Nothing but Low Carbing Today

Low carb mock macaroni, cheese & ham

Low carb mock macaroni, cheese & ham

I had intended to get so much done today.  But an oral surgery consultation and errands drained all of my motivation.  So the only productive thing I ended up doing today was cooking. (Besides taking a nice nap!)

The recipe for low carb mock “macaroni” and cheese is all over the net with dozens of variations.  So I figured it was time I tried it.

I wanted it to be a main dish, so I decided to add ham to it.  I didn’t have any regular ham, but had some country ham for seasoning.  So I boiled and drained it to get rid of the excess salt and went with that.  It turned out to be a good choice!

Even considering that this was a salad plate instead of a dinner plate, my portion wasn't chintzy!  :)

Even considering that this was a salad plate instead of a dinner plate, my portion wasn’t chintzy! 🙂

The “macaroni” is actually cauliflower.  Care must be taken to cook it just crisp tender.  Longer cooking will make it stronger tasting, soggy, and it will make your sauce watery.

“Mac” & Cheese

16 oz bag of frozen cauliflower
1/2 c. cream
2 oz. cream cheese, cut in small pieces
1-1/2 t. spicy brown mustard
1-1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 c. shredded cheese for topping
pepper
garlic powder or dehydrated garlic flakes to taste

Ham chunks, if desired

Oven 350

Steam cauliflower till just crisp tender and cut in small florets.  Grease baking dish.  Heat cream to bare simmer and add cream cheese.  Stir to melt.  Add mustard, pepper and garlic.  Mix well.  Add 1-1/2 c. shredded cheese and stir until just melted.  Remove from heat.

Put cauliflower in large bowl.  Add ham chunks.  Pour cream/cheese mixture over and mix well to coat the cauliflower and ham.

Pour into greased baking dish and top with remaining 1/2 c. cheese.  Bake until browned and bubbly — about 20 minutes.

I thought this was nice.  But Ron LOVED it!  He was more enthusiastic about this than any other low carb dish I’ve cooked for him.  I thought it tasted like mild cauliflower with a nice cheese sauce.  Ron thought it had a scalloped new potato taste.

Low carb raspberry cupcakes

. Low carb raspberry cupcakes

Next, I needed to make something sweet for Ron.  I found a low carb muffin recipe that looked okay, then I started playing with it.  It actually turned out more like cupcakes than muffins by the time I was finished.

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Low Carb Cupcakes

2 c. almond meal
2 t. bakng powder
1/4 t. salt
1 stick butter, melted
4 eggs, beaten
6 T DaVinci Sugar free syrup (I used 4 T raspberry and 2 T vanilla)
1/4 c. Splenda or erythritol

Oven 350

The little cake in the nonstick loaf pan was the only thing that didn't stick.

The little cake in the nonstick loaf pan was the only thing that didn’t stick. The little loaf is also hiding the two cupcakes I already ate!

(Note:  Use non-stick bakeware.  Despite heavily greasing the muffin tins, the cupcakes stuck.  The small cake made in a non-stick mini loaf pan did not stick.)

Mix dry ingredients.  Beat eggs, then beat the melted butter into the eggs.  Add sugar free syrup.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well.  Fill muffin tins 1/2 – 2/3 full.  Put leftover batter in mini loaf pan.  Bake about 20 minutes until tops are set and dry.

Those little cakes were a diet buster for me.  I really liked them and hit them harder than I should have! Ron loved them, too.

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30 Comments

  1. What is the benefit of a low-carb diet? I see these recipes everywhere but don’t understand the science behind these aberrations. Why not use macaroni in the “mac and cheese”, and have the cauliflower as a vegetable with the meal?

    • Hi, Judilyn,

      When we eat a high carbohydrate food like macaroni, our blood sugar spikes, which causes an insulin rush, which converts the blood sugar to fat. And once the insulin hits, blood sugar levels drop and we feel hungry again.

      Low carbohydrate foods do not cause blood sugar spikes, so no insulin rush, no fat conversion and no rebound hunger.

      Some of us watch the carbs because we must keep our blood sugar under control. Others keep their blood sugar under control with low carb foods to facilitate weight loss.

  2. I guess I’ve just never experienced what you are describing. I am 70 years old, have always eaten all kinds of foods, am a normal weight, and in good health. Is what you are describing an actual aberration in bodily function? Hmmm – must do some research on this phenomenon! ;->

    • Judilyn, those of us who are overweight experience changes in our metabolism that make us insulin resistant… or otherwise messes up our insulin responses. I’m not a scientist, so I can’t give you a detailed explanation. But do a search for “insulin resistance” and you should find some answers.

      A normal, healthy person of normal weight can just eat sensibly and do fine! You are very fortunate not to have messed your metabolism up like we did! 🙂

  3. Oh, I see. Interesting. Thank you for the explanation. I am fortunate to not ever having had this sort of problem, nor been around anyone who did, so = clueless! Good on you for understanding yourself and taking steps to normalize your metabolism. Assume this is a problem like diabetes???

    • It’s similar. I am borderline diabetic and my blood pressure was too high. Since eating this way my blood glucose is normal — and so is my blood pressure!

      Cholesterol usually spikes the first few months on a low carb diet, but normalizes at around 6 months. There’s research online from Duke University, Emory University, and other credible sources. Of course, as with everything, there is also much strong condemnation of low carbing.

      I just know that it has turned me from unhealthy to healthy! 🙂

  4. If you are healthier, then that is a good thing! Best of luck for continued success! ;-> You probably shouldn’t look at my blog posts then. Most of them feature carbohydrate items, as that is what a regular meal means to me – a meat, a starch, and at least one (but usually a lot more) vegetable. I rarely eat anything sweet because it just doesn’t appeal to me.

    • I am not that big a sweet eater, but my husband is. And if I make things for him, I usually won’t stay out of them.

      My mother is 85, has a 24 inch waist after 6 children, and always taught us to eat a meat, a starch, a green vegetable and a red or yellow vegetable at every meal. If I had followed her example, I wouldn’t be struggling with weight and blood sugar problems now!

      I have really enjoyed this conversation with you!

  5. Thank you !! I love to cook, and to eat, and really enjoy understanding the differences in people’s diets, and why one thing works for one person, but not for another. And – WOW – for your mother! What a story!! That’s the way my mother taught me to eat, too. I taught my son to eat that way, too, but he fell “off the wagon”, so to speak, and is very overweight. At 50, he is struggling with a lot of physical problems. But he lives 2200 miles away, so I’m not privy to the day-to-day problems that he goes through – just the big stuff.

    • That’s so sad about your son. I hope he can get a handle on his physical problems. It must be tough for a mother to watch that happen. I know firsthand that it is very difficult for him.

      I just took a look at your blog. GORGEOUS photos! Love that fence… the grasses look surreal. Also LOVED your food photos–especially the Israeli couscous.

      Is that a LazyDaze? I used to think I MUST have one, but our budget dictated we find something else… and we dearly love our little Casita. But if I ever won the lottery, a LazyDaze might be in our future! 🙂

  6. I just brought some country ham in sealed packet…thought I’d use for ham and beans…its salty? Anything with cheese I vote…

    • Yes, very salty, Carla. Too salty to eat without boiling it and draining it. But after you do that, it’s delicious!

      I love cheese too much! 😀

      • Darn…back to the store me. It looked good in the pkg.

        • If you put a small amount in beans and don’t add extra salt, it might work out okay.

          I love that country ham in greens, especially collards. But I think that is a southern thing! 🙂

  7. There are some pictures of a cute little fox that comes around some of the time, if you scroll back aways. I love to take pictures – mostly of food and animals! Yes, that is a Lazy Daze. It is our second one. We love the brand.

    • I saw that little fox! So adorable!

      I used to lurk at the Lazy Daze forums for a while. Love Andy Baird’s RV tips on his web page. I’ve copied a few of them!

      • I was his RV mentor. Small world!

        • You’re kidding! I read every page of his blog starting with when he got Gertie and on to Skylark. Haven’t been there since his Dad died and he had to go home to take care of things. Now that I’m thinking of it, I’ll go catch up!

          • He got Gertie from us. He tells the story at his site. We had her for ten years, but he really improved her a lot. Yes, do go and look. He’s put up a lot of interesting and diverse information.

            • I read about when he got Gertie, but had no idea I would ever run into the person he bought her from! From what I read, she was in good hands with her third owner, too! 🙂

  8. The food all looks so good and the muffins and the little bread loaf will have to be tried.
    Thank you for the recipes

    • I love taking pictures of food, and I get so tickled when other people enjoy them! Thanks, Jo!

  9. Interestingly, I have been reading your blog for some time (bean story = hahahaha), and particularly enjoyed the story about your sister’s van improvements. I scrolled back a bit to see your older posts, and your food looks quite lovely. More reading to come . . . after I do the dishes.

    • I scrolled through yours and enjoyed it, too! I missed the presents the little fox left you the first time. 🙂

      Yes, the beans… I still laugh when I remember that!

      I was just looking through my plans for my someday, maybe van, and was just headed to Craigslist to see if they are giving away any nice vans free tonight. 😀

  10. Thanks for both recipes…I will try them both!! I have enjoyed following the conversation between you and Judilyn. Mike and I have always loved the Lazy Daze but never located one close enough to us to even consider. Small world!!!

    • Gerri, wasn’t that interesting? That conversation is just one of the serendipitous things that happen now and then. It’s like receiving an unexpected gift! 🙂

  11. Old Guy

     /  January 24, 2014

    Hello,,Low Carb Mac & Cheese looks Good…My wife makes what looks and has the texture of Mashed Potatoes using Cauliflower..They are creamy and good…Look at Low Carb Lindas desserts…She has a 3 minute chocolate cake that is Good, if you like Chocolate..My wife has been tweaking it for us..If your Microwave is really strong then cook it a little less than the directions tell you to…Like you stated in an earlier reply some of us see improved Health eating Low Carb..Thanks for sharing..Old Guy

    • Hi, Old Guy. I posted my versions of the mashed cauliflower and 3 minute chocolate cake a few days ago. I think they are both superb! 🙂

      And I love Linda’s Low Carb recipes.

  12. I just wanted you to know I found Andy Baird’s blog and have truly enjoyed reading his post. What a great read!!!! Thanks!!!

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