Low-Carb, Gluten-Free “Tater” Tots

So here we are in the third week of January…already! In some ways January always goes slowly for me. Even though the days are getting longer, to me,  January seems like a dark and dreary month. Having cold, rainy, cloudy days lately hasn’t helped! It doesn’t matter if the temperatures have been reaching for 70…if it is rainy, it is dreary and depressing!

But in spite of the weather, I’ve had happy family moments. This happened the other day! I love how these pictures  turned out! Can’t wait to make some prints.

On Friday (another dreary, rainy day), the hubby walked in the door with these! Day was made!

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Ben had to leave yesterday for AF training, and he won’t be back until the end of May…saddness! However, he tends to make the best of things, and the other day he had fun with Little Miss Mia.

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I made this basket out of old t-shirts about 2 years ago. Mia uses it for some of her toys and books. Ben decided it would be a great pack for carrying Mia! She was thrilled! Yesterday afternoon when she and her parents arrived for Sunday dinner, Mia walked in the front door and announced, “Hello, Nemmie! I’m home!” I tell ya, my heart just melted!

Yesterday afternoon I got to FaceTime with the Little Man! He is so adorable! I can’t believe that he will be 6 months old soon! I didn’t take a picture of him while we were FaceTiming because I am not skilled at doing that. (Last time I tried it, I cut off the person I was FT with!) However, Barbi shared this picture of him a week or so ago. He is getting chunky!

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For dinner tonight I realized that I needed to use some cauliflower that I had in the fridge. I searched through some of my THM recipes and decided to create my own version of tater tots. If you follow THM or other low-carb eating styles, you already know that cauliflower can be used in place of potatoes. These made a great side dish for salmon and a green salad!

  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 2-1/2 tbsp. almond flour (add more if mixture is too wet)
  • 3/4 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder (or to taste)
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and place in sauce pan with a small amount of water. Bring to a boil and gently cook until fork-tender. Drain the cauliflower, and then squeeze it to remove excess water. **Take the time to do this! You want to get rid of as much moisture as possible! I actually got an extra cup of water from mine after I had drained it! Use cheese cloth or a strainer…whichever works for you.

Chop the cauliflower into tiny pieces. You can mash it or put it into a food processor and gently grind it. DO NOT over-process!

Put the cauliflower into a mixing bowl and add all the other ingredients. Season to taste, adding more spices if needed.

Using an ice cream scoop, shape the mixture into balls. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet and fry balls until golden brown.

This makes about 10 “tater” tots

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Roasted Cauliflower

Last week was a whirl wind of activities! We learned that our deployed son was coming home! Now, we were already planning for his return, since we had a window when he told us he was coming. However, that window closed and he was still on the other side of the world. So when we got the new date, I didn’t tell a soul for fear that it would change again. It didn’t, and I finally got my hug!

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Then the next day I was totally surprised to have my 2Lt show up at my door!!! It seems that everyone in the family knew he was coming except me. That’s ok, because I just love surprises like that!! He came to surprise his girl who was playing in her first university symphony orchestra concert. He had to tell her though, because she already had plans for the weekend!

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I just love having my family come home, and my heart was almost full!  I was totally missing my girl,  but I am thankful that she and Sammy should be here for Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to squeeze that little man again!

This recipe was originally created for potatoes, but I used it last week with cauliflower. It turned out great, and the hubby loved it. It could be used as a potato substitute or as a veggie side dish.

1 large head cauliflower

1/4 to 1/2 c. water

1 tsp. garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic)

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. sea salt

1/2 c. dried parsley (I used dried cilantro since I had no parsley)

1/4 c. butter, melted

Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and place in a microwave-safe dish. Add the water and cover. Microwave until mostly tender. Strain the water and gently squeeze the cauliflower to remove any extra water.

Lightly spray the dish and return cauliflower to it. Sprinkle the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and parsley or cilantro over the top of the cauliflower, and gently stir to combine. Pour the butter on top of the mixture.

