Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Brunch Green Bean Salad with Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs

Brunch Green Bean Salad with Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs
Right now, I’m harvesting a lot of green beans from my garden and am always trying to come up with delicious and varied ways to enjoy them. This breakfast or brunch salad is a great way to start the day! The addition of soft-boiled eggs puts this dish over the top, in my opinion. The tender-crisp green beans and creamy eggs topped with a sweet and sour dressing and crispy bacon go so well together. The method of boiling the green beans and eggs together in the same pot is a clever one, making this a very quick and easy meal. It makes two servings, but can be either halved to serve one or doubled and tripled to serve many.

Brunch Green Bean Salad with Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs
Makes 2 servings

4 white button mushrooms, sliced
4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons onion, minced
1-1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon granulated erythritol, or to taste
Salt and black pepper to taste
1-1/2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed
4 eggs, room temperature 

1. Fill a large saucepan or pot 1/2 to 3/4 full of water (enough water to cover the eggs completely as they boil). Add salt and bring to a boil over medium to high heat.

2. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in a small dry skillet over medium heat until they release their moisture, about 3 minutes. Remove the mushrooms to a plate and set aside. In the same skillet, sauté the bacon until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels; set aside.

3. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings in the skillet. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the vinegar, thyme, sweetener, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Return the mushrooms to the skillet and stir to combine. Keep the dressing warm while the green beans and eggs are cooking.

4. Drop the green beans into the salted, boiling water and set a timer for exactly 8 minutes. At the 5-1/2 minute mark, add the eggs and continue boiling. Drain and rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking. Set the eggs aside in cold water while you pat dry the green beans with a paper towel and divide them evenly between two serving dishes. Toss each serving with 1/2 of the warm dressing and top each portion with crumbled bacon. Carefully peel the eggs, placing two in each serving dish. Cut the eggs in half and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information per serving (1/2 recipe): 277 calories, 10.8 g carbohydrates (3.5 g dietary fiber, 2.6 g sugars, 1 g sugar alcohols), 17 g total fat (5.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 391 mg cholesterol, 506 mg sodium, 107.2 mg calcium, 453 mg potassium, 3 mg iron, 364 ug Vit A, 10 mg Vit C, 21.4 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 6.5 grams

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

Friday, July 17, 2020

40 Second Keto Lemon Cupcakes

40 Second Keto Lemon Cupcakes
You don’t have to wait for a special occasion or dirty the entire kitchen to enjoy a few cupcakes! These light and delicious cupcakes bake in the microwave in about 40 seconds. Normally, I don’t think about the microwave when I want to bake a cake, but I have found that keto mug cakes made in a microwave rise beautifully and have a light, tender crumb. Just be sure you don’t overcook them or they can become tough. Silicone cupcake liners are microwave-safe, come in a variety of fun colors, are non-stick and hold their shape during cooking, so that’s what I use. (You can use paper liners, but you’ll need to support them in a microwave-safe cup so the cupcakes retain their shape during the cooking process. If you decide to use paper liners, make sure there is no metal in the liner or its printed design.) This quick recipe makes only three cupcakes, which is just enough to share with one or two friends. There’s no reason not to have a little party tonight!

40 Second Keto Lemon Cupcakes
Makes 3 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
1/4 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons coconut flour
1 tablespoon granulated erythritol sweetener
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon lemon juice (or almond milk)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (or 1-2 drops of food grade lemon essential oil)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 drops monkfruit extract (or liquid stevia)
1 teaspoon melted butter or ghee

Lemon Cream Frosting:
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces plain mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup powdered erythritol sweetener 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract, to taste
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream

Sugar free sprinkles (optional)

1. In a small bowl, combine the first five dry ingredients (almond flour through salt) with a fork until thoroughly mixed; set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, lemon juice or almond milk, lemon zest, vanilla extract, monkfruit extract or stevia and melted butter.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined. Divide the batter equally among three silicone cupcake liners (or small greased ramekins). Microwave on high for 35-40 seconds or until the cakes have risen, look dry and the tops spring back when lightly touched in the center. Do not overcook! (Note: Cooking time may vary depending on the wattage of your microwave. Instructions for baking in the oven are provided below.*) Remove the cupcakes from the microwave and cool on a wire rack completely while you make the frosting.

4. To make the frosting: Whip together the room temperature cream cheese, butter and mascarpone cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sweetener, extracts and beat until combined. Add the heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, until your frosting reaches the desired consistency. Taste and adjust sweetness to your liking. If desired, spoon the frosting into a piping bag with a decorating tip and frost your cupcakes or spread about 3 tablespoons of frosting onto each cupcake.

5. This frosting recipe yields more than you will need for 3 cupcakes, which allows for dividing into batches and coloring each differently using gel food colors (as shown). Store any leftover frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator and save for another use. It will keep well for 4-5 days. Bring to room temperature and rewhip if needed to restore spreading consistency. 

*To bake the cupcakes in the oven, bake in a preheated 325 degree F oven for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested and the tops spring back when lightly touched near the center.

40 Second Keto Cupcakes
Nutritional Information per 1 cupcake with 3 TB frosting: 210 calories, 5 g total carbohydrates (1 g dietary fiber, 0.4 g sugars, 2.7 g sugar alcohols), 20.3 g total fat (.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 77 mg cholesterol, 278 mg sodium, 217.8 mg calcium, 19 mg potassium, 97 ug Vit A, 2 mg Vit C, 3.6 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 2 grams

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