January 29, 2015

Salmon Loaf or Salmon Cakes

Our family "Salmon Loaf" recipe is one I've posted a handful times since 2007 or 2008.  It's one I usually made when we had leftover grilled salmon from the night before.  It used up the salmon in a completely different way so it didn't feel like we eating leftovers and it's so delicious.

Last night I was thinking about making a salmon loaf with some of the canned salmon I had in the pantry but it was just me at home for dinner last night and I decided to make salmon cakes instead.  Like crab cakes - but with salmon.  They are quick and easy and I could pan fry them and be done with it.

I don't use a recipe for salmon cakes - I just throw things together in a bowl, form a patty and pan fry it.  So I decided to put our salmon loaf recipe here;  and then I'll note at the bottom how I made last night's salmon cakes as shown in the picture above.

Salmon Loaf

1/4 c fresh chopped onion
1 t dried dill weed
1 T butter
1 slightly beaten egg
1/4 - 1/3 c milk or cream
1 c soft bread crumbs
Leftover salmon to equal about 1 1/2 - 2 cups or about 15 oz.
*can use a can of salmon but the flavor won't be as good as using leftover seasoned, grilled salmon
In a microwaveable bowl place the onion, dill and pepper with the pat of butter. Microwave about 2-3 minutes until the onion is tender. Combine the egg, bread crumbs, milk and onion mixture. Add the salmon, breaking it apart as you add it. Mix with your hands for best blending. Shape into a loaf and place in a bread loaf pan (6X3") that has been greased or sprayed with Pam. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Broil for a few minutes to crisp up the top if you prefer a slight crust on your salmon loaf.

Top with a white sauce to which you've added a peas and/or some cheese.

Simple White Sauce
2 T butter
1 T flour
1/2 t salt
1/8 t white pepper
1/8 t paprika
3/4 c milk
1 T lemon juice
1/2 c frozen pea's - thawed

Microwave the butter until melted; add the flour and seasonings, then the milk and lemon juice. Microwave 4-5 minutes, stirring after each minute. Add 1/2 cup peas. Stir and serve over salmon.


So last night, just being me home for dinner, I wasn't going to make a big meal, I wasn't going to wait for a salmon loaf to bake, and since we are not currently eating wheat, that means no flour, bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, etc.

For the Salmon Cakes I used;

1 can salmon
diced celery
diced onion
1 egg

Saute' the onion and celery in the butter until soft.  Add it to a mixing bowl with the salmon and an egg.  Mix it up and add seasonings to taste.  Pan fry in butter/olive oil until golden brown on both sides and done in the middle.

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January 28, 2015

A homemade bread that is low carb, wheat free, sugar free and protein rich

From 2002 - 2010 I had a hard time finding a decent recipe that even half way resembled bread.  If any readers were doing low carb back then you might remember the Atkins 'Revolution Rolls' were about the best anyone could get in the early 2000's; and they were basically just eggy cream cheese puffs being called a roll.  No thank you.

I'm not sure how I stumbled upon this one, but it was posted in the Fall of 2013.  I had copied it down in my files, but hadn't tried making this particular recipe until about 1 1/2 weeks ago. 

It is the best looking wheatless bread I've seen, that's for sure!  And although I'm happy with it, and it looks amazing, the texture was a little bit like eating a sponge.  My husband and I agreed that making French Toast with it or slicing it very thin and making toast out of it works best for us.

But I thought I'd go ahead and post it because even though I didn't love it as a 'bread' bread, everyone is different and this might be just what someone else is looking for.

Maria's comment section has a lot of people saying it didn't turn out for them.  For some it's hallow, for others it's gummy.   She lists the weight as well as measurements for people who might want to try weighing them to see if it works better.

I have to say I had NO issues with it not turning out.  It worked perfectly, as you can see from my pictures!  It made a beautiful loaf.  This was my first time making this recipe and I have to say her directions worked great for me.

Maria's Bread Recipe for her Hoagies (Sandwiches)

1 1/2 cup blanched almond flour (5 oz)
5 TBS psyllium husk powder (no substitutes) (45 grams)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
2 1/2 TBS apple cider vinegar (1 oz)
3 egg whites  (about 3.5 oz for almond flour option)
7/8 cup (a little less than a cup) BOILING water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, psyllium powder (no substitutes: flaxseed meal won’t work), baking powder and salt. Mix until dry ingredients are well combined. Add in the eggs and vinegar and mix until a thick dough. Add boiling water into the bowl. Mix until well combined and dough firms up.

Form into 4 to 5 mini subs or one large sub/loaf and place onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 55 minutes (45-50 minutes for smaller shapes like buns). Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool completely. Cut open with a serrated knife. Fill with desired fillings. Makes 5 servings.

NOTE! If you are having an issue with a bubble, try weighing your ingredients as listed above.
OPTION: Use 2 whole eggs.  If you are having trouble with it rising using whole eggs you can try egg whites. Also, if your buns looks nice and big but then deflates after removed from the oven, try reducing the baking powder to 1 1/2 teaspoons.

Traditional Sub Bread = 198 calories, 6g fat, 4g protein, 41 carbs, trace fiber
Almond Flour Sub (egg whites) = 209 calories, 14.2g fat, 8.2g protein, 15g carb, 9.8g fiber (60% fat, 15% protein, 28% carbs)

"Why is this photo showing a colander?"

I keep my almond flour in the freezer since I use Honeyville brand and it's crazy expensive!  I live in a very warm, humid part of the country 3/4 of the year so I keep all my nuts and flax seed, etc. in the freezer so they don't go rancid.

Because it came from the freezer I put it in a colander so I could crush some of the frozen lumps out.  

Mixing it with the mixer... doesn't look like bread yet, does it?

And boom!  There it is.  Comes together beautifully.

Into a loaf pan and into the oven.

Very, very beautiful bread.  It looks like a loaf made with wheat, yeast and sugar, doesn't it?

The products I use:
Now Foods Organic Psyllium Husk Powder, 12-Ounce
NOW Foods Almond Flour Pure ,  10 Ounce Bags (Pack of 4)
Blanched Almond Meal Flour, 5 lbs.
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Organic Raw -- 32 fl oz

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January 18, 2015

Spinach, Feta and Black Olive Wraps

This is a quick fly-by post of my lunch yesterday.  The night before, I had made a Greek Pizza (low carb option here) and had extra feta mix left.  I used it in a low carb wrap with fresh spinach and black olives.  It was so simple yet so very good, I thought I'd share.

Here is the pizza recipe - posted here a kajillion times, but it's one of our favorites.  Now, it's good for fresh cold wraps too.  Just make the filling and use it on tortillas or wraps as you wish. 

Greek Pizza

1/2 c mayonnaise
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 c crumbled feta cheese
1 12 inch pre baked crust
1/2 c oil packed sun dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped plus 1 T of the oil
1/4 c pitted Kalamata Olives, chopped
1 t dried oregano
2 c baby spinach leaves
1/2 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 450. Mix mayonnaise, garlic and 1/2 c feta in bowl. Place pizza crust on cookie sheet and spread the mayonnaise mixture over. Top with tomatoes, olives and oregano. Bake 10 minutes. Toss spinach and onion with 1 T tomato oil. Top the hot pizza with this mixture and the remaining feta. Return to oven, bake 2-3 minutes longer. Cut and serve.

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The Best Healthy Almond Muffins I've Made so Far! (Wheat free, low carb, sugar free!)

I said in a post earlier this past week, it had been a "muffin"  week in our house, and I wasn't kidding.  It's been an awesome muffin week!  Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins, Pumpkin Muffins and Almond Muffins - all sugar free, wheat free, low carb, with healthy flax included.  It was so nice to have a 'real' muffin in taste and texture - but without unhealthy options.   (Can you tell I'm thrilled with these?).

It all started with tweaking a plain old pumpkin spice muffin but I was so happy with it that I immediately scribbled down ideas on a paper to work with the basic premise to come up with other versions.  I got the chocolate and the almond versions made but couldn't do the lemon poppy seed version (YET) because I am out of  almond flour and will be ordering it this week.  In the mean time, my husband has not only given these a 'thumbs up' but has requested that we have the pumpkin flax and chocolate muffins on hand all the time so he can grab them in the morning on the way to work.

Almond Muffins
Wheat free, low carb, sugar free!

2 c almond flour
1/4 c flax meal
3/4 c unflavored or vanilla whey protein powder
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/3 c thin sliced almonds
3/4 c sweetener granules - brand of your choice (Ideal & Just Like Sugar are my top choices)
3/4 c pure pumpkin puree  (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 stick real butter, melted
3 eggs
2 t almond extract
1/2 c half and half or cream

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients;  almond flour, flax, protein powder, baking powder, soda, salt, sliced almonds and sweeteners.    In another bowl mix the pumpkin, butter, eggs and extract.   Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon while adding the cream or half and half.  Add a little bit more cream if you have to but remember your batter should be thicker than a cake mix yet still able to be scooped or poured into muffin tins.    Pour batter into greased or lined cupcake tins filled  3/4 full.  Bake at 325 for approximately 25 minutes.   This will make roughly 14-15 muffins and depending on the brands of ingredients used, will be 4-7 carbs per muffin. 

Add a little bit of cream to thin or almond flour or protein powder to thicken, to get a nice batter

Ready to go into the oven!

You might also be interested in;
Bob's Red Mill Organic  Flaxseed Meal
Ideal No Calorie Sweetener - 4 Packs
NOW Foods Almond Flour, 10 oz
100% Pure Erythritol  Granules
Nature's Best Isopure Unflavored (Zero Carb)


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January 16, 2015

Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Muffins (Incredible Low Carb, Wheat Free, Sugar Free and with Flax! OMG)

It's been a 'muffin' week here at our house and let me say that the me of 2002 wishes so badly I would have had all the awesome healthy products available to me then as I do today.  My attempts over the past 13 years to make really good muffins, biscuits, cupcakes and more have been strongly influenced by the availability of products.  I now order about 80% of the healthy items online, and having a well stocked pantry to try new recipes makes all the difference in the world.

This one uses pretty basic ingredients and is simply the best chocolate muffin I've made thus far.  It all started with the pumpkin muffins I made last weekend. We LOVED the pumpkin muffins and I scribbled down on my notes at the bottom to use the same idea but make a chocolate version, an almond poppy seed version and a lemon version.  I made them this week and they are all 'keepers'.

Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 c almond flour (heaped a little)
1/4 c flax meal
3/4 c unflavored or vanilla whey protein powder
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 c erythritol, granules or Just Like Sugar
3/4 c pure pumpkin puree  (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 stick real butter, melted
3 eggs
2 t vanilla
1/2 c half and half or cream
4 oz. sugar free chocolate chips

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients;  almond flour, flax, protein powder, baking powder, soda, salt, cocoa and sweetener.    In another bowl mix the pumpkin, butter, eggs and vanilla.   Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon while adding the cream or half and half.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Add a little bit more cream if it's too thick or protein powder or almond flour if it's too thin. Your batter should be thicker than a cake mix yet still able to be scooped or poured into muffin tins.    Pour batter into greased or lined cupcake tins filled  just past 3/4 full.  Bake at 325 for approximately 25 minutes.   This will make roughly 14-15 muffins.  I put 12 of them into my muffin tin and made the rest of the batter in a greased coffee mug in the microwave!  Just scoop in, microwave 2 - 3 minutes depending on the strength of your microwave.  Instant muffin/cake!  

You can leave out the chocolate chips if you wish

Testing recipes; chocolate and almond muffins!

Put the extra batter in a greased coffee mug and microwave for 2-3 minutes!

You might also be interested in;
Hershey's Sugar Free Semi-Sweet Baking Chips
Just Like Sugar Sweetener
Bob's Red Mill Organic  Flaxseed Meal
NOW Foods Almond Flour
100% Pure Erythritol  Granules
Nature's Best Isopure Unflavored (Zero Carb)
Blanched Almond Meal Flour, 5 lbs.Print Friendly and PDF

January 15, 2015

New-to-me product review: Reese's Peanut Butter and Chocolate Spread

I was given this product to review in exchange for my honest opinion.  Thanks Reese's and Influenster!

While I'm always excited to try new-to-me products on the market, this time around there was a family member whose excitement was over the top.  My teenage daughter squealed when she saw this Reese's Peanut Butter and Chocolate spread on the counter.  Literally squealed.  And then she grabbed and spoon from the drawer, looked  at me excitedly and asked if she could open it and taste it. 

She exclaimed it tasted "just like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in a jar!"

While she would be content to eat the whole thing with a spoon, I was hoping for a little more creativity.  After a little bit of brainstorming we had some great ideas.  In the end, we decided it would be great in one of our family's favorite homemade candies;  truffles.

Since I'm not a huge fan of chocolate, I had to count on my family members for their feedback;  Reese's spreads got 5 out of 5 stars from our family.  Truly tasting like a 'peanut butter cup in a jar' it was finished off by our daughter over holiday break from school and she has informed me I can send her more jars in 'care packages' to college.


1/2 c evaporated milk
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 t vanilla
3/4 c Reese's Peanut Butter spread
extra chocolate chips, almond bark or candy coating for dipping

Combine evaporated milk and sugar in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in chips and  extract, stirring gently until smooth. Stir in the Reese's spread.  Chill mixture about 45 minutes until it can easily be shaped into balls. Use a spoon or a melon baller form truffles and dip them into melted almond bark, additional chocolate chips or candy coating.  We always dip our truffles in dark chocolate or almond bark and melt additional white almond bark or white chocolate to drizzle on top.

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January 14, 2015

Chicken Cordon Bleu - Chicken Breasts with Ham and Swiss Cheese (low carb option)

Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of those dish names that is actually words made into a dish we come to know as a certain style.  In this case, "Blue Ribbon Chicken" became Chicken Cordon Bleu.  It's thought of as an impressive dish to serve, yet it's one of the simplest chicken dishes you can make.  It's just rolling up a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss in a flattened chicken breast, lightly breading it and then cooking in a skillet or an oven.

Normally I make this in the oven and bake it.  No fuss and it bakes while I do other things.  But when you make it on the stovetop, you get the sauce at the same time and don't have to make it separate.  Two for one.  I was out of Swiss (well, I thought I was... I found it later in a different refrigerator drawer) so I used Provolone.  Not quite as tasty as Swiss in this dish, but it still worked out ok as the sauce added just the right flavor to the chicken as well.  You can use a dry white wine in place of the water - I don't like the flavor of sauces made with wine so that is why I never cook with it.

Normally you lightly bread it in flour or Panko crumbs or bread crumbs.  If you are staying away from wheat or doing low carb, you can use a purchased low carb breading, use finely crushed pork rinds or don't bother with breading at all.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - pounded flat for easy rolling
4-8 slices of thin ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
1/2 c flour, with salt and pepper to taste (or a low carb option)
1/4 stick butter for browning the chicken breasts
3/4 c water
1 T chicken bouillon base or granules or 2 cubes
2 t flour or 1/4 - 1/2 t low carb thickener

On each flattened chicken breast, place 1 or 2 slices ham and a slice of cheese.  Roll up each breast and secure with a toothpick.  Roll in breading of choice.  Heat the butter in a pan and add the chicken.  Brown on all sides and when golden, add the water and chicken bouillon.  Turn the heat down to medium low, cover and let cook for 25-35 minutes until the chicken is completely done.  Remove the chicken to a platter.  Whisk in the thickener, cook and whisk until smooth.  Drizzle over the chicken breasts and serve. 

I had to use Provolone as I thought I was out of Swiss

Rolled up and ready to lightly bread

Just a quick breading
Saute' until golden brown

Add the water and chicken bouillon (or dry white wine), cover and cook


You might also be interested in;

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