11/14/19

Easier Than Ever Low Carb (Keto) Mozzarella Sticks - because I made them in the waffle iron this time!



Remember these? (above)  I've posted how much I love my low carb mozzarella sticks more than a couple times now. (Link)   And I usually make a double or triple batch to keep in the freezer because I really (really) hate to bread foods.  I will choose to not make favorite food items just because I hate the messy breading process!

I really love and crave mozzarella sticks dipped in sugar free ketchup and last night that is ALL I could think about and I didn't have any premade in the freezer so I knew it would be a long process of making the keto low carb breading and then breading them and freezing them... and then heating the oil and cooking them.  Sigh.   

When you are hungry, you are hungry... 
and I was not willing to wait up to two hours for freeze time.

So I got the idea of using my normal, regular recipe but skipping the freezing time completely AND then making them in the waffle iron on top of that.  I knew they wouldn't be quite the same as deep frying them, but I actually was kind of excited about that as I usually have to drain them on paper towels to get the excess oil off.  I wasn't sure if they would still crisp up nice for me but guess what?  They did!  And they were SO FAST and SO EASY that I'm actually considering making more of them again tonight since I'll be the only one home for 'dinner' tonight due to schedules.

Here is my regular mozzarella 'stick' made in the waffle iron instead....



If you don't want to use wheat resistant starch (which is totally cool because I know it's usually hard to find except online) just use more Parmesan.  Same with pork rinds.  This time around I did use wheat resistant starch, but added more Parmesan to take the place of the pork rinds that I didn't feel like food processing because... hello?  I already said I was hungry and wanted to eat NOW.  Ha ha ha.


Low Carb Mozzarella Sticks

1 egg, beaten
1/2 c almond flour
1/4 c powdered Parmesan cheese
optional:  1/4 c wheat resistant starch 75
optional:  1/4 c ground pork rinds
(If you don't use the wheat resistant starch 75 or pork rinds just double or triple the cheese)
16 pieces string cheese
2 T Italian Seasoning
1/2 garlic salt


Cut the string cheese in half.
Lightly beat the egg and pour into a small shallow dish.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large Ziploc baggy, dish or jar.
Roll the cheese stick halves in the egg and dip in the dry mix. Press lightly to help it adhere.
Now, you CAN  place the breaded cheese sticks on a baking sheet and freeze at least 2 hours or up to 3 months.  But I made these literally straight from breading to laying it in my hot, and sprayed waffle iron.  Cook them in your waffle iron until the light turns green that they are 'ready' or if yours doesn't have one, about 3 minutes (more or less) depending on your brand of waffle iron and how hot it gets.
Lightly salt to taste and serve hot with low or no sugar marinara sauce or ketchup. 




Because it's crumb-based Parmesan breading, it does get your iron a little messy but obviously that wipes right out with a paper towel when you are done making them.






Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker

DASH No-Drip Belgian Waffle Maker: Waffle Iron 1200W + Waffle Maker Machine For Waffles, Hash Browns, or Any Breakfast, Lunch, & Snacks with Easy Clean, Non-Stick + Mess Free Sides - Silver

If you want to purchase almond flour and not pay 'local' prices (it's often cheaper online than it is in your local regular grocery store) you can find it online at my favorite low carb and workout proteins source, Netrition.com (link here: 
Almond Meal/Flour
Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour
)

Or if you prefer to use your Amazon account, you might be interested in some of these products related to the recipe.

NOW Foods Almond Flour, Raw, 22-Ounce
Almond Flour Blanched (2lb) by Anthony's, Batch Tested Gluten-Free
Bob's Red Mill Super-Fine Gluten Free Almond Flour, 3 Pound

         



















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11/13/19

Just in time for Thanksgiving - Reposting from 2017: My sugar free, low carb pie crust

Reposting




I have to be honest, I've been so busy I had not even given any thought to the fact that Thanksgiving was right around the corner.  I didn't realize it until I returned home from being out of town this past weekend, and was scrolling through my Instagram stories.  Someone posted their Thanksgiving Dinner last weekend as they had scheduling issues with blended families.  I went... wait!  What?  Thanksgiving...? 

Then I looked at the calendar.  Oh my.  Thanksgiving IS right around the corner.  And Christmas IS right after that!

Although I don't have to cook for a large group of people this year, I do have a bit of a quandary that although I would like to make the whole meal low carb, sugar free and keto friendly; the people we are sharing the meal with, and that are FAR more excited about the meal than I am, and look forward to taking home a ton of leftovers, love my traditional Thanksgiving meal items.  The ones I've made for years and years and they grew up with... and apparently, I'm told NO ONE else in their 4 Thanksgiving Meals schedule can make like I do.

So I think I'm going to be doing a mixture of some low carb options and some traditional options.  One of those low carb, sugar free options will be 2 of the pies.  The "I WANT ALL THE LEFTOVERS" couple loves apple pie best of all so that crust will be made traditional as I can happily send that entire pie home with them.  But the pumpkin, the pecan and if I do any others, can be a low carb pie crust.

AND THAT IS WHAT LEADS TO TODAYS POST.  Or should I say "repost" as I last posted this in 2017 and I want it more recent on my site so I can easily click on it and scroll through when I'm making this recipe. 

From 2017:  My Sugar Free, Low Carb Pie Crust

___________________


A low carb, sugar free pie crust I've made a number of times before, but this time I tried to make it the way I make my tradition non-low carb versions; which is in my food processor.  And I doubled the recipe - which worked perfectly!  Score a win as I can use one and freeze one for future!


(The food processor in the photo is a Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor.)



 Low Carb, Flour-Free Pie Crust

1 c Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour (or other good quality, fine grain, blanched almond flour)
4 T Hodgson Mill Vital Wheat Gluten
2 t xanthan gum
2 T Nature's Best Isopure Unflavored Whey Protein Powder (I've never made this with any other brand so far)
1 t baking powder
dash of salt
4 T cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 egg yolks
2 T cold water

Combine the dry ingredients in a food process and pulse a few times to mix.  Add the butter pieces while pulsing a few seconds. Beat the egg yolks briefly with cold water and drizzle into the processor while it's running. As soon as it forms a ball, stop.  Remove, place on plastic wrap, form a disk, wrap and chill til needed. 

Roll out the pie crust between two pieces of parchment and place in a large, deep dish pan pan.  Either fill and bake or if using for a 'cold' pie, prick the bottom and bake at 350 until golden brown and firm in the center.  Use as you would any pie crust.

I doubled this and it turned out perfectly.  No issues.

______________________________
 As soon as it forms a ball, stop the machine.



A nice, blurry 'action' shot as I remembered the last second I should probably take a picture of it rolled out!



Sometimes it goes into the pan easily and other times it tears and I just piece it and press into place.



The photo at the top of this post is the baked, finished product with a simple sugar free chocolate mousse and sugar free chocolate chips sprinkled on top.  Use your crust for whatever pie you wish.









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11/11/19

From my Instagram Story: Tilapia Florentine




I've made this more than a few times in the past year, and I make it the same... and different... every time.  It's just a basic white sauce/alfredo sauce with spinach; poured over tilapia and baked in the oven.  

I thought I had posted this before, but a quick search doesn't reveal it, so maybe I haven't.  However, I do have photos in my files from 3 different times I've made it - so the post will have pictures from different days - which means different pans and even different kinds of tilapia.  Sometimes I use fresh tilapia, other times I've used Parmesan crusted tilapia from the frozen food section of Sam's Club.   

This last time, I had used frozen spinach straight from the freezer that I had simply thrown the entire plastic container of fresh spinach into the deep freeze when it was needing to be used up but I was going out of town.  I just tossed the container into the freezer, took out 2 handfuls to use today and was quite happy to see it worked perfectly!  I didn't know if it would have been too watery, as 'frozen' spinach containers are... nope!  So apparently if you have a large container of fresh spinach leaves, it works to just put the whole container in the deep freezer and pull it out later to use in cooked dishes. 

Note:  Use fresh or frozen tilapia, parmesan encrusted tilapia, catfish or any kind of white fish that you like!  Also feel free to use fresh or frozen spinach.  Also - the amounts are approximate as you are just making a simple sauce.  Use more or less garlic or onion depending on what you like.  If you don't want to use green onions, I suppose some onion powder would work just fine too.  Maybe a 1/2 teaspoon-ish?



Tilapia Florentine

2-3 T butter
1-3 green onions
1-2 t fresh minced garlic
2-3 oz. cream cheese
1 c heavy cream
salt and pepper
thyme
1/2 c Parmesan
1-2 handfuls fresh spinach leaves, or a small box of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
Tilapia - fresh, frozen or even Parmesan Crusted/Seasoned - 3-5 pieces

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the green onion and garlic.  Add the cream cheese and stir, press and heat until it's melting.  Add the cream cheese, season with salt and pepper and about a 1/2 teaspoon thyme.  Add the Parmesan, stir until smooth and add the spinach. 

Lay the fish in a greased baking dish or casserole dish.  Pour the sauce over and bake at 400-425 ish for about 20 minutes.  






 











This is the Pyrex baking dish used in the top photo - available through Amazon;


(The small sized dish holds about 3 pieces of tilapia - in the top photo of this post.)

The lower photos were from a different meal when I used a regular cake pan, lined with foil and fitting about 5 pieces of fish.  The large Pyrex dish in the Amazon link above would hold the 5-6 pieces of fish for a larger meal.





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Homemade Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Reposted

This recipe is a favorite and is so perfect for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season! I was just going to put a link here, as I've posted this numerous times on An American Housewife, but honestly I really (really) hate when websites link you to another page instead of just reposting it on the page I'm at. So, although it's repetitive on my site, I'm going to repost it here because that way no one has to click or search for it.

______________________

About a month ago I started to crave pumpkin.  However, we didn't have any so my craving just grew in intensity.   Finally, I bought two large 32 oz. (?) cans - the big ones - and I started to put pumpkin in everything.  I started with pumpkin bars of course, but went on to make more pumpkin pasta, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cupcakes.

My latest 'pumpkin' inspired recipe was deciding to add it to my homemade cinnamon rolls.  I made a large double batch so it made two (2) 9X13" pans.  This way I already have Christmas morning breakfast in the freezer and ready to simply take out on Christmas Eve and let them raise in the pan in the refrigerator for a delicious breakfast for our entire family that takes no time whatsoever!


Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

1/2 c water
1/2 c milk
1/4 c butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1 t salt
1 t vanilla
1 1/3 c pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, just pumpkin)
1/2 c warm/barely hot tap water
2 pkg. yeast (or about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
2 eggs
7 c flour
2 t cinnamon
1 3/4 c brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
1 t powdered vanilla (optional if you have it)
1 1/2 sticks butter (about 3/4 c)

In a microwavable bowl, place the water, milk, butter, brown sugar, salt and vanilla.  Microwave for a minute or two until melted.  Add the pumpkin and stir or whisk smooth.  In a mixing bowl pour the warm tap water and add the yeast.  As soon as it's foamy, add the 2 eggs and the pumpkin mixture.  Mix just until blended.

Add about 5-6 cups of the flour and the 2 t cinnamon.  Using your bread dough hook, mixing and kneading.  (I often make my dough in the bread machine as well;  just use your 'dough' setting).  As soon as the flour is incorporated, add the last 1 1/2 cups (or so) until your dough is no longer sticky.  When it is forming a nice ball and isn't sticking, let it machine knead about 4-5 minutes more or take it out and knead it by hand.  Let it rise in the bowl under plastic wrap until doubled in size.  Punch down.  Divide in half.

Mix the last brown sugar, cinnamon, powdered vanilla (if you have it) and butter.  Mix with your fingers (or cut in with two forks) until crumbly.  

Roll out the half dough ball to a large rectangle.  When it's roughly about 12 inches by 16 inches, spread half the topping mixture over it.  Starting with the longer 16 inch side, roll it up and squeeze the end to form a log.  Use a sharp knife or utensil to cut equal slices.  You slice them as thin as 1 inch or as thick as 2-3 inches.  It depends on how thick you like them and how many you need to make!  I like them about 1 1/2" side and get about 12 of them this way.  Place in  a greased baking pan (anything around 9X13" size works fine).  Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and let them double in size.  Bake at 375 (ish) around 20 minutes.  They will be golden brown and bubbling.  Let the rolls cool for at least 7-10 minutes before adding icing if you wish to top them.  Can be served as they are or with an icing recipe or even store bought frosting.

Easy Icing:
Start with 1 to 1 1/2 c powdered sugar. Add 2 T soft butter and about 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Turn on the mixer and mix until completely smooth. If it's too thick add more cream (or milk) but only 1 teaspoon at a time as you don't want to add too much and have 'soup'. Frost the rolls and serve warm.















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Homemade Rolls for Thanksgiving, Christmas or just Any Day! (Buns, Rolls, Bread, Pizza Dough, Cinnamon Rolls)



I've posted this recipe on An American Housewife soooo many times.  But I've made it a thousand more than I've posted.  This is the one classic bread dough recipe that always works.  Never fails. Is forgiving on if I want to use a mixture of wheat blends for the flour, want to make it into rolls, buns, cinnamon rolls, garlic bread... anything.

The last time I made bread with it (which was just last week for our houseguests) I was thinking to myself that I've never NOT had this dough turn out.  And I've been making this recipe since around 2000 so... almost 20 years now.

I have two classic, wonderful bread dough recipes that I use, but the other one is a little more involved as it uses scalded milk, melted butter, and time for cooling and 2 risings.  This one is my 'go to' because it's so easy and yet so forgiving and so good.

I typically make this in my KitchenAid stand mixer because I keep it out on the counter most of the time so it's readily available.  But it comes together even quicker if you make it in a bread machine.


Classic White Dough
Can be used for bread, buns, cinnamon rolls, garlic bread, etc.

12 oz. warm water
1 1/2 t salt
2 T butter
4 - 4 1/2 c unbleached bread flour (or use all purpose if that is what you already have)
2 T dry milk powder
2 T sugar
1 3/4 t yeast, dry

Either place this in a bread machine(in the order your machine requires) and run on the dough setting or place into a large KitchenAid style mixer with a bread dough hook and knead/mix for about 5 minutes or up to 10 minutes or use an electric mixer and place the water, salt, sugar and yeast in first;  let it set and proof for about 2 minutes and then add the butter, dry milk and flour.  You can also do this all by hand (if you have really strong arm muscles for the 10 minutes of kneading it takes!)

Typically I make this in my large KitchenAid stand mixer or my old, reliable bread machine.

Let your dough set for about 6-10 minutes after kneading to rest.  Remove the dough from the machine or the mixer bowl.  Divide it in half.  Then each half into half.  Then each of those halves into half.  This is how you will get fairly equal sized balls.  If making rolls to go with a meal divide them until you have golf ball sized balls.  If using for hamburger buns, stop dividing the dough when they are double that size so they will be large enough for the hamburger patties.  Roll in your floured hands and place on greased or parchment lined baking sheets.

Letting them rise will give you a taller fluffier bun but you can also bake them right away if you are pressed for time and don't mind a dense roll, which works for soups, etc if you really, really need these right away. 

Bake at 375F for approximately 15 minutes but this can be up to 22 minutes depending on the size buns you make, the thickness of your baking sheet and your oven. Bread takes about 25-35.  When they are golden brown remove them, brush the tops with butter for a softer bun and let cool to warm to serve as rolls or cool completely and serve as hamburger buns.


Because I've made this recipe a thousand times, I've posted it many, many times.  No sense reinventing the wheel, so here are some photos from another post of when it was made into bread. I also had a mixture of home-ground white and red wheat in these, so you can see the little bits of different shades of wheat grain in these.

The first raising

This recipe makes two loaves.  Form and put in a greased pan.

Let raise and then bake until done - about 30-35 minutes.


You might also be interested in;

Top Rated Bellemain Stainless Steel Non-Slip Mixing Bowls with Lids, 4 Piece Set Includes 1 Qt, 1.5 Qt, 3 Qt. & 5 Qt.

KitchenAid K45SSWH K45SS Classic 275-Watt 4-1/2-Quart Stand Mixer

All American Sun Oven- The Ultimate Solar Appliance




     
















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