Two Years: My Top 20 Recipes!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been TWO YEARS since I first created SlowCarbSnacktime. It’s been a long road learning how to eat properly and fuel my body, and there’s still a very long journey ahead, but it has been such an amazing and educational adventure so far and I’ve come up with so many healthy slow carb recipes along the way. There’s many more to come, but for now, I’m celebrating two years of SlowCarbSnacktime with my top 20 recipes.

All 20 of these recipes are grain, gluten, sugar, corn, potato, rice, and soy-free. Two recipes use some dairy, but I’ll make sure to note that in the list. I will also note paleo and whole30 compliant recipes (they are obviously all slow carb compliant). Items marked “vegetarian” are either vegetarian or can easily be made so by changing an ingredient such as swapping out chicken stock for vegetable stock.

  1. Amazeballs: Super Scallion Turkey Meatballs – paleo/whole30 – I used ground pork rinds instead of bread crumbs to give these meatballs the fluffiness they need without the carbs you don’t want.
  2. B^3: Butternut Bacon Bitespaleo/whole30 – It may take a few minutes to wrap these precious little pieces of squash in strips of bacon, but I promise it’s worth every second of your time.
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  3. Butternut Squeek Soupvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – There are few things better than a hot butternut squash soup on a cold winter day… this soup with butternut squash plus leeks is one of them.
  4. Chicken Liver Mousse – dairy – Okay, I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot of butter in this recipe, but it is one of the easiest things to make for a classy dish to stun your guests without sacrificing protein. Also tastes great with eggs for breakfast, or by itself on a very large spoon…

    Beautifully set. Dig in!

    Beautifully set. Dig in!

  5. Decontamination: Ginger Chicken Souppaleo/whole30 – The perfect comeback to any cold, my chicken soup is infused with a ton of ginger to help combat the ickiest of feelings. A favorite of my dad’s to fight back against chronic sinus infections.
  6. Duck Duck Asparaguspaleo/whole30 – Crispy asparagus oven-roasted in duck fat. The way to my heart is through my stomach.
  7. Easy Peas-y: Split Pea Soup w/ Sausage – One of The Boyfriend’s favorites, I boil the sausage in chicken stock and then use that stock in the soup. So rich, so good.
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  8. “Gazpacheaux” Gazpachovegetarian, paleo/whole30 – This cold tomato soup is a perfect snack to beat the summer heat or spoon into shot glasses for a classier kind of party.
  9. Hold the Sizzle: Fiery Chicken Fajitas – paleo/whole30 – This spicy little stir fry is a great option for a protein-packed dinner for two and tastes great with strips of beef too!
  10. Holy Crap! Garlic Soupvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – Over 20 cloves of garlic and a whole head of cauliflower into the pot for a super smooth, bright white soup.
  11. Kimchi Fried Cauli-Rice – paleo/whole30 – Cauliflower rice, kimchi, eggs, and bacon fat. What more could you want?
  12. Lamb Chop’s Play Along: One Baaaaad Burgerpaleo/whole30 – This ground lamb burger with fresh rosemary is so juicy, sticking it on a bun would just be a waste.
  13. Perfect ‘Stachio Guacvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – My copy cat version of the stunning guacamole at Jose Garces’ El Vez. Never pay $14 for guac again.
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  14. Red Lentils are Dal-iciousvegetarian – My take on a traditional Indian dal, prepared in a slow cooker using red lentils and a ton of fresh spinach. I crave this all the time and it’s a great dish entirely on its own, paired with a meaty protein, or even reheated in a pan with some eggs!
  15. Rosemary Bone Brothcrockpot, paleo/whole30 – This slow-cooked broth is made from beef soup/marrow bones and cooks on low for nearly two days to extract all the vitamin goodness from the bones. When it’s cold, it looks like jell-o, but warm it up for a mineral-packed cup of life. Seriously, I know how cheesy that sounds, just try it. It’s amazing.
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  16. Saturday Morning Shakshuka / Date Night Zoodlesvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – These two quick dishes pair great together for a meal so tasty, you won’t even realize there’s no meat!
  17. Sweet Hundos: Oven-Roasted Cherry Tomato Saucevegetarian, paleo/whole30 – This super easy tomato sauce is made with “Sweet 100’s” cherry tomatoes and is unlike any sauce I’ve tasted before. I just couldn’t get enough and ate half the jar with a spoon. Serve with just about anything.

