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Blog

Filtering by Category: kitchen hacks and tips

Keto Pizza Crust (no cauliflower)

Patricia Reitz

It seems like just about everyone is reducing their carb intake these days.  It's true, even my husband has been eating low-carb.  It's also true that my husband's favorite food is pizza - which we all know is most definitely not a low-carb food.  That is, until now.

Probably the most popular low-carb pizza crust recipe floating around out there is made with cauliflower that has to be grated, cooked, strained, and squeezed with every ounce of your strength before you can use it. And I bet you didn’t know cauliflower contains a lot of carbs. But the recipe I'm going to share with you today is much easier to make, and it has NO carbs!  Alright, let me show you how to make it.

You'll need 3 simple ingredients to make this crust - eggs, grated parmesan or romano cheese, and...

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The magic ingredient.... high quality canned chicken!  

After trying several brands, we decided we like Kirkland Signature from Costco the best.  

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See how the chunks of chicken are nice and big?  Some lower quality brands of chicken are mushy and pasty - try to avoid mushy and pasty chicken.  Anyway, drain the water from the can.  This nifty tool will keep your hands dry and clean while draining all that juice from the can.  I also love using this safety can opener to eliminate sharp can edges.

Use a spatula to gently press the chicken to remove any last drops of water.  What started out as a 12.5-ounce can of chicken really ends up being about 7.5 ounces of drained chicken.  

Spread both cans of drained chicken out on a parchment lined sheet pan, breaking up large chunks.  Place in a preheated 350F oven for about 10 minutes to dry the chicken a bit.

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After the chicken comes out of the oven raise the temperature to 500F.  Notice how the color of the chicken has deepened.  Allow the chicken to cool for several minutes before proceeding.

When the chicken is cool, combine it with the eggs and cheese.  I like to use a stand mixer fitted with a BeaterBlade attachment to do this, but you can mix it by hand.

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See how nicely the stand mixer and BeaterBlade does the job?

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Divide the chicken mixture in half and use your fingers to press it into two 6x9-inch rectangles right on the same parchment lined sheet pan (below).

Note: My husband likes to spread the chicken/cheese crust mixture out about twice as thin (so he can have a thinner, crisper crust with more surface area, which means there’s more room for meat and cheese!).

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When the oven temperature reaches 500F, prebake the crusts for 10 minutes.

how to make the best carb-free pizza crust that doesn't contain cauliflower - recipe and photos

Remove the crust from the oven and add the usual toppings.  Tomato sauce....

PS - here's a link to my San Marzano Tomato Sauce. If time is an issue, here’s a link to my Busy Weeknight Marinara.

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Mozzarella cheese...

And for this particular pizza, I added some sauteed onions and mushrooms.  Sometimes I like sausage crumbles and green peppers. My husband especially likes pepperoni on his. Add whatever pizza toppings you like!

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Return the pizza to the oven for 5 minutes until the mozzarella cheese is bubbly and brown.  

Cool for 5 minutes before cutting with a pizza wheel. 

I know you're wondering about the bottom crust so here's a quick shot - not bad, eh? 

Like traditional pizza crust, this recipe is crisp around the edges, chewy in the center, and it gets firmer as it cools.  It truly is the very best non-traditional pizza crust we’ve tried. We really love it and I hope you will too.

Items used to make this recipe:


Carb-Free Keto Pizza Crust

makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 25 ounces canned premium chicken in water, drained

  • 3 large eggs

  • 3 ounces grated parmesan or romano cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, line a half sheet pan with parchment, and place oven rack in upper third position.

  2. Drain canned chicken and spread out on parchment paper, breaking up large clumps.

  3. Bake chicken for 10 minutes, then remove from oven to cool for several minutes.

  4. Increase oven temperature to 500F.

  5. Combine precooked chicken, eggs, and cheese well.

  6. Divide chicken mixture in half and press into two 6x9-inch rectangles on the same parchment lined sheet pan that was used before; return to oven for 10 minutes.

To make traditional pizza, top crusts with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings (meats should be precooked).  Bake in 500F oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. 

adapted from ketoconnect.com

Best Way to Open a Pomegranate

Patricia Reitz

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A number of years ago I shared a technique for opening pomegranate, but since then I've discovered an even better way.  Let me show you how it's done.

Naturally there are a couple of mandatory things needed - a fresh pomegranate and a small sharp knife (I have two of these trimming knives - they're the perfect tool for the job).

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Not mandatory, but highly recommended - disposable gloves will keep your hands free from stains.  You may not need them if you're only tackling one pomegranate, but I often purchase them by the case so yeah.

the best way to open an pomegranate

Ok, the very first thing we need to do is score around the top of the pomegranate right about where I drew that blue line in the photo.  Don't cut into the pomegranate deep enough to poke any of the juicy arils inside (arils are the seeds).  

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See how my knife is barely cutting into the husk or rind of the fruit?

official way to open a pomegranate.  opening a pomegranate.

When you've made your way around the whole thing, put the knife down and use your fingers to pull most of that "cap" away.  It will probably break into several pieces - no worries.  

how to get the seeds out of a pomegranate

The very center part of that cap is anchored in there good so just leave it alone for now.  If you look carefully, you'll be able to see a thick, white fleshy substance directly under the husk and between the sections of arils.  That thick layer is called the albedo.  The number of aril-filled sections varies between 4 and 6 and once you remove the cap, you'll be able to see how many pockets of arils your pomegranate has.  My pomegranate has 6, which you can see the blue arrows pointing to in the photo above.  Using shallow cuts again, score the husk all the way down the fruit, right where those divisions are.

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Once you do that, you can very gently pry the divisions apart.  The whole thing will open up like a flower.  How cool is that?  

Ok, now we can take care of the center of that cap.

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Reach in and gently pry that cap out - it's attached to a thin white membrane that separates the arils in the individual sections.  

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I'm always amazed how easily it pulls out once the individual sections are opened.

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Ta-Da!!  Alrighty now, there's still a bit of work left to be done - just break off the individual sections and gently nudge the arils away from the membrane.  I do this over a very large bowl to catch the arils and container the occasional squirt of juice.  

I forgot to mention this earlier, but I suggest wearing an old shirt that you don't mind getting stained.  As careful as you may try to be, you'll occasionally squish an aril and the juice will squirt you.  

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The labors of my hands ;)

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Did I mention that this can be a messy job?  

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Once you've freed the arils, you might find a few stay bits of membrane mixed in here and there.  You can drive yourself mad trying to pick them all out, or you can do it the easy way and cover the arils with water.  The bits of membrane will float and you can skim them away.  

Arils can be refrigerated for up to a week.  They can also be frozen - place in a single layer on a sheet pan and freeze for 2 hours, then transfer to an airtight container for up to a year.  

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You can press the juice from the arils if you like, but the entire aril is edible so feel free to sprinkle them over salads, float them in Pomegranate Fizz Mocktails, make Pomegranate Syrup to drizzle over vanilla ice cream, or bake delicious Pomegranate Ginger Muffins

Other recipes using pomegranates:

Kitchen Hack: Food Processor Tip

Patricia Reitz

Kitchen Hack:  Food Processor Tip

I love using my super-duper awesome food processor, and I don't mind cleaning the work bowl or the blade, but I absolutely HATE cleaning the lid - it has a silicone seal and it seems just about everything gets logged under that seal.  

BUT NOT ANYMORE!!  If you drape a piece of plastic wrap over the work bowl, then place the lid on, it keeps all the messy bits in the bowl and far away from the lid.  Of course it goes without saying, you can't do this if you plan to use your food processor's feed tube, but if you're just mixing or grinding something in the bowl, this tip will save you lots of headache.  

Ok, let's see this kitchen hack in action.  Grab a piece of plastic wrap. (I love, love, love this easy to use dispenser)

Drape the plastic wrap over the work bowl and click the lid in place.  The plastic will be sandwiched between the bowl and lid. 

Let the food processor do its thing, then remove the lid and look at all the gunk that is stuck to the plastic.  That's all stuff that would normally have splashed up onto the lid. 

Your lid will stay perfectly clean and be ready to use again.  I love this tip and hope you'll find it helpful!