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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Flourless Crepes

The other day I had a day off and managed to sleep in a little bit. By the time I got up and around it was well past breakfast and closer to lunch. I wasn’t sure what I wanted, but figured I’d take a look around online and see if I could find something quick to whip up. I came across a recipe for flourless crepes. Now, I have tried a few other recipes for low-carb crepes, and most of them are more eggy than anything. I’m not saying they’re not good, but just not actually the same as a real crepe. I can safely say the newest recipe I found is the closest to a real crepe I’ve had. You can see the original printing of the recipe here.

Flourless Crepes


  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese (I used low-fat ricotta) 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs sugar substitute (Splenda)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbs butter/non-stick spray (for frying)


  1. Whisk all ingredients in a bowl except the butter.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan and brush with butter (or you can also use spray).
  3. Drop 2 tbs of batter in the center of the hot pan and immediately tilt back and forth to spread into a thin circle.  (I used a 6-inch pan and made 5-inch crepes. This recipe yielded 8 crepes.)
  4. Cook only for a minute or two until set, then flip to cook the other side.  Keep warm in a plate until ready to serve with filling.

The original recipe called for whole milk ricotta. I used my part-skim ricotta. I’m not sure if using the full-fat would have made a difference in texture or taste, but they were fine with the lower fat version. I also didn’t use any butter or spray in my pan when cooking these. I have a pretty good Kitchen-Aid non-stick pan and these did not stick at all. If I were to use something in the pan though, it probably would have been Smart Balance.

I will pre-warn anyone reading this that I have never had a crepe turn out as thin as a professionally cooked crepe, so don’t judge my crepe making skills :-) I’ve often wondered if having an actual crepe pan would make a difference, but haven’t been able to justify the cost to find out.

Anyways, this is what mine looked like while cooking

IMG_0551  I suppose it looks a little more like a pancake that a crepe, but it is actually a lot thinner than a pancake…it’s just hard to tell in this picture.

After cooking all the batter I mixed up some real whipping cream made with Splenda and a touch of vanilla to put on them. It was a little more fattening than I would normally have went with, but it was sooooo delicious! I also had some frozen raspberries so I defrosted them and put some of those with it.

Be warned, the crepes with the cream and berries ended up looking like quite a mess! As soon as the cream touched the warm crepes it started melting. Regardless of how messy it looks, I can assure you, it was so good!



On a side note, I should mention that I had initially mixed up the whipping cream first (one serving size of it) and had it sitting to the side. I moved on to mixing up the crepes but got distracted by my dogs and when putting the eggs in, accidentally put them into the whipped cream instead of the crepe mixture. I was not happy! I was going to throw out the whipped cream with eggs in it, but my husband thought he would mix up the egg with the whipped cream and cook it like you would a pancake. I tried one bite of it after it was cooked and it was actually pretty tasty, lol! The moral, however, is that if I am ever using whipped cream again I will make it up last, not first!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

I know what your thinking. "Apparently her diet went out the window if she's making things like chocolate cake and peanut butter frosting"! But it hasn't. I am still doing great following South Beach. I just happened upon the recipe for the cake and frosting and threw in some peanut butter for a change in taste :-)

My mom makes the most amazing homemade (as in, not from a box, but actually homemade) chocolate cake and then makes the yummiest peanut butter frosting for the top. I love it, I mean, I really love it! As you can imagine, however, it is not very low-carb or sugar free, which means it's a bit of a no-no for me. This cake, while not exactly the same, is delicious and makes me forget that I can't actually have my mom's cake.

I found the recipe here.

Chocolate Bean Cake - Phase I
1 15 oz can black beans (drained & rinsed)
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup Splenda (to taste, use 3/4 cup max)
3 TBSP baking cocoa (4 TBSP if you use the extra splenda)
2 TBSP strong coffee (or 1 TBSP espresso powder or coffee dissolved in 1 TBSP hot water)
1 tsp baking powder
2 TBSP Smart Beat spread or canola oil (I used smart spread)
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP chopped walnuts or hazelnuts-optional

Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare an 8x8 baking pan by spraying it with Pam.

Blend the egg yolks,splenda,baking powder, Smart Beat (or oil), vanilla, coffee, & cocoa in a blender or with a stick blender. Add the rinsed & drained beans & puree until smooth. Transfer bean mixture to a bowl if using a blender.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Mix 1/3 of the egg whites into the bean
mixture to lighten the bean mixture. Fold in the remaining egg whites in two portions. It's OK if some white streaks remain in the batter.

Pour the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with chopped nuts if desired. Tap the pan on counter a couple of times to release any air pockets. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing.

Makes 16 2"x2" servings.

Note: coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate & makes it more chocolaty, you don't taste the coffee.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pkg. 1/3rd less fat cream cheese
1/2 to 1 Cup Splenda (to taste)
1 or 2 tsp. vanilla (again to taste)
Any DaVinci SF syrups to taste

Nuke the cheese until soft. Blend in Splenda & vanilla.

I think the hardest part of the cake for me was getting it blended enough to grind up the beans. I had it in the blender, but it is quite a thick mixture and it just wasn't blending it well enough. I did finally manage to get it right, but only after I kept opening it and mixing by hand then turning the blender on again. Next time I may give it a try in the magic bullet and see if it works any better.

I sprinkled some walnuts on top of the cake before putting it in to bake. I probably wouldn't do that next time if putting peanut butter frosting on because that is quite a lot of nuts to have, but it looked pretty :-) Here it is before I frosted it.

After frosting it
As you can see there is a small piece missing out of it. that's the piece I cut for my husband before frosting it. He has an allergy to peanuts, which may or may not be the reason I decided to frost it in peanut butter frosting. Previously I've made stuff for myself only to find he's eaten it all before I had a chance to get any, despite the fact he's skinny as a rail and can eat anything he'd like. I've learned if I want it left alone to just throw something peanutty on it and he stays away ;-)

If you plan to not frost the cake I would probably add a little bit more Splenda. I had a tiny taste of my husbands plain piece and I felt it could have used just a touch more sweetness. If you plan to frost it though, there is no need to have any more Splenda in the cake.

Everything about this was delicious. I tried the frosting before putting the peanut butter in and it was delicious that way too. I did add in about 1/2 cup Cool Whip to the frosting to make it easier to spread (a little hint they had posted on the original website). This was definitely a great find and I'm sure I'll be making it on a regular basis!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Baked Zucchini

I love zucchini. In fact, it’s probably one of my favourite vegetables because of how versatile it is. I had picked up a couple of them the other day and needed to use them before they got too old. I found this recipe I thought sounded good. I did have to change it up a bit to make it low carb, but for anyone not following a low-carb diet, the original sounds pretty damn good too!

The original recipe is located here.


1 sm. onion, chopped
2 or 3 sm. zucchini, cut in pieces
1/4 c. grated cheese
1/4 c. sour cream
1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. paprika
1 beaten egg

Saute onion and zucchini in butter until tender; set aside. Stir next 5 ingredients over low heat until cheese melts then add beaten egg. Put all ingredients in casserole dish (I used an 8x8). Sprinkle with bread crumbs and dot with butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

The changes I made to this when I made it were to use low-fat cheese, low-fat sour cream, Smart Balance (instead of butter) and I omitted the breadcrumbs completely.

When it was done baking it ended up having a fluffy, eggy texture mixed in with the chunks of zucchini if that makes sense. It had amazing flavour and was a great way to get in some veggies. My husband and I both really enjoyed it. I even had the leftovers for lunch the next day and they were great reheated.

We had this for dinner with the parmesan chicken I wrote about the other day. They went really well together.

IMG_0541 IMG_0542

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Crustless Zesty Lemon Pie

One of the things I always crave, whether dieting or not, is sweets. I can’t help it, I love sugar! Luckily with all of the sugar-free products out there, I can satisfy my craving for sugar with the fake stuff.

The other day I was really wanting something sweet and good. I found a recipe for a lemon pie with no crust. Since I don’t have a pie pan I just made it in an 8x8 baking pan. The recipe is as follows:

1 container (32 oz.) plain nonfat yogurt
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) lemon sugar free gelatin
1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

MIX yogurt and dry gelatin in medium microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 2-1/2 min. or until gelatin is completely dissolved, stirring after 1-1/2 min. Stir in lemon peel and ginger.
POUR into 9-inch pie plate sprayed with cooking spray.
REFRIGERATE 3 hours or until set. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.

I also didn’t have any ground ginger. Usually if I need ginger I just use fresh, and since this was kind of a spur of the moment decision to make, I didn’t even have any of that. Instead I substituted some mixed spice I have that has ginger as the first ingredient.

Here is my square “pie” after being refrigerated for a few hours:


To serve it I just added a dollop of light Cool Whip. I know that added a little bit of calories, but it just made it seem even better!

IMG_0510  IMG_0509

It ended up being delicious, and was just what I needed to calm my craving for something sugary. It had a great texture, and the taste was great. It couldn’t have been any easier to make!

One of these days I may try making this recipe and then crumbling up some meringue on top of it to try and make it like a lemon meringue pie. I think it would be really good!

This is another recipe I will definitely be making again. It’s nice to have it already made up in the refrigerator for when I want a treat. It stores really well for at least a couple days. Mine was eaten within a couple days, so I can’t speak for any longer than that!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Parmesan Dijon Chicken

As I had to work until 6 tonight I had high hopes that my husband would decide to make something nice for supper. I’d come home and a delicious meal would be ready. Instead I came home to him sitting on the couch on his computer :-(  Needless to say I was not impressed as he has had the whole weekend off! Anyway, I was so hungry and didn’t want to have to eat to late so I needed something I could make up really quick, but was still low-carb. I scrambled around on the internet and came across a recipe on Spark Recipes for Parmesan Crusted Chicken (link below). I know what your thinking, it sounds fancy…well, that’s what I thought anyway :-)  It looked super easy and quick, the two prerequisites for supper!

The recipe  is as follows:

1 boneless, skinless, chicken breast
1tsp. of dijon mustard
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
cooking spray

Brush the chicken with the dijon mustard evenly on both sides. Pat cheese onto chicken to make a crust. Place on a baking sheet and spray lightly with the cooking spray ( this will help make it golden brown and crusty). Bake at 375 for 20 to 30 min... depending on your oven and the size of you chicken breast. Makes 1 serving.

I followed the recipe exactly as written, except doubled it. It was so easy and quick to do everything. I think it took longer to pre-heat the oven than it did to actually prepare the chicken. 

Chicken b4



The chicken all ready to go into the oven.






I cooked the chicken for the full 30 minutes because I’m a bit of a paranoid freak when it comes to cooking meat .

Chicken Cooked



The chicken was not as browned as I had expected it to be, so I’m thinking I may have went a little overboard when I sprayed the cooking spray on top. The taste, however, was amazing! The combination of the parmesan cheese and dijon mustard was perfect! I will definitely be using this as a fall back for a busy day. There is nothing I would change about it (except for trying less cooking spray to see if that browned it a bit more).

On a side note, I apologize my pictures are not the greatest. For some reason I just couldn’t get any of them to come out looking right. This is definitely a case of the pictures not doing justice to the food!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mock Homefries

One of my favourite things I remember my dad making when I was a kid is homefries. It’s such an amazing comfort food. I love them when they’re cooked down and browned. When doing low carb potatoes are one of the big no-no’s, which leaves homefries off the menu. However, the other day I read an article from a woman who said she had made some out of radishes. Now, I’m gonna be honest. I tried a bit of a radish once at my Grandma’s and hated it. I’ve never had it since! After reading the article though, I kept pondering whether it was possible that such a gross (in my opinio anyways) little vegetable could taste nearly as good as potatoes if cooked the right way. What better way to find out than to try I figured!

I ran to Walmart and picked up a 16 oz bag of radishes. It was nice because they were pre-cut. Anything to make it easier, lol!IMG_0500

After rinsing them all I started to slice them fairly thin. After the fact I realized I could have used my food processor to slice them all uniformly, which is what I would suggest if you have access to a food processor. However, I spent ages slicing them…I’m no chef, lol! In the pan I put about a tablespoon of smart balance margarine and about a teaspoon of olive oil to heat up. Meanwhile I chopped up one onion into fairly big chunks. I figured if I hated the radishes, at least I could pick out and eat the fried onions (ever the optimist). 

I threw the onions in first to get a little soft, but I’m not sure if doing that was really necessary. It’s just what the chefs on cooking shows always do, so I followed suit :-)  After a minute or two I threw the radishes in. I should mention I did not peel the radishes. I don’t even know if those little things peel, but I wasn’t about to sit and do it even if they did! I threw in some garlic powder, Spanish paprika, salt and pepper and let them cook.

As I said before, I like my homefries nice and brown and really cooked down, so I did the same with the radish homefries, or tried to. They don’t brown down exactly the same as potatoes. All in all I’d say I cooked them about 20 minutes or so over medium-high heat. If you like your homefries a little less done I would say it would only take about 15 minutes or so.

Radishes 1

Radishes 2

These were taken at about 15 minutes or so into cooking them. You can see they’re not quite browning like I would have liked so I kept on cooking them.

Radishes 3

All plated up and ready to eat with some peameal bacon for good measure!

It turns out they were pretty tasty. The spiciness that I remember from them the time I had eaten them raw was no longer there. The texture was very similar to a potato. I ate the whole plate of them and there was only one or two bites that I thought, “oh, yeah, these are radishes, not potatoes”. I would definitely make them again if I was craving homefries, but probably won’t be having them on a regular basis. They were a little too time consuming in relation to what the finished product was. Though, to be fair, had I used the food processor for the slicing my time would have been greatly reduced.

My final verdict is, they’re definitely worth making if your really feening for  homefries. They’re also a great way to get in a whole pile of veggies first thing in the morning, which is a definite plus! Apparently somewhere out there is a recipe for homefries using jicama, so I’ll try that one at some point and make a decision as to which is better then.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Zucchini Crust Pizza

Since starting on South Beach, I think what I’ve missed most is eating something that has that “baked feel” to it. Unfortunately, traditionally baked items also tend to be high in carbohydrates.  When I came across this recipe on a blog I was really excited to try it, even though in my head I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be the same. The direct link to the recipe is HERE. That is one of the best low-carb recipe blogs I have seen, she’s a low-carb genius!

Here is the recipe as shown on Cleochatra’s website:

Large raw zucchini, shredded (between 1.5-2 cups)
2 eggs
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (or pizza cheese*)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Grease cookie sheet.

Shred a large zucchini. Squeeze handfuls of zucchini to remove excess water. Add egg and cheese, and mix well (I always use my hands).

Spread the dough onto the pan evenly (watch to distribute evenly. The middle of the crust can be too thick, causing edges to brown and the center to remain thick) and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is cooked. Let cool/rest.

Makes a large crust (14")

I did make a few changes to it for my purposes, namely I used low fat mozzarella which greatly decreased the fat and calories present. Believe me, I need as little fat and calories as possible!

Zucchini Crust B4



This was my “dough” prior to cooking. It was surprisingly very easy to work with. It looked like it would be all crumbly, but it held together really well.




Zucchini Crust After This was how it looked after coming out of the oven. It looked so good I decided I would break off a little hunk before making the rest of the pizza. This was NOT a good idea. Because the edges got a little darker than the rest of the crust, the piece I tore off was a dark bit. It tasted terrible!  Feeling somewhat discouraged that my supper was not going to be all that great I soldiered on and made the rest of the pizza.

I just threw a little more low fat mozzarella on and some turkey pepperoni and popped it back in the broil setting. I would definitely recommend heating up whatever toppings you choose using the broiler as opposed to just baking some more. The broiler does a great job of browning the cheese and crisping up the crust a little more. 

x Zucchini Crust Pizza 1 The finished product :-)

It turns out the dark edges were the only part of this pizza that wasn’t good (and they were my own fault as I cooked the crust about 5 minutes longer than it was supposed to be). I trimmed them off with the pizza cutter and dug in. It was so good! Honestly, if someone had served me this without telling me what it was, I would have never known it wasn’t regular crust. I would definitely recommend this if your craving pizza.

Friday, March 5, 2010

What's This About?

So, I've decided to start a blog to review and just give my opinions about different recipes I've tried. They will mostly be low-carb, South Beach Diet recipes as I am in my 3rd week of this lifestyle. The basis behind this is that there are soooo many sites out there full of recipes, but with no reviews about how they actually taste. I'm also going to put pics up of what I've cooked. Sometimes a picture makes all the difference!

Please keep in mind I am in no way, shape or a form a professional cook. In fact, up until I started doing South Beach I was more of a "let's order out" kinda girl. So the things I do may or may not be correct in the cooking world, but I'll be totally honest about if it turned out good, or bad and if it was super difficult or not.

Feel free to leave comments or suggestions of low-carb recipes you think I should try out.