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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Friday, March 31, 2017

Firecracker Shrimp

Some like it hot! These little shrimp bites are something to tell about. A little fire and a little sweet. That tender chewiness of shrimp and savory enough to keep you coming back for more. And that's okay, because these little devils are super low calorie too.  In fitting with this month's theme for the Diner News, they have a slimming secret or two. Full of flavor, but no added fat. Sweet but no sugar. Spicy to make you happy and rev up your metabolism.

I like to add easy too. I start with cleaned, pre-cooked shrimp. No fail and no hunting for little veins. The tails are attached. I happen to love that. It makes me slow down to eat them and really consciously enjoy my meal. That is a slimming secret too. I have so many of them, you really think I would have become so skinny that I could just blow away. Alas, no. I will always need to be ever mindful in my eating. If you are the same, then this issue is for you!

Firecracker Shrimp

12 oz frozen cooked shrimp
3 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp Sambal Oelek
1 tsp tamari  or soy sauce
1 tbsp erythritol/ stevia blend sweetener
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Pinch cayenne
2 Green onion tops or chives

Thaw and drain shrimp. In medium bowl, combine lime juice, vinegar and Sambal Oelek. Drizzle the juice and vinegar over the shrimp in a lidded container. Stir to coat.  In small bowl, combine sweetener, garlic powder and cayenne. Sprinkle this mixture over the surface of each shrimp. Marinate several hours as the shrimp thaws, stirring from time to time. To cook, simply warm everything in a nonstick skillet.  Garnish with diced green onion or chives.

Serves 3:  119 calories  2 net g carb

Note, that this serves three. Perfect for a meal for two and a leftover lunch. I do adore leftovers. I must admit that I have the most interesting lunches at school.  This shrimp would also be great to serve for a party. Just find some friends who love the heat as much as we do! I will admit to adding an extra sprinkle of crushed red pepper. That is up to you.

Get a nice serving of protein for just 119 calories. That leaves you plenty of room for veggies and even some caulirice or shirataki rice. Think how many veggies you can add and still have a super low calorie, low carb meal! In this month's Diner News, I share several recipes that use all the little secrets in my arsenal for a slimmer life. This one is both low carb and low fat. That adds up to low calories. Not that I am counting, but we must practice moderation, right?

Check out some of the other yummy foods in this issue that will keep you light. Order the 24/7 Low Carb Diner News here.

Prep Ahead Taco Cobb Salad Bowls

Sassy Cajun Skillet Dinner

Light Layered Lasagna in a Jar

Jicama Pickles

Green Monster Moonshine from THM

Asian Egg Muffins

Albuquerque Dirty Rice

Cranberry Slushie

Taco Train Soup ( adapted from THM's Woman's Day Article)

Arnold's Oolong

Green Chile Egg Cups

Golden Girl Salad Dressing

Peach Fizz
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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Golden Girl Salad Dressing

I have been trying to cut back lately. Adding some meals that are not only low carb, but low calorie too. I know, many of you don't need to do that. And, believe me, I am not counting or doing anything too drastic. But it seems smart to me to lower the amount of calories I normally take in as I age. I recall some dear friends of ours saying that they began to be filled up on much less food as they aged. Now that I officially qualify for many senior menus, I am awaiting that change in my hunger level.. My husband seems to be eating less, but not me. I stay as hungry as ever. Granted, he does have several years on me. My menu plan now calls for a few meals that range more in the 300 calorie range. Still low carb, but low fat too.  I still get my good-for-you fats at other times during the week.

So as spring has arrived and more salads are on the menu, I wanted a new low calorie dressing. I generally like the Skinny Girl dressings, but they do all seem to taste the same to me. This home made dressing is so different. I love cumin and this dressing tastes exotic and so substantial. Plus it is just around 11 calories per serving with just 1 carb. So move over Skinny Girl, I am more about Golden Girl these days. Even though I do still refuse AARP!

Golden Girl Salad Dressing

3/4 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sunflower lecithin
1/4 tsp glucomannan
(optional: 1 drop lemon oil)

Combine  ingredients in a bullet blender. Process until smooth. Let rest 5 minutes. Check thickness. Add more glucomannan if necessary and blend again.

