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  • 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

     



  • Green Bean Casserole

    Low Carb Green Bean Casserole

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Green Bean Casserole

    28 ounce can of green beans

    1/2 of a small onion, diced

    2 slices of thick bacon

    8 ounces softened cream cheese

    1/2 cup chicken broth

    parmesan cheese

    fried onions (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick spray.

    Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Chop bacon and fry until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and reserve the grease. Add onion and sautee for about 5 minutes. Add cream cheese and chicken broth. Heat and stir this mixture until smooth. Add green beans to pan and mix well. Pour green bean mixture into casserole dish. Top with parmesan cheese and bacon. You can also add a few tablespoons of fried onions as a garnish if you like.

    Serves 8: NET carbs 3 per serving without fried onions

     



  • 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

     

     

     

     



  • Low Carb Fried Squash

    Fried zucchini or summer squash makes a great low carb side dish. You can also cut them into “fries” if you remove the seeds in the center. Serve with ranch for dipping.

     

     

     

    Low Carb Fried Zucchini Squash

    2 medium to large zucchini or summer squash                      

    4 eggs

    1/3 cup Carbquik

    1/3 cup almond flour

    1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

    Preheat oil to 350 degrees in a deep fryer, or about 1/2 inch deep in a skillet. Beat eggs in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine Carbquik, almond flour, and parmesan in a gallon bag. Slice zucchini or squash into desired shape. (Do not peel.) Coat zucchini in egg wash and place into dry ingredients. Toss to thoroughly coat.  Remove from breading mixture and fry for about 4 minutes until golden brown. Place on paper towels to drain excess oil. Season with salt while still hot.

     

    Serves 4: NET carbs about 4.5 per serving

     

     

     

     



  • Stuffed Mushrooms

    These are the stuffed mushrooms from my anniversary dinner. These made a great low carb side dish. They’d also be great served as an appetizer.

     

     

     

     

    Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Mushrooms

    14 ounces whole button mushrooms

    3 pieces thick-cut bacon, chopped

    1 clove garlic, finely chopped

    4 ounces softened cream cheese

    ½ cup cheddar cheese

    4-6 green onions

    2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Clean mushrooms with a dry pastry brush. Remove stems and set aside. Brown mushroom tops in butter for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Remove mushrooms from pan and allow excess water to drain. Add chopped bacon to pan. Chop mushroom stems and add to bacon. When bacon is nearly brown, add garlic to pan and cook for another minute. Drain excess fat from pan. Over low heat, add cream cheese, cheddar cheese, green onions, parsley, and lemon juice. Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Remove from heat as soon as they are well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. You won’t need much salt because of the bacon. Put heaping tablespoon of cream cheese mixture into mushroom caps. Bake mushrooms at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until hot.

     

    Serves 4: NET carbs 3.5

     

     

     

     

     



  • 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?

     



  • Low Carb Rutabaga Fries or Chips

    The first low carb chips I made were made of jicama with the recipe found here. This is actually a video from Kent Altena demonstrating how he makes jicama chips. I love these. I think they are awesome. Unfortunately, my local grocery stores rarely have jicama, so I’ve had to choose another alternative. According to my family, these are awesome. They may not be crisp like a traditional potato chip, but they are very tasty and easy to make. I slice mine fairly thick in comparison to how you might slice a potato for making chips. This gives the end product more substance and preserves some of the natural crunch of the rutabaga.

    Low Carb Seasoned Rutabaga Chips or Fries

    2 Rutabagas, peeled and sliced (or jicama)

    1 teaspoon paprika

    1 teaspoon chili powder

    1/2 teaspoon cumin

    Salt to taste

    Heat oil to 375 degrees. Also, preheat oven to 200 degrees. Mix paprika, chili powder, and cumin. Set aside.

    Fry rutabaga in 4 batches (or more if you have a small fryer) for about 5 minutes each. Stir after a few minutes to make sure the chips brown evenly.After removing each batch from the oil, sprinkle with salt and part of the seasoning mixture while rutabagas are still hot. Place on a baking sheet and keep in the oven to stay warm while you finish remaining batches. You should use all of the seasoning mix by the time you are finished.

    These are good with any type of ranch or french onion dip. I served mine with avocado dip found here and low carb Latin burger here.  Together it makes an incredible meal that will leave you feel no sense of deprivation whatsoever.

    NET carbs: 4 per half cup of rutabaga



  • Low Carb Cooked Apples

    My husband and I feel lucky to have lost so much weight while eating such a good variety of foods and “sweets.” (We’ve lost a total of 167 pounds so far. :)) I really don’t feel any sense of deprivation. However, my husband does really miss apples. He is much more sensitive to carbs than I am; he still has a few pounds to lose, so he hasn’t been eating them. I hope he’ll be able to enjoy apples again when he is on maintenance. In the meantime, I wanted to try to make something to satisfy his craving. These turned out really well and he truly enjoyed them. We used them 3 ways: on top of a low carb waffle, on top of low carb ice cream, and as a side dish. I am working on a fried apple pie recipe too. I’ll keep you posted.

    Low Carb Cooked Apples

    2 medium zucchini

    4 tablespoons butter

    1 packet of sugar-free apple cider mix (available in grocery store in coffee/tea aisle)

    1 teaspoon molasses

    1/2 cup granular erythritol

    12 drops EZ Sweetz (or 1/2 cup Splenda)

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    pinch of salt

    1/4 cup heavy cream

    2/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)

    Peel zucchini and slice in quarters lengthwise. Remove the part with the seeds. Then chop into 1/2 inch chunks.

     

     

     

     

     

    Melt butter  in a skillet, then add zucchini, cider mix, molasses, erythritol, ez sweetz, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes. You really just need to heat it through and make sure the erythritol is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream and nuts. The sauce thickens tremendously as it cools. The consistency will vary greatly depending on how warm it is when you serve it.

     

     

    We made caramel apple sundaes with Breyer’s Carb Smart vanilla ice cream.

     

     

     

     

     

    We also used them to top low carb waffles. (Recipe here.)

     

    Serves 6: NET carbs about 4.5 per serving

     

     

    I want to make these again and try Jicama in place of the zucchini. I think that has the potential to be even better.

     



  • 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