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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Friday, June 30, 2017

Summer Cool! Zoodle Cup Salad with Peanut Dressing

The temperatures are soaring outside. I hope they are not just as hot in your kitchen! I hate standing over the stove in the summer. I and refuse to even turn on the oven after noon. So I have lots of creative ways to make healthy meals that don't require the sweat of my brow.

Salads, of course, are a go to for the warm months. Lighter fare is appreciated. We have to watch though, to keep them healthy. What's more, we need to think beyond lettuce. My Chopped Salad In A Cup has been shared more times that any other recipe. Cups are a fun way to eat on the run. I happen to save these cups after being served from our hospitality area at church. I generally use them several times before I dispose of them. Warning: I am not sure if they go through the dishwasher. I happen to be one of those who wash dishes by hand. My dishwasher is basically a storage area for all those extra plates and bowls I can't help but collect! My guilty obsession. Don't judge me. Tiny kitchen yet enough plates to feed an army.

But back to summer food. I have an entire issue of the Diner News dedicated to meals that are cool to eat and easy to prepare in the heat. You should check it out.

I happen to be a huge fan of this salad dressing. I went ahead and drizzled it on top because this salad should be eaten fairly soon after making. Zoodles are better fresh. It will not hurt them for the dressing to seep down, but I wouldn't suggest making this one a day or two ahead. But do make it! So delish.

Zoodle Cup Salad with Peanut Dressing

This salad is  a take-off of my popular Chopped Salad in a Cup. The ingredients are layered into a clear plastic beverage cup, topped with a lid, and then packed to travel.  If you would like to pack a salad in a jar, simply double the recipe and have a more substantial salad meal.

1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 tbsp  lime juice or 1 packet True Lime
2 tsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
1 tsp Sambal Oelek or hot sauce
2 cups  spiral sliced zucchini
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
3 oz  cooked, diced chicken or salmon

In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, Bragg’s Aminos, lime and Sambal Oelek.

Spiral cut the appropriate amount of zucchini. Dice the cilantro.

In the base of the cup, add 1/2 of the zoodles. Drizzle with a fourth of the dressing. Add 1 oz chicken and top with cilantro. Add remaining zoodles and top with chicken and cilantro. Pour the remaining dressing over . Place lid on the cup and chill.

Serves 1:  237 calories   10 net g carb

Now check out the rest of the amazing warm weather meals and treats I have featured this month. You will want this issue!

Miso Ginger Salmon Salad

Barbecue Chicken Skewers

Lemon Blueberry Salmon Salad

Calorie Burn Frozen Arnold

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Shake

Jerk Chicken Marinade
Crazy Chocolate Mint Shake

Lemon Sugarfree Sherbet

Masa Wraps

Tropicana Pulled Pork Soft Tacos

Steak Fajita Bowl

Summer Sausage Salad

 Just by using your grill for some meals, your freezer for others, you will keep your cool this summer. If you want the recipes for all you see above, be sure to order the Diner News. Just $6 for a year subscription.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Miso Ginger Salmon Salad

I haven't used miso much in my life. To tell the truth, I didn't even know where to find it in the grocery store until recently. It kept popping up as an ingredient that chefs around the world adore. And not just for Japanese inspired dishes. I decided to see what all that hoopla was about. Gotta say, now I get it. By the way, miso is made from fermented soy beans. The red paste is a stronger flavored variety. Mine has 3 carbs per tablespoon, so it fits well in our eating plan. Hint: I found a good organic paste with the vegan foods in the cooler section.

THIS SALAD! This salad is not the winner of a beauty contest, but the taste is incredible. It had me at first bite! My hubby looked at me sideways and requested leftover pork roast. That is the kind of guy he is. I don't know how I married someone with so little adventure in his soul. His only idea of salad is something covered with ranch dressing. Gotta love him--but love this salad too.

It starts with that miso based sauce. More than half of that pours into the salmon itself. Now this would be amazing with freshly baked salmon. It would be prettier too. My canned salmon is not so pink. But I was developing the recipe for a summer Diner News. No cooking here. This sauce certainly elevates a humble canned fish. Now that the fish tasted amazing, the rest of the sauce combined with sesame seed oil, a personal favorite of mine, to make a dressing. This stuff bursts with flavor! The lettuce is a simple carrier for all that taste. I also like the tangy flavor from my jicama pickles. (The small white cubes in the photo) I made those for April's Diner News. Crunchy still, after 3 months in the fridge! I will include the recipe at the bottom of the page, but you really should make sure you have all the 2017 Diner News issues in your collection. To do that, go here.

Miso Ginger Salmon Salad

6 oz canned salmon
1 tbsp red miso paste
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp erythritol/ stevia sweetener
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 oz spring salad mix
2 baby carrots
¼ cup jicama pickles
1 oz roasted peanuts

Drain canned salmon. Remove skin and bones or mash in. In a small bowl, combine miso, vinegar, soy sauce, sweetener and ginger. Add about 3/4 of this mixture to the salmon and flake with a fork. Set aside. To the remaining mixture, stir in sesame oil. This will be the dressing.

Divide salad greens between 2 bowls. Place half of the salmon into a ramekin. Turn it out over the greens. Finely chop carrots, jicama pickles and peanuts. Sprinkle over the salmon and salad. Drizzle the dressing over each salad.

Serves 2:   338 calories   7 net g carb

Please, do use fresh ginger for this one. It really is amazingly different from powered. Of course, the peanuts are a favorite too. So much going on in this salad. So very much Umami. That's the 5th taste receptor that is so hard to explain. The miso and soy sauce add that factor in, as well as the fish itself.
I just can't describe what a wonderful salad experience. If you are tired of chicken and ranch, give     this one a go. It is just one of the cooling summer recipes I will be featuring this month in the Diner News. Order for just $6 a year, 12 monthly issues.

I am out of school right now. No paycheck coming in, so if you ever thought about ordering any book or Diner News, this would be a great time to go for it. The good news, is that John finally got a job. Not in his field, and definitely a paycut, but we are grateful for any employment after more than a year and a half. He can keep his part time ministry work, but he will be a busy guy. I am proud of his good attitude and humility. I know God is going to bless him. It has been a tough season for the Marshalls the last few years, but we are keeping our eyes focused on the blessings. Hope you do too.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tropicana Pulled Pork Soft Tacos

So here we have a couple of ingredients which are normally off limits for low carbers. Pineapple. Just a tad for a sweet burst of flavor. And tortillas made with real corn. Amazing. We had these for dinner last night and the guys loved everything. Sweet and savory. Slightly tangy with a pineapple barbecue sauce over slow cooked pork. Oh yeah! I am thinking that this really ought to be two posts, because I have so much info. But one recipe is simply not as good without the other. So, here we go.

I got the inspiration for the Masa based tortillas from a Trim Healthy Mama blogger, Nana's Little Kitchen. She was inspired as well, from a video post from Tisa Fournier on the THM Facebook page. They were, of course, building on ideas from others as well. The idea, as I understand it from Gwen's Nest, the Masa is not just a fine cornmeal. It has been treated with lime (calcium) before grinding, and causes it to have a lower glycemic index. Win! This treated corn actually is even healthier. Now we can't go crazy, but it is not taboo either. BTW,  try Gwen's marvelous corn muffin recipe too. It is excellent. Only wish I had created it! I am so happy to live in a time when we can all share our kitchen adventures!

Speaking of adventure, I did have a little trial and error here, so I modified the recipe a bit. The original recipe calls for oat fiber or psyllium husk. When I tried that, my mixture was much thicker than what I saw in the video. I added water, but had problems with my tortillas sticking to my non stick pans. grr. I tried a new batch, but this time left out the psyllium/oat fiber all together. Just egg white and masa. It worked great. I didn't have a pan I could swirl the batter in. I had the most luck with my old standby cast iron skillet. I simply poured the batter in and smoothed it out from the center in circles using the back of my spoon. Success. If you do want to try the psyllium husk, work quickly. I got called away to the phone and mine set up fast! I haven't tried the oat fiber yet because I found I didn't seem to need it. I think it was because I used egg whites from the shell, not a carton. They seem to be much thinner when purchased in that form.

Tropicana Pulled Pork Soft Tacos

3-4 lb pork roast

1 tsp smoked sea salt
3 x recipe Masa Wraps
2 bell peppers, sliced
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
4 oz shredded  cheddar cheese
1/4 cup diced cilantro
2 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple chunks
2 tbsp sugarfree orange marmalade
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 tsp glucomannan

Slow cook the roast, sprinkled with smoked sea salt for 8 hours on low. Cool, pour off broth,  and use two forks to shred the meat.  Add a tsp of coconut oil to a skillet. Brown the pork in the skillet while preparing the rest of the meal. Just before serving, pour in half the sauce.

To prepare the sauce, add all ingredients into a blender and puree. Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and simmer on low while you  saute the vegetables.

In a sprayed non stick pan, saute sliced bell peppers and pineapple chunks.

Heat the tortillas and arrange on a plate. They will remain very soft and flexible. Fill each with the pork and vegetable mixture. Top each with a sprinkle of cheese, diced green onion and cilantro. Drizzle with remaining sauce.

Sauce alone serves 8:  18 calories  4 net g carb

8 servings (3 small tacos each)  592 cal.   10 net g carb

 Masa Taco Wraps 
6 egg whites
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp Masa Harina
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
Coconut oil spray

Beat egg whites with water. Stir in masa, onion powder,  garlic powder and salt.

Spray a non stick skillet with coconut oil spray. Heat skillet. Add the batter to the center of the skillet. Use the back of a spoon to smooth it out into a thin tortilla shape. Circling the edges works well. Cook until the top is no longer glossy and the wrap releases without tearing. Flip and cook the other side until just beginning to brown. Remove to waxed paper to cool. Repeat with remaining batter.

