THE Premier Low-Carb store .. .. AND Meeting Place

Monday, August 29, 2011

Caramel Cheesecake (GF)


 CARAMEL CHEESECAKE
The filling for this cheesecake is topnotch and the topping is absolutely delicious!  I served this yesterday to my husband (who just returned from a business trip to the States) and my sons who fetched him at the airport and brought him back up the mountain.  Just before the boys left, I gave them each some cheesecake and they raved about it.  Jonathan thought it was my best cheesecake yet!  Pretty high praise as I think I've made almost fifty million cheesecakes so far in my lifetime.  LOL  Love 'em and they are the perfect low-carb dessert, I think.  However, calories are high with cheesecakes, so do keep that in mind. To reduce calories, you can substitute some Philadelphia light cream cheese (not cream cheese spread though) but not the nonfat variety (ugh - nasty stuff).

Almond Crust:
2/3  cup ground almonds (150 mL)
2 tbsp SPLENDA® Granular (30 mL)
2 tbsp vanilla whey protein (30 mL)
3 tbsp butter, melted (45 mL)
1 egg yolk
Filling:
3, 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened (750 g)
3 eggs, room temperature (if possible)                
Liquid sucralose to equal 1 cup (250 mL)
  SPLENDA® Granular
1/cup powdered erythritol (125 mL)
1/cup sour cream (60 mL)
1/cup whipping cream (60 mL)
Caramel Topping, page___  (see recipe below)

Almond Crust:  Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  In medium bowl, combine ground almonds, SPLENDA® Granular and vanilla whey protein.  Stir in butter and egg yolk.  Prepare 8-inch (20 cm) nonstick springform pan for water bath.  Wrap foil up the sides of the springform pan (you’ll need two big sheets).  Sprinkle crust mixture in pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and press crust out evenly; remove plastic wrap.  Bake 10 minutes or until turning brown at edges.

Filling:  In food processor with sharp blade, blender or in bowl with electric mixer, process cream cheese until smooth.  Add eggs; process.  Add sucralose, powdered erythritol, sour cream and whipping cream.  Process until smooth.  Pour cheesecake batter over baked crust. Place springform pan in larger pan and pour boiling water in it and about an inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the springform pan.  Be careful when transferring to oven.   Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 40 minutes.  Switch oven off, open oven door slightly and allow cheesecake to continue to cook 30 minutes more. Set pan on wire rack. When cooled completely to room temperature, pour Caramel Topping over top   Cover and refrigerate.  Run sharp knife around edge of pan, loosen the spring siding and serve.

Caramel Topping:  Prepare as directed on page___.

Helpful Hints:  If you prefer a more substantial crust, then double the ingredients.  Caramel Topping can also be prepared just before serving and poured over cold cheesecake.  Refrigerate 10 minutes or longer and serve.

Yield:  12/16 servings
1 serving
383.3/286.7 calories
12.8/9.6 g protein
34.8/26.1 g fat
4.6/3.4 g carbs


CARAMEL TOPPING
This topping is for the Caramel Cheesecake, page___. (above)
Caramel Sauce:
1/cup granulated erythritol (125 mL)
1 tsp molasses (5 mL)
1/cup whipping cream (125 mL)
2 tbsp butter (30 mL)
Caramel Topping:
1/cup vanilla whey protein (125 mL)
2 tbsp butter (30 mL)
2 tbsp whole milk, OR skim milk powder (30 mL)
1/tsp vanilla extract (2 mL)

Caramel Sauce:  In nonstick saucepan, combine erythritol and molasses over medium heat until erythritol dissolves and bubbles.  Remove from heat and stir in cream and butter.  Stir until smooth.  Return to heat and boil until caramel is bubbling up and golden brown.  Let cool 2 minutes.

Caramel Topping:  In blender, combine Caramel Sauce, vanilla whey protein, butter, whole milk, OR skim milk powder and vanilla extract.  Blend until smooth.

Helpful Hint:  This Caramel Topping should be plenty thick enough but, if not, you can add 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) xanthan gum to blender and blend.

Yield:  12/16 servings
1 serving
91.7/68.8 calories
3.6/2.7 g protein
7.9/5.9 g fat
1.9/1.4 g carbs


Friday, August 26, 2011

Coconut Curried Shrimp (GF)




COCONUT CURRIED SHRIMP
I was very hungry one day and didn’t have the patience to look up a recipe for the beautiful, large, precooked shrimp that I had in the freezer!  I grabbed a can of coconut milk in the pantry and the rest is history.  This was a wonderful, flavorful meal and quite hearty.

1.5 lbs large frozen shrimp, (0.68 kg)
  precooked and with tails on
3 tbsp light-tasting olive oil (45 mL)
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 tsp minced garlic (10 mL)
2 tbsp mild curry powder (30 mL)
1/4 tsp seasoning salt (1 mL)
1/4 tsp No Salt (1 mL)
3/4 cup coconut milk (175 mL)
2 tbsp raisins, optional (30 mL)

In colander and under running, cold water, thaw shrimp.  Drain and remove tails from shrimp.  Set aside.

In large saucepan, heat oil and add onion.  Stir fry onion until getting soft and add the garlic.  Stir fry until onion is tender.  Stir in curry powder, seasoning salt and No Salt.  Add coconut milk gradually, while stirring.  Add raisins if using. Bring to the boil.  Add shrimp and while stirring cook until heated through.  Serve over Cauli-FriedRice, page___, if desired.

Yield:   3 servings
1 serving
498.3 calories
48.2 g protein
30.1 g fat
7.9 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!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

MAYONNAISE...SIMILAR TO MIRACLE WHIP


 MAYONNAISE
Commercial mayonnaise is often filled with sugar! This recipe is delicious.  Using 3 tbsp lemon juice gives this mayonnaise a bit of a bite so reducing it is fine too.  Adjust sweetness to taste.  Using lemon juice instead of vinegar is smart if you suspect a yeast infection or intestinal yeast overgrowth (runaway appetite and flatulence are a couple of symptoms).  This tastes more like Miracle Whip to me.  This recipes lasts at least a week or more in the refrigerator, but it is easy enough to halve the recipe.  I like it for things like faux potato salad or a salad dressing or for egg salad, tuna salad, that kind of thing!

Note:  For those who don't like Miracle Whip....leave out or reduce the sweetener...wallah Hellman's mayonnaise!

1 extra-large egg
  (organic, if possible)
3 tbsp white vinegar, OR (45 mL)
  lemon juice  (this can reduced to 2 tbsp (30 mL))
1 tbsp water (15 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 3 tbsp sugar (45 mL)
2 tsp prepared mustard (10 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (I used half No Salt) (2 mL)
1/4 tsp white pepper (1 mL)
1/4 tsp ThickeningAgent (1 mL)  I used xanthan gum (an 1/8 tsp was enough)
1 cup light-tasting olive oil (250 mL)

In covered blender, blend egg, vinegar or lemon juice, water, liquid sweetener, mustard, dry mustard powder, salt and white pepper at low speed.  Uncover blender or through hole in lid, add Thickening Agent,  OR xanthan gum and at low speed in slow, steady stream, add olive oil, until mayonnaise is thoroughly mixed and thickened.

Helpful Hints:  Cider vinegar may be used instead of white vinegar, if desired.  

Yield:  11/cups (375 mL)
1 tbsp (15 mL) per serving
84.3 calories
0.3 g protein
9.3 g fat
0.4 g carbs

Monday, August 22, 2011

MEAT AND EGG FAST PLATTER (GF)

Double Click photo to see a bigger image. 

Many low-carbers have reported great success with a meat and egg fast.  Typically the fast only lasts 2 or 3 days but it is enough to jump start weight loss and get one into ketosis.  At the same time after about 3 days carb cravings should be minimal, if not gone.  One's appetite goes through the floor - meaning it really reduces substantially and that equals weight loss.  After the fast, go right into induction for two weeks and then onto OWL.  Unless you have a huge problem with too much insulin, OWL is actually beneficial for most to keep on losing at a steady rate.  Some people need the carbs - like stoking a furnace - in this case, the metabolism.  Also keep in mind if you do suffer from insomnia, increasing the carbs a bit will help with that.  Going very low-carb can interfere with sleep with some sensitive individuals.

Here is a side benefit.  You can beat the yeasty beasties if you suspect Candida.  Cutting carbs drastically helps with that.  Take a good probiotic and if you like start eating yogurt after the 3 days, or if you prefer have it as your one carby item each day (4 g carbs per cup plain yogurt).  It does not seem to be a problem for me.  If you have yeast, do not have regular mayonnaise - make your own with lemon juice instead of vinegar.  I will post the recipe shortly.

Stuffed Eggs - Find the Recipe Here.


ITALIAN ROAST PORK
Pork tenderloin makes the best dinner.  You can pair it with just about anything for a fabulous meal.  I love sliced, roasted pork – even cold.

3 lbs pork tenderloin (1.4 kg)
Seasoning salt, to taste
Italian Dressing Marinade:
1/cup olive oil (75 mL)
1/cup white vinegar (60 mL)
1 tbsp water (15 mL)
1 tsp crushed garlic (5 mL)
3/tsp onion salt (3 mL)
1/2 tsp No Salt (2 mL)
1/2 tsp Italian herb seasoning (2 mL)
1/tsp dried thyme (1 mL)
1/tsp dried parsley (1 mL)

In small bowl, combine olive oil, white vinegar, water, garlic, onion salt, No Salt, Italian herb seasoning, thyme and parsley. 

Cut pork tenderloin into chunks.  In large dish place tenderloin and pour Italian Dressing Marinade overall.  Turn pork in marinade to coat well.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  Put pieces of pork in roasting pan in one layer.  Baste pork with half marinade. Sprinkle lightly with seasoning salt. Roast 15 minutes.  Turn pork over and brush with remaining marinade and again sprinkle lightly with seasoning salt.  Roast pork another 20 minutes.  Transfer to chopping board and cut chunks into thin strips before serving.

Yield:   8 servings
1 serving
300.1 calories
38.3 g protein
15.0 g fat
0.6 g carbs


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Off Topic Post - Meet the Critters in Snow White's Garden

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that we would end up in the Tropics in South America.  I can't say exactly where we are for personal reasons, but I'd like to show you some of the critters that visit Snow White's Cottage (name in keeping with the books our son, Jonathan, wrote about our lives) on the mountain and hidden in a tropical rain forest.  Hence the cute name - Jungle Jen's Journal.  Ian did that and he also designed my blog.  He also does any websites of ours as well.  He is a computer guy so those things are easy for him.

Here is Mr. Sloth hanging around - this tree is about 7 stories above the ground and the termites have been making many of the branches rotten through and through.  I don't know how he has not fallen!  He seems to know what he is doing.  He has stuck around for about 6 weeks now coming down after eating to hide in the thick Ficcus trees. It takes several days for them to digest their food.  Needless to say our tree is looking quite sparse at the moment and a bit sorry for itself as that sloth is eating all the leaves. He even sits up there in torrential rain and lightning storms.  I watched him climb the tree the other day.  Fascinating.  He is actually very agile in a tree but get him on the ground and you cannot believe how sloooow he is.  Unreal.  Hence his name - sloth.




Next are a couple of photos of the birds that come visiting to eat bananas from the hanging baskets below the eaves.  We've since stained the wood - looks very pretty, but they mess on the mango-colored wall (yep, my house is mango with a red roof) and periodically we have to clean the wall with bleach.  Those are Bay Headed Tanagers and the red one is the male Summer Tanager (his mate is completely yellow and also pretty).  We get a good variety of colorful birds.  Sometimes the squirrel or the olingo (night animal) gets up on the roof and jumps into the basket to have a banana feast.  If they see Smiley, our dog, they jump to the bush below and scamper away.


The monkey and the red squirrel don't seem to mind each other too much.  That stick you see in the photo has two prongs at the top.  I put the banana between the prongs and lift the stick up and plop the banana into the basket.  This way I don't have to take the basket down each time.  This was Ian's neat invention.  I do similar things with the hummingbird feeders.


