Camping Trip Preparations

We are going to be heading out on another big camping trip this summer, and I’ve started looking into my notes from the big trip 2 years ago. I thought I’d share some of the things I’ll be making and bringing food-wise for the road.

I’ll be making:

  • Dana’s Snack Mix – from 500 Low-Carb Recipes by Dana Carpender
  • Tamari Almonds – a perennial favourite
  • Grainless Granola – this linked recipe is an adaptation of the original recipe from the Wheat Belly Cookbook – I would eliminate the last 2 ingredients (honey & salt) and, a secret from my mom, I find that coconut chips (the big slivers, not flakes) make this really, really tasty. Also, cook at 300F, stirring a couple of times, for 20 minutes.
  • Sunflower Sesame Crackers – I got the recipe from 500 Low-Carb Recipes, but there’s one that pretty close on this website (just add 1/2 tsp salt to the mix)
  • Cookies
  • Almond Milk 

We’ll bring cheese, summer sausage, cucumbers, carrots, various nuts (that’s picnic lunch there), soda water, I’m going to make chili (actually, I got this great Indian Beef Chili recipe from a book I borrowed from the library called Quick-Fix Indian by Ruta Kahate, so there may be 2 chili types) and keep in mind other 1 pot meals. I might make some breakfast cookies, and there will definitely be bacon and eggs, as well as greek (strained) whole milk yogurt. And coffee. Lots of coffee.

In my search for the above recipes online, I found these grain-free, sugar-free (sweetened with dates but I’d cut them way back and try a few other tricks) chai granola bars, which sound intriguing. I’ll let you know if I try them…

Easter Chocolates

One quick post today, since it is Easter weekend. I have 2 young boys who like to do an Easter (chocolate) egg hunt every year (a tradition started several years ago when I was away, by a relative).

So instead of buying chocolates from the store that are full of sugar and other crap we don’t want, I make my own. This time, I just tempered extra dark chocolate mixed with unsweetened chocolate (I’m guessing it was about 20% carbs, because the extra dark chocolate is about 30%, instead of the usual 50% that semi-sweet is) and poured it into our silicone moulds halfway, dropped in an almond, then filled it up.

Don’t know how to temper chocolate or why? Check this out.

We got the silicone moulds from chocolat-chocolat.com, a Montréal online seller.

homemade extra-dark easter almond chocolates

Low-carb at the One of a Kind Show

A few weeks ago I was an artisan in the Etsy section of the Spring One of a Kind Show and Sale in Toronto. Which meant that on top of creating all of my stock, designing my booth/table setup, marketing, and packing up, I also had to prepare food for the 5 day, 11-13 hours/day sale.
This was a bit of a challenge, but I managed to go the 5 days without succumbing to the temptation of the food they sold there, which was slightly better that mall food court fare.

So, the week before the show, I started preparing food. Actually, I had been putting food aside for a while, but then I realized that maybe the Indian beet soup and Butter Chicken I had frozen into individual portions weren’t the best idea, because a) if I spilled them they would stain and b) they might leave me with garlic and onion breath, with which to meet and greet customers. Not so ideal.

Since I was going to be there for 11-13 hours most days starting at 9 or 10am, I had to figure out how I was going to eat. I decided that I’d have a second breakfast around 11 or 11:30am, and one big meal (lunch/supper) at around 3 or 4pm when things slowed down between the day folks and the evening folks. That was when I had friends come in to spell me off for a break. Other than that it would be little snacks on the spot.

For my hot meal, I had Mockeroni Cheese from the The Vegetarian Low-Carb Diet Cookbook, referred to in an earlier post, and my husbands yummy sausage stew. Sorry no photo but here is the recipe:

Sausage and Carrot Stew

  • 4 garlic sausages
  • 150 g chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1.5 tsp oregano
  • .75 tsp cumin
  • 560 ml canned tomato quarters
  • 4 tsp tomato paste
  • Parsley.
  1. Remove sausage casings, cut into rounds or chunks
  2. Fry sausages. Keep the juices, Add onion, fry a bit, add carrot fry some more.
  3. Add tomato, pepper, oregano and cumin. Cook on low heat for a bit. Season.
  4. Serve with parsley.

For snacks, I made Tamari Almonds:

I got the recipe (so my recipe database tells me) from KitchenDaily.com but I can’t find the recipe there anymore (besides, I modified it), so here it is:

  • 5 cups almonds
  • 1/4 cup tamari sauce
  • dash Worchestershire sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 250 F
  2. Mix/toss ingredients in a bowl, spread on a baking sheet with sides. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
  3. Cool completely on pan and transfer to airtight container.

Yep, it’s that easy.

I also made Sunflower Cheddar Crackers, from 500 Low-Carb Recipes:

More snack prep for @ooak_toronto (this WED!)… GF cheddar crackers. Nomnom. #ooakdiaries

A post shared by Lynn W, Amherst Is. ON Canada (@lynnslids) on

This person has posted the recipe. I do them on a baking stone, which may be why mine aren’t burnt on the bottom like theirs, or maybe I just didn’t bake them as long. Also I use a rolling pin to flatten them between 2 pieces of parchment.

Speaking of gluten-free crackers, as I was searching for the above recipe, I came across these, which I haven’t tried, but they look pretty tasty. I may have to try them in the future.

I also made myself treats: mini Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Muffins:

More food prep while waiting for stuff to dry… Chocolate sweet potato muffins. Mmmmm…. #ooakdiaries

A post shared by Lynn W, Amherst Is. ON Canada (@lynnslids) on

On day 1, my mom came with a friend and dropped off some of Wheat Belly Cookbook’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. The recipe is similar to my modified version, but I think she adds coconut chips in there as well. Sorry, no photo!

For my second breakfast, I made Overnight Chocolate Coffee Chia Breakfast Pudding. I chose that since the days were long and I figured I could use the extra boost.

Overnight Chocolate Coffee Chia Breakfast Pudding

 

The recipe comes from paleomg.com, but I skipped the sweetener (it doesn’t need it). So it’s just:

  • ½ cup brewed coffee (chilled)
  • ½ cup full fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon almond butter (or other nut or seed butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  1. Blend all but chia seeds in blender.
  2. Place the blended mixture into a resealable large jar (or 2-3 smaller jars) then add chia seeds. Seal jar(s) and shake.
  3. Place in refrigerator overnight or for at least 3+ hours.

I also brought cheese slices and carrot sticks. And a lot of water. Because it was dry in there. Crazy dry. Thankfully, they had the HTO To Go water refill station there.

And that managed to get me through it without buying any food or carbing up.

As a little bonus to this entry, last weekend I was visiting friends in the country whose family raises free-range chickens for their own use. They saved all the livers and put me to work making 7 lbs of chicken livers into pâté. I took a few photos, and it was my best batch ever.

Those were all combined (along with ground ginger, salt, and cream) to make a huge vat:

vat of chicken liver pate

We divided it into jars and gave a bunch away, took some, froze some, and started eating some right then and there. As we didn’t have crackers made up, we just spread it on cucumbers and celery. Delicious.

Pork Roast, Cheese Sauce & Cookies

I know, I know, it’s been an age since I last posted. I’ve been busy with the holiday season, making and selling hats and cute things from wool for my little business.

But here’s a very quick entry. Apologies for the appalling photography.

gluten free cheese sauce

Pork roast and veggies with gluten-free cheese sauce!

We had a pork roast last night which was delicious (even the kids thought so). I tweaked this Roast Pork with Rutabagas and Apples recipe from Williams-Sonoma by eliminating the sugar/honey, and instead adding a couple of tablespoons of applesauce (since the reviewer said the amount of glaze didn’t cover the roast, I made more). Also, we didn’t have rutabagas, so I used parsnips. It was delicious. Tonight we had the leftovers, and they were just as delicious.

Also, it has come to my attention that you can make cheese sauce without flour. Gluten-free cheese sauce.  In a double boiler, add a little cream (for 3 people tonight I added about 1/4 cup – better to start with too little as you can add more later). Let it heat up, then add a bunch of grated cheese (we use old cheddar). Whisk. Let it melt. Add more cheese if it’s too thin or more cream if it’s too thick. Whisk. Melt. Serve immediately.

Nikki's Healthy Cookies - low carb version

Nikki’s Healthy Cookies – Lynn’s low carb version

Lastly, a friend sent me a link to the recipe for Nikki’s Healthy Cookies and I finally tried it. We didn’t have any oats, and I’d rather not use them, so I used a cup of sliced almonds and a cup of sunflower seeds, whizzed in the food processor to chop them up a little. Everything else I kept the same as the original recipe. They are delicious!

Tonight I didn’t have 3 bananas, so I used 2 and about 1/3 cup of some tart applesauce I’d made from some crabapples we’d picked back in August. They are also delicious. The only tweak I’d make is an attempt to dry them out a bit by adding more almond flour or a tablespoon or two of coconut flour.

Tacos!

low-carb chicken taco

Sorry for the gap in posts. I’ve been actively blogging the 30×30 Nature Challenge  from DavidSuzuki.org on my green blog over here for the past month. I do have a couple of posts in mind, though, so let’s get started with tacos.

I had a hankering a couple of weeks ago for Tex-Mex and searched online for a low-carb tortilla recipe. After looking at several, I decided to go with this one from lowcarb.ca, because it seemed the least complicated. I used half the recipe and made 8 small tortillas, but they weren’t very malleable so I changed tack and went with tacos instead, and they worked rather well! We didn’t have any soy protein powder, so I used plain whey protein isolate. I found that it was way too much water, so I would suggest just adding water until a ball forms, however this is likely because of the soy/whey substitution. (After I had added way too much water, I added more almond flour and whey protein isolate until it seemed the right consistency.)

Anyway, it was such a success, I did it again this past week again.

Coconut Porridge!

low-carb coconut flax gluten-free sugar-free oatmeal

I don’t remember how I got to this recipe for coconut porridge, but I think it may have started on Pinterest and ended with a duckduckgo search.

In any case, it was intriguing enough to try, and I gave it a go this morning, and it was pretty darn good! I used almond milk instead of the coconut milk and added a few blueberries for colour and a little sweetness instead of the suggested honey. If you check out the comments on the linked recipe’s post, people have varied it and added different spices (cinnamon, pumpkin spices) used chia for the flax or almond flour, and one person used hazelnut meal instead of almonds, which I am definitely going to have to try.

One more cereal (because I do love cereal) to add to the master breakfast list! And we can all use a little more flax seed, can’t we?

Oh, and I haven’t worked out the nutrition data, but as it’s only flax seed, almonds, unsweetened coconut, coconut milk, and a teaspoon or two of blueberries, I think it’s pretty good. There are carbs in there, but there’s also a lot of fibre. (Click on any of those ingredients for links to the USDA nutrient database entry for them.)

Breakfast Cookies

gluten free sugar free breakfast cookies

A friend pinned this recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies by The Girl Who Went Paleo on Pinterest and said she would cut the honey in half as they were very sweet so I thought I’d give it a try without the honey. They are delicious! They would be a perfect breakfast to bring when you are travelling. Make a batch and they’d last a week or so. They are also great as a not-s0-sweet snack anytime.

I made 20 cookies. I also edited the recipe slightly so my ingredients were as follows:

  • 1/4 cup puréed cooked sweet potato (I didn’t have any pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • pinch salt

With the ingredients above, and if I had divided it into 12 large cookies, as the recipe suggests, the nutrition facts per serving (1/12 of recipe) are:

Calories:  159.6
Protein: 4.88 g
Fat: 12.8 g
Net Carbohydrates: 6.2 g

(And if you don’t want to bother following the link to the original recipe, bake 10-15 minutes at 350F.)