Chicken and Zucchini Poppers

I found this recipe a while back and finally got around to trying them.  Everyone loved them and what was even better was being able to tell Ellen they were ZERO carbs.  These little gems work for Ellen and her lower carb life, but they are also gluten free, paleo and Whole 30.  So, they would make many of you out there love this simple pick up snack.  We made them for lunch during the UL/Duke game and they were perfect for eating sitting around while watching the game.  We will definitely make them again and may even make some ahead to freeze for an easy after school snack.

chicken-zucchini-poppers-wtxt

Chicken and Zucchini Poppers

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (leave peel on)
  • 2 – 3 green onions, sliced
  • 3 – 4 Tablespoons parsley or cilantro, minced (you may choose which additional flavor you would like to add.  I chose parsley)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • olive oil for cooking (or coconut or avocado oil)

Directions

  1. Grate the zucchini and place into a bowl. Do not dry out any of the natural water from the zucchini.
  2. Toss with the green onions, parsley or cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.
  3. Add in the ground chicken and mix well.  Mixture will be quite wet in touch and appearance.
  4. Make into poppers or meatballs.
  5. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on a baking sheet.
  6. Place the meatballs onto the prepared baking sheet and drizzle a bit of additional olive oil over top of the meatballs.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes, or until cooked through.
  8. Place under a broiler for an additional 2 – 3 minutes or until browned on top.
  9. Serve with guacamole, salsa, ranch, or your favorite dip.

Nutritional Information: Poppers are 0 carbs. You would have to add in any carbs from dipping sauce of your choice.  We used salsa so that it stayed at 0 carbs.

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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.

lasagna-520

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

Honey Lime Shrimp

During the summer we like to have different types of kebabs on the grill.  The honey lime shrimp are wonderful and give a sweet taste when combined on a kebab.  Plus, now that we have found Sugar Free Honey it is a low carb option.  Since you do not want to over cook the shrimp, I usually just make kebabs of only shrimp and then separate veggie kebabs.

honey lime shrimp

Honey Lime Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Sugar Free Honey
  • Juice of 1 large lime (4 – 5 Tablespoons)
  • Zest of 1 small lime
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper

Directions

  1. In a large ziplock bag combine all of the marinade ingredients and mix well.
  2. Place the shrimp in the bag and place it in the fridge.
  3. Marinate for 30 – 60 minutes flipping the bad a couple times during the process.  DO NOT marinate longer than and hour and a half, as the citric acid will start “cooking” the shrimp.
  4. Place the shrimp on the kebabs. If you are not planning on placing them on skewers, let them sit on the counter at room temperature for 10 minutes prior to cooking.
  5. Prepare a medium high heat grill.  Cook the skewers about 1 minute and then flip. Cook another 30 seconds or so until the shrimp are opaque.
  6. Serve immediately

Nutritional Information: 1/4 pound shrimp – 2 g carbs

BBQ Chicken Skewers

I love the smell of BBQ chicken on the grill! Plus my favorite part of the BBQ chicken are the little pieces that get crispy. So, if you cut your chicken into small pieces to cook you should get a lot of the crispiness.  This recipe lets you marinate the chicken about an hour before cooking, which also gives the chicken a great flavor and tenderness.  I have found a new staple in our summer menus.

BBQ chicken

BBQ Chicken Skewers

Ingredients

  • 6 – 8 Chicken thighs, cubed
  • 1/3 cup of Sugar Free Honey
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Porter or Stout beer
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • BBQ sauce of choice.  I use Mark’s Feed Store Red Sauce which is a local company and only 7 g carbs a serving.
  • Bamboo Skewers

Directions

  1. In a small bowl whisk together honey, porter, soy sauce, mustard and garlic powder.
  2.  Place cubed chicken thighs in a dish and pour the marinade over top. Cover, refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  3. Soak the bamboo skewers for at least 30 minutes in water before preparing.
  4. Once they have soaked 30 minutes – 1 hour, pull chicken cubes out of the marinade and place on the skewers.
  5. Spray the completed skewers on both slides lightly with cooking spray.
  6. Preheat the grill to medium high and prepare grates.
  7. Brush the chicken with the BBQ sauce and place on the grill. Turn every 2 – 4 minutes and brush with more BBQ each time until cooked through.

Nutritional Information – 1 skewer is about 5 g carbs (based on our BBQ sauce and marinade)

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!

chicken-marsala-pasta

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!

Chicken-breast-stuffed-with-cheese-and-zucchini

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

Beef and Broccoli

This recipe is one of our favorites because it is a quick one to cook.  Sarah’s dance schedule means many times we eat without her or eat late once she is home.  Beef and broccoli is great because I can do all the prep work, then it takes Mike no time to cook it up while I pick up Sarah.  Once again, this recipes only real carbs come from the rice.  For this dinner we actually prefer brown rice – so it is a complex carb as well.  Next time you need a quick dinner give this one a try!

beef and broccoli

Beef and Broccoli

Ingredients

Marinade:

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp Swerve, granular
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 2 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 pound top sirloin roast

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Splenda Brown Sugar Mix
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sherry

Cooking:

  • 1 – 2 heads of broccoli
  • 3  Tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Whisk together all ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl.
  2. Cut the steak into long thin slices and mix with the marinade coating the pieces evenly.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce.  Whisk well. This can be made ahead, just whisk and remix when ready to cook.
  5. Cut the broccoli heads into pieces and place in a pot filled with water. Blanche the broccoli. Remove and drain and set aside.
  6. Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan or wok over high heat. When oil is shimmering, reduce heat to medium high and add the broccoli and cook about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside
  7. Heat remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.
  8. Add the marinated meat and 1/2 of the sauce. Saute for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring often, until meat is cooked through and no longer pink.
  9. Stir in broccoli and remaining sauce. Saute for a minute more.

Nutritional Information: Beef and Broccoli alone is 1 g carbs per serving. Served with 3/4 cup cooked brown rice 34 g carbs – so entire serving is 35 g carbs.