Please ignore the rapidly appearing and disappearing pages in the top navigation menu. All except The UnDiet Books page are experiments in offering the readers of 14 Days a special The Grocery List feature. As of now all links in these pages lead to nowhere interesting but are being left up so that beta-readers can test them to see which ones provide the most seamless experience.
If the thought of spending time in the kitchen making a hot meal on a hot night makes you want to dial for pizza delivery then check out these seven easy summer”recipes” for when it’s too hot too cook. I’ve put recipes in quotes because none of these recipes actually require a measuring device and they’re all endlessly variable. So here goes …
Whenever I make these artichokes I always make enough to have the next day. They’re nice for lunch, a snack, or another easy dinner. After two days though they tend to get grainy and while not spoiled, don’t taste as nice.
Trim artichokes and cut in half so that each side mirrors the other. Trim the end off the stems and peel off the tough outer layer. Cut out the choke or wait until after it’s cooked, like I do.
Pour some broth and/or wine (red or white) a little less than halfway up the sides of a large saute pan with high sides. Turn heat to low.
Season broth with black pepper and salt, then add any or all of the following:
- cayenne pepper
- balsamic vinegar
- Italian seasoning
- Herbes de Provence
Tip: this is not a dish to experiment with curry or Asian spices. Although if any of you have success with this, please let us know in the comments.
Place artichoke halves and stems in seasoned broth. Cover pan and leave it alone for at least an hour. If you need to add more broth or wine, do so, although just enough to keep the artichokes from sticking to the bottom of the pan. When a leaf pulls out easily and I mean like butta’, there should be no resistance at all, then your artichokes are done.
Remove from heat and let artichokes cool in the broth. Remove the choke if you didn’t do so earlier. Serve, hot, warm, room temp, or cold.
Slow Cooker Version
Place two cups seasoned broth/wine in a slow cooker with the artichokes. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours,or on low for 4 to 7 hours (depending on the size of your artichokes). Since you won’t be serving these artichokes hot, the one hour variable isn’t a problem. You can make these earlier in the day then set them aside until dinner.
This is a meal that will please everyone. If someone doesn’t like something they can just ignore it. Half the fun of this meal is experimenting with different combinations and laughing at someone else’s strange concoction.
Leftovers like steak, chicken, fish, bacon, meat balls, sausage links, or hot dogs can be served cold with this meal or just serve up the deli plate for a light dinner or appetizer.
Get out a big platter and arrange a mix of the following on it:
- thinly sliced meats
- smoked sausage
- hard boiled eggs, whole or halved
- dill pickles
- roasted bell peppers
- sliced cucumbers
- lettuce leaves
- sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil and drained (save the oil to make a salad dressing for another meal)
- kimchi http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com/homemade-kimchi.html)
Dips & Spreads
Place any or all of the following in little bowls:
- ranch dressing (link to UD recipe)
- sugar-free creamy salad dressing
- mayo thinned with lemon or lime juice, seasoned with your choice of cayenne pepper, garlic, dill, Herbs de Provence, or thyme
- barbecue sauce
This meal is so easy to prepare you can pretty much tell your eight year old twins the title of this recipe and nothing else, let them loose in the kitchen and end up with a delish dinner.
Layer in a bowl or on a platter roughly in this order:
- shredded lettuce
- black beans or kidney beans
- precooked taco meat or chili (can be warm or cold)
- sour cream or yogurt
You can of course substitute dressed lettuce for the coleslaw.
Layer in a bowl or on a platter roughly in this order:
- dressed coleslaw
- cold pre-cooked chili
- sour cream or yogurt
- cream cheese or mascarpone cheese with pesto mixed in
Chicken Waldorf Salad
You can use pretty much any protein in place of the chicken, tuna or any white fish, turkey, ham, pork, bacon (better as a garnich rather than mixed into the salad), smoked or pre-cooked sausage.
I sometimes cut the mayonaisse 1:1 with Greek yogurt.
Place in a large bowl and toss together:
- chopped apples
- chopped celery
- raisins or halved grapes
- toasted walnuts, pecans, or pumpkin seeds
- your choice of meat
- mayonaisse thinned with fresh lemon or lime juice or your favorite sugar-free creamy salad dressing
- sliced green or red onion (optional)
- chopped fresh parsley, mint, oregeno, sage, or thyme (optional but don’t use dried herbs in place of fresh in this recipe)
The following can go into this salad but aren’t necessary to its success. I will add these just to use up items that I are hanging out in my fridge.
