New Orleans Remoulade

It’s Keto. It’s Louisiana. It’s amazing.

Cooking the cuisine of my beloved home state has been something of a challenge and I’m still in the experimental stages on most of it. Remoulade, though … delicious, creamy, flavorful remoulade … lends itself rather deliciously to a low-carb lifestyle. You just have to do one teeny weeny itsy bitsy thing.

You have to make your own chili sauce.

Dude, it’s so easy. Here’s what you do:

Ingredients:

  • 2 red hot chili peppers, chopped (two chilis, not two band members. Cuz, ew. Although it would definitely leave scar tissue if you chopped up the … yeah. I’ll stop.)
  • 1 ripe tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp of ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt.
  • If you’re not on low carb, toss in a couple Tbsps of sugar.

Toss it all in a saucepan , bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Put it in jar or something, cover it, and pop it in the fridge to get cool.

See? That wasn’t so hard. And SO MUCH BETTER FOR YOU!

On to the remoulade!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayo (get the good stuff, fergawdsake.)
  • 1/4 cup of cooled chili sauce. I mean it’s still hot. But spicy hot. Not temperature hot.
  • 2 Tbsp Creole mustard
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp chopped green olives
  • 2 Tbsp minced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp capers, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Toss it all in a bowl and mix well. Taste for seasonings and adjust. Cover and  refrigerate.

(See that? You tricked me into giving you two recipes. Naughty.)

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Thai Basil Balls of Meat

At some point in my life I stopped saying “meatball” and started saying “balls of meat.” The adolescent boy in me finds anything (especially food) that comes in a ball shape very very funny. This, although I was never actually an adolescent boy.

Still.

This is a keto low-carb meal, and it’s both yummy and delicious. And, bonus … balls.

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • A handful of radishes (unless you either have unusually tiny or unusually large hands. Go with a standard female adult human sized hand. Like 3 or 4. Ish.)
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh basil

Balls:

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground pork
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated (I’m pretty generous with the ginger. Like, I use a lot.)
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 smallish head (heh) green cabbage. (Sorry. Adolescent boy thing again.)
  • 2 Tbsp butter

So, make the sauce first. Throw the radishii (bet you didn’t know that was plural for radish. Mostly because it totally isn’t.) and the basil in the food processor or bullet and make it all minced. Mix it with the mayo and let it hang out in the fridge while you make the balls of meat.

Mix all the meatball ingredients. Shape into balls. Fry them if ya wanna, but I bake them. Less work. Same yum.

Shredify the cabbage. Or buy it already shredded in neat little bags. Whichever. Cook it in butter until it is nicely caramelized, but not burnt. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Plate a spoonful of cabbage, toss a few balls on it, and then top it with the sauce. Nom.

Avocado Hummus

I like to make this when I’m invited to parties where everyone is bringing an appetizer so that I can eat along with everyone else and still be sure I’m sticking to my low-carbiness. My favorite way to eat it is with raw bell pepper strips … the more colorful the better … but you can do it with any of your favorites : ) Sometimes, though, I just make this and portion it out to freeze and pop it in with my workweek lunches. It’s that good.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked in water all the whole night long at room temperature, unless your room is an igloo. Or a sauna. (Oh, yeah. Also. Most recipes call for unsalted, but I go with salted.)
  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled. Give it a rough chop.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or so) of your favorite coarse salt (I’m currently using Red Hawaiian from Trader Joe’s 7 Salts of the Earth). Ob-vee, if you used salted macadamias, you might need less salt. Or, if you’re a camel, you might need more. You be the judge. I trust you.
  • A squeeze of fresh lime juice (I go pretty light on this)
  • Extra virgin olive oil as needed
  • Cilantro … if ya wanna. (I usually wanna)

If you haven’t toasted your sesame seeds yet, do so. Don’t burn them … but get them to a nice golden brown. There’s a basically only a nanosecond between golden and burnt, so don’t go hang out in the living room to catch a few minutes of a Daria rerun while they’re toasting. Not that I’ve ever done that super-specific thing of wrongness. Nope. Not me.

(I totally did.)

Drain the macadamias. Now’s the time to go watch Daria so they drain really well. Or you can let them drain while you toast the sesame seeds. Cuz you know you didn’t do that in advance.

Put everything except the olive oil in a food processor or blender. Give it a good whirl, and then drizzle in the olive oil until it reaches a hummus dipping like consistency. Serve with fresh veggies.

This will keep for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge. But there’s no way it’ll last that long. I’m just saying.

Bhindi Masala with Zoodles

Y’all. This is so good. So simple. So amazing. (Yeah, that’s my desk. I need a 12 step program for colorful writing utensils.)

It’s all about the okra.

My friend Jay taught me that you have to make sure it’s super dry after you clean it. And it honestly made all the difference in the world. I’ve always loved okra, but I only ever ate it fried because of the ewwy sticky gluey gelatinous okra stuffage I never really knew how to handle. Thanks to Jay, consider it handled.

