Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Carrot Cupcakes

Carrot CupcakesI was really craving carrot cake the other day and started messing around with my carrot muffin recipe until I got this. The whole family agreed it was delicious--and the only problem was keeping from eating the entire batch.

1½ c almond flour (6 oz)
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
½ t cinnamon
½ t ginger
½ t nutmeg
1½ c shredded carrots (6 oz)
6 T butter, softened
¼ c honey
4 eggs
1 t lemon juice
½ t vanilla
  1. Whisk together almond flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Stir in carrots until well coated.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together butter and honey until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  4. Stir in butter mixture to flour mixture until well combined.
  5. Pour batter evenly into greased or lined muffin cups.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 35 min.
  7. Remove pan from oven and let rest 10 min in pan before transferring cupcakes to cooling rack.
Note: One recipe of Cream Cheese Frosting is perfect for covering the cupcakes. The nutrition facts below are for unfrosted cupcakes, so if you're frosting them, be sure to add the extra carbs.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cupcake
Serving per Recipe 12
Amount per Serving
Calories 185
Total Fat 14.7 g
  Saturated Fat 4.7 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 6.7 g
Cholesterol 77 mg
Sodium 276 mg
Potassium 180 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.2 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.2 g
  Sugars 7.2 g
Protein 5.3 g

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chicken and Brussels Sprouts

Chicken and Brussels SproutsI never much liked Brussels sprouts growing up. It wasn't something we ate often and its reputation as a "yucky" food didn't help much. In college, I attended a Thanksgiving dinner with another family and was served some Brussels sprouts in cream sauce. They were delicious. Here is a non-creamy, low-carb, still delicious way I now enjoy eating them. As an added bonus, the kids love it, too!

2 chicken boneless, skinless breasts (1 lb)
3 T oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2½ c Brussels sprouts, halved (8 oz)
¼ c chopped red pepper (1½ oz)
2 T lime juice
2 T soy sauce
  1. Cook chicken in a large frying pan with 1 T oil over medium heat until juices run clear, turning once (about 15 min)
  2. Remove chicken from pan and add garlic, sprouts, and peppers, sauté for one minute or until garlic is fragrant
  3. Add remaining coconut oil, lime juice, and soy sauce; cover and let cook for 5-7 minutes or until sprouts are just tender
  4. Cut chicken into 1- to 2- inch pieces and add back to the pan
  5. Continue to cook, uncovered until the sauce thickens (about 5 min)
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size ¼ recipe (approx. 1 c)
Serving per Recipe 4
Amount per Serving
Calories 224
Total Fat 10.9 g
  Saturated Fat 8.9 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 55 mg
Sodium 696 mg
Potassium 253 mg
Total Carbohydrates 7.5 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
  Sugars 2.0 g
Protein 25.7 g

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reader Questions

I've actually gotten two e-mails this week with questions from readers of this blog! I'm humbled to see that more people than just family members are actually enjoying my recipes. Thanks!

    Q: How many carbs a day do you have in your diet?

I've found that I do best keeping it under 40 net carbs (total carbohydrate grams minus dietary fiber grams) each day. Most of my recipes are at or under 10 net carbs per serving, which allow me to have 1-2 servings at each meal and an occasional snack or sweet treat as well.

    Q: How I get access to ALL the recipes that you've posted from the weekly menus?

I haven't actually posted all of the recipes in my weekly menus yet. Often they have been recipes I'm trying out for the first time or still testing to improve. I'm also currently in the process of revising my weekly menus, and publishing just one a month, with a focus on recipes I've already posted.

If there is a particular dish you would like to make, please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail and I will be happy to post the recipe or let you know the status of it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Waffles

Pumpkin Pie WafflesI made my own pumpkin pie spice blend this year and it smells so wonderful, I've been using it for as many different pumpkiny foods as I can manage. These waffles were inspired by my new favorite spice and a leftover jack-o-lantern pumpkin that had been sitting on my counter.

1¼ c pecan halves (4½ oz)
4 T oil
1 t baking soda
1 t vinegar
½ t salt
4 eggs
¾ c mashed pumpkin (6 oz)
1 t pumpkin pie spice
¼ c dates (1½ oz)
  1. Puree together all ingredients until smooth
  2. Pour onto ungreased waffle iron by half-cup measure
  3. Bake each waffle for 2½-3 min or until golden
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 round waffle
Serving per Recipe 5
Amount per Serving
Calories 574
Total Fat 48.8 g
  Saturated Fat 16.9 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 9.6 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 18.8 g
Cholesterol 719 mg
Sodium 837 mg
Potassium 513 mg
Total Carbohydrates 11.8 g
  Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
  Sugars 6.8 g
Protein 26.9 g

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Fresh Salsa and Almond CrispsWhen we lived in Illinois, one of the local supermarkets made their own fresh salsa. It took me several recipe revisions, but I was finally able to recreate the yummy, fresh taste. Now that tortilla chips are off the menu, I eat it with Pecan Crackers or Almond Crisps.

8 medium Roma tomatoes (2 lbs)
1 small onion (5 oz)
2 garlic cloves
1 small jalapeño (½ oz)
½ bunch fresh cilantro (1 oz)
¼ t dried oregano
½ t salt
¼ t pepper
pinch cayenne
pinch cocoa powder
  1. Mince all ingredients and stir together. Alternately, pulse in a blender or food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Refrigerate 1 hour to overnight.
  3. Drain up to 1 c accumulated juices before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size ¼ c
Serving per Recipe 12
Amount per Serving
Calories 31
Total Fat 0.4 g
  Saturated Fat 0.1g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 108 mg
Potassium 296 mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.8 g
  Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
  Sugars 0.1 g
Protein 1.2 g

Monday, December 5, 2011

Deviled Eggs

Deviled EggsVersatile, naturally low-in-carbs, eggs are one of our favorite foods. When we're looking for something a little different than scrambled, boiled, baked or fried; we'll add a little devilment into the kitchen. We've brought this dish to a bunch of parties and, no matter how many dozen we carry over, we have yet to bring a single egg home.

1 doz eggs
½ c mayonnaise
2 t mustard
2 t vinegar
¼ t paprika
  1. Place eggs in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 min. Carefully remove to a bowl of ice water until cool enough to handle.
  2. Peel eggs and slice lengthwise. Remove yolks. Mash yolks together with mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar until smooth.
  3. Fill egg whites with two spoons or a piping bag. Sprinkle a pinch of paprika over each egg.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2 egg halves
Serving per Recipe 12
Amount per Serving
Calories 131
Total Fat 12.0 g
  Saturated Fat 2.6 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 2.0 g
Cholesterol 215 mg
Sodium 118 mg
Potassium 66 mg
Total Carbohydrates 0.7 g
  Dietary Fiber 0.0 g
  Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 6.4 g

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dark Chocolate Strawberry Pancakes

Dark Chocolate Strawberry PancakesI can't recall exactly what led up to the creation of this recipe beyond a chocolate craving one morning. But, really, does there need to be a reason to eat chocolate and strawberries?

⅔ c whole almonds (3 oz)
4½ t coconut oil
3 T cocoa powder
1½ c strawberries (6 oz)
¼ c dates (1½ oz)
4 eggs
½ t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t vinegar
1 t vanilla
  1. Puree together ingredients until smooth
  2. Pour batter by ¼ c onto lightly-greased griddle over medium heat
  3. Cook for 5-6 min, turning once
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2 pancakes
Serving per Recipe 6
Amount per Serving
Calories 195
Total Fat 14.4 g
  Saturated Fat 4.7 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 6.2 g
Cholesterol 123 mg
Sodium 451 mg
Potassium 286 mg
Total Carbohydrates 11.7 g
  Dietary Fiber 3.8 g
  Sugars 6.8 g
Protein 8.0 g

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Changes Around Here

It's been a while since I've updated this blog. A few different things happened rather all at once a few months ago.
  1. I ran out of well-tested recipes
  2. I began posting to this blog after about three months of low-carb eating. During those first months, I'd built up a pretty good stash of recipes that had been working well for us. Unfortunately, posting a new recipe every day, I quickly ran through my collection of go-to goodies. I tried to keep up for a few weeks, making sure I had at least one untried recipe on the menu every day, but that only worked so long as the recipes turned out well the first time. I do have a pretty good knack for "sight-eating" (figuring out how a dish will taste just by reading the recipe), but I'm not good enough that I can make it fabulous each and every time I try something new.

  3. I was feeling depressed about not eating very well for a few weeks (and having the not-so-great end-of-month measurements to show for it)
  4. The first couple of months after I started eating low-carb, I was overjoyed by the drops in weight and inches I was seeing. "This isn't so hard," I told myself. "How can anyone not stick to a diet that encourages eating bacon cheeseburgers?" Still, like many people who have spent years battling their weight, knowing what foods to eat and stocking the house with them isn't the whole issue. The fact that Adam discovered he could gorge on Halloween candy and still be losing weight did not help me one bit. I didn't actually eat any of the kids' Halloween candy, but even my favorite homemade chocolates ceased to be a low-carb treat when I ate enough of them.

  5. I decided to really start following a more paleo/primal concept, which meant I've been having to revise a lot of my recipes to cut out dairy, legumes, and so forth
  6. Just when I thought I had down this new way of eating, I had to come to grips with the fact that I really can't have dairy--especially the quantities in which I'd been consuming it! Even sticking to just cream and butter made from cow's milk and restricting cheeses to goat's or sheep's milk was leaving me with allergy symptoms. Finally, I broke down and bought a jar of coconut oil. For every use other than buttering my morning muffins, it has worked really well. I also found that almond or coconut milk can be substituted for cream is almost every instance, though some recipe tweaking is often necessary. Going without cheese is a little sadder for me, but it's at least a battle I've gone through once before. I've heard good things about the cheesy taste of nutritional yeast from my vegan friends, so maybe I'll try some of that eventually. Meanwhile, I've put the search for the perfect pizza crust on hold indefinitely.

  7. Since all that, I mostly just haven't gotten back into the habit
  8. I won't be going back to make changes to all my old recipes, but I do plan to revamp my categories a bit. For recipes that have changed significantly, I will post the new versions as I'm satisfied that they're fully tested. I've also decided to scrap the weekly menu lists. Given the regularity with which I've been creating new recipes, I plan to post only once or twice a week, so before long a weekly list of foods would end up overwhelming the actual recipe content of the blog.
All things considered, the past few months haven't been a complete waste. Since my last check in, I've lost another 15 pounds. My body fat has gone down by 3% and my BMI has dropped 3 points. I've also lost 2" at my waist and 2½" from my hips.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fudgy Cookie Bites

Fudgy Cookie BitesMy daughter wanted to make cookies the other day. I was in the mood for chocolate and peanut butter, but we only had a handful of peanuts in the house. I decided to try my idea with almond butter instead and I think it worked out pretty well. These are truly tiny, bite-sized cookies. My only problem is to keep from eating "just one" more!

1 c almond butter (9 oz)
¼ c cocoa powder
4 t oil
¼ c honey
½ t baking soda
1 egg
  1. Beat together all ingredients until well blended
  2. Form dough into 1" balls,* flatten slightly, and place ½" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet
  3. Bake at 350°F for 9-11 minutes, until set through
  4. Let cool on pan 2-3 min before removing to wire rack
*You could make a dozen 2" balls to make larger cookies if you prefer, simply bake them an additional 5-7 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 3 cookies
Serving per Recipe 12
Amount per Serving
Calories 172
Total Fat 13.4 g
  Saturated Fat 1.4 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 3.3 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 8.1 g
Cholesterol 15 mg
Sodium 131 mg
Potassium 195 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.9 g
  Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
  Sugars 6.9 g
Protein 5.6 g

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekly Menu #13

Breakfast: Spiced Peach Pancakes
Lunch: Hamburgers with Fresh Salsa
Dinner: Pepperoni Pizza

Breakfast: Double Apple Muffins
Lunch: Ginger Pork Medallions
Dinner: Coconut Chicken Drumsticks

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and Bacon
Lunch: Baked Chicken and Green Beans
Dinner: Bacon Meatloaf Burgers

Breakfast: Raspberry Smoothies
Lunch: Breakfast Strata
Dinner: Beef Pot Roast

Breakfast: Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Lunch: Cream of Mushroom Soup with Meatballs
Dinner: Citrus Pork

Breakfast: Maple Bacon Waffles
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Stuffed Peppers

Breakfast: Sausage and Onion Omelets
Lunch: Bacon Apple Tart
Dinner: Roast Chicken and Creamed Spinach

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sweet Apple Tart

Almond Flour Pie CrustApparently it's "apple week" here on Real Food. This was one of the first things I made with the apples we picked at the local orchard. Adam had mentioned that apple pie sounded good for dessert, so I was inspired to see if I could make one. For a savory version of this dish, see my Bacon Apple Tart post from earlier this month.

1½ c finely ground almond flour (6 oz)
½ t salt
2 T cold butter
1 egg white
2 T ice water (approximately)
  1. Combine almond flour, salt, and butter with a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  2. Beat egg white with 2 t water and stir into flour mixture.
  3. Add remaining water 1 t at a time just until dough comes together.
  4. Press evenly into a 10” tart pan or pie plate.
1 T butter
1½ T honey
½ t cinnamon
¼ t nutmeg
1 egg yolk
3 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (12 oz)
  1. Melt together butter, spices, and honey over low heat.
  2. Beat egg yolk, pouring butter mixture in a thin stream until fully incorporated.
  3. Add apple slices and stir to coat.
  4. Arrange apples in an even layer atop crust.
  5. Cover loosely with foil and bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 30 min.
  6. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 min or until crust is golden and apples are tender.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 slice
Serving per Recipe 8
Amount per Serving
Calories 198
Total Fat 15.5 g
  Saturated Fat 3.7 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 1.4 g
Cholesterol 35 mg
Sodium 186 mg
Potassium 203 mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.7 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
  Sugars 8.3 g
Protein 5.4 g

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Double Apple Muffins

Double Apple MuffinsI got away from making muffins for a while after we got our new waffle maker. We got a new toy a couple of weeks ago--a standard-sized muffin tin--so I've been playing with that. This is one of my favorites, especially when the apples are fresh from the orchard.

⅔ c almond butter (6 oz)
6 T butter, softened
4 eggs
2 t honey
¼ t vanilla
½ c applesauce (4 oz)
2 T coconut flour (½ oz)
1½ t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
¼ t salt
1 c diced apple (4 oz)
  1. Blend together butters, eggs, honey, vanilla, and applesauce
  2. Stir coconut flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and salt with diced apple until well coated
  3. Combine apples with egg mixture
  4. Scoop by ¼-cup measure into a well-greased muffin pan
  5. Bake at 350°F for 35-40 min until deep golden brown.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2 muffins
Serving per Recipe 6
Amount per Serving
Calories 359
Total Fat 31.4 g
  Saturated Fat 10.8 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 4.7 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 13.9 g
Cholesterol 154 mg
Sodium 445 mg
Potassium 294 mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.9 g
  Dietary Fiber 4.4g
  Sugars 7.3 g
Protein 10.6 g

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weekly Menu #12

Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Lunch: Sausage Focaccia Sandwiches
Dinner: Best Ever Beef Roast

Breakfast: Bananaberry Smoothies
Lunch: Bacon Apple Tart
Dinner: Spaghetti Squash Bolognese

Breakfast: Blackberry Yogurt
Lunch: Spinach Garlic Burgers
Dinner: Carolina BBQ Pork Medalions

Breakfast: Maple Bacon Waffles
Lunch: Baba Ghanoush
Dinner: Citrus Pork

Breakfast: Gingered Carrot Muffins
Lunch: Breakfast Strata
Dinner: Wild Riced Casserole

Breakfast: Caramelized Peach Custard
Lunch: Honey Almond Granola Bars
Dinner: Meatballs with Tzatziki

Breakfast: Sweet Cinnamon Popovers
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Garlic Pork