Friday, June 20, 2014

Stromboli Review



Hello darlings!

Certain foods that we had to leave behind still come and haunt us in the form of keto-fied versions and leave us in tears because: "It's just not the same!" Among others, french fries, pizza, burgers, pancakes etc. I've addressed a few of them with certain degree of success. My ricotta pancakes have become my go-to when Hub is feeling grumpy, I'll post an updated recipe soon, speaking of which.

The amazing keto community of Reddit and Facebook have come with amazing ways of "cheating" the system and today I wanted to highlight Elizabeth from "Up Late Anyway", who brought us a stromboli dough that is actually super versatile, because when in the hands of the community, it quickly became empanadas, pigs in blankets and danishes. After making a couple of them last night, (and eating them) I have devilish ideas of making cheesy garlic bread with it, also all the above (especially the danishes!)

Speaking of Elizabeth, she mixes her own seasonings, I like her.

Review

For starter the dough has very few ingredients and is easily modified. I followed the original spice lineup for my first attempt, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes and garlic powder.

The dough was very easy to make and it would be really hard to mess up. The only thing is, keep the husband out of the kitchen because if you leave the dough to sit too long cause he needs to dig in the fridge, it might stick to the bottom of your cookie sheet. Invest in parchment paper, I didn't have any and I regretted it immediately when trying to lift it off the cookie sheet.

Easy to follow instructions, clear cut directions. Mix, microwave, knead, roll. Not a problem, I could do this all day. It took about 10-12 minutes to make the first dough and assemble the stromboli. While I had it in the oven for 15 minutes, I made a second one that just begged to go in as well.

Results

Oh My! Right away I was struck by how doughy like it was, not quite bread but doughy. I could see myself eat those all day, if not for how filling it was. We split one and looked at each other when the other came out of the oven and said: "Let's keep it for lunch tomorrow." and ...well let's say that we are weak willed people and over the course of the evening, the whole second one disappeared. We're suspecting big mice..

It was delicious and I give all the props where they are due. I'm going to make it again and again and play with it till I explode. I hope you give it a try of your own!
Warning, Potato Cellphone Camera

Second try, spinach, brie and bacon
Dough Stuck a little, use parchment paper
Aw yeaah, pepperoni n cheese n cheese

Finger Food at it's best, require paper towels

Another terrible picture, I was busy eating!

Cheesiness be with you.
Hungry Julie

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pimp My Pork

If you know me, and some of you do, pork is MY favorite meat. So tasty and full of flavor, every part of the pig is a delight. I have evil plans on making cheesehead as soon as we buy a house. I doubt my landlord would appreciate the whole pig head boiling thing. Meanwhile I was playing around with country style ribs, I was getting bored with the way I was making them so I went a bit crazy and decided that it needed bacon.

Yes, double whammy of pork!

Then of course I couldn't stop eating it, gave myself a tummy ache but it was worth it. If you're going to try anything, please try this because I'm going to keep raving about it.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Ribs
Makes 4 skewers
Portion 2 people

4 thick boneless country style ribs
8 slices of bacon, cut in half
1/2 cup of Memphis rub (found here)
Some ribs were bigger and required more bacon + skewers

Oven at 400F
Cut your pork ribs in 4 thick slices each, roll in the seasoning.
Wrap each cube in a half slice of bacon and skewer properly in place.
Lay the skewers across a deep pan (such as this)
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Watch the bacon, I left mine in till the bacon looked perfect. Not too crispy, not too soft.
So tasty...

Enjoy. Oh my god, these were like crack. Could have eaten them all day. But then I ran out and I was very sad. Pork Crack! Also I'm slightly hyper due to my heat - exhaustion due to biking 10 miles in 80F weather. What a lovely day, I had hoped to do 20 miles but wasn't going to happen when I just about passed out under a tree.
Overexposed picture of my ribbies and these ugly faux-tato-taters (which were good, actually)
Hope you try them, seriously these are amazing.

Stay Cool!
Hungry Julie

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Salmon or Me?

"Thyme what is thyme? I wish I knew how to tell you."

"Julie, you said you were back!" Why yes I did. "So where are my recipes!?" Well, you see, when a Hungry Julie has no idea what to cook... "WHAT!?" I mean.. I -have- been cooking, heck, Hub and I have been back into the ketogenic solidly for 3 weeks. (YAY!) And I've been keeping my cooking to a minimalist state. Meat, vegetables, rinse and repeat.

Minimalist state, why? Simple, it's a lot easier to control calories and carbs when your meat and vegetables is in it's simplest form. Butter sauteed vegetables, meat with salt n pepper. I allow myself to juggle the 20/day rule when I'm solidly into the diet but when diving back in, I prefer to limit them as much as possible.

Tonight is actually very low carb! Hub's answer to "What do you want for dinner?" is usually one of two things: 1- Are YOU on the menu? *wink wink* and 2- Salmon. Well that narrows my options. So I went for salmon while I was shopping at BJ's. (Side note, we're celebrating 11 years of being together this week! Yay!)

When using fish market fish, I prefer to lightly flavor the fish, as the fresher it is, the best it taste but with BJ's $8.29/lb salmon, I like to layer on the flavors to mask the frozen taste of sadness. I wish I could afford $15.99/lb fish everyday but today's not the day. Moving on!

Garlic Dijon Salmon
Prep 5 mins
Cooking time 15-20 mins
Makes 2-4 servings (not judging)
Microplane is awesome

Filet of salmon approx. 2 lbs (Can use smaller pieces too)
2 tbsp of Dijon Mustard
2 tbsp of Whole Grain Mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, grated or pressed
2 tbsp of fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt


Oven at 425F
Line a cookie sheet with foil.
Mix all your spices and mustards together, spread on the fish evenly.
Bake the fish for 15-20 minutes, depending on your preference.
Serve with your choice of low carb side!

Super simple and delicious, short cooking time helps with a busy evening and on a hot day like today, it's not too miserable in the kitchen. I hope you'll try it and enjoy yourself!

Salmon is a great fatty meat that fits in perfectly in a ketogenic diet. The ingredients above gives trace carbs per portion but I wanted to give you a generic idea of the nutrition facts of the salmon:
Per 100 gr: 131 Calories, 4.5 gr Fat, 360 mg Potassium, 23 gr Protein, 0 Carbohydrate
Butter Zucchini, salt n pepper. Nom!

As always, your beautiful, amazing and modest hostess.
Hungry Julie

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

And We're Back!


Good May to you all fellow food lovers, low-carbers, web browsers and those who ended up here for other reasons and decided to stick around. Welcome back to Hungry Julie with your  host, The One and Only, Julie! It's been a month or so, I do apologize for the delay but things needed to be settled as mentioned in my previous entry. For one thing, we now are the proud parents of a PUG! We adopted him from the North Attleboro Shelter and couldn't be happier. Our falling in love prompted us to find a new apartment since our landlord at the time wouldn't hear it about dogs and then he went and paved over my garden, remember my garden? Pride and joy! Covered in asphalt! I didn't wanted to know what was coming next and so we moved on. Sometimes it's as easy as that.

Kitchen 2.0 is fully operational!
We're slowly adapting to the new surroundings, our massive book collection is longing to find a home in bookcases rather than the basement and we have enough room for a couch now! It's exciting in it's own domestic kind of way. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the best housewife in the world, being that I have 2 jobs and lots of hobbies, dishes tends to get away from me but I'll say that I've been doing really good since the move. The kitchen is a lot more functional, seeing as it was built to be a kitchen in the first place, unlike our old place. Double sink, self cleaning oven and an exhaust fan! Of all commodities that I'm excited about, that and the floor is straight; feels like we're moving up in the world.
Lookit all that room for activities!
Couple things I want to mention about the kitchen, I had to trim down quite a bit the amount of toys, gadgets and one-use items that I owned, whenever your loved ones knows that you like cooking, that's all you ever receive at Christmas. "Wow, a quesadilla maker! I've always wanted one!"  I donated a lot of that unopened stuff and my old Calphalon frying pans took the trash as well, I had enough of looking at the chipped Teflon coating on all of them, all I kept was the underused stock pot. All I'm left with is a 12-inch grill pan, a 12-Inch skillet,6.5-inch skillet, a Dutch Oven 5-Quartfrom Lodge and Calphalon I have the 8-Quart Stock Potand the 2 smaller pots are this close from the trash as well if I don't find a use for them in the next couple months.

If you're looking to de-clutter your kitchen there is only one thing to do, take a good hard look at everything you own and try to remember last time you used it. The once a year turkey platter or Christmas dishes should be placed elsewhere and the plastic containers without lids should be tossed. Buy new ones and move on with your life. The attachment we create with certain things is just out of control. I had a little heartbreak when my favorite mug came up with a broken handle during the move and it took my friend to toss it out for me, as I have another million favorite mugs (But this one had my cat on it! =^_^=). Also best to do it when the husband (you're not reading this hun are you?) isn't around to look at the lobster butter melter and say "Oh Julie, we should keep this for next time you get lobsters!" because next thing you know, you're on a mission to get rid of them without him knowing and he's hounding you for lobsters.
Happy Mother's Day!
Are you still reading? Something about a recipe? Sure why not. I've been mildly obsessed with this microwave bread recipe from Alison over at Keto Incognito, she is a wizard with keto baking and gave me permission to give you guys the recipe, so here it goes:


Alison's Bread (TM)

1 tbsp of melted butter
1 tbsp of water
1 egg
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp coconut flour

Use a round ramekin or a flat plastic container for this, depending on the shape you want your bread in.

Melt the butter, add water, whisk in the egg with a fork.
Whisk in the baking soda and cream of tartar until well dissolved.
Add the coconut flour, mix it well until smooth.
Microwave on high for 1 minute (I like mine 1 1/2  min because I use a round dish)

Let rest, slice,  butter, toast, make grilled cheese sandwiches, in-bread your cat etc. The choice is yours! Variation involves throwing some garlic powder and rosemary in there for dinner rolls or even Stevia and blueberries for a morning muffin, could do with cocoa powder and banana too if you were that kind of person. I've been making egg muffins for myself and it's a wonderful thing.

1 serving Calories 236 Carbs
8
Fat
19
Protein
8
Fiber
5
Sugar
1
Net Carbs
3


Anyway, I'm done talking, go check out Alison's website and encourage her to post more recipe, I hate keto baking and will not be dabbling in that kind of dark magic but I may or may not  report on my results with her recipes.
Making egg muffins, suck it Dunkin' Donuts!

Keep calm, keto on, be good to yourself.
Hungry Julie

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Vicious Circles

This is Franky, he's my new buddy!

Taking a bit of a break from posting a recipe to have a frank talk with you guys about vicious circles. I've always been a very direct person, anyone who knows me can agree. Recently, husband and I were arguing about the same things that we usually do, money, spending, the future. Crazy right? We both want the same thing but have different ideas on how to get there. My husband commented on how "We've had this argument before and it's going in circles." All I could answer was "Maybe it's time to go forward then!"

And so we started looking for a house, squee! As you can tell I'm super excited at this prospect but in return it means I have to start being more careful about our spending, one of the biggest culprit being how much money I spend on food every week. Needing ONE MORE THING at the grocery store meant leaving with $50's worth and a week later, cleaning out the fridge of the massive amount of uneaten leftovers. So I decided to start working on portion controls, to my husband's greatest sadness.

I started with corned beef, we love the stuff and since it's on sale around this time of the year, I usually buy 3-4 of them at $2.89/lb, and big ones too so we can munch on it even after dinner. That was my first eye opener, our weight loss has stalled and we both moan about portion control... and the lack there of. So I bought 3 packages of corned beef of 2 lb each, no more. Perfect portion with a side of bacon Brussels sprouts. No chance of over eating and no wasting.

Making real changes will help you break the vicious circles. This applies to everything in your life that's toxic. Weather it is a bad habit like smoking or overeating, there's no easy way out of it. When a company announces "lose 15 lbs in 2 weeks while eating what you love." take a moment and consider this snake-oil offer. Do your own research, the science behind it must be bulletproof. Be proud of your change and stick to it.

While we're at it, I came across an article that talked about how we're being cheated by chicken packaging. Curious, I did the same test with my Stop and Shop chicken and was horrified! Chicken, package and tampon weight less than the sticker said. While I rarely buy chicken there, it mystifies me that companies gets away with it. I usually go to my local butcher that has no packaging when weighting the meat.

We'll get there! If I can, so can you.
Hungry Julie, house hunter

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Snow! More Snow and Snow!

It's quite the winter weather we're having this year in Rhode Island. For years I would laugh at the "inch" of snow we would get and people going into full panic mode. "MILK AND BREAD, QUICK! GOTTA GET MILK AND BREAD" but this year we've been having back to back snow storm, it's quite the beautiful sight, if you like snow.

I want to quickly plug in one of my new favorite discovery. As a dog groomer, my hands are constantly abused by water and soap. They are normally fairly dry but this year my skin started to peel and burn between my fingers (EEEK). My usual kit of Cortisone and Aveeno did nothing to stop it. I discovered O'keeffe's working hands lotion and it's absolutely wonderful to relieve the pain in my hand and restore my skin. I'm not paid or given any freebies to mention this, if you have the same problem as me, you might want to pop in over there to check it out.

Taking a break from the whole, visiting country cooking thing, I'm a bit tired and cranky this week because my landlord turned a bit weird on me this week. We're most likely looking into buying a house soon, I would be more excited if the process didn't scare the daylights out of me and my husband but I think it'll all work out for the best. And with all that, I still found time to cook something lovely that I wanted to share with you.

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Artichokes and Sun-dried Tomatoes
Prep Work, 15 minutes
Cooking Time 40 minutes
Yes I drew boobs on the bag
2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
6 oz jar of artichoke hearts, drained
2 oz of sun-dried tomato
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
handful of fresh basil leaves or 2 tbsp of dried basil
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp pepper
6 slices of bacon, raw

  • Oven at 350F
  • Prepare a roasting pan with an oven-safe grill.
  • Place the artichokes, tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice and zest, basil, salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse into a paste
  • Cut your chicken breasts open and pound them flat evenly. (Here's a little tutorial)
  • Spread the mixture between the two breasts and close.
  • Wrap the bacon around the breasts tightly, use more if needed.
  • Bake at 350F for 35 minutes.
  • These things were huge
  • Turn the oven to broil and watch the bacon turn golden, flip it over CAREFULLY and do the other side. The broiling should not take more than 2 minutes per side.



Calories
Carbs
Fat
Protein
Fiber
Sugar
NET CARBS
Total
999
46
35
130
11
16
35
1 out of 4
250
12
9
33
3
4
9

What?! 4 servings, what devilry is this? Well, living keto means learning how to balance a plate, it should have more than a giant chicken boob filled with goodies. Half your breasts, fill the plate with vegetables cooked in butter and you're getting closer to being "normal". Also since we eat a lot less, the whole thing would have been too much in the end. Enjoy!

Can't wait for spring!
Hungry Julie

Monday, February 17, 2014

Down and Up!

Hello fellow food lovers!

I don't know whether I have a low threshold for pain or the sheer frustration got to me but when I took a massive fall last week-end, all I felt like doing all week was sit here with an ice pack and ignore the world. Scrapped both my knees like a toddler and taught a few new swearwords to the people in earshot. Also I think I might have caused a mini-tsunami somewhere down south.

We ate quick and easy all week because of it, then come the week-end and V-Day, all my plans went overboard... so we got pizza from Toti's. Best pizza ever! My only comment on that sidestep outside LCHF is that if you're going to eat something, make it the best you can. Don't settle for mawing a Whopper or some KFC . Not only do you owe yourself the best, you'll feel less guilty about it later.

Moving on, I still owed you a second foray into Japanese cuisine and after my fall, I made the dishes I had in mind and ruined it by being a giant pain in the ass to my husband. But today it all changes and while I sit here with a "borrowed pug" on my lap, I decided that we were going to explore low-carb sushi. Even if my preference goes toward sashimi when we go out, there's a couple rolls that are just phenomenal. Ask any Japanese native and they'll tell you that even they go out to get sushi, making sushi at home is a bit ridiculous since unless you fish the fish yourself, you're liable to get everyone sick. My husband loved making fake crab n cream cheese sushi when I met him so I decided I would mimic that train of thoughts. My ingredient list include: cauliflower, cream cheese, avocado, cucumber, carrots, smoked salmon, shrimps, canned crab (real) and tuna (cooked), mayo, rooster sauce, seaweed leaves (nori), wasabi and pickled ginger.

For the techniques I will refer you to this beautiful website which offers a breakdown of how-to and traditional recipes. For the low-carb rice, I tried a couple different techniques, since we're using cauliflower rice, it's not sticky at all so I found online that people were using cream cheese, mayo or oil to hold it together. The oil was really my favorite choice, a bit of rice vinegar and olive oil really did the trick.

Here are the pictures of my experience, would I do it again? Maybe for fun and giggles but it made a massive mess and it was more funny than appetizing. Like my Japanese friend said, we'll go out for sushi next time the cravings hits. Instead of traditional roll, we ended up making hand-rolls with whatever ingredients I had out. My husband's favorite was spicy tuna and mine was shrimps, rooster sauce and avocado. Booyah! Click on the pictures to make them bigger!

 
First attempt was inside-out spicy tuna. What a mess! The rice was too watery to stick outside.

California roll held out pretty good but I had to use a lot. It was actually pretty tasty.

What a mess I made! Ingredients everywhere, Chef Fumi has nothing to worry about me replacing him

YES! Finally something I can eat without making a mess, hand rolls were a hit. Now THAT I would do 
again.

We pretty much made hand rolls with whatever we wanted toward the end.

Literally everything we wanted.

I hope you liked the sushi journal. The low-carb diet offers a limited selection of cuisine to choose from but with a bit of effort and originality, we can accomplish anything and everything. The essence of eating at the core is to enjoy and pleasure one-self through the means of food, as long as you have that, you will know bliss.

Your friend!
Hungry Julie