Spicy Tomato Soup

Looking for something easy, tasty and low-carb that I could make in a large batch to take for lunches at work, I adapted a few soup recipes into the following. I’ve been enjoying it for a few weeks now!


1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 green onions, chopped
4 cups broth, beef or chicken
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (24oz) jar prepared salsa
2 tablespoons cilantro, or cilantro chutney
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder (the spice mix for making for chili)

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan or stockpot. Simmer on medium low for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Process with an immersion blender for a puree-style tomato soup, or leave as is for a chunky-style soup. Garish with extra cilantro. For a hearty twist, top with shredded cheese and/or sour cream. Enjoy!

Pork Adobo

About halfway through the week, I asked my dad what meat he wanted to use as the base of our meal for the coming weekend. This has become somewhat of a ritual, as he often has opinions on what meat he wants me to use based on preference and what in his freezer should be used sooner than later… and I like to spend a bit a my downtime throughout the week researching new and exciting recipes featuring said meat.

This week he said pork. I’m always game for pork. Researching pork recipes, however, is a more challenging task than other meats. I knew he had a pork loin that he wanted me to use, but when searching for pork on my favorite recipe page, Food.com, a simple search yields recipes using every part of the pig! Bacon recipes, shoulder recipes, ham recipes, sausage recipes, etc. There is just such a wide variety of pork preparations and types of pig-related meat that sifting through the recipes becomes a greater challenge than, say, for chicken or beef.

My first instinct, however, was pretty simple. I wanted to do a pulled pork. Alas, but most pulled pork recipes are BBQ oriented. This is not necessary a problem, as I much enjoy BBQ sauce and combining it with pork is always a good idea. However, almost every BBQ recipe I found included mass amounts of sugar. Not just a couple tablespoons — copious scoops of sugar! Even vinegar-based Carolina BBQ called for enormous quantities of brown sugar. My current low carb regimen is not forgiving enough for copious sugar, so most pulled pork was out of the question.

And then I encountered Adobo. I’ve been meaning to try Adobo for some time now, though such intention had faded to the eaves of my brain. Many Adodo recipes included zero sugar, some just a small amount. Thus, a pulled pork Abobo seemed just the thing! Now, traditionally, Adobo meats (chicken seems a common choice, as well) aren’t necessarily “pulled” or shredded at the end. I simply added that wrinkle since my original inclination had been such.


2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 lbs pork, cut into cubes
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper, or more to taste
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
water, if cooking stovetop

Heat cooking oil in the base of a saucepan or of a crockpot on high. Add garlic and onion. Saute until onions are softened. Add vinegar, soy sauce, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Many traditional recipes like to use whole peppercorns. I simply used fresh ground. Add the brown sugar, if using.

Sugar was not a frequent addition in the recipes I looked at, and so I included it only optionally. I, personally, used one teaspoon, rather than one tablespoon. The teaspoon for tablespoon reduction is a common lower-carb fix I use when recipes call for small amounts of sugar, flour or corn starch. In the case of sugar, I figure recipes calling for a mere tablespoon are only looking to add a hint of sweetness anyway, and in the case of flour or cornstarch, it is for their thickening properties; I’ve found they actually work well enough in smaller quantities with just a little more time and attention to sauce reduction.

Cover and simmer the pork in the adobo mix until it reaches desired tenderness. 3-4 hours on high in the crockpot, 7-8 hours on low. If simmering stove-top, you may need extra water to keep the pork moist as it cooks. Shred, if desired. Serve with a favorite rice dish (or cauliflower “rice” dish).

I was pleasantly surprised how well this recipe turned out considering how few ingredients and seasonings went into it. Normally I gravitate toward dishes with strong flavors and/or complex spice mixes, but this recipe proved to showcase just the right mix of a few tasty ingredients.

Kofta and Tahini Cream

One of my favorite meals in Middle Eastern cuisine is kofta, that is, spiced meatballs. But achieving the right balance of herbs and spices, the right consistency and flavor making these at home has thus far eluded me. Today I give it another go!

My first attempts failed because I tried to go TOO low carb and reduce the breadcrumbs way too much. That was before I understood the true importance of a well-hydrated breadcrumb to making good meatballs. Since then, I’ve struggled with the spice mix. I like kofta that are cinnamon-forward in flavor, so I always make sure to include a larger portion of cinnamon. The problem is that I have such a vast spice cabinet that it is tempting to add so many more spices in this category… cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, mace, coriander seed, etc. etc. I think I have to hold back and simplify my kofta so that the flavors I like best are the ones most prominently featured.

