- Even though I do like tofu in most applications, I have yet to make something really successful with it. This Chinese Braised Tofu with Ground Pork seems like it might be the right combination of flavors and meat to get a thumbs up in my house! (Steamy Kitchen)
- An oldie but goodie for low-carbers: Spicy Chicken Lettuce Cups. I love making this when I have a craving for take-out, pretty easy to convert by ditching any of the starchy additives like potato flour, and substituting sugary hoisin for a lower carb stir-fry sauce. (PBS)
- A different side-dish idea that sounds pretty yummy: Greek-Style Braised Green Beans. I’ll probably save this one for a weekend supper. (TheKitchn)
- I love the healthier twist of this Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini. I’d probably sub out the corn for something less carb-y, but other than that it seems like a great idea for when I’m craving some Mexican food but want to skip the tortillas and rice. (Closet Cooking)
- I’ve been looking for an excuse to use my Le Cruset mini cocottes, so I think these Baked Eggs with Saffron and Cumin will do nicely! Simple, easy, delicious! (Appetite for China via FoodGawker)
It was the first week of Autumn-like weather here in LA, and I’ve obviously got soups on the brain, because the majority of the recipes I’ve been craving the last few weeks have all been of the bowl-and-spoon variety. So, have a quick peek into my soup-obsessed recipe box:
- I’m always looking for budget conscious recipes that are still tasty, since eating low-carb can be pretty expensive. I think this spicy coconut and pumpkin soup recipe fits the bill! (Budget Bytes)
- On top of that one, I’ve also got my eye on several other pumpkin soups: Pumpkin and Shrimp Bisque and Roasted Pumpkin, Pancetta and Sage Soup (Closet Cooking), this hearty looking Spicy Pumpkin Soup (Simply Recipes)
- This Easy Cream of Mushroom soup caught my eye, because not only is it going to be easy to convert to low carb, but it’s easily my favorite soup from childhood. Plus it’ll be a quick and easy fix for a rainy weeknight!(The Family Kitchen)
- Oktoberfest isn’t over yet, so this Cheddar Ale and Bratwurst soup got a star in my recipe folder. The fact that it’s a crockpot recipe gives it extra stars! I think I would try to thicken this naturally (without flour), or add flaxseed meal. Plus I’ll swap turnips for potatoes to give it some bulk.(Baked By Rachel via FoodGawker)
- Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar Soup gets points for being super low carb already! Plus I still have some of that lovely Aged Vermont White Cheddar from Cheese of the Week(ish) that I can use! (Closet Cooking)
I have to admit, I bought this week’s cheese based on price. Trader Joe’s just has the best prices on cheese, ever. I can’t say enough good things about them!
I think this Aged Vermont Cheddar is actually pretty versatile. It’s a lot crumblier and creamier than I thought it’d be, being aged 3 years, but that shows how much I know about cheese.
This cheese packs a punch in the flavor department. It’s very sharp and bold, and the creamy texture makes it almost like a gorgonzola to my palate.
It’s a little difficult to eat just on it’s own, but it’d be good spread on crackers. This is definitely a cheese that would go well paired with or used in other foods, like crumbled on a salad. I’d be interested to see how well it melts for burgers or quesodillas.
Cheese: Artisan Reserve Vermont Cheddar
Brand / Price: Trader Joe’s / $5.99 per lb
Texture: Creamy, almost spreadable
This week’s cheese is one I have been waiting to show you for a while! This super interesting cheese caught my eye, and then I got too busy to take pictures and do a tasting, so it just sat in my fridge, unloved. Every time I’d open the deli drawer, there it would be - so close to being eaten, yet so far away.
I was definitely drawn to the cheese in the store by the label, and that I haven’t seen anything quite like this before. I do tend to gravitate to cheeses that have somethin’ extra going on than just straightforward cheese.
- Uncooked bacon found strewn all around a NYC park where Muslims were gathered to celebrate Ramadan, now being investigated as a hate crime. Hate crime or not, it’s still a waste of perfectly good pork. (Chicago Tribune)
- The Daily Meal puts together a list of gluttony inspired “Mind-Blowing” Bacon dishes, and where you can get them. The Triple B Taco and Melba Pancakes have me saying “I want to go to there.” (The Daily Meal via Fox News)
- Bacon flavored Coke, sadly, still does not exist (yet). (Yahoo)
- Cooking with bacon fat really does make everything better! (HuffPo)
- Smucker’s has decided to cut to the chase and release Bacon-Flavored Maple Syrup. It seems to only be available in the single serve packs, so it seems like trips to your local diner will be even more bacon-y! (HuffPo)
- Who says salads have to be rabbit food? Here’s a list of 10 bacon-spiked salad recipes! (TheKitchn)
If there’s one thing my family always requests I bring to gatherings, it’s cheesecake. In particular, this cheesecake. My whole family is always keeping low carb, and this is one dessert that always turns out great. It’s as close to real, honest-to-goodness NY style cheesecake as you’re going to get - for only 2g a slice.
Since it was Father’s Day, I decided to whip up a version especially for my Dad. He’s a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup fanatic, so I figured the combination of peanut butter and chocolate swirled into the cheesecake would be a great way to say, “Happy Father’s Day!”
If you’ve never tried making a cheesecake before, it’s actually a lot easier than it seems. I would recommend the non-water bath method if you are unsure, it will just take a bit longer.
This recipe has a few extra steps due to the extra flavors, but they’re still very doable even for a first-timer. It’s definitely worth the effort!
Low Carb Peanut Butter & Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
Adapted from About.com Low-Carb Cheesecake
I used Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Peanut Butter for this recipe, as it comes in at 4g net carbs per serving, which is the lowest I’ve found.
This cheesecake makes about 10 nicely sized slices, although you can serve it however you like. This comes in at 6g net carbs for each serving (at 10 servings total), half that if you used liquid sweetener (no extra carbs from the fillers). Cut into 16 slices for 3.8g/slice
1 1/2 lbs Cream Cheese, at room temperature
4 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/3 C Splenda (or equivalent in liquid sweetener)
1/4 c Sour Cream
2 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 tbsp Low Sugar Peanut Butter
1 C Almond Meal
2 tbsp Splenda
2 tbsp Melted Butter
Preheat oven to 375.
To make the crust, mix Almond Meal, Splenda and melted butter until the almond meal is evenly moistened. Press into the bottom of a 9” springform pan, and bake 8-10 minutes, until fragrant and getting golden brown. Remove from oven.
Increase oven temp to 400 degrees, or 350 if you plan on using a water bath / bain marie.
To make the base cheesecake mix, beat cream cheese in a mixing bowl until fluffy. One by one, beat in all other ingredients, except the cocoa powder and peanut butter. In between each new ingredient, scrape down the bowl and beaters. Once all the base ingredients have been incorporated, beat for 1 more minute.
Divide 1 1/3 c of the batter between 2 smaller bowls (2/3 c each). To one bowl, add the cocoa powder, and mix well. Add the peanut butter to the remaining bowl, and mix well.
Pour plain cheesecake batter into the springform pan, and spread evenly over the crust. Drop spoonfuls of the peanut butter and chocolate batters over the top, distributing them evenly. Using a knife or an offset spatula, swirl the toppings slightly together, to marble them.
If you’re not using a water bath / bain-marie, put the cheesecake in the oven at 400 degrees, and turn the temperature down to 200 degrees and bake 60-90 minutes until set, firm to the touch but slightly soft or jiggly in the middle.
For the bain-marie, wrap the bottom of the springform pan with foil, and place in a baking sheet with high sides. Fill with boiling water, careful that the water doesn’t get inside the foil. Bake at 350 for 60-90 minutes until set, firm to the touch but slightly soft or jiggly in the middle.
Let cool completely, and chill. When ready to serve, remove from springform pan, cut with a clean, dry knife and serve!
- I’m tucking this low carb Curried Cauliflower Soup recipe away for when it gets a bit warmer (Fall is just around the corner after-all). I love that the author gives all kinds of instructions for different dietary modifications. (I Breathe… I’m Hungry via Foodgawker)
- I’m always looking for different side dish recipes to go with the asian style cooking I do, and these Spicy Dragon Noodles fit the bill! Rice noodles are out for me, but shiritaki noodles would sub in just fine for a really low calorie and low carb version! (Budget Bytes)
- I love the idea of these Crispy Mushroom Fries. I am picturing these re-done low carb with some crushed pork rinds instead of panko! Or maybe a more refined almond meal batter than I have been able to come up with so far… (Closet Cooking)
- Finally a recipe that will let me use my herbes de Provence: Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes and Pan Sauce. (Bon Appetit via Epicurious)
I have to apologize for the no-frills nature of this entry. Low carb pizza in a pizza-loving household is scarfed down pretty quickly, with no time to stage macro shots of grated cheese or freshly cut basil leaves.
I’ve been meaning to put this one up for a while, and finally being able to test out the ratios again, I am able to share it with you!
To be sure, this is no low calorie recipe. This crust is all cheese and almond meal, with some apparently dangerous-for-you egg and some spices to round out the flavor. Once cooked, you top it with whatever pizza toppings of your liking and broil it to perfection. The first time we made this in the Baconpalooza house it was like a revelation - after trying and failing with cauliflower crusts, pork rind crusts, you name it. This is pretty darn close to an actual bread-y pizza crust. It’s a keto indulgence for those days you feel like ordering pizza but don’t want to fall off the wagon.
Recipe after the jump!
Since the London Olympics just ended I thought it’d be appropriate to sample something UK-born. Up this week is Red Dragon - also known as Y Fenni. I’m guessing the Red Dragon moniker comes from the dragon on the Welsh flag.
It’s an English style cheddar made with wholegrain mustard and ale, which I thought was interesting. It definitely stood out among the other offerings at Trader Joe’s this week.
The mustard flavor is the most dominant, lending a pretty intense flavor. I suspect the English cheddar part is a bit milder. I also get a hint of cinnamon, which may be from the ale or the mustard seeds.
The cheese itself comes in a red wax rind, and is pretty difficult to cut cleanly, even fresh out of the fridge. I would say the cheese is downright moist, it gives very easily to a swipe of the finger and is almost spreadable. I loved the flavor, but the texture wasn’t really what I was looking for - so it lost a point on the Taste-o-meter.
I think the cheese was intended for snacking, but it’d be great on sandwiches or other places where mustard is usually used - paired with salami, for example. I would think the texture would lend itself well to melting, as well.
Cheese: Red Dragon - English Cheddar with Whole Grain Mustard and Ale
Brand / Price: Somerdale (via Trader Joe’s) / $7.99 per lb
Texture: Mushy, creamy
- I don’t consider myself a picky eater, but Salad Nicoise has never really appealed to me. I like seafood, just not at lunch. But this Grilled Chicken Nicoise salad seems both right up my alley and a great idea for a hot summer night dinner or a brunch salad! (Serious Eats)
- This Lemon and Basil Sorbet seems like it’d be easy to convert to low carb! Plus, it’s pretty. (via FoodGawker)
- I made this Spicy Roasted Chicken Thighs with Miso and Ginger this week, and it’s definitely going to go into my dinner rotation! The preparation is super simple, and very affordable (especially when boneless thighs are on sale). Roasting really brings out the spicy and salty flavors. Pair with a stir-fried veggie and some shirataki noodles! (theKitchn)
- Zucchini is plentiful right now, and this Julia Child recipe for Zucchini au Gratin is perfectly adaptable to low carb! Yum (PBS Food)
- I’ve been fighting to stay hydrated in this So Cal heat, so I’ve had my eye on this Sweet Mint Sun Tea. Plus it looks super cute in mason jars, and I have some home-grown mint to use up! (Real Girls Kitchen)