Still looking for a “meatless Monday” option for lunch or dinner? Here’s an easy but delicious suggestion. A grilled cheese sandwich! Not just any grilled cheese, but the deluxe version.
I’ve heard about using cheese on the outside of your sandwich for some time now and I decided to try it while elevating the basic grilled cheese sandwich a little. To do this, you need a non-stick skillet. I used my copper saute skillet to make it. It worked perfectly.
I used a low carb Muffin-in-a-Minute made in a bowl to make a tasty low-carb bread roll that I sliced in two horizontally. You can find the basic recipe link below. While I used flax meal and Bakesquick for my roll, this is easily adaptable to any low carb flour options you prefer.
To complete your meal, you can add a side salad or fried zucchini sticks, or turnip, kohlrabi, acorn squash, or celery root fries.
2 Muffin-in-a-minute rolls, sliced horizontally
1 cup Cheddar Jack cheese, or Cheddar Cheese, shredded
2 slices Colby Deli Cheese
2 oz Cream Cheese
1/4 teaspoons Mrs. Dash Chipotle Pepper Seasoning
2 small Sweet Peppers, seeded and sliced or chopped
2 to 4 slices Tomato, depending on tomato size
2 slice Onion, sliced (optional)
Prepare muffin bread in the microwave and slice across to form the top and bottom of each roll.
Mix cream cheese with seasoning and add 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Spread 1/4 of the cream cheese on the inside of each slice. On one slice. On one side, place the chopped sweet pepper. On the other side, place sliced tomatoes to cover the top. Add onion, if you wish.
Preheat skillet on burner until hot, then turn to medium heat.
Place cheese slice on top of the pepper side. Put about 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese into the middle of the pan and spread it around to form the shape of the bread. Combine the two sides of the roll with filling in the middle. Place sandwich on top of the shredded cheese in the pan. Press down with the spatula to make sure the bottom of the sandwich is sticking to the cheese.
Grill for about 1 minute or until the middle cheese is beginning to melt. Put another couple of tablespoons of shredded cheese on the top of the sandwich. Place a lid over the top to keep the heat in and melt the center piece of cheese.
Carefully, using the spatula and pressing down on the top, turn the sandwich so the grilled cheese is on top. Cook for another minute until the cheese on the bottom is grilled and toasty. Remove the pan and serve.
Ever have the urge for a corn dog? One of those batter-covered frankfurters on a stick dipped in mustard or mayo can be a wonderful taste of comfort food. Unfortunately, corn bread batter is one of those things that can really pack on the pounds.
My alternative to it is this tasty hot dog in a pot, a personal-sized batter-covered frank made with low carb flours and golden flax meal. While it doesn’t replicate the corn dog, it is similar and satisfies my cravings for this simple summer fair food. Give it a try. With this flexible recipe and you can add several variations. I haven’t tried the sauerkraut option, but I don’t see any reason it won’t work.
Recipe by Rene Averett
This is a simple, low carb version of a corn dog, except it doesn’t use cornmeal. Instead, I’ve substituted in golden flax meal. It has the texture and a bit of the taste of the corn dog although it is baked instead of fried, so it isn’t quite the same.
If you want to try to fry it, I suggest baking it part way, then dropping it in a fryer for a couple of minutes to brown the exterior. I’d also leave off the cheese topping until after it’s fried.
Per 1 person serving
1 Hot dog or frankfurter
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon ground Golden Flax Meal
2 tablespoons Low Carb Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
Pinch of Salt
1/2 teaspoon Sugar Substitute
Pinch of Black Pepper, if you wish
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder (optional)
Mayonnaise and/or Mustard for dipping
Additional add-ins you can try:
1 tablespoon Onions, chopped
1 tablespoon Green Chilies, chopped
2 tablespoons Chile Con Carne, no beans
1 tablespoon Sauerkraut, drained
Preheat the oven to 365 degrees (F). Spray a one-cup ramekin with baking spray. (You can also use an oval ramekin that fits the uncut frankfurter or any other shape you want.)
In a small bowl, add egg and oil and whisk until blended. Add sugar substitute, baking powder, salt, pepper, flour, and flax meal. Stir until completely blended and smooth. Put 1/2 of the batter in the bottom of the ramekin. Cut the hot dog into 1/2 inch rounds and layer them over the mixture.
At this point, add any of the additional add-ons you wish to include. Sprinkle 1/2 the shredded cheese over the top and spoon the remaining batter over the top, smoothing it out. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
Let cool and eat with a dipping sauce of mayonnaise and mustard or use either alone. I love this with a mayonnaise and cranberry mustard sauce.
Nutrition Information per serving: Calories: 538 Fat:46.9 g Net Carbs: 6.3 g Protein: 22.1 g
With onions, add 0.6 grams of carbs to the count. With green chiles, add 0.5 grams With chili con carne with beans, add 3.4 grams With sauerkraut, the count is the same as with onion.
Loaded with onion, chiles, and chile con carne, the total net carbs are 10.9 g.
Hint: For a simple dipping sauce, I mix 1 tablespoon Mayonnaise and a teaspoon of Cranberry Mustard together. You can also use regular mustard. For a touch of sweetness, add a little sugar-free sweet pickle juice or a drop of liquid sweetener.
Looking for a more savory sauce? Use a couple of tablespoons of Ranch Dressing or a Sugar-Free Honey Mustard Dressing.
Give this a try and if you come up with some other good add-ins, let me know.
I recently saw a post that featured pancakes used in various ways, including the “dutch baby” pancake, which is like a giant popover. For some reason, it hadn’t occurred to me to use a pancake to make a sandwich. By making the batter savory, you can easily cook a pair of sandwich-bun-sized cakes and make a delicious and satisfying sandwich. I made two–a chicken sandwich and a ham sandwich to test out the recipe. Wonderful and easy to do!
So, if you’re looking for an easy bread substitute, you might want to try this one. I used DCC Baking Mix, Carbquick, and flax meal in mine, but you can also use almond flour, coconut flour, soy flour or any other low carb flour to make them. I suggest at least two varieties of flour to give them more strength. Coconut flour breaks easily, almond flour a little less, so combining them makes it sturdier. You also need to let them cool before using them to make your sandwich as that allows them to set up better.
Pancake Chicken Sandwich
A twist on the chicken sandwich adds a savory pancake in place of the bread.
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Low Carb Flour
1 tablespoon Golden Flax Meal
1 tablespoon Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/8 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/8 teaspoon Onion Powder
Pinch Red Pepper
1 Tablespoon Heavy Cream or 2 tablespoons Almond Milk
1 tablespoon Water (don’t add if using Almond Milk)
1/4 teaspoon Sugar Substitute
1 tablespoon Butter
For the sandwich:
2 slices Bacon, cooked until crisp
Sliced Chicken (however much you prefer)
Piece of Lettuce
1 slice Cheese of choice (optional)
2 slices Tomato (optional)
Mayonnaise or Mustard to preference.
In a small bowl, add egg, olive oil, and sugar substitute and mix well with a whisk or a spatula. Add the cream and water (or almond milk) and stir or whisk. Add the flour and flax meal along with the Parmesan cheese and seasonings. Mix together.
Put a skillet over medium heat burner and heat until a drop of water skitters across it. Add butter and melt it, then put three tablespoons of batter in the pan. If there is room for two, do the second one, otherwise, cook them one at a time. The batter should spread out to form about a 4″ thin circle. It will be thicker than a crepe, but not as thick as a regular pancake. Let cook until the top looks dry around the edges and little bubbles break through. Turn and cook another couple of minutes until lightly browned.
Put on a plate, then do the rest of the pancakes. This recipe makes about three, but you only use two for the sandwich. Put the other one away to use with your morning eggs.
Assemble your sandwich. Put mayonnaise or mustard on both pancakes, then put lettuce on one, topped by the cheese and the chicken. Put the bacon on top of the chicken, then the other pancake on top. It will hold together pretty well while you’re eating it. I had uneven slices of chicken that tried to escape, so this would work better with even slices. You can also make a ham sandwich with it.
Makes one sandwich.
Nutrition information per sandwich; Calories: 526 Fat: 31.6 g Net Carbs: 4.7 g Protein: 19.2 g
Per Pancake only: Calories: 139.4 Fat: 13.3 g Net Carbs: 0.8 g Protein: 4.1 g
The only thing that changes for the ham sandwich is a slice or two of ham, depending on the thickness, instead of the chicken and no bacon.
In my mind, and in the ones bought locally, the calzone has always been like a pizza sandwich. Mind you, I’ve since heard that real calzone has ricotta and other cheeses in it and no sauce or gravy, as they say back east. Nonetheless, I love the dough, which is like pizza dough, and the convenience of a pocket sandwich.
I’ve tried several low carb flour brands to create a passable pizza crust and the best one I’ve tried is from LC Foods, their Pizza, Calzone, and Bagel flour mix. I’ve also tried Dixie Carb Counters All Purpose Flour and it works, but the dough is sweeter than I like. Other flours may work, but nut flours don’t give as good a result. For one thing, the yeast doesn’t seem to work well on them.
Basic Calzone Recipe
Based on the LC Foods Recipe for pizza crust.
3/4 cup LC Pizza Flour
3/4 tsp Sugar Substitute
1/8 teaspoon Salt
3/4 teaspoon Rapid Rise Yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1/4 cup Water, warm
Mix sweetener, salt, and yeast into flour. Add water and oil and knead dough by hand until a gluten film forms and the dough doesn’t break. You can use a bread hook or a bread mixer if you wish, but it is just as easy to do it by hand.
Pull the dough together in a ball, then place in an oiled bowl or on a bread board and cover then place in a warm place for the dough to double in size, around 30 to 40 minutes.
For calzone, divide the dough in half, then roll or stretch each out on a lightly floured, using low carb flour, bread board into 5 to 6 inch thin rounds. Place on baking screen or stone and fill one half with desired filling. Fold it over to make a half circle and pinch the edges closed. Small gaps for air vents are okay.
Bake at 415 degrees for 9 to 12 minutes until browned or crisped to desired level.
Nutrition Information per serving: Calories: 147 Fat: 3 g Net Carbs: 3 g Protein: 16.5 g
BBQ Pork Calzone-Style Sandwich
This is more a BBQ Pork sandwich in a calzone pocket than an actual calzone. It is delicious though and not too difficult to make. Works great with left over pork ribs.
1 Pizza Dough recipe made up and split into two balls
2 cooked boneless Pork Ribs (about 3 oz.), chopped or shredded
1/4 cup Sugar-free BBQ Sauce (I used Walden Farms, 0 calorie & 0 carbs)
1/4 cup Bell Pepper, chopped
1/4 cup Onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Cheddar Jack Cheese, shredded
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 415 degrees (F.).
In a small skillet, heat the Olive Oil, then add the onion, peppers, and garlic and cook until almost tender. Add the pork and the BBQ sauce, stir together, and cook a couple of minutes.
Roll out one ball of dough to make a 5 to 6 inch circle. It will be very thin so try not to break through the dough. Place the dough on top of a pizza screen or on a pizza stone. If you have to use a baking sheet, line it with parchment paper.
Put one half of the toppings on one side of the dough leaving a slight edge clear. Fold the dough over the filling and press the edges together to seal it into half-round pocket. Brush a little melted butter over the top. Make the other calzone in the same way.
Bake in the oven about 15 minutes until the calzone is golden brown. Let cool a couple of minutes then serve. You can add an additional small dish of BBQ Sauce for dipping if you wish.
Nutrition Information for filling only: Calories:180.1 Fat: 12.0 Net Carbs: 2.9 g Protein: 14.5 g
Nutrition Information with calzone dough: Calories: 327 Fat: 15 g Net Carbs: 5.9 g Protein: 31 g
Pizza Style Calzone Sandwich
This is a simple variation of the same recipe only using typical pizza ingredients for the filling. You can add in pepperoni or ground beef or any other meat of your choice without altering the carb count too much unless the meat has a lot of carbohydrates in it. For reference, I used Bertolli Vodka Pasta Sauce for this recipe. A couple of other pasta sauces are lower in carbs.
1 Pizza Dough made up and split into two balls
3 oz. Italian Sausage
1/4 cup Pasta Sauce of Choice (Look for lowest carb)
1/4 cup Bell Pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped or slice Olives
2 tablespoon Mushroom slices, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Mozzarella or other white cheese, shredded
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Greens of choice (optional)
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 415 degrees (F.)
In a small skillet, add cook the Italian sausage until lightly browned, remove and set aside. Add garlic and bell peppers to the pan and saute. When bells are getting soft, add the mushrooms and cook for about 30 seconds more. If you are using the green, stir them into the pan and cook until they start to wilt. Remove from heat. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir in the olives. Mix in the pasta sauce.
Roll the dough out for the calzones and place on pizza screen or on pizza pan. Spoon filling over one half of the calzone dough, sprinkle on cheese, and fold it over. Seal the edges, leaving a couple of open spots for venting. Sprinkle a little cheese over the top if you wish.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
Makes 2 servings.
Nutrition Information for filling only: Calories: 188.4 Fat: 14.9 g Net Carbs: 3.0 g Protein: 10.9 g
Nutrition Information with calzone dough: Calories: 368.5 Fat: 17.9 Net Carbs: 5.9 g Protein: 25.4 g
Tip: To get a golden brown and shiny bread, you can brush with olive oil or spray with an olive oil or butter baking spray before baking.
I do encounter few challenges now and then. Today had its moments. A great breakfast dish that I made up on the spot, then an easy but tasty lunch of a grilled tuna sandwich. After that, I went shopping. I bought ingredients with the intent of making something special for dinner. I had a pedi/manicure after that and by the time PK and I wandered out of the store, it was late and we felt exhausted. Took the groceries home, then decided to go out to dinner rather than cook.
So we went off to Mimi’s where I had visions of eating their brick chicken. First I had to decline the bread basket they always offer, then ordered the chicken, which comes with a small salad, and requested broccoli instead of potatoes au gratin. That was a challenge in itself. After a wait, the waitress informed us chef was out of half chickens. We could have a breast instead. I decided to go for the pot roast with broccoli, again passing on the potato options. This did not come with salad and while the food was tasty, it was just met and broccoli. Then Mimi’s wanted to send us home with a huge muffin each for the inconvenience, which I had to decline. That muffin alone would probably be 60 net carbs. I am proud of myself for standing strong in this temptation.
So, here’s the menu for Day 11
Mock egg & cheese Rarebit
vitamin B12 gummy
grilled tuna sandwich
sugar-free sweet pickles
Russel Stover’s sugar-free chocolate – 2 pieces
3/4 cup Broccoli with butter
coffee with cream
1/3 cup Pumpkin Mousse
Breakfast was an inspiration. I hadn’t thought about Welsh rarebit in ages and I really love it. But this was breakfast and I thought I should eliminate the ale in the cheese sauce, so this is a Mock Rarebit.
Mock Egg & Bacon Rarebit for One
2 large Eggs
3 tablespoons Golden Flax Seed Meal
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Coconut Flour
Dash of Salt
1 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 slice Bacon, thick cut
2 tablespoons Water
2 dashes of Pepper
In a small bowl, combine 1 egg and olive oil and beat until mixed. Add flax meal, coconut flour, salt, parmesan cheese and water. Mix until completely combined. Spray waffle iron with baking spray or lightly oil using a paper towel. Pour the mix into 1/2 of the waffle iron. This will make two sections of waffle. Bake for about 2 1/2 minutes or until the steam from the iron quits rising. If the waffle is done, the lid will lift easily without tearing the waffle. If there is resistance, let it cook about 10 seconds longer. Once done, cut the sections apart. Use one section for this recipe. Butter the slice and wrap in foil until ready to assemble.
Cook a slice of bacon. I prefer the microwave for this, especially if you have a ridged pan for it. Put a couple of pieces of paper towel under the bacon, then cook for 1 minute or a few second longer until it is crisp. The paper towel absorbs the grease and you can toss it or put it in a bag and use it to light the coals under the grill the next time you BBQ.
In a skillet, melt 1 teaspoon of butter or spray with non-stick spray. Spray the inside of an egg ring and put it into the skillet to heat as the butter melts. Break an egg into a recipe bowl then slide it into the middle of the egg ring. Cook for a couple of minutes until the whites are set. Put a lid over the egg for a minute and the yolk should have a good film over it. Remove the egg ring and flip it over with a spatula if you want it over easy. Add pepper on top if desired.
Put the waffle on a serving plate, then put the bacon next and top with the egg. In a small bowl, put 1/3 cup cheddar cheese with 1 tablespoon whipping cream, basil, and powdered onion. Put in the microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds to melt the cheese. Stir and pour over the top of the egg.
For lunch, we went for an old favorite, a Grilled Tuna Sandwich. This is really like putting tuna salad between bread and adding cheese, but it is so tasty.
Grilled Tuna Sandwich
Make a flax meal muffin. Then you need:
1 3 oz can flaked white tuna
1 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup shredded cheese of choice (mozzarella, swiss, or jack)
or use 1 slice of cheese
In a bowl, mix together the tuna, mayonnaise and dried onion.
Cut the flax muffin in half across the middle. Spread tuna on the inside of the bread. Heat a skillet over a medium hot burner, then add a 1/2 tablespoon of butter or cooking spray. Put the bottom of the muffin with the tuna in the skillet, then pile the cheese on top. Butter the top of the muffin and place it on top of the cheese, buttered side up.
Cook until the cheese begins to melt, then use a spatula to turn the muffin over. You may need to hold the top of the bun with your fingers as you flip it. Reduce the heat if it is cooking too fast. Cook the other side for a couple of minutes and check that the cheese is completely melted and the bread is lightly browned.
Nutrition Information for the filling. Calories:261.5 Fat:17.9 g Net Carbs:0.9 Protein: 23.8g