Category Archives: Low Carb Entrees

Chicken livers

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Awhile back, I posted a chicken liver recipe that included balsamic vinegar.  While yummy, I’ve decided that I actually prefer my chicken livers served very simply because I really like the flavor of the livers themselves.  (Aaaaand, I just lost 3/4 of my readers, didn’t I?)  Plus, the rest of my family only tolerates them, so I’ve taken to making them just for myself at lunch, and I want the quickest method possible. This is my super simple recipe:

Chicken Livers
(net carbs: 1.5g)

1/2 lb chicken livers (about 1/2 a container, or 4-6 livers)
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp peanut oil
garlic powder

Place chicken livers on a plate lined with paper towels to dry.  Melt butter and oil in a small pan over medium heat.  Blot top of livers with more paper towel, then sprinkle liberally with garlic powder.  Place in pan, garlic side down, and sprinkle tops with more garlic.  Cover pan and cook for 5 min.  Flip livers (I find this easiest to do with two forks, one underneath and one on top) and cook for 4 more minutes.

My method cooks the livers quite well done, but this is how I prefer them.  Most recipes seem to suggest you don’t want them overcooked or they’ll be dry, but I like them this way because the texture is more like other meats.  Also, the outside gets brown and slightly crunchy, which reminds me of how my mom used to make them by coating them in flour first.  However, if you prefer yours less done, you can probably do about 3 minutes per side.

Floopsie grilled cheese

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I recently tried a new recipe for a bread substitute known as “floopsie bread.”  I was really in the mood for Cheddar Bay biscuits (you know, those delectable cheesy, garlicky things from Red Lobster), so I decided to adapt the recipe by omitting the sweetener, adding in about 1 Tbsp garlic powder (I just dumped a bunch in without measuring – I love garlic!) and about 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

While the texture is nothing like the Red Lobster biscuits (it’s more similar to corn bread), the flavor was delicious!  It bakes up very flat, and so when I cut a big square out, I thought, “This looks like sandwich bread.”  And then I had a brilliant idea and decided to try making something else I’ve been missing – a grilled cheese!  I put a slice of American cheese between two slices of floopsie and then grilled in a medium-hot pan for about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Although no one would mistake this for an authentic grilled cheese (floopsie bread doesn’t toast like regular bread), it was still very, very yummy!  Also, I’m thinking it would be absolutely divine as a panini of sorts, with meat and cheese on the inside.  Of course, using floopsie bread that already had cheese in it was probably a bit of overkill, but then again, I’m also in the “there is no such thing as too much cheese” camp, so I didn’t mind at all. 😉  But you could easily skip the cheese if you wanted to use this for grilled cheeses or paninis.

If you try a floopsie grilled cheese or panini, be sure to have a fork handy!  It’s a bit greasy, plus I think it might break if you picked it up.  But it’s so delicious that you won’t care in the least.

Cheesy buffalo ranch chicken casserole (or dip)

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I’ve been working on making this recipe just right for months now.  The flavor has always been delicious, but it was simply too liquidy.  And finally one day, it hit me – of course it would be liquidy when I was using bottled ranch dressing!  So tonight, I tweaked the recipe a bit and finally got a dish that was more the consistency of a casserole or dip.  This would make a fabulous appetizer for a party, but as low carbers, we actually like it for dinner.  My favorite way to eat it (although it’s a little high carb because of how many I eat) is scooped up on 34 Degree Crackers.  (Which I guess makes it a dip served as an entree!)  But you can also serve it in low carb tortillas as a wrap to save yourself a lot of carbs.  You could also dip celery or another hearty veggie in this.

Cheesy Buffalo Ranch Chicken Casserole (or Dip)
(net carbs: 23g for the entire recipe)

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (the cheap stuff is just fine)
1/2 cup hot sauce
1 packet ranch dressing mix
3-4 chicken thighs, cooked and diced (or equivalent amount of chicken breast)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat the oven to 350.  Mix the mayo, parm, and hot sauce together.  Add ranch packet and incorporate well.  Add chicken and 1.5 cups of cheddar and mix again.  Pour into 9×9 or 8×8 pan and top with remaining half cup of cheddar cheese.  Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 min, until top is nicely browned.  Serve with crackers, veggies, or on tortillas.

Note: The vast majority of the carbs here come from the ranch packet (16g).  If you can find a lower carb option or perhaps just mix up your own seasonings, you could reduce the carb count even further.

Low carb oven fried chicken

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You will not miss the taste of traditional fried chicken (or the mess it makes when you cook it!) after trying this recipe!  This is a slightly adapted recipe from a friend.  The brilliant thing is that it uses NO flour, so it’s totally carb free, but you still get the most amazingly delectable crunchy skin.  And although there is a lot of butter in this recipe, most of it is still left in the pan when you’re done, so don’t worry that you will be consuming all of it.  In fact, I plan on experimenting with amounts so I don’t waste so much, but I’d rather have too much than not enough.

And the best part of this recipe?  It could not be easier!  There is no dipping or dredging or anything like that.  Just shake on some light seasonings, and pop it into the pan with the butter already melted in it.  The temp gets bumped up once, and the chicken gets flipped once near the end, but that’s all the tending it takes.  Like most of my recipes, it’s perfect for busy week nights.

Low Carb Oven Fried Chicken
(net carbs: 0g)

  • 1 whole fryer chicken (discard any pieces you don’t want to eat, like the liver or neck)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 Tbsp peanut oil
  • garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste (or use whatever seasonings you prefer)

Preheat oven to 375.  While seasoning the chicken, melt butter and oil in ovenproof pans or baking dishes over very low heat, about a 2.  (When I do a whole fryer, I use one ovenproof pan and one glass dish.)  Meanwhile, arrange the chicken on a plate or platter with skins up and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Once butter is melted, place the chicken pieces in the pans with skin/seasoning side down.  Quickly season the non-skin side that is now facing up.  Bake for 40 min.  Turn oven up to 400 and bake for 10 more minutes.  Remove from oven, flip chicken, and bake for 10 more minutes.   Serve on a platter lined with paper towel to absorb some of the excess butter and oil.

You can of course adapt this recipe to as much or as little chicken as you like.  I did a small package of wings last week in a single pan, but this is so easy that it’s a great way to make a bunch at once and have yummy cold leftover fried chicken!

Hot wrap sandwich

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I created a new and super yummy lunch today.  The best thing is that it is totally versatile: you can really change up the ingredients as much as you want.  I used what we had on hand, but feel free to modify it to your little heart’s content.  This is really more of a framework than an actually recipe.

Hot Wrap Sandwich
(net carbs: varies)

  • 1 Mission Carb Balance medium flour tortilla (7 g of carb)
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese
  • cream cheese or other spreadable cheese (Alouette would be delicious)
  • meat (deli meat or leftover steak, chicken, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350.  Spread tortilla with cheese to taste and top with shredded cheese.  Bake for 4 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat meat in the microwave.  (If you put it in the oven on top of the tortilla, the liquid that oozes out during heating will make the tortilla soggy.)   Remove tortilla from oven, lay meat in, wrap up and eat!

We used roast beef and chive and onion cream cheese today, and it was absolutely delicious.  We agree that some horseradish and/or spicy brown mustard would also be very good.  I think it would be awesome to add some sun dried tomatoes for sweetness, too.

Creamy chicken and salsa soup

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A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon a recipe that sounded absolutely delicious.  The problem, of course, is that it’s supposed to be served over pasta, which is kinda out of the question for a low carber.  Still, as I looked at it, I thought, “I bet this would be great just served over chicken.”  So I decided to give it a try, and it was a HUGE hit.  Not only did Nate, myself, and both the kids like it, when a salesman came to the door a bit later, he actually commented on how good the house smelled!

I made it again this week and added a few more tweaks just for us, and it was perfect – and super simple.  It only took me about 20 minutes to pull it together tonight.  We used precooked chicken that we grilled over the weekend and just diced it up and put it in to the sauce, then served it like a soup, which is why I changed the name.  If you wish, you can prepare the chicken the way she suggests.  If you do it that way, though, don’t add more spices to the sauce!  I added the spices b/c the chicken was grilled with a very simple rub of garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and I didn’t want the final dish to lose the lovely flavor notes of the ancho chile powder and smoked paprika.

Creamy Chicken and Salsa Soup
(net carbs: 32g for the whole recipe)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup salsa verde
  • 1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cooked and diced
  • garlic powder, to taste (about 1 Tbsp for me)
  • salt, to taste (1/2 Tbsp?)
  • pepper, to taste (1-2 tsp?)
  • dried ancho chile powder*, to taste (one shake?)
  • smoked paprika*, (two shakes?)
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar

Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium/medium-low heat.  Add the garlic and sautee three to four minutes.  Add the salsa, tomatoes, cream and seasonings.  Let heat through for about 5 minutes, stirring every 1-2 minutes.  Add chicken and cheese.  Continue heating 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted and chicken is hot through (I diced mine in straight from the refrigerator, so it was cold when it went in the pot), continuing to stir often.  Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

* both of these spices are available through the McCormick’s Gourmet Collection line

Chicken livers with garlic and balsamic vinegar

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If you’re a liver hater, you can just skip right on past this recipe – livers seem to be one of those culinary dishes that is very black or white: either you love ’em or you hate ’em.  And if you’re in the latter category, ain’t nothing I can say that will change your mind!  🙂

But if, like me, you appreciate the simple, delicious pleasure of chicken livers, here’s an equally simple and delicious recipe for making them.

Chicken Livers with Garlic and Balsamic Vinegar
(net carbs: 17g for the whole recipe)

  • 1 lb chicken livers, drained
  • 1/4 cup of butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic (from a jar is fine)
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Heat butter and garlic in a pan over medium heat (I had mine set to a 6) for 3 or 4 minutes until good and hot and the butter is just barely starting to brown.  Stir well and add drained livers.  Cook 3 minutes and flip.  Cook 3 more minutes, then add the balsamic vinegar and stir for 30-60 seconds.  Serve in bowls, pouring a bit of the sauce from the pan over them.

My mom used to dredge them in a little flour and fry them up, and although I missed that crunchy coating a little bit, these were still absolutely delicious.  Plus, no trying to dredge and handle those slippery little livers!  This recipe comes together so quickly that’s it’s perfect for a busy week night.

This dish had just a hint of flavor from the balsamic.  You could add a bit more if you want that to be more distinct, but I actually liked it better with the very subtle sweetness.  For me, too much vinegar would overpower the delicious flavor of the livers themselves.

Oh, and my kids loved the pan sauce.  They dipped bread in it!