Showing posts from 2013

A very Miller Holiday Season

Holiday traditions can really screw with you when you've completely changed your diet. I'm not talking "on a diet" I'm talking lifestyle change.

Christmas with the Millers has some pretty great traditions when it comes to food. Get up with a great cup of coffee and watch the kids with the stockings and Santa gifts. When everyone is assembled, break out the gift exchange and ooh and aaah. Then sit down to Bagels and Lox and stuff yourself silly.
This is usually followed by some schmaltzy TV movie or parade, a nice brisk walk, and then the dinner preparations begin.
In honor of the Grinch, a good Roast Beast is always on the menu. Accompanied by Yorkshire Pudding, which, for those of you who are uninitiated, is a popover made with the drippings of said beast. There's salad, veggies and wine as well. 
And Dessert? Always the Yule Log. My mom makes it. It's fabulous. The cake is just a thin chocolate layer designed to hold the filling. Which is so awesome as …

Lemon Curry Quinoa Salad

So holiday party all set. Potluck. You've got 2 pans of ziti in the oven, one with beef (not pork) the other vegetarian. Using Dreamfields pasta, organic sauce and massive amounts of cheese.

You've got your desserts all ready to go. All Grain, gluten and guilt free. And you think, wait... oh no, the pasta is gluten free and you need one more dish!
Why the concern, plenty of food, lots of veggies and then there's the expected trays of shrimp and sushi. Because as Roseanne Rosanna Danna used to say, it's always something! And when it comes to food... well, nuf said.
So out came the bag of organic Quinoa I bought thinking I could make so many wonderful side dishes with but never actually had the guts to do it plus Quinoa, despite the rumors, is still an ancient grain and still bad for your blood sugar. So, not something to eat everyday at all. But on special occasions, if you want a small, small helping, go ahead. Just note that it's not a good everyday substitute for…

OMG Blondies!

Ridiculous how simple this is. No, really.
First, kudos to Megan at Detoxinista. Her fabulous recipe got me thinking anything is possible.

Of course this time of year, anything is possible. :)

So, the key to all of this is going to be the ingredients. I need to stress that. I can't vouch for what I don't use. And again, for those who do not know me, I know nothing about diet, nutrition, health other than my own personal road well travelled. Through Diabetes and Heart Disease and the FDA's goddamn food pyramid that nearly killed me.

So. Back to food. I love food. I live for food. And my kids. And my husband. Ok there's a few other good parts in here. But I do love food. Probably genetic on my Dad's side. The Hungarian-Slovak need for really deliciously rich foods.

My mom taught Piano. Therefore, my mom had piano recitals. She served food. And there were these amazing cookie bars. Blonde Brownies. They had butterscotch chips maybe? Hell I don't know. I only know …

Grains are not a food group

While you may be able to cook with grains, and eat them doused in milk, you wouldn't head out to the fields and gnaw on a wheat stem. And if you understood how grains react in your body, you might think twice about swallowing even one bite.

But it's a plant you say? Would you eat Poison Oak? Tree Bark? So why on earth would you grind up a wheat stalk and eat it. 
You need flour? Grind a nut. Pick one. They are all delicious, different flavors and textures to create different foods. Pecans are good but soft, not really the stuff a good bread is made of. Almonds are fabulous, but a bit dry, so adjust accordingly. Hazelnuts are about perfect.
So what's for breakfast if you take away the cereal and toast? Hmmm. 
How about a French Toast Pancake or an Omelette with a little bacon on the side? Or a Blueberry muffin and some fresh berries. Starting to sound like breakfast?
Wait! Did I say Muffin? I did. Just bake it with nut flour. The first week or two you may go a bit crazy try…

Chocolate Chunk Nut Cookies

It's cold outside and nothing beats cookies from the oven when it's cold outside. 
Of course as with any good cookie, it's got to have gooey melted chocolate. And we don't use chocolate chips anymore. And unsweetened would be, let's face it, gross. 
So grab a bar of Dark chocolate, over 85% or so . The sugars should be under 5 grams per serving (40 gram serving).
OK. Let's rock.
3/4 cup Swerve or Erythritol.  1 cup Almond Flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup butter (softened) 1/2 cup Almond Butter 1 tablespoon maple syrup (pure) 1/2 cup chopped chocolate and 1/2 cup chopped peanuts (unsalted, roasted and blanched) or any kind of raw nut will do.
Cream the butter, almond butter and swerve until well blended. Mix in the vanilla, maple and egg. In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry mixture to the creamed butter till well blended and smooth, then fold in the nuts and chocolate.  Refriger…

