Search This Blog

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Garlic Parmesan Flax Seed Crackers (from

Someone posted about Flax Crackers on my facebook page today, so I Googled it and this is what I found.  It's a great recipe for this time of year (with the Days of Unleavened Bread coming soon), so I decided to try it today.
My oven has not been repaired, and I am using a toaster oven, so it took two trays to get these done.  Before baking, I scored the cracker dough (using a pizza cutter).  Mine worked out to 6 servings of 8 crackers (roughly 1" square) each for 1 net Carb. 

A great high fiber, crunchy, nutritious, and tasty snack. Good with dips, spreads, or plain.

Want to see how it's done? Check out this video of How to Make Flax Crackers.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 cup flax seed meal
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water


Heat oven to 400 F.

1) Mix all ingredients together.

2) Spoon onto sheet pan which is covered with a silicone mat or greased parchment paper.

3) Cover the mixture with a piece of parchment or waxed paper. Even out the mixture to about 1/8 inch. I find a straight edge, like a ruler, works well, though you can use a rolling pin or wine bottle too. The important thing is not to let it be too thin around the edges or that part will overcook before the center firms up. So after you spread it out, remove the paper and go around the edges with your finger and push the thin part inwards to even it up.

4) Bake until the center is no longer soft, about 15-18 minutes. If it starts to get more than a little brown around the edges, remove from oven. Let cool completely - it will continue to crisp up.

5) Break into pieces.

The whole recipe is 6 grams of effective carbohydrate plus 35 grams of fiber.

My notes:
I like it better when I use a tablespoon of garlic powder.
I have discovered that this recipe is much easier if you mix all the ingredients together in a gallon-size zip-lock bag.  No wash-up!  
You can roll out the dough INSIDE the gallon bag.  Again, no wash-up--which can be important when you need to roll out several different recipes and don't have time for the rolling pin to dry between preps.  It also allows you to roll out the dough without worrying about the edges being too thin--the sides of the bag let you keep the thickness even.

 After the dough has been rolled out, make a Y-cut in the top layer of the bag--from the middle of the opening to each corner of the bag.  Do this carefully.  If you lift the bag away from the dough, you avoid poking holes in the dough.

 Fold the plastic to the sides and place a piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. 

Carefully flip the dough and then score with a pizza cutter into 1" squares.

I found this worked better (for my small toaster oven) when I mixed the dough in a gallon-size bag and then separated it into two quart-size freezer bags for rolling out.
This recipe does not do well if you try to cook it on a griddle instead of in the oven.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Green "Enchilada" Chicken Casserole (from

 My favorite food in the world is Mexican--or, more specifically, Tex-Mex.  Long ago, I learned to low-carb it (mostly just leave out the rice, beans, and tortillas), but it's nice to find a recipe that is already in a low-carb form.  Once again, thank God for Linda and genaw.  This recipe was posted on my facebook group page, Lo-Carb Fat Camp, yesterday.  It looked so good that I pulled the ingredients out of the pantry and got started.

Here is the link to the recipe on 
Green "Enchilada" Chicken Casserole

Photo from 

 First of all, I checked to make sure that I had all of the ingredients.
Ingredients gathered together prior to putting the casserole together

If you followed the link to the recipe, you will note that I made a couple of substitutions/additions to the recipe.  (It seems that I am incapable of making a recipe according to the original instructions.)  In this case, I couldn't find the green chiles (found the 4 hours after the casserole was finished) and forgot that I had green onions growing in the garden.  I used green tomatillo sauce instead of chiles and onion powder instead of green onions.  I didn't realize that I had chicken in the freezer, so I used canned chicken (Daily Chef, from Sam's Club, because it has the nicest big chunks of chicken meat) and home-canned turkey chunks.  The jar of turkey and two cans of chicken added up to exactly 4 cups of meat--for which the recipe calls.  I did not have Monterrey Jack cheese, so I used a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella.  I also added 1 small can of mushrooms (chopped fine).  These substitutions did not significantly affect the carb count.

After getting my ingredients together, I followed the directions in the recipe:

Ready to go into the oven

I baked the casserole in my toaster oven (large oven still needs repairs) at 350*F for 25 minutes.  Once it was heated through and bubbly, I took it out of the oven and topped it with snipped green onion pieces.

I divided the casserole into 8 servings (3 net Carbs each), and it ended up being 1-cup servings.  Next time, I will divide it into 10 servings--one cup is a LOT of meat and cheese to eat at one meal!

Notes to my girls:

The recipe at the link is in the correct format for printing--that makes life easy. 

Relza--Joel asked for recipes for food that he could take to work.  With a salad, this would be a very filling meal.  Look for the glass bowls with lids so that he can reheat the casserole safely.  Salad can go in plastic, but I know how you feel about putting plastic in the microwave.  One good thing about casseroles is that they usually freeze quite well.  This is a good example of that: portion out the servings, hold out what you need for dinner, and put the rest in the freezer.  Joel can grab a serving and go when it is time for work.  If you are busy during the day and don't have time to cook, you can pull out a couple of servings and dinner is ready.

This is 2 cups of lettuce, 1 TBS of sunflower seeds, 2 TBS of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, and 1 cup of the Green "Enchilada" Chicken Casserole.  Despite its looks here, it is a filling meal.  When packing the lunch, I put the two small containers in on top of the lettuce.  That way, it takes up less room and I keep the salad stuff all in one place.

Erika--I know that you are not low-carbing, but this is still a good recipe for you.  Serve it with refried beans and Spanish rice--just watch the portion sizes on the high carb stuff.  One cup of the casserole, 1/2 cup of beans, 1/2 cup of rice, and enough salad to 'fill you up' is a good habit to instill in the kids.  Actually, now that I think about it...1/4 cup of beans and 1/4 cup of rice is probably more than enough for each of the kids.  If I was going to take a chance and eat beans or rice, 1/4 cup would be plenty for me.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Butter Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

The thought of roasted chicken with vegetables--in butter--makes me salivate!  This recipe, from Wellness Mama's blog, is one of the best.  For Relza, this would be heaven--turnips and Brussels sprouts, roasted in butter, in the same meal!

Photo by Wellness Mama

If you're not trying to lose weight, you can use the ingredients she listed.  If you are on the earlier stages of the Atkins Nutritional Approach (ANA), use radishes (the red and white globe ones) or turnips (cut into 1 inch chunks) instead of the sweet potatoes.  The recipe also calls for carrots--these are a no-no on the earlier stages of the ANA, so you may need to avoid them yourself.  I include them for my family/guests.

Recipe and cooking instructions are here: Wellness Mama's Blog

Monday, March 11, 2013

First Day of Spring Break--2013

It's hard to change the habit of waking up before 5:30 AM.  Here it is...Spring Break...and I have been up for over 2 hours (it's 7:48AM).  I had to find something to do, so I am canning Chicken-Vegetable Soup--a spicy version, since we are battling allergies right now (and jalapeno helps clear the sinuses).

 Spicy Chicken Soup

 I started early this morning.  These came out of the canner at about 9AM.  They  have all sealed (I don't put the labels on until they have sealed).  It's a good day.  Cod is in the canner now...5 half pint jars and a few quarts of water.  Another hour and a half...then tilapia.

This is the canned cod.  One of the jars will have to be re-processed if it doesn't seal in the next couple of hours.  The jars of tilapia are in the canner now.  If I need to re-seal the cod, I'll put it in with the flounder.

A friend of mine mentioned canning left-over soup in her small pressure cooker (they hold 3 pint jars), and I realized that I could can soup any time I wanted.  What a revelation!  Most of the soup recipes I prefer make 15 servings.  Do you know how long it takes one or two people to eat 15 servings of soup?  Yeah...TOO LONG!

My family likes Taco Soup (the Weight Watchers version), so I started with that.  I canned it in quarts at first--enough for 3 or 4 servings.  Then, I got smart and started canning soup in pints.  After all, it makes sense--and the pints fit on my pantry shelves better than quart jars.

Taco Soup--quart jars

Today's soup has the following ingredients: ground chicken (browned with 1/2 onion, chopped), Rotel tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, carrots, green peas, Knorr flavored cubes (garlic, onion, cilantro, & chipotle), 1 TBS Hidden Valley Ranch dressing powder, 1 package of baby kale, and chicken broth.  Delicious and spicy!  I haven't figured the nutritional value on it...if I do, I'll come back and post it.

I find that the biggest problem with home-canned food is that I like the way it looks on the shelves--and I don't want mess up the look by eating it!  However, if you can more food to replace what you eat, it works.

From left to right: top shelf--chicken broth, beef neck soup, chicken-vegetable soup, jalapenos (from my garden), bottom shelf--chicken, green beans (from the farmers market), chili, beef broth

I have a couple of empty shelves in the pantry...maybe I can get them filled this week. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Kids Say the Darndest Things

This bulletin board is posted in the elementary classroom at the DAEP, but it is applicable to all grade levels.

I teach reading and writing at our district's disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP).  I have one Resource (pull-out special education) class and go into the classes of 4 other teachers to provide special education support.  

Last week, while teaching (general education) students how to analyze poetry, I said, "I'm not sure why we have this big push right now, but we are analyzing poetry in 5th grade, 8th grade, 10th grade, and 12th grade. You may not think poetry has much to do with you, but if you listen to music, you use poetry. Song lyrics are poetry, too." 

One of my students said, "Maybe back in the day, Miss, but now song lyrics are mostly clicks and farts."  (What a hoot!)  I told him he was right about Rap, but there was still poetry in jazz, blues, country, and some rock & roll.

It was all I could do to keep from laughing...he would have thought I was laughing at him.  Oh, life can be so funny!