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Quinoa Brownies

I know this isn’t exactly a low carb dessert.  I made it the best way that I know how.  I started by tossing a cup of raw quinoa in my Vitamix and blended it on high for less than a minute and got a nice, fine flour.  (See photo’s below) I used a 1/2 cup of the flour and put the rest in a storage bag for use later.  I blended a cup because I wasn’t sure how much flour it would make.  I thought it was better to have more in case I needed it.  You can purchase quinoa flour at most stores in the flour section.  Me being me, I wanted to see if I could make it.  Turns out I can and it is cheaper for me to make it than purchase it.  Yea me!

I like my brownies to have a little kick to them so I toss in some ground cayenne pepper.  It makes them ever so yummy!

Quinoa Brownies

Quinoa Brownies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa flour

6 tbsp cocoa powder

1/4 cup honey ( more if you want it sweeter)

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp strong coffee

2 egg whites or 2/3 a cup of egg substitute

1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper (more or less or optional)

Mix your dry ingredients in  a bowl.

Mix your wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Combine the contents of each bowl.  Mix well.

Pour into a prepared baking dish (I prefer to use parchment paper)

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  Check with a knife.  If it comes out clean, it is done.

Enjoy!

By the way, here’s what the flour looked like:

Quinoa turning to flour in Vitamix

Quinoa turning to flour in Vitamix

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Quinoa Flour

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Trout & Butternut Squash

I don’t know if I have mentioned this or not, but I am not fond of cleaning up after I’ve made a meal.  I do my best to keep the number of pots and pans to a minimum when cooking.  I did a superb job of it when I made this meal.  I used one baking pan and since I used parchment paper clean up was a cinch!

I took my butternut squash and put it on a parchment paper lined baking pan.  I poured a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over it.  I added some fresh rosemary, thyme and sage and a bit of salt.  Tossed it all together and pushed it to one side of the pan.

I took another piece of parchment paper and put two pieces of trout on it.  I sprinkled them with some ground chipotle and rosemary and drizzled some lime juice over them.  I folded the parchment paper around it and put it on the other side of the baking pan.

I baked them together for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees.  I like my veggies to still be a bit firm.  So if you want yours well done, I suggest cooking the squash about 15 minutes or so first then putting the fish on.  Oh, and however long you cook it, turn the squash halfway through the cooking.

Trout

Trout

IMG_3095

Squash and trout

Squash and trout

Plated sqaush and trout

Plated squash and trout

Chocolate Torte – Baked – Super easy!

This is the second of the two chocolate tortes I made over the holidays.  I made this one for my Mom’s birthday.

Torte Ingredients:

4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/8 tsp salt

2 tbsp strongly brewed coffee

3 large eggs (or 1 cup egg substitute)

1/2 tsp allspice

Ganache Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 tsp allspice

Supplies Needed:

Measuring cups and spoons

Double boiler or equivalent

Rubber spatula

Whisk

Pan to heat cream in

Prepared pan for torte

Instructions for Torte:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare your baking pan by greasing it with butter or oil.  I used coconut oil.

In your double boiler melt the coconut oil and chocolate together.  Once melted, transfer to mixing bowl.

Melt chocolate

Melt chocolate & oil

Add salt, coffee and eggs.  Beating until smooth.

Add the cocoa powder and mix until combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 minutes or until done (passes knife test).

Bake

Bake

Cool it in the pan for 5 minutes.  Loosen edges and turn out onto serving plate.  Allow cake to cool completely.

Ganache Instructions:

Heat the cream over gentle heat stirring constantly.  Heat until it is hot to the touch.  Remove from heat and add allspice and chocolates.  Stir until smooth.

Mix until smooth

Mix until smooth

Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature.

Pour over cake. I put the left over chopped nuts from the No Bake Torte I made on top.  Chill for at least one hour.

Chillin

Chillin

Homemade Crackers

I’m still on a low carb kick. It is a lot harder than I expected. I’m always on the lookout for a low carb replacement for high carb deliciousness. Last night I made some flax seed crackers to eat with my soup. They were delicious. I can already see them being a staple with soup. They are so versatile you can flavor them with anything!

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

Here’s what you’ll need:

400 degree oven

Baking pan

Parchment paper or baking paper or silicone mat

Medium sized bowl for mixing

1 cup flax seed meal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup water

chives to taste

sesame seeds to taste

Mix the dry ingredients together then add water and mix.

Mix dry ingredients

Mix dry ingredients

Pour, spoon or use method of your choice to put the mixture onto parchment paper or silicone baking paper.

I laid another sheet of baking paper on top and smoothed it out with my hand. I did not want to get out my rolling pin for some reason.

Roll out to desired thickness

Roll out to desired thickness

As you can see in the above picture I am smoothing it out as I took the picture. As for how thin to make it…. It is your cracker so your choice. If you like it thin roll it out thin. Whatever thickness you choose be consistent. The thinner it is the faster it will bake. So you don’t want parts of it to be thin and other parts to be thick.

I did not take the time to make sure mine was perfectly shaped. I really didn’t care. I was in a hurry to get it in the oven and baking so I could try them. I can be so impatient!

Rolled out crackers

Rolled out crackers

I was worried about cutting them afterwards so I scored them before I baked them.

Scored crackers

Scored crackers

I baked them for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven then cut them while they were still warm. I also ate my first one while they were still warm. YUMMY!

Cut crackers

Cut crackers

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

MMMMMMM. Just look at all that cracker-y goodness!

We ate them with some hummus and our soup (click on links to see posts on those). I made about 24 crackers and we ate them all. I think next time I will try garlic and rosemary and see how delicious those turn out! How about some spice for some low carb fire crackers? Oh the possibilities are endless!

You know… you could even involve the kids with the rolling out. If they helped make it they would eat it. Think of it as a sneaky way to get your kids to make a healthier choice.

Banana Nut Bars

My boyfriend asked me to make him something to snack on for the week.  Happily, I made him some banana nut bars.  A simple snack.

Ingredients:

2 mashed bananas

3/4 cup of egg substitute (or 3 large eggs)

1/2 cup of coconut oil

1 TSP vanilla extract

Cinnamon to taste (I used 1/2 TBSP)

Ginger to taste (I used 1/2 TSP)

Cloves to taste (I used 1/8 TSP)

Nutmeg to taste (I used 1/8 TSP)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

3 cups nuts of choice.  (I used a mixture of Pecans, Almonds and Walnuts)

1 tsp baking powder

Mix wet ingredients, then mix dry ingredients.  Mix the two.  Spread it on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. I put some whole and pieces of pecans on top to make it pretty.

Spread onto parchment paper lined baking pan.

Spread onto parchment paper lined baking pan.

Bake it in a 300 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until it is done (use knife test).

Bake for 30 minutes

Bake for 30 minutes

Let them cool, then cut into bars and enjoy!

Packed some for my Sweetie to take to work.

Packed some for my handsome man to take to work.

If you wanted, you could add chocolate chips, dates or really anything.  You could replace the whole wheat flour with flax.  I could keep going, but I won’t.  I want to see what you come up with!

Reusable Gift Tags

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to make some reusable gift tags. I tried making some out of wood. I didn’t really like them. This time I tried using “clay” I made out of corn starch and baking soda. Love it! It also works out better for me since I’m trying to go low carb I try not to keep flour in the house. It keeps me from making carb-a-licious foods. Besides what little flour I do have in the hose is whole wheat and wouldn’t turn out all pretty and white. These things turn out so pretty!

I cooked over medium low heat the following:

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 cup baking soda

3/4 cup of water

I cooked it until it thickened. Then removed it from the heat. Allowed it to cool enough to handle it. It was still a little sticky so I kneaded in some more corn starch.

Clay dough ball

Clay dough ball

I rolled it out to about 1/4 an inch thick (or so – I didn’t measure it)

Rolled out clay

Rolled out clay

Then I took my handy-dandy biscuit cutter and cut out some pieces and used a straw to poke holes in it (to put ribbon in). You could use cookie cutters and make some pretty shapes with it. I don’t have any so I used my biscuit cutter and cut circles.

Cut clay

Cut clay

The cuts that overlapped I re-rolled and re-cut on the next round.

Cut holes with straw

Cut holes with straw

Unbaked clay

Unbaked clay

I put them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and baked them at 175 degrees for 30 minutes then flipped them and baked them for an additional 30 minutes.

Baked clay

Baked clay

I allowed them to cool. They cooled overnight since I work and didn’t get to start on this until late.

Chalk board paint

Chalk board paint

Paint it black... or any color

Paint it black… or any color

I painted them with chalkboard paint. Paint one side let it dry. Paint the sides, then the other side. They look like Oreos if you don’t paint the sides.

Use ribbon

Use ribbon

Let it dry and put some pretty ribbon through the hole and voila reusable gift tags. The gift that keeps on giving!

Reusable Tags

Reusable Tags

I think I’ll get one of those chalk markers to write on it. It might look better than my tailor’s chalk. LOL. I also think I might try some glitter on the sides. Everyone can use a little glitter in their life!

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Finally got some chalk markers

Special Brownies

I made some special brownies last night.  They were DELICIOUS!  I modified my My Flaming Lips Whole Wheat Brownies.  Hope you try them!  Here’s what you’ll need:

1/2 cup flax seed meal

6 tbsp cocoa

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 cup honey

1/2 coconut oil (actually I used a little less than 1/2 cup)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp strong coffee

2 egg whites or 1/2 cup egg substitute

Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl.

Mix your wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Combine your dry ingredients and wet ingredients.  Mix well.  Don’t worry about it looking grainy.  It will turn out fine.

Pour into a prepared baking dish. I lined mine with parchment paper.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  Check with knife.  If it comes out clean it is done.

Enjoy!

Special Brownies

Special Brownies

Special Brownie Plated

Special Brownie Plated