11/11/18

No-bake Brownie Bottom Chocolate Spoon Pie

The holidays are here!

The holidays are here!

Aka- time to make allllllll the low carb, no sugar, ketogenic friendly, HOLIDAY TREATS!

Last year I had a blast whipping up some delicious low carb snacks, appetizers, and desserts to support my new low carb lifestyle, and I never once felt deprived! 

This year I’ll be bringing you some new recipes that are still in line with this way of eating (since I am never turning back to my old ways!) and I’m so excited to start with THIS concoction! 

This is THE perfect plate to bring to your next holiday party, your Thanksgiving table, or for eating with family and friends in your pajamas watching holiday movies. It’s SO easy to make, and you won’t need to turn on your oven!

If you are a chocolate fan looking to satisfy your low carb, sugar free chocolate craving, I’ve got you covered with this dish! The base is a no-bake chewy, fudgey, and rich chocolate brownie. The middle layer is a rich milk chocolate pudding. And it’s finished with fresh vanilla whipped heavy cream. It is decadent! 

Here is the recipe! Go make this TODAY!

Low carb, no-bake brownie bottom spoon pie
Serves 12
Pudding recipe for the middle layer adapted from https://lowcarbyum.com/creamy-milk-chocolate-pudding/
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
For the brownie bottom
  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter
  2. 1/4 cup Swerve brand powdered sweetener (Publix and Sprouts carries it)
  3. 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  4. 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  5. 1 cup blanched almond flour
  6. 1/4 tsp. salt
  7. 1/4 cup chopped roasted pecans or walnuts (optional)
  8. For the pudding: Recipe from https://lowcarbyum.com/creamy-milk-chocolate-pudding/
  9. 1/3 cup Swerve brand powdered sweetener
  10. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  11. 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  12. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  13. 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  14. 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  15. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  16. 1/4 tsp. salt
For the whipped topping
  1. 1.5 cups of heavy whipping cream
  2. 1/4 cup Swerve brand powdered sweetener
  3. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  4. 1/4 tsp. salt
For the brownie bottom
  1. Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Whisk in sweetener, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt to the butter until well combined.
  3. Stir in almond flour and nuts (optional) until a doughy paste forms.
  4. Press the dough mixture into a lightly greased casserole dish and set into the fridge to firm.
For the pudding
  1. Whisk together the Swerve, cocoa, and stevia in medium saucepan.
  2. Gradually stir in coconut milk and heavy cream.
  3. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture starts to boil. Boil and stir for another minute. Remove from heat.
  4. Sprinkle in xanthan gum, stirring to completely mix in.
  5. Stir in butter and vanilla extract until incorporated.
  6. Pour pudding mixture over the cooled brownie layer and place plastic wrap directly on surface to prevent skin from forming.
  7. Chill in refrigerator for several hours until thickened.
  8. Top with whipped cream and serve cold!
http://orangespoken.com/

10/20/18

Low carb, sugar free pumpkin spiced cinnamon rolls

The other day I was chatting with a friend about childhood memories when Grandy’s came up. 

When I was a kid, we’d make trips to our local theme park, Busch Gardens, quite often. And we always, ALWAYS stopped for breakfast before heading into the park at a place called Grandy’s nearby. Although it’s not there anymore. I have fond memories of those breakfast stops- full of excitement and anticipation of what was to come that day- and full of the BEST cinnamon rolls ever. 

These cinnamon buns were SO delicious. They melted in your mouth and were the perfect way to start a day of sight-seeing, animals, and roller coaster rides. I hadn’t thought about Grandy’s in years, but ever since those fond childhood memories popped into my mind, I have been thinking about cinnamon buns. 

I’m a foodie. What can I say? It doesn’t take much to ignite a craving! 

I’ve made a few low carb, sugar free, keto diet friendly cinnamon rolls in the past that turned out AMAZING, so I knew I’d have some options to satisfy my nostalgic craving. I decided to make a batch of these today, adding a little spin as a nod to the most wonderful time of the yeeeeearrrrr: pumpkin and warm spices! 

