Spaghetti Squash with Peanut Sauce

Spaghetti squash is magical. While its texture obviously differs than that of real noodles, when mixed with various sauces, it does give one the experience of eating noodles. This spaghetti squash with peanut sauce makes a wonderful addition to any Asian-inspired dish. I often serve it with Asian salmon. Click for the recipe

Meatza

What’s not to like about meatza? It’s like combining two awesome foods – hamburger and pizza. It’s easy, tasty and low-carb. I like to use pre-formed ground beef patties and make mini meatzas instead of a large one. Click for the recipe

Dark Chocolate Bark

I love making chocolate bark because it’s such an easy dessert to make, but the result is so impressive and pretty. Dark chocolate bark is very healthy, and it makes a tasty dessert or a gorgeous host/hostess gift. Get creative and use any combination of nuts and dried fruit – I like to use dried cranberries because they are so pretty, but raisins work well too. Click for the recipe

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Made with just four ingredients, these flourless peanut butter cookies are incredibly good. And unlike flour-based cookies, you’re unlikely to overeat- these peanut butter cookies are very satiating. One or two, eaten slowly and savored, is more than enough. Click for the recipe

Honey Roasted Nuts

Crunchy, fragrant and salty-sweet, these honey roasted nuts make a great homemade hostess gift this holiday season – assuming you’ll resist the temptation to polish them off by yourself. :) The amount of honey in this recipe adds just a touch of sweetness. If you like your roasted nuts sweet, double the amount. Click for the recipe

Low Carb Breaded Shrimp

Crushed pork rinds make a fabulous low-carb substitute for bread crumbs in these delicious, crispy “breaded” shrimp. Click for the recipe

Reverse Sear Steak

Reverse-seared steak is made by reversing the usual order in which one prepares steak. Normally, you would sear the steak in a very hot skillet for 2 minutes on each side, then transfer to a hot (450 degrees F) oven to roast until done, 3-5 minutes depending on how done you like your steaks.

When reverse searing, you first gently bake the steaks in a slow oven, bringing them to an internal temperature of 125 degrees F. You then rest them, allowing the juices to re-distribute; finally a quick sear, 1 minute per side, and you got yourself big, juicy, reliably medium-rare steaks.

When it comes to searing the steaks, the best tool is a well-seasoned cast iron griddle. It’s superb in terms of heat retention and distribution, and sears steaks perfectly. Cast iron griddles are relatively inexpensive and do not take up a lot of storage space. I use a reversible one by Lodge ($45 on Amazon), that creates beautiful grill marks on my steaks.

The main advantage of reverse-searing is that you get reliably juicy, evenly cooked steaks. In addition, since you rest the steaks before the final searing, you can eat them hot, right off the griddle. The disadvantages are that it takes longer, and that you need a meat thermometer.

These days, whenever I have the extra time, I use reverse searing when cooking steaks. I find that the juicy, evenly cooked result is well worth it.

A final word on the nutritional content of this recipe: I love fatty ribeyes and have no problem having an entire one, especially if I pair it with something light (a sliced tomato is great). Obviously you can split a huge steak between two people, eat half and save the leftovers for another meal, or choose smaller/leaner cuts such as tenderloin or sirloin. Click for the recipe