Friday, October 27, 2017

Low Carb Macaroni and Cheese (Gluten Free)

Macaroni and Cheese
I must admit that I created a masterpiece tonight! I made a low carb “macaroni” and cheese casserole that only has 4 carbs (2 net carbs) per serving. It was spectacular! The sauce was so creamy and the “noodles” absorbed the cheezy deliciousness perfectly. The ingredient used to replace regular wheat pasta in my recipe was Palmini Linguine Noodles (made from hearts of palm), which I purchased on Amazon (see photos below). These “noodles” have been an excellent low carb replacement for pasta in many of my favorite dishes, but this one may win the prize! They’re a bit pricey, but worth it in my opinion because their texture and mild taste work so well in pasta recipes. Give them a try. I think you’ll be pleased, too.

Low Carb “Macaroni” and Cheese (Gluten Free)
Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon organic butter
A pinch of salt
White or black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup organic heavy cream
1/4 cup water
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Thick-It-Up (or organic xanthan gum), enough to thicken
1/4 pound organic sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (4 oz.)
One 16 oz. can Palmini Linguine Noodles (hearts of palm), cut into 1” pieces
1/4 cup additional organic cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the salt, pepper, dry mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce, cream and water. Whisk to combine and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Slowly sprinkle in the Thick-It-Up or xanthan gum while whisking constantly until mixture thickens. Stir in the 4 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese and whisk until the cheese has melted and sauce is smooth.

2. Drain and rinse the Palmini noodles in a colander and pat with paper towels until most of the excess moisure is removed. Use scissors to cut the noodles into 1-inch pieces. Add noodles to the cheese sauce and stir until well coated.


3. Pour the noodle-cheese mixture into a 2-quart baking dish or into four individual ramekins. Sprinkle the additional shredded cheese over the top and dust with paprika. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until piping hot, bubbly and the top is browned. Serve immediately. 

Note: You can prepare the casserole several hours to a day ahead, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. It’s best served immediately after baking.

Nutritional Information per serving (1/4 recipe): 230 calories, 4.5 g carbohydrate (2.1 g dietary fiber, 0.2 g sugars), 22.1 g total fat (12.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 72 mg cholesterol, 339 mg sodium, 189.2 mg calcium, 43 mg potassium, 722 mg Vit A, 8.5 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 2.4 grams

Photos and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Low Carb Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
I was browsing through some broccoli soup recipes and landed on a good one asserting to be a Panera copycat recipe but it was too high in carbs and called for flour, which are both no-nos for me. So I adapted this recipe to be low carb and ketogenic with a few minor adjustments. This is the creamiest and, by far, the BEST Broccoli Cheddar soup I’ve ever made and will definitely be my go-to recipe from now on! Perfect for a cool fall evening or anytime.

Low Carb Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Makes about 6 cups

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup organic heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
A small pinch of cayenne
3 cups broccoli florets and stems, diced into small pieces
1 small carrot, sliced into thin rounds
8 ounces high-quality cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon Thick-It-Up low carb thickener (or xanthan gum), if needed

1. In a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add chopped onion and sauté for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent and just starting to turn golden in color. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or so until fragrant. Add the chicken stock and heavy cream and whisk to combine. Add the salt, pepper, paprika, dry mustard powder and cayenne and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and add the broccoli and carrots and allow the mixture to gently simmer on low heat uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and the broth has thickened slightly.

2. Meanwhile, grate the cheese and set aside a portion to use as a garnish later. After the soup has simmered and the vegetables have softened, add the cheese and stir continuously until it has melted and is fully incorporated into the soup. Taste and adjust seasonings. If needed, sprinkle the Thick-It-Up (or xanthan gum) into the soup while whisking continuously until the desired thickness is reached.

3. Ladle the soup into serving bowls, garnish with the reserved grated cheese and serve immediately. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It is best reheated in the microwave or heated very gently in a heavy saucepan over low heat while stirring often. Do not freeze.

Nutritional Information per cup: 305 calories, 7.3 g carbohydrate (1.8 g dietary fiber, 1.9 g sugars), 30.9 g total fat (19.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 105 mg cholesterol, 651 mg sodium, 323.9 mg calcium, 217 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 2888 mg Vit A, 41 mg Vit C, 13.1 g protein. Net carbs per cup: 5.5 grams

Photo and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
Adapted from a recipe on
All Rights Reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.