Low Carb Jabberwockey

The most delicious recipes in all of Wonderland

Jabberwock’s Quick and Dirty Stuffing December 21, 2013

Stuffing.

I like the holiday meal to be EASY.  In recent years I have been skipping the mashed potatoes and doing stuffing instead.  As a working parent I need to maximize time with my family and not squander it in the kitchen prepping elaborate meals….don’t get me wrong, I still want the meal to *taste* like I spent a ton of time making it!

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I admit to taking my help from a box on this one…namely Stove Top.  But, with a few added sauteed veggies and some chicken broth, you can amp up the flavor, and get that boxed stuff to taste like it was homemade.

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Jabberwock’s Quick and Dirty Stuffing
1 onion, diced
2 lage stalks celery, diced
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 package mushrooms (about 10 ounces), diced
2 tsp olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Canned chicken broth (about 3 cups)
2 packages stuffing mix

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Sautee onion, celery, red pepper, garlic, mushrooms in the olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Go lightly with the salt since we will be using canned broth and butter later on !

While veggies are cooking, take a look at the stuffing directions. Mine called for 3 cups of water and 1/2 cup (egads) of butter for a double recipe — instead, I used canned chicken broth in place of the water, and only 1/4 cup of butter. I brought this up to a boil, and prepared the stuffing per the package directions.

Combine the stuffing and sauteed veggies in a 9×13 inch pan, and cook at 375 F for about 15 minutes to create a nice crunchy top.

I never stuff a bird, since it increases the cooking time, so I prep the stuffing this way, and when plating up the bird on a platter, I just arrange the stuffing around the cavity.

Enjoy !

Easy Roasted Turkey

 

Garden goodies. July 9, 2013

Filed under: Dinner,Side Dishes — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 5:39 am
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The Jabberwock has been off vacationing for the last 11 days, and is finally back home!  Four days of boat camping plus 7 days of houseboating did take a toll on my way of eating.  Read S’mores, chips, bagels, sandwiches ….the list goes on.  The good news is that the garden didn’t die off while we were gone, and the better half harvested some cute purple potatoes today and stunted red onions.

Skillet Potatoes.

Recipe is very simple…thinly slice the potatoes – I used a mandolin slicer.  Over medium heat melt 3 Tbsp. butter, add potatoes and thinly sliced onion.  Sprinkle with garlic powder, thyme leaves, and paprika.  Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.  Remove cover and turn potatoes.  Cook for another 10 minutes, sprinkle with a bit of Kosher salt and serve.

Skillet Potatoes

Skillet Potatoes

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Baked Acorn Squash March 16, 2013

Filed under: EMEALS reviews,Side Dishes — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 8:47 pm
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Baked Acorn SquashBaked squash was not something we ever ate growing up.  Occasionally I would attend a holiday event at someone’s house and they would serve Acorn squash with butter and brown sugar, which was absolutely terrible tasting (read too sweet !).

This recipe came from Emeals, and it was surprisingly delicious.  As you all know, I like fast and easy prep for meals and side dishes.

Baked Acorn Squash

1 large Acorn Squash, cut into quarters
Olive oil
4 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, garlic powder

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Drizzle the squash with olive oil. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.  Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. of Parmesan cheese on each piece.

Bake at 350 F for about 20-30 minutes.  Test with fork to determine done-ness.  I burnt mine a little, but it STILL tasted GREAT.

 

Emeals Review: Chicken Caprese with Dijon Broccoli February 10, 2013

Filed under: Dinner,EMEALS reviews,Side Dishes — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 6:46 pm
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Ingredients: Main dish – bacon (I used beef bacon), chicken breast, olive oil, tomatoes, basil leaves, sliced mozzarella cheese.  Side dish – broccoli, oil and vinegar salad dressing, Dijon mustard, green onions.

Embellishments: I added a little bit of lemon juice to the dressing for the broccoli.

Prep: Medium. 15 minutes.

Cook time: 30 min.
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Comments:  The chicken was AWESOMELY delicious, not too hard to prep, and the family loved it. For the side dish we prefer our broccoli nearly naked….usually just a little butter and garlic on it.  The dijon dressing was so-so.  Not bad….not good.  Overall this dish gets a thumbs up from both me and the family.

