Wednesday, December 29, 2010

GF Low Carb Spicy Bacon Shrimp & Spinach Madeline.. my 100th post!

This is the yummy low carb gluten free meal my honey made me on my birthday.  It is easy and really delicious!! You can make this shrimp in any quantity.  I would say 1 lb of shrimp for 2 people and go from there... you can adjust the rest of the ingredients from there.  And.. a package of bacon (a lb) would at least cover 2 lbs of shrimp.  If you can leave just the tail tip on the shrimp when cleaning them or buying them, they will taste better.. the shell makes a little tasty stock... that is the Louisiana secret of cooking shrimp, shells on!  Originally we thought we'd use a toothpick to keep the bacon on, but we couldn't find them, and it worked fine without and our bacon was very very thick.

For the spinach, we added some ground almonds to simulate bread crumbs... this is the yummy low carb gluten free version of Spinach Madeline... my favorite! It is so delicious, I eat the leftovers in the morning with my eggs... if there are any!!! :)

PS This is my 100th post!!!


Spicy Bacon Shrimp & Spinach Madeline

Spicy Bacon Shrimp
serves 2, increase as you need

1 lb cleaned Jumbo shrimp, tip of the tail shells still on if possible (better flavor)
block of pepper jack cheese
half a package bacon, pastured is best!
jalapeno slices
little coconut oil/pastured lard/butter
salt & pepper, to taste

These ingredients are approximate, you might not use it all (except for shrimp).  Top each shrimp with a slice of jalapeno and wrap with a half a strip of thick bacon or wrap a whole piece of thinner bacon around a few times.  Lightly oil/butter the bottom of a baking dish.  Lay shrimp in dish in a single layer, bacon end down.  Bake at 400˚F for 8- 10 minutes until shrimp cooks through (turns from translucent/gray to white/red).  Take out pan, and turn on oven broiler. Slice small chunk slices of cheese and lay on top of each shrimp.  Put pan back in and broil until cheese is melted.  Serve immediately.

Low Carb Spinach Madeline
serves 6

1 16 ounce bag of organic spinach, chopped
1 small sized organic onion, chopped
3 medium sized or 4- 5 small cloves of organic garlic, diced or pressed
oil for sauteing, I used pastured bacon drippings
3/4 cup [raw pastured] cream
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup ground roasted almonds - you want it small, almost like flour, but careful not to make butter.
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
dash nutmeg (optional)
sea salt & fresh pepper, to taste

Cook spinach as instructed on package.  Drain all the water out with a colander - press the spinach a bit to get it out, if necessary. In a medium sized pot, sauté onions and garlic (tip: start the onions first, then add garlic, so garlic won't burn).  When onions are soft, add drained spinach, cream, and grated cheese and stir over medium heat until heated through. Add white pepper, and nutmeg, then salt and pepper to taste.  Let simmer on low for an additional 5 minutes.   Add almonds, & stir.  You can keep spinach warm by covering the pot and keeping it off the burner but close to the stove until ready to serve.  Or you can make in advance and heat up before serving (actually tastes better that way).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pregnancy No-Sugar Smoooooothie


OK when was the last time I had a smoothie?  Not since I went low-carb over two years ago.  I have been equating them all this time with high sugar fruits, fruit juice, and honey.  But, no more!  If you can eat dairy carbs, or are pregnant (nothing better than pastured raw milk for pregnant ladies!), I recommend a no-sugar smoothie!  In trying to add some more raw dairy in my diet for the baby, I have resurrected the smoothie, and I'm so happy.  This tastes more to me like a Lassi, that delicious Indian smoothie which has more of a tang than sweetness. If you want to try this, but have no idea how to get some safe raw pastured milk in your area, visit realmilk.com for information and help on locating some!

If you have stumbled upon this blog and now saying... what?  Raw eggs? Raw milk for a pregnant woman? Are you crazy? No... I am all about the diet our ancestors ate healthily.  Raw milk from pastured cows (or goats) from a known source- a local farm you know has good hygiene, eggs from chickens who go outside and eat bugs and real grain, these are healthy sources of vitamins A and D, omega-3 fats, CLA, and butyric acid, another fat that fights cancer and infections.  According to Nina Planck's research for her book, Real Food For Mother and Baby, raw milk and eggs from pastured organic farms were found to have a much less chance of harmful bacteria than pasteurized milk.  Pasteurized milk is actually more dangerous!  I have been eating raw milk, cream, and eggs this entire pregnancy with great health benefits.  I'm in my 5th month, the baby is very healthy, and I have hardly gained any weight at all.  Here is a link from Weston Price's advice for diets for pregnant women.  (I stay away from the grains, and I don't drink a whole quart of milk every day but I do drink a glass or two.)  I highly recommend all of Nina Planck's books, but especially the Real Food for Mother and Baby one if you are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant, or have a toddler.  Real Food is also an amazing book.
 
I add a little virgin coconut oil (high quality, I use Tropical Tradition's organic gold brand) at the end, because of all the health benefits associated with it. Coconut contains lauric acid, which supports the body's immune system, and is only found in coconut and human breast milk.  Medium chain fatty acids give you energy without storing fat- they are burned up quickly in the body, not stored.  There are many more benefits, you can click on the link above and look for yourself if you'd like.

Here's the trick, if you would like to add virgin coconut oil (virgin has more benefits).  First you need to get the oil over 76˚F to get it to an oil consistency.  Do this carefully so you don't ruin the virgin state.  I boil water, take the tea kettle off the hot burner, remove the top and fit a small dish on top with the oil to melt.  I let the steam melt most of it, then remove it and stir until it is all melted.  You will want to add the coconut oil at the end of the smoothie, slowly pouring it in as it's on a low speed in the blender.  The reason for this is that the cold ingredients in the smoothie will otherwise cause the oil to clump  since it hardens at lower than 76˚F. Then you would get little clumps of coconut in your smoothie, which can be a little weird.

This smoothie is full of so many good things: raw organic grass-fed milk, organic berries (frozen are sometimes cheaper), yogurt, raw pastured egg, and virgin coconut oil.  That's it! You can add a few stevia grains if you don't like the tartness of plain yogurt.


Ingredients:
a little raw pastured milk
raw PASTURED egg (omit if you don't have organic pastured eggs from a known source)
a handful of low-carb berries like blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries (frozen or fresh)
Whole milk plain pastured raw organic yogurt  
lightly melted virgin coconut oil, about a teaspoon to a Tablespoon, depending on preference

First blend the berries, egg, and a big splash of milk (enough to cover the berries) and blend on high, to try and get the berries all smushed up.  Add the yogurt, a good portion- you want this to be mostly yogurt and blend on low until mixed.  (Add your sweetener here, if you want it.) Now, while blender is on low, open the little pouring part of your lid (I hope you have one) and pour in oil until just mixed, and turn off, pour into a glass and drink up!  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More on Blogging Break

Here's the reason for my blogging break, I am happily expecting a baby in May.  My husband and I are very excited!  Here's Baby's sonogram, 18 weeks:

Future GF Taste Tester


Luckily, my sweet Husband has been doing lots of cooking lately, as I have also been finding myself very busy!! And.. the 1st trimester left me too nauseous to look at food long.  Now that I'm in the second trimester and can go back into the kitchen again, I will post a few recipes.. I've got some in the works for you all.  Hope you are having a great holiday season.  I have a lot of recipes on here so do some searchin' and find yourself some good recipes!!
Take Care! Rachel C

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blogging Break

Hi everyone
Thanks so much for following my blog. I am going to have to take an official break for now.. my life is going through some big changes (all good) and I am not able to update as much as I usually do.  I will be back though, so hang in there.  I have a LOT of recipes on here to keep you busy until then, and check out my recommendations for other bloggers at the bottom of the page.
Happy Holidays to everyone and thanks for hanging in there with me!!
Rachel

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stevia Sweetened No Bake Cheesecake

NY Style cheesecake, 3.5 Effective Carb Count per slice
I had a craving for a plain NY style cheesecake so I made this up... and surprise, it worked on the first try!  I was afraid to bake it since there is no substance to the sugar sub, since I only used stevia.  But I didn't want to use gelatin, I am not a fan of gelatin no-bake cheesecakes.  Anyway, this came out perfectly, and I love it. You can certainly jazz it up- top with blueberries (as I did a few times) or other low-carb fruit. Of course, I baked the crust- but you know what I mean, it's a no-bake filling.

You don't have to use the expensive almond flour for this- you could grind your own, or use Bob's Red Mill, or even unblanched almonds.  But I have to say, I used Honeywell's and it is the most beautiful crust ever. I almost wish I had made it twice as thick, it is so perfect.

If you use a different brand of Stevia powder extract than NuNaturals, I recommend you start with less and work up to taste.  The only other brand I even suggest you try though, is Sweetleaf.  Most other brands are too bitter and have too awful of an aftertaste.  I tasted this at the end and wanted a little rounder flavor so I added just one teaspoon of agave nectar.  This is optional- but it gave a more round sweetness and was perfect.

Stevia Sweetened No Bake Cheesecake, gfree & low carb of course
Serves 12
Carbs: 54.7g ECC for whole cake (with honey).  About 4.6g ECC per serving for 12 servings

crust
1 cup almond meal or flour
1/8 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia powder
1/16 scant teaspoon cinnamon
2 - 3 Tablespoons of melted organic butter

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Combine the almond flour, stevia, and cinnamon well.  Pour the melted butter in a little at a time (you may not use all of it) until it becomes a dough like consistency (like cookie batter).  Be careful not to make it too wet.  Press into the bottom of a springform or tart pan making a crust for only the bottom, not the sides.  Bake for 5 minutes, then remove and prick the crust all over with a fork.  Return to oven and bake about 10 minutes more until the crust is light brown.  Cool completely before filling.


filling
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia Powder
1 teaspoon agave nectar (optional) or honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream

Whip cream cheese, stevia, vanilla, and sour cream.  In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream with clean mixer beaters until stiff peaks are formed (directions if you don't know what this means). Now, with a rubber spatula (or wooden spoon), fold the two together.  You will need to also beat it just a little- a few seconds on your lowest speed- to mix thoroughly.  Now, taste your mixture to see if you need to add anything. This is where I added the agave.  You will need to mix it well but again- quickly- you don't want to destroy the fluffiness of the whipped cream.  Pour into cooled pan over the crust.  Use a rubber spatula to even it out all over and make sure you get the filling all the way to the sides.  Chill for several hours until a bit firmer, at least 2.
Serve alone or with berries or 85% chocolate on top!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Gluten Free Low Carb Parmesan Chicken Legs

Baked Chicken Legs
This is a very easy and inexpensive dish.  I know it's more expensive to eat organic.. this is one of those dishes that uses a cheaper cut of meat to even out the expense.  I think it's my unbelievable luck that dark chicken meat on the bone is cheaper than chicken breast, which I don't like nearly as much!  I served mine with thin sliced veggies (eggplant, tomato and garlic) from my friend's garden that I layered in a casserole dish with olive oil, salt and pepper and baked next to the chicken.  You can also use thighs, or whatever meat on the bone you have.

My side dish of veggies



Parmesan Chicken Legs
serves 2

1 organic egg
2 Tablespoons milk/cream (soured raw dairy works too)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or chili powder (optional if you aren't from Louisiana. If you are, double that!)
~2 lbs of organic pastured drumsticks (about 6)
2 bowls

Your two bowls in preparation
Preheat oven to 400˚F.  Rinse chicken.  In one bowl, beat the egg and milk/cream with a fork or whisk.  In second bowl, stir together cheese, salt, & pepper(s).  Dip the pieces of chicken, one at a time, in the milk mixture, then in the cheese mixture.  Try to make sure you cover as much of the meat as possible.  Place side by side in one layer in a greased baking dish.  Bake for about 40 - 50 minutes, depending on size of the legs.  About halfway through, baste chicken with the fat on the bottom of the dish.  When you think it's ready, you'll want to stab the joint of the fattest drumstick with a knife to make sure the juices run clear.  If the juices are clear, it's done.  If pink, or red, it needs more time.  enjoy!

Dinner!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

September Giveaway!

Tracey at Good Life Menus is celebrating her one year anniversary by giving away one one-month subscription to her service for each blog participating.  Plus the winner will have the option when the month is up to subscribe 3 more months at a discount.  So one member of my blog will win the giveaway.

What is Good Life Menus?  Check it out- it's  menu planning for your life, suitable for Diabetic, GF, Autism/ADHD, and Low Carb eaters.  Like this blog, she does not use any artificial sweeteners and concentrates on whole foods.


So how can you win?  Do the following 2 things, with the option of bonus points, and then come back to this post and comment what you have done.  Contest runs until September 15th.  Good Luck!  Depending on how many people respond to this, I might start doing giveaways again myself :)


1.  Follow my Blog
2. Comment on one of my recipe posts on this site


Bonus points:


1. Join my Facebook Page or Follow me on Twitter (click on links)
2. Comment on Good Life Menus Blog
3. Join Good Life Menu's Facebook page

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Low Carb Super Skinny Chunky Fudge Ice Cream!



YES.. ice cream is my total weakness. Ben & Jerry's NY Super Fudge Chunk ice cream calls to me... it says "eat me, I'm gluten-free!!!". However, FULL of sugar! So. I decided to make my own version. This is really really chocolate-y and delish!

I went through the trouble of making my own chocolate covered peanuts so they'd be low carb.. but you could just use peanuts and chocolate separately. It IS a pain to do, but totally worth it. How to: melt a few squares of chocolate in a double boiler, drop in peanuts, stir well, put peanuts in a single layer on waxed paper (see pic) and refrigerate about 30 minutes until hard. break apart fast as possible (chocolate will melt in hands), and return to fridge until use.

Of course you will need an ice cream maker to do this, and make sure the insert (if you use this kind) is frozen in the freezer for 24-36 hours at least.

This ice cream will make more than the ice cream container will hold, so it would be good to have another container, slightly larger, to put it in when its done for the freezer. You will want to have it ready. As always, read through this recipe before you gather ingredients and make sure you have everything.

**Now remember.. xylitol is best eaten in small amounts. Erythritol in ice cream doesn't work (makes it really gross, been there), so it's not a suitable sub. Agave nectar would work, though it has a lot more carbs, at least it is still low G.I.

Low Carb Super Skinny Chunky Fudge Ice Cream
(variation: chocolate ice cream)

2 oz. of an 85% chocolate bar (about 3/5ths), Lindt or Green & Black's are good low carb versions
1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup organic milk (raw milk preferred, and this is a good thing to do with your raw soured milk)
2 cups organic cream (raw preferred/raw soured fine)
2 organic pastured eggs (this will be raw, so at least make sure they are fresh and organic)
1/4 c. xylitol (don't sub erythritol, but can sub agave nectar)
1/4 even teaspoon good tasting stevia powder
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon vodka (optional, to keep from getting too hard in freezer)
wire whisk

ADD INS: you'll need about 1/2- 3/4 cup total of the following all mixed together:

peanuts, covered in chocolate (see above)
large chunks of a 72%- 85% chocolate bar - see pic -->
white chocolate chips (ok, these are not low carb so OPTIONAL or just a very few)
roasted almonds
pecans
walnuts
cashews (not originally in that NYSFC ice cream but worth the add)

Melt 2 oz. chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water (turn the burner off before adding chocolate) until melted. Heat 1/2 cup milk separately. When milk is hot, whisk with a wire whisk the cocoa powder until mixed. Use a silicone spatula to press out lumps.  Pour the milk slowly into the melted chocolate, while whisking constantly until all mixed. Press out any lumps again.  Set aside and cool.

TIP: when working with chocolate, you never want to add hot and cold together, or it will clump. So that is why we heat the milk and add... otherwise this step is a real clumpy mess

Whisk eggs in a large bowl until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add stevia and xylitol and whisk another minute. Add vanilla and salt. Pour in 1/3 of the chocolate mix (esp if it is still warm) and mix well. Add the rest and mix. Then add the other 1/2 cup of milk and the cream. Add the vodka.  Refrigerate until cooled.

When mixture is cooled, use in your ice cream maker to make chocolate ice cream. When it is done, transfer the ice cream to a slightly bigger container and immediately stir in the mix-ins until thoroughly mixed. Place in freezer to harden.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Gfree Stevia Sweetened Red Grapefruit-Coconut Cream Pie

I have an excess of ruby red grapefruits, which are full of lycopene- more than a tomato!  Ruby grapefruits have lots of Vitamin C and E as well.  And, of course, grapefruits are allowed on a low-carb diet.  On mine, anyway... grapefruits, blueberries, raspberries, and green apples are all low enough on the glycemic scale and low-carb.  Of course, I used fresh juice in this, which is a little higher, but just a half cup in the whole pie so that still keeps the carb count low.  This really just gives a hint of grapefruit flavor to the coconut taste of this pie.

This pie, like most of my recipes, is not that sweet. So you'll want to add more sweetener if you like a sweeter taste: maybe more stevia (careful of the brand- NuNaturals is the only one I really like in quantities over 1/4 teaspoon), or add some honey/agave/erythritol or whatever sweetener you like.  I love this pie at this sweetness level, because I can really taste the sweetness of the coconut, but make it to your taste.  You can always make it as instructed, then taste the filling before you bake it to see if you'd like to add something.

Coconut is a Superfood: rich in lauric acid (a medium-chain fatty acid found only in breast milk and coconut), it is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and very good for your thyroid. There is more info if you wish.. peruse this site if you are interested or read Bruce Fife's book,  The Coconut Oil Miracle.

This recipe uses no corn products (such as xylitol and erythritol), no dairy, and of course, no gluten or sugar. I know some of you have more restrictions than I do so I have been trying to come up with more allergy-friendly recipes once in a while for you!  Please provide feedback here in the comments section.  I really appreciate your feedback on Facebook.  Anyone who hasn't joined the Facebook page, there is information at the bottom of this webpage, under the recipes.  I hope you like it!

It took about 2 grapefruits to make this. Make sure you zest it before you juice it. It's easier.

PS: If anyone knows the carb content of grapefruit zest, please post and then I can post the carbs in this.  It's low though, as you can see from the ingredients.

Stevia Sweetened Red Grapefruit-Coconut Cream Pie, gluten-free as always!
Printable Page

grapefruit-coconut crust:
2 eggs, pastured (that's what makes my crust so yellow, pastured orange yolks!)
1/2 cup grated coconut, organic
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted over low heat to an oil state if your pantry is cold
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon raw organic honey (optional)
1 Tablespoon organic grapefruit zest, diced if necessary
1/2 cup sifted coconut flour

Preheat 400˚F.  In a bowl with a hand whisk or fork, beat eggs.  Add grated coconut, virgin coconut oil, salt, honey (opt), and zest, and mix.  Add sifted coconut flour.  Mix, then knead together with your hands, and make a ball.  Press into a 9" oiled pie pan (use the coconut oil leftover in your pan you melted it in).  Press on the bottom, and up the sides, then prick all over with a fork to prevent rising.  Bake 12- 15 minutes until light brown. you may need to protect the edges with a pie crust shield or foil. Begin the 1st step of the filling recipe, it takes a little time.

filling:
4 eggs
1/2 cup fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
1 Tablespoon organic grapefruit zest, diced if necessary
1 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia (or start with half as much with a non-bitter brand like Sweatleaf)
1 cup organic regular coconut milk - shake well right before opening and pouring
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons coconut flour, sifted
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Begin by reducing the juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it is 1/4 cup (reduced by half) by keeping it at a low boil.  It will take 5- 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Add juice, zest, stevia, coconut milk, salt, and baking powder.  Beat in sifted coconut flour. Bake 10 minutes.  Sprinkle flaked coconut on top. Return to oven, baking 8-12 minutes or until set (meaning it doesn't juggle, and a inserted toothpick comes out clean).  Cool on a baking rack. Store in Refrigerator.

New Design

As you can see, I have a new design!  I also added a Paypal Donate button, an email link, and a few other things... :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Low-Carb Blueberry Ice Cream


More local in season blueberries!!!  So I won't go on again about their goodness, you can read the last post if you haven't already!!!  I know I post a lot of ice cream recipes, but making low-carb ice cream keeps me from cheating.  And, these are all slightly different.  You'll have to make this almost like a smoothie!

***TIP: This made more than my quart sized ice cream maker could handle so I had some leftover. Make sure you do not over-fill yours.  Leave at least an inch on top, maybe a little more or you'll be cleaning up a huge mess.  Maybe I will drink my leftover like a smoothie.  Hmmm.

***TIP: NEVER use erythritol in ice cream. It's gross. You can use more stevia if you don't have xylitol, and your stevia is a non-bitter brand.  If you want to use subs, the stevia and xylitol = about 1/2 cup sugar. If you use honey, use 1/4 cup and you may want to omit the vanilla.

***TIP: make sure your ice cream insert has been frozen for at least 24 hours before you start this.

Low-Carb Blueberry Ice Cream, gluten free of course!
1 quart+
printable page

1 pint organic blueberries (smaller ones are tastier)- make sure you remove any stems
1/4 c. xylitol
1/4 teaspoon Stevia, NuNaturals preferred, Sweetleaf brand is fine. anything else- your call
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream, raw pastured is best!
1 cup whole milk, unhomogenized or raw pastured of course
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir carefully blueberries, xylitol, stevia, and lemon juice together in a bowl and refrigerate covered for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.  Pour into a blender, making sure you get all the juice/xylitol, and puree as smooth as possible.
In a separate large bowl, blend the eggs until frothy.  Add milk, cream, and vanilla extract.  Add berry mixture and stir well.  Taste to check if you need more sweetener.
Cover and cool in fridge for 1-2 hours (important).  A metal bowl (preferred) or glass bowl helps cool faster.
Pour into ice cream maker but make sure to leave 1 1/2 inches at the top. Follow the manufacture's directions.  Don't overfill!
If you have the kind of maker like I do, it will probably only get to the soft serve state, so leave in the insert and freeze for a few hours to harden.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gfree Fresh Tomato Goat Cheese Tart for Two


I bought these beautiful grape tomatoes at the farmer's market last week and I wanted to make a tart.  I didn't have enough almond flour to make the quiche crust I made before.  If you have enough almond flour handy, I do recommend that tart crust, it is amazing.  I made instead a mixture of coconut flour and almond flour tart, which is still very good, but does have a little coconut-y taste.  My husband, who has no food restrictions whatsoever, loved this tart.  So I don't think the coconut-y flavor gets in the way.  It certainly helps add fiber to the dish as well as lower the effective carb count.  The almond flour you use in this can be any kind, even the kind you make yourself.

I hope you enjoy this! It's a very simple tart, just enough for two, with a salad.  It also makes a great appetizer.

You'll see that there is the option of using your saved bacon grease- esp if it came from bacon from a healthy organic pastured pig.  This certainly saves you money- and it tastes delicious! If you want to use coconut oil, I suggest using Tropical Traditions brand expeller pressed or it will be too coconut-y.

NOTE: pictures are of a half tart: this recipe can be halved as well (I made several, since they were so popular!)

Fresh Tomato Goat Cheese Tart for Two 
serves two or one very hungry person
 
1/2 cup almond flour, any kind
1/2 cup sifted coconut flour
2 pastured organic eggs
1/4 cup melted butter or pastured bacon grease
1 Tablespoon onion, chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (optional)
------
~2 cups cherry tomatoes neatly sliced in half
2 teaspoons fresh basil, julienned
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
about 2.5 ounces of goat cheese or 1/2 of a 5 ounce goat cheese log (more or less to taste)
s&p (to taste)

Place tomatoes, basil, olive oil,and salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Gently mix and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  To make crust, begin by beating the eggs in a medium sized bowl.  Add almond flour, sifted coconut flour, oil, salt, pepper, and onion and mix until it starts to stick and you can form a dough ball. Press dough into a 9" greased pie tart pan or just press into a circle of dough on a large round baking pan.  Make sure it is not too thin (that you can see through) - try to keep it uniformly about 1/8" thick.  I prefer to make it without a raised edge, because you will need to cover it near the end to keep from burning if you do make one.
Prick all over with fork tines and bake for 8-12 minutes until edges are light brown.  See pic for what mine looked like when I took it out:

Pull out of oven and reduce heat to 300˚F.  Arrange tomato mixture on top of crust, out to edge.  Include the oil.  Crumble goat cheese over tart, as little or as much as you desire.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until tomatoes start to look soft and the goat cheese is slightly melted.  Cool and serve!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Low Carb Egg Salad served with Kale


 My Hubby made this great egg salad for lunch yesterday.  It was great served on a leaf of kale.  Hubby had his on kale and a slice of Udi's Gluten-Free Bread (that adds about 9 carbs, but is really good gf bread if you can spare the carbs).

It's a hot NY summer, so this is a great easy snack that you don't need to turn on the oven for.  We boil a lot of eggs in this house... they make a great low-carb snack or breakfast.  We get our eggs fresh from the farm and they are amazing.  They come from pastured hens, who also roam around outside and eat grain and bugs.  Chickens need to eat bugs, worms, and grubs for complete protein, and when they do, you can see the difference in their egg yolks.  They become a deep orange color and just taste amazing!  If you can find a local farmer, you can be sure of their practices, and buying straight from the farm saves you money by cutting out the middle man!!

Why do some store bought eggs brag they are "vegetarian" when chickens need complete proteins?  Because then you know they weren't fed those disgusting things we've all heard about - I don't want to turn you off so I won't repeat them!  But if you buy "vegetarian" eggs, you can be sure those hens also never went outside the barn... the door may have been left open (so they can say they were "free-range" by law) but the hens stayed inside.  They need to go outside to get their proteins!

If you are worried about Cholesterol, you should know that it was powdered eggs that got the bad rap on cholesterol, and for good reason.  Powdered milk and powdered eggs are liquidized, pasteurized, and spray-dried which causes oxidized cholesterol, which does cause atherosclerosis.  But natural eggs do not.

Instead, pastured eggs are a great inexpensive source of protein (even my $4 a carton farm eggs are still cheap protein, considering), antioxidants (that dark yellow-orange yolk!), and help the body digest fat, protein, and cholesterol.  In comparison to non-pastured eggs, they contain more monounsaturated fat, vitamins E and A, folic acid, lutein, and beta-carotene.  They are dramatically richer in omega-3 fats, which prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression.  They have a perfect ratio of 1:1 of omega 6 to omega 3 oils... which is what you want. I could go on and on!!! (I got all this info from Nina Planck's Real Food).

