Volume 1 – Introduction and Recipe Notes
Welcome to delicious and nutritious low carb living.
I hope that you find my recipes and this book helpful and easy to use. I did my best to keep things simple. If there’s a shortcut to take in the kitchen that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for convenience, I usually manage to find and incorporate it. But I am very particular about my food – I have one hard and fast rule that I never break: It has to taste good, or I don’t eat it. It’s a good rule to live by.
Splenda™ Granular is the artificial sweetener specified in all of my recipes, except those which only perform well (set up properly) with a sugar alcohol-based (maltitol) syrup. You can easily substitute other sweeteners if you prefer, since Splenda measures the same as sugar. I use Fiberfit instead, except when the dry bulk matters.
Wherever my recipes call for something “SF”, it stands for “Sugar Free”. (This is simply a space consideration.)
Whenever you see a measurement given in grams, it refers to actual weight. If you do not own a food scale, I highly recommend purchasing an accurate model. It makes food preparation and carb counting much easier and quicker, as well as more accurate. All metric conversions have been listed in mls, in order to avoid any confusion between weight versus volume.
The only sugar free flavored syrups I personally use and recommend are made by DaVinci Gourmet™. You can certainly substitute other brands, but you will likely get the best results in my recipes using DaVinci™ syrups. Please do not bake with syrups (or any other product) sweetened with aspartame, which is not heat stable.
I have listed the total carb grams for each recipe when made as directed, as well as total fiber and sugar alcohol grams wherever applicable. You do need to deduct the fiber from the carbs to arrive at the “effective carb count”, if your plan allows for these deductions.
Whenever I list options in a recipe, I analyzed it using the first choice listed.
In recipes that call for protein powder, I am referring to shake mix. I figured carb counts based on using a brand with 3 carbs per cup. I did substitute several different brands in various recipes, and most worked out well, other than a difference in taste between some brands. I recommend a brand that blends soy, whey, and egg protein, for the best baking results. The different textures between brands did cause some small variances in the final products. Please keep in mind that small adjustments in the quantities of protein powder or liquid may be required depending on the brands used, and if you accidentally bake up something with the texture of a tennis ball, a different brand of protein powder may be the cure.
Almond flour, unsweetened coconut, flax seeds, and nut meals are often sold in bulk in the U.S., rarely seem to use a brand name, and often bear no nutrition label (or worse, incorrect data). In instances like these, my nutritional counts are based on USDA information and weights/measures tested personally by Yours Truly.
Many of my recipes call for vinegar. In recipes which call for cooking after the addition of vinegar, you may substitute an equal amount of wine, if you wish.
Recipes that call for minced garlic were formulated and analyzed using prepared minced garlic, in a jar. You may substitute fresh garlic, but I find the extra work involved is usually not reflected with improved flavor in the finished products, so I do not bother with fresh garlic very often myself. I call for garlic powder in many other recipes, and I have found that the more “granulated” ones work a lot better for me than the brands that actually resemble powder, in so far as their textures.
When a recipe calls for the zest (peel) of a lemon and some of its juice, you should of course always use the freshly squeezed juice. If a recipe calls for lemon juice only, I typically use bottled juice with good results. Only go to extra trouble in the kitchen when the taste is directly affected! Otherwise, make it easy on yourself. You will probably find that you enjoy cooking “from scratch” more, and may do it more often.
ThickItUp™ tends to thicken after setting, so leftovers and sauces using this ingredient may need to be thinned when reheated, for best results. Guar gum can usually be substituted for ThickItUpNotStarch at the ratio of 1/6 the amount with decent results – if the recipe calls for 3 Tb. ThickItUp, you can substitute 1-1/2 tsp. (1/2 Tb.) of guar gum, if you wish. The guar gum is MUCH more likely to lump, so use extreme caution when substituting.
Baked goods using soy do not keep well for any length of time. I suggest portioning and freezing them promptly. You can then thaw just the amount needed. Not only will it taste better, you will be less likely to eat on impulse and that can help you achieve your nutritional goals more consistently.
My main dishes often call for a small amount of chopped onions and I use frozen, pre-chopped onions most of the time. If you can’t find the pre-chopped frozen onions in your store, or if you just prefer to do this yourself, chop one onion, spread it out on a flat baking sheet in a single layer, then freeze it uncovered for about one hour. Scrape the onion pieces into a plastic bag and remove excess air, for long term freezer storage. You will be able to measure out the right amount easily, each time, because the individual pieces will stay separate instead of clumping all together in one big frozen ball. Use this same method for preserving fresh berries, raw diced bell peppers, blanched vegetables, etc., when they are in season and are therefore less expensive.
If I call for “cream” without specifying a particular type, use whatever kind you would like. The small variance in carbs between half and half and whipping cream is usually not enough to affect the average carb count of a single serving. Nutritional data in these instances has been based on using half and half cream.
In some recipes that call for bake mix as an ingredient, I only list one set of nutritional values. In these cases, using any of the versions of bake mix result in such similar data that I simply chose not to list it separately.
Freshly ground pepper is ALWAYS best!