Meatsauce Lasagna

Homemade lasagna is one of my favorites!  I took a recipe a few years back and changed a few things making it our own.  It is a wonderful recipe. For a pasta dish, homemade lasagna is not extremely high carb, primarily because you control the sauce that is used.  So, when you are craving that pasta meal, give this version a try.

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Meatsauce Lasagna

Ingredients

  • Full batch of The Best Marinara Sauce (recipe found here)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 16 slices of smoked provolone cheese
  • 16 slices of mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Make the marinara sauce and let it simmer on the stovetop.
  3. Brown the pound of ground beef and drain.
  4. Place the ground beef into the marinara sauce and continue to simmer.
  5. Brown the half pound of Italian sausage, drain, and add to the sauce.
  6. Cook the lasagna noodles until just al dente.
  7. While the noodles are cooking, mix together the ricotta cheese, egg, and dried parsley
  8. Once the noodles are ready, drain and you can start to layer the lasagna.
  9. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with canola spray and place just enough meat sauce mixture to thinly cover the bottom of the dish.
  10. Lay lasagna noodles over the sauce
  11. Spread 1/2 of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles
  12. Place about 10 slices of provolone cheese so that they cover the ricotta mixture.
  13. Spread 1/2 of the remaining sauce over the provolone cheese.
  14. Lay another layer of lasagna noodles
  15. Spread remaining ricotta mixture over the nooodles.
  16. Place about 10 slices of mozzarella cheese so that they cover the ricotta mixture.
  17. Spread remaining sauce over the mozzarella cheese.
  18. Add final layer of lasagna noodles
  19. Cover the noodles with remaining provolone and mozzarella slices.
  20. Spray aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover the lasagna. This will keep the foil from sticking.
  21. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes
  22. Remove the foil and continue to bake another 25 minutes
  23. Broil for about 2 – 4 minutes if needed to brown the cheese on top.
  24. Let the lasagna sit out of the oven about 15 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information: 1 serving (1/8 of recipe) is 30 g carbs

Chicken Marsala

We love pasta but as everyone knows it is not a carb friendly meal. What I have found works best is to make Italian meals with pasta as a portion or side with the meal.  It gives you the chance to enjoy pasta and still keep the portions controlled. Plus if you can select a better pasta, like Ronzoni Pasta which will help out with blood sugar spikes. So, give this Chicken Marsala a try!

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Chicken Marsala

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 3/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 8 skinless breast tenderloins
  • 8 oz baby portabella mushrooms
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons white wine
  • 2 teaspoons Splenda brown sugar blend
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch

Directions

  1. Slice the mushrooms into 1/2 inch thick pieces.
  2. In a shallow bowl, combine the eggs and half and half.
  3. In another shallow bowl place the breadcrumbs
  4. Dredge the chicken in the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs.
  5. In a skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter and oil.  Add the garlic and brown the chicken.  You do not have to cook the chicken through – just brown them.
  6. Remove the chicken and add the mushrooms.
  7. Saute the mushrooms till skillet is starting to get dry.
  8. Add the marsala wine, 1/2 cup white wine and brown sugar to the mushrooms.  Cook for about 2 minutes.
  9. Place the chicken back in the skillet, cover and simmer on med low for about 30 minutes.
  10. In a small dish, combine cornstarch and 2 Tablespoons of white wine.
  11. Remove the chicken tenderloins to a serving dish, then add the cornstarch mixture to the skillet.  Turn the heat up and thicken the sauce. Once it is to your thickness pour over the chicken.
  12. Serve over small portion of pasta.

Nutritional Information: 1 serving (2 tenderloins) without pasta – 10 g carbs

Chicken Rollatini

This is a great summer recipe for chicken and fresh zucchini.  It changes things up a little and looks very impressive, while not the difficult. Plus I usually make extra zucchini filling and place it out as an appetizer with tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

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Chicken Rollatini

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 – 2 medium zucchini, shredded.  Need at least 1 1/2 cups for the chicken portion.
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Romano cheese
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese (increase if you make extra filling)
  • 8 thin cut chicken breast cutlets
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Wash and dry the cutlets and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare baking dish with non-stick spray.
  3. In a large skillet heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high heat.
  4. When hot, saute the garlic for about 1 minute or until golden. Add zucchini and romano cheese and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and when it has cooled some add the mozzarella cheese and mix together.
  6. Lay the chicken cutlets down on a surface and spread 3 Tablespoons of zucchini mixture over the cutlet.
  7. Loosely roll each one and place with seam side down.
  8. Place breadcrumbs in one bowl and lemon juice in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a second one.
  9. Dip the chicken in the lemon-oil mix and then in the breadcrumbs.
  10. Place in the prepared pan with the seam side down.
  11. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes and serve immediately

Nutritional Information: Serving size is 2 chicken rollatini for 10 g carbs

Cauliflower Breadsticks

These were a staple in our house even before trying to watch the carbs – so now they are great! We fix these before homemade pizza or calzones and they give you a great breadstick appetizer and your vegetables.  When the girls have friends over we never tell them what they are eating until AFTER they have tried them.  It never fails that everyone likes them – so give them a try. We love to serve them with left over marinara.

Cauliflower-Breadsticks-Recipe

Cauliflower Breadsticks

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
  • 3 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Cut the cauliflower into small sections and place in a food processor to grate.
  3. Place the cauliflower in a bowl and add 1 whole egg and 1 egg white and mix until all of the cauliflower is lightly coated in egg.
  4. Add the seasonings.  If you feel it needs more, please add.  I usually just do this to sight.
  5. Add in the cheese.
  6. Prepare a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper and spread the mixture out.  A nice thin layer is the best – even if you do not use all of the mixture.
  7. Place in the oven for 35 minutes.  At 35 minutes start checking every couple minutes.  They are ready when they are lightly browned on top.
  8. Remove and cut into stick slices.  Serve with marinara for dipping.

Nutritional Information – 1/4 of the recipe is 5 g carbs.

The Best Marinara Sauce

Growing up our family would eat Spaghetti with some friends very often and I loved their homemade Spaghetti Sauce.  I tried many versions of marinara sauces and this one is very close to Sue’s sauce.  So, it quickly became a staple in our house.  Now pasta is not low carb, but their are better types of pasta.  We use Ronzoni pasta. You can make this up in large batches and freeze it too.  Enjoy.

marinara

The Best Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes – Italian seasoned
  • 1 can tomato paste – Italian seasoned
  • 2 Tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • salt to taste (i use a dash)
  • 1/2 cup white wine

Directions

  1. Place tomatoes, basil, parsley, oregano, garlic and salt in a blender.  Blend until smooth
  2. Pour into a sauce pan and add the white wine and cover.
  3. Simmer on low for at least 1 hour.  I tend to simmer mine for a few hours.

Nutritional Information – no sugar added to anything in this sauce.  We usually just do 5 g carbs for the tomatoes.

Simple Calzones

Who doesn’t love pizza? We all know that pizza is a challenge on your blood sugar, and yes we all still eat it some too. But these calzones are a great way to get a pizza taste and have many fewer carbs.  Plus if your family has different toppings they like and dislike, each calzone can be made to order.  Sounds like a perfect pizza night to me.

calzones

Simple Calzones

Ingredients

  •  16 whole frozen, unrisen yeast dinner rolls (I use Rhodes)
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
  • toppings you desire – pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, garlic, banana peppers…
  • 1 – 2 egg whites for wash

Directions

  1. Spray a glass 9×13 pan with cooking spray.  Set frozen rolls in the pan spread apart.  Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover the pan.  Let sit for 2 – 3 hours to rise.
  2. In a bowl combine the ricotta, mozzarella cheese and parsley.
  3. Prepare any toppings. We cook the sausage with Italian seasoning.  Saute the mushrooms with garlic and butter.
  4. Once the rolls are ready, make each calzone 1 at a time.
  5. Spread the roll as flat as possible. Put some of the ricotta mixture in the middle.
  6. Add any other topping desired.
  7. Fold it closed and press the edges down with a fork to seal.
  8. Place on a prepared pizza stone.
  9. Repeat with the rest of the rolls.
  10. Once all of the calzones are made brush each one with the egg white wash.
  11. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 12 – 15 minutes- or until golden brown.
  12. Serve with Marinara.

Nutritional Information – Serving size is 2 calzones.  Each calzone is 19 carbs, so 2 is just 38 carbs.

Cheesy Garlic Bread

We love pasta in our house and this is not a low carb item.  I have found a great pasta (see products section) and we still have our favorite Italian dishes.  Now, who doesn’t love garlic bread with your Italian dinner.  I decided this was the easier place to cut the carbs for our dinner, so I began looking for other options.  We love our cauliflower breadsticks but also wanted some other options.  So I started my search and found these fabulous breadsticks from Cut The Wheat.  Everyone loved them and they went great with our Italian dinner.  The original recipe is on the Cut The Wheat site, but I made a couple tweaks the second time I made them which made them crispier.  If you like a crispier  breadstick use the recipe below. Hope you will love them too.

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Cheesy Garlic Bread

Ingredients (for bread base)

  • 1  1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 3 egg whites, beaten until fluffy
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp live yeast granules
  • 1 tsp swerve granular sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

Ingredients (for topping)

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp garlic powder (to taste)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, salt, baking powder, garlic powder and xanthum gum.  Stir well
  3. In a small cup or bowl combine warm water and swerve and stir until dissolved.  Then add yeast.  Set aside for a few moments and stir occasionally to help dissolve yeast.
  4. To the flour mixture, add olive oil and yeast water mixture and stir well.  It will be sticky – so a rubber spatula could help.  Add in beaten eggs and continue to mix.
  5. Add in the 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and mix gently until a nice dough is formed and cheese is mixed throughout.
  6. Grease a large cookie sheet.  Put the batter on the sheet.  Loosely form into a rectangle.  I like it about 1/4 inch thick to help crispiness.  The thicker you spread it the softer the end result.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 15 – 17 minutes or until the sides of the crust turn a golden brown.  Remove from the oven and add toppings.
  8. In a tiny bowl, combine butter and garlic powder.  Mix well, then brush over the top of the garlic base.  Be sure to get the butter over every inch.
  9. Top the bread with the shredded mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10  minutes or until cheese in melted.  For the final 3 minute, turn broiler on to brown cheese.  Watch during the broiling process and pull out when ready.
  11. Let brad stand for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information:  (entire recipe – 1750 calories, 40 g carbs, 20 g fiber, 160 g fat, 80 g protein)

  • cut into 16 breadsticks – each stick has 109 calories, 2.5 g carbs, 1.25 g fiber, 10 g fat, 5 g protein