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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XXX: Spiced Up Chicken Salad

With the very last of our warm weather, we’ve been using the grill basically every day, and this meal was no different. Since I first came up with this dish, we’ve had it at least three times and it is definitely a new house staple.

Ingredients:
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1-2 tsp za’atar
1-2 tsp harissa
2 tsp high quality oil (olive or avocado)

For Salad:
1/2 cup sugar-free mayo or to taste
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

In a mixing bowl, drizzle oil over chicken thighs. Add harissa and za’atar and mixed gently until coated well. Grill on medium heat until cooked through (or oven roast at 425*F for about 20 minutes). If you are grilling chicken specifically for this recipe, let the meat cool completely and refrigerate for at least an hour before chopping – you don’t want the onions to soften or the mayo to melt! I specifically made extra so I’d have leftovers to make this spiced up chicken salad for lunch the next day, so I’m working with meat right out of the fridge.

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To a large bowl, add chopped 1/2 of a sweet yellow or Walla Walla onion. I highly recommend chopping the onion quite fine, I don’t think I went small enough and ended up with lots of mayo-covered onion at the bottom of the bowl (though The Boyfriend did not seem to mind this and cleaned out both plates).

Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, coarsely chop chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and add to the chopped onion. I have been relying on my squeeze-tube mayo lately, but I am estimating that I used about 3/4 cup. This really comes down to personal preference, so add a little bit at a time, stirring and tasting until you get to your desired consistency and flavor. Season with salt, pepper, and tarragon to taste and mix well.

Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. Recommend eating within 24-36 hours.

Devilish Egg Salad

I really love eggs, like.. a lot. They are the perfect slow carb food: one chicken egg packs 6g of protein, 5g of fat, less than 1g of sugar, as well as vitamins A, D, B-6, and B-12. As you can imagine, we eat a lot of eggs in this house. Duck, quail, chicken, I love ’em all. I also really really love deviled eggs, but rarely have the patience to neatly put them together when it’s just for The Boyfriend and myself. Enter: the deviled egg salad – same ingredients, half the time, and you don’t have to share if you don’t want to. (For the real deal, check out my Top Secret Deviled Eggs).

Appliances/Special Equipment:
1 medium-sized pot
1 medium-large mixing bowl
1 small baking spatula (rubber or silicone)
1 egg slicer or sharp knife

Ingredients: 
5 large eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2-3 anchovy fillets (canned in oil)
1/2 tsp oil from canned anchovies
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp paprika

Prepare eggs to medium temperature, according to The Perfect Boiled Egg (~5 minutes), and peel immediately. Using a sharp knife or egg slicer, cut the eggs in half, and then again into small pieces. Add chopped eggs to mixing bowl.

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Using two forks, shred anchovies into small pieces; add extra anchovies if you like saltier foods. To the eggs, add 1/4 cup mayonnaise, shredded anchovies, 1/2 tsp of oil from the anchovies, paprika, and white pepper. Gently mix with rubber/silicone spatula, making sure to just coat the egg whites and yolks rather than making a mushy mess – you want this to hold up as a salad, after all.

Transfer egg salad to a serving dish or resealable container – other than looking pretty, this is a good way to make sure everything at the bottom was mixed well without risking it turning into mush.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving (or just dig in if no one’s watching).

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!

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.

 

Perfect Pork Chops ++

In our ongoing effort to avoid sugar, I feel I’ve gotten a little carried away with fat recently. Yes yes, certain types of fat are good for you, but even the good stuff should be consumed in moderation. I decided to go for a super simple, fast, low-key dinner tonight and it was absolutely delicious. Originally I had no intentions of posting this recipe since I just made it up on the spot and went with what felt right, but I picked up Nigella Lawson’s How To Eat at Powell’s last week (for $8.00!) and she is a firm believer in authenticity over originality, so here it is. I didn’t make anything weird or complicated, just straight up good food. Needless to say, there were no leftovers.

