Lowcarbezine! 6 November 2002

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Hey, Gang -

Here's your Lowcarbezine! You'll notice it's shorter than usual. Here's the deal: We had a few requests for extra support through the holidays, and it seemed like a good idea to us. So from now until January, we're going back to a weekly format, but each issue will be about half the length of a regular issue. Seem fair?

Read on!


All contents © Copyright 2002 Hold the Toast Press. All commercial reproduction is expressly prohibited. If you think your friends will enjoy Lowcarbezine!, please forward them the WHOLE ISSUE. Please, do not post articles or recipes elsewhere on the internet without permission. My attorney tells me that I'll have to come scold you and tell you to cut it out if you do.

A lot of people have inquired about advertising. We are pleased to introduce our new Marketing and Advertising Director, Brian Lattimer! Advertising inquiries may be directed to advertising@holdthetoast.com

Ketosis Facts

$10 OFF On Your Order Of $100 Or More - at Carb Smart!

That's 10% - pretty sweet! But it gets even better. Because every bit of our huge selection of low carb products - from protein powder to tortillas, from cookbooks to candy, is discounted already! You can't afford not to CHECK IT OUT!

Plus, we have Dana Carpender's How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds! for just $9.99!

While you're at the site, read our recipes, interviews, and low carb success stories, too!

If you're low carb and smart, you'll shop Carb Smart!


Reader Testimonial

Jenni Kahle writes:

I just wanted to say that I am a true believer in living the low-carb life. I was on it for one year and never felt better not to mention that I lost 35 pounds. Then I got off the diet, gained my weight back and felt horrible. I hated how I felt when I ate all of those high carb foods. I was tired, bloated, moody and just felt yucky. I've recently got back on the low-carb diet and already feel so much different. I've decided that I like feeling this way. I am always in a good mood, never hungry (that one's amazing) and I love eating all of those good foods. All of these positive effects are my motivation. I am such a believer in the lifestyle. I think I'll keep it.

Oh, Jenni, am I ever with you. I went through some long plateaus, and even gained some weight back after my car wreck in 2000. It was discouraging, but I feel so much better eating this way, I kept right at it. Thanks for writing!

To order 500 Low-Carb Recipes from Amazon:
United States: Amazon.com
Canada: Amazon.ca

And to order How I Gave Up My LowFat Diet - and Lost Forty Pounds:
United States: Amazon.Com
Canada: Amazon.Ca

More Gift Ideas For the Low Carber


I also keep the Nutribase Complete Book of Food Counts on my desk: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0895296675/lowcarbohysoluti

Either of these books would make a great stocking stuffer for a low carber!

More gift ideas next issue!

Cooking Low Carb!

I announced a few months back that I had acquired a pasta machine, and was going to start working on low carb pasta recipes. True to my word, I now have a freezer full of homemade low carb pasta. I'm not sure I've perfected the recipe, and I'll keep working on it, but I do feel that I'm turning out pasta that is both better in taste and texture, and considerably cheaper, than any of the commercial low carb pasta I've tried. So I may as well tell you now how I'm doing it, and if I make any thrilling breakthroughs in this field, I'll let you know.

For the record, my pasta machine is a Simac Pastamatic 700 that I purchased at a thrift shop for $15. It is an extrusion-type machine, which is to say that the dough is mixed thoroughly, and then forced through a die, and cut off at what ever length you like. There are several shapes of dies, allowing you to make spaghetti of a few different thicknesses, along with fettuccine or linguine, and even lasagna noodles and tubular noodles. I've had the most luck with the long kinds - fettuccine, linguine, spaghetti, and the like. I tried making tubular noodles, but they were thick and doughy. I'd stick with the long, skinny noodles.

There is another style of pasta maker, one that rolls the dough into thin sheets and cuts it. This is much closer to the traditional way of making homemade pasta, and some feel that it gives superior results, but I must confess that I have no clue how well my recipe will work with a machine of this sort. If you have a machine of this sort, I'd love to hear how this works for you.

