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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Italian Stuffed Mushrooms {Grain free, Gluten free, Low Carb}

Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms

An appetizer that we enjoy making at home in a wide variety of flavors, is stuffed mushrooms. Traditional recipes usually call for bread crumbs or some sort, and being gluten free, we no longer use the crumbs, but have no problem finding delicious fillings. This variety was intended to be sort of a pizza-inspired treat. You can use any mixture of ingredients that sounds good to you including cheeses, meats, seafood, veggies, seasonings. This is just one option out of endless possibilities! I honestly did not measure any of the ingredients, just threw them together., so just use your own judgment for amounts, and of course, feel free to change anything that suits you!

*** Another variation would be to use shrimp and seafood as a stuffing with celery, onion, garlic, and make an easy cheese cream sauce instead of using a tomato-based sauce. To think outside the box, consider a cheeseburger filling, a Mexican inspired filling or certainly vegetarian would be great too!

Stuffed MushroomsPizza Stuffed Mushrooms:

  • 10-12 large mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
    (keep stems for another use or dice some for stuffing)
  • Healthy oil
  • diced celery
  • chopped garlic
  • diced ham
  • chopped greens (such as spinach or mustard greens)
  • chopped walnuts
  • fresh chopped basil
  • Italian cheese blend
  • low carb spaghetti sauce (I used Organicville)
  • salt, pepper and seasonings to taste
  1. Heat oven to 400. Clean large button-style mushrooms and remove the stems. Save the stems for another use, or finely dice and include in the stuffing (which I did.)
  2. Place mushrooms rounded side up in a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes just to get a jump on the cooking process.
  3. While caps are cooking, saute filling ingredients except cheese and sauce, and cook to desired done-ness.
  4. Mix filling with enough sauce to coat well, but not runny, mix in chopped basil (or any other herbs and spices as well.)
  5. Remove mushroom caps from oven and turn over (drain mushroom liquid from the pan if needed.) Place a tsp or so of cheese in each cap, then top with about 1Tb of filling and a little more cheese.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and mushrooms are cooked through.
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Chocolate Chip Cookies with Almond Flour {Grain free and Low Carb!}

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Even those of us enjoying a grain-free and low-carb lifestyle have a hankering for a classic treat from time to time! The trick is to minimize the damaging ingredients (such as grains and sugar) and maximize the flavors. Almond flour is a natural fit for this recipe, as the nuttiness matches well to the dark chocolate. To keep the carbs low, be sure to get chips with as high of a cocoa content as possible, aiming for 85% (you may even want to buy a dark chocolate bar and break into small pieces.)  As many of us also have children and teens in the house (not to mention husbands!) it’s helpful to be able to provide “sweets” that make them feel a little more normal, while knowing that we are supporting good health at the same time!

I adapted this from a recipe from the extremely talented Elana, and you can find it here on her blog. The changes I made were to switch away from grapeseed oil, as it’s not compliant with the Wheat Belly eating plan, and to switch out the agave syrup as well, for the same reason. Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Baked on ParchmentAlmond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/2 C blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 C healthy oil (I used half butter and half virgin coconut oil)
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C powdered erythritol
  • 1/2 C dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together wet ingredients. If you are using butter and/or coconut oil, be sure they are melted into liquid form.
  3. Mix the wet into the dry, combine completely. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts (if using.)
  4. Place in flattened circles on a parchment-lined sheet, using about 1 Tb per cookie.
  5. Bake for about 7 minutes, or until the edges are browned. The original recipe suggests 7-10 min, but they get dark very quickly, so do keep an eye on them.
  6. Remove whole sheet of parchment to a wire rack to cool, or set the entire pan in a safe place to cool. If the cookies are moved before they cool 10-15 minutes, they will crumble and fall apart. They firm up as they cool though. Makes 18 cookies.

Note: Made with 60% cocoa Ghirardelli chocolate chips, there are about 4.4 net carbs per cookie. If you use a higher cocoa chocolate chip, you can get that number even lower.
***Adding an egg is optional, if you would like. It does help the cookie hold together a little easier, but I think it makes it a little softer. Great either way!

Gooey Goodness

 

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Socca Saga! Or Chickenpea Flat Bread Pizza Crust (tried and tried again…)

Socca pizza is new to me, but I think I may be on the tail-end of this trend, as I found numerous recipes and blog entries about this flatbread style pizza made from chickpea flour. The quest for socca actually started out as a quest for a good grain free pizza crust recipe using garbanzo bean flour, as I scored a nice bag of organic at a local bulk store, and was interested in using it in recipes. Chickpea flour is one of the healthier alternatives on my flour chart, because it is low in net carbs and has a decent amount of fiber and protein.

This is the “flopped” version. Still delicious!

The concept of this crust is pretty simple, but it took me a couple tries to get a pan that cooperated with my intentions 😉 The recipes that I found all called for a cast iron skillet, but the only cast iron one I have is enameled, and unfortunately it didn’t work the way I had hoped. The flatbread wouldn’t come loose from the bottom to be flipped, so I ended up broiling it for a couple minutes to get the top set before adding toppings and baking it. It turned out more like a pizza casserole, but my son was totally thrilled with it, and thought it tasted like lasagna!

