Breakfast Sticks

Breakfast Sticks

Realized I hadn’t made one of my more popular recipes in quite some time this morning.  I resurrected this tasty ‘Top o’ the Morning’ treat today.  You can use the bottom of muffin cups for these (circle shape) or muffin-top pans (flatter shape) as well.  These are simply delicious!  Just the right amount of cheese to make them a bit creamy without it being overpowering.  Just the right amount of chopped vegetables to not dominate the flavor profile so the eggs still speak up.

These are suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal Blueprint as well.  Omit the cheese for Paleo adherence.  Below is a photo of the pan I used.  Although they still make it (BTW, it is rimmed in metal framing for support, which I really like), it is difficult to find on the internet.  You can make this recipe using muffin pans however.  I stumbled upon these two Chicago Bakeware pans at my local Tuesday Morning store several years ago and snatched them up. 🙂  Other companies make similar pans:  http://www.amazon.com/Purple-Silicone-Sponge-Finger-Bakeware/dp/B00AFRALOS.

Bar Mold

This recipe garnered more Facebook fans than any all other recipes I have posted here.  Simply amazing!  Thanks to all my readers and fans for making the recipe go viral on its original 2015 posting.  When you try these, you’ll see why it went off the chart!  🙂    Capture

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. oil of choice

2 slices bacon, chopped

3 oz. breakfast sausage

2 large green onions, chopped

4 large eggs, beaten

1 oz. (¼ c.) shredded Monterrey Jack or Mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Oil your muffin/pan slots with oil using a brush and set aside.  Beat the eggs with the shredded cheese in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.  Using a non-stick skillet, brown the bacon. Add the sausage crumbled, stirring and cooking until it is no longer pink.  Add onion and saute just until onion begins to cook/wilt.  Remove from heat and cool 1-2 minutes.  Add the meat mixture to the egg mixture and beat together well with a spoon.  Using a ¼c. measuring cup, scoop up ¼ c. of the mixture into each of 8 slots.  Pop into preheated 350º oven for about 15-20 minutes (ovens do vary) until just set and barely beginning to brown on tops.  Remove from pans/slot with a knife tip and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 Breakfast Sticks, each contains:

142.4 cals, 12.3g fat, 0.73g carbs, 0.16g fiber, 0.57g NET CARBS, 7.16g protein, 220 mg sodium

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Roasted Shawarma Chicken and Vegetables

Roasted Shawarma Chicken and Vegetables

I have made these Roasted Shawarma Vegetables before as a side dish, but not until I added chicken to the mix had I found a wonderful meal in a pan!  Good decision!  This meal that virtually cooks itself is so delicious!  I saved out 1 chicken breast from this whole chicken to use for something else this week but cooked all the remaining pieces.  If you omit the chicken, this vegetable dish is a marvelous side with grilled steak and chicken!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo as well.  So ENJOY everybody!

INGREDIENTS:

¼ c. extra virgin olive oil

1 whole chicken, cut up (minus 1 of the breasts reserved for another use)

10 cloves garlic, peeled

1 medium zucchini, sliced thick

1 yellow squash, sliced thick

8 oz. Japanese eggplant, cubed or sliced thick (I don’t peel it)

1 2 3/4″ tomato, cut into wedges

3 oz. onion, sliced (I used red onion)

1 tsp. my Shawarma Spice Blend

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  I used my convection settting to speed mine up a bit.  Oil a large metal baking pan with some of the olive oil.  Lay the chicken pieces evenly in the pan (I cut my chicken breast into 2 pieces, as they tend to be large nowadays).  Next add the sliced vegetables evenly around the pieces of chicken. Sprinkle on the Shawarma spice Blend and last of all, place the garlic (whole) around the pan, cutting larger cloves in half.  Pop into 350º oven.  If using convection roast, it will take about 35-40 minutes, or until chicken reads 170º on your meat thermometer.  If using standard oven, it will probably take a full hour, perhaps a bit longer if your chicken is big or you cut your vegetables larger than shown in my photo.  I like to baste the chicken and veggies with pan juices mid-cooking.  🙂  Serve with a nice green salad.   This is delightful with nutty-tasting basmati rice for your non-low-carbing dinner guests.  🙂  I don’t eat anything with mine.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes around 6 servings, each contains:

384 cals, 25 g fat, 8.08 g carbs, 2.56 g fiber, 5.52 g NET CARBS, 32 g protein, 457 mg sodium

Okra Fritters

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This little experiment came out quite tasty!  And ever so easy once I thawed the okra.  This is not suitable until the grains rung of OWL.  Those still on Induction might try subbing flax meal for the bake mixes and then it would be OK for Induction.  I RARELY deep fry (mostly oven fry now), as I don’t like using oil this way, but I will occasionally make these when I get a craving for them.  My Oven-Fried Okra is good, but just not as easy as making these little lovelies.  🙂  If you prefer, you can use all Carbquik or all Jennifer’s bake mix.  Your call on that one.  I just like the synergy the two mixed together brings to the table.

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INGREDIENTS:

8 oz. frozen sliced okra, coarsely chopped

2 oz. onion, finely minced

1 T. Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten-Free Bake Mix

1 T. CarbQuik bake mix (or 1 T. more Jen Eloff’s GF bake mix for gluten-free version)

1 egg

2 T. heavy cream

Pinch each of salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper

2 c. frying oil of your choice

DIRECTIONS:   Thaw, drain, and chop okra.  Place in mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and stir well.  Heat oil to VERY hot and drop batter by soup spoons into fat.  Allow to fully brown before attempting to flip to second side or these will fall apart on you.  When both sides are nicely browned, remove and drain on paper towels.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes twelve 2″ fritters, each contains:

25 calories

1.67 g fat

2.09 g carbs, .73 g fiber, 1.36 NET CARBS

1.34 g protein

24 mg sodium

Sausage Breakfast Focaccia

It's gluten-free, too!!

To quote the bard, “a sausage biscuit by any other name……” would taste as sweet.  🙂  A tasty new way to use my wonderful gluten-free focaccia bread recipe.   You’ll be happy to know you CANNOT taste the flax meal in this bread either!

TIP:  If you are not gluten-free, I find 1 T. oat fiber improves this bread’s taste and texture greatly.  But remember, if you add it, OAT FIBER IS NOT GLUTEN FREE.

This recipe is suitable for Phase 2 Atkins, Keto diets, Primal folks if consumed only occasionally.  This bread would not be suitable for Paleo.

BREAD INGREDIENTS:

½ c. almond flour

¼ c. golden flax meal

¼ c. plain whey protein powder

1 tsp. baking powder

3 T. cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs, beaten

1 c. grated Monterrey Jack cheese

½ c. grated Mozzarella cheese

1 tsp. cider vinegar

1 T. heavy cream

1 T. water

1 tsp. yeast dissolved in 1 T. warm water (optional, for flavor only)

1 T. oat fiber (optional)

TOPPING:   5 oz. browned sausage + 1 c. more shredded cheese of your choice

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Soften cream cheese in medium mixing bowl in microwave.  Beat in the eggs, cream, water, vinegar, both cheeses and dissolved yeast (if using).  Measure and add in all the dry ingredients and stir well with a rubber spatula. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  You can also use a non-stick pan.  I would not recommend silicone, as this won’t brown as nicely on your Silpat.  Scrap the batter onto the prepared pan, spreading it as evenly as possible with the spatula into a rectangle that is roughly 10″x13″.  Batter will be about ¼” thick.  Sprinkle on cooked sausage and then the mozzarella shreds.  Lightly press down on the toppings so they embed slightly into the batter.  Pop pan into 350º oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until dry to the touch in center and lightly browned on the edges.  .  Cool a few minutes and cut evenly into 9 slices and enjoy!  When totally cool, store in plastic bag in your refrigerator.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Entire sheet contains:  2113 calories, 164 g fat, 30.6 g carbs, 13.8 g fiber, 16.8 g net carbs, 142 g protein, 3334 mg sodium  (divide by number of servings you cut)

If cut into 9 portions, each serving would contain:

235 calories, 18.2 g  fat, 3.4 g  carbs, 1.53 g  fiber, 1.87 g  NET CARBS, 15.73 g  protein, 370 mg sodium

Strawberry Chocolate Torte

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I’m not a big sweets eater, as many of my readers and forum acquaintances know by now.  But my husband is and I fix him low-carb treats for special occasions otherwise he WILL go buy the awful flour/sugar laden junk at the bakery.  This dessert I created for his Valentine’s Day treat some years back and thought I’d share it today since Valentines Day is just around the corner once again.   Where does time fly?

The basic chocolate cake batter in this recipe is actually not my recipe.  My inspiration was a recipe posted by a wonderful cook on LowCarbFriends forums named Gwen, known there as “The Chicken Lady”.  This cake is a testimonial to her incredible cooking skills. I’m very pleased with this chocolate cake!  And I can’t say that about many low-carb chocolate cakes I’ve tried. Despite it looking sinfully rich, it was very light.   I have made no changes to her original chocolate cake recipe.  🙂

I did bake my cake in ONE 9″ round cake (wax-paper lined) cake pan that is unusually deep (2½”) and the cake rose nearly to the top!  It would bake OK in two standard shallow 9″ cake pans also, but reduce the cooking time if you make that pan change.  You’ll have more trouble slicing it into 4 layers, and might prefer to just do a two-layer final cake instead of three.  Or you could bake the cake in a wax-paper lined stew pot/dutch oven.  That has worked for me many a time.  This cake is not suitable until the berries rung of the Atkins OWL carb reintroduction ladder.  Due to the artificial sweeteners and dairy, this dessert is not be suitable for Paleo-Primal followers without considerable modification.

VARIATION:  Substitute raspberries for the strawberries.

This cake is fairly carb pricey, but if you can’t afford the carbs, you could cut it into 12 pieces.  That’s a wee bit better.  This should be considered a very special occasion treat because it IS so carb pricey.  Be sure if substituting other than liquid sweeteners, to add in those carbs!

CHICKEN LADY’S CHOCOLATE CAKE INGREDIENTS: 

4 c. almond flour
liquid sweetener to equal 2 c. sugar
½ c. granular erythritol (or equivalent of 1/3 cup of sugar)
4 pkts. stevia (equivalent for 8 tsp. sugar)  
½ c. cup cocoa powder
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/3 c. butter or coconut oil, melted
4 eggs, beaten
1 c. sour cream

MY FROSTING/FILLING INGREDIENTS:

2½ c. heavy cream, whipped

Pinch (less than 1/16 tsp.) glucomannan powder, dusted over cream as you whip it (optional, to help firm up the whipped cream)

14 oz. frozen whole strawberries, thawed and drained of juice, chopped

1 c. fresh strawberries, chopped (or 1 c. more frozen berries, or use all fresh berries)

Sweetener of choice to taste

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º.   Mix and beat the wet cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl.   If your almond flour isn’t room temperature, make it so and press out any lumps.  Measure and add in all dry ingredients to the bowl and stir well. Line your cake pan(s) with waxed paper or parchment.  Grease the sides of the pan(s) well.  Pour batter into pan spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Tap pan on counter to eliminate air pockets and pop into 350º oven.  Bake for about 60 minutes if using one, very deep pan like I did.  If using two 1″ x 9″ round cake pans, they will cook much faster, in about 25-30 minutes or so.   Toothpick test the center.  It should come out clean and dry when the the cake is done.  Completely cool before attempting to tip cake out onto a board to cut it into layers.  This cake can also be made in a rectangular 9 x 13″ pan, cut in half and each half then sliced laterally to form 4 layers (reserve 1 layer for another use as you only need 3 layers for this cake).  All sorts of possibilities with that cake size.

While cake is in the oven, make the frosting:  Whip the cream until thick.  Run the berries through a food processor (or chop coarsely) for a few seconds.  Fold the berries into the whipped cream. Dust the pinch of glucomannan powder over the mixture slowly, folding after each addition, until all of it has been incorporated.  Taste for sweetness and add your favorite sweetener to taste.  Chill frosting until cake is totally cool.

Next cut the cake layers:  I sliced the completely cooled cake very carefully with a long-bladed knife, using a piece of cardboard covered with foil to gently slide each layer onto to set aside while I filled/frosted the final creation.  This cake has a firm texture and is not as crumbly as some almond flour cakes.  All good, but you still need to be careful, as even firm cakes can break.

Place about 1¼ c. of the frosting on the bottom layer of the cake.  Spread evenly with a rubber spatula, going almost to the edges.  Place the second layer of cake gently on the top and press slightly.  Put another 1¼ c. frosting on this layer and spread it out evenly.  Place the top cake layer on the stack, press slightly and spread all remaining frosting on the top and sides. OPTIONAL GARNISH:  Decorate the top of your cake with fresh strawberry slices, a few strawberry leaves  or perhaps a sliced and “fanned out” single strawberry at the center.  Chill in the refrigerator with plastic wrap on top until ready to cut and serve.

This cake was simply DELICIOUS and I will definitely be making it again!   My thanks to The Chicken Lady for her wonderful chocolate cake recipe.  It truly made my Valentines treat a success!

CONFESSION TIME:  The reason I used both frozen and fresh berries in the topping is I only had one 14 oz. bag of the frozen diced unsweetened berries in my freezer.  I thought that would make enough frosting.  But 1½ c. cream and those berries didn’t make enough frosting to frost the sides of the cake!  So I had to whip up a little more frosting real quick with another cup of cream and berries, so the last batch of frosting had to be made with the few fresh berries I had on hand.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 10 servings, using the sweeteners specified, each serving contains:

632 cals, 57.8 g fat, 20.4 g carbs, 7.05 g fiber, 13.35 g NET CARBS, 15.2 g protein, 521 mg sodium

Einkorn Sausage-Cheese Balls

Einkorn Sausage-Cheese Balls

This is an ever-popular party appetizer that never goes out of favor with your guests.  When I’m hosting the appetizers phase of our neighborhood annual Christmas round-robin dinner, this easy treat is easy to make ahead, heat and serve.  I have another Sausage Cheese Ball recipe on my website that rings in at only 1 net carb per ball but I like this one a bit better because it’s a little easier to put together.  It features my convenient homemade Einkorn Low-Carb Bake Mix (similar to Bisquick and Carbquik).  Even with the bake mix, these only have 1.76 net carbs per ball!  Not bad for the convenience of just 3 ingredients.   These are not suitable until the grains rung of the carb re-introduction ladder of Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  They are OK for Keto diets if you can fit them into your daily carb limits.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. breakfast sausage (I used my homemade breakfast sausage recipe)

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

2 c. my Einkorn Bake Mix  (For gluten-free version, use Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten-Free Bake Mix or another GF mix of your choice)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º. Mix the above ingredients in a medium bowl with your hands as you would a meatloaf mixture.  When thoroughly blended, form into 30 1″ balls and place on non-stick baking sheet or one lined with parchment or silicone sheet for ease of clean-up. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove to paper towels to drain off any excess grease (mine had none actually).  Serve warm and ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 30  1″ balls, each sausage ball contains:

95 calories, 7.81 g  fat, 2.4 g  carbs, 0.64 g fiber, 1.76 g  NET CARBS, 4.82 g  protein, 81 mg sodium

Chicken Brussels Sprouts Casserole

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The dish was literally a toss-in-a-little-of-this-and-a-little-of-that creation.  As is often the case, sometimes those dishes come out tasting quite good.  This one has proven to be extremely popular amongst my Facebook fans.  My husband ate seconds, which is always a good indicator, so I thought I’d share this one with you since I plan to fix it this evening for dinner.  Although quinoa is technically a seed, this recipe is not suitable until you reach the higher-carb grains rung of the Atkins carb ladder (Phase 2 OWL).

You may find this dish a bit carby for your nutrition program, but all the carbs are pretty much coming from the Brussels sprouts and quinoa.  But quinoa is a super food (just take note of the nutritional stats below!)I like to include in my diet once in awhile.  If you are still on Induction or wish just to lower the carb count, you could omit the quinoa altogether, or substitute in rice-shaped shiratake ‘noodles’.  🙂  Hemp hearts are a good low-carb substitution for the quinoa also, but those are still not suitable for Induction.  Sorry.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. homemade chicken broth

¼ c. quinoa (substitute hemp hearts for much lower carb count)

10 oz. chicken breast, deboned, skin removed, cut in small pieces

4 slices bacon, chopped

2 T. butter

1 c. celery, chopped

2½ oz. onion, chopped

1/2 recipe Jennifer Eloff’s low-carb Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

¼ c. heavy cream

Dash each salt and black pepper

3 oz. Smoked Gouda cheese, shredded  (or cheese of your choice)

5 oz. frozen Brussels sprouts, cut into quarters lengthwise (do not precook)

DIRECTIONS:    Preheat the oven to 350º.  First, prepare the mushroom soup, set ½ the mixture into a medium bowl for inclusion in this recipe.  Store the remaining soup in the refrigerator for another use.  Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, add the quinoa and simmer covered for about 5-10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.  In a large skillet, fry the bacon until done.  Add the butter, celery, onion, salt and pepper and saute until the vegetables are getting tender.    Add the pieces of chicken next and sautée until no longer pink. Lower the heat and add the soup mix and cream.  Stir well.  Next add the shredded Gouda and Brussels sprouts.  Turn off heat and stir gently.  Add in the quinoa and remaining broth (or steamed cauliflower if substituting).  Toss the mixture well with a spoon.  Pop into a preheated 350º oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

468 cals, 33g fat, 15.27g carbs, 2.9g fiber, 12.37g NET CARBS, 25.8g protein, 880 mg sodium

Spinach Cheese Bread

Spinach Cheese Bread

Not quite wanting pizza for lunch yesterday, I turned to an old, simpler recipe created sometime back.  I had not baked it in a very long time.  This was created with my best pizza crust recipe modified it a bit.  I just added more cheese and some spinach and MAN!  Was this ever good!  And look how low-carb it is!!!!!    Even my husband said “This is really, really good, Peggy!  Be sure to upload this onto the blog!”  And it is so easy to put together.  You can enjoy this delicious treat once you have reached Atkins Phase 2 or are beyond that point in your weight loss journey.

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. almond flour

¼ c. whey protein powder, unflavored

¼ c. golden flax meal (or more whey protein powder)

1 tsp. baking powder

2 T. oat fiber (not the same thing as oat bran!)

4 T. (2 oz) cream cheese, softened

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1 T. heavy cream

1 tsp. dry yeast, well-dissolved in 2 T. warm water

2 c. shredded Monterey Jack or Mozzarella cheese

1 c. frozen chopped spinach (I did not thaw)

VARIATION:   Remove from oven before fully done, spread a few tablespoons Alfredo sauce and some more sprinkles of spinach on top.  Dust with Parmesan and pop back into oven for more of a true spinach pizza result.  (variation not figured in the nutritional numbers below)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  In a medium mixing bowl, measure out all dry ingredients but the yeast.  Stir well.  Dissolve the yeast in the 2 T. water.  Add to bowl with dry ingredients.  Add in the beaten eggs, cream, vinegar and softened cream cheese.  Beat the wet ingredients into the dry a few strokes.  Add the Jack or mozzy cheese shreds and un-defrosted spinach (break up clumps as you go) and stir to form a thick batter.  Line a 9″ x 12″ sheet pan with silicone or parchment.  Spread batter evenly to fill the pan.  Pop into 350º oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned and dry to the touch in the center.  Remove and cool a few minutes.   Cut into 12 pieces and serve.  If you eat it while still real hot, you will need a fork.  It gets easier to handle in your hand (and tastier) as it begins to cool a bit.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 12 servings, each contains:

154 cals, 12.3 g fat, 3.75 g carbs, 2.49 g fiber, 1.26 g NET CARBS, 9.5 g protein, 232 mg sodium

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan with Bacon

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan Bake

This side dish is simply delicious, considering how little is in it!  The bacon and onion really GO together!  If you don’t overcook the squash and are careful when removing the threads, you can serve this right in the shell for its own “bowl” for festive occasions!   One reader suggests roasting the squash traditionally in the oven for added flavor if you have the time.  This is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.

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INGREDIENTS:

½ large spaghetti squash (yields about 4-5 c. cooked threads)

4 slices bacon, chopped fine

3 oz. chopped onion

1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Dash salt

¼ tsp. pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Cut a large spaghetti squash in half.  Remove seeds with a spoon and discard them. Place one half of the squash face down in glass baking dish, reserving the second half for some other use.  Surround with with ½” water and microwave 13-15 minutes.  Drain off water, invert, remove/discard seeds (or feed to the birds in your yard 🙂 ) and fork out the threads into the same dish.  If you prefer to roast your squash:  after you cut and seed the squash, add 2 cups water (1/2 inch deep) to a ceramic casserole dish; add squash face up and place in a 375 degree F oven for 45 minutes.  Then cover for 10 minutes with foil.  Fork out the threads onto a plate. Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet, brown bacon bits and onion until bacon is done and onion is tender.   Sprinkle salt, pepper and Parmesan on top of squash.  Then spoon into the empty squash shell.  Spread onion/bacon mixture evenly on top.  Microwave 5 minutes on high, or bake in oven at 350º for 20 more minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Makes 4 servings each containing:

107 cals, 6.7 g fat, 4.8 g carbs, 0.8 g fiber, 4 g NET CARBS, 7.1 g protein, 429 mg sodium

Spicy Boursin Chicken

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A little Boursin cheese (also known as Gournay), salsa and the right spices mixed with chicken (or fish) creates a wonderful combo.  We both really liked this new creation!  This dish is quite rich, so one bundle is all I could eat. This recipe is quite suitable for Induction.  Calories can be reduced doing this with fish filets rather than chicken.  This dish freezes well, too!

INGREDIENTS:

16 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into six portions (or mild fish filets)

12 oz. frozen chopped spinach

3 oz. red bell pepper, finely chopped

3 T. Herdez canned “hot” red salsa, drained solids only (drained RoTel will also work)

5 oz. package Boursin Cheese with garlic and herbs

¼ tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2009/08/20/my-seafood-spice-blend/

Dash black pepper

Available in the specialty cheese bin at Walmart and other grocery stores.

3 T. melted butter

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º.  Defrost and squeeze the frozen spinach to remove water and set aside, allowing it to continue draining in a colander or sieve while you prepare the chicken.  Diagonally slice the chicken into 6 thin filets.  Place plastic wrap on top and pound chicken quite thin (without tearing apart) using a mallet.   Now place the spinach in a mixing bowl and add in the Boursin cheese, bell pepper, salsa and black pepper.   Stir well to blend ingredients.  Spoon evenly onto the center of the 6 flattened pieces of chicken and fold the meat over the top.  Place seam side down in baking dish.  Sprinkle well with the spice blend and with a brush, baste each bundle with melted butter.  Pop into hot oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until meat is golden brown (fish will cook faster, say in about 20 minutes). Spinach/cheese mixture will spill out of the bundles, but not in a messy way, as you can see in the pic above.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 6 servings, each contains:

323 cals, 27.3 g fat, 4.48 g carbs, 2.05 g fiber, 2.43 g NET CARBS, 26.5 g protein, 580 mg sodium

Lebanese Baked Chicken (Frarej)

Lebanese Baked Chicken

This recipe has been one of my most popular and most visited recipes.  Our best friends in Dallas have taken us several times to a wonderful little Lebanese restaurant over in Ft. Worth named Hedary’s.  Family-operated for many years, I can say their tabouleh  salad and kebabs are to die for!  So is their slow-roasted baked lemon chicken known as Frarej.  For those tables positioned close enough to do so, they used to serve their fresh-baked pita bread all the way from behind the counter on long, paddled poles.   Don’t know if they still do that, but is sure was fun to watch!  Next time you’re in Ft. Worth, give Hedary’s a try!  But in the meantime…………………..experience their delicious baked chicken at home!  This Induction friendly version of their ever-popular lemony chicken dish is slightly changed.  The original dish has potato wedges, so I always substitute rutabaga or turnip wedges to keep the carbs reasonably low.  I did not include the root vegetables in the nutritional info below as I don’t always include them in the pan.  I tend to vary the vegetables I use based on what I have on hand.  So be sure to calculate the veggies you add (and consume) over and above what I consider to be the base recipe of onion, garlic and tomatoes.  If you have family that are not on Atkins, I would definitely use a few wedges of potato for them, as they soak up those tasty pan juices like a sponge and are sooooooo tasty.

My rendition is very close to the inspirational dish from Hedary’s, though I must confess, not QUITE as good.  This meal is easy to prepare and the oven basically does the work for you!  Gives a whole new meaning to “Set it & forget it”.  🙂

INGREDIENTS:

4 T. olive oil

1 cut up whole chicken or 8 pieces

4 oz. onion cut into wedges (separate layers)

2 Roma tomatoes cut into wedges

6-10 cloves garlic, (leave half of them whole, mince the rest)

½ tsp. oregano

Juice of 1 lemon

Dash salt and pepper

OPTIONAL: Carrots and wedges of rutabaga or turnips (for non-low-carbers, potato wedges)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 500º.  Cut up chicken into separate pieces making 8 pieces in all.   I never use the back as I simmer that for broth to freeze for other purposes or it becomes dinner for my dogs.  🙂  Drizzle 1 T. of the olive oil on the bottom of a very large baking/roasting pan (I use a 12 x 15 stainless steel metal pan).   I do not recommend glass/ceramic ware for such high temperature cooking.  If you don’t yet have a really large, good quality stainless steel roasting pan, I think it is one of the single most important investments you can make in your cooking tools.  Place chicken skin side up  in the pan.  You don’t want any overlapping or crowding.  I do not recommend using a glass or ceramic baking dish at the very high temperature called for in this recipe.  Glass can be unpredictable, can even break, above 450º.  Crowding of this chicken and the surrounding veggies will result in deeper pan juices around them and that will impede crisping of the chicken.  Place tomato wedges around and in between chicken pieces.  Do the same with the onion pieces and add the garlic.  If using the root vegetables, cut them up and place them evenly around the chicken.  Squeeze the lemon over everything in the pan.  Drizzle remaining olive oil over the pan contents as well.   Lightly sprinkle some oregano over all (about 1/4-½ tsp, I don’t measure it).   Bake 30 minutes at 500º.  Baste with pan juices, lower heat to 350º and bake another 20 minutes or to internal temperature of 170º on a meat thermometer.   Baste with pan juices just before serving if desired.  I like to place the juices in a gravy boat and have it on the table for basting the drier breast meat.  If there are any juices leftover, I freeze them and add them to the bottom of the pan next time I make this recipe (which is often!).  I like to serve this with a Tabouleh parsley salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: (does NOT include the optional potato, turnips or carrots).
Please note, these numbers are only approximate, because the actual counts will vary depending on which pieces of chicken and which roasted veggies you eat.

Serves 4, each 2-piece serving contains:

447 cals, 30.4 g fat, 7.98 g carbs, 1.1 g fiber, 6.88 g NET CARBS, 34.8 g protein, 39 mg. sodium

Pork in Queso Flameado Sauce

Pork in Queso Flameado

If you’ve ever ordered the appetizer Queso Flameado in a Mexican restaurant, it’s a flavor you won’t soon forget. It’s a thick melted cheese fondu with chorizo crumbled in it served with flour tortillas to roll it up in. It is sooo good!  Well, this new dish I created takes that dish to the entree level.  If you love Mexican food, you’ve GOT to try this dish!  It has been one of my more popular recipes!  My husband just loved it, as did I!   This dish also sports some very impressive nutritional numbers below, so it’s a keeper in my book.  It is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Ketogenic diets.

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 brings you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your set TODAY! (available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. pork loin, cut into 4 portions

1 link chorizo, removed from the skin and crumbled

2 T. unsalted butter

4 large green onions, chopped

1/2 c. red bell pepper, chopped

1 c. cilantro, chopped

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. water

6 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded (or more if you can afford the carbs)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Pound the 4 pieces of pork with a meat tenderizer.  Melt butter in large skillet over high heat.  Brown pork on both sides until nearly done.  Remove.  Add crumbled chorizo and brown, crumbling as small as you can as it cooks.   Add the green onions, bell pepper and saute until they are tender.  Lower heat to medium low and add cream, water and cilantro.  Simmer a couple minutes to reduce a bit. Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce and lay pork on top.  Pop into preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly and the meat appear to be done.  Serve 1/4 of the sauce over each portion of meat.  This pairs nicely with mashed cauliflower or a nice guacamole salad alongside.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

567 cals., 45g fat, 4.35g carbs, 1.15g fiber, 3.2g NET CARBS, 36g protein, 654 mg sodium

Einkorn RWS Biscuits

Einkorn Resistant Wheat Starch Biscuits

Einkorn RWS Biscuits

These biscuits are the best I’ve made in 12 years of low-carb biscuit experiments.  So often low-carb biscuits are either dry, hard as a rock, crumbly, taste like baking soda or powder, are too cheesy, too coconut-y…….in other words, mediocre.  Well, I’ve finally gotten one that even my husband says tastes (and feels) just like a real flour biscuit in his mouth.  Not crumbly, browned nicely, soft, smooth-textured and no odd aftertaste of leavening on your tongue!  🙂  Einkorn flour is ancient grain wheat that is not modified like modern wheat).  I think the Einkorn and the Resistant Wheat Starch (RWS) are what make this recipe stand out amongst my others.  These biscuits are not suitable until you are near goal weight as there is a little real flour product in them. Wait until later in Phase 2

If you prefer a biscuit without wheat flour and with a much lower carb count, you will want to check out my Peggy’s Fluffy Biscuits.  They’re yummy. too!

Panful of Deliciousness!

A pan of sheer delicious!

INGREDIENTS:  (all are available at Netrition.com)

2 c. my Einkorn Bake Mix

½ c. shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

2 large eggs, beaten

4 T. Resistant Wheat Starch 75

¼ c. cream

about ¼ c. water, added last and slowly

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Place parchment or a silicone sheet on your baking pan and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, measure out 2 c. my bake mix.  Though it helps to let the mix come to room temp, you still need to rework shortening lumps with a fork until the mix is again the texture of cornmeal.  Add all remaining ingredients but the water and stir well.  Add water slowly but only enough to form a thick dough.  Let dough sit on counter 2-3 minutes to set up a bit.  Dip up 7 equal portions (about ½ c. batter each), form into balls and set them on pan spaced evenly.  Slightly press to a height of 1″  (2″ in diameter).    Pop pan into 350º oven for 15-17 minutes or until dry to touch in center and lightly browned.  These rise up nicely.   🙂  Serve hot with butter and your favorite jams.  Leftovers should keep nicely for a week in the fridge in a ziploc bag or in the freezer for a month.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 7 large biscuits.  Each one contains:

283 calories, 23.11 g  fat, 11.82 g  carbs,  4.62 g  fiber, 7.2 g  NET CARBS, 12.11 g  protein, 190 mg sodium

Chicken Florentine

Chicken Florentine

This has, over time, become one of the most popular recipes on my website.  Sometimes we food bloggers get so wrapped up in creating new dishes, we can easily get lost and forget some of the old favorites and need to be reminded of them from time to time.  I’m making this again tonight, so I thought I’d share it with my newer followers that may not have seen this one. This recipe takes a mere 20-30 minutes to pull together.  It’s amazingly tasty and worth every one of those minutes.  So attractive on the platter, too!  And better yet, it’s Induction friendly!  The creamy spinach-mushroom topping compliments the seared chicken so nicely and is also good on seared salmon!  If in Atkins OWL Phase 2, adding 2 T. white wine to the spinach mixture is very, very good!  🙂

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INGREDIENTS:

3 large chicken breasts, deboned and skinned (I used 30 oz.)

