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Low Carb Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Low Carb Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

This made a ton! I ended up freezing half and will try it with low carb tortillas and sautéed onion and peppers with cheese. This is also the first time I enjoyed riced cauliflower, because roasting it dried it out and the spices gave it flavor. That, and all the ingredients mask the flavor. (I do like regularly prepared cauliflower.)

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Served 4-8

1 pound riced cauliflower

For cauliflower: ¼ cup avocado oil, 1 T turmeric, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, salt and pepper.

Eden’s low carb black soy beans

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

Pint grape tomatoes

4-6 bell or mild poblano peppers, cut lengthwise and seeds removed

2 jalapeños, diced

1/2 head kale, spine removed and chopped

½-1 teaspoon Red chili flakes

1 teaspoon oregano

Salt and pepper

6 ounces cream cheese

4 ounces mozzarella, shredded

Coat bell peppers with some oil and roast at 400 for 15 minutes. (Poblano peppers don’t need to be pre-roasted.)

Toss riced cauliflower with avocado oil and spices and put on a sheet pan with tomatoes. Roast cauliflower and tomatoes at 375 for 25 minutes. Set aside.

Sauté onion, jalapenos and garlic on medium and cook until onion is softened. Raise heat and add kale and stir until wilted. Add red chili flakes, salt, black pepper, and oregano. Add cauliflower and tomatoes. Turn to low and add cream cheese. When  everything is melted and mixed together, fill each pepper with stuffing. Put in oven for 15 min at 425 degrees. Add mozzarella cheese and put back in oven and bake for 4 minutes or until melted.

Pickled Vegetables

Spiralized pickled veggies

Pickled Vegetables

Choose any:

Carrot

Daikon or other radish

Beets

Red onion

Cabbage

Distilled white vinegar

Salt and pepper

I spiralize all but onions and cabbage. Not only does it look nice, it is an efficient way to cut hard root vegetables. Plus, helps pickle faster. Mix one part vinegar with water. For this photo, I used about 1 ½ cups of each. Add salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Mix into veggies and allow to cool. Pickles ready overnight.

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.

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.

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.

Fiber and Keto

Low carb salad loaded with healthy fiber

With Keto coming in as the number 2 diet for 2019, plenty of criticism comes along with that. (The Mediterranean Diet, is number 1.)

Jillian Michaels, the fitness motivator, has been outspoken against it, citing all kinds of falsehoods. Now, she has her own weight loss plan and may not be thrilled about any competition, so she blasted it.

I do think there is one legitimate concern and that is you may not be getting enough fiber on a Keto diet. Are you on the Keto/low fat diet and worried you aren’t getting enough fiber? Fiber is incredibly important. It helps you to maintain regularity. Fiber boosts the good bacteria in your micro-biome—your gut; the gut is where most of your immune system is, so a healthy one keeps the whole body in check. Fiber can also help promote weight loss and lower blood sugar levels.

The recommended daily intake is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men, but most people—on a low carb diet or not—don’t hit those requirements.

Here are some low carb/Keto friendly carbs:

  • Avocado 10 grams per cup
  • Broccoli 5 grams per cup
  • Artichoke 10.3 per artichoke
  • Brussels sprouts 4 grams per cup
  • Kale 2.6 grams in 1 cup
  • Spinach 2.4 grams in 3 ½ cups raw, ½ cup cooked
  • Cauliflower 2 grams in 1 cup
  • Almonds 3.4 grams per ounce

You probably know that beans are high in carbs and fiber, but did you know you can eat black soy beans? A ½ cup serving has 8 grams of carbs, but 7 grams of fiber—so replace it with any bean recipe and enjoy!

Eden organic balck soybeans
  • Black soy beans 7 grams in ½ cup

And then there are the fiber superstars: chia seeds, psyllium husk and flax and hemp heart, with chia probably the top fiber food on the planet!  (I included hemp hearts because they are loaded with essential fatty acids (EFA), omega -3 and omega-6.)  I make a drink with all three plus collagen peptides and matcha tea with water for my morning drink. Note that the psyllium, hemp hearts and chia are 0 net carbs!

