Atkins Diet Recipe: Low Carb Faux Mac N’ Cheese (IF)
I announced a change in my YouTube channel in this video. I am now planning to release two videos a week if possible (not traveling) — one new recipe video and one other video (redone old recipe on new equipment, product review, educational video, or just simply a vlog or commentary). I have a backlog of new recipe ideas that should last until April or May. Let me know what you think in the comments.
One of the biggest problems for new low carbers is what to pair with their main dish, Often times, they’ll end up defaulting to lettuce salads or simply vegetables with butter.By having a rough chop of the cauliflower, the intention is to have the texture of macaroni in this dish and a great flavor from the cheese sauce. My kids love this recipe a lot, and often I have to make a double batch if I want to have any.
In my quest to find a good Atkins or low carb frozen food, I have stumbled across one of the new ones called Mexican-Style Chicken and Vegetables. This one features an enchilada type sauce covering chicken, cheese, and vegetables (primarily onions and peppers). This one is very similar to my Enchilada Chicken Paillard recipe, which can be found here:
Review: The flavor of this one was really good. I like spicy and this one had a moderate amount of spice to it, but not so much to turn off my family, who might not have a cast iron stomach. It could use a dollop of sour cream, which would also boost its Fat content (roughly 50% of the Calories). The chicken pieces are large and numerous. The 2 questionable ingredients are near the end of the list, and the only other knock is I wanted more when I was done.
One of the things I am often asked for is more Induction Friendly sides that the whole family can enjoy. This one is particularly one of my wife’s favorites. I think the dill really adds to the flavor of the recipe, and it can paired with about anything. Let me know what you think of it..
Creamy Cucumber Salad Recipe (IF)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Splenda or liquid equivalent
2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
4 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced
I had high hopes for one of my favorite low carb meals, Swedish Meatballs. I had already done a low carb recipe video on them (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToOjiAYoj84), and with the meal essentially being beef/pork meatballs with beef gravy over top of them, it should have been an easy meal to reproduce commercially. What we were given though were meatballs with textured vegetable protein to reduce the cost and huge mushrooms, a vegetable (er fungus) I am not a huge fan. From an appearance POV, it was also pretty boring with a gray on gray palate. Save your money, but a better meal like the chicken broccoli alfredo if you want the convenience of a frozen meal.
I have decided to update my audio gear for recording YT videos. I have been using a wired lavalier microphone (Audio Technica ATR-3350) for roughly a year now, and the 20+ foot cable was huge pain. The audio quality was good from the microphone, but the cord was constantly getting knotted up and tangled. The first 5 minutes of filming a video was usually spent untangling the knots and putting on the wind screen. I have been looking for a wireless alternative for awhile now, and I finally figured if I was going to resume making videos that I wanted a more hassle-free clip-on microphone.
I ended up purchasing two microphones. The primary one I purchased was Audio Technica ATR-288W wireless TwinMic microphone. It will allow me to roam the kitchen without feeling like I had a tail. I can also put cord tangles in the past. The results from the first video were pretty good with a minimal amount of hiss. I think as I am cooking that the normal kitchen noise will cover any minimal hiss or interference. The second microphone is the highly-rated Blue Yeti stand microphone. It is the replacement for the Blue Snowball mic that many podcasters and YT videographers used.
I bought this second microphone specifically for videos that I do while seated or perhaps future interactive videos, similar to my label reading game show series of videos. Good sound is critical for any video and relying on camera audio was not going to cut it. My decision was made even easier as I got a good discount on both mics. They were both refurbished models, so let me know what you think about the audio quality.
I know I have been away from making videos for awhile as work has been extremely busy for me, but I want to get seriously back in front of the camera and get serious about my diet again. (I have stayed on Atkins and Low Carb, but due to travel and work, my attention has been on work rather than exercise and eating to hunger.)
