Category Archives: Breakfast & Brunch

A Variation on a Classic Sandwich

Photo: Baked Monte Cristo Sandwich

This recipe comes from Chef Gregory at Tova Foods, the makers of Carbquik. It’s easy to make and tastes great. The flavors go together and appreciate the slight sweetness from the jam in it. I like to eat it with Cranberry Mustard, although any mustard or mayonnaise will complement the sandwich.

Although I used Carbquik to make it, you can use almost any low carb baking mix. If you want to try almond flour, it will probably work, but you may need to add 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder, a pinch of salt, and about 2 tablespoons of softened butter to the bowl. Like Bakesquick, Carbquik has these ingredients mixed into it.

I recommend using parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. It will prevent sticking. Even with spraying baking spray on the pan, I’ve had my baked goods stick to the pan. So cut a piece to fit and spray it with baking spray, and this should come out easily. I used LC Foods sugar-free Raspberry Jam for my sandwiches, and I also tried it with thin slices of apple in place of the jam. If you use Smucker’s sugar-free jam, the carbs will come out about 1 carb higher per sandwich.

Baked Monte Cristo Sandwich

1 cup Low-Carb Baking Mix
2 tablespoons Golden Flax Meal
1/2 cup Half and Half Cream
1 Egg
4 ounces Swiss Cheese, thinly sliced
4 ounces Deli Ham, thinly sliced
4 ounces Deli Turkey, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Sugar-free Strawberry or Raspberry Jam

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F.). Prepare a 6x6x2-inch baking pan by cutting a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom. Spray the paper and sides with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix baking mix, flax meal, half and half, and egg together to make a thick batter. If the batter is too thick, add water, a tablespoon at a time, to make it thin enough to spread easily. Spread half the batter in the bottom of the baking pan.

Layer 1/2 of the turkey, then 1/2 of the ham, and 1/2 of the Swiss cheese. Spread the sugar-free jam over the top of the cheese. Then repeat the layers– turkey, ham, and cheese. Spread the rest of the batter over the top and smooth it to the sides of the pan.

Bake about 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let cool for five minutes. Cut into four pieces and serve.

Makes four 3×3-inch sandwiches. This will serve four when you add a side salad. If you’re really hungry, it will feed two.

Nutrition: Monte Cristo Sandwich

 

Easy Cheese Pie makes great snacks!

 

Photo: Cheese Pie sticks

Whether you want a side dish,  the main course, or snacks, this cheese pie is a quick and versatile option. I adapted this from a recipe at 12 Tomatoes to a low carb version, which is only a couple of changes. You can use any cheese you like, although mozzarella holds it together well. You can also add your favorite seasoning or mix it up. Use a Mexican cheese mix with taco seasoning and add in chopped green onions for variety. Mix in broccoli and garlic herb seasoning with mozzarella and Reggiano. The possibilities abound.

My flour choice was Bakesquick from Dixie Diner, but you can also use any other low carb flour, including almond flour. If you use coconut flour, use 1/3 cup and add an extra egg. You can use 1 full cup of milk instead of the heavy cream and almond milk, or use the heavy cream and add water to make 1 cup.

Photo: Cheese Pie

Cheese Pie

2 Eggs
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
2/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 cup Low Carb Flour
3/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
3/4 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Ground Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Use cooking spray or butter to grease a 9-inch pie plate or a baking dish.

Add the eggs to a medium bowl and whisk until they are mixed together. Add cream, almond milk, and flour, and seasonings and whisk until they are fully incorporated. You can use a blender to combine these. Stir in both cheeses and any other additions. Make sure they are mixed in well. Pour cheese mixture into the greased baking dish and use a spoon or spatula to smooth the top.

Bake between 25 and 30 minutes until top turns golden brown. When a knife blade inserted in the middle comes out clean, it is done. Remove to a counter or a trivet and let cool for 5 minutes.

This makes six servings for a luncheon or dinner. Or cut into snack pieces, by cutting into slices about 3 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide. Makes about 12 slices.

Keeps well in the refrigerator for several days if it lasts that long. You can warm them for about 10 seconds in the microwave if you wish.

Image: Cheese Pie Nutrition

Delightful Apple Cranberry Skillet Cake

Photo: Slice of apple cranberry skillet cake.

One of the really lovely things about the last five decades or so has been the availability almost year-round of most fruits and vegetables. If we don’t have them fresh, we might be able to get them frozen. As we move through the next few months, it will be interesting… and possibly a little alarming… to see if that ready access continues while we are still fighting COVID-19.

Apples have been readily available at the market, so I’ve been making a few apple recipes. I’m sharing one I made recently that is similar to the Cranberry Skillet Cake I made a few weeks ago. This one adds in Swerve Brown Sugar to add a nice caramel flavor to the it. So easy to put together, the cake is moist, loaded with flavor, and can be either a dessert or a nice breakfast treat.

I used DCC’s All Purpose Flour and Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour in my recipe. But you can substitute other flour, such as soy , hazelnut , or coconut in for the all purpose flour. If you use coconut , I’ve duplicated the recipe and made the adjustments for the coconut flour. As I’ve mentioned before, it absorbs a lot of moisture and expands a lot so it isn’t a “substitute the flour for the same amount of coconut flour” item. You use at least 50% less coconut flour plus additional egg and possibly water.

I also baked this in an 8″ cast iron skillet, which is perfect for this type of cake. If you don’t have one, use an 8″ round deep-sided cake pan. The nutrition information for both recipes is at the bottom of the page.

Enjoy the recipe, eat well, and stay in, stay healthy.

Apple Cranberry Skillet Cake

1 large Apple, cored and chopped
1/8 cup Craisins or 1/4 cup Cranberries
3 tablespoons Swerve Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1/4 cup granulated Sugar Substitute
1/3 cup Butter, melted
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
1 tbsp Brandy or Irish Whiskey
2/3 cup Low Carb Flour
1/3 cup Almond Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/3 cup Pecan or Walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 8″ cast iron skillet or an 8″ cake pan. Spray the paper and the sides with cooking spray.

Combine the eggs and sugar substitute in a bowl and whisk together until creamy. Add in the brown sugar, vanilla, brandy (or whiskey), and cinnamon and whisk to combine.

In a medium bowl, add the flour, almond flour, and baking powder. Whisk or mix with a spoon to combine. Add the egg mixture and stir it together to mix all the flour in. Add the butter, apples, and nuts and stir until they are mixed in.

Spoon the batter into the cast iron skillet (or cake pan) and smooth the top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is done. Insert a toothpick and if it is clean when removed, the cake is done. Set aside to cool.

Serve with whipped topping or low carb ice cream for dessert. Or spread butter over the top and sprinkle with a little sugar Substitute for a breakfast cake.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Photo: Apple cranberry skillet cake

Almond and Coconut Flour Version

1 large Apple, cored and chopped
1/8 cup Craisins or 1/4 cup Cranberries
3 tablespoons Swerve Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Egg White
1/4 cup granulated Sugar Substitute
1/3 cup Butter, melted
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 tablespoon ground Cinnamon
1 tbsp Brandy or Irish Whiskey
3 tablespoons Coconut Flour
1/3 cup Almond Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/3 cup Pecans or Walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of an 8″ cast iron skillet or an 8″ cake pan. Spray the paper and the sides with cooking spray.

Combine the eggs, egg white, and sugar substitute in a bowl and whisk together until creamy. Add in the brown sugar, vanilla, brandy (or whiskey), and cinnamon and whisk to combine.

In a medium bowl, add the coconut flour, almond flour, and baking powder. Whisk or mix with a spoon to combine. Add the egg mixture and stir it together to mix all the flour in. If the batter is too dry, add a little water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the butter, apples, and nuts and stir until they are mixed in.

Spoon the batter into the cast iron skillet (or cake pan) and smooth the top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is done. Insert a toothpick and if it is clean when removed, the cake is done. Set aside to cool.

Serve with whipped topping or low carb ice cream for dessert. Or spread butter over the top and sprinkle with a little sugar substitute for a breakfast cake.

Nutrition Info for Apple Cranberry Skillet Cakes

Not quite Irish, but close… Welsh Cheddar Egg Melt

Photo: Welsh Cheddar Egg Melt

Well, I’m a little late for St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m presenting a dish that uses Welsh cheese rather than Irish, although Irish White Cheddar is also excellent in it. I actually made a dish last night that I thought would be good, but I wasn’t happy with result. I’m going to work the recipe a little more to make it much better. That will come along when I perfect it. Besides, St. Patrick was originally kidnapped from Wales and taken to to Ireland as a slave, so it sort of fits, doesn’t it?

This makes a tasty breakfast or brunch meal. Add a little fresh fruit or broiled asparagus for a more filling meal.

Welsh Cheddar Egg Melt

4 strips thick-cut bacon or 2 slices Irish Style Bacon
1 slices low carb Focaccia Bread, cut through the middle
1/2 ripe Avocado, mashed
2 slices tomato
1/2 cup shredded Welsh (or Irish) White Cheddar Cheese
2 Eggs
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Drain on paper towels. Lightly toast the bread in the oven or toaster oven. Put bacon on top of bread, then layer a tomato slice and spread avocado over the it. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.

Prepare eggs while the broiler heats. Use either fried, poached, or scrambled eggs to your preference. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep eggs warm.

Place sandwiches on the foil-covered broiler pan or in a pie tin and broil for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until the cheese is melted. Top each sandwich with an egg and serve.

Serves two.

This focaccia bread recipe is 1.8 g of net carbs per slice. So, combined with this recipe, it’s only 4.7 net carbs if you use the whole slice or 3.8 g if you cut it in half.

Photo: Nutrition info

Broccoli and Cauliflower Crepes Are So Good

Photo: Broccoli and Cauliflower Crepes

Happy 2020. The start of a new year and a new decade. We’ve had better starts throughout the years, but let’s make this one the best we can. Right?

I launched my new year  with determination to conquer the crepe, so I bought a crepe maker. Not the dip and cook model I’d seen on Facebook that looks so simple, but the flat cooker that will make bigger crepes, not as big as the ones at the Las Vegas Paris Hotel’s buffet though. Those babies are huge! This one might go to a 10-inch crepe, but initially, I made the smaller and easier to flip 7 to 8 inch ones.  My first crepe on it was a mess, stuck, wasn’t completely cooked, and practically shredded when I tried to flip it. After that, I sprayed it with cooking spray, made sure it was up to high heat, and tried again with much better success.

New flash! It’s going to be a while before I’m an expert with crepe-making, but even with the odd-shaped pancakes, they do work and taste quite good.

So, I made a simply delicious broccoli-and-cauliflower-filled crepe with ricotta and spinach and an amazing cream sauce on the top. Pop in the oven to just lightly toast the sauce and warm the whole dish up and you have a great meal for a meatless Monday or a delightful side dish with any meat or seafood entree.

While I haven’t tried it yet, I believe you can make crepes with coconut flour and unsweetened coconut milk, which makes it easier to find the flour ingredients. I’ve posted the carb count and the recipe for coconut flour crepes in case you want to experiment. When I make a batch, I’ll update this to let you know how well it works.

So, without further ado, here’s the recipe for these heavenly crepes.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Crepes with Cream Sauce

1-1/2 cups of Cauliflower, chopped
1-1/2 cups of Broccoli crown and stems, chopped
3/4 cups Mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Baby Spinach
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
8 Cherry Tomatoes, halved

Cream Sauce
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Low Carb Flour
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Water or Vegetable Broth
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning
1/3 cup Parmesan Reggiano Cheese, grated

Crepe Recipe:
3/4 cup Low carb Flour
3/4 cup Cream
1/4 cup Water
2 Eggs
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
Basil or Oregano if desired

Make the crepes batter.  In a blender, add all the crepe ingredients and pulse until the ingredients are mixed together, then blend a little longer to make sure the flour is completely mixed in. Put in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

While the crepe batter is chilling, prepare the filling:

In a skillet, heat a tablespoon olive oil. Add cauliflower and broccoli and sauté until lightly browned. Add 1/4 cup of water plus Garlic and herb seasoning and stir. Cook a few minutes more until the vegetables are almost tender. Add sliced mushrooms and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove vegetables to a bowl and set aside.

Add about a teaspoon of olive oil to the pan and heat it a minute. Add spinach and sauté until it is limp. In a small bowl, place ricotta cheese and stir to loosen and smooth,, then stir in spinach. Add a little basil or Italian seasoning and mix. Set aside.

Cook the crepes: Heat an 8 inch skillet or crepe pan until a drop of water skittles across the surface. Spray the surface with cooking sprray for each crepe. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan, lift pan from the heat, and gently roll until the batter coats most of the pan. If you have a crepe pan, spread the batter with the back of a spoon or a spreader, keeping the rounded or oval shape. Cook until the crepe looks dry on the top then carefully slide a wooden or silicone spatula under the crepe and flip it to cook the back side.

Cook for about a minute, then put on a plastic, parchment, or foil sheet on a plate. Put another sheet on top, then make the next crepe. The recipe will make 8 crepes. You will only need four for this recipe, so save the others for another meal. You can fill with eggs and cheese for breakfast.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Assemble the crepes. Put the crepe in a baking pan, spread 1/4 of the ricotta mixture down the middle. Spoon in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the vegetables, then top with two cherry tomatoes cut in half. Roll or fold the crepe over the vegetables. (Mine looked more like tacos.) Slide the crepe to the end of the baking dish and repeat to make four crepes.

Photo: Top view of crepes.
A few of my tomatoes escaped during the plating, but they still tasted yummy. You can see these weren’t the neatest crepe yet they tasted wonderful. Cooking doesn’t have to be perfect.

Make the sauce. In a skillet or pan, melt the butter. Lower the heat to medium. Stir in flour and cook until it begins to form a paste. Add cream and water along with seasoning and stir until the liquid sauce begins to thicken. Add grated cheese and stir until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Spoon 1/4 of the sauce over each crepe. Bake for 15 minutes or until the sauce looks slightly browned.

Serve with a salad or riced cauliflower.

Makes 4 crepes. A pair of crepes make a substantial dinner serving, or you can use just one as a side dish.

Coconut Flour Crepe Recipe

5 tablespoons Coconut Flour
1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
2 Eggs
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
Basil or Oregano if desired

In a blender, add all the crepe ingredients and pulse until the ingredients are mixed together, then blend a little longer to make sure the flour is completely mixed in. Put in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Pulse a couple of times before using.

Cook as directed above. Take extra care in turning the crepes as they will be delicate.

Nutrition for Broccoli Cauliflower Crepe

Nutrition for Crepes with low carb flour and with coconut flour

Nutrition Information for filling
Nutrition information for the filling and sauce only.