The dough is the tough part of course. Whether you make it yourself or you buy it pre-made, it's difficult to avoid all those bready carbs. And while I've used whole wheat or whole grain crusts before, I knew this was only slightly better than the regular stuff.
But recently I found something that's not too bad at all. Oh, it's not perfect. But it allows me to have my pizza and my abs at the same time. It's a premade pizza crust that contains nothing but organic brown rice and a little potato.
That's it, two ingredients. It has a crunchy, yet chewy texture that's not quite like thin crust pizza, but damn tasty nonetheless.
It's made my Nature's Hilights and I found it in the freezer section of a higher-end grocery store. About $5 for two small-size crusts.
1) Thaw crust, then bake on a pizza stone in a 500 degree oven for 5 minutes. (You don't have to have a stone. A pizza pan works, preferably perforated.)
2) Take it out and smear on a fine layer of basil or sundried tomato pesto (homemade or store bought -- ingredients should be almost nothing but olive oil and herbs). This is a flavor explosion and my favorite secret ingredient. On top of this add low-sugar pasta sauce. If you're buying it and not making it, I suggest Classico's tomato & basil.
3) Top with fat-free Italian cheese blend and whatever else you want: turkey pepperoni (which is really good), vegetables, and my favorite: avocado.
4) Return to a 425 degree oven to melt the cheese and brown the toppings a bit.
I've been making these all summer and have maintained my summer leanness with ease. (Of course, I do train my ass off 6 days a week.)
With ingredient substitutions, you can easily halve the calories, keep the food volume high and therefore filling, and health up the fats and carbs of just about any food. Do it right and you won't even miss the "real" versions of your favorite cheat foods.
Viva la pizza!
Shugart's No-Belly Sorbet
1 package of Jell-O gelatin, sugar-free
6 oz frozen fruit juice concentrate (Welch's 100% natural)
3 cups of frozen fruit
1 tub sugar-free Cool Whip (8 ounce)
1 cup water
For raspberry sorbet (shown in pic), get frozen raspberries, raspberry-flavored gelatin, and Welch's White Grape Raspberry frozen juice.
Boil a cup of water, then stir in gelatin until dissolved. Add frozen juice (about half a standard can). Refrigerate for about 20 minutes until slightly thickened, then add fork-mashed frozen fruit along with Cool Whip. Whisk, cover, and freeze 4 hours or until solid.
This stuff ain't exactly "low carb" but it's low in calories compared to regular ice cream, plus most of the carbs are just from fruit anyway, so that's no big deal for a summer treat.
Note: You have to use 100% pure frozen fruit juice. Most frozen canned fruit juices are full of high fructose corn syrup and added sugar. Read the ingredient list and shelve it if it adds sugar or contains HFCS.
And here's an option for you: Peach Sorbet.
Simply use frozen peaches, peach-flavored sugar-free gelatin, and Welch's 100% White Grape Peach frozen juice. The rest of the recipe is the same.
The Volumized Cheeseburger
Extra lean ground turkey
1 omega-3 egg
Whole grain, high fiber, as-natural-as-possible hamburger buns
Fat-free Swiss cheese
Olive oil mayo
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
Veggie toppings of choice
1. Dump the ground turkey into a bowl and crack the egg into it. Mix well with your hands, then form into patties. Add salt, pepper, or any other herbs and spices you want at this time. I like a little worcestershire sauce.
2. Pop patties on your grill. While they're grilling, mix the olive-oil mayo with a mashed avocado and a finely diced chipotle pepper. (Just play with the amounts here. I use very little mayo.) This is going to become your new favorite burger spread! A food processor will make quick work of this, but you can do it by hand too.
3. Cook the turkey bacon.
4. Pop the buns onto the grill for a few seconds to heat them up and get them slightly crisp, then add the cheese to the patties during their last few minutes of cooking.