Anyway, here is the recipe!! I hope you enjoy it.

***TIP:  To boil eggs: start with cold water in a pot with a lid.  Add about a teaspoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of salt and stir in.  Put eggs in, and bring to a boil.  As soon as you get a big bubble boil (it doesn't need to be roiling), take pot off the heat and cover for 10 minutes.  Immediately pour out the water and fill with cold water and let sit for 10 minutes.  Then peel.


Low Carb Egg Salad served with Kale









8 boiled eggs, peeled
1 stalk organic celery, finely sliced
1/2 small pickle (or more to taste), minced
2 TBSP mayo
1 TBSP greek yogurt (or just use more mayo if you are casein-free)
1 TBSP yellow mustard
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon chili con carne powder (I used Penzey's      brands of these) OR 1 teaspoon chili powder (make sure it's gluten free).
You could add some paprika too, we just happened to be out

Smash eggs with a fork, or potato masher (dust that thing off, all low-carbers! You finally get to use that gadget again!) until just chunky.  Add all the other ingredients and mix carefully.  Spoon onto large leaves of kale, roll up and eat!  Or... place it on a piece of Udi's gluten-free bread. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Low Carb Gluten Free Steak Caeser Salad

When it's too hot to cook indoors, grilling outside is the best answer!  We grilled some beautiful hanger steak from a local pastured farm perfectly medium rare and placed it over this caeser salad. To top it off, we used 4-5 Trader Joe's brand rice crackers, they are gluten free and delicious- we broke them in tiny pieces and they did well as croutons.  Just a few to keep the carbs down.

Hubby marinated the steak in a mixture consisting of a half a Bard's gluten free beer and two tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar and gluten-free Tamari soy sauce, plus some salt and pepper.  It was just one big steak (there are only two of us) so you'd want to increase that if you are making more!  I'm not sure exactly how marinade carbs up the meat but I suspect not much.

Of course, this uses a raw egg so you should use a high quality one.  If you aren't sure if your eggs are fresh, click here to go to a site which has some great tips on how to tell.  If the whole idea of a raw egg grosses you out (it's sooo good for you!), you can boil it for one minute before you open it.



Caeser Salad
slightly adapted from this recipe at make-stuff.com

2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 fresh pastured organic egg
2 – 3 anchovies
1 teaspoon mustard powder
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 dashes red pepper sauce
3 TBSP Olive Oil
a head of romaine lettuce, washed and dry
¼ - ½ cup parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
4-5 small rice crackers (optional)

Press the garlic cloves in a garlic presser and rub them on the inside of a large wooden salad bowl. In a small chopper or blender, blend together the egg, anchovies, sea salt, hot sauce, mustard and lemon juice.  Add to bowl with the olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon (so that you do not scratch your bowl). 
Tear romaine lettuce leaves into pieces and add to salad bowl.  Toss gently.  Add parmesan cheese to taste.


Slice your steak and crumble your rice crackers on top, and enjoy! And then, comment! Let me know you are out there.... :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Gluten Free Sugar Free Strawberry Ice Cream, with eggless option

We made this lovely Strawberry Ice Cream, using farm fresh eggs, and raw cream and milk from pastured cows (oh, the benefits of omega-3's and CLA!).  Yes, Strawberries have carbs, so it's a rare summer treat.  We used less xylitol than usual for making ice cream, since the strawberries were sweet themselves.  Using only 1/4 cup makes it very low sweet. And, only a touch of vanilla so it tasted more like a sweet cream-strawberry ice cream. Delicious!!

We were out of lemons, so I substituted red wine for the lemon juice, and it was great.

**If you cannot eat eggs, you can make this recipe without.

I use a Deni ice cream maker, it's great.  I hope you have an easy one too.

***TIPS: Make sure you freeze your insert (if you have that kind) for at least 24 hours before using and take it out at the last minute.




Gluten Free Sugar Free Strawberry Ice Cream
makes a little more than a quart

1 Pint organic strawberries, green removed and sliced at least in half
2 organic pastured eggs
2 cups non-homogenized organic cream
1 cup non-homogenized organic milk
1 tablespoon of lemon juice or wine
1/4 - 1/2 cup xylitol (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
ice cream maker

Mix the strawberries, xylitol, and wine or lemon juice in a bowl and let sit for about 10 minutes.  Pour the bowl, making sure to get all the xylitol, into a food processor and pulse until the strawberries are mostly macerated, but still have lots of small chunks of strawberries in them.

