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” :)

 

Gluten Free High Protein Kid Friendly Low Carb Paleo Recipes

The Easiest Tastiest Breakfast EVER!

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egg-cups

I don’t know about you but I DO NOT WANT to spend any time in the kitchen in the morning, yet I’m not really into the usual suspects on the instant breakfast train – cold cereal with milk, instant oatmeal? No thank you. So I decided that it would be worth it to spend some time developing a make-ahead breakfast that I would actually look forward to. Enter the Egg Cup in all it’s many variations.

I started with a simple scrambled egg base which I can make up in big batches and then add different ingredients so that I’m not eating the same thing every morning. In one hour I can make up enough egg cups to keep me happy for a month! Now if you don’t think that’s the easiest breakfast EVER then you can go back to your bowl of cold cereal.

Each of the filling recipes makes enough for 6 cups.

 

Large Batch Egg Cup Base

Makes 29 egg cups.

15 large eggs (in my house these are going to be pasture raised organic eggs)

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk or heavy cream

1 & 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper (optional)

In a blender or large bowl with a pouring spout whisk everything together until well mixed.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Oil 29 muffin cups or cook in smaller batches.

Place the filling ingredients for whichever type of egg cup you’re making into the oiled muffin cups. If you’re able to work with 24 cups at once then you can easily divide the egg base evenly among the cups. If you’re working in smaller batches then pour in enough of the egg base to fill about 3/4 of each cup.

 

Small Batch Egg Cup Base

Makes 12 egg cups.

5 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a blender or large bowl with a pouring spout whisk everything together until well mixed.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Oil 12 muffin cups or cook in smaller batches.

Place the filling ingredients for whichever type of egg cup you’re making into the oiled muffin cups. If you’re able to work with 12 cups at once then you can easily divide the egg base evenly among the cups. If you’re working in smaller batches then pour in enough of the egg base to fill about 3/4 of each cup.

 

Smoked Salmon Cups

This makes enough for 6 egg cups.

3 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1 inch squares

3 ounces mascarpone, Neufchatel, or cream cheese, diced

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley

I don’t like to add another bowl to wash to my task list so I just divide the ingredients evenly amongst the muffin cups, however if you’re making more than six Salmon Cups it would probably be easier to mix all ingredients in a bowl and then divide amongst the muffin cups.  Top with egg base either evenly divided among the cups or filled to 3/4 of the cup. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until egg is puffed and golden.

Remove from pan and serve or cool, pack in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to one month.

 

Chorizo Cups

4 ounces chorizo, crumbled

1/4 cup diced roasted green chili, or roasted red or green bell pepper

1/2 cup cheddar, Jack, or pepper Jack, shredded

1/4 cup drained salsa

Divide ingredients individually or mix in a bowl and then divide amongst the muffin cups.   Top with egg base either evenly divided among the cups or filled to 3/4 of the cup. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until egg is puffed and golden.

Remove from pan and serve or cool, pack in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to one month.

 

Mushroom Cups

1/2 cup diced mushrooms

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup shredded white semi-soft cheese such as jack, Havarti, mozzarella, gouda …

Heat a small pan over medium high heat. When hot swirl some cooking oil into the pan. Add the onions to the pan and saute until translucent, about five minutes. Add mushrooms and saute until al dente. Divide vegetables among muffin cups, topping with shredded cheese and then egg base either evenly divided among the cups or filled to 3/4 of the cup. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until egg is puffed and golden.

Remove from pan and serve or cool, pack in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to one month.

Gluten Free Low Carb Paleo

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

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bacon-wrapped-pork

This is one of the recipes from “14 Days – 14 Pounds – Phase 2 Low Carb Menus with Recipes”.

Everything’s better with bacon, don’t you agree? Really I could have just made this book a series of meat wrapped with bacon with sides of veggies wrapped in bacon and we would have all been happy.

When wrapping something in bacon be sure to use pork bacon, not turkey bacon. You need the fat and flexibility of the pork. Believe me, I’ve tried to make turkey bacon work and it just doesn’t. It really doesn’t.

Ingredients

1-pound pork tenderloin

1 teaspoon steak seasoning

3 bacon slices, cut in half crosswise

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425°.

