Tag Archives: mozzarella

The Windy City

30 Sep

This weekend I am in Chicago. Warm, sunny and 75 degrees just amazing fall weather. Travel and keeping low carb can be a bit of a trial, but I am getting the hang of it. I found a great breakfast spot called the Corner Bakery, sounds crazy for a low carb breakfast but if you can ignore all the muffins, coffee cake and bagels they make wonderful scrambled eggs and bacon. The Anaheim Scrambler with crisp applewood smoked bacon, tomatoes, green onions, and cheddar cheese, topped with avocado was a favorite.  Just ask them to hold the potatoes and toast. Ignore the funny looks and declarations that you will still need to pay for them, and you get a nice filling breakfast. FYI-the cash register automatically deducted the cost of potatoes and toast!

I had a wonderful spinach salad at The Capital Grille, perfect for a late night dinner. Definitely something I plan to recreate when I get home. Tender baby spinach leaves, onions and mushrooms with chopped egg and smoked bacon on top. The warm bacon dressing was wonderful.  I am little worried there was some sugar in that dressing.

To start our meal at The Capital Grille we shared an appetizer that was perfection. For anyone wondering about the benefits of low carb living, check this out. No carbs, eat this with reckless abandon! It is fresh mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto and lightly sautéed. The fresh basil and drizzle of balsamic glaze* the perfect addition.

It came with crostini which we ignored. Easy to do.  I need to try this at home. Great appetizer for dinner parties.

*This is just reduced balsamic vinegar. Simmer balsamic vinegar over gentle heat until reach desired thickness.  Balsamic adds sweetness, so watch the are carbs. Read the label on your balsamic vinegar.  Usually about 5 grams per ounce, use sparingly. A very light drizzle is all that is needed.

Finally I want to share a great lunch find. On Saturday afternoon, we sat outside at The Ralph Lauren Restaurant just off Michigan Avenue. I had the the Baby Arugula Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumber, Parmesan, Pine Nuts tossed with a Champagne Vinaigrette.  It was so reminiscent of our recent trip to Italy! It seemed a steal at under $10.  Just sitting there on a beautiful afternoon people watching was worth more than that! 

Pizza~the perfect food for the weekend..

23 Sep

Life without pizza is not good.

I searched around for a good low carb option and found many recipes using cauliflower for the crust, somehow that just doesn’t do it for me.

Then I came upon one using almond flour. It may sound sweet, for something as savory as pizza, but it works. Fresh basil is the secret along with a salt, pepper and olive oil.

Below is a combination of a few recipes with my own additions.  I used sausage, mushrooms and mozzarella but any combination of meats, vegetables and cheeses would be great.

Cheese & Sausage Low Carb Pizza (this is very filling easily feeds 3-4)

Crust

2 C almond flour

2 large eggs

2 T olive oil

2 T freshly chopped basil

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix crust ingredients in a large bowl.  Dough resembles cookie dough. Roll into a large ball and press flat on prepared baking sheet. I drizzled olive oil on dough as I spread it to make this easier to do.  Spread to at least 12 inch round. It is better when thinner.  I pushed dough to make a little raised edge, resembling “real” pizza dough.

Bake 10 minutes, edges will begin to brown. Remove to rack to cool while preparing sauce and topping.

Sauce for Pizza

1 can Petite Cut tomatoes, drained completely (7 net carbs)

1 clove minced garlic

1 T fresh basil, chopped

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1 T balsamic vinegar

salt and hot pepper flakes to taste

Combine all of the above in bowl.

Topping for Pizza

1 lb sweet italian sausage

1/2 onion, medium chop

6 ounces of baby portabella mushrooms, sliced

2 tsp oregano

2 T fresh basil, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

2 Cups shredded mozzarella

In large skillet with 1 T olive oil over medium heat, brown the sausage, onions and mushrooms until meat cooked completely. Add spices.

Prepare Pizza

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Top the pizza with sauce, meat mixture and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and brown and heated through. Slice into quarters. Each quarter is huge and filling!

FYI

There is a great crustless pizza available online from Lou Malnati’s in Chicago. It is deep-dish and the crust is made of sausage. This 9″crustless sausage pizza serves 2 and has a total of 18g Carbs and 12g Fiber, so a net carb count is 6 for the entire pizza.  This is a very expensive option but a wonderful treat to have in the freezer!

Lunch in Italy~molto delizioso!

9 Sep

Finding low carb lunch options was a breeze in northern Italy. Everywhere they serve wonderful meats such as Prosciutto or Parma ham with cheese. Drizzle some olive oil and maybe a bit of balsamic vinegar and you have a filling and delicious meal.  I fell in love with Parma ham!  I am on a quest to find some here. So many cheese options with this meal, most often it was served with mozzarella.  We fell in love with Burrata which is a fresh mozzarella with a creamy center and it has zero carbs! I found some at Trader Joe’s today and can’t wait to try it.  Argula is everywhere there, they refer to it as rocket on the menus. Just perfect with this lunch.  I think this is pretty easy to recreate at home for lunch or appetizer.

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