Archive for ‘Low-Carb’

June 16, 2015

Loaded Borscht

I’ve really been slacking on this blog lately. But tonight’s dinner drove me to my computer when I realized I’d never shared it ūüôā It’s a favorite recipe around here. And it’s soup. So that’s saying something. This soup is incredible left to simmer away on the stove on a rainy afternoon. The house smells delicious!

I love borscht. Before I go any further, though, let me first say–I am not Russian… or Ukrainian… or any kind of Eastern European at all. This is not an authentic borscht recipe. I’d call it more a “borscht-inspired” recipe. It has all the basics–beets, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, dill–but done with my own spin. This recipe helps me get tons of veggies into my kids’ tummies with no complaints! So here you go.

Loaded Borscht
Makes about 4 quarts

1 lb ground pork, beef, or sausage crumbles

1/4 c butter or pastured bacon fat
2 diced onions
4 stalks of celery, diced
4 carrots, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 c red wine

4 c good beef stock
8 c water
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 beets, peeled, and grated or cut into thin matchsticks
beet greens/stems from the beets, finely shredded (if you have them)
2 potatoes, diced (you can substitute turnips, diced small, for lower carbs)
2 zucchini, diced
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1 bay leaf
salt, pepper, thyme, and paprika (season generously!)

sour cream or plain yogurt (you can omit if dairy-free)
fresh dill, chopped

1. Brown meat in a large stockpot (at least 6 qt) over medium-high heat.
2. When meat is almost done, add butter, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Saute until veggies are tender.
3. Deglaze pot with wine.
4. Add next set of ingredients, bring to boil then reduce heat, and simmer until veggies are tender.
5. Serve with sour cream/yogurt and fresh dill.

Enjoy! ūüôā

October 13, 2014

Working with what’s in my pantry!

It’s been awhile since I posted. ¬†Time to rectify that with a new recipe that is going in my “make again” list!

We’ve been eating our way through a big half-ham for the past week or so, and it was time to use it up. ¬†I trimmed off the rest of the meat, and threw the bone in my slow cooker with an onion, a sad carrot, some celery leaves, a pretty beat-up apple, some black pepper, and a bay leaf. ¬†Filled up the crockpot with water, and it’s been working hard on some awesome-smelling ham stock all day. ¬†Now what to do with the ham… some I set aside for my weekly quiche, the rest was a bit of a challenge. ¬†See, we’ve already had ham sandwiches, lentil soup, ham and root veggie hash with peppers (and plenty of ketchup!), sliced ham with lots of veggies on the side. ¬†This will be our second big batch of ham/broccoli/cheddar quiche. ¬†No one in my house likes pea soup. ¬†Hubby’s low-carb/primal diet means the kids and I eat pasta/potatoes/rice for lunch when we want it–dinner has to accommodate him! ¬†Ham’s nice and all, but by the end of 10+ lbs, we’re all getting kind of tired of it…

So I checked my pantry, and found the usual fall staples–things like sweet potatoes, onions, apples… hmm, that sounds kinda good… and this was what resulted. ¬†Totally primal (skip the cheese if you don’t do dairy), and totally hard-to-stop-eating.

Ham hash

Sweet Potato, Ham, and Apple Hash with Eggs
Serves 4-6

3 tbsp butter
2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 large apples, peeled and diced
1/2 an onion, diced
a pile of leftover diced ham (I’d guess about a pound?)
chopped fresh rosemary
eggs (we used 7, but use however few or many you like–extra eggs is an easy way to stretch this)
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Heat the oven to 425. ¬†Melt the butter in a big roasting pan while you’re prepping the sweet potatoes. ¬†Toss them in the melted butter and pop the pan back in the oven to start roasting while you prep the remaining ingredients.

Once the apples, onion, and ham are ready, mix them in with the sweet potatoes. ¬†Sprinkle with chopped rosemary. ¬†Roast everything til it’s tender¬†(about 45 minutes),¬†then turn the oven down to 375. ¬†Carefully crack your eggs over the hash mixture and cook about 15 minutes more, until the whites are set. ¬†Sprinkle with cheese, and you’re done!

This was an awesome primal “breakfast for dinner”, but you could easily turn it in to a make-ahead breakfast as well! Make a big batch of the hash ahead of time, then in the morning, just add the eggs/cheese and pop in the oven while you get ready for your day. (Our microwave was a casualty of kitchen renovations; if any of you readers want to try that for reheating and cooking your eggs, let me know how it goes!)

