Thursday, May 23, 2019

"BREADED" CHICKEN MUSHROOM BAKE


Breaded Chicken layered in casserole dish

 Mushroom and Onion layer

Sauce and Mozzarella topping

Hot out of the oven and garnished with green onion tops

First person helped himself to this delicious meal


“BREADED” CHICKEN 
MUSHROOM BAKE

This casserole was incredibly good. Super-tasty!  It’s worthy of company in my opinion.  A little more work as I breaded the chicken pieces with my “breading”, but totally worth it!  While the chicken was cooking, in another pot, I cooked the sauce to save time.

2 very large chicken breasts
2 eggs
2 tsp water (10 mL)
Olive oil for frying
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb sliced mushrooms (0.45 kg)
Seasoning salt, to taste
1 tbsp minced garlic (15 mL)
1/2 cup grated Mozzarella cheese (125 mL)
Breading:
2/3 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, (150 mL)
  OR 1/2 cup almond flour (125 mL)
  and 2 tbsp coconut flour (30 mL)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (125 mL)
1 tsp salt, OR to taste (5 mL)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (2 mL)
Creamy Sauce:
8 oz cream cheese, cut up (250 g)
11/4 cups chicken broth (300 mL)
1/4 cup whipping cream (60 mL)
2 tbsp butter (30 mL)

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise and then cut across into 1/2 –inch (1.2 cm) pieces (they don’t all have to be the same size pieces, so not to worry).  In small bowl, beat eggs and water together with a fork.  Dip chicken pieces into egg and then spoon breading over the pieces.  Place in about 2 tbsp (30 mL) hot olive oil over medium heat in a nonstick frying pan.  Fry 2 minutes, turn over and fry another minute, keeping in mind the chicken will fully cook in the oven later.  Lay the fried chicken pieces in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.

In nonstick frying pan, in about 2 tbsp olive oil (30 mL), cook onions until turning translucent.  Add mushrooms and sprinkle with seasoning salt to taste.  Cook until almost all moisture evaporates.  Add garlic and cook 2 minutes.  Spread this mixture over top of the chicken and pour Creamy Sauce over top of everything.  Finally sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.  Cover dish with foil and bake 25 to 30 minutes until thoroughly hot.

Breading:  In small bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix2, OR alternative, Parmesan cheese, salt and Italian seasoning.

Creamy Sauce:  In nonstick saucepan, place cream cheese, chicken broth, whipping cream and butter over medium heat.  Bring to the boil and whisk every now and then until the cream cheese has melted into the sauce.

Helpful Hints:  I used homemade chicken stock which is probably not anywhere near as salty as commercial varieties.  Keep that in mind when making this recipe.  Maybe reduce the salt in the breading to 1/2 tsp.

Yield:  9 servings
1 serving
310.3 calories
23.4 g protein
20.8 g fat
0.9 g fiber
6.3 g net carbs

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

ROASTED EGGPLANT CREAMY CHICKEN LASAGNA







ROASTED EGGPLANT CREAMY CHICKEN LASAGNA

This was a rich-tasting, delicious lasagna.  If you are a fan of eggplant, this is an excellent way to cook with it.  My husband and I loved this lasagna. I didn’t add onion to the Marinara Sauce, so no need to cook it.

1 lb 5 oz Japanese eggplant (595 g)
Olive oil, as needed
Seasoning salt, to taste
1 Rotisserie chicken
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
Marinara Sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil (30 mL)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (411 g)
 3 tbsp water (45 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 1 tsp sugar, optional (5 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
1/2 tsp dried basil (2 mL)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (2 mL)
1/4 tsp dried thyme (1 mL)
1/8 tsp black pepper (0.5 mL)
13/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese (425 mL)
1 tsp dried parsley (5 mL)
White Parmesan Cheese Sauce:
8 oz regular cream cheese (250 g)
2/3 cup low-carb milk, OR whipping cream (150 mL)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (60 mL)
1/4 cup butter (60 ml)
2 tbsp water (30 mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
1/4 tsp white pepper (1 mL)
1/2 tsp cornstarch, OR arrowroot powder (2 mL)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).  Slice eggplant into about 1/4-inch (0.6 cm)  slices. Place in one layer on oiled cookie sheets.  Brush eggplant slices with olive oil (I use a clean paint brush that I keep in my kitchen draw) and sprinkle with seasoning salt, to taste.  Roast 12 minutes on the bottom shelf and remove eggplant slices that are tender and turn those that are not and place them in the oven again for another 3 minutes and check again.  They can burn very quickly, so best to check frequently.

