New Year, Nu…Wave?

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Behold, the Nu-Wave

Behold, the Nu-Wave

So a few months back, my grandmother got a Nu-Wave Pro Infrared Oven from my uncle. She’s been singing its praises ever since. A few days ago, upon visiting with dear granny, I asked if she’d let me borrow hers so I could determine if I wanted one of my own. Of course she said yes. Because I’m her favorite grandchild. Duh.

Anyway, it took me one day of use to determine that I absolutely had to have one. I brought it home on a Friday night, started using it Saturday morning, placed my order for my very own on Saturday evening.

One of the selling points of the oven is that you can go from frozen to cooked in a fraction of the time. This is true. I cooked frozen Italian sausage in about 20 minutes. I haven’t tried cooking anything else from frozen, but I’ll admit that there was some flavor sacrificed with that method. Not enough to turn me away from doing it again in a pinch though.

The major boon of this oven, for me, is the fact that there’s no need to preheat. Seriously, in the time it takes to preheat a traditional oven, food in the Nu-Wave will be done or close to it!

And let us not overlook the deliciousness factor. In addition to the Italian sausage, I’ve made bacon, country spareribs, beef roast with potatoes and carrots (I didn’t eat the taters and carrots, o’course) and chicken wings in this thing. All turned out tender and moist, which is surprising given that there isn’t as much fat retained as with traditional oven cooking. (Not ideal for the LCHF way of eating, but you can add fat in other ways.) And look…those chicken wings took 16 minutes. SIXTEEN MINUTES!

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Just look at the stuff I made and tell me you don’t want it! You can purchase it here, here and here. Now I think those are links for the Nu-Wave Oven Pro, whereas I have the Pro Plus. My understanding is that the Pro Plus has a sturdier dome.

My uncle ordered his from the official site, taking advantage of the BOGO deal. I only needed one, and QVC had a deal at the time, so that’s where I ordered mine from.

Do you have one? Tell us about it in the comments!

Easy Peasy Buffalo Chicken Wingsies

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Heeeeey, wonderful reader! J here. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. The holidays don’t allow much time for anything, do they? In case you’re wondering, I did not stay on plan during the holidays. (I really hadn’t planned to be strict about it, but I HAD planned to do better than what I did.) Anyway, I did still lose a few pounds, but not very many. T stuck to it and continues to do an AWESOME job. (Did she mention how she just said no to cake on her birthday? That’s some willpower right there!)

Anyhoosers…the holidays are over, but there’s still Super Bowl XXXVLMNOP parties to think about. (In case it isn’t clear, I’m not big on the game lol.) That’s where this quick and easy recipe comes in.

So, I may or may not have mentioned this before but…I’m lazy. I like to cook, but if there’s a shortcut that won’t sacrifice flavor, I. Am. THERE. I’ve found that shortcuts and alternatives in the LCHF lifestyle are unsatisfying for ME, so I usually just eat things that are naturally low carb and high fat. I don’t really do alternatives outside of coconut flour because I’ve been let down in the past. Plus, they tend to be more work.

Not the case with this recipe. I’ve modified a recipe that calls for buttermilk with a replacement that’s quick and easy, and you likely have the two ingredients in your house. Heavy whipping cream and vinegar (or lemon juice)! So without further ado, bring on the…
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Easy Peasy Buffalo Chicken Wings

1/2 c Heavy whipping cream

2 tsp vinegar (or lemon juice)

1/2 c hot sauce of choice

pepper, to taste

salt, to taste

garlic powder, to taste

6 chicken wings

 

Mix the HWC and vinegar or lemon juice and let it curdle to make your buttermilk alternative. (Takes about 5 minutes)

In a zip top plastic bag (gallon size), mix the buttermilk alternative, hot sauce and seasonings together thoroughly.

Place the wings into the bag with the sauce, turning the bag to and fro, making sure the wings are well coated. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

 

Set the broiler to high and place rack on the middle level. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil and put a wire rack on top.

Remove the wings from the marinade, gently shaking any excess off, and place the wings onto the baking rack.

Broil the wings for 10-12 minutes (until meat starts to pull away from the bones). Remove from the oven and flip the wings with tongs. Put back into the oven for an additional 10-12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Back from the Big Easy

So I spent my Halloween in New Orleans. I’m not even gonna pretend here. My diet was the furthest thing from my mind. I ate ALL the bread and drank ALL the Pepsi and indulged in ALL the fruity alcoholic beverages (really, it was only 1 fruity alcoholic beverage, but it was 32 ounces so…) And it was glorious. I’ll also admit that I came home a bit bloated, but that happens every time I drink more than one alcoholic bevvie, so it wasn’t a surprise…and nothing that drinking a little extra water couldn’t fix.

