By Carleton Rivers, MS, RD, LD
Baked Italian Acorn Squash
Makes 4 servings (Serving size = 1/2 acorn squash with filling)
- 2 acorn squash (cut in half from top to bottom)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Filling Ingredients:
- 16 ounces Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb mix (dried oregano, thyme, basil, parsley)
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped (optional)
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- Salt and pepper as needed
- Wash, halve, and scrape the inside of the squash. Place the squash in a microwave safe shallow dish with a little water (about half an inch deep). Microwave on high for 7-10 minutes or until tender. Leave in microwave until ready to use.
- In a large sauté pan cook crumbled sausage, 1 tablespoon olive oil, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, and dry herbs on medium heat. When sausage is almost cooked through add chopped roasted red peppers. Add spinach and toss gently until spinach is wilted. Taste for seasoning and salt as needed. Remove from heat.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of olive oil onto a cookie sheet or baking dish. Place squash halves on oiled baking dish with inside facing up. Mound the filling into squash halves and sprinkle with a pinch of black pepper. Add one tablespoon of water to each squash. Coat the filled squash with a thick layer of grated cheese. Broil just until cheese is lightly browned.
Carbs per serving (1/2 acorn squash with filling): About 27 grams per serving
Savory Bacon Kale Frittata
Makes 4 servings (Serving size = 1/4 of the frittata)
- 8 large eggs
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 3 slices bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- Handful of kale or spinach (about 1/4 cup), torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (feta cheese works too)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Beat 8 eggs in a medium bowl and add in 1/4 cup milk, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Over medium heat in a cast-iron pan or oven-proof skillet, sauté bacon until fat renders. Add in onions and cook until they begin to caramelize, stirring occasionally. Add in the tomatoes and kale, cook for about 30 seconds, and pour the egg mixture over the other ingredients. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top. Cook for 30 seconds on the stove.
- Put the pan into the pre-heated oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges begin to brown and pull slightly away from the pan. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
Carbs per serving (1/4 of frittata): About 5 grams per serving
Creamy Cucumber Soup with Rotisserie Chicken
Recipe modified from http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-recipe/creamy-cucumber-soup.aspx
Makes 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (1/3 of lemon juiced)
- 4 cups of cucumber (2 cucumbers), peeled, seeded and thinly sliced, divided
- 1 1/2 cups broth, vegetable, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (exclude if trying to limit sodium)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 medium avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
- 1 grocery store rotisserie chicken
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (1 to 4 minutes). Add lemon juice and cook for 1 minute.
- Add 3 3/4 cups cucumber slices, broth, salt, pepper and cayenne; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook at a gentle simmer until the cucumbers are soft (6 to 8 minutes).
- Transfer the soup to a blender. Add avocado and parsley; blend on low speed until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)
- Pour into a serving bowl and stir in yogurt. Chop the remaining 1/4 cup cucumber slices.
- Serve the soup warm or refrigerate and serve it chilled. Just before serving, garnish with the chopped cucumber and more chopped parsley, if desired.
- Serve 1/4 of the soup along with 3 ounces of rotisserie chicken (size of your palm).
Carbs per serving (1/4th of the soup and 3 oz or the size of your palm of chicken): About 26 grams per serving
Creamy Cheesy Spinach
Makes 2 servings (Serving size = 1/2 spinach)
- 9 ounce package of frozen spinach
- 4 Tbsp regular cream cheese
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- Follow directions on package to thaw spinach in the microwave. After thawed, place spinach in a colander and push the excess water out using a large serving spoon.
- Add the spinach to a saucepan and turn stove on to medium heat.
- Add cream cheese and mix until blended. Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted.
Carbs per serving (1/2 of spinach): About 5 grams per serving
For additional low-carb or reduced-carb recipes, visit Linda’s Low Carb Menus & Recipes and Food Network Low-Carb Recipes. Be sure to pay attention to the serving size and the number of carbs per serving.