Green Bean Casserole

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Low Carb Green Bean Casserole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Bean Casserole

28 ounce can of green beans

1/2 of a small onion, diced

2 slices of thick bacon

8 ounces softened cream cheese

1/2 cup chicken broth

parmesan cheese

fried onions (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick spray.

Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Chop bacon and fry until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and reserve the grease. Add onion and sautee for about 5 minutes. Add cream cheese and chicken broth. Heat and stir this mixture until smooth. Add green beans to pan and mix well. Pour green bean mixture into casserole dish. Top with parmesan cheese and bacon. You can also add a few tablespoons of fried onions as a garnish if you like.

Serves 8: NET carbs 3 per serving without fried onions

 

Sweet “Potato” Casserole

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I made this dish for a side at Thanksgiving. I was trying to recreate a sugar-free and low carb version of the sweet potato casserole with the praline topping. It’s almost more like dessert than it is a side. The main ingredient is a low-carber’s best friend, cauliflower. Believe me, no one will have any idea what’s really inside.

 

Topping:

1 cup erythritol

1/2 cup almond flour

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

10 tablespoons of chilled butter

1  1/2 cups chopped pecans

Mix erythritol, almond flour, and protein powder in a medium bowl. Cut in chilled butter until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in chopped pecans. Refrigerate until ready to use. (If you make this ahead for the holidays, leave the topping and the filling separate until just before you put them in the oven.)

Filling

1 head of cauliflower, steamed until soft

1 can of pumpkin puree

2 eggs

3/4 cup erythritol

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

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

2 tablespoons coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9 X 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Place steamed cauliflower in food processor. Puree until completely smooth. Add canned pumpkin and eggs. Mix well. Blend in erythritol and EZ Sweetz.  Add protein powder, coconut flour (preferably sifted), cinnamon, and salt. Run food processor on high until completely blended and smooth.

Place mixture in the bottom of baking pan and add topping. Bake for 45 minutes, until top is brown.

 

Serves 16: NET carbs 3.8 per serving

 

 

 

 

Erythritol

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NOW ErythritolI was shopping on Netrition to restock my pantry with low carb baking ingredients. (See full list here.)  My favorite sweeteners continue to be a combination of erythritol and EZ Sweetz. (Find EZ Sweetz here.) I’m not sure if this is a new product, or if I had failed to see it before. It’s NOW brand granular erythritol. This type of sweetener is usually $7.50-8.00 for a one pound bag. This is a 2.5 pound bag for $15.99. This is definitely going in my cart!

By the way, I am not paid in any way shape or form to endorse any products.

Low Carb Blueberry Muffins

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Low Carb Blueberry Muffins

8 ounces softened cream cheese

3 eggs

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

3/4 granular erythritol

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups almond flour

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with 16 liners. Combine almond flour, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Blend cream cheese, eggs, EZ Sweetz, erythritol, oil, almond milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients and blend until smooth. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. Put 3 to 4 blueberries on top of each muffin. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Serves 16: Net carbs 4.25 per muffin

 

Low Carb Fried Squash

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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

 

 

 

 

Low Carb Ice Cream

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This is absolutely the easiest way to create soft, delicious low carb ice cream that I’ve found. If you’ve tried to make sugar-free ice cream, you know that it normally turns into something that bears a striking resemblance to a brick. This comes out more like soft serve. Plus, you don’t have to make anything ahead of time.

 

 

 

So, what’s the catch? It requires a kitchen gadget. I watched the Kitchen Ninja presentation on QVC, (I know…get a life…) and as he made the ice cream I couldn’t help but wonder if it would work the same way without the added sugar. I did NOT order from QVC, but I found out later that my mom did. After we made the best strawberry ice cream I’d ever tasted in hers, I happened to see the Kitchen Ninja smoothie maker in Wal-Mart for $29. It does the trick too.

 

 

Low Carb Berry Ice Cream

3 cups frozen, no sugar added strawberries (or blueberry/mixed berries)

1 cup cream

1/2 cup erythritol (I used Swerve.)

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

Put all ingredients in your mixer and give it several short pulses to break up the berries. Then run the mixer continuously until the mixture is thoroughly combined and smooth. Add some additional cream if needed to get the berries mixed.

This yields 4 cups of ice cream, or 8 servings. (It’s all eaten immediately every time I make it, so I don’t know how well this would keep. You may want to cut the recipe in half if this is too much for your family.)

NET carbs 4.5 per serving.

*This amount seems to be all that this particular Ninja can handle. I wouldn’t try to do any more unless I had one of the larger Ninja units.

Low Carb Marshmallow Fluff

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This is a product review of Marshmallow Fluff mix from LC Foods. (http://www.holdthecarbs.com/) I wanted to try some products from this company because they seem to have done their homework, (ie no sugar alcohols) and they are based in my home state of NC. The first products I tried were the LC Thick’n Potatoes (review here) and the Vanilla Frosting Mix.

 

 

I did not review the frosting mix because it was a complete failure for me. I tried it more than once and I followed the directions to the letter. I simply could not get a satisfactory result.

However, they say the third time is the charm. The Marshmallow Fluff Mix is the third product I’ve tried from this company, and it’s awesome.

According to the directions, you need two egg whites, water, and vanilla to add to the Marshmallow Fluff Mix. (find product here) It says it has zero net carbs, and the main ingredient is chicory root. The cost is $7.98 and each pouch makes two batches that are supposed to yield two cups each. I placed mine in a two cup container, and you can see it’s a little shy of being two full cups. However, the consistency and taste make the product totally worthwhile.