Place in a 350* oven and bake uncovered until cauliflower is tender and slightly golden, about 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

 

Breakfast Casserole, THM style!

Things have been pretty quiet around here this week. My little grand darling and her parents are away for a week of family vacation with her other grandparents. I miss that little girl like crazy!! I can’t believe she is almost 2 years old! It won’t be long until she is in “First Day of School” pictures like I’ve been seeing on my Face Book news feed this week. Those children are so adorable!

This is also the time of year for colleges to begin again. It is hard for me to believe that my Citadel grad is starting his second year out of college! I have remained a member of some of the Citadel parent pages on Face Book in order to encourage parents who are new to the 4th class system of a military college. Back when Ben was a knob, I wrote this blog post about mailing packages to him. It is my most viewed post…over 2500 clicks on that post alone! I am amazed!

And of course, my heart misses my newest bundle of love! I can’t wait to see him (and his mommy!) again in September!

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Last week I saw this recipe come through my news feed and realized that I could make it low-carb with no trouble at all. The original recipe called for 1 lb. of hash brown potatoes. I switched that out for finely chopped cauliflower, and it worked great! The hubby even took seconds! This recipe makes 6 large portions.

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Mix these ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

  • 1 lb. chopped cauliflower
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika

Cut  7 slices of bacon into bite-sized pieces and fry them in a skillet. Drain on paper towels.

Mix these ingredients together in another bowl.

  • 6-7 eggs
  • 1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
  • the fried bacon pieces

Lightly oil a baking pan. I used one that is 7 x 11 inches. Press the cauliflower mixture into the pan on the bottom and part way up the sides. Pour the egg mixture on top of the cauliflower. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and 1 tbsp of  chopped, fresh chives.

Bake at 350* for about 40 minutes or until the eggs are firm. Serve with a spoonful of fresh salsa. Enjoy!

 

Roasted Vegetables

It’s not very often any more that we have company over for dinner. However, our dear friends from Northern Ireland were going to be in town for 3 weeks, and we always have them over for dinner when they are here in town. Of course, I always wonder what I should serve for dinner when they come, knowing that they are invited out for dinner a lot while they are here. I asked the guys what they thought, and both of them said Alfredo sauce! I had been thinking of chicken, so I thought that serving the chicken with Alfredo sauce was a great idea. Serving a nice green leafy salad was a given since I knew that they loved good salads.  The hubby had some fresh new potatoes that he dug up the morning of the meal, so I needed a way to serve them as well as a hot veggie dish.

It wasn’t hard to come up with this roasted vegetable dish. It was fast and easy to make and absolutely delicious!  This recipe serves about 10, depending on how much everyone eats. I served the leftovers in a brothy soup on Saturday for lunch.

Doesn’t this look amazing?

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You can use just about any veggies that you want. Here is how I made mine. I didn’t use peppers since one of our guests has a severe allergy to peppers, but next time, I will probably add them.

1 large zucchini

1 large summer squash

1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium red onion

several carrots, peeled and cut up into small pieces, about 1-1/2 cups

2 medium broccoli crowns

about 1-1/2 cups chopped mushrooms

1 medium head cauliflower

about 7-8 new red potatoes, cut into 4ths

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 c. olive oil

salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, parsley, and any other seasonings you desire

Wash and cut up the veggies into bite-sized pieces. Place all of them into a very large bowl for easy stirring. Combine the seasonings and olive oil. Pour over the veggies and stir well to coat all of the veggies.

Lightly spray a large jelly-roll pan. Spread the veggies out on the pan. Bake in a 425 oven for about 12 minutes. Remove pan and stir the veggies to turn them over. Return it to the oven and bake about 10 more minutes or until veggies are tender. **Watch them carefully!! You don’t want them to burn!

