Sugar Free, Dairy Free Hot Cocoa

The perfect holiday breakfast treat...sugar free hot cocoa and coconut pancakes

The perfect holiday breakfast treat…sugar free hot cocoa and coconut pancakes

2 cans full fat coconut milk
1-2 cans water (depends on how thick you like it)
1/3 cup raw cacao
1/3 cup dark cocoa
3/4 – 1 tsp English toffee stevia
pinch salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 Tbsp collagen hydrosolate

Thick and rich, without a blood sugar crash 20 minutes after drinking it. This is a drink I feel good letting my kids drink every day!

Heat the coconut milk and water in a saucepan (or the microwave) and then blend well, ideally in a high-powered blender until all mixed well.

Makes almost 1/2 gallon. Stores for up to 2 weeks in the fridge, simply reheat whenever you want a cup. Easy peasy!

Keto Pumpkin Pie and Flakey {Grain Free, Low Carb} Crust

Keto Pumpkin Pie

Keto Pumpkin PieThis is sooo good. And so easy. I was always an apple pie girl, most of my family was. Although we would make the obligatory pumpkin pie at the holidays, the apple was always the first to be eaten, meaning that we made 2 and they were still eaten more quickly than the pumpkin. Pumpkin was good, but seriously couldn’t hold a candle to warm apple pie and ice cream. This was true for all of my 30 years, until this recipe.  This combines the deliciousness of pumpkin, with the creaminess of cheesecake, without being cheese-cakey. Sooo good warm out of the oven with freshly whipped cream, soooo good reheated the next day, or even eaten cold with leftover cream. Yummmmm!

Why do we wait for the holidays for pie? I have decided that I won’t any longer, especially since this comes together in a snap, crust included (no rolling!). Speaking of crust…This. One. Is. IT! Look no further and never try to fool yourself into thinking that almonds, butter and splenda/stevia = a pie crust. It doesn’t people…I promise. Don’t question it, don’t try to substitute it, just make it. And smile. And remember back in the day when pie was so freakin’ good!

Crust:
1/2 c. coconut flour
1/4 c. unsweetened (small) grated coconut/flakes
1/4 c. ground up pork rinds (measured after grinding)
1 egg
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp erythritol

Mix all of your crust ingredients in a small bowl with your hands. It will be sandy. Line your pie plate with parchment (you can skip this if you are planning on serving warm, but once it is refrigerated, it becomes pretty challenging to get all the crust out). Dump your mixed crust ingredients into the pie plate and use your fingers and hands to pat it out and up the sides. I use a deep dish, Pampered Chef stone pie plate and it goes all the way up the sides, but not over the sides. It should be about 1/4 inch thick.

Put your crust in the fridge while you make the filling.

Pie Filling:
1 can pumpkin
8 oz melted Neufetchal {cream} cheese
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup erythritol
1/2 tsp english toffee stevia

Combine all of your ingredients in a blender. (I use my Vitamix, which I LOVE), but as long as everything is melted, any standard blender should work. (I’m guessing a hand-mixer would probably be sufficient as well, but I can’t guarantee that. If you go that route, mix all the wet / melted ingredients first and then add the cold stuff and spices.)

Pour filling into your chilled crust and bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes or until set in the middle. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving. It doesn’t cut as nicely warm, but it’s super delicious! ENJOY!!

This crust is also phenomenal with apple pie, preferably with lower sugar, fermented apples. Thank you to Ginny over at Ginny’s Low Carb Kitchen for inspiring me to try that. My filling isn’t just right yet, but it’s coming. Just double it for a double crusted pie.

Keto pumpkin pie, low carb, gluten and grain free, whipped cream

The result of waiting until the 2nd day to photograph with fallen whipped cream…Still yummy though 🙂

 

Cocoa Chicken and Artichokes

Easy one dish chicken dinner, full of flavor and perfect for hectic school week nights.
Easy one dish chicken dinner, full of flavor and perfect for hectic school week nights.

Cocoa Chicken with Artichokes and Tomatoes…40 minutes to dinner on the table!

Sooo, I’m a big fan of marinating chicken breasts. I have some serious issues with dry, flavorless chicken and refuse to put that on my family’s table. Most of the time, my solution is a good marinade, however, sometimes I don’t have time or energy to marinate all the chicken breasts I buy on sale, and it ends up in it’s original packaging in my deep freezer. (Not often, but sometimes…) Then, sometimes, I forget to take out my meat far enough in advance to defrost and marinate it for dinner that night…like a few nights ago. I had chicken that was defrosted in my fridge, but it was plain.

