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Jalapeno Cheese Bread

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I’ve been wanting to try my hand at a low-carb jalapeno cheese bread and finally got around to it.  I must say my first experiment turned into a delightfully tasty bread!  For some reason, this bread is better when completely cooled rather than right out of the oven.  Not sure why, but many low-carb baked goods just are!  It’s great on day 2 toasted with butter on top.  This bread is not suitable until you reach the nuts and seeds rung of the Atkins OWL phase.   It is acceptable for Keto diets. It is suitable for Primal diners, if you eat occasional dairy, but not acceptable for Paleo.

This makes up nicely as muffins, too, as the crust is very nice on this bread.  I discovered that leftovers make an outstanding cornbread stuffing!!  Muffins will only take about 15-20 minutes to cook.

I chose to use fresh jalapeno, but will try my next batch using pickled jalapenos to see which I like best.  Those that like their jalapeno bread “hotter” may want to use 2 jalapenos.  My husband and I don’t like it too hot.  🙂

The corn flavoring I used to buy was Superior Products brand, which I last bought direct from Superior Products.  Sadly they have gone out of business or sold out.  Only places I’ve seen corn flavoring since is either at Select Products (where I order it and love the flavor) or at Naturesflavors.com (but I haven’t tried their’s yet).

For many more delicious low-carb bread recipes, visit the Facebook page for the best-selling cookbooks, LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS by Jennifer Eloff and several other very talented cooks, including well-known Chef George Stella!  There you’ll see a preview of the many recipes you will find in this wonderful 10-volume set.  Have no fear, they are also available individually, in regular or coil-bound.  Order your today at Amazon or at our direct order site here.

INGREDIENTS:

1½ c. almond flour

2 T. coconut flour

¼ c. golden flax meal

1 3/4 tsp. baking soda

1 c. shredded hard cheese of your choice (I used cheddar)

1  jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped (I use fresh, but pickled is fine)

5 eggs, beaten

2 T. coconut oil, melted

2 T. olive oil

1 T. cider vinegar

1 T. Fresh Corn flavoring (optional) Source:  selectflavors.com

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Lightly grease a loaf pan and set aside.  I use an unusual shaped loaf pan, non-standard, that is 4½” wide, 2½” deep and 12″ long.  Similar pans like mine can be found on the internet if interested.  Captureclick to see in my 4x12" x-long loaf pan

Measure all dry ingredients and cheese into a medium measuring bowl, stir and set aside.  Seed and finely chop jalapeno and add. Add cheese and stir all dry ingredients together to blend.   Add all liquid ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir to blend.    Using a rubber spatula, scrape batter into greased loaf pan and pop into preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Ovens vary, so check with toothpick test.   Remove and cool in pan a few minutes.  Run sharp knife around edges to loosen and gently tip out onto a cutting board. Slice into 10 servings.  This is best cooled and then re-warmed.  See note in red above.

SPECIAL NOTE:  This bread makes an outstanding “Cornbread” Stuffing for your holiday turkey as well, with or without that corn flavoring!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 10 slices, each contains: (calculated using 1 c. cheese only)

242 calories, 21 g fat, 6.2 g  carbs, 3.2 g  fiber, 3.0 g  NET CARBS, 9.95 g  protein, 386 mg sodium

Mega Meatballs

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Browsing my favorite food blogs, I came across a lovely picture of meatballs, something I’ve not made in ages.  I decided it was high time I did some meatballs for dear hubby and I love them, too!   The dish I came up with is not classic “saucy” spaghetti and meatballs, as actually very little sauce is put on each serving.  But an adequate tomato-y edge was there and made this a delightful dinner.

I’m providing the nutritional information for the individual parts of this, as many will use this meatball recipe with other sauces, serve it over other bases than the zucchini noodles and will use this thick veggie-heavy marinara sauce for other applications.  This dish is not suitable until Phase 2 Atkins due to the ricotta.  It is OK for Ketogenic diets.  It is however not acceptable for Primal-Paleo.

I like to make large batches of meatballs and freeze the extras for quick uses later on.  This recipe makes 20 meatballs or 10 servings of two meatballs.  Adjust your recipe as your needs dictate.

I absolutely love the Lucini “Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce” (no added sugar or bad ingredients) that I found at my local Walmart.  It’s made with all natural ingredients, has a lovely taste and I buy it for quick sauces and us it for quick pizza sauce.  It’s a great flavor foundation to build on.  🙂   It costs somewhere around $3.99/jar if I remember right.

You can have many more tasty low-carb recipes like this at your fingertips with your very own copy of the latest publications by Jennifer Eloff and friends: LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS. There are now 10 volumes in our complete cookbook collection.  Order yours today to get special discount pricing on complete sets.  Available individually as well.  Order at Amazon or at our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

DISCLAIMER: By personal choice I accept no payment for this cookbook promotion nor the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so simply because they are filled with fantastic recipes any cook, low carb or otherwise, would be proud to add to their cookbook library.

MEATBALLS:

1 lb. ground beef (I used 90% lean grass-fed)

1 lb. ground pork

2 beaten eggs

½ c. ricotta cheese

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼ tsp. each onion powder, garlic powder, crushed fennel seed and dried basil

½ tsp. dried oregano, crushed

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

MEATBALL DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Measure out all ingredients into a large bowl and mix together with fork or hand until well blended.  Form large 1½” balls by rolling in your palms.  Place them on either a non-stick baking sheet or one with a silicone sheet liner.  Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned and no longer oozing pink juices.

QUICK MARINARA SAUCE:

3 T. olive oil

½ c. celery, chopped

4 oz. onion, chopped

¼ c. bell pepper, chopped

5 large mushrooms, chopped

1  25.5 oz. jar (3c.) Lucini “Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce”, all natural ingredients with 4 NC per ½c. serving

2/3 c. parsley, chopped

3/4-1c. water, as needed

DIRECTIONS FOR SAUCE:  Heat oil in skillet or large saucepan.  Add celery, onion and bell pepper and saute until nearly tender.  Add mushroom and saute until translucent. Add Lucini sauce, parsley and bring to a simmer on very low heat.  Cook on lowest setting while meatballs are baking.  Stir often, adding water, as needed, to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan and to maintain a thin marinara sauce consistency.

ZUCCHINI NOODLES “Zoodles”:    VARIATIONS: Serve over spaghetti squash.           

3 medium zucchini (about 10 oz. each)

1 T. olive oil

DIRECTIONS FOR NOODLES:   Cut the zucchini into noodle shapes either with a hand held julienne peeler (what I use) or the more expensive tools like the counter-top Spirooli  that is designed to do this much faster. Heat olive oil in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.   Add zucchini threads to the pan and lightly saute just until they become translucent.  DO NOT OVERCOOK them or they will get mushy.

FINAL PLATING:  Plate about 1 cup zoodles on each plate.  Top with 1/2 c. sauce.  Place 2 meatballs on top and if desired, garnish with a sprinkle of grated fresh Parmesan.

MEATBALL NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 20 very large meatballs.  Two per serving.  Each 2-meatball serving contains:

290 calories, 23 g  fat, 1.18 g  carbs, .8 g  fiber, .38 g  NET CARBS and 20.2 g  protein, 155 mg sodium

SAUCE NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes ten 1/2 c. servings of sauce.  Each serving contains:

97 calories, 7.2 g  fat, 7.27 g  carbs, 1.93 g  fiber, 5.34 g  NET CARBS, 2.24 g  protein

ZUCCHINI NOODLES NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 10 servings of noodles.  Each 3 oz serving contains:

59 calories, 4.7 g  fat, 4.2 g  carbs, 1.4 g  fiber, 2.8 g  NET CARBS  1.5 g  protein

Peach Cobbler

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Peach Cobbler

This quick cobbler is made from canned, no-sugar-added peaches.  The pastry goes together real easily and you can be enjoying deliciously sweet cobbler in no time.  I find that even though these peaches are artificially sweetened, they are not, like most canned fruit, sweet enough for me using them straight out of the can.  Therefore I add a packet of Splenda or Stevia to the fruit every time.  That hasn’t backfired on me YET.  The peaches may vary from can to can, brand to brand, so do a taste test on YOUR peaches to decide if you want to add that additional packet of sweetener (or more, or none). You can substitute ¼ tsp. xanthan gum for the glucomannan powder as your thickening agent if you prefer.  This recipe is not suitable until the advanced fruits rung of the OWL ladder of Atkins, in pre-maintenance.  The crust is taken from KevinPa’s pie crust recipe, for those familiar with his baking prowess.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Special pricing going on right now for the complete set of 10 volumes.  Our books are always available individually as well.  Order from Amazon or our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

