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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Spring is always such a busy time for me. This is a cheater recipe. It is a lovely soup, mind you, but uses a can of asparagus rather than fresh. If I bother to buy and cook fresh, I want to eat it that way! And I never eat canned asparagus as a side. Way too mushy for me. That mush makes a wonderful soup, though.

This is creamy and cheesy. Yum. And that lemon pepper just makes in sing. Don't leave it out! On the run today, so that is all I have. This soup will be done in almost no time at all. Enjoy.

This is a lovely, light green soup with a delicious cheesy flavor. Perfect for a springtime lunch.

14.5 oz can asparagus (411 g)
2 cups chicken broth (500 mL)
1/2 cup cream (125 mL)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (60 mL)
1 tsp lemon pepper (5 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
1/2 tsp onion powder (2 mL)

In a blender, puree the asparagus with the chicken broth. In a medium sized saucepan, combine the puree, cream, cheese, salt, lemon pepper and onion powder. Simmer over low heat for ten minutes.

Yield:  4 servings at  129 calories  7 g protein  10 g fat  1 g fiber  3 g net carbs 

This recipe is in Low Carbing Among Friends. Order any of our great cookbooks at

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Island Strawberry Mousse Mini Pies

These little mini pies will make an extra special treat for Easter! Two bites and they are gone. They are pretty and bursting with strawberry and coconut flavor. The crust is sturdy and does not crumble in your hand so they are perfect for parties and gatherings. Finger food!  I love the creamy sweet coconut and berry taste combined with the nutty crust. They are healthy too with an extra serving of coconut oil.

Island Strawberry Mousse Mini Pies
11/2 cups blanched almond flour 
1/4  teaspoon salt 
1 tbsp salted butter 
1 tsp coconut oil 
1 egg
10 strawberries, cleaned
1/3  cup unrefined coconut oil 
1/4  cup heavy cream 
2 packets powdered stevia or other sweetener to equal 4 tsp sugar 
Place almond flour and salt in food processor and pulse briefly. Add butter, coconut oil , and egg and pulse until mixture forms a ball. Press dough into 12 mini muffin cups . Bake at 350°F  until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Place berries and coconut oil in a microwavable bowl. Heat 1 to 2 minutes until oil is melted and hot. (1 minute for fresh berries, 2 for thawed frozen berries) Transfer to a blender or food processor. Add cream and sweetener and process. Chill in blender jar until mixture firms up. Blend again if necessary. Once the oil is incorporated, this will stay mousse-like for days.

Fill the crusts with mousse and too with a strawberry half for garnish if you like.

12 mini pies      214 calories    20 g fat     4 g protein     4 net carbs

If you don't want to bother with the crust, the mousse is excellent in a shot glass or other mini dessert dish as well.  This recipe is included in Low Carbing Among Friends Volume 5. If you don't own this book, you really should order it. Order our books at:

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Good for You Brownies

We low carbers have the freedom to make some pretty wonderful desserts. But most desserts, while well deserved and well received, don't pack a nutritional punch. It is strange how many trolls we get over on the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook page-- constantly telling us that meat is bad, fat will make you fat, artificial sweeteners will poison you, etc. etc. etc. To each his own since we all have to make our own choices. No need to be rude, but sometimes we have a hard time convincing people that we do make healthy choices. Why do they frequent our page anyway? We must be making an impact!

Take this recipe, for instance. I went into it not to make a luscious decadent treat, but to make a good-for-us treat that was sweet and fudgy and easily packed into a lunchbox. Rather than just make a brownie with lots of nut flour and butter, I tried a few new things. Chia seed and flax. Protein powder too. How about pumpkin? Medium Chain Triglyceride oil? Weird, I know. This is high in protein, has good fiber and tastes good too. Not at all like pumpkin to me or the hubby. Here are the healthy stats for these healthy brownies. Each one has:

 181 calories   4 net carbs     5 g fiber    13 g fat     11 g protein

Go ahead and make one breakfast!

Good For You Brownies

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tbsp MCT oil, or coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 scoops vanilla or chocolate protein powder (figured at 3.5 carbs per scoop)
1/4 cup granulated erythritol or equivalent sweetener
4 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp chia seed
3 tbsp flax meal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered erythritol
2 tbsp cocoa powder

In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin, egg, oil and vanilla extract. To that mixture, add the protein powder, erythritol, cocoa powder, chia seed, flax meal baking powder and salt. Stir well until no lumps remain. Spread into a sprayed 8x8 inch pan. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes. 

Frosting: Melt butter in a microwavable bowl or in a small saucepan. Stir in the powdered erythritol and cocoa powder. Spread the frosting over the brownies. Cool until the frosting hardens. Serves 8.

You may notice the not totally square shape in my photo. I made these in a brownie appliance. Yes, I am the gadget queen. I found it on sale at Aldi for just 5 bucks and I thought it might make good slider buns. I have tried several recipes, none of them a huge hit so far. The jury is still out. These brownies almost ended up in the "OK but not good enough to share" category. The brownie part alone is not all that wonderful and they did not end up very square. They very moist and cakelike but the flavor is not intense enough for me: not thoroughly fudgy. To liven things up, I added a bit more sweetener to this published recipe. My original trial had relied on sweetness from the protein powder-- that just did not come through. Good news is that missing wow factor is what made me choose to frost these brownies. I promise this frosting would make old sneakers taste great. Since the brownies are way better than old sneakers, it is a win-win. The frosting takes the flavor up several notches and is not too bad for us. Just promise me you won't use margarine. So remember all the nutrition points in the brownie and all the flavor points of the frosting.

So all the trolls need to go research the nutritional value of  MCT oil, chocolate, chia seeds, flax, pumpkin, real butter, sea salt, erythritol and stevia. I will even caution you to be sure to use aluminum free baking powder.

There you have it. Brownies are good, and sometimes they are good for you too. To those who think low carbers just eat bacon and cheese...well, think again! We eat brownies too. (she said with a smurk)

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Crisp Salami Cup Appetizers

These are so fun and really delicious. Perfect for parties and showers, picnics or movie night munching. They have a lot of eye appeal with the color and flowery shape, yet they are so easy to make. Ready to try?

Start with a package of super thinly sliced salami. That is important. I used Hormel slices. Choose your veggies, herbs and cheese. I saw lots of recipes for these online, including Rachel Ray's Antipasti Bites. Most used marinated artichoke hearts and jarred red peppers. I have a few who are not big fans of artichokes, so I went fresh with my recipe.  Zucchini is great, very neutral and let the other flavors shine. I also used fresh herbs from the beginnings of this year's herb garden. I don't have basil yet, but lemon balm was excellent. Either would be wonderful. You can't really go wrong with the filling, so feel free to play around. Don't like olives? Leave them out.

When it comes to baking the salami cups, you have a choice. You may choose to place a ball of foil inside each slice in the muffin tin to ensure the salami does not move, making it hard to fill. This makes for a more open cup. I like the wavy shapes, so I chose not to add the foil. Some cups are more of a challenge to fill, but it still works. I think they are prettier with more waves in the salami.

Crispy Salami Cup Appetizers

16 slices very thin salami
1/4 zucchini, unpeeled
6 grape tomatoes
6 Kalamata olives (or any type)
3 tbsp fresh diced chives
3 tbsp fresh chopped basil, lemon balm or any fresh herb
3 tbsp feta cheese
1 tbsp Italian dressing

Using a standard muffin tin, press the salami slices into the muffin cups, using a spoon to help press the meat to the sides.  Add foil balls if using. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Let the salami cool 5 minutes before removing from the pan, but don't wait too long, or they can stick to the cooled fat in the base of the cup. Drain on a paper towel.

Finely dice the zucchini, tomatoes and olives. Mince the fresh herbs. In a medium bowl, combine the vegetables and herbs with the cheese and Italian dressing. Spoon this mixture into the salami cups and serve.

Makes 16       each cup has approximately 45 calories and  just under 1 carb.  

If your package of salami has more slices, just add  a bit more of the filling ingredients. Precise measurements are really unnecessary. Put what you like in there! If I wasn't feeding my hubby, I would shake some crushed red pepper in as well. Take these to a party and everyone will be so impressed with your mad cooking skills.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tac-ole Personal Casseroles

Tac-Ole cups have been a favorite in my family ever since we started low carbing. I love my Tex-Mex food, but there is really nothing I can find that is legal at the fast food Mexican chains. Fajitas are an option in nicer places, but not so great for quick and cheap lunches. Besides, it is just easier to stay far away from that bowl of chips. This recipe is fun and tasty, not exactly like tacos or burritos, but the flavor cures the craving. Better yet, it is so simple to throw together!

I usually make a big Multiply Meal batch that are cupcake size. Today, I did that with most of the batch, but first, I filled three personal casserole dishes for our lunch meal. Yum. I baked some mini peppers stuffed with caulirice, salsa and cheese, and also added a nice side salad. Great lunch. Better yet, some go in the fridge for later this week and some go in the freezer for quick meals in the future!

Here is the recipe for a single batch. You really should buy the Diner e-book so you can work the system and always have food in the freezer and a meal plan in place. It really does de-stress life.

Tac-Ole Cups

1 1/4 lb ground beef
4 eggs
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup almond flour or any low carb flour blend
3 tbsp taco seasoning ( 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp Mexican oregano 
2 cups shredded cheese

Brown ground beef and drain off fat. In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs. Stir in salsa. Add in flour and seasonings. Stir until no lumps remain. Stir in cheese and beef. Spoon batter into 12 standard muffin cups. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serving: 2 cups     614 calories   2 carbs

These travel really well and are great in a lunch box!

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Full Moon Sausage and Cream Cheese Muffins

Pinterest strikes again. I saw a Pampered Chef recipe for Crescent Sausage Bites. That sounded so tummy. Knowing I couldn't do the three ingredient recipe, which used two cans of crescent rolls, I wondered how the "cornbread" recipe from my Mexican Cornbread casserole would work. Let me tell ya. It works!

Since I seem totally unable to cut any dish into cute squares, I opted to make my new creation in my mini muffin silicone pan. (If you can call it a pan--seems weird) That worked with my play on words too. Since the original recipe calls for crescent rolls (think of the moon shape)  mine would be fully round like a full moon. Yeah, I try.

Having made this, I am going to reduce the salt in the original bread recipe a bit. I also found that I didn't have room for the full pound of sausage called for by Pampered Chef, so I will adjust that too. I had plans on testing this one for the April Diner News, but my to do list was just too long. I did manage to get it done today, and so I will share it here on the blog instead. You may want to go ahead and get the newsletter because it if filled with great pork recipes this month.

The bready part of this dish is light and airy. The sausage is creamy and flavorful. I think they are really great and they really fill you up. Kids and men will really like these.

Full Moon Sausage and Cream Cheese Muffins

1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup golden flax meal
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 lb pork sausage (bulk)
4 oz cream cheese

In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, flax meal, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs and olive oil and stir well. Stir in the shredded cheese. Spoon half the mixture into 24 oiled mini muffin cups. Use the back of a spoon to press the batter flat. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes and remove from oven.

Meanwhile, brown the sausage. Drain fat. Stir in the cream cheese until melted. Spoon the sausage mixture over the top of the partially baked muffins. Top with the remaining batter and smooth with the back of a spoon. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes until muffins are golden and set. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. 
Makes 24 muffins    89 calories each    7 g fat   .6 g net carb

Gotta try these. My mom just tasted them--though she is not a low carber, she thinks they are great.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Three Cheese Hashbrown Casserole

Don't let the name fool you. There are no potatoes here, but you just may think I'm lying. Rather than potato shreds, here we have grated rutabaga. This is so delicious. It really does take like a carby casserole. It keeps well too. You can freeze the leftovers or eat it several times a week like we did this time.

This is a recipe which will be in the upcoming April issue of the 24/7 Low Carb Diner News. This month, we are focusing on bacon, ham, sausage and all those pork products we love. This recipe just happens to also have bacon and sausage. It is a real family pleaser. Go ahead and double it if you want! Or triple it and turn it into a Multiply Meal.

 Three Cheese Hashbrown Casserole

6 slices bacon
1/4 lb bulk pork sausage
2 cups shredded rutabaga
4 eggs
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 cup ricotta cheese

Bake or pan fry bacon. Drain and crumble. Brown the sausage in a small skillet. While those are cooking, place shredded rutabaga in a microwavable bowl with 2 tbsp water. Cook on high power in the microwave for 2 minutes. Drain and cool.

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Stir in the crumbled bacon, browned sausage, all the cheeses and the shredded rutabaga.

Coat an 8 inch square casserole dish with bacon grease. Pour in the casserole mixture and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting into 6 servings.

Recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Serves 6   472 calories   6 net carbs

This casserole is great for anytime of day. In fact, it could have been featured in the March issue of the Diner News. That one has lots of recipes to replace potatoes. But this one does have that yummy bacon and sausage that makes everyone smile. You can still order the March issue. The April issue will come out on April 1st. If you want to order, just head over to the Diner page:

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

Order our books at: 

Love the recipes I share on this blog? My ebook helps you plan and prep to stay healthy 24/7.