Recipe ReDux – Gingerbread Quick Bread

Hard to believe that we are coming up on the end of November. Time flies and the holiday baking season is getting ready to start. With holiday meals, family get togethers, work parties and other gatherings coming up there’s lots of opportunities to bake goodies for everyone to enjoy. One of my favorite sweet treats at this time of year is gingerbread. I love it made into cakes, muffins, cookies and more. The only problem with all of these things is they tend to be high in sugar and carbs. Since this month’s Recipe ReDux theme is creative quick breads it gave me an opportunity to see if I could take one of my favorite holiday flavors, gingerbread, and turn it into something a bit lower in carbs that I can enjoy.

To make this recipe I started out playing around with another recipe that I’ve used to make low carb pumpkin muffins. I used the low carb bake mix which helps give baked items a texture similar to flour based items. The nice thing about the mix is you can whip up a big batch to keep on hand until you need it. It stores up to 6 months in the refrigerator or freezer. This recipe makes one loaf or spoon the batter into muffin tins to create 12 individual quick bread muffins.

Low Carb Gingerbread Quick Bread

low carb gingerbread1

Recipe ReDux - Gingerbread Quick Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 slices
Try adding in several tablespoons of chopped raisins or crystallized ginger. For gingerbread with a twist add in 2 teaspoons grated lemon or orange peel.
  • 3 cups of almond flour or low carb bake mix
  • ½ cup Splenda or your favorite sweetener
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Xanthan gum (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup or 6 ounces of Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • ½ cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 X 9 or a loaf pan with nonstick spray or butter.
  2. In a bowl whisk together the bake mix/almond flour, Splenda, spices, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum (if using) and salt.
  3. In another bowl beat the yogurt and butter together until smooth. Add in eggs one at a time and mix until combined. Add molasses. If you are using the optional lemon/orange zest or raisins/ginger add it in now.
  4. Add the half the bake mix/spice mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Mix in the almond mix. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  5. Pour into your prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out on to a wire rack and allow to cool.
  7. Slice into 12 slices and serve.


TIPS: the texture of this quick bread is great and it also can be spooned into muffin tins to create muffins.

FREEZER TIPS: Once completely cool wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for up to six months. I have wrapped individual pieces so I can take them out one at a time, toss them into my lunch bag and by the time I am ready to eat it the slice has thawed.

TIME SAVING TIP: I like to save myself some time when I bake. Once I know it’s a recipe that I like I will prep more than one set of dry ingredients at the same time. Measure out all the dry ingredients to create two or more quick breads into separate mixing bowls (bake mix, Splenda, spices, baking powder/soda, xanthan gum and salt). I use one for the recipe that I’m currently making and the other I pour into a freezer bag, seal and place inside of a second freezer bag. I also stick a copy of the recipe in between the two bags so I know exactly what’s in the bag. When I want to bake another quick bread I simply mix the wet ingredients together and continue on with the recipe.

Why not stop by this month’s Recipe ReDux and see some of the great quick breads that other dieitians have created.

Happy 11th Surgiversary!

11th anniversary

On the morning of October 5, 2004 I did something that changed my life…..I had gastric bypass surgery. After having spent the majority of my life battling to lose weight, and after fighting with my health insurance company as they constantly change their approval criteria, I set off for the hospital to have surgery. That day was my youngest daughter’s birthday (she turned 3 that day) and my mother told me if anything were to go wrong during surgery it would become the worst day in her life. She was worried, as are the family and friends of anyone who is choosing to take what they see as elective surgery. It was not elective to me. It was absolutely necessary. I didn’t want my daughter to have future birthday memories of a mom who wasn’t able to do things because of chronic pain. My life hasn’t been the same since that morning. Here it is, eleven years and a little over month later, and what those of us in the bariatric world call a  surgiversary…..the anniversary of your surgery….. has quietly gone by. Actually, it didn’t quietly go by. I was just too darn busy and the day passed by. I only thought about it because my daughter was looking at a old family picture and wondered who that person was in the photo. It was the former 300 lb me. Looking at that picture made me think back to what has gone on in those eleven years?

My highest weight before surgery was 320 lbs.

Weight at the time of surgery 290 lbs.

Lowest weight 158 lbs (down 132 lbs from the date of surgery).

Current weight 172 lbs (down 118 lbs) according to my scale this morning.

I went from a size 28/30 to a 12/14.

I no longer live with chronic knee and back pain. My chiropractor only sees me on rare occasions when I’ve ended up needing an adjustment because of a migraine. Prior to surgery I was there frequently due to the chronic back pain.

My doctor says my lab work is better than his other patients my age and even those in their 20’s and I am no longer pre-diabetic.

I regained 50 lbs and then spent a year and a half losing it again.

I became lactose intolerant and ended up with reactive hypoglycemia but figured out how to deal with those things.

I returned to college, got a Bachelor’s Degree in Food and Nutrition (cum laude no less) and recently I passed the licensing test to be a Registered Dietitian.

I ended up getting divorced.

I had two surgeries to deal with the “lose” skin. More like melted skin but that’s a whole different story.

I now do all the things I wanted to to but couldn’t due to pain…..walking long distances, white water rafting, ice skating, bike riding and so much more. I can wear my kids out!

Occasionally my kids raid my clothes and wear my clothes.

I met a great guy who I am happy to have as a partner in crime.

Surgery wasn’t the easy way out and the fight to maintain my weight loss continues every day. Only now I win it more than lose it.

My life has changed for the better and I’m very happy that I went through with it. The journey has not been a bed of roses but life rarely is. My surgiversary day/weekend was spent walking and hiking through the woods geocaching with my guy. I met someone just as dorky as I am. How great is that! We walked over three miles of trails, hiked up and down hills, crawled down into an old bunker to find our geocache treasure and enjoyed the day. Before surgery I was lucky to walk up and down stairs. Now I can run them.

When asked if I would do it again without hesitation I would say hell yes! I only wish I did it sooner. My advice for others who are following along this same path or thinking about doing it is to remember that surgery isn’t a cure. It gives you a life long tool that will be there for you but you have to use it. If you set it aside and return to old habits it won’t work. But, the good thing, is you will not break it and it will always be there for you to use again. A regain of 50 lbs in a year taught me that lesson.

There is no one right or wrong way. Everyone must figure out what changes they can make in their lives that will affect them for the best. You are not someone else so stop comparing yourself to them. Focus your time on learning methods to handle yourself in different situations where food is involved. You will never eat to perfection but each meal will give you another opportunity to remake what you put on your plate. You will slip back into old habits but you can change them. Focus on well defined, small goals because they will help you achieve the bigger picture. Never let doubters hold you back. It is far easier for them to take pleasure from failures then it is to celebrate the victories.

For those who comment on taking the easy way out smile because only you will know the truth. For family and friends who tell you that EVERYONE regains the weight back know that they don’t. For those in the medical field (this goes for dietitians too) keep encouraging people to make healthier choices that work for them and don’t look down on those who regain weight. Unless you’ve walked a mile in that person’s shoes you have no idea what kind of struggle (mental, emotional or physical) they are going through.

These are just a few of the things I’ve learned over these past 11 years. I look forward to finding out what new things I’ll have discovered by my next surgiversary date.

How about you? Celebrating your own surgiversary date or just making some great discoveries about yourself/life as you work through your own weight loss (or maintenance)? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear about it.

Time Saving Tuesday (TST) 3

Time Saving Tuesday

Join me for the (mostly) weekly Time Saving Tuesday tip.

As a single mother with three daughters, a house, cats and a job working close to 50 hours a week, the only way I can keep up my wonder woman persona is to find things that save me time. This can be a good thing when it comes to not slipping back into former habits that contributed to hurting my health.  Over the years I’ve come up with lots of tricks that work for me and, thanks to Pinterest and the many websites out there, I see lots of others that I’d like to try one day. Each week I thought I would share either a tip that I use or something that I’ve seen on another site. Perhaps some of these will work for you to help save you time and make things a bit easier. If you’ve got a great time saving tip to share why not post it in the comment section below.

This week’s TST tip is to help save you time and money, especially in the kitchen, is to create your own recipe binder of meals you have tried and your family loves. Working on a meal plan in my house sometimes seems like this:

meal planning

Yes that about sums it up. My ideas of what I think would be great to make and my children’s ideas of what they would like usually are two different things. My recipe binder came about when all my plans of culinary deliciousness for the week meant I was eating a whole lot of leftovers myself.  Now I save all the really great recipes that everyone (or mostly everyone) has enjoyed and would like to eat it again.

The recipe binder saves me time because, a day or two before I want to go grocery shopping, I tell my crew to look through and see what they would like me to make. They pull out recipes and leave it on my desk. This helps me create a grocery list and I don’t make meals that people won’t eat. Bonus points for the fact that they are now all old enough to cook so I can leave the recipe out and ask that it either be made or ingredients are prepped before I get home. It saves me money because I’m not wasting food when people decide to not eat the meal.

recipe binder

My recipe binder has also been helpful when it comes to making recipe adjustments. I’ve written on pages, added in ingredients, changed amounts and crossed stuff off. I no longer have to rely on my memory when it comes to the great way I made something the previous time and hope to duplicate it again. And it saves me from duplicating recipe disasters.

One bonus to the binder that I never thought of before is it has now turned into family tradition.  The kids decide if something is worthy of being added to the binder. When they look through the binder they talk about the last time certain things were made and we have a fun time remembering that particular day. It has become important enough that my middle daughter asked if the binder could be passed down to her when the day comes that I no longer use it.

Why not start your own family recipe binder. You’ll save time and money. Perhaps along the way you’ll also end up with some great family memories too!

Do you have a recipe binder that you rely on? Or do you prefer online sites such as Pinterest to help you save all your favorite recipes?


Apple Pecan Pie

My family has enjoyed this pie many times now. The good thing about it is I get to enjoy it as well. This magically pie makes its own crust while being lower in fat and sugar. It makes one 8 inch pie pan appley goodness. My favorite apple combination is two honey crisps and a granny smith apple but just about any type of baking apple will work with this pie.


apple pecan pie1

Apple Pecan Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
This recipe calls for pecans but walnuts taste good too! The top of the pie is sprinkled with sugar which helps it to brown nicely. This step is optional.
  • 3 medium to large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • ½ cup of Splenda or your favorite sweetener
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole pecans or ½ cup chopped
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray an 8 inch pie pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Peel, cored and slice the apples.
  3. In a large bowl add the eggs and beat with a fork.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  5. Add the sliced apples and pecans. Toss to coat.
  6. Spoon into a 8 inch pie pan.
  7. Combine the granulated sugar and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top of the mixture.
  8. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the apples are soft and the top is lightly browned.
  9. Cool before slicing.

apple pecan pie2

The granulated sugar sprinkled over the top helps the pie to brown nicely. While Splenda adds sweetness it will not brown. The little bit of added sugar will help with that though it is optional and can be left off if you desire.

This crustless pie is lower in fat and carbs. It makes a nice dessert that everyone loves (and that doesn’t cause dumping or a RH reaction for me) so I will bring it to family gatherings so I know there is one great tasting dessert there that won’t make me sick.

Got a favorite low or lower in carb dessert recipe? Why not leave a comment and a link in the box below.

Greek Lemon Pasta Salad

This is a quick to put together dish and, while I’ve included a recipe, you can toss just about anything in. Use your favorite veggies, swap out the cheese or even replace the sliced salami with diced chicken breast. You can even replace the salad dressing with your favorite kind. No matter what you use you’ll have a hard time creating a bad pasta salad.

Greek Lemon Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

Greek Lemon Pasta Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
  • 8 ounces of pasta, cooked
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 4 ounces shredded carrot
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ of a 8 ounce jar of Kalamata olives, sliced in half or quartered
  • 4 ounces mini mozzarella balls
  • 4 to 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 to 6 ounces salami, cut into thin slices
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook the pasta as directed on the package, drain and cool.
  2. In a large bowl combine the pasta, cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, onion, mozzarella balls, feta cheese and salami.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, shallot, garlic and honey.
  4. Pour dressing over pasta blend and mix until combined.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes before serving.

Tips: use whole wheat pasta for extra fiber. Try adding sliced tomatoes, jarred roasted red peppers, some thinly sliced fresh spinach leaves, cubes of roasted squash or sweet potatoes, small broccoli florets or any other favorite vegetables. Replace the sliced salami with diced chicken breast for an added boost of protein.

WLS Tip: while this recipe was originally intended to be a main dish it’s best as a side dish for us. Serve with your favorite protein. My favorite is baked boneless chicken thighs that have been marinated in some of the dressing mix before being baked.

Got a favorite pasta salad dish? Why not leave a comment below as well as a link.

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