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Zucchini Slaw

Buffalo chicken thighs with roasted tomatoes and spiralized zucchini

I was in the mood for zucchini, but wanted it cold and raw and decided to make it into slaw. This was fast and easy and went well with the roasted Buffalo chicken thighs and roasted tomatoes.

2 medium zucchini, spiralized or shredded

1 small red onion/scallions, sliced thin

1 Lemon juice and zest

Extra virgin olive or avocado oil

Pepper

Salt

Salt zucchini, let sit 15, rinse and drain and squeeze dry. Add ingredients.

Low Carb Fish Tacos

Low Carb Fish Tacos

I love fish tacos, especially in summer! But on the low carb lifestyle, I wasn’t making them—that is, until I substituted a few ingredients to create a low-carb taco or tortilla shell! They are made with zucchini, parmesan and almond flour and are seriously good. You get the texture, but not the carbs! There are only 6 grams of carbs in ¼ cup of almond flour, so 2 tacos are about 3-4 grams of carbs.

I used scallops, but you can use swordfish, mahi mahi, shrimp, or whatever you like. You can grill the fish, bake it or sauté it, like I did for the scallops. A little salt and pepper and you’re done. The vegetables, sauce and tacos give it plenty of flavor.

I buy a small can of adobe chipotle pepper and put what I don’t need into a plastic container and freeze it.

I had it last night and will have it tonight with the addition of  delicious tomatoes from the farmer’s market! (I made enough sauce for two nights plus leftovers for salads. Also made the whole batch of taco shells and will put leftovers in the toaster oven. Veggies and scallops will make fresh.)

I usually use red cabbage over napa or white–because it is more nutritious and it looks better–but the local store didn’t have any, so I settled for napa.

A perfect summer dinner!

Salad

4 servings

Small red cabbage (or napa), sliced thin or use a food processor

1 medium red onion sliced on thinnest blade on a mandolin

1 avocado, cut into small chunks

Handful grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 Kirby cucumbers, sliced on mandolin or use a food processor

4 radishes, sliced on mandolin or use a food processor

Chipotle Pepper Sauce

3/4 cup sour cream, Greek yogurt or crème fraiche

Handful cilantro, chopped

1-2 canned adobe chipotle pepper with sauce

1 small garlic clove

Zest of one lime and juice

2 tablespoons of tomatoes

Salt and pepper

Mix all together with a blender

Toss salad with some pepper sauce to evenly coat. Add more sauce to cooked fish.

Low carb tortillas or taco shells

Low carb uncooked taco shells

Makes 4 tortilla and 8 taco shells

2 medium zucchini, grated and squeezed dry

1 egg

½ cup parmesan cheese

¼ cup almond flour

Salt

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon cumin

Heat oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Dry zucchini with kitchen towel and place in bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Divide mixture into 4 for tortillas or 8 for tacos and spread in circles on paper. Make pretty thin; about 7”. Bake 15 minutes or until edges are brown. Peel off paper and cool. Spray with cooking oil and heat in toaster oven at 375 to make crisp, about 10 minutes.

Low carb, cooked taco shells

Buffalo Chicken , Caesar Brussels Sprouts & Avocado Chips

Avocado chips, Buffalo chicken and Caesar Brussels sprouts

A friend posted a recipe for avocado chips and I had to make them immediately! I followed the recipe, which suggested using them as a chip for dipping into hummus. They are delicious, but next time I will make them smaller and flatten them more.

I decided to make buffalo chicken breast and turned the leftovers into a terrific salad, which I’ll try to post tomorrow. You can use any part of the chicken–I usually use thighs, but had breasts on hand.

Because it’s hot, I served everything at room temperature.

Buffalo Chicken, Caesar Brussels Sprouts and Avocado Chips

Avocado Chips by Lena Abraham

Avocado Chips

Buffalo Chicken

3 pounds chicken, rinsed and patted dry or 2 thighs per person

¼ cup Hot Sauce, like Frank’s Hot

2 T butter, melted

1 T minced garlic

Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put parchment paper on cast iron or oven proof roasting pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken. Cook 30 minutes. Turn thighs and remove extra oil. Cook another 30 minutes. Raise oven to 450. Remove extra oil. Combine melted butter, garlic and hot sauce and drizzle over thighs. Cook about 10 minutes, turning once or twice, until skin is crisp

Caesar Brussels Sprouts

For 4

1 1/2 brussels sprouts, ends cut off, sliced in half then cut in thin slices.

Add dressing, below, and allow to stand for about 10 minutes to soak up flavors.

Caesar Dressing (will have leftovers)

¾ cup extra virgin or avocado oil

2 teaspoons anchovy paste

1 clove garlic

1 lemon

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Pepper and salt, to taste

1T Worchester sauce

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Put all ingredients except egg in a food processor and blend. Add egg and stir.

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Kale, Cabbage and Bacon Salad

Kale, cabbage and bacon salad

Because I eat a green salad every day for lunch, I really like to mix it up when I have raw vegetables for dinner and use cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts and so on for salads. So, I’ve been experimenting a lot lately and have been pleased with the results.

The secret to using raw kale is to massage some extra virgin or avocado oil into it, which makes the kale tender.

The dressing is my Caesar dressing without the parmesan. Add it into dressing or sprinkle on a salad if you want Caesar.

Kale, Cabbage and Bacon Salad

Serves 4 as a main course dinner; 8 as an appetizer

1 head kale, stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces or if lacinato kale, cut chiffonade

½ head medium red cabbage, thinly sliced on a mandolin or in a food processor

8 slices bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces

½ cup pecans, toasted

8 ounces gruyere or other hard cheese

Extra virgin or avocado oil for kale

Massage a couple tablespoons of oil on the cabbage and kale. Let sit about a half hour. Add dressing and let sit a few minutes. Add bacon, cheese and pecans and serve immediately.

Dressing (will have leftovers)

¾ cup extra virgin or avocado oil

2 teaspoons anchovy paste

1 clove garlic

1 lemon

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Pepper and salt, to taste

1T Worchester sauce

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Put all ingredients except egg in a food processor and blend. Add egg and stir.

Poached Salmon with Dill Sauce and Cucumber Salad

Poached salmon with dill sauce and cucumber salad

One of the few things I don’t make myself is poached salmon—for some weird reason, poaching salmon intimidates me. So, I bought a couple nice pieces from Zabar’s yesterday. I threw out their green dill sauce because they add sugar and it just isn’t as good as mine. Cucumbers go perfectly with the salmon and they get dressed with the same sauce. This dinner couldn’t be easier to make (even if you decide to poach the salmon!)

If you have extra sauce leftover, use as salad dressing.

Dill Sauce

Enough for 4 on cucumbers and fish with leftover

½ bunch dill, stems removed and chopped

4 ounces sour cream or crème fraiche

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Juice from ½ a lemon

1 teaspoon teaspoon salt

Pepper

Combine ingredients and let sit for an hour

Cucumber Salad

6 Kirby cucumbers

Cut off ends and peel, if desired, cucumbers into ¼ inch rounds and place in a colander. Mix salt in and let drain for one hour. Rinse and shake dry.

Add as much sauce as you wish and let cucumber salad sit about 15 minutes.

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Spicy Coleslaw

Spicy Coleslaw

I’ve always liked my coleslaw recipe, but adding a bit of hot sauce made this dish memorable! (And yes, I’m talking about veggies!)  I use whatever veggies I have on hand, but usually use red cabbage and red onion. This version had kale, carrots and white cabbage. Broccoli stems, scallions, brussels sprouts, celery root, jicama…any hard vegetable will work in coleslaw.

Coleslaw is the perfect salad because it doesn’t wilt with dressing and leftovers taste even better the next day!

