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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps



CHICKEN BACON RANCH WRAPS
 Here is a tasty, simple-to-prepare wrap for lunch!   Love these wraps - so very easy to make.  Very busy this end with editing the low-carb friends' mini cookbook in volume 2, so just a quick post.  Our low-carb friends have contributed awesome recipes and it is a really fun and strong mini cookbook within the greater cookbook.  Feel proud my friends reading this!  THANK you for your contributions.

31/2 cups diced chicken (750 mL)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack, OR (250 mL)
  Mozzarella Cheese
8 slices cooked, chopped bacon
1 cup Ranch Dressing, page___ (250 mL)
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions, (60 mL)
  (optional)
2 tbsp chopped, canned jalapenos, OR to taste (30 mL)
  (quadruple the recipe)
Mayonnaise
Light-tasting olive oil

In large bowl, combine chicken, Monterey Jack, OR Mozzarella Cheese, bacon, Ranch Dressing, page___, Roma tomato, green onions (if using) and canned jalapenos. 

Prepare Jiffy Flexible Microwave Tortillas.  Fill tortillas and use mayonnaise to seal edges closed. Fry in light-tasting olive oil on both sides in nonstick skillet.

Helpful Hint:  Mayonnaise and olive oil are not included in the nutritional analysis as people will use as much or as little as they prefer.

Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
479.0 calories
24.5 g protein
38.1 g fat
7.6 g carbs

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My very FIRST Guest Post.



This was my first guest post on a friend's blog.  Go over here to Tiffany's blog to see it.  Please comment over there if you liked it.  Thanks so much! :)

BOBOTIE- One of My All-Time Favorite Meat Loaves


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.  Another Bobotie that is very popular in South Africa is Fish Bobotie.  I'll make that one of these days and share it as well.  Have a great weekend everyone!

2 rye crisp breads, OR
  2 slices low-carb bread (See the Plain Bread version of my Jiffy Cinnamon Raisin 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.

Yield:  10 servings
1 serving
269.7 calories
20.5 g protein
17.5 g fat
5.7 g carbs (carbs are lower with my GF Bread in link above)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

JIFFY BUN AND JIFFY SANDWICH BREAD


 It would be better instead of a cereal bowl to have a circular glass baking dish, the circumference of which remains the same the whole depth of the dish, if you know what I mean.  As you can see the bottom part of the bun is smaller than the top part, using a cereal bowl.  It works, but it could be better.
 The photos from here on down are showing a regular-sized dinner plate.
Oops, except for this one - this is a side plate below.  :)

You will need a square 4-inch (10 cm) square glass or plastic container for the Jiffy Sandwich Bread.

JIFFY BUN

This bun is soft in texture. It makes a good substitute for a hamburger bun. One can’t beat the convenience of making a hamburger bun in a jiffy.  The photos don't do the bun justice. Sesame seeds will add to it's appeal, but unfortunately that one got eaten before I had a chance to photograph it. It tastes great - very neutral and quite bread-like. The sandwich bread is super as well.  I could barely tell the difference from real bread when I made a sandwich. Try it and see if you like it too. One sandwich (2 slices) is all I could eat.  It is very satiating and one does not crave more. 

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!

1 egg
1 tbsp mayonnaise (15 mL)
1 tsp coconut milk, OR heavy cream (5 mL)
1/tsp salt, optional (0.5 mL)
3 tbsp Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (45 mL)
  page___
1/tsp baking powder (2 mL)

In cereal bowl (or better yet a round glass bowl that has a base and circumference that is more or less the same size), beat egg well with fork. Add mayonnaise, coconut milk, OR cream and salt, if using and mix well. Add Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___ and baking powder.  Whisk in well with fork for almost a minute.  Tap bowl on counter to remove air bubbles.

Microwave 1 minute and 10 seconds.  Immediately loosen sides and invert bun.  Using a good, serrated bread knife, slice horizontally in two and allow to cool.

Yield:  1 serving
1 Jiffy bun
280.6 calories
9.9 g protein
23.8 g fat
5.6 g net carbs


Variations:  Jiffy Sesame Seed Bun:  Sprinkle top of batter with 1 tsp (5 mL) toasted sesame seeds and then microwave.  (6.0 g carbs)

Jiffy Sandwich Bread:  You will need a square 4-inch (10 cm) glass dish.  Pour batter into greased dish and nuke 1 minute and 10 seconds.  Remove, invert and carefully slice horizontally into two slices.  This recipe makes 2 regular-sized, very tasty bread slices and it also toasts quite well. Great for a sandwich.
One slice:  2.8 g carbs.

Helpful Hints:  The bun should be dry when inverted; i.e. no wet, soft spots in the center.  My microwave oven is a powerful one (1200 watts) and runs hot, so your times may differ quite a bit depending on the wattage of your microwave oven. If your bun is still wet underneath, stick it in the microwave oven in 10 second intervals until it is dry. Ian likes to use these as open-faced hamburger buns.  He puts a hamburger patty on each buttered half with all the trimmings and declares he is very satiated after such a meal.  Of course, he adds bacon, cheese, tomato, lettuce, ketchup and skips the mustard.

Toast sesame seeds in dry nonstick frying pan.  Keep sesame seeds in freezer in sealed container.  You may also use them on top of the Artisan Hamburger Buns (Improved), page___.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Jiffy Flexible Microwave Tortilla




 Interim Step - tortilla rolled between two pieces of parchment paper (a necessity in the low-carb kitchen)



JIFFY FLEXIBLE MICROWAVE TORTILLA
This recipe is so much easier than the one I provided in Low-Carbing Among Friends, volume-1.  I think it tastes better too.  Wraps are such a good meal any time of day.  Yep, you can even make a breakfast wrap with scrambled eggs, cooked tomato and sausage and cheese, and, oh yes, don't forget the mayonnaise to seal the tortilla and a bit extra if you love it like I do.  I remember a few years ago (actually quite a few years now) when wraps became the trendy thing to eat.  My sweet friend and a lady who adopted me as her daughter (unofficially) loved them.  We used to visit her every week for 5 years before we left the country and how we all enjoyed those visits!  Sometimes we took her out and she loved that. She loved music and was talented in a gazillion ways. She died about a year later and to this day I miss her.  She loved people and she absolutely knew how to HUG.  She also knew how to live and live well no matter how wonderful or how humble her surroundings; she made the most of it.  Some of her favorite recipes appear in my Splendid Low-Carbing series of cookbooks and in Low-Carbing Among Friends, page 21, find Jeanne's Squash Soup. Rest in Peace, Jeanne.  I miss you!!  (((HUGS))) over my heart where you will always reside in my garden of sweet memories.

NOTE:  This recipe is made with almond meal (ground almonds, not almond flour) in the bake mix and you must use the Bake mix with xanthan gum and you must add the extra xanthan gum...it is what makes the tortilla flexible. Almond flour (Honeyville Grains) does NOT work in this recipe! I would like to work on another recipe that doesn't require xanthan gum.

1 egg
1 tsp olive oil (5 mL)
1/cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix,  (75 mL)
  (this recipe needs my Gluten-Free Bake Mix with the xanthan gum)
1/cup ground almonds (75 mL)
1/tsp xanthan gum (0.5 mL)
1/tsp salt, OR to taste (0.5 mL)

In small bowl, whisk egg and olive oil well.  Add Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___, ground almonds, OR almond flour, xanthan gum and salt.  Whisk well with fork until a sticky dough forms.  Measure 2 dough balls, weighing about 2.5 oz (70 g) each. 

Between two pieces of parchment paper, press ball out with hands and continue rolling out with rolling pin (a small one works well; mine has a rod with two rollers on either end, one smaller and one bigger) and use hands to press out where necessary, to make a nice circular shape.  Don’t roll it too thin; more or less even thickness.

Nuke approximately 40 seconds (this timing will vary greatly from microwave to microwave).* 

Now I usually add fillings to the tortillas such as cooked, warm ground beef mixed with salsa, add in some cheese and I like mayonnaise (weird, I know, but tasty), or sour cream and these act as the glue to keep the tortilla closed.  Next I fry the loaded tortilla in light olive oil in a nonstick skillet until browned on both sides.  (Use 2 spatulas to carefully turn the tortilla.)

Helpful Hints:  *Everyone’s microwave oven will be a bit different.  Mine is huge and powerful.  If by accident you overcook this tortilla when first trying to figure out the correct timing (you will know if you did because when you fold it, it will crack), simply continue cooking until you have a nice big, crispy cracker.  No ingredients will be wasted.  The cracker is especially good spread with Healthy Butter, page___ and peanut butter.  I have made this using only the Gluten-Free Bake Mix, and it was good as well, but the carbs are 7.9 g carbs per tortilla and that would be too much for some folks; considered moderate carb at that level for a tortilla.

