Browsing Category: real food recipes

Blueberry cheesecake fat bombs

blueberry cheesecake fat bombs

A picture of this sugar-free keto treat has been in my @jana.realfood account on Instagram for a while, and people keep commenting,”Where’s the recipe for those blueberry cheesecake fat bombs? I want to make them!” So finally I got the hint: here’s the recipe!

 

Blueberry cheesecake fat bombs recipe

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2/3 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (strawberries or raspberries would probably work great, too!)

8 ounces cream cheese

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice (or more, to your taste)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 drops plain or vanilla stevia extract (omit, or add more, to your liking)

3 dashes of salt

 

Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes, until softened.

If using fresh berries, wash them and remove the stems. Frozen berries work fine, too. Just make sure they’re sugar-free!

blueberries - fresh and frozen

If using frozen berries, let them sit at room temp for 10 or 15 minutes before blending.

Combine all ingredients using an immersion blender* or food processor, and mix until well combined. Taste, and adjust lemon juice and/or sweetener to your preference. This amount makes for a very subtle flavor. If you like a stronger lemon flavor (I do!), you may want to add quite a bit more.

Spoon the mixture into small muffin silicon molds or candy molds*. Place in the freezer for about 2 hours, or until set.

Pop them out and store in a bag in the freezer. Enjoy!

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*Equipment I recommend

This is the immersion blender I use and love. It comes with a blender attachment, a whisk attachment, and a carafe. So handy for making whipped cream. And essential for homemade mayo, or dump ranch dressing!

Here’s a cheaper version. Just a blender, no whisk or carafe.

Here’s the candy mold I use for fat bombs. (This is not what’s shown in the picture.)

Please note: These are Amazon affiliate links; if you buy something through them, I will get a li’l something from Amazon, with no additional cost to you. 🙂

blueberry cheesecake fat bombs

2-minute grain-free biscuit/English muffin (Paleo, Keto, gluten-free, Whole30 friendly)

Paleo, Keto, grain-free, gluten-free English muffin

If you’re committed to living a gluten-free, grain-free, Paleo, low-carb, or ketogenic lifestyle, one of the hardest things to live without is bread — right?! You’re gonna love this: this Paleo/Keto biscuit recipe fits all those requirements AND it involves one bowl, a minute or so of whisking with a fork, and less than two minutes in the microwave. So easy! You can also use it to make avocado toast or strawberry shortcake!

It looks like an English muffin, but the texture is really more like a biscuit. It’s so quick and simple, and helps round out so many meals, it’s earned a permanent spot in my recipe file. Just know that it doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own — definitely a supporting player. So you’re probably going to want to enhance it with other flavorings — notes on that follow the recipe.

Note/Update 8/16/18: I’ve improved this recipe since the original post. The instructions below now contain what I think is a much more fool-proof version.

Paleo biscuit / English muffin recipe

3 Tablespoons fine blanched almond flour

1 Tablespoon coconut flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 egg

1 teaspoon avocado oil or melted coconut oil

 

In a cereal or soup bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, then push them to one side of the bowl.

Place the egg and oil in the empty spot and whisk with a fork till well blended. Then stir the wet and dry together till it’s all the same consistency. It will be about as thick as wet mashed potatoes, or thick cornbread batter.

Grease a 7 oz ramekin. UPDATE: You can still cook it in a ramekin, but I’ve found that a tall coffee mug with parallel sides works nicely, too, and you get a little taller result with a flatter bottom. (I love this chemical-free, soy-free avocado oil spray from  Chosen Foods.) Put all the batter in the ramekin or mug, even out the top, and microwave for one and a half minutes.

dish + spray for Paleo Keto English muffin

The ramekin may be hot! If using a coffee mug, just grab the handle. After removing it from the microwave, turn the muffin out and let it sit till cool enough to handle. If the top is lumpy, just slice that bit off, for even toasting. Slice horizontally into halves or thirds, and let some of the steam escape before toasting. Toasting can be done in a toaster or oven, but toasting is essential to get a nice golden crust, for both visual appeal and texture.

