11/26/17

Low carb Fiddle Faddle (or Poppycock if you’d like!)

When I was around 7 or 8, my grandfather, Abuelito, built me a treehouse. 

It wasn’t fancy or elaborate, just a big wooden platform, about 7 feet off of the ground with a ladder to get up to it. He even added green indoor/outdoor carpeting over the wood to add a little extra something, but other than that, it was a super simple design (unlike my life-size, walk-in, air conditioned playhouse him and my dad built me when I was a toddler which WAS elaborate, but I’ll save that for another post).

I have so many fond memories of hanging my legs over the platform of this treehouse, sitting there among the leaves and the squirrels talking about what kids talk about with my cousin Glenn, and my childhood friend Vanessa. 

We’d spend hours in the tree house- no smartphones, no video games, no toys- just us and that wooden platform, climbing the branches that surrounded the treehouse, plucking leaves, camouflaging ourselves from cars as they drove by, and stopping every so often for snacks that my grandmother, Abuelita, would bring us. 

Cold boxes of YooHoo chocolately drink, plastic bowls of Bugles, plates of Nilla Wafers, and sometimes, a box of Fiddle Faddle to share, were using our go-to snacks when it came to our treehouse dining.

Do you remember Fiddle Faddle? Or maybe you used to call it Poppycock? Or maybe even Crunch N’ Munch? They were all pretty much the same thing: salty and sweet caramel coated popcorn with some type of nuts, usually pecans or peanuts, mixed in. It was utterly DELICIOUS. 

I was watching Trisha’s Southern Kitchen on Foodnetwork yesterday morning and she was whipping up granola bars for John Legend (seriously, what a life!), when it hit me: I could totally use the caramel sauce I topped my pecan bars with last week and make some keto, low carb granola bars!

Then it hit me again- OR I COULD MAKE SOME KETO, LOW CARB FIDDLE FADDLE!

Um, YES! I loved, loved, LOVED Fiddle Faddle as a child, and that adoration carried on through adulthood. I can’t remember the last time I purchased a box of this stuff, but I can still vividly remember the buttery, sweet, salty, and satisfyingly crunchy taste of this treat. And as soon as those memories came flooding back into my mind, I knew I’d have to try and make a batch ASAP. 

Not only would this Fiddle Faddle make a great anytime snack, it would also serve as a lovely holiday treat to bring to a party, or to give as a gift in a tall mason jar with a bow wrapped around the lid. This mixture will stay fresh for 2 weeks in an airtight container or Ziplock bag on the counter, or 3 weeks in the fridge.

I used Wholesome Yum’s tried and true caramel sauce, and a mixture of nuts and things I had on hand, but this is easily customizable using whatever ingredients you have! The recipe for the caramel calls for Sukrin Gold (which is out of this world good as far as no sugar sweeteners go!), but you could also use another granulated no sugar sweetener (like Truvia) to make the caramel, adding a little butternut extract, maple extract, or even a tablespoon of molasses for some richness and depth.   

Here’s the recipe: 

Low Carb, Keto friendly Fiddle Faddle
Yields 15
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Ingredients
  1. For the caramel: Follow the directions from Wholesome Yum's recipe for caramel sauce (linked in the post)
  2. 1/4 cup salted macadamia nuts
  3. 1/4 cup unsalted pecan halves
  4. 1/4 cup unsalted almonds
  5. 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut chips
  6. 1 cup bite sized crunchy pork rinds (don't like pork rinds, try bacon crumbles instead!)
  7. *Walnuts or peanuts would also work great in this mix! I threw in a sprinkle of shelled pistachios because I had a few left over from another recipe, just note that some nuts have higher carb counts (like pistachios) than the lower ones I list in this recipe!
  8. *The pork rinds (or bacon) will have salt on them, so choose 1 salted nut, and leave the rest unsalted so that the recipe isn't TOO salty. Unless you like a lot of salt, then by all means, salt it up!
Instructions
  1. Make the caramel sauce according to the directions.
  2. Mix the nuts, coconut chips, and pork rinds together in a bowl.
  3. Pour the warm caramel sauce over the nut mixture and stir well to coat.
  4. Transfer to a wax or parchment paper lined 9in x 9in pan and spread evenly.
  5. Place into the refrigerate for 30 minutes, and then break apart into chunks.
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. I like to place 1/4 cup of the mixture into cupcake liners for portion control!
  2. Yield 15, 1/4 cup servings.
  3. 1/4 cup= 2.5g total carbs!
  4. Link to the caramel sauce recipe:https://www.wholesomeyum.com/recipes/sugar-free-caramel-sauce-recipe-low-carb-keto/
http://orangespoken.com/
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

11/22/17

Low carb Pecan Bars

There really is nothing else to say about these bars than:

GO MAKE THESE RIGHT NOW.

These bars are everything you are hoping for from real deal pecan bars: a soft and crumbly sweet and salty crust, and a sweet, buttery, and gooey filling with toasted pecans as far as the eye can see. 

Oh, and that they’re just 2.6g total carbs per bar! 

