Welcome to the inaugural installment of The Real Pinners of S&C! Here, you’ll find our honest commentary on Pins that we try out in real life. We have no idea how this will go, but that’s part of the fun. This time, we’re trying out three low-carb recipes, and spoiler alert: they were genuinely delicious.

First up, Zucchini Lasagna by Savory Tooth:

Nanea:I thought this was fairly easy to put together, and I liked that the ingredients were easy to find at the grocery store. Nothing too esoteric. It was one stop shopping at my neighborhood Safeway. I have to admit, I was skeptical about the cayenne pepper, but it added a nice kick. It was VERY salty, though. I’d probably halve the amount of salt next time. And for my family, which includes an incredibly fussy kid, I’d also halve the amount of cayenne. I bet you could substitute chili powder. Oh, and we definitely added more cheese than was strictly called for, because, you know. Cheese. If you’re following some sort of eating plan and need to know the nutritional details of this recipe, I’d use a calculator like this one from Happy Forks: https://happyforks.com/analyzer. Overall, a tasty, hearty dish. Would recommend.”

Barbara: “So okay, I’m not on a low-carb diet per se but watching for carb overload is always a good idea as too many make me sluggish in many ways. That said, I am always open to trying something labeled “Lasagna” (cue Garfield jokes here). Slicing the zucchini lengthwise evenly was a bit of a challenge until I abandoned my perfectionist vibe and just went for it. Next time if I wanted really thin, even slices I would consider using a vegetable peeler. All in all? I found this dish delicious, very reminiscent of Greek moussaka with an Italian flair. I do agree it was way too salty and I, too, would cut it down, but since my family is okay with heat, I would definitely leave the cayenne alone. I’d happily make and eat this again.”

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For an accompanying beverage, Keto Italian Soda by April Scott:

Nanea: “Even if you’re not doing keto, this is a nice low calorie treat. I found this super easy to make, which I like. Are we seeing a pattern here? It’s three ingredients, and it’s not even actually a recipe. It’s just a picture from her Instagram that she Pinned (hey, you can do that?). And Sparkling Ice sodas are available pretty much everywhere. I saw them at Target last week. I couldn’t find the pineapple coconut flavor before the day we’d scheduled to test, so I ended up getting cherry limeade, which was okay. I enjoyed it, even though I’m not so much a cherry girl. I did end up trying it with the pineapple coconut later and it was sort of like a piña colada. Which is awesome, especially for people like me who can no longer drink the booze due to certain meds and are trying to not be sad about that. In her description, she recommends ‘a splash’ of the heavy cream, which I’d say would be about a teaspoon for an 8 oz. glass.”

Barbara: “This was a fun addition to our meal. I really liked the cherry lime flavor and adding body to the drink by adding the splash of cream made it feel decadent. I added a little too much cream to the glass so I would follow the teaspoon recommendation next time. I look forward to trying this with other flavors. Especially the aforementioned piña colada.”

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Dessert was Super Fudgy Low-Carb Brownies by Eating Well 101:

Nanea: “Caveat: these do not set up like actual brownies. They are not dense and chewy. Honestly, it was more like a chocolate soufflé, but this was not a problem for me as I embrace all things chocolate. Just, you know – trying to manage your expectations. We did substitute Splenda for erythritol (Stevia) because that’s what I had, and also, I think the taste is closer to sugar. Stevia tends not to be as sweet. If you’re ideologically opposed to Splenda, go ahead and make it according to the recipe. I wouldn’t say it was super fudgy, but it was chocolatey and satisfying, especially when topped with sugar-free Cool Whip. If you don’t eat it all, save the leftovers in the fridge and then microwave later. The structural integrity was a little weak, so you probably won’t get nice slices when serving. But who cares? Just scoop it out and enjoy. This was my favorite of the three recipes. Oh, and again – don’t be put off by the word keto if you’re not actually doing keto. This will work for any low-carb eating plan.”

Barbara: “I admit—I was skeptical about this one. The main reason I could never envision myself following a keto plan is because I sometimes need a little taste of a sweet treat or I will abandon things altogether. As someone with little to no experience eating sugar substitutes I was surprised at how well the Splenda provided sweetness without aftertaste.  As mentioned, texturally it was more like a chocolate soufflé than brownies but there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that. I actually preferred the texture to a traditional brownie because, warm, it melted on the tongue and gave your whole mouth a chocolaty coating, which was divine and felt sort of elegant. This was also my favorite of the three recipes, and I wish I had a bowl of it right now, to be honest.”

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If you decide to try these for yourself, let us know how it goes!

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