RSS

Monthly Archives: September 2012

Homemade Ketchup… Flavorful, Easy and Low Carb!

2 cups of Spicy Homemade Low-carb Ketchup!

2 cups of Spicy Homemade Low-carb Ketchup… We’re looking forward to sampling this on bacon, avocado cheeseburgers served on Oopsie rolls tonight!

Ketchup is one of those condiments that many people who have never counted carbs or worried about sugar content, may never have given a second thought. However, if you are among the growing number of people who are avoiding blood sugar spikes and keeping your daily carbs low, you know just how hazardous that red bottle in your fridge can be!

The Heinz Tomato Ketchup that I had in my fridge prior to following the Wheat Belly plan contains the following ingredients:

Tomato Concentrate, Distilled Vinegar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Salt, Spice, Onion Powder, Natural Flavoring.

The carb content is 5g per tablespoon. That may not seem huge, but when you are keeping your carbs between 20 and 50g a day, 2Tb would take up a whopping percentage of your daily allowance!

So, after looking (unsuccessfully) for a healthier option at the local grocery stores, I decided to make a ketchup that would be flavorful without all the sugar. The following is what I came up with… feel free to adjust your seasonings to suit your personal tastes, but everyone in my family was quite happy with the results of this recipe!

Spicy Homemade Low-Carb Ketchup

  • 12 oz can tomato paste (I used Hunt’s for 50g net carb)
  • 1/2C cider vinegar (I used Bragg’s with the Mother)
  • 1/2C water
  • 1Tb prepared poupon mustard
  • 1Tb Swerve (or sweetener of choice to taste)
  • 20 drops Stevia liquid (or additional Tb Swerve or alt. sweetener)
  • 1/2tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of ground allspice and clove
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
Blending homemade low-carb ketchup in my Ninja

Blending homemade low-carb ketchup in my Ninja!

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until the garlic and onion are liquified into the tomato mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Optional: heat in saucepan on stove and cook for several minutes to help “marry” flavors together.  Makes about 2 cups. (1Tb contains about 1.8g net carbs compared to 5g in Heinz)

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Oopsie Daisy! Low-carb bread made of eggs and cream cheese…

Tuna Salad on an Oopsie roll!

Tuna Salad on an Oopsie roll!

Most people who consider going grain-free and low-carb shudder first at the thought of giving up sandwiches. Personally, I was never a big bread eater (wheat snuck into my food in other ways!) but there is no denying the convenience of being able to pick up a juicy burger layered with toppings! There are recipes out there that use almond flour, which are good… but some people don’t have easy access to specialty flours. Enter… the Oopsie Roll!

I will say straight away that this was NOT my invention. However, it’s such a great basic substitute for bread that I wanted to share it with you, just to make life easier for you! I was introduced to these by an online friend, and once I started googling, I found many recipes for them. The basics ingredients are eggs, cream cheese, cream of tartar, a little sweetener, pinch of salt, and some seasoning like garlic powder if you’d like them to be savory. The eggs need to separated and the whites beaten with cream of tartar until stiff… then beat the egg yolks, cream cheese, sweetener, salt and any seasoning you’re using… then fold whites into yolk mixture…

Large rectangluar Oopsie on parchment.

Large rectangular Oopsie on parchment. We’ll be cutting this into square burger buns for dinner tonight!

One of the best things about oopsies, is that you can shape them virtually any way that suits your needs. I have used bun pans for individual small buns; spread them into circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet for larger buns; spread a solid rectangle onto a parchment covered sheet and then cut them into square buns (my son uses them for peanut butter sandwiches) or larger pieces to use as wraps; baked them in large circles using a springform pan lined with parchment.

Whatever you decide to do, just make sure that you make them thick enough (about 1/’2″ or so) so that they are durable … and be careful of how long you cook them to preserve the flexibility. Many of the recipes I’ve found call for baking them about 30 minutes, mine usually come out after 20. I do have a convection oven, so that is likely a factor as well… so you will have to judge for yourself.

 

 

Enjoy your Oopsies!

 

Here are some Oopsie recipe links for you:

Large round Oopsie...

Large round Oopsie… why? I don’t know yet! 

From Your Lighter Side
On Food.com

I think this might be the original recipe link by Cleochatra… but I’m not quite sure! Apologies, as I like to give credit where credit is due 🙂

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pumpkin Maple Spice Muffins {Grain free!}

Grain-Free Pumpkin Maple Spice Muffin with Cream Cheese Frosting

Grain-Free Pumpkin Maple Spice Muffin with Cream Cheese Frosting

 

These are moist, tender and full of flavor…
and best of all, no grain or gluten in sight!!!

Fall has officially begun, and the yearning for pumpkin flavored warm yummy goodness isn’t going to be derailed by our grain-free lifestyle! These pumpkin muffins are a cinch to make, and are a treat with a nice hot cup of coffee after spending the afternoon in the autumn sun, or on cool fall evenings. The maple extract is completely optional, but it added a nice depth of flavor to complement the pumpkin. The topping is also optional, but the slight crunch from the pecans was delicious.

Grain free pumpkin muffins fresh from the oven. A nice rise and crunchy topping make these hard to resist.

Grain free pumpkin muffins fresh from the oven. A nice rise and crunchy topping make these hard to resist.

 

After searching the net for grain-free pumpkin muffin recipes, I decided to take a bit from several and just give my own version a try. As luck would have it, these turned our great the first time around (AND the second!) My son can’t believe how delicious these taste, and at 4-5g net carbs per muffin, they are low-carb and Wheat Belly compliant!

Simply mix all ingredients together at once.

Simply mix all ingredients together at once.

Pumpkin Maple Spice Muffins

  • 2C almond flour
  • 2Tb coconut flour
  • 2/3C canned pumpkin (unsweetened)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4C cashew butter (or almond butter)
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (or 1Tb pumpkin pie spice;
    omit cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg)
  • 3/4tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2tsp maple extract (optional)
  • 4Tb Swerve (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 20 drops liquid Stevia
  • 3Tb coconut oil (melted) or butter
  • 1Tb vanilla extract
  • 4-6Tb heavy cream
Pumpkin Maple Spice Muffins, au naturel!

Pumpkin Maple Spice Muffins, au naturel! So tender and moist.

Pecan Topping (optional):

  • 1/3C chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1-2 Tb butter, melted
  • 1Tb Swerve sweetener
  • pinch of salt

Cream Cheese Frosting (optional):

  • 4oz softened cream cheese
  • 1Tb Swerve
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3C heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 6 drops liquid Stevia

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. Mix together all ingredients and fill muffin liners.
  3. If desired, top with nut topping (mix all ingredients together.)
  4. Bake 15 minutes, rotate pan, and bake another 10 minutes for a total of 25 minutes.
  5. Remove and allow to cool. If desired, top with butter, cream cheese frosting (fold together all ingredients) or lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Grain-free Pumpkin Maple Spice Muffin

Grain-free Pumpkin Maple Spice Muffin; Simply delicious!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thick Chops Roasted with Pesto Balsamic Marinade and Tomatoes

Pesto Balsamic Chops

Pesto Balsamic Chops

I just posted about making my annual pesto for the freezer, so that I can carry a bit of late summer with me in the kitchen all year long! Here is a recipe that I made with the pesto, just to show you how versatile it is as a seasoning. This is a very simple marinade because most of the work is already done by using the pesto, which contains basil, garlic, olive oil, nuts and Parmesan cheese. It’s also great on chicken or as a marinade for grilled meats and seafood (awesome on grilled shrimp!)

Thick Chops Roasted with
Pesto Balsamic Marinade and Tomatoes

  • Chops and tomatoes, ready for the oven.

    Chops and tomatoes, ready for the oven.

    3 large boneless pork loin chops
    (these were about 1 1/4″ thick or slightly more)

  • 1/2C fresh pesto (or frozen, thawed or jarred)
  • 1/4C balsamic vinegar
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes, roughly diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spread the tomatoes in a casserole dish and set aside.
  3. Combine pesto and balsamic vinegar; spread evenly over both sides of chops as well as the sides.
  4. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until meat reaches 165-170 using a meat thermometer (or to desired doneness.) Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes prior to serving. (Also great on the grill.) Serve topped with the roasted tomatoes.

