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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cream Cheese and Turkey Scramble and Prep Day

I love scrambles. They are so quick and good for any meal. Today it was brunch. We went to church last night, so that makes Sunday morning a slower pace for us. My boys had the same scramble on bagels, so no cooking several meals to please every diet in the house. This is so tasty, though, who needs bread? I just scrambled the eggs and deli turkey and topped them with the chive flavored cream cheese spread. This has to be the quickest scramble of all time.

With that short venture into the kitchen, that I won't be too stressed out doing my prep day for the week. Today I am putting together some Chinese Chicken for our Triple Play meal. For our breakfasts, I am going to experiment with some Turkey Bacon cups. I'll let you know how those turn out.

This afternoon, hubby has promised to fire up the grill. I will throw some extra burger patties his way. Yes, we even freeze pre-cooked burgers. They are so nice to have around for lunches. You do lose a little flavor and texture, but if you look at the Burger Bonanza section of the e-book, there are lots of ideas of toppings that will make them special. Not to mention, the gourmet flavors keep you from getting in a burger rut.

And sometime today, I need to fit in doing our taxes and working on the March Newsletter for the Diner. Better run!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cinnamon Danish in a Minute

Well almost a minute. This is a variation on the infamous Minute Muffin, so famous among low carbers. Armed with my Capella drops, I entered the Minute Muffin arena and came out a winner. These are really tasty, especially if you are already familiar with the flavor of flax. It couldn't be easier to make a fresh quick breakfast muffin.

These can be made in a coffee mug, as usual. But this morning, I was making them for two, so I used a bowl and my silicon muffin cups. I recently found some new shapes at Marshalls. Too cute. The one in the photo is rectangular, but I got star and heart shapes too. Yes, I am an addict when it comes to those cups. I use them all the time for bento lunches, muffins and sides for sauces and dips. I even made the glaze for this morning's muffins in a square cup then used the corner for drizzling.

Speaking of the glaze. Don't skip this step. It really makes the muffin special.

Cinnamon Danish in a Minute

2 Tablespoons flax meal
2 Tablespoons almond meal
1 egg
1 Tablespoon oil
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
7 drops of Capella's Cinnamon Danish flavoring
2 packets sweetener of choice

1 Tablespoon powdered sweetener
1 teaspoon cream
4 drops Capella's Cinnamon Danish flavoring
Dash of cinnamon

Mix all the muffin ingredients in a mug or bowl. Stir well. Pour into muffin cups or keep in the ceramic mug. Bake in the microwave for one minute 20 seconds. Your oven may vary. The mixture will rise and fall a bit. You may remove the muffin from the mug or cups, or leave it in. To make glaze, mix powdered sweetener with cream and flavor drops until smooth. Drizzle glazeover slightly cooled muffin. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

The level of sweetener in this muffin is up to you. Some prefer less sweetness, others more. So, play with it to find your sweet spot! I used a combination of stevia and saccharin for the muffin. For the glaze, I used powdered xylitol. I really like to use combos of sweeteners, as they seem to work together well and downplay the drawbacks of a single sweetener. It also helps me spread out the costs of the pricer options. By all means, however, use what suits your tastes. We all seem so different there.

I am working on a fantastic new dessert. I made a trial run yesterday, and while some things are phenomenal about this recipe, I think it still needs a little tweaking. I hope to have it ready soon, but since we have to eat all the experiments, we can't overdo. In addition, I am trying a new dish in the crockpot too. We will see how that one goes. Not every new thing I make ends up blog worthy for sure!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pizza Crust Burger Buns?

Yep, pizza crust becomes hamburger buns. Not so strange when you know the ingredients are cheese, egg and coconut flour. Today's buns are really pretty versatile. Add pizza toppings and you get personal pan pizzas. Add grilled onions and a burger patty, and you get the Unjun Burger from the Burger Bonanza section of the cookbook.

Because the dough is sticky, I use my muffin top pan which makes the right size bun. But if you don't mind getting a little sticky, you can roll the dough into a ball, then press it down on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Either way, they are pretty tasty. Just another Diner secret to get more than one meal from a single effort in the kitchen.

Addendum: Some of you want the recipe for these versatile buns/crusts. The idea is in the e-book. I would really love it if you could hop over there and buy that, But since I have changed it a tiny bit since then, I will go ahead and post it here. But by all means, if you like my recipes, please consider purchasing the entire plan. For the buns, I double this recipe and use my muffin top pan to get 6 buns.

Cheesy Crust/Buns: To make a small pizza crust, blend 1 egg, one cup grated cheese, 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese and a Tablespoon of coconut flour. Spread a circle on parchment paper very thinly and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, or until browned.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Capella Winners!

My hubby John and I just drew the winners of the Capella Flavorings giveaway. Congratulations go out to T2Nashville, Kahri and Dearest Joshua! I have three bottles of the water flavoring, Flavlets, to send to you. Believe me, even though I have been enjoying the blueberry pomogranite, these flavors have been calling me too. Go ahead and check--the shrink wrap is still on tight!

I'm sorry not everyone could win a bottle. I have to admit, I have loved seeing more comments and new friends on Facebook. So don't lurk, stop and say hi. It is a wonderful gift for bloggers like me. I'll have to see if I can talk more makers of my favorite specialty ingredients out of prizes. This was fun. If you head over to Capella, to make an order, be sure to thank them for providing this give away...even if you didn't win this time.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chili Cheese Soup

Sorry I have been absent a bit this week. Hope you have been catching us over on Facebook. I post some photos of what we are eating over there. Mostly when the recipe is already in the e-book, and I have not much else to share. I have been really busy with school, and visits to my college kids out of town. I was gone every night last week, and will be this week too! When life gets crazy like this, as it seems to every spring for me, it is especially good to have the Diner system in place. I really appreciate it when I am away from my own Diner kitchen. It is just so much easier to eat healthy at home, and there are times when having all the prep work done is such a life saver.

This weekend we were in another state. Meal choices are not so easy when you low carb, especially if you want to take advantage of complimentary buffets, catered events, etc. We chose a Chinese buffet for one dinner, staying away from the rice and the sweet sauces, the egg rolls and wantons. We still got plenty to eat.I did gain a pound and a half over the weekend though, so something carby must have been hiding in those sauces!

We also ate a huge buffet. There was one section with Mexican food, and I made myself a wonderful taco salad with the taco beef, fajita chicken, lettuce, fire roasted peppers, jalapenos, salsa verde and real sour cream. That was great, but it was really hard to skip the dessert bar. Really hard for me to pass up all those desserts just lined up and calling you. Instead, coffee can satisfy the sweet tooth and not blow the eating plan...especially if you can skip the powdered or non dairy creamers.

Back in town tonight,I guess I was still thinking about that salad. I made chili cheese soup for dinner. Being away, I haven't had time to do a normal prep day, but we will be alright. I just grabbed the Minute Beef from the freezer and added staples to it. This is delish!

Chili Cheese Soup

1 package Mexican Minute Beef (about 2 cups cooked)
1 cup beef broth
1 cup frozen pepper and onion blend
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
6 ounces cream cheese

Dump the first four ingredients into a large sauce pan. Let simmer until veggies are tender. Add in cream cheese, cubed. Let the cream cheese soften for five minutes, then stir to blend. Add a little hot sauce if you like more heat.

This is wonderful and rich. You will not need a big bowl. Ours will have leftovers that will be great for a soup and salad lunch later this week. When I find time to get to the grocery store for some lettuce, that is.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine Breakfast Casserole

Who says Valentine treats must be sweet? This is our Valentine Breakfast low carbed. I have these cut individual heart shaped baking dishes--49 cents at Michael's Craft stores. This morning, I filled them with breakfast casserole using Freezer Favorites--Minute Beef and pre-cut onion and pepper blend. That makes them really fast to put together. For special flavor, I added red pepper Monterey Jack cheese. Yummy and good for us too.

I hope they feel the love. Now off to the other million things I need to get done today!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chicken Vindaloo

My family will never go with me to the India Palace. What a shame. I served this Indian inspired crockpot meal, and everyone liked it. Just goes to show they are not so much culinary adventurers--but they are willing to eat just about anything I put on the table.