Ingredients:

  • Okra (yeah, I don’t know how much. How hungry are you?)
  • Olive oil
  • Cumin seeds
  • Mustard seeds
  • 1 jalepeno, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 diced roma tomatoes (I mean, that’s what I used. You really can’t go wrong with a tomato, though, so use whatever you like. Or whatever you grow.)

Image result for steel magnolias growing tomatoes

  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • Garam masala spice blend (I make my own) … start with 1/2 tsp then add more to your taste.
  • Sea salt (currently, I’m on pink himalayan, but it changes according to how recently I’ve been to Trader Joe’s.)
  • Zoodles

So here’s the deal. You’ve washed that okra and you’ve let it hang out between some towels for a while drying off, right?

Let it dry a little longer. Go watch an episode of Dexter. Or Chopped. But not Justified. It’s impossible to stop watching after one episode no matter how many times you’ve seen it. That okra won’t cook itself. Anyhoo, chop it up. If the knife gets all gooey, wipe it off and keep chopping.

Heat the oil in a wok or iron skillet (really, a wok is best, but I don’t have one, soo…..). Add all the things that end in seed, the pepper, the garlic and the ginger. When things start poppin’ add the okra, onion and the garam masala. Stir and fry until the okra is good and done and the onions are all carmelized and stuff. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Toss all the rest of the things you haven’t already used in the wok along with a little more of the garam masala. Cook and stir until the tomatoes are all mushified and have made a nice gravy.

Combine the okra mixture with the tomato mixture, pour over a handful of zoodles and enjoy : )

Mediterranean Mini-kebabs with Carmelized Onions and Pecan-Tomato Tahini

Y’all. Srsly. Low-carb can be totes delish.

That’s also probably the longest recipe name I’ve ever posted, so I’m pretty sure I worked off some extra calories just typing it. Word bonus : ) I mean, like, word. Bonus.

So I have this super fancy-schmancy Ninja kitchen system that I got for free because I had all these omgyou’resoawesome points at my last job, and it was just sitting there on the gift website so … snag. Best thing ever. It has the food processor part where you can chopify or mincify or pureeify things, or you can change the blades to plastic for making doughy things, or you can attach the blender for frozen drinky like things, orrrrr … you can plug the bullet dude into it to make a single serve smoothie, but I don’t use it for smoothies.

I use it for pulverizing spices and making tahini. (After reading that last paragraph, I should probably use it for dissecting run-on sentences, but whatevs.)

aladin

Phenomenal cosmic flavor!

(Itty bitty carb content.)

Ingredients:

Kebabs

  • 1-1/2 lbs ground beef, pork, lamb, turkey … you choose! I used a combo of beef and pork because I procrastinated going to the grocery until there was only one tiny thing of ground beef left except for the super expensive organic grass fed stuff that probably isn’t so I mushed them together and that probably isn’t something one discusses in an ingredient list but this is my blog, so deal : )
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp freshly minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coarse grind black pepper
  • 2 tsp sea salt (I used smoked oak from this amazing set of salts I found at Trader Joe’s as a gift for someone who never got it because seven salts of the world, y’all.)
  • A handful of freshly chopped basil
  • olive oil

Grind all the spices except the ginger together (see why I dig the ninja bullet thingy?) Throw the meat  in a medium bowl, add the ginger, the basil and the spice mix and work it. Use your hands. I mean, unless you don’t want to. But do it anyway. It’s just best.

Shape them into kebabs about 3 inches long and an inch or so around. You should end up with around 12 kebabs … about 3 per serving. Fry them in a cast iron skillet in olive oil over a medium high heat, making sure they brown on all sides. Once you’ve got a good sear, lower the heat and continue cooking about 10-15 minutes to cook them through. Remove from the skillet.

Carmelized Onions:

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 medium onions, cut in half and sliced (not too thin…you’re going to carmelize the hell out of them.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in the same pan you used for the kebabs. Throw in the onions and the salt and pepper. Sautee until golden brown and nicely carmelized. Don’t take them off too soon! Live on the edge.

Pecan-Tomato Tahini

(omg, i love this stuff sooooo much)

  • 7 oz ripe red tomatoes, diced 
  • 2 oz toasted pecans (I’m dead serious about the toasting. )
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (throw them in with the pecans.)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar (I used a Pinot Grigio vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil

Yo. Remember that bullet thingy? It probs has some spice powder from the kebabs all up in it unless you’re one of those people who cleans everything as they cook. Which would be a shame, because you should totally use that.

Pat the tomatoes dry-ish and throw them in the blender or bullet thingy. Or whatever thing you have that makes good tahini or other pasty spreads. Add all the rest of the stuff except the olive oil and blend into a paste. Add the olive oil a little at a time until it reaches a nice dipping consistency.

Plate the kebabs on the onions and serve with the tahini.