Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ironic Image of the Day

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

RECIPE: Low carb, dairy-free ice cream

One of my forum buddies (Tesser W.) has been forwarding dairy-free recipes to me since I gave up on the moo juice. She knows how much I love cheese, ice cream, yogurt, etc... Too bad it doesn't love me! When she sent me a recipe for non-dairy ice cream I was intrigued. I had tried coconut milk ice cream before at my friend Abi's (of fat bomb fame) and it was pretty good. Too bad neither of us remembered to bookmark the recipe and we couldn't seem to find where we had got it from. Tesser's email got me excited about trying coconut milk ice cream once again.

After trying a few recipes I came up with a version that works best for my taste buds and my Donvier Ice Cream Maker. For the original recipe inspirations, check here and here. My recipe is heavy on the egg yolk since I have a flock of egg layers in the back yard. I am also going to be very specific about what kind of coconut milk to use. There is a reason for this. I tried several brands and some will leave your ice cream with a "canned" aftertaste. You could make your own coconut milk, but my success rate at making it from scratch is not good enough for me to recommend that yet. If you are already making your own tasty coconut milk, feel free to use that instead. Now to the recipe...

Wifezilla's Low Carb Dairy-Free Ice Cream
(Ice cream maker required)

  • At least 2 days before making your ice cream, place the freezer insert for your ice cream maker in the freezer. I use a Donvier. Many Cuisinart ice cream makers also use a freezer insert. If you are using an electric ice cream maker or rock salt and ice style machine, follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • 1 can of Thai Kitchen full fat Premium Coconut milk or equivalent (should say first pressing. Also look for organic if you can get it. DO NOT GET STINGY WITH THE COCONUT MILK! Cheap coconut milk like Golden Star will leave an unpleasant aftertaste.)
  • 4 egg yolks 
  • 3 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup erythritol (or other sweetener of choice)
  • Add ins like dark chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut flakes, etc...
In a microwave safe bowl, heat the coconut milk until all the fat and liquid are soft and easy to blend. Whisk in the erythritol and stir until dissolved. In a separate bowl, whip together egg yolks. Add a tbsp or so of the warm coconut milk mixture and stir. Continue to slowly add the the warm coconut milk to the eggs while stirring. This will temper the eggs without cooking them. If you just dump the eggs in to the warm coconut milk, you will get coconut flavored scrambled eggs and that is not what we are going for!

Once coconut milk and eggs are fully blended, place mixture in the refrigerator to chill. When the coconut milk/egg mix is cold, pour in to your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer directions. As for the tasty add-ins, include those at about the half-way point. I like to let the ice cream start to set before I add the chocolate chips or coconut flakes so I can get a better idea of how much to add without over doing it.

Serve immediately. Texture will be slightly soft. You can place in the freezer to firm up some more, but this isn't a recipe that will keep well overnight. Unless you add some kind of alcohol, it will just freeze as hard as a rock. As I experiment with adding rum, vodka, etc... to keep it from freezing solid, I will report back. This could be a very entertaining summer!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Effects of a corn-based diet

Ohio Farm Girl, a blogger and homesteader friend of mine, posted an excellent piece on the effects of a corn-based diet.

"My gut bucket was overflowing with fat. Tons of fat. An enormous amount of fat. Fat everywhere. Fat covering all the organs. Fat lining the carcass. Fat, fat, fat and more fat....And the livers where huge." (more)

Sure, her example is based on chickens she recently butchered, but feeding on corn has a similar effect on humans. Obesity, visceral fat, liver damage...

Corn is used to fatten livestock for slaughter. It is uniquely able to pack on pounds and add that marbling you see on a good steak. On my crazier days I can't help but wonder if there is a hungry space alien holding a copy of "To Serve Man" directing Big Agra. Hungry alien or not, just take her advice and "For heavens sakes don't eat that"!

Monday, April 23, 2012

There is no such thing as American Kobe Beef

Kobe beef is a delicious. It is very expensive. It is trendy. And if you bought anything with the Kobe name attached to it in America, it's fake.

"You cannot buy Japanese Kobe beef in this country. Not in stores, not by mail, and certainly not in restaurants. No matter how much you have spent, how fancy a steakhouse you went to, or which of the many celebrity chefs who regularly feature “Kobe beef” on their menus you believed, you were duped. I’m really sorry to have to be the one telling you this, but no matter how much you would like to believe you have tasted it, if it wasn’t in Asia you almost certainly have never had Japan’s famous Kobe beef." (more)

Check out the 3 part series on Forbes about how markets are tricking you out of your hard earned money by cashing in on the Kobe name.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wifezilla's Low Carb Faux-Gum-Baux

I had a craving for some kind of gumbo the other night. The thing is, Colorado isn't exactly known for its gumbo. Maybe you can find some good Cajun food in Denver or Boulder, but Fountain Valley isn't your go-to location if you are hankering for a taste of "Nawlins".

Then there is the problem of carb content. Regular gumbo starts with a thick flour roux, and some of the more popular recipes online even include sugar. You are also supposed to serve it over rice, another low carber's no-no.

"Proper" ingredients are an issue here in the cultural backwater that is Security, CO. Unless you are willing to drive to Whole Paycheck (aka Whole Foods) in Colorado Springs and blow an hour out of your day (along with most of your grocery money), you aren't going to be able to get andouille sausage or file powder. Old Bay Seasoning is about as exotic as it gets around here.

I figured surely there has to be a way to satisfy my gumbo craving with easy to obtain ingredients and without all the carbage. The following is what I came up with and my gumbo craving has now been totally tamed. In many ways this isn't a true gumbo. You will not find ocra in anything I cook because....eww. Just eww. The color is lighter than a true gumbo and it also isn't as thick. But it does have that yummy sausage, seafood and pepper flavor. To me, that is the most important part anyway.

Wifezilla's Low Carb Faux-Gum-Baux

  • 1 lb pork sausage (if you can get smoked, even better)
  • 3/4 pound medium shrimp
  • 1 lb frozen cauliflower
  • 2 sweet onions - chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted red (or green) pepper - chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery - chopped
  • 1 can baby clams (including liquid)
  • 7 oz can of green chili
  • 6 egg yolks (for thickening)
  • 1 cup chopped greens (spinach, kale, baby bok choy, etc...)
  • 1/8 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • Salt, Pepper, and Old Bay Seasoning to taste
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup quinoa (optional)
  1. In large soup pot, brown sausage. Drain browned sausage and place aside, leaving any grease in the pot.
  2. Add chopped onions to the sausage grease and cook until caramelized. Stir in celery and peppers to the cooked onions.
  3. Add 2 quarts of water to the pot and add back in sausage.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients except for the shrimp and seasonings.
  5. Temper egg yolks using hot stock then add to the soup pot.
  6. If using the quinoa, add now.
  7. When the cauliflower and quinoa are fully cooked and all flavors are blended, add shrimp. Be careful not to overcook. Add salt, pepper and Old Bay Seasoning (or some ground cloves and mace) to taste.
  8. Serve as soon as shrimp is thoroughly pink.
If you decide you want it more traditional, add some ocra (ew!) and serve over some cooked quinoa instead of adding it to the stock. Quinoa is lower in carbs and higher in protein than rice, but it is still pretty carby. Use sparingly.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ask Wifezilla: Cabbage Noodles Too Crunchy

Question: When you use cabbage in the place of noodles.. like in lasagna or a casserole, do you cook them first? I made a casserole type dish last night and just threw everything on top of rough chopped green cabbage and baked it at 350 for about half an hour (the chicken sausage I was using was fully cooked) and it was really tasty, but the cabbage stayed pretty crunchy. Should I try boiling it first next time?

Answer: You might want to soften the shredded cabbage a bit by frying it in butter for a short time. Cook until it has softened...don't let it get totally soft though. Otherwise the cabbage will get mushy when you bake it.

Ask Wifezilla includes direct questions to me or questioned I have answered in groups or forums. To ask a specific question, send your inquiry to wifezilla at gmail dot com.