Serves 6:  11 calories   1 g carb

This dressing is tart, but earthy. The sunflower lecithin helps as a thickener, but you could add a bit more glucomannan or xanthan gum instead. The strength of that product can really vary. I am experimenting with lecithin these days as I try to get the most nutrition out of everything I put in  my mouth. It helps with mouth feel and is good for my brain and nervous system as well.

I am doing this month's Diner News on the theme of  'Slimming Secrets". I have quite a few ideas to keep you--or get you--a little lighter. You won't want to miss it. In the mean time, this sweet puppy is my other way of keeping my energy up. Puppies make you feel young! My Trooper. Isn't he adorable?

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

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Love the recipes I share on this blog? My ebook helps you plan and prep to stay healthy 24/7.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Copycat Monterey Melt Burger

I love it when restaurants low carb regular menu items for me without making an act of congress out of it. I always get a smile when we eat out at Whataburger. I have my order memorized. "Monterey Melt, not the meal, no bread. Please put all the other fixings on and put the Jalapeno Ranch in a cup. I would like a side of shredded lettuce to replace the bun. I know, it doesn't usually come with lettuce, so could you please add that for me?" I always get what I want. Sometimes the dressing is in a styrofoam cup, sometimes a ready made container. It is always delicious, and no order taker has ever been annoyed. Granted, it takes some longer than others to get that side of lettuce added. If you don't have Whataburger in your area of the world, then I am truly sorry. But then, you can make this copycat version of mine. Win!

I had a hankering for one of these burgers the other day. Yes, I can say "hankering" because I am from Oklahoma. Translated, it means craving or desire. But it was my only day during the week that I didn't need to leave the house. Woohoo, a no make up day for me. I had the choice of letting the world see my dark circles and age spots, or try to make it myself. You can tell which won. A couple of my students still talk about the day I didn't come to school with my makeup on. No, I don't wear a lot of make up, but my eyes definitely benefit from a good dose of mascara and eyeliner. That's another subject. Lunch is more important now.

So...lately I have been experimenting with sheet pan recipes. Now that we are just two, once sheetpan can easily cook our entire meal. I could never have done that with three teenage boys at home. The thing about the peppers on the Monterey Melt burger at Whataburger, is the texture. The are soft and lightly browned. Done like they were not in a hurry with a hot griddle. (Guess who usually hurries that step) They definitely benefit from a good dose of fat. So I thought the idea of peppers and onions baking on a sheet pan with the burger patties would work. Wow. It was awesome. And so easy. I even started with frozen patties.

Copycat Monterey Melt Burgers

4 - 1/4lb  80/20 ground beef patties
1 green bell pepper
1/2 onion
smoked sea salt to taste (or regular salt)
1/4 cup prepared Ranch dressing
1/4 tsp Chili Dawgs Jalapeno Seasoning
2 slices Monterey Jack Cheese 
2 slices American Cheese

Prehat oven to 350 degrees. Place beef patties on a rimmed cookie sheet. Slice pepper and onions into thin strips. Place vegetables around burgers. Bake for about 30 minutes. Toss veggies in the rendered beef fat and turn burgers at the 15 minute mark.

While the beef is baking, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, combine Ranch Dressing and Jalapeno spice. Flavor will intensify as it sits.

When burgers are cooked through, plate the patties. Top with cheese slices and surround with peppers. Drizzle dressing over all.

Serves 1 or 2: each patty with fixings: 332 calories   4 net g carb

This is the seasoning mix I used to get a dressing that tastes exactly like the one at Whataburger. (it has more than just jalapeno in it) See the Chili Dawgs site for more info. No, I am not getting paid or product for this one. I just like it.

You might want to pick up the green chile version too for a recipe in the  April Diner News. Hint. Hint.

Now one little thing about the cheese. The burgers have one slice of each, but they use a thinner patty than I did here at home. You could go half and half on each burger. My hubster eats two, so it is easy to give him both. I think they would be cute half and half--I would break on the diagonal. Of course, you can use any cheese you like. Mine was actually Cheddar in the photo.

