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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Banh Mi -- International Flavor, No Bun!

This is a pretty popular sandwich in the food truck world. Slow roasted pork, infused with soy, lime, garlic, ginger, chili and 5 spice. Top that awesomeness with crunchy pickled veggies and jalapenos. No wonder the lines at the food truck are a block long. This Vietnamese specialty is not my mama's sandwich.

Of course, in my low carb kitchen it is not a sandwich at all. I made these into lettuce wraps. So good! I checked out several recipes and combined a few. Some of the purists use a pork pate as well as the shredded pork. I did try the suggestion of using potted meat product. Umm. No. I gave it a good shot, but this is simply better without that rather weird ingredient. (Just a little too much like cat food for my tastes)

Bahn Mi

3 lb pork butt, cut into about 2-inch cubes (don't trim off the fat)
4 cups water
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp erythritol/ stevia blend
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp chili paste
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder

Combine all ingredients in a Dutch oven. Braise over medium heat, uncovered until all liquid evaporates, ab out 1—1 1/2 hours. When liquid is gone, place a lid on the pot and move it to a 300 degree oven. Bake an additional 45 minutes, stirring half way through. Remove from oven and let cool. Shred meat.

While the meat is cooking, make the pickled vegetables. 

Pickled Vegetables:
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
3-4 radishes, sliced into matchsticks
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp erythritol
1/2  tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp chili paste

Combine all ingredients, chill 1-2 hours.

Serve the meat wrapped in a Napa Cabbage leaf with pickled veggies and sliced fresh jalapeno.             

Serves 8:  395 calories   3 g carbs

This would be just as good as a salad with the meat and veggies over chopped napa cabbage. In fact, I ate it that way for lunch today. Lots of grading getting done. No drips into the computer!  This is really a good flavor profile. My hubby left off the jalapenos. He usually doesn't care for pickled veggies, but liked these. They really do make the dish!

We have had a lot of fun exploring the new cuisines of the food truck craze. We went to a festival, but sadly couldn't eat most of the offerings. When you go, be sure to snap photos of the menu boards. That way you can re-create low carb versions of the ones that interest you the most. I loved the easy to prepare hot dog selection. The lastest craze is cream cheese on them. And don't limit yourself to weiners. Think brats, sausages and hot links too. I am finding more and more with very low carbs, thus fewer fillers. Great for quick summer meals when you don't want to heat the house.

Check out the offerings in the June issue of the 24/7 Low Carb Diner News.  Order and get a whole year of monthly issues for just $6. 

Peanut Butter Bacon Sliders

Slider Buns

Tulsa Dogs

Ninja Nachos

Italian Joe Sausage Dog

Greek Chicken Souvlaki

Bacon Wrapped Onion Bombs

Georgia Peach Dog

Barbecue "n" Beer Pulled Chicken Sammies

Whiskey Barbecue Sauce

Seattle Brat Dog

Green Dragon Bacon Skewers

Jalapeno Peach Relish

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

Monday, May 30, 2016

Ninja Nachos

I am seriously obsessed with food trucks these days. It is so not the old fashioned state fair kinda foods. You know, corndogs, funnel cakes and nachos with fake cheese?  Food trucks these days are hip. They are going gourmet; they love fusion of cuisines. Hence, Ninja Nachos. The foods are often healthy and really creative! We went to a festival a few weeks ago and I got tons of ideas. Of course, most aren't low carb friendly. But stealing some ideas here and there and duplicating at home with low carb choices--yeah!  So the June issue of the Diner News is going to feature my interpretations of fabulous food truck finds. I have some pretty amazing stuff. You should watch for my truck    the Diner News for June.

It is a little weird for me, since my family used to own a food truck. We definitely did a lot of hot work and never got rich. We sold fresh pork rinds. But it seems that the day has come for the food truck revolution. I think it would be fun to own my own and sell only low carb and paleo foods. But, I am too old and tired for that! Not to mention too poor to buy a truck. So a newsletter it is.

The recipe I am sharing tonight is actually 4 recipes. The secret is in the sauce so to speak. Two sauces and a marinade. All very important!  These nachos have a definite Asian flair. Teriyaki chicken, Thai Red Curry Aioli,  Thai Peanut Sauce, cilantro and jalapeno. Forget cheese. Forget tortilla chips. These are amazing! Gotta give a shout out to Crunch, the originator of this concept. Fantastic idea, except that they use wonton chips as the base. Betting there is a tad too much sugar in the teriyaki sauce too. I am not too sure what goes into the Crunch version, but here is what I came up with. Really tasty.

Ninja Nachos

Teriyaki Chicken: 
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp erythritol / stevia blend
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp red chili paste

5 oz package pork rinds, spicy or plain
1 cup shredded Napa cabbage (or plain cabbage)
1/4 cup Thai Pepper Aioli (see page 2 for the recipe)
1/4 cup Thai Peanut Sauce (see page 2 for the recipe)
1/4 bunch cilantro, diced
1 fresh jalapeno pepper

Place chicken in a freezer bag. Add soy sauce, sweetener, garlic, ginger, fish sauce and chili paste. Marinate chicken for 4 hours or overnight. Discard marinade and grill on a contact grill. Cut into cubes. Divide pork rinds among 4 plates. Top with shredded Napa cabbage and cooked chicken. Drizzle with Thai Pepper Aioli and Thai Peanut Sauce. Garnish with fresh cilantro and fresh jalapeno.

4 Servings:  356 calories     3 net g carb

Thai Pepper Aioli

3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Thai Red Curry Paste

Serves 4: 79 calories  1 g carb  

Thai Peanut Sauce

2 tbsp natural peanut butter
3 tbsp water
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Thai red curry paste

Combine all ingredients until smooth

Serves 4: 55 calories  1 g carb

 One word of warning! Eat these up immediately or the pork rind nachos will get mushy. My pork rinds were a little on the small side, so I ended up eating with a spoon. If you have large enough rinds, go ahead and use your fingers nacho style.

Also, if you prefer, you can prepare the chicken in a small crockpot. Just cook the chicken in the marinade.  You can also sub Sriracha for the red curry paste.

Remember, to order the food truck issue, just order the Diner News. The June issue will be out on the 1st. You will get a whole year of the news for just $6. Such a bargain.

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, May 22, 2016

Thai Sesame Lime Zoodle Haystack Salad

This was my contribution to my second potluck cookout of the day. Granted, I took the lazy way out and brought cheese to the first. But the second brought out a tad bit more effort today. After the weekend I have had, that is a big deal. Graduation week at school is a whirlwind of activity!

This salad is gorgeous. Put it into a trifle bowl, and you have a showstopper. It is light and flavorful too. And the secret is that I didn't even make the dressing from scratch. Just tried out the Aldi salad dressing. Like all things Aldi, you never know how long it is going to be around...but for now, I really like this. The sesame is not overbearing and the lime is just the right amount of citrus. It really brings out the flavors of the fresh veggies, but it is more interesting than the normal vinaigrette.

The recipe is more of a method. Just go with what you like! This is enough for a crowd, so you may want to half it for a family. This pretty much filled my trifle bowl. The idea of the haystack is the little pile of veggies you make on the plate. Go for a  mound like a haystack and have fun finding the little treasures of pepper, onion and tomatoes inside the zoodle strings.  It is fun to eat. I saw some friends swirling the noodle like spaghetti. I did bring leftovers home, but we had at least half a dozen terrific salads to choose burgers, chips and desserts.

Thai Sesame Lime Zoodle Haystack Salad

3 large zucchini squash
1 red or orange bell pepper
1/2 pint yellow or red cherry tomatoes
1/2 red onion
6 oz Aldi Specially Selected Thai Sesame Lime Dressing

Spiral cut the zucchini. Use kitchen shears to cut some of the strands so the salad will be easier to eat and serve. Dice pepper. Cut tomatoes in halves. Finely dice onion. Toss all vegetables with the dressing and chill for several hours. Stir again before serving.

Serves 12:   100 calories  4 net g carb (7)

If I had time today, I would have added some diced fresh cilantro and a few toasted sesame seeds to the salad. Truth is this morning, I couldn't decide whether to use this dressing or another Aldi offering--Roasted Bell Pepper Dressing. I didn't have time in my schedule to toast the seeds, and I hadn't purchased cilantro. Go ahead and plan to add them if you make this salad. Both dressings were good, so if you don't like tahini, go the pepper dressing route. If you don't have an Aldi nearby, just go with any favorite salad dressing. The veggies will love anything!

I recently ordered these cool bowl and plate toppers on Amazon.
They are so helpful when you want to cover a plate or serving bowl. I hate putting everything in ugly plasticware when I go to social events. These fit the bill. With so many sizes, there will be one to fit every dish, from dessert cups up to dinner plates. I love using them for my salads I take to school. No spills no mess and no plastic wrap coming undone. Order them from this link and I will make a little extra cash.  And if you don't have a spiral slicer, check this one out.

This would be excellent for a Memorial Day get together. No mayo to be worried about. I will have some other great ideas coming out soon too. This June Newsletter is going to be awesome!

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

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Chorizo Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers

These little jewels make me happy. So very yummy. Fun to eat. Not hard to make.

I have had a whirlwind of a week! Busy every night this week. Prom, plays, and dinners with friends. What a time. This is the last week of the school year, so things may slow down a bit, although I am planning for summer school already. Next year too. I have some things in the works for my diabetic cookbook too. Some healthcare events around my little part of the world. More to come there. Promises to be a good blogger were futile.  I tried a couple of recipes to share here on the blog this week. Ugh. No success. No big smiles when I tried to roast baby zucchini. I had such high hopes. Some weeks go like that.

Now back to these peppers. Again, I used the chorizo from Aldi. It is quite good and lower carb than some that I have found in other stores. I used the mild for the hubby. Great price too. I hope they keep it. I hate when things go away at Aldi.  I did see that coconut oil cooking spray was back after being gone for months. Grr. Just ordered MCT oil for my oil mister. 

Chorizo lends a sophisticated flavor--not hot, and nothing like traditional sausage. I still think it is tricky to cook. I tend to just watch ground meats for color and not watch time. That is difficult when the sausage is already the reddish brown color from the spices. Not much color change. You should probably be more careful than I am. I usually try to do too many things at once--cook, sweep, let dogs in and out, talk on the phone, etc. Maybe that is why we like things a little more well done than families with a really devoted cook. Perhaps I have over cooked a few things...but at least I have never given us food poisoning.  I am a creative genius, but certainly not a perfectionist. I could never be a cake decorator. Nor a brain surgeon. For me, messy is just as good. These will make your fingers just a little messy when you eat them. I noticed at lunch that my nails still had a bit of an orange tint. Yes I did use my fingers to stuff the mixture into the peppers. If you want neat fingers, use a spoon.

My sweet mama and wonderful middle son both shared these this morning. Thumbs up from all.

Chorizo Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers

6 oz fresh chorizo (not the cured Spanish style)
2 eggs
2 oz neufchatel cheese
12-18 mini bell peppers

Cut the chorizo from one tube. Reserve the remaining tube for another recipe. Brown in a skillet, crumbling as the meat cooks. While meat is cooking, slice the top third off peppers, creating a boat shape. Finely chop the tops and add them to the chorizo. When sausage is firm, add lightly beaten eggs. When eggs are just set, add neufchatel cheese and stir until melted in. Scoop the meat mixture into the hollow of the peppers. Smooth with the back of a spoon. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Serves 4:   244 calories  6 net g carbs (8 total)

These would be excellent party food too. I do love mini bell peppers for parties! Parties this time of year! I have three next weekend. Is life this busy for you?

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, May 1, 2016

Huevos Rancheros

It is the first of the month and time to share the goodies in another month of the Diner News. I am having such a hard time deciding what yummy recipe to share with you today. The last month, I have been creating skillet recipes for you. Pretty darn good stuff if I do say so myself. You have already seen Chicken Bella and my Skillet Brownie Dessert. Most of my creative energies these days go into the newsletter. The content in there is mostly new and not featured on my blog or Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook pages. Sometimes it is so hard not to share them all. But a girl does need to make some money...and you would not want to buy anything if you could get it all for free, right?

My poor husband is still without a full time job. He has been looking since the station sold last October and he was out of his 27 year employment. He has some odd jobs, and his unemployment just ran out. The next issue of the Diner News may well be on frugal meals. It is a bit of a scary time, but we know our Father understands our needs. I do what I can, and this is one of the things he has blessed me with. I do love recipe development. I love creating the newsletter. I do hate the dishes though. No way around that.

Skillet meals mean fewer dishes. I love the convenience of that. So in deciding which creation to share, I chose one that uses a skillet rather creatively. This one is both a fry pan and casserole dish, but you don't have to wash in between. I used my sons small cast iron skillet to make a single serving, but since I am featuring this here on the blog, I can easily give directions for a larger version as well. That's a winner. So here we go.

Traditionally, Huevos Rancheros are fried eggs with salsa on a corn tortilla. Of course, there are thousands of variations. Now there is a new one. Mine. No corn tortilla. No salsa. No beans. Plenty good though.

Since we low carbers need to replace the corn tortilla, I can offer up several alternatives. To be super low carb, choose to make a tortilla substitute. I would recommend my Indian Fry Bread Taco base, much like a thick tortilla. Made with psyllium, it is really sturdy and yet good for you. Get that recipe here. Not that hard...but...even easier? If you aren't gluten free, which we are not, Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran and Whole Wheat Pita breads are wonderful. They really stand up to the task, and make this a really substantial meal. Just 5 net carbs for the pita. Of course, any low carb tortilla would work.

If you want to make a large skillet version, do one of two things. 1. Use a Joseph's Lavash bread cut to fit the skillet. I promise it will be delish and so easy. 2. Make a larger size flatbread from the recipe link for the frybread. Quadruple the rest of the ingredients. Bake a little longer. That's about it.

I love the flavor of the chorizo in this recipe. That is why I opted not to go with salsa. I didn't want to over power that flavor with too much heat. I found that Aldi now carries chorizo, and it seems to have fewer fillers than the brand I find at Walmart. This is the fresh Mexican style chorizo, not the cured Spanish style. If you don't find a good source, Chorizo can be made simply at home too. Here is my home made recipe that uses chicken instead of pork. Just watch chorizo. With all the paprika, it is tough to tell when it is cooked through. I might have over cooked mine a tad. I am well known for doing that.

Now straight from the May issue of the Diner News:

 Huevos Rancheros

3 oz mild chorizo ( I like the Aldi brand)
1 Joseph’s reduced carb pita bread
1 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 tbsp diced red onion
2 tbsp chopped orange bell pepper
2 tbsp diced Roma tomato
2 eggs
1/4 avocado
Optional: 1 tbsp feta cheese (I used Happy Farms Crumbled Feta “Sweet Heat” with peppers. Nicely hot! None for my hubby)

Remove chorizo from casings and add to a hot skillet. Break up meat. When cooked through, transfer chorizo to a plate, leaving the drippings in the skillet. Add the pita to the base of the pan. Top with grated cheddar to cover pita. Add chorizo to skillet. Scatter onion, pepper and tomato on top. Break eggs into skillet. Bake at 400 degrees until egg whites are set and yolks are a bit runny. (My skillet fits inside my toaster oven, making this even easier) Garish with sliced avocado and peppered feta.

Serves 1:  526 calories  9 net g carb (with feta)

Some folk like the egg yolks runnier than I do, so feel free to adjust the time in the oven according to your tastes. I like a little more heat, so I added the hot cheese. A sprinkle of jalapeno salt would do well also--just don't cover up that yummy chorizo. This is a really filling meal that will stay with you for hours!

If you would like to order the smaller sized skillets, I have them in my Amazon store. Every little bit helps keep our power on! 

Now, on to the other great recipes you get in the May '16 issue of the Diner News.
Strawberries 'n' Cream Cobbler

Creamy Roasted Pepper Chicken Skillet

Teriyaki Steak and Peppers

Italian Sausage with Fire Roasted Tomatoes

Skillet Meatloaf

Skillet Brownie Dessert

Pepperoni with Garlic Green Beans

Chicken Bella

Old Bay Shrimp and Sausage Skillet

Porcupine Skillet (deconstructed Porcupine meatballs)

Cruciferous Crunch Stir Fry--A Trader Joe's special

To order the Diner News for just $6 a year, visit our homepage.

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