Blackberry ClafoutisTrueSticking to a low carb diet - or any diet for that matter - can be challenging for most, especially when it comes to resisting those cravings for something sweet. Thankfully, <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Desserts">I've got many sweets and desserts recipe</a>. As a huge fan of Atkins ... Atkins ALSO has a large collection of diet dessert recipes you can enjoy guilt free! Today, I'd love to share with you a <a href="http://www.atkins.com/Science/Articles---Library/Lifestyle/Low-Carb-Desserts--Easy-Dessert-Recipes-for-Diabet.aspx" target="_blank">diet-friendly recipe</a> based on a classic French dessert, Blackberry Clafoutis.<br /><br /> Clafoutis - pronounced kla-foo-tee, sometimes anglicized as "clafouti," and more correctly (but esoterically) known as a "flaugnarde" - is a French dessert composed of blackberries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick batter. <br /><br /> Traditionally, this comforting dish was baked with cherries, including the pits! The cherry pits contain a glycoside called amygdalin, the active chemical in almond extract, lending to the unique and specific taste. In order to go for lower carbs, we opted for black berries. Plus, who really wants pits in their dessert. They're the pits! <br /><br /> Finally, the recipe uses a cup-for-cup sugar substitute and stevia (a fantastic synergistic combination), so you can enjoy this dessert while still keeping your carbs low.<br /><br /> Enjoy your clafoutis!<br /><br /> <strong>Storage Tip:</strong> Clafouti should be served warm, but if you're not trying to finish the entire dish in a day, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.NewBakedDesserts10 mins45 mins55 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blackberry-Clafoutis-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blackberry-Clafoutis-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blackberry-Clafoutis-36oz168fresh blackberries, washed and dried72.331.172.3317.509.331/3cup80granular cup-for-cup sugar substitute000808001pinch0powdered stevia (optional)0000001tsp4vanilla extract11.5400.5004large200whole eggs, room temperature28620262001/4tsp.5salt0000006tbsp42almond flour240219904.51cup238cream, heavy whipping8218857001/4cup56unsalted butter, melted4440000001/2tsp2almond extract5.7700.25001tsp2fresh lemon zest (peel)1.940.02.50.221/2tsp1ground cinnamon000000Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease a 1 quart shallow baking dish with butter. Arrange the blackberries in the baking dish and set aside for later.Whisk together the eggs, granular sugar substitutes, salt and almond flour. Add the cream, melted butter, vanilla, almond extract, lemon zest, and cinnamon; whisk it all together to combine.Pour the resulting mixture over the blackberries. Carefully place in your oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the dish is puffed, golden, and set in the center. Cool for 20 minutes, then serve the dish warm or refrigerate for up to 3 days.Spinach, Roasted Pepper and Parmesan PuddingTrueI'm often asked about side dishes. I'm sort of bizarre about side dishes, I suppose. I come from the restaurant world, where ... side dishes don't often exist. Typically, a plate is composed, meaning it's not a compartmentalized selection of unrelated things ... a chicken breast, with a side of broccoli, a cheese sauce and a side of roasted potatoes. Most of my personal experience has been more in creating dishes where every bite contains a little bit of something on the plate. This creates more of a mélange ... or a potpourri of ingredients, specifically matched and designed to taste great and look great, with everything else on the plate. For better or for worse, this is my training and my background!<br /><br /> So, when it comes time to creating a "side" dish ... it's challenging for me. In order for me to really think about the side ... I can't help but need to know what it's on the side OF!<br /><br /> For example, I probably wouldn't serve a habenero tickled bed of spicy peppers as a side for ... Petrale Sole. The sole would get lost amidst the spice! I'm also unlikely to suggest a lightly poached cauliflower, leek and micro-chervil salad with ... say ... Boldly Roasted Bone-In Leg of Lamb. While I'm sure it would be tasty, the lamb commands a heartier side than a dainty little salad like that.<br /><br /> So ... when it comes time to create a side dish ... my mind argues with me ... I go back and forth and back and forth, to try and create something that would generally match pretty much everything! In this case?<br /><br /> For this recipe, I think it's a perfect match for something like pork. A pork chop, or a roasted pork loin. Smoked turkey breast? What about a roasted chicken. Perfect! This is a perfect accompaniment to pork and poultry, but ... I'd skip the fish ... and the red meats with this one. For whatever reason ... my brain says no.<br /><br /> Ah, this particular dish is just outstanding, by the way! It's like a thick, creamy and velvety pudding. It's a bit of extra work to make and does require a quick roux is made from the tapioca flour, but the end result is a silky smooth texture, blended with the colorful vegetables, it makes for a special side dish ... no matter WHAT my history would have you believe. Enjoy this one. WELL worth the effort!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> We all have our peculiarities. For this, you could use frozen spinach <em>(just be sure to defrost and squeeze out any extra water)</em> and roasted peppers from a jar or can. I love the vibrancy of fresh spinach and find roasted peppers in jars to be about as good as the real thing ... so I tend to always use fresh spinach and always use jarred peppers. However ... you could use frozen spinach and roast your own peppers ... if you wanted to be different!NewSidesVegetarian20 mins45 mins1 hr 20 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spinach-Pepper-Pudding-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spinach-Pepper-Pudding-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spinach-Pepper-Pudding-32lb908fresh spinach leaves, washed and stems removed0208.8427.2436.32018.162small148roasted red bell peppers, peeled, seeded and cut into thin strips45.8801.488.8802.963tbsp42fresh whole butter3330000001medium110onion, diced440110024each12garlic clove, minced01604003tbsp23tapioca flourhttp://amzn.com/B0019GZ87Y?tag=lcrecipe-20750019.5001cup240almond milk, unsweetenedhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-20453.523013/4cup178.5cream, heavy whipping615.75663.755.25001cup100grated parmesan cheese43129384004large200eggs2861925.11.400salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 350 F (177 C).Grease a 2 1/2 quart (2.35L) casserole dish and set aside.Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil, over high heat.Gather a bowl with ice cubes and water, as well as a colander or straining device, of some kind. Once the water boils, add a nice amount of salt. Place your spinach into the boiling water and allow to swirl around for about 30 seconds. Remove the spinach with the strainer and immediately plunge it into the ice water. When it is thoroughly cooled, remove the spinach and squeeze it, by clinching it in your fists (or with a cloth), until all the water has been squeezed out. You should have a sizeable lump of bright green cooked spinach.Coarsely chop the spinach and set in a small mixing bowl. Add the roasted peppers and mix. Evenly distribute the mixed spinach and pepper mixture along the bottom of the casserole pan.Place a medium sized sauce pan on the stove over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the onions and garlic with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tapioca flour and stir in and cook for a further 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.Quickly whisk in the cold cream and almond milk. Bring this mixture up to a slow simmer. Once it is simmering, whisk in the grated cheese. Taste the sauce and adjust with a bit of salt and pepper.In a medium mixing bowl, place your four eggs. Carefully and quickly whisk about 1/4 of the hot cheese sauce. You want this to be quick and incorporate the eggs ... not "scramble" the eggs. Once this is whisked in, whisk in the remaining sauce.Pour your pudding base over the top of the spinach mixture, in an even layer. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes or until golden, firm and lightly puffed in the center. Remove and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.Serve!Cinnamon ChurritosTrue"Churritos" are a simple crowd pleaser that might be described as the Spanish equivalent of doughnuts. Even though most people reading this have turned to a <a href="http://www.atkins.com/Home.aspx" target="_blank">low carb diet</a> to lose some weight and get their sugar cravings under control, they can still enjoy this dessert. These Cinnamon Churritos are welcome treats that will fit perfectly into your low carb lifestyle, and the easy-to-make Churritos are excellent options to satisfy your need for dessert while keeping you in shape. <br /><br /> Churritos can be served for breakfast with a good cup of coffee on the side. Perhaps this combination sounds sinful to people who have strong feelings about losing weight, but you don't need to worry about your <a href="http://www.atkins.com/Program/Overview.aspx" target="_blank">weight loss program</a> or diet plans because a bite of these yummy churritos is not going to ruin your diet. If you are a fan of churros, enjoy these easy-peasy low-carb churritos in only 20 minutes! <br /><br /> <strong>Portion Size:</strong> Recipe makes 16 churritos. Recipe is calculated for 2 churritos per serving.<br /><br /> <strong>Chef's Tips:</strong> If you cannot finish them in a day, you may also put them in the freezer for 3 months or refrigerate for up to 1 week.NewBreakfastDesserts10 mins10 mins20 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cinnamon-Churritos-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cinnamon-Churritos-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cinnamon-Churritos-31/2cup56almond flour320281212062tbsp14coconut flour621.53.59061/4tsp1baking powder1.2500.25002tsp4ground cinnamon, divided9.88.04.163.2402.121/8tsp.5salt0000001/2cup113unsweetened coconut milk2002224001tbsp14unsalted butter1110000003tbsp45cup-for-cup sugar substitute, divided000454501large50egg7256.5.500In a large skillet or deep fat fryer, add 2 to 3 inches of oil, and heat to 350°F. In a small bowl, stir ½ cup almond flour, 2 tablespoons coconut flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon salt until well mixed and set aside.Bring 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, and 1 tablespoon granular sugar substitute to a boil in a small sauce pan. Remove the pan from the heat and add in flour mixture stirring until thick enough to form a ball. Cool for 5 minutes.Add 1 large egg after the dough is cool and mix thoroughly for about 1 minute until a very thick paste forms. Drop by tablespoons 4-8 at a time into the fryer, rotating halfway through, until they turn golden brown and crisp on the outside; roughly 3-4 minutes total. Repeat this until all of batter is used, and then set aside on a paper towel once done.Pulse the remaining granular sugar substitute with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 1 -2 times in a blender, until sugar substitute granules are slightly smaller. Roll each warm churrito in the sugar substitute-cinnamon mixture until evenly coated and place them on a serving plate. Enjoy these delicious Cinnamon Churritos immediately.Where's Waldorf SaladTrueChances are good that you've heard of a Waldorf Salad, but chances are also likely good that you've avoided them since changing your dietary habits, due to the high concentration of fruit. Let's take a look at this situation!<br /><br /> A Swiss fella named Oscar came up with the recipe at the Waldorf Hotel in New York, somewhere in the mid 1890's. This means it's about 120 years old and a true American classic! Oscar wasn't a chef, though. He was a maître d' and later the maître d'hôtel of the Waldorf Hotel, when it opened in 1893. There are some the believe Oscar contributed his idea to the opening festivities of the Waldorf (later the Waldorf-Astoria) in 1893, but ... no clear proof has survived the ages. In 1896, Oscar wrote a cookbook simply called "The Cook Book", containing the famed Waldorf Salad. The entirety of that recipe was, "Peel two raw apples and cut them into small pieces, say about half an inch square, also cut some celery the same way, and mix it with the apple. Be very careful not to let any seeds of the apples be mixed with it. The salad must be dressed with a good mayonnaise."<br /><br /> <em>(On a personal note, it's interesting to see how much the concept of a recipe has evolved in 120 years!)</em><br /><br /> Over the course of a century, plus ... the salad has changed shape, ingredients and flavors, sometimes containing meats and poultry, other times with or out without fruits, or with the addition of other fruits. Nuts are a common addition, as are some spices, such as cayenne or paprika. The dressing is also not always mayonnaise, often taking the form of something more akin to a coleslaw dressing, or even just a simple yoghurt. If there is anything that has stayed true to the recipe, through most every iteration I've seen ... it's the apple and celery.<br /><br /> Because of the high concentration of sugar in apples, I've reduced the apples and added chilled and cubed chicken, to add both bulk and protein ... for a full meal, perfect for a sack lunch! I've also added a few quartered purple grapes, for some color contrast and a bit more sweet. Finally, I've added some sweetener to the mayo, in order to bring back some of the sweet sensation which has been lost by the reduction of fruits. Finally, I've maintained the walnut, for both taste, as well as nice crunchy texture. Finally, the whole thing is plopped onto a few lettuce leaves, because apparently this is a common way to go. A sweet, crunchy and thoroughly filling salad. A perfect way to experience lunch on alternate Tuesdays!<br /><br /> <strong>Note</strong>: I typically use the chicken from a chilled roasted chicken purchased at the supermarket for this recipe.NewLunchMainSalads15 mins0 min15 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Wheres-Waldorf-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Wheres-Waldorf-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Wheres-Waldorf-31 1/2lb681chilled cooked chicken meat, diced1628.4893.38186.760001medium166apple (like golden delicious), cored and diced770021021/2cup76seedless red grapes, quartered520013.50.52each101celery ribs, diced16013023/4cup170mayonnaisehttp://www.djfoodie.com/mayonnaise1125.84125.163.61.140.061tbsp15'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000151501/4tsp.5cayenne pepper (optional)2.81.08.12.510.224leaves108iceberg lettuce15013.3301.331/2cup50walnut pieces, toasted32732.57.5703.5salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the chicken, celery, apple, grapes, mayonnaise, sweetener, optional cayenne and a bit of salt and pepper. Combine until well mixed.In 4 plates or bowl, place 4 each large lettuce leaves, or just a bed of lettuce. Place one quarter of the salad on each portion of lettuce.Top with the toasted walnuts and serve!Ham Steak PancakesTrueI'm honestly not sure where I was, or what I was thinking when I came up with this silly idea, although the idea is suggestive of some late-night snack attack. It's actually just a fun way to blend a breakfasty slice of ham with pancakes! The end result is quite obviously delicious and the whole thing is more or less equally as challenging as making pancakes without the ham!<br /><br /> Some tweaks that are more or less the same, but kinda different area ... cubing pieces of ham and simply tossing them into the batter and then making like pancakes. Alternately, you can use something more along the lines of a deli ham. Pour half of the batter into a greased 8-inch (20cm) cake pan, then place a layer of ham slices and bacon and then top it off with the remaining batter. This can be baked at 350 F (177 C) for about 25 minutes, and then sliced into wedges, topped with butter and then smeared with a nice sugar-free maple syrup.<br /><br /> As you can see, there are several shapes and approaches, but the simple fact is the combination of ham, pancakes, butter and syrup is delicious <em>(even at midnight!)</em>.NewBreakfast15 mins15 mins30 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Ham-Pancake-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Ham-Pancake-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Ham-Pancake-31/2lb227ham steaks356.5316.0346.744.01001/4cup28coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-2012437180121/4cup28almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-201601466031scoop (1/4 cup)30sugar-free vanilla whey proteinhttp://amzn.com/B00CBYI51Y?tag=lcrecipe-201100251001/4cup60'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000606002tsp8baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-2010002004large200whole eggs28620262001/4cup60almond milk, unsweetenedhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-2011.25.88.5.750.251/4cup56butter, melted4440000002tbsp27butter, ghee or lard (for pan/griddle)200220000Cut your ham into whatever shapes you're looking for. The shape should be roughly the size of the pancakes you plan to make. So, for "silver dollar" cut your ham into smaller steaks, or for 2 large pancakes per person, simply cut each one into half!In a medium mixing bowl, sift together coconut flour, almond flour, protein powder, sweetener (if powdered), baking powder and salt.Add eggs, almond milk and melted butter to the powdered ingredients. If using a liquid sweetener, add it now. Mix until combined. If the batter is still too thick, add a little milk, cream, coconut milk or almond milk to thin.Heat a heavy griddle or fry pan which is greased with a little butter or other cooking fat on a paper towel. Immediately place a single layer of ham steaks on the griddle, with enough space between them to allow pancake batter to spread. Once they have formed a nice sear, flip them over. Pour a small amount of batter (approx 1/4 cup) over each piece of ham and spread with spoon. When bubbles appear on surface and begin to break, turn over and cook the other side.Repeat this process until all the batter is gone.Garnish the pancakes with more butter and your favorite syrup. Enjoy!Serve!Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli CobblerTrueI believe I've achieved something wonderful here, in that it's remarkably quick to throw together and the end result is fantastic. It's tasty, filling and ... even has green things in it!<br /><br /> The basic idea on this one is to toss together a bunch of raw ingredients, cover the bottom of a casserole pan, top with biscuit dough and bake. I wasn't really sure what would happen, but ... I did it and the end result was nothing short of phenomenal! Everything cooked properly. Some of the water came out of the chicken and broccoli, which mixed with the melted cheese creating something like a cheesy sauce, which clung to the chicken and biscuits as I broke them apart and ate it. It's not the most beautiful dish when it's done, but what it lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for in ease and just good old fashioned tastiness!<br /><br /> If there is any downfall to it, it's the potentially wacky ingredients in the biscuit dough, but ... I personally tend to use these ingredients on a regular basis. These are the kinds of things you'd find in just about any long term low-carber's kitchen. The only truly wonky ingredient is the tapioca flour, but ... it goes GREAT lengths towards holding these biscuits together ... and I'm slowly but surely learning that it's just a great ingredient to have lying around. A little bit goes a long way. I've got a bag kicking around my freezer. It's been there for about a year, but ... it's close to time to re-up. This suggests it gets used, but ... also lasts a really long time!<br /><br /> Without further adieu ... here's the recipe!NewChickenMain10 mins30 mins45 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Broccoli-Cobbler-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Broccoli-Cobbler-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Broccoli-Cobbler-31 1/4cup140almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-208007030300151/4cup28coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-2012437180121/4cup30tapioca flourhttp://amzn.com/B0019GZ87Y?tag=lcrecipe-201000026001tbsp12baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-2015003001/2tsp2salt0000001/2cup112fresh whole butter, melted8880000001large50egg7256.5.5001/2cup120almond milk, unsweetenedhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-2022.51.7511.50.51 1/2lbs681boneless chicken (I used breast, but thigh will work, as well - skin is optional), cut into cubes1171.3261.29143.010001bunch560broccoli, including stalks, cut into florets190.661.8415.6636.84014.741lb454cheddar cheese, grated1804.86148.721125.5001/2cup56.8real bacon bits20012240001/2tsp1crushed red chili flakes3.18.17.12.570.27salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 350 F (177 C).In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the chilled butter cubes, until the cubes are about the size of peas. Add the egg and stir in the almond milk until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Dough should be somewhat wet, but dry enough to form shapes.Dust countertop or a piece of parchment paper with almond flour. Place the dough on the almond flour and roll into a log about 1 to 2 inches (3 to 4 cm) thick. Cut 16 biscuits from the log, by slicing every 3/4 of an inch (2 cm), or so. Set aside.In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, broccoli, grated cheese, garlic, optional chili flakes and a bit of salt and pepper. Mix well and then pour into a pour into a deep 13" x 9" casserole pan (33cm x 23cm x 5cm). Cover the chicken mixture by tiling the 12 biscuits over the top of the chicken mixture.Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 28 minutes, or until the top is nice and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Serve!West Coast Reuben CasseroleTrueHere's kind of a fun one that plays with the idea of a the famous Reuben Sandwich, yet ... there are no sandwiches and nary a slice of bread in sight!<br /><br /> First, let's talk about a Reuben. Typically Reubens are hot grilled triple beefy stacked sandwiches. Grilled or toasted slices of Rye bread filled with thinly sliced corned beef, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and sauerkraut. The origins are somewhat disputed, but it's clear that it's an American born sandwich, invented roughly 100 years ago, possibly during a recurring Poker game!<br /><br /> My aim is to reproduce some of the tastes and textures, but without the grains, without the sandwich and without the corned beef <em>(or the corns)</em>. Instead, I'm using ground beef, flavored like a traditional corned beef brine. Also, because I'm a West Coast native <em>(California born)</em>, I've replaced the traditional Russian dressing with Dijon mustard <em>(a style of Reuben referred to as a "West Coast" Reuben)</em>. In place of the rye, I've added some caraway seeds to the sauerkraut, giving us that telltale taste. Finally I topped the whole shebang with loads of grated Swiss cheese, melting down, browning and tying the whole thing together. Perfect!<br /><br /> <strong>Juniper Note</strong>: I included juniper berries in this recipe, because they're a big part of the flavor in corned beef. However, I also know this is a weird ingredient, hard to find and is likely to just rattle around your pantry if you do track some down. Ultimately, this will be AMAZING with or without the juniper berries, but ... the addition of them WILL bring this that much closer to a true West Coast Reuben taste.NewBeefMain20 mins30 mins1 hr6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Reuben-Casserole-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Reuben-Casserole-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Reuben-Casserole-32tbsp27butter or other cooking fat (lard, bacon fat, etc.)2202200001medium110onion, diced440110024each12garlic clove, minced01604002each1.28bay leaves0000001/2tsp1cinnamon, ground0000001/4tsp.25ground cloves.81.05.02.150.091/4tsp.25ground allspice.66.02.02.180.061/4tsp.25ground dried juniper berries (optional, but kinda important)http://amzn.com/B004M1BEDA?tag=lcrecipe-200000002lbs908ground beef (80 lean/20 fat)181.62306.32154.360001/2cup120dijon mustard, whole grain4.68995.9211.6804.81/2cup115sour cream22222.52.54001lb454sauerkraut, drainedhttp://amzn.com/B00HYU8I8A?tag=lcrecipe-2086.3203.222.38012.791tsp2caraway seeds, whole6.66.3.410.761/2lb227swiss cheese, grated862.4163.2661.412.0900salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 350 F (177 C).In a large sauté pan, over medium heat melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and sweat until translucent (the onions and garlic, not you) ... about 3 minutes. Add the cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, allspice, and juniper berries, with a bit of salt and pepper. Saute for about 2 more minutes. Add the ground beef, with a bit more salt and pepper. Break up and brown the ground beef, until fully cooked. Strain off any excess fat or juices and then line the bottom of a deep 13" x 9" casserole pan (33cm x 23cm x 5cm) with an even layer of the ground beef.In a small mixing bowl, combine the mustard and sour cream. Mix them well and then evenly spread the mixture over the top of the ground beef.Squeeze the sauerkraut between your palms, to remove as much moisture as possible. Evenly spread the sauerkraut over the top of the beef and mustard mixture.Evenly sprinkle the small amount of caraway seeds over the top of the sauerkraut.Evenly spread the grated Swiss cheese over the top of the casserole dish. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely browned and bubbly. Remove and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Slice and serve!Action Packed Zucchini, Pepper and Smoked Provolone MuffinsTrueOne of my first restaurant jobs was in super trendy restaurant snuggled between Nob Hill and The Tenderloin district of San Francisco ... an area lovingly referred to as the "Tender Nob". It was an area precisely in the center of high end buildings and picturesque views, magnificent churches and dirty grime, crime, filth and flarn. I was 18 years old and I was a baker. My day began at 3:30 AM, where I'd roll out of bed and walk to work ... in and amongst the other people wandering around that area at 4:00 AM. An interesting place and time to be strolling along the streets, I tell you!<br /><br /> In any event, the place I worked was a bit unusual, even for a 1991 hot spot. The chef loved food, but seemed to have a special place in his heart for bread, baked goods and sausages. Arrival at this restaurant was greeted with the single most magnificent basket of bready treats I've ever seen, then and since. The bread basket was an evolving blend of paper thin foot long sheets of seed covered cracker, golden parmesan crusted breadsticks ... thin and majestic 4 foot long strands of dough, twisted into the shape of a silly straw and baked. Herbed and dried fruited scones, or roasted garlic and olive stuffed hushpuppies. Every day it seemed to be a new floury concoction, lovingly kneaded, cut, baked, steamed or fried and gracefully stacked in a warmed basket. The bread basket would arrive at the table with a variety of infused oils, flavored compound butters and spreads.<br /><br /> That was my job. I baked those treats every day, for 6 months. Aside from the handmade croissants and pinwheels, I also created steamed buns, golden baguettes and every kind of muffin under the sun.<br /><br /> I've never had much of a sweet tooth, but ... that 6 month stretch really cemented the idea that dough and batter, filled with a sea of chopped, dried, grated, flaked or otherwise lovingly manipulated goodies is fun, varied, delicious and people love it. It's a strange point of pride that one of my favorite restaurants in my history is largely memorable because of the way each meal began ...<br /><br /> In other news, this simple muffin recipe would've been right at home snuggled up in there, warm and fresh with all its little buddies. Give it a shot! Or, simply use the base recipe to fold in your own goodies? Try different cheeses and herbs, or little flecks of diced pepperoni and sundried tomatoes, or grated carrots, orange zest, bacon bits and rosemary! It's a spectacularly simple and easy to throw together muffin batter ... waiting and wanting ... your creative twists.<br /><br /> <strong>Chia Seeds Note</strong>: I've become a huge fan of chia seeds, both on their own as breakfast puddings, but also ground and used as a flour. It's easily my favorite new ingredient. I grind my own with a cheap coffee grinder and just have a tub of it floating around my kitchen. If you don't have the chia, you can replace the chia by adding 4 more eggs and reducing the almond milk from 1 cup to only 1/4 cup <em>(remove 3/4 of a cup)</em>.BakedSides15 mins15 mins30 mins12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Zucchini-Muffins-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Zucchini-Muffins-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Zucchini-Muffins-32cup224almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-20128011248480241/2cup56coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-20248614360241/4cup16ground chia seeds (I used white)http://amzn.com/B0083COR56?tag=lcrecipe-2070537062tbsp24baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-2030006001/2tsp2salt0000001/2tsp3'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html0003301cup240unsweetened almond milkhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-20453.523014large200whole eggs28620262001/4cup54olive oil, divided477.55400001each118small green zucchini, cut into small cubes or discs19.371.464.0201.461small74red bell pepper, seeded and diced22.940.744.4401.481/2lb227smoked provolone cheese, grated796.2260.1958.475.16001tsp1fresh thyme, chopped.021.01.06.240.141tsp2chili flakes (optional).346.28.241.10.68Pre-heat oven to 350 F (177 C).Place a baking tray or pie pan in the refrigerator.In a medium mixing bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, ground chia seeds, baking powder, salt and powdered sweetener. Mix together.Add almond milk, eggs and 3 tbsp (45 mL) of olive oil. Mix until a wet batter has been created. Set the batter aside (the chia will absorb some of the liquid and will somewhat thicken over the next few minutes).In a small mixing bowl, combine the diced zucchini with the diced bell pepper. Add the remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Mix to coat the vegetables with the seasoning and oil.Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the oil coated vegetables and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until a little bit of color is added to the outside. Evenly spread the hot vegetables on the chilled baking tray and place back into the fridge. We want to add this to the batter, but we don't want to cook the eggs. We just want the veggies to cool down a bit.The batter should be roughly as thick as a thick pancake batter. Once the vegetables are about room temperature (4 or 5 minutes), add the vegetables, diced cheese, chopped herbs and optional chili flakes. The moisture from the veggies will thin the batter out. If it's still too thick, add a touch more almond milk and mix in, being careful not to squish the veggies.Evenly divide the batter between 12 muffin tins.Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Some delicious melted cheese leakage may occur. That's just for you to enjoy, hot from the oven. Be careful, it's hot ... but delicious!Cool the pan on a rack long enough to remove the muffins and enjoy warm!Decadent Chocolate CakeTrueI personally lost about 150 lbs by following a low-carb diet. My initial losses came from a borderline vegan and raw diet, which did work, but ... it was frankly unsustainable. There was simply no way I could maintain that diet as a lifestyle. Needing to lose over 100 lbs., I needed something that would work, but also be enjoyable and sustainable for life. I looked and looked and read and read. It was finally an old yellowed copy of Atkins' New Diet Revolution that resonated and changed everything for me. Reading that book, at a time I was open to the ideas, is easily one of the top turning points in my life. Years later, Atkins continues to form the basis for most of my decisions for myself, as well as my entire website.<br /><br /> So, when they reached out to me to post a recipe of theirs on my site ... I did back flips. I LOVE Atkins! Not only did I approve, I encouraged it! <br /><br /> So ... without further adieu ... here's a lovely little flourless chocolate cake from the talented chefs over at Atkins!<br /><br /> Thank you, <a href="http://www.atkins.com/Home.aspx" target="_blank">Atkins</a>! Don't be a stranger! <br /><br /> <center>~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~</center><br /> Chocolate cake — it's often looked at as the downfall of dieters everywhere, but it really doesn't need to be this way. "Chocolate cake has flour and sugar," you say? "How can this fit in with my <a href="http://www.atkins.com/Home.aspx" target="_blank">low carb diet</a>?" you add. You can use a sugar substitute, of course, though this fact is most likely not very surprising to you. The more surprising part of this recipe is that chocolate cake really does not need flour to be delicious! Flourless chocolate cake is a fantastic dessert, and it doesn't require even one tablespoon of flour to be delightful. That's right; you won't even need to find a flour substitute. This recipe that I have here for you today is the ultimate in chocolate decadence (that's why decadent is even in the name!), because it has both baking chocolate and cocoa powder. If you're a chocolate lover, then this is for you.<br /><br /> A piece of this Decadent Chocolate Cake will fit in perfectly with your chosen <a href="http://www.atkins.com/Program/Overview.aspx" target="_blank">weight loss program</a>, like the Atkins diet. You won't even need to feel guilty about this dessert. In fact, you shouldn't feel guilty about it at all! Enjoy!BakedDesserts15 mins45 mins2 hrs12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Decadent-Chocolate-Cake-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Decadent-Chocolate-Cake-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Decadent-Chocolate-Cake-34oz112unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped5806016360201/2cup113.5unsalted butter8149210002tbsp30water0000003/4cup180cup-for-cup sugar substitute, divided00018018002tbsp11unsweetened cocoa powder24.52.252.136.2503.631tsp4vanilla extract11.5400.5006large300eggs, room temperature4293013300Heat oven to 325°F. Grease an 8-inch spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper; grease paper and set aside.Melt chocolate, butter and water in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl; cool to room temperature. Add ¼ cup of the sugar substitute, the cocoa powder and vanilla extract to chocolate mixture, stirring until combined.In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high, beat eggs until mixture forms thick ribbons when beater is lifted, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; gradually add remaining ½ cup sugar substitute and beat until combined, 1 minute. Stir one-third of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture to lighten. In two additions, fold in remaining egg mixture until well combined.Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top. Bake until evenly risen and almost set, 40-45 minutes (it will look like a brownie). Cool completely on a wire rack. To serve, run a knife around edge of pan and remove rim. Cut into 12 pieces and serve with whipped cream (optional).Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream)TrueI LOVE pastry cream! This is the magical pudding like custard you'll find inside a cream filled doughnut, éclair, cream puff, pastry tart, cream horn, or a nice full Boston Cream Pie! One of my absolute favorite desserts is one called Mille Feuille <em>(pronounced something like "Me Fwee", it means "thousand leaves")</em>, which is alternating puff pastry and crème pâtissière, which is then frosted usually with some kind of fun berry or chocolate design. I tried to make this for years, always running into issues of consistency. It would be too thin, or it would turn "chunky" or it would simply be a custard. I had to reach outside of typical low-primal ingredients into something occasionally found in the Paleo landscape to achieve the desired consistency. The tapioca flour slightly boosts the carb counts, but ... in return, I get pastry cream! Hello true Trifles!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Makes roughly eighteen 1/4-cup (60 mL) servings.<br /><br /> <strong>Second Note:</strong> Resulting in a total of about 4 1/2 cups (1 L), I readily admit that this recipe is quite large. The primary reason for its size is the small amount of glucomannan, in relation to its strength. The glucomannan is a powerful thickener, but it takes on some bizarre qualities in too high a concentration. If I were to write this recipe as a much smaller recipe, then it would ask for 1/4 tsp of glucomannan, which really dramatically decreases the margin for error. My suggestion is to have a plan for lots of pastry cream for the first try. Be prepared to make a super huge trifle or 2 Boston Cream Pies, with hungry mouths nearby. Once you see how it works, then tweak the recipe the second time and cut it into thirds, resulting in only about 1 1/2 cups (360 mL), or about six 1/4-cup (60 mL) servings.<br /><br /> <strong>Third Note:</strong> The texture is thick, like an American style pudding, but it still somewhat "pools". For a slightly thicker mixture, that holds up as a filling in something like a cake, add 1 to 2 more tbsp of tapioca flour.<br /><br /> <strong>Fourth Note:</strong> Another trick to create a lighter, thicker cream that can also be "piped" and hold its form is to fold in whipped cream. This will thicken and aerate the pastry cream.Desserts1 mins15 mins16mins18http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pastry-Cream-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pastry-Cream-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pastry-Cream-31 1/2cups357cream, heavy whipping1231.5132810.5001 1/2cup360unsweetened almond milkhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-2067.55.2534.501.51each12vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)http://amzn.com/B00992RFZS?tag=lcrecipe-2023001003/4cup180'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00018018003tbsp23tapioca flourhttp://amzn.com/B0019GZ87Y?tag=lcrecipe-20750019.5001tsp4glucomannan powderhttp://amzn.com/B002AISTA8?tag=lcrecipe-201000404dash salt00018018009large153egg yolks484.8240.2924.565.6700Combine cream and almond milk in a medium sauce pan. Split the vanilla beans, lengthwise, and scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean. Add the pod and seeds to the milk and cream. Bring the milk to a slow simmer.While the liquid heats, in a separate small mixing bowl, combine the sweetener, tapioca, glucomannan and salt. Mix them together and set aside.In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs well. Set aside.Strain the hot liquid, to remove the vanilla pods.Very very slowly, whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks. Whisk quickly, so as to incorporate the hot liquid evenly, without cooking or scrambling the eggs. This is called "tempering" the eggs. Once the liquid has been incorporated into the eggs, pour the milk-egg mixture back into the sauce pan and return to a low heat.Whisk the powder mixture into the hot liquid. Make sure it dissolves.Stir consistently until the sauce thickens. The temperature should be at above 165 F (74 C). Whatever you do, do not boil this mixture. The cream will thicken a bit more as it chills.Pour into a wide container, like a casserole pan, so that it's wide and shallow. Place in the refrigerator to cool. It is ready, when it is fully chilled, about 2 to 4 hours.Orange-Blackberry TrifleTrueThis one is AMAZING! It's little more than a combination of several other recipes, but the end result is out of this world. Anyone that says there are no options in low-carb and that it's "boring" hasn't dug into this blend of fresh fruit, cake, pudding and whipped cream and been awed by it.<br /><br /> This one comes from my memory as a kid. I started working in restaurants at about 14 years old, but prior to that, I cooked at home quite often. I ran an underground candy making business, focusing primarily on hard-candy suckers, but I'd also build houses and various shapes and molds with chocolates. I was known to whip up chicken and dumplings or cioppino for the family. I also remember making trifles. Oh, how I LOVED trifles! As a kid, whipping up one of these brightly colored, layered desserts, in this large fancy glass bowl we had ... to me ... it was "fancy". I'm not sure if I understood high end foods at that age. I just knew that this was the best thing I knew how to make. If I was looking to impress someone with my 12 year old culinary prowess ... I would whip up a trifle; making my own lady fingers, macerating my own berries, making my own pudding (from a box ... you know ... I was a kid!), etc. I'd carefully layer it all together and then strut, swagger and gloat. Perfection!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> This recipe is designed for little 1 cup portions. In the photos, I'd found some pretty cool little 8 oz. plastic cups, but obviously this recipe can be cut and scaled and divided into large "family sized" or even larger sizes for things like potlucks. Just make more of the ingredients and layer it all into a nice big bowl and share with friends and family!Desserts5 mins0 min5 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Orange-Blackberry-Trifle-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Orange-Blackberry-Trifle-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Orange-Blackberry-Trifle-31recipe245sponge cakehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Sponge-Cake329.1820.7527.759.2223.011cup240pastry creamhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Pastry-Cream420.439.457.7950.04401.221cup133whipped creamhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Whipped-Cream416.27442.5151501/2cup136sugar-free orange marmaladehttp://amzn.com/B004Z0J8QS?tag=lcrecipe-208000400241cup144fresh blackberries, washed and dried62121508Cut the sponge cake into 12 pieces (I cut circles to match the shape of my cups, but really any shape will do).Place 1 piece of sponge cake in the bottom of a cup. Top it with a heaping tablespoon of pastry cream and whipped cream. Also add about 2 tsp of marmalade and a few berries. Repeat this process two more times, topping with the remaining berries.Enjoy!Super Pork!TruePork loin and pork chops are some of the most commonly sought recipes on the internet. Pork loin <em>(a long stretch of muscle coming from the back, spanning the spine of a pig)</em> is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat, but tends to be quite dry. It has no fat marbled through it, only having a fairly thin layer of fat on the outside. This is why pork chops are often thin, or served with heavy sauces. It's also why brines are a big part of pork loins. It really helps to add some moisture. Another method to combat this dryness is a technique known as "larding", which is literally injecting the pork with long thin strips of fat, which will melt into the roast as it cooks.<br /><br /> What I've done is add sausage to the center and wrapped it in bacon, infusing the center with extra fat from the sausage and wrapping it in a nice fatty wrapper! Not only is it stunning to look at, but it's also incredibly moist throughout. The idea can be used in a wide variety of ways. Different sausages can be used, which imparts different flavors. Some butchers do really exotic blends, with fruits and thai spices, or more simple and common blends like a hot Italian. Let the filling and flavors guide your sides and make a simple idea versatile enough to create a wide spread of options!<br /><br /> If you don't want the smoky bacon, you can always use pancetta, or even ask your butcher if they can find you some "caul fat". Ask him or her about it for a strange little chat!<br /><br /> My greatest fear about a recipe like this is that it looks complicated and won't be attempted. It's VERY easy to do, it doesn't need to be perfect and the end result is well worth the effort to try. At its core, it's just a big butterflied piece of pork, with sausage spread on it, it's then rolled and wrapped in bacon. Roast.<br /><br /> <strong>Video Note:</strong> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjeTI8s0K8w" target="_blank">Click here to watch a video showing how to butterfly a pork loin</a>. Notice how quickly and easily he does it? Even if it's not perfect, the mistakes will be well hidden in the layers of pork, sausage and bacon. Seriously. Give this one a shot!MainPork10 mins1 hr1 hr 30 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Super-Pork-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Super-Pork-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Super-Pork-33lbs1362pork loin, boneless, center cut25321502760001lb454raw bulk sausage (Italian, Chorizo, Pork, Chicken, etc. Just about any kind will do)1380.16122.5868.10008slices200raw bacon9169024200Salt and pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat an oven to 450 F (232 C).Butterfly the pork loin, so that you have a large rectangular sheet of pork loin.Lightly season the pork with salt and pepper.Press the raw sausage evenly around the pork, so that it creates a single even layer over the top of the pork.Roll the pork into a tight log. Set aside.On a large platter or cutting board, lay a single slice of bacon. Then, parallel and slightly overlapping the first slice of bacon, lay a second slice of bacon. Continue this bacon "shingling" process, until you've used 8 slices of bacon. This process should result in a rectangular "sheet" of bacon.Season the surface of your pork log with salt and pepper. Don't overdo it, though. Bacon is already salty. Just a little should suffice.Lay the pork log at the top of the sheet of bacon, with the pork running counter to the strips of bacon.Tightly roll the pork into the bacon and set aside with the bacon seam side down.Place a large, oven proof, sauté pan (large enough to hold the roast, with room to spare) on the stove, over a medium-hot temperature, to begin pre-heating.When the pan is hot, place the seam side of the pork down in the pan and place the whole pan in the oven.Roast for about 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 F (162 C) and allow the pork to roast for about 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160 F (71 C). (This is technically a well done pork and "overcooked" to many, but it's necessary to cook the sausage through, and the fat will more than make up for any lost moisture or texture).Once the pork has reached the desired temperature, remove it from the oven. Cover with foil and place in a warm place to relax for about 15 minutes.Slice and serve!Orange CreamsicleTrueI can make a seriously mean bowl of homemade, homespun, natural ice cream. Sure, I can candy the orange rind in a xylitol solution. Absolutely, I can make an egg yolk based custard, because the lecithin helps the scoopabilitiy. I could totally whip up my own homemade blend of inulin, stevia and pulverized non-gmo erythritol. I could totally grow and juice my own oranges, reduce the juice and add in a bit of natural orange oils. I could do all of these things and have something marginally better for me than this simple and delightful recipe, but ... you know what?<br /><br /> I'm lazy! There are times where I simply don't want to do all of that!<br /><br /> Some of the time I just want to open a jar, mix it with cream and freeze it. It's perfect, tasty, pre-portioned and sitting in my freezer, ready to go for a little late night snack. This is SOOO much better for me than the sugary alternative. Knowing I can whip this up keeps me out of the frozen food aisle at the store.<br /><br /> Ahhhh ... such a sweet little treat. It brings me back to a time chasing ice cream trucks, as a kid. Really, this is an awesome recipe, taking only a few minutes to make. Now, all I need to do is figure out how to get a hard frozen orange shell wrapped around the whole thing. Anyone have any ideas? <img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/emoticon_wink.png" border="0" /><br /><br /> <strong>Note</strong>: The mold used for these popsicles is the <a href="http://amzn.com/B000G32H3Y?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Tovolo Groovy Ice Pop Mold</a>.Desserts10 mins0 mins6 hrs6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Orange-Creamsicle-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Orange-Creamsicle-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Orange-Creamsicle-31 1/2cups357cream, heavy whipping1231.5132810.5003/4cup180almond milk, unsweetened, dividedhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-2033.752.631.52.250.752/3cup181sugar-free orange marmaladehttp://amzn.com/B004Z0J8QS?tag=lcrecipe-20106.670053.330322tbsp30'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000303001tsp4vanilla extract11.5400.500dash salt000000In a medium bowl whisk together the ingredients, making sure that the sweetener is fully dissolved.Pour the mixture into the molds. Fit your handles into the base of the molds and freeze until solid (about 6 hours).To remove from the molds, hold under hot tap water for about 10 seconds. The pops ... pop right out!Caramelized and Spiced Apple Topped PancakesTrueWhat we have here is little more than my <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Vanilla-OMM">Vanilla OMM</a> <em>(One Minute Muffin)</em> turned on its head. I'm pretty sure that the base batter for that particular muffiny treat is amongst one of the best little recipes I've come up with. It's such a nice little ratio, it's easy to pull together and it's really amazing for just about anything sweet and bakey!<br /><br /> In this case, I've used the batter as a pancake, rather than as a muffin. The pancakes are fantastic. While it's been years since I've had a grain based pancake, I confidently say that with this recipe in my life ... I may very well never have a grain based pancake, again. I see no need. These are just better!<br /><br /> This particular recipe incorporates some spice and apples. Time and time again, I hear people discuss how low-carb doesn't allow fruit. "Poppycock!", I say to that! I mean, I wouldn't suggest sitting and eating a whole super sweet pineapple, but chopping up an apple and tossing it in a tasty pancake recipe isn't going to hurt anything. In fact, the fact that you find yourself eating ... not just pancakes, but ... pancakes with APPLES removes that deep sense of depravity that many feel with a "diet". People who feel depraved tend to stray ... stray hard, and rarely return. Some well placed fruits and a nice collection of tasty diverse recipes will win and keep us all happy and on track ... all the time.Breakfast10 mins10 mins20 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Apple-Pancakes-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Apple-Pancakes-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Apple-Pancakes-31medium166apple (like golden delicious)770021021/4cup54butter, ghee or lard (for sautéing and pan/griddle), divided400440000dash cinnamon000000dash nutmeg000000dash salt0000001/4cup28coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-2012437180121/4cup28almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-201601466031scoop (1/4 cup)30sugar-free vanilla whey proteinhttp://amzn.com/B00CBYI51Y?tag=lcrecipe-201100251001/4cup60'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000606002tsp8baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-2010002004large200whole eggs28620262001/4cup60almond milk, unsweetenedhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-2011.25.88.5.750.251/4cup56butter, melted4440000001/4cup25toasted chopped walnuts163.516.253.753.501.75Pre-heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat.While the pan is heating, cut the apples into small 1/4-inch cubes. Peeling is optional.Once the pan is hot, some fresh butter and quickly swirl around the pan. It should lightly brown around the edges, but not burn. Quickly add the apple cubes and coat with butter. Turn the heat to medium and evenly distribute them along the bottom of the pan, so that a single layer of apple cubes is formed. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and salt onto the apples.After about 1 minute, one side of the cubes will take on a nice caramelized color. Toss the apples, so that most have a new side facing down. Allow them to sit for about 1 minute. Continue cooking and tossing until they are nicely browned on the outside, but not overcooked, soft and mushy. The process should be fairly quick, taking about 3 to 4 minutes. Place the browned apple cubes in a plate to cool. Set aside.In a medium mixing bowl, sift together coconut flour, almond meal, protein powder, sweetener (if powdered), baking powder and salt.Add eggs, almomd milk, melted butter and half of the caramelized apples. If using a liquid sweetener, add it now. Mix until combined. If the batter is still too thick, add a little milk, cream, coconut milk or almond milk to thin.Heat a heavy griddle or fry pan which is greased with a little butter or bacon fat on a paper towel. Pour a small amount of batter (approx 1/4 cup) into pan and tip to spread out or spread with spoon. When bubbles appear on surface and begin to break, turn over and cook the other side. Repeat this process until all the batter is gone.Garnish the pancakes with more butter, your favorite syrup, toasted walnuts and the remaining caramelized apples!Brussels Sprout and Bacon HashTrueThis recipe is from the great and talented Martina, over at <a href="http://www.KetoDietApp.com" target="_blank">KetoDietApp.com</a>. <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Blog/2014/03/10/The-Sweet-Spot-II--Sugar---Sugar-Alcohols">Check out her guest blog post</a> to see why this is here. What follows is an example of the kind of amazing recipe you'd find over on <a href="http://www.KetoDietApp.com" target="_blank">her website</a>. Take it away, Martina!<br /><br /> ... When it comes to Brussels sprouts, most people have a love or hate relationship with them. If you're not a fan of Brussels sprouts, this delicious recipe may change your mind. You don't need to use any fancy spices - simplicity is the key to making this meal taste fabulous. Crucial ingredient? Bacon!<br /><br /> The smaller and brighter Brussels sprouts are, the better they usually taste. If you cook them until crispy, they become tastier – even Brussels sprout haters will enjoy them.<br /><br /> I used a mixture of small Brussels sprouts and flower sprouts, which are more colorful and have less carbs. They are not easy to find though, so you can use regular sprouts. This meal is great for any time of the day but I usually have it for breakfast. Because it's dairy-free, it's suitable for my <a href="http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/post/2014/01/01/30-Day-Clean-Eating-Challenge" target="_blank">Clean Eating Challenge</a>! <br /><br /> <span class="Heading">About Martina</span> My name is Martina and I live in the UK. I hold a degree in Economics and worked in auditing, but I have always been passionate about nutrition and healthy living. I love food, science, photography and creating new recipes and I am a firm believer of low-carb living and regular exercise. As a science geek, I base my views on valid research and I have first-hand experience of what it is to be on a low-carb diet. Both are reflected on my blog, in my apps and book.<br /><br /> <center><a href="http://www.KetoDietApp.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.DJFoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/Martina.jpg" border="0" /></a></center><br /> I started eating low-carb in 2011, shortly after I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's hypothyroidism. Since then, I've been trying to figure out what works best for me and discovered some of the great benefits of low-carb eating. Following a ketogenic, paleo-friendly diet plan helps me maintain a healthy weight while eating real food. I believe that true paleo is great, however if your goal is to lose weight, paleo is often not enough.<br /><br /> KetoDiet is an on-going project I started with my partner in 2012 and includes my apps and book: KetoDiet for the iPad, KetoDiet Basic for the iPhone and the KetoDiet Book for the Kindle.<br /><br /> When creating recipes for KetoDiet, I don't focus just on the carbs content: you won't find any processed foods, unhealthy vegetable oils or artificial sweeteners. My recipes are all grain-free, sugar-free and gluten-free. Most of my recipes are paleo-friendly or include paleo-friendly alternatives. I always opt for grass-fed beef and butter, raw hormone-free dairy and healthy fats like coconut oil.<br /><br /> KetoDiet is for people who follow a healthy low-carb lifestyle. My mission is to help you reach your goals, whether it's your dream weight or simply eating healthy food.<br /><br /> <strong>About my apps and book:</strong> <a href="http://www.KetoDietApp.com" target="_blank">www.KetoDietApp.com</a><br /> <strong>KetoDiet Blog:</strong> <a href="http://www.KetoDietApp.com/blog" target="_blank">www.KetoDietApp.com/blog</a><br /> <strong>Pinterest:</strong> <a href="http://www.Pinterest.com/KetodietApp/" target="_blank">www.Pinterest.com/KetodietApp/</a><br /> <strong>Facebook:</strong> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/KetodietApp" target="_blank">www.facebook.com/KetodietApp</a><br />BreakfastLunch10 mins30 mins40 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Brussels-Sprout-and-Bacon-Hash-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Brussels-Sprout-and-Bacon-Hash-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Brussels-Sprout-and-Bacon-Hash-34cups400brussels sprouts1721.213.535.8015.24cups280sliced button mushrooms61.6.958.79.102.88large240rashers bacon, high fat content67460.232.90004large200eggs2861925.11.4003tbsp45high-heat cooking fat like ghee, butter or coconut oil (check out my recipe for home-made infused ghee)http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/post/2013/08/07/Save-Carbs-Using-Infused-Ghee408450000dash salt000000Unless you already have some crisped up bacon, slice the bacon rashers into small stripes and place in a pan greased with 1 tablespoon of your preferred cooking fat. My absolute favorite is garlic-infused ghee (recipe is here), which adds a lot of flavor with no extra carbs. Cook until brown and crispy and mix to avoid burning. When done, set aside.Meanwhile, clean and thinly slice the mushrooms. Prepare the sprouts by removing the hard stems and finely slice them.Place the mushrooms in another heavy-bottom pan greased with your preferred cooking fat. Cook them over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until they start to caramelize. Stir 3-4 times to avoid burning.When the mushrooms are browned, add the sliced Brussels sprouts. Cook for 10-15 minutes stirring frequently to prevent burning.When the sprouts are fork-tender, add the bacon.Create small dips in the mixture and crack the eggs in. Cook until the egg white becomes solid and remove from heat. If you prefer the egg yolks to be done, cover with a lid while cooking or finish cooking in the oven.Blackberry Chocolate Panna CottaTrueThis recipe is from the great and talented Craig, over at <a href="http://www.Ruled.me" target="_blank">Ruled.Me</a>. <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Blog/2014/03/03/The-Sweet-Spot--Everything-I-know-about-Sweeteners">Check out his guest blog post</a> to see why this is here. What follows is an example of the kind of amazing recipe you'd find over on <a href="http://www.Ruled.me" target="_blank">his website</a>. Take it away, Craig!<br /><br /> ... If you've had panna cotta before, you know that it has a luscious creaminess to it, similar to that of a soft set pudding. If you're a fan of the original <em>(made with cream, sugar, and gelatin)</em> this won't disappoint. The decadently soft touch of cocoa whisks over your taste buds with an airy quality; just so often, hints of blackberry come through to give that fruity, almost acidic note that bursts with flavor - leaving you with a delicious, easy, and low carb treat that you can enjoy any time!<br /><br /> To begin, using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, room temperature butter, and vanilla extract together.<br /><br /> <center><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/BBCPC1.jpg" /></center><br /> Empty Knox gelatin package and erythritol into a measuring jug.<br /><br /> <center><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/BBCPC2.jpg" /></center><br /> Bring water to a boil and add to knox gelatin and erythritol. Stir well for 30-45 seconds.<br /><br /> <center><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/BBCPC3.jpg" /></center><br /> Pour warm water into cream cheese and butter mixture.<br /><br /> <center><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/BBCPC4.jpg" /></center><br /> Using an elextric mixer, mix together water, gelatin, and cream cheese mixture until smooth. Once the mixture is smooth, add cocoa powder and mix again to combine.<br /><br /> <center><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/BBCPC5.jpg" /></center><br /> Divide mixture between 10 well-greased cupcake tray molds.<br /><br /> <center><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/BBCPC6.jpg" /></center><br /> Chill in the refridgerator for 15-20 minutes.<br /><br /> <center><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/BBCPC7.jpg" /></center><br /> Take cupcake tray out of the refrigerator and add 1 tsp. blackberry preserves per panna cotta. Mix the blackberry into the panna cotta well.<br /><br /> <center><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/BBCPC8.jpg" /></center><br /> Return cupcake tray to the refrigerator and chill overnight. Remove panna cottas by flipping cupcake tray over <em>(you may have to use a spoon to loosen the top edges)</em>. Serve!Desserts5 mins0 mins7 hrs10http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blackberry-Chocolate-Panna-Cotta-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blackberry-Chocolate-Panna-Cotta-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blackberry-Chocolate-Panna-Cotta-312ounces336regular cream cheese (not low fat)11641202014003tbsp, plus 1 tsp57blackberry preserveshttp://amzn.com/B00FXS17U6?tag=lcrecipe-203300170103tbsp42butter3003600003tbsp15unsweetened cocoa powder30239062tbsp24erythritolhttp://amzn.com/B001QKE59U?tag=lcrecipe-20000242401tsp4vanilla extract11.5400.5001packet (about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 tsp, total)7gelatin powder23.4506.0200010drops.4liquid steviahttp://amzn.com/B001ELL3U0?tag=lcrecipe-200000001cup237water000000Using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, room temperature butter, and vanilla extract together.Empty Knox gelatin package and erythritol into a measuring jug.Bring water to a boil and add to knox gelatin and erythritol. Stir well for 30-45 seconds.Pour warm water into cream cheese and butter mixture.Using an elextric mixer, mix together water, gelatin, and cream cheese mixture until smooth. Once the mixture is smooth, add cocoa powder and mix again to combine.Divide mixture between 10 well-greased cupcake tray molds.Chill in the refridgerator for 15-20 minutes.Take cupcake tray out of the refrigerator and add 1 tsp. blackberry preserves per panna cotta. Mix the blackberry into the panna cotta well.Return cupcake tray to the refrigerator and chill overnight. Remove panna cottas by flipping cupcake tray over (you may have to use a spoon to loosen the top edges). Serve!Frozen Peanut Butter BallsTrueI was sent this recipe from a woman asking me if I could low-carb it for her. I said, "Sure! Where did it come from?" and she said it came from a Toronto Chef with a show on the CBC called "In the Kitchen with Stefano Faita"!<br /><br /> Here's the <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/inthekitchen/2012/09/frozen-peanut-butter-balls.html" target="_blank">original recipe</a>.<br /><br /> As a general rule, I like to either completely make up a recipe, or use another recipe as a source of inspiration, but twist it and tinker with it, so that it's quite a bit different than the original idea. It's pretty rare for me to straight up take a recipe and leave it as is, but ... this particular recipe needs no tinkering, my friends. The flavor is an above and beyond blend of sweet and salty. The texture is like biting through a wad of frozen cookie dough, mixed with fudge and rainbows. It is, in fact ... PERFECT!<br /><br /> The ONLY change I made to the original recipe was to swap confectioners' sugar with a powdered erythritol blend. Aside from that, I went just short of 2 cups on it, because 2 or 3 full cups of sweetener just felt sickeningly sweet to me. I also added a full 1/2 tsp of salt, because ... I like a salty peanut butter!<br /><br /> Beyond that, I crushed some cacao nibs by giving them a quick half pulse in my coffee grinder and using them to coat a few of the little spheres. You'll notice half are coated with crushed cacao <em>(I didn't like these as much as I'd hoped)</em> and the other half with toasted and crushed peanuts <em>(YUM!)</em>.<br /><br /> Finally, I used melted <a href="http://amzn.com/B000P49A0W?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">ChocoPerfection's Dark Chocolate Bars</a> as the chocolate. For the white chocolate? Well ... that's a different kettle of fish! I'll list the method below, but I should say that ... I didn't much care for it. I ate it and it was delicious, but the chocolate separated. I've tried it a few times since, and it's always separated on me. If you're quick about it and get it immediately chilled, the cocao butter solidifies white and conceals the fact that it's been separated, but ... it's separated. I know it and it bugs me. It's just not a nice and smooth white chocolate.<br /><br /> My suggestion? If you're asking me, personally? Just skip the chocolate and cacao altogether. Dust them with toasted peanuts. Then, tell no one you've made them and hoard them all to <span style="text-decoration:line-through;">myself</span> yourself!<br /><br /> ... but ... that's just me!<br /><br /> This particular recipe is fantastic as a fat bomb and as a quick cure for a sweet craving. It's also easily portioned and lives seemingly forever in the freezer. These can be whipped up, shaped, dredged in peanuts and tossed in the freezer in mere minutes ... and can be enjoyed, at leisurely intervals, without worry that they'll go bad or melt.<br /><br /> Honestly, the ONLY problem with this recipe is ... well ... at least in my case ... these decadent little peanut butter balls somehow learned my name ... and would occasionally call out for me.<br /><br /> I would respond, appropriately. Don't tell anyone.<br /><br /> Nom.<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Makes about 16 two ounce balls.Desserts5 mins0 mins5 mins16http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Frozen-PB-Balls-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Frozen-PB-Balls-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Frozen-PB-Balls-38ounces227regular cream cheese (not low fat)77777.313.78.8001cup256natural peanut butter (no sugar added)160012880480162 1/4cups540Confectioners 'Swerve' or other sugar equivalent, dividedhttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00054054001tbsp12vanilla extract34.62001.5001/2tsp2salt0000001/2cup73chopped peanuts, toasted4143619120624each0lollypop sticks (optional)http://amzn.com/B000W5CE9S?tag=lcrecipe-200000002oz56cocoa butterhttp://amzn.com/B009XEANGU?tag=lcrecipe-204965600001tsp3sugar-free vanilla whey proteinhttp://amzn.com/B00CBYI51Y?tag=lcrecipe-209.1702.08.08001each50chocoperfection dark chocolate barhttp://amzn.com/B000P49A0W?tag=lcrecipe-2019718116014In an electric mixer (or with a firm mindset, a medium sized mixing bowl and a whisk), beat the cream cheese until smooth and all sense of lumps are gone. Make sure it's at least somewhat warm and very smooth. Add the peanut butter, 1 3/4 cup of powdered sweetener, vanilla and 1/2 tsp salt. Beat until well mixed, smooth and slightly airy.Depending on the peanut butter and temperature, the mixture "might" be a bit too soft to roll into a ball. If so, cover and refrigerate the mixture until it firms up enough to roll into balls.Spread the toasted peanuts on a baking tray or large plate. Set aside.Once it's somewhat firm, with an ice cream scoop or two spoons, scoop out the mixture and roll into 1-inch balls (you should get about 24 of them). Place the balls on the plates with the peanuts and gently roll them around, until well coated with chopped nuts.If you'd like, insert the candy sticks at this point. Place them on a tray and in the freezer to begin freezing.For the white chocolate: Melt the cocoa butter over a double boiler, or the defrost mode in the microwave. Once melted, add 1/2 cup of powdered sweetener, the protein powder, vanilla and a dash of salt. Set aside and keep warm.For the dark chocolate: Melt the chocolate bar over a double boiler, or the defrost mode in the microwave. Stir occasionally. If doing this over a double boiler, do not allow any water or steam to get into the chocolate or it will seize and will no longer work for our needs.Note: I personally am a nut for squeeze bottles. I placed my chocolates into two different squeeze bottles (like condiment bottles for ketchup/mustard). This allows me to cover the hole with my finger and wildly shake the bottle, mixing the ingredients inside and then lightly squeezing and pouring the contents over the peanut butter balls, but this can also be done with a bowl and spoon ... it's just a bit less precise)Remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer. Making sure the two chocolates are stirred, drizzle the chocolates over the peanut butter balls. Freeze again. After about 2 or 3 hours, they'll be nice and firm.Enjoy!Watermelon Agua FrescaTrueI don't remember the first time I had an "agua fresca". I'm sure I was very young, but I've always known about them and have always loved them.<br /><br /> An agua fresca is a beverage meaning "Fresh Water" in English. They're common in Latin American countries, as well as the Caribbean, apparently. They are, in short, stuff watered down with water ... and then sweetened with sugar! They are delicious, fresh, hydrating and ... an inexpensive way to split a melon, a bunch of limes or an assortment of nuts and spices between a large group of people! The water stretches the ingredient into a large volumetric mass, while the sugar enhances the flavors! Perfect!<br /><br /> For all intents and purposes ... lemonade is an agua fresco. Lemon juice mixed with water and sugar. Boom. YUM! <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Strawberry-Basil-Lemonade">Throw a little strawberry in there</a> and you've got something new and delicious!<br /><br /> I've spent a lot of time in Mexico <em>(I lived there for 10 years)</em>. There were shops you could walk into that had WALLS full of giant chilled "garrafóns" <em>(jugs)</em>, which look like massive clear barrels. Because they can be made from just about anything, walking into one of these shops is almost like walking into a candy store. There are brilliant colors and flavors everywhere. A virtual rainbow of colors and flavors! Pineapple, lime, Jamaica <em>(hibiscus)</em>, tamarind, oat, rice, orange, almond, mango, strawberry, watermelon, passion fruit, prickly pear, cucumber, etc. There's a near limitless variety ... then ... the blends! OH MY!!<br /><br /> <center><a href="http://onegirlinportales.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/beat-the-heat-with-locally-made-aguas-frescas/" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/AguaFrescas.jpg" width="450" /></a></center><span style="float:right; font-size:smaller;">Image lifted from "<a href="http://onegirlinportales.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/beat-the-heat-with-locally-made-aguas-frescas/" target="_blank">One Girl in Portales</a>"</span><br /><br /> One of the great things about agua frescas for a low-carber is the fact that we can sneak a little bit of extra fruit into lives! Make a big batch of orange-tamarind agua fresca for an INCREDIBLY deep and interesting flavor, without totally messing with your blood sugars. It'd be a bit brown and murky, but it would ALSO be exotic and action packed!<br /><br /> Here we have an INCREDIBLY simple one, resulting in just a smooth and mellow beverage; just watermelon, sweetener and water <em>(plus a bit of lime and salt ... for counter balance and a small flavor boost!)</em>. Perfect any time!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Makes about 10 cups.Beverages15 mins0 mins15 mins10http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Watermelon-Agua-Fresca-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Watermelon-Agua-Fresca-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Watermelon-Agua-Fresca-38cups1216watermelon cubes, seedless3680888086cups1440water0000001/2cup96'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00012012001/4cup61lime juice, freshly squeezed015.26.265.260.261/2tsp2salt000000I like to use a melon baller to ball about 2 cups worth of watermelon and set aside. Afterwards, I like to roughly chop the remaining watermelon (equal to about 6 cups).To a blender, add the rough-cut watermelon with the lime juice, sweetener, salt and just enough water to cover the watermelon. Puree the mixture until smooth.(Optional) Place a fine strainer over a large bowl or non-reactive pot and strain the liquid, removing any thick pulp that may be left behind. This will make for a thinner and more consistent beverage.Place the liquid in a large pitcher, jug or punch bowl. Add the remaining water and whisk. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the melon balls, chill and drink!Pumpkin Pie Protein SmoothieTrueI've been hiking quite a bit, lately. Not just leisurely strolls up the street, but serious hikes to the tops of mountains or to alpine lakes. I took an 11 mile hike with my brother the other day and found myself griping a lot <em>(because, let's face it ... a steep hike riddled with rocks is hard!)</em>. Suddenly, I remembered a hike I did with my mother and my grandparents, about 20 years ago. I was visiting my home town and this was one of our family activities.<br /><br /> My grandmother would've been in her mid-60's at the time. I was roughly 20 and in the best shape of my life. My grandmother just wrecked me, that day. She skedaddled up that hill, like nobody's business! I'm about 5' 9" and she's about half that, with tiny powerful legs. I'd barely ventured up the trailhead and could hardly catch my breath. She was already halfway up the mountain!<br /><br /> The little engine that could!<br /><br /> A little over a year ago, my grandmother had a stroke ... pretty much wiping out one side of her body. She was bedridden for a while, but she's as determined a person as I've ever met <em>(try telling her that grains are bad and you'll IMMEDIATELY see the determination in her eyes!)</em>. Her yen for life had her on her feet and gaining strength in no time! ... Walking up stairs and working to rebuild connections to her right arm.<br /><br /> It just so happens that we all live in the same city right now, and we had a family taco night the other night. Grandma was there, and because my family is so awesome, my father even made me a batch of about 8 <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Taco-Shells">cheesy taco shells</a>! <em>(Thanks, Dad!)</em> I'd just returned from that hike with my brother and ate them all with glee. After dinner, feeling incredibly drained, I stood up ... and dropped my hat. My grandmother saw this and proclaimed, "Don't worry, DJ. I'll get it. I'll even do it with my right hand!" She then proceeded to shuffle over to me, gently leaning against me as she did so. She then bent down, collected my hat and reached way up over my head to put it on me. I looked like one of those guys you see at the mall, with his hat turned slightly sideways. Soooo cool!<br /><br /> What does any of this have to do with a Pumpkin Smoothie? I'm glad you asked!<br /><br /> See, when I'm cooking, a call or email goes out to friends and family who love attending for all the tasty yummy food! My grandmother is a regular visitor. On this occasion, she offered to help! Here you can see my grandmother building us a tasty delicious Pumpkin Protein Smoothie!<br /><br /> <center><a class="thickbox" href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Blog/GrandmaLarge.jpg"><img width="450" border="0" src="http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Blog/GrandmaSmall.jpg" /></a></center><br /> "Look, DJ, <strong><u>BOTH</u></strong> HANDS!" ... The little engine that could!<br /><br /> Grandma ... you have no idea what an inspiration you are to me! <img border="0" src="http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Blog/Heart.jpg" />BeveragesDesserts5 mins0 mins5 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pumpkin-Pie-Smoothie-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pumpkin-Pie-Smoothie-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pumpkin-Pie-Smoothie-32/3cup160unsweetened almond milkhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-20302.331.3320.671/3cup75.33unsweetened coconut milkhttp://amzn.com/B004PXUWJM?tag=lcrecipe-20133.3314.671.332.67001/4cup61.12mashed pumpkinhttp://amzn.com/B001JEFIF8?tag=lcrecipe-2024.840.54.9601.981scoop30sugar-free vanilla whey proteinhttp://amzn.com/B00CBYI51Y?tag=lcrecipe-201100251002tbsp24'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000303001/2tsp1cinnamon, ground2.47.01.04.810.531/4tsp.5nutmeg, freshly ground2.63.18.03.250.111dash0cloves, freshly ground0000001dash0dried powdered ginger0000001dash0salt0000001dollop33.25whipped creamhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Whipped-Cream104.0711.631.19.250In a blender, combine almond milk, coconut milk, pumpkin, sweetener, protein powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and a dash of salt. Blend until smooth.Pour into a glass, top with whipped cream and enjoy!Bacon, Cheddar and Jalapeño DipTrueI loved this dip. I LOOOoOOoOooOVED this dip!<br /><br /> The day that I made this dip, I also whipped up a batch of <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Cheddar-Cracker">Spicy Cumin-Cheddar Crackers</a>. As is common on the days I do my cooking sessions, I cook between 8 and 15 recipes, at the same time. In terms of determining which are my FAVORITES, it largely comes down to which recipes were gone at the end of the day.<br /><br /> THIS recipe, as well as the crackers, were totally gone. Vanished. Skeedoodled. Vamoosed. EATEN!<br /><br /> This recipe uses Jalapeños, which aren't THAT spicy. I also suggest cutting out the ribs and seeds, which further eliminates the heat. In the end, this dip has a mild kick. Obviously, if you'd like to omit the heat, omit the peppers. However, on the flipside, if you want to ADD heat, you can double the peppers, or you can use different peppers, such as the fiery habanero! Finally, a little bit of your favorite hot pepper sauce in the cheese base won't hurt anything at all. As you're mixing the base, add a bit of your favorite chili sauce, taste it and adjust seasoning before you top with cheese and bake!Appetizers15 mins15 mins35 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bacon-Cheddar-Jalepeno-Dip-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bacon-Cheddar-Jalepeno-Dip-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bacon-Cheddar-Jalepeno-Dip-32tbsp28fat (olive oil, butter ... or even bacon fat!)2402400001medium110onion, diced440110022each26.66jalapeño chillies, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced.168.361.580.744each12garlic cloves, minced01604008ounces227regular cream cheese (not low fat)77777.313.78.8001/2lb227cheddar cheese, grated and divided902.4374.36562.75001/2cup56.8real bacon bits20012240001/4bunch25cilantro, washed, large stems removed and chopped5.75.14.55.940.731/2tsp1cumin seed, ground.223.750.440.111/2tsp1coriander seed, ground.182.98.12.550.42salt and pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 400 F.In a medium sauté pan, over medium heat, add your fat (bacon fat, butter, lard or olive oil), onions, garlic and diced jalapeños, along with a little bit of salt and pepper. Saute until the ingredients are soft and lightly colored (about 10 to 15 minutes). Remove and set aside.In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese, bacon, cilantro, cumin, coriander and a bit of salt and pepper. Add the veggies and mix the ingredient thoroughly.Place the cream cheese mixture into an oven-proof casserole pan, or something roughly the size of a pie pan. Press the dip into the pan so that it's got a flat top. Top the dip with the remaining cheddar cheese.Bake the dip until the top is melted and lightly colored, about 15 minutes.Serve hot!Italian Sausage Salad with Pesto, Tomatoes and MozzarellaTrueI'm often asked what I eat. THIS is what "I" eat!<br /><br /> While I realize I've got lots of complicated recipes on my website, those are largely to showcase an idea, or point out an interesting technique or ingredient. Other times, they're there for special occasions, such as a birthday or holiday. For the most part, I don't think most people cook complicated and elaborate meals for themselves on a regular basis. I'm no different!<br /><br /> This is precisely the kind of thing I eat on a regular basis. It's one of my many warm protein salads that I make <em>(the core idea is chunks of hot meat, tossed with lettuce and vegetables, which are sometimes raw and sometimes cooked)</em>. One of my absolute favorite meals on earth is a <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Greatest-Salad-Ever-Warm-Chicken-Bacon-Tomato-and-Balsamic">simple salad of chicken, bacon, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese</a>! Another consists of <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/BBQ-Chicken-Salad">chicken, roasted peppers, BBQ sauce and ranch dressing</a>! Or, what about <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Spinach-Strawberry-Salad">this one with strawberries</a>? YUM!<br /><br /> I also do the same thing in with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Warm-Salmon-Tomato-Bacon-Mustard-and-Romaine-Salad">fish</a> and <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Thai-Beef-Salad">beef</a>, and with a whole host of flavor profiles ... some of the time Indian, others THAI! But, the core idea is always the same ... hot cubes of meat, mixed with a variety of lettuce<em>(s)</em> and veggies, tossed in a giant bowl and eaten with a pitch fork.<br /><br /> THESE are full meals, with what would ordinarily be considered "the sides", just cooked and thrown in the bowl with things like pesto, or a vinaigrette of some kind, or ginger and soy sauce, or garam masala and some yoghurt! Big bowls of partially raw nutrient dense goodness ... quick, easy and ABSOLUTELY flavorful!<br /><br /> Here I'm throwing another tasty flavor combo in the pile! YUM!SaladsLunchMain15 mins0 mins25 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sausage-Pesto-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sausage-Pesto-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sausage-Pesto-Salad-38links680cooked italian sausagehttp://amzn.com/B0000E65WT?tag=lcrecipe-2013609611216001tbsp13.5olive oil119.3813.500004cups120baby spinach, washed and stems removed27.53.353.534.2402.471lb454assorted fresh cherry tomatoes, cut into halves and quarters82.3204.9917.4604.991lb454fresh mozzarella, removed from water and cubed (or use boconccini)801120800002/3cup159basil pestohttp://www.djfoodie.com/Traditional-Basil-Pesto1137.53119.7714.499.0802.732tbsp30.5lemon juice, freshly squeezed07.63.132.630.13salt and pepper, to taste000000Cut the sausage links into cubes or bite sized pieces. Set aside.Pre-heat medium sized pan over medium-high heat.Add olive oil and swirl around the pan. Quickly add the sausage and brown the edges.While the sausage cooks, in a large salad bowl combine spinach, tomatoes, mozzarella, pesto and lemon juice.Once the sausage is browned on the outside, add the hot sausage to the salad bowl and quickly toss with the rest of the ingredients, as well as a bit of salt and pepper.Divide between 4 bowls or plates and eat!Colorful Asian SlawTrueThis stuff is absolutely addictive! With a helpful slicing tool, like a mandolin <em>(watch your fingers!)</em> something like this can be whipped up in just a few minutes!<br /><br /> This is, in very large part, this utilizes a lot of the same tastes and textures as you'd find in my <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Crack-Slaw">Uber Crack Slaw</a>. However, this is cold and perfect for a box lunch, paired with something like a chilled chicken breast. It would also be excellent as a potluck salad. Not only is it bright and colorful, but the sweet crunch, combined with the stronger ginger and sesame flavors will have everyone asking for the recipe!<br /><br /> Another interesting aspect of this particular salad, it's actually better after it sits in the marinade and macerates for a bit. It'll wilt and soften. It will lose a little bit of its bright rainbow vibrancy, but ... it's STILL quite beautiful to look at, while tasting even better!<br /><br /> A fun Asian themed slaw, perfect for just about any occasion! <em>(ok, except maybe Thanksgiving ... or a trip to the dentist, but ... you get the point!)</em>SaladsSidesVegetarian15 mins0 mins25 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Asian-Slaw-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Asian-Slaw-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Asian-Slaw-31small304head napa cabbage, shredded800412042small148red bell peppers, seeded and sliced thin45.8801.488.8802.961large72carrot, peeled and sliced into very thin sticks29.250.566.7502.251cup63snow peas, sliced into very thin sticks26025021medium110red onion, sliced thin440110024whole60green onions (scallions)19.201.24.201.81/4cup63.75soy sauce033.753.255.50.51/4cup58rice wine vinegar100002.75001tbsp6fresh ginger, chopped04.8.121.080.124each12garlic cloves, minced01604002tbsp28.02sesame oil2602800002tbsp24'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000303002tbsp24black sesame seeds (or regular toasted sesame seeds)135.611.524.086.2403.36salt and pepper, to taste000000In a big bowl ... mix it all together! Let it sit for about 10 minutes. Mix it all again. Eat!Big Wedge SaladTrueThis is a strange lead in to a recipe, but it's the only place I can think to start!<br /><br /> My father is a picky eater. Like, an over-the-top, silly, ludicrously picky eater. He's such a picky eater, he'll even allow himself to be rude, if he doesn't like something. If he won't eat it, it's simply not getting eaten. Period. Vegetables, pretty much, are right out. He is a true "Steak and Potatoes" man.<br /><br /> It's odd to me, in that ... he likes ... maybe even LOVES ... The Wedge!<br /><br /> While my father will likely kill me for divulging such sensitive info, I would never have thought to add "The Big Green Wedge" to my website, were it not for him! So, Dad ... I dedicate this one to you!<br /><br /> The puzzling thing is ... he won't eat lettuce (at least, I don't "think" he will). He won't eat vegetables. He won't eat "green things", but ... THIS is a big slab 'o green thing! It's BAFFLING to me why he would eat this, while avoiding a million other far tastier things! <br /><br /> At the very least, I've come to one logical conclusion. THIS salad is like the STEAK of salads! I have to assume that a vegetarian would look at this like a steak, right? It's a man salad, for a man! Sure, a woman can order and eat the steak of salads, but ... a man can order "The Great Wedge" and ... still feel like a man! <br /><br /> So, for those of you out there facing feeding picky eaters, people who won't eat their salads ... here's one to put in front of them.<br /><br /> The Great Green Wedge ... the STEAK of Salads!Salads5 mins0 mins5 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Wedge-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Wedge-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Wedge-31small head324iceberg lettuce, washed450310042oz56quality Roquefort cheese, crumbled206.6417.3612.321.12001/2lb227cherry tomatoes, washed, dried and halved or quartered41.1602.58.7402.51/4cup28.4bacon bits6100120001/4cup16parsley leaves, washed2.940.26.520.261tbsp13.5extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20119.3813.500001/2cup118blue cheese dressinghttp://www.djfoodie.com/Blue-Cheese-Dressing433.1143.3110.012.86.08.03salt and pepper, to taste000000Cut the iceberg lettuce into quarters. Often, the core will be "rusty". Cut off the rust, but leave each core quarter intact, as it's what holds all the leaves together.In a small mixing bowl, combine blue cheese crumbles, tomatoes, parsely, bacon, olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Toss them together and set aside.Place a wedge of lettuce, facing up, on each of 4 places. Divide the tomato mixture over the top of the 4 wedges and then drizzle a healthy portion of blue cheese dressing over each plate. Finally, season the whole plate with a bit more salt and pepper. Serve!Garlicky BBQ KaleTrueKale is one of those ingredients touted as a super food. This purple of green leafy vegetable is related to broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Kale has sprung onto the health world scene due to its enormous nutrient density. It's like ... concentrated food! SO much good stuff in those crisp sweet leaves! It's also incredibly versatile, pretty and ... pretty much grows everywhere!<br /><br /> There's a strange aspect to Kale, though. It's sweet! It's actually got quite a high carb content to it. Just 4 ounces of it has over 8 net carbs! To a follower of Paleo or Primal trends, this is not an issue, but for those really counting every last little carb ... 8 carbs for a decent sized pile of greens is a hefty portion of the day's allotment!<br /><br /> In the end, I feel that the benefits of Kale far outweigh the one minor drawback. I can't imagine someone experiencing any kind of negative response to "Kale". It's unfathomable to me to think that someone ate "too much kale". After a good deal of thought and consideration, I decided to add a kale recipe to my site and ... keep it simple. <br /><br /> In this case, this is the kind of thing I'd have at a BBQ. I'd cook it in bacon fat, with LOTS of garlic, and I'd spill some BBQ sauce into it, just to give it a little extra liquid to braise in, while also taking that "smoky" flavor just a tad further. Feel free to use <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/BBQ-Sauce">my own BBQ sauce</a>, or one of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&ajr=sabc&camp=1789&creative=390957&field-keywords=sugar%20free%20bbq%20sauce&linkCode=ur2&rh=i%3Agrocery%2Ck%3Asugar%20free%20bbq%20sauce&sepatfbtf=true&sprefix=sugar%20free%20bbq%2Cgrocery%2C201&tag=lcnotes-20&tc=1379799268593&url=search-alias%3Dgrocery" target="_blank">many sugar free BBQ's sauces</a> out there. I'm a big fan of <a href="http://amzn.com/B0079OWLX4?tag=lcrecipe-20" target="_blank">Guy's BBQ Sauce</a> ... and really think it's tasty stuff!<br /><br /> Kale ... <em>it does a body good!</em>Sides5 mins10 mins15 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Garlicky-BBQ-Kale-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Garlicky-BBQ-Kale-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Garlicky-BBQ-Kale-32tbsp28fat (like olive oil or bacon fat/lard)2002200001 1/2lbs681kale, washed and very rough chop/slice340.56.8120.4368.1013.6212each36garlic cloves, sliced into thin rings048012001/4cup38sugar free bbq saucehttp://amzn.com/B0079OWLX4?tag=lcrecipe-201000200salt and pepper, to taste000000Heat a large pot over medium heat.Add bacon fat and turn the heat down to low.Add the garlic and stir until the garlic JUST begins to turn a very light brown. Immediately, add the kale and BBQ sauce, with a little salt and pepper. Stir well, then place a lid on the top of the pot and allow the kale to slowly steam and braise in the liquid and kale juices that will develop. Let the kale "sweat" for about 5 to 10 minutes.Taste, adjust seasoning and serve!Banana BreadTrueSo ... banana bread, Mr. Foodie? Hmmnnn ... ?! Seriously?! Can he do that!?! Is that ... LEGAL?!?! Aren't banana made of pure evil? Aren't they loaded with sugar? REALLY?! <br /><br /> Yep! I'm doin' it! And ... I'm doing it WELL, too! THIS banana bread was nothing short of spectacular! It was beyond moist ... almost "creamy" in texture. Like it's distant cousin, the <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Zucchini-Bread">Zucchini Bread</a>, it was also almost not entirely unlike a banana pudding, but ... a baked one ... shaped like banana bread! IT WAS FANTASTIC!!!<br /><br /> See, the thing is ... bananas aren't evil. They're high in potassium, they're TRULY yummy and ... they even come in their own unique little packages. An almost perfect food! The issue comes in, in that they ARE quite high in sugar, while also being quite high glycemic. A perfect-ish food, but ... also one to quickly mess with blood sugars. HOWEVER! When selecting a banana, select one that's still a bit green. I know that banana bread is a GREAT use for those soft black bananas, that have almost turned to candy, but ... we're trying to get the banana flavor before a lot of that sugar develops. Using them a bit on the green side will help. Also combined with other ingredients, the sugary banana-ness of it is diluted. I personally add a bit of banana extract to it, as I find that helps carry over some of the stronger tastes and aromas. However, I also find that banana oils, emulsions and extracts have a sharp flavor if used too much. I included it in the recipe, but ... recognize that it's TOTALLY optional.<br /><br /> In the end, by using a bit less than an ordinary banana bread, using green bananas and then stretching the flavor with emuslsions, extracts or oils ... well ... you'll get something just as good as the real thing! <em>(It's been years since I've had the real thing, but ... Scout's Honor ... I thought this was even BETTER than any I'd ever had before.)</em> TRULY delicious!BakedDesserts10 mins45 mins55 mins10http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Banana-Bread-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Banana-Bread-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Banana-Bread-32small202bananas, still a bit green1800246068ounces227regular cream cheese (not low-fat), softened77777.313.78.8001/2cup112coconut oil, melted9609600001/2cup119.5sugar free maple syruphttp://amzn.com/B000TO7U64?tag=lcrecipe-200000001/2cup120'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00012012002large100whole eggs14310131001tsp4banana (or vanilla) extracthttp://amzn.com/B009G74AXG?tag=lcrecipe-202.3200.56001 3/4cups184.16splendid gluten-free bake mixhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Splendid-Gluten-Free-Bake-Mix952.8369.0137.862.75024.51 1/2tsp6baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-207.5001.5001tsp4baking soda000000dash salt000000Pre-heat oven to 350 F.Grease and flour (with gluten free mix) a standard loaf pan.In a small bowl, mush the bananas with a fork and then set aside.In an electric mixer, combine cream cheese and coconut oil. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add maple syrup and sugar replacement. Beat until well combined. Add the banana, eggs and extract and beat until well combined. Finally, add gluten free baking mix, baking powder, baking soda and a nice dash of salt. Beat until well combined.Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.Remove place on a rack. Because it's so soft, allow it to fully cool down before slicing (but I'll understand if you just grab a fork and dig in!)The Famous Mock DanishTrueThere are some recipes that are here, simply because a low-carb website is incomplete ... without them. THIS is such a recipe!<br /><br /> I started my own personal journey into this way of eating several years ago. At the time, I didn't have a microwave. Actually ... I was living in an apartment in Mexico and the apartment came with a MASSIVE microwave ... that totally didn't work! It took up a huge amount of space and ... near as I can tell ... this was its only real accomplishment. As a result of starting down this road without a microwave, I had never tried things like the <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/One-Minute-Muffin">One-Minute-Muffin</a>, or ... The Famous Mock Danish!<br /><br /> Both of these are recipes that exist and are handed down from one low-carber to the next ... and onward and onward. Now, it's MY turn to share this tasty treat!<br /><br /> Funnily enough, when I made this ... it's only the second time I'd ever made one. I have ZERO idea if this is what yours look like, when you make them, but ... this is how MINE turned out.<br /><br /> I SHOULD point out that the FIRST time I made it, I didn't soften up the cream cheese first and wound up with a weird chunky egg-puck. FAR less inviting than this second, warm, smooth and sweet cheesecake-like creature.<br /><br /> It seemed only appropriate to smear some sugar free jelly on it, as ... this whole thing is about recreating the center of those tantalizing cream cheese and jelly Danishes!<br /><br /> YUM!<br /><br /> <strong>Origin Note:</strong> I don't know who originated this recipe, but I WILL say that ... it wasn't me. Because I think Kent Altena is just a wizard ... I'll <a href="http://www.atkinsdietgeek.com/2006/09/atkins-diet-recipes-mock-danish/">link to a video of him nuking one up</a>!Desserts1 mins2 min3 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mock-Danish-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mock-Danish-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mock-Danish-32ounces56.75regular cream cheese (not low-fat)194.2519.333.432.2001large50egg7256.5.5002tsp10'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000101001/2tsp2vanilla extract000000dash salt000000dash cinnamon (optional)000000In a small bowl, microwave the cream cheese for 15 seconds or less; just long enough to soften it.Add the egg and combine the two ingredients with a spatula until smooth.Add the sweetener, vanilla, salt and optional cinnamon (I like it with cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg, when plain, but leave it out with eating it with fruit jelly). Mix well.Because I'm fussy, I transfer the ingredients into a 6-oz. ramekin to nuke, but you can continue to use the same bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds (turning half way through). It shouldn't be runny, but the center should still be a bit soft, for that "Danish" feeling. May need to nuke for a further 30 to 60 seconds.I used a spatula to pop mine out of the ramekin and placed it onto a plate, but ... again ... many just eat it right out of the bowl! Delicious hot or cold! Cover with jelly, or ... sprinkle some more cinnamon and sweetener over it.Thai Pumpkin Custard (Sankaya)TrueHere's a sort of interesting one. A while back, I assembled a <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Blog/beid/671738">"Thai" week, with some interesting little recipes</a>. In the midst of all that, I stumbled across a vegetable commonly known as the Kabocha Squash. A little more research turned up a common Thai dessert, which just looked AMAZING to me!<br /><br /> Now, before you give up on this one ... it's ACTUALLY really quite easy to do, serves several people and has an UNBELIEVABLY taste and texture. Give it a shot. You will not be sorry. I promise you!<br /><br /> Ahem ... as anyone who has hung out here for long knows, I'm a lover of pumpkins. Really ... all squash, to be honest: butternut, acorn, pumpkin, delicata, spaghetti and ... the kabocha! This Cambodian squash is much lower in carbs than most, but ... appears to pack in just as much flavor as its cousins. With an edible rind and growing popularity, this squash is worth the hunt. I can find them year round at various Asian markets in the Seattle area. They can also be found in the winter-time, at many farmers' markets. While somewhat obscure, they are ABSOLUTELY worth tracking down!<br /><br /> Essentially, the top of the squash is popped, the seeds are scooped out and then the cavity is filled with a sweetened coconut-egg mixture. Then, the whole thing is steamed in a steamer. Then, it's split into wedges and served!<br /><br /> If you could see me typing as I write this ... I'm making yummy sounds and smacking my lips as I type. I REALLY get into my work, some of the time!<br /><br /> So ... here's where this unusual dessert recipe becomes ... a slightly bigger challenge. I don't know about you, but I don't have a giant steamer lying around. If you do ... GREAT! You're MUCH further ahead than I am! I don't have one ... so I had to improvise. I kind of wish I'd taken a photo of this, but ... it didn't occur to me, at the time. It's the same thing I did with the <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Pork-Tamales">Pork Tamales</a>. I have a large, deep, wide pot. I put water into it and brought it to a boil. Then, I have a metal colander. I placed this into the pot. The metal handles hold it suspended at the top of the pot. Then, I put the pumpkin into it and covered the whole thing with foil. Poke about 3 holes in it ... STEAMER!<br /><br /> <strong>Oven Note:</strong> Apparently this can be done in an oven, as well. I steamed it, but you can fill it and bake it at 350 F for about an hour to an hour and a half. When the center of the custard starts to rise, it's done. Remove it and let it cool for a good hour before slicing. Good chilled, as well.<br /><br /> <strong>Nutrition Note</strong>: Kabocha info is based off of 4 cups of kabocha cubes, for 2/3rds cup per person. Nutrition info is not in USDA database. It is an educated guess, but one which is close and honorably presented.Desserts15 mins1 hr 15 mins2 hrs 30 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Kabocha-Custard-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Kabocha-Custard-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Kabocha-Custard-31small (2 to 3 lb.)1135kabocha squash (substitution = acorn, buttercup, delicata, pumpkin)3600428045large250whole eggs357.52532.52.5003/4cup169.5unsweetened coconut milkhttp://amzn.com/B004PXUWJM?tag=lcrecipe-203003336003/4cup180Confectioners 'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00018018001/2tsp1cinnamon, ground2.47.01.04.810.531/2tsp2vanilla extract5.7700.2500dash salt000000Add about 8 to 10 cups of water to the base of a steamer. Place this on the stove and bring to a boil.Remove the top of the kabocha squash, like you would for a pumpkin at Halloween. Scrape the seeds off the bottom of the top, as well as scraping out the seeds from inside the squash. The inside should be nice and clean.Whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, sweetener, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Whisk until the sweetener is dissolved.Pour the mixture into the cavity of the squash until it's full.Place the squash and lid into the steamer and cover. Turn the heat down to medium-low and steam for about an hour. Do not open during this time, for fear the squash may crack.After about an hour, the top of the custard should puff a bit. Pierce the custard with a wooden skewer, running it fairly deeply into the center. If it comes out clean, remove the squash and allow the custard to continue setting. Give it at least 45 minutes, and eat warm, if desired, but the best option is to chill the pumpkin in the refrigerator and then slice into wedges.Serve!Chia FauxtmealTrueI love chia seeds. That's it! I have little else left to say. They're awesome! I resisted trying them ... for YEARS! ... Sometimes being a stubborn human works against me. I admit it. <em>(don't tell anyone, though!)</em><br /><br /> This stuff continues to prove its value to me. I recently ground some up and used it as a flour substitute. IT WAS AWESOME!<br /><br /> So ... here we have a Chai seed based Warm Morning "Oatmeal" approximation. It's full-on yum, too!<br /><br /> This stuff is SOOO much like an oatmeal, you won't believe your taste buds! Normally, a chia pudding is along the lines of ... well ... a "pudding". There's just an oat-iness that seems to be missing. There are also some textural issues. My remedy to this is to add some nut meal to the chia, as it absorbs the moisture. This helps the texture. Then, I ALSO tend to add some toasted nuts to it, to further bring the texture along. Then, to give it that morning oatmeal flavor ... I add some cinnamon and nutmeg. The warmth from the milk just ties it all together into a super simple and comforting breakfast delight!<br /><br /> <strong>Some notes:</strong> Using white chia seeds tends to give it more of an oatmeal appearance; as does a bit of actual dairy. So, a skosh of cream is a nice touch! I also use some <a href="http://amzn.com/B000TO7U64?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">sugar-free pancake syrup</a> to drive that morning vibe just a bit further. For those that want to go a bit more natural, here's a <a href="http://amzn.com/B002AJ0SZ6?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">xylitol pancake syrup option</a>. Finally, I'm a big fan of the defrost mode on my microwave. It's more of a mellow nuke. If my fauxtmeal cools down too much, I just stick it into the defrost mode of my nuker and tell it that it's a 1/4 lb piece of meat. Sounds silly, but ... it's perfect! Finally, if you're someone that must have raisins with your fauxtmeal ... chop a few up and throw 'em in there. Just ... not too many!BreakfastDesserts2 mins2 mins20 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chia-Fauxtmeal-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chia-Fauxtmeal-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chia-Fauxtmeal-31/2cup120almond milk, unsweetenedhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-2022.51.7511.50.52tbsp30cream, heavy whipping102.6311.63.88002tbsp30sugar free maple syruphttp://amzn.com/B000TO7U64?tag=lcrecipe-200000001/4tsp1vanilla extract2.8900.13001/4cup28hazelnut flour (substitute almond meal)http://amzn.com/B005P0I322?tag=lcrecipe-201801745032tbsp15chia seedshttp://amzn.com/B001CGTN1I?tag=lcrecipe-20704.537061tbsp9.7slivered almonds, toasted52.634.5721.820.941tbsp6chopped pecans, toasted42.754.44.56.880.631/4tsp.5cinnamon, ground1.240.02.410.27dash nutmeg000000dash salt000000Combine, then heat almond milk, cream, pancake syrup and vanilla (you can do this on the stove … I do it in the microwave, by pressing the "Beverage" button). You want it hot, but not necessarily scalding.While the liquid heats, combine the chia, nut meal, nuts, spices and salt. Mix them up a bit.When the liquid is hot, pour it over the top of the chia seeds and stir. It's good to stir the chia about every minute or two, for the first 4 or 5 minutes. Then, just let it sit there and gel. Maybe stir it once more. After about 20 total minutes of the chia absorbing the liquid, it will be perfect. Feel free to garnish with some more nuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Eat!Black Olive TapenadeTrueI love my job! Olive Tapenade <em>(Pronounced: <strong>Toppin-odd</strong>)</em> was little more than a coarsely pureed mixture of olives, capers and other odds and ends. The fun and flavors really play into the "odds and ends" aspect of that particular mélange. This salty and lightly acidic concoction is usually used as a dip or spread, but is also great as a stuffing within a pork tenderloin or rubbed beneath the skin of a soon-to-be-roasted chicken. A very versatile recipe, this stuff is fantastic as-is, or as a part of a much bigger plan!<br /><br /> What I DIDN'T know ... was the history! This is where loving my job really comes in. I love to read and research these ideas. Obviously, the idea of smooshed olives goes way back, but ... the first known documented recipe for "tapenade" is about 2000 years old!<br /><br /> The word "Tapenade" is actually from the Provençal word for "capers", but was deeply seeded in roman cuisine, long before it was named ... even before the existence of the French language!<br /><br /> I've never seen a tapenade without olives. It does seem as if olives are a requirement, as well as capers <em>(due to the name)</em>. Beyond that, common additions are anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, various herbs, nuts and/or citrus. It's also made through a variety of methods. Chopping, pounding, pestled, pureed, etc. As a result, some tapenades are smooth and silky, like a sauce, and others are incredibly crude, rustic and multi-colored. Near as I can tell ... there is no one "right way" ... just mix and match the colors, textures, flavors and methods that suit your task and ... enjoy your olive-caper blend!<br /><br /> In my case, I went somewhat thick and rustic, with the addition of nuts ... for no particular reason other than that I just like it that way!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Serving size is guestimated at about 2 tbsp.SaucesVegetarian5 mins0 mins5 mins12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Tapenade-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Tapenade-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Tapenade-31cup180black olives (like kalamata), drained and pitted187.8712.61.810.805.41/4cup36.25slivered almonds, toasted210.518.2587.2503.751/4cup54extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20477.55400002tbsp16capers, drained and coarsely chopped3.7.16.34.820.482each4boneless anchovy filets8.4.41.160001tbsp15.25lemon juice, freshly squeezed03.82.061.320.061tsp.67fresh rosemary, chopped.87.04.02.140.091tsp2fresh lemon zest (peel)1.940.02.50.222each6garlic cloves, crushed0802001/2tsp1crushed red chili flakes3.18.17.12.570.27salt and pepper, to taste000000In a food processor, or within a mortar and pestle, process all the ingredients until the desired texture is achieved.Taste, and then season with salt and pepper to adjust seasoning.Enjoy!Green Beans with TapenadeTrueHere's a quick and easy side dish, but one FILLED with flavor and a touch of elegance. The concept is simple ... green beans tossed with black olive tapenade!<br /><br /> Because of the way my recipes are formatted, some of the time, especially in cases like this, where the recipe is just so karnfalootin' simple, I really struggle to come up with enough nonsense to put into this spot, so that my recipe draws properly, leaves enough room for the buttons, etc. THIS is just such an occasion!<br /><br /> So ... rather than get bogged down in green bean facts and history ... I'm going to tell a joke. It's not a very good joke, but ... it's just good enough, and large enough, to take up the room I need!<br /><br /> <strong>* Ahem *</strong> ... <br /><br /> Where did the green bean go to have a few drinks? <em>THE SALAD BAR!</em><br /><br /> <em>(I'm going to go hide, now)</em>QuickSidesVegetarian2 mins5 min8 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Green-Beans-Tapenade-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Green-Beans-Tapenade-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Green-Beans-Tapenade-31 1/2lb681green beans, ends removed211.11.818.1648.57023.161/2cup119black olive tapenadehttp://www.djfoodie.com/tapenade302.5428.573.97.9403.5salt and pepper, to taste000000In a medium sized pot, boil about 1 gallon of water, with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of salt.Once the water is boiling, add the green beans to the water. Stir, then let boil for about 4 to 5 minutes (or until desired doneness … the crispier, the better!). While the beans boil, place a vegetable strainer into the sink. Also, place the tapenade into a medium sized salad bowl and set aside.When the beans are done, strain them through the strainer. Let them drip dry for about 1 minute. Once dry, toss them in the tapenade, to evenly coat them. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.Serve!Green Beans, Asparagus and Heartichoke SaladTrueThis is a fun little salad or side dish. It's very basic in its ingredients, but has AMAZING flavors! When I first thought of the idea, I called it "Green Things Salad", in my mind. I'm not quite sure why, as a "Green Thing" to me is usually parsley or some other kind of herb, of which this DOES have some oregano, but it's not an overly herby salad. It's really just a well cooked blend of asparagus, green beans and artichoke hearts!<br /><br /> Here's where the tricky part comes in ... the method of cutting the asparagus and beans. This is TOTALLY optional, but it DOES make a bit of a difference in the taste and texture of the recipe. Give it a shot if you've got an extra 10 minutes to kill.<br /><br /> The idea is to cut the beans and asparagus "<em>on the bias</em>". Imagine an asparagus stalk. Rather than cutting it STRAIGHT DOWN, turn the stalk 45 degrees and cut every 1/4-inch, or so. You'll wind up with little diamond shaped pieces of asparagus. Kinda fun! Now, imagine doing an even more exaggerated version of that! Turn it about 80 degrees, and cut about every 2 millimeters. This should result in long thin strips of asparagus! If you do the same thing with the green beans, you've got something thin, attractive, a bit different and something eager to be coated with a simple lemon-herb dressing!<br /><br /> However, before we do that, let's give it a quickie blanch and shock <em>(boil in salted water, then plunge into ice water)</em>. This will allow it some level of crisp and flavorful vibrancy, but without it having that overwhelming RAW raw flavor.<br /><br /> Once they've chilled down, we'll add some capers, toasted pine nuts, a bit of chopped fresh oregano and ... marinated heartichokes!<br /><br /> SUCH a lovely little salad. Serve as a side, or even bring a big batch to your next pot luck!<br /><br /> <strong>Alternate Note:</strong> As I said, the cutting method is optional. If you were to snap the fibrous bottom 2 or 3 inches off of each spear, then blanch and shock the beans and spears, whole, you'll STILL have an quite tasty salad, but it'll be a bit more rustic and the dressing will coat a little less actual surface area, permeating the dish a little less. STILL an awesome salad, but ... just a bit different. I kept this vegan, but ... obviously, this would be delicious topped with some freshly crumbled bacon strips and shaved parmesan!SaladsSidesVegetarian15 min5 mins20 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Green-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Green-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Green-Salad-31bunch227asparagus, fibrous ends removed and cut into thin strips16.0345.745.088.4705.081/2lb227green beans, ends removed and cut into thin strips70.37.272.7216.1907.728whole221.84artichoke hearts in oil, drained and cut into 8 wedges, each26418.87.1222.96011.21/4cup33.75pine nuts, toasted227.25234.54.501.251tbsp8capers, drained and coarsely chopped1.85.08.17.410.242each6garlic cloves, crushed0802002tsp2fresh oregano (thyme, rosemary, sage and/or marjoram), rough chop.042.02.12.480.281/4cup54extra virgin olive oil, good quality, dividedhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20477.55400002tbsp30.5lemon juice, freshly squeezed07.63.132.630.13salt and pepper, to taste000000Place a medium sized pot with about a gallon of water on the stove, to boil. Once it boils, add about a scant 1/4 cup of salt.Cut the asparagus and green beans on a very strong bias, resulting in thin strips about 1 to 1 1/2-inches long.Place a colander or food strainer in an empty sink. Also, assemble a medium sized bowl filled about halfway with ice water. Have both of these ready and waiting.Drop your beans and asparagus into the boiling water and stir to submerge. Allow to cook for about 30 to 45 seconds (1 to 1-1/2 minutes, if left whole or largely whole). Immediately pour the contents through the strainer and then transfer the veggies into the ice water to chill completely through.While the veggies chill, in a medium sized salad bowl, add the artichoke hearts, capers, pine nuts, chopped oregano, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Strain the veggies from the ice, and maybe even blot with a paper towel to get the extra water off of them. Add the dried and chilled green beans and asparagus to the salad bowl. Toss all the ingredients with a bit of salt and pepper. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve!Corned Beef HashTrueCorned Beef Hash is sort of a weird one, for me. I grew up on this stuff, but ... not in a good way, exactly. My mother would buy cans of it, pop the cans, plop out the cylindrically shaped meat-n-potato blobs and fry them up for dinner! I remember hating it, as a kid, even though I think I might have secretly loved it. I'm not totally clear on my childhood feelings of the stuff, even though I do remember that they were strongly held!<br /><br /> My father, I believe, DID love the stuff! Someone, somewhere liked to fry it up, then fry and egg and slide that on top of the fried meat-n-potato pile and eat it. I also have fairly strong memories of that! ... but am not entirely certain that it was my father.<br /><br /> Point being, I was introduced to Corned Beef Hash, with a fried egg, at a VERY young age. Something about canned meat and the sound it makes as it jiggles out of the can ... just makes my bones quiver.<br /><br /> THIS stuff, on the other hand ... PURE UNADULTERATED AWESOME!<br /><br /> When I was younger, I worked at a grocery store deli. We sold Boar's Head meats and cheeses. The guys that would come in, check for freshness, train us, etc. were just top notch people. Even the truck they used to deliver the meats in were fun, interesting and a big part of that Boar's Head experience. I KNEW that if I went to a deli selling Boar's Head that I could get some nice thick slices, straight from the slicer! I stepped up to the counter and asked for one and a half pounds of 1st Cut Cooked Corned Beef Brisket, cut into 1/2-inch slices. I took that home and cut perfect little cubes out of it.<br /><br /> I then did the same with a mixture of carrots, bell pepper, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and herbs! I fried the veggies up with the corned beef, slapped a fried egg on it and yelled, "Breakfast!" at no one in particular.<br /><br /> DELICIOUS!BeefBreakfastMain15 min25 mins40 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Corned-Beef-Hash-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Corned-Beef-Hash-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Corned-Beef-Hash-31/4cup56butter, divided4004400002tbsp28higher temperature fat (like olive oil or bacon fat/lard)2002200001/2lb227peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes194.3303.4146.0806.833large216carrots, cut into 1/2-inch cubes87.7501.6820.2506.752small148yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice45.8801.488.8802.961 1/2lbs681corned beef, cut into 1/2-inch cubes960481440001medium110onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice440110024each12garlic cloves, minced01604002tsp2fresh thyme, chopped.042.02.12.480.282tsp2fresh oregano, chopped.042.02.12.480.286large300whole fresh eggs4293013300salt and pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat a large sauté pan over high heat. I like a mixture of bacon fat and butter, but you can also use olive oil and butter, or just plain olive oil. You'll need about 1-1/2 tbsp of each, for a total of about 3 tablespoons of cooking fat. Add your cooking fat, swirl it around the pan and immediately add the sweet potatoes and carrots. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Toss them around and turn the heat down to medium-low. Let them cook on one side for about 5 minutes.After gaining a little caramelization from the pan, toss them again and add the bell peppers and corned beef, with a little bit of salt and pepper. Toss everything together and allow the pan to sit still for about 5 minutes, while the ingredients cook and pick up a little more caramelization.After 5 more minutes, taste a carrot. If it's still crunchy, cook for another 5 minutes. However, if it's starting to soften up (but not totally soft), add your onions and garlic with a bit of salt and pepper. Toss together and let for a further 5 minutes over medium-low heat.Finally, add the herbs to the mixture and toss together. Taste, adjust seasoning and then set aside, covered and warm, while you fry the eggs.Pre-heat two very large non-stick pans (with lids) over medium heat. While the pan is heating, break 6 fresh eggs into 6 individual containers (like teacups, small plates, etc). Each egg should be broken into its own vessel.Test the temperature of the pans by adding a drop of water. If it sizzles, the pan is warm enough.Add final half tablespoon of fat (butter, bacon fat, and/or olive oil) to each pan and swirl to coat the bottom, evenly. Quickly and gently pour each egg into each of the 3 "corners" of each pan, while dropping the temperature of the stove to a very low setting. The eggs MAY touch one another, but are easily cut apart.Season the eggs with a small amount of salt and pepper. Place a lid on the pans, so that the eggs have heat trapped above them, slowly cooking the yolk, as well.When the eggs are at a desired doneness (about 5 minutes), divide the corned beef hash between six plates and top each with an egg! Serve!Herby Sandwich Bread (Focaccia)TrueThis recipe is part of a series about the "<a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/One-Minute-Muffin">One-Minute-Muffin</a>", even though this recipe isn't an OMM.<br /><br /> OMM's are little more than a quick bread batter, microwaved in a cup. Within 60 seconds, a full MUFFIN can be "baked", resulting in a warm, fresh muffin! Realistically, this is just a standard batter, and can be used in a variety of ways. Take the same batter, place it into a ceramic cup and bake it for 22 minutes and ... MUFFIN! The same thing results! It just takes longer. There is ONE extra benefit, which is caramelization. Because the heat is external, the outside of the muffin "browns" creating a more complex flavor. Other than that ... same exact muffin!<br /><br /> I wanted to conduct a test by making a big batch of basic unsweetened OMM batter, infused with a few herbs and some garlic. I wanted something resembling a focaccia, but without yeast or wheat. I wanted it "quick bread" style!<br /><br /> It's too much batter for the microwave, but the very same batter could be popped into the microwave for little savory herb muffins.<br /><br /> Let's just say ... it worked! IT WORKED WONDERS!! Delicious! Try some with dinner, or ... slice it for AMAZING sandwiches!BakedLunch5 min25 mins30 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Herby-Sandwich-Bread-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Herby-Sandwich-Bread-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Herby-Sandwich-Bread-31cup104golden flaxseed mealhttp://amzn.com/B000EDK5MG?tag=lcrecipe-204803624320321cup112almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-206405624240121 1/2tbsp18baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-2022.5004.5001tbsp2fresh rosemary, chopped2.62.12.06.420.281tsp2crushed red chili flakes6.36.34.241.140.541tsp4salt, divided0000008large400whole eggs, beaten57240524001/4cup54extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20477.554000012each36garlic cloves, minced04801200Pre-heat oven to 350 F.In a medium bowl, combine flax, almond flour, baking powder, rosemary, chili flakes and half of the salt. Mix well.Add the eggs, olive oil and garlic to the mix. Mix well.Grease a 9" x 9" square baking pan. Pour the batter into the pan. With a spatula, smooth it out so that it is evenly distributed throughout the pan. Sprinkle the remaining salt over the top of the batter.Bake at 350 F for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and nicely puffed.Place on a rack and cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Serve!Italian Turkey Club SandwichTrueWhen I was younger, I worked in a high end deli in West Seattle. We made all manner of sandwiches, on a wide variety of breads. Hot, cold, custom style, etc. It didn't matter.<br /><br /> There was one sandwich concept which I LOVED, and always thought was so cool, but never really made in my real life until recently! Recently, I made a sort of Super Low Carb Focaccia. It's a big sheet of slightly spicy and herby bread, loaded with garlic and topped with salt. It's just FANTASTIC and SOOO easy to make! With this perfect homemade sheet of goodness, I was able to start making this sandwich, again!