Sunday, February 16, 2020

Keto French Toast Chaffle Breakfast Sandwich (or Monte Cristo!)

Keto French Toast Chaffle Breakfast Sandwich
As I do often, I woke up in the middle of the night but, instead of turning over and going right back to sleep, I started thinking. I had seen a video going around on Facebook using this cooking technique for making a french toast sandwich, so I thought “Why can’t I do that with chaffles?” The excitement of this idea took over my mind and I didn’t go back to sleep for hours! When morning arrived, I leapt out of bed and ran down to the kitchen to try out this recipe. It was worth the poor night’s sleep!! This breakfast sandwich is SO GOOD and, when drizzled with a little sugar free syrup, it tastes like a Monte Cristo! For greater convenience, it’s a good idea to make your White Bread Chaffles ahead of time. (I triple or quadruple the recipe and make a batch of 6-8 at a time; they keep well in the refrigerator and are always available as a bread or hamburger bun substitute whenever you need them.)

Click on the YouTube video to see how to make this amazing breakfast sandwich:

Keto French Toast Chaffle Breakfast Sandwich (or Monte Cristo!)
Makes 1 sandwich

White Bread Chaffle Ingredients:
1 egg (or two egg whites)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise, sour cream or ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon almond flour (or coconut flour)
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon water

Other Ingredients for Sandwich:
2 eggs, beaten
A pinch of salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon almond milk
1 ounce cheese of choice, sliced
2 pieces of bacon, cooked and halved
Sugar free syrup (optional)

1. First, make the chaffles by whisking the chaffle ingredients together. Divide the batter and spoon 3-4 tablespoons onto a hot, preheated mini waffle maker, close the lid and cook for at least 4 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and repeat with the remaining batter. This recipe makes 2 chaffles.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together the 2 eggs, salt, pepper and teaspoon of almond milk; set aside. Have the sliced cheese and bacon ready to go.

3. Melt some coconut oil or butter in a 10” non-stick skillet. Place over medium-low heat and add the whisked eggs. Dip the smooth side of one chaffle into the egg, turn over and place the egg-covered chaffle on one side of the skillet in the egg mixture (if your chaffle has a rough side, make sure it is up). Repeat with second chaffle and place in the egg mixture next to the first chaffle. You want the two chaffles in a line, in the center of the egg mixture. While on medium-low, cover and cook for a couple of minutes until the egg is just set.

4. As a whole unit, turn the chaffles and egg circle over to cook the second side. Top chaffles with slices of cheese and bacon. Fold the egg “wings” into the center over the chaffles and filling. Carefully, fold one chaffle to rest on top of the other chaffle (like a book with filling). Allow the chaffle on the bottom to continue cooking until nicely browned. Flip over to the second side to brown.

5. Remove sandwich to a serving plate and drizzle with sugar free syrup, if desired. Eat with a fork and enjoy!

Keto Monte Cristo Breakfast Sandwich
Nutritional Information: 546 calories, 3 g carbohydrates (0.8 g dietary fiber, 0.8 g sugars), 43.9 g total fat (14.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 612 mg cholesterol, 912 mg sodium, 341 mg calcium, 354 mg potassium, 3 mg iron, 335 mg Vit A, 33.6 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 2.2 grams

Photos, video and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2020
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Keto Apple Fritter Chaffles

Keto Apple Fritter Chaffles
I love apples, but avoid eating them because of their high carbohydrate and sugar content. I have discovered the PERFECT apple substitute: Chayote Squash! Chayote squash is bland, it has almost no flavor on its own, but its texture and the way it softens as it cooks makes it an excellent, low carb replacement for apples in recipes. I promise, you will not be able to guess that these “apple” fritters are not made from real apples! The trick is giving the squash the flavor of apples by cooking them in apple pie spices, adding lemon juice for tartness and, most importantly, adding apple extract for flavoring. I use Capella Double Apple flavoring, which I purchased online (click here to view). Only a few drops is needed to give the squash their realistic apple taste. The other thing I love about this recipe is its generous portion size! Enjoy these “apple” fritters for breakfast or dessert. I guarantee you’ll want to have them often and, with such a low carb count per serving, you can!!