Now that I’m back, I’m back on the diet grind. I’m allowing myself more carbs per day though. I’ll probably hover somewhere around 60. We’ll see what happens. Wish me luck!

Low-Carb Cottage Cheese Pancaaaakes!

T here!

Okay, so.. if you haven’t already noticed, J is the gourmet on this website.  She’s the one who can go into a kitchen and whip something up out of what she’s got on hand.  Yay!  Me?  Not so much.  But I’ll tell you what I CAN do.. I can take a regular recipe, tweak it and make it LCHF and effing delicious! 😀

Let me say, I GENUINELY love this recipe.  This isn’t one of those, meh, it’ll serve its purpose recipes.  When on this lifestyle, finding a truly tasty way to enjoy the carb-laden foods we used to enjoy, well, it’s a special thing.  Shoutout to loaded mashed cauliflower! LOL

Anyway, pancakes are my favorite-est food.  Period.  Of anything.  So imagine my grievous lamentations when every LCHF pancake recipe I’ve tried has left me wanting in one way or another.  The cream cheese pancake recipe is good in theory, but kinda eggy and flat-tasting to me.  The recipes that rely too heavily on flax or nut flour just.. don’t hit that spot.  This recipe, however, kinda combines the two efforts and creates something kinda freaking amazing.  So I bring you.. Low-Carb Cottage Cheese Pancakes!

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Now I know, they look kinda Frankenstein-y, but trust me.. yum!

1/2 cup small-curd cottage cheese (I used Michigan brand.. least amount of carbs)
1 1/2 Tbls salted butter, melted (If you want to use unsalted, add a pinch or two of salt)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I used McCormick of course)
1/4 cup almond flour (I used Simple Truth, from Kroger)
2 eggs
granulated sweetener, equal to 1 Tbls of sugar (I used Xylosweet)

Throw it all into a blender, mix well for about 30 seconds, then pour onto a hot griddle (I set mine to 325)!  I flipped mine when they started to steam a little and the top started looking firm.  Maybe 2 minutes or so.  Be careful flipping.  I had to kind of run my spatula around underneath the edges first, and then do a quick flip.  They are mostly done at that point, so let them sit for another 20-25 seconds or so, and done!  Spread with butter (or sugar-free butter flavored maple syrup) and enjoy!  Makes about 8 pancakes, depending on the size.  If you have 2 pancakes per serving, you’re only talking roughly 3 net carbs max, depending on the cottage cheese used!

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Let me say that 2 was plenty for me, especially when I added a couple strips of bacon on the side.  Totally filling!  They remind me of the cream cheese pancakes a bit, but better.  The flavor is deep and reminiscent of something indulgent.  The cottage cheese really adds something.  And they’re good with or without sugar-free syrup!  Like, this is something I’d eat even if I were still eating carbs.  Imagine what you could do with them.. wrap them up like crepes, stuff them with breakfast meat or have them alongside eggs.  Yes!  I hope you try these and enjoy!

Until next time,

T

 

 

Spicy Cheesy Chicken Soup

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Before I get started, let me just say how proud and happy I am for T. She sent me a picture from her recent girls’ weekend trip and she looks AHHHMAAAAAYYYYZING! Get it, girl!

Now on to the food!

Forgive me in advance for not being my normally wordy, descriptive self, but I’m on the cusp of a migraine so I’m just trying to get this down for you super fast while I remember it, especially since we’ve been pretty lame at posting these past few weeks.

Anyway, I experimented today and came up with this very tasty, almost restaurant quality spicy chicken soup. You can alter it to your desired spice level by using more or less of the chili powder and/or red pepper flakes.

Spicy Cheesy Chicken Soup

4 chicken thighs

3 chicken bouillon cubes

1 beef bouillon cube

1/2 small onion, chopped

1 Tbs minced garlic

2 oz cream cheese

1 c heavy whipping cream

2 Tbs chili powder

1 Tbs cumin

2 tsp dried red pepper flakes

salt

14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes*

4 oz can chopped green chiles

2 c shredded colby jack cheese

 

Boil the chicken thighs and bouillon cubes in enough water to cover the thighs. Toss in the onion and garlic. Once done (when the chicken comes away from the bone easily), remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. Whisk the cream cheese into the liquid in the pot. Then whisk the heavy cream in. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes and salt. Bring to simmer for about 5 minutes.

