Low-Carb

Portabello mushrooms and spinach

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Christine’s Greek Salad and Dressing

Last night we had an unexpected visit from friends we hadn’t seen for a few years, and it was a lazy Saturday night for us. I decided to whip up a Greek salad for dinner, and finally, after many times having made this dressing, I’m sharing it with the world. I hope you like it as much as my family does.
Kali Orexi (Greek equivalent to Bon appetit in French)
Enjoy!

Salad Ingredients:

2 heads of romaine lettuce
3 cups of vine ripe tomatoes, cut in quarters (see photo)
1 red onion, diced
1 english cucumber, sliced
1 green bell pepper, core and seeds removed, and diced
1/2 cup of Greek pitted olives (optional)
Feta Cheese (use block and crumble into fine pieces)

The Dressing (Makes 1 cup of dressing):
3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of fine red wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon of fine sea salt
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
3 large cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of dried mint
1 teaspoon of Cavenders Greek Seasoning (optional)

Directions:
Combine all the dressing ingredients and place in food processor, blender, or use an immersion blender. For this recipe and for all dressings, I use the immersion blender, specifically the Cuisinart Smartstick 200W hand blender. Please see the picture of what the dressing should look like. I used about half the dressing for the amount of salad above, and poured the dressing over the ingredients and then topped with feta cheese before serving.

Tomatoes on the Vine

Greek Dressing


Christine’s Greek Salad

Pulled Pork in the Pressure Cooker

Serves 4-6
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

4 pounds of Pork Shoulder
1-28 ounce bottle of gourmet barbecue sauce (My personal favorite is Sweet Baby Ray’s)
6 garlic cloves
1 cup of diced onion
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1 tablespoon of natural cane sugar or brown sugar.

Directions:

Saute the garlic and onion in the oil for about 2-3 minutes in an UNCOVERED pressure cooker. Add the pork and brown it on all sides with the garlic and onion in the oil. Once the outside of the pork shoulder is browned on all sides, remove from heat, and wait until pressure cooker cools down before covering it and pressuring the pork. Once cooled, add water and half the bottle of barbecue sauce and cover (follow your pressure cooker’s directions). Cook for 35 minutes in the pressure cooker and then turn stove off, but leave the pressure cooker until pressure is reduced (follow pressure cooker directions). The key to tender meat is to avoid using the “Quick Method” to cool the cooker by placing it under cool water. Once cooled, remove pork from pot and transfer to an oven friendly dish. Discard liquid. Using a fork, pull the pork apart in strips. I use a fork and knife, but you can also use two forks. Once all the pork is pulled, add the remaining barbecue sauce (or more) and sugar over the pork, and place in a 300 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes. I’ve never baked the pork after it was cooked, but by baking it in the sauce, it absorbs all the flavor and really makes a difference. My husband said this was the second best pulled pork he has had next to that found in Louisiana! What a compliment! 🙂
The next time I try this, I’m going to add ginger to the pressure cooker and see if it makes a difference.
This dish pairs well with fresh corn on the cob, baked beans, french fries, and of course, a tall glass of cold beer. Since we are in Germany, I served this with a German Hefewiesen. If you are in the states, try a Yuengling.
What else do you add to Pulled Pork to get it tasty?
Contact me if you have any tricks that made your dish a success!

-Christine

Spinach Artichoke Breakfast Casserole

This casserole was inspired by Panera’s Spinach Artichoke Souffles…
You can follow this recipe and bake in individual souffle dishes as an alternative.

Make about 8 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup of frozen chopped spinach (drained) or fresh sauteed spinach
1/2 cup of chopped canned artichokes (non-marinated)
1/2 cup of diced Canadian bacon (optional)
1/4 cup of chopped chives
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/4 teaspoon of oregano
1 package of Pillsbury crescent rolls or Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets
3 cups of a mix of finely shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese (use Sargento Italian blend)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Defrost spinach in microwave. Set aside and let cool. Beat eggs and milk in a large bowl. Once the spinach is cool (run under cool water to speed up process), make sure all the water is drained from the frozen spinach and squeeze excess water out if necessary. Add spinach and remaining ingredients to egg mixture. Stir well. Spread out dough in a 9×13 non-stick casserole dish. Make sure there are no holes in the dough and if necessary spread out dough up sides of casserole dish. Pour egg batter over the dough and spread out the ingredients. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the casserole is cooked. Check the middle of the casserole with a knife to make sure it comes out clean.

Chayote Squash Salad

This is a very refreshing salad if you like vinaigrette dressing. Chayote Squash is used in many South American and Caribbean dishes. In my family we cook Chayote squash in soups and stews, but it was at a little Brazilian cafe, where I was introduced to the idea of using it as a side dish with oil and vinegar. Unfortunately, the cafe is no longer open, but the memory of the salad still stays with me.

Chayote Squash Salad

Yields: 4 servings
Preparation time: 5 minutes

2 Large Chayote Squash
1/4 cup onion
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp of white distilled vinegar
2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (add more if salad is too tart to taste)
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp of freshly ground pepper
Garnish with fresh cilantro (optional)

Slice Chayote similar to the photo above. Dice onion. Combine the rest of the ingredients and toss salad.