I've avoided soy protein in this recipe. Longtime readers are aware that I am unconvinced of the safety of soy. (I will now receive a minimum of 5 emails asking "Why don't you like soy? I though soy was the world's healthiest food!" I'm not going to explain it right now. I've explained it before. I'll explain it again. But I want to get to the pasta. Just take my word for it right now, will you?) Most commercial low carb pastas are heavily soy-dependent, containing large quantities of soy protein isolate. Since I've stayed away from soy protein isolate, my pasta is a little higher carb than the commercial kind. On the other hand, I think the texture is better than any commercial low carb pasta I've tried (although it still doesn't have a texture identical to standard pasta - simply not possible) and even though it's made from fairly expensive ingredients, it's cheaper, too.

Anyway, here's what I've been doing:

Basic Low Carb Pasta

1 cup vital wheat gluten

1 1/2 cups rice protein powder (I use Nutribiotics brand)

3 large eggs - jumbos are even better

1 tablespoon olive oil

roughly 3/4 cup water

First, make sure you have the die you want to use on the machine. You don't want to get halfway into this project and realize you want to swap dies!

Put the vital wheat gluten and the rice protein powder into the mixing compartment of the pasta machine, and turn on the motor. Let it run for a minute to thoroughly mix the two powders together. Now add the eggs, one at a time, letting each one mix in for about a minute before adding the next. Next add the olive oil, and again, let it mix for a good minute. Now you start adding the water, and this is the tricky bit - you want to get enough water so that the dough coheres, and is forced through the die easily, but not enough so that it becomes sticky, because it won't process easily that way. Add the first 1/4 cup water, and let it mix in for at least a minute or two. Then add the next 1/4 cup, and let it mix for at least two minutes. Now start adding water in 2 tablespoon increments, letting the dough mix for at least two minutes between additions. Keep an eye on the texture of the dough, and don't be afraid to stop the machine and feel it. When it's the proper texture, it will be fairly soft, but still in a few globs, rather than one big ball. (Read the instructions that come with your pasta maker for more descriptions of proper dough texture.)

When your dough is soft and cohesive, but not sticky, start the extrusion process (on my machine this is done by pulling out a slide that divides the mixing chamber from the screw that forces the dough into the die.) Have a plate under the die where the pasta will emerge - you don't want it piling up on your counter! Also have a knife with a thin, sharp blade on hand for cutting the pasta off in appropriate lengths. Now you simply stand there, cutting off your pasta every now and then, and turning the plate so that the emerging pasta doesn't all pile up in the same spot - I generally end up using two plates.

When all your pasta has been forced through the die, you'll want to either cook it, or store it. Since this recipe makes 10 servings, and there are only 2 people in my household, I have to store it! You can try drying it if you like, but all this ever got me was still-moist, moldy pasta - and mighty expensive, too. Instead, I like to package my pasta in individual servings in sandwich bags, and stash it in the freezer. A serving is a very slightly generous half-cup before cooking. That may not sound like much, but that half cup will have more protein in it than a 6 ounce steak - 48 grams of protein per serving, with 9 grams of carbohydrate, and just a trace of fiber.

Cooking this fresh pasta is different than cooking the dried pasta we're all familiar with - it cooks much faster. Bring a generous quantity of water to a full, rolling boil, salt it a bit and add a dab of oil. Then add the pasta, stirring for a moment to loosen the strands. Set your timer for no more than 3 minutes - this is about right for fettuccine, spaghetti or angel hair will cook even faster. Have whatever sauce you're serving hot and ready, and a colander standing by - you don't want to let your pasta cook for an extra minute or two while you hunt for the colander, or you may end up with mush. Drain, sauce, and serve.

Because this pasta has a protein content similar to meat, I prefer not to serve it with meat balls or the like - remember, eat too much protein at one go, and you can raise your blood sugar and cause an insulin release. Better to eat your high protein pasta with a meatless sauce, although I, for one, can't resist a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. If you're using store-bought pasta sauce, remember that most of them have added corn syrup or sugar, and read the labels carefully. Hunt's has a no-sugar-added sauce that is quite good, and one of the lowest carb on the market.

I know that the serving size seems small, but this stuff is filling. Have a very low carb salad - mostly greens, with a vinaigrette dressing - with it, and I promise, you'll be satisfied for hours!

That's it for this issue! See you next issue!


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To request a full-text version of this issue by e-mail, just send a message to: htt021106@holdthetoast.com (Message and subject can be blank.)