This Gringa’s Birria (or Chile Spiced Shredded Beef)


(low carb, gluten free, S)

I had my first taste of the Mexican meat dish called Birria at a friend’s daughter’s sixteenth birthday party.  It was a delicious, spicy shredded beef in a smoky, rich sauce (but is traditionally prepared using goat or lamb).  I had my suspicions of how this was prepared, but needed to back it up with a little research.  I found two interesting recipes, (here and here), but as anyone who knows me well will tell you, I almost never follow recipes.  There is always something I want to do differently than what I see someone else doing.  So it was with this dish.DSCN1029

First, with the lamb or goat.  My  husband is not a fan of lamb and I had a nice beef roast I needed to use, so I went with that.  I’m not even sure I would know where to buy a goat roast around here to be honest with you!


Second, it appears that Guajillo is the usual chile used in preparation of this dish.  Guajillos are a new chile to my world. I have only used them once previous to this and it was only because they looked like the New Mexico chile (which I use a lot for pozoles and other recipes) and the store I was at was out of them.  I am crazy about the sweet, smoky taste of Ancho chiles, so I wanted to use those in my birria.  Guajillos have a Scoville rating of 2,500-5,000 units, whereas Anchos have a Scoville rating of 1,000-1,500 and New Mexico chiles only a 750-1,250 rating as shown here.


So I guess my birria is less spicy than the traditional.  If you love extra spicy food, or don’t want to buy a bunch of chiles that you aren’t going to be using for other recipes in the future, then go ahead and use all Guajillos!  I have to be a bit careful because if I make things too spicy, the kids start to make noises about it–that is if they aren’t trying to outdo each other on who is the most macho that day!DSCN1026

I liked both of these recipes because they were kind of opposite extremes to what I wanted to do in the kitchen–one looked a little too daunting and let’s be honest, time consuming, whereas the other was lacking something I love to do–making homemade chile paste from dried chiles.  There’s something about that process that just makes me a happy little wannabe Latina!


Serve the resulting delicious shredded beef alone with a squeeze of lime and onions, and use leftovers for making quesadillas or tacos, on a Mexican-style taco salad, on top of some cauliflower mashed potatoes, or even scramble up the meat with some eggs for a quick breakfast!  The possibilities are endless and you will be happy any way you use this lip-smacking meat!


You can place a few chopped red potatoes in the bottom of the crockpot for serving alongside this meat. If you are a THM girl, you might want to place some skinned, chopped jicama in the crockpot to mimic “potatoes”.  That is what I show here. 

Anyway, here’s my version, I hope you enjoy!

This Gringa's Birria

  • Servings: about 20
  • Time: 30min prep, 8hrs cook
  • Print

3 dried Guajillo chiles

3 dried Ancho chiles

2 dried New Mexico chiles

1 c beef broth

1T oil, like olive, peanut, or refined coconut

8 garlic cloves

2 onions, sliced and separated

5lb chuck roast (or shoulder clod roast: cheaper)

Salt and pepper

1/4t cinnamon

1t cumin

1/2t oregano

8oz can tomato sauce

1t cocoa powder

1/4c Apple cider vinegar

10oz can Rotel (tomatoes and green chiles)

Cilantro and limes, for serving

Directions: Place beef broth in a saucepan with 1/2c water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Destem and deseed chiles. Tear them into little pieces (like 2”) and place into hot broth for at least 10min until completely softened.

Place 1T oil in a pan and sauté garlic and 1 of the onions until transleucent. Remove to a blender. Cut excessively large chunks of fat off roast and season with salt and pepper and sear roast over high heat for a couple of minutes per side. Place into crock pot.

Add chiles and broth to blender. Add rest of seasonings as well as 2t salt, tomato sauce and apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth—careful if broth is still really hot!

Add blended chiles, Rotel, and second sliced onion to crock pot, covering roast. Cook on low heat for 8hrs (or high for 6hrs). After cooking, remove roast to a pan and shred beef. Then mix back into sauce in crockpot. Serve with limes.


 This post can be found on Saucy Saturdays and Peeled Wellness linkup parties.  Check them out for other great blog posts!



Peanut Better Truffles

(low carb, gluten free, S)


There is something completely addictive to chocolate and peanut butter.  That flavor combination is just about perfect.  This flavor combination–be it a protein shake, a candy, a muffin, a brownie–frankly, even my oatmeal–seems to happen more often than I’d like to admit!


