Gluten Free Low Calorie Paleo Recipes Vegetarian

Low Cal Snack – Dried Tomato

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dried tomato recipe

Juicy tomatoes ready to become tomaisins.

When I’m running errands I don’t like to stop for lunch. I prefer to pack up a baggie or two with veggies and/or fruit. Recently I’ve been running a lot of errands and getting tired of carrot and celery sticks so I thought I’d try making up a few low cal snacks that I can toss in my bag and eat just as easily as my unimaginative veggie sticks.

First up are these dried tomatoes. Super easy. I cut organic grape tomatoes in half, sprinkled with salt and placed on a dehydrator tray. I dried them at 115 degrees so I could keep these raw but you can dry them at any temp that you like. In fact I started drying these later in the day and before I went to sleep I turned the dehydrator down as low as it would go so they could keep drying but not get over-dried while I slept. The next morning I turned the dehyrdrator back up to 115 and a few hours later my tomatoes were now tomaisins.

Note: I like to take half the tomatoes out when they’re at the chewy stage and then keep dehydrating the rest until they’re chewy crisp.

Kid Friendly Recipes Vegetarian

Buffalo Ranch Popcorn

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seasoned popcorn snack recipe

Do you all love popcorn as much as I do? Lately I’ve been trying to move away from microwave popcorn. I started by switching to organic microwave popcorn which actually tastes WAY better than popcorn of the Orville Redenbacher variety, however it does still use palm oil and butter flavoring. I tried several types of popcorn that didn’t have the bad stuff added to it and didn’t really like the taste. So the next stop on the popcorn train is to make it from scratch so I can use the kind of oil I want and then add different seasonings to make it fun. This Buffalo Ranch version is the first one in a series that I’ll be posting. I love that this one has tons of flavor and isn’t loaded with butter. If you want to really make the butter stand out, brown it before adding the buffalo wing sauce.

Ingredients

8 cups popped popcorn

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce

1 tablespoon ranch seasoning mix

1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

Place popcorn in a large bowl or paper bag. In a small bowl mix butter and buffalo wing sauce. Drizzle this mixture over the popcorn and toss to evenly distribute.

Sprinkle ranch seasoning and sea salt over popcorn and toss again.

Now settle in with a good movie or if you’re in my house take it out to the bonfire in the back yard.

Gluten Free High Protein Low Carb Recipes

Deliciously Easy Parmesan Pasta That’s Gluten Free & Low Carb

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parmesan-pasta

If you’ve read any of my books then you know that I have an on-going love affair with shirataki pasta. It’s 20 calories and ZERO net carbs per serving! Seriously! I mean, really, I’m not messing with you. “How is that even possible?” you ask. It’s a miracle of soy + yam + Japanese culinary skills and the end result is as versatile as “regular” pasta.

Drain and rinse one package of shirataki noodles, any shape that works for you. Place in a microwave safe bowl or medium sauce pan and cover with water. Liberally season with garlic salt. Bring to a boil, turn off heat and allow to sit until you’re ready to use them. I like to let the pasta sit in the salted water as long as possible.

When you’re ready, drain and rinse the pasta. Top with extra-virgin olive oil, melted butter, freshly grated or shredded Parmesan, sea salt and black pepper to tasted. Toss, taste, adjust and devour.

 

Gluten Free Low Calorie Low Carb Recipes Vegetarian

Spicy Parmesan Kale

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gluten free, low carb, low calorie, vegetarian kale recipe

I love kale. I don’t know what it is but give me my choice of greens and I’ll choose kale every time. Even so, sometimes I get tired of my go-to recipe of Garlic Kale and start playing around until I come up with a new way to serve this nutritious leafy green.

This recipe serves 4 as a side dish. Add ham, bacon, or chicken and it’s a meal for 2. My apologies to any vegetarians or vegans reading this recipe, please know that in the interest of helping families to accommodate the varied tastes of it’s members I like to include variations of many of my recipes that may include meat or dairy.

If you’re not adding meat to this dish, you can make it a meal by serving it with a pot roast, steak, chicken, fish or for my vegetarian and vegan readers I love a really good whole grain bread, toasted and brushed with olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar.

Ingredients

2 large bunches of kale (if you’re picking from your own garden that going to be 2 pounds)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon chili flakes

3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced

1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Instructions

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, salt, pepper, chile and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add the kale and garlic and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the Parmesan. Taste and add salt, pepper, and olive oil if needed.

Variations

Stir 1/2 cup bread crumbs in with the Parmesan.

Add 1/2 cup toasted, chopped almonds, cashews, pecans, or peanuts with the Parmesan.

Add 1 to 2 cups chopped cooked chicken, ham, or bacon at the end.

 

Quick Version

Use 3 five-ounce bags of prewashed, deveined kale in place of the 2 bunches of kale.

$$$avers Gluten Free Paleo Tips

12 Healthy Ways to Use Leftover Pumpkin Puree

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how to use leftover canned pumpkin puree

Not all recipes call for two cups of pumpkin. How annoying is that? The last time I was left with pumpkin in the can I decided to use the rest of the pumpkin throughout the week and I came up with twelve delicious ways to use  leftover pumpkin puree. I came up with a few full on recipes which will be in my gluten-free and Paleo cookbooks but I did want to share with you all some quick and easy ways to use leftover pumpkin.

Note: I’m talking about plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling which has seasoning and loads of sugar added.

Chili: add one tablespoon per cup to any chili, canned or home made.

Tomato Soup: add a tablespoon of pumpkin to each cup of tomato soup.

Pumpkin Spice Latte: I could tell you to stir a tablespoon or two along with a large pinch of pumpkin pie spice into your latte (and you can) but if you’re really into Pumpkin Spice Lattes and especially if you’re hooked on Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes you’ll want to check out this recipe from Eating Bird Food. I love that this recipe is so healthy. I can feel even better about not standing in line at Starbucks.

Fruit Smoothie: add a tablespoon or two to a fruit smoothie. Pumpkin goes especially well with apple, peach, or pear smoothies. Add some ginger or pumpkin pie spice for a holiday flavor.

Pumpkin Creamer: Sally’s Baking Addiction has a seriously awesome recipe with vegan options.

Pumpkin Pancakes or Waffles: stir up to 1/2 cup pumpkin into your pancake or waffle batter.

Pumpkin Pudding: mix 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup pumpkin into 1 cup of cream cheese, Neufchatel cheese, or mascarpone cheese. Sweeten with your choice of sweetener and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.

Pumpkin Nut Butter: mix up to 1/4 cup pumpkin with 1 cup nut butter. Use as is or sweeten to taste with honey, maple syrup or your sweetener of choice.

Pumpkin Hummus: stir some pumpkin into hummus.

Pumpkin Oatmeal: add a tablespoon or two to your morning oatmeal.

Pumpkin Mac n Cheese: stir up to 1/4 cup pumpkin into your kiddos’ mac n cheese.

Replace eggs and oil in baked goods: You can replace both eggs and oil with a 1:1 ratio of pumpkin when making brownies, bars, and cakes. For instance if a recipe calls for 1 cup of butter you can replace it with 1 cup of pumpkin. If a recipe calls for 4 eggs you can replace them with 1/4 pumpkin for each egg. You can even replace all of both the eggs and oil. You won’t get a strong pumpkin taste and if its a chocolate recipe you won’t taste it at all.

 

That’s all that I came up with this week and I’m not even slightly pumkinned out I’ll be adding pumpkin to lots of things over the next few weeks. I’d love to hear how you all use leftover pumpkin.

Dessert Gluten Free High Protein Kid Friendly Low Carb Recipes

The Easiest Chocolate Pudding You’ll Ever Make

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chocolate puddingWhile looking around my kitchen for something to satisfy a major sweet tooth attack I came up with quick and easy pudding which makes a nice snack, dessert or breakfast. This is actually faster to make than opening a box of Jello instant pudding and one serving = 3 net carbs! You can easily double or even quadruple this recipe and I’ll include those measurements below the instructions.

Ingredients

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese

1 large egg

3 tablespoons 3 carb/serving chocolate protein powder

Instructions

Soften the cheese in the microwave for 20 seconds. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Microwave for one minute. Stir and let rest for a minute so that the flavors blend and the pudding sets up a bit.

 

Double Batch

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

2 large eggs

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons 3 carb/serving chocolate protein powder

 

Quadruple Batch

1 cup mascarpone cheese

4 large eggs

3/4 cup 3 carb/serving chocolate protein powder

Dessert Gluten Free Kid Friendly Low Carb Recipes

Apple Pie For Breakfast? Count Me In!

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custard

This dish is a nod to apple pie a la mode with it’s rich creamy texture spiked with the traditional apple pie spices.  I made this custard for Thanksgiving celebrations and have continued making it as it’s so healthy that we often eat it for breakfast.

I intended this to be a breakfast custard so it’s not as sweet as a dessert would be. You can of course add extra sweetener if you wish, or top with pureed berries. The apple pie spice (and surprisingly – the sea salt) helps to lend this dish a sweet flavor without adding extra sweetener.

You won’t want to make more than you can eat in two days. After that the custard starts to pull away from the sides of the dish and gets weepy (water starts to separate from the custard). You can however make a large batch of the custard and then bake it as you want it. Store it in a pitcher, give it a good stir when you’re ready to bake, and you’re good to go any morning you just gotta have a custard, although because of the long cooking time I usually bake this up the night before.

Ingredients

6 large eggs

2 packets Stevia or monk fruit

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon apple pie spice

5 cups half and half

dash of sea salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325° F if baking in one big dish or 350° F. F if baking in individual servings.

