italian cheese blend

6 grams of Net Carb Lasagna Bolognese! This is a pretty labor intensive recipe but it has 70% Fat, 27% Protein, 3% Carbs with a rundown of: 904 cal, 68 g of fat, 60 g of protein, 6 g of net carbs (only 10 g of total carbs!)If you make it send me a pic and how you liked it!here are my photos of itCrepe layer: 6 eggs 6 oz. Full Fat Cream Cheese 1 scoop unflavored whey proteinMeat Sauce: 1 lb 80/20 Ground Beef 1 lb Ground Pork 2 cubes Low Carb Vegetable Bullion 3 Tbl Tomato Paste ½ tsp. cinnamon 1 Tbl. Extra Spicy Mrs. Dash Salt and Pepper to taste 4 Egg WhitesBechamel Layer: 3 c. Unsweetened Alternative Milk (I used Ripple) ¼ tsp. Nutmeg Salt and Pepper to taste ‘Squirt’ of liquid sweetener 4 Egg Yolks 2 c. Shredded Italian Blend CheeseOther: 1-2 c. Shredded Italian Blend Cheese Extra Virgin Olive OilFor the crepes (pasta layer): Place the cream cheese and eggs in a blender and blend until fully combined. Add in whey protein and blend until smooth. Cook in a nonstick crepe pan (mine is 9”0), swirling the slightly thick batter to just coat the bottom. Place a lid over the pan while the first side cooks. Loosen the crepe with a spatula and slide the crepe off the pan onto a piece of parchment. Carefully, using the parchment paper, flip the crepe back into the pan raw side down and cook until browned. We are browning both sides to create a drier and firmer texture so that the crepe wont disintegrate. You should end up with 8 crepes. (bonus: to make it a little more traditional… throw a handful of spinach into the blender to create spinach pasta sheets)For the Bolognese: In a large straight sided skillet, brown the beef and the pork. Remember that browning doesn’t mean cooking the pink out… it means cooking the meat until all the moisture that comes out of the meat evaporates and the meat starts to fry in its own fat. Add in 4 cups of water, the two bullion cubes, the tomato paste, cinnamon and Mrs. Dash. Stir to combine and simmer on low until the liquid cooks off, the meat is tender and the sauce if fairly thick. Remove from the heat, let cool 10 minutes and stir in the egg whites.For the Béchamel: Bring the ‘milk’, nutmeg and sweetener to a boil. Place the egg yolks into a blender and turn on low. Once the ‘milk’ is to a boil, slowly pour over the egg yolks in the blender while it is running. Once all the milk is in, turn the speed up to medium and place the cheese into the mix. Run the blender until the mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper.To Build: I use a 8x10x2.5 inch vintage Dansk pan.In the bottom of your pan place 2 tablespoons of the bolognese and 4 tablespoons of béchamel and spread into a thin layer (this will not completely cover the bottom). Place 2 Crepes overlapping to cover the bottom of the pan, trimming the edge and using the trim to fill in any empty spots. Spread 1/3 of the meat mixture over the crepes, and pour ¼ cup of the béchamel over the meat. Sprinkle this with a light layer of your cheese. Repeat with 2 more crepes, another 1/3 of the meat, another ¼ of the béchamel and more cheese. Repeat once more placing the final two crepes on top of everything. Pour the remaining Béchamel onto of the top crepes (there should be ¼ to ½ cup left) and finish with a healthy does of cheese. Place your baking pan onto a rimmed sheet tray and bake for 45 minutes at 375 F. Cover with foil and bake an additional 30 minutes or until set. IT WILL PUFF UP….there are a lot of eggs in there… but it will flatten as it cools. Remove from the oven and let rest for 20-30 minutes. Cut into 6-12 pieces. Serve drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a small salad.Enjoy Y'all!

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Individual white chicken pizzas

I was spending a lengthy commute the other day flipping through my newest (March, 2014) Cooking Light magazine. A recipe for little pizzas topped with ricotta cheese and shredded rotisserie chicken caught my eye. Other than making the ricotta cheese from scratch (which they promised was key), the recipe sounded fairly quick. It called for fresh, store-bought pizza dough and shredded chicken, which was already in my possession.

Have you ever made ricotta cheese? This was my second attempt, with similar, dismal results. And yes, the end product was creamy, but because I had a million things going on, waiting another 30 minutes for it to continue to drain through the sieve was no longer an option. Therefore the quantity was lacking and it was a bit on the thin side. Note to self - obviously the one half cup herb-infused olive oil called for would be waaay too much to stir into this cheese.

Ricotta cheese debacle aside, after lots of rework, these mini pizzas were outstanding. I’ve modified the recipe to use store-bought ricotta (I love it right out of the container) and I because the recipe already called for fresh mozzarella as well, I left out the pre-shredded Italian blend cheese that was a listed ingredient. 

A recipe inspired from Cooking Light magazine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound refrigerated fresh pizza dough, divided
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 generous cup ricotta cheese
  • 12 ounces shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 3 ounces fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese, torn into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup small fresh basil leaves

Directions:

Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 450° (keep pizza stone or baking sheet in oven as it preheats).

Let pizza dough rest, covered, at room temperature as oven preheats.

Combine oil and next 4 ingredients (through thyme sprigs) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 4 minutes or until garlic begins to brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine sieve over a small bowl; discard solids.

Combine 2 tablespoons of the oil with ricotta cheese and salt. (You’ll have extra olive oil which you can use for another recipe.)

Divide dough into 6 equal pieces (about 2.5 ounces each). Roll each piece into a 6-inch circle on a lightly floured surface (keep dough covered with a damp towel to prevent drying). Spread about 1 ½ tablespoons ricotta cheese mixture over each pizza, leaving a ½-inch border. Divide chicken and mozzarella cheese evenly among pizzas; sprinkle evenly with thyme leaves and black pepper. Carefully remove pizza stone from oven. Arrange 3 to 4 pizzas on pizza stone. Bake at 450° F. for 8 minutes or until dough is golden and cheese browns. Repeat procedure with remaining pizzas, or follow freezing instructions.

Brush baked pizzas with a little bit of the oil and sprinkle evenly with fresh basil leaves.

TO FREEZE: Bake pizzas on preheated stone for only 5 minutes. Cool; wrap individually in heavy-duty foil, stack, and freeze up to 2 months.

TO REHEAT: No thawing: Place frozen pizzas on a baking sheet that’s not preheated; bake at 450° for 13 minutes or until cheese browns.