Whenever I’m planning a party I make sure to include low carb, Paleo, gluten-free, and sugar-free options, not only for myself, but nowadays there are always several people in the crowd that have dietary restrictions. To let people know what foods are “safe” for them to eat I use chalkboard mats or chalkboard picks to write the name of the dish and beneath the name I’ll write “low carb”, or “gluten-free”, and so on.
Spicy Cheddar Bites
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup soy flour
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Cream butter until soft and fluffy. Use a pastry cutter, fork or two butter knives to cut in remaining ingredients. The batter should look like coarse cornmeal.
On a very lightly floured board form the dough into two long, thin rolls, 1 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap or foil and chill until firm, one to two hours. They can be stored in the fridge or frozen until ready to bake.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut each roll into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Place the slices, edges not touching, on ungreased baking sheets and bake for 5 – 10 minutes until brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve immediately, or let cool; storing in an airtight container.
Herb Brie Spread
Serving Size: ¼ cup – 1 net carb/serving
1 cup Brie cheese, melted
2 tablespoons diced fresh parsley, or basil, or mint
2 tablespoons diced oil-packed sun-dried tomato
Blend all ingredients with a fork.
Spread the herbed Brie onto your choice of the following:
- thinly sliced meat, roll and eat (zero carbs)
- cucumber slices (1/2 cup slices 1 carb)
- celery sticks (7-inch long stalk = 1 carb)
- radish slices (1/2 cup sliced = 1 carb)
- One Carb Bread
You can use any herb in place of the parsley, and I encourage you to do so. Whichever herb you choose will completely change this spread.
Creamy Pesto Dip
This is such a simple and versatile spread that I’m not going to give an exact recipe but rather the basic ingredients and let you go to it on your own.
Use a fork to mix equal amounts of cream cheese or mascarpone cheese and pesto. That’s it! Serve with veggies, toasted protein bread and crackers or mini-toasts for guests who aren’t low carbing it.
You can substitute cooked ground beef, pork or turkey for the cheese or even go half and half.
1 cup onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed well to remove excess water
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
sea salt and black pepper
jarred grape leaves: Middle Eastern markets carry bottled leaves with no preservatives. These taste better than the supermarket ones with the acid preservative.
1 cup veggie, mock chicken, or beef broth
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Saute onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon peanut, walnut or sesame oil until onion is translucent.
Add spinach, black pepper, nutmeg and sea salt and continue sauteeing until onion is tender.
Remove from heat and stir in cheese or meat.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Gently remove grape leaves from the jar, rinse and drain in a colander. Lay on towels to absorb excess water. Lay the leaves out on a work surface.
Cut and discard any long stems. Place 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each leaf. Fold bottom and top of leaf over filling. Fold left leaf over filling and roll. Arrange in single layer rows in a baking dish, seam side down.
Cover and bake for 45 minutes. These taste much better when you make them 1 to 4 days ahead. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Spicy Stuffed Mushrooms
12 servings of 2 mushrooms per serving – 1 carb per serving
24 medium mushrooms
¼ pound spicy sausage, cooked and crumbled
3 ounces Bel Gioioso mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove stems and gills from mushrooms. Set stems aside to use in another dish or on a salad. Place mushroom caps in an oiled baking dish. Bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven.
While mushrooms are baking, mix cooked sausage and cheeses together.
Fill each mushroom with 1 teaspoon of stuffing mixture. Return mushrooms to oven stuffed side up. Bake for 7 minutes.
Use 3 medium zucchini in place of the mushrooms. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp, leaving a ¼-inch thick shell. Toss the pulp or chop and use in a salad.
Place zucchini, cut side up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon each salt and black pepper over all three zucchini. Turn cut side down and bake for 7 minutes or until just short of al dente. Fill with stuffing mixture and bake for another 7 minutes.
If you have shaped bread tins a party is a great time to use them for this bread. You’ll need two shaped tins, one bread loaf pan and two mini loaf pans. For a party I think it’s nicer to use either the shaped tins or mini loaf pans.
1/4 cup finely diced broccoli
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 cup butter, softened
6 eggs, room temperature
1-1/4 cups soy flour
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup finely diced, cooked ham
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly oil pan(s).
Sprinkle broccoli and onion with a small pinch of salt and steam until just tender.
In a large bowl beat butter at medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating each time until mixture is almost smooth.
In a medium bowl combine the soy flour, orange peel, lemon peel, baking powder, salt and pepper. Add dry mixture 1/4 cup at a time to egg mixture, stirring to roughly blend each time. Stir in vegetables and ham.
Spoon batter into pan(s). Smooth top of batter.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. If using bread tins cook 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes. When tester shows no raw dough remove from oven. Let sit 10 minutes then carefully remove from pan(s). Cool before slicing. Arrange slices on lettuce lined plate or tray.
Spicy Meat Rolls
Spread gourmet mustard on thinly sliced roast beef, ham, corned beef and/or pastrami. Roll up and secure with a toothpick.
Set out plates of different types of olives, cheese cubes, and crudites.