Lightly oil a wire rack and set inside a foil-lined roasting pan.

Remove the silver skin from the tenderloin, leaving the thin layer of fat. Sprinkle seasoning over pork on both sides. I find it works well to sprinkle half the seasoning on a plate and lay the tenderloin on top of the seasoning. Then sprinkle the remaining seasoning on top of the pork. Pat the pork to press the seasoning into it. Wrap pork with bacon and secure with wooden picks. Place pork on wire rack in roasting pan.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of pork registers 155 degrees. Once it reaches 155 degrees, increase oven temperature to broil. Broil 5 inches from heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Remove from oven; cover with foil, and let stand 10 minutes before slicing into 4 portions.

Gluten Free High Protein Low Carb Paleo

Sicilian Pork Tenderloin

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garlic-pork

This recipe is for two pork tenderloins but is easy to multiply to make as many pork tenderloins as you need. I’ve often made up a quadruple batch and frozen three portions to cook up later.

Ingredients

two 1 & 1/2 pound pork tenderloin

4 minced cloves of garlic

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

sea salt

black pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut several 1/2 inch deep slits into each pork tenderloin.

In a small bowl mix remaining ingredients. Stuff the garlic mixture into the slits. Season each tenderloin with a large pinch of salt and pepper. Oil a foil lined baking pan, casserole dish, or cast iron baking pan. Place tenderloins in pan and roast for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into center of meat registers 145 degrees F.

Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

 

High Protein Kid Friendly Recipes

BBQ Beer Chicken

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beer-bqe-chicken

My absolutely favorite way to cook chicken is slow cooked in a flavorful liquid. This doesn’t always have to be done in a slow cooker, but it does make dinner a lot easier.

This isn’t a picky dish; you can use breasts, thighs, or a cut up whole chicken. You can leave the skin on or off. It can be bone in or boneless. You can use pasta sauce in place of the barbecue sauce and if you use pasta sauce you can use red or white wine in place of the beer. You can even add more veggies to the pot. Any type of beer works except a bitter beer such as an IPA.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon cooking oil

4 pounds chicken breasts, thighs, or a combo

2 medium onions

1 cup beer

1 & 1/2 cups sugar-free or low carb barbeque sauce

Instructions

Mix beer and barbecue sauce in 5-quart slow cooker bowl.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown on both sides. As each batch is browned, place in slow cooker.

While chicken is cooking cut onions into wedges leaving each wedge attached at the root so it doesn’t fall apart while cooking.

When chicken is all in the slow cooker, give everything a stir to coat with sauce. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Kid Friendly Recipes Starches Vegan Vegetarian

Quinoa Burritos

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quinoa-burritoes

Not all UnDieters are following Paleo or Low Carb so I wanted to give you all one of my favorite burrito recipes. Vegans can forgo the cheese and this will still be a delicious recipe. As with most of my recipes there are many variations which I’ll share with you at the end after the basic recipe.

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa

2 cups chopped vegetables such as zucchini, onions, or bell peppers, or a mix

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

one 15 ounce can black, pinto, or kidney beans

2 cups tomato salsa or salsa verde

8 whole wheat tortillas

1t o 2 cups shredded cheddar, pepper Jack, or Mexican cheese blend

Instructions

Rinse quinoa well. Drain and place in a saucepan with 2 cups of water, paprika, vegetables and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Stir in beans and 1 cup salsa. Place one tortilla in an oiled baking dish. Fill with 1 cup of the quinoa mixture. Fold over. Continue filling and folding tortillas until all 8 tortillas are filled. Top with 1 cup of salsa and the cheese. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until hot and bubbling.

Vegan Variation

Use soy cheese in place of the cheese or just eliminate the cheese altogether.

Spice Change Up

Change up the paprika with taco seasoning or fajita seasoning.

Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic to the quinoa while boiling it.

For really cheesy burritos add 1 cup cheese to the quinoa mixture before rolling it up in the tortillas. You’ll have extra filling left over which you can set aside for another meal or just use a couple extra tortillas.

