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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tahini and Garlic Roasted Broccoli

Still waiting for the real fall to arrive. Scarecrows are showing their faces around town, but we haven't had a good cool snap yet. At least it was cool enough to crank up the oven today. I have been wanting to try this Roasted Tahini Broccoli from Food 52 for a while. I won't turn on the roasting temps until it is less than 90 outside. Of course, I always add my own spin to most any recipe I borrow. For one thing, I love the convenience of frozen broccoli. I buy mine at Sam's Club. Great price and the best quality. No hard stems, just the good stuff. If the original recipe used fresh broccoli, I have no idea how it was done (to my likinganyway) in that amount of cooking time. But who cares, you are trying my recipe anyway, right? Since I am known to overbake most everything, you may want to check at the 10 minute mark instead of my 15.

I lightly steamed my 1 pound bag in the microwave. It was not piping hot, but all frozen broccoli is more tender than fresh. We could get into the biology of plant cells, but I get enough of that at school. Five minutes was perfect with my appliance. If you stay away from microwaves, just steam it until barely tender. Dry off the broccoli a bit so the tahini sauce will stick, then plunge it into that hot oven. Best of both worlds.

I love broccoli. It goes with so many flavors and has so many prep possibilities.  I don't mind buying that wholesale four pound bag at all. I swear I can use roasted broccoli as snack food....if it wasn't such a gas producer... I have more digestion issues lately. TMI, I know.

So make this broccoli dish. You will like it, I hope. It is not the most visually appealing recipe in your side dish arsenal, but it is quite tasty. A good change from cheese sauce. The sesame, garlic and lemon are natural together.

Tahini and Garlic Roasted Broccoli

1 lb bag frozen broccoli florets
3 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
1/4 tsp black pepper

Cook broccoli in a microwavable bag for 5 minutes, or lightly steam. Drain very well.

In a large bowl, combine tahini, lemon juice, oil, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and pepper. Toss to coat florets well. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Serves 4:  161 calories     5 net g carb (9 g)

If I happened to have some roasted garlic, I certainly would have used that rather than powder. But, I don't have the time for all that today. Got my fall decorations out, so now the place is festive with pumpkins. I can hardly wait for sweater weather.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Roasted Garlic and Asiago Cauliflower Whip

I love fall. It is my favorite time to bake. Every year, I look forward to my return to the kitchen. The cooler weather with the oven no longer my enemy. Alas, we are not yet to the cooler weather here in Oklahoma, but they promise it is coming. Since I work a little ahead of you all getting recipes for my upcoming newsletters, I am firmly planted in fall dishes right now, even if the temperature is still in the 90s. A cool front is on its way, so I am planning to turn on the oven this weekend! So I took a little stroll to memory lane. About a year back in time.

I made so many amazing side dishes last fall--especially for the November Diner News, my annual Thanksgiving special. This is one of those really tasty sides, complete with Asiago cheese. One of my personal favorites. It is worth heating the oven to get that roasted garlic. Totally worth it.

Roasted Garlic and Asiago Cauliflower Whip

2 heads garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large heads cauliflower
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the tops from garlic bulbs just enough to expose the top of the cloves. Brush with olive oil. Arrange cut side up in a small roasting pan. Pour any remaining oil into the base of the pan. Top with foil. Roast at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Remove and cool.

Boil cauliflower until tender. Drain very well, but keep hot. Add the butter and cream cheese. Mash with a potato masher. If you want a smooth puree, use a stick blender. Squeeze the roasted cloves of garlic from the papery skins. Stir into the mashed cauliflower. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with additional cheese and dried parsley.

Serves 8:   300 calories  8 g carb
Serves 10:  240 calories  6 net g carb

If you want to go all out, make this even cheesier by adding even more Asiago. This really is an amazing side dish. All creamy and that perfect flavor of Asiago. Something about that cheese. Of course, you could sub Parmesan as well.

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Banh Mi Bowl and the Bowl Meal

Buddha Bowls are all the rage in the vegetarian world. That's not me on many levels, but I do love the idea of meals in a bowl. So hold the Buddha, but bring on the bowl. Plus, I really fell in love with the flavor of the Banh Mi Pork I made for the Food Truck issue of the Diner News this last June. I mean truly enamored of the flavors going on here. I knew it was a perfect choice for a bowl meal. It was just calling out for this combination!

 So why bowl meals? All sorts of good things that go great together. Like a big loving family. Not baked together like a casserole. Only mixed all together if you want them to be. I have one child who eats one food at a time if possible. He is not so OCD that they are not allowed to touch, but still, he is so methodical about it all. NOT ME. I love jumping from savory to sweet, tart to mellow, creamy to crunchy. Bowl meals please us both.

Some may ask why I consider this a bowl meal and not a salad. For me it is the warm meat and the addition of rice. Most bowl meals are constructed on a base of rice or some other grain. Well, that is not going to work for us. I made a combination of good ingredients that function like rice in these bowl meals, but don't add the carb load. I call it the Three Friends. You can find that recipe in this month's Diner News. Order that here. It is totally worth it! Until then, you can make this with caulirice, like I did for this particular photo shoot. See that yellow orange stuff? That is a new take on cauliflower rice. One super fast trick to is buy the bags of riced cauliflower from Trader Joe. I sauteed this with some Red Palm Oil to get that gorgeous hue. Any oil will do, but this is just so beautiful

Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches are traditionally topped with lightly pickled veggies. I copied that here with some cabbage, carrots and onion. They are topped with cilantro and jalapeno peppers, so of course, those go on too.

Banh Mi Bowl

3 oz leftover Banh Mi pork, heated
1 cup uncooked riced cauliflower
1 tsp red palm oil or coconut oil
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 slice red onion
1/4 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
3 slices jalapeno pepper
1 tsp sambal oelek (optional)
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp erythritol/ stevia sweetener
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Sauté riced cauliflower in red palm oil or coconut oil. When tender, place into a serving bowl. Combine the dressing ingredients. Place sliced vegetables and pork in a serving bowl and drizzle vegetables with dressing. Add a spoon of Sambal Oelek for heat.

So delish. Remember, you can go get the recipe for the Banh Mi meat on this post .

And for an idea of the other Bowl Meals I created this month, take a look:
Three Friends "Rice" Blend
Punkin Pie Bowl

Apple Pie Breakfast Bowl

Chipotle Salmon Breakfast Bowl

Candy Bar Bowl

Thai Tuna Bowl

Country Breakfast Bowl

Smoothie Bowl

Barbecue Chicken Bowl

Lemon Poppyseed Bowl

Greek Chicken Bowl

Chicken Fajita Bowl
Don't those look fabulous! Breakfast, lunch or dinner, we have you covered. It is just $6 a year for my monthly Diner News. Order today.

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

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

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