February 26, 2020

Spinach Dip - Low Carb and Sugar Free - Served with Parmesan Chips

When life is busy, this website gets pushed to 'low priority' since I also store my recipes on paper in my files and binders... not just on my site.

But am I cooking and baking?

Of course!

We don't eat 'out'.  I do all our cooking at home.  Yes, even on insanely overwhelming, busy days.


I add more/less simply because I don't actually measure.  It's that kind of recipe.  If you don't have one of the ingredients... it really doesn't matter.  Want to add something else to it you like?  Do it!  Want to bake it instead of microwave it?  Yep.

Most of the time we do a can of un-marinated artichokes, but my husband isn't a fan of artichokes, and my artichoke loving family members weren't here last night to eat it with us so I left them out and just made 'Spinach' Dip. 

Spinach Dip
*amounts are all approximate, ingredients can be added to or left out as you wish

4 oz. cream cheese, softened in the microwave
1/2 c real mayonnaise (not miracle whip!)
1/2 c sour cream
1 1/2 t minced fresh garlic
optional:  artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 t onion powder or add about 2 diced green onions
1/2 c fresh shredded Parmesan
1/2 c mozzarella cheese
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed

Stir all well.  Put into your baking dish.  Heat through either by baking at 350 for 20 minutes or so, or in the microwave for about 10-12 minutes.  Serve with thick tortilla chips, or pita chips if you aren't eating low carb.  Serve as a side dish to dinner or with parmesan crisps if you are eating low carb.

*A note about Parmesan Crisps....

I have twice bought the bag of these at Sam's Club.  They are good... but very, very strong tasting.  I don't love them, and the price is a bit high, so I don't normally buy them.

There is another brand and smaller bags available at Walmart but they are almost $4 for a tiny little individual sized serving bag.  Good but so expensive I just can't do it.

 Aldi's have the small bags - which are still expensive at almost $3 per bag, but it's a buck cheaper than Walmart.  So... if you have an Aldi's, look for them.  If not, you CAN buy them on Amazon, but obviously, 100% cheese crackers are expensive. 

Print Friendly and PDF

February 17, 2020

Low Carb and Sugar Free Corn Bread - Almond Flour 'Corn' Bread - So Good I Said the Blessing Twice!

I love cornbread, but when we are adhering to low-carb and keto, it's off the menu unless it's made with almond flour.  But, this one is made with almond flour, so it's all good.  And because I've been craving (SERIOUSLY CRAVING) cornbread for about 2-3 months now, when I finally found time to make it, I was so thankful, I blessed it twice!  

Some people actually add a couple tablespoons of pureed sweet corn to theirs.  We never have corn on hand as I don't buy it, but we do have a small amount of cornmeal always on hand.  MAYBE I'll get around to buying the extract some day.....  maybe.

The last thing to mention is that I've loved cornbread my entire life - literally since I can remember.  But it's made different ways across the USA and I've lived in so many different states, that I've seen it and had it made all different ways.  My favorite way is how they make it 'up North' which is a basic cornbread (no jalapenos or bacon or cheddar added) and it's just a tiny bit sweetened.  Absolutely amazing with just a smear of real butter, or butter with some yummy sugar free maple syrup!

Almond Flour Corn Bread

1/2 stick butter, melted
3 eggs
1/4 cream
2 c almond flour
2 T ground flaxseed
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2-3 t granular sweetener of your choice
1/2 t vanilla
1-2 T cornmeal (optional)
or 1/2 t sweet corn extract flavoring (optional)

Melt your butter in a bowl in a microwave.  Pour about 2 T of it into your skillet, swirl it around and place it in the oven.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees with the pan in it.  Meanwhile, add the eggs, cream, vanilla and the extract (if you are using it) to the rest of the butter in the bowl and whisk to blend.  

In a 'dry' bowl, place your almond flour, flaxseed, baking powder, salt, sweetener and the cornmeal if you are using it.  Blend it and then stir into the egg mixture.  If it seems too thick, just add about 2-3 tablespoons of water to thin a little bit so it's a nice thick batter, not a dough.  

Pour into the hot skillet and return it to the oven to bake about 25 minutes until golden brown and a crust forms on the top.  Serve hot or cold with butter, syrup, whatever you wish!

The batter spread in the hot skillet

Into the oven with you!

I blessed it twice... and had third helpings!

Print Friendly and PDF

February 15, 2020

Yesterday I had toast!!!! YAY! Great Low Carb Bread Company Bread, Pasta, Buns....

No, this isn't sponsored, it's just me talking about how amazingly good my peanut butter toast was yesterday...

In 2002 I first started to research the effect of sugar on our bodies, which led to me learning about carbs, sugar, grains and ultimately, I started the Atkins induction and we've never really gone back to the 'normal' diet habits of eating sugar and flour since then.

But oh, how I miss bread.  And pasta.  And bagels.  

Over the past 18 years I've tried a kazillion different recipes and although some were 'fine' others were a disaster.  Bread and pasta without grains is a difficult feat to pull off and until just recently, there were almost no options available to purchase so for the past 18 years it's pretty much been homemade or nothing.

The fathead dough buns, bagels and pizza crust are good - but they are made mostly of cheese and when you are a long term low carber it's a blessing to have options like that but it isn't 'bread'.  It's still not the same as buns, bagels and pizza crust made with grains.  

I recently ordered 13 items from Great Low Carb Bread Company.  Some were my 'regulars' but I stepped out of my comfort zone and ordered bread, buns and yes, pasta.

In the past week I've used some of the items for meals and we've been thrilled with them all but the reason I decided to do a rambling, chit-chatty post this morning is because yesterday at lunch I was craving toast.  Just toast.

So I dove into the bread and made 2 slices, topped them with real butter and a smidgen of peanut butter and.... swoon!  I'm pretty sure my eyes literally closed and a smile came to my face.

I enjoyed those two slices of toast so much that I threw caution to the wind and went and made 2 more.  And I enjoyed EVERY. LAST. BITE.

I kept thinking to myself;  "It feels so amazing to just eat... toast!  I feel so normal!"

And those of you who are long term low-carbers KNOW WHAT I MEAN!  And the full feeling you get from a meal like that compared to the full feeling you get from meat, eggs and cheese, is just... different.

I made sure to read the ingredients and most were the exact ingredients I've personally used in some of my attempts at low carb bread over the years; but they've managed to perfect the amounts in ways I couldn't and used just a couple items that weren't available to me (or that I've just never heard of or tried).  It works. Kudos to them because I am so happy to have toast... that I wrote this entire post about it!

Ingredients: Water, Vital Wheat Gluten, Oat Fiber, Almond Flour, Flax Seed Meal, Wheat Fiber, Wheat Protein Isolate, Modified Wheat Starch, Virgin Olive Oil, Yeast, Calcium Propionate, Enzyme, Vinegar, Salt, Stevia.

Great Low Carb Bread Company
Bread, Plain
16 oz.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 slice 1 oz. (28g)
Servings Per Container: 16
SmartPoints®: 1

Amount Per Serving

Net Carbs Minus Fiber    1

This week I've had my aforementioned peanut butter toast but it was incredible to also have toast with my eggs and bacon again.  I have used their bagels for a few years now - my favorite way to eat them is with cream cheese and slices of bacon!

The hamburger buns (linked below) were awesome with homemade low carb, sugar free sloppy joe's!  And using them as a garlic bread with low-carb chili was yummy!  We also used buns for my homemade chicken, feta, spinach patties which were grilled and always a hit with our family.

The other 'new to me' item used this past week was the pasta!  And I was a bit nervous about that one because I really didn't know if it was going to be 'pasta like' and good or another disappointment.  OH WOW.  YES!  PASTA!

I made a side-salad out of it.  Low carb rotini pasta with some homemade Italian dressing, basil, peppers, a bit of green onions, feta and a bit of mozzarella, some diced tomatoes....

All this bread and pasta and the scale did not go 'up'.

Print Friendly and PDF

February 13, 2020

Zucchini Stir-fry - chicken, feta, peppers.... low carb and sugar free


Although I've not been posting very often, I certainly have been cooking!  Every day, every meal.  This one isn't even a real recipe, it's just something I throw together every once in awhile, and it's a huge hit every time.  

I use leftover chicken, zucchini and feta cheese as the 'must have' list and other things if we have them or I feel like it.  I use all sorts of leftover chicken, depending on what we have.  I think some leftover grilled chicken is the best, but any leftovers will do.  Seasoned or not.  If you don't have leftovers, just quickly cook a chicken breast or two, whichever way you like.  Microwave, grill, instant pot, even boil.  Adding a little seasoning will be best - even if it's just salt and pepper but anything you like is fine.

