Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Apple Cider Corned Beef and Cabbage

We really loved this dish that we had for supper last night.  If you like corned beef and cabbage, this is such a delightful flavor combination.  I used apple cider vinegar and cloves in it.  It turned out to be all I expected it to be.  Some of us, (me included) consider this dish comfort food.  And the aroma that fills your house all day--you either love it or you hate it.  Ha!  I love it.

On a busy day this is quick and easy to put together in the morning.  When you come home it feels and smells like someone who loves you was cooking for you all day and all you have to do is eat it.

The next day you can use the leftovers for Reuben sandwiches on some low carb rye bread.  Add a smidgen of cocoa to that recipe and you have Pumpernickel.  Just put the cabbage and corned beef on your bread, top with a slice of Swiss or Provolone cheese and grill.


1 medium  head of cabbage -- quartered
3 pounds  corned beef brisket
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup  apple cider vinegar -- (Bragg's organic is best)
2 tablespoons  Brown Sugar Twin
6 whole  cloves

Spray crock-pot with non-stick cooking spray.  Place the quartered cabbage in the bottom.  Place corned beef brisket on top of cabbage.

In a small bowl, mix together water, apple cider vinegar and Brown Sugar Twin.  Pour over the corned beef and cabbage.

Cut six slits into the corned beef and push a clove into each slit.  Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or high 4 to 6 hours.

When it's time to serve, remove the corned beef and slice onto a platter.  Scoop out cabbage onto platter, and drizzle juice over all.
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Per Serving: 379 Calories; 26g Fat (61.8% calories from fat); 27g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber

NOTES : 6 net g carbs per serving

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cookies Galore!

Check out Carolyn Ketchum's low carb, gluten free, holiday cookie roundup! Wow!  Get ready to drool!  That is a lot of cookies!

Here are my two favorite cookie recipes:
Vanilla Creme Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate filling

And Mint Chocolate Chip:

I'm looking forward to 4 weeks of vacation from work now over the holidays.  Tomorrow will be my one last class to do.  It's always sad to say goodbye to some of the little ones at the end of a session, but always nice to look forward to a break also.  Some of them I will get to see again.  It's amazing how much they grow in 4 weeks at that age!

So I will be busy in the kitchen and have more time to bake I guess for the next few weeks.  Or will I?  Hmmm... somewhere in there my house needs some serious attention.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gingerbread Men

This was an experiment today.  After spending my morning helping 3 and 2 yr. olds decorate paper gingerbread men, I decided to try my hand at making my own gingerbread men. I didn't make very much because I was not sure if they would turn out or not.  But to my delight they did!  So next time I will most likely double the recipe.  My pictures turned out pretty crummy for some reason, but the gingerbread men turned out tasting just like I wanted them to.  So I apologize for my poor quality pictures.  My lighting in here is so bad.  I'm going to have to find a way to compensate for that.

 My little guy in the picture is decorated with some chunks from Lindt 85% chocolate and food coloring with a toothpick for the mittens and boots.  I didn't have anything else on hand I could think of to use, and didn't have time to go to the store and see what I could come up with for a cuter idea, but this will do for now.  Maybe next time I'll find something more creative.  You will probably be more creative than me. 

 I have large gingerbread man cookie cutters so I was only able to make 5 out of this recipe and the left over dough I flattened into a circle.

They came out tasting crunchy and very gingerbready... I think I just made a new word.  I frosted them with a cinnamon frosting which was really good.  I spent my afternoon trying to put together a video of this to put up but after making a bazillion mistakes, I gave up.  Maybe eventually I'll get the video.  For some reason I could not get the sound and video to match and my frustration level is about had it.  So for now, here's the recipe:

GINGERBREAD MEN                      

18 packets  Truvia (or sweetener equal to 3/4 cup sugar)
1/4 cup  coconut oil -- melted, or butter
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon  blackstrap molasses
1 cup  almond flour, Honeyville
1/2 teaspoon  baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  cloves
1/2 teaspoon  ginger
1/4 teaspoon  nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon  cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon  baking soda
1/4 teaspoon  salt

Combine sweeteners, oil, molasses and egg in mixing bowl.  Beat until smooth and creamy.

Add all remaining ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon and form into a ball.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight.

Spray a large piece of parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray.  Place dough on parchment paper and spray a piece of plastic wrap to cover it.  Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on top of the plastic wrap to about 1/4-inch thick.  Cut with gingerbread men cutters or other cookie cutters.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with either parchment paper or a silicone pad.  Bake for about 13 to 15 minutes or until done.

Let cool and frost or decorate.  Nutrition info is for the entire recipe.  Carbs for each serving will depend on the size and how many you cut out.  Good with cinnamon frosting.

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Entire recipe: 1196 Calories; 115g Fat (81.5% calories from fat); 30g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 13g Dietary Fiber;


3 ounces  cream cheese -- softened
3 tablespoons  unsalted butter -- softened
1/3 cup  "Powdered Sugar"**
1 teaspoon  cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon  vanilla extract
1 tablespoon  heavy cream

Mix cream cheese and butter together in a small mixing bowl.  Add "powdered sugar", cinnamon, and vanilla.  Pulse with electric mixer and then beat until creamy.  Drizzle in enough cream to bring to a good spreading consistency.

