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Peruvian Chicken Thighs with Spicy Cilantro Sauce Salad

Peruvian Chicken Thighs with Spicy Cilantro Sauce Salad

I’ve made this delicious recipe before from The New York Times by Melissa Clark and it is delicious. I used thighs, but breasts or the whole chicken work just as well. I cooked the chicken for two night’s dinner. The first night, my husband and I ate it hot with asparagus.

Peruvian Roasted Chicken With Spicy Cilantro Sauce

The second night, I turned it into a salad. I spiralized yellow and green zucchini, steamed and chilled the asparagus and added pickled onions to the vegetables. Fantastic and perfect for a hot, humid summer night!

Peruvian Chicken Thighs with Spicy Cilantro Sauce Salad

Melissa Clark’s recipe

Salad for two

½ pound asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 ½ yellow and green squash, spiralized

Handful pickled onions

Directions

Allow squash to drain in a colander or squeeze out extra water. Combine vegetables and add spicy cilantro sauce and toss. Place room temperature or cold chicken on top of salad and drizzle extra sauce on top.

Spiralized Vegetables

Assorted spiralized veggies

Spiralizing vegetables is a great way to eat more veggies and have the fake-out mouth feel of a high carb food like pasta, rice and potatoes. Most spiralizers work best if the diameter of the vegetable is 1 ½” or more.

Lowest carbs

  • Green bell pepper: sauté, raw
  • Broccoli stem: roast, sauté, raw
  • Cabbage: roast, sauté, raw
  • Cucumber: raw
  • Daikon and other radishes: roast, sauté, raw
  • Kohlrabi: roast, sauté, boil
  • Turnip: roast, sauté, boil
  • Zucchini: sauté, boil, raw

Higher Carbs, avoid if keeping carbs at 20 grams or less, or use sparingly, like pickled onions. For example, one medium onion, 2 ½” diameter, is 10 grams of carbs. A small handful of them in your tossed salad would add about 2 grams—but will give your salad a total lift in flavor.

  • Carrots: roast, sauté, boil, raw
  • Beets: roast, sauté, raw
  • Celeriac: roast, sauté, boil, raw
  • Jicama: roast, sauté, raw
  • Onion: roast, sauté, raw
  • Rutabaga: roast, sauté, boil

I like to pickle onions, carrots and daikon after spiralizing, because it looks nicer than simply cutting them.

You can make slaw out of any of the vegetables by adding your favorite slaw dressing or any salad dressing.

Add oil, butter, ghee, bacon fat, lard spices, lemon, and vinegars to cooked spiralized vegetables. A base of spiralized zucchini is a great substitute for pasta—just top it with whatever meat and sauce you are cooking.

For example, I just made Peruvian Roasted Chicken thighs with Spicy Cilantro Sauce from The New York Times. I cooked asparagus and spiralized zucchini and both got a liberal dose of the cilantro sauce. Delicious—and the sauce made both vegetables so tasty that I didn’t miss a high carb side, like potatoes or rice.

Spicy Thai Pork Tenderloin Salad

Spicy Thai Pork Tenderoin Salad

This is Melissa Clark’s recipe from The New York Times. I made a few changes—used brussels sprouts and red cabbage instead of napa cabbage and added pickled onions. I omitted the red peppers and cucumbers—mainly because I didn’t have them. What vegetables you use doesn’t matter that much; it’s the marinade and dressing and garnishes that make this dish a standout.

I served this main course salad with a Keto roll. The perfect summer meal!

Spicy Thai Pork Tenderloin Salad

By Melissa Clark

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017575-spicy-thai-pork-tenderloin-salad?action=click&module=Local%20Search%20Recipe%20Card&pgType=search&rank=1.

Almond Flour Cod & Kale Salad with Bacon

Almond flour Cod and Kale salad with bacon

I was really in the mood for fish with a crunch—like the kind from breadcrumbs, but wanted to keep it low carb, so I used almond flour and it turned out great! The almond flour imparted both crunch and a subtle flavor of almonds. Will definitely make my latest creation again soon!

