Thursday, June 7, 2018

Low Carb Meatballs in Bechamel Sauce


Because I love Italian food so much! 

Meatballs are almost naturally low carb...except for that "bread crumb" ingredient...oy!  But, fear not!  These meatballs are perfectly juice, tender, delicious AND low carb, because their "bread" content is made from my Best  Low Carb Buns! :)

This is one of our absolute favorite meals...ever!  It's decadent, rich, filling, tasty, it's everything Italian food should be.  I serve this with a good size green salad.

Here's what you'll need:

1 recipe Low Carb Bechamel Sauce (or 1/2 a recipe depending on how many people you want to feed!)

1 batch Low Carb Meatballs
Thin slices of soft mozzarella
Grated Parmesan for topping
Maybe some leftover Best Low Carb Buns for sopping up that bechamel sauce!
How about a little fresh sliced basil to make it pretty? :)

Preheat oven to 375.

Prepare your baking dish (or single serve dishes) by rubbing with olive or avocado oil.  
Spoon a small amount of bechamel sauce onto bottom of dish.  
Place desired number of meatballs in dish (I served one too many for each of us, so don't get carried away like we did, lol)



Top with both cheeses.  Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
Turn on broiler (make sure you dish is broiler safe!) and broil for 2-3 minutes or just until the cheese begins to bubble and turn golden.







There.  You're done.  Go eat! :)  Light a candle, put on some Italian music, swoon at your honey. :)


Best Low Carb Buns




I based this recipe off of one that I found from LowCarbMaven.

I've made these several times, tweaked and tweaked, and have finally come up with what I feel is the "perfect" mix for the right texture and taste.  These buns hold together, have a slight yeasty taste (thanks to the addition of Nutritional Yeast), and are filling! :)  

For the printable recipe go HERE, then scroll to the bottom for the print page option.

They are extremely versatile and can be made into panini's, breadsticks and more!  Please see bottom of post for baking options.

What you'll need:

"wet":
1 1/2 C. shredded cheese (I use part skim mozzarella, but cheddar or fiest mix work well too!)
2 oz cream cheese
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg white

"dry""
3/4 C. blanched almond flour (fine ground)
2 Tbsp. Coconut flour
1/3 C. Whey Protein Powder (unflavored)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Xantham gum (optional, but helps with holding the buns together)
1 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast Flakes (NON-GMO!) - run through a sifter or sieve to make fine
1 Tbsp. Unflavored beef gelatin powder
1/4 tsp. fine grain salt
2 Tbsp. Golden Flax Meal

In a medium bowl, mix all your dry ingredients together with a whisk, set aside.

**Melt shredded cheese and cream cheese together by using one of the following two methods:

A.  In  medium/large microwave safe bowl, heat for 1 minute, stir and heat an additional 30-45 seconds or until melted and will stir together with a fork.

OR

B. Over the stovetop in a small saucepan over low heat, heat the two cheeses until melted and smooth.

Whip the cheeses into a smooth mass with a fork, work quickly!  Use your muscles!  Add in the egg and egg white, and continue to whip it up... it will be thick and rather difficult, but eventually you will get them all combined together.

Pour dry ingredients into cheese egg mixture, mix as well as you can with the fork, then move to slightly dampened hands.  It will be a sticky mess... this is normal! :)
Mix with your hands to sort of knead it all together in the bowl.  Scrape sticky blob onto plastic wrap and wrap it up nicely.  Place in freezer while the oven heats up (the chilling is important here).

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Once the oven is ready, take the dough out of the freezer and with oiled or slightly damp hands, form 5 round buns, flatten slightly, but not TOO much.

Bake 12 minutes or until the outside has lightly browned.  Let them cool 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack, to cool.  For softer buns, cover lightly with a lightweight clean kitchen towel while they cool.

These freeze well and store nicely in the fridge for about a week or so.  I keep them stored on the counter for up to 3 days.

Optional baking ideas:

*Instead of forming buns, flatten mass into a rectangle and use fingertips to dimple... bake and cut into squares for paninis!
*Instead of bun shapes, make 10 breadstick shapes.  After baking, while still hot, brush with melted butter, olive oil and garlic powder!
*Make into smaller buns for dinner rolls, brush hot rolls with melted butter and garlic.
*I use 1-2 buns all crumpled up as a base for tender delicious meatballs! :)

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Low Carb Cauliflower Bacon Spinach No-Mac n Cheese

This dish is over the top amazing!  Oh YUM!




Let's get right to it, shall we? (For the printable Recipe, go to bottom of page)


You'll need:


1 Head Cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
4-6 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
3 heaping cups of fresh spinach leaves, chopped small (measure before chopping)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. Sea Salt
1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper
1/8-1/4 tsp. Smoked Paprika (to your own tastes)
1/2 tsp. Dried Basil
1/2 Heavy Cream
1/8 tsp (scant) Xantham Gum (Optional)
2 oz cream cheese cut into chunks
1 C. shredded sharp cheddar (I used Kerrygold Dubliner)
1/3 cup shredded Asiago or Parmesan (or cheese of choice)



Set cheeses and cream out on counter to "warm up" a bit. ;)

In a large ovenproof skillet (Cast Iron is great!), brown bacon pieces until just crisp and brown.  Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon, set aside.  Add cauliflower to hot pan drippings and stir to coat.  Cover pan with lid and allow cauli to steam for 4-6 minutes (stirring occassionally), until just crisp tender. 

While Cauliflower steams, finely chop the cooked bacon and mix it with the shredded Asiago (or Parm) cheese and set aside.

Remove lid, reduce heat to med-low,  season cauliflower with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, basil and garlic, stir.   Add cream to pan and stir to coat.  IF USING, sprinkle the Xantham Gum over the dish evenly, then stir to incorporate.

Turn on Broiler to heat it up!

Add the cream cheese to the pan and stir until melted and smooth.  Sprinkle cheddar cheese, a little at a time, over the top, stirring well until melted, repeat, using all cheddar cheese.  Stir well to cover all the Cauliflower in yummy creamy cheese goodness. :)  Finally, add the chopped spinach to the dish and stir to incorporate well, making sure everyone gets a nice coating of cheezy goodness.

Sprinkle the top with the bacon Asiago mixture and place pan under broiler for 2 minutes.  Eat this deliciousness!!!  :)


Printable right HERE!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Lower Carb / Lower Sugar Apple Crumble with "Mock Ice Cream" Topping

This is one of my favorite treats to make on a chilly evening.  Apples are naturally sweet, but the addition of a touch of maple syrup, Monkfruit sweetener and stevia set the balance "just right".  It has all the elements of a traditional apple crisp or crumble with no refined sugars and much less carb count.  

Pop over to my recipe page,  HERE to get the easy printable.

Simmer apples in sweetener, cinnamon and vanilla, until "just" tender.


Meanwhile, mix up the crumble topping!

Whip some cream with stevia and vanilla

 Pop it in the freezer to chill into "mock ice cream"

Evenly distribute apples...

 Top apples with crumble mixture

After crumble has baked, top with "ice cream" and enjoy! :)

Friday, December 22, 2017

The BEST Coconut Flour Chocolate Cupcakes EVER

I adapted these from my favorite chocolate cake recipe, which calls for 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of sugar.  Now that we are eating low carb and sugar free I just had to recreate this recipe.  I can now check that off my "Bucket List". 

Grain Free, Sugar Free, Nut Free...and oh so delicious!  Wow.

Scroll through the pics to see how I assembled them... go to this link to grab my recipes for the cupcakes, ganache and frosting.  Enjoy!















Monday, July 17, 2017

Chocolate Lava Cake - low carb and sugarless - Keto Friendly

Who says you have to cut out yummy treats when you give up sugar?  Not me!  
These delightful treats are made with natural sugar alternatives (Monkfruit, Erythritol and Stevia) and contain NO flour, NO gluten, and are very low in net carbs. 

These individual Lava Cakes are decadent, rich, and lightly sweet.  



NOTE:  These are NOT lowfat, or low calorie, so plan your meal accordingly. ;)

For the printable recipe, please go HERE.  It is for 2 (TWO) servings, and can easily be doubled or tripled.


Whip eggs and sweetener until pale and fluffy...



 Melt the butter and chocolate together...




Combine Hazelnut meal and spices...


 Mix it all together and bake...


Whip up some cream...


Make it look all pretty and enjoy...



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sugar Free Chocolate Almond Ice Cream - Keto Friendly



This ice cream exceeded my expectations in taste.  I didn't use an ice cream maker so the texture was not "perfect", but it was still quite creamy.  I'll share how you can get the best texture from "no churn" making.

Natural sugar alternatives often have an "aftertaste" sometimes bitter or minty, so I was really happy when I realized that did not happen here! :)

NOTE:  Plan to make this early enough in the day so that you can enjoy it that night.  Homemade ice cream is not made to last for days on end, it may crystallize a bit if you don't eat it up soon! :)

ALSO, plan to stick around, as this requires some whipping every 30 mins for a few hours as it freezers (unless you use an electric maker).
Here is what I did to get this yummy dessert:

Gather your ingredients:

1 can full fat organic coconut milk (shake to mix)
¼ c. plus 2 Tbsp. organic cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla (divided)
1 pkg. (2 tsp) gelatin
¼ c. boiled water
¼ c. cold water (in a wide bowl or pot)
¼ classic monkfruit sweetener (lakanto)
1 c. heavy whipping cream
¼ tsp. Stevia powder (SweetLeaf Organic)
½ - ¾ c. toasted almonds, slightly crushed

What to do:

Sprinkle 2 tsp. gelatin powder over the surface of your very cold water, don't let it clump, be sure to sprinkle it evenly and lightly over the water.  Let it sit for 1-2 mins to dissolve, then stir in the boiling water and quickly stir in the monkfruit sweetener until almost dissolved.  Set aside.

To a blender add:  Coconut milk, cacao powder, 1/2 tsp. vanilla and gelatin/monkfruit sweetener mixture.  Blend on high until smooth, scrape sides as needed.  It will be very liquid, don't worry. :)

In your stand mixer (or using a handheld or whisk), whip the heavy whipping cream, 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 Stevia powder until stiff peaks form (but don't over whip!).  Pour a small amount of coconut milk mixture into whipped cream and using a handheld whisk, gently whisk together, continue adding coconut milk mixture a little at a time and whisking gently until it is all incorporated.  Do not add the almonds yet!

**At this point if you are using an ice cream maker you can freeze according to those directions, and stir in the nuts when they tell you. :)

IF you are doing this without a machine, here is what to do. :)  Place in a bowl with a lid that will fit in your freezer.  Set a timer for 30 minutes.  EVERY 30 minutes, remove the bowl and hand whisk it to add air and volume.  Continue to do this until it becomes VERY thick, at which time you can stir in the almonds.  Then let it freeze.  You can continue to stir it every 30 mins until you just can't stir it anymore.  This is what ensures a smooth creamy texture!  

Enjoy! 

Serving Suggestion:  While there is no sugar in this dessert, no calories from sugar, no glycemic index issues, etc... there are calories and there is fat! :)  Try to enjoy this dessert after a low carb dinner so that you don't have carbs and fat fighting eachother in your body! :)






Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Best Lasagna Ever!

I've been making Lasagna for years, literally YEARS...and never made it right until now.  ;)  This meaty Bechamel sauce is the kicker, and takes this Lasagna over the edge!  It's Soooooo good! :)




Please go to my recipe page for the printable recipe... right HERE
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