Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Notater Soup

In the last few days, I've had a cold, or something.  Haven't been really sick in a long time, and it never fails to remind me what a big baby I really am.  I'm a whiny brat when I'm sick and I don't even wanna be around me!!!!  I lost my voice on Sunday, which the world probably would have rejoiced, but I didn't have anyone around to talk to except my fur babies, and they didn't seem to care one bit.

But when I'm sick, all I want is comfort foods.  Something that will wrap it's warm arms around me and make me feel like I'm cradled in my sweet momma's arms, like when I was a kid, being a TRUE whiny brat.  And if you know me at all, you know I am the consummate soup-aholic.  So, being a true soup-aholic, and an addict in the world of all things potato, what do you think I was craving???  Potato soup of course!  Back in the day, I used to make a very simple tater soup.  Diced potatoes with some diced onion, in water till tender, add some butter and milk, salt and pepper. Done....  (I think this must be before I actually developed taste buds.)

Well, as bad as I felt, I HAD to have some tater soup....But since I have committed myself to staying true to my way of life, I had to come up with an alternative.

Diakon radish's have been my go-to for dishes that require a tater substitute.  Diakon in their raw state have a spicy, radish-like taste and texture.  But when they are cooked, that spicy heat goes away completely.  It's amazing how it works, but it does!  So using my basic recipe with several major twists and turns, I threw together this amazing bowl of soup.


Dinah's Notater Soup

8 slices of bacon
1 small onion diced
2 stalks celery diced

32 ounce chicken broth
3 to 4 cups diakon radish diced
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
2 minced garlic cloves
pinch of red pepper flakes
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 to 1/3 cup heavy cream

1. Dice up bacon and fry till crispy in a soup pot on the stove. Remove cooked bacon and reserve. 

2. Add the onions and celery to pot. Cook till translucent, about 5 minutes or so.
3.  Add the broth and the diakon radish. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low and cook until the diakon is fork tender.
4. Place the cream cheese and cream in a bowl and microwave it till the cream cheese blends in with the cream.  Whisk it to desolve small clumps of cream cheese as best you can.  Some smaller clumps will desolve in the soup.
5. Add Cream mixture to soup and stir. Bring it up to a mild simmer and reseason to taste. 

Serve with reserved bacon and shredded cheddar cheese.

Although I've not done the detailed carb count on this recipe, I can assure you that the radish replacement is far less carbs than the recipe with those nasty, waist expanding, taters.  A cup of Diced Diakon radish has very little carbs according to USDA.  Unlike the unthinkable (but so lovable) potato carbs USDA.  


And as to the taste and texture?  Pretty much spot on!  Hope you enjoy this recipe, whether you are a whiny brat like me or not!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Baked Loaded Avocado??? No Really!!! It's good!


I know, right??? baking an avocado and topping it with butter, bacon, cheese and sour cream?? Can't be done.... well yes it can, and it's darned good!  I saw the idea on one of the groups on Facebook and decided to give it a try.  Simply used a very firm avocado, threw it in the microwave for about 4 minutes, cut it in half and removed the seed and scooped out the good stuff (and yes it was very hot and burnt my poor little fingers) and topped it with the "loaded"....  Not a great picture but man was this good!!  and with all that good fat, I'm still not hungry hours later.  SCORE!!!    Definitely will be having one of these with a big old ribeye soon!!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

No Wheat Coco Wheats!!

Hi Y'all!!!  Got a new one for ya.

One of my favorite memories as a kid was CoCo Wheats!!  That chocolaty, warm, creamy breakfast treat that was a huge comfort food!  Dip a piece of toast in it and you are in pure heaven.   Not sure if CoCo Wheats is a "northern" thing, but I know when I moved to Nashville 35 years ago I couldn't find it anywhere.  So when my mom would come to visit, she would bring me a couple of boxes.  So some of you may not know what CoCo Wheats is.  It's basically cream of wheat made with chocolate!  I've not had it in 13 years, since I went low carb, but now I can have it any time I want!!!!

Recently, my buddy George Stella published a new cookbook with a recipe for Low Carb grits!!! Got my mind churning once I made it... it could be made into CoCo Wheats!!! Well today I gave it a try. and it is fabulous!!

Look at that creamy goodness!!!!


Here is how I did it:

Ingredients:

1 cup Almond Flour  (I use Honeyville)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream

generous pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons CoCo Powder (I get mine at the Amish Market in bulk)

3 tablespoons Sweetener of choice ( I use Whey Low D)

Directions:

Add almond flour, water and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat

Whisk about 5 minutes until it begins to thicken to your liking.  I think I went a bit longer than 5 minutes.  Whisk in the coco powder till incorporated in well.  add the vanilla and sweetener.  Taste and add more sweetener if you like.

Continue whisking a few more minutes and serve HOT in a bowl with a pat of butter and Heavy Cream (Optional).  You must have a piece of heavily toasted toast with this for dipping!!!  I make Souls Bread

I am just so happy to be able to enjoy a memory from my childhood!!!!  Hope you like it too.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Creamy Bacon Onion Soup

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a soup-a-holic.  And definitely not in recovery.  I love soups of all kinds!  There is just something so comforting about snuggling up with a warm mug of soup. Especially one that is creamy, rich, and full of my favorite things.