Remove chicken from bones and cut it into small pieces. In large frying pan, fry chicken, briefly in some olive oil.  Add salt.  Add Marinara Sauce.

Marinara Sauce:  In blender, combine olive oil, tomatoes, water, sweetener, salt, basil, oregano, thyme and black pepper.  Blend briefly just to break up the tomato chunks a bit, but not to juice them.

White Parmesan Cheese Sauce:  In large, nonstick pot, place cream cheese, low-carb milk, OR whipping cream, Parmesan cheese, butter, water, salt and pepper.  Stir until all the cheeses begin to melt.  Remove some of liquid and stir cornstarch, OR arrowroot powder into it and add back to the pot. Bring to a boil.  As soon as the sauce boils remove from the heat.

In 9 x 13-inch (2 L) baking dish, layer half the white sauce, then a layer of half the eggplant, half chicken and sauce and 3/4 cup (175 mL) grated Mozzarella cheese.  Place eggplant on top of the cheese, cover with the remaining white sauce, chicken and sauce and top with 1 cup (250 mL) grated Mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with dried parsley.  Place in oven 25 minutes or until bubbly and hot.  Serve with a lovely salad on the side, if desired.

Helpful Hints:  *Make more eggplant slices if you can, as you’re almost certain to snack on some of the roasted eggplant…it is much too tempting!  You want to have enough for the lasagna! The nutritional analysis does not include the olive oil.  You may use less or more than I did. 

Yield:  9 servings
1 serving
451.4 calories
34.8 g protein
30.5 g fat
0 g fiber
9.6 g net carbs

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Monday, May 20, 2019

LAZY KETO CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BARS



LAZY KETO CHOCOLATE 
CHIP COOKIE BARS
Sometimes we want cookies, but we want less fuss.  This is much quicker and easier than making individual cookies.  These moist, fudgy, rich cookie bars were very much appreciated by my daughter-in-law..  I keep them in the refrigerator for the texture I prefer.  You can halve this recipe and bake in an 8-inch (20 cm) square baking dish.

31/2 cups Keto Bake Mix (875 mL)
  OR Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (use 3 1/4 cups)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
3 eggs
2 sticks of butter, softened (250 g)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 11/4 cups (300 mL)
  sugar
1/3 cup granulated erythritol (75 mL)
1 tbsp vanilla extract (15 mL)
11/2 tsp unflavored gelatin (7 mL)
11/4 cups sugar-free chocolatechips (300 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
In medium bowl, combine Keto Bake Mix, OR Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, baking soda and salt.
In food processor or in bowl with mixer, process eggs.  Add butter, liquid sweetener, erythritol, vanilla extract and unflavored gelatin; process well.  Add dry ingredients; process.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spread out in a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and press out evenly.  Bake approximately 25 minutes.


Yield:  36 servings
1 serving
133.4 calories
3.3 g protein
11.3 g fat
1.2 g fiber
1.6 g net carbs 

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Friday, May 17, 2019

LOW-CARBING AMONG FRIENDS COOKBOOK VOL. 2

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[ Recipe sample photos at the bottom of this post ]


This is the second cookbook in the series, Low-Carbing Among Friends' cookbooks.  It went to 3 printings and revisions.  Helpful Hints again contains a wonderful guide to how much to use of the liquid sweeteners for 2 tsp all the way up to 1 cup. I also use this chart to refer back to occasionally when I am in the kitchen, although by now I mostly do the math in my head.  There is a blurb about a number of different sweeteners and the best whey protein powder to buy.  Dr. Steve Parker wrote an article about Low-Carb Weight Management: Tips, Stalls and Long-term Success.  Dr. Parker is famous for his Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet for people wanting to do a healthy, low-carb regimen and it is also geared towards people with diabetes.  You really want to look him up on the internet and buy his wonderful books.  The Mediterranean diet has been proven to be one of the best diets on the planet and he went to the trouble of making a low-carb version.  Awesome!!

