Category Archives: Recipes

The Cure (to a variety of sugar cravings & bad days)

I was having a rough morning, for pathetic reasons – turns out my old laptop is too old to run the game I’ve been dying to play, yes I know…sad – , but I have fixed it! My day, I mean, not my computer – that would cost nearly as much money as it would to buy a new one, so that’s just going to have to wait.

I’ve been digging around online the last couple of days, trying to figure out what more there is to bake with almond meal, just because well, I bake and I get cravings… I stumbled across a site that talked about using almond meal in combo with protein powder to make pancakes. Now, I’ve never used protein powder – being LCHF makes me paranoid about consuming any sort of ‘substitute powders’, and I try to eat whole food whenever I can – and I don’t have any in the pantry, so I made Almond-Psyllium Chocolate Pancakes instead and slathered them with crunchy peanut butter (because I’m a peanut butter freak!).

The recipe is something like this:

2 Tbs Almond Meal
1 Tbs Psyllium Husk
1 Egg
A pinch of salt
A touch of vanilla essence (organic if you can get it!)
~ 2-5g pieces of dark chocolate, chopped
~ 100ml water, cool

Mix all of it together barring the chocolate. Tip into a hot – buttered! – frying pan and wait till the bottom is sealed. Sprinkle on the dark chocolate and wait till it feels like you can flip it – around 2mins. Flip, seal that side, and flip back over. Use a good non-stick pan to avoid the chocolate from getting stuck! Keep flipping until its cooked through – or whack it under a salamander grill – if you’ve got one – until it’s slightly fluffy. Turn out onto a plate, cover in peanut butter if you want. Devour.

You can technically leave out the psyllium husk and then replace the water with thick cream or another liquid substitute like almond milk, soy, or whatever you prefer. I try to avoid too much dairy, thus the water.

Clear skies,

Vee

Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Coconut-Milk Smoothie anyone?

So I was mucking around online today at the Cafe waiting on the cakes I was baking to finish baking, which, as we know can often lead to my ‘hmm, I’m hungry, I should eat something, but what?’ moods. Clearly the answer lay within Google, because well, don’t all answers hide there? I came across a variety of smoothie recipes that I desperately wanted to try, except all of them use coconut milk, and to be honest, I don’t really like coconut. This can be an issue in a low carb lifestyle since coconut derivative products are really, really awesome when it comes to substitution. I then realised I’d never actually tried making anything with coconut milk or cream, and it’s not like I’d never had it in curries or stews or anything growing up. My mother certainly never heard me complaining about her use of it in Indonesian cooking. So, what the hell! I figured I’d try it out. Turns out the stuff is bloody moreish and an absolute killer of sugar cravings, dairy cravings, and hunger. I had to restrain myself quite drastically from drinking the whole lot straight up. So here’s what I made:

Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Coconut-Milk Smoothie

1 400ml Can Coconut Milk (I use Nakula Organic Coconut Milk since that’s what we stock at the Cafe)

1.5 Tbs Unsweetened Cocoa

1.5 Tbs Peanut Butter

2 Tablets Stevia (or equivalent)

+ a handful of ice if you want it.

Whack the lot of it in a blender and blend away until smooth and creamy.  Now, this next bit is important (unless you’ve got a will of iron!): divide the mix up between four small cups and remove three of those cups from your immediate reach – for me that meant the freezer! Then drink the remaining cup. I’m not kidding, especially if you haven’t had dairy or something creamy for a while, these things will hit the spot like a sledgehammer and you will want all of it. Which is fine, if you’re not counting the kilojoules…

1 Serving is roughly 995kjs,contains about 20.5g of fat (which is awesome for an LC diet!), 29.4g sodium (I don’t keep track of my sodium intake so I don’t know if this is high or low or whatnot), approx. 5.3g carbs net, 3.5g protein, and a small %1 RDI Iron.

I’m currently seeing what happens if you freeze them – hopefully one side effect will be to stop me from devouring the entire batch next time – and it’s quite muggy/warm/humid/hot here in Melbourne so I can do with an ‘ice cream’ that won’t kill my lifestyle choices again…

Clear skies,

Vee

Birthday Plans with Psyllium

It’s my birthday today, and I’m determined to not blow myself out of the water completely – so to speak. So far so good, with the support of my husband and my adopted sisters – yes, you know who you are – I haven’t stuffed my face yet with the chocolate cake that I made yesterday for the Cafe, and this despite every opportunity presenting itself. Nor have I eaten a single piece of the amazing rocky road I made – stuffed full of dates, prunes, walnuts, and yes, marshmallows – so, in other words, I believe I’m doing pretty darned good. But it’s only 11:30 in the morning and it’s going to be a long day. In an effort to be mostly good, I’ve just made myself eat psyllium porridge, which tends to keep my hunger and cravings at bay.

