Look Ma, No Potato Perogies

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Next to poutine, perogies (or pierogis) are the unofficial food of Canadians who live in the Prairie provinces. It might have something to do with our eastern European ancestry or at the very least, the need to bulk up to face our harsh winters. By their very definition as a beloved comfort food, these plump dumplings (plumplings?), filled with potato and cheese or cottage cheese or sauerkraut or bacon or whatever staples happen to be handy, are very starchy and very delicious and very definitely NOT low carb.

So, I thought I’d try my hand at making a low-carb version of the recipe, substituting traditional flour dough for fathead dough and potato filling for one that is ricotta based.

In the words of my DH, wiping his mouth with a satisfied grin, “this one’s a keeper.”

Filling:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (save bacon fat in pan)
  • ½ tbsp onion flakes
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper

Dough:

  • 2 cups full fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 oz, cream cheese, cubed
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ tsp salt

Directions:

Make the filling at least 2 hours ahead of preparation time so that it can adequately chill. Chop bacon slices and fry until crispy. Do not drain. Add the bacon to a bowl that contains the ricotta and cheddar cheeses. Combine with onion flakes, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until just before ready to make the perogies.

Dough: in a microwave safe bowl, combine mozzarella and cream cheese. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove and stir cheese together, then microwave for 1 more minute. Stir in almond flour, 1 egg, egg yolk and salt, blending until all ingredients are well combined and resemble dough.

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

Moisten hands with a drop or two of olive oil and portion dough into 12 round balls. One or two at a time, place the balls on a large piece of parchment paper. Cover with more paper. Using a rolling pin, flatten the balls into circles about 3” diameter. Remove top sheet of parchment and place a teaspoonful of filling in the centre of each circle. Fold dough and pinch edges to seal.

Put all 12 perogies on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are browned. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before removing from cookie sheet. Serve with more crumbled bacon, a dollop of full-fat sour cream and onions.

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Low Carb Beef Rouladen

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This traditional German recipe is fancy enough for company, yet quick enough for a weekday dinner. We served it with cauliflower mash to help soak up every drop of the yummy gravy. I found the beef already pounded flat to my liking at the butcher shop, but you could do it yourself with a meat tenderizer.

Makes 3.

  • 3 large (about 1/4” thick) slices of top round steak
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 large onion, caramelized (fry in butter and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar until soft and browned)
  • 3 medium dill pickles, quartered into spears
  • Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 Tbsp butter + 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 cup beef broth, sodium reduced if possible
  • Salt and pepper

Caramelize onion in frying pan and set aside to cool. On a large piece of plastic wrap, lay out beef. Season each piece with salt and pepper and smear on a dollop of Dijon mustard. Lie 2 bacon strips onto each piece of beef. Top with an even amount of the caramelized onions and then lay 4 pickle spears across each piece. Roll up tightly and secure with toothpicks or kitchen twine.

Heat skillet with 2 Tbsp butter and olive oil. When hot, carefully add rolls and sear on all sides. Add the other 1 Tbsp of butter and let melt. Add mushrooms and let cook for 2-3 minutes, then pour in beef broth. Add the xanthan gum and whisk to remove all lumps. If the gravy becomes too thick, add more broth. Cook for 25 minutes, turning the rolls every 5-8 minutes and coating them with the gravy.

Low Carb Slow-Cooker Greek Chicken

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Set your slow cookers to STUN! This great, low-carb comfort food is perfect to come home to on a chilly evening. It’s even BETTER the next day too.

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsps minced garlic
  • 2 tsps onion powder
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and quartered
  • 1-16 oz can black olives
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

In the bottom of the slow cooker, combine olive oil, sundried tomatoes, garlic and spices. Mix well. Add chicken thighs, tomatoes and olives then combine. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Before serving, transfer the chicken pieces to a plate. Stir feta cheese into the slow cooker mixture and spoon over each serving of chicken. Top with additional cheese, if desired.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (Keto)

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You’ll be a lunchbox hero with these coconut flour muffins (total carbs: 9g – fibre: 5g = net carbs: 4g each), as dense and as moist as chocolate cake! It’s up to you whether or not to add the icing, but it does pretty them up. This version is adapted from the Low Carb Maven’s creation.

