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

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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Among Friends Thursday --Jennifer's Pizza Crust

Let me tell you, this made a beautiful pizza! When I first put it together, I didn't think it was going to work. Couldn't imagine that. Jennifer is an amazing baker--and very thorough in her details. (I know that because she is also my editor)  All the doughs I have tried before were much wetter. I followed her directions even though my batch seemed crumbly. Sure enough. She once again knew what she was talking about. She said to lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough to roll it out. That worked like a charm. Probably the easiest crust ever, in fact. None of that stretchy elastic or super sticky business.

I made this with all the kids around and they kept wandering in asking what smelled so good. Mr. John's lunch. I ended up buying them pizza. I made a fire roasted pizza sauce that was incredibly tasty. Pretty sure the crust was really good too, but with the flavors I packed into that sauce, I can make no promises. At any rate, it did what it was supposed to do. Who can go wrong with 2 cups of cheese? I do love cheese. The crust was plenty cheesy, so just a sprinkle of Parmesan on the top was all we needed.

The crust is pretty too, even though I baked it on a cookie sheet instead of a pizza pan. I put mine on parchment and had no sticking problems at all. Wonderful thin crust, nothing like the cracker crusts we buy from pizzerias. Plus making it at home, we can top it with as much delicious stuff as we want. This one had pepperoni, green pepper and red onion. Oh and spinach made it soo much healthier! (grin)


Jennifer's Pizza Crust recipe is on page 64 of Low Carbing Among Friends. Go find it and make one for yourself. The nutrition box said it serves 12. Umm, no. I was awfully glad to see later down she said it is fine to eat 2-3 slices with a salad. THAT is better. 1/12 of this pizza would never be enough. It would be like eating one potato chip as the famous ad said. Even with three slices, you still come in under 5 carbs and just over 300 calories. At that rate, maybe we could justify 4 slices...Eating like this does not feel like a diet. Go read the cute anecdote with the recipe. That story says it all.

Miss Emmy's CinnamonTea

Remember that Girly Tea Party I blogged about? This is just like the tea my friends served me that day. I have been shopping around for something similar since then, and as usual, frugal me made it myself. The amazing cinnamon flavor grabs your senses and won't let go! This is so wonderful, I don't even need a touch of sweetener or cream. Just the burst of cinnamon with every sip.

I will get to the recipe, but first, I want to ask a favor of you. The dear, sweet 16 year old young lady who shared this tea with me, is headed in for brain surgery in just a couple of hours from now. For the last few months she has been suffering with a very severe case of Intracranial Hypertension ( an extreme build of of pressure in the spinal fluid.) She has gone through 12 spinal taps in the last few months, with severe head aches, loss of vision and many other symptoms similar to a brain tumor. Since the pressure has continued to rebuild even on medication, today she  must get a shunt put into her brain to continually drain the fluid. For a teenager, not only is the surgery terrifying, but the shaved head is devastating. Please send up your prayers for this sweet girl today.

I bought this tea cup set for her because she loves pretty things. I cannot be at the hospital today because I am watching her younger sister and brother, who both have bronchial infections going on, and should not be given the chance to spread any germs. This is hard on them too, I know. In the mean time, we are doing what we can and praying that this surgery puts an end to the suffering she has gone through since last fall.


Miss Emmy's Cinnamon Tea


6 tsp loose black tea (or enough to make 4 cups)
1/8 to1/4 tsp cinnamon oil (The kind used for flavoring candy)


Place tea leaves in a very small jar. Pour in the cinnamon oil, put the lid on and shake well. Bring water to a boil. While that is heating, add 1 1/2 tsp tea per cup to an infuser basket or to a tea ball. Pour the boiling water into the pot or cup and let tea steep for 3 minutes. Sweeten if desired.

I used a coupon at Hobby Lobby to purchase the cinnamon oil from the candy making supplies. Those tiny bottles are a pain to work with, but the result is so worth it. Warning: I preferred the tea with the full 1/4 tsp oil added to the leaves, but I DO love the hot bite of cinnamon. Most of you will want to start with the 1/8 tsp of oil and add more if you can take it. Did your school get invaded each year with the craze of cinnamon oil soaked toothpicks? If so, that is what this tea will remind you of. I always loved those toothpicks until the school authorities banned them. It happened every year. Maybe that was just in the olden days.

I haven't forgotten about Among Friends Thursday. I did just make Jennifer's Pizza Crust. Yum. I will post that later on tonight with an update on Miss Emily. For now, I want to get everyone I know sending up prayers and good thoughts for her. I wanted her to be "Among Friends" too.
 This is Emily. Isn't she beautiful? As of 6 p.m. she was still waiting to get into surgery. Guess an emergency bumped her time slot. Poor thing, talk about the longest day. The family is still waiting. I will put the pizza photo up later. Until she is safely out of recovery, she is of the utmost importance today. Her mom, Neecee is a follower here too, so the more uplifting things you could say would be a blessing.

Update: Emily came though surgery very well, thank God. I appreciate all the prayers and kind thoughts for her. The surgery, though late getting started, was quicker than expected once underway. We are now trusting that this will bring her complete health from now on.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cottage Cupcakes

Not your typical cupcake. This is the cousin of the Cottage Pie. This cupcake is made of meat and topped with mashed cauliflower. Very much a hit with my men last night.

So this is not an original idea. I have seem similar savory cupcakes. I think this is cuter with the red bell pepper replacing the cherry on top. We all need a little fun at dinner now and then. These are easy to put together too. Just make your favorite meatloaf recipe. I seasoned mine with Wright's liquid smoke and added chia seeds as usual, 1 tbsp per pound. This time, I left out the egg, but you can add it in. Fill 9 silicon muffin cups with the meat mixture. Since I was just trying it out this time, I used one pound of ground chuck. Mine was 85% lean, but next time I would get at least 90%. I had to deal with some shrinkage, and had to drain some fat from each cup after baking. Leaner grinds would fix that problem. Bake those about 20 minutes until they are cooked through. Pour off grease if necessary.

While the meat bases are baking, steam a head of cauliflower. Drain it very well. Mash it with two tablespoons of butter and 4 ounces of a good melting cheese. I chose a Swiss/American blend, but almost went with cream cheese. Most anything will work. Add salt to taste. Process here, remember, not recipe. When the meatloaves are finished, remove them from the oven and use the mashed cauliflower as frosting. Top each with a slice of red bell pepper. Return to the oven for about 5 minutes.

We ate ours right out of the silicon cup. I provided spoons instead of forks so the guys wouldn't poke holes in the cups. These were fun to eat. It would be great to make extra for lunches at the office. I don't think they would be so great cold, but if you have a microwave handy or toaster oven, they would be fantastic. Just remember not to throw away the cups!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hammy Breakfast Roll-Ups

Yesterday I made a batch of Minute Sausage. If you aren't in on the Diner plan, that is a large batch of browned sausage, perhaps with some mushroom and onion browned in. I make it ahead of time, to package some up to throw in omelets, casseroles, scrambles, etc. Some went into yesterday's Pepper Ring Breakfast, which is a recipe in the April Diner News. More went into this mornings fun Hammy Breakfast Roll-ups. They are kinda like a breakfast burrito, but it is a slice of ham that wraps them up rather than a carby gluteny tortilla.

Of course, since the roll-up is a ham slice, you don't need to add the sausage. It gives a nice flavor boost though. The problem with some breakfast burritos is the way the scrambled eggs tumble out on your shirt. Not a good way to eat if you are heading out the door. This recipe solves that problem by melting some cream cheese into the egg scramble. Not only does it taste wonderful, but it adds a little "glue" that holds the filling inside neatly. Yum!

Hammy Breakfast Roll-ups


1 slice thinly sliced ham (but not shaved)
1 egg
1 tbsp Minute Sausage
1 tbsp cream cheese


Scramble the egg with the pre-cooked sausage. Stir in cream cheese to melt. Spoon the egg mixture onto the slice of ham. Roll it up.

The recipe is for a single roll up. Just multiply the ingredients for the number of roll-ups you want to make. These are also good with mushrooms, onions, peppers, green chilies, you name it. If you can scramble it, you can roll it. If you need a fast, delicious breakfast, this is a great choice.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Among Friends Thursday - Carolyn's Maple Pecan Flax Granola

I remember back in the seventies--yes I am that old. One summer I was completely addicted to this new granola cereal called Heartland. We had never had granola before and we loved it. Then we got tired of it, I guess. It is still on the market, though, I think. It just never made it into my cart again for some reason, though I never forgot it entirely. I tried a low fat version when that was our diet of choice. Rather than fat, we carbed up. Apple juice was the sweetener and sticky substance. My oldest son really loved it, so I made it often. When I started low carbing, I made a fun version with TVP. Textured Vegetable Protein. Not as bad as you would think. But now, we don't do soy often, so granola had gone the way of the dinosaur. It is really easy to over do on nuts, though, so I have to be careful.

This treat is very heavy on the nuts, but it is oh so yummy. Carolyn added the health benefits of flax meal and whey protein. Those help bind the granola, and make it better for us too. The sweeteners are erythritol and stevia. That is my personal favorite combo of sweeteners.

Out of pecans, I subbed walnuts. Out of butter, I subbed coconut oil. Both worked well. I, like Carolyn, love maple flavor. The Low Carbing Among Friends cookbook also lists an all almond and vanilla version. This was great, and I am sure there is room to play around with the nuts and flavorings. Ready to try this recipe? It is on page 169.

This is good as a cereal, like the way I used to eat granola. It is good as a yogurt topping, or on a berry bake. One of my favorite and easiest ways to enjoy a good granola, is to chill a can of coconut milk. Scoop out the solid portions, and add some berries and granola. Then you have a fantastic breakfast. A smart breakfast choice without eggs. Yeah! Lots of good for you fats too. Nothing like that low fat granola I used to make. Better. If you don't have our book, go order it already! (just click on the link on the right of the page)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Curried Rutabaga and Chorizo Soup

It is raining like crazy around here. Today is cold too, so this soup was great to warm us up a bit as we watch the rain clouds and listen to the flash flood warnings. All is good here, as my little red house is perched on the top of a ridge laughingly called Turkey Mountain. My Colorado hubby snickers about any true mountains here in Oklahoma. Anyway, this soup takes the senses to the far corners of the globe.  It smelled so good I already ate my serving, and it is just now noon. Hoping the hubby likes his when he gets to open up his jar of this fragrant, creamy soup. The flavors are an interesting blend. Chorizo sausage has its own signature taste. Curry powder adds depth to the mild rutabaga, and coconut milk adds richness. It all works so well. How great is it that these days, we can take the specialties of so many far away places and blend them all together into a soup that is truly a global undertaking.


Curried Rutabaga and Chorizo Soup


1 lb rutabaga
1/2 pound Chorizo Sausage (not the cured variety)
1/4 cup onion
3 celery ribs
2 tbsp coconut oil
4 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
 1/4 tsp pepper

Peel and dice the rutabaga into bite sized chunks Dice onion and celery. Place half of the diced rutabaga into a small saucepan. Cover with water and simmer until tender. While that is simmering, melt coconut oil in a skillet. Add the chorizo, remaining rutabaga, onion and celery and saute until onion is translucent. Transfer the chorizo and vegetables to a Dutch oven or soup pot. Add chicken broth, curry powder, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.


When the rutabaga chunks from the saucepan are tender, remove from heat and drain. Add the can of coconut milk and use an immersion blender to make a puree. When the soup has simmered 30 minutes, add the puree to the soup pot. Cook for an additional 5 minutes before serving.

To serve 6:     325 calories   7 carbs

The pureed rutabaga makes the soup thick. Use more if you can spare the carbs. 4 ounces has 6 carbs. The coconut milk adds a velvety mouthfeel. If you wanted, you could puree all of the rutabaga, but I love the small pieces in the soup. They remind me so much of potatoes. This particular rutabaga was among the mildest I have ever tasted, but even a full flavored one would go so well with the curry and chorizo.

Now I am off to get some more shopping done for my soon to be college graduate. We have to get him outfitted for his Senior Portfolio Show in April. He is a very talented graphic artist. Got the umbrella, and prepared not to drive into deep water. So much for the nice weather for spring break. I wish it could be nicer for him, but I am happy just to get to spend some time with my boy.



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Friday, March 16, 2012

Skillet Squash Pizza

We just ate the yummiest breakfast. Although I was playing around with breakfast pizza, this would be good at any meal. I just happen to be one who loves leftovers for breakfast--especially back in the day when I could eat take out pizza.This was made from scratch, but would be very welcome leftovers at my house.

We low carbers have made every imaginable combination trying for a decent substitute. There are quite a few out there to experiment on. Cauliflower crusts a la Cleochatra are popular, although I never quite got the hang of those. I need easy. I wanted a skillet pizza, and I was not necessarily needing it to be hand held. That seems to be a big concern. Fork and plate was fine for today. I had seen in an old Somersize cookbook I picked up while out thrifting, a crust made from zucchini and cheese. Interesting, but probably too much like the cauliflower version. So, running out of time to get the hubster fed, I just headed into the kitchen to play around like I often do. Yes, lots of my playing around never makes it to the blog, just in case you wondered. I really like this result though. You cannot even figure out that there is an entire yellow squash in there! Much better than the bell pepper and sunflower seed based crust I failed at last week.

The crust is soft, but the very edges are crisped. Because it is baked in a skillet, the bottom layer crisps, giving it that nice, browned taste. The crust batter is fairly deep in the skillet. It may be that if it was spread over a cookie sheet, it would be crisp enough to forget about the fork. I may try that one. But this is just perfect for my brunch type meal, plus no parchment paper, no trying to flip a crust without getting burned, and no sticking to the pan.


Skillet Squash Pizza


2 1/2 cups grated yellow squash (1 large)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese (canned)
1/3 cup unflavored whey protein powder
1 egg
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Topping of choice


Grate the squash on the large holes of a grater. Use paper towels to squeeze out excess moisture. In a large bowl, combine squash, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, whey protein powder and the egg. On a high stovetop burner, heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet. When it begins to smoke, sprinkle salt and pepper into the base of the skillet. This helps prevent sticking. Immediately spread the crust dough into the skillet. Remove from heat. Place into a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and cover with the toppings of choice. Return the pizza to the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Let the pizza cool for 5 minutes before cutting.

Before toppings, this crust has approximately 212 calories and 2.5 carbs. The protein powder may vary the carb count.

What I love most about the crust is the flavor. It has a great taste all on its own. You certainly don't need to add extra cheese to the top of this pizza. It is super delicious just with some green peppers, a little onion and some pepperoni. Sausage would be great too.

It is Spring Break here, so I am looking forward to seeing more of my boys. Pearson is on his way home from college as we speak. I miss spending time with him, and it will be great to get to hug his neck any time I want. I always get a little sad when I watch him drive away to go back to school after break. After this week, life will be a whirlwind again. He heads back to prepare his senior portfolio show. He is quite a talented graphic artist, so I guess all that money I spent in the early years on finger paints, colored pencils and art supplies were not wasted. I am such a proud mom. I get to go see him graduate in May, with honors. I can't believe they grow up so quickly!

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


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Love the recipes I share on this blog? My ebook helps you plan and prep to stay healthy 24/7.   http://www.247lowcarbdiner.com

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Among Friends Thursday -Maria's 'Apple' Crisp

This is yummy. It tastes so much like an apple crisp. Amazing. Like I have said before, Maria is a substitute genius. Not that she is ready to fill in for another genius, but she can find an incredible stand in for most any  high carb dish. This time she has done it with apple crisp. With the help of some zucchini and some erythritol plus some nuts, we have dessert. Heck I am thinking we will have breakfast too!

I was trying out a new baking dish, and didn't follow the directions for the pan size. Mine came out a little on the liquidy side at the base of the dish. No problem, I just poured off a bit of the extra. Perhaps sticking to her designated casserole dish would have evaporated out more during baking. Maybe my zucchini was a tad on the moist side naturally. It is hard to believe how much this really does taste like apples. I guess those spices make the dish! Also, I thought I had pecans frozen, but alas, it was walnuts. I used those anyway, and the crumble part is amazingly good. No problem with a substitution there. I reserved just s few crumbles to sprinkle in after baking too...you know, so even those parts from the bottom that miss the crumble still get some. I am one of those who loves crust. As a kid, I always asked for the edge of pie crust that many folk leave behind. That worked.

For those of you with Low Carbing Among Friends Cookbook, the recipe is on page 148. If you don't own it, just click on the photo of the book at the right and the link will take you to the site. You really do need this book!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cajun Smothered Pork Chops

Smothered Pork Chops are a classic family meal. These are a little different, though, because they have all the spices of Louisiana--and none of that icky condensed soup that hides in many old recipes. Both of my men at home today liked this dish. I wanted something a bit spicy for Christian, since he has a head cold going on and probably wouldn't taste much. So, I just moved these chops from tomorrow's spot on the menu and made them today. Here's hoping he is feeling better tomorrow. Seems everyone around me is sick with one thing or another. Hate that.  I am fine though. Low carbing seems to help us build a strong immune system.

The Cajun spice blend I use is Paula Deen's. You can make your own or use any blend you prefer. To duplicate the taste, look for salt, black pepper, garlic, paprika, cayenne, mustard seed, onion, basil, oregano, thyme, white pepper, celery seed, and chili pepper flakes.

Cajun Smothered Pork Chops

6 boneless pork chops
3 tbsp olive oil, divided use
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 small onion
1 small green bell pepper
2 ribs celery
2 tbsp white cooking wine  (or broth)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 tsp xanthan gum


Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet. Sprinkle Cajun seasoning on pork chops and add them to the skillet. Sear each side of the chops for approximately 5 minutes and set aside. Slice the onion, bell pepper and celery into strips In another lidded skillet or dutch oven, heat remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the vegetables along with the salt and garlic powder. Saute on  medium to low heat until onion is translucent and just beginning to brown. 


While the vegetables are cooking, use the wine to deglaze the porkchop skillet.(Add the wine to the skillet and use a spatula to scrape the browned bits from the base of the pan) Pour this wine over the vegetables.  Add the porkchops, placing them over the vegetable mixture. Cover the skillet or dutch oven and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

When meat is cooked through, remove the chops to serving plates and keep warm. Combine the coconut flour and xanthan gum in a salt shaker. Shake this over the vegetables, while stirring, thickening the sauce. (You may need more or less thickening according to the amount of moisture which cooks out of the vegetables) When the sauce is thickened, spoon it over the pork chops and serve.

 Tonight, I served ours alongside some Cider Glazed Squash. The tart, yet creamy and buttery taste was great with the heat of the pork chops. That recipe is in the Nov. 11 Diner News, and here on the blog. Best news is that Christian could taste it, and the dish wasn't too hot for the sensitive hubby. Not a bad deal, I think. With just three of us home tonight, this made a double meal. I usually don't make Multiple Meals when I am experimenting, but this is one we will be happy to eat again! Can't wait until my college boy comes home to visit for Spring Break. Poor guy, since he had an unpaid internship last summer, he does not have the funds to go on the ski trip with his buddies. I suppose he will have to settle for some home cooking from his mom.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bed and Breakfast Maple Waffle Bake

My husband really loves me today. I made him a Sunday brunch casserole that made him think he was in carb heaven. It tastes like a special Bed and Breakfast treat. He already told me he wants this casserole for Christmas morning. Now that is planning ahead.

By the name, you already have figured out that it is based with waffles. Yes, that does seem to be a theme of mine as of late. Do love that waffle stick maker I got for Christmas. I told them I had lots of ideas for it when I put it down on my list! Now those middle of the night inspirations come to fruition. Yes, I do sometimes dream up recipes in the wee hours, and wake up mulling them over in my mind. Weird, I know. Some would tell me I surely need to get a life. But since feeding a family 24/7 does seem to take a lot of time and talent, it is what it is. For this dish, I added some more of my hubby's favorites. Sausage and eggs.

This is definitely more bready than the typical low carb breakfast casseroles. It is sweet, a bit akin to a bread pudding or a French Toast bake. More importantly in my book, is that delectable blend of salty and sweet--the sausage and the maple infused waffles. Mmm. The eggs hold the base together, and the torn bits of waffle along the top keep a crunchy, crispness for a delightful change in texture. Sure it takes a little longer to put together than most of my breakfasts, but my guys are worth it.


Bed and Breakfast Maple Waffle Bake


Waffle Base:
4 tbsp butter
6 eggs
½ cup sugarfree vanilla syrup
1 tsp maple flavoring
1/3 cup coconut flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder

Casserole:
8 ounces pork sausage
6 eggs
¼ cup half and half
½ tsp maple flavoring
¼ tsp stevia extract, OR
  ¼ cup alternative
¼ cup sugarfree pancake syrup
2 tbsp butter

Prepare waffles: Melt butter in a medium bowl. Stir in the eggs, syrup and flavoring. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, whisking well. Alternately, you may use an immersion blender to dissolve any clumps. Let the mixture rest for five minutes to thicken. Bake in a waffle iron 5-7 minutes until brown.

In a skillet, brown the sausage. Tear the waffles into bite sized pieces, layering half of them into the base of a 3 quart casserole dish. Top with the sausage, distributing evenly. Over the sausage, add the remaining waffle pieces.

In a medium bowl, beat 6 eggs. Stir in the half and half, maple flavoring and stevia. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the waffles. Use the back of a large spoon to gently press the waffle pieces down, compacting the casserole so more of it is submerged in the egg.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the egg custard is set. Top each serving with sugarfree pancake syrup and dot with butter.

The sugarfree syrups I can buy locally have sorbitol, so I use them sparingly. I am thinking about trying a xylitol based syrup, Nature's Hollow. Wondering if any of you Diners ever tried a brand without sorbitol or maltitol, and what do you think? Some sugar alcohols are more painful than others. What brands do you like? Perhaps I should just come up with a homemade version...Something for another day. I need to get to more of my prep day baking.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Among Friends Thursday--Kent's Armadillo "Eggs"

Funny name. Funny story. My men ate these up so fast, I had to hide one to get a picture! Both of them immediately started bribing me to make more. Not the usual, "sure, you can make these again"  comments. They pressured me about when they would be back on the menu. Alright already. I will make them again next week since I just did a half recipe this time.

Please understand that these are not really made from any part of an armadillo, although here in Oklahoma, it is quite easy to find them as road kill. I guess they have the same thing in Lubbock, TX, the original home of this recipe. The egg concept comes with the layering technique: cheese and cream cheese stuffed inside a jalapeno pepper, which is then wrapped in sausage, rolled in Parmesan and baked. How could that list of ingredients go wrong? It can't in my book, but I did have to make one alteration for my hubby. He doesn't do jalapenos, so I made them with mini sweet peppers instead. DELISH! I am sure either way is amazing.


So if you are inspecting my version in the photo, you will notice a yellow pepper instead of the jalapeno. Still pretty, still fun, just not quite as armadillo-esque. Yes, a new word! If you want to try out Kent's recipe, it is in Low Carbing Among Friends, page 274. He calls them an appetizer or breakfast. We devoured them for dinner. Well, actually,  the one I managed to hide so I could take a picture became Christian's breakfast. He waited for me to photograph it, then immediately grabbed it and hid from his father to eat it. That is how good these are!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

I am a huge fan of the sweet-hot-savory combo. Think jalapeno pepper jelly. No. Think Raspberry Chipotle Sauce! I still love my Chipotle Madness barbeque sauce, but this one is different. It takes advantage of sugarfree red raspberry preserves I found at Aldi. They are Splenda sweetened, so if you don't do that, then this recipe won't work for you. I am not into making my own raspberry puree these days. You might want to, so if so, please make some for me! For those who use Splenda, read on. I actually use lots of different sweeteners. I would love to go all natural, but we have never suffered any ill effects from sweeteners, so when they are difficult to replace, I just go with it.

Now, I know my hubby is not gonna eat this. But I seem to be craving spiciness as of late. Even though he is the one who is diabetic, sometimes I cook just for my tastes...well, I am also pretty sure my youngest will like this too. Today, I played around with this sauce and for ease of preparation, I stirred it into some chicken cubes from the freezer. Glorious! It would be great over grilled chicken, burgers, ribs...any place you would like a barbecue sauce.

Raspberry Chipotle Sauce 


8 ounces tomato sauce
½ cup sugarfree raspberry preserves
½ cup water
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Wright's Liquid Smoke
2 packets sweetener
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp xanthan gum

In a sauce pan, combine the tomato sauce, preserves, water, vinegar and liquid smoke. In a small bowl, stir together the sweetener, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder and xanthan gum. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, whisking as you pour. Heat to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer on very low heat for 20-30 minutes. Serve immediately or let cool and transfer to a jar.

4 carbs for a tablespoon serving.

Love the recipes I share on this blog? My ebook helps you plan and prep to stay healthy 24/7.   http://www.247lowcarbdiner.com

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http://amongfriends.us/24-7-LCD.php

Monday, March 5, 2012

Piccolo Panini (Italian Sliders)

I sent the hubby to work today with these Italian Sliders.  They are easier to put together than one would think. A super quick coconut flour slider bun and some Old World Deli meats I picked up at Aldi. The deli package includes pepper salame, hot capocollo and hot calabrese. Yum! If you don't have an Aldi, and who ever knows what they will have in stock, then I think you can get these at Walmart as well. They all have one gram or less carb per ounce.

Now the bun. I adapted another adaptation of Ginny's Coconut Flour Microwave Bread. I have this in another version too. Microwave breads are so easy to play round with. The bread really is better with some toasting, so in my book, this is pretty much essential. Because someone in my house, name still unknown, must have dripped cheese or butter into the bottom of my toaster oven, and I didn't feel like scrubbing it out so that smoke no longer poured out when toasting, I decided a pan grill, almost panini style would work too. It grilled up really well with a nice buttery crunch. The total baking time is still under 5 minutes, and who can't do that? This time, making only 4 sliders, I didn't even bother with the extra bowl: I just mixed all the ingredients in a mug.

