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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fresh Blueberry Icebox Dessert

My mom told me how my grandmother used to make icebox desserts in her ice cube trays during the summer. She remembers one fondly, and has never been able to duplicate it. My "Little Grandma" was not a fancy cook, so I am sure the recipe couldn't be too unusual. Perhaps my own mama's memory makes it even better because it was made with love.

I remember my Grandma's ice box trays. They were metal contraptions with the lever that broke the cubes out. I was never strong enough to pry the lever and it would frustrate me to no end. Even the adults would have to set the trays on a stool and use a lot of body leverage to break the cubes free. I was so happy when she switched to plastic trays. I feel so lazy now that I have all the ice I want without a tray in sight. I am so spoiled here today.

Not having an old ice cube tray, I made this dessert in custard cups. This is pretty much the idea behind the old fashioned icebox dessert. Not actually a cake, but a no bake summertime treat. Not magic. And better, mine is sugarfree! I might have to have a go at a lemon one too though.

My Icebox Dessert has a pecan crust. Yum. I used fresh blueberries and cream cheese. What could be better?

Fresh Blueberry Icebox Dessert

Nut Crust:
1/4 cup pecans
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp erythritol or equivalent sweetener

Blueberry Cream:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
3 tbsp erythritol blend  or equivalent

1/4 cup fresh blueberries

Using a bullet blender, grind the pecans to a meal. Melt butter and add to pecans, along with sweetener. Press into the base of 4 custard cups or muffin cups, reserving 1 teaspoon.

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, half and half, 1/2 cup blueberries and sweetener. Puree with a stick blender. Spoon this over the nut crust. Top with remaining berries and reserved nuts. Chill.

Serves 4:  211 calories  4 net carbs

This delicious recipe is one among many in August's Diner News. This month I am featuring Farmer's Market specials. Recipes using the season's best vegetables and fruits. We may have to put up with hot temperatures, but the garden's bounty makes it worth it.  My table has been blessed with squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, rosemary and oregano, and more. Just today I was given some okra. Now, my hubby thinks okra is horse food. I am the only one in the family to appreciate it. I like to roast it. I saw an interesting PBS Show, A Chef's Life. The chef served fried okra with Ranch Ice Cream. Don't know if I need to go that far, but it is interesting. Sure wish I had tasted that!

Wanna order the Diner News?

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Chillin' with Some Cold Cucumber Soup

Despite my Oklahoma roots, I am SO not a farmer. No green thumbs here. I am more than happy to take fresh produce off the hands of my more agriculturally blessed friends and family. Yesterday, I received two garden fresh cucumbers and some beautiful home grown tomatoes. Now, I am not one that generally gets excited about cucumbers. I like them in some salads, but I wanted something to truly glorify them. I sought to celebrate the garden fresh bounty and appreciate all the labor that went into their production. Last week I was also given a variety of fresh herbs from a friend heading out to the islands for vacation. I could use those too.She also sent along some blue cheese. Lucky woman gets to spend 8 weeks in Hawaii. Doesn't need her blue cheese. hmm.

Got me thinking, I do like cucumbers in my salad like they serve at Logan's Steakhouse when I choose blue cheese dressing. I wondered what a chilled cucumber soup with blue cheese would taste like? Not wanting to ruin a whole batch, I first made a really nice yogurt, fresh herb and lime cucumber soup. Really refreshing! Perfect for these hot summer days.

Then I tried adding in some of that blue cheese. It really did taste like my salads at Logan's. The richness of the cheese added body and so much flavor. I am thinking feta cheese would be amazing also. Before that, I have to eat this whole batch of soup. My hubby simply won't go near a cucumber. Only as a sweet pickle will one pass his lips. My darling mom, also not a cucumber fan, tasted both versions. She liked the blue cheese version best.

Cold Cucumber Soup
(with a blue cheese variation)
no cheese variation

2 cucumbers, diced
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup ice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 tbsp fresh mint
2 tbsp fresh basil
1/2 tsp dried dill or 3 tbsp fresh
juice from 1 lime
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
optional: 2 oz blue cheese
fresh herbs for garnish

Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor or good blender. Process until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Chill if not serving immediately. Garnish with additional herbs and/or blue cheese.

