Blanch Your Veggies! And a sauce to go with…

A variety of colorful blanched vegetables

Beautiful blanched veggies!

imageimageimageWhen much of your diet is low carb and you prepare recipes with lots of vegetables there’s often a great deal of chopping and prep work. Or you eat lots of raw vegetables, especially for appetizers with hummus or other low carb dips. (I admit that can get boring). One way I’ve found to enjoy fresh veggies and have them on hand for snacks and appetizers is to blanch a lot of them at one time.

Actually I’d never blanched a lot of veggies at one time, (I had done a few just for a one time use); then I was invited to a large party and had volunteered to bring hummus and a quantity of veggies. I had had enough of raw veggies for awhile so decided to try blanching them. And it was a revelation! They were so much tastier than the raw–tender, fresh and full of flavor- some crisp, some not so, but still very tasty; (this is a process–there’s a big difference in blanching a few to doing a few pounds). I chose asparagus, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers and bright green pea pods- not only good to eat but good to look at–beautiful!

Blanching means boiling vegetables for a few minutes and then plunging them into ice water; one kind at a time. One trick/method I learned from Cook’s Illustrated is to blanch the darker vegetables last as they can discolor lighter vegetables, (as you use the same pot in turn for all the veggies — details in the TO DO section).

I invite you to blanch a quantity and variety of your favorite veggies–store in the fridge for a week of snacks or serve to your guests and/or family for a delicious, healthful treat.

INGREDIENTS/SUPPLIES 

  • 1/2 lb. each of a variety of vegetables (your choice), such as carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, snap peas, red pepper, cauliflower…)
  • 1 red and/or yellow pepper
  • A large pot to boil the veggies in
  • a large bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water
  • A large slotted spoon
  • paper towels on a large plate or tray
  • EASY TASTY SAUCE:
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Mayonnaise (Best Foods, or make your own)
  • 1/2 -1 tsp. Siracha (to taste)
  • juice of 1/3 lemon

TO DO:

1. Wash (don’t peel); then slice vegetables into matchstick or 2″ long slices; snap asparagus in half.

2. Prepare ice water bath in bowl next to the boiling water

3. Bring water to boil in a large pot or Dutch oven

4. Add sliced veggies into the boiling water, starting with the lightest colored vegetables; (make sure the water is boiling for each batch). For example, I started with the cauliflower, then yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, peas, asparagus, red pepper).

5. Boil each batch for 1-2 minutes.

6. Immediately lift out with a large slotted spoon or a sieve and plunge into the ice water for 1-2 minutes. (You’ll most likely need to add ice for each batch as the hot veggies will increase the temperature.)

7. Lift out each batch from the ice water and drain on paper towels.

8. Repeat for each type of vegetable.

9. Mix sauce and let sit for at least 1/2 hour.

10. Refrigerate if not serving right away.

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

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Cheesy Deliciousness!

 

Delish cheese appetizer

Sometimes you just want something decadent and creamy, especially for a special dinner party or celebration. This appetizer fits that perfectly. Also it’s easy to make; low carb, and scrumptious. Be sure to serve it while warm and melty, with whole grain crackers. You’ll be the hit of the party!

 

Ingredients

1  4- to 6-inch round Camembert and/or Brie cheese; (I also use a goat Brie as Rick doesn’t eat cow milk products.) Leave the cheeses at room temperature for at least 1/2 hour before preparing.
1 egg, beaten
1/2 –3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter and/or 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 cup chopped green onion; save some for garnish

Instructions 

Dip the cheese in the egg and then coat all sides with the bread crumbs. (tip: you can lightly sprinkle flour on the cheese before dipping in egg; keeps the batter on better.)

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter/olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat just until it starts to brown.

Brown cheese on one side, then the other; about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove to a serving plate and keep warm. (I put on a ceramic plate and into a 250 degree preheated oven.)

Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and add the remaining butter/oil to the skillet. Melt over medium heat and when foamy, saute the onions for 2-3 minutes until soft and starting to brown.

Remove cheeses from oven. Sprinkle sauteed onions over the cheese rounds and serve immediately with crackers. Garnish with a few raw green onions.

Enjoy!

 

My Mom’s Turkey Soup

Chopping celery

My Mom’s Turkey Soup

My mother was a very busy pediatrician who rarely had time to cook; (my grandma lived with us and did most of that. We were very grateful as she was a superb cook.)

Thanksgiving, however, unless there were medical emergencies, was a lovely relaxed time in our house. Mom took advantage of this break to use the turkey carcass to make a delicious turkey soup chock full of vegetables, garlic, wine and chunks of turkey from the carcass. It’s also easy to make and I’ve never had any better!

