Roasted Eggplant Caponata

roasted eggplant caponata

A roasted eggplant caponata that is simple to make and always a crowd pleaser.

I always buy eggplant this time a year as there are so many varieties available especially at local farm stands and markets. Be sure to pick fresh ones that are heavy and solid to the tap. This roasted eggplant caponata recipe really delivers a great flavor that goes well as side dish or an app. You can serve it with cucumbers to keep it really low carb or you can splurge with some lower carb pita chips shown below.

Roasted Eggplant Caponata
Serves 6
A simple fresh eggplant caponata with few ingredients.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
192 calories
14 g
0 g
15 g
2 g
2 g
219 g
351 g
6 g
0 g
13 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
219g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 192
Calories from Fat 133
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
23%
Saturated Fat 2g
11%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 351mg
15%
Total Carbohydrates 14g
5%
Dietary Fiber 5g
22%
Sugars 6g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
11%
Vitamin C
18%
Calcium
4%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 large eggplant - 3/4 inch diced, skin on
  2. 1 cup red onion - halved then sliced thin
  3. 1/2 cup green olives - pitted, sliced in quarters length-wise
  4. 1 cup fresh fennel bulb - coarse diced
  5. 1/3 cup capers - rinsed
  6. 1 cup tomato sauce - good quality jared or substitute with 4 ripe tomatoes - chopped coarse
  7. 2 tbsp fresh parsley - chopped coarse
  8. 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  9. 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  10. 1.5 tsp sugar
  11. Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
  12. 1.5 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Toss eggplant in 4 tbsp of olive oil in a large bowl.
  3. Arrange eggplant single layer on a baking sheet and roast until browned, flipping halfway through, about 25 minutes. Let cool down.
  4. Cook fennel in bowling water for 4 minutes, drain and let cool - set aside.
  5. Heat remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan over med-high heat.
  6. Add onion and cook till just golden about 5 min.
  7. Add the olives, capers, reserved fennel, tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Gently stir in the eggplant, being careful not break up the eggplant.
  9. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl or platter and cool.
  10. Garnish with parsley and serve cold or at room temperature.
  11. Can be made ahead a few days and gets better with age.
beta
calories
192
fat
15g
protein
2g
carbs
14g
more
EverydayKetoGourmet http://www.everydayketogourmet.com/wp/
Here is a brand of pita pockets that have only 5 net carbs per each pita. Toast them in the toaster oven and then slice them like a pizza pie into 12 sections. 12 pita chips for 5 net carbs – That’s not a bad deal!

I often have trouble figuring out what to do with all the eggplants I buy. I mean how many eggplant parm-like dishes can one eat? This roasted eggplant caponata appetizer has become a welcome addition to the happy hours at my house and should at yours as well.

 

 

Grilled Portobello Shrooms

grilled portobello

Sides, Small Plates | July 12, 2016 | By

Everyone loves a grilled portobello!

Every once in a while you come across a grilled portobello mushroom appetizer that blows you away and you wonder why you can not make one of those at home. There is something special about the texture of a grilled portobello that you just can’t get in any other grilled veggie.

grilled portobello

I have been experimenting for years to come up with a simple, summer, week-night side that smacks you upside the head with flavor, to accompany that perfect grilled steak. You could experiment endlessly as a grilled portobello is very forgiving and can take whatever you throw at it. I hope you like my version and try it the next time you are grilling out. Your family and friends will be impressed for sure. Mine always are!

Grilled Portobello Shrooms
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
104 calories
3 g
6 g
9 g
3 g
3 g
63 g
161 g
2 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
63g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 104
Calories from Fat 82
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 3g
13%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 6mg
2%
Sodium 161mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 3g
1%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 2g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
5%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 large portobello mushroom caps
  2. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  4. 1/4 cup of gorgonzola or blue cheese
  5. 1/8 cup fresh chives chopped.
  6. Fresh ground salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. On a plate cap side down, drizzle olive oil over both mushroom caps.
  2. Drizzle balsamic vinegar.
  3. Add salt and pepper.
  4. Fill mushroom cavity with blue cheese.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped chives.
  6. Place mushrooms on a medium hot grill cap side down.
  7. Grill for 10 - 12 minutes until all the cheese is melted and shrooms are tender and browned.
  8. Serve 1/2 a mushroom cap per person.
Notes
  1. Use good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar for best results.
  2. Other crumbly cheeses can be used if you prefer.
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calories
104
fat
9g
protein
3g
carbs
3g
more
EverydayKetoGourmet http://www.everydayketogourmet.com/wp/

Eggplant Spinach Pizza

Eggplant Spinach Pizza

Sides, Small Plates | May 2, 2016 | By

Eggplant Spinach Pizza is so easy, low carb and the variations are endless.

