The goodness of the season...
Take a moment to picture a farmer’s produce stand: the rainbow of colors, the rhythm of shapes, the earthy rich
perfume of just-picked vegetables. It's Summer at its best...
Not only do veggies offer wondrous variety in taste and texture, but their virtues are also firmly grounded in
scientific research. And the vegetables densest in nutrients happen to be those lowest in carbs. Low-sugar veggies
are nutrient powerhouses, dense in fiber and antioxidants, but low on the glycemic index.
So here are some great veggie sides just right for Summer —
and so good for you!!
Zucchini & Summer Squash Gratin
For this gratin, use all the interesting green and yellow summer squashes (pattypan,
scallop, crookneck, butterstick, etc.) that you can find at the farmers' market.
FOR THE ONIONS:
TO ASSEMBLE THE GRATIN:
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 medium onions (14 oz. total), thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
To cook the onions — In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and
sauté, stirring frequently, until limp and golden brown, about 20 min. Reduce the heat to medium-low
if they're browning too quickly. Add the garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, 1 to 2 min. Spread
the onions and garlic evenly in the bottom of an oiled 2-qt. shallow gratin dish (preferably oval).
- 1-1/4 lb. ripe red tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3/4 lb. (about 2 small) zucchini or other green summer squash,
cut into 1/4-inch slices on the bias
- 3/4 lb. (about 2 small) yellow summer squash or golden zucchini,
cut into 1/4-inch slices on the bias
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp. coarse salt
- 1-1/4 cups freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
To assemble the gratin. — Heat the oven to 375°F. Put the tomato slices on a shallow plate to drain
for a few minutes and then discard the collected juices. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini and
squash slices with 1-1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil, 2 Tbs. of the thyme, and 1/2 tsp. of the salt. Reserve
half of the cheese for the top of the gratin. Sprinkle 1 Tbs. of the thyme over the onions in the gratin.
Starting at one end of the baking dish, lay a row of slightly overlapping tomato slices across the width
of the dish and sprinkle with a little of the cheese. Next, lay a row of zucchini, overlapping the
tomatoes by two-thirds, and sprinkle with cheese. Repeat with a row of squash, and then repeat rows,
sprinkling each with cheese, until the gratin is full.
Season lightly with pepper and the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Drizzle the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil
over all. Combine the reserved cheese with the remaining 1 Tbs. thyme and sprinkle this over the whole
Cook until well-browned all over and the juices have bubbled for a while and reduced
considerably, 65 to 70 min. Let cool for at least 15 min. before serving.
Makes 6 servings. 6.4 grams of carbohydrate per serving.
Pepperoni Eggplant Crisps
Wash eggplant. Slice into 1/2 inch slices. Do not peel. On half of the slices, place Mozzarella
or Jack cheese. Top with 2 or 3 pepperoni slices. Sprinkle with oregano. Top with remaining
- 1 large eggplant
- 1/2 pound Mozzarella or Jack cheese, grated or thinly sliced
- 4 ounce package thinly sliced pepperoni
- Ground oregano
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup Keto Crumbs *
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- olive oil
- Crushed red pepper (optional)
Combine almond flour, Keto Crumbs, and Parmesan cheese mixed well together on a plate. On another plate, place the beaten eggs.
Dip the eggplant on each side first in the egg and then in the crumbs. When well-breaded, place
on a baking sheet. Drizzle on each side with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with crushed
red pepper, if desired.
Bake at 375°F. for 15 minutes. Turn with a spatula. Bake for 15 minutes on other side.
Serve warm. Great served with a garden-fresh tomato salad!
Makes 8 Eggplant Crisps. 2.9 grams of carbohydrate per "crisp."
* Keto Crumbs are available from
The Low Carb Connoisseur.
Scalloped Chayote with Cheese
My mother was famous for her scalloped potatoes. They were one of her most-requested
dishes at family gatherings. Since potatoes are off the menu now that we are low carb,
I came up with a signature version of my own with Scalloped Chayote. Chayote are a mexican
squash — similar to summer squash in that they have a very mild flavor on their own and
easily absorbs other flavors in recipes. In this respect, they can be very much like potatoes,
and when bathed in creamy, cheesey sauces and baked, they're hard to tell from the real thing,
and exceptionally delicious!
Peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced chayote are layered with shredded Gruyere and Cheddar cheeses
and chopped fresh parsley, then drizzled with heavy cream and topped with dabs of butter.
They make a wonderful side dish for special occasions.
I love the buttery taste of Gruyere cheese, but you can substitute standard Swiss if it’s more
readily available in your area. Serve the scalloped chayote alongside roast beef, or with ham,
pork chops or other simply prepared meats. Sautéed tomatoes and a green salad would complete
your meal nicely!
Preheat oven to 350°F.
- 3 medium chayote, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (about 4 ounces)
- 1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grease a baking dish with some of the butter and lay 1/3 of the chayote in the bottom of
Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese and parsley. Repeat twice.
Drizzle the heavy cream over the chayote and place several dabs of butter over the top.
Bake for 80 to 90 minutes
until a knife placed through chayote in center area of pan shows it's tender and cheese is nicely browned.
Makes 6 servings — 5.5 grams of carbohydrate per serving.
Argentine Style Grilled Eggplant
Cut eggplants in half lengthwise, leaving stem ends intact.
- 3 small eggplants (4 to 6 ounces each)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- freshly ground black pepper
Mix garlic and olive oil in small bowl. Combine oregano, basil, thyme, paprika and red pepper
flakes in separate bowl and stir to mix.
Lightly brush cut sides of eggplants with garlic-oil mixture. Grill over medium heat, cut side
down, until lightly browned (about three minutes.)
Lightly brush skin sides with oil mixture. Invert eggplants and brush tops with remaining oil.
Sprinkle tops with dried herb mixture and salt and pepper to taste.
Continue grilling eggplants, cut side up, until very tender (about 6 to 8 minutes.)
Eggplants can be grilled ahead of time and reheated. Excellent served with a little spiced
tomato sauce or a spicy salsa!
Makes 6 Eggplant halves. 5.8 grams of carbohydrate each.