The beauty of searching the web for recipes is that you'll find zillions that might meet your life style, diet and tastes. My search for a low carb pulled chicken broccoli casserole yielded this recipe from the 'Joy Filled Eats' website. Since I did not create this recipe, I like to give credit where credit is due. I tweaked the recipe a skosh and the results were scrumptious!
Part of the recipe title had the following initials "THM S". What the heck is THM S you ask? I learned it stands for 'Trim Healthy Mama' and the 'S' is for Satisfying - Low in Carbs - Protein & Fats. Until now I'd never heard of The Trim Healthy Mama Lifestyle but it claims to be a sound, effective and delicious way to eat for health and weight loss. Either way, this was an easy and wonderful tasting recipe.
Now it's no secret that I'm far from being a 'Trim Healthy Mama' but if I continue to eat these kinds of delicious low carb meals I should become more healthy and with some added exercise someday I could be more trim ... Course watching my portion sizes really needs to be a top priority.
Ingredients: half a pulled Costco rotisserie chicken, 1 lb fresh broccoli steamed to Al Dente, ⅓ lb of crumbled cooked bacon, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp minced onion, 1 tbsp parsley, ½ tsp seasoned salt, ½ tsp black pepper, 8 oz package of cream cheese - softened, ½ cup sour cream, ½ cup mayo, and 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
Directions: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine cream cheese/sour cream/mayo/spices in a large bowl. Fold in the chicken, broccoli, half the crumbled bacon and 2 cups shredded cheese. Place mixture into a greased 9x13" baking dish. Top with remaining shredded cheese and crumbled bacon. Bake until hot and bubbly for about 35 to 45 minutes.
As I started researching low carb pizzas I kept running into something called a "Meatza". Turns out it's been a standard low carb recipe since around 1999 which uses a meat crust instead of a dough crust. Yeah, that's what I said ... meat crust? Fast forward to last night's dinner and man O man was it ever a success all around. The Money $Shot above speaks for itself!! Looks like a pizza, cuts like a pizza, and tastes like a pizza - don't forget your fork. One, maybe two Meatza slices with a side of salad will more than satisfy any hearty appetite. Just like pizza, variations of Meatza recipes are endless - limited only by your imagination and taste buds ... Best of all, just like pizza it's great hot or cold and keeps well in the refrigerator.
The first big lesson I learned is that you need to use lean ground beef to prevent shrinkage. This time I baked the meat crust in a preheated 400ºF oven but next time I will be making the Meatza Pie in my MAK 2 Star. Baked the crust for 15 -20 minutes (depending on thickness) until the crust reached an internal temperature of 160ºF. Removed and drained the grease/fat. Used a paper towel to dab away grease/fat from the top of the meat crust.
- 1 lb lean ground beef (something I didn't use this time)
- ¼ cup minced red onions
- ¼ cup Italian style bread crumbs or any low carb alternative
- 1 egg
- Garlic salt, seasoned salt, granulated garlic & black pepper to taste
Toppings: This is what I used but change anything to meet your preferences
- 2+ cups of mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 cup of pizza sauce - more or less
- Sliced mushrooms, sliced red onion, black olives, sliced deli pepperoni & shredded Parmesan cheese
Topped the meat crust with a layer of mozzarella, pizza sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, red onion, pepperoni, and olives. Placed Meatza pie back in the 400ºF oven and baked for an additional 10 - 15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
If you're watching your carbs then you might want to look at spaghetti squash as an alternative to pasta. A cup of cooked spaghetti squash strands has 10g of carbs whereas a cup of cooked spaghetti has 40g. Does it really taste like spaghetti? NO ... But its texture makes it tasty enough to pair with your favorite spaghetti sauce, beef stroganoff, and a zillion other items.
I've baked/roasted spaghetti squash in my MAK 2 Star and/or oven many times and it always comes out fine. This method, however, takes 40-60 minutes. It can also be cooked in the microwave.
But in your Instant Pot (IP), or any pressure cooker, it only takes 7 minutes. A spaghetti squash fits just fine in the IP. Cut the squash in half lengthwise from stem to tail and scrape out the seeds. You might want to drizzle the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 cup of water and place the squash on the steaming rack. Make sure that the steam release hand is set to sealing (not venting). Press Manual and navigate to 7 minutes. When the IP beeps the squash is done. Carefully use the Quick Release method to release the pressure. Scrape out the strands (noodles) and serve.
Pellet Grilled NY Steaks with Cauliflower Bake
Pellet Grilled NY Steaks with Cauliflower Bake - If you're looking to cut back on carbs these days like I am then you might want to check out this post cause it's loaded with a few options you might want to add to your stash of recipes. First, we all know that steaks do not have any carbs so that's a good start. Throw in a cauliflower bake which is composed of cauliflower, butter, heavy cream, cheddar, Parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper and your carb count is still pretty minimal. Only thing missing is a small green salad. Here's where you need to pay attention to the carbs in the salad dressing. I think this is where my downfall is. I tend to be a little heavy handed at times ... something I need to work on. All in all, this turned out to be a great low carb meal.
If your wood pellet smoker-grill has the capability of direct cooking then configure your grill for such. My MAK 2 Star General's direct cooking is called the FlameZone. Preheat your pellet grill on high using any available wood pellets on hand. Reason being is that at such high temperatures you will not produce any smoke. I recommend using a searing grate if you have one in order to help create those beautiful sear marks. No, the searing marks do not make the steak taste any better but it sure makes them look fantastic.
Allow the steaks to come to room temperature before grilling. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Grill the steaks for about 3 minutes before using a Pig Tail food flipper to rotate them 90º. This is how you create those cross marks. Grill for an additional 3 minutes before flipping the steaks over. Grill until the steaks are done to your desired preference. I like my steak medium-rare so I take mine till the internal temperature reaches 135º to 140ºF. Allow the steaks to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 4 tbsp butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 tsp dry thyme leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Boil or steam cauliflower florets until tender (9 to 13 minutes)
- Preheat oven to 400ºF
- Spray baking dish with non-stick spray
- Place half the florets on the bottom of the baking dish
- Pour half the heavy cream over florets
- Season with half the salt and pepper
- Dot with half the butter and sprinkle half the garlic
- Sprinkle half the cheddar and Parmesan cheese
- Repeat with remaining ingredients
- Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is melted and golden brown
- Let cool for 5 minutes before serving
Smoked a little 14 pound spatchcock turkey on my MAK 2 Star yesterday. Served with a small twist. Instead of the normal mashed potatoes I chose to replace them with mashed sweet potatoes because I need to start watching my carbs. I didn't say eliminate my carbs all together so I had to keep the stuffing and a traditional green bean casserole. As always ... once the Money $Shot photo was taken I drowned everything with mucho gravy!
Spatchcocked the turkey and seasoned on and under the skin with extra virgin olive oil and Jan's Original Dry Rub. Wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for 4 hours. Preheated the MAK 2 Star with Hickory to 180ºF and smoked the turkey for 2 hours. Bumped the pit temperature to 350ºF until the IT at the thickest part of the breast reached 170ºF. Rested the turkey loosely under a foil tent for 15 minutes before pulling the turkey.
For those who may not be familiar with the term "spatchcock" here's a brief explanation:
The spatchcock, also known as "spattlecock", is poultry or game that has been prepared for smoking, roasting or grilling by removing the backbone, and sometimes the sternum of the bird and flattening it out before cooking. The preparation of a bird in such a manner for cooking is more popularly known as butterflying the bird.
Since there is only the two of us we'll have lots of pulled turkey for future use. Looking forward to grazing, soup(s), and casseroles. Every year during the Christmas holidays I like to stock up on a few smaller turkeys and freeze them for future use during the year. Stores practically give turkeys away to get you into the store.