5. Assemble burger, add any veggies you want, and enjoy.
* All we've done here is substitute lower-calorie ingredients in for higher-calorie choices, mainly through the use of lean turkey instead of beef and pork. Compared to a regular bacon cheeseburger burger we save about half the calories while keeping the volume of food very high. You'll get just as full with about half the cals.
* The egg adds moisture, protein, and good fats. This is the secret to making a good turkey burger. We've also increased the quality of the fats by using olive oil mayo and avocado. The chipotle adds tons of flavor and heat, making you not miss the greasiness of a regular burger.
* I'm not much of a bread fan, but there are a lot of "better bad" choices out there these days including whole grain, zero sugar, and higher fiber hamburger buns. If you're really strict and low-carbin' you can ditch the bread and use leaves of butter lettuce as "buns."
Flax/Protein Bread Recipe
The more you cook, the better you look. So let's cook something that a lot of people -- especially we FFBs -- have had to give up: bread.
Yes, even whole grain bread, Ezekiel bread, and organic bread fertilized with the poo of weight-trained pygmies who survive only on acacia berries has to be avoided or limited for those of us that gain fat easily or have a tough time getting and staying lean.
I enjoy an occasional whole grain, low-carb, high-fiber tortilla, but other than that, the sight of bread makes me lose two rows of abdominals. Until now...
One of our figure athletes, Ezaler, posted a thread about her "zero-carb flax protein bread" that caught my attention. Why did that catch my eye? Because the words "zero-carb" and "bread" are seldom used in the same sentence, except for the one that begins "Ain't no such thing as..."
I've made some modifications and came with a savory and a sweet version. Note the total absence of flour and impactful carbs. Cool, huh? Check 'em out:
Savory Flax & Protein Bread
2 cups milled flax seeds (2093.4kcals)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (I use RealSalt sea salt)
2 whole eggs (I use omega-3 enriched)
3 egg whites
5 tablespoons virgin coconut oil (600)
1/2 cup of hot water
Mix the wet ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients. Then mix both together. (3044 total)
You may want to warm your coconut oil in a hot bath to get it liquid (it's solid when cool). The hot water should keep your oil from returning to a solid when you add it to the egg mixture. Bringing your eggs up to room temp will help too. If it turns solid, no worries, just place your mixing bowl in a sink with hot water and whisk like a madman.
Pour into a loaf pan, a baking dish, or those disposable foil bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes.
Sweet Flax & Protein Bread
Same as above but add 3 tablespoons of Splenda or your favorite no or low calorie sweetener. Many have used a scoop of vanilla or chocolate Metabolic Drive with great results (add a smidge more water if needed).
My favorite is to add canned pumpkin (7 ounces or so), a shot of organic vanilla, and several dashes of pumpkin pie spice blend.
The possibilities are endless here: unsweetened cocoa powder, nuts and seeds, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, various protein powder flavors, etc.
1) Use whole eggs if you want. The calories will come up a little but there's no reason to fear most saturated fats. In fact, you probably need more for optimal muscle growth.
Or, if you're a diehard egg-whiter, you may use all egg whites. I get the pure whites sold in the carton because I can't standing wasting a yolk. That will drop off some cals, which is fine if that fits your diet goals.
2) Olive oil or flax oil will work if you don't have coconut, but remember, those oils lose some of their healthful properties when exposed to heat. Much better to cook with coconut oil, which is one of those "good" saturated fats that most people are lacking.
Summary & Warning
Almost no carbs, pretty high in protein (for bread), super-high in fiber and good fats.... this stuff rocks. Use the savory for sandwiches and toast. Use the sweet as a dessert, much like my volumized zucchini bread.
And here's your warning: You may be tempted to eat the whole batch in a sitting or two. But remember, that's like 65g of fiber in one or two shots! (Average person gets 15 to 20 daily, and the recommended is around 25g.)
Also, while containing no carbs except those derived from fiber, this stuff isn't exactly low calorie given all the healthy but still calorically dense fats. So, go easy. Unless you need those extra calories, you I-just-ain't-hungry-pencilneck you.