Sunday, October 25, 2015

Loaded Cauliflower Salad

My Mother makes the best potato salad hands down. Granted, I was old before I accidentally found out how she made it and now mine is almost as good as hers. Along the way, I experimented with numerous ways to fix potato salad. Running in close competition to Momma's is my baked potato salad. To say I could hurt myself eating it is an understatement.

Since my husband and I have made adjustments regarding what we eat; a substitute was in order. Back several months ago, Angie and I were discussing all the different ways you could substitute potatoes with cauliflower and this was one of the recipes that came up. Is it a 100% replacement for real deal potatoes? No, it's not. Is it a great substitute when you are cutting back on your carbs? Absolutely!

Cauliflower head, cut up, steamed and drained well
Green onions, chopped
Bacon bits
Shredded cheddar cheese
Hellman's mayonnaise
Sour cream
Ranch dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional, chopped chives

This is one I'm not including the exact amounts of each item as it will depend on how much cauliflower you yield. I add mayo and a small amount of sour cream to the cauliflower (let it cool a little) and chopped onions until it's a creamy consistency. Then I add a few squirts of the ranch dressing, salt and pepper to taste. Once that is mixed in, I add the cheese. Blend it in and top with additional green onion tops and bacon bits. Serve chilled.

Left Over Roast Beef Hash

Does it seem like when you fix a roast or pork loin in the crock pot you have just enough meat left over that you don't know what to do with it? Times when you end up with no carrots and potatoes so you're stuck with making sandwiches (which you're sick of doing)? Here's an alternative way to use leftover roast for breakfast or brunch on the weekends. Be sure to save some of the broth when you remove the meat from the crock pot. Whether it's beef, pork or even goat (especially around the 4th of July), Andy likes to fix a hash that he can serve over biscuits the next morning. We've eliminated regular biscuits from our diet and substituted with low-carb English muffins and that has worked out great.

When I think of hash, I normally think of a thick consistency. Andy, on the other hand, likes to add extra broth so we end up with what I call a "meat gravy." If you're like me, just back off how much broth you add or cook long enough to reduce the liquid. Adjust the amount of onion and potatoes to suit yourself. Again, as we have monitored our carb intake going on five months now, we have found there are many foods we have been able to add back in our diet in moderation or great substitutes.

As a side note, the flavorful Mississippi roast might be a little too spicy for breakfast fare. I'm referring to a traditional roast with onions, potatoes and carrots that our Mommas and Grandmas have fixed on Sundays for years.

Leftover roast beef, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
In a large skillet saute onions in a little butter--Cook long enough to just get them broken up well. 
Add meat and about 1/2 cup of broth and mix well. 
As the onions start to cook through, stir in enough beef broth to cook the potatoes in. Bring to a boil.
Add a little salt and a lot of black pepper.
Add the diced potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender. Add additional broth as needed.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Cauli and Cheese

If I had to pick one thing I miss the most about our food-style change, it would have to be pasta. Dreamfield's pasta has been a pretty decent substitute but you can't eat it as frequently as I did growing up. And what about a big dish of macaroni and cheese? When the boys were young, I probably fixed it a little more frequently compared to what I would do with just Andy and myself since I consider it kid food. If grand kids are coming over, it's definitely going to be on the menu. There are some dishes that call out for that cheesy dish on the meatloaf, green beans and mashed potatoes. Since mashed potatoes have been replaced with mashed cauliflower, I thought I'd combine the best of both worlds. This is simple and if you close your eyes really, really tight, you might think you're eating macaroni and cheese. Fool your kids? Maybe...if they're really hungry!
Cut up one head of cabbage into small pieces.
Steam the cauliflower until it is very, very tender.
You could melt Velveeta cheese and milk or, take the easy way out and add a pack of cheese sauce. 
Lightly salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Andy's Easy Red Chili

It's barely above freezing this morning so I'm thinking about how good a pot of chili would be on a night like this. 
 Andy makes a simple red chili we love to eat. It's not spicy, but you can add as much heat to it as  you want. We love to eat it with my homemade pimiento cheese scooped up in a Frito Scoops chip with a jalapeno on top. The combination of the hot chili, cold, tangy cheese, salty Frito and hot jalapeno is to die for!!

When we compared chili recipes, he thought mine was just not chili in his opinion...kind of like how he thinks white chili is not chili. Thankfully we are an agree to disagree type of couple and normally agree the majority of the time. Both of ours are very similar so since half of you might have the same taste I do, I've included my additions and substitutions.


1 lb. hamburger 
1 medium/large chopped onion*
1 can pinto beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1-2 12 oz. cans tomato juice 
Tomato paste
Chili powder, salt & pepper to taste

In a skillet or the pot you planning on cooking the chili in, brown hamburger and chopped onion*
Salt & pepper the meat and onions and cook. Drain fat when meat is cooked through and onions are tender.

Add one can drained pinto beans (you don't have to rinse, just drain the extra liquid off), diced tomatoes (or diced Mexican tomatoes if you like more flavor**), tomato juice (More flavor substitute with V-8)***. Start with one can and add another if you like your chili soupier.. Andy wants the spoon to stand up in the pot and if it doesn't, he adds a can of tomato paste to thicken 

Add chili powder to taste.****  Serve with pimiento cheese, jalapeƱo and Fritos. Or, top on a hot dog with cole slaw!

Denise's Additional/Substituted Chili Ingredients
*Add green peppers to the meat and onions. 
**Mexican tomatoes
***V-8 juice
***For heat add cayenne pepper or hot sauce.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Mississippi Roast with Potatoes and Carrots

We received an invitation for dinner and checking out my son and daughter-in-law's new house last month. Amanda treated us to a delicious Mississippi Roast and several other mouth-watering dishes. The pictures with the pepperoncinis slow cooking caught my attention, but I had never taken the time to fix this.Big mistake. Once you prepare a roast this way, all the other options pale in comparison. My son Andrew was eating with us that night and he said, "get plenty of the broth." Seriously, I could have used a straw!!! I went to and found their recipe matched up to what Amanda used and I added my own twist.
I made a layer of carrots slices, tiny yellow potatoes cut in half and one sliced sweet onion under the beef roast. On top of the roast, I sprinkled some black pepper and one pack each of Ranch dressing mix and au jus gravy mix. I laid a stick of butter and six pepperoncinis on top of the seasonings. Because I had veggies cooking in the bottom, I added about 1/2 cup of water down the sides. Setting the temperature to high, I let this slow cook for four and a half hours. I turned the heat down to low and let it cook all night (an additional eight hours). The bone was removing itself from the meat when I raised the lid. Tender, tender, tender!!
After an hour or so, the stick of butter had dissolved. I can't wait for Momma to come over tonight and enjoy this!