Zucchini Stir-Fry

2-3 zucchini, sliced, diced or chopped
Green onion or onion, chopped, sliced
mushrooms, sliced
yellow or orange peppers, sliced or chopped
oil of choice (olive oil, avocado oil, etc.)
Options:  fresh minced garlic, leftover cooked chicken pieces, celery, etc.
feta cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper

In a pan on the stove, heat a dash of oil and add the zucchini and green onions, peppers and mushrooms if you are using them.  Cook over medium high heat until they start to soften a bit, add a little fresh garlic to your own taste preference.  Add the cooked chicken, heat through and season with salt and pepper.  If you wish to add some dried red pepper flakes to this dish, you can - add them with the oil and vegetables at the beginning.  We've found we like simple olive oil, salt and pepper for the only flavorings. Top with crumbled feta, stir in a bit, and then serve!
Keep in mind your personal carb counts to determine how much garlic, onions, mushrooms and pepper you wish to use. 

Print Friendly and PDF

February 04, 2020

Chocolate Trail Mix - Sugar Free and Low Carb


Sorry to say this isn't a specific recipe for those of you who like to be told exactly, precisely how much to use, down to the half teaspoon.  The amounts are guesstimates and you can change them up a little to what you like.  It's not rocket science.  Play with the recipe and use what you like and how much of some of the ingredients that you like. Also note the brands of ingredients you use will effect your carb and sugar gram count.  Look for zero sugar on your labels.

My husband LOVES this chocolate trail mix to snack on at work and on his hour plus long commute to work and home again every day. 

Chocolate Trail Mix

3 cups salted mixed nuts
2 cups whole cashews
1/2 - 1 cup sugar free, all bran cereal (the sticks kind, to add some crunch to the mix)
1/2 c sugar free coconut flakes
*whatever kinds of nuts or other items you wish to add - keep carbs & sugar free in mind
10-12 ounces sugar free chocolate chips (I used a mixture of Lily's Milk Chocolate and Hershey's Sugar Free)
2 T butter
1/2 - 3/4 c natural sweetener - confectioner's or whirl granulated in your food processor first
3/4 c peanut butter - lowest sugar content brand that you love
1-2 t vanilla extract

  • Lay a piece of foil out on your countertop.
  • In a large bowl place all your dry ingredients; the nuts, coconut, cereal and anything else sugar free and low carb you like in your mixtures.
  • In a microwaveable bowl place the butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips.  Microwave about a minute, stir.  If the chips are still quite hard, microwave another 30 seconds and stir again.  The heat from the butter and peanut butter will start to melt them.  Stir until melted, microwave another 20 seconds at a time if you need to but don't overcook the mixture.
  • Add the sugar substitute sweetener and vanilla.  Stir smooth.Taste and see if you want more sweetener, vanilla, etc.  If you want less peanut butter flavor, melt more chocolate chips with a little butter and add it to the mixture.  Stir and taste again.
  • Pour this over your mixed nuts/coconut/cereal in the bowl and stir until it's evenly distributed.
  • Dump out on the foil and spread it around.
  • Depending on how much chocolate mixture used compared to how much dry mixture you had, you might have a heavily covered mixture or a lightly covered mixture.  (Mine is light - you can still see the nuts through some of the chocolate).

If you want small pieces you grab by the handful, spread it apart.
If you want to have bite-sized chunks of the mixture, either press it with your hand or with a second piece of foil on top so the mixture is pressed together (like mine).

You can let it harden on the counter, or place the foil in the refrigerator or freezer to speed it up.  I grabbed small walnut sized portions, gently pressed them together a bit and dropped them into the empty mixed nuts container.  When it was filled, I placed the top back on and placed the whole thing in the refrigerator.  This way it's in both chunks and pieces, the way my husband likes and he can take the whole container to his office with him and keep it stored easily.

You can keep this on the counter or in the refrigerator.  If it's summer time or your house is kept really warm, you'll want to store this in the fridge.  If you've used a high ratio of peanut butter or butter compared to the chocolate, it won't harden as much as if your chocolate chip ratio is higher.  So a higher peanut butter/butter ratio would be best kept in the refrigerator so it stays hard.   

Print Friendly and PDF