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

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

Monday, July 25, 2016

Peanut Butter Cup Pops -the Most Amazing Summer Treat!


These are the best popsicles I have ever made. Hands down.

I happen to love chocolate and peanut butter combined, so that was a no brainer. These are super easy to make. The hard part will be waiting for them to freeze--especially if you licked the bowl like I did.

They are not icy hard either; even after a night in the freezer. The peanut butter keeps them on the creamy side. So delish. My son came for dinner tonight and gave them a big thumbs up.

A couple of notes for the purists. This recipe does take a couple of shortcuts that some might consider to not completely match a whole food approach. I did depart from my usual choice of sweeteners. I added a packet of Diet Swiss Miss cocoa for the chocolate flavoring. (now labeled "Light") Chocolate is tricky to sweeten, so I often use a combination of sweeteners. I took a shortcut by using hot cocoa mix that has Sucralose and Ace-K. It is just one packet for 4 servings, and I can live with that. You do what is best for you. You may want to experiment with some straight cocoa powder and some extra sweetener. I haven't tried that yet. When I do, I will let you know.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pops

1 1/2 cups unsweetened  cashew or almond milk, plain or vanilla
4 tsp erythritol/ stevia blend
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (Smuckers is my brand)
1 envelope Swiss Miss Light cocoa mix
Optional:
1/4 cup cashew or almond milk
2 tbsp sugarfree chocolate syrup

Add sweetener to cashew or almond milk. Spoon peanut butter into  a medium bowl. Gradually mix half of the cashew milk into the peanut butter. Add the envelope of cocoa mix and stir until no lumps remain. Slowly add the remaining cashew milk. Pour this mixture into 4 popsicle molds and freeze 4 hours or overnight.  Optional: Combine 1/4 cup cashew or almond milk with 2 tbsp sugarfree chocolate syrup. Add to the top before inserting sticks.   

Serves 4 large pops:   232 calories   4 net g carb


If you go with the cocoa mix, be sure not to choose the sugarfree label. That has more carbs and calories. I know, the world is just not fair, right? The optional chocolate layer is what I needed to fill up my cups. Depending on size, you may not need the chocolate layer. While interesting, it is not as good as the peanut butter portion, so you won't be missing out if you leave it off.



 Now that all the possible issues have been dealt with, back to the raving. So yummy. Such a treat. Far better than a cheat with a real fudgesicle or peanut butter shake from Sonic.

We are treating ourselves a lot lately. The next Diner News will feature all sorts of frozen foods and drinks. Perfect for August's heat. Be watching!



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, July 17, 2016

National Ice Cream Day- Maple Pecan Ice Cream


I understand. It is national ice cream day. That means ice cream treats are everywhere. But not for us. All the ads, all the discounts, all the hype. Just for something that will raise our blood sugar and make us feel like...well, you fill in the blank. But it doesn't have to be so. The hubster and I are celebrating today with this treat. Maple Pecan Ice Cream...made at home, Diner style.

Of course it is sugarfree. Not that hard to make, either, or I just wouldn't do it. The August issue of the Diner News is going to feature all sorts of frozen treats, so today I was sure that I made ice cream. I am not an expert at this by any means. I must admit that my thrift store ice cream maker was stuck in the back of the pantry for quite some time. I scanned a lot of recipes for home made sugarfree ice cream. This is what I put together from those. I didn't want to cook a custard, but I did want richness. That is the egg. If you don't trust your eggs, leave that out, as it is raw. I also added glycerin. This is an experiment for me. There are lots of ideas on how to keep sugarfree ice cream scoopable, not bricklike after the first serving. With two at home, there is no way not to have leftovers on this one.  I had tried vodka once before; it did not do the trick for me. We will see. I was in a hurry to taste it and served this one a bit on the soft serve side. I used glucomannan for the thickener, but xanthan gum would work just as well. I always add one or the other to my protein shakes to give them that smooth mouth feel.

 I had a marvelous idea to make a ribbon of maple flavoring. It worked--at first, but then I ran it too long. You can fix that and get the ribbon that eluded me. I will tell you how to one up my effort so you can learn from my mistake experimentation. Being a teacher, I know that any effort, even one with less than stellar results is not really a mistake. That said, if you don't care about that ribbon, just blend the maple flavor on in and it tastes wonderful. We really don't lose either way. I mean, it is ice cream.

