companion blog to the e-book the 24/7 Low Carb Diner

Companion blog to the e-book
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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dessert, 0 carb, 0 calories!

Busy day, even though I have been home all day. Went to church last night, so I thought I would have time to get all my chores done. Wrong. I had to get this month's newsletter completed and ready to mail out. Check on that one. You who have the e-book or newsletter subscription should have yours in your inbox now. It is filled with fun recipes that use only three ingredients. How Simple! I included new Multiply Meals, several recipes just for chicken, some super yummy vegetable dishes and even some quicky desserts.

I had a visit from my niece today, along with her little son, who is going on three. He and my golden retriever really hit it off. I think I have nearly forgotten what a bundle of energy little ones are. To think I once had three little blond boys under 5! Hard to remember considering that those are the same boys that just emailed some college papers for me to proofread for them. Check. That is done too. Just covered a rebuke to atheism and a paper on liberty vs. government protection. Fun stuff.

Now, the sun is setting, and I still haven't gotten to filling out the FAFSA--the government forms for financial aid in college. My oldest is considering going to grad school, so I have two sets to complete. On top of that, I need to get more of my kitchen prep work done today. John was a dear and cooked out a bit. That is a huge help. But now, instead of cooking, here I sit drinking a cup of hot tea. Can you spell procrastinate? It also didn't help having the USA-Canada hockey game on. Pooh.

The tea however, is a story unto itself. This is the most decadent tea I have ever tasted. I swear it is dessert in a cup--even without my normal cream. Try this if you have a sweet tooth. No calories, no carbs. Lipton Vanilla Caramel Truffle Tea. It has a new tea bag which is actually shaped like a tiny pyramid. They say this enables the flavors to flow through better. What ever it does, this is the most uniquely flavored tea around. It really lives up to the taste, even with one bag in a medium sized mug. If your friends are eating desserts you can't have, delight in a cup of this stuff, and you won't feel like you are missing out on anything. (except maybe a bigger bootie!) I've been longing for warmer weather, but with this tea, maybe not. A hot cup can have its own appeal.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Night Breakfast

We don't do it much anymore, but when the boys were young, we often made breakfast for dinner on Fridays. Sometimes John would even drag out the waffle maker. Good memories. Today, I had to figure out what to do with our Christmas ham. No it is not old and moldy, we got a gift certificate for one, and already had one at Christmas time. So now it is an almost spring ham. Actually our coupon was only good through February.

Since Fridays are my busiest teaching day, I like things simple if possible. Tonight the guys had the ham paired with scrambled eggs. To replace the bread for the hubby, I made a Vanilla Nut Minute Muffin. I used coconut flour tonight. If you do that, add a bit more water to make the batter less dense. After it was microwaved, I cut it in thirds and toasted it so the edges were crispy. Just a touch of butter--no sweetener needed because the muffin is already sweet. Christian preferred a bagel and cheese. To each his own.

This is going to be our Triple Play meal for the week. The ham is so big, I will also use it to make some Multiply Meals of Ham and Vegetables au gratin. Word to the wise. Watch the carbs on the ham labels. They usually are processed with some sugars. If in doubt, make sure to use the lowest carb side dishes as possible.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Salsa Dancing Fish

Everybody at my house loves my Salsa Dancing Chicken from the e-book, which I make by the big batch as Multiply Meals. But today, I am trying to find new ways to really like fish--at least not the battered and fried variety. Since I really like that chicken, I decided I just might really like the fish too. Actually, I really did!

The Salsa Dancing sauce is a combo of spicy mustard and salsa, with just a touch of sweetener. Yum. It converted really easily to a single serving for my lunch today. I still haven't convinced the guys to eat fish.

Salsa Dancing Fish for One

1 tilipia fillet
1 teaspoon salsa
1 teaspoon spicy mustard
1-2 drops of stevia or other sweetener

Combine the salsa, mustard and sweetener. Spread it over a frozen or thawed fish fillet. Wrap the fish in foil and bake until it flakes easily.