1 T. unsalted butter

½ lb. fresh mushrooms sliced thick

1 clove minced garlic

Pinch salt and pepper

6 oz. fresh spinach (3-4 oz. if using frozen)

1/3 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. chicken broth

3 T. grated Parmesan

2 T. white wine (optional)

Pinch xanthan gum (if needed to thicken)

DIRECTIONS:  If using frozen spinach, cook in water as directed on package in a saucepan and drain well.  Set aside.  Now slice each chicken breast diagonally into 3-4 thinner slices to speed up cooking.  Melt butter in non-stick skillet and sauté the chicken slices or “filets”, as I call them,  until lightly browned and thoroughly cooked (medium-high heat).  This won’t take long at all, which is precisely why I like to slice them.  Remove chicken to serving platter.  Add mushrooms to the same skillet and sauté until done.   Add fresh spinach and garlic.   Sauté until spinach is wilted.  Lower heat and add cream, broth, wine and cheese to spinach/mushroom mixture in skillet.  Add pinch of salt and pepper.  Lightly dust with xanthan gum 2-3 times, stirring between each addition to slightly thicken sauce.   Pour sauce over chicken.  Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley if desired.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings each with:

436 cals., 23 g fat, 6.8 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 4.8 g NET CARBS, 49 g protein, 200 mg sodium

Jack Snacks

Jack Snacks (2)

Starting a low-carb diet?  Bet you’re wondering what YOU can snack on when the rest of the family is enjoying verboten foods.  Well this recipe, if you can call it a recipe, is one solution.  It’s suitable for Atkins Induction Phase, Keto diets and even Primal followers that eat occasional cheese.  Takes just minutes to make and bake!  This is now my #1 recipe in popularity, having garnered well over 30,000,000 fans in 2015 alone on Facebook, blowing my Lebanese Baked Chicken (my former #1 recipe) right out of the water. 🙂

And if you seed the jalapeno, like I did, these were not even all that hot (I don’t like real hot/spicy foods).  Leave the seeds in if you like to spice things up!  These are delicious and so low-cal/low-carb you could eat the entire batch if you were so inclined!  The hubs and I split this batch equally and we both loved these!  Now, to be quite honest, I’ve also just melted plain old pepper-jack cheese before, but these really are better for some reason.  Maybe the cheese is better; maybe the fresh pepper is just better.  All I know is these are much better than just melting jack cheese!  🙂  Some have asked, and if you try to save some and reheat, you better really watch them closely, as they are inclined to burn when reheated.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

1 medium fresh jalapeno, sliced real thin

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Place a sheet of parchment paper on a metal cookie sheet.  DO NOT use a silicone/silpat sheet, waxed paper or foil (unless it’s the special non-stick foil) to bake these or they will not cook properly.  Using a tablespoon, scoop up 1 T. of cheese and make a small pile on the parchment.  Press it slightly flat.  Repeat 15 more times. Place a slice of jalapeno on top of each pile.  Pop into 350º oven for about 10-12 minutes.  I would recommend browning them a wee bit more than shown in the photo for a firmer snack to serve at parties.  These are somewhat pliable if under browned. Allow them to completely cool and fully firm up before removing from the pan for best results. 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 16, each contains:

25.5 cals, 2.13 g fat, 0.10g carbs, 0.02g fiber, 0.08g NET CARBS, 1.63g protein, 60 mg sodium

Mexicali Spaghetti Squash

I created this dish while on Weight Watchers years ago.   Spaghetti squash is a bit “carb pricey”, so plan your day’s meals to be sure this will fit in without pushing you over on your net carb limitation for the day.

This recipe will serve 2 adults.  This is pretty baked in the squash shell as a “bowl”, but if that tears up after cooking the squash in the first step, just butter a glass baking dish instead and bake the filling like a regular casserole.  This recipe is  OK for Atkins Induction, Keto diets and Primal.  Omit the cheese if doing Paleo.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. spaghetti squash threads (half of 1 lb. squash’s yield)

3 oz. chopped onion

3 oz. chopped bell pepper (any color)

1 lg. plum tomato, chopped

1 clove minced garlic

2 T. chopped cilantro (optional)

½ tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. ground cumin

4 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated

8 oz. ground beef

dash pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Cooking the squash:

Using large kitchen knife cut squash in half lengthwise.  Wrap one half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for some other use.  Place the other half, cut side down, in a microwave proof baking dish.  Add ½ c. water to the pan.  Microwave on HI for 12-14 minutes or conventional 350º oven for about 30 minutes.  Outer skin will begin to give when touched when the squash is done.  Take out of microwave and pour off water.  Turn squash over and using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard.  With the tines of a fork, strip out the squash “threads” into a bowl.    Try not to tear the squash shell, as you are going to use this shell as a baking “dish”.  If it tears up, discard and use a greased glass dish instead.

Making the filling:

Brown ground beef in non-stick pan over medium heat. It will probably produce enough grease on its own to continue, add a little if not.   Add onion and bell pepper and sauté until they begin to get soft.  Add garlic, tomato and all seasonings. Continue to cook until vegetables are tender.  Pour over squash threads in the bowl, add ¾ of the cheese and stir to mix all ingredients well.  Spoon mixture into the squash shell.  Top with the bit of reserved cheese.   Place back into pan you originally used to bake the squash.

Bake about 3-4 minutes in a microwave on HI; or bake 15-20 minutes in 350º conventional oven.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 2, each serving contains:

573 cals, 38g fat, 15.35g carbs, 2.85g fiber, 12.5g NET CARBS, 43g protein, 900 mg. sodium

Oven-Fried Chicken (KFC style)

photocat

This Induction friendly recipe is one of the many low-carb ways I like to bake chicken now. I haven’t made this in ages and plan on doing so tonight.  This recipe reminds me a little of the KFC Chicken “original recipe” with all the herbs and spices.  Cooking chicken in crushed pork rinds is actually not that unique in the low-carb community.  But I wanted to re-post it for those NEW to my site.  The flavor of this chicken coating changes depending on what spices you use.  For those not so fond of pork rinds, the Parmesan and spices are pretty much in the “driver’s seat” flavor-wise in this dish.  🙂

INGREDIENTS:

3 chicken thighs

3 chicken drumsticks

1/4 c. unsalted butter (or you can use homemade mayonnaise)

½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

2 T. Ranch dressing powder, my Ranch Dressing Powder Blend recipe, an on-line KCF spice recipe, or my Seafood Spice Blend

2 T. parsley, chopped very fine

1/8 tsp. black pepper

¼ c. finely crushed plain pork rinds

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º. Melt butter in microwaveable bowl.  In a separate container, mix all dry ingredients.  Dip each piece of chicken into butter, rolling to completely cover.  Then roll in the dry coating mix to cover on all sides.  Place directly on metal baking pan or on foil covered baking sheet.  DO NOT USE A SILICONE SHEET OR IT WILL INHIBIT BROWNING AND CRISPNESS.  Bake at 350º for 1 hour.  If exceptionally large thighs, check for doneness with a knife, right next to the bone.  Add more cooking time if needed.  Serve at once with your favorite side dishes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 3 servings, each contains:

579 cals, 40.7g fat, 1.4g carbs, 0.07g fiber, 1.33g NET CARBS, 47g protein, 500-1000 mg sodium (depending on spice blend sodium level)

Dumpling Lasagna

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QUICK & DELICIOUS!

When you have just 1 cup of delicious spaghetti meat sauce leftover, give it a whirl on my delicious dumplings for a quick lunch for 1-2 people.  Man, is this ever delicious!!!  When I first created this one, I felt like I was eating real gnocchi or noodle layers!!   This has made my regular recipe rotations and has since hopped right on up to the top of that list!  It has been extremely popular with my Facebook fans in the past (I’m no longer on FB).  Although I made the dumpling dough in small round dumplings, it tasted like I was eating flat lasagne noodles with each delicious bite.  The dumplings held up well in the sauce and did not break down during the baking process (I thought they might).  This is  sooooooo good you need to try it soon!  This is suitable once you reach the Atkins Phase 2 OWL, and OK for Keto dieters.  It would not be appropriate for Primal or Paleo followers due to the dairy.

INGREDIENTS:

(pot of simmering water to make dumplings)

1 recipe my glucomanan Dumplings

1 c. my meaty Spaghetti Sauce (or low-carb Italian meat sauce of your choosing)

½ c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

¼ c. ricotta cheese

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Mix up the dumplings per that recipe’s instructions.  Form the dough into 24 small balls about 3/4″ in diameter.  Drop into boiling water and lower to a gentle simmer, cover and simmer for 8-9 minutes, DO NOT LIFT THE LID during cooking.   Drain off the water and pour the dumplings into a baking dish (no need to grease it).  Dot evenly with your spaghetti sauce.   Dot evenly with the ricotta.  Sprinkle the mozzarella over the top evenly and finally, top with the Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350º for about 15 minutes to heat all and melt the cheese.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:

286 cals, 18.7g fat, 13.93g carbs, 6.76g fiber, 7.17g NET CARBS, 21.03g protein, 451 mg sodium

Zuppa Toscana

Creamy Italian Sausage SoupThis soup is similar to Zuppa Toscana at Olive Garden restaurants, but mine has diced cauliflower standing in for potatoes.  I tend to use ground pork rather than Italian sausage, as I can control spices and salt doing that.  You just need to add oregano, fennel and garlic really.  But you can certainly substitute in commercial Italian sausage if you prefer for convenience.  It will almost DOUBLE the sodium and increase carbs though.   Just be aware of that.  This soups is delicious and we both gave it a resounding thumbs up.  It will make the rounds at our house. 🙂

VARIATIONS:  Substitute 1/2 c. chopped parsley for the kale; substitute diced rutabaga for the cauliflower.

INGREDIENTS:

6 slices bacon, cut into 3/4″ bits

12 oz.  lean ground pork, coarsely broken up to 1/2″ chunks

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1½ c. coarsely chopped kale (about 3 leaves after stemming)

3 oz. cauliflower, diced to ½”-3/4″ pieces

1 oz. pimiento (half a 2 oz. jar)

3 large mushrooms, sliced or cut however you like

4 c. homemade chicken broth (32 oz.)

1 c. water

1 c. heavy cream

Dash black pepper

Dash crushed red pepper

3-4 drops Tobasco hot sauce

¼ tsp. dried oregano leaves

½ tsp. fennel seed, crushed

DIRECTIONS:  In a large Dutch oven or soup pot over high heat, cook the bacon.  Add the pork, onion and garlic and sauté until meat is no longer pink.  Lower heat to medium.  Add all remaining ingredients but the cream.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Add cream and simmer 5 more minutes.  Thicken with xanthan or gum if desired.   Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes six 1-1¼c. servings, each contains:

356 cals, 30.5g fat, 5.51g carbs, 1.08g fiber, 4.43g NET CARBS, 15.6g protein, 865 mg sodium

Creamy Broccoli and Mushrooms

CreamyBroccoli & Mushrooms

This dish is a variation on a broccoli dip a friend of many years often served at parties.  I didn’t chop my broccoli as fine as she did, and there was no cheese in her dip.  Mine instead is made with a delicious low-carb soup.  The flavor was so memorable I decided to try and reproduce it as a vegetable side dish today.  It came out delicious!  Just as good as her dip, maybe even better with my addition of cheese!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets but not acceptable for Primal or Paleo.

VARIATIONS:  Add 1 c. cooked leftover chicken or 1 cup cooked shrimp for a complete meal.  Substitute fresh cooked green beans for the broccoli.

INGREDIENTS:

½ bunch broccoli, stems and flowerettes cut into medium chunks (about 3 cups)

1 oz. onion, chopped

6 large mushrooms, sliced (or a 4-oz can sliced mushrooms, drained)

1 T. olive oil

½ recipe Jennifer Eloff’s low-carb Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

½ c. shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

¼ c. heavy cream

Dash black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Lightly grease a medium casserole or vegetable dish and set aside. Make a recipe of the mushroom soup.  You will only use half of it for this recipe.  The remaining soup should be reserved for some other use.  It will keep a week in the refrigerator.  Chop and steam the broccoli over water or in your microwave just until tender crisp.  Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and brown the onion and mushrooms until nearly tender.   Turn off heat.    Toss the broccoli into the skillet and toss lightly.  Stir the cream into the soup mixture and blend well.   Spoon it over the broccoli-mushroom mixture, add the cheese and stir gently with a spoon to mix. Sprinkle with black pepper and bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 4 servings, each contains: (does not include optional meat)

215.5 cals, 18.35g fat, 7g carbs, 2.22g fiber, 4.78g NET CARBS, 6.45g protein, 348 mg sodium

Almond-Arrowroot Crackers

Click to enlarge

Some time ago I came across a Crispy & Flaky Gluten-Free Thin (Pizza) Crust recipe by Brittany Angell on RealSustenance.com that looked intriguing.  I decided to adapt it to create what has become the BEST cracker recipe for me to date.  Making a batch today, so thought I’d re-post for new blog visitors.  This cracker is so good, I’ve now made this recipe dozens of times.  Good by themselves or with toppings and dips!  Even my non-low-carb husband likes these!  I think the magic here is the arrowroot and oat fiber, so I don’t recommend omitting or substituting for those two ingredients lest you end up with a totally different result.

Let me say up front, my method for making the crackers does not read at all like the original recipe, but it sure produces a crisp cracker that STAYS crisp for days and days!   I changed amounts of come ingredients, added a couple things and definitely spiced them up a bit!  Those changes and additions are noted below in blue, including the oven temperature.  I also added a bit of oat fiber for a flour-y flavor, crunch and fiber.

This recipe is not suitable for Induction due to the oat fiber and arrowroot flour.  It isn’t suitable for Primal-Paleo unless you omit the oat fiber and cheese.  This is a really BIG recipe that makes two full sheet pans of 48 crackers each.  Half the recipe if you do not want that many (tasting them will change your mind next time 🙂 ).  That said, they do keep well and stay crisp in a loose-lidded ceramic canister on my counter for 2 weeks or so.  That’s much better than any of my other cracker recipes keep for me.

You can also make round crackers that are slightly thicker but just as crisp (a bit more trouble though).  Using 1 level tsp. dough per round cracker, I only got 66 round crackers.  I show numbers below for the round version also.

Round version made in silicone muffin molds/liners

Round version made in silicone muffin molds/liners

VARIATION:   Omit the black pepper and add 1-2 T. of my 8-Seed Spice blend instead.

INGREDIENTS:

3 c. lightly packed almond flour (weighed out it was 11 oz. (311.8 grams)

4 T. arrowroot flour/powder

2/3 c. flax meal (I use a 50:50 mix of dark & golden)

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. sea salt

1 T. onion powder

1-2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper (I use 2 tsp.)

2 T. oat fiber  (omit for gluten-free version)

¼ c. grated Parmesan Cheese

3/4 c. warm tap water

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:  Line two large sheet pans (mine are 11½ x 17) with parchment.  I use plastic gloves to press crackers into my pans, or sometimes I cut a third piece or parchment, lay it on top and roll out the dough that way, using my gloved fingers to finish off the edges evenly.  The key is to get the cracker dough thin and even in the pan.  Thicker areas  don’t cook well; thinner areas will burn quickly.

Preheat oven to 350º.  Stir the warm water and olive oil together in a small glass to mix well.  Measure out all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.   Stir well with a fork.  Add the water-oil mixture to the dry ingredients and blend with the fork to form a solid ball of dough.  I form the dough right in the bowl into in a log shape and cut in half to divide it equally.  Crumble half the mixture onto each parchment-lined pan.  Roll the dough or, wearing plastic gloves, press the dough in the first pan evenly and all the way to the edges.  It will be very thin, and I always think it isn’t going to make it, but half the dough WILL reach the edge of the pan.  I like to roll the surface with a straight-sided glass I own.  If rolling with a rolling pin or straight glass, cover crumbles with parchment and roll as evenly as possible all the way to the edges of the pan.  You’ll likely have to finish the edges with your fingers (use a piece of plastic wrap if need be).  With a large chef’s knife, score the rolled dough into rows of crackers 6 x 8 (48 crackers).  Repeat this process with the second pan of crackers.

To make round crackers, use silicone muffin pans or silicone cupcake liners.  You can also use paper liners in a metal muffin pan.  Measure 1 level teaspoon of dough into each mold and press down evenly with a your fingers (I use plastic glove to do this to avoid dough sticking to me). Set silicone muffin pans and/or molds onto metal sheet pans for support. Pop the pans into the preheated 350º oven and bake for for about 20-22 minutes.  Ovens vary, so start watching them at 18 minutes.  Do not over brown!  I recommend removing those around the edges as soon as they begin to brown and those on the outside are inclined to burn. When all have browned, remove, cool 1-2 minutes, re-score with the chef’s knife and then let them cool completely before eating.  These are not tasty hot in my opinion.  The flavor develops when they have cooled.

Break apart and enjoy plain, with butter, cheese spreads (I’m addicted to them with chive & onion cream cheese) or your favorite hard cheeses and meats!  Store remainders in a plastic zip bag or any canister of your choosing.  I just use a ceramic cookie jar on my counter.  These stay crisp for around 2 weeks.  Mine get eaten within 2 weeks, so I honestly don’t know if they would keep longer or not.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 96 square crackers, each cracker contains:

28.4 calories, 2.38 g  fat, 1.32 g  carbs, 0.68 g  fiber, 0.64 g  NET CARBS, 0.97 g  protein, 37 mg sodium

NOTE:  If you make round crackers pressed into silicone muffin molds/cups you will only get 66 crackers, using 1 level tsp. dough per cracker.  Each round crackers will contain 41.3 calories, 3.46 g  fat, 1.91 g  carbs, 0.98 g  fiber, 0.93 g  net carbs, 1.41 g protein and 54 mg sodium

Chicken Scallopini

Chicken Scallopini

Chicken Scallopini

This is a recipe I’ve been cooking for many years now.  It’s truly Atkins OWL friendly without a single modification.  It’s rich, but I love this one every once in awhile.  Vermouth has a distinctive flavor, but if you don’t have it, you could use an equal amount of dry white wine instead.  This will, however, greatly impact the final flavor.  This is real easy to put together yet it really delivers on flavor!  If you omit the vermouth/wine, this is suitable during Induction.

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INGREDIENTS:

4  4-oz skinless, boneless pieces chicken breast

1 ½ T. olive oil

8 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

¼ c. chopped parsley

½ tsp. dried tarragon

1/3 c. heavy cream

3 T. dry vermouth or white wine (omit if on Induction)

Dash Salt & Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:  Pound chicken breasts between two pieces waxed paper until flattened to about ¼” thickness.  Lightly salt and pepper.  In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 T. of the oil and sear chicken until lightly browned on both sides.  Just cook until done (no pink juice exuding).   Remove to a platter and cover with plate or foil to keep warm.

Add remaining olive oil to skillet and saute mushrooms, stirring occasionally  until lightly browned and done, about 5 minutes.  Lower heat and add vermouth, cream, tarragon, parsley and deglaze any brown bits off bottom of pan.  Pour mushroom cream sauce over chicken.  Decorate with a sprig of parsley or a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 4, each serving containing:

368 calories

21.43 g  fat

4.25 g  carbs, 1.0 g  fiber,3.25 NET CARBS

36.88 g  protein

39 mg. sodium

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pretty much my favorite pancake recipe now.  I took my Fluffy Pancakes recipe to a whole new level when I added some pumpkin and cinnamon.  Man, oh, man, are these ever good!  Light, fluffy and very moist.  Not grainy or dry like a lot of low-carb pancakes.  My husband said these are one of the very best pancakes he’s eaten since we started eating low-carb.  He likened them to commercial Bryce’s Sweet Potato Pancake Mix we bought years ago, but mine have no real sugar, flour or other junk ingredients.  🙂  These are not suitable until the grains rung of the Atkins Phase 2 OWL carb reintroduction ladder.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 c. pumpkin puree

3 large eggs, beaten

¼ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 pkt. Sweet Leaf stevia

½ c. Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten-Free Bake Mix

½ c. Carbquik (or more of the above mix if you require gluten free)

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. oat fiber (omit for gluten-free)

1 T. flax meal

Dash salt

¼-½ tsp. cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:   Measure out the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl.  Stir well.  Beat in the eggs, pumpkin, cream, water and vanilla.  Beat to blend into a smooth batter.  Add 1-2 T. more water if batter is too thick. Using a 1/3 c. measuring cup, dip batter onto oiled hot griddle over medium-high heat.  Spread with the back of the cup to a 5″ circle. Brown on first side, but allow them undisturbed to firm up and you see holes almost beginning to appear on the surface before attempting to flip.    Brown on the second side to your liking and serve at once with butter and maple syrup. ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes seven 5″ pancakes, each contains:

127 cals, 10.2g fat, 10.13g carbs, 5.97g fiber, 5.29g NET CARBS, 8.64g protein, 216 mg sodium

Montreal Baked Chicken

Montreal Baked ChickenThis Induction friendly recipe is super easy…..super good!  It has been one of the more popular posts on my blog.  The secret to the crisp skin is to bake at high heat to start, then lower.  This recipe is Induction friendly and I’m proud to say is also appears in Jennifer Eloff’s Low Carbing Among Friends, Vol. 2.  This cookbook series (Vols. 6 & 7) is a wonderful collection of original recipes by some of the most talented low-carb cooks on the net!  Whether you’re a sweet person or a savory fan (like me) you’ll want to grab a set of these cookbooks at Amazon or here to add to your low-carb kitchen arsenal.  This recipe is also suitable for Keto followers, Primal and Paleo as well.  🙂

VARIATION:  A pinch of garlic powder and 1-2 T. Parmesan added to this is very good!

INGREDIENTS:

1 whole chicken cut up (I pull out the back, neck and fat to make chicken stock)

1 recipe my Montreal BBQ Sauce

DIRECTIONS:   Cut up the chicken (I cut breasts in half, remove back, making 10 pieces) and place pieces in a zipper plastic gallon bag.  Mix up the marinade and add to bag.  Manipulate well with your hands and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.  When ready to cook Preheat oven to 475º.  Place pieces of chicken on metal baking pan large enough the pieces don’t overlap, for best browning.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove and baste with juices in the pan.  Lower heat to 350º and continue baking for 20-30 minutes.  Time will vary due to size of chicken pieces and ovens vary.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 10 meaty pieces or 5 servings.  It would be impossible for me to calculate the exact figures for a serving because that depends upon the pieces of chicken eaten.  But to give you a rough idea, each 2-piece serving will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 393 calories, 28 g  fat, .26 g carbs, .1 g fiber, .16 g net carbs, 33.12 g  protein, 642 mg sodium.  Basically, take the nutritional info for the particular piece of chicken and add in the nutritional info for 1T. of the sauce (.16 net carbs) shown on that recipe.

Pecan Tassies

 Pecan Tassies

I’m not doing sweets currently, but as I haven’t made my husband anything sweet in ages, thought I’d make him some good old fashioned Pecan Tassies this afternoon.  This is basically my classic Pecan Pie recipe low-carbed and slightly modified for the miniature version.  They are so good.  The crust absorbs some of the liquid in the filling, so it is not as crusty as when used for other pies.  These almost seem like a pecan cookie bar to me.  These are not suitable for Induction.

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe my Tart Crust

3 eggs, beaten

1 c. granular Splenda (or other sweetener to equal 1 c. sugar)

1 tsp. vanilla

2 T. butter, melted

1 c. sugar-free maple syrup

1½ c. coarsely chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Make Tart Crust recipe per that recipe’s instructions.  Divide dough amongst 12 mini muffin cups.  Using plastic glove, carefully press dough onto bottom and sides of greased muffin cups.  However, bake for only 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Now beat eggs in a bowl.  Add melted butter and all filling ingredients and nuts.  Using small measuring cup, fill mini crusts just shy of the top edge.   Pop back into oven and continue to bake for about 30 minutes or until filing is done to the touch.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 12 tassies, each containing:

273 calories, 23.8 g  fat, 10.5 g  carbs, 6.0 g  fiber, 4.5 g  NET CARBS, 9.1 g  protein, 98 mg sodium

Oven-Fried Summer Squash

fried sauzh

This dish is one of the most popular recipes on my website with over 13,000 fans now.  It is super easy to make and super good!  No standing over a skillet of hot grease either!  So good, it was impossible to refrain from having a second serving!  🙂  This recipe works with yellow squash, green zuccini or the Mexican calaba squash that looks like lighter green zucchini.  Some call it Mexican zucchini.  Calaba has less water content that its darker green “cousin” and is very nice for baking because of this quality.  The flesh inside is a wee bit yellowish, but the flavor I cannot detect as different from the darker green zucchini.  The inside gets fully cooked in 20 minutes without par-boiling first.  The pork rinds make it crunchy on the outside and will satisfy your desire for crunchy, fried food.  This dish is Atkins Induction friendly.  This coating works nicely on a variety of other vegetables as well.  Put your experimenting hat on and have fun!  So far I’ve used the coating/method on pkra, onion rings, and eggplant with consistent success.  coating.

DO NOT USE A SILICONE SHEET to bake this squash or it will not brown properly.  Bake them directly on a non-stick or lightly oiled metal pan. 

INGREDIENTS:

16 oz. zucchini, calaba (its cousin) or yellow squash

2 oz. pork rinds, plain, finely crushed

1/3 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend

6 T. my Homemade Mayonnaise

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 450º.  Crush rinds and add spice blend on a paper plate or saucer and mix well.  Dip out mayo onto another paper plate or saucer.  Cut stems and bottom tip off squash and cut into ¼” slices lengthwise.  Lay the squash slices on paper towels.  After 15 minutes or so, blot off all water they bleed with dry paper towels. When they are no longer bleeding their water, holding the very tip of each piece with one  hand, with a basting brush in your other hand, baste both sides of the squash slices with a coating of mayo.  Set brush down and  with your now free hand, sprinkle rinds on both sides of the squash and then place on a non-stick sheet pan.  Repeat for each piece.  I’ll tell ya up front, if you just dip these babies down into the rinds (more will stick on) you ARE going to run out of rinds before you’ve coated all the squash.  Been there; done that;  🙂   So trust me on this one…….just sprinkle it onto each side, letting the excess fall back into the plate and you should have enough for the entire batch.  Place each coated piece of squash on a lightly oiled metal pan. Pop into a 450º oven for 20 minutes or until nice and brown.  No need to turn during baking as the bottoms get nicely browned where they touch the pan. ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

245.3 cals, 21.3g fat, 4.18g carbs, 1.25g fiber, 2.93g NET CARBS, 10.8g protein, 250 mg. sodium

Strawberry Chocolate Torte

Click to enlarge

I’m not a big sweets eater, as many of my readers and forum acquaintances know by now.  But my husband IS!  And since he’s Type 2 diabetic, I do try to fix him low-carb treats so he won’t go and buy the awful junk at the grocery store and bakery that is laden with flour and sugar.   This dessert I created for his Valentine’s Day treat some years back and thought I’d share it again since holidays are just around the corner.

The basic chocolate cake batter in this recipe is actually not my recipe.  My inspiration was a recipe posted by a wonderful cook on LowCarbFriends forums named Gwen, known there as “The Chicken Lady”.  This cake is a testimonial to her incredible cooking skills. I’m very pleased with this chocolate cake!  And I can’t say that about many low-carb chocolate cakes I’ve tried. Despite it looking sinfully rich, it was very light.   I have made no changes to her original cake recipe.  🙂

I did bake my cake in ONE 9″ round cake (wax-paper lined) cake pan that is unusually deep (2½”) and the cake rose nearly to the top!  It would bake OK in two standard shallow 9″ cake pans also, but reduce the cooking time if you make that pan change.  You’ll have more trouble slicing it into 4 layers, and might prefer to just do a two-layer final cake instead of three.  Or you could bake the cake in a wax-paper lined stew pot/dutch oven.  That has worked for me many a time.  This cake is not suitable until the berries rung of the Atkins OWL carb reintroduction ladder.  Due to the artificial sweeteners and dairy, this dessert is not be suitable for Paleo-Primal followers without considerable modification.

VARIATION:  Substitute raspberries for the strawberries.

This cake is fairly carb pricey, but if you can’t afford the carbs, you could cut it into 12 pieces.  That’s a wee bit better.  This should be considered a very special occasion treat because it IS so carb pricey.  Be sure if substituting other than liquid sweeteners, to add in those carbs!

CAKE INGREDIENTS: 

4 c. almond flour
liquid sweetener to equal 2 c. sugar
½ c. granular erythritol (or equivalent of 1/3 cup of sugar)
4 pkts. stevia (equivalent for 8 tsp. sugar)  
½ c. cup cocoa powder
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/3 c. butter or coconut oil, melted
4 eggs, beaten
1 c. sour cream

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

2½ c. heavy cream, whipped

Pinch (less than 1/16 tsp.) glucomannan powder, dusted over cream as you whip it (optional, to help firm up the whipped cream)

14 oz. frozen whole strawberries, thawed and drained of juice, chopped

1 c. fresh strawberries, chopped (or 1 c. more frozen berries, or use all fresh berries)

Sweetener of choice to taste

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º.   Mix and beat the wet cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl.   If your almond flour isn’t room temperature, make it so and press out any lumps.  Measure and add in all dry ingredients to the bowl and stir well. Line your cake pan(s) with waxed paper or parchment.  Grease the sides of the pan(s) well.  Pour batter into pan spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Tap pan on counter to eliminate air pockets and pop into 350º oven.  Bake for about 60 minutes if using one, very deep pan like I did.  If using two 1″ x 9″ round cake pans, they will cook much faster, in about 25-30 minutes or so.   Toothpick test the center.  It should come out clean and dry when the the cake is done.  Completely cool before attempting to tip cake out onto a board to cut it into layers.  This cake can also be made in a rectangular 9 x 13″ pan, cut in half and each half then sliced laterally to form 4 layers (reserve 1 layer for another use as you only need 3 layers for this cake).  All sorts of possibilities with that cake size.

While cake is in the oven, make the frosting:  Whip the cream until thick.  Run the berries through a food processor (or chop coarsely) for a few seconds, but leave them coarse.  Fold the berries into the whipped cream. Dust the pinch of glucomannan powder over the mixture slowly, folding after each addition, until all of it has been incorporated.  Taste for sweetness and add your favorite sweetener to taste.  Chill frosting until cake is totally cool.

Next cut the cake layers:  I sliced the completely cooled cake very carefully with a long-bladed knife, using a piece of cardboard covered with foil to gently slide each layer onto to set aside while I filled/frosted the final creation.  This cake has a firm texture and is not as crumbly as some almond flour cakes.  All good, but you still need to be careful, as even firm cakes can break.

Place about 1¼ c. of the frosting on the bottom layer of the cake.  Spread evenly with a rubber spatula, going almost to the edges.  Place the second layer of cake gently on the top and press slightly.  Put another 1¼ c. frosting on this layer and spread it out evenly.  Place the top cake layer on the stack, press slightly and spread all remaining frosting on the top and sides. OPTIONAL GARNISH:  Decorate the top of your cake with fresh strawberry slices, a few strawberry leaves  or perhaps a sliced and “fanned out” single strawberry at the center.  Chill in the refrigerator with plastic wrap on top until ready to cut and serve.

This cake was simply DELICIOUS and I will definitely be making it again!   My thanks to The Chicken Lady for her wonderful chocolate cake recipe.  It truly made my Valentines treat a success!

CONFESSION TIME:  The reason I used both frozen and fresh berries in the topping is I only had one 14 oz. bag of the frozen diced unsweetened berries in my freezer.  I thought that would make enough frosting.  But 1½ c. cream and those berries didn’t make enough frosting to frost the sides of the cake!  So I had to whip up a little more frosting real quick with another cup of cream and berries, so the last batch of frosting had to be made with the few fresh berries I had on hand.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 10 servings, using the sweeteners specified, each serving contains:

632 cals, 57.8 g fat, 20.4 g carbs, 7.05 g fiber, 13.35 g NET CARBS, 15.2 g protein, 521 mg sodium

Breakfast Sticks

Breakfast Sticks

Realized I hadn’t made one of my more popular recipes in quite some time this morning.  I resurrected this tasty ‘Top o’ the Morning’ treat today.  You can use the bottom of muffin cups for these (circle shape) or muffin-top pans (flatter shape) as well.  These are simply delicious!  Just the right amount of cheese to make them a bit creamy without it being overpowering.  These are suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal Blueprint as well.  Omit the cheese for Paleo adherence.  Below is a photo of the pan I used.  Although they still make it (BTW, it is rimmed in metal framing for support, which I really like), it is difficult to find on the internet.  You can make this recipe using muffin pans however.  I stumbled upon these two metal-rimmed Chicago Bakeware pans at my local Tuesday Morning store several years ago and snatched them up. 🙂  Other companies make similar pans:  http://www.amazon.com/Purple-Silicone-Sponge-Finger-Bakeware/dp/B00AFRALOS.

