Thursday, July 31, 2014

CLCA Day 20 and More Fun with Fermentation!

"Cyd's Low-Carb Adventure," Day 20
Cyd is still not yet back to fighting strength, so I have another rather boring report.

Breakfast: Berry Smoothie with Almond Milk and Chia Seeds
Lunch: Popcorn (ugh)
Dinner: Turkey, Avocado, and Tomato Sandwich on a Whole Wheat Tortilla
Dessert: Local Strawberries with Whipped Cream

As I was freed from cooking duties for another day, I turned my attention to a second pickling project: traditional kosher dill pickles made by fermentation rather than brining in vinegar and canning. (I am trying to simulate the awesome ones that I bought from Po'Boys & Pickles in Portland, ME.) One peck of small Kirby cukes produced THREE GALLONS (or rather, six half-gallons) of pickles which are now hanging out in the laundry room, aka The Fermentation Station--for at least a week and up to three! I hope my nerves can handle the wait and the stress.

Note: This recipe is based on one from my friend Ron Nolland's grandmother. His methodology is to leave the jars on the counter for just two days and then into the fridge. But I prefer a more sour pickle. So I almost doubled the salt in his recipe, hoping to be able to get more room temperature fermentation time before the pickles get transfered to cold storage. We shall see. It's all a big experiment. (Maybe I should have just done a half peck then, huh? Tee hee. Oh well, I like to live on the edge!)

Fermented Kosher Dills

1/2 peck of small pickling cukes
1 gallon (non-chlorinated) water
2/3 cup canning salt (or sea salt)

In each half gallon jar (you'll get three):
2 grape leaves, washed
4 large (or 6 smaller) garlic cloves, peeled
10 peppercorns
1 teaspoon pickling spice
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 heads of fresh dill
18-22 small (pre-soaked) cucumbers, blossom end removed

Scrub cucumbers with a brush and remove the blossom end. Soak in cold water in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, bring the water and salt to a boil, then let cool. Meanwhile, prepare your jars that have been washed in hot, soapy water. Place a grape leaf in the bottom, along with half of the garlic and spices, and one head of dill. Pack in the (drained) cukes, then add the rest of the garlic, spices, and the other head of dill.

Fill the jars with cooled brine, leaving at least one inch of head room. Add the other grape leaf on top. Fill three small baggies with some of the leftover brine and weight down the pickles. (Or use a smaller glass jar, lid or disk, or a sterilized stone as a weight if you prefer.)

Let the pickles ferment on the counter (on a lined tray or plastic tub) for five to seven days, then taste one. Keep fermenting (up to three weeks) until sufficiently sour. The brine should bubble and turn cloudy. If any mold forms, just scrape it off and discard. Add additional brine if necessary. When the pickles are sour enough to your liking, remove the brine baggies, cap the jars, and store in the fridge (for months).

Follow-Up (8/7/14): It's been a week since I started fermenting the kosher dills, and I sampled one tonight. They are DELICIOUS, and they were already about 3/4 sour, so I called them "done" and moved them into the garage fridge. I am SO proud! 

Additional Note: If you try this method, and at the end, you miss the distinctive tang of vinegar, try adding a couple of tablespoons of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar to the jar after the pickles are done with their room temperature fermentation. Bragg's is a live/cultured product, so you won't be interefering with all that probiotic goodness that you waited a week or more to develop. :-)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

CLCA Day 19 and Fun with Fermentation!

"Cyd's Low-Carb Adventure," Day 19
Once again, I have nothing exciting to report, as Cyd stayed home sick today. She finally felt better enough to have some dinner this evening, so she had two of the leftover carnitas tostadas, and some sugar-free Jell-O for dessert.

Since I didn't have to cook anything new/special today, I turned my attention to some pickling projects. ('Tis the season, you know.) I have a peck of Kirby cukes cleaned, trimmed, and soaking in cold water in the fridge overnight to be dealt with further on the morrow.

And then I have another fermentation experiment going on in the laundry room: I am trying to recreate something I bought at a farmers' market in Maine that the vendor called Swedish Carrots. I made nine pints! I sure hope they turn out. I guess we'll see in 5-7 days.

