Low-Carb Clam Chowder

 

low-carb-clam-chowder

I enjoy chowders during the cold months. The only problem is that most chowders have flour and potatoes which are not allowed on a low-carb diet. If you have not tried it, you may not believe that cauliflower is an excellent substitution for the potatoes in this chowder.

I use cauliflower quite a lot these days. I never had it until I was an adult. Even then, it was always raw and on vegetable (or curdité) platters. It wasn’t until several years ago that I discovered what a versatile vegetable it actually is. It’s a great rice substitute, potato substitute, and I even have a recipe for paleo grits made with cauliflower on my blog.

For this recipe, I substituted cauliflower for the potatoes. I needed some extra thickness to the chowder so once I cooked the cauliflower I used my immersion blender to puree it, leaving a few bite-size chunks. It was incredible and my family never even noticed that it was cauliflower!

If you are not interested in a low-carb New-England Clam Chowder, visit www.notjustsundaydinner.com for a full carb version.

 

Low-Carb Clam Chowder
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 4 (6.5-oz.) cans minced clams, juices reserved
  • 2 to 3 c. bottled clam juice
  • 2 thick-cut bacon slices, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, diced fine
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 8-oz. cream cheese
  • 6 tbsp. dry sherry
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • hot sauce, optional, to taste
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Instructions
  1. Drain the clam juice from the minced clams and combine with enough bottled juice to equal 3 cups of liquid.
  2. Clean cauliflower and core. Place in a Dutch oven with a small amount of water. Cover and cook until tender. Remove from heat and drain well, and blend with an immersion blender, leaving a few bite-size pieces.
  3. Cook the bacon over medium heat in the Dutch oven until lightly crisp.
  4. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, and stirring cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Whisk in 2 cups clam juice, 2 c. of heavy cream, the prepared cauliflower, and cream cheese. Bring to a simmer, whisking until the cream cheese is completely melted.
  6. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and simmer about 15 minutes.
  7. Add the clams, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and sherry. If too thick add additional clam juice. Simmer until warmed through.
  8. Serve warm.

 

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Spinach and Goat Cheese Frittata

 

spinach-and-goat-cheese-frittata
 Happy New Year!  I am hoping that each of you had a wonderful holiday season and that you are ready for a fresh start in 2017!
As always, we throw caution to the wind during the holidays as far as our meals go.  I always make homemade candy and cookies and although we give much of it away, we still eat too much!
For the past several years we have tried to eat lower carb.  It seems that Greg is much better at this than me.  Occasionally, low-carb cooking can become a little boring for me.  Also, I’ve always had a sweet tooth and sometimes I just need to satisfy the craving.  However, my mission is to find new diet-friendly dessert recipes in 2017.
We try to eat low-carb in our house for reasons other than shedding a few pounds.  Due to Greg’s ulcerative colitis, he has found that eating a low-carb diet is beneficial.  That alone is an excellent reason for us to make the change.  Studies have shown significate health benefits of a low-carb diet.  Not only is it an effective way to lose weight, but it can also improve PMS, lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and triglycerides.
This Spinach and Goat Cheese Frittata is a delicious and healthy way to start your day!  Served with a side of sliced tomatoes, this will keep you full throughout the morning.  My daughter makes individual frittatas in muffin cups.  She then freezes them to pop in the microwave for a fast and easy breakfast before class.
Spinach and Goat Cheese Frittata
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 (10-oz.) boxes frozen spinach
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 1 to 2 lg. garlic clove, minced
  • 8 eggs
  • ¼ to ⅓ c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3-oz. goat cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat the frozen spinach in a saucepan, with about 1-inch of water until the spinach is no longer frozen. Drain well and squeeze the spinach out using a clean dish towel, set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy 10-inch nonstick skillet. Add the onions and cook until tender. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the spinach, breaking it apart with your hands, stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl beat the eggs and milk. Add salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese and whisk to combine. Add the spinach mixture to the eggs and stir to combine.
  5. Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet. When hot, pour the egg mixture into the skillet, scraping with a rubber spatula. Swirl the pan to distribute the eggs and filling evenly over the surface. Once the bottom layer of the frittata has cooked pinch off pieces of the goat cheese and sprinkle over the top.
  6. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when checking the center of the frittata.
  7. Serve warm.
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Salted Almond Fudge Truffles

