Homemade Ketchup (LC, SF, GF)

LC = low-carb   SF=sugar-free   GF=gluten-free


  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste with garlic
  • 1/2 cup Monin unflavored sweetener syrup
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 min.
  3. Stir often.
  4. Remove from heat and cover until cool.
  5. Keep in a covered container in fridge.
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Barbeque Sauce (Carolina Style) Low-Carb/Sugar-Free/Gluten-Free

Adapted from a recipe by Bobby Flay



1/4 cup of butter

1/4 cup of onions, very finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup low-carb ketchup (homemade or the commercial kind)
1 cup of chopped tomatoes ( I used fresh tomatoes from our garden, but you can use canned if you don’t have fresh – juice, seeds and all)
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2/3 cup Dijon mustard
2/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped
1/4 cup brown ideal bulk sweetener or other brown sugar substitute
2 tablespoons xylitol honey (it’s what I had but any kind of sugar-free syrup would probably do)
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste



Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Add the onions and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the ketchup and water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool for about 5 minutes.
Carefully transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, then pour into a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature. Sauce will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator, stored in a tightly sealed container.

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Low-Carb Fry Bread (Quesadilla Bread)

The whole family loves these, even though I’m the only low carber, so I don’t tend to bother making the “real” ones anymore! My little girl especially, goes absolutely crazy when I make those! She loves, loves, loves them, both with taco meat, cheese etc. on it, or the cinnamon “sugar” mix!



2  1/4 cups of  Basic Low-Carb Bake Mix

2 .5 tbsp. golden flax meal (golden flax seeds ground)

1 tbsp. butter, softened

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/4  tsp. Salt

1 cup +2-3 tbsp. of room temperature water


Oil for frying (I use organic palm shortening)


Add all dry ingredients to a mixer (or your bread machine on the dough cycle.) Add 1 cup + 1 tbsp of water  and the butter and let it come together. The dough should be quite wet initially but it will loose it’s initial stickiness shortly. If it seem too dry, add some more water, 1 tbsp. at the time and let the dough combine thoroughly between each addition.

Let it knead for about 10 minutes. The dough should feel much like regular dough, elastic and soft, but not sticky. When you take a little ball of it, you should be able to flatten it with your fingers on the work surface  and it should stick enough so you can flatten it , but not so much that you can’t easily peel it off again without any residue left behind.

Once you have that, divide the dough into about 16 little balls. I like my fry bread the size of a small corn tortilla, rather than the huge plate full, so I usually get around 16-18 out of this.

Roll out, or flatten evenly with your hands, about 4-5 of them. As thin as you can. Make a small hole in the middle of each. Just enough to break it. This will prevent the fry bread from puffing up too much and “messing” with the texture. See below Smile But if it does blow itself up, don’t worry, it will deflate again and the bread still tastes good. You just have to watch the thinner side more as it can turn from golden to burnt a lot faster!

Heat your oil. Take a tiny little test ball of dough and drop it in the hot oil, if it comes right back up and the oil is bubbling around it, you are ready to start frying your bread.

Carefully lower in one fry bread at the time. Fry on one side until a dark golden brown, then with metal tongs flip the bread and briefly fry on the other side.

Have several layers of kitchen towels ready. Remove the bread from the oil, let the excess drip off, then place on the kitchen towels, which will absorb the rest of the excess oil.


I find that the low-carb dough absorbs a tad more of the oil, so I tend to blot the oil off the finished bread too, applying a little bit of pressure.

Keep the finished fry breads warm in an oven until they are all done.


Serve with taco fixings or enjoy with a cinnamon “sugar” mix.


The favorite combo in our house is :


1 tbsp. ideal bulk sweetener

1 tbsp. powdered erythritol

1.5 tsp. Sugar Not

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon


I mix it in a bowl and the kids like to sprinkle it all over their warm fry bread.

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Basic Low-Carb Bake Mix

1 1/4 cups carbalose
1/2 + 1/8 cup wheat protein isolate 5000
2.5 Tbsp. wheat protein isolate 8000
3.75 Tbsp. almond flour
3 Tbsp. resistant maize starch or resistant wheat starch
3 Tbsp. oat fiber
1/2 tsp. acacia gum
2 tsp. gluten-free cake enhancer

Sift everything together or add everything to a bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk.

Proceed with recipe as stated, or keep in a ziplock bag or covered container.

Makes 2 1/4 cups.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Since a lot of my recipes involve the above quantity of bake mix, I usually measure out several batches all at once into zip lock bags. Since I already have all the ingredients out, it makes sense to make the effort count for several recipes

You could also quadruple the recipe and mix it in a container and then shake it up every time you use it to ensure it’s all mixed well!

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Low-Carb Mascarpone Icing

Low-Carb Mascarpone Icing:

  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1⁄4 cups Ideal bulk sweetener (not the packages)
  • 2 tbsp. Erythritol, powdered
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest  OR 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (or other flavoring of choice)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar free syrup of choice
  • 1/4 tsp. Glucomanan
  • 5 oz.  mascarpone or low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature


    With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sweeteners until light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon zest/vanilla. Slowly sprinkle in the glucomanan (it’s more like dusting it in while the mixer is running, so no lumps form!) Then add mascarpone  and beat until blended.
    You can frost with this straight away. The frosting will harden in the refrigerator some, but it holds up well at room temperature.

    If you like your icing sweeter, add another tablespoon of erythritol!

    The icing in the photo is at room temp, never chilled.



    For the homemade Mascarpone recipe click here.

    For the low-carb, gluten-free cupcake recipe, click here.

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    Homemade Mascarpone

    I often have trouble finding mascarpone cheese and when I do it is usually outrageously expensive around here, so a few years ago I started making my own! And the taste of the homemade stuff is even better than the store bought stuff and you know exactly what went into it too!


    Recently it has been becoming more and more difficult around here to source pasteurized heavy whipping cream, so I am giving you other alternatives too.  The method is always the same Smile

    There will always be people that insist that ultra pasteurized cream won’t work. It does, however it has to be at or above 36%. I find that UP cream can however impart a slightly “wrong” taste, which is why I don’t make recipes with all UP cream, even at the 36% butterfat.



    So, first of all the original recipe I have used for years:


    Homemade Mascarpone

    • ¼ teaspoons Tartaric Acid (available In Health Food Stores, usually in the wine making section) – could also use 2 tbsp FRESH lemon or lime juice
    • 1 quart Pasteurized Heavy Cream (not ULTRA Pasteurized, unless you can find the UP heavy cream 36%*)


    You will also need:

    Cooking thermometer
    Several sheets of cheese cloth



    Heat cream in a heavy saucepan to 180 degrees F over medium-high heat, being careful that it does not scorch.

    If you’re unsure about this step, you can make a double boiler by placing an oven proof glass bowl on top of a larger pan with water, so that the bowl touches the surface of the water. Boil the water and heat the cream that way. You won’t scorch the cream in a double boiler!

    Remove from heat as soon as it comes up to temperature and stir in the tartaric acid. Continue stirring for 1-2 minutes. Transfer the mix to a glass or plastic container and refrigerate for several hours.

    At this point, it should have thickened quite a bit. Set a sieve over a bowl and line it with a triple thickness of cheesecloth or coffee filters and pour in the mascarpone. Fold the excess cheese cloth over the top of your set cream.

    Set it in the bottom shelf of your refrigerator and let it drain for another 10 hours.

    Remove to a covered container and store in the refrigerator.

    Use within one week.


    Other combinations to use, depending on what you can get pasteurized and what is cheaper:

    1 quart  of pasteurized cream (you can use light cream, as long as it is above 25% butterfat) – will have less yield, but does work!


    A combination of :

    16 fl oz of pasteurized half and half

    16 fl oz of pasteurized heavy cream OR 16 flo oz of 36% ultra pasteurized heavy cream

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    "Granola" Sticky Bars


    Makes four 4"x2" bars or eight 4”x1”.

    1/3 cup of ideal bulk sweetener
    2  tbsp heavy cream
    1 tbsp coconut oil or palm shortening
    1/8 tsp cinnamon (or other flavorings/spices)
    1.5 cup of assorted chopped nuts and seeds of choice (and/or chopped dried fruit etc)

    1/2 tsp lecithin
    3 tbsp vanilla whey powder ( I use the Nectar Vanilla Bean Torte Protein Powder)


    In a non stick frying pan set on hot (you need to react quickly in this, so seeing exactly what’s going on is important – hence a frying pan rather than a saucepan!) sprinkle the ideal sweetener and let it sit for a minute, then add heavy cream and coconut oil. Stir and incorporate well. Then add cinnamon/flavor drops , and incorporate well too.

