Archive | low carb recipes

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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Low Carb Steak Salad for Lunch or Dinner

Grilled steak is a family-favorite dinner at our house, and we generally try to grill enough of it to ensure a low carb steak salad for lunch the next day.  You can get quite creative with the type of dressing on steak salads, but simplicity can be just as flavorful sometimes.  Thinly sliced steak on a crisp radish and butter head lettuce salad the next day with a little creamy mustard dressing will make you feel like you’re a top chef!  So simple, so good, so compliant!

low carb steak salad

Steak and Radish Salad

Recipe for Low Carb Steak Salad:

Hanger steak is a great steak to use for this low carb steak salad, but of course any cut will do.  Just slice the steak thinly to get the best “mouthfeel” out of the salad as it mixes with a creamy mustard dressing and crisp peppery radishes.  Without further ado, here is the recipe, such as it is:

Ingredients:

 Serves 4
  • 16 oz Steak (I like flank steak or skirt steak)
  • 3 tbsps Dijon Mustard
  • 3 tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsps Sherry Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp leaf Dried Thyme Leaves
  • Lettuce, romaine or butter head is good but any kind works
  • 3-4 large radishes, sliced
  • 2 oz soft cheese, optional (goat cheese, blue cheese, or feta cheese is good)

Directions:

  1. Preheat a grill.  Brush both sides of the steak with some olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Grill 5 minutes on each side or until steak is medium rare.  Set aside. (alternatively use the grilled steak from the night before)
  2. In a shallow container large enough to fit the steak; whisk the mustard, oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano and thyme.  Marinate the cooked steak for 15 minutes, remove and slice into thin strips.  Set aside.  Put the remaining marinade and juices into a small pan and bring to a boil for one full minute.
  3. Arrange lettuce, radishes, and steak slices on serving plates.  Top with goat cheese, feta cheese or blue cheese and drizzle cooked marinade over the top.  Serve immediately.

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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Smoky Lentil Tomato Soup with Red lentils & Spinach

Lentil soup in and of itself can be pretty bland, so it’s key to experiment with assertive flavors.  I like smoky flavors so I used smoked paprika and smoked tomatoes in the recipe below for “Smoky Lentil Tomato Soup”.  Although lentil soups are often a mainstay for vegetarians, but the addition of chorizo or shrimp and be wonderful flavor enhancers if you are of the carnivorous or Pescatarian bent  Either way, lentil soup is a powerhouse of nutrition and protein in the form of a warm, flavorful comfort food.

smoky lentil tomato soup

Smoky Red Lentil & Spinach Soup

Cooking notes for Smoky Lentil Tomato Soup:

Quick-cooking red lentils are my favorite dried lentil for soups, mostly because I prefer the visual appeal.  Red lentils also cook into a creamy soup quite rapidly, going from dried-in-the-pantry to tender in 15 to 20 minutes.  The French green lentils (called the du Puy variety) are said to hold their shape better and have a slightly more peppery flavor, but honestly I have not noticed that subtlety.  Just know that it is not important for lentils to keep their shape intact.  Longer cooked, lentils add to the soup’s body after they have broken up, and they taste just as good.

Most vegetarian lentil soup recipes have a somewhat “earthy” flavor.  Adding some rosemary will give it a bit more robust flavor, adding cayenne a spicy flavor and pork or chorizo a more complex savory flavor.  Hearty greens are a great addition to all soups and a squeeze of lemon always adds a bright fresh flavor.

Since we smoke a lot of our produce on our farm, I have used smoked tomatoes in the version below called Smoky Lentil Tomato Soup.  Smoked tomatoes may be difficult to find, so substitute in some smoked paprika and some smoked chipotle peppers if you have those instead.  Be creative.  The lentils, an onion and some broth is really the basic template and you can enhance the flavor with whatever you have in your pantry from there.

Recipe for Smokey Lentil Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika (or your favorite paprika)
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 5 cups broth (use vegetable broth or chicken broth)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup smoked tomatoes (alternatively use 1 24-oz can fir-roasted tomatoes)
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • Optional:  add 3/4 cup chopped kalamata olives, 1 lb cooked chorizo, 6-8 large shrimp, 1/2 tsp spicy chili pepper

Directions:

  1. Saute onions over med-high heat in a large pot for 5 min or until translucent.  Add garlic, thyme and paprika and saute briefly, for about 15 seconds.
  2. Add lentils, broth and salt and bring to a boil.  Once it comes to a boil, turn heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 min., stirring occasionally.  Add the tomatoes and simmer another 20 min. until lentils are quite tender.
  3. Add spinach and stir until spinach is wilted.  Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.  Add any of the optional ingredients and bring up to serving temperature over medium heat.

