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Artichoke Spinach Dip or Side Dish

Artichoke spinach dip with jalapenos
Artichoke spinach dip with jalapenos!

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

Roughies

"Roughie"--water with psyllium, matcha tea, flax, collagen and chia seeds

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!

Fiber rich powerhouses: hemp haearts, chia seeds, flax and psyllium

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 can!

See my post why fiber is so good for you.

Roasted Chicken with Broccoli and Cauliflower

Roasted chicken with broccoli and cauliflower

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!

Low Carb Chicken or Beef Enchiladas

Low carb beef enchiladas

I usually make chicken enchiladas, but made a big batch of bone broth stock and needed to use the meat that had cooked for hours and didn’t have much flavor left, yet was nice and tender. Enchiladas made sense, as there are all kinds of flavors going on. It was delicious and there was enough for three nights for my husband and me.

If you decide to make bone broth, I used about 4 pounds of soup bones, with meat. After cooking, it yielded 1 pound of meat that I easily shredded. Bone broth recipe

Chicken or Beef Enchiladas

Serves 6

Low carb tortillas, 2 per person

1 pint sour cream

½ pound shredded cheddar + jack , reserve some for top

1 pound cooked chicken or beef, shredded or small pieces

2 jalapenos, seeds removed and minced

 ½ pound mushrooms, chopped

1 small red cabbage quartered, and sautéed extra for topping or chopped kale

6 cloves garlic chopped

1 large onion, chopped

Sauce topping

Salsa or roasted grape tomatoes, roughly chopped

Green olives, sliced

Avocado, chopped

Scallion, chopped

Lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Baby spinach for plate

Preheat oven to 350. Sauté onion on low until softened, add mushrooms, jalapenos and garlic and raise heat, cooking until mushroom lose water and brown a bit.  Add kale or cabbage and cook 5 minutes. Add chicken or beef and allow mixture to get hot. Allow to cool and few minutes and add remaining filling ingredients. Fill two tortillas per person.  Add extra cheese on top. Cover for 20 minutes in oven and remove cover for last 10 minutes. Bake a total of 30 minutes or until is bubbling.

Mix tomatoes, avocado, scallions, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Arrange spinach on plate and add enchiladas. Top with avocado/tomato mixture.

Roasted Chicken, Tomatoes and Artichokes

Roasted chicken with artichokes and tomatoes and sauteed cabbage

I make roasted chicken breasts and thighs all the time. Sometimes plain, other times like this recipe. I add mushrooms or make them buffalo style. All are good. I served the artichoke mix on the side to keep the skin crispy. You can serve on a bed of spiralized zucchini or riced cauliflower. I served with a side of cabbage and onion stewed in chicken stock.  It is all good and very easy to make.

Roasted Chicken Tomatoes and Artichokes

Preheat oven to 400

Chicken breast or thighs with bone

Salt and pepper

Lemon zest

Rosemary, chopped

Grape tomatoes

Olive cured olives, roughly chopped

Artichokes, roughly chopped

Goat cheese, optional

Salt and pepper chicken and put wrong side up into a cast iron pan into oven, for ½ hour. Turn chicken over and add tomatoes, olives, and artichokes and goat cheese, if using. between chicken. Add rosemary on top and cook for another ½ hour. Plate chicken and add lemon juice and zest to vegetables in pan. If there is a lot of juice, reduce a few minutes.

The Low Carb High Fiber Diet

I really like and respect The Week, but they were simply wrong in an article published 2/1/2019 called “Fiber’s Many Benefits”.

They wrote: “In a blow to proponents of low-carbohydrate diets, a landmark study has found that people who eat more fiber–found in fruit, begetables, and whole-grain cereals, pasta and bread–are less likely to die early or suffer from a chronic condition such as cardiovascular disease or cancer.”

See, you can eat a high fiber, low carb diet.

Last time I checked, low carb diets include vegetables. Many low carb vegetables and some fruit contain a lot of fiber, especially avocadoes at about 20 grams per fruit. Other low carb vegetables with high contents of fiber are broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, artichokes, and spinach.

Nuts have fiber.

There is even a low carb, high fiber bean: black soy beans have 1 gram of carb and 7 grams of fiber in ½ cup!

Eden organic balck soybeans

And then there are the superfoods that are carbs, but their high fiber content basically negates the carb. These foods can and should be consumed on the low carb diet. They are:

•             Chia 8 grams of fiber, 8 grams of carbs in 2 tablespoons

•             Psyllium husk 4 grams fiber, 4 grams carbs in 1 teaspoon

•             Flax seed 3 grams fiber, 4 grams carbs in 2 tablespoons

•             Hemp Hearts 2 grams fiber, 2 gram carb in 3 tablespoons

The Week article also says that “American adults consume an average of 15 grams” of fiber per day and we should be eating 25-30 grams. The average American eats a high carb diet, but doesn’t get the fiber. Clearly, this article misses the point. Most high carb foods American eat are low in fiber, because they eat junky carbs.