Spicy Coleslaw

Use about two pounds of vegetables to serve 4-6

Red onion, slice thin on a mandolin, squeeze out extra liquid

Broccoli stem, outer tough layer removed and shred in a food processor or thinly sliced

Red cabbage, quarter, remove core and either shred in food processor or slice thinly

Lacinato kale, stem removed and julienned

Carrot, peeled and shredded in a food processor or peel with carrot peeler,

Anything else—celery root, jicama

Dressing

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive or avocado oil

2 tablespoons either rice vinegar, lemon juice or cider vinegar

¼ cup Mayo and/or crème fraiche

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

S&P

1 tablespoon celery seed

¼ cup Mayo or creme fraiche

1-2 teaspoons hot sauce  like small-batch Mazi Piri Piri or Frank’s

Whisk dressing ingredients together and toss in vegetables. Adjust ingredients as needed. Allow to sit in refrigerator an hour or so to soft and meld.

 Enjoy!

Blackened Pork Tenderloin & Brussels Salad 

Blackened Pork Tenderloin and Brussels Sprout Salad

With this heatwave, I am eating basically all cold food. Any cooking is done in the morning. I cooked this pork tenderloin in my (well-insulated) oven instead of using the stove, which keeps heat and smells at a minimum with A/C on. I love grilled pork tenderloin, but that’s not happening in my NYC apartment!

Blackened Pork Tenderloin

Serves 4

2 pork tenderloins (about 6 ounces per serving)

Blackened Seasoning  (See below)

Extra virgin olive or avocado oil

Preheat oven to 450 and place a cast iron pan inside. Rinse and dry pork. Rub desired amount of blackening season on meat, then coat with oil using your hands. When oven reaches temp, take pan out of oven and place meat in it. Cook for 7 minutes and turn over; cook another 7 minutes. Cook each side about 4 minutes each and test meat. When cool, cut into bite sized pieces.

Brussels Sprout Salad

Serves 8 as side, 4 main course

1 ½  pounds baby brussels sprouts, slicer attachment on food processor or cut in half and hand slice thin

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup extra virgin olive or avocado oil

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoon cider vinegar

Salt & Pepper

¾ cup pecan, toasted at 350 until lightly brown and fragrant; watch carefully—5-10 minutes–and chopped coarsely

3 ounces shredded parmesan cheese

Wisk garlic, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt & pepper and add oil.

Toss sprouts with dressing and add parmesan; allow to sit about 20-30 to wilt brussels sprouts slightly. Add pecans and pork just before serving.

Blackening Seasoning (or buy any Cajun or taco seasoning mix) This will make a big batch for many uses. Freese to keep fresh. I buy all my teas and herbs from Mountain Rose–organic, fresh and great prices!

1 cup Garlic Powder

1 cup onion powder

2/3 cup paprika

1/3 cup cayenne

2/3 cup oregano

1/3 black pepper

1/3 cup cumin

2/3 cup lemon peel

1/3 cup tumeric

1/3 cup salt

Combine all ingredients

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Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad

I like salads year-round, but especially when it’s warm. Since I eat a green salad almost everyday for lunch, I make dinner salads with a variety of vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts and more. You can opt to keep broccoli raw, but I like mine cooked.

The beauty of using these tougher vegetables is that they stand up longer when dressed, making them perfect for parties or when you want to enjoy them the next day.

Broccoli Salad

Bunch of broccoli, florets cut small, stems peeled and chopped

1 small red onion, sliced thinly by hand or on a mandolin

1 raw golden beet, peeled and sliced thin by hand or on ribbon slicer on a spiralizer

½-1 lemon, juiced and zested

3-4 ounces feta, preferably goat or sheep, rinsed and crumbled

Extra virgin olive or avocado oil, to taste or about ¼ cup

Handful parsley

Pepper and salt

Lightly steam broccoli, drain and put into an ice bath; drain well.

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Garlicky Tomato Swordfish over Spaghetti Squash

Garlicky Tomato Swordfish over Spaghetti Squash

Make this delicious (and easy) dish and you won’t miss the carbs at all! It is packed with flavor and textures and the spaghetti squash is the perfect (low carb) vehicle for the sauce. You can also substitute spiralized zucchini for the squash.

