Low Fat, Atkins-Friendly Steak & Rapini

Steak and Rapini are a great combination.  I was in the mood for a striploin today but didn’t want to feel super heavy and bloated after dinner (like I usually do).  So I stayed away from carbs and filled up on good old meaty protein.

I simply pan-fried (yes, grilling would have been even healthier) my steak in a tablespoon of vegetable oil (high smoke point i.e. it gets really hot) with sea salt and cracked black pepper, for about 2 minutes per side until it was perfectly rare. I prefer frying steaks in a cast iron skillet, as you get the nicest crust, but thick stainless steel will also do the trick.

The trick to cooking a great steak is in the heat of the pan and letting it be.  It is so important to let your pan heat up until it’s almost too hot and the oil is just about the smoke.  This way, when you add your steak to the pan, the heat won’t drop too much, and your steak will fry up nicely.  The ONLY way to get a nice, even, caramelized crust through what they call the Maillard Reaction is to place the steak in the pan and leave it.  Whatever you do, DO NOT FUSS WITH IT.  To develop the crust, it needs constant contact with the hot surface, so the more times you move it around, the less of a crust you will end up with. Also, throwing a little bit of butter in there about 30 seconds before you take it out will definitely help!

Meanwhile, I trimmed and washed my rapini and heated my wok.  Once heated, with about a teaspoon of olive oil, I threw the rapini into the wok.  I sliced some garlic into rather large pieces and added those as well.  I seasoned with salt and pepper and covered it so that it would slightly steam, to get the crunch out of the thick stems.

And, voila! Easy, tasty, satisfying, and low-fat! It is even Atkins-friendly!

Published in: on November 4, 2010 at 7:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Atkins Friendly Cheesecake

Atkins friendly cheesecake? Yes Please. For all those dieters out there who can’t beat the cravings for dessert, this is the perfect cheesecake.

It’s much like any basic cheesecake, with a nut crust rather than a graham cracker base. I tried a blueberry vanilla cheesecake with a walnut crust. This cheesecake is just what I need when I’m craving something sweet without the added carbs!


2 cups Walnuts

2 tbs Splenda

½ cup Butter


750g Cream Cheese (Full Fat)

3 Eggs

¾ cup Splenda

1 tsp Vanilla

1 cup Blueberries


  • In food processor, mix nuts, melted butter and Splenda. Spray a 9” spring form pan and press nut mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 8 minutes in oven preheated to 325.
  • In stand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down sides of mixer and add Splenda.
  • Add eggs to cream cheese mixture one at a time making sure each is incorporated before adding the next. Finally add vanilla.
  • In medium saucepan, bring blueberries to a boil (if necessary add a touch of lemon juice)
  • Pour 1/3rd of cream cheese mixture into pan. Spoon small amounts of blueberry sauce onto cream cheese mixture, and spread with a knife in a circular motion creating a swirl design. Repeat this with 2 more layers of cream cheese mixture and blueberry sauce.
  • Bake in oven preheated to 325 for 40-45 minutes. Center should still be “wobbly”, it will set when cooled in refrigerator. Chill for 2 hours before serving.
Published in: on November 2, 2010 at 2:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tuna Tartare with an Avocado Mousse


There is nothing better than good, fresh sashimi tuna. Only in recent years have I become a fan of tuna tartare but it seems to have become a favorite choice of mine for a great app or meal.

When Lauren and I go shopping for the fresh fish, we usually head down to the St Lawrence Market.  The tuna they have there, while expensive, is always fresh with a beautiful sweet smell.

The beauty of this dish as an hors d’oeuvre is that a little tuna goes a long way.  You don’t need much for a dinner party of say 6.  For example, when we’ve worked dinner parties of about 20 people, we’ve only had to purchase about $20-25 worth of tuna when using it as an hors d’oeuvre.  We serve it on a taro crisp with avocado mousse.  The crispy sweetness of the taro and the creamy neutral flavour of the avocado mousse are a perfect balance for the fresh tasting, asian inspired tuna.


Tuna Tartare:

Olive Oil

Sesame Oil

Very Finely Chopped or Grated Fresh Ginger

Rice Wine Vinegar

Soy Sauce


Toasted Sesame Seeds


Hoisin Sauce

½ 1 Shallot Small Dice

1 Piece Raw Sashimi Grade Tuna

(all ingredients to taste)

Slice the tuna into a nice brunoise (very small dice).  Brunoise the shallots and chives and add those to the chopped tuna.  Add the rest of the ingredients together in a separate bowl to act as the dressing.  We never measure these ingredients, especially since different soy sauces, fish sauces, and hoisin sauces tend to have slightly different tastes and salt contents.  Also, its a lot more accurate to use those awesome taste buds we all have.

Avocado Mousse:

1 Ripe Avocado

Lemon Juice & Zest (to taste)

2-3 TBS 35% Cream

1-2 TBS Goat Cheese