What to do? Check Pinterest of course. I had pinned this Italian Chicken recipe awhile ago, and it looked pretty easy, but not exactly what I was going for, with all the cheese and such. Enter…Cocoa Chicken. Why I decided to add raw cacao to my chicken dish, I don’t know…but dang it was good. Really good, like my husband was clamoring for the leftovers good! (That’s the way I know a dish is really good). My 3 year old also really enjoyed the chicken (not so much the artichokes or tomatoes, but that’s ok) portion of this dish.

I’ll totally be making this again, as it was about 5 minutes of hands on time and only about 35 minutes in the oven!

2 lbs chicken breast, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1 can of quartered artichokes (unseasoned)
1 pint cherry tomatos
1/2 large onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup dry white wine
3.5 Tbsp butter, cut into 7-8 pats
1 Tbsp Coconut Flour
1 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder (or unsweetened cocoa)
Salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder

In a 9×13 baking dish (I love my pampered chef stoneware) add the chicken – salt and pepper it liberally and mix with your hands. Top chicken with the artichokes, tomatoes and onions. Sprinkle all with salt and pepper, garlic powder and oregano. (Just sprinkle liberally.)
Pour wine over.
Sift cacao and coconut flour over everything and stir a bit to coat everything.
Space pats of butter on top of everything.

Roast at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked thru.

Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or mashed cauliflower, if desired.

Yellow Squash {Gluten Free} Sandwich Rolls

Gluten-free Squash Sandwich Rolls, grain free bread, nut free bread, paleo bread, low-carb bread

Gluten-free Squash Sandwich Rolls

I’m so excited to share this recipe, which in all actuality is VERY similar to my 3 minute bread recipe. I’m sure this would work equally well in the microwave, but I didn’t try it, so I can’t be sure. Personally, I like using the oven for 12 minutes, versus standing at the microwave for 30, but I think there’s definitely a place in my kitchen for both methods.

This bread is delicious. The squash lends a slight sweetness and flavor that puts my previous recipe to shame, while maintaining the wonderful (gluten-filled bread) texture of the other recipe.  Delicious plain, or slathered with butter. Makes a perfect gluten and grain free sandwich roll or hamburger bun. Yum.

Please try it and let me know what you think!

Yellow Squash Sandwich Rolls {Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, low carb}

1 cup (raw) yellow summer squash puree
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/3 cup Coconut Flour*
1/3 cup Psyllium Husk Powder
1/3 cup whole egg powder OR Unflavored Whey Protein
2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all wet ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Sift each dry ingredient, waiting until all are added to stir. Use a whisk or a hand mixer to blend well. (Work quickly, the batter will thicken substantially within a few minutes.) Allow batter to sit for a couple of minutes.

Line your baking sheet with Parchment Paper. Form dough into rolls and flatten slightly, approximately the size of my palm seems to work. Leave approximately 1 inch between rolls.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until firm to the touch, err on the side of over-baking, as underbaked results in gummy middles. Gross.

Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack immediately. If you don’t have a cooling rack, turn the rolls over on the baking sheet, as if you don’t moisture will collect underneath them as they dry.  Once completely cooled, simply place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. These also freeze and defrost nicely.

There you have it. Bread that meets all of the following criteria:
*gluten free bread
*grain free bread
*low carb bread
*nut free bread
*dairy free bread

*A note on coconut flour – I purchase the 25 lb bag and portion it into large, gallon sized freezer bags. I use a lot of coconut flour. At one point, Amazon was out of the 25 lb bags, so I purchased smaller, 1 lb bags instead for about tripled the cost. I have used both, however the 25 lb bag creates a much denser product, that adds a good bit of volume after being sifted, whereas the smaller bags don’t. So, if your coconut flour seems packed densely, use 1/3 of a cup and then sift it. If it’s more powdery in the bag, use 1/2 cup and then sift it. The recipe is very forgiving, either way, but this is my conclusion after making about 20 batches of this bread.

KETO Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter (Waffles and Pancakes)

Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter Waffles (gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, low-carb, keto)
Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter Waffles (gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, low-carb, keto)

Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter Waffles       (gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, low-carb, keto)

For some reason, very few recipes satisfy me for thinking that I can’t make them better, so I tinker and try new things, almost every time. (For example, I posted a wonderful waffle recipe 2 weeks ago. Oops. It’s still really good, just more ingredients, and a little different flavor) Every once in awhile I hit the recipe holy grail, and then I stop. For this breakfast batter (I’m calling it that because it makes equally delicious, low-carb/keto waffles and pancakes), there is only one flaw. It doesn’t create a crisp outside. However, the pros to this batter are numerous. The flavor IS. SPOT. ON. Seriously, I’ve made quite a few successful waffles and pancake recipes and this one takes the {pan}cake. Haha. It’s too early for jokes, but not too early for waffles. In my opinion, it’s never too early for waffles. In addition to perfectly flavored and sweetened waffles and pancakes, the texture is great, if you can get past the lack of crispness. Without the addition of any syrup or topping, the texture and flavor remind me exactly of waffles or pancakes that have been smothered in syrup, and absorbed all that delicious flavor. But, “dry”. Soooo, these are perfectly portable. Last, but not least, there are only 7 ingredients. This is a score in my book where I always have two little “helpers” that are very helpful at making kitchen messes. This recipe comes together quickly and because of it’s versatility, you can make both pancakes and waffles at the same time, cutting your cooking time in half.

I could go on and on in my Ode to my Low Carb Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter, but alas, Backyardigans is almost over and that means I have to go be a Mom…so here’s the recipe! Try it…you’ll like it, I can almost guarantee it!

Low Carb and Keto Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter (for waffles and pancakes)
{low-carb, grain-free, gluten-free, nut-free, keto}

12 oz (1 cup) coconut butter
½ cup butter
8 oz cream cheese
6 large eggs
5 droppers full English Toffee Liquid Stevia
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 c Erythritol Sweetener

Preheat waffle iron (or non-stick skillet for pancakes*)

Melt the coconut butter (blended coconut, NOT coconut milk or cream, I use homemade but it is sold as coconut manna or coconut butter), butter and cream cheese. Stir until smooth. Blend remaining ingredients into coconut butter mixture. I used a vitamix, but as long as everything is melted, a hand mixer or regular blender should work fine.

Bake in your waffle iron or skillet. For waffles, allow to continue cooking for a few minutes past when the machine tells you they are done. Remove carefully and allow to cool for a few minutes, as they do crisp up a teeny-tiny bit. For pancakes, make sure your pan is hot…then a couple minutes per side is sufficient. When you flip them, push them down a little bit to ensure the bottom touches.

I like them dry. They taste like they are syrup drenched…my 3 year old, however, is a bit obsessed with maple syrup and enjoyed them like that 🙂 A sugar free syrup might make them a bit too sweet, and I would omit the erythritol if I was planning on using a syrup or topping.

PS I plan on tinkering with this recipe to see if I can make it crisp up a bit. 🙂

PPS I don’t get paid to keep this blog. I have added some affiliate links to Amazon to products that I personally buy and use from Amazon, in case you have difficulty sourcing some of the specialty ingredients that make living a low-carb, keto or gluten free lifestyle easier. I may receive a small percentage of compensation from Amazon, should you access these links in my ingredient lists and purchase the items I recommend. This costs you nothing, and typically I have found the cheapest options. If you like what you see here, please feel free to support me at no additional cost by shopping my links or in my Amazon Store (still being built). Thanks!

Easy Fried Veggie Fritters (low carb, gluten-free, grain free, keto, nut-free)

Yum! Veggie Fritters with Squash and Radishes | Cook Well, Eat Better, Live Happily

Yum! Veggie Fritters with Squash and Radishes

Oh my. These are soooo good. And really, you only have the carbs of the veggies, which makes it a win in my book. I have a son with sensory issues, especially in regards to eating (plus cold and water) and he eats a VERY limited diet. Until I created this recipe, he had yet to come anywhere close to a vegetable, so this recipe holds a very special place in my heart.

These taste like a cross between tater tots (which used to be a fan favorite of my sister and I growing up) and breakfast hash browns. The difference being there is no potato in sight and these are essentially carb-free!

I’ve made them at least 10 times in the last couple weeks, and the recipe is VERY forgiving, and also very adjustable. Make sure that you strain the veggies well, I don’t think it would work otherwise, but other than that…grate everything and then mix it with your hands. Fry it in lard, bacon grease or any other high-heat oil and call it a day. Makes an easy side dish for dinner or a breakfast in and of itself. Enjoy!

Easy Veggie Fritters (gluten-free, nut-free, grain-free, keto, low-carb)

1 – 1 1/4 cups veggies*, grated and squeezed to remove juice (measured after straining)
2 eggs
2.5 oz pork rinds, ground into a sandy flour-type texture
4 oz cheese, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried chives

Begin by adding your cooking grease, approximately 1-2 Tbsp to your frying pan. If it’s not non-stick, use more. Heat your pan to med-high

Food process or vitamix the pork rinds and the cheese (Or smash the pork rinds in a bag with a rolling pin and grate your cheese). Add moisture ridden veggies*, eggs and spices.

Once oil is hot (sizzles upon addition of batter), make little patties, 2-3 inches in diameter, of your batter and gently lay them in the hot oil. Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until crispy and well-browned. Remove to a cooling rack and make additional batches as needed. I can usually do it in 2 batches, using my 12 inch frying pan.

*For the veggies, I have used all combinations. Our favorites have been squash and radish (pictured above), carrot & parsnip, and squash, zuchinni and onion. I simply use the grating method with my vitamix to mix them together. To get the appropriate amount, you need approximately 8 radishes 2-3 baby yellow squash, 1 medium zuchinni and 1/4 of a sweet onion, just to give you an idea. After they are grated together, I use a Paint Strainer Bagto squeeze the ever-living crap out of them. Your amount will reduce almost by half when you get rid of the moisture.

PPS I don’t get paid to keep this blog. I have added some affiliate links to Amazon to products that I personally buy and use from Amazon, in case you have difficulty sourcing some of the specialty ingredients that make living a low-carb, keto or gluten free lifestyle easier. I may receive a small percentage of compensation from Amazon, should you access these links in my ingredient lists and purchase the items I recommend. This costs you nothing, and typically I have found the cheapest options. If you like what you see here, please feel free to support me at no additional cost by shopping my links or in my Amazon Store (still being built). Thanks!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake {low-carb, gluten-free, grain-free}

Peanut Butter Cheesecake {low carb, nut free, gluten free, keto, primal}
Peanut Butter Cheesecake {low carb, nut free, gluten free, keto, primal}

Peanut Butter Cheesecake {low carb, nut free, gluten free, keto, primal}

Woohoo, this is so good! Serve it as is, or take it over the top by adding the ganache at the end.

Chocolate Cheesecake Crust
1/3 c pork rinds
2/3 c coconut
3 Tbsp chia seeds
4 Tbsp coconut oil or butter
1/3 c cocoa powder
1/3 c xylitol or erythritol

Mix everything together with your hands in the bottom of a foil-wrapped springform pan, either 10 or 12 inch. Smush it down well and evenly. Set aside to make the filling.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling
3 8oz packages of cream cheese
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/3 cup unsweetened yogurt
1/2 c erythritol (or xylitol or sugar)
1 tsp better stevia
1/2 tsp english toffee stevia
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400, with an oven safe bowl filled with 2-3 cups of water in it. (This is the ghetto water bath…)

If you have a blender – throw everything in and blend until it’s smooth.
If you are using mixers – let your cream cheese come to room temp and then blend it until it’s smooth. Add remaining ingredients, blending well after each addition.

Pour batter into prepared crust and then drop it carefully on the counter a few times (from a few inches up) to allow the air bubbles to rise to the top.

Put cheesecake in 400 degree over and immediately and turn oven down to 325. Bake 1 hour, or until set. Turn oven off and leave cheesecake in for another 30 minutes. {Because you are using a ghetto water bath, the cheesecake will crack. This is ok, because we’re going to cover it up with ganache…) Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before adding the ganache. (below)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache
1/2 cup coconut oil or butter
1/4 cup peanut butter
20-30 drops vanilla stevia
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder or 2 Tbsp cocoa powder

Melt coconut oil and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl. Add the stevia and cacao or cocoa. Stir until smooth. Pour on top of cheesecake and refrigerate to allow the ganache to set.

Serve on your finest china and savor the deliciousness!

3 Minute Protein Bread (low carb, sugar free, dairy free*, paleo)

Microwave Protein Bread...in the micro
Just “baked” in the microwave
Made in a 6 inch corningware…perfect for a kid’s (or grown-ups)
peanut butter and jelly
Miss bread and biscuits? Like real, chewy bread that doesn’t come out crumbly and doesn’t require tons of starches that will up your blood sugar faster than you can say tapioca? I know I did…until I devised this versatile recipe that started out being cooked in the oven, but has since been relegated to the microwave and/or waffle iron to ensure good rise and perfect, bready density…not hockey puck-ish texture disguised as bread!

Please try this and let me know what you think. It is far superior to ANY gluten free (especially low carb) bread that I have tried, and we have tried a lot!

Coming soon…modifications to make restaurant quality butter-garlic rolls & cinnamon buns!

Need ingredients? Check Amazon…it will suck buying them the first time, but you will make this stuff again and again and you won’t think twice when it’s time to re-order – cross my heart! Another note, I use subscribe and save for almost all of my baking ingredients that I order online. This saves me 20%…which is huge. You can sign up for subscribe and save and cancel before you get your second order, if you decide you don’t need anymore!

**If you use the links below and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission from Amazon through their affiliate program. It costs you nothing additional and I don’t EVER recommend products that I don’t purchase through Amazon myself…**
3 MINUTE BREAD!

