Low Carb Pancakes, with Cream Cheese & Flax Meal

Made pancakes this morning. There are lots of recipes for low carb cream cheese/egg pancakes. They are great, but more like a crepe. I wanted a thicker pancake, so I experimented with using some flax meal. They came out great!  I mean to take pictures, but my excitement meant I ate them before I took the pictures!! haha

Low Carb Pancakes, with Cream Cheese & Flax Meal

2 eggs
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup ground flax
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (to activate the baking soda)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon erythritol (or sweetener to taste)
Pinch of salt

Add everything to a blender, and blend well for about 30 to 60 seconds, making sure the cream cheese has blended in and has no lumps. Let sit for a minute and then cook as you would regular pancakes. Preheat a pan on medium heat. Butter the pan before each pancake. Cook until bubbles form and solidify. Flip over and cook another 20-30 seconds. This makes 3 pancakes. Serve with sugar free syrup.

Posted in Breakfast, Diabetic Type 2, Low Carb | Leave a comment

Things I’ve Learned – Nutrition Information

These days, I need to know what the nutritional values of foods are.  I’ve found a ton of places online that show you the values – some with uber fancy graphical images, some with just the calories and fat amounts,  and some with  information that no one can decipher.

What I want in a database:

  • I want standardized measurement selections (50 grams, 100 grams, 1 ounce, 2 ounces), etc.
  • I want to compare food items (example: skim vs regular milk)
  • I want a breakdown of where the calories are coming from (fat, carbs, protein?)
  • I want a breakdown of the types of carbohydrates (sugars)
  • I want the glycemic index and glycemic load calculation

I found a few ways that worked for me.

1.  Google

pear nutrition info from google

I’ve found one of the easiest ways to get nutritional info directly from Google is using one or the other terms:  “Nutrition” or “Carbs”  For example, searching for pear nutrition or pear carbs will bring up the relevant nutritional values associated with a pear.  Any pear, not specific pears.  It does have weird (and seemingly arbitrary) serving size amounts.  For the most part, it does allow for at least 100 grams on most items.  If you run the values of a lot of items, always use the same amounts, if possible, to give yourself an understanding of the real value.  I mean, you might want to know the values on oatmeal, but you don’t need to know what 1 cup of dry, uncooked oatmeal is..you want to know what a serving 1/4 cups or 125 grams is.  Try to select the amount closest to what you know you are going to eat, and what you have seen.

Google’s data does not have some of my requirements – no breakdowns, no glycemic index or load – very sad, since this is the fastest way to search.  But just knowing carbs/fiber on an ingredient is helpful.

2. USDA

United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Researchusda_nutrition_information Service has an online database, “National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference“, which is an excellent resource for most foods.  The database allows you to input your own weights and measures for items, which is really great.  It also seems to have a lot of items, including many fresh and raw items, plus some prepared items.  I like the breakdowns, though the sugars are not broken down as well as I would like.  In addition, you can download an excel file with all the information included.  There is also an ability to use the API and create your own app, if you are so inclined.  Anyone??!

Again, my own requirements aren’t met here, though the database does allow for input of my own measurements — 1/2 cup or 3 ounces, or 100 grams.  No glycemic load or index.

3. Self Nutrition Dataself

The last link is probably my favorite.  Not only does it show you the nutritional values, carbs breakdownhave ease of selecting weight/measurement, have tools to compare various items (!!)  etc., but it shows you the glycemic load for the selected food and serving size.  This site also has useless (to me) graphs & graphics.  But because I want the carb/sugars broken down, and I want to see the glycemic load, this site is incredibly useful and the one I use the most.

 

 

 

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Things I’ve Learned – Low Carb Bread Crumbs

20150215_124940

Toast and bread crumbs

A small thing we take for ease of use in our kitchens is bread crumbs.  Except when you no longer eat so many carbs.  What to do .. what to do?  I found bread in the market by Pepperidge Farms called “Carb Style”, which is low carb, plus fiber.  8 Carbs and 3 Fiberpepperidge-farm-carb-style-8951 per slice.  So, since it’s so simple to make bread crumbs, I decided to make them today.

