Category Archives: Desserts

Gearing up for Cinco de Mayo

Right about now, everyone is looking at their Mexican food recipes in anticipation of the coming celebration of Cinco de Mayo (5th of May for those who don’t know).  Originally a celebration of the Mexican-Americans in the west to celebrate freedom and democracy during the Civil War, the Mexican state of Puebla now celebrates the same day commemorating the Battle of Puebla.  However, there are other parts of the world where it is also celebrated because all you need is a small excuse to have a great party, right?

And really, you need no excuse in order to enjoy the great flavors of Mexican and Spanish food.  So here are my offerings for Cinco de Mayo, but feel free to enjoy them any time you have a craving for something with a bit of bite or a sweet that’s a little out of the ordinary.

If these don’t appeal, here are some more great recipes on my site:
Pollo PequitosGame Day TostadosCornmeal Pancakes and EggsSpicy Breakfast EggsEggs with AsparagusGreen Chile Turkey Enchilada CasseroleSpaghetti Squash Tamale PieMexican Style Asparagus SaladEnchiladas with Chicken and Butternet Squash Chicken Chile Rellano CasseroleTasty Pork CarnitasTex-Mex Cauli-RiceOrange Almond Cake

Red Chile Beef Enchiladas

1 pound Ground Beef
10 oz. Enchilada sauce (about 3 net carbs per 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded
4 taco size Low Carb FlourTortillas (3 Net carbs each)
1/2 cup Onions, chopped
1/2 cup canned Green Chili Peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon Red Chile Powder
1  cup Zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick

In a skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat.  Add garlic and onions and cook until onion is just tender.  Remove to a bowl.  Add ground beef and cook, breaking into small pieces, until it is lightly browned.  Drain any liquid off.  Add 1/8 cup enchilada sauce and stir to mix.  Add onions back to the pan and add green chiles.

To make as a casserole:

Assemble the layers in a deep 9 inch round casserole dish beginning with 1/8 cup of enchilada sauce.  Place a tortilla on top, then spread another 1/4 cup of sauce on top, then 1/3 of the meat mixture over the top of that.  Arrange zucchini slices in a circle then top with 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.   Place another tortilla on top of that, then top with 1/4 cup sauce,  then meat mixture, remaining zucchini slices distributed evenly around the outer circle and top with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.  Place another tortilla on top and repeat with 1/4 cup sauce, the remaining meat and 1/2 cup cheese.  Top with tortilla, spread remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle cheese over it.

To make as individual enchiladas, as pictured:

Warm a low carb flour tortilla and place on a plate.  Spread two tablespoons of red enchilada sauce over the tortilla.  Spread 1/4 of the meat mixture on top, 1/4 of the zuchinni slices on top of that and sprinkle a tablespoon of cheddar cheese on top.  Roll the tortilla into a flute and placed into a lightly sprayed baking pan, seam side down.  Repeat with the remaining three tortillas.  Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas and top with the rest of the cheese.

Enchilada loaded and ready to roll up.

Bake in 350 degree (F) oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly.  Cut into six slices.  Top each serving with a fried egg if you would like.  Serve with Mexican Style Cauli-Rice as a side dish or a nice green salad.

Nutrition Info: Per enchilada – 4 servings
Calories: 516 Fat: 39.8 g Net Carbs: 8 g Protein: 31.3

When made in a casserole, this can make 6 servings with each servings being:
Calories: 333 Fat: 20.5 g Net Carbs: 7 g Protein: 20.8 g


Light and Refreshing Orange Flan 

Flan is a light custard dessert that is very popular in Mexican restaurants.  It is also very easy to make.  The trickiest part in converting this to low carb is the caramel sauce that is made from burnt sugar.  Sugar substitutes don’t really melt the same way and I hesitated to get them too brown.  But with the light sugary sauce, this is a delicious orange flan (Flan de Naranjas).  It was inspired by a recipe that used orange zest in the custard and I thought the best orange flavor is in the pulp, so this one uses the orange pulp in it.

