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.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Chaffle Cake

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Chaffle Cake
Wherever you go at this time of year, you’ll see boxes of Peppermint Bark candy. The combination of chocolate, vanilla or white chocolate with peppermint is a classic holiday treat. This low carb chaffle cake will definitely please anyone who loves this flavor combo. The sugar free peppermint candy sprinkled on top of the finished cake gives it a festive look. This triple-layer, mini cake is perfect for sharing a bit of Christmas cheer with your best friend!

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Chaffle Cake
Makes 2 servings

Chaffle Ingredients:
1 large egg, room temperature
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened (or substitute sour cream)
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder, unsweetened
2 tablespoons almond flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons monkfruit-erythritol sweetener, granulated
1/8 teaspoon instant coffee powder (optional)
8 drops monkfruit extract (or add another teaspoon of granulated sweetener)
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1 teaspoon water

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
1 ounce cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons powdered erythritol sweetener
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (plus more, if needed)

Chocolate Peppermint Ganache: (see *Note)
4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar free dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
Additional heavy cream, if needed

1 teaspoon sugar free peppermint candy, crushed into small pieces

1. Preheat a mini waffle maker. (If using a larger waffle maker, you will need to double or triple this recipe.)

2. Mix together all of the chaffle ingredients and whisk until a smooth batter forms. Divide the mixture into thirds and spoon about 3-4 tablespoons of the batter onto the heated waffle maker. Close the lid and cook for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Remove chaffle to a wire rack to cool completely while you make two more chaffles. (This recipe makes 3 mini waffles.)

3. To make the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, whip together the softened cream cheese and butter using a handheld or standing mixer until well combined. Beat in the sweetener and vanilla extract, then add the heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until a spreadable consistency is achieved. 

4. To make the Chocolate Peppermint Ganache, heat the heavy whipping cream in a small bowl and microwave in 15 second intervals until the cream is very hot and beginning to bubble around the edges. (You can also heat the cream in a small saucepan on the stove.) Add the chocolate chips and allow to sit for 5-8 minutes until the chocolate has melted, then whisk until smooth. Add the peppermint extract and stir to combine. If your ganache is too thick, add 1-2 teaspoons of hot cream and whisk until it is pourable. If needed, you can reheat for 6-8 seconds in the microwave, but do not allow the mixture to boil.

5. To assemble cake: Place one chaffle onto a plate, spread with about 1/3 of the buttercream frosting and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of ganache. Top with a second layer and spread with frosting and drizzle with ganache. Finally, add the last layer, spread with the remaining frosting and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of ganache and sprinkle the top with 1 teaspoon of crushed sugar free peppermint candy. 

6. The cake can be served immediately or cover in an airtight container and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

*Note: This recipe for ganache makes more than you will need, so set the remaining aside for another use. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Gently reheat in the microwave for about 10 seconds.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Nutritional Information per 1/2 cake: 446 calories, 6.9 g carbohydrates (2.4 g dietary fiber, 1.1 g sugars), 44.4 g total fat (25 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 214 mg cholesterol, 209 mg sodium, 75 mg calcium, 43 mg potassium, 411 mg Vit A, 2 g iron, 7.7 g protein. Net carb per serving: 4.5 grams

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