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  • Low Carb Biscuits

    DSCF9208The more I read about wheat, the less I want to eat any. That’s why I made a new biscuit recipe without Carbquik. These can be made as a plain biscuit, or you can add the cheddar and garlic for a low carb garlic cheddar biscuit. These are also gluten-free.

     

     

     

     

    Low Carb Biscuits

    1 1/2 cups almond flour

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    2 tablespoons baking powder

    2 eggs

    1/3 cup sour cream

    4 tablespoons melted butter

    1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray. (These spread out too much and puff up too little on a cookie sheet. Use a pan with 12 wells.) Mix all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and combine thoroughly. Drop about 2 heaping tablespoons in each well. Bake 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.

    NET carbs 2 per biscuit

     



  • Low Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies

    DSCF9123I have a love/hate relationship with Just Like Sugar. I love how it changes the texture of food, but I hate how it tastes. For instance, chocolate chip cookies with this sweetener have a consistency that is so similar to the high carb version. However, if you only use JLS, they will taste salty and bitter. Something about it just doesn’t agree with me.

    The trick is to combine just enough of the JLS with erythritol/sucralose to get a good texture and a sweet taste. There are lots of good recipes for chocolate chip cookies that don’t use this sweetener. (I have one here.) But if you have some JLS and you’d like to try a new recipe, this one is great. My 14 year-old, non-low carb, pickiest eater in the world daughter even likes these.

    Chocolate Chip Cookies                                                                             DSCF9110

    2 sticks softened butter

    1/4 cup Just Like Sugar Brown

    1/2 cup Just Like Sugar

    3/4 cup granular erythritol

    12 drops EZ Sweetz (1/2 cup Splenda equivalent)

    1 room temperature egg

    1 1/2 cups almond flour

    1/2 cup coconut flour

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    1 teaspoon saltDSCF9112

    2/3 cup sugar-free chocolate chips (I use these.)

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

    Cream butter, all sweeteners, and egg. Add almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly. Fold in chocolate chips until well-distributed. I use a mini ice cream scoop to portion the dough.

    Bake for 15-18 minutes, until lightly brown.                 Makes 40 cookies: 1 NET carb per cookie

     



  • Low Carb Fried Squash

    Fried zucchini or summer squash makes a great low carb side dish. You can also cut them into “fries” if you remove the seeds in the center. Serve with ranch for dipping.

     

     

     

    Low Carb Fried Zucchini Squash

    2 medium to large zucchini or summer squash                      

    4 eggs

    1/3 cup Carbquik

    1/3 cup almond flour

    1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

    Preheat oil to 350 degrees in a deep fryer, or about 1/2 inch deep in a skillet. Beat eggs in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine Carbquik, almond flour, and parmesan in a gallon bag. Slice zucchini or squash into desired shape. (Do not peel.) Coat zucchini in egg wash and place into dry ingredients. Toss to thoroughly coat.  Remove from breading mixture and fry for about 4 minutes until golden brown. Place on paper towels to drain excess oil. Season with salt while still hot.

     

    Serves 4: NET carbs about 4.5 per serving

     

     

     

     



  • Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

    My son made a special request for his birthday. He asked for my low carb chocolate brownie cake, but he wanted me to add a layer of cheesecake to the top. I told him that I thought I remembered a store-bought mix that was just that sort of thing. You see, I don’t “make” my kids eat low carb.  They can have whatever they’d like, especially for a birthday. However, he said that he’d rather have a low carb version. He said he doesn’t like the way eating a lot of sugar makes him feel. Then I said, “Sure, I can do that.” I believe I sounded more confident than I felt.

     

    However, they turned out really well and here’s the proof.

    Notice the store-bought, “regular” brownie cupcakes that someone gave my son for his birthday. Notice the fact that only 4 of them are gone while the low carb brownie pan is empty. I rest my case. :)

     

    Low Carb Cheesecake Swirl Brownie

    First, make the batter for Chocolate Brownie Cake found here.

    Then, mix the following ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy.