Top It Off

After removing from the oven garnish with chopped avocado, sour cream, sliced green onion, chopped roasted green chilies, sliced olives, chopped red onion …

Gluten Free High Protein Low Carb Paleo Recipes

Slow Cooker Beef Mole

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mole-stew

This slow cooker dish is so satisfying on a cold winter night. Put everything together after lunch and you’re kitchen will smell amazing by dinner time. Whoever thought of putting chocolate and beef together deserves to take a bow to a standing ovation and come back for an encore. Mole is generally a complicated and time consuming process; this is a pared down version that still has a rich and complex flavor. I especially love that there’s no need to brown the beef prior to adding to the slow cooker.

Ingredients

4 cups beef or veal broth

2 tablespoons diced jalapenos or smoked chipotle peppers

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces

1 cup chopped onions

2 tablespoons taco or fajita seasoning mix

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

Instructions

In a five quart slow cooker stir together broth, jalapeno, tomato paste, garlic, seasoning, oregano, chile powder, and cinnamon. Add beef and onion and stir to combine.

Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours. Add the chocolate during the last hour of cooking.

Before serving, stir and garnish with your favorite taco toppings.

Note: I served this dish at a Mexican themed potluck, which is why you see white flour tortillas in the background.

Gluten Free Low Calorie Low Carb Paleo Vegetarian

Caulitillas – The Low Carb, Gluten Free, Paleo, Grain Free Tortilla

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cauliflower-tortilla

I didn’t invent this recipe, although I have improved it, expanded it, varied it, twisted it and generally taken it to outer space and back.

I never liked the extra work of wringing out the hot cauliflower. I always burned my hands, the cloth I used had bits of cauliflower clinging to it and consequently I had a mess to clean up just from the process of wringing the water out of the cauliflower. So I add 1 tablespoon coconut flour for every head of cooked cauliflower. It sops up the water and doesn’t affect the taste or the texture. Don’t you love a simple solution?

If you don’t have cooked riced cauliflower on hand, then after ricing an entire head of cauliflower place it in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir and microwave for 2 more minutes. Let cool enough so that it doesn’t cook the egg when you stir it in.

If you don’t know how to make riced cauliflower it’s really easy. Just trim and cut a head of cauliflower into florets. Cut the florets in half so that each piece is no bigger than 1 inch square. Place half the florets in a food processor and pulse until you have a fine texture similar to bread crumbs. Dump into a microwave safe bowl and pulse the other half of the cauliflower.

Save the cauliflower stump to make a salad. Just shred it on a box grater into a bowl. Use your hands to wring out the water and mix it use it in place of shredded cabbage in a salad.

Some readers have asked if they can substitute almond flour for the coconut flour and the answer is no. The almond meal won’t absorb the water. I haven’t tried using soy flour, tapioca starch or arrowroot flour but I assume they would work fine.

Caulitillas can be used in place of lasagna noodles, corn tortillas when making enchilidas, as taco shells, for quesadillas, with a little cinnamon and sugar as pancakes, as bread for a grilled cheese sandwich. They are almost endlessly versatile. Try adding herbs and spices for a different flavor experience. I’ll suggest a few but you really can’t go wrong adding whatever seasoning you like to these.

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon taco or fajita seasoning

1 teaspoon cumin or mix of cumin and coriander

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon lemon, lime or orange zest

1 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of stevia or monk fruit

1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

pinch cayenne pepper or chili flakes

1 teaspoon oregano

up to ½ cup fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil, sage, mint or dill

If after making this the first time it has too much of a cauliflower taste, you can add up to 2 cups of shredded cheese to the recipe.

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower riced and cooked

2 eggs

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon coconut flour

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir together warm or cold cauliflower, eggs and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Use a quarter or half cup to scoop out onto parchment paper. Use your hands to pat each portion into a thin circle. They can be anywhere from so thin you can almost see through them to ¼ inch thick.

Place in oven for eight to ten minutes, until the underside is cooked enough that you can carefully peel them from the parchment paper and flip them. Return to the oven for five minutes. Remove from oven and do one of three things: cool and store in fridge or freezer with squares of parchment paper between them, or if you’ll be using them right away, lightly oil a heavy bottomed skillet set over medium high heat and cook the tortillas until the outside is browned and slightly crispy. Turn and brown the other side. No matter how you store them, be sure to brown them before eating them. You could also brown them before storing them in the fridge or freezer.