THE IMPASTA

Photos by: Adrian Garcia (LASDI©)

Photos by: Adrian Garcia (LASDI©)

I was cooking for seven families.  Not seven people.  Seven families.  Well, Framilies.  You know what framily is, right?  When you have really good friends you consider to be more like family.  So let me correct myself - I was cooking a meal for seven Framilies!  

We were celebrating being together because our Framily from Hungary (they're missionaries there) were home in The States for a visit and we just wanted to be together and laugh and play games like we do every time they come.

So what does one cook that is inexpensive but delicious, and will stretch among all those people?  PASTA!  Oh, Y'all.  There were so many different kinds of pasta!  For the white "sawse" lovers, I made chicken alredo with the most beautiful rainbow pasta I've ever seen (I bought it at Trader Joe's).  For the meat-lovers, I made lasagna with pasta sheets from scratch and TONS of Italian sausage, ground turkey, and ground sirloin.  But then there's me.  The low-carb girl.  Who happens to LOVE pasta.  But I'm not the girl who can eat even a small plate of it and not gain ten pounds, which is why I'm low-carb in the first place!  So guess what?  I made IMPASTA.  Yep!  I made the most incredible fettucine out of almond flour!  And the best part is: It is only THREE INGREDIENTS!!

With this recipe (made very simlarly to Fathead Dough), I made a primavera with so many gorgeous veggies that it looked almost too pretty to eat!  I also made a simple garlic-butter-Parmesan fettuccine which may have actually been the star of the show! So I have provided the Impasta recipe below for those of you interested in low-carb deliciousness that will knock your noodle-lovin' socks off!

PS - I also made a salad.  You know, for balance.

IMPASTA

2 tsp almond flour

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1 egg yolk

(No, seriously.  That's it.)

Melt almond flour and cheese in the microwave for one minute (or a minute-and-a-half if cheese is not fully melted).  Wait about 30 seconds for the cheese to cool just a little bit and then add an egg yolk.  With a spoonula, press and fold the yolk into the melted cheese until it's completely mixed into the cheese, and gives a yellow appearance.  Reheat the cheese for 10-15 seconds.  Spray two pieces of parchment paper with cooking spray for rolling the dough out.  Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick, using one piece of parchment on the bottom, and the other piece of parchment paper on top to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin or your work space. Don't roll it out too thin.  

Slice fettuccine strips and let dry in the fridge for about four hours.  Bring a pot of water to a boil, cook for one minute, and then strain with a colandar, making sure you immediately pour cold water over the pasta, so the noodles don't stick to each other too much.

Reheat with any "sawse" you prefer together in a pan, or reheat in your microwave with a little butter for about 20 seconds.

NOTES:  What do you call a fake noodle?  (Oh, come on.  You get it!)

Lucky Charm

SHE2016©

SHE2016©

I know what my own little pot of gold holds at the end of the rainbow, and it looks a little like a stuffed bell pepper!  The lucky part of this is how healthy, low-carb, and all-around delicious this meal was!   I actually took the ingredients over to family's house to cook, if that tells you just how easy the prep was.  First day of March needed homage, so I filled the pepper with all-goodness and then cut a little shamrock into the side for the perfect touch!  Slåinte!

LUCKY CHARM STUFFED BELL PEPPERS

4 bell peppers (green, of course!)

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 pkg ground turkey

sea salt

pepper

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and slightly mashed

1 small onion, diced finely

1 small eggplant, diced finely

1 small yellow squash, diced finely

1 small zucchini, diced finely

2 tbs Italian seasoning

1 tbs garlic powder

1 tbs paprika

1 tbs sea salt

1 tsp pepper

1 8-oz container ricotta cheese

Shredded Parmesan cheese

Prepare bell peppers by slicing off the tops as close to the stem as possible and cleaning out the seeds and membrane.  Place on a prepared baking sheet and set aside, and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle a little evoo into a pan over medium heat.  Place ground turkey into pan and sprinkle with a little sea salt and pepper, and brown until just cooked through.  Set aside in a medium-sized bowl.  In the same pan over medium heat, sprinkle a little evoo and add mashed garbanzo beans (or just mash them in the pan!) all vegetables and seasonings and let cook for about two minutes.  While veggies are cooking, add ricotta cheese to ground turkey and stir until just blended.  Remove vegetables from heat and add to meat-and-cheese mixture.  Stuff the mixture into the bell peppers, sprinkle a little grated Parmesan cheese on top and let cook for about 20 minutes or until peppers are to desired consistency.  Once peppers come out of the oven, let rest for about 5 minutes and with a paring knife, carefully cut your shamrock out of the side.  Pop said shamrock into your mouth for luck!

 

 

 

PASTA LOVE

SHE2016©

SHE2016©

It is a Leap Year so we got an extra day in February!  So because this was the last Sunday in February I had to make sure it was a Sunday Supper of Love to remember!  I decided - even as the Low-Carb Girl in the house - to go all out and make The Hubster home-made pasta!  I topped it with chicken Parmesan and made a side of squash stacks of eggplant, yellow squash, and zucchini, and some lovely garlic knots.  I finished it off with almond-liquor raspberry-topped cheesecake and a Bishop Burgundy cocktail.  It was nothing short of amazing, but was still pretty easy!  Who would you like to show some love to?  The way to the heart is through the stomach, no?  

SHE2016©

SHE2016©

FAST & EASY HOME-MADE PASTA

3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
a pinch of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup flour

Add the eggs, salt, pepper, and olive oil to a food processor fit with the blade attachment, and pulse two or three times.  Add half the flour, and pulse until it is absorbed into the eggs and you have a bit of a paste. Add the rest of the flour, and continue to run the blade until you see a ball-shaped mass of flour and eggs bouncing around the processor. If the dough is still too sticky to the touch, add an extra tablespoon of flour. If it's a bit dry, then add a little water as needed.  Take the pasta dough out and roll/shape according to what you're looking to accomplish with your dish.  For us this time around, it was fettuccine-shaped with marinara sauce.  I cooked it in the sauce for about five minutes, as fresh pasta takes a lot less time to cook.  And it was incredible.

NOTES: Carbs doesn't mean unclean in my house.  I still use organic ingredients, including the flour and olive oil.  I really do believe in this particular case, it makes for a better-tasting pasta.  Happy eating! 

EGGPLANT PARMA-PARADISE

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Look, I know some of you have an eggplant Parmesan recipe you swear by; whether it's your own or your mama's or your noni's or a coveted recipe passed down for generations.  But I'm here to tell you that this recipe is THE ONE -the holy grail of eggplant Parmesan - the GOLDEN TICKET TO EGGPLANT PARMESAN PARADISE.  For real, People.  FOR REAL.  This was fresh, organic eggplant picked on our Annual Fall Family Day.  And it will be forever the annual eggplant Parmesan recipe from here on out!!

EGGPLANT PARMESAN

3-small-to-medium-sized eggplant

grated Parmesan cheese

1 pinch sea salt

1 pinch pepper

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp pepper

2 tsp cumin

4 eggs

splash of water

canola oil

shredded pizza cheese or mozzarella

1-48 oz can diced tomatoes, drained and split in two

1 can rotel, drained

Italian seasoning

1 bunch thyme

6 cloves roasted garlic, chopped fine

1 onion, chopped fine

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Wash and dry your eggplant, and cut it into slices about 1-inch thick.  In a  bowl, take your eggs and whisk them like crazy.  Add a splash of water, a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of pepper and whisk again.  In another bowl, pour about two cups of grated Parmesan, and add your sea salt, pepper, and cumin and mix with a fork.  In a heavy pan (I use my cast-iron, of course!), pour about an inch of canola oil and heat on medium.  The oil is ready when you can put a tiny sprinkle of water in it and it sizzles.  Take a slice of eggplant, dip it in the egg-mix and then the Parmesan mix.  Put it in the hot oil and let cook about a minute-and-a-half on each side (until crust is hard).  Do not put more than four slices at a time so that they don't steam but get good and crunchy.  Place each one on a drying or cooling rack and continue to cook until all slices are done.   

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

In the same pan the eggplant was cooked in and on medium heat, place the thyme, roasted garlic, and onion and saute for about three minutes (see notes).  Remove from heat, take out the thyme sprig and discard,  and set aside the onion and garlic.  In a prepared baking dish, layer your cooked slices of eggplant, breaking apart a few to fit and cover the entire bottom of the dish.  Your next layer is the first half of the drained diced tomatoes.  Cover the tomato layer with your cheese and sprinkle Italian seasoning generously over the cheese.  Next, layer half the onion and garlic mix over the Italian seasoning and cheese.  Repeat layers, starting with eggplant and ending with the second half of the onion and garlic mixture, but in place of the tomatoes, layer the rotel.  Repeat for the last (third) layer, using eggplant, second-half of the diced tomatoes, and a heavy layer of cheese with a sprinkle of the Italian seasoning.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Let rest for five minutes.  Eat it up - I will feel your love from afar!!

NOTES: I had some leftover roasted garlic from the meal the night before.  You can either roast it yourself, buy it already roasted, or simply use regular garlic.  I use organic ingredients whenever possible for clean eating, and in this case, I believe it helped the eggplant flavor!  This is FANTASTIC for Meatless Monday AND it is low-carb, though it is so rich it sure doesn't taste like it!  Wanna see it happen fast-and-on-video on Life As She Does It's YouTube channel?  Click HERE

She-cago Cubs

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Though I am not a Cubs fan, I am a fan of Cubs fans.  One in particular happens to be my favorite person - The Hubster!  As we watched the possibility of Back to the Future's prediction in progress, we were invited to two of my other Cubs fan-favorites, Cody and her husband Joe.  My job was to take a sweet and a savory.  I did not don the Cubs gear; however, in support, I did fix up some Cubs eats!  I did cupcakes decorated with a Cubs logo, as you can see from the picture above, and also dressed up some antipasto apps to look like baseballs!  That is the recipe I provided you below......throw them together for your next sports party!

BASEBALL ANTIPASTO APPS

1 pkg 'everything' bagel thins, sandwich-size

1/2 pound hard salami, sliced at a 2 or 3

1 pkg sliced smoked provolone cheese

1 jar roasted red peppers, keep the liquid

2 tbs mayonnaise

2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese

Toast the 'everything' bagel thins until just crisp.  Mix the liquid from the jar of peppers, the mayonnaise, and the Parmesan cheese in the jar, close and shake well.  Spread very thinly and evenly on toasted bagel thins.  Place a slice of salami on top of the dressed bagel thins, and then layer a slice of provolone cheese.  Cut each roasted red pepper into thin slices to make the baseball 'laces', and layer according to the picture above.

NOTES: I use Boar's Head salami because it has no nitrates or MSG, and is minimally processed.  Also, as the low-carb girl, I simply eat this without the bagel thin and it is DELICIOUS!

 

 

RAGU YOU!

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Like most of America, I love spaghetti and "the sawse".  But sometimes I like to put my own spin on things because I get all hum-drummed out.  So I made some ragu with ground turkey and for The Hubster, used some organic rotini pasta, and tofu shirataki noodles for me, being the Low-Carb Girl that I am.  Add some fresh basil and you've got a beautiful meal that tastes authentic Italian......and DELICIOSO!

GROUND TURKEY RAGU

1 pkg ground turkey

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

sea salt

1 tbs garlic powder

1 tbs ground sage

1 medium-sized onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cans tomato paste

1 small can diced tomatoes

2 tbs fresh oregano

6 basil leaves, cut in a chiffonade

shredded mozzarella or Parmesan, for garnish

In a heavy pot, sprinkle enough evoo to cover about 1/2 of the bottom and heat on medium heat for about a minute  Add ground turkey, and add all seasoning, onion, and garlic.  Brown the turkey, using a wooden spoon or silicone spoonula to break it up as it cooks.  Once it is cooked through, bring to low heat, and add tomato paste, diced tomatoes and oregano.  Cook on low for about ten minutes or until heated through.  Serve over pasta of your choice and sprinkle with fresh basil chiffonade.  Add cheese of your choice and mangia!

NOTES: When cooking the ground turkey, be careful not to stir too much or break it up until it starts to cook or it can get tough and dry.  I suggest using a wooden or silicone utensil to break it up so you don't scratch or scrape up your pot  Do not sprinkle with the chiffonade (rolled up and sliced fine) until the end, or it could turn black instead of looking and tasting fresh.  This is a great meal for the end of summer because it just tastes so fresh.