While it’s coming to simmer, shred the chicken with a fork. (Or, if you’re lazy like me, just pull it apart into manageable chunk sizes.) Once your 5 minutes of simmering are up, add the chicken back into the pot, along with the tomatoes, diced chiles and cheese. Continue stirring until the cheese is well incorporated. Then, get your bowl and spoon and enjoy!

*I used tomatoes with chipotle chiles because I like a bit of kick.

 

Do you BPC?

“Excuse me, but do you BPC?” *coquettish grin*

I just said that out loud, in my ‘Grey Poupon’ voice.  You know the one. 😀

BPC, for those of you who may not yet know, is bulletproof coffee.  I’ve also heard of it called ‘butter coffee’ in some circles, and it’s a cornerstone of the LCHF lifestyle.  If you plug ‘bulletproof coffee’ into your Google window, the first result will likely be to bulletproofexec.com, the site belonging to the man credited with inventing bulletproof coffee.  Of course, since its inception, it has spun off into all sorts of variations, often suited to the drinker’s personal tastes or dietary needs.  I’ve heard of people adding protein powder, sugar-free cocoa mix, dark chocolate, etc.  All sorts of interesting additions!  Of course, the starting off point seems to have a few things in common: freshly brewed coffee, grass-fed butter, and coconut (or MCT) oil. Anyway, this post is about my recent experiences with BPC, and how I think I’m becoming an addict!

I’m not a coffee drinker.  I grew up in a house without a coffee maker. (Then again, my parents didn’t drink alcohol either.) The only time I remember smelling coffee in the morning was when I’d visit my grandmother as a kid.  She drank Sanka. It always looked and smelled really good, but isn’t Sanka decaffeinated?  Like, what’s the point? LOL!  So anyway, when she finished doctoring it up, it was all light and creamy.. kinda like a latte.  I always remember wanting a sip, but never having the courage to ask for one.  Fast forward [number redacted] years, to my newly-burgeoning LCHF lifestyle. We are forever on the search for something to eat– especially something quick and satisfying.

I remember J mentioning BPC a couple of times, and after asking her what it was, I went and looked online for more info.  Coconut oil? Uhhh, no. No no no. I hate coconuts.  Like, severe hatred (although the Bounty candy bars from the UK had me seriously rethinking my position).  People say that you can’t really taste the coconut flavor when using the flour and the oil (unless the oil is unrefined), but I can.  After my experience with oil pulling (something else J hipped me to), I know without a doubt that I can taste it.  So the mere mention of the oil pretty much made me say a big-fat NO to the whole BPC idea.

I’ve said no to lots of things on this WOE, and as time goes on, and variety becomes an issue, I end up succumbing and trying them anyway.  My first big-fat NO was on sweeteners.  Now I own splenda, xylitol, AND erythritol. But I digress.. I was unwilling to try the BPC because of the coconut oil. But I was intrigued with the idea of something that could replace breakfast and most of lunch, plus supplying mental clarity and boundless energy.  So I bought a cheapo Mr. Coffee 4-cup ($14 at my local Meijer) and plunged ahead.

Let me cut to the chase: BPC makes me happy.  It does!  Does it keep me full for 6 hours?  Heck no.  Then again, I’m a busy gal and I imagine that my metabolism has increased since I’ve lost 35 lbs (woot woot!).  But it DOES give me a boost.  I feel brighter, fresher, and a bit steadier than I usually do.  And that’s coming from a natural morning person.  I still don’t do the coconut oil, but I do take a coconut oil supplement at night, to hopefully supply me with some of those benefits.

BPC is something that’s not only good in the mornings, but on days when you’re having trouble getting your fats up.  My recipe is 21g of fat, and I feel good knowing that I’m giving my body a good jump start for my busy days.  I use 1 tbls of Kerrygold butter, 2 tbls of HWC, and sugar-free syrup (I have caramel, french vanilla, and chocolate– just depends on what I feel like tasting that day), and whip it all up with Maxwell House Master Blend (kinda weak for coffee, but I wanted to start small) in my Magic Bullet!

Do you BPC?  And if so, what do you put in yours?  I’m always open to new recipes!

Until next time,

T

Probably primal?

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Hey guys!

