Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower with Capers, Parsley and Lemon Zest

While there are a laundry list of foods you can eat on Gundry, I find myself gravitating toward a few staples.  Cauliflower is definitely one of my "go-to" veggies.  I love it roasted, mashed or souped.  Recently, I decided to spruce up my everyday roasted cauliflower with a few capers, a handful of chopped parsley and some lemon zest.  It was a delicious combination and made for a special dish.
Simply roast cauliflower as you would normally (toss in olive, salt and pepper and then roast in a 350 degree oven).
Once golden and toasty (approximately 45 minutes) remove the cauliflower from the oven and transfer to a serving platter or dish.
Toss with capers and a drizzle of olive oil (if needed).  Top with chopped, fresh parsley and lemon zest (use a small cheese grater if you don't have a zester).

P.S.  I have slightly modified my strategy for mashed cauliflower.  I boil it until tender and drain all but about 2 or 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid.  Then I add some salt and a tablespoon of grass-fed butter.  Next, I use my immersion blender to coarsely mash the cauliflower.  I finish it off with salt and pepper to taste and a little more water if needed.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Now don't use it as an excuse to gorge yourself on beans, rice, tortillas and super sugary margaritas!  Tonight, if you find yourself at a Cinco de Mayo happy hour or dinner here are some tips:

  • Don't show up starving - you will find the chips irresistible.
  • Order fajitas (any kind) and ask them to hold the tortillas and the side of beans and rice.  Most fajita dishes come pilled with meat and veggies and will definitely fill you up.
  • For a little treat, allow yourself some quacamole - eat it with a fork or with your meal and stay away from the tortilla chips.
  • Order a skinny margarita. Most restaurants use margarita mix or sweet and sour loaded with sugar.  Ask your bartender to make you a margarita with fresh squeezed lime juice.  If they happen to have agave syrup, ask for a splash.  If not, ask for a splash of triple sec (it's got a bit of sugar, but hey - much better than going with the regular margarita).
If you're getting into the Cinco de Mayo spirit at home, treat yourself to a skinny margarita or a "margarita flaca" as Max and I referred to them throughout our honeymoon in Mexico - we got many a chuckle out of our Mexican bartenders :)  Max also refers to them as Fungaritas - I guess because it was so fun when we discovered a way to bring margaritas back into our life.  And also, margaritas just go with fun, summery, relaxed times...
Margarita Flaca or Fungarita
Shot of tequila
Fresh squeezed lime juice
Drizzle of agave or stevia to taste
Top with sparkling water or soda

Another trick: Indulge in some guacamole (if you're out of the Teardown Phase), but serve it with endive leaves or bell pepper scoops.

Have fun celebrating 
and keeping it Gundry!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pork Meatballs with Lemon Drizzle

While I love, love, love eating healthily, admittedly this lifestyle can sometimes feel like i don't get to enjoy some of life's culinary indulgences.  So, I get very excited when I come across recipes for foods that aren't generally considered "healthy" that are either Gundry-friendly or can be tweaked to be.  (See some of my favorites here, here and here.) When I saw a Tasting Table recipe for meatballs, I thought, "Max would really enjoy that".  Truth be told, what he'd really enjoy is meatballs on a huge plate of pasta doused in red sauce, but I figured that even sans the carb load, these savory little treats would go a long way toward satisfying some of his cravings.
Like most meatballs, the recipe included bread - most call for bread crumbs, this one called for bread soaked in milk.  I used a trick that my mom taught me when she modified a recipe that called for a bread crumb topping (see her Brussels sprouts in my Gundry Thanksgiving post) - I threw low-carb tortillas into a food processor and made "tortilla crumbs" - they worked just as well to help bind the meatballs.  These Gundry-friendly treats were no different than the real thing.  Max loved them as did a lovely, new friend that came over for dinner and a Lakers playoff game.

The recipe below is for about 32, 1-inch meatballs.  I made only a half recipe.

1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon (about 6 sprigs) marjoram, chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons squeezed)
Dash Stevia
1/2 teaspoon (or more) crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Pinch dried oregano
4 low-carb tortillas (regular, not burrito, size)
1 pound ground pork
1 whole egg plus 2 yolks
1 cup Pecorino Romano, grated
1/2 tablespoon chopped fennel seeds
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon salt
Marjoram has a wonderful floral, lavender-like flavor.
Fennel seeds have a light licorice or anise flavor, similar to the frondy vegetable.
Pulse four tortillas, torn into large pieces, in a food processor, until crumbly. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, saute the onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and marjoram and continue cooking until soft, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice and dash of Stevia and reduce over medium heat until the consistency is thickened and syrup-like, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the crushed red pepper, parsley, oregano and the remaining two tablespoons olive oil and set aside. 
In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, egg, egg yolks, Pecorino, fennel seeds, wine, tortilla crumbs and cooled onion mixture.  Season with salt.
Form the mixture into approximately one-inch balls.  Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat and add meat balls.  Pan fry the balls until browned on all sides and cooked through, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Place on a serving dish and drizzle with lemon sauce.
Maybe someday soon I will try these meatballs (sans lemon sauce) in a pasta dish that Max would really flip over.  I have not tried it yet, but on page 216 of Dr. Gundry's book, he says that FiberGourmet makes a low-carb pasta which is high enough in fiber to reduce the impact on your blood sugar level.  He recommends only a one cup (cooked) portion.  I've been looking for this pasta in the store with no luck, so I'm going to order some on-line.  I promised Max on our honeymoon that when we returned home we could relax a little from the pre-wedding regimen and enjoy a few treats like low-carb pasta.