Monday, July 31, 2017

Posh Squash

It's getting to be squash season in the Midwest, and it's been squash season in other places already. I'm not a huge squash fan, but I made this recipe several years ago and loved it so much that I planted yellow crookneck squash, green bell peppers and onions in my yard the next summer. My soil is pretty alkaline, and I don't have time to acidify it every time it rains, so I'm not growing them this summer. No point when blossom end rot is inevitable, right? Anyway, they're cheap in the grocery, so I can still make it, and not break the bank. I will be growing them next summer; all my classes will be online so I will have more time to spend with my gardens. I highly recommend you try this dish, even if you're not fond of squash. I never was- until I tried this.

I wish you could smell this!

 Posh Squash

2 pounds  yellow squash -- crookneck
1 cup  mayonnaise 
2 eggs 
1 small  onion -- finely chopped 
1/2 green bell pepper -- chopped 
pinch  basil 
pinch  rosemary 
salt and pepper -- to taste 
3/4 cup  grated Parmesan cheese -- green can is OK 
1 Tablespoon  butter -- melted (I don't use the butter)

Scrub but do not peel the squash. Cut off stem and blossom ends and discard. Cut squash into 1/2" slices. See Notes*
Put squash into a small amount of boiling water. Use the salt and pepper to season to taste. Boil the squash until tender then drain and set aside. See Notes**
Beat eggs, blend in the mayonnaise, onion, green pepper, oregano and rosemary. Stir in the well-drained squash and season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.
Spoon into 2 1/2 quart casserole (See Notes***), sprinkle with the Parmesan Cheese and dot with butter.
Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. It is done when it is puffed up and brown.                                    
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Per Serving (based on 8 servings): 291 Calories; 29g Fat (83.3% calories from fat); .6g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 72mg Cholesterol; 331mg Sodium.  

Bake half a recipe in a pie pan


* I used 3 big(ger) squashes- sliced from neck down until I got through the neck. 

Then I halved them lengthwise, and lengthwise again. 
Continued slicing these lengthwise quarters about the same thickness as the neck.

** I steamed, rather than boiled, my squash slices.

*** For 1/2 the recipe, I used a pie pan.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Tavuk Izgara ve Soğan Salatasi

Tavuk Izgara ve Soğan Salatasi

 I'm so excited! I haven't made Turkish food in a while, especially not Turkish dinner. (Turkish breakfast is really good, and easy, so I have it on occasion- but that's a post for another day.) Seems like every time I get a craving for Tavuk Izgara, I want it NOW. And I don't like it as well if I haven't started it the day before. When that happens, I usually just "settle" for some generic grilled chicken, or some other dish that wasn't really what I wanted. You know what I mean; you've done it too. Anyway I started it yesterday, and I cooked it today. And while I was waiting for the grill to heat, I threw together a little Soğan Salatasi. There is nothing better (in my opinion) with grilled meat. It's fresh, and tangy, and sour, and flavorful- it's just the perfect side for Tavuk Izgara. 

This big bag of sumac was $6.49 at a Middle Eastern grocery

Now, it calls for "sumac" which may or may not be found easily. Penzeys carries it, but they charge something like $27 a pound (On the bright side, they sell small containers, as small as 1.2 ounces, for $4.55. I have never tried their sumac, but their other spices are excellent, so I have no reason to believe the sumac would be otherwise.) Personally, I bought a little over a pound from a Middle Eastern grocer- and paid $6.49 for it. It's supposed to keep for several months after you open it, but I keep it in its original bag inside a zipped freezer bag, in the freezer. I don't think it's degraded at all yet (over a year). You don't want to miss out on sumac- it's not easily substituted (although some believe you can use lemon zest and salt, or lemon pepper and salt- I just don't think it's a suitable substitution).

The rest of the ingredients for this dinner are pretty common, and if you don't have them in your kitchen already, at least they are easy to find in a regular grocery.

Tavuk Izgara 

Tavuk Izgara
"Grilled Chicken"

2 cups plain yogurt

2 Tablespoons chili powder (I used half hot, half mild)
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves, 5 pieces

Rinse chicken breasts; set aside to drain.

Combine yogurt and spices. Stir to blend thoroughly.

Place a small amount of yogurt mixture in bottom of covered refrigerator container. Add a chicken breast and spread with yogurt. Repeat until all chicken and yogurt is used. 

Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

When ready to cook, pick up each piece of chicken with tongs, allowing excess marinade to drip off into container.

Grill over high heat until done (charcoal grill is best, but I have a gas grill, so I make do), turning chicken several times during cooking.

Now, this might feel a little "wrong" but when I drip the marinade back into the container, I usually end up with about half of it left over. So in the name of accuracy, I only count half the calories, carbs, etc. in the marinade. This shows all the nutritional information on the chicken AND the marinade:

Per Serving (based on 5 servings):  380 Calories; 7g Fat (17.5% calories from fat); 67g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 170mg Cholesterol; 254mg Sodium. 

 Soğan Salatasi

Soğan Salatasi
"Onion Salad"

1 medium onion

1 bunch parsley
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sumac
1/2 teaspoon salt, I didn't use this
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Cut onion in half (or quarters) lengthwise, slice into paper-thin semi-circle slices. Chop parsley. Toss together in a medium bowl. 

Add lemon juice, sumac, salt and pepper (if using) to the bowl; toss gently.

Serve immediately, garnished with fresh lemon slices, if desired.

Per Serving (based on 4 servings): 17 Calories; trace Fat (7.5% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 276mg Sodium.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Cauliflower Lettuce Salad

Cauliflower Lettuce Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, green can is OK
1 cup mayonnaise
2 drops liquid Splenda, or to taste
1 pound bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

In a large bowl, layer lettuce, cauliflower, onion and cheese.

In a small bowl, thoroughly combine mayonnaise and Splenda.

Spread mayonnaise thinly over entire top of salad.

Cover and chill several hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, add bacon and toss until all veggies are coated with mayo mixture.

Per Serving (based on 8 servings):  308 Calories; 31g Fat (87.1% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 

3g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 24mg Cholesterol; 462mg Sodium..

*Does not store well once tossed. 
Consider removing required servings from refrigerator container
and adding part of the bacon and tossing just those servings.

Monday, July 10, 2017

'tis the season (or it will be, soon, depending on your locale). If you have a red bell pepper, an onion and a few jalapenos, you can make the most amazing mayonnaise EVER!

If you have a red bell pepper, an onion and a few jalapenos,
you can make the most amazing mayonnaise EVER!
* Exported from MasterCook *

                                Baja Sauce

Recipe By     :  Pami

Serving Size  : 80    Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : Condiments                      My Cookbook


  1 red bell pepper -- seeded and coarsely chopped
  4 jalapeno peppers -- halved
  1/2 cup  yellow onion -- diced
  1 cup  mayonnaise
  1 Tablespoon  vinegar
  1/4 teaspoon  cracked black pepper
   dash  garlic powder
   dash  cumin

Puree peppers and onion in food processor.

You can see that I didn't remove the seeds from my jalapenos,
but if you prefer a milder sauce, by all means, scrape out
the seeds and membranes and/or even use fewer peppers

Combine mayonnaise with 4 tablespoons of the pepper puree in a medium bowl.

(The original recipe called for 4 teaspoons of pepper puree but I like it a little spicier. Remaining puree can be frozen for future use.  I get enough pepper puree to make 8 batches of Baja Sauce.)

I froze mine in snack-size
zip-top bags 

Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Storing in a wider, shallower container
means it will chill faster
Chill for several hours to let flavors blend.

                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Per Serving (prepared Baja sauce, 1/10 of recipe): 159 Calories; 19g Fat (98.5% calories from fat); trace Protein; trace Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 8mg Cholesterol; 125mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Eat it with everything-
Here it dresses up a hard cooked egg
Here it is enhancing a simple poached chicken breast

Monday, July 3, 2017

Facebook- and a Spinach Souffle recipe!

I am so disappointed! After all these years (since 1/2/01) of cooking and eating LCHF and/or keto, I still have newbies in these "support" groups telling me I'm misinformed, uninformed, ignorant, wrong. They spout off because someone told them something and they took it as gospel. They offer up 'proof' to show me how wrong I am: someone's blog, another post on FB, a MLM advertisement. So I did what any self-respecting veteran of this WOE would do: I blocked the offensive newbies then I removed all my posts from the groups where I feel most abused, so that there will be no further discussion. I don't think I'm allowed to speak my mind about how the admins are failing us (and even if it was allowed, I've deleted all of my end of the arguments), so I won't post this, or any similar message, on those group pages. From here on out, it's just venting:

Recently I had some snowflake telling me about how vegetables pull carbohydrates out of the air and add them as they cook. This is why cooked vegetables have higher carb counts than raw ones. REALLY?!?!?! I tried to explain, in my most elementary vocabulary how that works, but the argument just went on. And on. And on. This particular snowflake actually called me "uninformed", suggested I do a little research before posting and apologized for not being able to change facts. I replied by stating that I was NOT uninformed and atempted a basic explanation of how cooked vegetables get higher carb counts, but she wasn't having it. (I also apologized for the fact that facts are facts.) Finally an admin (It was a moderator, but they like to call themselves admins. Might be a power thing; I don't know) stepped in and turned off commenting, but it was too little too late. IMO, the one who was being abusive should have been removed and the thread should have been edited to remove the abusive post, but who am I?  LOL

In any case, should you wonder why cooked vegetables are higher in carbs than raw ones- let's take a look at spinach. A pound of raw spinach is going to fill 8 to 10 measuring cups. A pound of raw spinach contains 104 calories and 16.48 grams of carbohydrate, 10 grams of fiber. Now if we cook that pound of spinach, we lose a LOT of its water content. Therefore, what started out as 8 to 10 cups of raw spinach, will yield only about ONE cup of cooked spinach. The only thing lost, however, is water. The 104 calories, 16.48 grams of carbs and 10 grams of fiber remain. 

BTW, spinach is an excellent source of potassium, and many people who follow the keto WOE don't get enough potassium. It's always better to get your potassium from foods than supplements, and keeping potassium in balance with the other electrolytes is crucial to your health. Please do NOT supplement with OTC tablets. Try a decadent Spinach Soufflé for a delicious boost of potassium. If you are eating plenty of avocado, spinach and wild salmon and still feel that you are low on K, see a doctor, and get a blood test and a prescription for potassium. This is not something to play around with.

Spinach Soufflé

A related question that comes up is regarding fresh fruit -vs- dried fruit. Grapes are easy to understand, so we'll go there. Start out with 2 1/3 cups of fresh grapes. They have 140 calories, 38 grams of carbohydrate and 2 grams of fiber. If you dry them, they lose water. WATER. Nothing else. They still have 140 calories, 38 grams of carbohydrate and 2 grams of fiber as raisins. HOWEVER, the raisins will only fill a 1/3 cup measure.

I'm not sure why that's so hard for some people to understand.  Ahhhhh snowflakes....

Mini Spini Souffle

...and the full-sized version (just keep scrolling past the mini version), in case you end up in love!

I usually make this in the crock-pot, but have done it in the oven when the crock-pots were otherwise occupied. I think at 300F it took about an hour, and at 350F it was ready in about 40 minutes. (It's oven-done when it's hot and bubbly, and the top is just beginning to brown. The top doesn't brown much in the slow cooker.)

Now, today, I made approximately one third of this recipe in my Little Dipper Crock Pot. It holds only two cups. So cute! I just love miniature food! 

This is how I did it:


* Exported from MasterCook *

                            Mini Spini Souffle

Recipe By     :

Serving Size  : 3     Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : 

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method

--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  10 ounces  frozen chopped spinach -- thawed, drained, squeezed dry
  1 tablespoon  dehydrated onion flakes
  2 2/3 ounces  cream cheese -- 1/3 of an 8-ounce block, softened
  2 Tablespoons  mayonnaise
  1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1 egg
  dash  white pepper
  dash  nutmeg

Drain and squeeze water out of spinach; set aside. Butter inside of 16-ounce capacity crock pot.

Combine remaining ingredients in a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup, stirring until mixture is relatively smooth.

Add spinach, making sure to incorporate the cheesy mixture into every bit of the spinach.

Turn into prepared slow cooker.

Cook for 2 to 3 hours.

Serve hot.


  "Make in Little Dipper Crock Pot"
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 245 Calories; 22g Fat (75.9% calories from fat); 

9g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 111mg Cholesterol; 279mg Sodium. 

I had it with a Polish sausage today- delicious! 


The full-size recipe is as follows:

* Exported from MasterCook *

                             Spinach Souffle

Recipe By     :

Serving Size  : 8     Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : 

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method

--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  2 pounds  frozen spinach -- thawed, drained, squeezed dry
  8 ounces  cream cheese -- softened
  1/2 cup  mayonnaise
  1/2 cup  shredded cheddar cheese
  2 eggs -- beaten
  1/4 teaspoon  white pepper
  dash  nutmeg

Mix thawed and drained spinach together with onion. 

Beat remaining ingredients and blend in spinach mixture. 

Spoon mixture into a lightly buttered 3 1/2 quart crock-pot (or souffle dish to fit in a larger crock-pot) and cook on high for 3 hours.


  "~*~Slow Cooker~*~"
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 272 Calories; 26g Fat (79.9% calories from fat); 

9g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 96mg Cholesterol; 307mg Sodium.