- Great Northern beans
- lima beans
- spinach, chopped or thinly sliced
- kale, thinly sliced and rubbed with lemon or lime juice until it softens
- feta cheese (use sparingly)
- blue cheese (use sparingly)
BLT Avocado Salad
The title of this recipe is pretty much the recipe for this dish.
- cooked bacon, don’t crumble it, chop it into bite size pieces
- lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
- chopped tomato
- chopped avocado
- mayo thinned with fresh lemon or lime juice or your favorite sugar-free salad dressing
When it’s too hot to even look at my grill I like to steam my corn in the microwave right in the husk.
Trim the top inch off each ear of corn and microwave 3 minutes per cob. Remove from microwave, let cool and peel off the husks and silk. Bonus, the silk comes off super easy with this method.
Use a knife to seperate the kernals from the cob.
Toss together in a bowl:
- corn kernels
- chopped tomato
- fresh basil, mint, or cilantro, roughly chopped
- sugar-free oil and vinegar dressing
You can of course add a rotisserie chicken from the market, grilled burgers, hot dogs, or sausages to any of these meals. Many of these meals are easily to transport and so ideal for a picnic or a potluck.
Okay, this is one of those recipes where I didn’t bother to get out the measuring devices. True confession, I was actually trying to make devilled eggs and got carried away with the yogurt. So here’s how you can whip up an easy salad for a hot summer night.
hard boiled eggs
yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, or lime juice
dill, fresh or dried
garlic, powdered or minced fresh
toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds (optional)
Remove the yolks from the whites, placing the yolks in a small bowl and the whites on a cutting board. Add mustard, yogurt, dill, and garlic to the yolks and use a fork to mash everything together until smooth and the consistency of a creamy salad dressing.
Chop the egg whites and cucumber. Place in a salad bowl. Drizzle dressing over the salad, garnish with pumpkin seeds.
Oh, and I didn’t forget the salt and pepper, no salt and pepper needed for this one.
If you need some meat to make it a meal you can add, ham, bacon, or sausage.
Serves 4 servings - 4 net carbs per serving
I sometimes double upon on this recipe so I can have them the next day over steak.
The carb count that Meal Planner Pro gives is not the net carb count. Be sure to use the net carb count I give in the serving size section.
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion (about 2 ½-inches in diameter), peeled and sliced
- 4 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat butter or oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add onions and a small pinch of pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and a small pinch of pepper. Continue cooking without stirring for two minutes. Add vinegar, stir and continue sautéing until vegetables are browned and the vinegar has caramelized, about four to five minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Don’t add salt while cooking or the vegetables won’t caramelize, they’ll steam as the salt releases their juices. Pile veggies on top of the steak.
Make Ahead: Make extra onions to use in sandwiches, or on top of a burger, a green salad ... Remove the extra onions before adding the mushrooms. Or, just go ahead and double up on the entire recipe as Balsamic Mushrooms are great on sandwiches, burgers, and salads.
I prefer to use pre-cooked frozen shrimp for my salads as it saves time and is less expensive than canned shrimp. If using frozen shrimp #. If using canned shrimp you’ll need 4 (4 ½ ounce) cans extra small shrimp.
- 2 cups (23 ounces) frozen, pre-cooked, extra-small shrimp
- 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
- 1 (5-inch) stalk celery, chopped
- 1 chopped green onion, both green and white portion
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more mayo if needed. You can do this in the morning for a packed lunch.
Freebie: Shrimp dressed with oil, salt, and pepper. If you’re doing the Freebie and have flavored oil such as garlic olive oil, do it that way.
Variation: Substitute 2 cups cooked chopped chicken, flaked tuna, flaked salmon, or cooked chopped scallops for the shrimp. Use any fresh herb that you like such as dill, basil, cilantro, or sage.
Serves 1 serving
Whenever I’m cooking up bacon for a meal, I like to just cook up the entire package on racks set over a baking sheet in the oven. Since it’s a zero-carb food, it’s great when I need a freebie for a meal or just for a quick snack.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 small mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ cup crisply cooked and diced bacon
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup egg white
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 3 large eggs
Melt ½ the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When butter is melted add mushrooms and sauté without stirring until one side is lightly browned. Remove to plate.
Add remaining butter to the pan. When butter is melted, add egg whites. Stir in a small pinch of salt and black pepper. Stir until almost starting to set. Stir in green chili, mushrooms, and bacon.
