Luscious Low Carb Greek Wedding Soup with “Cauliflower Orzo”

Greek, lamb, Meatballs, soup

gw8

When I was a young X-ray student, the Greek Cafe in our hospital made Greek wedding soup on Tuesdays. Tuesdays were the only day that there was a line all the way out to the hospital rose garden to get one tiny bowl of this luscious stuff. I got in that line early because I knew they would run out soon enough. I left out the breadcrumbs in the meatballs here. Cauliflower is a great tasting substitute for orzo pasta in this soup. Here’s the low carb version:

For the meatballs:

2 lbs. grass fed ground beef, ground turkey, or ground lamb, 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, 2 eggs, 2/3 cup chopped mint, 1 tablespoon black pepper. 3 small garlic cloves, crushed. 1 Tablespoon pastured butter for pan frying the meatballs. Mix and form very small bite size meatballs. Cook in a pan with the butter until done on all sides.

gw1

For the soup:

10 Cups organic, reduced sodium chicken broth.

1 Tablespoon Salt free Cavendar’s Greek seasoning-see “Products I Adore ” page.

1 small bunch escarole, chopped

1 cauliflower head, White part only, rough cut in a food processor while raw (rice size).

gw2

Add the cauliflower “orzo” to the soup.

gw9

Free your mind, warm your spirit.

Low Carb Parmesan Chicken

chicken, low carb

Mayonaise is the secret in this tasty, moist chicken dish.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1/2 cup for broiled topping
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce
  • 3 pounds chicken
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons each of thyme and tarragon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a baking dish.
  2. In a bowl, mix the Parmesan cheese, herbs, butter, mayonnaise, mushrooms, green onions, black pepper, and hot pepper sauce.
  3. Place the chicken into the parmesan mixture. Arrange the chicken in the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake chicken 45 minutes in the prepared oven . Top with 1/2 cup with the Parmesan cheese, and continue broiling 2 minutes, or until topping is bubbly and lightly brown.

Halibut en Papillote, Mediterranean Style

feta, low carb, Uncategorized

Many years ago, working my way through college as a pastry chef at a trendy, busy high profile restaurant, the chef would make fresh fish en papillote for me. One day I asked how it was made and have never been the same. It’s surprisingly easy to make. The parchment paper makes the fish bake so tasty and juicy. You can put any herbs, spices, or veggies you have on hand in with it and it turns out amazing. Even basic things in the fridge will turn out tasting gourmet in the parchment. Cut out a large heart shape of parchment paper or use parchment paper baking bags. Butter the inside of the paper, then place the fish and toppings on half and seal it up by folding tight. You can use any fish you like. I used halibut for this dish.

Mediterranean Fish en Papillote:

Makes two packages.

  • 1 six-ounce fillet of halibut per parchment package-everyone gets an individual package
  • 2 Tablespoons black pepper or salt free Greek seasoning per package
  • 6 small olives each package, pitted
  • 3 Tablespoons crumbled feta cheese in each package
  • 2 Tablespoons red onion, each package
  • 2 mushrooms sliced, (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon each of fresh marjoram, thyme and tarragon for each package
  • 1 Tablespoons capers for each package
  • 2 Tablespoons butter to place on top the fish before sealing the package
  • Juice of 1 lemon for each package
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut a heart shape off an 18-inch long piece of parchment paper, fold it in half, unfold, and place it on a rimmed baking sheet or baking pan.
  2. Butter half of the parchment. Place the fish on top, and season well with pepper or Greek seasoning.
  3. Scatter the olives, feta, capers, onion and mushrooms, if using. Sprinkle with the  herbs and dot with butter.
  4. Now, seal up the pouch: Fold the parchment over on top of the fish. Starting at the top inner corner, fold and crimp the edges approximately every quarter-inch, until you’ve created a half-moon. Be sure the folds are well-creased, to keep the steam from pushing the pouch open in the oven.
  5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (12 for thin fillets, 15 for thicker ones). Slide the packets directly onto the plates, and slice a cross pattern on the top of the paper, open carefully—there will be a lot of steam inside. Slide into a dish or large bowl. The fish will be flaky and tasty inside. Enjoy it alone or with tzatziki sauce(Greek yogurt, pureed cucumber and minced garlic).

The Guilt Free, Skinny, Low Carb Parmesan Meatball Recipe

beef, low carb

Eating low carb doesn’t mean you can’t have tasty, Italian dishes. Cook up some amazing Parmesan Meatballs and enjoy them guilt free, and still be able to fit in that tiny bikini by Summer.  You don’t need bread crumbs. You won’t even notice they are missing. This is such an easy, quick recipe! Even after working a late day you will be eating in just minutes. Here’s what you need:

2 lbs. ground beef

1 egg

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon ground pepper

1 tablespoon oregano

1 to 2 tablespoons butter for pan browning the meatballs

In a glass bowl, mix the beef, raw egg, cheese, pepper, and oregano together with your hands. Make up the meatballs just a bit larger than the size of a large walnut. Heat the butter in a skillet and cook until meatballs are browned throughout. Top with a spoonful of low carb tomato sauce. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese for show. Enjoy the compliments.

Low Carb Moussaka

beef, feta, low carb, sauce

If someone told me I could never eat Moussaka again, I just wouldn’t find life as exciting anymore. Just because I decided to be healthy and cut the carbs and processed foods from my life didn’t mean I couldn’t have this tasty dish, usually made with flour-y bechamel sauce and tons of carby tomatoes, numerous battered fried eggplants, and garlic. So I did what every smart carnivore would. Made changes. It’s so good, you won’t miss the carbs. Once you make it, you can cool it and cut into squares and store for lunches on the go. Make two if you want leftovers. It goes fast! Beef, lamb and nutmeg go together so well, like food alchemy. Leave it to the Greeks to find such a pleasing combination. Now, moussaka can be made with any vegetable, but with the small bit of eggplant in this recipe, it is amazing. Don’t fry or even bread your eggplant. Simply peel the skin, place on a plate with olive oil drizzled on them and cook for 5 minutes. Check them and cook 5 more minutes. Or you could grill the slices. My friend, Wendy, buys pre-cooked grilled eggplant at Trader Joe’s Grocery here in California. Either way you have a cleaner kitchen, and cleaner you. It tastes better too!

Low Carb Moussaka

Get out your large ceramic rectangular pan. Oil it lightly with cold pressed Greek Olive oil, lard, or butter. Do not use canola or shortening, as they are dangerous to humans and highly over processed.

  • 3 tbsp melted organic unsalted butter, plus extra for brushing
  • 6lbs. ground beef or lamb, or a mix of both
  • 1 can low sodium tomato purée or tomato paste with a can of water added
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons nutmeg
  • 5 tsp Cavendar’s Salt free Greek Seasoning-http://www.greekseasoning.com/
  • 1 large eggplant-just one, really, and a bit of cold pressed Greek olive oil to drizzle on them
  • Fresh oregano, marjoram  to taste.
  • For the topping:
  • 4 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
  • 4 cups to 5 cups (depending on size of your pan) Full Fat Greek yogurt
  • 1  egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons nutmeg
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 cups feta cheese

1. Heat the butter in a large Caphalon pan over a medium heat, stirring, for 5 minutes, until melty. Increase the heat, add the minced lamb, or beef, or both and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until browned. Drain off the fat, then return the meat to the pan.

2. Add the purée and, nutmeg, cinnamon and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then half-fill the puree can with water and pour into the pan. Add the fresh herbs, if using, season with the salt free Cavendar’s Greek seasoning (find this in your spice section or online. If you can’t find the salt free version, order it, and the original version is fine this time), and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

3.Peel and slice the eggplant.Place on a plate and brush or drizzle olive oil on the slices. Microwave for 5 minutes. Check, Microwave 5 more minutes until tender. You can grill it instead. Don’t over grill.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. For the topping, mix the yogurt, nutmeg, egg and half the cheeses. Season with pepper.