I used a single loaf of bread, laid out flat on baking sheets and baked for at 300F(148C) for about 20-25 minutes, until the bread slices were completely dried through.

How many carbs in this version of low carb bread crumbs? Since we know how many carbs are in one slice, I wanted to know the amount of crumb per slice.  I ran just a single slice through the food processor.  4 Tablespoons = 1 slice.  The entire loaf made about 4 cups of bread crumbs.  Throw these into a container or freezer ziplock and freeze.  Use as needed.

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Panna Cotta – Sugar Free & Sinfully Mmmmy Goodness

Panna Cotta, coffee flavored with dark unsweetened chocolateSugar Free. Carb-less.  That’s my life these days.  I’m experimenting with a lot of things I had not tried before, which has been a lot of fun.  But I’ve missed having something dessert-ish.  We did some searching and found a low-carb, sugar free quick panna cotta recipe and woot!  Oh, baby!

(Update: Pictures are below) I would have taken pictures.  And I will put some up.  But apparently, in my excitement about making creamy goodness, I didn’t even think about it.

This recipe takes less than 3 minutes to prep, and a couple of hours in the refrigerator.

Panna Cotta – Sugar Free

Serving size: 5 servings of 1/2 cup each

1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons unsweetened gelatin powder (This is a single Knox Gelatin envelope).
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons instant coffee
1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract (
sugar substitute equal to 3 tablespoons cup sugar (I used splenda, my boyfriend used stevia).* See note below
Pinch of Salt (just a tiny bit!!)
1 1/2 teaspoons shredded unsweetened dark chocolate

Sprinkle the gelatin powder on the warm water and set aside to soften for several minutes. Stir completely to dissolve any remaining bits. In a seperate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. With a whisk, stir in the gelatin. Mix well but don’t over mix or it will become foamy. Put into custard cups, ramekins, or one single bowl, and chill for 2-4 hours. Sprinkle the shredded chocolate on top just prior to serving. This is softly gelled, but no where near as firm as a jello would be.

Sprinkle the gelatin powder on the warm water and set aside to soften for several minutes. Stir completely to dissolve any remaining bits. In a seperate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. With a whisk, gently stir in the gelatin. Mix well but don’t over mix or it will become foamy. Put into custard cups, ramekins, or one single bowl, and chill for 2-4 hours. This is softly gelled, but no where near as firm as a jello would be.

Note:  For any panna cotta, start with a bit less sweetener, and then sweeten to taste.  I use less when making the Orange Creamsicle below, but more when making the coffee flavored as above.

Variations

A few upcoming ventures and variations will include adding and then a “key lime” flavor with zest of key lime, and the juice of 1 or two (depending on size).

“Orange Creamsicle” 2 teaspoons orange extract and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. The zest of 1/2 an orange would be great with this as well.

Oh, the possibilities!!!

Just as a side note — if you don’t want this sugar free, replace the sugar substitute with sugar.

Posted in Desserts, Diabetic Type 2, Low Carb, Sugar Free | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken Fried Steak (aka Schnitzel), with Milk Gravy

I made “Chicken Fried Steak”, with milk gravy today.  Big deal, you say.  Well, for me, it was.  It was the first time I’ve ever made gravy that didn’t seize up into an inedible mass of flour-y greasy goo.  It made me way too happy.  Giggly, even.  Haha!!

I haven’t made Chicken Fried Steak in 15+ years (and never had the gravy turn out edible).  But I’ve made other schnitzels many times, but never the recipe my family made. “Schnitzel?”, you ask.  Why, yes,  Chicken Fried Steak is just schnitzel.

Schnitzel can be any meat, that is pounded out thin, dipped in flour, dipped in egg, dipped in a breading, and then fried.  Pork, chicken, veal, beef, alligator, kangaroo or squirrel, if that’s your thing.

A conversation I had with my ex-mil even before I was married:

Me: “Ah.. you are making chicken schnitzel.”

MIL:  “Schnitzel?”

Me: “Yes, it’s the German word for what you are making.  It’s just any meat that’s dipped in eggs, dipped in breading and then fried.”

MIL:  (in a very high pitched voice) “I don’t eat German food.”

I think Americans forget that foods we make, foods we love, and foods we grew up with are not always American.  Schnitzel being one of them.  In New York, we make “chicken cutlets”.  Meat, dipped in egg, dipped in seasoned bread crumbs, fried.  If I say I’m making “chicken cutlets”, everyone knows what I’m talking about.  If I say I’m making “chicken schnitzel”, only Europeans know what I’m talking about.

This recipe is what I grew up eating.  Instead of bread crumbs, it uses crushed saltine crackers.  My family alsways called this “Chicken Fried Steak”, but it’s also called “Country Fried Steak” as well.  I’m sure there are other names out there in the world, too.

Eggs, flour, crumbs, cube steak, salt & Pepper

Eggs, flour, crumbs, cube steak, salt & Pepper

Chicken Fried Steak

1/2 a pound cube steak
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
2 sleeves of crushed saltine crackers (240 grams or 8.5 ounces)
4 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon butter (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Dip the cube steak into the flour, removing any excess.  Dip into the egg and then lay in the cracker crumbs.  Cover the top and press the crumbs onto the steak.  Set the pieces to dry for about 10 minutes.

Allow to dry for about 10 minutes

Allow to dry for about 10 minutes

In a large frying pan, add in 4 tablespoons of oil.  Add in the tablespoon of butter.  Heat to medium-high.  Allow the oil to get nicely hot, and add in the steaks.  Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until the crackers are golden brown.  Drain on a rack or paper towels – whichever you have.

steaks in the frying pan perfectly cooked steaks

Note:

If you cannot get cube steak at your market, use a thin piece of steak.  Round or London broil sliced lengthwise thin.  Pound out to make the pieces very thin.  Starting from the outside edge, pound away from the center to get an even piece.

 

OMG I can make Milk Gravy!!!

OMG I can make Milk Gravy!!!

OMG I Can Make Milk Gravy

Gravy is supposed to be simple and easy to make.  I can make a pan sauce to die for, but have never succeeded in making milk gravy.  Yesterday was a first!! And it really was an “OMG, I can make milk gravy” moment!

2 Tablespoons or so of the drippings
2 Tablespoons of flour
1 Cup milk
Salt & Pepper to taste

Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the drippings from the pan you used to make the steaks.  At medium heat, sprinkle in the flour and whisk quickly.  Mix well and continue to whisk for about 1 minute.  After the minute is up, add in the milk, continuing to whisk.   Allow to cook on medium  heat for a couple of minutes, until the gravy begins to thicken.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately.

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Simple Enchilada Sauce

I wanted a simple and easy Enchilada sauce. This is it. All the ingredients found in my cupboard, with a 20 minute cook time.

Simple Enchilada Sauce

3 Tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon flour (or low carb baking mix, just to thicken)
3 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/3 teaspoons ground cumin
10 ounce tube tomato paste
1 teaspoon dry oregano
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
Salt to taste

In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add flour (or low carb mix) and stir in well. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the chili powder and cumin and cook for another minute. Add in the tomato paste, oregano and cook for 30 seconds. Add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once at the boiling point, reduce heat down to low and cook for about 15 minutes. This will reduce and thicken. Stir often (I use a whisk). Salt to taste. Either use immediately, or refrigerate for up to a week. This also freezes well.

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The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap..and I missed it!

pbcookies.jpgDarn it.

Arrgh!  (Pirate’ease for “Well, hell!”)

I had heard about “The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap” last year — when everyone posted their goodies.  I thought “Oh, fun fun — I want to do this next year”, and then, being me, promptly forgot about it.  (I’ve fixed that for next year by signing up for their notification – so smart am I, I am, Said I).

So, since I didn’t participate, I thought I would list here all the cookie recipes I have created.  I hope you find something that you enjoy.

Maple Walnut Blondies

Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies (Spritzgeback)

The Best Sugar Cookies

Pecan Butter Cookies

Coconut Macaroons

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies (Flourless)

 

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