Enjoy for dinner and 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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Low Carb Chicken Lime Soup (with Avocados)

Simple Mexican soups like this one often include avocado, which is the most healthy and delicious way to get one of the “good fats” into your diet.  This low carb chicken lime soup topped with avocado is similar to the Mexican Flower Soup called caldo xochitl, with a rich broth, shredded chicken and a bit of spice.  It is so very simple to make and doesn’t need to simmer on the stove for hours on end to get a deep satisfying flavor.

low carb chicken lime soup

Chicken Lime Soup with Avocados

The Flavor Secret of Low Carb Chicken Lime Soup

The problem with most chicken broth soups is the flavorless broth itself.  Not so with this broth. It is both spicy and delicious, with the tang of the fresh lime juice and the creaminess of the avocado taking it over the top in flavor.   Similar to the combination that makes Chinese hot and sour soup so tasty, this Mexican soup has the mix between spicy, salty, and sour.  If avocados aren’t available, you can substitute in some sour cream.  Go for the avocados if you can however, it really makes a difference.

The other ingredient that makes a big difference in the soups flavor is the chili spice you use.  I used freshly ground chipotles because we grow them and smoke them at our farm and it is my go-to spice all year.  Use your favorite chili pepper spice for the heat, but go as fresh as you can for the ultimate flavor.   If you want to try any of our chili pepper spice combinations, click here to see our varieties.

Recipe for Low Carb Chicken Lime Soup with Avocados

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large chicken breasts (boneless & skinless)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (16 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground chipotle spice (or your favorite chili pepper spice)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 limes, juiced (more for serving – optional)
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and roughly chopped
  • cilantro (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion to the oil and saute for about 5 min. or until onion is soft and translucent.  Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds being careful not to burn garlic.
  2. Increase the heat to high, add the chicken breasts, the broth, the canned tomatoes and all of the spices to the pot.  Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer for one hour.
  3. Taste the soup midway through cooking to see if it needs salt (grocery store chicken broth can be very salty sometimes so start with no salt and add to taste)
  4. After simmering for an hour, remove chicken breasts with a pair of tongs and let them cool enough that you can shred them wither with your hands or two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the pot and add the lime juice and cilantro if using
  5. Serve the soup in a bowl and top with diced avocado chunks.  Pass around lime wedges if more lime juice is desired.

There ya go….a great dinner at low cost and easy to make.  This low carb chicken lime soup is great for tomorrow’s lunchbox also!

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 Lettuce Wrap – Asian Chicken Style

Lettuce wraps are now available at many popular restaurants and fast food chains (Red Robin, Jimmy Johns to cite a couple).  They can be great low carb lunches on the go, and the lack of thick bread or buns allows the taste of the filling to shine through.  The filling is the important part of the wrap in my mind, and it can be quite creative and versatile.  I like to add avocados and spice, but the beauty of wraps is that, like sandwiches, you can easily mix and match ingredients.  The recipe below is for a low carb lettuce wrap with chicken, and it is an easy lunch or dinner to make at home when time is tight.

low carb lettuce wrap

Lettuce wrap with chicken and asian sauce

Chipotle has become one of the go-to restaurants for slow carb lunches, but if you are leading a ketogenic lifestyle you probably don’t want the beans.  Lettuce wraps can satisfy all kinds of low carb diets however, and they make for a quick and easy option if you’re at work or on the road.  I was particularly surprised on a recent road trip when we stopped at a Red Robin off the highway and they had all of their hamburger options available as lettuce wraps.  To top it off they provided green veggies on the side as a substitute for french fries.  I thought I was going to be relegated to the salad bar when we first pulled in to a chain restaurant, but was pleasantly surprised with the bacon and swiss burger wrap.  Just ask for extra butter to go with the veggie side!

A low carb lettuce wrap is easy peasy to make at home for a lunch or weeknight dinner, especially if you use prepared proteins like roasted chicken or deli turkey.  Adding the extra step of sauteing some ground chicken or other protein is also pretty quick however, and makes for a great low maintenance dinner on a cool summer evening.  The recipe below adds a little Asian flair with some soy sauce, ginger and hot sauce.  Low carb has never been so easy!

Recipe for Low Carb Lettuce Wrap with Chicken

Yield 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken, ground or chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce (some sugar in this)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 head lettuce, butter or romaine

Directions:

  1. For no-cook wraps, chop up roasted chicken from the grocery store or deli.  For a low carb lettuce wrap with ground chicken, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add ground chicken and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the chicken as it cooks; drain excess fat.
  2. Mix together the garlic, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and Sriracha.  Saute in olive oil until onions have become translucent, about 1-2 minutes (if using ground chicken, saute in the same pan as chicken).  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. To serve, spoon several tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf, taco-style and enjoy.

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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