This is another large cookbook with 224 pages and recipes from several authors, including my own son, who is a rather reluctant cook these days as he is a famous science fiction author (he goes by a pen name) and very busy.  His cooking leans slightly more towards gourmet-style cooking.  At the time Jonathan was taking on several jobs, even modeling, just to get by ... before he became famous.  Being a part of our cookbook meant he received royalties, too, all of which helped him to live on his own in the big city. 

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APPETIZERS AND BEVERAGES
APPETIZERS:
Examples: 
Caramelized Sweet Onion Dip
Cheese Puffs
Cinnamon Pecans
Hot Pastrami on Rye Dip
Mexican Roll-Ups
Spiced Pecan Clusters


BEVERAGES
Examples:
Chocolate Peanut Protein Shake
Easy Instant Eggnog
Peargaritas
Sparkling Lemonade


BREADS, MUFFINS AND MORE
Examples:
Bake Mixes: Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mixes 1 and 2
Savory Breads such as English Muffin, French Toast, Golden Cornbread, Jiffy Sandwich Bread and Sandwich Thins
Sweet Breads such as Glazed Lemon Loaf and the Great Pumpkin Loaf
Buns - several
Crackers - several such as Buttery Sesame Crackers, Jiffy Cinnamon Cookie Crackers
Muffins - such as Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Muffins, Old-fashioned Blueberry Muffins
Pizza Crusts - two
Scones such as Raspberry Drop Scones


BREAKFASTS
Examples:
Bacon - Maple Spiced Bacon, Huevos Pericos con Tocino
Breads such as Egg, Ham and Cheese Muffin
Casseroles and Crock-Pot such as Bed and Breakfast Waffle Bake, Classical Brunch Casserole, Turkey-Crust Crock-pot Breakfast
Crepes and Pancakes - several - Multi-grain Pancakes, Spinach Crepes, Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes, Dutch Baby Pancake
Eggs - Low-carb Frittata Muffins, Sausage Breakfast muffins, Meaty Man's Omelet
Quiche
Sausage - Sausage Breakfast Muffins and more
Waffles - three different kinds - Almond Flour waffles


MAIN COURSES AND SIDES
Examples:
MAIN COURSES:
Beef - Amazing Chili, Dottie's Taco Pie for one, Greek Stuffed Peppers, Hamburger Patties, Salsa Beef Casserole, Spinach Lasagna, Stroganoff Meatballs
Casseroles - Cabbage Rolls, Eggplant Parmigiana, Mediterranean Dolma
Fish - Herbed Sea Bass Sundried Tomatoes, Pecan Salmon with Horseradish Cream
Pork - Cajun Smothered Pork Chops, Pulled Pork Barbecue, Sweet Pepper Pork, Vietnamese Caramelized Pork
Poultry - Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken with Peanut Curry, Easy Peasy Skillet Chicken, Trngy Tropical
Sausage - Peggy's Italian Sausage, Sausage-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash


SIDES:
Recipes using these vegetables: Broccoli, Brussels and Fennel, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Green Beans, Pumpkin, Rutabaga, Spinach and Squash


MISCELLANEOUS
Substantial Section: Crusts, Dressings, Dry Rubs, Frostings, Glazes, Odds and Ends, Sauces, Spreads, Gravies and Condiments, Sweet Sauces, and Toppings


SALADS AND SOUPS
Salads:
Examples:  Blueberry Chicken Salad, Greek Ladopsomo Salad, Lemon Arugula Salad, My Favorite Caulitator Salad, Sauerkraut Salad, Sesame Cucumber Salad
Soups:
Examples: Char's Butternut Squash Soup, Chicken Stock, Cream of Asparagus Soup, Curried Rutabaga and Sausage, Hot Patrami on Rye Soup, Secret Mexican Chicken Soup, Thai Inspirations Chicken Soup, Tropical Shrimp Scallop Soup,


