Sunday, July 17, 2016

MEATZA Pizza, made with beef!

We have been experimenting with Meatza pizzas over here, since my husband has gone low carb.  Love this one. Obviously skip the sauce if you are a non-plant eating zero carber. You could make this with fresh mozzarella on top, or any way you like.  I bought shredded cheese and sliced cheese to make it easier.

Meatza Pizza
Serves 2 -3

1 lb of ground beef (or a little more is ok)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese (I used 365 brand of provolone, parmesan, asiago, fontina)
Sliced whole milk mozzarella cheese (we used 6 thick slices)
Pepperoni Slices 
4 ounces (1/4 cup) tomato paste, organic
1/2 cup strained tomoato sauce, organic
2 Tablespoons water
sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes: to taste
wooden spoon
9" cast iron pan, small pot

Pre-heat oven to 400˚F. Mix in a large bowl: beef, seasonings, eggs, and one cup of the shredded cheese. (Save the 1/2 cup for later). Press into a 9" cast iron pan, up the sides to make a "crust". Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the meat is cooked. You may have to pour off some water or jus that collects on top to get the middle to cook.  If you do, be careful your "crust" doesn't slide out, by using a spatula to hold it in the pan. You may even have to scrape it a bit if you get a loose mixture of jus on top that won't cook.

While cooking, start the quick pizza sauce.  In a small pan, turn heat on high and put the tomato paste in, stirring with a wooden spoon until it slightly changes color and is heated through.  Add tomato sauce, and whatever spices you like.  You could use minced garlic or garlic powder, oregano, basil, s&p, red pepper flakes to your liking. Add the water and stir every so often so it won't pop.  You can cook it down slightly or just cook it until it tastes right, by adjusting spices.  This might make slightly more than you will need.

When crust is cooked, layer on it: sauce, 1/2 cup of cheese (maybe reserve one teaspoon or so for the very top), mozzarella slices, pepperoni and a little sprinkling of cheese on the very top. Broil for about 4 minutes, or until cheese is melted and pepperoni is cooked. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Zero Carb Pork Chops - nut free

This recipe can be used for any kind of pan-fried meat such as lamb chops, or pounded thin chicken. I used pork rinds for the coating.  My favorite kind of pork rind is Chicharrones, which is mostly skin, and they are easier to grind to make a more consistent coating. You can use any kind, but if you have the choice, grab the bag of Chicharrones.  It takes almost a whole bag to make about a half cup.

When I refer to "Zero Carb", I don't mean this has No Carbs (there will be a tiny bit in the egg and cream). I am referring to the Zero Carb Diet, which I now follow.  Scroll back a few posts, if you want to know more about that. The name is a misnomer, I still eat some carbs, but only if they are animal products like eggs, cream, or milk.

This is a good recipe if you are trying to avoid nut flour. I really love the taste of the pork rinds made into "bread crumbs".

TIP: READ this through before starting! You will need to plan accordingly to size of pork chops.

Zero Carb Pork Chops
*I made two pork chops with one bag of pork rinds, plan accordingly. 
makes 2

2 pork chops
1 bag of Pork Rinds (see note above on style)
1 egg
1 Tablespoon of cream
bacon grease or oil for pan
food processor or Vitamix style blender
2 bowls, a plate
Pan big enough to fit both chops in

Pour the bag of pork rinds into Vitamix and grind up to a powder.  Don't go too long, or you will get a butter. Pour in one bowl (leftovers can go in a ziplock or a tightly sealed container). In the other bowl, mix egg and cream with a fork or whisk until well mix. Position a plate next to the two bowls. Dip your pork chops, one at a time, into the egg-cream mixture, making sure to get it on all sides. Then, put them into the rind crumbs bowl and make sure you get an even coat on both sides. Place them onto the plate.
Heat up the grease in the pan on medium high heat for just about a minute, until hot, not smoking. Place the chops in there, side by side, and cook until underside is brown, then flip and cook until done.  It really depends how thick your chops are for how long. I buy them thin, around 3/4 inch, so I can cook them in the pan.  I like mine cooked medium, so they are still very juicy. Hope you like them!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Twice Baked Parmesan Crackers

I love to make these crackers.  It took me forever to post it because sometimes they just wouldn't crisp right and I just couldn't figure out the cause.  The humidity, maybe?  Then I discovered if you bake them twice, they are even better.  We tried the ones Whole Foods makes and they are delicious but cost $22 a pound!  So I made my own, and I like them better.  These are so easy to make and my toddler looooves them (no goldfish for him!!).  I hope you enjoy this recipe. Please post if you do!