SALTED-ALMOND-FUDGE-TRUFFLES

 

 

Salted Almond Fudge Truffles
 
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Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 c. chocolate chips (you can use milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate or a mixture)
  • 7-oz. marshmallow fluff
  • 1 c. chopped lightly salted and toasted almonds (I used Blue Diamond)
  • 1 pkg. Candiquik candy coating
Instructions
  1. Line a 9 x 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray or grease with butter. Set aside.
  2. Add chocolate chips, chopped almonds, and marshmallow fluff to a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a heavy saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add sweetened condensed milk and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly so that milk does not burn.
  4. Pour hot condensed milk mixture over the chocolate chip, almonds and marshmallow fluff. Whisk to combine until smooth.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan. Cool to room temperature, then place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
  6. Once the fudge mixture has cooled, using a cookie scoop make balls then roll between hands to smooth. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Return to the refrigerator one all balls are rolled.
  7. Follow package directions to melt the Candiquik. Using a fork or a candy dipper dip each fudge ball into the candy coating. Return to the parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with a little kosher salt. Repeat until all of the fudge balls are coated and return to the refrigerator.
  8. Store in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container.

 

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Olive Bruschetta

olive-bruschetta

If you love olives the way I love olives then you must try this bruschetta!  It is hands down the best bruschetta I have ever had!!!  I love that with a little chopping and slicing this appetizer comes together in very little time too! Try this recipe with flavored olive oils, such as the oils at The Bodacious Olive in Pensacola, Florida.  This appetizer is perfect for any holiday party!  You can serve this warm or at room temperature.

 

Olive Bruschetta
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 24 slices French bread, cut ¼-inch thick
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 c. chopped pitted ripe olives
  • ½ c. chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tbsp. Italian salad dressing (I use Olive Garden brand)
  • ¾ c. cream cheese, room temperature
  • Cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Place bread slices on baking sheet. Lightly brush tops of bread slices with olive oil. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove bread from oven and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix olives, garlic, and dressing.
  3. Spread cream cheese evenly over toast slices. Top with a tablespoon olive mixture. Garnish with a cherry tomato, if desired.
Notes
*You may use all pitted ripe olives or all pimento-stuffed green if desired.

*If you prefer to serve these appetizers warm, After you top the cream cheese with the olive mixture return to the oven for about 6 minutes, or until warm. Remove from oven, add tomato half, and serve.

 

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Frothy Vanilla Milk

 

frothy-vanilla-milk-2

One of my favorite parts of Christmas was always helping the kids get ready for Santa’s visit.  We baked cookies and sat up a special table near the tree.  They would write him notes and leave a snack for Rudolph too.  I’m not sure who had more fun, the kids or me.

How about a special treat for Santa this year?  Instead of just leaving him a boring glass of milk, leave him this belly warming Frothy Vanilla Milk.  So delicious that you will be making it for yourself too!  A delicious change from regular old chocolate milk.

Frothy Vanilla Milk
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 4 c. whole milk
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1½ whole vanilla beans, split in half lengthwise
  • Whipped Cream, for garnish, optional
  • Ground nutmeg, for dusting, optional
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the milk and both sugars. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the middle of the beans into the saucepan and also add the split beans. Bring the milk to a simmer; cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 30 minutes to allow the vanilla to flavor the milk.
  2. Discard the vanilla beans and rewarm the milk over moderate heat, whisking vigorously, until frothy and warm. Serve in mugs with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

 

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