This version is a combination of several recipes. My original inspiration came from Dana Carpender's slowcooker cookbook. I don't happen to own that one, but have borrowed it from the library before. I have always loved the sound of the name, and I love cumin and other such spices. That spicy chili from last week got me going that direction again. This has been on my to try list for a while. Vindaloo seems to be a popular recipe, as I found many versions on line. This one is low fat and low calorie, depending on the spices to make it a great meal. For my carby boys and one lovely girlfriend, I added some chicken flavored brown rice. For everyone, a side dish of grilled red pepper and zucchini was just right. It would be good over cauli-rice, but my baby boy hates that. Since I was busy making chocolates this afternoon, I didn't want to spend too much time there.

Chicken Vindaloo

6 chicken breasts
1/2 onion, cut in wedges
2 Tablespoons fresh minced ginger
3 Tablespoons garlic wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup tomato sauce
3 Tablespoons lime juice

Blend all dry spices together in a small bowl. Place chicken and onion wedges into crockpot. Sprinkle with seasonings. Add vinegar, lime juice and tomato sauce. Cook on low for 6 hours. The sauce can be thickened with xanthan gum if desired.

We fed five and still had leftover meat for another two lunches. I will divide those into containers and pop them in the freezer for my hubby's work lunch. Too simple.

Now those chocolates. MMMMMM. Coconut oil is good for you. Just google it for all the info. I made our Valentine treats from equal parts virgin coconut oil and cocoa. For sweetness, I like to use a mixture of sweeteners. Chocolate and sucralose are not usually a good match. I use stevia with good results. I poured the melted chocolate mixture into heart shaped ice cube trays. Before it set up, I added a cocoa coated almond to each one. Then I put them in the freezer. These should be kept cold, but this time of year, that is not a problem around my house!

Now if I can find the time to make those Whoopie Pies. I got the last package of Flax meal at Walmart today!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lasagna and Cheesecake Weeknight Style

Confessions of real life. I have Chicken Vindaloo in my crockpot. It would have helped to make sure the crockpot was plugged in. After discovering that it was cold at 4 p.m., I went to the next dinner selection on the menu. Just as good.

We all love lasagna. It can be expensive and a pain to make, though. This one is not too bad. I opted to use a Mutliply Meals recipe, but just do one casserole this time. It is easy to put together because I used Minute Beef. There, I skipped the browning the meat step. I made one portion of the recipe with real noodles for the carby boys, and used the zucchini slices for us. After all, the taste is in the sauce, not the noodles, right? Tonight, I decided to use some small individual casserole dishes. That helps me limit my serving size and makes an easy lunch box meal for later. My ceramic mini casseroles can be reheated in a microwave in just a minute or two. Because they have lids, I can bake, store and serve in one container. That saves time too. The blue one is the one I ate tonight, but I have another going into the fridge for a Sunday night treat. We usually do leftovers for that meal.

The Lackanoodle Lasagna recipe is in the e-book if you want to make your own.

For dessert, I used my home made Greek yogurt flavored with the Capella drops in New York Cheesecake flavor. So good! I use a good portion of half and half in my yogurt so it is extra creamy. I also let it culture a long time to get rid of all the lactose, which is the carb. I know mine is low carb, and it is so delicious. Lots less expensive than purchasing Greek yogurt from the grocery.

The Capella giveaway will be ending soon, so don't forget to enter to win a Capella flavor of your own. Just look for that post and comment, order the newsletter,follow my blog, or join me over on Facebook.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Get Your Spice On!

Another snowy day here. It is supposed to get well below zero tonight. What is better for dinner than a really spicy soup? Hearty and hot. Beef Enchilada soup is another fast Freezer Favorite type soup. Just use some Mexican Minute Beef and some Rotel tomatoes to wake up those taste buds and warm you all over!

I was making enchiladas for my carby boys tonight. I reserved some of that jarred sauce for this soup. If you want to make a big pot, then use an entire jar of enchilada sauce and multiply your other ingredients accordingly. This serves 2.

Beef Enchilada Soup

1 package Mexican Minute Beef or 1/2 pound browned ground beef
1 can Rotel type tomatoes with green chiles
1 can water
1/2 cup enchilada sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup sour cream

Heat beef and tomatoes. Add the water and enchilada sauce. Add seasoning and simmer a few minutes. Just before serving, stir in the sour cream, reserving a dollup for the top of each bowl.