I made it without noodles, but you could add whole wheat or other whole grain noodles of your choice, as now there is a good selection of these.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 turkey carcass, split into halves (or smaller pieces, depending on your pot)
  • 3-4 large carrots, sliced in 1/2 ” rounds
  • 1 cup celery, chopped; using “Cook’s Illustrated” magazine’s technique: wash the celery to the point that you’re using, then instead of tearing off the stalks, cut from the whole (see photo). I’ve found it much more convenient and easy.
  • 1 large onion chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic- chopped fine. We love garlic; use as many to your taste.
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Turkey, chicken or vegetable broth to cover the carcass (approx. 1 quart). I use a combination of turkey broth I make from the giblets and a commercial low sodium chicken stock.
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • Herbs; your choice, but make one a bay leaf.
  • No-salt seasoning (Trader Joe’s has a good one; 21 Seasoning Salute)

TO DO

1. Heat a large sauce pan, add olive oil. Sauté onions on medium heat until transparent ( approx. 5-7 min.)

2. Remove the onions, add and sauté carrots and celery in the pan. After about 7 minutes add garlic and continue for approx. 2-3 minutes, making sure garlic doesn’t burn.

3. Put the carcass in a large Dutch oven or stock pot, add the vegetables and cover to the top of the carcass with broth.

4. Add wine, bay leaf and other seasoning.

5. Bring to a boil and then turn down to low to simmer for 45 min. to 1 hour, until vegetables are tender and meat falls off the bones; or longer, depending on your timing.

6. Remove the carcass from the pot and strip off the meat- chop and return meat to the soup.

7. Serve with good whole grain toast or noodles.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Baked Delicata Squash

Delicata Squash – pretty before baking

Baked Delicata Squash- adult candy!

One of the easiest and most delicious low carb side dishes; and it’s easy to prepare as well.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 2-3 Delicata Squash
  • Olive oil
  • Herbs; your choice
  • No-salt seasoning (Trader Joe’s has a good one; 21 Seasoning Salute)

TO DO

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Split the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and pulp.

3. Rub the insides with olive oil and herbs and seasonings.

4. Slice the half squashes into 1/2 inch “moons” – see the photo above.

5. Rub oil on a baking sheet – put slices pulp face down; make sure each piece is separate on the pan.

6. Bake for 20 minutes – turn pieces over and bake another 25 minutes until soft and brown on both sides.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

The Low Carb Cocktails II

Three Ships in the Harbor- a new low carb rum cocktail

The classic Penguin Shaker plus limes and lemon

Low Carb Cocktails II

What good are cocktail yummies without cocktails? As promised, here’s the next low carb recipe, a Rick original rum cocktail; “Three Ships in the Harbor”–(unofficially “Three Sheets to the Wind”).

If you’re in a tropical mood this one is for you!

Dear readers, please submit your own low carb cocktail recipes (hopefully in the next week), of classics, such as the Cosmopolitan, or Manhattan, or your original creations.

Add your recipes to the “comments” at the bottom of this blog post. Depending when I get your recipes, I’ll publish as many as possible in subsequent posts.

I’m excited to receive your cocktails! We’ll have a tasting–will let you know the results.

INGREDIENTS – Three Ships in the Harbor- cocktail for 2

  • 1 oz. each of 3 rums– a light or white (which doesn’t mean less potent, but light in color), a medium (we like El Dorado or Zaya), and a dark (we suggest Pyrat).
  • Juice of 2 or 3 limes (depending on your citrus preferences- I like 3); juice of 1/2 lemon
  • *1 tsp Falernum
  • 1/2 tsp. for each cocktail; your choice of Grand Marnier, Cointreau or Triple Sec, to float
  • Ice cubes and chipped ice for shaking
  • 2 lime slices for garnish

TO DO:

1. Fill two rocks’ glasses, (or double rocks’ glasses), with ice cubes (we use extra large cubes–one per glass-you can order these special ice trays on-line)

2. in a shaker, shake all ingredients except for the “float” liqueur and garnish.

3. Pour evenly over ice cubes into two rocks glasses

4. Float your choice of liqueur, or float 1/2 tsp. of dark rum instead. Garnish with lime slices.

Zou!  (Cheers! In Vietnam)

Of course, check with your doctor if you’re concerned that drinking cocktails, even low carb, aren’t good for your condition.

