Archive | 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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Keto Sheet Pan Dinners

Love good food… don’t want carbs…no time to cook?  Enter the darling of the year, Sheet-pan dinners.

Sheet-pan dinner with chicken & veggies

Sheet-pan dinner with chicken & veggies

Can Sheet-pan dinners take the place of Fast Food?

In the 70’s the quick and easy dinner darling was Hamburger Helper (remember that?).   In the 80s the crockpot was the way to go, as long as you added a spice packet of Lipton’s French Onion Soup.  The 90’s were all about foods in pocket form, packaged salads and lunch kits, and things you could cook in the microwave or toaster (pizza bagels, pizza pockets, toaster strudels).

Somewhere around the 2000’s farmers’ markets really started to come into their own (in the US anyway), and the number of farmers markets offering fresh local produce has grown to the level of abundance.  You can often find a good farmers market within 50 miles of your home these days.

The problem is our knowledge of how to cook with all this fresh produce is a bit rusty and the grandmothers are not always nearby anymore.  Sheet-pan dinners might be the rescue dinner of the 2000’s.  They are certainly gaining in popularity right now, and rightfully so.

What is the biggest complaint about Low Carb or Keto Lifestyles?

One of the biggest obstacles I have seen in coaching people on a range of different diets is the challenge of cooking whole foods at home.  In particular cooking vegetables.  It seems dieters these days fall into one of 3 camps:

  • a stressed out professional who doesn’t have time;
  • a busy parent (often a working parent) who needs to get something on the table without fuss;
  • a non-cook who just isn’t familiar with cooking and is either intimidated to learn or has no interest

The thing everyone seems to have in common however, is we all like to eat.  And we prefer eating something that tastes good!  I have heard of some people that really don’t enjoy food or eating, but so far in my fairly lengthy life I have not met any of them.

The Sheet-pan

Historically, sheet pans were a tool seen mostly in professional kitchens. You can get good ones in any kitchen store these days and they typically measure 18 x 13 inches with a lipped edge. You’ll often find them labeled as half sheet pans if you’re purchasing them from a restaurant supply store. If you have a pan at home that is a different size, don’t worry about it.  As long as you have enough space to spread things out into a single layer, everything will be fine.

The How-To:

The idea around sheet-pan dinners is that they are easy and it allows you to be creative with whatever you have available.  The idea is to get proteins and vegetables that cook up golden and crisp — not steamed and mushy?   The best way to achieve this wonderful crispy ideal is a combination of high heat (usually around 425 F) and enough food to fill in the space in your pan.   The only trick is to select proteins and veggies that will cook at approximately the same time.  If you need help with deciding perfect combinations of proteins and vegetables this link to Food 52 is a great resource.

Tips and Tricks to Sheet-pan Cooking

  1. If you want crispy proteins, leave the skin on chicken thighs or choose meat that will render its own fat.
  2. Use a piece of parchment paper to line your sheet pan with for fast and easy clean-up
  3. Frozen vegetables can be tossed onto the sheet pan without having to wait for them to thaw.
  4. Eggs and beans are great additions to make it something like a hash.
  5. I like to add some lemon wedges to use to squeeze over the dish at the end.  The fact that they are broiled lemon wedges makes them even more powerful of a taste treat.

Last week a neighbor brought us some lake fish (sun fish and croppies) and that went onto the sheet-pan with some chard, garlic, lemon wedges and fennel.

This week I went with chicken thighs, brussel sprouts, carrots, fennel, lemon and rosemary (see above photo).

It is really the simplest way to be a creative cook that I have seen in a long time.  Not to mention I finally have a way to easily make all those vegetables from the farmers’ markets!

I will add the exact chicken recipe to this post next week.  Otherwise check out the Food52 link and go wild!

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 Pork Posole – with Keto and Slow Carb Variations

The classic Mexican posole is a rich stew made with pork butt, hominy, mixed chiles and flavored broths.  But alas, hominy is corn and corn is not compliant with a slow carb diet.  Not to worry however!  This variation of a low carb pork posole is every bit as tasty with navy beans standing in for the hominy.

What?  You’re on a ketogenic diet?  Well then, please substitute cabbage for the hominy instead.  It’s all good.  And I mean really good.

low carb pork posole

Pork Posole – Slow Carb

 

Ancho chiles in Low Carb Pork Posole

The ground ancho chile is the key to the flavor here, and go as fresh as you possibly can with the anchos.  Ancho chile powder is not the same things as generic “Chili Powder” that you get at the grocery by the way.  The generic stuff is usually a blend of multiple ingredients such as cumin, oregano, garlic powder and ground chiles and the ratio of each ingredient varies widely between brands.

You can usually find ground ancho chile at Latin grocery stores and sometimes in regular supermarkets in the Mexican grocery aisle.  If you want really fresh ancho powder, you can buy some whole dried anchos from me and grind them up yourself.  I sell them at the local farmers’ markets, but if you don’t live in Minnesota, contact me at dsheathglen@gmail.com and order some.

Pork Posole Toppings for the Crowd

This recipe for low carb pork posole makes a lot and if you don’t want to have it for lunch all week, share it with your family or invite some friends over.  It’s always fun to put a platter of toppings on the table so everyone can add them to their soup, and most of the traditional garnishes/toppings are also low carb!  Here are a few ideas:

  • thinly sliced red radish
  • shredded cabbage
  • cilantro
  • diced avocado
  • Queso Fresco
  • lime juice
  • diced fresh green chile

Recipe for “Slow” Carb Pork Posole

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp ground cumin, toasted and then ground if possible
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup ground Ancho chile powder
  • 2 1/2 – 3 lbs boneless pork shoulder (aka Boston Butt), cut into small chunks
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 cans of white navy beans (or 2 cups of dried navy beans soaked overnight)
  • substitute cabbage in for the navy beans if you are strictly ketogenic or use hominy for beans if you just want a classic version

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a crockpot or slow cooker and cook on low 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.  Add salt and more Ancho chile powder if needed.
  2. This is even better the next day.  Just turn the slow cooker back on low for a couple more hours.  You really can’t overcook.

 

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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Pepperonata & Heirloom Squash with Romesco Sauce

Pepperonata (peh-peh-roh-NAH-tah) is an Italian vegetable dish of slow-cooked, or stewed bell peppers with onion and garlic.  Of course there are variations and some Italian cooks will add tomatoes, eggplant, or other Italian vegetables.  However you decide to mix it up, classic or uniquely yours, it is a wonderful skillet dinner for a low carb lifestyle and the Romesco Sauce takes it over the top!

pepperonata

Pepperonata & Heirloom squash with Romesco Sauce

We had the luxury of an extra long growing season in Minnesota this year, and I was able to harvest a boatload of different sweet and hot peppers, along with a bountiful harvest of heirloom squash.  It is always easiest to design a dinner around what is in your fridge (or in this case your garden), and the bright orange bell peppers and squash prompted me to think of an Italian fall dinner.  A little Italian Romesco sauce to spice it up a bit and you have a gorgeous feast rich with the beta carotene from the orange vegetables, and comfort food to the max.

The Basics of a Pepperonata

The simplest way to make Pepperonata is to cook 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1/2 sliced onion in 1/4 cup of olive oil over low heat for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 5 bell peppers that are quartered and of different colors and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the bell peppers are soft.

For my dinner I added some ground pork, some capers and a bit of anchovy paste.  I selected my favorite tasting heirloom squash, one called Buen Gusto De Horno.  Conveniently, it went well with the Italian theme.  The Romesco Sauce is something that we sell online and it is a blend of heirloom tomatoes, peppers, almonds and spices.  It pairs perfectly with squash, as well as many other veggies and meats.

Recipe for Pepperonata & Heirloom Squash

Pepperonata Saute

Pepperonata Saute

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups assorted peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lb ground pork (or ground hamburger)
  • 1 1/2 tsp anchovy paste or 2 anchovies, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • squash of choice, quartered

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet or saute pan over high heat. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Add the peppers and onions to the skillet and saute, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
  3. Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking until the onions are translucent and the peppers are soft (about another 10 minutes).  While the peppers are cooking place the squash on a baking sheet in the oven.  Add the garlic and saute quickly being careful not to burn the garlic (only needs about 30 seconds).
  4. Add the ground pork and cook over medium heat until no longer pink. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the anchovies.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Check to see if squash is done by poking flesh with a fork and if it gives easily it is done.
  7. Serve topped with Romesco Sauce.

For another great use of pepperonata, click here to see the recipe for a Pepperonata Burger.

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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