 

One batch was enough to generously frost this cake. (The cake is from Splendid Low Carbing: Chocolate Zucchini Cake) The product did lose a little of its “fluff” after being in the refrigerator for two days. It did not break down or dissolve or anything though. It was still excellent after two days. I’m not sure about 3 days because the whole cake was gone at that point. :)

 

 

So, if you are looking for a low carb white or vanilla frosting that is not cream cheese based, this is a great alternative. In my opinion, it’s worth the cost of $4 per batch . Cream cheese frosting costs about $2.50 plus the cost of your sweeteners and other ingredients. Most of  the sweeteners we use are not exactly cheap.

I plan to continue to experiment with this product. I’ll let you know what happens.

 

Low Carb Muffaletta

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If you like Italian subs, I think you’ll love this sandwich. It is awesome to pack for a low carb picnic or for a low carb lunch idea. You can wrap it in foil and it holds up for hours, or even a day. Plus, the addition of the cream cheese will really keep you full and satisfied.

 

 

 

Low Carb Muffaletta Filling

8 ounces softened cream cheese

½ cup mayonnaise

4-5 green onions, chopped (white and light green part)

2-3 stalks celery, finely diced

½ cup diced olives

½ cup pickled peppers, chopped (I used pepperoncini and banana peppers.)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1-2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 small jar sliced mushrooms (7.3 ounce-optional)

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Add a generous serving to your favorite low carb pita or wrap and sandwich meat. (I use either Joseph’s low carb pitas or Flat-outs, which are both available in my local Wal-Mart deli.)

I placed my wrap on the bottom and added meat and cheese. I used turkey, salami, and provolone. You can use whatever meat and/or cheese you like. Then I added some spinach and placed my filling on top of that and rolled it up. With the filling in the center, your wrap doesn’t get soggy. I like to place mine in foil so that I can tear the foil off the top and keep the bottom of my wrap inside the remaining foil while I’m eating. This makes it neater to eat, plus the foil keeps it wrapped tightly.

 

Makes 6 large servings: Net carbs for filling only is 2 per serving. For your sandwich, adjust carb count for the wrap and other fillings you use.

 

 

 

Low Carb Breakfast Casserole

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I often make low carb breakfast casseroles. I usually make one on the weekend, and then reheat individual servings throughout the week. Not only does it make an excellent low carb breakfast, but it’s also great for an inexpensive low carb dinner as well. This basically follows the same technique as my other low carb breakfast casserole (here), I just mixed up the flavors to add some variety.

*This picture shows the low carb breakfast I made for my husband on Father’s Day. I made the french toast from a left-over “Jiffy Bun” from Splendid Low Carbing. They are such a neat little trick that you make in the microwave. Check it out here.

Low Carb Breakfast Casserole 2

1 pound ham, cubed (make sure your brand doesn’t have added sugar)

6-8 ounces sliced, fresh mushrooms

8 ounces softened cream cheese

4 pieces thick-cut bacon

8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded

12 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 X 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large skillet, brown ham cubes in a tablespoon of butter. Most ham is pre-cooked, so this only takes a minute. Place ham in bottom of casserole dish. Then brown your mushrooms in the same skillet. This is important to remove the excess water from the mushrooms.  Add mushrooms to the top of ham. Use the same skillet again to crisp your bacon. (Can you tell I hate washing dishes?) While the bacon cooks, evenly distribute cream cheese on top of ham and mushrooms. Add crumbled bacon on top of the cream cheese. Beat eggs thoroughly with some salt, pepper, and a few tablespoons of water or cream. Pour eggs over the other ingredients and top with Monterey jack cheese. Bake for 25-27 minutes, until eggs are set. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before slicing.

Makes 12 large servings: NET carbs about 1.4 per serving. :)

 

Pork Tenderloin

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This entire meal was cooked on the grill and involved very little work. If you’ve never grilled a pork tenderloin, I highly recommend it. They are fairly inexpensive and surprisingly easy to cook. Just make sure you use a low carb marinade or sauce.

 

 

 

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

2 tablespoons no sugar added orange marmalade (I use Polaner brand; available at Wal-Mart.)

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (or more if you like things spicy)

6 drops of EZ Sweetz (equivalent to 1/4 cup Splenda)

Juice of one lime

3 cloves chopped garlic

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3-5 pounds of pork tenderloin

Combine all ingredients (except the pork) in a magic bullet, blender, or food processor. Blend until all the ingredients are well combined. Place pork in a gallon size ziploc bag, add marinade, make sure all meat is covered, and allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour. I try to marinade mine for 2-3 hours.

Preheat grill to about 400-425 degrees. I like to cover my grill with foil because the marinade can make a mess. I usually buy two pieces of tenderloin that are about 2 pounds each. (Most of them are packaged in groups of two.) Tenderloin needs to cook about 20 minutes per pound. So I do my two-pound tenderloins for about 10 minutes on each “side.” (Think in terms of top, bottom, then two sides.) If you are worried  about getting it done, get a meat thermometer and make sure you reach 145 degrees inside the thickest part of the meat.

When the pork is done, place it on a platter and cover it with foil to rest while you prepare whatever you’d like to have as a side dish. I use the side burner of my grill to quickly stir fry whatever veggies I have on hand. In the picture you see a bag of shredded slaw mix (sans dressing) that was stir fried with soy sauce and sesame oil. I also threw in some broccoli florets and garnished with green onions. Just use whatever you have. Any stir fried vegetables would go well with this pork.

Serves 4: about 3 net carbs per serving in marinade