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Archive for the ‘HOLIDAY RECIPES’ Category

Chipotle-Lime Sweet Potatoes

Chipotle-Lime “Sweet Potatoes”

OK, it’s officially close to Thanksgiving now that I have bought 2 sweet potatoes to add to my fresh pumpkin dish that has become a holiday tradition in my house:  Chipotle-Lime “Sweet Potatoes”.  I clipped a high-carb sweet potato recipe out of the Houston Post many years ago, but I low-carbed it by using fresh pumpkin (the whole variety) so that I can now have it without breaking the “carb bank”.  I have personally never been very fond of sweet potatoes as a veggie side, but ever since finding this recipe, I just love them!  I bake this recipe OFTEN, and with a wide variety of meats and seafood!

This is NOT your granny’s sweet potatoes!  Chipotle peppers are highly smoked jalapenos and taste nothing like green jalapeno peppers, in my opinion.  They, in combination with the lime zest, add a most unique “twist” to a popular vegetable more commonly seasoned with orange zest.  My brother, who was an Executive Chef at Top of the Mark in San Francisco at one time, just raved about this dish when I served it to him!  He went on to serve it often to dinner guests  in his own home over the years.  When I can’t get fresh pumpkin, I have been known to use butternut squash in this recipe in a pinch, but in all honesty, it’s not quite as good as the fresh pumpkin.  I tried it one time using acorn squash, and it was a “different animal” altogether, and not one I was terribly fond of.

I find this dish particularly tasty with baked, fried or grilled seafood, grilled meat, especially wild game, Texas-style BBQ, baked ham and of course that Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey or duck.  The flavor combination of lime, smoky chipotles and maple extract (¼ c. very high carb packed brown sugar in the original recipe) is a real winner!  The color of the final dish is more golden than orange as it is with all potatoes, thus my addition of red food coloring to correct color aesthetics.

Absolutely DO NOT SUBSTITUTE CANNED PUMPKIN or you are going to be extremely disappointed.  Just not the same dish.  Once you reach the starchy vegetable rung of the OWL Phase of Atkins and can afford a few more carbs,  I would recommend using just 1½ lb. pumpkin and adding 1 lb. cooked, mashed sweet potato (2 medium) for both flavor, color and a much creamier, tastier final dish. You will of course need to adjust nutritional info if you make that change as my numbers are for pumpkin only.

This dish does not freeze well.  As a general rule, cooked pumpkin flesh does not freeze well at all when used as a vegetable side dish.  Its water separates out in the bottom of your baking pan upon thawing the made-ahead dish for final heating/serving.  This doesn’t happen with muffins, cookies and cakes, but in invariably does with veggie sweet potato recipes.  That really ruins the final dish for me.  No matter how I try to drain that water off, it just keeps bleeding out more water it seems!  Totally spoils it for me, so I never, EVER freeze pumpkin.

This recipe appears in Vol. 1 of Jennifer Eloff’s latest cookbook series, LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.   I hope you’ll click the link to their Facebook page and take a look at a sampling of the recipes that await you in this now 10-volume set.  Any low-carb cook would be proud to serve the recipes shared by these very talented cook, ……….including famous George Stella!  You can order the entire set or individual volumes at Amazon or here:  http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

2½ lb. cooked fresh pumpkin (DO NOT USE CANNED PUMPKIN.  It’s horrible in this!)

½ c. heavy cream

4 T. butter

¼ tsp. salt

2 T. fresh lime juice

zest of 1 large lime (2 if they are small)

½ c. granular Splenda

1 tsp. maple extract (or 2 T. sugar-free maple syrup)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1-2 chipotle peppers (canned, in adobo sauce) seeded, rinsed & mashed

few drops red food coloring to achieve orange color of sweet potatoes (optional)

VARIATION:  For very special occasions and holidays, I sometimes reduce the fresh pumpkin in these and add 2 small, “real” sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed for a more authentic recipe that comes even closer to the original recipe. 

