Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake (GF, SF, LC)

October 20, 2013

PBC Cheesecake

I decided to do a post on this cheesecake after sharing it on my FB page. It’s fairly easy to make and is always a hit. Since we are doing the ketogenic diet, I have to freeze stuff like this in portions. That way we are able to exercise portion control. To freeze in portions, I cut into 16 pieces, then freeze. When frozen, I wrap individually in wax paper or foil and place pieces inside a baggie, then place in freezer. To serve, remove from freezer and let thaw 30 minutes. (Or place in refrigerator overnight to thaw). This is very similar to my GF Low Carb Cheesecake recipe, with just a few changes.

PEANUT BUTTER CUP CHEESECAKE

gluten-free, sugar-free, low carb, serves 16

Crust

1 1/2 cups almond flour (can sub 1/2 cup with ground chia)
3 Tbls softened butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs LC-Sweet (or sweetener of choice)

Preheat oven to 350o. Butter a 9″ springform pan. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl or food processor, then add butter till combined. Place almond mixture in pan and spread across the bottom and up the sides as well as you can. Like so:

Crust

Bake for 8-10 minutes, watching carefully that you remove just as it begins to brown. Remove and set aside. Lower oven temp to 325o.

Baked crust

Cheesecake Filling

3 (8 0z) packages of cream cheese, softened
2 cups plain, mild yogurt (I used Greek)
3 large eggs + 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup LC-Sweet (or sweetener of choice)
Stevia to taste
3/4 cup sugar-free peanut butter (or almond butter)
2 Tbsp + cocoa powder to taste (or 3 squares melted low-sugar chocolate bar)

Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy, but keep your mixer speed relatively low. Slowly add sweetener and stevia (if using) and continue beating till creamy.
Cream cheese and LC-Sweet
Add eggs one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla and yogurt and mix just till well blended. (Don’t overmix) Adjust sweetness as necessary.
Filling
Separate filling into 2 equal parts. In one part add peanut butter and mix well.
Peanut butter filling
In the other part, add the cocoa powder and mix well. (No picture of this step)

Wrap outside of springform pan (with crust) well with foil wrap (heavy duty is best). Make sure this is done in one large piece to keep water out (or refer to my other cheesecake post for how to wrap with smaller pieces) Pour 1/2 of chocolate mixture into bottom of crust.
chocolate bottom filling
Carefully spoon peanut butter filling onto chocolate filling, taking care not to let chocolate filling show through. Repeat to top peanut butter filling with remaining chocolate filling.
Ready to bake

Place cheesecake onto another pan with sides (my broiler pan bottom works well for this) and place into oven. Carefully pour 2-3 cups very hot water into outer pan.
Bain Marie
Bake at 3250 for 1 hour. At end of hour, turn oven off and leave cheesecake in oven for 1 more hour. At no time open the oven door. When second hour is up, remove cheesecake from oven, remove foil, and refrigerate till completely cooled. Remove springform sides and serve.
Finished cheesecake

This post is part of Fight Back Fridays real food blog carnival.

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Gluten-Free (Grain-Free) Low Carb Hot Pockets

October 17, 2013

Ham & Cheese Hot Pocket

Editing this entry to correct carb counts.
I’m excited about sharing this recipe here. I don’t get many original ideas and I think these are definitely blog worthy. I haven’t posted much lately due to our diet change, now that the grandchildren aren’t staying with us. We are doing a ketogenic diet (low carb, moderate protein, high fat) and I have to say, I love it! At first, I stuck to some very basic recipes to help us get over the hump of starting a stricter diet. Now that we are well into it, I’ve started cooking a variety of foods. While this is a recipe I wouldn’t make frequently (on the higher carb end), I am glad to have it for those times we just want a little something different. It would also be good to take along on day trips, when I won’t be home to cook. I based this recipe on the one for the Holy Grail Pizza Crust, which I love and think is the perfect pizza crust! These are great to make and freeze (bake the crust, add toppings, freeze, thaw, reheat @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes). I took three of them to Austin with us on our vacation and they held up extremely well, even days after they’d thawed out. (They were refrigerated) It was on the drive home from Texas that the idea for hot pockets came to me. While I still want to work on the visual aspect, I didn’t want to wait to share the recipe.

    GF LC HOT POCKETS

Makes 4

CRUST

1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated
3/4 cup almond flour
2 Tbs coconut flour
1 extra large egg
2 Tbs cream cheese, room temp
2 Tbs grated parmesan cheese (fresh)
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp sea salt

FILLING

1 cup sliced or diced ham
1 cup shredded cheese of choice
2 Tbs cream cheese, room temp

Turn oven on to Broil. Place grated Mozzarella in an oven safe bowl or small pie plate, spreading out evenly. Place on lowest rack of oven for about 3 minutes. Watch closely; you don’t want it to turn brown at all, just melt it.
Melted cheese

Remove from oven and while it cools slightly add remaining crust ingredients in a separate bowl.
Dry ingredients

Mix ingredients well, then add melted cheese. Squeeze cheese thoroughly to incorporate into other ingredients. Shape into ball as well as you can. The dough is sticky at this point.
Incorporate cheese

Let stand for 5 minutes. While you wait, prepare filling by mixing all ingredients well.
Filling ingredients

This is the kind of ham I used; 5 thin slices made 1 cup.
Ham

Take crust dough and shape into a log.
Log

Divide log into eight equal pieces.
Divide log

Shape each piece into a ball.
Shape into balls

Pat each ball out into patty form with hands. Then place on parchment covered baking sheet and continue to shape into larger circles.
Pat out circles

You can place these close together, as they don’t spread.
Circles

On middle rack of oven, place baking sheet for 3 minutes. Watch closely; you want them to just begin to brown. Remove from oven and let cool for one minute.
Brown slightly

Place equal amounts of filling in the center of four of the circles.
Place filling equally

Place other circles on top, browned side down, then pinch the edges together as best you can. (Don’t worry if they don’t seem to seal) Then take a fork and press down all around the edges of each hot pocket, to help seal the edges. (Again, don’t worry if they don’t seem to fully seal; it will come together in the oven) I found that pressing down with the tip of the fork first, then pressing down fully, then sliding the fork away works best. Next time I make these, I am going to use a biscuit or tart cutter to give them a better finished look.
Seal edges

Return to oven under broiler for 3 minutes, watching closely. Once the top is nicely browned, remove from oven. Wait one minute, then carefully flip them. Return to oven for 2-3 minutes to finish browning. Remove and serve. Approximately 14 total carbs (8 net) per pocket. I hadn’t realized how much the coconut flour upped the carbs, so I’ll be working on this recipe to see if I can decrease the carb count.

Hot pockets served with fermented dilly beans

As they cool, they can be eaten like a hot pocket (without a fork).
Hand held hot pockets

My first attempt at these I made pizza pockets. I used all the ingredients for pizza topping inside and used Italian seasoning in the crust.
Pizza pockets

These could even be sweetened (replace garlic salt in crust with sweetener) and filled with fruit or some other sweet filling. Here’s my version of a cran-apple turnover doing this:
Cran-apple popover

Please share your ideas in the comments!

This post is part of the Tasty Traditions and Fight Back Fridays real food blog carnivals. Check them out for more great stuff!

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Sourdough Pizza Crust (and Tortillas)

March 16, 2013

A sourdough pizza

We aren’t eating grain, but I still make things for my grandchildren, so I thought I’d share this recipe that I use to make sourdough pizza and tortillas. It’s a great way to use up starter and you can’t complain about a recipe that doubles for something else, right? I make it the exact same way for either. If I’m making tortillas for breakfast, I’ll make the dough at night and leave it out on the counter overnight. If I’m making pizza, I’ll make the dough in the morning and and let it sit out until dinner time. The one thing I haven’t done is let it do a second rise after rolling it out and putting it on the pizza pan. I should do that some time. Anyway, to make tortillas, just roll them out individually and cook on a hot skillet or tortilla pan. The sourdough taste doesn’t come through and I pass these off as regular tortillas all the time. It makes 6-8 tortillas, depending on size. For a neat trick on making evenly shaped tortillas, check out this post. I’ve only done this once, but it works very well.
Here are the instructions for making the pizza.

Sourdough Pizza Crust
makes 1 large pizza crust

1 1/2 cups spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
3 Tbs olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
1/2 cup starter
1/4 cup sour raw milk (or water)
Extra oil for greasing pizza pan

Preheat oven to 425o. Grease pan and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
dry ingredients

You can also do this in a food processor, but I prefer doing it by hand.
Add oil and mix well.
Add oil

Add sourdough starter and mix well.
starter
mixed starter

Add milk or water and mix until it comes together to form dough. This shouldn’t be too sticky or too dry. If it is too dry, add more liquid 1 tsp at a time. If it’s too wet…well, I don’t know a remedy for that, so you may want to go slow when adding the liquid.
Once it forms a dough, put it in a glass bowl. I didn’t do it here, but it’s best to grease it with a little oil.
In glass bowl

I put a piece of cheesecloth over the bowl and set it in my microwave. Any place relatively warm will do.
Covered dish

I got a late start, so it didn’t rise as much as usual, but this is what it looks like after sitting about 3 hours.
risen dough
You can see the starter has done its magic.

I roll the dough out on my counter to the approximate size of my large pizza pan. Sometimes, I use my hands to stretch it, just because it makes me feel like a real chef.
rolled crust

I usually put a light coating of olive oil and sprinkle some garlic salt on top. Bake at 425o for 8-10 minutes. Keep a close eye on it; you only want it to just start turning brown around the edges.
crust

Remove from oven and continue preparing to your liking. Bake another 4-5 minutes once the sauce and all the toppings have been added. Remove from oven and enjoy! Super easy!

I keep mine pretty simple. I usually use a mix of 1/2 spaghetti sauce and 1/2 tomato paste. This gives the Italian flavor with the paste giving the sauce the thickness it needs. I usually add a little Italian seasoning and a little more garlic salt on top of the sauce. Then I top with grated cheese and pepperoni, the only two toppings my grandchildren agree on! (And, yes, they prefer some type of Jack cheese!)
toppings

Ready to bake:
Ready to bake

Ready to eat!
Ready to eat

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This post is part of the Fight Back Friday blog carnival hosted by Food Renegade.


King Ranch Turkey

November 24, 2012

King Ranch serving

It’s a question asked every year after Thanksgiving. What do I do with all that leftover turkey? Or not. Perhaps you didn’t have much turkey left over or what you had was eaten in turkey sandwiches. Not to fear. This recipe can be made with any chicken or turkey that is already cooked. With the red and green of the peppers, it’s a festive and spicy way to transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

King Ranch Turkey
makes a 9×12 casserole

3 cups cooked turkey (or chicken), diced or shredded
1 cup turkey or chicken broth (preferably homemade)
4 Tbs butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 Tbs spelt flour (or flour of choice)
1 Tbs red chile powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic salt
4 oz can of chopped green chile
6 oz of red salsa
1/2 cup full fat raw milk or cream
1/3 cup yogurt or sour cream
16 oz. grated cheese (I used 1/2 cheddar and 1/2 pepper jack)
1-2 cups crushed organic tortilla chips

Melt butter in saucepan, add onion and bell pepper and cook for 10 minutes on medium low, stirring frequently.

onion and bell pepper in butter

Stir in flour, then add spices and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Flour and spices

Add broth and cook for a few minutes on medium.

chicken broth

Add milk, chile and salsa, mixing well.

chile and salsa

Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover pot and add yogurt (or sour cream).

yogurt

Stir to combine and add turkey to sauce.

Add turkey

An alternative method is to layer the sauce and turkey, but I prefer to take shortcuts wherever possible.

Preheat oven to 350o
In a 9 x 12 baking dish, put 1/2 to 1 cup crushed tortilla chips. These are the chips I used.

tortilla chips

This is the second layer, starting with chips.

crushed chips

Add 1/2 of the turkey/sauce mixture, spreading evenly throughout pan.

turkey and sauce

Top with 1/2 the cheese.

grated cheese

Make a total of two layers. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes. Top with additional yogurt or sour cream, if desired.

baked casserole

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Thanksgiving Revisited

November 10, 2012

Thanksgiving table

It’s twelve days until Thanksgiving. I’m trying not to panic. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt this ill-prepared. As those of you who follow my blog know, we’ve had a lot of changes the past three months. I find myself feeling overwhelmed most days, from all of the new challenges we are facing. However, I am determined to focus on an attitude of thankfulness and just do the best I can. As I was looking over my Thanksgiving meal from last year, I decided that it was worthy of a repeat this year. So, since I have nothing new to share (at least not at this point), I thought it might be helpful to put all of my Thanksgiving recipes from last year in one post. I’m also going to add some of my other recipes that could be part of a Thanksgiving meal. Most are gluten free. I know my blog is not very user friendly, especially when it comes to finding past recipes. One of these days (my most used words!) I’m going to figure out how to put the recipes in categories so they are available without having to search.

This is a list of links to the following foods and how to prepare them:

TURKEY (DRY BRINED)
Turkey

BROCCOLI, “RICE,” AND CHEESE

YUMMY SPINACH SALAD
Yummy spinach salad

CRANBERRY SAUCE
Cranberry sauce

SOURDOUGH DINNER ROLLS
Sourdough dinner rolls

CRUSTLESS PECAN PIE
Pecan pie

GF LOW CARB CHEESECAKE
GF cheesecake

I’m hoping I can add a recipe for green bean casserole, a gluten-free stuffing, and maybe some simple recipes such as ranch dressing. We’ll see. In addition to some of the above recipes, I also made some mashed sweet potatoes. My preferred way to do this is to either bake (whole) or steam (cubed) some sweet potatoes until soft, then mash with lots of pastured butter. I hope this has been helpful.

You can follow along on Facebook by clicking on the link in the above, right-hand corner.
~Karen


GF Banana Nut Muffins

October 7, 2012

Banana nut muffin

Even though I previously posted a recipe for muffins with fruit added, I’m not sure it would work with bananas. And even if it did, I really like the simplicity of this recipe. It (like several of the gf recipes I post) comes from Elana’s Pantry. However, it’s a tweak on her banana bread. She does have a recipe for banana walnut muffins, but I still find the simplicity of this recipe the most appealing. And since, as with her paleo bread, she uses a specific type of loaf pan that I don’t own, I converted the recipe into muffins. My family loves these muffins and since they have a very minimal amount of sweetener (honey), I feel good about serving them. They make a great snack or light dessert. Since we don’t eat walnuts that often and since I usually have crispy pecans on hand, that’s what I normally use in this recipe.

GF Banana Nut Muffins
makes 12 regular-sized muffins

3 organic, ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cups), mashed
3 eggs (pastured)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped crispy pecans

Preheat oven to 350o
Grease 12 cup muffin pan with butter or coconut oil. In food processor or bowl, mix bananas and eggs until well mixed.

bananas and eggs

Add vanilla and honey.

vanilla and honey

Add softened coconut oil and mix until all ingredients are well blended.

coconut oil

Add dry ingredients and mix well. (Because I doubled the recipe, I had to shift from the processor to a bowl)

dry ingredients

Add chopped nuts and combine.

crispy pecans

Divide batter evenly.

muffin batter

Bake at 350o for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes and remove to cooling rack.

cooked muffins

Add butter and enjoy!

Muffins with butter

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Sausages and Sauerkraut

February 23, 2012

sausage and kraut

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for sausages and sauerkraut, without losing the health benefits of raw kraut. I’ve made this a couple of times now and we really like it. I used my homemade sauerkraut, which is really easy to make. Being new to sauerkraut, I thought it would be good to cook something with it. Then it dawned on me that it would kill the probiotic properties. That’s when I came up with this recipe. It’s nice for those times when you want to fix something that doesn’t take much time and uses few ingredients.

Sausages and Sauerkraut
serves 5

10 sausage links/frankfurters (I used chicken sausage)
1 leek, white and a little part of the green or 1 onion
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 Tbs butter
2 cups sauerkraut

Dice leek.

dicing leek

Melt 2 Tbs of the butter in large frying pan over medium low heat.

melt butter

Add diced leek and cook over medium low heat until softened.

saute leek

Remove leek to a small bowl and add remaining 1 Tbs butter to pan and increase heat to medium. Add sausages and cook till browned on all sides. This is the kind of sausage I used:

chicken sausage

browning sausages

Once sausages are browned completely, add cooked leeks and the chicken broth.

add leeks and broth

I used homemade chicken broth.

chicken broth

Continue cooking over medium heat until broth is reduced to a thick sauce. Turn heat off. At this point, I decided to chop the sausages into 3-4 pieces per sausage. You can leave them whole or chop them before browning.

chopped sausages

Cover sausages with sauerkraut.

add sauerkraut

Cover with lid and let sit for 5 minutes or until sauerkraut is warmed through. I usually leave my pan on the still-warm (but off) burner for this.

Cover and let sit

Remove lid, thoroughly mix and serve.

mix sausage and kraut

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