low carb high fiber muffins

Okay, so as many of you know, I’m doing mainly a low carb diet because whenever I eat sugar, white foods, or pretty much anything with more than about 5 grams of carbs a serving, I feel like I’m hungover the next day.  But sometimes, just sometimes, I want BREAD products. One of the easiest things to grab in the morning is a muffin…what’s a low carb girl to do?  Well, find a recipe online and PLAY!  These two recipes are both delicious, and both of them contain somewhere around 3 net carbs each, and are LOADED with fiber.  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Vanilla Muffins

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

1 1/2 sticks of butter (or if you want low cal, too, you could use 3/4 c unsweetened applesauce)

2 large eggs

1/2 c water

1/2 c sugar free french vanilla syrup (I use DaVinci’s…and if you wanted to play with flavor, you could use any of the SF syrups–and if you’re using applesauce, I’d try a SF maple flavor for a maple apple muffin…um, yum!)

1/2 c granulated Splenda

1 T vanilla (and please, none of that crappy fake vanilla…this is NOT the time)

melt the butter and cool slightly (obviously, if you’re using applesauce, skip this step) and add the splenda, water, SF syrup, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix throughly.

3/4 c vital wheat gluten — I like Arrowhead Mills, but several places make this, & a lot of health food stores sell it in bulk)

2 c flaxseed meal (Bob’s Red Mill & others make a golden flaxseed meal that’s lighter in flavor…remember to store in the freezer, as it goes bad at room temp)

2 t baking soda (aluminum free is better for you, just so you know)

1/2 t salt

1 T cinnamon (honestly? I don’t really measure this…but a tablespoon is about right)

Mix the vital wheat gluten, flaxseed meal, baking soda, salt & cinnamon in a bowl, and add to the wet ingredients.  Unlike regular muffins, which have a lot of gluten from flour, this is not a delicate batter…mix that baby!  Let sit about 5 minutes while you either grease your muffin tin or put paper cups into it.  Scoop 1/4 c of batter into each cup (it’s just about right), and bake for 35 minutes.

Homer Simpson Muffins  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

These were christened ‘Homer Simpson Muffins’ because they taste remarkably like a spiced cake donut.  Yes, that good.

2 c almond meal (you can get this at Trader Joe’s, which I recommend, or a more refined almond flour at health food stores…I like the stuff that still has skins, and is a bit heartier), or if you want even more fiber, 1 c almond meal and 1 c flaxseed meal.

1 T baking soda

1 T cinnamon

1 T pumpkin pie spice (if you don’t have this around, you can use 1 t each cloves, nutmeg, and allspice)

1/2 t salt

Mix these all together in a bowl, and then set aside.

4 large eggs

1 stick butter (or 1/2 c applesauce, although for this muffin, I’ve not tried that!)

3/4 c granulated Splenda

1/2 c water

Melt the butter and let cool slightly, then add the splenda, water and eggs. Mix, and then add the almond meal mixture.  Stir.  Again, let sit a few minutes while you grease or paper your muffin pan.  Fill the cups about 2/3 full (it’s also about 1/4 c each).  Bake about 20 minutes.  To get a true ‘donut’ taste, when these are done, brush the tops with melted butter and dip into a mix of Splenda and cinnamon…but I usually skip that.

At any rate, bake and enjoy.  I’m still working on a low carb, high fiber pizza dough.  When I perfect it, I’ll let you know!

Published in: on August 28, 2011 at 10:41 pm  Comments (1)  

why I’ll never be a fashionista

I’m watching last week’s Project Runway right now…and the winning outfit consists of a asymmetrical gold lame top with navy pants. Every week, they find the damned ugliest outfits to be ‘gorgeous’ and ‘fashion forward’, while things real women would wear are ‘boring’ and ‘dated’.  No wonder my friend Ori, who just finished at LA FIDM, said she’d never go on the show.  And it’s getting worse.

But really, I’ll never be a fashionista because insanely high heels, giant earrings, teeny tiny hemlines, and random patterns are not going to work in the everyday world unless you work at a fashion magazine, or in high end retail sales (where you’re selling the same thing you’re wearing).  The women I know want shoes that they can walk in, or even stand in for several hours.  We want pockets. We want bras that hold up our boobs and make them look good (without costing an arm and a leg) and underwear that stays in place (and that whole bare elastic thing? OUCH).  We want pants and dresses and skirts and tops we can move in, that don’t have to be dry cleaned, and most assuredly don’t cost a whole paycheck.  We want things that we can wear for several years without looking dated.  And yes, we’d like our buttons to stay on, our zippers to be a reasonable length, and oh, yeah, could designers please make clothes for hips, butts, boobs, and upper arms that aren’t the size of wrists?

I’ll admit, I’m more aware of fashion now than I used to be.  I used to wear nothing but baggy jeans and men’s t-shirts.  My daughter admitted that she was thinking of putting me on What Not to Wear.  But Stacey and Clinton (despite Stacey’s undying love of heels) actually find women clothes that work, that look good, and that accentuate the positive.  Even for women who are a size 20, or a 12, women with boobs — or none, hips — or none, tall women and short.  In short, REAL WOMEN.

I subscribed to Glamour last year, intrigued by their promise to feature women with real bodies.  So far, the only time they do that is when they laud themselves for talking about plus sized models, or say ‘wear the latest trend’ and then how to do it if you’re not a size 2.  None of their fashion spreads (those things they call ‘editorial shots’) show a woman with an ounce of body fat, or with a wrinkle, or even with boobs (unless it’s a lingerie spread).  I won’t be renewing my subscription.  Even the spreads in magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens show well-preserved — but always thin –older women.

And while we’re at it, does anyone know where a teenager can find more grown up shoes in a size 3? The D is getting pretty tired of wearing little girl shoes, and I don’t blame her!

Published in: on August 25, 2011 at 9:14 pm  Comments (3)  

butters galore!

So, my classes for fall are ready to go, and they don’t start until next week.  My dissertation is awaiting approval.  So I’ve got some time on my hands, and it’s produce season, and I’ve got a ton of that, too.  There’s only so much produce one can eat…what to do? Well, I made me some butters….and since many of you asked for various recipes, here’s just a few:

Peach Butter

4 large or 8 small ripe peaches

1/4 to 1/2 c sugar (depending on how sweet your peaches are)


lemon juice
peel, pit and chop the peaches.  put ’em in a saucepan (go bigger than you think, since they tend to splatter), and add just enough water to cover the bottom of the saucepan about a half inch (if you have really juicy peaches, you may not even need the water).  Add 1/4 c sugar, and bring to boil.  Boil for about 10 minutes, then lower the heat to a simmer and simmer for about an hour, stirring frequently.  Add more water, and sugar or lemon juice (to cut the sweetness) if needed, during this time.  Puree in a blender and put into jars (or even tupperware).  Can in water bath for 15 minutes or skip the canning and just keep in the fridge.

Butternut Cardamom Butter

2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chunked

2 c water

1 c packed brown sugar

1 T cinnamon

1 T cardamom (or more…to taste)

Put all of this in a sauce pan, and like the peach butter, bring to a boil, boil 10 minutes, then lower heat and simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half.  When the squash is really soft, puree in a blender.  Taste, and add more sugar, cinnamon or cardamom if you like. Pour into jars.  Can for 15 minutes in hot water bath or store in fridge.

Mock Apple Butter

1 big honkin’ zucchini, peeled, seeded, and chopped

1/4 c apple cider vinegar

2 c sugar

apple butter spices you like (cinnamon, allspice, cloves, etc)

put everything in a saucepan, and as before, bring to a boil.  But this time, boil for about 5 minutes only (otherwise, the sugar will caramelize, and you’ll have caramelized semi-raw zucchini chunks…yuck!).  Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until zucchini is soft. Puree.  If it’s too thin, return to pan and keep simmmering (zucchini releases a lot of water, and can make your puree pretty thin).  Watch out…it splatters!  Pour into jars, and can or keep in fridge.

Ginger Pear Butter

6 cups pears, cored, peeled, and chopped (depending on the size of your pears, anywhere from 6 to 12)

1/4 c water

1/4 c sugar (or more, depending on how sweet your pears are)

1 T ground ginger OR 1 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

Put everything in a pan. Bring to a boil, boil for about 10 minutes (if your pears are really hard, boil for about 15).  Turn the heat down and simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the pears are REALLY soft.  You can, if you want chunky pear butter, just mash it with a potato masher at this point, or puree and put into jars.  Can or keep in fridge.


Published in: on August 17, 2011 at 4:22 pm  Comments (3)  

in which I whine just a little

The good thing about being as educated as I am? I can get in front of a classroom, and teach.  I can also read, I know some pretty great people, and I really, really love my job.

The bad news about being an almost PhD is that in this economy, there’s a lot of us looking for work.  And okay, I get it. Times are tough, and all of that. But you’d think someone would LOVE to have me work for them as a part-time employee.  I’ve got a killer work ethic, I have consistency, the ability to read, write, and think, solve problems, and act independently.  And what I don’t know how to do, I can learn pretty quickly.  Oh, and I make a damned fine trainer.

So how did I find myself here, worrying about how to pay the internet bill, or debating if I should pay the water or electric bill now, how I’m going to pay for gas to get to Prescott for a mandatory meeting next week, and how thank goodness the food stamps came in on Sunday?  How did I go from being someone with enough money to pay the bills and go see a movie without thinking about it to worrying that something might go wrong with my car, because between now and payday, which doesn’t happen until September, I have JUST enough money to get change for the yard sale on Friday?

Okay, sure, some of it’s moving here, to a smaller town with fewer jobs, but every single job I’m even remotely qualified for that I’ve applied to (and yes, even the jobs that I’m so overqualified for it’s not funny — yes, McDonalds), won’t hire me because, well, I’m overqualified. I applied for a bartending gig and was told that because I was an assistant manager in a bar in California, I’d be ‘bored’ working there.  It’s getting a bit silly.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I wasn’t as educated as I am. Then maybe Wal Mart would hire me.

Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 5:53 pm  Comments (3)