These cinnamon rolls are soft and gooey, sweet and buttery- just like all cinnamon rolls should be! And the addition of pumpkin puree, golden monkfruit sweetener, and warm fall spices just takes these rolls to another level of deliciousness! 

Get the recipe below! And as you read the directions, if you need a visual on how to flatten and roll the dough, here you go! 

Low Carb, Sugar Free Pumpkin Spiced Cinnamon Rolls
Yields 16
A delicious twist on traditional cinnamon rolls perfect for your fall table, Thanksgiving dessert table, or Christmas morning!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  2. 1 tbsp. baking powder
  3. 2 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  4. 2 oz cream cheese, cubed
  5. 2 large eggs, whisked
  6. 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  7. 2 tbsp. cinnamon powder
  8. 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  9. 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  10. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  11. 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  12. 1 cup no-calorie sweetener (I used Truvia or Golden Monkfruit)
  13. pinch of salt
  14. cooking spray for greasing pan
  15. wax paper or parchment paper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Stir together almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine shredded mozzarella and cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes, stirring once in between.
  4. Let the cheese mixture cool for a minute, and then add in the eggs and the almond flour mixture and stir until all combined into a dough.
  5. Place the dough on a sheet pan lined with wax paper (or parchment paper) sprayed with non-stick spray. Place another piece of paper over the dough and press with hands until flat. Remove top layer of paper and then set aside.
  6. Stir together pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla extract, butter, and sweetener. Spread onto the flattened dough.
  7. Carefully use the bottom layer of wax paper to help roll the dough lengthwise to make one long roll. Use a sharp knife to slice 1 inch pieces from the roll.
  8. Place each piece with the filling side facing up side by side into a greased round cake pan. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.
Notes
  1. Optional- Top with powdered no calorie sweetener (I used Swerve) mixed with a little water or milk to form an icing to drizzle over the cinnamon rolls!
Adapted from Wholesome Yum (dough recipe)
http://orangespoken.com/
09/30/18

Low carb crispy pan fried fish with avocado tartar sauce

A few weeks ago my husband and my mother-in-law went on a chartered fishing trip out in the Gulf of Mexico. They had some success bringing back some fresh snapper, grouper, and Key West grunts! 

Even though we live in Florida- literally surrounded by salt water- I don’t cook fish too often. If we get a craving, we typically will go out to a seafood restaurant to avoid having the house smell like fish for a day or two.

Lucky for us, there are tons of options in the Tampa Bay area to choose from, like one of our favorites, Ballyhoo! 

But because the husband and his mom came home with the catch-of-the-day that day, I was excited to cook what they brought home!

I fried the fish two ways that day: battered in a light cornmeal and flour coating and deep fried until golden brown and crispy, and a pan-fried version with the fish coated with a low carb “breading” made of crushed pork rinds and parmesean cheese that was so amazingly good that I just had to make it again today! 

This recipe really is a winner. The breading, although strange sounding, has this buttery, crispy, and salty flavor to it that pairs so well with a flaky white fish like mahi-mahi or even cod. Although I haven’t tried using it on other proteins, I have a feeling this would make an unbelievable fried chicken, or even a vegetable like an eggplant for eggplant parm or on zucchini for zucchini fries! And since pork rinds have no carbs, and the parmesean cheese adds very little in carb count since I am using just a tiny amount, this is the perfect recipe if you are following a low carb lifestyle or if you are trying to remain in ketosis! 

Even though I’m currently stuffed, my mouth is watering just talking about this dish and looking at the pictures! 

Go make this ASAP!