Swedish Carrots

4 lbs. organic carrots*, peeled, ends removed, and thinly sliced
1 gallon water (non-chlorinated)
2/3 cup canning salt or sea salt

In each (pint) jar:
1 bay leaf
1 large peeled garlic clove
1 tablespoon thinly sliced or chopped onion
1 small head of fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Prepare the carrots, then leave soaking in cool water until ready to pack your jars. Meanwhile, bring a gallon of water and the salt to a boil, then turn off the heat and let cool.

Place all of the herbs and seasonings in the jars, fill with (drained) carrots, and cover with the cooled brine. Use the handle of a wooden spoon along the sides of the jar and in the middle to help remove air pockets. Put about 1/4 cup of the remaining brine in a sandwich baggie, and place one in the top of each jar to weight down the carrots and keep them submerged in the brine. (Or you could use a smaller glass jar, lid or disk or a sterilized stone if you prefer.)

Place the jars in a cool, dark place (on a lined tray to catch the overflow as they start to ferment). Check every day, and skim off any mold that may form at the top (a cloudy, fizzy brine is normal). Add a little more brine if necessary to keep the carrots covered. Start tasting on day three, and let them go until they taste the way you'd like, probably between 5-7 days. When the carrots are as sour as you want, remove the baggies, cap the jars, and store in the fridge (for months).

*You can also add sliced parsnips and rutabagas along with the carrots if you like.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

CLCA Day 18: Annnnnd...She is Sick Again :-(

"Cyd's Low-Carb Adventure," Day 18
Sadly, there was not much to report, as Cyd drank her customary berry smoothie with almond milk and chia seeds for breakfast, but was sick for the rest of the day (no lunch), came home from work early  and slept right through dinner. HMPH!! (However, I'd like to report that I had some awesome green chile carnitas tostadas!)

Of course, I realize that these aren't low carb, as they have refried beans AND tortillas. But if Cyd is ever ready to eat again, I'll serve her carnitas as a Tex-Mex salad or over cauliflower "rice" that I sauté with some onion and finish with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Slow Cooker Green Chile Carnitas

3 lb. pork roast, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper, divided
2 teaspoons cumin, divided
2 teaspoons chili powder, divided
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 cup vegetable shortening (or fat of your choosing)
28 oz. (3 1/2 cups) green chile enchilada sauce/salsa verde
1 large onion, diced
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced (or a tablespoon of nacho slices, chopped)
one bulb of garlic, separated, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon oregano
juice of a lime

Season the pork pieces with the salt, half of the pepper, cumin and chili powder, and the granulated garlic. Fry in two batches in the melted shortening until browned all over. Drain and add meat to the crock pot along with the salsa verde of your choosing (homemade is best, but prepared will do).

In the leftover fat, fry the onions and jalapenos until they just turn golden brown. Throw in the garlic and cook for a minute or two more. Add the cooked veggies to the crock pot along with the remaining pepper, cumin, and chili powder, and also the oregano and lime juice.

Cook for 3-4 hours on high, 6-8 hours on low until the chunks are just starting to fall apart, but still hold their shape. Finish with more fresh lime juice.

Monday, July 28, 2014

CLCA Day 17: Back on the Low-Carb Wagon

The Return to "Cyd's Low-Carb Adventure," Day 17
Breakfast: Maple Blueberry Greek Yogurt Parfait
Lunch: Salad in a Jar
Dinner: Roast Beef and Vegetables (Onions, Carrots, Celery, and Mushrooms) over Winter Squash and Goat Cheese Mash
Dessert: Sugar-Free Pudding

Well, this day didn't go according to plan. I was thinking about starting some fermented pickles, but before I got going with that, I wanted to thaw out a chicken for dinner. Unfortunately, all the stuff in the outside freezer was completely buried with frost, and it took me an hour and a half to clean it all out, dumping all the old food and chiseling out all the ice, only to discover that there was, in fact, no chicken in there...and that there is a leak in the garage roof (GACK!!).

On the plus side, I did unearth a small chuck roast and a few boneless short ribs in the freezer, though, so I braised a savory pot roast and veggies in the oven on a weirdly cool, rainy day (at the end of July!). And I served it over this WONDERFUL squash and goat cheese puree that helped Cyd not even miss mashed potatoes.

