Saturday, December 29, 2007

Recipe: Low-carb pecan sandies

These are a really nice cookie with the texture of shortbread... except that they're low-carb and healthy! My comments/variations are in italics.

- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups finely ground pecans ("pecan meal")
- 1/2 cup almond flour ("ground almonds")
- 1 cup Splenda (or equivalent)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder (heaping)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (heaping)
- 1/2 tsp mace or nutmeg (I used mace - heaping)
- 1/2 cup vanilla whey powder (I used low-carb vanilla protein powder)
- 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten

Preheat oven to 325F.

Beat butter in a large bowl until it's fluffy and light. Add Splenda, blending well. Add egg, and beat again. Add salt, baking powder, spices, ground pecans and almonds. Beat until completely incorporated. Add whey powder and gluten and finish mixing. Dough will be sticky and a little gooey but should hold together.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lay dough onto paper. Use a spatula to smooth dough into even layer, about 1/4" thick. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Score with a sharp knife while cookies are still hot. Makes 5 dozen cookies - 1.3 effective grams of carbohydrate per cookie.

(I didn't get anywhere near 70 cookies, but had about half that. I made them larger than intended obviously, but they certainly weren't huge. I used a 1-oz. cookie scoop to measure each cookie's batter. Click the photo for a larger version.)

Source: Low Carb Luxury.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Recipe: Low-carb beefed-up meatloaf

I brought this to a holiday family gathering over Christmas and it was the hit of the party! Everyone raved! This is a moist, delicious - and different - take on meat loaf. I'm making a double batch to freeze over the weekend for lunches when I return to work after the holidays. (Click on the photo for a larger version.)

This would be delicious with a nice low-carb coleslaw, salad, or piping hot bowl of low-carb vegetable soup!

As always, my comments and variations are in italics.

Tomato topping:

- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce (look for no sugar added, i..e Hunts)
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste (look for no sugar added, i.e. Hunts)
- 1/4 cup sugar substitute (i.e. Splenda)
- 2 tsp white vinegar or water (I used vinegar)


- 2 lb ground chuck (may use meat loaf mix with ground pork) (I used 1.5 lb lean ground beef and 0.5 lb lean ground pork. It came out perfect!)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced small (I sauteed it before I put it in the mixture)
- 1/4 cup roasted or fresh red bell peppers, diced (I used Krinos brand bottled roasted red peppers pickled in wine vinegar brine - very nice. A bit of sugar added, but just a tiny amount. Found in the "international" section of the supermarket.)
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 lb prosciutto, or any type of ham, thinly sliced (I used prosciutto from the deli section of the supermarket - paper thin, so it's easy to roll)
1/4 lb provolone cheese, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a small bowl, mix together the tomato topping ingredients. Set aside. You may add a few drops of water to thin to a ketchup consistency. (I certainly didn't need to add any water. I made a double batch of meatloaf but only one batch of the topping. It was enough for both.)

In a large bowl, mix together the beef, eggs, parmesan, vegetables herbs, and seasonings.

Working on a waxed paper lined sheet pan or counter, form meatloaf mix into a 10" X 8" flat rectangle on the waxed paper. Place a layer of prosciutto slices on top, followed by a layer of provolone slices. (I alternated layers, i.e. couple of slices of ham, then couple of slices of cheese, then ham, then cheese, etc., until I ran out.) Roll up the stuffed meatloaf mix like a burrito and seal the edges all around by pinching the meat.

Place the roll, seam side down, into a 5" X 9" loaf pan. Spread a heavy coat of the tomato topping to completely cover the top of the meatloaf. Place in oven and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the temperature on a meat thermometer registers 165 F. Drain fat and let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing. (Very important to let rest. I'd even go 20 minutes.)

Per serving:

Calories - 509; Fat - 39 g; Saturated Fat - 17 g; Carbohydrates - 7 g; Fibre - 1 g; Net Carbohydrates - 6 g.

Recipe courtesy of the great low-carb chef George Stella.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Here's wishing all readers a safe, happy and festive holiday!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Week #27: Down by another -3 lb for a grand total of -82 lb!

I had a really good week! Lost a total of 3 lb for a new grand total of -82 lb in 27 weeks! Needless to say, I'm thrilled. I love "changing decades" on my loss total and see the -100 lb mark coming fast and furious toward me!

Today, I'm cooking up a storm of low-carb treats for Christmas. The "assumption" that someone has to drop off their diet for the holidays is such a crock. If you want to stay loyal to your health and your well-being, get organized and make a decision. I made mine: To refuse to give in to the patterns of the past and "forget" my diet during the holidays... and inevitably finding myself many dozens of pounds bigger by the summer, when I still hadn't got back on track.

And besides, no one has yet been able to tell me how eating garbage that's bad for me and that will make me sick is in any way honouring the birth of Christ. (That question usually stops them dead in their tracks. Ha!)

If I'm sounding more determined and a bit harsher than usual, it's because I've been encouraged by a few people to simply forget about low-carb over the holidays and go back to my old way of eating.



No excuses... even for Christmas.

I'll try to post a couple of recipes and pics before December 25th after I accomplish some of my cooking goals for today.

Next week: The last weigh-in of 2007! Where will I end up?