Here is the write up from the Diner News. Aren't you glad I gave it to you now instead of making you wait for August?

Maple Pecan Ice Cream

2  1/2 cups unsweetened cashew milk

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup erythritol/stevia blend
1 tsp glycerin (optional)
1 tsp glucomannan
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp caramel flavoring
1/4 tsp maple flavoring
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp vanilla stevia
1/2 tsp maple flavoring

In a blender, combine cashew milk, heavy cream, cottage cheese, egg, sweetener, glycerin, glucomannan, vanilla, caramel and maple flavoring and salt. Process until smooth and pour into an ice cream maker.

While the ice cream is churning, toast pecans and set aside.  In a small bowl, melt coconut oil. Stir in maple flavoring and vanilla stevia. (It may not mix completely)

When ice cream is soft set, add toasted pecans. When those are incorporated, stir the coconut oil well and immediately add it in a steady stream. Allow the machine to produce a ripple effect then turn off. This happens quickly.

Scoop the soft serve into a freezer container. Freeze two hours until firm.

4 large servings : 271 calories  4 net g carb
6 servings: 180 calories 2 net g carb

So today, I have to be pretty darn please with myself. I made ice cream. Made my hubby happy--besides, he grilled out while I made the ice cream. That is a deal. I used two of my thrift finds. My Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and this pretty ice cream dish. I have to say the ice cream tasted extra delicious in such a fine vessel. ( and it only cost me 50 cents) Happy National Ice Cream Day!

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 







Saturday, July 9, 2016

Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Cups

Here I go again with lemon paired with blueberries. It really is a favorite combo of mine. I do love my lemon desserts! Or breakfasts. That's what I did with this recipe. You choose. Breakfast. Snack. Dessert. Whatever!

Ricotta cheese desserts have been around the low carb world forever. Honestly, I am not always a huge fan of the texture of ricotta. Great for lasagna, yes. This I had in my Chicken Zucchini Patties from the July Diner News. It gave those a nice texture. I had half a tub leftover. That is where this recipe comes in. It is nice. Kind of like a muffin; a little like a custard; a tad like a cobbler. If you like any of those, you should like this! Gotta say, it is so simple!





Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Cups

1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/8 cup Master Mix Baking Blend #2 (or #1)
2 tbsp erythritol / stevia blend 
1/4 tsp lemon flavoring (I use Simply Organic Lemon Flavoring)
1/2 cup blueberries

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg, Master Mix Baking Blend, sweetener, and lemon flavoring. Divide berries among 2-3 ramekins, reserving several berries for each cup. Spoon the batter over the berries and smooth the top with back of a spoon. Push a few berries in the top of each. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 20 - 25 minutes, or until berries have burst and top is set.

Serves 3:  199 calories  6 net g carb (8 full)
Serves 2: 300 calories  9 net g carb



I got three ramekins from this recipe. If yours are larger, you may get only two. Don't fill the cups to the top, as the batter will puff quite a bit in baking. It will deflate as it cools. That's how I got that beautiful overflow on the cup. I like it, but be sure to have a piece of foil or parchment paper to catch the drips.

This recipe is good warm, room temperature or chilled. My breakfast version was slightly warm. Dessert tomorrow will be chilled.


I love blueberries. They are art all in themselves. Look at the lovely colors bursting forth. Beautiful, citrusy and that berry flavor that just pops through the creaminess. Don't rush through this one. Enjoy your food!

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, July 3, 2016

Raspberry Trifle with Lemon Cream: A Last Minute Summer Dessert


Maybe you are like me. It is the night before a big holiday. We have the main meal planned, but what about dessert? We are making my family favorite Beefkey Sandwiches (a play on Loose Beef sandwiches) for our Independence Day lunch. We have sides and salads. But I forgot the dessert until now. Then I remembered this little jewel from a year ago. It is in the July '15 issue of the Diner News.  You can still get that whole year bundled for just $6.

These cute little trifles use fresh summer fruit. This year, we will have blueberries instead of raspberries, but both would be perfect for the 4th. The cake mixes up so quickly when you have my master mix baking blend handy. Plus, it bakes in the microwave. NO heating of the oven.

