“I prefer Hostess fruit pies to pop-up toaster tarts because they don’t require as much cooking.”
Lemon Icebox Pie
My mother used to make a lemon icebox pie that had just three ingredients plus a graham cracker crust: sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and egg yolks. It seemed like magic when the acid in the lemon juice made the egg yolks set up. Here’s my super-easy version for the time-challenged. You don’t even have to measure anything, just open the containers and combine. You can leave out the lemon zest if that’s too much cooking for you!
16 ounces (two 8-ounce tubs) whipped cream cheese
8 ounces (one 8-ounce container) plain yogurt, Greek style with live cultures preferred
3 packets of Crystal Light® On the Go powdered lemonade mix or the amount of any sugar-free lemonade mix to make 6 cups
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, optional
Beat all ingredients together. Pour into cooled Almond Pie Crust (recipe follows). Refrigerate until set. Top with sugar-free Whipped
Cream if desired.
Per serving (filling only):
Total Carb: 2.6g
Net Carb: 2.6g*
*Count excludes 8 grams of sugar that have been eaten by the bacteria in the yogurt.
Almond Pie Crust
1 cup finely chopped almonds
2 packets or 4 teaspoons granular Splenda®
2 tablespoons butter, melted
– A few grains of salt
2 tablespoons of egg white, beaten with a fork
Preheat oven to 350°.
Stir all ingredients together and press into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until browned. Let cool.
Total Carb: 1.2g
Net Carb: 0.6g
It is nearly impossible to buy sausage that does not have sugar, MSG, preservatives, and fillers, but it takes only a minute or two to season plain ground pork to make your own fresh sausage. Cook it immediately, or place patties in a single layer, separated with plastic wrap or waxed paper, and freeze.
1 pound of fresh ground pork
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of rubbed sage
¼ teaspoon of dried summer savory (optional)
½ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper or to taste
Mix together well. Shape into patties. Heat 2 tablespoons of water in a skillet on low and add sausage patties. Cover and cook for five minutes. Remove cover and raise heat to medium. Cook until well browned, then turn and brown other side. Pour off fat as it accumulates and press sausage down with a spatula to insure even browning. Total cooking time will be about 15 minutes.
Note: Don’t use lean pork. Pork with a high fat content makes breakfast sausage that is juicy and flavorful.
Country Style Peas
Peas, lettuce, and onions are a classic French combination. (Julia Child insisted that her version should be a separate course, served with chilled white wine, and eaten with a spoon.) My recipe is far from traditional, but it has become a family favorite. The edible pod peas contribute fresh pea flavor, but with added crunch and less sugar.
2 tablespoons of butter
8 ounces of fresh sugar snap peas
2 cups of thinly sliced, white onion (about 6 ounces)
3 cups of thinly sliced, iceberg lettuce (about 1/3 of a 6-inch head)
½ teaspoon of salt
A dash of pepper
Wash the sugar snap peas. Break off the ends and remove any strings. Cut the pea pods into ½–inch lengths. Melt the butter in a skillet over low heat. Add the peas and onions to the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. Sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the lettuce, salt, and pepper and continue to cook and stir for about 2 minutes more, or until tender but still crisp. Serve at once.
Servings: 4 to 6
Per Each of 4 Servings:
Total Carb: 8.16g
Net Carb: 5.4g
Recipes from Carb Wars; Sugar is the New Fat
Pan Seared Duck Breast
If you like duck as much as I do, you can have a supply of excellent cooking fat as a bonus with little extra effort. Just pour off and strain the rendered fat from the pan when roasting a whole duck or searing duck breasts in a skillet. Duck fat is often called “French butter” because it is the preferred fat for many uses in France. Store the duck fat, covered, in the refrigerator or freeze.
