Sugar Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfait

After making last week’s yummy Pumpkin Spice Muffins, I still had pumpkin left over. What to do? What to do? How about use it in another autumn-inspired dessert?

In a mixing bowl, combine and mix with electric beaters until smooth:

  • 6 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/3 c. powdered sweetener
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or a combination of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon)

In a separate bowl, beat 1 cup heavy whipped cream with 1 tsp vanilla and 1 small packet of sweetener.

Layer pumpkin cheesecake and whipped cream in tall glass. Chill for 3-4 hours and serve topped with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.

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Low Carb Pumpkin Muffins

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Before the leaves turn yellow and school buses are back on the road, the scent of pumpkin spice is in the air. With everyone talking about their favourite fall flavour, I decided to whip up this batch of moist and sweet Pumpkin Spice Muffins. So easy and quick, I made a dozen of them while dinner was in the go, popped them in the oven while we ate – and enjoyed some for dessert.

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice mix (or combine cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to make your spice mix)
  • 2/3 cup powdered sweetener (this makes them pretty sweet; you can certainly cut back according to personal taste)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 4 eggs

Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners* and preheat the oven to 350F.

You can combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately then mix, but I just put everything in one big mixing bowl and beat it all together with the electric mixer until smooth.  Put one heaping tablespoon of mixture into each cup, filling it about half way up. Bake muffins for 20 minutes. When time is up, insert a toothpick in the centre (it should be dry) to ensure it is cooked through.

Remove pan from oven and drape with a clean towel while they cool off.  Serve with butter. Store any remaining muffins in a tightly-sealed container.

*(Note: although the muffins were cooked, they did stick to the paper liner a bit. Better than in the pan!)

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Beef Stroganoff

Traditionally served over pasta or potatoes, try this satisfying version with roasted spaghetti squash or your favourite low-carb pasta substitute. Makes a great dinner any night of the week!

  • 700g/24 oz thinly sliced beef (e.g. sirloin)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups button and/or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups beef or chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. coconut flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Salt & pepper
  • Fresh or dried parsley for garnish

In frying pan, melt 2 tbsp butter and cook beef (seasoned with salt and pepper) until browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Add 2 tbsp butter to pan and cook onion and garlic until tender and translucent. Add mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine coconut flour, stock and Worcestershire in a bowl – stir until thoroughly blended (I made a slurry with the flour and a few tablespoons of stock, then added the rest of the liquid in to avoid lumps). Pour into pan with vegetables. When it reaches a boil, return meat to the pan. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Cook for 5 minutes then remove from heat. Stir in sour cream just before serving and top with parsley.

beef stroganoff

 

 

 

Pork Rind “Puppy Chow” Snack Mix

Salty + sweet = the perfect mix. Here is a fun snack recipe from Keto Size Me that I adapted to personal taste. It’s a great make-ahead treat for the weekend that will satisfy a craving for sweet, salty or crunchy all at once! I added the dark chocolate drizzle to take things up a level, but you can leave out that step if you wish.

  • 4-5 cups pork rinds (I used a harder, firmer variety that wouldn’t get too soggy)
  • ½ cup natural unsweetened peanut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp powdered sweetener (the original recipe calls for 12 drops of liquid Stevia, but I didn’t have that)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Melt coconut oil, butter and peanut butter in a small saucepan. Mix in sweetener, cocoa powder and vanilla and stir until all ingredients are melted and well combined. Taste and adjust ingredients to your preference (I actually added in a bit more PB and lessened the original recipe’s 3 Tbsp of cocoa). Remove from heat.

Place pork rinds into a Ziplock freezer bag. Carefully pour the chocolate mixture over the pork rinds.

Seal bag and shake to coat all the pork rinds.

With tongs, place each coated pork rind on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. (dumping the contents will only make a huge puddle).

Place in the refrigerator to set and chill for 1 hour.

Melt 1 dark chocolate bar of 85-90% cocoa in a double boiler or in microwave. Using the tines of a fork, drizzle the chocolate over the coated pork rinds. Return to the fridge for another 30 minutes.

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Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries

Combine:

  • ½ cup cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp powdered artificial sweetener

Place all ingredients in a bowl and beat until well combined. Spoon the cream cheese mixture into a small Ziplock sandwich bag and seal tight. Push the mixture toward the corners. Place bag in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, wash berries and pat dry, leaving stems with leaves intact. Carefully cut the berries halfway through to the tip, then turn and partially cut them halfway into quarters to create an “x.”

Snip off one corner of the Ziplock bag and squeeze the cream cheese mixture to fill the berries.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

stuffed berries

Pinwheel Mini Sandwiches

Looking to do something different with low-carb bread? Make them into fun pinwheel sandwiches with your favourite spreads and you’ve got a sweet snack or a cool picnic lunch treat.

You’ll need:

This 90-Second Keto Bread recipe, cooked in a square container

Cream cheese, softened and spreadable

Sugar-free jam or the following recipe:

  • ½ cup strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1 small packet sweetener OR 1 tsp sugar-free strawberry Jello powder
  • ¼ cup water

Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Bring up to a boil, then lower heat to a low simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes until liquid is reduced and mixture is thickened. Cool.

Make 90-second keto bread according to recipe, only cook it in a square- or rectangle-shaped container. Remove to cool, then slice in half horizontally, then slice again lengthwise. Flatten each piece of bread with a rolling pin. Spread with cream cheese and top with a thin layer of jam. Roll up each bread slice as tightly as possible (do it slowly as it will likely break otherwise). Slice each roll crosswise to make spirals. Eat immediately or cover and chill.

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Pork Rind Nachos

This week, chef Graham Elliot introduced his take on ballpark favorites at Wrigley Field in Chicago. His innovative menu included pork rind nachos, which inspired me to try making my own! Keeping with the “piggy” theme, I used pulled pork, but you could go with chicken, ground beef, bacon or whatever kind of meat you prefer. Here’s how I layered it up:

  • 1 ½-2 cups prk rinds (chicharrons) Tip: use sturdier pork rinds that will stand up to cheese and toppings. Some will still soften.
  • 1 cup pulled pork tossed in sugar free barbecue sauce (here’s my recipe)
  • ½ cup Mexican-flavoured cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp green chilies, drained
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream

Spread pork rinds on the bottom of a foil-lined pan. Sprinkle with half the cheese and put under the broiler until cheese is melted and pork rinds brown. Top with chilies, jalapeno and remaining cheese and return to the broiler for 2 minutes. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

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