Zeroodle Summer Roll Salad

rice noodle salad

Zeroodle pasta is made of a Korean seaweed called tengusa. This agar agar (a natural vegetable gelatin) salad noodle is like a rice vermicelli or “glass” noodle like the kind in traditional in salad rolls – but it is gluten free, vegan and calorie and carb free (6g net carbs – 6 g fibre). It can be found online at low-carb grocery stores.

I made this salad about 6 hours in advance of dinner to allow the flavours to brighten, but it is also good if served immediately (believe me, I sampled it!).

  • 1 package (16g/.56 oz) Zeroodle Kanten Pasta
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 cucumber, shredded
  • 1 cup coleslaw mix
  • Fresh mint (about 6 leaves), finely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped peanuts or cashews

Dressing:

  • 1 lime, juiced (you may want extra lime wedges for serving)
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small packets artificial sweetener (I used Sugar Twin)

Combine all dressing ingredients in a container with a lid and shake well until blended. Set aside.

Cook Zeroodles (or other low-carb rice noodle substitute) for 1 minute in boiling water, rinse immediately in cold water and set aside.

In a large bowl, place coleslaw mix and the shredded carrot and cucumber. Add the Zeroodles, then pour dressing over. Add mint and stir in. Before serving, top with another squeeze of lime and the chopped nuts for garnish.

 

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Zucchini Fries

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For the longest time, I’ve been coveting others’ photos of crispy, golden zucchini fries and finally said, “Enough is enough! I’m going to make my own!” These turned out lovely; the only tip I have is to cut them consistently thin – they’ll crisp up better, but otherwise, they are quite French fry-like – crispy on the outside and softer on the inside. I served them with a homemade marinara sauce for dipping.

  • 2 zucchini, cut into French fry-sized sticks
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp each: dried oregano, dried basil, garlic powder
  • To taste: salt, pepper and cayenne
  1. About an hour before baking, cut zucchini into 3-inch lengths, then half each piece, then cut down into fries. Place in a colander and toss well with salt. Let the zucchini drain so that excess liquid is removed. Pat dry between paper towels.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a medium sized baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Beat 2 eggs in a shallow dish. In a separate dish, toss together the almond flour, cheese and seasonings. Dip each piece in the egg, then dredge in the almond/cheese mixture until well coated. Place each coated fry on the baking sheet, spaced about an inch apart.
  4. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, until the coating appears crisp and brown. I recommend turning each piece half way for more even cooking.

Low Carb Meatball Sandwich

Dinnertime leftovers make for awesome lunches! Case in point: last night’s saucy meatballs over spaghetti squash were transformed into today’s incredible meatball sandwich without much effort at all.

Meatballs:

  • 1 lb regular ground beef + 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp oregano

Mix all ingredients together and shape into balls. Fry in a pan with 2 tbsp olive oil until cooked thoroughly. While the meatballs cook, make this quick sauce:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in frying pain. Add ½ medium onion (chopped) and 2 cloves minced garlic and cook until soft.
  2. Add in 1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes, 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste and ½ cup mild or medium salsa.
  3. Sprinkle in 1 tsp dried basil and 1 tsp dried oregano, plus salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until thickened, about 20-25 minutes.

When the meatballs are cooked, drain them on a paper towel and then plop them one by one into the tomato sauce. Continue simmering for 5 minutes.

Make your favourite keto bread recipe. Split in two and toast, then spread with garlic butter (melt  a couple tablespoons of butter with 1 minced clove of garlic or ¼ tsp garlic powder). Top with meatballs and sauce, then add a slice of mozzarella before serving.

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Low Carb Pumpkin Muffins

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Before the leaves turn yellow and school buses are back on the road, the scent of pumpkin spice is in the air. With everyone talking about their favourite fall flavour, I decided to whip up this batch of moist and sweet Pumpkin Spice Muffins. So easy and quick, I made a dozen of them while dinner was in the go, popped them in the oven while we ate – and enjoyed some for dessert.

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice mix (or combine cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to make your spice mix)
  • 2/3 cup powdered sweetener (this makes them pretty sweet; you can certainly cut back according to personal taste)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 4 eggs

Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners* and preheat the oven to 350F.

You can combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately then mix, but I just put everything in one big mixing bowl and beat it all together with the electric mixer until smooth.  Put one heaping tablespoon of mixture into each cup, filling it about half way up. Bake muffins for 20 minutes. When time is up, insert a toothpick in the centre (it should be dry) to ensure it is cooked through.

Remove pan from oven and drape with a clean towel while they cool off.  Serve with butter. Store any remaining muffins in a tightly-sealed container.

*(Note: although the muffins were cooked, they did stick to the paper liner a bit. Better than in the pan!)

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Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries

Combine:

  • ½ cup cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp powdered artificial sweetener

Place all ingredients in a bowl and beat until well combined. Spoon the cream cheese mixture into a small Ziplock sandwich bag and seal tight. Push the mixture toward the corners. Place bag in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, wash berries and pat dry, leaving stems with leaves intact. Carefully cut the berries halfway through to the tip, then turn and partially cut them halfway into quarters to create an “x.”

Snip off one corner of the Ziplock bag and squeeze the cream cheese mixture to fill the berries.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

stuffed berries

Pork Rind Nachos

This week, chef Graham Elliot introduced his take on ballpark favorites at Wrigley Field in Chicago. His innovative menu included pork rind nachos, which inspired me to try making my own! Keeping with the “piggy” theme, I used pulled pork, but you could go with chicken, ground beef, bacon or whatever kind of meat you prefer. Here’s how I layered it up:

  • 1 ½-2 cups prk rinds (chicharrons) Tip: use sturdier pork rinds that will stand up to cheese and toppings. Some will still soften.
  • 1 cup pulled pork tossed in sugar free barbecue sauce (here’s my recipe)
  • ½ cup Mexican-flavoured cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp green chilies, drained
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream

Spread pork rinds on the bottom of a foil-lined pan. Sprinkle with half the cheese and put under the broiler until cheese is melted and pork rinds brown. Top with chilies, jalapeno and remaining cheese and return to the broiler for 2 minutes. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

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Sunshine Coconut Shrimp

A little messy to make, but the tropicaltastic taste is soooo worth it!

You will need:

  • 1 dozen medium-sized shrimp, peeled, deveined and (optional) tails removed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ tablespoons coconut flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Dash salt and pepper
  • Optional: add more of your fave seasonings; I added in a few shakes of Old Bay
  • ½ cup (or more) medium desiccated coconut, unsweetened

Heat oil in deep fryer or large pot to 350F.

Place coconut in a shallow container and set aside.

Rinse shrimp and pat dry. Set on a paper towel while you mix up the batter: eggs, coconut flour, baking powder, water and seasonings. It will be very thick and pasty. With clean hands, mold the batter around each shrimp and press into the coconut to coat.

Cook shrimp in the oil, adding no more than three at a time. They will be golden brown, crisped up and float to the top when they are cooked (about 2 minutes).

Serve with this Sweet Heat dipping sauce:

  • 1/3 cup sugar-free orange marmalade, apricot preserves or peach jam
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp sriracha sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and taste, adding more sweet, heat or acidity to taste.

Shrimp