I have always made a simple breaded fried eggplant and topped it with a favorite jarred sauce as a side dish. Very simple and so delicious but loaded with the no-no combination of carbs and fat. I have tried almond flour to cut the carbs a bit but the results are not quite the same. Yet, I still find myself buying that purple veg whenever it looks good then wondering what to do with it that is more keto-friendly. 

The perfect storm of ingredients in my fridge prompted this Eggplant Spinach Pizza that will now be a go to edible solution for my purple friend.

There are many possibilities and variations that you can have fun with depending on your favorite pizza toppings. This is a knife and fork situation so don’t worry about picking it up. Load on your creativity and see what you can come up with.

Eggplant Spinach Pizza Eggplant Spinach Pizza

Eggplant Spinach Pizza
Serves 4
A fork and knife, low carb, eggplant pizza
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
55 min
284 calories
14 g
41 g
20 g
15 g
9 g
278 g
424 g
6 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
278g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 284
Calories from Fat 177
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20g
31%
Saturated Fat 9g
46%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 41mg
14%
Sodium 424mg
18%
Total Carbohydrates 14g
5%
Dietary Fiber 6g
25%
Sugars 6g
Protein 15g
Vitamin A
41%
Vitamin C
24%
Calcium
38%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 Large Eggplant - 3/4 inch sliced rounds
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 cup mozzerella cheese - I like the fresh Ciliegine balls
  4. 1/2 cup parmesan reggiano - grated
  5. 1.5 cups fresh baby spinach - chopped
  6. 1 large clove of garlic - finely chopped
  7. 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves - chiffonade
  8. 3/4 cup fresh cherry tomatoes - sliced
  9. 3/4 cup tomato sauce - favorite jarred or make your own
  10. fresh ground salt and pepper
Eggplant
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Salt both sides of eggplant and let rest on paper towels for 25 minutes.
  3. Wipe off salt.
  4. Olive oil a 9 x 11 baking pan and place eggplant rounds single layer.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until slightly browned.
Pizza
  1. In a bowl, toss spinach with garlic and a little olive oil and salt and pepper.
  2. Top each eggplant with a teaspoon of sauce.
  3. Add tomatoes.
  4. Add spinach mixture.
  5. Top with both cheeses.
  6. Top with fresh basil.
  7. Bake in the oven for another 15 minutes or until cheese turns slightly brown
Notes
  1. Jarred sauce is optional - you can make your own with crushed canned tomatoes or just let the fresh tomatoes be your sauce.
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calories
284
fat
20g
protein
15g
carbs
14g
more
EverydayKetoGourmet http://www.everydayketogourmet.com/wp/

Zucchini Carbonara

zucchinni carbonara

My first Zucchini Carbonara was a huge hit.

One of the great surprises for me of this ketogenic lifestyle is the complete reversal of things, that in the past were clearly bad for you, now with a few tweaks becoming health foods. Zucchini Carbonara is one of those happy surprises. 

In the past Carbonara was a decadent dish you could only order a few times a year and only at special locations that perfected the dish and only if you had a strong heart.

Carbone’s in Bloomfield is our favorite spot for to-die-for Carbonara – my daughter Brynn’s favorite dish. She’s 12 and weighs in at about 75 lbs. soaking wet so there is always extra bites of Carbonara that my wife and I sample until we are both off the keto rails. See exibit A!

carbonara

Exibit A – Carbone’s Carbonara

As a stocking stuffer I received my first veggie-spiral-slicer for making zucchini noodles and other veggie / pasta like substitutions. After blowing out of ketosis on our last visit to Carbone’s I decided to give the spiral slicer a go – I mean everything else in the dish is keto-friendly so why not add this to our weekly possibility of menu items. Pair this with a glass of Tuscan red wine and you will be transported to another land.

