Sunday, December 1, 2013

Crockpot Beef Vindaloo

I'm getting pretty slow cooker obsessed lately. I like the challenge of coming up with recipes that actually benefit from a really long slow braise. I also love breaking the stereotype that Crockpot cooking has to be middle-America dishes made with canned cream-of-whatever soup. This weekend, it was a Crockpot Beef Vindaloo, a classic, piquant, and very spicy meaty curry. It turned out fab in the Crockpot.

Crockpot Beef Vindaloo
cilantro (chop leaves and stems separately, reserve leaves for garnish)
2 onions, roughly chopped
1/2 lb bell pepper, roughly chopped (optional)
2 t minced ginger
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 lbs stew beef, chopped into bite-sized chunks. Lamb would be delicious instead
black pepper, to taste
salt to taste (I used 2 t)
1 t beef bouillon (optional)
14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup pumpkin puree (This pops up a lot on my blog. It makes a great neutral, healthy thickener for soups and stews)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
approximately 1 t sugar or 1 packet Splenda (to round out the flavor)
Curry powder (I like Sun Brand Madras curry powder, and I use 4 T. Depending on the curry powder you use, you may need more or less.)
OR if you'd prefer to make your own curry powder, add all of the following: 
2.5 T cumin
2 t coriander
2 t turmeric
2 t cayenne pepper (This makes a quite spicy vindaloo. Use less if you can't handle it.)
1 t cardamom
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t mustard seeds (sometimes I cheat and just do a squirt of mustard instead)
1/4 t cloves
1 bay leaf

Cilantro leaves
Greek yogurt (optional)
Serve with basmati rice or cauliflower "rice"

Dump everything except garnish into slow cooker and stir together. Cook for 7-8 hours on low or 4 on high.

Monday, November 4, 2013


I am a lover of pumpkin year-round, and since it's seasonally appropriate, here is a link to all of my sweet and savory pumpkin recipes. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Crockpot Brown Rice Pudding

It's fall, so that means everyone is craving warm, comforting food, and everything is getting pumpkinified. Well, you should know by now that I don't wait until fall to break out the pumpkin--it's part of my everyday cooking repertoire. So I just happened to make Pumpkin Brown Rice Pudding today. Not because it's fall, because I wanted it, really, I promise! But I'll get to that in a minute.

Let me start at the beginning. I have a great recipe for Slow Cooker Brown Rice Pudding that I have been making for months, just changing up the ad-ins, and it's high time I posted it. As you may know, I have a strong moral code about using the slow cooker. I'll only use it if the dish will actually benefit from it. There are plenty of recipes that have no business being in the Crockpot, and are in fact a compromise if made that way. Rice pudding is one of those things that is actually best when made in a slow cooker. I'm talking about the creamy, stovetop version of rice pudding, not the oven-baked custardy, often dry and crunchy kind (that is a different animal altogether, which I don't happen to like.) The traditional way of making the creamy kind is on the stovetop and involves a lot of babysitting and the inevitable boil-over and burning on the bottom. Some recipes even call for cooking the rice first, then making it into pudding. Mine is so much simpler: throw some uncooked brown rice and a few other ingredients in the Crockpot and let it go for a few hours, and you will have perfectly creamy, evenly cooked rice pudding with no burning or sticking.

Not only is this a perfectly satisfying healthy dessert, but it makes a good snack or even breakfast (think oatmeal substitute). I like it hot or cold, and as you'll see, it's a very flexible recipe. I've listed three of my favorite version below: my classic recipe, an Indian kheer, and the pumpkin rice pudding that I just made on this fall day.

Crockpot Brown Rice Pudding (Basic Recipe)
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 cup sweetener of choice (I use Splenda)
1 quart milk of choice (I love coconut milk. Almond milk is also great)
1 cup water
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 t vanilla

Optional after cooking add-ins:
dried fruit

Dump all ingredients except vanilla into slow cooker. Stir, then cook on high 3-3.5 hours, until rice is tender. Stir in vanilla. Pudding may be runny at first, but trust me, it will thicken as it cools. You may need to add more water or milk after refrigerating, depending on your texture preferences.