Riced Cauliflower

I am sure that title is causing a few of you to cringe a little! Riced cauliflower? Yes! It is very easy to make and can be used instead of rice or quinoa…not in a casserole, though!

I heard about ricing cauliflower over on the THM Facebook page and decided to give it a try last week. The hubby enjoyed it. That is saying a lot since he loves his rice, potatoes, or quinoa. Obviously, the flavor is not the same as rice, but once you add a little gravy (low-carb, of course), it makes a great side for our Sunday dinner pot roast.

Before I share the recipe, let me show you what I harvested from our garden this morning. Yes…this morning…February 6! Last summer and fall, Tim would plant new veggies after harvesting some others so that he could see if he could grow crops year-round. The radishes were planted in the same bed where he grew our sweet potatoes. The carrots grew in the bed where he had the yellow squash. Even though we did have a few days of sub-freezing temps and a brief snow/ice storm, these grew well! I will add them to the crockpot for our Sunday dinner tomorrow!

Ok, now for the cauliflower recipe!

1 large head of cauliflower

2-3 tbsp. coconut oil

salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and other spices to your own liking

Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and put them into the bowl of your food processor. Don’t overload the processor. I did mine in 2 batches. Chop the cauliflower into fine, rice-like pieces.

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet. Add the riced cauliflower and seasonings. Stir gently until all the cauliflower is coated with oil and the spices are well-mixed. Keep stirring as the cauliflower cooks. Once you notice that the cauliflower is shrinking in size, remove it from the heat and serve immediately. It will get mushy if you over-cook it. It should still be crispy when you serve it.

This makes for a great side dish for a pot roast or chicken. Enjoy!

Pina Colada Chicken with Calypso Confetti Cauliflower

In my last post I mentioned a wonderful cauliflower dish that my cousin Mary served my aunt and me when we visited with her.  Mary sent me an email this morning telling me the source of the recipe.  It is from Melissa over at www.theclothesmakethegirl.com.  Melissa and her husband recently published a book containing paleo recipes.  I have heard much about eating the paleo way, but don’t think that I have ever had any paleo meals until last week.  This recipe is amazing!!  I want to make it for my family soon!  Oh, the book is called Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People who Love to Eat.  The majority of the recipes contain no grains, legumes, soy, sugar, dairy or alcohol.

 

This recipe makes enough for 2; easy to double or triple.

8 oz. grilled chicken (If you don’t have already grilled chicken you can just dice the chicken and saute it in some olive oil, then set aside.)

1/2 cup unsweetened, crushed pineapple

1/2 cup coconut milk

juice of 1 lime

2 garlic cloves,

crushed pinch of cayenne pepper

1/2 cup onion, finely diced

1 green pepper, finely diced

1/2 red pepper, finely diced

1 carrot, grated

2-3 cups grated cauliflower

olive oil or coconut oil

 

Directions: 1. Make the sauce. Place the coconut milk, pineapple, lime juice, garlic clove, and cayenne, in a medium sauce pan. Heat over medium while you make the rest of the meal.

2. Prep the vegetables & chicken. Dice the peppers and onion in a 1/4-inch dice; try to make them all the same size so they cook evenly. Shred the carrot with a grater or peeler. Turn the cauliflower to “rice” in a food processor or with a grater; see this link for details. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.

This is where things start happening faster. Get ready! Dinner is so close, and it’s really tasty.

3. Cook the vegetables. Put some oil in a skillet. I used 1 teaspoon for the onions, peppers, and carrot – cook those vegetables until they’re tender and starting to brown. Then I added another 2 teaspoons of oil, the cauliflower, a pretty good sprinkle of salt, and stir-fried the whole thing ’til it was hot and slightly browned.

4. Heat the chicken. I used the microwave. You can also just throw in the chicken on top of the veggies and re-heat it that way.

5. Assemble. Make a bed of Calypso Confetti Cauliflower on a plate, then top with the diced chicken. Remove the sauce from the stove and take a big whiff – it smells heavenly! Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables.