Thursday, July 12, 2007

Do it yourself cheese!

Milk isn't exactly low carb, so I don't drink it. But I get almost 2 gallons of fresh milk everyday, and with the new price of milk being at or above $4 per gallon at the stores, I figure my dairy goats are getting more valuable by the minute!

I don't drink milk, but I use it to make my own cheese. That's low carb :-)

I also use it to make soap, and lotion.

Anyone interested in making homemade cheese is in for a treat. It's SO EASY.

You don't have to have a goat or cow. You could milk your sheep, or mare, or water buffalo...just kidding. You could go buy that $4/gallon milk from Wally World.
Carefully warm a gallon of milk to 195 degrees (for cows milk). Add 1/2 cup of vinegar or lemon juice to the hot milk. You will see curds separate from the whey (which will be kind of neon green-looking). Line a collandar or large sieve with a clean, old, well worn pillowcase, sheet, or piece of cheesecloth. Pour the curds and whey through the cloth and let drain for a while. You can hang the curds by tying the 4 corners of the cloth in a loose knot and dangle from a cabinet handle with a bowl underneath to catch whey, or from your kitchen faucet. Let drain for 3 to 12 hours depending on how dry you want your cheese.
Dump the curds into a large bowl, for a savory cheese, season with salt, and herbs such as onion powder, garlic powder, Italian herbs, dill, or pepper. For a desert cheese or fruit spread, put the curds into the food processor with a few strawberries and some Stevia, or some SF jam, or DaVinci syrup, and process until it is smooth and creamy (you might want to add some cream).
Put it into a tightly sealed container in your refrigerator and use within the next week or two. These cheeses also freeze well. The savory cheese is awesome in Italian dishes like lasagna. You can also use this type of cheese in anything you would use tofu in (it doesn't melt or get stringy).
Everyone I work with looks forward to me bringing in my fresh cheeses and dishes made with them for our snack days.
Let me know how your cheese turns out :-)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Squash Casserole Recipe

My garden is producing great big yellow summer squash as fast as it can. That means I am making small squash casseroles to freeze for later use, as fast as I can. There is no way I can eat all that squash right now. Even a little summer squash pumps up the carbs when you are on induction. But, I do make a fairly low carb squash casserole:

About 4 quarts of squash in large pieces
One medium onion, cut in large pieces
4 oz cream cheese (full fat)
1 stick of butter
1 large egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons of Carbalose flour or LC bake mix
Salt and Italian herbs to taste.

Boil the squash and onion until very tender and then drain for 10 or 15 minutes in a large collandar.
Mash with a large fork or potato masher while in the collandar so it will drain some more.

Put mashed squash and onion back into your big pan and add one stick of butter and 4 ounces of cream cheese, one beaten egg, and 2 tablespoons of carbalose flour. Season with salt and Italian herbs. Mix well, then put into small casserole dishes that have been sprayed with PAM. Cover the top of the casserole with shredded cheese (I use shredded colby).

Cover the dishes with lids, or aluminum foil. Make a label (I use a post-it note) and trap it under a layer of clear wrap and wrap the casserole tightly to keep it fresh until you are ready to bake it. Freeze.

When you are ready to cook it, take it out of the freezer several hours in advance to thaw. Bake it covered at 350 degrees until it is hot, bubbly and browning on the top. The time will vary depending on just how much thawing happened prior to putting in the oven. If it was totally thawed, it should only take 30 to 45 minutes.

The whole recipe comes to 52 net carbs, I get a minimum of 10 servings at 5.2 grams each.