Bar Mold

This recipe has garnered more Facebook fans than any other recipe I have ever posted there.  Simply amazing!  Thanks to all my readers and fans for making the recipe go viral on its original posting.  When you try these, you’ll see why it went off the chart!  🙂    Capture

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. oil of choice

2 slices bacon, chopped

3 oz. breakfast sausage

2 large green onions, chopped

4 large eggs, beaten

1 oz. (¼ c.) shredded Monterrey Jack or Mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Oil your muffin/pan slots with oil using a brush and set aside.  Beat the eggs with the shredded cheese in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.  Using a non-stick skillet, brown the bacon. Add the sausage crumbled, stirring and cooking until it is no longer pink.  Add onion and saute just until onion begins to cook/wilt.  Remove from heat and cool 1-2 minutes.  Add the meat mixture to the egg mixture and beat together well with a spoon.  Using a ¼c. measuring cup, scoop up ¼ c. of the mixture into each of 8 slots.  Pop into preheated 350º oven for about 15-20 minutes (ovens do vary) until just set and barely beginning to brown on tops.  Remove from pans/slot with a knife tip and serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 Breakfast Sticks, each contains:

142.4 cals, 12.3g fat, 0.73g carbs, 0.16g fiber, 0.57g NET CARBS, 7.16g protein, 220 mg sodium

Chicken Chile Relleno Casserole

Chicken Chile Relleno Casserole

It’s what’s for dinner tonight.   We just love chiles rellenos, but I don’t like all the fuss of actually stuffing them.  So I just make the dish up in a layered casserole that comes out delicious every time!  Tastes exactly the same, but it’s much less trouble to put together.   This Atkins Induction friendly recipe has over a millions Facebook fans.  Primal diners who eat cheese can also enjoy this dish, though it is not suitable for Paleo followers.

INGREDIENTS: 

3 poblano peppers (mine weighed 2-2.5 oz. each)

12 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces

2 T. olive oil

2 oz. onion, sliced

½ tsp. dried guajillo chile, seeded and chopped fine (optional)

¼ tsp. dried ancho chile powder (optional)

¼ tsp. chili powder  (use ½ tsp. if guajillo and ancho above are omitted)

¼ tsp. garlic powder

3/4 c. Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, solids only (the mild ones unless you like “hot”)

¼ c. cilantro, chopped

6 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 450º.  Roasting your peppers will make them milder and sweeter, so don’t bypass this step.  Cut tops off poblano peppers and remove seed cluster.  Cut in halves, lay the halves on a non-stick baking sheet and roast in 450º oven for about 15-20 minutes, turning once during roasting.  Remove and cool.  Lower oven to 350º. Peel tough skin gently off the peppers.  While they are roasting, heat oil in non-stick skillet.  Saute onion until tender.  Add chicken and saute until meat is no longer pink.  Add all remaining ingredients except the cheese.  Simmer 3-4 minutes for flavors to meld together.  Lay the skinned poblano pepper pieces in the bottom of 3 individual casserole dishes (or use one larger casserole dish if you prefer).  Top the peppers in each serving dish with 1 spoon of the chicken filling.  Spread 1/3 of the cheese over the chicken filling in each dish. Place the remaining chicken filling evenly in the dish(es).  Top with the remaining cheese.  Pop into a 350º oven for about 20 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese is melted.  Serve at once with a nice guacamole salad (and if you are in Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance, this is nice with a ½ c. of heated refried beans).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:

547 cals, 35g fat, 07.7g carbs, 2.23g fiber, 5.47g NET CARBS, 47.7g protein, 620 mg sodium

Sour Cream Grilling Bread (low carb)

click to enlarge

Nothing like a delicious grilled cheese sandwich!

Sadly, most low-carb breads made with alternate flours simply do not toast well.  They just won’t get…….ummmm……………toasty!!!  😦

This individual serving bread recipe I developed I think is particularly suited for grilling sandwiches.  It toasts up better than any other low-carb bread I’ve tried toasting in 10 years of low-carbing and bread experimentaation. Not sure which ingredient is facilitating that toasty quality though.  Likely it is the oat fiber, but am VERY glad whatever ingredient is doing that!

You can bake this in any microwaveable square container.  I have a plastic bread-shaped container (which isn’t so healthy to cook in actually), so I have switched to using my 4″ square glass dish.  I have not tried baking this bread in a conventional oven, but suspect it would need 350º for around 10-15 minutes.  One recipe can be sliced laterally into two thinner slices after cooling to make 1 sandwich, as shown in the photo above. This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  It is not suitable for Primal-Paleo lifestyles.

INGREDIENTS:

¼ c. + 1T. flax meal, preferably golden flax meal

1 T. butter  (plus dab more for skillet or panini pan grilling)

2 T. sour cream

1 egg, beaten

½ tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. oat fiber, no substitutes! (omit for gluten-free)

Pinch salt

DIRECTIONS:   Melt the butter in microwave in a small mixing bowl.  Add beaten egg and sour cream. Add all dry ingredients and stir well.  With a rubber spatula, scrape batter into a 4″-5″ square microwaveable container and zap on HI power for 70 seconds or until dry to touch in center (microwaves can vary). Cool a minute and tip out onto cutting board.  Laterally slice as evenly as possible with a long-blade  knife to form two thinner slices.

When ready to construct your sandwich, melt a little butter or olive oil on a non-stick griddle and baste one side of each slice of bread.  Place one slice on griddle, buttered side down.  Add slice of your preferred cheese or meats and top with second slice of bread, buttered side up.  Brown well on both sides for best, “toastiest” results.  Slight over-browning is a GOOD thing here! 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 thin slices after cutting.  Entire recipe contains: (does not include sandwich fillings)

425 cals, 37.4g fat, 14.1g carbs, 11.3g fiber, 2.8g NET CARBS, 13.8g protein, 497mg sodium

Chicken in Sofrito Cream

Chicken in Sofrito CreamThis quick dish is absolutely delicious and so incredibly easy to make!  I keep the Sofrito Sauce made up in my freezer in a plastic zip bag and just break off what I need for a recipe.  Once the chicken is seared, this takes only 8-10 minutes to simmer down to delectable deliciousness.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  Primal followers can enjoy if you do dairy but Paleo folks will want to use coconut milk instead of cream.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large chicken breast, skin on (1o oz. of deboned meat)

1½ T. butter

1 c. homemade chicken stock

½ c. heavy cream (use 2 T. less if still on Induction)

Sprinkle xanthan gum

2 T. Sofrito sauce

DIRECTIONS:   Melt butter in a non-stick skillet over high heat.  Slice meat at an angle laterally into 4 smaller filets.   I pounded mine, but that isn’t necessary.  Just a habit with me and chicken.  🙂   Sear the chicken in the hot butter, both sides, until golden.  Lower to medium when both sides are golden and the meat is fully done.  Add chicken stock around the meat.  Add cream and Sofrito sauce and simmer a couple minutes.  Lightly dust with xanthan (less than 1/8 tsp.).  Simmer until it slightly thickens, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and serve at once with you favorite sides or a nice salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes two adult servings, each contains:

590 cals, 46.3 g fat, 2.6 g carbs, 0.3 g fiber, 2.3 g NET CARBS, 37.4 g protein, 470 mg sodium

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

I took my Fluffy Pancakes recipe to a whole new level when I added some pumpkin and cinnamon.  Man, oh, man, are these ever good!  Light, fluffy and not dry or grainy like a lot of low-carb pancakes.  So often, coconut flour and almond flour pancakes are grainy.  I just don’t like that mouth feel!  My husband said these are one of the very best pancakes he’s eaten since we started eating low-carb.  He likened them to Bryce’s Sweet Potato Pancake Mix we bought years ago, but mine have no real sugar, flour or other junk ingredients.  🙂  These are not suitable until the grains rung of the Atkins Phase 2 OWL carb reintroduction ladder.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 c. pumpkin puree

3 large eggs, beaten

¼ c. heavy cream

½ c. water

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 pkt. Sweet Leaf stevia

½ c. Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten-Free Bake Mix

½ c. Carbquik (or more of the above mix if you require gluten free)

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. oat fiber (omit for gluten-free)

1 T. flax meal

Dash salt

¼-½ tsp. cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:   Measure out the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl.  Stir well.  Beat in the eggs, pumpkin, cream, water and vanilla.  Beat to blend into a smooth batter.  Add 1-2 T. more water if batter is too thick. Using a 1/3 c. measuring cup, dip batter onto oiled hot griddle over medium-high heat.  Spread with the back of the cup to a 5″ circle. Brown on first side, but allow them undisturbed to firm up and you see holes almost beginning to appear on the surface before attempting to flip.    Brown on the second side to your liking and serve at once with butter and maple syrup. ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes seven 5″ pancakes, each contains:

127 cals, 10.2g fat, 10.13g carbs, 5.97g fiber, 5.29g NET CARBS, 8.64g protein, 216 mg sodium

Baked Chicken and Vegetables

Baked Chicken with Vegatables

This dish is a “set it and forget it” kind of meal. Love to throw this in the baking pan when I’m tired and want dinner to cook itself.  This recipe delivers on that!    Doesn’t get any easier!  And it is ever so good!  This dish is simalar to my Lebanese Baked Chicken, but this one has no lemon juice in it.  The carrots make this one not suitable for Atkins Induction Phase 1, but you can increase the jicama, substitute zucchini or white pattypan squash, or just omit the carrots altogether until you get to Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  I used calaba squash (Mexican Zucchini) instead of jicama in the batch pictured above.  I change up the veggies depending on what I have on hand and what is in season.  Eggplant works well in this dish with some of my Shawarma Spice Blend (instead of the oregano).   Just so you know, the original recipe I modified for this dish calls for potato wedges instead of jicama.

INGREDIENTS:

20 oz. deboned chicken breasts, to make 4 servings

5 oz. jicama, peeled (or any veggies mentioned in VARIATIONS below)

4 oz. yellow onion

8 large cloves garlic

4 Roma tomatoes

½ tsp. oregano

2 tsp. chopped fresh Rosemary

2 tsp. Chachere’s Cajun seasoning (or 2 tsp. my Shawarma Spice Blend)

Dash salt & black pepper

3 T. olive oil

2 medium carrots (optional but included in nutritional numbers below)

VARIATIONS:  Substitute zucchini, yellow squash, turnips, red radishes or white daikon radish for the jicama.  They’re all low in carbs and wont’ greatly impact the carbs count on this dish.  Eggplant is lovely as a substitute for the jicama, but the eggplant will up the carbs a bit, but not a lot.  Use different spice blends of your choice!  Get creative!

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 425º.  Leaving skin on, place chicken on safe surface and flatten a bit with a cleaver to shorten cooking time.  Drizzle l T. of the olive oil in a large glass baking pan (9×13 or lasagna pan).  Dip skin side of chicken into olive oil in the pan, turn skin side up and arrange evenly in pan.  Next, peel and cut jicama into potato-like pieces.  Space evenly around the chicken pieces.   Peel and cut carrots into 1″ pieces and arrange around the meat also.  Next cut the tomatoes into wedges and space decoratively, skin side up,  around the pan.  Try to avoid laying the tomato wedges directly atop the chicken or the skin won’t brown as nicely. Next cut the  onion into small wedges, separate layers,  or cut into ringlets and arrange the onion over the entire pan next.   Cut garlic cloves and arrange evenly in pan, being sure to get some of that atop the chicken itself!  Now sprinkle on the spices and drizzle the remaining olive oil over all.  Try to moisten everything with oil.  Bake uncovered at 425º for about 1½ hours.  Smaller, thinner pieces of chicken, smaller dicing of veggies and varying ovens will impact cooking time, so check the dish after 1 hour if your chicken pieces are less than 6-8 oz. in size.   Voila, a meal in one pot fit for a king!  Hubby just LOVES this dish!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 serving, each containing:

410 cals, 21.3g fat, 9.85g carbs, 2.9g fiber, 6.95g NET CARBS, 43.3g protein, 604 mg. sodium

Southern Fried Chicken

Southern Fried Chicken

My husband asked me to make “real” skillet-fried chicken for dinner 7 years ago when I was only a few years into my low-carb adventure.  I caved that day and gave it my best stab.  Hadn’t been pleased with any of the low-carb fried chicken recipes I’d tried to date, so I decided to put on my experimenting hat and give it a whirl.

You regular readers already know how I hate to stand over a hot skillet of grease to fry anything, but what we do for love.  I invariably get popped with hot grease and get burned when frying, but ever so glad I gave it a stab back then, as it has become a staple coating for chicken and a multitude of other fried foods as well!

I really wan’t sure where to begin, but remembered reading a recipe somewhere on the web for a coating that used whey protein powder, so I decided that would be my foundation ingredient.  To that I added crushed pork rinds for crunch and a touch of oat fiber for a flour-y taste.  BINGO!  The resulting coating was the closest to my old high-carb flour coated chicken. I was astounded!  Although I didn’t make any cream gravy with the browned skillet bits, I tasted them and they would have made an excellent batch of gravy had I been in a mood for some gravy.

I’m so pleased with this recipe we make it again and again!!  Great flavor!  Crispy!  Until you try this one, you just won’t believe it tastes just like flour coated chicken!  A real keeper in my opinion!!!  It’s great leftover, cold, right out of the fridge!!  Hubby said this was the best low-carb fried chicken I have cooked to date on my low-carb journey.  My heretofore popular Oven-Fried Chicken, although very good, is just not the same as classic Southern Fried Chicken, ya know?  Not like my Granny made, at least.  This new recipe is almost exactly like my Granny’s and my mom’s fried chicken!

As I can’t know how you cut up your chicken, or what size pieces you tend to eat, I can’t really provide nutritional stats for the entire final meat dish.  Instead, I am providing nutritional info for 1/10 of the coating, as it was just enough to coat 10 pieces of chicken: 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings and 4 pieces of breast as I cut them into halves to speed cooking time.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 c. plain whey protein

1 c. crushed pork rinds (about 2 oz.)

1 T. oat fiber (omit if on Induction or for gluten-free version)

1 tsp. my Seafood Spice blend (or seasonings of your choice)

½ tsp. onion powder

½ c. Parmesan cheese

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

2 large eggs

¼ c. heavy cream

¼ c. water

½-3/4″ deep hot oil (I used palm shortening) in a large 13-14″ skillet

DIRECTIONS:  Measure out and mix all dry ingredients in a paper bag by shaking well.  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream and water together.  Toss in the pieces of cut up chicken into the egg wash and turn several times to well coat each piece.   Pick each piece of meat out of the bowl and drop into the bag of seasoned “flour” and when you have 3 pieces in the bag, holding the top closed, shake the bag to coat the chicken.  Don’t put more than 3 pieces into the bag at a time or they will not coat well.

Heat 3/4″ deep oil over high heat.  Place the pieces closely together.  If you’re creative, you can get an entire chicken in a 14″ skillet.  Lower heat to medium-high so larger pieces don’t over-brown before done. Repeat the coating process with the remaining pieces of chicken.  I was only able to fry 8 pieces of chicken in my largest skillet at a time, so I saved the wings for last as I knew they would cook quite fast.  Brown the chicken well on one side disturbing as little as possible.  Turn pieces of chicken over carefully to brown the second side.   When brown and done (about 30 minutes) remove to paper toweling to drain.  Finish cooking the remaining pieces if you were unable to get them all in your skillet.   Serve at once with your favorite sides.  I served mine with steamed cauliflower I topped with cheese and chives.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes enough coating for 10 pieces of chicken.  Numbers are for the coating only.  Be sure to add in the info for the chicken piece(s) you eat!  1/10 batch of the coating contains:

113.4 cals, 7.26g fat, 1.72g carbs, 0.53g fiber, 1.19g NET CARBS, 12.8g protein, 209 mg sodium

Coconut Crust Fruit “Pizza”

CoconutFruitPizza

This is a very old recipe of mine I modified so it is now suitable for Atkins low-carb.  It’s a pretty dessert that impresses company and yet it is so easy to make!  You make the crust a day ahead and put it all together right before serving.  The crust is very dense (not at all crumbly) and is  easiest eaten with your hands just like pizza rather than a fork!  This recipe is not acceptable for Atkins Induction, but you can enjoy it once you get to the nuts and seeds level of Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  Softening 1-2 oz. cream cheese and blending into the whipped cream is a good variation for this.  But that is not calculated in the nutritional info below.

My favorite version of this dessert is one made with fresh peaches and a few drops of almond extract added to the whipped cream.  Sooooo good!

VARIATION:  Use sliced fresh peaches, use raspberries, use blueberries.  You can also add softened cream cheese to the creamy filling and reduce the whipped cream for a firmer, richer filling. 🙂

CRUST INGREDIENTS:

1  c. unsweetened coconut

1/2 c. chopped almonds

1/3 c. Splenda (or equivalent liquid sweetener)

2 ½ T. low carb bake mix or almond flour (or 1 T. coconut flour)

2 egg whites lightly beaten with a whisk until frothy

1 tsp. almond extract

TOPPING INGREDIENTS: 1 c. heavy cream, 1T. s/f syrup like DaVinci or Torani and 1 pt. fruit.   Alternately you can use only 3/4 c. whipping cream and fold in 1/4 c. softened cream cheese if you like.  You will need to recalculate stats below if you do that, however.

DIRECTIONS: Line a pizza pan with foil.  Grease with butter a 9-10″ circle.  Combine all crust ingredients in a bowl and stir well.  Using fingers, spread and press firmly the coconut crust mixture into a 9-10″ circle on a greased sheet pan.  Bake at 325º for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack.  Refrigerate overnight.

The day you want to serve, place crust on flat cake plate.  Whip cream with a splash of vanilla and sweetener of your choice (I like coconut or vanilla DaVinci sugar free syrup).   Spread whipped cream evenly over coconut crust and top with raspberries, sliced strawberries or if on the fruit rung of OWL, this is good with thinly sliced peaches.  Chill for an hour and then cut into 8 wedges and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 8, each serving (using strawberries) contains:

273 cals, 25g fat, 12g carbs, 5.1g fiber, 6.9g NET CARBS, 5g protein, 43 mg sodium

Stuffed Focaccia

Stuffed Focaccia

I wanted something Italian tonight, but not pizza and not pasta.  So I decided to try a stuffed focaccia.  GOOD decision, as this came out VERY good!

variation, add a few sliced black olives, but I didn’t have any on hand.

Before Cutting

Before Cutting

This recipe is suitable for Phase 2 Atkins, Keto diets, Primal folks if consumed only occasionally.  This recipe is only suitable for Paleo if you use a plan suitable bread.

VARIATION:  Add a few sliced black olives to the filling

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef (or ½ beef and ½ Italian sausage removed from casings)

½ tsp. total Italian Spice blend

½ c. almond flour

¼ c. golden flax meal

¼ c. plain whey protein powder

1 tsp. baking powder

3 T. cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs, beaten

1½ c. shredded white mild cheese (I used a combo of Monterey Jack & Mozzarella)

1 tsp. cider vinegar

1 T. heavy cream

1 T. water

1 tsp. yeast dissolved in another 1 T. warm water (optional, for flavor)

FILLING:  6 oz. sliced mozzarella cheese + 1/4 tsp. Italian Spice Blend

TIP:  If you are not gluten-free, I find 1 T. oat fiber added improves this bread’s texture greatly.  But remember, oat fiber is NOT 100% gluten-free.

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Brown the beef in a skillet.  Add half of the Italian Spice and a dash garlic powder if you like.  Stir well, remove from heat and set aside.

Soften cream cheese in medium mixing bowl in microwave.  Beat in the eggs, cream, water, vinegar, both cheeses and dissolved yeast (if using).  Measure and add in all the dry ingredients and stir well with a rubber spatula. Line an 8 x 11 pan (I used metal) with parchment paper or silicone sheet.  Spoon up around 1/2 of the batter onto the paper and spread to a thin layer with a fork. Batter will be about ¼” thick.  Use 9 x 13 pan for thinner stuffed focaccia results.

Drain meat of any excess grease and spread evenly on bottom layer of batter.  Place the sliced mozzarella cheese on next.  Sprinkle with the rest of the Italian Spice blend.  Dot with the remaining batter, spreading with a fork as best as you can, but it doesn’t have to be perfect coverage.  As it will spread out a bit during baking.  Pop into 350º oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until dry to the touch in the center and lightly browned.  Cool 3-4 minutes and cut into 6 equal portions.  Lift carefully with spatula, avoiding parchment on bottom and serve with a nice green salad on the side.  Store leftovers covered in the pan or in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.  Goes well with a green, tossed salad with a light vinaigrette dressing.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 large slices, each contains:

487 calories

37 g  fat

5.61 g carbs, 2.43 g fiber, 3.18 g NET CARBS

36.3 g protein

558 mg sodium

Chicken in Sofrito Cream

Chicken in Sofrito Cream

This was absolutely delicious and so incredibly quick to make!  I keep the Sofrito Sauce made up in my freezer in a plastic zip bag and just break off what I need for a recipe.  Once my chicken was seared, this took all of about 8-10 minutes to simmer to delectable deliciousness.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  Primal followers can enjoy if you do dairy but Paleo folks will want to use coconut milk instead of cream.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large chicken breast, skin on (1o oz. of deboned meat)

1½ T. butter

1 c. homemade chicken stock

½ c. heavy cream (use 2 T. less if still on Induction)

Sprinkle xanthan gum

2 T. Sofrito sauce

DIRECTIONS:   Melt butter in a non-stick skillet over high heat.  Slice meat at an angle laterally into 4 smaller filets.   I pounded mine, but that isn’t necessary.  Just a habit with me and chicken.  🙂   Sear the chicken in the hot butter, both sides, until golden.  Lower to medium when both sides are golden and the meat is fully done.  Add chicken stock around the meat.  Add cream and Sofrito sauce and simmer a couple minutes.  Lightly dust with xanthan (less than 1/8 tsp.).  Simmer until it slightly thickens, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and serve at once with you favorite sides or a nice salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes two adult servings, each contains:

590 calories

46.3 g  fat

2.6 g carbs, 0.3 g fiber, 2.3 g NET CARBS

37.4 g protein

470 mg sodium

Sock-It-To-Me Cake

 

Click to enlarge

This was my mother-in-law’s favorite cake.  While still living in her own home, she made it every year at Christmas.  What didn’t get eaten at Christmas Eve dinner, was finished off with breakfast coffee Christmas morning.  She always made hers  with 1 c. chopped pecans, but I leave them out as my husband isn’t so fond of nuts.  To be more authentic, you could substitute sour cream in for the heavy cream, but carbs will be  a tad higher if you do. This recipe is not suitable until the grains rung of Atkins OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss) carb ladder.  Carbquik, much like Bisquick, has some flour in it, albeit specially processed to reduce the carb load. I order my Carbquik at Netrition.com, but you might be able to buy it at your local health food store.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 T. granular Splenda

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 c. Jennifer Eloff’s Splendid Low Carb Bake Mix (for gluten free, use her Gluten-Free Bake Mix)

1½ c. CarbQuik or other low-carb bake mix (for gluten free, use 1½ c. more Jennifer’s Gluten-Free mix)

½ c. plain whey protein

2 T. golden flax meal

1 T. coconut flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ c. + 2 T. erythritol

3 large eggs, beaten

3 T. sugar-free maple syrup

1/4 tsp. maple extract

4 T. melted butter, unsalted (for batter)

2 T. melted butter, unsalted (to drizzle on cake)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

liquid Splenda to equal 1/3 c. sugar (about 20 drops)

2 T. water

¼ c. + 1 T. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT A FULL-SIZED 9″ CAKE.  Grease an 8″ round, deep cake pan or 8″ round ceramic baking dish (the Corning “French” vegetable dish I used is 8″ in diameter, 3″ deep and the cake rose all the way to the top without overflowing).   Mix 2 T. granular Splenda with cinnamon (and nuts, if using) on paper plate and set aside for now.  In a large mixing bowl,  measure and mix all the dry ingredients. In a separate mixing bowl, microwave melt the 4 T. butter.  Beat in egg and add all other wet ingredients and whisk until fairly smooth.  Stir wet ingredients into dry.     Blend well.   Drop approximately 1/3 of the batter onto bottom of baking dish by tablespoons sort of randomly.  Sprinkle with about 1 T. of the cinnamon topping.  Drop another layer of 1T. blobs of batter on top.  Again sprinkle with about 1 T. cinnamon topping.  Drop the final 1/3 of the batter on top in 1T. blobs and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon topping.  Drizzle 2 T. melted butter across top of cake evenly.  Pop into 350º oven and bake for about 30 minutes.  Gently remove from oven and check for doneness with toothpick stuck in center.  Mine took exactly 40 minutes.  It is done when toothpick stuck in center comes out completely dry.  Cool 5-8 minutes before tipping out onto serving platter.  Can be enjoyed either warm or cooled.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 slices, each contains:

250 calories, 20.7 g  fat, 14.23 g  carbs, 9.96 g  fiber, 4.27 NET CARBS  (4.6 NC if you add 2 , oz. chopped pecans), 18.49 g  protein, 218 mg sodium

 

Chicken Tenders with Bang Bang Sauce

My husband asked me to make some chicken tenders recently.  I have developed a great Southern Fried Chicken coating recipe and just took that to a new level, serving as tenders with a dipping sauce with a “bite”.  This particular coating has been my best to date and it didn’t fail me on the tenders.  I’m so pleased with this recipe!!  It’s my first time to try a spicy sauce with tenders and we loved it! The hubs said please make these again!  They were nice and crispy!  By the way, chicken coated with this coating is great leftover, cold, right out of the fridge!!  It also reheats nicely (crispy) in the oven at 350º for about 20 minutes.

As I can’t know how you cut up your chicken strips, it’s not possible to really provide nutritional stats per serving.  Instead, I am providing nutritional info for 1/10 of the coating, as I cooked 10 nice-sized strips of chicken breasts (off 2 large breasts I de-boned).  There was at least 1-1½c. coating and some egg/cream mix that didn’t get used, so this recipe would coat quite a few more tenders if you have a big family.  No need to double the recipe for say 15-18 tenders.  Therefore, the carb numbers are actually even lower than shown below.  Woo! Hoo!

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 c. plain whey protein

1 c. crushed pork rinds (about 2 oz.)

1 T. oat fiber (omit if on Induction or for gluten-free version)

1 tsp. my Seafood Spice blend (or seasonings of your choice)

½ tsp. onion powder

½ c. Parmesan cheese

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

2 large eggs

¼ c. heavy cream

¼ c. water (or more heavy cream if you prefer)

½-3/4″ deep hot oil (I use coconut oil) in a large 13-14″ skillet

OPTIONAL BANG BANG SAUCE: ½ c. homemade (or regular) mayonnaise, 1 T. Sambal Oelek chili paste, 2 tsp. Sriracha, dash each salt and black pepper.  Stir all in a small bowl.  Sauce adds approximately 0.35 net carbs for each serving (1 serving = 1 T.).

DIRECTIONS: Preheat holding oven to 350º.  Measure out and mix all dry ingredients in a paper or plastic bag by shaking well.  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream and water together.  Cut chicken breast meat into long strips about 4″ x 1″.  Dip each one into the egg mixture and turn several times to well coat each piece.  Pick each piece of meat out of the bowl and drop into the seasoned “flour” in the bag.  This makes coating easier and less messy.  When you have 3 pieces in the bag, holding the top of the bag closed, shake the bag to coat the chicken with the dry mix.  Don’t put more than 3 pieces into the bag at a time or they will not coat well.

Heat 3/4″ deep oil over high heat.  Remove the coated chicken strips carefully from the bag and place the pieces closely together in the skillet of hot grease.  If you’re creative, you can get about 8 strips in a 13″ skillet.  Repeat the coating process with the remaining pieces of chicken.  Brown the chicken well on one side disturbing as little as possible as they cook.  With a fork, flip pieces over gently to brown the second side.   When brown on both sides they should be done (about 15 minutes total) remove to paper toweling to drain and if still frying more pieces, place the platter of first-cooked tenders in your preheated oven until all meat has been fried.  When you have finished cooking all pieces of chicken, serve at once with the Bang Bang dipping sauce.

VARIATION:  Serve with a good homemade cream gravy rather than the Bang Bang Sauce. 

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes enough coating for more than 10-15 tenders of chicken.  Numbers are for the coating only. Be sure to add in the info for the chicken piece(s) you eat and whatever dipping sauce you use!  1/10 batch of the entire coating recipe contains:

113.4 cals, 7.26g fat, 1.72g carbs, 0.53g fiber, 1.19g NET CARBS (less if not all coating and egg wash used), 12.8g protein, 209 mg sodium (sauce adds little to these numbers (mostly fat grams) and is nearly impossible to provide a per serving figure for as that would be person dependent in how liberally they used the sauce.

Einkorn Sausage-Cheese Balls

Einkorn Sausage-Cheese Balls

This is an ever-popular party appetizer that never goes out of favor with your guests.  When I’m hosting the appetizers phase of our neighborhood annual Christmas round-robin dinner, this easy treat is easy to make ahead, heat and serve.  I have another Sausage Cheese Ball recipe on my website that rings in at only 1 net carb per ball but I like this one a bit better because it’s a little easier to put together.  It features my convenient homemade Einkorn Low-Carb Bake Mix (similar to Bisquick and Carbquik).  Even with the bake mix, these only have 1.76 net carbs per ball!  Not bad for the convenience of just 3 ingredients.   These are not suitable until the grains rung of the carb re-introduction ladder of Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  They are OK for Keto diets if you can fit them into your daily carb limits.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. breakfast sausage (I used my homemade breakfast sausage recipe)

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

2 c. my Einkorn Bake Mix  (For gluten-free version, use Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten-Free Bake Mix or another GF mix of your choice)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º. Mix the above ingredients in a medium bowl with your hands as you would a meatloaf mixture.  When thoroughly blended, form into 30 1″ balls and place on non-stick baking sheet or one lined with parchment or silicone sheet for ease of clean-up. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove to paper towels to drain off any excess grease (mine had none actually).  Serve warm and ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 30  1″ balls, each sausage ball contains:

95 calories, 7.81 g  fat, 2.4 g  carbs, 0.64 g fiber, 1.76 g  NET CARBS, 4.82 g  protein, 81 mg sodium

Blackberry Ice Cream

0025

I created a delicious low-carb blackberry ice cream I think you’ll love!  I would start our with 1 cup berries and taste as you go.  They vary so much in tartness/sweetness it’s difficult to know how many to add to desserts.  The taste as you go and stop when just right approach is safest.  My husband ate two servings with the full 2 cups of berries, but I’ll have to back off next time, most likely.  He just loved this recipe!  He’s a real ice cream connoisseur, so I consider that a WIN!  🙂  This recipe is naturally not suitable until the berries rung of the Atkins Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL) phase of the program.  If you don’t have the blueberry or blackberry syrup, you could sub in DaVinci Vanilla or French Vanilla and just omit the vanilla extract.

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. blackberries, frozen, unsweetened (Do Not Defrost!)

1¼ c. heavy cream

1/8 tsp. vanilla

4 T. sugar-free blueberry or blackberry syrup

12-16 drops liquid Splenda (or your favorite sweetener to taste)

2 tsp. food grade glycerine (optional, but keeps it a bit softer)

¼ c. powdered erythritol  (or reduce granular to a powder in processor)

DIRECTIONS:  Place erythritol in bowl of food processor.   Add all remaining ingredients and pulse until berries are broken up and mixture is fairly smooth.  Scrape out into dishes for a soft serve; freeze for 30 minutes for a firmer ice cream.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

282 calories, 27.7 g  fat, 8.25 g  carbs, 1.9 g  fiber, 6.35 g  NET CARBS, 1.98 g protein

 

Chicken Tenders with Bang Bang Sauce

My husband asked me to make some chicken tenders tonight.  I have developed a great Southern Fried Chicken coating recipe and just took that to a new level, serving as tenders with a dipping sauce with a “bite”.

This coating has been my best low-carb chicken coating to date and it didn’t fail me on these tenders tonight.  I’m so pleased with this recipe!!  It’s my first time to try a spicy sauce with tenders and we loved it! The hubs said please make these again!  They were nice and crispy!  By the way, chicken coated with this coating is great leftover, cold, right out of the fridge!!  It also reheats nicely (crispy) in the oven at 350º for about 20 minutes.

