Tag Archives: Atkins friendly

Derby Cheesecake Time is Coming!

Recipe: Derby Pecan Cheesecake

I promised I would do this and here it is. Just in time for this year’s Kentucky Derby on May 4th, I adapted this decadent recipe for a fabulous cheesecake celebrating the event. I made it for Easter and can attest to the incredible flavors of the dessert. In addition to changing certain ingredients to low carb ones, I did add a couple of things to the original recipe. For those who would like the full carb version, you can find it here on the Tasty.co web site.

One thing you will absolutely need to make this is a brown sugar replacement. I used a combination of LC-Foods Sweet Brown and Swerve Sugar Replacement Brown, both of which are 0 carbs. You could use all Swerve Brown as it is most like brown sugar where LC-Sweet Brown is a powder and doesn’t have the texture of brown sugar. Swerve is available at Amazon, maybe Wal-Mart, and through Netrition.com (also LC-Sweet Brown). Truvia also has a brown sugar blend that has 1 net carb per 1/2 teaspoon but also says you use half as much as you would use of brown sugar. I haven’t tried it, but I would assume that if you use it, you use 1/4 cup of Truvia in place of the 1/2 cup.

I made a small 7″-spring-form-pan cheesecake as the larger one is too much for a two-person household. Cut into eight slices, the piece is large enough for a reasonable dessert and as rich-tasting as this is, the smaller serving is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Here’s a hint though. I made this with an almond flour crust standing in for a graham cracker one, but it would work perfectly well without the crust and save 1.5 net carbs on the total carb count. Next time, I plan to omit the crust.

Derby Bourbon Pecan Cheesecake

Original Recipe by Matthew Johnson
Low Carb Adapted by Rene Averett

1 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar Substitute
1/4 cup Butter, melted

8 oz Cream Cheese, at room temperature
2 oz. Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoons Almond Milk
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 tablespoons Low Carb Flour
3 teaspoons Bourbon Whiskey, divided
1 Egg

1/2 cup LC-Sweet Brown or Swerve Brown Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Egg Yolks
1/3 cup Sugar-free Maple Syrup,
1/4 cup Cream, warm to the touch
2 tablespoons Butter, cold
1 cup roasted Pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). Prepare the spring-form pan with parchment paper over the base. Spray the pan with baking spray.

Prepare your ingredients and have them ready ahead of time. This actually goes together pretty quickly.

For the Crust:

In a small bowl, add the almond flour, 1/4 cup sugar substitute, and melted butter. Mix together with a spoon, then spoon into the bottom of the spring-form pan and press it to cover the bottom and about half-way up the sides.

Bake for about 10 minutes to set up and lightly brown the dough. Cool.

For the Filling:

Add the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup sugar substitute, and almond milk into a large bowl. Beat until blended and fluffy-looking.

Spoon in the sour cream, low carb flour, teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of Bourbon (more if really want to taste it), and two eggs. Mix on low until the filling is smoothly blended.

Pour the mixture over the almond flour crust in the spring-form pan. Bake for one hour, then turn the oven off and let sit for 30 minutes in the oven.

While the cheesecake is sitting for 30 minutes…

Make the Topping

Add egg yolks, sugar-free Maple Syrup, and warm cream to a bowl and stir together.

In a medium saucepan, add brown sugar substitute, cornstarch, and salt then stir together and put it on a low heat setting on your stove. Add the egg and cream mixture to the pan.

Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens to a pudding texture, around 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in the cold butter and a teaspoon or two of bourbon, depending on how much you prefer.

Fold in the chopped pecans, mixing them through. Pour the mixture over the cheesecake while it is still in the spring-form pan. Spread to make an even layer over the top. (Mine dipped in the middle a little so that well of pecan is thicker.)

Photo: Bourbon Pecan Cheesecake
You can see where I didn’t quite get the topping spread all the way to the edge. Not that there wasn’t enough of it, but I just missed it. The topping is quite thick on the cheesecake.

Put in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours and allow the topping to set up firmly. Remove the spring-form pan and slide the cheesecake off the parchment paper onto a serving plate if you want it for a formal presentation.

Serve either chilled or let come to room temperature if you wish. Sometimes the higher temperature will bring the flavors out more.

Makes eight delicious servings.

Note: A word about the roasted pecans. These are easy to roast in the oven ahead of time by spreading them out on a layer of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pour melted butter (about 1/4 cup over the top) and put in a 300 degree (F.) oven for about 8 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
However, it isn’t necessary to roast the pecans unless you really want the roasted taste. You can just use raw pecans chopped up.

Photo: Nutrition Information

If you try this, let me know how you like it.  I’d love the feedback.

A Special Treat of Black Forest Flavors

Recently, my roommate canned a couple of dozen jars of sugar-free cherries and we opened one to see how they tasted before giving them to anyone. She also did a cherry jam that was delicious and also sugar-free. We tried that on low carb ice cream with chocolate. It tasted great, but it got me thinking about a Black Forest chocolate cake.

So, I decided to use my flaugnarde recipe as a base and turn it into a Black Forest tart with a kind of pudding filling. The result was really tasty and I think you might enjoy trying it. Because it used cherries, it’s not the lowest carb dish you could make and it would probably work equally as well with raspberries, but then it wouldn’t be Black Forest, would it?

This could make a simple, but delicious special dessert during the holidays.  And check out some of the other holiday dessert recipes I’ve listed below.  Happy Holidays to all!

Black Forest Flaugnarde

This is a variation on the traditional flaugnarde recipe that uses chocolate, cream, and eggs in it to produce a pudding-like center in the dish. I make it in individual soufflé cups for easy serving. The recipe is simple and almost fool proof.

1 Egg
3 tablespoons Heavy Cream plus 2 tablespoons Water
OR 5 tablespoons Unsweetened Almond or Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons Sugar Substitute
1 tablespoon Butter, softened or Baking Spray
1 tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Pinch of Salt
2 tablespoons Low Carb Flour (baking mix or almond flour)
6 whole cherries, cut in half or Sugar-Free Cherry Jam*
2 tablespoon Sugar-free Chocolate Chips or 1 serving of sugar free chocolate candy broken into pieces and divided.

*If you’re using cherry jam, use only 1 tablespoon Sugar Substitute.

Preheat oven to 385 degrees (F.) Butter or spray two 1/2 cup soufflé cups from bottom to top. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the eggs, cream and water or milk, and sugar substitute using a small spatula. Add the cocoa powder and flour and mix together.

In the bottom of the souffle cups, put 1/2 the cherries and 1/2 the chocolate chips in each. Spoon 1/2 the egg and flour mixture into each cup. They will be almost full, but leave a little room at the top. They will rise in the oven and if there is too much, they will overflow.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the top looks dry and looks done. With chocolate, it can be hard to tell but it will not look glossy. Remove from the oven and let cool about 10 minutes, then serve with a dollop or whipped cream or whipped topping.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories: 294 Fat: 25.1 g Net Carbs: 6.8 g Protein: 6.4 g

Try these delicious and low carb recipes to sweeten up your holidays. (Click on image to go to recipe page.)  Many more are on these pages. Check out the cookies!

Cranberry Coffeecake
Cranberry Almond Coffeecake
Pistachio Cheesecake
Maple Pecan Pumpkin PIe

Product Review: ParmCrisps

Product Review: Kitchen Table Bakers ParmCrisps

One of the coolest low carb snacks on the planet is the Parmesan cheese crisp and they are pretty simple to make. I’ve done it several times, but even though they are crisp and super tasty, they do not compare to the ones in this package that the roomie picked up at Sam’s Club this past weekend. These crisps are so good that it’s like eating potato chips — hard to stop!
They are a little over an inch in diameter and salted to perfection.

Patti picked up the Original flavor, but according to the company’s web site, they also come in Sesame and Jalapeno. We will have to be on the lookout for those. While Patti paid about $11 for a 9.5 ounce bag of them that has about 15 servings, the other outlets I’ve checked like Amazon and Netrition are about double that, but they do also have the smaller containers and single serving bags. However, even though they are pricey, the best value is in the larger bag.

Made with real Parmesan cheese and seasonings, the crisps are crunch and thicker than the ones I’ve made. They’re a great potato chip substitute and they go well with soups and salads as well as being dip-able. The biggest problem is the desire to keep eating. At only 100 calories and 0 net carbs in 15, they are a very sensible snack. The biggest drawback is probably that price tag, but I don’t know if I could buy the Parmesan and make an equivalent amount of snacks (about 225 little crackers) for the same price and have them come out as tasty.

