All posts by Rene Averett

Use Prepared Mix to Make a Fiesta Scramble Breakfast Bowl

Mann's Nourish Bowl

I noticed this newish product in my grocery store among the prepared salad ingredients and bowls of cut fruit. I’d seen Mann’s Nourish Bowls on their web site when I was checking on what other prepared fresh vegetables they had. The Nourish Bowls are a complete meal for one that you may have to add an ingredient or two to complete. In this case, this was the Breakfast Fiesta Scramble bowl.

According to the instructions on the package, you just add two beaten eggs, pour in the included packet of sauce with chicken chorizo, and put it in your microwave for two or three minutes to cook. Add the small package of grated cheese on top and viola! You have breakfast. Well, I couldn’t let it sit at that since I prefer cooking my eggs in a skillet — not that I haven’t used the microwave. But in this case, I think all the fresh ingredients gained from cooking on the stove top. I did add a little extra cheese as the package has maybe a quarter of a cup. I also added two more eggs to make a total of four to serve two people. Honestly, they’ve packed enough veggies into this bowl to easily feed two and possibly three people unless you’re super hungry.

What kind of veggies, you may be asking? Good, low-carb ones. It includes cauliflower, kohlrabi, butternut squash, and kale. The packet also includes the sauce with chicken chorizo, (trust me, not a lot of it. In fact, I couldn’t really distinguish it in the sauce) and the packet of cheddar-jack cheese. You could make your own mix by chopping up equal parts of the same vegetables, but this is really convenient.

So, below are the directions to make the basic Fiesta Scramble Bowl using four eggs to serve two people. Below that are two possible variations to add more meat and flavor to the basic bowl. To be frank, I think there’s enough for two servings easily, and it wouldn’t be hard to eke out a third serving, which in turn keeps the carbs lower.

After this recipe, I’ve added two possible variations on the basic recipe that will bring more and different flavors to the bowls.

Image: Fiesta Breakfast Scramble

Fiesta Scramble Bowl

1 package Mann’s Nourish Bowls Breakfast Fiesta Scramble
4 Eggs
1 tablespoon Butter

Add butter to a large skillet and melt. Stir in the vegetables from the Fiesta Scramble package and stir fry for about 5 minutes to soften the veggies. Check to make sure that the butternut cubes are almost tender. If not, stir fry a little longer.

In the meantime, break four eggs and add pepper then whisk in preparation.

When the veggies are softened, add the packet of sauce with the chorizo chicken in it. Stir it in well and rinse the package in about two tablespoons of water, then add it to the skillet. Stir until the sauce is mixed evenly.

Add the whisked eggs and stir to scramble them into the veggies. Cook and stir until the eggs are firm. Remove from heat and sprinkle cheese on top.

Makes two servings.

Image: Nutrition Info - Basic Bowl

Variation #1 – Mexican Fiesta Bowl

1 package Mann’s Nourish Bowls Breakfast Fiesta Scramble
4 Eggs
1 tablespoon Butter
1 Chorizo sausage
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 cup Onions, chopped
1/4 cup Cheddar Jack Cheese

In a large skillet, add the ground chorizo sausage or cut the sausage into thin slices and put in the pan. Cook and stir for a few minutes to get the chorizo done. Remove to a plate while you add the chopped onions and saute them for a couple of minutes, then add the vegetables from the Nourish Bowl packet. Cook and stir for about 5 to 8 minutes to mostly cook the veggies.

Add the chorizo back to the pan, then add the sauce from the kit. Stir to combine with the vegetables. rinse the package in about two tablespoons of water, then add it to the skillet. Stir until the sauce is mixed evenly.

Add the whisked eggs and stir to scramble them into the veggies. Cook and stir until the eggs are firm. Remove from heat and sprinkle cheese on top.

Makes two to three servings.

Image: Nutrition Info Mexican Bowl

Variation #2 – Italian Breakfast Bowl

1 package Mann’s Nourish Bowls Breakfast Fiesta Scramble
4 Eggs
1 tablespoon Butter
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup Tomatoes, diced
3 slices Bacon, cooked & broken into pieces
1/3 cup Mozzarella Cheese

Don’t use the cheese included in the kit.

Cook the bacon and break it into pieces. Cut up the tomato into small cubes.

Add butter to a large skillet and melt. Stir in the vegetables from the Fiesta Scramble package and stir fry for about 5 to 8 minutes to soften the veggies. Check to make sure that the butternut cubes are almost tender. If not, stir fry a little longer.

In the meantime, break four eggs and add pepper then whisk in preparation to cook.

When the veggies are softened, add the packet of sauce with the chorizo chicken in it, the bacon, and the tomatoes. Stir it in well and rinse the package in about two tablespoons of water, then add it to the skillet. Stir until the sauce is mixed evenly.

Add the whisked eggs and stir to scramble them into the veggies. Cook and stir until the eggs are firm. Remove from heat and sprinkle cheese on top.

Makes two to three servings.

Image: Nutrition Info: Italian Style Bowl

Fresh Taste of Blueberry Panna Cotta

Down to the last post of July 2019 and this is a simple recipe with all the delightful fresh flavor of blueberries and cream.  This is so easy to make that you’ll love it. The buttermilk adds extra richness to the taste.

The recipe says to use heavy whipping cream, but I made it with the slightly less heavy cream and it works fine. I adjusted it from the original recipe to use sugar substitute and I used lemon juice, which is just a tad lower in carbs than the orange juice. Either works really well with it.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/4 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 cup Sugar Substitute
1 teaspoons unflavored Gelatin
2 tablespoons Water
1 cup Buttermilk

For Blueberry Topping:
1/2 pint fresh Blueberries
2 tablespoons Orange Juice or Lemon Juice
1/4 cup granulated Sugar Substitute

Either put 8 4 oz. ramekins on a tray that will fit in your refrigerator or you make this in one bowl and scoop out servings.

Either use a double boiler or use a pot filled half-way with water that a 3-cup bowl will fit into snugly without the bottom touching the water. Bring water to a boil, then reduce to simmer. In the bowl, add vanilla, cream, and 1/2 cup sugar substitute. Whisk or stir vigorously to mix, then place bowl over simmering water. Stir or whisk until the cream mixture is just warm and sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small recipe bowl ans gentle stir with a toothpick. Pour gelatin into cream mixture and stir or whisk to mix it in completely. Let sit until the mixture cools, around 20 minutes,

Add buttermilk to cream mixture and divide equally into ramekins or leave in the bowl to set. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about six hours.

Make the Blueberry Sauce:

In a small pot, add the blueberries and cook for about five minutes to get them to release their juices. Add orange or lemon juice, and sugar substitute, and stir over reduced heat. Let simmer, stirring occasionally until liquid is reduced about fifty-percent. About 10 minutes.

Remove and let cool. It should get thicker as it cools. Place in a container and refrigerate until ready to serve panna cotta.

Run a knife around the edge of the ramekin to loosen the cream and slide into a servings dish. Or, if you used a bowl, dip out about 1/2 cup of creamy panna cotta into a serving dish. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of blueberry sauce over te top and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Info - Blueberry Panna Cotta

 

Beer Bread with Stout

Image: Guinness Bread

Hey, folks, I missed posting this last week. Very busy few days for me and this week isn’t much better. But I wanted to share this recipe with you for Guinness Beer Bread. When I made this, I used CarbQuick for all the flour needed in it. You can use other low carb flour types or baking mixes. Almond flour and coconut flour may not hold together as well, but will probably require another egg to bind it.

This bread has a biscuit quality to it and is heavier which makes it great for soaking up sauces and gravies. Even though Guinness is a strong stout, the flavor is fairly mild in the bread. Beer acts as a rising agent when making bread, replacing yeast. Even at that, I would like to see a taller loaf that comes closer to one made with wheat flour.

I will be trying another version of beer bread in a few months as we get to soup season (aka late fall and winter), so look for that in October or November.

Low Carb Guinness Beer Bread

4 cups CarbQuick
2 tablespoons Gluten Flour (optional)
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons  sugar substitute
12 ounces Guinness stout
2 eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F.)

Prepare a standard (9x5x3-inch) loaf pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper or greasing. I used a copper pan that has a lift plate in it and put parchment over the top to ensure easy removal.

In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, sugar substitute, and salt. Stir together to mix before adding the Guinness and eggs. Use a wooden spoon to stir the liquid into the flour until it is just blended. The dough will be lumpy.

Pour the dough into the loaf pan and smooth it to make it even. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes until the top is golden brown and the top is firm.

Let cool a few minutes, then turn on a wire rack to cool. Serve while still warm. You can keep this in the ‘fridge for about a week.

Makes 16 to 18 slices.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Done 2 Ways, and a Product Review

 

A 48 ounce tub of Breyers CarbSmart Vanilla front of packLast week, I wrote about my quest to find some low carb ice creams other than CarbSmart, which our local grocery stores carry only in vanilla, even through three other flavors are available (chocolate, peanut butter, and smooth mint). When I asked one of our local stores to please carry other flavors, not just of CarbSmart but of other brands, I was told I could order a case, but they don’t have room on their shelves for many choices.

But I digress. I found other lower carb options at three of our local stores and sampled a couple of more.

Halo Top frozen dessert is probably the lowest carb ice cream ProductImage_WEB-MintChip-190620asubstitute on the market with most of their flavors coming in around 1 net carb. I tried their mint chocolate chip, which was very good although being sugar-free means it is harder than ice cream and needs to thaw for about 5 to 10 minutes before you can scoop it out. I’ve opened two of their cartons and both had a frozen lump of the product with lots of space around it within the container. They are supposed to hold two cups but I don’t think they do. Two of my ice cream scoops equal 1/2 cup and the mint had three servings in it. Halo Top comes in 26 different flavors sold in pint cartons. Of course, my  trio of grocery stores had about six different flavors between them. I would give this a rating of 4 stars. It tastes good, no after taste, but it isn’t as creamy as CarbSmart, and it seems a little shy on the stated quantity.

The other one I tried is Enlightened Frozen Desserts. This is a really good diary-free ice cream substitute, but it also contains more sugar than the others, so it comes in around 8 to 10 net carbs per serving. If you have enough carbs to spare, then this is a terrific option. I tried their Salted Caramel bars and their Chocolate Mint Swirl bars, and they are delicious. You don’t miss the cream in these at all, and there is no aftertaste. They make an amazing 32 different flavors and are available at a reasonable price in pint cartoons. Again, our local stores stock a few of their flavors. I give this one a 5-star rating, right up there with CarbSmart, except for the higher carb count.

So, if you are on a quest for ice cream substitutes, you might try one of these options. If you can get CarbSmart, it is made with cream, and delicious with only 4 net carbs per half cup.

How About a Recipe?

Now, since I haven’t posted a recipe in the past two weeks, here’s one that comes from a keto site for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fat Bombs. This is an almond flour dough that is eaten uncooked, so it is like eating cookie dough, sort of. The almond flour leaves it a little grainy, and it doesn’t taste totally like cookie dough to me. On the plus side, the flavor is pretty good, and one fat bomb makes a satisfying quick treat that boosts your carb burner with the fat content.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fat Bombs

Photo: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fat Bombs

The recipe is simple and is pretty much exactly as it is on the keto site I borrowed it from, except I rephrased it a bit. For one thing, the ingredients don’t have to be termed keto-friendly. Most of the sugar-free are. I used Hershey’s Sugar Free Chocolate Chips. I also used Splenda granulated which is almost fine enough to be confectioner’s sugar, but if you want to take it to a powder, you can do it in your blender.

1 stick Butter, softened
1/3 cup Confectioners Sugar Substitute
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
2 cups Almond Flour
2/3 cup Sugar-Free Chocolate chips

In a large bowl, add softened butter and beat until it is light and fluffy. Add in the sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat until mixed into the butter.

Add the almond flour, a little at a time, and mix until it is completely moistened. You may have to finish it off by hand. My mixer balked before the flour was completely mixed in. Stir in the chocolate chips. Place plastic wrap over the bowl and refrigerate for about twenty minutes.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper or waxed paper. Use a 1/2 tablespoon measure or a cookie scoop to form the dough into half-balls, flat on the bottom, and place on the paper. Put them in the refrigerator for another twenty minutes to firm the balls up, then put in a plastic bag and store in the ‘fridge until you are ready to snack on one. They will keep for about a week or you can freeze them for up to a month.

Makes about 36 balls.

Nutrition Info: ChocChip Fat Bombs

Make Those Bombs Cookies

Image: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now, as I mentioned, I wasn’t too enthused with these as a raw dough ball, so I decided to turn them into cookies. It’s an easy change, and I even added the egg after the rest was mixed. Ideally, if you’ve decided to make cookies, you’ll mix the egg in with the sugar and vanilla. These cookies are about the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve made. They are firm, yet soft in the middle and have a wonderful flavor. I had expected them to spread on the pan, so I only patted them down a little, but they held up through the cooking. If you want yours a little flatter, then press them down to the size you want.

1 stick Butter, softened
1/3 cup Confectioners sugar substitute
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
Pinch of Salt
2 cup Almond Flour
2/3 cup Sugar-Free Chocolate chips
1/4 cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts (optional)

Prepare two baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add softened butter and beat until it is light and fluffy. Add in the sugar, salt, egg, and vanilla and beat until mixed into the butter.

Add the almond flour, a little at a time, and mix until it is completely moistened.  Stir in the chocolate chips. Place plastic wrap over the bowl and refrigerate for about twenty minutes.

Use a one-tablespoon measure or cookie scoop to form the dough into half-balls, flatten on the bottom, and place on the paper, allowing 2 inches between cookies. Press down slightly to spread the dough. Place in the refrigerator for another twenty minutes to firm up.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned on top. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes or more. Almond flour is delicate and will break if you try to move the cookies while they are still hot.

Once they cool, enjoy or you can store in a plastic bag for a few days. Makes 18 delectable cookies.

Nutrition Info: ChocChip Cookies

If you try these products or these recipes, please leave me a message. I’d like to know how you like them or if you disagree with my opinion. Everybody’s taste buds are different.

Product Review: Wink Frozen Desserts

For almost ten years, my main choice for an ice cream-like dessert has been CarbSmart from Breyers Ice Cream. Unfortunately, my local grocers only stock vanilla and the chocolate covered ice cream bars although Breyers makes a chocolate and a peanut butter ice cream as well. And they make a frozen mint  bar. I must work on persuading our grocers to stock them.

On a search for information about other low-carb, sugar-free ice cream alternatives, I found several, one of which was Wink Frozen Dessertstm that offered frozen treats so low in carbs that they seemed like a miracle. Made from plant products and completely natural, they sounded like a dream come true. And the choices were amazing. Wink had all the usual flavors plus strawberry cheesecake, pumpkin spice latte, and S’mores. In my enthusiasm and desire to try a few to review, I ordered seven varieties. The price per pint was about the same as buying an equivalent amount of Baskin-Robbins ice cream. Unfortunately, the similarities end there.

When the package arrived, beautifully packed with dry ice and a plant-based dissolvable sponge-like packing around the frozen pints, I popped them into the freezer and that night, PK and I had a scoop of the strawberry cheesecake. Saying it was disappointing is an understatement. The taste was bland, the dessert somewhat like a sorbet and lacking completely in strawberry or cream cheese flavor. In fact, I can’t even say what kind of flavor it had.

What was evident was the bitter aftertaste that followed each spoonful. The principal sweeteners used are Stevia and monk fruit. I have tried other things sweetened with monk fruit and haven’t experienced any bitterness. On the other hand, I am not a big fan of Stevia for precisely the reason that I can usually detect a bit of bitterness from it. This exceeded any I had experienced before and was even so pronounced that Sweet ‘n Low, which I had thought was the worst until now, was eclipsed by it.

After tasting this, I went back to my computer to look for reviews on Wink’s product. Sadly, I found that the vast majority of reviews were very negative, usually one to two stars for precisely those reasons. Lack of flavor and bitter aftertaste.

At this point, I still have six untried pints of this frozen dessert in my freezer, but I haven’t been eager to try another one. Even if the flavoring pops in the Pumpkin Spice Latte, the aftertaste from the sweetener is likely to be the same.

Now, if you don’t notice any bitterness from Stevia or your taste buds read it differently, then you might enjoy this product. I can’t personally recommend it, but a few reviews did declare it excellent. I would advise that you don’t order more than the minimum order of 4 pints until you decide for yourself. These are sold in many groceries across the country, so you might find one locally to buy one pint to try. A store locator is on the Wink website.

If you try it, let me know how it tasted to you.