All posts filed under: Quick & Easy

Lo Carb Taco Salad

Taco Salad the Lo-Carb Way

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.

Crispy Hash Browns

  Hash browns are simple to make, but sometimes they are nice and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and other times not so much.   If you always want your hash browns crispy like those you get at your favorite pancake house, or the local diner, then you need to prep therm just like they do, and remove the moisture from your potatoes before you start to fry them.  It’s as simple as that – no mystery, just an extra step you may or may not be used to doing.

Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad

  Did you know that May is National Salad Month?   I didn’t, but I did know that when we have sunny weather like we did this weekend, I crave salads.  On Sunday the temperature reached 86 degrees in Seattle and it seemed fitting to fire up the BBQ, grill a burger, and serve Macaroni Salad, along with a beer.    Growing up in the Bay Area we had family and friends over just about every weekend to enjoy the pool and sun – to make the macaroni salad a little fancier, my Mom would add Bay Shrimp on top (about 1/4 cup).  It definitely made it more special – here is my Mom’s recipe.

Shrimp Scampi (Low Carb)

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!

Green Goddess sandwich with bacon

Green Goddess Sandwich

Last day for eating sandwiches, as I leave behind bread for the next few months.  I love bacon and avocado sandwiches and I love Green Goddess dressing – so put them altogether and I am in pig heaven (no pun intended towards the bacon, really).  Goodbye bread, hello low carb.  Will miss this sandwich but all is not lost as I can still enjoy all of the other ingredients on my new food plan (notice I didn’t say “diet” –  am trying to avoid negativity, and diets always remind me of deprivation – Ha!)

Blackberry Clafouti with Saboyan Sauce flavored with Cointreau

Clafouti is a traditional French dessert with a flan-like batter poured over black cherries, and a delightful dessert in the warmth and sunshine of summer when cherries are in season.  When you use other fruits, such as pears, peaches, apples or berries, it technically becomes a Flaugnarde – which is harder to pronounce and doesn’t sound nearly as sexy – so I made a Blackberry Clafouti! Raspberries are one of my favorite berries, but when I got to the store I found Raspberries cost $9 for a 12 ounce pack, while the blackberries (which looked luscious) were selling for $5 – it was a bit of a struggle as I went back and forth on which to choose,  but guess which berry won!

Orange Salad with Kalamata Olives, Artichoke Hearts and Raspberries

I want to start off the week with some healthy menus, so looking to salads for lunchtime meals.  I actually don’t like a lot of lettuce in salads, rather use it as the foundation to pile on lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.  The following salad has a nice citrus background, some salty briny flavors with the Kalamata olives, sweetness from the raspberries, and healthy benefits from the artichoke hearts (high in potassium, folic acid and Vitamin C). Because the Kalamata are brined, they contain sodium – so I don’t add any salt to the salad.  I ate a portion of this salad along

Meatloaf with onion

Monday Meatloaf

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. 

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake with Chocolate Ganache Icing

It’s that time of year when family starts to descend on you for the holidays.  Aunt Sue and Uncle Bernie and their 3 kids will be staying with you, and this year they are bringing the family dog Apollo, as he gets lonely in the kennel.   Your mother-in-law and her new boyfriend are off for some sun and fun in Dubai, so they will be arriving before Christmas to visit and exchange gifts.  Then of course there is the stress of shopping for gifts (who wears what, what size are they this year, what is that color they absolutely refuse to wear) and decorating the house (yes that does mean the roof too), all of which can drive a person into overload, then stress and anxiety build to a crescendo and you want to explode.

Baby It’s Cold Outside – Hot and Sour Soup

It’s getting cold outside – had to wear a jacket this week for the first time this Fall.  And I notice quite a few people at work have colds, quite a few.  So of course I started to get a cold too, which means a mean stuffed-up head cold.  But wait, there is a sure-fire cure for this besides taking two aspirin and going to bed – it’s called Hot and Sour Soup.   For some reason I don’t think to have this soup during Spring or Summer.