    Never stop stirring this! Let it come to a bubbling point. When it’s all bubbling, add the chopped nuts and now you just need to keep on stirring and incorporating again, within another minute or so, you well get a really nice toasted/caramelized nut aroma.

    Add the lecithin and stir in. 

    Now sprinkle on the protein powder and be ready to stir it all in very quickly. It will all tighten up like it does with caramelizing sugar.

    Cook for maybe 1 minute at most. From this point on, NEVER stop stirring for even a second. It can burn really quickly! Your nuts should now look pretty much like you would expect from a honey caramel coating. A little glossy and very sticky.

    If it’s too soupy , add more nuts. If it seems dry and not coating everything in a sticky "mess", add a tiny bit more heavy cream. VERY little though … it goes a long way!

    Take it off the heat and pour into a small casserole dish or greased loaf pan. Grease the back of a measuring cup and press your nut mix down evenly.

    Let it cool completely. Cut into 4 – 8  bars (I find 4" x 1" more than enough as a portion!) and let them sit, loosely covered on the counter for 2 or so hours. Drying them a little seems to help the "holding together" process and it makes them less sticky on the outside!  Then wrap individual bars in wax paper or plastic wrap.

    They seem to hold together pretty well, even though they are a little more "droopy" than a regular granola bar.

    They are however chewy and portable and that was the goal Smile


    Posted in Recipe, gluten free, low carb | 2 Comments

    Spicy Coconut Shrimp Shirataki

    If you’ve ever tried the “Miracle Noodles”, you may know that they are a little bit of  an acquired taste!

    They are touted as a miracle pasta replacement with no calories and since they are all fiber, they fill you up and keep you happy! Well, yes and no.

    Personally I have found that they are NOT a universal pasta replacement. Putting them together with anything Italian just doesn’t taste right, so the notion of spaghetti carbonara, or spaghetti bolognaise and all that … not so much. In fact the taste and texture in that combination is downright disturbing . At least for me. If you like them that way, more power to you!


    I have however found that they can be VERY tasty in certain dishes. They tend to be Thai, Japanese and Chinese dishes and all of a sudden the noodles don’t seem misplaced, but just right – like it should be!

    Then they taste more akin to rice noodles and they just work!

    One of my favorite recipes to use the Shirataki Noodles, is the Spicy Coconut Shrimp Shirataki!

    Spicy Coconut Shrimp Shirataki

    Printable Recipe

    Serves 4

    2 tablespoon coconut oil
    1/4 cup very finely sliced onion (or less)
    1 tablespoon minced garlic (optional)
    2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
    1.5 tablespoons coriander
    1/2 teaspoon cumin
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne
    1/8 teaspoon dried turmeric ( I usually have the whole root frozen and just grate about  1 teaspoon in with my rasp)
    1 cup canned chopped tomatoes, drained
    2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
    1/2 cup water
    3/4 teaspoon sea salt
    1 1/2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
    3/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
    Juice of 1/2 lime

    Shirataki noodles **/rice

    Heat oil in large skillet on med-high heat. Add onions and stir cook for a couple of minutes, then add garlic and ginger, cook 2 minutes.
    Add the spices and tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes, then add coconut milk, water and salt.
    Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
    Add shrimp, simmer, stirring for 5 minutes. The shrimp should all be pink and cooked. Last, stir in cilantro and lime juice.

    Either serve over shirataki noodles, or add the noodles/rice to the pan, let it heat through for a minute and serve. I prefer to add the noodles to the sauce and give it a couple of minutes to absorb the flavors, so I serve my husband’s over basmati rice and then add my Shirataki Noodles to the pan!


    ** A note on the preparation of the Shirataki noodles. They can smell a little “fishy” when they first come out of the package. Rinse them thoroughly through a sieve or colander with running cold water. Then I like to empty them onto some folded kitchen towels to dry them off a bit. Just spread them out on the towel and pat them dry. Leave them on there while you cook the rest of the meal. They won’t be fishy anymore and they will absorb the taste of the sauce much better in their somewhat dryer state!

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    Basic Yellow Cake / Cake Waffles (low-carb and gluten free)

    My friend Didi  came up with a low-carb cake recipe that changed our low carb worlds back then (2002 I think Smile)

    The recipe has since evolved a little since I can’t help myself tweaking here and there, but it is still my favorite basic yellow cake recipe – and most of all, my favorite waffle recipe!



    • 1 cup Butter, Softened
    • 1 cup Splenda/Sugar substitute
    • 5 whole Eggs
    • 3 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
    • ¼ teaspoons Vanilla Extract (1/2 Tsp. If You Use Unflavored Whey Powder)
    • 2 cups Almond Flour
    • ⅓ cups Vanilla Whey Protein Powder *
    • 1 teaspoon Guar Gum (Can Be Omitted For Cake Version) **
    • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
    • 1 pinch Salt


    Preparation Instructions

    Preheat waffle iron.

    Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at the time while you continue to mix the batter. Beat in the cream cheese and vanilla extract.

    In a separate bowl, mix the almond flour, protein powder, guar gum, salt and baking powder with a whisk to work out any lumps. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and incorporate well.

    Depending on the size of your waffle iron, use about 1/4 cup of batter for each waffle and bake until done.

    Incidentally, they freeze well. I tend to make a double batch, lay them out on a cookie sheet, freeze them and then put them in zip lock baggies. Just pop two in the toaster for a yummy and nutritious breakfast/treat.

    Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at the time while you continue to mix the batter. Beat in the cream cheese and vanilla extract.

    In a separate bowl, mix the almond flour, protein powder, guar gum, salt and baking powder with a whisk to work out any lumps. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and incorporate well.

    Use a buttered 8×8 or equivalent pan to bake the cake.
    Bake for about 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven.
    The cake is done when it’s golden brown on top and a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.


    * Note that not all protein powders are created equal. Some bake better than others. Back in 2002 there weren’t many that produced a good baked result (think Styrofoam, rather than cake Surprised smile) but these days you will get a pretty good result with a lot more! Try what you have on hand and go from there!

    For years I used the EAS vanilla Whey protein powder and unflavored whey protein isolate with really good results. Now I use the Nectar Vanilla Bean Torte Whey Powder and the Jay Robb unflavored whey powder – both with excellent results!

    ** Xanthan Gum also works.

    *** Use unblanched almond flour for extra fiber.

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    Quesadillas (with leftover meat)

    This is my stand by recipe for quesadilla sauce and it only needed minor altering to accommodate low carbing. I love that this is a meal that the whole family is happy with!
    I also love to make the filling in a pan without the tortilla and just add shredded zucchini for a quick dinner for myself
    The sauce has something like 1g carb for the lot, so it’s a guiltless pleasure
    Just count the carbs of whatever tortilla if you’re using one!

    The sauce tastes very close to the Taco Bell Quesadilla sauce, but I like this one better!
    Makes great tasting quesadillas out of left over chicken, steak and roast! The sauce also tastes very good as a warm or cold dip.


    ¼ cups Mayonnaise
    1 teaspoon Sliced Jalapenos, Minced (the Kind You Get In The Jars)
    2 teaspoons Jalapeno Juice (from Your Sliced Jalapenos)
    ½ teaspoons Paprika
    ½ teaspoons Ground Cumin
    1 pinch Salt
    ⅛ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper (optional)
    ½ teaspoons worth of sugar substitute (1 drop of liquid stevia does it for me)
    1 pinch Onion Powder

    4 low carb Tortillas
    2 cups Shredded Mixed Mexican Blend Cheese
    1 cup Cooked Chopped Chicken, Or Steak, Or Other Left-over Meat

    Preparation Instructions:

    Combine the first 9 ingredients and stir until smooth. I usually don’t bother mincing the Jalapenos and just blend everything in the small cup of the personal blender.

    To make Quesadillas:

    Preheat skillet over medium heat. Lay tortilla into hot skillet and sprinkle half a side with about 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Add 1/4 cup chopped meat/chicken.
    Spread about 1 Tablespoon of the sauce on the empty side of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla side that has the sauce on over the cheese and meat side.
    Cook until the cheese gets melty. Carefully turn with a spatula and cook the other side for about a minute or so, just to crisp the tortilla up a little.
    Cut into 4 wedges and enjoy. Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas.

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