Low on carbs, high on flavor

By: Gary Gilligan
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Happy New Year! It used to seem like 2019 was so far away and here it is. I hope you all had a great holiday and now it is January and we are all on diets.

During the holidays I had some health issues I had to address and spent the month of December having to be good. No candy, no cookies, no bread, no sugar and no fun. But it was a wakeup call. So here we are going to work through this together. I invite you to look at what you eat and let’s make changes.  

So Cauliflower Rice has become my new friend. There are lots of experiments going on in my kitchen. First thing don’t try to make your own. Buy the bag in the produce section. Baking the “rice” seems to work better by cooking it in water first. Use lots of herbs and watch the sauces you add for sugar.

Here are two recipes that are low carb and low sugar. Hope you enjoy.


Low Carb Jambalaya with Chicken, Shrimp and Sausage

This is a healthful and nutritious twist on the New Orleans classic that's made with cauliflower "rice."


2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, divided

1 bag (16-ounce) cauliflower "rice" or "pearls"  or 1 large head cauliflower, grated

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika

4 links Andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced

1 can (15-ounce) petite diced tomatoes, undrained

8 ounces large peeled and deveined shrimp

Tabasco sauce, to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts on a nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season evenly with salt, pepper and 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning. Bake for 22 - 25 minutes or until cooked through to 165 degrees.

Place cauliflower on a nonstick baking sheet (or line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper). Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt, black pepper and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning. Toss so that seasonings are evenly distributed. Roast for 10 minutes alongside the chicken.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 4 - 5 minutes. Add the celery and red bell pepper and continue cooking another 7 - 8 minutes or until very soft. Keep heat at medium.

Add the garlic, paprika, Andouille sausage and cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and shrimp and cook, stirring often until shrimp is cooked.

Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch pieces. Add to pan along with cauliflower and heat through. Adjust seasonings and add Tabasco sauce to taste.

Add half the parsley. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with remaining parsley.


Skillet Taco Cauliflower Rice

This easy skillet dinner combines ground turkey taco meat with cauliflower rice topped with lettuce, avocado and salsa for an easy, low-carb weeknight meal!


1 lb 93 percent lean ground turkey

1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon  cumin

1 teaspoon  chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 small onion, minced

2 tablespoon bell pepper, minced

3/4 cup water

4 ounces canned tomato sauce (1/2 can)

4 cups uncooked riced cauliflower


For the toppings:

4 ounces avocado (1 small)

chopped cilantro

1 cup chopped lettuce

1/4 cup jarred salsa

lime wedges


Over high heat, brown the turkey in a large skillet breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks, about 5 minutes.

When no longer pink, add 1 teaspoon salt and the dry seasoning and mix well.

Add the onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce and cover.

Simmer on low for about 15 minutes.

Remove the cover and add the cauliflower, add 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.

Transfer to a plate and serve with avocado, lettuce, salsa and lime.