 

Emeals Review: Grandma’s Meatloaf with Cheesy Cauliflower

Filed under: Dinner,EMEALS reviews,Side Dishes — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 5:53 pm
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Prep:  Easy

Cook time: 1 hr. and 10 min.

Comments:  This dish was “OK”.  Not bad, not good, just OK.  The family didn’t particularly rave over the taste, but also ate it up.  Note that I reviewed a different version of  “Grandma’s meatloaf” a few months back…..that EMEALS recipe was FAR more delicious than this.  But of course I heavily embellished that one.  I think what put off my taste buds is the dry onion soup mix.  I have never really cared for that flavor in anything (although I grew up with it – my Mom used it all the time in casseroles).  The side dish was easy to prep and cook, and it too was “OK”.  Again, the fam ate it all up, so couldn’t have been bad !

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Grandma’s Meatloaf (ver 2.0)
2 lb. ground beef
2 eggs
3/4 cup picante sauce
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 cup crushed pork rinds (I used Parmesan cheese instead)

My additions:
2 large celery stalks, diced
1 onion diced
Chili sauce (ketchup is fine)
Salt and pepper (1/2 tsp of each)

Sautee onions and celery in a wee bit of olive oil. Combine all ingredients except the Chili sauce in a large bowl and mix (use your hands !), and form into a loaf.  I used two bread pans, since I froze half of the recipe.

Spread Chili Sauce (or ketchup) over the top of the loaves, and bake at 350 F for 1 hour. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  This gives you just enough time to make the side dish.

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Cheesy cauliflower
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
Olive oil
1/3 cup diced onion (I used the whole thing)
1/2 bell pepper, diced (I used the whole thing)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded montery jack (I used mozzarella)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the cauliflower in the microwave with lid and a bit of water for 7 minutes.  Sautee onion, pepper and garlic in a wee bit of olive oil – since I use a nonstick pan, I don’t use much.  Drain cauliflower and add to skillet.  Add basil, salt, pepper, cream, and cheese and stir for a couple of minutes until cheese is melted.

 

EMEALS review: Stuffed Chicken Breast with Peas and Asparagus December 31, 2012

Filed under: Dinner,EMEALS reviews,Side Dishes — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 8:26 pm
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Ingredients for main dish: Chicken breast, mozzarella, canned fire roasted tomato, red pepper flakes, cilantro, salt, pepper, olive oil, flour.

Ingredients for side dish: Asparagus, peas, butter, salt, pepper

Embellishments for main dish: I omitted the flour…A recurring theme in these EMEALS “low carb” dishes are high carb ingredients. The recipe also called for pan frying the chicken, but I went with oven cooking instead.

For the side dish, I deviated 100%.  
1) Peas are fairly high carb, so omitted them along with the butter.
2) Since the oven was on, I roasted the asparagus using my own recipe.  See comments section below.
3) I had a leftover cabbage in the fridge and made some of my CopyCat KFC coleslaw as well.

Prep: Easy.  10 minutes.

Cook time: 20-25 minutes

Comments:  The chicken was delicious, we all loved it. I can’t imagine coating it with flour though.  After all, I purchased the “low carb” plan on EMEALS.  Why not parmesan?

And of course, peas have a pretty high carb count (9 carbs/7 net for a half cup), so if you are trying to stay low on your daily carbs, asparagus alone is a much better choice (3 carbs/1 net for the same serving size).

Jabberwock’s Roasted Asparagus
3 bundles Asparagus
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried chili flake
Cracked pepper to taste

Trim woody bottoms off the asparagus, and lay in roasting pan.  Whisk the rest of the ingredients together, and coat asparagus.  Roast at 400 for 7-10 minutes. I just threw these in the oven 10 minutes before the breasts were done cooking.

Overall, Thumbs up.  The chicken was so delicious that I am willing to overlook the high carb ingredients.

