Friday, December 31, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Happy New Year. Hope you are all hail and hearty.

It has been a busy holiday season over here. Unfortunately, not in a good way, but all I can say is...onward and upward. Here's hoping 2011 doesn't hurt quite as much as 2010.

Cooking wise I have lots to share, just haven't had time to sit down and get it all together yet. Soon though.

I made some low carb dumplings that were really good. I just want to make them again before I post a recipe. They would be a good stand in for the pasta in mac 'n' cheese and could be used as gnocci as well as old fashioned dumplings. It's a real gem of a recipe. I can't wait to share it.

And I have an awesome spinach salad recipe. I just about ate an entire bucket of spinach it was that good.

By the way, I actually don't like spinach so you know it has to be fantastic.

Tonight we are keeping it simple. Chicken wings. Hummus with low carb tortilla chips.

There are other recipes too, I just can't remember them all! I've been taking pics of food like crazy! I also have some new recipes on deck to try; butter chicken, tandoori chicken and goulash.

Hope you have a blast ringing in the New Year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Low Carb Pork Chops with Pickled Cabbage

I was skeptical about this recipe, but it is actually really delicious and easy and healthy and totally low carb.

The secret ingredient is pickle juice.

No, seriously. Pickle juice.

And it's good. Doesn't even taste like pickles, it just adds a je ne sais pas to the flavor.

Give it a try and tell me what you think.

INGREDIENTS

Serves 4 to 6 people.

-3 thick pork chops sliced in half to make 6 thinner pork chops (or just buy 6 thinner pork chops)
-1 tsp salt
-2 tsp pepper
-2 tsp paprika
-1 large onion diced
-1 small head of cabbage diced
-1/4 cup pickle juice from pickle jar (we used Klausen)
-3-4 tbsp Cooking oil
-1-2 tbsp butter

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Let oil heat on med-high heat. Preheat oven 350F.

2. Mix spices on a plate.

3. Coat both sides of chops with spices (mix up more if you need it).

4.Sear chops until browned on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side.

5.Transfer chops to oven proof baking dish.

6.Brown onion in pan. Add cabbage and cook until soft.

7.Stir in pickle juice.

8.Place cabbage onion mix on top of pork chops.

9.Bake at 350F for around 40 minutes.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Miracle Noodle Review


Miracle noodles are popular low carb substitutes for pasta and I finally got around to ordering some.

Umm.

Weeeeeell.

Not for me.

They look like noodles. They don't taste like anything and cook up fast.

But they are rubbery and stretchy, the texture is nothing like pasta.

So a pass for me.

Have you tried them? Would you try them?

I find that pasta is a texture I miss with low carb so I've been trying various options. I have a few other brands of low carb pasta in the pantry waiting for me to experiment so expect future posts on the topic.

If you are on the fence, note that the company will accept returns for a full refund within 14 days. So if you order any, don't wait like I did to try them!

Note: This is not a sponsored post. I receive no financial compensation nor free product for this post.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Easy Way to Make Low Carb Hot Chocolate


I love me a good steaming cup of chocolate, and with the first snow fall fluttering outside my window, I've got a hankering for hot chocolate.

Except it ain't exactly low carb.

So I've been experimenting.

First with just heavy whipping cream and some dark chocolate melted in.

Which was superlicious.

Except I realized there are a lot of carbs in heavy whipping cream and I was imbibing about 20g, based on my calculations.

Although it was very filling and reduced cravings pretty well, it was still not a Good Thing to indulge in on a regular basis. At least not if I wanted to lose weight.

I searched the internet and found a bunch of busy recipes with more than 3 ingredients and that just seemed like too much work. I wanted a convenience comfort food, not something that had me in the kitchen for a half hour.

So I bought some diet Swiss Miss cocoa mix, which has 4g carbs, and some dark chocolate Lindt truffles which have 5g carbs and mixed the two with a dash of cream for a 10g per cup hot cocoa.

It's fast, it's simple, I don't really have to do any cooking and it tastes good.

Ingredients:

1 Swiss Miss Diet Hot Cocoa packet
1 Lindt Extra Dark truffle
6 oz. water (i.e. a little less than 1 cup)
2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream


Instructions

1. Microwave the water in a mug until it's screaming hot.

2.Drop in the truffle.

3.Dump in the cocoa packet.

4.Stir until the truffle is melted.

5. Add the cream and enjoy.

Oh and before I forget, if you are shopping on Amazon.com this holiday season, please consider using my affiliate link. Proceeds go toward replacing my Kitchen Aid mixer, which I rely on heavily due to a bum wrist. It doesn't cost you anything, I don't know who orders what or where things go or even if people clicked from this post.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Two Ingredient Dark Chocolate Mousse


Believe it or not, I am actually not a fan of using artificial sweeteners, but life is about compromise. If I want to eat let alone enjoy my food, I am going to have to give a little.

However, one thing I can make that is completely natural is dark chocolate mousse. This is a simple simple recipe that tastes soooooo yummy. You can also freeze it as a stand-in for chocolate ice cream.

Oh and before I forget, if you are shopping Amazon this year, please consider using my affiliate link. Proceeds go toward replacing my Kitchen Aid mixer, which I rely on heavily, for recipes just like this one, due to a bum wrist. It doesn't cost you anything, I don't know who orders what or where things go or even if people clicked from this post.
Ingredients:

1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 bag Ghiradelli 60% cacao chips

Yes that's it.


Instructions:



Melt the chocolate on a double boiler. Takes about 5 minutes. Stir it rather frequently. Once it's melted, set aside to cool slightly.


Beat the tar out of the heavy whipping cream until it is stiff and thick. This also takes about 5 minutes.



Fold the chocolate into the cream, gently, with a spatula. Drizzle the chocolate down the sides of the bowl to cool it even further before it hits the cream.

Be sure to thoroughly incorporate the chocolate, if you under stir, you'll get a clump of hard chocolate at the bottom of the bowl.

Once it's all done put it in the fridge to 'set' and then go lick the saucepan AND the bowl.

Because this is how we know God loves us, dessert making always yields at least one bowl to lick.

Not licking is a sin. I just want you to know so nothing bad happens to you when you go the great buffet in the sky.

This makes about 6 to 8 1/2 cup servings and that is all you may have, just 1/2 cup as this is low carb, not carb free. A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I calculated the carb count at 10g, but I could be mis-rembering.

All that space travel is hard on the brain.

No, I don't know why I'm mixing in Star Wars/space travel verbiage and religion here. Why do you ask?

Top with raspberries or strawberries and serve. I happened to use sugar free Cool Whip (so bad for me, I know but there was this last minute dinner party with NO berries to be found in this universe) and chocolate sprinkles.

May the mousse be with you.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ground Turkey Moussaka: Like Lasagna Only Weirder


I don't remember which magazine gifted me with this recipe, in fact I don't even have the recipe anymore, I make it from memory, but oh! is this a gem of low carb goodness. The flavors are fantastic. The vegetables are legion and there's feta cheese.

