Pizza with sausage and creamy risotto, crisp crunchy cookies and big bowls of pasta; these are a few of my favorite things….revisited
After you find out what you can’t have, comes the time to figure out what you can have and still enjoy. It is about substitutions, additions, and replacements. Some are close to the original and some that are better than the original; and some, well not everything in life is perfect.
Where is the bun?
Hamburgers and turkey burgers are fine. The problem comes with the bun. Several companies make a thinner “bun” (ARNOLD and PEPPERIDGE FARM and WAL-MART) that are much lower in carbohydrates and higher in fiber than the ordinary buns, lower even than whole wheat buns. Lightly toasted these make a great substitution for that old fluffy bun. Remember the “where’s the beef” ads?
I have brought these “buns” or my Joseph’s Low carbohydrate pita bread with me to a fast food chain on occasion (when traveling), ordered a burger or grilled chicken without the bun and placed the meat on these breads. The fast food chain did not mind at all, and I got the joy of holding onto a sandwich again. At home, for a little extra fun, I add a tablespoon or two of blue cheese or ranch dressing to the burger. It only adds 1-2 carbohydrates but really sparks the flavor.
Pizza with sausage:
There are a few choices here. The sandwich thins or rounds or better yet a JOSEPH’S PITA BREAD WITH FLAX SEED or low carbohydrate tortilla topped with a drizzle of olive oil, a little dried oregano, a tablespoon of a low carb sauce, crumbled cooked sausage (pork, chicken or turkey) a thick slice of mozzarella cheese.
Encase the sauce, cheese and sausage in a sheet of JOSEPH’S LAVASH or low carbohydrate tortilla; brown in a pan on both sides. Ok it is more like a calzone than a pizza, but really easy, fun, quick, and satisfying.
I find spaghetti squash mixed with butter, a little cream, and parmesan cheese a good replacement. Very similar texture and the additions are limitless. Try including mushrooms, sautéed onions, garlic, shrimp, broccoli, sun dried tomatoes or even fresh tomatoes are great with the spaghetti squash.
Crisp, crunchy cookies:
This one is a little tricky. I make a really great cookie that crumbles in your mouth similar to a shortbread cookie. What I have done is replace some of the flour with ground toasted nuts, and the sugar with a granulated sugar substitute. For chocolate cookies, I use an unsweetened “SPECIAL DARK” cocoa powder to give it a great chocolate flavor. TRUTH, it has none of the chewy-ness of say a chocolate chip cookie. However, you can press some additional nuts into the cookie before baking so you see and feel them in your mouth.
Tarts and cakes:
By replacing 1/3 of the flour in a recipe with toasted ground nuts, you cut the carbohydrate value by almost 1/3. On the (very) plus side you add greater flavor and texture to all your baked goods. Using a sugar alternative (whichever you personally like and trust) you bring the carbohydrates down even more. Sure the cakes don’t rise as high or brown; but there is a lot of bang for very few carbohydrates.
Big bowls of Pasta:
Just when I thought this dish was a goner, one of my regular readers suggested using Shirataki noodles. Pasta is back on my table with a vengeance. These noodles are very low in NET carbohydrates (1 gram per 8 ounce serving). They feel exactly like “old fashioned” noodles. I find it best to finish the dish by adding the Shirataki noodles to sauce in a big skillet. This is the same way that generations of Italian cooks have been finishing their pasta dishes. The other night I took the fettuccine cut of noodle, cut them up with kitchen shears, and made a mac and cheese to “curl up your toes and die for”.
French Apple Custard Tart
Net Carbohydrates 13 grams
Chef’s Note: I use this sweet crust below for all of the tart recipes. It does NOT have to be blind baked!
9-10 inch removable bottom fluted tart pan sprayed with Pam.
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup toasted nuts (either almonds or walnuts,)
¼ cup granulated sugar replace (your choice)
1 pinch salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp. cardamom
½ tsp. baking powder
4 tbsp. butter
1 large egg
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar replace (your choice)
1/3 cup sour cream
1-2 Tbsp. brandy (Optional)
1 Tbsp. Trop 50 orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon plus 1 tsp. to sprinkle over the top of the tart.
1 Tbsp. butter to dot top of tart
1-2 Medium eating apples (Jazz, Pink Cripps, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Tango etc.)
How to prepare this recipe:
Pre heat oven to 375°F.
Crust: In a food processor with a steel blade pulse all of the dry ingredients until very well combined and the almonds disappear into the mixture. Add cold butter and pulse until butter is well distributed in the flour mixture. Add the egg and vanilla. Pulse until mixture forms a ball on the blade. Remove the dough pat into a disc about 5-6’’. Wrap disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least ½ hour but overnight will also work .and makes life easier. This dough recipe can be doubled and frozen for 6 months.
Roll out the crust on flowered surface to about a 14 in circle. Using your fingers fit into tart pan. The dough is fragile and will break. Not to worry just piece it together with your fingers. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes before filling
Filling: Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the apples in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat slowly to combine and then increase the speed to thoroughly blend.
Peel and slice the apples thinly and arrange in the slices around the tart shell. SLOWLY spoon the custard over the apples. Dot with butter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon..
Bake at 375°F. for 26-30 minutes until the custard is set and the apples are a light golden color.
Allow to cool completely before removing from the tart pan,