Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Some More Thanks Giving Side Dishes!

Here are some more last minute Thanks Giving side dish recipes!  I'm not sure exactly where these recipes came from, but I hope that you enjoy them!

Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

This is the simplest homemade cranberry sauce -- no spices, no orange peel, nothing extra. It is about the thickness of pudding. I use it not only with turkey, but to put over yogurt or ricotta cheese for breakfast or a snack, or accompanying cheeses and nuts as a dessert. If you want something more jazzed up, try mycranberry chutney.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries (12 oz)
  • Sugar substitute equal to 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Put cranberries in a pot on the stove, and pick through to remove soft and/or brown ones.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil on medium-high heat.

3. Stir frequently. The cranberries will pop, and then release their "gel" -- and the sauce will come together like magic. Cook until the sauce is the consistency you want, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Note: I used a liquid sweetener in this recipe, which added zero carbs. Powdered artificial sweeteners often use sugars as a base. For example, you could use one cup of Da Vinci's Simple Syrup instead of water.

Makes 8 servings of cranberry sauce, each approximately 1/4 cup. Each serving has 3 grams of effective carbohydrate and almost 2 grams of fiber.

Low-Carb Pumpkin Pie

People love this pie. People have told me it was the best they've even had, and they didn't know it was low-carb or sugar-free (or gluten-free). You must make it with the pecan crust for full impact. That said, it's great on its own as a baked pudding, even for breakfast.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened soy milk (or milk or cream - milk has more carbs, so adjust)
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1 C sugar equivalent from artificial sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon dark molasses (optional)
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 scant teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch cloves
  • 1/4 t salt
As an artificial sweetener, I prefer a form of liquid sucralose, as powdered types have more carbs and sometimes an off-taste.

1) Preheat oven to 425 F. (important)

2) Dump all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and whirl to blend.

3) Pour into the crust.

4) Put the pie in the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 375 F. In 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 300 F. (This cooks the crust, so it isn't soggy, but then allows the custard to bake more slowly.) Bake until almost set in the middle, about 30 to 40 minutes more. If it starts to crack a bit around the edges, it's probably done.

5) Cool and serve with whipped cream (the real stuff, made with vanilla and sweetener). How To Make Homemade Whipped Cream

Nutritional Analysis: 8 servings, without crust: 3.5 grams effective carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber, 3 grams protein, 5.5 grams fat, 80 calories.

With pecan crust, each serving is 4 grams effective carbohydrate with 3.4 grams fiber.

Sugar-Free Cranberry Jello Salad

This cranberry Jello salad is not the super-sweet kind which many remember as family favorites. Those recipes usually had canned cranberry sauce along with the other ingredients. This is a more "grownup" version, where the tartness of the fresh cranberries go up against the sweet Jello. If you are longing for the old days, you can add sweetener to taste. Also, this salad is pretty much "packed with stuff" -- if you like more Jello in between your ingredients, use three small packages of Jello instead of one large box. If you do that, it will make more servings, and there will be one gram less of carb per serving.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
  • 1 large package sugar-free cranberry, cherry, black cherry, or raspberry Jello
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries (pick out soft and brown ones)
  • 1 medium apple cut the fruit off the core
  • Optional - zest of one orange - minimal carbs, and adds a "spark"
With a food processor by your side, you can make up this recipe in no time.
1) Prepare the Jello as per the package's instructions (I like the super-speed method with the ice cubes).
2) Chop the walnuts in the food processor -- move to a separate bowl.
3) Chop the cranberries in the food processor, one cup at a time, adding to bowl.
4) Chop apple in the food processor, and add to bowl. Toss nuts and fruit together, and mix into Jello. Chill completely.
Makes 12 servings of ½ cup each.
Nutritional Information: Each serving has 3.5 grams effective carbohydrate plus 1.5 grams fiber, 2 grams protein, and 69 calories.

Chocolate Coconut Cookies

I was going for kind of an Almond Joy flavor with these. You can put almonds or macadamia nuts on the top, but I found out I actually like the macadamias a little better. Macadamia Joy?
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
  • 5 Tablespoons coconut oil or butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ~1 cup sugar equivalent in sugar substitute (I like erythritol and Splenda, but can use any)
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup coconut flour (I used Aloha Nu brand in analysis)
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut
  • 36 almond or macadamia nut halves
Preheat oven to 350 F.
1) Melt butter in bowl or 1 quart measuring cup -- you can make the whole recipe in the same container that way.
2) Whisk in cocoa powder until blended. Whisk in cream, salt, vanilla, and sweetener.
3)Taste. This is the point where you want to get the right amount of sweetener for your taste. I tried this recipe with two different cocoa powders -- Hershey and Ghirardelli. I found that I needed more sweetener for the darker Ghirardelli. Also I liked a combination of liquid Splenda and erythritol, but the Splenda alone worked well, too.
4) Whisk the eggs in and beat until they are well-blended. Add coconut flour and blend well, and finish with the dried coconut. Combine well, and let sit for 5 minutes. The coconut will absorb most of the liquid.
5) Prepare cookie sheets, either by greasing well, covering with parchment paper, or asilicone baking mat.
6) Drop batter by rounded teaspoons (batter will be about 1½ inches across). Put half an almond or macadamia nut on the top of each, and push slightly to "anchor."
7) Bake for about 12 minutes, until cookies are set and just beginning to brown on bottom.
8) Let cool on pan for about 10 minutes. Remove. When fully cool, store in airtight container.
Makes three dozen cookies.
Nutritional Information (with macamdamia nuts): Each cookie has a little over half a grameffective carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber, 2 grams protein, 5 grams fat, and 51 calories.

Low-Carb "Doughnut" Muffins

These muffins are meant to taste like doughnuts, and I think they do a good job. There's even a version with buttermilk. This is one of the few recipes for which I use powdered Splenda (for the topping). You don't end up using much per muffin, but you need enough to dip the tops. Save the rest for cinnamon toast made with flax meal bread.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
  • 1 cup flax meal
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 and 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • Artificial sweetener - 1 cup equivalent - zero carb (such as liquid) preferred
  • 1/2 cup (I stick) butter, melted
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 T water
  • .
  • Topping:
  • 1/2 cup equivalent powdered artificial sweetener
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 2 T melted butter
Makes 12 regular-size muffins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; butter muffin pans.

2. Mix dry ingredients well (exclude those used for topping).

3. Add beaten eggs, melted butter, water, and sweetener to the dry mixture. Mix well.

4. Fill muffin cups a bit more than half way with the mixture.

5. Bake for about 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Allow muffins to cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove.

6. Mix the cinnamon and powdered sweetener for the topping in a clean bowl.
7. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, dip the tops in the melted butter you allocated for the topping, followed by the sweetener/cinnamon mixture.

Each muffin has 1.5 gram effective carbohydrate plus 4 grams fiber. (This is assuming half a gram of carb for the topping.)

Buttermilk Version: Switch out 1/2 cup buttermilk for the same amount of water. Substitute 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon baking powder for the baking powder in the regular recipe. This variation adds half a gram of carb to each muffin.

Sugar-Free Raspberry Chiffon Squares

These raspberry jello squares made with cream cheese are easy to make and are a nice sugar-free, low-carb dessert. If you want to go "super-simple", they can be made without the pecan crust, but I think it adds a lot to the dessert.
  • 1 small package raspberry sugar-free geletin dessert such as Jello brand (~.3 oz)
  • 1½ cups boiling water
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Sugar substitute equal to ¼ cup sugar (zero carb sweetener such asliquid sucralosepreferred)
  • pinch salt
  • 6 oz cream cheese cut up into pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or unsweetened frozen raspberries
Preheat oven to 350 F

1. Dissolve raspberry geletin in boiling water.

2. Process pecans in a food processor and process to a coarse meal.

3. Add butter, salt, and sweetener and process until smooth

4. Press the pecan mixture into the bottom of a 9X9 square pan

5. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until lightly brown (watch carefully when it gets close)

6. When geletin mixture is cooled to the point where you can comfortably stick your finger into it, add the orange extract and cream cheese and blend. You can use a stick blender, food processor, or regular blender.

7. Add 1 cup of the berries to mixture and pour into pan over the pecan crust.

8. Cool in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes, until mixture is thickening but not set. Sprinkle the other half cup of raspberries across the top.

9. Cool until completely set, and cut into squares.

Nutritional Information: Each of nine squares has 2.5 grams effective carbohydrate plus 2.5 grams fiber, 3 grams protein, and 179 calories

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Low Carb Thanks Giving Ideas!

So, its that time of year again...  Time for the feasts!!!  This is the time where its hard for a lot of people to stay on track with all the yummy potatoes, yams, stuffing, rolls, pies, cookies, cakes... Ok, I need to stop, I'm drooling. 

So, I wanted to think of some things I can cook that will help me stay good and still feel fulfilled when I go to my many different family feasts!  Because otherwise I just end up eating turkey and only turkey.  And, how lame is that?  I'm going to just have to look like a nerd at dinner and bring my own side dishes and desserts!  But that's ok, because I will still be looking hawt instead of gettin' fat!

Here are some recipes I'm considering:

Servings: 8
Per Serving: 271 Calories; 20g Fat 9g Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; 14g Dietary Fiber;
Net Carbs: 6g

2 cups Carbquik
6 tablespoons cornmeal
2 eggs
1/2 cup Splenda
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup butter, melted

Mix all ingredients.
Bake 400 degree for 20 minutes in un-greased pan.

 Cinnamon Streusel Swirl Muffins:

This is what the bag looks like, even though these are different muffins than I have, Dixie Diner has a TON of muffin flavors to choose from!  I haven't tried these yet, so I'm excited to see if they are actually good!  You can find these here.

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits:

Servings: 10
Net Carbs Per Serving: 2
Total Preparation Time: 10-12 minutes

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

2 cups Carbquik
2 ounces butter, cold
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 pinch garlic powder
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup water

-Preheat oven to 450 degrees
-Cut the cold butter into the Carbquik with either a pastry cutter or two knives, till the mixture resembles coarse meal.
-Add the shredded cheese, a pinch of salt, and garlic powder and blend well.
-Mix the heavy cream with water to equal 1/2 cup of liquid, pour into dry mix.
-Mix till dough forms and comes together, but do not overwork the dough.
-Drop the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet approx 1 ounce size portions.
-Bake in hot oven 8-10 minutes till biscuits are golden brown.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes:

I also buy these from along with the muffins.  They are also made by Dixie Diners.  But, I buy the Garlic Parmesan flavor.  Its sooo good!

These are just a couple of ideas for some yummy sides to help you get through Thanks Giving strong!  Let me know your ideas and yummy low carb foods that you're thinking about making too!  My mom is also going to make a low carb cheesecake for us to share!  I'm so excited!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Fun Mexican Breakfast!

Here's a recipe I made up real quick one morning.  I gave a Mexican flair to scrambled eggs!

I whipped up 4 eggs with some heavy cream to make them a little more fluffy, then I scrambled them in shredded cheese and added some cooked chorizo!  It was sooo yummy!  You can even wrap it up in a low carb tortilla and have a breakfast burrito--Its especially delicious that way!

You can find the recipe for it here!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thou Shall Eat No Eviiiiil!

WOW, I was so tempted to eat Halloween candy tonight!  I really, really wanted to!  I'm somewhat at my goal weight, so I use just about every holiday or special occasion to CHEAT!  But, I was really bad during my anniversary and husband's birthday (like shall we say a 5 day binge?)  So, I really wanted to try and be good tonight and not cheat for a very long time.

I texted my sister Beth to help keep me strong!  Its always good to have a friend to help you through the temptation times!  Eventually the temptation will pass, so just stay strong. 

One other thing that helps motivate (or sometimes discourage...) me is to check my ketone levels.  TMI alert, this is my ketoStix... Sorry if that grosses you out.  But this little piece of plastic here is the reason I did not stray tonight!  After I saw that I was burning a strongly moderate amount of fat, I definitely wanted to keep being good!

I ended up eating 2 Atkins bars instead of chocolate candy!  And seriously, I think that they actually tasted better than the candy would have (nothing's worse when you cheat and then it wasn't even very satisfying, ya know?) I had a Caramel Double Chocolate Crunch and a Nutty Fudge Brownie.  YUM!

How was your Halloween?  Did you stay on the straight and narrow, or did you give yourself some leeway? Tell me how it went!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

No More Boring Chicken!!

Ok, so sometimes don't you feel when you're eating low carb that you get sick of the taste of chicken?  I do!  When I snack, I usually eat flavored almonds.  They are sooo yummy, low carb and they help make you not feel hungry!  What could be better?!

Every time that I would snack on flavored almonds (which, by the way, Habenero BBQ is my favorite flavor right now...)  I kept thinking to myself, these would taste really good with chicken!  But I'm not really one to venture out and try my own recipes, so I got intimidated and never tried it out.

I just kept thinking about trying the almonds with the chicken and finally I got the guts to just go for it and see how it would taste.  OMG, it was sooo good!  Here's a picture of how my Almond Chicken turned out!

Here's a quick version of what I did (for the complete recipe, please visit my Recipe page):

 First I smashed up the flavored almonds. 
 Then I mixed the flavored almonds with grated Parmesan and carbquik.

I coated defrosted chicken with egg and then dipped it into the almond mixture, placed it on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and baked it in the oven!  It was so delicious!!  The chicken had a wonderful nutty flavor with a taste of habenero BBQ. Mmmmm....

Friday, October 29, 2010

Saturday Treats!

I have finally found a delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe!!  A low carb one of course!!  No sugar, no flour!

So, I was big time craving some chocolate chip cookies!  I have had a hard time finding a good low carb/ Carbquik recipe for them.  Every time I make them they taste waaaay to much like I'm eating a butter cookie.  Sick.  Seriously, I might have well as eaten a stick of butter with some sugar free chocolate chips sprinkled on top.  Even though the cookies looked good, they tasted nasty.

Other times, its hard to find a recipe that has the cookies ending up looking like cookies.  Sometimes the cookies come out as little floppy puddles that you have to scoop into your mouth.  I just wanted a COOKIE!

So, I texted my low carb guru AKA my sister Beth and asked, WWBD? (What Would Beth Do?)  She suggested finding my normal favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and just substituting carbquik for flour, Splenda for sugar, sugar free maple syrup for brown sugar and sugar free chocolate chips instead of normal chocolate chips.  It worked!  It was soooo good!  Even my husband Luke said they were good!!  Now, that is saying something!

You can find my altered Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe here.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Camera Adds 40 Pounds Right?

After EXTREME debate, I am including a picture of me at my fattest.  You can find it here on the "My Story" page.  It is not only depressing to look at, but also motivating to me at the same time.  It helps me to keep dieting so I don't end up here again.  Some might say that I wasn't really that fat, or that size 14 is average.  Let me tell you, I'm 5'3", size 14 did not look good on me.  And, it doesn't really matter how fat you get, or how skinny you get.  It matters how you feel about yourself.  I felt FAT and I felt depressed.  I was constantly thinking about my weight.  It was literally on my mind all day long.  I would look at other women as I walked to class (in college) and think, "do I look like her?", "I wish that I looked like her", "Maybe I have the same body type as her, maybe that's what I look like from behind?".  It makes me want to cry just thinking about where I was with my self-esteem.  But, I'm happy to say that those days are behind me and that if you put your mind to it, and if the Atkins diet is right for you, you can do it too!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tuna Pattie Delight

 Um, this is delicious.  The other night I was looking for something to eat and it was one of those nights where you look in the refrigerator, then you close the door. Then you look in the cupboard, then you close the door.  Then you look in the refrigerator again...maybe check the freezer... Nothin'!  Then you think, danggit!  I have nothing that I can just eat real quick!  This seems to happen to me a lot lately.  It might be because I have to cook two different meals a night.  One for the family, and one for me!  Sometimes I get lucky and we can eat the same meal-- for the most part. But, usually I make them a meal and then realize that I have to eat too.

But during my unfruitful food search I found a can of tuna.  I know some people aren't big fans of tuna, but I find it delightfully delicious! I went online to and found their Tuna Pattie recipe (which is now posted on my recipe page) and I decided to give it a try.

It turned out great!  Although I felt like I needed something more than just a pattie of tuna.  So I had the idea to make some 'buns' for it.  These buns are made out of the cheddar cheese biscuit recipe (also from a carbquik recipe).  The reason I only used one bun was because, I feel, when you use carbquick to make buns, to have two buns is too heavy.  Too much (non fluffy) bread.

The next time I make these buns, I'm going to use a large round cookie cutter so that they will look a little nicer :)  But all-in-all, this was a very tasty meal, and one I will repeatedly make since it was so easy too! I hope you enjoy it!

Has anyone made anything else with tuna?  Or have any suggestions to make this EVEN better?! Let me know, I love me some tuna!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

Recently I've not been the poster child for the Atkins diet...  About 2 1/2 months ago my sister Beth and I got way pumped to loose some weight.  We planned to go full force for 2 weeks of hard core low carb eating and hard core exercising (I know what you're thinking... Me?  Exercising?!)  SOO, I ate 15 carbs a day and exercised TWO TIMES a day. For real, you can run an tell dat. I did 40 minutes of cardio in the morning and 25-30 minutes of weights in the evening.  Talk about tiring!  But I had super purple ketostix, which meant I was burning A LOT of fat!!

My body looked waaay better and toned, but I really didn't loose any weight.  Can you say frustration?!  I got a little burned out.  Now, I didn't fall off the band wagon, I still have been eating low carb... just not, consistently... I stopped checking my ketone levels because I knew that I couldn't be in ketosis because of all of my cheating escapades!  Thankfully thought, I've been maintaining my weight.

But this morning I got the guts to go ahead and check my ketone levels since I've been really good for a while now.  I had light pink ketones!  I know that light pink only means that I was burning a small amount of fat...but it is still progress!!

Checking my ketone levels is definitely motivating for me. It helps me stay on track with my diet.  What are some things that help you stay motivated to diet?  What are things that you see affecting your ketone levels or wieght loss?  Do you have any special things that help boost your ketons?  I wanna know!!!  Please feel free to share you thoughts and ideas with me!!