Also, I like to call these Peanut Better Truffles since there is no sugar, a decent amount of protein due to the peanut butter and whey powder, and lots of healthy fats to keep you feeling full!  That’s pretty great for a dessert, no?  You could even use grass-fed butter to up the nutritional quotient even more.  But usually, I’m too cheap to do that.


These candies are similar to the Reese’s peanut butter cups, only much healthier, and, I think, a lot more hoity toity, being that I’m calling them a truffle and not a cup.  Just tagging that word to the title makes them seem like something to serve at a tea, not just cramming them into your face as you watch trash TV–not that I do that or anything! Okay, before this all starts to sound a bit too pretentious, maybe I ought to just get to the recipe.


Peanut Better Truffles by Collinscocina.com

  • Servings: about 20
  • Time: 45min
  • Print


PB filling:

1c butter, softened

1c chunky peanut butter, unsweetened natural brand

1/2c whey protein powder, unflavored or vanilla

1/2c coconut flour

1/4c Truvia or erythritol, powdered

3/4t Now Better stevia extract powder

1t vanilla

Chocolate coating:

1c coconut oil, refined

3/4c unsweetened cocoa powder

1t vanilla extract

1t Now Better stevia extract powder

Directions: Put some Truvia or erythritol in the blender to turn into powder.  Measure out 1/4c and set aside.  If need be, make coconut flour in blender by blending unsweetened coconut flakes into a grainy consistency and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, blend butter and peanut butter.  Add vanilla and stevia and blend.  Add coconut flour and whey powder and powdered Truvia and blend again.  Put mixture into freezer for about 15min.

Meanwhile, make chocolate coating: Mix coconut oil, cocoa powder, vanilla, and stevia extract powder in a small bowl and set aside.

After 15min freezing time filling should hold a ball shape fairly well.  Prepare a cookie sheet with wax paper.  Using a #70 cookie dough scoop, scoop out filling and plop each onto wax paper with space in between.  Place cookie sheet back into freezer for at least 15min.


After freezing time, using two toothpicks (one to pick up truffle and one to push truffle off of the other toothpick after dipping), dip each truffle into chocolate coating.  Let drip into bowl before placing back on cookie sheet.  It should take about 5 seconds to freeze coating on truffle.  Dip each truffle once, then go through and redip each truffle for a second coating (this makes it thick enough that it doesn’t show filling through it.)  Place back in freezer for about 5 minutes before removing balls to an airtight container.  Keep truffles frozen. 



Elegant Crepes


(low carb, gluten free, S)

Saturday mornings are meant to be elegant.  And decadent.  A time to relax and enjoy each other’s company in the presence of good food.  A moment to pause from the craziness of the week and just enjoy life at a slower pace.


Except for our Saturdays lately–we’ve been caught up in the whirlwind that is flag football.  So our Saturdays for the next two months are going to be even crazier than normal–we have to be at the field by 7am, even for away games!  My lazy Saturdays easing into the weekend with a big cup of coffee while cooking elaborate breakfasts are going to be put on hold for some time.


Luckily, these crepes can be made as simply or elaborately as you want.  My husband and I love to go all-out and have them with berry jam topped with my Mock Cool Whip.  Or a drizzle of peanut butter, sugar-free chocolate chips, and Mock Cool Whip!  The kids like chopped bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate chips.  You could go really simple and add chopped strawberries.  Or just top with a sprinkle of powdered Truvia.  You could fill them with savory toppings, like crumbled bacon or sausage and cheese and salsa. What about Brie cheese and pecans? Whatever you have on hand can work!


These crepes are ever-so-slightly thicker than traditional crepes made with wheat flour.  If you make the batter thinner, then they tear when you try to flip them.  So to me, the thickness is not a big deal.  The upside is that if you refrigerate them for later, they also won’t tear apart when you are trying to separate them like traditional crepes can.

If you have a batch of my Low Carb Baking Blend on hand, these will be put together even faster for you, which is what I am going for.  You can make a big batch of crepes and refrigerate them and they can be super simple to microwave and assemble for crazy flag football-like mornings!


If you are following the THM diet plan, these would be considered an “S”, so fill with “S” toppings.  This recipe uses the amazing power of glucomannan, for the crepes and for the jam!  If you aren’t familiar with glucomannan, check out my Tips and Tricks page for more info on it.


Elegant Crepes

  • Servings: 10
  • Time: 15 min
  • Print


8 eggs

1c Collin’s Cocina Low Carb Baking Blend

1/2t gluccomannan

1/2t Now Better stevia extract

1/4t salt

1/2c unsweetened almond milk

butter, for pan

Berry Jam

2c mixed berries (I love Great Value’s Cherry Berry blend in the frozen section!)

dash cinnamon

1/3 t gluccomannan

1/2t Now Better stevia extract powder

1/2c water

For crepes: Lightly mix eggs, then add rest of ingredients and mix with a hand mixer about a minute and a half (this helps to activate the gluccomannan, which helps the batter hold together.)  Preheat nonstick pan on medium heat.  Butter pan by running  a cold stick of butter over it.  It should be bubbly right away if it’s hot enough.  Add 1/4c of batter to center of pan.  Set timer for 1 minute.  Using a spatula (I like wide, silicone ones for this), carefully flip crepe over and let cook for about 10 seconds more.  Remove to a plate.   Run butter stick over pan again and repeat for the rest of the batter.  Crepes can be refrigerated for about a week.

For berry jam: Add berries to microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave 2 min on high.  Mash berries with a fork slightly, then add rest of ingredients.  Microwave 2 more minutes.  Use fork to mash completely and mix further.  Can be refrigerated for a week or so.

To assemble as shown in photo: Place crepe on plate, drizzle with berry jam in a line down the center of crepe.  Fold sides over.  (If it won’t hold shut by itself, then you can flip it over so the fold is on the bottom.)  Top with Mock Cool Whip. Let crepe cool a couple of minutes before assembling if you don’t want the Cool Whip to melt on top!

To your elegant Saturdays, even if they are “on the go”!

I am sharing this post with Kim over at Peeled Wellness at her Tell ‘Em Tuesdays linkup party!  Check it out, will you?



No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Squares


(low carb, gluten free, S)

If you’ve read this blog before, I’ve mentioned how fertile our lemon tree is.  I think it’s just showing off, really.  The poor thing barely ever gets watered (there is a drought going on, after all!) and yet, it is pumping out lemons like nobody’s business.  I know those lemons look like oranges, because they are Meyer lemons–a variety that was a cross between a traditional lemon and an orange.


We use the lemons to make tea, lemon slushies (a weekend treat!), and lemon cake.  I love tangy and sweet, and I love cheesecake.  But who wants to heat up the kitchen when it’s hot outside and your air conditioner is already overworked and struggling? I know my Texas and Cali peeps understand!  You also want something that is cold and refreshing.  Well, this dessert fits the bill!


It utilizes gelatin to make the cheesecake, which is enjoying a renewed interest due to its many health benefits–it supports younger looking skin, nail health, joint health, may reduce allergies, and in general, is an easy to digest protein source.  So adding gelatin (also called collagen) to your diet is a great idea.  Also, no sugar makes sure you keep that figure looking fine!


You will love the tang of this cheesecake. Since I use Meyer Lemons, which are slightly less tart than traditional lemons (due to being crossed with oranges), so if you use traditional, you might want to cut back on the amount of lemon juice used and substitute water for the amount you cut back on.  I recommend using about 30% less.


No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Squares

  • Servings: about 12
  • Time: 4 hours
  • Print


Crust layer

3/4c almond meal

3/4c coconut flour

3T erythritol or Truvia

1/8t Now Better stevia extract powder

1/2c butter

Mix flours and sweeteners together.  Melt butter in microwave and add to mixture.  Blend well and press into bottom of 9×13 pan.  Put into freezer for about 10min while you prepare the cheesecake layer.

Cheesecake layer

1c lukewarm water

2T gelatin

1c boiling water

16oz Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat cr. cheese), softened to room temp

1c unsweetened almond milk

2t vanilla extract

1/2t Now Better stevia extract powder

Directions: sprinkle gelatin on top of lukewarm water and let sit for five minutes to soften.  Add boiling water to this and mix until gelatin is dissolved.  In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese, almond milk, vanilla, and stevia together until blended.  Add gelatin mixture to this and beat until well blended.  Gently pour cheesecake layer on top of crust.  Place this into the freezer for an hour while you prepare lemon glaze layer (but not longer!)

