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