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Sunday, June 28, 2009

CHICKEN MUSHROOM CASSEROLE




CHICKEN MUSHROOM CASSEROLE
An easy, tasty supper casserole. Start with a bought roast chicken and what could be simpler?  I have made this recipe dozens of times.  You can serve it with a salad, over cauli-rice or wild rice or cooked quinoa (or mix these with cauli-rice for a more substantial "rice") if you are in maintenance.  This recipe comes from South Africa.

1 roasted chicken
12 oz fresh mushrooms (340 g)
1 tbsp butter (15 mL)
Curry Sauce:
1 cup whipping cream (250 mL)
6 tbsp bought low-carb ketchup, (90 mL)
OR Splenda Ketchup, page 89,
Splendid Low-Carbing
1/4 cup olive oil (50 mL)
2 tbsp white vinegar (25 mL)
1 tsp curry powder (5 mL)
1 tsp dry mustard (5 mL)
1 tsp SPLENDA® Granular (5 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
1/8 tsp black pepper (0.5 mL)
Topping:
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (50 mL)
1 tbsp butter (15 mL)

Debone chicken and cut into bite-size pieces. Place in 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) glass baking dish. In large frying pan, fry mushrooms in butter until softened. Layer over chicken.

Curry Sauce: In medium bowl, whisk together whipping cream, low-carb ketchup, olive oil, white vinegar, curry powder, dry mustard, SPLENDA® Granular, salt and pepper.

Pour sauce over chicken and mushroom layers.

Topping: Sprinkle almonds over casserole and dot with butter.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 30 minutes.

Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
342.7 calories
30.1 g protein
26.9 g fat

3.9 g carbs

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced!

*MEXICAN CHICKEN CASSEROLE* (GF)



My Note: I don't know about you reading my blog, but sometimes I really don't want to spend much time in the kitchen. Easy supper casseroles are my favorite way of hurrying things up. I'll post my favorite one next, but I don't have a pic.

MEXICAN CHICKEN CASSEROLE
Delicious served with Chunky Guacamole, page 12, Splendid Low-Carbing for Life, Volume 2.

1 lb cooked chicken, diced (0.454 kg)
1, 14-oz can sliced mushrooms, (284 mL)
drained
4.5 oz can green chilies (127 mL)
1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder (15 mL)
1/2 medium onion
1/2 green pepper
2 tsp olive oil (10 mL)
2 tsp ground cumin (10 mL)
1 tsp chili powder (5 mL)
1/2 tsp black pepper (2 mL)
1/2 tsp onion salt (2 mL)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (2 mL)
1 cup tomato sauce (250 mL)
1 cup water (250 mL)
1/4 cup tomato paste (50 mL)
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese (250 mL)

In 9 x 13-inch (2 L) glass baking dish, combine chicken, mushrooms, green chilies and chicken bouillon powder. In food processor, using S-Blade, process onion and green pepper until finely chopped.

In frying pan in olive oil, stir-fry onion and green pepper until tender. Stir in ground cumin, chili powder, black pepper, onion salt and garlic powder. In small bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, water and tomato paste. Add to vegetables and then add this vegetable mixture to chicken and mushrooms. Combine well. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese over top.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 40 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve with a dollop sour cream, if desired.

Nutritional Analysis: Yield: 6 servings, 1 serving:
185.8 calories; 23.6 g protein; 6.lg fat; 6.5 g carbs

Carb Phobia - A Very Real Problem for Low-Carbers


It even happened to me at one point. I was so leery of eating bread especially, as it was my mainstay before low-carbing. Next in line, I was afraid of indulging in sugary desserts and if I did, I sometimes suffered a bit of guilt. I would often put on 2 lbs of water weight due to glycogen stores filling up after strict low-carbing. Then I panicked and thought it would be an upward spiral, but that's not the case when it is an occasional indulgence.

I am a firm believer in cutting out white flour and sugar as much as possible. I will not tell a lie. I like white flour and sugar and things made with it, just like some other people I know. I can even get quite addicted and I will get fat. That is the way it is. I don't like deprivation (goes back to my childhood) and, therefore, set about trying to replace the foods I loved without adversely affecting my waistline. My cookbooks were the result of that drive.

So, I know plenty of people are diehard low-carbers that prefer to never veer off the course. It is truly wonderful and remarkable if you are one of the few people who can maintain such discipline in the face of temptation forever and a day. Some of us - well, life just happens, and it is difficult emotionally and even physically to keep going at those times in life - that's when trouble can hit our waistlines - quite literally. We lose focus, grab whatever is easily available and often it is carbs that will readily and quickly satisfy the need for a boost in serotonin and in mood and feelings of well-being. We don't have the energy to deal with our diets or the lack thereof and the consequences of eating without thinking. This is a slippery slope, of course, to weight regain. If possible, keep trouble foods out of the house, or freeze them. It is important to cut down on compulsive eating at the very least and make trouble foods difficult to come by. Keep acceptable foods around in abundance and keep them coming and interesting at that. If you're too exhausted to cook, get hubby to barbecue and add a large, interesting salad with a tasty dressing.

Alright, here's how I feel about the guilt involved with occasionally slipping up or making the decision to eat something totally off plan - even if it is a few times a week during stressful times. Sure there will be times when you can remain low-carb and strictly so for long periods of time (I myself have done that for years with hardly a slip-up), but I'm talking about other times, when it is not so easy. Forget the guilt, forget the all or nothing approach. It is nonsense stuff and will lead to failure. Acknowledge the fact that you are in charge, that you make the decisions and that you have the ability to say yes or no to a particular food - even when times are stressful. Whenever possible make the decision to sit down to better food choices and if something in there is not on plan - have a little (don't pig out if possible), don't feel guilty and move on - determine to do better at the next meal. In other words - stop and think - the "low-carb diet" mentality has to be with one 24/7 in a sense to keep our brains active on that score and involved in our choices.

Here is an intriguing, sad and probably common story in some ways along these lines written by a very interesting and knowledgeable lady (she is not against low-carb diets, but feels one diet does not fit all) - "She is a Registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. She specializes in weight control, cardiovascular health, polycystic ovarian syndrome, diabetes, sports nutrition and preventative nutrition. A staff dietitian at The New York Presbyterian Hospital for the past 22 years, she also counsels clients privately and is a consultant to physicians, corporations and health clubs. She was the nutritionist for the 1998 NYC Marathon. She was an exercise instructor in NYC health clubs for 15 years.": Case Study Low-Carb Diet Gone Wrong

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cancer Cells Are Sugar Junkies! Kill 'em with a Low-Carb Diet!


Sugar Junkie Cancer Cells

If a doctor were to prescribe a diet for prevention of cancer, what would that diet be - wow, could it be a low-carb diet? Cool, hey?!

Brain cancer tumor patients respond well, whereas normal treatment can be very rough.

The Inuit (Eskimos) did not know about cancer in their population for generations, but then upon introduction of the Western diet, they became just as susceptible to cancer as what we are in our modern society with all our modern convenience foods.

So, this is the conclusion: "It is beyond doubt that it is highly processed foods that are the major dietary cause of cancer, particularly as they are inevitably based on cheap concentrated carbohydrates." The anti-dote - a low-carb diet.

Too much salt/sodium in the diet leads to hypertension, but why in a child as young as 13?


Normally, hypertension is associated with older people,and usually with people who are quite a bit overweight, but who would dream that it could be possible in someone who looks like an athlete and is only 13 years old?

I have always been sodium-conscious since adulthood. My sons think I am weird worrying about water weight, but seriously I actually feel bigger and more bloated with extra water weight and that time of the month - well, I sometimes think I get water on the brain too!! Then sometimes that water weight has the cheek to turn into real weight gained. I don't know - it could be imagined, but at any rate, I use a light salt and a little of the real thing to get a similar effect. My husband has hypertension and I like to keep him in mind as well. When I cook for all of us, it is lower sodium, but still very tasty, as I like using herbs, etc. Anyway, the guys in my house like cold cuts (I don't - big surprise!) and chips and things like that. I will have maybe one chip once in a blue moon and that's it. My son could eat a whole bag (or tube) in a sitting. Imagine!

My point is, my husband found this article in the globe and mail that talks about a teenager, aged 13, who has serious hypertension and an enlarged heart as a result. This is really tragic! I myself had no idea that this is becoming more common. Here is the article.

Monday, June 1, 2009

*BOBOTIE*


BOBOTIE
Introduced to South Africa by the Cape Malays, this Indonesian curried meat loaf is to South Africa what Moussaka is to Greece and Lasagne is to Italy. Traditionally, Bobotie is served with yellow rice (add turmeric), chutney and banana slices dipped in milk.

2 rye crisp breads, OR
2 slices low-carb bread
2/3 cup half-and-half cream (150 mL)
2 lbs ground lamb, OR (0.9 kg)
lean ground beef
1 cup diced onion (250 mL)
1 tbsp curry powder (15 mL)
2 tsp salt (10 mL)
11/2 tsp ground turmeric (7 mL)
1/2 tsp black pepper (2 mL)
1/4 cup slivered almonds, (50 mL)
(optional)
2 tbsp seedless raisins, (25 mL)
snipped in half
2 tbsp SPLENDA® Granular (25 mL)
1 tbsp lemon juice (15 mL)
4 eggs
4 bay leaves, (optional)

In small bowl, break rye crisp breads or low-carb bread in pieces and soak in half-and-half cream. Set aside. In large skillet, fry ground lamb or beef and onion, until meat is browned. Pour off fat. Stir in curry powder, salt, turmeric and black pepper. Over small bowl, strain crisp bread and cream mixture; set aside cream. Stir softened crisp bread or low-carb bread, almonds (if using), raisins, SPLENDA® Granular, lemon juice and 2 eggs into meat mixture until well combined.

Turn into 2 quart (2 L) casserole dish and press down firmly. Stick bay leaves in upright position in top of meatloaf. Bake uncovered in 350°F (180°C) oven 20 minutes. In small bowl, beat remaining eggs and leftover cream together; pour over meatloaf. Cover and bake another 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves.

Nutritional Analysis: Yield 10 servings:
1 serving: 269.7 calories; 20.5 g protein; 17.5 g fat; 5.7 g carbs

It is true - I love to bake, BUT...

This blog is baking and dessert heavy is the conclusion I have come to recently. I think I will now concentrate on also providing some tasty meals. Although my first love is baking, I recognize that desserts and sweet treats have their place in the low-carbing lifestyle, but the emphasis should be more on whole foods and regular meals. Then again, baking low-carb is a bit of an art form, and a bit more difficult than regular baking, so I wanted to fill that niche in our own lives and in the lives of others.

So, look forward to seeing some other recipes on my blog, besides desserts, candies and baking - and the usual article here or there. I really do this blog rather low-key and that makes it enjoyable and less stressful for me. I have many interests and other responsibilities and, therefore, I have to balance my time wisely.

Have a great low-carbing day!

Jennifer

*CREAM CHEESE GINGERBREAD MUFFINS*


CREAM CHEESE GINGERBREAD MUFFINS
These muffins are light and cakey in texture. They do become dense upon chilling, however, they are best served at room temperature.

Carolyn of "All Day I dream about Food" made a variation of these.  I also have a variation, Bananaless Banana Muffins in Splendid Low-Carbing for Life, Volume 1 - original brainchild of Kevin A. Sapp.  This variation uses the whey protein for a gluten-free version same as what Carolyn did.  I don't recall mine dipping in the center, but maybe they were a little flatter compared to the ones using vital wheat gluten.  I would think so, but my memory is not serving me well.  Baking can be so finicky at times and as Carolyn said, she suspects her baking pan was the problem. I think it was also perhaps using whey instead of vital wheat gluten in this particular Gingerbread muffin version of Kevin's recipe.  If you are gluten-free and can have oat flour, I'd be inclined to use oat flour instead of the whey protein.

8 oz cream cheese, softened (250 g)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups ground almonds (375 mL)
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten, OR vanilla whey protein for gluten-free (75 mL)
1/4 cup SPLENDA® Granular (25 mL)
1/4 cup powdered erythritol (25 mL)
1/4 cup Da Vinci® Sugar Free (50 mL)
Gingerbread Syrup
1 tbsp olive oil (15 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
1 tsp cinnamon (5 mL)
1/2 tsp ground ginger (2 mL)
1/2 tsp ground cloves (2 mL)
1/2 tsp molasses (optional) (2 mL)
2 tsp baking powder (10 mL)
1/2 tsp baking soda (2 mL)

In food processor or in bowl with electric mixer, process cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs; process. Add ground almonds, vital wheat gluten, SPLENDA® Granular, erythritol, Da Vinci® Sugar Free Gingerbread Syrup, olive oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, molasses (if using), baking powder and baking soda; process until well combined and most lumps of cream cheese have been incorporated.

Fill 12 greased muffin cups about half to two-thirds full. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and cake tester comes out clean.

Da Vinci® Alternative: Use water and sweetener of choice to taste.

Nutritional Analysis: 12 mufffins, 1 muffin:
172.9 calories; 8.0 g protein; 14.0 g fat; 3.4 g carbs


The recipe for these delicious, flourless muffins was given to me by a man who enjoys my cookbooks: Kevin A. Sapp of Cary, NC.  His sons love the muffins, as do my much older sons – actually, we all like them!