5. Spread half the lamb/beef  mixture in a deep, rectanguar casserole. Cover with the eggplant so the eggplant will only be in the center of this layering.. Top with rest of the meat, spoon the yogurt mixture over everything. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

Easter Sunday Eggs for the Master’s Tournament

low carb, Uncategorized

I was up late at Passover last night. I slept in. I just want you to know, I’m not going anywhere today. Today is sacred. I’ve been at other cities, restaurants, and other homes all week  due to work and holidays. It was fun, but today is special. The Master’s Golf Tournament is on the tele and I have a full fridge and my puppy for company. It’s a beautiful sunny day here and I will only see it from the full length windows. I have pink cashmere jammies on and slippers and that’s how I will stay.I make Sunday eggs and get comfy on my oversize, L-shaped, white, leather sofa. Phil Mickelson, a former Rancho Sante Fe, California neighbor of mine (before I moved to Laguna Beach)and my hero, by the way (he really is that nice, really!) and many other players(they are all great!) fill the huge flat screen. What a show. Oh to be in lovely, green Augusta, Georgia today! Yummy Brisket leftovers for later. The neighbors in my quiet Cali neighborhood (one has come and knocked already to ask me over for a Easter Brunch and dinner) will hear me cheering for Phil Mickelson quite loudly through the living room windows. Gotta go…Amen corner is coming up soon in my time zone. Here’s breakfast:

2 cage-free organic brown eggs

Shitake mushrooms

3 tsp. heavy cream

1 tsp. butter

1 cup cheddar

3 tsp fresh herbs

Vietnamese garlic-chili sauce

Coffee or iced tea

Cook the shitake mushrooms in the butter and in the meanwhile, mix eggs and cream in a bowl.

Add the egg mixture to the shitake mushrooms in the pan, scramble the eggs and add the herbs then cheddar cheese until melted.

Place in a bowl with Viet garlic chili sauce.  Pour a glass of ice tea, or make an Arnold Palmer: Half iced tea/Half lemonade. Turn on the Master’s tournament. Cheer! Enjoy.

New York Strip Steak and Bone Marrow for a Carnivore Treat

beef, grill, low carb, Uncategorized

Today I grilled New York Strip and roasted some bone marrow. I placed some bone marrow in the oven then grilled some New York Strips after coating them with a little olive oil and then coating them with a bit of parsley and salt-free steak seasoning with dried onion and black pepper. I added a bit of Cognac to the steak while marinating. Then put it on my trusty WEBER grill. While that was grilling, I made a Cilantro-lime salsa. I diced some cilantro, shallot, garlic, capers and added white truffle oil, key lime juice and cognac. The marrow bones turned out nicely golden browned and delectable. I made a sauce with 2 tablespoons of the salsa and 3 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons cognac. In the end, it is a very satisfying steak dish. The marrow bones are not for everyone. Scoop out the center with a fork full of the salsa for a very carnivorous flavorful treat. Then give the bone that is left to your loyal canine companion. Mine is a special Sheltie, his name is Surf, that really appreciated a special treat. Save the leftover cognac sauce in the fridge for another dish.

Saturday Chuck Roast

beef, low carb

You have  nice juicy chuck roast, fresh and marbled….what now. Try this for an amazing Saturday dinner.

3 lbs. chuck roast

1 baking bag

1 bay leaf

3 Tablespoons onion powder or dried minced onion

1 crumbled, low sodium beef bullion cube

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

3 Tablespoons herbes de province

2 Tablespoons salt-free steak seasoning

2 cups filtered water

1 can organic, sugar-free tomato paste

4 Tablespoons organic sweet butter, salt free

In a skillet, melt the butter, add the chuck roast whole and sear on both sides. Place, carefully, the roast in a baking bag with the spices, the remaining browned butter, and 2 cups water. Seal with the twist tie.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the bag, placing the meat and juices in the ceramic bake pan.

Smear the chuck roast with the tomato paste and place back in the oven for another hour. Check for fork tenderness. When roast is falling apart tender, remove from oven and place in a serving dish, with the juices poured over.

Rib-eye Steak Diane

beef, grill, sauce

There’s no better taste on a cool California evening than grilled rib-eye cooking. While they are grilling, make a quick Steak Diane sauce for a moist, tasty change of pace.

2 large Rib-eye Steaks, rubbed with olive oil, then cracked pepper and parsley. Grill outdoors.
For the sauce:
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (1 carb per tablespoon, so be careful)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped or grated onion
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1/2 cup heavy cream

Heat butter in a skillet or sauce pan. Add Worcestershire sauce to butter in the pan, then add lemon juice and warm through. Add onion and parsley, and heavy cream and cook slowly for 1 1/2 minutes. Spoon sauce over steaks and serve immediately.