Tag Archives: make ahead

Garlic herb cheese spread or dip – low carb!

garlic-herb cheese dip
Garlic herb cheese spread

This is such a simple dip, I keep some in the fridge almost constantly. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it a knock-off or copy, but it’s kinda like Alouette.

It’s tasty spread on just about any cracker, but for a low carb, gluten free snack, try it with celery or romaine dippers. These are simply the small end of a heart-of-romaine leaf. When I’m chopping romaine for a salad, I always leave the last 4 to 5″ and stash them in the fridge for just this purpose! They’ve got a perfect dipping shape, and I like them so much better than celery; no stringy stuff!

Garlic herb cheese spread or dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. sour cream OR Greek yogurt
1/2 t. granulated garlic
1/2 t. granulated onion
1 heaping t. dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper, to your taste
1/4 t. salt (if serving with veggies)

Stir together the cream cheese and sour cream (or yogurt) until pretty evenly combined. Add the other ingredients and stir till well mixed. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

Note: if you are serving this with crackers that are salted, you may leave out the salt.

Tomorrow: What to do with the rest of the romaine — Almost-Panera’s Asian Chicken Salad!

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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.

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

Pumpkin pecan muffins – low carb, gluten-free, sugar-free!

pumpkin-muffin

Crumbly muffins, hot out of the oven, fragrant with cinnamon… These pumpkin pecan muffins are so good, my kids gobbled them up, even when they were at their pickiest stage. Probably because I never mentioned to the munchkins that these muffins are low carb and sugar-free!

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Eating Stella Style — Low Carb Recipes for Healthy Living.
(Note/update 2016: I’m working on a Splenda-free, real-food version, but I still think these would be okay as an occasional treat, unless you have known issues with Splenda.)

Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

Makes 12 muffins
3 cups almond flour
1 can canned pumpkin (NOT pie filling)
2 T. wheat bran (or ground flaxseed, or omit, to make it gluten free)
1 T. pumpkin pie spice*
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
6 large eggs (corrected 5/17/13; previously listed as 3)
1 1/2 c. cup-for-cup Splenda (or sweetener of your choice)
2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners, and spray the inside of the liners with no-stick spray.
Stir all the ingredients until well blended. Fill the prepared muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out pretty much clean.
Let muffins cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temp. (Warm with butter – YUM!) Refrigerate any leftovers.

If there are any. Which there won’t be!  🙂

* If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice mix on hand, you can use this recipe. But you’ll need to make a little more than the recipe calls for.

Nutrition info, from myfitnesspal.com; great carb-to-protein ratio!…

Nutrition Facts
Servings 12.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories 295
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24 g 36 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 12 %
Monounsaturated Fat 5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 123 mg 41 %
Sodium 375 mg 16 %
Potassium 80 mg 2 %
Total Carbohydrate 14 g 5 %
Dietary Fiber 6 g 23 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 11 g 22 %
Vitamin A 90 %
Vitamin C 1 %
Calcium 15 %
Iron 12 %