Ginger Garlic Chinese Chicken

Bok Choy 5.7.13

Those of you who are with me on the low carb train know how difficult finding something acceptable to eat at Chinese restaurants. I’ve pretty much avoided going out for Chinese for the last year. There is usually some type of breading or coating on the proteins in the dishes and the sauces are full of sugars and/or corn starch. This was a difficult change for me…I loved spring rolls, crab rangoon, and the spicy/saucy goodness of most American Chinese foods!

So I got to work concocting a recipe that I could make in the comfort of my own kitchen. I came up with Ginger Garlic Chinese Chicken!!! It’s a nice blend of Asian spices and garlic-y goodness with a healthy portion of veggies.

Ingredients:
2 large chicken breasts
1-2 T coconut oil
1 head of bok choy chopped into uniform pieces
1 bunch of asparagus (approximately 1 lb.) chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
8 oz pre-sliced, pre-washed, ready to use white mushrooms
1/4 C soy sauce
2 t minced garlic
1 t Asian five spice seasoning
1 t ground ginger (I used the dried spice, but fresh is acceptable)
1/2 T dried basil
1 t red pepper flakes
artificial sweetener (this is subject to taste and I use liquid, which doesn’t add to the carb counts below)
xanthan gum (I used approximately 1 t…maybe 2)

Cut chicken into bite-size cubes. Sauté chicken in coconut oil until just cooked through. I added a splash of soy sauce and garlic during the cooking process. Remove from pan (either large cooking pot or wok). Add veggies, soy sauce, garlic, five spice seasoning, and ginger. When the vegetables are cooked through (with still some bite to them…we don’t want mushy veggies people!), finish the dish by adding the chicken back into the mix and add the basil, sweetener, and xanthan gum. You will find the sauce will thicken in about 2 minutes after adding the xanthan gum.

I get approximately 4-6 servings per batch.

Nutritional Information for entire entree:
calories: 1395      fat: 65 g     protein: 165 g     carbohydrates: 51 g     fiber: 21 g
net carbs: 30 g

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Chicken Fried Steak

I had Sandra Lee’s Money Saving Meals show on the other day and she made chicken fried steak with sawmill sausage gravy. I thought to myself as I watched her fry up the steaks, “Hmmmm, I really think I could make this recipe.” And that’s exactly what I did! I am quite pleased with how this recipe turned out. Some of you may be asking, “Don’t you have to use flour to bread the cube steak?” YES! I did use flour, however not that nastly, old wheat flour. No, I had a bag of soy flour in my pantry just waiting to be opened.

Here’s how this recipe went down….

Ingredients:
4 cube steaks
1/2 C soy flour
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t smoked paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 eggs
1/2 C canola oil

First combine the flour, onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika in a pie plate. In a second pie plate, wisk eggs. The eggs may need some thinning out. You can use either water or a small amount of heavy cream.

Season the cube steaks with salt and pepper. Dredge the beef first in the flour mixture. Shake off any excess flour and then dip in egg. Dredge in flour mixture a second time. Shake off excess flour and set aside. Be sure the cube steaks are evenly coated with the egg mixture before dredging for the second time.

Heat the oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Fry the cube steaks until they form a golden brown crust. This usually takes approximately 3-5 minutes per steak. Let the beef rest on a paper towel lined plate.

That’s it! Super simple and quite tasty. I have to admit, this is the first fried food I’ve had in almost a year. It was fun to have, but I definitely won’t be making this very often. I am not craving this fried foods anymore. I also did not make the sausage gravy. I may try to concoct this recipe in the future. I could see myself making some flaxseed “bisquits” and topping them with the gravy.

Each steak is approximately 2 Net Carbs. 1/4 C of soy flour has 3 Net Carbs.

Spicy Sweet Buffalo Chicken

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As I was planning what I wanted to make for dinner the other night, I got a big craving for buffalo wings. I thought about all of my favorite bar haunts and the ridiculous number of ways these places prepare their wings. There is inevitably always a sweet and spicy option that usually has an Asian flare to it, however I really wanted the traditional buffalo taste with a slightly sweet note.

What transpired in my kitchen has to be one of my most favorite chicken recipes to date! I’ve made this recipe 3 times in the past week!

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Ingredients:
Family pack of chicken thighs (approximately 8-10 pieces)
1/4-1/3 C Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce
Artificial Sweetener (I used the equivalent of 3-4 packets of Stevia in liquid form)
3 T butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get a frying pan screaming hot and brown thighs skin side down until it’s crispy and golden-brown. Flip and brown other side of thighs. During the browning, stir the wing sauce and sweetener together. Melt butter in microwave. Place browned thighs on cooking sheet. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Drizzle the thighs with the butter and spoon the wing sauce over thighs liberally. Bake thighs for 45 minutes.

That’s it! Easy, peasy, right??? I topped my thighs with blue cheese dressing. Another option is ranch dressing. Any way you eat these, you will be addicted!!! The carbs for this recipe is so minimal, that I’m not even going to give totals. If you add dipping sauces, be sure to count those Net Carbs.