2 Tbsp Psyllium Husks
2 Tbsp Thick Cream (make sure it’s not wheat thickened, people!)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract (I always use the organic pure, real stuff, not the fake stuff!)
2 tablets of Stevia (or whatever sweetener you’re comfortable with)
Add hot water to your taste, mix, and endure – I mean, enjoy.

If I’d had a little more headspace and foresight, I’d have made Chocolate Psyllium Puddings instead, but silly me didn’t, so porridge it was. The Chocolate Psyllium Puddings – I think I mentioned them in the previous post – are a tasty treat, completely sugar-free and fill you up while satisfying your brain with the idea that you’ve just had something bad, especially if you add whipped cream to your treat.

2 Tbs Psyllium
1 Tbs Thick Cream
1 Tbs Cocoa Powder (I use Cadbury’s Bourneville)
2 tablets of Stevia
~ 200ml boiling water

That should make around two serves – I split them across two little ramekins so I can fridge them and eat them individually. They do need a little while to set, unless you like them runny, but they are well worth the sit! If you’re throwing a party, they’ll make for tasty desserts that you can enjoy right alongside your guests without feeling guilty!

Psyllium also regularly makes it into my eggs – scrambled, omletted, or otherwise – and after a while you get so used to them you don’t even remember that they’re there. Much awesomeness. Just always remember to drink enough water or you’ll give yourself a stomache-ache from hell, if not worse.

Clear skies,
Vee

Xenia Monaghan’s Baked Cauliflower

Since I’ve been so slack lately, I haven’t had the chance to stumble on awesome recipes like this one! I have a serious cauliflower gobbling problem so this is perfect for anyone else who shares my addiction!

Clear skies,
Vee

Buttoni's Low-Carb Recipes

Hungarian CauliflowerThis tasty dish may not actually be Hungarian, but it was served to my family when I was in high school by my best friend’s mother.  Her daughter, also named Peggy, and I were inseparable back them.  🙂  Mrs. Monaghan, in her 20’s, was a Hungarian ballerina in Budapest, Hungary.  She met and eventually married a US Army Officer stationed there during WWII.  They were our neighbors at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.  I think of everything I ever ate at her house as Hungarian, although it may not have been at all. 😉  All I know is this simple dish is really tasty and ever so easy to prepare.  The flavor lingered over the years and I just had to try and reproduce this recipe.  I think I’ve come pretty close, too!  She used regular white breadcrumbs, but I have subbed in a low-carb bread for that purpose.  I may have…

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Lobster “Linguine”

Check out this awesomely tasty recipe people!

Clear skies,
Vee

Buttoni's Low-Carb Recipes

Lobster and "Linguine" Lobster “Linguine”

I can’t get very good lobster in Central Texas, so I often fix this dish with shrimp or crawfish.  It’s great with all three, really, but in my opinion, the best with  lobster. I have even made it with large sea scallops and fresh lump white crab meat (when I lived on the Gulf Coast).  As is true of most seafood dishes, this one really packs in the nutrients!  This dish is OK for Atkins Induction.

As the “noodles” have no real flavor of their own, they take on the taste of whatever broth or sauces they are cooked in.  So be sure to use seafood stock (preferably lobster broth from shells boiled in water) to simmer the noodles in.  It will make the final dish ever so much more flavorful!  When you shell your lobster meat, boil the shells for 30 minutes and use that broth.

More…

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Strawberry Flax Muffins

Here’s an interesting recipe to try out. I’ve never worked with flax before, should prove interesting. 🙂

Clear skies,
Vee

Buttoni's Low-Carb Recipes

Strawberry Flax Muffins Strawberry Flax Muffins

These tasty muffins are very similar to the One Minute Muffin many low-carbers are familiar with, but these have a little almond flour as well.  They remind me of a bran muffin, but the strawberries take them to a delightful fruity treat.  They are scrumptious.  They are incredibly moist and light!   These are suitable for Phase 2 Atkins, the nuts and berries level of the carb reintroduction ladder.  They are suitable for other Keto diets as well, as the carbs are so low.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in the…

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The Problem with Pancakes

This morning it’s dark, rainy, generally miserable and wet: yes, winter’s finally here. For me, this means making sure I don’t dive head first into sweet custards, tarts and cakes. I don’t do well in the cold, and my cravings for comfort foods go through the roof. I particularly crave pancakes, a left over from my dad making pancakes for us when we were little and surrounded by the snows of Europe. Of course, I can’t have my dad’s pancakes right this moment for various reasons; firstly because he’s not even in the same country as me at the moment, and secondly because of the flour.

