I stopped the Carnivore Challenge this week due to an alarming amount of hair loss. To be clear, the Carnivore Challenge is not the same thing as World Carnivore Month; it's my weight loss coach's, Dr. Wade's, combination of fasting and carnivore. My immune system seems really weak and my fingernails are breaking off really low, so if you've followed me for a long time you know the likely culprit: my recurrent vitamin D deficiency. I stopped taking my D3 supplement because it tears up my stomach even when I take it with food and during fasting I can't tolerate it at all. I've kept up my cod liver oil supplement on non-fasting days but it seems like it wasn't enough. Dr. Wade says the hair loss is a reaction to the large change in my eating habits and temporary, so hopefully in a few months I'll see it thickening back up. I'm pushing more fish into my diet, however, to try to boost my vitamin D levels in a natural way. Many Scandinavians lack the gene to make vitamin D from sunlight and given my history it appears I am one of them. The theory is the lack of sunlight in Scandinavia and reliance on fish in the diet prevented the development of that gene. So you'll be seeing more seafood recipes from me in the future!
Here in town we have a great Asian restaurant called the Rice Bowl. My favorite thing on the menu is an appetizer called "Kane Cream Cheese" (my daughter tells me kane means crab in Japanese). They take imitation crab sticks (surimi) and stuff them with cream cheese. Then they dip them in tempura batter and deep fry them. They are topped with spicy mayo and sliced like a sushi roll to eat easily with chopsticks. Obviously, these are delicious and lower carb than much Asian fare but certainly not keto or carnivore. My version is a "dirty" carnivore option because the surimi does contain a tiny bit of sugar. If you want a totally clean option you can substitute real crab meat.
Kane Cream Cheese
48 ounces flake style surimi, drained
1 TBSP bacon grease
2-8 ounce packets cream cheese, diced into bite sized pieces
1 stick salted butter, melted
6 ounces (about 2 cups) Pork Panko or plain pork rind crumbs
1 recipe Spicy Mayo, see below
1/4 cup chipotle lime mayonnaise (we prefer Better Body Foods)
2 TBSP plain mayonnaise
2 TBSP sugar-free ketchup
1 tsp Lakanto caramel-flavored monkfruit syrup
Create the Spicy Mayo by whisking all the ingredients together until smooth. Set aside. Create the panko topping by stirring together the pork rind crumbs and melted butter until they form a paste. Set aside. Melt the bacon grease in a skillet. Add the surimi and fry on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until warmed through and beginning to brown. Add HALF the pork panko mixture to the surimi, stirring to coat. Lower heat and dot the cream cheese over the surimi. Push the cream cheese bits into the surimi just a bit. Don't allow them to break apart. Heat without stirring until the cream cheese just begins to melt. Turn off the heat. Spread the remaining pork panko evenly over the surimi. Drizzle with the spicy mayo. Serve warm (although it's also delicious cold if you have leftovers).
This recipe really hit the spot for me! My daughter, a crab and surimi freak, also loves it. I don't know about everyone else, but I consider this a win. It's sweet and salty and a little bit spicy with a crunch reminiscent of tempura-fried sushi. Dr. Wade says no amount of supplementation can stop the hair loss from body shock. However, after 20 years of dealing with this deficiency I know as soon as I see possible signs of low D I need to act fast to avoid going on the prescription version. It took two years of weekly supplementation with 50,000 to 100,000 IU of prescription vitamin D3 just to get me to the minimum acceptable blood levels. Because vitamin D is fat soluble I should be seeing it released into my bloodstream as my fat cells empty out (before this debacle I lost 12 pounds in 2 weeks on the Carnivore Challenge) and I don't want to be taking so much more as that happens. I do need to keep it from getting too low though, because I will get to the point I can't function. It's a delicate balance, and a pernicious problem, but I guess we all have our crosses to bear and I'm thankful mine isn't worse. I might also just be worn out. Sometimes running my business and parenting when my husband is away just takes all the stuffing out of me, and last week I was sick to boot. Today everyone let me sleep in without interruption and I slept past 11 am! It felt great to be able to recharge, although now I'm kind of panicking because so much of the day has passed and I have so much to do! I'm still adding the 15 listings a day to my Poshmark boutique and I hope you'll check out all the new stuff (link to Poshmark from the Home page).
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Well, World Carnivore Month is a little more than halfway through; there are just 12 more days. So far I've lost 12 pounds and I started week late! I also drank some wine this weekend and immediately noticed how much worse I felt. It gave me mouth sores. So, I will be evaluating whether to adhere to this diet into the future. Food allergies that develop and worsen in adulthood run in my family and it's looking like wine is becoming a problem for me, as heartbreaking as that is! I have personally felt a lot better than usual sticking to the carnivore diet for the past couple weeks. Tonight's recipe was created as an appeasement to my children and husband who have been lamenting the lack of pizza in our diet. Usually we use low carb tortillas or fathead dough for pizza crust but the low carb tortillas contain wheat, which gives me mouth sores as well as makes me break out in hives, and they spike our diabetic son's sugar. The fathead dough uses almond flour so it's not allowed on carnivore. I made it once with pork rind flour and it tasted good but fell apart so it was very hard to eat. I heard about sausage crust pizza and found it's not only delicious and fits my diet but it's almost as easy as using the store bought tortillas!
Cheesesteak Pizza With Sausage Crust
2 pounds Sausage
1/2 Recipe Alfredo Sauce from my last post
1/2 pounds frozen pepper and onion stirfry blend (omit for carnivore diet), thawed and drained
1 TBSP bacon grease
1/4 pound thinly sliced roast beef such as lunchmeat, cut into ribbons
2 cups shredded or thinly sliced cheese of your choice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press the sausage in a thin, even layer into at least a 13 x 9 baking pan with sides. Do NOT use a pizza pan; the sausage produces a great deal of grease that could cause a fire if it runs into your oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, keeping the oven on, and set aside to cool. Once the crust has cooled pour off the grease and pat the crust dry with a paper towel. Make the Alfredo sauce according to the directions in my last post. Melt the bacon grease and stir fry the onions, peppers, and beef until the flavors mingle and the edges begin to crisp up. Top the sausage crust with the Alfredo sauce. Layer the beef and pepper and onions evenly over the crust. Top with the cheese of your choice. Traditionally, a Philly cheesesteak uses either Provolone or American cheese, or both. My husband doesn't like Provolone and I don't like American so we just use mozzarella. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden. Slice and serve.
This was really good and I think it will become part of our regular rotation. If you let the pizza cool for a while you can pick it up and eat it like regular pizza. I was worried the sausage flavor might overpower the pizza but it didn't. It was delicious and I didn't really even notice the sausage. You could substitute ground chicken or turkey if you wanted a milder flavor. Of course if you are strictly adhering to Carnivore Month you would leave out the onions and peppers. Since I'm the only one in the family doing it I just picked off mine and gave them to my husband. I can no longer tolerate peppers so this is what I usually do anyway if a recipe contains them. I used a stoneware pan that keeps most food from sticking but you could also line your pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Thank goodness it's a holiday weekend because the kids brought home some virus from school and everyone except my husband woke up sick this morning. We spent the day in front of the fire binge watching Parks and Rec, one of our favorite series. I have a ton of stuff to ship but it's going to wait until tomorrow when I hope I will feel better. If you follow my Instagram or Facebook pages you know besides the Carnivore challenge I am also participating in Poshmark's Love It Or List It Daily Challenge. Each day I list 15 new items. All these new listings are resulting in lots of sales! I hit the Goodwill bins as well as my other thrift stores and IKEA to stock up specifically for this month so I have all kinds of exciting new products, both new and restored. You can shop my Poshmark boutique as well as my other stores from the link on the Home page. I'm praying I get well before my husband leaves for his business trip and also that he doesn't catch this bug. He was just appointed to an important new job and he has much to do. I don't cook while he's away (if I'm able I usually try to fast the entire time) so there won't be new recipes until next weekend at the earliest. I hope you enjoy your holiday!
For the month of January my weight loss coach, Dr. Wade Baskin, challenged our group to participate in World Carnivore Month. Dr. Wade's challenge combines fasts of 48 hours to 5 days with the carnivore diet, but the original challenge, now in its third year, is just to follow a carnivore diet for one month. You can find out more about World Carnivore Month by visiting meatrx.com. If you've been reading my blog for a while you know every few years I have done a month of Dr. Atkins' allergy protocol to treat flare ups of my severe allergies. This is almost the same thing, only a little more strict. Eating a carnivore diet is a great way to eliminate foods to see if any of them are causing health problems you might not realize are diet-related. The purest form of the diet consists of meat only, maybe seasoned with salt, as our ancestors might have eaten. I am following the least strict form of the diet: allowing any animal-based food, including dairy. I also started 5 days late because of our schedule. Still, I am already starting to get some pushback from my youngest child. So this weekend I created some recipes to please all the family palates. I have been helped along immensely by my Christmas present, the Ninja Foodi. I have the original Foodi, which combines a pressure cooker, air fryer, steamer, and slow cooker. Last night I created a carnivore version of our family favorite schnitzel served with a low-carb version of beer cheese. Beer cheese can't be made carnivore or even keto because by definition it has to contain beer! If you want a pure carnivore meal then you will need to use a carnivore cheese sauce recipe or leave off the cheese sauce all together. This got rave reviews; my daughter says it's her favorite meal since we started keto two years ago!
Carnivore Air Fried Pork Schnitzel
6 boneless pork chops, 4 ounces each
1 cup pork panko
Garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and paprika to taste
1 egg, beaten
Beer Cheese, 1 recipe (below)
Mix the pork panko with the seasonings to taste. You can use salt only if you want to adhere to the strict carnivore diet. If you can't find pork panko you can make your own by grinding up plain pork rinds in a food processor until they are the texture of bread crumbs. Dip the pork chops in the the egg one at a time. Then dip each side in the panko mixture. Turn the Ninja air fryer function to the high setting of 390 degrees. Preheat for four minutes. Place the pork chops in the air fryer basket three at a time so they do not overlap. Fry for 8-10 minutes, turning over after 5 minutes. Keep the first batch of chops warm in the oven while you cook the second batch. Serve plain or topped with Beer Cheese.
Low Carb Beer Cheese
3 TBSP salted butter
3 TBSP coconut flour
1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 can or bottle of beer (12 ounces)
1 TBSP heavy whipping cream
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Melt the butter in a two-quart saucepan. Mix in the flour and seasonings to form a thick paste. Add the beer and cream all at once, whisking until smooth. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then turn heat to low. Whisk in xanthan gum until smooth and simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Add cheese and stir until melted. Serve over schnitzel.
Carnivore White Lasagna
2 pounds nitrate-free, sugar-free pork sausage, cooked and drained (we prefer Neese's)
18 slices nitrate-free, sugar-free ham lunch meat
4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 recipe alfredo sauce (below)
1 recipe cheese filling (below)
3/4 cup salted butter
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Dash nutmeg (optional)
1-32 ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and drain the sausage and set aside. Prepare the alfredo sauce by melting the butter. Mix in the cream and pepper and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Add the Parmesan cheese and parsley and nutmeg if desired and stir until cheese melts. Add the sausage and mix thoroughly. Set aside. Prepare the cheese filling by beating the eggs. Add all remaining ingredients and stir until well-mixed. Set aside. Grease a large 16 inch roaster pan. Spread 1/2 of the alfredo meat sauce mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan. Top with 9 ham slices as you would normally use lasagna noodles. Spread the cheese filling over the ham slices. Top with 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers, ending with the mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees until the mozzarella is golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let sit to cool for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.
We were too eager to eat and didn't allow the lasagna to cool before slicing it, which is why my slice looks so runny in the photo! If you are patient enough to allow it to cool a little it will hold its layers nicely. I think I might like this even better than regular lasagna, although that might be because I love Alfredo sauce so much I could eat it by the bowl with a spoon! It's important to make sure your sausage doesn't contain any grains as fillers. We prefer a local brand, Neese's. Most carnivore dieters would probably not use parsley but I consider it an herb, not a vegetable. It's wonderful to help digestion, especially when you're eating fat and protein heavy meals like this. Besides that, I have parsley growing all over my yard and I want to use it! If you wanted the essence of parsley and nutmeg without the actual herbs and spices you could consider using the Young Living Vitality oils for flavor. These essential oils are perfectly safe to eat. They are very concentrated, so Young Living recommends dipping a toothpick in the bottle and stirring that into the food so you don't get over-powering flavor. I love the idea of replacing my cumbersome cupboard of spice jars with the tiny Young Living bottles! They never get stale and they take up so much less space. You can purchase Young Living Vitality oils from the link on the Home page.
If you're trying to follow a Keto diet or participating in World Carnivore Month, I hope these recipes help you add some variety to your meals. I know it's a lot easier for me to stay on plan when I'm not having to listen to whining! In my case, whining tends to lead to wine-ing, definitely not allowed during carnivore! I'm a bit worried about avoiding wine when my husband is out of town later this month. When I have to single-parent I find it hard to fast and I crave wine before bed to help me relax and fall asleep. Knowing this would be a challenge, I chose Dr. Wade's easiest plan: just two 48 hour fasts a week with one carnivore meal in between and one carnivore meal each day on the weekends. Before the holidays I found myself falling into a pattern of what Dr. Wade calls, "yo-yo fasting", or stuffing myself with everything I could eat before embarking on long fasts. I'm trying to get back to the point I can fast without feeling the need to binge afterward. I only have about 20 more pounds to lose to meet my next goal and I lost 6 the first week of the carnivore challenge, so it's possible I could meet my goal by February if I stay on track!
My name is Amanda, but my childhood nickname was "Mandaline". I am a mother of three turning my passion for creating into a full-time business.