• Tag Archives cauliflower
  • Cauliflower Salad

    DSCF9513This was a very simple low carb side dish that was a big hit with my family. This makes a great replacement for potato salad. It’s also extremely easy to make. It won’t win the award for most photogenic, but it really is delicious.

     

    Cauliflower Salad

    1 head of cauliflower cut into florets

    4-6 green onions, white and light green parts sliced

    6 pieces of crisp bacon, crumbled

    1 cup cheddar cheese

    Dressing:

    1 cup mayo

    1 cup sour cream

    1/3 cup powdered erythritol

    8 drops EZ Sweetz (equivalent to 1/3 cup Splenda)

    3/4 teaspoon salt

    pepper to taste

    Put all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Combine dressing in a separate bowl and add to salad. Mix to thoroughly coat all of the cauliflower. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours.

    Serves 8: NET carbs 4.5 per serving

     



  • Sweet “Potato” Casserole

     

    I made this dish for a side at Thanksgiving. I was trying to recreate a sugar-free and low carb version of the sweet potato casserole with the praline topping. It’s almost more like dessert than it is a side. The main ingredient is a low-carber’s best friend, cauliflower. Believe me, no one will have any idea what’s really inside.

     

    Topping:

    1 cup erythritol

    1/2 cup almond flour

    2 scoops vanilla protein powder

    10 tablespoons of chilled butter

    1  1/2 cups chopped pecans

    Mix erythritol, almond flour, and protein powder in a medium bowl. Cut in chilled butter until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in chopped pecans. Refrigerate until ready to use. (If you make this ahead for the holidays, leave the topping and the filling separate until just before you put them in the oven.)

    Filling

    1 head of cauliflower, steamed until soft

    1 can of pumpkin puree

    2 eggs

    3/4 cup erythritol

    18 drops of EZ Sweetz (3/4 cup Splenda equivalent)

    1 scoop vanilla protein powder

    2 tablespoons coconut flour

    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9 X 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

    Place steamed cauliflower in food processor. Puree until completely smooth. Add canned pumpkin and eggs. Mix well. Blend in erythritol and EZ Sweetz.  Add protein powder, coconut flour (preferably sifted), cinnamon, and salt. Run food processor on high until completely blended and smooth.

    Place mixture in the bottom of baking pan and add topping. Bake for 45 minutes, until top is brown.

     

    Serves 16: NET carbs 3.8 per serving

     

     

     

     



  • Country Fried Steak and Mush-room Gravy

    My husband loves a good meat and “potatoes” meal. I decided to make him Country Fried Steak (sometimes called Chicken Fried Steak) with mashed cauliflower and green beans with bacon. He and my son loved this meal. They said I definitely needed to share. I hope you enjoy!

     

     

    Low Carb Country Fried Steak

    8 pieces of cubed steak

    1 cup buttermilk

    1 cup Carbquik

    1/2 cup almond flour

    Season cubed steak with salt and pepper. Mix Carbquik and almond flour and season mixture with salt and pepper. Dip cubed steak in buttermilk, and then dredge in Carbquik/flour mixture. Allow steaks to rest a few minutes for the breading to set. Heat about 1 inch of oil over medium-high heat (350 degrees) in a large skillet. Place steaks into heated oil and fry for about 6-7 minutes per side. Handle and turn them gently so you don’t lose your breading.

    I decided that while I was cooking some of my husband’s favorites, I would add a mushroom gravy to the meal. I think mushrooms are his absolute favorite food.

    This is optional, but it was a nice addition to the meal. It would also be great over a plain hamburger steak.

     

     

    Low Carb Mushroom Gravy

    8 ounces sliced mushrooms

    3 ounces cream cheese

    1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

    1 1/2 cups broth (beef, vegetable, or chicken)

    salt and pepper to taste

    Sautee mushrooms over medium heat until brown. (I used the grease from the bacon I fried to go in the green beans; in fact, I used the same pan so I wouldn’t have another one to clean. :)  You can use butter or olive oil to sautee the mushrooms if you haven’t made bacon recently. Although, I can’t imagine a time when I haven’t made bacon recently.) Remove mushroom from pan and set aside. Melt cream cheese into the pan and whisk in broth until smooth. Bring to a simmer and mix in xanthan gum. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and stir. Remove from heat. Sauce will thicken further as it cools.

    This is the finished meal served with mashed cauliflower (recipe here) and green beans with crumbled bacon.

    NET carbs in each piece of steak is 2.5.

    NET carbs in entire batch of gravy is 8.

     

     



  • LC Thick’n Potatoes

    I recently decided to try a few products from LC Foods (holdthecarbs.com). They have an interesting variety of products for people who eat low carb and/or gluten-free. They also don’t use maltitol, which tells me they’ve done their homework.

    The first product I tried was LC Thick’n Potatoes which you can find here. It sells for $7.98 for a 4 ounce container.

     

     

    The package directions basically say to steam, puree, and season one head of cauliflower with 1 1/2 teaspoons of this product.

    Instead of doing that, I used my recipe for mashed cauliflower (here) and substituted the LC Thickener for xanthan gum.

     

    The results were good. It did seem to give the cauliflower a texture that was more like mashed potatoes. My husband and my son both liked it. I really wish I hadn’t told them that I’d changed anything and then waited to see if they would notice a difference.

    In the end, it is a good product. I’m not sure it changes the cauliflower enough to justify paying $8 for such a small quantity.

