Gotta keep this post short and sweet. Finals are underway! I cannot always respond to comments on old posts due to time constraints as of late, so please email me with your recipe questions on older posts. I love hearing from you, and am happy to address any of your recipe “issues”!
Now let’s talk about this pie. I know what you’re thinking–MORE chocolate? More chocolate pie?! Now hold on a minute. This is magical, no bake crustless chocolate pie! Instant gratification. Listening now?
It’s low carb, sugar-free, and gluten-free as usual. It was inspired by a happy turn of events–I found some ricotta cheese on sale for $1.50 at Kroger, and grabbed the three containers left. No, it’s not organic (and it’s LOW FAT, ick!) but a girl on a college budget has to work with what’s available. The ingredients read “whey, sea salt” so I feel pretty good about that. Ricotta cheese is low carb and packed with protein. It does not have the tang and gummy mouthfeel of cream cheese, which I really appreciate. Whole Foods sells a delicious RBGH-free brand of ricotta called Calabro, so pick that up if you can find it. I remember it being more wet than most types of ricotta, so cut back on the heavy cream by two tablespoons if you use Calabro.
And the photos… honestly, I’m almost embarrassed to post these. With the limited resources in my dorm room in terms of serving dishes and decor, these will have to do! I still haven’t bought a new grater since my baking supplies were stolen, so you’ll just have to imagine this pie topped with chocolate shavings. The rich, cool chocolate with a smooth and fudgy texture will win you over if these photos don’t! I mean, just look at that fluffy organic cream topping (a.k.a. nourishing saturated fat!).
Blend, chill, eat. Be healthy. This takes all of 10 minutes to throw together and consume. It’s downright dangerous. Dessert doesn’t get more simple that!
Quick n’ Dirty Chocolate Pie
2-4 tablespoons organic heavy cream
1/3-1/2 cup erythritol, powdered, OR 3 tablespoons honey
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon good tasting pure stevia extract
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Powder erythritol (if using) in coffee grinder or Magic Bullet. Add heavy cream, honey (or erythritol), salt, ricotta, stevia, and vanilla to food processor. Blend for a couple minutes, until perfectly smooth. No lumps! Melt unsweetened chocolate on HIGH in microwave for 40 seconds. Stir, and melt chocolate in 15 second intervals until liquefied. Scrape chocolate into food processor and blend until thoroughly incorporated, with no streaks of chocolate visible. Taste filling, and add more stevia if necessary. Spread filling into a pie plate lined with plastic wrap. Chill until firm. Remove from pie plate using plastic wrap, and invert onto a flat surface. Invert again on to serving platter. Top with stevia-sweetened fresh whipped cream (3/4 cup), piped from a zip top bag with the corner cut. Grate 85% cacao chocolate over whipped cream if desired.
Update: I got the coconut flour I ordered and can make some wraps and brownies! Tropical Traditions shipped my order lightning fast and I got it in two days. They are a wonderful company if you’re looking to order coconut products online.
It’s a toasty 92 degrees outside in southwest Florida, so I’m not in the mood to heat up the kitchen. Been digging cold foods lately. To fulfill this need, I bring you Tyler Florence’s Cold Sesame Noodles, with a few tweaks to make it low carb and gluten-free, of course. It incorporates my obsession with peanut butter into a savory dish, and is a delicious way to get in your daily veggies. So what if you’re impatient like I am, and just can’t wait for whatever you’re cooking to cool down because it smells ridiculously good? Fear not my impulsive friend, because these flavorful noodles are amazing served hot as well. I enjoy them most after they’ve been chilling in the fridge, though. Gotta give time for the flavors to meld, baby!
To make over this dish, we gotta ditch the sugar and standard noodle varieties, which pack a carby punch. This feat is simpler than it sounds! If you can find shirataki noodles in your area, they’re nothing short of miraculous. They contain only 2 grams net carbs per 8 ounce package if you can believe it! The only caveat is their chewiness, which I don’t mind, but a couple of my pasta-loving testers called out. I guess when you haven’t had noodles in a year, you take what you can get! Another note about this recipe is that it makes a ton of the peanut dressing, so I reserved about one third of it for later use. This sweet and spicy sauce would be delicious with some chicken or a crisp salad. It’s seriously good enough to drink.
Another option if you prefer to abstain from processed soy food products is julienned zucchini. Sounds weird and looks disconcertingly green, but it’s actually refreshing, with no funky cooked zucchini taste. Try it! If you want to go this route, you need to find a mandoline slicer at a closeout store to save a half hour of prep and keeps the tips of your fingers intact. Once you get started julienning, you might become addicted. Shredding stuff is fun. Go crazy with it, you fibrous-veggie loving health nut!
