Skillet Moussaka

d12f9d29bf86ba8e69c134926eb859b0I worked in downtown Detroit for many years, my office being but two blocks from Greek town. I thus became something of an expert on Greek food.

Moussaka is a favorite of mine and I’ve made several casseroles over the year, but this recipe is a good but quick substitute. It comes together quite fast, and tastes surprisingly good.

Great for a quick meal.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced.
  • 1 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • dash pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 ounces shredded Monterey jack or mozzarella cheese, grated
  • chopped parsley (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Peel and cut eggplant into diced chunks about 1/2 inch each.
  2. Brown beef with garlic in skillet; drain.
  3. Add eggplant, tomato paste, water, oregano, salt, onion powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, and pepper.
  4. Cook about 10 minutes or until eggplant is tender.
  5. Combine milk and egg in small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add milk mixture. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until thickened
  7. Power white sauce over meat mixture. Top with cheese.
  8. Place skillet in oven about 6 inches from broiler and broil on high for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is browned. If you don’t want to turn oven on, you can cover the skillet and just cook until the cheese melts.
  9. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top if desired.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You can make a traditional roux of flour and butter if you wish instead of the egg, but the carbs will be higher.

SOURCE: Low Carb Yum

Lemon Crock Pot Cake

lemonThis is a good serviceable dessert. It comes together easily and of course takes care of itself in a slow cooker. The flavor is quite good, the texture fine.

You can add a fruit puree as a topping, or whipped cream. A ganache might be quite effective as well.

This looks rather plain, but dressed up with a topping, it becomes a fine company dessert.

Enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
3 tablespoons sweetener of your choice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup whipping cream
Juice from two lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
Zest from two lemons
2 eggs
TOPPING:
3 tablespoons granulated sweetener of your choice
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons lemon juice
INSTRUCTIONS:
    1. Combine almond flour, coconut flour, sweetener, baking powder, and xanthan gum in medium bowl.
    2. Whisk together butter, whipping cream, lemon juice, zest and egg in large bowl.
    3. Add dry mix to wet mix and combine until well blended. Spread into 2-4 quart slow cooker crock lined with aluminum foil.
TOPPING:
  1. Combine all topping ingredients in bowl and pour over cake batter in crock.
  2. Cover crock pot and cook on high setting about 2-3 hours or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  3. Serve warm with fresh fruit and whipped cream, if desired.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: Since slow cookers come in so many sizes and powers, it’s rather difficult to give the correct time for cooking. But since slow cooking is slow, you have plenty of wiggle room. Just start checking early and every fifteen minutes or so after the first hour and a half or so.

SOURCE: Lowcarbyum

Plum Chutney*

17f41a407b1e02467ce9c67ca30ef18bNot everyone is a chutney fan, but I love the stuff. It goes so well with pork and chicken I find and the blend of sweet and sour is particularly enticing with meat that has minimum individual flavor.

This is quick to do up, and I popped mine into a hot water bath for 10 minutes just to be sure.

It made four half pints.

INGREDIENTS:

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine sugars and vinegar in a large saucepan. (Note: I did not add the stevia until after everything had cooked down. Even though it is heat stable, I decided to add it at the end.)
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugars dissolve.
  3. Add remaining ingredients; mix well and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and cook gently 45-50 minutes until thickened.
  5. Stir often to keep chutney from scorching.
  6. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal.
  7. Place in hot water bath and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove and cool. Check each for proper seal.
  8. Store for 4 weeks before opening.
  9. Store opened jar in refrigerator.

SERVES: 4 half-pints

NOTES: I reduced the brown sugar by half in the recipe. You need not peel the plums, Just remove the pit and chop roughly.

SOURCE: Food.com

Chimichurri Sauce

chimichurri-sauce I came across this sauce a few years ago, and never thought to try it. But one day, I decided to give it a whirl with a lovely ribeye steak we were grilling.

I was surprised that it worked so well with steak. It seemed to just brighten the natural flavors of the beef.

So I urge you to give it a go. I suspect it works nicely with any grilled meat.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup fresh (flat-leaf) parsley leaves, tightly packed
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, tightly packed
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup good-quality olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Put everything in a food processor and whir it up.

SERVES: 1 cup

NOTES: You can easily half this recipe although it keeps well in the fridge. Just remove and bring to room temp before serving.

SOURCE: Gimme Some Oven

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie*

2009_0221Image0008 This is simply the best substitute for a regular chocolate chip cookie I’ve found. It’s my new favorite. With this base, you can probably do about anything you desire with other flavors adding and subtracting as the mood strikes you.

All manner of dried fruit, nuts, other things like peanut butter chips, or mint will work here just fine.

Make this in a brownie pan just as easily as a pie dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cans white beans or garbanzos (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup quick oats (or certified-gf quick oats)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tbsp oil (canola, veg, or coconut)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C sugar substitute of your choice
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Blend everything (except the chips) very well in a good food processoR.
  2. Mix in chips, and pour into an oiled pan (I used a 10-inch springform pan, but you can use a smaller pan if you want a really deep-dish pie.)
  3. Bake at 350F for around 35-40 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

SERVES: 9-12

NOTES: Add anything at all that strikes you. Coconut, dried cherries, any nuts you like. Vary the chips and flavorings. Substitute another flavoring for vanilla.

SOURCE: adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

Chocolate Oh My Mousse*

maxresdefault I’ll walk a mile for a good mousse. Two for a good chocolate one. This sure fits the bill.

I have to say that avocado works well in making puddings but in the back of your mind you always have this green image in your mind that does not comport with chocolate.

This one doesn’t offend my sense of what goes with what.

This is purely heaven.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 oz silken tofu
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk of choice or a bit more if needed
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  •  1-2 tbsp sugar/sweetener of choice

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Melt the chocolate, either on the stove or in the microwave.
  2. Then throw everything into a food processor and blend until super-smooth.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: Again, this is stiff enough that it will work as a cake filling or topping on a cream pie.

SOURCE: Chocolate Covered Kate

Sugar Free Plum Jam

beach-plum-jam-dt I think people balk at making jams because they think they are too hard and too labor intensive. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Mix together a few ingredients and then simmer away until you like the consistency then dip in a water bath for a few minutes and you’re done. The process may take some time, but your involvement is actually fairly minimal.

And did I mention that your jam will be utterly wonderful?

This relies on natural pectin to do the thickening, so it could not be easier.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 quarts chopped fruit (8 cups)
  • 1-2 cup sugar substitute (I used stevia granular and about 1 c) (based on taste)
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. The fruit need not be in small dice, just roughly chopped getting out the pits.
  2. Add all the ingredients but the sugar into a sauce pan.
  3. Bring to a soft boil and continue bubbling for up to two hours (or more if needed) until the mixture has reduced to a thickness you like.
  4. Once it is where you want it, add your sugar and mix in until it melts.
  5. Ladle into sterile jelly jars. Cap as usual and add to a hot water bath and boil softly for 10 minutes. Remove and cool.
  6. Check lids for proper sealing and store in a dark cool place until ready to eat.

SERVES: 4 half-pints

NOTES: While Stevia is heat stable, I don’t want to push it when the mixture has to boil for several hours. So I added the sugar at the end. I’m not certain the water bath is essential but better safe than sorry.

SOURCE: Jarspot