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falernum

www.type2delicious.com

The Low Carb Cocktails

New Old Fashioned–low carb version of the classic

RICK SERVING THE NEW OLD FASHIONED

Low Carb Cocktails 

Summer is a great time to enjoy a cocktail with friends out on the patio (or wherever you have some area to celebrate good weather). Since many cocktails are full of sugar or some type of sweetener they’ve often been off limits for carb-conscious folks, especially those with diabetes. I’m sharing low carb versions of favorite cocktails, including a version of the classic Old Fashioned that we call the New Old Fashioned, and an original rum cocktail, “Three Ships in the Harbor,” (unofficially “Three Sheets to the Wind”). In this post I feature the New Old Fashioned; the rum cocktail will follow. Note: please check with your physician or dietician to make sure that alcohol is allowed in your diet plan.

Now I’m asking you, dear, readers, to submit your own low carb cocktail recipes (hopefully in the next week), of classics, such as the Cosmopolitan, or Manhattan, or your original creations.

Add your recipes to the “comments” at the bottom of this blog post. Depending when I get your recipes, I’ll publish as many as possible in subsequent posts.

I’m excited to receive your cocktails! We’ll have a tasting–will let you know the results.

INGREDIENTS – the New Old Fashioned

  • 2 shots (1 1/2 oz. each) your favorite Blended Whiskey or Bourbon
  • Bitters- 2-4 dashes or more, depending on your taste; we try different kinds- Angostura is a standard but we also found a brand, (actually at Crate and Barrel), called “Hella Bitters” with citrus and others; plus got some cardomon plum bitters in LA – place was a bitters’ supermarket!
  • 1 tsp water (optional)
  • 2 Large orange wedges–we use at least 1/4 orange per drink. This also helps to add fiber to the drink as we eat the orange too.
  • Ice cubes

TO DO:

1. Fill two rocks’ glasses, (or double rocks’ glasses), with ice cubes (we use extra large cubes–one per glass-you can order these special ice trays on-line)

2. Lightly squeeze the Orange wedge in each glass. (You also have to eat the Orange; no fair just using the juice. I usually squeeze most of the juice in first to mellow out the bitters and then eat the Orange after I finish the cocktail.)

3. Add a shot of Whiskey per glass (water if you like)

4. Add the bitters to taste- try different kinds; Rick is the bitters king and uses at least 4 dashes; I like less.

Salud!

Of course, check with your doctor if you’re concerned that drinking cocktails, even low carb, aren’t good for your condition.

www.type2delicious.com

Yummy Cocktail Spread

A variety of h’ors d’oeuvres to treat our guests

I’ve been asked to repost this snack recipe– and am doing so before I share the Lentil Veggie Soup recipe. It’s a good alternative instead of potato chips and dip for your favorite sports or movie night get together and/or for a dinner party to go with the low carb cocktails on the Happy Hour section.

This time I’ll share something a little different; not exactly a cooking recipe but suggestions when you’re planning a good time with friends and want ideas for easy to put together, delicious low carb snacks and h’ors d’oeuvres.

We enjoy entertaining and especially sharing a variety of what Rick calls “horse ovaries” to delight our guests. We include fresh hummus and a selection of veggie spears as well as goat and cow milk cheeses. This time we had goat Brie, a white goat Gouda and a cow milk aged Dutch Gouda served with fresh figs and whole grain crackers. Also a variety of olives, pickled peppers and mushrooms and cannoli beans. Plus, one of my favs, smoked oysters. It was fun to put together and a great spread!

The chips are sweet potato tortilla chips from Trader Joe’s- 17 grams of carbs in 9 chips; so that’s ok for Rick for one serving; (he’d then skip carbs if we eat dinner after this). Each person’s carb allotment, of course, depends on the individual medical situation. Ask your doctor about it if you’re concerned.

Cocktail Spread

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6)

  • Fresh hummus (we buy it at a local Greek restaurant-or use your favorite brand-Trader Joe’s, my favorite, has many good choices)
  • 1Tbsp Olive oil- to dribble on top of the hummus if you like; then sprinkle with smoked paprika or a bit of cayenne
  • smoked oysters ( I prefer the large ones)
  • Cheeses- I suggest three- goat Gouda blanc, goat Brie, and an aged cow milk Gouda (Trader Joe’s is a great source of well-priced excellent cheese- of course, if you have a good local cheese shop go for it!)
  • Fresh figs (sliced in rounds as accents to the cheese plate)
  • Zucchini’s, carrots, red and yellow peppers, yellow squash; cut in spears to dip in the hummus
  • Assorted olives, pickled mushrooms, peppers, Cannoli beans; we buy these at a local market or use any olives and pickled foods you prefer (or not). Caution: they can be high in sodium if high blood pressure is an issue. Rick eats these but in small quantities.
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Sweet potato tortilla chips ( TJ’s again)

TO DO:

1. Arrange all on your coolest platters and serving dishes

2. Serve with wine or low carb cocktails — check out the Happy Hour section: https://type2delicious.com/happy-hour/

That’s it! So simple and delicious- a feast for the eyes and…!

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com