DIRECTIONS:  Remove stem and cut a small 4-4½ lb. pumpkin in half.  Remove seeds (you can roast them for snacks) and turn cut side down into baking pan.  Fill pan with 1″ water and bake pumpkin at 350º until tender when fork is stuck into it (about 45 minutes).  Remove and cool enough to handle.  Scoop/scrape  the pumpkin flesh out of skin/shell and weigh. Should yield about 2-2½ lb. flesh.  (freeze any overage for future use).  Cool a bit before whipping the pumpkin with an electric mixer, blender or food processor to get it as smooth as possible.  Add all remaining ingredients except chipotle peppers.

For the holidays or very special occasions, I will bake 2 medium sweet potatoes, scoop out flesh, mash and add for richer flavor, but this ups the carbs quite a bit.  When I do this, I reduce the pumpkin by the volume of sweet potato I sub in.  I have not included any sweet potatoes in the numbers below.

These little chipotle peppers (smoked jalapenos) are very HOT, so special handling is recommended.  Either wear plastic gloves (homemade  “sandwich bag gloves” will do) or be sure you wash your hands well after handling.  Take 1 chipotle pepper (about 1½” long) out of the can.  Rinse, and remove seeds and ribs with a knife.  Finely mash wall flesh into a puree on a flat wooden board or paper plate.  Add to pumpkin mixture, stir well and taste to see if this is hot enough for you.  You don’t want to get this dish too hot.  A little tingle on the tongue is what you’re looking for.

If you want even more smoky taste or a hotter dish, carefully repeat, adding just ½ pepper at a time, re-tasting after each addition.   If you add pepper in stages like this, you won’t ever ruin the whole batch getting it too hot (I did one time).  Never forget that not everyone at your dinner table or social occasion will like things as hot as others.

Stir well and pour into buttered ceramic/glass baking dish.  Sprinkle with a dash more cinnamon and bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes.

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

114 cals, 7.6g fat, 12g carbs, 4g fiber, 8g net carbs, 2g protein, 121 mg. sodium

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Since there are just two of us now gathering for Thanksgiving, I sometimes just roast a duck to avoid so many leftovers.  This is a delicious recipe for duck which cooks up very moist.  I usually serve a traditional cornbread stuffing and green beans with this delicious bird.  I have never liked orange sauce on duck, so I decided to work up this blueberry sauce with a hint of herbs some years ago and that turned out to be a good decision.  The herbs and bacon in the sauce bring so many flavor layers to the table.  This can be served with your wine of choice, even red.  This recipe is suitable once you reach the berry level of Atkins (OWL Phase 2).  It is suitable for all Keto diets, Primal Blueprint and Paleo if you omit the wine in the sauce.  This Tipsy Blueberry Sauce would be good with turkey, roast pork or probably any other wild game you might be cooking this holiday season.

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends (me included).  Chef George Stella of Food Network fame, also brings to the table a wealth of delicious recipes added to the collection!  You’ll LOVE these recipes!  Order your copy today from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php. Special prices available for the complete 10-volume set.

INGREDIENTS FOR DUCK:

5½ lb. duck

1/4 tsp. each onion powder, dried thyme and rosemary, crushed

Dash my Seafood Spice Blend (optional)

¼ tsp. salt

1 T. butter

DUCK DIRECTIONS:  Remove sauce packet (I throw it away) and the innards.  Boil the innards in 2 c. water for your dog.  🙂  Save the broth for your sauce.  Preheat oven to 375º.  Rub your fingers over duck checking for pinfeathers and remove any you find with the tip of a knife.  Mix the herbs and spices in a small dish with the salt.  Rub over duck skin all over.  Place duck on a grate that is then set down in a large roasting pan.  Baste with melted butter and pop into hot 375º oven for 1 hour.  Remove from oven, baste skin with remaining butter and return to oven for 30-45 minutes longer or until skin is brown, crisp and the duck read internal temperature of 180º.  While duck is roasting, prepare sauce.