Even though I made two separate entrees tonight, they shared so many ingredients, they went together really fast. Both dishes used Mexican Minute Beef, and both used enchilada sauce and sour cream. It is still an efficient dinner prep. We just chose not to eat any tortillas. Ours was so good too. All I needed on the side was a crisp Romaine salad with a little sour cream and salsa dressing.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Warm Italian Chicken Salad

When the kids get frozen pizza, treat yourself to this. Much better! It is our lunch today. With all the snow, a warm salad feels much better. The key to keeping this a salad not an Italian saute, is the teeny bit of time that spinach stays in the pan.

Warm Italian Chicken Salad for 2

Chicken , sliced for two (however much you like)
1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
Sprinkle of dried onion
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
a handful of grape tomatoes
4-5 cups fresh baby spinach
a few shakes of garlic wine vinegar

Sprinkle the dried seasonings over the sliced chicken breast. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add the chicken and tomatoes and sautee until chicken is just cooked through. Throw the spinach in the skillet and stir over high heat until just wilted. Remove from skillet immediately and plate the salad. Splash with vinegar.

I made this with fresh chicken, which is best for the flavor, but in a pinch, you could pull out some chicken cubes from the freezer. This was quicker than the frozen pizzas I made for the kids! Better too.

Capella Giveaway

Big News! I just started a Facebook page for the Diner, so join me there too. It would be a quick and easy way for you to share what you are serving at your Diner!

To kick it off right, I am having my first giveaway! When I was placing an order with Capella Flavorings, I told them about my blog, and how many times I talked about their products, I asked them for some product to share with you. Well, they sent me some. Even though I really want to keep them for myself, I am sticking to my promises. They sent me some of their water flavorings. That wild cherry is calling my name, but I will stick to the blueberry pomegranite that I ordered. It is good too, as is the orange mango. Depending on how much you use, they add just a touch of flavor to your water bottle. Unlike pre-packaged flavored waters, you get to adjust the flavor to your tastes. You can add more plus a little sweetener and you have a great drink. Once I am no longer snowed in, I will use these with my Soda Stream too. We ran out of carbonation and can't get to the store because of all this snow!

Capella offers more than water flavorings too. I love love love their flavorings for coffee and desserts. My favorites from this order are French Toast and Cinnamon Danish Swirl. These make a cup of coffee a real treat. Because I can flavor one cup at time, I can have two or three flavors from the one pot of coffee. Or everyone in the family can have a different taste.

Yogurt is another terrific use. My favorite for that is Boston Cream Pie! I make my own yogurt in big batches, then add the flavorings and sweetener to individual servings. How do these flavors sound? Pralines and Cream, Chocolate Glazed Doughnut, Graham Cracker, Banana Split, Peaches and Cream. I also think this would make a good protein shake. I miss real bananas and peaches sometimes, as they are high in carbs. Another flavor that gets a rave review is the New York Cheesecake. Super yummy in yogurt and smoothies.

This time, I took advantage of a special and got a five pack of sampler sized bottles, The bottles are small, but they last a while. The flavors I chose for this special are Cappuccino, Coconut, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Vanilla Custard and the two I mentioned earlier--French Toast and Cinnamon Danish Swirl. Any of those would be good as yogurt or whipped cream flavoring. Six mini bottles, with your choice of a limited offering, are just $14.95.

When I am making hot drinks, I like to heat sugar free apple flavored drink mix and add the EggNog or Pumpkin Pie Spice flavor. It tastes like a mulled cider--but no carbs. Cranberry drink is delicious too, like a hot punch. Hot tea could be flavored with the fruit flavors or the mint. I even add a drop of Strawberries and Cream to my strawberry slushes.

Flavor drops could be used to flavor gelatin desserts and low carb puddings. Egg custards would be marvelous. You could even add some drops to flavor a plain flax muffin or a minute muffin. Of course, these drops are great to add variety to a standard vanilla protein shake.

These little bottles are convenient to carry along in a purse or briefcase---small enough to fit in a desk draw or glove box too.

Have I convinced you that they are good? If you would like to try one, go here. If you want to win one from me, you have several chances.

1. Leave a comment telling me what flavor sounds best to you. Be sure to leave an email where I can contact you if you are not signed in.
2. Like the 24/7 Low Carb Diner Facebook Page.
3. Order or renew the 24/7 Low Carb Diner Newsletter
4. Follow this blog, and leave a separate comment telling me you are a follower

I may just have to start asking for more free stuff. I guess it pays to ask!