companion blog to the e-book the 24/7 Low Carb Diner

Companion blog to the e-book
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Friday, June 12, 2015

My New Baking Master Mix and Chocolate Zucchini Crockpot Cake

Hi all. I promise I have not fallen off the planet. Closing the school is taking much more out of me than anticipated. Emotionally and physically, it has been tough. Tomorrow is my final day of moving out. Things that didn't sell, a few things I want to hold on to sell from home, and of course the things I can't bear to part with...Then will come the final clean up and turning in the keys. Ending my dream of three years has been really hard. I have to admit, time and interest in making up new recipes have been rare lately.

I did have a foray into the world of baking mixes. I saw that the girls over at Trim Healthy Mama came up with a new one. I was going to try it, but they were all sold out. I looked at the ingredient list and started playing around on my own. I began with little bitty batches, since some of these ingredients are a little pricey. I hit a winner early on. Then, when I ran out of a couple of ingredients, I ventured into a slightly altered recipe for a second version. I have to say, I love them both. I have no idea if my recipe performs similarly to the THM version, but I was developing my own recipes anyway.  So make your own, or buy theirs here. It might be back in stock.

What I love about this new baking mix, I now call it my Master Mix, is that it uses the best properties of the well known flour substitutes and combines them into something new. In doing so, we also avoid some of the not-so-favorite qualities. You know, the expense and calories of almond flour. The grassy taste of flax. The dryness of protein powder. The obvious coconut flavor of coconut flour. The cardboard texture of too much oat fiber. The possible tummy issues with psyllium husk. 

The synergy is amazing when all these ingredients balance out. Plus, some texture help in binding from the glucomannan and gelatin. Gelatin is also good for you. Just look at the nutrition stats here. A 1/4 cup serving is really huge! Many of my recipes would be about half that amount. That puts us in the low calorie range. Choose lower fat ingredients like egg white and yogurt to take that even farther, or go with whole eggs and more oil for a luxurious mouth feel to baked goods. Good either way. I am not afraid of fat, but as an older girl, I need to watch calories.

This recipe #2 is what I have chosen to use with breadlike recipes and darker cakes. It is a little sturdier than version #1. It is also cheaper than the other, using whey protein rather than the purer isolate, and regular flaxmeal over golden flax. I am now buying my coconut flour and  flaxmeal at Sam's club at great prices. Coconut oil as well. If you want both Master Mix recipes, you will need the June issue of the Diner News.

Master Baking Mix #2

1 1/2 cup coconut flour
1 1/4 cup oat fiber
3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup whey protein powder
1/2 cup flaxmeal
1/4 cup ground psyllium husk (be sure to grind this yourself, don't rely on the flaked as it comes in the can)
2 tbsp glucomannan
2 tbsp beef gelatin

Combine all ingredients in an air tight container.

18   - 1/4 cup servings  116 calories 2 net g carbs

Now what can  you do with this? Sub it in any Minute Muffin. Make lots of terrific baked goods. I am not so crazy about pie crusts or pizza crust, but I love the lightness for cakes. Even made in the microwave and crockpot.

Here is a recipe to get you started. It is perfect for June when you don't want to turn on the oven. Let the crockpot do the baking. I used my little crockpot. It was so easy!

Crockpot Zucchini Chocolate Cake

3/4 cup Master Mix (#2)
1/2 cup Erythritol blend sweetener (Natvia is what I used)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
Dash salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk
1/4 cup liquid coconut or MCT oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup shredded zucchini

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add wet ingredients to the bowl and stir until no clumps remain. Stir in zucchini.

Oil a mini crockpot and sprinkle an additional tsp of master mix in the base. Shake and turn to distribute. Pour batter into crock. Bake on low setting for about 3 hours.. Check at the 2 1/2 hour mark. If center is still wet, up the heat to high for the last half hour.

Serves 6:  163 cal.  2.5 net carbs  14.5 g  fat

This is so moist and delicious. The texture is amazing, and you really can eat it like a snack cake with no frosting. I added a spoon of frozen whipped cream. Remember that hack from the May Diner News? The cake lasted us three days, with the last piece as yummy as the first.