Yield: 6-8
Serves 3:  55 calories
                   5 g carb

These are so delicious. Perhaps a bit time consuming, but you can easily break the work into doable chunks of time. The pork slow roasts all day. The tortilla wraps can be made ahead and reheated easily. The tropical flavor is unexpected, and a real crowd pleaser. Give this one a try. Of course, you can use a low carb tortilla from the grocery store, or serve it as a salad. Do what works for you!

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Fennel and Avocado Salad with Strawberries

It is salad season! It was really warm and windy today. I ate salads for both meals. That signals summer for sure for me. This is an unusual salad, but perfect for summer. It was pretty enough to be featured in the Diner News from April 16--the one with wonderful ideas for shower, brunches and other girly foods. It is pretty, but tasty too. I love the crunch and flavor of the fennel combined with the smooth creaminess of the avocado.

You should give this one a try. It is especially nice paired with baked salmon or a chicken breast.

Fennel and Avocado Salad with Strawberries

Fennel has a nice crunch and a light licorice flavor that goes well with the sweetness of the berries and poppyseed dressing. Beautiful presentation!

1 head fennel (approx. 1/2 lb)
1 avocado
8 strawberries
3 tbsp slivered almonds
1/4 tsp coarsely ground pepper
Prepared Poppyseed Dressing*

Shave fennel into very thin slices on a mandolin or in a food processor.  Dice avocado into chunks. Quarter or halve strawberries. Lightly toast the almond slivers.

Divide fennel among 4 salad plates. Distribute avocado chunks over fennel. Top with strawberries and almond slivers.  Sprinkle with pepper and drizzle poppyseed dressing over the top.

· I like Hungry Girl sugarfree and fatfree Poppyseed Dressing, available at Walmart. I use 2 tbsp per salad

Serves 4:   141 calories  8 net g carb

Of course, you may make your own vinaigrette dressing to replace the store bought dressing in the recipe. A slightly sweet dressing pairs really well here. Use just enough to let the flavors shine through.

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Mediterranean Feasts and Yogurt Marinated Chicken Salad

So I just got back home from a week at a teacher training seminar at my alma mater. I am so ready to teach Oklahoma history again. I actually learned a lot. Sadly, I was especially reminded of how dorm cafeteria meals never seem to get better as the years pass. I am pretty darn certain that my family ate better this last week than I did, even if it did feel like I was on vacation.

Since last week I had been cooking up a storm for the the June Diner News, I had tons of dishes stockpiled in my freezer. With only hubby home, I made sure to send individual servings of several recipes home with my sweet mom and wonderful middle son. Now that I am back, I have reports that they were wonderful! Nothing spoiled while my kitchen was quiet without me. No, hubby does not share my cooking passion. Somehow he managed to leave some of my prepped food untouched. I don't see take out bags, so I guess he ate a huge amount of peanut butter and celery.

But my mom and Pearson raved about their food gifts. Now I just have to decide with to share with you. Mediterranean food is touted as among the healthiest in the world. We low carbers leave out the grains, but still benefit from the olive oil, fish, lean meats and veggies. Every dish here is a winner. You can find them all in the June issue of the Diner News. Get the 2017 issues for just $6.

Yogurt Marinated Chicken Salad

1 lb boneless chicken breast
1 cup Greek yogurt (add 1 tsp olive oil if using nonfat yogurt)
3 tbsp lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp Archer Farms Mediterranean Seasoning
1 1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp oregano

Salad:    2 heads Romaine Lettuce
12 cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup zucchini slices
2 tbsp diced onion
6 Kalamata Olives

Slice chicken breast into large chunks, about 2 oz each. Combine all remaining ingredients. Place chicken into marinade for several hours.   To grill, place on oiled grates and grill until juices run clear. Serve over lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, onion and olives. Top with Greek dressing. 

Serves 4:  210 calories  12 net g carb (will be lower as all the marinade is not consumed)

The marinade makes this chicken so delish! You can use any Greek Seasoning. I buy  mine at Target. I love the mint and dill flavors. Of course, this chicken doesn't have to be in a salad. It makes a superb entree with roasted veggies too.

Now check out some of the other recipes included this month! Be sure to order your subscription.

Cauliflower Aleppo

Minotaur Steack Rolls with Eggplant Sauce

Caprese Salad in a Jar

Feta Slaw

Gyros Flavored Meatballs

Apollo's Sheet Pan Dinner

Sun Dried Tomato Crusted Fish

Poseidon's Tuna Wrap

Copycat Zoe's Greek Dressing

Zoodles By Zorba Greek Salad


Grilled Artichoke Salad

Zucchini Hummus

Cauliflower Hummus
With no new cookbook out in a while, my Diner Newsletter subscriptions are waning. Rather than purchase a year's subscription, I am changing the order now to the 2017 issues only. I may be phasing out the newsletter. It is a serious amount of work. If you are renewing, I will promise to include a new seasonal issue for the same price. Same new recipes, but seasonal rather than monthly. It will still be a great deal.

24/7 Low Carb 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.