Dry Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup Swerve granulated sweetener
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 oz zucchini, about 1 small-medium, grated fine
  • ¼ cup organic cocoa nibs

Melt Together

  • 4 oz butter
  • 1 ounce (30 g) unsweetened baking chocolate

Wet Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon Stevia drops

Icing

  • ¼ cup powdered Swerve sweetener
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • ¼ cup heavy whip cream (add more if needed to thin and achieve a drizzle-worthy consistency)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put 12 paper cup liners in a standard muffin tin. Grate zucchini, place into a colander, and sprinkle with a little salt. Mix thoroughly and let sit. Chop the baking chocolate into smaller pieces.
  2. Measure the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk together.
  3. Melt the butter and unsweetened baking chocolate in a microwave safe bowl at 30 second intervals. It took mine 3 times (a total of 90 seconds, divided) to reach the right consistency.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the bowl starting with the eggs. Add the eggs and mix until incorporated. Add the chocolate and butter and mix until incorporated. Using your hands, squeeze the water out of the zucchini and add it to the bowl. Mix thoroughly with a hand mixer.
  5. Scoop the batter (it will be thick!) evenly into the 12 muffin wells. Top with the cocoa nibs, or if you have them, sugar-free chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes depending on your oven. Don’t over bake. Let cool in the pan 3 minutes before removing.

Once the muffins have completely cooled, drizzle the cream cheese icing over top. I refrigerated my muffins for a couple of hours in an air tight container before serving.

Strawberry Cheesecake Fat Bombs

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Whip up a batch and store these berrylicious snacks in the freezer – they’re high in good fat and are as easy to make as they are to pop one in your mouth for a quick hit of yum.

  • ½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries, mashed with a fork or thawed (tip: I put my frozen berries in a small saucepan with a bit of water and a ½ tsp Swerve, then brought it up to a simmer to cook them down).
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 oz. butter, softened (but not melted)
  • 1 oz. coconut oil, softened (but not melted)
  • 2 tbsp powdered Swerve
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Cut the cream cheese and butter into small chunks and let soften at room temperature for 30 minutes. If necessary, cook down or mash your berries (do not drain the juice). Put all of the ingredients into your food processor and blend well. You can also use electric beaters.

Pour or spoon into small silicone candy molds or mini-paper cups and freeze until set. Enjoy!

 

Fathead Doggos

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Fathead pizza dough can be for so much more than pizza. Try this recipe I adapted from Peace Love and Low Carb’s Everything Bagel Dogs which come out to just 4.5 net carbs each. You can use regular hot dogs, but I stepped it up by using juicy jalapeno and cheddar smokies. Yum!

I USED:

  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cup low moisture – part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 large pastured egg
  • 6 jalapeno and cheddar kubidogs (smokies)

Topping:

  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • Seasoning mix: ½ tsp poppy seeds, ½ tsp sesame seeds, ¼ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375°

In a small mixing bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, onion powder and garlic powder.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine mozzarella cheese, butter, and cream cheese. Microwave for 90 seconds to soften. Mix together until everything is well combined. If not melted enough, put it back in for another 20-30 seconds.

Add the dry ingredients and the egg to the cheese mixture. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the dough in the middle and cover with an equally-large portion of parchment paper. Roll into a rectangle. Cut the dough into 6 long portions, similar to a breadstick.

Starting at the end of the sausage, wrap the dough around until you reach the other end. Repeat with the remaining sausages.

Line the dough-wrapped sausages on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat. Brush with melted butter and seasoning mix.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Just Like Pecan Pie(!) Bars

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I’ll admit, I was skeptical that this would taste as good as it looks, but food blogger All Day I Dream About Food really hit one out of the park with her recipe for Pecan Toffee Bars.  At only 1.83 net carbs per serving, don’t walk, RUN to your pantry to start making these right away!

SHORTBREAD CRUST

  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

TOPPING

  • 3/4 cup granulated Swerve Sweetener
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp powdered Swerve Sweetener
  • 3 cups pecans (whole or pieces or a mix)

 

STEP 1: CRUST

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line an 9×9 or 8×8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang for easy removal.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine almond flour, powdered sweetener, and salt. Pulse to combine. Sprinkle with butter pieces and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Alternatively, you can cut in butter with a pastry cutter.
  3. Press into bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until just beginning to brown on the edges. Remove and let cool while preparing topping.

STEP 2: TOPPING

  1. In a medium heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat, combine Swerve and butter and stir until Swerve is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook without stirring until mixture darkens to amber, about 5 to 7 minutes (time may vary depending on the quality of your cookware).
  2. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt. If the mixture appears to be separating, stir in 2 tbsp of powdered Swerve Sweetener until it comes back together.
  3. Sprinkle crust evenly with pecans. Pour toffee mixture evenly over top. Bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until topping has darkened and bubbles thickly. Let cool completely before cutting into 16 bars.