RSS

Tag Archives: tomato

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)

 

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My Favorite Guacamole!

My Favorite Guacamole

My Favorite Guacamole! Avocados are an abundant source of Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, potassium, and folate, along with vitamins A, C, E, K and B6. The many different anti-oxidants found in avocados help prevent inflammation.

Guacamole burgers with Muenster cheese and Low-carb buns

Baby Guacamole burgers with Muenster cheese and Low-carb buns

This is a guacamole recipe that I tweaked years ago, and I am often asked for the recipe when I take it to parties to share with friends. It’s naturally grain-free, gluten-free, Wheat Belly and primal friendly.

Tonight I’ve made a 1/2 batch to serve on grilled burgers with melted muenster cheese and grain-free, low-carb buns. Mmmmmm! It’s also great as a dip for veggies, low-carb cheese crackers and even pork rinds 😉 Low-Carb and lovin’ it!

The Low-carb bun recipe isn’t mine; it was posted by a fellow WB cook on the Wheat Belly Recipe Central page if you’d like to have a look! Check the “posts by others.”

My Favorite Guacamole

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 medium vidalia or white onion, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 vine-ripe tomato, diced
  • 1 canned roasted chipotle pepper, seeded and diced (or use fresh hot pepper to taste)
  • 1 big handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Halve and pit the avocados; scoop out the flesh with a tablespoon into a mixing bowl. Mash the avocados with a fork, leaving them still a bit chunky. Add the remaining ingredients, and fold everything together to gently mix.

Lay a piece of plastic wrap right on the surface of the guacamole so it doesn’t brown and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

 

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

Sundried Tomato Basil Crackers with Almond Flour

Sundried Tomato Basil Almond Flour Crackers.

We haven’t had almond flour crackers in a while, so today I was thinking that I wanted to experiment with a different flavor combination. What came to mind was sundried tomato and basil, which is a classic pairing that we used to enjoy when we made home made bread (I know, I know… banish the thought!) The result was delicious! I also included homemade gomasio (sesame salt), since I just made a batch earlier today. This is a slightly chewier cracker than the ones I have done before that include shredded cheese, but very tasty and satisfying. They are super simple to make, I hope you enjoy!

Combine all ingredients in food processor.

 

Place dough between sheets of parchment, and roll out to 1/8″ thick

Cut into shapes, sprinkle with gomasio and bake per recipe instructions.

Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Don’t they look yummy?!

Sundried Tomato Basil Almond Flour Crackers

  • 1 C almond flour
  • 1 Tb olive oil (or coconut oil)
  • 2 Tb water
  • 1/4 C sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp gomasio (or 1/4-1/2 tsp salt to taste)
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  1. Heat oven to 325.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and combine until the mixture comes together.
  3. Form dough into a ball and flatten between 2 sheets of baking parchment.
  4. Using a rolling pin, roll dough evenly until about 1/8″ thick.
  5. Leaving the dough on the parchment, smooth out the jagged edges, and cut the crackers into squares or rectangles, whichever you prefer. (If desired, sprinkle with more gomasio before baking.)
  6. Gently separate crackers, keeping them on the bottom parchment, and bake for about 6 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, carefully turn each cracker over, and put back in oven for an additional 4-6 minutes. Watch crackers carefully, as almond flour can burn easily.
  8. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Serve with cheese or toppings of your choice. We used extra sharp white cheddar today.

 

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

Buffalo Chicken Salad {Low Carb, Grain Free}

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Last night we were looking for something to do with our leftover baked (GF) chicken from the previous evening, and we were in the mood for a salad. I also had some blue cheese on hand, so decided to make my easy blue cheese dressing, which led to this Buffalo Chicken Salad…

  • chopped greens (we used romaine and iceberg lettuce)
  • sliced fresh tomato
  • chopped cooked chicken tossed in a sauce made from 2Tb melted butter and 1/4C GF hotsauce
  • homemade blue cheese dressing
  • chopped celery

That’s it, super easy and delicious, as well as low carb!

 

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

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!

 

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

Caprese, So Easy!

Fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, herbs and olive oil, tastes and smells just like summer!

 

It’s mid-May and Michigan is just gorgeous! Sunny weekend coming up with temps in the 70’s and 80’s, I feel so fortunate! We had an early spring that stayed moderate, with enough moisture, which should be good for all the growing things. Especially gardens… I get so excited for the vegetable garden to start producing, and I am especially looking forward to the tomatoes and basil!

While none of this is from my chunk of land (yet!) it still smells and tastes like summer, and is a delicious and easy side dish that goes well with all sorts of lighter meals.This recipe serves 3, but you can tweak it for more or less, this is just a guideline. The herb paste I used was refrigerated and in a tube; it was a combination of basil, parsley and oregano. (If you have fresh basil, layer the basil leaves in between the tomato and cheese, and drizzle with olive oil.) Cilantro would also yield a very fresh flavor maybe with a squeeze of lime, for a different spin. Mmmmmm, love fresh herbs!

Insalata Caprese (“Capri style salad“) is a very simple salad which is said to come from the Campagnia region of Italy. Ideally, every ingredient would be local and freshly harvested, but if you have good quality ingredients, it will still be delicious!

Layer in 3 individual dishes:

  • 9 fresh tomato slices (about 2 tomatoes)
  • 6 slices of fresh mozzarella (8 oz)
  • 2TB herb paste (made fresh or purchased)
    mixed with: 2TB good olive oil to make a pesto
  • 2TB pine nuts (optional)
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction (optional, I did not use it this time)

 

 

 

 

 

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

Garlic Tomato Scrambled Eggs with Garden Herbs (Low carb, Gluten free)

Garlic Tomato Scrambled Eggs with Garden Herbs

 

GOOD MORNING SUNSHINE!!! Just a quick breakfast post for Tuesday morning…

I still struggle with eating a morning meal most days, and I know it’s important. It’s funny, I only realized I was gluten intolerant this year, but my go-to has always been an “Eggy” breakfast. I didn’t know why, but I always felt terrible if I ate waffles, pancakes, doughnuts, or cereal, so I didn’t… but those are generally the most convenient, so I had a bad habit of skipping it entirely.

Today I wanted eggs, but was craving more flavor:

  1. Saute 1 clove garlic, finely diced, in 1 tsp butter until tender (or browned if you like the taste)
  2. Add 1/2 tomato, finely diced, saute a minute more
  3. Add 2 organic eggs scrambled with 1 TB heavy cream
  4. Scramble eggs until nearly cooked
  5. Add 1 oz shredded white sharp cheddar, toss to melt
  6. Plate the eggs and top with your choice of fresh garden herbs
    Today I used fresh chives and oregano.

Really quick, delicious, low carb and gluten free. The garlic and tomato really add depth of flavor, and choosing sharp cheddar adds a nice zing to the balance. Fresh herbs are great with eggs, and having a few in the garden or pots will definitely add a nice dimension to your cooking. The earliest herbs in my garden are chives, oregano, sage and thyme since they are perennials and come back every year. It always takes some patience waiting for the tender annual basil to get big enough that it won’t die from me stripping off the leaves too soon, 😉 but basil is a fabulous complement to eggs, tomato and garlic as well.

 

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

Quick Eggy Breakfast

Broccoli Mushroom Scramble

Yesterday was a tough day… NO energy, extreme fatigue, ugh! It made me wonder whether I had accidentally ingested some gluten because “brain fog” is an understatement to how I was feeling! Without body aches and pains though, I had to think it was something else. One thing about going off gluten and eating low carb, is that my appetite isn’t what it once was, and I sometimes forget to eat… so last night my hubby busted me for not having breakfast and snacks during the day. It’s harder to eat when you’re not hungry!

Today I decided to make sure I had a nice dose of protein to start my day, along with a few mineral-rich veggies tossed in to round things out. I can’t say yet whether it will get my energy back on track, but I am hoping so!

What do you do differently when you notice that you are fatigued?
Does it help you to address it with diet?
Do you have any tips or tricks to share? I would love to hear them!!!

Broccoli Mushroom Scramble

  • 1 Tb olive oil or butter
  • 3 small stalks baby broccoli
  • 1/4 C sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tb cream
  • 2 Tb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 roma tomato, sliced

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, and saute broccoli, mushrooms and garlic gently for a couple minutes, until broccoli is tender. Beat eggs with cream and add to pan, scrambling just like normal scrambled eggs. When the eggs are almost done, add the cheese and transfer to a plate along with the sliced tomatoes.

 

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

Burger Salad and Sweet Potato Fries

Burger Salad with Sweet Potato Fries is a great warm weather indulgence!

It’s been one of those weeks, where finding time to sit at the computer has been a challenge, and even more so because we’ve been having broadband issues, which I THINK (after 3 service calls) are finally cleared up! With Spring being here in full swing, it’s been a lot more tempting to work in the yard and garden than do housework, or even cook… so the meals this past week have been incredibly simple and focused mainly on veggies. I didn’t want to bore everyone with images of all the steamed baby broccoli, zucchini, bok choy and sliced oranges I’ve been eating, so I waited until I had something a little more interesting or useful to post. So here it is….

Burger Salad and Sweet Potato Fries

Being beautiful outside leads to grilling, and grilling can lead to burgers, MMMM! As someone who doesn’t eat gluten, when preparing something like a burger, you have two main choices: bake or buy gluten free buns, or skip the bun entirely and rely on other things to make dinner delicious. Since we are striving for lower-carb, I skipped the buns this time and opted for a “burger salad”, and indulged in sweet potato fries as a side instead.YUM!

Why Sweet Potatoes? Some people only think of sweet potatoes at the holidays, but they are truly a nutritional gold mine and can be incorporated more often. The glycemic load is 17 (lower is better), while a red potato is 26. Sweet potatoes are also known to be strongly anti-inflammatory, and choosing anti-inflammatory foods helps ease or prevent joint and muscle pain as well as ease digestive issues caused by internal inflammation. While it is definitely a carbohydrate, it is a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, B6, Vitamin A&C, and manganese.

The Fries: If you haven’t made sweet potato fries before, I can assure you, it’s very easy and tasty too. They are versatile as well. You can choose to cut them thick or thin, in rounds or sticks, and peeled or unpeeled. I choose unpeeled, medium thin sticks.You basically just bake them at 425 degrees for around 15 minutes, loosening them from the pan and turning them every 5 minutes or so. Be sure to coat them in olive oil, and I used garlic salt, onion powder, fresh ground pepper, and a dash of cinnamon to season these. Of course you can spice it up even more if you like, using cumin, cayenne or even chili powder, depending on your tastes. Super simple! If you want them ever crispier, you may choose to coat them with corn starch before baking, but I didn’t do that for carb reasons.

The Burger salad: Is essentially a burger laid on a bed of salad that is made up of things that usually top the burger. In this case, after grilling (or baking, or pan searing) the super lean burgers were topped with a little blue cheese, sauteed onions and mushrooms, and covered with a slice of Swiss which I melted under the broiler for a couple minutes. The “salad” was shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced avocados, and typical burger dressing of light mayo and mustard. The guys loved it and never even complained about not having a bun! This was a heavier meal than what we’ve been eating most of the week, but every once in awhile, a little indulgence is good.

 

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

 
%d bloggers like this: