Lemon Meringue Cookies

Lemon Meringue Cookies

Why buy your cookies when you can very easily make your own? It’s super easy to make these sugar-free lemon meringue cookies! This recipe uses a powdered sugar substitute (see recommendation in recipe notes). It’s important for it to be powdered, otherwise the end result will be gritty. It may work to just powder a different sweetener in a food processor, as long as you can get it to a very fine consistency.

In comparison to the regular, sugar-filled version, the end result is only slightly different with sugar-free meringue cookies. They are almost indistinguishable.  The only difference you may notice is that it’s a little more difficult for the beaten egg whites to hold their stiff peaks without that sugar. Basically, that means you get less definition in your meringue design when piping. But, hey–it’s worth it to have the low-carb, sugar-free version, right?

If lemon flavor is not your thing and you prefer vanilla, you can modify this recipe by simply skipping the lemon zest and folding in about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  You’ll want to keep the lemon juice as a stabilizer, or you can use cream of tartar instead. Either way, they will not taste lemon-y without the zest in there.

As far as storage, just place them in an airtight container and keep them in the pantry or cupboard. Room temperature works best.  The only caveat is that the cookies can soften by absorbing water vapor from the air. You want to keep them away from heat and moisture.  If they get soft on you anyway, you can crisp them up again. Just place them in the oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes.

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Lemon Meringue Cookies
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 2 Hours
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Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 2 Hours
Servings
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Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the egg whites into a large bowl. Beat using a hand mixer at medium speed, until the whites get opaque and frothy.
  3. Add the lemon juice. Increase mixer speed to high. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Gradually add the powdered sweetener, a tablespoon at a time, beating more as you go.
  5. Gently fold in the lemon zest.
  6. Carefully transfer the mixture into a piping bag. Pipe cookies onto the lined baking sheet, about a teaspoon each, spaced about an inch apart.
  7. Bake for 1-2 hours. (Time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your meringues.) The meringues are done when they are firm and release easily from the parchment paper, but before they turn brown.
  8. When they are done, turn off the oven and prop the door open with a wooden spoon. Leave the meringues in the oven this way for at least an hour, until dry and crisp.
Recipe Notes

Powdered sugar substitute. Click on image for purchase link.

Swerve Sugar Replacement


 

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Apple Butter

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Apple Butter

This pumpkin apple butter is great as a spread on things like your favorite grain-free bread, pancakes and waffles, as well as an add-in to your morning protein shake.

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Slow Cooker Pumpkin Apple Butter
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 4 Hours
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Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 4 Hours
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients in slow cooker, and stir until combined.
  2. Cover slow cooker and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
  3. Turn slow cooker off. Allow to cool.
  4. Scoop ingredients into blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  5. Transfer to a sealable container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe Notes

Go to CHALLENGE APPROVED FOODS page for recommendation on sugar-free maple syrup.

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

It’s PUMPKIN TIME! This cheesecake is sugar-free and no-bake and all pumpkin!  Moreover, it’s even healthy with all the dates and nuts included in this recipe!!!

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Pumpkin Cheesecake
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 5 Hours
Servings
6" Cake
Ingredients
Crust ingredients:
White Layer Ingredients:
Pumpkin Layer Ingredients:
Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 5 Hours
Servings
6" Cake
Ingredients
Crust ingredients:
White Layer Ingredients:
Pumpkin Layer Ingredients:
Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. Place all crust ingredients into a food processor and process into a sticky crumble. Transfer into a 6″ spring form pan and shape into a crust {either by flattening it entirely to the bottom, or pushing it up the sides a little for a taller crust effect}. Set aside.
  2. Place all white layer ingredients into a high-speed blender and process until mixture is smooth. Scoop out about ¾ cup of this mixture into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add pumpkin layer ingredients to the blender to the remaining mixture and blend until mixture is smooth and uniform.
  4. Pour pumpkin cheesecake mixture into the crust in the spring form pan. Smooth out the mixture a little using a spatula. Pour white layer ingredients (that were set aside earlier) on top of the pumpkin layer, being careful not to mix the two layers in the process {it helps to freeze the pumpkin layer for about 20 minutes first to help it firm up, which makes adding the white layer without having the two layers mix up a lot easier}. Gently smooth out the surface.
  5. Freeze the cheesecake for 4-5 hours {or overnight} to set, and then transfer and store in the fridge until ready to serve. You can also have it straight out of the freezer as a pumpkin ice-cream cake, but when you have it out of the fridge it has the consistency, texture, and flavor of a real cheesecake.
Lemon Pound Cake

Lemon Pound Cake

This lemon pound cake is just as rich and lemony as the one you get at Starbucks! However, it is sans the flour, sugar, butter, or oil!  This clean eating and grain-free treat has the perfect balance of tart and sweet. It is a great dessert dish to bring to a family gathering, baby shower or potluck.

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Lemon Pound Cake
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 45 Minutes
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Ingredients
Optional Frosting
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 45 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Optional Frosting
Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, and add the wet ingredients. Stir until combined.
  3. Pour into loaf pan.
  4. Bake 35-45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. (Bake first 20 minutes covered with foil, then uncover and bake 20-25 minutes longer.)
Optional Frosting
  1. To make the optional frosting, mix ingredients for frosting and spread over loaf just before serving! (Leftovers can be stored in the fridge.)
Recipe Notes

Go HERE for a link to purchase Sweet Leaf Baking Stevia for this recipe. There are other brands available at HEB and Whole Foods.

Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt can be found at Whole Foods.

You can freeze slices of this cake and thaw out one slice at a time for a treat!

Cauliflower Potato Salad

Cauliflower Potato Salad

This cauliflower “Faux-tato” salad is yummy and perfect as a low-carb substitute for the higher-carb version. This classic, creamy, gluten-free side dish is absolutely delicious and just a touch tangy. Top it with a sprinkling of chopped chives for color.

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Cauliflower Potato Salad
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes
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Salad
Dressing
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes
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Servings
Ingredients
Salad
Dressing
Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. Add cauliflower florets to a large pot with cold water and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium and simmer until cauliflower is tender.
  2. Add all ingredients for the dressing in a jar with a tight fitting lid, then shake to combine and set aside.
  3. Drain cauliflower well, then add to a large bowl and drizzle on 1/2 the dressing. Stir to combine, then let cauliflower cool for 15 minutes before covering and refrigerating until well chilled, preferably overnight.
  4. Once cauliflower is completely chilled, drizzle on a bit more dressing then add eggs, mayonnaise (start with 1/2 cup then add more if needed), and salt to taste. Stir to combine, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle with paprika before serving.
Recipe Notes

*Purchase Tip for Mayonnaise--Diet Levels 1-5: Primal Kitchen brand is sugar-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. You can find it at Whole Foods Market or on Amazon.

You can also make your own mayo. HERE is a recipe for Fueled for GOD mayo.

Cashew Spread

Cashew Spread

This cashew “cheese” is really more of a spread.  You can add any aromatics or other flavorings to this basic recipe. Just pulse and add to taste. It is more the consistency of hummus or ricotta so it acts like a cream cheese spread that’s fantastic with chips, crackers, or veggie sticks, or slathered on sandwiches or wraps.

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Cashew Spread
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Cups
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Cups
Ingredients
Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. Soak cashews for at least four hours.
  2. Drain the soaked cashews and rinse thoroughly.
  3. Throw the cashews into the food processor with the other ingredients (except the parsley) and pulse until you reach your desired consistency. Add more water as needed.
  4. Tweak lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and onion powder to taste.
  5. Transfer the cheese to a bowl, and stir through the parsley.
Recipe Notes

For different flavors, omit the parsley from the base recipe and add listed ingredients for each variation.

Herbed Cheese:
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
1 finely chopped green onion

Tomato Basil Cheese:
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 tsp tomato paste

Chive Cheese:
2 tbsps finely chopped chives

Chile Cheese:
2 tbsps chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 finely chopped green onions
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 small green chile, ribbed, seeded, and minced or 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

Apple Crisp, No Bake

Apple Crisp, No Bake

This No Bake Apple Crisp recipe is gluten-free, healthy and easy to make! Eat it cold or warm it up.

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Apple Crisp, No Bake
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 10 Minutes
Servings
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Ingredients
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. Place 2 apples, raisins, 1 tsp. cinnamon and nutmeg in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Toss remaining chopped apples with lemon juice in a large bowl. Pour apple raisin puree over apples and mix well.
  3. Spoon mixture into a medium sized baking dish and set aside.
  4. Pulse walnuts, dates, 1 tsp. cinnamon and sea salt in a food processor until coarsely ground. Be careful not to over mix.
  5. Sprinkle mixture over apples and press down lightly with your hands.
  6. Serve immediately or let sit for a few hours for the flavor to marinate.
Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata

You can’t have too many chicken dishes to serve up to your family or guests. This is an easy one to prepare and goes very well with just a side salad.

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Chicken Piccata
Diet Level:6
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Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
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Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Diet Level:6
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Instructions
  1. Cut the chicken breasts horizontally in half so you have two thin slices. Season with the sea salt and black pepper.
  2. Mix the almond and arrowroot flours together in medium sized bowl. Dredge the chicken breasts in the mixture and set aside on a cooling rack.
  3. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add about 4 tablespoons of cooking fat (bacon fat/lard or tallow). Add half of the chicken to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side (or until browned). Remove the chicken and set aside.
  4. Add the garlic and onion to pan. Stir for 2 minutes and then add the lemon juice, chicken broth, capers and fresh parsley and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil and allow to reduce for 3 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and reduce heat to low.
  5. Cover and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Taste sauce and add additional sea salt and black pepper if needed.
  6. Place chicken on a serving platter, pour sauce over the chicken, garnish with additional parsley (optional) and serve.
Cashew Cheese

Cashew Cheese

I know, weird, right? But, since three out of the six Diet Levels don’t “do dairy,” why not try a little “Cashew Cheese?” We already use cashew creamer in our coffee!!

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Cashew Cheese
Diet Level:6
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Prep Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Diet Level:6
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Instructions
  1. Soak, drain and rinse cashews.
  2. Place in a food processor, along with lemon juice, salt and black pepper.
  3. Pulse for about 1 minute to combine ingredients.
  4. Add water and process until completely smooth, about 2-4 minutes.
Recipe Notes

You may want to turn off the food processor and scrape down the cheese from the sides a couple of times. You will have to soak the cashews for at least 1 hour. You can soak them for up to 24 hours. The longer you soak them the more creamy they will become. If you don’t want to soak them for 24 hours, soaking them for an hour is totally sufficient.

Steamed Spinach with Lemon

Steamed Spinach with Lemon

Steamed spinach, cooked in mere minutes, is tossed with heart-healthy olive oil. This green is an excellent source of folate, which may protect against some cancers.

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Steamed Spinach with Lemon
Diet Level:6
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Category Side Dish
Diet Level 6: Clean Eating
Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Category Side Dish
Diet Level 6: Clean Eating
Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Diet Level:6
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Instructions
  1. Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water, and fit with a steamer insert. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add spinach. Reduce to a simmer. Cover, and steam until spinach has wilted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl. Toss with oil, lemon juice, and salt. Garnish with lemon. Serve immediately.
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