I served some sauteed veggies on the side. By adding lime juice, the flavor really pops and tastes like fajitas! Use whatever veggies you like, but a little onion will really boost the flavor. A salad would be good too.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Barbecue Chicken Wraps

The great thing about making up a giant batch of chicken is that the meals that come from it will be so easy. Such is the case tonight. Mmm. Part of the batch of flavorful Ultra Chicken becomes Ultra Barbecue Chicken Wraps in almost no time. All I have to do is cut the chicken breast into strips and toss it in the pan with some KC Masterpiece Classic no sugar Barbecue Sauce. Love that stuff.

John gets his wrap spiraled up in a Lavash bread. Since that is not quite enough to fill a hungry man, I also made him a lettuce cup with the BBQ chicken inside. What you want in your wraps is up to you. We like onion, cheese and lettuce. Sometimes we add pickles too.

Oh, if you don't own the e-book, the Triple Play Ultra Chicken is so named because it is marinated in Michelob Ultra before baking. No alcohol is left, the flavor is unique and worth a try. If you don't have that made up, these wraps work well with Freezer Favorites Chicken Cubes too. When it can be this easy, no excuses for take out, right?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Polish Pasta

Back when I was young, a restaurant here in my town featured a multitude of spaghetti sauce choices to add to pasta. From what I remember, that was pretty much all they sold. We would buy a bowl, and head out to the tables to watch ice skaters down below in the Forum. Fun memory. Even though I can't remember what the name of the place was, I still do remember one of their recipes. We always called it Polish Spaghetti because the meat was polish sausages. They also used sauteed bell peppers and onions. So delish we went home and duplicated the recipe.

That dish has been out of my regular rotation for a while because it is just too carby. Tonight, I did still have half a polish sausage in the fridge, though, and it needed to be used up. So, I plugged this into the menu. Be careful there and be a label watcher. This one has only one carb for every two ounces. You still need to limit portions somewhat, but many sausages have 4 carbs for the same serving.

I used Dreamfield's pasta for John's serving. He only eats it once in a while. One serving there is supposed to be 5 carbs. Some have problems with it, some don't. It does tend to raise his blood sugars, so it is an occasional treat. I am going to freeze the rest of the pasta that I cooked up. That will be nice for a quick weekend meal or a weekday lunch.

A good find at the grocery store is the Hunt's no added sugar Italian sauce. We were happy to find that at just 6 carbs a serving. I couldn't add in the onions and peppers and still keep him in the low carb zone, but the sauce and sausage has so much flavor, it is still a nice meal. Just a shake of Parmesan cheese, and John was fed for the night. For the boy, I cooked up regular pasta and added a side of pears.

Shrimp and Pico de Gallo

This is another one of those low carb, low calorie lunch ideas. Low calorie, but very highly flavored! Because the shrimp is precooked and cleaned, it is very quick. The home made pico de gallo tastes so fresh, and goes together so fast if you use a food processor. I used the Ninja my mom loaned me last week. Oh my, is that faster than chopping by hand! I modified this recipe from Cooking Light. I think it is very light and refreshing--even if it is cold outside!

To prepare the shrimp, I first thawed it in the microwave for a minute. Then I dredged it in this seasoning mix. I let the flavors soak in while I put the vegetables together.

Shrimp Seasoning Mix

3 teaspoons paprika
1 packet Truvia
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon jalapeno salt
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

After the shrimp is coated, grill the shrimp until cooked or heated through.

Pico de Gallo

2 tomatoes
1/2 small onion
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
1 T lemon or lime juice

First, blend the cilantro until coarsely chopped. Next add in the onion and pulse. Lastly, add the tomato, pulsing until just chopped. You want chunks left. Add the lemon or lime juice.

Because I like this and John doesn't, I am going to have more Pico left over. I will probably blend it with more tomatoes to make a salsa. Then, I will use that for a salad dressing with a lettuce based salad.

