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

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.

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!


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
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.