Summer Fresh Tomato Sauce

This fresh tomato sauce tastes like summer and Italy at the same time. There’s nothing that says summer quite like fresh tomatoes, let alone fresh basil chopped right in. This makes for a super fast meal if you serve it over pasta. (Use low-carb pasta if you’re moderating your carb intake or watching starches, or for help in feeling full when losing weight.) A hefty spoonful of cottage cheese or other cheese will add some hunger satiating protein. This also makes an incredible topping for a summer side of bruschetta. Enjoy! Serves 5 Ingredients 1 1/2 lbs fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered 1 1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 3-4 cloves garlic 3/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp black pepper 1/2 bunch (1-2 fistfuls) fresh basil 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese Optional: organic cottage cheese for topping   Directions If serving with pasta cook the desired amount ahead of time (or toast your bread slices for bruschetta). Put tomatoes, oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and basil in a food processor and blend until lightly chunky. Toss with hot pasta and sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese. Serve with optional cottage...
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Low-Carb Chicken Tetrazzini

This low-carb chicken tetrazzini uses lighter cream ingredients and way less starch, especially since I use low-carb pasta in place of the traditional spaghetti noodles. I’ve also found that with most recipes that call for flour or cornstarch for a thickener you can get away with about one-quarter of the amount and the dish will still come together reasonably well. So add this low-carb “pasta” dish to your favorite low-starch recipes. Whether you’re needing to moderate carbs for prediabetes or diabetes, or to help with weight loss, this recipe is sure to be a winner. Serves 6 Ingredients 3/4 lb organic chicken breast tenders 2 servings dry low-carb pasta (such as black bean spaghetti or mung bean pasta) 1 medium sweet onion, chopped 1 package cremini mushrooms, slightly chopped 1 Tbsp butter 1 Tbsp stone-ground whole wheat flour 1 1/2 cups skim or low-fat milk 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese   Directions Bake the chicken ahead of time (approximately 30-40 min in preheated 350 degree F oven.) Cool and shred. Also cook the low-carb pasta according to package instructions, drain, and set aside. Grease the bottom of a 9×9 glass baking dish. Bump the oven temperature up to 375 deg F. Heat a very small amount of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high. Saute the onion and mushrooms until soft and most of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside. Using the now-empty skillet on medium heat melt the butter and blend in the flour. Gradually add the milk, cooking and stirring frequently until thickened, approximately 10-15 minutes. (Add 1 tsp cornstarch if the mix is still not thickened at this point.) Add the cooked chicken, onion, and mushrooms. Stir in the low-carb pasta, and combine well. Pour into the greased casserole dish, and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until...
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Low-Carb Baked Beef Spaghetti

This low-carb baked beef spaghetti is similar to my cauliflower pasta bake in that it subs roasted cauliflower out for the noodles–although the flavors are a bit different. You can use just cauliflower or a combination of cauliflower and low-carb pasta, as I do with my cauliflower “mac” and cheese. (I used just cauliflower for this recipe here.) I’m still fiddling with the water content and ways to get the dish to set up as a casserole (it sets up better once it’s cooled and been refrigerated.) If you have any suggestions by all means please email me. In the meantime, enjoy this low-starch version of a favorite Italian dish! Serves 8 Ingredients 1 x-large head of cauliflower 1 package cremini mushrooms, rinsed well, and loosely chopped into large chunks (OR 1 large can button mushrooms, drained) Lots of fresh garlic (~ 6-10 medium cloves), minced 1 whole sweet onion, chopped 16 oz organic 93% ground beef 1 can (28 oz) low-sodium tomatoes, cut up and drained 1/2 to 1 tsp salt 2 tsp dried oregano 1-2 tsp garlic powder <1/2 can (10 oz) organic, natural condensed cream of mushroom soup 2 Tbsp water 1 1/2 cups low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese Optional: organic low-fat cottage cheese for topping   Directions Roast the cauliflower ahead of time: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and lightly grease a large roasting dish. Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets, lay out in the pan, and sprinkle sea salt over all. Roast for 30 mins, stir, and roast 15 min more. Set aside Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and grease a 13×9-inch glass baking dish. Microwave the cremini mushrooms in a microwaveable bowl for 2 minutes, until soft and mostly cooked. Drain and squeeze dry. Brown the garlic, onion, and ground beef with just a tiny bit of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until the beef is cooked through. Drain. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, salt, oregano, and garlic powder and stir to combine well. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. In a separate large mixing bowl mix together the soup and water until smooth. Add the roasted cauliflower, beef mixture, and half of the cheddar cheese, and combine well. Spoon into the 13×9-inch baking dish, top with the rest of the cheddar cheese, and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until bubbly and...
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Roasted Veggie Low-Carb Mac and Cheese

This roasted veggie low-carb mac and cheese is loaded with oven-roasted veggies and swaps out traditional macaroni for a low-carb version, which makes it a great choice for those wanting to limit starches for weight loss or diabetes. The combination of full-fat and lighter cheeses makes it creamy without too much saturated fat. I bet you’ll love this hearty replacement to your favorite mac and cheese! Update: For a spring season option: Omit the butternut squash when roasting and instead separately steam 1 package cut asparagus and 1 bag fresh organic spinach to add along with the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts at the end.  Serves 8 Ingredients 1 medium to large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets 1 package (20 oz) pre-cut and peeled butternut squash cubes, cut into smaller chunks 1 package (16 oz) fresh Brussels sprouts, cut in halves or thirds 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt to taste 3 servings dry low-carb pasta (such as black bean spaghetti or mung bean pasta) 1 Tbsp butter 1 medium sweet onion, diced 2 Tbsp stone-ground whole wheat flour 2 cups skim milk 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth 1 1/2 cups shredded low-fat extra-sharp Cheddar cheese 1 cup freshly grated Havarti cheese 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese   Directions Roast the cauliflower, butternut squash, and Brussels sprouts ahead of time: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and lightly grease a large roasting dish. In 2-3 bouts place the cut-up veggies in a sealable plastic bag with a tsp or less of oil each time and a sprinkling of sea salt. Seal the bag, massage the oil and salt into the veggies, then place them in the roasting dish. Roast for 30 mins, stir, and roast 15-30 min more, until all veggies are softened and slightly browned. In the meantime, cook the low-carb pasta according to package instructions, and drain. Melt the butter in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the flour and cook another minute or two, stirring well. Add the milk and broth and whisk nearly constantly once the mixture has come to a simmer for 5-10 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly. Remove pan from heat, add all the cheeses, and mix until melted. Fold in the roasted veggies and cooked pasta and stir to combine...
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Turkey Bolognese

This turkey bolognese is another recipe I adapted from a wonderful non-diet healthy lifestyle retreat for women in Vermont that I used to work for. In addition to playing around with the herbs and additions, I’ve made it low-starch by recommending you use it to top roasted cauliflower in place of linguine (although a whole grain pasta of your choice is also fine if you’re not following a diabetic diet.) Enjoy! Makes 4 servings Ingredients 1 x-large head cauliflower OR 3 servings whole grain pasta 1 large sweet onion, chopped Lots of fresh garlic (~ 6-10 medium cloves), minced 1/8 tsp ground red pepper 1 1/2 tsp fennel seed 1 pound ground organic turkey 1/2 to 2/3 jar (24 oz) prepared low-sugar pasta sauce 1 tsp dried oregano leaves 1 tsp dried basil leaves 1/2 bunch (~ 1 large fistful) fresh basil leaves, cut into strips Toppings: grated Parmesan cheese, capers, and/or sliced Kalamon olives   Directions If you’re using cauliflower: Roast the cauliflower ahead of time: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and lightly grease a large roasting dish. Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 30 mins, stir, and roast 15 min more. If you’re using linguine: Cook according to package directions. Heat a very small amount of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, red pepper, and fennel seed until the onion is translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add remaining ingredients except toppings and simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Serve sauce over your choice of roasted cauliflower or whole grain pasta, and sprinkle with cheese, capers, and olives, as you...
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Low-Carb Vodka Pasta One-Pot

This low-starch/ low-carb vodka pasta calls for neither vodka nor traditional pasta, and it also skips the heavy cream. But it has all the other ingredients I think of when I remember vodka pasta that my best friend used to make when we were roommates after college–broccoli, sausage (chicken sausage in this case), as well as a pink sauce that is incredibly tasty yet makes for a super healthy recipe. It’s reasonably quick on time and only uses one big pot, so it’s perfect for weekday evenings. Enjoy! Serves 5 Ingredients 2 servings dry low-carb pasta (such as black bean spaghetti) 3 medium heads of fresh broccoli, separated into flowerets 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil Lots of fresh garlic (~ 6-10 medium cloves), minced 2 links sweet Italian chicken sausage, sliced 1 can (15 oz) low- or no-salt added petite diced tomatoes 1 small can (8 oz) low- or no-salt added tomato sauce 1/2 Tbsp dried basil 1 tsp dried oregano 1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese 2 oz light stick cream cheese   Directions Cook the low-carb pasta according to package instructions, drain, and place aside. Place the broccoli in a microwaveable glass dish with a little bit of water and microwave until al dente. Drain and add to the pasta bowl. In a dutch oven or extra large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic and sliced sausage (unless the sausage is already pre-cooked, in which case just add it to the pasta and broccoli.) To the garlic and sausage add the pasta, broccoli, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, and oregano. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for approximately 8 minutes, or until broccoli is cooked through. Add Parmesan and cream cheeses, and stir to combine well. Heat through until cheeses have melted, approximately 3-5 more...
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