As it stands, I’ve lost approximately 30 lbs since I started on this LCHF journey. Going into it, I knew it wasn’t going to be a way of eating that I could commit to forever for the simple fact that I absolutely adore fruit. Apples, oranges, GRAPES, mangoes, peaches, pears, plums, pineapples…probably the only fruits I DON’T like are bananas, blueberries and kiwi.

In the past, I’ve dabbled with what I affectionately call the “pick it, kill it” diet. If you can pick it and it eat it in its raw form, it’s allowed. If you can kill it, cook it (or not…no judgment here) and eat it, it’s allowed. It’s basically a primal diet in very simple terms. I used to refer to it as paleo, but discovered that, while the two approaches to diet are similar, there are some marked differences. (Read more about it here.) One such difference is that the paleo diet is not too keen on saturated fats. Being on a diet that ENCOURAGES butter and fatty cuts of meat is the main reason I’ve been able to stick this one out. I mean, who doesn’t just love a juicy prime rib served with buttered broccoli?

Photo courtesy of yelp

Photo courtesy of yelp

I’ll also be able to keep avoiding all the things that I’m allergic to (corn, wheat, rice, barley, oats) but feel less restricted since I’ll be enjoying fruits, honey, molasses and such. And because I’m hard-headed and can’t resist the occasional allergen-filled piece of cake, pie or donut, I’ll be aiming at eating primal at least 80% of the time. I just can’t do 100% restriction of anything, allergies or not!

I still have about 20 more pounds I’d like to lose, so I probably won’t start shifting to primal until January or so. (Gotta have some cushion weeks for the inevitable weight gain from my grandmother’s irresistible holiday cooking.) In the meantime, I’ll continue to keep this low carb, high fat party going!

–J

Snacking: Keto Style

Hola, all!  T here.

Firstly, let me apologize for my lengthy absence.  I just knew when school really got going, my kids would have me turned every which way but loose.  Still, I’ll try to be more diligent about popping my head in here to check-in. 🙂

J is a gourmet chick (if you haven’t figured it out by now LOL), but I on the other hand, ha-yaaate to cook!  Probably because I feel like I do it all the time.  Cooking and driving, driving and cooking. So when it comes time to feed myself, I’m all thumbs.  I want something quick and easy, to fill my tum-tum with minimum effort.  I suppose I’m a grazer at heart.  If you’re like me, you want a few substantial, yummy snacky-things to get you thru the hump.  So here’s a short list of the things that make my tastebuds and schedule happy!

First thing is the Emerald 100 calorie walnut & almond packs.
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Let me tell you, these have gotten me thru many a snacky-emergency.  They have 3 carbs per pack, 2 of those being dietary fiber, for a grand total of 1 net carb per pack. Delicious! Crunchy, nutty, natural.. just wonderful.  Surprisingly filling.  And we all know how one can get carried away on snacking on nuts.  This way, your snack is perfectly proportioned and ready to go!

Secondly, nothing beats a good ol’ spoonful of natural peanut butter. Remember early on when I said I don’t really miss the bread and/or pasta?  It’s the sweets I miss!  And lordy be, are they everywhere.  Sometimes, I just need a little taste to treat myself.  If I’ve been really good, I eat it alongside some of this:
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Now I know how controversial sugar alcohols can be, so decide for yourself on which side of the argument you reside.  For me, hey.  It beats gorging on the real thing! A normal serving size is 1/2 cup.  I only have half that at most.  Together with my peanut butter, it’s a nummy little nosh.  Good for dessert, or any old time!

Another quick and filling snack is the tried and true meat and cheese roll-up.  Admittedly, back when I was a carb-hound, I turned my nose up at such things, LOL.  But now, I honestly can’t get enough.  I like to pair deli-fresh meats with creamy cheeses (like Philadelphia Whipped Cream Cheese), put in an olive or two, or a baby kosher dill pickle, roll up, and munch.  I can honestly say I don’t miss the bread! There are so many different combinations out there, and it’s fun to experiment and see what new flavor combinations I can create.

