Make a little extra low‑carb pasta tonight. Lightly coat it with oil and refrigerate it overnight. Tomorrow, use it in this delightful, savory salad.
3/4 cup cooked low‑carb penne 1 olive oil‑marinated artichoke heart, diced 1 ounce Genoa salami, rolled into a cylinder and sliced 2 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced 1 tablespoon chopped roasted red pepper 2 tablespoons chopped frozen green beans, thawed 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano Salt and pepper
1. Combine pasta, artichoke heart, salami, mozzarella, red pepper, and green beans in a bowl.
2. Whisk together oil, vinegar, and oregano in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over pasta mixture and toss to coat.
TIP No leftover pasta? Figure you'll need 1-1/2 ounces uncooked pasta to yield 3/4 cup cooked. Because dry pasta doesn't conform neatly to the shape of the measuring cup it's hard to give a precise measure, but 1/2 cup uncooked pasta is a safe amount.
Hearty shredded‑meat chili is even better with a cornbread topping. The meat mixture is not super‑spicy; let diners season it to their liking with hot sauce.
2 tablespoons safflower oil, divided Salt and pepper 3 pounds lean boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-1/2‑inch cubes 1-1/2 cups finely chopped onion 3 garlic cloves, minced (1-1/2 teaspoons) 2 poblano chilies, seeded and minced 1 tablespoon chili powder, preferably ancho 1 teaspoon ground cumin 3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes 2-1/2 cups lower sodium beef broth 1 (15-1/2‑ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed 1 bunch (6 to 8) scallions, sliced (1 cup)
3/4 cup Atkins Quick Quisine Deluxe Corn Muffin and Bread Mix 1/2 cup heavy cream 1/4 cup water 1-1/2 tablespoons safflower oil 1 large egg 1 large jalape–o, chopped (2 tablespoons) 6 ounces grated extra‑sharp cheddar cheese (1-1/2 cups)
1.For the chili: Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add one‑third of the beef and season with salt and pepper; cook, turning frequently, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining beef in 2 batches.
2. Add remaining tablespoon oil to saucepan. Add onions, garlic, and chilies; cook, stirring, until onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring, until vegetables are coated and spices are aromatic, about 3 minutes. Return meat to saucepan, then add tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender, 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
3. Transfer beef cubes to a plate. When cool enough to handle, pull meat into shreds and return to saucepan. Stir in beans and scallions and cook until heated through.
4. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Spoon hot chili into a 9‑inch deep‑dish pie pan or 3‑quart casserole and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
5.For the cornbread: Combine cornbread mix, cream, water, oil, egg, and chopped jalape–o in a bowl, whisking to blend. Sprinkle cheese over chili, and then spoon batter over cheese, spreading evenly and leaving a 1/2‑inch border between batter and pan. Bake until edge of chili is bubbly and cornbread is springy to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes.
TIP Poblanos are the dark green chilies commonly used in chiles rellenos. They're fairly mild, but the darkest ones have the richest flavor. Choose ones that are almost black.
Smart Super Bowl Snacks
Between the pregame festivities and the game itself, Super Bowl Sunday can be one giant eating competition: High‑carb chips, honey barbecue wings, and lots of beer to wash it all down can make it a carb counter's nightmare.
If you've been invited to a Super Bowl party, offer to bring ŇchipsÓ and dip or crackers and cheese to ensure you have noshes that fit your eating plan (odds are high that other guests will appreciate your contributions!). Here are a few vegetable stand‑ins for potato chips and high‑carb tortilla chips or crackers. Reach beyond the typical zucchini rounds for less common vegetables Đ or for common ones presented in uncommon ways:
Bell peppers. Instead of slicing into strips, cut them into panels so they can double for crackers. Hold the pepper by the stem upright on a cutting board; cut down the sides so they fall off into panels (the core and seeds should stay in one tidy bundle to discard). Cut the panels into 1-1/2‑ to 2‑inch squares or rectangles and serve with a soft, spreadable cheese; garlic-and‑herb Boursin provides a savory contrast to the sweet pepper.
Jicama. Once peeled, this Mexican vegetable is a dead ringer for raw potato except for two critical characteristics: It tastes great (crunchy yet juicy and quite sweet) and it has a fraction of the Net Carbs (2.5 grams per 1/2 cup raw). Jicama are fairly large, but buy the smallest you can find. Peel them and cut them into 1/8‑inch slices. Serve with a zesty guacamole.
Fennel. Cut fennel bulbs into thin wedges, or cut smaller bulbs into rounds. With its subtle anise flavor, fennel is best with blander cheeses and spinach dip.
Belgian endive. Separate the leaves from the core of this slightly bitter, elegantly pale winter vegetable, then give them a quick rinse. Their slightly scooped shape makes them perfect for dipping.
Whole‑wheat pastry flour has a slightly nutty flavor and makes for a cake that won't rise as high as a traditional angel food cake.
1 cup sifted whole‑wheat pastry flour 2/3 cup granular sugar substitute, divided 1/4 teaspoon salt 12 large egg whites (1-1/2 cups) 1-1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup orange juice 1 tablespoon granular sugar substitute 1 pint fresh raspberries or 1 (12‑ounce) package no‑sugar added frozen raspberries, thawed
1.For the cake: Heat oven to 375°F. Sift flour twice. Add 1/3 cup of the sugar substitute and salt to flour and sift again. Set aside.
2. Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Increase mixer speed to medium‑high and gradually add remaining 1/3 cup sugar substitute. Continue beating until egg whites are stiff but still moist.
3. Sift flour mixture over whites in 3 additions, folding in each addition thoroughly with a rubber spatula. Transfer batter to an ungreased 10‑inch tube pan with a removable bottom. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 minutes. Invert cake over a rack until completely cool, about 1 hour.
4.For the sauce: Combine orange juice and sugar substitute in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium‑high and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in raspberries and cook until they begin to break up and release juice, about 2 minutes. Set a strainer over a bowl and transfer sauce to strainer. Press berries to obtain juice.
5. To serve, run a long, thin‑bladed knife or metal spatula around edge of the pan and lift cake from the outer rim. Run knife along the center tube; then run it along the bottom. Invert cake onto a platter. Use a serrated knife to cut into 12 slices; top each slice with sauce.
TIP Don't wait till the last minute to make the raspberry sauce. It takes a while (and a bit of effort) to press all the juice through the strainer. Use a large spoon or spatula. It will keep for 2 days, refrigerated in an airtight container.
Recipes from ATKINS FOR LIFE LOW-CARB COOKBOOK by Veronica Atkins with Stephanie Nathanson and the Atkins Kitchen (St. Martin's Press; November 2004; $25.95/Hardcover).