I love feta cheese.

So this low carb casserole always makes my parts quiver.

By the way, I'm not sure why it's called a Moussaka, there's no eggplant, although I supposed you could add it in.

Nor does it have much in common with lasagna but, yet, at the same time, is just like lasagna. Weird, I know. Just trust me on this one. (You could actually take out the feta and add in some mozzarella and it really would be a noodleless lasagna.)

This also freezes well.

The only down side? The cheese components can be expensive. So look for coupons and sales. Athenos will usually have a coupon somewhere for their feta.

Oh and before I forget, if you are shopping Amazon this year, please consider using my affiliate link. Proceeds go toward replacing my Kitchen Aid mixer, which I rely on heavily due to a bum wrist. It doesn't cost you anything, I don't know who orders what or where things go or even if people clicked from this post.

Ingredients:

This makes around 10 servings, great for a crowd!

-1 package of Butterball or Jennie-O ground turkey (ground beef would work too)
-1 onion, diced
-1 tbsp garlic powder
-1 green pepper diced
-1 can red beans, drained (omit if this is a major carb sin for you)
-1 zucchini either diced or shredded on a cheese grater
-Any other veggies you think would be a good idea
-2 cans tomato paste
-1/2 cup ketchup
-1 big container of Ricotta cheese
-1 container feta cheese
-3 eggs

Instructions:

1.Saute the onions in a little oil.

2.Add the meat and garlic powder and cook.

3.Add the veggies once the meat is done.

4.Dump in the tomato paste, thin it with the juices already in the pan (or if the pan is dry, add some water).

5.Give a generous squirt of ketchup and stir to combine.

6. If there is any extra juice at this point, drain it off. You don't want the meat mix to be too wet.

7.Transfer mix to a casserole dish. My 9x13 dish is always too small so I end up using two.



8. Mix Ricotta, feta and eggs until incorporated.





9.Spread on top of meat mix.



10.Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Help a Cook Out

My little toddler dropped the salt shaker in the mixing bowl while we were making cookies the other day.

My Kitchen Aid mixer didn't take that well and now, despite some replacement parts, it's trying to overheat and the motor isn't speeding up/slowing down properly.

Years and years and years ago I had surgery to repair a bad wrist. The surgery was successful by about 90%. The other 10% is stuff like cooking and other repetitive fine motor movements.

The Kitchen Aid mixer is literally my kitchen aid.

So if you are shopping on Amazon.com this holiday season, would you mind using my affiliate link?It doesn't cost you anything, I don't know who orders what or where things go or even if people clicked from this post. It will help fund a new mixer, which my bum wrist relies on to do the heavy kitchen work.

No doubt, I am not the worst off in this world, but we can't swing a last minute Kitchen Aid purchase either so...if you are moved to do so, please use the link.

Just click and then browse and shop normally.

Thanks.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Weigh In Post: How Was Tday?

How'd everyone do over the holiday?

I did not gain any weight.

Which was surprising, but I'll take it.

I've got a lot of new recipes coming.

A turkey moussaka that will make you realize you've never really loved any of that other food you ate. This is an excellent low carb casserole that will put a smile on your face.

I've got a low carb chocolate mousse recipe. Two ingredients. No artificial anything. Tastes like the air heaven.

And low carb hot chocolate to warm the cockles of your low carb heart.

So stay tuned!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Slow Cooker Kielbasa and Kraut



My husband is from E. Europe and eats his weight as well as my weight in kielbasa every year. This delicious meal is so simple, there's no recipe.

Just throw everything in the crockpot and turn it on. Come back 8 hours later for the perfect antidote to a cold, blustery day.

This stuff would melt the icicles on the Grinch's heart. Seriously.



Ingredients:


-Kielbasa (not the crappy stuff from the grocery store, you'll need to find an ethnic meat shop, see Instructions for more info)
-Root veggies such as turnips, parsnips, carrots, potatoes, whatever your diet allows
-2 jars Sauerkraut (I would use the Vlasic brand, we think it's the best)
-1 can chicken broth


Instructions:


1.Locate your local Polish, Hungarian, Slovenian, Russian or Ukrainian meat shop and get some fresh homemade kielbasa. If there isn't one in your area, but you end up traveling somewhere that has ethnic grocery stores, pick some up--it'll keep in the freezer for 6 to 8 weeks.

The place we get ours from is working on an online ordering service.

Whatever you do, don't buy crappy mass produced brats or kielbasa from chain grocery stores, it's not the same thing. At all.

2.Drop the kielbasa in a crock pot along with whatever veggies you eat (potatoes or carrots work best, but turnips would be good)



How I deal with the carrots and potato which are not low carb? I allow 1/4 of a potato and a chunk of carrot per serving. The people who can eat carbs get the rest. So portion control keeps this low carb for me.

3.Top with lightly rinsed kraut.




4.Pour in a can of chicken stock and cook on low for about 8 hours.

Serving tip: Top the kraut with a pat of butter.

P.S.Oh and before I forget, if you are shopping Amazon this year, please consider using my affiliate link. Proceeds go toward replacing my Kitchen Aid mixer, which I rely on heavily due to a bum wrist. It doesn't cost you anything, I don't know who orders what or where things go or even if people clicked from this post.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Low Carb Menu: Green Bean Casserole with Chicken


I love green bean casserole but the original recipe has a lot of issues. First, there's the cream of mushroom soup which is not only highly processed, but full of carbs. Then there are the canned beans which are full of chemicals like BPA.

Not really healthy.

However, luckily the major flavor/texture ingredient, the Durkee onions, are low carb so the recipe is amenable to being modified for both low carb and low chemical eating. Here's how I do it.

Oh wait, before I forget, if you are shopping Amazon this year, please consider using my affiliate link. Proceeds go toward replacing my Kitchen Aid mixer, which I rely on heavily due to a bum wrist. It doesn't cost you anything, I don't know who orders what or where things go or even if people clicked from this post.


Ingredients


-1 bag frozen green beans
-1 package of Durkee Fried Onions
-1 lb chicken, cooked and cubed (leftovers are GREAT for this recipe, you can also use canned chicken in a pinch, although we are trying to avoid cans here)
-2 tbsp butter
-1 diced onion
-Diced button mushrooms
-1 can chicken stock
-1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
-Thickener such as 1/4 cup flour or guar gum or other low carb thickener.

(Note:Yes the flour is carby, but not terribly so. It has just 20 carbs and we're going to get between 6 to 8 servings here which will keep flour carbs to under 5g per serving. For those who haven't ordered low carb thickeners yet--like me!--it's helpful to know how to make this with what is handy.)

Instructions:

(And yes, the pics won't line up with the text, sorry about that!)

1. Fill casserole dish with the still frozen green beans and chicken.


2.Saute the onions and mushrooms in butter until browned. Tip: Have the liquids measured out and ready to go, you're going to need them fast.


3.Sprinkle onions and mushrooms with your thickener and stir very quickly for about 30 seconds.


