Vanessa's Recipes

Archive for the ‘Atkins’ Category

Low Carb and Ketosis

Fat Head » Low-Carb = Ketosis? Not Necessarily.

The reason he’s doing this is that he discovered eating low-carb doesn’t necessarily mean being in ketosis, or at least not in the zone that Drs. Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney call nutritional ketosis: a blood ketone level of between 0.5 and 3.0 mM. As they explain in their terrific book The Art and Science of Low-Carb Living, it’s within this zone that we can easily tap body fat for fuel and keep our brains happily supplied with ketones.

This is a pretty informative post from Tom Naughton about some of the differences between low carb and ketosis.  Interestingly, I was just having a debate with a friend of mine the day before I came across this article.  🙂

~Ness

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Cheese Chips

You can find this recipe all over the Internet, there’s nothing unique about the one I’m sharing here. I’m just putting it up because I referenced it in the Guaca-FAUX-le post, and figured I should make the recipe available for using alongside it.

So, what you’ll need is:

  • 2oz of shredded cheese (see caveat below)
  • A microwave
  • Parchment or wax paper (I prefer parchment)
  • A microwave safe plate
  • A paper towel or two
  • Patience (kidding)

Wrap the paper plate with the parchment paper, or lay the parchment paper on top of the paper plate. If your microwave has a carousel, you’ll want to make sure the paper spins with the plate when activated. If the paper’s too wide, the cheese may not melt evenly. On the other hand, if your microwave doesn’t have a carousel, who cares?

Put the 2oz of shredded cheese in a layer on the parchment paper. I like to mound mine in the middle just a bit, but I try to have a nice, even layer everywhere else. Don’t fret though, it won’t stay.

Put the plate with paper and cheese in the microwave. Times on this will vary, but you’re going to actually overcook the cheese here. What you want is for the cheese to release the oils in it, and when they stop bubbling on the surface of the cheese OR the cheese starts turning too brown, it’s finished. If you burn it the chips will be GROSS, so keep an eye on it!

CAVEAT: You can use your favorite cheese, but I don’t recommend Colby or Colby-Jack blends. The finished cheese is way too salty. Cheddar, for whatever reason, doesn’t get salty at all, in my opinion. But for guacamole (real or faux), the taco or Mexican blends are the best. They’re incredible when finished.

After pulling the plate out of the microwave, dab any remaining oils off the top. Be careful, it’s HOT! Transfer the finished “patty” to a new plate and you can either break it into chunks for the chips, or cut it, or simply use the entire thing as one big chip. When it’s removed initially, it will be pliable (if you take it out as soon as the microwave stops); you can bend it over something to form a taco shell.

Delicious and VERY low carb, but careful, ketogenic dieters — it’s got protein in it, and contributes to your totals.

Keto-Friendly Guaca-FAUX-le Dip!

Okay, so, I love homemade guacamole, and avocados are absolutely wonderful in the fats they provide, but let’s be honest here: Those fats come at a HIGH price. Along with the great fats come a boatload of excess carbs us ketogenic dieters simply don’t want or need.

You can Google for “low-carb guacamole” all you want, but the fact is, avocados, tomatoes and most of the other fixin’s for it aren’t low-carb. So when my love and I made some a couple of weeks ago, we adored it on our keto-friendly cheese-chips, but we couldn’t eat a lot of it.

This got me to thinking…what can I do about it?

So, on a whim, I decided to come up with a keto-friendly dip I could use with my beloved cheese-chips, and what I hit on accidentally tasted like guacamole to me. I was so excited, I ran into our bedroom and woke my wife to tell her about it. Now, I’ll share it with you, because I don’t want to lose the recipe and because I don’t want to forget it. Since hardly anyone reads this blog, I guess those will suffice as reasons to post it.

What you need are:

  • 4oz cream cheese (softened, if possible)
  • ROUGHLY 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 1/4 medium tomato, diced
  • ROUGHLY 2 tbsp lime or lemon juice (I used lime)
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic (optional)
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Combine all the chopped ingredients with the softened cream cheese in a mixing bowl, and mix well, but don’t smash the tomatoes. Add the lime juice last.

And that’s it! Dip your LOVELY cheddar or Mexican or Taco blend cheese-chips in it and enjoy!

Delicious, and to me, it tasted JUST like guacamole. Your mileage may vary, of course, but give it a try!

Cheesy Egg Bake

I think my husband would make a stop at the Golden Arches for breakfast every day on his way to work if he could.  Because of that, I thought I’d see if I could come up with a way to please his palate and the wallet at the same time.

Here’s my low carb, ketogenic friendly version of a baked breakfast omelet.  Carbs can be added with more control through, say, a piece of toast, an English muffin, some hash browns, a bagel, whatever floats your carbohydrate boat.  Smile

This is for 6 servings.

  • 1 pkg Brown ‘n’ Serve sausage links
  • 3 pkgs real bacon bits
  • 1 8oz pks pre-sliced mushrooms
  • ½ purple onion, chopped
  • 18 eggs, minus 6 whites
  • 2 2cup pkgs shredded Cheddar cheese

First, I take the sausage links, in their frozen state, and chop them – it’s just easier that way.  Toss them into a skillet to heat through.  I add a little coconut oil to get things going.

Once that is cooked, I pour it into a prepared glass 9×13 baking dish that’s been liberally sprayed with cooking spray.

Then I heat up the bacon bits until cooked through, and into the dish they go.

Next, I sauté the mushrooms in the sausage/bacon oils, then add them to the dish.

Here’s what it looks like at this point.

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Finally I sauté the onion until it’s nice and softened and add that on top.  Sautéed in sausage, bacon, and mushroom oils.  Mmmm!

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Pretty, no?

Next comes one of the packages of cheese.  My husband loves cheese, Cheddar cheese.  Your taste buds may vary and I don’t see why you couldn’t use pretty much any cheese you like, alone or in some kind of wonderful cheesy combination.  Smile  I don’t bother with the knuckle buster and trying to shred cheese myself anymore.  It simply isn’t worth it and the pennies you might save get spent in the time lost and scraped knuckles. 

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Now for the eggs.  Because we’re trying to make this as low carb as possible, I use whipping cream to mix in with the eggs, and a splash of water.  I don’t use milk.  Sometimes I’ll use half and half if I have that on hand as well.

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Now for the 2nd bag of shredded cheese.

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Into the oven it goes!

  • 325°
  • 30-40 min

Ovens vary and I like to leave just a bit of a jiggle since I know that eggs will continue cooking for a few minutes even after you remove them from the heat, and my husband will be using a microwave to reheat it at work.  I check at 30 minutes and adjust accordingly.  I almost never go past 40 minutes.

This is what it looks like when you pull it out of the oven,  Yummy!

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I divide it into 6 portions and voilá, my husband has ready-made breakfasts for a week! 

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He likes to add a little salsa with his but certainly this recipe is versatile enough that you could add different vegetables or sauces to find the taste you love.  Peppers, chilies, tomatoes, whatever you like in an omelet, the list is pretty much endless. 

All told, it takes me perhaps 20-30 mins to sauté the meat and veggies (depending on how high I cook them), and the oven is preheating while that’s going on, and add the 30-40 mins cook time, and you can have this done in an hour, easy.  Smile

Have fun experimenting!

Chicken Chili

Sort of like chili. 

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I was experimenting again!  I had some leftover chicken from my Roast Chicken* and was trying to think of something to do with it, that was also low-carb / Atkins friendly. 

Scrounging around in the fridge, I found:

Most of a jar of green taco sauce;
Some sandwich peppers left in the jar, that my husband won’t be eating since he doesn’t take sandwiches in his lunch anymore;
A  bag of frozen mixed vegetables;
A partial bag of frozen yellow squash.

I threw it all together in a skillet, but realized it still needed something.  After my husband got home, we figured that some tomatoes would help.  So I bagged up dinner, stuck it in the fridge and a couple of days later we made it to the store.

I grabbed:

A large can of diced tomatoes;
A medium can of tomato paste;
A package of pre-sliced mushrooms;
A bunch of cilantro.

I tossed everything in my crock pot, and let it simmer overnight.  It actually turned out pretty good!  We had it on low-carb tortillas, but I put it over rice for the kids.  I think it would also go really well over any kind of noodle – spaghetti, macaroni, etc.  I also topped it with some shredded Monterey Jack/Cheddar cheese combo we found at the store. 

So, no beans and no chili sauce or powder, but it still had a chili sort of flavor.  According to my husbandSmile   I got a few leftovers cleared out of the fridge in the process too. 

*Actually, you can use any leftover chicken, or fresh chicken cooked, and cut into small pieces.  Just be sure to remove any remaining skin. 

Tomato Chicken

So, there I stood in the kitchen, staring at the chicken breasts I’d thawed a couple of days ago.  What to do, what to do?

I found: tomatoes that needed to be used soon; a little can of tomato paste; a jar of mayo that needed that last bit used up; and some mozzarella cheese that wasn’t so great for snacking but would be good for cooking.

This is what I came up with.

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I mixed the tomato paste with some mayo, roughly equal parts, maybe more mayo than tomato paste.  Added some cream, just a splash to make mixing easier.  To that I added a hint of garlic, some parsley, and some basil.  I spooned that over the  chicken, put slices of tomato on top, topped that with slices of mozzarella, and then generously topped the whole thing off with parmesan. 

It turned out pretty well.  I think you could substitute the mayo with cottage cheese, ricotta, even sour cream.  I just happened to have mayo on hand.  And certainly you could add more herbs if you wanted a stronger Italian flavor.

Plus, it’s Atkins (low carb) friendly.  Smile

~~Ness~~ 

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