The next is my favorite version: a Kheer, the traditional Indian rice pudding full of lots of my favorite spice, cardamom (also the world's second most expensive spice; what can I say, I have expensive taste!).

Brown Rice Kheer
Make as above, using coconut milk as your milk. Substitute 1 t cardamom instead of nutmeg. Once cooked, stir in a handful of golden raisins and chopped pistachios, and a drizzle of honey.

And finally, the pumpkinified version...

Pumpkin Brown Rice Pudding
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup sweetener of choice (I use Splenda)
1 quart vanilla almond milk
pinch of salt
1 t pumpkin pie spice (or 3/4 t cinnamon and 1/2 t nutmeg)
1 t vanilla

Optional after cooking add-ins
dried cranberries
toasted pumpkin seeds
whipped cream

Follow instructions above.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Baked Faux-tato Casserole

I pretty much have the Midas touch for cauliflower. I think I can officially say that I'm an expert at turning cauliflower into things that taste like potatoes. This is the low carb, veggie-full version of twice-baked "loaded" potatoes, a casserole with pureed cauliflower and all of the potato fixin's you love: bacon, sour cream, cheddar, and chives. As with my other cauliflower dupes, Cauliflower CheeseMashed Cauliflower, Buffalo Cauliflower, and Creamy Potato, Sausage, and Kale Soup, this one is great for low carb diets or just for people who want to incorporate more veggies into their meals!

Baked Faux-tato Casserole
2-2.5 lb cauliflower
6 slices cooked, crumbled bacon or 1/4 cup bacon bits
6-8 oz grated 2% sharp cheddar, a handful reserved
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1 bunch green onions or chives, chopped, a handful reserved
1/2 t salt
1/2 t garlic powder
black pepper to taste
dash hot sauce (optional)
dash smoked paprika (optional)

Garnish (optional)
extra sour cream and green onions

Steam cauliflower until soft, then drain thoroughly. Process until pureed. (Sometimes I like to leave little chunks, like rustic mashed potatoes.) Stir in remaining ingredients, except reserved cheese and garnish, and transfer to casserole. Sprinkle reserved cheese on top. Bake at 400 for 25minutes.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Braised Balsamic Chicken

My husband is a lover of balsamic vinegar. He doesn't do much food prep, but he always makes the balsamic vinaigrette because it's something he can get excited about. His recipe is essentially a ridiculous amount of balsamic, a splash of olive oil, plus seasoning. Yeah, he likes balsamic. He's still going strong on the low carb diet, so when I saw a recipe for Balsamic Chicken going around on Pinterest, I thought it would be a perfect dinner. (I based my recipe on this one.) The chicken braises in a minimalist broth of balsamic and seasonings, creating a wonderfully balanced sauce. Served with cauliflower puree or roasted veggies, it is elegant enough for entertaining. And you can even make it in the Crockpot or Instant Pot if you want!

Braised Balsamic Chicken
1 T olive oil (omit in slow cooker version because the chicken will release some fat)
1 onion, chopped (optional)
2 T chopped garlic
3 lbs skinless chicken thighs, bone in or out
2 t salt
2 t dried Italian seasoning
black and red pepper flakes to taste
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
Handful of chopped parsley (optional)

Stovetop method: saute onion, garlic, and chicken thighs (seasoned with salt) in olive oil in a large pot until caramelized. Add remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer on low for 40 minutes. Garnish with parsley, if using, when finished cooking.

Crockpot method: dump everything in Crockpot (in order listed). Cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Garnish with parsley, if using, when finished cooking.

Instant Pot method: saute onion, garlic, and chicken thighs (seasoned with salt) in olive oil until caramelized. Seal Instant Pot and set to 15 minutes if using boneless, and 17 if using bone-in. Quick release when done. Garnish with parsley, if using, when finished cooking.

