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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Low-Carb

RECIPE: Fish Ceviche (Consider Trout!)

Trout ceviche. Photo courtesy
ILoveBlueSea.com

 

Ceviche, raw fish or shellfish cured by acidic citrus juice, has been popular in Latin America for many centuries. In the early 1500s, the Spanish conquistadors wrote of an Inca dish of raw fish marinated in chicha, a fermented maize beer that dates back some 2,000 years.

The concept evolved into ceviche (pronounced say-VEE-chay) (here’s the history of ceviche). There is something about fresh, homemade ceviche that is refreshing and satisfying, as well as low in calories and healthful (here’s why ceviche is so good for you).

We love the tangy twist of lime, the briny hit of fish or seafood, the sprightly cilantro and creamy avocado.

Throughout South America, the mix of fish or seafood changes depending on the local catch and regional preferences.

 

This recipe can be used with any fish or seafood. It is courtesy of chef Giovanna Garcia and I Love Blue Sea, an e-tailer of premier seafood, where the team enjoys their ceviche with raw tuna or trout.

The recipe is so easy to make, you’ve just got to try it. Warning: You may become a ceviche addict.

 

TROUT CEVICHE/FISH CEVICHE RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh rainbow trout
  • 6 limes, juiced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  •  

    MacFarland Springs Trout. Photo courtesy I Love Blue Sea.

     

    Preparation

    1. CUT trout into pieces and place in a glass dish or bowl. Cover trout with lime juice and let sit in refrigerator for at least an hour. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl.

    2. DRAIN the lime juice from the fish and add to the bowl. Toss to combine.

    3. TASTE and season with sea salt and pepper.

    4. SERVE with crackers or tortilla chips, in a lettuce cup or with mixed greens.

    Here’s THE NIBBLE’s ceviche recipe for mixing and matching your favorite ingredients into your dream ceviche.

    Find more of our favorite fish recipes.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Low Carb Pizza Alternative: Zucchini Pizza

    Zucchini “canoes” substitute for pizza crusts. Photo courtesy Lucero Olive Oil.

     

    It’s not the toppings that are the problem with eating pizza frequently. The crust is where the ne’er-do-well carbs reside.

    The late, lamented Goldberg’s Pizza in Manhattan offered a diet pizza by heaping the toppings into an aluminum pie plate instead of onto a carb-laden crust.

    All of the vegetable toppings (bell peppers, broccoli, eggplant, mushrooms, onions—whatever you like) were added to the pie plate, covered with sauce and cheese and baked in the oven.

    It was a way for dieters (of whom proprietor Larry Goldberg was one) to enjoy the flavors of pizza without the empty carbs.

    Zucchini pizza is a modern take on the idea. In this recipe from Lucero Olive Oil, halves of zucchini serve as the base for the cheese, tomatoes and other toppings.

    Zucchini pizza is not only more nutritious; it’s a way to get family members to eat more vegetables, more often.

     

    ZUCCHINI CANOES, A PIZZA ALTERNATIVE

    Ingredients:

  • 3 zucchini (one is a zucchino)
  • 1 box grape tomatoes
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced
  • Fresh Basil (1 bunch)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Basil olive oil (we used Lucero’s)
  • Salt and pepper or crushed chili flakes to taste
  • Optional: pepperoni or other favorite meat topping, chopped
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CUT. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Trim as necessary so they fit into a glass baking dish.

    2. SCOOP. Using a teaspoon, grapefruit spoon or melon baller, scoop out the center core where the seeds are to create a shallow trench. Do not scoop all the way to the bottom. (You can save the zucchini you’ve scooped out and add it to scrambled eggs.)

    3. COMBINE. Combine the crushed garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper/chili flakes. Brush the surface of the zucchini with mixture.

    4. BAKE. Halve the grape tomatoes and arrange them inside the trench with the optional pepperoni. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes.

    5. ADD. Remove the zucchini from the oven and place diced mozzarella in the trench between the tomatoes.

    6. BROIL. Place the baking dish under the broiler until golden and bubbling.

    7. GARNISH. Remove and drizzle the zucchini lightly with basil olive oil. Top with fresh basil and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan.
     

    Find gourmet pizza recipes—with the crust.

      

    Comments

    FOOD VIDEO: How To Choose Healthy Snacks

     

    If you’re one of the millions of people who have just made a New Year’s resolution to pursue better food choices, here’s an “inspirational” video. It shows some simple, portion-controlled snack ideas that let you treat yourself without going overboard.

    Whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer savory flavors—and there’s no reason you can’t have both—pick up some tips to maintain your 2011 eating plan.


    Some of our favorites:

  • Quality lower-calorie, fat-free and no-sugar-added ice cream is as close as your local supermarket. If your goal is to have more ice cream more often, trade away the superpremium brands for those with half the calories, fat and carbs. It’s not plain vanilla: Edy’s, Dreyer’s and Breyer’s, among others, make exciting flavors.
  • Check out different sugar-free preserves. You can’t tell the difference with the best ones, imported from Europe made sweetened with maltitol. Or check out the organic Fiordifrutta line, sweetened with apple juice instead of sugar and available in an orchard of flavors: Apricot, Blackberry, Cherry, Cranberry, Lemon, Peach, Plum, Orange, Raspberry, Strawberry, Wild Berries and Wild Blueberry.
  • No Sugar Added preserves also make good low calorie dessert toppings for ice cream and yogurt, as well as pancake toppings.
  • Salsa is low in calories but bursting with flavor and nutrition. Salsa and baby carrots are a ready-to-eat, healthy snack. Check out some of our favorite salsas and salsa recipes.
  • And speaking of veggies, treat yourself to pickled vegetables. Our two favorite brands are Rick’s Picks and Tillen Farms. Asparagus, okra, red pepper strips, string beans and other veggies never tasted so good!

    Find more healthy ideas in our Cooking Videos Section.

  • Comments

    Cooking Video: Low Calorie Cocktails

     

    You can still enjoy a few drinks on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, without breaking the calorie bank.

    Registered Dietician Elizabeth Somer provides tips that help you to “drink this, not that,” to borrow a phrase from the popular book by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding.

    In fact, the book series that includes Drink This, Not That, Eat This, Not That and Cook This, Not That will help jump-start your New Year’s diet.

    But back to our weekly cooking video: Spend a few minutes with it and you’ll be mindful of which drinks are highest in calories and which alternatives are just as satisfying. Or as we see it, trade off drink calories for a piece of pecan pie or cheesecake.

  • Enjoy these low-carb cocktail recipes at your Christmas dinner, New Year’s party and throughout 2011.
  • Find more food and drink videos in our Cooking Videos Section.
  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Strawberries For The Holidays

    Holiday season is high-calorie season. But you can help your calorie-stressed guests.

    In addition to serving crudités as an option to the seductive Brie Torte, provide fresh fruit for guests who are watching calories or carbs, don’t eat refined sugar or are doing their best to avoid plunging into your brownies and butter cookies.

    Fresh fruit pickings are slim in December, but a big bowl of strawberries is seasonal in color, festive in appearance and usually abundant, thanks to California’s strawberry growers. (It’s warm enough in the southern part of the state to harvest strawberries in December.)

    Packed with antioxidants that are heart-healthy, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory. Strawberries are just about perfect as a fruit. Just compare:

  • Apples: 65 calories/cup, 17.3 g total carb, 16.2 g sugar
  • Grapes: 62 calories/cup, 15.8 g total carb, 14.9 g sugar
  • Pears: 96 calories/cup, 25.5 g total carb, 16.2 g sugar
  • Pineapple: 78 calories/cup, 20.3 g total carb, 20.3 g sugar
  • Strawberries: 49 calories/cup, 11.7 g total carb, 7.4 g sugar
  •  

    A bowl or basket of strawberries is a healthy
    and low calorie holiday option. Photo courtesy WellPict.com.

    The numbers to note are carbs and sugar: Strawberries have half as much sugar than most other fruit, including canteloupe.

