Sunday, August 30, 2015

ALMOST APPLE TORTE


ALMOST APPLE TORTE, (c) 2015, JUDY BARNES BAKER
After the hottest summer ever recorded here in the Pacific Northwest, we are suddenly back in the 60s with nothing but rain in the forecast. What can we do with all those tomatoes that don't have enough summer left to ripen? Did you know that anything you can do with tart apples, you can do with green tomatoes? Surprisingly, green tomatoes are higher in carbs than ripe ones, but still much lower than apples. They make wonderful desserts, like tarts, mincemeat pies, and that old Southern specialty, green tomato cake!

ALMOST APPLE TORTE
This moist, spicy cake is a winner!

Ingredients:
9 tablespoons almond flour
¼ cup gluten-free oat flour  (Note to self: try with oat fiber.)
2 tablespoons coconut flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
A pinch of salt
4 medium-sized, firm, green tomatoes, cored and diced
2 tablespoons water
2 eggs
½ cup Natural Mate erythritol blend equal to 1 cup sugar or use 1 cup      Swerve or Xylitol  
1 tablespoon rum
Grated zest of one lemon, about 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon true (Ceylon) cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled but still liquid
½ cup broken pecans or walnuts

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch cake pan or spring-form pan with parchment paper. Grease the paper and the sides of the pan.

Combine almond flour,oat flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt in a medium bowl. Reserve.

Place chopped green tomatoes in a heat resistant bowl, sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of water, cover, and microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a colander set over a bowl to drain for 10 minutes. Press down on tomatoes to remove excess moisture and blot with paper towels.

In the bowl of a food processor, process eggs. Add sweetener, rum, zest, cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla extract and process until blended. Add one third of the dry ingredients and one third of the melted butter to the eggs and process. Repeat twice more until all dry ingredients and butter are incorporated. Add tomatoes and nuts to batter and fold in until coated. (This will be easier if you transfer the batter to a bowl first.) Scrape batter into prepared pan. 

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out almost clean (the cake is moist inside, so the pick may not be completely clean).

Remove from oven. Use a large spoon to serve warm from the baking pan or place torte on a rack to cool and unmold onto a plate. Sprinkle with a little powdered Natural Mate or other sweetener, if desired. 

Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature, topped with sweetened yogurt or whipped cream or a scoop of low-carb ice cream.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Nutrition data for each of 8 servings:
Calories; 147; Protein: 5.3g; Fat: 10.7g; Fiber: 3.3g; Total Carbs: 8.8g; Net Carbs: 5.5g.

Nutrition data for each of 10 servings:
Calories; 118; Protein: 4.2g; Fat: 8/6g; Fiber:2/8g; Total Carbs: 7/1g; Net Carbs: 4.5g.

(Data does not include sweetener.)

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Post was edited after publication; I forgot the xanthan gum.

(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

THE KETOGENIC COOKBOOK REVIEW

KETO COOKBOOK AMAZON LINK
Jimmy Moore’s blockbuster book, Keto Clarity, (see my review here ) spelled out the advantages of burning fat for energy instead of sugar. It created a demand for a cookbook of Jimmy-approved recipes for those who want to try a strict ketogenic diet for weight loss and /or improved health. He made a good case, but it can be a hard to convince someone to commit to a lifetime without pizza, mac and cheese, french fries, pop, bread, and goodies. Many may think they don’t have the will power to stick to such an austere diet so they won’t even try. Enter Maria Emmerich. I know Maria through her popular books and her blog and have always been in awe of her energy, talent, and enthusiasm. I sometimes wondered if this petite dynamo with an impish grin and a tumble of dark curls lives in a parallel universe where the sun shines brighter, the days are longer, and they sip a special elixir that keeps everyone rosy-cheeked, productive, and happy. Read this book and you will discover that Maria’s secret is really quite simple; eat real foods that slow aging, heal the body, and nourish the mind. And make them so good and so satisfying that no one need ever experience hunger or feel deprived! This magic is available to all of us who seek to join her in the lavish, indulgent feast so we too can become superhuman.


Just so you know what to expect, although the title of this book has the word “Paleo” in it, the classic Paleo diet, as defined by the gurus who founded and named it, like Loren Cordain, and those who popularized it, like Robb Wolf, is neither low-carb nor high-fat, and certainly not ketogenic. The original Paleo protocol specifies lean meat, roots and vegetables, fruits, nuts, and natural sugars like honey and maple syrup. It forbids grains in any form and all dairy products, which eliminates some of the most allergenic foods and may be part of the reason it is successful for some. Also off limits for Paleos are legumes and anything processed or man-made. The majority of Paleo adherents are young, male, and athletic and can probably tolerate more carbohydrates than the average overweight American who is already metabolically challenged. The only thing Paleo about the way of eating described in the Ketogenic Cookbook is the rejection of grains, beans, and any food that cannot be eaten in its natural form. Many of the meals in The Ketogenic Cookbook include dairy products, especially cheese, and they literally ooze with healthful, natural fats, like coconut oil, bacon, and butter. Not Paleo perhaps, but better. 

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Disclaimer: I received a review copy of the Ketogenic Cookbook.

(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

CHOCOLATE CHIPS AND CANDY

STIRRING CHOCOLATE, (c), JUDY BARNES BAKER
CHOCOLATE CANDY, (c) 2013, JUDY BARNES BAKER
I had a request for a recipe for chocolate chips and I realized that I didn't have one on the blog. This one is adapted from Nourished; a Cookbook for Health, Weight Loss, and Metabolic Balance. You can pour it out in a sheet and chop it up to make chips or you can make candy cups, bars, or fruit and nut clusters.

CHOCOLATE CHIPS
Adding liquid to melted chocolate is a big no-no. After years of making my chocolate chips with powdered, dry sweetener, I hit on a better solution. It lets me use one of the zero-carb liquids as the primary sweetener without causing the chocolate to seize and turn into a hard, dry lump.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon no-trans-fat shortening, such as Spectrum*
High-intensity liquid sweetener equal to ½ cup sugar**
A few grains of fine salt
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

Directions: 
Line a baking sheet with parchment, waxed paper, or foil
and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Place liquid sweetener and salt in a small saucepan. Add shortening and place over very low heat until shortening melts. Cook and stir for 1 minute more to let the liquid evaporate. Stir in chocolate and continue to stir until almost smooth. Remove from heat and let cool, stirring frequently, until it is about 80° F. (The slow cooling tempers the chocolate so it is smooth and shiny.) Pour it out on the chilled sheet pan and tilt the pan to spread the chocolate to a thickness of about ⅜ inch. Return pan to refrigerator until chocolate is cold. Peel off the paper or foil and chop into chips. Store away from heat in a covered container.

Makes 1 cup or 8 servings of 2 tablespoons each.
Per serving—Net carbohydrate:
1.9 grams; Protein:1.9 grams; Fiber: 2.4 grams; Fat: 8.1 grams; 77 Calories:
Total weight: 4 ounces
Weight per serving: ½ ounce
Preparation time: 10 minutes

VARIATIONS: CHOCOLATE CANDY  
Pour melted chocolate into molds to make sugar-free chocolate candy cups or bars.

Mix in chopped nuts, coconut, or chopped, dried cranberries and drop by teaspoonfuls to make nut and/or fruit clusters.

Notes:
*You can use coconut oil if you prefer, but the chocolate will be softer and melt more easily. Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees.

**Any liquid sweetener will work for this recipe. You can use liquid stevia if you like the taste, monk fruit, sucralose, or a combination, however, the combination of sucralose and chocolate can be bitter. Adding a small amount of another sweetener gives a more natural sweet taste. (Commercial products often combine sucralose with Acesulfame K.)

Tip:
Salty is the opposite of bitter. If your coffee is bitter, add a little salt. It also takes away some of the bitterness in chocolate. Use only fine salt so chocolate won’t be grainy.

(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

BARBECUE SAUCE REINVENTED

TOMATO FREE BARBECUE SAUCE, (c) 2015, JUDY BARNES BAKER
“Home grown tomatoes, 
Home grown tomatoes,
What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes?
Only two things that money can't buy,
That's true love and home grown tomatoes.”

~~from the song, Home Grown Tomatoes by Guy Clark.

Like it or not, life without tomatoes is a reality for many of us for a number of reasons. First, allergies to tomatoes and other members of the nightshade family are quite common. Second, Dr. Richard Bernstein says tomatoes are too high in glucose for those with diabetes and anyone following the protocol outlined in his book, "The Diabetes Solution," must eliminate them. And third, those who are on ketogenic diets may just want a replacement that is lower in carbs.
 
Think of all the foods we eat everyday that are based on tomatoes (spaghetti, lasagna, barbecue, ketchup, chili, pizza, salsa...) and you will appreciate the scope of the challenge. I'm tackling it one sauce at a time and this unconventional, tomato-free Barbecue Sauce is the first to get a makeover.

BARBECUE SAUCE
Use like regular barbecue sauce for basting ribs, chicken, or meatloaf, as a dipping sauce for meatballs, or stir into pulled pork.

Ingredients: 
½ onion, finely chopped (about 3 ounces)
2 tablespoons cooking fat, bacon fat preferred
2 garlic cloves (¼ ounce), peeled and chopped
2 cups Basic Rhubarb Sauce, recipe follows
½ cup cider vinegar
1 anchovy fillet, mashed, or 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons liquid smoke, hickory or mesquite flavored
1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco, or increase black pepper if avoiding nightshades
1 teaspoon coconut aminos or ½ teaspoon gravy flavoring (like Kitchen Bouquet or Gravy Master)
Sugar substitute equal to 2 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons pomegranate molasses* or black strap molasses, optional
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, more if not using hot sauce

Directions: 
Sauté onion in bacon fat. Add the chopped garlic and sauté a little longer. Mix in other ingredients and simmer, uncovered, on low heat for 30 minutes. Purée in a food processor in batches if you prefer a smooth sauce. Refrigerate until needed.

Makes about 3 cups or 24 servings of 2 tablespoons each.
Per serving—Total Carbohydrate: 1.3g; Protein: 0.3g; Fiber: 0.4g; Fat: 11g; Calories: 17; Net Carbohydrate: 1g
Optional ingredients are not included in nutrition count. Pomegranate molasses will add 0.37g carbs per serving of 2 tablespoons. 

BASIC RHUBARB SAUCE
The rhubarb that grows best here in the Northwest is not red. It is pale green blushed with rosy pink--quite beautiful as it is, but it makes a greenish-gray sauce. I happened to be cooking red beets when I made the sauce shown in the picture above so I tossed in a few of the stems and peelings, about the amount from one small beet. Bingo! I fished out the pieces before blending the sauce, but the taste is quite nice so you could leave them in, but they would add a few carbs. If you use the iridescent, candy-apple-red rhubarb sold in most stores, you may not need to add anything for color.

This recipe makes more than you need for the Barbecue Sauce. You can also serve it as a condiment (it's especially nice with salmon), like applesauce, or as a dessert topping (with more sweetener).

Ingredients:
3 pound fresh or frozen rhubarb stalks, sliced into ½ inch lengths
Sugar substitute equal to 2 tablespoons sugar (to taste or up to 1/2 cup for dessert sauce)
½ cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
A pinch of salt
Beet skins or stems for color if needed, optional

Directions:
Place rhubarb in a large saucepan.Add water, lemon juice, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and cook for about 20 minutes or until cooked down and very soft, stirring occasionally.

Puree in a food processor or blender or use a stick blender if you prefer a smooth sauce.

Use in place of tomato sauce in my recipe for Barbecue Sauce Reinvented. (More tomato-free recipes will be forthcoming for those who are allergic to nightshades and those who follow Dr. Richard Bernstein's protocol outlined in The Diabetes Solution.

Notes:
Pomegranate molasses is a thick, zesty condiment used in Middle Eastern cuisines. It is not very sweet, but adds a lot of punch to the sauce. It can be found with the ethnic foods in some groceries, online, and in specialty stores. 1½ teaspoons will add a total of 9 grams of carbs to the whole recipe. You can omit it or use black strap molasses instead.

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(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

DIY PROTEIN BARS AND A NEW SWEETENER

CHOCOLATE PROTEIN BARS, (c) 2015, JUDY BARNES BAKER
CHOCOLATE ALMOND PROTEIN BARS
These chewy, fudgy bars are made with the same sweetener used in Quest bars, which can now be purchased for home use.  The basic recipe has only two ingredients and can be made in minutes. Endless variations are possible depending on what flavors and add-ins you use. For my first version I used cocoa and chopped nuts. So easy; so good!

Ingredients:
2 tbsp cocoa powder
6 tbsp vanilla whey protein powder (I used MRM brand)
Tiny pinch of salt
¼ cup IMO syrup* (See information and sources below.)
2 tbsp chopped almonds

Directions:
Grease candy bar molds or a loaf pan, line with parchment paper, and grease paper also or use greased silicone molds or pans. You can also use muffin pans to make round "cookies" rather than bars or you can shape them by hand. Flexible containers made of silicone will facilitate removal. (I have molds for making bars on order, but I made the ones pictured at the top in a 3- x 5-inch loaf pan. If you double the recipe, it will make 4 bars when sliced horizontally.) 

Whisk cocoa powder, whey protein powder, and salt together until well blended. Set aside.

Grease a saucepan or microwave-safe mixing bowl. Add syrup to bowl or pan and heat in microwave for about a minute or until bubbly or heat on cooktop until bubbly. Stir in dry ingredients and mix with a heat-proof spatula or a wooden spoon to make a smooth dough. Mix in nuts.

Scrape mixture into molds and smooth top or let cool until it can be safely handled and shape into bars or “cookies.” Place in refrigerator for about an hour or until cold. Bars can be safely stored at room temperature but they will be soft. Refrigerate for firmer texture.

Makes 2 bars or disks. Recipe can be halved for one bar or multiplied for more.
Nutrition data per bar or disk: Cal: 128; Fat: 4.8g; Protein: 14g; Carbs: 15.4g; Net Carbs; 4.3g 

BASIC RECIPE FOR FOR ONE PROTEIN BAR
This is the bare bones recipe for making one bar. It can be customized to taste. 

Ingredients: 
2 tbsp IMO syrup
1/4 cup sugar-free sweetened whey protein powder or other protein powder
Optional add-ins and flavors: cocoa, chopped nuts, chopped dried cranberries, citrus zest, sugar-free chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, vanilla or other extract

Directions:
Make as in above recipe.

Makes 1 bar. 
Nutrition data per bar: Cal: 142; Fat: 1.3g; Protein: 23.1g; Carbs: 28.9g; Net Carbs; 3.9g 

PROTEIN BARS MADE WITH POLYDEXTROSE
The Protein Cookies shown below were made with polydextrose (PDX) powder rather than IMO syrup and formed in a silicone muffin pan. (I used less cocoa in these, hence the lighter color.) 

To use PDX instead of IMO, add the dry PDX powder to an equal amount of water (1/4 cup water for 1/4 cup PDX for making 2 bars) and mix until dissolved. Heat until bubbly and continue as in either recipe above. 

PROTEIN COOKIES, (c) 2015, JUDY BARNES BAKER

NOTES
*Isomalto-oligosaccharides IMO) is a new healthy sweetener that is very similar to one called polydextrose (PDX) that I used in a lot of recipes in my books. Both IMO and PDX are prebiotic, soluble dietary fiber made by breaking down starch into indigestible glucose. The starch can come from corn, wheat, rice, potatoes, tapioca, or other grains or roots. Polydextrose (PDX) is made by treating the starch with vitamin C and is considered to be synthetic. It contains a small amount of sorbitol, a sugar alcohol. IMO is made by treating the starch with enzymes, which do not alter the product chemically and allows the manufacturer to say that it is “all natural.” 

Neither IMO nor PDX is as sweet as sugar, so you will need to add another sugar substitute to boost the sweetness. The recipes above call for sweetened protein powder, which provides the extra sweetness. 

IMO and PDX both contain a lot of fiber and you may need to start slowly and build up a tolerance to avoid gastric repercussions. (Don't test it just before an important event like a job interview or a first date for example!) Those who have SIBO, IBS or other condition that makes them sensitive to indigestible fibers will need to be especially careful of these products. There is a chart that shows how much of each kind of fiber it contains here: http://vitafiber.myshopify.com/pages/vitafiber-nutritional-information

IMO comes as a syrup or a powder. Vitafiber and Fiberyum are two brand names. The powder can be subbed one for one for sugar in recipes and the syrup can be used like corn syrup. There are lots of recipes on the Vitafiber website. 
RECIPES FROM VITAFIBER SITEhttp://vitafiber.myshopify.com/pages/recipes

 The brands of PDX that I have used don’t say what kind of starch it is made from, but they do say it contains none of the allergens that must be disclosed on labels, which are: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and soy. It could still be made of corn. Products made with Vitafiber that are advertised as being Paleo friendly are made from tapioca although other kinds are available for use in various products.

PDX is not quite as cheap as it used to be, but still less than IMO. (IMO is cheaper if purchased in larger quantities.) 

Below is a list of some sources for IMO and PDX. You may find others. Shop around for the best price: 

You can buy PDX from: Honeyville Farms, (http://shop.honeyville.com/products/bakery/baking-ingredients/sugars-and-sweeteners/polydextrose.html) Five pounds is $20.99 plus $4.99 flat rate shipping.
        
 LC-Foods also sells PDX in ¼ pound bags for $8.38 ($6.93 shipping) from their site or from Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/LC-Foods-Polydextrose-Fiber/dp/B0096E56QY/ref=pd_sbs_325_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=164NM0VRMMZ0W4CQP5XF

Netritian has Vitafiber powder, 2.2 pounds for $21.99 with $5.99 for shipping. http://www4.netrition.com/vitafiber_prebiotic_fiber_powder.html

Amazon sells Vitafiber powder for $22. for 2.2 pounds with Prime shipping: http://www.amazon.com/Vitafiber-Basic-Powder-1-0-Kg/dp/B00TQ87DBQ/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1434521326&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=vitafiber+powder

The Fiberyum brand of IMO syrup comes in many sizes. It can be ordered from Amazon. A 1/2 gallon jug is $35.95 plus shipping.  http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=vitafiber+syrup&tag=mh0b-20&index=aps&hvadid=4966556179&hvqmt=e&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_3g7ka29se_e
I have not received samples for any of the products mentioned above and I do not get a commission on sales made from this site. 

(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com 


Thursday, June 11, 2015

PAN SEARED SCALLOPS WITH HOT SALAD

PAN SEARED SCALLOPS WITH HOT SALAD, (c) 2015, JUDY BARNES BAKER
PAN SEARED SCALLOPS WITH HOT SALAD
I have absolutely love this recipe. Sometimes I make a double batch of just the hot salad to serve as a side dish. 

INGREDIENTS
For Dressing:
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp water
2 tsp sesame oil
Sugar substitute to equal 1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

For Salad:
1 cup finely sliced fennel (save fronds for garnish)
1/2 cup finely sliced white onion
1/2 cup finely sliced celery root, also called celeriac
Additional salt and pepper to taste

6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tbsp bacon fat
1 lb large sea scallops, about 12, fresh or thawed frozen
2 tbsp chopped, fresh fennel fronds

DIRECTIONS
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, 1 tbsp water, sesame oil, sugar substitute, salt, and pepper. Reserve.

Slice fennel horizontally into thin slivers. Slice onion, pole to pole, into thin slivers. Peel and trim celery root and cut into matchsticks about the same size as the onion and fennel strips. In a large bowl, combine fennel, onion, celery root, salt, and pepper.

Mince 2 tbsp fennel fronds for garnish. Reserve.

Put 2 tbsp bacon fat in a large skillet and heat on medium-high. Blot scallops dry with paper towels. Season lightly with salt. Place scallops in hot skillet, in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove scallops and place on a heated serving dish.

Add sliced fennel, onion, and celery root to hot skillet and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes until hot but still crisp. Add salad to serving platter with scallops, drizzle with reserved dressing, sprinkle with bacon bits, and garnish with fennel fronds. Serve warm.

NUTRITION DATA
Yield: 4 servings
1 serving: 237 calories; 22g protein; 12.6g fat; 1.3g fiber; total carbs: 7.4g; 6.1g net carbs

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(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

SEARCHING FOR A GOOD EGG AND QUAIL EGGS IN A NEST

QUAIL EGGS IN A NEST, (c) 2015, JUDY BARNES BAKER
You don't know how much you love something until you lose it! Those of you who follow my blog, probably know that I've been dealing with a lot of sudden-onset allergies. You can read about it here. I continue to make progress in reversing the allergies, but I have also found some work-around solutions that let me enjoy many things that I initially had to eliminate from my diet. By trial and error, I've discovered that I can eat Parmesan cheese, clarified butter, and butter and cheese made from water buffalo milk in spite of having a dairy allergy, for example. I've also found a possible source for camel milk that may or may not work out.

Of all the foods I had to give up, the hardest one by far, was eggs! It was a disaster for my low-carb/high-fat lifestyle and sent me back to the drawing board for most of my recipes. The commercial egg replacements are barely acceptable if you only need them for their binding and emulsifying properties, but they don't provide the valuable nutrients in eggs, they don't taste as good, and any recipe that is mostly egg-based won't work. I set out on an an egg quest to see if I could find a bird that was different enough from chickens that I could eat their eggs.

I have a local produce stand that has duck eggs briefly in the spring and there is a store in The Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle that sometimes has turkey eggs, but I've never been lucky enough  to get there when they had any. Quail eggs have turned out to be the best alternative. I seem to tolerate them well and most Asian stores sell them as do some regular groceries that have a section devoted to Asian foods. They taste exactly like chicken eggs. The only thing I don't do with them is separate the whites from the yolks because that is just too tedious! 

I took a picture to show you how goose, chicken, and quail eggs compare. Although there is some variation in size, generally, one goose egg equals three large chicken eggs, which equals five quail eggs. Quail eggs usually come in a carton of ten eggs so it takes a carton to replace two eggs. The price can be over $10 a carton or under $2, depending on where you find them. The ones I buy regularly are shipped in from California. They sell out quickly, so I've learned what day they are delivered and buy enough to last until the next delivery. 

DUCK, CHICKEN, AND QUAILS EGGS, (c) 2015, JUDY BARNES BAKER
I've included one of my favorite recipes made with quail eggs. Everyone will like these, even those who are not allergic to other eggs. See the TIPS at the end of this post for how to buy and use quail eggs.

QUAIL EGGS IN A NEST

Preheat oven to 425º F'

Clean fresh, large mushrooms (about 2½ inches across) and remove the stems. Sprinkle them with salt and brush with melted butter. Place the mushrooms, rounded side up, on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and drain on paper towels. Blot the mushrooms with additional paper towels, pressing down into the cap with dry towels to soak up excess moisture.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325º F. Arrange the mushroom caps, hollow side up, on the pan and break a quail egg into each one. (See below for TIPS.) Spray the eggs with no-stick spray or drizzle with more melted butter. Bake for about 8 minutes or until the whites are set and opaque.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with grated Swiss cheese or Parmesan. Return to the oven for a few minutes more until the cheese is melted and the yolks are cooked to your taste, creamy or firm. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with snipped chives or crumbled crisp bacon or top with Hollandaise Sauce. Serve hot as an appetizer or snack.

Serving size: 1 piece
PER SERVING: Calories: 57; Fat: 5.6g; Protein: 4g; Total Carb: 1.5g; Fiber: 0g Net Carb: 1.5g

Buying quail eggs:
Quail eggs are very popular in Japan so most Asian stores sell them and many other stores have them on the aisle with the Asian foods.

When I started looking for sources for quail eggs, I found stores that sold them for over $10 per carton of 10 and stores that sold them for less than $2. They can also be ordered online, but that is more expensive and the eggs are fragile, so finding them locally is better. The ones I have now say they are from the Golden State Bird Farms in Vista, CA. They don't seem to have a website, but the address is 676 Osborne St, Vista CA, and the phone number is (760) 941-1492.

QUAIL EGG SCISSORS

Cracking quail eggs:
Quail eggs have tough shells that are difficult to break. I recommend an inexpensive tool that makes the job easy--quail-egg scissors have a ring that fits over the egg and a sharp pointed blade that cuts the end off so you can tip the egg out without breaking the yolk.

