Saturday, July 8, 2017

Cook up a couple of Quiche for a great Summer Meal

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Quiche is a very budget friendly recipe and ideal for the summer. It's great eaten hot or cold, and just needs a side salad to make a complete meal.  It's perfect as a lunch or dinner and can be made in many different ways. The recipe below is an old original I found years ago for a traditional French Quiche Lorraine.

This dish is a great way to use leftovers since you can use just about any vegetable or protein instead of the bacon or green onion.  The cream, eggs and cheese are the basics.  Everything else is pretty much optional.


Quiche Lorraine

 Ingredients :

2 cups grated Swiss cheese (I like Jarlsburg)
9 strips of bacon cook crisp and crumbled
1/2 cup of thickly sliced green onion (or any other kind of onion chopped)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

dash of cayenne pepper1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half (optional)


 Directions :

  • Preheat your oven to 400'F.
  • If you're using a crust, make sure you pre-bake it for 10 minutes or until golden. (See nut crust recipe below.)
  • Combine the cheese, bacon and green onion in a small bowl and toss lightly. Sprinkle about 3/4 of this mixture over the crust. 
  • Heat the cream until just warm. (You can microwave for 1 minute or heat in a small pan.)
  • Beat the eggs with mustard, nutmeg and cayenne in a separate bowl. Add the warm cream and beat again until well combined.
  • Pour into pie plate and sprinkle the remaining bacon mixture over the top.
  • Top with tomato halves if using.
  • Bake the quiche for 15 minutes then lower the oven temperature to 325'F and bake for a further 30 minutes. A knife inserted into the centre should come out clean. Don't overbake. Let cool for a few minutes, but serve while still warm.

 (Will freeze )  Freeze whole or cut into individual servings. Place in freezer containers or flash freeze first then store in a ziplock bag and put back into the freezer until needed.

To Serve : Thaw and then heat in a 350'F oven for best results, but I've heated individual slices in a microwave and they were fine.



Variations :

  • Use cheddar cheese instead of swiss and add leftover cooked hamburger meat instead of bacon.  
  • If you cook the beef with some taco seasoning and maybe add some salsa, this will make it Mexican. Great served with slices of avocado on a green side salad and some sour cream and/or extra salsa on the side.
  • Use broccoli and cheddar with chopped cooked chicken
  • Use cooked shrimp for the protein and add chopped fresh dill for flavouring.  This is best with a mild cheese that doesn't overpower the delicate taste of the shrimp.



This is the illustration I found with the recipe. As you can see it's very old, but it's so cute I thought it was worth adding here.






Nut Crust

Ingredients :

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour (This is what thickens the crust so don't leave it out.)
1/2 cup of melted butter or coconut oil
1 egg, beaten


Directions :
  • Preheat the oven to 350'F.
  • Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, egg and melted butter until it forms a dough. (This happens easily in a food processor.)
  • Spread this mixture with your fingers over the bottom and sides of your quiche or pie plate.  (Remember, since this is a nut crust it doesn't need to be thick.  In fact, the thinner you can make it the better.  I tend to use most of the dough on the sides to create a nice crunchy bit of crust around the top.)
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until just golden, then take it out and cool before filling.
I just recently started to add the egg because this helps the pastry hold together better. It's not quite as flaky, but the trade off is worth it as far as I'm concerned.

This recipe will make 1 large quiche, 2 smaller 9" pies, or 4 to 6 individual meal-size quiches. You can also make a couple dozen really small ones to use as appetizers at a cocktail party.




 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw




Sunday, July 2, 2017

Trying KETO? Make a 2 Minute Salad your biggest meal of the day



Interested in trying the Ketogenic Diet the Primal Paleo way?

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 I wrote a post about Mark Sisson's Big-Ass Salad several years ago and it's just as relevant today as it was then - if not more so.

Now that everyone is jumping on the Keto bandwagon, it's important to remember that vegetables are a big part of the Keto diet.  Dr. Westman, who is considered a major expert, suggests at least two cups of salad and a cup of some other vegetable every day.

For most people, adding more vegetables will not take them out of ketosis as veggies have very few carbs.  Even in the most stringent Keto plan you're allowed 20 grams of carbs and you can eat a lot of vegetables and still stay in those boundaries.

