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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Whatsername Fish Tacos

Note: The story behind the name of this recipe is quite filthy and decidedly NOT kid-friendly so if you don’t like dirty jokes, please skip the following paragraph.

A few years ago, I was at home with my younger sister watching the Food Network (as per usual). We were watching an episode of “Best Thing I Ever Ate,” I don’t remember which episode. Anyway, Mark Summers comes on and starts talking about the most amazing fish tacos he’s ever had in his life – in Hawaii I believe, but that’s not important. He is going on and on about these amazing fish tacos and my sister (probably 15 at the time) turns to me and says, deadpan, “I wonder what her name was”. This was the day I discovered my kid sister did (thankfully) inherit my sense of humor and this joke now comes up whenever fish tacos are involved.

[end of dirty joke]

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Fish tacos are one of my favorites, and I am pleased to report that they are as delicious in lettuce as they are in a tortilla. This recipe is super easy and fun for date night, large groups, and even curious little ones who want to build their own. Dig in!

Ingredients: 
1 lb tilapia fillets
3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
10-15 leaves butterhead lettuce, washed/dried
1/2 large red onion
1 jalapeño pepper
4 tbsp mayonnaise
2-3 tsp sriracha
2+ tbsp olive or avocado oil, for frying

Seasoning: 
1 tbsp Cocky Cajun
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp cilantro
1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper

Taco Accoutrements!

Taco Accoutrements!

Slice red onion and jalapeño pepper into thin, half-moons and set aside in a small bowl(s). I serve these raw as taco toppers. In a separate small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sriracha and mix well – this is my favorite taco sauce!

Rinse tilapia fillets under cold water and pat dry. We bought them frozen in 4-oz fillets which made cutting easier, but one big piece is fine too. Cut the tilapia into smaller fillets, equal in thickness (you may have to slice the thicker pieces in half, which I shamelessly made The Boyfriend take care of). We ended up with about 12 pieces.

In a medium-large bowl, combine the chickpea flour with the herbs and seasonings: Cocky Cajun, salt, pepper, chipotle, and cilantro. Mix well – I find a fork works best for this. Gently dredge each fillet through the flour mixture, lightly coating on all sides, and set aside on a clean plate. We actually dredged the fillets twice, giving them a second light coat right before frying.

Heat oil in a large, non-stick pan on medium heat. Working in batches, fry fillets until completely opaque – about 3 minutes per side. Remove cooked fillets to a clean plate.

Serve immediately with lettuce leaves, raw onion and pepper, and sriracha-mayo sauce. Build your tacos and enjoy!

Holy Crap! Garlic Soup

Before you continue reading, do five jumping jacks. Yes, right now. Stop reading and get up!

Wasn’t that easy? Ok, now you can keep reading.

So, this might not be the right dish for a first date – unless you’re trying to make sure your potential new partner isn’t a vampire – but if you don’t mind garlic breath kisses, go for it. I never understood the problem with garlic breath anyway. Delicious. This soup was amazing and I’m sad it’s all gone, it will definitely be a regular dish in this house from now on (as requested by The [100% Italian] Boyfriend).

As with most of my soup creations, you will need an immersion blender (recommended), food processor, or blender. I also used my shiny red dutch oven for this soup, but I think a large stock pot will be just fine.

Ingredients: 
2 heads of garlic, coarsely chopped (18-20 cloves)
1 head cauliflower, chopped into medium florets
2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp butter or high quality olive oil
3 strips bacon
1 tbsp chickpea flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper

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Peel and chop garlic, onion, and cauliflower and set aside (in separate bowls). Cut bacon strips into several pieces and fry in your dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat until desired crispness. Remove bacon from pot and set aside on a paper towel. Add garlic, onion, and butter to the bacon grease and cook until softened and aromatic, 5-7 minutes. Add 1 tbsp of chickpea flour, stirring until fully blended.

Add cauliflower florets to the garlic mixture, toss well to coat cauliflower and prevent garlic/onion from burning at the bottom of the pot. Add 2 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock and 2 tsp of salt. Bring soup to a slow boil on medium-high heat, lower to a simmer, and continue simmering for about 30 minutes (I covered my pot with the lid, leaving just a small opening).

Remove soup from heat and blend with immersion blender – if using food processor or regular blender, do so in batches and return soup back to the pot. Return soup to heat for about 5 minutes to marry flavors. Add white pepper and mix well.

Serve immediately. Finish each bowl with a pinch of coarse salt and a swirl of high quality oil such as olive or avocado (optional).

Pucker-Up Pickle Pucks

After 21+ years of not eating pickles, I have fallen in love again just in time for Valentine’s Day. These aren’t the greasy fried pickles you’re used to seeing on pub menus, but they’re a great snack or side dish for dinner, and if your person loves pickles as much as The Boyfriend does, they’re the perfect pick for your home-cooked Valentine’s Day meal!

Ingredients: 
2 large whole pickles
3/4 cup chickpea flour
2 cups vegetable or coconut oil

Seasoning: 
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne
2-3 tsp Cocky Cajun Seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper

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Pour 2 cups vegetable or coconut oil in a small pot and heat on medium-high to 350*F – the pot doesn’t need to be full, just enough to cover the pickle rings. Note: if you do not have an oil thermometer, which I don’t, a great way to see if your oil is hot enough is by dipping the handle end of a wooden utensil in the oil. If bubbles begin to form around the wood and float up, your oil is hot enough and you’re ready to start frying.

Using a sharp knife, remove end pieces from pickles in a thin slice then cut pickles into rings about 1/2″ thick. In a medium-sized bowl combine the chickpea flour, salt, Cajun seasoning, cayenne, and black pepper; mix well. Toss the pickle rings in the flour mixture and coat evenly on all sides.

Prepare a clean plate with a paper towel. Fry the pickle pucks in batches for 1-2 minutes and remove to the paper towel to drain. Finish with a pinch of salt.

Serve immediately, as is or with sauce of choice (I mixed mayonnaise with 1 tsp of chipotle powder).

All Killer, No Filler III: Salmon Cakes

Edit: This recipe was updated on 24 June 2014.

I woke up Saturday morning with a major seafood craving, but no fresh seafood. Thankfully there’s Costco. We picked up a 6-pack of canned Wild Alaskan Salmon for around $9 and I finally figured out what to use it for. These salmon cakes came together so fast and were absolutely delicious! It made a great dinner for two, but any seafood-loving kids will eat it up (or add candles and call it date night). Double (or triple) quantities to feed larger crowds.

This recipe yields six medium-sized salmon cakes (~ 2 oz each).

Ingredients: 
2 6-oz. cans (12 oz) Wild Alaskan Salmon
1-2 Serrano or other small green pepper, finely chopped
1/3 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 large eggs
6 tbsp garbanzo bean flour
~ 1 tbsp avocado oil, for frying

Seasoning:
1 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp celery salt
3/4 tsp Cocky Cajun
1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
1/2 tsp granulated garlic

Drain the salmon in a fine mesh strainer or in a regular strainer over a bowl – it flakes really easily and you don’t want to lose anything good.

In a large bowl, combine peppers, salmon, eggs, and flour; using a fork, mix well. Add seasoning and spices. Mix thoroughly – when mixture looks uniform and begins sticking to itself, you’re ready to go.

Heat ~ 1/2 tbsp oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Using your hands, form the salmon mixture into cakes about the size of your palm (from the perspective of a 5’4″ female). Gently place into the pan one at a time and shallow fry for ~4 minutes per side, adding more oil if necessary when you flip the cakes over. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan – I managed to fit four at a time. Also, I found that these held together really well (in comparison to my crab cake recipe) but be gentle when flipping and only do so once if possible.

Serve immediately with mayonnaise or other sauce of choice.

 

Double Dutch: Confit’d Onion Jam

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So we’ve got a new little toy in the kitchen this week thanks to The Boyfriend’s sleuthing skills and I must say, I’m loving my Dutch oven. I’ve never really used a Dutch oven before, but my parent’s have a cast iron one that produced a lot of my favorite recipes growing up. We have a whole chicken in the fridge for dinner tonight, but I wanted to get a handle on my new addition before sticking five pounds of meat into it.

My little sister was visiting last week and we took her out to Clyde Common for dinner (a Portland fave). One of the dishes we ordered (pork-stuffed quail, amazing) came with a side of onion jam. It was divine, for lack of better words. Unfortunately, jam tends to imply “tons of sugar” so I took it upon myself to create a slow carb substitute and now I happily bring to you: confit’d onion jam. Don’t panic. Confit sounds like a fancy French term, but it just means that a food (most popularly duck breast) has been cooked in oil and tastes delicious.

This dish, part I of “Double Dutch” was created to be paired with aforementioned chicken dinner which you can find here but I use it all the time (especially with eggs for breakfast!)

Ingredients: 
5 large onions (I used 3 yellow and 2 white)
1.5 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp dry white wine
5 tbsp high quality oil (olive or avocado)
2 tbsp garbanzo bean flour
1/2 tsp baking soda, heaping

Seasoning: 
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp rosemary

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Cut onions in half and slice into thin half-moons. Add 3 tbsp oil to dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, granulated garlic, salt, baking soda, and remaining 2 tbsp of oil (add oil last); mix well.

Cook over medium heat until the onions begin to soften and produce liquid, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in wine and bring to a slow boil (I did not find the need to increase the heat on my stove, medium heat seemed to work just fine). Add chickpea flour, pepper, and rosemary. Reduce heat to low and simmer onion mixture, uncovered, until reduced by at least half (40-50 minutes); stir occasionally to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn.

Drain onion mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any remaining liquid. Remove mixture to air-tight/shatter-proof glass container(s) and allow to cool before storing in the refrigerator. Eat with everything.

Suggested Pairings:
Double Dutch: French Chicken
Red Lentils are Dal-icious
Saturday Morning Shakshouka
The Easiest Chicken Ever
Lamburger Chipotle Chili
Lamb Chop’s Play Along: One Baaaaad Burger

Edit: This recipe was updated on 12 March 2014.

Fishy in a Jiffy

This is my super quick and tasty take on fish sticks, a childhood favorite of mine that lasted all of five minutes on the dinner table tonight (always a good sign). I ordered fish cubes, a nice even mix of salmon and sea bass in this batch, from FreshDirect, which tend to have some odd shapes but feel way more natural than the frighteningly identical frozen sticks that come out of a box. I decided to use my cast iron for frying these babies up, mostly because it needed a good coating of oil, but they came out perfect and cast iron is definitely my new first choice for frying over my beloved non-stick.

Ingredients: 
1 lb fish cubes (I used salmon and sea bass, but cod would be just fine)
2/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Seasoning: 
2 tsp Cocky Cajun seasoning
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly cracked pepper

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In a medium-sized bowl, rinse fish cubes with cool water. Drain water and squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon over the fish. Using a very sharp knife (love my Giada Santoku) cut each cube in half – a sharp knife is important to keep the integrity of the fish or it will flake apart. In a second medium-sized bowl, combine the garbanzo bean flour with the salt, pepper, and remaining herbs/spices. One at a time, gently coat each piece of fish with the flour and set on a clean plate.

In your cast iron pan, heat the coconut oil on medium-high to approximately 350*F. I should be completely honest with you here, I don’t actually have an oil thermometer so I tend to “guesstimate” – if the oil starts to bubble, it’s probably hot enough.

Prepare another clean plat and cover with a paper towel. Fry a few fish “sticks” at a time, about 1.5-2 minutes per side (3-4 minutes total). Remove fish sticks to paper towel-covered plate and immediately sprinkle with some salt. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and juice from 1/4 lemon for dipping sauce. Serve immediately.

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