 

 

The next attempt was MUCH better (at least in terms of making a flippable crust), as I used a stainless steel Cuisinart skillet that I have had for ages (it is really heavy and beautiful); it was a garage sale score for just a few dollars! I have been very lucky to combine retail purchases with amazing finds at thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets to help outfit my kitchen with the essentials (and NON essentials as well!)

 

Basil fresh from the garden

Basil and Mozzarella

For toppings, use whatever you wish that fits into your dietary plan. I love tomato sauce, but am careful to choose those that are low in carbs. Organicville Gluten Free tomato basil sauce has only 6g of  carbs per serving, while many others are well into the teens… so be sure to read labels! I love garden fresh basil on pizza, so I combined chopped basil with the mozzarella cheese to be sure the flavor was infused into every bite!

 

Tomatoes on my half!

Socca Pizza Crust (Chickpea)

  • 2/3 C chickpea flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C cold water
  • 1 Tb olive or coconut oil
  • optional: add seasonings such as garlic powder, cracked pepper and dried herbs
  1. Mix all ingredients together and let sit for 30 minutes, then whisk in the oil. The batter will be relatively thin.
  2. Batter

    Heat skillet over medium/high and grease well with oil (I used coconut oil.)

  3. While skillet is heating, also preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Gently pour the batter into the pan in a round shape, smoothing out if needed. It’s best to do this quickly, as the batter will begin to cook as soon as it hits the heated surface.
  5. As the edges start to get set, I worked a sharp spatula underneath to keep it from becoming too stuck. When the edges are browned and it seems set (a few minutes), carefully flip. I used two spatulas to make this easier.
  6. You can bake on the same pan if it is oven proof, or transfer to another baking sheet. Add whatever toppings you desire and bake until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Delicious with crispy edges!

 

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Recipe: Frozen Raspberry Cheesecake Bars {Gluten Free}

How would you like a decadent frozen treat that adds up low in carbs, but high in taste and satisfaction? Just in time for the holidays? I used my 9″x9″ square stone baking dish for this, and cut it into 20 bars. By my calculations, following this recipe, that is under 4g of carbs per piece! Guilt-free and perfect timing for your 4th of July celebrations.

It seems that lately, I’ve been focusing a lot more on information about the wheat free, low carb lifestyle, than I have about the food! Trust me folks, I am still cooking and baking… and taking pictures and writing notes, but with summer so busy, I haven’t had as much time to pass the recipes along to you! Well, sometimes it just takes something REALLY special to break a pattern, and this recipe is it! MMMMM.

I had been thinking for a while that the crust recipe in Raspberry Streusel Bars would be a fabulous cheesecake crust, and that became the first layer in these yummy bars. Made with almond flour, butter and Truvia, it makes for a delicious cookie-style crust that stands up well to the other ingredients. Layer 2 is all about cheesecake! Rich and thick, it gives the real substance to this treat. The 3rd layer is where the raspberry comes in, though you could certainly change this up with your favorite flavors or experiment. Top it all off with a layer of sweetened whipping cream, and you have an amazing summer treat. While serving it chilled would be great, frozen was fabulous!

And don’t fret….. it may seem like a long list of ingredients at first glance, but you will notice that several of the ingredients (whipping cream, sour cream, vanilla, sweeteners) are used in more than one layer. It was just easier to list them separately for assembly purposes.

Frozen Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Crust Layer:

  • 2C blanched almond flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2T butter (or coconut oil )
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • 1T water
  • 1 tsp Truvia or other sweetener

Cheesecake Layer:

  • 8oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2C sour cream
  • 1T vanilla
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4Tb erythritol

Raspberry Layer:

  • 1/2 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 C sour cream
  • 1T erythritol
  • 1C Smucker’s low sugar raspberry preserves

Whipped Topping:

  • 1/2C heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp Truvia
  • 1T vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Make the crust: blend all crust ingredients together in a food processor. Line a 9″ by 9″ baking dish with parchment and press crust mixture firmly into pan. Bake for 15 minutes (I turn my pan halfway through baking.) Remove from oven and set aside

3. Make cheesecake filling: In a stand mixer, beat softened cream cheese until smooth. Add sour cream and beat to combine. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and erythritol and beat (on medium) until well-combined, but not whipped. Pour over crust and smooth out. Bake for 20 minutes, turned pan halfway through baking to ensure even cooking. Remove and let cool completely.

4. Make raspberry layer: Whip the cream until it begins to get stiff. Add sour cream, and erythritol and beat to combine. Fold in the raspberry preserves. Spread over the cooled cheesecake layer. Chill for 15 minutes to firm up.

5. Make the topping: Whip the cream on medium high until soft peaks begin to form. Add vanilla and Truvia and continue whipping until firm. Spread over raspberry layer. Chill or freeze completely before serving. Cut into 20 bars. (Tip, To cut while frozen, I scored the top and then used my food blade to press through.)

Makes 20 servings; 4g carbs each.

 

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