Posted in keto, recipes

Quick Cream of Broccoli Soup–Keto-Friendly Recipe!

Here’s a super-quick, clean and easy fix for those of us craving soup on days on raw, chilly days like today! Quick Cream of Broccoli Soup–Keto friendly recipe in about 25 minutes! (Makes about 4-5 ½-cup servings.)

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To keep things brief I wrote ingredients in bold letters. Here’s how I made it:

Toss a 12 oz. bag of broccoli florets in microwave and cook according to directions (about 6 minutes).

In a small pot over medium heat, saute about half a small onion (chopped) and half a stalk of celery (thinly sliced) in a little oil until tender (10 minutes or less).

Add 2 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth*, about ¼-cup of half-n-half and broccoli. (I used about ¾ of the bag; had a cup left over.)

Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.

(Optional: stir in shredded cheddar cheese to taste. I was out so I broke up 2 colby-jack snack

sticks instead.)

Pure with immersion blender or in food processor. (If you don’t have either, try a hand mixer or even a potato ricer.) Season to taste with salt and/or pepper. A few shakes of salt-free seasoning works too.

This quick, easy, healthy and very tasty fix was EXACTLY what I was craving. The leftovers tasted that much better the next day (and the next), after the flavors came together in the fridge overnight!

*If you don’t have broth, you can substitute 2 cups of water and chicken (or vegetable) bouillon.

Go forth and enjoy!

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#quickneasyketo

#creamofbroccolisoup

#cleaneating

#cleaneatingketo

#easyrecipe

©Joanne C Timpano, OTR/L, content and images, unless otherwise specified, 2019.

Posted in recipes, Uncategorized

Eat Fat/Live Thin(ner): COCONUT Flour Keto Bread—This One is Seriously Easy!

And Oh. SO. GOOD.

Yes, just after Christmas I posted about my first  keto bread, which I made with almond flour.  For once, I followed a recipe as written—I know! I can’t  believe I didn’t mess with the original either!! I found it to be very, very good, and I was quite pleased with it. I had only one beef about the recipe: I can be a  bit lazy when I cook or bake; separating and beating egg whites was a step I prefer avoiding whenever possible. Also, almond flour can be a bit pricey, so I started looking for recipes for my other favorite low-carb staple: coconut flour. I hit on exactly what I was looking for at Keto Connect.

Special thanks to the lovely teacher’s assistant who works across the hall from my classroom—three years in and I STILL find it a wonder to say “my” classroom (Thnx to you, Mr. Awesome Principal!). She loved the sample piece of coconut flour bread I gave her and has been asking for the recipe. (I promised a while back that I would; b/c I tweak everything I can never just link up to the original and move on to the next thing!)

Anyway, here is the original recipe. I’ve made it by following the directions as written but have also added a few changes along the way. This has become a staple I keep on hand. It’s very easy to put together (no separation of eggs required) and keeps very well in the fridge for a week to 10 days.

Here are my tweaks:

I’ve cut the butter back to 6 tbsp;

I’ve added about ¼-cup almond milk (I keep unsweetened vanilla in the house; it works);

I’ve added baking powder* to help get more of a rise (up to a tbsp)

I’ve replaced the herbs and salt  in the recipe with the ever-yummy Everything But The Bagel seasoning by Trader Joe’s. (I also sprinkle it liberally on top prior to putting the bread in the oven, which makes for an extra-flavorful top crust! When I have them, I also add sesame seeds—usually harvested from the bag a traditional-bread braid from a local bakery that Hubby loves—for a little extra crunch and yum!) 😋😋😋

I mix everything as directed in the original recipe but let the batter stand 5-10 minutes prior to transferring to a standard glass loaf pan. I line the pan with parchment paper to make removal of the bread that much easier; totally optional, but I coat the paper lightly with cooking spray too.

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*Note: I prefer NOT using baking soda with coconut flour recipes. I’ve tried it and gotten a greenish cast to the finished product. (It’s a normal, harmless reaction, but I’m not very thrilled with the look. Presentation matters, especially when passing samples on to people who are opening themselves up to the notion of low-carb baked goods.) You can use baking soda with almond flour with no worries.

And that’s it! As much as I liked the first keto bread recipe I posted a little after Christmas, I find using coconut flour yields more of a traditional, buttery “bread.” Almond flour yields a product that’s more like a savory pound cake; I much prefer making sweet treats with it. (I’ll share some absolutely incredible almond flour “sweet breads” in upcoming posts, like the utterly delicious low-carb blueberry muffins hanging out with the bread in the image above.)  

Have you tried one or the other or both? Any thoughts or preferences? All feedback welcome!

Until next time,

Joanne

©Joanne C Timpano, OTR/L, content and images, unless otherwise specified, 2019.

Posted in recipes, Uncategorized

Eat Fat/Live Thin(ner)–Keto Bread–This Is Looking Like a SERIOUS Game-Changer

Happy 4th day of Christmas, people! Hope all of you enjoyed–and/or continue to enjoy–the holiday season, with its festivities and merriment. To those of you who are not quite feeling that way, my wishes that you are feeling peace during what can be a very stressful time!

So…

While I practice what I refer to as “quasi-keto”–I want to be able to make this a life-style friendly way of eating so that I can “stay on the wagon” more often than not. (The 12 days of Christmas most certainly are “off” days!) What I am loving about most keto recipes is that I can have my (keto) cake–or, in this case, bread–and eat it, too. (Only “diet” I’ve ever been on that I can’t wait to get back on–go figure; I always feel like I’m cheating!)

Anyway, I’ve been missing bread wanting to try my hand at making a keto version for a while.  I’ve made the microwave single-serve versions; they’re okay, but only after I nuke the ingredients, then slice and grill the finished product. (It tends to be a 15-minute process overall and can make the house smelly. Yes, it’s yummy as a French toast, but not quite the sliced-bread effect I was looking for.)

Found this gem at Delish–no tweaking this recipe (yet!). Easy and quick to put together (about 20 minutes) and 30 minutes oven time.  (Total time: 50 minutes.) And, if you already keep keto, chances are you have all the ingredients on hand—7 (?) in all.

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So far, I am EXTREMELY pleased with the flavor and texture of this bread; reminds me of pound cake, but it’s not sweet. It isn’t eggy, as some keto breads are reputed to be. The only thing I might consider adding is a little liquid—unsweetened almond milk, maybe?—to moisten up the batter a tiny bit. I’m also thinking some shredded cheddar or Parmesan will make it savory.

Can’t wait to toast it, and make me a good, old-fashioned Sammy (over-easy egg on a slice of cheese-covered toast); rustle up grilled cheese or try it with peanut butter—if there is one thing I’ve been missing on keto, it’s a PBJ sandwich. (Next recipe to try: sugar-free strawberry preserves from the reserve I have in the freezer 🙂 ! )

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Out of the oven less than an hour ago–yum!

That’s it for today! Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend, and a safe, blessed and healthy new year.

Be well,

Joanne

© Joanne C Timpano, 2018. All rights reserved, content and images.

Posted in fitness, mind and body, recipes, Uncategorized

Eat Fat/Live Thin(ner): Coconut Flour-Pumpkin Keto Pancakes!

The season for pumpkin-infused goodies is kind of winding down and sometimes “ya just gotta.” (Not that the health benefits of pumpkin are ever out of season. Just sayin’ 😉.)

Because this recipe is one of the many I’ve saved to my Pinterest account (I currently go by Cottaegal), I need to give credit where credit is due. I’m sure I’ve used others’ recipes as well, but this was this morning’s pick. (See below image for my tweaks to the recipe–Older Son says I never leave well enough alone. He’s right! 😊)

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Served with sugarless syrup, butter and whipped cream. Can’t get this kind of keto at a diner or restaurant, not that I know of, anyway.)

So: If you’re following the original recipe, let me know how you made out. Tweaks or not, make sure pancakes are sufficiently browned before attempting to flip them. (Spraying your spatula with cooking spray helps too.) Another note: These will NOT bubble on one side like traditional pancakes. You have to visually inspect the bottom by lifting an edge and peeking–very scientific, I know!

Tweak #1: I doubled the recipe to use up leftover pumpkin that was in the fridge. Easy-peasy and I got me TEN 3-inch pancakes. (If you make them any bigger, they can be quite the challenge to flip.)

Tweak #2: The original recipe calls for ONE tablespoon of water, which translates to TWO for double-recipe. I substituted almond milk–unsweetened vanilla–and added a little half-and-half.

NOTE:  Coconut flour is insanely absorbent! I strongly suggest adding liquid to batter and eyeballing how thick or thin you want it. (I like it the consistency of a very soft pudding, one that teeters on the edge of runny.) Sorry, folks, I don’t  measure. I add a little liquid and stir–probably about 1/8-1/4 cup at a time; let the batter sit at least 5 minutes,  add more liquid and repeat as I see fit. I believe I did this three separate times the last time I made these.

Tweak #3: In addition to pumpkin spice, I add vanilla, cinnamon and a tablespoon or so of melted butter for extra flavor. I also increased the baking powder–maybe just under a teaspoon(?)–to make the pancakes a little more airy. I omitted whey protein. (Just MHO, but something about powdered protein doesn’t sit right in my brain.)

NOTE: On Facebook the other day, someone  commented that these can be dense and not fluffy. (Hi, friend!) When you add enough liquid and baking powder, the texture mimics a white flour pancake that much more.

Tweak #4: I spray a non-stick pan or griddle with cooking spray, then melt butter in the pan before adding batter. I ladle batter in using a soup spoon, which results in the 3-inch pancakes in the image above. Remember: any bigger and they will be no fun to flip, I promise (Been there and done that!😖) Transfer to spatter screen to cool without condensation forming on bottom. (Got mine at dollar store. You can line a plate with a paper towel for a similar effect.)

Final note: Both the batter and the finished pancakes keep very well in the fridge. Put aside some of the former for later in the week, and/or wrap the latter; nuke to warm or crisp up in a frying pan.

And that’s all she wrote—for today anyway!

In the spirit of practicing an attitude of gratitude, allow me to thank each and every one of you for your time and support! Seize the day and make some yumminess all your own!

Joanne

© Joanne C Timpano, 2018 (content and images).

Posted in making time, recipes, Uncategorized

Quick-n-Easy Meal–Healthy Too!

Hello everyone! So glad to be back! I am so sorry to have been missing for so long, but we’re just starting to get back into a normal routine: Younger Son had a B.A.D. leg injury during the last football game of his JV season (2015). That resulted in 11 (and counting) trips to Manhattan’s phenomenal Hospital for Special Surgery—so grateful it wasn’t worse and that we live within a very reasonable driving distance; if it weren’t for the danged traffic on the FDR…)

Anyway, after two separate. dual procedures (one in February and one in June), Younger Son is hopefully on the mend for the long haul. The 2015-16 school year is behind us–it all but did me in; the 2016-17 school year is in full swing. And here I am, hoping and praying to scare out time to spend some here with all of you on a regular basis again! Somehow there is never enough of this ridiculously precious commodity!!

That brings me back to importance of getting an appealing, healthy, tasty meal on the table in record time. Weekdays or weekends, we tend to be very busy people: the day job, kids’ and/or parents’sports or other activities; homework, keeping the house in some sort of living order…

This also ties in perfectly with my last post, about how important meal time is to families in general—or so says MHO.

What you’ll need:

-(Pre-cooked) Rotisserie chicken (Costco’s is awesome, ~$5 for a 3-lb. bird—feeds 3-5-people)

costco chicken

-Broccoli and/or cauliflower florets (I buy a container of pre-cut ones at my produce market—about $2.50—see photo below)

-Potatoes (baked)

-Cooking spray (or oil)

-seasonings of choice

-Gravy (optional–you can make your own with drippings from bird, use a jarred brand, make your with an “instant”–i.e., add water and cook on stove–gravy packet or go to Boston Market and buy some as a “side dish.” 🙂 )

-Aluminum foil

Potatoes:

-Scrub potatoes and poke holes with fork.

-Line microwave-safe plate with paper towel; place potatoes on plate and microwave on high (about 5 minutes/potato*).

-wrap potatoes in foil; finish cooking them in conventional (or counter top) oven, along with veggies.

-butter, sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt—amazing stand-in for sour cream); salt, pepper, chives, etc).

Veggies:

-Preheat oven to 425˚F/~220˚C

-Rinse broccoli and/or cauliflower florets; drain.

-Spray a glass or metal roasting pan with (olive oil) spray. (Lining it with foil makes clean-up that much easier.)

-Arrange veggies in pan; spray to coat veggies with oil–or you can toss them with a little olive oil prior to placing in pan. Season the way you like. (I love garlic  salt and freshly ground black pepper.)

-Roast veggies to desired tenderness (about 20 minutes at my house)**.

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Chicken: 

Cut up.

I’m a fan of putting everything on the table, family style, and letting everyone serve him or herself. You can easily add to the meal by throwing together a simple salad, adding bread—you get the idea. Help the little ones unwrap the potatoes–no steam burns, please! Cut in half; season with butter, salt–however you like!

*If you don’t like microwaving, you can clean, poke, wrap and put potatoes directly in oven; you’ll need about an hour to bake them.

**No fans of broccoli and/or cauliflower at your house? No problem! Any of the following can be seasoned and roasted the same way: asparagus, peppers/onions, baby carrots, brussel sprouts, green or yellow squash.

That’s it! Dinner is done, delicious and pretty darned healthy too. Leaves a parent time to do something fun with the kids or have some quality time to him or herself! Enjoy!

What are some of your get-dinner-on-the-table-in-a-hurry tips and/or tricks? Please share them in the comments! I’m always looking for new ideas, especially those that involve home-style cooked foods.

Be well!

Joanne

©Joanne C Timpano (content and images), 2016. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Discipline vs. Control, Parenting, recipes, Reflections

“Why Are You So Dumb?” (Part 1)

Hi everyone. Please excuse my lack of posts since Mother’s Day. It’s been a busy past month. School begins its wind-down and the rush to last-minute paperwork on.

banana n almond butter
Easiest breakfast ever: sliced banana with a drizzle of almond butter. Pair with (almond) milk for a gluten-free, super-energizing, no-cook start to the day!

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. William James 

I was waiting in line at the food market the other day. A boy—maybe about 10 (?) years of age—was standing next to me. He was looking toward the back of the store, and appearing a hair uncertain.

A woman—perhaps his mother or grandmother (?)—approached him, glanced at the line, then at him.

“Why are you so dumb?” Her raised voice and annoyed tones conveyed her frustration—and turned the heads of anyone nearby.

(I’ll surmise the boy should have been keeping the woman’s place in line.)

The folks ahead of me must have thought the same. They offered to let the boy back in. No harm. No foul.

Someone must have commented about there being no problem. The woman, however, maintained her (mild) indignation, and her right to admonish the boy. “He has to learn.”

People, I had to bite my tongue. The woman might have been old-school. She had an accent, which suggests culture might have influenced the way she addressed the boy. She also might truly believe she was acting out of love.

As I wrote this, I had to wonder: If shaming that child in public was her way of “teaching” him, how does she deal with him behind closed doors?

I don’t consider myself an expert at anything, folks. I do, however, care deeply about how others feel, children in particular.

I suppose belittling and shaming, publicly or privately, might get a child’s attention. Will they “learn” from the experience?

Maybe.

Chances are, the child will remember feeling embarrassed more than s/he remembers the infraction.

But like everything else—in terms of action and reaction—shaming and belittling don’t lack for consequences.

We’ll pick this up next time.

Joanna

Posted in Exercise and fitness, fitness, holidays, mind and body, recipes, Uncategorized

Should “Healthy” Pancakes Taste This Good?

Yes, we will be doing recipes here, too. Something for everyone, right? And I’m thinking these might be a perfect addition to an Easter breakfast. 🙂

These past few weeks I’ve craved (diner) pancakes. Before I started cutting back white-flour products, I would order them on occasional breakfast trips out. Now, three bites gets me an instant headache from the flour AND the sugary table syrup.

I tried making a white whole wheat version, but they always felt heavy. They certainly didn’t capture that “diner flavor.” Then, shortly after Christmas, I picked up some woman’s magazine that talked about Paleo recipes. Almond meal came into my home and life changed—a little, anyway.

I found the original recipe here. I followed it exactly the first time, but I have this need to tweak every recipe I come across and really wanted to cut back the flour. Either way, the flavor—and even the texture—resembled those of the diner!

pancake ingredients
The (18-oz) jelly jar is holding about 1-1/2 cups of pre-mixed dry ingredients, enough for the 5 or 6 6-inch (?) pancakes pictured below.

Rather than list the entire recipe with my changes I’ll keep this short and note only the changes I made:

I cut back the white whole wheat flour to ¼ cup and increased the oatmeal to ¾ cup. (Next time I might add an additional ¼-tsp of baking soda too.)

I used ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt (b/c it’s all I had) and thinned it with ¼ cup of 1% milk (dairy or almond—both worked fine).

I ALWAYS add extra vanilla. 😉

I made some plain, added chocolate chips to a few, and even some dried coconut flakes. (I did blueberries last time, which I keep frozen.) They all worked.

pancakes (healthy)
Can y’all tell I’m a huge fan of green, especially that obnoxious lime version, lol? My dream vehicle is Jeep Wrangler in that shade–non-metallic, please. 😉

Rather than fry the pancakes in canola oil, I sprayed my griddle and cooked them the old-fashioned pancake way. Next time I make my tweaked version, I’ll let them cook a few minutes longer. I think oatmeal is a touch heavier than white whole wheat flour, so the batter has to cook a little longer to rise (?).

I transferred them to a spatter screen, to keep the bottom of the pancake from getting mushy from condensation. Once they’re cool I put them on a plate.

These keep well in the fridge for a few days. (The flavor gets better.) I’m sure they can also be frozen for a quick and healthy breakfast just before school. (I toss them in the toaster on low. Works really well.) Layer them with yogurt and fruit or maple syrup and a touch of butter. PBJ or almond butter and jelly are good too. (Yes, I’ve tried it.)

Are you constantly looking for healthier versions of comfort food standards? Do you follow a recipe ‘as is’ or are you compelled to put your stamp on it? Will your kids eat your take on their favorite foods?

(Images of my dream vehicle–just for fun. Parents and caregivers need some. 🙂 )

Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all who celebrate! Please take a moment to remember (and pray for, if you are so inclined) those who aren’t as blessed as we are.

Until next time,

Joanne