Vegetables, especially leafy green ones, are some of the best things you can eat. For more info check out Mark's post here.

And since when you're KETO or LCHF you want to be moderating your protein, it only makes sense to make your lunch mainly vegetables.  This way you can still have a good dinner and not eat too much protein overall.

Want to see how truly easy it is to make a salad your biggest meal of the day?  Just watch Mark's video and see how he puts one together in under 2 minutes.



Here Mark shows you how to make a chicken salad, but obviously you can use all kinds of other ingredients as well.  The problem most people have is running out of ideas, so here is a list to get you started ....




The base

 Choose from :

- mixed baby greens
- arugula
- baby spinach
- radicchio
- endive
- Boston lettuce
- Romaine lettuce

I usually keep three different options and find that is just right to last me a week. You will probably need to experiment a bit before you find just the right amount that you can eat before it starts going bad. 

And by the way, if you take a few minutes to repack your greens when you first buy them they will last a lot longer. I transfer all of mine into a large bowl, then wipe the moisture of the sides of the container. I line it with a long piece of paper towel, then put the greens back in layers, dividing the layers with more paper towel cut in half.

I usually end up with three layers, then overlap the remaining paper towel and close the container firmly before refrigerating. All this takes maybe three minutes, but using this method I've had my greens last sometimes for up to two weeks. 


Other Veggies to add

Choose from :

- sliced radishes
- cherry tomatoes
- sliced red onion
- sliced cooked beets (If you buy these in a jar it saves the mess of cooking yourself)
- brocco slaw mix
- cabbage and carrot slaw mix
- broccoli and cauliflower pieces
- sliced mushrooms
- sliced zucchini
- sliced avocado


Check out any supermarket or Farmer's market and you'll find tons of options. Keep these in separate small containers in your fridge, and only cut as much as you think you will eat in a couple of days or they will get mushy. I find preparing these twice a week is about right for me. 


The protein

Choose from :
- hard boiled eggs
- ham
- salami
- cold roast chicken
- cold roast beef
- cooked crumbled bacon
- cold cooked fish
- smoked salmon
- cold cooked tuna
- cooked crab, shrimp or lobster
- grated or chunked cheese
- almonds, walnuts or other favourites
- sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds

Again, have only what you can eat within a few days. It's safer to keep meat and fish frozen and just thaw what you need as you run out. (cheese,hard boiled eggs, and nuts and seeds can be kept a week or longer if properly contained.)  




Want still more ideas?  Here are a few example of easy protein salads ...




Seafood is always a great addition. You can use leftovers from yesterdays dinner, or, to make it really easy, buy a package of cooked shrimp and thaw when you need them.



In the summer when tomatoes are ripe and plentiful, there's nothing better than an Italian Caprese salad.  Just mix some chopped tomato, chopped mozzarella, and a few basil leaves, sprinkle with Italian herbs or just salt and pepper, and top with your favourite vinaigrette.



Dressings

Make up two or three at the most because they don't keep for more than a week. 

The simplest vinaigrette is made with either lemon, orange or lime juice or some kind of vinegar mixed with extra virgin olive oil.  You can also add garlic and your favourite herbs to taste.  Just put it all into a container and shake.  Refrigerate until you need it then shake again before using.

You can also make a creamy dressing by adding a bit of whipping or sour cream or mayonnaise. I usually make both a vinaigrette and a creamy dressing on the weekend and then alternate during the week.


Mark Sisson has now come out with a mayonnaise that is very popular and rightly so because it's amazing.  It's available as both plain and a spicy version and is a great time saver. Check out his salad dressings as well.






Primal Kitchen - Avocado Oil Mayo, First Ever Avocado Oil-Based Mayonnaise, Paleo Approved and Organic (12 Ounce, 2 Jars)
Primal Kitchen - Vinaigrette Combo Pack, 1 of each
Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo with Avocado Oil (Paleo Approved)



So if you don't have time to make your own or just don't want to be bothered, try these.  They are a great alternative and you can feel safe knowing they're only made from good ingredients.

With a nice variety like this in your fridge eating a "big-ass salad" every day for lunch will be a habit you won't have any difficulty acquiring.  Even if the only protein source you have at the moment is eggs, you can still come up with a tasty salad as you see below - just leave out the corn and add some chopped nuts instead if you want more crunch.



 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw




Monday, October 24, 2016

CINNABUN - Ketogenic LCHF version



Do you find it hard to walk past a Cinnabun store?  That wonderful aroma has been the downfall of more than one Low Carb Ketogenic dieter, but this doesn't have to happen to you.



Now, whenever you feel tempted, have this great Ketogenic version instead. Not only is it just as delicious (If not more so), but it's also super easy to make.

No mix, kneading, and waiting for the dough to rise. No hours spent in the kitchen.  When you have a stash of Keto Waffles, your next Cinnabun replacement is just minutes away from your mouth!


KETO CINNABUN WAFFLE


Ingredients :

cream cheese
unsalted butter
your favourite sweetener
vanilla extract
ground cinnamon
Keto waffle quarters



Directions :

  • Take the cream cheese and butter out of the fridge and leave to soften.
  • When soft, mix half cream cheese and half butter together.
  • Add vanilla extract and sweetener to taste.
  • Spread on toasted Keto waffle quarters.
  • Top with a shake of ground cinnamon.

I find the half and half mixture not only makes this wonderfully creamy, it's also very satiating as well.  Unlike regular Cinnabuns which cause you to crave more, you can't eat more than a couple of Keto Cinnabun Waffles without feeling full.

Since the spread is half butter, this mixture also makes wonderful fat bombs. Just roll the mixture into small balls, then roll in ground cinnamon to coat, and refrigerate or freeze. Alternatively you can mix the ground cinnamon right into the mix and skip the coating.

Keto Cinnabun waffles are my favourite Sunday treat now.  Served with cup of creamy coffee and a couple of breakfast sausages, they make the perfect brunch - and I certainly never feel like I'm missing out in any way.



 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw






Sunday, October 16, 2016

LASAGNA - Ketogenic LCHF version

                                     

Have I told you lately how much I  LOVE  Keto Waffles?  I use them every single day. They have so many uses I honestly don't know how I managed to live without them.

Today I'm going to show you one of my favourite ways to use them.  This super easy dinner recipe can be put together in minutes, and takes hardly any cooking time.


   LASAGNA

Ketogenic LCHF Version



Makes 3 regular portions or 2 large ones

for each regular serving :
294 calories, 4.5g carbs, 23g fat, 15g protein,1g fibre

for each of large serving :
441 calories, 7g carbs, 34.5g fat, 24.5g protein, 1.5g fibre




Ingredients :

1 1/2 Keto waffles (6 quarters)
1 serving Spaghetti Meat Sauce (or 1 cup of your favourite Spaghetti or Tomato Sauce)
2 ounces of Mozzarella, shredded
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 cups spinach leaves (baby or chopped)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic (optional)
1/2 tablespoon Italian Seasoning

Small greased baking dish (About 5" x 7". You can cook this lasagna in your toaster oven.)

These are the basic ingredients and correspond to the nutritional counts above.  To make this Lasagna more traditional, substitute Ricotta cheese for the Mozzarella.



Directions :

Preheat your oven (or toaster oven) to 400'F.


Grease a medium skillet with the olive oil, then put in the spinach and heat gently over medium heat until just wilted. Add the garlic, if using, and heat for one minute- just until it starts to perfume the air - then remove from the heat and set aside.

If this is too much like cooking for you, you can omit this step by using frozen spinach that's been thawed and squeezed dry, and sprinkling it with a little garlic powder.


Take 3 of the waffle quarters and use them to line the bottom of the baking dish.


Now start building your layers. 

First, pour half of the sauce over the waffles, then top with half of the shredded Mozzarella. Spread the cooked spinach evenly over the top, then top with half the parmesan and sprinkle with half the Italian Seasoning.


Top the first layer of Lasagna with the last three waffle quarters, pressing down gently.


Repeat the layers above starting with the sauce until all the ingredients have been used.


Bake for 20 -25 minutes until the top is lightly golden brown.


Let stand for 5 minutes to set before dividing into portions.

Serve with some Spring Greens and a simple oil and vinegar vinaigrette.  Dinner doesn't get much simpler than this!


