Sunday, June 19, 2011

Creative Italian with a low carb twist!

Since my diet has changed and I have to re-learn to eat; it's been a challenge to invent new recipes.
Saturday, I had most of the afternoon to get creative. It turned out to be a lot of fun and very tasty things came out of the oven!

Here are a couple of high protein, low carb ideas .

Squash Stuffing for Chicken
1 TB olive oil
2 cups diced acorn squash
1 small green pepper, diced
1 medium onion diced
1 stalk celery diced (try to dice all vegetables the same size)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 bratwurst turkey sausage, casing removed.
1 TB basil, 1 TB thyme, 1 TB oregano, 1 leaf of sage, finely chopped(1/2 of each if dried)
Salt and pepper to taste
Spray skillet with a little olive oil cooking spray,add turkey sausage and cook till done. Remove turkey from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside into a bowl. Heat olive oil, then throw in squash, onions, green peppers, celery , saute till tender.
Add garlic and herbs, stir throughly. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute, then add turkey sausage into vegetables.
Stuff loosely into a large whole chicken. (Suggestion: Season your chicken with salt and lemon pepper, sliced lemons on top of breast.
Put extra stuffing into a sprayed casserole dish and bake beside chicken. (take casserole out after 30 minutes) Bake chicken, covered with tin foil at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Uncover chicken, baste with juices, and cook at 425 for 30 minutes or until thigh is at correct temperature or juices run clear. Chicken should be browned.
Remove stuffing and mix into the casserole of stuffing you cooked on the side. Serve with your lovely browned bird!

Eggplant Rollatini
2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced lengthwise about 1/4 of an inch.
3 TBS of Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 pound of chicken,turkey, or tofu sausage, casing removed
1 cup of low fat ricotta cheese.
1 cup of low fat mozzarella cheese, or any low fat shredded cheese
1/4 cup of parmigiano cheese. (not the stuff in the can)
1 handful of chopped fresh herbs: your choice, I use basil, oregano, thyme or winter savory, parsley. (if using dried, use about 1/2 the amount)
1 recipe of marinara sauce, (recipe given at end of this blog.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a large baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray, lay slices of eggplant on sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil over eggplants. Turn slices over and repeat.
Roast in oven for 20 minutes, flipping them over midway.
Remove from oven, let cool.
While eggplant is cooking, spray a large skillet with olive oil , brown the sausage. Remove, drain and cool.
Mix together mozzarella, parmigiano, and ricotta in a bowl, adding your fresh herbs. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add your cooked sausage and stir together.
Time to put everything together!
Line up eggplant slices next to your cheese and meat mixture.
On a cutting board place a slice of your roasted eggplant. Mound a large spoonful of your cheese, meat mixture on one end and roll up.
Place seam side down into a sprayed baking dish. When all rolls are in baking dish, spoon marinara sauce over rolls. Sprinkle with a small amount of whatever low fat cheese you wish. (I used low fat mozzarella)
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.
Marinara sauce:
1 large can of crushed tomatoes, 1/8 tsp of red pepper flakes, 3 cloves of garlic crushed. 1 handful of fresh basil, torn into small pieces,leaves only.
Put 1 TB of olive oil in a saucepan. When oil is hot, add red pepper flakes and garlic. When they begin to sizzle, add crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 1/2 hour.

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