We had a great weekend with our college boys. Both teams won their basketball games and the talent show was very creative and funny. Made me miss my own college days. It is fun to get to meet friends of my sons and other parents too. Lucky for us, their favorite Mexican restaurant serves a great grilled chicken or steak salad, so we didn't break too many rules while eating out. In fact, that is why I made this dish today. I needed more pico de gallo after that dinner, and my shrimp was cheaper than theirs!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sausage Roll

Think of the roll as a verb, not a noun. The roll is actually an egg wrapper, made with a beaten egg. It is easy. Just stick a sheet of plastic wrap on a saucer. Beat an egg and pour 1/3 onto the plastic wrap. Microwave that egg for about 30-45 seconds, or until it is set. Let it cool just a bit, then peel it off the plastic wrap. You can then use it to keep a sausage link nice and toasty. Ooops, there goes that darned bread reference again. Then just cook the next two wraps on the same plastic covered sheet.

The Japanese way of making egg wraps uses some soy sauce to flavor the egg. I think it would be just as fun to add some maple flavoring and a bit of sweetener to make these. I might try that next time.

I had some extra time to play around in the kitchen this morning. All my classes were canceled because we seem to have the plague running through our high school classes. Every student but one, mine included, got sick after attending last week's Valentine Party. We are all better now, but my boy was one of the first to succumb. The rest of them are still suffering.

The rest of the afternoon is devoted to packing some snacks and goodies for our trip to visit my college boys for Family Weekend. That will be fun.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blackened Chicken

Instead of getting out my "George" grill tonight, I heat up a skillet--really hot! Blackened chicken and fish require a hot pan and a quick cook. Just a bit and a Cajun meal is on the table. First, I pound the chicken breast thin. This is a pretty important step so the meat will cook evenly. Then use a Cajun seasoning blend to flavor the meat. I used the one from my August newsletter.

Cajun Spice Blend

1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons spoon salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano

I sprinkled the seasoning in the base of a small bowl. I also added a bit more paprika. Then press the chicken into the spices and pat them in by hand. Do the same for the other side of the meat. Heat up a cast iron skillet on high. Once it is very hot, put the chicken in, being careful not to let the chicken pieces overlap. Mine didn't smoke much, but if yours does, have a lid handy. Cook about 4 minutes on one side and two on the other.

I added some Tabasco Garlic and Pepper Sauce. Nice and spicy. For a side, I took advantage of the hot skillet to grill some frozen asparagus spears. After searing them for a minute, I added some water to the skillet and let them steam fry until tender.

This chicken is great in a blackened chicken salad too. Just add some shredded cheese and banana peppers to the salad greens. Blue Cheese dressing is my favorite, but since I am cutting calories right now, I will give up the cheeses and use a bit of vinegar mixed with hot wing sauce instead. Whether for dinner or in a salad, this is a simple E.Z. Fix meal.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lunch and Dinner at the Office

John has a game tonight, so he will be working late. These are the days when I not only need to pack a low carb lunch, but also something for a light dinner. He often wants a bit of what we had after he finally drags home. But I certainly don't want him hungry and running to the snack bar or What-a-burger up the street.

For lunch, I packed him a bento box with deli items. He got three deli roll ups, meat and cheese only. He also got some sugar free sweet pickles. I swear he can eat the whole jar in a day. Wish he liked bread and butter pickles. I know how to make low carb versions of those at home for way less money. He got some leftover Nana's Coleslaw with a Kick, some sliced onion and some pepperoni. I also added some Ranch dressing to dip the roll ups into. That set him for lunch.

For a light dinner, I made a Pizza-in-a-bowl. I found this adorable valentine baking dish yesterday at Michael's. I only paid 38 cents for it. This can go in the microwave or the toaster oven at work. I just piled in cheese, jarred spaghetti sauce, onions, Minute Sausage, and pepperoni. We like green bell peppers in there too, but they were a dollar each, and I am not doing that! He also got half of a lavash bread to toast. That will make it more like real pizza, but not send his blood sugars up. The bowl of toppings is just as good without it though. With the company this weekend, my shopping schedule was off. I just got my groceries yesterday, and haven't had time to make our big salad for the week. This morning, I ran out of time to get John's side salad, so he can buy one at the snack bar for a dollar, or he can wait til he gets home.

Now I am off to prep for school, and get some laundry done for our trip to JBU this weekend. It will be fun to see the boys and some of John's friends from his college days there. Of course, it will take some planning to stick to our way of eating. We are bypassing all the meals at the school cafeteria, and skipping the coffee and doughnuts at the President's home. I am sure we will find some good salads along the way, and our hotel room has a mini fridge so I can pack some goodies to keep us on track. The continental breakfasts at hotels usually have nothing BUT carbs.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chicken Sausage Meatballs

We all love sausage around here. Since I am cutting calories, 200 a pop for one patty seems a bit high. So, I did a little snooping and found some techniques for making chicken sausage. I know you can purchase the gourmet variety, but making it myself is cheaper and allows me to control the fat content and flavor. I made mine nice and spicy!

I made two servings of meatballs from my sausage. Each serving is 8 small meatballs. These are good alone for breakfast, or any meal, I suppose. I am also planning to make some Italian Wedding Soup with them, minus the pasta of course. They would be excellent with some marinara sauce over zucchini noodles. Yes, this is a little more work than many of my recipes, but they are amazingly good. Of course, you can use the chicken mixture in place of any pork sausage recipe as well.

I started with regular boneless skinless chicken breast and borrowed my mom's Ninja blender system to grind it. This machine handled the grinding very well, although it did not grind the fennel seeds as much as I would have liked.

Chicken Sausage

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons fennel seed
1 T dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon powdered sage
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 1/2 T cider vinegar

Add all the dried seasonings to the blender and mix well. Add vinegar and chicken. Process until finely ground. Form into patties, balls, or crumble. Optional: use ground chicken and blend spices in by hand.

I used my Pampered Chef scoop to easily make meatballs. Because these have so little fat, I steam fried the balls with the occasional addition of a few tablespoons of water.

My boy is still ailing, and tonight John and I both have a bit of a sore throat. Hope that doesn't mean anything...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Greek Chicken

I bought some Greek seasoning the other day. This makes an easy quick dinner. I just sprinkled it on some precooked chicken strips while they were thawing and heating up in the skillet. Those are so easy to work with for quick meals. Thawing is optional. Then I added some diced onion, parsley, pepper and lemon juice. Once everything was hot, in went some feta cheese. Love that for a flavor punch. Since I was in a hurry, I just added canned green beans on the side. Super easy low carb meal.

I have been enjoying a visit from my oldest son and his girlfriend, so I haven't been cooking too much. Friday night we had Southwestern Beef from the e-book. Yesterday, we enjoyed a trip to the local art museum and had a quick lunch out. Today, I stayed home with a sick boy #3, while the others went to church and ate out at Tin Star. I left John with orders to eat a cheeseburger taco, which they offer with a lettuce wrap rather than a bun. Now the big kids are off to a Valentine movie, then back to school. I will go take care of my youngest and watch the Olympics. Somehow, the plans I made to make some special Valentine's candy got put on hold. C'est la vie. We can admire the roses--those have fewer calories anyway.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sweet Mustard Meatballs

Who doesn't love meatballs? Everyone around here loves them. Back in my days of mega cooking, we made ten pounds of meatballs at a time. Funny how the size of those balls grew bigger and bigger as we got tired of rolling. I still make them in advance, but never ten pounds anymore. Five is my limit without helpers.

Since I am cutting calories, these are made with very lean ground beef, but you can use any grind. With less fat, they are less messy and hold their size better, but they will be less juicy and flavorful. The choice is yours.

This mustard sauce is very low calorie, but packed with tangy flavor. It is very much like the sauce I use with my Superbowl Brats. This doesn't have the mayo, so it is more tart and lower calorie. If you are adding fats, go ahead and add the mayo for a creamier taste. I love the sweet and tart flavors combined with the savory meat.

Sweet Mustard Meatballs

1 pound lean ground beef
1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients. Roll meat into balls and bake or pan fry until no longer pink in the center.

Sweet Mustard Sauce

1/4 cup Dijon mustard (or any flavored mustard)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
sweetener to taste (I used the equivalent of about 3 Tablespoons of granular Splenda)
1/4 cup water, mol

Blend all ingredients except water. Gradually add in water until you reach your desired consistency. Heat sauce and pour it over meatballs. Extra sauce can also be used as a salad dressing.

Be careful with the sauce; a little goes a long way. Gotta be a mustard lover for this one!

