Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuna Broccoli Casserole

Trying to maintain a low-carb lifestyle means I've had to give up a lot of foods, especially casseroles. Most contain things like rice or pasta, or condensed soups. I've really been missing my Tuna Noodle Casserole, but this is a great alternative. I don't make it frequently (C hates tuna casserole), but, this week I am cooking the things he won't/can't eat since he's in NC for business!

I typically buy cauliflower at ALDI - it's far cheaper, and always better quality than the local grocery stores. I usually buy several at a time since I usually have to make a special trip to ALDI since there isn't a location convenient to my home. Luckily, cauliflower freezes well; I just chop everything up, dump into a freezer bag, and pull out what I need, when I need it!

This casserole isn't fishy at all - it's definitely more on the creamy/cheesy side.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

A few weeks ago, I mentioned my incredible disdain for cottage cheese. However, I've learned to love the stuff by hiding its awful texture in things like macaroni and cheese, or casseroles. Plus, it's a great inexpensive source of protein, so I'm all for it. 

I realized that cottage cheese would be great in protein shakes or smoothies. You can blend it with frozen fruits like strawberries and peaches, or do like I do and make a quick and easy breakfast shake to start off the day. The lumpy texture goes away with just a few second of blending, resulting in a smooth, thick drink. This takes me no more than 2 minutes to throw together and keeps me full and energized all morning (especially since I don't drink coffee). Best of all, it's hard to argue with the flavors of chocolate and peanut butter!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

"Fauxtmeal" (Low-Carb/Keto Friendly/Gluten-Free)

I know - that name is a mouthful, and it sounds kind of pretentious. BUT, I promise this is a really tasty alternative to oatmeal/hot cereal/Cream of Hhhhwheat. Instead of oats, this cereal uses chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp hearts, adding tons of fiber without carbs. This means that it will keep you nice and full, but not stuffed or bloated. Also, um, it will help keep things regular, but not in that "I ate a McGriddle and now the bathroom is mine" kind of way. 

In addition, it's ideal for anyone watching their carbohydrate intake, or those who need to avoid grain or gluten. It took a bit of experimentation, but I tried the original recipe and tweaked it to my tastes. Now that the weather is getting cooler, this is the perfect easy breakfast for me. When I need to take it with me, I can just toss all of the dry ingredients (basically everything except the cream and water) in a baggie or plastic container, give everything a good shake, and then add my hot water when I get to where I'm going. The addition of cream is completely optional, but I have to have it for a nice, creamy texture. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sausage, Spinach & Broccoli Casserole

Over the last month, I've gotten SUPER lazy and boring with my meals. I've eaten the same few meals, over and over again. I mean, it was stuff that I LIKE to eat, and fit in with my lifestyle, but MAN did I get bored. So, I've spent the last few days experimenting with some new ingredients, including one I absolutely LOATHE: cottage cheese.

Cottage cheese is probably one of my least favorite foods of all time. I don't mind the taste at all - it's the texture. Small-curd, large-curd, it's always been nearly gag-inducing for me. This aversion definitely doesn't run in the family, though - Dad LOVES the stuff. I hate it. And I'm usually not a texture-hater; I mean, I eat raw oysters!

I decided I needed to TRY to like cottage cheese, since it's super cheap, high in protein and good for you. I read online that it could be blended in a shake or smoothie, thus changing that awful texture. I tried this in a peanut butter chocolate protein shake (recipe soon), and it was AMAZING. 

So, I decided to keep pressing onward. I already use cottage cheese in my Baked Macaroni & Cheese recipe, but that was the only time I ever used the stuff. Now, with a giant tub of it in the fridge, I've been finding all kinds of ways to use it! 

This is a new favorite - it's a simple egg casserole (or frittata or crustless quiche), full of sausage, eggs and cheese, making it perfect for breakfast. The addition of spinach and broccoli make it appropriate for dinner as well. High in protein, but super low in carbs, this easy casserole is so tasty and filling, you won't miss the carbs at all! 

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.