Crustless Zucchini Mushroom Feta Quiche

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Jorge Cruise’s The 100 plan is a delicious and easy program for those of us who prefer a low-carb lifestyle. Most mornings, I eat scrambled eggs, with the occasional almond pancakes or muffins, depending on how much time I can spare before Andrew and I run out of the door to school and work. But on the weekend, I try to make something special, and this morning I decided upon a quiche.

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I’m a member of an organic co-op, and this week I ordered zucchini, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and eggplant. All gorgeous and so delicious! When I decided to make a quiche, I immediately thought about the zucchini and mushrooms. Full-flavored from caramelized mushrooms, tangy feta and Kalamata olives, along with the lovely fluffiness from the whipping cream – my quiche was a perfect, 0 sugar calorie breakfast.

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Crustless Zucchini Mushroom Feta Quiche
2 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
8 Kalamata olives, halved
4 large eggs
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 cup grated colby-jack cheese (optional)
Pinch, or more, cayenne pepper (optional)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Spray a pie dish or 8×8 casserole with non-stick spray; set aside
Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat
Add zucchini, mushrooms, diced onion, and garlic
While vegetables cook, beat together eggs, whipping cream, Parmesan cheese, dried Italian seasoning, and cayenne, if using; set mixture aside
Once veg mixture begins to caramelize, remove from heat and spoon into greased dish
Distribute feta cheese and sliced Kalamata olives over mixture
Pour egg mixture over mushroom mixture and sprinkle on grated colby-jack cheese, if using
Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes, covering with foil if cheese starts to over-brown
Allow quiche to rest for 10 minutes before serving

Serves 8

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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We never ate brussels sprouts growing up, which I find odd, given the fact that we ate tons of cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, so it wasn’t as though we had a cruciferous vegetable prejudice.  The first time I remember eating them was over 20 years ago at a crawfish boil that I attended while in graduate school at LSU.  Yes, the brussels sprouts were boiled along with the crawfish, potatoes, and corn.  They were awesome!  Wonderfully spicy and salty and just perfect!  I thought “where have you been all of my life?”  For years, I boiled brussels sprout in water seasoned with seafood boil.

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It wasn’t until about 10 years ago that I discovered roasted brussels sprouts. I was at a dinner party, and the hostess served them alongside something; I honestly don’t remember, but, ah, the wonder that is a roasted vegetable!  Now, while I thought they were delicious, me being me, I knew they’d be even better if they had a bit more caramelization.  Never one to shy away from intense flavors, I begin testing higher temps and longer roasting times, until I arrived at these lovely little brown gems.  Deeply brown and caramelized, sweet, with slightly crunchy outer leaves, and a meltingly soft interior, it puts those boiled sprouts to shame.  Not that I don’t still add them to any seafood that I boil, because I do.  Of course, if you’re not a fan of deep caramelization, you can certainly remove your pan of sprouts from the oven before they become too brown, but I urge to live dangerously, and taste the wonder that is a dark-roasted sprout!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 lb fresh brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Trim and rinse brussels sprouts
Toss with olive oil and pour out onto prepared baking pan.
Roast at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until desired color is reached and sprout is tender.
Sprinkle on kosher salt and serve.

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Best Lemon Bars – EVER!

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Sometimes you just need something lemony, you know? And, this weekend, I wanted lemon bars. Problem? They needed to be gluten-free and low-carb. Tall order, let me tell you! Now, I’ve eaten my fair share of lemon bars made with white flour and sugar. Many were good, some were ok, and unfortunately, others were not worth being called lemon anything.

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Up until now, all of the low-carb versions I’d made tasted faintly of lemon and strongly of egg, with good reason, as so many low-carb versions had 4 or more eggs. When I found David Lebovitz’s version, which only has 3 eggs, and incorporates the whole lemon, I knew I was on the right track. For the crust, I used this recipe from alldayidreamaboutfood. The result? The Best Lemon Bar – EVER! Seriously, they are tart, sweet, lemony, and creamy, everything the perfect lemon bar should offer.

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If you are able to enjoy pastries made in the traditional form, definitely give David’s recipe a go.

Best Lemon Bars Continue reading

Low-Carb Gluten-Free Biscuits

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So, this is the third biscuit recipe I’ve posted! Yes, I do love a biscuit, especially a low-carb, gluten-free biscuit. 3.75 carbs! And, they taste good, with no additions of cheese or herbs, which, while they have a place, are not high on my list of breakfast flavors. This is a biscuit that is perfect with scrambled eggs and bacon!
The recipe has taken some doing, but the end result is so worth it. Biscuit recipes with an egg just felt wrong, but so many almond and coconut flour based biscuit recipes include them. So, I’m really happy that I finally came up with a version sans egg! I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. If you’re not a low carber, check out my other versions – traditional and gluten-free.

Low-Carb GLuten-Free Biscuits (makes 4)
1 cup blanched almond flour
¼ cup whey protein
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 tablespoon half & half (not fat-free)
1 tablespoon sugar-free honey
Combine almond flour, whey protein, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Cut butter into dry mixture.
Pour in half-n-half and honey; mix until dough forms.
Using a large cookie scoop, dollop dough onto parchment paper; press dough mounds with your fingers to flatten.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 – 18 minutes, or until brown and baked through.
Serve with additional butter, etc.

