Thursday, January 30, 2014

Winter on the Greenway

The snow arrived, as was predicted, late Tuesday night.
On Wednesday morning, I woke up to a message letting me know my office was closed for the day. I sat around the apartment reading until later that afternoon, when the temperature had finally risen to 25 degrees, and set out on foot for the Raleigh Greenway.
There weren't many people out, but there were a few (devoted or crazy, take your pick) joggers on the trail. I walked about three miles up to the local lake, where there were crowds of children sledding down the various embankments.
On the way, I managed to snap some pretty good pictures.



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cauliflower-Crusted Low-Carb Pizza

Hey y'all-- I apologize for disappearing for a few days. Work has been crazy, but things are just now starting to settle back into their usual routine.
Luckily for y'all, I'm back with one of my new absolute favorite low-carb recipes!
Cauliflower-Crust Pizza! I know it sounds strange, but you have got to try it! I'd even venture as far to say that it's some of the most delicious pizza I've ever had!
Plus, it's pretty healthy!
First of all, I shredded up about 2 1/2 cups of cauliflower into a bowl, which I then microwaved for about seven minutes.
Then, I added three eggs, 2 tablespoons of shredded parmezan, and about 4 ounces of mozarella cheese and mixed up all the ingredients until I ended up with a dough-like mixture. Then, I patted it down onto a greased pan (I chose to use tinfoil, to help with the clean-up) in the shape of a pizza. I stuck the dough mixture in the oven at about 425 degrees for ten minutes.


Once the "dough" had warmed up in the oven, I took it out and began adding my pizza toppings - low carb pasta sauce, 4 more ounces of mozarella cheese, cut-up cherry tomatoes, and diced pancetta bits.

Then, I popped the pizza back in the oven for about 15 more minutes on 425 degrees and just kept an eye on it to make sure it didn't burn. Once it came out, I let it sit for about 15 minutes to cool and settle, and then it was time to dig in!

Hands down, some of the best-tasting pizza ever. You don't have to believe me-- try it for yourself!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Low-Carb Sausage Egg & Cheese Muffins

Once again, I got bored and started screwing around in the kitchen.
And once again, I created magic.
If you're like me and you're constantly rushing in the morning while trying to figure out what to eat for breakfast, you'll love these little muffins I came up with. And of course, they're low carb.
In a bowl, mix together:
  • 3 eggs,
  • one package of Jimmy Dean pre-cooked sausage crumbles,
  • two tablespoons of coconut (or olive) oil,
  • half a cup of shredded mozarella cheese (or cheddar, whatever you prefer)
  • and 1/2 cup shredded cauliflower.  
(The thought had also occured to me to add a little bit of melted cream cheese- unfortunately I didn't have any on hand at the time-- if you try this recipe with the cream cheese, please feel free to let me know how it turns out!) Once you've mixed well, evenly distribute the mixture into a well-greased muffin pan and cook on 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Once you take them out of the oven, be sure to let them sit for at least half an hour so that they have a chance to cool.
And ta-da! You have a quick and easy, low-carb breakfast! These muffins are easily refrigerated, and they only require 30 seconds in the microwave to be warmed up.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My Lower-Carb Shepherd's Pie

I found a recipe recently for Shepherd's Pie online, which looked fantastic.
However, the whole "low-carb" thing tends to put a wrench into some of the recipes I'd like to try.
That being said, I figured I would take the recipe and create some revisions.
Before long, I had written out something that barely recognized the original recipe.
Regardless, it sounded pretty good. And I love experimenting in the kitchen.
So I decided to give it a go.
First, I sauteed some mushrooms, onions, and peppers. Once they were about halfway done, I added some ground beef into the mix.

While that was cooking, I grated some cauliflower onto a plate (as a substitute for the potato crust that is usually found on Shepherd's Pie).

Once the beef had cooked thoroughly, I drained most of the liquid and placed the skillet back on the eye at a lower temperature. I then added half a package of cream cheese and one can of cream of mushroom soup. I mixed everything together and allowed the cream cheese to melt. I then poured the mixture into a small aluminum pan, sprinkling the shredded cauliflower on top. As a final touch, I sprinkled on some shredded cheese. Then, I cooked the pie at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
It came out looking like this.

Before eating, I added a little more cheese and a dash of paprika.

And boy, was it good (if I do say so myself).

I plan on eating this casserole for the next several meals.

Here's another one to add to the low-carb recipe collection!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Creamy Spinach Casserole

I love a good casserole. And this one has always been one of my favorites. My mother has been making Creamy Spinach Casserole for years.. now that she's given me the recipe, I feel like it would be a shame not to share it with the world. Because this stuff is delicious. And it's ridiculously easy to make.
First of all, you need four packages of frozen chopped spinach. Make sure it's the chopped kind. Boil a large pot of water and add in all four packages. Once the spinach has completely thawed and has been cooked thoroughly, drain into a collander.

 While the spinach drains, rinse out the pot and place it back on the stove on medium heat. Add in one stick of butter and one package of cream cheese. Once they have melted, add in the drained spinach and stir well.  
Spoon the mixture into a casserole dish. Add paprika, sprinkle some cheese (I like parmesan best with this) and maybe some bread crumbs if you want to add a bit of a crunch. Let the dish cool for a bit, and it's ready to serve!