I served this with a side of sauteed veggies including broccoli, purple cabbage and brussel sprouts. I’m sorry for not getting a better photo of this all plated up, but it was eaten too quickly! Very juicy and tender, and incredibly easy. Great for a busy weeknight when you don’t have a lot of time to spend on preparation!

Tender and delicious, Pesto Balsamic Roasted Chops

Tender and delicious, Pesto Balsamic Roasted Chops

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Basilicious! Fresh Pesto and Sundried-Tomato, Olive Tapenade… Now and Later!

Basil from my garden in early September

Basil from my garden in early September!

Pesto cubes.

Pesto cubes.

One of my favorite herbs to grow each year is BASIL! I just love it… the scent and flavor is so distinctive and comforting. When I have a good crop ready in early September, I look forward to making a nice big batch of pesto! The wonderful thing about pesto, is that it stores fresh in the fridge for a decent amount of time (perhaps a week or two with a film of olive oil over the top), but that it’s also very convenient to make extra and freeze it for the off-season. I use spare ice cube trays, as I think that it’s very easy to store this way, and grabbing a cube or two is a perfect serving size to add to marinara or even to cream cheese to make a spread. I use it to make a simple dressing or marinade for pork or chicken by adding balsamic vinegar.

If you search, you will find many recipes for pesto, with the ingredients remaining more or less constant, and the proportions of each changing slightly for different tastes and preferences. This is how I make mine, but by all means, feel free to adjust to your liking! I changed it up just a little this year… I usually use only pine nuts, but this time I also added some walnuts to make up for not having as many pine nuts as I would have liked. Different olive oils will result in stronger or milder flavors, and it will depend, as well, on the strength of your garlic! While I used Parmesan cheese, you could also use some asiago, romano or a hard Swiss for variety.

Tapenade with cream cheese on Rosemary Focaccia bread.

Tapenade with cream cheese on Rosemary Focaccia bread.

 

This year I also made a tapenade with one batch of the pesto. I had some lovely sun-dried tomatoes to add, and then my creativity kicked in and I added a few more ingredients that resulted in a delicious concoction! If you don’t make your pesto from scratch, you can still buy pesto at the store and then “enhance” it with the remaining ingredients to have something really special. We enjoyed it with some cream cheese and Rosemary Focaccia bread by Dr. Davis, author of Wheat Belly. It was an amazing treat!

Just starting my next batch of pesto! You can see the previous batch as well as a bowl of grated Parmesan.

Just starting my next batch of pesto! You can see the previous batch (upper left) as well as a bowl of grated Parmesan.

Basil Pesto

  • 4C fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic (or to taste)
  • !/4C pine nuts
  • 1/4 C walnuts
  • 1C good olive oil
  • 2/3C finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Either finely dice the garlic by hand, or pulse in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add basil a bit at a time, and process until finely chopped.
  3. Add nuts and process.
  4. Add oil a little at a time, allowing the basil mixture to incorporate the oil before adding more.
  5. Add grates cheese and process to combine.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pesto in an ice cube tray for freezing.

Pesto in an ice cube tray for freezing.

 

When storing pesto in the refrigerator, I prefer a glass jar, and will pour a thin film of olive oil over the surface of the pesto to prevent air from getting in and oxidizing it, causing it darken in color. It can also be frozen in ice cube trays and then stored in ziploc bags to use in the off-season.

 

Sun-dried Tomato, Olive Tapenade with Capers

  • Tapenade

    Tapenade

    1 batch of Basil Pesto (above recipe)

  • 1 can black olives, drained and chopped medium-fine
  • 1/4C diced green olives
  • 1/2 C sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced
  • 4 Tb capers
  • olive oil as needed to make a spread
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine first four ingredients.
  2. Add olive oil by the tablespoon to get the tapenade to a spreading consistency.
  3. Season as desired.

Serve as is, or combine with cream cheese to make a savory cheese spread. Tapenade can also be stored the same way as pesto, both in the refrigerator and the freezer. 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: