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
 
Author:
 
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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Grilled-Bacon-Wrapped Dove, Quail, or Pheasant

 

Grilled-Bacon-Wrapped-Dove,-Quail,-or-Pheasant

Almost 29 years ago I married a hunter. He enjoys hunting almost anything, and he likes to fish too. When Wes was born a little over 23 years ago, Greg knew he had a life-long hunting partner. Hunting and fishing are sports that the men in this family have enjoyed for generations. When we were young married, with no kids, I would spend the weekend at deer camp with Greg, my father-in-law, and my brother-in-law.

I even went hunting by myself one time. Yes, you read that correctly…one time. After convincing my best friend, Loretta, to take a Hunter’s Safety class with me, I sat in a stand, with a gun, by myself. I enjoyed being in the woods. Every sound I heard I imagined a huge deer, bigger than anything Greg had ever seen, walking straight to me. I ended up shooting at a deer and missing and crying all evening. I’m not sure how I would have handled it had I killed the deer.

That was my last time hunting with a gun. Since then I have taken my camera. I still enjoy the peacefulness of the woods, but for some reason, Greg won’t take me because he says I’m not quite enough. We are passed those young married days when he wanted to spend every moment with me so now I’m left at the house. (I’m actually okay with that, though!)

I have had to cook my share of fish and game over the years. Dove season opened here last Saturday so I thought I would share this easy Emeril recipe that Greg and Wes love. This recipe works well with dove, quail, or pheasant, and probably any other bird you wanted to try. Simply adjust the cooking times to accommodate the size of your bird.

Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Quail, Dove or Pheasant with Bourbon Pepper Glaze
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 8 quail, dove, or pheasant, dressed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 strips thick-cut bacon
  • ½ c. pepper jelly
  • 3 tbsp. bourbon
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Instructions
  1. Season each bird with salt and pepper. Wrap a slice of bacon around the bird and secure with a toothpick.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-low.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the pepper jelly, bourbon, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth.
  4. Place the bacon-wrapped quail on the grill and cook, turning frequently, for 12 minutes or so, or until the bacon is beginning to caramelize in places and the birds have grill marks on all sides.
  5. Brush the birds with the glaze and continue turning, glazing, and cooking until the birds are nicely glazed and grilled on all sides and the flesh is cooked through, about 12 minutes longer. (Internal temperature of 165°F).
  6. Remove from grill and rest briefly before serving.

 

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“To Go” Breakfast Quesadillas

 

'to-go'-breakfast-quesadilla

 

For those of you who subscribe, I know you have already received a notification for one post today.  I am not a computer whiz. Far from it, so sometimes running this blog has me quite confused. I’ve been trying to make a few changes on here today. Probably nothing that you will even notice. However, to make sure that I have done everything correctly I am going to post a second recipe today.

School starts in our county on Monday. The reason I know this is because Wes has a job there this year! Those of you that have put a child through college will understand the pure joy of him having a job, making money, earning a living.  I wish I could stay young forever, with little kids forever, but that’s just not happening. College may possibly be the catalyst that parents need to push them to the point of “letting go”.  I mean, the thought of no more tuition makes me want to do a dance!! (Well, no more tuition for one child anyway.) Just knowing that he can pay for his own insurance and his own gasoline thrills me!  I could go on, but I think I’m getting a little too excited!

Here is an easy and very versatile recipe for the kiddo’s as they head back to school. Use this folding method with the ingredients you like and you’ll have a delicious and easy portable breakfast.  For convenience have a few packs of diced ham in the freezer for those rushed mornings.  You could also cook the bacon or sausage the night before and have the veggies chopped for easy a.m. preparation.  Cook the quesadillas while the kids are getting ready and keep in a warm oven.  Wrap in foil for easy traveling.

