The Low Carb Treehouse

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Lazy Spinach and Cheese Omelet November 5, 2009

Filed under: low carb,recipe roulette — Kimberly @ 11:24 pm
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One of the things I love about eating low carb is that I no longer fear The Egg.  I like the taste of eggs, but for years I believed the “eggs = early death” equation and avoided them (while of course, filling up on high fructose corn syrup laden cereals and other “healthy” breakfast foods).  I’m not one to eat a dozen at a sitting, but it sure is nice to have a soft boiled egg, an omelet, or a frittata now and then in the morning.

Today’s breakfast was unusually leisurely, since my work schedule has been temporarily switched to evenings .  Rather than having to get up crack-of-dawn early, I now get to luxuriate under my down comforter and cook breakfast when the spirit moves me.  Today, I looked in the fridge and decided that what was calling me was spinach, eggs, and cheese.  I used the following to create an impromptu spinach omelet:

Lazy Spinach and Cheese Omelet

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Large handful of fresh, washed spinach leaves

Three eggs

½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Drizzle of olive oil

Sprinkle of salt and pepper

I cooked the spinach in the olive oil in a frying pan, about two minutes or less. When it got soft and wilted I cracked the three eggs into the pan and broke the yolks and swirled it around a bit, adding a bit of salt and pepper.  I pushed the mixture around and flipped it until the eggs were mixed with the spinach and all was nicely set.  I added the cheese on top, flipped it once to get the crispy cheesey-crusty thing I love. Voila.

I am always amazed by the deliciousness of simple foods like this.  The whole thing took less than ten minutes to make, and I felt like I was ready to face my (very long) day when I had finished it.  Waking up late is great, working late is not….but c’est la vie.

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Recipe Roulette: Japanese Eggplants and Bell Peppers October 31, 2009

Filed under: low carb,recipe roulette — Kimberly @ 5:20 pm
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The japanese eggplants I got in the bargain veggie bin were not in their first youth, but I am nothing if not determined to get more bang for my 99 cents a bag.  I have never really cooked eggplant before, so I was looking for something simple.  I also had 2 green bell peppers to use up.  Spinning the roulette wheel that is Google, I found this:

 

Marinated Eggplant Salad

  • 2 pounds Japanese eggplants, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespons balsamic vinegar or 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2-ounce bunch fresh basil, chopped

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler. Cut eggplants on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Brush slices lightly with olive oil. Grill or broil eggplant until golden brown on both sides, turning once, about 4 minutes. Cool eggplant slightly.

Whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar and garlic to blend in small bowl. Layer eggplant in baking dish, seasoning eggplant with salt and pepper, drizzling with oil mixture and sprinkling with chopped basil between each layer. Let eggplant stand 1 to 2 hours at room temperature before serving.

(Courtesy of epicurious.com)

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As usual I added a few tweaks:  I used garlic paste instead of fresh, and I had those bell peppers, so after I broiled the eggplants, I cut up the bells into small chunks and broiled those with olive oil, too.  I added them in as well as some chopped basil leaves. That I actually happened to have some fresh basil was a miracle, but I wasn’t ready to commit the whole bunch at once (Gotta get at least a COUPLE meals out of that suckah!)  So I chopped up maybe 10 big leaves, tossed them all together with the marinade, and dug in. Wow. Just wow.  I always forget how delicious vegetables can be.  This is a perfect side dish, and I actually might try serving it with spaghetti sauce sometime.  It’s substantial and could take the place of the pasta base.  When I made the marinade as written, I thought it was kind of blah–I was tempted to throw in a few more glugs of wine vinegar, but I’m so glad I didn’t—as it turned out, this was totally subtle, flavorful and delish just as it was.

Surprisingly it was a little sweet—these veggies must have some natural sugars.  I am continually noticing small changes since I got rid of all sugar, flour and bread from my life six months ago.  One of the best is being able to notice subtle flavors I never noticed before, like the sweetness that basil adds and the flavor of a slight char from the broiler.

It’s a whole new world of yum in ADDITION to losing (as of today) 34 pounds.

 

Recipe Roulette: Ground Beef and Zucchini October 29, 2009

Filed under: low carb,recipe roulette — Kimberly @ 7:48 pm

I am in love with my local grocery store’s tradition of placing non-perfect, “day old” or otherwise needy fruits and veggies in bags near the back of the store. Everything in the bag is 99 cents. I always come home from the local market with a strange assortment of ugly vegetables. The bags are opaque so you can’t really tell what you’re getting although if you feel up the bags you can avoid the potatoes and bananas (MANAGER! Crazy lady on aisle 3 fondling the bargain bags!)

When I got home and checked out my haul, I realized tonight’s offerings really needed to be eaten soon. I got three healthy zucchini, a couple of elderly tomatoes and a wizened looking jalapeno in one bag, and a dozen so-so  mini-eggplants in another. My last one held two nice heads of lettuce which I couldn’t find a thing wrong with. The mini-eggplants are sitting on the counter waiting for Saturday, and the salad will do for lunch tomorrow. I decided to play my favorite cooking game, recipe roulette, with the rest. I googled “zucchini and ground beef” (since i had a couple of packs I needed to use up) deciding I would cook whatever recipe came up first (with some reservations: it had to be a recipe that was low-carb–or adaptable to low-carb—AND tasty-sounding.) This is what I got:

ZUCCHINI & GROUND BEEF CASSEROLE

1 lb. ground beef
1 c. chopped celery
2 c. sliced zucchini
Salt & pepper
1 (8 oz.) can tomatoes, cut up
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. sugar
3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

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Brown beef and celery in skillet, remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Saute zucchini in pan drippings until lightly browned; remove with slotted spoon.

In greased 1 1/2 quart casserole alternate layers of beef mixture and zucchini. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Stir together tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and sugar; pour over casserole. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until bubbly.

(Courtesy of cooks.com)

I did do some tweaking because I had no celery or worcestershire sauce. I just left those ingredients out. And the sugar, forgettaboudit. I used freshly chopped tomatoes instead of canned, and sprinkled parmesan cheese more liberally than the recipe probably intended. And it turned out great….a real winter dish for the windy cold nights we’ve been having here in Los Angeles. If you’re a ground beef fan like me (those big value packs always tempt me, with their flirtatious beefy whispers I’m such a good deal! Buy me and turn me into almost anything!) this one will be a quick solution to that age old problem…how the hell can I use this up?