Zucchini Pizza Boats

Zucchini Pizza Boats

Anyone’s New Year’s resolution involve dieting?  I know at our house it does.  Yes, now that the holidays have been put away it’s time to get back to normal eating and perhaps back to a diet.

To my husband that means eating low-carb and even Keto.  Whenever he went on one of his strict no carb diets I always ended up making 2 different dinners, no or low carb for  him and normal for the grandkids.  Well not this year!  I decided that low-carb or Keto friendly doesn’t mean that those not on diets can’t enjoy the same foods.  Seriously!  So I embarked on a journey to find dishes that would meet my husband’s needs and be tasty enough for the whole family!  I’ll be sharing recipes as I go!

My first keto friendly dish enjoyed by everyone in the house are these Zucchini Pizza Boats.  They are absolutely delicious, even for those who don’t particularly care for zucchini.  (That would be the grandson who refused to eat anything “green”! But he loves these Pizza Boats!)

This is such as easy recipe to make and it is seriously yummy!  It’s a great way to get the kids to eat their veggies!

They’re a meal on their own, but feel free to serve them with Garlic Bread if you feel the need for carbs.  I serve them with a nice crisp salad of mixed greens with Italian dressing.  Very nutritious!

The recipe calls for Marinara Sauce, you can use store bought, your favorite homemade sauce, or try some of my yummy homemade Marinara Sauce.

Zucchini Pizza Boats

Ingredients:

3 Large Zucchini

1 Tbs. Olive OIl

1 Lb. Ground Beef

1 Tbs. Garlic Powder

1 Tbs. Italian Seasoning

2 Cups Marinara Sauce

1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese

1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cooking spray

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Heat oil in frying pan.

Place ground beef in pan and add garlic powder and Italian seasoning.

Cook until meat is crumbly.

Add marinara sauce and simmer until most of the liquid evaporates, about 10-15 minutes.

Combine 3 cheeses and stir in half of cheese mixture into beef mixture.  Set aside.

Cut off zucchini stems and cut each zucchini in half lengthwise.

Using a melon baller scoop out insides of zucchini, save the insides for later uses.

Place Zucchini boats on to baking pan.

Spoon meat mixture into each boat making sure each boat is filled to the brim.

Sprinkle remaining cheese over each boat.

Bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until cheese has melted and started to turn brown.

Serve hot with salad or garlic bread.

 

Zucchini Pizza Boats
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Zucchini Pizza Boats
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Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray and set aside. Heat oil in frying pan. Place ground beef in pan and add garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Cook until meat is crumbly. Add marinara sauce and simmer until most of the liquid evaporates, about 10-15 minutes. Combine 3 cheeses and stir in half of cheese mixture into beef mixture.  Set aside. Cut off zucchini stems and cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller scoop out insides of zucchini, save the insides for later uses. Place Zucchini boats on to baking pan. Spoon meat mixture into each boat making sure each boat is filled to the brim. Sprinkle remaining cheese over each boat. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until cheese has melted and started to turn brown.  Serve hot with salad or garlic bread.
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Christmas Ham Wrapped in Puff Pastry

Christmas Ham Wrapped in Puff Pastry

There’s ham under that golden puff-pastry pineapple! A riff on the iconic glazed ham covered with pineapple rings and cherries, every slice of this show-stopping main course has flaky pastry and salty ham topped with sweet pineapple sauce.

Level: Easy

Total: 2 hr 20 min

Active: 25 min

Yield: 14-16 servings

Ingredients:

One 6-pound boneless ham

Two 17.3-ounce packages puff pastry (4 sheets)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Two 8-ounce cans crushed pineapple

3/4 cup light brown sugar

 

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

5 cloves

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 maraschino cherries

Directions:

1. For the ham: Arrange 2 oven racks in the middle and bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Put the ham cut-side down in the middle of one.

2. Lay 1 sheet of puff pastry on a clean work surface and brush lightly with egg wash. Layer a second sheet on top and brush with egg wash. Repeat with the remaining sheets but do not brush egg wash on the top sheet. Roll the pastry with a rolling pin so it is 3 inches longer than the length of your ham and wide enough to drape over the ham completely. Cut off the extra 3 inches of pastry and set aside. Using a long sharp knife, score the pastry diagonally one way and then the other to form a diamond pattern, cutting halfway through the pastry layers.

3. Drape the pastry over the ham, pulling it gently to cover. Trim the excess pastry on the corners and set aside with the 3-inch-wide strip. Brush the wrapped ham with egg wash and bake on the middle rack until the pastry is golden and the ham is hot through (about 140 degrees F), about 2 hours.

4. For the pineapple top: Meanwhile, cut the 3-inch-wide pastry strip in half lengthwise on the diagonal so you have 2 long triangles. Cut the other pastry scraps into long thin triangles of various sizes. Transfer to the second prepared baking sheet, brush with egg wash and bake on the bottom rack until golden, rotating front to back half way through, about 30 minutes.

5. Combine the pineapple, sugar, cloves and vinegar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Combine the cornstarch with 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the pineapple sauce, bring back to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the cloves. Transfer the sauce to a small bowl and top with the cherries.

6. Put the ham on a serving platter and arrange the baked triangles at the top of the ham in the shape of a pineapple crown. Serve with the pineapple sauce.

Christmas Ham Wrapped in Puff Pastry
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Christmas Ham Wrapped in Puff Pastry
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50 Minutes Serves 4Easy

50 Minutes Serves 4Easy

Serves 4

Easy

This recipe for beef fillet with spiced pears and chestnut pickle is easy to make but offers something a little bit different during the colder months. Buy chestnuts ready-peeled for ease.

SPICED PEARS AND CHESTNUT PICKLE

  • ginger 1cm piece, finely chopped
  • red chilli flakes a pinch
  • olive oil 2 tbsp

  • red wine vinegar 150ml

 

 

  • light muscovado sugar 3 tbsp
  • pears 3 or 4 small
  • cooked chestnuts 60g, sliced or halved

Method

  • STEP 1 Make the pickle ahead. Put the ginger, red chilli flakes, olive oil, red wine vinegar and sugar in a small pan and bring to a simmer. Peel the pears, cut them into halves or quarters and core. Drop them into the hot mixture with the chestnuts and leave to cool completely, turning the pears over once. Lift the pears out of the mix and put them in a bowl. Simmer the liquid until it is thicker and stickier, season, and pour over the pears. This will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

 

  • STEP 2 Season the beef with plenty of salt and pepper and leave to dry and come up to room temperature for an hour.

 

  • STEP 3 Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan and sear the beef well on all sides, then put it in a roasting tin. Roast for 20 minutes for rare beef (another 10 minutes for medium-rare), cover with foil and a tea towel, then rest for 20 minutes. Slice into thick rounds and lay down the centre of a serving dish. Arrange the pears down the centre of the beef, stir any meat juices into the sauce and spoon it and the chestnuts over the pears.


50 Minutes Serves 4Easy
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50 Minutes Serves 4Easy
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Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kabobs

Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kabobs

Kalbi KabobsOne of our favorite food is Korean Kalbi, or barbecued beef short ribs.  We usually order this at one of the local fast food Korean restaurants, but it’s pretty pricey; you get 3 thin short ribs, a couple of scoops of steamed white rice, and a choice of 4 side dishes (kim chee, bean sprouts, tofu, etc.) for a over $12 a plate.

My husband’s main complaint about the local restaurants isn’t the the price or the serving size of the kalbi, it’s about the flimsy plastic utensils they provide which usually snaps in half the moment you try to cut into the meat.  Hence he has decided not to patronize any of the fast food style Korean barbecue joints.

There are sit down Korean restaurants where you can grill your own meats, the meal comes with many side dishes, soup, and steamed rice; but they also come with a hefty price tag.  The last time my girlfriend and I stopped at one for lunch it cost us a little bit over $65, and that’s without drinks or tip! Not to mention that was the least expensive barbecue dish on the menu!  The food was good, specially the kalbi, but I’m sure we won’t be repeating it often.

To solve all these issues I’ve found a great Korean Kalbi recipe to make at home.  I make it of our Sunday barbecue and it was a big hit with my family.  I used thin cut boneless beef short ribs which I threaded  on to bamboo skewers to make them into kebabs.  You can use bone-in short ribs and don’t have to thread them on to skewers, I do however recommend that you use the thinner cuts so that the marinade will infuse the meat better.

I served this with steamed white rice, macaroni salad, and kim chee cabbage;  it was even better than the plates we get at the Korean restaurants at less than half the price! (The short ribs cost $6.97 a pound, if you get the thin cut that’s 6 short ribs).

Another way to serve this is on small white corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, just like the Korean Kalbi Tacos from the food truck in L.A.!  We served it this way for my mom’s 80th. birthday party a few years ago.

Just in time for your Labor Day barbecue!  Here’s my recipe!
Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kebabs
Makes 18 skewers
Ingredients:
3 lbs. thin cut boneless beef short ribs (you should get 18 short ribs.  You can use bone-in ribs if you prefer)
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbls. fresh ginger – finely grated
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tbls. minced garlic
1 tbls. white sesame seeds
1 tbls. black sesame seeds
2 stalks green onions – chopped
Directions:
1.  Cut short ribs into thirds if you will be threading them on to skewers, if not then don’t cut them.
2.  Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.  Mix until sugar dissolves.
3.  Pour marinade into large ziplock bag.
4.  Put meat into marinade and marinate in the fridge overnight.
5.  Thread meat on to skewers and barbecue on the grill to desired doneness.  If you’re not making kebabs then cook ribs on the grill until done.
Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kebabs
Serve hot immediately off the grill.
Looking for more grilling inspiration?  Check out PersonalCreations.com and see how people grill around the world!

 

 

 

Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kebabs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 Skewers 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Servings Prep Time
12 Skewers 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kebabs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 Skewers 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Servings Prep Time
12 Skewers 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: Skewers
Instructions
  1. Cut short ribs into thirds if you will be threading them on to skewers, if not then don't cut them.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix until sugar dissolves.
  3. Pour marinade into large ziploc bag.
  4. Put meat into marinade and marinate in the fridge overnight.
  5. Thread meat on to skewers and barbecue on the grill to desired doneness. If you're not making kebabs then cook ribs on the grill until done.
  6. Serve hot immediately off the grill.
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Pretzel Dogs

Pretzel Dogs

 

Pretzel Dogs are another family favorite.  The kids buy them from the Pretzel stands at the mall all the time.  But they’ve gotten very pricey lately.

Before I continue you might be wondering what is the difference between Pigs in Blankets and Pretzel Dogs.  The answer is quite simple Pigs in Blankets are wrapped in refrigerated Crescent Dough and Pretzel Dogs are wrapped in pretzel dough.  Now which is better you ask, they’re both good.  It just depends on how much time you want to invest into making them and also the taste you’re trying to achieve.  For parties when you need to make a lot Pigs in Blankets are much easier to make.

Since I started making homemade pretzels, first the easy no dipping pretzels I made before graduating to the “real” pretzels, I thought why not make my own Pretzel Dogs.  These Pretzel Dogs are pretty easy to make, they use my Pretzel Bites recipe which is modified to wrap around hot dogs.

These Pretzel Dogs are great for lunch an snacks.  They sure come in handy this summer when the grandkids are home and are always looking for something to eat.  Best of all you can make 10 Pretzels Dogs for less than the price of one you buy at the mall!

To make these Pretzel Dogs you will need to make a batch of the dough I use in the Pretzel Bites, it’s the exact same dough but shaped a bit differently.  Here’s my recipe!

Pretzel Dogs

Ingredients:

Pretzel Bites Dough   click here for the recipe

10 Hot Dogs (I use all beef hot dogs like Hebrew National or Nathan’s)

Directions:

Follow the directions for Pretzel Bites until you get to the step where you roll the dough into 10 ropes, which you do as you wait for the Baking Soda Bath to boil.  Proceed as directed below.

Make 10 dough ropes – each one should be at least 2-3 times as long as your hot dog.

Wrap each rope on a hot dog.  Leave the ends of the hot dogs unwrapped.  Refer to the picture above.  Tuck dough ends and pinch the seams to keep them from unraveling.

Drop each wrapped hot dog into the Baking Soda Bath.

Allow them to boil in the bath until they float, about 30-45 seconds.

Remove from bath and place on prepared baking sheet.

Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake in 450 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the dough is golden brown.

Remove from oven and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

 

 

Pretzel Dogs
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Pretzel Dogs
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