Archive | November, 2012

Leg cramps?

18 Nov

I have heard from lots of people that they suffer from leg cramps when starting the low carb life.  Many times they are not getting enough salt and may be dehydrated.  Taking a multivitamin helps and again lots of water and salt.

All those years of being told too much salt is bad for you, now you NEED that salt.  Especially when first starting out. Here is a another great link from Livestrong.  Check it out for tips on leg cramps and what to do.

Take care of yourself-

18 Nov

Living the low carb life you will notice a few changes in your body. One thing many people complain of is constipation. Here is a great link from Livestrong that has some helpful tips.  I can’t stress enough how much water you should be drinking. It really helps. I always have a thermal mug of ice water with me.

Chicken Roll Ups low carb style..

12 Nov

As much as we all love chicken parmesan the breading is not compatible with low carb eating.
So this recipe puts lots of goodness inside the chicken breast. It really works but you must take care not to overcook the chicken.

Italian Chicken Roll Ups (for two)

2 large boneless chicken breasts (about 1 lb total)

1/2 C ricotta cheese

3 T fresh chopped parsley

1/2 C shredded parmesan cheese

1 C shredded mozzarella cheese

1 can petite cut tomatoes, drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare small baking pan with cooking spray.

Put chicken breasts in large zip lock baggie, flatten with meat mallet to 1/4″.

In medium bowl mix ricotta, parsley, parmesan and 1/2 C mozzarella cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.

Spread cheese mixture over each chicken breast.   Top this with 1/2 can tomatoes divided evenly over each chicken breast.  Carefully roll chicken and and set with seam down on baking pan.  Sprinkle shredded parmesan over each piece of chicken.  This forms a bit of a crust.

Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven, add remaining chopped tomatoes and remaining mozzarella. Check internal temp of chicken rolls. Bake for about 10 minutes more.  Done when internal temp of 165 is reached.  Watch this carefully or chicken will be very dry.

Slice each piece of chicken in half before serving.

Alternate options- Before spreading the cheese mixture on each chicken breast put a slice of prosciutto first. The saltiness of this would be great.  Or add chopped baby spinach to cheese mixture.

Green Salad every night

12 Nov

Doing the low carb thing almost requires a green salad every night.  The crunch, fiber and all the good stuff in greens are essential. Our dinner salads are quite large. In an effort to change things up I make varying types of fresh vinaigrettes.  They last about a week in the fridge.  Bring to room temperature before using.  Shake it up or whisk lightly and you are all set.

Lately I buy the greens already washed and ready to go in the plastic 5 oz recyclable containers.  Organic greens such as arugula, baby spinach and mixed greens are readily available.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 T Dijon mustard                                   

2 T balsamic vinegar

1 minced garlic clove

1/2 C olive oil

salt and pepper

Mix first three ingredients then slowly add olive oil whisking as you add the oil. This creates an emulsion. Salt and pepper to taste.  Salt the greens before dressing with the vinaigrette.  Shaved parmesan a nice touch.  Toasted pine nuts on top delicious!

Alternate ingredients-

Add 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon, use red wine vinegar in place of balsamic, add chopped shallots in place of garlic.  Or use fresh lemon juice in place of any vinegar to create a refreshing lemon vinaigrette and omit the garlic.

Winter has arrived and cookies in the oven..

12 Nov

A very chilly day here in Minnesota and our first snowflakes are flying around.  What could be better to help deal with reality of winter than the smell of gingersnaps baking in the oven.  I am not totally convinced about using sugar substitutes. There is no denying there is a cloying taste but until I find a better substitute I will just deal with it.  I love to bake and and a cookie and cup of coffee sometimes just essential.  Going back to using white sugar is just not happening so I am learning to adjust.

Low Carb Ginger Snaps                                    

1/4 C coconut flour

2 tsp ground ginger

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/2 C unsalted butter, softened

1 T shortening

1 C granulated Splenda

3 large eggs, room temp

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In small  bowl, mix together first 6 dry ingredients.  Set aside. In mixing bowl cream softened butter with shortening and splenda.  Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape sides of bowl.

Add dry ingredients slowly until combined and smooth.

Suggest putting in refrigerator for 30 minutes to help firm up the dough.  I made cookies immediately and the dough was a bit hard to work with.  Lightly flatten each cookie with the back of a spoon before baking. Bake on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I used a small scoop to form each cookie. Approximately 1 T each cookie.

Bake for 12 minutes for soft cookies, a bit longer if you want them harder.  Cool on rack, store in airtight container.

These are a very delicate light cookie.  Each cookie is around 2 g carb.

Tortilla soup with no tortillas?

8 Nov

This recipe is from Jean another of my resolute partners in exercise.  She is an amazing cook and is surrounded by low carb foodies, so today she came up with a great soup. Here is the recipe and the mouth watering picture she sent along.  An ideal way to use leftover roasted chicken.

Chicken Tortilla Soup without the Tortilla

Quoted from Jean: “I had chicken and I put it in chicken broth (the kind in the box).  Added a can of Rotel tomatoes* and heated it.  Added 1/4 avocado, diced and a little pepper jack cheese.  Would have added cilantro but I do not have any in the house and you could add sour cream.  Pretty yummy chicken tortilla soup without the tortilla.  Added a dash of fresh lime juice.

* Rotel Tomatoes-10 oz can has 2.5 servings and 5g carbs per serving with 1g fiber.  I do the net carb thing so that is 4 g carbs per serving.

Help with a name for this soup would be appreciated!

New twist on burgers

4 Nov

I posted a lamb burger recipe in the summer featuring feta cheese which is hard to beat.  The other night looking for a fresh take on burgers I found a recipe using a flavorful combination of spices.  The sauce is perfect with these burgers, it comes together in seconds in the blender.  We even dipped our veges in the sauce so we could get every drop.  This is a recipe I have adapted from Fine Cooking.

Middle Eastern Burgers                    

1 1/2 lbs ground lamb or turkey

2 cloves garlic, minced

kosher salt

1/4 C chopped fresh parsley

2 T olive oil

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

In large bowl break up ground meat and add all ingredients, mix well with a large fork.  Shape into 4 equal size patties.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.  (cover carefully with plastic wrap as these smell strongly or garlic!)  Grill until meat thermometer reads 165 degrees, let rest off the grill for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with Cucumber Dill Sauce

1/2 of English cucumber

8 oz sour cream

1 T olive oil

2 tsp fresh chopped dill

1 tsp fresh lemon juice, and some lemon zest

garlic optional

Put all ingredients in a blender for less than one minute. Cover and refrigerate for an hour to let flavor develop and it will thicken.  So delicious!

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