Sunday, November 16, 2014

My Birthday 2014

It was a totally different celebration for me this year. I felt lazy, so I didn't do anything except write letters and goof around with my planner. It was relaxing. My hubby and I "planned" to do a lot of stuff, but imagining it made me all exhausted. HeHe. I wanted a quiet weekend and ended up doing nothing. Meaning, no trips to any tourist attraction place. That might sound boring, but it was great for me. I mean, I love my planner and snail mail time, seriously. Paper crafters would agree to this:

Of course, we did go out for brunch. I didn't want to cook for my birthday. Lazy, remember? We drove to Black Bear Diner (BBD) and ordered my favorite Joe's Hobo Omelette, added extra crispy bacon strips on the side, veggies, and avocado. The toast got donated to my hubby. HeHeHe. He's such a sweetie! He got himself a plate of bacon, eggs, and a big waffle. His order was complimentary since I printed out the birthday coupon emailed to me by BBD. I love BBD! Joe's Hobo Omellete was perfect for me.

I'm very happy that my Ketogenic Way of Eating (WOE) allows me to eat better choices of food. I'm so lucky that my husband supports me in my WOE. Last Friday marked the second month of my WOE, and my results motivate me to continue, for the rest of my life. Yes, it is my WOE forever.

After brunch at BBD, we had a wonderful siesta at home. I wrote more letters, finished reading my library books, and napped. The best way to celebrate a birthday! HaHaHa. When I woke up, my stomach grumbled. Yes, I felt hungry again, but it was dinner time. So, my hubby drove me to one of my favorite steak house places, Spencer's Steaks and Chops inside Doubletree San Jose. Their James Bond Martini was my favorite cocktail. I had it shaken with Grey Goose and Green Olives. Perfect!

I have always loved their food, the quiet ambiance, and good service. It's not as rowdy and expensive as Alexander's. I love the simplicity. My hubby and I shared the Fried Calamari and Prawn Cocktail for appetizers. We both ordered their Kansas City Strip Loin. Their 1600 Degree Steaks were cooked perfectly. No steak sauce needed! We ordered Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions, and Mac-N-Cheese. Obviously, he got the Mac-N-Cheese for himself. HeHeHe. Very scrumptious dinner!

I had to treat myself with a little bit of Keto Cheat for my birthday. So, I had a spoonful of the Chocolate Praline Cake with Whipped Cream and Fresh Strawberries. My blood glucose reading didn't spike high. Yay!

My hubby gave me wonderful presents, too. He spoils me. I wish it's easy to find out what he wants for his birthday as well. It's difficult. I'm too easy. HaHaHa.

My birthday was simply awesome. The weekend isn't over yet.

How is your weekend going?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Keto Pizza - Coconut Flour Crust

This is the fourth type of pizza crust that I have discovered for this Ketogenic WOE (way of eating). I got the recipe from this web page. I have to admit that I like it better than the Cauliflower crust for the simple reason of making it easy. I didn't need any cheese cloth and no burning my hands in the process. HeHe. (I can't live a day without complaining, seriously.)

So, here are the ingredients (I used it all):
3 eggs
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. oregano
1 clove minced garlic
Your choice of toppings

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a pizza pan with parchment paper, then grease with olive oil (I actually greased both top and bottom of the paper for easy flipping--you'll get to this later).

2. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Add in the milk and mix well.
3. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix all the ingredients together, then spread the dough onto the pan.
4. The crust will be very thin in consistency – not to the point of pancake batter, but still thin. It will be spreadable, but not runny.

5. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until brown (I would definitely increase the time to at least 25-30 minutes to make my crust crunchy--next time). Remove it from the oven and immediately ‘flip’ it over. Be very careful doing this. I tried flipping the crust I made on top of a clear counter. Be sure to have the exact same size of the pizza pan or cookie sheet you are using.

6. Let it cool for a few minutes.

7. Add toppings and pop it bake into the oven and continue to bake until the cheese bubbles. (Remember to cook your meats prior to starting your crust.) I used pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, shredded cheddar, Italian sausage, salami, ham, pepperoni, black olives, white mushrooms, and green bell peppers.

I love using Coconut Flour, but I'm leaning towards Almond Flour more when it comes to Keto Pizza. However, Coconut Flour is way cheaper than Almond Flour. So, I guess, it depends on what your budget is. I knew that it's cooked when I saw the cheddar melted towards the edge of the crust (around 20-25 minutes).

I hope you enjoyed that one as much as I did. Happy Monday!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Keto Pizza - Cauliflower Crust

Research led me to my discovery of different pizza crusts. The Cauliflower Crust is one of them. I came across it through this web page, and thought it doesn't hurt to try it at home.

However, I have to remind you that this crust is very flimsy. Perhaps, I needed to bake it more or to add another egg to bind it together effectively, but I only followed the ingredients where I got from. It still tasted okay; different, but it will do as an alternative.

Here's what I prepared:
4 cups raw cauliflower, chopped
1 large egg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup shredded cheese (recommended soft goat cheese)

Here's what I did:
1. Preheat oven at 400*F, then work on crust.
2. I chopped one head of cauliflower in my food processor.

3. Boiled water (an inch high in a deep pot).
4. Placed chopped cauliflower in the water and cooked it around 4-5 minutes.
5. I drained it. Use a very fine mesh strainer.
6. Transferred drained cauliflower in a cheese cloth. (Be careful. It is very hot.)
7. Squeezed out all the water as much as possible. (It's very hot! Don't burn yourself. Let it cool down if you can't handle it.)
8. After squeezing out the excess water (yes, there's a lot of water), I mix in the eggs, salt, dried oregano, and shredded cheese (I used Parmesan in this recipe because it's all I have in my refrigerator, but you could use any cheese, especially soft goat cheese.) Mix it well together.