Serves 4       184 calories   10 net carbs*
with blue cheese:   234 calories  10 net carbs*

*many nutritionists do not count the full amount of carbohydrate in yogurt, as the live cultures feed on the lactose, thus reducing the effective carb count.

Be sure to read that note about the carb count of yogurt and do what you think is best. I wish I had fresh dill on hand for this trial. Sadly no, but if you have some, then by all means, use it! You can substitute any fresh herbs. I used mint and basil because that is what I had. The parsley really does shine through though, so I would suggest you try it with that the first time at least.

Now looking at these photos. The blue bowl is the one without the cheese. The color of the soup is altered a bit by the blue of the bowl. The white bowl shows the truer color. It looks more green and less yellow.

This soup is perfect for the hot summer days we have ahead. Tomorrow, it will be over 100 in my hometown, with an awful humidity. Can't wait! The farmer's markets will be open though, filled with lots of home grown treats. In fact, this month's Diner News will feature Farmer's Market recipes. This one will be in there, along with a great new tomato and roasted eggplant soup, and lots of recipes that feature summer fruits, veggies and herbs. Be watching August 1st.

Until then, don't forget to order the new e-book! Sales go to help keep my alternative school open. School starts again in just three weeks. Yikes, I have so much still to do!

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

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Focaccia Bread Salad

Summer may mean heat, but it also means great produce. At least in my part of the world. Last week we were loving a visit from the 'Polar Vortex' with record low highs. Yep a good 30 degrees below our normal ridiculously hot summer temps. This coming week, though, we will flirt with the triple digits again. Yuck. When the weather is that hot, I like a good salad. But a salad of simple greens just doesn't have that staying power. This one is a little different. A bread salad in the old peasant tradition. OK no peasants here in my part of the world either, but had I been born in Europe in the middle ages, I most assuredly would have been among the peasantry. I once took a test that said I had the "gift" of poverty. Woohoo. Looking for the positive,  I guess that means that I concentrate on the simple things in life--the meaningful stuff. Like feeding a family and spending time with them.

So peasant food was cheap and available...and bread was both. Not sure fresh produce such as salad greens were particularly favored in the old days, so I am not sure of the origin of dishes of this kind. I am pretty sure the Italians brought it into favor with their Panzanella--a bread and tomato salad dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. This is rather close. Some add cucumbers and capers. I went ahead and added in bell peppers, red onion and fresh basil to those cucumbers. Pretty darn tasty. We are not devotees of capers, but you can add 'em if you want. Some cheese would also be welcome, but optional

Since artisan bread is a big obstacle for low carbers, I improvised. I adapted my Sammie Bread recipe from the June Diner News. I made a half batch and added some extra herbs for flavor. Go ahead and make that bread in the morning when it is cool enough to heat the oven. The bread is even better if it has some time to get a little stale, more like a crouton.

Focaccia Bread

1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup ground golden flax meal
2 tsp psyllium husk powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp Italian herb seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup boiling water

In a medium bowl, combine almond flour and flax seed meal. In a bullet blender, grind the psyllium husks into a super fine powder. Stir in the baking powder, salt, onion powder, Italian herbs, and garlic powder. Lightly beat eggs and add them to the bowl along with the olive oil. Add in the boiling water and stir well until the mixture comes together in a wet dough. Press into an oiled round baking dish or small pie plate. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serves 4:        243 calories  4 net g carbs  18 g fat

cubed and sauteed bread 

Now to assemble the salad:

Focaccia Bread Salad

1 recipe Focaccia Bread

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper
1/8 red onion
1/2 cucumber
1 tomato or 2 Roma tomatoes
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, sliced

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the focaccia bread into bite sized cubes. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Toss the bread cubes into the pan. Saute the cubes until they are toasty on all sides and lightly browned. Set aside to cool. Cut all the vegetables into bite size chunks. Combine the focaccia cubes, vegetables and basil leaves in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle over the salad and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4:   365 calories   9 net g carbs   28 g  fat