    8 ounces softened cream cheese

    1 room temperature egg

    1/4 cup heavy cream

    1/4 cup sugar-free vanilla syrup

    1/4 cup powdered erythritol

    Place several large spoonfuls of cheesecake mixture on top of brownie batter. Use a knife to swirl them together. Push the cheesecake near the edge. The brownie batter will come up around the cheesecake as it bakes.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

    Serves 16: NET carbs 5.5 each

     

     

     



  • Low Carb Peanut Butter Pie

    I made this pie for my husband’s birthday. Since it was a special occasion, I was really stressed about it turning out well. Luckily, it totally exceeded my expectations. It disappeared so quickly that I immediately made another just to be sure I wasn’t dreaming. It’s still delicious. You really should try this!

     

     

     

    Chocolate Crust:

    ½ cup almond flour

    1 scoop chocolate protein powder

    ¼ tsp xanthan gum

    2 TB granular erythritol

    ½ stick butter

    1 TB water

    Peanut Butter Filling:

    8 ounces softened cream cheese

    1 cup no sugar added peanut butter

    12 drops EZ Sweetz (1/2 cup equivalent)

    1/3 cup sugar-free peanut butter syrup (I used Da Vinci)*

    2/3 cup powdered erythritol

    ½ cup heavy whipping cream

    ¼ cup sugar-free chocolate chips (optional)

    Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray. Combine almond flour, protein powder, xanthan gum, and erythritol in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until butter is crumbled. Add water and pulse just until the crumbled texture goes away and the mixture turns to dough. Spread mixture evenly into pie plate and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

    Filling: In a large mixing bowl combine cream cheese, peanut butter, EZ Sweetz, peanut butter syrup, and erythritol. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set mixture aside. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until light and fluffy. Gently fold whipping cream into peanut butter mixture. Add filling to cooled pie crust and chill in refrigerator overnight. Garnish with sugar-free chocolate chips.

    53 NET carbs in the whole pie. So, if you cut your pie into 12 slices like you’re supposed to, it’s about 4.5 net carbs per slice. However, my family cuts a pie in 8 slices, which would mean just under 7 net carbs per slice.

    *If you don’t have peanut butter syrup, I think vanilla might work too. If I tried this with vanilla, I would probably put some chopped peanuts on top to add more peanut flavor.

     



  • Chocolate Cupcakes

    I love how these cupcakes turned out. The best thing I can tell you is that my daughter, Katie, actually liked these. She only eats low carb when it’s a dead ringer for the “real” thing. These were very moist with a good flavor and texture. They were also nice and large. I only wish I had some left…

     

     

    Low Carb Chocolate Cupcakes

    8 ounces softened cream cheese

    3 eggs (preferably room temperature)

    18 drops EZ Sweetz (3/4 cup Splenda equivalent)

    1/4 cup Torani’s sugar-free chocolate syrup (or Hershey’s)

    1/4 cup butter or coconut oil

    1/4 cup almond milk

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    2 cups almond flour

    1/2 cup powdered erythritol

    1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    1 tablespoon baking powder

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place 12 cupcake liners in a muffin pan. Mix almond flour, erythritol, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl (or food processor) mix cream cheese, eggs, EZ Sweetz, syrup, oil, almond milk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in three batches. Blend well each time. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.

    Simple White Frosting

    4 ounces softened cream cheese

    2 tablespoons softened butter

    1/4 cup powdered erythritol

    1/4 cup Torani sugar-free vanilla syrup

    In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and blend with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. (Or use a whisk if you’re feeling froggy. Be sure to use both arms, then you can count it as your arm workout for the day.) Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes or a 9 x 13 cake.

    Serves 12: NET carbs 4.5 each

     



  • Country Fried Steak and Mush-room Gravy

    My husband loves a good meat and “potatoes” meal. I decided to make him Country Fried Steak (sometimes called Chicken Fried Steak) with mashed cauliflower and green beans with bacon. He and my son loved this meal. They said I definitely needed to share. I hope you enjoy!

     

     

    Low Carb Country Fried Steak

    8 pieces of cubed steak

    1 cup buttermilk

    1 cup Carbquik

    1/2 cup almond flour

    Season cubed steak with salt and pepper. Mix Carbquik and almond flour and season mixture with salt and pepper. Dip cubed steak in buttermilk, and then dredge in Carbquik/flour mixture. Allow steaks to rest a few minutes for the breading to set. Heat about 1 inch of oil over medium-high heat (350 degrees) in a large skillet. Place steaks into heated oil and fry for about 6-7 minutes per side. Handle and turn them gently so you don’t lose your breading.

    I decided that while I was cooking some of my husband’s favorites, I would add a mushroom gravy to the meal. I think mushrooms are his absolute favorite food.

    This is optional, but it was a nice addition to the meal. It would also be great over a plain hamburger steak.

     

     

    Low Carb Mushroom Gravy

    8 ounces sliced mushrooms

    3 ounces cream cheese

    1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

    1 1/2 cups broth (beef, vegetable, or chicken)

    salt and pepper to taste

    Sautee mushrooms over medium heat until brown. (I used the grease from the bacon I fried to go in the green beans; in fact, I used the same pan so I wouldn’t have another one to clean. :)  You can use butter or olive oil to sautee the mushrooms if you haven’t made bacon recently. Although, I can’t imagine a time when I haven’t made bacon recently.) Remove mushroom from pan and set aside. Melt cream cheese into the pan and whisk in broth until smooth. Bring to a simmer and mix in xanthan gum. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and stir. Remove from heat. Sauce will thicken further as it cools.

    This is the finished meal served with mashed cauliflower (recipe here) and green beans with crumbled bacon.

    NET carbs in each piece of steak is 2.5.

    NET carbs in entire batch of gravy is 8.

     

     



  • Chocolate Brownie Cake

    Someone recently asked me if I allow myself to “cheat” and eat carbs on special occasions. I honestly can say that I don’t: not on my birthday, not on vacation, not on holidays, not at the movies, not anywhere. (Sorry, had a little “Green Eggs and Ham” moment.) The person’s response to my answer was, “I’d love to lose weight, but I just can’t deprive myself like that.” I want you to take a look at the meal my parents made for me to celebrate my birthday. Do you think I left feeling deprived?

    However, I do understand what my friend was saying. People think too much about dieting and not enough about changing their way of eating permanently. I must admit that I made the same mistake myself in the past. I went on a low carb “diet” about 12 years ago. I was successful in losing weight, but I had the mentality that I was going to let myself have what I wanted for special occasions. This ultimately led to my failure and regaining all my weight plus some. Eating a high carb meal immediately makes you feel bloated, tired, and guilty. It also can lead to telling yourself that you might as well take the rest of the weekend ”off” and start again on Monday. Trust me, that’s a slippery slope. I compare it to my mom’s struggle to quit smoking. She tried patches, gum, tapering, electronic devices etc. All of these things kept nicotine in her system and kept her physically needing the cigarettes. A couple of months ago, she quit cold turkey. (Yeah Mom!) She says it’s the only way for her to break her addiction. I’m not sure if food addictions are the same, but I do know that for me it’s best to stay clear of carbs.  I can do this AND enjoy wonderful meals and treats. Believe me, it’s easier to maintain your way of eating than it is to constantly struggle in the name of “treating” yourself.

    Back to the reason for this post…the cake. I was watching Paula Deen make her Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes and I decided that I wanted to experiment with making the recipe low carb. My intention was obviously to make a cake. However, what I actually ended up with was much more like a brownie than a cake. Or, you might compare it to a super dense and moist pound cake. We decided it was serendipity at it’s finest.

     

    Low Carb Chocolate Brownie Cake

    2 sticks softened butter

    1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    1 cup granular erythritol

    36 drops EZ Sweetz (1.5 cup equivalent)

    1/2 cup granular xylitol (or additional 1/2 cup erythritol)

    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

    4 large room temperature eggs

    1 cup sour cream

    1 cup almond flour

    1/2 cup bake mix (click here)

    1 tablespoon baking powder

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    1 teaspoon salt

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 X 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, cocoa, erythritol, EZ Sweetz, and xylitol. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until the butter melts and the sweeteners are dissolved. This will take only about 1 minute after your butter first simmers. Turn the heat off and add the unsweetened chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Remove pan from burner and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

    Mix almond flour, bake mix, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

    In a large mixing bowl, blend sour cream and eggs until creamy and smooth. Blend in dry ingredients and mix well. Add chocolate mixture and blend again. Prepare for the fight over who gets to lick the beater, spatula, and bowl. :)

    Bake for 27-28 minutes, or until center of brownie cake is just set.

    Serves 16: Net Carbs 5 per piece with frosting.

    *Now, here’s where the jury was split. About half the family thought these should be topped with a few nuts, or with nothing at all and be treated as a brownie. However, some thought that it needed the frosting. So, here’s the frosting we made.

    Blend 3 ounces softened cream cheese, one stick softened butter, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 cup powdered erythritol, 6 drops of EZ Sweetz, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and a pinch of salt until smooth and fluffy. We also added 5 or 6 drops of green food coloring because it was Easter.

    **Please make this a few days ahead of time. It gets even better with time to sit in the fridge.

     



  • Low Carb Macadamia Nut Cookies

    I just love these cookies. They are sweet and soft with the buttery crunch of the macadamia nuts. The glaze puts them over the top. Like most low carb baked goods, they are even better the second day- or the third if they make it that long.

     

     

    Low Carb Macadamia Nut Cookies

    1 stick of softened butter

    1/2 cup powdered erythritol

    12 drops EZ Sweetz (or 1/2 cup Splenda)

    2 eggs

    1/3 cup ricotta cheese

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    2 cups almond flour

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    pinch of salt

    3/4 cup rough chopped macadamia nuts

    Glaze:

    1/2 cup powdered erythritol

    2 tablespoons almond milk

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cream butter, erythritol, EZ Sweetz, eggs, ricotta, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Mix almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and blend well.

     

     

     

    Remove from blender and fold in chopped nuts.

     

     

     

     

     

    Use a mini ice cream scoop to portion dough onto cookie sheets. Then use the back of a teaspoon to flatten the cookie dough. (You may have to wet the spoon to keep the dough from sticking.)

     

     

     

    Bake for 14 minutes, until edges are lightly brown. Allow cookies to cool, then mix powdered erythritol and almond milk in a small bowl to form a glaze.

    Store in the refrigerator. They are better chilled than they are fresh from the oven.

    Makes 34 cookies:  1 NET carb each

     



  • Low Carb German Chocolate Cake

    German chocolate cake was my husband’s favorite before we started eating low carb. I was recently experimenting with a candy recipe that turned out to be a failure as candy, but made an awesome topping for a this cake. It made a very rich dessert. It’s also a very pretty cake and would be great for any special occasion.

     

    Low Carb German Chocolate Cake

    1 cup bake mix (see post here)

    ½ cup almond flour

    ½ cup carbalose flour (or additional ½ cup bake mix)

    ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    1 tablespoon baking powder

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    ½ teaspoon salt

    1 stick of softened butter

    3 eggs (room temperature)

    18 drops EZ Sweetz (or ¾ cup Splenda)

    ¾ cup powdered erythritol

    ¼ cup sugar-free chocolate syrup (Torani or Hershey’s)

    1/3 cup oil

    ¼ cup heavy cream

    ½ cup almond milk

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

     

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round pan with non-stick cooking spray. (I used a spring form pan.) Combine bake mix, almond flour, carbalose, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside. Cream butter, eggs, EZ Sweetz, and erythritol. Add chocolate syrup, oil, cream, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Bake for 25 minutes and allow to cool.

    I added half a batch of chocolate frosting (recipe here) to the sides and around the edge of the top of my cake to make a well for my topping. However, you could skip this step and just add the topping to the cake. You really don’t need the frosting…but sometimes it isn’t a matter of need, it’s a matter of want.

    German Chocolate Topping

    1 stick of butter

    ½ cup granular xylitol (or heaping ½ cup granular erythritol)

    12 drops EZ Sweetz (equivalent to ½ cup Splenda)

    ¼ cup heavy cream

    1 teaspoon molasses

    Pinch of salt

    ½ teaspoon vanilla

    1  ½ cups chopped pecans

    ½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

     

    Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add xylitol, EZ Sweetz, cream, molasses, and salt. Heat until the mixture just starts to bubble and the xylitol is dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla first, and then add the pecans and coconut. Mix well to coat. Allow to cool. Add to the top of cooled chocolate cake.

     

     

    Serves 12: NET carbs 5.3 (You could easily slice this cake into 16 pieces for 4 NET carbs each. It’s very rich and I think  a smaller piece would be plenty for most people.)