Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Leftover Soup

Brrrrrrrrrrrrr... cold windy day and that's always a good day for hot soup!  I had leftover veggies and don't like throwing food out but who wants left over veggies?  So I threw them together this morning and made soup.  You can do your own leftover soup with yours!  Just a great idea for using them up I think!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake--Low Carb, Gluten Free

I made this yesterday morning, in way too much of a hurry!  We were about to go visit my brother and his family, and my dad, and I wanted to bring a good low carb dessert.  This is one of my favorite.  Very rich and creamy.  I usually make it on Thanksgiving so that I have something low carb while others are eating the sugar-laden pies.  I don't feel deprived!!  This is a treat for me.  Unfortunately, because I made it in such a hurry, the appearance is not "professional".  If you don't want your cheesecake to crack on top you should bake it with a pan of water under and turn off the oven letting it cool slowly inside before done.  If it cools slowly, you don't get cracked cheesecake.  But none of us cared about the appearance because the taste was wonderful!  I did just the opposite, being in a hurry.  I took it out of the oven and stuck it in the freezer to quick chill.  I had to make this cheesecake, which I should have made the day before but since I spent the whole morning shopping and was exhausted the rest of the day, I didn't.  So I pay.  I had to make it in the morning and had only a couple hours to let it chill before leaving!  Video was taken with my webcam, which does not come out as clear.  I do intend to remake this video, maybe at Thanksgiving time, when I make this again, the day before, like I am supposed to, and between a better camera, and perhaps... just perhaps, my Windows Movie Maker software actually working and not freezing up on me all the time, just perhaps I'll get a better quality video!  But until then, I thought the recipe was too good not to share...


Pumpkin Cheesecake

Serving Size  : 16  


  3/4      cup  flax meal, Golden
  1/2      cup  ground almonds -- can use pecans or walnuts, or any other ground meal
  2         tablespoons  Splenda
  2         packets  Truvia -- (Truvia is all fiber--no usable carbs and does not raise bg for most)
  1/4      cup  coconut oil -- melted


  1/2      cup  Splenda
  1/4      cup  Torani Sugar Free caramel syrup -- or vanilla
  2        Tablespoons  Truvia
  1         can  pumpkin -- 15 oz.
  3         egg yolks
  1 1/2    teaspoons  cinnamon
  1/2      teaspoon  nutmeg
  1/2      teaspoon  ground ginger
  1/4      teaspoon  cloves
   1/2     teaspoon  salt

                        CREAM TOGETHER:

  24       ounces  fat free cream cheese -- 3 - 8 oz. containers
  1/3      cup  Splenda
  1         egg
  1         egg yolk
  2         tablespoons  whipping cream
  1         tablespoon  cornstarch -- (adds only a trace of cho. per slice)
  1         teaspoon  vanilla extract
  1/2      teaspoon  lemon extract

Combine crust ingredients.  Mix well.  Press firmly into a 9-inch springform pan. (I used a 10-inch)

In a medium bowl, combine the sweeteners, pumpkin, 3 egg yolks, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt and mix well. Set aside

In a large bowl, mix softened cream cheese, sweetener, egg and egg yolk, whipping cream and extracts and beat until well mixed and creamy.  Beat in the pumpkin mixture.

Pour into greased springform pan with crust.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.

Store in refrigerator.  Chill

Garnish with whipped cream, pecans, and berries if desired.

  "adapted from"
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 162 Calories; 10g Fat (53.0% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber

Friday, October 22, 2010

One Minute Bread

Jennifer Eloff has a great recipe for One Minute Bread, the Next Minute Toast.  Visit her blog for lots of great ideas and variations plus many more scrumptious recipes.  I finally hit a variation of this that really hit the spot for me, especially now that I am going gluten free.  I made some yesterday for my breakfast and microwaved it in a square plastic container so it came out like a slice of bread that was thick enough I could have made two very thin slices but decided I really liked it open-faced with my egg and cheese on it.  It was really good!  For lunch I made it in a cereal bowl bun style and split it for a sandwich...

So here's my variation of this recipe that seems perfect for me.  I intend to experiment with adding seasonings and also in using it to make garlic toast some time.


 One Minute Bread, the Next Minute Toast

Recipe By     :Originally from Jennifer Eloff, with my adaptations
Serving Size  : 1     

2 teaspoons  coconut oil
1 large  egg
1 tablespoon  water -- or kefir, or coconut milk (just enough to get the right              consistency, like pancake batter)
1/2 tablespoon  parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons  almond meal, blanched
1 tablespoon  flax meal, Golden
1/4 teaspoon  baking powder
      Dash  salt
1/4 teaspoon  Splenda (not to sweeten but to bring out flavor)

 In standard cereal bowl, place coconut oil. Nuke 15 seconds. To coconut oil in cereal bowl, add egg, and kefir or water, and ingredients in the following sequence – parmesan cheese, almond meal, flax seed meal, baking powder, salt, and Splenda . Using a metal whisk, whisk ingredients together until well combined. (Or electric mixer with one whisk attachment)

Spread in a sprayed Glad square plastic container, or keep in cereal bowl.  Nuke uncovered 1 minute to 1 1/2 minutes, or until set. The cooking time may vary for different microwave ovens. (I lined a square plastic sandwich container with parchment and sprayed it, and it worked great).  Loosen edges and underneath with a regular dinner knife and invert. Allow to cool slightly and using a sharp bread knife, slice in half horizontally. Toast in a bread toaster (setting should be higher than for regular bread) until browned. Butter crisp toast generously and place breakfast items on top.

                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Per Serving: 256 Calories; 22g Fat (76.2% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 189mg Cholesterol; 227mg Sodium.  

Serving Ideas : This can be 2 slices if you cut it in half.  You can microwave it in a square container for a bread, or a round cup or ramekin for something more like an english muffin. 

NOTES : *2 effective g. carbs

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Butternut Squash and other good stuff

 Do you like butternut squash and want some great low carb ideas?   Some great ideas here!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall Colors

Ok, I took a break from cooking today! It's my birthday!!  So sorry this post is not about food.  I just have to share this gorgeous day.  I went for a refreshing walk through my nighborhood which has a beautiful park with trails.  Here are my pictures on flickr.

This should open up into a slideshow for you to view.  Enjoy!  :)

The gluten test

Ok, I'm finally doing it!  I'm eliminating wheat for 1 month to test myself and see if that is the culprit in a few unwanted symptoms I'm dealing with. I've had blood tests and biopsies and both showed negative for Celiac disease.  But I know a person can be "wheat sensitive" and it can cause inflammation in the body without showing up on a Celiac test.

Going through withdrawal, my body is like a spoiled child that insists on having its way!  It cries when it sees or smells wheat and can't have any!  I have listened to it too long.  I'm telling it to shut up for a while for its own good.  I'm also telling it, maybe, just maybe, if it stays quiet for ONE month, maybe it can have some wheat back in its diet.  I don't know.  NOT promising anything!!  On the other hand, if it feels so much better concerning these worsening symptoms, then it will way out-weigh the withdrawals.  I keep telling myself, "Self, aren't you tired of not sleeping at night?"

Between irritable bowels and a stuffy nose with inflammation--lots of inflammation, and arthritis seeming to develop more in my neck and joints, I want to give it a try.  I've been telling myself that it doesn't matter whether I eat it or not, but I want to prove that to myself.  I may have been fooling myself!  Fooling ourselves is easy to do--especially when it comes to foods we like.  The hardest part for me is my toast in the morning.  I'm sorry but there is NO substitute.  Not in taste and texture anyway.  I've tried all the low carb, gluten free alternatives from the one minute bread, to many others and they just do not make toast with the smell, feel, and taste of wheat.  So I'm telling myself, "Self, shut up! You can't have your toast, and you can't replace it.  You, who have been a creature of habit for so many years, having your toast every morning, will have to say goodbye to it and develop a NEW like."  Trying to replace some things only brings disappointment.  It makes you all the more long for the real thing.  So rather than replace, I am going to have to adjust to entirely new.  They say it takes 7 days to create a new habit.  Who knows.  Maybe by the time I'm done with this experiment, I'll have found new habits and won't care to go back to toast.  And "self" will leave me alone.

Another hard one is pizza crust.  We are a pizza family!  Good pizza crust is an essential part of good pizza! Two that I've found lately that have hit the spot, again, not replacing real pizza crust made with white flour and yeast and all that good stuff, but the taste is so good that I think I have found a NEW taste in pizza once again that I can get used to.  I've done the cauliflower crust and the zucchini crust for pizza and both were very good and I think I will use them often while I make (and smell) the regular yeast dough crust for the rest of my family who still listen to their "self" tell them to eat wheat and are not yet listening to me.  Ha!

Another way I have a quick lunch pizza is to make the microwave almond crackers by doubling the amount for one serving and rolling it slightly thicker, microwaving for 90 sec. and it makes a great thin crispy crust.  Just add your toppings after that and slip under the broiler until all the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Quick and yummy.  Most of the time I just take 4 TBS. of almond meal, 2 tsp. parmesan cheese, pinch of salt, and pinch of splenda (brings out flavor.. not enough to sweeten), and add enough water just to make a stiff dough.  Spray a square of parchment paper with non-stick spray, place it on the paper and using a piece of saran wrap also sprayed on top, spread it out to desired thinness in a square or circle.  Microwave for 90 seconds or until it is crisp.  It will crisp up as it cools also.  If you get it too thin it will break more.  You might have to experiment to get it right.  But it's pretty easy.  In fact, I've used this with an egg on top in the morning in place of my toast sometimes.  Like I said, it does not replace toast, but it is something to put my egg on that is crunchy.

So right now I'm on my third day.  I am noticing that the unrelenting swollen nasal passages are clearing and I'm breathing easier, although I'm still waking up in the night with a blocked nose.  Using a vaporizer is helping.  I have no mucus or congestion, just inflammation that I'm dealing with, which is why I believe wheat could be the culprit, since when I first started low carbing and did cut out wheat, my nose cleared up so good.  When I began getting it back in low carb products with wheat it came back.  So I'm really hoping it's as simple as cutting out wheat.  We shall see.  Of course I'm also using oil of Oregano daily again, so I'm not going to know for sure what is helping, until I am off the wheat for a month and then I introduce it back to see what happens along with continuing the rest of my regimen.  So, we'll see what happens.  I'll report back in a month with results!



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