This would be wonderful with along side a steak or grilled chicken breast. Now is the time to take advantage of all that fresh produce that abounds this time of year. No need to add complicated flavors when the natural goodness is so obvious. Some bites taste more like tomato, others like the cucumber and some taste more like the peppers. This salad is fun to eat and the bread adds an interesting texture and substance. Just a little lemon juice and olive oil make the best dressing to keep things light.Since I am all into tasting the fresh veggies, the next issue of the Diner News will feature all sorts of new recipes for Farmer's Market finds. Fresh at its best! You can always order the monthly newsletter here. That one will be coming August 1st.

It has been a good weekend. My thanks go out to you who ordered the new e-book, A Table for Two. That is a great new resource for smaller families living the low carb life. And remember, proceeds from all my book sales go to support the alternative school I run. So, thank you for helping me help the teens!

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, July 16, 2014

The New Diner E-book, "A Table for Two" is Here!

As you may know, I have gone from a family with three hungry boys and a diabetic dad to an empty nester. Of course, the hubby still needs good low carb choices, but my Diner system has changed considerably since my last son moved out a little over a month ago. Because of that life transition, I updated my prep system and planning system for couples. It is great for singles and young families also--you know, the ones where the kids eat so little or have their own foods? So now, no one ever need to stand with an open refrigerator door wondering what to eat.

To be healthy we need quality food. Even though I am just feeding two now, I still really need a plan in place. Bet you do too. If we don't have the right foods in the house we will end up eating poorly. Granted, you may not even keep carby foods around to tempt you, but good meals don't assemble themselves! Ever had a recipe in mind only to find you were missing a key ingredient? Maybe you forgot to thaw the meat. Sometimes you can't even figure out what to make. With the Diner system in place, those problems will never happen. A Table for Two replaces the large quantity cooking of my Classic Diner e-book, and replaces it with smart cooking for smaller meals. It will teach you efficiency in the kitchen and will keep you from running for take out or eating things that you know are not healthy. Many of the key planning concepts are the same as in the original book, as they have withstood the test of time.

In addition, you get peace of mind with one less thing to stress over. Mealtime will be pleasant and food is quick. Some menu planners just cover dinner. My new e-book will help you plan all your meals. In my early working years, I can honestly remember times when I took a can of tuna and crackers to work for lunch. That is running-out-the-door-late style lunch packing. Yuck! I usually ended up not eating rather than run everyone off with the smell. Or I would eat the popcorn and cocoa my office supplied for employees and guests. Yep, that was good nutrition! Sound familiar to any of you? Planning will make all the difference. Once I began the Diner system, I  had other teachers check out my lunches to see what I had brought. (It most always looked better than theirs.) When the boys were little, I shutter to think how many times we ran out for fast food because I failed to have dinner ready when the crying time began. (no judgment here) Imagine not worrying all afternoon about that evening meal, or setting the alarm early to cook breakfast. Food no longer consumes so many waking hours!

When you work the Diner System, you will have more time to enjoy life. Now, I love to cook--except when I have to. Does that make sense? I love to be creative in the kitchen. I don't always love getting everyday meals on the table. My e-books teach how to take advantage of freezer meals. Sometimes the entire entree just needs to be heated up. With other meals, the key ingredient is already cooked, just waiting for you to add fresh ingredients. What a time saver that is! Just a little time on the weekend to prep, and you will save many hours later in the week. Salads and snacks prepped. Muffins baked. Meals will be fast and clean up will be minimal.

Either e-book will save you money too. No more overbuying at the grocery store. Very little produce wasted and growing a science project in the back of the crisper. When you know what you are going to eat each week, you only buy what you will use. It is so simple, I honestly don't know why more people don't plan. With my book, you can build your menu and prep day around the items that are on sale that week and save even more money. Because you have freezer meals to rely on, that means you won't be eating chicken all week because that was the sale. But go ahead and stock up because that chicken will be prepped and waiting in the freezer for meals weeks from now. It is just so smart.

The Diner system is customizable. Choose your own meals, your own prep day, shopping day and menu. I have suggestions and tools, but you are in control. When I was younger, I was always trying a new diet plan. What I could never do is correctly follow a pre-written menu. Maybe I am just a maverick at heart, but someone else planning every bite that went into my mouth was a recipe for failure. With A Table for Two, you are still making the choices. You can even switch meals around during the week. Make the system yours without the guilt. Eat what you like. Of course, I have over 100 recipes in the e-book. You may use those or substitute your favorite low carb recipes. Even more, with the PDF format, you can easily print only the pages you want.  You can make your own customized recipe book with your favorites.Or don't print at all. Take your ebook into the kitchen with you. Plus, you choose your favorite sweeteners and oils, choose organic produce and grass fed meats or buy what you can afford.

Not a planner? Like I just said, I have over 100 recipes in the new book. That alone is worth the price. Even if you refuse to ever make a weekly menu, you will benefit from learning how to get three different meals from one basic protein. You will appreciate making one recipe that you can eat once and freeze the rest for another day. It is simply going to make life easier even if you don't follow the whole system. And these recipes are our favorites from over 7 years as low carbers. Some are scaled down versions from the Classic Diner e-book, and many are new creations.

What is different? It is hard to find recipes that make smaller portions. I have done those conversions for you. I happen to adore leftovers, but not everyone does. I get that. Of course, some recipes will still be larger because you are learning investment cooking. I even have learned to adapt crockpot recipes using smaller slow cookers. The rest is very similar to the original system because it works! You will learn how to plan meals, stock a freezer, and be much more efficient in the kitchen, all smaller family style.

One more plea. This blog has always been a companion to the Classic 24/7 Low Carb Diner e-book. It follows our family's life--the ups and downs. I am not a professional cook or author, not even a foodie, just a real person. I don't have time for complicated recipes or fancy preparation. I chose the Diner theme because it is real food for real families, available around the clock. That has not changed. I am now chasing my vision as a full time teacher and administrator for my alternative school, Element. The Diner system has kept my family going though the long hours of launching a school. With no outside funding, I have used everything I earn from these books, my newsletter and the Low Carbing Among Friends series of cookbooks in efforts to keep our program going. I don't draw any salary at the school, and personally scholarship many of the students. You have made that possible. By purchasing my books for just $10, you directly impact the lives of teens who do not thrive in a traditional classroom setting. I have witnessed amazing changes in some of these kids, and I will do everything in my power to keep the school going. We still have great needs to keep our building and to pay for individual tutors for the upcoming year. By purchasing this new book, you can help our mission. The system works for me. It keeps me sane and my family healthy.  I think it will work for you too...and you can support a worthy cause.

To order:
 A Table for Two: A Meal Planning System and Recipes for Couples and Singles 
Living the Low Carb Life 
visit the 24/7 Low Carb Diner website .

Of course, you can also find samples of my recipes here on the blog and at
 Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook page. 
Proceeds from those sales also benefit Element. 
Like the page and be sure to order our team's cookbooks at my link.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Indian Fry Bread Tacos

Indian Fry Bread recipes have always bothered me a bit. Being 1/4 Native American myself, I have never quite figured out how white flour and vegetables oils became an authentic native recipe. In addition, most every tribe claims its recipe as the original. So, I just need to put the true historian in me aside, and enjoy what I have here.

Indian fry bread is mostly like a biscuit dough flattened into a disk and fried. Around Oklahoma it is very popular to add taco fixings on top. Some say to add honey or sugar, but to me that makes a Mexican Sopapilla. I prefer the beef topping. Although this may not be authentic, you will find this dish at the state fair, street carnivals and area Pow-Wows. It is no wonder--they are very good!

This low carb version, of course, does not use wheat flour. I used a coconut flour and psyllium husk based dough to make a flatbread. That is a recipe I included in June's Picnic issue of the Diner News. It does make a great sandwich, but I wondered about tweaking it into a frybread. I think I managed today. Hubby really liked it. I made two versions, one with more oil and one with very little. I like the more fried one best for this. I also added a step to the flatbread recipe. I think it makes it a little easier to work with.

Because I don't own a good non stick grill pan, I tried a good deal of coconut oil in my stainless steel pan. Don't try that. The dough will absorb the oil and get really gooey. Lesson learned. Attempt #1 went into the trash. Attempt #2 used the oven. I know, I hate turning on the oven in the summer, but this really helped. After flattening the sticky dough on parchment paper, I popped them into the oven until they began to firm up. 5 or 6 minutes at 350 is good, I think. (I may have put them in a little before the oven was up to temperature.) Then they were much easier to put into the lightly oiled skillet. Win! I added some coconut oil and butter once the flatbread was nearly finished cooking. That gave it the fried taste without the gloppy mess. It is no more trouble than making  grilled cheese sandwich. I will explain the rest in the recipe.

Indian Fry Bread Tacos

2 tbsp ground psyllium husk powder
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cups boiling water
2 tsp refined coconut oil
1 lb browned ground beef
2 tbsp chunky salsa
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
Taco toppings:  lettuce, shredded cheese, green onion, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, etc

Grind psyllium husk powder in a bullet blender until it is a very fine powder. Do not skip this step. Although the flakes look small in the can, you must grind them. Combine the psyllium, coconut flour, baking powder, salt and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Add olive oil but do not stir. Pour the boiling water over all, stirring as you pour. Keep stirring until the dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Place each ball on a square of parchment paper. Use your fingers to pat the dough out to a thin disk. (I like to place a sheet of parchment on top as well to help with the pressing of the dough, which can be sticky)

 Place the sheets of parchment with the dough onto cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for about 5-6 minutes until the dough begins to firm up but is not cooked through. While the breads are baking, brown the ground beef. Season with salsa, chili powder and cumin.

 When breads have lost the shiny surface, remove them from the oven. Heat a skillet or griddle and coat lightly with refined coconut oil. Holding the parchment, flip the frybread onto the heated surface. Peel away the parchment. On medium heat, cook the frybread until the bottom begins to brown. Flip and cook the other side in the same way. This may take a little longer than you expect. Undercooking will leave a moist doughy frybread, while overcooking will make it too crisp and not flexible. When you think the bread is nearly ready, add a pat of butter and or more coconut oil to the skillet to "fry" it. This step is optional, but tasty. Brown for another minute on each side. Remove to a warm plate while you prepare the other fry breads.

Top each fry bread with seasoned ground beef. Add the toppings of your choice.

Serves 4:  1 Fry Bread is 170  calories 1 net carb
                 4 oz of 80/20 beef and other fixings are 357 calories and 4 g carbs

This is a very filling meal. I suppose the fiber in the psyllium helps with that. If you are not accustomed to eating psyllium husk fiber, be sure not to overdo on this recipe. Give your intestines time to adapt to all the fiber. I like to bake these flatbreads into pizza crust also. Just keep them in the oven until they are firm and browned. This way, you can fold the fry bread. You could fold it all up like a taco, but we chose to eat with a fork. Could be that I had lots of toppings! This recipe is adapted from Miracle Flatbread at Clever Cook. It is also similar to Judy Barnes Baker's favorite flatbread on the Carb Wars Blog. Mine is a little simpler and has no almond flour.

So like I said, this is not so traditional to the ancient Indian diet, so who cares that I am using coconut flour and psyllium husk. Doubting my more ancient Yuchi (Euchee) ancestors ate many of these of either variety. But like all cultures, we borrow a little from those around us and make it our own. I thought you might enjoy seeing a photo of my Great Grandfather, Lewis Ekilane Long. He was a small man by the looks of it. He was a Chief and Dance Leader for our small tribe. It is a sad story how the health of Native Americans has been so impacted by the introduction of sugars, wheat and refined foods. Diabetes is rampant among Native Americans. If they--we--returned to more traditional foods, what a difference there would be.

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.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Lime Mousse Made with Lime Curd

This stuff is so good. It is one of the recipes I promised to be made with the Lime Curd I just featured. It really couldn' t be any simpler if you have made that delicious Lime Curd. As a huge fan of tiny desserts, I made this one in an egg cup I picked up at Old Time Pottery. At my age, I just don't overdo desserts because I can't afford the calories. This recipes has so much flavor you don't really need more than a few tablespoons to be satisfied. This little delight is so easy to whip up single serving style. You already have the lime curd in the fridge--and that lasts a while. Just add some coconut milk, stir it up and voila!

I had a premium full fat coconut milk from Sprouts that was already quite thick. That works and makes a soft mousse with just a little whisk.  Just don't try it with a light coconut milk. That would result in a sauce rather than a spoonable dessert. Even better would be to simply use the hardened fat from a can of coconut milk that you have chilled a few hours. Much like my Strawberry Coconut Mousse. It does need to be a brand that separates the fat from the water. You might need to experiment with different brands. My Sprouts brand stays emulsified so it didn't separate. Good for some applications, like soup and smoothies, but not so great if you want that hardened chunk to make into mousse. Watch for ingredients. If the can does not list guar gum, it is more likely to separate. Using just the solids will give you a thicker mousse. But even with my slightly thinner version, the taste is amazing.

I am going to give you the simple directions for one small serving at a time.

Lime Curd Mousse

2 tbsp prepared Lime Curd (the Diner recipe which is sugar free)
2 tbsp full fat coconut milk solids or thick milk

With a small whisk, mix the curd with the coconut milk. Spoon into a very small dessert cup and enjoy.

1 serving   153 calories  3 g carbs

Love this Lime Curd.  I have one more idea for it that involves berries. Stay tuned!

I also have some big news coming up about a new e-book. We are very close!

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, July 6, 2014

Lime Curd Mini Pies

Limes are finally on sale! My Sprouts had 10 for a $1 this week. Sure I bought ten! And look what turned up in my kitchen. Lime Curd. Sounds awful. Who named that anyway? Why not call it "amazing tart and sweet velvet goodness on the tongue"? So deceptively easy to make. And lime instead of the more popular lemon curd. Lime. Totally lime. Pure citrusy goodness without the bother of the milk or cheese to get in the way.

Today I had it in mini pies. I make a big batch of these at once and keep them in the freezer for quick desserts or even main dishes--remember the Barbecue Chicken Mini Pies? You can grab the mini crust recipe there. So now, with the heat index up over a hundred again, I didn't need to turn on the oven. If you don't have any mini pie shells around, feel free to make one--big or small, this curd can handle it. You can also just layer it in a dessert shot glass with some toasted finely chopped nuts. You could spoon it over a vanilla Minute Muffin. You could eat it with fresh berries. . .you could just eat a spoonful now and then. I have some leftovers, so I will try to put some photos up of other ways I eat this up this week. Until then...

Lime Curd

2 tbsp fresh  lime zest
juice of 4 fresh limes
1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup powdered Swerve or equivalent sweetener
6 egg yolks

Zest the limes on a very small grater. Squeeze them to collect the lime juice. Melt the butter over low flame in a small saucepan. Stir in the sweetener until dissolved. Add the lime zest and the juice. In a separate small bowl, separate egg yolks  from whites. Beat yolks lightly. Slowly, whisk the yolks into the lime sauce. Stir constantly over low heat until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let cool.

2 tbsp is 98 calories and 1 g net carbs

For my little pies, I added a dollup of thick creamy coconut milk. Almost like whipped cream, but not quite. Easier and just as good. The curd sets up nice and thick. See the thickness is this picture with my tooth marks through it? That's the testimony. Lemon and lime curd keep well for a week or so, and can be used several ways. I am planning a mousse later this week. You can also half the recipe of you don't want too much!

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, July 3, 2014

Summer Squash Bake and My 2 Cents on Cutting Zoodles

It is getting to that point in the summer when it is too hot to turn on the oven, so you had better make this dish before the real heat wave hits. (at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere) It still weirds me out a bit that I have Diner followers from all over the globe. It is awesome, just it reminds me how much smaller the world is in these times.When I was in college, I rarely called home a hundred miles away because the long distance phone charges were too high. Now we can talk to people all over the world for just the cost of our internet connection. So much has changed in my lifetime-- and I don't even feel old!

 If you have an abundance of summer squash, this is a really tasty side dish. I wish I had a green thumb and could be growing my own squash. I tend to get big beautiful plants, but no squash. Didn't even try this year. I think this would be marvelous with fresh sage also, but I am not growing that either. Maybe you can do better.

This dish is paleo if you leave off the cheese, so even those who don't do dairy can appreciate it. I made
the cheese version
both variations today. They are both good, but different. The cheese variation I made in an individual casserole dish. The cheese gives it a salty creaminess, but I must admit that the flavor of the sage and squash itself is a little lost. The non dairy version has a certain sweetness that is easily discernible. Perhaps that is the coconut milk, but I couldn't taste coconut at all. The flavor of the sage is subtle, but definitely noticed. (note: my sage may be a little old, and therefore not as flavorful. The first time you make this you may want less. Sage is one of those herbs I happen to adore.)

Bake it in the morning before the heat sets in and you will appreciate it at dinner time. I had a julienned squash recipe in the July Diner News. That one has a Sherried Cream Sauce with the squash. I served some leftovers to my mom for lunch yesterday. She really liked it, so I was inspired to use the rest of my squash today in a similar fashion. I had been looking for ways to use my newest gadget--a Vegetti slicer. That's how I julienned the squash for both dishes. My review is under the recipe.

Summer Squash Bake

4 cups julienned yellow summer squash and zucchini ( about 2 small or 1 1/2 medium to large)
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup full fat canned coconut milk
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup crumbled bacon
optional: 3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Julienne slice a mixture of yellow and zucchini squash. Sprinkle salt over the squash and set it in a colander to drain excess water for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large  bowl, beat one egg. Gradually stir in coconut milk until well blended. Add sage,  onion powder and Mozzarella if using.

Use your hands to wring additional moisture from the squash shreds. Pat them dry with paper towels. Stir the squash into the egg and milk mixture. Stir until well coated. Transfer into a baking dish. Top with crumbled bacon. Bake at 350 for 30  minutes. Let stand at least  10 minutes before serving.

Serves 4
Without cheese:   157 calories  6 g net carbs   12 g fat
With cheese:        217 calories  6 g net carbs   16 g fat

Zoodles have been a favorite for a long time. I started with a hand held peeler.   I hate that slicer though. I seem to be too klutzy to use it on the second half of the squash and always seem to cut myself. No good mixing blood in with the zoodles, so it got retired.

Then came a spiral slicer that I really like. It can shave vegetables into ribbons or make angel hair slices. That is my only problem. For some recipes, the angel hair option is simply too small. I wanted a more substantial slice like I had with my original hand held julienne slicer. I love the ease of the spiral slicer. Fast, no blood. If only it was a little larger cut--and a little better made.

But onto the Vegetti. I got mine at Ross for under $10. Most places seem to have it for closer to $15. So, sensing a bargain, I got one. I do like it, but I don't love it. I like the two sizes of vegetable noodles that it makes. I found though, that it does not accommodate large zucchini well. The whoppers coming out of some gardens are simply too large to work well. If you cut them in half, it is much harder to get a continuous even slice. It is hard with all the starting and stopping with a not so round vegetable. I am also not so crazy about the little cone shape that doesn't get used. I had to stop several times to chop it off as it tends to clog up the slicer. There is substantially more leftover vegetable than with the spiral slicer. I cut that by hand, so it wasn't waste. The spiral slicer is much faster, but it does take up more pantry space, while the Vegetti fits in my tools drawer.  Of course the hand slicer fit there too. I even managed to cut myself while looking through the drawer for something else once. Yes, I suppose most come with a guard, but I must have lost that. I am really not that organized, you see.  So, choose your method of cutting. If you have mad knife skills, feel free to go all primitive with just one knife. In that case, you are a culinary ninja and I applaud you!

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