Naturally, I’ve saved the best for last.  My mouth literally WATERS just thinking about this delicious dish.  I’m pretty sure J has done some variation on this in the past, but here’s my version. I call it Pan Pizza.  Literally, it is pizza made in a pan of sorts.  Yes, we’ve all experimented with the different crusts made from cauliflower, nut flours, etc. No offense to them, but I’ve always found the texture off.  And they take forever to make!  When I’m hungry, I want my food immediately.  So, I got the idea off of one of my LCHF message boards.  Put a nice drizzle of olive oil or a dollop of butter in a small skillet, and turn it on medium.  Once the oil or butter had melted and spread, comes cheese. Any cheese you want!  I prefer to start with the Sargento’s Ultra-Thin Provolone (2 slices), and then layer on a bit of Kraft Finely Shredded Triple Cheddar and Kraft Mozzarella with Philadelphia Cream Cheese.  Let them melt just a little, then toppings!  I use Mids Pizza Sauce (lowest carbs I could find, and it’s yummy!), maybe some diced peppers, and mushrooms!  I am NOT a pepperoni girl.  I let it all bubble and melt, and then remove it from the heat, and gently slide it onto a plate. OMG!  The provolone on the bottom gets a little buttery and crunchy, and tastes JUST LIKE THIN CRUST.  It’s divine!  Better than any other substitute I’ve seen.  Plus, it’s quick and easy!  The whole thing takes maybe 5 minutes.

Those are my favorite go-to’s as far as quick munching LCHF-style.  What are some of your favorite snack suggestions?

Chicken Alfredo “Zuccagna”

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Hello, people of Lowcarbunda! I bring you greetings and experimentation results!

Today on Facebook, I ran across a most delicious looking recipe for chicken alfredo lasagna. Not only did it look good, but it required no extra special ingredients. I could even just use my leftover baked chicken. Right up my alley! What wasn’t up my alley was the carb-y lasagna noodles, so I decided to give it a go with the handy dandy alternative: zucchini!

I had intended to get a little funky with it because, as T will tell you, I like to mix things up a bit. Unfortunately that part of the experimentation went all the way left. The good news, though, is I may have “accidented” upon a pretty tasty low carb pancake that doesn’t require cream cheese! Keep your fingers crossed for the kitchen testing to come.

Chicken Alfredo “Zuccagna”

1 medium zucchini, sliced length-wise

1 c alfredo sauce (I used Bertolli mushroom alfredo, yum!)

1 c cooked, shredded chicken (I pulsed mine in the Ninja)

Italian seasonings, to taste

Granulated garlic, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

6 slices provolone

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the italian seasonings, garlic and pepper into the shredded chicken. Spray bottom and sides of loaf pan with no stick. Lay half of the zucchini on the bottom. Top with 1/2 c of shredded chicken, followed by 1/2 c alfredo. Top with 3 slices of the provolone. Repeat the layers: zucchini, chicken, alfredo, provolone. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let set for 5 minutes or so before serving, then enjoy!

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Sorry, forgot to use the flash on the photo! I think this would be just as tasty with a tomato-based sauce but wouldn’t look as neat and orderly. Give the recipe a try and let us know what you think, or any changes you’d make. Thanks for reading and losing with us!

-J

Chili Cheese Dog Casserole

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Hey guys! How’s it going? Me? Can’t complain! I’ve been doing some experimenting with recipes I’ve found online. I’m not going to post about those that I found to be utterly disgusting (like that cookie puff thing that tasted like artificially sweetened dog kibble), but I will let you know about those that were at least ok.

That brings me to the chili cheese dog casserole. I’m not big on casseroles, but I’m trying to expand a little. LCHF dieting is pretty limiting when compared to the SAD (standard american diet) way of eating, so I figure that variety is the key to transitioning, ya know? And since I’m a lover of coney dogs, why not give this a try?

Anyway, I can’t remember where I first saw the chili cheese dog casserole recipe, but here’s a link to one that is similar to the original. I tweaked it a little bit, as you will see in the instructions below.

Chili Cheese Dog Casserole

1 pound ground beef
2 tbs green onion (because this is what I had on hand)
2 tbs chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Salt, to taste
2 tsp yellow mustard
1/4 c canned crushed tomatoes (because this is what I had on hand)
3 hot dogs, chopped
1 extra large egg (because 2 XL eggs just seemed like way too much)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350. Brown the hamburger and onion. Stir in the seasonings, mustard, tomatoes and chopped hot dogs. Spread in a casserole dish.  Beat the eggs, mayonnaise and heavy whipping cream together until it’s all smooth. Pour over the meat mixture, stirring it to make sure the meat is evenly coated. Top with the cheese. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

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Now I’ll admit that I wasn’t a fan of this. It wasn’t nasty, but it just didn’t do it for me. However, 3 other people ate it and 2 of them loved it. (Both of whom pretty much only like junk food, so if that’s your bag, this might be for you.) I’ll likely only make it again if requested, but I figure it’s worth a post if 50% of eaters enjoyed it.

If you try it, please comment with your thoughts. I’d like to hear. Happy dining!

-J