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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Low Carb Food (even desserts!)

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't posted in a long time (almost two months?)... its just been very busy around here. First we had Chris' parents visiting us, I had a huge exam at school, then we celebrated our 1 year anniversary in Disney World, and then had a major paper to write. All during this time, Chris and I started a low carb diet.

We aren't being super strict about it, and we aren't reading tons of Atkins books, but I'm just trying to eliminate as much bead, pasta, rice, potatoes, and sweets as I can. I'm not a big bread person, unless you bring me to a place with garlic bread or bread sticks, but I do love my pasta and rice. Especially at dinner, pasta and rice have long been a base for most of the foods I make. Dinner = pasta + sauce + meat + veggie... or rice + veggies + meat + sauce = stir-fry. What could be easier? Its been tricky trying to rework my dinner menu to be low carb, but I've figured out that I don't miss the starches all too much. 

I do however miss my sweets. I love to eat fruit and desserts. For breakfast and lunch, I love to eat fruit. But with this diet, I've tried to stick to lower sugar, high fiber fruits such as berries. But I still really miss my dessert at the end of the day (not every day, but as you know, I love to bake so a rich, special, treat now and then is really what I crave). I have allowed myself two pieces of dark chocolate after lunch (its almost an antidepressant for me) but I still was looking for some low carb baked goods. Thank god for the internet!

So to give you an idea of what we've been eating, I've been taking pictures of my dinners: 

Parmesan Chicken Tenderloins with Cauliflower Mash (with cheese and kale)

Burrito bowl: lettuce, chicken, a little quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, and cheese

Fried pork chops (yes, I used a little bread crumbs), cheddar brat, and spicy mayo kale salad

Chopped chicken stir-fry with broccoli and peas (this takes less than 15 minutes to make)

Chicken breast with sauteed mushrooms, kielbasa with collard greens, white beans, tomatoes, and spicy chicken broth

Chicken breast coated in cornstarch (less carbs than flour), with a raspberry chipotle glaze, and sauteed green beans and zucchini

Spicy Italian sausage, spicy garlic broccolini, and cloud/oopie bread (made with eggs and cream cheese... seriously)

Corned beef, cabbage and carrots (for St. Patrick's day)

Also, don't forget about my post on the wonders of Spaghetti Squash

Now, for dessert.

Dessert is a little harder to maneuver into a low carb territory due to the high sugar content of most items. But if you don't mind using a little fake sugar (don't mind if I do), its not hard to make a few great desserts.

Greek Yogurt Souffle


1 cup plain greek yogurt...I use 0% Fage
3 large egg yolks
3 large egg whites
3 Tbsp AP flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean (see I told you I'd give you other uses for the vanilla beans I convinced you to buy!)
1/8 tsp cream of tarter
1/4 cup sugar, or a sugar substitute like baking splenda
butter and "real" sugar for ramekins

Preheat oven to 375 F degrees, non convection.

Butter six 6oz ramekins.  Coat inside ramekin with sugar and knock out excess.  Set on baking sheet.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together yogurt, egg yolks, flour, salt and vanilla.  In a medium bowl or in your stand mixture, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy...then gradually pour in the sugar and whisk until firm, but soft peaks form...just don't whip so hard you break the whites. Add 1/3 of egg white mixture to the yogurt mixture and incorporate well.  Then, gently fold in another 1/3...then the remaining.  you want to keep as much volume as possible, of course. Divide evenly into ramekins, filled to about 3/4 to the top because when they fall you still want to have volume in the ramekin.

Bake on tray for about 15 minutes, until evenly risen and lightly browned around the edges.

serve IMMEDIATELY for the full effect.
already falling, but still amazing!

These souffles are very easy to make. They remind me of a warm cheesecake. They do have a distinct 'greek yogurt' smell, but aren't as tart. We only ate two of them that afternoon, but the next day they were still so good. After they fall and cool, they are much more like a whipped cheesecake. I had mine for breakfast with blackberries. 

If you don't want to make them immediately, or you don't want all 6, you can mix them up, put them in the ramekins  and either refrigerate for two days or freeze for several months. Just bake them a few more minutes.

Approx. nutrition info
6 servings: 80 calories, 6.6 carbs, 2.5 fat, 2.3 sugar, 7.4 protein

Coconut Chocolate Mousse

adapted from:

This is another easy low carb dessert idea.

1 can of coconut milk (not lite). Some brands work better than others, but I used the first kind I found at publix (in the asian food section)

5 tablespoons of cocoa powder

2+ tablespoons of powered sugar (to taste, could probably substitute splenda because its so light)

pinch of salt (makes everything taste good, esp chocolate)

splash of vanilla extract

Directions: open the can of coconut milk and let it sit in a bowl overnight. If your can has a lot of runny coconut water on top, drain most of it off. This allows you to let the coconut solids to firm up. 

Combine the rested coconut milk with the cocoa and sugar and whip it with a mixer on a high speed until it gets fluffy (5-10 minutes). 

Time to eat! You can either spoon it into a bowl, eat it from the mixing bowl, or pipe it into fancy glasses rimmed in sugar.

These didn't taste super coconut-y but still very yummy!

Greetings from Disney World!

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