Score the skin on duck breasts in a diamond pattern, cutting through the skin but not into the meat. Season both sides of the duck breasts with salt. Place skin-side-down in a skillet, preheated on low to medium/low heat (300º to 325º F). Cook for about 10 minutes or until skin is starting to brown. Pour off the fat. Raise heat to medium/high (400º F) and cook for about 5 minutes more or until the skin is very deep brown and crisp and the fat is rendered, pouring off the fat as it accumulates. Turn breasts over, and cook for another minute for rare or slightly longer for medium-rare. Let stand for a few minutes to reabsorb the juices. Slice horizontally and serve hot. The meat should be red like a rare steak.
Note: Boneless, skin-on, duck breasts are available from Maple Leaf Farms (see Sources).
Note: My Orange Sauce (Carb Wars, p. 109) or Kumquats in Syrup (Carb Wars, p. 110) makes an excellent condiment to serve with the duck.
Berry Custard Cake
This dessert separates into a sponge cake layer on top and a custard layer underneath with a warm berry center. Fabulous!
1 cup of fresh strawberries or mixed raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries (or use frozen berries,
thawed and drained)
2 tablespoons of softened butter
½ cup granular Splenda®
2 eggs, separated
⅓ cup of buttermilk
¼ cup of heavy cream
¼ cup of water
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour, sifted
Sugar-free Whipped Cream for topping, optional
Preheat oven to 350º F. Have ready four 6-ounce ramekins, a roasting pan big enough to hold them, which has been lined with a folded cup towel, and a kettle of boiling water.
Put a few berries into each of the four 6-oz ramekins or bowls, reserving some for garnish. Set the ramekins aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add the Splenda® and cream the mixture until very light and well mixed. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat well with a whisk or an electric mixer. Beat in the buttermilk, cream, water, and the sifted flour. In a second bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites to stiff-peak stage. Fold ½ cup of the beaten whites into the batter to lighten. With a spatula, carefully fold in the rest of the whites until smooth. Line the baking pan with a folded cloth cup-towel so the bottoms of the dishes are not in direct contact with the pan. Place the ramekins in the baking pan and divide the batter equally among them. Carefully add boiling water to fill the pan halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the cakes are puffed and golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or cold garnished with the reserved berries and whipped cream.
Total Carb: 8.7g
Net Carb: 7.6g
For a velvety smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture, let them warm up to room temperature before serving.
4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons of heavy cream
½ cup of granular Splenda®
A few grains of salt
1 tablespoon of butter
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Cocoa powder, chopped nuts, or coconut for coating
Cut the chocolate into chunks and process in a food processor with the metal blade until finely chopped or grate by hand. Place the cream in a small saucepan and heat until it just starts to simmer. Remove from heat and add the Splenda®, salt, butter, and vanilla. Stir in the chocolate and beat by hand with a spatula or a wooden spoon until melted and smooth. Chill until firm enough to shape, about 1 hour.
Shape into 1-inch balls. To keep your hands from melting the chocolate mixture, dip them periodically in a bowl of ice water and dry them off as you work. Roll the truffles to coat in sifted cocoa powder, finely chopped nuts, or unsweetened coconut. Store in the refrigerator, but bring up to room temperature before serving.
Servings: about 24
Total Carb: 1.8g
Net Carb: 1.2g
These bloom out in the hot oil like a fan of crispy little chips. Serve them as a side dish in place of french fries.
One 14-ounce can of artichoke hearts or 6-8 fresh baby artichokes
(2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a bowl of water for fresh artichokes)
Oil for deep frying
To use fresh baby artichokes: Wash and cut off the stems from fresh baby artichokes. Cut off and discard the top third of each artichoke. Peel away the green outer leaves until only a yellow-colored cone remains. Trim the remaining leaves with kitchen shears to remove any tough tips or thorns. Drop the fresh artichokes in a bowl of water with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to prevent browning.
To use canned artichoke hearts: Trim away any tough stems, outer leaves, thorns, or tops.
Slice the artichoke hearts vertically into eight narrow wedges. The canned ones are usually available quartered so you only need one additional cut per piece. You want narrow wedges with the leaves intact. Drain and blot them between paper towels until they are as dry as possible, so they won’t splatter.
Heat the oil to 360º and fry the artichokes until brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot.
Total Carb: 6
Net Carb: 2