5/8/21

From my Instagram: The Keto General Tso's Chicken - which we like to make as a "General Tso meets Orange" Chicken....

If you only saw the Keto Orange Chicken/General Tso's Chicken on my Instagram this week - I had posted the recipe back in January, which you can find in the search engine or here is the link;   http://www.housewifebarbie.com/2021/01/low-carbsugarfree-orange-chicken-with.html

This was a quick photo of last nights dinner as I made it and snapped a picture on my cellphone.

 


Note:  the one ingredient you might not have on hand for this and you'll want to check your cupboard for is the orange oil/extract or emulsion. I have to order mine online as I've yet to find it locally but Amazon always carries it and often times, Netrition has it as well. Walmart usually has it although it's through 3rd party sellers and they often jack the prices up.  I'll put links on the bottom of the post. 

 

Keto Orange Chicken
(sugarfree and low carb)

1 T grape seed or other oil
1 T ginger powder
1 T minced garlic
2 T rice vinegar
1 T sesame oil
2/3 c (scant) white vinegar
3 T liquid aminos (soy sauce alternative)
1 t xanthan gum (thickener)
1 c granular sweetener mixture of your choice
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 1/2 t dried orange zest
1 t orange extract

Heat the oil in a pan, add the rest of the ingredients as you whisk, bring to a boil and turn down the heat to simmer.  Simmer until it reduces a bit and thickens to a nice sauce.

Use over prepared chicken chunks, and serve with a side of riced cauliflower and you can add broccoli.

Notes: This is the perfect recipe to make the day after you make homemade 'chicken nuggets' or chicken chunks.  Make double, save half for this meal the next day.  Also, I keep SunBird fried rice mixture packets on hand in the cupboard.  When I make this dish, I serve it with plain 'rice' (riced cauliflower) directly with the orange chicken and then make up a side of stir fried 'rice' using the SunBird packet.  I also added about a cup of fresh broccoli pieces to the orange chicken along with chopped green onion tops.

For the Chicken Chunks:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
egg whites
oil
Breading:  depending on your level of acceptable carbs use 3-4 cups crushed rice crispies, panko crumbs, crushed pork rinds or  a mixture of crushed pork rinds with almond flour, or keto bread crumbs
2-3 t paprika
2-3 t onion powder

Cut the chicken into chunks.  Mix 3 or 4 egg whites (depending on bit your chicken breasts are) with about 3 t oil of your choice in a bowl.  Put the breading of choice and spices in a second large bowl or a Ziploc baggy.  Now dredge the chicken into the egg white oil mixture and then breading, place on a heavily oiled pan (I line mine with foil for easy clean up).  

Spray with Pam or drizzle with more oil of choice and bake at 450 until the chunks are done, starting to get brown on the tops and crisp.  Remove from the oven (about 25-30 minutes depending on the size of the chunks you cut).   

I brush the chicken with a light sauce made from:

6 T melted butter
5 T tapatio' sauce

This makes our orange chicken spicy like General Tso's but with a heavy orange flavor too.  You don't have to brush the chicken chunks with anything though if you like your orange chicken sweet but not at all spicy.

 





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I buy my low carb, sugarfree or keto items online from either Netrition or Amazon mostly.  Here are a couple links to their extracts/emulsions although the morning I'm posting this link, Netrition doesn't have the plain orange in stock - only the orange cream which isn't the same.  Amazon always had it in stock though and Walmart usually does although the prices sometimes run higher.

I can currently find my stir-fry seasoning packets at one local store near me, but not always.  And the other items that you might not always have on hand are the sesame oil, liquid aminos or rice vinegar; both easily found in most grocery stores or Walmart.  You can use soy sauce instead of the aminos! 

 

Gourmet Flavorings

 

 

 

LorAnn Oils Gourmet Flavorings at Netrition 

 

 

 

LorAnn Orange Bakery Emulsion, at Amazon 

 

Sunbird Fried Rice Mix, 0.75 Ounce, (Pack of 6)


 

Bragg Liquid Aminos 16 Oz Pack of 2


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5/5/21

Keto Tuna Pot Pie - Adapting my normal recipe to a low carb version using keto flour

 

This isn't a staged photo, although it IS kind of pretty. I used my cellphone to take a picture literally right before I ate it because I realized I better take a photo for my blog.

NOTE TO SELF:  Remember when you were craving tuna pot pie one day and you just had to make it... but you were trying to be really good at sticking to keto, so you needed to adapt your normal recipe; and then you also found you didn't have celery? 

You thought you bought it that weekend but apparently you looked AT the celery and intended to pick it up but then got busy pondering if you needed cucumbers or not and then, walked away, forgetting to buy celery.

So remember how you made the celery cream base for your tuna pot pie - for future reference.  You threw in about 1 1/2 tablespoons of celery seed, and some chopped up celery tops you had in a tiny baggy in the freezer, and then found an old container of celery salt so you added some of that too - in a pan with about 1 1/2 cups water.  You simmered it for about 20 minutes or so and then strained it.  And boom!  It worked.  So future-me, if you really HAVE to make this and nothing will stop you - including being out of celery... remember you can make do.  

 

When I was craving (CRAVING) Tuna Pot Pie but had to keep to low carb.....  I adapted my original Tuna Pot Pie recipe. 

 

Cream Base for Keto Tuna Pot Pie

2 T butter
1 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1-2 c celery, chopped
1/2 t celery salt
1/4 t Old Bay Seasoning
1 1/2 t xanthan
1 1/2 c water
1/2 c cream
1/2 t lemon juice
pepper to taste

In saucepan, melt butter.  Add the onion, garlic, xanthan and celery salt.  Whisk quickly.  Slowly add the 1 1/2 cups water - whisk faster and quick until smooth.  Add the celery, bring to brief boil and reduce to simmer.  Simmer about 20 minutes.  

Either quickly strain the mixture through a wire sieve and press it with the back of a spoon to get all the yummy celery flavor out that you can, (into another saucepan on the stove) or if you have time, pulse the mixture in a blender or with a stick blender to puree.

Add the cream and lemon juice, pepper to taste (white or black). 
Add:

2 cans drained tuna
1/3 c frozen peas

If it's too thick or too strong flavored, add 1/2 cup more cream to thin.  Pour into a greased casserole dish of choice.  Make the topping.

Biscuit Topping:

2 c King Arthur Keto Flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 T sweetener of choice (like Lakanto classic)
1/4 c (half a stick) of cold butter
3/4 heavy cream plus more if needed (up to another 1/4 c)

Mix the dry.  Cut in the butter until crumbly.  Stir in the cream.  When it comes together to form a dough, remove and pat out to the shape of your pot pie dish you'll be using.  Score into about 10 pieces, and transfer the biscuit dough to the casserole, topping the tuna filling.  (Or scoop or cut into 6-10 biscuits and lay them on top to fill the top.)

Bake at 425 for 25 minutes.  Remove and let cool about 5 minutes to set up a bit before serving.




*Little side note*   I only used 1/3 c peas total for the whole recipe because of the carbs and sugar.  If you use 1/2 cup frozen peas, it will be about 11 carbs and 3.7 g sugar for the whole recipe;  now divide that by the number of servings - which depends on how you divide it.  It could be 6, it could be 10.  So on average, the peas in this recipe are going to be 1 carb and almost zero sugar as you are only eating a few little peas per serving.  But leaving the peas out completely isn't an option because, hello?  Tuna Pot Pie must have peas!  Ha ha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

King Arthur, Keto Wheat Flour Blend, Non-GMO Project Verified, 1-to-1 Substitute for All- Purpose Flour, 16 Ounces

   

 

Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener - 1:1 White Sugar Substitute, Zero Calorie, Keto Diet Friendly, Zero Net Carbs, Zero Glycemic, Baking, Extract, Sugar Replacement (Classic White - 3 lbs)

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5/3/21

Opening my Canned Butter! TASTE TEST of my home-canned butter at the 6 month mark.......

 

Last fall I finally canned butter in a pressure canner.  This post is a follow up on the 6 month mark and a taste test.   


Something a million other women and men have done but I had not, was canning butter.

I didn't know if it was going to work out or not, but I wanted to try and thanks to good sale at our local membership warehouse, my freezer food storage had some 'extra' butter I could do a trial run with and not be too upset if it didn't turn out.

You can find many tutorials online and at youtube for canning butter. That's not my post.

My post today is the 'AFTER' of pressure canning butter. 

I have a Presto brand, 23 quart pressure canner. This is an 'after thought' but I need to mention it because it's important... if you haven't bought a pressure canner yet and you have a GLASS TOP ELECTRIC STOVE then you need to be careful of the brand and style you buy!  Many are not recommended for glass top stoves because they will crack them.  I have a glass top stove, which I've always used for water bath canning but I had to be careful when I purchased my pressure canner.   

This also probably goes without saying if you've been doing your research on canning butter - but you never trust water bath canning for items like butter.  And even then - always use brand new, good quality lids so know you have a new seal.

My butter was canned in October 2020.   I wanted to wait to do the first taste test and seal test at about 6 months.

I had to work hard to get that seal off.  That was the first good sign.
When I opened it, it smelled like... butter.   There wasn't much of a scent at all - which is good.
 
It was just... butter.  That sounds almost too simple but there you go.  It was just... spreadable, creamy, real butter.

It had good, even color.  It had a light, fresh, 'buttery' smell.  

I don't like to eat plain butter so I wasn't thrilled about tasting it by itself. 

I don't typically 'lick my finger' or a butter knife with just butter on it because I'm not a fan.  But for this test, I felt I needed to taste it by itself. I have a crazy good sense of smell and sense of taste - like - oddly good.  I get it genetically from my Dad and my paternal Grandmother.  So taste test I did.

And... it was good. Not only good but it was SO good!  

It was seriously, 'sweet cream butter'.  So light, creamy and good.

Not even a smidgen of off taste.  Not a smidgen of even the taste of room temperature butter - which I thought it would since it's... room temperature.  But since there is no air, it tastes as fresh as the day you canned it.  

It was so incredibly sweet and light and... buttery.  

I really wanted to smear it on some homemade bread - that would have been heavenly!  But because we are primarily low carb and sugar free, I don't have homemade bread on hand so I used it on what I did have at that moment - which was some fresh asparagus I had made.

 

Final Thoughts

Why did I want to can butter? 

For my readers who are thinking "Why would you can butter!?  Just buy it at the store or put some in the refrigerator or freezer!", this is why I personally wanted to. 

I do keep butter in our freezer for longer term storage.   

Butter is a food item I never want to run out of!  I use a lot of butter in our day to day meals and baking!  

I will always keep butter in the freezer as part of my well stocked kitchen/pantry, but I know first hand about storms and power outages.  We personally have friends and family who have had weather related storms in the past (the Iowa Dericho... I'm looking at you!) who lost power for over THREE WEEKS.  We personally went without power and water for 5 days during an ice storm in Tennessee.

Even if you have a generator - you have to have one large enough to run the multiple appliances you need or want, and you may have to pick and choose what gets power and what doesn't.  One of my good friends had a generator but the first week of the Iowa dericho storms, her husband had to literally spend all day finding gas.  He ended up having to drive 3 hours away to find gas.  That was a 6 hour trip just to find gas for their generator for a storm that was contained to a rather 'small' area. Imagine if it had been even more wide spread.

I want the ability to have butter for meals for my family in the event of an emergency of any sort or to take with when we go camping, on vacation, etc.  

You can buy canned butter.  

Commercially canned butter like Red Feather brand  - currently about $200 for a case of 24 little cans.  The cans are about the size of a can of tuna.  So, 24 cans for $200 verses me canning 24 half pints for about $16 (based on the current price of butter at my local membership warehouse where I bought two 4-packs for a total of 8 lbs. fresh, sweet cream butter yesterday as it was on sale for about $8 for 4 - one pound packages.)

Basically, I want to have the option of having and storing butter without depending on electricity.

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(Tiny update the next day...  I made another 18 jars yesterday.  Finished the 'shaking' during solidifying process last night around 9:15 pm.  What a great feeling to see the fruits of your labor!)


 

 

 

 

You might be interested in some products related to this post - like pressure canners from Amazon.  They are back in stock after being almost impossible to find during Covid shortages in 2020.  I've seen pressure canners back in stock at my local retailers and various sites online but if you prefer to buy from Amazon, please consider using one of my links for your search.  Thanks much!

  

 

My particular model is the Presto 23 quart.  It was more affordable than the other really popular brand, but it was also easy to 'learn' and really easy to use.  MOST IMPORTANT?  I knew THIS STYLE/BRAND CAN BE USED ON MY GLASS TOP ELECTRIC STOVE.   This is important because some other brands are not to be used on glass top stoves.

 

 

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