Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
You’ve watched as pounds seemingly melt off your friends who are on one of the new, low-carb diets. Now, with the help of the late Dr. Robert Atkins and his revolutionary diet, here are some recipes to get you started on this popular diet. Of course, mealtime is just part of the day. You also need to recognize and eliminate hidden carbohydrates in food you eat at home and in restaurants, get all your nutritional needs for total health, and pursue a healthful lifestyle.
For the complete story, read Atkins For Life: The Complete Controlled Carb Program for Permanent Weight Loss and Good Health ($24.95, St. Martin’s Press) and Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution (paperback $7.99, Avon). These and other books by Dr. Atkins can be found in bookstores, through online booksellers, and at www.atkins.com. The best part is that all recipes in the Atkins books are broken down to net carbs, fiber, and other nutrition factors so you can work them into an overall Atkins diet plan. If you don’t like to cook, look for Atkins food products in supermarkets, specialty stores, and at the Atkins Web site. They can be sent via overnight shipping to you at most campgrounds and are quick to prepare, delicious, and in sync with your overall Atkins diet plan.
You’ll notice that with all but one recipe (Mexican Bean Dip), I also include nutritional information. In all cases I include net carbohydrates, which are the total number of digestible carbohydrates that can be processed by the body and have an impact on blood sugar. The net carbohydrates figure represents the total grams of carbohydrates minus grams of fiber, glycerine, and sugar alcohols. When on the Atkins or other low-carbohydrate diets, net carbs are the only carbohydrates you need to count.
This recipe from Atkins For Life makes six servings of two pieces each to serve for a light lunch or snack. They’re also elegant hors d’oeuvres to serve at any time.
12 slices, 1/4-inch thick, whole wheat baguette
3 plum tomatoes, roughly diced
8 large basil leaves, thinly sliced*
1 medium garlic clove, sieved through a press **
6 pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Place the bread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for five to six minutes, turning once, until lightly golden. Combine the remaining ingredients and divide among the bread slices. Each supplies 3 grams net carbs, 2.5 grams fiber, 4 grams each protein and fat, and 68 calories.
*An easy way to slice basil is to pile the leaves on top of one another, roll them up, and slice them thinly.
**For convenience in the motorhome, I use minced garlic from a jar. Approximately 1/2-teaspoon is right for this recipe.
Dr. Atkins’ Maple-Chili Trail Mix
Package this recipe in 1/2-cup servings for the trail. Each contains 5.5 grams net carbs and 152 calories.
1/4-cup sugar-free pancake syrup
2 tablespoons butter, cut up
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4-teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups air-popped popcorn
3 cups unsalted mixed nuts
1-1/2 cups Kashi brand or other whole-grain cereal
1 cup wheat nuts
1/3-cup dried, no-sugar-added blueberries
Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine the syrup, butter, chili power, salt, and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to melt the butter. Toss the remaining ingredients together in a large broiler pan, drizzle with the hot syrup, and toss well to coat. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking time, until the mixture is golden. Scrape the trail mix onto waxed paper to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Dr. Atkins’ Olive Cheese Bread
This recipe from Atkins For Life goes well with almost any main course and also can be used to make open-face sandwiches. It takes time to assemble the different flours, but no yeast is involved, so it’s a carefree bread to bake. If you’re an Atkins follower, you may already have these flours in your pantry. For a trip, mix the dry ingredients ahead of time and carry them in a resealable plastic bag.
3/4-cup soy flour
3/4-cup whole wheat flour
3/4-cup whole-grain pastry flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2-cup olives, chopped (approximately 12 olives)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 large eggs
1/2-cup heavy cream
1/4-cup olive oil
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and add the olives and cheese. Toss to combine. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and pour into the flour mixture. Stir to combine. Spoon the entire mixture into an 8-inch-by-4-inch loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto the rack to cool completely. Cut into 12 slices. Each contains 205 calories, 11 grams net carbs, 2.5 grams fiber, 14 grams fat, and 7.5 grams protein.
