Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Low (er) carb baking tips

My favorite lower carb baking tips:

1. Use almond meal instead of flour when baking sweet items.

2. Find a gluten-free flour mix for baking--use in place of flour or mix with almond meal and even ratios (works great with cookies!)

3. Cut down on the sugar--you can easily lose half the sugar in a recipe and not miss it. For example, if a cookie recipe calls for 1 c. white sugar and 3/4 brown sugar, I make it 1/2 c. white and 1/3 c. brown. I usually never miss the extra sweetness.

4. Use rice or other types of pasta when cooking. There are lots of no-flour pastas that taste great on the market.

5. Don't use flour to thicken sauces. Use arrowroot or gluten-free flour blends.

6. Make your own almond mean/flour by buying bulk almonds and grinding in a food processor until very fine--but be careful not to over grind or you'll end up with almond butter!

Yummy Crispy Kale Chips Recipe

How to make crunchy, salty kale chips in just minutes!

This recipe is super easy and will satisfy your need for crunch, oil and salt!

1 bag of washed kale
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Put the kale into a large bowl. Break up large pieces and remove stems, if needed.
Drizzle with the olive oil and toss well to coat each piece. Lay the kale out on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until kale is crisp, but not browned. Salt and sprinkle with cheese (if desired). Enjoy!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Healthy "Weight Loss Soup" Minestrone

SEE VIDEO RECIPE AT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D39P39lLQCM
  • 1 can cannelini beans or white kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil , plus extra for serving*
  • 1 strip bacon or pancetta , cut into 1/4-inch pieces (see note)*
  • 4 medium celery ribs , cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 medium yellow onion , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 small head green cabbage , halved, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • cups water
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup  V8 juice
  • 1 TBSP. chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Ground black pepper / salt
  • Grated Parmesan cheese , for serving*
*Items marked with an asterisk are for the Not-so-weight-loss soup version
  • 1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add celery, carrot, onions, and zucchini; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 5 to 9 minutes. Stir in garlic, cabbage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes; continue to cook until cabbage starts to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  • 2. Add drained beans, water, broth and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and vigorously simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are fully tender and liquid begins to thicken, 45 to 60 minutes.
  • 3. Add V8 juice to pot; cook until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with chopped basil on top.

    *For "Not-so-weight-loss verions, brown bacon in Dutch oven, then add oil and vegetable (step 1). When soup is finished, serve with a drizzle of olive oil and grated Parmesan on top.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Easy, Cheesy (Nearly) No Carb Lasagna!

    Amazing (Almost) No-Carb Lasagna!

    *This makes enough for 2 individual portions or small pan. To make more, just increase ingredients.

    1 half yellow onion, diced

    3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

    1/2 lb. mild italian sausage

    1 can 28.oz crushed tomatoes

    1 cup ricotta

    fresh mozzerella

    3/4 c. shredded parmesan

    2 eggs

    1 tbsp. cream or mil

    salt and pepper

    1 tsp. dried oregano

    1 tsp. dried basil

    1/2 c. olive oil

    1/2 c red wine

    fresh basil

    First, heat olive oil in large, heavy saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook 4-5 minutes until soft.

    Add sausage broken into pieces and brown several minutes. Stir and break up sausage with spoon as it cooks.

    When sausage is browned, add red wine to deglaze pan. Add can of tomatoes and stir. Season with 1/2 tsp. oregano, basil and s/p. Cover and cook sauce another 30 minutes on medium heat.

    While sauce cooks, prepare your egg crepe "noodles:"

    Add two eggs, cream and s/p to a pourable mixing cup. Whisk until fluffy. Spray non-stick skillet with oil and heat.
    Pour a small amount (about 1/4 c.) of egg mixture to skillet and swirl to coat bottom of pan evenly. Cook 3-4 minutes, then loosen and flip. Cook another minute and remove from heat. Prepare more crepe noodles. Set them aside.

    When sauce has cooked at least 30 minutes, you are ready to assemble your lasagna. Mix ricotta with 1/4 tsp. oregano and salt and pepper.

    Put a little olive oil (about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp) in the bottom or your lasagna pan (s). Add a little sauce--just enough to cover bottom of pan. Lay down your first egg crepe. (You may need to half or trim crepes to fit your pan.) Add more sauce, dollops of ricotta and thinly sliced mozzerella to cover layer.

    Continue to add crepe, sauce, cheese until finished. Top with shredded parmesan.

    Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes or until your lasagna is bubbling and top is lightly golden brown.

    IMPORTANT: Let sit for at least 20-30 minutes before serving.

    Top with springs of fresh basil, if desired. Serve. You'll never miss the noodles with this rich and tasty dish!

    Get your kids to eat greens with this all-in-one smoothie!

    Best All-in-One Smoothie: Fruit, Fiber, Greens

    All-in-One Smoothie...Fiber, Greens, Fruit and tons of healthy nutrients (Dr. Oz approved!)


    These will make two 8 oz. smoothies.

    1 banana, peeled
    1 orange, peeled (two if small)
    1 c. frozen fruit (cherries work great)
    2 cans pineapple juice
    1/2 c. POM
    1 tsp. Benefiber
    1 scoop Red Drink Powder*
    1 scoop Green Drink Powder
    1 handful of kale or spinach, washed and stems removed

    Add all + 1/2 cup of ice to blender and blend very well. Serve and enjoy!
    *Drink powders are available at Trader Joe's.