You will need two pans for this recipe. I highly recommend using cast iron for the chops and a large non-stick for sautéing the spinach.
Please note, I made these dishes at the same time and tried to write the recipe as such, but be sure to keep tabs on the process so you don’t burn or overcook anything.

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Ingredients: 
2 pork loin chops, about 1″ thick
3-4 cups fresh baby spinach
3.5 tbsp olive oil, divided
mayonnaise, for serving (optional)

Seasoning: 
1/2 tsp freshly cracked salt (for spinach)
~ 1 tsp salt
~ 1 tsp pepper
Cocky Cajun Seasoning, to taste

Using a sharp knife, cut off any excessively large pieces of fat from the pork chops – not everything, you want some fat to render and help the cooking process, you just don’t want to chew on it either. Season each side with salt, freshly cracked pepper, and my Cocky Cajun seasoning (I went a bit heavy, but put as much as you like) and rub it in a bit.

Pre-heat the cast iron skillet (for the pork chops) on medium-high and the non-stick (for the spinach) on medium-low. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the cast iron and 1 tbsp olive oil to the non-stick.

Add the pork chops to the cast iron. Cook on medium heat, about 5 minutes per side or until internal temperature reads 155*F (for medium).

One to two minutes after adding pork chops to the cast iron, add all the spinach to the non-stick pan. Pour 1/2 tbsp olive oil and freshly cracked salt over the spinach, mix well and cover with lid. Check on it every 2-3 minutes and stir. Within 7-10 minutes, all spinach should be wilted. Remove from stove and transfer to serving bowl.

Serve immediately. Mayonnaise optional.

Enjoy!

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Double Dutch: French Chicken

Paired wonderfully with a glass of wine and the awesome confit’d onion jam I made earlier yesterday, is the newest winner winner chicken dinner. With a few little twists on a classic French dish, this simple recipe was all but inhaled by The Boyfriend last night. It made a perfect dinner for two, but I think this recipe would be equally wonderful for a dinner party or impressing your family, hope you enjoy!

So I made this a little later in the day after I made the onion jam and used the same pot. I “deglazed” the Dutch oven with some olive oil to stir up whatever bits of onion jam were left behind and it came out wonderful. I highly recommend making the two dishes on the same day so you can use the onion remnants.

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Ingredients:
1 whole chicken, 4-5 lbs
6-8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 stalks celery, scrubbed well and ends removed
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup confit’d onion jam
2 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil

Seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp rosemary

Rinse the chicken under cool water, removing any blood, giblets, and/or other organs still attached (my bird’s kidneys were still intact). Move to cutting board and pat dry. Remove any overly large pieces of fat (usually just by the tail or neck) and lightly season both sides with salt and pepper; tuck the wings.

Pre-heat oven to 280*F and check to make sure your oven rack is on one of the lower two rungs. Re-heat your Dutch oven on the stove at medium heat. Deglaze the pot with 2-3 tbsp of high quality olive oil, mixing well to make sure the onion pieces do not burn. Place the chicken in your Dutch oven breast-side down and allow to brown for 5-10 minutes, this will make the skin a little crisper (my favorite).

Using a wooden spoon, or other similarly shaped kitchen utensil, flip the chicken over so it sits breast-side up. Add the celery, rice vinegar, and wine to your pot. Add some garlic to the pot and the rest inside the chicken cavity (I did about 50/50). Add the rosemary, trying to spread it out a bit so it isn’t just sitting in a clump on the chicken (I put some in the liquid and some on top of the bird). At this point, take the cup of onion jam and pour over  the chicken so that it runs down into the liquid below. Turn off the stove.

Cover Dutch oven with lid, place in oven, and roast for 1 hour and 10-20 minutes (70-80 minutes total) or until internal temperature for the breast reads 160*F and juices run clear. If you’re feeling adventurous, use a kitchen torch to crisp up the skin to desired state. Remove to board or plate and let rest for 5-10 minutes before carving.

I served this with sautéed spinach and some additional onion jam on the side.

Torchin' the skin!

Torchin’ the skin!