Vanessa's Recipes

Archive for the ‘Low Carb’ Category

NESSIPES Butter What?

Do you ever just stand in the baking aisle, staring at all the extracts and imagining the possibilities? 

I saw this one, one day, and my mind immediately went, “Blech!”  Who puts butter in coffee?”  Since I almost exclusively use extracts for my coffee creamer, that’s where my mind went. 

But then I saw this.  And the little angels in my head started singing.

Because I remembered this!

So now I can make my own Buttered Rum coffee creamer whenever I want, yay! 

Recipe here: Coffee Creamer | Nessipes!

Wouldn’t you know – today is January 17, 2015 – NATIONAL HOT BUTTERED RUM DAY


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My friend Angie, over on Family Life Is More, was talking about food the other day, and “make ahead” meals for families on the go.  Check it out!  You too can make 50 burritos and find true (frozen) love. #food #blog | Family Life Is More

Well, my family really isn’t “on the go,” and I don’t have a freezer big enough to hold 50 burritos, just a tiny apartment one, but I do like to have stuff prepped ahead of time.  For my husband’s lunch, I really like having things ready so that I can just pop it into a bag for him.  Who wants to deal with lunch prep at 6AM?  Not me!  Not him either, lol.

On Sunday nights, I try to put together all the individual sized portions of the things he’ll be taking in his lunch for the week.  That way, I can just grab a baggie of cheese, or nuts, or whatever, and toss them into his lunch bag.  I make his lunch the night before.  If I’ve done my prep work right, I can put his lunch together in like 10 or 15 seconds.

One of the things I like to add to his lunch are these little mini-meatloaves I make.  I call them meatloaffins, since I make them in my muffin tin.  Yes, I do like to make up my own words!  Open-mouthed smile  I get 2 dozen out of this recipe, and just grab a couple out of the freezer when I want to add them to his lunch.

The nice thing about this recipe is it’s versatility.  You could use any kind of ground meat.  I like beef, chicken, and turkey.  I don’t use ground pork because, well, I don’t really care for it, but I’m sure it would be good in this recipe if you wanted to use it.  Plus, this has become kind of a hit at church and most of our congregants don’t eat pork, so it’s easier for me to skip it.  I bet a ground sausage would be good in this, too.  Your 3 favorite ground meats will be perfect.  Smile




1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground chicken
1 lb ground turkey
1 box Lipton Onion Soup Mix.  Yes, both envelopes in the box.
½ cup bread crumbs.  I forgot the bread crumbs for the picture!
3 eggs (1 for each pound)
Splash of milk to moisten.


24 servings @ 2oz ea

Protein = 12g
Fat = 8g
Carbs = 3g

Total calories = 132 per 2oz serving

You could add a teaspoon or two of garlic powder and that would be good.  Or other herbs and spices if you prefer.  The recipe is great on its own, or with things added, so feel free to tweak it to your taste.


For me, it’s just easier to grab the old-fashioned potato masher to mix this up.  No loud mixer, only 1 utensil to wash, and it handles the job pretty fast.  I had this stuff mixed and portioned in the time it took me to preheat the oven.  It will be a bit on the wet side, but that’s fine because that makes it easier to portion.

I don’t use muffin liners for this.  I didn’t want to make my husband have to deal with peeling them off at work.  I don’t see why you couldn’t use them if you wanted.  For me, I am quite liberal with the non-stick spray and that works really well.  Clean-up is pretty easy too, just a couple swipes with the S.O.S pad and then pop it into the dishwasher.

Before cooking …


After cooking!  As you can see, they lost a little volume but not very much.  (I use a high fat ground beef since we’re on a Ketogenic diet.)  They come out to be roughly 2 oz per “loaffin,” maybe just a bit under.  They heat up from frozen in the microwave pretty fast, maybe a minute per 2 “loaffins”, depending on your microwave.

This particular batch I baked at 400° for about 40-45 min.  I’ve also cooked them at 325° for about 90 min.  So, it’s flexible.  Smile


These are great for when you want something to eat, fast.  I hope you like them!

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Easy Bleu Cheese Dressing

Easy Bleu Cheese Dressing

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 2 TSP Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ TSP pepper
  • ½ TSP garlic powder
  • 6 OZ crumbled bleu cheese

(I use a 5 oz container of Treasure Cave Blue Cheese and that amount works fine.  You can also leave this out and still get most of the great flavor without the chunks.)

Mix well.  It will be thick.  You can thin with a little milk or cream if you prefer. 


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Easy Ranch Dressing

Easy Ranch Dressing

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 cup yogurt (I use the 7 oz Fage Total full fat yogurt and then use the empty container to measure out the mayo)
  • 2 TBSP parsley
  • 1 TSP onion powder
  • ½ TSP garlic powder
  • ½ TSP salt
  • ⅛ TSP pepper
  • dash dill weed

Mix well.  It will be thick, but you can thin it with milk, buttermilk, or cream if you prefer.


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Cherry Picked

I stared at the box of cherry extract in the baking aisle.  I had no reason to get it, no plan in mind of how to use it, but I wanted it.  A couple days after I’d put the groceries away, I saw that little box of extract in my cabinet and was hit with inspiration.  Yay!


