Lesson #33: Asparagus Omelet

Low Carb Cooking 101

By Diana Bauer, CarbSmart Editor

Posted 12/1/2002

During this busy time of year, I need two things: quick, easy meals and comfort foods. The Asparagus Omelet in tonight’s menu fulfills both requirements for me, and it has another plus: any time I have asparagus I feel rich. There’s something about asparagus that always spells “extravagance” to me.

Breads and muffins are often comfort foods for low carbers, too. In tonight’s meal, you get “bread” from two sources: the Seasoned Croutons on the salad and the Low Carb Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. Be sure to limit how many croutons and muffins you eat, though, because for low carbers they truly are an extravagance. Don’t go through the whole muffin recipe at one meal, or you’ll find your weight loss stalled!

Now is the time of year to stock up on cranberries. (They really aren’t just for Thanksgiving and Christmas, even though that’s the only time you can find them fresh in the produce section of the groceries.) I usually buy at least a dozen bags. Sometimes I’ll immediately make low carb cranberry relish or Cranberry Treat and freeze them, but usually I  stick the bags of cranberries right in the freezer ‘as is’ so that I can use them throughout the year.

Here’s this evening’s menu:

  • Asparagus Omelet
  • Crispy Green Salad With Seasoned Croutons
  • Orange Cranberry Biscuits

Here’s the shopping list for the meal: (You may very well already have some of these things on hand.)

  • bacon (Vegetarians can omit the bacon or use vegetarian bacon.)
  • 6 large eggs
  • finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • butter
  • heavy cream
  • green onions
  • 1 16-ounce package Italian Blend prewashed salad greens
  • radishes
  • pecans
  • fresh or frozen unsweetened cranberries
  • 1 10-ounce box frozen asparagus spears
  • bottled Italian salad dressing (choose a tangy one)
  • 1 can diet orange soda
  • 1 jar Ragu Double Cheddar Sauce
  • Italian seasoning blend
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • dried orange peel
  • granular Splenda
  • Brown Sugar Twin
  • 2 slices low carb bread of your choice (***See recipe and note below.)
  • low carb bake mix (any brand)
  • paper muffin cups

Here’s the game plan:

The low carb croutons should be made well ahead of time. If kept in the pantry in a tightly sealed plastic container or a Zip Lock bag, they will keep for months. I always make a whole loaf of bread into croutons at one time, and then store them for quick, easy use.

About a half an hour before you want to serve the meal, make the Orange Cranberry Biscuits according to the recipe directions and put them in the oven to bake.

Set the table and put the salads together before beginning to make the Asparagus Omelet. Measure out the Ragu Double Cheddar Sauce into a microwave-proof container so that you can heat it up at the last minute.

About 15 to 20 minutes before you want to serve the meal, begin preparing the omelet. While the omelet is cooking, take the Orange Cranberry Biscuits out of the oven and slide them carefully onto a wire baking rack to cool and solidify a bit. (Be careful, they’re crumbly when they’re hot right out of the oven.)

Heat the Ragu Double Cheddar Sauce in the microwave for one minute.

When the omelet is done, cut it in two and slide the omelet halves onto the plates. Drizzle each omelet half with two tablespoons of the hot Ragu Double Cheddar Sauce, put the biscuits on the plates or in a bread basket, drizzle the salads with the Italian salad dressing, and set down to a well-deserved, relaxing meal.

And, finally, here’s the recipes:

Asparagus Omelet (Omelette Aux Asperges)

  • 1 10-ounce box frozen asparagus spears
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 green onions (white parts only), thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons Ragu Double Cheddar Sauce, heated (optional)

Steam the asparagus in the microwave until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Whisk the eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, heavy cream, salt and pepper in large bowl to blend well. Set aside.

Fry the bacon pieces in large skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Add the sliced green onions and cook until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add cooked asparagus; continue cooking until the asparagus is heated through. Reduce heat to medium.

Spread the asparagus mixture in single layer in the skillet. Pour the egg mixture over
the asparagus mixture. Cook until eggs are very softly set, tilting skillet, and gently running rubber spatula around edges and allowing uncooked egg portion to flow underneath. This will take about 4 minutes.

Tilt the skillet and slide omelet out onto plate, folding omelet in half. Cut the omelet in half, drizzle each half with the heated Ragu Double Cheddar Sauce, and serve immediately.

Crispy Green Salad

  • 1/2 package Italian Blend prewashed salad greens
  • 4 radishes, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions (green parts only)
  • bottled Italian salad dressing (choose a tangy one)
  • Seasoned Low Carb Croutons (***See recipe below.)

Place the salad greens into salad bowls or onto salad plates. Distribute the sliced radishes, sliced green onions, and low carb croutons evenly on top of the salad greens. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Just before serving, drizzle the salad dressing over the salads.

Serves 2.

Low Carb Croutons

  • 2 slices low carb bread of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Melt the butter in the microwave. Stir in the Italian seasoning blend.

Butter the low carb bread on both sides. Cut the bread into bite-sized cubes.

Place the buttered cubes in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 200 degrees for 15 minutes.

Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and toss the croutons to that all sides get toasted. Return the cookie sheet to the oven for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the croutons are completely dry.

Cool the croutons on a wire rack and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Serves: 4.

*** Note: You can use purchased low carb bread, but I make my own either from one of the recipes in Diana Lee’s cookbooks (Baking Low Carb, (https://www.carbsmart.com/bakinglowcarb.html), or Bread and Breakfast, Baking Low Carb II,
(https://www.carbsmart.com/dianalee02.html), or from a purchased low carb bread mix (https://www.carbsmart.com/breadtorandw.html).

Orange Cranberry Biscuits

  • 1 1/4 cups low carb bake mix (any brand)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons granular Splenda
  • 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar Twin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried orange peel
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons diet orange soda
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2/3 cup cooked cranberries, drained (*See note below.)
  • paper muffin cups

Cook the cranberries in the 1/2 cup diet orange soda. Drain and set aside. (***See note below.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 6 muffin tins with paper muffin cups. (While these are biscuits, they’re crumbly right out of the oven, so putting them in the muffin cups prevents them from breaking apart.)

Mix the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. (You can use either a pastry cutter or two knives.)

Stir in sour cream and the liquid ingredients, adding the liquid gradually and using only enough to make the mixture spoonable. (The batter should be stiff.)

Fold in the drained cranberries carefully. You don’t want to ‘smoosh’ them.

Spoon the mixture into the 6 paper-lined muffin tins and bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the biscuits are firm.

Gently remove the biscuits, still in the paper muffin cups, from the cookie sheet and let them cool slightly on a wire rack. The biscuits will be very tender and crumbly at first, but are more easily handled after they cool a bit.

Serve warm.

***Note: To cook the cranberries, put them in a saucepan with a small amount of the diet orange soda – about a half a cup. Cook the cranberries on the stove over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they have softened up. You don’t want them to “pop,” so if they start popping (you’ll be able to hear them), turn the heat down to low. All you want to do is to soften them up so that they aren’t crunchy. Drain any remaining liquid before adding the cranberries to the muffins.

This can be done the day before or earlier in the day as well as right before making the biscuits.

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