Ways to use it (and enhance the flavor):

Paleo, Keto, gluten-free English muffin with chia seed jam

  • Spread with one or more of your favorite toppings — butter, ghee, cinnamon, nut butter,  sugar-free jam. (I like this chia seed jam from The Kitchn.) Of course, avocado toast is also the bomb!

Paleo keto avocado toast

  • For garlic toast, toast it lightly first, then spread with butter and garlic salt, and broil till you like the color. Watch it closely!
  • Serve it toasted but untopped, along with some good olive oil to dip it in. Better yet, enhance the olive oil with balsamic vinegar, roasted garlic, or your favorite seasoning blend. We like it with zaatar.
  • Also a great accompaniment for soup or any dish that wants its sauce sopped up with bread!
  • You can try it as a sandwich bread: I find it too dense for this, but you may disagree.  🙂
  • I’ve also used it as the shortbread-biscuit component in my family’s version of strawberry shortcake. (Don’t expect pound cake: this is truly strawberry shortbread.) Toast in the toaster, then crumble into a small bowl. Top with macerated strawberries, drizzle with some cream, half-and-half, or coconut milk. You can also top it with whipped cream if you like. Or instead of the crumble, stack it up…

keto strawberry shortcake

Enjoy!

Note: Inspired by this recipe from Running to the Kitchen, but I’ve tweaked the recipe to make it a one-bowl deal, and to make the muffin a bit less soggy. See her original for a cinnamon-raisin version (not so keto-friendly).

Mashed cauliflower – great low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes

pan-seared salmon on mashed cauliflower

Is there a comfort food more universally loved than mashed potatoes? A classic side for everything from meatloaf to fried chicken to Salisbury steak to Thanksgiving turkey, chances are, if you’re American, this was a regular on your dinner table growing up.

If you’re cutting back on carbs, though, you’ve got to either cut it out or restrict your serving to a tiny amount.

Cauliflower saves the day! I call it “cauli mash” for short. If you’re served this in a fancy-schmancy restaurant, they may call it “cauliflower puree.” Call it what you will, it’s yummy, and a great foil for a number of different dishes.

Besides the traditional ways to serve this dish, I love it under pan-seared salmon, shown in the main pic above. (Have you seen my video on how to make perfectly-done pan-seared salmon? It’s so much easier than it sounds!)

It’s also scrumptious as a side dish for pork chops.

mashed cauliflower side dish

 

And delicious under pulled pork or carnitas, topped with some cheese, sour cream, and/or guacamole.

pulled pork over mashed cauliflower

cauliflower packageThe secret to getting a great texture in your cauli mash is four-fold: it must be cooked till soft, well-drained, mixed with a stick blender (unless you want it chunky), and have lots of added fat! It takes a few steps, but it’s not hard. Plus, this is a versatile side or base that goes with lots of things, and it keeps well in the fridge, so I always make enough for at least a couple meals. The 24-oz. bag is plenty to make at least six servings.

I use packaged fresh cauli already cut into florets, but if you want to save money and spend a little more time on prep, you can buy a whole head and cut it down yourself.cauliflower florets

Here’s my method…

Mashed cauliflower / cauliflower puree recipe

24 oz. of cauliflower florets

(you can include stem pieces, cut to much smaller than the florets)

1/4 cup butter or ghee

1/4 cup sour cream (or non-dairy substitute)

2 T. bacon fat

2 T. cheese, your choice of cheddar or cream cheese (optional)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine salt (if using coarse salt, double the amount)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/16 teaspoon dill (optional)

  1. Cut the florets to somewhat-equal sized pieces, and steam them over simmering water until they can be easily sliced through with a plastic utensil, such as a spoon or spatula. I do a 24-oz. package in three batches. This ensures they steam more evenly, and helps with the next step.
  2. Drain them, press them, then dry them some more. I use the steamer section of my pan as a colander, holding it over the sink with the cooked cauli in it, gently pressing down with a large mixing spoon to force more water out. Don’t press too hard, or it will begin to mash and drip out the bottom. Then I put that batch in the mixing bowl and kind of spread it out, so more steam can escape. (I use the small mixing bowl from my mom’s vintage Sunbeam Mixmaster. Did your mom or grandma have one of these?)glass-mixing-bowl-300
  3. A little bit before I’m ready to dump the next batch of cooked florets into the bowl, I reach in with a sturdy paper towel over my hand and give the steamed-out cauli a squeeze or two. Repeat till all the cauli is cooked and pressed.
  4. Add the fat! You can tweak the amounts if you want less of one and more of the other, to adjust to your taste or dietary requirements.
  5. Blend well using a stick blender. Start at the top and press down while blending, then release the button and repeat again till it’s all starting to look the same. Then you can add your seasonings and blend everything together well.

Serve immediately, or store in a tightly-closed container in the fridge for several days. Reheats well in the microwave.

Serves 6-8.

 

Keto snickerdoodles!!!

Keto snickerdoodles - gluten-free, almost sugar-free

Some phrases bring together words whose combination blows the mind. Things that just seem impossible, or too good to be true. “Affordable luxury.” “Well-behaved two-year-old.” “Clean kitchen countertops.”

When I heard the words “keto snickerdoodle,” I had that kind of reaction. No! That can’t be done!

But ketosizeme did it. A completely sugar-free, gluten-free snickerdoodle!

When my daughter was home for Thanksgiving, I requested she make that recipe. (I love having this girl in my kitchen!)

DD making sugar-free snickerdoodles

ketosizeme's snickerdoodle recipeThe cookies came out gorgeous!

They look very similar to the traditional cookies, and we loved the texture. There were a few things we didn’t love, though. None of them the fault of the original recipe…

We thought they needed a little more cinnamon on the outside — just a matter of personal preference. Ours came out way too sweet — probably a result of using a different kind of sweetener. (One of my pet peeves with stevia is that there’s so little consistency in sweetness from brand to brand, making it hard to nail someone else’s recipe unless you know what brand they’re using.) And the last thing we wanted to see if we could change was that the cookies left a weird cooling sensation in the mouth. This was probably a result of the erythritol in the Truvia sweetener we used. (Erythritol is a refined sugar alcohol that has little or no effect of blood sugar levels.) I don’t usually use granular stevia, because I haven’t found one that I like that’s free of fillers, but in this case, I thought the cookies really needed a granular sweetener.

So I experimented with the recipe a bit.

I significantly reduced the amount of sweetener used in the cookie, and tweaked the other ingredients to bring the flavor closer to what I think is a classic snickerdoodle taste — more vanilla, for one thing.

Mine didn’t spread as nicely as the original recipe; they came out having more of a bon-bon shape, but they still make a pretty plate of cookies.

plate of keto snickerdoodles

I felt that, because the coating on the outside is the first thing that hits your taste buds, I should use real sugar for that, rather than a sweetener that might leave an aftertaste or weird sensations. But there’s only two teaspoons of sugar in the whole recipe — which works out to 1/10th of a teaspoon or less for each individual cookie — which I consider a very acceptable amount. (If even a tiny amount awakens your sugar dragon, though, you might want to try a granular sweetener instead.)

Also, my husband thought my first version was a little too oily, so I cut back on the butter and added a little coconut milk. (You can use real milk, cream, or half-and-half, if that works for your diet.)

And with that change, we were both like, “Nailed it!”

 


Keto snickerdoodle recipe

Makes about 20, depending on size.

Dough:
2 cups almond flour from blanched almonds
3 Tbsp Truvia sweetener
3 Tblsp butter, softened
1 egg + 1 yolk
1.5 teasp vanilla extract
1 teasp coconut milk (the thick kind for cooking, not the thin kind for drinking)
1/2 teasp baking soda
1/2 teasp cream of tartar
Pinch of salt

Coating:
1 teasp cinnamon
2 to 3 teasp fine sugar, organic if possible (if your sugar is coarse, use 4 to 6 teasp)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine the cinnamon sugar coating in a small bowl and set aside. (Use the lesser amount of sugar [2 teasp fine or 4 teasp coarse] if you’re accustomed to little or no sugar in your diet. Use the higher amount [3 teasp fine or 6 teasp coarse] if not.)

Butter should be softened almost to the point of melting. Mix all dough ingredients well in a small mixing bowl, using a mixer if possible. (A small handheld mixer is fine.) The dough will look crumbly, but will stick together well when pressed.

keto snickerdoodle cookie dough

Roll the dough into balls slightly larger than 1 inch, or use a cookie scoop. Coat the balls in the cinnamon sugar, leaving the bottom side uncoated. (This avoids burning the cinnamon sugar, and reduces the amount of sugar you’ll ultimately eat with each cookie.)

cookie-scoop-in-bowl-700x500

cookie dough in cinnamon sugar

 

Place closely spaced on a parchment-lined or nonstick cookie sheet. The cookies will spread a little, but not much. Place in the preheated oven on the middle rack.

keto snickerdoodles, ready to bake

Check cookies at 10 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out mostly clean. It’s good for them to be soft in the middle. If they’re not quite done, continue checking every minute or so.

keto snickerdoodles, just baked

Let cool to room temp, then store in an airtight container.

Makes about 20, depending on size.

keto-snickerdoodle-macros-chart-650x400


Don’t have time to make ’em today? Pin it for later!

These very-low-sugar, gluten-free snickerdoodles are crazy close to the real thing!


For more low-carb food ideas,

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Have you checked out my dessert cookbook?

ebook: Guilt-Free Treats - sugar-free, grain-free desserts

Almond Hummus (Keto and Paleo)

legume-free hummus recipe - keto, paleo, whole30 compliant

If you haven’t had hummus, I encourage you to get past the weird name (it took me a while) and give it a try. The main ingredient is chickpeas, but they’re really there for substance more than flavor; it’s the seasonings that carry this dish. Hummus is a creamy, garlicky, cumin-blessed mess. This Lebanese dish is usually served as a dip, but can also be used as a sandwich or wrap spread, a topping for grilled chicken, or even salad dressing.

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Taco hash – get your grain-free, dairy-free taco fix!

grain-free dairy-free taco hash

When you’re craving tacos, but you know you feel better if you skip the tortilla and/or the cheese, this Paleo-friendly way to get your taco fix is quick and simple when you’ve got prepped ingredients ready to go.

This isn’t a recipe: it’s an assemblage of several things I keep on hand, thrown together. If you have all the ingredients ready, this will cook up in about 15 minutes, maybe less. It’s super easy! I’ll walk you through it…

diced sweet potato and onion

I’ve always got cooked diced sweet potato and diced onion on hand in the fridge. (Check out my sweet potato post for tips and a how-to video.) On this happy day, I also had cooked, seasoned, crumbled hamburger in the freezer. I don’t always have it on hand, but when I’m cooking hamburger for a recipe or immediate meal, I try to cook extra. It’s cooked with onions and maybe garlic, and seasoned with a little salt and pepper (not too much, since it’s usually added to other things that may already have salt and heat). Then I divide it into single-serving baggies, and stash those in a gallon baggie in the freezer. The small baggies are quick and easy to thaw, making meals like this much quicker.

I rarely cook dishes like this by recipe anymore. But for those who aren’t so comfortable winging it, here’s my guess, per serving:

  • onion – about half a small onion, or a quarter of a large one
  • hamburger – about 4 oz. or 1/2 cup
  • sweet potato – equal to or a little less than the hamburger

On this particular day, I added some diced bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and kale, but those are quite optional. Another no-chop option would be to just stir in some salsa.

Then I add a generous sprinkling of homemade taco seasoning (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon; start small, taste, and add till it suits you), stir it in, and boom! – it’s done!

(Here’s my gluten-free, sugar-free taco seasoning mix recipe.)

Toppings are optional. If I’d had avocado or guacamole on hand, I would’ve used one of those. But I didn’t, so I topped it with dairy-free “sour cream” (coconut milk yogurt with a splash of lemon juice stirred in). You could use real sour cream, if you do dairy.

Yum! Tons of flavor. You won’t miss the taco shells or the cheese at all!

Taco Hash - Ready in 15 minutes, if you have some simple ingredient prep done. Paleo + Whole30 friendly, too!