The lemon cream sauce is light and not so fussy too. I happen to be a huge fan of lemon yogurt. Just add some sweetener and lemon to Greek yogurt and drizzle it over the cake cubes and berries. A perfectly beautiful dessert for the 4th. It is very easy on the waistline too!


Raspberry Trifle with Lemon Cream
A light and very refreshing dessert, perfect for summer. No need to heat up the oven.

Cake:
3 tbsp egg white (or 1 egg)
1 tbsp plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp erythritol / stevia blend
3 tbsp Master Mix baking blend
1/2 tsp baking powder

Lemon Cream:
1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp cashew or almond milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp  Stevia with vanilla

4 oz fresh raspberries

To assemble cake, combine egg white, yogurt, water and vanilla in a small  microwaveable baking dish. Stir in sweetener, Master Mix and baking powder. Smooth the top and cook on high power for 1 minute 45 seconds. Let cool slightly and cut into cubes.

In a small bowl, combine lemon cream ingredients, stirring until well blended.

Divide half of the cake cubes among 4 very small dessert cups or 2 dishes.  Top with half the lemon cream and raspberries. Repeat the layers. Chill   before serving.

Serves 2:  146 calories     4 net g carbs


Need my baking mix? This is the cheaper version, with a slightly darker appearance than in the cake above. All good though! If you have both, go for recipe #1.

Master Baking Mix #2

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



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

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day! The Canadian Pork Burger and info on the July Diner News

Today, July 1st,  is Canada Day! Hope my neighbors to the north are having a wonderful holiday. When I was at the teachers' conference last week, I listened to a very interesting speaker sharing the differences between the US and Canada. We share a lot, but many things are different. In honor of the day, I offer my version of a Canada Burger. Yum. Ground pork filled with cheese and topped with an amazing maple glaze. I tried it out on the boys and they loved it, even though we are pretty darn southern.

This July, the Diner News has all sorts of recipes featuring ground meats. I have to admit, I really on ground beef, chicken and turkey for some of our favorite meals. Ground meats are easy to cook and versatile. This issue of the news is loaded with new recipes. Lots of variety in there! Order it here. The Kung Pao Chicken Meatballs are spot on in flavor. The Firecracker Chicken Meatballs will be the hit of the party. I also put some burger making secrets in there. You will just have to order the July issue to find out more.

Canadian Pork Burgers
My son loved these, and he is a burger specialist!


1 lb ground pork
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 egg
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp prepared mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp  salt
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp maple flavoring
1/4 tsp pepper
Sauce:  Mix 2 tbsp mustard, 2 tbsp sugarfree pancake syrup, and 1 tsp cider vinegar

Combine pork, cheese, egg, coconut flour, chia seeds, garlic, salt, sage and pepper. Form mixture into patties and place on and outdoor grill or contact grill. After grilling ten minutes, brush with sauce. Remove from grill when internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.  Brush another layer of sauce over the top of the burger. Excellent with coleslaw.
                                                                                                                 Serves 4:  448 calories    3 net g carb




Of course, ground meats are not just for patties; they are also wonderful for skillet dishes, meatball, meatloaves and sausages. I have recipes for all that inside. And not just beef--turkey and chicken and pork. Asian to Tex Mex. It's all good. Take a sneak peak:

Cowboy Cannonballs
Caballero Stuffed Pablanos
Chicken Zucchini Patty
Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf
Coconut Curry Turkey Meatballs
Smash Burgers
Kung Pao Chicken Meatballs
Buffalo Chicken Patty
Pork Stir Fry Bowl
Firecracker Chicken Meatballs
Lemon Dilly Turkey 
Cajun Meatloaves in Pepper Rings
Longganisa Sausages
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, June 27, 2016

Smash Burgers, a Method, Not a Restaurant


Granted, I liked Smash Burger-- the restaurant. The food was great, the plates were cool, but I just didn't get enough to eat. It is like that some times for us in the low carb world. Sure, we can order the bunless burger.  It tastes great. Often, though, we are left just a tad bit hungry. That can lead to "hangry" in just a little while. When we start feeling deprived, we know  a cheat looms ahead. Either that or we behave just plain nasty to those around us with full tummies. Surely my family is not the only one to succumb to the hangries?

This is rather, a method of cooking burgers. We all know the tried and true advice. Never press down on a burger on the grill. You press all the juices out. That may be true. But that is assuming that you are going for a thick, tender and juicy burger. Not being an aficionado of rare burgers, that is seldom what I am aiming for. Don't get defensive. There is room for all of us. Let's hear it for burger diversity. I, and some others like me, prefer the really browned edges of the burger. Little tastes of charred goodness. That special something that the searing brings. That is what this method of burger cooking is all about.

The idea here is to make really thin burger patties. I mean it when I say thin. Then brown them up on a really hot grill. Make the patties extra thin by literally smashing them in the pan. Sorry, this simply will not work for grill grates. We need a flat surface here-- and a good spatula. (Great for quick meals when you don't want to wait for charcoal or when you don't want to mess cleaning the big gas grill.)  Smash that little burger. And I mean little too. Just a couple of ounces. Smash it and get the edges nice and dark. Flip it over a couple of times. No need to check the thermometer. We are going for the burn. The unami will be there!

Now slap some nice melty cheese. American slices are the best melters in my opinion, but use what you love. Now the best part. You get three of these thin little burgers. You still get a nice beefy meal, but with all that browned goodness. Three times more of it than in your boring old burger of the past. Now, I get it that you are thinking those tiny gray little patties in the small burgers at McDonalds. Size, yes. Flavor, no! Go for the brown. Add some salt and pepper and it will be a totally different food group. Sure, these don't stay perfectly round either. I am serious about the smashing part!

So smash them. Stack them. Top them. Oh yeah, and eat them too.

This is one of the recipes I am featuring in the July issue of the Diner News.  Be sure to order yours.

http://www.247lowcarbdiner.com/html/newsletter.html

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


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


Friday, June 24, 2016

Longganisa Sausages


This is something really unique. Somehow, it still seems somewhat meant to be. Just the name. Almost sounds like me. My maiden name, you see, is Long. Add that to my first name, and these Filipino sausages sound almost like a tribute. Maybe I should call them Longgalisa instead. In addition to that, my boss is half Filipino and I had a chance to meet her sweet mama not too long ago. So many cultures to learn about. Yes, I am a teacher, and I am still a big nerd when it comes to learning. It is a lifelong thing for me.

Now that I run with a crowd from the Philippines, I will have to ask if they eat these sausages. My hubby was a convert. From my research I found that there are several regional varieties. I chose to make the one that is very garlicky. We love our garlic. I am no authority, but from what I can tell, most of the varieties are sweet. That makes them a natural breakfast sausage. We had them for dinner, but in a breakfasty sort of way--with eggs and fried caulirice. Almost true island style.


I am busy making all sorts of recipes featuring ground meats for the July Diner News. This is one you will find in there. I have lots of fun ideas still to try. I am experimenting with some burger hacks too. So far, our trial with a smashburger turned out well. You will have to wait for the Diner News to get all that information.

Today I was not too bright. I decided to try my mom's really old meat grinder. Ground pork is a little harder to find at my grocery store. I usually have to go to Sprouts to get a good deal on it. I wasn't going that direction, so I picked up a small pork shoulder roast. Oh my, that was so not worth the effort and the mess! Don't do what I did. Buy pre-ground pork or use a food processor. Lesson learned. The grinder is all retro and cute, but it was such a mess. I will stick with the modern conveniences. I was hoping to get a coarse grind, but it was pretty much the same as my Ninja or food processor method. Back to electric for this girl. Good to know since I still have about 5 pounds of chicken to grind.

Without further ado, here is the recipe for these Filipino sausages, Marshall style.

Longganisa Sausages


1/2 lb ground pork
2 tbsp erythritol / stevia blend
2 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
2 ts0 Palm oil or coconut oil for frying

Combine pork, sweetener, garlic powder, pepper, vinegar and salt. Chill for several hours for flavor to permeate the meat. Shape into 8 small logs. Heat oil in a skillet and fry until cooked through.

per sausage:   88  calories and 1 g carb

Most of the photos I saw online had the sausages in a casing. No way was I doing that! These are good. Never would I personally have put so much garlic in with sweetener. The combo does work though. I used many different recipes as resources to come up with my own. Although I am not a native, I think they are quite good. Especially if you let someone else do the grinding.




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