  • 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

There are many ways to use the super foods to boost your fiber intake. For lunch, for example, the greens are fiber. This salad has spinach, romaine and arugula with 6 grams. I added red and white fermented cabbage (naturally fermented makes it loaded with probiotics and good for gut health) and pickled carrot and purple radish for 3 grams. Then I made chia seed and almond flour croutons with another 6 grams. Finally, I added 1/2 of an avocado for 10. Total fiber: 25 grams!

I get more fiber than from lunch. My breakfast drink has 8. I eat lots of veggies for dinner and I snack on nuts.

So please…don’t tell me my Keto diet is unhealthy!

Fish Filet with Almond Meal

Basa filet with an almond meal crust and haricot vert almandine

I bought almond meal to see what it would be like instead of almond flour in Keto rolls and decided to try it on the Basa filet I bought. Almond meal is not as finely ground as flour and the coating was more like breadcrumbs and worked out great! You can use any filet—flounder, sole, catfish—if it is very thick, it can be finished in the oven.  


Fish Filet with Almond Meal

Serves 2

12 ounces filet fish

1 egg

½ cup almond meal

Parsley, chopped and divided

Salt and pepper

Scallion

Butter or ghee

Leon, zest and juice

Rinse and dry fish. Add salt, pepper and half of the parsleyto a beaten egg in a bowl. Heat a cast iron pan to medium high and add fat whenhot. Dredge fish in egg, then almond meal and place in pan. Cook fish untildone, 5-10 minutes, depending on thickness. Add scallions a couple minutes before fish is done. Allow coating to get nice andbrowned. Plate fish and add remaining parsley, lemon zest and some juice.

Pecan Crusted Fish with Tomato Salad and Delicato Squash

 

I’ve seen pecan crusted fish on many a menu, and finally got around to trying my own, low carb version. I used Basa filet, but you can use any white filet. If it is thick, you can finish in oven.

I like Delicato squash because you don’t need to peel it. Just cut in half, scoop seeds, rub with oil, butter or ghee, salt and pepper. Put oven on 400 degrees and put squash down cut side on a parchment lined tray and bake about 45 minutes or until soft.

The tomato salad is tomatoes, pickled onions, salt, pepper and a bit of avocado oil.

Pecan Crusted Fish

Serves 2

12 ounces Basa or other thin, white filet

1 egg, beaten

¼ cup almond flour

¼ cup raw pecans, crushed

Avocado oil

Salt and pepper

Lemon

Rinse and dry fish. Heat cast iron pan or other pan to medium high and coat bottom with oil. Combine flour and pecans and add salt and pepper. Coat fish with egg, removing excess. Dredge fish in pecan mixture and add to pan. Cook about 3 minutes per side, careful not to burn nuts. Add lemon juice when cooked. Serve immediately

Low Carb Rueben Salad

Low Carb Rueben Salad

If you like a Rueben sandwich with corned beef leftovers, but don’t want the carbs, make a salad instead! Take greens, corned beef, swiss cheese, Russian Dressing (I used homemade,) and sauerkraut and you are good to go!  It may not be quite as good as the sandwich is, but it is pretty darn tasty!

Russian has ketchup in it, but I never buy it because I rarely use it and don’t like the added sugar, so I make my own.  Just mix tomato paste (find a tube for convenience) with some cider or white vinegar and you have ketchup in about a minute, but with no added preservatives, sugar or salt.

Low Carb Rueben Salad

Mix of your favorite salad greens, like romaine, arugula and baby spinach

Sauerkraut, shake off excess liquid

Leftover corned beef, cut into bite sized pieces and trimmed of fat

Swiss cheese, cut into bite sized pieces

Russian Dressing

Substitute some extra virgin olive oil for mayonnaise if you like a thinner dressing.

1/3 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons ketchup or 3 tablespoons tomato paste and 1 teaspoon cider or white vinegar

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish (use less if you don’t want the kick)

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine ingredients.

Assemble salad and toss in Russian dressing.

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