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Fall has definitely arrived – although we were treated to sunny days this weekend, you could definitely feel the chill in the air. So Soup Season is here. I love homemade soups and this one is simple to make and ready to eat in under an hour. I use an immersion blender to finish this soup as I like small bits of the vegetables still in tact, and an immersion blender offers you more control on how smooth, or how chunky you want your soup, as opposed to a food processor. Me, I like it aa smidge chunky!
3 large zucchini (with skins)
1 bunch of thin asparagus
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbl unsalted butter
1 Tbl dry sherry
1 cup chopped white onion
5 garlic cloves, chopped finely
2 large dashes of Kosher salt
1 dash of fresh ground pepper
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (for Parma Crisps)
1. Top a cookie sheet with a Silpat sheet liner. Drop spoonfuls (use a tablespoon) on to the liner into little mounds, then press them flat. Bake in 400 degree oven between 5 and 8 minutes (depending upon your oven). Once cooked remove from liner and serve with the soup. I make these while the soup is simmering. 1/2 cup grated cheese makes 9 to 12 crisps.
1. In heavy saucepan melt butter, and add the chopped onion and garlic. Stir till onion is translucent.
2. Wash vegetables and pat dry. Quick chop the zucchini into small chunks and add to pot. Cut off bottom of asparagus stocks (the woody section), and then rough chop the asparagus and add to pot. Cook for about 5 minutes till the veggies get some brown on them, stirring the entire time.
3. Once veggies are brown, add the chicken broth and bring the soup to a boil, then turn down heat. cover the pot, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
4. Vegetables should be soft but still keep their green color. Test the vegetables by pressing them against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. The vegetables are cooked when they smash against the side but still hold their shape.
5. Take the soup off the stove and using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients till it starts to thicken. I like the immersion blender over a food processor as the clean-up is much easier and I don’t make a big mess on my side counter, as I do when I use the food processor.
6. Just before serving add the sherry, mix well and pour into soup bowls. Add a bit of heavy cream to top, and affix one parmesan crisp in center and serve a couple on the side.
Serves: 8 people (one cup per serving)
Carb Count: 10 carbs
Calorie Count: 265 calories
Parmesan Crisps: 0 carbs / 24 calories each crisp
This is an adaption of Best Foods “Parmesan Crusted Chicken” . I deleted the bread crumbs because I want this recipe to be low carb, and added chives and roasted garlic to kick up the flavor a notch. I roasted the garlic in olive oil on Sunday, so I can use in multiple recipes this week – roasted garlic seems milder to me yet far more flavorful. This recipe took 5 minutes to prepare and 25 minutes to cook. Dinner in 30 minutes and I caught up on my emails while it baked – nice!
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Best Foods mayonnaise
1/3 cup Pecorino Parmesan fresh grated cheese
3 Tbl fresh chives, chopped
8 roasted garlic cloves
- Pat dry chicken breasts and slice each breast in half. Line a baking pan with tin foil and place the four breasts in pan.
- Mix mayo, cheese, chives and garlic. Divide into 4 and then spread on the breasts.
- Bake for 25 minutes in 425 degree oven. Chicken should have a lovely, bubbly crust on top.
Serves: 4 portions
Carb Count: 3 carbs each breast
Calorie Count: 345 calories
Am back on a Lo-Carb diet for the next few weeks but can’t bear to eat the same food every day (roasted chicken, steak, burgers, etc.) So last night I made Taco Salad, which took less than 15 minutes to prep and cook – then brought left-overs for lunch today in a portable bento box.
No, you won’t find a deep-fried taco shell or even tortilla chips hidden somewhere underneath, as they would take the carb count way beyond what I use in a day (which is 25 carbs or less).
This recipe is very simple and quick to prepare; has an abundance of flavor, and I found I didn’t really miss having a taco shell after all.
Ingredients:1 pound ground round 1/2 raw onion, chopped 1 tsp chili powder 1 tsp ground cumin Dash of Kosher salt 1 tsp Tabasco sauce 2 Tbl salsa (I used Rojo’s Fresh Cut Mild) 2 medium tomatoes 1 head of iceberg lettuce – cut into wedges, and then pulled apart 1 small avocado, cut into 4 wedges, then chopped into chunks 1/2 cup shredded Mexican Cheese 3 Tbl sour cream
- Use a non-stick fry pan, add ground round, onion, chili powder, cumin, tabasco sauce, salt and fry till hamburger and onions until cooked. Then add salsa and stir till blended. Remove from heat.
- Assemble in layers: Set out 4 plates and divide everything into 4 starting with lettuce, cooked hamburger, chopped avocado, chopped tomato, cheese, sour cream in that order. Throw a few tomato chunks on top of sour cream so it’s pretty!
Done and Yum!
Serves: 4 people
Carb Count: 8 carbs per serving
Calorie Count: 436 calories per serving
Beautiful buildings in Stockholm
I was overjoyed to visit Stockholm and home of the Nobel Prizes which are awarded in a ceremony each year at the Stockholm Concert Hall, as this was an item on my Bucket List. To cross off my list that I had seen the Nobel Prize “up close and personal” would have been a first for me, as most of my bucket items to cross off are non-travel related so far. (more…)
Flat Iron steak is my new best friend – at least for this month. Talk about scads of flavor – and it costs less than a NY steak or tenderloin. I generally like a steak with a lot of fat (as I think it provides so much flavor, even though it isn’t so great for your heart or figure.) The flat iron steak is flavorful because of the significant amount of marbling in the meat - if it’s Wagyu or Kobe beef, even better. It can sometimes be a little tough (similar to skirt or flank steak), so marinating the steak will go a long way – shoot for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight if possible. Toss it on the grill – it takes to the grill like wild fire!
2 pounds Flat Iron steak
1. Bring out the food processor, as it is going to do all the work. Add all of the dry ingredients and give it a pulse or two. Then add all the wet ingredients and PULSE again and again until it is the consistency of a pesto. Do not hit the HIGH button or you will end up with watery slush (I achieved this great honor in less than 15 seconds). So just use the PULSE button, pulse, pulse…
2. Place your flat iron steak in a plastic bag and add 1/3 of the above sauce over the steak. Zip the lid close, and then massage the sauce into the steak – place in your refrigerator and marinate for at least 4-6 hours.
3. Remove from the bag and brush aside any remaining herbs that have clung to the steak and set it on your outdoor grill, or grill on top of your stove. Cook about 6 minutes on each side then remove and put it on a plate to “rest” for about 10 minutes. Cut the steak into thin slices across the grain (on the bias.)
4. Spoon 1/3 of the Chimichurri Sauce on top and instead of serving “bread and butter” at the table, spoon the remaining 1/3 of the sauce on a small plate so your guests can dip slices of french bread in it (baguette works best) just like you would with olive oil dipping plates.
I love this!
Serves: 4 to 5 people
To me Coq Au Vin is the epitome of classic French cuisine – and now I find I can make a low-carb version and enjoy it just as much. It’s sorta like when you use the holy trinity of French cooking – if you use fresh, good quality ingredients, you have some leeway on making it work for your eating plan.
If you look at the true translation of Coq Au Vin, it means “rooster in red wine”, hence the use of Red Burgundy in a typical recipe for this dish. I made Coq Au Vin the correct way for years, but half the time my sauce would turn the color of purple (more…)
You can only eat so much beef when on a low carb diet, so I want to have a nice variety of seafood to choose from. Shrimp Scampi is a goody – quick to make, intense flavors, and only 2 carbs per serving. If you are not on a low carb diet I would serve this over toasted garlic crostini, or an ample serving of linguine. I on the other hand, will serve mine over spaghetti squash – yum! (more…)
I have been spinning the idea of low carb dieting for a couple of weeks now and finally settled down to officially and firmly starting today (after back/forth a bit the last 10 days, which did yield a weight loss of 8 pounds.) Eons ago I did the Atkins diet, but quickly tired of eating the exact same foods each meal every day (bacon/eggs, salads, etc.). Since I am committed to eating Low Carb for the next few months, I feel I should also be committed to creating some new and interesting twists (more…)
Growing up meant Meatloaf on Mondays. I had not made it in years, but am taking a healthier attitude this year in what I eat, which means eat less processed food, and stop picking up junk at a drive-through on the way home.
I don’t know why Meatloaf gets a bum rap, as it is considered a staple in most American homes. May not be elegant, certainly isn’t gourmet, but it has great texture, a ton of flavor and is easy on the wallet. One thing it doesn’t have? Great looks. (more…)
Had enough turkey? I know I have, so I turned to the other “white meat” and made pork chops. In the summertime I take large pork chops and make a pocket, insert stuffing and then grill them. In winter I do them a little different as they are being cooked indoors and I don’t want them to end up tough. So instead I purchase “thin”, and I mean thin, pork chops and then lay one in the pan, add stuffing, (more…)