As I can’t know how you cut up your chicken strips, it’s not possible to really provide nutritional stats per serving.  Instead, I am providing nutritional info for 1/10 of the coating, as I cooked 10 nice-sized strips of chicken breasts (off 2 large breasts I de-boned).  There was at least 1-1½c. coating and some egg/cream mix that didn’t get used, so this recipe would coat quite a few more tenders if you have a big family.  No need to double the recipe for say 15-18 tenders.  Therefore, the carb numbers are actually even lower than shown below.  Woo! Hoo!

Our latest three volumes of LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks are calling you.  Volume 8 and Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included in both editions are a few tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   Volume 10 is hot off the press with more delectable goodies.  Special prices going on right now on a complete set at our direct order site:  https://amongfriends.us/sale.php or at Amazon.  After your book(s) arrive, and you’ve had a chance to try a recipe, do stop by and leave a review at Amazon here.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 c. plain whey protein

1 c. crushed pork rinds (about 2 oz.)

1 T. oat fiber (omit if on Induction or for gluten-free version)

1 tsp. my Seafood Spice blend (or seasonings of your choice)

½ tsp. onion powder

½ c. Parmesan cheese

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

2 large eggs

¼ c. heavy cream

¼ c. water (or more heavy cream if you prefer)

½-3/4″ deep hot oil (I use coconut oil) in a large 13-14″ skillet

OPTIONAL BANG BANG SAUCE: ½ c. homemade mayonnaise, 1 T. Sambal Oelek chili paste, 2 tsp. Sriracha, dash each salt and black pepper.  Stir all in a small bowl.  Sauce adds approximately 0.35 net carbs for each serving (1 serving = 1 T.).

DIRECTIONS: Preheat holding oven to 350º.  Measure out and mix all dry ingredients in a paper or plastic bag by shaking well.  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream and water together.  Cut chicken breast meat into long strips about 4″ x 1″.  Dip each one into the egg mixture and turn several times to well coat each piece.  Pick each piece of meat out of the bowl and drop into the seasoned “flour” in the bag.  This makes coating easier and less messy.  When you have 3 pieces in the bag, holding the top of the bag closed, shake the bag to coat the chicken with the dry mix.  Don’t put more than 3 pieces into the bag at a time or they will not coat well.

Heat 3/4″ deep oil over high heat.  Remove the coated chicken strips carefully from the bag and place the pieces closely together in the skillet of hot grease.  If you’re creative, you can get about 8 strips in a 13″ skillet.  Repeat the coating process with the remaining pieces of chicken.  Brown the chicken well on one side disturbing as little as possible as they cook.  With a fork, flip pieces over gently to brown the second side.   When brown on both sides they should be done (about 15 minutes total) remove to paper toweling to drain and if still frying more pieces, place the platter of first-cooked tenders in your preheated oven until all meat has been fried.  When you have finished cooking all pieces of chicken, serve at once with the Bang Bang dipping sauce.

VARIATION:  Serve with a good cream gravy rather than the Bang Bang Sauce. 

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes enough coating for more than 10-15 tenders of chicken.  Numbers are for the coating only. Be sure to add in the info for the chicken piece(s) you eat and whatever dipping sauce you use!  1/10 batch of the entire coating recipe contains:

113.4 cals, 7.26g fat, 1.72g carbs, 0.53g fiber, 1.19g NET CARBS (less if not all coating and egg wash used), 12.8g protein, 209 mg sodium (sauce adds little to these numbers (mostly fat grams) and is nearly impossible to provide a per serving figure for as that would be person dependent in how liberally they used the sauce.

Miniature Black Forest Cake

Miniature Black Forest Cake

This has been my signature dessert for many years but of course, in it’s larger incarnation, so it would serve a crowd for dinner.  My original recipe uses real flour and real sugar.  I’ve revamped the  recipe to make it Atkins friendly now, which was quite an undertaking.  First trial wasn’t so good actually.    I’d be lying if I said this final version is as good as the original sugar-flour version. But this is a close facsimile in appearance and flavor in my and my husband’s opinion.  It may yet undergo further “fine-tuning”.

This dessert is surprisingly light, so don’t be fooled by it’s rich appearance.  It is always well-received when I serve this to guests.   This is not a terribly sweet dessert, neither the original cake nor my low-carb version.  So you may want to do some tasting for sweetness along the way in case this isn’t sweet enough for you.

There are four layers of cake and three different filling layers so it really takes a bit of effort to put together from start to finish. But none of the steps are particularly difficult nor do they require unusual ingredients.  It just takes some time and time for the flavors and Kirsch to mellow.  As you blow your daily sweetener limit on this, and it’s a bit carb pricey, I usually only do this dessert for VERY special occasions. 🙂  This dessert is not suitable until you reach Maintenance/Goal weight due to the higher carbs.

We don’t entertain as much as we used to and just for the two of us, I don’t like to make my full-size Black Forest Cake .  But on Valentine’s Day and my husband’s birthday, and sometimes for our Wedding Anniversary, I will do this very special somewhat carb-pricey cake as it is his very favorite dessert.   This recipe is not suitable until the legumes rung of OWL as I use my favorite black bean chocolate cake recipe by Lauren over at the Healthy Indulgences blog  . Lauren’s cake is actually better than the original cake modified  🙂 One of the best low-carb chocolate cakes I’ve come across to date.

For this mini Black Forest cake, I make up one whole recipe of the cake, which makes 3 small round 5″ cakes.  I use two for this recipe and reserving the third cake for some other dessert use (or freeze it).

I have carefully calculated only 2/3 of the nutritional values on cake for the serving nutritional information below.   Of course, you can attempt to cut this into 5 or 6 servings and lower the carb count, but I forewarn you cutting this cake into smaller pieces is extremely difficult given its height.  You could also substitute Eden Black Soy Beans pureed and lower the carb count considerably, but the flavor and texture of the cake will change a bit.

DIRECTIONS: 

STEP I –  Cherry Filling:The day before needed, mix the following cherry filling ingredients in small saucepan except for the xanthan gum.  Cook over medium heat stirring, adding xanthan gum in several light dustings, stirring well after each addition of xanthan gum.  This is to avoid lumps in the thickener.  I go for medium thick on this filling.  Refrigerate overnight.  If you got it too thick, not to worry.  That’ll never be noticed in this cake.  Stir it up to loosen the sauce before applying to cake.

CHERRY FILLING INGREDIENTS:

1/2 can red sour cherries in natural juice, drained, saving liquid
1/4 c. of the reserved cherry liquid
liquid sweetener to = 1/4 c. sugar (I used 1½ tsp. Fiberfit)
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 T.  Kirschwasser liqueur (cherry brandy)
few drops red food coloring
1/4 tsp. almond extract

STEP II – Chocolate Mousse: The day before cake is being served, prepare the chocolate mousse.

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE INGREDIENTS:

1 T. cocoa

½ pkg. (1 tsp.) unflavored gelatin

1 egg, beaten

1 c. total heavy cream

4 tsp. total granular Splenda (or 4 tsp. sugar equivalent of other sweetener)

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 T. Kirschwasser

Combine the cocoa with gelatin, the beaten egg and ½ c. of the heavy cream in a saucepan.  Heat to boiling over medium heat and then remove from heat.  Add 2 tsp. granular Splenda and Kirschwasser and stir well.  In a separate bowl, whip the other ½ c. heavy cream until very thick and add remaining 2 tsp. of Splenda and the vanilla. Spoon a little of the whipped cream into the cooling chocolate mixture and stir to temper the chocolate a bit.  Now pour the chocolate mixture into the rest of the whipped cream and fold the two mixtures into each other until smooth.   Taste for sweetness and add liquid Splenda to your taste.  Chill the mousse overnight or for a couple hours for flavors to mellow.  Remove from fridge a bit ahead of applying to cake in case it is too stiff.

STEP III – The Cakes: The day you plan to serve, early in day, bake your cakes. I say early, because this cake needs to be assembled for at least 2-4 hours for the kirsch to soak into the bottom layer of cake.  Preheat oven to 325º.  I use this small silicone pan to bake my cakes which requires no greasing (pictured below).  But 5″ quiche pans would work for this.   Be sure to grease your pans well, and wax-paper the bottoms, too if not using silicone pans.   This batter recipe will make 3 cakes this size, however only two of the cakes are needed to make this dessert.  Save the third cake to frost for snacks or for some other use.

CAKE INGREDIENTS: (Yes, this is Lauren of Healthy Indulgence’s chocolate cake recipe……the best!)

20 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed (I just use one 15 oz. can)

5 large eggs

1 T. water

1 T. vanilla (yes, that much!)

¼ tsp. salt

6 T. unsalted butter, softened

3/4 c. erythritol, powdered

2 pkts. stevia

6 T. unsweetened cocoa powder

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 325º.  Process the erythritol to a powder (if you buy granular like me).  Add the drained, rinsed beans, soft butter, vanilla, eggs and water and process until all is smooth.  Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl and add to the mixture in the processor.  Pulse a few times to blend batter well.  Of course, this can be done with an electric mixer.  Spoon batter equally (This is really important) into the three pans.  They will be approximately 3/4 full, but don’t worry, mine did not overflow.  Place pans on a cookie sheet if using silicone pans.  If using metal pans, be sure your oven shelf is level and level pans with a skewer or metal coat hangar if need be, as cake batter needs to be level in the pans.  Bake at 325º for about 30 minutes.  Ovens vary so check and if still soft in the center, bake another 10 minutes or so. The cakes are done when dry to the touch and set in the center.  Toothpick will test dry in the center as well.  Remove from oven and completely cool before attempting to remove from the pans.

STEP IV – FINAL ASSEMBLY  AND FROSTING:

Whip 1 c. heavy cream and add ½ tsp. vanilla and a few drops of liquid Splenda, or to taste.  Set aside while you cut the cakes.

Gently tip cakes out of pans.  Set one cake onto serving plate.  With a long-bladed serrated knife, with a gentle motion, carefully cut laterally each cake into two thin layers as even as you can get them.  Gently lift top layer off this first cake with BOTH hands slipping fingers toward center of cake to support it and prevent it breaking in half.  (I have a piece of square of sheet metal I slide under the cake to support it while moving to prevent breakage).  Gently set this layer on the counter until needed.

On bottom layer of cake, spread the cherry filling.  Carefully lift and place next thin layer of cake on top.  Now spread the chocolate mousse on top of that layer evenly.  Slice second cake in similar manner as you did the first.  Gently lift and add the third layer of cake on top of the stack.  Spread with a ½ ” of whipped cream.  Place the final layer of cake on top and now ice the entire cake with the remaining whipped cream, spreading evenly on sides and top so no chocolate cake or fillings are visible.   Dust top of cake with shaved chocolate and sling a little also on the sides.  If it falls all over the serving platter, that just makes the presentation prettier in my opinion.  If you have one, place a whole maraschino cherry with stem and a sprig of mint in the center of the cake for visual impact.

Chill well (at least 2 hours) covered with a dome or inverted soup pot.  Cut cake into four quadrants/servings.  Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 adult servings, each contains:

450 cals, 28.95g fat, 24.32g carbs, 5.85g fiber, 18.47g NET CARBS (Cut into 5-6 servings to lower), 17 g  protein, 549 mg sodium

If interested in cutting into smaller servings to pull down the numbers, the entire cake has 1764 calories, 115.4g fat, 97.2g carbs, 23.4g fiber, 73.8g net carbs, 66.92 g protein and 2196 mg sodium.  So cutting into 5 pieces lowers each serving to 14.76g net carbs; cutting it into 6 pieces lowers each serving to 12.3g net carbs.  I repeat, however, it will be difficult to cut the slices this small without them falling apart on you upon slicing.  That’s one reason I always do the bigger cake version for company. 🙂

Sour Cream Grilling Bread (low carb)

click to enlarge

Shown on a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Sadly, most low-carb breads made with alternate flours simply do not toast well.  They just won’t get…….ummmm……………toasty!!!  😦

This individual serving bread recipe I developed I think is particularly suited for grilling sandwiches.  It toasts up better than any other low-carb bread I’ve tried toasting in 10 years of low-carbing and bread experimentaation. Not sure which ingredient is facilitating that toasty quality though.  Likely it is the oat fiber, but am VERY glad whatever ingredient is doing that!

You can bake this in any microwaveable square container.  I have a plastic bread-shaped container (which isn’t so healthy to cook in actually), so I have switched to using my 4″ square glass dish.  I have not tried baking this bread in a conventional oven, but suspect it would need 350º for around 10-15 minutes.  One recipe can be sliced laterally into two thinner slices after cooling to make 1 sandwich, as shown in the photo above. This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  It is not suitable for Primal-Paleo lifestyles.

INGREDIENTS:

¼ c. + 1T. flax meal, preferably golden flax meal

1 T. butter  (plus dab more for skillet or panini pan grilling)

2 T. sour cream

1 egg, beaten

½ tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. oat fiber, no substitutes! (omit for gluten-free)

Pinch salt

DIRECTIONS:   Melt the butter in microwave in a small mixing bowl.  Add beaten egg and sour cream. Add all dry ingredients and stir well.  With a rubber spatula, scrape batter into a 4″-5″ square microwaveable container and zap on HI power for 70 seconds or until dry to touch in center (microwaves can vary). Cool a minute and tip out onto cutting board.  Laterally slice as evenly as possible with a long-blade  knife to form two thinner slices.

When ready to construct your sandwich, melt a little butter or olive oil on a non-stick griddle and baste one side of each slice of bread.  Place one slice on griddle, buttered side down.  Add slice of your preferred cheese or meats and top with second slice of bread, buttered side up.  Brown well on both sides for best, “toastiest” results.  Slight over-browning is a GOOD thing here! 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 thin slices after cutting.  Entire recipe contains: (does not include sandwich fillings)

425 cals, 37.4g fat, 14.1g carbs, 11.3g fiber, 2.8g NET CARBS, 13.8g protein, 497mg sodium

Einkorn Sausage Balls

Einkorn Sausage-Cheese Balls

This is an ever-popular party appetizer that never goes out of favor with your holiday guests.  I’m hosting the appetizers phase of our neighborhood annual Christmas round-robin dinner and this easy make-ahead treat will be easy to make ahead, heat and serve.  I have another Sausage Cheese Ball recipe on my website that rings in at only 1 net carb per ball but I like this one a bit better.  With fewer ingredients it’s a little easier to put together.  This recipe features my convenient homemade Einkorn Low-Carb Bake Mix (similar to Bisquick and Carbquik).  These tasty treats only have 1.76 net carbs per ball!  Not bad for the convenience of just reaching for 3 ingredients in lieu of a whole bunch of ingredients.   These are not suitable until the grains rung of the carb re-introduction ladder of Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  They are OK for Keto diets if you can fit a few into your daily carb limits.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. breakfast sausage (I used my homemade breakfast sausage recipe)

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

2 c. my Einkorn Bake Mix  (For gluten-free version, use Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten-Free Bake Mix or another GF mix of your choice)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º. Mix the above ingredients in a medium bowl with your hands as you would a meatloaf mixture.  When thoroughly blended, form into 30 1″ balls and place on non-stick baking sheet or one lined with parchment or silicone sheet for ease of clean-up. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove to paper towels to drain off any excess grease (mine had none actually).  Serve warm and ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 30  1″ balls, each sausage ball contains:

95 calories, 7.81 g  fat, 2.4 g  carbs, 0.64 g fiber, 1.76 g  NET CARBS, 4.82 g  protein, 81 mg sodium

Pumpkin Granola

Pumpkin Granola

My husband was asking for an easy breakfast cereal recently, because occasionally I just don’t want any breakfast and he doesn’t want me to cook when it’s just for him.  So I created a very tasty cereal yesterday.  This stuff is great for just snacking, too!  The slight yellow hue to the coconut is due to the pumpkin in the recipe, but trust me, the pumpkin taste is mild (and the coconut, too, for that matter).  I taste the spices, nuts and fruit mostly.  🙂  This recipe is not suitable until Atkins Phase 2 OWL when nuts are re-introduced.  This keeps AMAZINGLY well over time.  I stored mine in a Tupperware canister.  This granola (what is left) is still dry, crunchy and delicious! 🙂