Keto “Apple” Fritter Chaffles with Glaze
Makes one serving (3 chaffles)

“Apple” Fritter Filling (make first):
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups chayote squash, peeled and diced into small pieces (2 squashes)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons golden (brown) erythritol (I used LaKanto Golden Monkfruit Sweetener)
8 drops monkfruit extract or stevia, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice blend
1/4 teaspoon apple flavoring or extract, or to taste

Chaffle Ingredients:
1 large egg
1 tablespoon mayonnaise or sour cream
1 tablespoon almond flour
1 teaspoon coconut flour
1 teaspoon golden (brown) erythritol sweetener
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract (or cake batter extract)
1/3 cup prepared “apple” fritter filling (see directions below), finely diced

Glaze Ingredients:
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons powdered erythritol sweetener

1. Prepare the “apple” fritter filling first, before mixing the chaffle ingredients. Peel, de-seed and dice the chayote squash into small pieces, as you would an apple. In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and add the diced squash, lemon juice, golden erythritol sweetener, monkfruit extract or stevia, apple pie spice and apple flavoring. Cover and simmer gently over low to medium heat for about 20 minutes, until tender and soft. Stir occasionally and, if needed, add a tablespoon of water so the mixture doesn’t dry out or burn. When soft, taste and adjust sweetening and spices to your liking. It should taste like cooked apples! Note: This recipe will make more than you need for one serving. Set aside 1/3 cup for chaffles and, when cooled, store the remainder of the filling in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another time or serve over keto vanilla ice cream.

chayote squash
2. To make the chaffles, preheat a 4” mini waffle maker. In a medium bowl, whisk together the chaffle ingredients, except the filling. If needed, use a potato masher to finely dice the 1/3 cup “apple” fritter filling before adding it to the batter; for even cooking, you don’t want the “apple” pieces to be too big. Whisk the filling into the batter until well combined.

3. Divide the batter into thirds. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of the batter onto the preheated waffle maker and spread around so the “apples” are evenly distributed. Close the lid and cook for at least 4 minutes or until the fritter is nicely browned. Remove to a wire rack and repeat with remaining batter to make two more chaffles (this recipe makes 3 chaffles).

4. While the chaffles are cooking, make the glaze. Whisk together the melted butter, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Add the powdered erythritol and whisk until smooth.

5. Drizzle glaze over chaffles before serving. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information per 3 chaffles with glaze: 407 calories, 6.7 g carbohydrates (3 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugars, 0.7 g sugar alcohols), 40 g total fat (16.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 252 mg cholesterol, 325 mg sodium, 103.2 mg calcium, 190 mg potassium, 2 mg iron, 291 mg Vit A, 6 mg Vit C, 8.9 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 3.7 grams

Photos and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2020
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Low Carb Dark Chocolate Pudding

Low Carb Dark Chocolate Pudding
The other day I made a recipe that called for only egg what to do with the yolks? Make homemade pudding! This chocolate pudding is smooth, creamy and comfort food at its most delicious. The addition of both cocoa powder and chopped chocolate makes it extra rich and dark, just the way I like it. It keeps well in the refrigerator for many days, so I can spoon up a chocolate hug anytime!

Low Carb Dark Chocolate Pudding
Makes 6 servings

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup almond or coconut milk, unsweetened
A pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon instant coffee granules or powder
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup powdered erythritol sweetener (confectioners)
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder, unsweetened 
2 ounces sugar free chocolate, chopped (a bar or chocolate chips)
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon chocolate extract (omit if you don’t have any)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon monkfruit extract or stevia glycerite, or to taste
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum

1. Put the heavy cream and almond or coconut milk into a medium saucepan. Add the salt and coffee granules and whisk. Place over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer and you see bubbles around the edges. Reduce heat to medium-low or low.

2. Meanwhile, while the cream mixture is heating, whisk together the egg yolks and powdered sweetener in a glass measuring cup or heat-proof bowl until well combined and light in color.

3. Slowly whisk in about 2/3 cup of the hot cream mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly, until well combined. Slowly whisk the tempered egg back into the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Continue to cook and stir the custard over low to medium-low heat until the pudding thickens and coats the back of a spoon, but do not boil.

4. Remove pudding from the heat and add the cocoa powder and chopped chocolate, stir until chocolate is melted and pudding is smooth. Add the butter, extracts and monkfruit or stevia sweetener. Stir until well combined. While whisking vigorously, sprinkle the xanthan gum onto the hot pudding and whisk until smooth and thickened (the pudding will thicken further in the refrigerator). Taste and adjust sweetening, if desired.

5. Allow the pudding to cool in the saucepan for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon the pudding into individual serving dishes (or pour into a medium bowl) and refrigerate until set, for several hours. To prevent a skin from forming on the top of the pudding, place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding while it’s cooling.) Serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if desired.

Nutritional Information per 1/2 cup: 216 calories, 4 g carbohydrates (1.1 g dietary fiber, 0.2 g sugars), 23 g total fat (12.6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 160 mg cholesterol, 95 mg sodium, 91.5 mg calcium, 57 mg potassium, 232 mg Vit A, 3.2 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 2.9 grams

Photo and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2020
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Quick and Easy Mashed Cauliflower

Quick and Easy Mashed Cauliflower
Since I cook almost every meal from scratch, I’m always looking for dishes that are convenient and simple to make. This quick mashed cauliflower recipe takes only about 10 minutes from start to finish and is the best low carb substitute for mashed potatoes that I know. I’ve posted a Perfect Mashed Faux-tato recipe in the past, but that one requires cutting up and steaming a fresh head of cauliflower. This easier recipe calls for a bag of frozen riced cauliflower instead, so most of the work is already done! The best part is that both recipes taste exactly the same. From now on, when I only need a few servings of this favorite low carb side dish to go with turkey, a pot roast or to make “potato” pancakes, this will be the one!

Quick and Easy Mashed Cauliflower
Makes 4 servings (1/2 cup each)

One (10 ounce) bag of frozen riced cauliflower (I used Green Giant)*
3 tablespoons butter, cubed
1 1/2 ounce cheddar cheese, cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Pour the frozen riced cauliflower into a skillet, cover and heat over low to medium heat until the cauliflower is thawed completely. Remove lid and continue to heat, stirring occasionally, until all visible liquid has evaporated. 

2. Transfer the heated cauliflower to a food processor. Add the cubed butter and cheese and process on low until the butter and cheese has melted and is incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste and process on high until the mashed cauliflower has reached the consistency you desire.

3. This can be rewarmed and served right away or can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to several days.

*Note: You may ask why I don’t just buy the premade mashed cauliflower available in the frozen section of the grocery store. The reason is because the company adds milk, skim milk and modified rice starch, all of which adds carbs and sugars to the finished product. For comparison, one 1/2 cup serving of the premade frozen mashed cauliflower is 7 total carbs per serving (or 5 net carbs) with 3 g of sugar!! My recipe is only 3.4 total carbs or 1.7 net carbs per serving. This recipe is truly low carb/keto, while the premade product is not.

Nutritional Information per 1/2 cup serving: 135 calories, 3.4 g carbohydrate (1.7 g dietary fiber, 1.7 g sugars), 12 g total fat (2.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 34 mg cholesterol, 437 mg sodium, 94.9 mg calcium, 4 mg potassium, 114 mg Vit A, 35 mg Vit C, 4.4 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 1.7 grams

Photo and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2020
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Monday, January 13, 2020

Low Carb Peanut Butter Pudding

Low Carb Peanut Butter Pudding
When my daughter was little, she was known as “The Peanut Butter Girl.” One of her favorite desserts was homemade peanut butter pudding. She is celebrating her 31st birthday today and, instead of a cake, she requested peanut butter pudding for her special treat. So, I went to work and created this low carb, sugar free recipe that exactly matches the taste and texture she remembers. It would also be an excellent filling for a Peanut Butter Cream Pie. If you’re a peanut butter lover too, you can enjoy this creamy, delicious pudding without guilt while sticking to your low carb/keto diet!

Low Carb Peanut Butter Pudding
Makes 6 servings

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup powdered erythritol sweetener 
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup natural, creamy peanut butter, no sugar added
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
3-4 drops monkfruit extract or liquid stevia, if additional sweetness is needed
4-6 drops peanut butter flavoring (optional)

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine whipping cream and almond milk. Bring just to a simmer (you’ll see bubbles around the edges). In a medium bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk the egg yolks, sweetener and salt until well combined.

2. Using a ladle or gently pour about 3/4 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Then slowly pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan while whisking. Cook, while stirring, for 4-5 minutes until thickened and the pudding coats the back of a spoon.

3. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter and vanilla extract; whisk until the peanut butter melts and the mixture is smooth. While whisking vigorously, sprinkle the pudding with the xanthan gum until well distributed. Taste and, if additional sweetness is desired, add the monkfruit or stevia and stir to incorporate. Let the pudding sit in the pan to cool for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin forming on the top.

4. Divide the pudding among six dessert dishes or put into a glass container. If you don’t want a skin to form, place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding while cooling. Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2 hours.

Low Carb Peanut Butter Pudding served in a shot glass keto cookie
Nutritional Information per 1/2 cup serving: 240 calories, 5.3 g carbohydrate (1.4 g dietary fiber, 0.8 g sugars), 21.9 g total fat (7.1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 131 mg cholesterol, 93 mg sodium, 86 mg calcium, 11 mg potassium, 116 mg Vit A, 6.2 g protein. Net carb per serving: 3.9 grams

Photos and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2020
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Friday, January 10, 2020

Vanilla Creme Mini Donuts with Strawberry Vanilla Glaze

Vanilla Creme Mini Donuts with Strawberry Vanilla Glaze
I found adorable mini donut pans on sale at such a great price, I just had to buy two for my collection. Each cavity needs one tablespoon of batter, so a single recipe makes a lot of donuts. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, I thought tiny pink donuts would be festive and fun! The best part is that each mini donut is only 1 carb, so they make a great low carb treat anytime of day. (If you don’t have a mini donut pan, these work just as well in a regular size donut pan but extend the baking time to about 15 minutes.) To color and flavor the icing, I crushed no sugar added, freeze-dried strawberries into a powder. If additional coloring is needed, you’ll only need a drop or two of red food coloring (see the photo below for a brand of natural, vegetable-based food dye I use). The colorful sugar free sprinkles puts these little party poppers over the top!

Vanilla Creme Mini Donuts with Strawberry Vanilla Glaze
Makes 30 mini donuts or 8 regular-size donuts

Donut Ingredients:
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup granulated erythritol sweetener
2 tablespoons unflavored whey protein powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (or seeds scraped from one vanilla bean)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup almond or coconut milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze Ingredients:
2 ounces unsweetened cocoa butter (24 discs)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 ounce cream cheese (1 tablespoon)
A pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered erythritol
1 tablespoon no sugar added, freeze-dried strawberries, crushed into a fine powder
1-2 drops red food coloring, if needed to reach desired pink color

Sugar free sprinkles (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray each cavity of the donut baking pan with non-stick vegetable spray or grease with butter; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk or sift together the almond flour, erythritol, protein powder, baking powder, vanilla powder and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, yolks, heavy cream, almond or coconut milk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk well to combine.