Use real cheese, not the kind of parmesan that comes in a shaker ;)

Twice Baked Parmesan Crackers

shredded parmesan
grated parmesan
parchment paper
baking sheet

Preheat oven to 300˚F.  On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread out enough shredded parmesan to cover the sheet but in a lacey pattern.  You want "holes" (like the pattern of lace), so that it is not too thick.  Then, fill in the "holes" with grated parmesan, and sprinkle a little all over.  Bake for 20- 40 minutes (depending on how thick you made it) or until it is golden brown all over the top.  Take out and let cool to room temperature, on the baking sheet.  When cool, test to see if you can break off a piece, near the middle: does it come off crisp, or is it bendable?  If you are lucky, sometimes one time baking is enough.  Otherwise, if it is a little bendy, bake again, at 300˚F for about 20 minutes until crispy.  Let cool, break off in pieces, and store in an airtight container.  If they get soft, re-toast to crisp them up again.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp

3 seconds before getting in my belly.

My favorite dinner, my husband makes this for me for my birthday.  Originally we used pepper-jack cheese.  This year, I have found that nightshade vegetables have been causing arthritis in my joints.  I stopped eating them and it has completely gone away (I also don't eat very many carbs at all, so it could be a combination). This year, we used smoked mozzarella, and holy moly, they were even better!!! These are very easy.

TIP: read recipe through before starting.

How it looks before baking, from my birthday perspective

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp

30-40 large peeled and deveined medium to large shrimp with tails on
bacon, thicker sliced works best - about 2 lbs or 15 slices
smoked mozzarella, we usually buy 2 blocks to make sure we have enough
baking pan

Cut your bacon in half or more.. depending on the size of your shrimp. You want the bacon to wrap around it as shown above but be a little longer since it will shrink a bit when we pre-cook it.  Place bacon on baking pan and put into a cold oven.  Turn oven on 425˚F and bake the bacon halfway through. You want it to be browned a little but not yet crispy. Remove from oven and let cool until you can touch it.  Don't let it cool so much that it hardens. Place pan on the side, you will re-use it with the grease on it.

While bacon is in oven, cut cheese into small squares. When bacon is cooled enough to touch, wrap each piece around the shrimp and place cheese square on top, securing with a toothpick all the way through. Turn oven back on and heat back up to 400˚F. Place shrimp back on cookie sheet, with the grease from baking the bacon still on the sheet. This will prevent it from sticking. Bake until shrimp is cooked through, bacon is crisp and cheese is melted.  Eat when still hot!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Grain-free Meatballs and my Zero Carb Diet

Ok, so I guess I will come clean. I have gone to a Zero Carb lifestyle. That's a diet that includes animal products only, no plants (the name is a weird one, there are carbs in animal products).  I eat mostly beef, bacon, eggs, dairy. I also eat pork, lamb, duck, chicken, fish of all kinds, etc.  I do drink coffee with raw cream and now that my weight is stable, I drink wine.  I have lost 55 pounds, from a size 14-16 to a size 6. Yes, I will stay on this diet forever.  It is the most freeing, easy diet ever, almost completely free of cravings (I have an occasional craving), and I have never felt healthier in my life. You can read all about the details here (then, peruse this amazing site if you wish! LOTS of info there): Zero Carb Zen Website Interview Link.

So, I don't eat sweet things anymore. I will still post some little-sweet recipes that you can add stevia or your favorite sub to, though.  I have some to upload actually, just very little time around here lately.

Here are my favorite Zero Carb Meatballs (No Plant Meatballs), I hope you enjoy them.  I am LOVING THEM! Next time I make them, I may add a cream sauce. If it comes out, I will post it.

ZERO CARB is a strange name for a NO PLANT diet.  I do eat carbs in the form of cream, eggs, and raw milk.