Dr. Atkins’ Miso-Soy Glazed Salmon
This recipe from Atkins For Life makes four servings that contain 339 calories and 5 grams net carbs apiece. The cookbook suggests serving it with stir-fry vegetables and low-carb pasta tossed with sesame oil and red pepper flakes.
4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar-free maple syrup
2 teaspoons red miso
1 garlic clove, pushed through a press or 1/2-teaspoon minced garlic from a jar
1/2-teaspoon sesame oil
4 center-cut salmon fillets, 2 inches wide, 1 inch thick; approximately 1-1/2 pounds total
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine all ingredients except the salmon in a bowl, stirring to dissolve the miso. Set aside. Heat a large, oven-proof skillet on a burner set at medium-high. Add the fillets, skin side down. Press lightly with a spatula to sear the skin. Cook for three to four minutes until the skin is crisp. Spoon half the sauce over the fish and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for six minutes for medium-rare, or longer if desired. When done, remove the skillet from the oven; spoon the remaining sauce over the fish; and serve.
Mexican Bean Dip
The total food value of this dip depends on what it’s served with. Make a luscious quesadilla; spread the dip on a low-carb tortilla, fold it in half, and pan-grill it. Dr. Atkins recommended using a food processor, but you can make a chunkier dip by mashing with a fork.
2 portobello mushroom caps (approximately 4 ounces)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4-cup finely chopped shallots
1/4-teaspoon dried oregano
15-ounce can pink beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons finely diced plum tomato
Small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
Remove and discard the dark gills from the mushrooms by scooping them out with a spoon. Coarsely chop the mushrooms. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the mushrooms and shallots for four minutes or until they start to brown. Sprinkle with cumin and oregano and cook for another one to two minutes until well browned. Process (or mash) the beans, mushroom mixture, mayonnaise, vinegar, and salt together, adding one or two tablespoons of water to thin if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and stir in most of the tomato and jalapeno, reserving a sprinkling of each to use as garnish.
Roasted Chicken And Feta Cheese Wrap
This recipe from Atkins For Life makes four servings that contain 246 calories and 11 grams net carbs each. Use leftover chicken or vacuum-packed roasted chicken from the supermarket.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, cut into thin wedges
1 medium red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2-cup corn kernels
1 roasted chicken breast half, torn into shreds (approximately 1 cup)
1/3-cup green salsa
3/4-cup crumbled feta cheese (approximately 3 ounces)
4 low-carb flour tortillas
Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and pepper and cook for four minutes. Add the corn and cook an additional two to four minutes until the corn is charred in spots and the peppers are tender. Cool slightly and transfer to a bowl. Toss the vegetables with the chicken, salsa, and feta cheese. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and cook the tortillas over medium-high heat for 40 to 60 seconds until they are crisp on one side only. Divide the filling among the tortillas, putting it on the crisp side; roll the tortillas up and return them to the skillet and cook for another one to two minutes until they are golden and lightly crisp on both sides.
California Breakfast Burritos
This recipe from Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution has only 6 grams net carbs per serving, 21 grams of fat, and 317 calories.
4 low-carb flour tortillas
1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
3 green onions, chopped
4-ounce can green chiles, drained, patted dry, and chopped
1 small tomato, diced
1/4-teaspoon black pepper
8 eggs, beaten
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/4-cup green salsa
1/2-cup grated cheddar cheese
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Wrap tortillas in foil and heat for five to 10 minutes. In a nonstick skillet, heat the oil on medium-high. Cook the onions, chiles, tomato, salt, and pepper for three minutes. Push the vegetables to the side of the pan and add the eggs and cayenne. Cook for one to two minutes, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula, until creamy curds form. Stir the vegetables into the eggs and continue to cook until the eggs are done. Divide among the warm tortillas and sprinkle with cilantro, a tablespoon of salsa, and two tablespoons of cheese. Roll up and serve.
Dr. Atkins’ Red Swiss Chard And Bacon
This meaty green is a side dish for four people (4 grams net carbs and 114 calories each) or can be tossed with low-carb pasta to make a main dish for two.