spiral slicer

Zucchini Carbonara
Serves 4
A delicious Zucchini Carbonara.
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
40 min
587 calories
13 g
277 g
49 g
27 g
24 g
397 g
1106 g
7 g
0 g
21 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
397g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 587
Calories from Fat 433
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 49g
75%
Saturated Fat 24g
120%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 18g
Cholesterol 277mg
92%
Sodium 1106mg
46%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 3g
12%
Sugars 7g
Protein 27g
Vitamin A
38%
Vitamin C
77%
Calcium
39%
Iron
12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 large zucchini - spiral sliced as noodles - use the larger size spiral
  2. 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  3. 4 ounces pancetta - sliced 1/4 inch thick then 1/4 inch diced
  4. 1 large shallot - finely chopped
  5. 1 large garlic clove - finely chopped
  6. 1 large portobello mushroom top - sliced 1/8 inch and halved
  7. 1 cup heavy cream
  8. 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano - grated
  9. 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano - grated
  10. 3 large egg yolks
  11. Fresh ground salt and pepper
  12. 2 tbs coarsely chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Put a large pot of salted water on and bring to a boil.
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil. Add the pancetta and cook over med heat until most of the fat is rendered, 7 minutes or so.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the shallot and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Cook the zucchini noodles in the boiling water for 4 minutes.
  6. Add the cream and simmer over med heat until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the hot noodles to the skillet and stir to coat. Remove from heat.
  8. Stir in the cheeses - reserve some for later.
  9. Stir in the egg yolks.
  10. Sprinkle with parsley and fresh ground pepper.
  11. Serve with reserved cheese for the table.
Notes
  1. If you need more liquid in the sauce you can add a little of the pasta (zucchini) water.
  2. You can also add 1 sweet italian sausage patty when you are rendering the pancetta if you want to kick this up a notch!
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calories
587
fat
49g
protein
27g
carbs
13g
more
EverydayKetoGourmet http://www.everydayketogourmet.com/wp/

Best Low Carb Salad Dressings and the Perfect Avocado

Reviews, Salads, Small Plates | January 8, 2016 | By

Some of the best low carb salad dressings come from a bottle.

More often than not we make our own simple vinaigrette to go on our various salads but there are nights, when short on time, a decent bottled dressing does the trick. If you are looking for the best low carb salad dressings and the perfect avocado you do not have to go far. Most on the market are loaded with sugars and other questionable ingredients but then there are some really good ones if you know what to look for.

Newman’s Own offers several low carb, 2-3 grams per serving, options that are great in a pinch. They even have a low carb Caesar dressing but if I am going to make a Caesar Salad, I’m going to make it from scratch.

Best Low Carb Salad DressingsBest Low Carb Salad Dressings

Best Low Carb Salad Dressings Best Low Carb Salad Dressings

One of my favorite quick lunches I learned from my mother. Believe it or not between the Rice Krispies and Pop Tarts there are a few healthy food habits that your / my parents passed down, whether they knew it or not at the time.

Take a perfectly ripe avocado, remove the pit and fill the cavity with a good italian-ish dressing – dig in with a spoon getting some dressing with each bite. So simple and yet this is how I learned to eat an avocado. Who knew all these years later that avocado would play such an important role in my weight loss as it represents the perfect keto-friendly food. Thanks Mom! I still have not adopted her avocado-pit-on-the-window-sill-tree thing but hey, there’s still time!

Perfect Avocado

If somehow you are new to avocados, here is the secret to a perfect ripe one. When you get one home, if its it is still hard and green, leave it on the counter for a day or two until it darkens a bit and feels a little soft but still firm when pressed on. Then put it in the fridge which will slow down the ripening process keeping it perfect until you are ready to eat it. Another way is checking under the stem. This part of the avocado holds a sneak peak for what’s going on under the skin.

Best Low Carb Salad Dressings

Peel back the small stem or cap at the top of the avocado. If it comes away easily and you find light green / yellow underneath, you’ve got a good avocado that’s ripe and ready to eat.
 
Another great brand that has so many great low carb options, 0-3 grams per serving, is Annie’s. I try to stick with their organic variety as they have both organic and non-organic of most of their offerings.

Best Low Carb Salad Dressings Best Low Carb Salad Dressings

Best Low Carb Salad Dressings Best Low Carb Salad Dressings

Best Low Carb Salad DressingsBest Low Carb Salad Dressings

Another favorite low carb option, if you can find it, is from Cindy’s Kitchen. These are some of the cleanest bottled dressings on the market and will be found refrigerated among the veggie isles as they are the freshest on this list. Many of these have zero carbs so enjoy them often.

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You can’t go wrong with these easy week night shortcut dressings. Then again there is always the simplest solution – A really good EV olive oil and a squeeze of lemon on some arugula, salt and pepper, avocado, toasted pine nuts, shave some fresh fennel and parmesan and in minutes your perfect keto side salad is table ready.  

 

 

 

Where’s the good cheese?

good cheese plate

Reviews, Small Plates | December 19, 2015 | By

This post is inspired by my neighbor Greg who insists I must have a secret knock or a, special, assigned to me, cheese-monger-type-lady friend at the supermarket that gives me exclusive access to all “the good cheese”. I assure him that this is not the case – she is not assigned to me exclusively and its more of a nod than a knock! We often find ourselves around our kitchen island at happy hour or even after a late night ping-pong session sampling all my recent good cheese finds that are well-matched to various jams and other accoutrements.

I assure you that even though cheese is keto-friendly, I often partake in the less keto, crackers, honey and jam, but within reason, and only once a week. Some things just go too well together – Is it wine:30 yet?

This time of year the markets load up on specialty cheeses more so than any other time of year anticipating our demand and willingness to splurge on entertainment for the holidays. The best cheese is often from Europe as well as some artisan local selections and all tend to be pricey. If you keep an eye out, some of these more expensive cheeses are marked down 50% as they near their sell-by date. That works for me as long as a happy hour plan is only a day or so away – ripe and ready to eat at 1/2 price – sign me up!

In order of best selection locally, Big Y hands down has got their act together in the cheese dept. Stop n Shop is next with ShopRight always tailing way behind. The Fresh Market also has a great selection of good cheese but at 20-30% more expensive overall than the others.

Good Cheese Selection at Big Y

The Good Cheese at Big Y

One of the cheese isles at Big Y in Avon, CT.

If you are a silver card member or are sitting on some silver coins from Big Y be sure to pick up some Prosciutto Di Parma to go with your cheese. It is almost always on sale for $14.99/lb. and if your catch it right – $9.99/lb.

Below are some great ones: Humboldt Fog – Goat, Fromager d’Affinois – Brie, Jarlsberg – Swiss, local aged Cheddar, Gorgonzola from Italy.

Mostly, cheese is about personal preference but be sure to explore and try something different, smelly or expensive this holiday season. I know I will. Cheers!

A Good Cheese Plate

A Good Cheese Plate

 

Burrata and Arugula Salad

burrata

Salads, Small Plates | November 11, 2015 | By

This is one of my favorite go-to appetizers once Tomato Season arrives. In general Tomatoes are higher in carbs than other veggies (I know.. it’s really a fruit) so I added Arugula to this Caprese dish so I can go lighter on the tomatoes. No matter how lower-carb I am trying eat, there is no way I’m not eating local tomatoes at the end of summer when they are at their best here in New England. 

Another version of this salad has very good store bought variety of small tomatoes on the vine from Backyard Farms. I roast them at 350 degrees for 10-15min. The results… freakin awesome!

Burrata and Arugula Salad
Serves 2
This is one of the best caprese-like salads you'll have all summer.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
358 calories
6 g
90 g
26 g
26 g
15 g
207 g
716 g
4 g
0 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
207g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 358
Calories from Fat 226
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26g
40%
Saturated Fat 15g
75%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 90mg
30%
Sodium 716mg
30%
Total Carbohydrates 6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 4g
Protein 26g
Vitamin A
32%
Vitamin C
21%
Calcium
59%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 large ball Burrata Cheese
  2. 1 large Heirloom Tomato
  3. Fresh Arugula
  4. 5 leaves Fresh Basil
  5. Balsamic Vinegar
  6. Good E.V. Olive Oil
  7. S & P - fresh ground
Instructions
  1. Toss Arugula with Olive oil to lightly coat.
  2. Lightly season with fresh ground Salt and Pepper.
  3. Slice Tomato thick and place several slices on top of the Arugula.
  4. Lightly season with fresh ground Salt and Pepper.
  5. Slice cold Burrata ball in half and carefully place cut side down on the tomatoes.
  6. Chiffonade Basil and sprinkle on Tomatoes and Burrata.
  7. Lightly season with fresh ground Salt and Pepper.
  8. Drizzle Olive oil over Burrata and tomatoes.
  9. Drizzle Balsamic Vinegar.
  10. Serve with 2 forks and knives and enjoy!
Notes
  1. - Be sure to keep the the Burrata in the fridge until you are ready to make this as it is easier and less messy to cut in half when cold.
  2. - If you are not Keto-ing today, you can serve this app with some ciabatta toasts.
beta
calories
358
fat
26g
protein
26g
carbs
6g
more
EverydayKetoGourmet http://www.everydayketogourmet.com/wp/
 My favorite local brand of Burrata by far is from Mapplebrook Farms in Bennington Vermont. You can find it at Big Y and Stop n Shop and many specialty stores in the area.

IMG_7799