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 ..
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
This recipe makes four servings at a mere 3 net carbs per serving. For those UnDieters following a Paleo diet just substitute zoodles for the shiritaki pasta, or scramble up some eggs and top them with the sloppy joe sauce. I’ve also made cauliflower steaks and topped them with this sauce.