Kara's Keto Plates

Fatty Food Blogging

Category: Vegetables

Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach is one of those foods I consider to be grown-up food. That being said, I have loved spinach my entire life. My mother used to buy Stouffer’s brand frozen Spinach Souffle as a side dish pretty rarely but it was among my favorites (and I know it was one of her favorites); she also made spinach squares (sort of a cheesy egg casserole) and phyllo dough stuffed with spinach and cheese around the holidays. So, yes, spinach is healthy enough to eat year-round but I always think of it around the holidays. Maybe my mother purposefully pulled out the spinach recipes around the holidays to try to get us some healthy vitamins in the midst of all the face-stuffing with cookies.

I love creamed spinach, but it frequently harbors hidden carbs in the white cream sauce – sometimes a LOT of carbs. It makes sense – typically when you make a white sauce, you either start with a roux (butter and flour) or you thicken the sauce with cornstarch – both of which are full of carbohydrates. For this recipe, I replaced the flour with arrowroot, which worked so well that I am thinking we need to work on a biscuit recipe (maybe Carbquik?) and make up some sausage gravy and biscuits.

Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach

14 oz Spinach (one brick frozen, chopped spinach) or you can use fresh
1 tablespoon Butter
2 cloves Garlic, minced
4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of Water
1 teaspoon Arrowroot
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
1/8 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Start by prepping your spinach. If you’re using fresh, wash thoroughly, and then place in a covered skillet on medium heat, salt and cover. The spinach should be wilted in a few minutes – drain in a colander until it cools, then squeeze the excess liquid out by hand (or use a cheesecloth if you have one). Once you’ve squeezed the moisture out, chop the spinach. If you’re using frozen chopped spinach (which is easier), place it in a covered microwave safe dish with a small quantity of water and heat until warmed through. Drain in a colander to cool, then squeeze the excess liquid out. Set aside.

To make the cream sauce, start by melting butter in a small saucepan on medium high heat.  Add the garlic to the butter. Mix the cream, water and arrowroot together separately in a different bowl/cup. When the garlic has been in the pan for a minute or two, add the cream, water and arrowroot mixture to the saucepan and start whisking. Keep a close eye on the mixture – when it seems as though it is close to boiling (the sauce will start thickening), add the cheese and seasoning. Keep whisking until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens. Take the sauce off the heat and add the spinach to the pan and stir until coated. Taste to make sure the seasoning is adequate. This recipe made about three generous servings for us, but we are people who can eat some serious spinach – you might get more mileage out of it. I served this alongside a Tofurky brand italian sausage and oven-roasted mushrooms.

Nutrition Information (per serving):
Calories: 181 kcal
Fat: 12.5 g
Saturated Fat: 8.5 g
Total Carbohydrate: 6 g
Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 5 g

Net Carbohydrate: 4 g

Baked Radish “Chips”

By and large, I am not a huge fan of radishes. I like them pickled (for example, takuan). I will tolerate a small quantity raw in a salad. But with a world of other vegetables to eat… radishes don’t often come to mind.

Maybe that changes with this recipe. I originally intended to deep fry the radish slices, but Michael convinced me that without a deep fat fryer, it would be difficult to heat the oil consistently and I would be disappointed with the results. I sliced the radishes (the small, red kind – not daikon) on the thinnest setting on my mandolin. They ended up paper-thin: I would probably use the second setting next time. I hate myself for thinking it, but I almost wish I had a deep fat fryer. I would fry all the things: zucchini, radishes, pickles.

baked radish chips

Baked Radish “Chips”

1 bunch Radishes, sliced thinly (about ten radishes)
1 tablespoon Oil to coat the radish slices (I used 2 tsp coconut oil; 1 tsp melted butter)
Seasoning (we used salt, black pepper, garlic powder and sweet paprika)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash radishes and slice thinly, by hand or with mandolin. Place radish slices in small saucepan, cover with water and bring to boil. Boil for about 5 minutes (the pink peel will start to lighten) and drain in colander. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet (I needed two because I sliced the radishes too thin). Once drained, coat with oil (maybe a tablespoon total – I went heavy on the oil) and then place radishes flat, in one layer on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle seasoning of your choosing on the slices and then place in oven. Ours were done within ten minutes (again, sliced way thin), so keep an eye on them. They didn’t crisp up but the flavor was very reminiscent of roasted potatoes. We ate through most of the bunch of radishes – so I’d say this makes two generous servings. I served these alongside a green salad and pulled pork.

Nutrition Information (per serving):
Calories: 59 kcal
Fat: 6.5 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Total Carbohydrate: ~ 1 g
Fiber: .5 g
Protein: 0 g

Net Carbohydrate: .5 g

Sesame Cabbage Slaw

I have a whole lot of cabbage to use up. This recipe took the remainder of the purple and green cabbage I had on hand. The dressing is one I made up, first thing in the morning while I was packing lunch for Michael – who preferred this slaw to the avocado coleslaw we had the previous night.

I added a small quantity of liquid coconut oil to the dressing base – I don’t use coconut oil predominantly because I have heard rumors that it will upset the gut. I don’t know if that’s true, but it has kept me from using coconut oil solely, but I still tend to add the coconut oil in small quantities to any dish where I’m using liquid oils.