1/3 cup sugar substitute
1 teaspoon butter

3 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar substitute
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon grated orange rind

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F.)

If using Splenda or Equal, these sugar substitutes don’t melt well, so add 1 tablespoon water to a small sauce pan or skillet with the 1/3 cup of Splenda or Equal. Sugar alcohol will melt without water added. It gets gummy, then melts. Be sure to do this over low heat. Bring the melted sugar sauce to a light golden brown rather than a dark caramel. Remove from heat and stir butter into the sauce.

Divide into five1/2 cup ramekins. Place ramekins in a baking dish large enough to allow 1 inch of water up the sides.  You can also make this as a large flan in a 2 1/2 cup flan dish or casserole dish.

Separate the orange segments in 1/4 of a large orange, remove any membrane and chop the orange into small pieces or process in a food processor to get a nicely chopped pulp.  Should make about 1/4 cup of orange bits.

Stir cream, coconut milk, water, eggs, sugar substitute, orange extract and chopped oranges together and measure 1/2 cup into each ramekin.  Or pour all of it into a flan mold.  If you use a mold, stir to make sure the orange pieces are distributed in the dish.

Sugar sauce in the ramekins. I used one two serving ramekin so just doubled the sauce and the custard mix in that one.

Carefully, to avoid getting water in the dishes, add warm water to the pan to come up to 1 inch.

Bake for about 1 hour until a thin knife (I use a citrus knife) inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove the ramekins or mold from the pan and cover the top with plastic wrap, allowing the wrap to touch the surface of the flan. Chill 3 1/2 to 4 hours before serving.

To un-mold, loosen the edges with a thin bladed knife and lift up the bottom a little. Put the serving plate on top of the ramekin or mold and flip.  The flan should drop right out.  If  it doesn’t, put hot water in a bowl and set the ramekin or mold in it for about 10 seconds and try again to un-mold it.

Deliciously topped with Cool Whip and orange pieces.

Spoon any melted caramel over the top of the flan. Serve with dollop of whipped cream or Cool Whip on top, if you wish, and top with an orange segment or pieces of orange.

Makes 5 servings

Nutrition Info per serving:
Calories: 196.6 Fat: 10 g Net Carbs: 2.5 g. Protein: 5.6 g



Take Waffles to a New High…

Okay, so the leaf bordered plate wasn’t the best choice to display these waffles. Still they look yummy!

I love waffles, but I don’t make them too often and every time I do make them, I wonder why I don’t do them more often. Well, the taste of this fantastic waffle and syrup that I made today is one that really needs repeating often. This is a recipe adapted from one at the Raley’s grocery store web site. Theirs isn’t low carb, but mine is and it lacks nothing with the substitutions in it. Add the terrific Bourbon Pecan syrup I created to go with this and it is absolutely “fantastical”! (To quote Huey Calhoun in Memphis.)

Once again, I rely on a combination of low carb baking mix – my preferred one being CarbQuick – and a non-wheat flour, like almond flour or coconut flour. Can it be made with just almond flour or coconut flour? I haven’t tried, but I am guessing that yes, it can, but it will be more delicate and you will need extra eggs in it. Waffles are tricky enough to get out of the iron, so the almond flour or coconut flour mix may be really hard to move without them falling apart. If you have a flip waffle maker, you might be able to flip them into your plate successfully.

While these are great for breakfast or brunch, don’t overlook the possibility of a smaller portion with ice cream or yogurt and whipped cream on top as a dessert. It’s that good!

And, like most waffle batters, this also makes great pancakes, so that’s an option if you don’t want to go the waffle route.

Ricotta Waffles

1 cups carbquick
1/4 cup almond flour
1 large egg
2 tbsp. sugar substitute
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons melted butter

Mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients together with a whisk. Stir into dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed, but may be slightly lumpy.

Pour or spoon 1/2 batter into a lightly greased hot waffle iron and cook until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Check after 2 1/2 minutes to see if it releases easily. If not, let it cook another 30 to 40 seconds and check again. The cook time will vary with waffle irons. Mine is a flip and takes about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes to cook.

Makes 4 waffles. If you’re a light eater, half a waffle will be enough.

Nutrition Info per waffle:
Calories: 232 Fat: 19 Net Carbs: 3.7 g Protein: 11.1 g

Awesome Bourbon Pecan Syrup

Best made just before serving, so the recipe is per waffle.

Per waffle:
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup pecan halves
1 tablespoon sugar substitute
1 tablespoon Kentucky Bourbon
1/4 cup sugar-free pancake syrup (Mrs. Butterworth’s)
*1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoon brown sugar substitute and 1 teaspoon maple extract

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the pecans and 1 tablespoon sugar substitute. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the bourbon, stir and cook another minute or two. Add the maple syrup and cook one more minute to just warm the syrup.

*If you’re making your own syrup, prior to starting the pecans and the waffles, mix the water, brown sugar substitute and maple extract in a saucepan and cook on medium high heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir frequently so it doesn’t burn and stick. It will take about 10 minutes and it won’t get very thick.

Spoon over buttered waffle and serve. Delicious!

Nutrition Info for 1 serving sauce:
Calories: 324   Fat: 31.9 g   Net Carbs: 1.2 g   Protein: 2.7 g

Originally POSTED BY RENE AVERETT AT 3/26/2014 4:16 PM

Gingerbread Bliss

We are truly into the holiday season now and part of that season are the wonderful scents associated with the winter and cooking. Pine scents from the trees or scented candles, peppermint, cinnamon, clove and of course, ginger… specifically gingerbread. I haven’t enjoyed gingerbread in several years now and I was determined this year to make some while trying to keep it in the low carb column. Honestly, I’ve worked too hard for the past four years to get the weight off and I have no intention of letting the holidays un-do any of that effort. Besides, with the products available for baking and making sweets, there’s no reason you can’t have your gingerbread and not the carbs or calories.

This recipe is based on one from by Charles. All adjustments to make it low carb are mine and I can say it is very, very good. PK raved about it as well, so I think it is a great substitute for the original gingerbread. But if you are one of the lucky folk who have a metabolism that burns everything, you can find the original recipe here and make the full-bodied version.

For the rest of us, here’s the adapted recipe and also a recipe for a Simple Hard Sauce. Do let me know if you try it and how you like it. As usual, I use CarbQuick, which is the lowest carb flour mix I can find, but you can use any low carb flour as the main flour except coconut flour. Too much of it doesn’t make the best option and it requires at least 4 to 6 eggs to get a good rise. Bob’s Red Mill has a low carb baking mix that you can find in many stores that have a health food section and sometimes at Big Lots.

Old Fashioned Gingerbread


1/4 cup White Sugar Substitute
1/4 cup Brown Sugar Substitute
1/2 cup Butter, unsalted
1 Egg
1 Egg White
1 cup Sugar-free Maple Pancake Syrup
2 cups Carbquick or other low carb flour (almond flour will also work)
1/4 cup Coconut Flour or other low carb flour
2 tablespoons Vanilla Whey Protein Powder (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup hot Water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8-inch square pan or spray with cooking spray. .

In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream together the sugars and butter. Beat in the egg and egg white and mix in the syrup. Beat until smooth.

In a smaller bowl, sift together the flours, protein powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture in about three batches, mixing in before adding the next. Mix in the hot water until well blended. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving. Cut into squares and serve with a dollop of whipped cream or with a hard sauce to add a little more spice.  Makes 16 2″x2″ servings.

Gingerbread nutrition per serving:
Calories: 99.6 Fat: 8.5 g Net Carbs: 1.4 g Protein: 3.4 g

Simple Hard Sauce

Makes two servings (increase as needed)

1 tablespoon Butter
1/4 teaspoon ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Sugar Substitute
1 tablespoon Rum or Bourbon

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and sugar, stir in the spices, and stir until it is warmed up. Add the rum or bourbon, stirring in and letting it heat up a little.

With a fork or a toothpick, poke several holes in the top of the gingerbread servings, then slowly pour or spoon 1/2 of the syrup over each slice, allowing the syrup to soak into the bread.