Low carb crispy pan fried fish
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
For the breading
  1. 2 cups of plan pork rinds
  2. 1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese
For the fish
  1. 2 eggs, whisked in a bowl
  2. 3-4 filets of a fresh white fish of your choice (I used Mahi-Mahi and grouper) cut into smaller chunks
  3. olive oil and butter for frying (I use mostly oil + a pat of butter- the flavor is awesome!)
For the avocado tartar sauce
  1. 1/2 cup good mayo
  2. 1 small-medium avocado
  3. 2 tsp. capers
  4. the juice of 1/2 lemon
  5. 1 tsp. onion powder
  6. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  7. 1 tbsp. hot sauce
  8. 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
  9. 1 tsp. anchovy paste (optional)
For the breading
  1. Place the pork rinds and the parmesean cheese into a food processor and pulse until fine (you can also use a gallon sized bag and a rolling pin). Place into a bowl and position next to the whisked eggs.
To prepare the fish
  1. Heat oil and butter in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Place enough oil in the pan to coat the bottom (you will be shallow frying the fish, so the oil only needs to come up to just under the fish).
  2. While the oil heats, pat down the chunks of fish with a paper towel to remove excess water.
  3. Place chunks of fish into the whisked eggs to coat completely, and then into the pork rind mixture to coat on all sides. Place into the hot oil and let it cook for 4 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 4 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. *Note: thinner fish will need 2-3 minutes on each side. My fish chunks were 2in x 2in.
  4. Serve with a dollop of avocado tartar sauce and a squeeze of lime!
To prepare the avocado tartar sauce
  1. Throw all of the ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth. You could also use an immersion blender or just a whisk. 🙂
http://orangespoken.com/
ENJOY!

 

 

08/18/18

Low Carb, Keto Friendly Vanilla Gooey Butter Cake!

The first time I tried gooey butter cake was in the early 2000’s. 

We had taken a trip to Savannah, Georgia and made a stop at the infamous Lady and Sons for lunch. 

Gooey butter cake was on the buffet, and of course, knowing Paula Deen’s love of all things butter, we had to try it. 

It was out of this world! Sweet and melt-in-your-mouth moist, with the deep vanilla flavor, a crispy exterior, with a gooey inside-and of course #ALLTHEBUTTER. 

Once I learned how easy it was to make, it became one of my go-to sweet treat recipes to make- especially around the holidays. 

And because the main ingredient was a box of cake mix (yes a box of cake mix!), it was always easy to play around with flavors. 

Devil’s Food gooey butter cake.
Red velvet gooey butter cake.
Lemon gooey butter cake.
You get the idea. 

I haven’t eaten any form of gooey butter cake in years, but was reminded of it a few weeks ago when it came across my Instagram feed. Then, of course, the craving hit, and I started researching ways to make a low carb, sugar free, keto friendly version of it so that I could have my cake and eat it too! 

I read some recipes that were floating out there on the Internet, but many of the reviews referred to the cakes as “eggy”. I found another one that had pretty good reviews, but when I played around with the recipe, it just wasn’t sweet enough, and the texture was all wrong. 

Today I decided to play around with some ideas again and boy am I excited to share this with you! 

It. Is. Out. Of. This. World. An almost perfect recreation of the real thing! If you are missing gooey butter cake in your new low-carb lifestyle, make this immediately! Or just make it because you NEED to try it if you never have. 

Here’s the recipe:

Low carb, keto friendly gooey butter cake!
Yields 18
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. Bottom layer
  2. 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  3. 1/4 cup coconut flour
  4. 1/4 cup Sukrin Gold (Amazon) or Golden Monkfruit sweetener (Sprouts)
  5. 1 large egg
  6. 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, melted
  7. 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  8. A pinch of salt
  9. Top layer
  10. 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
  11. 2 large eggs
  12. 8 oz cream cheese
  13. 3/4 cup Sukrin Gold or Golden Monkfruit sweetener
  14. 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  15. A pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper for easy removal of the cake. Set aside.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients for the bottom layer in a bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Press into an even layer at the bottom of the lined baking pan. Set aside.
  4. Heat butter and cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl until melted. Whisk to combine until there are no lumps, and the mixture is shiny and smooth.
  5. Whisk in vanilla extract, and sweetener until smooth.
  6. When the mixture has cooled a bit, add in the eggs and whisk again.
  7. Pour the mixture over the crust into the pan.
  8. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. At 40 minutes, grab a pot holder and jiggle the pan a bit. If the cake is still jiggly, bake for another 10 minutes and check again. When the top is golden brown, and the cake doesn't jiggle anymore, it's ready to take out!
  9. Let it cool completely- preferably overnight, or in the fridge for a few hours before cutting and serving.
Notes
  1. You can also melt the butter and cream cheese on the stove top if you prefer to not use a microwave.
  2. Optional- dust with powdered Swerve sweetener!
  3. Just 1.5g total carbs per square!!!
http://orangespoken.com/

08/18/18

Low carb, Keto Friendly Mini Ham & Cheese Balls

Today is August 18, but my mind is already in holiday mode.

If you are one of those types of people who get annoyed by early seasonal celebrators, and like to enjoy the current season they are in, you may want to skip this post- or at least hear me out! 😉

When it comes to my favorite holiday season (for me, it starts in mid-September when I pull out all of my Fall & Halloween decor, all the way through New Year’s Day), I like to prepare early. 

When the school supplies hit the clearance shelf making room for fall decor to make its yearly appearance, and the holiday recipe videos start to flood my timeline, I get a major case of the giddies, and I’m ALL in. 

I love having a chance to prepare for the moooooooost wonderful tiiiiiiiiiime of the yearrrrrrrrr by purchasing new items to add to my holiday decor collection (and spacing out these purchases so I’m not spending a million dollars in one Target trip!), AND having the opportunity to experiment with new recipes to bring to my holiday table! 

With that said, I’ll be upping my game here on the blog by sharing some of my favorite tried and true and some brand new low carb, no sugar, ketogenic friendly holiday recipes to kick off the pre-holiday season that will be PERFECT to share with the carb eaters and low-carbers in your life this holiday season! (PS- I’m approaching 1 year of following a ketogenic lifestyle this month! I’ll be posting an update on the successes I’ve had with this way of eating soon!). 

I’m starting with this yummy recipe I recently whipped up for a pot-luck get-together! 

I was first introduced to the Ham and Cheese ball when my cousin Stacy brought one to a family gathering. I had never had one before, with the exception of its cousin the store-bought pub cheese ball covered in nuts that you can pretty much pickup at any grocery store deli. 

However, the addition of ham was new to me! And her version was SO much better than the pre-packaged stuff. But isn’t that the case with most things? Fresh is best! 

I hadn’t thought about her recipe in forever, but the other day it popped up on my “On This Day” feed and, well, I had to have it! I decided to make a batch of mini bite-sized versions for my get-together. I looked up a few ham and cheese ball recipes, and ended up putting my own spin using what I had on hand, and making sure to keep these keto friendly! 

These are made with whipped cream cheese, shredded Colby jack, uncured ham, pecans, and some savory seasonings, but what I love about these is that there is no limit to the flavor combinations you could whip up! 

You could use cream cheese, shredded mozzarella, diced prosciutto, and pistachios! 
Or maybe cream cheese, shredded pepper jack, diced pepperoni, and walnuts! 
You could even use the combination of cream cheese, shredded cheddar, bacon, and almonds! 
If you’re not a meat eater, you can definitely omit and add nuts or finely chopped veggies like celery, carrots, dried fruit like cranberries, or fresh chopped herbs!

They are also spreadable, so you can easily enjoy them on crackers, or celery sticks!

The possibilities are endless!

Here’s the recipe:

Low carb, Keto Friendly Mini Ham & Cheese Bites
Yields 30
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 8oz. packages of full fat cream cheese
  2. 1/2 lb. thinly sliced ham (I used uncured Dietz and Watson)
  3. 1 1/2 cups of shredded Colby jack cheese
  4. 1/2 cup shredded parmesean cheese
  5. 1 tbsp. fresh finely minced chives
  6. 1 tsp. onion powder
  7. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  8. 1 tsp. black papper
  9. 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  10. 2 tbsp. hot sauce (I used Crystal brand)
  11. 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
Instructions
  1. Use a stand or hand mixer to whip the cream cheese with the dry seasonings.
  2. While the cheese is mixing, chop the ham into small pieces.
  3. Add the shredded cheeses, hot sauce, and chives to the whipped cream cheese and stir to combine.
  4. Add the ham to the cheese mixture and stir to combine. Set in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to firm a bit. Add the pecans to a small bowl to prepare for rolling.
  5. Using a melon-baller or small cookie dough scoop, scoop out gumball sized balls of the ham and cheese mixture and roll into the toasted pecans.
  6. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. These will stay fresh for up to a week! Enjoy!
http://orangespoken.com/

 

05/16/18

The best grilled wings ever

There’s just no way else to describe these.

They are, in fact, the best grilled wings ever. 

They’re crispy and juicy.

They’re super flavorful.

And they literally fall off of the bone.

In my opinion, they are everything a wing should be. 

The best part? They are PERFECT if you’re following a low carb or ketogenic way of eating, they’re super easy to make (even if you say you don’t know how to cook), and they’re damn delicious. 

The start off swimming in an ah-may-zing marinade overnight (or for at least 2 hours if you’re short on time)…

Then, they get slow baked in the oven for 45 minutes…

Finished on the grill for a few minutes on each side…

And served topped with carmelized mushrooms and onions! 

This wings are EVERYTHING and they don’t need any sauces or dips to cover up their natural flavor. Enjoy them as is, hot off the grill! Here’s the recipe! 

The Best Grilled Wings- EVER
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Ingredients
  1. 20 chicken wings and drumettes (with tips removed)
  2. 1/2 cup mayo (I use Duke's brand)
  3. 1/4 cup lemon juice
  4. 1 tbsp. coconut aminos (you can also use Worcestershire or omit)
  5. 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
  6. 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  7. 1 tbsp. hot sauce of your choice (I use Crystal brand)
  8. 2 tsp. onion powder
  9. 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  10. 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  11. 1 tsp. dried thyme
  12. 2 tsp. sea salt + extra for sprinkling as they come off of the grill
  13. 1 tsp. black pepper
  14. **Carmelized onions and mushrooms for serving with the wings- optional, but SO delicious (see recipe in the Notes section)
Cooking instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and arrange wings on the sheet in a single layer (no need to remove excess marinade).
  3. Bake the wings for 45 minutes, and then remove from the oven, keeping them on the pan.
  4. Preheat a gas grill (or grill pan) on medium-high heat.
  5. When the grill is hot, grill wings for 2-3 minutes on each side until the skin is crispy! I love char on these wings, so feel free to leave them on a little longer if you like char too!
  6. While the wings are still sizzling, top them with a sprinkle of sea salt, and serve them topped with the onions and mushrooms!
Notes
  1. To make the onions and mushrooms: https://addapinch.com/mushroom-and-onion-saute-recipe/
http://orangespoken.com/

04/15/18

Low carb, keto friendly blackberry lemon muffins

It’s berry season here in Florida!

From December-March it’s strawberry season.

And from about March-May is blueberry and blackberry season (with blackberry season starting a little later than blueberry season)! 

All throughout those months you can find the BEST berries around Tampa by venturing out just few miles to surrounding cities like Odessa and Plant City for both berry buying and berry picking!

I love berries, let me tell you.

They’re sweet, juicy, flavorful, versatile, AND low carb/low sugar!

You can enjoy them as is, toss them into you favorite mixed green salads, puree them with stevia and freeze them for sorbet, serve them with a bit of whipped heavy cream, or make (my favorite) muffins! I love berries and picked up some blackberries and raspberries this weekend from my local farmer’s market (pictured above). Aren’t they just gorgeous?! 

Before I started the clean ketogenic way of eating 7 months (and 50lbs) ago, I made muffins all of the time. With a few modifications, I’ve created an awesome crumbly, moist, and delicious blackberry muffin that will make even the non-low carbers in your life smile! 

This recipe makes 8 moist, tender, crumbly, and delicious cupcake sized muffins, or 24(ish) mini muffins. And if you don’t like blackberries, no worries! You can use blueberries or raspberries! I’ve used this recipe with all three berries and they were a hit each time. The lemon zest, however, is a MUST. It just takes these muffins to new heights and is certainly missed if it’s not there! So zest away!

At just 4g total carbs (2g net carbs) per muffin, you can enjoy one of these with butter for breakfast, a snack, or dessert! I was able to reduce the carbs in these little guys by using oat fiber to replace some of the flours in the recipe. Oat fiber has no effective carbs and works really well in keto baking! It’s not a 1:1 substitute, however, so be careful when experimenting with it. If you don’t have oat fiber, you can still make these! There are a few tips and modifications in the recipe to guide you.

