Tag Archives: low-carb cooking

A Low-Carber’s Dream Come True

2014-03-22 15.36.59We low-carbers are a tough bunch. Whether it’s for weight loss, sugar regulation, gluten sensitivity, or any number of very good reasons, we are willing to look our junk food nation in the face and say, “No!” However, even though the blood test results are gratifying and (for people other than me) the scale is going down, down, down, there are two things we really miss for which we just can’t find an acceptable substitute: crunchy cereal and stretchy bread.

Until now!

Thanks to Melissa McGhee and my sister’s internet searching, we have found two miracle recipes that you would love even if you weren’t eating low-carb, but are especially wonderful because they fill those two gaps.

First of all, Melissa McGhee’s granola recipe, that beautiful cereal that you see above. I’ve talked about Satisfying Eats, Melissa’s cookbook and blog, several times in this space, and I continue to be amazed at her work. Although I do have this recipe in her cookbook, she has it posted on her blog, too. My sister made it first and said that her family loved it, and my mother tells me that she ate it right from the zip-lock bag as a snack! But, oh, it is so good with milk, and reminds me of Honey Bunches of Oats. Use whatever milk is best for you: cow’s milk, coconut milk, almond milk, or whatever.

2014-03-22 13.02.52The first time I made it, I did not realize that the coconut flakes were very important to the recipe. I used shredded coconut instead, because I had it in the pantry. Not the same thing at all, as you can see! Also, please be aware that raw pumpkin seeds are green. If the pumpkin seeds you see on your grocery store shelf are white, they are coated with salt. We actually used to eat these as a snack when I was a teenager. Can’t remember why, exactly, we thought they were healthy. I had to go to Whole Foods to find raw pumpkin seeds. Rather than pumpkin pie spice, I used mostly cinnamon with a sprinkle of nutmeg and ginger. This recipe is a bit pricey, but not much more than good store-bought granola.

I would show you a picture of a bowlful with milk, but it disappeared too soon. Even my carb-eating son loved it.

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Next, my sister told me about Mr. Peanut Sandwich Bread, a recipe that she’d found on the internet that made a flexible sandwich bread! No, it’s not a sweet dessert bread, but an everyday loaf bread that actually holds together no matter what you put on it—just like a gluteny wheat bread, but very low carb with no gluten at all! Here is my favorite hand model, David (conscripted while innocently walking through the kitchen), showing you how even a thin slice bends without breaking.

2014-03-22 18.02.03With only six ingredients, this bread is incredibly easy to make. I even skipped the sweetener. We’ve made ham and cheese sandwiches, pimento cheese sandwiches, and egg salad sandwiches with it without having any fillers fall out the way most low-carb breads will. It also toasts well. The top of mine popped up a bit, but I can see online that hers did, too. It is strange to add the baking soda and vinegar and then use the electric mixer. It feels as if you’re whipping up your elementary school volcano science experiment. But it works!

Now all of your low-carbing dreams have come true, and you can run out and get your ingredients. You’ll probably see me there. Time to restock!

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Zoodles!

ImageI finally received my Spiral Vegetable Slicer, which will henceforth be called a Zoodler because it makes vegetables into lovely noodles. What an essential kitchen gadget for those of us who are low-carbers and love pasta! I had had it in my Amazon cart for months, just hoping for Christmas Amazon gift cards. I must be a good hinter, because I did receive some. Oh, how I wish North Carolina bloggers could get paid for click-outs to Amazon, but alas! Amazon and the North Carolina legislature have not settled their war yet, so I am going to gush on about this product purely for love, and not for profit.

ImageHere is the basic machine. You can see that it has a spiky end that holds the vegetable in place and another end that holds a guillotine-looking blade that snaps in place. The other blades are nicely stored beneath, as you can see. There is a slicer blade that makes ribbons, a coarse shredder, and a fine shredder. Today, I am using the fine shredder. You can see my pears, zucchini, and beets waiting in the background.

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2014-01-23 18.24.41The first thing I zoodled was a couple of pears, which worked nicely, but needed to be sprinkled with lemon juice quickly to prevent browning. I set them aside for the pear and beet salad, and moved on to zucchini, a vegetable that is practically invented for the Zoodler. Here you can see the zoodles coming out as I turned the handle on the other end. So cute! I made a bowl full of them (top picture) from three zucchini, which leaves a weird core, as you can see. I was surprised by the core, but then I realized that the reason the pears didn’t leave cores is because they dissolved into the mush that ran down the inside of the Zoodler. Aha. No problem, though. I still got a lot of zucchini noodles!

ImageI saved the beets until last because I was afraid that I’d stain the Zoodler. I read in the instruction manual that you can make two cuts on either side of a vegetable to get C-shaped noodles. As you can see, that worked really well, but what you can’t see is that I made the cuts too close together in the center, so after a few turns, the beets split into two pieces. Oh, well. I reconfigured and made smaller C’s.

Yes, the beets made a big mess! After I was done, though, I took the gadget apart and gave it a quick rinse, and it did not stain at all. As you can see below, my counter is still a mess, but the Zoodler is shiny white again. Whew!

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My next challenge was to cook the zucchini noodles. As you can see, I cut up the cores into little plugs and threw them in. No, unfortunately, those are not baby scallops. I heated up a bit of olive oil and a pat of butter in a large skillet and got it pretty hot, then tossed in the zoodles and some chopped garlic. I was making the beet salad at the same time, so I didn’t pay close enough attention, and I think I overcooked the zoodles a bit. Practice makes perfect. I think it’s best to stop before they get translucent at all. However, I can tell you that they were delicious! They still held together, and we all loved them. I’m sure that this is just the first of many meals with the Zoodler!

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Filed under Diabetes, Food