Browsing Category: meat & main dish (not paleo)

Pizza bites – gluten free, low carb, tasty!

pizza-bites2-400
Earlier this week, I made myself Kalyn’s Grilled Zucchini Pizza Slices for lunch. Yum! But I wanted to experiment with the broiler method she suggested, since not everyone can or wants to grill. Also, I thought it would be kinda cute to make bite-sized versions.

I went with summer squash rather than zucchini. They’re close cousins and nutritionally about the same, but I thought the yellow color might be more attractive to people who would be scared off by the green of zucchini. I want to set realistic expectations: no one is going to think they’re eating pizza crust; the texture is completely different. But all the flavors are there, and it’s a quite satisfying snack.

By the way, have you tried finding a tomato pasta sauce in the store that doesn’t have sugar or corn syrup in it? Crazy! I make my own – and no, it doesn’t involve peeling tomatoes or hours of simmering on the stove. It cooks up in about 20 minutes, using canned tomatoes. I make a big batch and keep extra in the freezer. Recipe and tips here: sugar-free marinara sauce.

(Oops. I can’t make a link using my tablet. ? Just type in ohthatstasty.com/marinara.)

I made some with pizza sauce and pepperoni, and I made some with pesto and grape tomatoes. I slightly prefer the pepperoni version, because there’s a little more punch to the flavor, but they’re both really good. And if you or your guests are vegetarian, the tomato option is a nice alternative.

I love how they came out! They are cute, but they’re also the perfect size to pop in your mouth whole. Which would also be perfect finger food, for say, super-bowl. I haven’t tested the method, but if you wanted to make a large quantity for a party, I bet you could make them ahead of time, up to and including the toppings, then cover and refrigerate them till serving time, and run them under the broiler for a minute or two.

Low-carb Gluten-free Pizza Bites

I’m not listing amounts, because this is one you can totally just wing.

summer squash
olive oil
shredded mozzarella
for the pepperoni version:
spaghetti sauce (preferably sugar-free)
pepperoni (turkey, if you like)
for the veggie version:
pesto
grape tomatoes

Preheat your oven to 450. Place the rack in the center.

pizza-bites-mont

Slice the squash into 1/2″ slices. If using tomatoes, slice them about 1/4″ thick and set aside.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the squash and toss. You just want enough for all the pieces to have a thin coat of oil.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and lay the squash slices out on it. You can place them closer together than what I’m showing here. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove the pan and inspect the underside of the squash. It should just be a bit brown in places. Return it to the oven for a minute or two if it’s not yet there.

Switch your oven setting to broil. Top the squash slices with your choice of toppings. I used the larger diameter slices for pepperoni, the smaller for tomato. I put the sauce or pesto on first, then the pepperoni or tomato, then sprinkled a small mound of cheese on top of each one.

Move the oven rack up so it’s about 4″ under the broiler. Return the pan to the oven and broil until the cheese is melted and done to your preference of golden-brown-ness. This will probably be somewhere around 3 to 5 minutes, but watch it closely.

Let them cool somewhat before serving; that tomato sauce will be hot!

Pin It

 

———————————————————————————-

Get my quick-start guide to cutting out sugar and carbs.

Subscribe to my monthly email, and get a free gift…

ipad-w-'smallsteps'-cover-520x400

———————————————————————————-

Super easy shredded chicken tacos

chicken-taco-320x330
easy shredded chicken tacos

You gotta love a recipe that calls for throwing three ingredients in a crock pot and walking away for six hours!

The original recipe is sized for a family household plus leftovers. (The recipe on Tasty Kitchen also includes an easy recipe for Tortilla Soup.) I’ve sized it down for two. We had yummy tacos for dinner tonight, and plenty leftover for a couple more meals worth. We’ll probably be having Chicken Taco Salad for lunch tomorrow!  🙂

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 c. your favorite salsa (preferably sugar-free)
1 package taco seasoning;
better yet, 5-6 t. homemade mix

Pour a bit of the salsa into a 2.5 qt. crock pot; just enough to thinly coat the bottom. Trim the fat off the chicken breasts and add them to the pot. Stir the taco seasoning into the remaining salsa, and pour that over the chicken. Cover and cook on high for four hours or low for six hours. Shred the chicken using two forks.

Serve in your choice of crispy or soft shells, top with your favorite taco toppings.

Oh, and here’s a great side dish: Slightly spicy slaw.

