Enlightened Unveils Keto Cheesecakes and Snackable Dough Bites

A Guide To Sugar-Free, Low-Carb Drinking & 5 Cocktails (Recipes)

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By Cooking Panda

Reducing your sugar intake can be tough, especially if you’re on one of those “no fun allowed” diets.

One thing that I really miss when I’m dieting or otherwise cutting out sugar is alcohol. But the good news is that many folks can still have the occasional drink even while watching calories, sugar and/or carbs. You just have to be smart about it and make sure to save yourself a few extra calories/carbs if you know you’re going to indulge.

As they say, nothing in excess, including moderation.

If you’re strict on your sugar and carbs, you can still have the occasional drink or two, but note that doing so might slow down your results if you are dieting, since your liver will be too busy processing the booze to do much else, not to mention the added calories in each drink.

Low-carb folks, keep in mind that your alcohol tolerance is going to be significantly lower compared to carb eaters, so make sure to take it easy, and definitely don’t drive.

Dry wines (non-sweet reds like Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon and non-flavored brut champagne are best, though some whites like Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc also work), non-flavored straight liquor and lite beer are acceptable as well. Here’s some more info about sugar free drink recipes:

Still, you might miss the fun of crafting delicious cocktails. If you get tired of vodka/La Croix, gin/diet tonic, and whiskey/Diet Coke, you might enjoy some of these magical low-sugar, low-carb drinks. Following are some sugar-free cocktails you would enjoy:

1. The Clyfford Still​​

This luscious coconut milk drink is absolute heaven with a few modifications: Instead of syrup, lightly smash up to a tablespoon of cardamom pods, and gently muddle them with the lime and gin. You can also add a few drops/sprinkles of your favorite sugar-free sweetener to taste. Feel free to leave out the turmeric, and if you are so inclined, you can top with coconut-flavored seltzer water (like La Croix). Absolutely delicious!

2. Extra Dirty Martini

Just keep the dry vermouth to a minimum — well under ½ ounce, ideally — and you should be fine. A good way to do this is to swirl the vermouth in the glass like so and leave it out of the mixing cup. If you order one of these out, keep an eye on the bartender and make sure they don’t load the drink up with vermouth.

3. Hot Buttered Rum

High-fat, low-carb people will love this one! This smooth, creamy, boozy drink is sort of like desserty Bulletproof coffee. In fact, this is also great in coffee too, with or without the alcohol. Note that if you’re really strict on your carb count, liquid sweetener is going to be lower carb than the powdered stuff. Just read the labels, do the math, and you’ll be all right.

4. Vodka Mojito

For some reason, fruity flavors like lime do a great job masking the “fake” flavors of non-sugar sweeteners, making this refreshing, sugar-free concoction an absolute delight and a dead ringer for the real thing.

5. Caribbean Rum Punch

Want to really shake things up? If you miss those lovely tiki drinks, this two-rum cocktail, complete with the genius additions of two different kinds of water-enhancing drops plus lime juice and sugarless soda, brings an absolutely lovely flavor. Keep in mind that dark rum sometimes has the slightest bit of sugar added to it (likely well under 2 grams of sugar per ounce), so it’s going to be low sugar and carb but not totally devoid of them.

6. Moscow Mule

This cocktail is pure magic! The secret is that sugar-free ginger syrup that gets added to diet ginger ale for a brilliant way to replicate the sugary, spicy original. This drink is also delicious with whiskey for an Irish Mule or bourbon for a Kentucky Mule, though be aware that like rum, some whiskies have trace amounts of added sugar in them, if you’re really sensitive to that stuff.

Featured Image: Pexels / Embedded Image: Wine FollyTags: buttered rum, caribbean rum, caribbean rum punch, cocktails, diet cocktails, dirty martini, drinks, gateway drinks, hot buttered rum, hot rum, keto drinks, low carb, Mojito, moscow, Moscow Mule, mule, occasional drink, Rum, skinny alcohol drinking, sugar free cocktail, sugar free drink, vodka, vodka mojito
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5 Jaw-Droppingly Awesome Low-Carb Dinners (Recipes)

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By Cooking Panda

Doing the whole low-carb thing can be a pain if you spend your time constantly thinking about all the chips, pasta, bread and tortillas that you’re missing out on, but it can actually be way easier than some other diets.

If you do it right, and you realize how amazingly delicious — and sometimes downright naughty — your meal options are, you’ll find that it’s super easy to commit to that diet of yours, whether it’s paleo, keto, Atkin’s or what-have-you.

Note: Most of these recipes most closely match the keto diet requirements, but many also apply for other popular ones, though sometimes a little tweaking is needed. Oh, and here’s how to make paleo cashew “cheese” if you need it.

1. Low Carb Nachos

By no stretch of the imagination are these nachos balanced or low calorie (they’re made out of keto-friendly crispy cheddar cheese “chips”). But if you’re craving something a little naughty, these should do the trick without derailing your ketosis or other low-carb diet. Alternatively, if your diet allows for legumes, you can get thyself to the store and grab a bag of black bean or lentil chips instead.

2. Keto Pesto Chicken Casserole with Feta Cheese and Olives​

It’s hard to explain how tasty this creamy, rich, zesty chicken dish is, but one thing’s for sure: you’ll get hooked on it! It’s also easily adaptable to lower-calorie fare by making your own low-oil pesto and nixing the whipping cream in favor of a few hearty dollops of plain yogurt toward the end of the cooking process.

3. Low Carb Steak Fajita Roll-Ups

While you might be used to enjoying fajitas with tortillas, the corn or white flour discs are totally inessential to this tasty, filling dinner, making it a great way to get your taco fix without the processed carbs. The best part is that you can pretty much load these up with whatever veggies you like.

4. Loaded Cauliflower

Missing some good old-fashioned starchy comfort food? Mash up a head of cauliflower for a surprisingly convincing, creamy dupe and top it with all your favorite potato fixings. If you’re finicky and doing low-carb but not no-carb, you can mix in a potato or two to make the veggie aspect extra sneaky.

5. Skillet Sausage and Shrimp

This saucy 30-minute dish is filling and flavorful, and it’s absolutely beautiful over your favorite grain substitute, like spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice.

Featured Image: appthing/Flickr

Tags: keto, low carb, no carb dinner, paleo, weeknight dinner
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Disguise Cauliflower Into Your Favorite Foods With These Hacks

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By Cooking Panda

Ah, cauliflower. Or as I like to call it, pale broccoli that stinks up my kitchen. 

While I’m not the biggest fan of the cruciferous vegetable on its lonesome, I love it when I have no idea I’m eating it (i.e. when it’s disguised as something far more delicious and less healthy). 

most Googled food of 2016, the versatile veg can be turned into something anyone — from your kid who only likes chicken nuggets, to your yoga teacher who won’t touch it if it ain’t vegan — would inhale by the fork load.

Whether you’re trying to reduce your carb intake, use up the head of cauliflower chilling in your fridge or just find a way to like the stuff, one of the creative recipes below is sure to tickle your fancy.

1. Cauliflower 3 Ways: Steak, Rice and Pancakes

Because watching British men cook things never disappoints. And because there’s nothing like grilling a gnarly steak or serving pancakes for brunch — guilt-free style.

2. Restaurant-Style Cauliflower Fried Rice

All you gotta do is blitz up some cauliflower and throw it in a pan with veggies and an egg. If you close your eyes and just believe, it’s like you’re at Benihana.

3. Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

When I was a child who had zero understanding of food’s effect on my body, fettuccine alfredo was my DISH on family nights out — even though I always felt like a potato immediately after consumption.

So yeah, here’s a creamy pasta sauce that won’t make you feel like a potato. Rejoice.

4. Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

This is bar food turned health food. This stuff is baked, never fried. This is your newest game day go-to. This is me, getting carried away with desire.

5. Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Churn out a few crusts, then have your friends over for a healthy make-your-own pizza night.

6. Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Possibly our favorite cauliflower dish simply because it’s fun to watch guests freak out over the fact that it contains no potatoes. Add a drizzle of truffle oil over each serving if you’re feeling fancy.

7. Baked Cauliflower Tots

The I Can’t Believe It’s Not Potato streak continues. This zesty recipe calls for an optional addition of bell pepper and cilantro for those of you who want an extra kick.

8. Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

I can concentrate on nothing else besides how much that cauliflower resembles chicken. Use the veggie to replace the meat in your favorite carnivorous foods, from orange chicken to this sassy sesame number.

9. Cauliflower Cheddar Fritters

The word “fritter” is already so fun to say. Imagine how fun it is to eat! Serve these bad boys for a tempting appetizer or savory brunch item.

Featured Photo Credit: Gimme Delicious

Tags: cauliflower, low carb, recipes
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