Low Carb Stuff that Works


We’ve eaten low carb for five or six years now, mostly faithfully because if I break from low carb I immediately experience an eczema outbreak.  When it started, I had eczema all over my body and wasn’t sleeping.  Most of the time the trigger for eczema is dairy. My mother had assumed mine was, so I was raised without dairy products or anything that might contain traces of dairy.  I found out long before I left the house that she was wrong, because I’d have milk and yogurt at friends’ houses with no bad effects.

But I had no clue what the trigger was, except stress.  It is still that.  In the run up to my son’s wedding, with all the travel arrangements, I was in the middle of a major outbreak. By the afternoon after the wedding, it was almost completely clear.

So a search on line said that for some people the trigger was sugar or really carbs of any sort.  I went low carb cold turkey.  (Despite which I’m now trifling at the border with diabetes, but that might have to do with thyroid regulation — I’m overdue for a test — and with the fact that I spent three years (the house buying/publisher issues years) going on prednisone every three months.)

A year or so later husband was diagnosed as diabetic (though most of the time he too stays at the border, at least if we’re being good on carbs) and the whole family went low carb.

While bread is much missed by my husband, it doesn’t normally disturb me not to have it.  My major “I miss this” is potatoes.  You can fake mashed potatoes decently with mashed cauliflower.  But nothing can fake baked potatoes or fries.  My secondary miss is corn. ANYTHING with corn.  Popcorn, corn chips, corn.

Speaking of cauliflower, younger son discovered riced cauliflower which is extremely useful as fake rice.  In fact, since I’m feeling under the weather I’m considering making Chinese Fried Not Rice tonight.  (It’s one of my “I feel ill” things.)  And I recently found out you can make passable if not extraordinary fake refried beans from cauliflower.

Anyway, I don’t normally miss bread much.  The exception is in fall.  When it starts getting colder I want bread, crackers, bagels, etc.

Some of these are “easy” to make to regular recipes.  There is a low carb flour called Carb Quick available from Amazon.  As long as it’s not a yeast raised dough, you can make it from this.  I often use it for muffins and scones. Also the rare batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Some are more difficult. Something you learn early is that carb quick (or almond flour) recipes lack sponginess and also structural integrity.

For bread that friends who aren’t low carb can’t tell from the real thing, I make Soul Bread.

For pizza dough (and as a basis to a lot of other things) I use the Fathead recipe.  Since pizza also isn’t one of my things, (I know, I know, HERESY!) I do it maybe twice a year, when we have the guys over and we are watching a movie of something.

But this last week as the weather turned ugly in Colorado, I found myself hankering for pretzels with dip and, strangely, for crackers.

So I turned to the internet…

Okay, believe it or not this makes a very decent pretzel recipe.

As for crackers… remember the fathead dough?  Well, you can make these which are your basic cracker:  https://www.ditchthecarbs.com/fathead-crackers/

However for something a little more savory, these were quite good:  https://simplysohealthy.com/low-carb-rosemary-parmesan-crackers/

And for those who can’t have cheese/dairy, there is this:  https://lowcarbyum.com/keto-low-carb-crackers/

Because I don’t do low carb baking every day, I didn’t have any sunflower seeds, but I did have ground hemp seeds (yes, Colorado. Ardeearar. Actually it was left over from before I found cauliflower “rice.”  It was one of the experiments.  Anyway, I used that and the result was a crunchy “Whole grain” artisanal cracker that I wouldn’t be amazed to see served at a high class restaurant as an appetizer.  It tastes very nutty, too.  Good for spreading stuff on or dipping.

I have other recipes to try, because these searches always yield “oooh.”  This includes bagels roti (I can serve it when I make vindaloo) and what I’m assured is a good immitation pita (which since, with a few exceptions, our diet trends “Mediterranean” will be very good.

And now I have stuff to edit, a half dozen (not exaggerating) short stories to write, and two covers to fix.

Fortunately I cleaned house yesterday!



55 thoughts on “Low Carb Stuff that Works

  1. Hmm, I haven’t been eating low carb, but the Soul Bread and Fathead pizza crust look interesting. We’re already used to working with Xanthan gum, so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

    1. I haven’t either (in fact, I recently attempted to make mashed potatoes, which mostly taught me that I still do not care greatly for mashed potatoes), but I am intrigued by the recipes.

    2. we are wasting out several pallets of Xanthan gum
      2500 pounds or so a pallet (some was fine but they never used it after arival from Texas, others are a bad batch, and two or three pallets are the wrong stuff, ordered by mistake . . . no deposit, no return)
      iirc this is all non-food grade versions.
      When I was still in Texas, we used a food grade by the pallet load as well (ADM OptiXan).
      AR-AFFF fire fighting foams use it as a Polysaccharide for alcohol resistance

  2. Thanks, Sarah. I made a different version of Soul Bread and wasn’t thrilled with the results. I’m going to try the one you linked and the crackers. I’m trying to get my eczema under control as well.

  3. pizza also isn’t one of my things

    So you’re telling us you are actually a Millennial?

    Millennials only like pizza because it looks good on Instagram
    Millennials mangia with their eyes.

    Young people love Italian food — but for how it photographs, not its carby, tomato-y gloriousness, according to a new survey by OnePoll.

    The poll of 2,000 adults, sponsored by the Italian food company Napolina (which surely had no vested interest in the results), found that nearly three-quarters of millennials aged 22 to 35 named Italian food as their favorite cuisine.

    That’s significantly more than the 42% of the 55-and-older set who said the same.

    However, according to the poll, some of those millennials aren’t in it for the pure, simple joy of Parmesan-piled pastas. Their affinity is more … likes-driven.

    About 1 in 10 millennial respondents told OnePoll they like Italian food for how “Instagrammable” it is. Some even admitted that they like how they can make it look fancy faster than other cuisines.

    On average, millennial respondents copped to posting Instagram photos of Italian food three times monthly.

    So, what’s the most visually delicious dish? Pizza, 41% of respondents said, is the most appealing to post to social media. Can’t argue with that.

    1. I find I eat the toppings of most pizza now, but not the crust, with two exceptions. One is if I made with one of the Fathead recipes. The other is if it’s from a particular place in the small town I grew up in & around. When the place closed, there was no real substitute. The original owner’s daughter has resurrected it with his recipes. And it took all of one bite to confirm that, and the crust is… amazing. Alas, that place is a 5+ hour drive from $HOOTERVILLE – and the frozen versions have now run out. Then again, Doc did say I needed to (not Doc’s exact words) reduce my tonnage… so, back to skimming the toppings. And while I know beer is the traditional American drink of choice with pizza (it was Coca-Cola when younger…) I cannot help but wonder what wine might pair well. I am, however, decidedly NOT knowledgeable as to wines and such. Mainly, I just know to avoid the crud displayed by bumwines and Boone’s Farm.

      1. Chianti is traditional with Italian food, but I prefer a Merlot or Carmenere. Doesn’t need to be pricey. Some cheap ones are pretty good.

        1. Merlot goes good with most starchy foods (noodles). Ex and I used to do a chicken parmesian with noodles and cheap merlot- good stuff, and I do miss the taste. No time for it these days, and that sort of meal takes a bit to do it up right.

          1. Red wine is an excellent aid to digestion, helps with blood glucose and is a good supplier of anti-oxidants.

            I can’t drink it because the tannins stimulate an sinus reaction that produces a hangover before I’ve even gotten tipsy. But t would otherwise be very good for my healt 😦

      2. Locally we have two pizzeria’s that beat the chain options up one end to the other. One of these also came back to the original family via the grandchildren, I think. They even revived the old carousel. It’s better than it was, because now it is inside the building, and isn’t closed down during bad weather.

    2. I’ve come to the conclusion that most of those clickbait articles are a more sophisticated version of the “Three Guys Named Cooter” stories.
      And that most public polling is less accurate than the numbers used for climate temp monitoring.

  4. You may have tried this, but when the husband and I were low-carbing, baked cauliflower saved our sanity. I no longer have the precise recipe, but it’s basically as follows:

    Take one head of cauliflower, one 8-ounce package of shredded cheddar, one bar of cream cheese and As Much Damn Bacon As You Want.

    Chop, boil, and mash the cauliflower, mix with above ingredients, put more cheese on top if you feel like it, and bake the whole mess at 350 for 30 minutes. It did a very good job of scratching that baked-potato itch for me. For fries, though, you’re on your own. 🙂

  5. I am not telling other low-carb eaters how to manage their diets, but one point my Diabetic Nutritionist emphasized was taking carbs in combination with protein, which slows the uptake of that nasty glucose into the blood. (Exercise, even just going walkies, can also help slow the uptake and permit a slightly larger serving of carbs.

    Slightly larger does not mean normal of course, and the fewer carbs you take in the fewer your system has to manage. But if you eat a ten ounce steak you might be able to handle a small baked potato or a few steak fries. Take blood glucose readings before eating and an hour afterward to measure the blood glucose spike.

    For those of use with less carb-sensitive diets (my personal rule of thumb is that my system, given fifteen to twenty grams of protein can wash down about seventy-five grams of carb safely) another handy tool for consuming carbs is to check the glycemic index of your carb sources. Brown rice has a lower GI than White, meaning it gives up its carbs to your digestive tract a bit more reluctantly and you can eat it more safely. Additionally, not all White rice is considered equal, so check into the differences between Jasmine, Basmati and other rice.

    Rice noodles have a much worse GI than whole wheat so be aware that Pad Thai and Singapore Street Noodles, even with all the protein they include, can be problematic.

  6. Just had a steak, Green Giant mashed cauliflower with bacon bits and cheddar, and coleslaw for lunch. Lot’s of fiber in coleslaw, and if you don’t drown it in coleslaw dressing, not a lot of carbs.

    I’ve tried boiling and mashing cauliflower, but can’t seem to get the same end product as Green Giant does….Any hints for proper prep?

        1. I use a stick blender. Boil, add butter, cream (or sour cream), garlic powder, salt, & pepper, grated cheddar cheese. Blend away until your preferred consistency (I like a puree). Tasty.

  7. Something I read about mashed potatoes. Refrigerating them causes the starches to join together in longer chains that take longer to break down releasing their sugars more slowly. The reheat process doesn’t break them down. And IMHO, reheated mashed potatoes are just as good as just prepared.

    1. IMAO Reheating, especially with additions (like cabbage, onion, garlic, meat, etecetera) actually makes even good mashed potatoes (& the only time I’ve ever had bad mashed potatoes was on a “youth activity camp” in 1990 where the food was all surplused dehydrated NZ army rations).

  8. Please, please go to youtube and search for “chaffles”. The best channel is one called Serious Keto.

    You can thank me later.

  9. When my oldest first developed eczema, the doctor had the opposite reaction to your mom. “No. Food can’t possible cause an eczema reaction. It’s just baby eczema. She’ll grow out of it.” Months later as we step up the medications: “Really? She seems to react when you eat X type of meal? Well. Stop it if you want to, but that probably isn’t the cause.” Months later when she is two, after minor improvement but not much: “All right. Fine. We’ll test. Oh. She reacts to milk!” Us being first-time parents away from any real help, we trusted the doctor and had two years of misery dealing with the eczema before it started getting better with avoidance and a good medication that got it under control and we could step things down and finally stop things.

  10. Cold turkey is a good way to avoid carbs, as long as there is no breading or stuffing involved. I recently ran across a tube-of-U bit where the Mythbusters demonstrated that the ‘tryptophan from turkey makes you sleepy’ meme is not supported.

    1. It’s the lousy football that follows the meal that puts people to sleep around Redquarters. (“So, how badly are the ‘Boys going to lose this year?”)

      1. Football went the way of bellbottom jeans and tie dyed shirts some time ago, save for those with littles in high school. These days the fam usually puts on the LoTR for the dadgroup and some of the femmes while the rest watch the littles in shifts. You know when to cut off the brew when a certain uncle begins drawing out how Theoden et al royally botched it at every turn tactically, strategically, and politically.

