Low Carb

Mediterranean Style Grilled Octopus

Mediterranean Style Grilled Octopus

Recipe for Mediterranean style grilled octopus served with scallions, romaine and fresh tomatoes in a light citrus vinaigrette from The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook by Jackie Alpers.

Tate’s Rattlesnake Sausage Chowder

Tate’s Rattlesnake Sausage Chowder

This spicy rattlesnake sausage chowder has a bite, but at least it won’t take a bite out of you. Inspired by Tate Dutton’s brave move in a key episode of Yellowstone. This recipe is reprinted from The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by the Dutton Family Ranch, by Jackie Alpers.

“6666 Ranch” Pan Roasted Garlic Butter Green Beans

“6666 Ranch” Pan Roasted Garlic Butter Green Beans

After a hard day’s work at the 6666 Ranch in Texas, Jimmy devoured a plate of Country Fried Steak smothered with gravy and a side of green beans. I’m sharing my recipe for Sheet Pan Roasted Green Beans to whet your appetite… you’ll have to wait for The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook for the main course.

Dry-Fried Asparagus

Dry-Fried Asparagus

Dry-fried asparagus is charred and crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside. It has direct contact to the pan without oil or butter. Asparagus grows wild in Montana where the Yellowstone TV series is filmed.

Roasted Whole Baby Cauliflower with Herbs & Parmesan

Roasted Whole Baby Cauliflower with Herbs & Parmesan

I’m fascinated by the idea of roasting an entire head of cauliflower, so when I came across these adorable baby cauliflower at the market the wheels started turning. They make a visually stunning side dish, perfect on cold winter nights. You can substitute one large cauliflower if you can’t find the little ones.

BLT Lettuce Wraps

BLT Lettuce Wraps

Tomatoes are at their best, and something about the heat and humidity of the Arizona monsoon season makes me almost totally inert and immobile. This is about all I can muster dinner-wise, so I’m lucky that it’s fairly healthy… It turns out that mayo and bacon are better for us than expected, and my versions is also low-carb.

Parmesan & Pepperoni Crustless Pizza

Parmesan & Pepperoni Crustless Pizza

If you bake a layer of Parmesan cheese in the oven it will crackle and pop after a while, turning into a crispy, cheese cracker that’s much tastier than any pizza crust I’ve encountered. I topped this baked cheese crisp  (which is a popular dish called Frico in Italy) with pizza spices and toppings before sliding it into the oven. The results: crustless pizza!

Parmesan Crisps with Caviar and Crème Fraîche

Parmesan Crisps with Caviar and Crème Fraîche

Festive enough for New Year’s Eve, this pretty appetizer only takes about 5 minutes to make. Bacon infused caviar adds a unique smokiness that will intrigue your guests and is fairly inexpensive, but any decent quality caviar will do. The one-ingredient parmesan crisps are a savory, no-carb alternative to blini.

Chorizo, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Taco

Chorizo, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Taco

I ate this for breakfast every day for weeks while writing my Taste of Tucson cookbook. The fat from the chorizo makes the egg really crispy and adds a lot of flavor without too many extra calories.

Chicken Molé Amarillo Recipe from the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chicken Molé Amarillo Recipe from the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Nuttier and less sweet than its chocolate based cousin, this version of Molé Amarillo is the personal creation of Chef Suzana Davila of Tucson’s Cafe Poca Cosa. She specializes in these complex sauces, and her recipes are longtime local favorites which is one reason why I wanted to feature the recipe in my upcoming cookbook Taste of Tucson: Sonoran Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona. Serve this dish with tortillas and a pretty, salad, as Suzana would. 

Sonoran Style Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

Sonoran Style Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

There are Southwestern regional influences that vary from New Mexico to Arizona, Texas, and Southern California. Here in Tucson, our regional cuisine is defined by fresh veggies, grilled meats and all of the delicacies that a mid-sized, sunshine filled desert city/college town, 60 miles from Mexico, has to offer. It’s summertime eating all year round.

Grill The Perfect Cowboy Steak

Grill The Perfect Cowboy Steak

Making authentic cowboy steaks is really easy. When I asked Bryan Keith, the Grill Master from Pinnacle Peak Steak House if he had any additional tips he said, “Put some love in it!”

Sonoran Style Marinated Flank Steak

Sonoran Style Marinated Flank Steak

I marinated myself a flank steak using my mom’s recipe from the 80s, adding in some Mexican oregano and extra citrus to #sonoranize it a bit so now it’s an Ohio meets Tucson recipe.

Spaghetti Squash Supreme Pizza Boats

Spaghetti Squash Supreme Pizza Boats

A healthy recipe for creamy, cheesy, supreme pizza flavored spaghetti squash, for the pizza flavors that you crave in cute single servings. They are fairly low in calories, very filling and taste like pizza. So it’s win-win-win.

Lasagna Dip

Lasagna Dip

A creamy, warm, vegetarian layered dip that tastes like lasagna. This recipe is loaded with cheese. Serve with fresh veggies.

Cheesiest Cheese Crisp with Chipotle Ranch Drizzle

Cheesiest Cheese Crisp with Chipotle Ranch Drizzle

The cheese crisp is the perfect comfort food. A cross between a Mexican pizza an an open-faced quesadilla, Southern Arizona restaurants started selling the dish more than 50 years ago and it’s become a staple of our local Sonoran style cuisine. 

Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

This super easy salad dressing recipe is especially good on a Greek salad, cucumber salad or Asian Chicken salad and you can make it right in the bottle if you only have a little bit of Sriracha left.

Thai Grilled Chicken Thighs

Thai Grilled Chicken Thighs

Thai Grilled Chicken Thighs recipe. All of the ingredients for authentic Thai cuisine are available at most grocery stores. Sambal Oelek and Thai fish sauce can be found in most Asian food sections.

Easy Chipotle Chicken Salad

Easy Chipotle Chicken Salad

This spicy and crunchy Sonoran chipotle chicken salad can be served in lettuce taco wraps, tortas and sandwiches or meal sized salads.

Fried Monster Eggs!

Fried Monster Eggs!

These monsterized pesto-fried eggs are green and frightening looking, but delicious and monstrously easy to make.

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings

These wings are hot! The spiciness will vary greatly though, depending on the heat of the chili flakes you are using, and the barbecue sauce you select. This recipe also works well for boneless skinless breasts or thighs.

Chocolate Pots de Crème with Sprinkles

Chocolate Pots de Crème with Sprinkles

A healthy, frozen, chocolate treat that’s high protein, and low in calories, fat and sugar. What more could you want? Oh yeah, it has sprinkles! Lots of them in pretty summer colors that are perfect for a hot pre-holiday weekend.

Low-Carb Cheesy Cloud Buns

Low-Carb Cheesy Cloud Buns

made this low-carb bread replacement (often called “Oopsie Bread”) out of eggs and cream cheese from a recipe I’ve seen all over the internet. It turned out great. It smells like cheesy-bread while it’s cooking, and it’s very light, and well, bread-like. Often hot dogs are too much about the bun, so this turned out to be a perfect alternative housing for the Sonoran hot dogs in my Taste of Tucson cookbook.

Greek Country Salad

Greek Country Salad

A classic Greek Salad of chunky vegetables and feta tossed in a light vinaigrette will prove that you can indeed win friends with salad.

“The Wedge” Salad with Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette

“The Wedge” Salad with Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette

The Wedge salad is one of these very classic, simple recipes that’s accessible to everyone. One that’s been loved for generations and modified along the way to accommodate changing tastes. This version is topped with a lighter vinaigrette.

Brussels Sprouts with Cream and Bacon

Brussels Sprouts with Cream and Bacon

Brussels sprouts and bacon compliment each other so perfectly that this may be my favorite food of all time. You cook the bacon in with the sprouts so that a little bit of bacon grease seeps into them and makes them crispy. I can’t explain why this dish is so good… it just is. I cooked up a batch for the photo and ended up eating the whole pan for dinner along with a glass of wine, and I was happy. VERY happy.

Mini Pumpkin Goat Cheese Cheesecakes

Mini Pumpkin Goat Cheese Cheesecakes

A can of pumpkin’s been staring at me from the counter top for two weeks now.The internet recipe sites are all screaming at me that it’s pumpkin season, and I am indeed ready for fall. So today I finally got to work and invented something to celebrate the beginning of my favorite time of the year.

Sicilian Shrimp with Hot Peppers and Lots of Garlic

Sicilian Shrimp with Hot Peppers and Lots of Garlic

These shrimp go great with a glass of wine and a conversation. It’s a dish to be shared, because if everyone is eating it, you won’t have to worry about reeking of garlic… or you could just eat it all by yourself when no one else is around to the same effect. It’s fun either way.

Salsa Chicken Lettuce Tacos

Salsa Chicken Lettuce Tacos

One of my favorite Mexican restaurants now offers their famous tacos nestled in a large lettuce leaf instead of a tortilla. I was amazed at how much I enjoyed them served that way; I didn’t miss the tortilla at all. So I’ve started experimenting with the idea at home. I modified this recipe from one in a cookbook that I photographed for Chelsie Kenyon a couple of years ago.

Sonoran Style Chunky Guacamole

Sonoran Style Chunky Guacamole

This chunky guacamole recipe from the Taste of Tucson cookbook is spicy, salty and creamy – yet crisp and bright with lots of citrus and a tiny bit of crunch.

Thai Green Papaya-less Salad Recipe

Thai Green Papaya-less Salad Recipe

Here in Tucson it can be hard to get fresh green papaya, so I use packaged coleslaw mix instead in this spicy Thai cabbage salad inspired by Som Tum.

Chipotle Deviled Eggs With Caviar

Chipotle Deviled Eggs With Caviar

These spicy, chipotle deviled eggs topped with caviar and capers are fancy yet simple. The perfect party food or indulgent yet healthy snack.

Order Jackie's Cookbooks

The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook Cover
cover of The Unofficial Elf Cookbook by Jackie Alpers. Treat every day like Christmas with recipes inspired by the classic film "Elf".
The Unofficial Elf Cookbook by Jackie Alpers
About Jackie Alpers
Jackie Alpers International Photography Awards Honorable Mention
International color awards nominee medal