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

Companion blog to the e-book
Available at http://www.247lowcarbdiner.com

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bacon Breakfast Enchiladas


This fine day welcomed us with a swirl of beautiful snowflakes and a really strong north wind. Lovely when you see it, not so fun if you have to travel in it. So glad we went to church last night so we could have this lazy weekend breakfast this morning while keeping our toes nice and toasty.

I love my Incredible Egg Enchiladas, but this one is all breakfast flavors without the enchilada sauce. Egg wraps stand in for the standard tortilla. A cream cheese sauce goes over the top instead of a chili based enchilada sauce. No one would stop you from adding some green chiles or jalapenos. Well, my hubby stops me, but maybe you all like them. I sure would.

They are far easier to make than you would suspect. A slice of bacon inside each "enchilada" makes for amazing flavor. I added some sauteed peppers and onions, along with the much to be expected Cheddar cheese. Yum. Nothing better on a cold morning.

For an everyday breakfast, I think 2 is a fine serving. This morning, after sleeping in, this for us was a brunch. That's why we splurged and ate 3 enchiladas each. If you need to lower the calorie count a bit, cut back on the cheese by half. Our way is really tasty though!

Bacon Breakfast Enchiladas

1 tbsp coconut oil
3 eggs
7 strips bacon
1 cup onion and bell pepper mix
2 oz Neufchatel cream cheese
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a non stick skillet (or a cast iron skillet on high heat). In a small bowl, beat eggs. When skillet is hot sprinkle a small pinch of salt in the center. Pour about 2 tbsp of egg into the skillet. Use the back of a spoon to spread the egg into a square shape approximately the size of a piece of bread. When the top is set, flip. Place each completed wrap on a plate. Add the sprinkle of salt before each wrap to prevent sticking. Make 6 wraps.

Fry bacon until crisp. Set aside. In the same skillet, sauté the onion and pepper mixture until soft.

In a small saucepan, heat the cream cheese, water and salt. Whisk to combine into  a creamy sauce.

Divide the onion and pepper mixture into sixths. Place a line of onions and peppers into each egg wrap. Top with a tablespoon of shredded cheese.  Break a piece of bacon in half and place over the cheese.  Roll the wrap like an enchilada and place seam down in an 8 inch square casserole dish. Repeat with the remaining 5. (I needed to place one enchilada the opposite direction of the others)

Pour the cream cheese sauce over the top of the enchiladas and smooth with a spoon. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the sauce. Crumble the last slice of bacon over the top. Bake the enchiladas for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serves 3
443 calories
5 g net carbs

Serves 2
664 calories
8 g net carbs


 This is one of the recipes that will be in the upcoming Diner News for March. I will be featuring casserole recipes. Lots of comfort food ahead! I love casseroles--the ease of preparation, the wonderful flavor combinations, the endless variety... If you want to make this into a family sized recipe, just double or triple the recipe. The enchiladas do take up some room, so plan your pan accordingly. I had to run one of my enchiladas the opposite way in the casserole dish. No problem, except perhaps for those of you who are a little OCD about presentation. If that happens, just eat that one first! Still looks delish though, right?



Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:               https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbingAmongFriends

 Order any of our great cookbooks at  http://amongfriends.us/24-7-LCD.php

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



Monday, February 16, 2015

Bacon Bowls--As Seen on TV



Everyone knows low carbing is all about bacon, right? Well, not to further that stereotype, but this time it is about bacon. I had seen the Perfect Bacon Bowl at the stores, but the price point was too high for me. Then it happened. The Dollar Tree did it to me again. Bacon Bowls for a buck. Actually, two for a buck. I had to try it. I am a sucker for gadgets.

These are sturdier than I thought they would be. And no, I am not being compensated at all for this review. Although I had mixed results my first try out, I think my dollar investment was not wasted. I made my sweetie a nice Valentine breakfast. He really liked the bacon and Cottage Cheese Eggs that filled the bowl. Given that it was such a special day, he also got some fresh strawberries and a Cinnamon Dutch Baby pancake. Check Low Carbing Among Friends Volume 1 for the Dutch Baby recipe. Still yummy after all these years. Cottage Scramble is in the Sept. 2014 Diner News. Love the texture of those eggs!

The bacon bowl instructions allow for use in a microwave oven, standard oven or toaster oven. Since my hubby keeps trying to get me to replace my toaster oven, I opted not to use it. The toaster oven still works fine after more than 20 years so why replace it? Just in case a grease fire broke out, I did not want him to win that argument. Even on Valentine's Day. Microwave and standard oven for us.

I tried the microwave version first. Learning curve here trying to guestimate the cooking time for your appliance. It worked great--even though I did try to pick it up with my clunky oven mitt and spilled a bit of hot fat. No injury, just a mess on the countertop. The bacon may have been a tad overcooked, but that is the way I like it. Undercooked bacon is something I just don't do. I will just reduce the cooking time by about 15 seconds next time.

 John would have liked it a bit "less crisp" shall we say. I decided his would be the oven variety. True, it did take 30 minutes, but I was willing to wait. It looked great. Not at all burned crispy. The problem is, it got stuck to the little pan in two places and fell apart when I was trying to remove the bowl from the form. I am willing to give it another go, but this time, one of us didn't get a bowl. Saint that I am, I endured the less than crisp bacon so my darling could have the amazing bowl. It was my labor of love afterall. It must have worked. He still loves me on this, our 28th Valentine's Day together.

Overall, these little gadgets are fun. I am glad they are deeply discounted though. For a dollar, even if you only use them a couple times a year, it is worth it. The box shows eggs and even dessert. No, not going there. But I do think they would make a really cute lunch version filled with broccoli salad. You know, the kind with the sweet dressing, cheese and maybe a few sunflower seeds? The box claims you can make bread bowls as well. Not so sure about low carb bread, as working without gluten is another whole learning curve. If sticking to the bacon, what would you fill them with?

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:               https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbingAmongFriends

 Order any of our great cookbooks at  http://amongfriends.us/24-7-LCD.php

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


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Country Comfort Muffins with Blueberry Chia Jam

Life can be sweet. Comfort food makes it even sweeter. Like a warm muffin filled with Grandma's home made preserves. Yeah, sweet and comfortable. These very vanilla muffins are filled with a homemade blueberry jam thickened with chia seeds. The muffins are sweet and simple.

A few weeks back, the makers of two new (to me at least) sweeteners asked me to sample their products. I am always in for that when I can see that it is something that benefits our low carb lifestyle and contributes to making my family as healthy as possible. The sweetener combinations are really nothing too new to most of us. Many low carbers love to use erythritol based blends. I love the synergy of combining it with stevia to get what I think is the perfect sweetness. I also have tried some with Monkfruit, and while I also like it, I cannot tell a huge difference in the flavor profile. But then, judging sweetness seems to be a very personal thing. Our tastebuds seem to be as different as our personalities. I hate to ever tell someone which type is best or how much sweetener to use in a recipe. It always want to put a disclaimer--"Your mileage may vary."  You may see me cop out from time to time and write "sweeten to taste." 

I tend to need more sweetening power than some folk . Could be that I was a teen in the saccharin era. I remember when diet Dr. Pepper came in the blue can. I had to force myself to like it. Then, once I did, seems I couldn't stop diet sodas. I probably burned out my sweet sensors a bit like my husband ruined his hearing with seventies rock music. But if you still want my opinion, here goes.

I like erythritol and stevia blends best for most every application. Drinks, baking, and desserts. I sometimes can taste a cooling effect but it doesn't bother me too much. The brand I am using for this recipe did not disappoint at all. It is from Natvia USA, a company which already has a great reputation in Australia. Maybe some of you readers are leaps ahead of me here. The flavor was clean and crisp. The packaging was wonderful--my inner artist loves the look! It comes in a canister for baking or small tubes for our on the go lifestyle. The tubes have the sweetening power of 1 tsp sugar. I am used to packets being stronger, so that bothered me at first.( It was shocking to realize how sweet I like my coffee)  I do really appreciate, however, that this is a spoon to spoon, cup to cup equivalent. That makes recipes so much easier! The only drawback I can see, is the price. I understand that we have to pay more for quality products. Health comes at a cost, sadly. This company has gone the mile to assure that the products used are non GMO, and that means a lot these days. It uses the best sources of stevia as well. "Unlike some other stevia based sweeteners Natvia only use the purest part of the Stevia plant, Reb A, to ensure no bitter aftertaste." --Nativia Facebook  information page

To make the wonderful Blueberry Chia Jam that is the delicious secret hiding in the center of these muffins, I used the Norbu Sweetener with Monkfruit. Just what is a monkfruit?  The answer: an Asian melon, with an extract 200 times sweeter than regular sugar. Combined with erythritol, Norbu created a blend that is just a little sweeter than table sugar. Maybe it was just my tastes, but I seemed to need more than the conversions indicated. My canister said 1/2 tsp Norbu equals 1 tsp sugar, and the website indicated a 2/3 measurement of the Monkfruit blend to regular sugar. In this case, I really think you need to taste as you go. Some think the Monkfruit adds a natural, brown sugar quality of sweetness. I don't know that I discern that, but it is a little more natural and less white looking that the stevia blend. Not sure if that matters. I liked the taste in the jam.