4 slices thick-sliced bacon
2 cloves garlic, chopped (see above)
1 bunch red Swiss chard, approximately 3/4-pound, cut up and stems sliced
1/2-cup navy beans, drained and rinsed
1/8-teaspoon ground pepper
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until it’s crisp. Drain on paper towels and chop coarsely. Remove all but a tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet and cook the garlic, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Stir in the chard and beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chard is wilted and the beans are heated through. Season the dish with salt and pepper and sprinkle bacon on top.
Thanks to Allen Spousta, F119971, for this version of a popular recipe. I’ve made it in the crock cooker, in a fireless cooker, and in the oven. It’s a wonderful stew after a day on the ski slopes or hiking the winter woods. One of its best features, Allen pointed out, is that you don’t have to brown the beef first.
2 pounds stewing beef
Carrots, onions, potatoes, green peppers (as many as desired), cut up
Large can tomatoes (use a 16-ounce or 32-ounce can, depending on the size of the stew and the number of people being served)
3 heaping tablespoons quick tapioca, such as Minute brand
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix everything together in a covered pot and bake at 300 degrees, without peeking, for five hours. Allen said he also adds a big “glug” of wine; I used 1/2-cup burgundy. Stir well, ladle into soup plates, and serve with crusty bread. If you prefer a thicker stew, stir water into a tablespoon or two of cornstarch to make a paste and add to the hot stew until the mixture thickens and clears.
Books for cooks
In some parts of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, nearly one-third of the inhabitants still speak Mayan. Now a new book by Loretta Scott Miller, A Yucatan Kitchen ($17.95, Pelican Publishing), provides authentic recipes as they are still prepared today by the descendants of the Maya Indians, who were cultivating corn and spearing wild hogs centuries before Christopher Columbus set foot in the New World. If you love Tex-Mex cooking with a Mayan accent and stock your galley with the unusual ingredients it requires (sour oranges, recado para bistec, many types of chiles), you’ll want to give it a tryFMCA.com – Administration. The book is available from bookstores, through online booksellers, or from the publisher by calling (800) 843-1724 or visiting www.pelicanpub.com.
If you aren’t already hooked on the “best” series of cookbooks, the new 125 Best Chicken Recipes ($18.95, Robert Rose) is sure to start you collecting them all. (Others include The 250 Best 4-Ingredient Recipes, 125 Best Quick Bread Recipes, and the irresistible 125 Best Chocolate Chip Recipes.) Every recipe in the chicken book can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. I especially like the book’s recommendation to have the butcher butterfly a whole chicken for speedy broiling or grilling. Any of these books can be found at bookstores or from online booksellers.
Run, don’t walk, to get The Convenience Cook by Judith Finlayson ($19.95, Robert Rose). Tailor-made for the motorhome cook, the book is filled with delicious, homemade recipes that use foods from boxes, cans, or the deli. Try the author’s Tomato Gratin, a combination vegetable and starch side dish made with canned tomatoes, canned potatoes, Italian herbs, black olives, and a cup of shredded Italian four-cheese mix.
Marilyn Harris is one of Cincinnati, Ohio’s most trusted radio voices, a cook whose popular show can also be heard on the Internet at www.55krc.com every Saturday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Her newest book, Live! From Marilyn’s Kitchen ($24.95, Pelican Publishing) is a friend to keep at hand in the kitchen and galley. The sturdy hardback book has no illustrations, but even beginners will be able to follow its sensible, step-by-step instructions. Try Marilyn’s Old-Fashioned Molasses Cookies and freeze them for future trips.
Whisks have been the cook’s salvation for generations, starting with the bundle of wood switches that Swedish cooks still prefer for making gravy. Visit a housewares store to see what’s new from Kuhn Rikon, the company that uses only high-quality stainless steel in its accessories. New products include the Palm Springs whisk, the heart-shaped spring whisk, and a traditional balloon whisk that folds for easy storage.