My favorite variation of this is with "roasted" garlic in the Crockpot. I use this awesome technique for peeling garlic in 10 seconds. Add a entire head's worth of peeled cloves to the sauce (omit the chopped garlic), and cook in the Crockpot as directed. They will emerge mellow, soft, and buttery.

I sometimes throw in a 1/2 lb or so of veggies: zucchini, mushrooms, etc at the beginning and cook as directed.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup

This is another recipe born out of my husband's constant need for Mexican-ish food while on a healthy, lower carb diet. Seriously, every time I ask him what he wants for dinner, he says chili. Or Taco Bell, only half joking. I make a great low-carb chili, but I do not want to eat it every night.

This little number lets you have all the great flavors of a creamy chicken enchilada in a bowl! Not sold on that one? It's actually really good. And really, really creamy. The secret is sauce based on canned pumpkin and Greek yogurt. Still not sold? Trust me on this one! My husband, who is not a fan of pumpkin or Greek yogurt loves this (he also doesn't know they're in there). This is yet another addition to my savory recipes using pumpkin. To see all of them, click here:

Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup
1 onion, chopped
1 T garlic
2/3 lb bell peppers, chopped
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders, whole
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1 15-oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 T Goya Adobo seasoning (or 1 T salt)
1 T cumin
2 t oregano
1 t coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
black pepper and red pepper to taste

1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
shredded cheddar cheese
chopped green onion
tortilla chips (if you're not concerned about carbs)

In a large pot or Dutch oven, saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add all remaining ingredients (except garnish) and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken breasts. When chicken is cooked through, turn off heat, remove from the pan to cool for a minute, then shred. Return chicken to the pot. Let soup stand 5-10 min, then stir in the yogurt. You must wait or the yogurt will curdle in the soup. Top each serving with remaining garnishes. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sriracha Chicken with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Who doesn't love hot wings? We definitely do, and that is where this recipe has its roots. It started as a hot wing recipe and morphed over the years to its ultimate incarnation, "Sriracha Chicken." We eventually got away from making hot wings because of their fat content (and also we got lazy about having to eat around bones). I streamlined the recipe; Sriracha is already full of complex flavors: spicy, sweet, tangy and garlicy, so you don't need to add much else to it to make tasty chicken. When coming up with a dipping sauce for this dish, your classic ranch or bleu cheese dressing just didn't seem right. So I made an easy cilantro-yogurt sauce based on my cilantro sauce. The cilantro goes perfectly with the exotic Asian flavors of Sriracha, and it is fresh and creamy to cool down the slow burn of Sriracha. It's another one of my super-simple, healthy, low-carb recipes. We have it at least once a week, and I always make Buffalo Cauliflower as the side dish.

Tip: When you pull your chicken out of the oven, it may look a bit pale and unappealing. Tossing the cooked chicken in a little extra Sriracha at the end is the key to getting a thick, rich, glossy coating on it.

*This chicken has a medium to hot spice level. If you can't tolerate that level of heat, reduce the amount of Sriracha in both the marinade and the amount you toss it in in the end.

Sriracha Chicken
2.5-3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1-inch wide strips--You could use any type; wings, breasts, thighs. legs. Thighs are my favorite because they are so moist and unctuous
1/3 cup Sriracha
2 T soy sauce
2 T sweetener such as sugar, Splenda, or honey
another 3 T Sriracha, reserved
optional marinade add-ins:
1/2 t sesame oil
1 t minced garlic
1/2 t fresh ginger paste

Marinate all ingredients in a plastic bag (except reserved Sriracha and sesame oil if using) for a few hours, up to a day. In a pinch, you can get away with not marinating beforehand. Just mix the marinade ingredients with the chicken and bake. It will not be quite as flavorful and juicy, but it will still be delicious.

Bake at 450 on a large baking sheet or roasting pan for 15 minutes for breasts, 20 for thighs or wings, 25 for legs. If you like your chicken to have a nice char on it, you can put the pan on the top rack and turn the broiler on for a couple of minutes at the end (optional). Once cooked, place in large mixing bowl and add reserved Sriracha. Toss until coated--this is the fun part!

This would also be fantastic grilled!

Serve with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce and Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower.

Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
1 bunch cilantro, stems included (Cilantro stems are tender and flavorful, so use them! Waste not want not!)
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (more if you like it really thick and creamy)
1 T lime juice
salt to taste

Put in food processor or blender and whiz up until smooth.

Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower

How do you make a balanced meal out of hot wings (or our favorite, Sriracha Chicken)? Add a side of buffalo roasted cauliflower! These roasted nuggets of cauliflower infused with spicy buffalo wing flavor are also a great party food to have on hand for vegans and vegetarians. My Cilantro Yogurt Sauce is the perfect dip for this. (Here is a vegan version of the sauce without yogurt).

Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower
20 oz frozen cauliflower
1 T melted butter or oil
1 T Franks Red Hot
Pinch of garlic powder
2 T Franks Red Hot, reserved

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except reserved Franks red hot, and toss together to combine. Pour onto a large greased baking sheet and roast at 450 for approximately 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until they are golden brown. Once cooked, return to mixing bowl and add reserved hot sauce. Toss until coated. Adjust spice level if necessary. Serve with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Healthier Crockpot Beef Stew with Mashed Cauliflower

This is a pretty classic stew, bumped up with some extra veggies to healthify it. It is quite richly flavored from the wine and herbs. This is another one of my ideal-for-the-Crockpot meals. The secret ingredient in this stew is canned pumpkin. Yes, that's right. It is a great substitute for a roux to thicken the stew.  I promise it doesn't taste or look like you used pumpkin. I don't think my husband even knows it's in there. The pumpkin makes it velvety and thick, without excess carbs, no gluten, while adding an extra dose of veggies!

I used to serve stew with rice or mashed potatoes to sop up all the delicious gravy. Now that we're on the diet, we can't let the gravy go to waste! Mashed cauliflower turns out to be a great accouterment  It hits all the same creamy, comforting notes as mashed potatoes, but in veggie form.

As always with my low-carb recipes, this is not just for people watching their carbs-it's just a healthy stew with extra veggies!

Healthier Crockpot Beef Stew
1 lb carrots, sliced
1 lb quartered mushrooms
1 T minced garlic
3.5 lbs lean stew beef
3 T tomato paste
2 T Worchestershire
2 1/2 t seasoning salt or plain salt (I like Season All here)
Black pepper to taste
2 1/2 t McCormick Italian seasoning (I love this stuff, but it has never tasted very "Italian" to me. It tastes strongly of Rosemary, with notes of Marjoram and Sage. It adds a great, robust herbal flavor.)
1 bay leaf
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 cup dry red wine
1 can (about 10-15 oz, depending on brand) French Onion soup (I know, I'm a cheater. It adds fantastic depth of flavor without having to caramelize onions. You can substitute one onion, chopped, plus 1 cup of beef or chicken broth instead.)
1 lb peas, optional (not for induction phase of low carb diet)

Dump everything in Crockpot except peas and stir together. Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 4. Stir in peas, if using, immediately before serving. (They will warm through.)

Mashed Cauliflower
2 lbs cauliflower florets (I use frozen)
1/2 t garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste, optional

Steam or microwave cauliflower until very tender. Drain any liquid. Add remaining ingredients. Puree with stick blender or food processor.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Super-Easy Low-Carb Fudge

I've been testing and tweaking chocolate candy recipes lately in search of a healthy and tasty low-carb option. I've discovered that this is, in fact, quite doable, and I've come up with some of my simplest recipes yet! It all hinges on unsweetened baking chocolate, something that almost every grocery store sells in the baking aisle. Unsweetened chocolate is low-carb, full of antioxidants, and actually has some fiber and protein, too! The problem comes in with the sugar and cream added to most chocolate candies. I have 2 different fudge variations that essentially involve making an emulsion with approximately one part melted unsweetened chocolate, one part creamy substance (almond milk or peanut butter), and some Splenda. Whether or not you are low-carb, this might become your go-to dessert!

The first recipe is the simplest--it only has four ingredients and takes only a few minutes to make--and is my personal favorite. Do you know what a gananche is? It's a fancy-sounding French technique that is the dead-simple trick to making fab low cal, low-carb, vegan truffles/fudge. A ganache involves emulsifying chocolate in cream. I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead--it is very low cal and low carb, and the flavor goes great with chocolate. The ratio of liquid to chocolate can be varied to make anything from a chocolate sauce, a glaze for cakes, a frosting, or truffles. The milk-to-chocolate ratio listed below makes a truffle-textured ganache. The traditional way to serve ganache truffles would be to let the ganache cool, roll pieces into inch-sized balls, and roll in the coating of your choice: cocoa powder, chopped nuts, coconut, etc. To make it super easy, I just poured it into a baking dish and let it cool in a block to make "fudge". It is the the richest and most velvety fudge I've ever tasted!

Note that these recipes make a dark chocolate flavored fudge. If you prefer a creamier milk chocolate flavor and are not concerned about fat, you could use half and half or cream instead of one of the milk substitutes below. It will still be low carb.

Ganache Fudge
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (coconut milk would also be fab)
1 3/4 cups granulated Splenda or sweetener of choice
optional: you could also add a teaspoon of instant coffee to make mocha fudge
8 oz Baker's unsweetened chocolate squares
1 t vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, bring milk, Splenda, and coffee, if using, to a slight simmer over medium heat, uncovered. Turn off heat and drop in chocolate squares. I don't even bother with chopping it up like many recipes call for. It will melt anyway. Cover and let steep for five minutes. The residual heat from the milk will melt the chocolate perfectly without scorching. (The pieces will look intact after you steep them, but they will be super soft and will dissolve when you stir them.) Add vanilla and stir until everything is smooth. Pour into square baking dish and refrigerate.

Cut into 32 squares. A serving size is 2 squares. Calories: 73, fat: 7.2 g, protein: 2.1 g, total carbs: 4.1, fiber: 2.1, net carbs: 2.

The second recipe adds peanut butter to the mix, making a deliciously creamy, peanut buttery dark chocolate fudge, my husband's favorite. This recipe is a bit higher in fat and carbs because of the peanut butter, but it is still pretty light.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 3/4 cups granulated Splenda or sweetener of choice
8 oz Baker's unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup peanut butter. You can use crunchy or smooth peanut butter, or any other nut butter of your choice. Almond butter is scrumptious in this.
1 t vanilla

Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a large microwave dish. Microwave 1 minute, stir, then microwave in 30 second bursts, followed by stirring, until the chocolate is melted. (I usually have to do this 2 or 3 times. Be careful not to overcook). Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Mixture will be thick at this point. I usually just leave it in the container I microwaved it in--one bowl fudge! Refrigerate.

Cut into 32 squares. A serving size is 2 squares. Calories: 166, fat: 15.2, total carb: 7.2, fiber: 3, net carbs: 4.2.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Veggie-Packed Crustless Quiche

Bacon and Chard Crustless Quiche
My husband is still going strong on his low-carb diet. (He's lost 30 pounds in 2 months!) I have a few more tricks up my sleeve to post about.

One of the hardest things about the diet is what to eat for breakfast. Cereal is out, so are most fruit smoothies (although I do sometimes make a smoothie with low-carb yogurt, almond milk, and a bit of blueberries). That leaves things that generally take some prep work, like eggs and bacon, which won't do for us on work/school days. I've been making different varieties of veggie-packed crustless quiches each weekend, which we can reheat for breakfast each morning. This recipe was inspired by Glutenless Goddess' delicious (and indulgent) Egg Bake recipe, with some modifications to make it healthier.

