Category Archives: Recipes

Recipe Round-up: Braised Coconut Spinach with Chickpeas and Lemon

 

Photograph by Blake Royer, thepauperedchef.com

 

Here’s another great vegetarian and vegan dish that is secretly LCHF.  Skip the rice and you’ve got a yummy meal!

http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Braised-Coconut-Spinach-with-Chickpeas-and-Lemon-Serious-Eats-200318

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Recipe Round-up: Cheese taco shells

I’m fine with just using pork rinds or digging into taco meat (or lentil tacos!) with a fork, but Superhusband was needing something a little more like the real deal.  I heard rumblings about microwaving cheese in a circle and letting it cool in the shape of a taco shell, to basically make the equivalent of the hard corn taco shells, without, you know, corn.  This seemed a little like a weird “too good to be true” hack, but after the success of the Fathead pizza, it was worth a try.

I microwaved a slice of provolone cheese (you can use shredded, though, as the recipe states), and after dabbing away any grease that had pooled off, I let it rest around a round container of garlic powder.  It’s not the prettiest setup, but it worked.  By the way, the grease dabbing isn’t because i’m afraid of grease (obviously, I promote fats!), it was just a mess.  When the shell cooled, it was time for Superhusband to eat.

He’s a picky eater, so I was waiting to see what his reaction was.  His official response was: “Can you make some more?”  I’ll take that as a score!  They are a teensy bit chewier than a “real” taco shell, but it’s really tasty.  We’ll be doing this again.

It's not really a sexy picture, I can't really spice of a picture of microwaved cheese. Sorry.

It’s not really a sexy picture, I can’t really spice of a picture of microwaved cheese. Sorry.

http://www.food.com/recipe/low-carb-taco-shells-85258

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Recipe Round-up: Zucchini Pasta with Sausage and Roasted Garlic Sauce

I’m always looking for a good excuse to use my spiralizer.  Really, who needs an excuse?  Zucchini pasta is so fantastic!    If you’re dairy-free, this recipe will work for you.  Homemade yogurt, like we’ve mentioned before here, would also work great.  It’s also GAPS, Paleo, and SCD friendly.

 

http://empoweredsustenance.com/zucchini-pasta-with-sausage-and-roasted-garlic-sauce-2/

 

 

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Day 5: Cream of Mushroom Soup

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I used to be terrified of mushrooms.  I remember staring at them on my mom’s counter, just having this total confusion about what they were and who in God’s name would want to eat such terrible-tasting brown chunks.  They tasted like bland rubber to me.

Frankly, raw mushrooms still sorta give me that same reaction as they did way back in the day.  I’ve been known to throw them on salads but they certainly aren’t the star attraction on that salad by any means.  Cooked mushrooms on the other hand, now that’s something magical.  Something really special happens when you saute a mushroom.  That bland rubber turns all sultry.  It’s like a mushroom version of this:

You're welcome.

You’re welcome.

When I discovered throwing mushrooms into my vegetable stock, it totally enriched the flavor.  It brings a flavor profile unlike any other veggie, but it IS similar to something else: meat.  Yup, both have umami going on.  Today’s soup recipe is a umami bomb, bringing in another favorite umami star of mine: parmesan.

Maybe you’ve made cream of “whatever” soup in the past but couldn’t figure out how to thicken it so you figured this dish was in your past.  Nope, don’t worry, there are still LCHF-safe ways to thicken without flour.  Pinkie swear.  Follow along below!

Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • One pint heavy cream
  • 16 oz mushrooms, any variety/varieties, washed (I used baby bella, crimini, and oyster)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable stock/broth
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 T ghee/butter
  • 2 tsp guar gum
  • salt and pepper

Take a large pot and melt ghee on medium.  While that pan is heating up, slice your mushrooms.  What I did was slice them about the size as the pre-sliced mushrooms you find in the store (only, don’t buy those, slice them yourself so they aren’t dry and gross) and then I chopped them in half after that.  If you prefer a more rustic chop or really teeny pieces, do your thing.  When the ghee is hot, throw the onions in for one minute.  Then throw in the mushrooms and garlic.  Stir occasionally until mushrooms are just about tender.