Braised Chuck Roast and Short Ribs 

1/4 cup olive oil
one large onion, sliced
2 large carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
8 large Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato aste
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and saute the onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms for a few minutes until they start to become tender and take on some color. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Deglaze the pan with red wine. Add in the Worcestershire, teriyaki (or soy) sauce, tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme, pepper, and pepper flakes. Braise at 325 degrees for about 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat can be pulled apart with a fork. 

Winter Squash and Goat Cheese Puree

1 box frozen winter squash
4 oz. goat cheese
1 teaspoon Grade B maple syrup
salt and pepper, to taste

Microwave the squash according to the directions on the box. Crumble in the goat cheese, maple syrup, salt and pepper, and stir until combined.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

LOBSTAH TIME! Our Vacation to Maine in Pictures

This is the post devoted to the week where we abandoned our everyday woes (and low-carb regimen), loaded up the car with our gear and the dogs and headed for Down East Maine. We slept, we read, we sat on the deck, we got some sun, we watched bad movies, we drank margaritas, we took scenic tours, we visited local farmers' markets, we watched whales, we watched bald eagles and sunsets and grilled from our deck, we looked at the countless stars, we smelled the salty sea air. In short, it was heaven...until we ate some "Red Tide" clams the last evening there and ended up horribly sick that night and during the drive home. Oh well...seafood is delicious, but sometimes, it's like playing digestive Russian roulette. ;-)

Our first break with our carb fasting was on the way through Vermont, when we stopped in Montpelier for dinner at Positive Pie.
The next morning, we hit up the Crystal Springs Farmers' Market in Brunswick, Maine where we bought lots of fresh veggies, handmade corn tortillas and salsa verde, and these awesome fermented "Swedish carrots" that I am going to have to try and replicate at home!
Further down the highway, we found some folks selling strawberries along the roadside.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Can you hear the angel chorus singing?? This is what we've dreamed about for three long years--the world's BEST lobster roll at Red's Eats in Wiscasset, Maine. Well worth the hour wait!
Our wonderful vacation rental for the week in Addison, Maine aptly named the Ocean Vista House.
The view from the dining room and kitchen. AMAZING!!
Prunelle also enjoyed the view. Poor old girlie is 13 now, and I made her wear little panties to protect our security deposit, just in case. ;-)
Old man Grady enjoyed chillin' on the deck, too.
The youngest, Dollop, preferred to sit between us in her own Adirondack chair. We watched the lobster boats coming and going, we listened to the many birds (and the livestock at a farm down the way), and we sniffed all the wonders of God's seaside creation. Ahhhh.....pure bliss for human and canine alike!
One of Cyd's first stops was Wild Blueberry Land for a housemade Blueberry Crumb Pie--also something she's been dreaming about since we were there three years ago.
We also tried their blueberry ice cream, and our new obsession, their blueberry milkshake! (Yeah, this is where our diet fell spectacularly apart. Oh well, it was vacay!)
In our random travels, we came across this goat dairy farm with a creamery in their garage. We bought some garlicky chevre and some lovely mild feta.
Another garage-based business, and this one is truly fantastic! Mother Shuckers (ha ha) is run by this delightfully enthusiastic and personable woman who sells the lobsters that her husband catches each day, and provides invaluable advice about how to prepare them. I follow her on Facebook, and she's HILARIOUS!
Here is Mother Shucker Nadine herself, digging around in her garage fridge to find four deliciously sweet and tender "shedders" for our dinner.
I made my poor roommate do the dirty deed, but aren't they GORGEOUS? (Forgive us, crustaceans, for we know exactly what we do...but we cannot resist you steamed and drenched in drawn butter.)
Then came the tedious job of retrieving the meat. I strongly suggest you stick to the claws, the knuckle thingies, and the tails and forget the tiny little legs--unless you want to suck the meat out of them as a little tideover snack to sustain you as you're cracking lobstahs.
I made this luscious whole grain linguine with sautéed spring onions, a mix of different mushrooms, Silver Queen corn cut from the cob, and organic garlic from a farm in Jonesboro, ME. And the lobster from Mother Shuckers' Clam Shack, of course. And butter. LOTS of butter!
When Cyd took the lobster shells out to the garbage, LOOK what she found in the woods behind the dumpster?!
A bucket list day: Whale watching in Eastport!
We got back in time to have margaritas and watch the sunset off the deck. Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!
Even our breakfast is grinning during vacay in Maine!
One of the beautiful sunsets and the view from the deck.
We were very surprised to find authentic Mexican food at this little roadside joint in Milbridge, ME (Vasquez Mexican Food). ¡Muy delicioso!
Truck full of lobster traps on Beals Island.
Beals Island lobstermen weighing the "shedders" for our last dinner in Maine. You can't beat lobsters bought right off the boat!
This pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? LOL!
Our last fabulous lobster dinner in Maine--including sweet corn and a sugar snap pea and garlic scape salad--which sadly, I couldn't even eat, because the bad clams I had earlier that afternoon did me in. (In hindsight, Cyd probably should have walked away as well. She was paying the price by morning. Boo hiss.)
On the way home, I hit up the Ellsworth Farmers' Market (while poor sick Cyd snoozed in the car). I bought more veggies, more fermented carrots (they're my new thing), and a blueberry maple yogurt parfait for Cyd, if she's ever able to eat again, that is. ;-)
Since Cyd declared a moratorium on seafood after the killer clams--and also because she slept the whole way home and had no say in the matter--I sought out some good eats as we rolled through Portland. And TripAdvisor led me to this AWESOME Cajun sandwich shop called Po'Boys & Pickles. They are consistently voted best sandwiches in Portland, and I can believe it!
I had a very good muffaletta there, but the real joy for me was their housemade pickles. I bought a quart of half sours (not pictured) to bring home, and also some of these beautiful pickled veggies. The mix of the day included red onions, carrots, green beans, and fennel. DELISH!
And they also sell gin-yu-wine Zapp's chips. This crazy "Voodoo" flavor may be my dietary undoing! (Good thing they are only sold in Louisiana...and on eBay. UH-OH!!)
We were supposed to stop in Nashua, NH for the night, but it was only 5pm when I cruised past there, so I decided to just keep going. And I made it back to Burlington in time to grab a gluten-free chicken pot pie from the Healthy Living Market for our Sunday dinner (local folks, ya gotta try it--it's incredible!). YAY for me, long-haul driver extraordinaire!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