        Oddfamily is the best family. *grin*

        1. I had season tickets at college, despite an awful team. (Our “star” quarterback ended up as the least-regarded-backup QB for the Vikings.) It was largely a social occasion. My uncle took us to see a pro game once (Da Bears), but Candlestick never appealed, even when the 49ers were good.

          The pro game lost its appeal long ago, except for the Superbowl. It dropped down to watching the game with half an eye, paying attention to the commercials, and maybe watching the halftime show. But now, with all the woke commercials and horrible to indifferent halftimes, it’s not worth it.

          The puppy bowl is fun in small doses.

          1. I”ve never watched Super Bowl for the game. We used to round table the game to different houses. At least when the Super Bowl was at our house, I could putter around some during game part. Then that stopped. So I taped the game for the commercials. Now I don’t even do that. I just peruse the online sites that present them. I don’t think I can name any commercial in the last couple of years. Past years sure, even a couple of brands, but usually remember the commercial but not the brand ( Dorito because non-professionally created. Budweiser Clydesdale). Yes. Last couple of years the commercials have been meh to “you paid how much to air this crap?”

  11. The Whole 30 cookbook has a great mashed cauliflower recipe with, IIRC: cauliflower and minced garlic steamed together, coconut milk, and a couple tablespoons of bone broth. Put it all in a food processor. Add chopped parsley. (I’m away from the house and can’t look it up right now.)

    It’s delicious, popular with the family, and actually does make a good substitute for mashed potatoes.

  12. Consider making good old American potato salad, BUT substituted cauliflower for the potatoes

  13. In the long term, the prednisone will destroy your pancreas. That’s how my father wound up with diabetes: when he retired after 22 years in the Air Force, during which he smoked at least two packs a day, he had an eighth of a lung left, and the flight surgeon told him he could quit smoking or die. He quit, but he had to be on prednisone after that, and after 10-20 years it caught up with him. Good luck to you on the low-carb journey, and I shall pray for your health.

      1. Being on Pred for a long time can also suppress adrenal function, so a cortisol test is in order.

        Wishing you a visit from the Wellness Fairy.

        BTW I’m told you can sub sliced zucchini (microwave some of the water out of it first) for lasagna noodles.

  14. I’ve been making quinoa instead of rice or taters.
    Works for me, hot with butter or cold in salad.

  15. If you have dairy problems but do not have nut problems, there is a reason why almond milk used to be a staple of medieval European cuisine. Unsweetened almond milk is very versatile.

  16. As far as pizza is concerned, there are some commercial cauliflower crusts that taste pretty good, although you have to check the carb count on them. Green giant, for example, is pretty high. You can also make your own, although the pain-in-the-butt factor is very high.

    Carb quick is great for many things, but you have to remember that it’s bisquick, not flour.

    For chocolate chip cookies, I have a recipe that uses protein powders, ground almonds, and a tiny bit of oat bran. I won’t say that they’re indistinguishable from the real thing, but they’re close.

    The one craving I start to get as we get close to the holidays is for rolled sugar cookies. I want to find something that I can use my cookie cutters on. So far, I have tried a few things but haven’t really gotten anything that works.

  17. I decided to go whole hog, as it were, and went full carnivore last New Year’s. No plants at all, and probably no more than 5 or 10 grams carbs per week. After a month cravings for any sort of carbs just went away, and have not returned. BP is low normal, blood glucose is low and steady with low fasting insulin, no digestive issues at all, psoriasis went away, forty pounds of weight lost, skin has improved significantly, and even my vision has greatly improved. At this point I have no inclination whatever to go back to eating carbage.

  18. Tried to comment earlier but lost it. Spent Sunday afternoon in ER – asthma – didn’t get home until 930. Daughter says homemade potato salad with mayo, vinegar, onions and hard boiled eggs doesn’t put her blood sugar up at all, but rice, noodles are real no nos. She thinks she read somewhere that if the potatoes are cooked and cooled before eating they are fine for some people at least. I thk someone above mentioned this, too.

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