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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mini Bell Nachos Diner Style

Last week, we went out to a Mexican food buffet. Oh my, does that take self control. Granted, my plate was yummy and satisfying. I made a bed of lettuce and topped it with slow simmered shredded beef, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, and jalapenos. Good as it was, I stopped myself from adding an enchilada to my plate. But once out of the buffet line, the temptation should end. But no. Of course the super nice waitress just kept bringing extra baskets of freshly fried tortilla chips to the table.  Grr.

It took me a week, but I finally got a nacho fix. My Sprouts store had these mini bell peppers on sale, and I used the whole bag to make a big cookie sheet of loaded pepper nachos to share with the family. Well, honestly just the hubby and dogs. They were delish--probably even better than the tortilla kind. These don't leave you with those disappointing bald chips at the bottom of the pile. And yes, you can pick them up with your fingers like a true nacho. Just have a napkin handy.  I made this recipe for three, although we probably could have eaten them all. So even without the corn chips, think portion control. They are really filling though. Just so addictive...

Mini Bell Nachos

16 oz mini bell peppers
3/4 lb lean ground beef
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp Adobo seasoning
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced cilantro
1/4 cup diced onion

Cut the tops off the peppers. Cut in half and remove seeds. Cut the base if needed to make the pepper lie flat(ish). Arrange the peppers on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven to add toppings.

While peppers are pre-baking, brown the ground beef and drain off fat. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin and Adobo seasoning. Stir to coat meat well. When peppers have baked, distribute the beef mixture over the top. Then sprinkle cheese, onion and cilantro. Go ahead and add jalapenos and salsa if you like.  Place the pan back into the hot oven for an additional 7 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Serves 3:  478 calories  8 net g carbs

I really love the fresh cilantro in these nachos. Leave it out if you want. I have a little advice for trimming the cilantro leaves from the bunch without having to pick out so many stems. That will be a part of the May issue of the Diner News. It is going to feature Kitchen and Food Hacks--shortcuts and clever ideas to make the low carb life easier. You will have to wait to see how to do that one, but you don't have to wait to try some of these delicious treats.

the entire cookie sheet filled with Mini Bell Nachos

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

DIY Yogurt cups for Lunches and Snacks

Don't get me wrong. I like yogurt. I have always included it in our low carb lifestyle, opting to go with the idea that much of the lactose is consumed by the active cultures. I don't pay any attention to carb counts. But even the single serving containers hold more yogurt than I usually want. My sweet tooth is pretty tame. 2 to 3 ounces is plenty for me. But leftover yogurt is gross.

Back when my youngest was on the SCD diet, I had to make lots of homemade yogurt. And it had to be cultured 24 hours. That can make for a tangy treat. I learned lots of ways to flavor it for him too. Grocery store flavorings, LorAnn flavorings, Capella drops, juices and even peanut butter powder. I have an arsenal. I have shared many of these ideas before. To learn my way of making homemade yogurt, see this post. For more flavoring ideas and how to set up a fun yogurt bar for company, see this post. I love making yogurt parfaits with layers of sweetened nuts in between different flavors of yogurt. Yum.

The days of needing to make my own yogurt are past, and I have been enjoying the Oikos Triple Zero Greek style yogurt from Dannon. I like that it is sweetened with stevia. Penny pincher that I am, I prefer to buy the big container and make lots of different flavors. If you buy the vanilla, it is quite simple to add some additional flavorings to mix things up. No getting tired of vanilla everyday. For a long time, my routine was to add flavorings and sweetener to plain yogurt. Now I can skip the sweetening step and save a little more money too!

I like these little food containers from Dollar Tree. Like I said, I don't need the bigger 4 or 5 ounce containers. I eat yogurt as a side dish, not as a breakfast. That is just too much sweet for me. These are just right. The snap on lids are lunchbag safe, fit in my Bento boxes, and give me just the right serving for my little dessert. It is great to make a bunch of single servings at one time and then enjoy lots of flavored yogurts during the week. I use my chalk ink pen to write the flavors on the lids. Washing that off is a breeze. This set of markers is a little pricey, but has lasted for 4 years. Grab your 40% coupon for Hobby Lobby or Michaels and get some. They write on jars as well.

I have to say that two of my favorites are newer experiments. I used to stir peanut butter into our yogurt, but now I use peanut flour. It is not as hard to find as it used to be. It was once a coveted substance from Trader Joes--and for me that was a state away. (My town is finally building a Trader Joes. I am so excited. Pretty close to me too.) I have purchased some from Netrition. I love that I get the same great taste with fewer calories. We old girls seem to have to watch that.

John and I both like my blueberry chia jam stirred into the vanilla as well. That recipe is super simple and good for you. Find that on this post. Other flavorings are good too. If you want creative you should look online for Capella or LorAnn flavorings. Some like chocolate but I loathe that. The tang just doesn't go away for me, and I can't do tangy chocolate. Of course, fresh diced strawberries is a treat too, but I save those for desserts and eat them right away. These are good for the long haul.

The other flavor I adore is lemon. It just marries so well with the tartness of the yogurt. I add organic lemon oil most often, but I have also had success with lemon juice. Even a packet of TrueLemon works well. Sometimes I make a big batch of just lemon yogurt. Then I add all three to really ramp up the citrus punch. This has got to be my all time favorite. You should try it too. Those of you who do essential oils could get some amazing lemon flavor there.

So it is Sunday, my prep day for the week, and now I have some great Greek yogurt in my fridge. Today was short for me because I had two boys home. What a treat for this mama. What did you get done today?

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

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

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

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

My husband loves me. He loves that the theme for the Diner News this month is "Man Food." He has been served some amazingly delicious foods. You know the favorites among the guys--bacon, beer, beef, hot sauce, and even whiskey. Yep, we got 'em. I am sharing this incredibly tasty meatloaf. A Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf made with a blend of beef and pork that holds all the flavors of your favorite cheeseburger. Everyone in the family will love it.

I chose to make a freeform meatloaf baked on a rimmed cookie sheet. That way, more bacon can be added to the outside. Yum.

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

1 1/2 lb ground beef and pork blend
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, cubed
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup low sugar ketchup (I use Heinz)
2 eggs
2 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp Wright’s  liquid smoke
1 tsp onion powder
6-8 slices of bacon

In a large bowl, combine ground meat and all remaining   ingredients except bacon. Form into a freeform loaf. Wrap the loaf with bacon, crisscross weaving. Place  the loaf on a rack over a baking dish. Tuck ends of bacon under the meat. Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.

Serves 6:  392 calories  3 net g carbs

Now, not to show off, but I just have to share some of the delicious foods featured in this month's newsletter. If these don't make you drool, I simply don't know what will.

Beer Brat Skewers

Korean Beef with Stir-fried Veggies

Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Sweet Mustard

Jack's Frisky Whiskey Burger

Pulled Pork Popper Sandwich

Guacamole with Bacon

Tennessee Whiskey Pork Chops

Beer Brat Cheese Chowder

The Ultimate Sriracha Barbecue Bacon Burger

Hobo Dinners on the Grill

Crockpot Phillies

Turkey Sausage Meatza

Beer Braised Beef Chili

Sriracha Skewers

And believe it or not, that is not even all! You really need to order the Diner News if you haven't yet. Just go here.

If you don't like beer or whiskey, don't fret. Cooking and marinating with beer gives a unique flavor, nothing like drinking from a bottle. Same goes with the whiskey. I purchased a tiny airline sized bottle of Jack Daniels for these recipes, and I still have some left. The impact on flavor just can't be compared to anything else. Hope you try some of these!

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

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

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