Saturday, November 9

Cheesy Sausage Balls- low carb and Primal

Sausage balls. They were a staple of holidays growing up. In my opinion, there is very little, in the way of comfort food, that can compete with those bad boys. A delicious combination of sausage (Jimmy Dean for me!), cheddar cheese and Bisquick. Heaven! But when you eliminate grains and go low carb, things like this quickly fall out of grace. 
On my last trip to Texas, I managed to smuggle 4 pounds of Jimmy Dean back to Norway with me and today sausage balls popped into my head. Coincidence? I think not. I started wondering if I could make them low carb, and since there are very few things us stalwart low carbers have not replicated sans carbs, I turned to Google. Sure enough, there were hundreds of hits!! Like I suspected, it's pretty much a sub of almond flour for the Bisquick. Easy peasy, off we go!!

Low Carb Sausage Balls
Preheat your oven to 375
1/2 pound breakfast sausage
5 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
Red pepper flakes to taste

Get your ingredients ready:
Throw your cheese and sausage in a bowl and work it together, then add the almond meal, baking powder and red pepper. (Excuse the crappy pictures, it gets dark at 3pm this time of year, so I have no natural light!)
Now, grab a baking sheet, line it with parchment paper and start making sausage balls!!! I got 27 out of this batch:
Pop them in the oven for 20 minutes or so. The biggest difference I saw between the almond flour and the Bisquick was that more cheese leaked out during baking. But, I look at this as a bonus because not only do you get sausage balls, you're getting crispy baked cheese for FREE!!
As a professional low carber, I've come to accept the fact that there really is no substitute for flour and the magical things it can do. I miss it all the time, but it makes me sick, so I deal. So that being said, I didn't expect these to taste like the sausage balls of my fantastical imagination. But Y'ALL!! They totally did!! They are delicious and really give the carby ones a run for their money. Bake up a batch of these bad boys! It's some good eating! 

I promise you'll love them. In fact your non paleo/primal/low carb partner will love them. Take them to your holiday parties and trick all your carb loving friends! Good times ahead, folks! Let me know if you try them and what you think! 

Sunday, March 3

Almond flour, flax meal pancakes

This morning Christopher and Zoe wanted pancakes. My first thought was 'Damn. He knows I can't eat pancakes!' The flour shoots my blood sugar through the roof, the calories are totally empty and they put you in a food coma within an hour. So, I decided to make them the regular ones and make me some protein laden, low carb, grain free beauties. Cooking with almond flour is actually very easy when it comes to baked goods, you just sub out flour equally and off you go.
For this recipe I used:
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup golden flax meal
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of milk (to make these paleo or for dairy intolerance use coconut milk, almond milk, ect)
  • a dash of baking powder
  • a few drops of vanilla stevia
Mix it all together in bowl and heat your pan. I make them a little larger than silver dollar pancakes. To this batch I added fresh blueberries and banana slices:

And then drizzled raw, local honey on them:

These are great! Very filling. I got about 7 good size pancakes out of it, but what is really great is what I didn't get. High blood sugar, low nutritional value and an epic crash an hour later.
This is really a breakfast you can feel good about! Go make them, you'll love them, your kids will love them, it'll be a big 'ol love fest! Just don't forget the bacon!!!

Wednesday, February 27

Good for you chocolate meringue cookies!

After being tortured by Jillian michaels for the last few days and eating dang near close to perfect, I started craving chocolate. Chocolate preferably in the form of cake or cookies. Determined not to give in, I started thinking of an alternative. I thought of meringues, those yummy, crispy airy delicacies. It's just egg whites, right? And a teeny bit of sugar. I figured I could add chocolate and call it a day. I did a quick google search and quickly discovered that there are thousands of recipes out there for meringues! I couldn't believe all of the variations! I just wanted chocolate, so I went with this one and modified it pretty heavily. I followed the baking instructions in the recipe, so these aren't true meringues, not crispy and airy, but more dense and chewy, but plus side, they only take about 12 minutes to bake versus 2-3 hours.
Here's the recipe:

  • 3 eggs at room temperature. (if you're anything like me, you hate seeing the words room temperature because it requires advance preparation, so just put the eggs in a bowl of hot tap water for a few minutes. Voila. Room Temperature!)
  • Preheat the oven to 350
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with PAM
  • 1/2 cup of organic coconut sugar
  • 2 TBL cocoa powder
  • 3TBL organic cocoa nibs
  • 2 oz dark chocolate chopped finely
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar or a teeny splash of white vinegar 
Start by separating the eggs. I find the easiest way to do this is to crack it in my hand over a bowl and let the white slip through my fingers. Just slips right through and the yolk NEVER breaks. I also recommend organic, free range eggs! They're just better for you!

