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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Barbecue Chicken Mini Pies

I can't believe it is almost time for the next issue of the Diner News. I am hard at work making picnic and travel foods for this summery edition. Of course, with all this packable food, this would be the week the weather decided to end our long standing drought here in Oklahoma. So, we are trying lots of these, not in our cute little basket (Yes, it even has plastic ants glued on top) but more at the kitchen table or couch. Still delicious though! If you want to order a year of newsletters for just $6, go here. 

In creating some finger foods, I naturally turned to my almond flour pie crusts. They are easy to make and really very sturdy. I made one batch today, and made both an entree and a dessert. These would be fantastic party fare as well. Everyone loves individual pies. I love barbecue chicken. I have a bunch of precooked chicken thigh meat in the freezer. This was so simple to throw together with a quick barbecue sauce. Make up a batch of these mini pie crusts and I bet you will come up with all sorts of ways to fill them. Taco meat, Sloppy Joe name it. These would be great with barbecue pork also. Or chopped beef.

The pie crust recipe is in Low Carbing Among Friends Volume 5 pg 169. I am including it here, but if you would like to try my Island Strawberry Mousse Mini Pies as well, that is another terrific use for these crusts. Order those books if you haven't yet.  I will have a different strawberry pie recipe in the Diner News. This new one does not use coconut. I like them both!

But now on to the barbecue. You can mix the crust by hand if you don't have a food processor. You could also make these in a standard muffin tin, but you will need more filling. I like the mini size, so I admit to never having tried it. You can also use any recipe for a low carb barbecue sauce.

Barbecue Chicken Pies

1 1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken thigh or breast

2 tbsp low sugar ketchup
1 tsp Wright’s Mesquite Liquid Smoke
2 tbsp grated Cheddar Cheese

11/2 cups blanched almond flour 
1/ teaspoon salt 
1 tbsp salted butter 
1 tsp coconut oil 
1 egg

In a small skillet, place chopped chicken, ketchup, and liquid smoke. Simmer on the lowest heat possible while you make the crusts.

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 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Fill each pie crust with barbecue chicken and sprinkle cheese on top.

Per Pie:  138 calories   2 g fiber   1 net carb (3 total)    11 g fat     8 g protein

These are so delicious. On a couple I added an onion ring to the top. (not the breaded kind) That was a great flavor if you like raw onion. Around here, we often have onion and pickle bars with our barbecue, so feel free to add that.

What else is planned for the newsletter? Some pressed sandwiches, a wonderful roasted cauliflower salad that can stand the heat, some yummy cookies and lots more. I am definitely so busy with the news that I haven't even had time to enjoy my break from teaching. That is coming. But I may have to take a batch of my chocolate peanut butter cookies over to Pearson at the apartment sometime really soon. I miss him already. My hubby is being extra sweet though--even after 27 years married. It is hard for a mama to have no one on the house to mother.

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

 Order any of our great cookbooks at
Proceeds from my book sales go entirely to support my educational program. Your purchase makes a difference to the teens I teach.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Everything Mini Bagels

These are so very delish. Not hard to make. Perfect anytime.

Bagel Spice 3 Pack BundleWhat's not to like there? I am happy to get the chance to review these Bagel Spice products. They had me at Everything bagel. The wonderful taste and textures of the toppings have made Everything bagels a favorite from my bread eating days. I always have such a hard time saying no at the annual teachers breakfasts-- which always have a full table of designer bagels.(and absolutely nothing low carb) Everything and Asiago cheese bagels have always been my favorites. Because this bagel recipe has cheese in it, these low carb treats taste like my two favorites combined! It is love at first bite.

The Bagel Spice company sent me three different flavors. This is the original. Salt free, gluten free and not just for bagels, of course. I do have a few other ideas awaiting, but I just had to start out here, with a copy of the original treat. These are not boiled and baked, and they definitely do not have that sturdy chewiness of a gluten filled treat. They also don't have many carbs and they taste amazing! I am thinking some crackers for the version that has sea salt, and perhaps a fish topping the the spicy variety. Check out this product!

Remember I said not hard to make? I am so lazy that I didn't even use separate bowls for the wet and dry ingredients. After combining the wet ingredients, I just dumped the dry ones over and mixed lightly before diving to the bottom of the mixing bowl. Worked fine. I hate dishes. One ingredient note. I used almond meal that I blended myself. It has the skins and is a little more coarse than almond flour. I think either will work fine, though.

Everything Mini Bagels

2 eggs
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup almond meal
2 Tbsp coconut flour
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
2-3 tsp Bagel Spice Original recipe
2 oz cream cheese

In a medium bowl, beat eggs with olive oil. Stir in cheese. Add the almond meal, coconut flour, Parmesan cheese, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum. Toss the dry ingredients lightly, then mix in with the egg and cheese mixture. When a thick batter forms, spoon the mixture into a sandwich bag and secure the opening with a twisty tie. With kitchen shears, cut about 1/2 inch of the corner off the bag. Sprinkle a small pinch of the Bagel Spice blend into the oiled cavities of a doughnut maker or mini doughnut pan. Use the bag to pipe the batter into circles. Sprinkle the tops with Bagel Spice blend and bake. My doughnut appliance took 4 1/2 minutes per batch. The oven method would probably need 15 minutes at 325 degrees.

When all the bagels are baked and slightly cooled, heat the cream cheese in the microwave for 20 seconds. Stir it and spoon the cheese into a sandwich bag. Use a twisty tie to close the top and cut a very small hole in one corner. Squeeze the warm cream cheese over the bagels. Top with an additional sprinkle of Bagel Spice.

Makes approximately 18 mini bagels.  
3 mini bagels per serving:  229 calories     3 g fiber   1 net carb (4 total)  8 g protein   20 g fat  

You can style these with the piped on cream cheese like above. Or you can just spread some cream cheese on and not bother with the bag. Gotta say, the hubster loved this recipe. Just think. Another way to use those small appliances I love to collect. And it is not even sweet! Speaking of appliances, I just may have to buy more. I have another empty bedroom now. My only boy left at home moved out to his own apartment tonight. I will still see quite a bit of him, since he is moving into the garage apartment at the building we rent for the school. It will not be everyday though. and I am having a hard time letting go of my mothering role. My Diner system will be changing a  bit with fewer mouths to feed. Maybe a system just for couples is on the horizon...

The great folks at Bagel Spice have a great product. These have no MSG either. Since we are low carbers, please just forget the bagel part of the name! There are so many ways to use this stuff--on veggies, scrambled eggs, chicken wings. Be watching for more. I am working on a picnic/vacation issue of the Diner News, and I am pretty sure some more Bagel Spice blends will find a place among those goodies.

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

 Order any of our great cookbooks at
Proceeds from my book sales go entirely to support my educational program. Your purchase makes a difference to the teens I teach.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Ginger Thai Chicken

Finally, as promised, the Ginger Thai Chicken I made a few weeks ago. One of three marinades that go together easily for a weekend grill-up. If you don't recall, I buy a big package of breasts and marinade them all at the same time in three different flavor combos. Then the hubby gets to fire up the grill and cook enough for several meals at a time.

This marinade is tasty-- a bit different from my regular Asian style marinade. No soy sauce. This one does have flavor though. We really liked it, and it is great on a salad.

Ginger Thai Chicken

1/2 cup chopped cilantro (reserve a few tsp for garnish)
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 T sesame oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

Combine all marinade ingredients in a ziploc bag. Add chicken and let marinade several hours or overnight. Remove chicken and discard marinade. Grill until no longer pink in the center. Top with reserved chopped cilantro.