Sometimes the things I can’t have get depressing and I go through a longwinded conversation with myself about why I’m putting myself through this and whether or not it’s okay to have just one more cheat day this week. 9 times out of 10 my common sense wins out: I want to lose this weight so I’m just going to have to bite the bullet and find alternatives. Luckily for me, there’s a variety of ways to make LC pancakes – none of them come close to the actual thing, in my opinion anyway, but they fulfil my needs adequately enough for it not to be a complete disaster.

My particularly favourite thing to do is to make Peanut-butter  & Cream Cheese Pancakes. Yes, they’re as insane as they sound. The basic recipe goes like this:

1 egg
1-2 tablespoons of cream cheese – I like Philadelphia, but use whatever you feel like.
1 tablespoon of good peanut-butter – and by ‘good’ I mean the lowest carb count you can find.
Throw together in a blender and mix until light and fluffy. Have a hot fryingpan with melted butter ready. Pour in mixture in thin layer(s). Seal both sides and voila! LC pancake.

I usually just have one, mainly because the peanut-butter is a little higher in carbs than I’m allowing at the moment, and because they’re incredibly filling. I also prefer them plain so the PB can shine through, but if you leave it out you can have it with other LC things – you could go bacon, for example, or, if your carb limit will allow it, a tiny bit of thinly sliced apple in the mix as you cook it.

The other comforting thing I can make to fix my pancake craving is a really quick pan-quiche, for lack of a better name. It’s kind of like a fluffy omelette I guess.

2 eggs
Fillings – I usually pick spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes in the right amounts
1 cup Ricotta or 2 tablespoons cream cheese
Put your eggs and cheese into a blender with the spinach. Blend until mostly smooth pour into a hot frying pan and top with your other fillings. Pop a lid on once the base is set and let it go. It should rise up and become firmish. If you’re stuck, put the whole thing into the oven or under the grill.

The great thing about quiches is that you can make them in varying sizes, fill them with just about anything, and they make great party food.

The important thing is to make sure you don’t get bored with what you’re eating, so mix it up, try something new, do something you’ve never thought of trying before! If you get bored, hop online and search the wealth of recipes that are out there – some of which I’ll share on here – but there really is a lot of LC stuff out there and it’s just waiting for you to give it a shot, who knows, you might find something awesome!

Do you have any favourite recipes? Please feel free to share! I’m always looking out for new things!

Clear Skies,
Vee

Have a look at this blog for more inspiration!

Skinny Enchiladas

Here’s something to have a look at. I haven’t tried this yet but it sure looks tasty and satisfying! Definitely something worth having a look at, especially if we get tired of the same old recipes over and over again – there’s only so many ways I can stomach eggs and avocados.

Clear Skies,
Vee

hedonism, health and fitness

I love food! (good entrée, right?)

Seriously, I love food! Moreover, I love great, delicious and highly nutritious food. That is why, this recipe is one of my favorite recipes of ever! The downsize of it, is being a bit complicated to (or to clean after). If not so messy, I would have enchiladas every weekend!

I have been discovering a new side of mexican cuisine I had never noticed. Sure, I noticed several years ago how delish mexican dishes are, but, now I am looking at them from the health point of view, and, is amazing! Naturally, one can always cook mexican with a healthy twist – cut creams, use sweet potatoes instead of white ones, replace fatty cheese for low-fat).

I usually serve these skinny enchiladas with a portion of guacamole  and pico de salsa, I think it really brings colour to the plate.

Looking into some ingredients present…

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The Comfort of Cooking » Creamy Lemon Zucchini Noodles with Tomatoes

I came across this recipe that I’m definitely going to try out. If you’re stuck for LC ideas, Low Carb is Not Boring is a great way to have a look: not only does she post awesome recipes, but she’s got great ideas too. It’s important to look at a wide range of sources! The best way to lose weight is to find what works for you, and that won’t happen if you only look at a small silce of the wealth of information that’s out there!

Clear Skies,
Vee

PattyOpinion

I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but it looks absolutely fresh and delicious!

Creamy Lemon Zucchini Noodles with Tomatoes

YIELD: Makes 2 large servings / 4 side dish servings

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 oz. reduced-fat (Neufchatel) or regular cream cheese

1 lemon, juiced

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and peeled with a julienne peeler into “noodles”

1 heaping cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

DIRECTIONS:

In a large nonstick skillet set to medium heat, add olive oil. Once hot, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add cream cheese and lemon juice, stirring until cream cheese has melted into a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Add zucchini noodles, tossing to coat in sauce, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the zucchini noodles – They…

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