Psuedo Science or Nutrition Breakthrough

Today was the notorious DDay for me. Doctor. Labs. Did my cholesterol go up? Did a high fat low carb grain free diet deliver as promised? Did it transform my metabolism? Did it become a fat burning cholesterol lowering machine? Or was I suckered by some really slick psuedo-science? 
Without further ado. drum roll please... my cholesterol has plummeted. And I do mean plummeted.  LDL 52 Total Cholesterol: 134 Was 169 Triglycerides: 85. Was 153 HDL 65 Was 60
My weight is declining. My sugars under control. I eat Prime Rib and make my muffins with Butter. I indulge in decadent Chocolate desserts. 
I do however only use Organic foods, hormone free, and meat that is grass fed. But in 8 years I couldn't do what 4 months of clean eating has done. It's freaking amazing. And nothing like the Doctor giving you Kudos. Even wondered if I could keep doing it... "are you kidding" I asked. I eat chocolate 3 times a day. Yeah, I can do this. 
And so can you. Start simple. Take bread…

Even Better Low Carb Blueberry Muffins

I ran out of cinnamon muffins today. And there on the shelf in the fridge, none other than a small little box of fresh blueberries just screaming to be used. I do have a previous round of blueberry muffins, and they were pretty good. But it was months ago, back in amateur hour at the Miller kitchen. With my new mastery of the culinary arts, I thought I'd give it another go round.

Oh much better this time. Much much better.

Buttery, sweet, and everything my tastebuds were craving.

Without further ado:
Preheat oven to 350F and line a greased 12-piece standard muffin tin with paper liners.
2 cups Almond Flour (not meal) sifted. 2 Teaspoons baking powder 1 Stick Organic Butter (half cup) Melted 1.5 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract 4 Large Organic Cage-Free Eggs 1/3 cup water 1 cup fresh blueberries 1/3 cup Swerve plus 1 tablespoon (reserved) 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and blend well. Add Vanilla and water, and a…

Thank goodness for Alice's Restaurant

It's been a long Thanksgiving Day. My girls are far away and the empty nest gets just a little emptier on holidays. Plus I have to curb my appetite for destruction on days like this. So I got up, had coffee and watched the Macy's parade. Only half-heartedly of course. The whole idea that the retail giant is opening their doors on Thanksgiving to make even more money leaves a really bad taste in my mouth, making it hard to enjoy even Snoopy. Redesigned of course.

So then I made some Almond Fudge topped Brownies. Makes the kitchen smell good and gives me a reason not to over do the pecan pie later.

Went walking with my mom, one reason to give thanks... that I can still go walking with my mom.

Came back and called our children. Caught the younger one during potato peeling time... not a great time to chat. Caught the other during some free time, which was great. I was attempting again the nefarious Apple Pie and needed to be talked down from the Chef's Ledge. She accommodated …

But it's not time yet!

Not only are the holidays pushed on us earlier and earlier every year (thanks Macy's) but we don't have to go there. The day after Thanksgiving for many is Black Friday. A day to shop. All hail shopping. But wait. There is no more Black Friday. Thanksgiving is no longer the Holiday we give thanks in preparation for our shopping extravaganza. It's just a day we try to shovel in some food real fast so we can get to the store.


I say it every year. Your 2 year old does not need or give two shits about that doll you have to have. Your 13 year old's smart phone is fine as it is.
Your 19 year old should be out job hunting not camping out for an XBox.
Your partner doesn't need anything except you by their side, hopefully in good health.

And whether it's a beautiful Golden Turkey or a beautiful Vegan meal that is the centerpiece, makes no difference. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks to whomever... the gods, mother nature, you…

I'll huff and I'll puff... then I'll bake.

I used to jump on the elliptical to work off a mad. Now I bake it off. Today's Mad Mary's recipe? Chocolate muffins. Simple, not too heavy, not to sweet. Just enough to take the edge off.

Just adapted from the Cinnamon muffins. The idea was so remarkably simple. Delete the cinnamon and throw in the cocoa. And then to tone it down and remove the bite... some delicious cream.

2 cups Almond flour
2 teaspoons BAKING POWDER
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large organic eggs
1 stick melted (half cup or 8 tablespoons) organic butter, unsalted, or Ghee.
1/3 cup Cream
1/3 cup sweetener (depends on how sweet you like your muffins) Swerve
1/3 cup Cocoa

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin tin (12) with paper liners.
Sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Add the Butter, then Vanilla, eggs, one at a time, then mix till well blended. Stir in the cream slowly so as not to whip it.

Note: add some chopped bits of dark chocolate on each before baking for that extra oomph!

Fill the muffin t…

World Diabetes Day

Hey all you fellow Type II Diabetics! The ones who sneak those sugary snacks... a bite here... a bite there... I know you're out there cause I'm there too. But not so much anymore.

A few key rules and you can keep that glucose number down.

First, controlling sugar levels if you're Type II isn't so bad when you make some effort. Like cook it yourself. Bake it yourself. And use the right ingredients.

Now this is optional, but I got rid of grains. Totally. Wheat, Oat, Barley, Corn... whole grain or processed... doesn't matter because in the end, it's sugar.

So you ask what the hell can you eat? Lots. Tons. And it's all good.

Today's feature, in honor of the sweet tooth which need no longer be banished?

The Nut Butter Cups. They seem to be a favorite among my low-carbing, grain-free, gluten-free, diabetic and non-diabetic friends.

Super Easy. Find the Recipe here.
If you are a chocoholic, and love peanut butter snacks, I'm going to give you the secret. …

Thanksgiving essentials. Cranberry Sauce

Cranberries. Gotta have them with my Turkey. But what kind of cranberry sauce has no sugar! I've made a decent one with Splenda, but only with a little sugar too. This time we're going whole hog... so to speak. I'm testing out a nice cranberry spice jelly with Swerve. And if you've never made your own Cranberry sauce... it's incredibly easy. Do not buy the canned... please people... if you can boil water you can make your own.

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg 3 cups cranberries 1 cup water 1 cup Swerve (might use the powdered, as it tends to granulate after it's chilled) or Splenda... even Sugar or whatever you use. If splenda I recommend a 50/50 blend (1/2 cup). I've used only Splenda and didn't care for the results.
Bring the sugar and water to a boil. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until well blended. Add cranberries and return to a boil, then simmer gently for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. The cranberries will split which is…

What's good for your favorite blogger may not be good for you.

Everyone has their favorite foodie blog to tell them what to eat and how to eat it. I've got one of my own that I write... does that make me right? Maybe. Maybe not. Here's the key. Don't just assume that because someone says it's fabulously nutritious and prevents every ailment in the modern world... well.. that it's true for you. 
Take Kale. Nutritious? Probably. So are most plants to someone. For me, since it can promote blood clots, really bad idea to eat it. And stomach issues. If you're prone to any gastric issues... don't eat it. Oh wait... but it prevents cancer! Cancer won't kill you if you're already dead of a heart attack. In other words, not all super foods are super for everyone. And everything in moderation. 
If you can tolerate Kale, great. Have it a few times a week at most. Not all day every day. Nothing is good for you in high doses, and the more nutrients a food packs, the less you need to eat of it. This isn't something that…

SNAP decisions that come back to haunt

A few facts about SNAP. The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance program. The Federal program that ensures "the welfare of the citizens" as instructed by our cherished constitution. 

Friday they cut 5 billion dollars from that program. Let's count shall we? That's about $10 per person in the program receiving aid. Which they spend on food, which translates into $17 per person reinvested in the economy. 5 Billion cut has now reduced the circulatory impact of each dollar by the original 5 billion, plus the 8.5 billion recirculated into the economy. Remember our economy is based on a full impact in a healthy market where 1 dollar translates into 7. Using that model, a 5 billion cut in SNAP dollars is actually 40 Billion impact on the economy. 

Bad idea. But that's just money people. 

Now, try to feed your family on $1.40 per meal. A healthy meal. One that won't encourage medical issues or childhood obesity. Yeah, good luck with that. 

SNAP is not handing out cash to …

When work interferes with life. And food.

So headed off to Nebraska for work for a week. Not a bad trip.. get to see old friends and my mother-in-law is there as well. Plus a taste of winter. But when it comes to food, I gotta say it truly isn't a healthy eater's paradise. Now in all fairness, I don't live there now, haven't for well over a decade. But the decade I spent there I learned the meaning of absolute gluttony. Seriously. Prime rib was served by the pound, not up to a pound. Buffets had a little bit of salad and a whole lot of dessert. They have some excellent food by the way, just not very good for you. So I'm sure some of it's changed but eating out is hard enough in Tucson, where healthy food is at least available. Not so sure in Nebraska.

I don't want to take any chances. So, while I'm sure I can get some good salads to sustain me, my ever-present sweet tooth will demand satisfaction. So I have to bring my own. I just put a batch of Almond Butter Cups in the freezer, that's my l…

The cookie vs the cookie dough. Tough decision

Halloween. The demon word for diabetics. I get to dole out candy to about 100 little ghouls, princesses, warlocks, space invaders... everyone but me. I was going to make my own Almond Joys... and I could... but I totally spaced it off and didn't have the almonds. Please... Almond Joys without Almonds? Might as well have a Mounds. If you're finished snickering.... again, it's Halloween and candy is just everywhere. Even my fingers can't help typing those nasty words.