Yield:  2 tortillas
1 serving
231.2 calories
9.4 g protein
18.6 g fat
5.3 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!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Further Proof that Intermittent Fasting is HEALTHY and helps one LOSE WEIGHT!


I can take excerpts from this but I don't really want to do too much of that as it is a short article and well worth the read.


"A new study, conducted on mice, hints at an unexpected contributor to the nation’s epidemic of obesity _ and, if later human studies bear it out, a possible way to have our cake and eat it too, with less risk of weight gain and the diseases that come with it.
Just eat your cake _ or better yet, an apple _ earlier. Then wait 16 hours, until breakfast the next morning, to eat again."

Go read the article here.

I have written about Intermittent Fasting/Feeding many times before because I have seen it work for me, but especially for my husband, who sticks to the regimen with ease.  He looks and feels great these days, what with IFing, low-carbing and gluten-free eating!  It basically frees one from having to count carbs or calories or anything, but IFing done in conjunction with a gluten-free and low-carb diet is much more effective as cravings and hunger are held at bay.  If one simply has to have something during the fasting window - then a cup of decaf tea or coffee with heavy cream might still those hunger pangs and if that's not enough, sometimes I "cheat" with a teaspoon of peanut butter and that really does the trick!   However, if one can go without it's obviously more effective and gives the metabolism a full break from its work.  Ian goes without except for coffee (maybe 2 cups in the morning), a drop of evaporated milk and a packet of Splenda.

Green Beans and Bacon




GREEN BEANS AND BACON
Green beans with lots of yummy bacon! My husband, Ian, loves bacon and the minute he smells it cooking, it is not long before he heads to the kitchen and says, "Something smells good!" LOL  Seriously though bacon was always a no-no on the low-fat diet.  It's good to be able to eat it without a conscience.  It certainly adds wonderful flavor to these beans and transcends them from ordinary fare to even company fare.  For those of you who worry about nitrates, check out this older post of mine: http://low-carb-news.blogspot.com/2008/08/nitrates-are-actually-good-for-us.html

1 lb green beans (0.45 kg)
  (if you can get the really long, skinny
  green beans – those are best)
8 slices bacon
1 tbsp butter (15 mL)
1/2 tsp seasoning salt (2 mL)
Black pepper, to taste
         
Cut green beans into 11/2-inch (3.8 cm) pieces and place in a colander.  If using regular green beans, make sure to remove the strings.  Rinse green beans in colander under running tap water. 

Bring big pot of water to boil and add green beans.  Bring to the boil again and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. 

Meanwhile in large skillet add bacon, cut into small pieces.  Cook with lid on skillet until bacon is crispy, but not burned.  Turn down heat and after a while lift lid.  Add butter and green beans.  Stir fry a minute or two with seasoning salt and black pepper to taste.  Serve.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Gary Taubes On History, Politics And Flaws Of Contemporary Nutrition Science. Interview



This is the first interview - Part 1
An interview with Gary Taubes, an American award-winning journalist and bestselling science writer, the author of Nobel Dreams (1987), Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion (1993), Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007) and Why We Get Fat (2011).
Taubes studied applied physics at Harvard and aerospace engineering at Stanford (MS, 1978). In 1981 he received his Master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University and one year later joined Discover magazine as a staff reporter. Since then he has written numerous articles for Discover, Science, New York Times, Atlantic Monthly and other magazines. Taubes has won the Science in Society Award of the National Association of Science Writers three times and was awarded the MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellowship for 1996-97.  For more information on Gary Taubes visit his website.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Saturated Fat Does Not Cause Obesity, Diabetes and Heart Disease



A very interesting interview with Gary Taubes that will reassure you that it is not saturated fat that is driving fat accumulation in the body (and around organs like the heart), but excess sugar and white flour (i.e. refined carbohydrates). Of course, in my opinion, people combine those refined carbs with excess fat in the diet and that is also not good. Saturated fats and other fats are good for us in the absence of refined carbs and high insulin levels. Jennnifer
http://nowadebata.pl/2012/02/24/gary-taubes-on-why-we-get-fat-and-the-future-of-nutritional-advice-interview-part-2/

