Category: Low-Carb

Caribbean, Casseroles, Cleaning Out Refrigerator and Pantry, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Ingredient Substitutions, Latin, Low-Carb, Main Course, Meat, Quick Meals

Pastelón de Plátano – Plantain and Meat Casserole

I learned how to make this dish from my Dominican classmate in college. It is made using sweet and green plantains that are boiled and mashed and sandwiched around a ground meat preparation similar to Picadillo (a Mexican sweet-and-sour ground meat main course) covered with cheese and baked. Think of it as a Carribean lasagne. […]

Caribbean, Cooking Techniques, Easy, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Latin, Low-Carb, Oils and Dressings, Sauces and Condiments, Spice Blends (Masalas)/Seasonings, Understanding Spices

Achiote (Annatto) Oil

Achiote (Annatto) seeds have been used in Mexico, the Carribean, and the Philipines to impart a deep orange-yellow color and fruity mildly peppery flavor to food. I make a cup of this oil and use it for recipes from these regions. Prep time: 3 minutes Cook time: 5 minutes Yield: 1 cup INSTRUCTIONS Add both […]

Asian, Beverages, Breakfast, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Indian, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Vegetarian

Mango Lassi

There are about 1,100 varieties of mangoes in the world with a majority of the fruit coming from India. Mangoes are a wonderful summer fruit. They are delicious and nutritious. My Mom used to say (translated into English, of course) “In the morning, they are Gold, in the afternoon, Silver, and the evening, Brass”. In […]

Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Asian, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Indian, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Sauces and Condiments, Vegan, Vegetarian

Tamarind Chutney – Imli Ki Chutney

My family and I love tamarind chutney. It has a sweet and sour fruity taste that is in perfect balance on the palate. It is a must if you are serving Indian high tea as many of the savory offerings are paired with it. I use it: As a condiment for samosas (triangular, filled pastries), […]

Asian, Cooking Techniques, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Indian, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Sauces and Condiments, Understanding Spices, Vegan, Vegetarian

Tamarind Pulp – Imli

Tamarind is used in many countries. Mexico uses it for making sweets and drinks, Asians, especially Indians, use it in cooking, for drinks, and in chutneys. Tamarind imparts a sweet-tart taste and is very nutritious. It can be purchased as a concentrate, a pulp or as dried fruit in a plastic block. I use the […]

Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Asian, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Indian, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Sauces and Condiments, Understanding Spices, Vegan, Vegetarian

Mint/Coriander Chutney

This chutney is used as a relish during a meal, a condiment alongside pakodas (savory fritters) and samosas, a filling for Indian high tea finger sandwiches or as one of the sauces used in making Behl Puri (a diced salad with crisp, puffed rice). This chutney can be made with mint only (leaves only), coriander […]

Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Easy, European, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Ingredient Substitutions, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Middle Eastern, Quick Meals, Sauces and Condiments, Side Dish, Vegetarian

Greek Yogurt Dip

I had a version of this dip at Margaret and Franco’s home at one of their parties and decided to try out this version for my entertainment offering. I have served it for book club and large parties and have been asked for the recipe by several people. Hands-on time: 10 minutes Yield: 2 cups […]

Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Breakfast, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Middle Eastern, Quick Meals, Sauces and Condiments, Vegetarian

Feta Cheese Spread

I like to throw cocktail parties where I serve a variety of hearty appetizers and some signature drinks in addition to the usual wine and beer. Here is yet another quick recipe for an appetizer (or, an afternoon snack, as I served this to my kids as well). You can make a lot of this […]

American, Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Breakfast, Easy, European, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Quick Meals, Vegetarian

1-Minute Cheese Spread

Here is another idea for a quick appetizer for entertaining. It is delicious with crispy bread chips. I did this for my holiday cocktail parties with over 50 guests. It’s pain-free entertainment. INSTRUCTIONS Place the cheese of your choice in a slightly curved dish or one with a slight lip. Pour either the Agave nectar […]

American, Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Quick Meals, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

5-Minute Layered Dip

During the summer, we have a large family gathering. With 13 mouths to feed over a week-long period, I look for meals and appetizers that don’t take up a lot of time and still suit the varied diets and palates of the family. Here’s an idea for a layered dip that requires no work yet […]

American, Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Salad, Vegetarian

Cheese Filled Peppadews

I had this appetizer at the home of one of my Solon, Ohio book club members. It was so good that I just could not stop myself from eating them. Peppadews are a sweet, slightly spicy pickled pepper that closely resembles the round, Italian hot cherry pepper. However, the peppadew is much milder and the […]

Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Casseroles, Cleaning Out Refrigerator and Pantry, Cooking Techniques, Easy, European, Family Favorites, Heart Healthy, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Quick Meals, Sauces and Condiments, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Cauliflower Béchamel

I made this on a lark when I was trying to finish some milk that was coming close to its expiration date. It turned out to be a new favorite with my kids as it tastes surprisingly like mac-n-cheese but without the macaroni or the cheese. Imagine! Guilt-free mac-n-cheese. It is made in the same […]

Casseroles, Cooking Techniques, Easy, European, Family Favorites, Heart Healthy, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Quick Meals, Sauces and Condiments, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Mushroom Béchamel

My daughter was sick last week and I wanted to offer her a light meal that I hoped she would enjoy. I decided that crêpes were just what the doctor ordered (See my blog on crêpes). This way, I could get her and her siblings to eat a good amount of vegetables and fruit without […]

Asian, Cleaning Out Refrigerator and Pantry, Cooking Techniques, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Main Course, Meat, Quick Meals, Seafood, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Szechuan Spicy Vegetables Stir-fry (Ma La Xiang Guo)

I made this dish recently when I was trying to finish off a variety of fresh vegetables in my fridge. This is a good dish for just that purpose. You can add seafood like shrimp or calamari to this dish as well. It is a heart-healthy, quick and easy meal that is very versatile. In […]

Asian, Beverages, Breakfast, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Indian, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Spice Blends (Masalas)/Seasonings, Understanding Spices, Vegan, Vegetarian

Masala Chai

Masala chai has gained a lot of popularity in the West. However, it is a common drink in many Indian homes. Masala means powdered spice or spice paste. It can be comprised of any spice in crushed form. Hence, garam masala means “hot” masala (it’s hot because the spices used in it generate heat in […]

Asian, Beverages, Easy, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Home Remedies, Indian, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Spice Blends (Masalas)/Seasonings, Understanding Spices, Vegan, Vegetarian

Indian Cold Remedies Part II

My daughter is sick again due to stress, air travel, and lack of sleep. Here is what I plied her with yesterday. I make this tea daily for myself for general health purposes and to help jump-start my day. It is made of my formula for Masala Chai plus two other ingredients for health. By […]

Asian, Easy, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Home Remedies, Indian, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Spice Blends (Masalas)/Seasonings, Understanding Spices, Vegan, Vegetarian

Indian Cold Remedies – Part I

There is a cold going around and all three of my children have gotten it in turn. Here’s what I do when this happens to help relieve the runny nose, fever, headache, nausea, throat ache, and body aches. INSTRUCTIONS Boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover, the first five ingredients for 10-15 minutes. […]