Pin It

DIY taco seasoning (sugar-free, gluten-free)

taco-mix-montage

Did you know that the packaged taco seasoning you buy may contain milk solids, sugar, maltodextrin, corn starch or potato starch? The labels pictured here are from a name-brand seasoning mix and the store brand of a major grocery chain. The latter has more salt in it than it does chili powder!


Whether you’re trying to avoid salt, sugar, or allergens, the great thing about making your own seasoning mixes is that you can control exactly what goes in it.

Here’s a taco seasoning mix I make and keep on hand. It works great in ground beef tacos and shredded chicken tacos. I also use it mixed in with the sour cream layer in my seven layer dip.

It does contain salt, but if that’s an issue in your house, you can leave it out or sub a lower-sodium alternative.

I’ve included two versions: The first will generously season 1 lb. of hamburger; the second gives you plenty to keep on hand.

Taco seasoning mix, single use

1 T. chili powder
1-1/2 t. ground cumin
1 t. black pepper
1/2 t. kosher salt    (if using table salt, use half this amount)
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes (or less, to taste)
1/4 t. dried oregano

Taco seasoning mix, big batch

1/4 c. chili powder
2 Tb. ground cumin
4 t.  black pepper
2 t.  kosher salt    (if using table salt, use half this amount)
2 t.  paprika
1 t.  garlic powder
1 t.  onion powder
1 t.  crushed red pepper flakes (or less, to taste)
1 t.  dried oregano

Slightly spicy slaw: for pork or fish tacos

spicy-slaw-plate
Slightly spicy slaw

I made these Chipotle Pork Tacos for dinner last night. I love that I can prep everything ahead, throw the pork in the marinade, and chill it while I go do other stuff. Then when it’s time to actually cook dinner, all I have to do is cook up the onions and pork — which just takes a few minutes — warm up the tortillas, and we’re good to go!

I wanted to get some vegetables on the plate, though, and I thought slaw sounded like a nice go-with. I surfed the net looking for a southwestern-y slaw recipe, but didn’t find anything that just fit the bill. So I improvised this, and it was a hit! Because I used half mayo, half sour cream, the mayo flavor doesn’t overwhelm. The spicy-sweet flavor and crispy-creamy texture of this slaw is the perfect complement to the tacos, in my opinion. I think it would also be great on fish tacos, with barbecue, or straight-up on its own. (Which is how I had it for lunch today.)

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce comes in a little can, but it still takes me forever to use one up. (Spice wimp.) So after I’ve opened a can and used what I need for that recipe, I put the rest in a labeled glass jar and keep it in the fridge.

If you’ve never used chipotles in adobo sauce, here’s what you need to know: the sauce is fairly mild; the flesh of the peppers is quite a bit hotter, and the seeds are ridiculously hot. (To me, anyway. Consider the source.) So adjust what parts you use and the amount you use to your own tolerance for spiciness. Of course, it’s best to start mild, taste it, then add more if you so desire.

A little tip about slicing green onions: I’ve found that slicing them on the diagonal not only looks fancier, it also keeps the little buggers from rolling off the cutting board.

Slightly Spicy Slaw

1/4 cup mayo
1 teasp. chipotle chiles and/or adobo sauce (more if you like things spicy)
1 green onion
2 t. red wine vinegar or lime juice
1 pkt. Splenda or 2 teasp. sugar or 1.5 teasp. honey
1/8 teasp. salt – or just a few shakes
3 cup slaw-cut cabbage

Dice the chipotle pepper small, and remove any seeds. Slice the green onion thinly, discarding the roots and any wilty parts of the green.

Put everything except for the cabbage in a medium bowl, and stir till well blended. Then add the slaw and stir till all is well combined. Chill for 1-2 hours.

Use to top pork or fish tacos. A topping of cilantro highly recommended.

Serves 4.

Pin It

You might also like:
Almost-Panera’s Asian Chicken Salad
Make your own taco seasoning
Pulled Pork Pasta with Ancho Cream Sauce

Salsa Verde Chicken

Mmm… Made this for dinner tonight! The original recipe from simplyrecipes.com is super simple, but I wanted to get some vegetables and fiber in the meal without making a second dish, so I put one 10-oz. can of Rotel with Lime and Cilantro and part of a can of black beans in the pan before putting the chicken breasts in. It worked great! I placed the hot, cheesy chicken on the dinner plate first, then scooped out some of the saucy beans and tomatoes as a side dish. And all from one pan!

Oh, and I only used one 7 oz. can of salsa verde. Yeah, I’m a spice wimp!