Thursday, September 4, 2014

Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup (Low-Carb/Keto/Gluten-Free)

It's September now, and college football season has begun. I pulled up my shriveled and sun-fried pepper and tomato plants and planted some cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and salad greens. So, that means fall is here, right?

The temperatures outside still say 'summer', but this IS Alabama. Highs not in the 90s seem downright brisk here. So, I think it's ok to kick off the season with some soup. 

Keen readers will realize that I've posted a similar recipe before - for a Loaded Broccoli Cheese Potato Soup. This is similar (but, of course, no potatoes or flour), and a simpler, quicker recipe. I'm a fan of this soup since I almost** ALWAYS have all of the ingredients on hand!  

This couldn't be easier to prepare - in less than 15 minutes, you can have broccoli-cheese soup that is thick, hearty and comforting. It's also vegetarian, gluten-free, and low-carb/keto friendly (4g NET carbs per serving; 6 total servings). Of course, you can always add crumbled bacon to it (I do) to add more fat and protein if you're doing the keto thing or just happen to like bacon :)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Chili-Stuffed Peppers

Confession time - I suck at making traditional stuffed peppers. You know, the ones stuffed with beef and rice and all sorts of goodies? Yep, suck at it. I've made them several times, with different recipes, and something ALWAYS goes wrong, usually with the rice.
As in, I end up with crunchy rice. I know - I'm ASIAN, I should be able to make rice perfectly every time with little or no effort, right? WELL, I grew up with a rice cooker, and have almost always had one, so making rice was simply a process of: wash rice, add to cooker, add water and press a button. I didn't grow up with long-grain or boil-in-bag rice, so I suck at it. Usually, if making a meal with non-sticky rice, I have to have C make the rice. Sad but true. 

That being said, I love stuffed peppers (usually C makes them, and his are great). But, in case you haven't noticed, I've been watching my carbs lately, so rice-filled dishes are a no-no for me right now. I've been wavering between craving chili and stuffed peppers now that summer is ending (though it's still hot and awful here), so, I figured - why not both?

These stuffed peppers are, umm, stuffed with a filling, bean-free, Texas-style chili. Topped with a scattering of cheese, then baked until nice and melty before being topped with all sorts of chili goodies like sour cream, guacamole and cilantro, this REALLY hit the spot for me, and was a perfect low-carb/keto-friendly option. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

EASY Red Curry Chicken

This is a dish I've been making variations of for YEARS. I never realized that I'd never shared the recipe, and only recently realized that this was a fairly low-carb/keto-friendly recipe. I love Thai food, but our options here are limited pretty much to the Surin restaurants. Luckily, Thai food is relatively easy and quick to prepare at home - even ingredients such as coconut milk and red curry paste are easily found at most grocery stores! 

This curry can be served over rice or noodles - to keep it low-carb, feel free to use shirataki noodles or cauliflower 'rice'!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Baked Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

C gets excited anytime I cook Brussels Sprouts. He HATED them growing up, since they were always boiled, mushy and fart-y, but I've converted him after making my Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon. He also likes my Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and now I can add these Baked Parmesan Brussels Sprouts to the rotation.

It all started with an innocent Facebook post from a local farmer's market:

I decided that I wanted Brussels Sprouts, but wanted to try something a little bit different this time. Something more rich and cheesy.

So, I decided on Baked Parmesan Brussels Sprouts. They're SUPER rich and creamy, and the salty Parmesan cheese compliments the slightly bitter sprouts perfectly. The flavor is REALLY reminiscent of good spinach-artichoke dip!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

Sorry for the lack of posts lately; about 2 weeks ago, my trusty laptop died on me. I shut it down one night, and it never powered back on. I decided to wait until this past weekend to replace it, since it's our annual tax-free weekend, and our tax is a whopping 10%. This weekend was kind of a whirlwind in itself, so I stayed offline. So, I'm back online with a new computer, and ready to be all Posty McPosterson again.

Last Saturday, C and I decided to hit Pepper Place (our local farmer's market) to see what they had. We ended up with a ton of vegetables and a gigantic gallon bucket of blueberries, as the farmer informed us it was the very last week that he would have them. Plus, Chris loves blueberries and they freeze really well. 

I decided to make a small cake with some of the fresh berries - sort of like these muffins, but more like a pound cake. A bit of lemon zest in the batter gives a nice tang, while the cake is finished with a simple lemon glaze. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes"

I honestly thought that I had posted this before, considering how often I make this dish. But, apparently I hadn't! As we all know, I LOVE mashed potatoes, and I've posted multiple recipes for them on this blog before. However, I can't eat them often thanks to all of the starch, so I usually enjoy this lower-carb cauliflower alternative instead! Bonus: I get more dietary fiber in my diet!

You don't even need a stove for these - though you can steam the cauliflower in a pot on the stovetop, or even boil them, I prefer to use the microwave. If you boil them instead, just make sure you drain off as much of the water as possible - cauliflower is already watery, and you don't want a runny mash!

These aren't an EXACT duplicate of mashed potatoes, but they're really close!

Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes"

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 6-8 cups)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter (I like to use Kerrygold)
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/2 - 1 tsp salt

Place the cauliflower florets in a microwave-safe dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. This is just like my method for steaming broccoli, but I don't add any water. Microwave on high for 12-15 minutes (depending on the wattage of your microwave) or until the cauliflower is very tender.

CAREFULLY remove the plastic wrap - steam is hot, burns are painful, and skin grafts are expensive.

Mash the cauliflower. I like to use a potato masher to get the big chunks, then an immersion blender to whip the cauliflower into a smooth consistency. You can also use a blender or food processor.

Add the butter, sour cream, heavy cream and salt. Mix until blended. Serve hot.