Even Quicker Coconut Flour Slider Buns

1 egg
2 tbsp cream
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tbsp butter

Choose a straight sided coffee mug. Beat the egg well. Stir in the olive oil and cream. Add the coconut flour, baking powder and salt. Stir and let the mixture sit for a minute to thicken. Microwave on full power for approximately 1 minute and 20 seconds. Microwave times will vary. The mixture will rise over the top of the mug, then sink back down. It is done when the center is set. Remove the mug from the microwave and release the bread onto a cutting board. Cut the bread into 4 equal slices. Melt butter in a skillet, adding the slices to brown and toast.

2 sliders with salami and cheese fillings:   486 calories   5 g net carbs     46 g fat

To make John's small sandwiches, I added some cheese to melt into the buns. Then of course, you can add the deli slices and press down on the sliders in true panini fashion.  I tried one like this and the other with the bread simply toasted. Wanting something green, I added some lettuce to each slider. With such flavorful meat, I decided not to drown everything out with mustard. A little spash of Italian dressing would be good, but the hubby is not a fan. I will add it to mine though, as well as some slices of pepperoncini. These Picolo (translated as tiny) Panini are a feast for the eyes as well as delicious. They would definitely convince your friends that you don't suffer on a low carb diet!

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Call for Laura

Sorry Diners. No recipe today. I have been enjoying some time with my oldest son and his girlfriend who just accepted his marriage proposal! We are so happy for them. I made a big crock of Southwestern Beef, and just sent him home with the leftovers. So much for my Triple Play meal this week!

But, I am having a problem with the email account of one Diner, and I don't know how else to resolve it except to communicate here via the blog. So...

Laura,


I am sorry we seem to be having trouble getting the Diner News to you. I have sent every issue to the email address I have, both as the bulk mailing everyone gets and in a private email as well. They are not returning as undeliverable. I have answered every inquiry through the web page. From what it seems, you are not getting any of my return messages. Not knowing how else to reach you, other than the hopes you are reading the blog, I hope you can send me an alternate email address or make sure my address is not being blocked as spam on your account. I don't know what else I can do from this end. Nothing seems to be getting through! My private email is listed in my profile, so please let me hear from you soon.

Lisa

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Among Friends Thursday Peggy's Chipotle "Sweet Potatoes"

I admit it. Today I did exactly what I hate. I hate those people who go onto Allrecipes, change up a recipe then leave a review. But, that is kinda what I did. I saw this recipe in the book (Jennifer's section pg. 49) and knew I really wanted to try it. Of course, I have felt like that about tons of recipes in the book. I really wanted to make this one, but alas, spring is looming, and there are no fresh pumpkins to be found. Peggy's recipe substitutes pumpkin for sweet potatoes. I had lots of canned pumpkin on the shelf, and half a can leftover from chili that I really need to use up. I decided to go against Peggy's recommendation and try it with canned pumpkin rather than fresh. Only after I started making it did I read on her blog, Buttoni's Low Carb Recipes, her obvious instructions not to substitute canned pumpkin. Too late! My apologies to Peggy.

The flavors were so great going into the oven, I was pretty sure I would be ok. The flavors that came out were fantastic too. The only problem is that my dish was a little too fluid for my liking. What to do? I could leave it to bake longer. Instead, I opted to adapt it to set up like a similar dish I make that uses eggs to thicken. Actually, both my Onion Dipped Cauliflower and Pumpkin Custard use eggs in this way, so I was pretty sure it would work. So even  after baking, I added in three beaten eggs and baked another 35  minutes. The texture was much improved, and I loved the contrast between the smokey chipotle pepper and the sweet maple flavoring. And the lime--don't forget the lime. What an awesome combo.

So my advice is to follow Peggy's recipe if you can find a fresh pumpkin. If not, throw in a few eggs and you will have the same treat I am enjoying today. I have been a little under the weather, but this still tastes really good. Peppers are comfort food for me. My pregnancy cravings were for jalapeno coneys, so you know that is true. Who else would eat peppers in the midst of morning sickness?

Thanks Peggy for some classic flavors I never would have thought to put together. Delish!