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12 Servings: Per serving: 60 Calories; 6g Fat (80.1% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber;
**Powdered sugar substitute is made from mixing 1 cup Splenda and 1/2 cup xylitol in the blender on lowest speed at 10 second intervals, then scraping and shaking and blending again until it is the consistency of powdered sugar. Keep in a jar or ziploc bag and store ready to use in recipes.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cauli-Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

Just making a quick post this morning.  This is what we had for breakfast.  It turned out to be a real keeper.  I love a good breakfast casserole on Sunday mornings, or for a brunch during the holidays or whenever.  It takes some time to put together.  I haven't tried doing it the night before, and I was out later last night having a wonderful visit with some good friends, so I wouldn't have had time.  You can try doing some of it the night before.  I had the breakfast sausage already made ahead.  So you can buy breakfast sausage, if you can find some that is gluten free... I can't find any pork sausage that is.  I've found ground turkey sausage--Jennie-O brand, that is certified gluten free.  But I make my own homemade pork sausage that I like a lot.


Cauli-Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

1 pound  frozen cauliflower -- thawed and shredded in food processor
   salt and pepper -- to taste
1/4 cup  butter
1 pound  Ginny's breakfast sausage (below)
6 large  eggs -- beaten
1 1/2 cups  fiesta blend shredded cheese
1/2 cup  So DELICIOUS® unsweetened coconut milk
4 ounces  chopped green chiles -- 1 can
1 teaspoon  salt
1/2 teaspoon  dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon  pepper

Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).

Melt the butter and toss with the shredded cauliflower.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Press into the bottom of a 10-inch (25 cm) pie plate.  Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 F (175 C).

While the shredded cauliflower is baking, Stir the ground sausage meat in a large skillet over heat and cook until it's crumbly and evenly browned.  Drain any grease.

Beat eggs until frothy.  Combine cooked sausage with eggs, shredded cheese, milk,  green chiles, salt, dry mustard, and pepper. Pour egg and sausage mixture into the prepared crust.

Bake until eggs are set, about 45 to 50 minutes.  

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8 servings: Per Serving: 327 Calories; 26g Fat (71.3% calories from fat); 18g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber;

Ginny's Breakfast Sausage

1 pound  ground pork
1 1/2 teaspoons  fennel seed
1 teaspoon  onion powder
1/2 teaspoon  garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon  thyme
1/4 teaspoon  sage
1/4 teaspoon  crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon  pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until spices are well incorporated throughout the meat.

You can freeze this to use later, brown it for a casserole and add onions to it and/or minced garlic, or shape into patties for breakfast.

Variation:  Use the same seasonings in ground turkey to make turkey sausage.

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8 servings: Per Serving: 152 Calories; 12g Fat (72.5% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber;

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Raspberry Delight

This recipe was from my friend, Karen D on the Bernstein forum.  And I'm glad to report that I have my taste buds back, so I am able to truly enjoy every wonderful, delightful bite of this.
  I am using my own variation.  This has been a very popular recipe on the forum. It's also been a hit at our house, and everywhere I've shared it.  I have brought it to Christmas gatherings, and potlucks.  Always gets high raves!  It's perfect for a holiday dish.  It's perfect for any time of the year actually.

I was in a hurry to cut into it, so it hasn't had a chance to chill as long as it should. It should be chilled for a few hours, or overnight is best.  But we cut into it after an hour.  It was a little softer, but yummy!  I actually made mine with kefir cheese today.  I have also made it with quark, which is easily made if you have a yogurt maker, by pouring buttermilk into your yogurt maker and plugging it in and letting it sit for 8 to 24 hours, and then draining the whey out until you have the consistency you want.  Each is similar, but has it's own unique flavor.  Both are great in many dessert recipes where you would use cream cheese, or for dips, spreads, dressings, etc.  Plus you are getting the probiotics which are so good for your digestive system as well as your immune system.


                            RASPBERRY DELIGHT

1 cup  almond meal
1/2 cup  flax meal, Golden -- (or half nut meal and half flaxmeal)
1/2 cup  Whey Protien, Vanilla, Body Fortress Super Advanced
1/4 cup  melted butter
4 packets  Truvia

12 ounces  cream cheese
6 packets  Truvia -- (or sweetener to equal 1/4 cup sugar)
1/4 cup  Torani vanilla flavored SF syrup
1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon  salt
1 cup  heavy cream
2 tablespoons  torani vanilla flavored SF syrup

2 packages  sugar-free raspberry-flavored gelatin (small)
2 cups  boiling water
12 ounces  unsweetened frozen raspberries

Crust:  Preheat oven to 300 F.  Mix 9-inch springform pan.  Pat into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool.

Filling:  In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, Truvia, Torani Syrup, and vanilla, until smooth. Whip cream with 2 tbsp Torani Syrup.  Fold cream cheese mixture into whipped cream.  Spread over crust and refrigerate until topping is ready.

Topping: Dissolve Jello in boiling water; stir in raspberries.  Chill for about 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.  (I find that it thickens very quickly because the berries  are still frozen when I add them.)  Spread over filling, and refrigerate until set.  Chill several hours or overnight for best results.

Serve with whipped cream if desired (not included)
This is also excellent using my Spicy Cranberry Sauce as a topping for less carbs.
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16 servings (Per Serving): 256 Calories; 21g Fat (74.1% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber

NOTES : 6 g net carbs per serving

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Remembering Ben

This is not about food today, but about a special day in our lives... a day of remembering a son... a gift from God who we had for a short time in our lives.  Today is the anniversary of the day he left us and went to Heaven.  It's been 4 years, yet it seems like yesterday.  I lost my sister and my son within a year from each other.  A human life is never just gone.  They are there with you forever.  You can't ever remove them from your heart, or your memories and I know I will see them both again one day.  

How strange to see a life from the beginning to the end.  How strange to see the fruit of your womb gone before you.  How blessed we were to have known him and all the Lord did in our lives through his.  

1-13-83 a brand new soul was born into the world

Ben, Micah, Jesse, Josiah in the chair
Ben with attitude
Making music with good friends
(Psalm 73:26)  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Goodbye Ben.  See you soon! We love you and miss you!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Recipes

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is already upon us once again.  I thought we would not have a Thanksgiving meal this year, since my husband was scheduled for esophagus surgery the day before Thanksgiving, and my son and his new bride were not planning to be here this year with us.  It just seemed hardly worth the effort to make a Turkey with all the trimmings for the few of us left at home.  But things changed rapidly.  First my son, Jesse, let me know that Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday and he expects a turkey and all the trimmings whether or not it's only us.  My husband's surgery got rescheduled, and I got a text from my daughter in law asking if it was too late to change plans and come for Thanksgiving.  Suddenly I have a house-full!  So thankfully, I have this week off work, and am making my plans.  I thought I'd share some of my own favorites for Thanksgiving, plus a few others of friend's blogs.
Spiced Cranberry Sauce

And speaking of cranberry sauce, Carolyn's recipe for Chipotle Lime Cranberry sauce looks amazing too:

Stuffing! One must have stuffing on Thanksgiving, mustn't one?  Here is a good bread you can use for stuffing.  Use it in your favorite stuffing recipe.
I love my Pumpkin Cheesecake which is so rich and creamy:
  Jennifer has several other suggestions on her blog listed today as well, with more links...
Her list:
If you want a really fun post for many Thanksgiving ideas, visit Carolyn Ketchum's website.  See Lisa'sThanksgiving in One Bite!  See Red Kuri Squash at Judy's Carb Wars Blog.  See Maria Emmerich's Green Bean Bundles.  Kent Altena's Pumpkin Muffin-in-a-Minute.  Ginny Larsen's Two Minute Microwave Coffee Cake.  Peggy's Sausage Calabacita Casserole.
Thanks for the mention Jennifer!

Her Pumpkin Cheese Pie looks terrific!

Kent's video of Pecan Pie Cheesecake looks pretty wonderful too.  Take a look at these blogs.  They have so many great ideas!  I feel small in comparison!

Whatever foods make Thanksgiving day special to you, don't forget to give thanks!  I have so much to be thankful for!  I posted this on Facebook last year on Thanksgiving... Wouldn't it be great if we had only one day a year to grumble and complain and every other day of the year we gave thanks for all God's blessings?  I know I am very blessed.  I have little to complain about in comparison with all God has given me.

May you all have a terrific Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Two Minute Microwave Coffee Cake

I got up yesterday morning, wanting something more than my usual cheese omelet.  I love my cheese omelet but needed a change.  Coffee cake sounded good.  I had made a pan of coffee cake the week before but that was gone and I didn't want to make a whole pan that takes an hour to wait for.  So I tried an idea from the minute muffin recipes, and did this 2 minute coffee cake.  It turned out really good.

This actually makes 2 nice servings. You can make it in what ever shaped container you have.  I used a cereal bowl and cut it in half. 

Very nice and moist inside, topped with a delicious cinnamon topping.  Not only is it very tasty and sweet, but it is has 6 g protein and 5 g of dietary fiber, and only 3 useable carbs per serving.  And almond flour and coconut flour are both so good for you!  So you don't have to feel guilty about having coffee cake for breakfast.  Just enjoy it!!  You're truly getting a healthy start for your day.



2 tablespoons  almond flour, Honeyville
1 tablespoon  coconut flour
5 packets  truvia or equal to 3 1/2 tbsp sweetener (edited, 6/18/2014)
1/2 teaspoon  vanilla
1/4 teaspoon  baking powder
1/8 teaspoon  salt
1 large  egg
1 tablespoon  coconut oil (or butter), melted
2 tablespoons  kefir (or buttermilk, or just water)
water, (just enough for consistency)
1 1/2 tablespoons  almond flour, Honeyville
2 packets  Truvia, equal to 1 1/2 tsp sugar (edited, 6/18/2014)
1 teaspoon  xylitol
1/2 teaspoon  cinnamon
1 tablespoon  butter (cold)

In a cereal bowl that is microwaveable, whisk together the first 5 ingredients.  Make a well in the center and add egg, melted coconut oil (or butter), kefir (or buttermilk or other liquid), and whisk together briskly until smooth.  It will be stiff.  Blend in enough water to make a cake batter consistency.

 Topping:  Blend almond flour, Truvia, xylitol, and cinnamon together in another small bowl.  Cut in the butter with a fork or pastry blender until it is crumbly.  Spread on top of batter.

Microwave on high for 2 minutes approximately.  My microwave is 1000 watts and 2 minutes is perfect.  Test for doneness.  Cool a minute or two and serve.

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2 servings (Per Serving): 304 Calories; 29g Fat (81.7% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber

NOTES : 3 net carbs per serving

If you want a whole collection of great recipes, all low-carb and gluten free, buy all 5 volumes here:

For some food for the soul check out Ginny's Place

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Creme de Menthe Pie

Well, this pie was born out of a sleepless night.  I woke up at midnight one night dreaming about food. Sometimes my most creative recipes happen in the middle of the night. 2 recipes resulted from my sleepless tossing and turning.  This was one of them.  I guess sleepless nights aren't all bad.  I don't know what it is about stress that drives me to the kitchen, but it seems to have that affect on me, but not to eat.  I don't eat when I'm stressed.  I cook.  When I was grieving I cooked.  When I was stressed I cooked.  When I was bored I cooked.  I cook and pray at the same time.  Cooking seems to be my way to work through things.  I feed everyone else.

They say dreams are our mind's way of processing things and working through them. I don't know what my mind was working through that brought this about, but it made a few people happy anyway.  I brought it to church for our fellowship meal and asked everyone for their unbiased, honest opinion.  I got several different ones from "tart" to "very rich" to just "sweet enough".  Myself I thought it was great other than I think the crust needed a little more sweetener added. So my recipe below has a little more sweetener in the crust than how I made it.

   Creme de Menthe Pie

1 cup  almond flour, (I use Honeyville)
1 cup  flax meal, Golden
1/4 cup  cocoa powder
10 packets  truvia
1/4 cup  butter -- melted
12 ounces  cream cheese, softened (1 1/2 packages)
6 drops  green food coloring, (optional)
1/2 cup  creme de menthe DaVinci SF syrup
1/8 teaspoon  mint flavoring
1 cup  heavy cream
1 tablespoon  sugar-free vanilla pudding and pie filling
1 tablespoon  creme de menthe DaVinci SF syrup
2/3 cup  heavy cream
8 squares  Lindt 85% Cocoa Bar, chopped into small pieces
6 packets  Truvia

Crust:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together in the bottom of a 10" pie plate and press into the bottom and up the sides.  Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.

Filling:  Beat together the cream cheese, food coloring, if you use it, SF syrup, and mint flavoring with an electric beater until smooth and creamy.  Whip the cup of heavy cream together with the SF vanilla pudding and pie filling mix, and the DaVincie SF syrup, until peaks form.  Fold into the cream cheese mixture until all is blended well.  Pour onto prepared crust.

Topping:  Bring heavy cream and Truvia just to a simmer, stirring constantly, and remove from heat.  Quickly stir in the chopped cocoa bar until smooth and creamy and spread on top of the pie.

Chill the pie overnight or several hours before serving.

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16 servings (Per Serving): 241 Calories; 26g Fat (84.5% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber
4 net g carbs

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mouth Watering Vanilla Cream Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Filling

Oh oh oh!  This is...what can I say... it sends endorphins to my brain.  This is something I know I won't make except on special occasions because it would just be too hard to not eat them all and get sick.  They are rich, creamy, the kind of thing that makes your eyes roll into the back of your head and you get a delightful shock that goes through your taste buds down to your tummy.  It is heavenly good.  Ok, ok... I know I am running on here, but oh my! I just don't know how to describe them!  I am so thankful for the taste buds God gave me and the delightful foods He gave us to enjoy, and this is one of those pleasures He gave that makes you just know Heaven has got to be wonderful.  I'm not exaggerating!
This is the way they hit my taste buds... I'm just sayin'.  I came home from work dead tired, after chasing a room full of 12 to 18 month olds around, and though they are really truly delightful and fun and cute, I know why God gives us children when we are young.  At 57, 4 hours of that is about all I can handle.  And those cute little kiddie songs go through my head in my sleep now.  But baking cookies really was the last thing on my mind when I got home.  Taking a good long nap was actually what I was longing for.  But I was looking through my recipes, none-the-less, (that is what I do in my spare time), and I got an idea and I'm glad I did.

So I made them, and was revived.  I think they sort of brought out the kid in me. :)

So here they are...

               Vanilla Cream and Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

1/2 cup  butter, softened
1/4 cup  Torani (or DaVinci) vanilla flavored SF syrup
12 packets  Truvia (or sweetener equal to 1/2 cup sugar in sweetening power)
1/4 cup  xylitol
1 large  egg
2 teaspoons  vanilla
1 1/2 cups  almond flour, (Honeyville is what I use)
2 tablespoons  coconut flour
1 teaspoon  baking powder
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1/3 cup  heavy cream
6 packets  Truvia
8 squares  Lindt 85% Cocoa Bar -- chopped into small pieces

Cookies:  In a medium mixing bowl add butter, vanilla sugar free syrup, Truvia, xylitol, egg, and vanilla.  Beat with electric mixer on low until creamed together.

Add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder and salt and beat again until it is well blended.

Drop by 1 Tbs fulls on parchment lined cookie sheet and flatten with the back of a spoon sprayed with non-stick spray.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes and cool on the pan.

Filling: Add heavy cream to a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add 6 packets of Truvia.  Bring just to a simmer, stirring.  Remove from heat and add the Lindt 85% Cocoa Bar and stir with a wire whisk until well blended and smooth.

Spread on a cookie and top with another cookie.
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11 sandwich cookies (Per Serving): 211 Calories; 23g Fat (77.6% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber

NOTES : 3 net g carbs per cookie

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wheat--Allergy, Intolerance, or Sensitivity?

I'm learning more about the differences between gluten intolerance, wheat allergy, Wheat or gluten sensitivity.  It all seems very confusing.  The more I read the more I seem to fit in the category of wheat allergy.  I found this site helpful.

"Even though it occurs as a reaction to protein in wheat, Celiac Disease is not specifically a wheat allergy. A wheat allergy — like most well-known allergies — is the response of white blood cells called basophils and mast cells to something called Immunoglobulin E (or IgE for short). In laymen terms, this is a traditional allergy where you develop antibodies to an allergen, in this case wheat. Believe it or not, you can have a wheat allergy and not have Celiac Disease (or gluten intolerance), and you can have Celiac Disease and not have a wheat allergy. They’re two completely different responses in your body.
In a vast majority of cases, gluten intolerance symptoms will be systemic and will be a result of consuming gluten over a period of time. But symptoms of wheat intolerance will instead manifest themselves more like you perceive a typical allergy: quickly and with single exposure. Being gluten intolerant can be frustrating as this autoimmune disease can be subtle and insidious."
 My #1 symptom is sinus inflammation, and it happens quite soon after exposure.  In fact, yesterday I had lunch with a friend at Subway.  I didn't eat there.  I ate my own gluten free sandwich made from coconut flour and gluten free meat.  As I sat there, very soon I noticed I was feeling the congestion begin.  I walked in there and if you've been in Subway you know what I mean... it just wreaked of the smell of freshly made bread. For some reason much stronger a smell than at any bakery or any other restaurant I've ever been to.  I know they make their rolls right there in their oven.  I couldn't believe just the smell of the bread was causing me to have a reaction when I didn't even eat any!  I mean, come on!!!

I also discovered I cannot handle the play dough where I work with preschool children.  I used to make the play dough and sure can't do that anymore, but I cannot even handle it without using gloves and then washing my hands after, because if I touch my face while handling it I get a reaction.  I don't have all the digestive issues that people with Celiac have, but have had problems with IBS.  I can't tell if that is improved with giving up wheat or not because at that same time I began taking L-glutamine and drinking kefir again.  I think what ever improvement I have had has been due to that.  Because when I stop doing that, it comes back, regardless of having no wheat.  It's so hard to know these things!

So does it matter if it's an allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance, or celiac?  I suppose it would help me to know, but no matter, I have to stay away from wheat.  What I don't understand is that I seem to be more hyper-sensitive to wheat after being off from it for a year than I ever was when I was actually eating it.  So very little gives me a very big reaction.

So I'm still learning about all of this and striving to find hidden wheat wherever it may show up and be careful.  Almost impossible to eat out.  Every time I do, no matter how careful I think I am, I get a reaction.  It sort of scares me in a way.  I don't know where this will go, or how bad it can be, or if it could develop into even stronger reactions.  In that sense I suppose it's important to know if it is truly an allergy or a sensitivity.

If you're out there also struggling with this do read the site above that I linked to.  It has a lot of helpful information!  I have just started reading and I know I need to read more.  If anyone has any other helpful information please let me know.

One advantage I have is that I have been low carbing for about 5 years already so going from that to taking away wheat was not so huge and overwhelming.  I already knew how to make breads and baked goods for myself with low carb non-wheat flours.

So that's where I'm at for now.  I hope you all have a happy wheat-free low-carbing journey!  I'm doing my best to make it that for myself and whoever else I can help along the way.  :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pumpkin Chili

I have so many chili recipes.  Each one has its own uniqueness.  Lately, being Fall, and having pumpkin on my mind a lot, as well as chili, I decided to try a pumpkin chili.  I never had pumpkin in chili before but as I was browsing the internet for recipes and reading reviews, I decided on a combination of several ideas for one.  I didn't know if I should lean more on the pumpkin type spices or the chili type spices.  But I ended up using a little of each and the result was great!  I asked my family on a scale of 1-5 what would they rate it.  My son said, "A million!"  My husband and my son both do not do low carb or gluten free.  So I consider their opinion pretty weighty when it comes to how a non-low carber will like something.


                              Pumpkin Chili

2 lbs ground beef
4 oz mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup onion, diced
6 oz green chili peppers, diced
16 1/2 oz tomato juice (3 - 5.5 oz cans)
14 1/2 oz diced tomatoes, (1 can)
1 cup  canned pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons  pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon  cumin
2 tbs chili powder 
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp Splenda

Brown the beef, add mushrooms and onions and stir and fry until tender.  Add green chili peppers, tomatoes, tomato juice, pumpkin, spices, and Splenda.

Stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes.  

Makes 6 1/2 cups, Each serving is slightly more than 1 cup.

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6 servings (Per Serving): 459 Calories; 32g Fat (63.4% calories from fat); 29g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Filled Turkey Roll

I thought I'd try something a little different tonight.  I wanted to make a filled meat loaf.  It did not turn out as a nice firm pretty loaf but more like a casserole. I was inspired by a recipe I saw for a filled turkey loaf, which I can no longer find.  It had rice, cheese, and red peppers for a filling.  In spite of how it looked when finished, it was wonderfully good in taste.  My non-low carbing husband and son both gave it a 5 star rating and said it was wonderful.  

I started out with a turkey loaf that I make using                       

  2 lbs ground turkey
  1 large egg, beaten              
 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  1 tsp onion powder
  1 tsp garlic powder
  1 tsp salt
  1/4 cup  low carb ketchup
  1 tbs prepared mustard
  2 tbs soy sauce, gluten free (
  2 cups  Cauliflower rice (cauliflower shredded in food processor, or chopped fine)
  1 cup  fiesta blend shredded cheese (or any other kind of shredded cheese you like)
  1/4 cup  chopped red bell pepper

Mix all of the first 10 ingredients for the meat loaf together well.

On top of a mat, or cookie sheet, spread out the meat on a piece of waxed paper to a rectangle (as wide as your loaf pan so that when you are done it will fit in the pan).

On top of this, spread the cauli-rice, leaving about an inch on each side.  

Top with shredded cheese, and chopped red bell pepper.  Make sure to leave 
enough room on the sides to seal.  

Roll it up carefully, seal the edges, and place in a greased loaf pan, by placing the pan on top of the loaf and holding the sides of the waxed paper, and the mat underneath, and carefully turning it over into the pan.  

Bake at 400 degrees F. for approximately 1 hour.  Place a meat thermometer in the center to test for doneness.  Drain the juice and turn out onto a platter.  I could not pick it up out of the loaf pan.  It does not hold together.  

                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
8 servings: 1 Serving: 257 Calories; 15g Fat (53.7% calories from fat); 26g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hamburger and Mushroom Stroganoff with Mashed Cauliflower

I had no intentions of blogging this tonight, but decided to because it turned out so yummy good!  So I have to apologize for my poor quality picture, which I took from my old camera.  From now on I will be using my new Nikon COOLPIX L120 14.1MP 21X Ultra Zoom Camera which I got a pretty cool deal on.  We were able to bring in an ad and they matched it so I got my camera for $216 rather than their sale price.  But I have yet to get it out of the box and put in the batteries and use it.  Just have been too busy!  

So I'm getting side-tracked here.  Back to the food.  I had this for dinner tonight.  Needed something to throw together fast.  I had just gotten an order from Netrition and tried some of the Walden Farm's products, so I used their alfredo sauce in this.  I must say I was not disappointed!  And if their claim is true, of no calories, and no carbs, (which puzzles me), then it's a pretty good deal for everyone.  It's also gluten free.

I hastily threw this together, and did the best I could to write down the recipe as soon as I finished eating.  It went really well over mashed cauliflower and for the non-low carbers, I made mashed potatoes, and made some steamed broccoli with melted butter seasoned with minced garlic and mustard powder, and a tbs. of lemon juice. 

* Exported from MasterCook *

        Hamburger and Mushroom Stroganoff with Mashed Cauliflower

Recipe By     :Ginny Larsen
Serving Size  : 5  (approximately)
Categories    : Beef                            Main dish

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1        pound  lean ground beef
  8        ounces  mushrooms -- canned or fresh
  1        jar  Walden Farms alfredo sauce -- (no calories or carbs)
  3        ounces  cream cheese
  1        teaspoon  onion powder
  1        teaspoon  garlic powder
            salt and pepper -- to taste
                        Mashed Cauliflower
  1        pound  cauliflower -- (I use frozen)
  1/4     cup  kefir
  2        tablespoons  butter
 1/2      teaspoon  salt -- (or to taste)

Place cauliflower in a microwavable dish and microwave on high for 10 minutes or until cooked soft.  While it is cooking, using a large frying pan, brown the ground beef.  While it is browning, place the mushrooms in a food processor and pulse a few times, just to roughly chop them.  Or chop by hand. 

Add the mushrooms to the ground beef, and stiry and fry a couple minutes longer and then add the alfredo sauce, cream cheese, onion and garlic powders, and salt and pepper.

Simmer, covered for about 15 minutes.  While this is simmering, place the cauliflower that has been cooked, into your food processor and process until smooth.  Add the kefir, butter, and salt, and process some more until it is the consistency of mashed potatoes.  If you need to add more kefir do so.  

Scoop about 1/2 cup of the mashed cauliflower onto your plate and top it with the stroganoff.  

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Per 5 Servings: 1 serving = 383 Calories; 30g Fat (70.1% calories from fat); 21g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cool Looks and My 36th Anniversary

Ok, this has been functional for a time now, but I just finally figured out how to get it.  If you want to use the Cool Looks on my blog, you need to use this URL:
click on it and see what you get!  It's pretty cool.  You get a whole different view of everything on my blog.

You can choose from several different views by clicking one of them on the upper left side: Classic, Flipcard, Magazine, Mosaic, Sidebar, Snapshot, and Timeslide.  Check them out!  I love it!  I was messing around with it on Jennifer's blog and found that I could use it on my own as well.  Thanks Jen for explaining it! I'm a bit late in announcing it, but better late than never, huh?

I just had a wonderful week celebrating our 36th wedding anniversary with my best friend, lover, and soul mate.  I think in these days that is something to celebrate! This man is God's gift to me and evidence of His love and grace in my life.  We had a great week together, without spending a lot of money (we're cheap--or frugal we like to say), and enjoyed that our anniversary this year coincided with a week off from work.  I work for the public school and it was MEA week here.  The rest of the district gets 2 days, but in ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education), we get the whole week.  What a beautiful time of year to do it and to have an anniversary, even though the colors this year are a bit pathetic in our area.  The wind has blown most of them away.  Nevertheless, it was a great week.  I'll be back to cooking once again, after a week of trying to stay low carb and gluten free in restaurants.  I managed pretty well I'd say.  I also brought my own food along to help. So here are a few pics of our week. These are all at Frontinac State Park, Lake Pepin.  Click on the picture for a larger view.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Caramel Sandwich, LC, GF

Lunch and dessert all in one.  I get these ideas sometimes.  I would have added bacon to the mix if I had had any, but I didn't.  Sometimes my mixes aren't what others would care for, but there may be some of you out there like me, so I share them.

Everyone who knows me by now, knows that I like chocolate and peanut butter, and add caramel to that and what could be better?  And sometimes to have a lunch and then add dessert is just too much, so why not make your lunch and dessert all the same?  I think it's a good idea anyway!

So I took my microwave coconut bread recipe idea and created a chocolate bread out of it.  I bought some Walden Farms sauces and syrups from lately so thought I'd add some caramel syrup to this and the taste was everything I hoped it would be!  You could use this bread recipe as a cake in itself and just frost it if you like.  It was great in both taste and texture!

I know that many do not like to microwave in plastic, and I understand that it has the risk of giving us those xenoestrogens and all that, and I probably should be careful of that, and actually for the most part am, but occasionally I like to use my plastic Wonder Bread microwave container to get that nice bread shape.  So I'm not a purist. But if you are and you are more diligent about that than I am, than feel free to use a container that is not plastic for this.  The shape, after all, is not going to change the taste of the product.

Or if you don't like the microwave at all for any food, you can make this pancake style on a griddle but it won't have the same consistency as when you microwave it, yet I'm sure it would still be quite tasty.

* Exported from MasterCook *

           Chocolate Peanut Butter and Caramel Sandwich, LC, GF

Recipe By     :Ginny Larsen
Serving Size  : 1     Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : Bread                           Breakfast or snack
                desserts                        lunch

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
                        Chocolate bread
 1        tablespoon  coconut flour
 2        tablespoons  cocoa powder
 1/8     teaspoon  xanthan gum
 1/4     teaspoon  baking soda
 6        packets  Truvia -- (or sweetener equal to 1/4 cup sugar)
 1        large  egg
 2        tablespoons  kefir
 1        teaspoon  oil
                        water as needed
 2        tablespoons  unsweetened peanut butter -- (I do add Truvia to my peanut butter so it is a little sweet from the jar)
 1        tablespoon  *Walden Farms Caramel Syrup -- (zero carbs or calories)

Mix all the dry ingredients in a small bowl.  Stir together getting out any lumps.

Make a well in the middle and add the egg, kefir, and oil.  Mix together well.

Drizzle water in and stir just enough to make a cake batter consistency.  Mix well with a wire whisk until it is smooth.

Spray a small container, such as a Wonder Bread plastic container, or a square entree container, or ceramic cereal bowl, whatever you have, with non-stick spray.

Add half of the batter, and spread around evenly.  Microwave for 70 seconds (depending on your microwave.  Mine is 1000 watts), on high.  Plop out on a paper towel and do the same with the remaining batter.

Spread the peanut butter on one piece.  You may have to microwave it to soften it so it spreads easily.  I microwaved mine for about 30 seconds since it came out of the refrigerator.  Then add the caramel syrup and spread evenly on top of the peanut butter.  Cover with the other piece of bread and enjoy!

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Per Serving: 377 Calories; 28g Fat (65.3% calories from fat); 17g Protein; 17g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber

Serving Ideas : I may add some bacon to the mix of this next time!

NOTES : *9 useable grams of carbs

Friday, September 30, 2011

Yet Another Microwave Bread Variation

Using coconut flour, because of how it absorbs liquid, I can use a lot less of the amount for making this bread, so now I've got another variation I, so far, like best of all.  I guess, actually, this is a whole different recipe, so I could post it as a separate one, but there are so many variations of 1 and 2 minute breads on low carb sites, and I have not checked all of them out, so if there is another one like this, sorry... I don't have time to check the entire low carb community to see if there is or not. So if you have already done this or seen it, I'm really not trying to take credit for someone else's recipe!  I just play around and see what I come up with sometimes.  This is my new favorite, and it's a lot less calories, more close to a regular wheat slice of bread, and very low carb, only 2 effective grams of carbs per slice.

I like the flavor better than almond or flax.  I also like the texture better.  It's lighter in the stomach, and doesn't leave me with a heavy stomach like almond flour sometimes does.  It seems much easier on my digestive system. I was actually having trouble gaining weight with all the almond bread.  Regardless of others' experiences with that, I only know mine... I gain weight with too much almond flour.  So I've cut back on the bread and desserts, even though they were low carb.  But making this variation, I am cutting calories quite a bit.  Yes, I do have to watch calories as well as carbs.  If you don't, be very thankful!  Unfortunately, if I eat lots of good low carb food with lots of calories I gain weight or I don't lose any.  We all have our unique set of problems to tackle.

So here is my latest favorite. Just thought I'd share it with you.

* Exported from MasterCook *

                          Coconut 2 Minute Bread

Recipe By     :Ginny
Serving Size  : 2  
Categories    : Bread

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1         tablespoon  coconut flour
  2         tablespoons  parmesan cheese
  1/4      teaspoon  baking powder
  1/8      teaspoon  xanthan gum -- (optional, but improves texture)
  1/4      teaspoon  splenda
              couple dashes of salt
  1         teaspoon  extra virgin olive oil
  1         large  egg
  2         tablespoons  kefir -- (or other liquid)

Mix all dry ingredients first, getting out all the lumps.  Make a well in the middle and add the liquid ingredients.  Stir the liquid ingredients in the middle and then gradually stir in the dry until all is mixed well and smooth.

In a square or round container, such as a cereal bowl, or a plastic entree dish, pour half of the batter and rap hard on counter a couple times to get out bubbles.

Microwave on high for about 60 to 65 seconds, depending on your watts.

Plop out onto a paper towel and do the same with the second half of the batter.

You can use this to make a sandwich, or you can toast it.  Use just like bread.

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Per Serving (2 servings per recipe): 99 Calories; 7g Fat (63.5% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Pie, LC, GF

In my opinion, there is no taste sensation that beats peanut butter and chocolate together.  So taking my favorite flavor combination and making it into a pie turned out to be all the delight my taste buds wanted.  I had some chocolate cookie crumbs (low carb and gluten free of course) in my freezer that I wanted to use, and this was the perfect way to use them.  But if you don't have anything chocolate that you can make into cookie crumbs you can certainly do this with any nut crust you want to use as well.  The chocolate crust really made this wonderful though!
Here is the recipe I used for the crust:

* Exported from MasterCook *

                         Chocolate Cookie Crumbs

Originally a brownie recipe by Jennifer Eloff with variations
Serving Size  : 12  
Categories    : Dessert

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  2           large  eggs
  3/4        cup  splenda -- (18 g. carbs, if you use liquid sucrolose you save the carbs)
  6            packets  Truvia (or erythritol)
  1/2         cup  coconut oil -- (or butter, melted)
  2/3         cup  almond flour, Honeyville
  1/2         cup  cocoa
  2            tablespoons  coconut flour

Mix all ingredients together well.  pour into a microwave proof container, sprayed with non-stick spray and microwave for about 5 minutes.  Check it to see if it is hard.  Let it cool completely. Less time will be softer, more like brownies, more time dryer and harder for crumbs.

Plop out of your pan and crumble into your food processor and process into crumbs.  Store in your freezer until you are ready to use it.

  "2 cups"
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 139 Calories; 14g Fat (77.9% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 31mg Cholesterol; 15mg Sodium.

NOTES : Nutrition info is according to 12 servings for a pie crust.

This is a bit high in carbs as a dessert altogether, but a good treat if you can tolerate more carbs, and especially if you have a lunch of protein, and little or no other carbs, which I can easily do with an almond bread sandwich.  I can stay within Dr. Bernstein's 12 g. per meal that way.  But today I simply had a piece for lunch all by itself.  It was all I needed!  I will work on lowering the carb count, however, using different sweeteners in the crust in place of Splenda.

* Exported from MasterCook *

                   Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, LC, GF

Recipe By     :Ginny
Serving Size  : 12
Categories    : Dessert

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
                        Cookie Crumb Crust
  2          cups  chocolate cookie Crumbs -- *see above recipe
  2          tablespoons  coconut oil
  1/4       cup  water
  3          packets  truvia

                        Peanut Butter Cream Filling
  1            cup  heavy cream
  4            packets  Truvia
  8            ounces  fat free cream cheese -- (doesn't have to be fat free, this is what I had--same carbs, lower calorie)
  1/3         cup  unsweetened peanut butter
  2            teaspoons  vanilla
  4            packets  Truvia

                        Chocolate Topping
  2            ounces  unsweetened chocolate
  2            tablespoons  coconut oil
  12          packets  Truvia
  2            tablespoons  heavy cream
  2            tablespoons  warm water

For the Crust: mix the crumbs together with the melted oil, water, and truvia and press into a 10" pie plate.  Bake in 350 degree F. preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Cool completely and Chill

For Filling: Whip the cream with the 4 packets of Truvia until it is stiff. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, peanut butter, vanilla, and Truvia until creamy and smooth. (more Truvia if you want it sweeter.  Taste and add to your taste.  Everyone's different)

Fold in the whipped cream until it is well mixed in.

Pour out into your chilled crust and spread evenly.

For Topping:  Powder your Truvia in a coffee grinder or bullet blender.  Set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt your chocolate over low heat, along with the coconut oil, stirring until melted.  Be careful not to burn.  If you don't know how to do this over low heat, better to use a double boiler.  (This goes faster if you chop up the chocolate first).

When melted, remove from heat and add your sweetener.  Gradually whisk in the cream.  It will get thick and look awful and you'll be sure it's not going to turn out right but don't worry.

Gradually drizzle in water and whisk until it is the consistency of a glaze.  It should be smooth and shiney and pourable.  But not too loose so that it is runny.

Pour over your filling and spread evenly.  Chill pie for several hours or overnight for best results.

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Per Serving: 347 Calories; 33g Fat (82.2% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber


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