<br /><br /> This is where the idea becomes less a specific recipe <em>(even though it is one)</em> and more a general concept for a larger sandwich idea.<br /><br /> The idea is, take the large sheet of focaccia, and split it evenly through the center, creating thin sheets representing the top and bottom. Imagine a GIGANTIC sandwich! Once you've got the two halves, you can spread your condiments into it, layer in your fillings, put the top on and ... then CUT OUT the sandwiches, in any size and shape you'd like! Imagine you're making sandwiches for the whole family. By doing this, you can cut out a big sandwich for Papa Bear, a medium sandwich for Mama Bear, and 3 little sandwiches for the cubs. This will likely leave a small sandwich or two for a midnight snack!<br /><br /> At the deli, we would cut different sizes and just sell them by the pound. Oh, I loved that idea!BakedLunch2 mins1 min3 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Club-Sandwich-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Club-Sandwich-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Club-Sandwich-31sheet624grain-free focacciahttp://www.djfoodie.com/Herby-Sandwich-Bread1688.98140.4676.350.06022.821/2cup193Pesto alla Genovesehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Traditional-Basil-Pesto853.1589.8311.626.810.261 1/2lb681sliced turkey68113.62122.5813.620012slices96cooked bacon526.0841.2834.56.96001medium91tomato, sliced thin1601401salt and pepper, to taste000000This is best with a long, sharp serrated knife. Hold your knife directly in the middle of one corner of the focaccia sheet, with the knife blade parallel to the counter top. Slice in about 6 inches. Continue slicing, while slowly rotating the sheet in a circle. Be very careful not to break through the top or the bottom, as you gently saw away and rotate. The key is keeping the knife at precisely the midpoint between the top and bottom and making sure that it's ALWAYS perfectly parallel to your cutting surface. If it tilts, then it will begin to slice upwards, or downwards. Ultimately, you want two equal thicknesses to the top and bottom halves.Once both halves have been split, spread an equal amount of pesto on the inside of both the top and the bottom.On the bottom, evenly lay out the turkey, followed by the bacon and finally the tomatoes. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the tomatoes and then place the top on the whole thing, with the pesto side facing the tomatoes.Cut out sandwiches! This is designed for 6 substantial sandwiches, but a variety of numbers are possible. Cut out 48 little mini sandwiches for a party!Enjoy!Spiced Zucchini Bread OMMTrueHere we have a slightly spiced zucchini bread style "One-Minute-Muffin". I thought about coming up with some kind of exotic frosting for it, but decided to keep it simple. Fresh from the microwave, smearing some softened salted butter onto the top of one of these would be a simple, inviting and MORE than appropriate complement!<br /><br /> This particular blend comes across as quite hearty. With the fiber rich flax, it comes across as a bit course and not entirely unlike a zucchini bread made with whole grains!<br /><br /> Much like my more formal "Zucchini Bread Loaf", this is similarly spiced, but I've opted to swap out the pecans for walnuts. <em>(either will work, though!)</em><br /><br /> <strong>Photo Note:</strong> In the background is this Zucchini OMM's savory cousin, the "<a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Bacon-Zucchini-OMM">Savory Zucchini, Bacon and Herb OMM</a>".BakedDesserts2 min1 mins3 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Zucchini-Bread-OMM-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Zucchini-Bread-OMM-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Zucchini-Bread-OMM-32tbsp13golden flaxseed mealhttp://amzn.com/B000EDK5MG?tag=lcrecipe-20604.534042tbsp14almond mealhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-208073301.52tbsp30'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000303001/2tsp2baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-202.500.5001/2tsp1cinnamon, ground2.47.01.04.810.531/4tsp.5nutmeg, freshly ground2.63.18.03.250.111dash0cloves, freshly ground0000001dash0salt0000002tbsp22.5grated zucchini3.62.07.28.770.281tbsp7.5walnut halves, broken and toasted49.064.911.1310.51large50whole egg71.556.5.5001tsp4.67fresh whole butter, melted33.333.6700001/2tsp2vanilla extract5.7700.2500In a wide mouthed coffee mug, combine your flax, almond meal, sugar replacement, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. (I like to grease my mug first, but I don't think it's necessary)Squeeze the water out of your zucchini, by squeezing it within your fist, over the sink. Un-clump the zucchini, so it is back in strand form.Mix in your zucchini, walnuts, egg, butter and vanilla.Microwave on high for 60 seconds (90 seconds if using a weaker microwave)Try it with butter. Eat and enjoy!Savory Zucchini, Bacon and Herb OMMTrueFor years, I lived down in Mexico with a broken microwave. I'd read and read about the "One-Minute-Muffins" in all the various low-carb forums, but never had the opportunity to TRY one! I finally moved into an apartment with a working microwave and gave one a shot. O ... M ... G!!!<br /><br /> Since then, I've been making all sorts of flavors! This is about my 8th flavor combination, so far <em>(on the website, anyway)</em>. I wanted to try something different, though. No more SWEET flavors, and no just plan breads, either. I wanted something interesting, unique and special! The kind of think you could serve in place of a bread basket during a nice meal and NO ONE will question you about the lack of "bread" ... they'll just gobble THESE tasty things down and beg for more!<br /><br /> I chose to go "savory" this time, starting with a zucchini base. I then incorporated bacon, parmesan, fresh herbs and a simple topping of cream cheese!<br /><br /> Pretty, tasty and ... pretty spectacular, too!BakedSides2 mins1 min3 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bacon-Zucchini-OMM-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bacon-Zucchini-OMM-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bacon-Zucchini-OMM-32tbsp13golden flaxseed mealhttp://amzn.com/B000EDK5MG?tag=lcrecipe-20604.534042tbsp14almond mealhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-208073301.52tbsp12.5parmesan cheese, grated53.883.634.75.5001/2tsp2baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-202.500.5001dash0salt0000002tbsp22.5grated zucchini3.62.07.28.770.281tbsp6chopped toasted pecans42.754.44.56.880.631large50whole egg71.556.5.5001tsp4.67bacon fat, melted33.333.6700001tbsp7.1real bacon bits, divided251.530001/2tsp.5chopped fresh thyme, divided.01.51.03.120.073tbsp42.56full fat cream cheese, warmed145.6814.52.561.6600In a wide mouthed coffee mug, combine your flax, almond meal, parmesan, baking powder and salt. (I like to grease my mug first, but I don't think it's necessary)Squeeze the water out of your zucchini, by squeezing it within your fist, over the sink. Un-clump the zucchini, so it is back in strand form.Mix in your zucchini, pecans, egg, bacon fat, half of the bacon bits and half of the thyme.Microwave on high for 60 seconds (90 seconds if using a weaker microwave)Garnish with a nice layer of cream cheese and then sprinkle the remaining bacon bits and thyme on to the top!Pumpkin-Spice OMM with Maple ButterTrueHere we have a very simple pumpkin OMM. It's little more than a basic OMM recipe, but with the addition of some spices and a healthy spoonful of pumpkin puree! The end result is little more than a quick pumpkin yum, perfect for any time of the day!<br /><br /> It's midnight and you can't sleep? Pumpkin OMM! It's 9 PM and there's a "Moonlighting" marathon on TV? Pumpkin OMM! The dogs just jumped on the table and ate the eggs and bacon? PUMPKIN OMM!<br /><br /> The one thing that I personally feel makes this a bit on the special side is the partner in crime. MAPLE BUTTER! The reality is, this is something I should have probably made its own recipe, rather than hiding it here, but ... that's not the road I chose. Only you reading the Pumpkin OMM recipe will be privy to the maple butter, which ... is AWESOME slathered on a pork chop! It's AMAZING on a fresh hot Pumpkin OMM straight from the nuker. It's perfect melted on top a thick stack of pancakes in the morning! Make a batch of this splendid butter and stash it in the freezer, in one big plastic wrapped log. Just slice off a disc when you need some. You'll find it won't last long!<br /><br /> <strong>Maple Butter Suggestion:</strong> The recipe for the maple butter is actually 1/2 cup butter <em>(softened)</em> and 1/4 cup <a href="http://amzn.com/B000TO7U64?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">sugar-free pancake syrup</a>. With a mixer, whip the butter until it's light in color and airy. Then, pour in the syrup, with a dash of salt and whip until combined. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter, then spread your butter into a small log. Roll the log in the plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze. This will make enough butter for about 6 to 8 OMM's. The amounts below are listed in this manner, so that I could keep the recipe as a single serving.BakedDesserts5 min1 mins6 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pumpkin-OMM-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pumpkin-OMM-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pumpkin-OMM-31tbsp14butter1001100001/2tbsp7.5sugar free maple syruphttp://amzn.com/B000TO7U64?tag=lcrecipe-200000001dash0salt0000002tbsp13golden flaxseed mealhttp://amzn.com/B000EDK5MG?tag=lcrecipe-20604.534042tbsp14hazelnut flour (substitute almond meal)http://amzn.com/B005P0I322?tag=lcrecipe-20908.522.501.52tbsp30'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000303001/2tsp2baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-202.500.5001/2tsp1cinnamon, ground2.47.01.04.810.531/4tsp.5nutmeg, freshly ground2.63.18.03.250.111dash0cloves, freshly ground0000001dash0dried powdered ginger0000001dash0salt0000002tbsp30.56mashed pumpkinhttp://amzn.com/B001JEFIF8?tag=lcrecipe-2012.420.252.480.991large50whole egg71.556.5.500Read the notes about the Maple Butter, above. The best method for this is to make a large batch, in advance.In a wide mouthed coffee mug, combine your flax, hazelnut (or almond) meal, sugar replacement, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and salt. (I like to grease my mug first, but I don't think it's necessary)Mix in your egg and pumpkin puree.Microwave on high for 60 seconds (90 seconds if using a weaker microwave)Slather some maple butter on top. Eat and enjoy!Frosted Carrot Cake OMM with PecansTrueSomeone, somewhere, at some point in time decided to run a poorly run test on cooked carrots, deeming them to be INCREDIBLY high glycemic, converting to glucose in the blood MUCH FASTER than regular ol' table sugar! As a result, these fairly low-carb underground orange sticks have been passed over, time and time again, by most looking to maintain a stable level of blood sugar.<br /><br /> I'm here to tell you ... lies. ALL LIES!!<br /><br /> Carrots are fine! They are, in fact, good for you! Cooked, raw, peeled or unpeeled, carrots are NOT going to hurt you. When I really stop and think about it, it's silly to think that someone, somewhere, at some point in time became obese by a carrot heavy diet. I just really don't believe that to be true.<br /><br /> Carrots were once thought to have a GI of 90+ <em>(pure glucose is 100, while table sugar is merely 65!)</em>. Current reports clock cooked carrots in at closer to 30 or 40, which is fairly low glycemic <em>(lower than sweet potatoes)</em>.<br /><br /> THESE sweet carrot and pecan muffins attempt to capture the spirit of a fresh carrot cake, smeared with a bit of cream cheese frosting! It's pretty amazing what can be done in 60 seconds!BakedDesserts5 mins1 min6 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Carrot-Cake-OMM-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Carrot-Cake-OMM-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Carrot-Cake-OMM-32tbsp13golden flaxseed mealhttp://amzn.com/B000EDK5MG?tag=lcrecipe-20604.534042tbsp14almond mealhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-208073301.52tbsp30'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000303001/2tsp2baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-202.500.5001/2tsp1cinnamon, ground2.47.01.04.810.531/4tsp.5nutmeg, freshly ground2.63.18.03.250.111dash0salt0000002tbsp14grated raw carrot5.630.131.380.381tbsp6chopped toasted pecans42.754.44.56.880.631large50whole egg71.556.5.5001tsp4.67fresh whole butter, melted33.333.6700001/2tsp2vanilla extract5.7700.25001 1/2tbsp21.28full fat cream cheese, warmed72.847.251.28.83001tbsp14fresh whole butter, softened1001100003tbsp37.5powdered sugar equivalenthttp://amzn.com/B004X73DAU?tag=lcrecipe-2000037.537.50dash vanilla extract100000dash salt000000In a wide mouthed coffee mug, combine your flax, almond meal, sugar replacement, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. (I like to grease my mug first, but I don't think it's necessary)Mix in your carrots, pecans, egg, butter and vanilla.Microwave on high for 60 seconds (90 seconds if using a weaker microwave)While the muffin is nuking, beat together your cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar replacement, vanilla and salt. Make sure your cream cheese and butter are soft (leave out at room temperature for a while) before whipping, or else mixing will be difficult, at best.Slather some frosting on top. Eat and enjoy!Plain ol' Vanilla OMMTrueAhhh ... the One Minute Muffin <em>(OMM)</em> or Muffin in a Minute <em>(MIM)</em> ... plain.<br /><br /> It seems that no matter what is presented, there's always someone that can't do this, can't do this, isn't able to absorb that, just wants it plain, etc. This is fine, common and I love being able to present options and alternatives! One of the bigger issues related to many OMM varieties is the prevalence of "flax", even as many others seek it out and love it! Flax does have a stronger flavor and is quite high in fiber. It tends to give a deeper "earthiness" to the muffins, a darker color and tends to hide more delicate flavors like ... vanilla.<br /><br /> So! This recipe is on the lighter, more cakier side! It's using softer, finer ingredients with an overall more synergistic yum, resulting in a light and mellow OMM!<br /><br /> <Strong>Note:</strong> The protein powder and almond meal are unnecessary, frankly. If you were to use STRICTLY coconut flour for this, completely omitting <em>(not replacing!)</em> those two ingredients, you'll still have a very nice little OMM, albeit one with a slightly greater coconut flavor. What I like about this personal blend is that it mellows the coconut flavor and allows a little more of the vanilla to shine through. I also personally like the extra little boost of protein, but ... that's just me.<br /><br /> This recipe is a GREAT starting point for adding your own spins and flavors, too! Throw some blueberries into the batter, for example! Slather some butter on it!<br /><br /> It's a blank slate, but a nice tasty and soft one. Plain 'ol vanilla ...BakedDesserts1 min1 mins2 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Vanilla-OMM-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Vanilla-OMM-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Vanilla-OMM-31tbsp7coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-2031.751.754.5031tbsp7almond mealhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-20403.51.51.50.751tbsp7vanilla zero carb whey proteinhttp://amzn.com/B000GOZU32?tag=lcrecipe-202506.50001tbsp15'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000151501/2tsp2baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-202.500.5001dash0salt0000001large50whole egg71.556.5.5001tsp4.67fresh whole butter, melted33.333.6700001/2tsp2vanilla extract5.7700.2500In a wide mouthed coffee mug, combine your coconut flour, almond meal, protein powder, sugar replacement, baking powder and salt. (or other microwaveable safe mold, of some kind. (I like to grease my mug first, but I don't think it's necessary))Mix in your egg, melted butter and vanilla.Microwave on high for 60 seconds, (90 seconds if using a weaker microwave, or if you've added lots of other ingredients, like nuts, frozen berries, etc.)Eat and enjoy!Hot Pickled OnionsTrueI LOVE pickled onions! ... HOWEVER! They need to be super fresh, relatively young and thinly sliced.<br /><br /> Onions are the third most consumed vegetable in the United States <em>(behind potatoes and tomatoes)</em>. As a result, they tend to be heavily mass produced. As a result of their durability and capacity to stay edible for several months, unrefrigerated, many onions are REALLY pushing the edge of "fresh", by the time they get home. An older onion is FAR more likely to make you cry when you cut it. It'll have that strong ... funky ... ONIONY flavor, which is something I personally detest <em>(much in the same way I LOVE super clean fresh fish, but LOATHE that old "fishy" smell)</em>!<br /><br /> Look for onions with thin "tissue-like" skins, no bruises or blemishes and which are free of cuts. The necks should be clean and dry. If they have any wet spots, discolorations or soft mushy bits ... move on!<br /><br /> A good, fresh onion will slice clean and have virtually no odor. With a sharp knife, you should not cry. The taste should be quite sweet, without the slightly bitter "heat", which can come from an old onion. The best bet is to get them at a Farmer's market, where they were very likely harvested within the previous 48 hours!<br /><br /> When using onions for pickling, or caramelizing, slice them from top to bottom, rather than side-to-side. This will help them stay intact, rather than turning into a pile of mush. In this particular instance, thinner is better! Let them sit and marinate for at least 30 minutes, but ... overnight is better! They will take on a beautiful magenta hue!<br /><br /> Finally, these delightfully tart, slightly sweet and somewhat spicy pickled onions are PERFECT as a topping on a <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Cochinita-Pibil">Cochinita Pibil Taco</a>, with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Taco-Shell">Cheddar Taco Shell</a>. They're also great as a garnish in soups, as well as thrown into most salads! They have a strong flavor, but ... one that tends to complement many dishes.QuickSidesVegetarian15 min10 mins25 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pickled-Onions-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pickled-Onions-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pickled-Onions-31medium110red onion, very thinly sliced440110021each6.67jalepeno chillies, seeds removed and thinly sliced.042.09.40.191/4cup61lime juice, freshly squeezed015.26.265.260.261tsp4salt000000In a small non-reactive bowl, mix the onion, jalapeño, lime juice and salt. Mix well, then cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight.Slow Cooker Cochinita PibilTrueI have a weird fascination with Cochinita Pibil <em>(Buried Baby Pig)</em>. This is a near ancient dish, harking from the Mayan people in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. If you've never had it, stop what you're doing, start making some calls and track down the ingredients. There are only two truly odd ones <em>(achiote paste and banana leaves)</em>, with only one being an absolute must <em>(the achiote)</em>.<br /><br /> If I had to compare it to something, it most closely resembles BBQ Pork from the Eastern part of North Carolina. It's a somewhat spicy and tart flavor. Recipes vary, but it's usually a shredded pork, with sour orange, and achiote pasta <em>(a paste made from the annatto seed)</em>. It's easily one of my favorite things on this planet.<br /><br /> Easily!<br /><br /> Pork was introduced to the Mayans by the Spaniards, hundreds of years ago. They Mayans would take whole baby pigs, marinate them in indigenous herbs, spices, citrus and achiote for a night or a day. Then, they would make a fire at the bottom of a pit, wrap the pork in banana leaves, then bury the whole package underground where it would slowly cook, as the acid from the citrus continued to break down the tough meat.<br /><br /> Seeing as I've lived about 25% of my life in Mexico, I like to be culturally sensitive, as often as possible. This mind blowing and historic Mexican recipe can only be described as "El Yummo!" ;)<br /><br /> Y es chingon, también!<br /><br /> <strong>Note</strong>: We're going to substitute a crock pot for a hole in the ground. We're also going to substitute a pork shoulder <em>(Boston Butt)</em> for a suckling pig. Finally, if you cannot find banana leaves <em>(often found in both Latin and/or Asian markets)</em>, you can go without, but the achiote paste is a must!<br /><br /> <strong>Photo Note</strong>: Final photo taken with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/pickled-onions">pickled onions</a> and <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Taco-Shells">cheddar taco shells</a>.MainPork15 mins9 hrs1 day8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cochinita-Pibil-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cochinita-Pibil-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cochinita-Pibil-31each140orange6900180313.5 oz box (about 1/3 cup)100achiote pastehttp://amzn.com/B0000GHNV8?tag=lcrecipe-201852.5535013.132each26.66jalepeno chillies, seeds removed.168.361.580.742tsp4cumin seed, ground.881501.760.441tsp2coriander seed, ground.365.96.241.10.841tsp2cinnamon, ground4.94.02.081.6201.061/2tsp1cloves, ground3.23.2.06.610.341/2bunch50cilantro, washed and stems removed11.5.271.091.8701.4512each36garlic cloves, sliced into 1/8th inch thick "chips"048012001/2cup122lime juice, freshly squeezed030.52.5210.520.521each2724pork butt, bone-in (also known as "shoulder" or "boston butt" ... about 5 to 6 lbs)64204924680003each112banana leaves (optional, but recommended)http://amzn.com/B00D4DJ4A2?tag=lcrecipe-20000000salt and pepper, to taste000000With a vegetable peeler, peel 6 nice strips of JUST the outer orange rind, trying not to get any of the white pith. The strips should be about ¾-inch by 3 inches. Set aside. Juice the orange and set aside. Discard the rest of the orange.In a blender, combine orange juice, rind, achiote paste, lime juice, jalapeños, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.With a paring knife, or a sharpening steel, deeply puncture the pork, repeatedly, making 20 to 30 deep holes around the entire surface of the meat.In a large bowl or storage container with a lid, liberally rub the achiote mixture from the blender all over the outside of the pork, pushing some into the holes of the pork, as well. Pour any remaining marinade over the top of the pork. Cover and refrigerate over night.Highly suggested, but optional step: You will want 3 nice clean and un-cracked sections of banana leaves about 1 ½ feet by 3 feet in length. Line the inside of your slow cooker with banana leaves, making sure that large flaps hang over the outside of the crock pot.Place the pork in the slow cooker, and pour the marinade over the top of the pork. If you used banana leaves, wrap the flaps over the top of the pork, to completely cover it, making a nice tidy little package.Turn the cooker to low and cook for 8 to 9 hours.When the meat can be easily shredded with a fork, remove it from the crock pot and shred. Add enough of the remaining juice to keep it nice and moist.(Optional step: I LOVE the juice at the bottom. Many simply discard it, at this point, but I will put it in a pan and slowly reduce it until it's like a thin BBQ sauce. Then, I drizzle it over the top of my meat. With the pickled onions and some salsa ... it's FANTASTIC!)Serve!Chilled Melon & Cucumber SoupTrueI don't know why, but somehow this feels like a weird spiritual nod to <a href="http://www.barefootcontessa.com" target="_blank">Ina Garten</a>. She has such a calm and smooth presence. I picture eating something like this in her backyard on a warm, sunny, weekend day. She doesn't know I'm there, of course, but ... <br /><br /> ... that's an entirely different story!<br /><br /> There's somewhat of a hierarchy when it comes to fruits. So many low-carbers are intimidated by the idea of fruit, and while I'd definitely suggest staying away from a really ripe banana, some fruits are absolutely fine! People usually begin slowly adding berries into their way of eating. This is usually followed by layering in a bit of melon!<br /><br /> In this case, I've got a chilled summer melon soup, which is incredibly easy to make. I've also added a touch of cucumber <em>(a relative of the melon)</em> to add some dimension, reduce the carbs and lend a bit of texture. This refreshing soup is then topped with a small dollop of Greek yogurt and mint!<br /><br /> <strong>Melon Safety</strong>: One of the largest sources of foodborne illnesses stem from melons. It's not because there is anything wrong with the melon, or that the inside of the melon has bacteria, it's that melons grow in the dirt, where they are harvested and transported, finally being purchased by you, taken home, cut and eaten. The issue is related to the surface of the melon. If it is not very well cleaned, a knife travelling through the melon will carry all the bacteria on the surface, right through the newly cut flesh. ALWAYS wash your melons before cutting them. It will save you!SoupsVegetarian15 mins0 mins15 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chilled-Melon-Soup-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chilled-Melon-Soup-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chilled-Melon-Soup-31each108lemon07.63.132.630.132each602english cucumbers92.620023.1603.473cups510casaba melon cubes (or most any other melon)0144633062tbsp30'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000303001/2cup113greek yogurt, plain and full fat1301145001tbsp5.5fresh mint, leaves sliced thin2.42.06.16.440.39salt, to taste000000With a vegetable peeler, peel a thin strip of yellow lemon zest off the outside of the lemon. You want a thin piece about 1 inch long and 1/2 inch wide. Chop this very finely. Set aside. Juice the lemon. Also set this aside.Cut a 2 inch section out of the center of one of the cucumbers and cut it into small pieces, about the size of a pencil eraser. Set aside.Peel the rest of the cucumber, cut it into rough pieces and place in a blender, along with the melon cubes, sweetener, lemon juice and a dash of salt. Puree until smooth.In a small mixing bowl, mix the yoghurt with the lemon zest, cucumber dice and half of the mint slices.Pour the soup into 6 bowls, garnishing each bowl with a nice dollop of cucumber yoghurt and finally, dust with the remaining mint slices. Serve!Pepperoni PizzattataTrueMy pickle of a pursuit for the perfect pizza proxy persists!<br /><br /> I'm always looking for ways to fill that empty leg of mine. One of the many ways in which I look to satisfy my desires is in pursuing pizza and pizza-like substitutes. To date, I've yet to enjoy a pizza as satisfying as those from my darker days. As fantastic as the food is that I eat, a perfect low-carb pizza to me, is like the Great Pumpkin is to Linus. I believe it's out there and I spread that message far and wide, and while I am a true believer ... I've never actually seen one.<br /><br /> So, on occasion, rather than try and duplicate a perfect pizza, I swerve and ... make pizza fusions!<br /><br /> In this case, I've taken two of my favorite things ... a pizza and ... a frittata and I've made them one. A perfect pizzattata!<br /><br /> At it's core, it's little more than a crust-less quiche topped with tomato sauce, pepperoni and cheese, but when you bite into the warm soft custard, topped with the crunchy browned cheese and streams of bright orange oil ... your mind will think of pizza ... and feel satisfaction ... if even only for a minute.<br /><br /> <strong>Other Pizza Pursuits:</strong> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Pizza-Enchiladas">Pizzachiladas</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Pizza-Cups">Pizza Pucks</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Pizza-Stuffed-Chicken-Breast">Pizza Stuffed Chicken</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Pizza-Pockets">Pizza Pockets</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Pizza-Attempted-on-Tortilla">Pizza on a Tortilla</a></li> </ul>BreakfastLunch15 min45 mins1 hr 10 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pizzattata-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pizzattata-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pizzattata-31/2lb227raw italian sausage (sweet or spicy)541.7439.1241.93.8401.441tbsp14light oil/fat (such as lard, olive or ghee)1212000001lb454crimini or button mushrooms, quartered0122.5813.6218.1604.542each236small green zucchini, cut into half moons38.742.928.0402.922tsp2fresh oregano, rough chop.042.02.12.480.282cup224whole milk, low moisture mozzarella, grated70256488001cup100parmesan cheese, grated43129384001/2lb227pepperoni slices, divided1121.499.8852.210001/2lb227ham, deli slices16.03356.5346.744.01008large400whole eggs57240524001cup238cream, heavy whipping8218857001cup240unsweetened almond milkhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-20453.523011cup250low carb pasta saucehttp://amzn.com/B0079OQEX2?tag=lcrecipe-201401041204salt, fresh cracked pepper and chili flakes, to taste000000If your Italian sausage is in casings, remove it. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, sauté it, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, as if it were ground beef. When it is cooked, set in a bowl to cool.In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add a little oil and then sauté the mushrooms with a little salt and pepper. When the mushrooms are about half cooked and have lost most of their water, add the zucchini to the pan and turn the heat up to high. Add the chopped oregano and little salt and pepper. Remove the veggies and set in a bowl on the side. The zucchini should still be firm, but soft enough to eat.Pre-heat oven to 350 F.Grease a round 9-inch cake pan.Combine the mozzarella and parmesan together.Mix one-third of the cheese mixture with the cooked sausage and then line the bottom of the cake pan.With half of the pepperoni slices, create a layer of pepperoni on top of the sausage, followed a layer of sliced ham.Mix one third of the cheese mixture with the vegetables, then create a layer of the vegetable cheese mixture on top of the ham.In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream and almond milk with a little bit of salt and pepper. Whisk well. Slowly pour the mixture over the top of the pan and allow it to sink into the ingredients. If using modified ingredients or pan size, be sure to leave enough room in the top of the pan for some tomato sauce, pepperoni and more cheese.Once the egg mixture has been added, gently and evenly spoon some marinara sauce around the top of the pan.Spread a layer of pepperoni.Top with the remaining cheese.Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes, or until it's somewhat puffed in the center and the cheese is golden in color.Remove from the oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting.Cut and serve!Double-Double: Animal & Protein StyleTrueThere are those of you reading this that ... are in the know. You KNOW what a "Double-Double" is. You've heard the term "Animal Style" and you know what it means to be served "Protein Style". If you're you, and you're in the know ... chances are ... you're grinning, right now.<br /><br /> To In-N-Out Purists ... this is "inspired" by ... not a direct copycat.<br /><br /> To those scratching your noggins, there is a restaurant chain based out of Southern California, called "<a href="http://www.in-n-out.com/" target="_blank">In-N-Out Burger</a>". There are near 300 of them scattered around California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Texas ... with most being in California. It's little more than a burger joint starting as California's first drive-through in 1948, but ... it has grown and it's got a somewhat fanatical <em>(dare I say "cult-like"?)</em> following! As a kid, I remember ALWAYS wanting an In-N-Out Burger, whenever we'd go near Southern California. The burgers aren't particularly mind blowing, but they ARE very good, ESPECIALLY for a fast food burger. It's a clean and happy burger, served from a well treated staff. Their mission, unchanged in 65 years, "Give customers the freshest, highest quality foods you can buy and provide them with friendly service in a sparkling clean environment."<br /><br /> Chefs even love the place! Julia Child was fan and could name ALL the locations between Santa Barbara and San Francisco. Gordon Ramsay? Thomas Keller? Tony Bourdain? Mario Batali? All fans!<br /><br /> To walk into one, you would immediately note the sparking clean and very white interior, with clean white uniforms, red aprons and paper hats. Look up and see a clean uncluttered menu, with barely more than 3 hamburger varieties, French fries, soda and 3 tasty milkshake varieties. Simple. Those "outside the know" ... order a burger and fries and enjoy it for what it is ... They MIGHT notice that their cup reads, "John 3:16" or that their burger wrapper reads, "Revelation 3:20" ... reflections of the Christian beliefs of the family that founded and runs it ... the Snyder family.<br /><br /> Probably the most interesting thing about In-N-Out is ... its secret menu. As stated, the actual menu presented to walk-ins is brief and uncluttered. However, there's a secret lingo that goes into ordering at an In-N-Out, involving terms like "Wish Burger" <em>(bleh)</em>, "Four-by-Four", "Animal-Style" and the "Flying Dutchman". A true Atkins die-hard could walk into an In-N-Out burger, straight to the counter and confidently ask for a "Four-by-Four, Flying Dutchman, Animal-Style" and ... LOVE what they get! <em>(four medium-well burgers, fried in onions and mustard, alternated with 4 slices of melted American cheese, and a side of pickles and thousand island dressing ... no bun, no lettuce, just a sloppy pile of glorious goodness)</em><br /><br /> What we have here is a "Double-Double, Cold Cheese" (two slices of meat, with two slices of American Cheese, unmelted), served "Protein Style" <em>(lettuce replacing the buns)</em> and cooked "Animal Style" <em>(meat is fried in onions and mustard, and served with extra thousand island dressing, and extra pickles)</em>, and served with whole grilled onions. YUM!<br /><br /> There is one clear and major flaw with In-N-Outs otherwise sterling reputation and near perfect formula. With all the available secret options (from grilled cheese, to hot chilies) ... each and every one store is strictly BYOB <em>(Bring Your Own Bacon)</em>. <br /><br /> Five Guys?<br /><br /> <strong>"What's That?" Note</strong>: The photo is taken with fried lotus root and sweet potatoes, which have been tossed with a bit of salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Pretend they're not there. The crunchy mixture comes in at about 15 net carbs per "small, yet reasonable" serving. As a result, I've opted not to make them their own recipe ... even though they were super awesome! <em>(I know ... I'm mean)</em> :(BeefLunchMain15 min10 mins25 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Double-Double-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Double-Double-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Double-Double-31 1/2lb681ground beef1729.5136.2115.770001small110onion440110022tbsp30yellow mustard1.1724.751.482.9201.21tbsp14light oil/fat (such as lard, olive or ghee)1212000008slices168american cheese63052.3337.182.75001/4cup62.5thousand island dressing231.2522.75100.51/4cup38.75pickle slices4.750.2510.516large leaves288iceberg lettuce4004804salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Form 8 thin 3-oz hamburger patties from the ground beef.Cut the onion into 4 wedges. Chop one of the wedges into fairly fine chopped onions and set aside. Slice the other 3 wedges into thin slices of onion. Also set aside.Combine the finely chopped onions and mustard and blend together. Season the outside of the burgers with salt and pepper, then liberally coat with the onion/mustard mixture.Heat a flat-top griddle (or two large skillets) over medium heat. Once hot, spread some light oil or lard around the griddle and quickly place your 8 burgers down onto the hot greased surface. Let them sear.Also, add the sliced onions to the griddle, with a little bit of salt and pepper. Stir them, occasionally.While the burgers sear, lay down 4 piles of lettuce leaves, each consisting of two thick heavy lettuce leaves.When the burgers are seared, flip them over and sear the other side. Allow them to sear until they are just under medium-well. If you'd like, you can add the cheese while on the grill and melt it over the hot burger (I don't like melted cheese on my griddle ... it's harder to clean and I'm lazy ... so I add it cold).Place a burger on each small pile of lettuce. Place a slice of cheese, then another burger patty, then another slice of cheese. Top with a hefty smattering of thousand island dressing, pickle slices and hot grilled onions.Place the final lettuce leaves on top, call a friend and ... EAT UP!Sweet Thai Cucumber SaladTrueSeveral months ago, I wrote a recipe for Thai Fish Cakes, which turned out to be surprisingly popular! There are times when I'm fairly sure I know a recipe will do well and times I feel a recipe will not be very popular, but … still loved by a small select few. I expected the Fish Cakes to be the latter. However, when I posted it, it soared across Facebook, apparently landing in front of Mark Sisson who decided to share it on his blog! That day was the most traffic I had on my website, in the first year. WHOO HOO!<br /><br /> At the base of that recipe was a small little note suggesting that people serve this with a Thai Cucumber Salad, followed by brief instructions. Interestingly, I received a few comments on that note, with people actually trying it and suggesting it was, indeed, a perfect pairing! Here's where my old age shows and I have some fuzzy recall … At the time, I remembered getting an email, or a Facebook comment, or … a comment on Pinterest or … SOMETHING. The person appeared to be doing back flips over the cucumber salad idea at the base of the fish cakes. When I read that, I made a mental note to bring forth a full recipe.<br /><br /> Here is that recipe!<br /><br /> <strong>Variations</strong>: I've seen many variations on this. Fun additions are toasted peanuts, red Thai chilies, shredded carrots, slivered red bell peppers, green mango, lime juice, cilantro leaves, mint leaves, etc.<br /><br /> <strong>Delicious served with</strong>: <ul><li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Thai-Fish-Cakes">Thai Fish Cakes!</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Thai-Grilled-Beef-Skewers">Thai Beef Skewers</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Grilled-Chicken-Satay">Grilled Chicken Satay</a></li></ul>SaladsSidesVegetarian10 mins0 mins40 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Thai-Cucumber-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Thai-Cucumber-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Thai-Cucumber-Salad-32each602english cucumber, sliced into very thin rings92.620023.1603.471medium110red onion, very thinly sliced440110022each13.33jalepeno chillies, seeds removed and thinly sliced.084.18.790.371/4cup60rice wine vinegar019.804.2001/4cup50'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000505002tbsp36fish saucehttp://amzn.com/B000EICPAG?tag=lcrecipe-2012.601.81.44001tsp4salt000000Mix the ingredients together. Allow to sit and macerate for at least 30 minutes, mixing occasionally. This is REALLY excellent if left to sit overnight!Eat!Crepe Fettuccine with Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella and PestoTruePasta! Ahhhh ... pasta. I don't know about you, but for me ... pasta. PASTA! Pasta was probably one of my personal biggest downfalls. It's easy to make, it lives in boxes in the cupboard ... seemingly forever, it's filling, comforting and delicious. It seems like the perfect food! Too bad it's got virtually no nutritional value and almost killed me!<br /><br /> Ahhhhh ... pasta.<br /><br /> I can't be alone in my relationship with pasta. Pasta would trump a sweet treat any day. Internally, it's all more or less doing the same thing ... insulin runs rampant telling my body to save all that glucose for the day that I awake in a land without food. It's a survival mechanism. Thanks for watching my back, extra glucose!<br /><br /> Mmmmm ... pasta.<br /><br /> I'm often asked about pasta. Sure there are <a href="http://amzn.com/B004YN7Y4Y?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">"low-carb" pastas</a> on the market, which are tasty, quick and easy, just like the real thing. Unfortunately, they are almost TOO close to the real thing and tend to cause nasty cravings and brain fog. There are also <a href="http://amzn.com/B003H26J5I?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Miracle Noodles</a> and <a href="http://amzn.com/B0019JTH96?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Kelp Noodles</a>, which are both great and absolutely perfect for a low-carb lifestyle, but ... they don't quite carry that same allure. They're both texturally different, require a bit of extra fanoodling and neither are terribly yum with a European style preparation. I just can't imagine crunchy seaweed noodles with a meaty Bolognese. <strong>*shudder*</strong><br /><br /> Then, we get into <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Spaghetti-Squash">Spaghetti Squash</a> and <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Zoodles">Zoodles</a>. Both are fantastic veggie side dishes and can be tasty with something like an <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Thick-Goopy-Alfredo-Sauce">Alfredo Sauce</a>, but they still don't QUITE hit that same spot.<br /><br /> These little crepe noodles come about as close as I've come to a noodle which pulls from the flavors you give it. They have a wonderful texture <em>(not as slide-y as a good noodle, but still quite nice!)</em>. They hold up well on the end of a fork, they can be cut into a variety of shapes and sizes, they're super low-carb, and are just flat out delicious! Do they hit the same spot as a box of delicious horror? Nope! Not quite, but ... SOOOOO close!<br /><br /> Worth the effort. I promise you!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> The <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/All-Purpose-Crepes">crepe recipe</a> is a fantastic recipe. For a good year, I'd make a batch or two at the beginning of the week and just use the sheets for wraps, pasta, casseroles and desserts. I can't stress enough how versatile and awesome these crepes really are.MainPastaVegetarian15 min5 mins20 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Crepe-Noodles-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Crepe-Noodles-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Crepe-Noodles-315each752all purpose ricotta crepeshttp://www.djfoodie.com/All-Purpose-Crepes1404848012002tbsp28olive oil2402400001lb454assorted fresh cherry tomatoes, cut into halves and quarters82.3204.9917.4604.991/2tsp1crushed red chili flakes3.18.17.12.570.271/4cup96.5Pesto alla Genovesehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Traditional-Basil-Pesto426.5844.9211.626.810.261lb454fresh mozzarella, removed from water and cubed (or use boconccini)801120800001/4cup25parmesan (reggiano) cheese, grated107.757.259.510016leaves6.4fresh basil1.47.06.19.190.13salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Stack the crepes into little stacks of 4 or 5, then roll them into fairly tight little logs. Slice each crepe every 1/2-inch for something approximating a Fettuccine noodle. You could double that for something like a Pappardelle, or go much thinner for a Linguini, or … even an Angel Hair. Once cut, pick the noodles up and "fluff" them, so that they are a nice little pile of noodles. Set aside.Place a large sauté pan on the stove, over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the cherry tomatoes and chili flakes with a little bit of salt and pepper. Cook in the oil for about 1 minute.Add the pesto and noodles and toss to coat. Cook for about 1 minute.Add the fresh mozzarella and toss. Cook just long enough for the cheese to begin melting.Divide between 4 plates. Garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Serve!Strawberry-Kiwi PopsiclesTrueLiving down in Mexico for as long as I did, I ran across a million varieties of something called "Agua Fresca" <em>(Fresh Water)</em>. In essence, they are a fruit, or a mixture of fruit, which are mashed, soaked, chopped, and/or pureed then mixed with LOTS of water and sugar. Some also use nuts, grains and spices, but most are just a mixture of fruit, water and sugar. For all tends and purposes, "<a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Strawberry-Basil-Lemonade">Lemonade</a>" is an "Agua Fresca"!<br /><br /> See, sugar, much like salt, as a flavor enhancer. It tends to take the flavors and aromas from an ingredient and STRETCH IT! This is how a watermelon, mixed with gallons of water and some sugar, can bring cool refreshment to a large body of people! It's inexpensive, fun, tasty and brings a smile to many more faces than just the lone watermelon ever could!<br /><br /> The same exact idea and method applies here! By taking a fruit and mixing it with your favorite sweetener, then stretching with water <em>(cream or yoghurt, and a bit of salt)</em>, you can freeze yummy little frozen snacky sticks of goodness! The stretch-ability of the sweetener and salt has a fantastic little side effect for us low-carbers. It dilutes the carbs naturally found in the fruits, allowing us to eat full flavored popsicles made from actual fruits! Through this method, you can eat a wider variety of fruits than you might ordinary eat while staying low-carb. I can envision a mellow pineapple pop. Can't you?!<br /><br /> In addition to being cool on a hot day, inexpensive fun for the whole family, a great way to tickle the taste buds with the forbidden fruit and being a fun way to play with foods ... popsicles also have two other FANTASTIC benefits. By nature, they are rooted in "portion control". It's not like a bottomless barrel of ice cream. It's just a single ice-olated pop! Finally ... popsicles last! You can make a big batch and stash them in the freezer where they'll live for weeks and months! They don't go bad in a day or two. This means you can make a variety of flavors and save them up ... for a bright and sunny day!<br /><br /> <strong>Note</strong>: The mold used for these popsicles is the <a href="http://amzn.com/B000G34F2U?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Tovolo Star Ice Pop Mold</a>.Desserts10 min0 mins4 hrs6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Strawberry-Popsicles-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Strawberry-Popsicles-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Strawberry-Popsicles-32each152kiwi fruits, peeled and coarsely chopped920222043/4cup180water0000001tsp4vanilla extract11.5400.5003tbsp45'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000454501dash0salt0000001cup166sliced strawberries530113033/4cup180water0000001tsp4vanilla extract11.5400.5002tbsp30'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000303001dash0salt000000In a blender, puree the kiwis with the water, vanilla, sweetener and a bit of salt. You don't want to puree for too long, as the seeds will turn the whole mixture a dark ugly color. Just long enough to break them up. You can strain the seeds out, if you like a more consistent perfect green, but I opted to leave them in. Evenly divide the mixture into the molds. The liquid should rise about halfway. Place in the freezer WITHOUT their handles.When the kiwi mixture has frozen, in a blender, puree the strawberries with water, vanilla, sweetener and a bit of salt. Pour the strawberry mixture into the molds. Fit your handles into the base of the molds and freeze until solid.To remove from the molds, hold under hot tap water for about 15 seconds. The pops ... pop right out!Chicken Noodles with Asparagus, Artichokes and Pine NutsTrueA little while back, I was sent a huge number of links to a video with Rocco DiSpirito on a Rachel Ray show. He'd apparently invented something akin to the cure for cancer or ... time travel. He'd come up with a way to make pasta ... out of chicken! <em>(cue the dramatic music!)</em><br /><br /> The big question repeatedly sent to me was ... "WHA?!?! SERIOUSLY?!?!"<br /><br /> To decode that inquisitive exclamation, people wanted to know if that was possible. Could pasta really be made out of chicken? When I saw the video, I was intrigued! I knew what it was and what was happening, and definitely agreed that it was clever, but ... how would it taste?<br /><br /> First of all, let's take a look at the original video:<br /><br /> <center><a href="http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/recipes/rocco-dispiritos-pasta-al-pomodoro/" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/ChickenNoodles01.jpg" border="0"></a></center><br /> What we have here is a chicken emulsion. I'm a big fan of emulsions and use them regularly, as seen in this <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Mini-Crabcakes">Crab Cake Recipe</a>, or this <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Bearnaise">Béarnaise Sauce</a>. It's actually not entirely unlike a very long and thin chicken sausage. Imagine a hot dog, but much much thinner, much much longer and without a casing to hold it all together. That is essentially what this "pasta" is! A really really really really long chicken weiner!<br /><br /> At first, I was a bit skeptical. I knew it would work, but often times these kinds of recipes only really work under a series of magical circumstances <em>(like being on a big sound stage in front of a live studio audience)</em>. Whatever was in that squirt bottle had been tested and tweaked and tested again. I would've been FAR more impressed had they used the stuff they actually blended onstage. However, there is a recipe on the page, so ... I tried it. IT WORKED!<br /><br /> Take a look at the world's worst YouTube video. I never meant for this video to be recorded, but ... as I was swirling the squirt bottle in spirals, an iPhone was pointed at me ... and the following footage was recorded:<br /><br /> <center><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97_DXPfGgsc" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/ChickenNoodles02.jpg" border="0"></a></center><br /> As I said ... worst video, evah! <em>(it's a start, though ... I can really only go UP from here!)</em><br /><br /> The proof, as they say, is in the weird chicken emulsion. It does work! It makes long strands of noodle-like pasta-y stuff! How does it taste? <em>(cue the dramatic music!)</em><br /><br /> Meh.<br /><br /> It kind of tastes like a cross between something related to a chicken sausage, somehow, and ... a Styrofoam cup. Sure, it's long noodles and is a bit deceptive to the eyes, but ... IT AIN'T PASTA. It may look like a pasta and quack like a pasta, but ... it ain't a pasta. However ... it wasn't totally awful, either. I did my best to turn it into something kind of light and springy. The end result <em>was</em> kind of cool! It was an interesting dish, in that these are ingredients that would taste awesome over a chicken scallopini, for example. In fact, that's sort of what it is, except that ... the chicken looks like pasta. In the end, I was quite pleased with it. It looked good and tasted great, but ... the next time I'm craving pasta ... it won't be a craving for this, sad-to-say.<br /><br /> <strong>Notey Notes</strong>: The little hole in my squirt bottle was a bit too large. A smaller hole would've produced thinner strands, which likely would've given a better mouth feel. Also, there is a reason they were looking for the blender stick in the original video. The stuff is like sticky glue and you need to keep pushing it into the blades to get it silky smooth. I have an old beat up blender I picked up at a garage sale. New, it was probably worth about $5.99. Let's just say that this concoction put my blender to a smokey test. It worked, but my blender was none too thrilled with me! Finally, I recommend drying the noodles on a paper towel before tossing into a sauce. They aren't terribly flavorful. So, any extra water you might be throwing in will only just dilute things further. Finally, I think that adding a small amount of raw bacon <em>(about 1 oz)</em>, in place of 1 oz of chicken, will do wonders for this pasta! It will add a bit of fat and give it a bit more salt and character. Plus ... it's BACON!!!ChickenMainPasta20 min15 mins35 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Noodles-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Noodles-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Noodles-33/4cup156ice cubes0000003tbsp18egg white powderhttp://amzn.com/B00168637Y?tag=lcrecipe-2045013.50006oz168skinless chicken breast, chilled and cubed185.081.4238.440002cups448chicken stock or brothhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Good-Ol-Fashioned-Chicken-Stock31.36.584.483.02001/2cup112fresh whole butter, cut into about 12 cubes and divided8880000004each12garlic cloves, crushed01604001bunch227asparagus, cut into thin rings16.0345.745.088.4705.083whole83.19artichoke hearts in oil, drained and cut into 8 wedges, each997.052.678.6104.21/4cup33.75pine nuts, toasted227.25234.54.501.251tbsp8capers, drained and coarsely chopped1.85.08.17.410.241/4tsp.5crushed red chili flakes1.59.09.06.290.141/4cup25parmesan (reggiano) cheese, grated107.757.259.510016leaves6.4fresh basil, hand torn1.47.06.19.190.13salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Bring a large pot of water to a boil, well seasoned with salt.In a small sauce pan, bring some chicken stock up to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and place on a burner out of the way. Our goal is to reduce this stock by about 75% (resulting in about 1/2 cup of super reduced chicken stock).In a blender, puree the egg white powder and ice, until the powder has dissolved. Add the chicken and puree until the mixture is smooth and consistent. Place the chicken batter into a squeeze bottle and place in the refrigerator. Keep this mixture chilled until time to cook it.Fetch a bowl of ice water and set nearby.Holding your finger over the hole of the squirt bottle, swing the bottle in the air to push as much of the batter towards the tip of the bottle, as is possible. Holding the tip over the water, with even pressure, squeeze a thin and consistent stream of chicken into the boiling water, while moving in a circular fashion. This will create a long thin ribbon or ... "noodle". Once you're happy with the length of the noodle, or it snaps naturally, allow it to simmer for about 1 minute. It cooks quickly! Remove and place into the ice water. Repeat this process until all the chicken is cooked!Once all the noodles have been cooked and chilled, drain and place on a towel to dry completely.Place a large sauté pan on the stove over high heat. Place about 2 of the butter cubes into the hot pan with the garlic and sauté until the garlic is aromatic and JUST begins to turn golden.Add the asparagus to the pan with a little salt and pepper. Toss to coat with butter and garlic.After about 1 minute, add the artichoke, pine nuts, capers, and chili flakes. Sauté for about 1 minute.Add the reduced chicken stock to the pan and toss to coat the ingredients. Add a cube of butter and keep mixing the ingredients. Once you add the butter, the pan needs to keep moving to help the better melt and thicken the sauce, rather than melting and creating an oil slick on top. Moving the butter around will emulsify it into the chicken stock, thickening it, enriching it and giving it a bit of a sheen. Continue this process, adding one cube of butter at a time. When the previous cube is about half melted, add another cube. Continue this process until all the butter is absorbed into the sauce.Add the pasta and toss in the toss to coat.Season with a bit of salt and pepper and then give one final toss with leaves of fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese.Divide between 4 plates or pasta bowls and serve!Shrimp-Avocado SaladTrueThis is a whole lot like the Central and South American Sushi known as "Ceviche", except that ... well ... it's not!<br /><br /> Normally, a Ceviche takes a super fresh raw fish, packs it in fresh citrus juices to "cook" and then later tosses it with various spices and other odds and ends, like tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, cilantro, avocadoes, etc.<br /><br /> This recipe is like that, except that ... I'm suggesting we cook the shrimp. For the adventurous among you, if you've got some really excellent fresh fish or shrimp and you want to soak it in lime juice until they turn pink ... go for it! I, unfortunately, am not so brave that I'd suggest that the general public squeeze a little lime on some fish and then eat a big bowl of it. Anything ... just ... this ... side ... of ... "fresh" and we've got a problem on our hands.<br /><br /> <strong>*ahem*</strong> ... This is a PERFECT dish for a light summer lunch! You could even serve it inside the avocado shells! Or, serve it as a bigger south-of-the-border type feast for friends and family! It's exceedingly fresh, full of flavor <em>y es muy saludable!</em>FishSalads20 min5 mins25 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Shrimp-Avocado-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Shrimp-Avocado-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Shrimp-Avocado-Salad-31 1/2lb681shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into 1/2-inch pieces721.8613.62136.26.810.421lb454assorted fresh cherry tomatoes, cut into halves and quarters82.3204.9917.4604.992whole272avocado, peeled and cut into chunks554426240181medium110onion, finely diced440110024each12garlic cloves, minced01604001each6.67jalepeno chillies, seeds removed and finely diced.042.09.40.192tbsp30.5lime juice, freshly squeezed07.64.142.640.071/2bunch50cilantro, washed and large stems removed11.5.271.091.8701.45salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Boil a pot of salted water. While the water comes up to a boil, place a large bowl of ice water nearby. Once the water boils, add the shrimp. Simmer in the water until the shrimp are pink and just about cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the water and plunge into the ice water. Let the shrimp fully chill.In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add more jalepenos for more spice, more salt and pepper if it needs it and a bit more lime if you enjoy a more "tart" shrimp salad experience!Serve in the avocado shells, in martini glasses or ... just in bowls!Harisse / Harrise / Herriseh / KeshkegTrueA few months ago, I suggested people let me know if there were any recipes they'd like to see me create for them. I like a good challenge and wanted to see what people had for me. One of the individuals who sent me some inspiration was a woman named "Pauline G." She almost took it as a homework assignment and sent me a LIST of recipes! Oh, and it was quite a list, too! This is the first of them added to my website, but more shall follow. It was no simple task. Pauline really wanted to push me, it would seem! Most of the requests were desserts, but this one is more a ... soupy-stew-mush. I'm not quite sure why I'm posting it, much less first! <em>(actually ... it has to do mostly with the alphabet!)</em><br /><br /> This is a fairly obscure dish. It's actually a heavily overcooked mushy stew-like porridge, with just enough spice to make it interesting. It seems like it's usually made with lamb or chicken and wheat or barley kernals. It's something like an Armenian comfort food, but I've also seen references to it from Lebanon and other Arabic countries. Warm, soft, inviting and ... comforting. Perfect for a chilly winter day!<br /><br /> I decided to give it a shot with shirataki rice and ... here's where this recipe nose dives into Lala-Land. See, without the starch to really bind this thing together into a comforting mush, it would be shredded chicken in and amongst tiny slippery pearls of glucomannan fiber. Whee!<br /><br /> So, knowing there was nothing in it to really make it STICK to itself, I opted to make it more soup-like. In the end, I really liked it for what it was. It was a flavorful bowl of chicken soup with some interesting spices and little shirataki pellets. It was warm and comforting, but I know it wasn't the homey porridge I was being asked for.<br /><br /> It's good enough as a soup and tasty. Give it a shot for something different. The flavors are excellent! However ... in terms of recreating a low-carb rendition of the dish? I feel I failed ... and I'm sad.<br /><br /> Oh well ... can't win 'em all! &nbsp;&nbsp;<img src="http://www.DJFoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/wink.bmp" border="0" />ChickenMainSoups15 min1 hour 30 mins1 hour 45 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Harrise-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Harrise-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Harrise-32each302.5boneless chicken breasts (or equivalent thigh meat - skin optional)520.327.2363.530004cups896chicken stock or brothhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Good-Ol-Fashioned-Chicken-Stock62.721.178.966.05001small110onion, quartered440110024each2.56bay leaves0000001each10cinnamon stick00000028-oz packets454miracle ricehttp://amzn.com/B004JRSAJS?tag=lcrecipe-200000001tbsp14olive oil1212000001/2tsp1cumin seed, ground.223.750.440.111/2tsp1paprika3.37.15.18.660.431/4tsp.5nutmeg, freshly ground2.63.18.03.250.11salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000In a medium sized soup pot, place your chicken breasts, chicken stock, onion, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Bring to a very low simmer and maintain low heat for about 75 minutes. If any gunk rises to the top of the pot, skim it off with a spoon and discard.While the chicken simmers away, cut open the shirataki bags and pour the contents into a strainer to get rid of the liquid. Once the rice is in a strainer, run it under cold water for a good minute or two. Wash that fishy odor off of it. Then, let it drip dry for a bit.Pre-heat a large non-stick pan. Add your rice to the pan and stir fry them, to dry them off and tighten them up, a bit. I've read that you do not need to oil these; there are no carbs to stick to the pan. However, I always add a little oil to them, just to be on the safe side. Cook them over very high heat for about 2 or 3 minutes, tossing them around, until they're dry. Evidently, if you do not coat them with oil, when they are sufficiently dry, they will "squeek", like a basketball player stopping abruptly.When they appear dry, add your spices to the rice and toss them in. Turn the heat off the rice and let it sit until the chicken is ready.When the chicken is soft and shred-able, remove the breasts from the broth and shred them with a fork. Return the chicken to the broth, along with the rice mixture.One the mixture comes back to a simmer, season with a bit of salt and pepper, then serve!Enjoy!Cheddar Taco ShellsTrueA really common question is, "What to do in place of a tortilla?" One obvious answer is <a href="http://amzn.com/B0053DJYOC?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Mama Lupe's tortillas</a>. And, while these are great, tasty and obviously fit the bill, they are also made of wheat products and qualify as a processed food. I've got a decent <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Cheddar-Cracker">cheddar cracker</a> which does a solid job of replacing the taste and texture of a wheat based cracker, but without grains! This tends to fill the void for some. For others, there's always the old, "Wrap it in a leaf!" Baby romaine leaves, leaves of Bibb lettuce, iceberg lettuce and even cabbage all make for nice handy little holders for your taco fixin's. Again, this answer doesn't satisfy those that pine for the CRUNCH of a crispity taco shell.<br /><br /> For you, I offer this cheddar based taco shell!<br /><br /> These shells can be a bit fussy to make and hot oil tends to get everywhere, but they are also a lot of fun to make! They're delicious and quite toothsome, to boot! The crunch isn't quite is quick-to-crisp, as a baked or fried corn tortilla taco shell, but ... come on ... let's be realistic, here. This is a taco shell made ENTIRELY out of fried cheese!<br /><br /> Is this REALLY that much of a sacrifice? <strong>*wink*</strong><br /><br /> <strong>Serving Size Note:</strong> 2 lbs of cheese should make about 12 shells, depending on thickness and size.<br /><br /> <strong>Nutrition Information:</strong> I don't really know how to calculate this. Easily half of the fat <em>(and calories)</em> are rendered from the cheese and poured off. These are not as calorically dense as the nutrition information will have you believe.BakedLunchMain1 min20 mins21 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Taco-Shells-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Taco-Shells-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Taco-Shells-32lb908cheddar cheese, grated3609.72297.442241100Take a large pot and place it on the counter top, with a thick wooden spoon forming a bridge through the center of the open space. You will eventually hang your melted cheese on this "spoon bridge". (I have a really thick handled wooden spoon, which is also somewhat flat. This works PERFECT, in that it's about 3/4-inch wide and forms taco shells with flat bottoms. They stand up on their own!)Heat a small to medium sized non-stick sauté pan over medium heat.Evenly sprinkle your grated cheese around the base of the pan. Continue to cook over low-medium heat. The cheese will melt and melt together. It will eventually begin to fry and darken. Once the cheese has a firm "crispy" look to it, but before it burns, pry it out with a heat resistant plastic spatula and IMMEDIATELY drape it over your spoon and quickly adjust it so that equal portions of the cheese are hanging down both sides of the spoon. Be VERY careful as the pan also likely contains a lot of hot oil. Let this oil drip into the pot (and not on yourself).Allow it to rest for a few minutes, or until it's sufficiently chilled.Repeat the process to make more taco shells.Enjoy!Beef FajitasTrueThe word "Fajita" <em>(FA-HEE-TAH)</em> is Spanish for, essentially, "little strips" <em>(likely of meat)</em>. It's actually not a traditionally "Mexican" dish, per se. It's actually more something that likely occurred near the Mexican border in Texas, around the 1930's.<br /><br /> So, this "Tex-Mex" foodstuff is actually American! I learn something new, every day!<br /><br /> Legend has it that ranches would slaughter an animal to feed the ranch hands. The skirt steak <em>(considered a throwaway item at the time)</em> was often given to the Mexican cowboys as payment. This was usually grilled up at the campsite and served in a tortilla! This tradition went on unnoticed by anyone but the Vaqueros' and anyone close to them. Eventually this tasty tradition could live in the darkness no more and was sold at Texas fairs and festivals in the 60's and 70's. By the 80's skirt steak was no longer a throwaway and was increasing in value. By the 90's, a "Fajita" was big business for places like "El Torito", where it is served on a hot sizzling platter with peppers and onions.<br /><br /> Yum.<br /><br /> Nowadays, pretty much anything grilled and served with peppers and onions is called "Fajitas". Shrimp, chicken, squid, etc. It's all good!<br /><br /> <strong>Serving suggestions</strong>: The photo is taken with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/taco-shells">cheddar taco shells</a>, but this would work well with <a href="http://amzn.com/B0053DJYOC?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Mama Lupe's tortillas</a>, as well as leaves of Boston Bibb Lettuce or Red Cabbage! Also tasty with sour cream, <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Salsa-Mexicana">salsa</a>, <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Guacamole">guacamole</a>, cheese, fresh chopped onions, cilantro, fresh limes, etc.BeefMain10 min15 mins1 day4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fajitas-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fajitas-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fajitas-31 1/2lb681beef skirt steak (flank, tenderloin, sirloin, ribeye, etc. will work, as well)1680123133.50002small148red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced45.8801.488.8802.961medium110red onion, very thinly sliced440110024each12garlic cloves, minced01604002tbsp28light oil (coconut oil, ghee or olive ... or even bacon fat!)2402400002tbsp30.5lime juice, freshly squeezed07.64.142.640.071tsp2cumin seed, ground.447.50.880.221/2tsp1coriander seed, ground.182.98.12.550.42salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000In a resealable bag (I use a vacuum pack machine, but you could also use a leather pouch stashed under your saddle), combine all the ingredients except the salt. Remove as much of the air as possible, then seal the bag. Refrigerate the bag overnight.The next day, heat a grill and/or a large skillet. Place the peppers and onions on the grill or in the skillet with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until a little charred and a little soft. Set aside.Grill the beef on both sides, so that it is still rare to medium rare, but charred, a bit, on the outside. Set the beef with the peppers and onions for about 3 minutes, to let it relax. Then, slice into thin strips and serve with your accompaniments!Creamed SpinachTrueThere are several recipes on my site which are here, in large part, simply because I feel I should offer a full and well rounded website complete with new things, but also some old classics. There are very few quick and simple side dishes are as classic as "creamed spinach".<br /><br /> Creamed spinach, at its core, is little more than "cream" and "spinach". A large bag of spinach is mostly air, followed by a lot of water and then ... the rest of it. 2 full lbs of spinach will LOOK like a lot, but when it's cooked and the air is removed and all the water evaporates, it shrivels into a small creamy mound of yum! One COULD just take a large pot full of cream, add the spinach with a bit of salt and pepper, then cook it until it's reduced, the cream thick and the entire concoction is coated with a viscous cream. This is quick, easy and delicious, while also being somewhat one dimensional and a little lacking in vibrancy.<br /><br /> I'm going to suggest a few extra steps, but these will give us a slightly sweeter taste, with more developed flavors and a MUCH brighter green color ... creating a far more attractive side dish!<br /><br /> <strong>Random Note:</strong> I SO badly wanted to add bacon bits to this, but ... I decided to go minimalist. I also was feeling a bit bacon'ed out, if you can believe it! If you happen to trip, while walking through the kitchen carrying bacon bits, and a few are flung into the mix while it cooks ... go ahead and leave them there. They'd be delicious!SidesVegetarian15 mins10 mins25 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Creamed-Spinach-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Creamed-Spinach-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Creamed-Spinach-32lb908fresh spinach leaves, washed and stems removed0208.8427.2436.32018.162tbsp28fat (olive oil, butter ... or even bacon fat!)2402400001/2small35onion, sliced140.53.50.53each9garlic cloves, minced01203001 1/4cups297.5cream, heavy whipping1026.251106.258.75001/4tsp.25nutmeg, ground000000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil, over high heat.Gather a bowl with ice cubes and water, as well as a colander or straining device, of some kind. Once the water boils, add a nice amount of salt. Place your spinach into the boiling water and allow to swirl around for about 30 seconds. Remove the spinach with the strainer and immediately plunge it into the ice water. When it is thoroughly cooled, remove the spinach and squeeze it, by clinching it in your fists (or with a cloth), until all the water has been squeezed out. You should have a sizeable lump of bright green cooked spinach.Coarsely chop the spinach and set aside.Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil, fat or butter. When the oil ripples, add the garlic and onions with a little bit of salt and pepper. Cook until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.Add the spinach, cream, nutmeg and a bit more salt and pepper. Turn the heat up to high (the liquid will evaporate more quickly). Cook, while stirring, until the cream thickens and clings to the spinach. (about 4 to 5 minutes)Taste, adjust seasoning and serve! (optionally garnish with bacon bits)Chicken Ala MombieTrueI have a follower on my Facebook page going by the alias of "Mombie Zoprano". I do not know her real name. It remains a mystery. I can only assume she's wanted in connection with all the missing gumball machines in the San Joaquin Valley. In any event, she popped onto my radar when I was added to the cookbook authoring team at <a href="http://www.AmongFriends.us" target="_blank">Low Carbing Among Friends</a>. She was incredibly complimentary and I have not forgotten her words. Flattery will get you everwhere!<br /><br /> Since then, she occasionally pops onto my Facebook page, or sends me private messages announcing what she's just made herself that evening. She also shares a variety of recipes and things she's considering cooking. Her enthusiastic delivery can only be described as "Sqwee-ing". Always a delight!<br /><br /> One of her ideas was for something along the lines of this here dish. Because the concept originated with a list stemming from Mombie, I've named it after her. Ultimately, it's a Chicken Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash, but … that name undermines the true story behind how this recipe has come to be on my website.<br /><br /> Thanks for the inspiration, Mombie! I hope I've done your idea proud!ChickenMain45 mins15 mins60 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Ala-Mombie-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Ala-Mombie-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Ala-Mombie-36each907.5boneless chicken breasts (or equivalent thigh meat - skin optional)1560.981.68190.580002tbsp28light oil (coconut, olive ... or even bacon fat!)2402400001roughly 5-lb.930spaghetti squash, pre-roasted and hot652446600121recipe448low carb alfredo sauce (about 2 cups)http://www.djfoodie.com/Thick-Goopy-Alfredo-Sauce2533.58234.3686.0628.5202.2418leaves6.4fresh basil, washed and hand torn or sliced1.47.06.19.190.13salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Butterfly the chicken breasts (or buy them that way). Lay a chicken breast on a flat cutting board. Place a knife parallel to the cutting board, about 1/2 inch above the surface. Slice into the breast, maintaining a slice that is parallel to the cutting board and essentially cuts the breast in half. Both top and bottom halves should be equal in thickness.Once you've got thin sheets of chicken breast, place each piece between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound even thinner. You can use a mallet, rolling pin, or even the bottom of a sauce pan. Just be careful to hit it flatly and evenly, or else you will make deep divots in the chicken. Ideally, the chicken will be a thin and even sheet of chicken breast when you are done.Remove each slice from the plastic and VERY lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper. Set aside.Note: This recipe suggests that your sauce is already made and sitting warm on the stove, alongside your pre-cooked spaghetti squash. Before cooking the chicken, be sure that the rest of the dish is ready, as the chicken cooks in minutes.In a large hot sauté pan, over medium-high heat, add your light oil.When you see the oil begin to ripple, add your chicken. Depending on how the chicken was cut and pounded, you may be able to fit multiple pieces. However, you want a single layer of chicken, with the entire side of each piece touching the bottom of the pan, for a nice hot searing effect.After about 1 to 2 minutes of hot searing chicken, flip and do the same thing on the other side. Once the chicken is nicely browned and cooked through, set it aside somewhere warm. Repeat this process with each piece of chicken, until you have cooked it all.Place a nice mound of spaghetti squash on 6 plates. Place a few basil leaves on the squash. Pile chicken on the top of the spaghetti squash and then finish with the Alfredo Sauce.Serve!Chicken SaladTrueI'm sorta embarrassed by this recipe. I'm not sure why, but I'm a little squeamish putting it onto my website. Actually, I DO know why I'm embarrassed.<br /><br /> I LOVE the roasted chickens I find at all the various stores. Even down in Mexico, I could always a good and inexpensive whole roasted chicken. I usually cut the breasts out and eat them "as is", or I cook them into something, like a soup or some kind of stir-fry. Usually I get a meal from each breast. Then, on the 3rd day, I usually warm up the chicken, pick the legs and the rest of the chicken of its final remaining meat. That's always used for chicken salad <em>(occasionally, I use this for other things, but it's ALMOST always chicken salad)</em>. Some of the time it's regular, and some of the time it's <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Curried-Chicken-Salad">curried</a>, but the basic source is the same. The bones are then made into stock.<br /><br /> I do this ... A LOT. I want to say once a week, but it's probably closer to once a month. It's a fairly regular occurrence. It's always quick and rustic, it goes into a Tupperware with a lid and usually sustains me for about 3 more days. It's never eaten WITH anything, on anything, inside anything, etc. Just a bowl of chicken salad ... in a bowl. That's it.<br /><br /> I suppose this is why, when the time came to add it to my website, my mind kind of ... farted.<br /><br /> I couldn't think of anything! I had no master vision. No clever plan. I couldn't imagine just having a bowl of chicken salad sitting in a bowl. It would look ridiculous! I needed to do SOMETHING! I scoured my kitchen, looking for an idea. I found a nice piece of iceberg lettuce and a tomato. Ok, I'll go New Jersey Diner Style!<br /><br /> In retrospect, it looks like I opened a can of cat food and tried to impress my fancy cat. Oh ... I'm so embarrassed. I'm going to go hide in my man cave, now. <em>(also, I don't have a fancy cat)</em><br /><br /> <strong>In short:</strong> This simple and delicious chicken salad is HIGH on my list of things to eat, but ... I don't know how to make it purdy. It's a tasty little mayonnaise salad in a bowl, which ... kind of ... belongs in a bowl.ChickenSalads10 min0 mins10 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Salad-31 1/2lb681cooked chicken meat, diced1628.4893.38186.760001/2small35red onion, diced140.53.50.51/2cp50.5celery, diced0000001cup109.63mayonnaisehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Mayonnaise750.5483.452.41.33.25.081/2cup72.5slivered almonds, toasted42136.51615.407.51/2cup56.8real bacon bits20012240001tbsp15.25lemon juice03.82.061.320.061tbsp6celery seed2521301salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Mix the stuff in a bowl!Eat! (not the bowl)Carrot-Squash HashTrueFor the longest time, I was afraid of carrots. I'd read that while fairly low in carbs, the carbs that DID exist would blast my blood sugars with near the same rate as pure glucose! As a result, I <em>(and many others)</em> avoid carrots within a low-carb lifestyle.<br /><br /> A few months ago, I read an article stating something to the effect of, "<a href="http://www.amys.com/health/special-diets/the-gi-carrot-myth" target="_blank">The GI Carrot Myth</a>". The general idea being that the test that resulted in cooked carrots having a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_index" target="_blank">Glycemic Index</a> of 90+ was just wrong! Cooked carrots are actually closer to 30 or 40 <em>(lower than a sweet potato)</em>, which ... while this isn't NEW information, it's somehow less spectacular than saying that cooked carrots convert to sugar in the blood in a nano-second. The myth has somehow persisted, even in my own mind, until recently.<br /><br /> Around the same time as my discovery of the lower GI of cooked carrots, I also happened upon the Kabocha Squash, another orange fleshed vegetable, with a taste similar to that of a sweet potato. Diced, a cup of this squash is only 6 net carbs per cup. I love a good hash and feel it can form a nice base for many a meal.<br /><br /> Thus is born a carrot-kabocha squash hash!<br /><br /> <strong>Nutrition Note</strong>: Kabocha info is based off of 4 cups of kabocha cubes, for 1/2 cup per person. Nutrition info is not in USDA database. It is an educated guess, but one which is close and honorably presented.<br /><br /> <strong>Two other great hash recipes <em>(and one mediocre one)</em></strong>:<br /> <ul><li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Moroccan-Eggplant">Moroccan Eggplant Hash</a> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Hash-Browns">Turnip-Celeriac Hash Browns</a> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Sweet-Potato-Hash">Rootin' Tootin' Underground Hash</a></li> </ul>SidesVegetarian10 mins20 mins30 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Carrot-Squash-Hash-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Carrot-Squash-Hash-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Carrot-Squash-Hash-31/4cup56fresh whole butter4440000001lb454carrots, peeled and diced184.4403.5542.56014.191small (2 to 3 lb.)1135kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and diced (substitution = acorn, buttercup, delicata, pumpkin)3600428041medium110onion, diced440110024each12garlic cloves, minced01604001tbsp2fresh sage, chopped2.62.12.06.420.28salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat a large non-stick sauté pan.Add your butter, and quickly swirl it around. A little light browning of the butter is ok. Don't burn it, though.Before the butter is totally melted, add your cubed carrots and squash. Toss them in the butter, to make sure the cubed are evenly coated. Then, spread them out along the bottom of the pan, so that there is as even a layer as possible. Season with salt and pepper.Turn the heat down to a medium-low. About every 2 to 3 minutes, toss the veggies around, so that a different group of mini-cubes will get exposure to the bottom of the pan. We're trying to brown up many of the cubes, for color, texture and flavor. Be careful not to burn them. They have a tendency to want to burn quickly. Watch it, closely.Continue cooking until they are almost completely cooked through (will take about 15-20 minutes, with occasional tossing). Once they are nicely browned, add your onions and garlic with a bit more salt and pepper. Cook for a further 5 minutes, until the onions and garlic are cooked and translucent.Taste some of the cubes and adjust the salt and pepper (this can handle a good amount of salt). When you're satisfied with the taste, toss some fresh herbs (sage is tasty!) into the mix and serve immediately.Enjoy!Lamb Stuffed Chard LeavesTrueI don't remember what inspired me to try this one, to be honest. I DO know that the idea comes from the relatively common "stuffed cabbage", which is often meat and other starchy things <em>(such as rice)</em>. I can only assume I was looking to "change it up!" There was also a time when I went through a bit of a lamb phase, thinking I didn't offer enough tasty lamb dishes. I also tend to like throwing little dashes of nature's sweetness throughout some of my dishes. So, I can completely understand where I was coming from, but ... I sincerely do not recall that singular "light bulb moment".<br /><br /> In any event, these tasty little morsels can be made with any kind of ground meat. Perhaps a pork and veal mixture? Straight lamb? Beef? Sure! Why not?! In the end, it's ground meat with chopped raisins all wrapped in large chard leaves, placed in a casserole dish, topped with a quickie tomato sauce and baked! Ah ... the ethnic spice blend is North African in spirit.<br /><br /> On a final note, these are actually quite easy to throw together. The most challenging part is pre-cooking the leaves, but this only takes about 45 seconds. The rest is just throwing some ingredients into raw meat, wrapping leaves around the balls and then topping them with a quick raw tomato sauce. The whole thing cooks and melds together in the oven.<br /><br /> Bring it to your next pot luck! They spoon up nicely and are an interesting little dish!BeefMain20 mins55 mins1 hr 15 minutes8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Lamb-Stuffed-Chard-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Lamb-Stuffed-Chard-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Lamb-Stuffed-Chard-316large leaves768swiss chard137.92015.3630.72015.361 1/2lb681fresh tomatoes, washed, dried and coursely chopped123.4807.4926.1907.491medium110onion, diced440110021tbsp6fresh ginger, minced or grated04.8.121.080.124each12garlic cloves, minced01604001/4cup54extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20477.55400001tsp2cinnamon, ground and divided4.94.02.081.6201.061tsp2coriander seed, ground and divided5.96.36.241.10.841/2tsp1cayenne pepper, ground and divided2.84.17.17.50.172lbs908ground lamb2563.29208.92152.670002large100eggs14310131001/4cup33.75pine nuts, toasted227.25234.54.501.251/4cup36.25raisins, chopped123.25.251.2532.7501.5salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. About 2 gallons of water will do.Pre-heat oven to 350 F.Being careful not to tear the chard leaves, cut the rib from the center of each leaf.Once the water begins to boil, add a nice sprinkle of salt to the water. Organize a large bowl filled with ice water and set it close by. Add the chard leaves to the boiling water. Allow them to boil until soft and pliable, about 45 to 60 seconds. Remove them from the boiling water (with a slotted spoon, or simply by pouring it into a strainer). Quickly plunge the leaves into the bowl of ice water and move them around until the leaves are sufficiently chilled. Dry the leaves on paper towels. They don't need to be super dry, but they shouldn't be water logged, either. Just "dry enough".Mix together the tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger and olive oil with half of each: cinnamon, coriander and cayenne. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Mix well.Place about one-fourth of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a standard casserole dish (13"x9").In a bowl, mix the ground lamb, eggs, pine nuts, raisins and half of each: cinnamon, coriander and cayenne. Blend well with a little salt and pepper.Place a chard leaf on the counter top and form a nice big sheet. Usually this means overlapping the two halves, forming a bit of a seam where the large rib used to be. Place a nice sized log of the ground lamb mixture about 2/3rds of the way down from the top of the sheet. Fold the bottom portion of the leaf over the meat, then fold the two side flaps over the meat. Finally, roll the whole meat log towards the tip of the remaining flap, leaving the tip of the flap on the bottom of the roll. Place the stuffed chard in the bottom of the casserole pan. Repeat this process until all 16 stuffed leaves are in the pan.Cover the chard leaves with the remaining sauce and spread it evenly.Cover the pan (with a lid or foil) and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the stuffed chard reaches 155 F. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes.Serve!Sweet Potato & Parmesan EmpanadasTrueI went through a phase ... possibly still GOING through that phase ... where I used a lot of <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=kabocha+squash" target="_blank">Kabocha Squash</a>. It's such an amazing vegetable to be used within a low-carb lifestyle. It's difficult to really present it as the amazing vegetable it is. While it can be a bit of a challenge to find, I HIGHLY recommend seeking them out. They can be found in many Asian markets, year round, as well as many Farmers' Markets, during the winter-time. A chopped cup of Kabocha squash runs only 6 net carbs per full cup, and it tastes a bit like a sweet potato. The rind is also quite tasty, even though I often cut it off <em>(for appearance purposes)</em>.<br /><br /> In any event, in the midst of all this tinkering with these squashes, I found myself with a big pile of diced peeled squash (as any rampant low-carber might!) and ... wanted to do something different. I thought about something I've seen down in Mexico a million times and thought a baked Empanada would make for the right fit! I ran into my computer and googled "<a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=paleo+empanadas" target="_blank">Paleo Empanadas</a>". The <a href="http://www.cindystable.com/paleo-beef-empanadas/" target="_blank">first hit looked good</a> enough! So, I ripped off the dough idea, made my own filling and VOILA!<br /><br /> <strong>Dough Note</strong>: These were TASTY little treats ... almost TOO good, in fact. It would be a challenge to just eat one. However, the dough was a serious challenge to work with. I'm going to continue tweaking and modifying these and/or similar dough recipes to find something a little more cohesive. This worked and tasted fantastic, but it wanted to crack and split, merely by looking at it. It's a VERY fragile dough, but ... with time and patience, it can be molded into something yum <em>(and it was!)</em>. Just be aware when working with this dough, that ... it's a fussy one!AppetizersSides30 min30 mins60 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Empanadas-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Empanadas-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Empanadas-32cup224almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-20128011248480241tsp4salt0000001/4tsp1baking soda0000002large100eggs14310131003tbsp40.5extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20358.1340.500001/4cup28coconut flour (for dusting)http://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-2012437180121tbsp14butter1110000001tbsp14olive oil1212000002cups400peeled and diced kabocha squash cubes (substitution = acorn, buttercup, delicata, pumpkin)1800214021cup100parmesan cheese, grated43129384001/4cup28.4real bacon bits610012000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000For the dough, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and half of the olive oil. Add to the dry ingredients. Combine the wet mixture to the dry mixture and combine until a ball is formed. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more olive oil, until a nice ball is formed. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.Heat a large non-stick sauté pan or skillet over medium high heat. Add the butter and olive oil to the pan and swirl it around. Before the butter burns, add the squash cubes and toss to coat with the hot fat. Season with a little salt and pepper.Sauté the cubes until they are soft and pick up a little color on the surface. Once cooked, remove and set in a mixing bowl. Set aside.I'm a big fan of rolling out dough between two silicone mats, VERY lightly dusted. An alternative is to place the dough on a piece of parchment or wax paper. Place a second sheet above the dough and roll it out. In both cases, this can be done with little to no extra flour for dusting (this is less true with wetter doughs). You can also just place the lump of dough on the coconut flour dusted counter top and roll to about 1/4-inch thick. I use the lid to my coconut oil bucket to cut circles in the dough, but you can use a large cookie cutter, or even just cut large squares. If you have extra dough, you can form a smaller ball of dough, roll it back out and cut it in the same format. You should have about 8 nicely sized sheets of dough.Add the parmesan and bacon bits to the cooked squash cubes and mix.Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.Evenly divide the filling between the sheets of dough, placing about 3 tbsp worth in the center of each sheet. Fold the sheets in half, crimping the two opposing halves together with your fingers, or the tines of a fork. Repeat this process until they are all formed.Place all on a greased baking tray. At this point, you can optionally brush the tops with an egg wash (1 egg + 1 tbsp water, whisked together). This will give the pastries a little sheen. I didn't do this, opting for the most rustic look, but ... it's an option.Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Serve!Cucumber-Mint SaladTrueI'm not going to mislead you, dear friends. I find cucumbers as exciting as I find garden gnomes. They hold virtually nothing over me. I understand that they exist and that some people LOVE them, for a variety of reasons. I recognize the passion that can exist. Alas, I have no passion for cucumbers.<br /><br /> However, I run a recipe based website and I need to fill certain holes and use certain ingredients and appeal to the people that DO have a cucumber passion! This recipe is for those folks!<br /><br /> When I cook for the blog, because of all the lights and props and hoopla that goes into it, I usually cook between 10 and 15 dishes for that day. Amongst one of the best tests of a recipe's tastiness lies in which of them do I gravitate towards, as they pile up on my coffee table. Which do I reach in and grab to snack on, as I work on the next dish in the queue. It's usually a fairly mindless thing ... I'll walk by the table, reach in, grab and devour ... whatever ... usually the most indulgent thing. Without really realizing it, I found myself grabbing for THIS dish. Over and over, I'd reach in and pull out a few fingers full of limp and crispy cucumber slices, slightly sweetened from the fresh onions, slightly tart from the yoghurt and lime, and just chock full of fresh delight! Maybe I was just hot, maybe I was just full, but ... for whatever reason, this combination of steps and ingredients caused this particular dish to rise to the top of the heap.<br /><br /> With a crispity crunch ... YUM!SaladsSidesVegetarian10 mins0 mins30 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cucumber-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cucumber-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cucumber-Salad-32each602english cucumber, sliced into very thin rings92.620023.16001medium110red onion, very thinly sliced440110021/4cup56.5greek yogurt, plain and full fat655.522.5002tbsp30.5lime juice, freshly squeezed07.64.142.640.071/4cup22fresh mint, leaves sliced thin9.68.22.661.7601.54salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Mix the ingredients in a bowl.Let it sit for about 20 minutes. This will soften it and the flavors will meld together, but the crunch will remain.Serve!Roasted Kabocha SquashTrueKabocha Squash are AWESOME! While they're not super easily found, they CAN be found! There's an Asian market in Seattle where I can always find them. I've also spotted them at a variety of Farmer's Markets. While this Cambodian squash is largely considered a winter squash, they can be found year round.<br /><br /> Kabocha are a super discovery for a few reasons:<br /> <ul> <li>They're on the sweet side, even sweeter than a butternut squash, but with significantly less carbs. With the seeds removed and cut into cubes, a full cup has 7 carbs and 1 gram of fiber, for a total of only 6 net carbs!</li> <li>The flavor is spectacular. Imagine a smooth and creamy cross between a pumpkin, sweet potato and a russet potato. It's like some kind of gift from the low-carb gods!</li> <li>They're a manageable size and the rind is completely edible! It's not like a pumpkin or butternut squash, where the peel must be removed. These are totally edible! <em>(that said, I do peel them, from time to time)</em></li> </ul> The kabocha in this recipe is cut in half, the seeds were scooped out, then I cut wedges. From there, I tossed the wedges in bacon fat, erythritol, bacon bits and spices. These have a dense and smoky taste, with a bit of sweet and some complex spice.<br /><br /> Perfect.<br /><br /> <strong>Note</strong>: This method can be applied to many winter squash, but the carb counts will likely go up and the rind may not be edible, but for those with higher tolerances to carbs ... go for it!<br /><br /> <strong>Nutrition Note</strong>: Kabocha info is based off of 4 cups of kabocha cubes, for 1/2 cup per person. Nutrition info is not in USDA database. It is an educated guess, but one which is close and honorably presented.QuickSides10 mins30 mins40 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Roasted-Squash-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Roasted-Squash-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Roasted-Squash-31small (2 to 3 lb.)1135kabocha squash (substitution = acorn, buttercup, delicata, pumpkin)3600428041/2cup56.8real bacon bits20012240001/4cup54bacon fat, butter or ghee, melted477.55400001/4cup47.75erythritol, granularhttp://amzn.com/B001EQ5IAG?tag=lcrecipe-2000049.549.501tsp2cinnamon, ground4.94.02.081.6201.061tsp2smoked paprika6.74.3.351.310.861/2tsp1cayenne pepper, ground2.84.17.17.50.171/4tsp.25nutmeg, ground000000salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 400 F.Wash your kabocha well. It's been sitting in the dirt and has been handled by a variety of random people. You're going to be eating the rind, so you want a nice clean squash.Cut the squash in half, by cutting through the top of the stem. Then, cut the two stem halves out. With a metal spoon, scrape out the seeds. Now cut each half into half, and then half again. When you're done, you should have 8 nice wedges.In a large bowl, combine warm bacon fat, melted butter or ghee, with your spices, sweetener and bacon bits. Add your kabocha wedges with a nice dusting of salt and pepper. Mix well, so that the squash is evenly coated with the spices.Place the squash on a baking tray. If you can, stand them up so that they each form a small bowl in the middle. Accumulate any extra spiced bacon bits in the bowl of the squash. This will bake and render out a bit more fat, which will bake deep into the center of the squash, for an even more decadent yum.Bake at 400 F for about 25 to 30 minutes. The squash will brown on the edges, but stay incredible soft and smooth in the center. Serve!Garlicky Baby Broccoli with BaconTrueThere's a vegetable out there called rapini, broccoli raab and/or broccoletti, which kind of looks like broccoli, but is more closely related to the turnip. It's my understanding that it's quite common in southern Italian cooking. I remember cooking it in culinary school and I've seen it handful of times in various restaurants. I remember a time when I could find it in the grocery store. I never really sought it out, as it's INCREDIBLY bitter, which doesn't really jive too well with my palate. Even cooked down, it's still very bitter. It's edible and fine, but ... far from my favorite. HOWEVER! In reading about it, I realized it's an almost totally "free food" for a low-carb lifestyle. In fact, really, any diet, anywhere, is going to say, "You can eat as much rapini as you can stomach". Even the famous Jack Lalanne was quoted as saying, "If it tastes good, spit it out!". I went on the prowl to track down some broccoli raab, with the plan to make something yummy and plentiful. Alas, I could not find it!<br /><br /> Everywhere I looked ... it wasn't there!<br /><br /> In place of where I feel rapini USED to be, was a new vegetable. This is one I've never really seen before. They must have invented it, while I was tanning down in Mexico for near 10 years. Upon my return, imagine my surprise to learn of a whole new vegetable! This one is being called "Baby Broccoli" or "Broccolini". It looks VERY similar to rapini, but it isn't rapini. It also isn't baby broccoli! Not really, anyway ... it's a cross between a Chinese vegetable called "gai-lan" and regular ol' broccoli. It's stalk is longer, totally edible, with smaller florets and the whole thing is just a bit sweeter. It looks like it's really becoming quite popular. Even the Jolly Green Giant is making a play!<br /><br /> So, feeling a bit dejected, I grabbed a package of fresh Broccolini and headed home. I wanted to make something simple, but tasty. That usually involves bacon. But, I wanted to take it one step further ... GARLIC!<br /><br /> So, I made my little garlic chips, added some bacon, then sautéed the raw broccolini in the sweet and salty crunchy blend of ingredients. Added a little salt and pepper ... BEST BOWL OF BABY BROCCOLI EVER! You'll notice that I've sort of adopted it as a new base for many ... MANY of my recipes. I LOVE IT, SO!<br /><br /> Unfortunately, it doesn't have quite the same carb profile as rapini. It's closer to regular broccoli, from a nutritional standpoint. So, you can eat a big bowl of it, but ... if you're me ... probably not two!Sides5 min35 min40 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baby-Broccoli-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baby-Broccoli-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baby-Broccoli-34slices100raw bacon, chopped (for bits)458451210012each36garlic cloves, sliced into 1/8th inch thick "chips"048012001lb454baby broccoli154.77012.3829.92011.35salt and pepper, to taste000000In a sauté pan, over medium heat, cook the bacon until the bacon is crispy.Remove the bacon from the bacon grease and set aside, while leaving the grease in the hot pan.Over very low heat, in the pan with the bacon grease, add the garlic chips and slowly let them slowly fry and turn a light golden brown. The slower, the better. This can take upwards of 30 minutes and require some careful attention (while you do other things). Do not let this burn or turn too dark. It becomes bitter VERY quickly.Remove the garlic from the bacon fat and set aside on a paper towel to dry.Remove about half of the garlic infused bacon fat and set aside (save and cook with it, another day!).Add your broccoli to the pan and season with a little salt and pepper. Saute in the garlicky bacon fat for about 4 minutes, or until tender. Add back your bacon bits and garlic chips. Saute for 1 more minute, adjust seasoning and serve!Chicken PuttanescaTrueNot all recipes start as a fairy tale <em>(unless, of course, that particular fairy tale is "<a href="http://amzn.com/B00081U7HC?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Pretty Woman</a>")</em>. Some historic or traditional recipes exist out of necessity, be it for speed, available ingredients, perseveration, the masking of rotten flavors, tenderizing, etc.<br /><br /> Pollo alla Puttanesca literally means, "Whore's Style Chicken". It's essentially just chicken with "Sugo alla Puttanesca" <em>(Whoreish Sauce)</em>; a sauce draped over the top of it. The sauce is a mixture of tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies, garlic and chili flakes. If you're a bit squeamish of the anchovies ... bacon bits will do in a pinch!<br /><br /> Over the years, I've heard MANY stories about the origin of the name, ranging from being named for the aroma of Italy's "ladies of the evening" to it being an accumulation of leftovers that would collect, to being something that the prostitutes would quickly assemble between appointments. There are also tales of this being something tossed on the ladies of pleasure as they walked through the night time alleys, shouting "puttana, puttana!"<br /><br /> There are also stories of it being a relatively new recipe, with written examples of it only going back about 50 years! There are those that believe it's a name twisted from the word "puttana", which today means "prostitute" in Italian, but its origin lies in the latin "putus", meaning "boy". From this etymology comes the word "puttanesco", meaning "lower than" ... as in "boyish, girlish, whoreish, etc." It implies a lower status, while not necessarily meaning "prostitute". It could be interpreted, then, that the name simply means a sauce made from humble ingredients.<br /><br /> Whatever the case ... whatever the origin ... it is, no doubt, a tasty dish!<br /><br /> <strong>Preparation Note:</strong> This recipe goes quickly, so have everything chopped and ready to go, before you even start heating the pan.<br /><br /> <strong>Photo Note:</strong> Served over a bed of <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Zoodles">zoodles</a>.ChickenMainQuick10 mins20 mins30 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Puttanesca-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Puttanesca-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Puttanesca-31/4cup54extra virgin olive oil, dividedhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20477.55400004each681boneless chicken breasts (skin, optional)809.3320.7144.890004each12garlic cloves, minced01604001small110red onion, diced440110021/2cup90assorted italian olives, pitted and very coarsely chopped93.936.3.95.402.71tbsp8capers, drained and coarsely chopped1.85.08.17.410.244each8boneless anchovy filets, coarsely chopped16.8.82.320001/2tsp1crushed red chili flakes3.18.17.12.570.271lb454assorted fresh tomatoes, diced82.3204.9917.4604.99salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 450 F.Pre-heat a large oven proof sauté or skillet over high heat.Coat the chicken breasts with 2 tablespoons of oil and season both sides of them with salt and pepper.Place the chicken breast in the hot pan and sear them. When one side is nice and golden brown (about 2 minutes), turn them over and place the entire pan in the oven. Let the roast in the oven for about 6 to 8 minutes.When the breasts are firm to the touch, remove the pan and place it on a hot burner on the stove. Quickly remove the chicken breasts from the pan and place them on plates.Add your remaining oil, garlic, onions, anchovies, olives, capers and chili flakes to the pan. This will likely cook QUICKLY. You want to lightly fry these ingredients in the oil, for about 1 minute.Add the tomatoes to the pan, with a bit of salt and pepper. Still over high heat, cook the sauce until the tomatoes are just cooked and the sauce is thick, about 2 more minutes.Divide the sauce between the chicken breasts and serve!Zucchini BreadTrueI started working in restaurants at about 14 years old. At first it was just weekends and summers, but when I turned 18, I worked in a big city restaurant, for none other than Wolfgang Puck! At the time <em>(1992)</em>, this was HUGE for a little 18 year old punk from the mountains of California. This recipe started its life during those days.<br /><br /> My first big city restaurant job was ... as a baker. Yes, my friends, I was a peddler of flour and sugar ... professionally! Oh, how I've changed my ways! This recipe was handed to me via the head baker in and amongst a tattered booklet of other hand-written baked goods. It was given to me as a breakfast muffin, of which we baked the big kind, with giant booming caps!<br /><br /> Years and years later, I owned a catering company in Mexico. As a promotional tool, I would attend the local farmer's market as a vendor, peddling my flours and sugars, including this recipe, which had some of the fat removed for a lighter texture. It was also baked into a loaf, rather than a muffin. I sold out of my zucchini bread first, almost always!<br /><br /> Here we are again ... years and years later ... this recipe is rearing its head once more! This time, as a low-carb zucchini loaf! I'm going to say something a little strange, but ... trust me when I say I believe it ...<br /><br /> Historically, this would rise and create a very soft and cakey loaf. This loaf, without the gluten to really carry the weight ... somewhat collapsed on itself, but a remarkable thing happened. Perhaps it's the new flour blend, but the texture has almost improved! The taste is just phenomenal! The end result is almost like a baked pudding, in texture. Soft and tender, with a whisper of cakey-ness, and brown crispy edges! I don't really have much of a sweet tooth, but with this thing lying around ... it got eaten ... AND QUICKLY!BakedDesserts10 mins40 mins60 mins10http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Zucchini-Bread-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Zucchini-Bread-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Zucchini-Bread-31 3/4cups184.16splendid gluten-free bake mixhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Splendid-Gluten-Free-Bake-Mix952.8369.0137.862.75024.51cup200'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00020020002tsp8baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-2010002001tsp2cinnamon, ground4.94.02.081.6201.061/2tsp1nutmeg, freshly ground5.25.36.06.490.211/2tsp2salt0000001/4tsp.25cloves, ground0000001/3cup74.67coconut oilhttp://amzn.com/B003QDRJXY?tag=lcrecipe-206464000002large100whole eggs14310131002tsp8vanilla extract11.54001001cup180grated green zucchini28.98.562.236.1302.231/2cup49.5pecans halves, toasted and very coursely chopped34235.54.5705Pre-heat oven to 350 F.Grease and dust a standard loaf pan (8"x4") with the gluten-free bake mix. Set aside.In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Mix well.In a separate mixing bowl, combine your wet ingredients, including the zucchini and toasted pecans. Mix well, to make sure the eggs are completely mixed in.Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Combine to form a nice batter.Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake until it has risen in the center and is brown on the edges (about 40 minutes).Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. At this point ... it's up to you what you want to do with it! (I pretty much ate it!)PizzachiladasTrueI love pizza. I LoooOoOOOOOove PIZZA! A good pie, a slice, some ZA! Whatever you want to call it, I want me some!<br /><br /> I've been eating in this manner for about 3 1/2 years and have found peace with it. There are things I simply no longer eat, or I've found "updated" replacements for the foods I love, but did so much damage. There is ONE glaring hole in my world, unfortunately. That hole's name is: Pizza.<br /><br /> Pizza is amongst one of the most eaten foods on the planet, with some 5 billion pizzas being sold every year, 3 billion of those within the United States, where there are over 70,000 pizzerias! This is somewhat mind boggling to me, in that just over 100 years ago, there wasn't a single pizza restaurant in the US. Americans quickly loved it and adopted it, myself included!<br /><br /> I've been on an endless search for a top-quality pizza since I've begun this way of life. There's been some which were fun, or interesting, and often even delicious, but ... just not a GREAT pizza! To-date, I have not had a GREAT low-carb pizza, and I've tried endless varieties, from <a href="http://yourlighterside.com/2009/05/recipe-the-original-cauliflower-pizza-dough-2/" target="_blank">cauliflower crusts</a>, to <a href="www.djfoodie.com/Pizza-Cups">cream cheese crusts</a>, to <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Pizza-Attempted-on-Tortilla">tortillas</a>, <a href="http://amzn.com/B005YVU6FY?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Carbquik</a> and even <a href="http://amzn.com/B008SNGX5W?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">a specialty flour made specifically for pizza</a> <em>(my favorite so far, but still not "great ... wrote home to Mom ... <strong><u>GREAT</u></strong>"!)</em>, but they're all far too <a href="http://whole9life.com/2011/10/sex-with-your-pants-on/" target="_blank">SWYPO</a> for me. In many ways, I've given up hope and simple eat the real deal about once every 6 months, suffer through the cravings and then count the 180 or so days until my next slice! Wash, rinse, repeat!<br /><br /> What I've begun to do instead, is harness the spirit of the pizza, and apply it to other things. This way, I'm not really comparing it to an earth shattering deep dish Chicago pizza, or a thin crusted white pie from Brooklyn. Rather, I'm making something new; something which has no comparison!<br /><br /> Enter ... PIZZACHILLADAS!<br /><br /> These things were fantastic, actually! Every little bit as cheesy and greasy as a good pie should be, but without the overwhelming need to judge the crust. It has no crust! The pepperoni gives it the pizza flavor, while the melted cheese on top drives the whole thing home! A perfect texture, it slices well, it's flavorful and filling. A home run!<br /><br /> Fillings/Toppings Note: I've always been a "Meat Lovers' Pizza" kind of guy, unless I'm going for something truly different. Feel free to throw your favorite filling into these. I do recommend cooking them, first, though. As an example, raw mushrooms on a pizza will probably evaporate a lot of water in a super hot pizza oven. However, a raw mushroom inside one of these will likely just release a lot of water and make the whole thing soggy. Items like onions, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini, etc. will all benefit from being cooked, first.Main20 mins20 mins50 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pizza-Enchiladas-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pizza-Enchiladas-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pizza-Enchiladas-31/2lb227raw italian sausage (sweet or spicy)541.7439.1241.93.8401.441/2lb227pepperoni slices, divided1121.499.8852.210002cups500low carb pasta sauce, dividedhttp://amzn.com/B0079OQEX2?tag=lcrecipe-2028020824081/2lb227ham, cubed16.03356.5346.744.01001/2cup56.8real bacon bits20012240001/2tsp1crushed red chili flakes3.18.17.12.570.273/4lb.340.5whole milk, low moisture mozzarella, grated and divided1082.7985.1374.916.81002cups200parmesan cheese, grated and divided862587680012each282all-purpose crepeshttp://www.djfoodie.com/All-Purpose-Crepes526.531.53061.50salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 400 F.If your Italian sausage is in casings, remove it. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, sauté it, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, as if it were ground beef. When it is cooked, set aside to cool.Chop half of your pepperoni.In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped pepperoni, cooked sausage, ham, bacon bits, 1/2 cup of tomato sauce and half of each of the two cheeses. Mix well.Spread about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9'x13' baking pan.On a counter top, lay out your crepes. Evenly divide your filling mixture between each of the 12 crepes, making a straight line in the center of each crepe. Roll each crepe into a tube and then place it in the baking pan, tightly packed next to the preceding one. Repeat this process until each pizzachillada is in the baking pan. You may need to move things around to make them all fit, but they will fit.Top the pan with the remaining tomato sauce and spread it evenly.Place a layer of pepperoni slices over the top of the crepes.Sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the top of the pan.Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and crispy! Allow it to settle for about 10 minutes before slicing.Slice and serve!Blackened SalmonTrueWhile this recipe is ultimately about blackened salmon, make no mistake ... this spice blend and method is absolutely fantastic on just about everything. Try tossing some shrimp in a little melted butter and then this spice blend. Sauté over ludicrously high heat, to scorch the outside butter and spiced, then eat! The same would be true with a chicken thigh. Coat it with melted butter, salt, pepper and this spice blend. Best chicken thigh ever! If I recommended popcorn <em>(I don't)</em>, I'd recommend dusting it with melted butter and then THIS spice blend. DELICIOUS!<br /><br /> Blackening is a Cajun method of cooking <em>(which is, itself, a blend of French, native American, Caribbean, Spanish, Italian and African influences)</em>. The central idea is that "the item" is coated with whole melted butter and a mixture of spices. This "item" is cooked over very high heat, which heats the fat in the butter, browning the milk solids and frying the spices, until they are essentially "charred". People don't like to hear the word "burnt", but ... carbon is being created. There is a bit of burning, but not so much that it's a burnt flavor. It is, in fact, just a heavy deepening of the flavors, bringing a slightly bitter edge to spicy and aromatic blend of herbs, chilies and spices. Burn it, but ... don't BURN IT.<br /><br /> Most blackening spice blends tend to be made with dry spices. I tend to believe it's because they're made in bulk in most restaurants, added to just about everything in the kitchen and have an incredibly long shelf life. This makes a lot of sense, but in a world where I can go to the local farmer's market or even a standard grocery store and pick up an amazing selection of fresh herbs and spices, I'm going to add a few of this, just to brighten it up!<br /><br /> Give this spice blend a shot. It just takes an extra minute or two to make, but the end flavors are OUT OF THIS WORLD!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> I added a small amount of erythritol to this. The miniscule little boost of "sweet" helps round this out, but if you can't get your hands on some ... don't worry about it. It's not crucial to the dish ... it's just a personal preference.<br /><br /> <strong>Photo Note:</strong> Served with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Smothered-Cabbage">Smothered Cabbage</a>.FishMain5 mins12 mins20 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blackened-Salmon-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blackened-Salmon-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blackened-Salmon-32tbsp14paprika40.461.822.107.8405.181tbsp6fresh cracked black pepper16014021tbsp5cayenne pepper17113014each12garlic cloves, minced01604002tsp2fresh thyme, chopped.042.02.12.480.281tsp1fresh oregano, chopped.021.01.06.240.141tbsp18salt0000002tsp8erythritol, powdered (optional)http://amzn.com/B001EQ5IAG?tag=lcrecipe-200008801/2cup112fresh whole butter (one stick), melted8880000004each6816-ounce fresh salmon fillets1273.4781.72136.2000Mix together your spices in a tray or container which is flat and wide, such as a pie pan.Place your melted butter in a separate bowl.Pre-heat a large iron skillet (or a big sauté pan, if you don't have a large iron skillet).One-at-a-time, dip your salmon into the melted butter, so that it is heavily coated. Then, immediately place it on the tray of blackening spice. Flip the salmon so that it is evenly coated on both sides, then set aside. Repeat this process, until all the salmon is well and evenly coated and seasoned.Add your salmon to the hot pan, leaving space between each fillet. Do not add too many pieces to the pan at once, or else they will not blacken. They will just simmer and steam.When one side is nice and dark, turn it over and blacken the other side. Adding a small amount of flavorless oil (coconut oil, for example) to the pan may help cook the salmon more evenly, even if it's slightly less authentic.Once the salmon is blackened and cooked to the desired temperature (I like mine about medium-rare to medium) ... serve!Smothered CabbageTrueOh what a lovely and simple side dish! This one has it all <em>(and by "all" I mean BACON!)</em>!<br /><br /> Looking around the Internet, "Smothered Cabbage" doesn't appear to live in any specific geographic or cultural origin. I'm going to label it thusly: Soulful Southern Cajun-eole. I see it labeled many ways, but none seem to officially claim it as their own.<br /><br /> Smothered cabbage is varied and different and originally made from whatever was on hand, at the time. It probably still is! It was usually some kind of inexpensive meat and cabbage thrown into a pot where it was smothered with some broth and other flavors, and then left to simmer until it becomes a big pool of tasty goodness.<br /><br /> I see all kinds of variations, including rabbit, Andouille, bacon, ham, white cabbage, red cabbage, all types of braising greens, some fruits, chilies, tomatoes, different stocks, vinegars, other vegetables, etc. There doesn't appear to be any one clear place of origin or widely accepted definition. From all of this, I've picked and chosen and blended together red cabbage with onions, apples, bacon, apple cider vinegar and some chicken stock. Not so much as to drown the whole delicious concoction, but ... JUST enough to smother it!Sides10 mins30 mins40 mins12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Smothered-Cabbage-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Smothered-Cabbage-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Smothered-Cabbage-38slices200raw bacon, chopped91690242001medium head839red cabbage, sliced into thin strips260112620182medium322apples (like golden delicious), cored, peeled and sliced thin1540042041medium110red onion, cut into thin slices440110024each12garlic cloves, minced01604001cup224chicken stock or brothhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Good-Ol-Fashioned-Chicken-Stock15.68.302.241.52002tbsp29.88apple cider vinegarhttp://amzn.com/B001AIWAAE?tag=lcrecipe-20000000salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000In a large pot with a lid over medium-high heat, add your chopped bacon. Cook the bacon, stirring often, until it is crispy. At this point, you can remove some of the rendered fat, if you like, but it is optional. Fat is flavor!Add your sliced cabbage, apples, onions and garlic, with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Stir the ingredients together, to coat with the bacon bits and fat.Add chicken stock and cider vinegar. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat to a low temperature. Allow the ingredients to simmer and steam for about 15 minutes. Remove the lid, stir and allow the steam to escape for a further 15 minutes, while the cabbage simmers away.When most of the juices have evaporated, the cabbage is soft, tender and delicious, taste it. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve!Shrimp DiabloTrueThe idea for this dish came from a few places.<br /> <ul><li>This was conceived around Father's Day and this is one of my father's favorite dishes.</li> <li>Living in Mexico for years, you see a lot of Shrimp Diablo.</li> <li>It's super quick, super easy and SUPER delicious <em>(that is, if you can take the heat!)</em></li></ul> My family started visiting Mexico before I even have memories of our trips. I was born in Southern California, in the United States. My parents would drive their van across the border and enjoy the Mexican culture and food of the mid-70's. As I grew, they simply never stopped! When I was about 6 years old, we moved away from Southern California, to a town just outside of Yosemite National Park. Shortly thereafter, we would fly to Mexico, at least once a year. After having lived there for almost 10 years, I'm actually close to being an actual Mexican citizen! My family has a great love for Mexico.<br /><br /> There is a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta called "Posada Rio Cuale". This was my favorite restaurant on earth in my teenage years. Aside from all the table service they provided, doing fancy things like cutting a spiral in the rind of an orange, hanging it down, pouring booze on it and igniting it, making a flaming, swirling waterfall <em>(fiery boozefall?)</em>. Always a good show!<br /><br /> My father would always order the "Shrimp Diablo". Diablo, meaning "Devil" in Spanish ... implies the dish was hot. Fierce. Painful. Dare I say ... evil?<br /><br /> If memory serves <em>(it doesn't always)</em>, customers had the option to choose their level of heat. On a scale of 1 to 5, my father always ordered the 9. Then, he would sit in the hot Mexican weather, dripping with sweat and revel in his pure delicious pain. His face would turn bright red and he'd just look miserable! He had to breath in and out, in rapid succession, or else ... I assume he'd spontaneously combust! There was always a deep fire raging within him, as he'd delight in his big bowl of Shrimp Diablo.<br /><br /> Between you and I, faithful readers ... I've never quite understood the joy that the chili pain can bring. I like a little kick, but I don't want to suffer while I eat. Not my father, though. He likes it HOT!<br /><br /> How do you like it?<br /><br /> <strong>Scoville Note:</strong> If you throw a habanero, scotch bonnet or ghost chili into the blender ... on a scale of 1 to 5, you will take this to a 9. As written, it's about a 4.5.