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.


Other veggies of your choice that will roast nicely
Olive oil
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.


-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


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.


-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


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


-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


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.