Recipe Review

As promised, here is my review of the Low-Carb Pizza Burgers that I made two weeks ago. The idea for this delicious low-carb recipe comes from HowToThisAndThat.com. I haven’t tried any of the other recipes from this site, but I’m glad I tried this one out. The rest of the family was glad too!

Difficulty Level: Normal Mode

While this recipe wasn’t too difficult to prepare, there were things that I had to tweak, and it took a little more prep work than something you can just throw together in a single pan. That said, it’s not so daunting that someone with a little less experience and a little extra time couldn’t figure out how to do it.

Prep Work:

When the recipe says that it needs time to chill before you roll out the dough, take it at face value. Make the fathead dough in the morning and make the burgers in the evening. I did not follow this advice, and I paid for it in time and wasted cheese.

So make the Fathead ahead of time, and the rest of the prep is a total cinch. It’s basically browning your burgers, and then putting everything together. I made my burgers in the oven since I used frozen patties from Sam’s.

Low-Carb Pizza Burger

I’m all about easy.

Getting Started on the Low-Carb Pizza Burgers

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While my burgers were getting toasty in the oven, I started on the Fathead dough. If you have never tried Fathead dough, what are you waiting for? It’s incredibly delicious and can be used for a wide variety of meals. The Fathead dough consists of mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, egg, almond flour, and the Italian seasoning and garlic powder shown in the picture. The sauce and pepperoni were used to top the burgers.

Making the dough is not difficult, and surprisingly, it takes hardly any time at all. The problem I ran into was just how sticky it was.

Uh-Oh Moment

Since I didn’t refrigerate the dough and I already had my burgers just about done, I decided to try to roll out it regardless. It didn’t work. I was severely disappointed that the dough recipe wasn’t working out, but I knew that it was through no fault of the recipe itself. It was just far too sticky to work with at all. What to do?

Make a version of the dough that I had worked with before, of course! I quickly pulled up the Fathead recipe I used when we made these:

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Low Carb “Fathead Pigs in a Blanket courtesy of https://hip2save.com/2017/07/20/low-carb-fathead-pigs-in-a-blanket/

Same ingredients, different ratios. So I made the adjustments and got some new dough made up. It took two batches of the other dough to make enough for all four burgers, but the results were oh so worth it.

Putting it together

Once I got the dough made and rolled out, it was time to put together the burgers. This part was a bit of fun since I could have added other toppings if I wanted to, but the pepperoni just seemed right to use. Each burger got a spoon of pizza sauce, three pepperoni slices and a sprinkle of mozzarella before being enveloped in the dough. Then on went three more pepperoni slices and a little more cheese. Oh yes, this is my kind of recipe.

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Just the sauce, before the rest of the toppings.

Into the Oven

I was still a little skeptical about Fathead dough when I made these. When I made the pigs in a blanket I wasn’t very hungry, so I wasn’t sure if it was the dough, or just not wanting to eat that put me off. After these came out of the oven, the smell alone was enough to make my stomach growl.

Low-Carb Pizza Burgers

Beautiful. And delicious.

The dough turned out firm enough that we could pick these up to eat them rather than use a knife and fork like I thought we would need. It was kind of like a cross between the most delicious hot pocket ever and a crazy good calzone. Either way, it was definitely a keeper of a recipe. Next time, I’ll make the dough in the morning and see how it turns out. But if you’re in more of a hurry, or don’t want to make anything ahead, the other Fathead recipe works just fine.

Rating of Low-Carb Pizza Burgers:

Three yums and a definitely will make again. Success!


Daily Dose of Music

Recipe Review

As promised, here is my review of the Bacon Cheeseburger Cauliflower Casserole that I made last week. This odd, but delicious low-carb recipe comes from SugarFreeMom.com. I haven’t tried any of the other recipes from this site, but I’m glad I tried this one out. The rest of the family was glad too!

Difficulty Level: Normal Mode

I want to say this recipe would be suitable for n00bs, but there are a few things that aren’t really explained very well, such as steaming the cauliflower or leaving the bacon and beef drippings in the pan. There is also a discrepancy in how much flour to use in the sauce. But I’ll get to that shortly. For now, let’s just say that if you are fairly confident and competent in the kitchen, you should do just fine.

Prep Work:

You remember that great prep picture I had from the Crockpot Beef Roast review? Yeah, it’s not happening with this one. See, I have at the very most, 45 minutes to devote to cooking in the morning if I’m taking my niece to school (which I usually do). While the recipe says it takes 30 minutes of prep, I can vouch that I used every bit of that 45 minutes. And that was the second time I attempted the recipe! The first time, I only got as far as steaming and pureeing the cauliflower and browning the bacon and beef. So make sure you have plenty of time when starting this recipe.

This is how I started off: Put the bacon in a cold pan (sorry, but I’m just using regular bacon. I’m not going searching for fancy uncured, reduced-sodium bacon), plopped the steamer basket in my big pot and filled it with water just below the steamer, got out my food processor, a few bowls, the cauliflower, etc.

Getting Started on the Bacon Cheesburger Cauliflower Casserole

I broke up the cauliflower and shoved it all in the pot, turned it on high and plunked on the lid while the bacon was already sizzling. I pulled the bacon out, and tossed the beef into the same pan with the bacon drippings. Instead of measuring out a ton of spices, I used my favorite seasoning for burgers: Weber Gourmet Hamburger Seasoning. A liberal sprinkle of that and then once the meat was just about done, I sliced up the bacon and added it to the beef so it could be incorporated into the meat, instead of sitting on top of the casserole.

It was at this point that I realized just how far behind I was running, and I put down the phone and neglected my picture taking in favor of finishing the casserole before I had to run out the door. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the cauliflower puree. It looked kind of like mashed potatoes though!

Major Substitution

I opted to use almond flour rather than coconut. There were two reasons for the substitute. One, I was severely pressed for time, and taking the time it would have taken to open and then properly store my coconut flour seemed to be just too much in the moment. Two, I like almond flour. I use it all the time these days and I’m familiar with it. I’ve never used coconut flour before, even though it’s been sitting in my cabinet for months.

Next time I make this, I think I’ll take the time to open the coconut flour. It’s not that the almond flour didn’t work. But I had to use a lot more of it in the sauce than was called for, and it was a bit gritty. It also didn’t want to thicken very well. So when the recipe says that you can use a flour of choice, don’t believe it! Use the coconut flour.

Into the Fridge

I managed to snap a few more pictures as I was getting the casserole put together to go into the fridge for the day!

Yes, that’s my empty food processor. I was hoping to capture a bit of the cauliflower. Unfortunately, I don’t think it does it justice. But by then, I had the cheese, sauce, and meat layered over it. Then even more cheese. Yum. The whole thing was topped with the sauce and then went into the refrigerator until I got home from work.

Major Omission

There was one ingredient that I just “ew” about and decided not to include. I didn’t put the mustard into the sauce. I thought it just didn’t sound right. Mustard in a cream sauce? Now, I like mustard, but it just didn’t sit right with me. I should have followed the recipe.

Out of the Oven

When I got home from work, I put the casserole straight from the fridge into the oven. A no-no, I know. At least the oven was cold at the time! So I preheated the oven with the casserole in the oven. I gave it an extra ten minutes since it was thoroughly chilled. And it came out just gorgeous.

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Oh yeah. Look at that. Beautiful.

 

But How Did it Taste?

When I first took a bite, we were still standing in the kitchen, I couldn’t wait any longer. It was…pretty good. But you know, I thought it could have used a little ketchup. And then I started to wonder. Would it be good with mustard on it? I mean, there has to be a reason that it’s in the sauce right?

So I drizzled a bit of ketchup and mustard on it. HOLY SHIT. No kidding, the adding of the mustard alone made this an entirely different and utterly delicious dish. I didn’t realize that one little ingredient like that could completely change the flavor. I could still taste the cauliflower a bit, but it’s been growing on me. Slowly. Like a fungus.

This got devoured.

Rating:

Three yums and a definitely will make again. Success!


Daily Dose of Music

Recipe Review

Last week, we tried out a new recipe! If you’ve read my blog before, you’re probably getting the picture that the mister and I are creatures of habit. When we find something we like, we tend to stick with it. Recipes are no different. Well, I have to say that we’ve found a winner in this delicious Crockpot Beef Roast from Life as the Coats.

Difficulty Level: Easy Mode

This recipe was incredibly simple. It takes five ingredients, and only one that has to be measured. I know, cooking a beef roast isn’t exactly rocket science. But I can’t tell you how many of my roasts have come out dry or flavorless. Well, I probably could tell you, but I’m not going to. It’s a lot. Say goodbye to flavorless hunks of meat that have to be drowned in gravy.

Beef Roast Prep:

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Yeah, that’s all of the ingredients right there. The actual meat, brown gravy packet, ranch seasoning mix, and a zesty Italian dressing mix with a half-cup of water. It took me more time to arrange the ingredients for pictures than it did to put this recipe together. If you are in a hurry to get out the door in the morning and you want a meal on the table in minutes when you get home, then this is the recipe you want. Two minutes of prep. Tops.

Put the beef roast in the crockpot.

Crockpot Beef Roast Review

Sprinkle on the ranch, Italian, and gravy.

Pour the water in around the beef roast.

Crockpot Beef Roast Review
Turn it on low.

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Now leave it alone for about 8-9 hours.

That’s It? Really?

Yes, really. I was skeptical too! I thought, no way, this is going to taste weird, look awful, be covered with a weird powdery paste, etc. None of these horrors came to pass. It was seriously the best roast I’ve ever made.

I love coming home to a house that smells like something delicious is waiting to get in my belly. This was one of those meals that had my stomach growling when I walked in the door.

Crockpot Beef Roast Review

You can’t tell me that doesn’t look delicious. Well, you could. But I wouldn’t believe you.

Let me get a little sidetracked.

So I’ve been promising a review of mashed cauliflower for a while now. We had it once, and it’s a testament to Green Giant’s abilities that I bought it a second time to go along with this roast.

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Now, If you didn’t know, I have a loathe-hate-meh relationship with cauliflower. It’s one of those veggies that if I never ate it again, I wouldn’t be crying. And I get SO angry at recipes that say they will make cauliflower taste like potatoes, rice, bread, heaven…you get the idea.

I wasn’t keen on trying mashed cauliflower that has the audacity to pretend to be like potatoes. How dare it! Well, it wasn’t awful. In fact, it was surprisingly good. Did it taste like potatoes? Uh…no. But from someone who doesn’t like cauliflower, this is a palatable way to eat it.

Crockpot Beef Roast Review

Looks gross though.

Presentation is key.

At least it is for me. I like things to be pretty as well as delicious. The mister doesn’t really care, but I like meals that look appetizing. The easiest way to make goopy cauliflower look appetizing?

Crockpot Beef Roast Review

Put meat and gravy on it, of course!

Crockpot Beef Roast Review

That’s a little hunk of heaven right there.

Oh yeah. That’s the stuff. Mixed with seasoned and cooked to fall-apart tender perfection, the cauliflower was actually complimentary.

Did everyone enjoy?

You bet they did. This recipe received three enthusiastic Yums. This is one of those meals that is going to become a staple of our menu. And yeah, the mashed cauliflower will be making a return as well. While it doesn’t replace mashed potatoes, the more I eat it, the more I’m starting to not hate it. Progress!


Daily Dose of Music

Recipe Review: Decontructed Pizza Casserole

This morning was unusual. I don’t have a ninja princess (my niece) to take to school this week, so my mornings have been a bit more relaxed. I still set my alarm for 6:30, but I get to hang out in the warm covers for a half hour and scroll Facebook. And then even if I take a full hour to get ready for work, I’ve got another full hour to just…do whatever.

So I took that extra time this morning to get a head start on tonight’s dinner. We’re having Low-Carb Deconstructed Pizza Casserole from over at Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Prep took me approximately 20 minutes, but that’s mostly because I was being slow. If I’d been in a hurry, I could have had it done in 15. The biggest time saver is to drain, rinse and pat the tomatoes dry while the sausage is browning.  Continue reading

Recipe Review: Salmon Patties w/ Fresh Herbs

Happy Friday everyone! It was a late night last night due to the preorder launch for the iPhone 8, so I’m here with my coffee and a new review!

The Preparation

Last night we tried out these Salmon Patties with Fresh Herbs over at Ruled.me. The first time I make a recipe, it always takes me longer than I anticipate it will, mostly because I haven’t figured out what changes and tricks I can use to make things go faster.

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For instance, if I had crushed the pork rinds, and cut up the herbs yesterday morning, things might have gone a bit smoother. That aside, the whole process of making the patties went fairly smooth. Your hands will get very messy as you make the patties. Continue reading

Recipe Review: Hearty Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I sincerely love my slow cooker. It is one of the best kitchen investments I have ever made. Nothing is nicer than throwing everything into a slow cooker in the morning and coming home from work to a home that smells amazing, and a delicious meal ready to be dished up.

Such was the case yesterday when I put together this simple Hearty Slow Cooker Beef Stew from the fine blog Peace, Love, and Low Carb.

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Of course, I made adjustments, because that’s what I do! There was no way I was going to cut up all those veggies by hand, and I certainly wasn’t about to start measuring out spices. That’s for people who have time! I have a 10-15 minute window between getting ready for work and dropping my niece off at school in the morning to get all that prep work done. Continue reading

Recipe Review: Low-Carb Mexican Lasagna

Tonight’s epic kitchen saga will actually encompass two recipes! I made this Low-carb Mexican Lasagna, but I also had to follow the recipe for the cauliflower tortillas used to make said lasagna, both from Sugar Free Mom.

I will preface this story with the fact that I am apparently terrible at making anything with cauliflower. Tonight was no different.

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It all began innocently enough, weighing out the florets, adding them to my food processor, and then adding all the other ingredients. It took a bit longer than expected due to the small size of my processor, but by the time I got them into the parchment and into the oven I was a bit hopeful!

Continue reading

Recipe Review: Low-carb Pepperoni Pizza Chicken

Tonight we tried a new recipe! Low-carb Pepperoni Pizza Chicken from Kalyn’s Kitchen. This is one of those recipes that, if you didn’t know it was, you wouldn’t think it was something you could eat on a diet. Just look at all that beautiful cheese.

To make things easier, since today was a work day, I browned the chicken this morning before I left for the office. It was super simple! The recipe says to cut each breast in half and then pound it flat.  Uh-oh! I realized this morning that I don’t have a meat mallet. But do you know what works great as a substitute? A Pyrex measuring cup!

Nice flat chicken fillets, sprinkled with Italian seasoning and browned, ready to be baked:

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When I got home from work, all that was left was to simmer the sauce to reduce it, then top the breasts:

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And then came the best part. All that ooey gooey mozzarella. I splurged a bit on this part. I know I could have used the shredded mozz that I already had in the fridge, but I wanted to do it up right. So I got the good stuff.

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And then I topped it with some yummy pepperoni slices:

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And put it in to bake at 400 degrees for a half hour. While it baked, we did our Wednesday night dancing, and killed a bit of time. We certainly worked up an appetite, and I’m so glad we did. After I saw this delicious pan of chicken come out of the oven my mouth was watering.

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The pepperoni slid a little bit, but no matter. Every bite was a little bit of decadence. It was all the best parts of pizza on top of tender, juicy chicken. This recipe rates three enthusiastic Yums. It’s definitely a keeper!

Recipe Review: Crock-Pot Italian Zucchini Meatloaf

reviewYesterday, I got adventurous! Hubby and I aren’t the best fans of most vegetables. Well…any vegetable really. So trying a new recipe that calls for vegetables is a bit daunting, to say the least.

Will we like it? Will we be able to taste it? Will it taste okay if we can taste it?

So this weekend while we were planning our menu for the coming week, I flipped through my Low Carb/Keto Pinterest board where I save all the recipes that intrigue me enough to try someday. I found this recipe which looked promising. Well, except the part where it calls for a cup of grated zucchini.

We braved the produce section on Sunday morning, not just for our guinea pigs, but to find the perfect zucchini and a little container of semi-fresh chopped parsley. I found both. Damn. Now, I really did have to make this meatloaf.

Thankfully, putting it together was not at all difficult or complicated. Squeezing the liquid out of the grated zucchini was the most harrowing part of the experience, and even that was pretty simple. I grated the veg, scooped it up and squeezed until I couldn’t squeeze any more liquid out, then tossed it in my mixing bowl with the meat, eggs, parsley, parmesan, minced garlic, dried onion and Italian seasoning. Okay, so I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but I rarely do.

All in all, putting it together took me less than 15 minutes from fridge to slow cooker pot. That does not include clean-up, which I left for hubby (that wonderful man who knew I was running late and offered to take care of the mess I made of the kitchen. I love him so much!)

What I didn’t know was that as soon as I left, he threw on some Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning before turning it on!

Now it calls for ketchup for the topping, but neither of us like ketchup on our meatloaf. Gasp! Heathens, I know. We prefer to put gravy on our regular meatloaf, but I wasn’t sure how this was going to taste, let alone how it would taste with gravy, so when I got home, I fished it out of the pot and topped it with some shredded mozzarella.

It says it makes 10 servings. I suppose it might if a serving is tiny and you’re eating it with a side, but we like hearty servings around here! So, since there were three of us eating, I cut it into fourths and put one aside to bring for my lunch.

Dun dun dun! It was time to try it. Wow! It was SO good. It tasted like Italian meatloaf! Simple as that. Neither hubby or I could even taste the zucchini, and we were seriously trying. There was no zucchini texture or flavor in there. But I know it was in there!

Wow! It was SO good. It tasted like Italian meatloaf! Simple as that. Neither hubby or I could even taste the zucchini, and we were seriously trying. There was no zucchini texture or flavor in there. But I know it was in there!

It came out a tiny bit on the dry side, which hubby fixed by adding a little bit of ketchup to his. I was fine without, but next time I think I might try adding maybe a half cup of marinara as the topping with the mozzarella.

It even held up next day as a nice lunch! All in all, I think this one was a success and we’ll be adding it to our rotation of healthy, low carb, slow cooker meals.

Indulge Me

halotopLittle indulgences at night help to keep stress low and make you look forward to having all the tedious parts of the day at an end. Most evenings, hubby and I indulge in a bit of ice cream. I know, I know. How can I eat ice cream every day and still expect to lose weight?

It’s all in the type of ice cream you eat, and how much of it! Ice creams made with little sugar or sugar substitutes are our go-to since we are watching sugar intake and carbs. I kept seeing people on weight loss forums and groups mentioning Halo Top*, but I didn’t understand the hype.

We tried out Kroger’s Simple Truth ice cream first and it was super tasty. I particularly enjoyed the chocolate, which tasted like a Fudgesicle. Hubby really enjoyed their caramel, and while my son was here, he could sit and eat an entire pint of the vanilla in a sitting. Given how picky he is, I knew we had something special in their ice cream.

And then we tried Halo Top while King Sooper’s was having a sale. Oh. My. Goodness.

As much as I loved the Simple Truth ice cream…Halo Top blows it away. With a really nice selection of flavors, a max of 360 calories a PINT, up to 24 grams of protein a pint, and between 13-20 carbs a serving (4 servings in a pint), I can eat a serving, or even two without feeling an ounce of guilt.

It is so delicious! If I didn’t know it was low carb and made with erythritol, I would not know it wasn’t mainstream ice cream. Most low carb, low sugar, high protein ice cream gets rock hard in the freezer and it can tend toward an almost gritty texture. The hard as a rock freezing was, unfortunately, a problem with the Simple Truth ice creams, though it had a nice texture. But the Halo Top? Creamy, smooth, full of flavor, and while it freezes just a little bit harder than regular ice cream, sitting out for two to three minutes usually softens it enough to start eating.

So, yes, I have ice cream almost every night. It’s my end of the day perk. And I enjoy every sweet, creamy spoonful without having to worry about what it is going to do to my waistline.

*Please note, I am not a spokesperson for Halo Top or Simple Truth and I have been in no way compensated for this review. I’m just a major fan!

Recipe Review: The Ultimate Keto Buns

Ultimate Keto BunsThe one thing I’ve really struggled with since we’ve gone low carb is that I can’t have much bread anymore. And I love bread. We eat a lot of fast food (mostly because I don’t like to cook much), and I miss the nice fluffy buns that come with my chicken sandwiches. But no longer will I lament the loss of bread! I give you all: The Ultimate Keto Buns. To be clear, this is not my recipe! I found it on this fantastic blog here: https://www.mypcoskitchen.com/ultimate-keto-buns/

Now, I am a picky eater. I like what I like, and if I don’t like something, I won’t eat it. My husband is the same way. So when I made burgers last night, I made these delightful buns. The recipe says 5 minutes of prep, but mine was more like 10, mostly because I had never made them before, so I was taking my time and being certain to follow the directions to a tee. But the cooking time was spot on. So a total of 35 minutes, give or take, and we had some lovely buns to put on our burgers.

While the burgers were cooking, I popped these on a plate and stuck them in the freezer to cool them down enough for slicing, and they came out just great. I was very skeptical, and given that I’m not an amazing cook (not bad, just not everything I try is successful), I served these with a good bit of trepidation. My mom tried them first and she said, “They taste like the real thing!”

But were they Ultimate?

Then came the test. My husband tried them. He LOVED them. Despite knowing that he would not give me a glowing report if he didn’t really like them, I was still skeptical. And then I took a bite.

Oh wow. Bread. It was bread. Yummy, a little bit eggy, crispy on the outside, a little bit crumbly, but it was bread! So the consensus?

On a scale from OMG Yes, I am making these on the weekly, to Never, ever again, these little buns are OMG Yes, I am making these on the weekly.

What I Did Different

Adjustments I made include: I used salted butter. It’s what I had on hand. I did not use Himalayan salt, or any of the spices. But I used approx. a teaspoon of Jane’s Crazy Mixed-up Salt instead and about a teaspoon of dried, minced onion. And I do not have a stick blender, so I a regular old hand mixer and it did just fine. Just be careful not to overmix!