Inspect your eggs carefully before you use each one and discard any that are damaged. Sometimes the shells will dent without breaking completely, but they will dry out and mold or spoil and they can contaminate any eggs they touch.

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(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com


Saturday, May 23, 2015

RASPBERRY MARSHMALLOW SQUARES

RASPBERRY MARSHMALLOW SQUARES (c) 2012, JUDY BARNES BAKER
These reminds me of the coating on one of my old junk food favorites, Hostess Snowballs, those marshmallow and coconut-coated chocolate cakes with a “cream” center (actually a trans fat and sugar center). 

Ingredients: 
2 ounces frozen or fresh raspberries or strawberries or ¼ ounce dried

2 packets (7 grams each) powdered gelatin

½ cup cold water

½ cup boiling water

High-intensity sugar substitute, such as stevia, monk fruit, or sucralose, equal to 1 cup sugar

4 teaspoons sugar substitute with bulk, such as erythritol, xylitol, Sweet Perfection, or a stevia blend

A few grains of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 egg whites, fresh or reconstituted from powdered egg whites

¼ to ½ cup of finely grated coconut (1 to 2 ounces or 30 to 60 grams)

Granular sugar substitute equal to 2 teaspoons of sugar, such as Swerve, Sweet Perfection, Just Like Sugar, LC Sweet, or Splenda*

Directions:
Grease an 8- x 8-inch pan. Line with parchment paper and grease paper also. Chop berries into fairly large pieces. Reserve.

Soften gelatin in ½ cup cold water in a large bowl for a few minutes. Heat additional ½ cup water to boiling. Pour over gelatin and stir until dissolved. Stir in first 2 sugar substitutes, salt, and vanilla. Place in refrigerator to chill.

Stir every 5 minutes at first then as often as every 2 minutes until it becomes as thick as raw egg whites. This may take less than 10 minutes or up to an hour, depending on your refrigerator. If the gelatin accidentally sets up and becomes lumpy rather than syrupy, reheat it and start over.

Beat gelatin mixture with an electric mixer for 2 or 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add egg whites and beat for about 3 minutes more or until it forms soft peaks that droop over when the beater is lifted. Quickly stir in berries. Spoon into pan and spread with a flexible spatula. Cover with plastic film and press down to level the top. Refrigerate until firm.

Turn out of pan, peel off paper and cut into 16 squares. Mix coconut and remaining sweetener in a small bowl and roll each marshmallow until coated on all sides. Eat them out of hand or garnish with a berry and a dab of sugar-free Whipped cream and serve with a fork.

Makes 16 squares.
Per serving—Net carbs: 0.4g; Protein: 1.6g; Fiber: 0.4g; Fat: 1.g; Cal: 20
Total weight: 12¼ ounces or 348 grams
Weight per serving: ¾ ounce or 22 grams
Preparation time: 15 minutes active; 25 minutes total plus setting time.

Notes: 
You may use only high intensity sweetener to make marshmallows if you choose, but the small amount of bulk sweetener, such as erythritol, xylitol, Sweet Perfection, or a stevia blend will give a texture more like marshmallows made with regular sugar. Plain ones (without raspberries or coconut) melt beautifully in a cup of hot cocoa. Without the bulk sweetener, they melt more quickly.

To make Plain Marshmallows:
Leave out the raspberries and roll squares in bulk sweetener without coconut.

Don’t use pasteurized eggs in the shell for whipping. They have been heated too much to beat up properly. If you are concerned about safety, you can use reconstituted powdered egg whites.

*Granular Splenda is a high-intensity sweetener because it dissolves and has no bulk when it gets wet. It can be used for the coating in this recipe because it is not mixed with a liquid.

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(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SECOND CHANCE IF YOU MISSED THE 3 DOLLAR LOW-CARB AND KETO BOOK SALE!


My book, Nourished; a Cookbook for Health, Weight Loss, and Metabolic Balance has again been included in a special one-day sale of low carb and keto books on Amazon. On May 20, 2015, the Kindle versions of all 9 books listed below will be just $2.99! (The regular price for Nourished on Kindle is $9.99.) New authors and new books have been added for this sale!

Click titles to see books on Amazon.






More information and sign up for future events here: bit.ly/3dollarbooks

(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

BEYOND HAMBURGERS: 15 LOW CARB GROUND BEEF RECIPES

Grass-fed ground beef is available at some of my local stores now, but grass-fed roasts, chops, and steaks are harder to find. One butcher told me he quit ordering the more expensive cuts because they didn't sell fast enough and he always had to mark them down. I have to admit, the prices are a deterrent for me too. As a result, ground beef has become a staple in my diet and I'm always looking for new ways to cook it. Here are some of the best recipes I have found to keep it interesting. There is a whole world beyond hamburgers!

1. Brie and Caramelized Onion Stuffed Burgers from All Day I Dream about Food: http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2012/11/brie-and-caramelized-onion-stuffed-burgers.html




3. Beef-a-Roni from Maria’s Mind, Body, Health: http://mariamindbodyhealth.com/beef-a-roni/


4. Show Cooker Moroccan Beef from Maria’s Mind, Body, Health: http://mariamindbodyhealth.com/easy-slow-cooker-moroccan-beef/


5. Sloppy Joe Stuffed Peppers from Carb Wars: http://carbwars.blogspot.com/2011/09/sloppy-joe-stuffed-peppers.html




8. Magic Meat Muffins from The Nourished Caveman:  http://thenourishedcaveman.com/vivicas-magic-meat-muffins/


9. Paleo Greek Meatballs aka Soutzoukakia from Keto Diet App: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/post/2014/05/28/Paleo-Greek-Meatballs-aka-Soutzoukakia




11. Tasty Feta Burgers from Low Carb So Simple: http://www.lowcarbsosimple.com/tasty-feta-burgers/


12. Meatloaf Pate’ from the Nourished Caveman: http://thenourishedcaveman.com/hello-world/


13. Meatloaf in a Mug from Low Carb So simple: http://www.lowcarbsosimple.com/meatloaf-in-a-mug-two-variations/



14. Salsa Chili from Carb Wars:  http://carbwars.blogspot.com/2014/08/salsa-chili.html  


15. Italian Skillet Helper from Fluffy Chix: http://fluffychixcook.com/italian-skillet-helper-low-carb-keto-gluten-free/   


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(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com

Friday, May 8, 2015

LAST DAY FOR COMMENTS ON THE 2015 DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR AMERICANS!



The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans committee is accepting public comments until the end of the day today, May 8th. I will put the link to the comment form at the end of this post. Here is what I'm sending:

    Americans are eating 30% more calories than we did 30 years ago when our government and health agencies first recommended that we cut down on fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol and eat more carbohydrates, especially fruits, vegetables, and grains. A recent analysis of the government’s own data on food consumption reveals that we did just what we were told to do. Fat consumption is down by 25%; carbs are up by 30%, and saturated fat is down by 20%. The percentage of overweight adults has increased from 42% to 66% since 1971. (http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007%2815%2900077-5/fulltext). These dramatic shifts in the macronutrient composition of the American diet coincided with the rise in our multiple epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes, the predictable outcome of increased carbohydrate consumption and reduced intake of natural fats. (Carbs stimulate the release of insulin, the fat storage hormone; insulin increases hunger.)

    A low-carbohydrate/high fat diet resets the body’s metabolism to burn fat for energy instead of burning sugar and storing fat, a state called ketosis. Following such a plan for three weeks will allow you to be satisfied on one meal a day with no hunger or deprivation. Think of the implications! How much time and energy would be saved if we prepared food once a day rather than three, four, or more times? How much less waste and garbage would we make? How much less fuel would we use for shopping and cooking and how much less would be needed for growing, transporting, processing, and packaging our food? How much less fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, and greenhouse gas would go into the environment? How much less water would be needed and how many fewer rain forests and grasslands would be destroyed to make room for more and more mono-crops to feed our burgeoning population and obese bodies? If a ketogenic, one-meal-a-day diet catches on, it would have the same effect as cutting the world's current number of mouths to be fed from 7 billion to 2½ billion. It could save, not just the lives and health of millions of people, but our very planet.
   
You will have only 20 minutes to finish your comment, so have it written out and ready to paste. You also need a short summary. The link is here:  http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2015/comments/writeComments.aspx

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(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com




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