In a separate large bowl, blend the eggs until frothy.  Add milk, cream, and vanilla extract.  Add strawberry mixture and stir/blend.  Cover and cool in fridge for 1-2 hours (important).  A metal bowl (preferred) or glass bowl helps cool faster.

Pour into ice cream maker until about 3/4 full and follow the manufacture's directions.  You will have some left over if yours is a Quart ice cream maker, which you can make more ice cream later, or just drink as strawberry-milk while your ice cream is freezing! It will freeze to a soft serve consistency.

After frozen, take OUT of container (it will freeze too hard on the sides), and freeze in another container to harden it more. You can eat some soft serve, of course. After freezing, you want to set it out to soften about 15 minutes before eating because of the low sugar content.

**TIPS: don't overfill your ice cream maker, as the volume will increase as the mixture gets colder and cleanup is a mess if it overflows.




Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Coconut Flour Chocolate Cake with Coconut Palm Sugar Frosting

I really wanted a bite of chocolate cake today so I made this little cake. It's a dark chocolate frosting, really tasty.  Coconut palm sugar has a low-g.i. and I feel it's a better choice than agave.  I've tried making frosting with stevia, or with sugar alcohols, and they never turn out. So, just be careful how much you eat and you should be fine, if you are maintaining a low-carb lifestyle. This is a dark chocolate cake that is not too sweet.

It's just one layer in a 7" pan. I know that's an unusual size pan. You could use an 8"x8" brownie pan, just check as it will probably cook faster.  Or you could instead make 6 cupcakes with this recipe.


***You'll want to cut out a circle of parchment paper for the bottom of your cake pan so it won't stick.  Cut a piece of parchment paper bigger than the bottom of your pan, then with one hand hold it to the inside of the bottom of the pan, and with the other hand, draw a line with a pen or slightly sharp object all the way around the inside circle on the bottom, so you'll know where to cut it. Then cut it along the line you made, and it will fit perfectly in the bottom of your cake pan.




Coconut Flour Chocolate Cake with Coconut Palm Sugar Frosting
adapted from Cooking with Coconut Flour



Cake:
6 Tablespoons butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder, fair trade
6 eggs, room temperature, 3 separated
1/4 cup coconut milk or whole milk
1/2 teaspoon stevia powder (I used NuNaturals)
1/4 cup Erythritol, or 3 Tablespoons honey, or 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (subs)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sifted coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
parchment paper cut out to fit a 7" baking pan

Butter or oil your pan under and on top of the parchment paper, as well as on the sides.   Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Mix in cocoa powder, set aside to cool.  It is very beneficial to have all of your ingredients at the same temperature. In one large bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. If your kitchen is warm, it is okay to put these into the fridge until you need them so they don't melt. In another bowl, mix together the other 3 eggs, egg yolks, [coconut] milk, stevia, sugar sub, salt, and vanilla.  Stir in cocoa mixture.  Combine sifted coconut flour with baking powder and whisk into batter until there are no lumps.  This is the time to taste your batter to see if it is sweet enough - you may want to add more sweetener, if it is not.
Fold egg whites (if you don't know how to, go here for tips) into mixture, starting with 1/3rds, mixing, then the rest. Pour into cake pan and bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until toothpick entered comes out clean when inserted into middle of cake.  Cool.
Take a long piece of wire or dental floss and slice this cake in half and make it two layers so that you can put frosting between the layers.  Or you can cut it in half with a large knife.

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, soft
1 - 3.5 ounce 85% Green and Black Chocolate bar
3 Tablespoons coconut palm sugar, measured and then powdered in a coffee/nut grinder
1  teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch finely ground sea salt

Melt chocolate in a very dry (one drop of water will ruin the chocolate) small pot or a double broiler, watching carefully, over very low heat.  Stir it and watch that it doesn't burn.  Remove from heat and let cool completely (catch it while it's still liquid though- don't refrigerate).  Wait until after it is cooled to do the rest: In a medium - large bowl, whip together butter and sugar until creamy.  Add chocolate slowly in a pouring motion while whipping. Add vanilla and sea salt and whip a little more.  Frost your cooled cake!!

You can, if you wish, top this dark chocolate cake with coarsely ground sea salt or non-pareils, which are gluten free and pretty low carb but still have sugar... your choice!  We did it half and half!