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

3 green onions, chopped coarsely

1½ oz. bacon (3 slices), chopped coarsely

1 c. blueberries (dried, fresh or frozen)

1 c. broth (or a little more if you simmer too long)

2 T. Port wine or Sherry

Dash each thyme, rosemary, onion powder and salt

¼ tsp. xanthan gum or your preferred thickener

SAUCE DIRECTIONS:  Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add chopped bacon, brown it nicely.  Add onion and saute until onion is very tender.  Do not drain off grease.  Add all remaining ingredients but the thickener.  Allow to simmer until berries begin to burst open and turn the sauce blue.  Here, I go by smell, and appearance, but when all appears to be cooked and it smells wonderful, thicken to desired level with your preferred thickener.  Allow guests to serve atop roasted duck slices at table.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings, each contains:

385 calories, 31 g fat, 3.82 g carbs, .81 g fiber, 3.10 g NET CARBS, 20 g protein, 277 mg sodium

 

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Peach Melba

Click to enlarge

Peach Melba

I remember a Russell Stover specialty candy they made many, many years ago.  It was called “Peach Melba”.  It consisted of a wonderful peach/coconut filling covered in rich dark chocolate.  Don’t know if they still make that candy anymore or not.  My Mom loved that candy so much, we’d walk into the Russell Stover candy shop and she’d buy it 2 or 3 pounds at a time!  Dad loved it, too.  In fact, she decided to come up with her own recipe so she could make it at home.  Hers truly rivaled Russell Stover’s!!    But she no longer has that recipe. So I just had to try something similar (low-carb of course).  My hubby isn’t so fond of coconut, so I didn’t put the large coconut chip onto these as I had wanted.

My favorite dried fruits have always been dried apricots and peaches but they’re both fairly high in carbs.  You sure can’t eat many of them on a low-carb diet. But I thought maybe just a very small piece of fruit, a big nut and just a whisper of delicious chocolate might make a wonderful confection worthy of serving during the holidays, without breaking the carb “bank”.   These came out GREAT!  I also did some with dried prunes, which I freely admit came out even better than the apricot version!  Next time I’m going to put a thin slice of fresh coconut between the fruit and nut on some of these, for ME.  I LOVE coconut!

This recipe makes a pretty big batch of the chocolate sauce, around 1¼ cups, so I’m providing the per teaspoon nutritional info and you’ll have to calculate your per serving candy figures because that depends on which fruit you pick, how many you eat or if the sauce is used in other dessert applications how much you used on each serving of that recipe.  This recipe is not suitable until you are way up on the fruits rung of Atkins Phase 2 OWL or Maintenance.

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 other talented cooks (myself included) to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Order your 10-volume set TODAY for special discounts! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE SHELL COATING:

1 c. sugar free chocolate chips

1 square unsweetened baking chocolate (or 4 squares Lindt 90% chocolate)

¼ c. melted butter

1 T. coconut oil (or 1 T. more butter)

6 drops liquid Splenda (or 2 tsp.vanilla sugar-free syrup)

DIRECTIONS:  First, cut each dried peach in half and with your fingers or a knife tip, butterfly each half out flat.  Set each piece sticky side up on a small baking sheet (I used a small 11 x 7″ pan as I was just making 10 pieces total).  Cut each dried prune into 3 pieces.  Butterfly them open and place sticky side up onto your pan.  Press 1 almond (or walnut half, or pecan half) on top of each piece of fruit, pressing firmly enough so that the sticky fruit “grabs’ onto the nut and holds is firmly in place.

Next, in a small saucepan, melt the butter in either a double boiler over medium heat.  You can use a makeshift one, where you put your saucepan down in a skillet of 1” boiling water (that’s all a double boiler really is anyway).  Add the square of chocolate and melt slowly.  Add the chips, stirring constantly so the chocolate will stay smooth.  You can add more butter (or coconut oil) in small increments if your chocolate is too thick to be like a nice chocolate sauce.  Melting/smoothness qualities vary from brand to brand, in my opinion.

