Steak & Shrimp Fajitas

Have you ever had a craving for something? That’s what happened this weekend. For some reason I wanted fajitas. Even though we don’t eat tortillas, the meat & vegetables in the fajitas will suffice. So I picked up some top sirloin that was on sale, and red, orange and yellow sweet peppers. I was going to get a fajita seasoning packet but decided that I already had the main seasonings (cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano) at the house. I had purchased a small package of shrimp a couple of days before so I included them in this meal.

When it was time to eat, I cut the top sirloin, peppers and an onion into strips. Using the same amount of cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano I seasoned the meat and placed a skillet. Then seasoned the peppers and onions and added them to the skillet with the steak. I threw the shrimp in just a minute before the veggies were tender-crisp, . The fajitas were served over a bed of cauliflower rice and garnished with cilantro.

It was delicious. Next time you get a craving, I strongly suggest you act upon it and enjoy!

Cajun Spiced Turkey & Dirty Rice

I said earlier in the week that I would be sharing the turkey and rice dish I have made for Easter.  Today is the day. Run to the store and pick up these items for a delicious meal. When I made the turkey, I followed the cooking time provided by Good Housekeeping but found that 2 to 3 hours is way too long to roast this turkey.  You will note that I have put to check turkey after an hour and a half for an internal temperature of 145 before covering with foil for the final 30 minutes.  This will keep your turkey from getting overly browned (almost burnt) and

Cajun Spiced Turkey

2 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. celery salt
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. black pepper
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 c. ( 1 stick) butter, melted
12 – 14 lb. turkey
1 med. green pepper, seeded & chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
Remoulade listed below

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange oven rack on lowest position. In medium bowl, combine paprika, celery salt, garlic power, black pepper, onion powder and thyme. Set aside 2 teaspoons spice mixture for remoulade. To mixture in medium bowl, add butter and 1 tablespoon salt; stir to combine.

Remove giblets and neck from cavity of turkey. Pat dry; arrange breast side up in roasting pan. Tuck wings behind turkey. Gently separate skin from breast and around side of turkey. Brush spiced-butter mixture inside turkey, underneath skin and all over outside. Stuff cavity with green pepper, onion, garlic and celery; tie legs together with twine or wire. Sprinkle all over with 1 teaspoon salt. Pour 2 cups water into bottom of pan.  Roast 1 1/2 hours or until inner temperature is 145. The loosely tent turkey with foil . Roast 30 minutes longer or until thermometer inserted into thigh reads 165 degrees F. Remove foil; let stand 20 minutes before carving. Serve turkey with remoulade.

No-Cook Remoulade

 

1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 c.mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. finely copped parsley
1 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. reserved spice mixture

 

In medium bowl, whisk all ingredients until combined.  Makes 1 1/4 cups. Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated until 30 minutes before serving.

Dirty Rice 

1 lb. chicken livers, rinsed
6 oz. bacon, cut in 1/4″ dice
1/2 c. onion, diced
1/2 c. green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic,minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 head cauliflower, riced in food processor
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Coarsely chop livers; set aside. In a pot, cook bacon over medium heat until just browned and crispy and the fat is rendered. Add livers; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, cumin, Tabasco, salt and pepper; cook for 10 minutes.  Stir in cauliflower and oil; cook 2 minutes, stirring. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 29 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Stir in scallions and parsley. Serve warm.

NOTES: If you prefer you can use long grain rice instead of cauliflower.  When using rice, you will need to increase the chicken broth to 2 1/2 cups which needs to be absorbed by the rice before serving.  If you like gizzards, use 1/2 pound gizzards and 1/2 pound livers.  To prepare the gizzards, chop them by pulsing your food processor on and off.

Artichoke-Garbonzo Salad

This year I am making  my Artichoke-Garbonzo Salad recipe for National Artichoke Day. If you are on a Ketogenic Diet and keeping your carbs around 20 a day, you can make this recipe without the Garbonzo beans.  You will notice in the ingredient picture that I have marinated artichoke hearts.  If you decide to use the marinated artichoke hearts, drain the marinating oil into a 1/3 cup measuring cup and use in place of the olive oil.

14 oz. Can artichoke hearts
15 oz. Can garbonzos (chick peas), drained
½ med. Red onion, coarsely chopped
¾ c. black olives, halved
¼ c. chopped fresh parsley or 2 Tbsp. Dry
1/3 c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
½ tsp. Crushed dried red pepper
¼ tsp. Ground cumin
Salt & Pepper to taste

 

 

Drain artichoke hearts. Cut them lengthwise into quarters, then cut quarters crosswise in half. Put them into a glass bowl with drained garbonzos, onion, olives and parsley.

 

 

 

In small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper and cumin. Pout this over artichoke mixture, toss well to mis all ingredients, cover and refrigerate for several hours. Toss again before serving.

Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja is a Cuban beef stew.  The weird part is that ropa vieja means “old clothes” in English.  I really like this dish because you can do it in a slow cooker.  Any dish in a slow cooker is easy & delicious.  Enjoy!

ropa-vieja-51 ½ lb. Flank steak
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
14 oz. Can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp. Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Tomato paste
1 c. beef stock
½ bottle beer (pale ale)
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Oregano
1 Tbsp. Tabsco

ropa-vieja-1ropa-vieja-4

 

 

 

 

Starting with the steak, put all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours. Once cooked, pour contents into a large serving dish and shred the meat. Serve topped with cilantro and olives.

 

 

ropa-vieja-leftovers-1

 

With the leftovers we shredded the beef and placed them on cabbage leaves covered with cream cheese.  This is a great way to stay on a Ketogenic diet instead of using a tortilla or bread.

Squash Chili

The cooler weather is here (we are only getting to 65 degrees Fahrenheit in Southern California – HaHa ) which means it is a great time for some chili.  This Squash Chili is a great vegetatian recipe.   Enjoy!

 

squash-chili-12 tsp. Olive or vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, peeled & chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
3 c. diced butternut squash
2 to 4 Tbsp. Chili powder
½ tsp. Dried oregano
1 to 2 tsp. Ground cumin
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
¼ to ½ tsp. Cayenne
¼ c. water
16 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
2 16-oz cans dark red kidney beans,drained & rinsed
2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes
2 small zucchini, chopped

squash-chili-5

 

Put a large pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Let the pot heat for a minute and when it’s hot add the oil. Add the onion, garlic, butternut squash, chili powder, oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes and cayenne. Cook on low heat until the onion is very soft, about 20 minutes. Stir from time to time, if it looks dry, add the water.

 

Add the beans and tomatoes, cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, uncovered,for 30 more minutes. Set aside to cool.squash-chili-9

Veggie & Pork Kabobs

Today is officially the first day of summer.  It has been smoking hot here in southern California.  But we must acclimate to the hot temperatures as there will be at least 2 or 3 more hot months.  I think of grilling when I think of summer cooking.  Here is a kabob recipe using pork as the protein and uses radishes (which I really liked).  This is also the perfect Ketogenic recipe. Enjoy!

 

4 tsp. Vegetable oil, plus more for pan
2 boneless pork chops (about 1 lb. 1 1/2” thick)
Pork & Veggie Kabobs (3)8 small radishes, trimmed
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 1/2” pieces
4 scallions, cut into 2” long pieces
1 ½ tsp. Fresh lime zest
1 ½ tsp. Ground cumin
1 tsp. Chili powder
Kosher Salt
¼ tsp. Cayenne pepper
Lime wedges for serving

Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Lightly brush with the oil.

Pork & Veggie Kabobs (7)

Trim and cut pork into 2” pieces. In a large bowl, combine oil, pork, radishes, zucchini, scallions, 1 tsp. Salt and cayenne. Toss well to combine. Thread the pork and vegetables onto four 12” skewers. Place the skewers on the grill and cook, turning, until the pork is cooked and the vegetables are slightly browned, 8 to 10 min. Serve with the lime wedges.

National Chili Day

As today is National Chili Day, I made A&W coney dogs. I received this book, “More of America’s Most Wanted Recipes”, by Ron Douglas. This chili dog sauce tastes just like it does when you go to A&W. If you love a good chili dog give this recipe a try.

 

 

1 lb. Ground chuck – I used organic grass fed ground beef
A&W chili (2)1 tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Pepper
6-oz. Can tomato paste
1 c. water
1 Tbsp. Sugar – I used Truvia
1 Tbsp. Yellow mustard
1 Tbsp. Onion flakes
2 tsp. Chili powder
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. Celery seeds
¼ tsp. Ground cumin

 

A&W chili (5)A&W chili (7)Saute the ground chuck in a dry saucepan, crumbling it as it browns. Add the remaining ingredients. Let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate in a covered container until ready to use. Gently reheat 3 tablespoons, the portion needed for 1 serving.

 

As we do not eat carbohydrates, we simply grilled our hot dogs, cut them in half and served them with the chili, grated cheddar cheese and diced onions on a plate.  Absolutely delicious.

 

 

chili day
* CHILI HISTORY
When it comes to the story of chili, tales and myths abound.

While many food historians agree that chili con carne is an American dish with Mexican roots, Mexicans are said to indignantly deny any association with the dish.

Enthusiasts of chili say one possible though far-fetched starting point comes from Sister Mary of Agreda, a Spanish nun in the early 1600s who never left her convent yet had out-of-body experiences in which her spirit was transported across the Atlantic to preach Christianity to the Indians. After one of the return trips, her spirit wrote down the first recipe for chili con carne: chili peppers, venison, onions, and tomatoes.

Another yarn goes that Canary Islanders who made their way to San Antonio as early as 1723, used local peppers and wild onions combined with various meats to create early chili combinations.

Most historians agree that the earliest written description of chili came from J.C. Clopper, who lived near Houston. While his description never mentions the word chili this is what he wrote of his visit to San Antonio in 1828: “When they [poor families of San Antonio] have to lay for their meat in the market, a very little is made to suffice for the family; it is generally cut into a kind of hash with nearly as many peppers as there are pieces of meat–this is all stewed together.”

 

 

* http://www.nationalchiliday.com/chili-history.html#.VsiKn-brY3g