Well today I was noodling around the internet checking out recipes and came across this one.


My little brain started working. My tastebuds needed this to be low carbed!! 

Every year the Shriners in the area sell 10 pound bags of Vidalia onions.  I get one every year.  And I just happened to have a pound or so of some really lean and tasty bacon in the fridge, and a variety of cheeses.  So the old gears started grinding!

I got out my Papa Smurf and started cooking bacon.  Diced some onions, Grated some Swiss Cheese and I was off to the races!!

Here is how I low carbed the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 to 1 ½ pounds of bacon
2 cups large diced onion (I like it left big so you get the chew of it)
4 cups of chicken broth (I used a base that I keep on hand, but you can use homemade or canned)
¼ to ½ teaspoon Xanthum Gum or thickener of your choice (Optional)
½ cup Heavy Cream
½ to 1 cup grated cheese of choice (I used swiss but next time I think I’ll use a smoked cheddar)
1 tablespoon of dried parsley, or you could use chives but I didn’t have any.
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Salt to taste

Method:

Start cooking up the bacon till very crispy. Remove to a paper towel to drain excess bacon oil. When the bacon is cooled, crumble it up. Once the bacon is cooked, throw in the onions using the bacon oil in the pan. (my bacon was very lean so there wasn’t but a tablespoon or so in the bottom of the pan. Probably could have used a bit more).  Cook the onions about 10 minutes until soft and just starting to take on some color.  Add the broth and allow to simmer for 10 or 15 minutes.  sprinkle in the thickener, whisking the entire time. (next time I may leave this out and just add a couple tablespoons of cream cheese)  Add your spices and parsley and allow to simmer a few more minutes. TASTE BEFORE ADDING SALT!  This batch is a bit too salty.  Add in the cream and the cheese and allow to heat up.  Add a handful of the crumbled up bacon.  Serve it up!!!  Add some more bacon on top as a garnish and for a bit of crunch texture.

Hope you give it a try!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ain't-No-Pasta e Fagioli

Ain't-No-Pasta e Fagioli  Updated!!!   

Hi y'all! it's been a while, huh?  I haven't really had anything new to share for a while until now!
Last month my dad and I went out to eat at Olive Garden and then to a movie.  Well, I can never resist Olive Garden's Pasta e Fagioli.  I love love love that stuff.  Then last weekend my buddy Jackie and I were talking about how to low carb it, and she came up with a great idea to sub out the pasta.  Zucchini!! And that set my creative wheels in motion big time.  They have been dead for so long it seems.

So we looked up a recipe on line for a copy cat and we came up with this one. TopSecret Recipes.  Other than the beans and the pasta, it looked fairly low carb friendly so I decided to go for it!  Here is what I did:

Ingredients:

1 to 2 pounds ground beef or 1 pound sweet italian sausage and 1 pound ground beef
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrot (optional)
1 cup diced celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can red kidney beans (optional)
1 cup small diced cauliflower (or you can cube up some fresh mushrooms, 8 ounces)
2 cups homemade V8 Juice(cut way down on the sweetener, see below)
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 to 2 cups cubed peeled zucchini (about 1/2 inch by 3/4 inch)

Brown the ground beef and drain most of the fat off.

Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute for 10 minutes

Add all the rest except the zucchini and cauliflower and let simmer 45 minutes to an hour.

Add the zucchini and cauliflower to the pot and let cook another 10 to 15 minutes.  Serve sprinkled with fresh Parmesan cheese.

Serve this with this Cheesy Garlic Bread from my buddy LeeAnn's blog at Cutthewheat.com and you will think you are sitting in the dining room at the Olive Garden!  Her recipe is purely awesome!

Now, first you say, where are the pictures?????  I forgot!  I'm gonna be making this again this weekend so I'll try to grab some decent pictures to add.

And I thought I'd share this too. As Seen On TV Chopper is what I used to cube the zucchini.  I peeled them and then ran them through this thing to cut them into strips and then diced them about 3/4 inch long.  They really resembled the pasta in the original dish. But if you have crazy good knife skills you could get the same results.

Also, that V8 recipe that I linked to, is REALLY good!  But way too sweet. Next time I'll leave out the sweetener and see how it does.  I've never been a big V8 fan but I might be now!

The cauliflower was a decent substitute for the white beans, but I'm sorry, I had to add one can of kidney beans to this.  It's just not the same without it, but if beans aren't your thing, definitely leave them out and up the amount of beef you use.  That's why I put 1 to 2 pounds ground beef in the recipe.

