Details on how to enjoy low-carb Italian feasts

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This week, we are finishing our tour of Italian foods. Eating healthy and trying new foods can be challenging, but we will persevere and with planning and moderation.

 

Low Carb Italian Spaghetti Squash and Sausage Bake

2 spaghetti squash

olive oil

1 pound ground sausage (mild or Italian)

1 onion (diced)

1 clove garlic (minced)

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

24 ounces tomato and basil pasta sauce

4 cups shredded cheese (separated, cheddar jack, mozzarella, Italian blend, or even some shredded parmesan)

salt

pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.    

Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.  Scoop out seeds and discard.  Spritz cut halves with olive oil or brush them with oil.  Place cut side down on a baking pan and roast for 45 to 60 minutes until fork tender.  

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. 

Let squash cool a few minutes until it is cool enough to handle.  Use a fork to scoop out the spaghetti squash strands into a large bowl.  

5.  In a large skillet, brown sausage, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, and basil.  

Combine spaghetti squash, sausage mixture, pasta sauce and 3 cups shredded cheese in a large bowl.  Salt and pepper to taste.   

Transfer to an oven safe skillet or large casserole dish.  Top with the extra 1 cup shredded cheese.  

​Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through.  

 

Low Carb Creamy Tuscan Chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut in half horizontally)

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 garlic cloves (minced)

1/3 cup chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (freshly)

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (slivered)

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

4 cups baby spinach

Place olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Season chicken with lemon pepper.

Add chicken to skillet and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Remove chicken and set aside.

Add onion to skillet and cook for about three minutes to soften.

Add garlic and cook one more minute.

Add chicken broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer for 1 minute.

Add Parmesan and stir until melted.

Add sun-dried tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.

Stir in spinach. Cook and stir until spinach is wilted.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Ricotta Cheesecake with Berries

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 (16-ounce) container ricotta cheese

1 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups artificial sweetner

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled

Assorted fresh berries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and ricotta cheese until well combined. Add sour cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, and butter. Pour mixture into pan.

Bake one hour, turn oven off, and leave pan in oven for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool completely in refrigerator.

When ready to serve, remove sides of springform pan and garnish with fresh berries.


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