 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw




Thursday, October 13, 2016

PAIN AU CHOCOLAT - Ketogenic LCHF version



When I was a student living in Paris, one of my greatest pleasures was meeting my friends in our neighbourhood cafe and indulging in Cafe au Lait and Pain au Chocolat. This was an almost daily part of my routine.

I've always loved both croissants and chocolate, so these were perfect for me. Once I became Ketogenic I figured my days of any kind of croissant were over.  I'm so glad I was wrong!

Once I discovered Ketogenic waffles it opened up a whole new world of variety for me and brought back Pain au Chocolat to my life again.



Now it's once again my mid morning snack ....and I love every biteful!

Today I'm going to show you how to make this super easy and super delicious snack.


KETO PAIN AU CHOCOLAT


Ingredients :

1/2 a Keto waffle (2 quarters)
1 mini Chocoperfection bar (the orange is especially delicious!)

You can use any good dark chocolate (over 65% is best), but the nutrition counts will be different. You also need to make sure that whatever chocolate you use, it's thin enough or it won't melt easily.


I like to use Chocoperfection because it's sugar-free, low in calories, high in fat, and really delicious.  It's easily available, and according to Maria Emmerich (the dietician co-author of Jimmy Moore's Ketogenic recipe book) chocolate is also rich in magnesium, something that is very important in a Ketogenic diet.

Since most people lack magnesium in their diet, this is a great way to get it. (Maria also recommends Chocoperfection bars in her book Keto Adapted.)

So nice to know this is a healthy recipe as well as a delicious one!


Directions :

  • Toast 2 waffle quarters.  This will not only make them crispy like a croissant, but will also help the chocolate melt very easily.
  • As soon as the toast is finished, put one piece on a plate, place the chocolate in the middle, and cover with the other piece. Press the two halves together gently. Leave for a minute or two so it melts.
  • At this point you can open it up if you like and use some of the melted chocolate to spread over the top.
  • Let the chocolate cool a bit so it sets on the top, then eat and enjoy!

Nutrition :

According to SparkPeople:
for each serving : 151 calories, 6g carbs, 14g fat, 5g protein, 4g fibre, 2g net carbs


Every day when I enjoy this treat it reminds me of the happy and carefree days I spent in Paris. It also reminds me how lucky I am to have found this wonderful way of eating that allows me to enjoy these kinds of delicious treats once again, and still stay healthy.

Photo from wikipedia.com



 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw




Thursday, September 29, 2016

LCHF Ketogenic Pizza Crisps



When you're on a ketogenic diet and fat adapted, there are going to be a lot of times when you're really just not that hungry for dinner.  You'd like a drink and maybe something to snack on, but that's about it.  The recipe I'm going to share with you today is perfect for times like these.




All you need are 3 ingredients :
  • Shredded cheese - a half and half mix of shredded mozzarella and shredded parmesan is what I find works best. Mozzarella by itself would be too soft.
  • Thinly sliced pepperoni.  Get some spicy pepperoni if you like it hot.
  • Pizza seasoning (or Italian seasoning if that's what you have.)

This is so easy to make!  You don't even need to turn on your oven. I use my toaster over to make these. Preheat it to 400'F so it can be heating while you put these together.



Then line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or pan liner.

Place your pepperoni slices about half an inch apart, then put a small pile of the mixed cheese on each slice.  It's okay if the cheese overlaps because you want it to form a crisp around the pepperoni.

Sprinkle with Pizza Seasoning.  If your pepperoni isn't spicy you might want to sprinkle some crushed red pepper on them as well.


Cook it for 5 to 8 minutes, watching to make sure they don't burn.  They will turn very quickly.


You want them to be golden around the edges but still white on the inside.


Because the cheese is greasy, your crisps will probably be surrounded by a bit of oil in the pan. To help them become crispy, I like to remove them to a sheet or two of paper towel to cool.


They will seem a bit soft when they are hot, but as they cool they will harden and crisp.  This snack is just protein and fat, with maybe a carb or two in the pepperoni (check your package) so they're the perfect complement to your evening glass of red wine - or white if that's what you prefer. 

This recipe was adapted from one on the diet doctor.com website. 


 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw