Low Carb Jabberwockey

The most delicious recipes in all of Wonderland

EMeals Review: Crockpot Chicken Cordon Blue March 23, 2013

Filed under: EMEALS reviews — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 5:01 pm
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Crockpot Chicken Cordon BlueIngredients: Chicken breast, bacon (I used beef), ham (I used turkey), swiss cheese slices, chicken broth, white wine, cornstarch.

Embellishments:  None

Prep:  Involved!  Since I am a working mom, it’s crucial that prep is NOT involved.  This recipe required me to pound the chicken breast flat, roll it up with ham and cheese in the middle, and toothpick it closed.  Prep time was probably at least 15 minutes.  Definitely one that would need to be prepped the night before.

Cook Time:   Recipe called for 4 hours on high, although I did 9 hours on low since I was at work all day.

Comments: I have never been a fan of cooking chicken breast in a crockpot.  Drums and thighs, yes, breast, NO.  As expected the chicken breast was dry. Flavor was “ok”, but I just couldn’t enjoy it because of the dry texture of the breast.

Thumbs down !  Excessive prep time, dry meat.

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EMeals Review: Hawaiian Tilapia

Filed under: EMEALS reviews — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 4:23 pm
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Emeals Hawaiian Tilapia

Ingredients: Tilapia, pineapple juice, steak sauce, pepper.

Embellishments: None !

Prep: EASY.  Recipe said to marinade the fish for 30 min, but I cut the time in half.

Cook time: 10 minutes

Comments: Super easy weeknight meal.  Side dish was supposed to be Skillet Carrots with butter and parsley, but I roasted a couple of sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper instead.

This dish was pretty good…not stellar, but pretty good.  Ease of prep pushes it into the thumbs up category.

 

Emeals Review: Baked Herbed Fish with Spinach Orange Salad February 24, 2013

Filed under: Dinner,EMEALS reviews — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 6:09 pm
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Emeals Baked Herbed Fish

Emeals Low Carb Plan – Baked Herbed Fish with Spinach Orange Mushroom Salad

Ingredients: (Main Dish) Tilapia, olive oil, garlic powder, marjoram, thyme, pepper, bay leaves, onion, white wine.  (Side dish) Spinach, orange, green onion, mushrooms, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, toasted almonds.

Embellishments/Substitutions: I didn’t have any marjoram so substituted basil on the fish. The fish recipe also didn’t call for any salt – I added about 1/4 tsp.   I had half an avocado, and 1/4 of a red pepper which I added to the salad.  I didn’t care for the Emeals recipe for the salad dressing (just oil, lemon juice and pepper), so added 1/2 packet of splenda, 1 Tbsp of Balsamic vinegar, and a bit more oil to thicken it up a little.

Cook/Prep time: 20 minutes

Comments:  The fish was quick and easy to prep and tasted delicious, and the salad came together quickly while the fish was in the oven. Very easy weeknight meal for you working parents out there….  Thumbs up!

 

Emeals Review: Southwestern Steak February 23, 2013

Filed under: EMEALS reviews — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 9:45 pm
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Emeals Southwestern Steak

Emeals Low Carb Plan – Southwestern Steak

Ingredients:  Flank Steak, chili powder, flour, Canola oil, green bell pepper, onion, beef broth, tomato juice, cumin

Embellishments:  I substituted flank steak with 7 bone chuck for a substantial price reduction.  2 lb of flank was nearly $18.00 US.!  Whoa baby!  So, the chuck cost me $7.00 US.  It’s a pretty low grade of beef, but since this recipe called for a low temp cook for 1.5 hours I thought it would work.  I also subbed homemade turkey broth for the beef, added 2 cloves of diced garlic, and tripled the amount of onions and bell pepper (I used red instead of green as well).  I did not bother making the side dish which was a green bean salad since I forgot to buy the green beans.

Prep/Cook time:  Prep 15 minutes, cook time 1.5 hours.

Comments:  As you know, I am using the “low carb” plan on Emeals, and have not been happy with the use of high carb ingredients.  This Emeals recipe called for a 1/2 cup of flour.  I ended up using only about 1 Tbsp, but you can see that the gravy is not as thick as it was probably intended to be.  Other than the flour, everything about this dish was awesome.  Easy prep,  and very delicious.  So, the rating is a thumbs up !

 

Emeals Review: Balsamic Chicken with Lemony Broccoli (low carb)

Filed under: EMEALS reviews — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 9:15 pm
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emeals balsmic chicken

Emeals Low Carb Plan: Balsamic Chicken with Lemony Broccoli

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Ingredients:  Main Dish – Chicken Breast, butter, shallots, Balsamic vinegar, chicken broth, fresh marjoram.  Side – Broccoli, lemon juice, splenda.

Embellishments: On the main dish I used homemade turkey broth instead of chicken, and dried basil instead of marjoram.  For the side, we like our broccoli nearly naked, so just opted to use butter on it rather than the Splenda and lemon juice.

Cook/prep time:  About 30 min

Comments:  This was a fabulous Emeals dish.  Easy to prep, small number of ingredients, and awesomely tasty.  I don’t usually buy shallots (I just sub in onion), but this time it was worth the extra cost.  I only needed one, and the flavor it imparted to the reduced Balsamic sauce was fantastic.  For the side dish, I just wasn’t interested in combining lemon juice and Splenda to drizzle over the broccoli – instead I drizzled it with a little melted butter. Thumbs up from the family and I !

 

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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