You can order our latest Volume 10 or any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php.  Check us out for our Black Friday Sale discount.  When you purchase our books, we would sure appreciate you stopping by Amazon to leaving a review at this site

INGREDIENTS: 

½ c. roasted sunflower seeds, unsalted

½ c. roasted pumpkin seeds, unsalted

2 T. chia seeds

1½ c. large flake coconut, unsweetened

1 c. walnuts, coarsely cut

1 c. pecans, coarsely cut

1½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

¼ tsp. ground cloves

1/8 tsp. sea salt

2 T. erythritol

5 dried prunes, chopped fine like tiny dried currants (DelMonte has no added sugar)

1/3 c. liquified coconut oil

¼ c. sugar-free maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. canned pumpkin puree (do not use the pie filling!)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 300º.  Line two large baking sheets  with parchment paper and set aside.  Measure the first 12 (dry) ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir well.  In a small bowl, stir the last 4 (wet) ingredients well.  Using a rubber spatula, pour the wet ingredients evenly over the dry and with the spatula, stir and toss to coat all the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.  When well-blended, pour half the mixture onto each paper-lined pan.  Spread evenly.  You will need to bake until it is dry and somewhat crisp to the touch, or about 1½ hours (longer for some ovens).  Stir ever 15-20 minutes to be sure it is cooking evenly.  Do not allow to overly brown or the nuts will taste burned.   Turn off oven and let the granola dry in the oven as it cools.  Break it apart into smaller clusters if you like.  I like mine in larger clusters, as I eat it more as a snack than a cereal.  Transfer to an airtight container or zip-loc gallon bag.  BE ABSOLUTELY SURE IT IS FULLY COOLED BEFORE STORING.  Otherwise it will “sweat” and get soft (just re-bake for 15-20 minutes to crisp it up again).  This stuff is delicious, so do ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 9 cups total or eighteen ½ cup servings.  Each ½-cup serving contains:

214 cals, 19.6g fat, 7.5g carbs, 3.21g fiber, 4.29g NET CARBS, 4.9g protein, 42 mg sodium

Miniature Black Forest Cake

Miniature Black Forest Cake

This has been my signature dessert for many years but of course, in it’s larger incarnation, so it would serve a crowd for dinner.  My original recipe uses real flour and real sugar.  I’ve revamped the  recipe to make it Atkins friendly now, which was quite an undertaking.  First trial wasn’t so good actually.    I’d be lying if I said this final version is as good as the original sugar-flour version. But this is a close facsimile in appearance and flavor in my and my husband’s opinion.  It may yet undergo further “fine-tuning”.  Let me add up front that this is the HIGHEST CARB recipe on my website.  So not one to bake often and stay on a strict low-carb diet.  It is a very special cake for a very special occasion cake, and worth every carb in that setting.

This dessert is surprisingly light, so don’t be fooled by it’s rich appearance.  It is always well-received when I serve this to guests.   This is not a terribly sweet dessert, neither the original cake nor my low-carb version.  So you may want to do some tasting for sweetness along the way in case this isn’t sweet enough for you.

There are four layers of cake and three different filling layers so it really takes a bit of effort to put together from start to finish. But none of the steps are particularly difficult nor do they require unusual ingredients.  It just takes some time and time for the flavors and Kirsch to mellow.  As you blow your daily sweetener limit on this, and it’s a bit carb pricey, I usually only do this dessert for VERY special occasions. 🙂  This dessert is not suitable until you reach Maintenance/Goal weight due to the higher carbs.

We don’t entertain as much as we used to and just for the two of us, I don’t like to make my full-size Black Forest Cake .  But on Valentine’s Day and my husband’s birthday, and sometimes for our Wedding Anniversary, I will do this very special somewhat carb-pricey cake as it is his very favorite dessert.   This recipe is not suitable until the legumes rung of OWL as I use my favorite black bean chocolate cake recipe by Lauren over at the Healthy Indulgences blog  . Lauren’s cake is actually better than the original cake modified  🙂 One of the best low-carb chocolate cakes I’ve come across to date.

For this mini Black Forest cake, I make up one whole recipe of the cake, which makes 3 small round 5″ cakes.  I use two for this recipe and reserving the third cake for some other dessert use (or freeze it).

I have carefully calculated only 2/3 of the nutritional values on cake for the serving nutritional information below.   Of course, you can attempt to cut this into 5 or 6 servings and lower the carb count, but I forewarn you cutting this cake into smaller pieces is extremely difficult given its height.  You could also substitute Eden Black Soy Beans pureed and lower the carb count considerably, but the flavor and texture of the cake will change a bit.

Although this recipe is not in the cookbooks, more delicious low-carb cakes and desserts 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 chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

DISCLAIMER: I do not get paid for this book promotion or for the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so merely because they are GREAT cookbooks any low-carb cook would be proud to add to their cookbook collection

DIRECTIONS: 

STEP I –  Cherry Filling:The day before needed, mix the following cherry filling ingredients in small saucepan except for the xanthan gum.  Cook over medium heat stirring, adding xanthan gum in several light dustings, stirring well after each addition of xanthan gum.  This is to avoid lumps in the thickener.  I go for medium thick on this filling.  Refrigerate overnight.  If you got it too thick, not to worry.  That’ll never be noticed in this cake.  Stir it up to loosen the sauce before applying to cake.

CHERRY FILLING INGREDIENTS:

1/2 can red sour cherries in natural juice, drained, saving liquid
1/4 c. of the reserved cherry liquid
liquid sweetener to = 1/4 c. sugar (I used 1½ tsp. Fiberfit)
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 T.  Kirschwasser liqueur (cherry brandy)
few drops red food coloring
1/4 tsp. almond extract

STEP II – Chocolate Mousse: The day before cake is being served, prepare the chocolate mousse.

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE INGREDIENTS:

1 T. cocoa

½ pkg. (1 tsp.) unflavored gelatin

1 egg, beaten

1 c. total heavy cream

4 tsp. total granular Splenda (or 4 tsp. sugar equivalent of other sweetener)

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 T. Kirschwasser

Combine the cocoa with gelatin, the beaten egg and ½ c. of the heavy cream in a saucepan.  Heat to boiling over medium heat and then remove from heat.  Add 2 tsp. granular Splenda and Kirschwasser and stir well.  In a separate bowl, whip the other ½ c. heavy cream until very thick and add remaining 2 tsp. of Splenda and the vanilla. Spoon a little of the whipped cream into the cooling chocolate mixture and stir to temper the chocolate a bit.  Now pour the chocolate mixture into the rest of the whipped cream and fold the two mixtures into each other until smooth.   Taste for sweetness and add liquid Splenda to your taste.  Chill the mousse overnight or for a couple hours for flavors to mellow.  Remove from fridge a bit ahead of applying to cake in case it is too stiff.

STEP III – The Cakes: The day you plan to serve, early in day, bake your cakes. I say early, because this cake needs to be assembled for at least 2-4 hours for the kirsch to soak into the bottom layer of cake.  Preheat oven to 325º.  I use this small silicone pan to bake my cakes which requires no greasing (pictured below).  But 5″ quiche pans would work for this.   Be sure to grease your pans well, and wax-paper the bottoms, too if not using silicone pans.   This batter recipe will make 3 cakes this size, however only two of the cakes are needed to make this dessert.  Save the third cake to frost for snacks or for some other use.

CAKE INGREDIENTS: (Yes, this is Lauren of Healthy Indulgence’s chocolate cake recipe……the best!)

20 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed (I just use one 15 oz. can)

5 large eggs

1 T. water

1 T. vanilla (yes, that much!)

¼ tsp. salt

6 T. unsalted butter, softened

3/4 c. powdered erythritol (or 3/4 c. sugar equivalent other sweetener)

2 pkts. stevia

6 T. unsweetened cocoa powder

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 325º.  To a food processor, add the erythritol, drained, rinsed beans, soft butter, vanilla, eggs and water and process until all is smooth.  Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl and add to the mixture in the processor.  Process a few seconds to blend batter well and to make sure the beans are well pureed in the process.  Spoon batter equally (really important) into the three pans.  They will be approximately 3/4 full, but don’t worry, mine did not overflow.  Place pans on a cookie sheet if using silicone pans.  If using metal pans, be sure your oven shelf is level and level pans with a skewer or metal coat hangar if need be, as cake batter needs to be level in the pans.  Bake at 325º for about 30 minutes.  Ovens vary so check and if still soft in the center, bake another 5 minutes or so. The cakes are done when dry to the touch and set in the center.  Toothpick will test dry in the center as well.  Remove from oven and completely cool before attempting to remove from the pans.

STEP IV – FINAL ASSEMBLY  AND FROSTING:

Whip 1 c. heavy cream and add ½ tsp. vanilla and a few drops of liquid Splenda, or to taste.  Set aside while you cut the cakes.

Gently tip cakes out of pans.  Set one cake onto serving plate.  With a long-bladed serrated knife, with a gentle motion, carefully cut laterally each cake into two thin layers as even as you can get them.  Gently lift top layer off this first cake with BOTH hands slipping fingers (or long metal spatula) toward center of cake to support it and prevent it breaking in half.  Gently set this layer on the serving plate until needed.  On this bottom layer of cake, spread the cherry filling.

Carefully lift and place next thin layer of cake on top.  Spread the chocolate mousse evenly on top of the second layer of cake evenly.  Slice second cake in similar manner as you did the first.  Gently lift and add the third layer of cake on top of the stack.  Spread with a ½” of whipped cream.  Place the final layer of cake on top and now ice the entire cake with the remaining whipped cream, spreading evenly on sides and top so no chocolate cake or fillings are visible.   Dust top of cake with shaved chocolate and sling a little also on the sides.  If it falls all over the serving platter, that just makes the presentation prettier in my opinion.  If you have one, place a whole maraschino cherry with stem and a sprig of mint in the center of the cake for visual impact.

Chill well (at least 2 hours) covered with a dome or inverted soup pot.  Cut cake into four quadrants/servings.  Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 adult servings, each contains:

450 cals, 29g fat, 24.32g carbs, 5.85g fiber, 18.47 NET CARBS, 17g protein, 549 mg sodium

If interested in cutting into smaller servings to pull down the numbers, the entire cake has 1764 calories, 115.4g fat, 97.2g carbs, 23.4g fiber, 73.8g net carbs, 66.92 g protein and 2196 mg sodium.  Cutting into 5 pieces lowers each serving to 14.76g net carbs; cutting it into 6 pieces lowers each serving to 12.3g net carbs.  I repeat, however, it will be difficult to cut the slices this small without them falling apart on you.  That’s one reason I always do the bigger cake version of this cake for company.  🙂

Blackberry Ice Cream

Click to enlarge

Blackberry Ice Cream

I tried my hand at blackberry ice cream tonight. I put 2c. in the batch pictured, but it was too tart/intense with the berry flavor for me (but not too tart for my husband).  Just not quite creamy enough for me!  So I’m lowering the amount of berries next time and have reflected that in my recipe below.  That said, YOU and YOUR family might not find it too intense on flavor/tartness with that many berries.  So you’ll have to experiment a bit with the amount of berries.

This is one I’ll definitely be making again!  My husband ate two servings with the higher amount of berries!   That’s as good as a thumbs up from him, as he’s a real ice cream lover.  🙂  This recipe is not suitable until the berries rung of the OWL ladder.  If you don’t have the blueberry or blackberry syrup, you could sub DaVinci Vanilla  or French Vanilla and just omit the vanilla extract.

More delicious low-carb desserts 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 chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. blackberries, frozen, unsweetened (Do Not Defrost!)

1¼ c. heavy cream

1/8 tsp. vanilla

4 T. DaVinci blueberry or Monin Blackberry sugar-free syrup

12-16 drops liquid Splenda (or your favorite sweetener to taste)

2 tsp. food grade glycerine (optional, but keeps it a bit softer)

¼ c. powdered erythritol  (or reduce granular to a powder in processor)

DIRECTIONS:  Place erythritol in bowl of food processor.   Add all remaining ingredients and pulse until berries are broken up and mixture is fairly smooth.  Scrape out into dishes for a soft serve; freeze for 30 minutes for a firmer ice cream.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

282 calories, 27.7 g  fat, 8.25 g  carbs, 1.9 g  fiber, 6.35 g  NET CARBS, 1.98 g protein

 

Einkorn RWS Biscuits

Einkorn Resistant Wheat Starch Biscuits

Einkorn RWS Biscuits

These biscuits are the best I’ve made in 9 years of low-carb biscuit experiments.  So often low-carb biscuits are either dry, hard as a rock, crumbly, taste like baking soda or powder, are too cheesy, too coconut-y…….in other words, mediocre.  Well, I’ve finally gotten one that even my husband says tastes (and feels) just like a real flour biscuit in his mouth.  Not crumbly, browned nicely, soft, smooth-textured and no odd aftertaste of leavening on your tongue!  🙂  Einkorn flour is ancient grain wheat that is not modified like modern wheat).  I think the Einkorn and the Resistant Wheat Starch (RWS) are what make this recipe stand out amongst my others.  These biscuits are not suitable until you are near goal weight as there is a little real flour product in them. Wait until later in Phase 2

If you prefer a biscuit without wheat flour and with a much lower carb count, you will want to check out my Peggy’s Fluffy Biscuits.  They’re yummy. too!

Panful of Deliciousness!

A pan of sheer delicious!

INGREDIENTS:  (all are available at Netrition.com)

2 c. my Einkorn Bake Mix

½ c. shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

2 large eggs, beaten

4 T. Resistant Wheat Starch 75

¼ c. cream

about ¼ c. water, added last and slowly

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Place parchment or a silicone sheet on your baking pan and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, measure out 2 c. my bake mix.  Though it helps to let the mix come to room temp, you still need to rework shortening lumps with a fork until the mix is again the texture of cornmeal.  Add all remaining ingredients but the water and stir well.  Add water slowly but only enough to form a thick dough.  Let dough sit on counter 2-3 minutes to set up a bit.  Dip up 7 equal portions (about ½ c. batter each), form into balls and set them on pan spaced evenly.  Slightly press to a height of 1″  (2″ in diameter).    Pop pan into 350º oven for 15-17 minutes or until dry to touch in center and lightly browned.  These rise up nicely.   🙂  Serve hot with butter and your favorite jams.  Leftovers should keep nicely for a week in the fridge in a ziploc bag or in the freezer for a month.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 7 large biscuits.  Each one contains:

283 calories, 23.11 g  fat, 11.82 g  carbs,  4.62 g  fiber, 7.2 g  NET CARBS, 12.11 g  protein, 190 mg sodium

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan Bake

This side dish is simply delicious, considering how little is in it and how easy it is to make!  The bacon and onion really GO together!  If you don’t overcook the squash and are careful when removing the threads, you can serve this right in the shell for its own “bowl” for festive occasions!   One reader suggests roasting the squash traditionally in the oven for added flavor if you have the time.  This is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.

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.  Even a few of my recipes are in the cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

½ large spaghetti squash (yields about 4-5 c. cooked threads)

4 slices bacon, chopped fine

3 oz. chopped onion

1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Dash salt

¼ tsp. pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Cut a large spaghetti squash in half.  Remove seeds with a spoon and discard them. Place one half of the squash face down in glass baking dish, reserving the second half for some other use.  Surround with with ½” water and microwave 13-15 minutes.  Drain off water, invert, remove/discard seeds (or feed to the birds in your yard 🙂 ) and fork out the threads into the same dish.  If you prefer to roast your squash:  after you cut and seed the squash, add 2 cups water (1/2 inch deep) to a ceramic casserole dish; add squash face up and place in a 375 degree F oven for 45 minutes.  Then cover for 10 minutes with foil.  Fork out the threads onto a plate. Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet, brown bacon bits and onion until bacon is done and onion is tender.   Sprinkle salt, pepper and Parmesan on top of squash.  Then spoon into the empty squash shell.  Spread onion/bacon mixture evenly on top.  Microwave 5 minutes on high, or bake in oven at 350º for 20 more minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Makes 4 servings each containing:

107 calories, 6.7 g  fat, 4.8 g  carbs, .8 g  fiber, 4.0 g  NET CARBS, 7.1 g  protein, 429 mg sodium