Here’s the recipe!
(And Happy Thanksgiving Eve!) <3

Low carb pecan bars
Yields 15
2.6g total carbs per bar (made in a 9in x 9in pan, and cut into 15 squares)
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For the crust
  1. 1/2 cup almond flour (or any nut flour- I used pecan!)
  2. 1/2 cup oat fiber
  3. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  4. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  5. 1/4 cup Sukrin Gold sweetener 0g carbs
  6. 1/4 cup No calorie sweetener (I used Truvia)
  7. 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
  8. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the filling
  1. 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
  2. 2 cups of toasted pecan halves (4-5 minutes over low heat in a frying pan)
  3. 1/2 cup Sukrin Gold
  4. 1/2 cup No calorie sweetener (I used Truvia)
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 1/4 cup of room temperature water
  7. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  9. 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  10. 1 tsp. maple or butternut extract (optional, but enhances the flavor)
  11. *If you don't have Sukrin Gold, replace with more Truvia and a tbsp. of molasses)
For the crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place all of the ingredients into a food process or high powered blender and pulse/mix until the mixture becomes crumbly and all of the ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Press into a greased 9in x 9in pan (or use parchment paper).
  4. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
  5. While the crust bakes, prepare the filling.
For the filling
  1. Melt the butter in the microwave for 90 seconds.
  2. Add the sugars into the butter, whisking to incorporate well.
  3. Add baking soda, sea salt, and extracts into the melted butter.
  4. When the butter is warm (it doesn't have to be cool, just not boiling hot), whisk in the eggs and the water until well combined.
  5. Add the pecans into the butter mixture, and then pour over the warm crust, spreading evenly with a spatula.
  6. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Let it cool 2-3 hours before cutting! It gets better as it sits. 🙂
http://orangespoken.com/
11/20/17

Low carb Mac & Cheese!

Yes, you heard that correctly!

MAC AND CHEESE BABY!

And just in time for your low carb Thanksgiving table!

The best part? There’s not a cauliflower floret in SIGHT!

Not that I have anything against good ol’ cauliflower (they’re not a Brussels Sprout after all), however, do a Google search and you’ll find that most low carb or ketogenic mac and cheese recipes use our old friend the cauliflower.

But not this recipe! Because this recipe uses something even better: Zeroodles!

I was recently introduced to these little 0g carb gems and all that I can say is WOW! Not only are they delicious and satisfying, but this brand really brings it with a great noodle-like texture and NO stomach-turning smell (I’ve read some horror stories about other brands!). I was really impressed with the quality of this product, and even more excited at the fact that these are made with oat fiber, which has no calories, no fat, and no effective carbs! 

Here’s the 101 on oat fiber:
From this website: Oat fiber is ONLY the insoluble fiber (lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose)- it’s made from grinding the non-digestible oat hull… It’s made from the hull or husk that the oat was harvested from. Nutrition wise, oat fiber is really more akin to sawdust than to oatmeal. It does contain some nutrients, but because it’s essentially non-digestible, it does not provide any nutrients or carbs for the body to burn. But that’s OK, because it’s not used for its nutritional properties. It’s used in low carb baked goods as a flour sub either on its own or in a blend of other lower carb flours. It’s very affordable and very absorbent-oat fiber is capable of absorbing a lot of liquid in a recipe and can be used to add moisture to baked goods. Since oat fiber doesn’t break down in the digestive track it also helps to prevent constipation by bulking up the stool.

Winner winner, mac & cheese dinner! And at only 3.2g total carbs per serving, you can feel good about adding this to your Thanksgiving spread!

Here’s the recipe. 

Low carb, keto mac and cheese
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 14oz bag of Zeroodles Oat Fiber Penne
  2. 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  3. 2oz full fat cream cheese
  4. 8oz shredded colby or cheddar cheese
  5. 1 tbsp. butter + extra for greasing the dish
  6. 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  7. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375.
  2. Open the package of zeroodles and rinse well. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside.
  3. In medium sized pot, bring the heavy cream to a rolling simmer.
  4. Lower the heat to medium low, and add the cream cheese, butter, and shredded cheese, stirring with a whisk until smooth.
  5. Add the seasonings and stir to combine.
  6. Add the dry zeroodles to the cheese sauce and fold to coat, stirring for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a small (8in x 8in casserole pan would work well, or a round soufflé dish) buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with extra shredded cheese, cover with foil, and then bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and broil on high for the last 2-3 minutes to achieve a crispy, cheesy crust! (Just keep an eye out on the mac & cheese while broiling- it can go from zero to burnt in a matter of seconds!).
  8. Let it cool for 8-10 minutes, then enjoy!
http://orangespoken.com/
Enjoy!

11/5/17

Low Carb Two Cheese Sausage Balls #KetoFriendly

Last night I had a group of my nearest and dearest over for a little pre-Thanksgiving celebrating! 

(Isn’t that table cloth the cutest! It was an instant hit, and we had no kids at this party! LOL. Get your own here before they sell out!)

The goal of this early Friendsgiving-style pot luck gathering was to taste, swap, and share some healthy appetizer, side dish, and dessert recipes to bring to our holiday tables this year! We all know the holidays revolve around FOOD. And in just a few weeks, we’re going to be surrounded by Candy, Stuffing, and Holiday Cookies. So because I’ve been on this low-carb, healthy fat, no sugar (keto) adventure for the past 10 weeks, I thought it would be a great idea to get together to share some delicious and healthy options for this holiday season! 

And boy did my friends and family come through! We had SO many amazing concoctions to sample and I want to share each and every recipe with you! Look for a post in the near future with recipes for the dishes pictured below. 

So while you must wait a little bit longer for the recipes to all of the delicious goodies you see above, I will give you a sneak peek at something that I just HAD to make again today! 

My friend Kristen (who’s been keto for 2 years and has had AMAZING results- check out her progress pic below!), brought a tray of low-carb, keto friendly sausage balls to the potluck last night. They were SUCH a hit, and were pretty much all gone within 30 minutes. 

I was bummed that there weren’t any leftovers because I just HAD to have them again today. So, of course, I whipped up a few! I was missing one of the ingredients the original recipe called for, so I improvised, and ended up making a few small batches, trying out a little of this and that (including a little spice to kick things up) and eventually landed on the version in the recipe below as my favorite! 

These sausage balls will NOT have you craving the real thing because they are SO deliciously moist, flavorful, and chewy- soft on the inside, crisp on the outside, and oh-so-cheesy! They’re perfect to take to a work potluck because they’re just as yummy at room temperature as they are fresh and hot out of the oven. They would also make a great appetizer to take to a party, or to serve at Christmas eve! 

Here is the recipe: 

Low carb two cheese sausage balls
Yields 25
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 lbs of ground pork sausage (make sure the carb and sugar counts are 1g or less)
  2. 2 large eggs
  3. 1/2 cup finely ground plain pork rinds (use rolling pin, mallet, or food processor to grind into a fine dust)
  4. 1 cup of freshly grated mild cheddar cheese
  5. 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesean cheese
  6. 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  7. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  8. 1/4 tsp. ground mustard
  9. 1 tsp. dried parsley
  10. 2 tsp. baking powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Add all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir to combine (I have found that a mixer with a paddle attachment works best). Mix until just combined (over mixing=gummy and tough sausage balls!)
  3. Roll into walnut-sized balls and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Let cool a bit and then enjoy!
Adapted from Cooking Keto with Kristie
http://orangespoken.com/
Happy Holidays!

10/22/17

The New Earth Fare in Oldsmar (and a fall recipe!)

Disclosure: As a local member of TBB, I was invited to attend this event at Earth Fare for free, and receive compensation in the form of a gift card in exchange for my honest review of the store. All foodie-inspired opinions are my own. 

Hey friends! I hope things are well with you and that you had a super weekend! My weekend was a restful one, which was a welcomed sight after a few whirlwind work trips last week. I worked out, grocery shopped, did some cooking, and spent quality time with my main squeeze my husband (still love saying that!) Continue reading

08/26/17

Flourless Cherry Almond Muffins

It’s no secret that I love to cook. But my heart is really attached to all things baking related. 

It’s why I started this blog back in *gasp* 2009. 

The first name of this blog way back in once upon a time-time was “Stretch: Stretch your Budget, not your waistline”. It was a way for me to share the healthy sweet recipes I was creating, and to document my journey as I attempted to start exercising and train for 5k races to lose weight.  Continue reading

08/15/17

Healthy cooking for beginners

Out of all the searches that drive readers to my blog, the top search phrase has always been “healthy cooking for beginners”. I get a LOT of questions about how to meal plan, how to shop and how to cook. I’ve had people tell me that their eating habits are horrible because they “can’t cook”, and resort to pre-packaged foods, fast food and dining out. I’ve heard this on the blog, social media and even in person. 

Well, I’m here to tell you that healthy cooking is EASY. No seriously, I promise! Here are my tips for getting started in a healthy meal prep routine… and making a habit of it!  Continue reading

06/26/17

Giving back at Ronald McDonald House Tampa

Started my 38th trip around the sun volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House with this group of amazing people! 

These people are the real deal. Kind, smart, funny, and most of all, selfless. When I started talking about getting a group together to volunteer our time at the Ronald McDonald House here in Tampa as a way to celebrate my birthday, they all said “yes!” without a second thought. And yes… we made cupcakes… and YES I had one, of course. It was my birthday after all! 😉 Continue reading

06/20/17

Easy oven baked ribs

I can’t recall the first time I had ribs. 
But I remember NOT liking them.

I’m not much of a “eating meat off the bone” kind of lady, so gnawing on chicken wings, T-bone steaks, and ribs just isn’t my thing.

But then, I decided to play around with making a version at home and that’s when these delicious, tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs came into my life. 

And I was forever changed.  Continue reading

06/1/17

Oat Flour Pancakes

I first saw pancakes made with oat flour (ground up oatmeal!) a few years ago. I remember trying them and being floored at just how delicious they were! I made them so much that I kinda grew tired of pancakes! (I know what you’re thinking- how? HOW?!).

Until today. 

These fluffy flapjacks are gluten free, refined sugar free and full of flavor! Here’s the recipe: Continue reading