Zero Carb No Plant Meatballs

1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/2 cup ground up pork rinds - I prefer the drier ones but any will work (check the ingredients for MSG!)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
onion and garlic powder, to taste (optional, I did just a little)
chili pepper flakes or sichuan pepper flakes (I use the latter because of a nightshade allergy)
(any other seasons you like but I did it just as described above)

Mix all ingredients well.  I used my hands to smash them all together in a bowl. When totally mixed, roll into small 1"-2" balls and place on a baking pan.  Cook at 375˚F until browned and cooked through. The time will depend on the size of your meatballs so try to keep them uniformed.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Homemade Vanilla Extract, GMO & Grain Free

RE-POST! Time to make your own vanilla!
I go through a lot of vanilla extract over here.  So, I got a great deal on vanilla beans online (do a search and you will, too!) and made my own. It is so easy! Most people use vodka, but I do not. This is why.  First, I do not believe that Celiacs can drink vodka and grain based alcohols. Why? Because I never have been able to.  They have always made me sick.  The two alcohols that do not bother me are rum and tequila.  And guess what? Neither of those are grain based.  Vodka is almost always wheat based. Sure, you can buy potato vodka if you want. But, potatoes are still considered grain-like (reactions in body).   My second reason is that I am trying to completely cut out GMOs.  So I want to stay away from anything that is made from GMO (wheat, potatoes, grains) even if it is denatured and not problem causing for gluten intolerants (which I do not believe).  Of course, it is up to you.  There is very little vanilla extract in any recipe.  I used rum made in Louisiana from Louisiana cane sugar. Louisiana cane sugar is GMO free.  So I made more than 1 1/2 pints of vanilla extract for less than $17.  Next time, I am going to buy organic vanilla beans! (I wish I had thought of that the first time).
In my picture you can see I forgot to cut the beans to make them less tall.  I'll have to do it later.  I'll post a picture later to show you the color change!

UPDATE: It worked! Took 3 months!  I have done this twice so I am re-posting this post.

Just made: not ready yet!

Made and bottled to sell for a friend's adoption fundraiser! (Left is the rum)

Homemade Vanilla Extract
makes one 750 ML bottle

1 bottle of cane-sugar rum made in US or Cuba
9 organic vanilla beans, mine were on the small side

Open rum bottle.  Slice the vanilla bean pods length-wise and use the knife to scrape out the inside seeds.  Scrape the seeds on the knife inside the lip of your rum bottle.  Cut vanilla beans in half to make them half as tall.  Drop them into the bottle, and try to push the seeds into the bottle as you are doing it. Re-cork the bottle and shake well.  Store in a cool dark place for 3 months, SHAKING DAILY if possible.  Don't let the liquid go below the vanilla pods.  Refill as necessary.  The vanilla beans will last longer than one bottle's worth of rum.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pepperoni Goat Cheese "Sandwich" Snacks

These are quick and easy, and are great to bring along in a lunch box!

Pepperoni Goat Cheese "Sandwich" Snacks

Large pepperoni slices
Goat cheese

Spread out single slices of pepperoni on a cookie sheet for oven, or a pie pan for toaster oven and bake at 350˚F until crispy- about ten minutes.  You can also broil it faster but you'll have to watch it so it won't burn.
Cool enough to handle. Make sandwiches with goat cheese between two layers of pepperoni.  So easy!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Savory Bacon Cheesecake with goat cheese

This turned out slightly towards a quiche, but still a bit like cheesecake.  It was sooo good! The crust is totally optional. You can also do an almond flour quiche crust. I used a hand mixer with this.
I found some bacon ends on sale at Whole Foods, very inexpensive.  I used them for this recipe.
A 7-inch pan will give you a taller cheesecake.  A 9-inch pan will be a shorter cheesecake, but just as delicious.

Savory Bacon Cheesecake

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pork rinds, crumbed in food processor as fine as possible
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Combine crust ingredients in a bowl and use a fork to incorporate the melted butter.  Press into the bottom of a 7 to 9 inch springform pan or tart pan. I just used a tart pan. Set aside.

9 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (4 oz) soft goat cheese
1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) sour cream
3 eggs, organic and free range is always best (more good fats)
1/2 cup thick bacon or bacon ends, cooked already and cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon or more of sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350˚ F.  Beat cheeses together until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time while mixing in between. Add sour cream and and mix just until blended.  Add bacon and stir in with a spoon.

Pour filling into crust. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until center is set but still a little jiggly. Remove to cool. If using a springform pan, you will want to cool it all the way (at least an hour) before removing the sides.  We ate ours warm like a quiche, but cold might work well too. Cover leftovers and refrigerate.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chocolate Cashew Cream Bites

These are little low carb sweets that I love. I don't live my life by carb counts, so you'll have to do that on your own if you are counting (please post) but I think you will enjoy these!

They are pretty quick to make, too. This makes enough for a pie (you'd have to make a different crust, like this very similar pie) so I suggest using small and large cupcake papers for this or you could half the recipe.

I use NuNaturals because it's the only one I can stand.  It is less sweet than other stevias so if you are using a sub... well it's up to you, but I'd start with half as much and work up to a flavor you like.  I only guarantee this is delicious with NuNaturals.

Chocolate Cashew Cream Bites

1 3.5 ounce 80% Chocolate bar, broken into squares- I like Equal Exchange brand (linked)
1 Tablespoon expeller pressed coconut oil
small cupcake liners (or bigger, I used both)
cupcake tins in whichever size you have liners

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup organic whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon NuNaturals powdered stevia (or 1/2 as much of another brand or 1 cup sugar sub)
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat chocolate and coconut oil in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir the whole time, and turn off the heat when it is almost all melted, since it will continue to melt. Don't leave the stove!  Fill the cupcake tins with appropriate liners.  When chocolate is melted, spoon a little chocolate in the bottom of every liner. Then refrigerate until it hardens (you can probably start the filling right away, below).

Whip cream and set it aside. Cream together cream cheese, stevia, and honey if using. Add milk, vanilla, and peanut butter and mix. Fold into whipped cream.  Fill cups on top of hard chocolate.  Then drizzle a little more chocolate on top.  Put back in refrigerator for a few hours, then transfer the paper cups into a lidded container and keep in fridge. These are also good frozen.

*Affiliate links inserted for ease of shopping and support of this blog, at no cost to you.  Thank you.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Best Bun-less Beef Burgers Ever! Best Grass-fed Burgers! BEST BURGERS!

This is my husband's recipe for bun-less burgers. They are so delicious that I have stopped craving buns for my burgers. Seriously, this is the bomb; the best tasting burger ever. Served with a fried egg on top and sometimes avocado... it makes my mouth drool. Sometimes, if we have them, he uses duck eggs. When you break the yolk on top, it is like a delicious sauce. I don't even use mayo or mustard on these.

*variations: Mushroom-swiss.  Omit egg and throw in 8 ounces sliced mushrooms with the onions and use swiss cheese.

Eric's Incredible Bun-less Burgers
serves 2

1 medium yellow or sweet onion
4 Tablespoons bacon grease
around 1 lb grass fed beef, divided into two 1 inch thick patties
2 chicken or duck eggs
slices of cheddar cheese, or whatever kind you like
avocado, sliced (optional)
sea salt and pepper
cast iron skillet
metal spatula
oven mitt (seriously)

Slice onion into rings. Melt all the bacon grease in the skillet and add the onion rings. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized. This takes about a half hour. Scoot caramelized onions to the side of the pan and add the patties. Salt and pepper the top to your liking. Cook until blackened on bottom and flip. Do NOT press down the burger with your spatula, this makes it less juicy. Salt and pepper this side. Cook until desired temperature, we like them medium rare. Turn off heat. Top burgers with cheese and put skillet under broiler for just a few minutes until melted. USE AN OVEN MITT to take our your pan. Remove burgers onto plates and top with onions. Still using the oven mitt, fry 2 eggs in the skillet, careful not to break the yolk. Top burgers with fried egg and avocado if you wish. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Savory Winter Squash Tart with Kabocha Squash

Kabocha Squash
This is my Thanksgiving side dish. I absolutely love the taste of Kabocha squash.  If you don't have one, you could use acorn squash, butternut squash or another similar native squash with a sweet dark flesh. You could even use canned pumpkin with a little pumpkin pie spice.  But I love this tart exactly the way it is.

**I roasted two medium sized Kabocha squash for this recipe, which made about 4 1/2 cups.  I may use the rest of the puree with butter, salt and pepper as a side dish, similar to mashed sweet potatoes.

Savory Kabocha Squash Tart

1 savory crust recipe (see below)
2 & 1/2 cups roasted** and pureed Kabocha squash/substitute (written above)
5 organic or farm eggs 
1/2 cup cream
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/8 teaspoon or dash ground white pepper (optional)

** roasting squash** Preheat oven to 375˚F. Cut your squash in half horizontally with a large knife.  Scoop out seeds and strings and discard (or save seeds for another recipe).  Place face down in a cookie sheet that has a lip.  Spear the rind/outside with a fork a few times, to let steam escape.  Put into oven, and then when it is already on the rack, pour enough water so that the bottom of the whole sheet has 1/8 - 1/4 inch water in it.  Bake about 30 - 50 minutes, until flesh is soft.  It may also lose its round outer shape, which is great.  Pull out of oven- careful not to spill the water on your hands (make sure no kids around you). Cool, then puree.

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place the squash in bowl and blend, adding eggs one at a time.  (TIP: Always crack your eggs in a separate bowl first so you don't get eggshells in mixture).  Add cream, salt & pepper (if using).  Bake around 35- 50 minutes, until set or almost set... it is okay if a very small center is not quite set because you don't want to dry it out... remember it's an egg dish.

Almond Flour Savory Crust
adapted from the Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam (buy it!!)

1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (any kind)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons minced onions, shallots, or scallions
4 Tablespoons butter, or coconut oil
1 tablespoon water
9 or 10" pie or tart pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake tins with liners.
Melt in a small saucepan on very low heat your butter, or coconut oil (if needed), until just melted, then remove from stove top.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, onions, and baking soda. Add the butter and water and mix together. Press into tart or pie pan, and keep pressing it up the sides until it is uniformly thick all over.
Bake for 5 - 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let cool.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Low Carb Vanilla Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Icing

I made these for the lovely Fall season... and they are yummy!  I am back to low carb erythritol and stevia mix (although I ran out of erythritol right before I made the icing so I just used stevia). This is an older vanilla cupcake recipe so I happen to have the carb counts on the cupcake itself, although I am sure you have seen that I don't do them anymore.  I'm just too busy, and this is only my hobby.  I hope you enjoy these!
The cupcakes have 3.15 ECC each. The only ingredient I worried about in the icing was the canned pumpkin but it only had 3 ECC's (effective carb counts) in the entire 1/4 cup. I personally don't count carbs, I look at the ingredients instead and only use good ingredients.

Vanilla Cupcake

6 TBLS butter, room temperature or High Quality Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil, semi melted or soft
6 eggs, separated
2 TBLS whole milk or half and half
½ cup erythritol or 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar or mix of two
½ teaspoon NuNaturals stevia or ¼ teaspoon of another brand
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
parchment paper or silicone muffin pan

Use a silicone muffin maker or line your muffin tin with cut out parchment paper pieces, oiled or buttered on both sides. You can use a pen to mark where it touches the sides of each indention then cut them out to make it fit perfectly (do one, then use it as a guide). Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F (205 C).
Whip egg whites in a clean and dry bowl until soft peaks form, set aside. In a separate bowl, whip butter or oil. Then add the egg yolks, milk, erythritol or coco sugar, stevia, salt, and vanilla and blend.
In a [gf] flour sifter, combine coconut flour and baking powder and sift into ingredients. Mix well to ensure no lumps. Beat in a 1/3rd of egg whites to soften the batter, then fold in rest.
Pour batter into a well greased muffin pan or well greased paper liners and bake at 400 degrees F (205 C) for 15 minutes. Cool.

Pumpkin Spice Icing

2/3 cup heavy cream
4 ounces organic cream cheese, soft
4 Tablespoons pureed organic pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia or 3/4 cup sugar sub
1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (make your own here)

Whip cream, then set aside.  In another bowl, whip cream cheese, stevia, and spice.  Add pumpkin, mix well.  Fold in whip cream, or mix lightly with a rubber spatula. Taste and adjust sweetness and spice.  Spread on cooled cupcakes.  Store these cupcakes in the fridge if they last the day.  But, EAT THEM at room temperature because all that coconut gets hard in the cold fridge.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Product Review: Arctic Chill silicone ice ball makers

Arctic Chill offered to send me a box of their ice ball makers and I said yes.  I am under no obligation to write anything but an honest review.  But, I love them! They are easy to use, are made of silicone (no plastic! yay!) and pretty easy to peel off and put them in your drink.  They would be awesome for cocktails. I have been using them for tea or ice water and my 3 year old loves them too.  I use them to make drinking water more exciting, ha! They do last way longer than regular ice cubes, and I just have to say, they are fun.  You can buy them at Amazon for $10.20 for four* or $4.99 for two*, which is a pretty good price.

Just follow the directions on the outside of the box... pretty simple.  I run a little water on the ball to open it, then on the ice ball to loosen it before I plunk it into my glass. This glass pictured are my favorite new Anchor Hocking lead-free glasses* I use for everything, including coffee. (Don't make the mistake of thinking all glass is lead free! These new Riedel glasses tested for 30% lead here.)

* Affiliate Links help me pay for ingredients at no cost to you. Thank you.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Gluten-free Crème Brûlée with Stevia & Coconut Palm Sugar

I made this easy easy crème brûlée and even bruléed it with coconut palm sugar- came out great!! I use stevia but you could use honey if you wanted.  Sometimes I put a touch of honey to round out the stevia flavor.
Those of you who also use raw milk and cream (I highly recommend!), this is not a recipe you can used slightly soured milk for. Use it fresh. And, save these egg whites, we can put them to use in something!!

ALTERNATIVE: You could use a thin layer of melted Lindt 85% chocolate (which is low carb) on top and refrigerate. It will crack like a crust if you make it thin enough. . if you don't want to use coconut palm sugar.

I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart's website.

Gfree Crème Brûlée with Stevia & Coconut Palm Sugar

serves 4

1 1/4 cups organic heavy cream
1 1/4 cups organic milk
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon high quality stevia extract powder
2 Tablespoons honey or stevia to taste
~2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar

Preheat oven to 300˚F. Make sure there is a rack 1/3rd the way up from the bottom. Choose a roasting pan big enough to hold 4 six-ounce
dessert cups and fill with enough water to go halfway up the cups. Place the pan in the oven, without the cups.

Combine cream and milk in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat as soon as it boils.

Whisk together well the egg yolks, stevia, and honey, if using. Slowly whisk in the hot milk mixture. Add vanilla and combine well. Pour mixture into cups and place them into the pan of water. Bake 30 - 40 minutes until custard is set and is no longer liquid when lightly touched in the center. It may crack under your finger but as long as your finger is not breaking through to liquid, it should be cooked. Remove from oven, and place cups on a wire rack to cool if you are serving warm, or cool off then place in fridge to serve later. These are great cold, but are delicious warm as well if you are short on time.

When ready to serve, make sure there is a oven rack near the top and turn the oven on High Broil and let it heat up. Sprinkle a little (1/2 tsp each cup) coconut palm sugar on top of each dessert cup. Place under broiler for one minute or until it looks wet, boiling, and about to burn. Take out, let cool a few minutes, then serve.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sugar Free Thai Iced Tea

I love Thai iced tea, though I could do without the orange food coloring and the sugar.  I thought I'd try my own version of low carb Thai iced tea with liquid vanilla stevia and it worked! I definitely recommend this NuNaturals brand I used only.  Otherwise, I can NOT vouch for it's Thai Ice Tea flavor! They do not pay me to say that, I just like it... (although NuNaturals, feel free to sponsor my blog!).
Thai Iced Tea is regularly made with coconut milk, so use that if you are dairy free! I used straight up grass fed organic cream from my farmer, but you aren't surprised, Dear Reader! ;)
Thai Iced tea usually looks layered. If there is a trick to that, let me know what it is! I couldn't figure it out.

PS  These little Star Wars glasses were the perfect size for my tea!

Sugar-Free Thai Iced Tea

Brewed organic black tea, chilled. I used 365 brand but this one looks good too
Coconut milk or organic cream or half and half

Add ice to your glass. Fill the glass 3/4 full with tea. Fill the remaining 1/4th with cream.  Add stevia to taste.  I started with 7 or 8 drops. Stir and mmmm.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Oatmeal Kitchen Sink Cookies with Coconut Sugar