using a glass or metal bowl, whip the whites until peaks start to form. Slowly add the coconut sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon:

Continue to beat the egg whites and sugar until you have stiff peaks. I never really got them too stiff. Not sure why, but does it matter really?? When you are satisfied with the volume of the eggwhites, stir in the cocoa powder and cocoa nibs:

I guess the cocoa nibs are optional, but man, they add in such a depth of deep, chocolaty flavor. So delicious. You can get them at Whole Foods or Trader Joes.

Your mixture will look something like this:


Get a spoon and drop them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with PAM:

The recipe I followed said there were 40 cookies here. But I only got 24. She did say to use a TEASPOON though. Seriously??? Who wants a cookie the size of a teaspoon?? So I revolted and used a normal spoon instead! Baked them in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes and took them out and transferred them to a wire rack to cool. I took this picture an hour later:

Seriously good, folks! And really perfect to satisfy a sweet tooth. Best of all, they are low carb, grain free, gluten free, refined sugar free. I did the nutritional values for you because I know some of you require proof.

Per cookie:
  • Calories: 31
  • Carbs: 2
  • Fat: 2
  • Protein: 1
Whatcha waiting for?? Delicious! and basically guilt free, so, you're welcome.

Monday, February 11

Spaghetti Bolognese, kind of...

As a non insulin taking diabetic, pasta is one of those things I have a love/hate relationship with. As someone who tries to eat mostly primal/Paleo, pasta is almost like a cuss word. I manage the cravings well for the most part, but every now and then...every now and then...I break down and eat pasta. My blood sugar rockets through the roof and I feel awful. Swearing I won't eat it again, but knowing I will. Oh the life of the wishfully pious.
The times I am a Paleo rock star, I eat meat sauce with zucchini pasta. Yes, zucchini pasta. It tastes just like real pasta, said nobody ever, but it does the trick and I always feel quite smug when I make the good choice to have it instead of the wheat kind!

It's super easy. Grab a zucchini, and using a veggie peeler, peel that bad boy until you get down to the seeds. It'll look something like this:

I drizzle a little olive oil, add some garlic, sea salt and cracked pepper.

Top it with your meat sauce and a teeny tiny bit of Parmesan and you're ready to twirl!

Because really, isn't the twirling half the fun of pasta???

Homemade coconut butter

I have heard of coconut butter for awhile now, but never really understood what is was. To me, it sounded like a new body cream by Philosophy or Origins. I hopped on the coconut oil craze early on, but admittedly, I'm a bit late to the coconut butter party. I had been meaning to try it, and stumbled across a jar at Whole Foods. For $12. For 8oz! What?? I didn't want to try it $12 worth, so I moved on.
But then one day I was at church with my sister, and by church I mean TJMaxx, when I had an encounter on the food aisle. You know that aisle, where overpriced gourmet foods and davinci syrups go to die. It was there. An 8 oz jar of chocolate coconut butter. For $7.99. Why not, I said to no one in particular. It took me a few months to even open it, but when I did, hallelujah! It was amazing. Smooth, coconutty, chocolaty. It was Delish. And as I do with most things, I googled how to make it And quickly thought "wow. Those people selling this stuff at whole foods are making a fortune off of their profit margin!" Because the ingredient list is short and NOT expensive. All you need is a bag of plain, shredded coconut. NOT the kind you buy at the grocery store that is loaded with sugar, just plain, unsweetened, desiccated coconut.

I had that in my pantry. So I whipped out my Vitamix, dumped the coconut in and turned it on. I used the plunger to push it into the blades and after about 2 minutes it went from coconut to liquid coconut. I kept blending for another 3 minutes. It was smooth, but a bit grainy. Another google search took me to Nam Nam Paleo, and she used a tablespoon of coconut oil in addition, so I tried that and voila, it smoothed it right out. I added some vanilla bean paste, vanilla stevia and cinnamon to it and am now waiting for it to go from liquid to butter. I eat it straight from the spoon when I'm hungry and need something to tide me over. But if you can't handle having something so delicious open and freely available, it could be wise to have a loved one hide it from you. Seriously. Don't say I didn't warn you.