Serve immediately.

Note: If you have a Gingerbread Sugar-free Syrup, you can use one ounce of that in place of half the sugar substitute, but I would still use the spices.

Nutrition Info per serving:
Calories: 68.5   Fat: 5.8 g   Net Carbs: 0.2 g   Protein: 0.1 g

Originally POSTED BY RENE AVERETT AT 12/12/2013 12:58 PM

Pistachio Cream Cheese Pudding Dish is a Delight

I was recently reminded of a wonderful dessert that Toni Kelly, PK’s mom, used to make using a cookie base, a layer of cream cheese and a layer of chocolate pudding covered with whipped cream.  PK and I used to make it with several different puddings, including pistachio, which is the recipe that recently made its way through Facebook.  Recalling the absolutely heavenly taste of this dessert, I decided to convert it to a low carb version. The taste is still heavenly although the portions are a little smaller, but it’s a wonderful treat.

This can also be made into little tarts by making them in flexible silicone molds and I’ve included the instructions for those as well.  The 1/2 cup servings help control the portions and you’re not as tempted to sneak another spoonful as you would be from a whole pan of it.

Mom Kelly’s Pistachio Cream Cheese Delight

For the Pie crust:
3 tablespoons Butter, softened
1/3 cup Carbquick or Almond Flour
1/3 cup chopped Pecans
3 tablespoons Granulated Sugar Substitute

For the Cream Cheese layer:
1/3 cup Powdered Sugar Substitute
4 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Cool Whip or Whipped Cream

For the pudding layer:
1 regular sized pkg Sugar Free Instant Pistachio Pudding mix
1 1/2 cups cold Unsweetened Almond Milk or Unsweetened Coconut Milk or
6 oz. Heavy Cream and 6 oz. cold Water

1/2 cup Cool Whip or Whipped Cream
1/4 cup chopped Pistachios

Spray an 8×8 pan with cooking spray.  Preheat your oven to 350 degress (F).

In a small bowl, mix butter, flour, sugar substitute and nuts together to make a crumbly dough; press into 8×8 inch pan.

Bake for 15 to 20 min.  Set aside to cool.

In another bowl, mix powdered sugar substitute*, cream cheese and cool whip and spread on cooled crust.

Using a whisk or an electric mixer. beat pudding mix and cold milk until thick.   Cover the pudding with plastic and place in the refrigerator and let set for 5 to 10 minutes until it thickens.  Spread on cream cheese layer and top with a layer of cool whip and chopped nuts.  Refrigerate for two to three hours before serving.

* If you can’t find powdered sugar substitute, you can make it by putting granulated sugar substitute, like Splenda or Ideal Sugar Substitute, into a food processor and pulsing until it turns into a fine powder.  Failing that, just use the granulated sugar and mix it in well.

To make as individual tarts:

Mix the crust as above. Prepare 12 tart pans (silicone ones are easier to peel the dessert out) and lightly spray with a cooking spray.

Put 1 tablespoon of crust mix into each tart pan and press it down to cover the bottom. Put all the molds on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Molds filled with baked cookie crust and cream cheese mix.

Mix the cream cheese as above, then put about 1 1/2 teaspoons of mixture into each mold. Spread with the back of the spoon. If it doesn’t spread easily or sticks to the spoon, wet the back of the teaspoon and do about three before wetting it again.

Mix the pudding as above and let set until partially firm. Spoon 2 tablespoons of pudding into each mold. Put pan in the refrigerator to cool and set up more.

Once they are set pretty firmly, put the tarts, still in the molds, into the freezer for 45 minutes to an hour to get mostly solid.  Remove from the mold (silicone ones will peel back) and wrap in plastic wrap.

About 30 minutes before serving, remove the tart from the plastic wrap and set on serving plate to thaw.  Spread Cool Whip or whipped cream on top of each tart and sprinkle nuts on top.

Frozen tarts will keep for several days.

Makes 12 servings
Nutrition Info per serving
Calories: 129.4 Fat: 11.4 g Net Carbs: 4.5 g Protein: 2.1 g