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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Roasted Cranberry Brussels Salad

Salads can get boring. But then again, salads are one place where creativity can really shine! This is one that is unique and quite tasty. It is a perfect Thanksgiving salad. Extra special because you can make it early and it won't wilt or get soggy. Plus, it is full of holiday flavor. Cranberries and walnuts. Just don't tell the sprouts haters that those are shredded Brussels as the base green. I will keep the secret. I ate this at school and tested the waters. No one knew quite what it was I was eating. But even at three days old, this salad garnered attention. Our director kept telling me how good it smelled. Not sure if it was the salad or the Garlic Creamed Kale. Maybe a combination of both. You will have to wait for that recipe. It is a part of the Thanksgiving edition of the Diner News. Hold on, it is coming, but I still have a lot of baking to do!

This is a sturdy salad. The shredded Brussels are a little chewy--much more substance than a lettuce leaf. More like a shredded cole slaw. They are not bitter, and the flavor is mild. This dish is really a tribute to the roasted cranberries. Sweet and tart--especially if you choose to make the Cranberry Vinaigrette. The toasted walnuts add the perfect touch too.

Roasted Cranberry Brussels Salad

1 cup cranberries
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp granulated erythritol  / stevia blend
1 lb fresh Brussels Sprouts
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
Cranberry Vinaigrette to taste (recipe below)

Toss cranberries with coconut oil. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove and toss with sweetener. Let cool.

Remove outer leaves of Brussels and trim the ends.  Process with a slicing blade in a food processor.  Lightly toast walnuts and chop coarsely.  In a large bowl, combine cranberries, Brussels,  and walnuts. Arrange on a serving platter or in bowls. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Serves 6: 
No dressing: 137 cal    6 net g carb
Cranberry Vinaigrette:   215 calories 7 net g carb

Sugarfree Cranberry Vinaigrette

1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp granulated erythritol / stevia blend
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp MCT oil

In a small saucepan, heat cranberries with water and sweetener. When the berries begin to burst, mash with a spoon. Stir in vinegar, salt and pepper. Transfer to a bullet blender or jar with an immersion blender. Process with olive oil, then with MCT oil.

Serves 6: 78 calories   1 net g carb

 I thought this was beautiful on a white platter rather than a bowl. The contrast in the light greens of the Brussels and the deep jeweled red of the cranberries was pure art. The drizzle of cranberry vinaigrette made such a palette of autumn! Of course, for ease of prep, like say on a busy holiday, this one is sturdy enough to add to small bowls ahead of time, ready to bring out just before the bird. Or whatever.  It is even OK to shredd the Brussels a day or two ahead. Please use a food processor. I want you to still have fingers for the holidays. It is awful being an injured cook on Thanksgiving. Just ask me about the time I scalded my knees when the water from the base of the roaster splashed me. (Yes, the roaster was in the floor. Unconventional place to roast a turkey, but I promise I have a tiny kitchen.)

This month's Diner News is going to be awesome. I bet you will find a new recipe to try out for the upcoming holidays. I always like to add something new to our family food traditions. Do you?

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

 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. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pumpkin Recipe Round-Up

This time of year you can never get enough pumpkin! Never that is unless it is those sugary treats that taunt us low carbers from every direction. Forget the lattes, pies, and yes, even Oreos!  I have gathered some of my favorite people in the world--my Low Carbing Among Friends team-- to give you a quick tour of the best pumpkin recipes that will have you celebrating Pumpkin Spice Season. Just as good as the sugary treats, but guaranteed not to add on the pounds or raise your blood sugar!

Let's start with sweet treats. Pumpkin Spice is in the air!

Pumpkin Pies are ever popular. Custard, Chiffon or Cheesecake, start making them now so you can try them all!

 Spiced Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake from Jennifer Eloff at Splendid Low Carbing

Pumpkin Pie Desert Pizza- grain free, paleo and low carb.
Pumpkin Pie Dessert Pizza  from Stacey at Beauty and the Foodie

Sour Cream Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars  another treat from Jennifer Eloff  at Splendid Low Carbing

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie  from Ginny at Ginny's Low Carb Kitchen

Low Carb Praline Pumpkin Pie
Low Carb Pumpkin Praline Pie  from George Stella at Low Carb and Lovin' It

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan-Chia-Flax Crust from Peggy at Buttoni's Low Carb Recipes

 Pumpkin Cheese Pie from Jennifer Eloff at Splendid Low Carbing

Move over Pies! Not everything that is sweet and spicy and  "pumpkiny" is a pie.

Pumpkin Coconut Ice Cream by Peggy at Buttoni's Low Carb Recipes


Pumpkin Coconut Fudge  from here at the Diner

Don't think everything that has pumpkin is sweet. Here are some delicious ways to get your pumpkin without the dessert!

Click to enlarge
Thai Chicken Pumpkin Soup  from Peggy at Buttoni's Low Carb Recipes

Pumpkin Lasagna from the Diner

Grain Free low Carb Pumpkin Spice Bagels. #grainfreepumpkinbagels
Low Carb Pumpkin Bagels  from Stacey at Beauty and the Foodie

Hearty Pumpkin Soup from Jennifer at Splendid Low Carbing

I love pumpkin so much...there are just too many recipes to list! In fact, this October, the entire issue of the 24/7 Low Carb Diner News is devoted to pumpkin recipes!  Here are some more you can get if you order a year of newsletters.

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting with Caramel

Pumpkin Enchiladas

Pumpkin Sloppy Joes on Savory Pumpkin Quickbread

Pumpkin Cheddar Cauliflower Mash

Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte

Sugarfree Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin Doughnuts with Maple Glaze

Butterscotch Pumpkin Custard

Pumpkin, Chicken and Mushroom Stew

Pumpkin, Tomato and Bacon Soup

Pumpkin Cheesecake Protein Shake

Now, go get yourself some pumpkin. Get the Diner News here.

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

 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, October 11, 2015

Tomato and Roasted Eggplant Soup

The weather is beginning to turn cooler, and so soup is on the menu. What's perfect about this time of year, at least around my parts, is that we still have fresh tomatoes in the garden. Basil too. This soup uses those--and eggplant. A little roasting rounds out the flavors and makes an especially tasty soup. That's not a step I am likely to take in the summer heat. Roasting in my tiny kitchen makes it too hot. But early fall? You bet. I adore the flavor of roasted veggies.

Tomato and Roasted Eggplant Soup

1/2 eggplant
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 small onion
1 tsp minced garlic
4 fresh small tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup half and half
2 tbsp fresh finely chopped basil
4 tbsp shaved Parmesan cheese

Peel eggplant and dice into half inch chunks. Toss with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Dice onion and add it to the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring midway through the roasting.

Meanwhile, immerse tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and peel the skins from the tomatoes. Roughly chop and add to a soup pot. Add the broth and bay leaf. When eggplant is roasted, add it with the onions to the soup pot. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the half and half and fresh basil.

Divide soup among 4 bowls. Top with additional basil leaves and 1 tbsp of cheese per bowl.

Serves 4: 118 calories  6 net carbs

This is one of those meals where the side requires more attention than the protein. This soup is the unique taste. I like a simple grilled chicken breast with it, and perhaps some toasted low carb bread. Yummy good. I like to bring soup to school for my lunches too. I just pack it in a canning jar, then reheat in the microwave. Teaching at a small school this year, I eat out with the students. We don't actually have a lunch room. Some things I eat get some interesting remarks--like last month's Pumpkin Enchiladas. This one smells wonderful and looks tastier to the kids. Always better than their Lunchables!

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

 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, October 7, 2015

Fall Fondue

Acorn squash is usually not my squash of choice. They are a little sweeter and higher carb than my favorite this time of year--Delicata. But these are easier to find, and often stunning to look at. This one I found last year had the deep rich green you expect, but also had this gorgeous orange. It was perfect to make a fondue where the outer shell served as the serving bowl. Simply stunning.

This is a special occasion dish, for sure. To keep the carbs down, you need to share it with 11 friends. Like at Thanksgiving perhaps? That is why I featured this recipe in last November's Diner News. It was a hit with my family, so I thought I would feature it now, almost a year later. Remember, most of the recipes in my newsletter are not shared on this blog, so it is a value to subscribe. I do share some of the recipes, because I simply cannot operate a full test kitchen. I have a busy life too! This is a winner, and if you want all my recipes, don't forget that you can order back issues of the Diner News too. It is all on the web page along with my e-books.

Now back to this fondue. Nothing is more fun to share. This recipe capitalizes on the natural sweetness of the squash and cranks it up with some sugarfree apple drink. I hate using aspartame, but I do on the rare occasion. If you can find a pre-sweetened apple drink with natural sweeteners, by all means use that! I would. More and more drinks are on the market everyday. It is hard to keep up.

This is more cheese flavored than it is sweet, so it is still good for veggies and low carb bread dippers.

Acorn Squash Fondue

This one is perfect for fall parties. It is a little sweet and a little cheesy. Surprisingly unique. I like it with roasted Brussels  and mushrooms, but low carb breads made into toasts or crackers would be wonderful as well.

1 acorn squash
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sugarfree apple flavored drink (Great Value )
3 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup cream
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Cut the top third off the acorn squash. Cut the point from the base of the squash so it will sit steadily. Do not cut to the hollow part or the fondue will leak out. Remove the seeds and pulp. Rub the insides with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Let cool 5-10 minutes then scoop out the insides to 1/2 inch from the shell.

Add the scooped squash to a small saucepan.  Stir in the apple drink and heat for 10 minutes to further soften the squash. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to make a puree.   Return the squash to the pan and stir in the cream cheese and cream. Heat and stir until the cream cheese melts and is fully incorporated. Add the shredded cheese one fourth cup at a time, stirring continually until melted. Add thyme and salt.

Pour the hot fondue into the reserved squash shell. Sprinkle nutmeg on top for garnish. Serve with roasted vegetable dippers or low carb crackers.

Serves 12:         95 calories       2 net carbs     8 g fat

So if you have a party, luncheon, girls night out, or any other fun fall event, try this. It will please those who do not low carb too. It reheats in a microwave when you arrive at the party, so it is impressive but easy.

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

 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, October 4, 2015

So Long Summer Lemon Blueberry Cake

I am a girl that loves fall. Seriously loves it. But then, this is that special time when we still have summer produce and freshness that we just don't have all year round. This cake is perfect for summer. It is light, sweet and tart. Not heavy and spicy like all the pumpkin spice treats abounding. Since I just produced an entire newsletter of pumpkin spice, I have to admit that ardent lover of all things Autumn that I am, this was perfect today.

I found the adorable little dessert pan on sale at Kohls yesterday. It was 60% off and I got another 30% off over that. For that price, I couldn't resist adding another baking pan to my arsenal of pans. I am so bad. I really have a problem hoarding kitchen gadgets. They even all pass the test of do I love them, and use them? The answer is yes. They make me smile. I just do need a bigger kitchen. This pan is meant for mini pies with an indentation for a scoop of ice cream. I immediately saw it as a cake pan with a little hollow for some berries. It would work both ways. Hint: It is on sale online if you want one.

The Lemon cake without topping
I had friends over for lunch today. Actually Linner. It is Sunday. We eat it that way. A big meal right smack dab in the center of the day, then just a snack at night. If there can be an official Brunch, then Linner deserves a place too. After a meal of Pork loin roast, a side dish of a squash, rutabaga and turnip bake, some old fashioned green beans and rolls, we had this for dessert. Before you flip, the rolls are from a recipe I created for my Diabetic Directions Cookbook which will hopefully be released by the physicians group soon.

The interesting thing about this meal, is that it was a special family we shared with. These dear people have several serious health issues, diabetes and lupus included. The dad is newly diagnosed with diabetes and is not overly enthusiastic about the dietary changes that need to happen. I am still not sure this meal has him convinced, but I am doing my part to help. It is crazy how many people ignore the power of the foods they put into their bodies. (They ignore the destruction bad foods cause too.) Having fed my youngest son through some very serious digestive issues, I know how time consuming special diets can be. But we waste so much time doing stupid things, taking time to prepare good food seems like an obvious choice. I wish.

On to this recipe. Light, delicious and easy to make in any cake pan. Just prettier in mine.

Lemon Blueberry Cake

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup erythritol blend or equivalent sweetener
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup almond milk, unsweetened vanilla or plain
2 eggs
1 egg white
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp liquid coconut oil or MCT oil
1 tsp lemon extract

1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp erythritol blend or equivalent sweetener
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest

In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients: coconut flour, sweetener and baking powder. In a separate small bowl, combine eggs, lemon juice, oil and extract. Add wet to dry and stir well. Prepare pans with oil.  Spoon into cupcake liners, a small round cake pan or baking dish. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes for individual servings, 20-22 for one pan. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

While cake is baking or cooling, prepare topping. In a small saucepan, combine berries, water, sweetener, juice and zest. Cook over low heat until berries are soft. (5-7 minutes) Mash them with a spoon to release the contents and thicken the sauce. Pour the sauce over servings of the cake.

Serves 4-6

4:  157  calories  8 net g carb
6:  105  calories  6 net g carb

We had such a nice visit between the families. Unfortunately, they had to leave early because our sweet Miss Em is suffering from her Intracranial Hypertension again. I introduced you to her a long while back, when she was first diagnosed. We now know that is a complication of Lupus. She is scheduled for another brain surgery in just a couple of weeks. Please keep this brave young woman in your prayers. She was feeling too nauseous to eat this dessert tonight. She even has a recipe named after her in the Low Carbing Among Friends Cookbooks. Miss Emily's Cinnamon Tea. It is the perfect time of year for that--especially for those of you who are not tired of pumpkin spice yet.

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

 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.