Here was my conclusion of the video:
In conclusion, the meal was pretty tasty. Of course, I wished there was more to it as I was still hungry afterwords, but for smaller hungers, I believe it would be sufficient. My concern is the the “Good for all Phases” label when it clearly has ingredients that are not Induction Friendly. It is frustrating when Atkins Nutrition makes statements that they don’t need to make. If they want a more open diet, then write a diet that allows all this food in Phase 1. Just please stop making it more difficult trying to explain this diet to others.
Ultimately if I had my choice, I would rather have my own Chinese Orange Chicken recipe.
I posted another low carb ice cream video a few years ago, and it is really good. It however does require a lot of work with shaking the bag for quite awhile to make the ice cream. This recipe is only about 2 minutes of prep and 1-2 hours of chilling required. It is probably more accurately a frozen dessert rather than ice cream as there is no cream in this recipe. It is also more versatile as one can add the ingredients you like to the recipe like the second variant of chocolate peanut butter ice cream, which is my favorite.
If you want you can run the batter through an ice cream maker, and it should be done sooner. The food processor already beats in significant amount of air, so it should not take as long as regular cream-based ice creams too. Let me know what is your favorite ice cream flavor in the comment section.
Nutrition Info Per Serving (1/2 cup):
170 Calories, 8.9g Fat, 5.5g Total Carbs (0.8g Fiber), 16g Protein
(OWL) – Appropriate for Ongoing Weight Loss phase due to presence of cottage cheese
One question I routinely get is where to find mayonnaise without any added sugar, and I have tried and failed making mayo many times before trying this recipe. My answer was the added sugar was probably miniscule, so do your best and accept it. This recipe however changed that answer for me personally. I think two things definitely help this recipe emulsify and hold together better than other mayonnaise recipes:
* Stick blender ( beats enough air and breaks up the egg to allow for the emulsification process to occur)
* Coconut oil – the high melting point enables the oil to hold together in fridge and never separates
I will say this the recipe as described the mayonnaise ends up more as a mousse in the fridge. It is spreadable with a few beats of the mayonnaise, but if you want it more spreadable, you might try a ratio of 2:1 extra light olive oil to coconut oil instead (so 2/3 cup to 1/3 cup). I like it as is, but being that coconut oil melting temp is so low, I can see where some would like it a bit more spreadable.
Add all ingredients to mixing cup. Using an immersion blender, start at the bottom of the cup. Blend for 10 seconds, and then pull the blender up through the ingredients for 30 seconds until the oil is completely emulsified.
Makes 16-20 servings.
Nutrition Info Per Serving (1 tbsp):
123 Calories, 13.9g Fat, 0g Total Carbs (0g Fiber), 0.4g Protein
My son Brett, 52 pounds lost in 5 months (click for larger photo)
Starting at the beginning of the year, my son decided he was going to follow my lead and start low carbing. He had all the standard questions — what could eat, drink, how was he going to do this at school, and what foods he could make. I pointed him at many of videos and said if he was serious, I would help him. I honestly thought this would have been a passing fad and at best a 2-week attempt.
He surprised me. He was committed to the diet and would routinely turn down easy opportunities to eat off plan — like at football games, away from home, or in front of friends. I am sure there was an element of being different to his plan and showing off to his friends that he could do this. However in showing off, he made it a lifestyle choice, and stuck to it. Within 5 weeks, his success led one of his younger sisters, Amanda, to also follow the plan. She proceeded to lose 20 or 25 pounds over the next 4 weeks, and by the end of March, her twin sister, Brooke, was also following a low carb diet.
While we were gone on the cruise, Brett informed us that he hit his goal weight of 225 after losing 52 pounds in those 5 months. Amanda is also down 48 pounds in roughly 4 months and is nearing her first goal weight. She says she may have second goal weight after hitting the first milestone, but she wants to nail the first one before school is out. Brooke is also down 25-30 pounds, but she started last. Overall, I could not be happier with their success.
Here are some things that worked for me and my kids:
Make it their idea; don’t push the idea on them. I believe my kids were much more successful and stuck to the diet because it was them that wanted to do it. I never even suggested they do the diet because I remember when as a kid, I was told I had to diet and hated the fact.
If they do come and ask about it, enable them and give them the information. Don’t however coddle them and make it too easy. I wanted to be sure they were serious with their requests and not simply a phase. That is why I made them view the videos, so they could digest what they could eat or how to be motivated or how to confront well-meaning friends. If I had just told them, I don’t think it would have been internalized as much.
Buy kid-friendly real foods that they can make themselves without potentially resorting to bars or shakes every day approach. I did buy them some bars and shakes for days in which they were band festivals or away from home, but for the most part, I’d rather them make themselves a frozen hamburger or pork rind nachos instead.
Related to the last one, stock your fridge with lots of options. At one point, my kids were all about string cheese. Now not so much, Brooke would rather make herself a low carb mock Danish instead. If they have a desire to cook, give them a cookbook and get the ingredients for them to go wild trying new recipes. They might not always turn out, but you are allowing them the opportunity to author their own success.
If they are doing something unique or are put in a position where low carbing is near impossible, don’t beat them up (mentally and certainly not physically) for making a decision to eat off plan. Make it a non-event, and let them know that they aren’t always in control of everything. Brett did band/choir trip to Nashville, and ate a couple meals off plan because that was the restaurant option he was given. He hopped back on the diet even before he came home.
Finally, the idea of rewards does work sometimes. I did do some rewards for my kids for their perseverance. Brett was going to go to the Bacon Festival with me before a trip to Seattle got in the way. Amanda got new clothes. I don’t think rewards should be overdone (say for every 10 pounds lost), but I do think they can help them get through a rough day or bad patch.
One last note, I never wanted to portray Atkins Diet or Low Carb as the only way to my kids — just the only way that ever worked for me. Their elder sister, Tasha, did low carbing for awhile but determined it wasn’t for her. She reached her healthy weight now through exercise and simply eating less junk than she had. She looks great as well, and I am proud of her for finding her way.
I have been following the CarbSmart.com team (Andrew DeMino, Dana Carpender, Jimmy Moore, and my favorites — Amy Dungan and Susie Gibbs) for quite awhile. Carbsmart has been around for nearly 13 years, but last year they changed their focus from being the go-to source low carb products to being the go-to source for low carb information and review on the latest low carb news.
“CarbSmart Magazine provides up-to-date and unbiased information about the many benefits of the low carb lifestyle,” says Dana Carpender. “Our focus is to cover anything that will help our readers be successful on a low carb diet, so they can reap its many benefits. We also provide information about low carb diets to control or eliminate diabetes. And we evaluate and report on the latest research & information about carbohydrate restriction and diabetic and Paleo diets to help our readers understand how these diets may help them.”
Starting last month, Carbsmart rolled out their digital version on iTunes. It will have new content only available in the digital magazine. Eventually, it will evolve to be found on more platforms and eReaders than just Apple products, such as Kindles, Android and Windows devices. The first issue of the Carbsmart magazine featured the best articles of 2012 by some of the best minds in the low carb field, like Jacqueline Eberstein, RN, Drs. Volek and Phinney, Dr. Richard Feinman, Dr. Rainer Klement, Dana Carpender, Jimmy Moore, Amy Dungan, and Susie Gibbs. I especially appreciated Susie’s awesome Easter recipes. That Fluffy Chix can certainly cook!
Starting in the second issue, it will also feature me. I was asked if I wanted to start writing for them for both the online and possibly the digital magazine as well. I was honored to be asked. My area of topics is close to my heart. Ever since I started doing Atkins, one of things I was always told that “you certainly can’t exercise on a low carb diet.” I had numerous well-meaning Wellness folks at my last employer tell me they couldn’t do a low carb diet because they worked out and then were amazed as I ran on the treadmill or worked out on the treadmill. I will be writing on being active on a low carb ketogenic diet, whether that be simply walking with the kids, running marathons, or doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), like P90x.
PS – in honor of my new writing gig, I am running the Hy-Vee Drake Relays Half Marathon in two weeks. I’ll be pacing the half marathon group in this inaugural race. It should be a good race, and I love being able to others achieve their dream of completing a half marathon.