Kara's Keto Plates

Fatty Food Blogging

Month: November 2014 (page 1 of 2)

Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

In the US, we celebrated Thanksgiving this past Thursday. I had planned to make “twice baked” cauliflower and these individual pumpkin cheesecakes for dessert. Michael decided to try his hand at low-carb crab cakes, which I served with slices of vine ripened tomato.

But the cheesecakes were really what I wanted. Let’s face it: I love dessert, I love baking and I have done very little of it on low-carb (my desserts tend to be things like homemade splenda-sweetened whipped cream with sugar-free jell-o or some fresh berries). This recipe turned out well – but definitely needs the time in the fridge. I made these on Wednesday and they were much better chilled overnight or at least for a few hours.

I actually made my own pumpkin puree – it was pretty easy. I took a pie pumpkin, cut it in half and took out the seeds and the sticky membrane around the seeds, oiled the pumpkins (you could just spray them) and set them on a cookie sheet and then into a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for forty minutes (or until the skin is deeper in tone and wrinkled). Took them out, let them cool, peeled the skin off and then chopped the pumpkin into smaller chunks (an inch or two big) then just took my immersion blender to them. You could easily use a food processor or a blender, but I love my immersion blender for these tasks (it is much easier to clean). I didn’t season this pumpkin puree because I wanted to be able to use it for savory or sweet dishes. One pie pumpkin provided a little more than two cups of puree. Making your own puree is a completely unnecessary step – the canned pumpkin (not the canned pumpkin pie filling) will work perfectly.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

Individual Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups


For the Crust
1/4 cup Almond Meal/ Flour
2 tablespoons Butter, Melted
1 teaspoon Powdered Erythritol
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

For the Filling
8 oz Cream Cheese (1 package), Softened
1/3 cup Powdered Erythritol
1/4 teaspoon Molasses (if desired)
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
1 large Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each ground Allspice; Ginger and Nutmeg
Additional sweetener (equivalent to 1-2 tablespoons sugar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Get out a cupcake/muffin pan and put liners in six of the cavities. If you don’t have liners (like I didn’t) you could cut rounds of parchment paper and grease the cavities in the muffin pan (this is messy and liners are so much easier… and prettier). Mix together the ingredients for the crust and then pat the crust into the liners of each of the six cavities you’re using.

Move onto the filling – I started by putting the 1/3 cup Erythritol in a small bowl and mixing the 1/4 teaspoon of Molasses into that. Why molasses? To give it a richer, more brown sugar-y feel. Also, I am stupidly in love with molasses. If you don’t want to add the molasses, no big deal. Mix the cream cheese with the erythritol, pumpkin, egg, vanilla and spices. At this point I tasted my filling and decided it could use some additional sweetness, so I added some liquid splenda – the equivalent of probably 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Once the mixture is smooth, fill each of the liners to the top of your pan and then place it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  Once they’re done, I let mine rest for about an hour or so and then moved them to the fridge to cool. Cooling overnight is preferred, and man are they good with the morning cup of coffee. This recipe made six servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving):
Calories: 210 kcal
Fat: 19 g
Saturated Fat: 11 g
Total Carbohydrate: 3.5 g
Fiber: .5 g
Protein: 4.9 g

Net Carbohydrate: 3 g

Maple Chipotle Pepitas

Pepitas, or Pumpkin Seeds, have always been one of my favorite snacks. They’re a good source of magnesium, zinc and omega-3s – a wonderful snack to add to your day.  Michael has pan-roasted small amounts of pumpkin seeds with oil and salt (careful – when they get hot we found out they had a tendency to pop out of the pan), which was simple and hit a salty-snack spot. I like these oven-roasted pepitas because you can make a cookie sheet full – enough to share.

I use some sugar-free “maple” syrup in this recipe. The brands definitely vary in terms of flavor: we have Michael’s favorite brand, Vermont, on hand right now. If you’ve never had sugar free maple-flavored syrup but you have had fake maple syrup like Log House Cabin or Mrs. Butterworths, the flavor is pretty much the same. I’ll be honest – I’m always vaguely disappointed with the flavor because I miss real, no-fooling maple syrup (Grade B, please) but it works well in this recipe.

Maple Chipotle Pepitas

2 1/2 cups raw, shelled Pumpkin Seeds / Pepitas
2 tablespoons Sugar-free Pancake Syrup
2 tablespoons Oil (I used a combination of Olive Oil and Coconut Oil)
1 teaspoon Cumin, ground
1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Powder
Salt, to taste

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or with foil. Mix the syrup, oil and seasoning in a bowl, then add the raw pumpkin seeds to the bowl. Mix until the pumpkin seeds are evenly coated. Place the pepitas in a single layer on the cookie sheet and place in the heated oven. They will cook for 20 minutes, but you will want to stir/flip the seeds halfway through the cooking time.

Once they’re done, I cool them and then store them in an airtight container. They’re probably best if consumed within a week. A serving is 1/4 cup of seeds, this recipe makes 10 servings. I would recommend measuring out a serving since seeds and nuts are a dense source of calories.

Nutrition Information (per serving):
Calories: 194 kcal
Fat: 18 g
Saturated Fat: 3.5 g
Total Carbohydrate: 3.0 g
Fiber: 2.0 g
Protein: 9 g

Sesame Cabbage Slaw

I have a whole lot of cabbage to use up. This recipe took the remainder of the purple and green cabbage I had on hand. The dressing is one I made up, first thing in the morning while I was packing lunch for Michael – who preferred this slaw to the avocado coleslaw we had the previous night.

I added a small quantity of liquid coconut oil to the dressing base – I don’t use coconut oil predominantly because I have heard rumors that it will upset the gut. I don’t know if that’s true, but it has kept me from using coconut oil solely, but I still tend to add the coconut oil in small quantities to any dish where I’m using liquid oils.

Sesame Cabbage Slaw

Sesame Cabbage Slaw

3 cups Cabbage, sliced
the juice from 1 Lemon
2 tablespoons Canola Oil (or your preferred liquid oil)
1 teaspoon liquid Coconut Oil (I use Carrington Farms Coconut Cooking Oil)
1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil
2-3 drops of EZ-Sweetz, the equivalent of 1 tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste OR 1/4 teaspoon each fresh garlic and fresh ginger or you could use an even smaller quantity of dried spices (1/8 teaspoon maybe)
1/4 teaspoon Minced Onion
Salt, to taste
Roasted sesame seeds, as garnish

Prepare your cabbage – mine was pre-shredded by me, so this recipe came together super fast. Juice your lemon in a bowl. Whisk oil (canola, coconut and sesame) into the lemon juice until it makes a smooth emulsion. At this point, I usually taste the dressing to see whether it needs more oil (I tend to not add enough oil for some folks, so you may want more oil than I did). Add sweetener and seasonings (ginger, garlic, onion and salt). Taste again to make sure the dressing tastes good. I purposefully under-salted my dressing because I was making a topping to go on the salad of toasted sesame seeds and kosher salt.

While I was making the dressing, I pulled raw sesame seeds out of my fridge and threw them in a pan on low heat in order to toast them. I probably toasted 1/4 cup or so, because I really like sesame seeds. I generally stir/shake the pan every couple minutes. Once the sesame seeds start to toast, you’ll see the color turn golden brown and the aroma will change. Then you remove the pan from heat and take the seeds out of the pan.

When I packed the lunch for Michael, I gave him a container with a tablespoon or so of sesame seeds and a couple pinches of kosher salt, for him to add to the salad when we ate it. I did the same thing when I had it for lunch, and appreciated the extra crunch of the sesame seeds and the extra salt.  You could totally just add sesame seeds, but the sesame + salt mixture reminds me of my happy days eating sekihan. This recipe made three servings and thank goodness – the cabbage is all gone (for the time being).

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 173 kcal
Fat: 15 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Total Carbohydrate: 10 g
Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 3 g

Coleslaw with Avocado

It’s Fall, which means crucifers… or cruciferous vegetables! What in the heck is a cruciferous vegetable? Think of the smelliest vegetables you know: broccoli; brussels sprouts; cabbage; kale; bok choy; horseradish. They grow well in the cooler temperatures of Spring and Fall. Which explains how, as of last Friday, my fridge was full of the following: a head of green and red/purple cabbage; two heads of broccoli and a bunch of kale. I happen to really enjoy all of those vegetables but that is a *lot* for two people to eat through.

Last night, I also happened to have ripe avocados on hand. So I improvised a coleslaw with the added fat and nutrition of avocado. This recipe could also easily be made vegan by substituting mayonnaise with your favorite vegan alternative.


Coleslaw with Avocado

Coleslaw with Avocado

3-4 cups shredded Cabbage – I used both purple and green
1 avocado
1/2 cup Mayonnaise (or Vegan substitute, ie: vegannaise; nayonnaise)
Equivalent of 1 tablespoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Water
1  tablespoon Vinegar (White) or Lemon Juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Mustard
1/2  teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Minced Onion
Salt, to taste

Prep your cabbage – you can use a food processor; a mandoline; or just your knife to get thinly sliced cabbage. I just used my knife because I hate cleaning my mandoline and my food processor. Two head of cabbage, all chopped, gave me way more cabbage than I needed for this recipe – I set aside probably 4 cups to use for this and stored the rest for later. I decided to try the salting your cabbage ahead of time technique – so I set the cabbage in a colander, salted it with about 2 teaspoons salt and let it drain for about 1.5 hours. Then you can rinse it and squeeze it dry. Personally, I don’t think it made very much difference (just less liquid in the slaw and saltier cabbage) so I don’t know that I would do that again.
Once your cabbage is prepped, making the dressing is super easy. Whisk the mayonnaise, water and vinegar together until smooth. Add your sweetener, and seasoning and mix until incorporated. Then mix the dressing into the cabbage – I used probably half the dressing I made, so I definitely wouldn’t pour it all in, but you may like your slaw more dressed than I do. Taste the slaw – if it needs salt, add some. Since I salted my cabbage, I didn’t add any salt to my dressing and it wasn’t needed.

I waited until we were ready to eat to chop the avocado and add it to the salad, so it would stay green.  The acidity of the dressing should keep the avocado green for a while, but if you can wait to add the avocado until you’re ready to serve, I’d recommend that. With four cups of cabbage, I’d say this side serves four people.

Nutrition Information (per serving):
Calories: 284 kcal
Fat: 27 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Total Carbohydrate: 9.5 g
Fiber: 5 g
Protein: 2 g

Rich, Creamery Hot Cocoa

It is a blustery 14 degrees Fahrenheit tonight, and we got our first snow of the season this weekend (still about two inches on my lawn, but the pavement is all clear). Long story short, it is hot cocoa weather. Additional bonus: I found grass fed heavy cream at Whole Foods last weekend, but they only had a huge container of it (Kalona SuperNatural brand). I bought the huge container and I have not regretted it – it is the tastiest, thickest cream I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. Just knowing I have that cream brightens up my morning coffee routine in ways I cannot adequately explain. But I have to use up like 2 cups of heavy cream before it goes bad. Enter hot cocoa.

Low carb hot cocoa is supremely easy to do, provided you have heavy cream and the calories to spare (as it is not low in calories). Why use heavy cream and water in lieu of milk? Because milk is FULL of sugar (lactose), which means it is full of carbohydrates. For the sweetener, I used a combination of powdered erythritol and liquid splenda because I really like those two sweeteners combined. You can use whatever sweetener you would like, but be mindful that powdered Splenda (the kind in packets or used for baking) is thickened with starch (which adds carbohydrate).

Hot Cocoa

Hot Cocoa

2/3 cup Heavy Cream
2/3 cup Water
3 – 4 tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
2 tablespoons Erythritol
Equivalent of 1-2 tablespoons of Sugar. I used EZ-Sweetz liquid splenda.
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 pinch salt

Add cream, water, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to a sauce pan over low or medium-low heat. Watch your pan carefully – do not let the cream boil. Once the cream is heated, add the cocoa powder and erythritol – whisk to combine. Once the mixture is smooth, add the splenda, to taste. I used liquid splenda where 1 drop is equivalent to 2 teaspoons of sugar. I added 3 drops (equivalent to two tablespoons of sugar) and I thought the cocoa was plenty sweet.

You could easily add cinnamon or nutmeg to your hot cocoa for some nice spiciness. I’m thinking mint extract instead of vanilla (or, in addition to?) might also be nice (hit my favorite Starbucks holiday drink – peppermint hot chocolate). Or you could add a few tablespoons of the hot cocoa to your morning coffee for a nice chocolate creamer. As it is, I think this recipe makes a generous two servings.

Nutrition Information (for one serving):
Calories: 298 kcal
Fat: 30.5 g
Saturated Fat: 18.4 g
Total Carbohydrate: 7 g
Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 5 g


Rich Creamery Butter

Progress – Six Weeks In

Today begins my seventh week on a keto diet. I was feeling discouraged last week: gained water weight (as usual) due to my period and then due to muscle recovery since I spent a couple hours Thursday in the yard, raking leaves. I’ve tracked my weight enough to expect a sudden gain of 3-4 pounds with the onset of my period and then a gradual reduction, which usually takes me below my previous minimum. But it can still feel discouraging – I think this is why many people choose not to weigh consistently. It’s hard to ignore the day-to-day data in favor of the bigger picture.

This morning I hit my lowest weight yet, bringing the total loss for six weeks to 10.5 pounds – which equates to a loss rate of 1.75 pounds a week. That’s a better rate than I’ve had on pretty much any diet before – my rate on Medi-Fast, for example, was about 1.25 pounds a week.

I also took my measurements last Friday and then again today to confirm accuracy (side note: don’t take your measurements when you’re bloated and retaining water). I’ve lost an additional inch from my upper arms, waist, hips and thighs over the last four weeks.

In the end, I have no reason to feel discouraged – the loss has been consistent and the diet is easy to stick to.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

My younger sister came for a visit this weekend. She was traveling for her job and happened to be in close proximity with enough of a break to allow a visit. She is also a foodie (her job and her passion) and so, of course, we cooked. I decided now would be a good time to try a new recipe, and sis was more than happy to take it on while I did my same old roasted fajita vegetables. We made a boatload of food, all of it fatty and delicious.

I’m from Maryland, therefore my personal religious belief is that Old Bay seasoning is suitable (nay, preferred) for pretty much everything. That being said, it may not be available to you, locally. In that case, feel free to add seasoning of your choosing to the cheese mixture.

Jalapeno Poppers

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapenos – two per each person you’re feeding. I used six.
1/2 cup Cream Cheese, softened.
1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Old Bay, to taste
Chives, to taste
Bacon slices, cut in half. One full strip for each Jalapeno.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prep your jalapenos – slice in half and remove ribs/seeds. Mix the cream cheese with the seasonings and then add in the cheddar cheese. Stuff each jalapeno half with the cheese mixture, and wrap each half with half a slice of bacon. Since we didn’t have toothpicks, Sis wrapped the bacon such that the seam was on the bottom of the pepper. The bacon we used was thick-cut and not par-baked at all, but the bacon and the peppers had cooked through in about twenty minutes.

To cook the jalapenos, I recommend prepping a sheet pan as follows: cover with foil and set a rack on top of the sheet pan (I used a rack I have for cooling baked goods – hasn’t had much use lately). Place the jalapenos on top of the rack. This allows the bacon to cook more evenly on the peppers.

I recommend two peppers per each person eating, but I should say that I am the ONLY one of us who ate four pepper halves. This is likely because we also had the following on hand for dinner (as you can see in the picture): roasted fajita vegetables (mushrooms; zucchini and yellow squash; bell peppers), ground beef (seasoned with cumin, cayenne, chipotle, onion and garlic powder), low carb tortillas and all the toppings: avocado; salsa; sour cream and cheddar cheese. Point is, if you’re making this as an appetizer or one side to a dinner, one pepper (two halves) per person is probably sufficient.

Nutritional Information (per each half):
Calories: 80 kcal
Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 3.7 g
Total Carbohydrate: 1 g
Fiber: < 1 g
Protein: 3.6 g

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