I love scallops, but they are pricy, and I usually make cioppino
or something else where a pound feels filling for 4 servings. But I decided to
wrap them in bacon and the serving you see in photo was filling and delicious! The
salty, smoky bacon paired beautifully with the slightly sweet scallops. I will
be making this again! (It doesn’t hurt
that the bacon I use is the best on the planet–pasture raised from Hemlock
Hill Farm!) Pairing the scallops with spinach simply prepared with a bit of
butter and half and half also worked well. I’m going to wait until asparagus is
in season and use them the next time I make this dish.
Grilled or Broiled
Bacon Wrapped Scallops
1 pound sea scallops (about 16)
8 slices pasture raised, nitrate free bacon
Salt and pepper
Cook bacon until almost done. Soak toothpicks in water. Let
scallops sit in oil, salt and pepper for about 15 minutes. Cut bacon in half
and wrap scallops, securing with a toothpick. If broiling, put scallops 4” from
heat source. Cook 2-3 minutes per side.
Something about the combination of spinach with this lamb loaf that is so good and satisfying!
I buy Trader Joe’s frozen spinach and it’s a bargain for
less than $2.00 for a pound! (Save the expensive, raw baby spinach for salads!)
I get this pesticide free one or organic and always have a bag or two on hand.
I tend to buy most of my vegetables raw, but frozen has all
the nutrients and doesn’t spoil. I like frozen peas and spinach.
I’ve been making lamb burgers and loaf for years, since
buying the prepared burgers once at Whole Foods about 10 years ago. They list
their ingredients on prepared foods, so I made mine based on it. I created the
yogurt dressing for the grilled burgers, but it would be good on the lamb loaf
Pictured is steamed haricot verts with butter, salt, pepper
and lemon juice. Haricot verts are French green beans, They are smaller and
thinner than American beans. They are also more tender and less starchy. I think
they are superior to American beans.
In yesterday’s post, I wrote that cooking veggies properly
is key to enjoying them. So is getting the freshest vegetables possible. While these
guys were not rotten, they had seen better days and tasted starchy.
Lamb Loaf and Burgers
1 pound ground lamb
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Handful kalamata olives, chopped
5 ounces goat cheese feta, crumbled
1 small red onion, diced
1 tablespoon oregano
Add for lamb loaf
½ cup almond meal
½ pack gelatin
½ bunch of scallion instead of onion
Handful of parsley, chopped
¼ cup of milk or half and half
If making loaf, combine egg, gelatin and milk and let sit a few
minutes. Combine all ingredients. If making loaf, bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Burgers, grill or pan fried until cooked to your liking.
If the answer is no, it may be because you grew up eating
them cooked poorly.
For example, my husband grew up with vegetables that had the
shit cooked out of them. So, he thought he hated asparagus, because they were overcooked
and limp and stringy.
When you aren’t sure, test them for doneness. When I cook vegetables,
I’ll often pull out a piece, run it under cold water, and taste it. How cooked
you like vegetables is a personal thing—so by testing them as they cook, you’ll
learn what you consider done.
Plain veggies are not only boring, but without a fat like
avocado oil, butter, nuts or cheese, the nutrients don’t completely absorb into
your body. So, add some real fat dressing to your salad and butter or oil to
cooked vegetables—they will taste much better and it’s healthier!
Lemon juice and zest and garlic are good on most vegetables.
Salt and pepper are essential. Of course, cheese is always yummy. Not into
dairy? Try some nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor. Buy raw nuts like pine,
slivered almonds, pecans and walnut and sauté them in butter or brown in oven
for a great addition.
I also like to add extra vegetables to stews and soups to
make them more flavorful and healthier. Kale is fantastic because it reheats
well and doesn’t fall apart.
If you are bored with vegetables, it may be because you eat
only a limited variety. I always try to expand what veggies I eat. A good place
to experiment is at your farmer’s market or ethnic grocery store. Asian grocery
stores have a huge variety and I love the bok choy, yard-long beans and things
like lotus root.
The next few posts will be about preparing interesting
vegetable dishes that you will love!
Broccoli with Pine
1 pound broccoli florets
½ cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon butter
Zest from 1 lemon
Stem broccoli until just tender, about 5 minutes. While cooking,
heat a butter on low and when melted, add pine nuts. Cook until light brown. Drain
broccoli. Toss together broccoli, pine nuts, salt and pepper and parmesan.
My Korean Hot Pot is not a traditional, as I add lots of
veggies and protein and it becomes a full meal. I added one duck leg confit for
4 servings for flavor, but if you want this meal to be vegetarian, just omit
and use vegetable stock.
I like to bake the tofu for the chewy texture, but it is not necessary. The Shirataki noodles are always a good fake out.
I used red cabbage, not white, because it’s prettier!
This dish is very low in carbs and moderately high in fiber,
with the cabbage/kimchi. It’s a tasty and light meal.
Korean Hot Pot
1 quart chicken bone stock or vegetable stock
Avocado oil or chicken fat
8-12 ounces kimchi, roughly chopped with juices
1 pound soft or firm tofu
1-2 packages shirataki noodles, drained and rinsed and
½ bunch scallion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
¼-1/2 cabbage, sliced thin
1 zucchini, spiralized
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon Korean red pepper
1 duck leg confit, or small amount of any meat chopped into
small pieces (optional)
If desired, bake firm tofu—cut into small pieces and add
some sesame oil, tamari, black pepper and marinate. Bake 45 minutes at 350.
Otherwise, simply cube soft or firm tofu.
Heat oil on medium low and add garlic, scallion and meat and
cook until garlic is fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add stock, carrots and cabbage and
cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except sesame
oil. Turn off heat and add sesame seed oil. Taste and adjust seasoning to your
I was called for jury
duty earlier this week, and had time to kill at lunch, so I wandered into Chinatown.
All the product markets reminded me that I hadn’t had yard long green beans in
ages, so I picked up a bunch. They are so much better than regular green beans;
more on par with haricot verts, but different. If you have never tried them,
give the yard -longs a shot!
I cook the blackened tenderloin
in the oven, which saves my stove from becoming a mess and couldn’t be easier!
1 pound yard long beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
Slivered raw almonds
Salt and pepper
Cook beans in a bit of water until they are bright green,
2-3 minutes. Drain water. On a medium flame, melt butter and add beans and
almonds. Stir until almonds are lightly brown and beans are cooked, about 5 minutes.
This peanut sauce recipe has been adapted over 30 years from
the traditional Szechuan Cold Noodle recipe found in many Chinese restaurants.
I made it constantly in my 20’s, when I was broke and would buy 3-pound bags of
pasta. I switched to the traditional Asian noodles when I had more money later.
The peanut sauce is delicious, but unlike the Asian version,
I add no sugar. This sauce can obviously be used on noodles, but it is
fantastic to use in this dish or others that are low carb. I made this for
dinner Friday, and had lots of sauce left and will make it again Monday with
the addition of Shirataki noodles. If you don’t want crispy tofu, it is also
good baked or even cubed and heated with the bok choy. If you aren’t into tofu,
Trust me on this—the peanut sauce is so good you could add
it to dirty socks and they’d taste delicious!
Crispy Tofu with Baby
Bok Choy and Shirataki Noodles in Peanut Sauce
1 pound extra firm tofu, dried and crumbled
1 pound baby bok choy, cleaned with stems and leaves
separated and both roughly chopped
1 bag Shirataki noodles, rinsed and drained
4 tablespoons peanut or avocado oil
5 cloves garlic,
1-2 tablespoons ginger, minced
3 tablespoon black and/or white sesame seeds
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 tablespoon San-J® All Purpose Szechuan Hot and Spicy Sauce
1 cup crunchy or smooth natural peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy or tamari sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Hot pepper flakes to taste
Turn broiler on and place rack 6” from heat. Line a baking
tray with parchment paper. Mix 2
tablespoons of peanut oil into tofu. Add salt, pepper and some hot pepper
flakes. Broil for 20-25 minutes, turning once, until light brown.
Make sauce: on medium low heat, add 1 tablespoon peanut oil
and add garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, hot pepper and cook a couple minutes. Add
peanut butter, tamari, San-J® All Purpose Szechuan Hot and Spicy Sauce and mix.
Add water until desired consistency. Turn off heat and add sesame oil. Taste and
adjust to taste.
Heat pan with 1 tablespoon peanut oil on high and add bok choy
stems. Cook for about 5 minutes and add leaves. cook 2 minutes and add a bit of
peanut sauce. Stir. Add Shirataki noodles and stir until hot.
Put noodles and bok choy into a bowl, add crispy tofu and
top with sauce. Bring extra sauce to table.
This dip has been around for years, and for good reason: it’s
awesome! It’s also the perfect Keto appetizer or side dish, with few carbs and
even some fiber for good measure! with I kicked it up another notch by adding jalapeños.
Just omit if you don’t like spicy food. This is so tasty that I wanted it as a
side dish with chicken, but without all the richness, so I made a batch without
the mayonnaise and voila! It would also be nice with beef or pork; basically,
anytime you have a plain meat dish that you want to dress up.
Artichoke Spinach Dip
1 can artichokes, squeeze excess water, roughly chop
1 pound package frozen chopped spinach, allow to defrost and
squeeze excess water
1 cup mayonnaise (omit if making as a side dish)
1 cup parmesan, grated
2-3 jalapeños, seeds removed and chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
8 oz jack or cheddar cheese, shredded
Combine everything and bake 350 for 15 minutes or until
hot. Serve with veggies
Fiber is good for you, but it can be hard to get what you
need on a low carb diet. One way I get fiber in the morning is with a “Roughie”.
(Yup, I made the name up.)
For years, I drank smoothies—a concoction of almond or soy milk,
fruit, psyllium, flax and other ingredients. I started drinking them some 25+
years ago, when I was still in my twenties and my inherited high cholesterol prompted
my cardiologist to suggest psyllium. Psyllium is heart healthy and helps with
regularity because it’s all fiber. Flax is also fiber rich. I drank the
smoothies and got lots of fiber and my digestive system was always happy.
Then I started the Keto diet and no longer wanted all that
high carb fruit. So, I stuck the psyllium, flax and more into a glass of water
and chugged it. It is pretty nasty, but it does give me a nice fiber boost in
the morning and gets things going! The Roughie was born!
I also add matcha tea, which gives it that color. You can
experiment, but I use pasture-raised collagen, matcha tea, psyllium, flax, and chia
seeds. By experiment, I mean to start with small dosages of whatever fiber-rich
additives you want to try.
A word of advice…both psyllium and chia seeds expand when in
water, making water thick. So make your drink and consume it as quickly as you
This is cooking 101 and couldn’t be more delicious, yet so simple to make.
It’s also the perfect low car/Keto dinner.
Buy whatever chicken parts you like on the bone. Use whatever vegetables you are in the mood for; broccoli, cauliflower, brussels, carrots, parsnips, cabbage and whatever other root veggies you want. The drippings from the chicken will coat the vegetables and make them soft and tasty!
Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment (to
cut down on cleaning.) Put chicken skin side down, add salt and pepper and bake
30 minutes. Depending on how cooked you want your vegetables, you can add 15
minutes in, or wait 30 minutes. Add veggies and some salt and pepper. At 30, flip chicken. You can add some fresh or
dried rosemary or sage or other spice, if desired. Stir veggies to make sure
the fat from chicken coats them. 30 minutes later and you have dinner!