Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rich and Decadent-Tasting #LowCarb Supper!

When I eat something really rich and sweet and salty all at the same time, I don't think "diet food" - well, I do now, but until the last 7 years I didn't! But tonight is the proof that this is indeed great food for my healthy way of eating!

I started out with a couple of big fat boneless country pork ribs, each about 1-1/2" thick. After seasoning them heavily with garlic and onion powder and sea salt I seared them in a pan with a little hot olive oil. (I had just used the last of my bacon fat earlier today, dangit!) Then I covered them and turned them down to medium low and went on to other things. Over an hour later I started thinking about my supper - normally I cook by smell, I have a nose like a bloodhound, but right I have a cold so it cooked longer than it otherwise would have - I took the lid off and lifted out this AMAZING pork rib meat! The seasonings on the bottom, with the fats in the pan from the meat, had developed this delightful sticky crunchy crust, and the rest of the meat just fell apart when it saw my fork approaching, it was that tender! That crust was so rich and flavorful that I felt like I was really eating something special!

I'm still eating on that big bowl of cole slaw I made yesterday - or was it the day before? - and with something this rich I needed a little sweetness. (I used to always eat my pork with fruit, for the sweet taste.) So I sprinkled some xylitol, maybe 1/2 tsp, over it and stirred it in...

There is no way to describe the way that first bite gave such pleasure to my mouth...the rich, slightly salty/garlicky/oniony warm tender meat with the intensely flavorful chewy/crunchy crust with the cold crispy sweet/creamy cole slaw, exploding with that rich mix of flavors and textures and temperatures and sensations all at once as I bit into it...well, it is just impossible to describe! Although there is no experience like the first bite of something so amazing, each successive bite renewed the happy feelings in my mouth and never disappointed...

This was an easy meal, and a cheap meal...but every bit as wonderful as the most expensive dinner I've ever had! I took a photo of it (which doesn't do justice of course...the slaw lacks color and the meat looks way darker in the picture) but I was only able to eat half of this meal and I am plenty full.

What an experience!!!

P.S. To complete my daily food listing, I had a ground beef patty with low-carb ketchup for breakfast, and a 16g/N South Beach bar for an afternoon snack. I doubt if I will need a snack tonight, I'm sure I'll be full until morning, now...

My Sassy Little #Lowcarb Sandwich Rolls - Tweaks

OK, so if I can tweak up my lovely loaf of bread, I have found that I can tweak up my little sandwich rolls from the original recipe I posted. All along I've been doing minor tweaks here and there, so here is a re-write of that recipe, with all of the changes, the way I make them now:

8 oz. soft cream cheese (full fat)
3 eggs
4 drops (equal to 4 tsp sugar) liquid sucralose
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4c Carbquik (or 1/2c any other low carb baking mix)
1/2c wheat protein isolate
2T wheat or oat bran (for color more than anything)
1/2c full fat plain yogurt

Beat the cream cheese in the mixer until smooth; add eggs and liquid sucralose. Beat until very smooth, add the remaining ingredients in no particular order, mix on low speed until blended then on medium speed until smooth and almost glossy.

Put a glob of batter into each WELL-GREASED well of the muffin top pan, and spread it from the middle to the sides; fill the wells only halfway. Bake at 325F for 10-12 minutes on the middle rack, or until you see them browning around the bottom on the edges. They will puff up to the top of the wells. Let them cool slightly - until they pull away from the sides and unpuff - before removing them to a cooling rack.

One last addition: for half of the rolls I sprinkle some sesame seeds across the top before putting them into the oven. Just adds not only to the flavor, but to the sense of really eating an honest-to-goodness bun! :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

NICE #Lowcarb Supper Tonight!

Tonight's supper was light and delicious! I seasoned and pan-fried cod, and served it with a cole slaw that I'd made earlier today - cole slaw is always better after sitting a while in the fridge, right? For the slaw, I used a bag of slaw mix, and made a dressing in a shaker bottle of full-fat mayo, cream, a couple drops of liquid sucralose, paprika, seasoned salt, and celery seed. For the baby corn, which doesn't taste very sweet straight from the can, I rinsed it, and heated it thoroughly (until it started to soften; as fibrous as it is, this took a while!) in butter and onion powder, with a half-packet of truvia and a little sea salt. It was really sweet and delicious this way!

In the old days, before my surgery, this would be about half of a meal for me. Now, though, it's definitely a complete meal, and all I can manage.

Earlier in the day I'd had a ground beef patty with a smidge of low-sugar ketchup. For my evening snack I had a slice of my lovely loaf, heavily buttered, with a schmear of peanut butter, then folded in half; growing up, we called this type of sandwich a foldover :).

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Can I Talk Again About My Lovely Loaf?

Back on March 18th I posted the bread recipe that I had been using - and actually I've used that recipe for quite a while since then. The last couple of loaves, however, I have further tweaked it. Now instead of 2T heavy cream I use 3T plain full-fat yogurt. And I add 2T wheat bran (because I ran out of oat). And I'm using CarbQuick as the baking mix. And I'm only use 3/4c of the vital wheat gluten, and 1/2c of the wheat protein isolate. This last tweak has removed the gumminess from the texture, and it is light and slightly chewy just like "real" carby bread! It is so amazing, I'm betting that non-low-carbers wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Seriously! It is so good that I'm going to re-write the recipe and brag it all over the map! long as I'm going to re-write it, I will go ahead do so here:

- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tsp yeast
- 3/4c hot water

I sprinkle the first 2 ingredients across the bottom of my pan, then add the water fairly slowly, all around, so that it mixes as it lands, then close the lid. As the yeast is getting happy, I prepare the remaining ingredients.

Into a medium mixing bowl I whisk together

- 3/4c vital wheat gluten
- 1/2c wheat protein Isolate
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/3c CarbQuik*
- 1/2c ground flax
- 2T oat or wheat bran

Into a smaller dish I whip together until well-combined:
- 2 eggs
- 3T full fat plain yogurt
- 10 drops liquid sucralose

In another small dish I melt
- 2T real butter

By this time, my yeast is mixture is foamed up. I gently stir in the egg mixture with a spatula, then the butter. Then I add the dry ingredients. I set the machine to 1.5# loaf, light color, basic cycle (3 hours), and start it. Then I wash up the dishes I'd used, except the spatula, and by that time it is mixed pretty well, except for a fair amount of dry ingredients around the sides. I scrape that back into the dough, then I close the lid and leave it alone to consummate the loaf.

I don't touch it again until it beeps that the mixing/rising is done, when I wash my hands and lift out the dough to remove the paddle. I pat the dough back into the pan so that it's even all around, and let it finish.

NOTE: The dough will continue to rise as it bakes and doesn't reach full height until 1/2 hour before it's done.

Once the bread is done, I remove the pan and let it cool for about 15-20 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto a plate, where I leave it, uncovered, overnight. This isn't an essential step, but it lets the crust dry out a bit and makes it easier to cut in the morning. I get 14 slices, about 1/4-3/8" each, out of each loaf, and that lasts us about 4 days. This bread is divine either plain with butter, for sandwiches, or toasted. It doesn't have the gummy-ness that so many lowcarb loaves have, it is light and slightly chewy, as any bread should be!

*I have also used Bob's Red Mill Low Carb Baking Mix, and it worked about the same; I'm hazarding a guess here that most such mixes would be fine.

I can't imagine that any more tweaks would improve this bread at ALL!