Hello beautiful.

Hello beautiful.

When mushrooms are almost tender, dump in the cream, stock, parmesan, and nutritional yeast.  If you don’t have nutritional yeast, you’ll want to increase the parmesan by probably 1/4 cup.  Let the soup reach a simmer, then let cook for an additional 10 minutes.  If you’re wondering “what the heck is nutritional yeast, and why is she using it?”, well, it’s another umami thingy, and there’s seriously something about it that rounds out the dish.  Just trust me, k?

After the 10 minutes is up, add the guar gum.  Stir in completely.  Turn off the burner.  Soup will thicken as it cools. Promise.  Add salt and pepper as needed.

If you’re lactose-intolerant or are looking to make a vegan version of this dish, you can kick out the parmesan, double the nutritional yeast, you’ll need another tsp of guar gum since parmesan helps thicken it, and use a can of coconut cream instead of heavy cream.

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Day 2: Creamy Vegetable Thai Red Coconut Curry

One of the most important things to do when you have to make a dietary switch is to not make it too complicated on yourself.  If you find yourself allergic or intolerant of nuts, you don’t need to go crazy finding nut substitutes.  If you are diagnosed celiac, you don’t need to go crazy finding wheat substitutes.  Just because I’m not eating meat, doesn’t mean I need to eat meat substitutes.  There’s a lot of veggie burgers that are loaded with junk, and I’m not willing to eat junk when I can easily eat the same delicious meals that I enjoy eating every day minus the meat.

For breakfast, I ate some delicious deviled eggs that I made a couple days ago.  I had this big mess making them and they were probably the ugliest looking deviled eggs, but the still tasted great.

Lunch was a recipe that someone posted on facebook a few days ago.  It was an amazing looking coconut curry.  Coconut milk (from the can, not those refrigerated cartons) is high on fat and can be the base of a great LCHF meal.  I switched out the sweet potato in the recipe and put in zucchini instead.  I also took out the red bell pepper because those don’t sit well in my tummy.  My grocery store didn’t have snow peas so I just used sugar snap peas.  I think I put about 2 tbsp of coconut oil into the recipe.

I did make one mistake when making the recipe… I added in cilantro.  It IS in the recipe, but I don’t like cilantro.  If you don’t like something in a recipe, don’t add it.  The rest of it was delicious!  I inputted my alterations into a calculator and it is 14% carbs, 81% fat, well within LCHF guidelines.  And it’s vegan, so this is a great dish to serve when you have guests with dietary restrictions.

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http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/get-inspiralized-meet-blogger-ali-maffucci/

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Recipe Round-up: Slow cooker veggie stock

I’ll let you in on a secret: sometimes, I add vegetable stock to my chicken soup, because it adds a depth of flavor that meat alone can’t bring.  It is also a great thing to have on hand when vegetarian friends come over.  Homemade vegetable stock is so cool because you don’t need to buy vegetables especially for it.  You know when you’re spiralizing a zucchini, and there’s some zucchini shreds and core left over?  Throw those in a baggie in the freezer.  Got half an onion left over from a recipe that you know you’re not going to use up?  Throw that into that baggie.  Slowly but surely, that veggie leftover baggie is gonna fill up.  When I make chicken stock, there is always more carrots and celery than I end up needing, so those always go into a baggie.  Sometimes they go towards the next batch of chicken stock, but sometimes they go towards a batch of veggie stock.  Tonight, since it’s Vegetarian Challenge Month, I obviously went with the veggie stock.  I also had half a red onion and some scallions left over from making a fathead pizza, I threw in a bay leaf, some dried shiitake mushrooms, and some peppercorns.  When I wake up in the morning, there’s gonna be magic in that crock.

http://hellyeahitsvegan.com/make-your-own-vegetable-stock/

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Recipe Round-up: Fathead Pizza

“Where is the pizza cutter?” is a phrase you have not heard in this house in a looong time.  After way too many tries at some very sad crust substitutes, Superhusband and I have been pretty content at just getting delivery pizza and removing the toppings to eat.  I’ve heard rumblings in the low carb world about this mythical Fathead Pizza and I had to try it.  Word was that it was just as crispy as thin crust pizza, not floppy, not soggy, not sad, very filling, and very easy to make.  Lofty expectations!