November 21, 2013

Primal Thanksgiving stuffing casserole (gluten-free)

I usually make vegetable soup once a week. But luckily for the hubby, I (mistakenly) thought I was out of chicken stock, so I had to come up with something else to do with the head of cauliflower sitting in my fridge. Since it’s getting close to Thanksgiving, and I conveniently–and entirely accidentally–had an appropriate selection of ingredients, I decided to try out something Thanksgiving-themed. I pulled this together on the fly, and I wasn’t sure how it was going to taste, but it came out awesome! The four food critics gobbled it down and went back for seconds, and there were tears from the 3-year-old when it was gone. So I guess it’s family-friendly, at least in this family! If you’re curious, here’s the recipe:

Primal Thanksgiving Stuffing Casserole

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
Drizzle of olive oil

1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 apple, diced (peeled or not)
Mushrooms, chopped or sliced (however many you like)

1/4 c melted butter
1/4 c GF flour (you could omit this, but the sauce won’t thicken without it)
1 1/2 c milk

1-2 lbs pork sausage (or use ground pork and add sausage seasonings–sage is especially nice)

1/4 c almond flour
1/2 c cheddar cheese

Combine first three ingredients in a large (9×13) casserole dish and start roasting in a 350 degree oven.

While those are roasting, cook onions, garlic, and celery in a skillet in a little of whatever oil you like best (we use bacon grease around here!) Add apple and mushrooms as the onions are getting soft, and saute a minute or two longer. Set aside.

While those are cooking, mix together butter and flour. You could add some salt and pepper, too, if your sausage is really mild. Add milk, and cook til thickened (which you can do in the microwave–stir every minute til it starts to thicken up). Set aside.

Brown sausage in the same skillet you used for veggies.

Layer sausage, sauteed veggies, and finally cream sauce over the cauliflower and sweet potato in the oven. Sprinkle with almond flour. Bake til cauliflower is fork-tender, about 45-60 minutes from when you first put it in the oven. Sprinkle some cheddar over the whole thing near the end if you like.

Serve with pomegranate seeds for a nice cranberry-sauce-like touch ūüôā

While not insanely low-carb, most of the carbs come from the veggies, and it is FAR lower in carbs than stuffing or a traditional noodle- or rice-based casserole!

December 22, 2011

Eating for adrenal fatigue

It’s always interesting explaining to someone that I am on a strict diet. ¬†I’m 15 lbs underweight right now, and people usually wonder WHY I would need to be on a diet. ¬†When I don’t feel like getting into all the details, I leave it with something like “oh, I have some kind of fatigue thing going and I’m trying to gain weight”. ¬†Sometimes I get just “oh, I see”, or a laugh and “you can have some of mine”, but once in awhile I get “I wish I had your problem”. ¬†No. ¬†No, you don’t. ¬†But on to happier things.

I don’t eat gluten, pasteurized dairy, legumes, and I try to limit whole grains, sugar, and raw dairy. ¬†If someone asks me what I’m SUPPOSED to eat, it’s always fun to answer “oh, lots of butter, salt, and fatty meat”. ¬†Because really, that IS what I’m supposed to eat. ¬†Thankfully, hubby follows a low-carb diet as well, so the near-complete absence of bread or pasta in our house isn’t a huge burden. ¬†Dinners really aren’t that difficult–you can do a lot with meat, vegetables, and a little fruit or cheese or white rice. ¬†The challenge is lunch and snacks–when I’m home alone with the kids and I just don’t feel like cooking yet again (isn’t breakfast and dinner enough?) ¬†With adrenal fatigue, you’re never supposed to let yourself get too hungry–it stresses the adrenals further–so you need to have food available the moment you get hungry. ¬†Diet restrictions are tough when you can’t eat ready-made snack foods. ¬†So I’m learning to make huge batches of things for dinner, so I have plenty of leftovers for whenever I suddenly realize I’m STARVING. ¬†Ideally, I want something I can pull out of the fridge with a fork, drop on a plate, and nuke for a minute. ¬†Who can think about dishing up complicated leftovers when your blood sugar is crashing?! ¬†So here is my latest go-to for snacks or meals; be warned, this is a BIG batch. ¬†It’ll give you lots of leftovers!

Zucchini Meatballs

3 lbs ground beef (I use 80% or 85% lean)

1 lb ground turkey

4 eggs

2 cups cooked white rice (optional)

1/4 cup gluten-free flour (optional)

2 tsp worcestershire sauce

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

4 zucchini (about 1-1/2 lbs)

4 carrots

1 onion

4 cloves garlic

Place meat, eggs, rice, flour, and seasonings in a large bowl. ¬†Grate zucchini and add to bowl. ¬†Pulse carrots (roughly chopped), onions (cut into rings), and garlic in a food processor until minced; add to bowl. ¬†Mix everything up with a spoon or your (clean!) hands. ¬†Make meatballs (or hamburger patties, if you prefer) and fry over medium heat. ¬†Alternately, you can steam them (brown in a frying pan, then add a little water and cover til done). ¬†You could also bake in the oven at 375; depending on how big you make them, they’ll take anywhere from 25-45 minutes.

Gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb (without the rice), full of veggies… simple, kid-friendly, versatile… these can be served like hamburgers (you could add a bun if your own diet allows), made into spaghetti and meatballs, or–my favorite–plated up with sliced avocado and pomegranate seeds. Oh, and ketchup. ¬†Yes, I know that ruins the whole gourmet image you had going in your head. ¬†But I do need my salt. ¬†=P