Low-Carb Paleo Stuffing/Dressing

stuffingby Karen Frazier

Yes – I know it’s after Thanksgiving, but some people turn around and make stuffing again at Christmas. Plus, I didn’t want to offer you a stuffing/dressing recipe until I’d tried it out on my own. That way, if it was terrible, we all would have all had disastrous stuffing on Thanksgiving. It wasn’t – it was tasty.

  • 8 ounces pancetta, cubed
  • 16 ounces bulk sage sausage
  • 2 tablespoons paleo-friendly fat (coconut oil, duck fat, etc.)
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 6 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 apples, chopped (optional)
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 6 rosemary sprigs, stems removed and chopped
  • 6 sage sprigs, stems removed and chopped
  • 6-8 thyme sprigs, stems removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large pot on medium-high heat, cook the pancetta and sausage,stirring occasionally, until browned, about five minutes. Remove the pork from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside in a large bowl.
  3. In the pot with the fat from the pork, add the paleo-friendly fat and cook until it melts.
  4. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about five minutes. Remove from the vegetables from the fat with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the pork.
  5. In the same pot, add the celery and apples. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about five minutes more.
  6. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the entire contents of the pot (including the fat) to the bowl with the other vegetables and the pork.
  8. Add the almond meal, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, and eggs. Mix well.
  9. Spread the mixture in a large casserole. Bake in the preheated oven for one hour.

Tips:

  1. Try replacing the apples with about a pound of chopped mushrooms.
  2. To quickly chop the herbs, put them all in a food processor and pulse for about 10 one-second pulses, or until well chopped.

photo credit: Stuffing at the ready via photopin (license)

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Low-Carb Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake Bars with Chinese Five-Spice

by Karen FrazierPumpkin cheesecake bars

I used to bake all the time. Since we’ve been on the whole paleo/low-carb diet, however, baking has gone by the wayside. Not because there aren’t good paleo and low-carb baking recipes out there, but just because I don’t really see the need to have a lot of tempting desserts around the house. If they’re there, I’ll eat them.

However, today is Jim’s birthday. He used to love my Pumpkin and Caramel Whiskey Cheesecake with Chinese Five-Spice. He has been expressing sadness that he can never, ever have that again. So I decided to do a little adaptation. While I couldn’t find a way to make it paleo, I did find a way to make it low-carb. So here is the recipe with a low-carb makeover.

For the crust

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup pecans (1 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup Swerve sweetener or Truvia
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice

For the filling

  • 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup Swerve sweetener or Truvia
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

For the topping

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Swerve sweetener or Truvia
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

For the pecans

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 cup Swerve sweetener or Truvia

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  3. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saute pan over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. When the butter begins to brown and smells slightly toasty, remove from heat and cool.
  4. Combine remaining crust ingredients in a food processor, pulsing for 10 one second pulses until fine crumbs form.
  5. Add butter to crust and pulse for five one second pulses.
  6. Press crust into bottom of prepared pan and refrigerate while you make the filling.
  7. Combine all filling ingredients in a large food processor. Process until well combined, scraping sides down occasionally.
  8. Pour filling over crust, using a rubber spatula to spread it evenly.
  9. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes, until the center sets.
  10. Cool on a wire rack for five minutes. Leave the oven on.
  11. Meanwhile, combine the topping ingredients, whisking to combine.
  12. Spread over the bars and return to oven. Bake an additional five minutes.
  13. Cool for two hours on a wire rack and then refrigerate for three hours. Top with spiced pecans (below).
  14. For pecans, melt butter over medium heat in a saute pan.
  15. Add pecans and cook, stirring, until they smell toasty, about five minutes.
  16. In a small bowl, combine sweetener, cinnamon, and five spice powder.
  17. Toss hot pecans in sweetener mixture.
  18. Use the pecans to garnish top of the bars.

photo credit: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bite via photopin (license)