Unlike a traditional quiche, this recipe substitutes cottage cheese for cream, which gives it more protein, makes it lighter, and more flavorful. And don't worry, once cooked, you can't tell there's cottage cheese in there. The curds melt and add a subtle cheesy, creamy flavor. I've made a ton of variations. The recipe is very flexible, and is a great way to use up random veggies and cheese you have hanging out in your fridge. This recipe is definitely not just for low-carbers, and is nice enough for company. And of course, quiches are not just for breakfast! Serve alongside a salad for a classy and healthy lunch or dinner.

Crustless Quiche (Basic Recipe)
16 oz container Egg Beaters plus 2 eggs (Why do I use Egg Beaters? I wanted to reduce the cholesterol to some extent. Bonus: it's a lot quicker to pour a bunch of Egg Beaters than it is to crack a ton of eggs. The reason I add in a few eggs as well is that the Egg Beaters containers are an awkward size. They have the equivalent of 8 eggs, and I need about 10. You can do whatever you want here: use 10 real eggs instead, maybe remove some of the yolks, buy extra Egg Beaters, or do a combination like I do.)
approximately one pound of veggies (I like to saute kale, spinach, chard, zucchini, or a couple of bell peppers and an onion)
1/3 cup real bacon bits (Bacon bits are made from real lean bacon and are surprisingly low fat; they are an easy way to pack in some extra flavor. You could go to the trouble to saute some sausage or ham, or leave out the meat altogether)
1 1/2 to 2 cups lowfat cottage cheese
approximately 6 oz lowfat cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, parm, or a combination; whatever you think will compliment the veggies of your choice)
1/2 t seasoning salt (I like Tony Chacheres or Konriko Jalapeno Seasoning)
lots of black pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Grease a large (12 inch) cast iron pan and saute the veggies and meats (if using) of your choice. In a separate bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Add the contents of the saute pan and stir quickly and thoroughly to prevent the eggs from curdling. Pour the mixture into the cast iron pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until center is set. Serves 8.

Here are a few variations I love:

Bacon and Kale Crustless Quiche
16 oz container Egg Beaters plus 2 eggs
1 bunch (a little less than a pound) kale or chard, tough stems removed and chopped into 1-inch strips
1/3 cup bacon bits
2 cups lowfat cottage cheese
1 cup (4 oz) shredded lowfat mozzarella
1/4 cup (1 oz) grated Parmesan
1/2 t seasoning salt (I like Tony Chacheres or Konriko Jalapeno Seasoning)
1/2 t Italian seasoning
1/4 t garlic powder
sprinkle of nutmeg (goes really well with dark greens)
lots of black pepper

Follow directions in basic recipe above.

Pepper and Onion Crustless Quiche
16 oz container Egg Beaters plus 2 eggs
1 medium onion, diced
1 lb (2 large) bell peppers, diced
1 jalapeno, minced (optional)
1/3 cup bacon bits
1 1/2 cups lowfat cottage cheese
6 oz shredded lowfat cheddar or jack cheese
1/2 t seasoning salt (I like Konriko Jalapeno Seasoning)
1/4 t Italian seasoning
1/4 t garlic powder
lots of black pepper

Follow directions in basic recipe above.

Florentine Quiche
16 oz container Egg Beaters plus 2 eggs
1 lb frozen chopped spinach
2 cups lowfat cottage cheese
1 cup (4 oz) shredded lowfat mozzarella
1/4 cup (1 oz) grated Parmesan
3/4 t seasoning salt (I like Tony Chacheres)
1/2 t Italian seasoning
1/4 t garlic powder
lots of black pepper

Follow directions in basic recipe above.

Broccoli and Cheese Crustless Quiche
16 oz container Egg Beaters plus 2 eggs
1 lb bag frozen broccoli cuts
2 cups lowfat cottage cheese
6 oz shredded lowfat cheddar cheese
3/4 t seasoning salt (I like Tony Chacheres)
1/4 t garlic powder
lots of black pepper

Follow directions in basic recipe above, except, there's no need to saute veggies. Just microwave broccoli until tender and drain any liquid.