WTF: The Easiest Stir-Fry Ever

Yea yea, I know, I haven’t posted a recipe since April. I don’t really have an excuse – I just haven’t been writing much, though cooking plenty. So let’s just skip all the apologies and whatnot and get down to business.

If you saw my post on the SlowCarbSnacktime Facebook the other day, I mentioned that I want to start a new series of posts for the blog entitled “What’s in The Fridge” or WTF. After some feedback from friends and readers, I realized what the people want: fast and easy options for living a slow carb life. Many of my recipes comes from the same “base” recipe – once you know how to cook a type of dish or protein, you basically have free reign to make it your own, fit it to your needs and the foods you have on hand. I’ll be sharing some of these “build-a-bear” style recipes to help you get things started, with some ingredient recommendations to make it your own.

Before we get started with the recipe, a mini update just to say that I have changed my Instagram username. Neither blog nor their respective Facebook pages will be changing, but I decided to update my IG to something more inclusive of the actual content I post and to better reflect my personality. You can now find me on Instagram @lipsticksanddeadlifts.

On to the easiest stir-fry ever! Due to the make-your-own style of this recipe, I have not included any photos for the time being.

You will need: 
Large non-stick pan
Cutting board
Sharp knife
Spatula
Tongs

Ingredients: 
1 lb sausage in casings (pork or chicken)
10oz bag frozen pepper strips
10oz bag frozen sliced mushrooms
1 onion, halved and sliced thin

Seasoning & Spices: 
salt
garlic powder

Since I’m working with frozen veggies, it takes a bit longer to cook, but it’s worth it for the added nutrients.* Heat a large non-stick pan on medium-high heat and dump in the peppers and mushrooms – you don’t need any cooking fat right now, the veggies need to defrost and lose some of their water. Stirring occasionally, cook the veggies until the water begins to evaporate (7-10 minutes) and then add in the onions. The onions will also let go of some water – once all the liquid has evaporated, add your cooking fat (ghee, tallow, coconut oil, olive oil, etc), salt, and any herbs or spices you like.

mild-links220_0Once the vegetables begin to caramelize, add in your sausage links. I prefer to use uncooked sausages and usually buy Mulay’s brand, but cooked sausages like Aidell’s Organic are just fine too! Just be sure to check your ingredients. If you are using raw sausage, let them cook for 5-7 minutes, turning once – continue to stir the veggies as well. Using tongs, remove the sausages one at a time to the cutting board and slice them into rings. If you are using pre-cooked sausages, you can slice them right away.

Continue to cook the veggie-sausage mixture until the sausages are cooked through, mixing occasionally so that nothing sticks to the pan. Serve immediately.

***

Okay, so that’s my basic sausage stir-fry, but you can make it work with almost any veggies you have available. Here are some options that I have tried or would, but you can use whatever you like:

  • fresh or frozen sweet peppers, sliced
  • fresh hot peppers, chopped
  • fresh or frozen mushrooms, sliced
  • onion (any kind)
  • scallions
  • shallots
  • broccoli
  • cabbage, sliced
  • green beans
  • carrots

Some herb and spice options, though I would not recommend using them all at once:

  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • Chinese five-spice
  • oregano
  • sage
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • white pepper

*Notes:

If the veggies you’re buying are out of season, you’re better off buying frozen vs. imported. Produce begins to lose nutrients once its picked and the longer it takes to get to your plate, the less you benefit from it!

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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.

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!

Veni-Vidi-Ceviche

I came, I saw, I… ate some fish? Sounds great to me! No matter what language you say it in, this super fresh South American dish is undeniably delicious; packed with onions, peppers, and raw seafood marinated in citrus juices, ceviche is one of my all-time favorites.

There are many intricate, phenomenal recipes out there, but this is one of those dishes where I really like to let the ingredients to speak for themselves so I prefer to take the simpler route. Ceviche is really easy to make and very sexy to share, so it’s a great dish for date night or parties. If you don’t have a juicer, I would highly recommend investing in a lemon squeezer – they’re only about $5 and I can’t tell you how often I use it.

Please read the notes below prior to preparation. I have never gotten sick from ceviche, prepared at home or otherwise, but the risk of food poisoning does exist and it is the last thing I would wish on any of you!

Ingredients: 
1 lb tilapia fillets, chopped into 1″ cubes
1 lb cod fillets, chopped into 1″ cubes
1/2 large red onion, finely diced
2 medium hot peppers, finely chopped (I used jalapeño and red chili)
1 cup all-natural grapefruit juice
2 large lemons, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1.5 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coriander (optional)
white pepper, to taste

Combine all “dry” ingredients in a large glass bowl. Cover with juices and toss well. If there is not enough liquid to cover all ingredients, add about 1/2 cup cold water to dilute. Mix gently, making sure fish pieces have been coated with juice. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours (up to 24 hours).

When ready to serve, pour into individual bowls/plates with a slotted spoon. Consume within 48 hours of preparation.

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Note: It is important for the fish to be submerged in the liquid as much as possible, as this marinating process is essentially “cooking” the fish – curing it in the citric acids from fruit juices. It is also important to use very fresh or frozen fish to prevent food poisoning. If frozen, thaw about halfway and allow the to finish thawing while it marinates.
From Wikipedia: “Ceviche is marinated in a citrus-based mixture, with lemons and limes being the most commonly used. In addition to adding flavor, the citric acid causes the proteins in the seafood to become denatured, appearing to be cooked. (However, acid marinades will not kill bacteria or parasitic worms, unlike the heat of cooking.)” … “As the dish is not cooked with heat, it must be prepared fresh to minimize the risk of food poisoning. It may be safer to prepare it with frozen or blast-frozen fish due to Anisakis parasites.”

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.

Crab Cakes: All Killer, No Filler II

Yes, I know I already have a crab cake recipe on my blog. I created it at the very beginning of my slow carb adventures, and this time I wanted to try something new and hopefully better. I’d like to think my kitchen skills as well as recipe writing have improved in the 6+ months that I’ve been navigating through this slow carb lifestyle so I’d stick with this recipe, but you can find the other one here – the base is essentially the same, but the overall recipe is much simpler (possibly a better choice for children).

Tonight, I’m serving up this tasty recipe with my Butternut Squeek soup and a nice Spanish Rioja.

Ingredients: 
1 lb crab meat (I’m using 8 oz each of lump and claw meat)
2 large eggs
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 large red onion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
~ 1 tbsp oil (for the pan)

Seasoning: 
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Freshly cracked salt (to taste)
Freshly cracked white pepper (to taste)

This recipe yields about 8 crab cakes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the onion, jalapeño pepper, and crab meat. Mix well, making sure to break up any clumps of meat that may be stuck together. Add the flour, mayonnaise, seasoning, and eggs one at a time, mixing well between steps – mixing after each ingredient insures an even, un-lumpy cake. If you’re not worried about a little raw egg, I would recommend tasting your crab mixture after mixing in the eggs to get a feel for what the finish product will taste like. Adjust your seasoning accordingly. Add lime juice right before cooking, stir again to incorporate.

Heat a large non-stick pan on medium-high heat and add oil to coat the pan. Using a large spoon, and your hands – prepare to get a bit messy – form crab cake mixture into rounded patties about 2-3″ wide. Cook in batches of 2-3 patties at a time to avoid crowding the pan, about 3 minutes per side.

Serve immediately. Sriracha-mayo sauce recommended.

crabby cakes (1)