Now to the jam. I hate paying for pricey sugarfree preserves. They are easy to make on the stovetop. This jam is wonderful stirred into Greek yogurt or to top a Minute Muffin. Even better, add them inside a muffin batter like I did in this recipe. It adds moisture, flavor and no frosting necessary!

Blueberry Chia Jam

2 cups  frozen blueberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp Norbu sweetener (opt. plus 1 tsp)


In a small saucepan, heat berries and lemon juice, stirring often. When berries begin to soften, use the side of a spoon to break many of them. Add vanilla, chia seeds and Norbu. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Let cool. Add additional sweetener if desired.

24 servings at           11 calories   1 net g carb
#norbusweetener






Country Comfort Muffins with Blueberry Chia Jam

1/4 cup Natvia (divided use)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
2 eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp cream
1 tbsp vanilla
3 tbsp Blueberry Chia Jam
1 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Measure 1/4 cup Natvia sweetener. Remove 1 tbsp and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine coconut flour, remaining sweetener, salt, and baking powder. Melt coconut oil and add to the bowl. Break two eggs into the bowl and stir well. Add cream and vanilla, stirring until smooth. (If the batter becomes too stiff with cold ingredients added, place the batter into the microwave for 20 seconds to rewarm the coconut oil)

Place a heaping tablespoon of batter into 6 muffin cups which have been paper lined or oiled. Use the back of a spoon to smooth the batter to the edges of the cup. Place a generous 1/2 tsp jam in the center of each muffin. Divide the remaining batter over the top of the jam in each muffin cup. Gently smooth the tops to seal the jam inside the batter. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the tops are golden. 

Melt butter in a small dish. Brush the top of each muffin with butter, then immediately sprinkle with the remaining Natvia sweetener to create a crunchy sweet crust.

Makes 6 muffins, each:    167 calories   2 g net carbs   15 g fat
#natviausa

I think you will like these muffins. They are delicious and good for you as they can be! One of these days, maybe everyone will have these healthy alternatives to sugar available locally and inexpensively. Until then, let's get on the bandwagon to let everyone know we don't have to settle for life with blood sugar spikes and extra calories for good taste, and we don't need to consume artificial ingredients to have the sweet taste we crave.


If you would like to learn more about Norbu, take a look at  norbusweetener.com  or visit the FB page.










For more on Natvia, go to natvia.com and the FB page
To order the products, visit their Amazon store. tinyurl.com/AmazonNatvia











Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:               https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbingAmongFriends

 Order any of our great cookbooks at  http://amongfriends.us/24-7-LCD.php

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

Sunday, February 1, 2015

White Chicken Lasagna

This is delicious. It is that simple.

Chicken, Cheese. More chicken. More cheese. then maybe a little more cheese.

This month at the Diner News, it is all about cheese, and this is a recipe I made last week. I made two, in the typical Diner make ahead style. Boy am I glad I did. The seasonal plague has finally caught up to me. I have the flu. Notwithstanding the fact that I witnessed the young lady who shared the bug with me get her flu shot a month ago. Yep that shot didn't help her and certainly didn't help me. It is great to have some extra dinners handy when you really don't feel up to cooking or even getting out of bed.

Last week, we ate the square dish. I know, lasagna isn't usually baked in a round dish, but you use what you have, right? Besides the end of the crumbles of feta cheese made this casserole the prettiest in the photographs. But this lasagna is so yummy, no one would mind if you served in an old boot.


White Chicken Lasagna

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 cups cottage cheese
4 oz fresh spinach leaves, lightly chopped
1 egg
1 tsp minced garlic
1 lb roasted chicken deli slices
4 oz Tomato Basil Feta cheese , crumbled
8 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese

Poach chicken breast in water until tender. Cool and shred. Prepare one large casserole dish or two smaller ones with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine cottage cheese, egg, chopped spinach and garlic. Line the base of the dish(es) with a single layer of deli chicken slices. Top those with a thin layer of the cottage cheese mixture. Top that with some shredded chicken. Add a sprinkling of the feta cheese. Add another layer of deli slices. Top that with a sprinkle of Mozzarella. Alternate the remaining ingredients, varying the layers according to how many slices of chicken you have. Reserve a sprinkling of both cheeses for the top of the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before slicing.

Serves 8 generous portions:
322 calories  5 net g carbs


Want a sneak preview of some of the other cheesy goodies in this month's Diner News? Sure you do. If you want to order, go here:  http://www.247lowcarbdiner.com/html/newsletter.html

DIY  Velveeta

The Classic Gruyere Omelet

Microwavable Crepes filled with Blueberry Cheese Whip

Baked String Cheese Peppers

Cheesy Pizza Crust

 Feta Cheese Olive Bites

Bacon Cauliflower Casserole

Salami Roll

Feta Cheese Sauce for Steak


Plus a few more... If you love cheese like we do, you will not want to miss this issue.

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:               https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbingAmongFriends

 Order any of our great cookbooks at  http://amongfriends.us/24-7-LCD.php

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




Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Three Cheese Breakfast Puffs

Sometimes I just need some cheese. I love cheese. Did you catch that this new recipe has three different cheeses? Oh yeah! These little breakfast puffs are almost like little cheese souffles. They are puffy and light. Simple to put together and fun to eat. I made this recipe for 2-3.

Three Cheese Breakfast Puffs


4 eggs
1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs. Stir in the cheeses. Spray mini muffin tins or silicon cups with oil. Fill each cup a little higher than you would with a cake batter. Place into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. They will puff up and turn golden on top. Let the puffs cool 5 minutes before removing from cups. They will fall just a bit with cooling.

16 mini puffs:  42 calories each  <1 carb per puff
As a breakfast for 2:    335 calories  2 g carb



I didn't add a lot of other flavors to these because I wanted to really taste the cheese. That, I got. Can't help thinking that a few green chiles would be nice. But this morning, they were excellent with my giant cup of coffee. It makes the puffs look small, but they are the size of mini muffins, I promise.

The cottage cheese makes the texture light. I love adding cottage cheese to eggs. I makes scrambled eggs all tender and yummy too. I had a recipe for those in a Diner News last year. The Parmesan cheese is the canned kind. I love fresh more, but this is a staple in my kitchen. It adds flavor and body to the eggs.

I didn't get this batch done before the hubby ran out to work, so we did have leftovers. I tried them cold, and they are even good that way. These don't deflate, so go ahead and make a batch for your brown bag--or road trip or picnic. They will travel well.

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:               https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbingAmongFriends

 Order any of our great cookbooks at  http://amongfriends.us/24-7-LCD.php

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

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chile Jack's Sausage Bites

My middle boy, Mom and I ventured out in the cold to Sam's yesterday. Pearson was looking for easy lunches to take to work. I was looking for whatever. Sometimes warehouse stores can be an adventure. Especially if you don't go too often. I found a yummy thing. A Southwestern kinda thing.

Hatch Chile and Monterey Jack Cheese Chicken Sausage. Yes, that is the name in full. Brought to you by Daily Chef. Each sausage is pre-cooked and has just 1 net carb per link. There are 5 links per pound. These will be finding there way into our lunch bags. No pre-cooking. No gluten and 160 calories per link. I can do that! I thought they might be too spicy for that Yankee hubby of mine, but no. He said they are addictive.

I thought I might try baking them up in a dough to make them kinda like a cross between my Sausage Roll Bites and a corndog mini muffin. By adding some goodies to the coconut flour based batter, it all worked out nicely. These would be great finger food and lunch box fare as well. Maybe even with some Jalapeno mustard for dipping.

Chile Jack's Sausage Bites

1 pre-cooked sausage
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp Jalapeno salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
2 eggs
1/8 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp water

Cut the sausage into 16 even slices. I do this by cutting in half and then slicing each cut part in half again and again until you have 1/16th slices.

In a microwavable bowl, combine coconut flour, jalapeno salt, and baking powder. Add cheese and toss to coat. Stir in eggs, coconut oil and water. If batter becomes thick, warm it for 20-30 seconds in the microwave to warm the coconut oil and thing the batter. Divide the batter among 16 mini muffin cups. (oiled if not silicone) Press a sausage slice into the batter in each cup, causing the batter to rise around the sausage. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from cups.

Makes 16. Each Bite has 48 calories and 1 g carb   4 g fat
As a meal for 2, each serving has 388 calories   4 g net carbs

So the husband loved these. Even though I was planning to pack them in our lunches this week, he we at them all. Bet you will too. The sausage brand doesn't matter, but these are super flavorful with green chiles and big chunks of cheese. Just look for any premium, gluten free chicken sausage and play with the flavors in this dough. It is good to add some flavor to the coconut flour, so the sweetness is more subtle.

Our Diner website is down today. Bummer. The ISP guy, who is a friend, is working on it. If you need to place an order for one of my cookbooks or the Diner News, try back later. In the meantime, head on over to the Facebook groups and see what is up.

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:               https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbingAmongFriends

 Order any of our great cookbooks at  http://amongfriends.us/24-7-LCD.php

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

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Here's to a Healthier New Year

Aaaah. That time of year again. Evaluation of our successes and failures the past year. Resolutions and promises. I don't know about you, but I am a planner. I need to have goals, something good to work toward. Thus, this month's Diner News is focused on some extra things we low carbers can do to up the nutrition of our meals. The world may think we eat only bacon and eggs, but we know better. The ideas I put forward do not require strict regimens or lots of pill popping. Just some creative and still tasty ideas that just might increase your feeling of wellness. Yes, I tend to make up for the excesses of the holidays this time every year. But for 2015, I don't want it to be so much like a purge.

I could use some of those feelings of wellness myself. Stress is everywhere these days. That takes a toll on our health. My duties at school stress me like never before, both financially and emotionally. I have shed many tears this past year over relationship problems with my youngest son. Life is hard sometimes. I pray a lot. While I wait for that resolution, I know I need to devote more time to counteracting the stress I have been under. For me, it gives me a proactive plan that is positive with high hopes. As busy as I am, it can't take hours and hours!

I have added in a few things that I have dabbled in before, but never practiced routinely. I am taking some green foods powders to add to my meals Granted, that tastes like hay, but there are ways to work around that, especially when you know how much good stuff is in there. So go ahead and pair in with chocolate like I did. I am adding in more easy chia seed nutrition. Trying to buy more organic. I am exploring the benefits of gelatin and planning more bone broths. I am making sure the drinks I have during the day actually have health benefits. Say hello to healthy teas, good for you spices and apple cider vinegar. I am scheduling in some intermittent fasting. There are lots of ideas to include with a low carb diet.

It seems like there are so many things that are out of my control, it is beneficial in more than one way to be intentional about what I put into my body. Not legalistic or judgmental. Just steps in the right direction...more often. For instance, why not have Oolong tea to drink rather than a diet soda? Why not add some greens powder to soup or smoothies? I am really hoping small changes will result in feeling better physically and emotionally. Will it make my problems go away? Not likely. Maybe it will help me face them with a better attitude.

You might have read about Bulletproof Coffee, that insanely delicious creation of Dave Asprey. I love that. Did it often last year until the hot coffee broke my bullet blender cups. I do seem to kill more than my share of blenders. With another new immersion blender, I went back and made some again with butter and MCT oil. Then, to make it even better, I added some Great Lakes Grassfed gelatin. What a fun breakfast when you don't want hot. Or you just want a spoon. I adapted this idea from  Stevia Sweet. You do know that MCT (medium chain triglycerides) are used rapidly by your body as energy rather than stored as fat, right? MCT oil is flavorless and enhances your metabolism. Win. Win.

Spoonable Bulletproof
Mocha Cup
 
1 cup strong brewed coffee
2 tbsp grass-fed unsalted-butter
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp MCT oil
1-2 packets stevia or equivalent sweetener

It’s very simple, put all ingredients into a blender or process with a stick blender until all ingredients are well combined.
Pour into a mug or 2 smaller cups and refrigerate until set.
2 servings:  231 cal   <1 net carb   26 g fat


This sets up really well. If you aren't looking for the intermittent fasting benefits, it would make a great pudding cup for brown baggers.

If you want to see the other health ideas I have featured this month, order the Diner News. It is just $6 for the whole 2015. http://www.247lowcarbdiner.com/html/newsletter.html

The 2014 bundle will be ready soon. Gotta get the hubby on that this weekend.

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:               https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbingAmongFriends

 Order any of our great cookbooks at  http://amongfriends.us/24-7-LCD.php

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