So, what do you think?  Now that I have this recipe in my files, I think my draw to the Olive Garden will be curbed.  As my brutha of anutha mutha  George Stella would say, "Don't do without... REINVENT"  

5/21/16 Update!!!  I  made this today using 1 pound of sweet italian sausage and a little over a pound of ground beef.  Instead of cauliflower I used diced up white mushrooms.  Even better than the first time I made it.  Used fresh thyme picked out of my patio garden.  It's always so satisfying to get your herbs from your own yard.  Also, I will add that this makes a LOT of soup! My Papa Smurf is almost full (Ninja 3 in 1 cooker).... so unless you want to feed the entire neighborhood, you might want to cut the recipe in half...  Oh and one more thing... that recipe for the v8 juice makes 3 cups, and I used all of it in the soup.    That's all for now!!  Gotta go make some garlic bread to go with this!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Finally Mastered cooking Greens!

Guess WHO????  I know, right?  I haven't posted in forever.  I need to get back to it.

I must share.  I have reclaimed my southern girl status.  I finally mastered the art of cooking greens!  After my colossal fail in 2012, I had kinda given up, but pulled up my big girl southern panties and tried again.  Got it right this time!  So what did I do you ask?  Well I'll just tell you!

I probably should have taken pictures, but I didn't think about it at the time.  Maybe next time and I'll add them.  This is how I made them last night and they turned out great.  But every time I cook anything, I end up changing one thing or another.

The first thing I did was took a smoked pork jowl and put it on a rack in my new toy, a Ninja 3 in 1 cooker.  (I love that thing!  I'll try to get some pics of it later)  I call him Papa Smurf, cause he's blue.  Here it is on Amazon  Papa Smurf

Anyway, I didn't season it or anything, just put it on the rack with the skin side down.  I set it on the low crock pot setting and cooked it for about 18 hours.  (Papa Smurf has a keep warm function that comes on automatically when the time runs out, ain't that cool?)

As the jowl cooks, it rendered off the most gorgeous "bacon oil" in the bottom of the pan.  As I cut/shredded/pulled apart the jowl, more of that gorgeous oil was on my cutting board, so you know I didn't waste it!  So to that oily goodness I added a medium white onion that I had diced up,along with a good sized pinch of kosher salt, and set Papa Smurf on High Stove Top cooking and cooked the onions till they were a little translucent.  


So once the onions are nice and perty,  I added my two huge bags of greens, one of Kale, and one of Mustard Greens.  I had to add one bag at a time until it cooked down and made room in the pot.  It took about 10 minutes to make room for the 2nd bag.  I added about 3 cups of chicken base (I use the powdered stuff in a jar and add it to water) and then I let it cook on low for about an hour, and I kept checking it and had to add some more liquid to it at some point.  OH I almost forgot, I added 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes too, just to "kick it up a notch" (and Paula Deen told me to)  And here is the piece-da-resistance!  At the end, right before I turned it off, I added about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar. 

It came out really good!  A dish I am proud of.  I liked the combination of the greens I used, and will play with it more with different combinations.

So, do you think I could be let back into the Southern Girls Club now???  But the only thing I should have done that I didn't do, is make cornbread to go with it.

Till next time kids!!!



Monday, August 12, 2013

No Sugar Added Jam Ala Dinah

SURPRISE!!!!!  I know, I know, I haven't blogged in a really long time.  But I haven't had anything to really share till now.  Been making sugar free jams with fresh fruit.  I started playing with this several weeks ago when I had some fresh cherries that needed to either be eaten or used, so I decided to play with some jam.  I was just tinkering in the kitchen and cooking by sight, not measurements and by golly it came out really good!  So now when I find a good price on either fresh or frozen fruit I try new flavors.  

Yesterday I made some SF/GF Blueberry muffins and had blueberries left over, and a few in the freezer, so I made jam!  It was fantastic for breakfast this morning with my muffin.... so good that my boss wanted me to write down the recipe, so thought I'd share.

Let me know what you think! hugzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz



Sugar Free Jam ala Dingbat Dinah

About 4 cups of fruit  (I fill up my chef’s pot about ½ to ¾ full)
About 1 cup Water (or supplement SF syrup in a complimentary flavor)
1 pkg Knox Gelatin (or SF Jello in a complimentary flavor about ½ a small package)
About 2 tblsp lemon juice (I keep the frozen Minute Maid kind in the fridge)

Put the liquids with the fruit and put it on the stove on low to medium low for at least an hour. You want it to barely simmer and cook down the fruit and reduce by about 1/3.
Taste some of it and adjust the sweetener with splenda or whey low to your liking.
While it’s hot, add the gelatin and lemon juice.  Put it in mason jars and let it cool to room temp then put in the fridge.

 I’ve done Fresh Cherries with Wild Cherry jello and it’s stupendous.
I’ve done Peach without any flavoring and it was so-so.
I’ve done blueberry with Salted Caramel Torina’s syrup and it’s super good too.

You can use fresh or frozen fruit.  If the fruit doesn't break down to a nice consistency, you can use a potato masher, stick blender or pastry blender to break it up a little. Didn’t have to do it with blueberry, but did with fresh cherries and peaches.

Keep refrigerated unless you want to process it and can it.  I haven't tried putting it up in the freezer, but that little experiment is next!  I'll try to add some pictures later.