Cold Sesame Noodles
Adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence
Makes 4 servings
2-8 oz packages of shirataki noodles, or 4 cups organic zucchini, julienned
1 organic carrot, julienned (optional)
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons unrefined peanut nut oil (any neutral-tasting cooking oil is fine)
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced (or 1 dried ginger)
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon chili flakes
2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (I used 2 tablespoons erythritol and a pinch of stevia)
1/2 cup creamy all natural peanut butter
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons wheat-free tamari or soy sauce
6 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Cucumber, julienned, for garnish
Peanuts, chopped, for garnish
Green onion, for garnish
If you are using shirataki noodles, empty out both packages into a colander. Rinse for 1-2 minutes, until there is no lingering fishy smell. Line colander in paper towel and mix a few big pinches of sea salt in with the noodles, stirring them around to coat. Drain for 30 minutes. Rinse again and dry well. Heat sesame oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir noodles around skillet for a couple of minutes, until they start to release some moisture. Transfer noodles to a plate or a bowl.
If you are using zucchini, use mandoline slicer to julienne into long thin strips. You can cut out the core of the zucchini first if you don’t want seeds in your zucchini noodles. Salt zucchini liberally, then transfer to a paper towel-lined colander. Let sit for 30 minutes to draw some of the moisture from it. Rinse well and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat sesame oil in skillet over medium low heat. Add zucchini and carrots to skillet and stir it all around for 1-2 minutes, until heated through and a bit more tender. Just barely cook the veggies. You don’t want them soft and mushy! Transfer to a plate or bowl.
Mince up ginger, green onions, and garlic cloves. Whisk sweeteners, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, and hot water together until sweeteners are dissolved and a smooth sauce is formed. In a skillet, heat the macadamia nut oil over medium-low heat. Add the minced mixture along with the red pepper flakes and cook for 3 minutes, or until fragrant and softened. Add peanut sauce to skillet and cook for one minute. Add noodles or zucchini to pan, and remove pan from the heat. Stir well to coat, adding half the sesame seeds if desired. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for later use. Garnish with the rest of the sesame seeds, julienned cucumber, red pepper flakes, and chopped peanuts if desired.
Using 2/3 of the sauce—
With shirataki- 5.5g net carbs each for 4 servings
With zucchini- 7g net carbs for 4 servings
Using all of the sauce—
With shiritaki- 9g net carbs each for 4 servings
With zucchini- 10g net carbs each for 4 servings
A peanut buttery main course must be followed up with an equally peanut buttery dessert. Any Ohio State fans out there? I never realized that Buckeyes were associated with anything other than Christmas until Google enlightened me. Whatever these addictive candies mean to you, they rock, with a smooth and sweet peanut butter filling coated in rich chocolate. To replace the copious amounts of powdered sugar in the traditional recipe, I used a couple of surprising ingredients–ricotta cheese and coconut flour. I promise they don’t taste like cheese or coconuts. They’re basically a party in your mouth. Make a small batch if you like PB as much as I do!
**Updated recipe for Buckeyes HERE!**
After making many batches of my ice cream bars, I got sick of the peanut butter flavor and wanted something more creamy and spoonable for my fix. More traditional. Ice cream is still my first love in terms of treats. Nothing can replace the milky cold sweetness of it, and during summer time the feelings of longing are the strongest. Fortunately, I can’t remember the last time I caved to the craving and stopped at a DQ for a blizzard. And if you have this quick and dirty ice cream sitting in your freezer, you won’t have to think twice about it. It’s thick and creamy, just like you remember. And the best part? No fancy machinery required!
This sugar-free, all natural ice cream made with luxuriously thick ricotta cheese will give you 50% of your RDA of calcium per half cup serving, and contains 4 measly carbs. Use your favorite minimally processed cocoa powder for an antioxidant boost. I’ll admit to using Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa for that Wendy’s frosty chocolate flavoring, but the non-Dutched stuff is best for the preservation of nutrients.
Healthy Chocolate Ice Cream
Makes two servings
1 cup ricotta cheese (part skim or whole milk)
1 fresh organic egg yolk (Egg Beaters if you’re afraid of salmonella)
Tiny splash of pure vanilla extract
Sweeteners, to taste
For ALL NATURAL sugar-free sweetening:
-2-3 tablespoons erythritol (get it here and here) or xylitol
-Pure stevia extract (NuNaturals is the best!)
Pinch of xanthan/guar gum (optional, for a creamier texture)
Jamocha Almond Flavoring:
2-3 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
85% cacao chocolate, grated
Mint Chocolate Chip Variation:
a few drops of pure peppermint extract
85% cacao chocolate, grated
Blend ricotta, egg yolk, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, sweeteners, xanthan gum, and other flavorings together in a blender or food processor until totally smooth. Stir in nuts and chocolate shavings if desired. Pour into plastic tub with a lid and freeze for an hour, stirring well every 20 minutes to break up the ice so it freezes properly. Serve as soon as it’s frozen enough to be scoopable. If you decide not to eat it immediately, let it sit out for 10 minutes when you remove it from the freezer before serving.
~5g net carbs per serving!
Hard Shell Topping
Makes two servings
1 square Lindt 85% cacao bar (I’m loving Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie lately)
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil or non-hydrogenated palm shortening
1/2 teaspoon heavy cream or coconut milk
sweeteners, to taste (I use NuNaturals stevia)
Nuke chocolate and coconut oil together, stirring at 20 seconds intervals until smooth. Stir in cream and sweeteners, tasting and adjusting if necessary.
Give it a try! If you have a flavor idea, let me know about it and we can work on re-creating it.