Low-Carb, Gluten-Free “Tater” Tots

So here we are in the third week of January…already! In some ways January always goes slowly for me. Even though the days are getting longer, to me,  January seems like a dark and dreary month. Having cold, rainy, cloudy days lately hasn’t helped! It doesn’t matter if the temperatures have been reaching for 70…if it is rainy, it is dreary and depressing!

But in spite of the weather, I’ve had happy family moments. This happened the other day! I love how these pictures  turned out! Can’t wait to make some prints.

On Friday (another dreary, rainy day), the hubby walked in the door with these! Day was made!

16178965_10154487580577950_5498548101563438134_o

Ben had to leave yesterday for AF training, and he won’t be back until the end of May…saddness! However, he tends to make the best of things, and the other day he had fun with Little Miss Mia.

16177543_10154491962082950_3728009080878661577_o

I made this basket out of old t-shirts about 2 years ago. Mia uses it for some of her toys and books. Ben decided it would be a great pack for carrying Mia! She was thrilled! Yesterday afternoon when she and her parents arrived for Sunday dinner, Mia walked in the front door and announced, “Hello, Nemmie! I’m home!” I tell ya, my heart just melted!

Yesterday afternoon I got to FaceTime with the Little Man! He is so adorable! I can’t believe that he will be 6 months old soon! I didn’t take a picture of him while we were FaceTiming because I am not skilled at doing that. (Last time I tried it, I cut off the person I was FT with!) However, Barbi shared this picture of him a week or so ago. He is getting chunky!

16002767_10154780350291341_6066361055510602380_n

For dinner tonight I realized that I needed to use some cauliflower that I had in the fridge. I searched through some of my THM recipes and decided to create my own version of tater tots. If you follow THM or other low-carb eating styles, you already know that cauliflower can be used in place of potatoes. These made a great side dish for salmon and a green salad!

  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 2-1/2 tbsp. almond flour (add more if mixture is too wet)
  • 3/4 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder (or to taste)
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and place in sauce pan with a small amount of water. Bring to a boil and gently cook until fork-tender. Drain the cauliflower, and then squeeze it to remove excess water. **Take the time to do this! You want to get rid of as much moisture as possible! I actually got an extra cup of water from mine after I had drained it! Use cheese cloth or a strainer…whichever works for you.

Chop the cauliflower into tiny pieces. You can mash it or put it into a food processor and gently grind it. DO NOT over-process!

Put the cauliflower into a mixing bowl and add all the other ingredients. Season to taste, adding more spices if needed.

Using an ice cream scoop, shape the mixture into balls. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet and fry balls until golden brown.

This makes about 10 “tater” tots

img_0886

 

Advertisements

“There is no construction zone.”

Story first, then recipe. It was rather crazy.

Last weekend we had the opportunity to travel to FL to see our 2Lt. Since we were to be leaving early in the morning, I was looking forward to snoozing in the car on the way there. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I ended up being a driver on the trip. The 2Lt was in need of a new-to-him car (the reason is another story for another day), and he had purchased one from a friend. A friend in NC. And of course, since we were already planning a trip to see him, he asked us to bring the car down for him. This meant a trip to NC to get the car and then the trip to FL. Thankfully son #3 made that drive with his dad.

Although we tried to stay together for the most part, we didn’t attempt to while we went through Atlanta which we hit during  the early morning rush hour. I knew that we would come to the highway split where we would go to the right while lots of other holiday travelers would go to the left. I was watching very carefully for that split. Soon the traffic had thinned out and I was happily driving along looking forward to breakfast when my phone rang. The hubby had decided to stop a little earlier and needed to tell me where to meet him. “Oh, good,” I said. “How much farther is it after the construction zone?”  After a pause, he replied, “Jan, there is no construction zone.” Sigh…I had totally missed that split in the highway even though I was carefully watching for it!! It took me 45 minutes to turn around and drive back to that split and finally make it to the restaurant! Thankfully, the traffic was not nearly as bad as it had been 45 minutes earlier!

Now for the recipe. Tonight for hubby’s dinner I decided to try something new. It truly was an experiment since I just created as I went along. It ended up being Skillet Pizza. I guess you could also call it Pizza in a Bowl. It tastes just like a pizza but without the crust, so it is low-carb!

002

1 lb. ground turkey

1 jalapeno pepper, diced

1 small onion, diced

several mushrooms, sliced

1/3 cup or so of pizza sauce (just a guess since I didn’t measure)

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/3 c. Parmesan cheese

1-1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown the meat in a large skillet. Add the pepper, onion, and mushroom pieces and let them cook as the meat browns. Drain off any fat.

Add the pizza sauce, seasonings, and Parmesan cheese and stir well. Spread the mixture in the pan and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let sit until the cheese melts. Enjoy with a green leafy salad.  Makes 2-4 depending on how hungry you are!

Candy Bar Smoothie

I came across a recipe the other day for a milkshake similar to the smoothie recipe that I am going to share here. It is winter and still cold even here in the south, so I don’t care to drink too many milkshakes!  I tried this recipe this morning making it thinner like a smoothie. It was the perfect mid-morning snack since I ate an early breakfast today and  needed something to hold me over until lunch.

1/2 c. low fat cottage cheese (or plain Greek yogurt)

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1 tbsp. sweetener  (Might need more if using Greek yogurt)

3/4 c. almond milk

1 tbsp. cocoa powder

2 tbsp. peanut butter flour

1/2 to 3/4 tsp. caramel flavoring

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth! Adjust the taste to your liking by adding more peanut flour, cocoa powder, or caramel flavoring.

If you prefer your drink thicker like a milkshake, add about 7-10 ice cubes to the mix and blend well.

Winter Weather and Low-Carb Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Monday, everyone! I can’t believe that we are on the last full week of January already! Time is flying by!

We enjoyed a bit of winter weather on Friday and Saturday. Now, I realize that we didn’t get the 14-38 inches of snow that our northern friends received, but here in the south, a few inches is a big deal. New-fallen snow seems to put everyone in a good mood, and what’s great about living in the south is that we can enjoy our few inches of snow and a day off of school or work and then go right back to our temperatures of 50-60 degrees within a day or two! We can enjoy the beauty of new, clean snow without the trials that come with northern snows!

006

The one thing that we have missed the most while trying to eat a low-carb diet is cinnamon rolls or coffee cake. My sons reminded me of this over the weekend! I used to make sourdough coffee cake every Sunday morning. However, since it just doesn’t suit our eating plan, and we would eat way too much of it, I don’t make it at all any more.

I saw this recipe over on the THM Facebook page the other day and decided to give it a try. We all enjoyed it! Using mozzarella cheese in the dough is absolutely brilliant! The guys thought that the icing needed to be a little bit sweeter, so when I make it again I will add more truvia. I love the way Briana made brown sugar using a little bit of molasses. I think that I would double that for this recipe next time.

Low-Carb Chocolate Milkshake

Everyone loves a good chocolate milkshake! I’ve toyed around with recipes but never found one that I really liked.

My niece shared this recipe over on her blog today. It sounds amazing, and I can’t wait to give it a try!  And for the winter? Add some peppermint flavoring or a drop or two of peppermint essential oil! Yumminess in a mason jar!

Black Bean Brownies

We made it home last night after a whirl-wind trip down to FL to see our 2Lt. He’s been gone since the end of September,  he won’t be home for Thanksgiving (the first time ever to miss it), and his December schedule will have him home before Christmas, but not on Christmas day. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to go see him!

I checked the weather before packing and really thought that I had packed the proper clothing. However, the weather forecasts did not tell me that the wind would blow the entire time we were there! That wind made it feel colder than it really was, and I nearly froze on Friday afternoon and evening! We did have a great time, though, getting to see quite a few planes (even go up inside some), spending time in the Navy museum, the lighthouse and museum, the fort, and the beach! Sunset on the beach was breath-taking!

235

249

I have been greatly enjoying the new Trim Healthy Mama cookbook! The recipes are so good, and I am working hard at getting the hubby and me back on track to healthy eating.

The other day I had an opened can of black beans that I needed to use. I remembered a recipe in the new cookbook and thought that maybe I could use the beans instead of the okra that is called for. They turned out great! Even my picky son thought they were pretty good…for diet food! Ha! They tasted even better after being in the fridge overnight.

4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate

3/4 c. butter

3/4 c. low-carb sweetener blend

2 pinches salt

1/2 c. oat flour

1/2 c. ground pecans

1 c. black beans

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

Lightly coat a 9×9 pan with coconut oil. Melt the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan. Combine sweetener, salt, flour, and pecans in a large mixing bowl. Combine the beans, eggs, and vanilla in a blender and puree until smooth. Add the chocolate/butter mix and the puree to the dry ingredients. Stir well by hand. Pour into pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Let cool in pan. Cut into bars and serve, or refrigerate overnight for a fudgier brownie!

 

Low-Carb Pizza Roll-Ups

Finally! Here is the first recipe that I promised when I posted on Monday!

We (the hubby and I) are fast approaching the first anniversary of healthier eating. We have been trying to follow the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan for about a year. Although we are not purists by any means, we do try to keep at it most of the time. The hubby lost at least 50 lbs, but he’s been cheating lately, so there is no telling what his weight is now. However, the health benefits are amazing! He no longer snores at night, his symptoms of sleep apnea have completely disappeared, and his acid reflux is gone. While I lost about 10-15 lbs, and flirt with 5 more, I have found that my joints hurt less and my lower back pain has all but disappeared. We are working at keeping this eating plan a way of life!!

One of the hubby’s favorite weekend foods is pizza. We all know how terrible processed pizza is for you even though the flavor is wonderful! A few months ago I created a low-carb pizza which has become his favorite. He enjoys it as a regular pizza and will even make his own!

This recipe makes one pizza. You can add whatever toppings you enjoy on your pizzas! Here is what I did for lunch today.

1 piece of flatbread (I use Aldi’s Fit&Active)*

1-2 tbsp. low sugar pizza sauce

12 slices pepperoni

1 handful of shredded mozzarella cheese

1-2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

1-2 tbsp. ricotta cheese

Spread the pizza sauce over the flatbread. Arrange pepperoni over the sauce and the cheeses on top of the pepperoni. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350* for 10-15 minutes. Slice in half length-wise. Roll each half up when cool enough to handle. Serve with a salad!

Hubby enjoys diced peppers, onions, mushrooms, browned sausage, and/or bacon on his. Just remember that the more toppings you have, the harder it is to roll up!

*This flatbread has a total of 17g carbohydrates, but 8g of them are dietary fiber. This makes only 9g for counting the carbs.