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Tag Archives: low carb easy dinner

Crispy Tofu with Baby Bok Choy and Shirataki Noodles in Peanut Sauce

Low carb crispy Tofu with Baby Bok Choy and Shirataki Noodles in Peanut Sauce

This peanut sauce recipe has been adapted over 30 years from the traditional Szechuan Cold Noodle recipe found in many Chinese restaurants. I made it constantly in my 20’s, when I was broke and would buy 3-pound bags of pasta. I switched to the traditional Asian noodles when I had more money later.

The peanut sauce is delicious, but unlike the Asian version, I add no sugar. This sauce can obviously be used on noodles, but it is fantastic to use in this dish or others that are low carb. I made this for dinner Friday, and had lots of sauce left and will make it again Monday with the addition of Shirataki noodles. If you don’t want crispy tofu, it is also good baked or even cubed and heated with the bok choy. If you aren’t into tofu, substitute chicken.

Trust me on this—the peanut sauce is so good you could add it to dirty socks and they’d taste delicious!

Crispy Tofu with Baby Bok Choy and Shirataki Noodles in Peanut Sauce

Serves 2

1 pound extra firm tofu, dried and crumbled

1 pound baby bok choy, cleaned with stems and leaves separated and both roughly chopped

1 bag Shirataki noodles, rinsed and drained

4 tablespoons peanut or avocado oil

 5 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 tablespoons ginger, minced

3 tablespoon black and/or white sesame seeds

1 bunch scallions, chopped

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


Turn broiler on and place rack 6” from heat. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Mix  2 tablespoons of peanut oil into tofu. Add salt, pepper and some hot pepper flakes. Broil for 20-25 minutes, turning once, until light brown.

Make sauce: on medium low heat, add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and add garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, hot pepper and cook a couple minutes. Add peanut butter, tamari, San-J® All Purpose Szechuan Hot and Spicy Sauce and mix. Add water until desired consistency. Turn off heat and add sesame oil. Taste and adjust to taste.

Heat pan with 1 tablespoon peanut oil on high and add bok choy stems. Cook for about 5 minutes and add leaves. cook 2 minutes and add a bit of peanut sauce. Stir. Add Shirataki noodles and stir until hot.

Put noodles and bok choy into a bowl, add crispy tofu and top with sauce. Bring extra sauce to table.

Buffalo Chicken, Haricot Vert Almandine & Butternut Squash

Buffalo chicken thighs with butternut squash and harict verts

¼ cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

2 T butter, melted

1 T minced garlic

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

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

Spiralized butternut Squash

Serves 2

Spiralized butternut squash

1 neck–the straight portion— butternut squash, peeled with ends cut off and spiralized

1 tablespoon butter or extra virgin olive oil

Lemon juice

Salt and pepper

In cast iron or heavy pan, heat oil or butter over medium/high heat. Add squash and stir until softened, 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat and add lemon juice to taste.

Haricot Vert Almandine

12 ounces haricot verts, pointy ends removed

¼ cup slivered raw almonds

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper

Lemon juice, optional.

Steam beans in a little water for about 5 minutes; test for doneness. Drain and return to a medium/low heat. Add butter and almonds and stir until almonds brown. Add salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add lemon juice.

Brussels Salad with Pecans, Beets, Duck & Manchego & Walnut Dressing

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecans, Duck Confit and Manchego Cheese and Walnut Dressing

I decided to make this salad with brussels sprouts, as I had a green salad for lunch. Either will work, but the brussels turn a fun shade of pink with the beets!

I buy the duck leg confit prepared; because it is a huge production to make and D’artagnan has a good one and their products have a wide distribution. I split one for my husband and me and after the fat is removed, it is more like a serving of bacon—which is a good substitute if you don’t want duck.

D’artagnan duck confit

A tip on the pecans and for all nuts and seeds: freeze them and they will last at least a year. I stock up at Trader Joe’s and always have pine nuts, pecans, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds on hand for cooking.

If you have not tried it, walnut oil is delicious and fragrant. I use it occasionally for salads and keep it stable in the refrigerator.

You can prepare the beets ahead of time, as they take a long time to cook. Roasting them in foil keeps them moist.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecans, Duck Confit and Manchego Cheese and Walnut Dressing

Serves 8 as side, 4 main course

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

¾ cup pecan, toasted and roughly chopped

2 duck confit legs

3 ounces manchego cheese, roughly chopped

2 beets

Prepare beets: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets, wrap in foil and bake, 1-1 /2 hours, depending on size. When cool, remove skin and cut into small chunks. Shred duck; I remove and discard fat, but some people like it. Heat in oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Combine everything and let sit for about 30 minutes to wilt brussels sprouts slightly. The beets will turn the brussels pink!

Walnut Oil and Lemon Dressing

1/2 a lemon

1/3 cup walnut oil

1 garlic clove, chop if whisking

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt & pepper

Put ingredients in a mini food processor or whisk together.

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Blackened Pork Tenderloin & Salad with Beets, Goat Cheese & Pumpkin Seeds

Blackened Pork Tenderloin with Salad with Beets, Goat Cheese and Pumpkin Seeds

I have a blackened seasoning mix I use on all kinds of meats and even vegetables. I’ve been making it for years—it started when I was inspired by a dish from a restaurant called Olde Village Inn in Nyack, New York—they used in on chicken strips that went on their Caesar salad. I still make that recipe, but also use it to blacken fish or chicken or meat for fajitas, or just make it plain, as in this recipe. I go through a lot of it, so I make my own, since I was going through the little pre-made bottles like water. If you don’t feel like making the recipe, any taco or Cajun seasoning will work. My favorite place to order organic herbs, spices and tea: Mountain Rose Herbs–they are so fresh, inexpensive and now you can buy them in small quantities.

I either grill recipes with the blackened seasoning or cook in in my cast iron pan with some oil. If you do grill, spray meat or fish with a little cooking spray so it won’t stick to the grill.

The salad is delicious and just discovered on my trip to Provincetown, MA in their natural food store. They used a white balsamic vinaigrette, but I choose a cider vinaigrette to go along with the flavor of the blackened meat.

It’s everything pumpkin now, and seeds can be found in natural foods stores. I found Go Raw sprouted pumpkin seeds at Whole Foods and they are delicious. Like nuts, I freeze seeds to keep them fresh a long time.

Raw pumpkin seeds

Blackened Pork Tenderloin

4-6 ounces per person

Blackening seasoning to taste

Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Rinse and dry tenderloin. Coat in blackening spice. Heat a cast iron or other oven proof pan on high and add oil to coat pan. When hot, sear meat on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to oven and bake about 15 minutes, or until meat registers 160 degrees for medium. Let rest a few minutes and slice.

Blackening Seasoning (or buy any Cajun or taco seasoning mix) This will make a big batch for many uses

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


Salad with Beets and Pumpkin Seeds

Mix of baby greens and arugula

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

1-2 roasted beets

¼ cup dried cranberries

2-3 ounces goat cheese

Roast beets: wash and cover in foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 1-1 ½ hours, depending on size. Let cool, cut ends off, peel and cut into bite sized pieces. Add remaining ingredients and serve. Dressing, below.

White balsamic or cider vinaigrette

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup white balsamic or cider vinegar or other vinegar

Salt and pepper

Put into a small food processor and blend.


Copyright © 2021 Norma Lehmeier Hartie