<br /><br /> <strong>Serving Note:</strong> Often served over rice or with pasta, I suggest a side of <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Miracle-Cauli-Rice">miracle cauli-rice</a> or <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Zoodles">zoodles</a>!FishMainQuick25 mins5 mins30 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Shrimp-Diablo-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Shrimp-Diablo-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Shrimp-Diablo-32each34assorted dried chilies (guajillo, ancho, new mexico, etc.)342418082each14chile de arbol1000416041 1/2lb681shrimp, peeled and deveined721.8613.62136.26.810.422each6garlic cloves, minced0802001tbsp15.25lime juice, freshly squeezed03.82.071.320.071tsp2cumin seed, ground.447.50.880.2217-oz can210chipotles in adobohttp://amzn.com/B0000GATGE?tag=lcrecipe-2012036240182tbsp28light oil (coconut oil, ghee, olive ... or even bacon fat!)240240000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Split the dried chilies by either tearing the tops off, or using kitchen scissors to cut them open. Remove the seeds from the peppers and discard (feel free to leave a few, if you like a super spicy shrimp).You can do this in a hot pan, but I usually toast the chilies directly on a hot burner element, or over a hot burner flame. Over a medium-low temperature, toast the surface of the chilies by placing them in the flame, or directly on the burner surface. This will cause a quick blistering. Do not burn the chilies. Simply toast the surface for about 15 seconds, in a few spots around the chilies. This makes for a richer and more developed flavor.Fill a bowl or measuring cup with about 4 cups of boiling water. Place your toasted chilies in the hot water, so they may soften. Leave them there for about 20 minutes, while you work on the rest of the dish.Toss your shrimp with the cumin, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.After 20 minutes, remove your chilies from the water and place in a blender. Save some of the chili water. You may need it. Add your chipotles to the blender and blend until smooth. Add some of your chili water to thin it out. You want something resembling a slightly runny BBQ sauce.Pre-heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add your oil and swirl it around the pan. Quickly and before the oil burns, add your shrimp to the pan. Evenly distribute them around the pan, so that they are all touching the bottom of the pan. Let them sit for about 1 minute. Turn the all over, to cook the other side.After sautéing for about 2 minutes, add your chili sauce, from the blender. This will likely sputter a bit. That's fine. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the shrimp in the sauce for another 2 to 3 minutes.Taste, adjust seasoning and serve!Oven Roasted Spatchcock ChickenTrueThis recipe is about roasted chicken, but a roasted chicken that's actually faster to do than a standard roasted chicken, as well as more flavorful!<br /><br /> This chicken recipe involves a process called "Spatchcocking" or "Spattlecocking"; a process where the backbone of a whole chicken is removed and the bird is flattened and cooked. It's basically butterflying the entire bird. While I realize that "spatchcock" is a strange word, it's traditionally the word used for a young chicken in England (much like the French called them "poussins"). The technique and bird name have fused over the years, giving us the spatchcock technique.<br /><br /> Spatchcocking a bird is a great way to go, for a few reasons:<br /> <ul> <li>The bird cooks faster. Because it's flat and "thin", it gets direct heat from both sides, while also cooking more evenly. Often the breasts will be dry, while the legs are just cooked. Spatchcocking yields a juicy bird, through and through!</li> <li>It usually tastes better. With a whole bird, not a lot of seasoning usually makes it into the cavity. It's just tough to get in there and season it. However, with a spatchcocked bird, you can season one side, flip it over and season the other!</li> <li>It's often a bit easier to get a crispy skin. Because this lies flat and even in a big pan or on a grill, the skin gets an even and direct blast of heat, crisping it up!</li> <li>It's a little easier, in my opinion, to handle a spatchcocked chicken. It's been flattened and just cuts up more easily. A whole bird is round and likes to wobble and roll.</li> </ul> I highly suggest watching at least one of the following two videos. Both show how to spatchcock a chicken, but each are a little different. I also feel both leave out an important piece, but we'll get to that.<br /><br /> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGKLtbiUflk" target="_blank">Bamaquer Spatchcock Video</a>: including removing the keel bone and splitting the bird completely in half. This can be a smart move, but not required.<br /><br /> <a href="http://hilahcooking.com/spatchcock-chicken/" target="_blank">Hilah Spatchcock Video</a>: she gives a great pitch for spatchcocking in a high quality video, even though she doesn't remove the keel bone. HOWEVER, she DOES tuck the wings, which is an improvement over the first guy. She also shows a little bit about cutting the bird after it's cooked.<br /><br /> Both techniques will work, as the main goal is simply flattening the chicken. I personally use a large chef's knife, rather than the kitchen shears. I place my bird on the cutting board, with the backbone done. I stick my knife into the cavity, just to one side of the backbone, pushing the entire length of the knife through, so that the tip is sticking out near the neck. Then, with force, I push the knife straight through the ribcage. I move the knife to the other side of the backbone and repeat. Two swift moves and the backbone pops right out! From there, I remove the keel bone like the gentleman in the first video, then fold the wings like Hilah!<br /><br /> Once your bird is flattened, you can do what you'd like with it. Roast it, pan fry it, smoke it, grill it, etc. All are options! I've got a very simple herb rub and roasted it in a pan. Nothing more is really needed with a good well cooked bird!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> After spatchcocking, <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Juicy-Brined-Whole-Roasted-Chicken">a light brine</a> would make this already stellar recipe just a little bit better!<br /><br /> <strong>Serving Size:</strong> The recipe is for an about 3-lb. bird, which would feed 2 to 3 people. Add a few herbs and get a 4 or 5 lb. bird for 4 people. Adjust cooking time, accordingly.ChickenMain10 min50 min60 min2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spatchcock-Chicken-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spatchcock-Chicken-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spatchcock-Chicken-32tsp2fresh thyme, chopped.042.02.12.480.282tsp1.33fresh rosemary, chopped1.75.08.04.280.192tsp2fresh oregano, chopped.042.02.12.480.281/2tsp1crushed red chili flakes3.18.17.12.570.274each12garlic clove, minced01604001/4cup56light oil (such as coconut, olive or ghee)4848000001each1336whole chicken2886212228000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 450 F.Combine your herbs, chili flakes, garlic and oil. Mix, and then pour half into a large mixing bowl, while reserving the other half for later.Spatchcock your chicken and then place in the bowl with the herb oil. Coat the chicken, evenly and well, with the herb oil. At this point, it's not uncommon to let the bird marinate in the herbs for a few hours, up to overnight. This step is optional.Season both sides of the bird with salt and pepper.Pre-heat a large skillet or oven-proof sauté pan (large enough for the whole bird to easily fit in the bottom of the pan). The pan needs to be very hot.Once the pan is very hot, place your chicken in the pan, with the skin side down.Place the whole pan in the oven and allow it to roast until a thermometer in the deepest part of the leg reads 160 F. (start checking at about 30 minutes. Depending on the size of the bird, it will be ready between 35 and 50 minutes) When is it is the correct temperature, remove the pan and turn the bird over, so that the skin is now facing up. Cover with foil and leave somewhere warm for about 10 minutes. This will let the bird relax, the juices will settle and the chicken will continue cooking on its own, from the internal heat still in the chicken.Drizzle some of the fresh herb oil over the top.Cut and serve!Slightly Dangerous Braised Lamb ShankTrueThis one has a bit of a strange inception. It was actually inspired by Karen, from <a href="http://lowcarboneday.com" target="_blank">Living Low Carb, One Day at a Time</a>. She attended the <a href="http://www.lowcarbcruiseinfo.com" target="_blank">Annual Low Carb Cruise</a>, but didn't want to leave her blog unattended while she was away. She sought some guest authors and I responded. Around the same time, Karen had placed a <a href="http://lowcarboneday.com/2013/02/lamb-burgers-low-carb-paleo.html" target="_blank">Lamburger</a> on her website with the comment she's new to lamb. About the same time I went to an Italian restaurant and ordered a gigantic lamb shank. This was the special of the evening and came highly recommended by the server. I LOVE lamb <em>(I almost typed lamp. Whoops. I love lamp. I LOVE LAMP!)</em> ... <br /><br /> Most of the time I eat lamb rack or leg. It's not often that I eat shank. Frankly, it's not offered very often. It just slips my mind! While I definitely subscribe to a lot of the Paleo ideologies, I don't embrace them as closely as Karen does. In knowing I was about to do a guest post for Karen, while eating this soft, mouthwatering lamb shank, I decided I wanted to shank it up for her! In my mind, I thought it would be fun to write a guest post as Karen, the cavewoman. A big piece of meat, with a gignomous bone sticking out of it seemed right up her alley; a cute idea, anyway. I decided to take the flavors a little south of Italy, into Morocco, also adding some dried fruits and orange juices <em>(hence the DANGER!)</em>. PERFECT!<br /><br /> After I made it, I really thought about it and came to the conclusion that while it's a thoroughly <em>(truly amazing, actually!)</em> delicious dish, it's probably not terribly approachable for most. Not only are shanks be a bit tough to find, but it takes a while and lamb has a tendency to be on the gamey side, scaring many off. <em>(<strong>Sidenote:</strong> this dish is NOT gamey!)</em> I really wanted to give Karen something that would fit her site, but ALSO something with a little more wide-spread appeal. Thus, I went for the equally <a href="http://lowcarboneday.com/2013/05/low-carb-nut-crusts-caramel-flavor-and-emulsions.html" target="_blank">amazing brown butter pie</a>! <em>(<a href="http://lowcarboneday.com/2013/05/gelatin-chocolate-ganache-and-salted-brown-butter-pecan-pie-recipe.html" target="_blank">part 2, here</a>)</em>.<br /><br /> To make a long story short, here's the recipe! I can't stress enough how special this dish is. The flavors and spice, slowly simmering with these smooth, almost "buttery" pieces of bony shank ... are MORE than worth the time it takes to make. If you've ever got a special evening on the horizon, you could do MUCH MUCH worse than this. Just spectacular ... truly.<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Photos taken with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Moroccan-Eggplant">Moroccan Eggplant Hash</a> and <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Raita">Raita</a>. Also note that this looks AWESOME in person. The brown platter, while really a cool plate, drowns out the shank, sad-to-say. Don't let that diminish the delight this will bring!BeefMain20 min4 hrs5 hrs6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Lamb-Shank-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Lamb-Shank-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Lamb-Shank-36each2764lamb shanks (hind quarters, if possible)5472366511.40001tsp2cinnamon, ground4.94.02.081.6201.061tsp2coriander seed, ground5.96.36.241.10.841/2tsp1cayenne pepper, ground2.84.17.17.50.172tbsp28light oil (coconut oil, ghee, olive ... or even bacon fat!)2402400001medium110red onion, diced440110022large144carrots, peeled and cut into chunks58.501.1213.504.54each12garlic cloves, minced01604001tbsp6fresh ginger, minced or grated04.8.121.080.121cup232red wine, good quality197.28006.32001each140orange690018033cup723beef stock or broth (natural and unsalted)870156001/4cup37.25dried figs, coarsely chopped92.75.251.2523.7503.75salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Season your lamb shanks with a coat of cinnamon, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper.Heat a wide pot (with a lid), like a Dutch Oven, over medium-high heat.Add oil to the pan and swirl it around. Add your lamb shanks to the pan and evenly sear all sides of the shanks. Once they are nice and browned, remove them from the pan and set aside.In the still hot pan, add your onions, carrots, garlic and ginger, with a little salt and pepper. Stir the vegetables around until soft. A little color from the heat of the pan is ok. Allow to cook for about 4 to 5 minutes.Deglaze with the red wine and reduce by about half.While the wine is reducing, with a vegetable peeler, peel a few strips of the orange zest from the very outer layer of the orange. Throw those in the pot, then juice the orange. Add the orange juice to the pot, along with the beef stock and figs.Add your shanks back to the pan and turn it on VERY low heat. You want an incredibly slow simmer. Allow the shanks to braise for about 4 hours. The meat will be soft and falling off the bone. Start checking at about 3 hours, but will likely take between 4 or 5 hours.With a slotted spoon, remove the shanks and vegetables from the pot. Set somewhere warm. Turn the heat up on the pot and reduce by about half, or until noticeably thick.Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve the lamb shanks with the carrots and onions, along with the sauce.Raita (Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce)TrueRaita is a sauce or dip usually used with Indian or Pakistani food. It's actually got A LOT in common with a variety of other yogurt based sauces from other cultures, such as Tzatziki, the Greek sauce. I should probably just call it "yogurt cucumber sauce", but ... I didn't.<br /><br /> Because I wanted to keep it basic, which allows you to add it to a wider variety of things, I chose to leave it really basic. It's a REALLY nice way to complement some hot grilled chicken on a scorching summer day. Add a little cumin, coriander and some cayenne and it becomes a wonderful accompaniment to lamb. Throw some spicy beef and chilies into a <a href="http://amzn.com/B0079OPEI8?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">low-carb pita</a> and slather this stuff on it.<br /><br /> Ah, I suppose I should mention the "English" cucumber. These are the cucumbers you'll often see wrapped in tight plastic. These are a little longer, thinner and slightly sweeter. They also have softer seeds and thinner skin. This makes them a little more of a pleasant cucumber, all around!<br /> <center><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/cucumber.jpg" /></center><br /> Here's a picture!<br /><br /> Yum.SaucesVegetarian15 mins0 mins15 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Raita-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Raita-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Raita-31cup226greek yogurt, plain and full fat26022810001each301english cucumber, seeded and diced46.310011.58002tbsp30.5lime juice, freshly squeezed07.64.142.640.071/4cup22fresh mint, chopped9.68.22.661.7601.541/4cup22fresh cilantro, chopped5.06.22.44.880.66salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Taste, season, taste and serve!Moroccan Eggplant HashTrueFor some reason, I don't have a lot of eggplant on my website. There's no real reason for it. I LOVE eggplant, but don't use it very often. It's a puzzle!<br /><br /> In any event, this is one of my absolute favorite creations in a while. I always hate saying things like that, because it kind of undermines some of the other dishes in recent history and they get sad, and then I need to console them and ... frankly my friends ... some of my dishes are just inconsolable! As unbelievably delicious as my <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Cauliflower-Au-Gratin">Cauliflower au Gratin</a> is ... that dish can be a real grump!<br /><br /> Ok, I think I just digressed. Let's start over ...<br /><br /> Hi there! Welcome to <a href="http://www.DJFoodie.com">DJFoodie.com</a>! What follows is an incredibly delicious side dish. It's quick to prepare and drenched in interesting and slightly exotic flavors. It cooks fast and fierce and tastes great. There are two keys to this dish. <ul><li>Cutting the vegetables so that they're all roughly ... approximately ... the same size. A nice 1/4-inch dice on everything is perfect, but if you go a little larger, that's ok. Just make sure the other veggies match!</li> <li>Cook the veggies in a hot pan, over high heat. Add them, let them sit for a moment (no touching!) and then toss them and let them sit, again. Etc. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKNnvSxgho4" target="_blank">Here's a video that somewhat shows what I'm talking about</a>. Notice how he adds things in stages, first with the veggies and later with the nuts? This recipe has 3 stages. Also, notice how he's not afraid to leave th pan alone for two minutes at a time? This allows the veggies to sustain contact with the bottom of the pan and pick up color <em>(the surface caramelizes)</em>. Constantly moving things around just cools it all down and steams things. Find a good blend of the two techniques. Also, kudos to the Un-Gluten Guy for making a really fun little video!</li> </ul> <strong>Eggplant Note:</strong> It helps to salt your eggplant before continuing with this dish. When starting this recipe, peel your eggplant and dice it into 1/4 to 1/2-inch cubes. Then, season them with a good amount of salt. More than you're probably comfortable with <em>(don't worry, we'll use a bit less later on)</em>. Place the salted eggplant in a strainer or colander over a bowl, or in the sink. Let it drain while you cut the rest of the veggies. Be aware not all eggplant are created equal. The salt will pull a lot of water from some and virtually none from others. In all cases, it does help diminish the slight bitter quality that some find in eggplant.SidesVegetarian15 min15 mins30 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Moroccan-Eggplant-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Moroccan-Eggplant-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Moroccan-Eggplant-32tbsp28light oil (coconut oil, olive or ghee for non-vegans)2402400001large548globe eggplant, peeled, cubed and salted11015260162small148red bell peppers, seeded and cubed45.8801.488.8802.961medium110red onion, diced440110024each12garlic cloves, minced01604001/4cup36.25slivered almonds, toasted210.518.2587.2503.751/2cup55sun-dried tomatoes in oil, oil drained off and diced1177.5313031/4cup22fresh mint leaves, whole9.68.22.661.7601.541/2tsp1cinnamon, ground0000001/2tsp1coriander seed, ground.182.98.12.550.421/4tsp.5cayenne pepper, powdered2.81.08.12.510.22salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat a really large sauté pan or wok over high heat. Add your oil and swirl it around to coat the pan. Quickly add your eggplant and peppers. If you salted your eggplant, just add a little pepper, otherwise season with both salt and pepper. Toss the veggies in the pan to coat with the oil, then allow them to sit in the pan and sear for about 1 minute. Make sure they are evenly spread on the bottom of the pan and not piled up in one part. Toss them and spread them out to sear for another minute. If they are not picking up any color from the pan, you're either tossing too early, or the heat is too low. The pieces should be essentially "frying" in the oil.After a total of 2 to 3 minutes, add your onions and garlic, then toss the ingredients together and allow them sit for about 2 more minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper and then toss and spread and then allow the veggies to sear for another minute or two.Add your almonds, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh mint leaves. Toss the ingredients to mix well. You're really just heating up the new ingredients. They don't need any further cooking.Taste your hash. If it needs a little more salt and pepper, add it. Finally, dust your ingredients with your spices, toss to mix everything together, one last time and serve!Serve!Spicy Giant Ribeye with Bacon!TrueThis is a recipe devoted to Father's Day, but would, could and should be delicious any day of the week! I really thought a lot about what a father might want on his special day, and a few things sprang to mind.<br /><br /><strong>Father's Day Qualifications:</strong> <ul> <li>Giant Steak. It must have a bone in it.</li> <li>It must be grilled.</li> <li>Bacon must be involved.</li> <li>It needs to be spicy.</li></ul> These just seem like the building blocks for a perfect Father's Day Steak. Then ... <em>my own little twist</em> ... I love adding a little something sweet my meals. This one has a little bit of orange thrown into it. This is totally optional and may actually diminish the manliness wafting off the original list of Father's Day qualifications, but I happen to know that sweet and acid both boost flavors. Manly-Man or not, it WILL taste better with a little orange thrown in to it.<br /><br /> The basic idea is, we make a little rub from the orange juice and adobo in the can of chipotles. We rub it on the steaks, and then grill them. In a pan, we reduce beef stock, with garlic, onions, bacon bits, chipotles (throw some habaneros in there, if you really want to make a mark on Dad's day!) and a little tequila. Let this simmer and reduce, then just before serving, whisk a bunch of butter into it, to thicken it up and add some brazen fat!<br /><br /> Serve the steaks, slathered in the flavorful, hot and spicy butter sauce! Dad will thank you for this one!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> I highly recommend reading <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Beef-Tenderloin-Steak">my tips on cooking a steak</a> before proceeding. A few little thoughts might help take a steak from simply great, to history making!BeefMain10 min1 hr 20 min1 hr 30 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fathers-Steak-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fathers-Steak-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fathers-Steak-317-oz can210chipotles in adobohttp://amzn.com/B0000GATGE?tag=lcrecipe-2012036240181each140orange690018031/2tsp1cumin seed, ground.223.750.440.114large2724bone-in ribeye steaks (24-oz or so, each)74586004740001/2cup112whole butter, cut into about 12 cubes, divided8880000001medium110onion, sliced440110024each12garlic clove, minced01604001small74red bell pepper, seeded and sliced22.940.744.4401.481/2cup110good quality tequila275.56000001 1/2cup361.5beef stock or broth (natural and unsalted)43.507.53001/2cup56.8real bacon bits20012240002tbsp28light oil (for grilling ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)242400000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Inside the can of chipotles is a spiced tomato sauce called Adobo. Remove your peppers from the adobo, while saving the adobo. Slice the chipotles into thin strips, and then set them aside.Pour the remaining adobo into a large mixing bowl.Juice your orange, placing half in the bowl with the adobo and the other half on the side.Add cumin to the adobo and juice, then mix well. Add steaks to the mixture and evenly coat them with the chipotle rub. Leave the steaks sitting on the counter, for about an hour. We're both adding flavor and warming them up!While your steaks sit, prepare and pre-heat a hot grill.Heat up a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.Add about 1 tbsp of butter to the pan and swirl it around. Quickly follow with your onions and garlic. Move them around the pan until they are a nice golden color.Add your bell peppers and sliced chipotle peppers to the pan and continue moving it around. When this mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, add your tequila. This will create a big cloud of steam. If you have a gas stove, you may want to turn it off before you do this, as it can create a ball of fire (which could be fun if Dad is cooking!). Stir in the tequila and turn the heat down to low. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 2 minutes.Add your beef stock, the rest of the orange juice and the bacon bits to the pan. Reduce by about 2/3rds. The sauce will NOTICEABLY thicken. Turn the heat down as low as it can go, while still staying warm.Dust the steaks with salt and pepper. Brush a little oil on the grill and place your steaks on the grill. Grill to the desired doneness and then set somewhere warm to relax for about 5 to 10 minutes.While the steaks relax, add a small piece of cold fresh butter to the sauce pan and swirl it around. When one piece of butter is about halfway melted, add a second piece of cold fresh butter. When that second piece is halfway melted, add a third piece. Keep swirling in the cold fresh pieces of butter, until it has created a lovely and luxurious spicy bacon jus. (this is done in this manner, so that the butter is incorporated into the jus, without simply melting and forming an oil slick on the top of the sauce. This slow cold swirling method emulsifies it into the stock in a method known as "Monté" (pronounced "Mont-tay")).Serve the steaks topped with the sauce!Stuffed Double Cut Pork ChopsTrue<u><strong>THIS</strong></u> is a serious pork chop! There's no fooling around with this one. This double cut pork chop has been brined and then stuffed with sausage. I do believe that this treatment renders about as moist and flavorful a pork chop as one could create. I really don't know that I know how to make a better chop!<br /><br /> I have no qualms about saying a recipe is bad, didn't work, isn't what I wanted, etc. However, on the flipside and from this same ethos, I judge recipes that DO work. I do not hesitate to say that this pork dish and recipe is nothing short of outstandingly magnificent!<br /><br /> First, there's the procurement of the pork, itself. It's not likely you're going to walk into the local grocery store and see a double cut pork chop. However, most grocery stores do have butchers who will cut specific things for you, if they have the product in the cooler. It may not hurt to call ahead, but my gut tells me that finding a full bone-in pork tenderloin isn't that difficult. Then, explain that you want it cut "Double Cut and Frenched". This means that they will cut the chop every TWO ribs, rather than just one <em>(like most pork chops)</em>. "Frenched" means that they clean the fat and sinew from around the bone, making a nice attractive appearance.<br /><br /> Next, we're going to create a brine. I have <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Juicy-Brined-Whole-Roasted-Chicken">another recipe where I brine chicken</a> <em>(I love brining pork, chicken and turkey! It's so easy to do and makes SUCH a big difference!)</em>. Read my other <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Juicy-Brined-Whole-Roasted-Chicken">brining recipe</a> for details <em>(<a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Maple-Brined-Pork-Chop">Maple Brined Pork</a>, too!)</em>, but I do want to make a quick point. Yes, there are some veggies and aromatics in this brine, but they are purely optional. The ONLY required part is the salt and the water. If you brined this pork in a salt water solution for a few hours, you'll be THRILLED you did! <em>(I only mention this because I've heard comments that the extra "stuff" looks complicated ... it's totally optional, but does lend one extra level of complexity in flavor)</em>.<br /><br /> Finally, this pork chop has been split between the bones and packed with raw Italian sausage <em>(sweet or spicy)</em>. Pork chops don't have a lot of fat, which tends to make them a fairly dry piece of meat. Sausage, on the other hand, is FULL of fat. If you stuff a dry piece of meat with fat, some of that fat is going to melt into the chop and add moisture, as well as additional flavors from the spices in the sausage!<br /><br /> These various steps will give you an almost life changing beast of a pork chop. It may seem like a lot of effort for a pork chop, but ... when you try it, you'll understand why the time and effort was worth it. This pork chop will change the way you see pork chops. It's THAT good!MainPork15 min25 min6 hrs4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Double-Cut-Pork-Chops-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Double-Cut-Pork-Chops-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Double-Cut-Pork-Chops-31 1/2cups0water0000001/4cup0kosher salt (or 2 tbsp table salt)0000004each0garlic cloves, crushed0000001/2each0small onion, chopped0000001each0bay leaves0000001sprig0fresh thyme0000001/2tbsp0fresh cracked black pepper0000002 1/2cups0ice water0000004each1816double cut pork chops, frenched)2504.32211.28139.560001/2lb227raw italian sausage (sweet or spicy)541.7439.1241.93.8401.442tbsp28light oil (coconut oil, olive, ghee or bacon fat!)240240000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000In a large pot (large enough for a gallon of liquid), bring your 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil.Add the salt and whisk the water, until the salt dissolves.Remove the water from the heat and add the remaining ingredients, except the ice water and pork.Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes, to cool.Add the ice water and stir. Make sure the brine is cold.Add the pork. Make sure the pork is completely submerged. If it's not, you can weigh the pork down, or add a little more ice water.Brine the pork for between 2 and 10 hours. Any brining is good, even an hour. Longer is better, up to 12 hours. After 12 hours, the pork starts to deteriorate.When the pork has been brined, remove it from the brine and wash thoroughly under cold water.Discard the brine. It cannot be re-used.Pre-heat your oven to 400 F.With a sharp knife, make an incision between the bones, cutting deeply into the center of the pork chop, but not cutting through the other side. You can use a small sharp knife to cut in either direction, within the pork, to create a large slot or cavity, within the pork chop. Just be careful not to break through any portion of the other side. You want a nice, deep and wide "pocket" ... without holes. You can stick your finger in the incision and push around to tear a slightly larger pocket, as well.Divide your raw sausage into 4 even lumps. With your fingers, stuff the pork chops as full as you can. Really force it in there, while being careful not to break or split the chops. The pork chop will begin to bulge a bit. That's ok. Force it in there.At this point, it's best to let the pork sit at room temperature for about an hour or two, prior to cooking. Allow this time, if possible. This will make the pork cook more evenly and hold more moisture.Dry the pork well and then lightly season with a little salt and pepper.Pre-heat a large skillet or oven proof sauté pan, over high heat. Add your oil to the pan and swirl it around to coat the pan. Quickly place your pork into the pan, making sure there is enough space between them. Lower your temperature to medium-high and allow the pork to sit on each side of each for about 1 to 2 minutes, creating a nice golden sear on the outside.Once every side has been nicely colored, place the entire pan in the oven. Allow to roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, but check it after 12.Once the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145° F, remove from the oven. Poking it will result in a very firm pork chop. Cover the pork with foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes, before serving.Serve!Pepperoni Pizza PocketsTrueThis recipe is from the magnificent, kind and generous Stacey, over at <a href="http://www.BeautyandtheFoodie.com" target="_blank">BeautyandtheFoodie.com</a>. Check out <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Blog/beid/720360">her guest blog post</a> to see why this is here!<br /><br /> <strong><u>Things you'll need:</u></strong> <ul><li>2 Large baking sheets</li> <li>Blender, or food processor</li> <li>Parchment paper, 2 sheets</li> <li>Pastry brush, or other sauce brush</li> </ul> <center><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/pp01small.jpg" /></center> Process zucchini and garlic in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Then place zucchini in, at least, two layers of paper towels or a cheesecloth. I tried to use one paper towel once, and the towel tore and ground zucchini went everywhere.<br /><br /> <center><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/pp02small.jpg" /></center> Wrap ground zucchini and garlic in paper towels or cheesecloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.<br /><br /> <center><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/pp03small.jpg" /></center> After combining the crust ingredients, divide dough into two mounds and spread each into a circular formation on the parchment paper with the back of a spoon. Try not to get it too thin. You should not see any paper through the dough. Then use the back of the spoon to slide around the circle and smooth out the edges.<br /><br /> <center><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/pp04small.jpg" /></center> After baking, place a second sheet of parchment paper on top of the zucchini crusts. Then flip both sheets, with crust between them, over onto baking sheet and slowly peel off the parchment paper on top of crust.<br /><br /> <center><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/pp05small.jpg" /></center> After baking, spread pizza sauce over entire crust, and put toppings and cheese over half of each circle.<br /><br /> <center><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/pp06small.jpg" /></center> Fold half of crust over bottom half with the toppings (like folding an omelet). Press open part of pocket closed with a spoon or fingers. Do not worry if it does not seal well, it will when the cheese melts. If any of the closed part cracks open, just push it closed with fingers. Brush the tops of crust with melted butter and sprinkle with parmesan. Put back in oven to bake again until browned.BakedLunchMain15 min25 min40 min2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pizza-Pockets-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pizza-Pockets-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pizza-Pockets-31small to medium118zucchini, cut into thirds19.371.464.0201.461each3garlic clove, peeled (optional)0401001large50whole egg71.556.5.5001tbsp7coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-2031.751.754.5032tsp4.33golden flaxseed mealhttp://amzn.com/B000EDK5MG?tag=lcrecipe-20201.511.3301.331/2tsp.25italian seasoninghttp://amzn.com/B001E5E4C0?tag=lcrecipe-20.77.03.03.160.111/4tsp1sea salt (optional)http://amzn.com/B00017028M?tag=lcrecipe-200000001/4cup28whole milk, low moisture mozzarella, grated (optional)89761002tsp9.33butter, melted66.677.3300001tbsp6.25parmesan cheese, grated26.941.812.38.25002tbsp31.25tomato puree (or tomato-only sauce)11.88.13.52.750.631/4tsp.13italian seasoninghttp://amzn.com/B001E5E4C0?tag=lcrecipe-20.37.02.02.080.061/4tsp.75garlic powder2.49.01.13.550.081/4tsp.13oregano, ground.37.02.02.080.068thin slices16pepperoni or salami (nitrate free)78.866.863.430001/4cup28cheese of choice, grated8976100Preheat oven to 400 F, and line a baking sheet with one sheet of parchment paper.Add zucchini squash and garlic clove to blender or processor, and process until finely ground.Place ground zucchini garlic mixture in a cheese cloth (fine woven towel) or layered paper towels, and squeeze and drain out as much liquid as you can into the sink.Add the zucchini and garlic from the towel to a mixing bowl and add : egg, coconut flour, flax meal, Italian Seasonings, grated mozzarella cheese, and sea salt.Stir and mix well until a pasty dough forms, if it is too runny, then add a little more flax ( if you wait a few moments it will thicken up as flour absorbs the liquid).Place two mounds of your crust mixture on parchment paper, and spread into two circles ( use the back of spoon to spread, and try not to spread too thin. Also slide the back of a spoon around the edges of the circles to smooth edges).Bake crust in oven for 11 minutes.While crust is baking, mix all sauce ingredients, and set aside.When your crust is a little browned on top, remove from oven.Put second sheet of parchment over top of crust, and use pot holders to flip baking sheet over onto new baking sheet.Slowly peel off top sheet of parchment paper from crusts.Put crusts back into oven and bake for 6 minutes.Remove from oven, and cover each with layer of pizza sauce.Add pizza toppings to half of each crust circle.Fold one half of each crust over the bottom half with the toppings ( like an omelet).Press open side of crust closed with spoon or fingers ( don't worry if not sealed well, it will seal when cheese melts).Brush the tops of pocket crust with melted butter, and sprinkle with parmesan.Bake in oven again for 8 minutes or until crust is slightly browned.Remove, cool, and serve.Bacon Wrapped Turkey MeatloafTrueI've already got another <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Sweet-n-Glazey-Totally-Beefy-Meatloaf">meatloaf</a> on my website, but ... a few things prompted this recipe.<br /> <ul> <li>I wanted to play with a whole sheet of bacon.</li> <li>Turkey, as I understand it, is pound-for-pound, the least expensive meat which can be purchased.</li> <li>I like turkey and don't feel it needs to be relegated to November.</li> <li>Who says I need to put a cap on meatloaf recipes?!</li> </ul> In all sincerity, this recipe really is here because I wanted to play with bacon. I've seen countless photos of this cool <a href="https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&bih=874&q=bacon+lattice" target="_blank">"lattice" bacon formation</a>, all over the inter-web. I've seen it wrapped around <a href="http://thewickedwitofthewest.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/bacon-turkey.jpg" target="_blank">whole turkeys <em>(called "Turbacon!")</em></a>, I've seen it formed into thin sheets, which were used to <a href="http://www.kiwifaves.co.nz/recipe/brownies-with-gingerbread-flavoured-candied-bacon-lattice/" target="_blank">top brownies</a>, I've even seen <a href="http://dudefoods.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/BaconWeaveTaco311.jpg" target="_blank">taco shells</a> made from it. This all makes perfect sense, in some small way ... it all looks delicious and tastes even better!<br /><br /> So, this is just me playing. I'm having fun, doing silly things with food. As a kid, my Mom always told me not to play with my food.<br /><br /> In your face, Mom! <em>(just kidding!)</em>ChickenMain20 min1 hr1 hr 35 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bacon-Wrapped-Turkey-Meatloaf-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bacon-Wrapped-Turkey-Meatloaf-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bacon-Wrapped-Turkey-Meatloaf-31lb454crimini or button mushrooms, finely chopped0122.5813.6218.1604.542tbsp27butter or bacon fat238.752700001medium110onion, diced440110024each12garlic clove, minced01604002lbs908ground turkey1352741580002small148roasted bell peppers, peeled, seeded and diced45.8801.488.8802.962tsp1.33fresh rosemary, chopped1.75.08.04.280.191 1/2cups35pork rinds (fried skin), crushed20011.25200002large100whole eggs14310131001/2cup112chicken stock or brothhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Good-Ol-Fashioned-Chicken-Stock7.84.151.12.760012slices300raw bacon137413536300salt and pepper, to taste000000Preheat oven to 350°F.Assuming all veggies are sliced, diced and chopped, you want to finely chop the mushrooms. You can do this with a knife or a food processor. A cheese grater works really nicely, too.Once the mushrooms have been chopped, sauté with half of the butter or bacon fat and a little salt and pepper. Sauté until the water cooks out is removed and you're left with a paste-like consistency.In a separate pan, soften on low heat the onions and garlic with a little salt, pepper and the remaining butter or bacon fat. Sweat until translucent.Set both veggies and mushrooms in the cooler to chill.In a large bowl, combine the turkey, peppers, rosemary, egg, chicken stock, pork rinds and eggs; adding the onions, garlic and mushrooms last.Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mix well. Should be a doughy consistency and not watery.Make a lattice pattern with the 12 slices of bacon, alternating 6 strips with 6 other strips, facing the other directions. See the recipe notes for photos of this pattern.Form a log with the turkey; about the size and shape of a small football.Roll the turkey log into the bacon lattice sheet, making sure the sheet is tight and that the seam side is facing down.Place a lightly greased sheet of parchment paper on a cookie tray. Set the meatloaf on it.Bake for about 1 hour or until an internal temperature of 160°F.Make sure to let rest about 15 minutes prior to slicing.Sponge CakeTrueSo ... I'm not much of a low-carb baker. My strengths lie more in a world of bacon and broccoli and less in the world of stevia and coconut flour. Even in the time before time I was skilled in pasta and pizza, but far less so in cake and cookies. There are a wide variety of culinary disciplines and ... "baking" was just never really one of them. <em>(that said, I was a professional baker for a year and AM quite good with yeast leavened flour based doughs, but ... that's ancient history)</em><br /><br /> Ahem! In one of my many attempts to gain an understanding of coconut flour, I decided to try for a standard white cake. My hope was that I could come up with a light cakey-like pastry, with which I could do many things. The end result was light and tasty, but not quite as stable as I'd hoped. It rose, but just as quickly fell, when taken from the heat. Re-dubbed "Sponge Cake".<br /><br /> I am absolutely certain that this would be absolutely yum with something like 4 of these baked, and then stacked with jam and berries between them, or a spiced cream cheese spread, or a wicked yum cinnamon butter and an orange cream cheese frosting!<br /><br /> I think this is a stellar starting point for something wonderful. Expect me to grow this into something over time. For now, because I wasn't sure what to do, I chopped it up and put it into a bowl with strawberries and vanilla pudding. A great way to go, but ... there's always room for improvement <em>(and Jell-O)</em> apparently!).BakedDesserts15 min20 mins35 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sponge-Cake-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sponge-Cake-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sponge-Cake-34large200whole eggs, room temperature28620262001/2tsp2.5lemon juice0.640.220.011tbsp7coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-2031.751.754.5032tbsp24'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html0002201tsp4vanilla extract11.5400.5001dash1salt000000Pre-heat oven to 350 F.Grease a pan. I used a standard loaf pan, but might suggest this would work well in a cake pan, if you want a fairly thin, tasty, cakey disc of some sort.Separate the eggs into 4 yolks and 4 whites.Whip the egg whites with the lemon juice, until firm peaks can be formed. Set aside.Whisk together the sweetener, coconut flour, salt, vanilla and egg yolks. Once it's a nice consistent lemon color, gently fold in 1/4 of the egg white mixture. Once the first 1/4 has been folded in, fold in another 1/4 of the egg white mixture. Continue adding portions of the egg whites, while folding, until you have a large delicate cloud of light yellow eggs.Pour your egg cloud into your prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.Remove from the oven and allow to cool.Top, cut, stack, etc. It's up to you!Strawberry Shortcake Trifle ThingyTrueI remember when I very first discovered the <a href="http://amzn.com/B004HINCLK?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Atkins' '92 book</a> in my pile of unread diet books. It was really the second book I read, near the beginning of this change in my life. The first was "<a href="http://amzn.com/B003TO681Y?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution</a>", which was a great book and a philosophy I still am aiming to achieve <em>(although it's a tough and fairly strict philosophy. Let's just say it's a longer term goal of mine)</em>. Atkins' was great because it broke things into clearer phases, with numbers I could follow. Philosophies are wonderful, but I needed something a little more concrete, early on. The two actually really complemented one another. Most of my current thinking and recipes are derived from these two books.<br /><br /> Anywhoo ... the Atkin's Book has a really mediocre flan recipe at the end of it. It's more like sweet eggs, which aren't all that great on their own. A bit too eggy for my tastes. HOWEVER! I remember that I used to make it quite a bit when I very VERY first started this way of life, long before I really get deep into studying ingredients and understanding how they all work together. My big trick was taking the flan, scooping it into my <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/All-Purpose-Crepes">crepes</a>, then topping it with strawberries and <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Whipped-Cream">whipped cream</a>. It was just a big mess of a pile, but it was DELICIOUS! TOTALLY low-carb, and fully yum.<br /><br /> This particular recipe really reminds me of that dish. I actually never really sought this recipe. It's not in my notes. It came about because I happened to have sponge cake, strawberries, pudding and whipped cream lying around my kitchen, all at the same time. I had zero doubt that they would taste amazing together, so ... I plopped it all in a bowl, got a picture taken, tilted my head back, slid the fruity sweet dessert down my gullet and moved on!<br /><br /> This is the kind of thing that really just illustrates how limitless this way of eating can be. This could just as easily have been <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Chocolate-OMM">chocolate OMM</a> crumbled on top of some <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Vanilla-Pudding">pudding</a>, with a few toasted almonds or a mixture of orange zest, fresh blueberries and hazelnuts!<br /><br /> I love this way of eating. It's SO delicious!Desserts15 mins0 min15 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Strawberry-Trifle-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Strawberry-Trifle-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Strawberry-Trifle-31 1/2pint535.5strawberries, washed, dried and cut into cubes1711.5340.5010.52tbsp24'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000151502tsp10lemon juice02.540.880.041dash0salt0000003cups714vanilla pud'elicioushttp://www.djfoodie.com/Vanilla-Pudding1223.94118.3626.38114.7810016servings357.75sponge cakehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Sponge-Cake493.7731.1341.6313.8334.526large199.5dollops whipped creamhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Whipped-Cream624.41663.757.131.506sprigs11fresh mint, chopped4.84.11.33.880.72In a bowl, combine your diced strawberries, sweetener, lemon juice and a little bit of salt. Mix together and set aside. Note: it's even better if you let it set aside and macerate for about an hour or two, mixing occasionally.Put a scoop of pudding in the bottom of several bowls. Top eech with diced sponge cake cubes. Top those with your diced strawberries. Finally, place a nice dollop of whipped cream on each pile and garnish with a totally irrelevant, but very fresh and green sprig of mint!Enjoy!Meat Lovers' LasagnaTrueAfter a really long stretch <em>(3 weeks, which is super long in "DJ Years")</em> of super clean eating, including zero grains, no dairy and no Frankenfoods, I celebrated with a gigantic bowl of <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Linguini-with-Chicken-Veggies-and-Pesto-Cream">Pasta à la Stuff in DJ's Fridge</a>. This divine bowl of yum was FILLED with cream and pasta. It was everything I could ever want in an overflowing bowl of chow and more!<br /><br /> Then ... the next day ... the "more" part of that equation hit me. WOAH!<br /><br /> Having been eating so clean, I think my body simply didn't know how to handle all the wheat, whether it be shrouded in a fiber matrix, or not! I don't want to put grotesque images in your mind. Nothing like that occurred, but what I experienced was nothing short of a brief bout of lunacy and befuddling indecision. The next morning, I awoke with a splitting headache, not unlike that of a horrendous hangover. Added to that was a sense of deep fog, a little sadness, enormous confusion and overwhelming hunger. This was the kind of hunger that had no end. Oh ... I was in trouble!<br /><br /> This isn't a "<a href="http://amzn.com/B0018S09T0?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Dreamfield's Pasta</a> will make you crazy" recipe. That stuff is absolutely delicious and filled a necessary void in my life, at one time. I believe it has its place in the world. However, years later, as I lose weight, gain health and learn more ... I continue experimenting; trying to clean and refine the foods I eat.<br /><br /> This recipe still has a lot of dairy, but it is also completely wheat free. <a href="http://amzn.com/B0018S09T0?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Sheets of lasagna</a> would definitely work within this recipe, but ... so did <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/All-Purpose-Crepes">my crepes</a>! In fact, as I was eating this, and sharing it with friends, I asked them if they felt like they were eating something OTHER than lasagna. NONE of them batted a lash. It was lasagna, in every way they know.<br /><br /> I agreed. It was SOOOO GOOD, TOO!<br /><br /> <strong>Chicken Note</strong>: It's my understanding that you can buy scaloppini style chicken breasts in many supermarkets. I'm in the habit of slicing and pounding my own. If you can't find it at the store, you can ask the butcher, or pound your own. To do this, cut a chicken breast in half, as if you're butterflying it. Cut it all of the way through. Then place each half between two pieces of saran wrap and whack at it with a meat mallet, the back of your knife, or the bottom of a pan. You want to pound it thinner and wider, until it's about 1/4-inch thick.ChickenMainPasta30 mins1 hr1 hr 30 mins12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Meat-Lovers-Lasagna-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Meat-Lovers-Lasagna-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Meat-Lovers-Lasagna-31 1/2lbs681chicken breasts, scaloppini style809.3320.7144.890001tbsp13.5olive oil119.3813.500001lb454ground beef115390.877.180001lb454raw italian sausagehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Chicken-Italian-Sausage156414064400126-oz jar737low carb pasta saucehttp://amzn.com/B0079OQEX2?tag=lcrecipe-204203012360123cups300parmesan cheese, grated and divided into 2 parts12938711412001cup246ricotta cheese, whole milk42832287002large100whole eggs14310131002lb908whole milk low-moisture mozzarella, grated160224016000015each752all purpose ricotta crepeshttp://www.djfoodie.com/All-Purpose-Crepes140484801200salt and pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 350° F.Season your thinly sliced chicken with salt and pepper, then coat with olive oil.Pre-heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Once it is hot, add your chicken pieces, in one layer (may need to do in 2 or 3 batches). Cook for about 90 seconds on one side, then flip and cook the other side until the chicken is cooked. Remove it and set aside.When all the chicken is cooked, add your ground beef to the pan and brown it with a little salt and pepper, then set aside.Next, sauté the Italian sausage. If it's in a casing, cut one end of each sausage, then squeeze the sausage out of its casing. Break the meat up in the pan. The fat from the meat should be enough to keep it from sticking. When it is cooked, set it aside.In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs and half of the grated parmesan. Mix, then divide into 4 rough sections in the bowl.Spray the bottom of a 13 X 9 inch pan. Add a small amount of sauce to the bottom of the pan.Place 3 crepes on the bottom of the pan.Evenly spread one-quarter of the sauce mixture over the crepes.Evenly spread your ground beef over the sauce.Evenly spread one-quarter of the ricotta mixture over the beef.Evenly spread one-quarter of the shredded mozzarella over the ricotta mixture.Place 3 more lasagna noodles above the mozzarella.Repeat these steps, layering the lasagna, next with the chicken and then the Italian sausage, until all the crepes have been used.On top of the final 3 crepes, spread the remainder of the sauce, ricotta mixture, the rest of the mozzarella and finally, the remainder of the grated parmesan cheese.Bake at 350° F for about an hour, or until cooked through and nice and browned on the top.Remove from the oven and let rest for about 20 minutes, prior to slicing and serving.Vanilla Pud'eliciousTrueThis is a kind of strange recipe. I'm not really sure what to call it, or what it is, or why I'd want one. HOWEVER! It WAS tasty, whatever it was! I also liked how it was individual servings, which made it nice to pop open a new one and eat it. I'm a big fan of portion control. Give me a bowl of food, I'm going to eat the whole bowl. If it's a large bowl ... GONE! If it's a small bowl ... GONE! So, it's best to give me a small bowl.<br /><br /> In any event, my goal was to create a vanilla pudding, but I think what I made was closer to a "custard" in terms of taste and texture. Interestingly, I think this last statement is confusing to people in Europe, as I believe they define those terms differently than in the U.S. To me, a "pudding" is creamy and can be swirled around and coat the back of a spoon. Normally this is thickened with corn starch and is VERY commonly store bought in a little colorful box. A "custard" is an egg thickened "pudding" ... which gives a different texture. One is starch based thickener and the other is protein. My aim was to get something resembling a creamy and thick American style "pudding", by creating a stirred pudding base, thickened with gelatin <em>(another protein)</em>. I suspected that I wouldn't get what I was after, and I was correct. The end result was perhaps more like a Custard Panna Cotta, which ... is awesome, wonderful and totally delicious. It's thick, sweet and full of tasty flavor, but ... it's just not what I was after!<br /><br /> The search, for me, for a non-slimey <em>(xanthan gum based)</em>, smooth and creamy, not overly eggy and not "firm and jiggly" <em>(gelatin style)</em> ... American Style pudding continues. Stay tuned! In the meantime ... this little recipe really ain't so bad!Desserts5 mins15 mins4 hrs6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Vanilla-Pudding-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Vanilla-Pudding-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Vanilla-Pudding-31cup238cream, heavy whipping8218857001cup240almond milk, unsweetenedhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-20453.523011each12vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)23001001/2cup100'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00010010001dash1salt0000001/2packet (about 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 tsp, total)3.5gelatin powder11.7303.010006large102egg yolks323.2126.8616.373.7800Combine cream and 3/4 cup of the almond milk in a medium sauce pan.Split the vanilla bean in half. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean. Add the bean and seeds to the milk and cream.Bring the milk to a very slow simmer. Remove the milk from the heat and whisk the sugar equivalent and salt into the milk. Make sure it dissolves. Keep warm, but set aside.In a medium sized mixing bowl, add your 1/4 cup remaining almond milk.Sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the surface of the almond milk. Allow it to bloom for about 5 minutes.In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs well.Very very slowly, whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks. Whisk quickly, so as to incorporate the hot liquid evenly, without cooking or scrambling the eggs.Once the liquid has been incorporated into the eggs, pour the milk-egg mixture back into the sauce pan and return to a low heat.Stir consistently until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon with a thick coating. The temperature should be between 165 and 175. Whatever you do, do not boil this mixture.Strain the vanilla egg base into the almond milk with the gelatin. Whisk until the gelatin is fully dissolved.Divide the mixture into 6 small portions and chill. Chilling takes about 4 hours.Eat! Delicious with strawberries!Chocolate Shake!TrueAt the core of my thinking is the idea that I should present a seemingly infinite variety of options for people. I'm always pushing to offer new things, while also offering old favorites, updated for a low-carb lifestyle. As of this recipe, I've been doing this for about 9 1/2 months and have right around 300 recipes. Interestingly, I have VERY few beverage options! Perhaps that's because I'm a water person. Coffee in the morning ... water for the rest of the day. I've just never felt strongly drawn to other beverages. A little pick-me-up in the morning, then ... stay hydrated.<br /><br /> That's no excuse not to push the beverage section of my website!<br /><br /> Additionally, if you give me a chocolate shake ... I'magunna drink it! I'm sort of a puzzle. I won't outright say I have a sweet tooth. My teeth are more of the salty variety, but ... I do love a good sweet taste! I also love chocolate, I love cold foods and I love whipped cream. I suspect I'm not alone on this one, either! It seemed silly to not offer a chocolate shake on my website, especially seeing as it's so easy!<br /><br /> <strong>A Few Thoughts:</strong> A really good shake is usually made with ice cream. If you have access to a good sugar-free ice cream ... go for it! It's ice cream, cream, sweetener, cocoa powder and/or sugar-free chocolate syrup, in a blender. Just be sure to read the label. Sugar-free doesn't always equal "low-carb". For the most part, processed foods, even the sugar-free/low-carb products, are often full of "sugar under another name", stabilizing ingredients and fillers that may cause a stall for some. As an example, <a href="http://www.clemmysicecream.com/pints/vanilla-bean" target="_blank">here's vanilla ice cream from a brand called "Clemmy's"</a>. It's an "all natural" ice cream, with all kinds of branding touting how ridiculously awesome, healthy and special it is. If I didn't know any better, I'd buy it! However, reading the label shows the first ingredient to be maltitol, which is basically sugar <em>(as far as the blood is concerned)</em> under another name, plus it'll give you intestinal distress, something fierce! Maltodextrin is also another sugar <em>(they list it as a fiber, but it's got an impact on blood sugars)</em>. There's also Xylitol, which many diabetics claim has no effect on their blood sugars, but many others say it does. I remain skeptical of it, plus it's poisonous to dogs. Anywhoo ... this "at a glance" awesome ice cream product is ... SHENANIGANS!<br /><br /> On the flip side is one I pick up at Whole Foods, from time to time. SO Delicious makes a KILLER <em>(non-dairy)</em> ice cream product, just as good as any full sugar-full cream ice cream I've ever had. <a href="http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/products/coconut-milk-frozen-desserts/no-sugar-added-vanilla-bean" target="_blank">Here's a link to their vanilla ice cream nutrition facts</a>. Here they're using chicory root <em>(inulin, probably)</em>, erythritol and monk fruit extract as their bulking and sweetening synergy blend. HUZZAH!! We have a winner!<br /><br /> In this case of this particular shake recipe, I've kept it simple, so it's within reach of anything that's got a quality sugar equivalent sitting around.<br /><br /> <strong>Another Note:</strong> The chocolate dribble was actually a sugar-free Hershey's Chocolate syrup, which my mother gave me. She was really happy that she'd found an erythritol based syrup. As was I! I've seen it in grocery stores, so I think it's easily found. I tried it and it was delicious, too! <em>(if you REALLY focus on it, yes ... you can tell it's not the real thing, but it's still pretty yum)</em> It's not a PERFECT product, in that they use some Sucralose and Ace K in their sweetening synergy blend, but it's mostly erythritol and probably totally fine to enjoy every once in a while. Quick, easy and tasty!BeveragesDesserts3 min0 min3 min1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chocolate-Shake-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chocolate-Shake-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chocolate-Shake-31cup180ice cubes0000003/4cup178.5cream, heavy whipping615.75663.755.25002tbsp25'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000252501tbsp5.38unsweetened cocoa powder1.1312.251.073.1301.821/2tsp2vanilla extract0000001dash1salt000000Blend until smooth. Top with whipped cream and sugar-free chocolate syrup, if desired. Enjoy!Notes: To give a fuller flavor, you can freeze almond milk or coconut milk into ice cube trays and use this. Can also use almond milk/coconut milk instead of cream, for a non-dairy chocolate shake!Sweet LassiTrueGrowing up, one of my all-time favorite restaurants was an Indian establishment at the top of Ghirardelli Square, in San Francisco. The name of the place is "<a href="http://www.gaylords1.com" target="_blank">Gaylord India Restaurant</a>". The last time I ate there is roughly 25 years ago, but it is still there! It's apparently not very highly rated, but it stands out in my mind as the absolute pinnacle of Indian food in the mid-80's.<br /><br /> One of my absolute favorite treats was the "Sweet Lassi". There were 3 kinds to choose from, "Sweet, salty or mango". It was always "Sweet" for me! I knew it was a sweetened yoghurt drink, but it had an unusual flavor, which was completely foreign to me. As a child, I never placed the bizarre flavor, either!<br /><br /> Many many years later, I learned that the exotic flavor coming from the drink was "rose water"! This, in itself, was an amazing discovery. Rose water? Interesting! I remember purchasing it at an Asian market, when I was much younger. In my mind's eye, I was envisioning something like a very mellow floral "note", but with the overall sensation being that of just plain ol' water. Oh, how wrong I was!<br /><br /> This may be a bit of an aggressive description, but it's precisely how I felt about my first big shwig of rose water, straight from the bottle. Imagine taking a dozen beautifully grown red roses; grown in the best soil, with love, care and all the glorious organic treatments that a growing plant can take. Remove the thorns, package it all up in a beautiful gold ribbons ... and then punch me right in the tongue with it. It was glorious anguish. I immediately hated it, but ... found the aftertaste to me nothing short of magnificent.<br /><br /> Oh, what a weird ingredient. A "Sweet Lassi" would be absolutely nothing without it.BeveragesDesserts5 mins0 min5 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sweet-Lassi-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sweet-Lassi-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sweet-Lassi-31cup226greek yogurt, plain and full fat26022810001/2cup90ice cubes0000002tbsp25'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000252501/2tsp.5rose waterhttp://amzn.com/B007GZZK84?tag=lcrecipe-200000001/4tsp.25cardamom, ground0000001dash0salt000000Puree until quite smooth in a blender. Serve topped with a tiny dash of ground cardamom, toasted almond slivers and/or a few saffron threads. Enjoy on a warm summer day!Macadamia-Coconut BrittleTrueI have a tendency to undersell things. I've been told this my whole life. I tend to present things that I feel could be better, as if they are "less than", even though they're actually still pretty awesome, in some way. I think that what happens is, I form these fantasies of what something COULD BE, in my mind. Then, when the reality isn't as good as the fantasy, I'm always little dejected. Other people don't share my looney fantasies. They are just presented with something generally pretty great, but with a healthy slice of my lackluster delivery. They usually respond something like, "Hey, whaddyamean!?! This is FANTASTIC!"<br /><br /> It is with this in mind, that I say ... this was not what I'd hoped it would be. Don't get me wrong ... it was delicious. It was sweet, a little salty and full of flavor. It was also stunning to look at! It was beautiful, but ... it ... just ... wasn't ... brittle.<br /><br /> It just wasn't! I'm sorry!<br /><br /> The texture had that very subtle grainy quality that stems for an over concentration of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythritol" target="_blank">erythritol</a>. It also had the "cooling" sensation. I tried to bulk it out with some <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/tagatose" target="_blank">tagatose</a>, but I was afraid to use too much <em>(it's rumored to give the pooties if eaten in excess, but I did not experience this)</em>. I wanted to play with the tagatose, but do it without any of the negative qualities or nasty side effects. This recipe is likely to serve more as a novelty or source of interest, as opposed to coming from me as a highly recommended recipe. I do think it's an incredibly interesting idea and perhaps there is something to it. Maybe with more tagatose, it will take on a greater sense of "brittle", but the caramel was so thin when I made it. tagatose colors more quickly than sugar does. As a result, it's my fear and belief that it would burn before it reaches the same level of "hard ball stage" needed for a true brittle. Erythritol, as awesome as it is, did crystallize. This is somewhat to be expected. I mean, it's almost all pure "sugar"! It's not like a baked goodie or an ice cream, where the erythritol is more evenly distributed in and amongst other stuff. This is just pure concentrated sugary-like stuff! When it cools, it crystallizes because it's not been sufficiently diluted in other stuff.<br /><br /> So ... in the end, I leave you with some beautiful photos of a sweet, slightly salty, and action packed toasted coconut and macadamia nut brittle. It was awesome, but ... just ... not what I was hoping it would be.<br /><br /> On that note, I realize I now have a few recipes posted to the site that I personally feel were failures. I don't do it often <em>(I have MANY more failures than this site lets on)</em>, but I tend to think there's a lesson in here, somewhere. Please post in the comments if you think there's merit to posting a recipe like this, or if it's just kind of a big bait and switch and a bit of a downer. I'm curious. Let me know!<br /><br /> <strong>Tagatose Note</strong>: I couldn't find very good information related to calculating the "net" carbs for the tagatose. However, the manufacturer states that "Only 15-20 percent of tagatose is absorbed in the small intestine." As a result, I'm going to to suggest that 25% is, just to play it safe. The net carb count will be calculated, thusly.Desserts5 min15 min60 min12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Macadamia-Coconut-Brittle-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Macadamia-Coconut-Brittle-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Macadamia-Coconut-Brittle-31cups83.75macadamia nuts, toasted and salted601.2563.756.911.8807.51cup72unsweetened coconut, flakedhttp://amzn.com/B000F4D5IU?tag=lcrecipe-20400408160161/2tsp1salt0000001/4tsp1baking soda0000001cup191erythritol, granularhttp://amzn.com/B001EQ5IAG?tag=lcrecipe-2000019819801/2cup95.5tagatose, granularhttp://www.netrition.com/cgi/goto.cgi?gid=7801&aid=3236&tid=Macadamia-Coconut-Brittle000198148.501/4cup60water0000001tbsp14butter111000000In a bowl, toss together your macadamia nuts, coconut, baking soda and salt. Set aside.Add buttered parchment or a silicone mat to a baking tray with a rim. Also, lightly butter a heat resistant plastic spatula. The idea is, you want these ready and standing by, when the time comes.In a medium sized sauce pan, place your water, erythritol and tagatose. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally.Once it begins to boil, reduce temperature to medium-low. Allow to continue boiling until it becomes a dark tan, caramel color.Remove from the heat and add your nut mixture and butter to the pan. Mix in and stir until the butter is fully melted. This happens fast and is a little bit dangerous. That sugar is much hotter than boiling water and it likes to stick to things. BE CAREFUL!Once the butter is melted and the nuts are fully mixed into the sugar solution, pour the mixture evenly over the surface of your prepared baking tray. Make sure it's an even layer.Allow to cool, then break into pieces and eat!Coconut-Cocoa-Macadamia SmoothieTrueThis tasty beverage falls somewhere between a snack, a drink, a dessert and a fat bomb. What's a fat bomb? Well ... it's a recipe containing a high quantity of fat!<br /><br /> This dairy-free treat is loaded with quality fats, from the cocoa powder to the coconut milk to the macadamia nuts. These fats will help you feel satisfied and "full" far longer than any non-fat, sugary shake you'll find. This cool and flavorful flurry of tastiness will quench, delight and satisfy!<br /><br /> This, I realize, is contrary to what most of us have been told for the majority of our lives, but ... fat is awesome! Not all fats, mind you, but ... GOOD fats are GOOD!<br /><br /> <strong>Good fats come in the form of:</strong> olive, flaxseed, palm, avocado, coconut and other nut oils. Animal fats are also quite healthy: butter, ghee, lard, tallow, poultry fats, etc.<br /><br /> <strong>Bad fats come in the form of:</strong> margarine, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, manmade trans-fats often found in things like butter flavored "spreads". Other highly processed oils like canola, corn, vegetable and soybean should be avoided.<br /><br /> <u>Here's a list of 10 reasons why fat rocks:</u> <ul> <li>Your brain is made of primarily fat and cholesterol. Starving your brain of fat removes its ability to function properly. Fat can remove "brain fog" and increase clarity.</li> <li>Improves cardiovascular system. Reduces lipoprotein <em>(a)</em> and increases HDL cholesterol and the HDL:TC ratio, while leaving LDL mostly unchanged.</li> <li>Contributes to weight loss.</li> <li>No storing of excess fat in the liver. Will also help protect the liver from booze and some medications.</li> <li>Healthy fats provide quality energy. Fat is the densest form of energy, at 9 calories per gram <em>(more than double carbohydrates or protein)</em></li> <li>Increases sense of satiety, especially within a diet comprised of few simple sugars. A small fat bomb can satisfy for several hours. Because of this satiety, overeating "fat" becomes uncomfortable and unlikely.</li> <li>Builds stronger bones. Saturated animal fats help calcium more effectively be incorporated into bone. No osteoporosis fears!</li> <li>Quality nerve signaling. Many fats function as signaling messengers which influence metabolism, including the release of insulin.</li> <li>Boost immune system health. Fight against cancerous cells and infectious invaders!</li> <li>Fat helps the absorption of the nutrients in other foods, such as leafy greens.</li> <li>One more: fat is flavor!</li> </ul> Drink up!<br /><br /> <strong>Toppings Note:</strong> I cheated when I made this. It's a dairy free beverage, but in the heat of the moment, I grabbed some cream, whipped it and topped the glass with sweetened whipped cream and some toasted coconut and macadamia. That's just the wrong topping, in my opinion. Whoops! Haste makes waste! In any event, you can make <a href="http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2012/06/11/vegan-whipped-cream-recipe-vanilla-chocolate-coffee-mocha-flavors/" target="_blank">a lovely whipped topping with coconut milk. Here's how!</a>BeveragesDesserts5 mins0 mins5 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coco-Smoothie-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coco-Smoothie-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coco-Smoothie-31cup180ice cubes0000003/4cup169.5unsweetened coconut milkhttp://amzn.com/B004PXUWJM?tag=lcrecipe-203003336002tbsp14crushed salted macadamia nuts100.2110.631.151.9801.252tbsp25'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000252501tbsp5.38unsweetened cocoa powder1.1312.251.073.1301.821/2tsp2vanilla extract0000001dash1salt000000Blend the ingredients in a blender until smooth and yummy. Top with whipped coconut cream, toasted coconut and macadamia nuts. Enjoy!Funnel CakesTrueI have a text file on my computer called "MintChocolateChip.txt". It's been bopping around my machine for several years. When I very very first began low-carbing, it was always open on my desktop. As I'd scour the web looking for interesting ideas and new ways to be low-carb, I'd jot down recipes, ideas and ratios. I did this for probably 6 months and then, one day, inexplicably ... I just stopped. I assume I'd found a groove, or decided I no longer needed to add anything to it. For the most part it's where my personal sugar mix recipe lived, in and amongst the other ice creams and pie dough recipes.<br /><br /> One of those recipes was for "fried dough". Like most of the other recipes, I don't know where I got it, or if I just made it up, on the spot. Whenever I don't know where something came from, I like to give a plug to <a href="http://www.lowcarbfriends.com" target="_blank">LowCarbFriends.com</a>, as they were the source of almost all my early discoveries. In any event, because I don't own a fryer, I'd never made it! Recently I had wanted to try some fried foods. So, one day, a few weeks ago, I set up a fryer in a big pot with a candy thermometer. I tried a few different recipes. Some were great and some weren't. My fried chicken, for example, was the debacle of debacles. Oh, what a disaster! This recipe, on the other hand, was EXCELLENT! Hot and fresh from the fryer, topped with some powdered Swerve, cinnamon and nutmeg ...<br /><br /> This recipe was the cat's meow!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> I couldn't even begin to guess how to handle the nutrition facts on this one. I've completely omitted the nutritional information on the coconut oil, even though I'm certain some portion of it is eaten. I feel confident the carb count is accurate, but it's likely to be much higher in fat.Desserts5 mins5 mins10 mins2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fried-Dough-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fried-Dough-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fried-Dough-3coconut oil, for frying0000002large100eggs14310131001/4cup56fresh whole butter, melted4440000001/2tsp2baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-202.500.5001scoop28vanilla zero carb whey proteinhttp://amzn.com/B000GOZU32?tag=lcrecipe-201000260001tbsp7coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-2031.751.754.5031/2tsp2vanilla extract0000001dash1salt0000001tbsp12'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html0001101/2tsp1cinnamon, ground0000001/4tsp.25nutmeg, ground000000Pre-heat oil to a temperature of 350 F. Please, be careful!Mix the eggs, melted butter, baking powder, protein powder, coconut flour, vanilla and salt together. Mix until the end result is a smooth, pourable batter.I used an actual funnel for this. With my finger blocking the hole at the base of a funnel, I poured in half of the batter. Then, I placed the funnel over the hot oil, with my finger still blocking it. Then, I slid my finger off to the side and moved the funnel in a controlled circular motion, above the oil. This caused the batter to drop into a steady circular stream, creating a disc of fried yumminess. Keep moving until all the batter has been added. When done, let it fry on one side until golden in color; maybe a minute. Flip and fry the other side. Remove and place on paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Immediately, dust with a mixture of powdered sweetener and spices. They will stick better, if fresh from the fryer.There is enough batter for 2 cakes, or 3 smaller ones. Repeat the process until you're out of batter. Enjoy!Slow Cooker Pork Spare RibsTrueThis is another recipe showcasing perhaps not necessarily a lesson in technique, so much as a lesson in persistence. Anyone that's been around my website for a while probably knows that I have a strange relationship with the slow cooker. They are enormously popular tools in peoples' homes. I understand why, too! They're a great way to load stuff into it, forggeddabouddit, and then dinner is automagically ready at the end of the night! It's almost perfect!<br /><br /> For me and my peculiar ways, it takes one of my favorite things about cooking and ... locks it away and hides it underneath a locked lid, in the darkest corner in my kitchen. I can't really poke it, play with it, adjust the seasonings, tweak it, turn, fiddle, etc. It's just ... set it and forget it. Slow cookers kind of steal some of my fun!<br /><br /> In any event, I've just never really gotten used to them. This is maybe the 8th or 9th time I've ever tried to use one and wanted to do something simple and seemingly reliable. In this case, I got into a bit of trouble, but ... thankfully ... due to my nature <em>(the desire to have my fingers in many different pots)</em>, I kept looking to see what's doin'. The center of my pile of pork was not cooking. It was too densely packed! As a result, this recipe DOES require just a little bit of fanoodling. About every 2 hours, you need to adjust the ribs, so they cook evenly. Lesson learned!<br /><br /> These ribs were AWESOME! After I removed them from the liquid, I reduced it in a separate pot and poured it back over the ribs and served them.<br /><br /> While I certainly miss my smoker and my grill ... this slow-cooker method may not be so bad, after all! <img src="http://thealphagroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/wink-smiley.png" /><br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Photos taken with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Red-Slaw">Red Slaw</a>MainPork30 min8 hrs 30 min9 hrs8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pork-Ribs-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pork-Ribs-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pork-Ribs-32slabs4540pork spare ribs (about 5 lbs. per slab)8580.6544.8862.60001/4cup60mustard (your favorite!)2.3449.52.965.8402.41small70onion, peeled and cut into big chunks280170112whole36garlic cloves, tips removed048012002tbsp14paprika40.461.822.107.8405.181tbsp5cayenne pepper17113011tbsp2fresh thyme, chopped2.62.12.06.420.281tbsp6fresh cracked black pepper16014022tbsp36salt0000002cups304sugar free bbq saucehttp://amzn.com/B0079OWL16?tag=lcrecipe-2080001600To begin, wash the ribs and pat them dry.You'll want to peel the membrane off the inside (boney side) of the slabs. This can be tricky to start, but once a corner has been loosened, the rest usually rips right off. The membrane is a slightly shiny thick paper-like layer covering the ribs. Slide a small knife into one corner of the ribs, just between the meat and membrane. I usually use a butter knife for this (a sharp knife may cut through the membrane, when I see this as more of a "prying" effect). Jiggle and push and shove the knife between the meat and membrane, sliding it from side to side, until roughly 1 inch of membrane has been loosened enough to hold on to. With a towel, grab the flap and with consistent force, peel the membrane off the inside of the slab. It "should" come off in one nice tear. If it doesn't, continue the prying and pulling process, until the entire membrane has been removed. Discard the membrane, cut the slab in half (creating to half-racks) set the slabs aside and repeat for the second slab.In a blender or food processor, puree the mustard, garlic and onion to make a paste. Rub the mustard paste all over the outside of the pork.Mix the remaining ingredients (except the BBQ Sauce) in a bowl.Liberally coat the pork with the dry rub.Pour about 1/4 cup of the BBQ sauce on the bottom of a slow cooker, then set it on low. Add one half rack to the slow cooker, then pour about 1/4 cup over the top of the rack. With a spoon, coat the rack with the sauce. Then, place a second half rack on top of the first. Coat it with about 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce. Continue layering the half racks until all the BBQ sauce and ribs are added.Cook the ribs for about 2 hours. After 2 hours, take the 2 half racks on the bottom of the slow cooker and place them on the top. This will more evenly distribute the heat, inside.Cook the ribs for a further 3 hours. Take the 2 half racks on the bottom of the slow cooker and place them on the top. This will once again distribute the heat, inside.After about 8 hours of total cooking time, turn off the slow cooker. Remove the ribs and keep somewhere warm. With a large spoon or ladle, scoop the pork fat off the top and discard. Pour the BBQ liquid into a soup pot and place on a hot burner, on the stove. Let it boil.Once the sauce reduces and thickens, serve it with the ribs!Smoked Salmon ChowderTrueAs of this recipe, I'm living in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, in Seattle. It seems that something about the geography dictates that we must love smoked salmon, much in the same way people from Vermont love maple syrup, or the people of Wisconsin can't get enough cheddar cheese. It's an incredibly common gift around these parts, causing me to amass a medium-sized stash of this naturally preserved meat. I've been looking at it since the holidays wondering what to do. I'm not a big fan of the stuff, but it's all high quality and a shame to waste.<br /><br /> AHA! CHOW-DAH!<br /><br /> The definition of a chowder is pretty elusive. The only clear trend between them is that they are always hot and always cooked for a good long time, and they're usually pretty thick and chunky. I'd originally thought that they needed fish or seafood, but there are clearly vegetarian chowders. I'd also thought perhaps they needed to be creamy, but ... the Manhattan Chowder has no dairy, whatsoever. So ... what makes a chowder, a "chowder"? This, I think, is the mystery of the universe.<br /><br /> <strong>Squash Note:</strong> I also happened to see a big pile of "Hubbard" squash, wrapped in nice pre-cut packages. I cut some really nice cubes out of it for this chowder, but you could really use any of the following: Kabocha squash, pumpkin, delicata, butternut, acorn, buttercup, etc. You could even use sweet potatoes. The method remains the same, but the flavor will vary, somewhat, as will the carb amount. My suggestion would be to stick with Hubbard or Kabocha, if you can.<br /><br /> <strong>Salmon Note:</strong> Any kind of smoked salmon will do, but I used some high end Alaskan stuff, which came in a wooden box. Mine was a "hot" smoke, which tends to be a bit tougher and will hold its own in this chowder. If you're using a cold smoked salmon (usually bright orange and very soft and moist), this will also work, but I'd suggest adding it near the end of the process. It will harden a bit and take on a more "cooked" texture, but will still taste quite excellent in this chowder. This chowder is, quick honestly, amazing. Really really really really really delicious! I said "really" 5 times. So, you KNOW it must be good!FishSoups15 mins45 mins60 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Smoked-Salmon-Chowder-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Smoked-Salmon-Chowder-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Smoked-Salmon-Chowder-32cups448chicken stock or brothhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Good-Ol-Fashioned-Chicken-Stock31.36.584.483.02001small110onion, diced440110022each101celery ribs, diced16013024each12garlic cloves, minced01604001each0bay leaves0000004slices100raw bacon, chopped (for bits)45845121001cup116hubbard squash, cut into 1/4-to-1/2 inch cubes461210031small74red bell pepper, seeded and diced22.940.744.4401.481tsp2smoked paprika6.74.3.351.310.862 1/2cups595cream, heavy whipping2052.522012.517.5008oz227smoked salmon, cut into cubes976.168.190.8000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Place a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add chicken stock, onions, celery, garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer.In a sauté pan, over medium heat, cook the bacon until the bacon is crispy.Strain out the bacon and set aside. Also, remove about half of the bacon fat and save for another day.In the still hot sauté pan, add your squash and a little salt and pepper. Sauté over high heat, to get a little caramelization on the squash cubes.Once the squash cubes begin to develop a nice brown color on the exterior, add your bell peppers, paprika and a little salt and pepper. Sauté for about 3 more minutes. Dump the ingredients into the soup pot and continue simmering. Reduce temperature to low.Add cream to the chowder. If your salmon is hot smoked (looks like cooked salmon), add it to the chowder at this point. Also, add your bacon bits. Allow the chowder to simmer on low for about 45 minutes.If you're using cold smoked salmon (soft, bright orange and moist), add it after the chowder has simmered for about 45 minutes. Allow it to simmer in the soup for about 5 minutes.Taste, adjust seasoning and serve!Coco-Cocoa-Walnut BarkTrueWithin the world of low-carb eating, there are certain concepts that can't be ignored. There are certain recipes and types of foodstuffs that are seen again and again; over and over. One of them is the '<a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/one-minute-muffin">One Minute Muffin</a>' which I added to my site, not long ago.<br /><br /> Another is '<a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=low+carb+chocolate+bark" target="_blank">Bark</a>'. No, not like the dog. More like the tree!<br /><br /> It's actually a bit of a wonder food. It's really no surprise that it's as popular as it is. It's got about 4 very clear characteristics that qualify it as a super food, in my humble opinion:<br /> <ol> <li>It's quick and easy to make.</li> <li>It quenches that "sweet" tooth, as well as the one seeking chocolate!</li> <li>It's made with good fats, which leave people feeling satisfied for hours.</li> <li>It's versatile! I've seen people toss all kind of things into their barks. This creates an endless variety!</li> </ol> I think the secret 5th bonus characteristic is that removing the nuts makes it induction friendly!<br /><br /> I've seen people infuse them with flavored oils and extracts. I've seen all varieties of nuts. I've seen all varieties of sweeteners. I've seen people throw dried fruits into it. I've seen people experiment with different colors, making "white" barks, too!<br /><br /> Such a simple thing, but it fills so many needs. Oh, did I mention ... it's delicious!Desserts1 min1 min30 mins2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coco-Cocoa-Bark-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coco-Cocoa-Bark-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coco-Cocoa-Bark-32tbsp28coconut oil, liquifiedhttp://amzn.com/B003QDRJXY?tag=lcrecipe-202424000001tbsp5.38unsweetened cocoa powder1.1312.251.073.1301.821tbsp12powdered sugar equivalenthttp://amzn.com/B004X73DAU?tag=lcrecipe-200001101tbsp7.5walnut halves, broken and toasted49.064.911.1310.51dash0salt0000001tbsp15cream, heavy whipping (homogenized)51.325.5.32.4400Mix together the liquefied coconut oil with the cocoa powder, sugar equivalent, chopped walnuts and a dash of salt.Whip in the cream and stir until the whole thing is a nice thick creamy chocolaty looking sauce.Spread onto a sheet of wax paper, about 1/4-inch thick and refrigerate.Once it cools, snap of pieces and eat as desired!PB Protein PucksTrueI'm asked a lot of questions as a result of my website, but also the change its had on my own life. It's undeniable that there have been positive results from this change to my diet. Amongst those questions, there is one I'm frequently asked that I never had much of a response to. That question was, "Do you have any recipes to help boost my protein in the morning?" I usually respond with something like, "Sure! Try my 'Poorly Cooked Eggs' recipe!" This is usually followed up with a headshake and a question about protein powders.<br /><br /> I've never really gotten into protein powders. I suspect there's no lack of protein in my diet. I do eat a lot of meat; very rarely having a meal without some form of animal protein. As a result, I've just never gotten into them! I do own some and I have played with it, but not enough to claim any level of proficiency with it. For me, it's just a tasty powder that makes my shakes taste just a little extra yummy. For me, it's a shake flavor enhancer. I've never been in it for the protein.<br /><br /> However, lately, I've just been sort of ... <em>meated out</em> ... it's the strangest thing! To remedy this, I've been dumping egg protein powder into chia seeds and making a bit of a morning porridge <em>(YUM!)</em>. This seems to fit the bill!<br /><br /> Anywhoo ... in an attempt to give SOME kind of answer to this question, I'm adding this PB Protein Pucks recipe to my website. The weird part is, I don't know where I got it from! It's in my notes. I may have made it up, but ... don't remember creating it. If I stole this from you ... I'm sorry! I didn't mean to!<br /><br /> Here's the inception of this idea:<br /><br /> I LOVE Dixie from <a href="http://www.LowCarbZen.com" target="_blank">LowCarbZen.com</a> and her <a href="https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbZen" target="_blank">Low Carb Eating Facebook page</a>. She's done more for me than another other stranger ever has. She was an early supporter and still is just a rock star in my life. In any event, she had been asked the same question and floated it on her Facebook page. This was responded with a variety of recipes, but it was the Peanut Butter Squares that really seemed to attract the most attention. Dixie then asked if anyone had a photo! That's when this particular seed was planted in my mind and the idea went into my notes. Roughly a week later, someone else either took a photo, or found one. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=484566994912215&set=a.310813908954192.64227.310807165621533&type=1&theater" target="_blank">Here's that photo, along with corresponding recipe</a>. In my mind, I stole THIS recipe, except ... I DIDN'T! My recipe and this recipe are different, by quite a bit!<br /><br /> There does stand a good chance that I just made it up and wrote it down as I threw things into the mixer, but ... I have no recollection of that. Maybe it's some kind of divine intervention? Perhaps!<br /><br /> So ... to make a long story short and to answer the age old question about quick protein breakfasts on the run. The answer is: PB PROTEIN PUCKS!BreakfastDesserts5 mins0 mins5 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/PB-Protein-Pucks-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/PB-Protein-Pucks-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/PB-Protein-Pucks-31 3/4cups196vanilla zero carb whey protein (about 7 scoops)http://amzn.com/B000GOZU32?tag=lcrecipe-2070001820001/2cup128natural peanut butter (no sugar added)800644024084ounces113.5regular cream cheese (not low-fat), softened388.538.656.854.4001/4cup56fresh whole butter, softened4440000001/4cup50sugar equivalenthttp://amzn.com/B004X73DAU?tag=lcrecipe-20000505001/2tsp2salt000000Mix the ingredients in a mixer, until combined. It will look something like a pie dough.Form balls, squares or pucks. Eat!Orange-Blueberry Chia PuddingTrueOne of the things I really enjoy about my blog is that it pushes me. I low-carbed for about 2 1/2 years prior to starting this blog. I needed to know that it really worked for the long haul <em>(<strong>Answer:</strong> With some tweaking for personal preferences and body types ... YES it does!)</em>. During that time, I'd grown comfortable with my short list of recipes and techniques that I'd developed. It was interesting enough and always delicious. I never much felt like going outside what was already working.<br /><br /> With a blog focused on a new recipe, every single day, I need to push what I know. I can't make the best chicken salad ever, every day! It needs to change. I need to grow and learn ... and you along with me!<br /><br /> Chia is new to me. I am no expert ... at all. What is Chia, you might ask? Chia is probably most known in the US as being the seeds responsible for Chia pets.<br /><br /> <center><img border="0" src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/chia-pet.jpg" width="450" /></center><br /> Asking the gurus at <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_hispanica" target="_blank">Wikipedia.org</a>, we learn that Chia is actually a flowering plant of the mint family. It is grown commercially for its seeds, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and gut flora feeding soluble fiber. Chia has been eaten in South and Central American for thousands of years. When I lived down in Mexico, I saw it quite often. I even owned a few unopened bags! I'd see it at the local farmers market and even tried it in a few beverages, sauces and preserves. I was generally indifferent towards it. It didn't seem to have any flavor and just sort of boosts viscosity in a liquid, while suspending small black seeds within it. I don't know why, but it just never really held my interest.<br /><br /> Then, for whatever reason, I decided to give it a shot. I just went for it and make a big bowl soaked in almond milk with some nuts and cinnamon and Swerve. I waited about 20 minutes and took a bite, expecting a foreign taste and a slimy texture. I couldn't wait to hate it. I WAS WRONG! DEAD WRONG! SO WRONG!!!<br /><br /> What I held in my hand was nothing short of oatmeal. It just about blew my mind how tasty this stuff was. It was a full flavored experience; sweet, spicy, thick and a bit nutty. The actual SEEDS have a texture not entirely unlike the little seeds <em>(<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achenes" target="_blank">achenes</a>)</em> on the outside of strawberries. They're quite pleasant! I was not prepared for how much I loved it. Now, I make little bowls of this at least once a week. For whatever reason, it's always either the first thing I eat in the day, or the last. I can't really decide if this is a breakfast food, or a dessert, but I love it. It's delicious. I want a bowl, right now. Mmmmm ....<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> When I make this, rather than using a fresh orange, a put a few drops of <a href="http://amzn.com/B000WR8THC?tag=lcnotes-20" target=_blank">orange oil</a> into it. This drops the carbs by about 3 or 4, while still giving me a very similar taste sensation. Just add a touch more almond milk to make up the lost volume. I didn't want to add it to the recipe, as it might be seen as a strange ingredient (even though it's one I love!).BreakfastDessertsVegetarian5 min0 min35 min1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chia-Pudding-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chia-Pudding-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chia-Pudding-33tbsp22.5chia seedshttp://amzn.com/B001CGTN1I?tag=lcrecipe-201056.754.510.5091/4cup38.75fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries19.75.25.254.75011/2cup120almond milk, unsweetenedhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-2022.51.7511.50.52tbsp24'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html0002202tbsp31fresh orange juice14003001/2tsp2vanilla extract0000001/2tsp1fresh orange zest (peel).970.01.250.112tbsp18.13blanched and slivered almonds, toasted105.259.1343.6301.881dash1salt000000Mix the ingredients in a bowl. I like to much my berries a little bit, but you can leave them whole. Set aside. Mix again, about 2 minutes later. Mix again about 15 minutes later. After about 30 minutes of soaking, the seeds will plump, creating a thick pudding like mixture. Eat!Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato & Avocado SaladTrueGrowing up, one of my favorite things was a BLT. You know ... a Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich: thick slices of warm toasted bread slathered with mayonnaise and stuffed with fresh salted tomatoes, a whisper of lettuce and enough bacon to kill a small pig. Ahhh ... Memories ...<br /><br /> I want to say my mother made these for me, growing up. The funny part is, I have no clear memory of it. All that remains is the sense that she did. Whoever introduced me to these simple sandwiches, thank you! Great sandwich!<br /><br /> One of the most common additions to the famous BLT is avocado. It really makes sense, too. Adding some big wedges of soft creamy avocado to the sandwich is clearly the right fit.<br /><br /> Word on the street is, avocados, while containing loads of fat (more than the bacon!), it's a wonderful healthy fat and oh so good for you! They're also high in anti-oxidants. Eat avocados and live longer, with better skin! I've never been a big fan of these weird green pear-shaped things, but there is no denying that they belong in this salad, that they are super healthy and that I should learn to love 'em.Salads10 min0 min10 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BLTA-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BLTA-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BLTA-Salad-31lb454assorted fresh tomatoes, cut into chunks82.3204.9917.4604.992whole272avocado, peeled and cut into chunks5544262401812slices96bacon, pre-cooked and cut into big chunks49236360004cups284mixed greens, washed and dried30026021/2cup109.63mayonnaisehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Mayonnaise750.5483.452.41.33.25.08salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Mix in a bowl, season with a bit of salt and pepper. Serve!Enjoy!BBQ Cheddar-Chicken Salad with Tomatoes & BaconTrueI was trying to think of recipes for Memorial Day Weekend, when I came up with this recipe. I was in the middle of doing one of my favorite things ... buying a roasted chicken from the local grocery store and then cutting it up and using parts for different things. I'm a BIG fan of making curried chicken salad with the chilled leg meat, for example.<br /><br /> In any event, I was picking my chicken, about to make some chicken salad; my mind was flooding with ideas about family BBQ's, picnics, potlucks, the outdoors, etc. Then, this recipe just popped straight dead into the middle of my mind and almost knocked me on the floor. I KNEW it was an awesome idea, right when it hit me. It's so simple, but it's got nothing but full, fresh and well rounded flavors. It's totally rustic and coarsely chopped, without any refined edges, whatsoever. It's perfect!<br /><br /> <strong>Chicken Note:</strong> This recipe basically calls for cooked chicken meat. I personally use cut up chicken from roasted grocery store chickens. The salad is excellent whether the chicken is hot or cold. I can envision something like a pre-mixed salad, with everything already assembled and ready to go, except the chicken. Bring some raw chicken, marinated in a little BBQ sauce and grill it up just before ready to eat. Then, cut up the freshly grilled hot chicken, throw it in with the rest of the salad, toss it with the dressing and serve a warm BBQ'd chicken salad!<br /><br /> <strong>Other Random Note:</strong> I used big chunks of stuff. In the pictures, it's just whole warm breast meat from a grocery store chicken. I've also got whole strips of bacon, but cut them about every inch, as well as cherry tomatoes, which I just cut in half. Big chunks of roasted peppers, too! I'm kind of drooling as I type this ... <br /><br /> All I can say is, since this one hit me upside the head, I've been making it A LOT. This is EASILY one of my new favorites.ChickenSalads15 min15 min30 min6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Chicken-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Chicken-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Chicken-Salad-31 1/2lb681cooked chicken meat (hot or cold), cut into chunks1628.4893.38186.760001/2cup76sugar free bbq saucehttp://amzn.com/B0079OWL16?tag=lcrecipe-2013.33004001/2cup110ranch dressinghttp://www.djfoodie.com/Ranch-Dressing406.0242.253.335.04.13.251 1/2cups169.5cheddar/colby cheese blend, shredded664.55440.54.50012slices336bacon, pre-cooked and cut into big chunks8436120001/2lb227cherry tomatoes, washed, dried and halved or quartered41.1602.58.7402.52small148roasted bell peppers, peeled, seeded and diced45.8801.488.8802.964cups284mixed greens, washed and dried3002602salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Mix, season with a bit of salt and pepper and then serve!Note: As mentioned in the notes, you can use hot or cold cooked chicken for this. If I wanted to take this to a potluck with a BBQ, I'd make the salad with the fresh ingredients, mix the ranch and BBQ sauce together and bring as a separate dressing and then raw chicken, marinated in BBQ sauce. I'd grill the chicken and cut up, hot and fresh, then add to the salad with the dressing. Mix it up and serve!Serve!Atomic Buffalo TurdsTrueFirst of all, let me just say that I have no idea where the name for these things came from. I didn't name them, although I'd happily take the credit! While it's a definitely a horrible sounding name for a delightful foodstuff, it's also a playful and memorable one. Who could really forget that they went to a BBQ last weekend and had about 18 Atomic Buffalo Turds! Talk about water cooler talk!<br /><br /> More often than not, possibly due to the PG-13 rating of its title, or perhaps the scatological nature of its designation, they are frequently listed by their initials: ABT's<br /><br /> Alternately, these could be called "Bacon Wrapped and Chorizo Stuffed Jalapeños", which is what they are. This may be what you'd call them when talking to your mother, but for me and my smoker buddies ... the name stays. Some people seem to call these Jalapeño Poppers, but ... to me ... these are a different animal. Poppers are stuffed with cream cheese, breaded and fried. On the other hand, an ABT is stuffed with meat, wrapped in bacon and is smoked. ABT's are a part of a BBQ scene. They live in a world of tailgate parties, backyard BBQ's and sunny days. They live in a land of exotic sounding wood names, <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Smoked-and-Pulled-Pork-Butt">large pieces of pork</a> and deep bowls of colorful <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Sweet-Coleslaw">coleslaw</a>.<br /><br /> An Atomic Buffalo Turd is actually not that spicy! Sure, they've got a little kick to 'em, but because part of the process involves scooping out the seeds and internal ribs, most of the capsaicin is removed, rending the chilies relatively feeble. If you'd like to make them hotter, feel free to throw some of the seeds into the chorizo, before stuffing. This'll give 'em a little boost!<br /><br /> Easy to make, with only a few simple ingredients, these little handheld snacks can <em>(and probably should be!)</em> the centerpiece of any outdoor gathering.AppetizersPork20 min2 hrs 30 min2 hrs 50 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Atomic-Buffalo-Turds-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Atomic-Buffalo-Turds-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Atomic-Buffalo-Turds-316each106.64jalapeño peppers.64321.446.3202.961lb454raw bulk chorizo2056.6171.76108.489.04008ounces227regular cream cheese (not low fat)77777.313.78.80016slices400raw bacon, cut in half183218048400salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Prepare your smoker. Pre-heat to between 215 F and 235 F (this can be done in an oven without smoke, and still tastes great, but ... loses that smoky quality). Depending on your approach to the smoking process, you can also soak some hickory, or other aromatic wood chips in some water at this point. Finally, put a drip pan filled with water on the rack beneath where the ABT's will go.Cut your peppers in half, lengthwise. With a small spoon or melon baller, scrape out the seeds and rib membranes from within each jalapeño half. Season the insides with a little salt and pepper.In a mixing bowl, combine the chorizo and cream cheese, with a little bit of salt and pepper. Combine until smooth.Stuff the jalapeño halves with the sausage mixture. I rolled little cigar shaped chorizo logs and pressed them into each half. This seemed to work well!Stretch each bacon slice to maximize its length. Wrap each jalapeño in a half slice of bacon. I usually start on the bottom and try and end on the bottom, as well. This way, the weight of the jalapeño sitting in both ends of the bacon slice will keep everything tidy. However, you may use toothpicks, if you feel the need.Place the ABTs on a rack in the smoker, above the drip pan. Alternately, place them on a baking tray in the oven at about 225 F. Smoke or bake for about 2 ½ hours, until the bacon is dark, cooked and crispy.Serve!Red SlawTrueThis is an incredibly simple salad, but don't mistake it for an uninteresting one. It's fresh, colorful, crunchy and a bit zippy! It makes a perfect companion to any BBQ or social gathering, while also only taking a few minutes to whip up! The salt and acid from the vinegar macerate the vegetables, creating a more unified solid "slaw", as opposed to a random assortment of vegetables.<br /><br /> With only 4 ingredients, this salad can actually fill many roles. It's wonderful atop a <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/BBQ-Pork-Bowl">BBQ Pork Bowl</a>, or served in a <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Baja-Style-Fish-Tacos">Fish Taco</a>. It's spectacular on its own, or served within a <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/BBQ-Pork-Paddy-Sliders">Slider</a>. It can really fit in anywhere standard coleslaw lives, but it's completely vegetarian. In fact, being that it's without eggs, it's completely vegan!<br /><br /> For those seeking a slightly sweeter experience, you can always add a little something sweet to it ... to taste. I can also envision throwing some fresh herbs into it, to give it some blasts of color, a richer nutrient blend and maybe even to serve as a complement to another dish. Perhaps some fresh cilantro with your taco? Or, perhaps some fresh thyme and a little cayenne to go with your pork?<br /><br /> As is, this basic salad is quite tasty, but I encourage you to throw a few ingredients into it, to make it your own. Green onions and roasted pumpkin seeds, anyone?SaladsVegetarian10 min0 min10 min6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/red-slaw-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/red-slaw-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/red-slaw-31/2medium head419.5red cabbage, sliced into thin strips130.5631091large72carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips (or grated with grater)29.250.566.7502.251small110red onion, peeled and sliced into thin strips440110021/4cup59.76apple cider vinegarhttp://amzn.com/B001AIWAAE?tag=lcrecipe-20000000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Mix all your ingredients together. It can be eaten right away, but it's better if left in the refrigerator for a few hours, up to overnight. While still quite crunchy, it melds together into a soft and more cohesive slaw.Enjoy!BouillabaisseTrueJulia Child once wrote: "to me the telling flavor of Bouillabaisse comes from two things: the Provençal soup base — garlic, onions, tomatoes, olive oil, fennel, saffron, thyme, bay, and usually a bit of dried orange peel — and, of course, the fish — lean (non-oily), firm-fleshed, soft-fleshed, gelatinous, and shellfish."<br /><br /> Bouillabaisse is a French seafood stew, originating over 2,500 years ago, in the South Eastern part of France. It's usually a blend of both fish and shellfish. The core focus is on using very fresh seafood. The fish should wiggle, as it's cooked. Additionally, it should use and very local seafood, which can be tough for the people of Denver. As a result, TRUE Bouillabaisse can really only come from France and use French seafood, French herbs and French vegetables. Alas, my version ... is a cheap knockoff!<br /><br /> As is always the case, the fresher the better. The closer to the actual food source you are, the better <em>(usually)</em>. Meaning, if you know the farmer who grew your onions, or the fisherman who caught your fish, you're that much closer to a sublime Bouillabaisse experience. If you grow or catch your own, your stew will be even that much better!<br /><br /> Bouillabaisse had another eccentricity: It's a stew, but it's very often served with the goodies strained out and served separately from the broth. The broth is often served as a first course, with bread and <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/rouille">Rouille</a>, which is a mayonnaise made from saffron and cayenne. The seafood is often served separately!<br /><br /> Now, because the overwhelming majority of us are not in France, and we don't eat bread, I've had to modify my recipe to be somewhat neutral in geography and lower in carbs. If you have both the access and the desire to add sea creatures such as eel, sea urchin, octopus, scorpion fish and spider crabs, definitely, completely, totally throw it in there <em>(in due time, of course)</em>. I have opted out of these regional specifics, knowing the local grocery store is unlikely to carry these things. However, by no means does that diminish the time, care and attention that went into creating this really quick-to-make and amazing bowl of fresh brothy seafood!<br /><br /> Next time you've got company over, give this a shot! Oh's and ah's will abound!FishMainSoups20 min30 min50 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bouillabaisse-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bouillabaisse-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bouillabaisse-31/2cup108extra virgin olive oil, dividedhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20955510800001cup232white wine, good quality190.24006.96001small110onion, peeled and diced440110024each12garlic cloves, minced01604002medium182tomatoes, diced32028021bulb234fennel, diced730317071each0bay leaves0000001/2tsp0saffron threads0000001tsp1fresh thyme, chopped.021.01.06.240.141/2tsp1fresh orange zest (peel).970.01.250.111/2tsp1cayenne pepper, ground2.84.17.17.50.171 1/2lb681halibut fillets696.1210.08136.200032medium-sized448clams, fresh and alive331.524.4858.2413.440032medium-sized512mussels, fresh and alive385.288.9653.7617.92004fillets681dover sole618.338.36129.522001lb454shrimp9.08481.2490.84.540.281cup211rouillehttp://www.djfoodie.com/rouille761.3883.622.573.83.25.33salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000In a large pot, add your 1/4 cup of olive oil, wine, onion, garlic, tomato, fennel, saffron, cayenne, orange zest, thyme and bay leaf, with a little salt and pepper. Put it on the stove over medium-low heat with a lid and allow it to simmer. Allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes. This will soften everything and allow all the flavors to meld together.Note: A true bouillabaisse would have you add your seafood straight to the broth, in the order of the seafood's size and thickness. You can add your fish and seafood straight to the broth (after boning, cleaning, washing and/or cutting into portions), starting with the thicker cuts of fresh fish, down to the thinner cuts. That note is there for those that deviate from what I usually do ...While the broth simmers, soak your fresh clams and mussels in a bowl of cold water, with a slow, steady stream of cold water dropping from the faucet into the bowl. This helps remove a touch of extra saltiness and sand. Let this sit with the water dripping on it.Pick your clams and mussels out of the bowl, by scooping them up with your hands, and transferring them to another bowl. Any sand or debris should be left at the bottom of the original bowl. Wash the original bowl and set aside. We'll use it one more time. Place the new bowl of clams and mussels under the slow stream of cold water.Peel your shrimp and remove the big vein running through the back.Cut your fish into appropriate sizes. Large bite sized chunks is fine, but I opted for larger fillets. I thought it looked nicer when it was in the bowl.Transfer your clams and mussels one more time. With a wet towel, pull the beards from the mussels. This is done by grabbing the beard with the towel and pinching hard between your fingers, then deliberately pulling OUT and towards the hinge. Some come out easier than others, but this should just about do it. You may also want to scrub the outside of your mussel shells, if there are a lot of funky little barnacles, debris and other riddles and games attached to them. Once your clams and mussels are clean and happy, pull them up and out of the bowl and place them on a dry towel, or in a colander to drip dry.Place a large sauté pan on the stove over high heat.Season your thick halibut fillets with salt and pepper. Also coat them with olive oil (2 tbsp). Place them in your hot sauté pan and get a nice brown color on one side. When the first side has color, turn the fish over and sear the other side.When the second side of halibut has a nice sear, add your clams and mussels to the pan and shake everything around. Let sit for 30 seconds and then dump the halibut, clams and mussels into the pot with the broth. Place the lid on the pot and allow it to continue simmering.While that simmers, quickly clean out your hot sauté pan and keep it hot on high heat.Season your shrimp and sole with salt and pepper. Coat them with olive oil (2 tbsp) and place into the hot sauté pan to get a little color. Once one side sears, flip them over and sear the other side. Once both sides are seared, add them to the pot with the broth and replace the lid.Allow the whole pot to simmer for about 3 to 4 more minutes. From the moment you started cooking your halibut, to the moment the Bouillabaisse is added to the bowls, should be about 12 minutes. It goes quickly!Evenly divide your Bouillabaisse into bowls. Serve with Rouille!Rouille (Fancy Spicy French Mayo)TrueThere just isn't a whole lot to say about Rouille! It's a fancy French mayonnaise. I suppose that somewhat undermines it. It's a fancy French aioli, which is a fancy French mayonnaise with garlic. The only difference, really, between aioli and mayonnaise is the addition of garlic, but ... that little change suddenly transcends a basic mayonnaise creating a smooth, creamy and mildly hot French elixir!<br /><br /> If you add saffron <em>(the most expensive spice on earth!)</em> and a little cayenne to aioli, you suddenly have Rouille!<br /><br /> That's it! That's all she wrote! HOWEVER! My website is designed a certain way. The page doesn't look right, unless I type a certain amount of words. What do I do when I have nothing to say?! MUST ... TYPE ... WORDS! <em>(taking up space!)</em><br /><br /> When I was about 19, I was lucky to have been hired into a famous San Francisco restaurant frequented by the likes of Robin Williams, Danny Glover, Jodie Foster, bands like Phish and even Bill Clinton <em>(one of his consultants was an investor)</em>. We had a fish special one night, and the fish was topped with Rouille. The chefs would create the special dishes, then bring us the ingredients, where they would show us how to assemble the dishes. At that point, I'd never heard of Rouille before. I was impressed!<br /><br /> At the end of the night, I needed to wrap up what I had left, add a cover, label and date it, but ... I didn't know how to spell it! This was the days before iPhones. I couldn't just whip out my phone and ask the universe. I had to sheepishly ask my Chef, "How do you spell Rouille?" She just looked at me like I'd asked her how to get to my own home, sighed dejectedly, turned and walked away, leaving me to fend for myself. Being that I was in a hurry to get out into the world and be 19, I wrote, "Roooo-eeeeee" and then promptly ran out into the night.<br /><br /> In the middle of the night, while we were out being young line cooks, the bosses would comb through our refrigerated ingredients and throw out anything old, out of place or unlabeled. They were serious about their high quality, fresh ingredients and strict labeling policies! The next day, I walked in and found my Rooo-eee had gone missing! I still didn't really know what it was and didn't know how to make it and needed more. Oh no! I panicked! Had the Chef really thrown it away? What do I do?! I walked up to her and asked her if she'd seen my Rouille. She looked at me, tilted her head back and LAUGHED the kind of laugh that can't be controlled. She put her hand on my shoulder and explained that she'd been having a particularly tough time of things and when she was combing through my stuff, she saw my spelling and was beyond delighted. It apparently caught her at such a rotten time, that the sheer absurdity of it lifted her spirits and completely changed the tune of her day. She'd spent the morning showing everyone my "hysterical" joke and had just forgotten to put it back.<br /><br /> In other news, Rouille is usually served with fish, traditionally served with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/bouillabaise">Bouillabaise</a> and is also yummy on sandwiches and wraps. This hard to spell sauce is delicious!Sauces1 min1 min2 hrs8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Rouille-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Rouille-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Rouille-31/2tsp0saffron threads00000.081cup109.63mayonnaisehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Mayonnaise750.5483.452.41.33.25.082each6garlic cloves, minced0802001/2tsp1cayenne pepper, ground2.84.17.17.50.17salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Soak your saffron threads in about 1 tbsp of warm water. Let it sit for about 2 hours.Mix your saffron and soaking liquid with mayonnaise, garlic and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper.Serve!Broccoli Cheddar SoupTrueI've never liked cheese based soups. For the most part, I've just never really trusted them! It's always been my belief that a cheese soup was somehow that weird "cheese food" that you get on the nachos at ballgames. It's entirely possible that I'm full of pretentious snobbery and pompous hoity-toity, but ... I've just always struggled with these strange processed cheese foods, generally feeling the issue comes down to texture for me. There's just a strange glutinousness to it that I've always struggled with. Even in my darkest days, I'd still manage to avoid this particular foodstuff.<br /><br /> In any event, this is not about that. There are benefits to processed cheeses, one of which is its ability stay emulsified or ... "together". Many cheeses will melt and separate into stringy strands of protein, floating around in pools of oil. I happen to love this particular behavior in things like Queso Fundido, but ... in a soup, it makes for an ugly stringy mess. The same is often true of things like cheese sauces for <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Mac-n-Cheese">Macaroni and Cheese</a>. If a cheese is sufficiently emulsified or diluted, it tends to stay smooth and creamy, even when melted. This is why some cheesy cream sauces stay "creamy". It's also why thickeners are added to sometimes allow for other ingredients to be added, while adding flour to help with the "mouth feel".<br /><br /> I'm way off track, here ... I can tell.<br /><br /> Point being, melted cheese is fussy stuff. It's tough to make a good soup out of it, without some trickery! In my case, the "trickery" is ... cream cheese! This is an emulsified soft cheese, which is thick and tasty. It makes a perfect vehicle for a cheese soup. It creates a thick and velvety "sauce", in which the cheese can make itself at home in. Throw in some cooked broccoli, simmer and eat! It's an AMAZING taste sensation!<br /><br /> In case you're wondering ... I've been trained to be a little full of myself. Sorry! Blame the chefs that came before me! ;)<br /><br /> <strong>Bacon Note:</strong> If you'd like, you can use bacon fat, in place of the butter at the beginning. You can also replace the vegetable stock with chicken stock, and garnish with bacon bits. You know ... if you're not a vegetarian.SoupsVegetarian15 mins15 mins30 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Broccoli-Cheddar-Soup-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Broccoli-Cheddar-Soup-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Broccoli-Cheddar-Soup-31tbsp14butter, melted1110000001small110onion, diced440110024each12garlic cloves, minced01604002tsp2fresh thyme, chopped and divided.042.02.12.480.282cups470vegetable stockhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Vegetable-Stock02406001/2large420bunch broccoli, including stalks, cut into florets1431.3811.7527.63011.068ounces227regular cream cheese, warmed and softened77777.313.78.8001/2lb227cheddar cheese, grated902.4374.36562.7500salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Place a medium sized soup pot on the stove over medium-low heat.Add your butter to the pan and melt it.Add your onions, garlic, thyme and a little salt and pepper. Sweat the onions for about 3 minutes, or until translucent.Add your vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.Once your stock comes to a simmer, add your broccoli and a little salt and pepper.After about 2 to 3 minutes, the stock should begin simmering again. Whisk in your cream cheese and cheddar cheese.Allow to simmer for about 5 more minutes, or until the broccoli is soft and tasty.Taste, adjust seasoning and then serve!Miracle Cauli-TabboulehTrueI lived in San Francisco in my late teens and early 20's. A great place to be in your youth! One of my absolute favorite haunts was a restaurant called "Kan Zaman", which apparently shut down in early 2013, sad-to-say. This upper-Haight restaurant was ACTION PACKED in the early 90's. It's clear they had a good 20+ year run, which is pretty spectacular by any measure (most restaurants don't make it more than a year or two!). The food was Middle Eastern; everything was shared, family style. Alongside one wall was a row of pillows, where you could sit, comfortably on the floor with friends, while sipping warm spiced wine and pick over foods like falafel, baba ganoush, shawarma, stuffed grape leaves, hummus, all manner of grilled meat on sticks and ... the fresh herbed tabbouleh!<br /><br /> After dinner, you could request a hookah and smoke apple scented tobacco, while watching belly dancers twirl around with swords. An amazing place at a special time in life ... It's interesting to me that "Kan Zaman", in Arabic means "A long time ago ..."<br /><br /> In any event, this is the place and time that introduced me to the amazing foods from the Middle East. Fresh and simple, with mouthwatering blasts of herbs and spice!<br /><br /> Tabbouleh is a salad harking from the eastern Mediterranian, between Anatolia and Egypt. You might find Tabbouleh in countries like Syria and Lebanon. Traditionally it is made with Bulgur wheat, tomatoes and a mixture of mint and parsley. In fact, I've been told many times in my life that the chopped herbs should be about equal to the bulgur. I've even seen recipes which were almost all herbs, with only a small amount of bulgur. It's FULL of herby goodness!<br /><br /> Throughout my adult life, I've seen this dish recreated a million times. Here I am, throwing my little low-carb spin at it. Mine is full of veggies and herbs, as well as my <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Miracle-Cauli-Rice">miracle cauli-rice</a>. This gives both a little boost of natural flavor, while adding bulk and some texture. I was so excited when I made it, because I love Tabbouleh. I love the bright acid flavors, and all the textures of the fresh raw vegetables. I wanted so badly for this to match the Tabboulehs of my youth and it was SOOO close! SOOOOO CLOSE! It's tough to give this a B, but ... I'd be lying if I called it a home run, or an "A". It was everything I wanted in a toubouleh, from the health aspects to the colors and textures. It was wonderful, on all fronts. The only way I can describe it, in as truly honest a way as I can ... it was just ... somehow ... <br /><br /> ... <em>hollow</em>. <img src="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-sad052.gif" /><br /><br /> There was an earthy depth that the bulgur brings to this dish, and this missed that particular element. The last thing I want to do is talk you out of this. It is really quite good, much better than most low-carb replacements that I've seen, but ... it's a B. Bring it to the next Potluck, where everyone else is going to bring their "C" Game!<br /><br /> Next time ... more herbs and less miracle-cauli rice!SaladsSidesVegetarian20 min0 min20 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Tabbouleh-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Tabbouleh-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Tabbouleh-32cups342.4miracle cauli-rice, chilledhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Miracle-Cauli-Rice662.663.4904.21cup88fresh mint, chopped38.72.882.647.0406.161cup64fresh parsley, chopped11.7601.042.0801.041/2lb227cherry tomatoes, washed, dried and halved or quartered41.1602.58.7402.51small74red bell pepper, seeded and diced22.940.744.4401.481each301english cucumber, seeded and diced122.58013.6218.1604.541small110red onion, peeled and diced440110021/4cup61lemon juice, freshly squeezed015.26.265.260.261/4cup54extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20477.5540000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Taste, and adjust with more lemon juice, salt and pepper. I like mine to have a fairly intense lemon flavor, but ... season to your own tastes. Serve!Singapore-Style NoodlesTrueWhen I was younger, I worked in a sort of strange restaurant. It seemed to want to be all things to all people, serving a wide range of high end foods, including ingredients like sea urchin and goose liver, while also offering ornate bar foods in the expensive, cold and fancy social gathering area, where beautiful people would ignore the sporting events on the walls. Our menu had both pizza and sushi.<br /><br /> Good food ... weird place! While it was a hopping joint at the time, I believe it's the only restaurant I've ever worked in that doesn't still stand, today.<br /><br /> In any event, we had a few sushi chefs on hand. They had a boss ... the lead sushi chef, whose complicated name was a challenge to pronounce. He was lovingly dubbed "Tamale Cauliflower" by the crew. Tamale was a dutifully honorable and stoic Japanese man. His sushi and his creations were well above any I've ever seen. I learned A LOT from Tamale. He could do things I've never seen duplicated by any other chef, and he knew it. Between orders, he would sit and read the paper, which would get you fired in most places. Tamale was the only man I've ever known, in any kitchen, anywhere, who could not only get away with sitting and reading a paper while working, but ... could make it look like it was part of his job description. He could sit and quietly read, while emanating a paradoxically strong busy demeanor!<br /><br /> Somewhere, somehow, I'd managed to convince Tamale that he shouldn't isolate himself so much and that he should contribute to the team. It's not that Tamale was standoffish. Tamale was an incredible guy, but he just radiated something tough to penetrate. He lived his own rules. I somehow managed to reach in there and convince him to cook dinner for the staff, if even only occasionally.<br /><br /> Once a month, Tamale made "Singapore Noodles" for a group of about 40 people. He'd show up early and quickly, quietly, calmly and effortlessly float around, gathering the ingredients. Then he would methodically slice everything into perfect little strips, ribbons and cubes. He'd sort the ingredients into perfectly lined rows, set up on a bamboo tray. He'd carry the tray to the Wok station, crank the massive industrial Wok to high and then Tamale would ... dance! That's the only way I know to describe it! Between working the water flow with his knees, shucking and jiving, while tossing the ingredients into a thousand degree Wok hovering above a rocket engine; Tamale's whole being just grooved into this amusing/amazing 12 minute burst of curry powder, shrimp and vegetables. It was really quite a sight to see from a man who never smiled, never frowned, never showed any kind of display ... of any kind.<br /><br /> Yet, once a month ... Tamale would dance and give us "Singapore Noodles". They were good, too!FishMainPasta15 mins15 mins30 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Singapore-Noodles-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Singapore-Noodles-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Singapore-Noodles-316ounces454tofu shirataki noodles, angel hair (non-tofu is fine, too!)http://amzn.com/B003H26J5I?tag=lcrecipe-20802412081lbs454boneless chicken, cut into strips539.5513.896.5900016each454large shrimp, peeled and deveined9.08481.2490.84.540.282tbsp12yellow curry powder, divided40228044each12garlic cloves, minced01604001tbsp6fresh ginger, minced04.8.121.080.124large200whole eggs28620262002tbsp28coconut oilhttp://amzn.com/B003QDRJXY?tag=lcrecipe-202424000001/4large210bunch broccoli, including stalks, cut into florets71.5.695.8713.8205.531small74red bell pepper, seeded and sliced very thin22.940.744.4401.481cup104mung bean sprouts31036021/2medium55onion, very thinly sliced220.55011/4bunch25cilantro, washed and large stems removed5.75.14.55.940.732whole30green onions (scallions), cut lengthwise into thin strips9.60.62.10.9salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Rinse your Shirataki noodles under warm water, for about 2 to 3 minutes, to wash off liquid from the packaging. Set in a strainer to allow them to drip dry. Many people, including myself, like to sauté these in coconut oil, for about 5 minutes, prior to doing anything with them. It tends to tighten them up and dry them out. The end result is, in my opinion, a more appealing "noodle" from both a taste and texture perspective. This step is optional, but one I recommend. Saute over high heat, until dry and "squeaky". Set aside.Another optional step ... I personally like my broccoli a bit on the undercooked and crunchy side. I stir fry raw florets into this and find the end result to be quite tasty and crunchy, but if you like your broccoli cooked through, boil some salted water and add your broccoli. Let it cook for about 2 minutes, then strain out and set aside. Your broccoli will be about halfway cooked, and it will finish in the stir fry, later.Mix together your chicken, shrimp, garlic, ginger and one-third of your curry powder in a bowl, with a little salt and pepper. Set aside.In a separate bowl, whisk your eggs with about one-third of your curry powder and a little salt and pepper. Set aside.(Note: I might suggest splitting all your ingredients into two halves and either doing this in 2 hot pans at the same time, or in 2 quick batches. It goes quick and will help keep things hot and moving) Heat a large sauté pan or wok (if you have one), over high heat. The hotter the better. The next few steps are going to be hot, fast and smoky. Be ready with your chicken/shrimp and vegetables, all cut and ready to throw in the pan.First, start by adding coconut oil to the pan and swirl it around. Immediately add your chicken/shrimp pieces. Sprinkle them around the bottom of the pan, to create a flat, single layer of meat. Let the pan sit for about 2 minutes, letting the ingredients turn nice and brown on one side.Add your broccoli to the pan. Toss it into the chicken/shrimp and allow to cook for about 2 minutes.Add your thinly sliced bell peppers, bean sprouts and onions. Toss these into the pan. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, and then allow to cook for about 1 minute.Add your eggs and mix to scramble the eggs around the ingredients. Allow it to sit and cook, then toss, sit and cook, then toss. You want little pieces of egg visibly cooked onto the ingredients. If you over mix, it'll just stir in and get lost.Add your noodles and toss. Add your remaining curry powder. Taste and adjust seasoning with a bit more salt and pepper.Divide the mixture between 4 plates or bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro and thinly sliced green onions.Enjoy!Stir Fried Peanut Chicken with Kelp NoodlesTrueThis surprisingly tasty entry uses a noodle made of kelp. Yep! That weird stuff that floats around beaches, washes up on shore and generally makes the thought of swimming in it, make my skin crawl. I've actually eaten quite a bit of seaweed in my lifetime. At one point, it was all the rage in high end restaurants and was sliced, diced, pickled, tossed with sesame seeds, etc. Some of it was pretty tasty, too! However, until someone popped onto my Facebook page, proclaiming love for noodles made from Kelp, I'd never even heard of such a thing!<br /><br /> When I looked into them, they did read like a low-carber's dream food. A 4 oz. portion has just 1 carb, and it's all fiber. It's also got only 6 calories, is high in iodine <em>(YAY, thyroid function!)</em> and other minerals and is also considered good eating by the Raw and Paleo communities. In a sense, it's just water held in place with seaweed fiber, and flavored with just a touch of seaweed salt! No cooking is done, or required. Open a bag and eat up!<br /><br /> So, why aren't people clamoring for more of these? Why aren't they all the rage? Why hadn't I heard of them?! Because they're weird, Man! They're just weird!<br /><br /> I popped open the bag, expecting something along the lines of the Shirataki noodles <em>(another weird noodle, made from Konjac, a southeast Asian yam-like thing)</em>. Shirataki noodles are very soft, rubbery and packed in bags full of water. This was like little strands of hard plasticy-rubber, packed tightly into a vacuum packed baggy. We're not in Kansas anymore!<br /><br /> I tore a strand of glassy fiber from the bag and put it in my mouth. It felt like plastic, in every way I know. It would not have taken much convincing to tell me that this was the raw material behind cellophane <em>(saran wrap)</em>. I bit into it. It was actually really pleasantly crunchy! All of a sudden, I COMPLETELY enjoyed the wonderfully cheerful texture of the noodle. Then, the flavor hit me. It was a very subtle taste, like a cross between salt and something like a mildly bitter baking soda. I was back to regarding these noodles with some skepticism.<br /><br /> Yes, you can eat these right out of the package. There are many that love these things and swear by them. People pop the bag, cut up the noodles, slather them with cucumbers and avocados and chow down. Not only is this possible and acceptable, it's quite common! I think from my personal vantage point, I'll need to rise to that particular occasion. I'm more a regular ol' noodle type dude, and these hard elastic strands just kind of weirded me out. I read and read and discovered that prolonged exposure to acid will start to soften them, somewhat. I rinsed them in warm water, cut them into manageable strands, and then tossed them with fresh lime juice, where they sat on the counter for about an hour. Interestingly, liquid pooled at the bottom, which I poured off. The noodles did, indeed, soften somewhat. Cooking them with other ingredients really whipped them into a nice noodley shape! In the end, I think these are kind of a fun product to play with, the flavor is very mild and easily cancelled out by other ingredients and can be tamed into something wonderful like ... Stir Fry Peanut Chicken with Kelp Noodles!<br /><br /> <strong>Purchase Note:</strong> I personally purchased my <a href="http://amzn.com/B0019JTH96?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">noodles from Amazon.com</a>, but I also noticed they sell them at the local asian grocery store. I assume they can be found in some stores, but suspect they can be a bit of a challenge to find. I do recommend them, though, if you're up for something kind of different!ChickenMainPasta15 mins15 mins30 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Peanut-Kelp-Stir-Fry-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Peanut-Kelp-Stir-Fry-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Peanut-Kelp-Stir-Fry-324ounces680kelp noodleshttp://amzn.com/B0019JTH96?tag=lcrecipe-2036006061tbsp15.25lime juice, freshly squeezed03.82.071.320.071 1/2lbs681boneless chicken, cut into strips809.3320.7144.890004each12garlic cloves, minced01604001tbsp6fresh ginger, minced04.8.121.080.122tbsp28coconut oilhttp://amzn.com/B003QDRJXY?tag=lcrecipe-202424000001/4large210bunch broccoli, including stalks, cut into florets71.5.695.8713.8205.531small74red bell pepper, seeded and sliced very thin22.940.744.4401.481large72carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips (or grated with grater)29.250.566.7502.251/2medium55red onion, very thinly sliced220.55011/2cup120peanut saucehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Thai-Style-Peanut-Sauce338.3127.511.121.292.11/4bunch25cilantro, washed and large stems removed5.75.14.55.940.732whole30green onions (scallions), cut lengthwise into thin strips9.60.62.10.91/4cup36.5peanuts, toasted and chopped207189.5603salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Rinse your kelp noodles under warm water to wash off any extra salt or liquid from the packaging. Cut your noodles into manageable lengths with a knife or food scissors. Toss your noodles in the lime juice, cover and set aside. The longer they sit, the softer the noodle will be. I recommend about an hour, but the entire step is completely optional. When ready to use, pour off any liquid that may have accumulated at the bottom of the bowl.Another optional step ... I personally like my broccoli a bit on the undercooked and crunchy side. I stir fry raw florets into this and find the end result to be quite tasty and crunchy, but if you like your broccoli cooked through, boil some salted water and add your broccoli. Let it cook for about 2 minutes, then strain out and set aside. Your broccoli will be about halfway cooked, and it will finish in the stir fry, later.Mix together your chicken, garlic and ginger in a bowl, with a little salt and pepper.(Note: I might suggest splitting all your ingredients into two halves and either doing this in 2 hot pans at the same time, or in 2 quick batches. It goes quick and will help keep things hot and moving) Heat a large sauté pan or wok (if you have one), over high heat. The hotter the better. The next few steps are going to be hot, fast and smoky. Be ready with your chicken and vegetables, all cut and ready to throw in the pan.First, start by adding coconut oil to the pan and swirl it around. Immediately add your chicken pieces. Sprinkle them around the bottom of the pan, to create a flat, single layer of chicken. Let the pan sit for about 2 minutes, letting the chicken turn nice and brown.Add your broccoli to the pan. Toss it into the chicken and allow the chicken and broccoli to cook for about 2 minutes.Add your thinly sliced bell peppers, carrots and red onions. Toss these into the pan. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, and then allow to cook for about 1 minute.Add your noodles and peanut sauce. This will be a bit of a challenge to mix, but just smoosh it all together over the heat until it is evenly mixed. Taste and adjust seasoning with a bit more salt and pepper.Divide the mixture between 4 plates or bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro, thinly sliced green onions and chopped toasted peanuts.Enjoy!Creamy Pesto Chicken PrimaveraTrueThis rapid-fire, one pot dinner takes just a few minutes to cook and is full of everything one needs to sustain life! It's got plenty of good fats, protein and a nice selection of nutrients from the various herbs and vegetables. I know dairy is a problem for some, but for those that love cream, or even PESTO cream, you'll LOVE this dish!<br /><br /> It started as a response as a desire to cut pasta out, completely. I wanted something that tasted like pasta and had all the "stuff" I'd put into a pasta, but ... sans pasta! The goal was to see if I'd really miss it. I wanted to know if I could really live in a world with just stir fried veggies, floating in a thick and opulent cream sauce, with parmesan, basil, garlic and bacon! Not only does it turn out that I can, but I invited various family members over the evening I made this dish (along with about 10 others). They all unanimously agreed that THIS was the winner that evenings.<br /><br /> It's tough to go wrong when everything on your plate is coated with cheese, cream and bacon! Even with all the green things! Yum.ChickenMainPasta10 min10 min20 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Green-Things-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Green-Things-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Green-Things-31 1/2cups357cream, heavy whipping1231.5132810.5001cup387.75basil pestohttp://www.djfoodie.com/Traditional-Basil-Pesto1706.3179.6623.2313.6104.111/4cup54extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20477.55400001lbs454boneless chicken, cut into strips539.5513.896.590001/4large210bunch broccoli, including stalks, cut into florets71.5.695.8713.8205.532each236small green zucchini, cut into half moons38.742.928.0402.921bunch227asparagus, cut into about 1-1/2 inch sticks16.0345.745.088.4705.081/2cup56.8real bacon bits20012240001cup100parmesan cheese, grated431293840016leaves6.4fresh basil, whole or hand torn1.47.06.19.190.13salt and pepper, to taste000000Note: This is done quickly and with a very hot pan. Have everything ready to go and then ... just sauté it up hot, then eat! I might also suggest splitting all your ingredients into two halves and either doing this in 2 hot pans at the same time, or in 2 quick batches. It goes quick and will help keep things hot and moving.In a bowl, mix together your pesto and cream. Set aside.Olive oil burns quickly when it's added to a hot pan, so instead, we're going to toss our chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. This will help keep it from burning.Heat a large sauté pan over high heat.Sprinkle your chicken around the bottom of the hot pan and let it sear and get nice and golden on one side. Do not crowd the pan. Drizzle any extra oil from the chicken bowl into the pan.Add your broccoli and toss together with the chicken. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook for about 1 minute.Add your zucchini to the pan and toss. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook for about 1 minute.Add your asparagus to the pan and toss. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes.Add your bacon bits to the pan and cook for about 1 minute.Pour your pesto cream sauce into the pan and swirl all the ingredients together. When the cream sauce begins to noticeably thicken, about 1 to 2 minutes, dust the pan with your grated parmesan cheese and toss or stir the ingredients together.Serve! Top with fresh basil leaves.Blue Cheese Lamburger with Poppy Seed OMMTrueI like hamburgers. They're delicious! While they're not technically, historically "American" food, I feel pretty strongly that the US has appropriated the burger, as its own (for better or worse).<br /><br /> Now, while I do enjoy a good piece of ground beef, I also like to play with the idea. A "burger", in my opinion, doesn't necessarily need to be beef. There are those that make them with pork, turkey, chicken, a combination of ground meats, sausage patties, etc. There are also burgers served with buns, open faced, packed in lettuce leaves, etc. I've also seen burgers made from fish and seafood blends. Of course, there are also a whole range of veggie burgers, including the common "Portobello" burger, where the patty is a giant tasty mushroom cap!<br /><br /> In this case, I'm playing with the idea, and throwing some "lamb" at the burger: <strong>Lamburger!</strong> YUM!<br /><br /> In this case, I'm using ground lamb, and adding a few goodies to the raw meat, just to add a little more flavor and charm. I'm also using a very simple "One Minute "Muffin" as the bun, but split in the middle, brushed with butter and toasted. Then, I'm topping it all with little more than baby greens, bacon and ... blue cheese. If I haven't said it, yet <em>(I have!)</em> ... I'll say it again: YUM!LunchMain20 mins20 mins40 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Lamb-Burger-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Lamb-Burger-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Lamb-Burger-31/2cup52golden flaxseed mealhttp://amzn.com/B000EDK5MG?tag=lcrecipe-202401812160161/2cup56almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-20320281212062tsp8baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-2010002004large200whole eggs28620262001/2tsp1salt0000001tbsp14butter, melted1110000001tbsp9poppy seeds46411018slices200raw bacon91690242001small110onion, diced440110024each12garlic cloves, minced01604002tsp2fresh thyme, chopped and divided.042.02.12.480.282lbs908ground lamb2563.29208.92152.670001large50egg7256.5.5001/4cup56fresh whole butter, softened4440000001cup135blue cheese, crumbled, but not packed47739293001cup71mixed greens, washed and dried7.50.51.50.5salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000For the buns ... combine your flax, almond meal, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.Mix in your eggs and butter.Evenly distribute your batter into 4 individual bowls, each with a base about as wide as a hamburger patty, or other microwaveable safe mold, of some kind. (In my case, I used 8 oz ramekins, which I like to grease first, but I'm not convinced it's necessary)Sprinkle a little poppy seeds onto the top of each bowl of dough.Place all 4 buns in the microwave and "nuke" on high for 4 to 6 minutes. When they are done, remove them from the microwave and pop them from their bowls. Let them cool.Fry up 8 slices of bacon (I usually do this on a rack over a rimmed cookie tray, in the oven. Baking bacon is a great way to get lots of bacon, for very little effort. Just don't burn it!). When the bacon comes out, tear each one in half. Save the bacon fat.Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add about 1tbsp of bacon fat, onions, garlic and half of your chopped thyme, with a little bit of salt and pepper. Stir until the onions and garlic turn a light shade of brown.Once the onions are lightly caramelized, place into a mixing bowl and spread them around the bowl into a thin layer, so that they may cool, more quickly.Add your ground lamb to the onions (making sure the onions aren't hot enough to cook the lamb, should only take a few minutes).Add your egg to the meat, with a little salt and pepper. Blend together the lamb, egg and onion mixture.Form 4 nice patties, which are a little a little wider than your buns and a little thinner in the center, than the rim. As they cook, they will shrink and the center will thicken.Turn your oven on to broil.Split your buns into two halves, each.Spread your softened butter on the inside of each bun-half. Sprinkle your remaining fresh thyme and a bit of salt and pepper on your buns. Place them, butter side up, on a baking tray.Heat up a large sauté pan or skillet over high heat.While the pan is heating, season the surface of your patties with a little salt and pepper.Add a bit more bacon fat to the hot pan. Swirl it around and then add your burgers to the pan. Do not crowd them. There should be plenty of space between the burgers. Assuming your pan was hot, they should sear.Once your burgers are nicely seared on one side, flip them over and sear the other side.When your lamb burgers are close to done, place your buns on the top rack, in the oven to toast (watch them carefully! They'll burn after only about 60 seconds!). When they are toasted, remove them.Place 4 bun bottoms on 4 trays. Place a fresh burger on each base, then add crumbled blue cheese, 4 bacon half-slices and a handful of mixed greens. Add bun lids.Enjoy!Chocolate Muffin, in a MinuteTrueThere is nothing particularly super amazingly special about this "<a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=one+minute+muffins" target="_blank">One Minute Muffin</a>", short of the fact that it's a basic chocolate OM, and that it has pretty pictures! Oh, and it's WONDERFUL topped with a dollop of sweet and creamy <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Whipped-Cream">whipped clouds of goodness</a>! AND ... it's super quick, super easy, super tasty and super duper! This sugar free, grain free, chocolate miracle takes about 120 seconds from cupboard to mouth, which can be a great thing! <br /><br /> I left this as a simple chocolate OMM ratio because I wanted to point out a few directions that a raw batter like this could be taken. Try folding some raspberries and toasted almond slivers into it, for a super tasty treat! Try chopping up some <a href="http://amzn.com/B000P49A0W?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">sugar-free chocolate bars</a> and folding the chocolate chunks into the batter. This would become a truly hot, melty, gooey, double chocolate delight ... in 120 seconds! I know that some consider bananas to be the root of all evil, but with a small amount of freshly smooshed banana, maybe some <a href="http://www.naturesflavors.com/natural-banana-syrup-flavor-concentrate" target="_blank">natural banana flavoring</a> and a few toasted walnuts, a low-carb chocolate banana treat is quickly within reach! Maybe throw some espresso grounds into the batter. Make a "Morning Mocha Alert" <em>(MMA OMM)</em>! Try putting a nice dollop of peanut butter in the center, before nuking it up. Chocolate and Peanut Butter! MMMMmmmm ....<br /><br /> Just some fun ways you could think about taking this. If you discover any new favorite combinations ... please list them in the comments below!BakedDesserts1 min1 min2 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chocolate-OMM-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chocolate-OMM-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chocolate-OMM-32tbsp13golden flaxseed mealhttp://amzn.com/B000EDK5MG?tag=lcrecipe-20604.534042tbsp14almond mealhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-208073301.51tbsp12'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html0001101tbsp5.38unsweetened cocoa powder1.1312.251.073.1301.821/2tsp2baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-202.500.500dash salt0000001large50egg7256.5.5001tbsp414melted butter111000000Combine your flax, almond meal, sugar equivalent, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a coffee mug, or other microwaveable safe mold, of some kind. (I like to grease my mug first, but I don't think it's necessary)Mix in your egg and melted butter.Microwave on high for 60 seconds, (90 seconds if using a weaker microwave, or if you've added lots of other ingredients, like nuts, frozen berries, etc.)Eat and enjoy!Cinnamon Roll Muffin, in a MinuteTrueI kind of grew up in and amongst farmers markets. I grew up in a town, somewhere in the mountains, near Yosemite National Park, CA. My grandparents owned a huge apple orchard in the town and they would attend various markets, selling apples, cider and apple honey. I'd join them and hang out. One of the markets was a market in Fresno, and THIS market had sweet, hot, fresh, steaming, aromatic cinnamon rolls.<br /><br /> These rolls became almost something like a part of my own DNA. Without them, I cannot function.<br /><br /> Years later, I owned a catering company outside of Cabo San Lucas, in Mexico. A big part of my catering company was a gigantic portable catering trailer that I'd designed. Because of the horrible and bumpy roads in Mexico, I designed all the cooking devices to run on natural fuels, primarily carbonized coconut shells. Ultimately, it was a 3 ton beast of a machine. To show it off and promote the catering business, I served as a vendor at the local Farmer's Market, pulling my massive kitchen up onto the grass, sparking up my coconut ovens and baking fresh cinnamon rolls, for all the world to sniff out and eat.<br /><br /> I LOVE cinnamon rolls!<br /><br /> All this said ... it COULD be that I love frosting! A do enjoy a good cinnamon roll, drenched in melting butter; fresh and a little doughy, but if I had to look deep within my own genetic structure, it becomes clear that I run more efficiently on FROSTED cinnamon rolls.<br /><br /> What we have here is an EXCEPTIONAL "One Minute Muffin", with a sweet and cinnamon twist, with the very same cream cheese frosting that I used to douse my rolls with, down in Mexico. Just swap out the sweetener for something a little less intense for my blood sugars and ... the end result would've made the 8 year old boy in Fresno smile, ear-to-ear.BakedBreakfastDesserts1 min1 min2 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cinnamon-Roll-OMM-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cinnamon-Roll-OMM-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cinnamon-Roll-OMM-32tbsp13golden flaxseed mealhttp://amzn.com/B000EDK5MG?tag=lcrecipe-20604.534042tbsp14almond mealhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-208073301.52tsp6.25'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html0006.256.2501/2tsp1cinnamon, ground2.47.01.04.810.531/2tsp2baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-202.500.500dash salt0000001tbsp7.5chopped walnuts49.064.911.1310.51tsp3.02raisins, chopped10.27.02.12.730.131large50egg7256.5.5001tsp4.67melted butter3.6733.3300001 1/2tbsp21.28full fat cream cheese, warmed72.847.251.28.83001tbsp14fresh whole butter, softened1001100003tbsp37.5powdered sugar equivalenthttp://amzn.com/B004X73DAU?tag=lcrecipe-2000037.537.50dash vanilla extract100000dash salt000000Combine your flax, almond meal, cinnamon, sugar equivalent, baking powder and salt in a coffee mug, or other microwaveable safe mold, of some kind. (I like to grease my mug first, but I don't think it's necessary)Mix in your raisins, walnuts, egg and melted butter.Microwave on high for 60 seconds, (90 seconds if using a weaker microwave, or if you've added lots of other ingredients, like cheeses, nuts, frozen berries, etc.)While the muffin is nuking, beat together your cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar equivalent, vanilla and salt. Make sure your cream cheese and butter are soft (leave out at room temperature for a while) before whipping, or else mixing will be difficult, at best.Once your muffin is done, douse with frosting and smile, smile smile!One Minute MuffinTrueHere we have the famous "one minute muffin" or "OMM" or "muffin in a minute" or "MIM", whichever way you happen to tilt. It's little more than a quick batter mixed up in a cup, bowl or microwaveable shape of some kind, and then "nuked" for between 60 and 90 seconds, depending on the strength or power of your particular machinery.<br /><br /> I've known about these quick little delights for years, but didn't own an operational microwave <em>(long story!)</em>. Alas, I never actually tried one! Years later, they simply never became a part of any of my own personal routines. Being that I operate a low-carb blog, my website felt incomplete without at least having ONE flavor of the famous OMM. This resulted in the <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/One-Minute-Bread">Cheddar Buns</a>; a recipe made from a basic flax batter, blended with cheddar cheese and then nuked. Perfect with a <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/BBQ-Pork-Paddy-Sliders">BBQ Pork Slider</a>! I really didn't expect much from the recipe, due simply to the fact that there are <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=one+minute+muffins" target="_blank">easily thousands of variations</a> on the MIM scattered all throughout the low-carb Googlesphere. Shockingly, that simple and basic Cheddar Bun has become one of my bigger recipes!<br /><br /> I, being the humble servant that I am, love to give people more of what they want! Below is a basic formula for the OMM. If you make this, as written, it won't taste like anything and you'll wonder whether or not I've lost my mind. Consider it a blank sheet of paper ... or ... blank sheet of "muffin", as it were. With this basic muffin ratio, you can add or subtract ingredients to make your own creations! Add some sweeteners, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and you have a Pecan Spice OMM! Add some fresh rosemary, goats cheese, walnuts and a few chopped up raisins and you have something really pretty interesting. I'd bet it would be FANTASTIC as a side to a light summer salad!<br /><br /> Point being, this is little more than a start; a beginning to an amazing story ... any story you'd like it to be!<br /><br /> <em>Once upon a time ...</em><br /><br /> <strong>Spin-Off Stories:</strong><br /> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Chocolate-OMM">Chocolate OMMs</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Cinnamon-Roll-OMM">Cinnamon Roll OMMs</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/OMM-French-Toast">Coconut OMMs French Toast</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/BBQ-Pork-Paddy-Sliders">Cheddar Buns</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/One-Minute-Bread">Bacon-Cheddar BBQ Pork Sliders</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Lamb-Burger">Blue Cheese Lamburger with Poppy Seed OMM</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Fried-Pork-Sandwich">Greasy Fried Pork Sandwich</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Vanilla-OMM">Plain ol' Vanilla OMM</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Carrot-Cake-OMM">Frosted Carrot Cake OMM with Pecans</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Pumpkin-OMM">Pumpkin-Spice OMM with Maple Butter</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Bacon-Zucchini-OMM">Savory Zucchini, Bacon and Herb OMM</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Zucchini-Bread-OMM">Spiced Zucchini Bread OMM</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Herby-Sandwich-Bread">Herby Sandwich Bread (Focaccia)</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Club-Sandwich">Italian Turkey Club Sandwich</a></li> <li><em> ... More to come!</em></li> </ul> <strong>Note:</strong> This ratio is half flax and half almond flour. I tend to find it's the best flavor and texture combination, but there are those that have no love for flax. In that case, simply use 100% almond flour. Alternately, you can use 100% flax meal, to drop the carbs to almost nothing. Also note that you can use coconut flour.<br /><br /> <strong>Baking Note:</strong> I am often asked if these can be baked. Yes! This is just a simple batter. You can grease a muffin pan and bake at 350 F for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. That's it!BakedDesserts1 min1 min2 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/One-Minute-Muffin-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/One-Minute-Muffin-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/One-Minute-Muffin-32tbsp13golden flaxseed mealhttp://amzn.com/B000EDK5MG?tag=lcrecipe-20604.534042tbsp14almond mealhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-208073301.51/2tsp2baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-202.500.500dash salt0000001large50egg7256.5.5001tsp4.67fat (melted butter, olive oil, coconut oil, bacon fat, etc.)3.6733.330000Combine your flax, almond meal, baking powder and salt in a coffee mug, or other microwaveable safe mold, of some kind. (I like to grease my mug first, but I don't think it's necessary)Mix in your egg and fat/oil/butter.Microwave on high for 60 seconds, (90 seconds if using a weaker microwave, or if you've added lots of other ingredients, like cheeses, nuts, frozen berries, etc.)Eat and enjoy!Coq au VinTrueHere's a recipe that's a bit of a departure for me. I'm not entirely sure why I chose to go this route with it, but ... I did, and it's done and I think the end result is really quite nice!<br /><br /> In this one, I used a few stranger-than-normal ingredients. For example, I used salted pork belly, instead of bacon. I used pearl onions, instead of onions. I used French Horn mushrooms, rather than a standard button mushroom. I used a specific red wine <em>(Burgundy)</em>, rather than a "cooking" wine, etc. It also is just a hair over the normal 10 carb goal <em>(at about 12 carbs per massive serving)</em>, but it's also all good whole foods.<br /><br /> I think, for some reason, I wanted to respect the rustic and local origins of this famous and potentially ancient dish <em>(served over 2000 years ago!)</em>. I simply didn't want to mess with it! The one thing I DIDN'T do was source a big tough rooster or "cock" as the name of the dish would suggest. I used ingredients which were on the outskirts of what can be reasonably found, without stepping into the truly difficult. I'm sure a big retired rooster can be found, but I confess to not having a direct connection to one. If you happen to find a connection to a stringy old bird, go for it. That would take you that much closer to the real deal!<br /><br /> "Coq au Vin" simply means "Cock with Wine", but in French. It's a dish employing a cooking technique known as "braising", which essentially means "cover and simmer in liquid". Usually, the primary ingredient is seared and then placed in a pot with some flavorful liquids, then covered to hold in the heat and steam <em>(moist heat)</em>. This particular cooking method does a great job of breaking down the tough and stringy connective tissues which would be found in the inexpensive retired male chickens found in the French marketplace, back in time ... in history's history. Today, most US cooks use female hens, which are fine and is what I did, but I'm still going to suggest you look for the largest "stewing" bird you can find. More mature birds are larger, serving more people and they tend to be cheaper (by weight). This historic method of utilizing and breaking down the cheap meat from the marketplace, or the old family rooster, is going to serve a big mature chicken quite well.<br /><br /> <strong>Thickening Note:</strong> Historically the sauce for this dish was thickened with flour or blood. For obvious reasons, we'll be skipping the flour. Because I tend to find "thickening with blood" to be on the oogy side, I'm going to skip that, as well. I've gone with a slight twist, which is to quickly reduce the natural juices from the braising process, by boiling it, rapidly. This will cause a lot of the water to evaporate, leaving behind a rich jus, thickened with natural gelatin. When it starts to noticeably thicken on its own, I whisked in some fresh butter; adding good fats, moisture, flavor, thickening power and a bit of "sheen".ChickenMain30 mins2 hrs 30 mins3 hrs4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coq-Au-Vin-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coq-Au-Vin-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coq-Au-Vin-31large (about 6 lbs.)2724chicken, cut into 8 pieces30422042880004oz100salt pork (or bacon), cut into cubes512.9650.413.441.12001lb454mushrooms, dirt removed with brush122.58013.6218.1604.5416each128pearl onions, peeled26028012large144carrots, peeled and cut into chunks58.501.1213.504.52cup464burgundy wine394.560012.64004each12garlic cloves, crushed01604001each50.5celery rib, cut into chunks80.51.50110sprigs10fresh thyme2.62.12.06.420.281each0bay leaf0000001/4cup56whole butter, cut into about 12 cubes444000000salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000Season your chicken with salt and pepper. Set aside.Over medium heat, in a large sauté pan or skillet, brown your salt pork cubes (or bacon is a fine substitute). Cook until crispy and golden. Remove the pork from the skillet and place into a large pot with a lid, or Dutch oven.Quickly add your chicken to the hot pan, skin-side-down. Only add enough chicken to cover the bottom of the pan in a single, non-crowded layer. You may increase the heat to high. Sear the skin side of the chicken pieces until golden and then place on top of the pork, in the larger pot. Continue searing the chicken until it is all seared.In the same sauté pan/skillet, with the hot pork and chicken fat, add your mushrooms with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until the edges brown a bit, then add to the pot with the chicken.In the same sauté pan/skillet add your pearl onions and carrots. Cook long enough to brown the outside of these two ingredients; about 5 minutes. Add to the pot with the chicken.Deglaze the hot sauté pan/skillet with your red wine. This will quickly boil, picking up flavor from the bottom of the pan. After about 1 minute, pour this warm mixture over the top of your chicken.To the chicken pot, add your garlic, celery, thyme and bay leaves. At this point, you can refrigerate the whole pot, as is, and let it marinate overnight. This is optional, but does develop more flavors.About 2 1/2 hours prior to dinner time, place the pot of chicken on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a very very low simmer, then adjust the heat to low, maintaining the super slow simmer. Allow to simmer for about 2 hours, or until the chicken is quite tender and tears easily.Strain the liquid out of the chicken, by either carefully pouring it out (using the lid, or a large spoon to hold back the chicken), or place a colander in a large bowl and dump the entire pot into the colander. Either way, put the chicken back into the pot and keep it warm.Place the braising liquid into a sauce pot and place over high heat to boil. Once the liquid has reduced by about half and has noticeably thickened, turn the heat down to very low and whisk a single cube of butter into the sauce. Keep whisking, so that the butter will emulsify into the sauce, thickening and enriching it, rather than simply melting and floating on the top, like an oil slick. Once the first cube of butter is about 75% melted, add a second cube of butter. Keep whisking. When the 2nd cube of butter is about 75% melted, add your 3rd cube of butter. Keep adding the butter in this manner, continually whisking, until your sauce is thick, shiny and luscious.Divide your chicken and vegetables between 4 plates or bowls and drizzle the sauce over each.Serve!Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed CrepesTrueThis is a really simple recipe, provided you've got the crepes. Even if you don't the crepes are fairly easy, requiring little more than throwing eggs and ricotta cheese into a blender, then making very thin pancakes with the batter.<br /><br /> The rest of this recipe is less a specific recipe and more an invitation to put things inside of a crepe and roll it up! In this particular case, I simply saut&#233;ed some mushrooms with a bit of garlic, salt and pepper. Then, right when they were cooked through, I tossed in a big handful of fresh spinach, which immediately shriveled into a nice bundle of green. At the very end, I added some grated parmesan cheese, then rolled the mixture into two crepes! From there, I cut the crepes in half, set them side-by-side and then cut the ends off ... just to square the whole thing off.<br /><br /> However, there are a million things that could be done this way. What about ham and bacon, with perhaps a little onion, mushroom and cheddar cheese? Or, saut&#233;ed chicken breasts with some bell peppers, spices and an interesting Mexican cheese, like a Cotija? Or, something like sliced turkey breast from the local deli? Add in a little bit of broccoli, maybe a few diced carrots and some swiss cheese? Quick, easy and beautiful! It's a nice way to start the day!<br /><br /> <strong>Photo Note:</strong> The crepes were served with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Bearnaise">B&#233;arnaise Sauce</a> and sprinkled with a little parsely, tarragon and a tiny bit too much paprika. These would have been JUST as tasty with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Traditional-Basil-Pesto">pesto</a>, or <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Marinara-Sauce">marinara sauce</a>!Breakfast10 mins15 mins25 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Stuffed-Crepes-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Stuffed-Crepes-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Stuffed-Crepes-31/4cup56butter, melted4440000001lb454crimini or button mushrooms, quartered122.606.829.0802.281/4cup28.4real bacon bits6100120002each6garlic cloves, minced0802002cups60baby spinach, washed and stems removed13.77.181.772.1201.241/4cup25parmesan cheese, grated107.757.259.51008each188all-purpose crepeshttp://www.djfoodie.com/All-Purpose-Crepes3512120410salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add your butter and start it melting.Sauté your mushrooms in the butter. Add a little salt and pepper. Sauté until the mushrooms are cooked.Add your chopped garlic and bacon bits. Cook for about 1 minute.Add your spinach to the pan and cook for about 1 minute. Add a little salt and pepper. The spinach should wilt and bundle up, a bit. Don't cook for too long, or else it loses its color and vibrancy.Add your parmesan cheese and quickly toss it into the mix.Divide even amounts between the 8 crepes, spreading the mixture into straight lines, running down the center of each crepe. I do this by tilting the pan and pulling a bit out with tongs, while moving the pan over the crepe. Others use a spoon and spoon it into lines. Use the method you're comfortable with.Roll the crepes tightly and then cut them into half. Cut the very ends off, just to square them off (I usually just eat the tasty, delicious ends). Place 4 stuffed crepe halves on each place. Serve!Spicy Cumin-Cheddar CrackersTrueA while back, I created <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Hazelnut-Cracker">a hazelnut-parmesan cracker recipe</a>. Not only did it completely blow my mind, in terms of how satisfying the taste and texture was, but it was also enormously popular out on the internet's social super highway. It really felt like a big personal "win", in that it was something that didn't feel like a sub-par replacement. It was the real deal. It was everything I could ever want in a cracker, but with none of the downside! A near perfect food!<br /><br /> However, it DID have its flaws. While it was amazing with things like <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Artichoke-Dip">artichoke-pesto dip</a>, <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Not-Pistou">not pistou</a> and other Italian spirited dips and sauces, it somehow fell flat within Latin realm. This left things like <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Salsa-Mexicana">Salsa Mexicana</a> sitting without a perfect companion; sin un amigo.<br /><br /> Sure, I've got things like the <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Baked-Tortilla-Chips">baked tortilla chips</a>, but this starts with a processed ingredient, which turns some people off <em>(even though equally as many enjoy the ease of such a thing)</em>. Additionally, it's got wheat, which is a definitely no-no in many health related circles. In response to those issues, I would often suggest people <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Cheddar-Bowl">fry up cheddar cheese</a> and then break it into dip-friendly shards. This seemed to be a satisfactory answer, but ... it's still not a chip. Some dips just need a chip.<br /><br /> Knowing I needed to do something, I kept trying to use various corn products to come up with something like a corn tortilla chip. This all resulted in pure botched failure and frustration. The tastes were all solid, but the texture was wrong, or the carb count was too high. There was never a perfect moment.<br /><br /> Finally, after a request from my own mother <em>(she wanted something to dip into <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Guacamole">guacamole</a>)</em>, I revisited the hazelnut-parmesan cracker. I used that same approach, but with a different nut and seasoning blend. The end result? A more Latin vibed cracker. To verify, I made some salsa and tried it. DELICIOUS! I can only imagine something like a hot gooey cheddar and jalapeño dip! <em>(*** drools on shirt ***)</em><br /><br /> In the end, my search for the perfect tortilla chip replacement continues. I don't want to downplay how wonderful these crackers are. The texture and flavor cannot be beat; alas they are crackers ... they are not a chip. Some dips just need a chip.Baked15 mins45 mins1 hr4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cheddar-Cracker-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cheddar-Cracker-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cheddar-Cracker-31cup112almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-206405624240121/2cup50cheddar cheese, grated210.5616.6712.5.76001each33egg white16040002each6garlic cloves, minced0802001/2tsp1cumin seed, ground.223.750.440.111/2tsp1coriander seed, ground.182.98.12.550.421/2tsp1ancho pepper, powdered2.81.08.12.510.221/4tsp.5cayenne pepper, powdered2.81.08.12.510.22salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000Preheat oven to 275 F.Combine ingredients in a bowl, along with a bit of salt aand pepper. Mix until a ball of dough has formed.Crumbled the dough evenly around a greased sheet of parchment paper or foil. Place another sheet above it, and roll out the dough so that the crumbles form a single thin sheet of dough. Remove the top sheet and play with the dough. It's pretty malleable, so if there are any cracks, you can just push the cracks together. I also pushed the edges in and together and broke off "dangleys" and pushed them into the main body of the dough. In the end, I had a nice rectangular sheet of dough.Using a cutting/dividing device (pizza cutter, bench scraper, butter knife, etc.) cut through the dough to form 24 little rectangles. Then, cut each rectangle into two triangles. This isn't an exact science and you can adjust the shapes and sizes in any way you see fit. However, if you want precision, you can always measure the rectangle and do a little math. You can also use a ruler or some other straight guide, place it on the dough and run your cutting device along the guide. With math and a good guide, you can create a perfect batch of squares or triangles. I'm more rustic myself ... and wing it.Place the parchment or foil on a cookie/thin baking tray.Bake for roughly 45 minutes, but start checking at 30 minutes. It will crisp on the edges first. You are essentially looking to melt the cheese within the cracker, then remove the moisture. The cracker will darken and firm up. When the sheet is the same even slightly darker color, across the enter sheet (the edges and the center are all the same color), remove the sheet from the oven. Too dark and it starts to get bitter.Let the sheet cool, then pick up the crackers and snap where the perforations were cut.Crackers!Italian Sausage Stuffed Portobello with Sun Dried TomatoesTrueThis is actually a REMARKABLY simple recipe, with only 5 ingredients. Within the recipe, I offer a link to my own homemade Italian Chicken Sausage (which would be absolutely delicious!), but the reality is, this would be tasty with any raw bulk sausage you could find.<br /><br /> The recipe I'm proposing is more intended as the main course for a dinner, but the idea could EASILY move towards using the smaller portobellos, or even the baby portobellos, known as "Crimini" mushrooms. They could be used as either a main course, or as an appetizer, not entirely unlike a stuffed mushroom! In all cases, it's quick to prepare and bake, but the end result is an exceedingly flavorful mushroom.<br /><br /> <strong>Mushroom Tidbit:</strong> I scraped the inside of this mushroom cap with a spoon. This does a few things: some of the time sand and debris gets stuck in the "gills" of a Portobello mushroom. Scraping the gills gets rid of this debris. It also eliminates some of the darker muddy colors and flavors. Finally, it also creates a little extra room for our filling! Simply pop the stem out, by twisting and pulling. Then, scrape the inside of the cap with a spoon. Be careful, though. The mushroom is fragile, especially around the edges!<br /><br /> <strong>Serving Note:</strong> This would be great served with a salad. In the photo, it is perched on a small pile of garlicky baby broccoli.AppetizersMain15 mins20 mins35 hr4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Portobello-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Portobello-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Portobello-34large636portobello mushrooms171.72019.0825.4406.361 1/2lb681raw italian sausagehttp://www.DJFoodie.com/Chicken-Italian-Sausage1625.22117.36125.711.5104.311/2cup55sun-dried tomatoes in oil, oil drained off1177.5313031/2cup50parmesan (reggiano) cheese, grated215.514.5192001/4cup33.75pine nuts, raw227.25234.54.501.25salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000Preheat oven to 400 F.Remove the stems from the mushrooms and carefully scrape out the gills. Place them with their scraped side up on a baking tray.Season them with salt and pepper. If you'd like, you can brush a little olive oil on the mushrooms to help the salt and pepper stick, but it's not really necessary.Press 6 ounces of raw Italian sausage evenly into each of the mushroom caps, being careful not to break or crack them.Press your sun-dried tomatoes into the tops of each cap.Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and pine nuts over the top of the caps. You may need to push the pine nuts in to the sausage, so they stick, without rolling off.Season with a little bit of salt and pepper, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and the sausage has been cooked through.Serve hot!Spinach, Asparagus and Artichoke Heart SoufflésTrueA "Souffl&#233;" is a puffy French "cake", made primarily from whipped egg whites. They are always served hot and with immediacy. They are frequently sweet desserts, but not always.<br /><br /> I had my first Souffl&#233; as a kid, at the "<a href="http://cityhotel.com" target="_blank">City Hotel</a>" in Columbia, California. It was a fancy restaurant in the center of a historic "Gold Rush" town. I'll never forget it, either. This was the kind of place that had "tableside service", meaning they would actually prepare part of the food ... right there at the table! As a child foodie, there was nothing more thrilling than watching our server whip up a classic Caesar Salad, right at the table, or catch a big pan of cherries on fire and pour it over ice cream. This place was special and still stands out in my mind as one of my first introductions to fine dining <em>(circa 1983)</em>.<br /><br /> One of the dishes was a "Souffl&#233;". It was so special, that you had to order it BEFORE your dinner. It was made FRESH. Before being ordered, it was merely ingredient parts, scattered around a kitchen. Once the order was placed, in my mind, an army of men and women ran around the kitchen collecting the magic powders and golden elixers required to create the delicate protein matrix holding in all the hot precarious air in place, as this steaming and quivering sweet cylindrical cloud would be carefully delivered from the kitchen. The server would set it down in front of me, where I could smell the caramelized edges of the cake. He'd poke a hole in the middle of it, and then pour a warmly flavored custard sauce directly into the center of my prize. Pure ecstasy!<br /><br /> Perhaps one of these days, I'll do a sweet souffl&#233;. There is no reason I couldn't do one. They are mostly egg, afterall. <em>(egg and hot air, like I imagine an irate Humpty Dumpty would be)</em>.<br /><br /> This one was originally designed as a somewhat fancy brunch idea; really any breakfast or brunch, where a little elegance is in order: Mother's Day, perhaps? Easter? Visiting family members? There are so many times in life where a beautiful green souffl&#233; is needed. Now, you have one!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Souffl&#233;'s all puff up when baking, but are notorious for "falling" or "deflating" once they are removed from the oven. In this case, they all fell. I suspect it's because of the vegetables within it, but I also may have jiggled them. If you were to remove the vegetables, saut&#233; them, poke a hole in the souffl&#233; after it was baked and pour them in, you're more likely to retain the tall and puffy shape. In all cases, it's still light, green, fluffy and yum.BakedBreakfast20 mins20 mins40 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spinach-Souffle-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spinach-Souffle-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spinach-Souffle-31bunch227asparagus, cut into thin rings16.0345.745.088.4705.083whole83.19artichoke hearts in oil, drained and cut into 8 wedges, each997.052.678.6104.24cups120baby spinach, washed and stems removed27.53.353.534.2402.474large68egg yolks215.4817.9110.922.52001cup100parmesan cheese, grated43129384002tbsp14coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-20621.53.59061/2cup112goats cheese407.533.624.643.36008each264egg whites1280320001tsp5lemon juice01.270.440.02salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000Preheat oven to 400 F.Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil, over high heat.While waiting for it to boil, grease 6 ramekins (I used 8 oz.). Divide your artichoke hearts and asparagus between the 6 ramekins and set aside.Gather a bowl with ice cubes and water, as well as a colander or straining device, of some kind. Once the water boils, add a nice amount of salt. Place your spinach into the boiling water and allow to swirl around for about 30 seconds. Remove the spinach with the strainer and immediately plunge it into the ice water. When it is thoroughly cooled, remove the spinach and squeeze it, by clinching it in your fists (or with a cloth), until all the water has been squeezed out. You should have a fairly small lump of cooked spinach.In a blender, combine your spinach, egg yolks, parmesan, coconut flour, goats cheese and a dash of salt and pepper. Blend this until a smooth puree has been formed. It should be BRIGHT green.In a separate mixing bowl, whip your egg whites and lemon juice, until firm peaks form (this is best with an electric mixer).Place your green goo into a mixing bowl, along with about 1/4 of your egg whites. Fold the two ingredients together. Then, add another 1/4 of your egg whites. Fold your green batter into these egg whites. Continue adding your egg whites and GENTLY folding the green goo into them, until you have a light and frothy green batter.Evenly divide your green batter between the 6 ramekins and place on a baking tray.Place tray in the oven. After about 1 minute, turn the heat down to 350 F.Bake for about 17 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately!OMM French ToastTrueThis is probably the closest to flat out plagiarism as I've come. However, I HAVE changed enough of the steps and ingredients, so that I may protect the <em>(not-so)</em> innocent <em>(me!)</em>.<br /><br /> I'm a big fan of <a href="http://www.Chowstalker.com" target="_blank">Chowstalker.com</a>. They do an excellent job of attracting recipe developers within the paleo/primal/low-carb world and then sharing their collective recipes via a very simple image display. In addition to their main page, they also share recipes via their <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/chowstalkercom/183546061682346" target="_blank">Facebook page</a>. One day, I was lurking on their page and noticed <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=500580103312272&set=a.289798957723722.59062.183546061682346&type=1" target="_blank">a post about "Paleo-friendly English muffin in a hurry"</a>. It seemed interesting, so I read about it. At its core, it's a one-minute-muffin, made with coconut flour and shaped a little more like an English muffin, rather than a ... hmmm ... puffy American one? <em>(People of England ... what do you call Muffins, over there?)</em><br /><br /> Then, I read the comments on the Facebook page. Someone named Sve Ta suggest that "you can do french toust, too". Immediately, I knew I wanted that!<br /><br /> So, this whole recipe came about because Chowstalker shared <a href="http://www.beautyandthefoodie.com/quick-paleo-english-muffins/" target="_blank">this paleo English Muffin recipe</a> and someone else commented that French Toast could be a way to go.<br /><br /> <em>(just so I don't feel like I've TOTALLY stolen this, note that I have made <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Fried-Pork-Sandwich">French-Toast like goodies with OMM's</a> before)</em><br /><br /> This one, however, somehow took it to a new level. This may very well be the best thing to come out of my kitchen in a good long while <em>(and some decent stuff comes out of there, too!)</em><br /><br /> <strong>Baking Note:</strong> It makes some sense to simply grease a 12-cup muffin pan and bake these for about 12 minutes at 400 F. Then, pop them out of their cups and slice them in half, so they can cool and will absorb the egg mixture more quickly and fry more evenly. Will result in 24 discs, instead of 12.<br /><br /> <strong>Photo Note:</strong> Topped with <A href="http://amzn.com/B004X73DAU?tag=lcnotes-20" target=_blank">powdered Swerve</a>, butter and <a href="http://amzn.com/B000TO7U64?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">sugar-free pancake syrup</a>!BakedBreakfast10 mins30 mins40 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/OMM-French-Toast-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/OMM-French-Toast-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/OMM-French-Toast-31/4cup28coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-2012437180121tbsp12'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html0001102tsp8baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-2010002001large dash2salt0000008large400whole eggs, divided57240524003/4cup180almond milk, unsweetened, dividedhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-2033.752.631.52.250.751tsp4vanilla extract11.5400.5001/4cup56butter, melted4440000001/2cup119cream, heavy whipping410.5442.53.5001/4cup56fresh whole butter444000000Mix together your coconut flour, sugar equivalent (If it's powdered. If it's a liquid, add with the liquids), baking powder and a dash of salt.In a separate bowl, whisk together 4 of the eight eggs. Add only 1/4 cup of the almond milk and your vanilla. Whisk.Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and whisk, while pouring in your melted butter.Grease 12 microwaveable safe containers, which are fairly wide. I used 8 oz ramekins, but you could also use flat bottomed soup bowls, wide coffee mugs, etc. You could even use tall coffee cups and simply cut your muffins in half.Microwave your muffins. For each muffin, add a minute to the microwave. I did 2 batches of 6, with 6 minutes on the timer for each batch. Total: 12 minutes.While your muffins are nuking, in a large and wide mixing bowl, whisk together your remaining 4 eggs, 1/2 cup of almond milk and 1/2 cup of heavy cream.As your muffins come out of the nuker, pop them out of their containers and let them cool for about 1 minute, just long enough to keep them from cooking the egg mixture. When they are cool enough, add them to the egg mixture and allow to sit for a few minutes; flipping them occasionally. They are somewhat fragile, but not too bad. You can fairly easily grab and flip them around. They will absorb the egg mixture.When they have absorbed some of the egg mixture, heat a large skillet, sauté pan or flat-top griddle over medium-low heat. Add some of your fresh butter and melt it. Everyone has their own method for doing this. So, I'm just going to say ... Fry like fry your muffins like French toast. Keep warm in the oven until they are all ready.Serve!Fried CauliflowerTrueI'm pretty sure that everyone loves a small fried nibblet, of some kind. Even those of that that scoff at the idea of frizzle fried food stuffs, I secretly suspect that you privately pine for these greasy snacky tidbits. You know it's true! Throw a little bacon into the mix and it becomes almost transcendent.<br /><br /> These little fried nuggetlettes aren't so different from my chicken nuggets. The primary difference being the lack of chicken and the introduction of cauliflower. Additionally, chicken has a higher moisture content than raw cauliflower. The breading has a tougher time adhering to the outside of the cruciferous vegetable. As a result, I've added a light dusting of the hungry coconut flour to the process. This helps the eggs adhere to both the cauliflower, as well as the "breading".<br /><br /> For whatever reason, the breading clumped up much more with this ingredient than it did with the chicken. I can only imagine that with less overall moisture, that the "crust" wasn't as thick, resulting in more left behind in the dredging vessel. Towards the end, I was essentially putting balls of the raw almond meal mixture into my palms, placing a floret into the middle of the ball, and then squeezing the mixture all around it, prior to frying it up. This absolutely worked, while also making a thicker crust!<br /><br /> <strong>Fryer Fat Note:</strong> Good "high smoke point" oils for frying are: coconut oil, lard palm oil, and clarified butter <em>(ghee)</em>. Avoid hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and manmade trans-fats. Processed oils like canola, corn, vegetable and soybean should be avoided.<br /><br /> <strong>Photo Note:</strong> I made a special <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollandaise_sauce" target="_blank">Hollandaise sauce</a> for this, as a dipping sauce. However, rather than using butter as the fat, I used rendered bacon fat. This made for a more bacon-y flavor, while also giving me a use for the bacon fat I've always got lying around the house! Here's a <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Bearnaise">Béarnaise sauce recipe</a>. Use this as the basis for your Hollandaise. Just leave out the herbs. To make it lighter in color and bacon flavored, simply swap out the fats!AppetizersVegetarian10 mins15 mins25 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fried-Cauliflower-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fried-Cauliflower-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fried-Cauliflower-31cup216high smoke point oil (see recipe notes)191021600001head840large cauliflower1.3321017450212tbsp14coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-20621.53.59061 1/2cup168almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-209608436360181cup100parmesan cheese, finely grated43129384002tsp2fresh oregano (thyme, rosemary, sage and/or marjoram), rough chop.042.02.12.480.284each12garlic clove, minced01604001large50egg7256.5.500salt, fresh cracked black pepper and chile flakes, to taste000000Pre-heat your oil to a temperature between 325 and 350 degrees, in a wide skillet over medium-low heat.While the oil heats, in a bowl, dust your cauliflower florets with coconut flour. It will just create a very thin layer.In a seperate large and wide-mouthed bowl mix your almond meal, parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper and optional chile flakes. (I actually used a large wide Tupperware with a lid) Remove half of the mixture and set aside.In third bowl, whisk together your egg with 2 tbsp. cold water. Add a little salt and pepper.Add your cauliflower to the eggs and mix well.To the best of your ability, spread the almond meal mixture evenly along the bottom of your large bowl or container.Evenly drop the florets around the almond meal mixture, so that they don't really touch one another.Dust the tops of the cauliflower with the remaining almond meal mixture.Shake the cauliflower. If you've got a lid, add the lid and shake shake shake, Senora. Otherwise, just get in there and make sure the nuggets are evenly coated. If all the dredge doesn't fully stick, you can literally just "squeeze" it on, by applying pressure with your palms.Once the nuggets are evenly coated, carefully drop them evenly into their own spots within the heated oil. At this point, you probably want to increase the temperature of the burner, as the cauliflower will drop the temperature of the oil. (be careful not to let the oil go much higher than 350 F, however).As one side turns golden brown, flip them to the other side. Continue frying and turning until they are cooked through and golden brown.Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a towel to absorb any extra fat.Note: If you chose to do a deep fry, rather than a pan fry, as long as your oil never went above 350 F, you can strain it through a coffee filter and re-use one more time. BE CAREFUL not to burn yourself.Serve!Béarnaise SauceTrueBéarnaise sauce is like a cooked mayonnaise, with Tarragon added to it. That's about as simple as I can put it. It CAN be a bit prickly to make, but it's got ENORMOUS flavor, is rich with healthy fats and is extremely low carb. It's also versatile. Put it on your eggs for breakfast or your steak at dinner!<br /><br /> In classical French cooking, there are 5 "mother" sauces. The 5 sauces are Béchamel <em>(thick milky gravy)</em>, Espagnole <em>(thick brown gravy)</em>, Velouté <em>(thick chicken gravy)</em>, Hollandaise <em>(cooked thick eggy gravy)</em> and Tomate <em>(thick tomato gravy)</em>. I feel like when I was in cooking school, I was taught that there were actually 7 mother sauces, with the other two being mayonnaise <em>(uncooked thick eggy gravy)</em> and demi-glace <em>(thick veal gravy, made via reduction)</em>. The idea is, adding a few ingredients to each of these mother sauces will transform them into a totally new sauce!<br /><br /> Béarnaise sauce is a child of the mother sauce "Hollandaise". The method of preparation is essentially the same, with some minor variations <em>(the biggest being the tarragon)</em>.<br /><br /> My Béarnaise sauce recipe isn't a "true" Béarnaise. It is, in fact, an abomination. Mine is thoughtfully constructed, tastes VERY similar and just makes more sense to me as a fully realized sauce, even though most French chefs would like to speak French at me ... <em>harshly</em>! The big changes are: I've omitted chervil, simply because it's such a challenge to find. If you do find it, add some. It's delightful!. I'm also not using clarified butter. Instead, I'm using whole melted butter. Butter is roughly 80% butter fat, 19% water and 1% "tasty butter bits" <em>(milk solids)</em>. More often than not, water is needed to thin the sauce as it is built. Why not use the water in butter? The milk solids just add more flavor ... why remove them? Also, I know Ghee is like the new butter, but ... I suspect more people have old-school butter than ghee. It is also common to strain out the shallots. I never do this. I like them! Finally, I'm adding a smidgen of heavy cream. This is purely optional, but because a cooked egg based emulsion can be such a fickle sauce, the store bought homogenized cream helps the emulsion take place and HOLD.<br /><br /> Each of these variations take a step further away from a true Béarnaise. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auguste_Escoffier" target="_blank">Escoffier</a> is probably turning in his grave, but ... he evolved food from his predecessors ... I'm simply throwing in my spin!<br /><br /> <strong>Video Note:</strong> Béarnaise sauces can break very easily and make something that looks like scrambled eggs, floating in oil. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tfN--AotmE" target="_blank">Here's a little video that shows how easy is it to fix!</a>Sauces5 mins10 mins15 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bearnaise-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bearnaise-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bearnaise-31/4cup60white wine vinegar11.300.26001/4cup58white wine, good quality47.56001.74004each80shallots, fine dice560016004large68egg yolks215.4817.9110.922.52001tbsp15cream, heavy whipping (homogenized)51.325.5.32.44001cup224fresh whole butter, melted176160000004sprigs2fresh tarragon, leaves only (chopped).042.02.12.480.28salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil, or the base of a double boiler.In a separate non-reactive sauce pot, place your vinegar, wine and shallots. Bring to a simmer and reduce by just over half. Your shallots should be translucent and you should have about 3 tbsp of liquid.Pour your wine mixture into a large non-reactive metal bowl, or the top of a double boiler. Add your egg yolks and optional cream. Whisk this mixture together.Place your egg mixture over the top of the water and whisk, furiously, while VERY slowly dripping in your melted butter. If the eggs start to cook or scramble too quickly, remove the sauce from above the boiling water, while continuing to whisk and add more of the butter. Alternate putting the sauce above the water and removing it. You want to heat the eggs and cook the emulsion, but do it delicately, so as not to break the sauce or SCRAMBLE the eggs.Continue this process of slowly heating the bottom of the bowl or the top of the double boiler, while whisking the melted butter into it. The sauce should thicken and form something like a yellow mayonnaise. As you near the bottom of your butter, you will see some milky looking water. Use this to thin the sauce out, to the desired consistency. You may not need it all.Finally, add your chopped tarragon, salt and pepper. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve!Chocolate Chunk CookiesTrueThere was a time in my life where I'd always have balls of cookie batter in the freezer. Yep! Fresh, homemade, pre-scooped, perfect little balls of various flavors of cookie dough. When I had guests, I'd throw a few different flavors into the oven and within about 15 minutes, the whole place smelled amazing and my guests could anticipate sweet circular little wonders.<br /><br /> Welcome to my world!<br /><br /> Those days are gone, sadly. I have long stopped with the balls of dough in the freezer. As welcoming as they were for my guests, they're just bad for people. When I switched to a sugar-free lifestyle, I completely stopped with the cookies. At first, I had no access to the ingredients necessary to make alternatives. By the time I figured out how to import "exotic" ingredients into Mexico <em>(where I was living, at the time)</em>, I'd long since moved away from a cookie-heavy lifestyle. Pursuing them no longer interested me, or even OCCURRED to me, for that matter. In fact, short of the occasional splurge into breads, most all baking ceased for me. That is, until I decided to give this awesome <a href="http://low-carb-news.blogspot.com/2012/05/splendid-gluten-free-bake-mix-always-on.html" target=_blank">gluten-free baking mix</a> a try. It comes from Jennifer Eloff, a leader on the low-carb landscape. I had to try it! So, I dug out my old cookie recipe <em>(a variation of the Toll House recipe, I believe)</em>, dusted it off, and worked to add in Jen's baking mix! The end result? COOKIES! They were excellent! They're not as sickeningly sweet and didn't have quite the same "chew" as my original cookies did <em>(as I used a secret ingredient that would get me shot within low-carb circles)</em>, but they were as good, if not better than, most chocolate chip cookies out there!<br /><br /> Time to stock the freezer! <span style="font-size:24px;">&#9786;</span><br /><br /> <strong>Note on Chocolate Chips:</strong> Most sugar-free chocolate chips are made with the sugar alcohols sorbitol or maltitol, both of which have an impact on blood sugars, even though they are labeled "sugar-free". I see this labelling as only a half-truth. Furthermore, these sugar alcohols cause tummy troubles for many. There WAS an excellent erythritol based chocolate chip on the market, but it was very expensive. My guess is, they were hard to make. People loved them, but couldn't afford the cost it took to make them. So, they were pulled from the market. However, the same company still makes AWESOME chocolate bars. I used <a href="http://amzn.com/B000P49A0W?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">ChocoPerfection's Dark Chocolate Bars</a> in these cookies. I chopped them and made "chocolate chunks". 3 bars makes about 1 cup. Perfect!<br /><br /> Also, Carolyn from <a href="http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com" target="_blank">AllDayIDreamAboutFood.com</a> is a trusted low-carb blogger. She recently wrote about this and developed her own chocolate chip recipe, which I'm sure would work well, too. <a href="http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2013/04/homemade-sugar-free-chocolate-chips-low-carb-and-gluten-free.html" target="_blank">Sugar-free chocolate chip recipe, here</a>. <br /><br /> <strong>Serving Size</strong>: Recipe makes about 12 good sized cookies.BakedDesserts10 mins12 mins22 mins12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chocolate-Chip-Cookies-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chocolate-Chip-Cookies-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chocolate-Chip-Cookies-31/2cup112fresh whole butter, softened8880000001/2tsp2vanilla extract0000001large50whole egg71.556.5.5001 1/4cups131.54splendid gluten-free bake mixhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Splendid-Gluten-Free-Bake-Mix680.5949.292744.75017.51/3cup67'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000676702tbsp24brown sugar equivalenthttp://amzn.com/B001EPQQL2?tag=lcrecipe-201208024001/2tsp2baking soda0000001dashsalt0000001cup150sugar-free chocolate chips or chunkshttp://amzn.com/B000P49A0W?tag=lcrecipe-206303612480391/2cup60walnut pieces392.5399804Pre-heat oven to 350 F.In an electric mixer, whip your butter until light in color and smooth.Scrape down your bowl and add your egg and vanilla. Beat for about 30 seconds. Will still be a bit lumpy.Add your baking mix, baking soda, the sugars and a dash of salt. Mix on low until combined, about 1 minute.Add your chocolate chunks and walnuts. Mix for about 30 seconds more, or until everything is mixed and evenly distributed throughout the dough.Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a greased cookie tray (I use ungreased silicon mats).Make for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.Serve!Plrischsant Lemon BarsTrueAt this point, I've written about 250 recipes for my website. I've completely lost count, but I DO know I'm running out of interesting ways to say, "This recipe is awesome!"<br /><br /> Ok, let's try it ...<br /><br /> This recipe is awesome!<br /><br /> Did it work? Are you convinced? Are you ready to give it a shot?<br /><br /> Ok, let's back up. In all sincerity, this recipe truly was fantastic! The texture was AMAZING. When I pulled it out of the oven, it looked a bit like a hard rock. I was less than thrilled with the appearance, fresh from the hot box. I let it chill, thinking it would be a bit of a disaster. When I flipped over the pan, they just popped right out, as if they were eager to see the world. In my hand was a tough and perfect square, golden on the bottom and yellow on top. Things were looking up! I cut into it and the slice was magnificent! It didn't shatter, like so many rock hard baked goods can. Nope! The knife glided right through, as if the lemon bars were guiding it; wanting to be split into perfect little portions.<br /><br /> I bit into one.<br /><br /> <strong>O .... M .... G ... </strong><em>(exclamation points!!!!!!!!)</em><br /><br /> The crispity texture was the best I've experienced in a baked good, since my <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Hazelnut-Cracker">parmesan hazelnut crackers</a>. It was as if pleasant, crunchy and crispy all got together and formed a whole new word, which I can't quite pronounce ...<br /><br />... <em>Plrischsant</em> ...<br /><br />... And it was, too! It really reminded me of a crisp butter cookie, but with a strong lemon essence. Finally, I powdered them up with some powdered <a href="http://amzn.com/B004X73DAU?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Swerve</a>, where they gained that last little bit of a cool breeze.<br /><br /> This is on my top 10. It just has to be.BakedDesserts5 mins45 min5016http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Lemon-Bars-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Lemon-Bars-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Lemon-Bars-31 1/4cups131.54splendid gluten-free bake mixhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Splendid-Gluten-Free-Bake-Mix680.5949.292744.75017.51/2cup112fresh whole butter, softened8880000001/4cup48'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html0004401dashsalt0000001each108lemon0000001cup200powdered sugar equivalenthttp://amzn.com/B004X73DAU?tag=lcrecipe-2000020020002tbsp13.15splendid gluten-free bake mixhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Splendid-Gluten-Free-Bake-Mix68.064.922.74.4801.751/2tsp2baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-202.500.5002large100eggs1431013100Pre-heat oven to 350 F.Grease a 9"x9" square baking tray.In a bowl, mix together your baking mix, softened butter, sugar equivalent and salt. Once your dough is together, press it into the bottom of your baking pan. Bake the crust for 15, or until golden brown. Set on the oven.Zest the lemon with a zester or a vegetable peeler. Be sure to only get the yellow outer layer and none of the white "pith". You only need enough for about 1 tsp. after it has been chopped. Chop it. Juice the lemon. Discard the rest of the lemon.Measure your sugar equivalent, and then separate 2 tbsp, which will be used as a garnish, later.In the bottom of a mixing bowl, mix together your larger portion of powdered sugar equivalent with your baking mix and baking powder. Mixing them together will help get rid of lumps. Add your eggs and whisk the mixture together. Finally, add your lemon juice and lemon zest. Whisk until smooth. Pour the lemon mixture over the hot crust and place back into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until edges turn a nice golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.Once the pan is cool, it will be fairly solid. Remove and slice into portions. Dust the tops with the powdered sugar equivalent.Serve!"Sun Kissed" Mixed-Berry CobblerTrueAs a low-carb lover and promoter, I'm asked almost daily, "How do you live without fruit?" Believe it or not, I'm often asked, "How do you live without vegetables?!" People are so misinformed ... I love fruit and I eat berries quite regularly. Blueberries are a particular favorite!<br /><br /> Here we're going to get into an EXCELLENT low-carb, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain free <em>(ok, that's a lie ... there's an oat or two, but I'm on a roll!)</em> mixed berry cobbler. Rest assured, this is FAR from FLAVOR-FREE. The taste sensation on this cobbler is as good as any you've ever had, but with DRAMATICALLY less carbs. Imagine a hot scoop of this stuff after a slow, lazy dinner, with a fresh scoop of sugar-free vanilla ice cream, melting and dripping all around your warm bowl. Or, imagine heating up a slice of this for breakfast, the day after.<br /><br /> Some coffee, a few slices of bacon and a nice slice of re-heated mixed berry cobbler before beginning my day? Yes, please!BakedDesserts15 mins45 min1 hr10http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mixed-Berry-Cobbler-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mixed-Berry-Cobbler-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mixed-Berry-Cobbler-31each140orange690018031/2cup100'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00010010001/4tsp1.17guar gumhttp://amzn.com/B005HF068O?tag=lcrecipe-203.3300.860.861/4tsp1.5xanthan gumhttp://amzn.com/B0013JJZWG?tag=lcrecipe-205001.1701.171dashsalt0000004cups544fresh or frozen mixed berries, unsweetened3120466019.61tsp4vanilla extract11.5400.5001 1/4cups131.54splendid gluten-free bake mixhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Splendid-Gluten-Free-Bake-Mix680.5949.292744.75017.51/2cup100'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00010010001tsp4baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-205001001/2tsp2baking soda0000001/2tsp2salt0000006tbsp84unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes666000000Pre-heat oven to 350 F.Grease a 9" x 13" baking pan.With a zester, zest your orange. You can also use a vegetable peeler to peel the very outer orange layer of the orange (do not get the white "pith" part, it's bitter). You want enough of the zest, to create about 1 tsp of fresh zest. Juice the orange and split the juice into 2 cups, one with 1 tbsp of juice and the other with 1/4 cup of juice. If you have extra juice, add it to the 1 tbsp. portion. If you don't have enough, add a little water to arrive at 1/4 cup's worth of liquid, in the larger cup.In a mixing bowl, blend together your sugar equivalent, gums and salt. Make sure they're mixed well, as this will help prevent clumps.Add your berries to the bowl. Pour your 1 tbsp. of orange juice over the berries, along with the chopped zest and vanilla. Toss the berries so that they are evenly coated with the sugar mixture. Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and spread it evenly.In a large mixing bowl, combine your baking mix, sugar equivalent, baking powder, soda and salt. Mix together.Cut in your butter, with a fork or a pastry cutter, until there are many small pieces of butter, about the size of peas.Pour in your 1/4 cup of orange juice and combine until a thick batter has formed.Spoon small even clumps of batter over the top of the berries.Bake for about 45 minutes or until bubbly and the biscuit portion of the cobbler is a nice golden brown.Serve!Slow Cooker Gumbo-esque StewTrueI'm a strong believer in attacking your own weaknesses. I suppose I got this idea from working in kitchens. There's a famous Chicago chef who would push himself to improve the areas in which he was weakest. If he was lousy would butchering fish, he would arrive early at the fish markets and help the fisherman unload their catch. He'd do unpaid work at sushi restaurants. He'd spend every opportunity to turn his weakness into a strength! Then, one the weakness is no longer a weakness, he would look for a new weakness ... and attack it!<br /><br /> Aside from planking, one of my biggest weaknesses <em>(dare I say "nemisis")</em> is the slow cooker <em>(AKA the "crock-pot")</em>. I'm sure just about every crock-pot recipe on my website has me belly-aching about it, but the simple fact remains ... the slow cooker baffles me. They are in millions of homes, but I've used one less than 10 times in my life.<br /><br /> This recipe is me trying to step up my game. This is me doing a slightly more advanced recipe than my previous "meat in a cooker ... cook" recipes. This one has quite a few ingredients, with one being added near the end. It's altogether really pretty simply to do, but as usual, I approached it with fear and trepidation.<br /><br /> This time, I came out of it victorious! Take THAT, Crock-pot! IN YOUR FACE, SLOW COOKER! I WIN!<br /><br /> <em>(ok, that's a bit over the top, but I was really proud of this one. It was tasty!)</em><br /><br /> If you really think about "American" food, your mind is probably going to think about things like hamburgers or grilled cheese; maybe pizza. I've never really considered the US much for having it's own indigenous cuisine. That's not to say it doesn't excel at being an extraordinary fusion of flavors and cultures, but it hasn't put much of its own thing out into the world. Cajun and Creole foods, while being a combination of other cultures <em>(French, Spanish, German, West African and Choctaw)</em>, have formed enough of their own unique and clear styles to be appropriated by Americans.<br /><br /> Thus, Gumbo is a truly American recipe!<br /><br /> Here's where our story takes a bit of a twist. This is not a true gumbo. It breaks several of the rules that make up a Gumbo, be it a Cajun or Creole version. This one falls somewhere between both, fuses some things that it probably shouldn't <em>(chicken and seafood)</em> and totally omits two of the common hallmarks of a gumbo: roux <em>(a cooked mixture of flour and fat)</em> and/or filé powder <em>(a spicy leaf stemming from the sassafras tree)</em>. Both are thickeners, with one being high in carbs and the other being tough to find, I chose to go with the glue which is the dish's namesake: okra.<br /><br /> Okra can be found in West Africa, Ethiopia and Southern Asia. The Bantu language calls Okra <em>"ki ngombo"</em>. It is commonly believed that the name "Gumbo" comes from this word and origin. Okra is a vegetable that looks a bit like a jalapeño, but without the heat and ridges along the sides. Okra is famous for its "goo". When they are cooked, they turn a bit slimy, which is great for thickening gumbo!<br /><br /> Because gumbo needs something to thicken it ... I chose okra. The rest of the info ... is in the recipe! Enjoy it. I did! <span style="font-size:24px;">&#9786;</span><br /><br /> <strong>Photo Note:</strong> Photos are taken with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/cauli-rice">cauli-rice</a> and <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Cheddar-Ham-Muffins">spicy ham and cheddar muffins</a>.ChickenFishMainSoups20 mins8 hrs 10 mins8 hrs 30 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Gumbo-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Gumbo-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Gumbo-32cups448chicken stock or brothhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Good-Ol-Fashioned-Chicken-Stock31.36.584.483.02004each202celery ribs, cut into large dice32016041small110onion, cut into large dice440110022small148red bell peppers, seeded and cut into large dice45.8801.488.8802.964each12garlic cloves, minced01604002each1.28bay leaves0000001tbsp2fresh thyme, chopped2.62.12.06.420.282tsp4paprika, ground13.48.6.72.6201.721tsp2cayenne pepper, ground5.68.34.3410.341each1336whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces28862122280008each680andouille links (or other creole/cajon smoked sausage (I often use spanish chorizo))48112010424082cups224okra, cut into 1/2-inch rings (frozen is ok)8002.671605.3316each454large shrimp, deveined (peeled is optional)9.08481.2490.84.540.28salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Add you chicken broth, celery, onions, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves and a little salt and pepper to your slow cooker. Set it on low.Mix together your thyme, paprika and cayenne in a bowl. Evenly season your chicken with the spice blend, along with salt and pepper.Heat a large sauté pan or skillet over high heat. Sear your chicken pieces, with the skin side down, to begin. The heat will render out the fat from the skin and start searing and adding color to the chicken. Do not crowd your pan. If the whole chicken doesn't fit in the pan, only add enough so that each piece is touching the bottom and barely touching each other piece of chicken. When a piece of chicken is browned, turn it and continue browning until the chicken pieces are nice and colored. Add the colored pieces to the slow cooker.Continue browning the chicken. As room appears in the pan, add more chicken. If you run out of chicken, add your Andouille links and add some color to the outside of the links. Add the links to the slow cooker.Finally, add your okra to the hot pan and stir fry in the chicken fat for about 2 minutes. Add this to the slow cooker.Stir the slow cooker and make sure everything is evenly distributed and level, so that there is not a pile of ingredients in the center.Add the lid and cook for 8 hours on low.When ready to serve, taste the broth. Season appropriately. Finally, plunge your shrimp into the broth and push it down, so that it is totally submerged. Allow the shrimp to sit in the broth for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until it has reached desired doneness.Serve over cauli-rice!Splendid Gluten-Free Bake MixTrueIn early December, 2012, I asked my readers if there was anything I should focus on, or if there was any specific direction that they'd like to see me go. I received many thoughts and comments, but one that really caught me by surprise came from, non-other-than best selling cookbook author and low-carb celebrity <a href="http://low-carb-news.blogspot.com" target="_blank">Jennifer Eloff</a>! She was incredibly complimentary, but suggested I skew more towards a gluten-free audience. My website's overall fight, or angle, is 10 net carbs or less. I never had a beef with wheat, provided it didn't impact my blood sugars <em>(it does!)</em>. Because of the way it effects me, I never really much ate it, but I wasn't opposed to using products containing wheat gluten <em>(a protein, not a carb)</em>. In any event, since then, I've read a lot and have decided that modern wheat, including modern gluten, should generally be avoided. All this said, this is a recipe <em>(<a href="http://low-carb-news.blogspot.com/2012/05/splendid-gluten-free-bake-mix-always-on.html" target="_blank">Jennifer's Recipe</a>)</em>, and these notes should focus on the recipe-at-hand. I'll focus on gluten in a blog post.<br /><br /> <strong>*Ahem*</strong><br /><br /> Through our discussions, I asked if I could use her gluten-free bake mix on my website. She said, "Sure!" She loves it when people use it! Jennifer has a few variations of her bake mix, with the most recent using gelatin, in place of the xanthan gum. I thought about using it, instead of this one, but it's more complicated to use than the one I ultimately selected. These should all work, and Jennifer does a fantastic job of explaining how to use each one.<br /><br /> <strong>Here are the links to her bake mixes:</strong><br /><ol> <li><a href="http://low-carb-news.blogspot.com/2008/08/bake-mix-substitutions-to-customize-to.html" target="_blank">SPLENDID LOW-CARB BAKE MIX (not gluten-free)</a></li> <li><a href="http://low-carb-news.blogspot.com/2012/05/splendid-gluten-free-bake-mix-always-on.html" target="_blank">SPLENDID GLUTEN-FREE BAKE MIX</a></li> <li><a href="http://low-carb-news.blogspot.com/2013/01/splendid-gluten-free-bake-mix-2-without.html" target="_blank">SPLENDID GLUTEN-FREE BAKE MIX 2 (without xanthan gum)</a></li> </ol> Here is the one I'm using on my site and in recipes where this bake mix is used, unedited. What follows are Jennifer's words ...<br /><br /> <em>--------- *snip * -----------</em><br /><br /> Almond flour versus almond meal produces slight differences. Since my husband is merely intolerant of gluten, we use oat flour by Arrowhead Mills®. * 1/4 Cup almond meal = 28 g. 1 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix <em>(almond meal)</em> = 134 g. <em>(Jen)</em><br /><br /> <strong>Serving Size:</strong> Recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups of baking mix. A serving is considered 1/4 cup. Recipe makes 10 servings.<br /><br /> <strong>Photo Note:</strong> Photos taken with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Cheddar-Ham-Muffins">Spicy Ham and Cheddar Muffins</a>.BakedDesserts15 mins0 mins15 mins10http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Splendid-Gluten-Free-Bake-Mix-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Splendid-Gluten-Free-Bake-Mix-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Splendid-Gluten-Free-Bake-Mix-31 2/3cup186.67almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-201066.6793.3340400203/4cup60certified gluten-free oat flourhttp://www.montanaglutenfree.com/gluten-free-store/product_details.php?category_id=61&item_id=222253.7510.53907.52tbsp14coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-20621.53.59063/4tsp2.4xanthan gumhttp://amzn.com/B0013JJZWG?tag=lcrecipe-207.5001.501.5In large bowl, combine almond flour, OR almond meal, oat flour (if you are intolerant to gluten-free oat flour then substitute another gluten-free flour like sorghum flour which others have had success with in the bake mix), coconut flour and xanthan gum. In container with airtight lid, place bake mix and shake the container well to combine. When measuring oat flour (not necessary with the other ingredients) into measuring cup, make sure to tap the cup on the counter top and fill to the top to get the correct yield for the bake mix. Keep bake mix at room temperature for up to one month or freeze for much longer storage.Instructions: Add 1/4 cup (60 mL) additional bake mix when substituting for 1 cup (250 mL) or more than 1 cup (250 mL) flour in recipes and use 2 tbsp (30 mL) more if substituting for less than 1 cup (250 mL). Always begin by adding an extra egg in muffins, loaves, cakes and coffee cakes, except for cookies and except if bake mix required is less than or equal to 1 cup (250 mL). Withhold a quarter of the liquid/wet/fat ingredients; add in as needed (usually need it all). If batter after processing at least a minute is still too thick, add more of the liquid ingredients and if accidentally the batter ends up too sloppy, then add a little more bake mix. If all the liquid has been used and the batter is still too stiff, add another egg and another if necessary. Baking experience is helpful.Helpful Hints: Great in muffins, loaves (with eggs!), cookies, squares or bars, coffee cakes, many cakes, pie crusts and a few other specialized applications, but will not be suitable for all applications, nor for most yeast applications. Xanthan gum has gluten-like properties, binding ingredients together to prevent crumbly outcomes.Spicy Ham and Cheddar MuffinsTrueAs is so often the case with baked goodies, they tend to be sweet, rather than savory. I recently added Jennifer Eloff's <a href="http://low-carb-news.blogspot.com/2012/05/splendid-gluten-free-bake-mix-always-on.html" target="_blank">Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix</a> to my website and wanted to bake some things. Since starting a low-carb lifestyle, I haven't baked very often. This was a chance to do just that! However, I didn't want EVERYTHING I baked to be a sweet dessert. I wanted at least one "savory" baked it.<br /><br /> This is that item!<br /><br /> Back in the Dark Ages, I used to make "<a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/ham-and-corn-beignets/" target="_blank">Sweet Corn and Ham Beignets</a>", which are like corn and ham doughnut holes. They were AMAZING <em>(BUT TERRIBLE FOR YOU!)</em>! That's where I got the idea for these things. However, rather than the corn, I substituted cheddar cheese! I tweaked it and played with it, until I was happy with the new muffin recipe.<br /><br /> The end result is a FANTASTIC savory ham muffin, with melted cheese all throughout and a nice spicy kick! As an added bonus, they reheat REALLY well, too! YUMMERS!<br /><br /> <strong>Serving:</strong> Makes 12 standard sized, super filling muffins.Baked15 mins30 min1 hr12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cheddar-Ham-Muffins-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cheddar-Ham-Muffins-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cheddar-Ham-Muffins-31/4cup56fresh whole butter4440000001small110red onion, diced440110024each12garlic cloves, minced01604001cup240unsweetened almond milkhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-20453.523013large150whole eggs214.51519.51.5002 1/2cups263.07splendid gluten-free bake mixhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Splendid-Gluten-Free-Bake-Mix1361.1798.585489.50351tbsp12baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-2015003001/2lb227ham, cut into small cubes356.5316.0346.744.01001/2lb227cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes902.4374.36562.75001tsp2smoked paprika6.74.3.351.310.861tsp4salt0000001/2tsp1crushed red chili flakes3.18.17.12.570.271/2tsp.5black pepper, ground000000Pre-heat oven to 375 F.Grease and flour muffin pans with butter and baking mix. Set aside.Place a sauté pan on the stove over medium heat. Add your butter, onion and garlic. Cook these ingredients, until the onions are translucent and soft. Set aside.In a mixing bowl, add your almond milk and eggs. Whisk in the warm onion/butter mixture.In a separate mixing bowl, mix, then sift together your baking mix and baking powder.To your baking mix, add your ham, cheddar cheese, milk mixture and spices. Fold the ingredients together, until just combined, but well mixed.Spoon your mixture evenly between 12 muffin cups.Bake at 375 F for 25 to 30 minutes.When they are done, remove from the oven, but allow them to rest for about 15 minutes, or else the cheese melts all over the place.Serve!Blueberry Custard "Puddle Pie"TrueI'm really unsure why I'm posting this. It's a puzzle, stuffed in a riddle, wrapped in bacon and then sent floating adrift on a sea of sugar-free custard.<br /><br /> I really wanted to do a nice blueberry filled custard pie, but I wanted to do it without thickeners. I also didn't want it to taste like eggs with blueberries. I was 99% certain that this wouldn't work, but I wanted to try; there are times where you just gotta do things and see.<br /><br /> I did it ... and I saw it! Meehhhhhhh .... NEXT!<br /><br /> I think I wanted to post it to show I screw up. This never stops me from trying again, nor does it ever stop me from EATING my screw-ups. Remember my <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Coconut-Almond-Brownies">brownie debacle</a>? I turned that into a <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Brownie-Almond-Joy">Bombe Jell-O</a> recipe! It's that whole lemon to lemonade thing.<br /><br /> Maybe I did it to showcase a secret in the recipe world. If you make a boo-boo and the food doesn't turn out quite right, change what you call it!<br /><br /> This, of course, is how burned chicken was dubbed <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Blackened-Chicken-Tenders">"blackened" chicken</a>. People that would've complained, suddenly loved it!<br /><br /> Welcome to "Puddle Pie!"<br /><br /> After I sliced it, plated it and got the picture, I took the remaining liquid pastry and tossed it in the freezer, where it froze into a VERY quality ice cream pie! It's almost like it was planned! I sliced out the remaining frozen wedges, over the days that followed, and really enjoyed every one ... frozen blueberries, crumbs and all!<br /><br /> Frozen Puddle Pie makes for ... <em>tasty Frozen Puddle Pie!</em>BakedDesserts30 mins30 mins6 hrs8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Custard-Berry-Pie-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Custard-Berry-Pie-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Custard-Berry-Pie-31 1/2cup168hazelnut flourhttp://amzn.com/B005P0I322?tag=lcrecipe-20108010224300181/4cup56fresh whole butter, melted4440000001tbsp21honey640017001dashsalt0000001 1/2cups357cream, heavy whipping1231.5132810.5001/2cup100'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00010010001dash1salt0000001each12vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)23001006large102egg yolks323.2126.8616.373.78001 1/2cup232.5fresh or frozen blueberries, unsweetened118.51.51.528.506Pre-heat oven to 325 F.Pour your hazelnut meal into a mixing bowl and add your honey (you can skip the honey, but it does help to hold the crust together), melted butter and a dash of salt. Mix the ingredients until the meal is well coated with the honey and butter. Grease a 9-inch pie pan.Press the nut mixture into the pie pan. Use the back of a spoon (or a tamper, if you have one) to press the crusts firmly into the base and up the sides of the pan. Really get in there and push it in, firmly.Bake the crusts for 12 minutes, or until golden brown (look closely), and aromatic. Remove and allow to begin cooling.Place the cream in a medium sauce pan over low heat.Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean. Add the bean and seeds to the cream and bring to a slow simmer.Remove the cream from the heat and whisk the sugar and salt into the liquid, making sure they dissolve.In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs well.Very very slowly, whisk the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks. Whisk quickly, so as to incorporate the hot liquid evenly, without cooking or scrambling the eggs.Once the liquid has been incorporated into the eggs, pour the cream-egg mixture back into the sauce pan and return to a low heat.Stir consistently until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon with a thick coating. The temperature should be between 165 and 175. Whatever you do, do not boil this mixture.Strain the custard and pour into the prepared pie pan.Add your blueberries to the top of the pie.Chill for about 4 to 6 hours. (What you do next is really up to you!)Thai Green Curry PasteTrueAmongst my favorite of all Thai flavors is that of a "green" curry. Frankly, there isn't a huge difference between a green and red curry paste. Most of the ingredients overlap, but there are some key differences:<br /><ol> <li>It's green. It uses green chilies, instead of red ones.</li> <li>It tends to be MUCH fresher, with fresh chilies <em>(rather than dried)</em> and fresh herbs.</li> <li>It's got less of a shelf life ... use it quickly!</li> <li>It also tends to be a little bit sweet!</li> </ol> If I were being truly honest with myself, I think I tend to lean towards green curries BECAUSE they are a bit on the sweeter side. The tongue really only has 5 senses, and as various ones raise and become more pronounced, the overall sensation is enhanced. I could almost go so far as to say ... the flavor is better! I do believe all humans seek out sweeter things (not JUST humans, but us "too"). Adding a little sweet tends to enhance and improve flavors, up to a point. There does come a point where sweet becomes sickening, or it becomes "dessert". In the case of green curries, we're talking about something with a slightly sweet taste profile, with a very fresh flavor, wild aromas and a good amount of heat.<br /><br /> I LOVE green curry. This is the paste that starts it all!<br /><br /> <strong>Storage Tip:</strong> This has a lot of fresh ingredients in it, so it's perishable. It's got some acid in it, which helps it to last a little longer, but I wouldn't leave it in the fridge for more than a week. I have mine in series of tiny freezer safe containers ... in the freezer. They hold up well, in there!<br /><br /> <strong>Serving Size:</strong> Recipe makes about 1 cup of paste. Serving size is roughly 1 tbsp.Sauces15 mins0 mins15 mins16http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Green-Curry-Paste-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Green-Curry-Paste-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Green-Curry-Paste-31tbsp6coriander seed, ground1.0817.88.723.302.521tsp2white peppercorns5.330.331.330.671each67lime03.82.071.320.0715each100.5fresh green thai chilies, seeds removed (substitution = jalepeno or serrano chilies).6301.35602.851 1/2tbsp9fresh galangal, chopped (substitution = 1 tbsp. ginger)07.2.181.620.184each80shallots, chopped560016001tbsp17shrimp paste (substitution = 1 tbsp fish sauce)http://amzn.com/B000F1LMNS?tag=lcrecipe-208020008each12.8kaffir lime leaves, chopped (substitution = 1 tsp. lime zest)2.94.12.38.380.261stalk67lemongrass, white part only, sliced thin66.3301.3416.75001/4bunch25cilantro, washed (use cilantro stems, too!)5.75.14.55.940.7316leaves6.4thai basil (substitution = regular basil)1.47.06.19.190.131tbsp12'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html0001101tsp4salt000000Toast your coriander and white peppercorns. Place a sauté pan or skillet on the stove over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add your spices. Toast for about 3 minutes. The mixture should be quite aromatic, but do NOT let them burn. Remove them from the pan and allow to cool.Once your spices are cool, grind them. This can be done in a mortar and pestle. I use an old beat up coffee grinder. Alternately, you can also purchase pre-ground spices and toast them, but blend them together before toasting. Then, toast in a hot dry pan for maybe 30 seconds to a minute, or until aromatic.With a zester, or a peeler, peel the very outer layer of the lime. DO NOT get any of the white part. You really only need about 6 good strips, for a total of about 1 tsp chopped. Chop the zest and set aside. Juice the lime and set aside. Discard the rest of the lime.In a food processor (or mortar and pestle for the real deal), combine all ingredients and process, until the consistency of a paste.Thai Green Chicken CurryTrueThis is my favorite Thai dish, hands down. I LOVE IT! It's action packed! It's fresh, brightly colored, filled with veggies, soft and scrumptious chicken, a little sweet, a good deal spicy and outrageiously aromatic. Making this at home, especially with a fresh and homemade curry powder, will cause your home to smell better than any home has ever smelled ...<br /><br /> ... ever. It's true!<br /><br /> This is a thick and gloppy curry, which is fantastic on miracle cauli-rice. I do have a confession, which is a bit odd, but ... I use <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Coconut-Lime-Sorbet">ice cream <em>(sorbet, actually)</em></a> to make this, when I'm in a pinch and I've got it lying in the freezer. I use about equal parts sorbet, with coconut milk and a bit of lime juice. I do this in place of the chopped aromatics, as they've already been infused into the sorbet! The end result is a decidedly sweet green curry, but I LOVE it that way, and without any real impact on my blood sugars, only my tongue is the wiser <em>(and happier!)</em>.<br /><br /> Any which way you look at it, if you're at home whipping up a batch of green curry, you're home is a happy home. Yum.ChickenMain15 mins15 min30 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Green-Chicken-Curry-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Green-Chicken-Curry-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Green-Chicken-Curry-31 1/2lbs681boneless chicken, cut into bite sized strips (breasts and/or thighs)809.3320.7144.890004each12garlic cloves, minced01604001tbsp6fresh galangal, minced (substitution = 1 tbsp. ginger)04.8.121.080.121tbsp12'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html0001101/4cup60fresh green curry paste (substitution = 2 tbsp store bought)http://www.djfoodie.com/Green-Curry-Paste51.18.51.7812.21.251.852tbsp28coconut oil2402400001small74green bell pepper, seeded and diced22.940.744.4401.481large274japanese eggplant, cut into half moons55.52.513082each236small green zucchini, cut into half moons38.742.928.0402.921 1/2cup339unsweetened coconut milkhttp://amzn.com/B004PXUWJM?tag=lcrecipe-2060066612001/4bunch25cilantro, washed and large stems removed5.75.14.55.940.7316leaves6.4thai basil, hand torn (substitution = regular basil)1.47.06.19.190.13salt and pepper, to taste000000In a large bowl, mix together your chicken, garlic, galangal, curry paste, sugar equivalent and a bit of salt and pepper. Set aside.Heat your largest sauté pan (or wok, if you have one!) over high heat. When the pan is hot, add your coconut oil and swirl around to coat the pan. Immediately add your green peppers with a bit of salt and pepper. Sauté for about 1 minute.Add your eggplant and zucchini to the pan and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Toss the three ingredients together, then let the mixture sit on the high heat and "sear" for a minute or two. Flip it around and let sit for one more minute.Sort of slide all the ingredients to one side of the pan, so about 2/3rds of the pan is totally empty. Evenly sprinkle your chicken in this area and allow it to sear for about 1 minute. Toss the whole pan together and allow the ingredients to cook, sear and pick up some color (caramelize, or "turn brown") from the heat of the pan. This whole process is hot, fast and smoky, while being fun and smelling AMAZING.After about 2 minutes, add your coconut milk. The mixture SHOULD immediately boil rapidly. Turn the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for about 4 to 8 minutes. The mixture should thicken, like a stew. Toss in the fresh cilantro and thai basil, at the last moment.Taste and season with a bit of salt and pepper.Serve!Lemongrass Scented Coconut-Lime SorbetTrueThis recipe is part of a "pack" of recipes devoted to Thai Food and Thai flavors. If there are any ingredients which are used repeatedly, they are: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaffir_lime" target="_blank">kaffir lime leaf</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/lemongrass" target="_blank">lemongrass</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galangal" target="_blank">galangal</a> and coconut.<br /><br /> More often than not, these ingredients are used in savory dishes. Curries, soups, salads, noodle dishes, etc. I'm not sure if a "sorbet" is common with the Thai world, but those flavors lend themselves VERY well to a sweetened frozen treat!<br /><br /> This is actually really quite easy to make. It just requires "steeping" the aromatics in the coconut milk, with the sweetener. It's heated, then left to sit for about an hour. Finally, it's strained, cooled and placed into an ice cream machine where it is churned into a frozen treat!<br /><br /> <strong>Texture Note:</strong> The absence of real sugar slightly changes the texture of frozen desserts. The mouth feel is just a little bit "off" (but FAR from unpleasant). You can approximate that sensation by adding vegetable glycerin and guar and/or xanthan gums. This will give you a texture and mouth feel closer to the sorbets you're familiar with. If you leave them out, the end result will be very delicious, but will be harder to scoop, a little more crystallized, and the melting sensation in your mouth will have a little less viscosity. I like to place them in the fridge for about an hour before I eat them. This softens them, without melting them. MUCH more pleasant!<br /><br /> <strong>Portion Control:</strong> I'm a big fan of portioning, especially when it comes to this kind of "sweet treat". I simply load them into little freezer friendly dishes (mine are 6.5 oz cups), and load them into the freezer, like sweet little dessert cartridges. When I want one, I just grab one. When I see glass, I know I'm done!<br /><br /> <strong>Oddity Note:</strong> I had some <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Green-Curry-Paste">green curry paste</a> in the fridge, some chicken, and a variety of vegetables. I also happened to have some of this sorbet in the freezer, when I received an unexpected visitor. Oddly, my mind snapped to that bit of sorbet! I quickly whipped up some <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Miracle-Cauli-Rice">miracle cauli-rice</a>, sautéed my chicken and veggies, finished off with some green curry paste and a block of sorbet! It melted, grabbed the paste and enveloped all the chicken and veggies into a thick and aromatic gravy. Sure, it was a bit sweet, but I've always loved a good <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Green-Chicken-Curry">sweet green curry</a>, anyway! Having these little pucks of pre-steeped and flavored coconut milk has actually come in handy several times, since! Robert Ripley says, "Believe it or not!"Desserts15 mins40 mins55 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coconut-Lime-Sorbet-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coconut-Lime-Sorbet-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coconut-Lime-Sorbet-31cup200'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00020020001/4tsp1.17guar gum (optional)http://amzn.com/B005HF068O?tag=lcrecipe-203.3300.860.861/4tsp1.5xanthan gum (optional)http://amzn.com/B0013JJZWG?tag=lcrecipe-205001.1701.171/2tsp1salt0000002each75613.5-ounce cans coconut milkhttp://amzn.com/B004PXUWJM?tag=lcrecipe-201488.58160.5616.7120.08001tbsp6fresh galangal, minced (substitution = 1 tbsp. ginger)04.8.121.080.121tbsp5lemongrass, minced (substitution = 1 tsp. lemon zest)04.95.11.25004each6.4kaffir lime leaves, cut into ribbons (substitution = 1 tsp. lime zest)1.47.06.19.190.132tsp10fresh lime juice02.540.880.043tbsp44vegetable glycerine, food grade (optional)http://amzn.com/B0019LWU2K?tag=lcrecipe-200191.080000In a dry bowl, blend together your powdered sugar equivalent, with the two gums and a dash of salt. (If using a liquid sweetener, skip this step. The idea is to more evenly distribute the gums into the powder, to prevent clumping)In a sauce pot, over low heat, bring the coconut milk, galangal, lime leaves and lemon grass up to a slow simmer.Whisk in your sugar equivalent, two gums and dash of salt into the warm mixture. Turn off the heat and allow to steep for 1 hour, stirring once or twice.After an hour, strain your aromatics from the coconut milk, through a sieve.Chill the mixture.When the mixture has been chilled, whisk in your fresh lime juice and vegetable glycerin.Add mixture to your ice cream machine and follow instructions on the machine.Serve fresh, or pack in the freezer for later!Thai Pumpkin Seafood StewTrueHere is kind of a fun one. There are all kinds of seafood soups and stews, from all cultures with land near the sea. Thailand is no different!<br /><br /> First of all, this recipe is somewhat based around a "pumpkin", but ... not the wondrous pumpkin we all know and love from Cinderella. This is a type of pumpkin most Westerners usually refer to as the "kabocha" squash <em>(called "Fak Thong", in Thailand)</em>; this squash likely originated in Cambodia.<br /><br /> <center><a href="http://www.snackingsquirrel.com/2011/11/squash-hoarding.html" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/Kabocha.jpg" width="450" /></a></center><span style="float:right; font-size:smaller;"><a href="http://www.snackingsquirrel.com/2011/11/squash-hoarding.html" target="_blank">Image lifted from SnackingSquirrel.com</a></span><br /><br /> It's amongst one of the lowest carb winter squashes <em>(although can usually be found, year round)</em>. It's WONDERFUL! One place where it can almost always be found is in a Tempura dish at your local Japanese haunt ... fried! The rind for a kabocha softens as it cooks and is completely edible, but I confess to cutting it off, anyway. It's a habit I developed from avoiding the rind in tempura. It's actually quite lovely and totally fine to eat <em>(plus doesn't require the extra effort!)</em>. I leave this to you, to decide.<br /><br /> The taste is something like a cross between a russet potato and a sweet potato, but with significantly less carbs. It takes a bit more work to get to and is a little harder to find, but ... the effort can be worth it!<br /><br /> Pairing this amazing "pumpkin" with seafood, coconut and many of the Thai aromatics creates a fresh, clean, slightly sweet, healthy, creamy and smooth blend of flavors. It's a truly special dish and can be served as is, or served with some <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Cauli-Rice">cauli-rice</a>. Either way, you're in for a treat!<br /><br /> <strong>Nutrition Note</strong>: Kabocha info is based off of 4 cups of kabocha cubes, for 1/2 cup per person. Nutrition info is not in USDA database. It is an educated guess, but one which is close and honorably presented.FishMainSoups30 mins15 mins45 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pumpkin-Seafood-Stew-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pumpkin-Seafood-Stew-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pumpkin-Seafood-Stew-3113.5-ounce can381.38coconut milkhttp://amzn.com/B004PXUWJM?tag=lcrecipe-2081750.948.4410.13001 1/2tbsp9fresh galangal, roughly chopped (substitution = 1 tbsp. ginger)07.2.181.620.181tbsp5lemongrass, minced04.95.11.25008each12.8kaffir lime leaves, chopped (substitution = 1 tsp. lime zest)2.94.12.38.380.264each12garlic cloves, roughly chopped01604001small (2 to 3 lb.)1135kabocha squash (substitution = acorn, buttercup, delicata, pumpkin)36004280432medium-sized448clams, fresh and alive331.524.4858.2413.440032medium-sized512mussels, fresh and alive385.288.9653.7617.92001 1/2lb681fresh salmon1273.4781.72136.20001lb454shrimp9.08481.2490.84.540.282tbsp28coconut oil24024000016leaves6.4thai basil, hand torn (substitution = regular basil)1.47.06.19.190.13salt and pepper, to taste000000First, in a small saucepan, add your coconut milk, galangal, lemongrass, lime leaves and garlic. Bring up to a slow simmer. Once it simmers, remove it from the heat and allow to sit and "steep" for 30 minutes. Stir, occasionally.While the coconut milk steeps in the aromatics, soak your fresh clams and mussels in a bowl of cold water, with a slow, steady stream of cold water dropping from the faucet into the bowl. This helps remove a touch of extra saltiness and sand. Let this sit with the water dripping on it.Prepare your pumpkin. I like to peel the outside, before I do anything, but this is totally unnecessary and a bit of a process (I use a knife and cut it off, like a cantaloupe). It is up to you. Next, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Then, cut it into chunks about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch, each. They should all be roughly the same size, so that they cook evenly. Set aside.Pick your clams and mussels out of the bowl, by scooping them up with your hands, and transferring them to another bowl. Any sand or debris should be left at the bottom of the original bowl. Wash the original bowl and set aside. We'll use it one more time. Place the new bowl of clams and mussels under the slow stream of cold water.Peel your shrimp and remove the big vein running through the back. (I left the peel on, because the shells were left in the clams and mussels, but this is up to you).Cut your fish into bite sized pieces (use a good fresh fish. I used salmon, because it's everywhere in the Pacific North West, but just about any good fresh fish will do: halibut, sole, snapper, etc.).Transfer your clams and mussels one more time. With a wet towel, pull the beards from the mussels. This is done by grabbing the beard with the towel and pinching hard between your fingers, then deliberately pulling OUT and towards the hinge. Some come out easier than others, but this should just about do it. You may also want to scrub the outside of your mussel shells, if there are a lot of funky little barnacles, debris and other riddles and games attached to them. Once your clams and mussels are clean and happy, pull them up and out of the bowl and place them on a dry towel, or in a colander to drip dry.Strain your coconut milk mixture through a fine sieve, into a large soup pot, with a lid. Discard the fibrous leftbehinds. Place your coconut milk mixture on the stove. Bring it up to a very slow simmer.Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add your oil to the pan and swirl it around. As soon as it ripples, add your kabocha to the pan and spread it out evenly over the bottom of the pan. You want to add a little bit of color to these little cubes. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Saute these for about 5 minutes, until they get a bit of color and begin softening. Throw them into the coconut milk mixture.Place a large sauté pan (probably the same pan) over medium-high heat. Add your oil to the pan and swirl it around. As soon as it ripples, add your fish and shrimp to the pan and season with a little salt and pepper. Make sure it's spread out and evenly distributed along the bottom of the pan. We want to add a little color to the fish.While the fish and shrimp cook, add your clams and mussels to the coconut milk mixture and place the lid on top.After about 2 minutes of the fish/shrimp sautéing and the clams/mussels simmering, remove the lid, add the fish/shrimp to the coconut milk and replace the lid.Allow the entire mixture to continue simmering for about 4 to 5 more minutes. From the moment you started sautéing the kabocha, until the time you eat, only about 12 minutes should pass. It goes quickly, once it's all prepared and ready to go.At the last moment, stir in your fresh basil and serve!Thai-Inspired Beef SaladTrueOn Sundays, as a kid, our family would take the hour long drive to a city called Fresno, somewhere near the center of California. This was "family day" and was spent shopping, eating out, going to the movies, etc. The little mountain town we lived in didn't have much to offer, in those days.<br /><br /> One of my favorite places to go was "The Thai House", a restaurant that opened in the early 80's. <a href="http://www.thaihousefresno.com" target="_blank">It is, apparently, still there, too</a>! It is the singular restaurant that has defined "Thai Food" for me. Everything bit of Thai food I've had, since childhood, has been compared to the amazing cuisine served at The Thai House, in the mid-80's.<br /><br /> One of my ABSOLUTE favorites was their BBQ Beef. It was little more than a well marinated piece of beef, which was then grilled <em>(hard and scorched)</em>, but maintaining its juicy innards <em>(juicy innards? YUM! ... sometimes I question my choice of words)</em>.<br /><br /> Ahem ...<br /><br /> I've taken what I remember of that flavor profile and somewhat simplified it, turning it into the inspiration for a spellbinding warm salad! Don't fear the fish sauce. It's delicious! This is a super simple, partially cooked/partially raw and deeply flavored dish. Give it a shot!BeefMainSalads15 mins10 min25 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Thai-Beef-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Thai-Beef-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Thai-Beef-Salad-31 1/2lb681beef sirloin, cut into bite-sized cubes1680123133.500016each304shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced into strips103.361.486.820.6407.61tbsp6fresh ginger, minced or grated04.8.121.080.124each12garlic cloves, minced01604001tsp2crushed red chili flakes6.36.34.241.140.544cups220butterhead lettuce (boston bibb)28.3402.75.402.71small74red bell pepper, seeded and sliced very thin22.940.744.4401.481/2medium55red onion, very thinly sliced220.55011/4bunch25cilantro, washed and large stems removed5.75.14.55.940.7316leaves6.4thai basil, hand torn (substitution = regular basil)1.47.06.19.190.131/4cup72fish saucehttp://amzn.com/B000EICPAG?tag=lcrecipe-2025.203.62.88002tbsp30.5lime juice, freshly squeezed07.64.142.640.071tbsp12'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html0001101/4cup56coconut oil480480000salt and pepper, to taste000000In a mixing bowl, combine your beef, mushrooms, garlic , ginger and chili flakes. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, and set aside.In a large salad bowl, place your lettuce, very thinly sliced bell peppers and onions, as well as your fresh cilantro and basil. Set aside.In a measuring cup, add your fish sauce, lime juice and sweetener of choice. If using a powdered sweetener, use a fork to whisk the ingredients together, until the sweetener dissolves.Heat a large sauté pan, over high heat. Add your coconut oil and swirl it around the pan. When it begins to ripple, sprinkle your meat/mushroom mixture over the surface of the pan. The goal is to spread the meat/mushroom in a single layer over the full bottom of the pan. Allow to sear over the high heat for about 1 to 2 minutes. Toss the mixture and try and cook the opposite side of the meats and mushrooms. Cook until the beef is cooked to the desired doneness (about medium rare, is my preference).When the beef is cooked, add your fish sauce dressing to the pan, where it should immediately boil. Pour the entire mixture, meat, dressing, oil and all, over the lettuce. This will cause the whole thing to wilt a bit, but this is something I personally like. Alternately, you could sauté the beef/mushrooms, then put on a plate in a single layer, in the fridge, for about 30 minutes. This will chill it. Then, add the chilled meats and dressing to the salad, for a different, cleaner and fresher salad experience. Both are awesome. No losers, here!Mix and serve!Thai Red Pork CurryTrueI used to live in a part of Seattle called "<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremont,_Seattle" target="_blank">Fremont</a>", about 15 years ago. I'd bet over 10,000 people lived in the fun little neighborhood. There were pizza places, greek food restaurants, ice cream establishments, etc. However, it was undeniable that Thai restaurants were the big presence in a town billing itself as "The Center of the Universe". At that time, there were roughly 27 Thai restaurants. I just drove through it the other day. Looks like maybe 28!<br /><br /> Thai restaurants and Thai food have become almond ubiquitous on the restaurant landscape. They are everywhere! Yet, somehow, the food still manages to hold a level of mystique in homes.<br /><br /> I remember taking classes on Asian cuisine in cooking school. The teacher was an adorable and quick talking little Chinese woman, who would CONSTANTLY say, "GGS!" Everything Chinese, it would seem, begins with "GGS!" <em>(Ginger, Garlic, Scallion)</em>. Don't get me wrong, Chinese food is AMAZING and possibly the richest of all culinary lore <em>(Sorry, France!)</em>, but I tend to believe certain corners of the Chinese cuisine have been brought into most Western homes ... in the form of stir-frys, fried rice, ginger-soy marinades on meat, etc. <br /><br /> Thai, with what feels just as strong of a grasp in the restaurant scene, doesn't feel to have made as many inroads in the Western home kitchen. It's a shame, too! So many amazing flavors! Let's start cooking with these ingredients, folks. Some AMAZING flavors to be had, here!<br /><br /> What follows is my interpretation of a Pork Curry recipe that I would get at a favorite Thai haunt just up the street from my battered old San Francisco apartment, in the Lower Haight district. It's thick and gloppy, while being RICH with flavors, dense with coconut milk, spicy and complicated. It's also little more than a quick stir fry. If you have the stuff, the actual CURRY is mere minutes away. Go get the stuff!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Photos taken with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Miracle-Cauli-Rice">Miracle Caul-Rice</a> and was cooked with a <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Red-Curry-Paste">Thai Red Curry Paste</a>.MainPorkQuick15 mins15 mins30 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Red-Pork-Curry-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Red-Pork-Curry-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Red-Pork-Curry-31each537pork tenderloin roast, cut into thin bite-sized strips585171080004each12garlic cloves, minced01604001tbsp6fresh galangal, minced (substitution = 1 tbsp. ginger)04.8.121.080.121tsp2cinnamon, ground4.94.02.081.6201.061/4tsp.25cloves, ground0000001/4cup60fresh red curry paste (substitution = 2 tbsp store bought)http://www.djfoodie.com/Red-Curry-Paste72.791.872.2115.4703.622tbsp28coconut oil2402400001large274japanese eggplant, cut into cubes55.52.513081small74red bell pepper, seeded and diced22.940.744.4401.481 1/2cup339unsweetened coconut milkhttp://amzn.com/B004PXUWJM?tag=lcrecipe-20600666120016leaves6.4thai basil, hand torn (substitution = regular basil)1.47.06.19.190.13salt and pepper, to taste000000In a large bowl, mix together your pork, garlic, galangal, cinnamon, cloves, curry paste and a bit of salt and pepper. Set aside.Heat your largest sauté pan (or wok, if you have one!) over high heat. When the pan is hot, add your coconut oil and swirl around to coat the pan. Immediately add your red pepper peppers with a bit of salt and pepper. Sauté for about 1 minute.Add your eggplant to the pan and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Toss the two ingredients together, then let the mixture sit on the high heat and "sear" for a minute or two. Flip it around and let sit for one more minute.Sort of slide all the ingredients to one side of the pan, so about 2/3rds of the pan is totally empty. Evenly sprinkle your pork in this area and allow it to sear for about 1 minute. Toss the whole pan together and allow the ingredients to cook, sear and pick up some color (caramelize, or "turn brown") from the heat of the pan. This whole process is hot, fast and smoky, while being fun and smelling AMAZING.After about 2 minutes, add your coconut milk. The mixture SHOULD immediately boil rapidly. Turn the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for about 4 to 8 minutes. The mixture should thicken, like a stew. Toss in the fresh thai basil, at the last moment. Taste and season with a bit of salt and pepper.Serve!Thai Red Curry PasteTrueThis recipe is a bit different than most on my site. There are no real tricks to it, and it's not directly "low-carb" in any specific way. However, like any good spice blend or potent ingredient, it packs a lot of punch, for very little effect on blood sugars. A little goes a long way!<br /><br /> A curry paste is a fresh and vibrant blend of ingredients, most dominantly chilies, spices and herbs. This can form the backbone or a backdrop (depending on the usage) for MANY different recipes. Plop a little into a peanut sauce to give it some more depth of character. Sauté some chicken and eggplant with it, just plain, and you've got a NICE flavorful kick of flavors! Heat up some shrimp in some coconut milk with some lime juice, a little more fish sauce, some fresh cilantro and a blend of tomatoes, peppers, squash and mushrooms for an out of this world shrimp and coconut soup!<br /><br /> Probably the most difficult part of this recipe is finding the ingredients. I'll list substitutions in the ingredient list, where I can. Ultimately, the closer to the true ingredients you get, the more authentic your paste will be. Outside of ingredient procuring, the rest of the process is simply "throw it in a food process and ... process!" I wish I could recommend a mortar and pestle, but I doubt many of you have one of this lying around.<br /><br /> This particular blend is a scaled down and "basic" red paste. There are regional variations that can be explored. My thinking, when developing this recipe, was to keep it simple, while still holding true to a red curry paste. This way, the peripheral ingredients could be added for specific and unique dishes. Some of the common additions to various red pastes are: white peppercorns, cinnamon, fish sauce, mace, nutmeg and cloves. For an even more basic curry paste, you can eliminate the cilantro roots, coriander, cumin and peppercorns.<br /><br /> <strong>Storage Tip:</strong> This has a lot of fresh ingredients in it, so it's perishable. It's got some acid in it, which helps it to last a little longer, but I wouldn't leave it in the fridge for more than a week. I have mine in series of tiny freezer safe containers ... in the freezer. They hold up well, in there!<br /><br /> <strong>Serving Size:</strong> Recipe makes about 1 cup of paste. Serving size is roughly 1 tbsp.Sauces15 mins0 mins15 mins16http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Red-Curry-Paste-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Red-Curry-Paste-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Red-Curry-Paste-310each28Thai dried chiles, wholehttp://amzn.com/B000EWMJ8U?tag=lcrecipe-20895316081tbsp6coriander seed, ground1.0817.88.723.302.522tsp4cumin seed, ground.881501.760.441tsp2black peppercorns5.330.331.330.6710each66.7fresh red thai chilies, seeds removed (substitution = fresno or serrano chilies).420.9401.91 1/2tbsp9fresh galangal, chopped (substitution = 1 tbsp. ginger)07.2.181.620.184each80shallots, chopped560016001tbsp17shrimp paste (substitution = 1 tbsp fish sauce)http://amzn.com/B000F1LMNS?tag=lcrecipe-208020008each12.8kaffir lime leaves, chopped (substitution = 1 tsp. lime zest)2.94.12.38.380.261stalk67lemongrass, white part only, sliced thin66.3301.3416.75001/4cup15cilantro stems, chopped3.500.750.51tsp4salt000000Split the dried chilies and remove the seeds. Soak the flesh in hot water for about 20 minutes.While the chilies are soaking, toast your coriander, cumin and peppercorns. Place a sauté pan or skillet on the stove over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add your black peppercorns. Toast for about 1 minute. Add your coriander seeds and toast for about 1 minute. Finally, add your cumin seeds and toast for about 1 minute. The mixture should be quite aromatic, but do NOT let them burn. Remove them from the pan and allow to cool.Once your spices are cool, grind them. This can be done in a mortar and pestle. I use an old beat up coffee grinder. Alternately, you can also purchase pre-ground spices and toast them, but blend them together before toasting. Then, toast in a hot dry pan for maybe 30 seconds to a minute, or until aromatic.In a food processor (or mortar and pestle for the real deal), combine all ingredients and process, until the consistency of a paste.Greasy Fried Pork SandwichTrueThis one kind of makes me chuckle.<br /><br /> I low-carbed for years, without a functioning microwave. Thus, I'd never had a "one-minute muffin". I knew of them and completely respected their popularity, but I'd simply never had one. I had no way to make one! Finally, I moved into an apartment that had a functioning one. It finally occurred to me that I should give one a shot! I did! It was everything I'd ever hoped it would be and more! The first one I had was simple, with just a bit of sweetener and cinnamon. Heaven in a minute! I tinkered with it and finally made the cheddar rolls, which I used on sliders.<br /><br /> Then, one day, just sort of playing around, I had this desire for a deep and greasy, fried pork sandwich. I don't know why. I just wanted something wonderful and amazing, but that felt bad ... dirty ... wrong. What I came up with is nothing short of spectacular right! It's little more than a blend of basic square one-minute muffin, which is then split it half, loaded with a bit of ham and crispy bacon, and then dipped into an egg bath. From there, it's fried like French toast!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Photos are taken with a side of sugar free jelly.<br /><br /> <strong>GRUBBIN!</strong>BreakfastLunchPork10 mins12 mins20 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fried-Pork-Sandwich-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fried-Pork-Sandwich-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fried-Pork-Sandwich-32tbsp13golden flaxseed mealhttp://amzn.com/B000EDK5MG?tag=lcrecipe-20604.534042tbsp14almond mealhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-208073301.51large50egg7256.5.5001tsp4.67bacon fat or butter, melted3.6733.3300001/2tsp2baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-202.500.500dash salt0000003slices84deli ham136.927.5614.283.360.843slices84bacon, pre-cooked and crispy!28930001large50egg7256.5.5002tbsp30cream, heavy whipping102.6311.63.88001tbsp14bacon fat or butter111000000salt and pepper, to taste000000In a flat bottomed glass or china bowl (preferably square and about the surface area of sandwich bread), mix the ingredients for your muffin. Microwave this for 60 to 90 seconds on high. Let the bread sit for a further 60 seconds. Remove from the microwave and slice into two halves (a top and a bottom).Line the bottom with ham and bacon. Place the top on the sandwich.In a separate bowl (I used a pie tin), whisk your egg and cream, with a little salt and pepper.Add your sandwich to the egg mixture and coat it evenly, flipping it over and pushing it into the egg mixture, so that the bread absorbs the egg, like a sponge. May take a few minutes, but just keep flipping it. Eventually, most of it gets absorbed and you have a nice egg coated sandwich.Heat a skillet or sauté pan over medium-low heat.Add your bacon fat or butter and swirl it around. Add your sandwich to the pan and allow it to turn golden brown on one side. Flip it and cook the other side. Turn the heat down to low and allow it to cook for about 4 to 6 minutes on either side, until it's cooked through.Cut into tasty pieces and eat!The Famous Salad NiçoiseTrueA few months ago, I made <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Cobb-Salad">The Famous Cobb Salad</a>; a famous American salad, comprised of pretty much everything lying around a 1930's restaurant. It was quite popular! So popular, in fact, it inspired me to come up with the French equivalent, the similar, but more fishy ... Salad Niçoise!<br /><br /> Salad Niçoise is actually up for interpretation. The term "Niçoise" simply means it's a dish made with the type of foods a Chef in Nice, France might use. This very likely implies it's going to be fresh, in-season produce, fresh and locally caught fish and some kind of tasty salad dressing.<br /><br /> Looking around, it seems there are some clearly common ingredients, such as tuna and anchovies. Other usual suspects are green beans, tomatoes and potatoes. There tends to be a wide assortment of pickled goodies, like olives, capers and artichoke hearts, as well as hard boiled eggs.<br /><br /> Ok, the list continues: carrots, red beets, golden beets, radishes, cucumbers, green onions, red onions, white onions, celery, shallots, garlic, etc.<br /><br /> I think the point is, if it's fresh, in-season and yummy ... throw it in there!<br /><br /> This salad is unequivocally fresh, vibrant, crunchy, colorful, tangy and tantalizing. It's got tarty acid and healthy fats from the dressing and little bursts of salt from the anchovies. The egg provides some soft textures and another protein source. The variety of (mostly) raw vegetables provide a wide mix of nutrients.<br /><br /> This, like its American cousin, is another salad that could save lives. Eating one a day ...FishSalads15 mins10 min25 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Salad-Nicoise-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Salad-Nicoise-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Salad-Nicoise-32tbsp30dijon mustard1.1724.751.482.9201.22tbsp30.5lemon juice, freshly squeezed07.63.132.630.134sprigs2fresh tarragon, leaves only (chopped).042.02.12.480.281each3garlic cloves, finely minced0401002tbsp20shallots, finely chopped14004002tsp5.33capers, drained and chopped1.23.05.11.270.161/2cup108extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20000000salt and pepper, to taste0000001/2lb227green beans, ends removed70.37.272.7216.1907.724cups220butterhead lettuce (boston bibb)28.3402.75.402.71/4cup45assorted french olives, coursely chopped46.973.15.452.701.351/2lb227cherry tomatoes, washed, dried and halved or quartered41.1602.58.7402.516each32boneless anchovy filets67.23.29.280004each672super fresh tuna steaks (yellowfin (ahi) or albacore)725.766.72154.560001tbsp14light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)1212000004each200hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped or cut in half3102224200salt and pepper, to taste000000First, put a medium sized pot of water on the stove to boil.While waiting for the water to boil, you can make your vinaigrette. In a mixing bowl, whisk together your garlic, Dijon, shallots, capers and fresh tarragon, with a little salt and pepper.While whisking your mustard mixture, slowly pour in your oil. This should "emulsify" (blend the oil) the dressing, creating something thicker and creamier, than a "broken" vinaigrette (one that is separated). Set aside.Get a bowl of ice water and set it near your sink.Heavily season your boiling water with salt. Add your green beans to the water and allow to boil until cooked about 95% of the way done. Should still be a bit crunchy (somewhere between 2 and 5 minutes, depending on thickness of beans and personal preference). When the beans are cooked, strain them out of the boiling water and immediately place them into the bowl of ice water. Set aside to chill.In a large salad bowl, add your torn or slices lettuce, olives, tomatoes and anchovies (as well as anything else you might choose to add to this concoction!). At this point, your green beans should be thoroughly chilled. Pull the from the ice water and shake off any extra water. Add them to the bowl. Add about 3/4rs of your dressing to the bowl with a little salt and pepper. Mix well and then distribute between 4 different plates.Preheat a sauté pan or skillet on the stove, over high heat.Season your tuna with salt and pepper.Add your oil to the pan and swirl it around. Place your 4 steaks into the hot pan. They should not touch one another. Sear each side of each piece of tuna, for about 30 seconds, on each side. You just want to sear the outside, leaving the center completely raw. Once all sides are seared, remove them from the pan.Slice each tuna steak and fan it over the top of each salad. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the tuna. Garnish with hard boiled eggs and serve!Crock-Pot RoastTrueGrowing up, I didn't get a lot of pot roasts. I don't believe my mother EVER made one <em>(Mom, did you? I don't remember ...)</em>. One truly memorable pot roast was cooked in a <a href="http://www.applied-solar.info/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/kyoto_box_solar_oven.jpg" target="_blank">solar oven</a>, when I was a kid. We took a cardboard box, insulated it, painted the inside black, and used aluminum foil to channel the light into the box. We placed a pot of raw meat and veggies into it, to SLOWLY cook in the sun. At the end of the day ... Pot Roast cooked in the sun!<br /><br /> I did get enough of them, to gain an appreciation for them.<br /><br /> Most pot roasts I've had were large and soft pieces of meat, often in some kind of slightly thickened jus, and loaded with potatoes. This pot roast is similar, but with "faux"tatoes, instead!<br /><br /> The method is essentially searing a piece of meat, throwing it into a crock-pot with some veggies, herbs and red wine. Leave it alone for 8 hours. Return and add cauliflower, pushing it down into the jus. Let it sit for 20 more minutes. Serve!<br /><br /> Sure, it probably wasn't cooked in a solar oven, but ... it's still some fine Pot Roast!BeefMain20 mins8 hrs 20 mins8 hrs 40 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pot-Roast-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pot-Roast-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pot-Roast-34lb1816beef chuck roast44803283560001tbsp14light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)1212000001cup232red wine, good quality197.28006.32004each12garlic cloves016040010sprigs10fresh thyme2.62.12.06.420.281each.64bay leaf0000001large72carrot, peeled and cut into chunks29.250.566.7502.252each101celery ribs, cut into chunks16013021small110onion, cut into chunks440110021small420head cauliflower, leaves removed and cut into florets.671058.522.5010.5salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Turn on your slow cooker, setting it to low.Season your beef with a good layer and salt and pepper.Heat a large sauté pan or skillet over medium high heat. Add your oil to the pan and swirl it around. Quickly add your beef to the pan and sear it, until a nice brown crust has formed. Flip it over and sear the other side. Continue flipping it, until all sides have been properly seared. Add your beef to the crock pot.Pour your red wine into the still very hot pan, with all the "stuff" stuck to the bottom. This should QUICKLY boil, releasing some of those little flavor morsels into the hot wine. Swirl the pan around and use a wooden spoon to scrape anything else off the bottom of the pan, into the wine. Pour the wine mixture over the top of the beef.Add your garlic, thyme and bay leaves to the slow cooker, making sure it's pushed into the liquid.Add the rest of the vegetables, except the cauliflower. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Again, push these into the areas on the side of the roast, as much as possible. You don't want much of it covering the roast. You want most of the veggies on the sides, surrounding the roast. As this all cooks, the meat and veggies will shrink, releasing their juices, creating an AMAZING flavor, as well as creating its own natural juices, in which to cook! Getting everything as close to the bottom of the pot, as is possible, will help this process along.Add the lid and allow the ingredients to cook for 8 hours.After 8 hours, add your cauliflower to the pot and push the florets under the surface of the liquid, as much as possible. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes.Serve!Brownie "Almond Joy" Jello BombeTrueI really think I'm starting to love gelatin. Sure, it's weird and I want to pretend it's something other than what it is, but ... what it is, is also a really fantastic way to create amazing feats of tastiness! I can't imagine doing something like this dessert, without gelatin. Short of freezing it (like ice cream, which IS another way this could be done), there's no other method I know of, to create these separate layers, with crumbled brownies and fun flavors. None. Not even if I used BAD ingredients!<br /><br /> This particular dessert is a blend of 3 essential flavors: coconut, almond and chocolate. Each of the 3 layers is representative of one of those flavors, resulting in what I like to call, the "Almond Joy" Jell-O Bombe! The name comes from the famous candy bar, and the Bombe? Well ... that's French for Bomb! It is because it's an explosion of flavor? Is it because it ignites taste buds? Nah.<br /><br /> A "Bombe" is actually named after cannonballs. The shape is round, like that of a bomb. Bombe's have appeared on restaurant menus for near 150 years, and are usually ice cream.<br /><br /> Mine ... is a chilled jiggly semi-sphere of gelatinous wobbliness, instead.<br /><br /> <strong>Assembly Notes:</strong> It's actually really quite easy to make, but does require some time and patience. It will also require 3 bowls: small, medium and large. They should probably belong to a set, so that they shape is the same, while simply diminishing in size. The inner-most layer is made first, in the smallest bowl. It is "hardened" for about 4 hours in the fridge. Then, a second batch of jello is made, and brought to "cool" (if it's too warm, it will melt the smaller jello shape). The second jello is poured into the medium sized bowl. The smaller bundle of gelatin is removed from the small bowl by dipping the bottom of the bowl in warm water. When it releases, flip it over in your hands (it's tough enough) and then gently submerge it into the medium bowl, until the top "levels" meet. This is chilled for a further 4 hours, resulting in 2 layers. This is repeated one more time, with a bigger bowl. That's it! Theoretically, this could be done 10 times for all sorts of whacky flavors and appearances. When I made this, it took me two days to make, but I feel it's worth the effort. Each person that ate it, loved it, proclaiming it light and ... not too sweet. In short: yum.<br /><br /> <strong>Brownie Note:</strong> I had just made some icky brownies and was looking for an excuse to use them in something else. The brownie bits are COMPLETELY optional. In retrospect, I think I would have preferred to have left them out, which is why I've omited them from the recipe. They just got a little bit in the way of the otherwise smooth and luxurious sensation of this dessert. That said, they do show how an ingredient could be used within this dessert. For example, this could've been toasted almonds and coconut, instead!Desserts45 mins15 min2 days12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Brownie-Almond-Joy-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Brownie-Almond-Joy-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Brownie-Almond-Joy-31cup240unsweetened almond milk, dividedhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-20453.523011cup226unsweetened coconut milkhttp://amzn.com/B004PXUWJM?tag=lcrecipe-204004448001packet (about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 tsp, total)7gelatin powder23.4506.020001/4cup50'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000500501dash1salt0000001cup240unsweetened almond milk, dividedhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-20453.523011/2cup119cream, heavy whipping410.5442.53.5001/2cup128unsweetened almond butter7806428240161packet (about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 tsp, total)7gelatin powder23.4506.020001/4cup50'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000500501dash1salt0000002 1/2cup600unsweetened almond milk, dividedhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-20112.58.7557.502.51 1/2cups357cream, heavy whipping1231.51327.510.5002packets (about 4 1/2 to 5 tsp, total)14gelatin powder46.9012.040003/4cup64.5unsweetened cocoa powder14713.512.7537.5021.751cup200'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00020020001tbsp12vanilla extract34.62001.5001dash1salt000000For the coconut jello: pour 1/2 cup of almond milk into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the surface of the almond milk. Allow it to bloom for about 5 minutes.Combine coconut milk and remaining almond milk in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat.Into your hot milk mixture, whisk in your sugar equivalent and a dash of salt. Whisk until the sugar equivalent has fully dissolved.Once the mixture begins to simmer (but not boil), whisk the hot mixture into the blooming gelatin bowl. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved.Pour your warm mixture into a small glass or metal bowl, with a 2-cup capacity. The mixture should fill the bowl, almost completely to the top. If you want to add any "toppings" (remember, the top will BECOME the bottom), add them now. You can push them in with your finger. Carefully place in the refrigerator to chill. Chilling takes between 3 to 4 hours.For the almond jello: First, make sure the coconut jello is completely solid. Then, pour 1/2 cup of almond milk into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the surface of the almond milk. Allow it to bloom for about 5 minutes.Combine almond butter, cream and remaining almond milk in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat.Into your hot cream mixture, whisk in your sugar equivalent and a dash of salt. Whisk until the sugar equivalent has fully dissolved.Once the mixture begins to simmer (but not boil), whisk the hot mixture into the blooming gelatin bowl. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour this mixture into a medium sized (4-cup) glass or metal bowl.Allow this mixture to sit on the countertop, until it drops to room temperature. It needs to be "cool", so as not to melt the coconut jello. However, if it's TOO cool, it will start to firm up. Watch it and stir it, occasionally.When the almond jello is cool, find a pot wide and deep enough to submerge the coconut jello bowl into it. Fill it with very hot tap water.Remove the coconut jello from the fridge and VERY carefully submerge it in the hot water. DO NOT let the water flow over the rim of the bowl. You will likely need to hold it in place. The goal is to melt the very thin outer layer of jello, by warming the bowl. This will take about 30 to 90 seconds, depending on the thickness and material of the bowl. Test by pushing down on one side of the jello. It should "slide" down, with the opposing side ... sliding up!Remove the coconut jello from the bowl. You can hold it in your hand (wash your hands!). Flip it upside down and gently lower it into the very center of the almond jello. The almond jello will rise, to meet the top of the coconut jello. When the two jello "tops" are level, let it go. It will float. At this point, if you'd like to add any "toppings", you can push them into the the almond jello part. You can also move the coconut jello "island" around, until it's right in the center. The mixture should fill the bowl, almost completely to the top.Carefully place in the refrigerator to chill. Chilling takes between 3 to 4 hours.For the chocolate jello: First, make sure the coconut-almond jello is completely solid. Then, pour 1 cup of almond milk into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the surface of the almond milk. Allow it to bloom for about 5 minutes.Combine cream and remaining almond milk in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat.Into your hot cream mixture, whisk in your sugar equivalent, cocoa powder, vanilla and a dash of salt. Whisk until the cocoa is fully absorbed, lumps are gone, and the sugar equivalent has fully dissolved.Once the mixture begins to simmer (but not boil), whisk the hot mixture into the blooming gelatin bowl. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour this mixture into a large sized (8-cup) bowl.Allow this mixture to sit on the countertop, until it drops to room temperature. Stir it, occasionally.When the chocolate jello is cool, remove the coconut-almond jello from the fridge and VERY carefully submerge it in hot water for about 30 to 90 seconds.Remove the coconut-almond jello from the bowl. You can hold it in your hand, but be careful. This is bigger and more slippery than the smaller coconut jello. Flip it upside down and gently lower it into the very center of the chocolate jello. The chocolate jello will rise, to meet the top of the coconut-almond jello. When the three jello "tops" are level, let it go. At this point, if you'd like to add any "toppings", you can push them into the chocolate jello layer. You can also move the coconut-almond jello "island" around, until it's right in the center.The mixture should fill the bowl, almost completely to the top. Carefully place in the refrigerator to chill. Chilling takes between 4 to 6 hours.Once it is thoroughly chilled, again, submerge it in hot water. Pop it onto a plate or platter large enough to hold it. Slice into it by warming a knife blade under hot tap water. Once the blade is hot, wipe off the water and make a slice! Repeat this process of warming and drying the blade, making slices in the bombe.Serve!Baked Zucchini FriesTrueThese baked zucchini fries are probably incorrectly named. They're not "fried". In fact, there's no oil used! That's not to say they COULDN'T be fried, it's just that they weren't, which means the name is ... the wrong name. Maybe "Baked Zucchini Bakes". That probably makes more sense, from a literal and redundant standpoint, but I'd wager that less people would order the Zucchini Bakes at a restaurant, than would order the "Zucchini Fries". If you're wondering what my point is ... so am I! I just started writing and this is what came out.<br /><br /> These Baked Zucchini Bakes were wonderful! They were crisp and flavorful, without taking on that soggy and squishy zucchini texture that they can so quickly and easily take on.<br /><br /> As with any stick-like food, a dip is often sitting on the side. More often than not, it's ketchup. I didn't want to just throw a puddle of plain ol' ketchup on the side of these crispity beauties. I wanted to do something a little different. So, they are accompanied by a <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Sun-Dried-Tomato-Pesto">sun-dried tomato pesto</a>.<br /><br /> They're a little messy to make, but they are A LOT of fun to eat. You can also make the up, stick them in the freezer on a tray (raw), freeze them, place them into a big freezer bag and freeze for another day. Pull them out, line them on a tray and bake them up! YUM!AppetizersSidesVegetarian15 mins15 min30 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Zucchini-Fries-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Zucchini-Fries-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Zucchini-Fries-34each472green zucchini and/or summer squash, cut into sticks761.485.8416.0805.841/4cup28coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-2012437180121cup112almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-206405624240121cup100parmesan cheese, finely grated43129384002tsp2fresh oregano (thyme, rosemary, sage and/or marjoram), rough chop.042.02.12.480.284each12garlic clove, minced01604002large100eggs14310131001/4cup59.5cream, heavy whipping205.25221.251.7500salt and pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 375 F.Make sure your zucchini are cut into sticks. In my case, I cut them into half, lengthwise. Then, I laid each half, cut-side-down on the cutting board. Then, I sliced about every 1/2 inch, at a VERY strong angle. This results in something like a really long "half moon" shape. (in kitchen terms, this is usually called "cutting on the bias").In a wide Tupperware-style container, place your coconut flour. Season it with a good amount of salt and pepper. Add your zucchini sticks to the Tupperware. Place the lid on the Tupperware and shake the things, to coat the zucchini with the flour. Not too hard, as you'll break and bruise the zucchini. You just want to get it all evenly mixed and coated. Remove them from the container and set aside.In the original container, place your almond meal and parmesan cheese, chopped oregano and minced garlic. Mix it well.In a separate wide-mouthed bowl or container, whisk your eggs with the cream.Grease a baking tray (I used a silicon mat, but parchment will work and is less clean up, less likely to stick than a pan, etc.)In small batches of 4 to 6 sticks, place them in the egg mixture. Coat them well. Pick them up and move them into the almond meal mixture. Place the lid back on top and shake them around. Place them on the tray, but with a little space between them. Repeat this process until your are done. At the end, the almond meal mixture will start balling up and won't stick as well. This is fine. Just press it on and form it inside your palms/fists.Bake the whole tray for 12 to 15 minutes. Watch for them to turn golden brown. Remove and serve!Sun-Dried Tomato PestoTrueThe word "Pesto" comes from the Genoese word "pestâ", which means to pound or crush. <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Traditional-Basil-Pesto">Pesto is traditionally made with basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and parmesan cheese</a>. However, there are a million types and varieties of "pesto", seeing as the root of the word is a verb and not a noun. It's not really locked into any "one" ingredient. That said, most pestos I've seen tend to be some kind of ingredient, blended with nuts, cheese and oil.<br /><br /> Following that general pattern, you can take something like parsley and blend it with asiago and walnuts. This gives you ... Parsley pesto! I've seen all kinds, from olive pestos, to artichoke pestos, spicy arugula, chilies, etc. This one is for sun-dried tomatoes. It's phenomenally delicious and a little goes a long way.<br /><br /> It's also something I often see as a "base". I will often throw some fresh basil into it, when I'm using it for something. Tossing it with some cream makes AN AMAZING sun-dried tomato <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Pesto-Cream-Sauce">pesto cream</a>. Adding a little oil to it, thinning it out a bit is wonderful for things like <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Baked-Zucchini-Fries">baked zucchini fries</a>. It would be divine in <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Turkey-Bacon-Pesto-Wrap">a wrap</a>, <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/All-Purpose-Crepes">a crepe</a> or tossed with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Zoodles">zoodles</a>!<br /><br /> It's quick and easy to make, versatile, lasts for a really long time and it's totally sweet, with a little chew and a touch of acid, otherwise known as ... yum.Sauces10 mins0 min10 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sun-Dried-Tomato-Pesto-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sun-Dried-Tomato-Pesto-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sun-Dried-Tomato-Pesto-31cup110sun-dried tomatoes in oil, oil drained off23415626064each12garlic cloves, minced01604002/3cup144extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-201273.3314400002tsp10lemon juice02.540.880.041/4cup33.75pine nuts, toasted227.25234.54.501.251/2cup50parmesan (reggiano) cheese, grated215.514.519200salt and pepper, to taste000000Before adding your sun-dried tomatoes to your food processor, if they're not in oil or from a jar, make sure they are somewhat softened. Adding little rocks to your food processor might break it. If you've got nice plumb and soft tomatoes, great! If you've just dried them yourself, this is probably fine, as well. Also, sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil will work quite nicely. However, if they've been sitting in your pantry, or hanging out in a bulk bin, they might have become quite solid. If this is the case, put them in a bowl and pour a little hot water over them, then wrap the bowl in plastic wrap. This will slightly steam and soften them up a bit. Let them sit for about 5 minutes and then pour off any excess water.All ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times. Continue pulsing until it's the consistency you like. You can make it a smooth paste, or a rustic and chunky pesto, it's completely up to you. Taste it, adjust seasoning, give it another pulse or two, then package or serve!Sweet Potato and Celeriac Au GratinTrueBefore I say anything, I should point out that this recipe is higher in carbs than most of my recipes. If you're deep in ketosis, or working on induction, you might want to look away. LOOK AWAY! This recipe will grab you and suck you in. Before you know it, you'll be in the store, jumping into that big pile of sweet potatoes in the produce section, much in the same way your kids jump into the giant tub of balls at Chuck E. Cheese.<br /><br /> This recipe is here because not everyone eats as low as I do. I recently asked on Facebook what the carb levels of my readers were. About half were within ranges similar to my own, but the other half had a higher capacity for carbs. This is for them. There are ALSO times where I'll up my allowance for the occasional splurge. Planned departures, in my opinion are good, fun, delicious, remind us that we really can eat anything <em>(as long as it's got its place, within a grander plan)</em> and FINALLY, it keeps the body guessing! A third reason this is here is for company. Let's face it, the Standard American Diet <em>(SAD)</em> tends to include heavy amounts of starch <em>(ie. steak and potatoes)</em>. I believe the USDA <em>(wrongly, in my opinion)</em> recommends we get something upwards of 65% of our daily calories from carbohydrates. Because of these recommendations, there are certain expectations of a meal, and by extension, the host! It becomes a bit of a challenge to offer a borderline mandatory starch, in a world without starch! This is one of those low-carb starches that NO one will scoff at. They will, in fact, ask you for the recipe.<br /><br /> Give it to them!<br /><br /> I love sweet potatoes. I think they're amazing in just about every way I've ever had them. In this case, I've paired them with celeriac. This is done for two reasons. 1. I like the color contrast of the two colors alternating in the slices. It's purdy! 2. Celeriac is lower in carbs than sweet potatoes, but tend to get a bit lost in the flavor. As a result, it lowers the carbs of the dish, while carrying the flavors and textures of the sweet potatoes <em>(as well as the luscious cream and cheese!)</em>. <span style="font-size:24px;">&#9786;</span><br /><br /> In terms of flat out flavor, this is 10 out of 10. I'm usually fairly critical of my recipes and do my best to portray them honestly, and as I see them. This is probably in my top 10 of all recipes across my site. It's a treat to die for, but ... that's just it. It's a treat.<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> I used a <a href="http://amzn.com/B00032RZNK?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">mandolin</a> to cut the potatoes really thin. You could do this with a knife, but be careful and keep the slices as thin and consistent as possible.SidesVegetarian20 mins1 hr1 hrs 20 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sweet-Potato-Celeriac-Au-Gratin-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sweet-Potato-Celeriac-Au-Gratin-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sweet-Potato-Celeriac-Au-Gratin-31 1/2lbs681sweet potatoes583010.24138.25020.481giant681celery root288.1208.7361.11013.011tbsp14butter1110000001 1/4cups297.5cream, heavy whipping1026.251106.258.75001 1/2cups150parmesan cheese, grated646.543.5576001/2tsp1nutmeg, freshly ground5.25.36.06.490.21salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 350 F.Peel and slice your celeriac and sweet potatoes, with a mandolin. Make two separate piles. Then, separate each pile into 4 piles. You should now have 8 piles, all about the same size.Butter the inside of a baking pan (I used a 9"x9" square).Start by placing a thin, consistent layer of celeriac slices. It should entirely cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle a small amount of salt on the layer. Next, add a thin, consistent layer of sweet potatoes. Make sure your layers are even and not thicker in the middle. Season with a little salt and pepper. Drizzle 1/4 cup of cream fairly evenly around the layer. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese over the sweet potatoes. Finally, give a light dust of nutmeg. Repeat these steps, alternating layers and seasoning each layer with a little salt, pepper, nutmeg and a bit of cream and parmesan. When done, top with the final 1/4 cup of cream and a 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.Place your pan, uncovered, in the oven and allow to bake for about 45 minutes. When a knife can be entered easily into the center of the dish, it is ready. If it gets prematurely dark, feel free to cover with a bit of aluminum foil, but be sure to poke some holes in it. It may take a bit more than an hour, depending on how thick you made it, but it will get there.When done, remove it from the oven and allow it to sit for 15 minutes, before slicing. This will allow it to firm up, a bit.Bacon Wrapped, Hot Link Stuffed Turkey ThighTrueIt can't be a big secret that I love anything BBQ'd. I love smoky flavors, I love playing with fire, I love tender meats and anything dripping with sauce.<br /><br /> Many years ago, I used to eat at a Seattle restaurant known as "<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixie's_BBQ" target="_blank">Dixie's BBQ</a>". It was an interesting place and the food was AMAZING. It is here that I discovered the "hot link". I would order a pound of BBQ'd beef brisket, with a hot link and a side of "The Man" (a north west sauce famous for its originator, as much as it will burn your face off).<br /><br /> A "Hot Link" is really just a fancy term for "Andouille" sausage, which is a spicy pork sausage brought to the US south, by French immigrants. It's usually smoked and generally has a bit of a kick. It's quite common in Cajun circles.<br /><br /> In the case of THIS recipe, I was aiming to take a relatively inexpensive cut of meat (a turkey thigh) and transform it into the kind of dish that could potentially bring world peace. It's really got all the parts! Pork, in two different ways, hot spices, turkey thighs, BBQ sauce and smoky goodness!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> When shopping for the sausage, you want raw "Louisiana Hot Link" or "Andouille" sausage, in bulk, if you can find it. If you can't buy it by the pound, you can also buy raw sausage links, where you can snip the end off of them, then squeeze the meat out of the casing, like a big tube of toothpaste.ChickenMain30 mins4 hrs4 hrs 30 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Stuffed-Turkey-Thigh-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Stuffed-Turkey-Thigh-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Stuffed-Turkey-Thigh-32approx. 1-lb each908turkey thighs1307.4861.2176.9300016slices400raw bacon1832180484002lbs908raw "hot link" or andouille sausage1495.9364.1138.8732.05010.68salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Prepare your smoker. Pre-heat to between 250 F and 275 F (this can be done in an oven without smoke, and still tastes great, but ... loses that smoky quality). Depending on your approach to the smoking process, you can also soak some hickory, or other aromatic wood chips in some water at this point. Finally, put a drip pan filled with water on the rack beneath where the turkey will go. Even if this is done on a pan in an oven, include a pan of water somewhere inside the oven.Place a boneless turkey thigh in between two sheets of plastic wrap.With the bottom of a pan, the back of your knife, or a meat mallet, whack your turkey thigh until it's about 1/2-inch thick and spread out evenly. Different thighs will spread in different ways, which will result in different shapes and cooking times. Some will be shaped a nice square, while others will be circular, or the US states California or Texas. In a perfect world, we want a shape like Kansas (a fairly clean rectangle).Lightly season both sides of your turkey thigh with salt and pepper.Lay one slice of bacon on the cutting board and then offset a second slice of bacon. The top and bottom should match, but the slice should be next to the original. Continue this process until you have a sheet of bacon slices and have used half of your bacon.Lay your turkey thigh (skin side down) within the sheet of bacon slices.Evenly spread your sausage in a thin layer on top of the turkey thigh.Tightly roll your turkey into a thick log shape, wrapping the bacon around it. There should be a clear seam where each slice meets its other end.Repeat this process for the second thigh.Place your thighs directly on the rack in your smoker, seam side down. Allow them to smoke for several hours, until the internal temperature, at the thickest part, reads about 170 F. It will take between 3 and 6 hours, depending on how thick your turkey is. If you rolled long thin "tubes", the time will be less. During the final hour, you may also baste it with BBQ sauce as you smoke it, if you desire.Once they reach 165 F, remove them and place somewhere covered, to rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve!Italian Stuffed Turkey ThighTrueThis recipe is absolutely tasty, but it's also a strange recipe. My original challenge was to take an inexpensive cut of meat and do something interesting with it. While I believe I COMPLETELY succeeded on that account, this recipe is also a bit of a stretch.<br /><br /> I purchased two turkey thighs. With the first, I created the <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/BBQ-Stuffed-Turkey-Thigh">Bacon Wrapped and Sausage Stuffed BBQ'd Turkey Thigh</a> recipe. For the second, I wanted to do whatever was the opposite of the smoky thigh. The BBQ'd thigh was cooked low and slow in a smoky environment, was full of spices, wrapped in bacon and just ... a really excellent down and dirty recipe. To steal a term from <a href="http://www.grassfedgirl.com" target="_blank">GrassFedGirl</a>, it was "amazeballs!"<br /><br /> This time, I wanted something a little more refined. A "snobby" turkey thigh, if you will. I chose to go with some Mediterranean flavors and make it sort of a northern Italian type of dish. The end result was thoroughly delicious, rich and flavorful, but ... for some odd reason, I decided to wrap the whole thing in caul fat.<br /><br /> Caul fat? What's that?<br /><br /> It can't be a big secret that I love wrapping things in bacon. I wrapped the BBQ'd thigh in bacon and this was to be the opposite of that. So, what's the opposite of no bacon? In my mind ... it's caul fat! It's like wrapping food in bacon, but ... without bacon!<br /><br /> Caul fat is a thin membrane, which surrounds the stomach internal organs of some animals, like cows, pigs and sheep. It's the weirdest looking stuff; appearing like a big webby net. I happened to have some left over in my freezer from Thanksgiving, where I had wrapped various turkey parts in it and served it to my family. <br /><br /> <center><a href="http://francesdepontespeebles.com/blog/2009/12/27/cauling-all-turkeys/" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/caulfat.jpg" width="450" /></a></center><br /> I flat out stole the above image, but I liked the picture. It does a fantastic job of showing what caul fat looks like, while being held by a regular person <em>(not a chef)</em>, who ALSO used it for Thanksgiving and a turkey. If you click the image, you'll also see she goes into a little more detail about caul fat than I did. She also calls herself the "Pig Whisperer" which automatically makes her awesome, in my book. <br /><br /> Anywhoo ... cool picture! I hope she doesn't sue! :)<br /><br /> See, one of the wonderful things about caul fat is, it essentially disappears when it's cooked. You can take something like a meatloaf and wrap it in caul fat and then bake it. The meatloaf will maintain its shape, because the caul fat helps it to stay that shape. However, the caul fat essentially melts IN to the meatloaf, rendering it extra flavorful and juicy! It does almost all the great stuff wrapping stuff in bacon does, but ... without the bacon! <em>(and salt and smokiness)</em><br /><br /> Caul fat is great. It's fun to wrap around monkfish or meatballs. Find some and play with it. It's weird, but fun!<br /><br /> It's unlikely you'll find this at a standard grocery store. If you call ahead, you might be able to order some. The first butcher I called in Seattle had some in the freezer. It's far from impossible to find, but it's not going to be sitting next to the bacon.<br /><br /> Finally, caul fat freezes well. Defrost in a bucket of water and just pull it out of the water and spread it out. Cut a big sheet of it, put something in the middle of the sheet, roll "it" up in the caul fat, then cut off any excess. Sear and roast! YUM!<br /><br /> <strong>Photo Note:</strong> Served with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Pesto-Cream-Sauce">pesto cream sauce</a>.ChickenMain30 mins45 mins1 hr 158http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Italian-Stuffed-Turkey-Thigh-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Italian-Stuffed-Turkey-Thigh-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Italian-Stuffed-Turkey-Thigh-32approx. 1-lb each908turkey thighs1307.4861.2176.930006oz158caul fat769.4475.620.160001lb454firm fontina cheese, grated17661421168001/2lb227asiago cheese, grated890.4259.1581.537.99008whole221.84artichoke hearts in oil, cut into 8 wedges, each26418.87.1222.96011.21cup110sun-dried tomatoes in oil, oil drained off23415626061/2cup90assorted italian olives, chopped93.936.3.95.402.71/4cup33.75pine nuts, toasted227.25234.54.501.25salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 375 F.Place a boneless turkey thigh in between two sheets of plastic wrap.With the bottom of a pan, the back of your knife, or a meat mallet, whack your turkey thigh until it's about 1/2-inch thick and spread out evenly. Different thighs will spread in different ways, which will result in different shapes and cooking times. Some will be shaped a nice square, while others will be circular, or the US states California or Texas. In a perfect world, we want a shape like Kansas (a fairly clean rectangle).Lightly season both sides of your turkey thigh with salt and pepper.Spread out a sheet of caul fat, so that it's about twice as much surface area as your turkey thigh. It's ok if you have extra. You can easily cut it off, after it's been rolled.Place your turkey thigh on the caul fat, skin side down.Sprinkle half of your cheese evenly over the turkey breast.Evenly distribute half of the remaining ingredients.Tightly roll the thigh in the caul fat, so that it forms a nice solid and tightly rolled shape. Fold under any large masses of caul fat, or cut it off. You will want the entire piece of thigh to be tightly wrapped, without holes in the membrane, or leaving any of the turkey unexposed. The wrapping should be "air tight". Once you're certain the turkey is well wrapped and free of holes, cut off any excess flaps.Repeat the process with the other thigh.Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Place your two thighs on the parchment, making sure there is plenty of space between them.Bake the thighs until they are cooked through. Because the size and shape can vary, it's difficult to gauge the time, but it should be between 35 and 55 minutes. Stick a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the largest one. When it reads 165 F, remove the thighs, cover them and place in a warm location for 10 minutes to let the juices settle.Slice and serve!Salisbury Steak StroganoffTrueThis is a dish I would categorize as "grubbin'". I'm not entirely certain what it means for a dish to be grubbin', but I know it when I see it. It's usually a comfort food and is somehow deeply satisfying. There is a tendency to be a lot of fat and it's rarely attractive. It's the kind of food which nourishes the soul.<br /><br /> This particular recipe is kind of fun, actually. Most everyone has heard of Salisbury Steak and just as many have heard of Steak Stroganoff. They are some similar themes between the two, which led me to merging them into the same rich dish. This is a marriage to last a lifetime!<br /><br /> Another one of the appeals for this recipe is the ease. It's a little messy to make the "steaks", but once the ground beef has been seasoned and formed, the steaks are then cooked in a hot pan with some mushrooms. They are flipped, the mushrooms tossed and sour cream (and a little regular cream) are added, where the whole kit and caboodle are left to quietly gurgle and sputter away, while the sauce thickens and the steaks continue to slowly cook.<br /><br /> Once the sauce is thick and the steaks cooked through, serve!<br /><br /> <strong>Photo Note:</strong> Served with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/zoodles">Zoodles</a>.BeefMain15 min15 min30 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Salisbury-Steak-Stroganoff-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Salisbury-Steak-Stroganoff-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Salisbury-Steak-Stroganoff-32tbsp28butter2220000001small110onion, diced440110024each12garlic cloves, minced01604002tsp2fresh thyme, chopped and divided.042.02.12.480.282lbs908ground beef (80 lean/20 fat)181.62306.32154.360002large100eggs14410131001tbsp14light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)1212000001lb454crimini or button mushrooms, quartered122.606.829.0802.282tbsp34worcestershire sauce26.46006.68001cup230sour cream4444558001cup238cream, heavy whipping821885700salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add your butter, onions, garlic and half of your chopped thyme, with a little bit of salt and pepper. Stir until the onions and garlic turn a light shade of brown.Once the onions are lightly caramelized, place into a mixing bowl and spread them around the bowl into a thin layer, so that they may cool, more quickly.Add your ground beef to the onions (making sure the onions aren't hot enough to cook the beef, should only take a few minutes).Add your eggs to the beef, with a little salt and pepper. Blend together the beef, eggs and onion mixture.Form 6 nice "steaks". I made 6 football shapes, then squooshed them to make them the same thickness, the whole way across.Heat up a large sauté pan or skillet over high heat.While the pan is heating, season the surface of your steaks with a little salt and pepper.Add oil to the hot pan. Swirl it around and then add your steaks to the pan. Do not crowd them. There should be plenty of space between the steaks. Assuming your pan was hot, they should sear.Add your mushrooms to the pan and add a little salt and pepper to the mushrooms.Once you feel the surface of the steaks are nice and browned, flip the steaks and push the mushrooms around the pan. Allow to cook for about 1 minute.Turn your heat to medium-low and add your sour cream, cream, fresh thyme and Worcestershire sauce. Season with a little more salt and pepper.Push everything around the pan to mix it together, but be careful not to break up the steaks. I just swirl the pan around, until everything is blended.Allow the whole mixture to simmer together for about 12 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.Taste and adjust seasoning if it needs it.Serve!Chocolate Pudding Pie with Macadamia CrustTrueGelatin might be some of the weirdest stuff on earth, right up there with <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHnen2nSmDY" target="_blank">Aerogel</a> and non-newtonian fluids (ie. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2XQ97XHjVw" target="_blank">cornstarch slurry</a>). In simple terms, it's what gives Jell-O its shape and jiggle. It's usually bought in powdered form, but can also be bought in little sheets that feel like plastic. Dissolve these powders or sheets into a warm liquid and then let it chill. It will firm up the entirety of the liquid and become a jiggling gelatinous mass of bouncy wonkiness.<br /><br /> I first learned about using powdered gelatin back in culinary school, somewhere in the middle of the 19th century. I learned how to apply it to meats and fishes; an interesting branch of cookery known as "<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charcuterie" target="_blank">charcuterie</a>". Gelatin was used to firm things up, give shapes to meats and sauces that have no shape, suspending ingredients in "space", etc.<br /><br /> Gelatin was fun, but ... old school and I never really used it in modern kitchens <em>(of the early 90's)</em>, but I think it's seeing a bit of a revival.<br /><br /> A little while back, I was trying to think of induction friendly dessert recipes and thought <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Panna-Cotta">Panna Cotta</a> would do the trick. Panna Cotta is little more than sweetened cream, held into a molded shape with gelatin. That day I made all sort of other desserts, but the Panna Cotta was the clear winner. This got me to thinking about gelatin and all its applications. It can really be applied to anything with water in it: sweet OR savory! A little gives you a little structure and jiggle and a lot will give you something firm and solid! It is odorless and tasteless. So, it's little more than a gel, which would work in a glass of water, a bowl of ginger infused chicken broth and freshly suspended cilantro leaves, as well as strawberry juice and cocoa powder mixed with cream and almond milk.<br /><br /> So, what is it? Where does it come from? You really probably don't want to know ... <em>(<strong>short answer:</strong> animal skins, bones and connective tissues)</em>.<br /><br /> Since the panna cotta, I've been playing a lot with gelatin, making loads of different jiggly things in my spare time. Here is one of the first to hit the website. I jumped it up ahead of some of the others because of <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=570016749688652&l=9727ff68aa" target="_blank">a photo on Facebook, where I was caught dropping the pie</a>. Seemed only fitting to share the recipe quickly!<br /><br /> This recipe is VERY simple to make and really doesn't use that many ingredients. The end result is deep and luxurious, without really breaking the carb bank.<br /><br /> Oh ... it's TASTY, TOO!<br /><br /> <strong>Nut 'n Honey Note:</strong> I use a little bit of honey in the crust. It's a tiny amount and really only serves to help the crust stay together. You could completely omit it and the recipe will still work, while also dropping each slice by about 2 net carbs. However, the crust will not stay as "together and united". It will still work and be absolutely tasty, but it will be more crumbly. It's totally up to you!BakedDesserts20 mins15 min6 hrs 35 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chocolate-Pudding-Pie-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chocolate-Pudding-Pie-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chocolate-Pudding-Pie-31 1/2cups167.5crushed salted macadamia nuts1202.5127.513.7523.750151tbsp21honey640017001/4cup56fresh whole butter, melted4440000001 1/2cups357cream, heavy whipping1231.51327.510.5002 1/2cup600almond milk, unsweetened and dividedhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-20112.58.7557.502.52packets (about 4 1/2 to 5 tsp, total)14gelatin powder46.9012.040003/4cup64.5unsweetened cocoa powder14713.512.7537.5021.751cup200'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00020020001tbsp12vanilla extract34.62001.5001dash1salt000000Pre-heat oven to 325 F.If your macadamia nuts are not crushed, place them in a large plastic (ZipLoc style) bag. With a mallet or the edge of a pot or pan, whack at them until you have a squooshed bag of macadamia explosion. (I've tried this in a food processor and for whatever reasons the imperfect smashing method gives a better crust than macadamias pulverized in a food processor)Pour your crushed macadamias into a mixing bowl and add your honey (you can skip the honey, but it does help to hold the crust together), and melted butter. Mix the ingredients until the macadamias are well coated with the honey and butter.Grease a 9-inch pie pan.Press the nut mixture into the pie pan. Use the back of a spoon (or a tamper, if you have one) to press the crusts firmly into the base and up the sides of the pan.Bake the crusts for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and allow to begin cooling.Combine cream and 2 cups of the almond milk in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat.At the same time as you add your milk to the stove, in a medium sized mixing bowl, add your 1/2 cup remaining almond milk.Sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the surface of the almond milk. Allow it to bloom for about 5 minutes.Into your hot milk mixture, whisk in your sugar equivalent, cocoa powder, vanilla and a dash of salt. Whisk until the cocoa is fully absorbed, lumps are gone, and the sugar equivalent has fully dissolved.Once the mixture begins to simmer (but not boil), whisk the hot mixture into the blooming gelatin bowl. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved.Pour your warm mixture into the pie pan and place in the refrigerator to chill. Chilling takes between 4 to 6 hours.Slice and serve with whipped cream!Slow Cooker BBQ Short RibsTrueI can't seem to stop playing with the slow cooker. Even though I realize they're on the kitchen counters of most home kitchens, I've managed to somehow live life without one.<br /><br /> I'm still trying to do simple things, while creating easy and tasty foods.<br /><br /> In this case, I did little more than season up a bunch of short ribs, sear them and then throw them into the crock pot with a bunch of BBQ sauce. As they cooked, their own fats and juices were pulled out, where the liquid braised them. The meat completely fell of the bone, resulting in a juicy, tender meat with sweet, spicy and smoky flavors from the spices and sauce. These also refrigerate well and make FANTSTIC leftovers!<br /><br /> Set it and ... forget it!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> the short ribs I used were purchased inexpensively from the local grocery store. They were cut into roughly 2 inch cuts, called an "English cut". They seem fairly easy to find, while not being a super common item. A shame, really ... they are excellent!BeefMain20 mins8 hrs8 hrs 20 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Short-Ribs-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Short-Ribs-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Short-Ribs-310lbs.4540beef short ribs, cut 2-inch thick1759016406500002tbsp28light oil (coconut oil, ghee, olive ... or even bacon fat!)2402400002cup476bbq saucehttp://www.djfoodie.com/bbq-sauce454.215.7913.1594.89021.25salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Season your ribs with a fairly heavy coat of salt and pepper. It shouldn't be CAKED on, but a nice seasoning is the way to go with big beef ribs.Pre-heat a large skillet, flat top or sauté pan over medium-high heat.Add your oil to the pan. Make sure it's coating the bottom evenly. Add some ribs to the pan, with a nice fleshy side down. Don't crowd the pan. Leave a little space between each rib. They may not all fit, but that's ok. Sear your ribs, until one side is nice and golden brown. Turn them and sear each side in this manner.When your ribs are done, place them into your slow cooker and turn the slow cooker to "low".If you have any raw ribs, continue searing a second batch in the hot pan.Once all your ribs are seared and in the slow cooker, drizzle your BBQ sauce all over the top of the ribs. Then, stir them to coat them all with the sauce.Cover the cooker and allow to cook on low for 8 hours.Remove the lid pull out the ribs with tongs and set into a bowl.With a ladle, scoop the fat off the top of the sauce in the base of the slow cooker. You can discard this.With the remaining liquid, you can either pour it over the ribs, or you can put it into a saucepan and boil it for 20 to 30 minutes, to thicken and reduce it. Once the sauce is thick, you can pour over the ribs. Thick, or thin, it's all delicious!Salmon PattiesTrueI grew up on salmon patties. They were DEFINITELY a favorite of mine, growing up. If I had to hazard a guess, I would imagine that the patties I was raised on came from canned salmon, breadcrumbs and maybe mayonnaise, swirled in a pan, patted into pucks and then fried in some kind of vegetable oil. Whatever they were, they were loved, appreciated and then dipped into seemingly bottomless puddles of ketchup. Mmmmmm ....<br /><br /> These salmon patties are made with fresh salmon and omit the breadcrumbs. However, because I know that breadcrumbs are such a big part of my fondness for these flat, fishy discs, I wanted to emulate that bulk and texture. Enter the pork rind dust!<br /><br /> In short, pork rinds are fried and puffed pig skins, which are usually blasted with some kind of salty flavor dust. You'll usually find them in most grocery stores in the snacky section, with all the other stuff you're pretending isn't there. Just look for the pork rinds. They're delicious! Sort of the low-carbers' fauxtato chip! If you take these same packaged pork rinds and throw them in a food processor and pulse it a few times, you'll get something that very closely approximates bread crumbs!<br /><br /> In this particular recipe, we're going to take about half of the salmon and throw it in the food processor with an egg, to make a paste. Then, we're going to fold that mixture into about half of the rind crumbs, some mayo, the rest of the chopped salmon (so you know it's fresh!) and spices. Then, we're going to form patties, dredge them in the rest of the rind crumbs and fry 'em up!<br /><br /> It's like being 11, all over again!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> A 4-oz bag of rinds will yield about 1-cup of "rind crumbs".FishMain15 mins15 mins30 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Salmon-Cakes-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Salmon-Cakes-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Salmon-Cakes-31cup112pork rind crumbs64036640001 1/2lbs681fresh salmon1273.4781.72136.20001large50egg7256.5.5001/4cup56.68mayonnaisehttp://www.djfoodie.com/mayonnaise375.2841.721.2.380.021/4cup28.4real bacon bits6100120002each6garlic cloves, minced0802001tsp2paprika6.74.3.351.310.861/2tsp1cayenne pepper, ground2.84.17.17.50.172tsp2fresh thyme, chopped.042.02.12.480.282tbsp30.5lemon juice, freshly squeezed07.63.132.630.131/2cup108oil for frying (a bacon fat/butter combo would be perfect!)9551080000If you haven't made your rind crumbs, use a 4-oz bag of pork rinds and place them in a food processor to make crumbs. They don't need to be super fine and a few chunks are ok. TOO fine and they become almost like a greasy paste and they lose their absorption powers. 1 bag should make about 1 cup of crumbs. Place half the crumbs in a pie tin, or a wide mouthed bowl (you will dredge the patties in this mixture at a later step). Place the other half in a mixing bowl.Cut your salmon in half. Place about half of your salmon in the food processor with the egg. Puree until it is a paste. Add the paste to the mixing bowl, with the rind crumbs.Cut your other half of the salmon into 1/4 to 1/2-inch cubes. Add these cubes to the mixing bowl.Add your mayonnaise, bacon bits, garlic, thyme, paprika, cayenne and lemon juice to the bowl. Mix well.Form about 8 even patties from the mixture.Dredge each pattie in the remaining rind crumb mixture. Not a lot will stick, but it's enough to give a fine and consistent appearance to the final patties. If you want more to stick for a thicker crust, you can optionally dip each pattie into an egg wash mixture (1 egg to 2 tbsp water, whisked) and then into more rind crumbs.In a large sauté pan or a skillet, heat up your oil. Because we're using pork rinds and a little bacon, using lard or bacon fat seems like a nice way to go. I also like the taste of butter and feel that would make a nice flavor as well. Just don't burn the butter. If you do use butter, use a blend with another fat and start with the other fat. When the fat begins to ripple in the pan, add your patties and bits of fresh butter to the oil, all at the same time. This will help keep the butter from burning and will give a nice buttery flavor to the cakes.Cook the patties until golden brown on one side, then flip them over and finish cooking. When they are cooked through, place them on a paper towel in a warm place. Serve when they're all cooked and ready! Ketchup is highly recommended!Sweet, Dark n' Nutty-Gritty FudgeTrueWhen I was a kid, we would travel into Gold Rush territory and visit a historic old town called "<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia,_California" target="_blank">Columbia</a>", in California. Aside from the crazy rock gardens formed by mining methods and the local "Moaning Caverns", one of my favorite things to do was drink <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarsaparilla_(soft_drink)" target="_blank">Sarsaparilla</a> and eat handmade fudge. YUM!<br /><br /> This fudge recipe is interesting. It's actually made in a manner very similar as most fudges. It is heated to a "soft ball" stage, and then cooled, where it hardens to the texture of fudge! The only fudge I've ever had had a somewhat grainy effect, from the crystallized sugar. THIS fudge is no different. The erythritol re-crystallizes and creates a grainy/gritty texture. It's not at all unpleasant, but it's not a "smooth" fudge. Also, for anyone familiar with large quantities of erythritol, there is a very mild "cooling" sensation that occurs, when eating it. I've never really noticed it before, but it's noticeable in this recipe. To be perfectly honest ... I kind of like it! It's like an air conditioner ... in my mouth! <br /><br /> Finally, this fudge was INCREDIBLY sweet. Sickeningly sweet. This is part of the allure of fudge for a kid, but as a grown-up, it was too much. In retrospect, I would've thrown a cup or two of chopped walnuts into it, prior to cut the sweet. <em>(included in the recipe, as I feel it's somewhat necessary)</em><br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> I used a sugar equivalent called "<a href="http://amzn.com/B004X71550?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Swerve</a>" for this. It did work, but ... it also re-crystallized. I suspect this wouldn't work with something like Splenda. It also wouldn't work with liquid sweeteners or pure stevia.Desserts5 mins20 mins6 hrs12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fudge-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fudge-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fudge-31 1/2cup300'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00030030001/3cup28.67unsweetened cocoa powder65.3365.6716.6709.671/4cup59.5cream, heavy whipping205.25221.251.75001/2cup120almond milk, unsweetenedhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-2022.51.7511.50.51dash1salt0000002tbsp28butter2220000001tsp4vanilla extract11.5400.5001 1/2cup150walnuts, chopped98197.522.521010.5Line a baking pan (I used an 8-inch cake pan) with parchment paper and grease it up, a bit.Add the sugar equivalent, cocoa powder, cream, almond milk and a dash of salt to a medium-to-large sized sauce pot, over medium heat and bring to a simmer.Turn the heat down low and allow the mixture to slowly simmer and roll, until the temperature rises to 240 F (you will need an accurate thermometer). Please be VERY careful with this hot mixture. Some of the worse burns I know of were caused by hot molten sugar.Add the fresh butter, walnuts and vanilla. Mix well. The overall mixture should be smooth looking (and not gritty), short of the new walnuts.Pour your mixture into your prepared pan and set it on a cooling rack. Allow to fully cool (about 5 to 6 hours).Remove from the pan and slice into portions!German Fauxtato SaladTrueThis is a recipe that comes as a "Potato Salad" request from Facebook (great suggestion, Sharon!). I have a funny feeling she was suggesting the creamy, mayonnaisey variety of potato salad, but I decided to take it a slightly different direction. I've always liked the old school potato salad, but I've always been even MORE fond of a nice warm "German Potato Salad". <br /><br /> I wish I could remember the first time I was introduced to this super food. It's actually fairly simple, with just potatoes, bacon, green onions, vinegar and Dijon. I've had it with the potatoes boiled, fried and roasted. I've never met a German Potato Salad that I didn't like! That said, the KEY to a good German Potato Salad, in my world view, is that it be WARM. Somehow, when it cools down, it loses its comfort factor. It loses the sumptuous warm yumminess that can only be found in the soft and slightly acidic nibble of the thing. MUST be served warm!<br /><br /> This salad is incredibly easy. Simply cook the cauliflower in a large pan, then throw it in the oven to roast. While it's roasting, whip up your dressing. A few minutes later, remove the cauliflower from the oven, place it a bowl, toss with the dressing and ... serve with a smile!SaladsSides10 mins15 mins25 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fauxtato-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fauxtato-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fauxtato-Salad-31head840large cauliflower, stem/leaves removed and cut into small florets1.3321017450212tbsp28light oil (olive, ghee ... or especially bacon fat!)2402400001/2cup56.8real bacon bits20012240004each12garlic cloves, minced01604002tbsp29.88apple cider vinegarhttp://amzn.com/B001AIWAAE?tag=lcrecipe-200000004whole60green onions (scallions), cut into thin rings19.201.24.201.81/4cup60dijon mustard, whole grain2.3449.52.965.8402.41/2cup108extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-209551080000salt and pepper, to taste000000Preheat oven to 350 degree F.In a large sauté pan, add your oil and heat over medium heat.When the oil begins to ripple, add the cauliflower to the pan, then season with salt and pepper.Toss the cauliflower in the pan, to evenly coat with the oil.Place the pan in the oven to roast.While the cauliflower is roasting, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together your bacon, garlic, vinegar, scallions, Dijon and a bit of salt and pepper.While whisking your mustard mixture, slowly pour in your oil. The act of whisking, while slowly drizzling in the oil will emulsify the dressing, giving it a creamy consistency. Whisk your mustard, until all the oil has been added. Note: If you do this too quickly, the mixture will separate. The salad will still be tasty, but it won't be as creamy or well blended.When the cauliflower has become soft and browned, remove it from the oven and pour the contents into the mixing bowl with the Dijon dressing.Toss all the ingredients together. Taste and adjust flavors with salt and pepper.Serve warm!Uber Crack SlawTrueIt's my understanding that the original "Crack Slaw" name comes from the addictive nature of this particular slaw.<br /><br /> While I can't really do anything about the inception of the name, I have tried to give it a little boost. Just about every recipe I've seen for this amazing little dish is based on ground beef, cabbage and variations of ginger, soy and chilies. Yes, this is all tasty, quick, easy and totally yum, but I see it as a bit of my job to take things and kind of twist them around and have a bit of fun with them!<br /><br /> I've chosen to take the same flavors and build something a little fresher, a little more vibrant. I've added a few more veggies and flavors, and combined them with a nice very thinly cut flank steak. This is all finished with a spicy soy sauce, sesame oil and black sesame seeds.<br /><br /> It's these little tweaks which take it from "Crack Slaw" to UBER Crack Slaw.<br /><br /> <strong>Green Onions Note</strong>: I had intended to add scallions <em>(green onions)</em> to this recipe, but that angry cold spot in my refrigerator got a hold of them and froze them into a hard dark green bundle of tundra-fied wonkiness. I've included them in the recipe, even if they are not in the picture.<br /><br /> <strong>Organization Note</strong>: I ALWAYS recommend reading the recipe first, then gathering the ingredients prior to cooking it. This recipe is no exception. The actual cooking time for this recipe is about 4 to 5 minutes, in a screaming hot pan. These ingredients are all cut very thin, with the idea being, they will cook REALLY quickly. If your ingredients aren't cut and ready to rock, you'll burn whatever is in the pan, or just create a whole big scene ... and who really wants that! Be prepared to <A href="http://amzn.com/B000MYI2ZO?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Wok it Out</a>!BeefMainQuickSalads20 mins5 mins25 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Crack-Slaw-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Crack-Slaw-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Crack-Slaw-31 1/2lb681beef flank (tenderloin, sirloin or ribeye, etc. will work, as well)1680123133.50001tbsp6fresh ginger, chopped04.8.121.080.124each12garlic cloves, minced01604002tbsp28.02sesame oil2602800001large72carrot, peeled29.250.566.7502.251cup63snow peas26025021small304head napa cabbage800412044whole60green onions (scallions)19.201.24.201.81/4cup63.75soy sauce033.753.255.50.52tbsp28.02hot chile oil2602800002tbsp24black sesame seeds (or regular toasted sesame seeds)135.611.524.086.2403.36salt and pepper, to taste000000Slice your flank steak, against the grain, into very thin strips. One trick is to have the thin flank steak in the freezer. Remove it and put it into the refrigerator about two hours prior to using. It will still be frozen, but VERY easy to cut into thin strips with a knife. Slice and then add to a mixing bowl.Add your garlic, ginger and sesame oil to the mixing bowl, with the beef. Mix well and set aside. By the time you get around to cooking it, it will be mostly defrosted.Slice your carrots into very thin strips or "planks". Then, create a few small stacks of carrot strips, then cut down into very thin sticks. To be all "technical" about it, you want "carrot julienne". Set aside.Peel the hard fibrous string out of the snow peas and tear off the tops and bottom corners where the stem and weird little "feather" live. Create little stacks of 5 or so snow peas, then cut down into the stacks every 3 millimeters or so. You're also trying to make thin little snow pea "sticks". Set these aside.Cut your head of napa cabbage into quarters, lengthwise, so that each quarter is still held together by the small stem at the base. Then, starting at the end opposite the stem, cutting toward the stem every 2 or 3 millimeters, slicing each quarter into very thin strips. This will essentially "shred" the cabbage. Set aside.Slice your green onions into thin little rings. Set aside.Mix together your soy sauce with your hot chili oil. Many like to add a bit of "sweet" to this mixture. If you like a little sweet, feel free to whisk something sweet into this, as well. Set aside.Find your largest non-stick sauté pan or wok and get it screaming hot over high heat.Sprinkle your beef around the bottom of the pan, so that it's evenly spread, in a single layer, all around the pan. Do not touch the pan. Simply let it sear for about 1 minute. While it is searing, season the tops with a little bit of salt and pepper.Evenly sprinkle your carrot sticks over the beef and toss the entire pan around, so that the two ingredients are mixed. Let the pan sit for about 1 minute. Add a tiny bit of salt and pepper.Evenly sprinkle your snow peas over the beef and carrots. Toss the pan around to mix. Let sit for 1 minute and add a tiny amount of salt and pepper.Evenly sprinkle your cabbage and green onions over the ingredients in the pan. Toss everything together and let sit for about 30 seconds. Season with a little salt and pepper. Toss one more time and let sit for 30 seconds.Add your soy mixture to the pan and toss everything until it's well coated and the cabbage has clearly begin to whither and wilt.Divide your Uber Crack Slaw between 4 plates or bowls. Garnish with the sesame seeds. Serve with more soy and chili oil for those that may need it.Enjoy!Curried Cauliflower CakesTrueYou ever have one of those days? The kind of day where it starts wrong and just stays wrong, all day long? The kind of day where you wake up with a headache and a foul temper and you just sort of perpetuate your own misery by making poor decisions, stomping around in a grumpy manner and being generally irritable?<br /><br /> Yeah ... me neither!<br /><br /> I was having one of those days on the day I created these. In retrospect, I'm a little embarrassed because I remember taking the pan of hot fresh cauliflower cakes and just slamming them on my crusty old cutting board, where they were just kind of mushed. I had just about had enough of the day. I grabbed some of the spices, put them on the cutting board and got the photo taken.<br /><br /> There was precisely zero love put into these photos. I was being a sourpuss when these shots were taken and ... it shows. I see these and ... I cringe.<br /><br /> Please don't let my cantankerous little mini-tantrum stop you from trying to make these things. They were EXCELLENT! Deceptively tasty, in fact! They were soft, a little sweet, complex and spicy. They were outstanding, in fact!<br /><br /> A perfect food.SidesVegetarian20 mins15 mins35 min6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Curried-Cauliflower-Cakes-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Curried-Cauliflower-Cakes-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Curried-Cauliflower-Cakes-31small420head cauliflower.671058.522.5010.54large200whole eggs28620262001/2cup56coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-20248614360242tbsp28coconut oilhttp://amzn.com/B003QDRJXY?tag=lcrecipe-202424000001/2tsp2baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-202.500.5001tbsp6fresh ginger, minced04.8.121.080.124each12garlic cloves, minced0000001/4cup20fresh cilantro, chopped5001012tsp4turmeric, ground.414.16.322.60.841tsp2cumin seed, ground.447.50.880.221tsp2coriander seed, ground.365.96.241.10.841tsp2chili flakes.346.28.241.10.681/2tsp1cinnamon, ground0000001/4tsp.25cloves, ground0000001/4tsp.25cardamom, ground0000002tbsp28cooking oil (ghee or coconut oil/butter blend preferred)242400000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Remove the stems and leaves from the cauliflower. Place in a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Poke a few holes in the plastic wrap. Cook in the microwave on high for about 7 minutes.Once the cauliflower is steamed, remove it from the microwave and set it on the counter, while you organize, chop and mince the other ingredients.Place your steamed cauliflower in the food processor and puree with a little salt and pepper. If you need to add an egg to get the process started, you may add 1 or 2, but be careful not to let the cauliflower cook the eggs. It should be steamed, warm and soft, but if they're too hot, they'll cook the eggs. You want to let the cauliflower cool down just a bit prior to pureeing them.Once your cauliflower puree is done, in a mixing bowl, whisk together all your ingredients, except the 2 tbsp cooking oil. Taste the batter and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.Pre-heat a flattop griddle, skillet or non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Add your cooking oil (ghee is recommended, or coconut oil/butter blend). Add small rounds of batter. Cook like pancakes! When one side is golden, flip them and cook until done.Serve!Pesto Cream SauceTrueThere are very few things I love more than pesto. Pesto can only really be heightened by the addition of cream. Ohhhh ... cream. I often feel as if I could float through life on a green cloud of pesto cream. The bad news is, on occasion, I really try to!<br /><br /> The good news is, pesto cream is really really easy and it's really that good. The BAD news is, it's like a rock solid wall of calorie bomb. By and large, I don't count calories, but there are some foodstuffs which are so calorically dense, it becomes a bit irresponsible on my part not to point it out. This stuff is as good as it as genuinely fattening. Normally, I recommend fat and fat bombs, but ... within reason. The issue that I PERSONALLY have with pesto cream is that I could drink it from a lavish Goblet all day and never grow tired of it.<br /><br /> I add raw pesto cream to eggs before I scramble them. I add cooked pesto cream as a sauce to my <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Poorly-Cooked-Eggs">eggs</a> and <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Ground-Beef-Parmesan-and-Spinach-Fritatta">frittatas</a>. I LOVE it <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Linguini-with-Chicken-Veggies-and-Pesto-Cream">tossed with pasta</a> or <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Zoodles">zoodles</a>. I'll serve it as a side sauce with something simple like a chicken breast. Even though I've never actually poured myself a lavish Goblet of pesto cream, it's not for a lack of desire. I think it's the simple fact that a goblet of pesto cream sauce is only one step removed from a pesto cream sauce with BACON and ... I don't think I'm capable of handling that much personal bliss.<br /><br /> <strong>Portion Control</strong>: Recipe makes about 1 cup of sauce, for about 1/4 cup per serving. Any less and it just feels like a tease.<br /><br /> <strong>Portion Control <em>(part II)</em></strong>: This stuff can take over lives.Sauces1 min19 mins20 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pesto-Cream-Sauce-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pesto-Cream-Sauce-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pesto-Cream-Sauce-32/3cup159basil pestohttp://www.djfoodie.com/Traditional-Basil-Pesto1137.53119.7714.499.0802.731 1/3cup317cream, heavy whipping1094.67117.336.679.3300salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Add the two ingredients to a pan and heat over medium heat.Once it simmers, turn to low heat and let it continue to simmer, reduce and thicken. You can make it quicker by cooking over high heat, but you need to watch it and stir it.When it's thick and gloopy, season to taste and then grab your lavish Goblet and dance a little jig! (Serve it)Tod Man Pla (Thai Fish Cakes)TrueSome names, for me, just seem "unfortunate". That these are called "fish cakes" is, unfortunate. Something about the name doesn't really elicit visions of fresh fish blended with a spicy curry paste, vegetables and a bit of egg, then pan fried. Instead, it elicits visions more in the spirit of something Bugs Bunny might give to Elmer Fudd. The idea of a "fish cake" feels a bit cartoonish and filled with ulterior motives. These fish cakes are Thai, which somehow renders the whole thing exotic ... and cartoonish.<br /><br /> Because I detest the name "Fish Cake", I'm going to call these "Tod Man Pla", or "ทอดมันปลาทอดมัน", which is what they're really called by the street vendors that hawk these tasty cakes on the streets of Thailand.<br /><br /> These seem to come in a wide variety of tastes and flavors, but there do seem to be some consistent elements between them all. They're all fish, they're all fried and they're all kind of springy.<br /><br /> I decided to add a few vegetables into mine, which gives them a heartier texture, a little more depth of flavor and specks of delightful color!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> This is delicious served with some thin slices of cucumber and chilies, tossed with some fish sauce, rice wine vinegar and a bit of sweetener.AppetizersFish20 min15 min35 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Thai-Fish-Cakes-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Thai-Fish-Cakes-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Thai-Fish-Cakes-31 1/2lb681firm, fresh, raw, white fish (cod, halibut, sole, shrimp, scallop, lobster, etc.)696.1210.08136.20003each99egg whites480120001tbsp6fresh ginger, minced04.8.121.080.124each12garlic cloves, minced0000001tbsp15red curry pastehttp://amzn.com/B000EI2LLO?tag=lcrecipe-2022.501.53001/4cup72fish saucehttp://amzn.com/B000EICPAG?tag=lcrecipe-2025.203.62.880010each10fresh kaffir lime leaves, cut into very thin strips (lime zest is an acceptable substitute)8001001/2lb227green string beans, ends and string removed, cut into thin little discs70.37.272.7216.1907.721small74red bell pepper, seeded and cut into small dice22.940.744.4401.482tbsp28light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)242400000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000In a food processor, place your fresh fish, egg whites, ginger, garlic, curry paste and fish sauce. Puree the mixture into it is a smooth frothy paste. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.Fold in your lime leaf strips, green bean discs and red bell pepper dice. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.Heat a skillet or large sauté pan over medium heat and add your oil. These are often deep fried, but I opted to cook them like pancakes (less mess, less need to use a lot of fat/oil, for the purposes of frying). You can do it in any manner you see fit.Add your oil to the pan. When the oil ripples, place little plops of paste into the oil (I tend to use a small ice cream scooper for this). Press down a bit, to flatten them out. They'll cook more quickly and evenly.When one side is nice and golden brown, flip them to cook the other side.When they are cooked through, serve!Turnip-Celeriac Hash BrownsTrueI cook all sorts of things, pretty regularly. I'm always experimenting, testing, refining, tweaking, tuning and pruning. Not everything I cook winds up on the website. There are some things that simply don't make the cut. Usually things that don't make the cut get nixed because they just simply weren't delicious. However, some of the time, <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Coconut-Almond-Brownies">I'll post something that wasn't delicious, because there's a lesson in it</a>, or I just wanted to rant and thought the angle might be amusing. There are also the times that things don't get posted because the results simply don't match my vision and I'd like to continue refining the direction, until I bring it into harmony.<br /><br /> Of all the things I've posted, this is the one that is most dangerously close to being cut. It made it, but only by a hair, and only because it's undeniably tasty. As it sat there ... I noticed I kept walking over to it and taking bites. In fact, I work with <a href="http://www.kpriestphotography.com/" target="_blank">a wonderful photographer</a> who helps me make the photos look bright and colorful. Even HE kept sneaking little bites. We both acknowledged how tasty this was! These are the reasons you're reading this. It was ... just ... that ... yummy.<br /><br /> HOWEVER! It was a weird mess to make and I think it would be near impossible for most.<br /><br /> First, you need to grate the raw vegetables through a cheese grater. Ok, no problem. Then, you need to season the grated mixture and let it sit around for 20 minutes, while the salt pulls the extra moisture out of the veggies. Still ... no problem. Now, you need to squeeze the extra moisture out of these grated roots. Suddenly, you've been hurled into a world of slimy snork. Grab a big handful of the stuff and SQUEEZE between your two hands, letting the off-white goo ooze between your fingers. Now, it becomes a bit odd. Still ... ok ... this COULD still be yum. Let's keep going!<br /><br /> Now, heat up a pan with some oil. Not too hot, so it doesn't burn. Sprinkle your dry-ish strands of grated root veggies over the hot rippling oil, while it splatters and sputters. Keep going, until it's a thick layer of hash.<br /><br /> Hash browns made out of potatoes stick together because potatoes are FILLED with gummy starch. Each strand grabs onto the strand next to it, forming a bonded potato starch matrix, which is easy to move around, flip, browns nicely, etc. HOWEVER, these ingredients have very few carbs; no real sugar or starch acting as glue and nothing to really caramelize (turn into a nice brown color). In essence, we have a pan filled with 10's of thousands of little tiny sticks, simply resting on one another in a hot pan. They're not glued together. They are ... independent of one another. Furthermore, they go from white to black, in the blink of an eye. There is middle ground; no tanning or browning.<br /><br /> Knowing that there was nothing to hold these sticks together, I was really stressing the moment where I had to flip this monster hash and cook the other side. Thankfully ... I'm a professional!<br /><br /> I grabbed my biggest plastic spatula, put out roadblock signs and taped off the area. I made sure the coast was clear. I took my big pan, slid my spatula under the quickly burning pile of root-twigs, dropped the pan in a smooth controlled motion. Then, just as deliberately, began a controlled push upwards. All in one calculated move, I allowed the inertia of the upwardly mobile mixture to continue into the air, while I abruptly stopped the pan in midair. With the spatula, I did my best to coax as many of the little strands into doing a midair 180 spin, in unison, landing flatly back into the waiting pan.<br /><br /> I've done this a million times. If there's something holding it together ... no problem! If there isn't ... well ... that's a whole different kettle of fish!<br /><br /> About 25% of the mixture decided they knew better than the spatula and headed for freedom on my kitchen floor. The other 75% did land more or less neatly in the center of my pan. From there, I was able to rest the pan back on the stovetop, while it cooked. I grabbed the mop bucket.<br /><br /> Once I was sure it had cooked through, I tilted the plan and slid it onto the plate, the photographer took the picture, we grabbed some ketchup and ... nibbled away.<br /><br /> Yep! It was THAT good!BreakfastSides20 min15 mins35 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Hash-Browns-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Hash-Browns-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Hash-Browns-31small340.5celery root, peeled and cut into chunks144.0604.3730.5606.551large183turnip510212032tbsp28light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)242400000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Peel both the turnip and celery root.Grate both through the large grate of a cheese grater into a large bowl.Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Mix well. Set aside for about 20 minutes.Squeeze as much of the liquid out of the mixture as possible. You can do this with cheesecloth, or simply by compressing the mixture between your palms.Heat up a flat top griddle, skillet or large non-stick sauté pan over medium-low heat.Add your oil to the pan and swirl it around to evenly coat the bottom.When the oil begins to ripple, evenly distribute the grated mixture over the bottom of the pan. Allow the mixture to cook until the surface is as golden in color as is possible.CAREFULLY flip the mixture in the pan and cook the other side. When the entire mixture is cooked through and browned on both sides, remove from the pan and serve.Tastes great with ketchup!Ginger Shrimp CakesTrueHave you ever had "shrimp toast"? It's usually found in Chinese "Dim Sum" restaurants. It's basically a gingery shrimp paste, which has been spread on toast, then the whole thing is fried into a crunchy, greasy triangle of hot crispy yumminess. I LOVE Shrimp Toast. It's very possibly one of my favorite things!<br /><br /> These cakes approximate the same flavor as Shrimp Toast. They are very slightly spicy, definitely shrimpy, tastes shrimpy and has some solid sesame notes. One of the missing pieces of the puzzle is the crispity sensation of the fried toast points, but ... life without toast is much brighter!<br /><br /> These little Chinese inspired Shrimp Cakes are quite easy to make, very appropriate for any low-carb way of eating, including induction, and are very likely a bit off the beaten path. Put a few of these on a light salad, or serve it alongside some <a href="http://www.DJFoodie.com/Crack-Slaw">UBER Crack Slaw</a> and you've got a really great meal!AppetizersFish15 mins15 mins30 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Ginger-Shrimp-Cakes-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Ginger-Shrimp-Cakes-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Ginger-Shrimp-Cakes-31lb454shrimp, peeled, deveined and divided9.08481.2490.84.540.281large50egg7256.5.5001/2cup119cream, heavy whipping410.5442.53.5001tbsp14.01hot sesame oil1301400002tbsp31.88soy sauce016.881.632.750.252tsp4fresh ginger, grated03.2.08.720.084each12garlic cloves, minced0000002tbsp24sesame seeds, toasted135.611.524.086.2403.364whole60green onions (scallions), cut into thin rings19.201.24.201.82tbsp28cooking oil (ghee, coconut oil and/or sesame oil blend preferred)242400000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Before you do anything, chill your food processor bowl and blade. This mixture needs to be made in a cold environment.Add half of your raw shrimp to your food processor with a small amount of salt (about 1/2 tsp.), pepper and an egg. Turn the food processor on.Through the hole in the top, slowly drizzle in your cream, until it is well blended. Do the same with the sesame oil. You'll have something that looks like paste. You may need to scrape down the edges and puree for another half moment. When you do this, add the soy sauce. Puree until smooth.Scrape your shrimp paste into a bowl and place in the fridge.Chop the rest of your shrimp into "chunks". The idea is, as you eat the cakes, you'll see multiple bits of whole shrimp, instead if it all being one pure puree. This reinforces that it's really shrimp, while also adding a little extra textural variety.Take your bowl from the fridge and add your chopped shrimp, ginger, garlic, scallions and hot sesame oil. Mix well.Pre-heat a flat top griddle, large sauté pan or a skillet over medium-low heat. Add a small amount of oil to the pan and watch for it to ripple. Once it begins to ripple, spoon out small circles of the paste and pat them thinner, to make something resembling pancakes. Cook them until golden brown. Flip them and cook the other side, until golden brown.Serve!Slow Cooker Salsa PorkTrueIf you're on the lookout for a simple recipe, yielding a lot of food, with virtually no effort, look no further!<br /><br /> This recipe is literally intended to take 5 minutes. As long as you've got some salsa <em>(really any salsa will do)</em>, the only process is to heavily season a large piece of pork shoulder <em>(also called pork butt, or Boston butt)</em>, sear the surface in a really hot pan and then place it in a crock pot filled with salsa. Nothing else needs done!<br /><br /> There is MORE than enough liquid in the pork and the salsa to not need anything "extra". As the pork cooks, the fat and any connective tissues break down, melt and help the actual "muscle" of the meat become soft, tender and juicy! <br /><br /> <strong>Seasoning Note:</strong> I really wanted to keep this recipe "pure" and simple, which accounts for no real seasoning. I also suggest using any salsa, be it fresh and homemade, or purchased in a jar. The idea is to create something easy and with a "set it and forget it" idea. However, I would suggest using the spice blend in my <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Mexican-ish-Shredded-Pork">soft and shreddy pork recipe</a> for this, prior to searing. It's a good way to add a little more character to this dish, and really doesn't take more than an extra minute.<br /><br /> <strong>Serving Suggestion:</strong> I HIGHLY recommend serving this with a side of my <a href="http://www.DJFoodie.com/Grits">grits/polenta recipe</a>. A big chunk of soft pork butt and the salsa juices cascading down the sides of a big dollop of grits just gives me the warm fuzzies.MainPork10 min8 hrs8 hrs 10 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Slow-Cooker-Salsa-Pork-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Slow-Cooker-Salsa-Pork-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Slow-Cooker-Salsa-Pork-34cups908salsa mexicanahttp://www.djfoodie.com/Salsa-Mexicana262.28.6412.6467.8813.441each2724pork butt, bone-in (also known as "shoulder" or "boston butt" ... about 5 to 6 lbs)64204924680002tbsp28light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)242400000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Turn on your slow cooker and set it to low.Add half of your salsa to the cooker and cover.Pre-heat a large sauté pan or skillet over high heat.Season your pork with a heavy layer of salt and pepper. Remember, it's a large piece of meat, so it needs an appropriate amount of salt.Add your oil to the pan and swirl it around. When you see it ripple, add your pork to the pan and let it sear. When one side is nice and golden brown, turn it and sear another side. Continue this process until the entire surface area has been nicely browned.Remove the pork from the pan and place it in the slow cooker.Cover the pork with the remaining salsa.Cover and let cook for 8 hours.Be careful when removing from the cooker. Place in a large bowl, or serve straight from the slow cooker.With a large spoon, or ladle, scoop the layer of fat off the top. This can be used as cooking fat, or discarded. Some fat in the juices is more than acceptable, however.Drizzle the remaining flavorful liquid over your pork and serve!Grits (or Polenta)True<strong>Update:</strong> On 4/15/2013, I learned that the hominy labels had been very inaccurate, due to a 60 year old test report. I've left the following notes and recipes intact, but the nutrition has changed. I no longer consider this to be a very low carb recipe, even though it works and is definitely delicious. <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Blog/beid/662703">Read more here ... ></a><br /><br />Grits are corn. No two ways about it. Corn is mostly frowned upon within a low-carb way of life, due to the sugar and starches they contain, in abundance! This makes me a bit sad, in that I happen to LOVE corn, going so far as growing my own, once upon a time!<br /><br /> Then, a while back, I discovered there was a low-carb version of hominy, which results from the heirloom variety of corn being used and the treatment it undergoes. Somehow, this results in a tasty corn based product, which is approximately 4 net carbs per half cup. You can read a little more about the history of this findings in my <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Pork-Tamales">Pork Tamales recipe</a>.<br /><br /> Anywhooo .... grits come from a Native American origin, where it was ground. It is more likely known as a Southern US breakfast food; something like porridge. This is what we have here. This stuff takes the PERFECT place for what you used to call "a starch". Imagine some shredded pork on top of this, with a side of broccoli. OH ... YUM!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> I used a mixture of half almond meal and half pureed hominy. You COULD just use the straight hominy puree, but I find it holds together a little better with the almond meal, while additionally dropping the carbs per serving. Choose your own adventure!<br /><br /> <strong>Portion Note:</strong> Makes approximately 4 cups or 8 one-half-cup servings.SidesVegetarian5 min15 min20 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Grits-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Grits-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Grits-31cup237water0000001/4cup59.5cream, heavy whipping205.25221.251.75001/4cup56fresh whole butter4440000001cup260"mexican style" hominyhttp://www.teasdale.net/our_store.php1882438061cup112almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-206405624240121cup113cheddar/colby cheese blend, shredded (sharp cheddar or parmesan are both delicious alternatives)4433627300salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Place your water, cream and butter on the stove in a medium sized sauce pot. Bring it up to a slow simmer, over medium heat. Once it simmers, drop the heat to low.While your liquid is heating up, in a food processor, puree your drained hominy. Depending on the food processor, you may need to add a touch of water in order for it to get moving.Once your liquid is simmering, pour your almond meal into the water, while whisking at the same time. Continue whisking for about 30 more seconds, to ensure the almond flour is well mixed in and free of clumps.Whisk in your hominy puree. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. It will continue to thicken for a few minutes.Add a little salt and pepper and then add your grated cheese. Whisk this in, until it melts and is fully incorporated.Taste the grits. These can handle a good amount of salt. Adjust accordingly. As they cook, they will continue to thicken (and create a smoother product). If you want to thin it out, add a little more water or cream. If you wan to thicken it up, just let it simmer for a few more minutes. Be sure to stir frequently! The total amount of cooking time can be as little as about 7 minutes, to upwards of 30.When ready, serve!Shrimp n' GritsTrue<strong>Update:</strong> On 4/15/2013, I learned that the hominy labels had been very inaccurate, due to a 60 year old test report. I've left the following notes and recipes intact, but the nutrition has changed. I no longer consider this to be a very low carb recipe, even though it works and is definitely delicious. <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Blog/beid/662703">Read more here ... ></a><br /><br />This oft served breakfast dish was one of low-carb's "forbidden fruits" in my mind. It's one of the most luxurious and comforting foods I know of, and I'd long assumed it was out of my life, more-or-less, forever. Grits, being corn, and corn being evil, I seemed destined to live a grits-free life. I've been sad. Alas, that is not true! Read on!<br /><br /> I've lived all over the United States. I've driven across the country several times. I've driven up and down the west coast. I've visited both Alaska and Hawaii. I've driven from Maine, down to Washington DC and back. I feel as if I've got the US pretty well covered ... except ... the South East! I've never been to New Orleans. I've never been to Tennessee, or the Carolinas, which is where this particular recipe originates from. Also known as the "Low Country", this South Carolina/Georgia coastline dish. The food in the region is SIMILAR to Cajun and Creole, but with its own regional variations.<br /><br /> How do I know? Thank you, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lowcountry_cuisine" target="_blank">Wikipedia</a>! <span style="font-size:24px;">&#9786;</span><br /><br /> <Strong>Note:</Strong> This recipe assumes you've already got <a href="http://www.DJFoodie.com/Grits">4 cups of LC Grits</a>, sitting warm by the stove. The rest of the recipe is focused on the shrimp!BreakfastFishMain10 mins10 mins20 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chili-Rubbed-Shrimp-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chili-Rubbed-Shrimp-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chili-Rubbed-Shrimp-31tsp2chili flakes.346.28.241.10.684each12garlic cloves, minced0000002lb908shrimp (16/20), peeled and deveined18.16962.48181.69.080.561/2cup112fresh whole butter, cut into about 24 cubes and divided8880000001/2cup56.8real bacon bits20012240001medium110red onion, diced440110022small148red bell peppers, seeded and diced45.8801.488.8802.961/2cup130"mexican style" hominyhttp://www.teasdale.net/our_store.php941219032tbsp30.5lemon juice, freshly squeezed07.63.132.630.131/2cup32parsley, chopped5.8801.041.040.524cups940low-carb grits, warmhttp://www.DJFoodie.com/Grits1808.2516056.2548.75024salt and pepper, to taste000000In a mixing bowl, combine your chili flakes, garlic and shrimp. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper, and set aside.Heat up a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.Add 1/4 cup of your butter and swirl it around the pan. Before it burns, add your bacon, bell peppers and onions, with a little bit of salt and pepper. Allow these ingredients to "fry" in the butter. Stir occasionally.After about 5 minutes, add your shrimp to the pan. Continue stirring until the shrimp begin turning nice and pink; about 2 minutes.Add your hominy and continue cooking for about 2 more minutes.When the shrimp is consistently pink and properly cooked (still just a little bit translucent and soft, not overcooked and rubbery), add your lemon juice, parsley and the rest of your butter. Turn the heat off the stove and stir the butter into the shrimp, until it's melted.Put 1/2 cup of warm grits onto 8 plates. Top with equal portions of shrimp!Serve!Pizza PucksTrueIn my pickle of a pursuit for the perfect pizza, I've decided to play with a fairly common approach towards low-carb deep dish pizza making. The idea is, in short, to make a thick crust-like creature consisting of cream cheese, cheese and eggs. This is par-baked, then it is topped with pizza toppings, then baked again!<br /><br /> I cannot take credit for this recipe, but I wouldn't even know who to give the credit TO. Some version of this recipe exists in thousands of low-carb recipe "hot spots". So, I'm going to give the credit to someone who's site has probably helped hundreds of thousands of people ... possibly millions! Check out one version of the following recipe, at <a href="http://www.genaw.com/lowcarb/deep_dish_pizza.html" target="_blank">Linda's Low Carb</a>.<br /><br /> My personal twist is two-fold. <strong>One:</strong> to use all fresh ingredients. I'm a fan of fresh herbs and garlic, but understand completely why people would use dried and powdered. Use your discretion on this one. <strong>Two:</strong> somewhere along the line, I developed a habit of baking things into a <a href="http://amzn.com/B000FQ0V26?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">silicon muffin pan</a>. I "think" it started with frittatas, but it's evolved into other things ... these delightful pizza pucks included!<br /><br /> Obviously, you could use any number of ingredients and toppings, much like as with a regular pizza. I'm going to go with a "meat lovers" variety because ... I love meat! Meat is NEAT!<br /><br /> <strong>My conclusion?</strong> It was VERY good and certainly hit the spot. It tasted like pizza. That is to say, it tasted like pizza TOPPINGS. Imagine ordering a fantastic pizza, with all the stuff you love, then asking for triple exxxtra cheese. When it arrives, pick off only the cheese and toppings and devour with glee. THIS is what this tasted like. In fact, the way they are constructed renders them also "Meat Lovers Pizza Stuffed Cheese". An excellent flavor, easy and fun to eat, but ... not a perfect pizza. My pickle of a pursuit continues ...BakedLunchMain20 min25 min45 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pizza-Cups-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pizza-Cups-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pizza-Cups-34ounces113.5regular cream cheese (not low-fat), softened388.538.656.854.4002large100whole eggs14310131001/2cup50parmesan cheese, grated and divided215.514.5192003/4lb.340.5whole milk, low moisture mozzarella, grated and divided1082.7985.1374.916.81001tsp1fresh oregano, chopped.021.01.06.240.144each12garlic cloves, minced01604004ounces112raw italian sausagehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Chicken-Italian-Sausage259.4418.7420.061.840.681cup230marinara saucehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Marinara-Sauce110.494.022.416.7304.711/4cup28.4real bacon bits61001200024thin slices48pepperoni236.5720.5710.29000salt, fresh cracked pepper and chile flakes, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 375 F.In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, eggs, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and 1/2 lb. of the grated mozzarella, with the fresh oregano and minced garlic.If you're not using a non-stick muffin pan, grease 12 muffin cups. If your trays are non-stick, don't worry about it.Spoon equal amounts of "crust batter" into the base of 12 muffin cups.Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges of the "crusts" begin to lightly turn brown. Remove from the oven.At this point, with the back of a teaspoon, push the centers of the newly puffed crusts downward, making a bit of a well in the center, with higher "crust walls" around the rim.In a saute pan, cook the sausage and break it up with a spoon, until it resembles cooked ground beef.Fill the center of crusts' indentations with a spoonful of marinara sauce, and an even distribution of your toppings. Finally, dust the toppings with the rest of your two cheeses.Bake for 12 more minutes.Remove from the oven and let "rest" for about 10 minutes, prior to popping the pizza pucks from their trays and serving.Serve!Kids' Veggie SoupTrueThis recipe is long and complicated way for me to say, "Kids like fun shapes!". While it happens to be a tasty vegetable soup, the main thrust of the recipe is that you can be creative with a knife and various cookie cutters which can be found in many stores, and VERY easily, online. I doubt there are many shapes that exist, which hasn't been converted to a cookie cutter. For example, <a href="http://www.crookedbrains.net/2011/11/unusual-creative-cookie-cutter-designs.html" target="_blank">here is a link to a page showcasing unusual cookie cutters</a>. Some of the highlights include <a href="http://amzn.com/B0009U5ON4?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">feet</a>, <a href="http://amzn.com/B002A2THF0?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">snowflakes</a>, <a href="http://amzn.com/B006RKI42S?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">yoda</a>, <a href="http://amzn.com/B003YUBQHO?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">ninjas</a> and the <a href="http://amzn.com/B000U62Q92?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">font "Helvetica"</a>.<br /><br /> There isn't much that hasn't been converted to a cookie cutter. Did you notice that one of them was <a href="http://amzn.com/B000JZ1384?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">3-D</a>? Good times!<br /><br /> Ultimately, there's a bit of extra time and effort that goes into cutting the shapes out of red bell peppers, thin slices of celery root and zucchini skins, but ... if making a wing shaped carrot slice helps convince your kids to eat their veggies, then ... perhaps it's worth it? With any luck, your kids love veggies. If so, they'll love veggies shaped like a giraffe even more!<br /><br /> <strong>Cutting Note:</strong> In all cases, I used very thin ingredients, so that they would cook in approximately the same amount of time. I cut the outside layer off of a zucchini, then used cookie cutters on that, for example. For the broccoli, I used the thick "stump". I peeled off the hard, green and fiberous layer, then sliced the nice green center into thin strips, then used a cookie cutter. For the celery root, I peeled them, then used a <a href="http://amzn.com/B00032RZNK?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">flat mandoline</a> to cut thin planks, then used the cookie cutters, etc. The idea is to get a thin "sheet" of something <em>(about 1/4-inch thick)</em>, then use a cookie cutter to get the shape. Then, sauté in oil, add to vegetable broth and enjoy!<br /><br /> <strong>Waste Note:</strong> This recipe has a tendency to make extra waste. You can use the "leftover" parts to make adult soups, vegetable purees, save them for <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Poorly-Cooked-Eggs">poorly cooked eggs</a> the next day, etc.<br /><br /> <strong>Seasoning Note:</strong> I kept this simple, because I assume kids like simple. I'd personally toss some capers, olives, fresh tomatoes and some nice fresh herbs into it, as well!SoupsVegetarian30 mins10 mins40 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Kids-Veggie-Soup-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Kids-Veggie-Soup-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Kids-Veggie-Soup-36cups1410vegetable stockhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Vegetable-Stock072018002tbsp28light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)2424000001/2cup78celery root, peeled and cut into shapes3301701.51/2cup74red bell pepper, seeded and cut into shapes22.940.744.4401.481/2cup55carrots, peeled and cut into shapes22.340.425.1601.721/2cup45.5broccoli, cut into shapes and florets15.501.53011/2cup62green zucchini, cut into shapes100120.5salt and pepper, to taste000000Bring your vegetable stock up to a simmer in a medium sized soup pot. Leave it simmering on a burner, while working on the next steps.Heat a large sauté pan over high heat.Add your oil to the pan. The moment it begins to ripple, add your vegetables to the pan. Toss the vegetables around in the pan, to coat them with oil. Also, season them well with salt and pepper.Make sure the vegetables are evenly distributed around the pan, so most are touching the bottom of the pan, to get a little caramelization. Once the vegetables start to get a little color, toss them around, again. Sauté them for about 5 minutes, or until mostly cooked.Add the veggies to the simmering vegetable broth and allow to simmer for about 1 more minute.Taste the broth and adjust for seasoning.Serve!Burger BallsTrueI receive a lot of requests for kid friendly recipes. I think this qualifies! Us adults might even like them!<br /><br /> They're little more than small bacon cheddar stuffed meatballs, but the overall structure, design and flavor is that of a cheeseburger with bacon. I've also got a little bit of caramelized onions and garlic actually mixed into the meat. This is to imply that our burger is also topped with caramelized onions. YUM!<br /><br /> Aside from the fact that these are like small little hamburger bites, there's also just the nonsensical name. I'm POSITIVE that if "Burger Balls" had been in my mother's repertoire growing up, that it would become a bit of a weekly backseat chant, between my younger brother and I.<br /><br /> "Mom, we want burger balls! Mom? Can we have burger balls? Hey MOM! When are you gunna make us burger balls? MOM! BURGER BALLS! BURGER BALLS! BURGER BALLS!!!" This would end with us singing in unison, like only two young persistently irritating boys can!<br /><br /> Photos are taken with <a href="http://amzn.com/B002J9R7S8?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">sugar free ketchup</a>.BeefMain20 min15 mins35 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Burger-Balls-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Burger-Balls-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Burger-Balls-31/2lb227cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes902.4374.36562.75001/4cup54cooking oil, divided (ghee, bacon fat, olive oil, coconut oil, etc.)477.55400003each9garlic cloves, diced01313001small110onion, diced440110022lbs908ground beef (80 lean/20 fat)181.62306.32154.360001large50egg7256.5.5001/2cup56.8real bacon bits2001224000salt and pepper, to taste000000Before you do anything, make sure your cheese is cut into 1/2-inch cubes, then place them in the freezer, while you work on the rest of the ingredients. You aren't necessarily looking to FREEZE the cheese, so much as give it a nice chill.Pre-heat oven to 450 F.Place a sauté pan over medium heat on the stove. When it is warm, add 2 tbsp of your cooking oil. When the oil begins to ripple in the pan, add your onions and garlic. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until nice, soft and caramelized. Turn off the heat and set aside.In a mixing bowl, add your beef, egg and warm onion mixture. Combine mixture well.Form into small 1-1/2 to 2 inch balls. Press the balls with your palms to make them very slightly flat. Push a small amount of bacon bits and a single cheddar cube from the freezer into the center of the beef disc. Form the rest of the beef around the cheese and bacon and press together the ground beef, to form a tight seal. Roll the balls to form a more perfect and well sealed beef sphere.Pre-heat a large oven-proof sauté pan over high heat on the stove.While the pan is heating, season the outside of your burger balls with a little bit of salt and pepper.Add your remaining 2 tbsp of cooking oil to the pan. When the oil ripples, add your burger balls to the pan, so that they are not touching. If they are too crowded, the pan will cool down and you won't get a nice sear. You may need two pans for this.Sear the outside of your burger balls, moving them around the pan to try and gain a nice brown sear on the outside. After about 2 minutes of searing, place the whole pan in the hot oven for about 5 to 7 minutes.Remove from the oven and serve!Roasted Spaghetti SquashTrueSpaghetti Squash is not, contrary to popular opinion, a racquet sport played in a four-walled court with a small rubber ball and a bowl of pasta.<br /><br /> IT IS, however, a delicious winter vegetable, also known as Squaghetti. This oblong squash tends to be fairly large and is usually yellow. Within it is a firm flesh and seeds, similar to that of a pumpkin. Where a Spaghetti Squash suddenly becomes a little extra interesting is in what happens to the flesh, when it is cooked. It becomes ... Pasketti!<br /><br /> Yep, this interesting vegetable separates into easy strands of pasta-like goodness, when steamed, roasted, baked, nuked, etc. It's a fantastic low-carb, totally "real foods" and paleo style pasta substitute. It's a twinge on the sweet side, with a texture similar to a lightly grainy al dente pasta with a twinge of "crunch". It's difficult to describe, but I find it to be absolutely delicious!<br /><br /> One of my favorite things to do is roast it, then sauté the strands with a little bit of garlic, butter, salt and pepper. That's it!<br /><br /> For the most part, use it in any fashion in which you'd use a pasta noodle, which includes side dishes, main courses and even Asian applications and stir fries.<br /><br /> <strong>Photo Note:</strong> The third photo is taken with <a href="http://www.www.djfoodie.com/marinara-sauce">Marinara Sauce</a> and <a href="http://www.www.djfoodie.com/Chicken-Mayo-Parm-Thing">Parmesan-Mayo Baked Chicken Butterfly</a><br /><br /> <strong>Nutrition Note:</strong> I had a heck of a time finding accurate and trustworthy nutrition for this recipe. It is unclear to me what the USDA is using in their analysis. A standard spaghetti squash weighs between 4 and 6 lbs. and would make about 6 cups worth of spaghetti squash, after the rind, seeds and some water are removed during the cooking process. The USDA doesn't bother listing the fiber content of a raw spaghetti squash, but states it's got 7 grams of carbs per 100 grams <em>(about 4 ounces)</em>. The USDA DOES have 10 carbs per cup of cooked spaghetti squash, with 2 grams of fiber, resulting in 8 grams of "net" carbs per 1-cup serving. This isn't super low, but it's reasonable (and tasty!). The challenge is that my recipes are based off of gram weights to do their calculations. As a result, I need to set the value of the spaghetti squash to 930 grams <em>(about 2 lbs.)</em>. This isn't an accurate number, but is the only way to get the recipe's math to add up to the USDA's numbers. WHEE!!PastaSidesVegetarian10 min45 min55 min6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spaghetti-Squash-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spaghetti-Squash-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spaghetti-Squash-31roughly 5-lb.930spaghetti squash25206600121/4cup56fresh whole butter, softened444000000salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 375 F.Cut your spaghetti squash into two even halves, with a large sharp knife. Be VERY careful when doing this, as it's got a thick firm flesh and it likes to roll around.Once it's been cut into half, scrape the seeds out with a spoon. You can save the seeds and dry them out, if you'd like. They're like pepitas (pumpkin seeds). I usually just throw them out though (I'm lazy).Rub 2 tbsp of the softened butter on the exposed fleshy bits of each squash half. Get a nice even layer on both halves.Season the flesh with a good bit of salt and pepper.Place the two halves, flesh-side-down, into a casserole pan or a cookie tray with a rim.Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until soft (larger ones can take over an hour). Stick a knife into the rind and see if it enters easily. When it does, it's done. Remove from the oven!Here, you can scrape the strands out with a fork and serve them, as is, or with some kind of sauce. Alternately, you can also cut the halves into individual pieces and let people scrape their own threads from their portion. In all cases, be careful ... they're hot, heavy and a little bit awkward.Enjoy!Parmesan-Mayo Baked Chicken ButterflyTrueA few months ago, my mother sent me the recipe for <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Chicken-Piccata">Chicken Piccata</a> and said it was a favorite of my fathers. The recipe was actually my mother's twisting of <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/chicken-piccata-recipe2/index.html">Giada de Laurentiis's</a>, which is, itself, probably a twisting of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piccata">Veal Piccata</a>. In any event, I tinkered with it to <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Chicken-Piccata">make it low-carb</a>, then added it to my site. It was really quite popular! SO popular, in fact, that I went back and asked my mother for another suggestion. This time, she came back with <a href="http://theenchantedcook.blogspot.com/2011/10/parmesan-crusted-chicken-hellmanns-mayo.html">Parmesan Crusted Chicken {Hellmann's Mayo Recipe}</a>, which is, itself, a twisting of the recipe from <a href="http://www.hellmanns.com/recipes/detail/32658/1/parmesan-crusted-chicken">Hellmann's recipe</a>.<br /><br /> Here we have my re-tooling of THAT particular recipe!<br /><br /> Because there is so much fat from the mayonnaise, I decided that it's a super juicy and flavorful recipe, no matter how you slice it. So, I chose to butterfly it. This will allow it to cook that much faster and give a little more surface area for the toppings. It also just makes it look like a much bigger portion that it is. Optical illusion!<br /><br /> Also, because breadcrumbs are considered dark and evil within a low-carb landscape, I needed to replace them with SOMETHING. It's so common for people to use almond meal, in place of flour and/or breadcrumbs. I decided to go with hazelnut flour for 2 reasons: 1. I frankly prefer the taste and 2. to be different. NORMALLY, I LOVE the way hazelnut flour works in recipes, but ... in this instance, the end result was a bit of a speckled mess. It was absolutely delicious and was devoured within seconds of the photo being taken, but I confess to not loving the appearance of this particular chicken recipe. It looks like someone dropped it at the beach. A lighter almond meal, or even crushed pork rinds, will certainly yield a more attractive chicken dinner, but I'm not convinced that it will TASTE any better.<br /><br /> No matter what you do, though, smothering seasoned chicken with mayonnaise, parmesan cheese and almond meal, hazelnut flour or pork rinds, the end result will be a luscious taste explosion!<br /><br /> <strong>Photo Note</strong>: The photos are taken with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Spaghetti-Squash">Roasted Spaghetti Squash</a> and <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Marinara-Sauce">Marinara Sauce</a>.<br /><br /> Thanks, Mom! <span style="font-size:24px;">&#9786;</span>ChickenMainQuick10 mins12 hrs22 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Mayo-Parm-Thing-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Mayo-Parm-Thing-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Mayo-Parm-Thing-32tsp2fresh oregano (thyme, rosemary, sage and/or marjoram), chopped.042.02.12.480.281/4cup25parmesan cheese, grated107.757.259.51001/2cup109.63mayonnaisehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Mayonnaise750.5483.452.41.33.25.084each605boneless chicken breasts (or equivalent thigh meat - skin optional)1040.654.45127.050002tbsp14hazelnut flourhttp://amzn.com/B005P0I322?tag=lcrecipe-20908.522.501.5salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000Preheat your oven to 450 F.Mix together your chopped herb and parmesan cheese with your mayonnaise in a bowl. Set aside.Butterfly your chicken breasts, so that they are thin sheets of chicken.Lightly season both sides of your chicken with salt and pepper.Place your chicken on a baking tray with a rim.Evenly spread your mayonnaise mixture on each chicken breast.Evenly dust your chicken with your hazelnut flour.Bake for about 12 minutes, or until your chicken is cooked through.Serve!PancakesTrueThis recipe is here, not because it's a breakfast item. It's actually here because of a few requests for "kid-friendly" meals. I don't have any children, which makes that mission a bit tough. However, I WAS a kid at one point in time, and I know what I was fed and what I ate.<br /><br /> A favorite "dinner" was always served ... upside-down!<br /><br /> Obviously, it's a pancake recipe, and would be absolutely delightful at the beginning of your day. It would also serve very well as a dinner! When I was a kid, a favorite way to eat this was with milk and sugar, rather than the typical maple syrup. I'd suggest perhaps some almond milk and some powdered erythritol, instead! Or, with some butter and jam! Or, powdered erythritol and lemon! Or, sugar-free syrup and berries!<br /><br /> Many ways you could go with these things. So, I will provide the basic recipe.<br /><br /> Interestingly, this recipe has a somewhat mysterious origin. When I very first started losing weight and it became noticeable to friends and family, they all suggested I build a website, or write a book. A few months into this thing, I did just that! This was one of the recipes on that feeble site. It only every achieved 4 recipes, and then I stopped. Too busy and ... too much work.<br /><br /> This was one of those 4 recipes. I don't remember where I got it. I MAY have even made it up with all the stuff I'd been purchasing at the time ... no clue. However, when I decided to make pancakes for kids, I looked it up gave it a whirl. Not too shabby! For a "diet" pancake, it was EXCELLENT! Highly recommended!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Recipe makes 6 "DJ-Sized" pancakes, 12 standard ones, or 24 "silver dollar".BreakfastMain15 min15 min30 min6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pancakes-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pancakes-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pancakes-38large400whole eggs57240524001/4cup59.5cream, heavy whipping205.25221.251.75001/4cup62ricotta cheese, whole milk108072002cup224almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-20128011248480241scoop30sugar-free vanilla whey proteinhttp://amzn.com/B00CBYI51Y?tag=lcrecipe-201100251001/4cup26golden flaxseed mealhttp://amzn.com/B000EDK5MG?tag=lcrecipe-20120968082tbsp24'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html0002202tsp8baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-2010002001/2tsp1salt0000001/4cup56fresh whole butter, divided444000000In a blender, on the lowest setting, blend the eggs, cream and ricotta cheese.In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.Fold the egg mixture into the dry ingredients.Let the batter sit for 3 minutes, while the flax absorbs the liquid and the batter thickens.Pre-heat a large skillet, grill-pan-flat-top, or non-stick sauté pan over medium-low heat.Add a cube of your butter and swirl it around the pan.Pour circles in the pan (or make just one large pancake, like I like to do).Flip the pancakes when they are golden brown on one side.When both sides are cooked, serve hot!Not Mac n' CheeseTrueThis recipe is a bit of an odd one for me, in that it appears to embody some level of growth on my part. The inception of the idea came from a request for more "kid friendly" recipes. As a big kid myself, I LOVE macaroni and cheese. I assume most ALL kids do!<br /><br /> This is not Macaroni and Cheese.<br /><br /> My plan had been to use Dreamfield's Pasta when I decided to add a Mac 'n Cheese recipe to my website. However, I'm fresh off of reading "Wheat Belly" and currently of the mindset that pretty much anything "wheat" is bad and evil. Don't get me wrong, I'll probably regress at some point, but, as of this writing, I'm trying to steer clear of grains (tasty, tasty grains).<br /><br /> So, this recipe is Mac n' Cheese, but ... with cauliflower nibblets, instead!<br /><br /> Truth be told, when all is said and done, and I had a big plate of this sitting in front of me... it was delicious! I didn't mind giving up the pasta, one iota!<br /><br /> <strong>Pasta Note:</strong> If you wanted to use Pasta, you absolutely could. To use pasta, you would pre-cook the pasta, but cook it about half as long as it states on the box. It will continue to cook, as it's baked.<br /><br /> <strong>Smoky Note:</strong> I'm a big fan of smoky flavors, but recognize not everyone is. I suggest two smoked cheeses in the ingredients. Smoked cheeses are optional. Substitute one, or both, with un-smoked cheeses and the end result will STILL be tasty!PastaSidesVegetarian15 min30 min45 hrs8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mac-n-Cheese-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mac-n-Cheese-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mac-n-Cheese-31head840large cauliflower, stem/leaves removed and cut into small florets1.3321017450211/2cup119cream, heavy whipping410.5442.53.5001tbsp15dijon mustard.5912.38.741.460.64each12garlic clove, minced01604008ounces227regular cream cheese (not low-fat), softened77777.313.78.8001 1/2cups169.5smoked cheddar cheese, grated and divided664.55440.54.5001cups132smoked provolone cheese, grated46335343002tbsp14hazelnut flourhttp://amzn.com/B005P0I322?tag=lcrecipe-20908.522.501.5salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Place a large pot full of water on the stove to boil.Pre-heat your oven to 425 F.Once your water is boiling, add a healthy amount of salt to the water.Add your cauliflower florets to the water and simmer for about 3 minutes.Strain the cauliflower, so that all the water is removed. Set aside.Add your cream, mustard and garlic to a large sauce pan, over low heat.Once it begins to simmer, whisk in your cream cheese. This will cool it down and stop it from simmering.Let it come back up to a simmer. While it does, set aside 1/2 of a cup of your cheddar cheese.Once the mixture is simmering, whisk the remaining 1 cup of cheddar and provolone into your hot cream cheese mixture. Taste, then adjust with a little salt and pepper.Once the cheese is melted and a nice thick sauce has been created, add your cauliflower to the pan and mix, so that it is very well coated (this is the step where you would add your half cooked pasta).Once the cauliflower is evenly coated with the cheese sauce, pour it into a greased baking pan. I used a 9 inch round ceramic pie pan, but a 9x13 casserole pan will work, as well. All we're really doing is browning the top. It's all already mostly cooked, at this point.Dust the top of the cauliflower with the hazelnut flour and reserved cheddar cheese.Bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is nice and toasty brown.Serve!Slow Cooker BBQ Beef BrisketTrueWhat we have here is my third stab at a slow cooker recipe. It is, in fact, also the third time I've ever used a slow cooker in my life. As of this writing, I've actually created about 7 recipes, but these notes are about the third one.<br /><br /> So far, it's been my observation that extra liquid isn't necessary in just about every slow-cooker recipe that I've read. It's my belief that this liquid is usually added so that the ingredients are "submerged", which seems intended to make the slow cookers "feel good". However, in the end, this tends to create a big puddle of watered down dinner.<br /><br /> I'm not an expert with these things, by any stretch of the imagination. However, let me explain a little bit about what I feel is happening.<br /><br /> Most all ingredients contain some amount of water. When you heat them up, portions of the water are released. In reality, you don't even necessarily need heat. Salt, for example, will also pull the moisture out of an ingredient. Interestingly, so does water <em>(and the nefarious sugar!)</em>, but ... we're trying to limit the amount of water <em>(and sugar!)</em>, not increase it.<br /><br /> It is my stance that if everything within a crock pot is well seasoned, that the salt and heat will pull the moisture out of the ingredients. This moisture is also FLAVORFUL, being the pure essence of the ingredients. As the ingredients cook in the moisture, they continue breaking down, releasing more flavorful liquids, resulting in the whole kit and caboodle being submerged, anyway.<br /><br /> "What about the first view hours, before the liquid comes out?" you might ask. The slow cooker is pretty hot under that lid. Foods suspended by other ingredients are still getting large blasts of slow and consistent heat from being within a hot and moist environment. Water vapor is all around your ingredients and cooking everything right along! I DO feel there should be at least a very small amount of liquid on the bottom, to just get the ball rolling, but ... only a tiny amount. More will follow!<br /><br /> I suggest reducing the amounts of water in any future slow cooker recipe you might have. I think you'll find it results in more flavor and a slightly more moist and tender product!<br /><br /> Anywhoo ... in this case, I wanted to go with what I think Slow Cookers are used for, anyway: ease and simplicity. This recipe has really has only 2 ingredients, takes only a few minutes to sear the meat and ... 8 hours later ... you're done! YUM!BeefMain15 mins8 hrs8 hrs 15 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Slow-Cooker-BBQ-Beef-Brisket-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Slow-Cooker-BBQ-Beef-Brisket-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Slow-Cooker-BBQ-Beef-Brisket-35lbs2270beef brisket, trimmed6287.7502.21406.790002tbsp28light oil (coconut, olive ... or even bacon fat!)2402400001cup238homemade bbq saucehttp://www.djfoodie.com/bbq-sauce227.17.96.5747.45010.63salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000Trim any excess fat off your brisket (leave some fat). Cut into large pieces which will fit in your slow cooker. Season heavily with salt and pepper.Add 1/2 of your BBQ sauce to the slow cooker and set it for a "low" cook.Heat up a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat. Add a lightly flavored oil with a high smoke point. Coconut oil would work nicely. When the oil begins to ripple, add your pieces of meat (do not crowd the pan. You may need to do this in batches). The meat should sear nicely and develop some great flavors. Sear all sides of the meat. When the meat has been seared on all sides, place a piece in the slow cooker and drizzle a little of the remaining BBQ sauce on it. Then, place another piece, followed by more BBQ sauce. The idea is to get a little BBQ sauce between every piece of meat.When all the brisket is within the slow cooker, add any remaining BBQ sauce.Cover and allow to cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.Slice and serve!Chicken NuggetsTrueHere's a fun one, and one that's likely to delight the whole family! I had some friends over when I made this and asked them to honestly tell me if they could tell that they've been de-carbed. They all agreed that there was no lack of flavor and that they were as good, if not better than, the real carb-full thing.<br /><br /> These are a bit messy to make, but I agree with my friends. They were outstanding. In fact, I was frankly caught a little off guard by how wonderful these little chicken nibblets turned out to be. They were golden brown, flavorful, had a spectacular texture and were full of moist and juicy goodness.<br /><br /> Normally, the procedure for breading and frying would be dredge in seasoned flour <em>(to help the eggs adhere to the "goodie")</em>. Then, it would go into an egg bath, followed by being dredged in a seasoned bread crumb mixture. From there, it would be fried <em>(usually in some kind of vegetable oil garbage)</em>.<br /><br /> We're going to right several of those wrongs, by eliminating wheat, an overwhelming majority of the carbs and then fry them in a healthy, stable, high temperature fat.<br /><br /> <strong>Dredge Note:</strong> I REALLY thought about dredging these in coconut flour, prior to placing them in the egg bath. It would have made them very very slightly "sweet", but... virtually undetectable in flavor. The idea was to help the eggs and almond meal/parmesan mixture adhere to the "nuggets" with a little more intensity. I opted to go for a more pure Mediterranean flavor and skipped that step. It turns out that it wasn't necessary!<br /><br /> <strong>Fat Note:</strong> Good "high smoke point" oils for frying are: coconut oil, lard palm oil, and clarified butter <em>(ghee)</em>. Avoid hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and manmade trans-fats. Processed oils like canola, corn, vegetable and soybean should be avoided.<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Photo is taken with <a href="http://www.DJFoodie.com/BBQ-Sauce">Homemade BBQ Sauce</a>, but these are also EXCELLENT with <a href="http://www.DJFoodie.com/Marinara-Sauce">Marinara made with San Marzano Tomatoes</a>.ChickenMain15 min15 min30 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Nuggets-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Nuggets-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Nuggets-31cup216high smoke point oil (see recipe notes)191021600001 1/2cup168almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-209608436360181cup100parmesan cheese, finely grated43129384002tsp2fresh oregano (thyme, rosemary, sage and/or marjoram), rough chop.042.02.12.480.284each12garlic clove, minced01604001large50egg7256.5.5001 1/2lbs681boneless chicken (I used breast, but thigh will work, as well - skin is optional), cut into cubes1171.3261.29143.01000salt, fresh cracked black pepper and chile flakes, to taste000000Pre-heat your oil to a temperature between 325 and 350 degrees, in a wide skillet over medium-low heat.While the oil heats, in a large and wide-mouthed bowl mix your almond meal, parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper and optional chile flakes. (I actually used a large wide Tupperware with a lid) Remove half of the mixture and set aside in a small bowl.In third bowl, whisk together your egg with 2 tbsp. cold water. Add a little salt and pepper.Add your cubed chicken to the eggs and mix well.To the best of your ability, spread the almond meal mixture evenly along the bottom of your large bowl or container.Evenly drop the chicken cubes around the almond meal mixture, so that they don't really touch one another.Dust the tops of the cubed chicken with the remaining almond meal mixture.Shake the chicken. If you've got a lid, add the lid and shake shake shake, Senora. Otherwise, just get in there and make sure the nuggets are evenly coated. If all the dredge doesn't fully stick, just let it sit for a few minutes, then give it another mix. Some of the moisture will continue to collect on the surface and little more will stick. Alternately, you can literally just "squeeze" it on, by applying pressure with your palms.Once the nuggets are evenly coated, carefully drop them evenly into their own spots within the heated oil. At this point, you probably want to increase the temperature of the burner, as the chicken will drop the temperature of the oil. (be careful not to let the oil go much higher than 350 F, however).As one side turns golden brown, flip them to the other side. Continue frying and turning until they are cooked through and golden brown.Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a towel to absorb any extra fat.Note: If you chose to do a deep fry, rather than a pan fry, as long as your oil never went above 350 F, you can strain it through a coffee filter and re-use one more time. BE CAREFUL not to burn yourself.Serve!Sweet and Tangy BBQ SauceTrueI am often asked what my favorite BBQ sauce is. I'm asked just as often where people can find MY BBQ sauce recipe. To be perfectly frank, I'm occasionally lazy and have slipped completely into the habit of purchasing BBQ sauce, having never attempted to crack the sugar-free BBQ code, myself. Having MADE lots of BBQ Sauces in my past, it's not something that I'm new to; I just haven't ever tried to remove all the sugar from it.<br /><br /> To my mind, a good BBQ sauce has some spice to it, a bit of smokiness, definitely some sweet, but above all, it should have TANG! There should almost be pain coming from the inhalation of its vapor. I LOVE a VERY strong and vinegary BBQ sauce.<br /><br /> The following recipe is somewhat toned down from what I would personally make <em>(if you want to get closer to my personal preference, double the vinegar)</em>, but this recipe is by no means lacking in flavor. It's everything a good BBQ sauce should be, but without the unnecessary carbs!<br /><br /> All I can say is, don't knock it till you've tried it!<br /><br /> <strong>Note</strong>: Makes about 2 cups of sauce. Recipe is calculated for 16 two-tablespoon servings.Sauces5 min30 mins35 mins16http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Sauce-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Sauce-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Sauce-31cup256reduced sugar ketchuphttp://amzn.com/B002J9R7S8?tag=lcrecipe-200800160016-oz can170tomato paste1391732071cup239apple cider vinegarhttp://amzn.com/B001AIWAAE?tag=lcrecipe-200000001/4cup60liquid smokehttp://amzn.com/B007A3TBXM?tag=lcrecipe-200000002tbsp24brown sugar equivalenthttp://amzn.com/B001EPQQL2?tag=lcrecipe-201208024002tbsp10.75unsweetened cocoa powder2.2524.52.136.2503.632tbsp16new mexico chile, powderedhttp://amzn.com/B000RHVH58?tag=lcrecipe-2050.242.721.928.805.442tbsp14smoked paprika40.461.822.107.8405.18salt and pepper, to taste000000Place all ingredients on the stove, in a small sauce pot, over medium-low heat.Simmer for about 30 minutes (stirring occasionally), or until the sauce has thickened appropriately (keeping in mind it will thicken when it cools). Season with salt and pepper.Serve!Marinara Sauce AKA Neapolitan Sauce AKA Napoli Sauce AKA La SalsaTrueHere's something I didn't know! Marinara sauce, to Americans, is kinda-sorta not really properly named! In most all other countries "Marinara" includes seafood! <em>(hint hint: marine)</em><br /><br /> Because this site isn't totally geared for American audiences <em>(even though about 90% are from the US), various UK, Australian and other English speaking countries (not sure about Canada ... they might call it the same thing as the US)</em>. Hey, Canada! Does the word "marinara" invoke thoughts of seafood, or the dipping sauce that goes with your mozzarella sticks? Inquiring minds want to know!<br /><br /> <strong>*ahem*</strong><br /><br /> The sauce that most Americans know as "Marinara" is actually more in line with "Neapolitan Sauce", harking from Naples, Italy. Funnily enough, if you were an American in Naples and asked for "La Salsa", you'd get Marinara!<br /><br /> It's sort of like how every other country calls soccer "football", except the US, where we have an entirely different game we call football.<br /><br /> Back to the story at hand ... Napoli Sauce is basically a tomato based sauce, cooked with tomatoes and onions. That's about it!<br /><br /> This is also a chance to talk a little bit about canned San Marzano Tomatoes. Legend has it that the first San Marzano tomato seeds were a gift from the King of Peru to the King of Naples sometime during the 1770s. These seeds were then planted near the city of San Marzano in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. From these seeds, crossbreeding and careful selection led to the current day San Marzano tomato.<br /><br /> Sometimes legends lie. The reality is far murkier, with the first actual "printed" mention of San Marzano Tomatoes appearing in an American agricultural book put out by the USDA mentions them in cans, in 1894. In 1902, some Italian documents mention that they are a cross between 3 other varieties: King Umberto, Fiaschella, and the Fiascona.<br /><br /> What IS true is that true San Marzano Tomatoes are grown in the volcanic soil of Mount Vesuvius near Naples, Italy. They are harvested when ripe, as the sun goes down. They are sweet, fleshy, high in pectin <em>(thicker sauces)</em>, low in seeds, bright red and easy to peel. Oh! And, they look like an elongated Roma Tomato.<br /><br /> The primary reason for San Marzano Tomatoes being such a big deal is, they are reliable and delicious. When it's not summertime and amazing local tomatoes are not available, these sweet tomatoes, canned at their absolute peak, are the way to go. Many Chefs will do a little happy dance for the real thing. For TRUE San Marzano Tomatoes, from Italy, look for the DOP seal, indicating "Designation of Origin". Seeds have travelled outside the region and are also canned, but they are not grown in the same soil, or picked by the same standards. So, while many canned "San Marzano Tomatoes" are actually spawned from the same seed ... they are not the same thing. Buyer beware.<br /><br /> <span class="Heading2" style="font-size:22px;">Two suggestions for purchasing online ...</span> <a href="http://amzn.com/B000N36F9E?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Strianese Whole Peeled D.O.P. San Marzano Tomatoes</a> – These are true canned tomatoes, imported from Italy. As of these writings, they are $10.40 US, per can. YIKES!<br /><br /> <a href="http://amzn.com/B000R923TU?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Carmelina 'e San Marzano Italian Peeled Tomatoes in Puree</a> - This is what I use. These are from the same source, have no added flavors and are packed in puree, rather than sauce. The end result is tasty, sweet and not watered down. Sure, they're not TRUE San Marzano's, but they're close enough and at less than $3.00 US per can, I'm willing to sacrifice a tiny difference in quality ... for a canned product.<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Pictures are taken with <a href="http://www.DJFoodie.com/Chicken-Nuggets">Chicken Nuggets</a>.Sauces5 mins3 hrs3 hrs8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Marinara-Sauce-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Marinara-Sauce-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Marinara-Sauce-31tbsp14extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-201212000001small110onion, diced440110024each12garlic clove, cut into thin rings0160400128-oz can800san marzano tomatoeshttp://amzn.com/B000R923TU?tag=lcrecipe-20150063601216leaves6.4fresh basil, hand torn1.47.06.19.190.13salt and pepper, to taste000000In a medium sized sauce pot, add your oil and place on the stove over medium-low heat. Watch the pot, so you don't burn the oil. Extra virgin oil burns really quickly and will make everything taste like a burned oil.THE MOMENT you see the surface of the oil ripple just a tiny bit, or become thinner, like water, as you roll it around the pan, add your garlic and onions, with a little salt and pepper. Stir until translucent and aromatic (about 5 minutes).While the onions and garlic are sweating, open your can of San Marzano's and dump them into a large salad bowl. With both hands, grab each tomato and squeeze it. It will squish and become one with the puree. Do this to all the tomatoes, to create a thick and chunky tomato puddle.Once the tomatoes are properly squooshed, pour them into the pot with the translucent garlic and onions.Let the sauce simmer away until it is the appropriate consistency. I was in a bit of a rush when I made the batch in the photos, resulting in some of the water separating out. It's still tasty, but it could've simmered longer.Allow to simmer for upwards of 3 hours, over very low heat. Season with salt and pepper (tomatoes can take a lot of salt, so you can add a little more than may feel natural).Finish by stirring in some fresh hand torn basil, at the last minute.Serve!Zoodle FettuciniTrueZoodles! I just love saying that. It's impossible to say the word "ZOODLES!" and not crack a smile. Try it. I dare you! Did you smile? Told you! <span style="font-size:24px;">&#9786;</span><br /><br /> A while back, I wrote a fairly extensive blog post on pasta and various forms of noodles <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Blog/beid/559395"><em>(about halfway down the post)</em></a>. At the time, I hadn't actually made zoodles for my website, and felt a bit silly having not. So, I set out to make them as a recipe! Zoodles are just zucchini cut into strips. They approximate the sense of pasta in that they're roughly the same shape, they don't have a lot of flavor on their own and they serve as a fantastic vehicle for "sauce" and other goodies.<br /><br /> Traditional pasta has gluten holding it together. While it's possible to overcook it, it'll still be a noodle when you're done cooking it. It IS possible, however, to overcook zoodles. If you were to throw a handful of freshly cut zoodles into a cauldron of hot gurgling sauce, the zoodles would release all their water and break down in just a few minutes. They would become "one with the sauce" and won't really be very zoodle-y, any longer.<br /><br /> This is where some of these little tricks come in.<br /><br /> First, you need to cut the zoodles. There are all kinds of tools for this. The most basic is a standard vegetable peeler. Just peel the zucchini, deeper and deeper. You'll create a series of imperfect, but flat wide "zoodles", which will resemble green pappardelle. Alternately, you can use something like the <a href="http://amzn.com/B0007Y9WHQ?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Spirooli</a>. I personally don't like these much and prefer to go with a more standard <a href="http://amzn.com/B00032RZNK?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">flat mandoline</a>.<br /><br /> In the photos, you'll see that I cut mine with a flat mandoline. In my case, I created thick strips of zucchini, then stacked the strips upon one another, then cut them into 1/3 inch strips with a knife. This approach gives me a heartier zoodle, with a bit more texture and bite. However, you can make them thinner, thicker, etc. It's all personal preference.<br /><br /> Once you've got the zoodles cut, many will simply pop them into a microwaveable container and nuke them for a minute or two. This will create a hot bed of zoodles. This is, without question, a way you can go!<br /><br /> My method is a little different, but tends to have a little more flavor and ... love ... cooked into it. It takes a little longer, but I feel the results have that little something extra.<br /><br /> Once you've got your cooked zoodles, top them with any number of sauces. How about some nice <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/marinara-sauce">Marinara Sauce</a> or a nice <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Thick-Goopy-Alfredo-Sauce">thick goopy alfredo sauce</a>?QuickPastaSidesVegetarian5 min2 min30 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Zoodles-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Zoodles-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Zoodles-34each472small green zucchini and/or summer squash, cut into zoodles761.485.8416.0805.841/4cup28.4real bacon bits6100120001tbsp14light flavored oil (like light olive oil, ghee or bacon fat)111000000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000If you haven't already, cut your zoodles, using any method you would like (several methods are mentioned in the notes).Once your zoodles have been cut, season them with salt and pepper. Toss them around, so that they are evenly coated with the seasoning. Set them aside for about 20 minutes, while you focus on other things. The salt will pull some of the moisture out of the zoodles and will also macerate them. They will become soft and pliable, all on their own, without any cooking, at all.Heat up a large non-stick sauté pan, over medium-high heat.I personally don't use oil for this. I have a big favorite non-stick pan I use, but you can add something like a light olive oil, bacon fat or ghee. I almost always having bacon bits lying around. I'll throw those into the pan, where some of the bacon fat will render out.Once I see the bits starting to "fry", I will evenly spread my zoodles around the bottom of the pan. Toss them in a the pan to mix the bacon and bacon fat into them, then spread them flat on the bottom of the pan. Let them "sear" for about 30 seconds to a minute.Toss them one more time, spread them out, let them sear for about 30 seconds longer, then ... serve!Ricotta GnocchiTrueHere we have gnocchi <em>(nee-yo-kee)</em>. Gnocchi is a favorite of mine, going as far back as childhood. These soft Italian dumplings always hit the spot, tossed simply with marinara and cheese. Within a low-carb way of life, I'd long assumed that gnocchi had vacated my future. Then, without really meaning to, I discovered "ricotta gnocchi".<br /><br /> Most all gnocchi I had growing up was a mixture of mashed potatoes, flour and eggs. This was formed into a dough, then little dumplings, which were then boiled. Over my career, I've seen different flavors and methods employed, including boiling, frying, broiling and the use of sweet potatoes, beets, spinach, nuts, etc. Every variation I'd ever heard of used flour in some way. Flour is a no no within a low-carb lifestyle. <br /><br /> So, what's this ricotta gnocchi? Interesting! Turns out, it's basically ricotta mixed with flour and eggs. My shoulder sank. Bummer.<br /><br /> Then, I found a reference to a pure ricotta variety, stemming from the Zuni Café cookbook. <em>(<a href="http://www.zunicafe" target="_blank">Zuni Café</a> is a famous restaurant in San Francisco ... the best hamburger on earth!)</em><br /><br /> <a href="http://www.cafenilson.com/2009/05/zuni-ricotta-gnocchi-the-first-daring-cooks-challenge/" target="_blank">Here's a link to the recipe I followed</a>. My master plan had been to follow this recipe, but dust the final dumplings with parmesan cheese, rather than flour. This would work and would be significant enough of a change to warrant a new recipe!<br /><br /> Starting with a store bought organic, expensive, high-end ricotta <em>(rather than making my own)</em>, I put it in a strainer over a bowl in the fridge and let it drip-dry for 24 hours. I really wanted to follow the recipe to a T. Once the ricotta is dried, the rest is fairly easy to follow along with. <br /><br /> I followed along with the recipe, tweaking, twiddling and twoddling, until I finally had something like a batter. I tried to form dumplings, but ... it was too loose. I refrigerated the batter to see if it would firm up. It didn't. Finally, I decided to see what would happen if I carefully dropped some batter into a pool of very hot, but very still, salted water. Imagine every molecule in the gnocchi being upset with every other molecule. When given the chance to run far far away from everything, they do. This is what adding the batter to the water was like. Everything went every which way, resulting in a pale white water, with nary a gnocchi in sight. I was beyond frustrated! <br /><br /> <strong>*light bulb*</strong><br /><br /> Then, I remembered the Instant Mashed Potatoes that had been kicking around my cupboards. <a href="http://www.facebook.com/lcfoods" target="_blank">LC Foods had mentioned on their Facebook page</a> that they'd send free samples to people willing to try them out. I submitted my info, and they immediately sent me the stuff <em>(also some tasty trail mix!)</em>. I was energetic enough to get the free mashed potatoes, but ... a good month went by and I never tried them. I had been attacked with a severe bout of laziness. <br /><br /> I dug the potatoes out of my cupboard, measured a cup of it, mixed it in and tested it in water. The outer layer very briefly tried to run away from every other part of the outer layer, but then it all miraculously hung together, sank for a moment, then came bobbing back to the surface after about 1 minute. I let it cook for about 4 more minutes and then pulled it out. It was soft, but ... it held its own. I tasted it. YUM!<br /><br /> In the end, I was a little worried about the taste, because I've had a bad experience with instant mashed potatoes in the past. However, these were AMAZING. They were light and delicious, with precisely zero of the strange flavors stemming from other low-carb instant potatoes that I've had. Well done, <a href="http://www.holdthecarbs.com" target="_blank">LC Foods</a>!<br /><br /> <strong>Forming Note:</strong> The are a few ways to form these. You can do it by rolling long logs in parmesan cheese, then cutting the logs into smaller dumplings. You can use a spoon and drop each dumpling into grated parmesan. You can also use a very small ice cream scoop for it <em>(chances are, you won't have this, though)</em>. Here's what I did: I put the dough into a pastry bag, without a tip. I also set up a platter with freshly grated <em>(the finest grate)</em> parmesan cheese. Then, I placed the pastry bag in one hand, with a steak knife in the other. I extruded the dough out of the tip, while using the steak knife to cut the dough-stream every inch. This created a quick succession of small inch long cylinders, each dropping into random spots on the parmesan. I did this until I was out of dough. I tossed it in the parmesan to make sure it was evenly coated, then refrigerated it for about 30 minutes. The rest is in the recipe!<br /><br /> <strong>Sauce Note:</strong> the gnocchi in the photos are topped with a <a href="http://www.DJFoodie.com/Tomato-Pepper-Cream">tomato and roasted pepper cream</a>, but a marinara sauce would be nice, as would just very simply fried in butter, with maybe little sage and topped with grated parmesan cheese.MainPastaVegetarian30 min30 min24 hrs4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Ricotta-Gnocchi-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Ricotta-Gnocchi-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Ricotta-Gnocchi-31lb454fresh ricotta cheese, whole milk790.84051.2614.65002large100whole eggs, chilled and lightly beaten14310131001/4cup56fresh whole butter, divided4440000001cup100parmesan cheese, finely grated and divided43129384001cup103.38low-carb instant mashed potatoeshttp://amzn.com/B00AMNNWYG?tag=lcrecipe-20379.08014.7777.78054.15salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Make sure your ricotta is dry. Place it in a colander over a bowl, wrapped in plastic wrap to drip-dry over night.The next day, push your ricotta through a fine meshed sieve, to make sure it's smooth. Use the back of a plastic spatula to push it through.Melt 1 tbsp of your butter.Add your eggs, melted butter, a dash of salt, mashed potatoes and ¼ cup of parmesan cheese. Mix well.Form your dough into small dumplings, using any of the methods listed in the notes. Place the formed dumplings onto a platter coated with the remaining 3/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Make sure the dumplings are well coated with the cheese. Refrigerate the dumplings for 30 minutes up to overnight.Boil a large pot of salted water. Once the water is boiling, turn it down to a very slow simmer.Add your gnocchi to the water, carefully. Don't just dump them in. These are delicate. Carefully pick them up and add them one at a time, or in small batches of 5 or 6. They will sink. Try and add them all over a 60 second period.Once they've all been added, let them cook for 5 minutes. Never let the water boil. It should be very hot, but not boiling. The gnocchi should start floating after about 1 to 2 minutes. Continue to let them cook for 3 or so more minutes, for a total of 5.With a slotted spoon, carefully lift the gnocchi out of the water and place them into a strainer, so they can dry. If you're too aggressive with these, they will fall apart. Be gentle.In a large sauté pan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. The moment any of the butter begin to turn a very light shade of tan, carefully add a few gnocchi. Toss them in the pan to coat them with butter. Add a few more, toss them around. Add a new more, etc. You want them to fry in the butter. You may need to do this in two batches. A little color on the butter can add a nice flavor.Once they are fried, remove them from the pan and serve them! If there is any leftover parmesan on the original gnocchi platter from the fridge, use this as a garnish!Tomato and Roasted Pepper CreamTrueOften times you'll walk into an Italian restaurant and be offered a white sauce, or a red sauce. You can order a pizza and have it red or white. Certainly "red" is the more common variety in these instances, but white is just as tasty!<br /><br /> I'm here to tell you that the world isn't always so red and white. There are always going to be shades of pink.<br /><br /> Welcome to one of my personal favorites! This is a WONDERFUL accompaniment to pasta, zoodles, poured over a chicken breast, drizzled onto a bowl of buttered cauliflower, etc. It's got some pink from the tomatoes, as well as the slightly sweet roasted peppers. It's also got a little texture and smoky flavor coming from the bacon bits. Finally, there are the little speckles of fresh basil, to tie the whole thing together.<br /><br /> It's also INCREDIBLY fast to make; a perfect pairing with a plethora of meal ideas. Give it a shot!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Reduced cream-based sauces tend to form a skin almost immediately. As a result, the photos aren't as "pink" as the sauce really was. Bear in mind ... the skin is delicious! :)Sauces5 mins5 min10 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Tomato-Pepper-Cream-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Tomato-Pepper-Cream-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Tomato-Pepper-Cream-31tbsp14butter1110000004each12garlic clove, cut into thin rings01604001/4cup28.4real bacon bits1006120002medium182tomatoes, diced32028022small148roasted bell peppers, peeled, seeded and diced45.8801.488.8802.961cup238cream, heavy whipping82188570016leaves6.4fresh basil, hand torn1.47.06.19.190.13salt and pepper, to taste000000In a sauté pan over medium heat, add your butter.Quickly add your chopped garlic and bacon bits to the pan.The very moment the garlic begins to turn brown, add your diced tomatoes and peppers to the pan, with some salt and pepper. Turn your heat up high and cook for about 2 minutes.Add your cream. Let the sauce reduce until it's the appropriate viscosity for a sauce (probably about 3 to 6 minutes, depending on how hot your pan is). Watch it, so it doesn't burn.Once it's a nice thickness, taste it and adjust seasoning.Finally, stir in your fresh basil leaves.Serve!Spiced Ginger Steak Salad with CauliflowerTrueThis is a quick little warm salad, but one which is BURSTING with flavor!<br /><br /> I had made a <a href="http://www.DJFoodie.com/Tomato-Jam">sweet and spicy tomato jam</a>, which comes from an old recipe of my youth. I wanted to use it for something simple and tasty, and came up with this salad.<br /><br /> This is one of those salads that falls under the "warm salad" category, which I love so much. I should point out some differences between the actual recipe and photos, from what I would normally do in my personal life. Being a busy guy, it's quite common for me to throw stuff in a pan with virtually no regard to "looks". This is a salad that can be quick and tasty, but is also quick to lose its aesthetic charm, when done in the "quick and dirty" fashion in which so many of my warm salads are actually made.<br /><br /> What I would REALLY do, on a busy day, is heat up some coconut oil in a large sauté pan. I would throw in some cauliflower florets and season them with salt and pepper. They would sauté in the pan, while I take some beef and cut it into cubes. I would season the cubes with salt, pepper and some cumin, just to tie it together. At this point, I'd add the cubed beef to the hot pan with the cauliflower and let it brown on one side. Then, I'd toss it around once to let it sear on a different side. While this is all happening in the pan, I'd take a large salad bowl and put some baby spinach into it, with a big spoonful of tomato jam. Then, I'd make sure the cauliflower and beef were cooked. If they are cooked through, I'd throw them, hot, into the salad bowl. Then, I'd toss all the ingredients together, resulting in a wilted spinach salad, BRIMMING with flavor!<br /><br /> Or, you can also roast it and compose it, like the recipe states. Either way, it's a good thing!BeefQuickSalads5 min15 mins20 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Ginger-Steak-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Ginger-Steak-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Ginger-Steak-Salad-32tbsp28coconut oil, divided2424000001head420small cauliflower, cut into florets.671058.522.5010.51tsp2turmeric, ground.27.08.161.30.421 1/2lb681beef flank, cut into 4 portions1680123133.50001tsp2cumin seed, ground7.5.440.880.221/2cup120sweet and spicy tomato jamhttp://www.DJFoodie.com/Tomato-Jam143.077.292.5729.548.333.854cups120baby spinach, washed and stems removed27.53.353.534.2402.47salt and pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 400 F.Toss your cauliflower florets in a bowl with salt, pepper, turmeric and coconut oil (any lightly flavored oil will do). Place your cauliflower on a baking tray into the oven, to roast for about 12 minutes. Keep an eye on it. Perform the following steps while the cauliflower roasts. However, once it is soft, remove it and keep it warm.Pre-heat a large sauté pan (or a grill) over medium-high heat.Season your beef with salt, pepper and cumin.Add your oil to the pan (or brush a grill with oil). Once the oil ripples, place your beef into the pan to sear. Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow it to continue cooking for about 5 minutes on one side.Flip the beef and let it cook for about 5 more minutes on the other side. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for about 5 more minutes, to rest.In a large salad bowl, add your spinach, tomato jam and a little salt and pepper.Add your warm cauliflower to the bowl. Toss the ingredients and divide between 4 plates.Slice your flank steak into thin strips, against the grain, and stagger the pieces around the salad.Serve warm!Sweet and Spicy Tomato JamTrueThis tomato jam recipe comes from a restaurant that no longer exists. I am unsure who developed it, but it was on the menu when I worked there, as a kid. I LOVED this stuff and made it regularly. I'm sure I used it wrong, when I slathered it on my own meals, but I applied it, liberally, to almost everything. One of my favorites was to toss it with pasta and devour it when I got home. A strange combination, but one I ate often!<br /><br /> The flavor combinations are also a bit strange. It's a difficult recipe to pinpoint, in terms of ethnic origin. Is it Indian? Is it Moroccan? It initially feels like a sweet tomato jam from the southern U.S., but then the spices and aromatics harking from other countries start teasing the olfactory nerves, resulting in a powerful mélange of exotic tastes and aromas. That's my way of saying ... it's TASTY!<br /><br /> I don't remember how we used this in the restaurant. I want to say it was served with lamb, but I'd be lying if I said that with certainty. I think it tastes great on everything, but I would likely hold it up to bigger/bolder flavors: beef, lamb, goat, bison, ostrich, venison, etc. for example.<br /><br /> Oh ... now I want to braise lamb shanks in this stuff! Stay tuned!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Makes about 1 1/2 cups of jam. The recipe is calculated for twelve 2-tbsp portions.Sauces15 mins30 mins45 mins12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Tomato-Jam-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Tomato-Jam-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Tomato-Jam-31tbsp14light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)1212000002tsp4cumin seed, ground.881501.760.441tsp2coriander seed, ground.365.96.241.10.841tsp2cinnamon, ground4.94.02.081.6201.061tsp2chili flakes.346.28.241.10.681small110onion, diced440110024each12garlic clove, cut into thin rings01604002tsp4fresh ginger, grated03.2.08.720.081lb454fresh tomatoes, washed, dried and coursely chopped82.3204.9917.4604.992tbsp25'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000252502tbsp24brown sugar equivalenthttp://amzn.com/B001EPQQL2?tag=lcrecipe-201208024001/2bunch50cilantro, washed, large stems removed, and chopped11.5.271.091.8701.45salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000Place a large sauté pan over medium heat on the stove. Add your oil.Making sure you've got your onions, garlic and ginger chopped and ready to toss into pan, watch for the oil to slightly "ripple" in the pan. When you see it ripple, add your dried spices (cumin, coriander, cinnamon and chili flakes). Swirl them in the pan for no more than about 3 seconds, or else they will burn. We want to "toast" them in the oil, not burn them. After 3 seconds quickly "save" the spices by throwing your onions, garlic and ginger into the pan and coat them with the hot spiced oil.Add a little salt and pepper to the onion mixture. Sauté for about 2 minutes, or until the onions become translucent.Add your tomatoes and the two sugars.At this point, you want to cook the tomatoes until the whole thing reduces to the consistency of a jam like spread. This can take anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes, depending on how quickly reduce the tomatoes. I suggest a fairly high heat, with a wide sauté pan. This will evaporate the most water, quickly. Let it gurgle for a minute or two, then toss it around, and let it continue to gurgle. Just don't let the bottom burn. Alternately, you can put it on a very low heat (without a lid) and not need to watch it as closely. It'll take longer, but you'll have more freedom to do other things.Once it's reduced, remove it from the stove and adjust the seasoning. Make sure it tastes good!Spread it on a cookie tray and place it in the fridge to quickly cool it.Once it's cool, sprinkle your chopped cilantro all over it, fold it in and serve, save or eat!Slow Cooker Chile ColoradoTrueChile Colorado (red chile) is something that actually stems from the Old West, back when "Cookies" made chow from the chuck wagon for the cowboys. It's a deep red chili that cattlemen ate while driving herds around the southern US and northern parts of Mexico. Dishes existed similar to the modern Chile Colorado in this area, before it was U.S. territory. The Europeans later brought spices with them, which were infused into the indigenous foods, resulting in the chuck wagon version, as well as today's slow cooker varieties.<br /><br /> It's firmly Tex-Mex, but has roots in Spain, Mexico and India, believe it or not!<br /><br /> <strong>Thickness Note:</strong> Even without the addition of extra moisture, this was still a bit soupy. In the future, I would add about 1/4 cup of peanut flour to the mix. This will help thicken it up with flavors that would complement such a dish. Alternately, you can remove the lid from the slow cooker for the final hour and let some of the water evaporate. This will thicken the sauce. Finally, you could strain the meat through a colander, then reduce the sauce in a separate pot, later adding it back to the meat. I left it "as is" in an effort to simplify the recipe. "As is" was quite tasty, but I was left feeling like I'd like a thicker sauce.BeefMain30 min8 hrs8 hrs 30 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chili-Colorado-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chili-Colorado-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chili-Colorado-36each102assorted dried chilies (guajillo, ancho, new mexico, etc.)102612540243lb1362beef chuck, trimmed and cut into cubes33602462670002tsp4cumin seed, ground.881501.760.441tbsp14light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)1212000004each12garlic cloves01604001small110onion, cut into large chunks440110021small74red bell pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks22.940.744.4401.481each65poblano chillies, seeds removed and cut into large chunks.1113.563.0201.111tbsp2fresh oregano, chopped2.62.12.06.420.28salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste000000Split the chilies by either tearing the tops off, or using kitchen scissors to cut them open. Remove the seeds from the peppers and discard (feel free to leave a few, if you like a spicy chili).You can do this in a hot pan, but I usually toast the chilies directly on a hot burner element, or over a hot burner flame. Over a medium-low temperature, toast the surface of the chilies by placing them in the flame, or directly on the burner surface. This will cause a quick blistering. Do not burn the chilies. Simply toast the surface for about 15 seconds, in a few spots around the chilies. This makes for a richer and more developed flavor.Fill a bowl or measuring cup with about 4 cups of hot tap water. Place your toasted chilies in the hot tap water, so they may soften.Pre-heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.Turn your slow cooker to a low-temperature.Season your beef with salt, pepper and cumin.Add a little oil to the pan, and evenly distribute a handful of beef cubes. You want to sear the beef, to add a nice color, as well as lightly toasting the cumin. If you add too much beef, it will crowd the pan and your beef will not sear. When the beef has begun to color, toss the beef around in the pan, until all pieces of beef are very nicely caramelized and seared. Add the beef to the slower cooker. If you have more beef remaining, repeat this step until all the beef cubes are nicely caramelized and in the slow cooker.Add your onions, garlic, fresh peppers and oregano to a blender, with a little salt and pepper.Remove your chilies from the hot water and also add them to the blender. Save the water.Puree the onion-chilies mixture. If you need to add any moisture to get the blender going, add small amounts of the water from the chilies, just to get the blender moving. You won't need much! Discard whatever you don't use.Once the vegetables have been pureed, add the sauce to the slow cooker.Stir the beef into the sauce.Add the lid to the slow cooker and allow to cook on low for 8 hours.Serve with favorite sides and grilled low carb tortillas!Ohmigawdwhaddizit AKA OkonomiyakiTrueThis is a strange recipe. It's a strange Japanese Pizza-Pancake, called "Okonomiyaki". <em>(Oh-Koh-Noh-Mee-Yah-Kee)</em> The word is a combination of two words Okonomi+Yaki, meaning "What You Like" + "Grilled".<br /><br /> My little brother attended college in Tokyo. He continued to live there for about 3 more years. This is where we were introduced to Okonomiyaki. I'd never heard of it, prior to visiting my brother in Japan. Okonomiyaki is basically pancake batter, mixed with eggs, cabbage, pickled ginger and scallions. Then, different fillings are selected and added, such as: pork, shrimp, cheese, kimchi, etc. This is all blended together and then poured onto a hot surface to cook, much like a large thick pancake. It is then brushed with Okonomiyaki sauce <em>(kind of like BBQ sauce)</em>, Japanese mayonnaise, bonito flakes <em>(thin shaved dried fish flakes)</em> and seaweed flakes. <br /><br /> My family loving refers to it as: <strong>Ohmigawdwhaddizit!</strong><br /><br /> When I think about Okonomiyaki, I'm somewhat reminded of "quiche". Quiche, to me, is where leftovers, the little cheese ends and partially chopped up vegetables roaming around my fridge all wind up on weekends <em>(now more as crustless quiches/frittatas)</em>. These little egg pies are a wonderful way to glue all those ingredients together for a hot, seemingly fresh breakfast delight!<br /><br /> I see Okonomiyaki in much the same way. It's a random and always changing collection of ingredients, which are folded into a batter, then cooked on a flat grill-top surface. In my eyes, it's the Japanese equivalent of leftover pie!<br /><br /> When I made my little <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Mini-Crabcakes">mini-crab cakes</a>, I felt like I'd found a new way to make Okonomiyaki, as well! I started thinking about it, and arrived at what follows. Being quite proud of my idea, I invited my brother over to try out my Okonomiyaki. I think he was impressed by how it turned out. He definitely said that it looks just like it would in Japan. He took his plate and gobbled it up!<br /><br /> In the end, he described it as the worst Okonomiyaki that he's ever had, sad to say. However, it's also not a "true" Okonomiyaki. He liked it and ate it, but compared it to the real thing ... in Toyko. This is not that. This is a low-carb imitation and one that, while it's the worst my brother has ever had <em>(SNOB!)</em>, is still quite delicious in its own right. I certainly enjoyed mine!<br /><br /> If you're in the mood to try out something completely different ... this recipe is "completely different". Give it a go!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> One of the steps calls for laying thin slices of pork belly over the uncooked side of the pancake. I have a large Asian grocery store in Seattle and was able to pick up some thin slices of Kurobuta pork belly. This is lean and uncured. However, thin strips of a raw low-sodium bacon will work just as well!FishMain15 min15 min30 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Okonomiyaki-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Okonomiyaki-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Okonomiyaki-31/4cup64reduced sugar ketchuphttp://amzn.com/B002J9R7S8?tag=lcrecipe-2002004002tbsp31.88japanese soy sauce (shoyu)016.881.632.750.251tbsp14.5sake (rice wine)019.430.73002tsp11.34worcestershire sauce8.82002.22002tsp8brown sugar equivalenthttp://amzn.com/B001EPQQL2?tag=lcrecipe-20402.6708001/2cup109.63mayonnaisehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Mayonnaise750.5483.452.41.33.25.082tbsp30rice wine vinegar09.902.1002tsp8'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html0008801/2lb227raw white fish (cod, halibut, sole, shrimp, scallop, lobster, etc.)232.043.3645.40003large150whole eggs, chilled and divided214.51519.51.5001/2cup119cream, heavy whipping410.5442.53.5001/2lb227shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped240.624.5445.42.270.141tbsp8pickled ginger, choppedhttp://amzn.com/B0019JNU6W?tag=lcrecipe-2015003012cups140cabbage, shredded (about 1/8 head)17014.502.252tbsp31.88japanese soy sauce (shoyu)016.881.632.750.251tbsp14light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut and sesame)12120000012slices300thin sliced pork belly or raw low-sodium bacon1374135360002whole30green onions (scallions), cut into thin rings9.60.62.10.92sheets5nori, sliced into ribbonshttp://amzn.com/B001PBKZK8?tag=lcrecipe-2020022021/4cup3bonito flakes1002000Before you do anything, chill your food processor bowl and blade. The "batter" needs to be made in a cold environment.Whip up your batch of Okonomiyaki sauce and Japanese Mayo. Simply mix the ingredients in two small separate bowls.Add your white fish to your food processor (you can use more raw shrimp, scallops and/or lobster meat, as well) with a small amount of salt (about 1/2 tsp.), pepper and one egg. Turn the food processor on.Through the hole in the top, slowly drizzle in your cream, until it is well blended. You'll have something that looks like paste. You may need to scrape down the edges and puree for another half moment.Scrape your batter into a bowl, and add your remaining eggs, shrimp, cabbage, picked ginger, scallions and soy sauce. Fold these ingredients together, but not very well. It's my understanding that this is part of the charm of the dish. Just mix it until it's "mixed", but not very well.Heat a large non-stick sauté pan (or even better a flattop grill), over medium heat. Add your lightly flavored oil (I would suggest a coconut oil/sesame oil blend). Right as the oil begins to ripple, add enough batter for one pancake (2 if using a flattop grill or two pans). Spread the batter evenly over the bottom of the pan, to form a nice round pancake, with an even thickness. Turn your pan down to a medium-low.Cover the uncooked top(s) of your pancake(s) with 3 slices of bacon. Lay them flat on the surface, so that the pancake looks someone covered with raw pork belly/bacon.Check the bottom side of the pancake. Once it turns a nice golden brown, flip the pancake and cook the side with the pork belly/bacon.Once the pancake is cooked through, flip it back over, so that the cooked bacon side is facing up.Evenly brush half of the Okonomiyaki sauce on each pancake. This can be done with a brush, or simply the back of a spoon.Transfer the pancakes to individual plates. Garnish with Japanese mayonnaise, bonito flakes and nori strips or ao-nori (seaweed powder).Pork TamalesTrue<strong>Update:</strong> On 4/15/2013, I learned that the hominy labels had been very inaccurate, due to a 60 year old test report. I've left the following notes and recipes intact, but the nutrition has changed. I no longer consider this to be a very low carb recipe, even though it works and is definitely delicious. <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Blog/beid/662703">Read more here ... ></a><br /><br />This story begins with my asking my Facebook followers what recipes they'd like to see me create. One of the ideas came from super foodie Sharon Bradley Looper. She requested TAMALES! Tamales represent a challenge. Making tamales without corn is like making bread without flour. I LOVED the challenge, but really wasn't sure where to start. The seed had been planted.<br /><br /> About a week later, I was chatting with <a href="http://barboslowcarbkitchen.proboards.com" target="_blank">Barbo Gold</a>, whom I know from <a href="http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs" target="_blank">LowCarbFriends.com</a>. I mentioned that someone had requested tamales. Barbo immediately responded, "Been there, done that!" She was clearly very proud of herself, then offered me the link. I then asked her if I could steal the recipe for my own site. She said, "Sure!"<br /><br /> The recipe below follows <a href="http://barboslowcarbkitchen.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=gotopost&board=pork&thread=372&post=805" target="_blank">Barbo's recipe</a> almost exactly, with the exception of the fat and filling. The filling is my own Mexican-ish Shredded Pork, and the fat I used was bacon fat, from the fridge. Otherwise ... it's <a href="http://barboslowcarbkitchen.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=gotopost&board=pork&thread=372&post=805" target="_blank">Barbo's recipe</a> ... and it was DELICIOUS!<br /><br /> BUT WAIT! This isn't where the story ends, my friends. There's a twist!<br /><br /> A few days after making the tamales, I wanted to check the carb amount of the can of hominy. I'd forgotten the amount, but knew it was either 3 or 4 net carbs per 1/2 cup portion. I picked up the can and took a gander. Holy Tamales! It was 16 net carbs per half cup portion! This was more than 4 times the carbs I'd thought they had. OH NOES!<br /><br /> I'd known about the "Mexican Style" canned hominy for years. I read about it many times on LowCarbFriends.com. Ironically, living in Mexico, they were nowhere to be found! Sure, there was hominy everywhere. None of it specified that it was "Mexican Style", but I could make the argument that all hominy in Mexico is "Mexican Style". In any event, after a week of scouring every grocery store in the Los Cabos area for the mythical low-carb Mexican Style Hominy, I gave up.<br /><br /> Cut to the present, I found the now legendary low-carb <a href="http://amzn.com/B0035AR8HA?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">"Mexican Style" hominy on Amazon.com</a>. The nutrition facts weren't listed, but the lone customer review suggested that this was, indeed, the stuff of legends. I made the purchase and eagerly awaited my order. When it arrived, I didn't even read the label, I simply popped the top and whipped up a steamed batch of porky goodness!<br /><br /> After eating the tamales and having more "masa" still in my fridge, but holding another can in my hand reading that it was high in carbs, my shoulders sank and I knew there those extra few lbs. on my rump had come from. Infernal dastardly tamales!<br /><br /> This sent me in a mission to figure out what had happened! I was able to find the nutrition facts for the Juanita's "Mexican Style" hominy, which does state that it's 4 net carbs per 1/2 cup. However, the can in my hand reads 16! What gives? Was it a typo for all those years? Then, I combed through miles of eBanter talking about the Mexican Style processing, which leaches the starch from the hominy. I read about how the canned "Mexican Style" hominy uses an heirloom variety of corn, which hasn't had all the sugar bread into it, like today's corn. <em>(keep in mind, none of these "stories" would hold up in court)</em> I also found others running into this same issue, with discussions that even followed up directly with Juanita's. They never got through to someone with the information. A dead end.<br /><br /> My theory is that they either recently corrected their mistake on the can, OR that they changed the formula, process and/or variety of corn being used. It isn't clear to me that I have any way of knowing.<br /><br /> This didn't stop my search, though. I didn't give up. That's not my style. I forged ahead! I found that another company also makes the seemingly impossible hominy. Teasdale! I <a href="http://www.teasdale.net/our_store.php" target="_blank">ordered some cans</a> from them, opened the box and read. 4 net carbs per 1/2 cup portion. WHOO HOO!! EUREKA!!! I felt like I'd just discovered the mother load! I immediately popped the can and whipped up a batch of grits. YUM!<br /><br /> Today, right now, I'm a bit miffed that the low-carb hominy from Amazon wasn't what the doctor ordered. I also remain somewhat skeptical of the Teasdale brand, but ... it does DEFINITELY say 4 net carbs on the can, and I HAVE read about the starch leaching process and about the heirloom varieties. Oh, how rationalizing is fun!<br /><br /> I also want to point out that I unearthed a similar recipe while doing my research. <a href="http://healthylivinghowto.com/1/post/2012/02/hot-healthy-tamale.html" target="_blank">This recipe is from another low-carb blogger and one whom I hold a lot of respect for</a>. Her recipe is very similar, with one of the bigger differences being the use of canned baby corn, rather than full hominy. The American Diabetes Association states that baby corn is a non-starchy vegetable in their list, but ... "Mexican Style" hominy is nowhere to be seen.<br /><br /> <strong>Long Story Short:</strong> These tamales are every bit as good as they look, but the carb amount is up for debate. I suggest making these if you have a higher tolerance to carbs than I personally do, or for the occasional splurge. Do you have a cheat day once a month? Next time ... try TAMALES!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> This recipe assumes you've already made the shredded pork and sauce <em>(see recipe link in list of ingredients)</em>MainPork30 min45 min1 hr 15 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pork-Tamales-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pork-Tamales-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pork-Tamales-312each60dried corn husks0000001(29-oz) can780"mexican style" hominyhttp://www.teasdale.net/our_store.php5646121140181/4cup14lard (I used bacon fat, from the fridge)4004400001tsp2cumin seed, ground.447.50.880.221/2tsp1ancho pepper, powdered2.81.08.12.510.221/4tsp.5cayenne pepper, powdered2.81.08.12.510.223tbsp42chicken stock or brothhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Good-Ol-Fashioned-Chicken-Stock2.94.06.42.29002tbsp14coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-20621.53.59061tsp4salt0000001/2tsp.5black pepper, ground0000001 1/2lbs681mexican-ish shredded pork and saucehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Mexican-ish-Shredded-Pork825.8827.23120.9817.3804.56Clean the corn husks well. Rinse and brush away any old corn silks.Place them in a big pot of boiling water and let them stay for 20 to 30 minutes. This step not only cleans them but softens them. Take them out and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.In the bowl of the food processor, place all the ingredients listed, except the corn husks, pork and sauce.Whirl this mixture until it is dough like. This takes some time and will depend upon your machine. Don't stop until it is like dough.Your shredded pork should be room temperature and separated from the sauce. If it is not, strain out the sauce (even squeezing the liquid out of the meat, if you need to).Divide dough into 12 balls.Spread 1 round of dough onto center of cornhusk.Drop a couple tablespoons of meat in center of the spread dough.Fold 1 edge of the husk to the center, and then fold the other side to cover entire tamale. Fold ends over by two inches or tie ends.Steam for 45 minutes.As they steam, you can warm up the sauce.Serve the tamales with the sauce!Bacon-Cheddar BBQ Pork SlidersTrueI'm not completely sure where this idea came from. I'm a massive fan of anything "BBQ'd", and had just made my first batch of one-minute bread, ever. I wanted to try something small, tasty and ... to use my own slangy vernacular ... grubbin'.<br /><br /> This starts with ground pork from the butcher. I added all the spices and flavorings I'd add to a dry rub for a smoked pork butt. The flavor profile is about the same. Then, I added coleslaw, which is a traditional fixin' for a BBQ Pork Sandwich. Then, to make it more "slider-y", I topped it with some caramelized onions and crispy bacon!<br /><br /> This was all placed within small one-minute cheddar buns and ... well ... I'm not sure what happened after that. They disappeared so quickly! "Where did they go?" he says guiltily with a spot of sauce on his cheek and forehead.<br /><br /> These little guys are perfect for a summer day, Super Bowl party, Fourth of July BBQ or any meal of the day: breakfast, lunch or dinner.<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> This recipe assumes you've already got coleslaw and one-minute bread ready to go. Recipe links are within the ingredient lists.LunchPork30 min15 min45 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Pork-Paddy-Sliders-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Pork-Paddy-Sliders-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Pork-Paddy-Sliders-31 1/2lb681ground pork1789.88144.64144.50002tbsp30dijon mustard, your favorite1.1724.751.482.9201.23each9garlic cloves, minced01313001tbsp7paprika (preferably smoked)20.23.911.053.9202.591tsp2cayenne pepper, ground5.68.34.3410.341tsp1fresh thyme, chopped.021.01.06.240.1412slices300raw bacon1374135363001small110onion, sliced into strips4401100212each389mini one-minute cheddar bunshttp://www.DJFoodie.com/One-Minute-Bread1106.0285.0165.5339.62032.083/4cup114sugar free bbq saucehttp://amzn.com/B0079OWL16?tag=lcrecipe-2030006001cup95prepared sweet sugar-free coleslawhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Sweet-Coleslaw113.1810.441.345.5802.38salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000In a mixing bowl, blend together your pork, mustard, garlic, paprika, cayenne, thyme and a little salt and pepper. Mix well and then divide into twelve 2-oz balls.Press each ball into a small pork patty. Set aside.Fry up 12 slices of bacon (I usually do this on a rack over a rimmed cookie tray, in the oven. Baking bacon is a great way to get lots of bacon, for very little effort. Just don't burn it!). When the bacon comes out, tear each one in half.Place a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease to the pan. Quickly add your onions to the pan, with a little salt and pepper. Cook the onions until they have caramelized and have turned a nice shade of brown. Lower and slower is better (yields a softer and more charismatic onion), but high heat is fine, as well. Keep the onions warm, but set aside.Season your pork patties with a little salt and pepper. Cook them like you'd cook a hamburger (everyone has their way of doing this ... in a pan, over a grill, in a George Forman grill, etc. I recommend high heat and don't overcook them) Baste them with a little BBQ sauce, as they cook.Split your buns in half. Spread a small amount of BBQ sauce on the tops and bottoms.Assemble 12 small sliders with the bun bottoms, a pork patty, 2 half-slices of bacon, caramelized onions, coleslaw and a lid!Call your friends!Portobello Mushroom "Risotto"TrueRisotto is an Italian rice dish, made with thick, short grain and starchy grains of rice. It takes forever to cook properly and requires near constant attention, in order to develop the starches within the dish. These will thicken the "sauce", resulting in an al dente rice suspended in a luscious creamy sauce.<br /><br /> This is not that.<br /><br /> HOWEVER, this is VERY good, whatever it is. It's a really fantastic "mush", serving as a bed for something else. When I originally made this particular recipe, I used it as a bed for my Valentine's Day Centerpiece, <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Rosemary-Skewered-Lamb-Loin">Rosemary Skewered Lamb Loin</a>.<br /><br /> The key, really, is using raw grated cauliflower and serving it while it's still got a little "toothsomeness". The "creamy" texture/consistency comes from the melted cheese, butter and mushroom duxelles. This dish may look like it's a little on the complicated side, but ... it really isn't. Even if it was ... it was TOTALLY worth it!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> I suspect that people will ask if this can be made without the miracle rice. Sure can! The miracle rice helps to "stretch" it, but isn't required. If you omit it, reduce the rest of the ingredients by about 25%. Everything else still applies.SidesVegetarian15 mins15 min30 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mushroom-Risotto-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mushroom-Risotto-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mushroom-Risotto-32each318portobello mushrooms85.8609.5412.7203.181/2cup112fresh whole butter, cut into 8 cubes (each measuring about 1 tbsp)8008800004each12garlic clove, minced01604001tbsp2fresh oregano, chopped2.62.12.06.420.281/4cup58red wine, good quality (divided)98.64003.160028-oz packets454miracle ricehttp://amzn.com/B004JRSAJS?tag=lcrecipe-200000001tbsp14light olive oil1212000001head420small cauliflower.671058.522.5010.51cup100parmesan cheese, grated4312938400salt and pepper, to taste000000First, you want to start the mushrooms. Remove the stems and set them aside. I personally cut the gills from underneath the mushrooms. The gills tend to color everything and can also hide bits of dirt and sand. This step is optional, but you can scrape them out with a spoon, or lay the mushroom on its top and slice into the mushroom from the side and cut the gills off, this way.Cut one mushroom in half and dice the half into small pieces about as big as a finger nail. Set aside.Chop the remaining 1 1/2 mushrooms and stems, until they are very finely diced. This can also be done in a food processor. It's not uncommon for me to use a cheese grater for mushrooms, also. The idea is to get the mushrooms very very small, but not a puree.In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, melt your 1 tbsp butter. Sauté the portobello dice, with a little salt and pepper. When they are cooked, set them aside.In the same hot pan, add another 1 tbsp of butter.Add the garlic to the pan. When the garlic is aromatic and just beginning to color, add your chopped or grated mushrooms. Add a flavorful amount of salt and pepper to this mixture. Also add your fresh oregano.Cook the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, or until all the water begins to release from the mushrooms. The mixture will become almost "soupy".At this point, add half of your red wine.Continue to cook the mushrooms, until they are almost a paste. Once they are like a paste, remove the mushrooms and set aside.Now, work on the miracle rice. Pour the contents of the rice bags into a strainer and get rid of the liquid.Once the rice is in a strainer, run it under cold water for a good minute or two. Wash that fishy odor off of it. Then, let it drip dry for a bit.While the "rice" drip dries, remove the leaves and core from the cauliflower.With a cheese grater, grate the cauliflower over the largest grate section. This should give you grated cauliflower. (an alternative is to put it into a food processor and "pulse" the cauliflower, until it's small grains ... you don't want to puree it, which is why I like the cheese grater method)Pre-heat a large non-stick pan. Add your miracle rice to the pan and stir fry them, in a small amount of light olive oil. Cook them over very high heat for about 2 or 3 minutes, tossing them around, until they're dry.Once they are dry, add the rest of your red wine to the pan, mushroom paste and sautéed mushroom dice to the pan.Once the mixture begins to boil, add your cauliflower to the pan and season with a little salt and pepper.Stir the cauliflower well and taste for seasoning.After about 1 minutes, add your fresh butter and grated parmesan cheese. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon or heat resistant spatula, until the butter has completely melted. (make sure you stir during the butter melting. It will form a creamy quality within the risotto. However, if you just let it "melt" it will form an oil slick, floating on top. Stirring is important)Serve!Miracle Cauli-RiceTrueNo low-carb website is completely without a rice-like substance called "cauli-rice" or "cauliflower rice". <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Cauli-Rice">I've got it, right here</a>.<br /><br /> However, even made with pure cauliflower, it's still got about 4 grams of net carbs, per serving. It's also "all cauliflower", which means it's got the taste and texture of cauliflower (doing an amazing impersonation of rice, but still).<br /><br /> Miracle Rice or "Shirataki" Rice is a very low carbohydrate Japanese rice substitute made from the Devil's Tongue Yam (also known as the Elephant Yam or Konjac Yam). The end result is a product which is all but carb and calorie free. It's also gluten free, soy free and sugar free. It's made primarily of fiber, which the body doesn't absorb. In the end, they are very small little "pearls", more along the lines of an Israeli Couscous, in terms of shape and texture, than "rice", but ... it definitely does a fine job of being "rice", too!<br /><br /> Probably my personal favorite way to make "rice" is to combine cauli-rice with miracle rice. In my mind, I get some of the nutrient benefits of the cauliflower. I also get the flavor <em>(which I DO like)</em>, in addition to some textural contrasts. The miracle rice "stretches" the carbs, allowing me to have a slightly larger portion with my fried rice, curry, jambalaya, what-have-you.<br /><br /> Miracle Rice can be found online fairly easily. You can also find it in many grocery stores, as well as Asian supermarkets.<br /><br /> The end result isn't "rice". You can't make sushi with it, but ... it's about as much like rice as anything I've tried ... short of rice! I've fooled MANY people with it. It's ... rice!SidesVegetarian10 min10 mins20 mins10http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Miracle-Cauli-Rice-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Miracle-Cauli-Rice-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Miracle-Cauli-Rice-348-oz packets908miracle ricehttp://amzn.com/B004JRSAJS?tag=lcrecipe-200000001head840large cauliflower1.3321017450211tbsp14light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)121200000salt and pepper, to taste000000Pour the contents of the rice bags into a strainer and get rid of the liquid.Once the rice is in a strainer, run it under cold water for a good minute or two. Wash that fishy odor off of it. Then, let it drip dry for a bit.While the "rice" drip dries, remove the leaves and core from the cauliflower.With a cheese grater, grate the cauliflower over the largest grate section. This should give you grated cauliflower. (an alternative is to put it into a food processor and "pulse" the cauliflower, until it's small grains ... you don't want to puree it, which is why I like the cheese grater method)Pre-heat a large non-stick pan. Add your rice to the pan and stir fry them, to dry them off and tighten them up, a bit. I've read that you do not need to oil these; there are no carbs to stick to the pan. However, I always add a little light olive, sesame or coconut oil to them, just to be on the safe side. Cook them over very high heat for about 2 or 3 minutes, tossing them around, until they're dry. Evidently, if you do not coat them with oil, when they are sufficiently dry, they will "squeek", like a basketball player stopping abruptly.When they appear dry, add your cauliflower to the pan and season with a little salt and pepper. (Alternately, you can place the cauliflower in a microwaveable container, with a little salt and pepper. Cover with a lid, or plastic wrap. If you use a lid, do not clamp it down. Simply place it on top, to allow some breathing. If plastic wrap is used, poke a few holes in the top. Steam needs to escape. Microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and let sit for 1 more minute. Fold into the dry miracle rice)If you're using the sauté pan, cook for about 3 to 4 more minutes, or until the cauliflower is cooked through.Serve!BBQ-Pork Bowl with Hot LinkTrueA little while back, I posted a recipe for the <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Smoked-and-Pulled-Pork-Butt">real deal, low and slow, smoked pulled pork butt</a>. Right around the same time, I'd been to a fantastic food truck in the Seattle area and had a "burrito bowl" <em>(basically a big salad LOADED with Carnitas!)</em>.<br /><br /> As I was writing my notes for the pulled pork recipe, it occurred to me that a BBQ Pork Bowl seemed like a totally reasonable proposition. I even commented about it ... in the notes!<br /><br /> Within days of posting the original recipe, I got a haircut from Pamela Ann, a reader and follower of my nonsense. She'd just sent me a photo of the pork SHE had made, following my recipe and sent me a picture. When I set up the hair cut appointment, she promised me a plentiful pile of properly pulled pork. Wow, does she know how to get me! Pulled Pork ... for me ... is one of the very few things on life that can give bacon a run for its money.<br /><br /> Here's the photo Pam sent me:<br /><br /><center><a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Smoked-and-Pulled-Pork-Butt"><img src="http://www.DJFoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/PorkButtFB.jpg" border="0" /></a></center><br /> After getting my hair cut, I came home with a BIG bag of amazing smoked and pulled pork. I stopped at the store and picked up some cheese, coleslaw mix and a package of hot links. I returned armed with everything I would need for my BBQ Pork Bowl.<br /><br /> The bowl was as tasty as you'd imagine ... and then some!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> After I saw the photos and showed them to a few friends, there were comments about the appearance being a bit ... "R-Rated". At the time, I was just in a hurry and threw stuff into a bowl. In retrospect, I would've split the hot link into two halves <em>(butterfly'd it)</em>, then cooked it, and topped the split link with the goodies. More of a BBQ Pork BOAT or a BBQ Pork SPLIT than a bowl, but no less delicious. Next time! Now, get your minds out of the gutter and simply enjoy a tasty dish. I know I did! :)LunchPork10 mins10 mins20 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Pork-Bowl-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Pork-Bowl-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/BBQ-Pork-Bowl-31tbsp14light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)1212000004each256hot links760643216041 1/2lbs681pulled porkhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Smoked-and-Pulled-Pork-Butt2809210.53198.3826.714.9401/2cup76sugar free bbq saucehttp://amzn.com/B0079OWL16?tag=lcrecipe-2020004001/2cups56.5cheddar/colby cheese blend, shredded221.51813.51.5001/2cup47.5prepared sweet sugar-free coleslawhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Sweet-Coleslaw56.595.22.672.7901.19When I make big batches of pulled pork, it's fairly common for me to pull it, chill it, then vacuum pack and freeze it. Usually when I reheat it, I defrost in the fridge, then put the amount I plan to eat into a bowl, topped with BBQ sauce and plastic wrap, poked with holes. Then, I place it in the microwave on "defrost" and slowly warm it up that way. In this case, I did it a little differently.Over medium-low heat, preheat a sauté pan.Add your oil to the pan. When the oil begins to ripple, add your hot links. (this can (and probably should be) done over a grill). Cook for about 5 minutes on one side.Flip the hot links and begin cooking on their opposing sides. At the same time, add your pulled pork to the pan (unless you happen to have fresh hot pulled pork lying around, at which point, you can skip this step).Heat up the pan, until the links and pork are all heated through (but not overcooked and dried out).Place a link in a bowl, followed by a nice pile of pulled pork. Top with BBQ sauce, grated cheddar cheese and coleslaw.Serve and enjoy!Slow Cooker All-Beef "South of Texas" ChiliTrueIn my near 40 years of life, I have cooked a million different things in a billion different ways. However, I have managed to somehow avoid mastering the art of the crock pot. In fact, I have never used one ... ever. This recipe is my first stab at using this near ubiquitous pieces of equipment.<br /><br /> Crock pots are essentially a cooking technique known as "braising". Braising is essentially "cooking stuff in liquid". In restaurants, usually a meat product will be seasoned, then seared in a hot pan so that it is nicely caramelized. From there, it will be submerged in a variety of different ingredients, where it is slowly and gently held at a hot and stable temperature. In many cases, this is done in a pot, with a lid, placed in a very low temperature oven for hours at a time, often being left to sit overnight.<br /><br /> Slow cookers or "crock pots" do essentially the same thing. It's a very low and slow, but consistent level of heat. As foods sit at this temperature, liquids are drawn out, connective tissues and fats in meats break down and melt, vitamins are leached into the liquids that develop, the flavors are all distributes and intermingle, etc. In short, a variety of ingredients are tossed into a slow cooker, where the stuff slowly cooks, breaks down and becomes a soft, tasty dinner!<br /><br /> For my first foray in the land of the crock pot, I wanted to go with a full and heavy meaty chili. It seemed like a good way to break in my new crock pot!<br /><br /> Most recipes I found for chili seemed to suggest the meat be cut into cubes, seasoned, seared, then thrown into a crock pot with the rest of the ingredients. Being me, I needed to "mix it up". One common theme seemed to be "Texas Chili". I decided to add some elements that take it "South of Texas", while also leaving elements like the chili powder and tomatoes, so it will stay "familiar". Also, having braised lots of meats in my life, I've found that braising whole pieces of meat tends to result in a more "moist" end product. It's just more "juicy" and supple than the cubed meats. It may not have the same attractive little cubes of beefy goodness you may be accustomed to, but the meat is tender, juicy and soft, in the best possible way.<br /><br /> I've also got a bit of a question for you Crock Pot enthusiasts. In reading crock pot recipes, most all of them seem to request the addition of water, or broth. I did not add any extra liquid to this recipe, even though it seemed commonplace. Rather, I trusted the method to pull all the liquids from the meats and vegetables. I was correct! In fact, even without adding additional liquid, it still felt a bit soupy to me. Next time, I'd likely add a bit of xanthan and guar gums to it, just to tighten it up, a bit.<br /><br /> Is this loose liquid a desirable trait? Should I see slow cooker recipes as having a more soupy/sloshy consistency? Please place your thoughts in the comment box, below. Thanks! <span style="font-size:24px;">&#9786;</span><br /><br /> <strong>Closing Thoughts:</strong> While it was a bit soupy and not much to look at, this was as tasty a chili as I've ever had.BeefSoups30 min8 hrs8 hrs 30 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Slow-Cooker-Chili-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Slow-Cooker-Chili-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Slow-Cooker-Chili-33each51dried ancho chilies5136270122each34dried guajillo chilies342418081small70onion, diced28017014each12garlic cloves, minced0000002each130poblano chillies, seeds removed and diced.22261.116.0302.212medium182tomatoes, diced and divided32028022tbsp27light oil (like coconut or olive)238.752700002tbsp16chili powder2.7250.241.928.805.442tsp4cumin seed, ground.881501.760.441tsp2coriander seed, ground.365.96.241.10.841tsp2cinnamon, ground4.94.02.081.6201.063lb1362beef chuck, cut into 8 large chunks33602462670001each140orange690018031/4cup21.5unsweetened cocoa powder494.54.2512.507.25salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Split the ancho and guajillo chilies by either tearing the tops off, or using kitchen scissors to cut them open. Remove the seeds from the peppers and discard (feel free to leave a few, if you like a spicy chili).You can do this in a hot pan, but I usually toast the chilies directly on a hot burner element, or over a hot burner flame. Over a medium-low temperature, toast the surface of the chilies by placing them in the flame, or directly on the burner surface. This will cause a quick blistering. Do not burn the chilies. Simply toast the surface for about 15 seconds, in a few spots around the chilies. This makes for a richer and more developed flavor.Fill a bowl or measuring cup with about 4 cups of hot tap water. Place your toasted chilies in the hot tap water, so they may soften.Turn your slow cooker to a low-temperature. Add your onions, garlic, poblano peppers and oil. Toss them around and add a bit of salt and pepper. Add one diced tomato, as well. Put your lid on the slow cooker.Blend together your chili powder, cumin, coriander and cinnamon. Mix in a healthy amount of salt and pepper, as well.If your beef chuck has an excess of surface fat, remove some of it. However, you want to keep a nice amount of fat for flavor and moisture. Liberally coat your beef chunks with the spice blend, salt and pepper.Heat up a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat. Add a lightly flavored oil with a high smoke point. Coconut oil would work nicely. When the oil begins to ripple, add your pieces of meat (do not crowd the pan. You may need to do this in batches). The meat should sear nicely and develop some great flavors. Sear all sides of the meat. When the meat has been seared on all sides, add them to the crock pot with the other vegetables.Peel about 4 nice sized strips from the very outer layer of the orange, with a vegetable peeler. You do not want the white part underneath (known as the pith). You just want the nice orange "zest". Add the 4 strips to a blender. Juice the orange and add the juice to the blender, as well. Discard whatever remains of the orange.Remove the soften chilies from the hot tap water. They should be soft enough to add to the blender, at this point. Also, add your chocolate and diced tomatoes to the blender.Puree the chili-tomato blend, until nice and smooth. Add to the slow cooker.Place the lid on the slow cooker and allow cooking for 8 hours.Serve alone, or with your favorite toppings and sides!Warm Chicken Salad with Strawberries, Pecans and BaconTrueDuring a chat I was having with a reader, she was proclaiming her love of fruit and ... sadly commented how much she'd been missing it. I responded, "You don't need to give up fruit! Berries are awesome!" She was also commenting how much she felt like she was starving herself. My first reaction was, "You're doing it wrong!" <br /><br /> Many people seem focused on the diet mentality, which tends to mean they somehow feel they should starve themselves. There seems to be a deeply instilled sense of tiny taunting portions and a continued restriction of fats. NO no no no no ... <br /><br /> I really don't look at this as a "diet" ... by any stretch of the imagination. This way of eating, short of some fine tuning for various different body types, personalities, metabolisms, etc., is <em>(in my humble opinion)</em> simply the best possible way to eat! You don't need to restrict yourself with 3 leaves of spinach and a scant portion of skinless chicken breast. In my own personal life, I have a set of big stainless steel bowls. It's not uncommon for me to fill one of the bigger bowls with lettuce, tomatoes, chicken, olive oil, bacon, bacon fat, cooked zucchini, mushrooms, capers, basil, etc. A BIG bowl of warm salad ... just brimming with "awesome". <br /><br /> I reached into my mind and pulled this out for her to wrap her head around. I suggested she take a large salad bowl and make a massive filling salad for 2 ... and eat the whole thing herself! I suggested berries, chicken, pecans, and a touch of balsamic vinegar. I really wanted her to feel a sense of relief, that this way of eating no longer requires miniscule portions and a starving mindset. This is a wonderful, full, healthy and endlessly interesting way to eat.<br /><br /> TRY IT! It's a good 'un!ChickenSalads15 mins10 min25 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spinach-Strawberry-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spinach-Strawberry-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spinach-Strawberry-Salad-34cups120baby spinach, washed, dried and stems removed27.53.353.534.2402.4716leaves6.4fresh basil, hand torn1.47.06.19.190.131each70sweet red onion, very thinly sliced28017011pint357strawberries, washed, stems removed and quartered1141227071/2cup49.5pecans halves, toasted and very coursely chopped34235.54.57051/2cup56.8real bacon bits20012240001/2cup50parmesan (reggiano) cheese, grated215.514.5192004each605boneless chicken breasts, sliced into strips (or equivalent thigh meat - skin preferred, but optional)1040.654.45127.050006tbsp84extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-207272000002tbsp31.88balsamic vinegar280.135.3800salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000In the following order, add the following ingredients to a large salad bowl: Spinach, basil, red onions and strawberries. (Note: I love good fresh onions, sliced thin. If you don't like them, leave them out, or add the onions to the chicken in a few steps, which will cook out that "raw" flavor.)Season the strawberries with a bit of salt and pepper. The salt will cause them to start "bleeding" strawberry juice, which will drip down the ingredients in the salad.Add your pecans, bacon bits and parmesan cheese to the top of the strawberries and set the bowl aside.Pre-heat a large sauté pan over high heat.Season your chicken with salt and pepper.Add 2 tbsp of oil to the hot pan. When it begins to ripple, add your sliced chicken. Spread the chicken around the base of the pan, so it's a thin even layer covering the bottom. Let it just "sit there" in the pan, so that the surface touching the bottom of the pan will caramelize and get a nice golden crust.Once a nice crust develops, toss the chicken in the pan. Continue sautéing it, until it is cooked through.Add the rest of the oil and balsamic vinegar to the hot pan with the chicken. This act, called "deglazing" is done to pick up any little browned chicken flavor bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan. It's just a quick 10 seconds. With a wooden spoon, scrape anything off the bottom of the pan into the hot liquid.Pour the entire contents of the pan into one edge of the salad bowl (not directly on the cheese, as it might melt it).With two wooden spoons, toss the salad in the bowl. The salad will wilt a little bit and very very slightly cook, because of the heat and the salt added earlier on.Divide between 4 large plates and enjoy your large, sweet, fruity salad!Hot Chili-ChocolateTrueWho doesn't love a hot chocolate? It's cold outside, perhaps a bit drizzly. It might snow. Feeling a bit groggy? A Hot Chocolate would bring us back to a bright place!<br /><br /> Wait! What's that? This one has chilies in it? What?!<br /><br /> I wanted to do something a little different than a standard hot chocolate. First, this recipe is in complete and total respect to the origin of the word "Chocolate". It pays home to the Latin origin, while being simple to make and modernized enough for it to translate like a hot comforting cup of cocoa, but with a faint titillating tickle near the back your throat.<br /><br /> The word "chocolate" comes from the Aztec word "xocolātl". Xocolātl <em>(meaning "bitter water")</em> was an ancient beverage of cocoa beans, maize, various spices, honey and chili! This was a special drink, reserved for warriors and nobles. It's generally believed that this wasn't a sweet concoction and that sugar and cream was added by the Europeans, many years later.<br /><br /> Give it a shot! You won't be sorry!BeveragesDesserts5 mins5 min10 min2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chili-Mocha-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chili-Mocha-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chili-Mocha-31cup240unsweetened almond milkhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-20453.523013/4cup178.5cream, heavy whipping615.75663.755.25001tsp4vanilla extract11.5400.5001/4cup50'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000505003tbsp16.13unsweetened cocoa powder3.3836.7523.29.3805.451/2tsp1cinnamon, ground2.47.01.04.810.531/2tsp2ancho pepper, new mexico chili or cayenne, powdered5.62.16.241.020.441dash1salt0000001shot28espresso (optional)500000Place your almond milk, cream and vanilla on the stove and slowly bring it up to a very low simmer.While the milk is heating, combine all your dry ingredients and blend them together.Once the milk is hot, quickly whisk in the dry ingredients until they are well blended, the sugar equivalent has dissolved and a nice foam has formed.Pour the liquid into two mugs and optionally top with whipped cream and some cocoa powder!To make it a hot chili-mocha, you could add a shot of espresso!Artichoke and Mussel BisqueTrueI made this soup the very first time about 50 years ago. This is one of my most prized creations. It all started after taking a tour of <a href="http://www.penncoveshellfish.com" target="_blank">Penn Cove Shellfish</a>, on Whidbey Island, Washington. When we left, they gave me a massive bag of fresh mussels, right from the sea. I needed to figure out what to do with them all!<br /><br /> This soup was one of the results. It also combines two of my other favorite ingredients, the artichoke and a fennel bulb.<br /><br /> This soup has a smooth and velvety quality. There's a rich flavor coming, not only from the cream, but from the artichoke heart. The fennel gives it a nice subtle sweetness, while also complementing the mussels with a light anise flavor.<br /><br /> This soup takes some work to make, but ... for a special occasion, a romantic evening, or just for a day spent playing in the kitchen, trying new things ... this is a good one. The end result is out of this world!<br /><br /> <strong>Video Note:</strong> Cleaning an artichoke, to get to the heart, takes a little bit of work. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZV7iU0NoYSs" target="_blank">Here's a great video that shows the method</a>.<br /><br /> <strong>Nutrition Note:</strong> I did not include the lemon in the nutrition, because it is not eaten. Also, the all the nutrition I can find for mussels seems to base the nutrition off of the mussel, without the shells. However, you purchase them "with" the shells. Mussels definitely have carbs. I'm going to assume 1 lb. of mussels has about 24 mussels, weighing about 12 grams each, when cooked and removed from their shells. This is about 4 mussels per person, and totals 288 grams with of "mussel meat".FishSoups15 mins30 mins45 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Artichoke-Mussel-Bisque-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Artichoke-Mussel-Bisque-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Artichoke-Mussel-Bisque-31each108lemon0000004medium sized512artichokes240016520281bulb234fennel730317071/2cup118.5water0000004sprigs2fresh tarragon, leaves only.042.02.12.480.282tbsp28unsalted butter (or coconut oil)2220000003each9garlic cloves, diced01313001lb454fresh mussels, in their shells (will result in about 288 grams, when cooked and removed from shells)247.685.7634.5611.52001/4cup58white wine, good quality47.56001.74001 1/4cups297.5cream, heavy whipping1026.251106.258.7500salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Artichokes start to oxidize and turn brown within seconds of cutting into them. To prevent this, we want to soak them in acidulated water (water with lemon juice, wine or vinegar added to it). Cut a lemon in half and squeeze it into a large bowl or pot, containing about a gallon of cold water.Clean the artichokes using the method shown in the video within the recipe notes. When you are done, you should have only the artichoke heart and some of the internal "white" portion of the stem. All the leaves, fuzzy "choke" and hard fibrous outer layer should be cut away. As you clean each one, immediately place them into the cold acidulated water. Once in the water, splash them around a bit, to make sure they've been coated and "protected" by the lemon water.Cut the branches and top portion of the fennel bulb off. You should have something that is about the size of closed fist. Cutting through the stem, cut the fennel bulb into quarters. Now, cut the stemmy-core out of each fennel quarter and discard.In a medium sized pot, place 1/2 cup water on the stove and bring it to a boil.Remove the artichokes from the water and cut them into about 9 pieces each. Throw them into the hot water. You can discard the acidulated water, at this point.Coarsely chop your fennel and throw into the hot water.Add your tarragon to the pot, with some salt and pepper.Cover the pot and place on low, where the vegetables will steam for about 25 minutes.While the vegetables cook, check your mussels. Rinse them well and discard any which have opened.Remove the beards from your mussels. This is done by holding the mussel in one hand, then grabbing onto the gnarly looking fuzzy stuff with a wet towel and deliberately pulling it out and away from the mussel, while also pulling it down towards the hinged end.In a medium sized pot, over medium-high heat, melt a small amount of butter.Add your garlic to the pot and stir.Almost immediately, add your mussels to the pot. Stir them around, so they are coated with hot butter and garlic.Almost immediately, add your wine to the mussels. Turn the heat down to a medium-low and cover with a tight lid.Let the mussels steam for about 5 minutes. After about 5 minutes, look into the pot and make sure they've all opened. If they haven't all opened, steam for another 1 to3 minutes.Once the mussels are steamed, strain them through a colander, while making sure to save the mussel/wine liquid.Add the mussel/wine liquid to the veggies in the other pot. Also, if they veggies are sufficiently soft and "cooked", also add your cream at this point. You want to heat this up and keep it hot, but don't boil the cream.While the cream is warming with the veggies, pick the mussels out of their shells and keep warm. If any mussels did not open, throw them out.Puree your vegetable mixture in a blender. If it is too thick, you can thin it out with a little more cream or chicken, fish or vegetable stock. I personally like it a bit thick. Also, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper at this point.Strain the soup through a sieve, in case any fibrous strands have been left behind by the artichokes.Divide the soup between 6 bowls. Evenly divide the warm mussels between the bowls!In the photos, I floated a mussel inside a half shell, with a few fresh tarragon leaves and drizzled a little fresh cream around the top. All optional touches.Serve and enjoy!One-Minute Cheddar Bread and BunsTrueHere's another recipe that steps me a bit closer to being a fully realized low-carb website. It seems as if one of the cornerstones of a low-carb way of life is ... drum roll ... the <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=one+minute+muffins" target="_blank">one minute muffin</a>! People in the know shorten it to OMM. All over the internet, you'll see OMM. They're referring to this thing, right here!<br /><br /> When I started on this path, I was living in a small broken down condo in Mexico. The unit had a built-in microwave, but it didn't work. Also, coming from the land of restaurant kitchens, I've grown to be a little leery of microwaves. They're ok for defrosting, but beyond that, food should be COOKED, not "nuked". This is my professional cook brain talking, mind you. Now that I live in Seattle and have a microwave, I use it (just don't tell anyone – *wink*). I've been low-carb for almost exactly 3 years, and had my first one-minute muffin, just 2 weeks ago. It was MUCH MUCH better than I thought it would be! OHhhhhhh .... It was DELICIOUS!!!<br /><br /> One-minute muffins are everywhere that you see a low-carb recipe. They are called a "one-minute" muffin, because they are nuked for a minute, in a microwave. That's it!<br /><br /> The method is really quite simple. Put your ingredients in a coffee mug, swirl them around, place the cup in the microwave for one minute. Let it sit for another minute, then ... eat!<br /><br /> The core ratio can be adjusted in an infinite number of ways. You can add sweeteners to it, berries, nuts, spices, citrus rinds, chocolate chips, food colors, etc. You can also add cheese, herbs, garlic, chilies, etc. This "muffin" can be made sweet or savory.<br /><br /> It also takes the shape of anything you put it in. In the photos, you'll see that I have little round ones and bigger square ones. The smaller ones were nuked in little 6.5 oz glass cups that I stash homemade ice cream in. The bigger ones were nuked in microwaveable plastic tupperware-like containers. Once you make the batter, you can spray the container with some spray (or butter it up!), then pour the batter into it. You can expect it to rise about double or triple the height of the batter.<br /><br /> You can eat them hot and fresh or cool them down. You can also split them in half to use for sandwiches. I literally cannot believe I waited 3 years to give these a shot. Maybe microwaves aren't so bad, after all!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> This recipe makes 4 large "coffee cup" sized buns, 4 sandwich squares or about 6 small "buns".BakedDessertsSides5 min1 min6 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/One-Minute-Bread-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/One-Minute-Bread-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/One-Minute-Bread-31cup104golden flaxseed mealhttp://amzn.com/B000EDK5MG?tag=lcrecipe-204803624320322tsp8baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-2010002004large200whole eggs28620262001tbsp14olive oil1110000001/2cups56.5cheddar/colby cheese blend, shredded221.51813.51.5002each6garlic cloves, minced0802001/2tsp.5fresh thyme, chopped.01.52.03.120.08salt, fresh cracked pepper and chili flakes, to taste000000Grease your microwaveable containers.Combine all ingredients.Microwave on high for 60 to 90 seconds (depending on microwave ... I had better luck at 90 seconds). Let the containers sit in the microwave for 1 more minute.Eat!Seared Scallops Salad with Vanilla-Poppy Seed VinaigretteTrueThis is another dish with a somewhat strange inception. Believe it or not, this dish was born out of a lemon-poppy seed muffin!<br /><br /> I also wanted to do something with scallops for Valentine's Day. A well cooked scallop is always elegant and attractive. It shows you must care! It also gives me an excuse to talk about the goddess Aphrodite. Check out the blog for that one.<br /><br /> Vanilla is also a REALLY lovely companion to scallops. It's a very subtle perfume and matches a light seafood quite well. As do lemons! The whole thing just swirled around in my mind as this vanilla-lemon-poppy seed scallop dish. I wanted it to be a lightly warm salad. I thought a bit about the greens in the Cobb Salad I'd made just a few weeks before and I had my final touches!<br /><br /> It may sound like a somewhat strange string of thoughts, but the end result was both beautiful AND tasty!FishSalad15 min15 mins30 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Scallop-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Scallop-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Scallop-Salad-32heads1025belgian endive174212340322cups60baby spinach, washed and stems removed13.77.181.772.1201.241each12vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)23001001each108lemon07.63.132.630.132tbsp18poppy seeds92822021/4cup54extra virgin olive oil, good quality, dividedhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20477.554000012jumbo336sea scallops295.683.3657.126.7200salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Cut the bottom 1/2-inch off of each head of endive. Remove the nicest 6 outer leaves from each one, and set aside. With the remaining endive heads, cut them into thin strips. Remove any endive "core" that may have slipped into your nice endive ribbons. Combine your endive ribbons with the outer leaves in a large salad bowl.Add your spinach leaves to the large salad bowl.Split the vanilla bean in half. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean. (chances are, you want to save the pods. You can use them to flavor a cream at a later point) Place the vanilla beans into a small mixing bowl.Peel the very outer layer of the lemon. You want just the very outer yellow layer, not the white "pith". Peel off nice strips with a vegetable peeler. Slice the strips into very thin noodles.Boil a small amount of water. Add your lemon zest to the boiling water and boil for 30 seconds. Strain out the zest and set aside. This act kills a lot of the bitterness that can come from fresh lemon zest. It mellows it.Cut your lemon in half and juice it into the bowl, with the vanilla. Add your lemon zest strips, as well.Add 3 tbsp of the oil to the lemon juice. Whisk the mixture together and season with a little salt and pepper. Set aside.Pre-heat a sauté pan, over medium-high heat.Verify the "foot" has been removed from your scallops. Remove this, if it hasn't. Season your scallops with salt and pepper.On a nice clean face, place each scallop into the sauté pan, carefully and deliberately. Let them sear in the hot pan for about 2 to 4 minutes. Do not let them touch one another and do not let them "boil or steam". You should get a nice dark "sear" on the surface area of the scallops.Once one side is nice and golden, flip them and sear on the opposing side for a further 2 minutes. A good scallop should be rare to medium-rare (in my opinion), or else they get rubbery, quickly. They should be soft, sweet and clean.Right as they are just perfectly cooked, add your poppy seed-lemon vinaigrette to the pan. This will deglaze the pan. Toss everything together in the pan for about 10 seconds.Dump the contents of the sauté pan into the large salad bowl. Toss everything together, with a little salt and pepper. The hot scallops and vinaigrette will cause a very light "wilt" of the lettuce.Remove the 12 outer leaves and make a nice fan shape on 4 plates.Take the endive-spinach mixture and make 4 nice piles in the center of each plate.Divide the scallops around the leaves, on each plate.Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette in the bottom of the salad bowl, over the top of the greens and scallops.Serve!Smoked Paprika Shrimp with Macadamia Cracker and WatercressTrueThis dish has a somewhat strange origin. It's actually rooted in my mini-cheesecake recipe, believe it or not!<br /><br /> I had just made a crust with raw macadamia nuts. When I was packing them into the muffin tins, they formed such a compact layer, that I experimented by pushing some of the same crust into a cookie cutter shape, on parchment paper and baked it. The end result was a beautiful and delicious little cracker, in a perfect circle! Granted, it's VERY fragile, but it holds its shape well enough to be kind of a fun way to play with nuts.<br /><br /> Because I knew Valentine's Day was right around the corner, this seemed like a good place to use the idea. I pushed the macadamia nuts into heart shaped cookie cutters and baked them. They unmolded beautifully! Then, I knew I wanted shrimp. Two little shrimp, twisted and tangled together, where you can't tell which one is which is a nice romantic image, especially when they're leaning on a heart shaped cracker. Then, I thought about the watercress. This has a little heat to it, which translates to a little tickle of the tongue. I like a little added oral sensation when romance is on the mind! The aioli came about to just add a little more creamy fat to the dish and the smoked paprika? Well, the cracker made me think of chips and smoked paprika always makes me think of BBQ flavored chips. I like chips. Seemed like a fun one to throw at the dish.<br /><br /> Not a perfect or totally coherent string of thoughts, but the end result was lovely and quite delicious!AppetizersFish30 mins30 min1 hr6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Heart-Cracker-Shrimp-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Heart-Cracker-Shrimp-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Heart-Cracker-Shrimp-32cups167.5macadamia nuts, raw1202.5127.513.7523.750151tsp4brown sugar equivalenthttp://amzn.com/B001EPQQL2?tag=lcrecipe-20201.3304002tbsp28fresh whole butter, melted2220000001dash1salt0000003cups102watercress11.2202.041.02001/2cup109.63mayonnaisehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Mayonnaise750.5483.452.41.33.25.082each6garlic cloves080200salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste0000001 1/2lb681shrimp (16/20), peeled and deveined721.8613.62136.26.810.421/4cup54light olive oil477.55400001tbsp7smoked paprika20.23.911.053.9202.592tbsp30.5lemon juice, freshly squeezed07.63.132.630.13salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 325 F.If your macadamia nuts are not crushed, place them in a large plastic (ZipLoc style) bag. With a mallet or the edge of a pot or pan, whack at them until you have a squooshed bag of macadamia explosion.Pour your crushed macadamias into a mixing bowl and add your brown sugar equivalent (if you don't have this, you can omit it, or use a nice molasses. It helps to hold the crust together), and melted butter. Mix the ingredients until the macadamias are well coated with the sugar and butter.Grease the inside of 6 heart shaped metal cookie cutters.Place the cookie cutters onto a parchment covered cookie tray.Use the back of a spoon (or a tamper, if you have one) to press the crusts firmly into the base of the cups. This must be FIRM. Compact these very strongly, to make a solid shape (ESPECIALLY if you omit the molasses or brown sugar).Bake the crusts for 12 minutes, or until golden brown.Remove and set aside to cool.Place a pot of water on the stove to boil. Salt the water.Get a bowl full of ice water and set it aside.Plunge most of your watercress into the boiling salted water. Boil for about 30 seconds, or until the watercress has cooked.Immediately strain it and plunge it into the ice water, where it needs to chill down.Once the watercress has completely chilled, remove it from the ice water and squeeze it into a little ball, squeezing out all the excess ice water. The end result should be a fairly dry lump compressed cooked watercress.Add this lump to a food processor with your mayo and garlic. Puree for about 2 minutes. If this mixture is too thick, you can add a small amount of water, vinegar or lemon juice to thin it out. Add very small amounts, like 1/4 tsp to adjust. This should result in a slightly peppery, very green and lovely watercress aioli. Set aside.In a small mixing bowl, combine your smoked paprika, lemon juice and oil.Add your shrimp to the oil and season with salt and pepper.Pre-heat a large sauté pan. Saute your shrimp, oil and all, until the shrimp are cooked through (but not rubbery). About 4 minutes.Remove the shrimp and set on a plate to briefly cool. Save the oil in the pan.On 6 plates, place a dollop of the watercress aioli. Also, place a few sprigs of watercress.Place your macadamia crackers on top of the watercress.Quickly intertwine shrimp couple and place a pair on each plate.Drizzle a little of the remaining shrimp/smoked paprika oil from the sauté pan over the shrimp.Serve!Melon Ball Salad with Mint and ProsciuttoTrueThis is just a classic dish. It's also one of my most favorite combined "taste sensations". I love the combination of sweet and salty. Believe it or not, the fat ribbons within the prosciutto are also very subtly sweet. This historic combination is perfectly matched.<br /><br /> Normally, fresh melons are brought into the home, where very thin slices of cured and dried prosciutto are wrapped around the peeled wedges and eaten. A summer delight! I decided to somewhat simplify this dish and simply have the melons tossed with a very light dust of salt, pepper and olive oil. There's also a few sliced mint leaves. Finally, beautifully thinly sliced ribbons of prosciutto!<br /><br /> <strong>Fruity Low-Carb Note:</strong> Very few fruits are consumed with a low-carb way of eating. However, berries are occasionally eaten, due to their lower sugar content. Also on the low-end of the fruit sugar spectrum are melons. They're not as low as berries, but they are MUCH better than bananas, for example. Melons are an acceptable occasional low-carb splurge.QuickSalads10 min0 min10 min6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Melon-Balls-and-Prosciutto-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Melon-Balls-and-Prosciutto-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Melon-Balls-and-Prosciutto-31medium-sized552cantaloupe1881549051/4cup22fresh mint, thinly sliced9.68.22.661.7601.546thin slices180prosciutto, cut into ribbons42030480001/4cup54olive oil, good quality477.5540000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Cut your melon in half and scoop out the seeds.With a melon-baller, ball your melon halves, until you can ball them no longer. (alternately, you can just cut cubes ... if you'd like ... the balls are just to have a different kind of shape).Mix together your melon, prosciutto, olive oil, mint and salt and pepper.Serve!Rosemary Skewered Lamb LoinTrueThis is a Valentine's Day Recipe, with a very special message. It falls under the category of "Romantic Recipe".<br /><br /> On its surface, this recipe is about as simple as it gets. It is little more than thin slices of lamb loin, skewered with rosemary stems, seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper, then seared on both sides. That's it! It's simple, but flavorful and attractive. It would go nicely with just about any vegetable!<br /><br /> What makes this dish special, is its flame; more importantly, its smoky aroma ... its spirited musk.<br /><br /> Have you ever been walking down the street, in a foreign city and picked up a wafting odor from a neighborhood bakery? You were immediately taken to the small bakery you'd visited with your family, outside of the Grand Canyon, when you were younger! Has this ever happened?<br /><br /> Have you ever had someone walk by you in a restaurant, and have their perfume perfectly match your employer from 10 years ago? Even though you hadn't thought about that individual for 9 years ... there are you, facing the old hag. There you are ... there she is, as if no time had passed. Aroma and memory ... locked. Thoughts from years' past; unlocked and brought to the forefront of the mind.<br /><br /> Have you ever caught the odor of something that took you away to that place ... that time ... with that person ... in that magic moment ... ?<br /><br /> Maybe it was the smell of grandma's couch. Maybe it was the smell of coconut ice cream. Maybe it was the smell of wet dogs after a day at the beach. There are certain odors that burrow deep into our minds, bringing forth instant and immediate recall when the scent breezes in.<br /><br /> The sense of smell is a far more complicated sense than that of vision, where we have only 4 different kinds of light sensors in the eye. For the sense of touch, we can feel pressure, temperatures and pain. For taste, we have 5: salt, sweet, sour, bitter and umami. But ... there are more than 1000 different smell receptor types, which change and regenerate throughout our lifetimes, based on our surroundings and what we're accustomed to smelling! This complexity affords us the ability to discern and discriminate many thousands of different aromas, most of which we do not have names for. We know how to describe the things we see, the textures we feel, or the tastes we savor, but ... our vocabulary is no match for the spectrum of aroma that we are capable of.<br /><br /> The sense of smell is the oldest sense of them all. Even bacteria have something similar to smell. It's a method of knowing what chemicals are in the air or water around us. Smell is processed in the human brain in the "olfactory bulb", which is located right next to the hippocampus, a part deep inside the brain where information from all over the cortex converges. The hippocampus is vital for creating new "episodic" memories throughout one's lifetime. People with a damaged hippocampus have trouble remembering what has happened to them, even though they may be able to learn new skills and facts.<br /><br /> As if proximity of the olfactory bulb to the episodic memory making hippocampus deep in the brain wasn't enough, there's also the whole fact that aroma directly enters the brain. Vision stops at the surface of the eyes. Or touch, on the surface of the skin. These senses additionally travel through a relay station called the thalamus, before continuing on, into the brain. Smell doesn't have this little side trip. No pit stops. Straight into the brain it goes!<br /><br /> Smells are deep and old and wired closely with memory and the world around you.<br /><br /> This particular dish is less about the simplicity of its tantalizing flavors and more about creating a moment in time, where the creation of a new memory is discussed and shared between two close people. This is a dish where time should stop for a moment, as a thoughtfully prepared serving of lamb is served to your beloved ... and ignited. Both should inhale deeply of the smoke and rosemary vapor. Both parties should focus on that place in time, that moment, that perfect time capsule, where you are together ... breathing, allowing this episodic memory to form; stay aware of one another as the flames twist and writhe and slowly dwindle, leaving nothing more than a few toasted scraps of rosemary carbon.<br /><br /> This simple little dish is about creating a future moment, somewhere in the random distance. You walk into an old antique store. The elderly man behind the counter is burning a twine wrapped bundle of rosemary twigs ... and you are taken back to that time and place, where you were with your beau and you were ... in love.<br /><br /> <strong>Happy Valentine's Day!</strong>Main10 min10 min20 min2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Rosemary-Skewered-Lamb-Loin-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Rosemary-Skewered-Lamb-Loin-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Rosemary-Skewered-Lamb-Loin-36sprigs24fresh rosemary0000001each340.5lamb loin545.727.8168.40001tbsp14light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)121200000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Place a lit candle on the dinner table.Slice your lamb loin into 6 thin portions.Remove the leaves from the bottom portion of the fresh rosemary sprigs, but be sure to leave a nice bush at the end, which will later be ignited.Skewer the lamb medallions with the bare end of the rosemary twig. You may need to slightly sharpen the rosemary twig. To do so, cut the tip of the twig, at a very sharp angle. This should help slide it into the lamb.Pre-heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat.Season your lamb with salt and pepper.Add a little oil to the pan. When it begins to ripple, place your lamb into the pan and let it sear on one side. Do not let the pieces of lamb touch one another. You do somewhat want the fresh rosemary to dry and fry in the oil. This both flavors the lamb, but also dries out the leaves, making them more flammable.After about 3 minutes (or when the lamb is nicely seared), flip the lamb over and sear the opposing side.Now, place the lamb onto two dishes, with something somewhat tall, in the middle. A pile of sautéed zucchini, perhaps? In the photo, I have low-carb risotto and a roasted artichoke quarter. You want to stack the skewers, so that the 3 bushy tops come together above the pile and become one "bush" for you to burn.With the lit candle in the center of the table, explain the significance of this special dish.Then ignite the rosemary.Inhale. (the rosemary will burn for about 30 seconds and stays fairly self contained. It's a fun effect, but it's not an explosive one ... short of the sparks flying between the two of you!)What happens next in this recipe ... is none of my business!Chocolate and StrawberriesTrueThis recipe isn't really much of a recipe. It's a Valentine's Day Recipe, for ... Strawberries!<br /><br /> The main idea is, you share a platter of strawberries with a variety of little things to dip them into. You can have things like whipped cream and chocolate sauce, for example. There are a myriad of different things you can try. Peanut butter, comes to mind! There's also cream cheese mixed with powdered erythritol and a little fresh butter, for an amazing cream cheese frosting! There's yogurt, too!<br /><br /> You can do fruit purees, like a blackberry puree, for example. You could make a warm brown butter fat bomb. You could even try something different. A little sour. You could try sour cream, for example. Or, what about balsamic vinegar?<br /> You can also try other berries. You can get into melons, as well!<br /><br /> Don't forget about the nuts!Desserts10 min10 min20 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chocolate-and-Strawberries-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chocolate-and-Strawberries-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chocolate-and-Strawberries-32pint714strawberries, washed and dried22824540148each133dollops whipped creamhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Whipped-Cream416.27442.54.75103/4cup64.5unsweetened cocoa powder14713.512.7537.5021.751cup238cream, heavy whipping8218857001/2cup100'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00010010001dash1salt000000Assemble a variety of tastes and textures with which to dip the strawberries into. Chocolate is highly recommended.For the Chocolate Sauce, heat all the ingredients (omitting 1/2 cup of cream) over a medium heat, whisking until just below simmering, thick and well combined. Adjust the consistency with the cream. You can thin it out with the cream. Remember, it will thicken, as it cools!Dip away!Coconut Cream PieTrueIn the late 90's, I worked at "<a href="http://tomdouglas.com/index.php?page=dahlia-lounge" target="_blank">Dahlia Lounge</a>" in Seattle. There were 3 things that flew out of the kitchen almost faster than we could make them: potstickers, crab cakes and ... coconut cream pie.<br /><br /> The "plating" in the final picture was almost a spoof of the same coconut cream pie that would get served out of that fine dining establishment in the late 90's. I suspect if I were to return today, I'd still be able to order this gem of coco-nutty goodness.<br /><br /> I have to say that I'm really proud of this sugar free/gluten free recipe. Most coconut cream pies are filled with custard, but a custard which is "held firm" with either flour or corn starch. I also had the daunting task of creating an "alterna-shell", without flour. I was incredibly nervous that it wouldn't work, or that the custard filling wouldn't hold. I was concerned that the crust would just disintegrate. Oh, how I worried!<br /><br /> My concerns were all completely unfounded.<br /><br /> The end result of this challenge? This sweet fluffy gem was pure coconut cream pie!<br /><br /> <strong>Sludge Note:</strong> When making this, the custard took on a very slightly "slimy" viscosity, due to the xanthan gum. I was incredibly nervous that this pie would turn out like a big bowl of ecto-plasm. By the time this thing chilled out, firmed up and got all swirled in with the texture of the coconut and shells ... the slime could not be detected! I really hesitated to mention this. I did so because I wanted to point out that the custard filling may take on a bit of a "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf1GkWvWelI" target="_blank">slime in a can</a>" kind of look. Fret not!BakedDesserts30 min30 min8 hrs8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coconut-Cream-Pie-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coconut-Cream-Pie-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coconut-Cream-Pie-33/4cup84almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-20480421818093/4cup66unsweetened coconut, shreddedhttp://amzn.com/B000F4D5GC?tag=lcrecipe-20360366180121/4cup56fresh whole butter, melted4440000001dash1salt000000113.5-ounce can381.38coconut milkhttp://amzn.com/B004PXUWJM?tag=lcrecipe-2081750.948.4410.13001/2cup119cream, heavy whipping410.5442.53.5001/4cup60'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000606003/4tsp2.4xanthan gumhttp://amzn.com/B0013JJZWG?tag=lcrecipe-207.5001.501.51dash1salt0000008large136egg yolks430.9535.8121.835.04001tbsp12coconut extract (optional)0000001cup88unsweetened coconut, shreddedhttp://amzn.com/B000F4D5GC?tag=lcrecipe-20480488240164cups532sugar free whipped creamhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Whipped-Cream1665.0801761019401/2cup36unsweetened coconut, flakedhttp://amzn.com/B000F4D5IU?tag=lcrecipe-20200204808Preheat oven to 325 F.Mix the flour, coconut and salt with the melted butter.Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan. Really press it in there and push it up the sides of the pan. It should be a nice compact crust, covering the entire base and sides of the pan.Bake for about 12 minutes (or until nice and toasty brown). Set a timer. This one goes from white to burnt quickly, once it starts to brown.When it's toasted, remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool.Set up a wide mouthed pot with boiling water (or the base for a double boiler). I don't have a double boiler, so I'm going to place a bowl over the water. This will serve as the base for a double boiler.In a separate saucepan, bring your coconut milk and cream up to the lowest possible simmer (has a tendency to want to boil over and some coconut milks are fragile and want to separate ... you really just want this to be hot).Combine your sweetener and salt with your xanthan gum. Mix them together, so that the xanthan is evenly distributed throughout the sugar equivalent (helps to prevent clumping ... if you're using a liquid sweetener, combine your xanthan with the 1 cup of shredded coconut and add it with the sweetener in a few steps, rather than at the end).Place your egg yolks and optional coconut extract into a non-reactive metal bowl with a diameter just a bit wider than the mouth of the pot of boiling water (or just use the top of the double boiler).Whisk your egg yolks, until they have a lemony color.Add a little bit of the hot liquid into the egg yolks, while whisking. This will "temper" the eggs. Keep whisking, while adding more of the hot liquid, adding a little more and a little faster, each moment. You want to add and whisk, to incorporate the hot liquid, without creating scrambled eggs.Once all the liquid has been incorporated, add your sweetener/xanthan mix, and whisk it in.Place your bowl over the mouth of the boiling water and continue to whisk. Make sure you whisk well and around the edges of the bowl, or else you'll develop cooked/scrambled eggs around the edge of the bowl. If the bowl gets too hot, remove it from the heat for a moment, and keep whisking. You can alternate the location of the bowl, slowly raising the heat of the egg mixture to about 165 F. While always whisking, you can add to the top of the pot, and remove, add back and remove.Once the mixture reaches about 165 F, has no frothy bubbles and is noticeably thick, you can add the cup of shredded coconut. Mix this evenly into the custard.Remove from the heat and pour the custard into the pie crust.Refrigerate the pie crust for about 8 hours, or until firm.Once the pie is firm, top it with whipped cream and toasted coconut.Slice and serve!Almond Panna Cotta with Strawberries and KiwiTrueThis recipe actually caught me off guard! I've had Panna Cotta many times in my life, I made it in cooking school, etc. I've always loved it, but had completely forgotten about it. The other day, I was cruising around the internet, windows rolled down, trolling for lost dessert recipes and the concept of gelatin flew into my windshield. Splat!<br /><br /> I started to search for interesting gelatin recipes. Gelatin, being a clear, flavorless jiggly substance derived from the callagen of animals (probably best not to ask) is more than appropriate for a low-carb way of life. Sweetened gelatin is what most of us probably associate with "Jello", but that doesn't mean we can't harness the power of this warbly material and bend it to our own desires. The Italians did it! Let's do it, too! <em>(unless of course you're Italian and which point ... we're crashing your Panna Cotta Party!)</em><br /><br /> This particular Panna Cotta Recipe follows the basic ratios for Panna Cotta. The primary difference being it's sugar free, and partially made with Almond Milk. This is both to reduce the carbs, but also to supply a bridge between the Strawberry, Kiwi and Almond Salsa. I had several people over when I made this and it was quite popular, to say the least!Desserts10 mins30 min4 hrs6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Panna-Cotta-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Panna-Cotta-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Panna-Cotta-31cup238cream, heavy whipping8218857001cup240almond milk, unsweetened and dividedhttp://amzn.com/B00474B0BI?tag=lcrecipe-20453.523011each12vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)23001001/4cup50'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000505001dash1salt0000001packet (about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 tsp)7gelatin powder23.4506.020001pint357strawberries, washed and diced1141227072each182kiwi fruits, peeled and diced1120226061/4cup36.25blanched and slivered almonds, toasted210.518.2587.2503.752tsp10lemon juice02.540.880.041dash1salt000000Combine cream and 3/4 cup of the almond milk in a medium sauce pan.Split the vanilla bean in half. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean. Add the bean and seeds to the milk and cream.Bring the milk to a very slow simmer. Remove the milk from the heat and whisk the sugar and salt into the milk. Make sure it dissolves. Keep warm, but set aside.In a medium sized mixing bowl, add your 1/4 cup remaining almond milk.Sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the surface of the almond milk. Allow it to bloom for about 5 minutes.While holding a strainer, strain your hot milk mixture into the gelatin mixture. This process will strain out the vanilla pods and any large fragments that may have broken off.Whisk the warm milk mixture into the gelatin mixture. Make sure both the sugar equivalent and gelatin is completely dissolved.Pour your warm mixture into 6 six-ounce cups or ramekins.Chill the panna cotta until firm (about 4 hours).While the panna cotta firm up, you can make the salsa. To make the salsa, simply blend the ingredients together.When the panna cotta are firm, you can serve in the same dish. Or, you can unmold them by floating them in a bath of warm water for about 30 seconds. Then, flip them upside down, to release them. Be careful when you do this, they're jiggly!Serve with a nice spoonful or two of the salsa!Two-Toned Blackberry-Lemon Mini-CheesecakesTrueI wanted to play with my <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Cheesecake">Cheesecake recipe</a>. I wanted to make a miniature one (I'm a big believer in portion control. If you make something into portions and stash a lot of them, it's less likely to be eaten in one sitting. A large Cheesecake calls my name. A small one does, too, but the sounds coming from the rest of them tend to be muffled by the inside of the freezer door).<br /><br /> I decided to also layer the better, and make my own crust. This is an "advancement" or an "evolution" over the previous cheesecake.<br /><br /> In all honesty, it's the same Cheesecake. The batter is split into two halves. In one half, a small amount of blackberry puree is folded in. In the other half, a small amount of blanched lemon zest is added.<br /><br /> The crust is just crushed macadamia nuts, butter and a tbsp of sugar free brown sugar. These are slightly par baked. Then, I put a blackberry on the crusts, filled the cups about half way with the blackberry batter, then topped them off with the lemon batter.<br /><br /> Voila! Little Two-Toned Cheesecakes! They were AWESOME!BakedDesserts15 mins1 hr24 hrs12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blackberry-Lemon-Cheesecake-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blackberry-Lemon-Cheesecake-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blackberry-Lemon-Cheesecake-32cups167.5macadamia nuts, raw1202.5127.513.7523.750151tbsp12brown sugar equivalenthttp://amzn.com/B001EPQQL2?tag=lcrecipe-20604012001/4cup56fresh whole butter, melted4440000001dash1salt0000001cup200'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00020020001/4tsp1.17guar gumhttp://amzn.com/B005HF068O?tag=lcrecipe-203.3300.860.861/4tsp1.5xanthan gumhttp://amzn.com/B0013JJZWG?tag=lcrecipe-205001.1701.171/2tsp1salt0000001 1/2lbs681full fat cream cheese, room temperature2330.66231.8941.0926.42001each12vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)23001004large200whole eggs, room temperature28620262002tsp10lemon juice02.540.880.041cup230sour cream4444558001tbsp6fresh lemon zest (peel)5.820.061.50.661cup144fresh blackberries, washed and dried62121508Pre-heat oven to 325 F.If your macadamia nuts are not crushed, place them in a large plastic (ZipLoc style) bag. With a mallet or the edge of a pot or pan, whack at them until you have a squooshed bag of macadamia explosion.Pour your crushed macadamias into a mixing bowl and add your brown sugar equivalent (if you don't have this, you can omit it, or use a nice molasses. It helps to hold the crust together), and melted butter. Mix the ingredients until the macadamias are well coated with the sugar and butter.Grease 12 muffin cups, within a 12-cup muffin pan, or 2 six-cup muffin pans.Press the nut mixture into the 12 cups. Use the back of a spoon (or a tamper, if you have one) to press the crusts firmly into the base of the cups.Bake the crusts for 12 minutes.Remove and set aside, while you make the batter.With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, until light and airy. Make sure your cream cheese and eggs are all warm (room temperature). It decreases the chances of lumps in the batter.Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean. Add the seeds to the cream cheese.Add the eggs, one at a time, while beating. When one is incorporated, add the next.Slowly add the dry ingredients to the cream cheese mixture, while it beats.Add the lemon juice and sour cream. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for another moment or two. Make sure everything is very well mixed and that there are no lumps. If there are lumps you can strain the mixture through a fine mesh (optional, but it does increase the silky smooth quality).Remove 12 nice plump blackberries from your cup, and set aside. Puree the rest of them in a food processor (or simply squish them with the back of a fork).If your zest has come off a fresh lemon, you will want to boil a small amount of water. Add your lemon zest to the boiling water and boil for 30 seconds. Strain out the zest and set aside. This act kills a lot of the bitterness that can come from fresh lemon zest. It mellows it.At this point, split your batter into two halves.Place one blackberry in the center of each muffin cup.Add your blackberry batter to one half and fold it in.To the other half, add the lemon zest. Fold it in.Let the two batters sit for a few minutes. Pick a bowl up an inch and drop it on the counter. Repeat a few times. This encourages any bubbles within the batter to float to the top.Pour the blackberry batter halfway into each of the 12 muffin cups.Top off the 12 muffin cups with the lemon batter.Place the pan(s) on the center rack in the oven for 15 minutes. Do not open the oven door. Don't do it.After 15 minutes, turn the oven off. Do not open the oven door. Don't do it.After an hour, open the oven door and leave it open a crack.After another hour, run a knife around the edges and place in the fridge to cool.Once chilled, remove from the muffin pans and serve!Serve!Orange-Pecan Chocolate MousseTrueThis dessert is incredibly easy to make. It's little more than chocolate flavored whipped cream, with some orange zest and sweetener thrown into it. Top off with a few pecans and you have something that feels far more exotic and luxurious than a basic whipped cream.<br /><br /> Top this sweet brown pillow off with some homemade sugar free chocolate sauce.<br /><br /> This dessert is quick to make and is also induction friendly! <em>(Yes, I know ... Pecans aren't on the induction list, but my interpretation of that rule is that it's designed to keep you from eating handfuls of nuts. You can leave them out, or you can include them and just chalk them up to small amounts of texture, in another otherwise soft cloud of goodness!)</em><br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> The recipe asks for 1 tsp of orange oil. I've got a small vial of it at home and dribble it into lots of things. I find it gives a nice extra dimension to some dishes, without boosting the carbs. However, you could substitute this ingredient by zesting only the orange outer layer of an orange, on the fine side of a cheese grater and add that. You could also fold in a 1/4 cup of sugar-free orange marmalade.Desserts15 min15 min30 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Orange-Hazelnut-Chocolate-Mousse-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Orange-Hazelnut-Chocolate-Mousse-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Orange-Hazelnut-Chocolate-Mousse-31 1/2cups357cream, heavy whipping1231.51327.510.5001/4cup50'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000505001/3cup28.67unsweetened cocoa powder65.3365.6716.6709.671tsp4orange oil extract34.29400001dash1salt0000003/4cup64.5unsweetened cocoa powder14713.512.7537.5021.751cup238cream, heavy whipping8218857001/2cup100'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00010010001dash1salt0000008large266dollops whipped creamhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Whipped-Cream832.548859.5201/2cup49.5pecans halves, toasted and coursely chopped34235.54.5705For the mousse, place all the ingredients into a electric mixer, or in a bowl with a hand mixer. This can be done with a whisk, as well, but it's tiring.Whisk the ingredients until they are fluffy and delicious!For the Chocolate Sauce, heat all the ingredients (omitting 1/2 cup of cream) over a medium heat, whisking until just below simmering, thick and well combined. Adjust the consistency with the cream. You can thin it out with the cream. Remember, it will thicken, as it cools!To assemble, put a nice sized scoop of the mousse into a bowl or cup. Top with chocolate sauce, whipped cream and toasted pecans!Stained Glass Window Jello BloxTrueI'm sorry, but I was just giggling like a fool, all day long. This dessert is just silly. It's DELICIOUS and fun to look at, but ... it's just an absurd dish, albeit an induction friendly one. It's a jiggley confetti delight!<br /><br /> There's no real end to what can be done with this. It's literally just different colors and flavors of jello, which have been made, then cut and placed into a different mold, where a blend of gelatinous sweetened cream is poured and hardened. This holds everything in place, where it is cut again! These new incisions show the cross sections of the multiple colors intersecting and intertwining with one another.<br /><br /> This is a simple dessert that only requires a little time and patience. It is unquestionably fun!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Any flavor combination can be used for this <em>(I used lemon, lime and strawberry)</em>. This is more about the method than the ingredients. I plan to really have some fun with these ideas and will come back with an even more outlandish version of this dessert!Desserts30 min15 mins8 hrs10http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Stained-Glass-Window-Jello-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Stained-Glass-Window-Jello-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Stained-Glass-Window-Jello-33(0.3-ounce) boxes25.5sugar free instant jell-o (various flavors)http://amzn.com/B000E1HUDK?tag=lcrecipe-201200120001cup237water0000001packet (about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 tsp)7gelatin powder23.4506.020001cup238cream, heavy whipping8218857001/4cup50'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000505001dash1salt000000Follow the instructions on the instructions on the box for each flavor, but use half the water suggested. If the box asks for 2 cups of water, use only 1.Place the hot jell-o mixture into 3 molds and place into the fridge (I used loaf pans).About 4 hours later, the jell-o will have solidified. Use a butter knife or spatula to "score" the jello. Cut cubes into all of it.Dump all the jell-o cubes into a larger container (I used a fairly wide Tupperware container). Carefully mix them, so they are evenly assorted. Set in the fridge.In a medium sized mixing bowl, add ½ cup of cold water. Evenly sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water. Set aside to "bloom" for 5 to 10 minutes.While the gelatin bloom, bring your cream and remaining ½ cup water up to a boil. Whisk in your sugar equivalent and salt. Make sure it is dissolved.Pour your hot cream mixture into the gelatin and whisk. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved.Allow the gelatin to sit out until it is cooled down (about room temperature). You can start this process in the fridge, but it can start to solidify around the edges. It's a safer approach to just let it sit on the counter and cool for about 30 minutes. The idea is to pour it over the chilled cubes, without the warm mixture melting the cubes, causing them to bleed. If it's too cool, the creamed gelatin will solidify.When the creamed gelatin is cool, pour it over the assorted jell-o cubes. Chill for about 4 more hours.Cut and serve!Strawberry-Almond Italian SodaTrueThis is a simple and straightforward recipe, but it started life as something else entirely!<br /><br /> My original idea had been to recreate a true "sugar-free" <em>(to the degree it COULD BE true)</em> Egg Cream, like the old soda fountains would have made. I'm often drawn to these kinds of recipes, as they've got history and a bit of fun thrown in. In addition to the age of an egg cream, is the simple fact that it contains neither eggs, nor cream! I made my own chocolate syrup, and used almond milk and club soda. I tried to get it to foam, and tried to shake two glasses together <em>(like a shaken martini)</em>, this ended explosively. After a big blotting session, I decided to give up and throw in the dirty towel.<br /><br /> Because I needed a 7th dessert for "dessert week" and wanted it to be a beverage and had to use ingredients that I had on-hand ... I thought of the "Italian Soda" idea!<br /><br /> Italian Sodas have their roots in the US, not Italy. However, the legend has it that the Italian Soda was started by "Torani" in the mid 1920's. Rinaldo and Ezilda Torre used the family's Italian recipes to develop their flavored syrups. Using these syrups, they would flavor sparkling water and market the "Italian Soda" to neighborhood cafes in the North Beach area of San Francisco. The rest, as they say, is history!BeveragesDesserts1 min0 min1 min1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Strawberry-Almond-Italian-Soda-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Strawberry-Almond-Italian-Soda-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Strawberry-Almond-Italian-Soda-33/4cup177.44club soda0000002tbsp24sugar free strawberry syruphttp://amzn.com/B000AXQI30?tag=lcrecipe-200000001tbsp12sugar free almond syruphttp://amzn.com/B00A64M8OQ?tag=lcrecipe-200000001/4cup59.5cream, heavy whipping205.25221.251.7500Mix together your sparkling soda and flavor syrups with ice.Drizzle a bit of cream into the glass.Serve!Coconut-Almond BrowniesTrueI'm not going to sugar coat this one, my friends. These brownies sucked. What follows is intended to provide a chuckle, perhaps with a very mild point <em>(but probably not)</em>.<br /><br /> I knew I had a full day of making all desserts, all day. So, I invited several people over, to help me consume all the tasty treats. These brownies sat quiet and alone, while the rest of the mouthwatering goodies were devoured. These brownies looked good! They definitely appeared delicious. The batter was AMAZING. If you ever need a sugar free, all natural brownie batter fix ... this is the way to go. This brownie batter was phenomenal! When I put the spoon in my mouth, I was transported to that place children go when their mother hands them the gooey whisk full of cookie batter, right as the rest of the cookies go in the oven. My eyes rolled back into my head and I was a 7 year old boy, completely thrilled with my batter. I had no doubt that these brownies would win awards.<br /><br /> The batter, my compadres, was a lie. A facade!<br /><br /> There are many competencies that I have. I can dream all sorts of flavorful and interesting dishes in my mind, simply by combining a variety of flavorful ingredients with a blend of interesting cooking techniques. I can almost always kind of totally trust the end result will be to my satisfaction, sort of. On very rare occasions, I stumble and make something less than tasty. More often than not, it's wonderful and good as, or better than I'd hoped!<br /><br /> Baking, on the other hand, is more about ratios, reactions and science. It's about leavening power (the "rise"), the order the ingredients are added, the mixing and blending process and the final structural integrity of the ingredients. Baking is a lot of formulas. When the formula is off, the end result is usually way off and cannot be salvaged. A sauce, on the other hand, can be manipulated all day, without much thought of adherence to a strict recipe.<br /><br /> Baking is all about the perfect execution of the formula.<br /><br /> I am a solid baker, when it comes to wheat flours. I understand gluten and how it works. I understand the leavening agents. I understand sugar melting and liquefying within batters, as it baked. I understand all of that. However, in a world without wheat, sugar or gluten ... well ... all of a sudden ... the world has changed. I don't know which way is up! How do these things work?! What are they supposed to do? Will it deflate? Will it rise? Be chewy? Will it be dry and brittle? Will it absorb moisture? What in heckfire is going on with these things?!<br /><br /> I knew I wanted to make brownies. I wanted to make them sugar and gluten free. I wanted them to be dense and moist and chewy. I wanted AWESOME brownies. I set to figure out the quintessential sugar free, gluten free formula. I looked far and wide, and combined all of my newfound knowledge into this here recipe. Oops, I think I had a typo, somewhere!<br /><br /> "Why am I even showing this recipe?", you might ask. Partially, because the batter is so good. Also, to shed a little light on the frustrating transition to a new way of thinking. Some information translates and some, frankly, doesn't. Finally, I'm also curious if anyone has any insight what went wrong. Why was this a bizarre cardboard brick? It was the strangest texture. Dry, but not totally brittle. Airy, but far from light. Full of chocolate and almond flavor, but somehow incredibly bland, at the same time. I blame the coconut flour, personally.<br /><br /> I can only describe the flavor as ... "disappointment".<br /><br /> <strong>Embarrasing Note:</strong> After writing this whole diatribe, I just tried to more thoroughly dissect my notes, and I'm 98.6% certain that I misread my own recipe. I think that if I had used 1/4 cup coconut flour and just 1/2 cup of almond flour, that this recipe would've been awesome. 3/4 of a cup was the "total" amount of nut flours ... not "each".<br /><br /> I'm going to go hide, now.BakedDesserts15 mins30 mins45 mins20http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coconut-Almond-Brownies-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coconut-Almond-Brownies-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Coconut-Almond-Brownies-31 1/4cup280fresh whole butter, softened220200000001 1/2cup300'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html00030030004large200whole eggs28620262001tbsp12vanilla extract34.62001.5003/4cup84almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-20480421818093/4cup84coconut flourhttp://amzn.com/B008RJMXPQ?tag=lcrecipe-20372921540363/4cup64.5unsweetened cocoa powder14713.512.7537.5021.751tsp4baking powderhttp://amzn.com/B004GWW042?tag=lcrecipe-205001001dash1salt0000001cup256unsweetened almond butter15601285648032Pre-heat oven to 325 F.With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar equivalent, until it has a white "whipped" look.With the mixer running at a slow speed, add one egg at a time.Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix them well.Add the dry ingredients to the mixer. Mix until just combined.Grease a standard casserole dish (9x13).Pour the batter into the dish. Spread flat into the pan.Place periodic spoonfuls of the almond butter into the top of the brownie batter. You want "spots" of almond butter.Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove when a toothpick comes out dry.Cool on a cooling rack.Cut and offer to someone with whom you still hold a grudge.Flank Steak Roll with Mushrooms and Tomato GravyTrueThis is probably the most advanced recipe on my website, so far. It's got 3 different components (the beef, the sauce and the filling) and requires a variety of interesting techniques, from butterflying and pounding the steak, to making a "duxelles" and finally, thickening and fortifying the sauce with a little butter!<br /><br /> In the end, the flavors are incredible, deep and rich. The presentation is outstanding. Serve this for any gathering and you'll have a hit on your hands!<br /><br /> <strong>Butterfly Video:</strong> One of the trickiest aspects to this is the butterflying of the flank steak. This woman does a quick job of <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PFVGosoNyI" target="_blank">butterflying a flank steak.</a><br /><br /> <strong>Tying a Roast Video:</strong> Here's a great video that shows how to <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbMsXEz_LtE" target="_blank">tie a roast</a>. Many people tie it in sections, but this is the method I use. I rarely do the underside, as I don't think it's necessary, but it's nice to see how it's done. This method uses a long single string and allows you to tighten and adjust the twine, as you go.<br /><br /> <strong>Buerre Monté Video:</strong> This video shows <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzM3qBZ0XkM" target="_blank">how a sauce is thickened with butter</a>. In the video, she does it with only water! In my recipe, the gravy is a reduced beef stock, with tomatoes, which is thickened with butter, at the end. YUM! <br /><br /> Finally,the <strong>definition of "Duxelles"</strong>: Duxelles is a finely chopped <em>(minced)</em> mixture of mushrooms or mushroom stems, onions, shallots and herbs sautéed in butter, and reduced to a paste <em>(sometimes cream is used, as well)</em>. It is a basic preparation used in stuffings and sauces <em>(notably, beef Wellington)</em> or as a garnish. Duxelles can also be filled into a pocket of raw pastry and baked as a savory tart <em>(similar to a hand-held pie)</em>. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duxelles" target="_blank">More ... ></a><br /><br /> The duxelles I'm using has the addition of carrots and celery, at the last minute. This gives a little sweetness, color and texture.<br /><br /> I have to say, I love that this way of eating allows for these big, beefy and buttery dishes! No more skinless chicken breasts and whole wheat pastas for me! :)BeefMain30 mins30 min60 mins6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Steak-Roll-With-Tomato-Gravy-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Steak-Roll-With-Tomato-Gravy-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Steak-Roll-With-Tomato-Gravy-31lb454crimini or button mushrooms, washed122.58013.6218.1604.542tbsp28unsalted butter2220000001/4cup35sweet red onion, very fine dice140.53.50.54each12garlic cloves, minced0000002tsp2fresh thyme, chopped.042.02.12.480.281/4cup58red wine, good quality49.32001.58001each50.5celery rib, cut into small cubes80.51.5011small27.5carrot, peeleed and cut into small cubes11.170.212.580.86salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste0000001 3/4lb794.5flank steak1231.7855.62166.850002tbsp28light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)242400000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste0000001/4cup58red wine, good quality49.32001.58003/4cup180.75beef stock or broth (natural and unsalted)21.7503.751.5002medium182tomatoes, diced32028021/4cup56fresh whole butter, cut into cubes444000000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000First, you want to start the mushrooms. Finely chop the mushrooms, until they are very finely diced. This can also be done in a food processor. It's not uncommon for me to use a cheese grater for mushrooms, also. The idea is to get the mushrooms very very small, but not a puree.In a pan over medium heat, melt your butter. Add your garlic and onions. Sweat them until they are aromatic and starting to become translucent. About 2 or 3 minutes.Add the chopped mushrooms to the pan. Add a flavorful amount of salt and pepper to this mixture. Also add your fresh thyme.Cook the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, or until all the water begins to release from the mushrooms. The mixture will become almost "soupy". At this point, add your red wine.Continue to cook the mushrooms, until they are almost a paste. At this point, add your celery and carrots. Season with a bit more salt and pepper; cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and set aside.Butterfly the flank steak by slicing it in half, width wise. In my case, I cut the final sheet into half and made two smaller roasts. You can make one large or one small roast. Both start with a full or have sheet of flank steak.Place a piece of plastic wrap over your flank steak and pound it to be more even and a nice rectangular shape.Season with a little bit of salt and pepper. Spread your mushroom paste evenly over the entire flank steak, leaving a short gap on one side, where the flap will form a seal after it's been rolled.Starting on the side opposite the flap, roll the flank steak like a cinnamon roll. Keep it tight, as you roll it.With butcher's twine, tie the flank into a nice and tight roast. Set aside.Pre-heat oven to 425 F.Pre-heat a large oven proof sauté pan over medium-high heat.Season the outside of the flank rolls.Add oil to the pan and swirl it around the pan. When the oil begins to ripple, add your flank to the pan and sear the outside. When one part has a nice golden sear, roll the flank to sear a new section. Continue rolling the flank around the pan until the majority of the surface area has a nice sear.Place the entire pan in the oven and close the door. Roast for about 15 to 35 minutes, depending on the roast(s), thicknesses, etc.When the flank registers a temperature of 120 F, with a thermometer in the thickest part of the roast, remove the flank from the oven. Remove the flank from the pan and put on another plate or pan in a warm spot, cover it with foil and allow it to rest.Place the newly empty hot pan over high heat on the stove. "Deglaze" the pan, by pouring your red wine into the bottom of the pan. This will pick up the little bits of flavor from the bottom of the pan that have been left behind by the flank steak. Swirl this around, and even poke at the crusty stuff in the bottom with a wooden spoon.When the wine has about half evaporated, add your beef stock.When the beef stock has about half evaporated, add your cut tomatoes. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.When the tomatoes have begun to break down, but still look like tomatoes (about 5 minutes), remove the pan from the heat and whisk in your cold butter, one cube at a time.Slice your flank steak and serve with the tomato gravy! YUM!My Mom's Chicken Piccata RecipeTrueThis recipe is kind of fun. It's something my Mom makes for my Dad all the time, but she wanted help to lower the carbs. The dish actually originated in Italy, with veal. In the US, it's usually chicken. In all cases ... it's an AWESOME dish. I love the acidity and butteriness of it all. The flavors are strong, but wise!<br /><br /> Here's the original email from my Mom: "Here is the recipe for Chicken Piccata, although, note that it is from <a href=" http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/chicken-piccata-recipe2/index.html" target="_blank">Giada de Laurentiis</a>, so, you may have to change it a bit in order to make it 'your' recipe. You can do that by figuring out how to either eliminate the flour, or change the flour to something else. Anyway, here it is and it's awesome!<br /><br /> Oh! I also forgot to mention that with the chicken piccata recipe, I 'upped' the amount of capers – by probably double. I did that because your dad loves capers, but also I think it adds more flavor and interest to the recipe. And, I cooked them a bit more in the saucepan (at the end) with the chicken breasts, the oil and the butter to make the capers just a tiny bit on the crunchy side. (Not 'real' crunchy; just slightly crunchy). Makes them yummy good! Cheers! – Mom"<br /><br /> I took my Mom's recommendation, low-carbed it and then added my zestful glee!ChickenMain15 min15 mins30 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Piccata-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Piccata-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Chicken-Piccata-34each680whole boneless/skinless chicken breasts1169.661.2142.80001/4cup16parsley, chopped and divided2.940.26.520.261cup112almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-206405624240122each216lemons015.26.265.260.261/4cup54extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20477.55400001/2cup112fresh whole butter, cubed8008800001/3cup42.67capers, rinsed and dried on towel9.81.43.852.1301.281/2cup112chicken stock or brothhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Good-Ol-Fashioned-Chicken-Stock7.84.151.12.7600salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Butterfly the chicken breasts (or buy them that way). Lay a chicken breast on a flat cutting board. Place a knife parallel to the cutting board, about 1/2 inch above the surface. Slice into the breast, maintaining a slice that is parallel to the cutting board and essentially cuts the breast in half. Both top and bottom halves should be equal in thickness.Once you've got thin sheets of chicken breast, place each piece between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound even thinner. You can use a mallet, rolling pin, or even the bottom of a sauce pan. Just be careful to hit it flatly and evenly, or else you will make deep divots in the chicken. Ideally, the chicken will be a thin and even sheet of chicken breast when you are done.Remove each slice from the plastic and VERY lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper. Set aside.Mix together the almond flour and half of the chopped parsley.Dredge the sheets of chicken within the almond flour mixture. Coat them well and then just leave the chicken within the almond flour. As it stays in there, the moisture will continue to release from the chicken, which will travel out into the almond flour, making a slightly thicker crust and better adhesion.While the chicken hangs out in the almond flour, put a small pot of water on the stove to boil.Use a vegetable peeler to peel the very thin outside layer of one lemon. You want strips of only the yellow part (the zest, not the pith).Stack the little strips of yellow zest on top of one another, and then slice them into very thin little strands or strips. Drop these into the boiling water for 30 seconds (this removes the acrid bitterness). Remove the blanched strands of lemon zest from the water and set aside.Juice the two lemons and set the juice aside.Place a large sauté pan on the stove to begin heating up.In a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat, add your olive oil. When it begins to lightly ripple, add some chicken slices. Fit as many slices into the pan as is possible, without the slices resting on any other part of the other pieces. There should be one clear layer of chicken. Add 1/6th of the butter and let it melt in the pan. Swirl the pan around.When the chicken is golden around the edges, carefully flip the chicken to brown the other side.Once the chicken is brown, remove it and set it aside somewhere warm. Repeat this process, adding a little bit of butter and oil, until all the chicken is cooked.After all the chicken has been cooked, add a small amount of oil and the capers. Fry them up!Before anything gets burned, add the chicken stock and lemon juice.Reduce the sauce by about half, or until it begins to very slightly, but ... noticeably ... thicken.Make sure you have about 3 tablespoons of fresh butter left, at this point. It should be cubed into about 12 little cubes.Turn the heat off the pan and add a small piece of cold fresh butter to the pan and swirl it around. When one piece of butter is about halfway melted, add a second piece of cold fresh butter. When that second piece is halfway melted, add a third piece. Keep swirling in the cold fresh pieces of butter, until it has created a lovely and luxurious chicken/lemon jus. (this is done in this manner, so that the butter is incorporated into the jus, without simply melting and forming an oil slick on the top of the stock. This slow cold swirling method emulsifies it into the stock in a method known as "Monté" (pronounced "Mont-tay")).At the last minute, add the lemon zest and fresh chopped parsley to the sauce.Divide the chicken between 4 plates and pour the sauce over each.Serve!Flax-Mustard Seed Crusted Pork ChopTrueThis one came from a random comment on my Facebook page. A woman named Tami casually tossed out that she was going to go cook up a flax crusted pork chop. For whatever reason, I wanted one ... right then! I started to think about how I'd do a flax crusted pork chop and came up with this!<br /><br /> For one, mustard seeds are awesome. They add a little crunch, a little heat and, believe it or not, a little sweet! The flax crust helps to hold some fat to the pork chop, which can otherwise be fairly dry, with very little fat of its own. The oregano is there, just to throw one more dimension into the whole thing.<br /><br /> It's actually a really simple affair, completely delicious and complements a really wide variety of dishes!<br /><br /> <strong>Note: </strong> Photos taken with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Creamed-Brussel-Sprouts">Creamed Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms and Bacon</a>.MainPork15 min15 min25 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Flax-Crusted-Pork-Chop-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Flax-Crusted-Pork-Chop-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Flax-Crusted-Pork-Chop-34each880thick cut pork chops (double cut with bone-in, preferably)2504.32211.28139.560001cup104golden flaxseed mealhttp://amzn.com/B000EDK5MG?tag=lcrecipe-204803624320322tbsp22whole yellow mustard seeds103.186.385.57.703.31tbsp2fresh oregano, chopped2.62.12.06.420.281/4cup54light olive or safflower oil477.5540000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 425 F.Season the pork with salt and pepper. Set aside on the countertop. This allows the pork to warm up a little, and also lets the salt pull a little moisture to the surface.Blend your flax, mustard seeds and fresh oregano. Place your pork into the breading and coat both sides, as well as the edges. Allow the pork to hang out in the breading mixture for a few minutes, turning it and re-coating it every once and again. This will help develop a slightly thicker coating.Pre-heat an oven proof pan, over medium-high heat.Place your oil into the pan and watch for the oil to very slightly "ripple". Once the surface ripples, place your pork chops into the pan. Don't let them crowd or touch one another.Turn the heat down to a low-medium. Allow them to fry until the bottom is golden brown.Flip the pork chops and place them into the oven, still in the pan.Once the internal temperature of the pork reaches 140° F, remove from the oven.Cover the pork with foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes, before serving.Sole en PapilloteTrueBack in the 90's, I used to work at a San Francisco hot spot called "Hawthorne Lane". For the life of me, I can't remember what was IN the dish we served, but the idea and concept has stayed with me through all those years. Wrap stuff in parchment paper; then bake it!<br /><br /> I'm trying to eat more fish in my diet. I love fish and order it in restaurants, often. I'm told I cook excellent fish, but I almost never cook it for myself. I do eat Salmon quite a bit, but that's about it. I really have no idea why or how this trend developed, but ... it developed and I'm trying to change the trend.<br /><br /> This recipe is designed to be both quick and fun, while also being ... fish that isn't salmon!<br /><br /> What I love about this method of cooking is, it's super quick, requires almost no effort, everything is cooked together, cooked well and marinates and cross pollinates flavors in and amongst one another. Then, when it's time to serve, it's like a hot little gift from the oven that awaits unwrapping! GOOD TIMES!FishMainQuick10 min10 min20 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Paper-Sole-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Paper-Sole-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Paper-Sole-31bunch227asparagus16.0345.745.088.4705.081each89white part of leek, cut into discs540113024fillets681dover sole618.338.36129.522002tbsp29white wine29.7800.87004sprigs2fresh tarragon.042.02.12.480.281/2each54lemon, very thin slices (like wheels ... not really eaten)0000001/4cup56fresh whole butter, cut into thin slices444000000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 425 F.Place 4 sheets of parchment paper on the countertop, with the shiny side facing up.Picture the sheets as being two halves of a sheet. Place the asparagus in the center of one half of each sheet (this is done, because the other half of the sheet will eventually be folded over the ingredients and bundled. The other half will become the "top" of the package.)Place your sliced rings of leeks on top of the asparagus. Season both veggies with a little bit of salt and pepper.Place your fish on top of the leeks. If the fish is very long or very flat, feel free to fold the tail under the filet. This will help it cook more evenly. Season the fish with a little salt and pepper.Sprinkle a little bit of wine over each filet.Lay sprigs of tarragon above each filet.Place a nice thin layer of fresh butter slices on top of each filet.Cover the tarragon and butter with thin slices of lemon.Take the empty flap of paper and fold it over the fish, so that the edge lines up with the edge of the bottom flap of paper.Fold the edges of the paper in, with multiple little rolls. Do the same thing with the remaining 2 open ends. When you are done, you should have a series of 4 little packages of fish.Now, with the bottom of a heavy pan, PUSH the crease of each of the 4 packages into the counter top. You REALLY want to force these creases to be hard folds, applied with pressure. You don't want these top open up and leak all over the place, while they bake. This helps reinforce the folds.Place the 4 packages on a cookie tray (with edges, just in case one does break or leak).Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.Remove from the oven and place each packet on an individual plate. Cut a very thin slit into the top of each package, to release some of the steam, while also providing a place for people to open their presents!Serve!Eggplant ParmesanTrueRight out of the gate, I'm going to confess something. Prior to making this dish ... I've never in my life even tasted an Eggplant Parmesan! The idea just never really appealed to me. It sounded like vegetables ... without meat! No bacon? No porky goodness? No thanks. I'll pass!<br /><br /> I'm not even sure why I decided to tackle this particular dish. Maybe because I knew it's been around since eggplants were introduced to parmesan cheese, but maybe it's because I wanted to take something I'd never tried and -- make it SUPER delicious! This is what I've done!<br /><br /> As usual, when researching a dish like this, I need to understand the "lay of the land". In general, it seems as if its slices of eggplant, which are dipped in eggs, flour and seasoned breadcrumbs, then fried or baked. From there, they are layered with parmesan cheese and tomato sauce and then baked! This all sounded far more appealing than the image of a "vegetarian" dish <em>(no offense intended or implied, but ... I do need to interject with the simple fact that bacon is awesome)</em>.<br /><br /> The puzzle became how to do the breaded eggplant, but ... without the breading! I chose to go with a seasoned almond flour, instead of flour and breadcrumbs. It didn't adhere as well, but if I was careful, it stuck well enough! Also, because of the almond flour, this got me to thinking about Romanesco. This made me want to infuse the whole thing with roasted peppers! Perhaps, at this point, I'm crossing Spain with Italy, but ... I dunno. It was TASTY!<br /><br /> I'll just call it Meat-Lover-Friendly Vegetarian Mediterranean Food!MainVegetarian1 hr 15 min45 min2 hrs8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Eggplant-Parmesan-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Eggplant-Parmesan-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Eggplant-Parmesan-31large548globe eggplant11015260162cups440tomato saucehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Beyond-Quick-and-Basic-Tomato-Sauce20414518.65052small148roasted bell peppers, peeled, seeded and diced45.8801.488.8802.961/4cup36.25blanched and slivered almonds, toasted210.518.2587.2503.753large150whole eggs214.51519.51.5001/2cup119cream, heavy whipping410.5442.53.5001 1/2cup168almond flourhttp://amzn.com/B0006ZN538?tag=lcrecipe-209608436360181tbsp2fresh oregano, chopped2.62.12.06.420.284each12garlic clove, minced01604003cups300parmesan cheese, grated12938711412002cup224whole milk, low moisture mozzarella, grated70256488001/2inch216light olive or safflower oil, for frying19102160000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Peel the eggplant and slice into discs about ½ inch thick. Sprinkle each slice heavily with salt. (This act is called "degorging" and is intended to give the cooked eggplant a firmer texture, while also removing some of the bitter toxins that can build up if the eggplant was grown slowly or in a colder climate. The idea is to remove excess water prior to cooking , as well as bringing these toxins to the surface where they will drain off.)Once your eggplant is salted, place the slices on a colander, over a bowl. Don't stack the eggplants on one another. Rather, distribute them evenly around the base and sides of the colander. All them to sit in the colander and drain for 30 to 60 minutes.While the eggplant is draining, make your tomato sauce. You can use a sauce from jar, or make my quick tomato sauce, linked above. You should add to the sauce your diced roasted peppers and slivered almonds. I tend to use peppers from a jar, but you can make your own by roasting over the flame of a gas burner, until the outsides are scorched. Alternately, you can oil the outside and place them in a 500 degree oven, until the outsides are scorched and blistered. Either way, be sure to turn them often, so that they scorch evenly on the surface, without ever spending so much time in or on the heat that they overcook and become mushy. Once scorched, place them in a bowl with an airtight lid, or plastic wrap. Allow them to steam for 10 to 20 minutes. Then, remove them from the bowl and peel off the skin and remove the seeds. Roasted peppers!Once your sauce is made, taste it and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set it aside.Whisk together your cream and eggs. Set them aside.In a separate wide bowl or casserole pan, add your almond flour, chopped oregano and minced garlic, and about 1/3 of the grated parmesan cheese. Blend them well.At this point, your eggplant should be ready to rinse. There should be a puddle of translucent brown liquid in the bowl beneath. Discard this liquid. Set a clean towel, or a series of paper towels on the counter. Quickly rinse the eggplant and place the individual slices on the towel and press them somewhat into the towel, to both dry them and also push out any last drops of moisture.Heat up about 1/2-inch of oil in a wide sauté pan, over medium-high heat. The oil should be hot (about 350-375 degrees). Test by dropping a single drop of water into the oil (any more than that, and it's dangerous). If it splatters a bit, the oil is hot! (not too hot, though ... you don't want to see smoke and you don't want to burn these)Set another clean dry towel, or series of paper towels on the counter.This next step comes in repetitive steps. Place about 5 or 6 slices of eggplant into the eggs mixture. Then, remove them and place them into the almond flour mixture. Make sure they are well coated, on both sides. Feel free to press the flour into them, just a bit. You can also let them sit in the flour mixture for a moment, as well. This helps the flour stick to the eggplant. Then, fry the eggplant slices in the hot oil. When they are nice and brown on one side, flip them and fry the other side. While these are frying, dip the next 5 or 6 slices of eggplant into the eggs, then allow them to be fully dusted and settled into the almond flour mixture. Once the eggplant has fried, place the hot slices on the towels to drain. Repeat these steps until all the eggplant has been fried. Try not to eat all the fried eggplant slices, or you'll have nothing to make the eggplant parmesan out of.Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.Now, picture the sauce and divide it into 4 portions, in your mind. Also, creatively visualize dividing the eggplant and remaining cheeses into 3 portions. These are the numbers of layers in the eggplant parmesan.In a casserole pan large enough for all these ingredients, cover the bottom with 1/4 of the tomato sauce.Place 1/3rd of the eggplant rings above the sauce. Follow this with 1/3rd of the remaining cheeses and 1/3rd of the remaining sauce. Repeat this step, except on the final step, place the sauce directly on the eggplant, and finish with the remaining 1/3rd of the cheeses.Bake the eggplant for about 30 minutes, or until the top is nice and golden brown. Let it sit and rest for about 15 minutes prior to slicing into it.Serve!Creamed Brussel Sprouts with Mushrooms and BaconTrueI love Brussels sprouts. I tend to think of them as divisive. People either love them, or they hate them, much like polka music or Larry the Cable Guy. I'm one of the ones who love these little cabbage buds!<br /><br /> This particular side dish recipe is for really well cooked Brussels sprouts, which have been pre-cooked <em>(<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSstyEpoJtg" target="_blank">blanched and shocked</a>)</em>.<br /><br />This will essentially be fried in butter and/or bacon fat, with some baby Portobello mushrooms <em>(known as "Crimini" mushrooms)</em>, and bacon bits.<br /><br />When the whole thing is opulently divine, it'll be finished with heavy cream and Dijon mustard, when it will cook for a moment or two longer, until the cream reduces and clings like a flavorful sludge all over the surface of the bacon laden veggies. <br /><br /> Smile and serve!Sides10 min20 min30 min6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Creamed-Brussel-Sprouts-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Creamed-Brussel-Sprouts-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Creamed-Brussel-Sprouts-31lb454brussels sprouts172.52013.6236.32013.622tbsp28butter or bacon fat2402400001lb454crimini or button mushrooms, halved or quartered122.606.829.0802.281/4cup28.4bacon bits6100120003/4cup178.5cream, heavy whipping615.75663.755.25001/4cup60Dijon mustard2.3349.52.965.8302.4salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Place a pot of salted water on the stove to boil. The water should be fairly salty.Once the water boils, throw your brussel sprouts into the water to boil.Let them boil for about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the smaller ones first, and plunge them into a big bowl of ice water. Keep removing them from the water and adding to the ice water, from smallest to largest. They should be firm, but cooked. NOT soft. You will continue cooking them, later.Once they are all in the ice water, let them stay in the ice water for about 10 minutes, until they are completely chilled, all the way through. Remove them and drain them, so they are dry.Cut them in half, so that the stem stays intact on both halves. You can also trim any loose leaves and any brown or fibrous stem ends, at the point. These can be tough.Set aside to be cooked later ... or just cook them!To cook, place a large non-stick sauté pan on the stove. Get it hot over medium-high heat.Add your butter and/or bacon fat to the pan and swirl it around, so the bottom is coated. It may start immediately browning. This is ok, but do not let it burn.Even if the butter is not fully melted, add your mushrooms and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Toss them in the pan, so that they are well coated with the fat. Allow them to sauté for about a minute.Add your Brussels sprout halves. With tongs, try to position them so that their cut side if facing the bottom of the pan. The whole pan should be one layer deep, with each instance of an ingredient touching the bottom of the pan. This keeps everything cooking evenly and browning appropriately. It also helps to keep the pan hot, without excessive ingredients cooling the pan down to such a degree that the veggies boil/steam, rather than "fry" in the fat.After about 3 minutes, the Brussels sprouts should have a nice color on their face. Add your bacon bits. Toss them all around and season with a bit more salt and pepper.Add your cream and Dijon to the mix. Fresh herbs are also nice (fresh rosemary, in particular!). Match the herbs to whatever you might be serving this with!Let the cream reduce around the vegetables. This should be done over high heat. The goal is to reduce the cream quickly, so that it sticks and clings to the vegetables, but to be done rapidly, before the Brussels sprouts overcook, fall apart and become "mushy".Once the cream is thick and gloopy, toss it all one more time, adjust seasoning and serve!ChupaChorueso: Cheese Stuffed Cheese with Mexican SausageTrueA while back, I created some miniature <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Parm-Cups">parmesan cheese cups</a> to use for little appetizers. Around the same time, I came up with an <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Hazelnut-Cracker">amazing hazelnut cracker</a>. All this got the ball rolling on other things to do with cheese and bowls and chips and dips. I used this trend to look into the topic a little further and stumbled upon a video about a mythological creature known as the "ChupaQueso" ... or "Suck the Cheese" in Spanish. Now, the video is long and boring, but it DOES showcase the cooking method <em>(<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbD70Ljb6fI" target="_blank">Part 1</a> | <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTv_VgVrcFQ" target="_blank">Part 2</a>)</em>.<br /><br /> The really strange part of this particular dish is that ... it's really not a real recipe! It's not indigenous to Mexico and it's not rooted in some lost culinary lore. It was actually invented by a guy named "Howard Tayler" with a web comic known as "<a href="http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2003-09-06" target="_blank">Shlock Mercenary</a>". It started as a bit of a gag word, designed to embody all things greasy and cheesey, but with a decidedly south of the border slant to it. It slowly evolved into this cheese crisp thing, as Mr. Tayler began to veer into the land of the low-carb, himself!<br /><br /> <center><a href="http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2003-09-06" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.djfoodie.com/uploads/90202/blog/ChupaQueso.gif" border="0" /></a></center><br /> The ChupaQueso became a real thing. Fried cheese ... stuffed with cheese!<br /><br /> If something isn't totally my invention, I like to tinker, tweak and dabble, while still generally preserving the original integrity of the idea. In this case ... I wanted to take what is already a ludicrous concept and elevate it to the redonkulous!<br /><br /> I've stepped it up a notch and have thrown Chorizo into the mix ... dubbing the new invention the "ChupaChorueso" <em>(pronounced "Choopa ChorAYso")</em>.<br /><br /> I couldn't stop giggling like a buffoon, as I made this silly thing. Cheese and chorizo stuffed cheese. It's about as indulgent a thing as I can imagine.<br /><br /> It was also PHENOMONALLY DELICIOUS!MainPork10 mins10 mins20 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/ChupaChorueso-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/ChupaChorueso-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/ChupaChorueso-34oz113cheddar cheese, grated451.2237.18281.38002oz56hot pepper monterey jack cheese, grated22018122002oz56queso fresco, crumbled199.3915.712.731.70004oz113bulk chorizo, crumbled and cooked514.1542.9427.122.2600Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat.Evenly sprinkle your grated cheese around the base of the pan.Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to occasionally adjust the pan over the burner, to ensure that it cooks evenly (this means moving the pan around the burner ... one side may cook quickly, so move the side that ISN'T cooking quickly over the center of the burner to catch it up, etc.)Continue to cook over low-medium heat. The cheese will melt and melt together. It will eventually begin to fry and darken.Once the cheese has a firm "crispy" look to it, but before it burns, sprinkle your queso fresco, pepper jack and cooked chorizo down the center, as if it were a racing stripe.With a heat resistant plastic spatula or wooden spatula, pry the edge of the cheese disc up, then loosen the entire thing from underneath.Fold the two flaps over the filling in the center and turn the heat down to very low. Cook for about 2 minutes.Flip the ChupaChorueso and cook for a further 2 or 3 minutes on the other side, or until the cheese filling has melted. Serve!Beefy Taco SaladTrueTaco Salads are those huge massive salads you'll see at Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurants. They're overflowing salads built, usually, into a gargantuan fried flour tortilla bowl, which has been made and fried with special equipment.<br /><br /> Here, we're going to do the same basic thing, but ... without all the special equipment and with a bowl made from cheese, instead! Yep! A bowl made of cheese!<br /><br /> The other big different would be the use of black soy beans, rather than refried or pinto beans.<br /><br /> You can assemble this with hot or cold ingredients, but the recipe is built with hot fresh ingredients in mind!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Cheddar-Bowl">The recipe and method for the cheddar cheese bowl is here.</a>BeefSalads15 mins15 mins30 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Taco-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Taco-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Taco-Salad-31lb454ground beef115390.877.180002tsp4cumin seed, ground.881501.760.441tsp2coriander seed, ground.365.96.241.10.841small74red bell pepper, seeded and diced22.940.744.4401.482each6garlic cloves, minced0802001each6.67jalepeno chillies, seeds removed and finely diced.042.09.40.191(15-ounce) can425black soy beans, drained and washedhttp://amzn.com/B000GZS9Q6?tag=lcrecipe-204202138.528024.54each454cheddar cheese bowlshttp://www.djfoodie.com/Cheddar-Bowl1804.86148.721125.5004cup288iceberg lettuce, shredded40048041/2cup113.5salsa mexicanahttp://www.djfoodie.com/Salsa-Mexicana32.79.081.588.4811.681/2lb227cheddar cheese, grated902.4374.36562.75001whole136avocado, peeled, quartered and sliced2272131209salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste0000003/4cup172.5sour cream33333.753.756002tbsp30.5lime juice, freshly squeezed07.63.132.630.132tsp4cumin seed, ground.881501.760.441tsp2coriander seed, ground.365.96.241.10.84salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000In a large non-stick sauté pan, brown the ground beef with a little salt and pepper.When it is nicely broken up and mostly brown, add the spices, peppers, garlic, jalepeno and black soy beans. Stir and cover. Place on low and allow simmering for about 15 minutes.While the beef is simmering, make your dressing. Combine all ingredients and taste. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.Fill your cheddar bowls with shredded iceberg lettuce.Drizzle a healthy amount of dressing on the lettuce.After roughly 15 minutes, place 1/4 of the hot beef mixture on each of the salads.Top the salad with salsa, grated cheese and sliced avocado. Serve!Cheddar Cheese Salad BowlTrueThis is kind of a fun one. It's ... 100% CHEESE!!! It should also be said that this particular bowl is about the size of an upturned beanie.<br /><br /> A few months ago, I made very <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Parm-Cups">small parmesan cheese cups</a>. Around the same time, I made some <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Hazelnut-Cracker">hazelnut crackers</a>. Both spawned several emails and comments about bigger bowls, cheese shapes and "other" things which can be used for dipping. This led me to deciding to make a bigger bowl, with a different cheese and then suggest you break it up for "chips" ... with which to dip ... OR ... fill it up with stuff, like a <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Taco-Salad">Taco Salad</a>! These bowls are a lot of fun, completely and totally and utterly delicious and quite strong, too! They will hold your salad, or grilled chicken, or whatever you choose to put in it <em>(nothing with too much liquid, though. Soup would be a disaster!)</em><br /><br /> They are little more than cheese melted and fried in a non-stick sauté pan. Once it's sufficiently fried, it's scraped out and IMMEDIATELY draped over a upturned bowl or cup, where it will form its shape and harden. YAY! <br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Again, this can be simply broken up and used as chips for a nice salsa, or any other creamy dip. Finally, you don't need to limit yourself to bowls. Try hanging the cheese sheets over a wooden spoon handle sitting over a pot ... TACO SHELLS!Salads4 min11 mins15 min2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cheddar-Bowl-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cheddar-Bowl-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cheddar-Bowl-31/2lb227cheddar cheese, grated902.4374.36562.7500Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat.Evenly sprinkle your grated cheese around the base of the pan.Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to occasionally adjust the pan over the burner, to ensure that it cooks evenly (this means moving the pan around the burner ... one side may cook quickly, so move the side that ISN'T cooking quickly over the center of the burner to catch it up, etc.)Continue to cook over low-medium heat. The cheese will melt and melt together. It will eventually begin to fry and darken. Once the cheese has a firm "crispy" look to it, but before it burns, pry it out with a heat resistant plastic spatula and IMMEDIATELY drape it over an upside-down bowl. It should form to the shape of the bowl and quickly begin to harden.Allow it to rest for a few minutes, or until it's sufficiently chilled.Repeat the process to make more cheese bowls!Grilled Steak Caesar with AsparagusTrueWhat a lovely and simple salad idea! It sort of plays off of one of my favorite all time meal styles ... the "warm" salad. It's comforting and relaxing and warm, while still retaining most of the nutrients and vibrancy of a full raw salad. It exists somewhere between cooked and ... not cooked.<br /><br /> This particular salad is incredibly easy. It's little more than a 1/4 head of romaine lettuce, some flank steak and a small handful of asparagus. It's liberally brushed with Caesar dressing, is seasoned with salt and pepper, then it is grilled!<br /><br /> The romaine goes on a plate, followed by the asparagus, then the steak is sliced thin and added to the plate. Finally, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and ... VIOLA! Grilled Steak Caesar!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> I actually did this with a grill pan in my kitchen. Sure, the smoky flavor of an outdoor grill will complement this dish, but ... if it's cold and you're in the mood, you can grill this up, indoors!<br /><br /> <strong>Second Note:</strong> I tend to like my flank steak a bit on the raw side. Flank can get raw and tough if overcooked. Cook to your desired temperature, but keep in mind a little rare and very thin slices will go a great distance towards giving a nice tender steak!BeefQuickSalads10 min20 min30 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Grilled-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Grilled-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Grilled-Salad-31 1/2lb681beef flank, tenderloin, sirloin or ribeye, cut into 4 portions1680123133.50003/4cup160.5caesar salad dressinghttp://www.djfoodie.com/Caesar-Dressing153.4515.6217.95.44.08.251large head262romaine lettuce, washed and dried10628210131bunch227asparagus16.0345.745.088.4705.081/2cup50parmesan (reggiano) cheese, grated215.514.519200salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000It's always better to cook a warm and relaxed piece of meat. Set your flank on the counter top about an hour before cooking, if possible.Pre-heat the grill.Season the steak with salt and pepper.Over a bowl or large platter, brush your Caesar dressing heavily over the steak. Place it on the grill.Cut the large head of romaine into quarters, lengthwise.Snap the hard fibrous stalks off the base of the asparagus spears.While the steak grills, continue brushing your romaine lettuce and asparagus with more Caesar dressing. You can pull apart some of the romaine leaves and brush between leaves, as well. Season both with a little bit of salt and pepper.When the steak has been on the grill for about 5 minutes, flip it over and grill for about 5 more minutes (or until desired doneness). When the steak is done, remove it from the grill and allow it to rest.Add the asparagus to the grill.Let the asparagus grill for about 3 minutes. Then add the romaine lettuce to the grill.Grill the romaine and asparagus for about 2 more minutes. Place the romaine and asparagus on 4 plates.Slice the flank steak against the grain and very thin. Place it on the plates.Garnish with grated parmesan cheese. Serve!Crab Salad with Avocado and TangerinesTrueI received a request for a crab salad. I'd never really made a traditional crab salad <em>(basically crab mixed with mayonnaise)</em>, but have made various different "fresh" versions, throughout the years.<br /><br /> Below is kind of a fun recipe. It's A LOT easier than it looks. Don't be intimidated by it. The hardest part is cutting the tangerines. The rest only takes a few minutes, requires no cooking and your friends and family will swear you've been slaving away for days! It's little more than a few fresh ingredients, thrown together in the right order, and then pressed, in layers, into a "ring mold".<br /><br /> A "ring mold" is nothing more than a hollow cylinder. They come on all shapes and sizes, ranging from squat wide cookie cutters, to tall and narrow "toilet paper roll" shapes. I've seen expensive stainless steel ring molds and I've seen molds used from PVC pipe sections. I've also seen similar concepts in a variety of shapes, too! The same thing could be done as a square ... or a star, if you have the mold and feel so inclined!<br /><br /> I actually purchased <A href="http://amzn.com/B004M5MWGY?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">this Ring Mold Set</A> and use it when I have guests. The weird part is ... one of my favorite things is the tamper that comes with it! I use it to push down and squish all sorts of things. I love my tamper! :)<br /><br /> <strong>How To Note: </strong> The first step says to make tangerine sections. You can use <a href="http://www.ehow.com/video_2346007_make-orange-supreme.html" target="_blank">the method in this video to make sections</a> <em>(called "Supremes")</em>.FishSalads20 min0 min20 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Crab-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Crab-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Crab-Salad-32each178tangerines (mandarin oranges)940224042whole272avocados, peeled and sliced or diced554426240181/4cup22fresh cilantro, chopped5.06.22.44.880.661/4cup35sweet red onion, very fine dice140.53.50.58oz227lump crab meat, drained and picked to remove shells232.043.3645.40001/4cup26english cucumber, diced with skin4001001tbsp13.5extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20119.3813.50000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Create sections with the tangerines. Make sure to squeeze the juice from the middle of the tangerine, into the citrus sections.Add the avocados to a small mixing bowl. Add your chopped cilantro, diced red onions and pour half of your excess tangerine juice into the avocado. Season with salt and pepper and mix together.In a separate bowl, mix together your crab, cucumber dice, olive oil and the remaining drips of tangerine juice from the tangerine sections. Season with salt and pepper, and mix together.Place a ring mold on a plate and add 1/4 of the avocado mixture. Hold the ring mold in place and apply gentle, but consistent pressure on the avocado, with the tamper. The idea is to create a solid layer (a disk) of avocado.Now, add 1/4 of the crab mixture on top of the avocado. Again, use the tamper to press the crab into a nice even layer.Above the crab add 1/4 of the tangerine sections. Make sure they cover the crab. You might need to use the tamper to gently press and nudge them into the crab. Make sure you clean the tamper before pressing the citrus into place. You don't want crab ON the tangerines.GENTLY pull the ring mold up and off of the crab salad. You may want to use the tamper to hold the salad down, while you pull the ring up from around it.That's it! Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Repeat 3 more times!The Famous Cobb SaladTrueHere we have the famous Cobb Salad! It's not really known where this particular salad originated, but it generally seems to be attributed to The Brown Derby restaurant in the late 1920's or 1930's. It's a 90 year old salad and ... it's great for a low carb way of life!<br /><br /> It's got a wide mixture of salad greens, vegetables and healthy fats from a variety of ingredients. In fact, the odd assortment of ingredients, while building a truly healthy and wonderful combination of fats and nutrients, is a bit puzzling to me. After having made it and combing through information about the salad, I really have begun to subscribe to the idea that Robert Howard Cobb (the owner of the Brown Derby) was hungry, late one night, and raided his kitchen. He grabbed a little of this ... and a little of that, combining a random assortment of fresh prepared ingredients, tossed them into a bowl and topped it all with salad dressing!<br /><br /> I'm sure he loved it so much ... it became a staple!<br /><br /> One of the great things about this salad is, it's less than 4 carbs, but it's a massive bowl of good foods. Even at induction levels, this still leaves more than 16 carbs for the rest of the day. The "steak and eggs" diet, my eye!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> This recipe implies you have a few precooked, chilled, ready-to-go ingredients. Pay close attention to the list of ingredients, as the salad "can" be a bit time consuming, just gathering the stuff!ChickenSalads15 min0 min15 min6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cobb-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cobb-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cobb-Salad-31cup50belgian endive, chopped8002021cup34watercress, stems removed and coursely chopped4010001cup72iceberg lettuce, shredded10012011cups47romaine lettuce, washed and cut into ribbons.15841.58014each344cooked and chilled chicken breast halves (skin on, if possible)5681210800012slices336bacon, pre-cooked and crispy!8436120002each100hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped or cut in half15511121004oz112quality Roquefort cheese, crumbled413.2834.7224.642.24001/2lb227cherry tomatoes, washed, dried and halved or quartered41.1602.58.7402.52whole272avocados, peeled and sliced or diced554426240184whole60green onions (scallions), sliced19.201.24.201.8salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste0000002each6garlic cloves, minced0802001tbsp15dijon mustard.5912.38.741.460.61tbsp15.25lemon juice, freshly squeezed03.82.061.320.062tbsp30red wine vinegar5.6500.13001/4cup54extra virgin olive oil, good qualityhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20477.5540000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Assemble the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl, or nicely presented in 4 smaller salad bowls. Start by mixing the salad greens, then layering the remaining ingredients on the top. Be sure to season the tomatoes with a little salt and pepper.In a separate bowl, whisk together the salad dressing ingredients. Whisk it well, to form a slightly creamy consistency. The mustard should help form an emulsified red wine vinaigrette. Taste and adjust seasoning.Pour the dressing over the salad and serve!Chilled Soy-Lime Flank Steak SaladTrueThis is a really simple salad. I really came up with it with the "to go" or "sack lunch" concept in mind.<br /><br /> The core idea is to cook a portion of meat and chill it <em>(chicken, pork, shrimp, etc. in place of the flank would all work with the flavors, as well)</em>. Alternately, use a leftover piece of meat. The salad would be assembled in a Tupperware container, with the meat placed in top. I tend to like slicing it in advance, as it makes eating it quickly "on the run" a little easier when I'm out and about. Flank steak also tends to have a reputation of being a little on the tough side. As a result, I tend to cook it closer to a rare and slice it thin. These tricks help keep it tender and pleasantly beefy!<br /><br /> The sweet and salty dressing is really intended to be packed up in a separate container and sent along with the lunch. When it's time to eat ... drizzle the dressing on the salad and enjoy it!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> As written, it's a chilled salad, but it would be just as delicious warm!BeefSalads15 min10 min25 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Soy-Lime-Flank-Steak-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Soy-Lime-Flank-Steak-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Soy-Lime-Flank-Steak-31 1/2lb681beef flank, tenderloin, sirloin or ribeye, cut into 4 portions1680123133.50002tbsp28light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)2424000004cups188romaine lettuce, washed and cut into ribbons.631.8315.736.3103.91small74red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin slices22.940.744.4401.481each70sweet red onion, cut into thin slices28017011/4bunch25cilantro, washed and large stems removed5.75.14.55.940.73salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste0000001tbsp14.01toasted sesame oil1301400001tbsp14.01hot chili oil1301400003tbsp40.5olive oil358.1440.500001tbsp12'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html0001102tbsp30.5lime juice, freshly squeezed07.64.142.640.143tbsp47.82japanese soy sauce (shoyu)025.322.454.130.382tsp4fresh ginger, grated03.2.08.720.082tbsp24sesame seeds, toasted135.611.524.086.2403.36salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000It's always better to cook a warm and relaxed piece of meat. Set your flank on the counter top about an hour before cooking, if possible.Pre-heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.Season the flank steak with salt and pepper.Add your light oil to the hot pan and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil's surface begins to ripple, place your 4 flank pieces into the pan to sear one side. Do not crowd the pan. Try and keep each piece of flank steak from touching any other piece. This helps them sear. Turn the heat down to a medium to a medium-low and allow the 4 pieces to continue searing on the stove top, about 6 minutes.Once one side of flank is seared, flip the flank steaks over and sear the opposing side for a further 5 or 6 minutes.At this point, I would generally consider the meat "cooked" (but you may want to go longer, depending on personal preference and thickness of the meat). Cook to desired doneness.Chill the meat on a plate in the refrigerator, until chilled completely through.While the meat is chilling, assemble the remaining salad ingredients and divide onto plates or into containers.Mix all of the soy-lime dressing ingredients in a bowl with a whisk. Make sure it is mixed well and your sugar equivalent is dissolved. Distribute into 4 smaller containers or cups. Make sure you whisk the dressing just before pouring into alternate containers; the oil will float to the top which will almost all be poured into the first container, with the remaining 3 being the rest of the stuff. For an even pour, make sure the dressing is recently whisked.Remove the flank from the refrigerator when it is chilled. Slice it very thin, against the grain, and place it on top of the salad. Cover and save for later or ... serve and eat!Broccoli Salad with Carrot, Cranberries and BaconTrueWhen I was younger, I worked in a grocery store deli. I really don't know the grand total, but I suspect we had upwards of 100 different salads we'd display in our beautiful display cases. One of them was a broccoli salad; consisting primarily of broccoli, carrots, sunflower seeds and coleslaw dressing, if memory serves. It was really VERY popular, but ... I confess to struggling with a big bowl of raw broccoli, whether it's dressed up for a night on the town, or not. It's just simply not my bag.<br /><br /> I recently got a request for more salads, so I cruised through the leafy greens of my mind and pulled this one out of the archives, but ... twisted it around to make it more personally appealing. The main "trick" is something called "blanching and shocking", which essentially means you fully or partially cook something in boiling water and then plunge it into ice water. This act completely stops the cooking process in its tracks, while also preserving the vibrant colors and a large portion of the nutritional integrity. It stops the aging/oxidation of the ingredient.<br /><br /> In THIS case, I've quickly blanched the broccoli and carrots in salted water for merely 1 minute. This allows them to keep that crispity crunch and also seems to boost the color to an even more brilliant green and orange. With the addition of the pecans, this salad has a sublime textural profile. Finally, it reads much more pleasing to my own palette and even feels a very tiny little bit like cheating, due to the little bits of sweet cranberries, but ... it's actually an incredible quick little salad which would complement almost any meal. YUM!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> I'm a big fan of broccoli stems. When you cut the florets off of the large broccoli trunk, you're left with something that looks like what the Jolly Green Giant might use for lumber, if he were a very very small giant. Cut off the bigger branches, then with a vegetable peeler, peel the hard fibrous skin on the outside. You'll eventually get a a beautiful, bright, almost white green core. This is the "broccoli heart" and it's delicious! Cut the center core into pieces about the same size as the florets and cook it right along with them. Enjoy!SaladsSides19 mins1 min20 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Broccoli-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Broccoli-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Broccoli-Salad-31large840bunch broccoli, including stalks, cut into florets285.992.7623.4955.26022.111large72carrot, washed and cut into sticks29.250.566.7502.251/4cup30dried cranberries, coursely chopped30.75.75024.7501.51/2cup56.8bacon bits20012240001/2cup49.5pecans halves, toasted and coursely chopped34235.54.570518leaves7.2fresh basil, hand torn1.65.07.21.210.151/4cup61lemon juice, freshly squeezed015.26.265.260.261/2cup108extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-209551080000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil over high heat. Once the water boils, add a large amount of salt. The water should be pretty salty.Get a large bowl or pot of ice water ready.Add your broccoli and carrots to the boiling water. Allow them to boil for 1 minute.After 1 minute, remove the broccoli and carrots from the boiling water (colander or slotted spoon) and immediately place the veggies in the bowl of ice water. Make sure they are completely submerged. Stir them around, so they chill quickly.Leave the veggies in the ice water for about 5 minutes, or until thoroughly chilled. If all the ice melts ... add a little more ice! The veggies need to be completely and totally chilled.After the veggies have chilled, strain them through a colander and allow them to drip dry over a bowl, or in the sink. You want to eliminate as much water as possible.While the veggies drip dry, add the rest of your ingredients to a large bowl.Add your chilled and dried veggies to the salad bowl.Toss all the ingredients together and taste. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve!Fennel-Horseradish Pork Spare Ribs RecipeTrueThis pork spare ribs recipe was FANTASTIC! They were different than your standard dry rubbed, smoked and either sweet or vinegar soaked ribs. These had more character to them, and the horseradish in the end just give it an earthy heat, pulling together the aroma from the orange and the sweet little pop from the fennel seeds.<br /><br /> I was in Mexico when I cooked these, and CostCo had a special on pre-cut ribs. Each rib was individually cut, as opposed to a whole slab. I was annoyed, but they still turned out great!<br /><br /> For the purposes of this recipe, I'm going to present it as if the rack had been whole (an intact slab of spares will yield juicier results) ... my ribs were great, but had too much barky-dry skin for each rib.<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Served with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/White-BBQ-Sauce">White BBQ Sauce</a><br /><br /> <strong>Second Note:</strong> I confess to not fully understanding the nutrition on the rib slabs. My assumption is the USDA is listing the nutrition as if all bones, tendons, etc. were consumed, as well. I'm not sure how to present this info, but ... I do more or less trust the carb count.MainPork30 min5 hrs24 hrs4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fennel-Horseradish-Pork-Spare-Ribs-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fennel-Horseradish-Pork-Spare-Ribs-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Fennel-Horseradish-Pork-Spare-Ribs-32slabs4540pork spare ribs (about 5 lbs. per slab)8580.6544.8862.60001each140orange690018031/2cup120prepared horseradish481.21.213.3203.61tbsp6fennel seed, whole20.7.9.963.1202.41tbsp5cayenne pepper17113014each12garlic cloves, minced0000001/4cup54extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20477.5540000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000The day before the cook, you want to prepare and rub your ribs with a prepared paste. To begin, you'll want to peel the membrane off the inside (boney side) of the slab. This can be tricky to start, but once a corner has been loosened, the rest usually rips right off. The membrane is a slightly shiny thick paper-like layer covering the ribs. Slide a small knife into one corner of the ribs, just between the meat and membrane. I usually use a butter knife for this (a sharp knife may cut through the membrane, when I see this as more of a "prying" effect). Jiggle and push and shove the knife between the meat and membrane, sliding it from side to side, until roughly 1 inch of membrane has been loosened enough to hold on to. With a towel, grab the flap and with consistent force, peel the membrane off the inside of the slab. It "should" come off in one nice tear. If it doesn't, continue the prying and pulling process, until the entire membrane has been removed. Set it aside.With a sharp vegetable peeler, peel the outside of the orange. You want to remove ONLY the orange outer layer, and none of the bitter white stuff (called "pith"). You want to remove about a third of the orange outer rind (called "zest").Cut the orange in half and juice it. Save the juice for the next day.In a mixing bowl, mix together the horseradish, chopped orange zest, whole fennel seeds, cayenne and fresh chopped garlic.Rub the horseradish rub all over both sides of the slab. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate, overnight.The next day, remove the ribs from the refrigerator and set them on the counter for about an hour, before they go into the smoker.Prepare your smoker. Pre-heat to between 215 F and 235 F (this can be done in an oven without smoke, and still tastes great, but ... loses that smoky quality). Depending on your approach to the smoking process, you can also soak some hickory, or other aromatic wood chips in some water at this point. Finally, put a drip pan filled with water on the rack beneath where the pork will go. Some of this water will evaporate helping maintain moisture. It will also catch any fat, rather than causing flare ups in the fire ... or just making a big mess. Even if this is done on a pan in an oven, include a pan of water somewhere inside the oven.Unwrap your ribs, season them with salt and pepper, and then place them in indirect heat within the smoker to begin the smoking process.Combine your fresh orange juice with an equal amount of extra virgin olive oil.About once an hour, open the smoker and liberally brush your orange juice-olive oil mixture on both sides of the ribs.The ribs should cook for about an hour per lb. in the slab. When the ribs start to get dark from the sugar in the orange juice, wrap them in foil and place them back in the smoker until they are done. A 5 lb. rack will take approximately 5 hours. They will be done when the temperature of the ribs is between 175 and 185 F. The meat will have retracted by about ¼ to ½ inch and the meat easily separates from the bones. Twist a rib to test!Once the ribs are done, keeping them in the foil, allow them to rest for about 20 minutes prior to slicing the ribs between each bone and serving.Serve!White BBQ SauceTrueI experimented with a zero carb diet for 30 days <em>(interesting experience, with overall great success!)</em>. During that period of time, I wanted to ensure that I had a wide variety of options. If I constantly felt that my choices were limited ... I couldn't believe that a zero carb way of eating would work for me. So ... I worked to create a menu of interesting options! One of them ... was this Northern Alabama favorite ... right here!<br /><br /> This is a great little sauce, especially for basting or brushing onto grilled meats <em>(such as chicken, where most of it winds up!)</em>. It's an emulsified fat, which means it brushes on thick and lustrous, but will quickly melt and meld the flavors in with the meats.<br /><br /> I didn't realize it at the time, but ... I just realized ... if I were to mislabel my White BBQ Sauce and accidentally grab my sugar free coleslaw dressing ... there'd be no difference. Same basic stuff!<br /><br /> I see a BBQ'd Ribs with White BBQ Sauce and Coleslaw ... just around the corner!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Good in combination with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Fennel-Horseradish-Pork-Spare-Ribs">Horseradish-Fennel Spare Ribs</a>.Sauces5 min0 min5 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/White-BBQ-Sauce-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/White-BBQ-Sauce-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/White-BBQ-Sauce-31/2cup109.63mayonnaisehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Mayonnaise750.5483.452.41.33.25.081tbsp15.25lemon juice, freshly squeezed03.82.061.320.062tbsp29.88apple cider vinegarhttp://amzn.com/B001AIWAAE?tag=lcrecipe-200000001tbsp12'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html0001101tsp2fresh cracked black pepper5.330.331.330.661 1/2tsp4salt0000001/2tsp1cayenne pepper, ground2.84.17.17.50.17Mix it in a bowl.Put it on stuff!Warm Summer PanzanellaTruePanzanella is basically an Italian summer salad made out of old bread and fresh tomatoes. Bread being looked at as pure evil within a low-carb way of eating, is tough to imagine being the primary focus of a whole salad! Read on ...<br /><br /> There are many low-carb bread products on the market. You can find them in the store, online, or you can even make them yourself! Some use wheat, some pass on all grains, many are gluten free. This would really work with any of them. Picture a normal salad, but with LOTS of croutons. Stale bread or croutons are little more than bread that's been dried out. Toss this into some lettuce and tomatoes and ... that's Panzanella!<br /><br /> I personally see this as a bit of a treat. I eat this almost never, but every once in a while, I'll take the loaf of bread stashed in my freezer, defrost it and make croutons with it. More often than not, a dish like this gets made when I'm entertaining. I can't recall ever making it "just for me". I tend to try avoiding most breads like this, but it's undeniably delicious! This is a great salad for maintaining ones weight, for an individual that worries less about breads than I do, or ... for a splurge or entertainment. I know it feels like a lot of "Warning, Will Robinson!", but it's only because this salad is so good, I think it needs a little perspective built around it. It's a treat; a donut, as it were.<br /><br /> A tantalizing "pesto crusted, drippy with summer tomatoes and toasty croutons salad" donut.SaladsVegetarian15 mins15 hr30 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Summer-Panzanella-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Summer-Panzanella-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Summer-Panzanella-33cups302.27low-carb garlic croutonshttp://www.djfoodie.com/Croutons961.92226.242.7143.85032.391/2lb227cherry tomatoes, washed, dried and halved or quartered41.1602.58.7402.52tsp10lemon juice02.540.880.041/2cup193.88basil pesto, 2 tbsp reserved for bastinghttp://www.djfoodie.com/Traditional-Basil-Pesto853.1589.8311.626.8102.052tbsp28light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)2424000002each236small green zucchini and/or summer squash, cut into bite sized pieces38.742.928.0402.921/2lb227green string beans, ends and string removed, cut into bite sized pieces70.37.272.7216.1907.721cup20arugula, washed and dried5.2.6.80.41/2cup50parmesan (reggiano) cheese, grated215.514.5192001/4cup54extra virgin olive oil (for drizzle)http://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20477.5540000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Start with any stale bread (low-carb, preferably). Put the bread in the bottom of a large salad bowl.Next, cover the croutons with your cut tomatoes. Season them with a little salt and pepper (the salt will pull the water out of the tomatoes, which will leak onto the croutons to soften and flavor them)Pour lemon juice over the tomatoes.Spread your pesto around the edge of the bowl, where the tomatoes and croutons meet.Add cooking oil to the hot pan non-stick pan and swirl it around. Once the oil is clearly rippling, add the cut zucchini and summer squash. Season with a little salt and pepper, and let sear for about 2 minutes.Add the green beans and cook with the zucchini, for about 4 more minutes. Season with a bit more salt and pepper.Dump your hot veggies onto the tomatoes in the bowl.On top of the warm veggies, place your washed and dried arugula, grated parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil.Toss the salad well, to make sure the croutons are coated with pesto.Serve!Balsamic Vinaigrette: More than just a vinaigretteTrueAt its core vinaigrette is a ratio of an acidic liquid, blended with fat. I believe it's supposed to additionally be emulsified, but I've worked in countless restaurants with non-emulsified vinaigrettes. <em>("Emulsified" means that the oil and fat were blended into a single slightly thicker, creamier liquid)</em> No one ever complained that their vinaigrette wasn't emulsified.<br /><br /> The standard ratio is 3 parts oil to one part vinegar. A very standard red wine vinaigrette, for example, one would whisk together 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add a touch of salt and pepper. This would yield 1/4 cup of "red wine vinaigrette".<br /><br /> There are upteen bajillions of different vinegars. Go to the grocery store and look at the vinegars and fats. You could purchase a strawberry infused balsamic vinegar and whisk it into a walnut oil, for example. This would give a far more complex taste sensation, but we're still dealing with only a very basic ratio. Are we cooking, yet?<br /><br /> We don't necessarily need to stop there! Lemon juice is also a very acidic liquid, much like vinegar. Oils aren't the only fats, either. Whisking 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice into 3 tablespoons of warm bacon fat and tossed onto a spinach salad would be outstanding!<br /><br /> <strong>3 parts fat ... to 1 part acidic liquid</strong> <em>(this is generally true, but I personally tend to do 2 to 1 for lemon juice and balsamic vinegar, which are less aggressive ... this for me is a personal preference. I tend to like acidity)</em>.<br /><br /> Armed with this very basic ratio, you can start really branching out and layering flavors. Imagine taking 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and whisking them together with another tablespoon of warm goose fat. Now, start whisking in some finely diced shallots, 1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard, 1 tsp of diced capers and some fresh thyme. Try brushing this onto a bunch of vegetables, before throwing them on the grill. YUMM-O!<br /><br /> Now, we can try another direction ... let's take light champagne vinegar, add a little sugar-free honey, some light oil, a few diced sweet onions and fresh tarragon. Try that on a delicate salad with some grilled shrimp and a few toasted hazelnuts. <br /><br /> We're cooking now!QuickSauces1 min0 mins1 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Balsamic-Vinaigrette-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Balsamic-Vinaigrette-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Balsamic-Vinaigrette-36tbsp84extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-207272000002tbsp31.88balsamic vinegar280.135.3800salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Whisk it!!Whole Roasted Pesto Rubbed ChickenTrueThis roasted chicken is a twist on a standard roasted chicken, or a chicken rubbed simply with herbs and oil. This chicken is rubbed with PESTO!<br /><br /> Not only is it rubbed with pesto, but the pesto is also rubbed UNDERNEATH the skin, so that some of the pesto is directly in contact with the meat. Roasting causes the pesto and oils to melt, mixing the fats from the pesto with the fat rendering out of the skin. This all bakes deeper into the flesh, yielding a plump and juicy bird. <br /><br /> The continued basting of the bird helps to give an additionally pesto flavored skin!<br /><br /> <strong>Note: </strong> A <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Juicy-Brined-Whole-Roasted-Chicken">brined chicken</a> is always a good place to start!MainChicken15 min45 min1 hr4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Whole-Roasted-Pesto-Rubbed-Chicken-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Whole-Roasted-Pesto-Rubbed-Chicken-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Whole-Roasted-Pesto-Rubbed-Chicken-31each1336whole chicken28862122280001/2cup193.88basil pesto, 2 tbsp reserved for bastinghttp://www.djfoodie.com/Traditional-Basil-Pesto853.1589.8311.626.8102.05salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat your oven to 425° F.Wash your bird and pat it dry.Season the outside of the bird with a healthy amount of salt and pepper.With your fingers, slowly and carefully loosen the skin around the back cavity of the bird. Slowly ease your fingers into the spaces between the skin and the breasts and legs. Be VERY careful not to tear the skin or stretch it to the point where it won't return to its original condition. You should be able to gain access to most of the inner-surface-area, without damaging the skin.Push a large portion of the pesto into the spaces between the skin and the meat.Additionally rub more pesto in the surface and within the cavity.With butcher's twice, tie the legs together, or cut a slice a hole into the fatty area near the tail and slide the two legs into the hole.Fold the wings tips behind the upper portions of the wings. They will lock into this position.Place the chicken, breast side up, on a rack above a baking pan with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.Place the chicken into the oven and roast for 15 minutes.Baste the chicken with the remaining pesto, and lower the temperature of the oven to 325° F.Roast for approximately 10 minutes further, per pound. A 3 lb chicken will take roughly 45 minutes to roast and a 5 lb. chicken will roast for a little more than an hour. Brined birds cook faster than natural birds. In all cases, continue basting the chicken, periodically. When the juices run clear, inside the chicken's main cavity and/or the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken is 160° F.Remove the chicken from the oven.Cover with foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes, before slicing.Tomato WaterTrueI'm a big part of one of the biggest farmer's markets in all of Mexico. When I lived there, I helped organize and run it. Now that I'm in Seattle, my role is limited to website updates and spamming customers. Whee! Spam is fun!<br /><br /> ... Ahem ... A year or so ago, the market had a sprawling organic festival and we wanted to come up with some interesting drinks. I suggested some tantalizing beverages made with tomato water, from locally grown tomatoes. I got a lot of strange looks. "Que es esto?" I explained a method by which they could puree the tomatoes with some salt, hang the puree in sacks of cloth and get a very pale yellow, very clear liquid ... containing the pure heart and soul of the tomato.<br /><br /> They balked. They pointed. They laughed.<br /><br /> So, I had to prove it to them! I had the market manager over to my home, where I made a small quick batch of the stuff. Below are the photos ... <br /><br /> I can't imagine anyone would ever do this, but ... I find it interesting and worth putting on the website. It IS a very interesting taste sensation. It's unmistakably tomato and is beautiful. Use it as a soup base, in clear beverages as a mixer, mixed into an interesting vinaigrette, etc. <br /><br /> Having a big bowl of tomato water lying around ... well ... it doesn't lie around long at Casa DJ!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Makes about 1 1/2 cups of tomato water.SaucesVegetarian5 min0 min12 hrs6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Tomato-Water-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Tomato-Water-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Tomato-Water-31lb454fresh tomatoes, washed, dried and coursely chopped82.3204.9917.4604.991 1/2tsp4salt000000Puree the tomatoes in a blender with the salt. Puree for 2 solid minutes.Line a non-reactive bowl or pot with a double layer of cheesecloth.Pour the tomato puree into the cheesecloth.Bundle the 4 corners of the cheesecloth together. With butchers twine, tie a knot at the top, leaving several inches of excess twine dangling. Be careful not to push the puree around too much, or it may bleed color through the mesh. You should now have a wet sack of tomato puree with a string hanging from the top.Place the bowl in the refrigerator on the lowest level. Loop the string through the rack above the bowl and gently raise the sack above the bowl. Tie it off, so that the hanging sack can slowly drip it's liquid gold into the bowl, below. Let it sit, overnight. The next day, remove the bowl. Tomato Water! You can use the remaining tomato pulp in a sauce or soup, if you'd like. It's perfectly good tomato stuff! (an alternate approach to this whole thing is to use a very deep boiling pasta/stock pot, with a stick or long wooden spoon spanning the top of the pot. Tie the sack to this and place the whole kit in the fridge, over night.Enjoy!Pan Seared Salmon with Veggies and Tomato WaterTrueI don't know what I was thinking when I made this dish. It was the middle of summer, tomatoes and other summer produce was in abundance at the local Farmers' Market and I had just made tomato water with a friend.<br /><br /> This dish is almost like a soup. Once you cut into the salmon, it begins to break apart and settle into the seared veggies, swimming around the pool of transparent tomato juice. It's so pretty and so simple and so light and clean, that it's clear it's an impossibly summer dish.<br /><br /> If you do not have the tomato water lying around, do not worry. You can either completely omit it, or substitute a mixture of half tomato juice and half chicken, fish or vegetable stock, seasoned with a bit of salt, pepper and lemon juice. It won't be clear, but it will approximate the taste and texture. Plus ... it'll still be pretty! <span style="font-size:24px;">&#9786;</span><br /><br /><strong>Note: </strong> I mention chiffonade of basil. It's basically basil that's been cut into strips. You can <a href="http://www.finecooking.com/articles/cutting-chiffonade-basil.aspx" target="_blank">see the method, here</a>.FishMain15 mins15 mins30 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pan-Seared-Salmon-with-Veggies-and-Tomato-Water-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pan-Seared-Salmon-with-Veggies-and-Tomato-Water-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pan-Seared-Salmon-with-Veggies-and-Tomato-Water-31cup239tomato waterhttp://www.djfoodie.com/tomato-water54.8803.3211.6403.322tbsp28light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut, olive or ghee)2424000004each6816-ounce fresh salmon fillets1273.4781.72136.20002each236small green zucchini or summer squash, cut into bite sized pieces38.742.928.0402.921/2lb227green string beans, ends and string removed, cut into bite sized pieces70.37.272.7216.1907.721/2lb227cherry tomatoes, washed, dried and halved or quartered41.1602.58.7402.516leaves6.4fresh basil, cut into ribbons (chiffonade)1.47.06.19.190.131/4cup54extra virgin olive oil (for drizzle)http://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20477.5540000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 425 F.Preheat a large oven proof non-stick pan, over high heat.Place your tomato water in a small sauce pan on the stove, on the lowest heat. We want to heat it up, but do not boil it. Boiling it will make it cloudy. We just want to warm to hot. On the lowest setting, it will slowly come up to the proper temperature.Season your salmon steaks with salt and pepper.Add oil to the hot pan non-stick pan and swirl it around. Once the oil is clearly rippling, add each of the 4 steaks to the hot pan, with the attractive side facing down. This will give the face a nice sear. Be sure the steaks are not touching one another and are not "crowded". There should be space between each piece of fish.Immediately transfer the pan to the oven and set a timer for about 6 minutes. (8 to 10 for a nice thick piece of salmon ... the goal is a medium rare to medium)While the salmon is in the oven, place a second large sauté pan on the stove to preheat over medium high heat. Once the oil is clearly rippling, add the cut zucchini and summer squash. Season with a little salt and pepper, and let sear for about 2 minutes.Add the green beans and cook with the zucchini, for about 4 more minutes.At the last minute, add your cut cherry tomatoes, basil chiffonade and a little more salt and pepper to the hot veggies. You really just want to warm up the tomatoes, more than "cook" them. They are more or less raw when served.When the 6 minutes on the timer are up, remove the fish from the oven and flip it, so that the nice seared side is facing up. Leave the fish in the pan and set it aside to rest and "carryover" cook, while the rest of the dish is coming together.Divide your hot tomato water into 4 soup bowls. Place an equal amount of vegetables within each bowl. Top the veggies with your salmon and then drizzle some nice extra virgin olive oil around the food.Serve!"Baja Style" Fish TacosTrueI lived at the southern tip of Baja California for about 8 years. I remember the local tourism rag <em>(dubbed the "Gringo Gazette")</em> hosted a cooking contest, to try and create a true local and indigenous dish. I read about it too late to enter, but it got me to thinking about what an indigenous dish at the tip of a desert state would be! Most all other famous Mexican dishes come from various other states in mainland Mexico. What was Baja's big contribution?<br /><br /> Turns out ... FISH TACOS! Aside from the fish, the other big difference is the contribution of a fairly standard Gringo-Style coleslaw. I could never really figure that one out. So, one day I asked one of my good friends, who was actually born in San Jose del Cabo <em>(one of the very few "true" locals)</em>, what the deal was with coleslaw. She said that because Baja Sur was at the very tip of a 1000 mile long stretch of land and that it's mostly desert, not a lot grows in the area. So, it's a lot of fish, plus whatever is shipped down from the states. As a result, mayonnaise and other US standards are quite common in the indigenous households of Baja California Sur <em>(interestingly including Hot Dogs ... which, while speaking Spanish, she called "Weenies", not "Salchichas", like most Mexicans. Made me chuckle, every time she said it)</em>. How do they serve weenies in Baja Sur, you might ask ... ? WRAPPED IN BACON!!<br /><br /> A really good fish taco is made with good fresh fish, excellent fresh salsa, your favorite totally average and non-descript slightly sweet and gooey coleslaw and ... ripe avocado!<br /><br /> EAT!FishMain15 min15 min30 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baja-Style-Fish-Tacos-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baja-Style-Fish-Tacos-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baja-Style-Fish-Tacos-32lbs908fresh fish (mahi mahi, yellowfin tuna, dorado, wahoo or any other favorite fresh fish), cleaned and skinned997.0222.25186.940002tbsp28light oil (peanut, olive ... or coconut!)2424000002tbsp30.5lime juice, freshly squeezed07.64.142.640.078each288low carb tortillashttp://amzn.com/B0053DJYOC?tag=lcrecipe-204802440560321cup95prepared sweet sugar-free coleslawhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Sweet-Coleslaw113.1710.431.345.5702.381cup220salsa mexicanahttp://www.djfoodie.com/Salsa-Mexicana43.73.132.5913.891.642.751whole136avocado, peeled and sliced2272131209salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Depending on your fish, you may need to cut it in different shapes and sizes. Essentially, you are looking for long strips of clean and super fresh fish.Pre-heat a hot non-stick pan or a grill.Once your fish cleaned and cut, season it well with salt, pepper, lime juice and oil.Place your fish into the pan or on the grill. If you're using a pan, do not crowd the pan, or you run the risk of cooling the pan down too much and "steaming" the fish, rather than getting a nice hot sear on the flesh. You can do this in multiple batches, or using multiple pans on multiple burners, at the same time. Once one side is cooked, flip it and sear the other side. Cook the fish to your desired doneness. It goes quickly.While the fish is cooking, you can warm the tortillas in the oven, on the grill or directly on the burners, and stack them on top of one another, under a thick warm towel.Serve the hot fish with warm tortillas and sides of salsa, coleslaw, avocados and fresh lime wedges!Curried Chicken SaladTrueI LOVE a good curried chicken salad. Thankfully, it's also so easy to whip up, too! The only real pickle of the whole ordeal is the actual chicken, itself.<br /><br /> When I was younger, I worked in an upscale deli for about a year. We had one of those big rotisserie roasters along the back wall <em>(great for your rump on a cold winter's day!)</em>. We'd roast chickens all day long, but ... at the end of the night, there were always a few left over. Those would get picked clean, the meat cut and chilled, then tossed into soups and various salads ... one of my favorite being this style, right here! <br /><br /> To this day, I still go buy those very same deli style roasted chickens and usually eat half, then pick the other half and toss it into pasta, soups and ... this recipe ... right here! Skin, dark meat, the "oysters" and all. <em>(point being ... leftoever chicken around my house is ALWAYS a good thing!)</em> It's yum!<br /><br /> You could just take 4 chicken breasts and/or thighs, coat them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, roast them at about 400 degrees until done <em>(about 15 minutes, with an internal temperature of 165 F)</em>. Let them cool and then cut them up. That's another way to get the chicken. You could also used canned!<br /><br /> I usually eat this in a lettuce leaf, like a wrap or taco, but you could also use some form of low-carb bread or pita, if your way of eating allows it.<br /><br /> Finally ... I do add some raisins in this recipe. "GASP!!!", you might say to yourself. "HOW COULD HE?!?! Aren't these evil little varmits basically little concentrated black sugar nibs?!" Well, it's not that many, and they're chopped up, so ... they more evenly distribute throughout the salad. In my mind ... little bits of sweet are integral to the curried chicken salad experience. It's just a touch, not enough to have any kind of major impact on your blood sugars, but ... that sweet little touch makes all the difference!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> If your way of eating allows it, you can double the raisins and even toss some diced apple into this. YUM!ChickenLunch15 min0 min15 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Curried-Chicken-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Curried-Chicken-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Curried-Chicken-Salad-31 1/2lb681cooked chicken meat, diced1628.4893.38186.760001/2small35red onion, diced140.53.50.51/2cp50.5celery, diced0000001/4cup36.25raisins, chopped123.25.251.2532.7501.52tsp4curry powder.8.04.04.160.081cup109.63mayonnaisehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Mayonnaise750.5483.452.41.33.25.081/4cup36.25slivered almonds, toasted210.518.2587.2503.752tsp10lemon juice02.540.880.041/2bunch50cilantro, washed, large stems removed, and chopped11.5.271.091.8701.45salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Mix the ingredients together.Eat.Smile!Smoked and Pulled Pork ButtTrueI LOVE Pulled Pork. I was born loving pulled pork. There's just something safe and comforting in a big bowl of soft, moist and tender porky goodness. While it does take a long time, it's also INCREDIBLY easy and almost impossible to mess up!<br /><br /> Beef Brisket tends to be Pulled Pork's more difficult nemesis. Pulled pork is far more forgiving, especially if you leave all the fat and shoulder blade in place before you smoke it. It just seals in all the moisture, which has melted all throughout the muscle. Breaking it apart with a fork ... couldn't be easier.<br /><br /> At its core pulled pork can be eaten alone, almost at weights measured in pounds, not ounces. A personal favorite of mine is topped with a sugar free BBQ sauce and some melted cheddar cheese in a bowl. So ... a BBQ Pork Bowl, if you will ... Hmmm ... maybe I'll make that a recipe. Yep! BBQ Pork Bowl ... coming soon! <span style="font-size:24px;">&#9786;</span> <em>(Don't you love how I type these things all stream of thought and what not?!)</em><br /><br /> If I've learned anything about roasting or smoking a pork butt <em>(the shoulder of a pig, also known as "Boston Butt" ... named after shipping barrels, a few hundred years ago)</em> it's that undercooking it is the crime ... not "over" cooking it <em>(also a crime, but MUCH harder to do)</em>. The trick is getting it up to an internal temperature between 195 F and 205 F. The funny thing is, it seems to want to "stall" at around 160 F, in my experience. It was also my instinct to get tired of watching it sit at this temperature for an hour and ... would get impatient and take it out of the smoker, let it sit and cut it up. It was good, flavorful meat, but it was always tough and couldn't be pulled. It was more like a roast than a sublime meaty lump of deteriorating shoulder meat. Eventually, I stuck to my guns and just let it go to 195 F. Shazam! Once it breaks through that wall around 160-165 F, it quickly blasts through the final 35 degrees and turns into a lusciously divine mound of bark covered heaven.<br /><br /> As I read more about this phenomenon, I learned that around 160 F is where all the internal magic happens. All the energy within the pork goes, not to a further rise in temperature, but to the melting and deterioration of the fat and tendons, which then oozes throughout the striations of the muscle.<br /><br /> Now I'm hungry! YUM!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> I was living in Mexico when I made this and was unable to find a standard bone-in pork shoulder. So, if mine looks a bit different than yours ... this is the explanation. Also, the butchers twine was to hold together the strangely butchered lump of pork shoulder that I WAS able to locate. Didn't keep it from being absolutely tasty, though!<br /><br /> <strong>Second Note:</strong> The high carb count is due to the brown sugar replacement. Feel free to omit this ingredient as it does little more than lend a touch of extra sweetness. Removing it doesn't dramatically alter the recipe and will allow it to drop to near zero-carb levels.MainPork20 min9 hrs24-ish hrs8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Smoked-and-Pulled-Pork-Butt-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Smoked-and-Pulled-Pork-Butt-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Smoked-and-Pulled-Pork-Butt-31/4cup60mustard (your favorite!)2.3449.52.965.8402.41small70onion, peeled and cut into big chunks280170112whole36garlic cloves, tips removed048012001each2724pork butt, bone-in (also known as "shoulder" or "boston butt" ... about 5 to 6 lbs)64204924680002tbsp14paprika40.461.822.107.8405.181tbsp5cayenne pepper17113012tbsp24brown sugar equivalenthttp://amzn.com/B001EPQQL2?tag=lcrecipe-201208024001tbsp2fresh thyme, chopped2.62.12.06.420.281tbsp6fresh cracked black pepper16014022tbsp36salt000000In a blender or food processor, puree the mustard, garlic and onion to make a paste.Wash the pork shoulder and pat it dry.Rub the mustard paste all over the outside of the pork, pushing it into any crevices that may exist. Create as thick a layer as is possible.Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl.Liberally coat the pork with the dry rub. If you have any that doesn't stick, save it and add the rest of it, the following morning.Wrap the pork in plastic wrap (or even better ... vacuum pack it!). Refrigerate it, overnight.The next morning, prepare your smoker. Pre-heat to between 215 F and 235 F (this can be done in an oven without smoke, and still tastes great, but ... loses that smoky quality). Depending on your approach to the smoking process, you can also soak some hickory, or other aromatic wood chips in some water at this point. Finally, put a drip pan filled with water on the rack beneath where the pork will go. Some of this water will evaporate helping maintain moisture and forming the outer layer of crust (known as bark) on the surface of the meat. It will also catch any fat, rather than causing flare ups in the fire ... or just making a big mess. Even if this is done on a pan in an oven, include a pan of water somewhere inside the oven.Take the pork out of refrigeration and unwrap it. Coat it with any remaining dry rub.Oil a rack inside the smoker. Place the pork on the smoker (not too close to the main heat source ... either set it aside or use a deflector) and close it up, maintaining the indirect heat somewhere between 215 and 235 F, by feeding the fire and controlling air flow with your damper (or just set the oven to this temperature and relax).Smoke the meat, occasionally adding aromatic chips to the fire, for roughly 1.5 hours per lb of meat. So, a 6 lb. pork butt will smoke for approximately 9 hours.Once the pork has reached a temperature around 200 F, remove it and place it somewhere warm and cover it with foil and a heavy towel. Let it relax for 1 hour, to let the juices within it reabsorb into the meat.Pull and serve!Chunky Blue Cheese DressingTrueMany store bought salad dressings have added sugar within them <em>(READ LABELS!)</em>. The quality on the ingredients can also be questionable. Whenever I can, I like to make my own sauces and dressings. It doesn't take as long as you might think ... and the flavors can just POP!<br /><br /> Within this simple salad dressing, the large boulders of blue cheese have a tactile smoosh in a way that only a good, ripe, moldy cheese can. Its sticky, icky, blue-gray crumbles lumping up the pungent dressing, makes for a perfect complement to a light salad ... perhaps with a bit of fruit for a naughty splurge!<br /><br /> Try taking this dressing and tossing it with some baby romaine leaves, some walnuts and a few cubes of apple or pear. Top it off with some more cheesy crumbles and it's a funky sweet paradise! Or, just set a cup aside and dip your carrot sticks into it.<br /><br /> Has anyone mentioned Buffalo Wings, yet? MMMmmmmm ....<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Will make about twelve 2-tablespoon servings.QuickSauces5 mins0 hr5 mins12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blue-Cheese-Dressing-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blue-Cheese-Dressing-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blue-Cheese-Dressing-34oz112quality Roquefort cheese, crumbled and divided413.2834.7224.642.24001/4cup61.25buttermilk24.5.523001/4cup57.5sour cream11111.251.252001/2cup109.63mayonnaisehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Mayonnaise750.5483.452.41.33.25.081tbsp14.94apple cider vinegarhttp://amzn.com/B001AIWAAE?tag=lcrecipe-20000000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000In a bowl, squish together half of the cheese and the buttermilk with a fork, until it's a bit of a chunky paste.Stir in the rest of the ingredients, including the remaining larger chunks of blue cheese.Season with salt and pepper.Serve or store!Honey Dijon GlazeTrueThis is barely a recipe. It's just two awesome ingredients ... swirled together forming a fantasmagoric mélange of flavors. You get the sweet notes from the fake honey, but also the pungent tang of the Dijon. The small uncrushed mustard seeds throw a texture into it that pulls it all together.<br /><br /> This "recipe", if you can call it that, is about as basic and versatile as can be. Brush it onto pork or chicken before grilling, season with salt and pepper and ... you're in heaven!<br /><br /> Add an equal amount of something like an extra virgin olive oil, a splash of vinegar, some salt and pepper, and you've got a GREAT salad dressing! Throw a few tomatoes in there, some cubes of ham, a few slices of cucumber and a couple of pecans and you've got a tasty little salad!<br /><br /> Set a little aside in a cup and dip ... well ... pretty much anything into it!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Recipe makes eight 2-tablespoon servings.QuickSauces1 min0 mins1 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Honey-Dijon-Glaze-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Honey-Dijon-Glaze-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Honey-Dijon-Glaze-31/2cup120dijon mustard, whole grain4.68995.9211.6804.81/2cup160sugar free honeyhttp://amzn.com/B004H4N59S?tag=lcrecipe-201000088800Swirl 'em together!Curried Pumpkin Soup with CoconutTrueI'm a pumpkin lover. I'm a nut for pumpkins. Ask anyone. Anyone that knows me will quickly respond, "Yep! DJ loves pumpkins!" It's true. I love fall and early winter, because pumpkins flood the marketplace. I love to carve faces into pumpkins <em>(watermelons in the off season)</em>. I love the giant car sized pumpkins you see at fairs. I love all the sizes and weird shapes they come in. I love to roast them and just eat them with a little butter, salt and some fake maple syrup. I love to steam the flesh and bake it into pies, cakes and muffins. I also make a "Holiday" flavored ice cream with the stuff ... <br /><br /> ... OH! And SOUP!<br /><br /> Back in the time before time, it was a favorite of mine to take whole small pumpkins and roast them. Then, I'd hollow them out and toss the soft orange pulp into a pot with ginger, onions, garlic and spices. Top off with a bit of coconut milk, then puree with fresh butter. Pour it back into the very same pumpkin! Curried Pumpkin Soup ... in a PUMPKIN! YUM!<br /><br /> I'm not going to put you through all of that <em>(as much fun as it can be!)</em> and assume most everyone is just going to start with some canned pumpkin pulp <em>(which is fine ... I love that stuff, too!)</em>.<br /><br /> It would be hard to beat a soup like this on a cold winter's day.<br /><br /> Ok ... on with the show!SoupsVegetarian15 min15 min30 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Curried-Pumpkin-Soup-with-Coconut-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Curried-Pumpkin-Soup-with-Coconut-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Curried-Pumpkin-Soup-with-Coconut-31tbsp14unsalted butter (or coconut oil)1110000001tbsp6ginger, fresh and diced04.8.121.080.123each9garlic cloves, diced01313001small110onion, diced440110021tsp2garam masala0701012tsp4turmeric, ground.414.16.322.60.841tsp2cumin seed, ground.447.50.880.221tsp2coriander seed, ground.365.96.241.10.841tsp2chili flakes.346.28.241.10.682cup470vegetable stockhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Vegetable-Stock0240600215-ounce cans840mashed pumpkinhttp://amzn.com/B001JEFIF8?tag=lcrecipe-203500770028113.5-ounce can381.38coconut milkhttp://amzn.com/B004PXUWJM?tag=lcrecipe-2081750.948.4410.13001/2cup112whole butter (one stick), cut into about 12 cubes888000000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Add your butter or coconut oil to a medium sized soup pot over medium-low heat.Sweat your ginger, garlic, onions and spices until the onions become translucent and the spices are aromatic (about 5 minutes).Add your vegetable stock and pumpkin puree. Season with a little salt and pepper.Bring the pumpkin to a simmer and stir all the ingredients together.Set aside ¼ cup of the coconut milk (for garnish). Pour the rest of the coconut milk into the pot with the pumpkin. Stir in the ingredients and taste. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.Bring the soup up to a slow simmer.Once the soup begins to simmer, pour the hot soup into a blender and puree at a slow speed (being careful not to burn yourself!)While the blender is spinning, add your chunks of fresh butter through the opening at the top, one at a time. Count 5 seconds and add the second cube. Count 5 seconds and add the 3rd cube, etc.Divide the soup into 8 large bowls. Drizzle a small amount of coconut milk onto each bowl. Serve!Cool Pasta SaladTrueI can't be the only low-carber on the planet that loves pasta. I suspect many also love pasta SALAD. It' s hard to believe you can eat a nice chilled pasta salad while low-carbing ... isn't it?! Well ... you can! <em>(at least most of you can ... some of the time)</em><br /><br /> Most pasta salads tend to get better as it sits in its juices for a day or two. Because this pasta has a protective matrix that breaks down if overcooked, I wouldn't suggest saving it or letting it "marinate". Make it and eat it fresh. That's the only way I'd trust it not to release too many carbs into my blood stream. Eat responsibly! <span style="font-size:24px;">&#9786;</span><br /><br /><strong>Note: </strong> I mention chiffonade of basil. It's basically basil that's been cut into strips. You can <a href="http://www.finecooking.com/articles/cutting-chiffonade-basil.aspx" target="_blank">see the method, here</a>.<br /><br /> <strong>Thoughts on Pasta:</strong> I'm using <a href="http://amzn.com/B004YN7Y4Y?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">Dreamfield's pasta</a> in this recipe. It looks, tastes and cooks just like any other dried pasta that you may have used. They use some kind of fiber coating miracle matrix that keeps people from digesting the carbs. I don't want to claim that this product is perfect or that everyone reacts to it in the same way. I have read reports from diabetics stating that it DOES impact the blood, but that it's a slower release than most other pastas <em>(meaning the rise and peak occurs later than it normally would, so ... check your blood levels several hours after eating it)</em>. Reports vary. Other diabetics have zero issue with it. Some low carbers claim it causes cravings for them, and others do not. Some claim it stalls them, others do not. My personal stance is that eating less than 2 servings at a time is acceptable and that it should be cooked as directed on the box, or even a little less. DO NOT OVER COOK <em>(this breaks down the protective matrix ... which may be why some of the diabetics report changes to their blood sugar. These folks may have overcooked it)</em>. I also suggest eating only occasionally, no more than once a week. I have found that eating this about once every 2 weeks is perfect. I have been able to eat this and continue losing. However, if I eat it more than that, I tend to start developing cravings for it, which ... is never good. A well maintained low carb way of eating should result in very few cravings, if ever. This is a product that can, in my experience, cause cravings ... if abused. I very much feel that this is a great product and has never held me back from continued losses, however it's technically for maintenance and is a very high rung on the Atkins ladder <em>(grain level)</em>. Eat with caution ... but also ... ENJOY IT. IT'S DELICIOUS!<br /><br /> <strong>Dreamfield's Nutrition Disclaimer:</strong> Due to the magic of the fiber coated matrix, a single 56 gram portion is shown as having 5 grams of digestable carbs. However, my recipe system isn't designed to display their nutrition information in the magical way in which they've been able to. As a result, I'm fudging the numbers to show 42 grams of carbs, with 37 grams of fiber. Technically, this isn't true, but it's the only way to have the math display numbers that match Dreamfield's claims.PastaSaladsVegetarian15 mins10 mins25 mins4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cool-Pasta-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cool-Pasta-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cool-Pasta-Salad-34portions224low carb pasta (rotini, penne or elbows would be best)http://amzn.com/B004YN7Y4Y?tag=lcrecipe-2076042816401441/2lb227cherry tomatoes, washed, dried and halved or quartered41.1602.58.7402.51/4cup60kalamata olives, rough chop27.53.353.534.2402.474whole110.92artichoke hearts in oil, cut into 8 wedges, each1329.43.5611.4805.62tsp5.33capers, drained and coarsely chopped1.23.05.11.270.1616leaves6.4fresh basil, cut into ribbons (chiffonade)1.47.06.19.190.131/2cup50parmesan (reggiano) cheese, grated215.514.5192002tsp10lemon juice, freshly squeezed02.540.880.041/4cup54extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20477.5540000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Cook your pasta according to the directions on the box, or just slightly under (do not overcook, even if you like to.)When straining the hot pasta through a colander, immediately spray cold water over the pasta, while it stays in the straininer, within your sink. Continue to spray cold water on the pasta until the pasta has stopped cooking and is thoroughly chilled through.Toss the pasta with a small amount of oil, to prevent it from sticking. Leave it in the sink, to continue draining.In a large bowl, assemble the rest of your ingredients.Add the chilled pasta and toss all the ingredients together, to coat the pasta evenly with all the oil and juices.Serve immediately!Rosemary, Ham and Swiss FrittatasTrueI make these things at least once a week. I really honestly don't know why, either! There is always a different flavor and the number of ingredient combinations is near endless, but ... it's easier and quicker to just whip up a batch of <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Poorly-Cooked-Eggs">Poorly Cooked Eggs</a>.<br /><br /> HOWEVER, I probably make these things as often as I make Poorly Cooked Eggs. It takes twice as long and requires baking, but ... it's just ... creamier ... softer, perhaps. More yummier? I think because there's more cream in the eggs and that it's baked, mastication becomes a slightly more sultry experience.<br /><br /> Doing it this way also allows you to make more than you'd be able to in a single pan. Portions are also easier to hand out ... they're just beautiful little baked eggy cups of delight!<br /><br /> I also will put them in the oven and go take a shower, while they bake. Out of sight ... I will then refrigerate the remaining little pucks of goodness for another day. They hold quite well and reheat easily!<br /><br /> I do recommend non-stick Teflon pans for this kind of thing. The frittatas pop right out, but in a standard muffin tin ... they're likely get stuck ... and stay stuck, unless you butter the dickens out of the cups, in advance. That's right. The dickens. Another option would be to use cupcake liners.BreakfastPork10 min30 min40 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Rosemary-Ham-and-Swiss-Frittatas-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Rosemary-Ham-and-Swiss-Frittatas-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Rosemary-Ham-and-Swiss-Frittatas-31/2cup56.8bacon bits20012240001/2lb227ham, cubed356.5316.0346.744.01001/2lb227swiss cheese, cubed862.4163.2661.412.09001tbsp2fresh rosemary, chopped2.62.12.06.420.284large200whole eggs28620262001 1/4cups297.5cream, heavy whipping1026.251106.258.75002tbsp30dijon mustard, whole grain1.1724.751.482.9201.2salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 400 F.In a mixing bowl, mix together your bacon, ham, swiss cheese and chopped rosemary.If you have seasoned Teflon or non-stick muffin pans, fill each of the 12 cups (possibly in two 6-cup pans) with a portion of the ham and cheese mixture. If you don't, spray the trays or butter them, heavily, then fill with the ham and cheese mixture.In the same mixing bowl, whisk together your eggs, cream, mustard and a small amount of salt and pepper.Evenly pour the egg mixture into each cup.Bake for about 23 minutes, or until puffy and golden brown.Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. They will fall, but they will also be easier to move around.Serve!Pork Scallopini with Bacon Caper JusTrueWhat a great way to ensure tender meat. Whack at it. Whack the "hey, how ya doin'" out of it! This works with pretty much anything and basically degrades the muscle to the point where "tough" becomes impossible. Yet, it still holds some level of shape, in the form of a very thin piece of quickly cooked meat. How do you do it? Hit it and ... cook it!<br /><br /> It's professionally done with a meat mallet, but ... I don't have one of those. I personally usually use the back of my knife and just quickly ... Machine-Gun-Kelly-Style ... whack at it with the back of my knife, running it up and down a flattened piece of meat. You can also use the bottom of a pot, which has more surface area. You ... cover more ground <em>(but do less damage)</em>. It's better if you put your meat between two pieces of plastic wrap before you attack it. The meat will spread out more evenly and it will splatter a lot less. I personally most often do this with pork or chicken, but ... beef, duck, calamari, abalone ... whatever. It will tenderize it all!<br /><br /> Once the meat is thin and pounded it is cooked quickly in a pan with a light oil. After just moments, it is cooked and removed, where chicken stock, capers, and bacon bits are added. This pulls the good bits off the bottom of the pan. Then, fresh cold butter is swirled into it, giving the jus a nice sheen, enriching it with healthy fats and ... thickening it a little!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> I came up with this recipe while eating a zero carb diet, rich in fats. This one is PERFECT for such a way of eating! YUM!MainPork15 min15 min30 min6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pork-Scallopini-with-Bacon-Caper-Jus-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pork-Scallopini-with-Bacon-Caper-Jus-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pork-Scallopini-with-Bacon-Caper-Jus-32each1135pork tenderloins(or equivalent pork loin)1237.1522.7238.350001tbsp14light olive oil1110000001cup224chicken stock or brothhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Good-Ol-Fashioned-Chicken-Stock15.68.302.241.52001tbsp8capers, drained and coarsely chopped1.85.08.17.410.241/4cup28.4bacon bits6100120001sprig2fresh rosemary2.62.12.06.420.281/2cup112whole butter (one stick), cut into about 12 cubes888000000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Slice your pork at an angle, so that you get thin, but long cuts. You want cuts about 1/2 inch thick.Lightly season each piece of pork with salt and pepper.Place pork between two sheets of plastic wrap. You can probably fit two pieces within each double sheet of plastic.Pound the pork with a meat mallet, large pot or the back of your knife. Pound until the meat is roughly 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch thick. Repeat this process until all the meat has been pounded. Set the flattened meat on the side, still wrapped between the plastic sheets.In a large hot sauté pan, over medium-high heat, add your light oil.When you see the oil begin to ripple, add your pork. Depending on how the pork was cut and pounded, you may be able to fit multiple pieces. However, you want a single layer of pork, with the entire side of each piece touching the bottom of the pan, for a nice hot searing effect.After about 1 to 2 minutes of hot searing pork, flip and do the same thing on the other side. Once the pork is nicely browned and cooked through, set it aside somewhere warm. Repeat this process with each piece of pork, until you have cooked it all.In the hot pan, add your chicken stock, bacon bits, rosemary and capers.Reduce the sauce by about 1/2, or until it begins to very slightly, but ... noticeably ... thicken.Turn the heat off the pan and add a small piece of cold fresh butter to the pan and swirl it around. When one piece of butter is about halfway melted, add a second piece of cold fresh butter. When that second piece is halfway melted, add a third piece. Keep swirling in the cold fresh pieces of butter, until it has created a lovely and luxurious bacon jus. (this is done in this manner, so that the butter is incorporated into the jus, without simply melting and forming an oil slick on the top of the stock. This slow cold swirling method emulsifies it into the stock in a method known as "Monté" (pronounced "Mont-tay")).Serve!Bacon Wrapped, Rosemary Skewered ScallopsTrueThese delightfully and deceptively quick and simple little scallop skewers come bacon wrapped and skewered with fresh rosemary twigs! The saltiness of the bacon really complements the sweet scallop flavor. The rosemary skewer simply imparts a mild herby twist to the whole thing, while also helping to keep the bacon in place!<br /><br /> I personally seared these in a hot pan, but in retrospect probably would've done them on a grill. I don't remember my logic for using a pan. The good news is ... both methods would work!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> I topped these off with some <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Orange-Rosemary-Compound-Butter">orange-rosemary compound butter</a> that I had in my freezer. Fantastic combo!AppetizersFish10 min10 min20 min6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bacon-Wrapped-Scallops-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bacon-Wrapped-Scallops-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Bacon-Wrapped-Scallops-318sprigs72fresh rosemary0000009slices225raw bacon1030.5101.25272.250018jumbo504sea scallops443.525.0485.6810.0800salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Remove the leaves from the bottom portion of the fresh rosemary sprigs. Save the leaves for another recipe.Cut the slices of bacon into half, so that each slice of bacon is half as long. You should now have 18 short slices of bacon.Wrap each slice of bacon around a scallop.Skewer the scallops with the bare end of the rosemary twig, so that it holds the two bacon flaps in place.Pre-heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat.Season the scallops with a small amount of salt and pepper.Place the scallops in the pan, with the flat side down. Try to keep them from touching one another. You may need to do this in two batches. You won't need any extra oil, because the fat from the bacon quickly renders into the pan.You do want a fairly high heat for this, so that the surface of the scallop sears and you get a nice color, without overcooking the scallop. After about 2 minutes, flip the scallops and brown the other side.Remove from the pan and serve! Would be nice sitting on top of a nice basic salad, for example. Or, serve by themselves!Spicy Hot Cocktail Sauce RecipeTrueCocktail Sauce is generally most often commonly a mixture of ketchup and horseradish. It's served with Shrimp Cocktail, obviously, but is also very common with oysters and other seafoods. The stuff is ... delicious ... for lack of a better word. Sweet and spicy. I love it!<br /><br /> Because most ketchups are filled with sugar, I've included a link to a reduced sugar ketchup, which is sweetened with sucralose. I'd be willing to bet that ... you could never tell the difference, but it makes a MASSIVE difference for the carb content of the recipe!<br /><br /> Finally, I like my cocktail sauce a bit on the hot and spicy side. So, this recipe is presented how I, DJ Foodie, like my cocktail sauce. Feel free to tone it down or ... inject it with more fire! It should be obvious how to tweak this one.<br /><br /> Enjoy it! This particular cocktail sauce recipe takes but a minute to make, but ... it's sooooo good!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Makes about a cup of Cocktail SauceQuickSauces5 mins0 mins5 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cocktail-Sauce-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cocktail-Sauce-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cocktail-Sauce-32/3cup171reduced sugar ketchuphttp://amzn.com/B002J9R7S8?tag=lcrecipe-20053.3305.33001/4cup60prepared horseradish24.6.66.6601.82tbsp30.5lemon juice, freshly squeezed07.63.132.630.131tbsp12tobasco sauce.48.04.04.040.041tsp5.67worcestershire sauce4.41001.11004each12garlic cloves, minced000000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Mix the ingredients in a bowl.Serve!Classic Shrimp CocktailTrueThis is a nice little appetizer. It's always delicious an always reads "classy". I LOVE a good shrimp cocktail! It's also really easy to make. It's really just a matter of boiling the shrimp, then chilling them and serving with cocktail sauce!<br /><br /> Many people do all sorts of things beyond these. Beds of lettuce, little lemon sculptures, the shrimps folded into one another, small shrimps literally mixed into the sauce, served like a soup, etc.<br /><br /> This approach is ... Classic Cocktail ... done in the manner of most restaurants that serve it.<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> These shrimp are essentially boiled in something resembling a quickie "court bouillon" which is a flavored liquid used for poaching stuff for a relatively short period of time. A common use of it is fish, like Salmon. I'm a HUGE fan of boiling artichokes in a court bouillon. It just adds a little extra flavor to otherwise fairly light or delicate ingredients.<br /><br /> <strong>Second Note:</strong> After bringing my liquid to a boil, I strained the liquid through a fine meshed sieve prior to boiling the shrimp. It decreases the "speckles" left behind by the Old Bay, but this step is completely optional.<br /><br /> <strong>Third Note:</strong> I used the 16-20 sized shrimp, because I like a big meaty shrimp. You can use a 21-25 for a more traditional size. If you do, cook the shrimp for about 4 minutes, instead of 5. You'll get more shrimp per pound!<br /><br /> <strong>Fourth Note:</strong> Because the boiling liquid is discarded, I'm only leaving the nutritional information for the shrimp.AppetizersFish10 min10 min20 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Shrimp-Cocktail-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Shrimp-Cocktail-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Shrimp-Cocktail-31/4cup61lemon juice0000001/2cup119.5apple cider vinegarhttp://amzn.com/B001AIWAAE?tag=lcrecipe-200000001/3cup38.4old bay seasonining0000001 1/2cup355.5water0000003lbs1362large shrimp (16/20), peeled and deveined (leave the tails on)1443.7227.24272.413.6201.121cup237cocktail saucehttp://www.djfoodie.com/cocktail-sauce89.95.64.7715.7701.97Mix all of the ingredients, except the shrimp in a medium sized pot over high heat. Bring liquids to a boil.Let boil for about 5 minutes. If you'd like, you can strain out the Old Bay at this point.Add your shrimp to the hot liquid. Stir the shrimp into the liquid, then turn off the pot.Let the shrimp sit for about 5 minutes until pink, but still very slightly transparent. (Do not overcook)Immediately strain out the liquid and plunge the shrimp into cold ice water to chill.When the shrimp are chilled all of the way through, drain them and allow them to dry.Serve with a cocktail sauce and fresh lemons! (this can be a large platter, or multiple martini glasses, or any other creative presentation you can think of)Turkey Sausage Stuffed MushroomsTrueI worked as a waiter, all through college. Tips were good and I got to play with food <em>(granted, it was a Greek Diner in upstate New York, but ... again ... the tips were good!)</em>.<br /><br /> They had these huge stuffed mushrooms that they would serve on hot sizzling trays <em>(you know ... the fajita trays ... with all the sizzle and smoke!)</em>. This place did a similar thing, but ... with stuffed mushrooms. Ultimately they were just big heavy cast iron pans which would splatter everywhere and burn me. Oh I hated those things ... but the MUSHROOMS were awesome! They were little more than cheesy breadcrumbs with garlic, herbs and chopped up mushroom stems, but they were big and plump and full of buttery cheesy goodness <em>(and breadcrumbs, which I refuse to romanticize)</em>.<br /><br /> I decided to go a different direction and ... really thought about it. I originally concocted this idea as a holiday appetizer. To be served warm and have some winter flavors and holiday ties. I came up with these and ... I'm glad I did. They were great! The goats cheese gives it a bit of an extra pungency that they turkey doesn't really bring to the table on its own.<br /><br /> Note: There was a special on "Truffle Goats Cheese" at CostCo when I made these ... Truffle Goats Cheese was a super nice touch!<br /><br /> A great little dish!Appetizers30 mins30 mins60 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Stuffed-Mushrooms-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Stuffed-Mushrooms-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Stuffed-Mushrooms-324large908whole crimini (or button) mushrooms, dirt removed with brush245.16027.2436.3209.081/4cup56fresh whole butter, melted4440000004each12garlic cloves, minced01604001/4cup58red wine, good quality49.32001.58001/2cup50parmesan (reggiano) cheese, grated215.514.5192001/2cup112goats cheese407.533.624.643.36001tbsp2fresh sage, chopped2.62.12.06.420.281lb454ground turkey67637790001large50egg7256.5.500salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Preheat oven to 375 F.Remove the stems from the bottom of the mushrooms. You can just twist them to pop them out.Chop the mushroom stems, so that they are chopped very fine.In a medium sauté pan, over medium heat, add about 2 tbsp of your melted butter.Add your garlic to the pan. Saute until very lightly browned.Add your chopped mushroom stems, with a little salt and pepper. Cook until water starts to come out of the stems. About 2 minutes.Add the red wine. Cook until the mushroom stems evaporate all the water and the texture is a bit like a cooked paste. Set aside and spread thin on a plate to cool.While the stems cool, in a separate bowl, mix together your turkey, sage, parmesan cheese, goats cheese and egg. Add the mushroom stems and quickly mix all the ingredients together.Place the mushrooms on a baking tray, with the hollow "stem side" facing up, like a small little teacup.Brush each mushroom with a bit of the melted butter. Season them with a little salt and pepper.Scoop about 1 oz of the turkey sausage filling into each mushroom. If you'd like, you can add a touch of extra parmesan on the top of each mushroom ... for a nice melted cheese crust.Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of your mushrooms. Should be browned on the top and cooked through. Remove and serve!Vietnamese Chicken Wings with Chili Lime SauceTrueI love wings. I've eaten at least a million Buffalo Wings in my time. I had a buddy who was from eastern New York and was a true wing connoisseur. I assume I'll put a Buffalo Wings recipe on here at some point, but ... not this time. I wanted to do something a little different. Vietnamese Chicken Wings!<br /><br /> These wings are super tasty. It helps to let them marinate for a few hours before baking them, so let them fully absorb the flavors. Serving with a side of the chili lime sauce just seals the deal for this particular meal.<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> This is actually vietnamese chicken wings for about 6 people, not 12. I doubled the number of servings, so that the recipe would indicate half the nutritional value. Because the marinade is thrown out, it messes up the math. In short, the nutritional values are actually for a serving size of 6, not 12.AppetizerChicken10 mins15 hr4 hours 25 mins12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Vietnamese-Wings-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Vietnamese-Wings-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Vietnamese-Wings-31/4tsp1.17guar gumhttp://amzn.com/B005HF068O?tag=lcrecipe-203.3300.860.861/4tsp1.5xanthan gumhttp://amzn.com/B0013JJZWG?tag=lcrecipe-205001.1701.171/4cup48brown sugar equivalenthttp://amzn.com/B001EPQQL2?tag=lcrecipe-2024012048001/4cup50'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000505001/4cup61lime juice, freshly squeezed015.26.265.260.261tbsp6fresh ginger, minced04.8.121.080.121tbsp5lemongrass, minced04.95.11.25001/2cup144fish sauce (nước mắm)50.407.25.76002each13.33green chillies, sliced into thin rings.084.18.790.372tbsp28light oil (peanut or coconut work best)2424000003lbs1362chicken wings and drumettes3023.64217.92145.16000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Combine your xanthan, guar and two sugars together. Mix them well.Combine the ginger, fish sauce, lemongrass, lime juice, chilies and garlic.Quickly whisk in the sugar mixture, until completely dissolved. Split the sauce into two halves. Reserve and save one half for dipping. Add the oil to the other half.Rinse the wings and dry them off with a towel.Add the sauce with the oil to a large resealable bag. Close the bag ALMOST all of the way, but leave enough of a gap to place your mouth on the gap and suck out the remaining air. Quickly seal the bag, before the air has a chance to return to the bag.Marinate for at least an hour, better for 4, but no more than overnight.Pre-heat oven to 425 F.Place parchment paper or foil on a baking tray and spray with non-stick spray. Remove your wings from the bag and discard the marinde. Evenly distribute the wings on the baking tray, so that they do not pile up on one another. It should be a single layer of wings, preferably not touching one another. If you need to use two trays, that might be better. It "bakes" them, rather than steaming them.Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove and serve with dipping sauce!Feel free to garnish with cilantro, lime zest, green onions and/or toasted peanuts.Pancetta Crisps with Goats Cheese, Oranges, Pecans and ThymeTrueThese things were tasty! Often times when I see something like this ... so dainty and delicately arranged, it tends to lose its soul. It tends to taste a bit like nothing, with a mild "plastic-y" vibe to it.<br /><br /> This one, on the other hand, was REALLY excellent! I can usually tell how good something is, by how quickly it gets eaten when I'm doing a photo shoot. The things I give away are good, but not my favorites. The things I save for myself are wonderful and usually good for refrigeration or freezing. The things that simply ... "disappear" ... without even getting to that point where I ask myself I whether I should try and save it, or find a friend ... THOSE things are the one I KNOW are good.<br /><br /> These didn't last long. They never hit my fridge and I KNOW no one else got any. They simply ... *POOF*<br /><br /> The pancetta crisped up in such a sturdy way, while still having a delicate "crisp" to them. The goats cheese lended a creamy tartness and the oranges just threw a brave blast of citrusy sweet into my mouth.<br /><br /> Really ... try this. Make it. I promise you ... you won't be sorry!<br /><br /> <strong>How To Note: </strong> The third step says to make orange sections. You can use <a href="http://www.ehow.com/video_2346007_make-orange-supreme.html" target="_blank">the method in this video to make orange sections</a> <em>(called "Supremes")</em>.AppetizersPork30 mins45 hr1 hr 15 mins10http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pancetta-Crisps-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pancetta-Crisps-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pancetta-Crisps-320slices250pancetta, sliced into wheels438.434.428.8.8001/2cup224goats cheese81567.249.286.72002tbsp30cream, heavy whipping102.6311.63.88002each280oranges1380036061/2cup49.5pecans halves, toasted34235.54.57052sprigs2fresh thyme.042.02.12.480.28salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat your oven to 275 F.Spread your thinly sliced pancetta wheels on a silicone mat or parchment paper, on a baking tray.Bake your pancetta for approximately 45 minutes, or until the fat has rendered out, the color has darkened and they become crispy.Remove the pancetta from the oven and place the crisp wheels on a bed of paper towels, to cool.In a small bowl, blend together your goats cheese with the heavy cream. Whisk it, so that it is nice a thick, but spreadable. Like a slightly soft peanut butter. Set aside.With a vegetable peeler, peel the very outside orange layer of one of the oranges. Probably 2 nice strips of orange peel are all that is needed. When peeling, be careful to only get the orange portion of the skin and not the white part, underneath. If you do pick up some of the white part (the pith), you can scrape it off the strip with a spoon.Once you have your strips, slice them into VERY thin strips, like ... orange hairs or noodles. Set them aside.Now, make orange sections, by peeling the entire orange, so that just the meat is leftover, within the orange. Now cut with the knife close to one white section, cutting halfway into the orange. Now, cut alongside the next white line, down to the center. Repeat this process, removing the sections between each white line, as you go. If any seeds come out in the process, remove them. Set aside.Make very small thyme sprigs, by clipping small groups of leaves with scissors or a sharp knife. Set aside.Spread your pancetta crisps out on a tray or table top. On each crisp, in order, add a small amount of goats cheese spread (I used a pastry bag, but small spoonfuls are fine, as well), toasted pecan half, an orange section, orange zest noodles and a small sprig of thyme.Serve!Seven Layer DipTrueThis dip is the mother load of dips. The Queen Behemoth. The big bad baddy of all dips. This is the dip that all other lesser dips aspire to be. If a dip were to come alive and take over the world ... this would be that dip. This is the dip to end all dips. This dip is ... THE dip.<br /><br /> What I love about this dip is ... how appropriate it really is for low carbing! It's full of ground meat, cheese, and sour cream. Sure, the guacamole, salsa and beans have some carbs, but not much ... especially if you make it with my "refried" beans recipe!<br /><br /> I do want to say that ... I made this dip in a sort of weird container. I wanted something clear, so you could see the layers. I actually suggest using something wider and more squat ... then layering and smoothing out each layer as you go. This will make it more pleasing to dip and ... less of a struggle.<br /><br /> All hail the Seven Layer Dip!<br /><br /><strong>Nutrition Note:</strong> This recipe took some creative fiddling to get results that seemed reasonable and honest. No guarantees, but ... I feel good that the nutrition results are close and sincere. Each of the 24 people served will get roughly 1/3 of a cup, with roughly the nutritional amounts shown below.<br /><br /><strong>Another Note:</strong> Photos taken with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Baked-Tortilla-Chips">baked low carb tortilla chips.AppetizersSauces20 mins10 mins30 mins24http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/7-Layer-Dip-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/7-Layer-Dip-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/7-Layer-Dip-31lb454ground beef115390.877.180004each12garlic cloves, minced01604001tsp2cumin seed, ground.447.50.880.221tsp2coriander seed, ground.365.96.241.10.841each6.67jalepeno chillies, seeds removed and finely diced.042.09.40.192cup400"refried" beanshttp://www.djfoodie.com/Refried-Beans4612824290171cup230sour cream4444558001cup200guacamolehttp://www.djfoodie.com/guacamole278234.721.7211.21cup227salsa mexicanahttp://www.djfoodie.com/Salsa-Mexicana65.57.163.1616.9523.361/2lb227cheddar cheese, grated902.4374.36562.75001/2cup90sliced black olives, drained93.936.3.95.402.7salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000In a large non-stick pan over medium heat, sauté the ground beef with the garlic, cumin, coriander and jalepeno. Season with salt and pepper. Break up the meat and cook until you have cooked browned ground beef.Transfer the beef to a wide plate and spread it evenly on the plate or tray.Refrigerate the beef until it is cold. And ... by cold, I mean COLD. When this dip is served, it should be served chilled, so that people don't get sick from warm dip. Building it with a warm ingredient is a good way to grow bad bacteria. Please, thoroughly chill the meat before you use it.While the meat is chilling, assemble the rest of your ingredients.In a wide serving bowl, spread an even layer of chilled refried beans.Evenly spread your cooked and chilled ground beef on top of the beans.Evenly spoon your sour cream on the ground beef. With the back of a spoon or a spatula, spread it evenly and to the edges of the bowl.Repeat the above process with the guacamole and then the salsa.Finally, garnish with the cheese and top it off with sliced olives!Chill and save for later, or serve in a bed of ice. You can place it on a table for guests, without the need for ice, but please don't let it sit out at room temperature for more than 4 hours.Enjoy with chips!Kickin' Orange Marinated Olive RecipeTrueThis marinated olive recipe take a little extra foresight, but they're a really pleasant and attractive twist to ... a bowl of olives.<br /><br /> These are perfect for any gathering. Just set out a bowl of them and people will pick and choose as the event progresses. The key component and ... strangely ... one of the most important aspects of the dish ... is in offering a small bowl or some other kind of "olive pit receptacle" ... otherwise you're likely to find weird little lumps all over your floor!<br /><br /> <strong>Nutrition Note:</strong> Because no one really eats the marinade for these ... I've omitted all the nutritional information for everything except the actual olives.AppetizersVegetarian5 mins0 minsA Day or Two12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Marinated-Olives-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Marinated-Olives-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Marinated-Olives-31each159orange0000001 1/2cups270kalamata olives, drained281.818.92.716.208.11 1/2cups270green olives, drained391.540.52.710.808.11/2cup108extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-200000001bunch28thyme0000004each12garlic cloves, sliced into thin disks0000001tsp2crushed red chili flakes000000Peel the outside layer of the orange, with a vegetable peeler. Try not to cut too deeply. You just want to create nice strips of the outer orange peel, while picking up as little of the "white part" (called the "pith") as possible. Set the peels aside.Cut the orange in half and juice it. Add the peels and the rest of the ingredients to the bowl. Mix.Transfer all of the ingredients to a large resealable bag. Close the bag ALMOST all of the way, but leave enough of a gap to place your mouth on the gap and suck out the remaining air. Quickly seal the bag, before the air has a chance to return to the bag.Refrigerate the bag for at least 24 hours, but no more than 3 or 4 days. Every once in a while ... turn the bag over.Remove the bag, place in a bowl and serve with an "olive pit receptacle" nearby!Low-Carb Baked Tortilla ChipsTrueThis is one of those Frankenfood type ideas, riddled with stuff you probably shouldn't eat if you're really trying to lose weight. However, if you're maintaining and don't have issues with gluten, and you're short on time and need a chippy crunch to go along with your salsa ... this SUPER easy idea is within reach!<br /><br /> These crispy baked tortilla chips are wonderful and completely fill the need for a solid tortilla chip. The last thing I want to do is suggest these are bad or evil, but I also always want to give my honest opinion. In my experience, these tortillas ... "gum up the works". I never really gain when I eat them, but they will stop any weight loss momentum going, that I have had had ... dead in its tracks. It seems like it takes a week to get things moving, again. So ... if you're maintaining and this fits within your daily carb allowance ... eat up! If you're on induction or really doing well with a big nice period of loss ... I suggest moving on ... and eat a salad!<br /><br /> <strong>Induction Friendly Tip:</strong> You can put grated cheese in a non-stick Teflon pan and cook it until it fries up. Then, scrape it out and place it on a plate to harden. Then, crack it into chips and ... this will also work to use for dipping. You can also melt the cheese in a microwave. Scrape it out and let the fried cheese disk cool, in place of the baked tortilla chips. This'll work, too!BakedAppetizers1 min20 min21 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Tortilla-Chips-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Tortilla-Chips-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Tortilla-Chips-310each360low carb tortillashttp://amzn.com/B0053DJYOC?tag=lcrecipe-206003050700401/4cup56light olive oil484800000Pre-heat oven to 325 F.Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges.Layer your wedges on a baking tray. Do not let them overlap.Brush each chip with a bit of olive oil.Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.Serve hot or room temperature. They're great, either way!GuacamoleTrueIt's always a bit tricky when you run a blog and you write recipes you know are in demand, or will be used in other areas, but ... you're not a big fan of them, yourself. As I understand it, my guacamole is delicious, but ... avocados are one of the very few things that I simply don't love. I don't know why! I appreciate them. I understand them. I've eaten hundreds of them, I'm sure. I just ... don't ... get it.<br /><br /> In any event, we don't need to get into my issues with the weird green eggs. This is a pretty standard guacamole, but ... it's got all the nutritional info and ... again, I'm told it's actually an excellent guacamole. Mostly you just need a really good avocado, some excellent fresh Salsa Mexicana, a few spices ... mix, mush and serve!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Photos taken with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Baked-Tortilla-Chips">baked low carb tortilla chips.AppetizersSaucesVegetarian10 min0 min10 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Guacamole-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Guacamole-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Guacamole-33whole408avocados, peeled, seeded and kinda chopped681639360271cup227salsa mexicanahttp://www.djfoodie.com/Salsa-Mexicana65.57.163.1616.9523.361tsp2cumin seed, ground.447.50.880.221tsp2coriander seed, ground.365.96.241.10.842tbsp30.5lime juice, freshly squeezed07.64.142.640.07salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Mix, Mush and Serve!Salsa MexicanaTrueThis is a pretty standard salsa recipe. I don't want to undermine the awesomeness of it, because it is truly great, but it's ultimately ... salsa. No big tricks, no low carb magic, just good solid ingredients.<br /><br /> Ok, I'm kind of lying. I just make these things up, as I go along. This salsa is AWESOME!<br /><br /> Use the best, freshest ingredients. Also, use a sharp knife when cutting your onions and garlic, so that they don't bleed and oxidize, giving that weird "old onion" taste. Fresh, sweet vibrant onions and garlic really help make this a tasty little salsa. I also DO somewhat cut back on the onions, because ... onions are pretty carby. There's just enough there, so that you know they're there, but without loading this with extra unnecessary carbs. For me, the big thing is fresh lime juice, a speckle of sweetener and enough salt to kick the lime juice's tarty nature ... right in the tail.<br /><br /> This salsa is ... well ... it's YUM!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Photos taken with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Baked-Tortilla-Chips">baked low carb tortilla chips.AppetizersSaucesVegetarian10 min0 min10 min6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Salsa-Mexicana-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Salsa-Mexicana-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Salsa-Mexicana-32each364large ripe tomatoes, diced660414041small70fresh onion, diced28017014each12garlic cloves, minced01604001each6.67jalepeno chillies, seeds removed and finely diced.042.09.40.192tbsp30.5lime juice, freshly squeezed07.64.142.640.071/2bunch50cilantro, washed, large stems removed, and chopped11.5.271.091.8701.451tsp4'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000440salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Mix and serve!"Refried" BeansTrueThese "refried" beans taste ... like refried beans!<br /><br /> I don't know why I resisted these black soy beans for so long. They just seemed so ... odd and foreign to me. Plus, I'd sort of written "beans" out of my life, so ... these things were definitely a source of puzzlement. Finally ... after about a year of knowing about them, but ... fearing them ... I saw a can of them at the grocery store on a visit to the States. I pick 'em up, threw them in my suitcase, flew down to Mexico and ... made chili! It was YUM!<br /><br /> Since then, I've really REALLY warmed up to these beans as ... BEANS! They're maybe ever so slightly different, texturally, but ... you'd really have to be focused on it. Mostly ... they're beans in all the ways a bean should be a bean, but ... with less carbs and more fiber!<br /><br /> I'd by lying if I said I've found total peace with these beans. I love them and eat them, but still cook them in ways to mask anything "soy-y" that might be going on with them. As a result, these beans have spiced and peppers and what not, but ... the end result was tantalizing. <br /><br /> Use as a dip, a side, in a taco or a burrito ... or to spackle that weird crack in the bathroom tile!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Photos taken with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Baked-Tortilla-Chips">baked low carb tortilla chips.</a>SidesVegetarian10 min30 min40 min6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Refried-Beans-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Refried-Beans-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Refried-Beans-32tbsp28light oil (coconut, olive ... or even bacon fat!)2424000001small70onion, diced28017014each12garlic cloves, minced01604001tsp2cumin seed, ground.447.50.880.221tsp2coriander seed, ground.365.96.241.10.841(15-ounce) can425black soy beans, drained and washedhttp://amzn.com/B000GZS9Q6?tag=lcrecipe-204202138.528024.51small74red bell pepper, seeded and diced22.940.744.4401.481each6.67jalepeno chillies, seeds removed and finely diced.042.09.40.191/4cup58.75vegetable stock (or chicken)http://www.djfoodie.com/Vegetable-Stock030.75001tbsp15.25lime juice, freshly squeezed03.82.071.320.07salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000In a medium sized sauce pan, heat your oil.When the oil begins to ripple, add your garlic and onions. Adding a little salt will pull the water out, and they'll cook faster (plus it tastes better!). Add your spices.Cook for a few minutes. I personally like to add some nice brown color to my onions, but it's not required.While the onions are cooking, drain and rinse your beans. Wash them well.Add your beans, bell pepper and jalapeño to the pan. Add some salt and pepper. Stir.Add your stock and lime juice.Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to very low.Let the beans simmer for about 30 minutes.Mash with a fork or any other mashing tool. Beat with an electic mixer. I personally used a food mill (ricer), which gives a nice texture to the whole thing.Serve hot, or chill to use as a dip!Crab Cocktail ThingiesTrueWhen I originally set out to do this, I was planning on doing a very basic "Crab Cocktail Shooter". I may, still! I went to the store to purchase my ingredients and additionally sought some shot glasses. They were not to be found. Instead I found a stack of plastic wine glasses, with the detachable bases. I thought, "This is for a party and ... these are clearly disposable. DONE!" I bought them, then changed the concept to something slightly more elaborate.<br /><br /> Now, it's more like a Mexican Crab Cocktail ... ish thingie ... in a disposable wine glass! Fun, huh?!<br /><br /> It's incredibly beautiful, totally light and incredibly delicious. There's no cooking involved and no big mixing of ingredients. The only real trick requires some knife skills, but ... even then ... it's not that big of a deal. Just use good fresh ingredients and you'll almost always win, almost all of the time!<br /><br /><strong>Note: </strong> Suggest your guests slurp it down. People love it when they look at something so pretty and you say, "Slurp!"<br /><br /> <strong>How To Note: </strong> The third step says to make lime sections. You can use <a href="http://www.ehow.com/video_2346007_make-orange-supreme.html" target="_blank">the method in this video to make lime sections</a> <em>(called "Supremes")</em>.AppetizersFish20 min0 min20 min16http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Crab-Cocktail-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Crab-Cocktail-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Crab-Cocktail-31each67fresh lime, washed03.82.071.320.071lb454fresh assorted fresh tomatoes, finely diced82.3204.4917.4604.491each6.67jalepeno chillies, seeds removed and finely diced.042.09.40.198oz227lump crab meat, drained and picked to remove shells232.043.3645.40001whole136avocado, peeled and finely diced227213120916sprigs15cilantro leaves, fresh whole3.500.750.5salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000With a vegetable peeler, peel the very outside green layer of the lime. Probably 2 nice strips of lime peel are all that is needed. When peeling, be careful to only get the green portion of the skin and not the white part, underneath. If you do pick up some of the white part (the pith), you can scrape it off the strip with a spoon.Once you have your strips, slice them into VERY thin strips, like ... lime hairs or noodles. Set them aside.Now, make lime sections, by peeling the entire lime, so that just the meat is leftover, within the lime. Now cut with the knife close to one white section, cutting halfway into the lime. Now, cut alongside the next white line, down to the center. Repeat this process, removing the sections between each white line, as you go. If any seeds come out in the process, remove them.Give a very course chop to each lime segment, resulting in about 3 or 4 pristine fresh lime segment pieces. Set this aside.Lay out 16 "glasses" on the countertop, then produce each of the following steps in each "glass".Now, in the base of each glass, add about 2 tbsp of tomato dice. Season with salt and pepper.Place a very small sprinkle of very finely diced jalepenos.Place about 1/2 oz of crab meat on each pile of tomatoes.Place the avocados on the top of the crab.Add 3 or 4 pieces of lime onto the top of each pile.Garnish with the lime zest and cilantro.Serve!Miniature Crab CakesTrueI'm really super proud of these crab cakes. I kinda feel like this is a full blown reinvention of the low carb crab cake! A standard crab cake is usually crab, which is held together with lots of breadcrumbs and eggs and/or mayonnaise. How would I do a crab cake ... without bread and ... without making it a FrankenCake?<br /><br /> Often, before I set out to create a recipe, I look to see if a similar recipe exists. There's almost always something similar. This gives me an idea of "what's out there". From there, I try and determine if there's a way I can improve it, or ... throw a "DJ Twist" at it, or ... often times ... I just leave it alone and move on. In this case, I found lots of low carb crab cakes, but they all seemed to do the same thing. They were all basically crab, with eggs or mayonnaise, but ... no breadcrumbs. This is fine, in theory, and probably tastes great, but ... in my mind ... it's little more than a crab flavored fried pancake-like omelet-thing, which ... again ... is fine, but it's not what I picture when I think of crab cakes in my head.<br /><br /> I want something plump and shapely. I wanted a full "puck" of a crab cake ... with a nice crust! This means, I needed something to serve as a binder ... or the "glue" that can hold its own and form its own shape, but not detract from the core "crabbiness" of it all. Hmmmm ....<br /><br /> Aha! Mousseline!<br /><br /> Mousseline is basically a catch all term that means whipped cream is involved. In this case, it's a fish mousseline, or even more specific to the pictures ... a SHRIMP mousseline! <em>(the stuff you'll find on shrimp toast, or within the shrimp stuffed dishes at Dim Sum) </em> Mayonnaise, a common binder for crab cakes is an egg and fat emulsion. Shrimp Mousseline is an egg, shrimp and fat emulsion. Kinda similar, but ... it'll hold its shape better and ... tastes like shrimp!<br /><br /> Don't fear and don't feel like this suddenly becomes a crazy advanced recipe. It's not. At all. All that's involved is throwing an egg in a food processor with some shrimp and a little salt. Then slowly pour some cream into it, while it's blending. That's it. Mousseline! From there, you fold your crab, seasoning and other goodies into it. You'll be left with a kind of ... raw lump of seafood gooiness. It's just thick enough to form! Here, you can scoop out little 1 portion balls, drop 'em into a bowl full of crushed pine nuts, form 'em into little pucks and ... fry 'em up in butter!<br /><br /> YAY!!! <br /><br /> <strong>Note: </strong> For the mousseline, you can use most any raw fish. I used shrimp, but you could pick up some inexpensive white fish, sole or haddock, for example ... or salmon, or scallops, or go for something expensive like lobster! It really doesn't much matter, provided it's cold, fresh, raw and not full of bones, tendons or anything else tough. <br /><br /> <strong>Second Note: </strong> The photos show the crab cakes with a Saffron Aioli. Soak a small amount of saffron in warm water, then pour it into a small amount of mayonnaise with a small amount of chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Saffron Aioli!<br /><br /> <strong>Final Note: </strong> Makes about 24 crab cakes, with a serving size of 3 cakes.AppetizersFish20 min20 min40 min6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mini-Crabcakes-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mini-Crabcakes-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mini-Crabcakes-38oz227raw fish, shrimp, scallop, lobster, etc.232.043.3645.40001large50whole egg, chilled71.556.5.5001/2cup119cream, heavy whipping410.5442.53.5001lb454lump crab meat, drained and picked to remove shells464.086.7290.80001small74red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced22.940.744.4401.484whole60green onions (scallions), cut lengthwise into thin strips and divided19.201.24.201.81tsp2smoked paprika6.74.3.351.310.861/2tsp1cayenne pepper, ground2.84.17.17.50.171cup202.5pine nuts1363.5138272707.51/4cup56fresh whole butter, divided444000000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Before you do anything, chill your food processor bowl and blade. The mousseline needs to be made in a cold environment.Add your fish/shrimp/whatever to your food processor with a small amount of salt (about 1/2 tsp.), pepper and an egg. Turn the food processor on.Through the hole in the top, slowly drizzle in your cream, until it is well blended. You'll have something that looks like paste. You may need to scrape down the edges and puree for another half moment.Scrape your mousseline into a bowl, and add your crab, bell pepper, green onions, cayenne, paprika and a small amount of salt (about 1 tsp.) and pepper. Mix well.Set your crab mixture in the fridge.Place your pine nuts in a plastic bag. A one-gallon Ziploc would work nicely. Roll over the bag with a rolling pin, or crush them with a mallet or the bottom of a pan. You want them crushed, but still somewhat whole. You're going to use them as a crust.Once the pine nuts are crushed, pour them into something like a pie pan. You want a wide bottomed bowl or pan. A fairly small casserole dish would work, as well.Portion 1 to 1-1/2 oz balls of the crab mixture and place them in the pine nuts. Roll them around, so they are evenly coated with the pine nuts.Pick up each pine nut crusted crab ball and shape it into a little puck in the palm of your hand, while twirling it with your fingers. It should be a flat puck, about 1 inch thick. Set them aside.Pre-heat oven to 350 F.In 2 large oven proof sauté pans, melt 2 tbsps of butter, in each pan.Over medium heat, place some crabcakes into each pan. There should be about a 1/2 inch gap between each cake. If you don't have room for all of them, don't worry.Brown one side of each cake. Turn the over, when one side has browned. Brown the other side.Once both sides have been browned, remove them and place them on a cookie tray. Brown both sides of any remaining crab cakes and place them on the baking tray.Bake the whole tray for a further 10 minutes in the oven. Remove.Serve!Crab, Asparagus and Pepper Mini "Un" FrittatasTrueThese fun little snacks are intended for a morning or early afternoon party, event or gathering. They're incredibly easy to make, attractive and delicious! They taste somewhat like a full and creamy crab cake. They're yum!<br /><br /> Usually a frittata (kind of a twist on the Italian word for "fry") is made in a single sauté pan, where it is like a large open faced omelet. It's often flipped, baked or browned on the top in a broiler. It is often sliced into wedges ... like a quiche <em>(minus the crust)</em>. This is baked in a mini-muffin pan, rendering it an "un" frittata. It's not fried.<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> This recipe is for a total of 24 mini "un" frittatas. However, for a full muffin sized frittata, reduce the temperature to 375 F and bake for about 15 minutes longer.AppetizersFish15 min20 min50 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mini-Frittatas-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mini-Frittatas-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mini-Frittatas-31small74red bell pepper22.940.744.4401.481bunch227asparagus spears, tough stem ends removed16.0345.745.088.4705.081tbsp14butter1110000002tsp2fresh tarragon, rough chop.042.02.12.480.283large150whole eggs214.51519.51.5001cup238cream, heavy whipping8218857008oz227lump crab meat, drained and picked to remove shells232.043.3645.4000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 425 F.Remove the seeds from the bell pepper.Dice the bell pepper into very small pieces, roughly the size of a small pea. Set aside.Cut the top inch off 24 stalks of asparagus (optional). With the remaining asparagus, slice small rings, each about 1/4 inch slice. Each little "coin" will be roughly the same size as the bell peppers.Heat up a sauté pan, on the stove over high heat.Add the butter to the pan, and swirl it around.Quickly add the peppers and asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Toss in the fresh tarragon. Toss it all together and make sure it tastes good. After about 1 minute, place the ingredients on a room temperature plate or pan. Set aside.Whisk together the eggs and cream. Add a small amount of salt and pepper.In a bowl, mix together the fresh lump crab and vegetable mixture.Grease two 12-cup mini muffin pans. Evenly divide the crab-veggie mixture between each of the 24 cups.Pour the egg mixture into each up, filling it just over 3/4 of the way.Place a raw asparagus spear in the top of each muffin cup.Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the eggs puff evenly and slightly brown on the top.Remove from the oven. They will fall. Let set for a further 5 minutes, before serving.Serve!Blackberries, Walnuts, Blue Cheese and Bacon in a Parmesan CupTrueThere's always the old "stack stuff on a chip" style of appetizer. These look nice, tend to be easy to prepare, are easily held in your hand and can be made with ingredients that don't take a lot of fiddling with. Short of the little parmesan cups, these only take a few minutes to prepare!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> The main focal point of this appetizer is the blackberry. All the flavors combined are excellent, and the overall appearance is beautiful, but when you bite into it, the blackberry will crush and will be the first flavor tasted. Make sure you get sweet, fresh and wonderful blackberries. They really make the dish!<br /><br /> <strong>Second Note: </strong> I mention chiffonade of basil. It's basically basil that's been cut into strips. You can <a href="http://www.finecooking.com/articles/cutting-chiffonade-basil.aspx" target="_blank">see the method, here</a>.<br / ><br / > <strong>Final Note:</strong> This dish is calculated for each of the 8 individuals to have 2 crisps, each.Appetizers15 min015 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Berry-Parm-Cups-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Berry-Parm-Cups-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Berry-Parm-Cups-31cup135blue cheese, crumbled, but not packed47739293001/4cup57.5sour cream11111.251.2520016each200small parmesan cupshttp://www.djfoodie.com/Parm-Cups107.767.269.81001cup144fresh blackberries, washed and dried621215081/4cup28.4bacon bits6100120001/4cup30walnut halves, broken and toasted196.2519.634.540216leaves6.4fresh basil, cut into ribbons (chiffonade)1.47.06.19.190.13In a bowl, combine the sour cream and blue cheese. With the back of a spoon, squish some of the blue cheese and combine each of the ingredients until you have a chunky paste.Place a teaspoon of blue the blue cheese mixture within each of the parmesan cups.Place a small amount of bacon and walnuts on each crisp.Top the pile with a fresh blackberry and some basil chiffonade.Serve!Parmesan Cups and BowlsTrueEdible bowls are fun! Before I decided to change my ways, I lived in a world of bowls made from entire loafs of bread and/or the occasionally massive fried tortilla. Those days are behind me, but ... that doesn't mean that the edible bowl has been lost on me! Edible bowls can still exist in the form of ... melted parmesan cheese!<br /><br /> This recipe is a little difficult to present in that different brands have different amounts of water within them (more moisture means a longer cooking time). Also, a bowl doesn't need to be tiny. You could make a huge bowl, if you've got the equipment for it!<br /><br /> Ultimately, the method is this: Spread a thin layer of parmesan cheese on the bottom of a non-stick pan and simmer over medium-low heat until its moisture has all evaporated and the color has somewhat darkened to a yellow-orange. CAREFULLY pry the hot melted fried cheese disk out of the pan and drape it over the top of an upside-down bowl. Do this quickly, as the cheese will begin to harden the moment it touches the cool air. Try and do it all in one swift motion. Let it sit there for 5 minutes, then remove. Cheese bowl!<br /><br /> In my case, I made very small piles of cheese on top of a <a href="http://amzn.com/B00008T960?tag=lcnotes-20" target="_blank">silicon baking mat</a> and baked at a low temperature for about 10 minutes. Then, I removed them and quickly pressed them into the top of an upturned mini-muffin pan, where they hardened.<br /><br /> Large or small, you can fill them with things like salads, other cheeses, fruits, etc. I wouldn't suggest filling them with liquids, though ... they're kinda leaky!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Larger ones are easier to form.Baked5 mins15 mins20 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Parm-Cups-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Parm-Cups-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Parm-Cups-31cup100parmesan cheese, grated4312938400Pre-heat oven to 275 F.Make 8 small circular piles of cheese on your baking mat. Pat them down and spread each pile, so that the cheese is even throughout the small circle. Each circle should have a diameter of about 2-1/2 inches.Place a series of 8 shot glasses, or a muffin pan, or a mini-muffin pan on the counter top, all upside-down.Watch the cheese. It will melt and start to look yellow-orange and will mostly stop bubbling, when it's ready. Remove the tray and with a thin spatula, or even a butter knife, pry each circle off the mat and QUICKLY drape each circle over each upturned cup. Be careful not to burn yourself, but be quick, so they don't harden on the tray or in the air. They should harden on the cups.After a few minutes ... remove and full with stuff!Artichoke-Pesto DipTrueThis dip is so easy and so tasty and so absolutely yummy ... it's so hard to believe that it's so acceptable for us to eat!<br /><br /> Artichoke dips aren't uncommon, nor are artichoke dips with parmesan and/or frozen spinach (all good combinations in their own right!). I just happened to have a bunch of basil lying around and a bunch of pesto in the freezer at the time. When I saw that ... the whole thing just ... CLICKED! I'm glad it did, too! The end result is a thoroughly delicious and filling dip.<br /><br /> Enjoy it with <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Hazelnut-Cracker">Hazelnut-Parmesan Crackers</a>!AppetizersQuickSauces5 mins0 mins5 mins8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Artichoke-Dip-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Artichoke-Dip-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Artichoke-Dip-31/2cup109.63mayonnaisehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Mayonnaise750.5483.452.41.33.25.081/2cup115sour cream22222.52.54001/2cup193.88basil pestohttp://www.djfoodie.com/Traditional-Basil-Pesto853.1589.8311.626.8102.058whole221.84artichoke hearts in oil, cut into 8 wedges, each26418.87.1222.96011.2salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Mix the ingredients.Serve!Crispity Hazelnut-Parmesan CrackerTrueWe have words like "crispy" to describe a certain texture. To really hone in on it, you can play with it and say something like "crispity crunch!" That denotes a slightly more positive textural experience. Unfortunately, I'm unaware of a word that describes the sheer delight I experienced when I bit down on my first hazelnut-parmesan cracker. It was possibly the most pleasing toothy nibble that I'd experienced on a low-carb diet. If a word like "beautiful" could be used to describe a texture ... I would describe these crackers as ... beautiful.<br /><br /> I tried using almond flour. Then, I tried a combination with half almond and half hazelnut. They all tasted great and all had a pleasing texture, but ... the almond flavor stayed evident and the crisp was never quite as beautiful. In the end, I decided that pure hazelnut flour is the way to go. <br /><br /> Being as excited with these gluten free crackers as I was, I shared them with many in my world, delivering little bundles of crackers and dip to friends and family. They're so lovely and dip so nicely. No cracking or breaking apart in the dip. Dip with confidence!<br /><br /> Friends and family loved them and wanted to know how "easy" they were. Herein lays the problem. They're not tough to make a small batch. However, a full baking tray yields something like 48 small crackers. They're thin and ... go down quickly and effortlessly. They take some time in the oven, which is where the problem comes in. You could put 2 trays in the oven, and get roughly 100 little crackers, but ... they'll lock up your oven for upwards of 45 minutes, before you could produce a second batch. They're easy to make and for a single batch, you can set a timer, but ... for a large amount ... for a large gathering, they run the risk of being time consuming.<br /><br /> All this said ... I secretly feel they're worth it! &#9786;<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> This recipe will make 1 batch for a single cookie tray, resulting in roughly 45 small (not tiny) crackers. Roughly ... "Wheat Thin" sized. For 2 trays ... double the recipe!AppetizerBaked15 mins45 hr1 hr4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Hazelnut-Cracker-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Hazelnut-Cracker-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Hazelnut-Cracker-31cup112hazelnut flourhttp://amzn.com/B005P0I322?tag=lcrecipe-207206816200121/2cup50parmesan (reggiano) cheese, grated, densely packed215.514.5192001each33egg white16040002each6garlic cloves, minced0802002tsp2fresh oregano (thyme, rosemary, sage and/or marjoram), rough chop.042.02.12.480.28salt, pepper and chili flakes, to taste000000Preheat oven to 275 F.Combine ingredients in a bowl, and mix until a ball of dough has formed.Crumbled the dough evenly around a greased sheet of parchment paper or foil. Place another sheet above it, and roll out the dough so that the crumbles form a single thin sheet of dough. Remove the top sheet and play with the dough. It's pretty malleable, so if there are any cracks, you can just push the cracks together. I also pushed the edges in and together and broke off "dangleys" and pushed them into the main body of the dough. In the end, I had a nice rectangular sheet of dough.Using a cutting/dividing device (pizza cutter, bench scraper, butter knife, etc.) cut through the dough to form 48 little rectangles. This isn't an exact science and you can adjust the shapes and sizes in any way you see fit. However, if you want precision, you can always measure the rectangle and do a little math. You can also use a ruler or some other straight guide, place it on the dough and run your cutting device along the guide. With math and a good guide, you can create a perfect batch of squares. I'm more rustic myself ... and wing it.Place the parchment or foil on a cookie/thin baking tray.Bake for roughly 45 minutes, but start checking at 30 minutes. It will crisp on the edges first. You are essentially looking to melt the cheese within the cracker, then remove the moisture. The cracker will darken and firm up. When the sheet is the same even slightly darker color, across the enter sheet (the edges and the center are all the same color), remove the sheet from the oven.Let the sheet cool, then pick up the crackers and snap where the perforations were cut.Crackers!Cranberry BBQ Turkey MeatballsTrueThese were something I cooked up for a holiday party. I got the idea from something my mother used to do, when I was a kid. She would bring these AWESOME BBQ'd meatballs to holiday functions. She had some kind of electric pan she's bring and plug in, fill with meatballs and set some toothpicks off to the side. If I had to guess, I'd guess they were store bought meatballs and the sauce was grape jelly mixed with ketchup, but ... memories of those little meaty orbs are fond, to say the least. <br /><br /> Moms rock. <br /><br /> These are homemade turkey meatballs, which are cooked with a fresh cranberry BBQ sauce. The end result is a tart, smoky meatball with excellent texture and flavor. <br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> The funky things you see sticking out of the tasty pile of meatballs are ... mustache toothpicks. I have two little cousins who convinced me that mustaches are all the rage, and ... I couldn't pass them up. Have some fun with your meatballs ... it's the holidays!Appetizers30 min30 min1 hr6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cranberry-BBQ-Turkey-Meatballs-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cranberry-BBQ-Turkey-Meatballs-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Cranberry-BBQ-Turkey-Meatballs-32tbsp28fresh whole butter, softened2220000001small70onion, peeled and finely diced28017014each12garlic clove, minced01604001lb454ground turkey67637790001large50egg7256.5.5001tbsp2fresh sage, chopped2.62.12.06.420.28salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste0000001each140orange6900180312oz336fresh cranberries155.780039.71015.271tbsp2fresh sage, chopped2.62.12.06.420.281/2cup128reduced sugar ketchuphttp://amzn.com/B002J9R7S8?tag=lcrecipe-2004008001/2cup119.5sugar free maple syruphttp://amzn.com/B000TO7U64?tag=lcrecipe-200000001/2cup119.5apple cider vinegarhttp://amzn.com/B001AIWAAE?tag=lcrecipe-200000002tbsp30liquid smokehttp://amzn.com/B007A3TBXM?tag=lcrecipe-20000000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 425 F.For the meatballs ...Sauté the onions and garlic, in butter, over medium-high heat. Add a little salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes. A little brown color is fine. Once this is done, set aside.Mix together the turkey, egg, fresh sage, salt, pepper and onion mixture. Combine well with your hands.Roll small meatballs with your hands. 1/2 to 3/4 oz. per ball (about 15 to 20 grams).Set your meatballs on a greased tray and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.For the sauce ...Use a zester or the fine side of a cheese grater to zest the outside of the orange (just remove the orange part, not the white part). Place the grated orange skin (zest) into a wide sauté pan.Juice the orange, removing the seeds, and add the juice to the pan.Add remaining ingredients and simmer until the cranberries begin to break down and the sauce thickens, about 30 minutes.Add your meatballs to the sauce and season with salt and pepper, to adjust seasoning.Simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve!Baked Pita WedgesTrueWhenever you need to dip something into something else, you need something with which to dip. This can be cookies, crackers, bread, veggie sticks, meat slices, cheese planks, etc. Even a finger can be used ... but you might get a few dirty looks. <br /><br /> One of the most simple, quick, low carb solutions are these crispity delights. Baked pita wedges! <br /><br /> These are everything you could ever want in a dipping vessel. The texture is perfect, the flavor is neutral and the carbs are low ... as is the time in the kitchen! Simply cut, brush a little oil and ... bake! Dip away! <br /><br /> Because I can never anticipate the type of dip you might be serving, I kept these basic. However, you could throw all sorts of interesting things into your oil, prior to brushing the chips. Herbs, salt and pepper, chili flakes, orange zest, chopped capers, garlic, grated parmesan, etc. Any of these things, in a small amount, added to the oil prior to brushing will add a subtle new dimension. YUM! <br /><br /> <strong>Note: </strong> The photos are taken with "<a href="/Not-Pistou">Not Pistou</a>", which ... is the best dip ever.AppetizersBakedQuick5 min25 min30 min12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Pitas-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Pitas-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Pitas-36each342low carb pita loafshttp://amzn.com/B0079OPEI8?tag=lcrecipe-207801566960541/4cup56light olive oil484800000Pre-heat oven to 325 F.Cut each pita into 8 wedges.Each pita will have a fold, where it's attached at the top ... like a binder. Snap each pita wedge into half, at the seam. This will effectively double your chips with which to dip!Layer your wedges on a baking tray, with the in-side facing up.Brush each chip with a bit of olive oil.Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.Serve hot or room temperature. They're great, either way!Not PistouTrueThis is the best flavor combination on earth. Shockingly, it doesn't involve bacon or ketchup, either!<br /><br /> It's a wall of tomato and garlic flavor, punctuated with the unctuous cheese, the bright notes of the basil and the texture of the toasted pine nuts. This is the stuff you'll find on the grilled bread at Italian restaurants. It's usually called "Bruschetta".<br /><br /> Now, let me say that ... I have zero recollection where I picked this up. It's just always been in my memory banks. Whoever taught it to me also said, "This is called 'Pistou'. It's like a French pesto." So, I've echoed that same information to everyone I've made it for. Oh, how wrong I've been!<br /><br /> I just looked up the actual definition of "Pistou" and ... it's basically traditional Genovese Pesto, but with the absence of pine nuts. THIS stuff ... whatever you call it ... has both pine nuts AND a healthy dose of raw diced tomatoes!<br /><br /> Again, this is truly a fantastic flavor. This is great as a dip. It's also fantastic tossed with a little pasta (hot or cold). Slather this stuff on a chicken breast and ... you'll quickly understand its allure. Frankly ... give me a spoon ... I'll eat this stuff from a bowl! Whatever it is ... <br /><br /> It's "Not Pistou".<br / ><br / > <strong>Note: </strong> I mention chiffonade of basil. It's basically basil that's been cut into strips. You can <a href="http://www.finecooking.com/articles/cutting-chiffonade-basil.aspx" target="_blank">see the method, here</a>.<br /><br /> <strong>Second Note: </strong> The photos are taken with "<a href="/Baked-Pitas">Baked Pita Wedges</a>", which ... are just awesome.SaucesVegetarian10 min0 min10 min12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Not-Pistou-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Not-Pistou-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Not-Pistou-32lb908fresh assorted tomatoes, diced164.6409.9834.9209.982cups141fresh basil, cut into chiffonade (about a large bunch's worth)1.4132.434.234.2302.824each12garlic clove, minced01604001cup135pine nuts, toasted and coursely chopped909921818052cups200parmesan cheese, grated86258768001/4cup61lemon juice, freshly squeezed015.26.265.260.261cup216extra virgin olive oil, good qualityhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-2019102160000salt and pepper, to taste000000Blend the ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper (this recipe can handle a good amount of salt)Serve!Prosciutto Wrapped MozzarellaTrueThis is a very simple appetizer or finger food. It consists of only 3 ingredients and requires zero cooking. The only tricky part is finding the ingredients!<br /><br /> These came about while thinking about parties and entertaining. These would be great as a minimalist's appetizer. They would also look lovely spread on a tray, where they could be passed around or set at a table, while people graze around it. They do not really need anything to hold them together, but you may add a toothpick to each one, should you serve them at a party. This helps keep distance between food and ... fingers.<br /><br /> <strong>Note: </strong> I've used Ciliegine <em>(cherry sized) </em> balls of mozzarella, but you could use larger ones <em> (bocconcini) </em>. if you can't find the proper size of fresh mozzarella, you can always buy a nice sized log or ball and cut cubes. That would look just as nice!AppetizersQuick15 min0 min15 min6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Proscuitto-Wrapped-Mozzarella-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Proscuitto-Wrapped-Mozzarella-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Proscuitto-Wrapped-Mozzarella-36thin slices180prosciutto420304800018leaves7.2fresh basil1.65.07.21.210.1518each252mozzarella, ciliegine5604040000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Cut each slice of prosciutto to about 1 inch wide (about the width of a ball of mozzarella).Lay down your cut strips of prosciutto, side-by-side.Place a basil leave at the end of each strip.Place a mozzarella ball on top of each basil leaf.Dust the mozzarella with a little salt and pepper.Roll into the prosciutto.Serve!Baked Cocoa NutsTrueWhat's better than a big bowl of sweet chocolaty nuts? Ok, I admit it ... lots of things, but ... that doesn't mean that this tasty assorted nuts mix is bad. They're awesome!<br /><br /> These are perfect for any social gathering. Just lie them out there for people to eat! I'm a big fan of "the twist" and tend to throw a slightly outlandish ingredient into things. I like to surprise! If you want to keep these nuts more traditional, simply omit the cayenne and you'll have a sweet tasty bowl of nuts!AppetizersDessertsVegetarian5 mins90 mins1 hr 35 mins12http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Cocoa-Nuts-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Cocoa-Nuts-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Baked-Cocoa-Nuts-31tbsp14unsalted butter1001100001each33egg white16040001/4cup21.5unsweetened cocoa powder494.54.2512.507.251/4cup50'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000505002tsp4cinnamon, ground9.88.04.163.2402.121/2tsp1nutmeg, freshly ground5.25.36.06.490.211tsp6salt0000001/2tsp1cayenne pepper, ground2.84.17.17.50.171cup143almonds, whole8227130310171cup99pecans, halves684719140101cup100walnuts, halves65465151407Pre-heat oven to 225 F.Grease a baking tray with a small amount of butter.Whisk your egg white, until frothy.Combine your dry ingredients and mix them, well.Add the nuts, whipped egg whites and dried ingredients to a large mixing bowl and toss until very well coated.Evenly layer the nuts on the tray. Evenly distribute them, so they roast and toast evenly.Roast for 90 minutes.Remove from oven and allow to cool, completely.Break apart and serve!Hot and Spicy MacadamiasTrueThese hot and spicy macadamias came to be because I was trying to think of safe tasty treats to have lying around for a festive get together. This really fit the bill!<br /><br /> They don't need refrigeration, so they can just "sit around". They don't need sticks or toothpicks. They're not particularly sloppy (although napkins would help, the red spices do stick to finger tips), and they don't need a lot of garnish or fuss. They're even really super easy to make! Just toast, toss with a little butter in a pan, throw in your spices and lemon juice ... toss, toss, toss ... DONE!<br /><br /> These are a hot and spicy, with a slight exotic twist and a tart finish ... thanks to the cumin and lemon. I'm not a huge fan of nuts, as a general rule, but ... these things were addictive!AppetizersVegetarian15 min5 hr20 min16http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spicy-Macadamias-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spicy-Macadamias-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spicy-Macadamias-34cups536macadamia nuts, raw384840844760481each108lemon07.63.132.630.131tbsp7smoked paprika20.23.911.053.9202.591tbsp5cayenne pepper17113011tbsp18salt0000001tsp2cumin seed, ground.447.50.880.222tbsp28unsalted butter222000000Pre-heat oven to 350° F.Place macadamias on a baking tray and place into the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until toasted.Set up a nice "landing vessel" consisting of a large plate or platter, covered with paper towels. This will later catch the hot macadamias and absorb any extra fat, while they cool. Set this aside.Use a zester or the fine side of a cheese grater to zest the outside of the lemon (just remove the yellow layer, not the white part)Juice the lemon, and set the juice aside.In a bowl, blend the smoked paprika, cayenne, salt and cumin. Add your lemon zest to the spices and blend in.Place a large sauté pan on the stove, over medium-high heat. Get it hot.Once your macadamia nuts are toasted, remove from the oven and add to the hot pan.Immediately add your butter to the pan and sauté until the butter is melted. It may brown a little. This is a good thing.Spread your spice mix over the nuts and toss to evenly distribute the spices around the nuts.Add your lemon juice and quickly toss, until the "sizzle" has stopped (all the water has evaporated ... you want this process hot!).Once the nuts are covered and the lemon juice has evaporated, evenly layer your macadamia nuts on the paper towels. You want them one layer thick. If they are piled, they will trap hot air and water vapor between them, where they will steam and won't get as nice of a crunch.Once they've completely cooled ... serve!Shrimp Salad Endive Spears with Celery Leaf SaladTrueThis is an elegant little appetizer. These could also serve well on a platter for a party in your home. They're attractive, delicious AND low carb! This is the kind of dish that I love. It's completely low carb, but no one would ever second guess it. It just looks light and delicious!<br /><br /> I've also done something kind of fun and used the celery leaves as part of the salad. These usually wind up in the trash, but .... Why? They're beautiful and delicious! Just make sure you stick with the lighter shades, near the heart of the celery. They're less bitter and not as fibrous.AppetizersFish30 min0 min30 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Shrimp-Salad-Endive-Spears-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Shrimp-Salad-Endive-Spears-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Shrimp-Salad-Endive-Spears-31lb454shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked9.08481.2490.84.540.281cup109.63mayonnaisehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Mayonnaise750.5483.452.41.33.25.081/4cup60dijon mustard, whole grain2.3449.52.965.8402.41/2cup70onion, fine diced28017011/4cup25celery, fine diced401.750.51/4cup32carrot, fine diced130.253011bunch8tarragon, stems removed23.6.61.824.020.591handful8celery heart leaves23.6.61.824.020.593heads1539belgian endive26131851048salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000First 4 steps are done in advance. Cut your shrimp into small bite sized pieces. Set aside to chill.Mix together your mayonnaise and dijon. Set aside, to chill.Combine your onions, celery and carrots. Set aside, to chill.Mix together your whole leaves of tarragon and soft light green celery leaves, from the heart. Could also use dill, fennel fronds, mache, chervil or parsley leaves. Cover with a moist towel and set aside, to chill.When the time comes to serve, cut the bottoms off your endive. Cut about 1/2 inch from the base of the endive. Look for 24 nice big spears. With some of the unused smaller spears, you can slice them thin and add them to the shrimp salad (not too much, though ... endive can be bitter).Take a small portion of the dijon mayo and spread it along the bottom of a plate or platter, to serve as a "glue" for the endive. This will help hold them in place, or else they like to roll around.In a mixing bowl, blend the shrimp, the remainder of the dijon mayo and the veggies. Season with a little salt and pepper. Mix well.Add a nice spoonful of salad to each endive spear.Please each spear on the plate or platter.Top each spear with a small amount of salad.Serve!Strawberry ShortcakeTrueStrawberry Shortcake is ... for lack of a better term ... scrumtrulescent. It's the hibbity dibbity. It's really just the absolute best. I don't know if the following statement is true, but ... in my mind ... it's a true American classic. It's wonderful, delicious and amazing, all at the same time. It's also something we can eat. YAY!<br /><br /> Older American recipes actually used pie dough scraps. Then, somewhere, it evolved into more of a sweetened biscuit or "scone" like pastry. It had "short"ning cut into the flour, then was baked and topped with strawberries. Somewhere along the way, it evolved into more of a spongecake-like creature. Those sweet little hockey pucks next to the berries helped this along, I'm sure.<br /><br /> I'm using a pound cake; somewhat of a cross between the sponge cake and a biscuit. It's cakey, but dense and not quite as sweet as a sponge cake. I also recommend using whipped cream with this, but in the photos, I was being wacky and served them with a toasted almond-lemon-thyme ice cream <em>(secret recipe ... <a href=http://djfoodie.com/Creme-Anglais-Vanilla-Custard-Sauce tartet="_blank">hint</a> ...) </em>. The tartness from the ice cream and the warm slices of pound cake were really just a great twist to what I want to call a true American classic.<br /><br /> <strong>Note: </strong> Sugar has a very slight thickening ability. Most sugar free sweeteners do not. As a result, if you use the guar gum in this recipe, it will slightly thicken the berry juices that will develop and it will be just a shade closer to the strawberry shortcake that you know and love. If you use the guar gum, blend the guar with a powdered sugar equivalent, prior to adding to the strawberries. This will evenly distribute the guar throughout the sweetener powder and will be less likely to clump. If you're using a liquid sweetener, then try and "dust" the strawberries with the guar and quickly mix them, to prevent clumping.Desserts5 min30 hr35 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Strawberry-Shortcake-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Strawberry-Shortcake-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Strawberry-Shortcake-31/4cup50'Swerve' or other sugar equivalenthttp://www.swervesweetener.com/117-4-1-35.html000505001/4tsp1.17guar gum (optional)http://amzn.com/B005HF068O?tag=lcrecipe-203.3300.860.861 1/2cup249strawberries, washed, quartered and stems removed79.501.519.504.51tsp4vanilla extract11.5400.5001dash0salt0000004slices349pound cakehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Pound-Cake913.9771.223.68134.837547.764large133dollops whipped creamhttp://www.djfoodie.com/Whipped-Cream416.27442.54.75101/4cup36.25slivered almonds, toasted210.518.2587.2503.75Mix the strawberries, sweetener, optional guar gum, vanilla and a dash of salt in a bowl and set in the counter for about 30 minutes, while you heat up the pound cake and whip the cream.Once some juices have formed in the strawberries, place a slice of pound cake on a plate. Add strawberries and their juices. Then top with a healthy dollop of whipped cream!Grilled Peach-Vanilla Pork SkewersTrueThis is a very simple and basic fruit and meat skewer, but that doesn't make it any less delicious! I wouldn't recommend eating a lot of these, due to the fruit, but I like to eat these kinds of things, from time to time, just because I can. It reminds me that I'm not confined to a fruitless world.<br /><br /> Another slightly interesting twist is the inclusion of vanilla. Vanilla and pork may sound a bit twisty and weird to you, but I assure you ... it's delicious! There's also a very slight addition of brown "sugar" to boost the sweetness.<br /><br /> Overall a great little dish! Serve with a salad and call some friends!AppetizersPork10 min20 min30 min6http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pork-Peach-Skewers-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pork-Peach-Skewers-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pork-Peach-Skewers-31each537pork tenderloin roast, cut into strips585171080002each350large peaches, pit removed and cut into 9 wedges, each135.941.563.1234.3804.691tbsp12vanilla extract34.62001.5001tbsp12brown sugar equivalenthttp://amzn.com/B001EPQQL2?tag=lcrecipe-206040120018each0bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes000000salt and pepper, to taste0000002tbsp28coconut oil, for grillinghttp://amzn.com/B003QDRJXY?tag=lcrecipe-20242400000Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl, except the oil, salt and pepper.Thread the pork and peaches on the bamboo skewers, weaving the skewer in and out, down the center of each strip of pork, being careful not to break apart the peach wedges.Pre-heat a grill.Season the skewers with salt and black pepper.Once the grill is hot, brush it with oil and quickly place your pork on the grill.Grill each skewer, until it's nicely seared and cooked through.Serve!HarissaTrueI don't remember where I was when I first tasted Harissa, sad to say. Some part of me just feels like it's always been there when I've needed it. It's a spicy, exotic, complex blend of spices hailing from Tunisia (Northern Africa). <br /><br /> Harissa is strongly chili based, using the piri piri chile in Tunisia. Mine still has a kick to it, but the spice has dropped back to basic cayenne, while the cumin has really been brought forward. Perhaps it's not a true Harissa, but I tend to prefer it balanced this way. It's still pretty fantastic, whatever you want to call it! <br /><br /> Normally, I'm a bit of a purist and prefer my meats and veggies to taste like their natural flavors. However, harissa is so overwhelmingly delicious, that ... when I use it on something, IT is what I want to taste! It's a sumptuous bounty of flavor! <br /><br /> I really can't think of anything that couldn't benefit from a dab of harissa. It's amazing as a marinade and a sauce. It's great on all meats and fishes. It's wonderful on veggies. I've even drizzled it all over pizza! Probably not great on ice cream, but ... that may be its only limitation. Try it. You'll be glad you did! <br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Served with a <a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Spiced-Lamb-Rack">Tunisian Lamb Rack</a>, in the photos.Sauces5 min0 min5 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Harissa-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Harissa-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Harissa-32tbsp12cumin seed, ground2.644505.2801.321tbsp5cayenne pepper17113011tbsp6coriander seed, ground1.0817.88.723.302.521tbsp6caraway seed, ground2021.2302.281tbsp18salt0000001/4cup22fresh mint, chopped9.68.22.661.7601.541/4cup22fresh cilantro, chopped5.06.22.44.880.662tbsp30.5lemon juice, freshly squeezed07.63.132.630.131/2cup108olive oil, good quality95510800004each12garlic cloves, minced0160400In a bowl ... blend.Serve with stuff! (Just make sure you stir it, before you serve it. The goodies tend to settle at the bottom.)Tunisian Spiced Rack of LambTrueA friend of mine was the chef at a Kosher Tunisian restaurant in Los Angeles. He was always talking about the food and influence from that region of the world. It's north Africa, but with strong European ties, especially with the French. Sounds pretty interesting, right? The food is a kind of spicy Mediterranean. Yum, right? I'd never really heard of "Tunisia" ... short of its involvement in those famous books with Witches, Lions and Bed Knobs.<br /><br /> In any event, I did a little snooping of my own and decided that the area was worth knowing about!<br /><br /> What follows is a fairly simple, but fantastically delicious, Tunisian Inspired Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb. The photos contain the sauce known as "<a href="http://www.djfoodie.com/Harissa">Harissa</a>".<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Most lamb racks are purchased already cleaned (meaning the bones have the fat and sinue removed, from between them), but if you get the full rack, you can <a href=" http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_french_a_rack_of_lamb/" target="_blank">learn how to "French" a Rack of Lamb, here</a>.BeefMain10 min25 min2 hrs-ish4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spiced-Lamb-Rack-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spiced-Lamb-Rack-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Spiced-Lamb-Rack-31each108lemon07.63.132.630.131tsp2coriander seed, ground5.96.36.241.10.841tsp2caraway seed, ground6.66.3.410.761/2tsp1cumin seed, ground.223.750.440.111/2tsp1cayenne pepper, ground2.84.17.17.50.174each12garlic cloves, minced01604002tbsp28light olive oil2424000002each1589lamb racks, cleaned (Frenched)2546.61129.79319.2000salt, to taste000000Zest the lemon with a zester, or the fine side of a cheese grater. You can even use a vegetable peeler to remove the yellow outer layer of the lime. Do not use the white part, though (it's called the "pith" and ... it's bitter). Just get the yellow skin on the surface. If you use a peeler, make sure it's chopped fine. It's a strong flavor, so only add about 1 tsp to a large mixing bowl.Juice the lemon and add to the bowl, along with the remaining ingredients (except the lamb). Mix the spice blend together.Add the cleaned lamb racks to the bowl and thoroughly coat the racks with the spice blend.Lamb racks are usually thinner on one side, than the other. In addition, it's generally good form to bring meats up to a warmer and more relaxed temperature. This will create a juicy and more evenly cooked piece of meat. At this point, leave the lamb in the bowl to absorb flavors and warm up ... sitting on the counter top. Allow it to stay at room temperature for about 1 to 2 hours (no more than 4, though).Heat an oven to about 425 F.Heat a very large oven proof sauté pan.Season the lamb racks with salt.The top side of the rack has a fat cap. Place this side down, in the pan, with the two racks. Sear it, until you get a nice golden color.Stand the racks on their ends, so the bones intertwine like the fingers of two hands. Sear the top of the rounded portions of the two racks, while they are balanced in this position.Each rack has a thicker side. Place the flat cut surface of the thicker side down in the pan, until it's nice, golden and seared.Face the fat side of each rack up and place the entire pan directly into the oven.Roast the racks for about 9 to 12 minutes (depending on size of racks and desired doneness). Check the internal temperature. I like mine on the rare side, so you can remove the racks at about 120 F, or 130 F for a more medium to medium-rare.Remove the pan and cover with foil. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes, before slicing and serving.You can slice between each bone to carve little chops. If the bone gets in the way at the joints, just push hard through the bone. It'll go through.Enjoy!Pancetta Wrapped AsparagusTrueThis is a very simple, but surprisingly elegant and extremely delicious little dish. Alone, it's wonderful, but you could also lean 3 of these onto a nice salad, with a goats' cheese vinaigrette, a couple of toasted pine nuts and a grilled fig (just one!), and you'd have something impressive!<br /><br /> It's quick and easy to prepare. The only things you need are asparagus, pancetta (Italian BACON!!), oil, salt and pepper!<br /><br /> I've left this simple, but there are many things you could do with this. A light squeeze of orange juice, and a little orange zest tossed into the oil, would be just delightful! As would some herbs. Rosemary, perhaps? A few chili flakes for a back-of-the-throat kicker, if that's your thing ... This is also just excellent if you grill it, but ... be careful ... the pancetta wants to fall off. Be deliberate and clear in your movements and grill that stuff up! TASTY!AppetizersSides10 min15 min25 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pancetta-Wrapped-Asparagus-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pancetta-Wrapped-Asparagus-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pancetta-Wrapped-Asparagus-31bunch227asparagus spears (about 20 spears)45.7405.088.4705.082tbsp28light olive oil24240000020slices250pancetta, sliced into strips438.434.428.8.800salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat oven to 400 F.Place your baking tray in the oven, to heat up.Remove the fibrous and tough base of the asparagus spear. I usually just cut the base off the entire bundle, but many "snap" the spears in half, under the assumption that the asparagus knows where its own sweet spot lies ... your call. Snap 'em or cut 'em. The base is tough, but ... makes for a good soup!Toss your asparagus in a little oil, salt and pepper. Coat them well and evenly.Wrap each spear in pancetta. Set them on a plate, with the seam side down.Remove the hot baking tray from the oven and quickly place your asparagus spears on the tray, with the seam side down. Do it swiftly, before the tray cools off and the asparagus just steams. You want to hear that "searing" sound ...Place the tray in the oven. Bake for 8 to 14 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus.Remove from the oven and serve!Simple Buttery Brussels SproutsTrueThis dish is about as basic and simple as can be, but with what may be an unclear twist. I'm unsure. It's a very technical approach to cooking these things, and probably only ever really done like this in restaurants. However, it's a fantastic way to do it. You'll get a sweet and properly cooked brussels sprout, but it'll also be buttery and bright vibrant green.<br /><br /> So often, "roasted" brussels sprouts are these soft, brown mushy balls of mini-cabbage. These are boiled in a salty boiling water, until JUST cooked <em>(still slightly crunchy)</em>. This will season them all the way through. Then, they are plunged into ice water, where the cooking process is completely stopped, but the bright vibrant color is preserved. Here, you can cut them in half. One of the benefits of doing it this way is ... it'll only take a few moments to cook them, from here. With very little fuss, you can throw these in a sauté pan with some butter and toast 'em up! You'll get a hot, bright, sweet and buttery brussel sprout.<br /><br /> Just pure simple perfection.<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> This is cooked in two halves to keep the pan hot enough to fry the brussels sprouts. If all the brussels sprouts were added at once, the pan would cool down and the brussel sprouts would just steam and simmer, rather than fry in the butter and caramelize. You could also toss the cooked and chilled brussels sprouts, with some melted butter, salt and pepper, then quickly place onto a scalding hot pre-heated baking tray, with the cut faces down and placed back into a 450 F oven for about 8 minutes. This would also work.SidesVegetarian10 min10 min20 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Roasted-Rustic-Brussel-Sprouts-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Roasted-Rustic-Brussel-Sprouts-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Roasted-Rustic-Brussel-Sprouts-32lb908brussels sprouts345.04027.2472.64027.241/4cup56fresh whole butter, cut into cubes, divided444000000salt and pepper, to taste000000Place a pot of salted water on the stove to boil. The water should be fairly salty.Once the water boils, throw your brussel sprouts into the water to boil.Let them boil for about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the smaller ones first, and plunge them into a big bowl of ice water. Keep removing them from the water and adding to the ice water, from smallest to largest. They should be firm, but cooked. NOT soft. You will continue cooking them, later.Once they are all in the ice water, let them stay in the ice water for about 10 minutes, until they are completely chilled, all the way through. Remove them and drain them, so they are dry.Cut them in half, so that the stem stays intact on both halves. You can also trim any loose leaves and any brown or fibrous stem ends, at the point. These can be tough.Set aside to be cooked later ... or just cook them.To cook, place a large non-stick sauté pan on the stove. Get it hot over medium-high heat.Add half of your butter to the pan and swirl it around, so the bottom is coated. It may start immediately browning. This is ok, but do not let it burn.Even if the butter is not fully melted, add half of your dry brussel sprout halves. Turn them all so they are all facing down in the pan and are only one layer deep. They should not be stacked, or else they will steam. They should be frying in the hot butter.Let them fry for a few minutes, so the faces get nice and caramelized. Move them around the pan, so they cook evenly. Keep the pan hot.Once they are nice and cooked, season with a little salt and pepper. Toss and set aside.Cook the other half of the brussel sprouts in the remaining butter, with the steps above. Season and mix with the first batch and serve!Rootin' Tootin' Underground HashTrueThis dish is higher in carbs than most on my site. However, it was designed for the holidays, where a modicum of splurging is likely to happen. This, in my mind's eye, is the replacement for the traditional "Candied Yams", which are usually drenched in brown sugar and often topped with marshmallows. This ... isn't that ... but it's far from a poor replacement! The flavors are from the same planet, but it's not going to release an army of insulin into your blood.<br /><br /> Create this, or bring it to any holiday meal and ... people will love it!<br /><br /><strong>Note: </strong> You don't want to put too many root veggies into the pan, at once. If you have a large sauté pan, where it will all fit without more than about 2 layers of cubes, that's ok. Otherwise, consider doing 2 batches or do it in two pans, simultaneously. Practice your sautéing skills!<br /><br /><strong>Second Note: </strong> Cut larger chunks and toss it all (except the mint) with melted butter. Then, roast in a pan at 350 F, for about 45 minutes, or until soft, browned and roasty. Then, top with fresh mint and serve! It's a more rustic version of the same flavors, but no less awesome!SidesVegetarian15 mins30 mins45 mins10http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sweet-Potato-Hash-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sweet-Potato-Hash-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Sweet-Potato-Hash-31/4cup56fresh whole butter4440000002lbs908sweet potatoes, peeled and diced778.29013.65184.33027.311lb454golden beets, peeled and diced193.6206.6843.4013.351lb454carrots, peeled and diced184.4403.5542.56014.194each12garlic cloves, minced01604001each70sweet red onion, diced28017012tsp4cinnamon, ground9.88.04.163.2402.121/2tsp1nutmeg, freshly ground5.25.36.06.490.211cup99pecans, halves684719140101/4cup22fresh mint leaves, washed and dried9.68.22.661.7601.54salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Pre-heat a large non-stick sauté pan.Add your butter, and quickly swirl it around. A little light browning of the butter is ok. Don't burn it, though.Before the butter is totally melted, add your cubed beets, carrots and sweet potatoes. Toss them in the butter, to make sure the cubed are evenly coated. Then, spread them out along the bottom of the pan, so that there is as even a layer as possible. Season with salt and pepper.Turn the heat down to a medium-low. About every 2 to 3 minutes, toss the root veggies around, so that a different group of mini-cubes will get exposure to the bottom of the pan. We're trying to brown up many of the cubes, for color, texture and flavor. Be careful not to burn them. They have a tendency to want to burn quickly. Watch it, closely.Continue cooking the roots, until they are almost completely cooked through (will take about 20 minutes, with occasional tossing). Once they are nicely browned, add your onions, garlic, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg and more salt and pepper. Cook for a further 5 minutes, until the onions and garlic are cooked and translucent.Taste some of the cubes and adjust the salt and pepper (this can handle a good amount of salt). When you're satisfied with the taste, toss some fresh mint leaves into the mix and serve immediately. (if you're planning to bring this to a different location, take the fresh mint leaves separately and add them to the top of the hash, just before serving. They will wilt and turn brown fairly quickly, if they sit in the hash too long ... they'll still taste great, but ... will just loose that vibrant green color).Enjoy!Cranberry-Spinach Stuffed Pork LoinTrueThis is probably my most time consuming and complicated dish on this website, to date. It's not fast or easy, but ... what it lacks in ease, it makes up for in taste and pure specialness. It's something I designed for the holiday dinner table to delight and impress, without costing an arm and a leg. It's time consuming and a bit tricky, but ... COMPLETELY doable and everyone will be floored with the taste and presentation. <br /><br /> This beautiful pork loin is moist, because it's been brined. It's a bit sweet, because of the dried cranberries and maple. It's also got a sincere "Christmas Ham" quality to it, due to the cloves and orange. It's got that holiday taste. I made a similar pork loin many years ago, but I used chestnuts, in place of the pecans. I didn't use them here, because I wanted to ensure people could find the ingredients in their town. If you can find chestnuts ... by all means ... throw them in the pork roll. They fit right in! <br /><br /> Do not shy away from trying this pork dish. It takes upwards of 18 hours, but between the taste, presentation and unquestionable festive and special qualities that it has ... it's more than worth it. Take the time to put it on your holiday dinner table, this year. You won't regret it! <br /><br /> <strong>Note: </strong> Before making this, make sure you've got 24 hours, butcher's twine and that you've watched <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjeTI8s0K8w" target="_blank">this video, showing the cutting, stuffing and tying method</a>. This will just help you understand the process, but we're going to additionally brine our pork, and will be using a different stuffing and won't be roasting on the veggies <em>(although you could ... and you wouldn't be the first!)</em>MainPork1 hr1 hr18 hrs8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Rolled-Stuffed-Pork-Loin-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Rolled-Stuffed-Pork-Loin-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Rolled-Stuffed-Pork-Loin-36lbs2724pork loin, boneless and center cut506430055200016cups3758cold maple brine from pork chop recipehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Maple-Brined-Pork-Chop0000001lb454fresh spinach leaves, washed and stems removed0104.4213.6218.1609.081tsp2cloves, ground6.46.4.121.220.682tbsp12fresh orange zest (peel)11.640.12301.331/2cup60dried cranberries61.51.5049.5031cup99pecan halves, crumbled and toastes6847191401020each4fresh sage leaves5.24.24.12.840.562tbsp28light olive oil242400000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Butterfly the pork loin, so that you have a large rectangular sheet of pork loin. Submerge this in your brine for between 6 and 18 hours.6 to 18 hours later, pre-heat an oven to 450 F.Fill a medium pot with water. Bring to a boil.Place roughly 12 good sized ice cubes into a separate mixing bowl, and add 2 cups of water.Once the water is boiling, add a little salt. Then, plunge the spinach into the boiling water and stir for 20 to 30 seconds. The spinach will quickly wilt and darken in color.After 20 to 30 seconds, pour the spinach and water into a colander, then transfer the hot spinach into the ice water. Stir the spinach, to stop the cooking and make sure that it is completely cold.Remove the spinach from the icy water and SQUEEZE the spinach with your hands, until almost all the water has been squeezed out. This should leave you with a clump or two of cooked, hand pressed spinach wads. Break the clumps up into nice strands of spinach. Set aside.Remove the pork from the brine and wash well in the sink. Discard the brine. After washing the pork, completely dry it with a towel and place on a cutting board, with the fat side down.If your pork is unevenly cut, you can cover the pork with a sheet or two of plastic wrap, then pound it more evenly with a mallet (or the bottom of a heavy pan).Season the pork with a little salt and pepper.Sprinkle the cloves and orange zest on the pork.Evenly distribute the spinach over the surface of the pork, leaving 3 or 4 inch exposed pork section, without spinach. This will form the seam, once it's rolled.Evenly distribute the cranberries and pecans.Add fresh sage leaves.Roll the pork tightly, like a jelly roll, or cinnamon rolls. Start at the end opposite the end with the exposed pork. Roll towards that end, keeping the roll as tight and even, as possible, while rolling it. Set it aside.Tie the pork loin roast with butchers twine, using the method shown in the video, above. The roast should be even, and tight, so that it forms a nice round cylinder of pork.Rub the pork roast with oil, then season with a bit of salt and pepper.On a baking tray, place the pork in the oven for 10 minutes.Turn the heat down to 325 F, after 10 minutes.Roast the pork for about 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature is about 140 F.Remove the pork from the oven and cover with foil. Set in a warm place for about 15 minutes to relax. After 15 minutes, you may remove the twine, slice and serve.Mashed Cauliflower and Celery RootTrueAll over the low carb world you'll see "Mashed Cauliflower" as the primary replacement for "Mashed Potatoes". That's fine ... and good ... and it totally works. Often times, people will toss a potato into the mix to add a little potato-y texture. Again, this is fine, but it will definitely boost the carbs. <br /><br /> I wanted to do something that would give it a little textural variety, but without using potatoes. Instead, I used "celery root" ... also known as "celeriac". <br /><br /> <strong>This is what the bulbs look like:</strong> <br /><br /> <center><img src="http://www.DJFoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Blog/CeleryRoot.jpg" width="420"></center><br /> It's got a very neutral taste and a smooth consistency, when pureed. It's got a slight celery taste, but is very low carb and is an excellent companion to the cauliflower. HIGHLY recommended! I've also added a bit of garlic, because ... well ... I just like garlic. This would be excellent with fresh herbs, cheeses, bacon, etc. Anything you'd toss into your mashed potatoes ... you could toss into this and it would be wonderful. Yum!<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Here's a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVszyUkorgA" target="_blank"> quick video showing how to clean and peel celeriac</a>. Once it's been peeled, cut it into chunks about the same size as your cauliflower florets. If they are the same size, they will cook evenly, at about the same amount of time.<br /><br />SidesVegetarian5 min25 min30 min8http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mashed-Cauliflower-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mashed-Cauliflower-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Mashed-Cauliflower-31head840large cauliflower, stem and leaves removed and cut into small florets1.3321017450211large454celery root, peeled and cut into chunks192.0805.8240.7408.734each12garlic cloves01604001cup238cream, heavy whipping8218857001/2cup112fresh whole butter (one stick), cubed888000000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000In a medium sized pot with a lid, add your cauliflower florets, celery root, garlic, cream and a little salt and pepper. Place a lid on the pot and place it over medium heat.When the cream begins to simmer, turn the heat down very low and keep a very slow steady simmer.Let the veggies steam in the cream, under the lid, for about 20 minutes, or until the celery root is soft and squishy.Mash the cauliflower in your favorite way. You can use a masher, a fork, a food processor, a hand mixer, etc. I used a ricer and pushed the contents through a medium-fine grain, which gives a mostly smooth texture, but with a slight graininess. While mashing/pureeing, add the fresh butter to the hot contents and also puree/mash with the butter. It will melt right in.Adjust seasoning. Serve!Mixed Greens with Blackberries, Bacon and Goats CheeseTrueI like a good salad. I like bacon. I like free time. I like berries. When I have a salad that has bacon, berries and is quick and easy to make ... it zooms right to the top of my favorite salads list!<br /><br /> There's no deep mystery to this salad. There's no salad dressing that needs made, separate from the salad. There's only the basic natural magic emanating from the right ingredients, pulled together at the right time and tossed in a bowl. This sweet, salty and crunchy salad is fantastic and can go on just about any table in the land. Yum.QuickSalads10 min0 min10 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blackberry-Salad-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blackberry-Salad-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Blackberry-Salad-31cup144fresh blackberries, washed621218084cups284mixed greens, washed and dried30026021/4cup22fresh mint leaves, washed and dried9.68.22.661.7601.541/4cup28.4bacon bits6100120001/4cup30walnut halves, broken196.2519.634.54022tbsp31.88balsamic vinegar280.135.38001/4cup54extra virgin olive oilhttp://amzn.com/B004ULUVU4?tag=lcrecipe-20477.55400001/4cup112goats cheese407.6833.624.643.3600salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000In a large salad bowl, add your blackberries. With a sturdy fork, squish the blackberries, so that they are somewhat smooshed. You want them to be broken up enough to release some blackberry juice, but not so broken up that they no longer look like blackberries. Do a half-partial smoosh.Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl, except the goats cheese. Toss, lightly.With your fingers, break up little pieces of the goats cheese, all over the top of the salad. Toss it lightly.Serve.Pizza Attempted on TortillaTrueI really feel as if I've managed to find a version of everything I could ever want, and have it be low carb. Unfortunately, there's one major part of my history that I've failed to duplicate. That part is ... pizza. I was, and still am, a massive fan of pizza (I'm not alone, the average American family eats 30 pies a year!). I've tried to use all the carbquiks and protein isolates. I've tried cream cheese and eggs to make a sort of deep dish pizza quiche, etc. These yielded impressive results that looked and smelled like the real deal, but ... the taste was always a bit ... funky.<br /><br /> I don't know why, but I'm super resistant to the zucchini and cauliflower crusts. I'm stubborn and have thus far refused to try them. They're very probably awesome, just like caul-rice is awesome. I was also resistant to that. When I finally tried it, I was upset I hadn't tried it sooner!<br /><br /> I ordered a pre-made low carb crust online and it was ... blech. Not good. Not even a little bit. I still ate it, though.<br /><br /> Pizza is about the only dish that has completely stumped me. This simple dish is as close to the basic simple taste of a basic and simple pizza as I've managed to duplicate. It takes just over 5 minutes to bake and is actually really quite tasty! It's low carb, too!<br /><br /> It's not deep dish magic and it's not going to win any awards, but for a clear and delicious pizza fix ... this is the best way to go ... so far ...<br /><br /> ... <em>to be continued</em> ...<br /><br /> <strong>Note:</strong> Because this is pizza on a tortilla, the "crust" doesn't rise, to hold the cheese and toppings in place. Go light on the toppings, or else it melts and goes everywhere and makes a big delicious mess.QuickMain10 mins5 mins15 mins1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pizza-Attempted-on-Tortilla-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pizza-Attempted-on-Tortilla-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Pizza-Attempted-on-Tortilla-31each36low carb tortillahttp://amzn.com/B0053DJYOC?tag=lcrecipe-2060357042tbsp30.63tomato saucehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Beyond-Quick-and-Basic-Tomato-Sauce171.17.421.560.421/4cup28whole milk, low moisture mozzarella, grated89761007thin slices14pepperoni69630002tbsp12.5parmesan (reggiano) cheese, grated53.883.634.75.500Preheat oven to 450 F.On a cookie tray, place a tortilla.Spread your tomato sauce evenly around the tortilla, leaving a narrow rim around the edge, to serve as the "crust".Top the sauce with your mozzarella.Add your pepperoni slices.Dust the top with your parmesan cheese.Bake for 5 minutes, or until crisped and brown.Slice and enjoy!Pasta à la Stuff in DJ's FridgeTrueThis is another recipe not entirely unlike "Poorly Cooked Eggs". Its design is more to indicate a blend of ingredients tossed into pasta, with a hearty cream based sauce. It's not a "fixed" recipe, per se. In fact, It's a dish or ... a "method" which I lovingly call "Pasta à la Stuff in DJ's Fridge" (I usually replace "stuff" with a stronger term, but ... this is a family blog). When I tell people I might make "Pasta à la Stuff in DJ's Fridge" ... they come a runnin'!<br /><br />I use this dish as a "treat". It's a rare treat, thus it's more than 10 grams, but I only eat it about once a month. If you're on induction, or early in your weight loss travels ... stop reading ... right now.<br /><br /> <strong>There are 4 essential parts to this dish:</strong> Stir Fried Stuff, Pasta, Cheese and Cream Sauce.<br /><br /> <strong>The basic ratio which yields four hearty portions is:</strong> 4 servings of pasta to 1 cup of heavy cream. There's virtually no limit to the amount of "stuff" allowed, nor is there a particular limit to cheese. Here, your main limitation is the number of net carbs you're limiting yourself to.<br /><br /> To make it, you would sauté the stuff, while boiling the pasta (be sure to under cook the pasta, by about two minutes!). About the time the stuff is properly stir fried, you will strain the pasta. Add the cream to the hot stuff. This should boil and immediately begin reducing. Add your strained hot pasta and toss in the sauce for about 90 seconds. In the final 30 seconds, toss in your cheese. Serve!<br /><br /> "Stuff" could be just about any vegetable or meat, but I use a lot of chicken and sausage. Veggies can be onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, yellow squah, asparagus, green beans, different varieties of mushrooms, all manner of herbs, spinach, etc.<br /><br /> Cream is pretty much ... cream ... but you can add more "stuff" to the cream, such as ... (not all at the same time) mustard, pesto, sun dried tomato pesto, capers, chopped olives, etc. Flavorings, basically. Not too much!<br /><br /> Cheese ... I almost always use grated parmesan and chunks of fresh mozzarella, but you could use goats cheese, brie, feta, blue cheese, etc. You know ... cheese!<br /><br /> Finally, the pasta. Just read the box! Really anything will do!<br /><br /> That's the basic idea behind "Pasta ala Stuff in DJ's Fridge".<br /><br /> <strong>Dreamfield's Nutrition Disclaimer:</strong> Due to the magic of the fiber coated matrix, a single 56 gram portion is shown as having 5 grams of digestable carbs. However, my recipe system isn't designed to display their nutrition information in the magical way in which they've been able to. As a result, I'm fudging the numbers to show 42 grams of carbs, with 37 grams of fiber. Technically, this isn't true, but it's the only way to have the math display numbers that match Dreamfield's claims.ChickenMainPasta15 min15 min30 min4http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Linguini-with-Chicken-Veggies-and-Pesto-Cream-1http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Linguini-with-Chicken-Veggies-and-Pesto-Cream-2http://www.djfoodie.com/Uploads/90202/Recipes/Linguini-with-Chicken-Veggies-and-Pesto-Cream-31cup238cream, heavy whipping8218857001/4cup96.5Pesto alla Genovesehttp://www.djfoodie.com/Traditional-Basil-Pesto426.5844.9211.626.810.264portions224low carb pastahttp://amzn.com/B004YN7Z0W?tag=lcrecipe-2076042816401442tbsp28light olive oil2424000001each118small green zucchini, cut into small cubes or discs19.371.464.0201.461/4lb113.5(about 5) plump crimini or button mushrooms, cut into wedges030.653.414.5401.141each151.25boneless chicken breast, cubed (or equivalent thigh meat - skin optional)260.1513.6131.760001/4cup28.4bacon bits6100120001/4large210bunch broccoli, including stalks, cut into florets71.5.695.8713.8205.531cup100parmesan cheese, grated43129384001lb454fresh mozzarella, cubed80112080000salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste000000Place a large pot of water on the stove, to boil. This will be used to cook the pasta. Add a healthy amount of salt to the water.Pre-heat a large sauté pan (mine is huge, a 13.5 inch "Family Fry Pan"). A wok would work nicely, too! Just make sure it's hot!Add your pesto to the cream, and whisk it together. Set aside. You'll need it in a moment.Once your water is boiling, add your pasta (unless it's a thin pasta, like angel hair, at which point, you should wait until near the end ... it cooks quickly).In the large sauté pan, add your oil.Now, add your "stuff" to the sauté pan. Add it in order of cooking time. Whatever takes the longest ... add first. Then, wait a moment, then add a bit more, etc.If it were me, I would add the mushrooms and zucchini, first. I would sauté them about half way, then add the chicken. Make sure to season with salt and pepper, while it's cooking. Then, once the chicken is halfway cooked, I would add the broccoli. The pan should always be very hot and you may even make a little smoke. That's ok. Don't let things just sit and steam or slowly gurgle away. This is a hot pan stir fry. Go Go GO!!Stir the pasta in the boiling water. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than it states on the box. Once the pasta is ready, strain it through a colander.Add your pesto cream to the hot pan.Once the pasta has drip dried for a moment or two, add it to the hot pan with the stuff and the cream sauce.Toss the ingredients together, to coat the pasta with the sauce. Saute for about 90 seconds, while the sauce reduces and thickens. It should nicely coat the pasta.Evenly spread your grated cheese and mozzarella around the top of the hot pasta. Stir for 30 seconds.Serve!Pound CakeTrueIt's enormously important to me to give credit where ... credit is due. My pound cake recipe is one that I got from somewhere. It's not mine. I don't know if it's modified or not, nor do I remember where I got it. I just know that it's in my notes and has been bumping around for a few years. I just looked to see if I could find the source of the recipe and was unable to.<br /><br /> Looking at the recipe, it either came from <a href="http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/memorial-kevinpa-his-best-recipes/" target=_blank">KevinPa</a>, or I found <a href="http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/recipereview/showproduct.php/item/3577_Carbquik-Pound-Cake" target="_blank">a different recipe</a> and modified it using lessons learned from KevinPa. In either case, KevinPa was at least partially responsible <em>(if not ... entirely)</em>. In all cases, I'm going to use this as an opportunity to point out <a href="http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/memorial-kevinpa-his-best-recipes/" target=_blank">his memorial thread on LowCarbFriends.com</a>. In the very early days of low carbing, his recipes and lessons really showed me what could be done and gave me the confidence and strength to believe I could eat this way ... forever. The recipe is good, but KevinPa's contributions to the low carb community should be noted and shared, as much as possible <em>(in my opinion)</em>. He's made a huge impact on me, and I hope he will for you ... as well.<br