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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Among Friends Thursday- My Finger Food Tuna Snacks

So here's the scoop. Sorry I have posted two of my own recipes from the book this month. I do try to get the recipes from the other authors more, since A. most all my photos are already archived here, and B. it might help you to know my personal review. Obviously I like everything I post a recipe for. You might not believe how many attempts never get this far! But this recipe really is great summer food, and fits perfectly into my crazy hectic life right now! And since I accidentally left my camera in my oldest son's car, it is residing in Arkansas for another week. Oops. This is an older photo, but I haven't changed a thing. I did break that plate....sad, being the plate collector that I am.

We are in the midst of a heat wave. I hate to cook in the heat. I mean really, triple digits for more than a week, and it is not even July yet? Paleeease! So this is my answer for a meal to take with me to work on the building. Rich, cool, yummy and easy to eat. That fits the bill. No cooking. Tuna, cream cheese, Cheddar and almonds.  These little balls of deliciousness are listed in the appetizer section of the Low Carbing Among Friends cookbook, but I eat them most often as the protein in my lunch. So good! You can even make a big batch and freeze some. They thaw out by lunchtime and make the easiest lunch packing ever. Look for the recipe on page 219. GREAT for when your life is crazy busy like mine has been the last few weeks.

The new book will be coming out soon. You will want to buy that one too.  I haven't seen it either, but I know you will want it! Plus lots more photos on the website. Check this link to see photos of recipes in the new book.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Among Friends Thursday--Kent's Chicken Sweet and Sour Stir Fry

Busy times. I mean BIZ ee! Every night I come home covered in paint and smelling like bleach. We are cleaning up and doing the build out for the new educational program we are starting. With little in the way of start up funding, we are doing most everything ourselves. This week's project was to clean, sand and repaint metal kitchen cabinets from, we think, the 1940s era. The old house was built in '39. Can you imagine the amount of "character" it has? Personally, I love it, but it does have its share of old house problems. Cleaning up a place that once held 24 females released from prison is a chore. You would think someone in that group would have been a clean freak. Umm. No. It takes some elbow grease to go from halfway house to an educational institution. Yeah, that sounds stuck up. Let's call it a learning place for a bunch of teens.

But you didn't visit my blog today to hear about that! We do still eat around here. Fortunately for us, I do have a lot of chicken in my freezer stash. This was made with chicken strips, similar to my cubes, so I saved the step of cutting and stir frying the chicken. We love Chinese food. Well, all but my youngest boy. Since he is off on his honeymoon, we can eat it more now! Though I miss him a lot, I decided to try Kent's sweet and sour. That is middle son, Pearson's favorite. If you like sour, you will like it. If you generally go for cashew chicken, this may have too much of a vinegar bite for you. You could easily replace half the vinegar with water. We liked it though. I did add just a little extra soy sauce, well Tamari to be exact. I did that because I added the whole bag of frozen broccoli since I did not have cauliflower tonight. In addition, I also added 4 ribs of celery rather than 2 since I was finishing up a rather limp bunch.  Knowing I had a few more veggies than Kent called for,  I added a bit of extra to the sauce. Don't know why I have such a hard time sticking to recipes.

Stir Fry meals are so great. They are fast and delicious. Who really needs the rice anyway? The flavor is there. The recipe is in Low Carbing Among Friends, page 301. There. Another unabashed promotion of my cookbook. This is a project I am very honored to be included in. There really are great recipes from some very talented and creative people in there. Better by far than any single author book. Last night, someone left a mean spirited comment about my promotion of the book. How called for was that? I give away tons of recipes for free. I try new things to share whenever I have the time. Tonight, it would have been much easier not to photograph our dinner and not to write a blog post. I do it because I love helping others who are in the same situation we are in. None of us are getting rich from the books by any means. The recipes that were good enough to be included in the cookbooks are pulled from the blogs. That just makes sense. We leave our favorites or our most popular, and refer you to the cookbook for the others. It just personally hurts when some people think they are entitled to all my work for free without giving a thought to the labor that goes in. Gee. On the other hand, I know there are lots of you who are wonderful and appreciative, and let me know it with the sweetest email. You make all the difference!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Blueberry Coconut Cheesecake Mousse

This one is kinda like a mousse, kinda like a trifle, kinda like a cheesecake. Whatever, it is, everyone who has tasted it so far likes it. So does the cook. No baking yet so tasty and pretty.

It is father's day here, so this is for my hubby. He might be able to eat the whole dish in the mini-trifle bowl, but it is really meant for more to share. And it would probably be even wiser to spoon this rich mixture into shot glasses so everyone gets a taste. It is rich.

Blueberry Coconut Cheesecake Mousse

1 cup coconut milk
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup frozen blueberries (divided use)
3 packets stevia or equivalent sweetener
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Soften cream cheese. Add the coconut milk, cream cheese, 1/4 cup blueberries, sweetener and vanilla into a food processor or blender. Blend until fluffy. Add a bit more coconut milk if you need it thinner. It should be spoonable. Toast the coconut flakes in a dry skillet until they just turn golden brown. Layer the mousse, reserved blueberries and toasted coconut flakes in a serving bowl or glasses. Top with coconut and a berry.

1/4 Serving:  267 calories  6 g net carbs      2 g fiber     3 g protein     26 g fat

Now isn't that a better idea for a nice Father's Day than a sugary pie? It definitely is if you like cheesecake and blueberries. For our main meal, we are headed out for all you can eat ribs for the Dad at our house. It is a really busy time right now.  My youngest son is getting married tomorrow. We just got keys to the house we are fixing up for our new school program, so we have lots of painting and floor refinishing there. I got all my recipes for Among Friends 2 turned in. So much excitement around here we hardly know what to do with ourselves!

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Among Friends Thursday--My Oven Baked Rolled Omelet

I am featuring my own recipe today. I know I have blogged about this one before, but it is so good, and I think it doesn't get the attention it deserves. This is a really easy and fun breakfast for 4-6 people. Today, I scaled down my recipe a bit and just used 6 eggs. That way it could be baked in a standard oblong casserole dish rather than my jelly roll pan. Today, I used all red bell pepper and omitted the onion. It is that kind of recipe--easy to customize.

To drop it down to 4 servings, use 6 eggs, 3 tsp coconut flour, and cut the cream and water to a combined 3/4 cup. I just added both to the measuring cup to save effort. One more tip--I like to roll the omelet, then let it sit with the parchment paper still holding it together for about 5 minutes to cool. That sets the shape so it holds together beautifully.

You can make these spiral slices to wrap and freeze as well. This really is a very versatile recipe. Add in any meats and veggies you choose. Spinach would be great, mushrooms, asparagus, whatever you like in an omelet. Instructions are on page 231 of Low Carbing Among Friends. Be sure to purchase the book if you haven't already. Click the photo of the cover to go to the ordering site. You need to get cooking before the next edition comes out!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sweet Bacon Waffle Sticks

I do love playing around in the kitchen. Even though my kitchen time as been restricted with the launching of our new school, I still find some time to develop new recipes. I was in the mood for something bready--no that is not a word, but breadlike just seems wrong today. I am in too good a mood to pay attention to grammar and usage rules. I love my kitchen gadgets, so out came the waffle stick maker. Any waffle machine will work.

Since I was breaking menu protocol anyway...yes, I do that sometimes. Best laid plans and all...I decided to morph my coconut flour doughnut recipe into a waffle stick. It totally worked. So this is the not most natural recipe in my collection. I did take advantage of some sugarfree waffle syrup, and my other secret ingredient--Capella drops in the Sizzlin' Bacon flavor. Don't panic, it will be good without 'em as well. Inspired by the frozen food section and their many flavors of waffle, I decided to go for it. John and I were both enamored by this waffle. Savory bacon and sweet maple. That is a combo I was born to love!

For waffles, I added an extra egg to thin the batter a bit and some more baking soda to make it fluffier. I also used waffle syrup rather than the Da Vinci's. Here's the recipe. Extra bacon flavor or not.

 Sweet Bacon Waffles

1 strip of crumbled cooked bacon
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 packets sugar substitute
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 large eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil (OR coconut oil bacon dripping blend)
2 tbsp sugarfree waffle syrup
10  drops of Capella Sizzlin' Bacon flavoring drops (optional)

Additional syrup for topping

Fry bacon. Cool and crumble. Combine the coconut flour,  sweetener, and baking soda. Stir in the eggs, oil syrup and drops. Mix  until well combined. If your environment is cool and the mixture becomes too thick, just warm it in the microwave 15-30 seconds until thinned. Stir in the bacon crumbles. Spoon the batter into a heated waffle iron, sprayed with non-stick spray if necessary. Cook 3-4 minutes depending on the thickness of the waffle. Serve with additional syrup if desired.

If you don't have Capella flavor drops, I would suggest just replacing a couple tablespoons of coconut oil with bacon drippings. That will boost the flavor! These are just plain good. Who needs the carbs in the freezer section anyway?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Among Friends Thursday- Maria's Bubble Tea

Chia seeds are a curious thing. But then, so is Bubble Tea. Today's adventure was not my first into the world of crazy textured tea. My chia fresca was among my first tastes of chia way back in 2009. It has been on my shelf every since. Thanks to a shipping mix up with Nutty Guys, I think I have a lifetime supply of chia seeds!

Maria's recipe is different from mine. It was fun, doing it more in the Asian style of Bubble Teas. No the little gelled globules are not as big as the tapioca pearls or gelatin balls found in similar teas, but these are good for you. And besides, the interesting texture is there. Maybe even more interesting.  I took mine on the road for our big contract signing this morning.* I love the thick sweet blobs traveling up the straw and into my mouth. Different from anything.  Not thick like a shake, but a little more like a jello. Hard to describe, so just try it! For those of you with texture issues, this may not be for you. I really liked it--as long as I didn't try to chew the seeds. Mine happen to be the black seeds, so one word of caution, check your smile before exiting the car as I did this morning. A stray seed could stay with you all day if you know what I mean.

Maria's recipe called for vanilla almond milk and plain tea sweetened and flavored with Capella flavor drops. I switched that according to what I had. Plain almond  milk and my favorite sweet tea--vanilla caramel truffle tea from Lipton. Click that link or this one to find out how much I like this product. It is fabulous made into Maria's Bubble tea. I was planning to add a few drops of Capella Boston Cream Pie flavoring, but at first sip, I knew it didn't need it. The flavor is there! Now, one thing to be careful of...Maria's recipe called for a full tsp of stevia. Not sure what brand she was using, but I knew that would be way too much using my bottle. I used a dropperful, a bit less than 1/4 tsp and it was plenty sweet. My advice is just to taste a little at a time, or use what you usually use to sweeten coffee or tea. Sweetening is such a personal preference anyway! The recipe is in Low Carbing Among Friends, page 94. If you haven't buy the book already! Click the photo of the book on the right side of the page.

This specialty drink is a great way to get some extra nutrition in and way better for you than those summer shakes and smoothies all the fast food places are tempting us with these days. Drink one and pat yourself on the back for being so smart!

* Hurray! We signed our contract to move into the fabulous old building for our school program!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Green Chili Squash

It is squash season! I love mine with a little heat. I threw this dish together this morning when I did not feel like something sweet or another dish of scrambled eggs. It is really more like a side dish, and would be great for any meal of the day. But it works for a brunch too. I found my way to the bottom of the bowl.

Green Chili Squash

2 yellow squash
1/2 small onion
12 grape tomatoes
4 ounces diced green chilies
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Cut squash into 1/4 inch slices, then quarter the larger slices. Finely chop the onion. Halve the tomatoes. Heat the oil of your choice in a skillet. Add the vegetables and saute until barely tender. Add the green chilies and continue to cook the vegetables while making the sauce. In a small bowl, beat egg. Stir in yogurt and salt. Pour this into the hot skillet. Stir until the egg is cooked. Remove to a serving bowl and stir in the shredded cheese. Serves 2 as brunch or 4 as a side dish.

This may seem like to much salt, but I started with less and had to add more. As always, your mileage may vary, so if you are sensitive, start with a little less. This is really tasty with sour cream in place of the yogurt as well.

Since the hubby does not like chilies, I sent him off to work with a chicken salad with lots of celery. That is his favorite. Thank heaven for having pre-cooked chicken cubes on hand.