I love oatmeal cookies. These came out A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Also, you all know your oats MUST be labelled "gluten-free" (and cost more than you would like to spend) or they will make your stomach hurt (if you are gluten-intolerant)!  There is some refrigerator time so better start early if you have a craving.
SUBS: I have made these with steel cut and with regular GF oats, they both come out great.  The steel cut oats make them crunchier.  You may sub a cup of sugar or sugar substitute for the stevia and coconut sugar, or use one cup of coconut sugar and omit the stevia.
To make with sugar free chocolate chips, you can use an 85% chocolate bar and chop it up like this (yes that is a link to my very first post).
So I am calling these Kitchen Sink Cookies because they have everything in them except for the kitchen sink.  Substitute all you want but I have to tell you it's FANTASTIC with macadamia nuts and cherries (I had some left over from the chocolate cookies). I often replace the cherries and macadamia nuts with pecans and sugar-free dried cranberries, as well.
Make these small!!!
2014 update: I used steel-cut oats, soaking the 3/4 cup in about 5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or scant 2 Tablespoons) and water covering the oats by 2 inches for 48 hours... therefore making them more digestible.  I rinsed them in a colander, then let them air dry there for 20 minutes or so. I had to increase cooking time by about 5 minutes... but YUMMY! So glad I did it.  I feel better about those pesky oat carbs!

GFCF Oatmeal Kitchen Sink Cookies
makes about 2 dozen small cookies. 

1 1/2 cups high quality almond flour, like Honeyville (not Bob's RM)
3/4 cup GLUTEN-FREE oats (For steel cut version, I used Arrowhead Mills )
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup dried cherries, or other dried fruit
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, or other nuts
1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips or chopped 85% chocolate bar
2 Tablespoons sugar-free coconut flakes (optional)
5 Tablespoons high quality EV Coconut Oil
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar - I like SweetTree
1/2 teaspoon NuNatural Stevia or 1/4 teaspoon - to taste of different brand (I don't like any other brand, personally)
1 pastured egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium sized bowl, blend coconut oil and sugar together until blended.  Add egg and vanilla and mix again.  In a separate bowl, mix well almond flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add, nuts, fruit, coconut, and chocolate chips and mix.  Cover and refrigerate at least an hour. 
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Place teaspoons of dough (small!) on an ungreased cookie sheet (no parchment paper needed) and bake 8 - 10 minutes until edges are brown.  Cool on cookie sheet.  Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Peach Crumble

My brother gave me a whole lot of peaches from his peach tree, and I made them into this crumble. This is my basic crumble/cobbler recipe, of course, with with ginger added in (I started with this recipe and added to it). What a difference it makes to use ripe peaches in this. The frozen ones I often use may not be sliced at the peak of their ripeness, and have very little taste.  But this was delicious.  I hope you have a peach tree, as well!!
I don't say how much cinnamon and ginger to use.  Mainly because my ginger is clearly stronger than most bloggers' ginger (I buy it from Penzey's), as I have found through many failed ginger recipes... :)

Peach Crumble

A bowl full of peaches
1 Tablespoon honey, or to taste, optional (can sub coconut sugar or stevia and a little water)
1 1/2 cups almond flour
2 Tablespoons organic grass-fed butter or expeller pressed coconut oil, melted
1 farm or pastured egg- any size egg will work. I usually use a small one.
1/2 cup chopped nuts, I used pecans
1/3 cup coconut sugar, or sub 1/3 cup sugar sub  (maybe 1/2 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia)
1/3 cup gluten free oatsoptional- You can sub more nuts
1/2 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract
cinnamon and ginger, to taste
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Peel and slice peaches, then pour them into a baking dish. Drizzle with honey (or stevia), ginger and cinnamon  (more cinnamon than ginger) to taste, and stir together.  If your honey is more solid than liquid, you can melt it in a small saucepan.
In a medium sized bowl, mix almond flour, melted butter or coconut oil, egg, nuts, coconut sugar, oats, sea salt, and vanilla. Add cinnamon & ginger to taste.  Mix well, then use your hands to combine it all together in a dough. Now, if using a small deep dish, you can cover it with the dough as if it were a big cookie.  If it is a wider dish, crumble the topping with your fingers over the berries so it will stretch.  It is okay if there is a little space between crumbles. Bake in pre-heated 350˚F oven for about 35 minutes or until peaches are bubbly and soft and topping is browned on edges.  

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Smoothie Pops!

I have been making lots of smoothie pops for quick, easy, healthy snacks for my 3 year old and myself.

I figured out a long time ago my son will eat anything frozen, and I was making these with just fruit and cream (or yogurt) when I thought, hey- I could be sneaking anything into these!  So I made a few of these concoctions and .. they are really good.  You canNOT taste the raw egg (shudder).  These are great for pregnant ladies too.

All those half uneaten bananas my child leaves around? They go into a freezer bag and I use them here.

I love frozen mango or peaches for this, and that will make it like ice cream even before you freeze it.  But anything works.  I usually mix a few things. The one shown consists of banana, mango, and raspberry.  All frozen organic from the store, except the banana half.

Since we are using RAW eggs, let's please consider the source. How to tell if your egg is bad.

You may use fresh fruit too, if you are just freezing it all until later.  I use frozen fruit because I like to eat some when I make it, too.  Using frozen fruit will result in ice cream texture, and fresh will result in smoothie texture.

Smoothie Pops

frozen or fresh fruit, chopped - example: home frozen banana half + half a bag of frozen organic peaches + a few frozen berries
grass-fed cream, full fat yogurt, or coconut cream
1 pastured/organic egg, or more if you are making a lot
Great Lakes Gelatin or other grass-fed gelatin- example: one tablespoon
Virgin Coconut Oil, carefully melted on low heat- example: 2 Tablespoons
push up pops or silicone ice pop molds
Vitamix or strong blender

Pour in a good amount of fruit into your Vitamix. Pour in cream (yogurt/coconut cream) until it covers it by about an inch. Crack your egg in. Pour in gelatin.  Mix until all mixed well.  While it is still running, pour the VCO in the top, so that it mixes well and doesn't glob.  Turn off, pour into molds and freeze. (And eat some if you like).

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lower Carb Gluten Free Cornbread / Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

This is not a grain free recipe but sometimes, you just have to have cornbread.  On a rare occasion, I also eat Louisiana Red beans & Rice!  I'm a Louisiana girl! So, I made a lower carb version and had only one piece. This recipe is adapted from Bruce Fife's book, Cooking with Coconut Flour, which is a low carb gluten free girl's bible. I did change it slightly. You can replace the honey and erythritol with anything that equals 1/2 cup of sweetener but I like this this way because it makes it more moist.

TIP: separating the egg and beating the egg whites makes the recipe fluffier.  In this picture of Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread, I didn't beat the eggs so it is not as fluffy.  But, it was still delicious!

Level of sweetness of this cornbread is high, you can reduce the sweetener to lessen it.

Jalapeno cheddar cornbread with soaked red beans and andouille sausage

Lower Carb Gluten Free Cornbread

6 eggs
1/3 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
3 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons erythritol
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup sifted coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup organic cornmeal

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 C). Grease a 8x8x2 inch baking dish or 8" - 9" pie pan. Separate 4 of the eggs and beat the whites in a clean dry bowl until they form a soft peak. Refrigerate until ready to add to recipe. Blend together the 4 egg yolks, erythritol, honey, vanilla, and salt. Add butter. Then add the other two eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Combine sifted coconut flour, baking powder, and cornmeal and whisk into batter until there are no lumps. Fold in the egg whites. Pour into greased baking dish and bake for 15 - 20 minutes.

variation (pictured):

Jalapeno Cheddar Gluten Free Cornbread

Same as above, omitting vanilla.  Once poured into pan, lay slices of (jarred) jalapeno all over the top of cornbread,  pushing them in slightly with a spoon.  Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese all over the top, then bake.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Easy & Natural Watermelon Pops for Kids & Parties

I made these for my little boy's 3 year old birthday party and they were a big hit! So easy, and since it's the whole fruit, not juice or anything added, it's a pretty healthy treat for a kid. Just make sure you have room to stand these all up in the freezer if you make a lot.  I made 25 for the party!

TIP: warm the bottom of the dixie cup with your hand before peeling it off.

Natural Watermelon Pops
makes as many as you want

organic seedless watermelon, or regular with black seeds removed
3 ounce dixie cups and popsicle sticks
or popsicle molds (two kinds I like, here and here)
food processor

Put squares of watermelon flesh in food processor, and process on medium speed until it is liquified. It's ok if there are a few black seeds (looks good in the pop) but not too many.  White seeds are fine, too. Pour into molds or dixie cups.  Add a popsicle stick to dixie cup.  It is ok if it falls to the side, as long as it stays in the cup. Or you can try some aluminum foil shenanigans to keep it standing up but I found it wasn't worth the trouble, and worked just as well if it fell to the side. Place in freezer carefully for a few hours until frozen.
To serve, put in a bowl and provide a bowl for the dixie cup, once you peel it off to eat the pop!