Thursday, December 3, 2015


This is an oldie but a goodie. I like to serve it with pork chops or chicken.

1 bag SUCCESS rice per layer*
12 oz. Monterrey Jack Cheese
8 oz. Sour Cream**
7 oz. Diced green chiles

Cook rice per directions. Place a layer of rice (one bag) in bottom of square baking dish. Top with a half the sour cream, half the cheese, and half the green chiles. Repeat with a second layer using the rest of the ingredients. Bake in 350° oven for 20 minutes.

* Each bag makes four 1/2 cup servings.
**Stir the sour cream with a fork to loosen it before spreading on the rice.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole

This one was absolutely delicious! I'm on a roll-three tasty low-carb meals in a row. At this rate, I'm going to want the cold weather to last forever. Unfortunately, this has the most carbs than the others so far, so maybe I won't be making it very often. Drat! Why do all the really tasty dishes have more carbs and more calories?

I changed the original recipe just a little—I added my changes and comments in red font below. If you want to see the original recipe complete with pictures, head on over to Kalyn's Kitchen.

This dish makes 6-8 servings and took 2-2 1/2 hours from start to finish.

2 medium-sized bunches of kale (I don't know how big a medium-sized bunch of kale is. I bought my kale at Walmart. The bunches looked pretty small so I used 3 of them.)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. olive oil
1 pkg (20 oz) hot turkey Italian Sausage (Turkey sausage is too expensive and hot Italian is too hot. I used mild Tarantino Italian sausage from Costco, our favorite brand.)
3 cups low-sugar pasta sauce (I used 1 jar (24 oz.) Classico Spicy Tomato and Basil sauce and added 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce to make the 3 cups. Spicy sauce to help make up for using mild instead of hot sausage.)
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. ground fennel (I have never seen ground fennel. I used regular fennel seeds and smashed them with the smooth side of my meat tenderizer.)
4 Tbs finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups grated reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (I got carried away and used a 4 cup bag because we love cheese and because the pan was just too big.)

Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Spray a 9" x 12" lasagna-type glass or crockery casserole dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. I used a 3 qt, 9 x 12 baking dish. The next time I make this, I will use a slightly smaller baking dish (2 qt, 8 x 11). The kale and the meat sauce didn't quite cover the whole dish.

Add the salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Trim stems from the kale, then cut the kale into ribbons about 1/2 inch wide. ( I think next time I will just buy a big bag of the already cut kale.) When the water starts to boil add the kale, lower heat so the water is gently boiling, and cook kale 5-6 minutes. Drain kale into a colander in the sink and let it continue to drain while you prepare other ingredients.

While the kale is cooking, heat the oil in a large heavy frying pan, squeeze sausage out of the casings, and saute until the sausage is cooked through and nicely browned, breaking it apart with the turner as it cooks. When the sausage is done, add the pasta and tomato sauce, dried basil, and ground fennel. Stir to combine and let the sauce simmer 20-25 minutes, or until it's thickened and the liquid is reduced.

In the casserole dish, layer 1/2 the drained kale, sprinkle 1/2 the Parmesan, 1/2 the sauce, and 1/2 the mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of kale, Parmesan, sauce, and mozzarella. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 15-20 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling and cheese is starting to brown.

Let the mock lasagna sit for about 5 minutes before you cut it. Serve hot.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Low-Carb Chicken Divan Casserole

This is another keeper! Tom and I really liked this dish and are looking forward to eating the leftovers (one of the big reasons I love casseroles so much). One of the good things about this casserole is that it has so much vegetable in it that you don't need to serve one with the meal. But it has about twice the number of carbs as the Beefy and Cheesy Low-Carb Green Chile Bake from the other day so we won't be having it as often.

This recipe comes from Wicked Stuff and is found at complete with pictures from each stage of the preparation.

I made a couple of changes to the original recipe—those changes are reflected below. One thing I want to try next time I make this dish is to substitute fresh spinach for the broccoli and to add mushrooms.

This dish theoretically serves 6 and takes about 1.5 hour prep and cook time.