Lemon glaze layer

1c Meyer lemon juice, divided (if using traditional lemons, use about 2/3c juice/ 1/3c water)

1/2c water

zest of one lemon

1 1/2T gelatin

6T butter

1/4t Now Better stevia extract powder

5T erythritol or Truvia

Directions: Soften gelatin in 1/4c water with 1/4c lemon juice.  Boil butter in microwave until bubbly.  Immediately add to gelatin mixture and beat.  Add zest. Mix rest of lemon juice, stevia and erythritol and add to gelatin.   Gently pour evenly over top of cheesecake layer after it has been in freezer for at least an hour (will still be quite soft, so if you pour too quickly, might mix into layer instead of making a separate layer on top.)  Place in refrigerator for three more hours.


Enjoy those last few weeks of summer with this tangy, healthy cheesecake!


Slimming Chocolate Chip Cooookies


(low carb, gluten free, S)

I am a Cookie Monster.  I seriously resemble that lovable blue furry creature when a plate of cookies is laid in front of me.  It is one of my secret shames!!  Whenever I have made a batch of cookies, especially chocolate chip cookies, I am embarrassed by how many times I visit that cookie jar (well, we don’t really have a cookie jar–a Tupperware container) in a day!  I am drawn to the thing like a moth to a flame.  Like a dog to a fire hydrant.  Like Cookie Monster to coooookies (to say “cookies” like Cookie Monster, assume the voice of a Japanese man–am I right??)


It is a sad state of affairs, my friends. Confession time: I will eat more than my kids, while telling them, “Okay, three is enough for your dessert!”  Meanwhile, I’ve probably eaten like 10 before noon!  It is like the worst example of “Do as I say, not as I do” that you can imagine!


So making a healthy version of this favorite dessert–er, anytime, anywhere food–was imperative.  I used my Low Carb Baking Blend, and a neat trick I learned to make sugar free bakeable chocolate chips to whip up a batch of these amazing cookies!  They were buttery and crispy–two musts for a good chocolate chip cookie, in my book. Everyone in the house loved them and I don’t think they realized they were eating healthy cookies!


For the chocolate chips, I have to thank Laura Marriott who posted her ingenious idea to make bakeable sugar free chocolate chips in the THM FB documents page !  I immediately wanted to try that, ran out and bought a silicone trivet for it, and for some unknown reason, diddled around for the next year until I actually got around to making them.  They are the cutest little chips I’ve ever seen.  Now granted, these are not sweet enough to want to eat a handful just by themselves. But these chips, when put into a sweet cookie dough, turn out perfectly scrumptious and you will love the results!


Here is the chocolate spread onto the Trivet prior to freezing.


Here are the finished results–aren’t they just the cutest little chocolate chips you can imagine?!  If you don’t want to go to the trouble, check this out!  Sugar free chocolate chips by Hershey’s! I am excited, as the only other one I’ve heard about was $7/bag.  No way will this cheapskate pay that much for chocolate chips.  I will have to check those Hershey’s chips out and report back.

***Update*** I used the Hershey’s chocolate chips, which are sweetened with Maltitol, and they taste amazing straight out of the bag.  I also made these cookies with them and they were wonderful–the cookies disappeared by the next day, let me tell you that!  The chips melt just like regular chips do and they taste great.  Also, the price is right, they are just $3.50 at my Walmart store.  I will so be buying these from now on!  If they ever stop selling them, then I’ll go back to making chips the way I outline here, but using those is so much easier.

In the following recipe, I add 1/2c of dark chocolate chips, which are sweetened with sugar, along with the sugar free chips. This worked out to about 1g sugar/cookie when I calculated. But if you want to not cheat at all, just stick with the sugar free ones.  Both times I made it, with and without the regular chips, tasted great.


Slimming Chocolate Chip Cooookies by Collinscocina.com

  • Servings: about 12
  • Time: 1hr
  • Print

For the chocolate chips:

4oz unsweetened Baker’s chocolate

6t Truvia or Erythritol

1/2 t Now Better stevia extract powder

dash salt

1/2t vanilla

Directions: Microwave chocolate on 50% power about 1 min.  Stir and microwave at 15sec intervals on high with stirring until you can get the chocolate totally melted.  Stir in Truvia, stevia, salt, then stir in vanilla extract.  Spread spoonfuls onto a silicone trivet with holes in in and smooth over until all holes are filled.  Freeze about 15 min.  Remove by bending and rolling chips out with your hands onto a dish.  Repeat with leftover chocolate.

For the cooookie dough:

1c (two sticks salted butter)

3/4c Erythritol (or Truvia)

1t Now Better stevia extract powder

2 eggs

1t vanilla extract

2 1/4c Collin’s Cocina Low Carb Baking Blend

1t baking soda

1/2t salt

1/2c dark chocolate chips (60% cocoa or more.  Leave out if THM because this adds a small amount of sugar.  You don’t need it, but it does taste wonderful!)

1/2c sugar free chocolate chips as prepared above

1c chopped pecans

Prepare chocolate chips as above. Preheat oven to 375.  Whip butter and sweeteners on high until fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and blend well.  Add Baking blend, soda and salt and blend again.  Add chips and nuts and mix by hand. Bake rounded teaspoonfuls on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 8-11 min.  Cool 3min before removing from sheet to a cooling rack.  Store in sealed container.

I hope you enjoy many moments of cramming your face, Cookie Monster-style, with these healthy and delicious coooookies!! Num, num, num, num, num!

I will be joining the lovely Kim over at Tell ‘Em Tuesday and Christine over at Saucy Saturdays for a blog party.  Why don’t you join us?



Low Carb Baking Blend


(low carb, gluten free, “S”)

When I started playing around with this about a year ago, I had lofty hopes of creating some sort of low carb blend that could seamlessly be used in any recipe in place of wheat flour and magically work just as well.  I have grown wiser and less naïve over the course of the past year, let me tell you! DSCN0579 I no longer think that even with creative substitutions that a perfect blend really is out there.  I think that combining the short list of low carb flours you can mitigate the negative aspects of each and capitalize on their positives–because they all have positive and negative attributes. Just check out my lengthy discussion of each flour in my Tips and Tricks page.  Some are expensive, some are relatively cheap.  Some are coarser in grain and some are as fluffy and fine as your favorite all-purpose white flour.  Some retain their intrinsic moisture, whereas some are amazingly drying, absorbing the moisture in a recipe and if used alone, would need additional oil or water.  But by combining them, you  can bring out a chorus of their flavors, nutritional benefits, and other aspects of their personalities.  You can make a big batch of “all purpose” low carb flour with which to save yourself prep time in the future, as you will have this at your fingertips, ready to use in your favorite low carb recipes. DSCN0584 I used more oat fiber (note that this is oat fiber, not oat flour, which is higher in carbs. Oat fiber has zero net carbs!) than the other flours.  This is for three reasons: it is a cheap flour, has a wonderfully soft, fine texture, and as I mentioned, has zero net carbs .  But, the caveat with it and reason I haven’t increased the amount relative to the other flours is that once you get near 50% of the total flour being from oat fiber, you start to get a strange rough tooth feel to the baked good. DSCN0581 I use glucomannan, or as us THMers like to call it, “glucci” as a substitute for wheat gluten.  The reason almost all baked goods include wheat flour, (even such things as oatmeal cookies and oat bread) is that the gluten in wheat is the “glue” that holds dough together.  Without it, the item is very crumbly or worse, won’t have enough surface tension to rise when baking.  Glucomannan is a magical ingredient which has a sticky character to it–you can use it as a thickener for sauces and puddings, and it is even used to make Shirataki noodles (one name brand is Miracle Noodles )  which are entirely made of the substance and are calorie and carb free!  Another great benefit is that glucci helps you to feel full longer–not bad for your low carb flour! DSCN0583 Another thing I’d like to mention is that I use homeground coconut flour from unsweetened coconut flakes.  The reason is that there is a huge difference between how homeground coconut reacts in a recipe than how preground, storebought coconut flour reacts.  The storebought flour is much more drying.  I know a lot of people don’t want to go through the hassle of making their own, so what I’ve learned is that you may find that you need to add the same amount of water to your recipe as the amount of coconut flour (not Baking blend) that you used, which is about 1/6th of the flour blend.  So for each 3/4c Baking blend you use, you may need to add up to 2T of water.  But you may not need to.  Just giving you a head’s up. DSCN0580 I also added baking powder to my blend.  This is mainly an attempt to save myself from one of my common errors–forgetting to add a leavening agent to my Muffin in a Mug!  I can’t tell you how many times I have rushed to put together a quick breakfast, nuke my cup, and been vastly disappointed at the sad lump of dense matter I removed from the microwave–rather than the light, airy muffin I was ready to nosh on.  And since I am a cheapskate, I will doggedly eat the darn thing rather than dump it and start over.  Those are not fun mornings!  So by adding it here, it is sort of a fail-safe way for me to not repeat those!

I have made a ton of different things with this Baking Blend.  I have used it as a straight substitution for wheat flour in several recipes.  Some work amazingly well, others turn out not so great.  I have used it to make chocolate chip cookies (recipe to follow shortly), other cookie recipes, brownies (recipe to follow), biscuits (recipe to follow), pies, rolls, and of course, several different muffin in a mug recipes.  I originally wanted to give you a recipe for a blend that you wouldn’t have to think about, but could just substitute into any recipe.  Sadly, I don’t think that’s going to happen.  There are some things that it works better in, and some things that turn out completely different: you should’ve seen my attempt at Popovers with these! DSCN0558 So my suggestion to you is to proceed with caution when attempting to make a healthy version of your favorite naughty recipe by just substituting this in. Maybe make a half batch until you know how it will handle the substitution? DSCN0415 If you are determined to have a cheat because you just HAVE to eat a beloved thing–which we all do now and then–you probably will be able to substitute half of the wheat flour with this and it turn out great–I have done this with pizza dough and rolls, and those use yeast!  You can cheat without totally throwing in the towel.  Because to me, Thanksgiving is just not the same without real homemade yeast rolls!  I did it and it was awesome!! DSCN0584 You will most probably turn out famously well by using this in any low carb recipe in place of the flour composition that is called for, saving yourself time from measuring out several different things.  You’ll probably want to make a double batch of this so you don’t have to make it as often once you’ve decided how much you love it!  Which I think you will! DSCN0580 For THMers, this blend is an “S” since it is made with 50% “S” flours–the flax, coconut, and almond flours being full fat.

Low Carb Baking Blend by Collinscocina.com

  • Servings: varies
  • Time: 5 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2c oat fiber

1c coconut flour (I use homeground)

1c almond meal

1c flax meal

1/2c unsweetened whey powder

3T aluminum-free baking powder

1T gluccomannan

Directions: Mix all ingredients and store in a sealed bag until use.


Orangecicle Protein Shake


(low carb, high protein, FP)

Summertime brings back memories of my parents bringing us to the St. Louis zoo.  Like, almost every other weekend.  They brought my brother and I so often, we began complaining about always going to the zoo!  That eventually facilitated us having our last visit thereafter.


But being at the zoo, besides all the interesting animals, there was the oppressive Midwest heat.  It felt like what I’d imagine Vietnam would feel like–choking humidity, nearly 100 degrees, angry sun radiating down on you incessantly, sweating through your clothes. Being at the zoo, we sluggishly trudged from one hot animal pen to the next, understanding how those animals looked somewhere between peeved and comatose.  I remember feeling especially bad for the Polar Bears!!



And just when you didn’t think you could stand even one more minute of this Sauna-on-steroids torture, there, like a beacon of hope, shining in the middle of it all, was the Orangecicle cart!


My dad, being a candidate for Ice Creamaholics Anonymous, always obliged.  That creamy, glorious, ice-cold twist of vanilla frozen yogurt and orange sorbet somehow brought us back to the living. The combination of vanilla and orange is one of the great flavor marriages in the gustatory world–right up there with peanut butter and chocolate or cheese and tomato sauce. Having an orangecicle cone somehow made the whole thing worth it.  It gave purpose to our misadventures in Hades!


Well, I am happy to announce that I have left that Midwest summer far, far behind.  I live in a climate that is darn near perfect every month out of the year.  I can’t hardly believe that there are any people left in the Midwest–surely word has gotten out by now that there are alternative climates to enjoy in the world!!!


Just kidding.  I know there are reasons that people prefer those places.  And here is one recipe that can give you a little bit of icy respite from Viet-nois, if you happen to be trapped–er, live in the Midwest like I once did.  Just in time for the hottest part of the summer!


If you are a Trim Healthy Mama, you can enjoy this in both an “S” or an “E” setting as it is both low carb and within the fat limits of an “E” meal.  (See THM book for more info on that.)

Orangecicle Protein Shake by Collinscocina.com

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Time: 5min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1/3c 2% cottage cheese

1T heavy whipping cream

1c unsweetened cashew or almond milk

1t vanilla

1/2t orange extract

1/4t gluccomannan (optional, but makes shake more creamy, and fills you up!)

1/2-1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (based on how hungry or frugal you are)

1/4t Now Better stevia extract powder

15-18 ice cubes

orange zest, for garnish (optional)

Directions: Blend all ingredients except ice and zest for about 30sec until all the cottage cheese curds are completely broken up and blended.  Add ice and pulse until you can blend it well.  You may need to stir a little bit to get to this stage.  Pour into a tall glass and top with zest if desired.