CLCA Day 16: My New Favorite Tacos!

"Cyd's Low-Carb Adventure," Day 16
Breakfast: Mixed Berry Smoothie with Almond Milk and Chia Seeds
Lunch: Beef with Broccoli and Mushrooms over Cauliflower "Rice" (leftovers)
Dinner: Aida Mollenkamp's Pea Guacamole and Seared Halloumi Soft Tacos--pictured

THESE TACOS ARE MY NEW FAVORITE THING--SOOOOOO YUMMY! They're pretty quick and easy, too, and meatless...but yet still savory and satisfying. Of course, I used some sprouted grain hippie tortillas to minimize the carb impact. I pretty much followed the recipe, although I added some onion to the tomatoes, and a squirt of sriracha at the end, as is my way. DELISH!!!

Pea Guacamole and Seared Halloumi Soft Tacos
(Source: Aida Mollenkamp)

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium garlic clove, pressed or finely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for frying
2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups fresh or frozen shelled sweet peas
1 medium firm-ripe avocado
1 medium lime or lemon
6 1/4 ounces Halloumi or paneer cheese cut into 1/2-inch steaks
8 flour or whole wheat tortillas

Toss together the tomatoes, garlic, two tablespoons of the olive oil, and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate until ready to serve.

Cook the peas in just enough water to cover in a small pot over medium heat, about four minutes. Drain, reserving about 1/4 cup of the pea cooking liquid. Add the reserved cooking liquid and two tablespoons of olive oil to the peas and puree in a food processor until mostly smooth with some small pieces of peas remaining. Add the avocado and pulse to a slightly chunky puree. Add a squeeze of lime or lemon, season with a pinch of salt, taste, and adjust as desired. Set aside.

Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a medium nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Season the cheese on both sides with pepper. Add to the hot pan and cook until crisp and brown on one side, two minutes. Flip and continue cooking until just browned, one to two minutes more.

Toast the tortillas over an open flame on your stove. Add a spoonful of the pea guacamole to each tortilla, top with the cheese and the tomatoes and their juices. Serve warm.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

CLCA Day 15: "Healthy" Cookies (Which, No, is Not an Oxymoron)

"Cyd's Low-Carb Adventure," Day 15
Breakfast: Mixed Berry Smoothie with Almond Milk and Chia Seeds--pictured left
Lunch: Salad in a Jar --pictured left
Dinner: Beef with Broccoli and Mushrooms over Cauliflower "Rice"--pictured below
Dessert: Healthier Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Whole Grain, Reduced Sugar, with Almonds, Chia and Flax Seeds)--pictured below

Beef with Broccoli
(Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman, via Food Network)

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup cornstarch (I found this to be too much/too gloopy--next time, I would try 2 T)
3 tablespoons sherry
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced (I doubled this, as is my way)
1 pound flank steak, trimmed of fat and sliced very thin against the grain (I used hanger steak)
3 tablespoons peanut or olive oil
1 pound broccoli florets (I added an 8 oz. package of mushrooms)
1/4 cup beef broth
1/4 cup oyster sauce
salt, if needed

In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, cornstarch, sherry, brown sugar, ginger and garlic. Pour half the liquid over the sliced meat in a bowl and toss with your hands. Reserve the other half of the liquid and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat. Add the broccoli (and mushrooms, if using) and stir for a minute. Remove to a plate.

Allow the skillet to get very hot again. With tongs, add the meat in a single layer. Spread out the meat as you add it to skillet, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn the meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.

Pour the reserved sauce into the skillet along with the beef broth and oyster sauce. Cook over high heat until it starts to thicken. Add the beef and broccoli (and mushrooms) back into the skillet and toss to coat. Season with salt if needed.

So I bought these chia seeds at the health food co-op to add protein to Cyd's morning smoothies, but I started wondering what else people use them for. In a cursory search of the interwebs, I came across a cookie recipe that sounded good, and like it might help take the edge off Cyd's voracious sweet tooth. She LOVED them, and so did I! 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Chia Seed Cookies
(Source: adapted from Uproot from Oregon)

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)*
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Stevia in the Raw**
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground pecans (or almond flour)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Cream the butter, sweeteners, vanilla, and egg in a stand mixer until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Add the seeds, nuts, and chocolate chips, and mix one more time.

Refrigerate the dough for at least four hours, then use a regular-sized cookie scoop (2 oz?) to scoop onto a Silpat or parchment-lined tray. Flatten the cookies with the palm of your hand. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until browned around the edges. Let cool. Devour.

*I accidentally doubled the butter in the recipe that I was adapting. Oops! So I might cut that back to just one stick next time...or I might not. (Tee hee.)
**I might also cut back on the Stevia to 1/4 cup. (Or those who don't prefer a very sweet cookie could omit it all together.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

CLCA Day 14: Pregnant Co-Worker ATTACKS for Roomie's Zoodles

"Cyd's Low-Carb Adventure," Day 14 (Whoo-hoo! Two weeks!)

Breakfast: Mango-Berry Smoothie with Almond Milk and Chia Seeds
Lunch: Slow Cooker Bolognese (leftovers) with Raw Zucchini Noodles
Dinner: Teriyaki Pork Steak (leftovers) and Green Salad
Dessert: Fresh Strawberries with Whipped Cream ('tis the season!)

Carb count: 87 grams

It seems as though I'm now everyone's low-carb/Paleo/Primal chef! I tried my hand at making zucchini noodles with a julienne peeler and topped them with some leftover slow cooker Bolognese and sent it off with Cyd for her lunch today. Apparently, a lady at work caught sight (or a whiff) of it, and wanted to try some. Seeing as the woman is pregnant, Cyd couldn't deny her, and she ended up eating HALF of Cyd's lunch! LOL! I don't know my own culinary power--to lure hapless and unsuspecting pregnant co-workers into Cyd's luscious low-carb web. Who knew zucchini noodles would weave such a mysterious and powerful spell? I'M A WITCH!

A brief discussion of "zoodling:"
Zoodles are a mainstay of low-carb/Paleo/Primal cooking, and there are several different ways that you can make them. If you are super-talented with with a super-sharp knife, you can cut them manually. Or you could make thin slices on a mandolin, and then cut the slices into strips (or some mandolins come with this kind of blade). The least expensive option (as low as five bucks) is to get a julienne peeler--which is what I used, because I had one already--but of course, it will make julienned pieces rather than noodle width/thick pieces, and you end up wasting some of the vegetable. The next option ($10-20) is the pencil sharpener-type of spiralizer, which seems to work fairly well, except that many people report that it's a pain to clean, and there is also some waste of the veggie. The final option (and most expensive, but still only about $25-35) is the Paderno-type spiralizer. The main down side is the gadget's size and bulkiness, but it reportedly makes perfectly uniform veggie noodles with the least amount of effort, the least amount of waste, and clean up is easier. (It should be noted that Cooks' Illustrated rated the Paderno the highest and did not recommend the pencil sharpener type.) So I suppose it comes down to your budget, how much room you have on your counters and in your cupboards, and how often you will be making zoodles.

Monday, July 14, 2014

CLCA Day 13: In Which There are Superlative Brussels Sprouts

"Cyd's Low-Carb Adventure," Day 13

Breakfast: Nuthin'. (Apparently someone forgot to make/take her smoothie!)
Lunch: Butter Chicken with Cauliflower "Rice" (leftovers)
Dinner: Teriyaki Pork Steak and Balsamic Brussels Sprouts--pictured
Dessert: "Carb Smart" Dairy Dessert

Carb count: 47 grams

Cyd said these were the best Brussels sprouts she's ever had, but I sincerely doubt that. (The fried Brussels at Liquids and Solids at the Handlebar in Lake Placid are surely the pinnacle.) All I did was sauté them in a little olive oil and butter (about a tablespoon total) until browned, then seasoned them with pepper, lemon pepper, red chile flakes and granulated garlic. Lastly, I added a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and reduced it until it coated the wee cabbages. That was it. Easy-peasy.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

CLCA Days 11-12: Fake-Out "Rice" without the Carbs

Cyd's "Low-Carb Adventure," Day 11:
Breakfast: One slice Ezekiel toast with butter
Lunch: Leftover Green Chile Bake
Dinner: Footlong deli sub (minus most of the bread) and 1/2 cup poutine (Oops--oh well, they say to keep to your low-carb program 80% of the time, right?)

Carb count: 110 grams

Day 12:
Dinner: Slow Cooker Butter Chicken with Cauliflower "Rice"
Dessert: "Carb Smart" Dairy Dessert

Carb count: 20 grams (Because someone slept all day and only ate one meal! Hmph.)

Just like spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles can be used to replace wheat flour pasta, the versatile cauliflower can easily replace mashed potatoes and even rice. For the faux "rice," you just break up a cauliflower into smaller florets and toss them in the food processor (I do this in two batches) and pulse until approximately rice-sized. Then cook in one teaspoon of fat (coconut oil or clarified butter if you're going Paleo), stirring frequently, until the pieces just start to turn golden. That's it! Cyd doesn't even like rice, but she really likes the riced cauliflower.

Friday, July 11, 2014

CLCA Day 10: Latin Low Carb

"Cyd's Low-Carb Adventure," Day 10
Breakfast: Scotch Eggs
Lunch: Leftover Spaghetti Squash and Slow Cooker Bolognese
Dinner: Green Chile Chicken Bake (my own low-carb invention)--pictured
Dessert: Ice Cream (or "Carb Smart Dairy Dessert," if you will)
Late-Night Snack: Leftover Chicken Sausages

What to do when you're low-carbing but craving Latin American delicacies? Why, you invent a low-carb green chile chicken enchilada bake using some sort of whole/sprouted grain hippie tortillas from the co-op (just three of them in the whole pan!). Am I a genius, or what? ;-)

Low-Carb Green Chile Bake:
I used the big grainy tortillas (cut in quarters, six pieces to a layer), two cans of whole, fire-roasted green chiles (which I ripped into strips), a deboned/skinned/chunked up rotisserie chicken, shredded cheese, and two cans of green enchilada sauce. I left the top open-faced (normally, I'd add a final layer of tortillas, but we're cutting carbs, right?), then covered with the pan foil and baked at 350 for 30 minutes covered and another 15 uncovered.

Of course, if you want to go fully Paleo on this, just use the green chiles (not ripped into pieces) layered without tortillas and skip the cheese.

Even with all that food, including my tortilla bake, carb count for the day was 53! WOOT!