SWEET ENDINGS
Cakes
Examples: Almond Flour Fudge Cake (famous cake), Black Forest Cake, Buttery Apple Torte, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Cheesecakes
Examples:  Cheese-cake Factory Inspired, Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Topping, The Best Strawberry swirl Cheesecake
Confections
Examples: Cream Cheese mints, Dark Chocolate Chips
Cookies and Squares
Examples: Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies, Chocolate Mint Ribbon Cookies, Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies, Salted Cashew Cookies
Frozen Desserts
Examples: Peach Banana Cheesecake Ice Cream, Cream Cheese Mints
Pies
Examples: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, Fruit Pizza, No Bake Cherry Cheese Pie, Raspberry Cream Pie
Puddings
Examples: Almost Rice Pudding, Baked Custard, Bananas Foster Creme Brulee, Chocolate Mint Mousse, Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding, Strawberry Coconut Mousse

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

EASY CHICKEN PICCATA





EASY CHICKEN PICCATA

This is my take on Chicken Piccata.  My husband loved his dinner! Hugely popular classic dish! I used my low-carb breading and sliced the chicken breasts in two horizontally instead of pounding them thin, so then I had 4 servings.  I skipped the capers as I’m not fond of them.  I garnished the chicken with sliced green onions (tops only), but you could use fresh parsley instead.

2 large boneless chicken breasts
11/2 tsp seasoning salt (7 mL)
Breading:
1/3 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, (75 mL)
  page___, OR use 1/4 cup almond flour, 1 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (60 mL)
  (the jarred kind)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
1/4 tsp black pepper (1 mL)
Egg Wash:
1 large egg
2 tsp water (10 mL)
Olive oil for frying
4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided (60 mL)
1/3 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice (75 mL)
2 lemon halves
1/2 cup dry white wine (125 mL)
Garnish:
Sliced lemons
Fresh parsley or green onions (tops only)

Prepare chicken breasts by slicing in half horizontally. Sprinkle seasoning salt on both sides of all the chicken cutlets.


Breading:  In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, page___, OR alternative, Parmesan cheese, salt and black pepper.

Egg Wash:  In small bowl, beat egg and water with fork.

In large nonstick frying pan, heat about 3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil over medium heat.  Dip chicken breasts in egg wash first and then in “flour” mixture.  Place the chicken breasts in the oil and cook 5 minutes on one side until golden brown underneath (lowering heat, if necessary) and another 4 to 5 minutes on the other side, adding a little extra olive oil, until the chicken is white throughout when cut.

Lemon Sauce:  In saucepan, melt 1tbsp (15 mL) butter over medium heat.  Add lemon juice, lemon halves and white wine.  Bring to the boil and boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add remaining butter.  Whisk to combine when the butter has melted.

Serve chicken with lemon sauce and garnish with lemon slices and fresh parsley, OR green onions.

Helpful Hints:  Olive oil used for frying was not included in the nutritional analysis as I couldn’t remember how much I used.  Some people will use more and others less.


Yield:  4 servings
1 serving
280.7 calories
19.5 g protein
18.3 g fat
0.1 g fiber
4.2 g net carbs 

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

LEFTOVER BAKE MIXES - WHAT TO DO WITH THEM?




The reason I came up with bake mixes is I really didn't have time to fiddle with each recipe - i.e. come up with something to replace the all-purpose flour each and every time.  I am sure most bloggers figure out a system over time, but varying the "flour" component each time in a recipe can lead to recipe fails and a waste of expensive ingredients. Maybe I am a bit lazy, but that's the story behind them. Give me a simple way to make recipes work typically first time around and I'm happy. With the gluten-free and low-carb bake mixes and even keto bake mixes, we have been blazing a new trail and with the newer bake mixes an even newer trail in the homemade bake mix department.  If you have quit baking for a while or you are going on holiday, no need to throw your bake mix away.  You can freeze or refrigerate the bake mixes for longer storage.  If you only have a little, freeze it anyway and use it at a later date. 

Here are some ideas for your leftover bake mixes:

1)  Breading eggplant, chicken, fish, seafood and even for making Swiss Steak.
2)  Filler for hamburgers, tuna or salmon patties, vegetable patties/fritters, meat loaves.
3)  Keep in the freezer and you can lump different bake mixes together
4)  If you have some leftover and you plan on doing more baking, simply make up a new batch and use up the leftover bake mix first.
5)  To lower the carbs in the bake mix "breading", I usually add Parmesan cheese (the jarred kind) and seasonings.
6)  It can be used to make my special "breadcrumb" topping for casseroles - mixed with grated cheese and melted butter and baked in pie dish at 375 or 350 deg. F. until golden in color.  Break up and sprinkle over casserole.
7)  You can make an English muffin in the microwave oven
8)  Make jiffy muffins, cakes, cookies in the microwave oven with small amounts of bake mix - use either a ramekin or mug.

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Saturday, May 11, 2019

LOW-CARBING AMONG FRIENDS COOKBOOK VOL 1

 On Sale now
[ Sample recipe photos are at the bottom of this post ]

HOW TO ORDER:  Click on --> Amongfriends.us/sale

This is a collaborative effort between low-carbing friends and thus the name, "Low-Carbing Among Friends".  Those were giddy days as we were a big fish in a small pond and now it is just the other way around. Nowadays we are competing against thousands of low-carb cookbooks and many Kindle cookbooks are being given away for free.  However, I believe in our cookbooks and I love using them myself, and I hope others, too, will still get to enjoy them for many years to come!

This is a very large cookbook with 296 pages.  If you even buy 1 cookbook, I would recommend one like this because you have a huge variety to choose from and from different authors as well.  The book has been through 3 Editions (revisions).  The recipes are sorted by category with each author contributing recipes.  The recipes range from very low-carb (below 5 grams of carbs) to below 10 grams of carbs per serving. and it is safe to say most recipes are below 5 grams of carbs per serving.  The recipes are also all gluten-free.

Several glossy color pages of photos are in the center of the cookbook to inspire you to cook or bake something delicious for your family.  For photos you can look at right now, go to amongfriends.us and look under Recipes for the photos inside each cookbook.  The Addendum category with the Indices is out-of-date.  The Index of the 3rd edition is much easier to navigate than what we originally had in the first edition of this cookbook which came out November 11th, 2011.  The 3rd edition (revised) came out in November, 2015.

The Introduction is by George Stella and there is a comprehensive Helpful Hints section with useful measurements' guide for liquid sweeteners such as sucralose and stevia.  Even I refer back to this guide from time to time.  Super useful to have in the kitchen in your LCAF's low-carb cookbook!  Several doctors wrote articles for this cookbook: The Diet Doctor (Andres Eenfeldt), Dr. Parker, Dr. Robert Su and Dr. John Briffa.

The Index is very comprehensive; by category and by alphabet.  It is fairly easy to navigate as if you are looking for a baked item, for instance, you would peruse the Breads, Muffins and More category.  The sub-categories will further help you to quickly find the recipe you desire.


APPETIZERS AND BEVERAGES
Examples: 
Chips - Crispy Potato Skins, Jicama Chips
Meat - Maple's Meat balls, Sausage-stuffed mushrooms
Seafood  - Coconut Almond Shrimp, Finger-food Tuna Snacks
Veggies - Bacon-wrapped Jalapeno Poppers, Stuffed Celery Sticks

BEVERAGES
Examples:
Breakfast Strawberry Smoothie
Low-carb Milk
Ginger Beer
Hot Cocoa Supreme

BREADS, MUFFINS AND MORE
Examples:
Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mixes 1 and 2
Biscuits
Savory Breads, wraps, sandwich bread
Banana Walnut Bread, Carrot Zucchini Loaf
More Sub-Categories: Crackers, Muffins, Pizza Crusts , Scones, Coffee Cakes

BREAKFASTS
Examples:
Eggs - Cowboy Comfort Breakfast Skillet, Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs, Mexican Egg Muffins
Breads such as Coconut Bread French Toast, Biscuits and Gravy
More Sub-Categories: Cereals, Crepes, Miscellaneous, Pancakes, Quiches and Waffles

MAIN COURSES AND SIDES
Examples:
MAIN COURSES:
Beef - Stuffed Meatloaf Minis, Sirloin Steak in Butter Sauce, Taco Bake
Fish and Shellfish - Baked Parmesan Shrimp, Roasted Pecan Herb Salmon, Tuna Burgers
Miscellaneous - Taco Dog
Pork - Citrus and Cilantro Pork Chops, Crock Pot Country Pork Ribs
Poultry - Chicken Florentine Casserole, Enchilada Chicken Paillard, Family-style Chicken
(this section is HUGE!)

SIDES:
Recipes using these vegetables: Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower,
Chayote Squash, Eggplant, Green Beans, Jicama, Miscellaneous, Pumpkin, Spaghetti Squash,
Spinach, Tomato and Zucchini

MISCELLANEOUS
Substantial Section: Crusts, Dressings, Dry Rubs, Frostings, Glazes, Odds and Ends, Sauces, Gravies and Condiments, Sweet Sauces, and Toppings

SALADS AND SOUPS
Salads:
Examples:  American Summer Broccoli Salad, Anti Pasto Salad, German Bacon Salad
Soups:
Examples: African Chicken Peanut Soup, Bacon Cheeseburger Soup, Hot and Sour Soup

SWEET ENDINGS
Cakes
Examples: Almond Vanilla Layer Cake, Lemon Pound Cakes, Low-Carb Poke Cake
Cheesecakes
Examples: Blue Ribbon Cheesecake, Caramel Cheesecake, Pecan Pie Cheesecake,
Stella Style NY Cheesecake Minis
Confections
Examples: Chocolate Almond Butter Candy, Creamy Chewy Toffee, Fudgy Peanut Butter
Coconut Squares, Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy
Cookies and Squares
Examples: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Macaroon Squares, Maple Nut Blondies
Frozen Desserts
Examples: Cappuccino Ice Cream, Chocolate Mint Ice Cream, Ziploc Ice Cream
Pies
Examples: Banana Cream Pie, Chocolate Cream Pie, French Silk Pie, Glazed Strawberry Cheese Pie
Puddings
Examples: Chocolate Kahlua Cream, No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Mousse, Pumpkin Flan Minis

HOW TO ORDER:  Click on --> Amongfriends.us/sale

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Sunday, May 5, 2019

RICH TACO CASSEROLE










RICH TACO CASSEROLE

This was delicious and substantial. This Mexican casserole really tasted as if there were refried beans in it which was rather interesting (nada!) - from the addition of cream cheese, I think. I had fun garnishing the casserole, but you can get creative with that, too.  Black olives would be good as well instead of the stuffed green ones.  I didn’t have any black olives in the house.  Great served with sour cream and even in low-carb “flour” tortillas or cheese tacos or simply served with a sweet mixture of peppers and onions.  I know that sounds weird, but that’s what I did and I loved it.  I love mixing savory and sweet flavors. You could even serve stir-fried cauli rice with this or guacamole, a regular salad or sliced avocado.

2 lbs lean ground beef (1.9 kg)
1 tbsp olive oil (15 mL)
2 tsp mild chili powder (10 mL)
13/4 tsp salt (8 mL)
1 tsp dried parsley (5 mL)
1 tsp black pepper (5 mL)
3/4 tsp ground cumin (3 mL)
1/2 tsp turmeric (2 mL)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (2 mL)
1/2 tsp onion powder, optional (2 mL)
1/4 tsp paprika (1 mL)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (411 g)
8 oz cream cheese, cut up (250 mL)   
4.5 oz can green chilies (127 g)
  (use half if you want it less spicy)
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese (250 mL)
1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese (250 mL)
Sliced Avocado, optional
Chopped Tomato, optional
Olives, optional
Sour cream, optional

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

In large, nonstick frying pan, brown ground beef over medium heat.  Once browned, stir in olive oil.  Sprinkle in the spices; chili powder, salt, parsley, pepper, cumin, turmeric, oregano, onion powder (if using) and paprika. Stir well to combine the spices with the meat. In blender, blend diced tomatoes and add along with cream cheese and green chilies to the meat.  Keep stirring occasionally until all the cream cheese has melted and has been incorporated.  Pour meat mixture, which will be quite thick into a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish.  Sprinkle top of casserole with grated Cheddar cheese.  Let the casserole sit until the warm casserole has melted the Cheddar cheese.  Then sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese in diagonal rows, leaving spaces in between. 

Bake 15 to 20 minutes until the Mozzarella cheese has melted.  Garnish the top of the casserole with avocado, chopped tomatoes, olives and a light sprinkle of grated Cheddar cheese (do this just before serving to make the casserole look even more enticing).  Serve immediately.

Yield:  9 servings
1 serving
425.1 calories
28.1 g protein
32.6 g fat
1.0 g fiber
3.4 g net carbs 

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