Friday, February 27, 2009

Low Carb New York Style Cheesecake

Cheesecake makes a wonderful low-carb dessert. You can top it with some low-carb berries, you can make it with or without crust and it's loaded with fat, some protein, and just a few carbs.

I've developed a cheesecake recipe that I and my family love. I'm not a big advocate of eating tons of sweetener, artificial or otherwise, so I go pretty light on it in this recipe. Also, I do mine without crust because it's just easier that way. At times, I've made it with an almond flour/meal crust, which I've enjoyed, but I can go either way.

Equipment you'll need:
  • 10" springform or cake pan - I use a cake pan because my springform pan is so leaky
  • Electric mixer - makes life easier, but not required
  • Microwave safe bowl
  • Mixing bowl
  • Food processor (optional)
  • Large rectangular cake pan or the bottom part of a broiler pan
  • 32 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup ricotta chese
  • 5 egg yolks (or 3 yolks, 2 eggs) - all depends how much/little protein you want in your cake
  • 1 cup Splenda
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease your pan with cooking spray.
  3. Put an inch or two of water in a pan deep enough to put your springform or cake pan in and place in the oven.
  4. Process the ricotta cheese in the food processor for about a minute to smooth it out.
  5. Unwrap the cream cheese and place it in the microwave safe bowl.
  6. Heat the cream cheese in the microwave for between 30 seconds and 2 minutes rotating the bowl every 30 seconds. The cream cheese should get soft and a little melty, but shouldn't start to cook.
  7. Combine all the ingredients except the cream cheese and Splenda and mix until thoroughly blended.
  8. Combine the Splenda and cream cheese and blend until smooth.
  9. Combine both mixtures and mix just until blended.
  10. Pour the combined mixture into you're greased pan and place the pan in the water bath in the oven.
  11. Bake for one hour.
  12. Turn off the oven.
  13. Leave cake in the oven for another half hour.
  14. Remove the cake from the oven and place in the refrigerator. The cake should be ready to eat in about three hours.
  15. Enjoy!
Just thinking about making this cheesecake makes me want to make one tonight. Maybe I'll whip one up tomorrow. Everyone in my house loves this and it's very amply, but mildly sweet. I think I might experiment with reducing the sweetener a little bit more.

Whether you're just trying to cut out some of the carbs in your diet, or you're going really low-carb, I hope you enjoy this cheesecake.

No matter what you're doing, let me offer a word of caution. Desserts are important for some, but sweets can be addicting for some. Indulge in dessert only as much as you need to to keep on track. Low-carb isn't a license to chronically overeat. It's about learning how to nourish your body and mind so you can be healthier.

I didn't mean to put a downer on a delicious recipe, but I know that sweets can be a slippery slope for some. I know they are for me. I tread very cautiously when eating sweets.

Hopefully I'll have another recipe or two to post soon. I've made some good stuff lately.

Later Alligator.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

OMG....Pan fried pork chops, wow!

Much to my chagrin, I've posted this recipe before, but I've got some changes to this one that weren't in my previous post. Plus I decided to post it because I had already spent a bunch of time typing it up. :)

  • 3-4 lbs bone-in pork chops
  • 2 cups fava bean/garbanzo bean flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp basil
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • Enough oil of animal fat to cover the bottom of a large skillet with about a 1/4 inch of oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Heat fat over medium heat
  3. In a bowl large enough for your largest pork chop, combine the flour, spices, and parmesan cheese and use a fork to mix thoroughly.
  4. In another bowl large enough for your largest pork chop, whisk your cream and eggs until blended.
  5. Your oil should be quite hot, but not smoking.
  6. Dip each pork chop into the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, let the excess egg mixture drain off, then dip in the flour mixture.
  7. Shake the excess flour mixture off the pork chop and then gently put in the hot oil. Tongs or a fork are good for this, but BE CAREFUL. Hot oil burns are very serious and make sure you don't "drop" your food in the oil.
  8. Cook pork chop until dark golden brown on one side and then CAREFULLY turn over. Cook that side till dark golden brown and then remove from the pan and place on a cookie sheet or broiler pan.
  9. Once all your chops have been pan-fried, place your cookie sheet or broiler pan on the bottom rack of the oven for about 10 minutes or until the pink is gone from your pork chops.
  10. Enjoy!
I use a fava/garbanzo flour combo made by Bob's Red Mill. I don't know how many carbs are in it and I don't care. It's lower carb and (IMHO) better for you than a grain based flower.

I've also made these with soy flour and almond flour, but I feel the best about the fava flour. Taste wise, the fava or soy flours are the best.

If you have any questions, drop me a line. BTW, sorry for the redundancy, I just really enjoyed these for dinner and I wanted to share with everyone.

Good night!


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Flourless Fudgy Chocolate Cake

Since Valentine's Day is coming, you need something in your arsenal of recipes to make sure that while everyone else is pigging out on high sugar chocolates you get some super special treat for yourself and, if you feel the need to share, that someone special.

Last Valentine's Day when my wife and I were in the process of getting back on the LC wagon, I knew that she and I didn't want her to be let down that she couldn't have chocolate on Valentine's Day.

I got this recipe from but I've been having intermittent trouble with their URL recently, so I'll go ahead and share it with you here.

This is one recipe you'll want to add to your bank of safety nets to keep you going low-carb when you're dying for something super-chocolaty.

  • 8oz baking chocolate (unsweetened)
  • 1 c unsalted butter
  • 6 eggs (medium or large)
  • 3/4 c sucralose (Splenda)
  • 1/4 c erythritol (a natural low-carb sweetener)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c boiling water
  1. Put chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for roughly 2 minutes or until butter is melted and chocolate is beginning to melt. Better to be a little under than a little over here. You don't want to burn your chocolate.
  2. Using a wire whisk or a spoon, stir the butter and chocolate mixture until almost completely blended.
  3. Combine the boiling water with the salt, sucralose, and erythritol. Mix until completely dissolved.
  4. Add the water mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir until completely smooth
  5. Add eggs to the chocolate water mixture one at a time and whisk until completely combined.
  6. Pour batter into greased 10 inch cake pan and bake in water bath in 300 F oven for 35-40 minutes or until set. I actually make mine in miniature cake pans by Wilton and bake for about 20 minutes.
  7. Enjoy warm from the oven or cool and them later.
This recipe is super-chocolaty, but not super-sweet, which I'm happy about. Since it is so chocolaty, I find it's best served with some fresh homemade whipped cream or some low-carb ice cream.

You'll have to try these both ways to find out but I think I like them best cold with whipped cream. They have a fudgy texture when cold or if you heat this in the microwave for thirty seconds before serving, they become very melty and creamy.

If you have any questions on preparation, let me know. I've made this more times than I can count and I always eat some fresh and freeze the rest for later.


PS. If you're not up for trying something experimental, you could always try my original one and only chocolate cupcake recipe that I posted a while back. Make sure you read the comments though, because I changed the recipe a bit after some feedback I got.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pasteurized milk and irradiated food

If you're reading this, you may ask "What does the pasteurization of milk and the irradiation of vegetables have to do with low-carb?". That's a fair question.

I think part of eating low-carb is understanding that there is a lot of misinformation out there about food and that our food supply has some fundamental flaws which we have covered up rather than fixing.

For those of you who don't know what irradiating food is about, check this out.

My wife recently brought my daughter to the pediatrician and asked the doctor what she thought about giving my daughter unpasteurized milk because we had found a local organic farm where we could buy it. I read about some of the benefits of drinking unpasteurized milk and I want what's best for my daughter.

The doctor's response to the idea of my daughter consuming unpasteurized milk was "absolutely not" and that it was "simply not an option" because of the possibility of illnesses that could be contracted from unpasteurized milk. While I think the doctor's concern is an overreaction, I will concede to her recommendations. I won't risk my daughter's life to prove a point about unpasteurized milk, but unpasteurized is the only kind of milk I'll drink.

The doctor's reaction got me thinking about all the cases of foodborne illness we've seen in the past years. Salmonella and E.coli has been found in all kinds of things from peanut butter, to tomatoes, and raw spinach. We obviously can't have any illusions about the safety of our food supply. Some of the healthiest foods we have access to are being contaminated with dangerous microorganisms.

Obviously raw cow's milk is not in and of itself dangerous to consume, it's the microorganisms that contaminate it that are what put us in danger. So instead of preventing contamination and encouraging safer collection practices from smaller more easily managed farms, we should cook the hell out of the milk we collect to make it more safe while destroying some of the beneficial components of milk.

I can tell that you're not buying what I'm selling. You're saying that pasteurized and unpasteurized milk can't be all that different. I won't bore you with tons of facts about what is and isn't in milk after you pasteurize it, mostly because I don't have those facts. The one fact I do have is that unpasteurized milk does have lactase, the enzyme needed for digesting lactose. Many people who are lactose intolerant (most of the world) can drink unpasteurized milk because of this difference. If lactase is destroyed in pasteurization, then what else is lost?

If unpasteurized milk is "not an option" because of concerns about foodborne illness, then what happens when the food supply becomes so consistently tainted that not eating irradiated food becomes "not an option" because you just can't risk eating some fresh fruits, vegetables, or meats that might be tainted with some sort of pathogen. Better yet, perhaps we should all eat only foods that are so highly processed that they no longer resemble the foods from which they came.

While the proponents of irradiating food suggest that there is no difference in the food before and after irradiation, then explain to me how the living tissue of the food being irradiated is not affected, but the dangerous microorganisms are completely destroyed.

What do you think?