Saturday, May 12, 2012

DELICIOUS APPLE CAKE





APPLE CAKE
My sons and husband really enjoyed this cake which is more apple than cake.  This recipe is adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s recipe. She is an amazing cookbook author - similar to Julia Child in recipe writing style and prowess.  Julia Child has since passed away but lived to a very ripe old age - into her nineties, notwithstanding the fact that she ate as she pleased and loved butter and was not a small woman!  Julia was influential in my own life and I have blogged about her before.  Did any of you see the movie Julie and Julia, I think it was called?  I loved it!  My son, Daniel, got the movie for me as he knew I would enjoy it.  I watched it when my husband was overseas (for 5 weeks) visiting his folks and friends in South Africa and the boys were visiting me at home one weekend during that time.  I was home editing for the first Low-Carbing Among Friends.  Maybe next time I can go with Ian. :) 

14 tbsp Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (210 mL)
3/4  tsp baking powder (3 mL)
1/8 tsp salt (0.5 mL)
4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  (Granny Smith Apples – if large, use only 3)
2 tbsp water (30 mL)
Granular sweetener to equal 1 1/2 tbsp sugar (22 mL)
2 eggs
Liquid sweetener to equal 3/4 cup (175 mL)
  sugar
2 tbsp granulated erythritol (30 mL)
2 tbsp rum (30 mL)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (2 mL)
1/2 cup butter, melted (125 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a round piece of parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray on both sides and line 8-inch (20 cm) springform pan.

In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, baking powder and salt.

Place prepared apples in casserole dish, sprinkle water over apples, replace lid and microwave on high 2 minutes or 3 minutes if your microwave oven is not so powerful. Apples will be almost tender. Drain and sprinkle with sweetener; toss apples to coat.

In food processor, process eggs.  Add Liquid sweetener, erythritol, rum and vanilla extract; process.  Add half dry indgredients and half melted butter; process.  Repeat.  Fold in apples, so that fruit is coated.  Scrape into prepared pan.  Bake 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

 Serve with Crème Fraiche, page 52, or IceCream Custard, page 75, Low-Carbing Among Friends, Volume-1, if desired, however, this cake is great all by itself, which is how we enjoyed it!

Yield:  10 generous servings
1 serving
175.2 calories
3.0 g protein
13.5 g fat
8.7 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!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Cake



Below, this cake was made using an 8-inch (20 cm) nonstick springform pan and the above frosted cake photos was the cake made in 2 nonstick 8-inch (20 cm) cake pans.




CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE
Refrigerated, this special cake has a more dense texture, which my husband and son love, however, at room temperature it has a lighter texture.. I promise nobody practically will figure out there is zucchini in the cake.  It simply contributes to the moistness and texture of the cake. If you suddenly have more zucchini growing in your garden than you know what do with, this is a great recipe.  The cake freezes well.  Please don’t let the long ingredient listing put you off – if you have all the ingredients on hand, it’s actually very easy to create.

21/2 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (625 mL)
  page___
1/2 cup cocoa (125 mL)
1 tbsp baking powder (15 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1 tsp cinnamon (5 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
3/4  cup butter, softened (175 mL)
3 eggs
Liquid sucralose to equal 11/2 cups SPLENDA® Granular (375 mL)
3/4  cup granulated erythritol (175 mL)
1/2 cup heavy cream (125 mL)
2 tsp vanilla extract (10 mL)
2 cups finely shredded, unpeeled zucchini (500 mL)
Chocolate Fruit Spread Filling, OR use Crème Fraiche mixed with some cocoa, Low-Carbing Among Friends, volume-1, page 52 (optional):
1/4 cup raspberry fruit spread (60 mL)
Liquid sucralose to equal 1/2 cup SPLENDA® Granular (125 mL)
3 tbsp powdered Steviva Blend® (45 mL)
1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted (30 g)
Chocolate Frosting:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (50 mL)
Liquid sucralose to equal 11/2 cups SPLENDA® Granular, (375 mL)
6 tbsp heavy cream (90 mL)
2 tbsp water (30 mL)
2 tsp olive oil (10 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
1/2 cup whole, OR skim milk powder* (125 mL)
1/3  cup powdered Steviva Blend® **(75 mL)
2 tbsp vanilla whey protein (30 mL)
2 oz (2 squares) unsweetened baking chocolate,*** (60 g)
  melted

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In large bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In food processor, process butter and add eggs while processing.  Add liquid sucralose, OR SPLENDA® Granular, erythritol, heavy cream and vanilla extract; process.  Add zucchini and process briefly.  Add the dry ingredients and process until well incorporated, scraping the sides occasionally.

Pour into two nonstick 8-inch (20 cm) cake pans that have been lined on the bottom with parchment paper sprayed with nonstick cooking spray on both sides.  Bake 50 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  Allow cake to cool completely in a draft-free area on wire rack before removing and frosting the cake.  The cake can be left at room temperature for hours at a time, but should be refrigerated in between.

Chocolate Fruit Spread Filling (optional):  In small bowl, combine raspberry fruit spread, butter, liquid sucralose, OR SPLENDA® Granular, Steviva Blend® and melted chocolate.

Chocolate Frosting:  In food processor with sharp S-blade, combine butter, liquid sucralose, OR SPLENDA® Granular, heavy cream, water, olive oil, vanilla extract, whole, OR skim milk powder, powdered Steviva Blend® and vanilla whey protein.  Process and then add melted chocolate.  Process again until smooth.  Refrigerate half an hour if the frosting is not firm enough.

Helpful Hints: *Whole milk powder can be found in the Hispanic section of Super Walmart or in Publix or in Costco.  This cake would make good cupcakes made in a muffin pan with cupcake liners or it could be spread in a greased 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) glass baking dish or poured into two parchment-lined 8-inch (20 cm) nonstick heart-shaped cake pans or an 8-inch greased, nonstick springform pan.  Baking times will vary, so keep an eye on your creation and use a cake tester.  My husband and son, Jonathan, preferred this cake refrigerated and I preferred it at room temperature.  In order to reduce carbs, it is better to use liquid sucralose.  I gave the analysis without frosting as well, so that you can use your own favorite frosting, if desired, and figure out the carbs more easily.  

**To powder Steviva Blend®, use a coffee grinder or blender.  The reason I use this product over powdered erythritol is that it is much less likely to recrystallize.

***For an easy way to melt chocolate:  Place chocolate in cereal bowl and pour boiling water over it.  Let sit for a while; pour water off and pour boiling water over the chocolate again and allow to sit until chocolate tests soft to the point of a paring knife.  Try it – it will not seize (promise!) and you will be sold on this no fail easier, quicker way to melt chocolate than using a double boiler.

Yield:  12 servings
1 serving with/out frosting
386.7/268.5 calories
9.4/6.6 g protein
34.7/23.7 g fat
9.3/6.3 g carbs

Monday, May 7, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie







CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER PIE
The first day, this pie is softer and creamier, but the next day it is quite solid and I think I prefer it the next day. It is rich!  It is also so ridiculously good that it was gone in less than 24 hours and only Ian and I were eating it. Chocolate and Peanut Butter - the perfect pairing!  I totally overate this weekend and even today. It was Jon's birthday week (May 1st is his birthday) and I used it as an excuse to bake - Made Chunky Chocolate Chip cookies (on my blog), Chocolate Layer Cake (new recipe) and an Apple Cake - and then this decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. The boys visited us on the mountain. I made a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, such as Mock Sweet Potato Pie, Hot German Bacon Potato Salad (for my eldest son - his favorite), veggies including deep fried plantain (totally over the top decadent, using ripe plantain - tastes like donuts almost - but chewy and crispy). Phew! Sheer decadence!. Yep, and we won't count that before the turkey dinner, we had a big brunch with my low-carb English Muffins, fried eggs, bacon and fruit salad. Ugh, I said to Ian that today I didn't want to eat much and could I just make him a quick couple of English Muffins and he could add breakfast fixings. However, I saw his longing for pizza and melted, so we had Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Pizza, page 64, Splendid Low-Carbing for Life, Volume-1 with my German Bacon Salad on page 22. LOL NOW I really need to steer clear of the scale for a few days, while I have some slightly more spartan days. Yikes!! Jennifer

Crust:
2/3  cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (150 mL)
  page___
2/3  cup ground almonds (150 mL)
1/3  cup butter, softened (75 mL)
Liquid sucralose to equal 1/3  cup (75 mL)
  SPLENDA® Granular
1/8 tsp salt (1 mL)
Filling:
8 oz cream cheese (250 g)
3/4  cup peanut butter (175 mL)
Liquid sucralose to equal 1/2 cup (125 mL)
  SPLENDA® Granular
1/3  cup Steviva Blend®, powdered (75 mL)
1/4  cup heavy cream (60 mL)
Chocolate Topping:
1/2 cup whole milk powder, OR skim milk powder (125 mL)
  (finely ground – available in Mexican section or in Costco)
Liquid sucralose to equal 1/2 cup (125 mL)
  SPLENDA® Granular
1/3  cup Steviva Blend®, powdered (5 mL)
1/4  cup heavy cream (60 mL)
1/4  cup butter, melted (60 mL)
2 tbsp water (30 mL)
2 tsp olive oil (10 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted (60 g)

Crust:  Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___, ground almonds, butter, liquid sucralose, OR SPLENDA® Granular and salt.  Place in 9-inch (23 cm) glass baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap; press crust to cover bottom of pie dish.  Bake 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.

Filling:  In food processor, process cream cheese.  Add peanut butter, liquid sucralose, OR SPLENDA® Granular, Steviva Blend®; process.  Add heavy cream; process. Pour over crust and smooth out.  Pour Chocolate Topping over top and spread out, but leave some of the peanut butter filling showing.

Chocolate Topping:  In food processor with sharp S-blade, process milk powder, liquid sucralose, OR SPLENDA® Granular, Steviva Blend®, heavy cream, butter, water, olive oil and vanilla extract until smooth.  Add melted chocolate; process.

Yield:  12 servings
1 serving
379.8 calories
9.7 g protein
34.9 g fat
8.7 g carbs

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Ideas for Snacks or Meals

Cinco de Mayo is HUGE in the United States and less so in Mexico. :)  In the United States people celebrate Mexican heritage and pride and it is also to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil war.

Chicken Strips with Mexi Cali Dip    

Eggplant Bruschetta  

Mexican Dip  

Mexican Tortilla Roll-Ups   

Chicken or Turkey Enchiladas  

Mexican Chicken Casserole   

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix - Always on Hand


LATEST UPDATE:  Of late, I have been making recipes without gelatin or xanthan gum.  Typically, I don't need any extra eggs when I am substituting the bake mix in a recipe with white flour.  I still add the extra bake mix as per the instructions and that's about it.  Sometimes I may need a little less of the wet ingredients, but often, everything stays the same.  This is good news for those of us who cannot handle the xanthan gum (tummy issues) and for those who don't want to be bothered with using the gelatin.  


USING THIS BAKE MIX IN MY RECIPES THAT ARE USING GELATIN INSTEAD OF XANTHAN GUM...Omit the gelatin.  When substituting this Splendid Gluten-Free bake mix cup-for-cup for my other Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix using gelatin in recipes, you may need an extra egg (first prepare without the extra egg and add it if necessary, and another if necessary) to get the correct batter consistency, except for cookies (adding extra eggs changes the cookies too much).

WHAT CAN BE USED INSTEAD OF OAT FLOUR?  Sorghum flour or whole wheat pastry flour (similar carbs to oat flour), or lupin flour (low-carb and makes baked goods quite yellow sometimes, but seems to work for a number of recipes).  If you don't have Celiac, you can use any oat flour, not just Bob's Red Mill certified gluten-free oat flour.  Some people want to know why I would use oat flour in the bake mix, as many are afraid of grains these days.  I like my baking to taste more like what we were used to... more normal and less "low-carb" if you know what I mean.  I think sometimes almond flour and coconut flour baking can leave something to be desired.   I like the profile of oat flour (in any case it makes up a small portion of the bake mix) to lower cholesterol.

WHAT CAN BE USED INSTEAD OF ALMOND FLOUR?  Hazelnut flour or Walnut flour mixed with hazelnut flour.  Some have tried Chestnut flour.  If you cannot have nuts at all, email me for a wonderful Nut-Free Bake Mix (however, it uses gluten).  You will find my email in my profile...just scroll right down on the right hand side margin of my blog. :)  I actually should share it on my blog and will do that one of these days!

WHAT CAN BE USED INSTEAD OF COCONUT FLOUR?  Golden flaxseed meal.  I'm not sure the baking will taste as good, and I'm not a fan of flax, however, it is an alternative.  Another alternative could be oat fiber and would probably be wonderful.  It is not certified gluten-free, and to my knowledge there is none available...it could be contaminated with wheat, so not suitable for people with Celiac disease.


I usually try and freeze goodies to keep us from eating too much.  At any rate, not a whole lot to share lately, but I found this pic of my beloved bake mix.  I don't know what I would do without it; just so useful for so many baking applications.  Remember everyone is different.  You may be able to use this bake mix for some things like English Muffins or hamburger buns and an occasional dessert, and still lose weight, and some may find they can't have it until maintenance.  It is not Induction friendly, however, if you are simply have 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day, this bake mix can make your WOE way more exciting and livable for the long term. Besides you now have a way to use some of your own favorite recipes (not just ones that I pick), substitute the bake mix for the white flour (follow instructions) and usually get great results.  This bake mix typically needs eggs, but I've been surprised by others using this bake mix in some recipes where apparently it wasn't necessary.  It's just more predictable if you have eggs in the recipe.  For instance, a loaf or bread without eggs is not going to work with this bake mix.  Judy Barnes Baker made some beautiful yogurt biscuits that used this bake mix and no eggs!  You can visit her blog, Carb Wars, or find the recipe in Low-Carbing Among Friends, Volume 4.

I usually keep my bake mix in the container shown above.  We have a hot and humid climate and we don't use air conditioning other than in the one bedroom.  It normally is fine at room temperature in the airtight container for at least a month.  If I need to store it for longer, I freeze it and typically use that for "breading" veggies and fish, etc., as usually I don't have a lot to freeze.  However, after thawing completely and shaking it in your container to mix well, it should be good to go for baking.

Why the small amount of oat flour over time should help lower cholesterol:  READ ABOUT IT HERE

The virtues of my bake mix - READ ABOUT IT HERE


NOTE:  If you would like to use this bake mix, but for whatever reason your body does not tolerate xanthan gum well (my hubby!), then please visit SPLENDID GLUTEN-FREE BAKE MIX 2.



SPLENDID GLUTEN-FREE BAKE MIX
Almond flour versus almond meal produces slight differences.  Since my husband is merely intolerant of gluten, we use oat flour by Arrowhead Mills®. * 1/4 Cup almond meal = 28 g. 1 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix (almond meal) = 134 g. (Jen)

12/3  cups almond flour, OR (400 mL)
  (I use almond meal, i.e. ground sliced
    almonds versus almond flour)
2 tbsp sifted coconut flour, (30 mL)
  (Bob’s Red Mill®)
3/4  tsp xanthan gum (3 mL)

HERE ARE THE INGREDIENTS AGAIN WITH THE WEIGHTS FOR YOU

12/3  cups almond flour, OR (400 mL; 182 g)
  (I use almond meal* – yield is greater with
  almond flour by up to 1/2 cup (125 mL) more,
  so then carbs would be 4.8 g – bonus!)
3/4  cup certified GF oat flour (175 ml; 100 g)
2 tbsp sifted coconut flour, (30 mL)
  (Bob’s Red Mill®, not Legacy Valley®)
3/4  tsp xanthan gum (3 mL)

In large bowl, combine almond flour, OR almond meal, oat flour (if you are intolerant to gluten-free oat flour then substitute another gluten-free flour like sorghum flour which others have had success with in the bake mix), coconut flour and xanthan gum.  In container with airtight lid, place bake mix and shake the container well to combine.  When measuring oat flour (not necessary with the other ingredients) into measuring cup, make sure to tap the cup on the counter top and fill to the top to get the correct yield for the bake mix.  Keep bake mix at room temperature for up to one month or freeze for much longer storage.

Instructions:  Add 1/4 cup (60 mL) additional bake mix when substituting for 1 cup (250 mL) or more than 1 cup (250 mL) flour in recipes and use 2 tbsp (30 mL) more if substituting for less than 1 cup (250 mL).  Always begin by adding an extra egg in muffins, loaves, cakes and coffee cakes, except for cookies and except if bake mix required is less than or equal to 1 cup (250 mL).  Withhold a quarter of the liquid/wet/fat ingredients; add in as needed (usually need it all). If batter after processing at least a minute is still too thick, add more of the liquid ingredients and if accidentally the batter ends up too sloppy, then add a little more bake mix. If all the liquid has been used and the batter is still too stiff, add another egg and another if necessary. Baking experience is helpful. 

Helpful Hints:  Great in muffins, loaves (with eggs!), cookies, squares or bars, coffee cakes, many cakes, pie crusts and a few other specialized applications, but will not be suitable for all applications, nor for most yeast applications.  Xanthan gum has gluten-like properties, binding ingredients together to prevent crumbly outcomes. 

NOTE:  Some people have tummy issues with xanthan gum.  I am working on an alternative and will share soon. :)


My Alternate Bake Mixes (not gluten-free): When substituting the Splendid Gluten-Free bake mix for some of my other bake mixes, 2 tbsp (30 mL) to 1/4 cup (60 mL) more bake mix may be required depending on if one is replacing less than 1 cup (250 mL) or 1 cup (250 mL) or more (last 2, latter amount).  Follow the same rules above.  It is convenient to double or triple this bake mix.  See blog post on this recipe for more information or updates: low-carb-news.blogspot.com


Yield:   21/2 cups (625 mL)

1/4 cup (60 mL) per serving

125.7 calories

4.5 g protein

8.9 g fat

5.7 g carbs

Some important facts about the bake mix:


Oat flour and almond flour in the gluten-free bake mix are both proven heart-healthy ingredients. Oat flour reduces cholesterol.  Arrowhead Mills Oat flour is used in the nutritional analysis as well as ground almonds (made using sliced almonds and a Cusinart coffee grinder, 18-cup capacity, although these days they have one specifically for grinding nuts and seeds) versus almond flour as that is what was used in the bake mix. http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/search.aspx?find=almond+flour
(Honeyville Grains) is the very best blanched almond flour available at a good price. With regard to oats and insulin spikes – remember if it was pure oat flour, it would be a problem, but since the oat flour is a small amount diluted in a large amount of almond flour and a bit of coconut flour, the glycemic load (which is more important than glycemic index) is a lot lower and, therefore, the insulin response would be a lot lower, but everyone is different. The coconut flour, oat flour and xanthan gum provide fiber which is heart-healthy as well as helps stabilize blood sugar.  Compare the heart-healthy Splendid Gluten-Free Bake mix with bleached all-purpose flour which contains alloxan, a chemical used to induce diabetes in lab rats, let alone the gliadin effect coined by Dr. William Davis in his best selling book, Wheat Belly. Gliadin is a protein in wheat that stimulates the appetite for more of it and gives the person eating wheat a “reward” - a euphoric feeling such as one gets from opiates like morphine and heroin.  1/4 cup (60 mL) white flour = 24 g carbs and compare 1/4 cup (60 mL) Gluten-Free Bake Mix = 5.7 g carbs (Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix is 4 times less carby than white flour!).  This bake mix may be used in place of Jennifer’s other bake mixes in most recipes.  See instructions below recipe. What to do with leftover bake mix?  Visit http://low-carb-news.blogspot.com (RHS) to find suggestions.


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!



NOTE:

One sweet lady shared with me recently in comments under the Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting - love comments like this! :)  I hope she doesn't mind me sharing.

"Good to know I can keep a smaller batch right on the counter.  I'm in Georgia/USA and it's hot and humid here too.  I buy 25 lbs of blanched almond flour from Honeyville Grain. I break it down into large freezer bags and freeze most of it.  It saves me money to buy it in bulk.  We have an extra refrigerator in our garage so that helps.  I usually mix up 4x - 5x your GF bake mix.  Shake it up, dip my measuring cup into the mix and level it off with the back of a knife.  It's been no-fail.  I'm baking one or two of your recipes each week.  Your GF baked goods go into my kids lunchboxes each day so we really appreciate all that you do to bring us these wonderful recipes!"

and I wrote back:


"That's really wonderful to hear.  You are major-league organized.  If only I could easily acquire Honeyville Grains almond flour, that would great - so much easier to put the bake mix together - rather than grinding sliced almonds from scratch in a small coffee grinder.
As a matter of interest, almond flour produces a bake mix with a greater yield - maybe 1/3 cup more than when using almond meal.  This means that your baked goods are actually lower in carbs than indicated with my recipes.   Good to hear that the recipes are turning out well with almond flour, as I use almond meal."

and she replied: "I cooked these bars this morning.  They browned beautifully and smell divine.  Easy to make as I always keep a large tupperware container full of your GF bake mix in my fridge. Just give it a good shake and I'm ready to bake.  Instead of cream cheese frosting, I covered them with your Chocolate Ganache recipe from Low Carbing Among Friends as my husband and kids are chocolate lovers.  We've been enjoying the new cookbook so much.  Thanks!"