9/14/19

Low Carb, Sugar Free "Potato Salad" - Cauliflower based potato salad




Maybe it's the hot days that are hanging on from summer but last week I was seriously craving potato salad!  I don't often crave it, and I rarely eat it, but after putting it 'off' for almost a week and still craving it, I whipped up a half batch for dinner that night.  Surprisingly, my husband seemed even more excited about seeing it with our dinner that night than I was.  I guess he's been missing potato salad as well!

Of course we are trying to be really good at keeping low carb and sugar free so I did not make the real potato version.  All I really am doing when I make this version is making my favorite potato salad with some substitute ingredients (like the cauliflower) to make it lower carb.    Normally this is best if you use fresh cauliflower and cut it up into 1/2 - 1 inch pieces so it seems even more like potatoes but I wanted REALLY quick and easy the other night so I used riced cauliflower instead, which I don't think I've done in the past.  And?  I was happy with it.  Mostly because it saved time and made this even easier to make.



Low Carb "Potato" Salad using Cauliflower

2 or 3 bags riced cauliflower, a head of fresh riced cauliflower or chopped fresh cauliflower
2 green onions, chopped
3/4 c celery, diced
1 t salt and some pepper to taste
6 hard boiled eggs
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c natural sweetener of your choice
1 t thickener of choice (corn starch, 1/4 t xanthan gum, etc.)
1/4 c white vinegar
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c half and half or cream (can use milk but it has natural sugar grams)
1 t yellow mustard
1 c mayonnaise
1/2 c bacon, cooked and crumbled

To easily hard-boil eggs, use your instant pot if you have one!  Manually cook for 5 minutes, quick release, cool and peel.   Other wise, cook your eggs you normally do on the stove and cool, peel.  While they are cooking, cook your cauliflower briefly to soften but still firm.  This is about 3 minutes.  Drain your cauliflower well and gently press a bit to get out the excess water it holds.  In a large bowl place the cauliflower, chop the hard boiled eggs, the celery, bacon and green onions.

In a saucepan on the stove, whisk together the 2 eggs, natural sweetener(s) and the thickener.  Stir in the vinegars, cream and mustard; cook over medium heat, stirring until it is slightly thickened.  This is about 7-8 minutes usually.  Remove from heat and let cool or place the bowl in ice water to cool down quicker.  Add the mayonnaise.  Stir into the cauliflower/celery mixture.  Chill and serve.  Note:  We had some leftover that night and when I wanted to use it the next day, it had soaked up the dressing and was drier.  It was 'fine' but I like my potato salad creamy and moist so I had to mix up another batch of the dressing and stir it in.  So, I'd say this is best the day you make it. 


*as usual, I like to mix 2-3 natural sweeteners for the best flavor



The only way I ever make hard boiled eggs anymore!
Perfect every time.


Normally I'd use fresh cauliflower but I have a lot of riced cauliflower
on hand right now so I tried that and... loved it! So fast and easy.










You might also be interested in some of the products related to this post;



   Instant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer

   Hamilton Beach Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper with Bowl Scraper, 10 Cup, Electric

   Mixing Bowls Set of 5, Wildone Stainless Steel Nesting Mixing Bowls with Lids, Measurement Lines & Silicone Bottoms, Size 8, 5, 3, 2, 1.5 QT, Non-Slip & Stackable Design, Great for Mixing and Prepping


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9/13/19

Repost: Homemade Low Carb, Sugar Free Pecan Pie






For a traditional version that uses flour in the crust and sugar/sweetener you can find an older post here:  Pecan Pie (and Blueberry Pie too!)


The low carb and sugar free version has been posted a couple times already, but I made it again this week and since I've new people popping into the website all the time, I thought I'd post it again.

The thing about this crust is that you can play with it a bit.  Yes the flavor and texture will change by doing so, but if you don't have xanthan gum and don't want to order it, then leave it out.  The crust might be a little more crumbly, but I don't think anyone will judge you for it.  Use a different brand almond flour if you have a favorite - and although I use Isopure whey protein powder with my almond flour, a lot of people prefer to use a tablespoon or two of coconut flour instead.  




Sugar Free and Lower Carb Pecan Pie

Crust

1 c Blanched Almond Flour
4 T Hodgson Mill Vital Wheat Gluten
2 t xanthan gum
2 T Nature's Best Isopure Unflavored Whey Protein Powder
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 bowl with a whisk.  Cut in the butter with your fingers and work it in until it's coarse.  Beat the egg yolks with cold water and blend it into the dry ingredients.  When it forms a ball, remove, place on plastic wrap, form a disk, wrap and chill.  Roll out the pie crust (between two pieces of parchment because it's sticky) and place in a large, deep dish pan pan.  Mine wouldn't transfer easily so I pieced it together in the pan and pressed it all into place.  Bake at 350 until golden brown and firm in the center.

Filling

3 large eggs
1/4 c brown sugar style sweetener like Swerve Brown
 3/4 c white granular sweetener or equivalent
1 c sugar free syrup like pancake/waffle syrup (homemade or store bought - recipes in right side bar 'search' feature. I've also used half sugar free 'honey' and half syrup.)
2 T butter
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 - 2 c pecans

Beat the eggs and sweetener.  Add everything else but the pecans.  When beaten well add about a cup of pecans and pour into your baked crust.  Top with another 1/2 - 1 cup pecans.  You can sprinkle them on or place them in a design.  Bake at 350 until dark golden brown and the edges are set and the center is mostly set - a little jiggly is ok.  This takes about 50 minutes.  I baked 45, turned the oven off, opened the door for a minute, closed it, and let it set in the turned off but still hot oven about 10 minutes more before taking out and cooling on the counter.  It will set up as it cools completely. 





I baked mine in our solar oven, but obviously most people will bake theirs in their kitchen oven.  :)









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9/12/19

Easy Homemade Yogurt! Low Carb? Sugar Free? - No added sugar and make it any flavor you wish (I made Homemade Peach Yogurt)



I have never, ever, ever in my life been a 'yogurt' person.  I don't like most milk products, and I hate things that are sweet and I don't care for most fruits.  No yogurt? No problem!

But there is one and only one kind of yogurt I do like once in a while and that is peach.  I think because it's not as overly sweet as the other kinds and has a tang to it. But it has to be the kind with fruit in it.  I can't stand to eat smooth yogurt. 

Most yogurts are full of sugar and sweeteners - read the label. If you want to enjoy yogurt, choose 'plain' or Greek style so you aren't eating all that added sugar.  

Or... make it homemade. I do!  I've been making it for about 12 (?) years now. Maybe more.  I don't recall!

And no I don't have a yogurt maker.
And no, you don't need a yogurt maker.

(Although you can certainly use one if you have it!  Or an instant pot... but that's not what this post is about.  It's about making homemade, healthy yogurt with just 2 ingredients and no yogurt maker.)

Yogurt is a food that is as old as the hills... it's believed that people were eating yogurt as early as 6,000 years before Christ.  And no, they didn't use a 'yogurt maker' back then!  

I've never used a yogurt maker, but I do like to use a heating pad.  I've always had consistent results with a heating pad set on 'low' and even though I've made yogurt using the oven and crockpot versions, it's 'iffy', while the heating pad version has never, ever not worked.  And that's in the 12+ years or so that I've been making it from scratch.

WAIT you say?  What about the carbs in plain yogurt?   I assumed yogurt was a "nope" but it ends up the carbs in plain yogurt don't equal the carbs in milk (12 per cup).  It's because the milk sugars (lactose) break down due to the natural bacteria causing fermentation.  The end result (lactic acid) is roughly 4 carbs per cup.  

This makes plain yogurt, which is pretty tangy and yes.. plain.  So most people add something to flavor it.  This is where you want to make sure you stay on task with your sweeteners or flavors.

Since the only kind of yogurt I like is peach, that's the kind you'll see in my photos below.

I use freeze dried peaches and sugarfree flavored water 'drops' to flavor it.  If you like yours even sweeter, add some natural sweetener of your choice, but I would use the liquid version so it mixes in smooth.  At the very least, perhaps the confectioner's style if you must use a bulky sweetener.


Homemade Plain Yogurt

1-2 T plain yogurt, either store bought or from an earlier batch
1 quart water
1 1/2 cups - 2 cups dry milk powder

Use a 1 quart container of whatever style you wish but it's easiest if it has some sort of lid.
Fill it about half way with water, add the plain yogurt 'starter' and whisk or mix briefly, then add the powdered milk.  1 1/2 cups gives a thinner yogurt and the full 2 cups of dry milk powder will give you a thicker yogurt.  Shake, whisk or blend until smooth.  Fill the rest of the container up to the 1 quart line.  Put the top on or cover it well, and let it set for 12 hours someplace fairly warm.  I put mine on a heating pad set to 'low' and cover with a dish towel.

Around the 12 hour mark, check it.  It might need a couple more hours if it wasn't quite warm enough.  When it's thick and creamy, place it into the refrigerator.  It's now just like store bought plain yogurt.  

If you want to flavor it, use flavored water drops, lemon or vanilla extract, Torani or Davinci flavored syrups, etc. and/or a liquid drop natural sweetener or fine powdered confectioners style sweetener.  You can add berries/fruit of your choice but remember whatever fruit you use will add to your carb and sugar counts.  

SEE THE BOTTOM OF THE POST FOR LINKS TO SOME OF THE RELATED ITEMS IN THIS POST.


My container of choice is a 1 quart container with a lid and a blender ball inside.  All I have to do is shake it to mix!  It doesn't get easier than this.  And you can see my super fancy dancy heating pad.  Ha ha.  Yeah, just a plain old cheap heating pad - set on low for my heat source.


After 12 hours it's thick and creamy and 'done'.
Now I like to add my flavor - remember, the only kind of yogurt I like is a tangy peach with pieces of fruit.  I use freeze dried fruit.  I love the texture once it's rehydrated in the yogurt, and it keeps my yogurt nice and thick.  I don't like thin yogurt.


It's hard to find just "peach" flavored water/liquid drops but that's ok because I love mango and it's easier to find peach mango mixtures.  This one is by SweetLeaf and is made with stevia.


Just flavor your yogurt to your own taste-testing.  Add more of the flavor, fruit or sweeteners you wish.


Because I'm a picky yogurt eater, I won't eat it if it's a 'big' container in the fridge, but I crave it when it's ready to go in small glass jars.  I don't know why... I'm weird.  I know.


I use small canning jars for our yogurt.  Keep in the refrigerator and eat as you like!  Be sure to save out 1 or 2 tablespoons of the plain yogurt to use as a starter for your next batch!




You might be interested in some of the products related to this post:


  Whiskware Batter Mixer with BlenderBall Wire Whisk

   Sunbeam Heating Pad

  Carnation Instant Nonfat Dry Milk, 6 Count, 9.63 Ounce

   Sweetleaf Stevia Natural Water Drops Variety Pack with Raspberry Lemonade, Lemon Lime, Peach Mango & Strawberry Kiwi (1.62 Ounce Each)

   SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia Sweetener, Vanilla Creme, 2 Ounce


If you enjoy visiting An American Housewife, please consider using this affiliate link if you are planning to shop for anything (seriously, anything!) at Amazon - An American Housewife at Amazon



  Freeze dried fruit (watch your labels for sugar grams!)Print Friendly and PDF

9/7/19

Are you coming here from Instagram? Here is some of my Solar Oven (Sun Oven) information!

Originally posted in June, 2015 - it's still relevant so here it is again in 2019!




If  you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you will probably notice I cook and bake  in  my solar oven very frequently.  Although I use it year round, I use  it  probably three times a week from May through September.  It's used for  everything from roasted chicken, roasts, pork roast, bbq pork and French  Dips, to breads, muffins, pies, cakes and cookies.

I  love being able to cook and bake without heating up the house or  using  electricity when I know the grid is getting heavy use from all the   homes A/C's and other appliances running during the hot summer.



 _____________________________________________



I am going to start off with the oven I own.  I bought this one a few years ago when they were still calling themselves "Global Sun Oven" - later changed to All American.    My version was literally just as they were coming out with the new  style; but I got a good deal on mine as it was the 'older' style.  What  does that mean?  It means they improved a couple tiny, teeny things like  the stand is now a "T" shape instead of just a post and they are now  bright blue as compared to black.  They also made the inside a bit  larger so you can use a 9X13" pan and a couple other small improvements  (read about them below in the product description).


Here is the one I own -  complete with the accessory package.  It's about 24 pounds so you can't  'carry' it with you hiking or backpacking - but if you are tent camping  and arriving in a vehicle, you can indeed take it with you. 







All American Sun Oven Dehydrating and Preparedness Accessory Package


  • Lightweight, portable solar oven reaches 360-400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Includes: Dehydrating & Baking Rack Set, 2 Easy Stack Pots w/ lids, & 2 Loaf Pans
  • Oven is American made
  • Comes with eCookbook with 600 recipes

Product Description

For the past  28 years, SUN OVENS® have been  widely used around the world in more  than 126 countries and have become  the world's most well-respected  solar cooking appliance. The TOTALLY  NEW All American SUN OVEN®  combines the experience gained by cooking  millions of meals with the  distinctive American cooking needs and  lifestyle to create a uniquely  American SUN OVEN® which:
-Is 20% larger  than prior model SUN OVENS® to cook a greater volume of food and  accommodate many standard size baking pans.
-Takes the guesswork out of  aligning with the sun.
-Has improved wind resistance.
-Boosts  temperatures by 15% over prior models to cook more food in less time.
-Includes CD with hundreds of recipes and Emergency Preparedness  Organizer CD and videos.

You  can cook almost anything - breads, cakes,  muffins, pizza, vegetables,  poultry, fish, meats, casseroles, grains,  pasta, and desserts, just to  name a few. ...Provides High Cooking  Temperatures Reach temperatures of  360 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which  are more than sufficient to bake,  boil, or steam your favorite foods.  ...You Choose The Cooking Time:  Fast or Slow Cooks within 20 minutes of  conventional oven or stove top  time, or lets you slow cook all day.  ...Is Ruggedly Built It is a  serious appliance that is made for years of  trouble-free use.



Here is the same oven - without all the accessories, so it's a bit cheaper.

   All American Sun Oven- The Ultimate Solar Appliance


  •   Rust-proof, highly polished, mirror-like anodized aluminum reflectors
  • Sets up in minutes.
  • Lightweight with carry handle.
  • American made with uniquely American features!
  • Will reach temps of 360 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.





A Portable, Fold-able Version with cookware and thermometer   Sunflair Portable Solar Oven with Complete Cookware and Thermometer
  • #1 Portable Solar Oven from Alaska to Afghanistan! Cook from sun-up to sundown.
  • The most versatile solar oven on  the  market. Bake cookies or pizza. Dry fruits and herbs. Can accommodate  a  wide variety of cookware.
  • No assembly required. Easy to use. Sets up and stores in seconds.
  • Everything included to start  cooking: 1  solar oven thermometer, 1 heat-conducting/baking tray, 1   baking/dehydrating rack, 2 silicone pots, and a handy carrying bag
  • Oven weighs only 1 lb, 2 oz!  Durable and  portable for Camping, Boating, RV-ing, Tailgating, Emergency   Preparedness, Crafts: candle-making, modeling clay



A Portable, Fold-able Version with all the accessories including racks and cookware Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe with Complete Cookware, Dehydrating Racks and Thermometer
  • #1 Portable Solar Oven from Alaska to Afghanistan! Cook from sun-up to sundown.
  • The most versatile solar oven on  the  market. Bake cookies or pizza. Dry fruits and herbs. Can accommodate  a  wide variety of cookware.
  • No assembly required. Easy to use. Sets up and stores in seconds.
  • Everything included to start  cooking: 1  solar oven thermometer, 2 heat-conducting/baking trays, 2   baking/dehydrating racks, 1 enamelware pot, 2 silicone pots, and a handy   carrying bag
  • Oven weighs less only 1 lb, 2 oz!   Durable and portable for Camping, Boating, RV-ing, Tailgating, Emergency   Preparedness, Crafts: candle-making, modeling clay





Related Products: 

Cooking with Sunshine: The Complete Guide to Solar Cuisine with 150 EasySun-Cooked Recipes

Solar Cooking for Home and Camp Solar Cooking


      




Originally I also also posted about my sun oven in 2015 and 2016:

https://www.housewifebarbie.com/2016/04/as-i-walked-through-our-living-room-to.html
https://www.housewifebarbie.com/2015/06/solar-ovens-all-american-previously.html


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