FILLING INGREDIENTS: 

2  14.5-oz. cans no-sugar-added peaches, water pack (or 3-4 c. sliced fresh peaches, peeled)

¼ tsp. cinnamon

Pinch nutmeg

½ tsp. glucomannan powder

1 packet stevia or Splenda

2 T. unsalted butter (plus 1 T. more to grease the baking dish)

CRUST:

1 c. + 2 T. Carbalose flour (use Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten-Free Bake Mix for a gluten-free version)

6 T. resistant wheat starch (use arrowroot powder for gluten-free)

½ c. + 1 T. palm shortening or butter

¼ tsp. salt

¼ c. ice cold water

DIRECTIONS:  Drain the liquid off just ONE of the cans of peaches (unless you like your cobbler super juicy.  You will want the juice from the second can in this recipe.  Grease the bottom and sides of an 8″x11″ baking dish with 1 T. softened butter.  Set aside.  In a medium mixing bowl, mix the peaches, peach juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia and glucomannan powder (or xanthan gum).  Stir well and pour into buttered baking dish.  Dot with the 2 T. of butter.  Preheat your oven to 350º.

For the crust, in a mixing bowl, measure out the dry ingredients and add the butter or palm shortening. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut the shortening into the flour to break it up until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal and the shortening is well-blended.  Slowly add the water, a little at a time and begin to stir into a solid dough.  Do not overwork the dough.  When you can form it into a single ball, it’s ready to roll.  I have two sheets of plastic I use for rolling out dough, but two pieces of any plastic wrap will do.  Moisten your counter top so the bottom piece remains still while you work.  Place dough on the bottom plastic and cover with a second sheet of plastic and roll the dough slightly larger than your baking dish. Lift the top piece of plastic off the dough gently and lifting up the bottom sheet of plastic, invert the dough onto your cobbler (folding the dough in half helps to lift it).  Trim off the excess dough about ¼-½” beyond the pan edges and crimp the edge inward so that it is entirely inside the dish.  Decorate the top with any surplus dough if you like.  I like to roll it again and cut out leaves and a representation of the fruit in the filling to dress up the tops of cobblers.  This time I also took a pastry brush and dipped into some watered down food coloring for added effect.  I sprinkled erythritol onto the cut-out peach as well.   Pop into preheated 350º oven for about 25 minutes or until lightly golden on top.  Cool slightly before attempting to dip up.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each contains:

330 calories, 26.3 g  fat, 21.27 g  carbs, 13.17 g  fiber, 8.1 g  NET CARBS, 1.23 g  protein. 108 mg sodium

Turkey Day Feast

CLICK THE LINKS UNDER EACH PHOTO TO SEE RECIPES:

I’m fond of turkey roasted in my roaster oven as they always come out so moist done that way.   This year I’m actually doing a duck for Thanksgiving rather than turkey, so it will be interesting to see if those come out nicely roasted this way.  If you don’t own a roaster oven, they are really getting cheap and around Christmas, can be had for around $25-$29.  They are excellent for extra oven space when you entertain or during holiday gatherings and your oven is full to the brim.  They bake cakes, muffins, cookies, and meats just beautifully!

And what turkey would be complete without a good batch of stuffing?  This recipe, modified to be low-carb, has been in my family for years.  I think you’ll like it.  I like to bake my dressing separately from the bird as I like the crusty bits on top:

Although we debate on what side dishes we want to have “this year” with the two basics above, we keep coming back to these two recipes:

 

And of course, there must be a sweet, tangy cranberry sauce to top things off.  And why not spike it a bit?:

To top it all off, a lovely dinner roll is in order for the holiday table:

That just brings us to the pièce de résistance, dessert.  Oh, the dilemma!  If I do my Black Forest Cake, a cheesecake, I have learned that most guests are full to the brim before dessert time.  So I usually decide on light rather than rich and heavy and go with Mom’s light, fluffy, and tasty Pumpkin Pie baked off in a low-carb pie crust.  My biggest decision then is simply whether to make a single large pie or individual serving pies. 🙂

At a time to be thankful for family, friends and good food to share with them, I can’t imagine a more bountiful meal to serve.  May all my readers be blessed with a lovely holiday celebration this year.

 

Vegetable Mac

This tasty lunch was developed from a few odds and ends in the refrigerator today.  As my husband is away for the day, I only had to make a very small amount of it.  With a bit of leftover pasta, a small piece of yellow squash and red pepper, 1 last leek, this dish was born.  And man, was it ever good!  The spice blend was the crowning touch!  This dish could also be served as a side dish, but I enjoyed it for my complete lunch today.  The little bit of cheese adds to the rich, creaminess of the final dish, without really tasking like a mac and cheese dish, per se.  You might prefer Parmesan sprinkled on top instead of the slice of American cheese.  You could even add a bit of leftover meat for a higher protein content, if you have in the fridge……but I had no leftover meat, so I ate this meatless.  This dish is not suitable for Atkins Induction unless you sub in shiritake noodles or cauliflower for the noodles I used.  As written, this recipe should perhaps be avoided until Pre-Maintenance, or at least until you’re fairly close to your goal weight on whatever Keto plan you follow.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 T. butter, melted

1 T. olive oil

2/3 c. sliced yellow squash

½c. leek, washed well

¼ c. sliced red bell pepper (or roasted red pepper from jar)

1 slice American Cheese (or 1 oz. shredded cheddar)

1½ oz. (about 2/3 cup raw) Fiber Gourmet ‘Rotini’ pasta

¼ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

VARIATION:  Add a few bits of leftover chicken, beef or pork for a higher protein count.

DIRECTIONS:  In a small saucepan, boil the noodles until tender.  Drain off water and set aside.  While the noodles boil, quarter about 1/3-1/2 yellow squash and cut it then into thin slices.  Slice off ½c. leek.  Slice red bell pepper (or jarred roasted peppers).

Melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil.  Add squash and saute until tender.  Add leeks and red pepper and continue to saute until those are tender.  Add Seafood Spice Blend next.  Stir well.  If adding any bits of meat, now is the time.  Lower heat to low and add the slice of cheese, stirring until it has completely melted and blended into the vegetable mixture.  Finally, stir in cooked pasta, tossing several times to coat all ingredients well.  Dip up onto two plates and ENJOY!  This pairs nicely with a small green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

263 cals, 20.6g fat, 22.6g carbs, 13.3g fiber, 9.3g NET CARBS, 5.85g protein, 180 mg sodium

Jicama Cajun “Fries”

Jicama Fries

Man, I tried these on a whim and they are FANTASTIC!  And best of all, you don’t have to stand over a skillet of hot grease to make them!  I’ve tried making fries from turnips, eggplant, daikon, rutabaga and all sorts of veggies on my low-carb journey.  But I have to admit, these are really my favorite to date.  The Seafood Spice blend in the coating quite nicely takes away the inherent sweet taste edge that jicama has, without dominating the final fries.  So don’t side-step this part of the recipe.  It’s essential for best flavor results.  Other spices and blends could be substituted in if you prefer but may not mask that sweet edge as well.  I just don’t know. The coating really browned nicely and stayed crispy even as the fries cooled off (which really surprised me)!  Even my picky hubby gave these a thumbs up, and at first, he wasn’t even going to taste them!  These are Induction friendly, too!

Some may be tempted to take a shortcut and use spicy/BBQ pork rinds and omit the seasoning blend in my recipe.  CAUTION:  flavored pork rinds are laden with sugar and sometimes modified food starch as well……not acceptable ingredients for us low-carbers.  Just read the ingredients listed fully if you don’t believe me.  In fact, as a low-carber, you should ALWAYS read ingredient listings, for ALL processed foods.  Hidden ingredients can stall your weight loss.  The net carb count just isn’t the whole picture!

You’ll find many more snack recipes you’ll want to try in Jennifer Eloff’s latest best-selling low carb cookbooks.  Check out a sampling of those recipes on their Facebook page.  She and several other very talented cooks are offering therein a collection of mouth-watering dishes you’ll want to try.  The latest three volumes have a preponderance of my own recipes!  With special pricing for a complete set, hurry on over and place your order at Amazon or our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

What a Jicama looks likeAs always, you can order them individually if you prefer.

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz. jicama, peeled and cut into fries

2 T. homemade mayo

2 oz. plain pork rinds, crushed

1/2 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

Oil to coat baking pan if not using non-stick sheet pan

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 450º.  Peel and cut jicama into stick shapes.  Place in bowl and brush well with the homemade mayo.  Make certain you haven’t missed any spots or they won’t get coated at those spots. You want total coverage for the pork rinds to adhere to.  Crush the pork rinds in processor/blender.  Add spice blend to crushed pork rinds in a small bowl and stir well.  Now drop mayo-coated jicama (a few at a time) into the seasoned rinds and shake to coat well.   Alternately, you can use a plastic bag and shake them to coat.  Place fries directly on oiled or non-stick metal baking sheet.  A word of experience, DO NOT BAKE THESE ON SILICONE SHEETS, as they will not brown and crisp up properly on the bottom.  I found this out the hard way.  Bake for 10 minutes until tops are nicely browned.  Turn them and bake about 10 more minutes.  Bottoms brown where they touch the metal pan.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings each contains:

165 Cals, 11.4g fat, 5.5g carbs, 2.78g fiber, 2.22 NET CARBS, 11.2g protein, 276g sodium

BBQ Pork Spare Ribs

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I find a great deal on pork ribs, I just can’t pass them up.   Our Aldi’s grocery store had them on sale this week so we BBQ’d two racks.  Might as well do two, my husband always says:  “One for now and one I don’t have to cook later in the month.”

I’ve never liked beef ribs done on the grill quite as much as I like BBQ pork ribs.  Must be because I was born in North Carolina.  But being a naturalized Texan now, by virtue of marriage and living here for 50 years, I do like a slightly sweeter sauce on my BBQ than the typical vinegar sauces of North Carolina.  I take a full bottle of G.Hughes low-carb BBQ sauce and cut it with 1/2 c. vinegar and 1/2 c. water to thin its consistency and sweetness.  This recipe is suitable of all phases of Atkins and keto diets.  It is suitable for Paleo if a plan-suitable BBQ sauce is used.

INGREDIENTS:

1  rack of pork spare ribs (silverskin/membrane removed from back side)

1 c. diluted G.Hughes BBQ sauce, diluted as stated above

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 325º.  Using a sharp knife, lift and remove the silverskin/membrane from the concave back side of the rack of ribs.  If done right, you can pull it all off the bones with one steady pull.  Place rack of ribs into a large baking pan that will hold them completely.  Pop into 325º oven., cover with foil and bake 1 hour only.  This is done to to pre-cook them a bit to speed up grilling time and also to facilitate ultimate tenderizing for tooth-tender eating.   If done this way you can cook a rack of ribs, start to finish, in just 4 hours.  If you cook them entirely on the grill, requiring multiple charcoal additions during cooking time, ribs take about 6 hours cook time to get to that tooth-tender, not quite slide-off-the-bone stage of doneness.

When your charcoal fire is hot, push coals to one side of the grill.  Lay the rack of ribs on the other side of the grill, away from the coals.  You will need to grill them for a total of 3 hours.  Using a brush, sauce the rack of ribs lightly on both sides.   After one hour cooking, sauce again with the brush and turn the rack over (sauce the cooked side up again, too).  At two hours cooking, turn the meat and sauce the side that is up again.  At 3 hours, sauce the bottom side one more time and allow to cook just until the sauce has caramelized.   Remove the ribs to a serving platter and cut them apart between the bones to serve with additional sauce at table.  Sides that compliment this are a lovely green salad, coleslaw, my Mexican Bean Casserole or Sweet Green Cabbage.

NUTRITION:   Contains 14 ribs, each rib contains approximately:

170 cals, 11.4g fat, 5.5g carbs, 0.1 fiber, 5.4 NET CARBS, 10.8g protein, 405 mg sodium

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