This little Titi monkey (Jeoffroy Tamarin) is enjoying his banana very much.  Lately two of them come to visit me almost daily but often a whole troop will come at once.  They are the cutest things and become quite tame.  I don't go too close though as they are still wild.  I remember a little scrappy one used to come visit me.  He was very tiny and had a scrappy, little tail.  He was sooo cute.  He would call me from the driveway each day and then he would make that monkey sound and eat  - it sounded like he would cry and eat and cry and eat.  Poor little thing stopped coming after a while and I fear the worst.  This Titi monkey in the photo is a robust, healthy specimen.  He doesn't mean to be sticking his tongue out at you. (wink)





Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Buttoni's Low Carb Recipes - A Blog Worth Knowing


For a while now, I’ve been meaning to do a post about a really wonderful, low-carb blog called Buttoni’s Low Carb Recipes.  Peggy has a real gift for coming up with super low-carb equivalents and even although she says she is less into baking, she has plenty of talent in that area as well.  Peggy is a teacher by profession and now retired.  She admits she received her love of cooking mostly from her Dad, but actually from both parents who enjoyed cooking – and would sometimes spend almost the whole day together in the kitchen putting together a new and exotic recipe they had found.

Lately Peggy is trying to lose the last 20 lbs as she has maintained a good loss (about 28 lbs) for a couple of years, so she is back to induction-style foods.  Anyone who is on induction will really enjoy Peggy’s latest recipe creations. I was amazed at how she could make Revolution Rolls look like real hamburger and hot dog buns.  Peggy’s biscuits inspired my gluten-free ones.  I will be forever grateful to her for that.  It was fun when Peggy was maintaining as she tried my gluten-free bake mix.

I asked Peggy to help me out – to tell me a little bit about herself and her cooking style or approach to cooking.  Here is what she said:

“I'm not a big sweets eater (never have been) so desserts I cook less often.  I think my forte is entrees and vegetables.  That makes up the vast number of my recipes.  

I'm not a fancy cook at all.  So in addition to an Atkins low-carb focus, I always try to keep my website recipes simple enough for the working woman to pull off in an hour or less. I leave the complicated recipes to the professional chefs.  My brother (formerly a pro chef) will cook dishes like that, but not me, not ever; just not my style.    My recipes usually go together with one bowl, one stew pot, or one skillet, because if you have a huge stack of dishes left after preparation, well that's just no fun, whether you work or not?   

I love the delicate flavors that spices can give a dish, so my recipes often have the occasional exotic spice.  And people are always asking if they can sub in other spices for them.  But I always tell them the chosen spices are essential to the overall flavor and omitting them or substituting will usually completely change the final dish.  I just don't get why some cooks don't get that aspect about cooking.  Some things you can tweak but spices are essential to exact flavor outcomes.   

Fellow Atkineers on the Atkins Community forums tell me it's the flavor and simplicity they like about my recipes.    I know when I'm cruising low-carb blogs out there, if a recipe takes a lot of steps to prepare, I usually move on.  I assume my readers feel the same way.  People are too busy in this workaday world for that type of cooking anymore.   I don't do 4-star dining at home; I go to a 4-star restaurant for that.” 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Steviva Blend and a chance to win something nice



Update:  Some people may experience some intestinal discomfort or diarrhea.  Why that is, I have no idea.  Stevia on its own should not be a problem and erythritol on its own is not a problem.  Not sure why the blended version is a problem sometimes for some people.

Below is a letter I received just now.  I thought I would share it here.  Funny thing is in the last 24 hours I was thinking I really need to do a post on Steviva Blend.  I ran out of erythritol and used Steviva Blend in its stead in combination with Splenda Granular.  It works very well in baking and seems to contribute to nice, moist baked goods. They have another product called Fructevia but for low-carbers the Steviva Blend is best.  Steviva Blend is a blend of stevia and erythritol.

"Steviva Blend is a blend of the highest quality Rebaudioside A (stevia extract) an all natural grain extract, erythritol, a filler which is naturally occurring in a variety of foods and derived from non-GMO fermented grain.
Steviva Blend is granulated like sugar, dissolves quickly and has a 2:1 sweetness ratio to sugar, so it is very easy to measure. Steviva Blend is ideal to bake and cook with. Steviva Blend has less than 1 Calorie and less than 1 Carbohydrate per serving making it safe for diabetics and may be used in hot or cold liquids, sprinkled on cereals and fruit, or in any way that you wish to use this revolutionary dietary supplement.
What is Erythritol?
A substance which occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables now manufactured by fermentation of glucose. With a caloric value close to zero (max 0.2Kcal/g) with an appearance and properties very similar to sucrose but offering 70% of the sweetness of sucrose, it is an ideal choice for many applications."