Folks… I can confirm all of the above rumors.  It is. AMAZING.  I recommend making it as soon as possible.  You may have to dig a bit to find your pizza cutter, but it is well worth it.

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One Pan Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Linguine

I hate washing dishes.  (Probably why I assigned my husband dish duty.)  Anyway, if you’re like me, you’re gonna love this dish, because you’re only gonna dirty one pot.  Pretty awesome.  That’s one of the perks of LCHF, no need for an extra pot to boil water and do all that nonsense!

A few notes before the recipe.  Sometimes shrimp scampi is made with wine.  I’m skipping that since wine is pretty much just sugar in a bottle.  I’m also using raw shrimp in my recipe, but feel free to use cooked shrimp.  You’ll just need to add the shrimp to the pan right as you start cooking the zucchini.

Let’s cook!

Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Linguine

  • 3 T butter or ghee
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • The juice of one lemon
  • Zest of one lemon (obviously, the same lemon as above, duh)
  • 12-16  raw shrimp if cooking for one, thawed
  • 1 small zucchini if cooking for one
  • salt and pepper
  • red pepper

gheegarlic

First we start with ghee.  Put the ghee into the saute pan, and heat the pan on medium low.  When the pan gets up to temperature, add in the garlic.  Slowly stir the garlic around for 2 minutes until fragrant.  Add the shrimp into the pan.

spiralized zucchini

You’ve got about 2 minutes to spiralize the zucchini while the shrimp cooks on the first side.  Good thing that’s more than enough time.  Spiralize away, and pat yourself on the back for the thousandth time for owning a spiralizer.  (Don’t own one yet?  Go get one! Seriously!)

starting to turn pink

Above, you’ll see what the shrimp looks like when it needs to be flipped.  See, it’s sorta translucent on the top, but the tails are starting to turn pink.  when you flip them, they are gonna be pink on the other side.

all done

Right after you flip, immediately shove the shrimp off to one side, and throw the zucchini onto the other side of the pan.  Toss the zucchini a bit on the ghee to make sure it gets coated.  Put salt and pepper and red pepper over the contents of the pan.

After about 5 total minutes of cooking, or 2-3 minutes since you flipped the shrimp, everything should be done!  Take the pan off the heat.  Add the juice and zest to the pan, toss a few times to coat, and put on plate.

finished

Inhale!

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Recipe Round-up: Sunflower seed buns

(Nearly) everybody who has ever cut out grains has done a desperate internet search for “DEAR GOD SOME SORT OF BREAD THING THAT ISN’T CARBY” or something to that effect.  Thankfully our friends at LCHF Malta came up with these delicious and beautiful sunflower seed bun.  The recipe is in Celsius, so remember to do the conversions, ‘Merica.

http://www.lchfmalta.com/recipes/breads-desserts/sunflower-bun/

 

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Oxtail Soup two ways (or three)

itscooking1

Remember a few months ago when I reviewed the Low Carb High Fat Cookbook and I said “what the heck is an oxtail?” (yeah, pretty much.)  Well, my store started carrying it last week!  So it was finally time to make oxtail soup.  I really really still recommend that you get the cookbook because the pictures are amazing and the recipes are great, but since I can’t reprint the recipe in the cookbook I made up my own recipe.  I also thought this would be a great time to go over some do’s and don’t for making soups and stews.  I’ve made dozens and dozens of different varieties of chili, beef stew, chicken dumpling soup (pre-LCHF obviously), and much more, and I’ve also had more than my fair share of bad soups and stews at restaurants.  Here’s some important pointers:

  • DO: Brown the meat.  And I do mean BROWN.  Not grey.  Not gold.  Brown.  The color brown.  Take a brown piece of paper,
    Any questions?