Whisk together (or buzz in blender) eggs, maple syrup, spice, salt, and vanilla. When blended, whisk in milk. Pour into an 8×8 baking dish or six custard cups. Sprinkle the top with a little more apple pie spice or cinnamon. Carefully set the dish(es) in a larger pan filled half way with hot water. Carefully place in oven so that no water spills into the custard cups. Bake the 8×8 pan at 325 degrees for 1 hour; bake cups at 350° F. degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Custard is done when a knife inserted off-center comes out clean. Serve warm or cold.

Family Friendly

Drizzle maple syrup over the top of each serving.

 

This recipe is calculated for six servings at 8.5 net carbs for each serving.

Low Carb

What Are Your Low Carb Can’t Do Without Recipes?

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low-carb-staple

The title is the essence of this post. I’m working on a new low carb book and I’d love to know what you consider your low carb basic, staple, or can’t-do-without recipes. Here are some of the one on my list:

  • Mashed Cauliflower – to sub for potatoes
  • Low Carb Pancakes
  • Low Carb Bread
  • Cheesecake
  • Cookies
  • Marinated Roasted Meat
  • Salad Dressing
  • Green Salad

Now obviously I have one recipe for each of the above, however you may have a different recipe and I’d love to know what you consider a can’t-do-without-low-carb-recipe. So I’m not asking for your recipe, just the title so I can get an idea of what you’re all drooling over. Let the comments begin!

 

Tips

How to Cure Cravings For Good

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death-by-chocolate

There’s nothing more frustrating than achieving a health or weight loss goal only to fall two steps back when you give into a craving. Wouldn’t you like to get rid of those traitorous cravings for good? These four tips, backed by research will give you just what you need to banish those cravings and keep them from sabotaging all your hard work.

Sweat It Out

“Aerobic exercise … strengthens the area of the brain responsible for dietary self-control,” says Peter Hall Ph.D His studies found that people with decreased activity levels craved more junk food.

Junk Food + Health Food = Satisfied

Serve yourself 1 part of the unhealthy item you’re craving and 3 parts of something healthy. For instance if you’re craving potato chips serve up 1/4 cup potato chips and 3/4 cup sugar snap peas, baby carrots or apple slices.

When You’re Really Hungry Eat Really Healthy

Studies show that what you eat when you’re REALLY hungry trains your brain to start to crave that food. So plan ahead for those times when you’re typically hungry such as a long day running errands, three hours after lunch … by having a healthy snack that you enjoy ready to grab.

Distract Yourself

Next time a craving hits distract yourself with a game that involves hand-eye coordinaation such as Candy Crush or Angry Birds. Just three minutes of game time will (this is a simplified explanation) crowd out the craving.
I kept the headline from each tip posted on my refrigerator for around a month, until they became second nature. Actually I had planned on keeping them posted indefinitely but after planning a dinner party I realized that I didn’t want to have to expose my guests to my junk food mantras so I took them down. I had intended to put them up again but found that I didn’t need to! Problem solved. Now if only I could come up with a solution for world peace :)

Beverages Gluten Free Low Calorie Low Carb Recipes

This Tea is NOT For Tea Totolars

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lemonade

There are two ways you can frame these beverages – a cup of tea that got kicked up a notch, or a healthy(er) cocktail. Some recipes are for single servings – hey, sometimes a girl’s just gotta take a break, and some are for a crowd. Either way, I hope you’ll enjoy this collection of low cal, low carb, gluten free, low sugar hot toddies as much as we have.

Apple Hot Toddy

Ingredients

1 chai or cinnamon-apple tea bag

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar (or a packet of Stevia or monk fruit)

3 tablespoons to 1/4 cup apple brandy

Instructions

Pour 3/4 cup water into a mug. Add tea bag. Microwave for two minutes, then remove from microwave.

While the tea is steeping add remaining ingredients. Remove tea bag after 2 to 5 minutes.

 

Lemon Vanilla Brandy

Basically all you need to do is heat up your lemonade and add brandy. I’ve included the recipe below in case you want to start from scratch or you want the extra flavor dimension of the honey and vanilla extract.

I almost forgot to mention that you can use whiskey or dark rum in place of the brandy. A flavored liquor would be a nice twist.

Ingredients

½ cup xylitol or honey

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (somewhere near 6 lemons)

5 cups water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup brandy (you can add more if you like, but taste it first)

 Instructions

Mix all ingredients and heat until hot, but don’t bring it to a boil. If you’re having a party you can put it in a slow cooker with a ladle for serving or in a thermos.

 

 

Chai Toddy

Ingredients

1 cup chai tea

1/4 cup heavy cream or nondairy milk

1/4 cup Kahlua, dark rum, or brandy

1 to 2 packets monk fruit, Stevia, or Splenda

Instructions

Mix all ingredients in a mug. Heat in microwave for one minute.

 

Now sit back, relax, and sip your “tea” :)