Decadent Dark Chocolate Mocha Brownies (Low Carb – Low Sugar)

It’s Friday and it’s a good time to make something that is scrumptious!  This is my take on a flour-less cake that I originally saw Clinton Kelly make on “The Chew.”  This recipe makes 12 brownies that you will absolutely love!

Image Source:  Sandra Hall Rosser

Ingredients:

6 ounces premium dark chocolate made with 70% cocoa (I used Moser-Roth brand from Aldi)

8 Tablespoons coconut oil

2 1/2 to 3 cups stevia in the raw  (you can do this to taste)

1/2 cup Da Vinci’s sugar-free Kahlua flavoring (this is non-alcoholic)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 eggs, room temperature

8 Tablespoons liquid egg whites, room temperature

Baker’s Joy non-stick spray

Directions:

1.  Melt the dark chocolate and the coconut oil in double boiler or in microwave.

2.  Whisk in stevia, Kahlua flavoring, and unsweetened cocoa powder.  Whisk until mixture is smooth.  Allow this to cool to room temperature!

3.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4.  When chocolate mixture is cool, use a hand mixer on medium speed to whip room temperature eggs and egg whites until frothy.

5.  Reduce speed on mixer to low and incorporate room temperature chocolate mixture with egg mixture.  (You can whisk it by hand just as effectively!)  Do not over-mix because this will make your brownie dense and thick instead of creamy and light.

6.  Spray an 8″ X 8″ glass pan with Baker’s Joy non-stick baking spray.  (Or grease and flour the pan to keep brownies from sticking.)

7.  Pour brownie mixture into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until edges of brownies are dry and start to pull away from the edge of the pan.

8.  Cool completely on baking rack.  Cut into 12 equal portions.

Serve with sugar-free whipped topping or my favorite, a 1/2 cup portion of Breyer’s Vanilla Carb Smart ice cream.

Nutritional Information:  291 calories, 24 g fat, 31 mg cholesterol, 37 mg sodium, 14.7 g carbohydrates, 4.2 g dietary fiber, 8.6 g sugar, and 6 g protein.

Compare to a Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate Decadent* packaged brownie mix (an 8″ X 8″ pan of brownies cut into 16 portions):

*Nutritional Information:  130 calories, 3.5 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 115 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber, 18 g sugar, and 1 g protein.

Important Tips:

Please let chocolate mixture cool to room temperature.  Egg mixture needs to be at room temperature as well.  If not, then the chocolate mixture will “cook” the egg mixture.  You won’t be able to recover the recipe after this!

Substitutions can be made:  butter for the coconut oil, and Splenda for the stevia.  You can even semi-sweet chocolate chips for the premium dark chocolate (although this will increase the sugar grams and thereby the carbohydrate grams of the recipe).  The point of the recipe, however, is to be low-carb and low-sugar.

Over-mixing this recipe will produce a brownie that you could use to pave your outside walkway.  When you mix, it’s okay that the egg mixture is slightly “ribboned” (where you can still see the distinctive yellow of the egg) with the chocolate.  If your mixture looks like a regular boxed brownie mix, then you may have over-mixed.  Take this from me — the first time I made these, the taste was good but they could have been declared a lethal weapon if I’d chosen to throw them at someone!

If you use a metal pan, you will have to decrease cooking time.  Start checking brownies at 25 minutes if you’re using a metal pan.

Da Vinci (and other companies) offers other sugar-free flavorings:  French Vanilla, Caramel, Hazelnut, Coconut.  You could substitute the Kahlua flavoring with any of those.  However, substituting pure vanilla extract or almond extract is NOT the same thing because Da Vinci’s flavorings are SWEET.   I’m not saying those couldn’t be used, just adjust your sweetener accordingly.

Add walnuts or pecans to this recipe if you’d like.  It will only slightly increase the calories and will boost the dietary fiber and protein.

Finally, if your batter isn’t as sweet as you want it, your brownies will not be as sweet as you want them.  TASTE TEST the chocolate mixture before mixing it and the eggs together.

Have a fabulous weekend.  If you make these, please go to here and rate my recipe!

Remember to visit God’s house this weekend and give Him all your praise and glory!

shr

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Letting Go (with No-Carb Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken Recipe)

I remember a conversation I had with my husband, Kelly, so vividly it’s like it was yesterday.  This was just a few months after we were married in 1987.  We’d decided that I’d come off birth control and we’d start our family.  I said to him, “By next year, we’ll have a new Rosser to take to big family Thanksgiving dinner at your Aunt Ruth-Marie’s house.”

In the same conversation, we were discussing the longevity of my teaching career.  I was teaching at Eastover-Central Elementary School and was honored as their “Teacher of the Year” for 1987.  That was huge for me because I’d only been teaching for three years.  To have my peers vote to give you, a virtual newbie, an honor like that was overwhelming for me. “Yes,” I said confidently. “I will be teaching until I am blue-haired, squint-eyed, wrinkled beyond recognition, and walking with a cane.”

As confident as I was that day, neither of those things came to pass.

Image Source:  www.getv.org

Instead of getting pregnant, we found out about our infertility. “One in a million chance,” was what the doctor told us.  Of course, I told him that God was the Great Physician, and without much consulting with the Great Physician, Kelly and I decided that our journey included donor sperm and monthly visits to Duke Fertility Clinic.

Within the next year, I injured my back at school while moving a science kit.  It only weighed ten pounds, but something happened that morning that I can’t quite put my finger on.  All I knew was that I was in excruciating pain.  Five years and seven surgeries later, I was medically retired from a profession I thought I’d be a part of until I was…well, you know what I said in the first paragraph.

After six unhappy months of in vitro at Duke, Kelly and I finally let God have the infertility issue, and we adopted.  It was the oh-so-right thing to do.  We could not love our children anymore if they were our biologically.  At nearly 25, 23, and nearly 16, they bring us so much joy. They like to tell me that they may not have grown in my womb, but they grew in my heart.  I kinda think I’ll keep ’em.

The one thing I fought God on at every turn was the fact that I was not in the teaching profession anymore.  I spent YEARS filled with anger at how that dream of mine had taken wings and flown. Even with the joy of adopting my children and the absolute miraculous ways He brought each of them to us, I held God accountable for not healing me physically and returning me to teaching.

In 2002,  I did let most of the anger go and for the most part, I was able to move on with my life and be relatively happy. But the little sliver that I harbored in my heart, kept me out of God’s will.  Seven years ago, I really had a come-to-Jesus moment that forever eradicated any anger I had and brought me to my knees to beg for His forgiveness.

I walked into a church where I was not a member because we were looking for a new church home.  At the end of the service, a woman came up to me and said, “You know, we need someone to work with our children and when I saw you walk in today, I knew my prayers had been answered.”

That woman was my Aunt Melba Rosser.  We were visiting the Kelly’s home church.  I was just visiting to be nice.  I did not think we’d really choose to become members of Culbreth Memorial UMC.  For heaven’s sake, I’d been a Baptist for forty-four years!  But this is where God led us, the church family He chose for us — and even though He hasn’t healed me physically (yet — I’m not ever ruling it out!), He healed me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

This church  took me just as I was, knowing that some Sundays I might not be able to show up because of my chronic pain.  I have a fantastic group of parents that pitch in and do things that I can’t physically do.  We started with a very small group of five children.  Now I work with fourteen: one children’s choir, one youth choir, and a drama team.  We’re growing every year.

The one thing I realized I’ve always been teaching — God gave me three children to teach.  And that I’ll still  be teaching for years to come, just in different circumstances.

Is it the life I envisioned that day back in 1987?  No…it’s better!

What had you envisioned that was not in God’s plan for you?  What did He lead you to instead?

shr

No-Carb Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken (Serves 4-6)

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Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, 4-5 pounds

1 bottle of McCormick’s Rotisserie Chicken seasoning

1/4 cup of water

Nonstick Canola Spray

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Directions:

1.  Remove the giblets and neck from chicken.  (I freeze them to use for making chicken stock.)

2.  Rinse chicken thoroughly inside and out.  Pat dry.

3.  Spray crock pot with nonstick spray.  Add 1/4 cup water.  Turn on crock pot to “low.”

4.  Use the McCormick Rotisserie Chicken season and coat the chicken liberally with it.

5.  Place chicken in crock pot.

6.  Cook chicken on low for 6 hours.

7.  When done, remove chicken and place on a platter to rest for 10 minutes.

8.  Skin and de-bone chicken.

Serve with vegetables or salad or use in a sandwich.  I freeze the chicken diced or chopped in 1-cup portions in quart bags to use on salads throughout the week at lunchtime.  This is moist, delicious, and cost-effective.

Tips:   I was in Wal-Mart yesterday and checked the deli prices for one of their rotisserie chickens — $8.88 for one not nearly as big as the ones I cook.  I try to find whole chickens on sale and buy them in bulk.  They will keep in the freezer up to nine months.  On sale, I can usually get whole chickens for about $ .69/pound.  (Aldi has frozen chickens for $ .89/pound every day — which is not a bad price either.)

Nutritional Information (1 cup cooked chicken):  231 calories, 5 g fat, 119 mg cholesterol, 104 mg sodium, and 43 g protein.

Make Accountability Work for You: Skinny Cowboy Caviar (Low Carb Recipe)

Everything you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  (Colossians 3:17, GW)

Image Source:  www.yunbootcamps.com

Have you been at this weight loss thing a while?  I have.  I’ve battled it off and on for twenty years (read: yo-yo dieter).  Last year in our Bible studyMade to Crave, I read some interesting statistics.  When setting a goal and having accountability for setting that goal, the probably of reaching that goal is:

  • 10% when you hear an idea
  • 40% when you decide you will do it
  • 50% when you plan how to do it
  • 65% when you commit to someone else to do it
  • 95% when you have an accountability appointment with the person you’ve committed to

What do you think?  Has this been true in your life?  It certainly has in mine.  I’ve had the most success in my weight loss goal in the last ten months because I actually made myself accountable to some important people.