Not Quite the Waldorf Tuna Salad

Yesterday I had some big projects going on. I did get John's lunch packed early, but never managed to get to my blog. This is what he munched on for lunch. It is much like a Waldorf salad, but with no apples. Even though a bit of chopped apple wouldn't hurt too much carb-wise. The main difference from the typical tuna salad is the sweetener added to the mayo. To make the dressing, I like to add vanilla flavored stevia or liquid sucralose to the mayonnaise. Sometimes I even add a sprinkle of apple drink mix flavoring, but I like that more than the hubby does. Usually, I skip measuring things out, and just go by taste. This is especially good to do when you are blending sweeteners. Basically, it looks like this:

Not Quite the Waldorf Tuna Salad

2 cans tuna, drained
4 Tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
sweetener to taste
pinch of apple drink mix, dry, optional
3 ribs of celery
nuts of choice

Mix the mayo, vinegar, onion powder, flavoring if using, and sweetener. Allow the dressing to sit while you chop the celery and drain the tuna. If you like, you may choose to cop the nuts at this time as well. Mix the dressing with the tuna, and check the taste for sweetness. Add more if needed. Mix in the nuts just before serving.

This salad is good with fresh strawberries added in also. The vanilla stevia I use is made by Sweetleaf. It is also good in flavored drinks and desserts.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Curried Tilapia Soup

In honor of the Olympics, we are trying some more international flavors around here. You would think that all I am feeding us is seafood, but that is not true. We had hamburgers yesterday, chili tonight. It is just that these are the new recipes, and you have probably seen all my old standards. After a year of steady blogging, it is getting tough not to have repeats!

So I bought this frozen Tilapia. Never been a big fan of fish, even though I know it is good for us. I don't really count those breaded frozen fish sticks as sea food, do you? Have to admit I did feed those to my younger guys for years. I tried a couple of recipes with the Tilapia, and while they were edible, they just weren't blogworthy. I have read enough raving reviews of Tilapia Tacos to know someone must really like them. Just not me.

Never one to waste food, I am working my way through the bag. Today, tired of reading recipes, I ventured out on my own. I made a soup that--gasp-- I would actually make again. It is light on calories, but nice and spicy. It uses cilantro again. Oddly, I think that must be the draw for me. After all, I am still thinking about that Cilantro Shrimp.

Here's what I came up with today:

Curried Tilapia Soup

2 Tilapia fillets
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 packet Truvia
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/3 cup diced fresh cilantro

Spray a non-stick pot with cooking spray. Cook the fish for about two minutes on each side. Add tomatoes and half the water. When fish flakes easily, use a fork to break it into bite sized chunks. Add the seasonings and simmer about ten minutes. Serves 2.

I am cutting calories right now, but I saw several similar recipes with coconut milk added. That sounds delish.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Shrimp Bento

I haven't been showing as many Bento lunches lately, being off school with the holidays and all. This is a photo of one I took today. I told you that I really liked that Cilantro Shrimp so much I would make it again! It was almost as good cold. In fact, this whole meal was cold, seeing that I had to use frozen strawberries. I absolutely refused to buy fresh ones at the price Walmart was charging this week!

The cucumbers are placed on a skewer. That made them fun to eat, although some of the centers did get a bit wiggly. I made a delightful fat free, sugar free marinade for these. It definitely made a bigger cucumber fan out of me. I have often added them to salads, but seldom made them the main ingredient. This way, the are light and slightly sweet.

Lisa's Marinated Cukes

1 cucumber
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 packets Truvia or equivalent sweetener
a sprinkle of garlic powder
a sprinkle of onion powder

Slice the cucumber into disks. You may peel the edges into strips for a pretty effect. Mix the marinade ingredients and pour over cucumbers. Marinate over night or for several hours. To serve, drain off remaining marinade.

A full cup of cucumber slices has only about 4 carbs and 16 calories. That's a pretty good nutritional bargain. They are also said to aid digestion and help lower cholesterol.

For dinner tonight, we had Teriyaki Chicken as a Freezer Favorite. It is so good just to add some already prepped meat to a skillet. Just a quick veggie on the side and dinner is on the table. On super busy Fridays, this is always a blessing to have a no brain meal. Sorry no photo this time. We did have some leftovers with no bigger guys around, so maybe I will feature them in a salad. Be sure to check back in.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sloppy Toms

These (if made into sammies) or this (if served solo) are/is a man pleaser, for sure. Just an old fashioned sloppy joe recipe made with ground turkey. Super quick if you make use precooked meat, such as the Minute Beef. But sometimes we prefer turkey, with its milder taste and softer texture. I don't usually make that ahead of time. Even from the frozen package, this doesn't take long to cook up. Tonight's recipe is paired with some Nana's Coleslaw with a Kick. The carby boy had bread with his, but who really needs it? The recipes are in the e-book.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cilantro Shrimp

I don't make seafood too often, after all, we are landlocked here. I did, however, find some precooked, frozen shrimp on sale at the grocery store. It fits in with my efforts to cut some calories. Since I don't have the college boys here to feed, I splurged and bought some. I have been playing around with different recipes that aren't drowning in butter.

Now I am all about easy. You will not find me in the kitchen de-veining shrimp. I can manage to pull off the tails for myself, as this "medium" size calls for. This recipe is a breeze, as long as you give yourself some marinating time. I put the recipe together this morning, and heated the shrimp up for my noon meal. I could not believe how good this was. I made it spicy with red pepper flakes, but they aren't necessary. If you like cilantro, you will love this dish. If you think it tastes like soap, you might as well call this recipe sudsy shrimp! The cilantro flavor really comes through with the mild shrimp.

Cilantro Shrimp 

This is one of the recipes included in my new cookbook project, Low Carbing Among Friends.
This recipe is available in the book, along with over 60 additional 24/7 Low Carb Diner recipes. By ordering the book, you get more than 300 favorite gluten free recipes from four other well known low carb cooking experts…Jennifer Eloff of Splendid Low Carbing cookbook fame, Kent Altena, the Atkins Diet Geek and You Tube star, nutritionist and author Maria Emmerich of Maria’s Nutritious and Delicious Journal, and popular blogger and food stylist, Carolyn Ketchum of All Day I Dream About Food. Unlike any other cookbook you may own, this one is a compilation of mini cookbooks featuring the talents of these well known low carbers. Think of it as a “best of” project.
Low Carbing Among Friends also features recipes from numerous other talented low carbing friends and recommendations from the medical community who recognize the health benefits of low carb, gluten free living. To preorder your copy, visit The official release date is 11/11/11, so pre-order now for a discount.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

California Chicken

We are big fans of Lost, so I had to get dinner done in time tonight. Barely made it! California Chicken was on the menu. Nothing too gourmet, it tastes like my guys' favorite pizza--Chicken Club. Chunks of chicken with peppers and onions, mushrooms and bacon...all topped with Alfredo sauce. Divine.

This recipe is in the e-book in the Multiply Meals. So good you'll be glad to have another in the freezer!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Speedy Cajun

Sometimes the crock pot is a great choice. Other times, not. I have a Crockpot Jambalaya that we really like, but this dish is fast. Hence the name of Speedy. It shares all those wonderful Cajun flavors, but goes together in just a few minutes. Too easy.

We really love the taste of polish sausages around here, but even when we buy the good ones, the carbs are higher. This dish gives the flavor of the sausage, but lets me also add in some pre-cooked chicken cubes from the freezer. That cuts the carb count down, and ups the protein. Smart move, and the hubby loves it. He told me three times tonight how he loves it. This was for our small family, but it doubles easily for bigger crowds.

Speedy Cajun Pot Dinner

1/2 head raw cauliflower
1 cup diced cabbage
1/2 green bell pepper
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced tomatoes
8 ounces of chicken cubes
1/2 pound smoked sausage
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
shredded cheese for garnish

Add about 1/2 cup water in a 3 quart pot. Place it on the stove to heat. Meanwhile, chop the caulifower and add to the pot. Next dice the cabbage and add it. Let those cook about 5 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients. When vegetables are tender, break up the cauliflower a bit, and add salt and pepper to taste. Louisiana hot sauce is optional, but yummy. Add shredded cheese to taste and let it melt in before serving. Serves 3

This dish is so easy to prepare because the meats are pre-cooked. Chicken cubes in the freezer are a staple for E.Z. Fix meals like this one.