4.Add the chicken stock and quickly scrap the bottom of the pan.


5.Add the cream.


6.Stir, stir, stir, stir, stir. If there are clumps of thickener, use a whisk.


7.Pour over chicken and green beans.


8.Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 the can of Durkee Onions.


9. Top the casserole with the remaining onions.


And.....


Wait for it...

Trying to line up these pics is a nightmare....







10.Bake at 350F for 30 minutes and Ta Dah!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Pucker Up Winter Fruit Salad with Roasted Cranberries

Many fruits are low carb or moderate carb and winter is the season to take advantage of apples, pears, grapefruits and cranberries. The carb count of this salad is too high for anyone on induction, but would work for maintenance or as a holiday treat.

I'm making it for a dinner party myself.

The recipe uses Splenda Brown Sugar blend as sweetener. I was not sure how the Splenda would work against the natural sweetness of the fruit, but it tasted great.

The colors are richer than Warren Buffet and the flavor is so tart, you'll be in the mood for kissing.

Ingredients

(Serves 4 to 5 people in full 1/2 cup servings)

-2 apples--I used Pink Lady which are sweet and tart
-2 pears
-1 red grapefruit
-1 orange plus its zest
-1 bag fresh cranberries
-1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend

(Note: You can use all apples or all pears too if you want.)

Instructions


1.Zest the orange.

2.Wash the cranberries, tossing any soft ones.

3.Mix Splenda Brown Sugar Blend with crabberries and orange zest.

4.Line a jelly roll pan (because they have sides and you don't want cranberry juice all over the oven, right?) with aluminum foil.

5.Spread cranberries in a single layer across pan and roast at 375F for 15-20 minutes. You'll know they're done when they've split.

6.Cut up your fruit and put in a bowl. For the citrus, cut off the peel and pith--kind of like how chefs supreme segmented fruit, but half-a**ed.

7.Save the orange peel--there's usually some juicy fruit still attached which we can use to juice the salad which prevents the apples and pears from turning brown. In fact, it's a good idea to slice the oranges in such a way so you have some fruit to juice.

If this part makes no sense to you, that's okay. Just skip it, but if you have any extra orange bits that can be juiced on your salad, please do so.

8.Toss everything together, serve, eat and then kiss the person sitting to your left.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Moderate Carb Lemon Caper Chicken

This recipe uses a light coating of bread crumbs so not kosher at all for Low Carb. However, I do eat this and it is fine so long as my other meals are low carb for the day.

I make this once every 8 to 10 weeks. Everyone likes it and as long as I'm on plan, some breaded chicken isn't going to hurt me. Especially when it's homemade and not caked on like some fast food places like to do.

It is delicious and worth working into the meal plan rotation, just use the bread crumbs wisely.

Ingredients

-Chicken pounded flat
-Italian Bread Crumbs (amount varies depending on how much chicken you're cooking)
-2 eggs
-1/2 jar Capers-sliced
-Caper juice
-2 lemons, juiced
-Oil for cooking

Instructions

1. Pound the chicken so its thin. For chicken breasts, cut into strips and pound flat.

2. Dip in egg.

3.Dip in bread crumbs.

4.Drop into a pan with some hot oil and fry until browned on both sides. I like to cook each side for about 2 minutes each.

5.Flip the chicken and sprinkle a little bit of lemon juice and caper juice on the breading. This adds flavor, but be careful not to let it hit the oil or you'll get burned. And we're talking just a little bit, not trying to soak the chicken or cover every millimeter, okay?

6.Add the sliced capers when the last batch of chicken goes into the pan. Let them brown along with the chicken.

7.Transfer chicken to an oven proof pan and sprinkle with more lemon and caper juice. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

Serve with green beans or mashed cauliflower. Be sure to keep the rest of meal absolutely low carb to compensate for the bread crumbs.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Low Carb Salads: Asian Fusion Ginger Steak (or Chicken) Salad



This salad makes me feel like I'm living in South Beach and 'lunching' with my supermodel girl friends. It's light with flavor layered on flavor until your palate quivers with pleasure.

Plus it is SO far away from Thanksgiving food it's like a refreshing beach vacation for your taste buds without the bathing suit stress.

Beach vacations are good for us.

Try this. You're gonna like it.

It IS a little busy, but it is not a difficult recipe. Just take it step by step. I've broken it down into meat, salad dressing, and salad sections.

Time saving tip: Make the salad dressing and chop your veggies the same time you prepare the marinade. Then all you'll have left to do is cook the meat and assemble the salad.

Ingredients

For the Meat Marinade:

-1 1/2 to 2 lbs Beef or chicken cut into strips
-2 tbsps. Sweetener (either brown sugar, Splenda brown sugar blend or honey, whichever your diet allows or you feel like using.)
-1/2 cup Soy sauce
-2 tsp powdered Ginger
-1/4 cup Olive oil
-4 garlic cloves pulverized by a garlic press

Instructions


1.Mix all marinade ingredients in the container the meat will sit in. Add the meat and let marinate for 3-4 hours, two if you're short on time.

2.Either grill the meat (if the weather will let you) or quickly sear and fry in a pan on the stove (I like to use grapeseed oil because of its higher flash point).

Note: Be sure to make your salad dressing before you start cooking the meat.


Ingredients


For the Salad Dressing

-1/2 jalapeno, seeded and very finely diced
-1/3 cup Rice Vinegar
-1/3 cup Olive oil
-3 tbsps Soy Sauce
-2 garlic cloves pulverized by the garlic press
-1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (not powdered, don't do that, blech, for the marinade it's okay, but not for the dressing)
-2 tbsp sweetener (white sugar, splenda brown sugar blend, or honey, whichever works for you)
-Juice of 1 lime

Instructions

1. Throw everything into a bottle or bowl and mix. Taste and adjust flavors as need. Usually it either needs more soy sauce or more sweetener so start there.


Ingredients


For the Salad

Salad greens
Green onions
Carrot ribbons
Honey roasted peanuts
1 to 2 tbsp Toasted sesame seeds
Cilantro

Other ideas: fresh peppers, cucumber, bean sprouts etc...


Instructions


1. How to toast sesame seeds: Dump in a small pot over medium high heat. Shake like popcorn and watch like a hawk, they toast fast, one to two minutes tops. You'll see them turn golden and the smell will be wonderful, that means they are done.

2.Peanuts are often not on the 'approved' list in low carb diets, but 8 peanuts are not going to mess anyone up and that's all I want you to use on each salad, just 8 peanuts. No more, no less.

Got it?

3.Carrots are also controversial, but this recipe doesn't have enough to really worry about. Promise.

Yes, I'm a bit of a low carb rebel. Not a traditionalist at all. Please don't run screaming!

4.To assemble your salad, put the greens onions and carrots on a plate. Top with meat, garnish with sesame seeds, cilantro and drizzle with salad dressing for the finish.

Phew! That was a long one! I hope you try it and love it as much as we do.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Post Holidy Back to Low Carb Menu

Here's what's going to be cooking this week at our house.

