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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

24 Hour Chili

I love all kinds of chili. I'm so glad it is low carb and diabetic friendly. One technique I use to make an exceptional bowl of red is to use my beloved crock pot. That is where the idea for 24 Hour Chili came from. The slow cooking really melds these unusual flavors together. It makes the ground meat tender too. So plan ahead for crockpot meal day and give yourself the extra time. It is sooooo worth it.

24 Hour Chili

This is one of the recipes included in my new cookbook project, Low Carbing Among Friends.
This recipe is available in the book, along with over 60 additional 24/7 Low Carb Diner recipes. By ordering the book, you get more than 300 favorite gluten free recipes from four other well known low carb cooking experts…Jennifer Eloff of Splendid Low Carbing cookbook fame, Kent Altena, the Atkins Diet Geek and You Tube star, nutritionist and author Maria Emmerich of Maria’s Nutritious and Delicious Journal, and popular blogger and food stylist, Carolyn Ketchum of All Day I Dream About Food. Unlike any other cookbook you may own, this one is a compilation of mini cookbooks featuring the talents of these well known low carbers. Think of it as a “best of” project.
Low Carbing Among Friends also features recipes from numerous other talented low carbing friends and recommendations from the medical community who recognize the health benefits of low carb, gluten free living. To preorder your copy, visit The official release date is 11/11/11, so pre-order now for a discount.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pizza Passions

My hubby laughs when he reminds me that I used to tell him I could eat Pizza everyday. It is still so true! I am a bit too passionate about my pizza. It is so hard to go out to eat and only have salad while everyone else devours the gooey cheese and those slightly crispy edges on the pepperoni. Now, I know I can still eat those things, but I am way too thrifty to only eat the toppings. I have been known to do it at Cici's, though. (That is an all you can eat pizzeria if they don't have them where you are) But with the skimpy toppings they use, the pile of pizza "bones" (as we affectionately call leftover crust) mounds up in piles big enough to feed a starving African child for several months. I can't handle the guilt. (I usually sneak out the bones to feed the dogs to alleviate my guilt) There is still the embarrassment factor of people staring at such an odd eating habit. I always think others are taking bets on how many more I will strip. Or what I am stuffing into my purse. I'm afraid the managers will toss me out on the street. Who needs that stress?

I have tried lots of low carb crusts. Most are too much work for me. I do love to use Joseph's Lavash bread when I want a thin and crispy crust. Nancyelle's egg and cheese crust is good, but it takes a bit of time to assemble and bake. Look in the cookbook at Signature Pizzas if you want that recipe. Today I didn't want to go to the trouble to make a crust. Then I start to wondering---why go to all the trouble just to be able to pick it up? How fast could I get that same flavor? So I put it to the test today. Here is the plan that works.

From your freezer, grab a batch of Italian Minute Beef. That is precooked hamburger with tomatoes and Italian spices already added. Nuke it a bit so you can spoon some out. Add the ground beef to a microwavable bowl. Then add more "topping" ingredients. Today I chopped a bit of onion and two mushrooms. I really wanted green peppers, but they are all gone. Throw in some pepperoni and some grated cheese. Stir it a bit, nuke it again until hot. Serve it with a salad (you do already have this chopped in your fridge, remember) and you'll think you are at the best Pizza place in town. Best yet, it is quicker than waiting in line to place an order.

Gone is the guilt...all done in just a couple of minutes. Yummmmmmm

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Better Than Instant Toffee Cheesecake Pudding

We aren't big dessert eaters, but once in a while, it is nice to have a sweet treat. On days when the cooking system has made dinner a quick no brainer, I choose to make a low carb dessert. That is something I never did when I cooked the entire meal from scratch every night. Here is my latest creation and John's new favorite. It is adapted from a recipe for Cheesecake pudding on Linda's site.

Toffee Cheesecake Pudding

8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup DaVinci English Toffee flavored Syrup
1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans

Blend the cream cheese, sour cream and syrup. I use an immersion blender. Chop nuts and toast them lightly. Spoon the pudding into dessert glasses and sprinkle nuts on top. Chill. Serves 3-4.

