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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Simple South of the Border Soup

Did you catch that title? Simple? That's what I need. When it is nearing 100 degrees outside, I don't want anything complicated in the kitchen. I know, salads are easy, but I am getting tired of salads. I stayed in today, and really wanted some Mexican food. A little time at the stove was alright. Just a little. I get jealous of those 6 can soup recipes. Just open some cans, dump stuff in, then a few minutes on a burner and you are done. But I don't do canned beans and canned corn. Bummer. But then a thought...

The Diner News theme this month is foods that beat the heat. I had purchased some canned chicken breast for those recipes...mostly chicken salads. Gotta admit, it is awfully convenient to have pre-cooked chicken. Even if you lose a little texture in the process. (Or, you might be "Diner" smart and have a package of pre-cooked chicken cubes in the freezer. That would be great too.) The thought was--soup would be a great option for canned chicken. Mexican inspired soup. Yes! And I just happened to have a can of fire roasted salsa style tomatoes that was calling my name. Extra good because someone else did the fire roasting. Probably could have done that on the hood of my car, with the heat today!

This is the soup I came up with. It is very versatile. Go ahead and clean out the fridge a bit. I like the riced cauliflower I added. It was a lot like rice in the soup. I like to keep some of that on hand in the freezer, do you? I have blogged about that before. Since you are going to have to clean the food processer anyway, might as well be smart and process a big batch of "caulirice" everytime you make some.

The tomatoes are worth looking for. Mine came from Aldi. They really do have a kick! I suppose you could use plain fire roasted tomatoes. You could use a Rotel type tomato base. You could use fresh tomatoes, but you will have more time at the stove. You could even use plain diced tomatoes, but you will miss all that flavor from the peppers and onions. So think long and hard.

Simple South of the Border Soup

3/4 cup finely chopped cauliflower
12 oz can chicken breast
14.5 oz can Fire Roasted Salsa-style Tomatoes 
14.5 oz water or chicken broth
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Adobo seasoning blend (may sub garlic and oregano)
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 tsp sour cream
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Cook cauliflower in the microwave and chop finely. (or use pre-cooked cauliflower rice)

Combine chicken, tomatoes, water, cauliflower, chili powder, cumin, adobo seasoning and salt. Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve in bowls topped with a tsp sour cream and  2 tsp cilantro.

Serves 3:  177 calories  7 net g carb

This recipe made 3 servings. That might seem odd, but it works out great to have a bowl to take for lunch later in the week. Always thinking ahead, right?

Some may ask why eat hot pepper in hot weather? Well, there is actually scientific evidence that spicy food has a cooling effect on the body. It can also help speed up metabolism. Sounds like it is still a good thing to me. Stay cool!

Get more great  low carb recipes at Low Carbing Among Friends.

 Order any of our great cookbooks at

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or the latest version for couples and singles, A Table for Two here.  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Southwestern Cobb Salad

A couple of days ago, I invited my close friend, Donna, over to lunch. She has recently undergone thyroid surgery and is now battling her weight. We chose to sty away from the restaurant scene where it is tough to know what you are getting. I prepared this low calorie Cobb salad for us to share. It was quite yummy. The carbs are a little high..but just a bit and they do come from healthy sources. (veggies!) We didn't quite finish the veggies, so I am pretty sure we were more around 10 carbs per salad. I like serving guests this way, because they can pick and choose which ingredients they prefer to add to their plate.

I lined up all that beautiful food in a neat little serving/cooking dish my son Pearson got me for Mother's Day. He knows I love Wilton Armetale. This is officially a warming tray for the grill, but I see all sorts of uses for it. We love it for fajitas. I have baked foccacia bread in it as well.  It does make a beautiful presentation for this Cobb salad, even though it never went into the oven or on the grill. This type salad also looks amazing on a square plate or rectangular platter. Get creative.

Southwestern Cobb Salad for Two

8 oz chicken breast
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
4 strips turkey bacon
1 Roma tomato
2 slices red onion
1 stalk celery
1/3 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
2 mini bell peppers
4 tbsp sour cream
4 tbsp green salsa
4 cups Romaine lettuce, finely chopped or torn

Trim fat from chicken breast and dice it into bite sized pieces. Place it in a non stick skillet. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin and onion powder. Stir while cooking until no pink remains. Fry the turkey bacon in the same skillet until lightly brown. Set aside to cool and crisp.

Finely dice the tomato, onion, celery and green bell pepper. Mince the cilantro and dice the mini peppers. Arrange the meat and vegetables in rows on a serving platter. Fill small bowls with sour cream and salsa verde.

Shred Romaine lettuce and arrange it on serving plates. Allow each person to serve themselves from the vegetable and meat platter. Top with sour cream and salsa.

Serves 2: 308 calories  13 g net carb

This is just one of those light summer salads that make the heat almost bearable. Keep cool and enjoy!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Turkey Sausage Meatza

My family loves pizza. It is tough to choose toppings. I like onions, peppers and mushrooms. Boys don't like the onions. Hubby doesn't like the mushrooms. We all agree on pepperoni and sausage. Except maybe the daughter-in-law. She just doesn't want greasy. This one really is not, just delicious.

Sausage. That is the "crust" here. Yes, the concept of the "Meatza" has been around a while. I have no idea the genius that came up with this one. For my Man Food edition of the Diner News last April, I featured this version. I used turkey sausage as the base so it was not swimming in fat.  Great flavor, especially when combined with the pepperoni, cheese, peppers, onions, etc. Served this to my husband, so I left off the mushrooms. Such is the sacrifice a wife makes.

This sure beats any pizza cravings, and fills you up too. Add a salad and you are good to go.

 Turkey Sausage Meatza

1 lb turkey sausage
1/3 cup low sugar spaghetti sauce
1/2 chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
24 slices pepperoni

Line a pizza pan with parchment paper. Press turkey sausage into the pan, forming a crust. Bake at 400 for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and drain liquid from pan. Return to oven for another 5 minutes. Remove and drain juices again. Top with spaghetti sauce, pepper and onion. Sprinkle cheese over all and top with pepperoni. Bake 10-15 minutes.

Serves 4: 
341 calories 
5 g carbs

Turkey does not make a lot of scary grease on the baking sheet, but it does make a fair amount of juices. I drain those off a couple of times so it browns rather than steams in its own juices. This is yummy stuff and much easier than some low carb crusts I have tried. I even like it as leftovers. It was great in my lunch the next week.

Now that the school is closed, I may not be taking my lunch any longer. I do have an opportunity to share my menu planning and recipe development skills with a Diabetes education program, so I will still be busy. I am sure you will hear more about that as we get rolling. And you might have noticed that I have more time to be sharing at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page. Be sure to visit that often for more great recipes.

 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.  

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Freshest Summer Casserole - Yellow Squash, Tomatoes, Herbs and Parmesan

I know. I hate turning on the oven in this summer heat. My hubster does not like raw squash though, and I happen to adore baked tomatoes. So this time, a little heat was endured so that we might experience the joys of summer vegetables. I limited the cooking time, at least, and the squash chunks still have a little crispness left in them. Nothing like the pan fried, cornmeal coated squash of my youth. Not to say I still wouldn't enjoy that dish. This is definitely healthier.

It is pretty enough for company, yet easy enough for a weeknight meal. Nothing complicated about this recipe. Squash and grape tomatoes are so plentiful this time of year. Go ahead and use zucchini if you rather--or a combo of the two. Speaking of two, I made this just for the two of us. If you are feeding a family, double or triple this one. Easy peasy.

Fresh Summer Casserole

3 cups diced yellow squash
18 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tbsp fresh lemon balm, basil or other aromatic herb
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 tbsp fresh Parmesan cheese shreds

Cover the base of a small casserole dish with the diced squash and halved tomatoes. Finely dice fresh herbs, if using. Sprinkle over the vegetables. Sprinkle the dried seasoning and garlic powder over the vegetables and toss lightly. Top with fresh Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Serves 2 generously:   95 calories   9 net g carbs

This recipe looks like it is fairly high carb, but it is a big serving of good-for-you veggies, and that is a good way to go. I served it with some Bruschetta Chicken. Drizzle a little olive oil if you want. Add a little more salt and pepper if you choose. I chose to keep this light and simple and let the natural flavors shine through. That is what is so great about fresh summer produce!