ASSEMBLY:   Stir the warm chocolate sauce again and with a small spoon, dip about ½ tsp. of sauce onto each candy.  Refrigerate or freeze any leftover sauce for future use on more candy recipes or for a chocolate shell coating for vanilla ice cream bars.  Pop the pan into the refrigerator or freezer for about 10-15 minutes.  When the chocolate is hard to the touch, ENJOY!  The chocolate will melt if at room/hand temperature too long, so these should pretty much go from fridge to mouth, but that shouldn’t be a problem for any of you.   Never has been for me either.  LOL

VARIATIONS:   Dried apricots, dried prunes, coconut chips, almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, dried cherries.

NUTRITIONAL INFO FOR SAUCE:  Makes about 1¼ cups or 20 T. (60 tsp.).  Each tsp. contains:

19 cals, 1.79g fat, .55 g  carbs, 0.21g fiber, 0.34 NET CARBS, 0.2g protein, < 1 mg. sodium

To help you calculate your per serving info I’m providing below the details on the various dried fruit and nets below:

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Chocolate Blueberries

Chocolate Blueberries

There’s no law says you have to do chocolate covered STRAWBERRIES for your special occasions.  Other berries (or pineapple chunks) will work, too!  Today, I had big, plump blueberries in the fridge and wanted something sweet.  🙂

This recipe makes a pretty big batch of the chocolate sauce, around 1¼ cups, so I’m providing the per teaspoon nutritional info.  One teaspoon will definitely coat 1 blueberry, maybe even two.  This recipe is suitable once you reach the berries level of Phase 2 Atkins or for Keto diets as well.

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 each of the 5 volumes! Order your set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS/NEEDS:

Some toothpicks

Fresh blueberries (pick the biggest ones in the carton)

Half lemon, orange or apple (for toothpick serving post)

1 c. sugar free chocolate chips

1 square unsweetened baking chocolate

¼ c. melted butter

1 T. coconut oil (or 1 T. more butter)

6 drops liquid Splenda or other liquid sweetener to taste

DIRECTIONS:  First, push a toothpick through the number of large berries you want to make.  Push through the stem scar but not quite all the way out the top.  Lay them aside until the chocolate sauce is made.  Set the lemon half cut side down on your serving plate and set aside.

CHOCOLATE SAUCE:  In a small saucepan, melt the butter and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat or use a makeshift double-boiler, where you put your saucepan down in a skillet of 1″ boiling water (that’s all a double boiler really is anyway).  Add the square of chocolate and melt slowly in the hot melted oil/butter.  Add the chocolate chips, stirring constantly so the chocolate will stay smooth.

ASSEMBLY:   Take each berry pick and dip the berry just deep enough into the chocolate sauce to coat the berry.  Lift carefully straight up and let it drip, rolling to even the chocolate as evenly as you can get it.  When it appears to be stopped dripping, carefully poke the berry pick into the lemon half.  Repeat for all berries.  It will take about ½ tsp. chocolate sauce to coat each berry. Refrigerate any leftover sauce for future use on more berries or for a chocolate shell coating for vanilla ice cream bars.  Pop the plate into the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes so the chocolate can harden.  When the chocolate is hard to the touch, ENJOY!  These should pretty much go from fridge to mouth or they will melt, so it’s not really a good party food siting around on a buffet table.  They are best served right from the fridge.

VARIATIONS:   Big fresh strawberries, pineapple chunks, or orange segments with outer skin/membrane removed.

NUTRITIONAL INFO (sauce only):  Makes about 1¼ cups sauce (20 T.= 60 tsp.).  Each tsp. should coat 1-2 berries.  The berry will add another 0.2 net carbs.  Each teaspoon of sauce contains

19 cals, 1.79g fat, 0.55g carbs, 0.21g fiber, 0.34g NET CARBS (the blueberry adds 0.2 g additional net carbs, so one berry treat has 0.56 NET CARBS total), 0.2 g  protein

 

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Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake

I created a delicious coffeecake early on in my weight-loss journey.    It’s very filling with my addition of a flax topping.  This will be something I only make on very special occasions as it’s a little carb pricey.  It is very good and when I serve it for special occasions, I’m amazed how well it is received by guests.