The point is you can eat 30 grams of fiber and still be on a low carb diet.

Roasted Chicken with Indian Spiced Spinach and Keto Rolls

Roasted chicken, Indian spiced spinach and Keto rolls

Generally, I cook enough for two nights for Dave and me. I do this for a variety of reasons:

  1. Deciding what to cook is half the battle, so I have less decisions to make.
  2. Saves time. Now, I don’t cook all meals in their entirety for two days; it depends on what I’m making. For example, with this meal, I cooked up a batch of the spiced spinach, meant for two days. But the chicken—which is the easiest thing to cook—I’ll make fresh both days.
  3. A lot of ingredients are sold in portions of 4.
  4. Makes me a better cook. Even the greatest chef wasn’t born that way—cooking is a learning process and I’ll continue to improve until I die. On day one, if I find something can be improved, I’ll do so for the next night. I’ll even make notes and changes in my recipe book.

As mentioned, I generally cook enough for two dinners, with no leftovers. But somehow, two pounds of spinach plus two zucchinis was a lot of food and there were leftovers. I wasn’t going to make the tofu and queso blanco again, so I decided to make my trusty roasted chicken. I was in the mood for dark meat.

I also baked all three kinds of Keto rolls that I make yesterday, and we shared #1 and #3 last night. #3 is not my recipe, and I am sorry, but do not have the baker’s name who created it. Please let me know if you recognize it and I can give credit to this awesome low carb roll!

Recipe for Keto roll #3 . Roasted chicken (Same recipe, but kept it plain, adding only salt and pepper.) and Indian Spiced Spinach.

Keto Roll #3

Keto Rolls #3
Keto Rolls #3

A note on the photo…I am not a baker—I am a cook—and these aren’t “perfect”. I rarely baked anything before going Keto, because I don’t like to. However, I like to eat these suckers more than I don’t like baking, especially since buying Keto friendly bread is not an option, as the only breads available are awful and/or filled with processed ingredients. Baked all three types of rolls I make to get it out of the way for a few weeks. Also, one thing I like is that all of these recipes require only one bowl to make, so cleanup is easy.

This is not my recipe, and I am sorry, but do not have the baker’s name who created it. Please let me know if you recognize it and I can give credit to this awesome low carb roll!

Keto Roll #3

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

Ingredients

2 T sunflower seeds

2 T pepitas

1 T sesame seed

3 cups almond flour

2 T psyllium powder

2 T flax meal

1 t baking soda

1 t salt

4 large eggs

4 T avocado oil

2 T apple cider vinegar

½ cup boiling water

Mix seeds and set aside. Mix flour, psyllium, flaxseed, baking soda, salt and half seeds. Add eggs, oil, vinegar and stir. Add water. Form 10-12 rolls, or less, if you want them large. Sprinkle remaining seeds on top of rolls. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and you have a light brown top crust.

Pork Chops with Dijon Sauce

Pork chops with dijon sauce, mashed cauliflower and roasted veggies

This recipe was created by Julia Reed, and you can find it here: The New York Times

This dish features a classic French sauce that is delicious. I didn’t have wine, so used more homemade chicken bone broth. I made mashed cauliflower for all that lovely sauce.

The pork chops come from Hemlock Hill Farm and are pasture raised. They were huge chops and leftovers were perfect for salad.

But that sauce…on Sunday, I bought a baguette from Kaiser Maison and indulged, dipping the hot bread in the sauce. It was worth every carb…

Swordfish with Butter Compound

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Swordfish with compound butter, delicata squash and haricot verts almandine

I bought this swordfish frozen at Trader Joe’s. What I like about buying fish frozen is that you can pretty much count on it for being the freshest available—outside of catching it yourself or from the local fish monger. Frozen fish is caught, then immediately frozen, which is what makes it so fresh. Next time you are buying fish, note that if it says, “previously frozen”; if it does, you don’t know how long it’s been hanging around defrosted. Not to say it isn’t good, but that buying frozen or locally will give you the freshest fish.

No time to defrost that frozen fish? There are two recipes here, one for cooking frozen and one

Compound butter is super easy to make and transforms a plain piece of fish. The secret is to allow the butter to get nice and soft before mixing in the remaining ingredients.

Swordfish with Butter Compound

Swordfish

Avocado oil

Salt and pepper

Lemon

Frozen

Dry fish. Preheat oven to 500. Heat oven proof pan on stove on high and add a bit of avocado oil. Season with salt and pepper and brown on both sides. Put into oven for 5-8 minutes, depending on thickness. Fish should be opaque.

Defrosted

Dry fish. Preheat oven to 500. Put oil in oven proof pan and turn stove to high. Salt and pepper fish. Sear one side 3-5 minutes, flip and put into oven 10-12 minutes, depending on thickness. Fish should be opaque.

Butter compound

2 ounces butter, softened

Zest of one lemon

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper

Combine ingredients

Squeeze lemon juice on fish and add a dollop of butter compound on fish.

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