The raw kale salad with bacon worked very nicely with the fish. You can also use brussels sprouts or coleslaw with the dressing. To make this salad a complete meal, add nuts and cheese.

Almond Flour Coated Cod and Kale Salad with Bacon

4-6 ounces per person Cod

Egg

Almond flour to coat

Salt & pepper

Butter

Avocado oil

Lemon juice and zest

Preheat oven to 424. Coat cod in egg, salt and pepper mix, then dredge in flour. Take a cast iron pan and heat enough oil to coat pan. When hot, add fish. Let cook a few minutes then flip when brown. When both sides are brown, place in oven for 5-10 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Remove from oven and add a bit of butter to pan, coating the fish. Squeeze lemon juice and zest n fish and serve.

Kale Salad with Bacon Dressing

Serves 3- 4

1 large head of kale, stems removed, leaves chopped into bite sized pieces

Avocado oil

Coat kale with avocado oil and let sit for 30 minutes to wilt it a bit. Add dressing and toss in bacon before serving.

Bacon dressing

6 ounces bacon, diced

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon

3 tablespoons avocado oil

Pepper

Cook bacon until fat is rendered on medium-low heat, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon. Turn off the heat and add remaining ingredients, using a whisk. Toss bacon into dressed salad last minute.

Freeze Stock Fast!

Freeze stock fast!

I make chicken bone stock year-round for my dogs and for my cooking. It takes hours to cook stock, but when it’s done, I want to cool it fast, put the stock into containers and freeze them. This pot of stock went from the stove to the freezer in under 15 minutes!

Quickly lowering the temperature of stocks, stews and soups when you want to refrigerate or freeze them is key to avoid spoilage. I put the pot of whatever I want to cool down in the sink with a stopper and add plenty of ice and cold water. Within minutes, the contents of the pot will be cool!

Essential Knives for Cooking

Essential Knives for Cooking

Chances are, if you hate to cook it’s because you don’t have good knives. Good knives make all the difference with ease of prepping food. This is even more exaggerated if you are cooking with lots of vegetables.

Quality knives are an investment, but they last a lifetime and are worth the money. I love my Wusthoff knives and have had them for years.

You don’t need a lot of knives, either. Those sets of knives? Forget it—you only need 4 knives.

Here are the essentials:

  • Chef knife: cuts vegetables, cheese
  • Paring knife: cuts small items
  • Serrated knife: bread and tomatoes
  • Carving knife: cuts meat

Romaine Lettuce

I love the crunch of romaine lettuce and almost always use it in my salad lunches. (My other go-to’s are baby arugula and spinach.) But I don’t love the preparation, so I have devised a nice short cut—I clean the entire 3-pack at once.  Simply cut the ends off and separate the leaves, then clean them in a salad spinner. Place the leaves in a food storage container. Mine is a Rubbermaid FreshWorks. Do not cut up the lettuce, because it will brown. Simply take what you want for your daily salad and chop it up. (I tried the plastic knife that supposedly prevents browning from happening and it didn’t work.)

Steak and Slaw

Steak and Slaw

I had a flat iron steak from the farmer’s market that I was in the mood for and wanted to use up my vegetables, because I’m going away for the weekend. I ended up with a slaw/salad and it was very tasty!

I used a sumac dry rub and a bit of cider vinegar and covered the sliced-up steak and put it in the broiler for 5 minutes. I make a big batch of the dry rub; it’s made with equal parts of sumac, garlic, cocoa, coffee, salt and pepper and I store it in the freezer.

Steak and Slaw

Flat iron steak or other, sliced

Dry rub

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Coat steak with vinegar and dry rub and place on an oven proof tray. Put broiler on high and cook 5 minutes.