This recipe is not suitable for Atkins Induction.  Blueberries would do nicely in this for a nice variation. 🙂  You can pull the carb count down on this coffeecake using liquid Splenda in the cake and cream cheese layer, but I had none on hand the day I made this.  I would definitely stick with the granular erythritol or Splenda for the streusel topping, however.

INGREDIENTS:

2½ c. almond flour (total)

½ c. hazelnut flour (total)

2 T. flax meal

1½ c. granular erythritol or Splenda (or sweetener of your choosing to equal 1½ c. sugar)

3 eggs

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. salt

¼ c. butter, unsalted, only slightly softened

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. sour cream

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 T. oil of your choice (coconut, melted butter, extra light olive oil)

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 c. fresh raspberries (or frozen)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º and grease 8″ square or deep round cake pan (this cake rises up nicely).  In a medium mixing bowl, add 2 cups of the almond meal, 1 T. of the flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 3/4 c. sweetener and mix well.  Add sour cream, oil, extract and 2 of the eggs.  Beat by hand until well blended.  Spread evenly into greased cake pan and set aside.

Now soften the cream cheese and add the 3rd egg.  Beat until smooth with a spoon.  Add 1/4 c. sweetener.  Carefully pour this evenly over the cake batter.  Try not to disturb cake batter too much as you try to get this evenly over the cake.  Next evenly place the raspberries on top of the cream cheese layer.

Make the streusel topping by mixing ½ c. almond meal, ½ c. hazelnut meal and 1 T. flax meal, the cinnamon, ½ c. sweetener and the ¼ c. butter.  A fork is easiest to do this with.  Try to break up the butter in the crumbly mixture as best you can.  You can add a few chopped nuts as well to this streusel (pictured but NOT included in nutritional info below).  With hands, sprinkle all the topping on top of the cake (looks like a lot but use it all, trust me).  Bake for 40 minutes or until done in center   Cut into 16 servings.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 16 servings, each containing:

217 cals, 19.5g fat, 12.56g carbs, 3.13g fiber, 9.43g NET CARBS, 5.73g protein, 93mg sodium

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The Perfect Rib Roast

The Perfect Rib Roast

Well, I made it through yet another Christmas feast!  This year I served a baked ham with my Chipotle Sweet Potatoes and roasted asparagus rather than a rib roast.  But I thought I’d post my favorite method for cooking rib roasts in case some of you plan on cooking one for New Year’s.  This is how my mother roasted them for years and years and folks, it just doesn’t get any easier or any tastier! This method has never, EVER failed me.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Ketogenic diets and Primal-Paleo if you use coconut aminos.

My roasts are usually bone-in as I think they cook more evenly with the bones in them.  But I do remove them after cooking to make slicing the meat easier.  I usually served my rib roast with horseradish sauce and typically, French-style green beans or broccoli and a tasty cauliflower mash along with a lovely Grand Marnier fruit salad on the side.  All I can say is……………Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

We like rib roast medium rare and you can see, it cooks perfectly effortlessly with this method.  My roasts average 3.5 pounds after removing the bones, so I shoot for a 4-4.5 pound bone-in roast at the market.  I usually get 8 nice 8-oz. servings (3/8″ thick slices) from this size roast.   My little rat terrier usually gets one of the meaty bones for her Christmas dinner.  She is in sheer heaven along with the rest of us.  🙂  My husband usually gnaws on the remaining bones for a late night snack.

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 Christmas prices as low as $9.77 on some books (free shipping in USA).  Hurry and place your order today for any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php.  When you purchase our books, we would sure appreciate you stopping by Amazon to leave a review here.