3 boneless chicken breasts (I used 6 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken*)
3 Tbsp butter
1 small yellow onion
1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 cups chicken stock
A pinch of parsley
10 cranks of fresh pepper
1 lb bag of frozen cauliflower florets
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 lb bag of frozen broccoli florets, steamed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8 oz bag)

*If using rotissierie chicken, skip steps 2, 3 and 9 below.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Fill a pot about halfway with water. Add both breasts of chicken.
  3. Cook on high and bring to a boil until the chicken is cooked through (180 degrees)
  4. Meanwhile, cook up the garlic and onions in a medium frying pan on a low heat with the ghee.
  5. While that's cooking, blend up your cauliflower using a food processor or a good blender like a Ninja (or better). Do it for a couple seconds just until it looks like rice.
  6. After about two minutes of the onions cooking, begin adding in the spices one at a time, mixing them into the onions as you go.
  7. When the onions are soft, add the cauliflower.
  8. When the cauliflower is soft, add the chicken broth. Cook, covered for about 10 minutes.
  9. Check on your boiling chicken. Take it out and set it aside if it's reached 180 degrees.
  10. Add the cream and lemon juice and let simmer uncovered on low for about 10 minutes while it reduces. Mix it a few times throughout so it doesn't burn to the bottom.
  11. Add mayo, mix, and turn off burner.
  12. Begin pulling apart your chicken with a fork.
  13. Add half your pulled chicken into the cauliflower cream mixture.
  14. Use the other half to line the bottom of an 8x11 oval, 3" deep casserole dish.
  15. On top of the chicken, layer in the steamed, chopped broccoli.
  16. Top with the cauliflower cream mixture.
  17. Top with cheddar cheese.
  18. Put in the oven for 30 minutes, covered with tinfoil.
  19. Remove tinfoil and cook 10 more minutes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Beefy and Cheesy Low-Carb Green Chile Bake

When the temperature starts dropping, I start looking for reasons to turn on the oven to warm up the house. I love casseroles, but all the casseroles I know how to make have either pasta or potatoes in it—not an option when you are being carb conscious. So...I searched Google and found several low-carb casserole recipes! I plan to try them all and will post the ones we like on this blog.

We made this one last night. Both of us really liked it and decided it's a keeper. The only thing I might change is to add 1/2 lb. of ground beef—it calls for 1 lb. and is supposed to feed 8 people. I also think it would be good made with shredded chicken instead of ground beef. I plan to try that next time I make it.

The website where I found this recipe is called Kalyn's Kitchen. She has lots of pictures and additional tips if you want more details. You can find it at

I plugged the recipe into Calorie Count to see the nutrition facts and was amazed at how low it was for carbs and high in calcium, iron, and vitamins B6 and B12. Of course, that assumes you only eat 1/8 of the casserole for a serving.

2 cans (27 oz.) roasted and peeled green chiles
2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. lean ground beef
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
4 cups grated Mexican Blend cheese (or use any mild cheese that melts well)
1 onion, chopped
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
5 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground chili powder
For serving: extra sour cream, salsa, or diced avocado if desired

Preheat oven to 375F/190C.  Spray a 9 inch x 13 inch glass casserole dish with olive oil or non-stick spray.  (Any size close to that will work.)  Dump the green chiles into a colander placed in the sink and let them drain.

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and brown the ground beef well, breaking it apart as it browns. When beef is well browned, season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste and remove it to a plate.  Heat the other 2 teaspoons of olive oil, then add the chopped onion and cook until the onions are softened and starting to brown.  Add the can of diced green chiles and juice, stir to combine with the onions and cook 2-3 minutes more.  Add the ground beef and cook a few minutes more.
Put the eggs in a bowl and beat with a fork or whip to combine the whites and yolks.  Then add the sour cream, cumin, and chili powder and whisk together until the eggs and sour cream are combined.  (It doesn't matter if there are a few lumps.)
Remove green chiles from the colander one at a time and use your fingers to open each chile and remove any seeds.  Lay chiles out on paper towels, then place another layer of paper towels over the top and press down gently to absorb extra moisture.
In the casserole dish make a layer of half the chiles, half the ground beef/onion/chile mixture, and half the cheese; then pour over half the egg mixture.  Make a second layer of chiles, beef mixture, and cheese; then pour over the rest of the egg mixture.
Cover the casserole with foil and bake 15 minutes.  Carefully remove the foil and then bake about 25 minutes more, or until the casserole is bubbling and the top is nicely browned.  Serve hot, with extra sour cream, salsa, or diced avocado to add at the table if desired.