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Quick n fluffy 48 calorie chocolate shake

18 Aug

Craving a chocolate shake but don’t have any gelatin prepared in advance?  I’ve perfected the art of “quick setting” gelatin in a shake using ice and a blender!   I daresay it’s better than the original recipe, but it’s also lighter and fluffier- if you’re craving something more substantial check out the original gelatin shake recipe.

The shake I made in the demonstration video was absolutely perfect!  It takes a bit of tweaking to get it just right- too much gelatin, you’ll get fluffy mousse that’s delicious but has to be eaten with a spoon, too little, your shake will be runny, too much ice and you’ll have more of a slushie than a shake.  Also- my experience adding fats (avocado/ almond milk) has not been good, as these seem to “un-fluffy” the “fluffyness.”

Fluffy Chocolate Shake
Raspberry & Coconut
48 calories / 0.7 g fat/ 3.5 carbs/ 1.8 fiber/ 7.1 protein

  • water*
  • 1 T. gelatin
  • ice
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • generous pinch of salt
  • stevia
  • 1 t. vanilla

*let the gelatin “flower” in 2/3 c. water before microwaving 30-45 seconds.  Add the rest after pouring the mixture over ice, as demonstrated below.

Chocolate Pudding- made with gelatin

25 Jul

A few years ago, after diet number “who knows” battling the last 15 pounds of my 60+ weight loss, my hair was thinning and my nails were brittle.  Enter flavorless gelatin, derived from the collagen inside animals’ skin and bones.  (Macabre.  And I used to be a vegan.)  It has about 30 calories per tablespoon and is all protein, mainly glycine and proline.  Want to learn more about the health benefits of gelatin? Click HERE and HERE.

For starters, you can get the basic Knox brand from the store, but a much cheaper option is to order in bulk.  I’ve used NOW brand beef gelatin powder, which is about $25 for FIVE POUNDS (which lasts FOREVER) as well as Great Lakes brand, which is considerably more expensive but is a finer powder (which lends to slightly better gelling) and is from free-range cows (you can order porcine gelatin as well, but I haven’t yet tried this.)

I’ve experimented with using it to thicken soup, ice cream, smoothies, and to make my own “jigglers.”   Of all these methods, my favorite by far is “moo-sse.”  Seriously, I LOVE this stuff and eat it almost every day.  The gelatin keeps my nails and hair strong and shiny, and this fairly low-calorie dessert keeps me satisfied after dinner.  You get a HUGE serving for around 100 low-carb calories. Plus- there are INFINITE possibilities for mix-ins!  I’m sharing my recipe for basic chocolate pudding in this post, but STAY TUNED for many more, and please, feel free to share any combinations you dream up!

First, I’ll show you how to set the gelatin:

Basic gelatin prep:
Makes enough for about two servings of pudding

2 T Gelatin
4 c. Water

Measure 1 c. water into a microwave-safe container.  Sprinkle gelatin into the water and immediately whisk with a fork until combined.  Let the mixture sit undisturbed for about 8 minutes.  Pop the whole thing in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or until water is warm, almost hot, to the touch.**   Add the remaining 3 c. water and whisk until blended, cover, and refrigerate at least 8 hours.  This stuff will keep for awhile- I’ve never had any spoil on me.

**Note: If you have a fancy-schmancy microwave, it will take less time.  I have the cheapest one I could find- but I would imagine the longest you’d want to heat the water with any model would be about 1:15.  It’s important to get this “just right,” so I wouldn’t recommend doubling or halving the recipe.

On to the MOO-SSE (get it?!):

Chocolate Moo-sse

  • ~2 T Cocoa (I prefer Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • Liquid Stevia, to taste

Optional add-ins:

  • Almond or Coconut milk
  • Cayenne pepper (personal favorite!  You’ve gotta try it!)
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Maca powder
  • Avocado
  • A tiny bit of xanathan or guar gum to thicken and smooth
  • Cottage cheese (If you can tolerate dairy, I HIGHLY recommend this- it makes the pudding extra creamy)
  • A TBSP or two of heavy cream

Fauxarbucks Frappuccino

11 Jul

 

Giving up half and half in my coffee has to be the biggest sacrifice I’ve made for my health. It happens to be my kryptonite- while I’m sensitive to dairy in general, a little tummy upset isn’t enough to keep me away from ice cream on special occasions, but put a little half and half in my coffee and watch out- I’d bet my life on a giant pimple within 24 hours. I’ve yet to find a substitute for cream in hot coffee. SO SAD during the freezing winter months where I have to walk by a Crazy Mocha and smell freshly ground beans EVERY MORNING on my way to work. Coconut milk + hot coffee= oily, lumpy mess. But blended and chilled? Heaven.
Fauxarbucks Frappuccino
By Raspberry & Coconut

  • 1/2 – 1 whole can coconut milk
  • 1/2 pot leftover coffee

Optional add-ins:

  • Protein powder or BCAAs for a pre/post workout shake
  • Maca, cocoa powder, vanilla, or cinnamon to taste.
  • Stevia if extra sweetness is desired- I am a HUGE fan of stevia (NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia is my favorite so far) but I find the natural sweetness the coconut milk provides the perfect contrast to the bitterness of the coffee.