Beautiful and so good.

A Warm Italian Kitchen

There just happens to be an ice storm outside my window today. Lunch left me with a chill even though it was delicious--fried chicken strip salad. Chicken strips were our Triple Play choice for this week. Great with honey mustard dressing (no real honey), and at least the chicken was warm.

Tonight I am so glad I have a good steamy soup on the menu. We will have the Creamy Italian Soup using the Minute Sausage I cooked up on Sunday. I'm going to make some cheese roll ups to substitute for breadsticks. This recipe is on Linda's site.

Here's my soup:

Creamy Italian Soup

1 package Minute Sausage
1 14.5 ounce can diced Italian tomatoes
1 diced zucchini
1 diced onion
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
1 can chicken broth
1 cup water
8 ounce package of cream cheese

Sauté vegetables in a bit of olive oil. Add sausage, tomatoes, water and broth. When hot, add cream cheese, and stir in well.

Serves 6 500 calories 8 carbs

Stay Warm!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Going Global

Our school group has an International Potluck dinner planned this week. I must have been thinking of that when I planned this week's menu, because I have so many ethnic dishes this week. Yesterday, we ate Chicken Curry for dinner. It is very rich and the curry really isn't hot at all. It does give an unusual flavor that is out of the ordinary. No one in the family is brave enough to try Indian food when we eat out, so this is the best I can do for now. Try it--it's in the cookbook and in the top photo.

We have also eaten Taco salad this week, so Mexico has a spot on the menu. That is the easiest salad to make when you already have Mexi-Minute beef in the freezer. It is easy to tell that I love Mexican food--Tequila Chicken is our Triple Play meal for the week. So far we have eaten grilled breasts and Tequila Lime Quiche. Friday's lunch will be wrap sandwiches using Joseph's Lavash bread.

Right now, I have Bavarian Cabbage Bake in the crockpot. Check Germany off the list of international cuisine. Tomorrow, I am making Multiply Meals casseroles. Italian this time. Mama Mia Chicken Bake.

Kabobs are a fun Middle Eastern treat too. They are down for Saturday. Perhaps I have forgotten the French. Hmm. I suppose I should have planned French Hen Quiche or Chicken Parisienne. No, wait...I guess the versatile French omelet for Saturday breakfast will suffice.

My chosen entree for the potluck is My Thai Chicken. Yummy with peanut butter and salsa. The photo above shows the chicken served over cauliflower. I think this time I will serve some zucchini noodles (julienne sliced) and some ramen noodles for the carby eaters.

I might have to extend this into International Menu MONTH! I still have so many options--Philosopher's Quiche, Hungarian Chicken, Lebanese Dinner, Chicken Florentine, Swiss Beefkey, Italian Cream Chicken, Teriyaki Steak, Moroccan Chicken, Stroganoff, Tuscan Chicken, French Brisket Soup, Meatballs Roma, Singapore Casserole--the list goes on.

Now I'm on a roll.(no low carb jokes please) How about a U.S. menu? I see Aloha Chicken, Down Home Gravy, Kickin' Cajun Casserole, California Chicken Bake, Yankee Pot, Slow Texas Beef...

Who said Low carb was just steak and eggs?

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Snack Attack

Okay, you have finished your Prep day meals--the freezer is stocked and dinner is planned for the week. But what about those late night munchies that threaten to derail your success? Plan those snacks too.

If possible, get the temptations out of the house. This doesn't work too well around here, because not everyone low carbs. But hey, if you can, it sure helps not to stare down that bag of Oreos at midnight.

The next best thing is to have plenty of low carb snack options. Just be sure to select a good portion before you start to snack. Put the snack on a nice plate and put the rest back in the kitchen.I promise I could empty an entire bag of cheese cubes in one sitting.

Here is a list of favorites at our "Diner":

low carb hot dogs
cheese crisps (the American cheese that you crisp in the microwave oven)
celery with peanut butter or cream cheese
pepperoni chips--cousins of the cheese crisp
hot chai
Swiss Miss Diet cocoa
hot chicken broth
pork rinds with a dip
Broccoli or other veggies with Ranch dressing
String cheese or cheese cubes
sugar free jello
protein shakes
sugarfree yogurt
deli meat roll ups
dill pickles
egg scrambles done in the microwave
beef or turkey jerky
precooked sausage patties (just one, dear)

With a bit of advanced prep:
hard boiled eggs-- stuff em however you want
home made popsicles--from protein shakes or soft drinks

That ought to tide you over til the next meal!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cheesecake Muffins

I just got an order in from Netrition. I always like to try a new flavor of DaVinci's syrup--the ones you can't get at Walmart or Sam's. This time out, I got Peanut Butter and English Toffee. For my batch of muffins this week, I made the Peanut Butter Cheesecake muffins with a little change. I added less real peanut butter and a bit of the DaVinci syrup. To half of the batch, I added some cocoa powder to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake muffins. Now, these are not the super rich New York cheesecake you may be expecting, but they are quick and tasty. They are also a good break from eggs and sausage for breakfast.

Check back later this week, I plan to try a custard with the Toffee syrup.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Breakfast Our Way

A dear friend and newbie to the LC lifestyle asked for some help with breakfast ideas--something easy and yummy while the kids are still getting pancakes.

The best way to explain how we do it is just to give you an example from my menu this week.

This morning we had orange Jello muffins baked over the weekend. I made a quick precooked sausage patty to go with the muffin. We will have these again on Wednesday morning.

Tuesday out our house is a multiply meals brunch. I have some Three Little Pigs casserole frozen in individual servings in the freezer. That is one of our favorites.

Thursday is an easy fix meal. I have planned bacon omelets. To make these super quick, I use the precooked bacon crumbles. A little goes a long way. I have even found these at the dollar store and Big Lots--name brand! Scrambles--eggs with bits of leftover meats and cheeses tossed in--make great quick breakfasts too. They can even be microwaved.

Friday, I'm on the run for co-op, so it is Pepper Jacks, those delicious cups of egg and green chilis. These are prepped in advance too, and can be held in the hand while I am driving.

Saturday will be made to order protein shakes. We usually have them once a week. I use the low carb Body Fortress powder from Walmart. My standard recipe is:

1 scoop protein powder
3/4 cup water
1/8 cup cream
1 ounce cream cheese
5-6 ice cubes
sweetener to taste, or combo of DaVinci syrup or other flavorings
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum

I whirl it all up with my hand blender and drink from the same plastic cup. Sometimes, I make two in a larger cup, then pour the thick shake into goblets for a pretty presentation. It is up to you if you want beautiful food or fewer dishes to wash. I always start with vanilla as a base and add to it. Our favorites are strawberry cheesecake, caramel, coffee, pumpkin pie and chocolate almond.

This week, we are trying out the DaVinci peanut butter flavoring, so I think Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup shakes are on the menu.

Sunday, we can pack up those last muffins and enjoy them with a hot coffee or tea at church. That way we can skip the doughnuts.

In other weeks, I have frozen low carb waffles, breakfast meatballs, or custards on the menu. Lots of people like leftovers from the night before. I'm not a great cook in the morning, so all my planning is a huge pay-off. The 24/7 system calls for a brunch and muffin dish to be made on prep day. That way, weekday mornings are effortless.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Charcoal Roasted Turkey--It has a Wonderful "Personality"

That smell is probably making the neighbors drool. It is certainly working on the family members here...not to mention the dogs.

We are testing out the new charcoal roaster/smoker we got for Christmas from my mom. Definitely not experts yet, but we have some pretty good results so far. This Smoke Cube allows us to roast a whole turkey vertically in about 3 hours. The charcoal and hickory flavor is incredible. The blackened skin may not make for the prettiest bird in a Norman Rockwell setting, but the flavor...what it lacks in looks it makes up for in "personality."

John is the carnivore of the family, and pulling meat off bones is his specialty, so this project is his. I'll be happy to eat the smokey, juicy breast meat. Delish. If you don't have a smoker, it is something to consider. Of course, the neighbors might complain if you use it too much!