So I thought what can I do? I need something to get me through. I need a fix. I need... cookies. but finding a cookie recipe made with Almond Flour is nearly impossible... unless you can use chocolate chips. Would someone please explain the purpose of using Almond Flour for a low carb healthy grain free cookie and throwing commercial chocolate chips in????
So for no apparent reason, though I can conjure up a few paranormal explanations, my grandmother's love affair with Pecan Sandies popped into my brai…

Chemical reactions can be a thing of beauty

I always have trouble when a recipe calls for honey. Can't use it. But it's liquid not solid and some "experts" say no worries, sugar melts into liquid. Same thing. Others say whoa not so fast, add some liquid and extra sweetness.

I don't pay attention. I half read it, nod and figure, I'm gonna throw something together and see if it explodes. Which would be somewhat humorous and all that, if in fact my bread batter didn't do just that today. My intention was to make almond butter bread. I'd seen a headline saying Almond Butter Bread... and thought hey I can do that. It was paleo, and filled with weird things like flax seed and chia gel. But it seemed to me that almond butter is nothing more than almonds ground so fine that they become butter and I bake with almond flour all the time. I'm smart. I can figure this one out.
Since I'd already determined I wasn't going down those roads, chia street and flax boulevard, (but certainly if that'…

Burger and Fries, hold the carbs

It's amazing how some of our most cherished comfort foods are really horrible for us. Really really horrible. And even knowing this, we somehow crave them. 
Your basic burger and fries for example. I am just not into a veggie burger, with apologies to my veggie friends... I just am not. And somehow, eating a bunless, tasteless burger with kale chips just doesn't send me. 
So I gave in. Buckled under pressure. And served up a good old burger and fries for supper. So yum. But how you wonder? Must be 100 carbs on that plate. No my friends, only a handful. I don't know, 3?
See these fries are made of Jicama. A fabulous replacement to the potato. Actually it technically is a tuber, and known as a Mexican potato. So it counts. It's glycemic load is negligible.
The bun. Oh the bun. I've heard people speak of this magical bun. Known as the Oopsie bun. Somebody's wonderful mistake. You'll find it here at YourLighterSide. I believe that's the originator of this f…

Low Carb Grain-free Cinnamon Muffins

Baking is what I do now when I've had a bad week. There are lots of reasons to have a bad week, just no excuses. I didn't need to get caught up in office drama. It happens daily and I usually stay out of it. Lapse of judgement. I didn't need to get caught up in my kid's drama. She's an adult. And I certainly didn't need to give a flying fig (do people really say that?) about the drama in the Kardarashian family. I don't even know who the key players are. Ugh. So I bake. 
It helps. I bake healthy. Easy. A few substitutions from the normal routine. Because contrary to what ignorant blowhorns out there tell you, being diabetic, or having serious food reactions doesn't call for simple will power or 8 hours daily of spare time in the gym. It calls for problem solving.

Here's a problem. You know the terrible cravings. You get up and after a long night of rest your body wants something really tasty. Willpower aside, donuts are just bad. But you don't …

Why does a McDonald's full time employee need federal assistance?

Are you kidding me?

Still want those fries and a shake? Maybe you ought head over to In and Out Burger. Better yet, how about heading over to the farmer's market and buying some fresh wholesome food. And then sharing some with the modern day slaves over at Mcdonald's.

If ever there was a reason not to eat this crap, this is it.

Easy Low Carb Pie Crusts

You want a crust that holds together. You want a crust that holds up to your filling. You want a crust that tastes yummy not like somebody forgot to remove the cardboard box. 
But you can't have sugar. Or maybe you need gluten free. You can't have wheat... or grains. Can't have carbs. Ooooh what to do. I'll tell you what to do.
Grab some nuts. You're favorite kind or those that are perfect for your filling. And take your mind out of the gutter... you know who you are.... 
How about a pecan crust with a maple cream filling. Or a Walnut with Apple Cinnamon. Mine tonight was a yummy hazelnut with Mocha Latte cream filling. The recipe is the same  no matter what.  For a 9" pie crust, use 2 cups of nuts, 2 tablespoons of sweetener (whatever you use that equals 2 tblsp of sugar) and 3 tablespoons of melted butter (or Ghee), hopefully organic. 
Grind the nuts to almost powder form, leaving a few lumps for taste. You can use a food chopper, but I use a coffee grinder…