3. Fill each donut cavity about 2/3 full. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the tops are just firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4. To make the glaze, place the heavy cream, cocoa butter, cream cheese and salt into a small saucepan and heat until just simmering. Remove from heat and allow the cocoa butter to melt and cream cheese to soften. (Alternately, you can microwave the mixture in a microwave-safe bowl in 15 second increments until cocoa butter is just melted.) Whisk until smooth. Add vanilla extract, powdered erythritol and strawberry powder and stir to combine. If desired, you can add 1-2 drops of red food coloring until you’re satisfied with the pink color. (The glaze will be thin, but will thicken up as it cools. To hasten the process, place glaze in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes and whisk.)

5. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the glaze. Place the glazed donuts on a wire rack over a cookie sheet to catch any drips. While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle with sugar free sprinkles, if desired. Cool until the glaze is set.

Some Unusual Ingredients for Donuts
Nutritional information per mini donut with glaze (based on the recipe making 30 mini donuts): 62 calories, 1 g carbohydrate (0.4 g dietary fiber, 0.2 g sugars), 5.9 g total fat (2.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 25 mg sodium, 37.2 mg calcium, 5 mg potassium, 26 mg Vit A, 1.5 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 0.6 grams

Photos and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2020
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Low Carb Christmas Eve Potato Soup (Made with cauliflower, but you’d never know it!)

Low Carb Christmas Eve Potato Soup
It has been a tradition since I was a child to enjoy a particular heirloom recipe at this time of year, taught to me by my grandmother and simply known as Christmas Eve Potato Soup. Because it is only made once a year, it has remained a family favorite through several generations that is anticipated with joy and excitement, just like Santa Claus. It just wouldn’t be Christmas at my house without it! I have tried many times to reduce the carbs in this special recipe by substituting the potatoes with white beans, turnips or daikon radishes, but the result was always a bit disappointing...until now!! I was going to make the soup with fresh cauliflower florets this year, but then it occurred to me that frozen cauliflower already has been blanched, so it would impart a milder flavor. It turned out to be the perfect potato substitute! I chose frozen riced cauliflower and puréed it with the broth prior to adding it to the soup. Combined with the other ingredients, this low carb version is a winner in every way! Both my husband and daughter agree that it tastes just like the real thing. The best part? It only has 9 net carbs for a generous 2 cup serving! (Compared to the traditional recipe which has over 45 carbs for a smaller serving, it’s quite a reduction.) From now on, this low carb version will have a place of honor on my Christmas Eve dinner table!

Low Carb Christmas Eve Potato Soup (made with cauliflower)
Makes 4 servings

4 slices of bacon, diced
2 trimmed leeks, sliced into half moons
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cups frozen riced cauliflower, thawed
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 beaten egg yolks
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon chopped parsley as a garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large heavy pot, sauté the bacon until beginning to brown and crisp. Add the onion and leeks and continue to sauté for 5 minutes.

2. Purée the broth with the thawed riced cauliflower in a blender until smooth. Add the purée to the leek mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Sprinkle with the xanthan gum while whisking continuously to thicken slightly. Remove from heat.

4. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks with the sour cream. Spoon a ladle of the hot soup into the egg/sour cream mixture to temper and thin the egg mixture, then slowly add the egg mixture to the soup, stirring constantly until well incorporated. Return soup to the heat and gently simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

NOTES: This soup is actually better the second day, so feel free to make it ahead and reheat before serving. If you need to reduce sodium in your diet, you can use low sodium chicken broth in place of regular.

Nutritional Information per serving (about 2 cups): 250 calories, 11.3 g carbohydrate (2.3 g dietary fiber, 3.9 g sugars), 17.3 g total fat (9.5 g saturated fat), 140 mg cholesterol, 770 mg sodium, 108 mg calcium, 195 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 259 mg Vit A, 35 mg Vit C, 12.2 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 9 grams

Photo and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2019
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.