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Super EASY, no stress Christmas Meal … December 28, 2012

Filed under: Dinner,Side Dishes — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 12:01 am
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Roasted Chicken with root veggies

1 small bag fingerling potatoes
1 large onion, sliced
6 large carrots, peeled
1 head garlic, cut across entire head, unpeeled
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
1 chicken, average size
Olive Oil
Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste

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Lay the carrots in the pan – we are using them as a little platform for the chicken.  Dump in the potatoes and onions.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Be sure to save the innards and veggie peels to make broth with later…

Place 2 lemon wedges in the cavity along with the head of garlic.  Tie the feet together with cotton string, and place on the veggies.

Drizzle the chicken and veggies with olive oil, add salt and pepper over the top of the entire dish.  I use quite a bit on the chicken since the coarseness of the salt and pepper make a very nice skin.

Pop the chicken into a 350 F oven for one hour.  There is no need to baste !

When chicken is done, remove from oven, toss the rest of the lemon wedges in the pan, and lightly tent with a piece of aluminum foil.  Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.  In the meantime, prepare the brussel sprouts…..
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Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Fresh brussel sprouts
Olive oil
2 Tbsp roasted (or raw) garlic.  If raw, mince it.
Kosher salt and Cracked pepper.

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While the chicken is roasting, prepare the brussel sprouts by taking off the outer leaves (if neccesary), and trimming the core.

I like to cut them in half to speed the cooking time.  Drop in a small pan, drizzle with olive oil, top with garlic, salt and pepper.

When the chicken is done cooking, turn heat up to 425 F,  pop the brussel sprouts  in the oven for 15 minutes, which is exactly how long your meat needs to rest.

SUPER EASY, NO STRESS !

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Roasted Garlic December 27, 2012

Filed under: Condiments — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 8:52 pm
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We have an abundance of hardneck Garlic left from the summer garden, but I have noticed some of them are starting to dry out and get old. Hardnecks don’t typically keep as well, but grow much better here in the rainy Pacific Northwest.

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I decided I needed to “preserve” the garlic since I use it in nearly all of my cooking, but discovered in my internet research that one should not “can” garlic in oil due to its low acid content….there are many documented cases of botulism when an acidifying ingredient is not added.  (http://www.ext.colostate.edu/safefood/newsltr/v2n4s08.html)

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However,  you can roast it, add a little oil to keep it pliable, and freeze safely.

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I have roasted one or two heads of garlic at a time in foil in the past.  What I didn’t like was that when I cut the “top” of the garlic head off the individual cloves were more difficult to squeeze out after cooking since they were still attached to the rootball.  Also, I didn’t want to waste a bunch of aluminum foil wrapping up 20 or 30 heads of garlic.

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My solution was to cut off the rootball of the garlics, place in a large glass pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on some Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, and seal the pan with one sheet of foil.  I then roasted at 350 F for one hour.

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Let the garlics cool, and engage a helper to squeeze them into jars for freezing.  Drizzle with a wee bit of olive oil in each jar (not too much !).

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Emeals Review: Baked Cabbage Rolls with Mashed Cauliflower December 8, 2012

Filed under: Dinner,EMEALS reviews,Side Dishes — Low Carb Jabberwockey @ 11:38 pm
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Baked Cabbage Rolls with Mashed Cauliflower

This dish was downright tasty, although the prep time was a little more than what I prefer for a weeknight meal.

Filling consisted of ground beef, onion, egg, tomato paste, Worcestershire, and lemon juice.  The labor intensive part was steaming the 12 cabbage leaves and rolling up the beef in the leaves.  You may recall that I work from home so was able to prep this on my lunch hour and pop it back into the fridge to cook later.  Since the rolls take an hour to cook, I would not recommend the dish for an after work prep/bake.

To cook, I added 1 cup of water on the bottom, and a can of tomato sauce over the top.  I embellished a little and topped with a little bit of grated Parmesan cheese and dried basil, covered with foil and baked for an hour.

The side dish was nice and easy….the recipe called for frozen cauliflower (which I don’t usually buy,  but was very convenient) and butter.  I had about an ounce of cream cheese, so went ahead and threw that in since I thought it would make it a little creamier.

I generally am not a fan of cauliflower mash because I have not been able to get the proper texture, but my Mom-In-Law sent us a Vita mixer for Christmas this year and WOW, the texture of the mash turned out PERFECT.  Looks like I will be making this side dish more often !

Rating for this dish is THUMBS UP, even though the dish was a little more labor intensive to prep than I prefer.

 

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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