Slaw

Serves 2

Slaw with pecans, celery, parmesan and pickled onions

¼ cabbage, sliced thin

2-3 stalks celery, chopped

Pickled onions

Toasted bits of pecan

Handful parmesan

 Dressing

1-2 tablespoons avocado oil

¼ cup Mayo or creme fraiche

1-2 teaspoons hot sauce (like Frank’s Hot Sauce or Mazi Piri Piri sauce)

1 teaspoon Dijon

2 tablespoons Cider vinegar

Combine and whisk ingredients.

Assemble salad ingredients, except pecans and add as much dressing as desired. Allow to sit for 30-60 minutes. Add pecans and steak and serve.

“Cold Noodles” with Sesame Sauce with Baked Tofu

Low carb tofu with peanut sauce, spiralized zucchini and cucumber

I was first introduced to cold noodles with sesame by my boyfriend in college and it was the first spicy dish I had ever eaten! The first few times I ate them, it took forever because they were so hot. But I immediately loved them and when my boyfriend would visit for the weekend, he always brought me an order. I haven’t  the restaurant version in years—I find them too sweet—but I’ll never forget how much I loved the cold noodles from Empire Szechuan in New York City.

This version has spiralized yellow squash or zucchini and Shirataki noodles. Use any combination; it’s all good. I add baked tofu to make the dish more substantial. Roasted chicken on the side with a little peanut sauce would also be good. Anything with this peanut sauce is good!

The first night I made this I used only yellow squash, but didn’t have enough for the second night, so I added the Shirataki noodles.

Shirataki noodles are made with yam flour and have virtually no carbs or calories. According to Wikipedia: “Shirataki are thin, translucent, gelatinous traditional Japanese noodles made from the konjac yam. The word “shirataki” means white waterfall, referring to the appearance of these noodles.”

Some brands of Shirataki noodles have soy or preservatives added, but I buy a brand that is only made of yams. I posted a picture of it on my blog, because the name is only in Japanese. It has little flavor, but absorbs whatever sauce you use on it. Buy it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store or an Asian specialty grocer.

Shirataki

If you want the traditional (high carb) recipe, simply substitute 1 pound Chinese-style dried noodle or spaghetti/fettuccini.

“Cold Noodles” with Sesame Sauce with Baked Tofu

Serves 4

4 yellow squash or zucchini spiralized or a combination and/or Shirataki noodles

5 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and minced

3 tablespoon black and/or white sesame seeds, divided

1 bunch scallions, chopped

4 curby cucumber, cut into long thin shreds or spiralized

Cilantro, chopped

 

Sauce:

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

Water

Baked Tofu

If you are using Shirataki noodles, drain, rinse and add them to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain.

Sauté ginger, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds and garlic on low heat for about a minute, or until garlic becomes fragrant. Add sauce ingredients, stirring well. Add small amounts of water until you like the consistency—should be thin enough to coat the pasta easily. Taste the sauce, as you may want to add more of one or more ingredients. If it is too hot and spicy, add more peanut butter.

Mix sauce with noodles and spiralized veggies.

Top with baked tofu and add more peanut sauce. Embellish with cucumber, remaining sesame seeds and cilantro. Serve at room temperature.

Low Carb Kale “Pie”

Low Carb Kale “Pie”

Have been making kale “pie” for years and used to follow the recipe and baked it with a pie crust. Even before I went low carb, I omitted the crust, as this dish doesn’t need it. If you are eating them, sweet potatoes go well with the kale pie.

I have also made this with mushrooms, like shitake, instead of the cabbage and tomatoes.

I don’t add salt, as the feta cheese is salty enough for me.

Kale Pie

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1 large bunch kale, stems removed, leaves roughly chopped

¼ large red head of cabbage, cored and sliced (optional)

Handful grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

1 medium red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

Avocado or extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup milk or heavy cream

6 oz feta cheese, preferably sheep’s, crumbled

6 eggs, beaten

Pepper

Sauté onions and garlic until translucent and add kale and cabbage, if using. Sauté, about 15 minutes or until tender. Allow vegetables to cool a bit.

Mix remaining ingredients and add kale mix and combine. Place mixture in a pie dish or other shallow baking dish, add tomatoes cut side down and bake 45 minutes.

 

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