Sesame Cabbage Slaw

Sesame Cabbage Slaw

3 cups Cabbage, sliced
the juice from 1 Lemon
2 tablespoons Canola Oil (or your preferred liquid oil)
1 teaspoon liquid Coconut Oil (I use Carrington Farms Coconut Cooking Oil)
1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil
2-3 drops of EZ-Sweetz, the equivalent of 1 tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste OR 1/4 teaspoon each fresh garlic and fresh ginger or you could use an even smaller quantity of dried spices (1/8 teaspoon maybe)
1/4 teaspoon Minced Onion
Salt, to taste
Roasted sesame seeds, as garnish

Prepare your cabbage – mine was pre-shredded by me, so this recipe came together super fast. Juice your lemon in a bowl. Whisk oil (canola, coconut and sesame) into the lemon juice until it makes a smooth emulsion. At this point, I usually taste the dressing to see whether it needs more oil (I tend to not add enough oil for some folks, so you may want more oil than I did). Add sweetener and seasonings (ginger, garlic, onion and salt). Taste again to make sure the dressing tastes good. I purposefully under-salted my dressing because I was making a topping to go on the salad of toasted sesame seeds and kosher salt.

While I was making the dressing, I pulled raw sesame seeds out of my fridge and threw them in a pan on low heat in order to toast them. I probably toasted 1/4 cup or so, because I really like sesame seeds. I generally stir/shake the pan every couple minutes. Once the sesame seeds start to toast, you’ll see the color turn golden brown and the aroma will change. Then you remove the pan from heat and take the seeds out of the pan.

When I packed the lunch for Michael, I gave him a container with a tablespoon or so of sesame seeds and a couple pinches of kosher salt, for him to add to the salad when we ate it. I did the same thing when I had it for lunch, and appreciated the extra crunch of the sesame seeds and the extra salt.  You could totally just add sesame seeds, but the sesame + salt mixture reminds me of my happy days eating sekihan. This recipe made three servings and thank goodness – the cabbage is all gone (for the time being).

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 173 kcal
Fat: 15 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Total Carbohydrate: 10 g
Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 3 g

Coleslaw with Avocado

It’s Fall, which means crucifers… or cruciferous vegetables! What in the heck is a cruciferous vegetable? Think of the smelliest vegetables you know: broccoli; brussels sprouts; cabbage; kale; bok choy; horseradish. They grow well in the cooler temperatures of Spring and Fall. Which explains how, as of last Friday, my fridge was full of the following: a head of green and red/purple cabbage; two heads of broccoli and a bunch of kale. I happen to really enjoy all of those vegetables but that is a *lot* for two people to eat through.

Last night, I also happened to have ripe avocados on hand. So I improvised a coleslaw with the added fat and nutrition of avocado. This recipe could also easily be made vegan by substituting mayonnaise with your favorite vegan alternative.


Coleslaw with Avocado

Coleslaw with Avocado

3-4 cups shredded Cabbage – I used both purple and green
1 avocado
1/2 cup Mayonnaise (or Vegan substitute, ie: vegannaise; nayonnaise)
Equivalent of 1 tablespoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Water
1  tablespoon Vinegar (White) or Lemon Juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Mustard
1/2  teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Minced Onion
Salt, to taste

Prep your cabbage – you can use a food processor; a mandoline; or just your knife to get thinly sliced cabbage. I just used my knife because I hate cleaning my mandoline and my food processor. Two head of cabbage, all chopped, gave me way more cabbage than I needed for this recipe – I set aside probably 4 cups to use for this and stored the rest for later. I decided to try the salting your cabbage ahead of time technique – so I set the cabbage in a colander, salted it with about 2 teaspoons salt and let it drain for about 1.5 hours. Then you can rinse it and squeeze it dry. Personally, I don’t think it made very much difference (just less liquid in the slaw and saltier cabbage) so I don’t know that I would do that again.
Once your cabbage is prepped, making the dressing is super easy. Whisk the mayonnaise, water and vinegar together until smooth. Add your sweetener, and seasoning and mix until incorporated. Then mix the dressing into the cabbage – I used probably half the dressing I made, so I definitely wouldn’t pour it all in, but you may like your slaw more dressed than I do. Taste the slaw – if it needs salt, add some. Since I salted my cabbage, I didn’t add any salt to my dressing and it wasn’t needed.

I waited until we were ready to eat to chop the avocado and add it to the salad, so it would stay green.  The acidity of the dressing should keep the avocado green for a while, but if you can wait to add the avocado until you’re ready to serve, I’d recommend that. With four cups of cabbage, I’d say this side serves four people.

Nutrition Information (per serving):
Calories: 284 kcal
Fat: 27 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Total Carbohydrate: 9.5 g
Fiber: 5 g
Protein: 2 g

Baked Zucchini Rounds

I came across many similar recipes and they had the audacity to call these things “chips.” They are not chips, at least, not unless you bread and pan fry them. They’re really not all that crispy although slice your zucchini thin enough and they get kind of crispy-dehydrated. So, while I liked this recipe, if you’re some kind of Queen who hates mushy zucchini – this is not the one for you.

I seasoned this dish in a way that reminds me of my mother’s white pizza: Parmesan, salt, pepper,  garlic powder and onion powder, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes. It definitely hit the right notes.

Baked Zucchini

Baked Zucchini Rounds

2 medium Zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds (about two cups of rounds)
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon or garlic and onion powder
1/4 teaspoon each of oregano and  crushed red pepper
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Oil to spray your cookie sheet (we have coconut oil Pam)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all the seasonings together with the Parmesan cheese. Cover a cookie sheet in foil and then spray with oil. Lay Zucchini slices in one layer. Top each slice with a bit of the Parmesan and seasoning mixture. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the Parmesan starts to brown on top of the zucchini. Best eaten fresh from the oven.  This made two very big servings for Michael and me.

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 76 kcal
Fat: 3.5 g
Saturated Fat: 1.9 g
Carbohydrate: 6.5 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sugar: 4.5 g
Protein: 6.2 g

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