    Any questions?

    hold it up to the meat.  Did you make that color yet? No?  Put the tongs down.  HERE’S WHY: Magic happens when you brown meat.  Flavors deepen. Textures improve. Even though you’re about to stick that meat into a liquid, and you figure “meh, who cares, it’s just gonna get soggy anyway!” and you want to skip the browning part, stop yourself.  This goes even for a pot roast.  Brown the meat.

  • DO: Use a mirepoix (onions/carrots/celery) even if you don’t plan on eating the veggies.  HERE’S WHY:  I personally hate celery.  I get it.  I know that carrots are high in carbs.  I get it.  And so it’s easy to say “nope, gonna just skip that part of the recipe”.  Stop.  Trust me.  I put it in there for a reason.  You can fish it out/strain it out/whatever later.  The french got it right; onions and carrots and celery create a magic flavor profile that cannot be duplicated.
  • DON’T:  Skimp on cook time.  HERE’S WHY: Some meats take longer to tenderize.  Oxtail, for instance, isn’t gonna get all nice and fall off the bone until 4 hours out.  At 2 hours, it’s still clinging hard and the flavors haven’t fully developed in the broth.  So, unless you wanna look like a caveman and be complaining about sad tasting soup, have patience.

One last thing before we get into the recipe… what is oxtail you ask?  It’s actually a cow’s tail.  Quit your whining.  If you eat a steak just fine, a tail is no different.  This meat is gonna be so tender and flavorful.  Tail is in the name.  If you think your family won’t eat it, just don’t tell them it’s a tail.  It’s gonna look like chunks of a roast when we’re done.  Your secret’s safe with me.

Oxtail Soup Two Ways

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your favorite oil of choice
  • 2 lbs oxtails, any excessive fat trimmed (leave some on, though, that adds so much yummy!)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced in half length-wise
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • One carton (32 oz) beef stock
  • 12 oz of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional for second way: an additional 1 carrot diced and 1 celery stalk diced, set aside

Here’s our plan of attack.  I’m giving you two ways to make oxtail soup.  Either you wanna end up eating carrots and celery in your itscookingsoup later, or you don’t.   In both cases, you’re going to start out with some veggies in the pot to add flavor, and removing those soggy limp veggies from the pot.  The difference if you want veggies in your soup is after 3 hours, you’re going to take out the soggy veggies and add in the diced veggies so they’re perfectly tender in time for dinner.

In either case, you’ll need to start out with a big stock pot.  Heat the pan to somewhere around medium, and put down your oil of choice.  When the pan has gotten hot, put in the oxtail.  You are going to brown all the pieces.  Once that is done, add in the carrots, celery stalks, and diced onion.  When the onions get translucent and a touch brown on the edges, everyone goes in the pool: throw in the thyme sprigs, beef stock, and water.

This is my faaavorite part… this is the part where you set the timer for 4 hours (3, if you’re wanting it the 2nd way where you have veggies in your soup) and you go and take a long bubble bath or play Call of Duty or whatever it is that you do.

Here’s where we split:

IF YOU DON’T WANT CELERY AND CARROTS IN YOUR SOUP:  When the 4 hour timer goes off, all you need to do is fish out the carrots, celery, and the thyme stems.  Remove the bones.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

IF YOU WANT CELERY AND CARROTS IN YOUR SOUP: When the 3 hour timer goes off, fish out the carrots and celery that are oxtailsoupdonein the soup.  Add in the diced celery and diced carrots.  Set the timer again for 1 hour.  When the 1 hour timer goes off, remove the bones and thyme stems.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Bonus: I know, I know, you’re saying “Ellie, the title said oxtail soup three ways, what’s the third way?”  Well, if you’ve got stuff to do and you don’t wanna babysit the pot on the stove, after you brown the meat and the veggies, you can throw all the veggies, seasonings, meat, and stock into your crock pot!  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is falling off the bone.  Remove the bones and anything you don’t wanna gnaw on (veggies, herb stems, whatever) and serve. You won’t need to add extra water in the crock pot because crock pots are extra good at keeping the water in.

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