Friday, September 15, 2017

Low Carb Pumpkin Spice Bagels (Gluten free, Sugar free)

Low Carb Pumpkin Bagels
Lately, I've been experimenting with low carb bagel recipes and landed on one I really like from the Low Carb Maven (click here for the recipe). It's good and chewy like a bagel should be but, because of its distinct cheese flavor (which is delicious!), I think it's best served with a savory spread, cream cheese or butter. In keeping with the season, this morning I had a craving for a pumpkin bagel, so I went to work. I needed to tone down the cheesy flavor with pumpkin and ramp up the spice, all while keeping the dense and chewy texture of a traditional bagel. This recipe definitely is a winner! I recommend splitting and toasting the bagel before serving for the best result. The slightly sweet cream cheese spread is the perfect companion that further draws attention to the pumpkin and warm spices. All you need to add is a cup of coffee or tea to enjoy a truly wonderful breakfast!

Low Carb Pumpkin Spice Bagels (Gluten free, Sugar free)
Makes 6 bagels

Bagel Dough:

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup gluten free oat fiber (not oat flour, or sub coconut flour)
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda (or 2 teaspoons baking powder)
2 tablespoons unflavored whey protein powder
2 tablespoons powdered erythritol (I used Swerve Confectioners)
1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
2 ounces full-fat cream cheese
1 large egg
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine, no sugar added)

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread:

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons creamy almond butter (no sugar added)
1 tablespoon powdered erythritol
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1. To make the bagels, whisk together the almond flour, oat fiber, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda (or baking powder), whey protein powder and 2 tablespoons erythritol in a medium bowl; set aside.

2. Place the mozzarella cheese and 2 ounces of cream cheese into a microwaveable safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and microwave again for 15-30 seconds. Pour the melted cheese mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Add the egg and 1/4 cup pumpkin puree and process until smooth. Add the dry ingredients all at once and process until a dough forms. It will be sticky. Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap or plate, shape into a thick log about 8-inches long and place into the freezer to cool briefly for easier handling.

3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

4. When the oven is preheated, remove the bagel dough from the freezer and divide into six equal pieces. Lightly oil hands and roll each portion into a snake shape, form into a ring and pinch together the ends to seal. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until nicely browned. Let the bagels cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, they can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. To enjoy, split and toast the bagels before serving. 

5. To make the cream cheese spread: Place all of the spread ingredients into a medium bowl and whip with a hand mixer until well combined and fluffy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes about 1 cup. Serving size is 2 tablespoons.

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread
Nutritional Information per bagel (based on 6 per recipe, no topping): 268 calories, 13.5 g carbohydrates (8 g dietary fiber, 1.8 g sugars, 5 g sugar alcohols), 21.3 g total fat (6.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 53 mg cholesterol, 381 mg sodium, 215.4 mg calcium, 243 mg potassium, 1868 mg Vit A, 1 mg iron, 14 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 5.5 grams

Nutritional Information Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread (2 TB serving): 126 calories, 2.1 g carbohydrates (0.6 g dietary fiber, 0.9 g sugars, 1.9 g sugar alcohols), 12.1 g total fat (6.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 37 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium, 22.1 mg calcium, 9 mg potassium, 722 mg Vit A, 1.9 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 1.5 grams.

Recipe and photos by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author's permission.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Sweet-Tart Lemon Blueberry Donuts (low carb, gluten free)

Sweet-Tart Lemon Blueberry Donuts
When I make something with lemon, I don't kid around! I like its mouth-puckering, bright flavor and this recipe doesn't disappoint. Combined with the sweetness of the blueberries, it's a flavorful morning eye-opener. It's actually the glaze that gives this donut its tart punch so, if you're wishing for a gentle lemon flavor, you can opt out and eat it plain. I recently purchased my last pint of locally grown, organic Maine blueberries of the season and thought this would be a great way to showcase them and I was right. You can use frozen, but be sure to purchase the very small wild berry (lowbush variety) so they'll be evenly distributed and enjoyed in every bite. As I look out my window and already see a few red, orange and gold leaves on the trees, this last sweet taste of summer is a special treat that will carry me into the cool weeks ahead.

Sweet-Tart Lemon Blueberry Donuts (Low Carb, Gluten Free)
Makes 6 donuts (more or less, depending on your pan)

1/2 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated erythritol (I used LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
1 tablespoon unflavored whey protein powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1/8 teaspoon lemon extract (optional, but adds more lemon flavor)
Zest from one lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
3 tablespoons lowbush wild Maine blueberries, fresh or frozen (small berry size, Wyman's is a good frozen brand)

Lemon Glaze:

1/4 cup powdered erythritol (I used Swerve Confectioners)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. For the donuts, lightly grease a donut pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, erythritol, stevia, whey protein powder, baking powder, and salt.

2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, lemon juice, water, extract and zest. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until well combined. Very gently fold in the blueberries until well distributed throughout the batter. (If using frozen, do not thaw to minimize turning the batter purple.)

3. Fill donut pan holes approximately 2/3 to 3/4 full (do not overfill). Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the donuts are browned on the edges and spring back when touched. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

4. For the glaze, whisk together in a shallow bowl the powdered erythritol and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice until smooth. If too thin, add a little bit of erythritol. If too thick, add a few drops of lemon juice at a time and whisk until the desired consistency is reached.

5. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the lemon glaze. (Be sure to hold the donuts gently and carefully when glazing because they may be delicate. The distribution of the berries might have created some weak spots and you don't want them breaking apart.) Place the glazed donuts on a wire rack for a few minutes until the glaze is set. If there is any glaze leftover, place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for a later use.

Nutritional Information per donut (based on six per recipe): 111 calories, 6.7 g carbohydrate (1.6 g dietary fiber, 1.1 g sugars, 8 g sugar alcohols), 9.5 g total fat (3.2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 41 mg cholesterol, 93 mg sodium, 29.9 mg calcium, 97 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 168 mg Vit A, 3.7 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 5.1 grams

Recipe and photo by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author's permission.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Low Carb Maine Crab Au Gratin

Maine Crab Au Gratin
Years ago, one of my favorite restaurants was Downeast Village in Yarmouth, Maine. They featured many Maine specialities and their dining room was warm and inviting, often with a roaring fire blazing in the huge, brick fireplace. Sadly, they have closed, but I will never forget my favorite meal there: Maine Crab Au Gratin! Creamy, cheesy, decadent and so rich, it was a special occasion meal. It's perfectly low carb and keto, so I thought I'd recreate it at home this year for my birthday dinner. This easy main dish is every bit as good as I remember!

Low Carb Maine Crab Au Gratin
Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons butter
A pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Thick-It-Up (or xanthan gum)
1/4 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
White or black pepper to taste
3-4 cups real crabmeat (not imitation), about 16 oz.
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. In a saucepan, combine the butter, salt, dry mustard powder, cream, coconut milk and Worcestershire sauce. Stir over low heat until the butter is melted and the ingredients are combined. Slowly sprinkle in the Thick-It-Up (or xanthan gum) while whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Stir in the cheddar cheese until melted and no lumps remain. Add the pepper and crabmeat and stir until the crabmeat is well coated. Transfer the crab mixture to a 2-quart baking dish or divide into four individual ramekins. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. (For convenience, you can refrigerate the casserole at this point and bake it later.) Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until the casserole is bubbling and the Parmesan cheese begins to brown. Serve piping hot! 

Nutritional Information per serving: 304 calories, 1.4 g carbohydrate (0 g dietary fiber, 0.6 g sugars), 21.3 g total fat (13.6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 154 mg cholesterol, 599 mg sodium, 195.5 mg calcium, 39 mg potassium, 499 mg Vit A, 26.8 g protein. 

Recipe and photo by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All Rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author's permission. 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Low Carb, Gluten Free Autumn Recipes


When the mornings and evenings start getting cooler and the first kick-off of football season as occurred, I begin to experience cravings for the warm and comforting foods of autumn. I've been browsing through my recipe file and here are a few links to some of my favorite main dishes and treats to usher in the season. 

Main Dishes

One Pan Autumn Chicken Dinner from Cooking Classy with a Sprinkle of Fancy

Low Carb Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole from bunsinmyoven.com

Original Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Casserole. Recipe by George Stella

Pulled Pork and Zoodles
Pulled Pork and Zoodles from the Comfort Bites Blog

Salmon in Cream from Salmon Recipes Old and New

Turkey Saltimbocca Meatballs
Turkey Saltimbocca Meatballs. Recipe by Melissa Sevigny from ibreatheimhungry.com

Rainbow Chili by Kathy from Diabetics Rejoice blog

Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta. Recipe by Gina Homolka from skinnytaste.com

Autumn Treats

Baked Cinnamon Spice Granola
Baked Cinnamon Spice Grain-Free, Low Carb Granola. Recipe by Kathy from Diabetics Rejoice blog

Keto Pumpkin Spice Donuts from ketosizeme.com

Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse. Recipe by Brenda from sugarfreemom.com

Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Glaze
Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Glaze. Recipe by Carolyn from alldayidreamaboutfood.com

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds. Recipe by Diabetic Living from diabeticlivingonline.com

Bulletproof Pumpkin Misto. Recipe by Kathy from Diabetics Rejoice blog

Low Carb Apple Fritters
Low Carb Apple Fritters from forestandfauna.com


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mini Banana Pie Chia Pudding Parfait

Parfait
You usually don't think of a banana as being low carb because it's such a high-sugar fruit. But you can enjoy them in a very small amount, such as in this parfait, without overdoing your carb limit for the day. Chia pudding resembles tapioca in texture, but it's easier to prepare and has more nutrition, plus it's an excellent source of healthy Omega 3 fat and fiber. I love banana pudding and pie, so I set out to recreate the flavors in this recipe! It requires a couple of steps, but each is very simple and can be made ahead, if needed. The "pie crust" crumbles really give this parfait it's banana pie texture and flavor, so don't skip this step. You have the choice of topping with plain, unsweetened yogurt laced with vanilla or whipped cream, depending on the total amount of carbs in your eating plan. I like the yogurt version for breakfast! So, whether you start your day with this mini parfait or enjoy it for dessert, you can feel good about giving your family this special treat!

Mini Banana Pie Chia Pudding Parfait
Makes 8 small servings

Chia Pudding Layer:

1/4 cup whole chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon banana extract
1 cup full-fat coconut milk (I used A-Roy D brand)
6-8 drops liquid Stevia, or to taste (I used Sweetleaf brand)

Pie Crust Layer:

1/3 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon erythritol sweetener or 1/4 tsp stevia powder
A pinch of salt
2 teaspoons butter or coconut oil, melted

1/2 of a very small banana, cut into eight slices (a 3-inch length)

Yogurt or Cream Layer:

1-1/2 cups plain, unsweetened whole milk yogurt or 3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped (or whipped coconut cream for dairy free)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6-8 drops liquid Stevia, or to taste

1. Make the chia seed pudding: In a small bowl, mix the chia seeds and cinnamon. In a measuring cup or separate bowl, mix together the coconut milk, extracts and stevia drops. Pour the coconut milk mixture over the chia seed mixture and stir vigorously with a fork, making sure all the chia seeds are incorporated and submerged in the coconut milk. Set aside to allow the pudding to absorb the liquid and thicken, about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the pie crust layer: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sweetener and salt. Stir in the melted butter until the dough comes together and resembles coarse crumbs. Turn out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Press down with your fingers to flatten into a 1/8-inch thick circle or oval (the shape doesn't matter). Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden brown, about 13-15 minutes. Watch carefully because the edges can burn quickly! Allow crust to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove parchment paper or silicone mat to a wire rack to cool completely (keep crust on the paper or mat to prevent crumbling). When cooled, break the crust into small, bite-size pieces; set aside.

Pie Crust Layer
3. Make the yogurt or whipped cream layer: Mix together the plain, unsweetened yogurt with the vanilla extract and stevia drops to taste; set aside. (Or whip the heavy cream until semi-stiff. Add the vanilla and stevia and gently fold until well combined; set aside.)

4. Assemble the parfaits: Use a spoon to divide the chia pudding mixture between eight small jars or dessert shot glasses (about 2 TB each). Place one slice of banana on top of the chia layer. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the pie crust crumbles on top of the banana (reserve some crumbs for garnish). Divide the yogurt (or whipped cream) evenly among the dessert cups. Sprinkle with the remaining pie crust crumbs. Eat immediately or cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Place banana on chia layer
Nutritional Information per serving (made with yogurt): 128 calories, 7.3 g carbohydrate (2.1 g dietary fiber, 3.7 g sugars, 0.5 g sugar alcohols), 9.6 g total fat (4.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 10 mg cholesterol, 39 mg sodium, 90.2 mg calcium, 106 mg potassium, 79 mg Vit A, 1 mg Vit C, 3.7 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 5.1 grams

Nutritional Information per serving (made with whipped cream): 201 calories, 5.7 g carbohydrate (2.1 g dietary fiber, 1.5 g sugars, 0.5 g sugar alcohols), 19 g total fat (10.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 44 mg cholesterol, 27 mg sodium, 53.4 mg calcium, 52 mg potassium, 444 mg Vit A, 1 mg Vit C, 2.6 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 3.6 grams


Recipe and photos by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author's permission.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Chocolate-Covered Blueberries Smoothie


Right now the wild Maine blueberries are in season and abundant in the local stores and Farmer's Markets. On my low carb/high healthy fat/moderate protein diet (LCHF) I don't eat a lot of fruit, but these tiny sapphire jewels are carb-worthy in my opinion, so I indulge in a couple of pints every summer while they're fresh. I am picky about my berries though and only buy organic. This morning I made a smoothie with one of my favorite flavor combinations. This smoothie is packed with antioxidants from both the raw cacao and the berries, not to mention the fiber and other goodness from the freshly-picked kale from my garden! The deep, dark purple color is both pleasing to the eye and lets me know that this is a nutrient-dense, healthy way to start my day. Cheers!

Chocolate-Covered Blueberries Smoothie
Makes 1 adult-size serving (or 2 child-size servings)

1/2 cup plain unsweetened kefir or yogurt
1/4 cup organic blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup coconut milk or almond milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened raw cacao or cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cacao nibs (optional, but adds an additional depth of chocolate flavor)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon stevia powder to taste (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
2-3 kale leaves, roughly chopped (or substitute 1/2 cup any leafy green)
1/2 tablespoon collagen hydrolysate (or your favorite protein powder)
1 pinch of sea or pink Himalayan salt
1 tablespoon coconut or flax oil (healthy fat keeps you fuller for longer)
4-5 ice cubes
Water, if needed, to achieve desired consistency

Place all of the ingredients in your blender and blend on high speed until smooth.

Nutritional Information per entire recipe: 282 calories, 20 g carbohydrate, 12 g dietary fiber, 13 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 8 grams

Recipe and photo by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author's permission. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Low Carb Creamy Coleslaw


Sometimes I forget about coleslaw, but it's really the perfect side dish for a cookout, family gathering, picnic or potluck. It's so quick and easy to throw together, it's a shame that I don't make it often. With the help of a food processor, I can shred my own cabbage and carrot in minutes, but you can use a bag of prepackaged coleslaw mix, if you prefer. This recipe is super creamy with just the right amount of tang from the apple cider vinegar. Replace the sugar in a traditional recipe with erythritol or stevia and you have a delicious, low carb coleslaw the whole family will love.

Low Carb Creamy Coleslaw
Makes about 8 servings

1 small head green cabbage, shredded
1 small carrot, finely shredded

Dressing Ingredients:

2/3 cup mayonnaise 
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons minced onion
1-2 tablespoons powdered erythritol, to taste (I used Swerve Confectioners)
1.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine the shredded cabbage and carrot in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Add to the cabbage mixture and stir to coat the cabbage. (Use only the amount of dressing needed to coat the slaw mix. You may have some leftover dressing, which can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.) Mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or sweetener if desired. Refrigerate for 45 minutes or more to allow the flavors to blend.

Nutritional Information per serving (about 1/2 cup): 155 calories, 6.4 g carbohydrate (2 g dietary fiber, 3.5 g sugars, 1.9 g sugar alcohols), 14.5 g total fat (2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 8 mg cholesterol, 236 mg sodium, 48 mg calcium, 246 mg potassium, 1230 mg Vit A, 1 mg iron, 1.5 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 4.4 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Do not duplicate without the author's permission.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Dark Chocolate Coconut Donuts (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Low Carb)


Donuts, donuts and more donuts! I made these as a dessert for a special friend who is on a very restricted low-carb diet, so they're dairy free, gluten free and extremely low in sugar (you could make them completely sugar-free by using sugar-free chocolate chips, such as Lily's brand). I attempted to mimic the flavors of a popular dark chocolate coconut candy bar, and I believe I succeeded! Be sure to lightly toast the unsweetened coconut before sprinkling over the top to bring out its naturally sweet and nutty flavor. Go ahead and have one! It's okay to go cuckoo for coconut...and chocolate!

Dark Chocolate Coconut Donuts
Makes 6 donuts (more or less, depending on your pan)

1/2 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons granulated erythritol (I used LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
3/4 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
5-6 drops liquid stevia (coconut flavor or regular)
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk

Chocolate Glaze and Topping:

2 ounces 85% or higher dark chocolate, chopped (I used 16 squares from a Green and Black bar)
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
A pinch of salt
1-1/2 tablespoons toasted unsweetened shredded coconut for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a donut baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, erythritol, stevia, baking powder and salt. Stir with a fork until no lumps remain.

2. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, stevia drops and coconut milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk with a fork until well combined and batter is smooth.

3. Fill holes of the donut pan 2/3 to 3/4 full (do not overfill). Bake for 18 minutes or until set and donuts spring back when touched. Remove from oven and allow the donuts to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before flipping them onto a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, toast the unsweetened shredded coconut in a small skillet over low heat, stirring often, until the coconut begins to brown and becomes fragrant. Then immediately remove from the heat to prevent burning and pour in a bowl. Set aside to cool.

4. For the glaze, place the chopped chocolate into a heat-proof bowl; set aside. Place coconut milk and salt into a small saucepan and heat until simmering (or microwave in 10-15 second intervals until it begins to boil). Add the hot coconut milk to the chopped chocolate. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before whisking until the mixture is smooth.

5. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the chocolate mixture. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut. Place the glazed donuts on a wire rack to cool until the chocolate is set.

Note: How many donuts you get will depend on the size of your donut pan. You will have plenty of extra glaze leftover (this recipe will glaze about a dozen donuts or more). Place leftover glaze into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator to glaze other donuts later or to use as a drizzle over fresh berries. Heat gently to restore to a liquid consistency.

Nutritional Information per donut (based on six per recipe): 179 calories, 8.3 g carbohydrates (2.6 g dietary fiber, 1.3 g sugars, 4 g sugar alcohols), 15.4 g total fat (8.4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 31 mg cholesterol, 87 mg sodium, 89.2 mg calcium, 80 mg potassium, 3 mg iron, 45 mg Vit A, 4.3 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 5.7 grams

Recipe by Kathryn Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author's permission. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Cherry Cream Donuts with Dark Chocolate Glaze (Low Carb, Gluten Free)


I've been having way too much fun with my new donut baking pan! Yesterday I picked up some beautiful, organic fresh cherries and this recipe magically appeared in my mind. These donuts are reminiscent of the chocolate-covered cherries my grandmother used to love, so this recipe is dedicated to Gaga. The choice of chocolate for the glaze is important to keep the carb count down, so look for a very dark chocolate bar. My favorite brand is Green and Black's Organic 85% Cacao. Also, because cherries are higher in carb and must be limited, chop the few cherries called for in this recipe into small pieces so you will enjoy their sweet flavor in every bite. 

Cherry Cream Donuts with Dark Chocolate Glaze
Makes 6 donuts (more or less, depending on your pan)

1/2 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon granulated erythritol (I used LaKanto Monkfruit Sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
1 tablespoon unflavored whey protein powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons heavy cream (or full-fat coconut milk)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 fresh cherries, pitted and finely chopped

Chocolate Glaze:
2 ounces 85% or higher dark chocolate (I used 16 squares from a Green and Black bar)
1/4 cup heavy cream
A pinch of salt

1. For the donuts, lightly grease a donut pan and preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, erythritol, stevia powder, whey protein powder, baking powder and salt until no lumps remain. Stir in the melted butter, egg, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Whisk until the batter is well combined and smooth. Fold in chopped cherries until well distributed.

3. Fill donut pan holes approximately 2/3 to 3/4 full (do not overfill) and bake for 16-18 minutes or until donuts are lightly browned and set. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

4. For the glaze, place the heavy cream and salt in a small saucepan and heat until just simmering (or microwave in 10-15 second intervals until it is hot and just begins to boil). Meanwhile, chop the chocolate and place into a small, heat-proof bowl. Add the hot cream to the chocolate and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before whisking until the mixture is smooth and no lumps remain. 

5. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the chocolate mixture.* Place the glazed donuts on a wire rack to cool until the chocolate glaze is set.

*Note: You will have plenty of extra glaze leftover (this recipe will glaze about a dozen or more regular-sized donuts). Place leftover glaze in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator to glaze other donuts or to drizzle over fresh berries. Heat gently to restore glaze to a liquid consistency.

Nutritional Information per donut (based on six per recipe): 173 calories, 7.3 g carbohydrate (2.1 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugars, 2.7 g sugar alcohols), 15.4 g total fat (6.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 58 mg cholesterol, 126 mg sodium, 90.9 mg calcium, 107 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 197 mg Vit A, 4.4 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 5.2 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without author's permission.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Cinnamon Donuts with White Chocolate-Vanilla Glaze


Muffins are good, but donuts are FUN! Maybe it's the hole in the middle or the perception that you're eating a forbidden food. No matter the reason, you can fit these delicious, sugar free donuts into your low carb lifestyle.

Cinnamon Donuts with White Chocolate-Vanilla Glaze
Makes 6 donuts (more or less, depending on your donut pan)

1/2 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons coconut flour
1 tablespoon granulated erythritol (I used Golden LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
1 tablespoon unflavored whey protein powder
1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea or pink Himalayan salt
1-1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons heavy cream or almond milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze Ingredients:

2 ounces unsweetened cocoa butter (24 discs)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
A pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 tablespoons powdered erythritol to taste (I used Swerve Confectioners)
1/2 ounce cream cheese, room temperature 

1. Lightly grease a donut pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, erythritol, stevia powder, whey protein powder, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Stir in melted butter, egg, cream or almond milk and vanilla extract. Whisk to create a smooth batter.

2. Fill each donut hole in the tin 2/3 full (do not overfill) and bake for 15-18 minutes or until donuts are lightly brown and set. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then flip onto a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.


3. For the Glaze: Place the cocoa butter, heavy cream and salt in a small saucepan and heat until cocoa butter is melted (or microwave in 10-15 second intervals). Whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in cream cheese and whisk until well combined and no lumps remain (if desired, you may use a handheld mixer). Add erythritol to taste and vanilla extract, whisk together and pour into a shallow bowl.

4. The glaze will be thin, but will thicken as it cools. To hasten the process, place the glaze into the refrigerator for 5 minutes, whisk and continue cooling in intervals until the desired consistency is reached. (As the glaze thickens, it might become spreadable like frosting, which is an option too.)

5. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the glaze. Place on a wire rack to cool until the glaze is set.

Note: You will have some glaze leftover. Place it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Use it to glaze other donuts or to use as a drizzle over fresh berries. Heat gently to restore to a liquid consistency.

Nutritional Information per donut (based on six per recipe): 156 calories, 5.3 g carbohydrates (1.8 g dietary fiber, 0.7 g sugars, 5.8 g sugar alcohols), 14.9 g total fat (6.3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 45 mg cholesterol, 136 mg sodium, 77 mg calcium, 88 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 197 mg Vit A, 4 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 3.5 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author's permission. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Best Low Carb Vanilla Cream Scones

Best Low Carb Vanilla Cream Scones
Low carb, gluten free scone recipes made from almond flour abound on the internet. I've found them to be too dense and heavy, almost too rich for my tastes. So, I set out to make a scone that's lighter in texture, with a subtle flavor that doesn't overpower...in other words, the perfect scone for a traditional English tea. A cream tea is a speciality of Devon and Cornwall counties and is a form of afternoon tea consisting of scones, clotted cream and jam. The true stars of this delightful past time are the clotted cream and jam, so the scone is actually just a vehicle to get these yummies from the plate to your mouth! The coconut flour imparts a softer, more delicate texture than you can get using almond flour alone and, for that reason, I think these are the best scones I've ever made. They are slightly sweet with a subtle vanilla flavor that is perfect for hosting your very own cream tea.

Best Low Carb Vanilla Cream Scones
Makes 8 scones

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons granular erythritol sweetener (I used LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
3/4 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (reduce to a pinch if using salted butter)
5 tablespoons very cold butter (unsalted preferred), cut into cubes
1/2 cup heavy cream (or full-fat coconut milk)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Plus coconut flour for dusting board

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients until well mixed. Add cubed butter and, with a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into the dry ingredients until it is coarse, pea-size crumbs.

3. In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the eggs, cream and vanilla extract until thick and well combined. Add to the dry ingredients and stir quickly with a fork to combine thoroughly. Allow the batter sit for a few minutes until the coconut flour absorbs the liquid and a soft dough forms.

4. Dust a board or your countertop lightly with coconut flour. With a rubber spatula or your hands, gather the dough into a ball and put it onto the board.  Lightly dust the top of the dough with more coconut flour. Using your hand, pat and shape the dough into a 6-inch circle that is about 3/4-inch thick. Try not to overwork the dough. Cut evenly into 8 wedges (like you're cutting a pie) and place the wedges on the prepared baking sheet, being sure to allow space between each wedge because the dough with puff a bit while baking. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the bottoms and outer edges are golden brown and the tops are just beginning to brown.

5. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve at room temperature with clotted cream or butter and sugar free jam (here is a good recipe: https://www.lowcarbmaven.com/low-carb-sugar-free-strawberry-jelly/). Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Best Low Carb Vanilla Cream Scones 
Nutritional Information per serving (1 scone, no toppings): 206 calories, 8 g carbohydrate (3.3 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugars, 3 g sugar alcohols), 18.4 g total fat (9.6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 86 mg cholesterol, 238 mg sodium, 101.5 mg calcium, 83 mg potassium, 508 mg Vit A, 4.5 g protein. Net Carbs per serving: 4.7 grams.

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author's permission. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Double Chocolate Donuts (Gluten Free and Low Carb)

Double Chocolate Donuts 
A couple of weeks ago, I bought a donut pan and am now having fun making and eating low carb, gluten free donuts! The best part is that they're so good, the whole family is enjoying my baking efforts. They are particularly delicious with a cup of coffee! For Father's Day, I made these chocolate donuts dipped in a rich and decadent chocolate ganache glaze for my chocoholic hubbie. We had some for breakfast, then topped them with homemade sugar free ice cream for dessert later. Donut sundaes are a delightful way to end a celebratory meal!

Double Chocolate Donuts
Makes 12 donuts (more or less, depending on your donut pan)

1-1/4 cups almond flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons granulated erythritol (I used LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
3/4 teaspoon stevia powder (I used SweetLeaf brand)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan or sea salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 drops stevia (I used SweetLeaf brand)
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons water

Chocolate Glaze:

2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (70% cacao or higher)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
A pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a donut pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, cocoa powder, erythritol, stevia, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir with a fork and break up any lumps. In another small bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter or coconut oil, vanilla, stevia drops, 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream and water. Add egg mixture to almond flour mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined and batter is smooth.

3. Fill each cavity of the donut baking pan 2/3 full (do not overfill). Bake for 18 minutes or until set and the donuts spring back when touched. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes and then flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.

4. While the donuts are cooling, make the glaze. Place 1/4 cup heavy cream and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan and heat until just simmering (or microwave in 15 second intervals until it just begins to boil). Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before whisking until the mixture is smooth.

5. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the chocolate mixture. Place the glazed donuts on a wire rack to cool until the chocolate glaze is set. (You will most likely have some chocolate ganache glaze leftover. Save it in an airtight container. It makes excellent hot fudge sauce!)

Donut Sundae 
Nutritional Information per donut (based on recipe making 12 donuts): 165 calories, 7.6 g carbohydrate (2.7 g dietary fiber, 1.2 g sugars, 3 g sugar alcohols), 14.9 g total fat (6.3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 41 mg cholesterol, 177 mg sodium, 93.2 mg calcium, 135 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 155 mg Vit A, 5 mg caffeine, 4.7 g protein. Net carbs per donut: 4.9 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without author's permission.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Triple Butter Caramel Pecan Fat Bombs

Triple Butter Caramel Pecan Fat Bomb
On my low carb/high healthy fat (LCHF) Keto diet, Fat Bombs offer me a quick energy boost or even can replace a meal without raising my insulin levels if I'm in a hurry to get out the door. Also, they're great on a day when I'm intermittent fasting, but I need a little something to keep going. If I experience that afternoon slump about 3:00 PM, just one fat bomb wakes me up and provides instant energy without caffeine! I always have a batch of Fat Bombs in my refrigerator. They are delicious, have so many uses and are my secret weapon to reduce cravings and keep me on track!

Triple Butter Caramel Pecan Fat Bombs
Makes 10 servings

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces unsweetened cocoa butter
3 tablespoons nut butter of choice (I used peanut butter)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon Caramel Sweet Drops, or 8-10 drops English Toffee liquid stevia to taste
10 pecan halves

1. Melt coconut oil, butter, cocoa butter and nut butter together in a small saucepan until melted or in a glass measuring cup in the microwave.

2. Add in the vanilla extract and liquid stevia and whisk until combined. Divide equally between ten mini-size silicone muffin liners and place in the freezer for a few minutes or the refrigerator for about 15 minutes until just beginning to set.

3. Remove and place one pecan half on the top of each fat bomb. Return to the freezer or refrigerator and chill until completely set. These fat bombs must be stored in the refrigerator until just prior to serving because they can melt quickly.

Nutritional Information per fat bomb: 109 calories, 1.1 g carbohydrate (0.4 g dietary fiber, 0.2 g sugars), 11.4 g total fat (5.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 6 mg cholesterol, 8 mg sodium, 1.7 mg calcium, 7 mg potassium, 72 mg Vit A, 1.2 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 0.7 g

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author's permission.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Miracle-In-a-Minute Low Carb Bread (or Hamburger Bun)

 
I finally did it! I made the easiest and best gluten free, low carb bread I've ever tasted. It fits all the requirements for a Low Carb/High Fat, Keto, Diabetic or Paleo lifestyle. This definitely will be my go-to sandwich bread or hamburger bun recipe from now on. It's based on "magical microwave bread" recipes that have been floating around the internet for a while, but I've taken it to the next level and perfected it by adding psyllium husk powder to the batter. This simple addition turns the often spongy, too soft miracle bread into one with real bread-like taste and texture. The miraculous part is that it cooks up in the microwave in about 1 minute. I like to toast this bread after cooking to create a nice golden crust. To me, toasting further improves the real bread texture. AH! After 4 years, to be able to have a slice of fresh bread that is gluten-free and tastes really, really good with so little effort...this may be my winning recipe of all time!

Miracle-In-A-Minute Low Carb Bread (or Hamburger Bun)
Makes 1 slice or 1 hamburger bun (1 serving)

3 tablespoons almond flour
A pinch of salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder (I used NOW Foods brand)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 tablespoons melted butter (unsalted) or olive oil
1 large egg

1. Grease a 5" by 5" square glass microwaveable dish with butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.  In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, salt, psyllium husk powder and baking powder. Add the melted butter and egg and whisk vigorously until well combined. Quickly pour the batter into the greased dish. Spread out evenly and to the edges.

2. Microwave on high for about 60 seconds until the top of the bread feels firm and dry to the touch. If additional cooking time is needed, microwave for another 15 seconds.

3. Cool in the pan for a couple of minutes, then remove the bread to a wire rack to cool completely. Once the bread is cooled, you can eat it, toast it or use as you would a normal piece of bread.* This recipe makes 1 slice of bread. (If you use a baking dish of smaller dimensions, the bread will be thick enough to cut into two slices.)

 Low Carb Hamburger Bun
Variations: 

To make a hamburger bun, follow the directions for making the batter and pour into a greased, small, round glass dish (choose a dish that is the dimensions you wish for your bun). If desired, sprinkle the top with sesame seeds. Microwave as directed, although you may have to increase the cooking time to about 90 seconds or until the top feels dry and firm to the touch. Once cooled, cut the bun in half and toast before serving, if desired.

Flavors! You can add herbs or spices to flavor your bread. For example, to make a focaccia or Italian-style bread, use olive oil in place of butter and sprinkle rosemary or Italian seasoning on top of the bread before cooking (or incorporate the herbs into the batter). Dip into olive oil dusted with freshly-ground black pepper and enjoy. To make cinnamon bread, add 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon and vanilla extract and 1/8 teaspoon of stevia powder to the batter and sprinkle the top of the bread with additional cinnamon before cooking. Use your imagination!

*Bread can be cut into cubes and toasted to make croutons. Or make gluten-free breadcrumbs by placing bread cubes into a food processor and pulse until the crumbs achieve the consistency you desire.

Nutritional Information per serving (1 recipe): 352 calories, 7.9 g carbohydrate (4.4 g dietary fiber, 0.9 g sugars), 31.8 g total fat (12.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 246 mg cholesterol, 420 mg sodium, 208.1 mg calcium, 222 mg potassium, 2 mg iron, 270 mg Vit A, 10.8 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 3.5 grams.

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author's permission.
 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Low Carb Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 
Sometimes you need a little something sweet, but don't want an entire jar full of cookies calling your name every time you walk through the kitchen. This recipe makes two good-size cookies and was inspired by a jumbo chocolate chip cookie from the Cafe Delites website (click here to view that recipe), but I wanted a sugar free version that tastes great and fits into my low carb, ketogenic lifestyle. You won't believe how amazing this cookie is! You'll never believe it's gluten free, very low in sugar (the chips add a tiny bit) and low carb. I've provided both a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe and a plain chocolate chip version, and both variations are delicious. (Any nut butter can be substituted for the peanut butter.) Warm out of the oven, they have the taste and texture of fresh bakery cookies! This has become my favorite low carb cookie recipe and, no doubt, it will become your favorite, too.

Low Carb Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 2 cookies (2 servings)

2 teaspoons butter, melted (use ghee or coconut oil for dairy free)
1 tablespoon creamy or chunky peanut butter, no sugar added (melted)
1 tablespoon beaten egg
2 teaspoons erythritol sweetener (I use LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
1/4 teaspoon stevia powder
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons mini dark chocolate chips (70% or higher)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit (176 degree Celsius). In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter), 1 tablespoon beaten egg, sweetener, stevia, baking powder, a pinch of salt and vanilla. Whisk with a fork until well combined.

2. Add in the almond flour and chocolate chips, mixing until a soft dough forms. Divide dough into two equal portions, place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten each into a circle about 1/2" thick (I used the bottom of a glass). 

3. Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the cookie is set. (If you like a soft and chewy cookie, bake for 15 minutes.) Remove from oven and allow to sit on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool for about 10 minutes and serve.

Nutritional Information per cookie: 190 calories, 8.7 g carbohydrate (2.2 g dietary fiber, 2.4 g sugars, 4 g sugar alcohols), 16.4 g total fat (4.2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 32 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 61.1 mg calcium, 112 mg potassium, 140 mg Vit A, 1 mg iron, 5.8 g protein.  Net carbs per cookie: 6.5 grams

 
Plain Chocolate Chip Cookie Variation: Increase butter to 1 tablespoon, omit peanut butter, reduce beaten egg to 2 teaspoons, increase vanilla to 1/2 teaspoon and increase almond flour to 1/3 cup. Follow directions as above.  Nutritional Information per cookie: 170 calories, 7.9 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 15.5 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 4.2 g protein.  Net carbs: 5.9 grams

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All Rights Reserved. Please do not duplicate without author's permission.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna

 

It's been eight years since I posted a lasagna recipe and, now that I'm living gluten and grain free, it's time for an updated version. My husband brought home two gorgeous, organic zucchini the other day and my plan was to spiralize them and make spaghetti. But because today was a cold and rainy spring day in Maine, I decided to make a warm and comforting baked lasagna instead. Instead of pasta noodles, I cut my zucchini lengthwise into narrow slices and used them between the layers of cheese and sauce. It's important to place the zucchini slices between paper towels and leave at room temperature for at least an hour (or longer) to allow the moisture to be drawn out of this watery vegetable before assembling the casserole. The ricotta cheese mixture and meat sauce can be made a day or two ahead so, when it's time to assemble and bake, the prep time is minimal. This recipe is definitely a keeper! The lasagna was so delicious and, because it is a complete and balanced meal by itself, you don't even need to worry about a side dish. Keep life simple!

Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna
Makes 6 servings

2 large zucchini, about 9 inches long
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Ricotta Cheese Filling:
15 oz. of whole milk or part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup of chopped fresh spinach (or 1/2 cup frozen, squeezed and drained of moisture)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon of Italian herb seasoning
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1 egg, slightly beaten

Meat Sauce:
3/4 pound of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (or substitute ground beef)
2 cups marinara or your favorite pasta sauce, no sugar added

1. Prepare the zucchini ahead of time by slicing lengthwise into thin slices (about 3/16-inch wide). If you have one, a mandoline works well to make even, thin slices, otherwise cut with a large knife. Lay the slices in a single layer on several layers of paper towel, sprinkle very sparingly with salt and cover with several more layers of paper towel. If desired, you can place a baking sheet over them and weight it with canned goods or other objects. Allow the zucchini slices to remain at room temperature between the paper towels for at least one hour (or longer) to draw out the excess moisture. Wipe off any excess salt before assembling the lasagna.
Step by Step Pictorial

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the Ricotta Cheese Filling ingredients and stir until well combined. Set aside. (If making ahead, refrigerate until you're ready to assemble the lasagna.)

3. In a large skillet, brown the sausage and add the pasta sauce. Stir to combine and set aside. (This can be made ahead and refrigerated, if desired.)

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. To assemble the lasagna, spray a baking pan with non-stick spray or grease with coconut oil or butter. Spoon in about 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce (no sausage) and spread to cover the bottom of the pan. Lay down a layer of the zucchini slices, overlapping just slightly, until the bottom of the pan is covered. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta filling over the zucchini and spread into an even layer, covering the zucchini slices. Top with 1/3 of the meat sauce and spread to edges. Sprinkle sauce with 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

5. Repeat with a layer of zucchini slices, 1/3 of the ricotta filling, 1/3 of the meat sauce and 1/4 cup mozzarella.

6. Repeat a final time with a layer of zucchini slices, the remaining ricotta filling, the remaining meat sauce and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.

7. Cover with the pan lid or tightly with foil (spray the foil with non-stick spray to prevent the cheese from sticking). Bake for 50-60 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutritional Information per serving (1/6th of recipe): 415 calories, 14 g carbohydrate (3 g dietary fiber, 6.8 g sugars), 26.5 g total fat (11.4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 106 mg cholesterol, 1048 mg sodium, 430 mg calcium, 327 mg potassium, 981 mg Vit A, 12 mg iron, 29 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 11 grams

 
Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without author's permission.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Low Carb, Grain Free Cheese and Onion Enchiladas

  
This is a super simple, low-carb meal that can be assembled ahead and then baked just prior to serving. I recently made several trays of enchiladas for a large gathering and everyone raved and asked for the recipe. The tortillas (or Mexican-style crepes) were made a day or two ahead and the red sauce was whipped up in the blender in a matter of minutes, so it took no time at all to prepare a delicious and satisfying meal for a party of over a dozen people. The nice part was that I assembled the enchiladas in their baking pans on the morning of the event, then just popped them in the oven to bake later, which allowed me to socialize with my guests instead of being stuck in the kitchen. Served with a big salad, some non-GMO corn chips for the carb-eaters and a simple dessert, the evening was a huge success and I never broke a sweat! Cinco de Mayo is coming up on May 5th. If you're looking for a stress-free, festive meal to feed your family or a crowd, then this is the recipe for you.

Grain Free, Mexican-Style Tortillas (or Crepes)
Makes 6 tortillas

1/4 cup mild-flavored nut butter (room temperature), such as cashew, macadamia or almond
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons milk (or non-dairy milk)
1 tablespoon melted butter, ghee or coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Melted butter or coconut oil for cooking

Whisk together all of the ingredients until the nut butter is fully incorporated and the batter is smooth (it will be somewhat thin). Using a small sauté pan, heat over medium-low heat and brush a thin layer of the melted butter or coconut oil around the inside of the heated pan to prevent sticking. (I used an inexpensive, 8" non-stick omelet pan which only required a thin coating of oil. Adjust this amount if needed for your pan.) While holding the heated pan off the heat in your dominant hand, quickly pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan and immediately begin to swirl the batter around to create a round, very thin tortilla. Keep swirling until the batter firms up in the shape you desire. (To see my YouTube video demonstrating this crepe-making technique, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhzXjJ2HVeM). Replace pan onto the heat and cook the tortilla for about 1 minute until slightly brown around the edges. Very carefully flip the tortilla and cook the second side for about 45 seconds. Remove tortilla to a plate to cool. Repeat until all the batter is gone. Set aside tortillas until you're ready to assemble the enchiladas. For storage, place a piece of parchment paper between each tortilla to prevent them from sticking together. These can be made 1-2 days ahead and refrigerated, although bring to room temperature before rolling the enchiladas for the greatest flexibility. 

Nutritional Information per tortilla (no filling): 117 calories, 2.3 g carbohydrate (0.6 g dietary fiber, 0.2 g sugar) 10.8 g total fat (3.2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 66 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 24 mg calcium, 52 mg potassium, 3.4 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 1.7 grams


Easy Blender Enchilada Red Sauce
Makes 2-1/2 cups (10 servings)

2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce (no sugar added)
1/2 cup water
1/4-1/2 teaspoon stevia powder (or 2-4 teaspoons erythritol sweetener), to taste
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1-3 tablespoons chili powder, to taste
1-2 teaspoons ground coriander, or to taste
1-2 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon sea salt, optional or to taste

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. (When a measurement range is given for a spice, start with the smallest amount and add more if you like yours spicier. I admit, I'm a wimp and like my sauce mild.) Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Nutritional Information per 1/4 cup serving (no salt added): 20 calories, 4 g carbohydrate (1.2 g dietary fiber, 1.7 g sugars), 0.2 g total fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 336 mg sodium, 5.3 mg calcium, 150 mg potassium, 0.6 G protein.  Net carbs per serving: 2.8 grams
 
Low Carb, Grain Free Cheese and Onion Enchiladas
Makes 6 enchiladas

6 Grain Free, Mexican-Style Tortillas, room temperature (see recipe above)
1-1/4 cups Easy Blender Enchilada Red Sauce (see recipe above)
1/2 pound sharp cheddar, cut into six 3/4" logs
1 cup shredded Cheddar-Monterey Jack Cheese Blend
6 green onions, chopped (separate white part from green part)

Place 1/2 cup of the Enchilada Red Sauce into a baking pan and spread around to cover the bottom of the pan. Take one cheddar cheese log, roll it inside one tortilla and place it into the sauce-covered baking pan. Repeat with remaining cheese logs and tortillas. Top each enchilada with about 3 tablespoons of the red sauce and spread with a spoon to cover. Evenly divide the white part of the chopped onion over the enchiladas, then sprinkle 1 cup of the Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese over all.  Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake in a preheated 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with the chopped green onion and serve.

Nutritional Information per enchilada: 324 calories, 8 g carbohydrate (2 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugars), 25.8 g total fat (12.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 86 mg cholesterol, 659 mg sodium, 437 mg calcium, 205 potassium, 1119 mg Vit A, 6 mg Vit C, 17 g protein. Net carbs per enchilada: 6 grams

Recipes by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without author's permission.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Zucchini Noodle Carbonara


The other day, my husband was reminiscing about our trip to Italy many years ago and dreaming about the excellent and authentic pasta carbonara he had there. Every time we talk about that trip, he brings up the carbonara! Tonight, I recreated this special dish for him. He had his over traditional pasta and I had mine over zucchini noodles. We were both delighted with the result! Carbonara is not particularly difficult to make, but can be tricky because, if you cook the egg-parmesan sauce at too high of a temperature, you get carbonara scramble instead of a creamy sauce, so be watchful. The thing I love most about this dish is that when served over zoodles and/or shiritaki noodles, it's an elegant and very low carb meal. I have provided the option to replace one of the zucchini with a package of shiritaki noodles. The shiritaki noodles absorb the sauce nicely and can provide a more noodle-like texture for those who may balk at the thought of an entire plate of vegetables! This low-carb carbonara is a great, quick meal when you want something spectacular that will impress, but don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen. It would make a wonderful Valentine's Day dinner!


Zucchini Noodle Carbonara
Makes 4 servings

4 spirialized zucchini (use spaghetti blade)
1 package Angel Hair shiritaki noodles (optional, but if using, reduce number of zucchini to 3)
4 ounces pancetta, cubed (or substitute bacon)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 handful of fresh, flat-leaf parsley, chopped (or 1 TB dried)

1. In a heavy skillet over medium heat, brown the pancetta or bacon until crispy. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, remove pancetta and garlic to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Reduce heat to low. Remove all but about 2 TB of the grease in the skillet and add zucchini noodles. Sauté uncovered, stirring occasionally, to soften the zoodles and allow the zucchini to release some moisure.

2.  Place the drained and rinsed shiritaki noodles (if using) into another dry pan or skillet and stir frequently over high heat until the moisture has evaporated. Remove from heat; set aside and keep warm.

3. When the zoodles are suffiencently soften to your liking, remove skillet from heat and allow to sit while you prepare the sauce ingredients (this is important!). Add the shiritaki noodles and toss to mix. In a small bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup grated cheese and egg; add to the noodle mixture, stirring constantly, until noodles are well coated.  The residual heat from the skillet and noodles will cook the egg. Do not overcook! (If you see the egg beginning to seize up and scramble, immediately remove mixture from heated pan to prevent further cooking.) The sauce should be creamy and smooth. Season the carbonara with black pepper. Mound the carbonara into individual dishes, garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.  Pass extra shredded or grated cheese around the table.

Nutritional information per serving (1/4 recipe): 209 calories, 9 g carbohydrate (2.2 g dietary fiber, 5.2 g sugars), 13.7 g total fat (5.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 186 mg cholesterol, 470 mg sodium, 191.8 mg calcium, 597 mg potassium, 14.2 G protein. Net carbs per serving: 6.8 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without author's permission.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Sautéed Red Cabbage with Bacon and Onions


Part of my strategy for keeping my blood sugar and weight in check is intermittent fasting. Because the body and metabolism resets itself whenever you're on a calorie restricted diet for a period of time (which explains the weight loss plateaus most dieters hit), it's a good idea to keep the body guessing! Intermittent fasting at irregular intervals makes it easier to lose weight and keep it off. Over the holidays, I regained some weight and, as a result, my blood sugar started creeping up to prediabetic levels again. On January 2nd and continuing for 2 weeks, I began an intermittent fasting schedule of skipping breakfast (to allow for 16-18 hour fast between dinner the night before and my next meal) and eating only within a 6 hour window each day. That worked to bring my blood glucose (BG) down a bit and steadied my weight, but it didn't go far enough or act quickly enough for me. Then for the next two weeks, I only ate one meal a day. That brought greater success! I lost 4 pounds and my fasting BG came down 10 points, but still not low enough and, although progress was slow and steady, I wanted faster results. After reading the book The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung MD with Jimmy Moore, I was motivated to try an extended fast. Today I just completed a 3-day total fast that only allowed coffee, tea, broth and water and was completely surprised how easy it was to do! In 3 days, I lost 2 pounds, lost inches around my waist and hips and experienced perfectly normal blood glucose. This morning I woke up to a fasting BG of 78! Even tonight, as I was making dinner, I thought I could have gone on for another day or more! I didn't experience any hunger or discomfort and, as a matter-of-fact, I felt GREAT the whole time! If you're struggling with weight or getting your blood sugar under control, I highly recommend that you get Dr. Fung's book and learn about his successful therapy that includes intermittent fasting for reversing diabetes, sometimes as quickly as a couple of weeks.


I wanted to share my break-fast meal, which was really, really delicious after having not eaten for 3 days! In this sweet and sour red cabbage sauté, I replaced the sugar of a traditional recipe with my favorite erythritol sweetener, LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener, and the result was perfection. My non-diabetic husband loved it too. It paired beautifully with an award-winning white wine and herb sausage I bought at my local Whole Foods. This low carb side dish is quick and easy to make and will become favorite of your family, too!

Sautéed Red Cabbage with Bacon and Onions
Makes 4 servings

3 slices of organic bacon, sliced into narrow strips (reserve grease)
1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
4 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced (about 1/2 head)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
3-4 teaspoons LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener, or to taste (or another erythritol sweetener)

1. In a large enameled pot or pan (not cast iron because the vinegar may react with the pan), sauté the bacon until crispy. Remove to drain on a paper towel and reserve bacon grease in the pan. Sauté the onion in the fat. When it is transluscent, add the cabbage and cook, covered and stirring frequently, until the cabbage has begun to soften.

2. Add the vinegar, rosemary and salt. Allow the cabbage mixture to continue cooking until soft and can be pierced with a fork.

3.  Add the sweetener. Start with 3 teaspoons and add more if needed to reach your desired sweetness. Add a tablespoon or two of water if the mixture becomes too dry. Add the bacon back into the pan. Stir and serve.

Nutritional Information per serving (1/4 recipe): 72 calories, 9 g carbohydrate (2.4 g dietary fiber, 4.3 g sugars, 4 g sugar alcohols), 2.9 g total fat (0.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 52.8 mg calcium, 461 mg sodium, 287 mg potassium, 1013 mg Vit A, 52 mg Vit C, 1 mg iron, 3.8 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 6.6 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without author's permission.