Text Box: Yield:  12 muffins
1 muffin
188.0 calories
6.9 g protein
16.4 g fat
3.0 g carbs8 oz light, OR regular cream (250 g)
  cheese, softened
2 eggs
11/3 cups ground almonds (325 mL)
1/2 cup SPLENDA® Granular (125 mL)
1/3 cup vanilla whey protein (75 mL)
1/4 cup Da Vinci® Sugar Free (50 mL)
  Banana Syrup
1/4 cup olive oil (50 mL)
1 tbsp whipping cream (15 mL)
2 tsp baking powder (10 mL)
1/2 tsp baking soda (2 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
1 tsp cinnamon (5 mL)

In food processor or in bowl with electric mixer, process cream cheese until smooth.  Add eggs, ground almonds, SPLENDA® Granular, vanilla whey protein, Da Vinci® Sugar Free Banana Syrup, olive oil, whipping cream, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract and cinnamon; process. 

Fill 12 greased muffin cups.  Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and cake tester comes out clean.

Variations:  Create-a-Flavor Muffin:  Use any appropriate flavor Da Vinci® Sugar Free Syrup. Omit cinnamon, where it makes sense to leave it out. This muffin, using regular cream cheese, can actually be used on a “fat fast.”

Fruity Muffins:  Use Da Vinci® Sugar Free Vanilla or French Vanilla Syrup and add 1 cup (250 mL) fruit such as blueberries (4.5 g Carbs), peaches (4.4 g Carbs) or raspberries (3.7 g Carbs).  You can try fruity flavors of Da Vinci® Sugar Free Syrups to match the fruit, however, you could wind up with a very colorful muffin with some of them.  Children might actually enjoy that!

Banana Nut Muffins:  Add 3/4 cup (175 mL) chopped, fresh walnuts or pecans.  (3.6 g Carbs)

Da Vinci® Alternative:  Use water, 2/3 cup (150 mL) SPLENDA® Granular and 1 tsp (5 mL) banana extract instead of vanilla extract.  (3.4 g Carbs)

COCONUT CREAM PIE (GF)


COCONUT CREAM PIE
My 22-year old son, Jonathan, tried a piece and said, “That is not going to last long!” That is high praise coming from Jon ( he himself is a discerning baker in his spare time - of the higher carb kind), but even if I say so myself, this was really creamy-good – almost tastes like there is condensed milk in it! We did not even wait for it to be properly chilled and still it was amazingly yummy! Properly chilled it requires superlatives to describe it, I think.

Coconut Crust:
1 cup walnuts, ground (or use almonds)
¼ cup dessicated unsweetened coconut
¼ cup SPLENDA® Granular
1 tbsp powdered erythritol
2 tbsp coconut flour, OR oat flour
2 or 3 tbsp butter, melted
Filling:
12 oz cream cheese
3 eggs
½ cup powdered erythritol (Netrition.com)
1/3 cup classic coconut milk (I used Roland brand)
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp ThickenThin Not/Sugar (can use Not/Starch or Xanthan gum)
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp Splenda Quick Pack or equivalent

Coconut Crust: In food processor, grind walnuts or almonds with metal blade. Add coconut and grind again. Add SPLENDA® Granular, erythritol, coconut flour and butter; process. Using plastic wrap, press crust in 9-inch glass pie dish (no need to grease it). Bake in 325°F oven 10 minutes.

Filling: In food processor, process cream cheese until softened and well blended. Add eggs and process. Add erythritol, coconut milk, coconut oil, ThickenThin Not/Sugar (or equivalent), vanilla and Splenda (or equivalent); process, scraping bowl occasionally.

Pour filling over crust. Bake 30 minutes at 325°F.

Helpful Hints: It is possible to double the ingredients for the filling and place in a springform cheesecake pan and bake longer, but then the calories will be much more, of course. The brand of coconut milk that I used was creamy good – similar tasting to cream with a coconut flavor. One could potentially use 2 tbsp butter in the crust, as I used ¼ cup and that was a bit too much, although nice and rich tasting – so I figured 2 or 3 tbsp.

Nutritional Analysis: 12 servings, 1 serving with 3 tbsp butter in crust:
227.9 calories; 5.8 g protein; 21.5 g fat; 3.0 g carbs

10 servings, 1 serving:
273.5 calories; 7.0 g protein; 25.8 g fat; 3.7 g carbs