Serves 4  at  159 calories    1 g carb    8 g fat    26 g protein

Easy and good. That is the way I like it. Still hanging on here. I will be working on the Diner News this week, and I hope to be able to get to blogging and the FB more often now that classes are over for a while. The storms in my personal life are still raging, but I have many wonderful friends who are lifting me up. Some of you I have never even met face to face. Thank you! This weekend my sweetheart of a middle son will be moving out. My house is going to seem so empty. I am happy though, that he is moving into the apartment at our school, so I will still see a lot of him. The months ahead will be challenging. We will not be having a summer school session, so I plan to devote lots of time to some low carbing projects to use as fundraisers for school. I think the change of pace is a good thing. It will refresh me for the fall. I had a wonderful last day and end of the year program with our families, and I am inspired that all things work together for our good.

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

 Order any of our great cookbooks at
Proceeds from my book sales go entirely to support my educational program. Your purchase makes a difference to the teens I teach.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hazelnut Cheesecake Dessert--Comfort When You Need Some Love?

I have to be honest. I have needed some comfort food lately. My life has been in a tailspin like never before, and I have just not been able to bring myself to blog. I am barely even cooking. I will spare you the details, but we can just leave it with my latest insights: relationships are hard, even with the best of intentions. Families are complicated, especially sharing a business. And when you really try to do something significant to change lives, you will have opposition.

So continuing with my honesty, I have really slipped up the last few weeks. My old comfort foods, barbecue potato chips and french fries found there way into my mouth. It is what it is. With my stomach in knots and my life in turmoil, even with healthy food within reach (that is what planning gets you--no excuses) I chose the treats. Somehow I needed to be bad. Someone might know the psychological reasoning for this behavior; as I am sure there is one. I just wanted to fess up in case you go there too sometimes.

The thing is, guilt later just adds to the problem.  Feeling like a failure in every part of my life, one evening, I made this treat. It fits in my eating plan, so no guilt.  It was yummy and my boy at home really liked it too. The thing is, neither the bad-for-me-food nor the healthier substitute really brought me comfort. A lot of us have used food for reward, for comfort, for protection. It is not that great a friend though, because it still doesn't feel like love. Only hugs from those who love you and the touch of God's unconditional love can do that. So that is my lesson for this time in my life.

Here is my recipe. Even easy enough to make while heartbroken. Sorry for the not so great photo--it was getting dark and I just didn't have any creative juices going. I am back on track from my crisis potato chips, btw. They just didn't help.

Hazelnut Cheesecake Dessert

8 oz neufchatel or cream cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup hazelnut sugarfree syrup
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp powdered Swerve

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Pour into 4 dessert glasses and chill.

With neufchatel cheese, each serving has:   74 calories     2 carbs      6 g fat   5 g protein

So lets keep this true confessions theme going. I thought Pearson had finished this dessert off the night I made it. As I headed into turn the lights off in the kitchen and head to bed, I saw there was still a serving left. Still in the bowl of the food processor. With the kind of attitude that comes only with true weariness, I just dumped it back into my dirty punch cup and placed it in the fridge. Under the mushroom leftovers. It sat there three days without so much as a piece of plastic wrap to cover it. Yup. Before writing this post, I went to find it. Still there. Oh my, this is still so good! Despite all my gloominess about food not fixing your problems, please do try this. If you are already in a good mood, then it will bring a smile to your face!

Now on with my story, because this much could involve you just a little. As most of you know, cooking and blogging are not my calling. I teach. I seek out kids who are crashing in the traditional classroom. In my program, it is not all about grades and arbitrary standards of success. Instead of experiencing a hundred little failures a day, they get to learn in an atmosphere where they can learn but not fail. We focus on the ways they learn best. This requires a lot of one on one instruction and will only work in a small school setting. Think one of a kind artisanship instead of mass production. That's is what my school is about. This past week, I have been facing closure. Financially we are not making it. Most of our teens need scholarships. We never turn a student away. This week, I lost both of my young directors, one of whom is my son. One leaves on good terms and the other, not so much. Without a volunteer staff, I have no idea how to carry on. But several of my incredible teens have begged me not to give up. See my gift from one of my students?

To pull together a restart, I need to find more volunteers. I cannot run a full summer program without more adults. At this point, I don't have enough money to get the summer rent paid. Every penny I earn through my cookbook sales goes to our school. Not just a percentage. All of it helps provide for these kids. So, If you want to help us out, buy some books and you will be a winner too. Either my e-book or any of the Low Carbing Among Friends cookbooks if you order through my page.

If you would like to know more about our educational model, check out our webpage. 

We take donations via paypal, so if you have all our books, any donation would mean a lot to our teens...and me. And maybe once the financial crisis is over, I will find more time for blogging and recipes.

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

 Order any of our great cookbooks at
Proceeds from my book sales go entirely to support my educational program. Your purchase makes a difference to the teens I teach.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Rosemary Garlic Mustard Chicken

Another yummy marinade. We ate these last night, and while I thought my men would be less fond of these due to the herbs; turns out they were both impressed! This dish reheated really well, with no stale chicken flavor at all. The grill helps out there a lot! If you like rosemary, you will be a fan. The mustard in the marinade is not too strong, just lending a sophisticated flavor. The addition of ginger and horseradish makes this marinade unusual. But trust me it works.

Rosemary Garlic Mustard Chicken

3 tbsp Dijon or brown mustard
2 tbsp pureed horseradish
1 tbsp wine vinegar
1 tbsp dried rosemary
3 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 lb chicken breast

In a gallon size bag, combine all marinade ingredients. Add the chicken. Marinade for 3-4 hours. Remove chicken from marinade and grill until no longer pink in the center.

Amount of marinade will vary:  6 oz serving   180 calories   1.5 net g carbs

Now just add some sauteed summer squash and you have a nice meal. These chicken breasts would also be wonderful in a salad with some quality cheese and a light vinaigrette.

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

 Order any of our great cookbooks at
Proceeds from my book sales go entirely to support my educational program. Your purchase makes a difference to the teens I teach.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Buffalo Grilled Chicken Breast

Those who follow the Diner plan do a weekend prep day, right? Today, my Multiply Meal was grilled chicken breast. Not so fancy. My dear hubby just recently repaired the grill he received as a Father's Day Gift from our boys three years ago. Seriously it has been the money pit of grills...and still refused to work.  My guys found this high end grill at a neighborhood garage sale. The sellers promised it worked. John replaced parts--burners even. Still no. He bought a new propane adapter. Still not. Back to pouring charcoal into his old grill. Our back porch has been a maze of grills for three years. But we just kept putting money into it, refusing to give up.With renewed spring vigor, John finally got it working! He made lots of hamburgers, along with steak and grilled chicken for our fajitas last week. Those were awesome. Then a storm came though and blew the monster grill over. Ceramic pieces and grill grates all over the place. Thankfully most of it survived although we will now need some new ceramic pads...yep, more money. It is the gift that just keeps giving  taking.  I guess it has still been less expensive than buying it new. John will always be proud because it was given by his boys.

Our monster grill did get to return some love today. I marinated and hubby grilled 5 pounds of chicken breast. Because I did not want all the same flavor, I made up three different new marinades. Gotta say they are all a hit. (I have only sliced off a bit here or there, as these will be meals later this week) Yes, you do lose a little bit of that fresh off the fire flavor, but it is still better to be able to be lazy later in the week. Running the school, I am not sure I can call it laziness--supreme business seems to be my problem. Kinda like adopting 20 teenagers as my own. Having a couple of nice dinners and lunches ready to go will make life so much easier. That is the Diner system at its best.

I am going to feature each of the marinades and subsequent meals separately this week. I was going to put them all in one post, but they are so tasty, I have decided each deserves it own blog. The guys asked for this one for tonight's dinner. Later this week, we will dine on a rosemary garlic chicken meal, and I plan to serve some amazing Ginger Thai chicken salads. So different and so good. Better even still, only one trip to the grill, and no raw chicken lurking in the fridge.

The Buffalo Grilled Chicken takes advantage of a couple of Dollar Tree deals. Yes I am frugal, so don't be a snob. I like the Chicken Wing Sauce from Louisiana Supreme. It lists 0 carbs per serving. I also found the dry dressing mix for Kraft's Blue Cheese Anything--dip, dressing and recipe mix. 1/12 servings of the mix have <1 carb, and I use about 1/4 of the package. Since my guys don't like real blue cheese, this is a good compromise for us. Combined with the wing sauce and butter, it makes a really creamy sauce that is not too spicy or tart with vinegar. I really like the outdoor grilled flavor combined with the Buffalo style sauce They go well together to my taste.

Buffalo Grilled Chicken

1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken (I used breast, but thigh would work also)
1/2 cup hot sauce 
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp butter flavoring optional
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp hot sauce
2 tbsp Kraft Blue Cheese Dressing Mix

In a gallon size storage bag or large bowl, mix the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder and butter flavoring. Add the chicken, coating well. Let marinade at least 30 minutes up to overnight.

In a small bowl, melt butter. Stir in hot sauce and dry dressing mix.

Remove chicken and discard marinade. Grill chicken until no pink remains.Baste with sauce during the last few minutes of grilling, or brush on after removing chicken from the grill.

Serves 4 at :           205 calories    1 carb       3 g fat       42 g  protein

There! It is really so simple and fun. We will have a big salad with it--blue cheese dressing for me, Ranch for the hubby. Trying to think of another side--what sounds good to you?

Here is a sneak peak at the other two recipes:

The Rosemary Garlic Mustard Chicken

The Ginger Thai Chicken

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

 Order any of our great cookbooks at
Proceeds from my book sales go entirely to support my educational program. Your purchase makes a difference to the teens I teach.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Better Than Frijoles

Love my Mexican food. The Diner News just went out and it is filled with so many delicious Mexican creations. Not a tortilla one. Frijoles Refritos--the refried bean entree we all seem to either love or hate--eludes low carbers. I have seen a replacement made with eggplant. Can't say I tried that one. But I do miss them sometimes. I used to make 2 full pounds of refried beans in my pressure cooker. Those days are gone, but I missed them a bit.

Not long ago I was happy to see Kabocha squash among the produce at Sprouts. Glory be! And it spring not fall! I know right away this was going to be a grand experiment. I brought it home, pressure steamed it. and began to have some fun. Let me be frank. This is not refried beans. Not mock beans, not even almost beans. It is a dish unto itself, not just a cheap plate filler. I personally loved the flavorful bacon and spices added in. For those of you who are not huge fans of beans--no beaniness. For tried and true frijole fans, perhaps this will be a little too sweet for you.

Weirdest thing. When I eat this dish alone or with a fajita meat side, it does not taste sweet. I get the smoky pepper and cumin. Especially so after the first bite. But when I ate it in a taco salad, it seemed quite sweet. Must be some flavor hanky panky going on inside that salad. Still good, just a little surprising, that's all. The texture is perfect though, so it is up to you. Just stop trying to replace refried beans and think of something exotic and better.

This recipe is featured in this month's Diner News. It will be great along with the other recipes in there.  Want a glimpse?

You have already seen one skillet meal, but how about this, like the El Jefe? Or some flavorful fajitas?

Or a nice salad?

My Mexicali Meatloaf?

An amazing method for making 3-5 lbs of Taco meat at one time...

 Side dishes too...

and dessert?

Now onto that recipe as promised:

Better Than Frijoles

2 1/4 cups kabocha squash puree
6 strips bacon
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp jalapeno seasoning

Bake or steam squash until tender. Set aside to cool. Pan fry bacon.
When squash is cool, spoon the pulp into a saucepan. Add bacon drippings
and spices. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring often.
Add crumbled bacon to squash and serve.

Serves 4 at 134 calories 4 net carbs 9 g fat

If you would like to order a year of the Diner News, just head on over to our website.  It is a new theme every month.

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

 Order any of our great cookbooks at
Proceeds from my book sales go entirely to support my educational program. Your purchase makes a difference to the teens I teach.