If you’d like to purchase oat fiber for your low carb, keto life, you can snag a 1lb bag of the keto-friendly brand “Lifesource” for  $3.99 at Netrition.com!

Here is the recipe!

Low carb, keto friendly blackberry lemon muffins!
A quick and easy from-scratch recipe for low carb, ketogenic diet friendly blackberry muffins!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/8 cup coconut flour
  2. 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  3. 1/2 cup oat FIBER (not oat flour)
  4. 1 tsp. gluten free baking powder
  5. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  6. 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  7. 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
  8. 2 tbsp. melted coconut oil or butter
  9. 3 large eggs
  10. 1/4 cup cold water
  11. 2 tbsp. zero calorie, keto approved sweetener (I used Swerve)
  12. 1/4 tsp. liquid vanilla stevia (if you don't have it, it's ok to omit- they will just be a little less sweet)
  13. 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  14. 1/2 cup fresh blackberries (if they are super big, cut them into halves)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together coconut flour, almond flour, oat fiber, baking powder, sea salt and ginger until just combined.
  3. Add eggs, melted coconut oil or butter, water, sweeteners, vanilla extract, and lemon zest into the bowl. Use a spatula or spoon to stir until well combined.
  4. Gently stir in blackberries.
  5. Use an ice cream scoop to spoon the muffin batter equally into 8 the cupcake pan. Smooth the top of each muffins with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula so that there are no "peaks". Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick placed inside a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Let cool and enjoy!
Notes
  1. At just 4g total carbs (2g net carbs) per muffin, you can enjoy one of these with butter for breakfast, a snack, or dessert! **If you don't have oat fiber, use 1/4 cup coconut flour and 1/2 cup blanched almond flour. The carb count for these will increase since oat fiber, as oat fiber has no effective carbs. You can purchase a 1lb bag of Lifesource oat fiber for $3.99 at Netrition.com!
http://orangespoken.com/
03/28/18

Pull apart keto cast-iron rolls & other keto friendly Easter dishes!

Happy spring! Happy Easter!

The weather has been GORGEOUS here in Tampa, FL- lows in the 50’s and 60’s, highs in the 70’s and 80’s. Literally the epitome of spring! It’s been the perfect weather for having the windows open and letting the springtime breeze air out the house. Last weekend we went camping to celebrate Brian’s birthday and man-oh-man, it was just lovely. I wish it would stay this way all year long!

And of course, gorgeous weather like this means it’s also the perfect time for spring cooking, spring picnics, and spring get togethers with friends and family! When I think of my springtime kitchen, I picture gorgeous trays of deviled eggs, thin slices of sweet and salty baked ham, fresh salads made with spring greens, roasted vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, and mushrooms, and refreshing desserts made with citrus flavors and floral notes. 

Spring also makes me yearn for freshly baked bread. I know some people associate bread with fall or winter, but for me, the intoxicating perfume of a loaf of baking bread wafting out an open window on a sunny spring day is just heavenly.

Maybe it’s because I associate scents with good memories. For me, the scents that remind me of Easter and this time of year are all from when I was a kid- the pastel colored artificial grass from the Easter baskets my mother would make for my brother and I (what WAS that scent anyway? Whatever it was, it was glorious!), the sweet smell of malted milk and chocolate robin’s eggs (my favorite!), and the delicious aroma of pull-apart rolls baking in the oven for Easter dinner. 

I LOVED these rolls growing up.  Do you remember them? They were a party and holiday dinner staple around our house. I don’t think they make them anymore, but man were they GOOD! With every holiday, my cousins and I would steal a pack to sneakily snack on, hoping that no one would notice the missing package from the stack. They were JUST irresistible!

As I was thinking about upcoming plans for an Easter gathering with family and friends, I thought about these rolls and how I might recreate them to fit in with my clean keto, low carb way of eating. 

I already had a tried and true recipe for all-things-bread (I use this recipe for everything from pizza crusts and biscuits, to crackers and bagels!), and so I wondered how the dough would work for pull-apart rolls. I decided to try a batch out cooking them in a hot buttered cast iron skillet. I took golf-ball sized pieces of dough and rolled them in my hands until they were smooth. I was able to fit 7 into my cast-iron skillet, topping each with a brushing of melted Kerrygold butter, and some flaky sea salt. I baked them at 400 degrees F for 14 minutes, and VOILA! 

OH. MY. GOSH. YOU. GUYS. These are incredible. 

They are crispy on the top, and fluffy inside, and the butter and sea salt are just enough to make these satisfying, indulgent and just about PERFECT!

I will definitely be whipping up a batch of these for Sunday’s Easter activities along with a few more keto friendly, low carb dishes: 

Rosemary and mustard ham

Roasted radishes with fresh herbs

Lemon roasted asparagus

Strawberry butter

Deviled eggs with bacon

Greek wedge salad

Low carb Cadbury creme eggs

What is on your Easter menu?

02/24/18

My favorite low carb, keto friendly dough recipe!

I’ve been following a clean, whole food way of ketogenic eating since August! I feel great and have experienced so many great changes happening to my body which make me SO glad I chose to dive in and try it.

My long term plantar fasciitis has completely healed, I’ve lost over 40lbs, I’ve gone from a size 24/26 jeans to a size 18/20, and I just FEEL awesome all around. I still have more milestones to hit (and smaller clothes that I hope to fit into!), but so far so good! 

In these past 6 months, I’ve definitely made a few mistakes, tried recipes that crashed and burned, eaten things with sugar and hidden carbs I didn’t know about, and, as in all weight loss adventures, the scale has gotten either gone up, or gotten stuck (thank goodness for non-scale victories like shrinking pant sizes and slack on an airplane seatbelt vs. needing an extender!). But, the show must on go, and luckily things have started moving in the right direction again. With some small tweaks, more practice in eating for hunger, instead of boredom, and getting my Orangetheory workouts in more consistently, I’m back on track and ready to see what’s next!

                                                                           February 11, 2018

People always ask me “What’s your favorite go-to keto friendly meal?” My answer is usually a few things: bunless burgers, omelettes, and anything made with my favorite low carb dough.

If you have heard of the ketogenic diet, then you have probably heard of “fathead dough.” Basically, fathead dough is a low carb dough base made with a couple of things: cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, a low carb flour, eggs, and seasonings. It first appeared a few years ago on the Fat Head blog, and low carb followers around the world have been using it help curb carby cravings ever since. Fathead dough can be used for SO many keto-friendly treats: crackers, biscuits, flatbreads, focaccia, bagels, breadsticks, pizza crust, croutons, avocado toast, empanadas, and even low carb cinnamon rolls- all with one recipe! Once you find a fathead dough recipe that you love, just do a Google search for recipes and you’ll see all of the yummy things you can make with a batch of this dough! 

I’ve tried a lot of fathead dough recipes out there, but I always go back to this simple, yet delicious recipe that is so versatile, I use it for everything. My recipe uses blanched almond flour for tenderness, olive oil for a golden crunchiness, my rich and delicious backyard eggs (good, organic eggs are a must for this dough!), and something called oat fiber, which is a flour type substance that has no calories, no fat, and no effective carbs! Not only do I love to bake with oat fiber, but it’s also great as a binder for meatloaf and meatballs! Not to be mistaken for oat FLOUR, oat fiber is the only insoluble fiber out there. 

Here’s the 101 on oat fiber:
From this website: Oat fiber is 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.

My dear friend Kristen is the one who introduced me to oat fiber. She has been following a ketogenic way of eating for over two years now and has seen great success- not only in weight loss, but also in managing her MS! She is my go-to for all-things-keto and has patiently been there every step of the way in helping me get my footing. She has cooked up some amazing low carb goodies, including some things using oat fiber!

I’ve been experimenting with oat fiber for a few months and have learned that it’s a great ingredient to use to reduce the amount of coconut or almond flour a recipe calls for, but to not completely use it to replace it as a 1:1 substitute. For example, if a recipe calls for 2 cups of blanched almond flour, you can use 1 cup of the almond flour and 1 cup of oat fiber to reduce the carbs in the recipe. It’s practically tasteless, so it will take on any flavors you pair it with. 

A few days ago I made a batch of my favorite fathead dough and turned it into a few individual-sized pizza crusts, 2 flavors of bagels (everything and onion), and some buttery biscuits! This crust is my favorite because it’s crispy, but also has a great chew to it- just like real bread/pizza dough/bagels! The oat fiber gives the dough some bite, and the addition of xanthum gum gives it its chew. I turned the pizza crust into a delicious pepperoni, tomato, and parmesean pizza for dinner! It was DELICIOUS! 

I topped the crispy and chewy pizza crust with freshly grated parmesean cheese, a couple of sliced tomatoes, pepperoni, italian seasoning, and cracked red pepper. You’ve GOT to try it! 

So are you ready for this dough recipe yet? Well here it is! 

My favorite fathead dough
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
12 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 3/4 cup blanched almond flour
  2. 1/4 cup oat FIBER (you can get it at Netrition.com (search for Lifesource brand)
  3. 1 tbsp. baking powder
  4. 1 tsp. sea salt
  5. 2 cups freshly grated full fat mozzarella cheese (from a block- not fresh mozzarella) (I have also had success with Monterrey jack cheese!)
  6. 1/4 cup finely grated parmesean cheese
  7. 2 oz. full fat cream cheese
  8. 2 large whisked eggs
  9. melted butter for biscuits or olive oil for pizza crusts/bagels
  10. toppings for bagels (everything but the bagel seasoning, dried onion flakes, parmesean cheese, pretzel salt, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Stir together the almond flour, oat fiber, salt, and baking powder- set aside.
  2. Combine the shredded mozzarella and cream cheese in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes, stirring with a spatula halfway through the cooking process.
  3. Remove from the microwave and stir until the cheeses are well combined. Set aside to cool just a little bit (if you put the eggs in right away, they will scramble- so wait just a few seconds!).
  4. Stir the flour mixture and eggs into the melted cheese mixture. Oil your hands with butter or olive oil, and while the mixture is still warm, knead it until a ball of dough forms (adding extra grease to your hands if the dough begins to stick to your hands).
  5. At this point you can use the dough for a variety of creations!
  6. >>>To make bagels- divide the dough into 8 sections, form a cigar shape by rolling and pulling the dough in your hands, then form bagels by pressing the two ends together. Brush with melted butter or olive oil, top with your favorite topping (I love Trader Joe's everything but the bagel seasoning!) and bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes on a greased baking sheet, or until the bagels are golden brown.
  7. >>>To make biscuits- divide the dough into 8 sections, form biscuit shaped discs, brush with melted butter, top with a sprinkle of sea salt, and bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes on a greased baking sheet, or until the biscuits are golden brown.You can also place these in a small hot cast iron skillet coated in butter for pull apart biscuits/rolls!
  8. >>>To make pizza crusts- place the warm dough on a floured (use a little oat fiber) cutting board and roll out to desired thickness, size, and shape. Brush with a little olive oil. For thin individual sized pizzas, bake at 350F for 10 minutes on a greased baking sheet then add toppings and broil under high heat for 1-2 minutes to melt toppings. For a large pizza crust, adjust the baking time to 12-15 minutes, depending on thickness.
Notes
  1. Remember to search for other fathead dough recipes! There are TONS out there! Have fun exploring and experimenting!
Adapted from Inspired by all of the fathead recipes out there!
Adapted from Inspired by all of the fathead recipes out there!
http://orangespoken.com/
Enjoy!

02/13/18

Hassleback Baked Envy Apples for your Valentine! {low carb}

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

I love any reason to celebrate- especially when it involves whipping up sweet treats for family and friends. 

I’ve been thinking about what to whip up this year for this day of love, and of course, thought of all of the regular go-tos: brownies, cookies, cheesecakes, truffles… 

But then, THESE gorgeous gems arrived at my doorstep courtesy of Envy Apples and Allan Brother’s Inc. Continue reading