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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Friday, February 28, 2014

Shaved Rutabaga with Browned Butter

I can't wait to make this dish again. I love browned butter. You know that if you have followed my blog for very long. I love potatoes rutabagas. I  love my spiral slicer that made gorgeous ribbons out of a rather homely rutabaga. You can slice these on a mandolin slicer but they won't have that curl. Still they will taste great, just no extra pizzazz. Love me some pizzazz too. That's a lotta love.

This is a recipe featured in the 24/7 Low Carb Diner News for March. Move over potatoes, we have lots of ideas to replace you! This is one. Sometimes simple is the absolute best. Just the veggie, some sea salt and some elixir of the gods...umm... butter. Browned. Browned is a must.

Shaved Rutabaga with Browned Butter

1 small rutabaga
1/3 cup water
3 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel rutabaga and cut it into chunks to fit a spiral cutter. Set the device to the shave blade. Shave the rutabaga. You can also use a mandolin, but the curls will be missing. Gently transfer the thin slices to a lidded skillet. Add water and simmer  with the lid on while you brown the butter. In a small saucepan, cook the butter over low heat until it just begins to brown. Remove from heat immediately. When rutabaga is tender (stir very gently to retain the volume of the curls) transfer rutabaga into a serving dish or plates and drizzle with browned butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4
Carb count varies: 1/2 cup is roughly 4 net carbs

I just use an inexpensive spiral slicer. You can find one like mine here. I use it a lot to make zucchini noodles. This is a fun use of the shaver function. Even though it is cheaply made, it still has not broken in over 2 years. Of course, it would be great to have one of those sturdier models too. I used the angel hair attachment to make some tasty rutabaga hashbrowns. Those are in the Diner News too.

What else is in there? Here are some photos to tantalize you. Yes, all low carb!

Want to order the Diner News?

You will get 12 issues for just $6. What a deal. And yes, you will get the recipes for all those dished above. Plus the secret to getting a soft jicama, how to take the bitterness out of turnips and more. Many of the recipes are never shared on the blog or Facebook page.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sunny Sesame Crackers

I saw a question on our Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook page today. Heather asked for a replacement for her old stand by snack: pretzels. When I want something crunchy and salty, these delicious crackers do the trick. They are in LCAF Volume 2 pg. 268. But I never posted the recipe here on the Diner blog. So here ya go Heather, and everyone else. These crackers are wonderful. Hearty and crispy and inexpensive to make. They are sturdy enough to travel well too.


If you like the flavor of sesame seeds, and you want a sturdy cracker that can stand up to a dip, this is it! Cheaper and more flavorful than crackers made with almond flour, these have become a family favorite.

1 cup raw sunflower seeds (250 mL)
1 cup sesame seeds (250 mL)
1/2 tsp sea salt (2 mL)
1/2 cup water (125 mL)

In a food processor or bullet blender, grind sunflower seeds into a fine meal.  Pour the sunflower meal into a medium sized bowl. Combine with the sesame seeds and salt. Stir in water, a few tablespoons at a time, until the mixture forms stiff dough. (You may not need all the water.)

Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit a cookie sheet. Place the dough onto the sheet. Using fingers, pat it out as evenly as possible. Place another sheet of parchment over the dough, and use a rolling pin to make the dough as thin and even as possible. Be careful not to make the edges thinner than the center, or the edges will burn. Remove the top sheet and score into cracker shapes with a pizza cutter. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 350°F (180°C) oven.

Let the crackers cool on the sheet for 10 minutes before breaking into individual crackers.

24 servings of 2 crackers:  69 calories   2 g protein   6 g fat 2 g net carbs

Helpful Hint: Watch the crackers very closely in the last 5 minutes. If the edges are getting too browned, take the cookie sheet from the oven and remove the browned edge crackers to a flat cooling surface. Return the remaining crackers to the oven until they are golden.

I am super busy this week working on the soon to be released Diner News. This month I am featuring many of the different ways to replace potatoes. Today, I made a couple of wonderful new side dishes. You are going to love them. Here is a sneak peak at one of my favorites. Can you guess what it is?

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Amish Turnip Bake

So turnips usually make us say yuck. Well, maybe not everyone, but you have to admit they are not winning any popularity contests in the culinary world. Hard to compete with all that bacon and those cupcakes. But then if you add the 'Amish' part...I have never found any Amish food that was not delicious. My husband once brought home some leftovers from an Amish restaurant. It was so amazing, I promise I licked the styrofoam container. This is pretty darn close. Pure comfort food and a delight to someone who misses mashed potatoes. Very mild. I based this off a recipe I found at

This turnip dish does not have the "bite" that turnips often do. I did a little research on the best ways to get a very mild flavor. The open pot boiling, salt and vinegar in the water seemed to help. Another tip I found was to choose small turnips. Mine were already bagged, but they were small. What you get is a very mild vegetable puree, made special with the addition of low carb bread crumbs. Yup, added right to the mash. That makes the mouth feel perfect. True, you do have to make a recipe of bread as well, but so worth it. Besides, then you will have some for sandwiches next week.

I think this recipe does splendidly in individual casseroles. (I seem to collect those) Pretty sure it would freeze well. That would make a wonderful side on busy weeknights. So don't just pass up those turnips in the produce aisle. The next edition of the Diner News is featuring recipes that replace potatoes. This is one of the recipes that will be featured, but there are plenty of others as well. More with turnips, jicama, cauliflower, rutabaga and more. If you miss potato dishes, you will want this issue. It comes out on March 1st.

Amish Turnip Bake

1 lb small turnips
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp table salt
3 tbsp butter (divided use)
2 tbsp cream
1 egg
2/3 cup bread crumbs*
Sweetener equal to 2 tsp of sugar
1 tsp sea salt

Trim and peel turnips. Cut into chunks. Bring a 2 quart pan of water to boil. Add 2 tsp table salt and 2 tbsp white vinegar. Add turnips and boil until soft. Drain water. Mash turnips with 2 tbsp butter, cream and egg. Stir in 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs, sweetener and salt. Spoon into a casserole dish. Dot with remaining butter and sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes

*I used Jennifer Eloff's recipe for Plain Bread, a quick microwave bread which toasted, makes good bread crumbs. Find that here,

4 servings  165 cal.  <4 g net carb

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pizza Crust a la Peggy a la Jen

There must be a bazillion low carb pizza crusts out there. Some better than others, some easier than others. Today I just had to have pizza. I have a church leadership training session tonight, and they are catering in pizzas. Me in a small room, trapped with closed doors and an over abundance of pizza? Not a good combination. So after my big kids headed back to Arkansas today, I ran into the kitchen and whipped up this recipe from Low Carbing Among Friends Vo. 2. (Page 92)

The original version is via Peggy Hardaway at Buttoni's Low Carb Recipes. (it is the second one down) Peggy has lots of great low carb and keto recipes! Check it out. It is wonderful that she shared her talents with us. Jennifer Eloff, our team leader at Low Carbing Among Friends, made this tasty version and modified it to use her Gluten Free Bake Mix. It doesn't take long to whip up a batch of her mix if you don't have some made already. That is something we should always keep on hand. (Jennifer is an amazing baker. I have never had any of her recipes turn out anything but delicious) Her bake mix calls for oat flour. Rather than order that, I grind my own in my bullet blender since I use so little. Go visit Jennifer's blog to find all her wonderful recipes.

This pizza crust surprised me. At first, I thought I had really goofed it up because the dough seemed too wet. I carried on and followed instructions to place some plastic wrap on top of the dough to roll it to fit the pan. Jennifer suggests a small rolling pin or can of veggies, but I just used my fingers and it was much easier than I anticipated. I baked it as suggested--10 minutes on the middle rack and 10 minutes on the lower rack. It smelled great. When I went back at the timer, I was so upset. What I saw inside looked like a burned mess. I took it out immediately and checked the bottom. It seemed really brown but had not stuck as some crusts do. I tasted the edge and it did not taste burnt at all. Hmm. I went ahead and whipped up a tomato sauce and topped my pizza with cheese and pepperoni. I popped it back in just long enough to melt the cheese. My version was great. Really flavorful crust. It passed the hold-it-in-your-hand test. We will see how it does traveling later tonight. That said, I had better go pack it up. I have to be there in an hour!

My problem will be not eating the whole thing by myself. Jennifer has it listed at 10 or 12 servings. Umm, I think more like 4, and that is being good. It is under 3 carbs a slice, so I can do that!

If you want the recipe, head over to Jen's blog, or better yet, go buy our books: copy today.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Very Vanilla Valentine Cupcakes

Valentine's Day is almost here. I made a few treats today with a new little silicone mold I found at Walmart. This is so fun. I can bake in it or use it for coconut oil candies. Jello too, ice cubes...those too. Today I baked these adorable cupcakes. How fun? You start by just baking some red velvet cupcake hearts in the new mold. Easy. Then you place the little heart in the batter and bake the regular size cupcake. No, the heart does not burn. It is so easy I made two batches. One almond meal based (in the photos) and one coconut flour based. You can use this method with any cupcake recipe you like.

The cupcake flavors are pretty simple. I tried to make them interesting with browned butter, but that flavor was lost. The red velvet flavoring does not come out too strong. On a day when you probably have lots of other goodies, these will do just fine. I think if I make another batch, I will add some sugarfree chocolate chips to make the flavor more interesting. It is late on a schoolnight, and I wanted to be able to share these before the big day, so no new batch. If you have a favorite cupcake recipe, by all means use that. This method would work well with chocolate and vanilla as the contrasting flavors, so if you don't have the red velvet emulsion, don't think it is critical.

Very Vanilla Valentine Cupcakes, Coconut Flour

3 eggs
2 tbsp melted butter (browned if you like)
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp EZ Sweetz Stevia with Monkfruit (or any sweetener equal to 1/2 cup sugar)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp LorAnn Red Velvet Emulsion (or red food coloring)

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, butter, cream, vanilla and sweetener. Whisk well. Stir in coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Let the batter rest 5 minutes and stir again. Remove 1/4 cup of the batter to a small bowl. Stir in the red velvet emulsion.

Fill the cavities of the heart shaped mold with the red batter. Bake 5 -6 minutes at 350 or until just set. Remove and let cool. Fill standard muffin cups with the vanilla batter. Place a cooked heart in the center of the batter. Push down a bit so the heart sinks into the batter somewhat. Bake until the tops turn golden. (I baked mine in my Babycakes machine and got 8 muffins. The size is somewhat smaller than a standard muffin, but larger than a mini muffin. Be sure to watch your batch according to the size and cooking method.)

I will run the nutritional stats tomorrow, and try to get the almond meal recipe posted as well. In the meantime, I would guess these muffins are 3-4 net carbs each. If I don't head to bed soon, tomorrow...OK later today... will suffer. Leading a bunch of teenagers requires one to be alert and ready for anything!

So yes, even if it is in the middle of the night, run to Walmart now and get this mold! I think it was under $2.
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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Kalua Pork Under Pressure

It is cold here...and dreary inside and out. I would love a vacation to the islands, so today I tried to make a taste of Hawaii. OK, so I cheated. A lot. I did not bury a pig in a pit in the back yard for hours. Since my family owned a barbecue restaurant when I was a teenager, I know that some folk--even here in Oklahoma-- actually do cook the whole pig. I recall being really uncomfortable when we had a whole pig in the back kitchen. We girls would go and cover its head with a napkin so we didn't have to see the face. It was a weekend long process to slow roast those. I never hung around for that part, but I will admit they are tasty. (I spend most of my life suppressing the thought of butchering. I would have starved as a pioneer.)

So not having a whole pig, hurray, and not having the whole weekend, and certainly unable to dig a pit in the frozen earth....the next best thing is slow cooking. You and I could do that. Just use the same recipe and devote about 10-12 hours for the crockpot to work its magic. I have a new toy though. A multi-cooker. It is both a slow cooker and a pressure cooker. I had been in appliance envy ever since I saw Maria offer one as a prize. Finally broke down and did some research and bought a less pricey model, the Nesco. Now I am in that awkward stage of getting to know it. I may be in love. I feel a little guilt though. I have had a long term relationship with my current crockpot and pressure cooker. Wore the glaze off the crock and had to replace it with a Goodwill crock that does not match. Can you say ugly? My pressure cooker is the stovetop variety. It needs a new gasket and I seem unable to get one ordered. While I love it, it does need babysitting while I constantly adjust my burner to keep it at the right pressure. Kinda like watching a toddler and being unable to complete a thought. You never know what it is going to do next. Retiring these beloved kitchen tools just seems sad. When I think of all the meals they fed my boys...

But just as I am adjusting to a new season of life as a nearly empty nester, I guess I can let go and reward myself with a few upgrades. The fact that Pearson is still home for a month or so, I should enjoy feeding him. He loved today's selection. He will miss mom's cooking when he is in his apartment, right? This simple, so simple recipe smells so delicious, I am betting half the neighborhood would come visit me if I get lonely.

Purists would say to use Pink Hawaiian Sea Salt. Purists would also want you to wrap the pig in leaves and bury it in the pit. I am a cheater. Go buy the salt if you can find it. I might. But in the meanwhile, sea salt works for me. My all time favorite Wright's Liquid smoke does all the flavoring work you need. Mesquite is amazing.

I made a rather small batch today because I am using the pork roast as my Triple Play meal for the week. The other half is cooking with Italian flavorings as we speak. Hopefully that one will be good enough to share.

Kalua Pork Under Pressure

2 lb Pork Roast (or larger)
1 tsp coarsely ground sea salt
1 cup water
2 tsp Wright's Mesquite Liquid Smoke 

Cut the roast into 2 chunks. Rub the surface with sea salt. Place water in the cooker. Stir in 1 tsp of the liquid smoke. Place the pork on the steaming rack. Cook for 40 minutes under high pressure. Let the pressure come down naturally. Remove the meat and shred with two forks. Use a portion of the collected broth to moisten the meat as you desire. Stir in 1 tsp additional liquid smoke.

Slow Cooker directions: Follow the same steps and cook for 10-12 hours on the low setting.

Serves 6-8.   Less than 1 carb for the pork. A cup of cooked cabbage is 4 net carbs.

Native Islanders often eat Kalua Pig with cabbage, braised or raw. I sauteed some in bacon grease and steamed it the last 3 minutes of cooking by adding 1/3 cup of water to the pan. Let the water evaporate and it is just right. Cauliflower rice would be a close to traditional paring as well. For the non low carbers, this dish makes amazing sandwiches. Make some low carb bread: you won't be sorry.

If you want to check out the cooker I bought, check out this video. I am not representing this product in any way and am not compensated for any endorsement.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Chili n Cheesebread in a Jar

I don't like giving away all my recipes from the Diner News here on the blog, but I am enjoying this one way too much not to share. I took a jar to school today and had the best and easiest warm lunch ever! Hot chili with a very close to cheesy cornbread top. Just break up the cheesy bread and stir it all together. Heaven. I wasn't even jealous of the chili cheese tots the students brought in. That's sayin' something!

If you are a chili lover, you really should try this. It is easy, fun and delicious.

Chili n Cheesebread in a Jar

4-6 cups prepared chili 
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (divided use)
1/2 cup almond meal, coarsely ground
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup golden flax meal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp olive oil
4 eggs

Fill 4 pint jars with 1 1/2 cups of chili each. Divide 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and sprinkle it on top of the chili in each jar. Mix all remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Divide batter among 4 jars filled 2/3 of the way up with chili. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Let cool and seal. Chill or freeze. Thaw before baking. To serve, heat in a microwave or in a traditional oven.

4 Servings     391 calories   2 net  carbs  (this is for the cheese bread only. Add in your chili nutrition facts)

If you are counting calories, you may want to limit chili to one cup. That layer of cheese keeps the chili from soaking into the cheese bread while it bakes. No doughy underside. It is ready to eat with just a warm up. 2 1/2 minutes in the microwave was good for me today, but your microwave may vary. Also, mine was not frozen, so if yours is, take it out of the freezer to thaw the night before. Temperature extremes are never a good idea with glass. Heating and eating out of glass is a good thing, though. No ugly orange ring on a plastic bowl, and no chemicals leaching into the food. Of course, these reheat well in the oven also.

That is the last "in a jar" recipe I am sharing now. If you want the rest, you will just have to order the Diner News.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Green Enchilada Chicken Soup

I get just a little jealous when the family goes to enchilada day at one of our local Mexican restaurants. I go too, but I order fajitas and am forced to sit on my hands while everyone else chows down on chips and salsa. Ok, I have been known to lick the salsa from a chip. No I am not double dipping. More like a dozen dips. Don't worry-- each diner gets his or her own bowl of salsa.Sometimes the temptation is too great and I just have to stay away completely. I am rewarded with sizzling fajitas, but still, I do love a nice enchilada. This place has a green chicken enchilada that is wonderful. They serve this tomatillo sauced beauty alongside enchiladas with a red sauce and a cheese sauce. I always loved the salsa verde and its fresh taste. That is what I am going for here. Since I only have their enchiladas on rare occasions of total abandon--I wanted to duplicate the taste and stay low carb.

If you look long and hard, you can find both green and red enchilada sauces with no added sugar. Woohoo. I found one, and the idea for this soup was born. The fact that I am cold didn't hurt either. Too lazy to make low carb tortillas. I had some chicken cubes already prepped. Don't you love the Diner way of having those on hand? Here's what I did. If you don't like cilantro, just omit.

Green Enchilada Chicken Soup

2 cups chicken broth
6 oz chicken cubes (diced, cooked chicken)
1 cup green enchilada sauce
1/4 cup diced cilantro, divided use
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp garlic salt
3 oz cream cheese
1/2 avocado, diced
2 tbsp shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tsp sour cream

In a medium saucepan, simmer broth, chicken, enchilada sauce, 1/8 cup finely diced cilantro, lime juice and garlic salt. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the cream cheese. Simmer an additional 10 minutes to help the cream cheese blend in smoothly. Simmer to desired thickness. Divide between 2 bowls. Top each with the remaining cilantro, cheese, avocado chunks and a teaspoon of sour cream.

Serves 2 as a meal.   439 calories      10 g net carbs      31 g fat      26 g protein

Take that enchiladas! There will be a little sauce leftover from a 10 ounce can. I used that for a breakfast scramble.Not very pretty, but tasty none the less.  I simmered mine longer to get it thicker, but it will be good thinner too. This is a little high in carbs, but it is the whole meal, so it is within range for us. Just a nice little treat for dessert. I think Jennifer's Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge would be great. Just a little over a carb for a delicious piece. That recipe is on page 176 of Low Carbing Among Friends Volume 4. To order your copy of any of the Among Friend series,

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Pepperoni Crusted Chicken Nuggets

Everyone who knows me knows that I claim that I could eat pizza every day. It is mostly because of the pepperoni. I could eat that everyday. So goes with our family. We sometimes buy the three pound bag at the warehouse club. I use it for snacks too though--plain with a cheese cube or crisped into chips.  And pepperoni scrambled eggs, don't forget how those jazz up breakfast. Just this weekend I made a mean Italian soup with beef, pepperoni and veggies. Zucchini and pepperoni sauteed together. Yum. But those things are easy. This recipe is ingenious. My hubster was totally addicted. We never got to eat them as a meal. I had the plate on the table to photograph. They disappeared while I was editing the photos. One at a time. Everyone in the house was a sneak. Guess that made them our superbowl food. Glad we had something to ease the pain! (Congrats Seahawks)

I mean other people may use flour, or panko crumbs. Who but we low carbers get to use crushed pepperoni chips to coat our chicken nuggets? Ohhhhhhh my! The taste is not overpoweringly pepperoni, but it is unique and delish. You just gotta try it.

Pepperoni Crusted Chicken Nuggets

28 slices of pepperoni
1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite size chunks
3 tbsp almond meal
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place the pepperoni slices in a single layer on the sheet. Bake for 7 minutes or until crisp. Let cool. Place chips in a plastic bag and crush them with your hands. To the bag, add almond meal, onion, Parmesan and salt. Mix well. Spread onto a plate or shallow bowl. 

In a small bowl, beat the egg. Dip the chicken pieces into the egg, then immediately roll in the pepperoni mixture. Place each nugget on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

Serves 4  Per serving:   244 calories   1 g carb      28 g protein     14 g fat

Hints: You might need to add another tablespoon of almond meal and reduce your cooking time if you make smaller nuggets than I did. Mine did fine with just one beaten egg, but I have seen recipes call for 3 eggs. As with all recipes, YMMV.

If you need to add some fat to make them KETO friendly, try dipping the nuggets in some garlic butter? I was going to try that, but they had disappeared before I got back to the kitchen.

Ready to head out to the warehouse club to get the big bag of pepperoni?

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Crunchy and Creamy Breakfast in a Jar

I might have mentioned that the newest issue of the Diner News is all about food in jars. This one is so easy. Truly for the lazy among us. I love the different textures and flavors going on. For something so simple, the taste is not simple at all. It is so easy to gather your ingredients, line up a few small jars, fill them up and then have them ready for those harried mornings.

Sometimes we are tired of eggs. And sausage. And bacon...well maybe not bacon. Sometimes I miss something sweet and I don't want a smoothie. Sure, there are muffins. I like those too, but on weeks when I have made a savory muffin, these crunchy and creamy breakfast jars are a real treat. They are really versatile and full of stuff that is good for you. Seeds and coconut, cocoa nibs and flax. You have the dry part pre-assembled, ready to add your choice of milk or yogurt. The combination of coconut and cocoa nibs is so good. The cocoa nibs add a rich flavor and crunch, so try to use those if you can find them. I found mine locally at Sprouts.

These servings are not big, but they are satisfying. You may be surprised how they will stick to the ribs. You can always up the serving size if you want, but I find these to be just right for a quick weekday breakfast or an evening snack.

Crunchy and Creamy
Breakfast Jar
Jar before adding milk or yogurt
3 tbsp coconut chips
1 tbsp cocoa nibs (aka cacao)
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp ground flax seeds
1 packet stevia or other sweetener

Stir in 3 tbsp of one of the following:

Coconut Milk - 267 calories, 5 g carbs, 23 g fat
Coconut and Almond Milk blend - 249 calories, 4 g carbs  21 g fat
Greek Yogurt - 273 calories, 6 g carbs, 22 g fat
Almond Milk  - 247 calories,  4 net carbs, 20 g fat

Let stand at least 5 minutes. Enjoy.

If you like the versatility and ease of eating and drinking from canning jars, be sure to head over to the Diner website and order the Diner News. A full year subscription is just $6. Every issue has a different theme, and there are lots of recipes and tips not available here on the blog and over at the Low Carbing Among Friends website. To order, go here:

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