Directions

Open a can of coconut milk and pour into a mixing bowl.  Using a handheld mixer or whisk, beat the coconut milk until the solids and liquids are combined.  If you’re using some of the coconut milk for another recipe, measure it out and store it separately- it should keep for about a week and a half in the fridge.   Whisk in your coffee and desired add-ins until foamy.  Store in the fridge for up to a week and remember to shake it before you drink it!

Kombucha Brewin’

1 Jul

If you’ve never tried Kombucha you either live under a rock or you’re simply not as much of a health nut as I am. If you have, you’d remember- you either hate it or love it. I’m of the latter, but then again, I gobble up all sorts of things that make other people cringe- pickles, sauerkraut, vinegar, kimchi, sardines, and the like. I use my boyfriend as a “gauge” for what “normal” people like… and he’s spat out my Kombucha. It has a strong following among some who claim it is elixir of the gods: G.T. Dave, the guy who mass produces the stuff that sells for $3.50 a bottle at Whole Foods, claims it cured his mother’s cancer. It hasn’t cured me of anything, save my coffee addiction, but I really enjoy the taste, the fizzieness, and the energy it gives me before a workout.

Bottom line is that it’s not for everyone. By all means, buy a bottle or stop by and try some of mine before you brew your own. That being said, I get a new SCOBY “baby” with each batch and they’re always free to loving homes. Don’t be afraid to ask!

Here are some references if you want to read more about Kombucha:

Happy Herbalist’s more comprehensive brewing guide

Health benefits of kombucha

How to tell if your kombucha is moldy. (This is pretty rare).

My tea/juice/add-ins recipes are coming soon!

Part 1: The first ferment

Part 2: The second ferment

Homemade Mayonnaise

20 Jun

I rarely use mayo but wanted to make my dad’s favorite broccoli bacon salad (recipe coming shortly!) for our Fathers’ Day cookout.  I’ve never found a brand that doesn’t contain something nasty like canola or soybean oil, so I take the ten minutes to make my own, following this recipe from Alton Brown.  I save my bacon drippings for mayo- they keep forever in the fridge- a 1:1 ratio of melted bacon grease to macadamia oil is lovely.  The batch I made did thicken up in the fridge overnight, but it was more like thick hollandaise than Hellman’s.  On the flipside, you don’t want to use too much bacon grease because the mayo will be rock hard after refrigeration.

 

 

Homemade Mayonnaise
Adapted from Alton Brown

Ingredients

  • 1 raw egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup oil, (I prefer a 50/50 mix of melted bacon drippings and macadamia nut oil)

Directions

Continue whisking until all of the oil is incorporated. Leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours then refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Low-carb Zucchini “Noodles”

12 Jun

Sometimes a girl just wants a big ol plate of pasta.  If I correctly recall junior high nutrition class, a “serving size” of pasta is 1 cup.  According to nutritiondata.com, that measly cup of pasta is going to cost you 221 nutritionally void calories, 43 g. carbs, only 3 g. from fiber.  The half zucchini I used in my video gave me about 3c. “noodles” for 25 calories, 5g. carbs, 2g. fiber and an assortment of vitamins and minerals to soak up that delicious sauce.

If you’re a meatball lover like me you MUST invest in a spiralizer (see my Amazon store for the one I use).  Zucchini season is almost upon us, people!

As for the meat sauce, I cooked some ground beef and mushrooms in a skillet, added ~ 1/2 c. jarred pasta sauce, a small handful of fresh basil, and a sprig of thyme.  I let that simmer for ten minutes and then turned the heat down and tossed in my zucchini noodles, then let it heat up for another few minutes.  You don’t want to cook them too long, though- they will get soggy.

Cauliflower “Rice”

9 Jun

My sore throat is gone and my cough is clearing up, but whatever’s been festering inside of me has moved to my sinuses. The freezer is full to the brim with beef and chicken stew, thanks to my mom, who, in true Lutheran fashion, continues to make soup and brew multiple pots of coffee daily, even as temperatures climb into the ‘90s. I love soup but I need more volume to make my tummy happy, so I’m whipping up a batch of cauliflower rice today.

Some carb-phobic genius created this recipe back in the dark ages of Atkins, so I’m not sure to whom I owe credit. Cauliflower rice is a staple in my kitchen and can be used in place of rice in any recipe, as a base for curries, or enjoyed on its own with a pat of butter and some salt and pepper.

Cauliflower Rice
Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower
  • Fat: Lard, butter, ghee, coconut oil, or some mix of these.

Directions:
Grate cauliflower. Preheat skillet over medium-high and add fat to the pan. When fat is melted, spread it around and add the cauliflower. If you need a lot of “rice,” do this in multiple batches- you don’t want to have more than an inch of cauliflower in the pan; it will get soggy. After about a minute, toss the rice to coat it with fat. Let the cauliflower brown, tossing every 4 to 5 minutes. Serve hot.

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