I’ve mentioned in the past how I’ve been making my own coffee creamer.  I have to say, I really love the different flavor combinations I can make. 

So I took that little box of cherry extract and put it in my homemade coffee creamer.  I made a batch that was half cherry half chocolate, and a batch that was half cherry half vanilla. 

Oh my goodness!

It’s like having a bite of chocolate covered cherry, or a scoop of cherry vanilla ice cream, as you drink your coffee. 

I was a bit dubious at first, but I’m so glad I dared.  🙂 

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Coffee Creamer

Dairy free coffee creamer, that is!

Shortly before this past Christmas, I went on a mission to try to figure out why my blood sugar seemed to want to stay above 100.  I was doing everything right – super low carb ketogenic diet, no grains, no sugar – and still my blood sugar didn’t seem to be cooperating.

The only culprit I could find was the heavy whipping cream I used in my coffee.  Lactose, anyone?  I have never been lactose intolerant, so it took a while for me to latch onto this culprit.

I tried the sugar free versions from the brand name varieties, thinking that at least they were dairy free, and sugar free.  But they weren’t carb free.

I searched online and found a recipe for a dairy free version: A Primal Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer : Breakfast Ideas Forum : Active Low-Carber Forums

I modified this recipe a bit, since the only canned coconut milk I could find was loaded with sugar.  I did, however, find an unsweetened coconut milk, so I used that one.

Initially, the only coconut oil I had on hand was the one that has the coconutty fragrance.  Nice in some foods, not so much in coffee.  Blech!  I stuck with it though and almost immediately, the facial candida rash I’ve struggled with for the past few years seemed to disappear.  Only the barest traces remain, yay!

And my blood sugar plummeted into the 80s.

Not to mention a 6lb weight loss in a week and a half.

Seriously, how awesome is that?!

I think we’ve found a winner!

Naturally, I had to start experimenting with different flavors.  Yesterday morning, the chocolate extract I ordered finally came in.  I couldn’t find it while grocery shopping, and discovered that McCormick isn’t making it anymore, so I did a search on Amazon and found some, woo!  Jr Watkins Chocolate Extract 8 Oz.


I couldn’t wait to get started, so yesterday afternoon, I whipped up a batch of chocolate-peppermint flavored creamer.  Now that I have an unscented version of coconut oil, the chocolate and peppermint together can really shine.

Oh my gosh, it’s so good!  It smells like chocolate mint ice cream, or a York Peppermint Patty!  Yum!

Next I might try chocolate almond.  Or chocolate hazelnut.

While waiting for the chocolate extract to arrive, I did make a vanilla almond variety that smelled like a bear claw.  It was like having a pastry with my morning coffee, with no guilt or bad consequences.  🙂

So many extracts, so many flavors, so many possibilities!

So here is the recipe as I modified it for myself:

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon extract.

[UPDATE: I’ve since gone from 1 teaspoon of extract per batch, to 2 teaspoons of extract per batch (or 1 tsp per cup of coconut milk).  It really boosts the flavors and they come through much better.  Plus, using 2 of everything makes the recipe easier to remember, lol.]


Now, I often split that teaspoon into 2 half teaspoons, for instance, half teaspoon peppermint, half teaspoon chocolate.  I break it down as a half teaspoon per cup of coconut milk.  You may want to use a full teaspoon of a single flavor if you don’t want to blend flavors.

Also, you may want to use a full teaspoon of extract per cup of coconut milk, depending on your taste preferences.  For me, that measurement was a little strong, so I cut it back a bit.

I melt the coconut oil for a few seconds prior to blending it with the other ingredients, otherwise it hardens up as soon at it hits the cold stuff and you get clumps of coconut oil in your creamer.  Yes, it melts once you put it in your hot coffee.  Still, melting it first is better I think.  🙂

I just blend mine in a clean peanut butter jar with my little Gizmo … because I have an almost obsessive compulsion to collect the peanut butter jars as my kids go through them, since you never know when a peanut butter jar will come in handy.  Hey, at least I’ve managed to break my mayonnaise jar addiction!  LOL

Once blended, I can just pop it in the fridge and it’s ready to use.  Honestly, I don’t know how long it keeps because I go through it pretty quickly, but I wouldn’t give it longer than a week, with the eggs in there.

This version is unsweetened, since I add my own sweeteners to my coffee, but if you want a pre-sweetened variety of homemade coffee creamer, I also found this recipe: Homemade Dairy Free, Paleo, Sugar Free Coffee Creamer Recipe.  I am not adventurous enough to try to make my own date paste, but if you are, please let me know how it turns out!

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Make your own (almost) sugar-free brown sugar | Your Lighter Side

Make your own (almost) sugar-free brown sugar

Never buy brown sugar sweetener again.

All right, so molasses is only almost sugar-free, but pair your favorite sweetener together with natural molasses and you have a reduced-sugar sweetener to sub into any recipe that calls for brown sugar.

To boot, making your own just feels more natural somehow. Plus, you’ll save money since molasses has a long shelf life and pretty much any sweetener is easier to find than a brown sugar sweetener–and cheaper, too.

The recipe? Um. Simple.

It really is simple!  But you must click the link to see just how sweet and simple it is.  –>> Make your own (almost) sugar-free brown sugar | Your Lighter Side


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