 
3.75 carbs/biscuit
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Zucchini Fritters

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So, the lovely people at Ontel kindly offered me the opportunity to review the Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer, and of course, I said yes! Not only did they send me the Veggetti, but I also received a $25 gift card. 

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As someone who eats gluten-free and low-carb, pasta in it’s normal form has been off-limits.  However, with the Veggetti, I’m back in business!  I’ve made zoodles – zucchini noodles – at least twice weekly since receiving the Veggetti.  Sometimes I toss the noodles with marinara, sometimes with cheese, and other times I just make a quick saute with butter and garlic.  I’m in Veggetti heaven 🙂

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Here’s the low-down:

  • The Veggetti® turns vegetables into delicious, healthy spaghetti, instantly.
  • By using zucchini, squash, carrots, cucumbers and potatoes, the Veggetti® creates thick or thin pasta with significantly less calories and carbs than traditional noodles.
  • Ordinary pasta has 800 calories and 160 grams of carbs compared to 60 calories and 8 grams of carbs using Veggetti®!
  • Great for those who are trying to make healthier food choices, diabetics, or on gluten-free diets.
  • The Veggetti® is quick & easy to use, has stainless steel blades, and is dishwasher safe.
  •  

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    The husband was a bit of a tough sell until I found this recipe over on Closet Cooking. I subbed cup4cup for the regular flour, and it worked perfectly. These fritters are delicious! If you have zucchini in the garden and you’re wondering what else to make, these delicious fritters are the perfect solution, and the Veggetti makes it super simple! I give the Veggetti a double thumbs up for convenience, ease of use, and easy clean-up!

    Grilled Eggplant, Onion, and Red Pepper Stuffed Bread

    This is my version of one of my favorite sandwiches from childhood – an eggplant sandwich. My grandma would fry eggplant without any breading and once she removed it from the oil, would sprinkle on grated Parmesan cheese. The eggplant slices were creamy on the inside, with a wonderful caramelized exterior and then that wonderful burst of salty from the cheese. While great just as is, I thought they were sublime on white sandwich bread with a swipe of mayo. Ok, maybe you’re going “ewww” but I’m serious, folks, this was one good sandwich. Unfortunately, I was never able to replicate her frying process; my eggplant were either greasy or burnt.

    228c1-cake009Not to be deterred, I decided to create a new sandwich, one that I knew my grandma would love. I upped the ante by grilling the eggplant with a sweet-tart vinaigrette marinade, adding grilled onions, red peppers, fresh mozzarella cheese, rolling everything into homemade yeast dough, and baked until the bread is golden brown with oozing mozzarella. No, it’s not the sandwich of my childhood, but it’s just as sublime….

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    Grilled Eggplant, Onion, and Red Pepper Stuffed Bread
    Dough**See below for convenience and GF versions
    4 cups bread flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon yeast
    2 tablespoons sugar
    10-12 oz warm water
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    Marinade
    1 tablespoon honey
    3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Filling
    1 eggplant, about 1 lb, partially peeled
    1 large onion, sliced into 1/2″ thick slices
    3 fire-roasted red peppers (from a jar; not oil-packed)
    8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4″ slices
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    Dough Process
    For the dough, using the bowl of a stand-mixer, combine the yeast, sugar, and 4 oz warm water; let stand until frothy.
    Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, add the flour to the yeast mixture, and with the machine on low, add 4 oz water and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Continue to mix, adding the remaining water, if necessary, until the mixture pulls away from the bottom of the bowl. Switch to the dough hook, and knead for 6 minutes. Remove from bowl and shape into a ball.
    Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and drape with a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place for an hour.
    Deflate dough and place on a floured surface. Roll out dough into a 12×15 rectangle.

    Grilling Process
    While dough rises, prepare marinade and filling:
    In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients and whisk until well-blended; set aside
    Partially peel eggplant and slice into 1/4″ slices, either with a mandoline or by hand
    Peel onion and slice into 1/2″ slices
    Drain peppers and blot with paper towel to remove excess moisture.
    Heat grill pan with 2 teaspoons of olive oil
    Once the pan is hot, glaze one side of 4 eggplant slices with the marinade and place eggplant slices, glazed-side down, onto grill pan
    Glaze plain side with marinade, cook for 2 1/2 minutes, turn over, and cook for another 2 minutes
    Remove eggplant from pan, and repeat process with remaining eggplant slices, onion slices and bell pepper until have been grilled.

    Assembly
    Evenly distribute 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese over 12 by 15 rectangle of dough
    Layer grilled eggplant onto cheese, leaving an 1″ edge of dough on all 4-sides.
    On top of eggplant, layer grilled onions, red pepper, and mozzarella cheese.
    Sprinkle on remaining Parmesan cheese.
    Starting from the long side, roll dough toward you, as you would with cinnamon rolls.  Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 30 minutes.  Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, or until dark golden brown.  Let rest for at least 15 minutes hour before slicing.

    **Convenience and/or Gluten-free Version
    Substitute 1 Pillsbury Pizza crust, classic variety for the homemade dough; for gluten-free, use the Pillsbury GF pizza crust.  Press crust into 12×15 rectangle and proceed with recipe, omitting the rising and resting time.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 30-35 minutes.

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    Shared with Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday parties.