low carb bagel sandwich

Bagels, Made of Mozzarella? Yes.

My SE Michigan residence is not presently air conditioned. Not a complaint… I did not grow up with AC, and we have a pool. And, around here, there are not too many days that are truly miserable without AC. The real problem of not having AC on super hot, humid days is that it makes using the oven a decidedly undesirable thing to do. So in the summer I don’t tend to bake nearly as much as I do in the Fall through  Spring. And that is a little bit sad! Fortunately we’re slated to replace an aging furnace with something that will provide at least partial AC, and I’m looking forward to baking year round again 😉

I have always loved to bake, and still do quite a bit of conventional baking for my family. But now I am slowly discovering more keto-friendly recipes that are both low-carb and tasty, as well as, at a minimum, reminiscent of traditional baked goods. I recently came across the Fathead Pizza Dough recipe, and am still living on cloud 9. This recipe, despite being made primarily of mozzarella cheese, makes a dough that can multitask in your low carb diet and really, really tastes great. And acts surprisingly like bread as well.

I first made this dough in the form of bagels. It was a shockingly successful debut… they puffed, they browned, they were riddled with small chewy air pockets, cut well, and toasted like a dream. I used them on their own, with cream cheese or butter, and in meat and cheese bagel sandwiches. My non-low-carb family keeps asking for them too! Definitely a keeper!

The one drawback, if you can call it that, is that these things are so nutrition dense that they are VERY filling. The recipe makes bagels that are smaller than store bought (see the sandwich pic for reference), but if you use them as a sandwich base, they will eliminate the need to eat for a long time. You’ve been warned.

Fathead Bagels

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour (not almond meal)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional but helpful)
  • 2 1/2 cup (10 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 oz cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Set aside.

Melt mozzarella and cream cheese in a separate bowl in the microwave, stirring every minute or so until completely melted and well incorporated.

Combine dry ingredients and egg with the melted cheese and stir until very well mixed. It will look like a sticky dough. Using wet hands (and re-wetting them as necessary to keep dough from sticking to you), divide dough into 6ths and form them into bagel shapes. I had good luck making 8″ logs, then joining into a ring and plopping it onto the baking pan. Unlike wheat dough, you do not need to be very careful in joining the dough into a ring… in the oven it will meld it together and it will stay well attached. When all your bagels are formed, you can top them with poppy or sesame seeds or anything else you want. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-14 minutes until firm and golden. Err on the side of overbaking since the moist fatty dough will not dry out quickly.

Serve hot or cold, toasted or not. Store in the fridge or freezer.

(Note: If you omit the xanthan gum, the bagels may bake up flatter and wider… this might be a good thing depending on what you plan to do with them.)

keto pancakes

Keto Cream Cheese Pancakes

So, you know those gorgeous food blog posts with tantalizing images of deliciousness you can barely help from licking the computer screen? Yeah? You won’t find that here today. This was a last minute meal where I realized, a few bites in, that I should have documented it. Enter the phone camera. Also, no garnishing or staging. The food was real, yummy, and gone too quickly 😉

My big sister sent me a link to this recipe a while back, and I just didn’t get to making it for over a month with all the craziness going on in May and June. But then, one evening, my kids reminded me that I had promised “breakfast for dinner” and they wanted pancakes. So I mixed up some regular Betty Crocker recipe pancakes and remembered this recipe. Mixing it up was quick, so I just made the cream cheese pancakes when  I was done making the rest. I ate them with a standard sugar-free pancake syrup, and they both looked and tasted just as I hoped. Really not a compromise in the world of sugarless substitutions, and very easy.

The recipe comes from kitchn, made by me in the keto-friendly fashion they suggest.

Cream Cheese Pancakes

Serves 2, makes about 6 four-inch pancakes

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour, such as almond, coconut, or all-purpose
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Directions

Place the cream cheese, eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth.

Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray or butter. Once the butter is melted, pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the batter. Cook until deep golden-brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until the second side is golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.

Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with butter, sugar-free syrup or fresh berries.

Girl Waits With Gun

Girl Waits With Gun

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Yet another summer reading book, done! So as not to spoil the fun of this work of fiction based on historical happenings, I will not give an extensive review. But I thoroughly enjoyed it… it is one of those books that made my kids work harder to get my attention because I was so engrossed in the story line.

Girl Waits With Gun is a winner. The plot surrounds three sisters living near New York in 1914. The Amazon page sums it up thusly:

“From the New York Times best-selling author of The Drunken Botanist comes an enthralling novel based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation’s first female deputy sheriffs. Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared.”

Definitely good, light entertaining reading. Pairs well will a cold drink, al fresco on a sunny day. And now I want to read The Drunken Botanist (based solely on the title… merging my dual interests in plants and alcohol).