9. It will not look like an exact pizza dough, but it will hold together. Spread it out on a pizza tray or a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

10. Bake it for 35-40 minutes. It should look golden brown.
11. Load the toppings. Remember, meat should be cooked, because you only need to pop back the pizza in the oven to melt the cheese.
12. Bake again for 10 minutes.
13. Serve.

I had leftovers and discovered that pizza is always better eaten cold. Enjoy!

Happy Halloween 2014!

It's that time of year when I get to be a kid again. Well, I try. So, I became Lalaa (that's the spelling on the costume bag), a teletubby. According to Wiki, the correct spelling of the name is Laa-Laa. She's the third teletubby, a sunflower yellow color, and a girly-girl good singer. Teehee! It was a fun costume!

My office always conducts a Halloween Costume Contest. I am not a hardcore participant. I only join it just to have fun for the day. Of course, it's always great to mingle with other departments and co-workers. We get paid to walk around, parade our costumes, and chit-chat. Who wouldn't like that?

Here are some of my co-workers I encountered earlier:

1st Prize = Princess Leia and Charlie Chip-R2D2
2nd Prize = Starcraft Cyborg
3rd Prize = Queen of Hearts

It was a fun rainy day!

How about you, what did you dress-up with? How's your Halloween trick-or-treaters? So far, we had around 72 kids who asked for a treat (including one infant). It's a low count, maybe because of the rain. Well, we got tons of leftover candies. Hmm, not a bad thing, huh? BUT, I don't eat candy! Sheesh!

Still, be safe!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Halloween Keto Meals - Spicy Chili and Jalapeno Cheese Almond Muffins

Since I have associated Halloween with Chili and Corn Bread, I had to make my own Keto version of it in order to be in the spirit of the occasion. It is not Halloween yet, but we got the Shaglings this weekend, so it is our Halloween weekend with them.

I discovered this low-carb chili recipe, but I kind of tweaked it to my taste. I have read the comments to it, and I didn't want mine to be like that. So, you would see the difference from my own recipe below.

The Chili

2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 pound of Ground Beef (browned and drained)
1 cup chopped Onion
3 stalks Celery diced
2 cloves of Garlic minced
1 can of diced Tomatoes with juice (14.5 oz)
1 can of Tomato sauce (8 oz)
1 can Beef Broth (14.5 oz)
1 cup hot water
3 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tbsp Sriracha Sauce (or more, depending on the spice you can handle)
1 cube Beef Bouillon
Shredded Cheese for garnishing

1. Brown and drain ground beef. Set aside. (I added the drained liquid into the mix because it has all the natural beef flavor in it.)

2. Saute garlic and onions in olive oil. I used a deep soup pan and didn't use the crock pot.

3. Add cooked ground beef and celery. Mix it.
4. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth (plus drained liquid), Sriracha sauce, and all spices. Mix it all together.

5. Let it simmer (I actually had a rolling boil and then lowered the heat). Add more salt and pepper, depending on your taste.
6. Serve in a bowl garnished with shredded cheese or add more Sriracha sauce for more kick.

Of course, one can't have chili without corn bread, but I can't have regular corn bread in my WOE (way of eating). That's why I was so happy to stumble upon this recipe. I took out the honey, because I don't need sugar in my WOE. I also tweaked the cheese a bit. It still tasted good.

The No-Grain, Low-Carb, Corn Bread Substitute - Jalapeno Cheese Almond Muffins

The Ingredients
2 cups Almond Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3 Large Eggs
3 tbsp Coconut Oil, melted (+ 1 tbsp for to grease muffin pan)
1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/2 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Shredded Peppered Jack Cheese
1-2 pcs chopped Jalapenos

1. Preheat oven to 325*F.
2. Add the almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix it together. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, add almond milk, eggs, and coconut oil. Whisk it together.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, add the cheese, and the jalapenos. Mix it all together.

5. Pour the batter into a greased muffin pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Don't overflow, since the batter rises. (This recipe makes 8 muffins. I didn't have an exact 8-muffin pan, so the photo shows empty slots.)

It's not only a great Halloween treat, but it's also good during rainy weather! I made three batches of the chili. I only made one batch of the muffins (my husband made his own corn bread). Bon Appetit!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Keto Pizza - Fat Head's Crust

This was the first time I used Almond Flour, so I was a bit excited when I made this pizza.

I did research when it comes to Ketogenic ingredients that would replace the starchy pizza crust. I discovered Fat Head's Pizza Crust.

The Crust

- Mixed in a microwave-safe bowl the following:
1 1/2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 Tbsp Cream Cheese

- Microwave it for a minute. Stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds. Be careful. It's very hot.

- Stir in the following:
1 egg
3/4 cups of Almond Flour

It should have a dough-like consistency.

- Preheat the oven for 425*F.

- Prepare a cookie sheet with a lining of parchment paper.
- Wet your hands with water and spread the pizza dough on the cookie sheet.
I will definitely try to flatten the dough as thin as possible next time, because I want my crust crunchy.

- Sprinkle the flattened dough with garlic salt.

- Put the dough in the oven.
- After 8 minutes, check it, and poke a hole on any part that's bubbling.
- Bake more for a total of 12-14 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

- Put a thin layer of low carb pizza sauce, cheese, cooked meat, and veggies for toppings.
- Put it back in the oven to melt the cheese, and it's all done.

I made two batches, because, I thought, one batch was not enough for me and my husband. I got six slices out of two batches of the Fat Head Pizza Crust recipe. However, after eating a slice and a half, I was so full already. It's very filling. My stomach is not used to having the carbs on Almond flour, so I feel weird. LOL. I wouldn't eat this pizza everyday, though. It's heavy! But, it's definitely low-carb-great!