-Chicken (or leftover turkey) and green bean casserole (recipe forthcoming)

-Turkey Moussaka (recipe forthcoming)

-Hamburgers with salad

-Smothered pork chops with mashed cauliflower (recipe might be forthcoming, if it tastes good)

-Chicken Wings with celery and carrots on the side

-Kielbasa and kraut in the slow cooker (so simple there's no recipe, but it deserves its own post which I'm working on)

-Sausage cheese meatballs with salad (recipe might be forthcoming, if it turns out)


How are you getting back on track? What's your menu plan? I'm always looking for ideas!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Breakfast


The best way not to eat too much on a big holiday? Don't go to the party hungry. We had eggs and Pepper Poppers for breakfast today. Yum! And full of appetite suppressing fat.

To recap, for those who missed earlier posts on these miracles of yum, to make the Pepper Poppers you need:

-Peppers (mild:cubanelle, medium hot: hungarian hots super hot: jalapenos)
-Cream cheese
-Bacon

1.Slice your peppers in half.

2.Stuff with cream cheese.

3.Wrap in bacon.

4.Cook at 400F for about 20 to 30 minutes.

When done, pull out of the oven and let cool a bit while you whip up some eggs (and maybe some low carb pancakes too if you're feeling ambitious).

I always always always have peppers, cream cheese and bacon in my fridge for those days you just need to eat something to kill cravings. Pepper Poppers do it for me every time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Low Carb Soups: Paprikash Soup



This soup is easy easy easy to make but offers such a depth of flavor, no one will believe you didn't have to go to cooking school to make it. If you like chicken paprikas, this is a great soup that utilizes a lot of those same flavors.

The original recipe is on the Kalyn's Kitchen site and I'll refer you there for the recipe as I did not materially change it.

However, here are some notes you may find helpful.

1. I do not water down stock, I use all stock in this soup. Meaning...this recipe can use a lot of soup stock which can get expensive. I would suggest putting this on your low carb menu plan for the day after you boil a chicken. Use the meat for some other purpose (chicken salad, low carb chicken enchiladas) and save the broth for this soup.

Or save your turkey bones and make turkey stock after the big holiday meal. (In fact you could use this recipe for any leftover turkey; make stock and add the turkey meat. Easy peasy.)

Yes I know this is not beef broth as the recipe requires, but I just add one or two cans of generic beef broth and no one is the wiser. This saves about $5-$6 on the cost of the recipe (the way I make it) as store bought broth is expensive.

Or you could just do it Kalyn's way with the 3 cans of broth and the rest made up in water.

2. I do not grind the caraway seed. I don't think it matters.

What the heck is caraway seed anyway, you ask? It's what makes rye bread taste so yummy. It is also used in E. European cooking to top roasted pork and in soups like this one. It is really good and so long as you don't hate rye bread, this should be a big flavor win for you.

3.Yes, you really do need all that paprika and both kinds. These are available in most grocery stores, but, if not, there's always the internet.

4.Do whatever you want veggie wise. I used fresh peppers each time and added shredded carrots. This soup is not picky, so feel free to experiment. However, I would not skip the cabbage as that gives the soup a lot of its bulk.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chocolate for Breakfast


The latest batch of my 'chocolate for breakfast muffins' turned out so pretty, I had to share a photo.

Seriously, these muffins make life worth living. If you are not an egg person, which I am not, you would do well to get some almond flour and try these muffins.

As a busy mom to a busy toddler, it is GREAT to have these in the fridge on Sunday for the week ahead. No muss, no fuss instant breakfast that I can eat in the car. (Tip: Have some dental floss handy the almond flour does tend to get between teeth.)

Yes almond flour is expensive but a 5lb bag at around $30 will make at least 3 months worth of breakfast muffins which is less than a buck a day. For chocolate.

How can you not try this? Can you tell I'm a fan? :)

Here's the recipe.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Getting Back to Low Carb After Thanksgiving (Or Any Holiday)

Despite our best intentions, carbs creep into our bellies during the holidays. We either get caught at a bad time with no good food options, fail to plan, or travel and lose control of the food and schedule which usually means we lose control of what we're eating to a certain extent.

Plus there's all that dessert. Mostly stuff we loved to gorge on in our pre-LC days.

Am I right?

Food conditioning is hard wired. Most of us, I would bet, have been eating pumpkin pie since late infancy. It's hard to break the emotional hold of sugar when pie has meant family our entire lives.

It's understandable then that all the comfort holiday foods are huge triggers for over eating and going off plan.

Here's my holiday deal, I don't stress about the holidays. Sugar happens. There's a lot more sugar in the world than there is low carb. I am not going to 'win' every battle. I do the best I can in situations where I'm not in control of the kitchen and when I'm home, I go back on plan.

So you know what? If you eat some pie or have some potatoes, it is not the end of the world. Do the best you can to limit the carbs and then plan the work and work the plan for the post-holiday period. Meaning don't just come home, high on all that sugar and think getting back into your groove is going to be so easy.

It's not.

You need a plan.

Here's how I approach it.

1.Set yourself up for success. I plan and shop for my favorite low carb meals in the week following a carb indulgence. This makes it so I have tons of yummy food waiting for me and the carbs are not even a temptation. The key part is it's there in the fridge making it easy to eat. You can even precook and freeze some meals in advance.

2.Snacks. Lots of LC friendly snacks. Carbs spike our appetites so be prepared. I like to do high fat stuff like jalapeno poppers because they are very very satisfying and kill carb hunger very quickly.

3.Exercise to burn off all that sugar roaring in your blood. If you are feeling sluggish and just want to pass out, that actually means you need to exercise. Don't wait until you feel like it, chances are you won't--there's a reason they call it a sugar coma. You'll be amazed at how much better you feel after some fun bopping around to music.

If you are used to working out, ramping up the workout frequency and intensity during the holidays can prevent weight gain in my experience. You still might get a few pounds of water, but those will come off really fast if you plan the work and work the plan after the holiday.

4.Aim for progress not perfection. Sometimes I gradually come back to LC, fewer carbs in my diet day by day until they are gone. Sometimes it's cold turkey, back on plan. Either way, as long as I'm doing better today than yesterday, it's all good.

5.Fight carb hangover with supplements like Alpha Lipoic Acid and Chromium GTF. I have found that 2 pills each cuts the carb hangover in half. Your mileage may vary, but it's worth a try as those carb hangovers can be brutal.

6.Drink your water to flush all that sugar bloat out of your system faster.

7.Do not weigh yourself until you've been low carbing for 3 to 5 days after the holiday. There is nothing there on the scale that is going to help you. If anything it will make you feel more miserable. That's not the goal. Just keep eating low carb, the holiday weight will take care of itself and you will be pleasantly surprised when you do get back on the scale.

This holiday season, don't focus on any of the carbs you ate. Don't beat yourself up about any mistakes you made. Everyone trips and falls, everyone, it's what we do about it that counts.

Promise me that this holiday season, you will put all your energy into moving forward with the best low carb food you can cook. That will serve you better than any regrets.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Low Carb Salads: Not the Usual Low Carb Taco Salad


This is such an easy salad to make. It's ideal for lunch because you can make a big batch of meat and then just heat 'n eat as needed for several days.

I realize most people know how to make taco salad so I can understand why you may be tempted not to read through the recipe below. However, there are a few twists that I think are worth trying as they amp up the flavor and add the crunch of a tortilla chip without the carbs (and no it's not from the low carb nachos pictured above).

Read on and let me know what you think!


Ingredients


-Ground meat (beef or turkey)
-Diced onion
-1/2 jar medium salsa (I buy the cheapie generic at the grocery store just for this recipe.)
-1 1/2 tbsps cumin
-1 tbsp chili powder
-Lettuce
-Cilantro
-Salsa (I like the use the fresh made salsa from the deli or make my own)
-Sour cream
-Guacamole (optional--it doesn't keep well so only make it they day you plan to eat it.)
-Shredded cheese
-Almonds
-Nacho chips (optional)


Instructions


1. Saute an onion in a wee little bit of olive oil.

2.Add in the spices and saute for a minute or two. This heats the spices and releases their flavors better than adding them to the meat.

3.Add the meat and cook until done.

4.Stir in the 1/2 jar of salsa and cook until warmed through. This adds a wonderful dimension of flavor and the carbs are negligible. Enchilada sauce also works well too.

5.Wash and prepare your lettuce and cilantro. Make your low carb nachos too if that's part of the plan.

6.Build your salad and top with almonds which are an excellent stand in for tortilla chip crunch--they really do a great job here, you won't miss the tortilla chips at all.

The roasting/toasting of the spices and the addition of the salsa and almonds are what elevate this salad to the next level. Try it, I know you'll like it!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Low Carb Nachos


Here's what I did with low carb nachos the other day for a snack. I added some salsa and banana peppers to the garden vegetable 'pizza'.

Since figuring out how to make these nachos, I have had a batch of nachos that just would not get crisp no matter what I did, which was annoying. Here are some tips if you are having similar difficulty.

1.Be sure the tortillas are not soggy. I did not properly seal the bag and it looks like condensation set in. Wet tortillas do not nachos make.

2.Keep cooking in 30 second intervals in the microwave. When they're done, you'll know, there's no mistaking the 'crisp' of a nacho.

3.Don't add any toppings until the nachos are crisp. I put salt on one batch and despite 4 minutes of microwaving, they never got very crisp. Add toppings after the nachos are done, not before!

Hope that helps. Let me know if you've tried the nachos and how you topped them!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Low Carb Thanksgiving Menu

Here's what's on deck for us this Thanksgiving. I'm keeping our home Thanksgiving mostly low carb and we'll indulge at bit in stuffing and potatoes at the extended family get together.

-Green salad, either pear and gorgonzola with pecans or a grapefruit and arugula salad
-Roasted Turkey Breast with gravy made from drippings
-Roasted sweet potatoes flavored with cinnamon, oranges, and brown sugar
-Green beans with bacon and shallots
-Mashed cauliflower casserole (this one is iffy as the menu is looking rather full already, I'm not sure we can eat all this food!)

In addition to the sweet potatoes, carbier menu items include:

-Winter fruit salad
-Pumpkin pie

What are you having for Thanksgiving this year? Have I missed any good recipes?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tips for Cooking for the Holidays and Keeping it Low Carb

As I've mentioned in my pre-Low Carb days, I was a baker. Big time.

And the holidays are the only time I indulge in my uncanny ability to make perfect pastries, cookies and pies.

Holiday cookies are a huge pitfall because I like to dough sample. Which is not good. So here's my strategy for still pleasing my family, enjoying the holidays, and keeping it low carb.

1. All cookie dough is made in advance and frozen. This cuts down on batter snacking
because I'm not baking cookies for four hours and constantly sampling the dough. Instead, I form the dough into balls and freeze. When it's time for cookies, I just pull what I need from the freezer and bake, no dough sampling because it's frozen.

This has worked really well on multiple fronts. It keeps me low carb and allows me to work ahead of the holiday so I don't spend four days straight cooking. No lie, before I froze my cookies, I would be up until midnight baking.

2.Eat. Don't bake when hungry and keep a low carb snack you enjoy handy while baking. Any time you go for the dough, redirect your hand to your 'allowed' snack. Something chewy like beef jerky that takes a while to process is good.

3.Use sugar free mints and contrary flavors to reduce temptation. Ever sample gingersnap dough after brushing your teeth? Blech. Use the blech factor to your advantage.

4.Make something low carb. As you expand your low carb cooking repertoire you'll find some sweet treats that are low carb. Include those in your holiday baking menu. Always always always have a 'safe' food at the ready so you don't go overboard on all the holiday goodies. And there's no reason your safe food has to suck. Some LC sweets you might like:

-sugar free buckeyes
-sugar free peanut butter cookies
-dark chocolate mousse
-almond flour cookies
-almond flour muffins
-dark chocolate (if you don't have time to cook, this is always a good standby)

These are all things non Low Carb people would enjoy, no one has to know and you may be surprised at how popular the Low Carb goodies are.

What do you make for the holidays now that you're low carbing? I've got so many menus and recipes lined up to try, I don't know if even half of them will get made and posted on the blog, but I'm going to try.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Low Carb Salad Inspiration


I like to eat a lot of salads with Low Carb, especially in the warmer months. However, I actually still eat salad a lot during cooler weather and am even trying to grow lettuce on my kitchen windowsill. So basically, rabbits envy me, and it gets to the point where, sometimes, salad does not sound appetizing at all.

So I am always looking for new flavors and different salads to try to keep things interesting.

The other day I threw some leftovers together and made what I thought was a nice salad. Here's hoping it inspires you.

Ingredients


-Leftover goat cheese
-Scant amount of Craisins, the very last ones in the bag (not low carb, but in small amounts I don't really worry about stuff like that, but if you do, make some LC cranberry sauce for this salad or use fresh raspberries or 1/2 a pear diced--there are lots of low carb fruit options here.)
-Pecans
-Lettuce
-Balsamic Vinaigrette (home made or store bought, just read the label)


Instructions


Throw together with some lettuce and drizzle with balsamic dressing and voila! a lush salad appears on your plate as if by magic.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Low Carb Nachos! Garden Vegetable Pizza Nachos



Such a simple tasty recipe. Wish I had figured this one out so much sooner!

Remember the party appetizer where you take crescent rolls and bake them into a crust on which you smear ranch flavored cream cheese and top with veggies? Well, here's a low carb nacho version of that recipe.

Deeeeeeelicious! Great for parties too.