I like to add kale or baby spinach because then it is a complete meal in a bowl.

This is an easy meal to prepare, but you can really impress friends or family with it.

Note that you will need a good quality, sharp, heavy Chef’s knife to cut through the spaghetti squash. Having quality knives is essential if you do any real cooking and the absence of a good knife makes cooking difficult and a real drag. My favorite knives are Wusthof.

Good knives are an investment, but you only need to buy them once, along with a sharpener. The essentials:

  •  Chef knife (8″ or 10″)
  • Paring or utility (3″)
  • Long serrated bread knife
  • Carving/slicing knife (10″)

Garlicky Tomato Swordfish over Spaghetti Squash

Serves 4

Cooking Garlicky Tomato Swordfish over Spaghetti Squash

1 large can crushed or diced tomato

½-1 whole head garlic, diced and divided in half

Extra virgin olive or avocado oil

1 lemon, zested and juiced

Handful flat parsley, large stems removed and chopped

½ cup white wine or chicken stock

12 kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped

16-24 ounces swordfish, cut into bite-sized pieces

Salt and pepper

1 head Kale, spine removed and cut into small pieces or baby spinach (optional)

1 spaghetti squash (recipe below)

Parmesan cheese for serving, shredded

Heat cast iron pot or heavy casserole on medium high and coat bottom with oil. Add swordfish, slat and pepper and sauté on each side until lightly brown. Remove fish, along with any juices.

Heat pan on medium low and add more oil and sauté half the garlic until fragrant, about a minute. Add olives, tomato, and accumulated fish juice and bring to a gently boil, then lower and cook for 30 minutes.

Add fish and cook an additional 10 minutes. If you are using kale, add with fish; add baby spinach just before done.

Mix parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest, and remaining garlic. Remove the pot from heat and add raw ingredients or put on top of individual portions. Serve over spaghetti squash. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti Squash

Cooked Spaghetti Squash

Preheat oven to 400.  Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. You will need a heavy and sharp chef’s knife for this. You can score it a few times if you have trouble cutting through.

Rub a little olive oil rubbed the cut side of the squash and add some salt and pepper. Place cut side down on parchment paper on an oven safe tray or pan.

Bake 40-50 minutes, until edges begin to caramelize. Allow to cool a few minutes and use a fork to get all the strands of “spaghetti” out.

Strands of Spaghetti Squash

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Lemony Baked Fish with Haricot Verts Almandine

Baked Fish and Haricot Verts

I adapted this recipe from Marjory Pilley and love it because it is tasty, easy to make and there is no stovetop mess, as fish is baked in the oven. Use fluke, sole, flounder, basa, catfish or just about any fillet.

Serve with vegetables on the side, over a bed of spiralized zucchini, on salad greens or wrap like a taco in butter lettuce.

If you’ve never had haricot verts, you are in for a treat! The French bean is thinner and younger than it’s American green bean, but without the starchy taste. You do need to test them when cooking though, as they don’t taste very good over or undercooked.

Lemony Baked Fluke Fish with Haricot Verts Almandine

Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients

4 6 ounce fluke fish fillets or other mild white fish

1-2 Tablespoons butter, melted

4 Tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Sea salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

2 scallions, sliced thin

2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped

Lemon wedges, optional

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Pat fish fillets dry and place in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Pour lemon juice and melted butter over fish.

Sprinkle remaining ingredients over fish.

Bake uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.

Serve with lemon wedges, if using.

Haricot Verts Almandine

1 pound haricot verts, ends cut off

1 Tablespoon butter

1 handful raw slivered almonds

Salt and pepper

Steam haricot verts for about 5 minutes; test for doneness and drain water. Melt butter over a low heat; when melted, add almonds and stir occasionally until light brown. Add cooked beans, slat and pepper and stir. Serve immediately.

 

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