Prime Rib Christmas Dinner 2014

INGREDIENTS:

4½ pound beef rib roast (bone-in)

1 T. coconut aminos, tamari or low-sodium soy sauce

½ clove garlic (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)

¼-1/3  tsp. coarse cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat the oven to 325º.  Place the roast on a cutting board or right in your roasting pan if you prefer.  If using fresh garlic, the first step is to cut your clove in half and rub the cut surface all over the surfaces of the meat (all sides, including the bony side).   If not using fresh garlic, step 1 is to drizzle the coconut aminos or soy sauce over the meat surfaces and rub it in with your fingers.  Step 2 is to sprinkle the garlic powder on the meat surfaces.  Last, sprinkle the black pepper all over the meat surfaces.  Place roast bone side down in your roasting pan.  Roast at 325º for 15 minutes to the pound.

Check center of the roast with a meat thermometer (be sure the thermometer tip isn’t touching bone).  The meat is rare at an internal temperature of 115º; medium rare at 120º; well done at 125º and probably overcooked and thoroughly “dead” (dry and tough) at 130º or higher.   I personally think it is a crime to eat such a wonderful cut of meat well done, but to each his own preference.    Since we like our rib roast medium rare, I always take it out of the oven when it reads (115º rare) as it will continue to cook as you let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes before carving.  You don’t want to bypass the sitting period or the minute you start slicing, all the wonderful juices will ooze out onto the cutting board and be wasted.  Carve off the bones and set aside.  Carve up 8 nice 3/8″ slices and serve at once.

I like to deglaze the roasting pan with a dab of water over low heat while the meat is “resting” awaiting slicing. Just stir to get up all the brown bits to make your “au jus” sauce.  Add a dash of salt and pepper to the juice if needed.  Serve your roast with horseradish sauce if desired.  My recipe for that sauce is here:  Horseradish Sauce

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes eight 8-oz.servings (plus the meaty bones leftover).  Each 8-oz. slice contains:

846 cals, 69 g  fat (less if you trim all visible off), 0.7 g  carbs, 0.2 g  fiber, 0.5 g  NET CARBS, 52 g  protein, 209 mg sodium

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0131

This is the dessert I am making for Christmas this year.  It’ll just be the two of us and my husband’s brother visiting from up around Dallas.

When I was in high school in Kansas, my best friend (also named Peggy) often had me over for dinner (we were neighbors).  Her mother was a former stage actress from Budapest who married an American Army officer after WWII.  To say Peggy’s mother was a good cook would be a gross understatement.  Dinner at my friend’s house was quite the culinary experience, and as my parents were also well-versed in gourmet cooking, I felt my ability to judge really good food was well-honed by this age.

This wonderful apple dessert, much like hand pies, was Peggy’s mom’s signature dessert.  My family fell in love at first bite!  It has since become a family favorite holiday dessert offering.  I have now reworked it for a low-carb lifestyle, using an entirely different crust.  I have also low carbed the filling.  The original recipe is made with all apples, a few raisins and the original crust had 1c. sour cream!  To be more authentic, you could go ahead and use sour cream for the cream called for in my pie crust below without much of a hike in carbs.  🙂  I have omitted the raisins entirely as they add so many carbs.  I use mostly chayote squash, with only one apple for flavor impact.  These bars definitely improve in flavor on day 2 as the rum mellows considerably overnight so I like to make them the day before I plan to serve.

Just for the heck of it, I worked up the nutritional numbers for this made with 5 small apples and no chayote squash and provide that info below for anyone interested in making this with all apples.  Doing so ups the carbs approximately 2 carbs per bar, which isn’t that bad a price for all apples, really.  Holidays are supposed to be “special occasions”, non?  🙂  Today I plan to make this with all apples, as it’s Christmas once again.

I hear zucchini makes a wonderful apple sub, but the unpredictability of its moisture content in a pastry worries me greatly, so I haven’t tried that in this recipe.  As it is consumed hand-held a soggy crust can’t be tolerated for hand eating.  I absolutely do not think this recipe would be good with ALL chayote squash, so I will never go down that road for this favorite.