Getting Ready

I didn’t post as regularly as I usually do on my weekend off. I spent the two days resting and getting ready for recovering after my surgery. I currently live in a 2-story house so you can imagine how the stairs situation may pose a bit of an issue with a healing foot. That being said, I have a few wonderful people who are going to help me out the first couple of days after my surgery.

My very good friend, Tara (here’a nother shout out for ya, Girl!), is going to drive me to Pittsburgh for the procedure. I have to check-in at 5:15 a.m.!!!!!!! If I could get it changed to a later time, I would…sorry, Tara! That means we have to leave my house by about 4:30 a.m. Poor Tara probably needs to leave her house around 4:00 a.m.-ish. When I get home, I’m going to camp out in my bedroom on the 2nd floor of my house for the next couple of days.

Sherri, my housemate, is going to help me a lot, too…as if I don’t have enough to thank her for!!! She is such a HUGE help and I really appreciate all she does. The pooches really adore her as well.

To make life easier post-surgery, I’m going to be making a lot of food this weekend that can be reheated in the microwave or served as is. There are lemon flaxseed muffins in the freezer already (my FAVORITE!!!). I will also be making my famous (famous with the residential clients I work with anyway!) cucumber and tomato salad and curry tuna salad. I think I will probably make a meatloaf and roast some veggies as well.

I thought I would include my curry tuna salad recipe as it is one of my go-to meals…especially when I’m in a hurry and don’t have a lot of time. I can’t get enough of it!

Ingredients:
1 large can tuna in water
2 large spoonfuls Trader Joe’s Real Mayonnaise
1 t curry powder
1/4 t onion powder
1/4 t garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together until well incorporated. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour for flavors to meld.

I absolutely LOVE to add halved grape tomatoes and cucumbers to the tuna salad. I usually use romaine lettuce leaves and make yummy lettuce wraps.

Zucchini Noodles

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Raise your hand if you like pasta…raise both hands if you LOVE pasta!!! I’m not a super huge pasta fan, but there are times when I love me a good alfredo sauce. Who doesn’t enjoy a tasty marinara sauce that has been simmering with love on the stove for hours??? On the low-carb WOE, what can we put these yummies over?

Zucchini noodles. Sounds a little off the wall? Does that surprise you coming from my recipe box??? I’ve learned some tricks that really keep my palette happy and these noodles do just that.

I use a mandoline (be super careful if you’ve never used one!!! I’m a seasoned user and I nicked my thumb this morning!) with a ribbon attachment to slice my zucchini. Toward the end, I do have to use a knife to finish off slicing the squash into noodles.

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Then I sauté the noodles in a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of butter, a little salt, and a little pepper. Sauté until noodles are cooked through, but not mushy.

Give these a try…even if you’re not doing the low-carb thing, this is a healthy alternative to get in more veggies in the day!

Sweet and Spicy Almonds

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Who doesn’t love the sweet and savory combination??? I can’t get enough of it (which is a problem sometimes!)!!! After i made the last almond snack (Rosemary Almonds), I set out to create the perfect sweet/spicy nut. I wanted something caramelly, crunch, with a little heat. My first task was to search the interwebs to find something that matched what I was looking for. I found a recipe that I modified on All Cooks.com.

So, here’s what I did…

Ingredients:
1 egg white
1 t vanilla extract
3 C raw almonds
1/2 C sugar substitute (I used a blend of Splenda and Stevia In The Raw)
1 t cinnamon
1 t chili powder
1/4 t sea salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg white and extract together until frothy. It shouldn’t be runny; mine looked like foam. Stir in the almonds and coat evenly.

Combine the sugar substitute, cinnamon, chili powder, and seal salt in a small bowl and mix. Add to the almonds in the large mixing bowl and coat evenly.

On a greased jelly roll pan, spread the almonds evenly and bake in oven for 60 minutes. Stir almonds every 20 minutes.

Let cool for 30 minutes before storing in an air tight container.

That’s it! Enjoy these tasty nuggets of joy!

I will post nutrition information later. This recipe makes approximately 18 servings and come in right around 3 Net Carbs.

Rosemary Almonds

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I received a bunch of raw almonds for Christmas, courtesy of my mom (THANKS, MOM!). I had so many ideas for these yummy nuts. I really enjoy the sweet nut mixes that go around during the holiday season, however, I’m always looking for a good salty, crunchy snack that I can pack as a great on-the-go option.

Today I had a little time to experiment with these crunchy nuggets of deliciousness. I went with a salty version that is sooooooooooo easy and turned out way better than expected.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Ingredients:
2-2 1/2 C raw almonds
4 T butter
salt to taste
dried rosemary to taste (I used approximately 2 teaspoons)

Melt butter in microwave. Spread almonds on a tin foil lined jelly roll pan. Pour melted butter over almonds, sprinkle salt and rosemary over almonds and stir so almonds are completely covered in butter. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring midway through the baking process.

These almonds can be eaten hot or after cooled. Personally I enjoy them cooled!

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