Low Carb Jabberwockey

The most delicious recipes in all of Wonderland

EMEALS Review, Week 1 November 25, 2012

EMEALS Review, Week 1

I purchased an EMEALS Groupon last week, 24 dollars for a one year subscription.  A mere two bucks a month – so exciting!

So, for the price of one Starbucks coffee a month, I get 28 dinner recipes, along with 28 sides to go with them.  Most importantly, I get the shopping list that even my better half can follow. The plan allows you to choose several different eating styles (low carb and paleo are both on the list, as well as several others).  You can choose the option for 1-2 people, or 3-6.  I went with the 3-6.

I journeyed to the grocery store, list in hand.  With the list categorized into Produce, Frozen, Meats, Canned/packaged, and Dairy, it was very quick and easy to zip through the store and purchase the necessary ingredients – a total plus for all you shopping haters like me. Total bill was $122.85, which is a bit higher than what I normally spend.  Probably because on this plan there is meat for dinner every night, and a few “pre-packaged” items that came in cans or jars that I wouldn’t normally use.

Meal 1:  Chicken soup with pork rinds.  

The soup was actually quite terrible…I had my suspicions as I was prepping it. Chicken breast is great, but not usually in the crockpot. I would have normally used drums and thighs (less expensive, more flavorful when slow cooking).  The other ingredients were tomato paste, beans, broth, roasted red bell peppers, garlic and spinach.  All in all, soup was:

– Not flavorful
– Didn’t have enough veggies
– Had to triple the broth to make sure we could feed 4 people (our three person family plus one adult guest).
– Recipe called for 10 ounces of baby spinach, and honestly there is NO possible way I could have gotten all of it in, even with triple the broth.
– Had to add 2 tsp. cumin and 2 tsp. chili powder to give it some kind of flavor other than just “broth”.
– Since it still was poor tasting I added 2 ounces cream cheese and 1/4 cup heavy cream.

Despite a huge attempt at doctoring the soup, it still didn’t taste great.  Since we don’t really eat pork I substituted parmesan covered garlic bread which was the meals only saving grace.

Meal 2:  Grandma’s meatloaf with mashed cauliflower

This meal was pretty good, but after my previous chicken soup fiasco I decided I was going to add some ingredients “up front”. You cant doctor meatloaf like soup!

Obviously the Grandma referred to in the recipe didn’t grow up in the same time period as my Nana….Nana taught us that to stretch your meat and feed more people, you need to add veggies. This recipe called for ground meat, oatmeal, sloppy joe sauce, egg whites, 1/4 cup bell pepper, 1/4 cup onion and 1 clove garlic. Lots of meat, only 1/2 cup veggies.

I added 2 stalks celery, used two whole onions, 1/2 lb mushrooms, 1 large red bell pepper, 5 cloves garlic.  I also added the entire egg, rather than just the whites. By adding the sauteed veggies, I snuck in some additional nutrition, AND was able to eek out two loaf pans of the meatloaf, thus stretching my prep time, dollar, and setting myself up for an easy after-work meal next week.

I have to admit that the sloppy joe sauce was quite inventive.  Have never used it before…it had a sort of ketchup-ish flavor which was OK.  However, I think it would have been less expensive to use ketchup with a bit of dijon mustard to get that same taste.

Mashed cauliflower is not one of my favorite dishes, so I went with just steaming some cauliflower and broccoli instead and topping with a little butter and fresh garlic.

Overall this meal was good, but due to the modifications, I can’t truly say if the original recipe would have turned out tasty or not.  The family loved it BTW.

Meal 3:  Rotisserie chicken salad with acorn squash and Parmesan

Recipe called for 4 cups rotisserie chicken.  That’s ALOT of meat!

I went ahead and prepared exactly per the recipe which included mayo, Greek yogurt, jalapeno, ginger, coriander, cilantro, cumin, and green onions.  I was a little more excited about this meal since there were a lot of ingredients that are all very flavorful, and that I don’t use too often.  The chicken salad came together quickly and was very easy to prep.

Acorn squash is not something I prepare too often as a side.  It’s high in carbs, and a little too sweet for my taste, but I went ahead and followed the recipe to the letter.  I was delighted that it turned out awesome.  The Parmesan and olive oil toned down the sweetness of the squash.

The chicken salad, like the other recipes was not bad, not stellar, just OK.  The family did not like it at all though.  I think ginger/cilantro flavor put them off.

Meal 4:  Sesame beef and broccoli with avocado cucumber salad

Yet again….for a low carb plan there are just not enough veggies in this dish.  Recipe called for 2 pounds top round steak (that’s A LOT of meat for a stir fry), frozen broccoli florets, garlic, sesame oil, and bottled Szechuan stir fry sauce.

I added 2 stalks celery, 2 carrots, 1 onion, raw spinach, used FRESH cauliflower and broccoli, and 8 ounces of mushrooms.  The flavor was great, mainly due to the prepared Szechuan sauce.  I think I could have omitted the sesame oil (which was a little spendy), since the bottled sauce already had a strong sesame flavor.  I went ahead and cooked some rice to go with this for the kiddo and a dinner guest.  Everyone loved this dish.

The cucumber avocado salad had GREAT flavor.  Very simple to prep, with diced cucumber and avocado, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.

Overall this meal was above average simply because you can’t go wrong with bottled Szechuan sauce, but again, I think my additions basically invalidate my ability to truly rate this recipe.