Ingredients


-Low carb tortillas--sliced into 6 'chips'. I used the Tumaro's brand Multigrain tortillas which have about 4 net carbs each. Here's a pic of the package:



-8oz cream cheese (more if you're making a big batch)
-1/2 cup sour cream (keeps the spread spreadable)
-1 packet Ranch seasoning (this may have some carbs, so read the label)
-1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
-Chopped and diced veggies of your choice

Instructions

1.Microwave the 'chips' for approximately 1 1/2 minutes. You will probably have to do this in batches of 6. The chips will start to bubble up and will be crisp when done. Here's a picture for reference:



Once the chips are crisp, set aside until you're ready to assemble your nachos.

2.Microwave cream cheese in 30 second increments until soft. Add the sour cream and ranch seasoning and mix until incorporated.

3.Chop and dice your veggies. Shred your cheese if you're not using pre-shredded.

4.Smear each tortilla with some ranch spread, top with cheese and veggies.

This will make a lot of nachos so be prepared, or cut the spread amount in half.

This recipe is also great for keeping in the fridge for instant snacking. Just dice the veggies and make the spread in advance and nuke your chips as needed.

Very yummy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

No Food For You

I'm here. I've been cooking but haven't made anything worthy of posting on the internet.

Lots of close, but not good enough recipes. Some made more than once.

Weird flubs like roasting the chicken upside down...twice. Sigh. I AM a little dyslexic but this is bad even for me.

Some major disappointments---layered salad I'm looking at you.







The other complication is a relative visiting us for a long time who we let cook several times a week to keep them busy. So I don't have consistent kitchen access which is driving me slowly insane.

Anyway, I have lots of recipes ready to try and one of them is sure to be a winner sooner or later!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds Cajun Style


We went the pumpkin patch the other day and I decided to try and make 'pepitas' or roasted pumpkin seeds.

Relatively easy to do. Just use a low temp on the oven, maybe 290 or 300. I used 350 and one batch burned.

Here's the actual recipe:

1 tsp sea salt (try to use the best salt you can)
2 tsp Splenda brown sugar blend
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 1/2 tbsp butter

1.Rinse your seeds.

2.Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix.

3.Roast for roughly 20 minutes, checking frequently to ensure they aren't burning.

These are great as a snack or as a salad garnish. Really flavorful with a great crunch.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Low Carb Meal Plan: Roasted Veggies, Breaded Chicken and Goat Cheese


This is a bit pricey to make, but a nice occasional indulgence. The recipe is loosely based on a restaurant meal we had at the local German Schnitzl Haus. They did veal, I'm doing chicken with low carb breading.

As for the breading, eh, wasn't too impressed. I'll give you the recipe for how I made it, but if I do it again, I will either just lightly bread in actual bread crumbs or skip the almond flour. I am finding I do not care for crunchy cooked almond flour, whether it's a cracker recipe or a breading.

Ingredients

Peppers
Onions
Other veggies of your choice that will roast nicely
Olive oil
Salt
Chicken
2-3 eggs
1 to 1 1/2 cups Almond Flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
Vegetable oil for frying

NOTE: The quantities here are for two packages of chicken tenders, adjust accordingly to suit your quantity of chicken.

1. Chop veggies and toss with olive oil and salt.

2.Roast your veggies at 380 to 400F until brown with a few crispy pieces here and there. YUM!

3. Put oil in pan and turn heat on medium.

4.While oil is heating, in a shallow container beat 2 eggs, reserve the third.

5.On a plate combine equal amounts almond flour and Parmesan cheese

6.Dip chicken in egg and then in coating. Repeat if you want a thick coating.

7. Fry for about 1.5 minutes on each side.

8.Transfer to baking sheet and then bake for an additional 20 minutes.

9.Serve stacked with veggies on bottom, goat cheese, chicken, top with goat cheese.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Low Carb Flops: Oven Fried Pickles


In our area, the restaurants are all serving lightly breaded, deep fried pickles. They are pretty good and I thought I would try a Low Carb version.

Unfortunately, as nice as the picture looks, these were way too salty. I'm mulling over what I could tweak to make it work.

All I did was roll the pickles in some parmesan cheese mixed with some Rotissere Chicken seasoning. They baked up beautifully, but were so salty my mouth was literally puckering by the time I finished the last bite.

Very very very salty. Don't try this at home!

Low Carb Win! Low Carb Pancakes! Woot!


Very happy with how these turned out!I wanted to make these for my picky toddler to see if I could get more protein into her.

She didn't like them.

Although she ate a previous incarnation of this recipe with no problem. I like this one better. She does not.

Seems like mommy never wins when it comes to food!

These do taste remarkably like pancakes. The texture is good. They look like pancakes. I was happy!

Anyway the recipe is based on The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook by famous food bloggiste Elana of Elana's Pantry.

I made some changes to the original recipe as follows.

Ingredients

-2 eggs
-Sweetener as follows: 2tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend or 3tbsp honey or maple syrup
-1/2 cup water (added in halves to manipulate batter consistency, do NOT just dump in 1/2 cup water!)
-1 tbsp vanilla
-1 tbsp grapeseed oil for the batter
-1 1/2 cups almond flour
-Dash of salt
-2 tsp baking soda
-1 tbsp flour or flour alternative
-Grapeseed oil for the pan
-hand blender

Instructions

1. Crack eggs into a bowl with steep sides and lightly beat. Note:You'll be using a hand blender to incorporate all the ingredients together and the steep bowl sides will cut down on splatter.

2.Add in vanilla, 1/2 of your 1/2 cup of water, your sweetener and the tbsp of grapeseed oil. Mix gently--no hand blender just yet.

3.Add the dash of salt.

4.Add in almond flour and baking soda.

5.Mix by hand and assess batter texture. You don't want it too thin or too thick, but just right, which is difficult to convey in a blog post. If the batter seems stiff, definitely add water. You want it to be malleable but not runny. Add water if you need to thin the batter out.

6.Blend it all with a hand blender to insure even incorporation of ingredients. You can skip this step, but I strongly recommend that you don't. I would only skip if you don't own a hand blender or food processor. Otherwise, suck it up, drag out the equipment and use it, you'll be happy you did!

7.Coat pan with a thin layer of grapeseed oil and let warm on medium low heat.

8.Spoon small, silver dollar pancakes into pan and flip when bubbles appear. Work fast because these burn quick. They cook (and burn) much faster than regular pancakes, at least in my experience.They also are a challenge to flip because they don't get firm on the bottom, so the pancake flipping can get messy. Just kind of push all the batter back together when it splatters as you flip--you won't get perfect circle pancakes, but you will get a pancake.

The one issue I had while making these was my pan just got hotter and hotter as I went even though I was on medium low heat, meaning I had to really work to avoid burning my pancakes.

Serve with topping of your choice. For low carb, these could be easily adapted into a McGriddles spinoff. Just use some syrup in the batter or use 1 tsp on the pancake before topping with eggs and bacon/sausage. Needless to say the carb level is such that this would only be an occasional indulgence, not something to eat all the time.

Reduced sugar or sugar free jam would also work. Natural peanut butter with melted dark chocolate would be good--kind of like a Reese's peanut butter cup pancake. Or simply top with a mash up of fresh berries. For Fall, cook some cranberries with the sweetener of your choice, add some pectin or unflavored gelatin to thicken and top pancakes with 'cranberry syrup'.

If you are careful and calculate all your carb counts, you could probably come up with a low carb pancake suitable for daily consumption.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Low Carb Flops: Almond Flour Pizza Crust


The picture looks good, but it did not taste like pizza and the texture was grainy. The quest for a good low carb pizza crust continues. Seems like I've tried them all at this point and none of them work for me. Apparently, I'm a pizza snob.

Monday, October 18, 2010

My 'To Cook' List

Current recipes in the wings, with ingredients bought and ready to go include...

-Almond crusted chicken topped with oven roasted veggies and goat cheese. This is based on a German vienerschnitzl meal we had a few weeks ago that was soooooo good.

-Parsnips with herbed butter and a kick of horseradish. We like parsnips, but haven't quite figured out how to cook them well just yet. I am a little nervous about the horseradish in the recipe I decided to try, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

-Goulash soup based on a recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen.

Right now I've got a veggie pot roast in the slow cooker. It smells divine, however, amazingly enough even 10 hours in a crock pot is not enough to cook turnips. Huh.

Anyway, hopefully these recipes will all turn out well enough to make an appearance on the blog.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Low Carb Pumpkin Muffins with Cranberries (a.k.a. Pumpkin Cranberry Bliss Muffins)


I am really proud of this recipe and I worked on it for several months. As a result, I am feeling a little protective--if you make it/share it on your website, will you pretty please include a link back to this blog? Thanks!

Carb count is roughly 11g per muffin.


Ingredients


-1 stick butter (can use 3/4 or 1/2 stick as well--this recipe is pretty flexible on fat amount, probably because the almond flour has fat.)

-1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar blend (You could use 1/4cup but the cranberries are pretty tart and need the extra sweetness.) (You can also use 1/4 cup regular brown sugar and 1 mashed banana if you want to avoid artificial sweeteners.)

-1 cup pumpkin (If you're using a small pumpkin can and want to split it evenly, use 3/4 cup instead and freeze the other half for a future batch.)

-3 eggs

-1 tbsp vanilla

-2 tbsp molasses

-Dash of salt

-2 tsps baking soda

-2 tbsp cinnamon

-1 tbsp ginger

-1/2 tbsp ground cloves

-2 cups almond flour

-1/2 cup ground flax

-1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries


Instructions


1. Preheat oven to 350F

2. Mix butter, molasses and splenda.

3.Add in pumpkin, eggs, vanilla and salt.

4.Once all the wet ingredients are combined, add baking soda, spices, almond flour and flax.

5.Once the batter is well mixed, add cranberries

6.Assess batter texture. You want a wet, soft dough, kind of mousse-y in texture. If the batter seems dry, add a small amount of water.

7. Fill muffin cups. Try not to overfill them as these rise a bit and the molasses can cause the edges to burn if they cover the pan.

8.Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, but check at the 15 minute mark. These can over bake fast so keep an eye on them. The pumpkin has a high enough water content, that sometimes these muffins take longer to bake than my chocolate muffins, so be sure to pierce one with a knife to verify the batter is fully cooked.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or Cool Whip.

I keep these in the fridge and nuke them for about 16 seconds before eating.

Now for carb count. I have already subtracted the fiber.

Butter: 0g
Vanilla: 0g
Baking Soda: 0g
eggs: 3g
Molasses: 32g
Pumpkin: 6g
Splenda brown sugar blend: 48g
Spices: 11g
Almond flour: 22g
Flax: 0g
Cranberries: 12g

Comes out to about 11g per muffin.

Lots of nutrition data was obtained from this site.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Cranberry Bliss Muffins


This is a recipe I've been working on for a while. It's unique to me in the sense that I crafted it myself as opposed to building off of someone else's recipe.

These muffins are like pumpkin bread pudding. I spice them nicely with cinnamon, ginger and cloves. A touch of molasses, just a touch which keeps the carb count down, but still gives a nice flavor note of blackstrap.

They are heaven with a bit of whipped cream. The carb count is somewhere between 10-15g carbs.

I'm working on typing up the recipe and will post it soon.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Low Carb Chicken Wing Dinner



Oh man, this was so so so so soooooooo GOOD! Really yummy.

These wings are based on Dana Carpender's Heroin Wings recipe (I highly recommend her cook books).

Here's my take

Ingredients:


-Package of thawed chicken wings
-1 stick butter (you can try Olive Oil but I find it doesn't perform as well as butter)
-1 cup Parmesan cheese
-3-4 tbsps Rotisserie Chicken seasoning from McCormicks

Instructions

1.Melt butter in shallow pan. Set aside.

2.Combine Parmesan cheese and seasoning, mix thoroughly.

3.Dip wings in butter then roll in cheese.

4.Bake at 400F for 30-40 minutes until nice and brown.

5.Serve with side of your choice, we went with traditional celery and carrots.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Chili Dogs!



This is how you get rid of leftover chili that no one wants to eat; chili dogs. Suddenly people can't get enough.

Yes they have some beans in them, but not enough to be a problem. They were pretty yummy and we all enjoyed them, even our toddler.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Low Carb Breakfast: Egg Muffins with Ham and Spinach


I don't know about you, but we are busy busy busy over here. I am finding it difficult to find time to eat breakfast, let alone time to cook one. And as much as I love my low carb chocolate cake muffins, sometimes I want something different.

Enter these egg muffins. They are based on a recipe from Mark's Daily Apple, although I've modified it a bit. They make a perfect on-the-go breakfast.I can quickly heat them in the microwave and eat them in the car as I drive the toddler to preschool.

These muffins are a bit tricky to make, so be sure to read my tips on how to get them in and out of the pan.


Ingredients


-9 eggs
-1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
-Spinach
-Onion
-Cheese
-Deli ham
-Pam non stick spray


Instructions

1.Saute the onions until brown, add spinach and cook until wilted. To save time, I double the amount of onion and spinach and I freeze half for the next time I make these muffins. (You can also skip the spinach if you don't have it, but do try to include the onions as they impart a nice flavor.)

2.In a large pourable measuring glass (like this one) beat your eggs.

3. Add parmesan, cheese, spinach and onions.

4.Spray muffin tin with Pam. Generously.

5.Place aluminum muffin cups in tin and spray inside of cups with Pam. Trust me. You need to do this.

6.Place ham in bottom of muffin cup. Try to get it to form a cup for the egg, but don't panic if the ham doesn't cooperate. About half the time, the ham ends up in a heap at the bottom of the cup. It's just an aesthetic thing, it doesn't affect taste, so unless you're cooking for the queen don't worry about it.

7.Pour egg batter into ham. This can be tricky, which is why you're using a large Pyrex type measuring cup with a spout. The pour spout keeps this from being a huge mess. Don't use a ladle, that's how I started and I ended up egging my kitchen like a teenager on Devil's Night.

8.Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350F.

9.Remove from pan and peel off baking cups asap once the muffins are done. Yes, they are a little hot so watch your fingers, but you have to get those cups off the muffins before they cool and stick.

Note that some people skip the baking cups and just use the muffin pan. I am going to try that, but it will take a lot of Pam to keep the eggs from sticking like barnacles.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Low Carb Meal Plan: Buffalo Chicken Dinner


The picture looks good, the meal itself was just okay. Not my favorite, but enjoyable in its own way. No real recipe here. Just cook your chicken and then add melted butter to hot sauce for the sauce. Cut your veggies and serve with bleu cheese dressing.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Some Low Carb Food Links

Looking for low carb snack and dessert ideas? Low Carb Tips: Snacks and Sweets is a great article listing a ton of options.

Looking for low carb recipes? Here's the scoop on Where to Find Recipes for Low Carb Meals.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Low Carb Snacks: Jalapeno Poppers



Here's a picture of my jalapeno poppers. Recipe can be found here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Coleslaw Recipes: Moderate Carb Red Cabbage Coleslaw


I recently purchased the cookbook Simply Salads by Jennifer Chandler looking for salad inspiration and boy, did I find it! This snazzy little cookbook will make anyone drool …over salad!

Here’s my version of her Mandarin Orange Slaw. This coleslaw has a nice sweet ‘n’ sour flavor note that is perfect for Fall with its own contrast of lightly warm days alternated by cooler-than-we- would-like nights. (I heart food metaphors.) It's not pristine low carb, but it's okay as a treat or during weight loss maintenance.

Note that that all recipes in Simply Salads use pre-packaged sliced and diced lettuce and cabbage. You don’t have to do that as it can be more expensive, but…In the case of coleslaw, unless you have a serious food processor, it’s probably a good idea to buy the pre-shredded cabbage. I did not and it was a little chunkier than I would’ve liked.

Also, this recipe is not necessarily cheap, however, I did have all the ingredients on hand except for the cabbage. So a well-stocked pantry made this recipe pretty inexpensive. For instance, mandarin oranges ARE super expensive unless you buy them in bulk at a club store like Sam's or Costco--I figure mine cost about $1 which is not bad.

Ingredients

-1 bag shredded red cabbage

-½ cup sliced green onions

-1 cup carrots, shaved or finely julienned

-½ cup dried cranberries

-1 cup Mandarin orange slices

-2 tbsps crushed almonds

Instructions

Chop and combine ingredients in a large bowl.

Dressing

-¼ cup Splenda brown sugar

-¼ cup red wine vinegar

-2 tbsp Mandarin orange juice

-½ cup vegetable oil

Instructions

Combine dressing ingredients and mix. Pour over coleslaw. You can serve this immediately, but it’s better if you can let it marinate in the fridge for an hour or so.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Updated Low Carb Chocolate Cake for Breakfast Muffin Recipe



I've been making these muffins for several months now and am constantly irritated with how I originally wrote the recipe. So disorganized and confusing. Sorry.

Here's a revamp that I hope makes more sense. Ingredients are now listed in the order they are used which should make the recipe easier to follow.

Ingredients

-1/2 stick butter OR 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil OR grapeseed oil

-1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar blend (I also use 1/2 cup sometimes, depending on mood, makes for a lighter crumb texture.) (You can also use 1/4 cup regular brown sugar and 1 mashed banana if you want to avoid artificial sweeteners.)

-1/3 cup water

-3 eggs

-1 tbsp vanilla

-Dash of salt

-1/2 cup cocoa powder

-2 tsps baking soda

-1 1/2 cups almond flour

-1/2 cup ground flax

-1/2 cup Ghiradelli chocolate chips 60% cocoa


Instructions


1. Preheat oven to 350F

2. Mix butter and splenda. Add in eggs, vanilla, water and salt.

3.Once all the wet ingredients are combined, add cocoa powder, baking soda, almond flour and flax.

4.Once the batter is well mixed, add chocolate chips.

5.Assess batter texture. You want a wet, soft dough, kind of mousse-y in texture. If the batter seems dry, add a little more water.

6.Bake for 20 minutes, but check at the 15 minute mark. These can overbake fast so keep an eye on them.

I store these in the fridge and reheat in the microwave for 18 seconds in the morning. They will keep for almost 2 weeks in the fridge.

Serve plain or with cool whip for a flourless cake effect. Top with raspberries if you really want to blow your mind. If you want to be really bad, serve over low carb ice cream OR top with nutella, or both. Nutella in small amounts is acceptable in terms of carb count.

These muffins are healthy (cocoa powder is full of antioxidants and almonds are good for your heart) but also really lend themselves to tasting like a really sinful dessert. Which makes them perfect for a low carb diet.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Simple Italian Peppers



NOTE: Sorry for the long silence. I am having continual issues with my health that make me slow and tired. Sorry! I do have posts written and scheduled for the rest of the month so check back often as there should be something new up every couple of days.

I recently had Italian Stuffed Peppers as an appetizer at a restaurant; they were lovely, warm and filling, the kind of food that makes cold weather feel cozy. So I set about trying to recreate the recipe. I found a version of this on Allrecipe.com, but it was a super busy recipe that involved steaming the peppers and doing all sorts of extra busy work, which who has time for that?

So not only did I want to recreate the recipe, I wanted to keep it simple and I think I’ve done that.

Because Italian sausage can get expensive, I use zucchini as a meat extender to give us all more bang for our buck. Since the sausage is so heavily spiced, no one will notice the zucchini which also happens to make it easier to sneak in veggies for your picky eaters.

Ingredients

-Sweet peppers OR Hot Hungarian peppers if you want some heat. You’ll want at least 4 which, when cut, will yield 8 servings. For leftovers increase the quantity to 6-8 peppers.

-1 package sweet or hot Italian sausage (usually contains 5 links) or 1.5lbs ground sausage without casing

-Diced onion

-Minced garlic

-1 egg

-1/4 cup Parmsean cheese

-1 cup grated zucchini

-Spaghetti sauce (1 jar if you’re only using 4 peppers, 2 jars if using more.)

-Shredded mozzarella

Instructions

1.Slice and clean the peppers. Try to get them sliced so that they’ll comfortably hold meat—sometimes that can be tricky depending on pepper shape. If using Hungarian Hot peppers, please wear gloves to keep the oil off your skin. I don’t find these peppers to be hot for eating, but they sure do burn my eyes and skin.

2.Place peppers in casserole dish.

3.Grate the zucchini and set aside.

4.Remove casing from sausages and set aside.

5.In a large mixing bowl, beat your egg and then add; onion, garlic, parmesan cheese, zucchini and sausage. Mix well.

6.Place sausage mix inside peppers. If you run out of peppers and still have meat, just make meatballs and put them next to the peppers.

7.Top the peppers with spaghetti sauce.

8.Bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes.

9.Top with cheese for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Serve hot from the oven and enjoy the melded flavors of peppers, tomatoes, and sausage.