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.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"Omelet" Stuffed Mini Peppers

Mini Bell Peppers are awesome. I love them for their versatility. Our lunch boxes often have a few tucked in. I use them as a base for nachos. Perfect to stuff with cream cheese. They are great to fill and bake too. Like this recipe. Ever thought of stuffing them with omelet ingredients? To die for good. Well, they won't actually kill you. Eggs are not the villains they used to be, so eat up!

This recipe is borrowed from the Diner News April '14. These are simple to put together and taste great hot or room temperature. In addition to their breakfast and brunch popularity, they make fun appetizers or terrific lunch box treats.

"Omelet" Stuffed Mini Peppers

 1 lb pork sausage
4 eggs
4 oz cream cheese
24 mini sweet peppers
1/4 cup Monterey Jack Cheese

Brown a pound of pork sausage. Drain off most of the fat. Lightly beat eggs and stir into the sausage. Drop cream cheese chunks into the skillet. Cook, stirring often,  until eggs are set and cheese is melted and incorporated. 

Cut the upper third off the pepper, lengthwise. Keep the stem intact. Remove seeds, if any. Dice the pepper tops. Add them to the egg mixture along with the Jack cheese. Pack into the peppers and bake 10 minutes at 375.

3 peppers = 253 cal.  5 carbs

These peppers are pretty cheap this time of year. My Aldi store had a bag for $1.99 today. Eggs are pricey these days, but this recipe is worth it. Go ahead and add in whatever you like best in your omelet. Mushrooms, onions, etc will be happy here too. If you aren't feeding a crowd, feel free to half the recipe and make just a dozen.

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.  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sriracha Slaw

I am eating lighter these days. so while my hubby was grilling out this afternoon, I made up a new slaw. He got his traditional favorite, my ever popular Nana's Coleslaw with  a Kick.  While low carb, that one is a little higher in calories than I am trying to go for me lately. Post menopausal metabolism. Grrr. Cutting calories seems to be what I need to do.

But with this slaw, I did not feel deprived at all. It has its own kick, but no mayo. I love sriracha; hubby is not a fan. That makes this recipe just for me. So, I give you a recipe for one. Of course, you can double, quadruple, whatever floats your boat. But if you want a nice little side dish in less time than it takes to heat the grill, this one is perfect.

I love slaw recipes for the summer. I purchase the big bag of pre-cut coleslaw mix at Sam's Club. They do all the chopping for me, so none of the cabbage mess all over the counter and floor. Yes, it always seems to fly off my cutting board. I know, I could use the food processor, but I hate washing it. Call me lazy, I don't care. I have other things to do. Redecorating the room that used to be our schoolroom--that is more fun than washing 6 pieces of a food processor.

Sriracha Slaw (single serve)

1 cup coleslaw mix or diced cabbage

1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce
4 drops liquid stevia
1/4 tsp chia seeds
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Measure coleslaw mix into a serving bowl. Press it down with fingers to measure, but don't pack too tightly. In a small bowl, combine cider vinegar, Sriracha, stevia, chia seeds, salt and garlic powder. Pour over the cabbage and toss. Eat immediately or chill to allow flavors to blend.

Serves 1: 22 calories  1 net g carb (3 carbs, 2 fiber)

Did you get that carb and calorie count? Hard to beat for a nice side dish filled with stuff that is so good for you. I use apple cider vinegar with the mother for extra nutritional boost. Chia seeds are part of our healthy diet too. I know prepared Sriracha has a little sugar, and I do have a recipe to make your own (May '14 Diner News). The sugar is so minimal though, I find that it is worth buying for my family. You decide.

My website for the 24/7 Low Carb Diner is down currently. It should be back up tomorrow. Why do problems always seem to happen on holidays? So if you want to buy the e-book or order up the Diner News, just try again tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully, things will be all worked out by then. If not, I will have bigger problems as my hubby will be in jail for killing someone with the ISP. Just kidding, not murder just assault maybe.  Til then, have a fun summer eating this cool slaw. I hear eating spicy foods actually cools the body. Maybe, but I like it just for the flavor.

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.