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Pesto covered Klickitat River salmon November 21, 2012

Filed under: Condiments,Dinner,Lunch — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 7:40 pm
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Our wonderful neighbor Ron brought over about 6 or 7 pounds of freshly caught  Klickitat River salmon (filleted !).  This is the quickest possible meal a working mom can make on a weeknight, and of course it’s delicious.

My pesto is homemade, however,  store bought tastes just as great !

Pesto covered Salmon

1.5 pounds Salmon
1/4 cup pesto

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Place salmon skin side down in 9×13 baking dish. Cover top of fish with Pesto.  Cook for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.  Salmon will be cooked when you can flake away a piece from the thickest part.

 

Jabberwock’s Pesto

Filed under: Condiments,Dinner,Lunch,Sauces,Side Dishes — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 7:25 pm
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What to do with an overabundance of fresh basil from the garden ?  Make Pesto of course !  I prefer to use walnuts over pine nuts since they are less expensive and keep better.  I typically make as much as I can once the basil comes on, and freeze it.  Usually I have enough to last the entire year.  The batch in the picture is 2 quarts.

Jabberwock’s Pesto

2 cups fresh basil, packed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts
5 cloves garlic
1 tsp. Kosher salt

Pulse the walnuts, garlic, salt, and Parmesan together until finely chopped.  Add basil leaves, and put the lid on the food processor.  Drizzle the olive oil in and pulse until all ingredients are blended.

Store pesto in a small mason jar, topping with a layer of olive oil to fully cover the top (this prevents browning).

 

Pizza Burgers November 10, 2012

Filed under: Dinner,Lunch — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 4:51 am
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These are great for “make ahead”.  You can prep  in advance the night before, pull out the pan the next day and just pop into the oven.  They also freeze well.

Pizza Burgers

3 pounds ground meat
2 medium onions
2 tsp. olive oil
1 can olives (6 oz. drained and sliced).
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
2 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste
2 Splenda packets
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. basil
5 cloves garlic, minced
5 oz. mozzarella sliced for 10 patties

Sautee onions in olive oil.  Add tomatoes, olives, Splenda, salt, basil, garlic. Add tomato paste, and mix well.  Simmer on medium/medium low heat with the lid on for at least 15 minutes.  Sauce should be fairly “thick”.

Meanwhile, form the meat into ten patties, and pan fry until cooked. You can season these however you like….I generally use salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Put cooked patties into a 9×13 pan, and spoon 1/4 cup of the sauce over each one.  Top with sliced mozzarella.

Cook at 350 F for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is browned and bubbly.

Fat 31.2g | Carb 7.2g | NetCarb 5.6g | Prot 39.7g | KCal 475

 

Curried chicken and mushroom soup (crockpot) November 7, 2012

Filed under: Crockpot,Dinner,Soups — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 7:14 am
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I used a product called S&B Golden curry sauce mix in this soup.  It comes sealed and is firm and somewhat pliable so can be sliced.  It has some thickening qualities, and gave a nice flavor to the soup.

Curried chicken and mushroom soup

2 lb. mushrooms sliced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 large sweet red pepper, diced
2 medium onions
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. shredded cooked chicken
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 cans (30 oz) chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 package S&B Golden Curry sauce mix

Sautee mushrooms in 2 Tbsp. butter.  Transfer to crockpot.

Sautee onions and sweet pepper in olive oil.  Transfer to crockpot.

Add chicken, garlic, tomato, broth and bay leaves to crockpot.

Dice the entire package (5 servings) of curry mix just to break it up, and add to crockpot.  Stir all ingredients.

Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 stirring once or twice during cooking.  Garnish with parsley and a dollop of sour cream.  Makes 16 one cup servings.

Fat 8.6g | Carbs 7.8g | NetCarb 6.2g | Protein 10.4g | KCals 151

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Cauliflower Mac and Cheese that even a 12 year old will eat. November 6, 2012

Filed under: Dinner,Side Dishes — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 3:21 am
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This recipe is originally from http://stellastyle.com.  I only have two minor tweaks…I don’t add any salt since the cheese seems to make it salty enough, and I hold back 3/4 cup of cheese for the topping.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Cook the cut cauliflower in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Drain well and let sit on a dry towel on the counter while making the sauce.

Bring cream to a simmer, add cream cheese and mustard, whisking until smooth.

Stir in 1 1/4 cups of cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and whisk just until the cheese melts. Transfer cauliflower into an 8×8 pan, and pour sauce over the cauliflower.  Stir so it’s all coated.

Top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 375 F until browned and bubbly hot (about 15 minutes).

 

Pot Roast (Crockpot) November 4, 2012

Filed under: Crockpot,Dinner — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 6:40 pm
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Quick and easy meal that can be prepped the night before and kept in the fridge overnight and plugged in first thing in the morning.  I made this on Halloween, and we actually went out trick-or-treating before eating, so it ended up being in the crockpot for about 12 hours.  Was still totally awesome. 

Pot Roast (Crockpot)

2 lb. beef roast
1 medium onion sliced
2 medium carrots chunked
8 oz. mushrooms sliced
1 sweet red pepper diced
15 oz. diced canned tomato
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper

Add all veggies to bottom of crockpot. Lay beef ontop (no stovetop browning neccessary). Sprinkle salt on meat.  Pour canned tomatoes over beef.  Sprinkle the rest of the seasonings over the tomatoes.

Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8.

 

 
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