Hi Everyone! My dear friend Brian has also embraced a low-carb lifestyle. We are both World Language teachers in the same middle school. Brian is a wonderful cook. He has generously agreed to write a guest post for this blog and to share his famous low carb schnitzel recipe with us. I can’t wait to try this recipe for myself!
Take it away, Brian….
Hi, my name is Brian. I am a German teacher at the same school where Elaine teaches French. This year I lost 40 pounds. (See photos above) Last time I traveled to Austria, my former home of 4 years, I was weighing my suitcase, which weighed forty pounds. I thought to myself, “oh my God, I’ve lost a suitcase!” One suitcase lighter, I feel great and I’m ultimately glad I’ve decided to embrace the low-carb lifestyle.
In the beginning it was hard, but I was fortunate to have a cheerleader at school, who gave me advice, told me I was doing a great job and how proud of me she was. Her name is Elaine! I am so thankful for all the words of wisdom and motivation she has given me over the past months, so now it is my turn to share with her!
Now, I am not normally a fan of foods pretending to be something they are not. I love the creativity, but I usually feel disappointment, because they fall short of expectations I’d set when I used to indulge in carbs. Holding onto the gluttonous notion of an overly-full belly being a good thing is not healthy and is certainly not without consequences in both how you look and how you feel. Elaine once told me, “Stop focusing on what you can’t have and focus on all the yummy things you can have.”
She couldn’t be more right. For many of us, however, food is not just a delicious way to get energy; it can be emotional on so many levels. For me I feel emotionally-connected to the sights, sounds and TASTES of Austria. One of the biggest staples of Austrian cuisine is the Wienerschnitzel, a pounded out cutlet of veal, pork, chicken or turkey that is breaded and then shallow-fried. I am not sure if I could live in a world where Wienerschnitzel is on the list of forbidden foods. So, against my better judgement, I sought out to make a low-carb Wienerschnitzel that tastes good.
The type of meat I chose was veal, the traditional meat for Wienerschnitzel. I only chose it because my supermarket actually had it and it happened to be very thin cut, so I wouldn’t have to pound it out. (This is fun if you are having a bad day, but if you can, avoid it!) Any of the meats I’ve already listed would be fine, as we know meat is not only allowed it is a huge part of our diet as low-carbers.
The big issue here of course is the breading. That is a giant NO-NO for us. “But I want Schnitzel!” (in a whiny, Arnold Schwarzenegger voice) This was the giant hurdle for this recipe. I started to research how other low-carbers putting crispy coatings on things. I tried a couple out and they weren’t quite as disappointing as I thought they would be, so I decided to mix up some of the ideas I found to make a coating for my Schnitzel! This is what I came up with:
- ½ cup of almond meal (You can buy almonds, toast and grind them or buy this at Trader Joe’s or on Amazon)
- ½ cup of parmesan cheese (any kind is ok, go fancy or don’t)
- ½ cup of flaxseed meal (Look into flaxseed and all of its health benefits. It also promotes regularity 🙂
- ½ tsp of onion powder
- ½ tsp of garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼-½ tsp salt (there already some in the cheese)
Mix this all in a bowl. Now I usually take half of this and save it for future use. However, if I need more, I add it.
- Coconut oil and butter for frying
- A few shakes of Tabasco
- 2 Eggs
- Pepper, for seasoning egg mixture
- Salt, for seasoning and egg mixture
- Schnitzel Coating (see above)
- 6-8 small or 4 large cutlets either cut thin or pounded out.
Lay out cutlets on a large cutting board or plate. If they are not THIN already (necessary to make a proper Schnitzel), then pound them out between two pieces of plastic wrap with either a mallet or very sturdy pan and then put on board.
Lightly season the cutlets with salt and pepper. (You should do this to every layer of a dish! If you want less salt, reduce it, but do a little in every step).
Now, I would preheat the pan. Add coconut oil to pan to coat ½ inch. Add a ⅓ of a stick of butter and turn heat onto medium high, but don’t forget you have oil on the stove!
In a bowl, crack both eggs and add a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and a few shakes of Tabasco. Gently whisk for 15 seconds with a fork.
Dip cutlets in egg, let drip for a second or two and then into the coating. Coat well and add to hot pan. Continue coating and setting aside until you are ready to flip your schnitzel. Just a reminder, the cutlets are thin and should only take 1-2 minutes per side! If you didn’t get it quite as thin, shame on you, and cook the schnitzel a little longer (you may need to lower the heat a smidge because you don’t want them to burn).
Flip the schnitzel when they are golden brown, and move them to a stack of paper towels when they are finished. Continue until all the schnitzel are cooked.
Eat with freshly squeezed lemon and pair with a nice glass of Grüner Veltliner. You can serve with cucumber salad and/or cabbage salad.
Mahlzeit! (Bon Appetit in Austria!)