, but the tools definitely make it easier!  I’ve also been informed that you can buy pre-“riced” cauliflower at Trader Joe’s or other grocery stores if you want to skip those steps.

**Note 2: To ensure the roll stays together, it was helpful to use a bowl of water to wet the seam of the roll. See step #9.

Directions (or Steps):

  1.  Prepare the cauliflower rice:  I cut the cauliflower in quarters and then cut or break the stem off.  I then used a smaller knife to cut off any parts of the stem that remain.  Break the cauliflower in to florets or small chunks.  
  2.  Place all the florets in the food processor.  Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to split up the cauliflower and process it in smaller portions.  Pulse the cauliflower until the pieces are small and look similar to grains of rice.
  3. Place the cauliflower in large dish and cover.  Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes or until the cauliflower is heated all the way through.
  4.  In a small bowl, mix the sugar and rice vinegar until the sugar is mostly dissolved.  Combine with the warm cauliflower and set aside to cool.
  5.  Prepare your fillings.  I peeled and cut the veggies as thin as possible and crumbled the cooked/ smoked salmon, and used a cheese slicer for thin slices of cream cheese.
  6. Lay the nori out, either on the rolling mat or a cutting board for a flat surface.  The nori I used had perforated lines, and when the nori was on the board facing me the lines were horizontal.
  7.  Scoop the cauliflower rice on to the nori.  Cover the nori with a thin layer of the cauliflower, leave a space on the top.  I used the perforated lines as a guide and covered the nori up to the line that was closest to the “top” of the nori, farthest from me.
  8. Put your fillings on the side of the nori where the cauliflower reaches the edge of the nori. I put the softest things first- cream cheese, salmon, and then the veggies on top.
  9. Carefully roll the edge with the fillings toward the end with the gap.  Keep slight pressure on the fillings as you roll to make sure it rolls tightly.  Once it’s completely rolled up, dab some water on the edge with no cauliflower so it will stay together.
  10.  Using a really sharp knife, cut the sushi into pieces.  Alternatively- enlist your dad or someone else as a line cook to cut the pieces for you 🙂

This “keto sushi” recipe was much easier than I thought and it’s one sure fire way to impress the parents!

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

  • Calories: 266
  • Fat: 19.1
  • Carbs: 10.4
  • Protein: 8.8

Mom’s Required Trailer for Online Coaching:

Online Coaching Available:

I have followed the slow carb diet for 3 years and the keto diet for 2 years now, and I have put my “been there done that” knowledge to work helping people figure it out.  I am currently an online diet coach (info can be found here if you’re interested), and have just hit the 250-client mark.  Come and visit me and see if online coaching might be for you!

If not for diet, there are other coaches on the site that coach anything from writing a blog, to getting up early, to getting rid of that pesky procrastination.  Explore the site while you are there.  There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know.  Click here to get to my profile and then explore others from there.

 

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Low Carb Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash makes a great foil for pasta and grains and “stuffed” dishes are always appealing and fun.  This low carb stuffed spaghetti squash can be extremely versatile using chicken, pork sausage or ground beef as the protein in the stuffing.  This particular recipe uses chicken, as chicken with enchilada sauce makes a stuffing that is familiar to most tastebuds, inexpensive and easy to cook.  The recipe lends itself easily to adaptation and creativity however.

low carb stuffed spaghetti squash

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Using Spaghetti Squash as a Pasta Foil:

In this particular dish, the spaghetti squash strands have the taste and texture of rice noodles.  I frequently use spaghetti squash as a bed for skillet dinners or stir frys, but they it is also great just as a side dish slathered with butter and some good salt.

Spaghetti squash is pretty simple to cook and can be ready in 10 minutes.  Some people cook winter squash in an oven to get the full richness of a nutty winter squash.  It’s not really necessary with spaghetti squash however, as the taste is so much lighter.  I usually cook them like this:

  • cut them in half lengthwise
  • take a large spoon and scrape out the seeds
  • turn them flesh-side-down onto a plate and microwave for 10 minutes
  • let cool enough to handle them (or use a mitt) and then take a fork and scrape out the strands from the shell.  They come out looking like…….well, like spaghetti!

 

Easy Adaptations for the Low Carb Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Recipe:

The chicken in this recipe is easy, but it is fairly bland and needs a spice mix of some sort to liven it up.  I used the harissa spice mix that we sell online, but there is a wide range of spice mixes that would be good.  Choose your favorite and go with it.  If you don’t want to bother with a mix, just add a little mild chile pepper or cayenne pepper.  I’ve included a few spice mixes at the end of this post that you may want to try.

The type of protein could also be easily and tastefully adapted.  Ground pork sauteed until no longer pink would be a good substitution that I plan to try next time.  Hamburger or ground beef would work fine also.  Any protein of your choice would work as long as it is shredded or fine enough to mix well with the somewhat delicate strands of squash.

Changing up the variety of cheese is another option, as is adding some sauteed onions or other vegetables.  It’s really a great dish to experiment with as it’s tough to destroy it!

Low Carb Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Recipe:

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:  

  • 2 8-oz boneless,skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 1/2 cup red enchilada sauce, divided
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 tsp spice mix (I used harissa, use your favorite spice mix – many would work)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  2. Add the chicken to a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil.  After it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the chicken about 15 minutes, or until no longer pink on inside.  Remove the chicken to a cutting board and let it cool a bit so you can handle it
  3. While the chicken is cooking, microwave the squash by placing the halved, seeded squash on a plate flesh-side down and microwaving for 10 minutes (or until flesh is tender).
  4. When the chicken is cool enough to work with, shred the chicken breasts with two forks and place in a large bowl.
  5. When the squash is cool enough to work with use a fork to scrape the squash from the shells into the bowl with the chicken.  Set the intact shells aside.  Add 1 cup enchilada sauce, zucchini, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp spice mix to the chicken/squash mixture.  Mix everything together thoroughly.
  6. Place the shells on a broiler-safe pan and divide the mixture between the shells.  Top with the remaining 1/2 cup enchilada sauce and the shredded cheese.
  7. Bake on the lower rack for 10 minutes.  If a deeper browned cheese crust is desired, move pan to the upper rack and turn the broiler to high for a couple of minutes (watch carefully)
  8. To serve, cut each shell in half (they are filling, 1/2 shell is usually enough for 1 serving).

Nutrition:

  • CAL 408
  • FAT 22 CARBS 20 G
  • SUGARS 7 G
  • PROTEIN 34 G
  • FIBER 4 G

 Online Coaching Available:

I have followed the slow carb diet for 3 years and the keto diet for 2 years now, and I have put my “been there done that” knowledge to work helping people figure it out.  I am currently an online diet coach (info can be found here if you’re interested), and have just hit the 250-client mark.  Come and visit me and see if online coaching might be for you!

If not for diet, there are other coaches on the site that coach anything from writing a blog, to getting up early, to getting rid of that pesky procrastination.  Explore the site while you are there.  There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know.  Click here to get to my profile and then explore others from there.

 

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Low Carb Mussels with Coconut Curry Broth

This soup (or stew)  is easy to make, loaded with flavor, low carb friendly and it also delivers 665 mg of heart-healthy omega 3s.  That’s a lot to pack into a simple dinner recipe!  The coconut-curry broth gives seafood dishes that could potentially be bland a punch of creamy, rich flavor, and would work well with just about any fish or seafood.  I happened to pick mussels because they were in my freezer and waiting to be used.  This dish of Low Carb Mussels with Coconut Curry Broth ended up as the perfect foil for the mussels!

 

Low Carb Mussels with Coconut Curry Broth

Low Carb Mussels with Coconut-Curry Broth

This Low Carb Dish does not Require Rice for a Complete Dinner

I first had mussels and curry broth together at a restaurant called Thai Basil in Denver, Colorado.  They served it with a huge bowl of rice on the side of course, but the curry was so rich and full of flavor that the rice was easy to ignore.  I find that to be the case in most of the Thai, Mexican and Asian restaurants that I visit.  Rice is not compliant with a low carb, slow carb or keto lifestyle but a dish that is prepared with a knowledge of spice blends and classic flavor combinations really needs no rice to complete it.  In fact, I find the rice often just mutes the glorious, sometimes delicate flavors of the dish.

Sometimes with meat proteins, a long slow cooking process is required to really enhance the texture and flavor of the dish.  The nice thing about fish and some of the bright, spicy sauces that often accompany fish dishes is the length of cooking time needed to get the desired flavor is minimal.

Next time I make this low carb mussels with coconut curry broth for dinner I will probably add some white fish (halibut, cod, etc.) to get a little more protein and add a little more texture.  The broth is rich enough on its own however to make a completely satisfying weeknight dinner.

Recipe:  Low Carb Mussels with Coconut Curry Broth

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 heaping tsp minced garlic (I used garlic from a jar)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp curry paste (you can use curry powder if you wish)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed (either in grinder or with mortar/pestle)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or any other hot pepper spice)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 14-oz can coconut milk (AROY-D is good brand, you can use lite if you want- I did not)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (dry red wine is OK also)
  • 2 lbs. mussels (I used frozen mussels – Bantry Bay Brand)
  • chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook for about 5 min, or until translucent.
  2. Add tomatoes, garlic, ginger, curry paste or powder, fennel seeds, cayenne and salt; cook a few minutes until well blended and heated throughout.
  3. Add coconut milk and wine, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes
  4. Add the mussels, cover and reduce heat to medium.  Cook for a few minutes until mussels have opened (about 4 min).
  5. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Nutrition:

  • CAL 311
  • FAT 14 G
  • CARBS 17 G
  • SUGAR 3 G
  • PROTEIN 23 g

Online Coaching Available:

I have followed the slow carb diet for 3 years and the keto diet for 2 years now, and I have put my “been there done that” knowledge to work helping people figure it out.  I am currently an online diet coach (info can be found here if you’re interested), and have just hit the 250-client mark.  Come and visit me and see if online coaching might be for you!

If not for diet, there are other coaches on the site that coach anything from writing a blog, to getting up early, to getting rid of that pesky procrastination.  Explore the site while you are there.  There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know.  Click here to get to my profile and then explore others from there.

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Low Carb Stir Fry: 4-hour body appropriate

Low carb diners tend to think they must avoid the cuisine of ethnic oriented restaurants because the dishes are often accompanied by rice, breads and various forms of “fillers”.   Asian, Mexican, and Indian cuisines are some of my favorites and they can be just fine for a slow carb, low carb or keto lifestyle!   Simply focus on the wonderful array of proteins, vegetables, sauces and spice mixes.  (sometimes a little sugar is slipped into restaurant sauces so that is something to watch for if you are being really strict).  If you are still wary of restaurants in your area, make your own version!  This low carb stir fry the hubby made for me the other night was wonderful, and since I didn’t have to cook it I felt like I was at a fancy schmancy restaurant (kind of).

Low Carb Stir Fry

Pork & Chard Stir Fry

Benefits of Being Low Carb when Eating Out:

I was at a Thai restaurant in Portland Oregon with a friend and ordered one of my favorite curry bowls and it wasn’t until we left that I realized I didn’t even “see” the bowl of rice on our table.  It was a memorable meal, both in flavor and in companionship and the lack of rice with my curry bowl did not diminish the meal one iota!

I’m convinced that tastebuds do in fact change after being low carb for a long time.  Sweets are sweeter, a plateful of carbs is unappealing as you envision the bloat and lethargy of tomorrow, and red wine stands in just fine for cocktails.  I haven’t lost the taste for a good beer, but you get satiated so much faster that one beer every so often is a reward that feels like Christmas rather than a given.  If cheat days are part of your program, add a martini and/or a dessert and you are living a very good life indeed.

Tips for Low Carb Stir Frys in General:

For some reason I’ve always been intimidated by stir frys and cooking in a wok.  For some people it’s baking pies or breads, for some it figuring out how to cook fish or game correctly….for me it is the stir fry.  Thank goodness for the husband who is a low carb stir fry pro!

Following a great stir fry the other night I asked him to repeat the recipe for me.  Well, as with many good chefs and cooks, a “recipe” is not something he was able to relay with total accuracy.  I pushed and asked questions and the recipe below should be pretty close to the wonderful low carb stir fry he made.

Generally speaking, these are the components that make a good stir fry:

  • get the wok (or pot) smoking hot
  • have all the veggies and proteins chopped up into bite size pieces ahead of time
  • use some overall combination of:  oyster sauce, dry sherry, fish sauce, vinegar, and chile pepper
  • work fairly fast (make sure everything you need is laid out – the mise en place as they say)

Cris’s Weeknight Low Carb Stir Fry:

Ingredients:

  • sesame oil (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2 lb pork loin, cubed (about 2 cups cubed)
  • 1 tsp chile pepper (your choice on how hot of pepper)
  • 2 Tbsp bottled garlic
  • oyster sauce (about 1 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 2 cups chopped celery, large chop not mince
  • 1  small bunch chard. coarsely chopped
  • fish sauce (about 3 Tbsp)
  • apple cider vinegar (about 2 tsp)
  • dry sherry (about 1/4 cup)

Directions:

  1. Make sure all chopping is done and ingredients are laid out
  2. Add sesame oil to the wok and get it smoking hot
  3. once smoking hot, add port and chile pepper and cook 5-6 min. or until no longer pink, stirring constantly
  4. add garlic for 30 seconds; then add oyster sauce and stir for a couple of minutes until it thickens a bit.
  5. Add celery for about 1 minute; then add chard, fish sauce, vinegar and sherry and cook for about 2 min. or until chard leaves are wilted.

Online Coaching Available:

I have followed the slow carb diet for 3 years and the keto diet for 2 years now, and I have put my “been there done that” knowledge to work helping people figure it out.  I am currently an online diet coach (info can be found here if you’re interested), and have just hit the 250-client mark.  Come and visit me and see if online coaching might be for you!

If not for diet, there are other coaches on the site that coach anything from writing a blog, to getting up early, to getting rid of that pesky procrastination.  Explore the site while you are there.  There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know.  Click here to get to my profile and then explore others from there.

 

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Harissa Glazed Salmon for Low Carb, Slow Carb or Ketogenic Lifestyles

I’m a salmon fanatic, both because I love the taste but also because I think it’s a nutritional powerhouse. especially for people on a low carb or ketogenic lifestyle.  It is one of those things that is wonderful grilled, oven-baked, roasted, smoked, and/or poached.  Pretty hard to go wrong with salmon.  It also lends itself wonderfully to any range of sauces or rubs.  This harissa glazed salmon is one of my favorite recipes and can be a quick weeknight dinner as well as a fancy-schmancy dinner party!

harissa glazed salmon

Harissa Glazed Salmon

Harissa is a wonderful North African sauce or condiment that is used to flavor many different kinds of dishes.  It is frequently used to flavor couscous or as a glaze for grilled main dishes.  It is also popular as a relish or condiment to have on the side with any roasted vegetable or protein.  I like it stirred into scrambled eggs or into creamy winter squash dishes also.

Mixing it up with mayonnaise and a little lemon juice for this salmon recipe turned the harissa paste into more of a creamy sauce.  The mayonnaise is totally optional, as the harissa paste is great as a glaze for salmon all on its own.

Another excellent way to cook a creative but easy salmon dish with harissa is to glaze the salmon with the harissa paste and then make a creamy yogurt and dill sauce for a topping.  That saying “it’s all good” definitely works here.

I used our award-winning  Harissa sauce from HeathGlen, but there are alternatives in various gourmet-type stores.  They all taste quite different.  I prefer one that is complex and has a range of chili peppers rather than a sauce that is so hot you can’t distinguish the unique flavors.  You can also make your own of course.  Click here for a harissa recipe you can make at home.

Recipe for Harissa Glazed Salmon:

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 salmon fillets (or 1 large salmon cut into fillets)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp harissa
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp wine (red or white)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat the inside of a 9 x 12-inch baking dish with oil or something like PAM  Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper and arrange salmon in baking dish
  2. In a bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, harissa, and smoked paprika, stirring until smooth.  Spread the mayonnaise mixture over the fish as evenly as possible.
  3. Place them lemon slices around the salmon and bake in the preheated oven until the fish is hot and has begun to turn opaque (about 6-10 min).
  4. Remove from the oven, turn the oven on broil, and raise the oven rack to the broil position.  When up to broil temperature return the salmon to the broiler rack and broil until nicely browned, about 3 min.
  5. Enjoy the Harissa Glazed Salmon with a glass of wine and refrigerate any leftover for tomorrow’s lunch!

Online Coaching Available:

I have followed the slow carb diet for 3 years and the keto diet for 2 years now, and I have put my “been there done that” knowledge to work helping people figure it out.  I am currently an online diet coach (info can be found here if you’re interested), and have just hit the 250-client mark.  Come and visit me and see if online coaching might be for you!

If not for diet, there are other coaches on the site that coach anything from writing a blog, to getting up early, to getting rid of that pesky procrastination.  Explore the site while you are there.  There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know.  Click here to get to my profile and then explore others from there.

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