Now I get it. Some of you are going to balk at the idea of baking a burger in the oven. I promise, this works. As long as you have a good quality beef and don't overcook, it is going to be moist. No tough sear necessary. The peppers and onions are soft and flavored superbly with the beef fat. Just adjust your salt and pepper and use as much or little of the dressing as you like. Afterall, I have mine on the side.

So there, no super fancy meal here. No winning the Pinterest superstar meal. Just a yummy way to satisfy a specialty burger craving. I am trying to enjoy spring break without too much work. Progress reports are due. The weather has been chilly after weeks of sun and warm weather. Grr. That is not going to help the kids settle in after break. This is the time of year we teachers burn out and kids get extra squirrely. Still, I will be so proud at graduation. I hope you are doing things that make you proud too.

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

Order our books at: 

Love the recipes I share on this blog? My ebook helps you plan and prep to stay healthy 24/7.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Rosemary's Cocktail Nuts

Just let me warn you now. Portion control ahead.

These nuts, flavored in your kitchen with butter and dried rosemary are spectacular. Sophisticated. Addictive. This will be a go to recipe for me from  now on. Perfect for parties and showers, gift-giving, or that extra little treat in my lunch bag.

I love a good wasabi almond or chile lime peanut. But these are nothing like the nuts you can buy at the store. Once I stumbled upon the idea of rosemary and nuts, I found that many a gourmet had traveled this path before. The world is filled with variations. Some with garlic, others with maple, some sweetened, some not. I was really interested in discovering the flavor of the rosemary itself, so I chose one of the simplest recipes as my launching point. The Diner recipe is closest to that of the Food Network.

I backed off the heat of the cayenne. That was for the hubby's best interest. He doesn't do hot, and I don't want to be responsible for eating this entire recipe alone. Not with all the nut tasting I have been doing this month while working on a nut related newsletter. Besides that, the hubs has been using all my cayenne to sprinkle into holes the new puppies have been digging in the back yard. I think our yard has the definite scent of various peppers wafting from the soil. I am not sure it is working how he hoped, Rather than abandon their digging, they simply seek virgin ground to dig. Our yard will be so fun to mow this summer with scores of small holes, all able to twist an ankle. Joys of puppies. (I still miss the days when it was Tonka truck construction creating the holes.)

My oldest son just celebrated his 4th anniversary yesterday. These nuts would have been wonderful for the wedding reception. Sweet memories. And even better news for our family today. My middle son Pearson, has great news, Following his radiation treatment, the doctors now see no evidence of cancer. We are praising God for that!

Without further avail, here is my promised recipe from this month's 24/7 Low Carb Diner News.

Rosemary’s Cocktail Nuts
The unusual flavor of this nut mix is unexpectedly good!

3 cups mixed nuts*
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 1/2 tsp salt if using unsalted nuts
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

In a skillet, melt butter. Stir in rosemary, salt if using, and cayenne. Stir in nuts to coat. Transfer nuts to a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes if using raw nuts, 5 minutes if using pre-roasted nuts. Let cool in the fridge to set butter.  Transfer to jars or serving bowls.

*preroasted will have a shorter baking time than raw mixes. I tested the recipe with pre-roasted, but the times listed in the recipe should be correct.

Serves 16:  169 calories  5 g carb

Note that serving size and don't overdo! It will be hard. I am practicing discipline these days. Never sit down with the whole bowl. Never. Limit your portion size on this recipe, and you will be able to try all the other nut and seed recipes this month. A year of the Diner News is just $6. Take a look:

So Frugal Almond Dip

5 Spice Almonds

Sunflower Seed Hummus

Vanilla Pecan Butter

Thai Slaw with Spicy Peanut Dressing

Cowboy Crockpot Walnuts

Southwest Pepita Spread

Home Made Vanilla Almond Milk

Sweet Maple Pumpkin Seed Butter

Honey Sunflower Cookies

Chicken with Romesco Sauce

Bitchin' Sauce

Coconut Cashew Butter

Sunflower Seed Milk
Pesto Chicken

Remember to order the Diner News:

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

Order our books at: 

Love the recipes I share on this blog? My ebook helps you plan and prep to stay healthy 24/7.