If you want more recipes with my new Master Mix obsession, you can get them in the June issue of the Diner News. Here is a sampling of what you get.

Banana Chocolate Chippers

Blueberry Crumble

Italian Cheese Crackers

Short Time Strawberry Shortcake

Italian Cheese Rolls

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Cheeseburger Pie

Sausage Bread

Vanilla Minute Muffin

Cool Ranch Wannabes

Pepper Cheese Waffles

Peanut Butter Muffins

Low Cal Strawberry Pie

Sriracha Crackers 

See? I have been busy even if I have not been posting. Life is just crazy, crazy, crazy. In just a bit, I will get my summer break. And who knows what the future holds?

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Chili Cheese Egg Roll Ups

My amazing number 1 son gave me a gift certificate for Mother's Day. I got a non-stick skillet (and a few other things) Gotta say I am generally not a fan of non stick technology. I have had too many go bad. I have higher hopes for this one. One of the ways I count on my usual cast iron skillet to be non stick is to give it a quick sprinkle of salt and pepper to make an irregular surface. This skillet uses the same concept. I got The Rock from Starfrit. It is very cool looking.

 No commercial endorsements here--just that I only had to gamble with $20 at Walmart. Since my son is a success in business, I had more than that to spend. Can you sense my mama pride? Thank you Cecil Andrew. He came from Arkansas to see me too. I paid him back with Southwestern Beef and Swiss Beefkey. Two of his favorites. He is an accountant in the chicken industry, so I try never to feed him chicken. He gets enough already.

This is our last week of school. Sadly, it is our last week ever. I simply cannot support the school financially as I have the last three years. I do thank all of you who have purchased my cookbooks. All my earnings have gone into the education of our teens. I will have to find a job with a paycheck. Novel idea for me. John and I are in serious need of a retirement plan, so I am faithful that the good Lord has a plan for my future in that area. After Friday, I will have much more time to create recipes and blog. Well, I do have to move out of the school and sell off most of our curriculum and supplies. But then I will be back full force. Looking forward to more creative time in the kitchen. I am one of those who needs projects to be contented.

Being our last days together, our teachers decided to make this the most fun week ever. Tomorrow we have one project of making an art mural by throwing egg shells filled with paint onto a large canvas. The kids have wanted to do this all year. Great way to use up the remnants of all that paint. So of course, we need egg shells. Lots of egg shells. Great time to make a new egg dish and to try out my new skillet. Both got good ratings around here.

One of my all time favorite dishes is my Incredible Egg Enchiladas. Eggs, cheese and enchilada sauce. Yum. I also am a fan of the Bacon Breakfast Enchiladas I posted in February. Those are made more like a jelly roll than a filled tortilla. These are the same. The differences are in the flavors added to the egg mixture and in the rolling technique. Rather than pouring the egg into a rectangular shape, I went ahead and filled the base of the skillet. When the egg was done, I folded two edges to form a straight edge. These became the ends of the rolls and kept the cheese from oozing out; plus it makes a roll that is not thinner on the ends. Works great with a good non stick surface.

Chili Cheese Egg Roll Ups

2 eggs
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp oat fiber (optional, but add a little sturdiness)
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp onion powder
1 tsp coconut oil
2 slices Colby Jack cheese
1/4 cup prepared chili

In a small bowl, beat eggs. Stir in chili powder, oat fiber if using, cumin, salt, and onion powder. Heat coconut oil in skillet. Pour half the egg mixture into skillet, tilting pan to allow egg to cover the bottom. Tear the cheese into pieces and scatter over the egg. When egg is just set, turn one edge of the egg inward about an inch toward the center of the skillet. Repeat on the opposite side. These straight edges will form the ends of your roll up. Roll the other edge about one inch. Use a folding motion, roll it jelly roll fashion to the end. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining egg mixture. Top with hot chili.

Serves 1   367 calories   5 net g carbs

Hubby loved these for a quick dinner tonight. We had filled up on salad bar at lunch. I had some home made turkey chili leftover, but I figured the nutrition stats with Hormel Turkey No Bean Chili. If you make your own spice blends, you could sub a little taco seasoning for the spices I used. For a little more heat, add some diced jalapenos when you place the cheese.

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Thai Spiced Chicken Patties

I wanted some chicken burgers this week, so hubby brought home a big pack of chicken breasts from Sams. My mom has loaned me her Ninja. I broke mine last week. It gave me about 7 years of service, and I have been nursing along a broken lid for a while. Last week it broke the blade attachment. Motor still works and the smaller unit works, so I can't just throw it away. I must have a thing for partially broken blenders. I can't throw them out if part of them works. Grr. If only I had a large kitchen with a special spot for partially functioning appliances. My sweet mom came through til I can get a dream blender for Christmas. Gotta wait. Maybe them I will be able to toss the bullet blender that has only the spice grinder working, the immersion that whips and froths but doesn't blend and the Ninja that can't use the pitcher blade. Sad isn't it? I may have hoarding issues. Don't send help.

Ninjas do a terrific job mincing chicken. It is much less expensive to do that job yourself. I know I have said this before, but I am surprised how few people grind their own chicken. I don't do this with beef or pork because those are easy to find ground and are often less expensive that way. But ground chicken is hard to find here, and when you do, it is at a premium. Mincing it myself enables me to get the seasonings into the meat while processing it. Amazing flavor that way. Just look at all the ways I have already given  you to enjoy ground chicken: Smoked Paprika Burgers, Coconut Curry Chicken Nuggets , Mesquite Chicken Burgers, Chicken Chorizo, Chicken Sausage, and our favorite Chicken Pizzoli.

These patties are so flavorful. They have the slightly sweet, slightly hot, slightly tangy, full on spicy goodness of Thai food. They stand alone really well and don't need a sauce. They pair nicely with a salad or simple bell pepper stir fry. You could do a lettuce wrap as well. If  you are not a hater, be sure to include some fresh cilantro in your salad or wrap. Add a little more cayenne or red pepper flakes if you love the heat.

These are super low calorie too. Good news for those of us who struggle with our fat cells. Gotta say I am not a fan of getting old. My metabolism is a dinosaur. Sometimes I think I will have to lop off an arm or leg to get the scale to move lower! Never give up, though.

Thai Spiced Chicken Patties

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, fat trimmed
1 tbsp unsweetened dried coconut shreds
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Natvia or any erythritol based sweetener
1 tsp peanut flour
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 packets True Lime (or lime zest if you have fresh)

Process the chicken in a food processor until roughly minced. Add all remaining ingredients and blend until incorporated. Heat a non stick skillet. Add a tsp of coconut oil. Divide chicken into 6 portions and transfer 3 portions to a hot skillet. Use the back of the spoon to form the meat into patties of even thickness. Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer and repeat with the remaining chicken. Alternately, cook patties on a contact grill.

Serves 6:  159 calories  2 g carbs    4 g fat    28 g protein

These patties keep nicely for amazing lunches at work or school. The chicken is good hot or cold. I plan to have a salad with lots of fresh cilantro added along with some green onion. A package of roasted peanuts will be wonderful alongside too.

I have been under the gun the last few weeks---okay the last three years, honestly. I need summer break. I got the Diner News out on time, but haven't had a minute to spare to tell you about it. It was just what I need--life hacks for low carbers! I have ideas for getting the most out of kitchen appliances, ways to lighten up dessert, tricks for condiments, great ideas for the freezer and even more timesavers in the kitchen. You will find something new in this issue, even if you are a long time follower. Here's a sample:

Cookie Sheet Hotcakes

Massaged Kale

Waffle Iron Rutabaga Hashbrowns

Food Processor Cashew Milk Light Ice Cream 

Super Quick Tomato Saute

Dazzling Diagonal Blueberry Gelatin Dessert

Orange Power Breakfast Drink

Freezer Whipped Cream Puffs

Tomato Paste Keeper Hack

Freezer Portioned Beef

Shaker Frozen Mirepoix

Slow Cooker Ground Beef

Healthiest Coconut Oil Blend Mayo

Freezer Herbs

And believe it or not, that is not even all! You really need to order the Diner News if you haven't yet. Just go here.

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mini Bell Nachos Diner Style

Last week, we went out to a Mexican food buffet. Oh my, does that take self control. Granted, my plate was yummy and satisfying. I made a bed of lettuce and topped it with slow simmered shredded beef, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, and jalapenos. Good as it was, I stopped myself from adding an enchilada to my plate. But once out of the buffet line, the temptation should end. But no. Of course the super nice waitress just kept bringing extra baskets of freshly fried tortilla chips to the table.  Grr.

It took me a week, but I finally got a nacho fix. My Sprouts store had these mini bell peppers on sale, and I used the whole bag to make a big cookie sheet of loaded pepper nachos to share with the family. Well, honestly just the hubby and dogs. They were delish--probably even better than the tortilla kind. These don't leave you with those disappointing bald chips at the bottom of the pile. And yes, you can pick them up with your fingers like a true nacho. Just have a napkin handy.  I made this recipe for three, although we probably could have eaten them all. So even without the corn chips, think portion control. They are really filling though. Just so addictive...

Mini Bell Nachos

16 oz mini bell peppers
3/4 lb lean ground beef
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp Adobo seasoning
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced cilantro
1/4 cup diced onion

Cut the tops off the peppers. Cut in half and remove seeds. Cut the base if needed to make the pepper lie flat(ish). Arrange the peppers on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven to add toppings.

While peppers are pre-baking, brown the ground beef and drain off fat. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin and Adobo seasoning. Stir to coat meat well. When peppers have baked, distribute the beef mixture over the top. Then sprinkle cheese, onion and cilantro. Go ahead and add jalapenos and salsa if you like.  Place the pan back into the hot oven for an additional 7 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Serves 3:  478 calories  8 net g carbs

I really love the fresh cilantro in these nachos. Leave it out if you want. I have a little advice for trimming the cilantro leaves from the bunch without having to pick out so many stems. That will be a part of the May issue of the Diner News. It is going to feature Kitchen and Food Hacks--shortcuts and clever ideas to make the low carb life easier. You will have to wait to see how to do that one, but you don't have to wait to try some of these delicious treats.

the entire cookie sheet filled with Mini Bell Nachos

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

DIY Yogurt cups for Lunches and Snacks

Don't get me wrong. I like yogurt. I have always included it in our low carb lifestyle, opting to go with the idea that much of the lactose is consumed by the active cultures. I don't pay any attention to carb counts. But even the single serving containers hold more yogurt than I usually want. My sweet tooth is pretty tame. 2 to 3 ounces is plenty for me. But leftover yogurt is gross.

Back when my youngest was on the SCD diet, I had to make lots of homemade yogurt. And it had to be cultured 24 hours. That can make for a tangy treat. I learned lots of ways to flavor it for him too. Grocery store flavorings, LorAnn flavorings, Capella drops, juices and even peanut butter powder. I have an arsenal. I have shared many of these ideas before. To learn my way of making homemade yogurt, see this post. For more flavoring ideas and how to set up a fun yogurt bar for company, see this post. I love making yogurt parfaits with layers of sweetened nuts in between different flavors of yogurt. Yum.

The days of needing to make my own yogurt are past, and I have been enjoying the Oikos Triple Zero Greek style yogurt from Dannon. I like that it is sweetened with stevia. Penny pincher that I am, I prefer to buy the big container and make lots of different flavors. If you buy the vanilla, it is quite simple to add some additional flavorings to mix things up. No getting tired of vanilla everyday. For a long time, my routine was to add flavorings and sweetener to plain yogurt. Now I can skip the sweetening step and save a little more money too!