 

"To Go" Breakfast Quesadillas
 
Author:
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 8 lg. eggs
  • Butter
  • 1 med. onion, finely diced
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled, drained OR
  • 1 lb. breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled, drained
  • 1 lb. cooked ham, cubed
  • 8-oz. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Salsa, if desired
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a skillet and saute onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño until softened. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Scramble eggs in the same skillet, set aside.
  3. Place a tortilla flat on counter. Add a little shredded cheese in the center of the tortilla. Keeping all ingredients in the center of the tortilla top with ¼ of the scrambled eggs and top with some of the onion and pepper mixture. Add crumbled meat of your choice. Top with some additional shredded cheese.
  4. Melt a pat of butter in your skillet while you assemble the quesadillas.
  5. With the tortilla in front of you, fold the bottom up over the filling to the center. Hold the folded piece in place and start working your way around the tortilla making folds around the quesadilla until you have completely covered the fillings. You will end up with a quesadilla that resembles a Taco Bell Crunch Wrap.
  6. Carefully place the quesadilla in the skillet, folded side down. Cook until lightly browned, then flip over and cook the other side until lightly browned. Serve with salsa, if desired.
Notes
Add chopped tomatoes, avocados, even cooked cubed hash browns to the filling, if desired.

 

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BLT Stuffed Avocado

BLT-Stuffed-Avocado-22

I was a fan of avocados from the moment I tried them!  Never did I consider the health benefits until about a year ago.  There is much in my daily diet that really shouldn’t be.   So, adding something to my diet that is delicious and good for me is a no brainer.

The list of health benefits is more than I could ever cover here.  They are high in good fats, low in cholesterol, have more potassium than a banana, and they may help prevent cancer.  They are so easy to incorporate into your diet.  Of course, guacamole is always good, but you can also add them to smoothies, wraps, sandwiches, and salads.  I eat avocado toast several times a week.

This recipe for BLT Stuffed Avocados is amazingly easy and delicious!  I typically don’t stuff the avocados but serve the salad from a bowl. However, if you want to serve this salad to guests, the stuffed avocado shells makes a lovely platter.

5.0 from 1 reviews
BLT Stuffed Avocado
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 avocados, pitted
  • ¼ c. cubed toasted bread
  • ½ c. chopped tomatoes
  • ½ c. chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Scoop out avocados, leaving a small border. Dice Avocado and place in a medium bowl. Add toasted and cubed bread, tomatoes, lettuce, and bacon. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Divide salad among the 3 avocado halves.

 

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Asparagus Roll Ups

 

asparagus-roll-ups

It’s July, and my mind has been on Christmas. So much so, that I started my Christmas shopping list last week. In recent years, it has become very short which makes it even more important that the gifts I buy are perfect. Because it’s “Christmas in July” at my house, I am sharing an excellent recipe that I tried for the first time at my families First Annual Bolton Ladies Ugly Christmas Sweater party back in December. My cousin, Nancy, brought these fabulous asparagus roll-ups to our afternoon tea menu and they were the hit of the party.

Nancy’s recipe was like so many that has been handed down through the years, no measurements. This recipe has the measurements that I used but feel free to adjust, as you like. I prefer using freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Also, roasting the asparagus was not part of the original recipe so you would be okay skipping this step if you like. I ran out of wheat bread and used a few pieces of white bread pieces, which also tasted good.

 

Asparagus Roll Ups
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch fresh small asparagus spears
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 4-oz. crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 - 3 tbsp. Hormel Real Crumbled Bacon (original)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 16 slices whole wheat bread or honey wheat bread
  • ¼ c. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Trim tough ends of asparagus and discard. Place asparagus on baking sheet and drizzle with a small olive oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Place in oven and roast until bring green and crisp-tender. (about 7 minutes) Remove from oven and cool completely. When cool, blot with a paper towel to remove most of olive oil. Lower oven temperature to 400°F.
  2. With an electric mixer blend cream cheese and blue cheese together. Stir in dill and bacon, set aside.
  3. Stack about 4 pieces of bread and remove crust with a serrated knife. Repeat with remaining slices of bread. With a rolling pin, flatten each slice of bread.
  4. Spread bread with a small amount of the cream cheese mixture, to cover one side. Place 3 to 4 asparagus spears, tips pointed out on the same end, on the cream cheese mixture, close to one edge. Roll up, starting with the asparagus side of the bread. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake at 400°F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Notes
Freeze unbaked roll-ups in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator, and bake as directed.

 

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