Nutrition Facts:  1 tbsp (12 g)


Total Calories 2.4 

Total Fat g 0%   

Sodium mg 0%   

Total Carbohydrates g 0%   

   Sugars g

   Sugar Alcohols (Polyols) 12  g

Protein g




So, for those folks who like stevia, the Steviva Blend tastes good and is great in baking! 


August 15, 2011


Tonight at 11:59 PM Pacific Time we will be selecting a winner in the Pedal your way to Wellness Sweetstakes.
We will be giving away a Trek Madone 3.1 full carbon road bike worth well over $2000. In addition we will be giving away 2 KitchenAid Mixers and 10 Steviva Brands $50 gift certificates.
Just by registering you will be given $10.00 to spend in the Steviva Brands on-line store. NO STRINGS ATTACHED.
If you tell your friends you dramatically increase your chances of winning. So, spread the word.
Go to: http://www.vibeincentives.com/steviva-sweetstakes/registration/ and register.
Live well...

Thomas J. King

PS. Your name will not be sold or anything like that. It will only be shared with Trek Bicycle.

Steviva Brands, Inc.
Manufacturing/Warehouse:
Airport Business Park West
7911 NW 33rd Dr.,Suite 110
Portland, OR 97211

Portland Executive Offices:
Steviva Brands, Inc.
725 NW Flanders St., Suite 402
Portland, OR 97209

310.455.9876  | F 310.388.5393

Friday, August 12, 2011

Foods that Can Boost the Metabolism and Help with Weight Loss


Other than the emphasis on low-fat dairy, I thought this was a great article on how to boost fat burning!  Interesting how low calcium levels may trigger the release of calcitrol, a hormone that causes us to store fat.  Go figure and so all these people cutting dairy in order to lose weight (you see this all the time on the boards) - I'm thinking they need to supplement with calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and C.

Huffington Post Article by Joanna Dolgoff

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SWEET ONION PEPPER STIR-FRY


SWEET ONION PEPPER STIR-FRY

A colorful mosaic.  I really love this vegetable dish, lowly as it may seem.  To me it is almost like having sweet chutney on my plate.  I have made this recipe forever and a day it seems.  I don't tire of it.

3 tbsp Healthy Butter (45 mL)
1 cup sliced onions (250 mL)
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
Sweet Mustard Sauce:
Granular sweetener to equal 1/2 cup sugar (125 mL)
1 tbsp prepared mustard (15 mL)
11/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce (7 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
1/8 tsp black pepper (0.5 mL)

Sweet Mustard Sauce:  In small bowl, combine sweetener, prepared mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, salt and pepper.  Set aside.

In electric wok or large electric skillet, melt Healthy Butter.  Add onions; fry until barely tender 2 minutes.  Add red and green peppers; fry until barely tender 2 minutes.  Stir in Sweet Mustard Sauce until heated through.

Yield:  10 servings
1 serving
52.3 calories
0.7 g protein
3.6 g fat
3.8 g carbs

Variation:  Add 1 cup (250 mL) sliced, raw mushrooms with the onions.
(4.4 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!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

SANDWICH BREAD (2.2 g carbs)







For the Toasted Cheese Sandwiches (you can add sliced ham as well - yummy!), I buttered the cut side surfaces and put the cheese (liberal amount of Monterey Jack) inside, with two buttered cut side surfaces facing the outside.  Bake in toasted cheese maker.  Wait quite a while - you want it nice and toasty as in the picture.  Adding ham would have added color (of course this bread does not have the side crusts so comparing it to regular bread (looks-wise) would be a bit unfair.  This is very nice though and very similar. Even one half is filling with a cup of tea or coffee, which Ian and I did this morning.  He had coffee and I had my tea.  There is no way one has any cravings afterwards.  One feels comfortable and satiated and no pressing desire to keep going back for more.  If I buy my favorite store bought bread (It is moist and dense and cake-like. Ha!), I can eat 6 slices in a sitting easily (in my defense they are smaller slices).  I always have to stop myself and then later I'll be wanting more. Needless to say that bread is very fattening for me and I won't buy it anymore.  It is not the case with this bread.  My husband is losing weight on this gluten-free diet and he loves having this bread available all the time.  He is able to eat one meal at lunch time (we broke that trend today) and go for hours until supper time when he has his big bowl of frozen yogurt (bananas, strawberries and yogurt and sweetener (sometimes with chopped salty peanuts on top - not overly low-carb) while watching a show.  Moderate low-carbing and gluten-free is working for him and even I have lost 4 lbs in 20 days.  I'm not a fast loser and also don't have that much to lose (keep in mind I don't ever expect or want to be ultra-skinny).  Ian has lost a ton of weight.  Low-carbing works for him as well but he was still on the wheat gluten and his body is intolerant of gluten, so he was fighting an uphill battle.  He would get cravings and overeat too often.  I am so happy for him!!

P.S.  When Ian goes back on gluten, his blood pressure soars again.  Going gluten-free has cut the cost of blood pressure meds in half for him.  Pretty awesome!  Obviously not everyone has a problem with gluten.  I don't but I happen to enjoy eating gluten-free these days, so I don't have very much, except maybe sometimes when I visit the city and temptation abounds.

SANDWICH BREAD
CLICK PHOTOS TO SEE LARGER IMAGES

This bread is great for sandwiches, but even more wonderful toasted in a regular toaster or on the barbecue.  It has the characteristics of an English muffin where it has a more absorbent surface (cut side) for butter and peanut butter, low-sugar jam or a little honey and cheese.  Such a treat!  You can even make grilled cheese sandwiches with a toasted cheese maker.

This is the recipe I mentioned and that some of you have been waiting for.  I hope very much that you enjoy this recipe as much as what we do.  It is a staple for us and so nice to have a whole loaf of our bread in the refrigerator.  Not only that, the ingredients are so healthy - think about it - eggs (protein), almonds (heart healthy), oat flour (heart healthy) and fiber (heart healthy) and some good fats for satiety. You will not be eating too much bread as it satiates quickly and there are no cravings afterwards.

UPDATE:  This bread is a bit on the savory side, so if you would like a more neutral taste - leave out the Parmesan cheese and the salt - much lower in sodium too. 

12 oz regular cream cheese, softened (375 g)
6 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
2 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (500 mL)
  page___
1/2 cup almond meal, OR almond flour (125 mL)
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (45 mL)
11/2 tsp baking powder (7 mL)
3/tsp baking soda (3 mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (500 mL)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line large cookie sheet, 14.5 x 23 inches (37 x 58 cm), with foil and grease well.  

In food processor, process cream cheese.  Add eggs and vanilla extract; process well on low speed.  In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___, almond meal, OR almond flour, Parmesan cheese, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add to cream cheese mixture and process until thickened.  Add cheese and process until incorporated. 

Drop batter in huge blobs on the foil.  Take a large piece of plastic wrap and press out the batter to fill the cookie sheet evenly.  Keep picking the plastic up and moving it around as needed to squish the batter.  Once the whole cookie sheet is covered, use the back of a large spoon to make sure it is as even as possible. (If you wear glasses for reading, I recommend wearing them.) Bake approximately 25 minutes, or until browning on top.  Allow to cool.  Divide the bread into 5 (for the longer side) x 3 sections.  The bread will be about the same size as a standard piece of bread from a store bought sandwich loaf.  Slice each piece into 2 slices of the same size as the original piece (just thinner) with a large serrated bread knife; that makes 30 slices of bread at 2.2 g carbs each.

Yield:   30 slices
1 serving
127.6 calories
6.1 g protein
10.2 g fat
2.2 g carbs
 
Helpful Hints:  For the barbecue, we butter the bread on the cut sides, place thinly sliced tomato, thinly sliced onion and cheese on one unbuttered side and top with the other half, buttered side to the outside.  Place above or on the grill, depending on your barbecue towards the end of the time it takes to barbecue the meat. Close lid and check on them frequently.  Use a flat, metal lifter to turn very carefully, supporting the top, to do other side.  Sometimes I add some roasted chicken (and bacon done on the grill) and mayonnaise and that makes a meal on its own. Place the slices of bread in an airtight container in the refrigerator; lasts 2 weeks.  Freeze for longer storage.


Note: After refrigeration this bread becomes more dense and less bread-like due to the cream cheese content.  Nuke one slice about 12 seconds, depending on your microwave oven, and you’re ready to make a sandwich as it becomes like freshly baked bread.  This step is not necessary before toasting the bread.

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!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Blueberry Muffins (GF)


UPDATE:  I made this yesterday as my son, Jonathan, came home for a visit.  He loved them and they only lasted a few hours. As I suspected, the recipe below as typed is perfect!  Forget the Helpful Hints.   This is a super muffin!

The muffin in the foreground was the one I made last night.  It used 3 eggs and there was too much liquid in the muffin (close to 2/3 cup) - hence a bit  misshapen and they look more moist.  The other muffins I made this morning and they used 2 eggs and 1/2 cup milk.  The result was not as tasty as the one the night before.  It was a bit drier and the texture was not as nice - even although they probably look nicer in the pic.  My conclusion was:  use 3 eggs rather (this was adding an extra egg to the original recipe) and reduce the liquid requirements.  I don't even need to retest the recipe as I'm almost positive as to the outcome (I covered myself in the Helpful Hints, just in case) - so find the revised recipe below.  Lovely muffin this by the way, no problem there.  I like them without any butter - just as is.   The baking is nicer with an extra egg due to the fact that coconut flour requires more eggs in baking.

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
This is a lovely blueberry muffin.  It is based on my Blueberry Muffin recipe from Splendid Desserts, my very first cookbook that I wrote at the age of 35.

13/4  cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (425 mL)
  page___(1/2 tsp (2 mL) xanthan gum)
1 tbsp baking powder (15 mL)
1/2 tsp Morton® Lite salt (2 mL)
3 tbsp butter (45 mL)
3 eggs
Liquid sucralose to equal 1/2 cup (125 mL)
  SPLENDA® Granular (125 mL)
1/3  cup Hood Calorie Countdown (75 mL)
  Milk, OR Carolyn’s Milk, page___
1/4 cup granulated erythritol (60 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
3/4  cup frozen unsweetened blueberries, (175 mL)
  OR fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___, baking powder and light salt.  In food processor, process butter and eggs.  Add liquid sucralose, OR SPLENDA® Granular, Hood Calorie Countdown Milk, OR Carolyn’s milk, page___, erythritol and vanilla extract.  Add dry ingredients and process until thickened.  Stir in blueberries.

Pour batter into greased muffin pan.  Bake 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in muffin comes out clean.

Yield:   9 muffins
1 muffin
170.5 calories
6.1 g protein
12.8 g fat
6.4 g carbs


Friday, August 5, 2011

Important Update for Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix

August 6, 2011:  Can a girl change her mind?  After some reflection, I decided since I only have a handful of recipes tested with 1/2 tsp xanthan gum in the bake mix, I'm going to return to 3/4 tsp xanthan gum for now.  I might play with less again at some point, but for those of you who are curious, I'm working on a cookbook due out in November, and my hands are full with that at the moment.  The bake mix instructions remain the same with the difference being that more liquid ingredients will be required with 3/4 tsp xanthan gum in the bake mix.

August 5, 2011:  This is an important update:  I made some blueberry muffins last night and again this morning with the new and improved Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix and noted a few things (my conclusions changed again).  Using 1/2 tsp xanthan gum vs 3/4 tsp makes it necessary to change the instructions for the bake mix.  In conclusion I think when substituting the bake mix in your own recipes, start with an extra egg and withhold at least half the liquid/wet requirements.  If you end up with a batter that is too stiff, add more of the liquid and if it is too sloppy add a little bit more bake mix.  It turns out with less xanthan gum, liquid requirements in a recipe will be less.   I do like the additional egg in most cases because it keeps the baking moist (the extra egg is probably needed due to the coconut flour which soaks up moisture like crazy) and seems to provide a better texture.  Remember xanthan gum is a thickener so it was making the batters much thicker than they otherwise would have been.  Now with only 1/2 tsp, that thickening power is substantially reduced.  You're welcome to keep the original 3/4 tsp xanthan gum in the bake mix.  I prefer to reduce the xanthan gum in the bake mix as some people are reactive to it (especially in the beginning as one gets used to it - and it takes time) and besides that it tends to cut the sweetening power of sweeteners a tad.  So, less xanthan gum, less likelihood of reactivity, less sweetener required and fewer carbs in the baked product.  All round a good thing but time will tell if I return to 3/4 tsp xanthan gum in the Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix.  I don't have a huge amount of time to spend on baking these days but over time it will become clearer to me.  Meantime if you stick to my recipes at least you know they will turn out fine.  When you experiment on your own - you're on your own with the guidelines I have given.  Some baking experience will be very helpful so that you know what the different batters should be like.

This is my conclusion and I hope to confirm my findings as I continue to learn about the little nuances of my Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix.  Baking can be such an adventure!  It's very rarely predictable; especially when one is trying to reinvent the wheel kind of thing - let's face it - sugar free is one thing, low-carb is another, now add gluten-free to the mix and it can get quite complicated at times.  I'm trying to take "complicated" out of things though.  So as I learn new things, I'll post and keep you updated.  Thanks for your patience.


For the new instructions - GO HERE
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*Cauliflower Puff* (GF)


Purple Cauliflower at the Portland Farmers Market.


CAULIFLOWER PUFF

This looks impressive for a lowly vegetable dish.  Can you imagine a purple cauliflower?  Somehow I don't think it would look right in this recipe!  Amazing!  I haven't made this side dish in a while but I remember it was lovely.

1 large head cauliflower
Cheese Sauce, (recipe in post before this)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
1/8 tsp pepper (0.5 mL)
4 eggs
1/4 tsp lemon juice (1 mL)
1/8 tsp paprika (0.5 mL)
 
Break cauliflower into florets.  In large casserole dish, place cauliflower and a little water.  Microwave on high power 9 minutes or just until tender.  Drain well.  Place in greased 9 x 13-inch (3 L) glass dish.  Prepare Cheese Sauce, page 88.  Add extra salt and pepper to Cheese Sauce (see ingredients above).

In food processor or electric mixer, beat egg whites with lemon juice until stiff.  Add egg yolks one at a time, while beating until thick and creamy.  Fold egg mixture into Cheese   and pour over cauliflower.  Sprinkle with paprika and bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 20 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis:  8 servings, 1 serving: 189.5 calories; 9.9 g protein; 15.0 g fat; 3.4 g carbs
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*CHEESE SAUCE* (GF)


CHEESE SAUCE

A rich, thick sauce.

1/2 tsp dry mustard (2 mL)
1/4 tsp xanthan or guar gum (1 mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
1/4 tsp white pepper (1 mL)
1/2 cup whipping cream (125 mL)
1/4 cup water (50 mL)
2 egg yolks, fork beaten
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese (500 mL)

In small nonstick saucepan, stir together dry mustard, xanthan gum, salt and white pepper.  In small bowl, combine whipping cream and water.  Gradually add whipping cream mixture to saucepan, stirring with whisk.  Bring mixture to boil.  Remove saucepan from heat.  Add small amount of mixture to egg yolks; return to saucepan.  Stir in cheese.  Cook over very low heat until cheese melts.  Do not boil.  Remove from heat, if necessary.  

Nutritional Analysis:  1 1/3 cups (325 mL), 2 tbsp (30 mL) per serving:
98.1 calories; 3.9 g protein; 9.0 g fat; 0.6 g carbs

Variation:  Thinner Cheese Sauce:  Use 1 cup (250 mL) cheddar cheese.
(0.5 g Carbs)

Helpful Hint:  Half-and-half cream may be used instead of cream.  Refrigerate  main recipe until cold.  It makes a very good spreadable processed cheese.


CHEESE SAUCE
This cheese sauce will probably be better for the spicy, cheesy dip with Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies that Cathy was inquiring about.

1/2 cup whipping cream (125 mL)
2 oz cream cheese, softened (60 g)
4 oz Cheddar cheese, shredded (125 g)
1 tbsp butter (15 mL)
1/4 tsp dry mustard (1 mL)
White pepper, to taste
 
In saucepan, heat cream until scalding.  Reduce heat to low and add cream cheese chopped into little pieces and whisk until melted.  Add Cheddar cheese and butter whisking until smooth.  Whisk in dry mustard and pepper.

Nutritional Analysis:  14 tbsp (220 mL), 1 tbsp (15 mL) per serving: 
79.5 calories; 2.6 g protein; 7.5 g fat; 0.5 g carbs