I like these little food containers from Dollar Tree. Like I said, I don't need the bigger 4 or 5 ounce containers. I eat yogurt as a side dish, not as a breakfast. That is just too much sweet for me. These are just right. The snap on lids are lunchbag safe, fit in my Bento boxes, and give me just the right serving for my little dessert. It is great to make a bunch of single servings at one time and then enjoy lots of flavored yogurts during the week. I use my chalk ink pen to write the flavors on the lids. Washing that off is a breeze. This set of markers is a little pricey, but has lasted for 4 years. Grab your 40% coupon for Hobby Lobby or Michaels and get some. They write on jars as well.

I have to say that two of my favorites are newer experiments. I used to stir peanut butter into our yogurt, but now I use peanut flour. It is not as hard to find as it used to be. It was once a coveted substance from Trader Joes--and for me that was a state away. (My town is finally building a Trader Joes. I am so excited. Pretty close to me too.) I have purchased some from Netrition. I love that I get the same great taste with fewer calories. We old girls seem to have to watch that.

John and I both like my blueberry chia jam stirred into the vanilla as well. That recipe is super simple and good for you. Find that on this post. Other flavorings are good too. If you want creative you should look online for Capella or LorAnn flavorings. Some like chocolate but I loathe that. The tang just doesn't go away for me, and I can't do tangy chocolate. Of course, fresh diced strawberries is a treat too, but I save those for desserts and eat them right away. These are good for the long haul.

The other flavor I adore is lemon. It just marries so well with the tartness of the yogurt. I add organic lemon oil most often, but I have also had success with lemon juice. Even a packet of TrueLemon works well. Sometimes I make a big batch of just lemon yogurt. Then I add all three to really ramp up the citrus punch. This has got to be my all time favorite. You should try it too. Those of you who do essential oils could get some amazing lemon flavor there.

So it is Sunday, my prep day for the week, and now I have some great Greek yogurt in my fridge. Today was short for me because I had two boys home. What a treat for this mama. What did you get done today?

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

My husband loves me. He loves that the theme for the Diner News this month is "Man Food." He has been served some amazingly delicious foods. You know the favorites among the guys--bacon, beer, beef, hot sauce, and even whiskey. Yep, we got 'em. I am sharing this incredibly tasty meatloaf. A Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf made with a blend of beef and pork that holds all the flavors of your favorite cheeseburger. Everyone in the family will love it.

I chose to make a freeform meatloaf baked on a rimmed cookie sheet. That way, more bacon can be added to the outside. Yum.

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

1 1/2 lb ground beef and pork blend
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, cubed
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup low sugar ketchup (I use Heinz)
2 eggs
2 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp Wright’s  liquid smoke
1 tsp onion powder
6-8 slices of bacon

In a large bowl, combine ground meat and all remaining   ingredients except bacon. Form into a freeform loaf. Wrap the loaf with bacon, crisscross weaving. Place  the loaf on a rack over a baking dish. Tuck ends of bacon under the meat. Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.

Serves 6:  392 calories  3 net g carbs

Now, not to show off, but I just have to share some of the delicious foods featured in this month's newsletter. If these don't make you drool, I simply don't know what will.

Beer Brat Skewers

Korean Beef with Stir-fried Veggies

Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Sweet Mustard

Jack's Frisky Whiskey Burger

Pulled Pork Popper Sandwich

Guacamole with Bacon

Tennessee Whiskey Pork Chops

Beer Brat Cheese Chowder

The Ultimate Sriracha Barbecue Bacon Burger

Hobo Dinners on the Grill

Crockpot Phillies

Turkey Sausage Meatza

Beer Braised Beef Chili

Sriracha Skewers

And believe it or not, that is not even all! You really need to order the Diner News if you haven't yet. Just go here.

If you don't like beer or whiskey, don't fret. Cooking and marinating with beer gives a unique flavor, nothing like drinking from a bottle. Same goes with the whiskey. I purchased a tiny airline sized bottle of Jack Daniels for these recipes, and I still have some left. The impact on flavor just can't be compared to anything else. Hope you try some of these!

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:     

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here.