When eggs are almost set, sprinkle cheddar cheese over top. Cover pan; turn off heat and let sit until cheese is melted.
Set the 3 large eggs in a small pan. Cover eggs with water and bring water to a boil. Turn off heat, leaving the pan on the burner. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Remove eggs from water and run under cold water to cool down enough to put them in the fridge. You can use these eggs for today's lunch and snack.
Make Ahead: Hard boil three eggs and set aside for today’s lunch and snack.
Freebie: Have some extra slices of bacon.
Variation: Use 1 cup fresh spinach or ¼ cup frozen, thawed and squeezed dry in place of the mushrooms. Use 1 tablespoon diced green chilies, roasted red bell pepper, fresh thyme, fresh oregano, or fresh sage in place of the parsley. Use chicken or steak in place of the bacon.
I’m working on recipes for my three ingredient low carb cookbook coming out in a couple of months. I’m loving this mascarpone cheese spread with mascarpone cheese, juice from a jar of olives, and roasted garlic. Did you notice the slight purple tinge from the olive juice? Them Continue reading
If you're making this for yourself to have on hand for a low carb snack, this recipe is four servings and is one carb per serving. It reheats easily in the microwave, but I like these cold straight from the fridge. Yes - really.
- 1 cup Brie or mozzarella cheese
- 1 pound ground meat, beef, pork, chicken or turkey
- 1 tablespoon low-carb ketchup
- salt and black pepper to taste
Mix meat, ketchup and a large pinch each of salt and black pepper. Divide meat into four pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Poke hole into the meatball and place one tablespoon of Brie into the hole. Carefully close the meat around the Brie. Repeat until you have four cheese stuffed meatballs.
Cook the meatballs in a pan over medium-high heat for 15 minutes.
Slice one open to be sure the meat is no longer pink. If it is pink, then put the sliced meatball back in the pan and continue cooking for 3 to 6 minutes.
Or bake meatballs in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Check and turn once or twice. After 20 minutes, remove pan from oven, cut one meatball open to make sure meat is no longer pink. If it’s pink, then return the pan to the oven for 5 or 10 minutes.
I’m giving you all a sneak peak at a recipe from the cookbook I’m working on. All recipes are low carb, most are gluten free, and everything is 3 ingredients (or less!)
I bake big batches of these rolls and freeze them so I always have them on hand. These rolls are wonderful hot with butter, sliced into small rounds for sandwiches or French toast, cut into chunks for bread pudding …
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons 1% cottage cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 6 muffin tins with cooking spray. Separate eggs putting whites in a medium size bowl and yolks in a cup or small bowl.
Beat whites with cream of tartar until stiff but not dry. Fold in remaining ingredients being careful not to break down the whites.
Gently divide batter amongst the 6 muffin tins.
Bake for about 1 hour.
This recipe makes 4 servings at 1 net carb per serving.
I like to use flavored oil when making this bread such as pumpkin oil, coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, walnut oil, roasted sesame seed oil – or you can use canola oil if you don’t want to add a particular flavor to the bread. Flax seed has a unique taste that not everybody loves at first bite. If you find that you don’t take to this bread, at first, try adding a flavored oil, herbs and spices to mask the flax seed taste until you get used to it.
I recommend buying whole flax seed and grinding it yourself in a coffee grinder or blender. Ground flaxseed goes rancid rather quickly and the only way I’ll buy it is if it’s stored in the refrigerated section of a store. If you can find golden flax seed, get that instead of regular flax seed. It has a lighter flavor. You can also use ground chia seed in place of all or part of the flax seed meal. Chia seed has zero flavor, and I prefer it to flax seed.
If you use whole eggs instead of egg whites, then break this bread into six servings to equal 1 carb per serving.
2 cups ground flax or chia seed
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 serving liquid stevia or monk fruit
1 cup + ¼ cup egg whites
½ cup water
1/3 cup oil
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a baking sheet or use oiled parchment paper to line the baking sheet.
Mix dry Ingredients in a large bowl. Beat egg whites in a small bowl and then whisk in water and oil. Add wet Ingredients to dry Ingredients and mix well. Let the batter sit for several minutes until it thickens slightly. Don’t let it sit too long though or it will be too thick to spread out in the pan.
Pour batter onto the baking sheet and use a spatula to spread evenly in the pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until it springs back when you touch the top. Cool and cut into sandwich or cracker size pieces.