    Serve strawberries with a low-calorie, fat-free cinnamon-yogurt dip. Sweeten with a non-caloric sweetener or low calorie, low-glycemic agave nectar.

    Nutrition information from CalorieCount.About.com.

     
    A nice presentation is to place the strawberries in a napkin-lined basket with a bowl of dip in the center. If the caps on the berries are bright green and perky, leave them on—they add to the beauty. Just provide a small bowl for the discarded stems.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Sugar-Free Margarita Mix

    Have a Margarita for just 5 calories on top
    of the liquor calories. Photo by Katharine
    Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

     

    A few weeks ago we wrote about Skinnygirl Margarita, a 100-calorie Margarita-in-a-bottle sweetened with low-glycemic agave nectar.

    There’s a new contender on the market: The Original Skinny Margarita, made by Jordan’s Skinny Mixes. It’s joined by the Original Skinny Appletini and the Original Skinny Cosmopolitan.

    The mixes are made with natural flavors and sweetened with sucralose (Splenda). The Margarita mix has five calories per four-ounce serving; the other varieties contain zero calories.

    The five calories make a difference: The zero-calorie varieties were more “diet” tasting. It’s easier to make a lemon-flavored, almost-calorie-free Margarita mix than to duplicate the flavors of apple schnapps or cranberry juice.

    There’s a need in the marketplace for sugar-free or low-glycemic agave-based cocktail mixes. A regular mix adds hundreds of calories, many of them sugar, to a cocktail. We applaud the introduction of these sugar-free cocktail mixes, and hope that a line of agave-sweetened mixes is forthcoming.

    There’s a store locator on the SkinnyMixes.com website, plus links to purchase online.

  • Find more cocktail mixes and drink recipes in our Cocktails & Spirits Section.
  • Comments (2)

    TIP OF THE DAY: Low Carb Burger Salad

    We made reservations (a week in advance for an 8 p.m. slot!) at Five Napkin Burger in New York City’s theatre district. We arrived, wended our way through the packed room to our table, perused the list of burgers and placed our order.

    Before our (delicious) ahi tuna burger and bacon cheddar burger arrived, the duo at the next table received their order: large salad bowls filled with bell peppers, celery, chopped greens, cucumbers, green beans, radishes, red onion slices, tomatoes and Roquefort cheese—topped with burgers. We asked to see the menu again. There it was, in the salad column: Burger Salad.

     

    The burger salad from L.A.’s O! Burger. Photo
    courtesy OBurger.net.

    When our burgers arrived, on thick, white-flour buns, we were filled with carbohydrate remorse.

    While we ate every bite of our buns, we can’t wait to go back to have a burger salad. It’s available with any of the burger choices (which also include an Italian turkey burger, lamb kofta burger and veggie burger).

    On the opposite coast, O! Burger, an organic burger restaurant in West Hollywood, has two burger salad options. The large mixed salad bowl on the menu—baby greens, chick peas, cucumbers, napa cabbage and tomatoes—can be topped with one or two beef, turkey or veggie patties. There’s also a “Super Bowl”: two patties with grilled vegetables.

    While diners and other casual restaurants have long offered a “diet plate” of a bun-less meat patty with a side salad, in the hands of chic burger emporia it seems a treat, not a deprivation. The higher quality of meat and salad fixing has a bearing on this, of course.

    The best-of-both-worlds burger salad gives you the burger you pine for, while replacing the largely high-carb and nutrition-free bun with a choice fiber- and vitamin-filled salad, tossed with a fine vinaigrette.

    For those who don’t want that many veggies, Five Napkin Burger restaurant also serves an Inside Out Burger: a ground chuck patty and pickles wrapped in lettuce leaves with tomatoes and special sauce—no bun.

    Burger salad, inside out burger and super bowl deliver low carb nutrition and high palate enjoyment. We’ve started making them at home (with the amazing Built Burgers). The effort is minimal, and it beats trying to get a reservation.

    .

    Comments

    GOURMET GIVEAWAY: Pepperidge Farm Deli Flats & “The Skinnygirl Dish” Book With Recipe Cards

    We love bread, and we love companies that figure out how to make it less caloric. That’s why we’re fans of the new 100-calorie Deli Flats from Pepperidge Farm, this week’s Gourmet Giveaway prize sponsor. The winner will receive three packages of Deli Flats, which are easy to substitute for standard bread (and we think, are more fun). We use them as morning toast, for sandwiches and snacks with PB & Polaner Sugar-Free Preserves.

    Want some more ideas of how to use the Deli Flats? The winner will also receive a copy of “Real Housewife Of New York” Bethenny Frankel’s latest book: The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy Recipes For Your Naturally Thin Life, plus her exclusive sandwich recipe cards for Deli Flats. Check out more of what we did with Deli Flats in THE NIBBLE’s review. (Also check out our review of Bethenny’s Skinnygirl Margarita.)

     

    A chicken sandwich on Deli Flats. Photo
    courtesy Pepperidge Farm.

  • THE PRIZE: One winner will take home three packages of Pepperidge Farm Deli Flats along with The Skinnygirl Dish book and Ms. Frankel’s exclusive Deli Flats recipe cards. Share the recipes with your carb-watching friends and take turns making delicious, low-carb meals.
  • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Diet Nibbles Section and enter your email address for the prize drawing. This contest closes on Monday, June 21st at noon, Eastern Time. Good luck!
  • Comments

    PRODUCT: Zoku Ice Pop Maker

    You can become the most creative glacier in town with the Zoku Quick Pop Maker from Williams-Sonoma.

    It’s easy to create your own customized frozen pops, including cream-filled varieties, in as little as seven minutes.

    Use your favorite juices and other beverages (coffee, tea, kefir, smoothies) or fresh fruit purées to make the gourmet pops of your dreams.

    Designed to be very user friendly—quick freezing, easy release from molds, reusable plastic pop sticks that have drip guards—Zoku looks to be the best pop-making option we’ve seen.

    Why should you give up storage space to a pop-making machine?

     

    It’s easy to make gorgeous ice pops with
    your favorite flavors and add-ins. Photo
    courtesy Williams-Sonoma.

    • You can make gourmet pops in the exact flavors you want, and express yourself artistically in flavors, colors and patterns. (One of our favorites is to freeze cocktail mixes into Margarita Ice Pops and savory Bloody Mary Mix ice pops. Alcohol doesn’t freeze well, but you can try a teaspoonful per pop.)

    • You have something new and special to serve guests.

    • Things you’d normally drink for health can be turned into pops—from pomegranate juice to probiotic peach kefir.

    • You can control for dietary needs—reduced sugar, no sugar or kosher, for example—and allergies.

    • Ice pops have fewer calories than ice cream and are fat- and cholesterol-free (unless you elect to make cream pops).

    • It’s a fun way to teach the whole family that they can enjoy preparing their own food.

    • And thanks to the plastic sticks, there’s no yucky wood flavor that we so dislike with commercial ice pops.

    Find more of our favorite frozen treats, plus recipes, in our Ice Cream Section.

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Low Calorie Party

    pork-loin-230

    This barbecue pork loin saves many calories
    with a sugar-free blackberry sauce. Here’s
    the recipe. Photo courtesy The J.M.
    Smucker Company.

     

    Want to throw a get-together but fear for your strict diet? Have a pot luck diet lunch or dinner.

    Everyone brings his or her best low-calorie dish, along with copies of the recipe to share and, if it’s a buffet, an index card to set in front of the dish, with the name of the dish and the cook, the ingredients and, if possible, calories per saving.

    For more party fun, everyone can rank their top three dishes, and winners can be named.

    The prizes?

    Something low-calorie, of course! Or something no-calorie, like fancy brands of mineral water.

    It’s a great party idea: Less cooking for you and the opportunity to try lots of new low-calorie recipes with your friends—who will be very thankful for all the new recipes they’ll be taking home.

    This party concept works with any dietary restriction—fat-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, low carb, vegan, etc.

    Comments

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