This dish is not suitable until late in Atkins Phase 2 OWL due to the rum and apples.  I store my bars in an airtight container in the bottom of my fridge.  To be honest, they don’t usually last long enough to worry about freezing!  I’ve never frozen any of my low-carb pastries, so I don’t know how they’d freeze.

Chayote Squash (also called mirletons)

Chayote Squash (also called mirletons)

INGREDIENTS:

2  recipes Peggy’s “Flour” Pie Crust   (for gluten free, use your favorite gluten-free pie crust recipe)

1/3 c. granular Splenda (or equivalent sweetener of your choice)

2 chayote squash (or zucchini) , peeled and sliced ¼-3/8″ thick

1 small delicious apple (2½” diameter), peeled and sliced ¼” thick

3/4 c. pecans, chopped

2 T. rum

1 T. fresh lemon juice

lemon zest of 1 lemon

3/4 c. granular erythritol (or equivalent sweetener of your choice)

2½ tsp. cinnamon

3 egg whites, beaten to frothy/soft peaks

DIRECTIONS:   You need a 8½” x 11½” baking pan for this recipe.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Make the double recipe of pie crust dough per that recipe’s instructions, adding the 1/3 c. Splenda to the mixture.   When pastry is kneaded into a solid ball of dough, form a log and break apart into 60% and 40% (bottom crust takes a little more dough than the top crust).

BOTTOM CRUST:  Take the larger piece of dough, shape in a rough log and place between two pieces plastic.  Roll out dough into a rectangle the size of the pan’s bottom plus the depth of the sides.  Dough will be fairly thin but still manageable.  The dough must be large enough go up the sides of the pan completely to the top and over the edge in order not to fall when baked.     Peel top plastic off carefully and fold in half/lift pastry into the pan.  Adjust pastry to fit.  Carefully remove second piece of plastic and fit pastry well into the walls and corners of the pan without tearing.  Allow pastry to lay over the top edge of the pan to “hold on” and not fall inward during baking.  Prick pastry with a fork at 2″ intervals to avoid it bubbling up during baking.  Bake for 10-12 minutes in a preheated 350º oven just begins to lightly brown.  Remove and cool while you make the filling.

FILLING:  Peel and slice chayote squash and microwave covered on HI for 8-10 minutes until soft.  Peel apple and place in bowl with chayote. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl with electric hand mixer until thick (thick and frothy/soft peaks).  Add nuts, rum, lemon juice and zest, erythritol and cinnamon to the apple/squash mixture and then fold in the beaten egg whites until the fruit and nuts are well-moistened.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape the filling into the half-baked crust.  Spread as evenly as possible, pushing up into corners of pastry.  Level the apples and squash pieces so no pointy bits are sticking up as they may tear the top pastry.  I’ve had that happen before.

TOP CRUST:  Roll the remaining ball of dough between the two plastic sheets, rolling it into a rectangle just a tiny bit larger than the top of the pan. Peel off top plastic and fold up/lift gently onto the filling, being sure the edges are fitting over the bottom crust.  Crimp the top crust onto the bottom crust with your fingers to seal it well.     Pop into hot 350º oven for about 22-25 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and done in the center.  Dough will be a tiny bit soft but dry to the touch.  It will look like the final product below/right when done.  Cool completely before slicing and refrigerating.

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.  Books are on sale right now (some as low as $9.77) with free shipping in the USA.  You can place your order today for any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php.  When you purchase our books, we would sure appreciate you stopping by Amazon to leave a review here.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 24 bars, each contains:

Click to enlarge

Hot from the oven

74.14 cals, 6.43g fat, 7.1g carbs, 5.33g fiber, 1.77g NET CARBS, 2.68 g  protein, 61.33 mg sodium

FOR THE CURIOUS:  With all apple filling, using 5 small 2½” apples:  93 calories, 7.5g fat, 10.06 g  carbs, 6.36 g  fiber, 3.7 net carbs

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