Pizza spice mix

by Codewiz51 8. November 2011 10:36

This is the spice mix I use when making low carb pizza.


  • Mortar and pestle (or spice grinder)
  • Small frying pan for toasting spices
  • Air tight container for storing spice mix


Amount Ingredient Carbs
2 tbsp Fennel seed 5g
1 tbsp Oregano flakes 1g
1 tbsp Basil flakes 1g
1 tbsp Parsley flakes 1g
1 tbsp Dried minced garlic 2g
1 tbsp Dried onion flakes or dried minced onion 2g
1 tbsp Course ground black pepper 1g
1/2 tbsp Crushed red pepper (I like more) 0.5g
1/2 tsp Ground white pepper (Imparts a cajun style taste) 0g
2 tbsp Splenda 0g
2 oz Pine nuts, coarse grind (optional, about 1/4 cup) 7g
  Total carbs (approximate) ≅21g


  1. I do not add salt to the spice mix.  I prefer to add salt to taste whenever I use this spice mix.
  2. If you have a spice grinder, then use black pepper corns.  I find the mortor and pestle method for cracking pepper corns is inconsistent, with some pieces too large.  You have to use a lot of mustle and time to really hand grid the pepper in a mortar and pestle.
  3. I don't like to keep the spice mix in the refrigerator, as it tends to collect moisture.
  4. I prefer fresh oregano, basil and parsley from my garden, but dry spices perform well and the spice mix can be stored when you use dried spices.
  5. I like to warm up my mortar and pestle with hot water for 5 or 10 minutes, and then dry well before using.
  6. Fennel seed is very high in carbs, basically about 10 grams per tablespoon, based on my little kitchen scale average weight for 1 tbsp of fennel seed.
  7. Pine nuts are very high in carbs.  1 oz translates to roughly 1/4 cup.  7g Carbs
  8. Depending on how fine the spice grind is, you should end up with between 6 and 10 tablespoons of spice mix.
  9. I calculate 4 grams of carbs per tablespoon of mix, based on producing 6 tbsp of pizza spice mix.
  10. Without pine nuts, I calculate 3g carbs based on 6 tbsp of ground spice mix.
  11. Remember, this is low carb, not NO carb spice mix.  Use sparingly, depending on where you are with Atkins stages.


  1. Heat a dry frying pan over low to medium heat.  Allow time for the frying pan to reach a uniform temperature.  Add whole fennel seeds and pine nuts.  Stir constantly.  When pine nuts just begin to turn color, add the remaining ingredients and stir for 30 to 60 seconds, or until you can smell the basil.
  2. Pour ingrdients into a dry mortar and pestle and grind the ingredients until you see only small chunks of fennel seed and pine nuts.
  3. Place in air tight container.  This will keep for several weeks to a month in a cool dry place away from sunlight.

You might not think that spice mixes have measurable carbs.  Wrong!  Spices, particularly seeds, are loaded with carbohydrates.

Moral of the story: Look it up.  Look at two or three sources.  Always round the carbs up to the nearest whole number.

Tags: ,


Low Carb Atkins "Cornbread"

by Codewiz51 5. November 2011 09:47

I've been experimenting with a "cornbread" recipe from the Atkins web site.  Here is my final cut on the basic recipe:

Ingredient Amount Net Carbs
Vegetable Oil Spray Coat pan 0
Soy Flour ½ Cup 10.0g
Wheat Gluten ¼ Cup 6.0g
Large Eggs 3 1.8g
Heavy Cream 1 Cup 6.6g
Unsalted Butter
2 tbsp 0g
Baking Power 1 tsp 0g
Shredded Cheese 4 oz 1.6g
Chipotle pepper
finely dice
1 0.5g
Total Carbs   26.5.5g


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  (I use a convection oven.  You may need a higher temperature.)
  2. Finely dice 1 Chipotle pepper.  You can add more if you want.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
  4. Incorporate softened butter into dry mixture. (I use a fork to mash it into the flour mix.)
  5. Whip eggs and cream until well mixed.
  6. Stir egg mixture into dry ingredients until well blended.  A few small lumps are OK.
  7. Using a whisk, mix in shredded cheese and chipotle peppers.  I tried adding more cheese.  It didn't work out well.  If you want a cheesier bread, I would suggest sprinkling grated cheese on the finished bread

I bake this mixture in one of two ways:

  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, pour out mixture into a round or oval shape and baked for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top.  This technique works well for pizza or flat bread.
  • Grease an 8" X 8" pyrex baking dish and pour mixture into dish.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.  Check doness using a toothpick or table knife.  Nothing should stick.  This technique works well when you want "cornbread" squares.

You may need to increase baking time and temperature when using a conventional oven.

This recipe yields about 12-16 servings of bread.  That calculates to 26.5g Carbs/12 servings ≈ slightly less than 2.5g per serving.  I generally count it as 2.5 g when calculating carbohydrate consumption.

Understand, this is a low carb, not a "no carb" recipe.  If you sit down and eat half the bread at one sitting, you will not lose weight and it will break the Ketotic state you are striving for.  Use a small piece to enhance your meal, don't make it "the meal."

Tags: ,


Homemade Chorizo

by Codewiz51 7. June 2010 22:12

I've been making homemade chorizo for several decades.  This is the recipe that I've worked out over time.  It's simple to make and can really spice up a breakfast.  In my opinion, chorizo should not be peppery hot.


  • 1 lb lean ground pork or turkey (I prefer the low fat ground pork that Tyson's sells.  It has less fat and cholesterol than the ground turkey we get.)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp smoked paprika or ancho chili powder (Any mild ground red chile will do.  Look in the ethnic food sections at your grocery store.  I do not recommend the chili powder mixes sold in the spice rack at stores.  The stuff is loaded with salt and other spices.)
  • Pinch of ground cloves (a pinch is between an ⅛ and a ¼ teaspoon for me.  I like more cloves)
  • Pinch or two of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of oregano (I grow Greek oregano and much prefer its flavor.)
  • Pinch of dried thyme (it's OK if you don't have any on hand, substitute a sprinkle or two of ground coriander.)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp of ground black or cayenne pepper.  (I sometimes substitute ground white pepper.  This adds a cajun type zest to the sausage.)
  • Sprinkle of ground ginger (not fresh, it's too strong.  It's OK if you use too much, it adds some zing!)
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg (adds some unexpected flavor.  Use sparingly)
  • 3 crumbled Bay leaves (be sure to remove the stem, it's too tough)
  • 4 pressed or crushed garlic cloves (substitution of garlic powder is fine)
  • 1½ tbsp vinegar (I prefer red wine vinegar)
  • Sausage casings (too much trouble for me, I usually crumble chorizo while cooking it anyway)

Mix the ingredients well and store in a glass or plastic container for a a day or more before cooking, the longer the better. Cover tightly to hold in the spice essence. The spices need time to infuse their flavors into the meat. The mixture will store in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.  I like to make chorizo on a Friday evening so it is ready for Sunday breakfast.

Cook the chorizo over medium heat and and serve mixed in with scrambled eggs.  Takes about 10-15 minutes over medium heat.

I prefer not to make the chorizo too hot with cayenne or other hot chilies.  Just keep some Tabasco® sauce around if you want spicy eggs, or cook your eggs with minced Jalepeńos.

Tags: ,

Kitchen | Recipe

Lip smacking smoked ribs

by Codewiz51 23. May 2010 10:48

I've developed a technique for making smoked ribs in about 4 hours.  These ribs are not greasy and the meat is falling off the bone tasty.

  1. I start with a slab of St Louis style ribs from Hormel. 
  2. Trim off about half of the excess fat.
  3. Rinse the meat and pat dry.
  4. Place the slab of ribs on a cookie sheet.
  5. Sprinkle a generous amount of rub on the ribs and and spread all over the meat.  The rub will product a crust when the ribs are seared.  (I've used homemade rubs in the past, but McCormick Grill Mates Mesquite rub is about as good as anything I've made.)
  6. Cover the ribs with Saran Wrap and place in the frig for at least four hours.  Overnight is better.
  7. Now wet down a handful of Mesquite chips in a plastic bowl.  Let the chips sit in water over night if possible.  The more the chips are soaked, the slower they will burn and the more smoke they will make.
  8. Pre-heat your grill to 500° F.
  9. Place the ribs meat side up on the grill and allow to sear for 4-5 minutes.
  10. Turn ribs over and sear the meat side for 3-4 minutes.  The picture below illustrates how the ribs should look when the searing is complete.
    Seared ribs.  Sear time, about 4 min @ 500° F
  11. Remove the meat on a cookie sheet and set aside.
  12. Turn most of your grill burners off.  You only want one burner on, so that the meat does not receive any direct heat.
  13. Allow the grill temp to decrease to 225° F to 250° F
  14. Wrap your wet Mesquite chips in some aluminum foli and place next too or slightly over the burner.  The aluminum foil will fall apart under direct heat, so you'll need to experiment with the positioning of the foil pack.
  15. Place the ribs on a low rack on a cookie sheet.  You want the fat to collect in the cookie sheet and not on the meat.
  16. Tent your ribs with foil and place the cookie sheet on the part of the grill that is not receiving direct heat.  The tenting is important as it helps the meat to steam, becoming super tender and moist.  The tenting means the smoke can permeate your ribs.
  17. Close your grill and wait for four hours.  Watch the temperature and make sure it does not climb above 250° F.  If the temperature falls too much, you will need to add cooking time.
  18. The results should look similar to this picture.

Lip smacking ribs after fours hours

Tags: , ,


My Bar-B-Que Sauce recipe...

by Codewiz51 23. May 2010 08:21

This is a Bar-B-Que sauce I've been using for a while.  The main twist on this sauce is the use of red grapes and Grenadine Syrup.  I use Trappey's Red Devil Sauce because it has a high vinegar content, and substitutes for both vinegar and hot pepper.  The sauce is quick to put together, but plan on simmering for at least an hour.  I use beer or vegetable broth to replace liquid while simmering.  This is a "sweet" sauce.  It is not intended to have a big chili kick.  I use this sauce with pork ribs.


1 tbsp Bacon Drippings
2 tbsp Canola Oil
1 Large Yellow Onion chopped
3 Cloves Garlic minced
1 Stalk Celery finely chopped
12 Red Seedless Grapes, haved
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
3 tbsp Roses Grenadine Syrup
2 tbsp of prepared brown mustard.  (I like to use the coarse ground mustard.)
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
3 tbsp Worchestire Sauce
2 tbsp Trappey's Red Devil Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1 "Hoppy" Beer or vegetable broth to replace liquid when simmering.  (I like to use Brigeport IPA or Hop Czar beer.)
Salt and black pepper to taste.
Cayenne Pepper to taste.


  1. Heat a cast iron skillet over low heat.
  2. Add oil and drippings and allow to come to cooking temperature.
  3. Add chopped vegetables and grapes.
  4. Saute over low heat until soft and onion is translucent. (Do not burn the garlic.)
  5. [Optional] At this point, I remove the red grapes from the pan and allow to cool. I like to squeeze the pulp out of the skin and discard the grape skins.  The skins can make the sauce bitter.  Add the pulp back to the mixture.
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about an hour over low heat.
  7. Stir sauce frequently, adding liquid as required.
  8. Sample sauce and add salt, black pepper as required. I generally try not to add salt as the the ingredients are loaded with sodium.
  9. If desired, process the sauce in a food processor when the simmering process is complete. (I like a lumpy sauce.  This  is homemade after all.)

Tags: ,



This blog represents my personal hobby, observations and views. It does not represent the views of my employer, clients, especially my wife, children, in-laws, clergy, the dog, the cat or my daughter's horse. In fact, I am not even sure it represents my views when I take the time to reread postings.  So, take most of what I say with a grain of salt.

© Copyright 2008-2014