    Mmm saucy!

    Mmm saucy!

  18. Top Secret Deviled Eggs / Devilish Egg Salad – My go-to potluck dish and an easy alternative for cravings at home.
  19. Tiny Viking Funerals – cheat day, dairy – Jalapenos stuffed with chorizo and cream cheese. A cheat day treat guaranteed to knock the socks off all your friends.
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  20. Whatsername Fish Tacos – Chickpea flour-crusted tilapia fillets and large lettuce leaves make for this delicate but delicious taco dinner. You won’t even miss the tortillas.
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Cheatin’ on Chipotle: Beef Barbacoa

The barbacoa at Chipotle is a thing of beauty. Other than the new Bonfire Bowls at Baja Fresh, Chipotle’s barbacoa is by far my most frequent craving for a slow carb meal when we’re out and about. Now, The Boyfriend and I fully appreciate Chipotle’s more natural approach to feeding the masses, but sometimes we just don’t want to pay extra for guacamole.. or wait in line. You might have to wait all day for this homemade take on your favorite burrito bowl, but it will feed you all week without actually having to eat the same meal twice (see suggested pairings below).

Ingredients: 
~ 6 lbs boneless chuck short ribs (or equivalent)
2 yellow onions, halved
7 oz chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (1 can)
2 dried red chilis
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
2 tsp True Lime crystals (or 4 tbsp fresh lime juice)
~ 3 tbsp vegetable oil, for searing
1 small bunch radishes, thinly sliced (optional, for garnish)

Seasoning: 
3 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne

Appliances/Special Equipment: 
Blender or food processor
Slow Cooker

Dig in!

Dig in!

Slice onions into thin half-moons and place at the bottom of the crock pot (in theory, this step is completely optional, but I love onions and think they add great flavor to this dish). If you don’t want to use onions, add 1 tsp of onion powder or granulated onion to the blender sauce (further instructions below).

Rinse meat under cold water and pat dry. Trim about 40% of the fat off – leaving enough to render down in the crock-pot, but not so much that the meat won’t sear. Cut the chuck into smaller pieces – I ended up with about 10 total – this will make it a bit easier to fit everything in the slow cooker as well as increasing surface area available for searing (a must-do step to lock in all that great flavor).

Heat oil in a large pot or pan over medium heat. Sear each piece of meat until golden brown (1-2 minutes per side) and for a few seconds on each edge. Add to the slow cooker.

In your blender or food processor, combine: apple cider vinegar, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, True Lime crystals (or lime juice), dried peppers, and all seasoning/herbs/spices. Blend until smooth. Note: If you have a mortar and pestle, I’d recommend crushing up the dried peppers and discarding the seeds before adding them to the blender. Add blended sauce and 1 cup chicken stock to the slow cooker and mix gently, coating as much of the meat as possible with the sauce (my crock pot was pretty damn full at this point so it was a bit of a challenge, but I did what I could).

Set crock pot on high for 6+ hours or on low for 10+, stirring occasionally (and to make sure that any pieces of meat sticking up out of the liquid do not dry out or burn). We actually went out in the middle of making this dish, so I had it on high while I was home for about five hours and then set it on low for an additional four hours (nine hours total) and it came out perfect.

When meat is fork-tender and falling apart, remove meat and onions from the crock pot to a scratch-resistant bowl. Add about 1/2 cup liquid from the slow cooker back to the barbacoa and, using two forks, shred the meat. Adding some liquid back to the barbacoa will keep the meat moist and will also help keep it alive in the fridge a little longer.

Serve immediately: with a few thin slices of radish for a nice little crunch, with lettuce leaves for “green tacos,” or however you choose! Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 5 days.

Suggested Pairings: 
Nice Rice: Cauliflower
Busy Black Bean Soup (recipe coming soon!)
Holy Crap! Garlic Soup
Perfect ‘Stachio Guac

North Philly Chili

Now that the fall weather is finally on its way, I can’t resist a spicy little number like my dad’s goulash or slow cooker chili.  I’ve been playing with my chili recipes for quite some time and I am finally ready to share my “red chili” secrets (vs. white, which isn’t too far behind). As usual with the crock pot, prep is quick and cooking takes a while so I’d recommend setting this up the night before or early in the day so it’s ready in time for dinner.
Got kids? Skip the jalapeno and make sloppy joe’s!

Ingredients: 
1 lb 90% lean ground beef
1 lb 80% lean ground beef
1/2 lb chorizo, removed from casing (~ 2 links)
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, halved and thinly sliced
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 scallion bulbs, finely chopped (just the white part)
2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed until water runs clear
1 28-oz can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
1/2 7oz-can Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce
1/3 cup sugar-free beef stock e.g. Rachel Ray
2 tsp oil, for the pan (wok or olive oil are great)

Seasoning: 
2 tsp Cajun seasoning (for the meat)
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp chili powder
1.5 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp onion powder

In a food processor, combine the San Marzano tomatoes, 1/2 can of chipotle peppers in adobo, and 1/3 cup of beef stock – pulse for a few seconds at a time to blend, but not liquify (we want it to be a little bit chunky). Add the tomato/pepper mixture to the bowl of the crock pot as well as the chopped onion, shallot, scallion, jalapeno pepper, and beans. Add all seasoning (except for Cajun) and adjust to taste.

Heat a large, nonstick skillet on medium-high heat and coat with oil. Add the chorizo and ground beef in chunks, making sure to break it up as much as possible – we need ground beef here, not patties. Sprinkle 2 tsp of the cajun seasoning over the meat and mix well to blend. Continue cooking on medium-high heat, mixing occasionally to cook evenly and prevent clumps from forming, about 15 minutes or until meat is uniform in color. Using a slotted spoon, remove meat from the pan and add to the crock pot mixture. Mix well.

Set the crock pot on low and cook for at least five hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.

chili

Note: This is a pretty large amount of chili so if you are saving any for the next day, I would recommend removing it to another container using a slotted spoon to drain some of the liquid/fat. This will make the reheated dish a bit less messy and tastier (in my opinion).

Taco Tuesday Lettuce Wraps

The Boyfriend is officially moved in and we looove Mexican food. After his first full day back at work, I knew I had to prepare one of our favorites: lettuce wrap tacos. Mmm tacos.
Tim Ferriss has said that Mexican food is one of the most slow-carb friendly cuisines out there, and if you have to pay a little extra at a restaurant to sub out rice, etc. then consider it your “six-pack tax”. This is a great plan if you’re out and about, but at home we like to make it right the first time. Ditch the tortillas and get cookin’.

Ingredients: 
2 lbs lean ground beef (I used 93% lean/7% fat)
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced and/or GarlicZoom’d
1 medium-sized shallot, finely chopped
1.5 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (optional)
10 butterhead lettuce leaves
1 tomato, chopped (or salsa)
Fresh guacamole
1 tbsp oil (olive oil is fine, I like to use this)

Seasoning: 
Salt
White Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes

From the head of lettuce, removed about 10 leaves and wash thoroughly. Place on a paper towel to dry. Put chopped onion, jalapeno pepper, guacamole, and salsa/tomato in separate bowls – these will be served fresh to dress the tacos.

Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add about 1 tbsp of oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the ground beef as well as red and green bell pepper, shallot, garlic, and fresh oregano. Using a large spatula or slotted spoon, break up the beef into chunks (like taco meat) and mix well to incorporate the veggies. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Continue cooking meat on medium-high for about 10 minutes or until cooked through, occasionally stirring to keep meat from sticking together and to cook evenly. Remove to a large bowl using a slotted spoon or tongs to drain the liquid from the meat.

Serve immediately & enjoy!

taco tuesday

Whisky Jerk

Mmm, I don’t know about you, but I love beef jerky. Unfortunately, the pre-packaged stuff is usually loaded with sugar or high fructose corn syrup.. so you know I took matters into my own hands!

Beef jerky is actually pretty easy to make, but it does take a while, so don’t try to make this the same day you want to eat it.

Note: I did use whisky in my marinade, but the sugar content of 3 tbsp for all that meat is negligible so don’t worry about violating your slow carb rules. For the Paleo cats, a friend of mine (who runs PaleoTrail) said that Scotch is a perfectly acceptable boozy ingredient for marinade, but that whisky should be avoided. Perhaps I will try this recipe with Scotch next time.

Ingredients: 
1.5 lbs london broil, trimmed of all fat
3 tbsp high quality whiskey/whisky (I used Maker’s Mark)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp salt (I love the Himalayan pink stuff)
2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

Combine all marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl (everything but the meat). Mix well and adjust seasoning to personal taste preference – don’t freak out if it’s too salty or alcoholic-smelling, both tastes will level out in the cooking process. Make sure ALL fat is removed from the meat, or it will rot in the lengthy drying process. Using a very sharp knife, thinly slice the london broil into strips cutting across the grain. Combine the meat strips with the marinade in a large Ziploc bag and shake to coat well. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours (overnight is good too).

Pre-heat oven to 230*F. Cover a cookie sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil to help make clean-up go a bit faster. I used a roasting rack to make sure my jerky dried out on all sides, but if you don’t have one you can still make delicious jerky – just make sure to flip all the strips about half way through cooking. Place jerky strips onto the rack or sheet, spread apart evenly, and place in the oven for three hours. I would recommend keeping the oven slightly cracked open for about half of this time (first hour and last half-hour) – my oven evidently has great hinges and will just stay open an in inch, but a crushed soda can will do the trick. The reason for this is to help facilitate the drying of the meat, rather than just cooking it.

Goin' in!

Goin’ in!

Lower your oven temperature to 170*F. Dry the jerky for another hour or so and then remove from the oven. If you are using a roasting rack, remove jerky from the rack and place on a flat surface (the pan is just fine). If you are just using a cookie sheet, you can skip that step. If the jerky is done, it will be completely dried out and dark in color (if it’s not done yet, turn off your oven, and leave the tray in for a few more hours to dry). When your jerky looks done, leave it out to completely cool and continue drying for a few more hours. Keep in an airtight container – you probably don’t *need* to refrigerate, but I do just in case.

Beef jerky is complete! So delicious.

Beef jerky is complete! So delicious.

Korean-Style Short Rib Tacos

EDIT: This recipe was updated on 5 October 2013. As my tastes evolve and recipe-writing skills improve, I have been moving through older recipes to update and improve my slow carb classics. Enjoy!

All you need for this recipe is a Crock Pot / slow cooker and lots of time… like 12 hours.

Ingredients:
– 5 lbs short ribs (3 lbs boneless / 2 lbs bone-in)
– 10 garlic cloves, finely chopped/GarlicZoom’d
– 1 large red onion, cut in half and thinly slicedshort ribs (1)
– 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
– 3 scallion bulbs, thinly sliced
– 2 medium jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced
– 3 tbsp ginger*
– 10 oz (1 bottle) Whole Foods-brand soy sauce
– 2-3 tbsp rice vinegar
– 2/3 cup beef stock
– 1 tbsp Sambal Oelek (Chili-Garlic paste)
– 1 lime, juiced
– 1 head Butterhead lettuce
– 1/2 head red cabbage, coarsely chopped

Seasoning (to taste):
1 tsp freshly cracked white pepper
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
1/2 tsp chili powder

In the Crock Pot, combine the red onion, shallot, garlic, jalapeño pepper, scallions, and ginger. Rinse all the meat and pat dry, trimming some of the fat from the boneless ribs only. Cut the boneless ribs into thirds or quarters so they are about the same size as the bone-in ribs. Add ribs to the crock pot in sections, mixing as you go so the veggies are not all sitting on the bottom.

* Normally, peeling or grating ginger is a huuge pain in the butt, but not anymore! I picked up this little dude from Kitchen Kapers and he’s my new best friend (except for the GarlicZoom). I put it on the “serrated” option and got nice big pieces of ginger in a snap. Just chop ’em up and you’re ready to go!

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the lime juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and Sambal. Add beef stock and all the seasoning to the sauce and mix well. Sample mixture and adjust seasoning to taste – don’t panic if the taste seems very strong, it will cook down in the pot. (I don’t use any additional salt in this recipe because the soy sauce and Sambal add plenty of their own.) Pour the seasoned mixture over the meat and veggies in the crock pot and stir well (or try to at least).

Cook on low for at least 12 hours (this is usually an overnight dish for me). You will know that the dish is done when you remove the bones from the pot – the meat should come right off and they will look almost clean. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the meat to a large bowl. Shred with tongs and a fork, or your hands, or whatever other utensil you like for shredding meat. Reserve a few tablespoons of the liquid to keep the ribs moist, but you don’t want the meat to be sitting in it.

Serve as tacos with butterhead leaves for a shell and red cabbage on top, or as a salad with shredded lettuce and cabbage. Mix mayonnaise and Sriracha for a tasty sauce, and add some Kimchi for a great side dish or topping.

short ribs (2)