Spiced Kofta and Tahini Cream

Spiced Kofta and Tahini Cream


1/3 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1 lb ground meat
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon allspice
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
1 spring onion, chopped or snipped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or fresh parsley or fresh mint, or all three

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the egg into the breadcrumbs with a fork. Let stand at least ten minutes to allow the egg to hydrate your breadcrumbs. Add the meat, garlic, spices, salt, pepper, onions and herbs. Let stand at least another ten minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Form the meat mixture into meatballs, patties, or log-shapes. Place in a shallow baking dish. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Serve with tahini cream (below) and/or hummus.

One of my favorite dressings for kofta is tahini cream:


4 tablespoons sesame tahini
4 tablespoons sour cream or yogurt
4 tablespoons cream or half & half

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, or with an immersion blender. Chill. Serve as a dressing for kofta meatballs, above.

Parmesan Roasted Turnips

My low-carb diet persists, and so does my search for new and different vegetables to substitute for all my favorite carbs. I wrote recently about my rediscovery of the rutabaga; it is quite impossible, really, to be reminded of the rutabaga without also being reminded of turnips… after all, fundamentally every description of a rutabaga compares it to a turnip.

Turnips are much easier to come by, and so when I struck out into the city in search of rutabagas, I naturally encountered turnips first. In fact, only two grocery stores I went to had rutabagas, but nearly all had turnips. I purchased turnips as a contingency for my Bolognese recipe, planning to spiralize them if a rutabaga could not be procured. But after finding the latter, I decided to try a different recipe with the turnips I had collected along the way.

Parmesan Roasted Turnips

Parmesan Roasted Turnips


2 large turnips (or 2 lbs. of small ones)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 475.

Peel and cut turnips into cubes or wedges. In a plastic freezer bag, combine turnips, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Seal bag and toss ingredients together.

Spread oil- and spice-coated turnips in a large, shallow casserole dish (should be large enough that turnips can be spread in a single layer). Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Roast for 10-15 minutes. Flip turnips so that they get roasted on the other side. Roast for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve and enjoy!

This recipe turned out well, tasty in a simple no-frills kind of way. I was actually surprised at just how potato-like the turnips were. It gives me many ideas for future recipes involving turnip substitutions for potatoes!

Cilantro Lime “Rice” and Coconut “Rice”

I’ve found that one cauliflower can produce an awful lot of “rice,” especially when it’s on the medium to large side. Depending on the specific plant, I might get 8 or 9 cups of rice out of one head. a162f4b9a88b367e05177701d620261aAs a result, I’ve been splitting my “rice” and using the produce of one head for more than one recipe.

This past weekend, I made myself some favorite Thai-inspired dishes, Pumpkin Curry and Squ-oodles with Peanut Sauce. As an accompaniment to these two dishes, I riced my cauliflower and used the 8 cups of “rice” it produced to make two dishes.


juice and zest of one lime
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or cilantro chutney
2 spring onions, chopped
4 cups cauliflower rice

Rice your cauliflower; fold in a clean kitchen towel and set aside.

Zest your lime, then juice it (fruit is easier to zest fully round, and easier to juice without the peel). Combine zest, juice, oil, salt, pepper, cilantro or chutney, and onions in a bowl. Add 4 cups of cauliflower rice and stir until the green ingredients are evenly distributed. Enjoy chilled as a salad, or warmed to eating temperature as a side dish.

This dish was pretty predictably delicious. It is, after all, very similar to the basic ingredients in my favorite coleslaw recipe. It was a perfect accompaniment to the curries.

Two "Rice" Dishes, Coconut and Cilantro Lime

Two “Rice” Dishes, Coconut and Cilantro Lime


1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine
7 oz coconut cream
4 cups cauliflower rice
salt & pepper, to taste

Rice your cauliflower; fold in a clean kitchen towel and set aside.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Saute the onion and garlic. Add the white wine and coconut cream. If your onion was not chopped small enough (my eyes are very sensitive to onion and I can only get a few cuts in before they burn so badly I can’t be in the same room with the onion), you may want to puree the sauce with an immersion blender as it thickens. Simmer, stirring often until reduced into a thick, almost tacky, sauce. Allow to cool; it should be close to room temperature before adding the cauliflower.

Stir in the cauliflower rice. Season to taste. Serve and enjoy.

This recipe was a bit trickier. It is based on the concept of coconut-cooked rice that Sabrina introduced to me. Essentially, she cooks rice in an equivalent amount of coconut milk to the amount of water usually required. It has the welcome effects of lowering the glycemic index and adding flavor. I’ve been wanting to do something similar with cauliflower rice for awhile. In fact, it was the first recipe I tried with cauliflower rice. The problem was that I treated the cauliflower rice like regular rice, and it ended up wet and slimy.

With my new-found cauliflower rice expertise, I realized that I had to keep the cauliflower raw and crispy in order for this recipe to work. The key here was taking the time to reduce the sauce. Too much liquid will make this dish runny or soupy. The sauce needs to be thick enough that it will stick to the cauliflower. That’s why I describe it as tacky, sort of like paste or glue. It is also important not to add the cauliflower when this sauce is still hot. The cauliflower will release a bit of liquid if you put it in a hot sauce, making it less than crisp and defeating — at least in part — your efforts at liquid reduction.

Having taken these precautions, I must say that the dish turned out wonderfully, just as I had hoped, a worthy substitute for Sabrina’s Coconut Rice.

Beef Bolognese

Sometimes recipe searches lead to unexpected places. In my ongoing search for new ideas to fuel low-carb recipe substitutions, I encountered a recipe for Beef Bolognese with spiralized rutabaga noodles. This recipe rang two distant bells of memory for me.

First, I have certainly heard of Bolognese before, but it is one of those continental recipes that has, over the years, simply buzzed along the outskirts of my recipe radar. In general, I’m don’t actively search for new Italian recipes, simply because I have a pretty thorough existing repertoire in that cuisine category. Bolognese is essentially Italian meat sauce, which is perhaps as non-novel an Italian recipe as one could imagine. Having stumbled upon this particular recipe, however, I found myself intrigued by the spice mixture. In addition to the typical Italian green spices like parsley and oregano, it also included cinnamon and cloves. The addition of these more fragrant dark spices to more traditional Mediterranean tomato sauce is a combination I’ve enjoyed before in Greek Pastitso. Upon further investigation of Bolognese recipes, I found that some included nutmeg as well as other ingredients that intrigued me. Also, I found recipes for Bolognese both with ground beef and the stew beef, the latter variation a timely upgrade, as my dad had requested I incorporate a beef roast into our meal this past weekend.

Second, the use of spiralized rutabaga turned out to be something of a eureka moment. Many years ago, when I was in high school, I hunted down a rutabaga and some other atypical root vegetables to try out a particular recipe back when I was on a 90’s-style low-fat healthy eating kick. At the time, my tastes were not terribly well-evolved and I found myself slightly off-put but the difference in flavor between the rutabaga and a typical white potato. Without even tasting them anew, I immediately knew that my current adult palate would welcome these atypical root vegetables, such as rutabaga and turnips… especially when I discovered how relatively low they are in carbs. Rutabaga is only 9g/100g and turnips a measely 6g/100g. That’s even better than the 12g/100g in the butternut squash that forms the basis of my newly beloved squ-oodles! Both these vegetables have a similar consistency to butternut squash in that they are more substantial than the flimsier and more likely to spoil zucchini. They are also cheaper and easier to prepare for spiralizing than butternut. They can both be peeled simply like a potato and there are no seeds to carve out. Once my backyard supply of butternut squash runs out, I’ll need a more cost effective alternative to keep me through the winter, and both are worthy candidates.

As follows is my Beef Bolognese, a compilation of my favorite aspects of all the Bolognese recipes I evaluated online. I served it over spiralized rutabaga (rutab-oodles!), but it could certainly be served with any spiralized vegetable or with regular pasta.

Beef Bolognese with rutab-oodles!

Beef Bolognese with rutab-oodles!


2 tablespoons bacon fat
2 onions
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 stalks celery
1 (28 ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
1 cup beef stock or one boullion cube
1 cup red wine
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
dash ground clove
dash ground nutmeg
2 lb beef, ground or cubed
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat bacon fat in a medium-large saucepan, or in the bottom of a crockpot. Add the chopped onion, garlic and celery. Saute until soft.

Add the tomatoes (discard liquid if using a crockpot) and tomato paste. Add the beef stock if using a saucepan, or a beef bouillon cube if using a crockpot. Add the wine and spices up to and including the nutmeg. Process with an immersion blender, if desired, to puree the vegetables into a smooth sauce.

Add the beef cubes after pureeing, and then the bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on low fire (in crockpot, low or high is fine, depending on how soon you want it to be ready; generally 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low) until beef is done. Ground beef simply should be cooked, cubed beef should be done enough to shred easily with a fork.

Serve over pasta or vegetables. Garnish with parmesan cheese.

Carbs and Calories in Vegetables, and other ingredients

As I contemplate how to lower the carbs in favorite dishes by using substitutions like spiralized vegetables for noodles or chopped up cauliflower for rice or potatoes, I find it useful to look up precisely how many carbs are in these vegetables. Sometimes I’ve been quite surprised! My preconception of how carb-tastic (or not) a particular vegetable may be sometimes takes me by surprise.

VegetablesIt started when I picked up a small sack of sweet potatoes, intending to spiralize them into lower-carb noodles for serving with a favorite cheese sauce. I was right at the start of my new low-carb diet, and I was excited and proud of myself for finding a great compromise: a vegetable I really liked to substitute for the pasta I was craving. Just out of curiosity, though, I looked up sweet potato nutritional facts… as it turned out they are LOWER-carb, but actually not that far away from pasta itself.

As I continue to look up various vegetables and other foods, I find myself back-tracking a lot (“… wait, what was the carb count on that again?”), so I’ve decided to make a compendium. I make no claims to super accuracy here; this compendium is just the result of my casual research on Google, and when necessary, other nutritional info and calories counting sites. If anyone begs to differ on any of these items, by all means, let me know and send me some more reliable research.

In this compendium, I use as my baseline 100g of each food item. I have found it very enlightening to equalize the amounts of each item, since the serving sizes many nutritional charts use vary widely from food to food. I want to know how the EXACT SAME amount compares. I also like to use 100g, because the carb counts are also listed in grams, so mathematically it boils down to a percentage. It helps me to consider what percentage of any food is carbs for purposes of comparison/contrast.

Finally, I’ve also included the calorie count for the same amount of each item (yes, calories, I unfortunately haven’t forgotten about you completely… sigh…). Some foods, it turns out, may not be so far away in carb content, but have a bigger deficit in calories. Butternut squash vs. white potatoes, for instance. They aren’t miles away in carb count, but the calorie difference is quite a gulf! I’m going to start this compendium as a scaling list from low to high, but I hope eventually to duplicate it in alphabetical order, as well.


100g lettuce 2.9g 1.3g 1.6g 15
100g celery 3g 1.6g 1.4g 16
100g zucchini 3.1g 1g 2.1g 17
100g yellow summer squash 3.3g 1.1g 2.2g 16
100g white mushrooms 3.3g 1g 2.3g 22
100g radish 3.4g 1.6g 1.8g 16
100g cucumber 3.6g 0.6g 3g 16
100g spinach 3.6g 2.2g 1.4g 23
100g calabash bottle gourd 3.7g 0.5g 3.2g 15
100g tomato 3.9g 1.2g 2.7g 18
100g asparagus 3.9g 2.1g 1.8g 20
100g portobello mushroom 3.9g 1.3g 2.6g 22
100g daikon radish 4.1g 1.6g 2.5g 18
100g bell pepper 4.6g 1.7g 2.9g 20
100g cauliflower 5g 2g 3g 25
100g eggplant 6g 3g 3g 25
100g cabbage 6g 2.5g 3.5g 25
100g kohlrabi 6g 3.6g 2.4g 27
100g turnips 6g 1.8g 4.2g 28
100g pumpkin 6g 0.5g 5.5g 26
100g green beans 7g 3.4g 3.6g 31
100g scallion 7g 2.6g 4.4g 32
100g broccoli 7g 2.6g 4.4g 34
100g strawberries 8g 2g 6g 33
100g onion 9g 1.7g 7.3g 40
100g brussel sprouts 9g 3.8g 5.2g 43
100g rutabaga 9g 2.3g 6.7g 38
100g delicata squash 9g 4g 5g 40
100g acorn squash 10g 1.5g 8.5g 40
100g blackberries 10g 5g 5g 43
100g carrot 10g 2.8g 7.2g 41
100g beetroot 10g 2.8g 7.2g 43
100g edamame, cooked 10g 5g 5g 122
100g butternut squash 12g 2g 10g 45
100g kabocha squash 13g 3.6g 9.4g 60
100g apples 14g 2.4g 11.6g 52
100g blueberries 14g 2.4g 11.6g 57
100g peas 14g 5g 9g 81
100g pears 15g 3.1g 11.9g 57
100g coconut 15g 9g 6g 354
100g peanuts 16g 8g 8g 567
100g shallot 17g 3.2g 13.8g 72
100g white potato 17g 2.2g 14.8g 77
100g parsnip 18g 4.9g 13.1g 75
100g ginger 18g 2g 16g 80
100g fava beans, raw 18g 8g 10g 88
100g sweet corn 19g 2.7g 16.3g 86
100g sweet potato 20g 3g 17g 86
100g black beans, cooked 24g 8g 16g 130
100g cooked pasta 25g 25g 131
100g garbanzo beans, cooked 27g 8g 19g 164
100g yams 28g 4g 24g 118
100g white rice, cooked 28g 0.4g 27.6g 130

Am I missing something? I wracked my brain for as many vegetables as I could think of, plus a few other things for comparison, but if there’s anything I forgot, I’m happy to add it. Let me know in the comments section and I’ll add in a detail line.

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower “Rice”

I asked my dad this week what he wanted me to make for dinner when I came to visit the coming weekend. He said chicken and rice. I immediately warned him that he would be eating cauliflower “rice,” not real rice. Upon obtaining his consent to my current culinary preoccupation and dietary constraints, I set out to look for yet another recipe to use in transforming cauliflower into low carb rice.

After researching many possibilities, a logical marriage of chicken and rice appeared. Chicken and rice appear to be quite the bosom buddies in Louisiana, and so I set out to devise a Jambalaya with cauliflower “rice”

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower "Rice"

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower “Rice”


2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄4 cup celery, chopped
1 (28 oz) can diced or crushed tomatoes in juice
1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
juice of one lemon
1 boullion cube
1-2 lbs. chicken, cut into cubes
1 bay leaf

one medium head of cauliflower, riced

1 tablespoon chili powder (the mix of spices for making chili)
1 tablespoon cajun spice mix (I use Badia)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
salt, to taste

2 bell peppers chopped
7 oz sausage, chopped

2-3 bunches of green onions, snipped or chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt the butter in a large skillet or saucepan, or optionally a crockpot on high. When butter is melted, stir in onions, garlic and celery. Saute until softened. Add the tomatoes (if using crockpot, discard juice), tomato paste, lemon juice, boullion cube, chicken and bay leaf. Cover and allow to simmer over low fire.

Rice your cauliflower in batches in a food processor. Fold into a clean kitchen towel and set aside.

Meanwhile, combine spices in a small bowl or ramekin. Add a tablespoon of the final spice mix to the simmering chicken.

Place sausage and peppers in a small casserole dish. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes until sausage starts to get a little golden brown. Stir up the sausage and pepper mixture at least twice during the roasting to get it done evenly.

Empty cauliflower into a clean bowl. Add oil, salt, green onions and the remainder of the spice mix. Stir well to combine so that spices are evenly distributed.

When chicken reaches desired tenderness, mix in the sausage and peppers. Serve the chicken and sausage mixture over the rice. Enjoy!

Squ-oodles & Cheese

This summer, my dad planted butternut squash with my encouragement (and my placing a pack of seeds in his hand), and it has turned out to be a very rewarding harvest. Butternut squash is typically quite expensive at your average grocery store, and so having a supply in the back yard has excellent financial advantages. It has also lead to the discovery that butternut squash makes a wonderful noodle substitute when put through the Spiralizer.

I first got my Spiralizer last year, and I did use it on a butternut squash once when I had managed to pick one up on sale at Aldi. It worked just as well, of course, but the preparation of the squash as a bit labor-intensive (peeling takes a good while, and then the seeds need to be scraped out like a pumpkin), and since its availability was limited to the occasional grocery store sale, I didn’t spiralize one again. I just stuck to spiralizing zucchini.

But now that I have a quantity of squash from the back yard, I’ve taken to greater experimentation. The preparation of the squash is still a bit annoying what with the peeling and the seeds, but one medium-sized squash yields quite a bit of spiralized noodles. It’s worth the effort in a way that, for me, peeling several potatoes is not. Unlike other types of hard winter squash, the butternut has a lot of flesh in its thick neck; the seeds are only the lower bulb. The neck spiralizes beautifully, and the bulb can be spiralized once the seeds and pulp are all cleaned out, though sometimes it doesn’t work as well because there’s no flesh in the middle to go through the corer to help stabilize the vegetable.

buttnenut-squash-vitamina-lg1I’ve been using spiralized squash so often, that I have taken to calling them “squ-oodles”; I’ve used them in my Pad Thai recipe, I’ve used them in Mornay, I’ve used them with an Italian-style vegetable and tomato sauce. The next logical thing was to attempt a squ-oodle substitution for Macaroni & Cheese.

Of course, I could have made a cheese sauce and simply served it over squ-oodles, but I wanted to try a low carb version of the traditional baked casserole recipe. My main concern here was the thickening of the sauce. In a traditional Mac & Cheese casserole, flour is used for thickening and the macaroni are partially cooked during the baking time. Squ-oodles start out very firm, but will soften up much more quickly than pasta, so the sauce needed to be thick going in. I recalled from my experiences making curry cuisine that sauces including pureed nuts, such as korma, tend to thicken up more quickly than sauces without. I wondered if using nuts instead of flour would help similarly to thicken the sauce. I also decided that substituting cream cheese for part of the milk/cream in the recipe would give it a decided thickness advantage. Indeed, this sauce turned out plenty thick, so I imagine the nut flour or meal was probably unnecessary, but I will leave it in as an option.


1 medium butternut squash, spiralized
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons almond flour, almond meal, or crushed nuts (optional)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup light-bodied white wine
4oz of cream cheese
1/2 cup cream or half n half
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
slivered almonds, lightly toasted

Preheat oven to 350. Peel your squash and spiralize the neck. If you want extra leftover squ-oodles, you can also scrape the seeds out of the bulb and spiralize it.

Melt the butter in a medium-small saucepan. If using, add the nut flour, stirring it into the butter to coat. Add the garlic and the white wine and bring to a boil. Allow the wine to simmer until it is reduced by half. Add the cream, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to melt. When the cheese is mostly melted, process with an immersion blender to smooth out the sauce.

Meanwhile, toast the slivered almonds in an oven-safe bowl. It should take 10 to 15 minutes to get them toasted at 350, but make sure to check every 5 minutes and stir them so that they will get toasted evenly.

Fill a shallow, 9 inch casserole dish with squ-oodles. Place them in the oven dry for about 10 minutes to release a bit of the squash’s natural liquid. Remove casserole of dry squoodles. Stir your cheese sauce into them, just enough to coat. Sprinkle toasted almonds over the top. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Baking longer will make the squ-oodles too soft. Serve and enjoy!

Tabbouleh Salad with Cauliflower “Rice”

As it turns out, a full-sized head of cauliflower produces quite a lot of “rice,” and so last weekend I divided what I produced and made a second recipe. This dish continues the trend of using raw cauliflower “rice,” this time to make a low-carb tabbouleh salad. Of course, in this instance, the cauliflower is substituting for bulgur wheat. As a result, this version of tabbouleh with cauliflower “rice” is much simpler to make, as one does not need to cook and then let cool the bulgur.

Make certain you are using fresh parsley for this recipe; tabbouleh traditionally features parsley as the main ingredient, in the same way a standard restaurant salad features lettuce. The amount of parsley is truly up to you. Use more than one bunch if you want to make it more traditional. I simply used as much as my indoor herb garden had to offer.

Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh Salad


3 cups raw cauliflower “rice”
2 lemons, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bunch of parsley, chopped or snipped finely
4-6 spring onions, chopped or snipped finely
3-4 roma tomatoes, deseeded and diced

Rice your cauliflower in batches, stems separately from florets, in a food processor. Fold into a clean kitchen towel and set aside.

Strain the lemon juice to remove seeds and most of the pulp. In a medium bowl whisk lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper together for the dressing.

Add the cauliflower rice, parsley, spring onions and tomatoes. Stir together until well combined. Store chilled for at least an hour to let the flavors meld. Serve chilled.

I was quite pleased with this recipe. I’m not a huge fan of parsley, but the combination of flavors kept its profile mild in the dish. I found that the amount of lemon juice also cut down on the cauliflower’s natural flavor, which I was worried might be too dominant due to lack of spices or other seasonings. All in all, a very refreshing and tasty dish. It would be a perfect side dish for any Middle Eastern meal, or as a salad for a summer picnic or cook-out.