1/3 c coconut flour
1/3 c NOW Foods Whey Protein Isolate Pure, 1.2 -Pounds OR NOW Foods Eggwhite Protein, 1.2 Pound (use egg white only for dairy free)
1/3 c Now Foods Psyllium Husk Powder, 24-Ounce

See…a real biscuit (note the biscuit balls that
are pre-made in the container, ready for the
fridge and fresh bread…in 3 MINUTES!

2 tsp baking powder (or 1 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp cream of tarter)1 tsp salt
1 cup minus 2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
4 large-extra large eggs
Butter/Coconut oil for greasing cooking dish

Mix all of the wet ingredients in a large bowl w/ a hand mixer, or use a high powered blender. Add the salt and baking powder and mix well. Add the protein, then the psyllium husks and finally the coconut flour, mixing well after each addition.

Once you have a dough like substance, let it hang out and thicken up for 3-5 minutes. Melt about 1/3 Tbsp butter in your microwave safe dish (I use small corningware or my glass pyrex) and then swirl it around to coat the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides. Divide your dough into approximately 7 1/4 c. balls. You are going to cook one at a time…you can save some in the fridge to have hot, fresh rolls in 3 minutes!

When you are ready to make your bread, flatten your dough ball slightly into the prepared microwave container and then flip it over so their is butter/oil all over it. “Bake” it in your microwave, starting at about 1.5 minutes and adding 20 second increments until it is slightly firm in the middle. This make take a few attempts, but err on the side of under-done, as you can always re-nuke it. Once it’s overcooked, it gets rubbery and hard around the edges.  For 1/4 c. dough in a 1 cup pyrex, in my 1200 watt microwave, it takes 2 minutes and 20 seconds to perfect bready, biscuit goodness. 1/3 cup (when I make larger rolls) takes 3 minutes. It’s an art, this microwave baking…

FLAKY Pie Crust (Low Carb, gluten-free, nut-free, primal)

Soooo good. Flaky, like I remember back in my gluten eating day. As someone who doesn’t tolerate nuts very well, I have been trying and trying to create a pie crust that would hold up like it’s nutty and/or gluten filled counterparts, or at least as well as the delicious (high carb) ones that I used to make with tapioca starch and rice flour. I had come up empty until this past weekend when I made a Cheeseburger Pie.  It started off as a cheeseburger quiche, but I didn’t add enough eggs. Much to my delight, it was better than expected, but the filling still needs some tweaking. However, the pie crust was definitely a home run. I can’t wait to try it out in a few different iterations…next up, Chicken pot pie! 🙂

1/2 c. coconut flour
1/4 c. unsweetened (small) grated coconut/flakes
1/4 c. ground up pork rinds (measured after grinding)
1 egg
3 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp bacon fat, ideally not scalding hot out of a frying pan…

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and add the egg. Mix with your hands, trust me. Add the butter and bacon grease and mix until well combined. It will be a bit more delicate than a standard dough, but it should hold together nicely. Using 2 pieces of parchment paper, roll the dough into a disk large enough for your pie plate, then transfer it to said pie plate. Stick it in the fridge for at least 30-60 minutes so it chills and you get the gorgeous (gluten-y but not) flakes that everyone longs for in a pie crust…

Fill as desired and bake like you would any other crust. For no-bakes…I’m not sure yet, but if you try it, please let me know. I’m thinking 14-16 minutes at 350?

Enjoy!

Low Carb (gluten and grain free) Pancakes

An oopsie roll variation…refrigerates and reheats beautifully for breakfast on the go all week! Recipe makes about 24 pancakes, approximately 1 carb per pancake when made with Philadelphia cream cheese.

8 oz cream cheese, slightly softened
7 eggs, separated
1/4 c. almond or peanut butter
1 Tbsp cinnamon
4 droppers of NuNaturals stevia (I use 2 droppers of vanilla crème and 2 droppers of English toffee)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 c. blueberries (optional)

Separate eggs and beat egg whites until pretty stiff (usually about 3-4 minutes)

In another bowl combine remaining ingredients and (using same beaters) blend everything together but the egg whites. Make sure the cream cheese is well incorporated!

Add egg whites and blend on low until fully incorporated.

Fry over medium/low heat in coconut oil or butter, flipping when bubbles start to appear on first side and then cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes on 2nd side.

Notes: Add blueberries after you put on the skillet, 4-5 per pancake (if you are using them). Make them about 5-6 inches in diameter…if they break when you flip them, turn the heat down.

Serve with sugar free syrup (if you roll that way) or heavy whipped cream.