Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Keto mushroom quiche with zucchini blossoms {low carb}

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When I decided to switch to a ketogenic, low carb diet to control my type 2 diabetes, one of the things I thought I would never be able to eat again was quiche. "Crustless" didn't appeal to me as a genre. How to make a keto quiche without that traditional flaky crust? Could it be done?

After a year of experimenting, I'm here to tell you that low carb quiche made with this almond flour crust is really, really good.

The crust is so easy: You mix almond flour, grated parmesan cheese, an egg, salt and pepper, and some olive oil with a fork until it comes together. Then you press it into your pie pan or tart pan, fill it, and bake.

For quiche, I look for leftovers. Any chopped cooked vegetables will do. This quiche includes sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions and zucchini flowers. Delicate yellow zucchini blossoms are readily available at the farmers market during the summer; farmers pick the male flowers (the ones that don't turn into zucchini) to keep the plants productive.

Most restaurants serve zucchini blossoms stuffed, battered and deep-fried, but I like to chop them and use them in zucchini flower quesadillas, pasta or scrambled eggs. In the quiche they have a very faint zucchini flavor with a tiny peppery bite. And they're gorgeous!

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Keto low carb mushroom quiche with zucchini blossoms
In this ketogenic quiche, a low carb crust made with almond flour cradles a rich savory custard dotted with mushrooms, caramelized onions and zucchini blossoms. Serve for breakfast, lunch or a light supper.
  • 2 cups almond flour (fine)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 7 eggs, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 10 zucchini blossoms, stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Make the crust: Using a fork, mix together the almond flour, grated parmesan cheese, 1 egg, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 cup olive oil in a large bowl. When the mixture comes together, turn it into a large pie plate or square baking dish, making sure the dough covers the bottom of the baking dish evenly and goes up the sides at least an inch. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.Cook the vegetables: Put remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released all their liquid and both the mushrooms and onions are softened and starting to turn brown around the edges. Remove from the heat and let cool 5 minutes.Scatter the grated cheddar cheese over the bottom of the crust. Top with the cooked mushrooms and onions, then the chopped zucchini blossoms.In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 6 eggs, heavy cream, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and mustard until smooth. Pour the cream mixture over the vegetables.Place the baking dish on top of a baking sheet lined with foil (just in case anything bubbles over). Slide the baking sheet into the oven. Bake about 45 minutes, until the center is just set - you'll be able to tell when you shake the pan and the center no longer wiggles - and the quiche is starting to brown around the edges.Remove the quiche from the oven and let cool. Do not cut into the quiche until it has reached room temperature - you want the custard to set fully.Serve at room temperature for best flavor.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8-10 servings

Monday, August 7, 2017

Chocolate zucchini muffins

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Muffins are always a hit in my house. My younger son prefers my banana chocolate chip muffins, and I have to say those are pretty good. But both boys like zucchini muffins, and I get a perverse thrill out of making sweets with vegetables. I normally make zucchini muffins with wheat germ, but sometimes I change it up and add the chocolate. No surprise - they prefer the chocolate version.

Two notes: I use coconut sugar for this recipe because it brings a dark, rich flavor you can't get from white sugar. And I prefer olive oil in this recipe. I think it works well with the chocolate. However, feel free to use canola, grapeseed or another more neutral vegetable oil if you think the olive overtones would bother you.

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Chocolate zucchini muffins
These chocolate zucchini muffins are easy to make and good for you - I put them in my kids' lunchboxes without guilt.
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (I prefer coconut sugar)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups zucchini, grated
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, olive oil, cocoa powder and vanilla until well blended. Add the zucchini and mix to incorporate.In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add all at once to the egg mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until the flour is mostly incorporated. Be careful not to mix too aggressively - this will make your muffins tough. Fold in the chocolate chips.Line a 24-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Using a spring-loaded ice cream disher, fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full. Bake about 25 minutes, until the muffins spring back when you touch them and a toothpick comes out clean (except for the melted chocolate chips, which you're bound to hit when testing). As soon as you can touch them, remove the muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack.Note: I put one dozen in the freezer immediately so I have something left for the boys' lunchboxes. If I left the whole batch on the counter, they'd be gone in a day.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 24 muffins

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pork belly fries with Not Ketchup {paleo, low carb, Whole 30}

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Pork belly fries. Three of my favorite words in the English language in one sentence.

This meaty snack is as good as it gets, perfect for a Paleo, Whole30 or low carb diet. And it couldn't be easier. Pork belly fries start with uncured pork belly, which my local Costco now carries. You have never seen teenage boys celebrate like mine did on the day they learned pork belly was readily available at Costco.

Then, you cut the pork belly into thin strips and pan-fry them over a low-ish heat in a heavy skillet. When they're golden brown and crisp, you drain them on a plate lined with paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and enjoy.

Not Ketchup Paleo/Whole30 fruit "ketchups," sweetened with real fruit and made without any added sugar, are the perfect dip for these pork belly fries. Use your favorite flavor! I prefer these pork belly fries with Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup, but Cherry Chipotle and Spiced Fig were also a hit with my family.

A lot of fat will render out of the pork belly during the cooking process. You should absolutely, positively strain and save it; refrigerated, I've kept it as long as a few months. It's great for pan-frying onions, browning pork chops or even scrambling eggs. The flavor you get from cooking in pork fat is unbelievably delicious.

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Pork belly fries with Not Ketchup {Paleo, Whole30, low carb}
Pan-fried nuggets of pork belly make a gloriously meaty, savory snack. Serve with Not Ketchup paleo BBQ sauce.
Slice the pork belly into thin batons, about 1 inch wide. Use a paper towel to blot them, making sure the pork belly pieces are dry.Put the pork belly pieces into a large, heavy skillet (do not preheat the skillet). Over a medium-low flame, cook the pork belly fries, turning frequently, until crisp and golden, about 15-20 minutes.Remove the pork belly fries to a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Serve hot with Not Ketchup for dipping.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Sweet and sour unstuffed cabbage with Fruitchup {Paleo, Whole30}

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My Grandma Rose made the best stuffed cabbage, sweet-and-sour style with raisins and lemon slices. But she didn't make it often because it was a *bleeping* pain in the *bleep* to blanch the cabbage, separate the leaves, and roll up all those little suckers.

Right after I launched my new Fruitchup Paleo/Whole30 ketchup, which is sweetened with raisins and dates instead of added sugar or artificial sweeteners, I realized that it was the perfect ingredient for Sweet and Sour "Unstuffed" Cabbage, because it actually contains everything Grandma Rose would have put into her stuffed cabbage, except for the meat and the cabbage.

This Sweet and Sour Unstuffed Cabbage is Paleo and Whole30, requires only four ingredients, takes only 10 minutes of actual work (plus a few hours to simmer on the stove), and will bring my Grandma Rose right into your kitchen. I gave some of my last batch to a friend and her whole family loved it, including a preschooler and a baby.

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Sweet and Sour Unstuffed Cabbage {Paleo, Whole30}
This delicious, hearty stew comes together in just a few minutes and uses only four ingredients, including Fruitchup Paleo/Whole30 ketchup. A variation on my Grandma Rose's classic stuffed cabbage recipe.
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cups chopped green cabbage (about 1/2 large head of cabbage)
  • 1 bottle Fruitchup Paleo/Whole30 ketchup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks.Add the onion, cabbage, and Fruitchup Paleo/Whole30 ketchup. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.Turn down the heat, cover the pot, and simmer 1.5 to 2 hours, until the cabbage is wilted and the flavors are well combined.Season to taste with salt and pepper.Serve hot. For those not following a Paleo or Whole30 way of eating, the Unstuffed Cabbage can be served over rice.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 servings

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Paleo chicken croquettes with Fruitchup paleo ketchup

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Paleo chicken croquettes with Fruitchup paleo ketchup

What do you do with leftover roast chicken or rotisserie chicken? I'll often turn it into chicken salad, but yesterday I wanted something different...and I was really in the mood for something I could dip into Fruitchup, the brand-new paleo ketchup I launched this week.

So I put my leftover cooked chicken into the food processor with an egg, some onion and a little mayonnaise, rolled little logs of the mixture in coconut flour, and fried them in avocado oil, for some absolutely perfect paleo chicken croquettes. They were great warm, excellent at room temperature, and delicious cold in the morning. And they were PERFECT with the Fruitchup, a bold ketchup that's sweetened with fruit (raisins and dates) instead of sugar or corn syrup.

I realize it's ironic that after three-plus years running a company called Not Ketchup, I am now making...ketchup. But my new Fruitchup has a lot in common with my Not Ketchup sauces. They're all paleo, Whole30, low-carb, vegan, gluten free, and diabetic-friendly. And they're all made without any added sugar, sweetened only with real fruit.

There's enough sugar in the world. We could all stand to eat less of it. Fruitchup has zero added sugar, zero corn syrup, and about half the sugar per serving of regular ketchup. It's not sugar-free, because fruit has natural sugar, of course. But it's way better for you than the regular red stuff, which is mostly corn syrup and white sugar.

Check out my new Fruitchup paleo ketchup on my website, or buy Fruitchup on Amazon. And make these paleo chicken croquettes - they are fantabulous (as my late father would have said).

Paleo Chicken Croquettes

30 minutes | Makes about 12 2-inch croquettes


  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pickles, capers, or sauerkraut (trust me on this)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • Oil, for frying
  • Fruitchup paleo ketchup, for serving


  • Place the chicken, egg, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and pickles (or whatever you're using) into a food processor. Process until relatively smooth. If the mixture seems too loose to form into small logs, refrigerate for 30 minutes to let it firm up.
  • Put the coconut flour in a shallow bowl. Roll small logs or patties of the chicken mixture with your hands, then coat them in the coconut flour. You should end up with about a dozen 2-inch logs.
  • Heat the oil in a shallow frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the croquettes until golden brown on both sides. Drain briefly on a plate lined with paper towel.
  • Serve immediately with Fruitchup paleo ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce.