Kara's Keto Plates

Fatty Food Blogging

Category: Vegetarian (page 2 of 3)

Gingerbread Cookies

The holidays have meant many different things to me over the years, but there has been one constant: cookies. My mother was always famous (infamous?) in our family for her cookie smorgasbord. When we were younger, she might make ten or fifteen different kinds of cookies: 7 layer bars (hello dolly); sugar cookies; spritz cookies; ginger cookies; rugelach; chocolate butter cookies; homemade fudge; this amazing pistachio toffee dipped in dark chocolate; truffles. My mother was like a one-woman cookie factory and every year there were new recipes to try. Tins full of cookies went to neighbors, teachers, friends. She has cut back as time has gone on, but the memories stay with me: the holiday season is not the holiday season if I’m not standing in a warm kitchen over a mixer or rolling out cold dough. I feel strongly enough about cookies during the holidays that when I moved out and married Michael, one of the first things I bought for us was a set of cookie cutters.

Oh, I’ve tried to approximate cookies without cookies. I’ve made cinnamon spiced ornaments with cookie cutters instead of cookies (not the same). I’ve made spiced tea for myself instead of cookies (not the same). I’ve spent holidays baking nothing, but that always felt so empty and lonely.

Enter the gingerbread cookie recipe which I found here. I liked the fact that the dough could be rolled out and that it included an icing recipe.  I ran to our fancy grocery store this Monday for coconut flour and arrowroot and I came home and made this recipe.

I found that the dough was way too dry – I added a teaspoon or two of melted butter so the dough had the right consistency. I also used Erythritol instead of Swerve – so I added some additional sweetener (liquid splenda) since Erythritol is only 70% as sweet as sugar. Even though I have finely ground almond and coconut flour and threw my erythritol into a coffee grinder to powder it, the dough was still very grainy. I wonder if I shouldn’t have put the coconut flour and almond flour in the food processor for a bit more of a smooth grind. In any case, the dough did roll out and was easy to stamp with cookie cutters. I would definitely roll the dough out thinner instead of thicker, the crunchier texture is nicer in this context. I also used lemon juice (and some orange zest I had on hand) to flavor the icing instead of vanilla. I didn’t bother piping the icing or doing fancy decorations because I figured only Michael and I would be willing to stomach the low carb cookies. The icing did dry hard, but once again, even after grinding the Erythritol, it leaves a grain (which kind of shimmers in the light) and is unpleasantly cooling. I would not recommend Erythritol for icing due to the cooling factor.

That being said, Michael and I have plowed through the cookies. Like most cookies, they make a good breakfast alongside a cup of coffee. Or afternoon snack with a cup of tea. Or after-dinner treat with a cup of gin.

Gingerbread Cookies

Baked Radish “Chips”

By and large, I am not a huge fan of radishes. I like them pickled (for example, takuan). I will tolerate a small quantity raw in a salad. But with a world of other vegetables to eat… radishes don’t often come to mind.

Maybe that changes with this recipe. I originally intended to deep fry the radish slices, but Michael convinced me that without a deep fat fryer, it would be difficult to heat the oil consistently and I would be disappointed with the results. I sliced the radishes (the small, red kind – not daikon) on the thinnest setting on my mandolin. They ended up paper-thin: I would probably use the second setting next time. I hate myself for thinking it, but I almost wish I had a deep fat fryer. I would fry all the things: zucchini, radishes, pickles.

baked radish chips

Baked Radish “Chips”

1 bunch Radishes, sliced thinly (about ten radishes)
1 tablespoon Oil to coat the radish slices (I used 2 tsp coconut oil; 1 tsp melted butter)
Seasoning (we used salt, black pepper, garlic powder and sweet paprika)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash radishes and slice thinly, by hand or with mandolin. Place radish slices in small saucepan, cover with water and bring to boil. Boil for about 5 minutes (the pink peel will start to lighten) and drain in colander. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet (I needed two because I sliced the radishes too thin). Once drained, coat with oil (maybe a tablespoon total – I went heavy on the oil) and then place radishes flat, in one layer on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle seasoning of your choosing on the slices and then place in oven. Ours were done within ten minutes (again, sliced way thin), so keep an eye on them. They didn’t crisp up but the flavor was very reminiscent of roasted potatoes. We ate through most of the bunch of radishes – so I’d say this makes two generous servings. I served these alongside a green salad and pulled pork.

Nutrition Information (per serving):
Calories: 59 kcal
Fat: 6.5 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Total Carbohydrate: ~ 1 g
Fiber: .5 g
Protein: 0 g

Net Carbohydrate: .5 g

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

Lily’s Chocolate

I fully expected to have to cut back on chocolate when I started eating keto. Dark chocolate is, by and large, pretty darn low carb – maybe a few carbs in a square of 90% chocolate. A worthwhile treat to squeeze into your day if you have the carbohydrates leftover.

Lily's Chocolate Bars

But when I saw Lily’s chocolate bars for sale at one of our local grocery stores (Dierberg’s), I had to pick some up for Michael and me to try. The bars are sweetened with stevia extract, inulin and erythritol, which results in  no spike in blood sugar or corresponding spike in insulin when eaten. That means that we are able to subtract the grams of erythritol from the total carbohydrate count when we calculate net carbohydrate. I’ll give the net calculations for each bar below.

But how does it taste? I personally don’t mind the sweetening profile of stevia and I think it works really well with the earthiness of chocolate, but your mileage may vary (especially if you’ve tried Stevia before and not liked it). The chocolate itself is of high quality: very smooth and with good flavor although 55% cacao content is pretty low to me and if you’re used to darker chocolate, you might miss the fuller, fruity flavors that 85 or 90% cacao content provides.  We’ve tried the original, almond and coconut flavors and I think almond may be Michael’s favorite, but coconut is my favorite (the heart wants what the heart wants and coconut is my addiction).

Net Carb Counts (in 40 grams, or about half the bar):

22 g Total Carbs – 13 g Fiber – 6 g Erythritol = 3 g Net Carbohydrate

20 g Total Carbohydrate – 13 g Fiber – 5 g Erythritol = 2 g Net Carbohydrate

20 g Total Carbohydrate – 12 g Fiber – 5 g Erythritol = 3 g Net Carbohydrate

Crispy Rice:
23 g Total Carbohydrate – 12 g Fiber – 5 g Erythritol = 6 g Net Carbohydrate

Due to the addition of milkfat in each of these bars, none of these products are vegan – although Lily’s Dark Chocolate Baking Chips *are* vegan and also low in carbohydrate. I haven’t tried them yet because I haven’t been able to find them locally. If you also can’t find these products locally but are interested in trying them, I recommend Netrition.com or you can always check Amazon.

Coconut Bar

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