Sautéed Squash with Secret Sauce

A variety of squashes and onion

A variety of squashes and onion ready for sautéing

It’s starting to be fall in Santa Cruz – there’s a chill in the air, although we’re still enjoying the last of Indian summer. (Actually, September/October is our real summer- June, July and August are usually foggy and cool here by the ocean); except this summer which was unusually warm— say global warming anyone?

A mix of squash, onion and ketchup sautéed in pan

Delicious sautéed squash and onion dish

Sautéed squashes and onion with ketchup

German Secret Sauce

Which brings me to this recipe for your remaining summer zucchini/squash harvest – plus what’s still available at farmer’ markets. You can use any type of soft skinned winter squashes just as well. This family favorite is a great side dish for roast chicken, broiled fish or almost anything you serve.

I first enjoyed this recipe when I was visiting my mom’s cousin Erica in LA in the eighties. My mom and her cousins Hans and Erica were born in Germany- escaped here during the war. Erica was an excellent cook. This dish surprised me as I had no idea that the “sauce” was nothing but ketchup, and that ketchup is a mainstay of  German cooking!

This is a very easy to make dish with a rich, satisfying taste. It always comes out delicious. You can use any combination of squash and onions you like.  I make it for company and let them guess what is in the sauce- so far no one has figured it out!  But now you know!

German Squash with Secret Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 5-7 squashes- your choice (I like to vary the colors- using yellows and greens)
  • 1 large onion plus 1-2 cippolini onions if you like
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • Salt-free seasoning, pepper; or use salt if you can
  • Fresh chopped herbs- thyme or marjoram are my favorites for this

TO DO: (serves 3-4 or 2 with leftovers)

1. Chop onions into 1/2 “ pieces

2. Chop squashes in approximately 1/2 pieces also- they can be sliced but the way Erica made it they were chopped

3. Heat oil on med high heat in large sauté pan; add onions and sauté until just brown- 5-6 minutes

4. Add squashes to pan, and spices; sauté 3-4 more minutes uncovered- cover for about 5 more minutes til tender

5. Add 1/2 cup ketchup—sauté another 2-3 minutes; taste and add more if you like

That’s it! I’m sure you’ll be surprised at how rich tasting this is! Thanks Erica!

Serve as a side dish; and, as we usually have, a crisp green salad with a tart, lemony vinaigrette–see previous Salad posts for the vinaigrette recipe: https://wordpress.com/post/type2delicious.com/1075

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

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Low Carb Clafoutis–Fun Fruit Dessert!

No-sugar fruit dessert made with peaches

Summer fruits beg to be eaten and one delicious way is a low carb, no-sugar version of the French fruit dessert, clafoutis.

I make it with Xylitol*, a low carb sweetener that my readers will recognize- it has no weird aftertaste and allows folks with carb restrictions to enjoy at least some sweet tasting desserts to their low carb diet.

Clafoutis! Just the name makes me smile- such a cute word for such a tasty dish! I made this version mainly with peaches, (and a nectarine), but I’ve made it with plums with just as delicious results; (if you read my previous recent blog posts, you’ll know we had a bumper crop of plums last year).

Clafoutis is originally from France, made with dark cherries that traditionally aren’t pitted. There’s a chemical, amygdalin, in the pits which gives a unique flavor. However, I’ve never made it that way. In any case, I’ve been a clafoutis fan this summer especially, and have made it almost every time we’ve had dinner guests. I can’t have it too often!

In winter or fall, it can be made with apples and/or pears. I look forward to trying it then too, but now I am reveling in the summer fruit version.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 4-6 fruits sliced, – peaches, plums, nectarines (depending on size), in any combination; peeled if you like, (I usually don’t peel them). The main thing is to cover the bottom of the pie plate.
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup milk (or milk substitute- I’ve used almond milk, for instance)
  • 2/3 cup flour- I use King Arthur whole wheat white flour
  • 2 Tbsp. Almond meal (Trader Joe’s has this–I keep a bag in my freezer–lasts a long time)
  • grated peel of one small lemon
  • 1 Tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp. Xylitol
  • butter for greasing pan

TO DO: preheat oven 375 degrees F

1. Butter a 10″ pie pan (I use a glass one) and sprinkle 1 Tbsp. of the Xylitol  over the bottom.

2. Arrange the fruit slices so that they cover the entire bottom of the pan. Sprinkle 2 more Tbsps. of Xylitol over the fruit.

3. Combine the remaining Xylitol, eggs, milk, flour, lemon zest, almond meal, vanilla and salt (remember, just a pinch- about 1/4 tsp.); blend in a blender or use an immersion blender.

4. Pour this liquid over the fruit in the pan.

5. Bake for 50-60 minutes until “toothpick” firm and the top is lightly brown. Remove from the oven and place on a rack.

6. Let stand at least 30 minutes before slicing. (if you have no restrictions, vanilla ice cream is great with this.)

That’s it! A real treat!

* https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylitol

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Easy Tomato Salad and Greek Salad 2

Back to Greece for a Greek Salad update-plus a salad with the first tomatoes from our garden-I wait all year for this–tomatoes from the garden can’t be equalled! And of course, low carb and easy to prepare. With such delicious fresh ingredients simple preparation is the best.

diabetes-friendly-Fresh-Tomato-Salad

Simple, delicious, fresh tomato salad

healthy-greek-tomato-salad

Special Greek Salad I made a version of the special Greek Salad I enjoyed in the one (only) high end restaurant. The feta is soaked in olive oil and covered in toasted sesame seeds plus plump capers were added – a delicious variation. Rick loved it! ( see my blog post on “Superb Greek Salad” for more details.)

Fresh Tomato Salad

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 2-3 ripe, fresh sliced tomatoes (depending on size),  per serving
  • Walnut or other nut oil ( I also use Hazelnut oil from Trader Joe’s) or good Greek olive oil
  • Fresh chives cut and sprinkled on top (chives are easy to grow in pots)
  • Fresh ground black pepper and salt-free seasoning if you like

TO DO:

1. Slice tomatoes, put on serving plates

2. Drizzle with oil ( about 2 Tbsp per serving)

3. Sprinkle chopped chives on top

4. Grind pepper, add seasoning if you like

That’s it! So simple and delicious!

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Moroccan Chicken and Vegetables

healthy-moroccan-chicken-vegetables

Moroccan chicken and veggies

 

This is my version of a recipe I originally saw in Sunset Magazine. I made the Sunset-as-was recipe first and found it somewhat boring. I now add a more intense spice flavor, with cumin, cinnamon and turmeric; spices that also are supposed to help with blood pressure, plus we like the taste.

This dish is a two- step process, as you brown the chicken first, but still quite easy and very satisfying. I serve it over brown rice to sop up the juices. (Rick only eats 1/2 cup, but enjoys every grain!)

By the way, we like leftovers, so we make more than what the two of us eat in one meal; if you do too, this recipe serves 3-4. Of course, you can make amounts as you like.

As usual, we also have a green salad with a vinaigrette. My parents were European so I still carry on the habit of eating my salad after the main course, which is even more delicious as I think I enjoy the tastiness more as a “finish” to my meal.

Note: This dish could be made with leftover turkey from your holiday meal. Even simpler; just cook the vegetables, add chunks or slices of turkey, spices, lemon, and heat for 5-10 minutes. Just thought of it as I’m making a turkey for our families’ get together Christmas Eve, and may make this for Christmas Day.

Enjoy! And happy holidays!

Moroccan Chicken and Vegetables

INGREDIENTS

  • 6-8 chicken thighs (I skin and defat them before cooking); also don’t rinse them as it’s been found to spread any bacteria that may be on them. Cooking kills the bacteria.
  • 3-4 peppers, sliced or julienned (I don’t like green, so I use red, orange and yellow- plus they look pretty)
  • 3-4 carrots, sliced in 1/2 ” rounds
  • 2 med or 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • flour for dusting chicken
  • 1/2-1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2-1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • salt free seasoning, pepper; or use salt if you can
  • 1-2 Tbsp juice plus grated rind (yellow only as the white is bitter)
  • 3/4–1 cup white wine
  • ground red pepper or cayenne to taste and dust on top before serving (or use paprika)

TO DO:

1. Shake chicken thighs in a bag with flour and salt/salt free seasoning and pepper

2. Heat olive oil in large skillet; add chicken thighs in single layer. Brown on one side for 5 minutes; turn and brown second side 5 minutes.

3. In Dutch oven, sauté peppers, onions and carrots in 1-2 Tbsp olive oil. Add 1/2 of the wine. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Add chicken on top of vegetables.

5. Add rest of wine to skillet. Scrape chicken drippings in skillet and add mix to Dutch oven.

6. Add spices and lemon juice/rind.

7. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes; (check meat for doneness– meat should not be red or pink).

Serve over brown, wild rice or other whole grain of your choice, and a crisp green salad with a tart, lemony vinaigrette.

www.type2delicious.com

Eggplant Cheese Bake

healthy-eggplant-cheese-bake,

 

If you’re a fan of Eggplant Parmesan, but want to lower the calories and carbs, this is for you. The key is baking and not breading the eggplant. We also use non-dairy cheeses but that’s not a carb issue.

This dish is easy to make; scrumptious, rich tasting and especially satisfying on a cold night with a good glass of chianti and a fresh green salad.

Also we love eggplant in almost any dish. This is a favorite.

By the way, Rick is doing very well with his reduced carbs, exercise, including walks after dinner, and lots of veggies and fruits. He’s actually in pre-diabetes stage, but intends to keep up the healthy habits. So far no meds necessary!

Eggplant Cheese Bake (type of Eggplant Parmesan)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-2 eggplants (choose ones that are full and glossy, deep purple colored)
  • 32 oz. jar of marinara sauce (make your own from canned or fresh tomatoes, garlic and olive oil, or buy prepared – I’m a fan of Mezzetta’s sauce for this dish.)
  • 1/2 lb. cheese in slices (we use Dayna’s non-dairy Jack but if no dairy issues use mozzarella or regular Jack)
  • cheese for grating (again, goat Midnight Moon* or regular Parmesan)
  • Optional- 2-3 tsp Breadcrumbs for topping
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil

TO DO:

1. Wash and slice eggplants into 1″ rounds; preheat oven to 400.

2. In a bowl, shake eggplant slices with 1 Tbsp olive oil.

3. Lay parchment on baking sheet and lightly spray with olive oil. Arrange eggplant slices on parchment in single layer.

4. Bake eggplant for 20 minutes until almost tender.  Remove from oven.

5. In a 9×13 casserole (I use Pyrex); spread about 1/2 cup of marinara sauce.

6. Make a stack base of eggplant in a single layer on top of the sauce, usually 6-8 slices.

7. Top each eggplant slice (stack base) with a slice of cheese, grated cheese and a dollop of sauce.

8. Continue the stacking, cheeses, sauce process until all eggplant is used; top dish with sauce, grated cheese and, if you like, about 2-3 tsps breadcrumbs.

9. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbling and cheese is melted.

Remove from heat and let set for 10-15 minutes. Serve at least one stack per person.

* http://www.cypresscreamery.com

www.type2delicious.com

Rick’s Chicken Salad

healthy-chicken-salad

Chicken salad on our old wooden plates!

We enjoy cooking together, and I admit that Rick is a much better chopper! One of our favorite lunch foods is chicken salad; it’s a great use for leftover chicken as everyone knows, right? Also it’s low in carbs and has a good combo of protein and veggies in our version. (The amount of chicken I’m giving is based on leftover roast chicken; you can start fresh and cook your own chicken if you prefer.)

Rick’s Chicken Salad

INGREDIENTS:

  • Approx. 2 cups of cooked chicken shredded; (we use the whole leftover chicken breast as we both prefer dark meat so usually the breast is left over)
  • carrots diced (last time we used 2 carrots)
  • celery, diced (3 stalks)
  • 1/3 red onion, diced
  • 6-7 roasted or raw almonds, chopped fine
  • 3-4 Tbsps. light mayonnaise
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Mustard (last time, whole seed Dijon)
  • 1Tbsp. Pickle relish
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Lemon pepper (salt free) to taste
  • Dash of Cayenne pepper (or drop in Siracha- our new found favorite)
  • Optional; 3-4 Tbsp. apple, skin on, diced; your choice; (we are lucky to have an apple tree and use those when in season or get what’s featured at the Farmer’s Market)

A Variation: Susan’s Chicken Salad Sauce (a bit more Indian/Mediterranean spice mix)

First mix the sauce:

  • 3-4 Tbsp. light mayonnaise or 1/4 cup light mayo and 1/4 cup Greek plain yogurt (if dairy is not a problem)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (more or less, depending on your taste – lemon to me is a necessity)
  • 1 tsp. White wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard any type you like (Dijon or whole seed; I also like Snug Harbor * mustard)
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder and/or turmeric
  • Salt-free spice mix like Mrs. Dash’s
  • Ground pepper to taste
    *www.snugharborcompany.com

As I’ve said before, use the amounts you like, but these proportions work well.
Combine all ingredients into a bowl, and mix well.
Serve on lettuce leaves and/or whole grain toast; depending on your carb situation.

We really like eating our lunch al fresco under the apple tree in the back yard.

Enjoy!!

Salad with Goat Cheese, Persimmons or Pears and Mustard/Garlic Vinaigrette

salad with persimmons, endive and greens

Persimmon and Endive Salad–salad with persimmons, endive and greens

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Salads are a big part of our diet, especially in summer. We have them at the end of almost every dinner, with many types of  dressings; (my parents and grandparents who lived with us were European, and this was what we did–I still do as I find it is a great savory way to end a meal–plus no big need for a heavy dessert). One dressing I made recently is a variation of classic vinaigrette. This dressing makes enough for a large salad to serve 3-4 (or 2 major salad lovers).

We like the taste contrast of fruit and a bitter green, such as endive and arugula, with this tangy, mustard/garlic dressing. This salad can be a main dish if you add grilled chicken (leftover from your barbecue) or really good topped with grilled or roasted salmon.

Amounts aren’t exact- use your own taste as a guide; for example, not everyone likes as much garlic as we do.
SALAD WITH PEARS/PERSIMMONS AND GOAT CHEESE
INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 to 3/4 head of red butter lettuce; washed, spun and torn
  • 1/3 cup of endive, arugula, and/or frisée (you can substitute any local greens you have but we like this combo)
  • 1 small pear, and/or fuyu persimmon,sliced thin (depending what’s in season)
  • 1 avocado sliced into approx. 1/2 ” cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin or chopped
  • Shred goat cheese such as goat Gouda ( any type) or Midnight Moon* on top
  • 2-3 tsps Chopped toasted pecans or sliced almonds (optional)

(Tip from caterers: add dressing to lettuces and toss, then spread other ingredients on top so that they don’t all fall to the bottom before serving.)

* a semi-hard goat cheese made in Holland, from Cypress Grove Creamery, www.cypressgrovechevre.com.

DELISH MUSTARD/GARLIC VINAIGRETTE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil (just a small amount adds a subtle nutty flavor)
  • 1/4–1/3 cup white wine vinegar; to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed garlic; 3 cloves crushed *
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp. Dijon or Mendocino mustard**
  •  Salt-free spice like Mrs. Dash’s; Pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients (or shake in a jar)
* Cook’s Illustrated Magazine tip for crushing small amounts of garlic:
Smash heads with flat of a chefs knife to peel, cut off ends; rub the peeled heads between the upside down tines of a fork; then crush the larger pieces with the fork to yield crushed garlic.
**http://www.mendocinomustard.com
Enjoy!