So, give them a try if you get a chance and let me know what you think about this tasty snack.

What is that …?

…and what do you do with it?

That’s a question I’ve been asked many times at the grocery store check out stand from either customers or the clerk when I’ve bought a couple of unusual vegetables. While not uncommon or even unknown in the United States, they are odd-looking and often overlooked by shoppers. I am speaking of kohlrabi and celery root, two very delicious vegetables that can add a different flair to your dinner while coming in at a lower calorie and carbohydrate count than a potato, pasta, or rice.

So, I’m on a mission to introduce more people to these tasty but lesser known edibles.

To be honest, I didn’t discover them until the past few years when I started changing over to a low carb lifestyle to manage my weight. A friend in Europe told me about kohlrabi and while picking one up at the store, I was curious about celery root. Both vegetables are peculiar-looking, but the flavor they hide is wonderful.

Both the leaves and the vegetable on a kohlrabi plant are edible. These are a winter crop and can be found in the markets around February until the middle of summer, depending on where you are.

Kohlrabi is a cousin of broccoli and if you like the taste of that vegetable’s stem, then imagine it in a milder version and you have the taste of kohlrabi. It looks like an alien plant when you see it with the leaves attached as the stems come out from all over the round vegetable. The leaves are also good to cook and eat along with other greens.

Most often, it seems people who use kohlrabi grate or chop it to add to salads. However, it is wonderful when cooked. I make kohlrabi fries just as I would potato ones. You can also boil it into a mash with other vegetables, steam it, roast it, or turn it into a scalloped dish. It works best for these dishes when precooked a little to speed up the cooking time. You can also par-boil and freeze it.

Celery root is usually sold by the root. Look for the larger ones to get more value.

Now, celery root looks like a big, ugly lump when you see it in the store. It’s a gnarly-looking root. This is not your usual garden celery, but the celeriac root. The taste of it has a hint of celery, but it isn’t very strong. Once you peel off the exterior and clean it up, the meat is versatile. You can use it almost any way you use a potato. In fact, if you wash it up well, cut it in half and bake it, it makes a great substitute for a baked potato. Just don’t eat the skin.Texture-wise, it’s the only substitute vegetable I’ve found, apart from other potato family ones, that is like a potato when baked. It makes fabulous plank fries and goes well in soups.

I’ve also added turnips to my meal plans, finding that turnips and cauliflower mashed together with butter and cream made a great-tasting substitute for mashed potatoes. Cauliflower flowerets along with diced turnips, kohlrabi, or celery root can make a great-tasting macaroni-free cheese dish.

Apart from changing up the usual starches at dinner, these options are also lower in calories and carbs. If you’re wanting to cut back a little, try one of these vegetables for a change.

Take a look at the differences in nutrition:

Kohlrabi – per 1/2 cup:
18 calories 4.2 grams carbohydrates 2.5 g fiber 1.2 g protein

Celery root – per 1/2 cup
33 calories 7.2 g carbohydrates 1.3 fiber 1.2 protein

Turnips – per 1/2 cup
18.2 calories 4.2 g carbohydrates 1.2 g fiber 0.6 gr protein

Potatoes – per 1/2 cup:
51.8 calories, 11.8 g carbohydrates 1.8 g fiber 1.3 g protein

Have you tried kohlrabi or celery root?  If so, how did you use them and what did you think?

Pictured at the top is a Broccoli, kohlrabi and ham bake.  All photos are copyright by the author.

Product Review: Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Product Review:  Dixie Carb Counters Cinnamon Swirl Bread Mix

I tried the LC Cinnamon Rolls a couple of weeks ago and they were good, although small and somewhat troublesome to make.  Read my review  here.  So this week, I am trying the Cinnamon Swirl Bread Mix from DCC.  These are not really a cinnamon roll, but they have more cinnamon in them than many commercially made Cinnamon Breads from the market.  They are also not a yeast bread, but more of an egg bread.

The mix goes together easily with the add-ins you need being 3 large eggs, 3 tablespoon soft butter, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon of oil and 2 tablespoons of water.  The package has two packets in it; one has the bread mix and the other has the sugar free cinnamon sugar.  You also need a 4”x 8” bread pan.  This is the smaller loaf pan you usually use for fruit bread rather than the standard-sized loaf pan.  To make it, you simply mix the first packet with the bread mix in with all the add-ins and stir, whisk or beat on a very low setting on the mixer to blend it together.  Put 1/2 of the batter into the pan and spread it smoothly, then cut open the second pack and sprinkle the cinnamon over the batter evenly.  Although it says to put all the cinnamon on this level, I saved some for the top because there is a lot of it.

Batter sitting on top of the cinnamon layer waiting to be spread.

Next you add the rest of the batter over the top of the cinnamon, smooth it out evenly.  Add the rest of the cinnamon if you save some like I did, then use a knife to pull through the batter to spread the cinnamon into swirls.  There’s really no right or wrong way to make this distribution.  Just try to spread it evenly through without actually mixing it into the batter.  Smooth the top out again and put it in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes.  I cooked mine 30 minutes and it was a lovely golden brown, but I let it go a few minutes longer and pressed against the top to get the spring back.  When it cooled, it did sink in the middle and was not completely cooked in the center.  So I would say, depending on your oven, this might take 35 to 40 minutes to cook completely.

The flavor is wonderful.  It has a very strong cinnamon flavor, as one would like a cinnamon bread to have, and it is more like bread than a coffee cake.  A slice of this with a cup of coffee or tea makes a wonderful snack or light breakfast. Additional butter on top is optional.  I don’t think it’s sturdy enough to pop in the toaster, but it would warm in a toaster oven or a microwave easily.

Ingredient-wise, the mix contains unbleached flour, soy isolate, cereal fiber, fructosaccharide (a naturally occurring fructose in plants), low glycemic monosaccharide (a simple low glucose sugar), baking soda, corn starch, dried egg whites, cinnamon, ground soy, vanilla powder, sucralose and low glycemic fruit concentrate.  Sounds like a lot of chemical stuff, doesn’t it?  But most of it is extracted from plants and is commonly used in baking.

The mix costs $9.30 plus shipping from Dixie Diners  or you can buy it through Netrition.com for less (currently $7.29 plus shipping – hint, your whole order ships for $5.99 so order everything you want at one time).  One of my biggest complaints about low carb mixes is that they are pretty pricey.  In fact, almost any food mix that doesn’t use standard flours and sugar are usually more than double in price.  I appreciate that these companies have gone to a lot of work and expense to develop the mix formulas, but it seems they would sell more if they weren’t so high.

Nutrition info for 1/16 of the loaf – it makes 16 slices.  I usually cut it in eight slices, then cut each of those in half rather than trying to make 1/2-inch cuts.

Calories: 66 Fat: 0 g Net Carbs: 3.0 g  Protein: 2.0 g

You could easily make these in muffin cups, making individual cinnamon rolls.  Separate the batter into two sections, put about 1 tablespoon from the first section into each of 12 muffin cups, then sprinkle the cinnamon on top of each roll and add the rest of the batter from section 2 by tablespoons on top of that.  Swirl the cinnamon through to mix and level the tops.  Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes.

You could also add chopped nuts to the cinnamon layer if you’d like.   For a dozen rolls, you would increase the net carb count to 4 nc per muffin.

On a scale of 5 spoons being the top, I would give this cinnamon bread mix five spoons and I am definitely ordering it again.


Tip:  If you want to make this a great dessert bread, add a sugar-free Cream Cheese Glaze to it or a Warm Cinnamon Bourbon Syrup topping. 

Cream Cheese Glaze

2 tablespoons softened Cream Cheese
2 tablespoons Cream
1/4 cup Powdered sugar substitute
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Mix the ingredients together by hand until completely mixed. If the icing isn’t thin enough to spread easily, add a little water until it is the desired consistency. Drizzle over the top of the bread.

Warm Cinnamon Bourbon Syrup

1 tablespoon Cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon Bourbon
2 tablespoons Butter
4 tablespoons Sugar Substitute

In a small saucepan, add the ingredients and stir together well. Heat over medium heat until it thickens. Remove from the heat and spoon over the bread or cinnamon muffins.

Let me know if you try this bread (or the glazes)and how you like them.

Disclaimer:  I have not received any promotional items to review and no one from any of the companies whose products I review has asked me to do so. I have purchased the product and am giving my honest opinion about it. Should any company send me a product to try, I will state it up front and will still give my honest opinion.