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.
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.)
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
6 cups bone broth, preferably beef, but chicken or vegetable can be substituted
Coupled sprigs thyme
4 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
8 ounces cheese, preferably raw like Emmentaler and Swiss Gruyere, sliced
Heat a cast iron casserole or other sturdy pot on medium and melt butter. Add onions. Stirring occasionally, cook them slowly—you may want to lower temperature—until they slowly collapse and begin to brown, 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400. Add stock, thyme, salt and pepper and bring just to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes.
Ladle soup into portion sized bowls and place on a parchment lined sturdy baking sheet. Place cheese over soup and bake about 10 minutes, or until cheese melts.
This recipe is delicious with pickled onions, but if you are in a hurry, plain red onions and also very good. This batch of pickled onions is enough for other dishes and only takes a few minutes to make. Plus, I love how they turn pink!
I make enough tomato salad for one meal and never refrigerate the wonderful, organic and farm fresh tomatoes available in summer.
Tomato Salad with Pickled Onions
Tomatoes cut into bite sized pieces
Pickled red or raw onion, sliced very thin
Dash of avocado or extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Pickled Red Onions
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoons kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon sea salt)
In a clean glass jar with a tightfitting lid, mix vinegar, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and add the onions. Let it sit for just a few seconds in the hot water, then drain well, reserving 1 cup water. Add water to jar and shake. Add onions to the jar with the vinegar. The pickled onions will be ready to use in an hour and will last for weeks in the refrigerator.
This is the perfect summer dish, with all the vegetables fresh from the farmer’s market! I have both kale and cabbage from the market, but the kale needed to get used up first—and, the purple/green leaves are so pretty!
This for two nights for my husband and I, and I make the guacamole fresh each day so that the tomatoes are never refrigerated, as this makes it so much more flavorful.
You can use pretty much any ground meat that you are in the mood to eat. I choose pork from a local farm.
The flavors are really good here, but if you can easily make this dish without the added peppers and onions and it will still be satisfying and delicious.
Mexican Farmer’s Market Bowl
Meat and Peppers
1 pound ground turkey, pork, beef, buffalo
2-3 peppers, cut into bite sized pieces
1 red onion, sliced thin
4 ounces shredded Colby and or cheddar
Taco or Cajun seasoning
½ lemon or lime, juiced
Cook meat on medium high until pink is gone and add seasoning. Remove meat and cook peppers and onions on high until limp, about 10 minutes. Add meat, draining fat, if desired. Turn off heat and add cheese and lemon and stir.
1-2 avocadoes, diced
Pint grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 small red onion, sliced thin
½ -1 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper
½ head kale, stems removed, cut or town into small pieces or small cabbage, sliced thin
2 medium beets, peeled, spiralized and chopped into bite sized pieces
1 carrot, peeled, spiralized and chopped into bite sized pieces
Extra virgin or avocado oil
Coat kale with oil and a bit of salt and allow to soften, about 30 minutes. (If using cabbage, no need to add oil.) Add remaining vegetables. Add some of the pepper sauce and toss.
3/4 cup sour cream or crème fraiche
Handful cilantro, chopped
1-2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 small garlic clove
Zest of one lime and juice
2 tablespoons of tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Mix all together with a blender
Assemble the bowl: put slaw on the base, add the meat mixture, then the guacamole. Top with more pepper sauce.
Instead of cauliflower, this recipe uses ground turkey or chicken as the main ingredient in the crust. I got this recipe from a friend and couldn’t wait to try it! While it doesn’t taste like pizza crust to me, it was good, and I piled on lots of veggies and cheese and this made a nice dinner. I used way more ingredients on the pie crust than what you get when you buy pizza, because I didn’t want to make a side dish. Just pile it on! I chose broccoli, shitake mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, but use your favorite pizza toppings. I roasted grape tomatoes because I usually make my own sauce and didn’t feel like cooking. With summer tomatoes at their peak, roasting them seemed like the best choice.
My husband and I ate this for two nights; I cooked the pizza crust and reserved half for the next day.
Low Carb Pizza
1-pound ground chicken or turkey
½ cup parmesan
Mix ingredients and lay out very thin on parchment paper on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes at 450. Then add toppings and bake 10 minutes more.
Top with whatever you like on your pizza and enjoy!
I found this recipe on The Diet Doctor’s website and it was created by Anne Aobadia. I am a cook—not a baker—and would never have been able to dream this recipe up. It is really, really good! According to Anne, each bun is 2 grams of carbs.
As the recipe suggests, I made 6 roundish buns. They would make great burger buns, so for that, I will make them flatter.
Keto Bread—makes 6 buns
1¼ cups almond flour
5 tbsp ground psyllium husk powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 cup boiling water
3 egg whites
2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Bring the water to a boil and add it, the vinegar and egg whites to the bowl, while beating with a hand mixer for about 30 seconds. Don’t over mix the dough, the consistency should resemble Play-Doh.
Moisten hands and make 6 pieces of the dough. Place on a greased baking sheet or use parchment paper.
Bake on lower rack in the oven for 50–60 minutes, depending on the size of your bread. They’re done when you hear a hollow sound when tapping the bottom of the bun.