    I read somewhere that a couple of tablespoons of instant mashed potato mix added to the cauliflower puree makes it seem more like the real thing. Has anyone tried that and gotten a good result?

     



  • Mashed Cauliflower

     

    Mashed Cauliflower makes a great low carb side dish. I’ve experimented with different ways to make them, and I’ve found that by adding a few unexpected ingredients it’s possible to make something that is very similar to mashed potatoes in taste and consistency.

     

     

    Mashed Cauliflower

    1  head of cauliflower, chopped

    3 Tablespoons of softened butter

    3 ounces softened cream cheese

    1/2 tsp (heaping) of xanthan gum

    salt and pepper to taste

    Place cauliflower in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer approximately 20 minutes. Make sure the cauliflower is very soft and cuts easily with a fork. Drain the excess water and leave the cauliflower in the hot pot for a few minutes. This will remove any excess moisture. Place cooked cauliflower in a food processor, then add remaining ingredients. Puree until completely smooth.

    If you have a chance to make these a day ahead, the consistency gets even better. I like them to be thick and have some substance. It makes them seem more like potatoes to me. They reheat well in the microwave. You can also throw them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes if you’re already baking something else anyway.

    Experiment with different toppings and seasonings. This is just a basic recipe to which you could add garlic, cheese, chopped bacon, green onions etc. You can add anything you like that complements your meal.

    Serves 6: NET carbs about 3 per serving



  • Spaghetti Squash

    Spaghetti squash is a great substitute for noodles. It’s really easy to prepare, readily available, and very inexpensive. It does take some time in the oven, but it doesn’t need any real attention while it bakes.

     

     

     

     

    I start by making my husband cut the squash in half lengthwise. They are a little tough, so be careful with them.

     

     

     

     

    Scoop the seeds out of the squash, drizzle it with olive oil, and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes.

     

     

     

    Make sure the squash shreds easily with a fork. If not, put it back in the oven for 5 minutes at a time. Season with butter, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

    *4 NET carbs in one cup

     

     

     

     

    Check the carb count on your sauce. The sauces from World Market are good and have 4-5 net grams of carbs per serving.

     

     

     

     

     

    I served my spaghetti squash with cheese sticks that I made using the Cauliflower Crust recipe from Your Lighter Side found here. If you haven’t tried any of the riced cauliflower recipes on this site, I highly recommend that you do.

     

     

     



  • Low Carb Orange Chicken

    My husband and I used to enjoy our local Japanese restaurant often. Maybe we enjoyed it a little too often and I think this was a large part of our problem. I wanted to try to recreate the meal we used to get there and it turned out well. I know this because while I was cooking my daughter said, “I’m feeling kind of full already.” This is Katie’s way of telling me that she does not want to have anything to do with my latest experiment. However, when I was finished cooking she wanted a bite of my chicken, then another, and then she went to the kitchen to get her own plate. :)

     

    I first made the orange sauce by combining the following ingredients in a small

    pot:

    1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

    1/3 cup chicken broth

    1/4 sugar-free orange marmalade

    2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

    1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger

    1/2 tsp of xanthan gum (scant, not heaping)

    1/2 cup Splenda or 6 drops EZ Sweetz

    1/2 granular erythritol

    1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. (optional)

    Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Set sauce aside and it will thicken while it stands.

     

    Cube 2 pounds of chicken breasts and cook in a hot pan in two batches for 6-7 minutes each. Cook 2 cups sliced mushrooms, and then add the cooked chicken back into the pan. (Add very little, if any, salt to the chicken and mushrooms as they cook. The sauce probably will have enough salt for most people.) When the chicken and mushrooms have heated through, remove the pan from the heat and stir in orange sauce. Cover with foil and set aside.

     

    Stir fry 3 medium zucchini and 2 onions in soy sauce for about 4-5 minutes, depending on how crisp you like your vegetables. Cover with foil and set aside.

    Stir fry 3 cups of riced cauliflower* in butter and one tablespoon of sesame oil. The sesame oil is very important because of the nutty flavor it gives the “rice.” Allow rice to brown and add soy sauce to taste.

    Serves 6: Net carbs about 10 for the entire meal. (I did add some shrimp sauce that I purchased from our local restaurant to mine. This added 4-6 grams of carbs. Leave it off if needed for your low carb plan.)

    *Riced cauliflower is simply shredded, raw cauliflower. It can be made by using the shred blade on your food processor, or by using a box grater.

     

     

     



  • Low Carb Lasagna

    Lasagna "Noodles"

    Few things in life are more rewarding for me than pulling hot,
    cheesy lasagna out of the oven. I am amazed by the fact that I’ve been able to
    enjoy this dish often while losing weight. It certainly doesn’t look, feel, or
    taste like “diet” food. When I explain to people that the key ingredient for
    making low-carb lasagna is actually cauliflower, I must admit I get some
    strange looks. It is a little funny I suppose. I guess people picture a big
    cauliflower floret in the middle of their lasagna and it honestly doesn’t sound
    that appealing. However, see the top for what your “cauliflower noodles” will look like when done.

    Here is a link to the recipe that I use for lasagna:

    *Update: apparently the site has changed, and it will not allow me to give you a link directly to the recipe. However, if you click the link you will go to the correct site, “Your Lighter Side.” Once you are there, search for Cauliflower Noodle Lasagna and it should come up for you. Sorry for any confusion…

    There are also other fantastic recipes on this site that use
    cauliflower or zucchini in a variety of creative ways. It’s something that you
    really can’t believe until you try it. Trust me, it’s worth it.

    Bon Appetite!