Sautéed Spaghetti Squash

by Eugene on June 29, 2011 · 5 comments

spaghetti squash

Some people will tell you that spaghetti squash tastes just like the real thing. They’re wrong. It tastes far better. And not only that, but it’s also a bountiful source of folic acid, a super-nutrient that fights obesity, depression, cancer, allergies, and aging.

There are many ways of preparing spaghetti squash, but this simple method never fails.

spaghetti squash

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Fresh Blackberry Tart

by Eugene on June 10, 2009 · 15 comments

low carb atkins friendly blackberry tart

What’s summer without pie? Nothing, that’s what.

In lieu of losing an entire season to a looser waistband, I whipped up this tart out of blackberries, one of nature’s lowest carb fruits. Clocking in 6 net carbs a serving (including crust), each slice also packs 8 grams of protein and three grams of healthy Omega-6 fatty acids. And this is a dessert?

low carb blackberry pie cobbler tart

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Better Pie Crust

by Eugene on April 6, 2009 · 27 comments

almond crust better low carb pie

I was reading about an amazing sounding gluten-free pie crust mix sometime last winter, and I thought to myself, “Why doesn’t Atkins have something like that?”

It probably won’t come as a surprise that I’ve never been a fan of the basic low carb crust–almond flour, butter, and splenda–that seems to be used in every recipe on the net. In my experience, it doesn’t brown well, tends to fall apart, and really only works for cheesecakes.

So after a few weeks of experimentation, I came up with this recipe. It’s moist, doesn’t fall apart when sliced, and it’s the closest thing I’ve found to a real crust without using wheat or soy. Not only that, but it passed the true acid test; baking it makes your house smell good.

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Roasted Red Pepper Soup

by Eugene on April 3, 2009 · 8 comments

roasted red pepper soup low carb

Even though we’ve barely broken into spring, Austin’s blue skies and 80° weather have tripped whichever part of my brain that controls grill use, window-inspired daydreaming, and urges to go canoeing. As such, I’m sliding of all the winter spices–nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, among others–to the back of the cabinet and setting my alarm for the farmer’s market.

This red pepper soup makes a summery, low-calorie alternative to its tomato cousin. It’s the very opposite of heavy, and it has a natural sweetness that’ll appeal to anyone who spent a day in the heat (or to anyone wishing they had been able to).

roasting red peppers low carb

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Fresh Salsa

by Eugene on March 29, 2009 · 3 comments

basic low carb salsa

If you haven’t had interior Mexican before, you probably haven’t tasted a salsa like this. Store-bought salsas are usually dominated by hot peppers and salt, but the strongest flavor in this recipe is cilantro. (On the topic of authenticity, make sure to say cilantro in a Don Juan voice with the longest L you can muster.)

While it may be easier to grab something off the shelf, making your own salsa has its advantages. It will taste better, have fewer preservatives, less salt, and contain raw nutrients. You may even find that it’s a great replacement for higher carb sauces and sides, like BBQ or steak sauce. The best thing about it, though, is that the flavors in fresh salsa get more and more complex the longer you let it sit. If you make a large batch, you can use it for a week and it will only get better. That can’t be said about many vegetable dishes.

low carb salsa

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Green Onion Cornbread

by Eugene on February 10, 2009 · 51 comments

low carb cornbread

Every once in a while I find low-carb substitutes that are nearly identical to staples I once thought I’d never really enjoy again. Almond flour cornbread is one of those things. Not only does it keep you from eating genetically modified, sugary corn flour, but it is high in protein and Vitamin E and promotes HDL, the good cholesterol.

I’d tried a recipe for standard low-carb cornbread before, and while it tasted just like the real thing, it was still a bit too dry for my liking. Enter my green onion cornbread; it still tastes just like the real thing, but now it’s moister and has a bit of onion kick that makes it stand out from the bunch. It’s great for weekend BBQs (put it in a cast iron skillet and you can cook it on the grill), and it makes eight single-carb servings.

low carb flour

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Chicken alla Puttanesca

by Eugene on February 2, 2009 · 7 comments

chicken puttanesca low carb

Some things, whether we like them to or not, come with trivia attached. Brazilians speak Portuguese. General Tso’s Chicken is from America. And puttanesca means “like a whore would make it.” These facts will come up again and again, as if everyone that ever went to a dinner party was given the same deck of prep cards. They’re inevitable. Prepare yourself.

That being said, puttanesca is aptly named–it’s a dirty hot mess. Although recipes vary, they always involve throwing together a dozen or so fresh Mediterranean ingredients, then letting the mix simmer itself finished. And, knock on wood, puttanesca has a fair track record of tasting amazing. We whipped up this recipe a weekend or two ago, and despite making enough to feed a good-sized family, it was gone in an hour.

low carb puttanesca

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Butter-Pecan Creme Brulee

by Eugene on January 22, 2009 · 12 comments

souffle

I’m not the biggest fan of Splenda. It spices up the low-carb lifestyle, sure, and the latest Atkins books all say that it’s fine in moderation, but I find that things just work better when I stay away from the sweetness. So when I found this recipe for a low carb, Atkins-friendly creme brulee that barely uses any Splenda at all, it went straight into my bookmarks.

The creme itself isn’t bad, as the custard base lent itself entirely to low carb translation. The topping, however, is something rather original. It’s a crunch, and it tastes great, but no one will be mistaking it for the real deal. I may have been spoiled by too many late-night movies with coffee and rock-solid brulee, but the pecans left me wanting for something to crack with my spoon. Be that as it may, since artificial sweeteners don’t caramelize, the butter-pecan topping is about as close as we’re getting to the real deal without using actual sugar (which, needless to say, would defeat the point).

Despite that exercise in fence sitting, I recommend this recipe wholeheartedly. It seems especially suited to dinner parties or special occasions, as you can make it a day or so ahead of time with absolutely no extra work required, and it’s oven to table in one dish, so cleanup is a breeze. And that’s what it’s all about, right?

low carb souffle

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