15 minutes until Dinner

Easy and quick is what I need after work! This is super fast, partly because of modern technology. The Minute rice (which has brown and red rice and quinoa for tons of fiber) takes 10 minutes in the microwave.

The chicken tenderloins are the flash frozen tenderloins you can pick up at any grocery store, and they thaw out super fast too. Just pan fry them with the Kickomann seasoning, or whatever you prefer, and a wee bit of olive oil.

The okra is a keto standby for us, again, easily sautéed in the skillet while cooking the chicken and rice.

And of course, any berries will do, but organic blackberries were on sale yesterday, so we have these.

15 minutes later, Voila it’s dinner!

Apricot Almond Dreams – A New Keto Thumbprint Cookie

I’ve created a new cookie y’all! I’m so excited, and I think you’re gonna love it! These cookies are just a little ray of sunshine!

The taste and texture of this cookie will amaze you – you won’t believe it’s actually low carb and low calorie!

In theory this should make about 40 dreamy little cookies, but it all depends on how big you make the cookie balls.

Start off with a basic butter cookie recipe, altered for keto:

1/2 cup Land O Lakes real margarine
1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco or Coconut Oil
One large EB egg
1/2 cup Zen Sweet Monkfruit
1/2 cup Confectioners (XXX) sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup All Purpose Flour
2 cups Almond Flour
2 tsp Almond Extract
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Smuckers Sugar Free Apricot jam
Almond slices

It’s a little bit fiddly, as I don’t roll the cookie in almond slices, but rather, I arrange them around the jam.
Ready to pop in the oven!

Cream the margarine & shortening & egg. Add sweeteners, salt and blend in well. Add in the AP flour and the extracts, mix about a minute, and then gradually mix in the 2 cups of Almond Flour. Roll into small balls about 2” diameter, and place on a well greased cookie sheet. Then take something about the size of a large marble, to press into the center of each cookie to make a well (yes, like thumbprint cookies!). Now add about 1-1/2 tsp of the sugar-free Apricot jam to each well, and then gently press almond slices around the edges of each cookie. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350°, or until the bottom edges of the cookies are golden. Let them cool 10-15 minutes before removing to a plate.

Yum!

As you get more and more comfortable with the taste, frankly, you can eliminate any AP flour, and use 100% Almond Flour, and you could even drop the amount of Confectioners Sugar to perhaps 1/4 cup, and increase the Monkfruit to 3/4 cup – but remember Confectioners Sugar is already 1/2 the carbs of granulated sugar.

You will have 3-5 grams of carbohydrates per cookies, depending on how large your cookie is, if you follow the recipe exactly.

Enjoy!!

Keto Peanut Butter Candy

Let’s not presume that keto is low calorie – lest we forget that FAT has 9kcal/gm, while protein and carbohydrates have only 4kcal/gm. Nonetheless the fat in peanut butter is generally considered a healthy fat.

My boys love “Buckeyes” at Christmas time, which is basically a peanut butter ball dipped in chocolate.

I thought it would be a nice twist to see if I could make it a little bit lower carb, and thus closer to my keto lifestyle – no sense feeling deprived at Christmas time!

Just a few ingredients:
3 cups chunky Peanut Butter (regular Peter Pan, NOT Honey Roasted)
2 cups Lakanto Monk Fruit
1/2 cup real Land O Lakes Margarine
Mix well, by hand or in the mixer.

Optional add in: 1 cup Rice Krispies, or Oatmeal, or even Almond Flour – I don’t add any of these

Make your peanut butter balls about 3” diameter, and set on wax paper.

Melt 2 packages of Hershey’s Sugarfree Chocolate Chips (20 oz) – I do it in the microwave at 50% power one minute at a time. If you would like you can also melt some Gulf wax, just a bit, to thin your chocolate and give it a glossy shine – 1/4 of a bar is all you need. Once everything is well incorporated glossy and smooth, roll your Peanut Butter balls a wee bit on the wax paper to smooth out the edges, and then dip into your melted chocolate lifting them out with a fork. Tap off the excess chocolate. And place the Peanut Butter candy ball back into the wax paper to dry. You can eat these in about 15 minutes, but the chocolate really takes a few hours to set back up again.

Enjoy!

Pro tip here: put some wax paper in a mold, (or use a nifty little silicon one if you have one) and put your leftover chocolate in it. Add nuts from your pantry (I chose cashews) mix them into the chocolate, and then melt in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Let it set, then remove from the mold, Voila! MORE keto candy!

Keto Cakelets

I found the cutest little cakelet pan at the store a while ago, and lost it in my closet, lol! So I was cleaning out things, and found this pan, and thought it would be the perfect time to try it out, as it is very Fall themed, with Turkeys and Pumpkins and such. It came with a recipe which, was amazingly enough, incredibly close to a Keto type recipe, so I thought I would alter the recipe and see how it went. It’s freaking amazing! These little cakelets are moist and springy, kind of like sponge cake, and have NO Xanthem gum in them at all. And I have modified the recipe so it makes exactly 12 little cakelets, just right for these cute little pans.

Recipe
1/3 Cup Milk or Cream
1-1/2 tsp Almond Extract
2/3 Cup Butter or Real Margarine
2/3 Cup Lakanto Monk Fruit
3 large EB Eggs
1 Cup Almond Flour
1/4 Cup all-purpose Flour
1-1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/8 tsp salt

Heat your oven to 350. Mix in the Eggs, Butter and Monk Fruit until smooth.
Add the Cream and dry ingredients, blend until smooth again.
Add in the Almond Extract, and pour into your cakelet pan.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 350° F.

Trust me, you will be Amazed!!

Flourless Sugar-Free Chocolate Torte

Living the Keto lifestyle here, just trying to be able to fit into my clothes, LOL. Found a recipe in The Cake Bible for a Flourless Chocolate Torte. It was a good start for those who are gluten free and going keto, but I decided to go one better and make it Super Keto friendly, and managed to remove almost all carbs, by substituting in sugar-free chocolate chips and Swerve. It turned out really well!

Since I am the cake decorator extraordinaire, I put some gumpaste roses on top to pretty it up for Thanksgiving.

It’s super easy! Just remember to take it out of the oven on time!

Flourless Sugar-Free Chocolate Torte

Cake

3 eggs
One bag sugar free chocolate chips (10 oz)
1/2 cup powdered cocoa
3/4 cup Lakantos Monk Fruit
One stick margarine or butter (with salt)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt the butter in the microwave (30 secs. on high).
Add the chocolate chips and stir until completely incorporated with the butter. If needed, zap it another 20 seconds or so, and stir until very very smooth.
Mix up the eggs, Lakanto Monk Fruit and powdered cocoa, add in the chocolate-chip/butter mixture, and then stir in the vanilla. Pour into a well greased 9” round cake pan. (I like to make mine in a spring-form pan for easy release.)

Bake 25 minutes at 350° – remove and let cool.

Ganache

3/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
One 10oz. bag sugar-free chocolate-chips

Heat in microwave one minute on high, and then gently stir well, until you have a lovely smooth syrup. Pour over the cooled Torte and serve!

You probably have about 8-10 carbs per slice, assuming you can eat 1/8th of this very rich Torte!

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread – Lo Carb Style

As per usual, the mainstays of my recipe include lots of eggs, Lakanto MonkFruit, and finely ground Almond flour. This recipe also requires Xanthen gum, which helps so much with our texture.

My favorite brands
This particular recipe has no nuts, no raisins or craisens. This is a LOW CARB Pumpkin bread. If you really want raisens in your bread, you will be seriously increasing the carb count. A cup of pecans or walnuts, chopped fine, would still be considered Keto, however, and increase your fiber intake.

For those of you who are just joining me, I am determined to lead a low carb lifestyle, without giving up my favorite foods. So I am modifying some of my favorite comfort foods (generally cookies, cake, sweet breads, lol) to be more Keto friendly.

These are fresh out of the oven,
I can almost smell it from here!!

The main caveat or takeaway is to remember that Keto Style baked goods need to be eaten quickly, as they will sink, and three days later, you won’t be interested in eating it any more.

See the texture on this slice, looks just like “normal” pumpkin bread, doesn’t it?! But for now, slather on the butter or cream cheese and enjoy!

Recipe:
6 eggs
2/3 cup butter flavored Crisco or coconut oil
1 cup Monk Fruit
1 cup Golden Monk Fruit
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 can (16 oz) packed pumpkin
1/2 cup water
2 tsps baking soda
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
One Tbsp Xanthen Gum,
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
2 cups almond flour
1-1/3cups all purpose flour

Heat oven to 350°. Grease pans (9×5”), mix shortening, sweeteners, leavening, salt and spices. Add in pumpkin. Blend until smooth. Add water, and flour, almond flour, one cup at a time, and mix until smooth. Pour evenly into two pans and bake for 70 minutes at 350°. You can cut it after 20-30 minutes.

Remember to share!
Each loaf has about 13 slices, and each slice has about 25gms carbs each.
So, low carb, but not NO carb.
Be careful, it’s delicious!!

Yummy Hot Spinach Dip

This is a cannibalization of a recipe, I’m afraid. I can’t for the life of me find this recipe, so I’m writing down w/a photo so I won’t forget it! ANd yes, it’s Keto! In fact, I actually have been known to eat this with a spoon, and forgo the chips altogether!

One packed of chopped spinach, defrost and drain
8 oz Cream cheese
6-8oz chunky salsa
1/2 small can of Rotel
One cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2-4 Tbsps heavy cream, or Sour cream
Place in crock pot on low heat, and after about 30 minutes, stir well.

Serve with tortilla chips, yum!

Disclaimer – this is not MY photo, but it looks just like this!

Keto Chocolate Muffins

So this was a bad idea, a very very very bad idea! I was actually surprised by my restraint, in that I only ate two straight away!

I actually wasn’t sure that I could modify the recipe enough to make it work, but like most recipes with cocoa powder, it just requires a little bit more oil. Theoretically this makes 6 muffins. Personally I’d prefer to say just 4, but that would up my carb intake a bit, lol!

As with all keto baked goods, these taste best, pretty quick out of the oven — 20-30 minutes or so. But you could probably suffer, and have any left over, the next day, (and just microwave them for 10-15 seconds). One thing I know for sure, if there are more than 2-3 people in the house, there won’t be any left to eat tomorrow!

Take a look at the texture!

Here is the recipe:

4 EB XL eggs
3/4 cup almond flour & 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup Monk Fruit
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 tsp Xanthen Gum
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp real vanilla extract, about 1/2 cup sugarfree chocolate chips

Mix the dry ingredients together while the eggs come to room temperature, add in the coconut oil and eggs all at once, and blend in well – the dough will seem gummy or extra sticky, this is normal. Now add in the vanilla & mix again. Finally with a large spoon gently stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon into 12 regular cup cake wells, or 6 extra large ones (my preference, as I plan on eating 2 regular size ones anyway!). Bake 25 -30 minutes at 350.

These beauties only have 11 grams of carbohydrates for each regular size muffin, or 22 grams for the large one I’m going to eat. YUM!

Enjoy!

Low-Carb Cooking! (A Breakfast Crumb Cake)

It’s Apple season!! Applesauce, Waldorf Salad, Apple Cake, Caramel Apples! Love love apples! Only problem is how to enjoy them in all the many ways without getting “too big for my britches”! Aren’t we all trying to watch our carbohydrates or calories? I think everyone is worried about their diet, in one way or another.

I personally just want to fit into my clothes, look good in my Speedo, and avoid gas pains. Yes, gas pain from wheat consumption! Who knew, that by eliminating wheat, or at least seriously cutting back on it, that I could resolve my lifelong issues with abdominal pain?! I’ve already cut out cabbage & legumes (beans specifically, as I’ve never been a fan of split peas, lentils or chick peas), but cutting back on my wheat has really made a difference.

Today, I’m going to share with you my modified recipe for “Cream Cheese Apple Crumb Cake”. Basically, I’ve just substituted Lakantos Monkfruit for the sugar, and replaced half of the flour with almond flour. NO xanthan gum required. You can also make this with raspberries or blueberries to mix it up.

This recipe is so well loved, and made so often at my house, I almost have it memorized. You will need:

a 9″ springform pan
Filling:
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp Lakanto Monkfruit
8 oz Philly Cream Cheese
One EB egg white
2-3 peeled and diced granny smith apples (microwave them for about one minute, to soften them somewhat)
Cake:
3/4 cup King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Almond Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Lakanto Monkfruit
3/4 cup of Sour Cream (I generally use Breakstones, or Publix brand)
6 Tbsp Land O’Lakes butter or margarine (softened)
One EB egg, and the yolk from the egg used in the filling
One tsp vanilla extract
Topping:
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp Lakanto Monkfruit
1/4 cup King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Almond Flour
3 Tbsp cold butter or margarine

Mix your filling first. In a separate bowl, make the cake batter, starting with the wet ingredients, and blending until smooth, and then adding in the sweeteners, and finally the flours. Pour 1/2 of it into a greased 9″ springform pan. Take half of your prepared apples, and sprinkle them evenly over the cake batter. Pour the rest of the batter over the apples, and now pour and smooth the filling over the top layer of cake batter. Spread the rest of your apple pieces over the filling.

Cut your butter/margarine into the flour and sweeteners for the topping, and then crumble this over the top of your apples.

Bake for about 45 minutes at 350° F. It will appear a bit gooey due to the cream cheese, but it will set-up nicely in about 30-40 minutes. You should be able to get at least 8 generous slices. Enjoy!

Daddy’s Cheesy Stuffed Green Peppers

I absolutely love stuffed green peppers, and they are naturally low carb! I think a lot of what helps make this meal perfect for keto, is the color – very appealing- and your choice of side dishes. Note that I didn’t use Green peppers, but red and yellow. Also, “my way” might be a little different from yours, as I make the meat filling & cook it before adding it to the peppers. Once the meat is done, I place my pepper halves in a microwave safe dish, laden in my meat, and top with shredded cheese. Then I microwave it for about a minute – this leaves the peppers crisp and crunchy, but also warms them.

In the first photo, we have a Spicy Arugula salad, and pickled okra (yes, I’m from the south!).

In he second photo, we have boiled zucchini, topped with Parmesan cheese, and two avocado quarters.

The recipe I use for the meat filling is very simple:

One pound ground beef

1 cup Creamed Cottage Cheese

One small Vidalia onion, diced fine

One Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Two tsp salt (or less, depends on taste)

One EB egg

6-8 oz tomato sauce

I mix all these together and then bake in a meatloaf pan (they are slotted at the bottom to allow drainage of fat & other fluids) for about 15 minutes at 350. Then I remove from the oven, and stuff my peppers. Easy peasy! You probably could fill 3 large peppers (6 halves) with this, or maybe more. Remember to top the meat with your favorite shredded cheese before microwaving.

Enjoy!