First, I made myself accountable to God.  This body of mine is His temple.  I had horribly abused His temple.  It’s important for me to show God that I love Him and want to obey Him by getting my temple healthy.

Second, I made myself accountable to two other people who also made a commitment to God:  my mom and my good friend, Michele.  Even though it was only the three of us who completed the Made to Crave Bible study last fall, we made a commitment to weigh/measure once a week and share our trials and triumphs.  When we’re having a rough time of it, we pray for each other.  When we have victories, no matter how small, we celebrate with each other.  We keep in touch.

Image Source:  www.warriorsofweight.com

We’ve all had great success in the past ten months.  My mom is five pounds from her goal weight and Michele is losing every week, getting fit and healthy.  Our success seems to be based on the last three statistics listed above:  we planned our goal, we committed to each other, and we keep our accountability appointments every week.

I want to let you know that all three of us are reaching our goals in different ways.   My mom is watching her portions and eating foods from the low glycemic index (my dad is a diabetic) and being more active.   Michele is doing Weight Watchers and walking.  I am carb cycling, eating from the low glycemic index, and exercising.

There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to get there — you just have to find a plan that works for you.  There’s no one plan that works for everyone.  To find what works for you takes, well, work. It takes research.  It takes talking to others who are on their weight loss journeys.  It takes trying out some different eating plans.  But it does not include FAD DIETING!  Remember, you didn’t put on your extra weight in two weeks and it won’t come off in two weeks.  It’s not how our bodies work.

Whatever you decide to do, do it for the glory of the Lord.  If you place your faith in Him, commit to Him, and find at least two other people you can REALLY commit to, you will see successful results.  In fact, I invite you to partner with ME, personally, and make a commitment to me.  I will, in turn, make a commitment to YOU — to share what I’m doing each week, how I’m doing each week, and be your encourager!  I will be honest with you.  There’s no reason we can’t work together.

Photo Source:  Sandra Hall Rosser

Today, I’m giving you another personal favorite low carb recipe, Skinny Cowboy Caviar.  The first time I made this, I had it as a meal over mixed salad greens, but it can be eaten as a morning or afternoon snack as well.

Skinny Cowboy Caviar  (Serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

2 large avocados, pitted and peeled

1 medium tomato, seeded and finely diced

1 medium sweet onion (I love Vidalia), finely chopped

1/2 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey

1 cup fresh corn kernels (or frozen — avoid canned because of the sodium)

1 cup canned black beans (rinsed well and drained well)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon chili powder (or ground cayenne pepper)

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon each, salt and pepper

2 Tablespoons salsa

1 Tablespoon, chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Juice of a small lime

Jalapenos or green chilies (optional, you decide how hot you’d like it)

Directions:

1.  Cook hamburger or turkey over medium heat.  Cook thoroughly, then drain.  (Weight Watchers trick:  while meat is in the colander, rinse a couple of times with boiling water to remove even more fat!)  Return to pan and add dry seasonings (garlic powder, chili powder/cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper).  Add onion, corn, beans, and salsa.  Mix until meat is coated with the spices and the salsa is bubbling.  Cook until onions are slightly translucent, but still a little firm.   If mixture seems a little dry, you can add more salsa, but you don’t want a soupy mixture.  Remove from heat and let cool.

2.  Roughly mash avocados into chunks in a medium bowl.  (Save the pits.)

3.  Add tomato, meat mixture, lime juice, and cilantro.  Stir well.  Mixture should be a chunky, like a dip.

4.  When storing, place the avocado pits on top of the mixture and keep in an air-tight container.  This helps keep the avocado from turning brown.  Mixture will keep in refrigerator 2-3 days.

Serve over a bed of mixed greens (my favorite way) or with carrot sticks, celery sticks, green pepper slices, crackers, toasted French bread, or tortilla chips.

Nutritional Information (per 1/2 cup serving):  225 calories, 15 g fat, 325 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrates*, 12 g dietary fiber, and 30 g protein.

*By now you’re probably screaming at me:  YOU SAID THIS WAS A LOW CARB RECIPE!  THIS SAYS 18 GRAMS OF CARBOHYDRATES IN A HALF-CUP SERVING!  Truly, this is considered a low carb, low glycemic index recipe.  You have to look at all of the nutritional information.  Most of the fat in this recipe is considered good fat (from the avocados — click here to find out about good fats).  Yes, it has 18 grams of carbs, but look at the dietary fiber!  When the dietary fiber content is higher, it means that you’re eating healthy carbs (click here to find out about good and bad carbs).  Black beans and corn are two of the most fiber-rich foods you can eat.  If you just can’t justify 18 grams of carbohydrates in a half-cup serving, feel free to omit the beans and corn.

That being said, you cannot snack on this recipe more than once a day.  Moderation is the key.  It always is.  This recipe has all the makings of a great snack:  good fat, some good carbs, and protein.  The combination of these three nutrients will keep you feeling full because it takes longer to digest them.

Now, will you make that commitment?  Drop me an email at lbtk1@aol.com or leave a comment below.  I promise to answer. I promise to partner with you and increase your accountability!

Have a blessed weekend!  Get out and move your body!  Enjoy!

shr