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

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

White Christmas Stew

The holidays have so many opportunities for fun get togethers with family and friends. I do a fancy dinner on Christmas Eve; we do a pretty spectacular buffet for Christmas day; but then there are those times which could use some special attention without calling for show stoppers. With grown kids and so many schedules, lots of us find that we have some "alternate" celebrations for the  holidays. My son's girlfriend, for example, cannot make our Christmas Eve dinner. Instead we are scheduling a casual evening earlier in the week to exhange gifts. This soup will be on the menu. No formal seating and place cards. Just a mug of soup, some appetizers and fun drinks.

Easy for the hostess, so I can enjoy the festivities. I will make the soup and keep it warm in the crockpot. My guests can serve themselves from a variety of holiday mugs. Yes, I have a lot of those. From crafting to gifting, we seem to collect them. I must admit I picked up that holly mug above at Goodwill. I just couldn't resist. It was so retro and adorable!

The soup is perfect for Christmas, with its creamy base and sparks of red and green.

White Christmas Stew

8 oz radishes
4 oz grape or cherry tomatoes

8 oz jar red bell pepper slices
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1 quart chicken broth
1 jar 4 cheese or roasted garlic alfredo sauce
1 lb precooked chicken sausages (I use spinach feta sausages from Sprouts)
8 oz cream cheese
10 oz frozen spinach leaves

Clean and trim ends from radishes. Cut into fourths or eighths if they are large. Boil in 4 cups of water for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain. While radishes are cooking, Toss tomatoes with olive oil and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Let cool and cut into halves. In a soup pot or dutch oven, combine chicken broth, alfredo sauce, tomatoes and radishes. Chop the red bell pepper slices into small pieces. Slice sausages into coins and add to pot. Add Neufchatel to pot by the spoonful. Heat and stir until cheese is incorporated. Dice spinach leaves and add to pot. Simmer 10 minutes. Spoon into bowls to serve.

Serves 8:    312 calories 8 net g carb 

This is so good! The radishes have a very similar mouthfeel to potatoes, and no one is the wiser. For my sides, I am making some sausage balls (my oldest son's favorite) and some lavash crackers. Those are so easy to make. Just cut the lavash bread, give them a quick olive oil spray, and crisp them in the microwave. They are not gluten free, but they are very low carb, and appeal to everyone. We will have some Wassail too. Yes, I do have enough Christmas mugs for everyone to use two! I sure wish Santa could bring me a bigger kitchen!

Check out the recipe for Italian Sausage Balls and Wassail at this blog post. You will get some more holiday ideas too. It is near, but not too late to make some festive foods!

Get more ideas at Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:      

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Snowflake Christmas Salad

Not every holiday dish has to be sweet to be special! This beautiful salad graced our table last Christmas Eve. Look at those snowflakes. Such a special touch. They are cut from jicama slices. I happened to own a set of tiny snowflake cookie cutters. It is not too late to buy some!

Loved this idea from Bakin’ Bit so much that I put my own little spin on it for the Marshall Christmas dinner. I made it extra special with Champagne dressing. I also lightened it up a bit by leaving off a couple of ingredients my boys don't care for. No avocados and no nuts. Go ahead and add them if you like.

Snowflake Christmas Salad

1/2 small jicama
1 package spring mix salad greens
6 tbsp Girard’s Light Champagne Vinaigrette Dressing*
1/4 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Slice jicama into 1/8 inch slices. Use small cookie cutter to cut 20 snowflake shapes. Use remaining
jicama for another recipe. Toss greens with dressing. Divide greens among 4 serving bowls. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese, pomegranate seeds and jicama snowflakes.

Drizzle with Champagne Vinaigrette.

Serves 4: 93 calories 6 net g carb

* This dressing is light, yet sophisticated. If you can’t find it in your area, try the Trader Joe’s version
or make your own with Champagne vinegar.

Keep checking back in. I will be posting some more holiday favorites. In the mean time, Happy Hanukkah. 

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

Friday, December 8, 2017

Chocolate Drizzled Orange Biscotti

 Isn't it crazy that the holiday season and the flu season coincide? Too much to do to be sidelined in bed. It seems like everyone around me is dropping. I have had several bouts of illness myself this autumn. One trip to the doctor sent me straight to the emergency room. All better now, but  it was a battle to get all my recipes tested for the last issue of the 2017 Diner News. I found myself in the final week of November, also my birthday, with more cookies and cakes than I could possibly consume. There is a blessing in that though. I now know which of my new cookie creations stand up to the test of time. Great for gifting or shipping off to loved ones. This biscotti is a winner in that category.

I can remember just how cherished the Christmas box of goodies was that my sweet mama sent to me when I was in college. I was the most popular girl in the dorm when that package arrived. This is one cookie that could meet the challenge. It is sturdy. The flavor improves with age, and the texture is delightful. Biscotti is known for that. Good for dunking. I personally don't dunk, preferring a crisper or firmer cookie. It is near impossible to get a really crisp low carb cookie, but I have never liked soft, doughy cookies. My friends claim I like burned cookies. It is true to a point, but I just refuse to eat an underbaked confection. To each his own. If you like cookies that crumble in your fingers (or perhaps even fold around a finger) then be sure to have coffee or cocoa for dunking. Me, not so much.

I love the combo of orange and chocolate. It seems Christmasy to me. You can leave out that flavoring, adding in whatever you prefer. Use the sweetener you like. Make your own chocolate chips or buy a more expensive brand. Make this one work for you!

Chocolate Drizzled Orange Biscotti

1 3/4 cups almond flour
1/4 cup oat fiber
3 tbsp Pyure granulated or any 2 x sweetness sugar sub
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted butter
1 large egg
1 tsp orange extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup melted sugar free chocolate chips
1 tbsp coconut oil

In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, sweetener, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt. Stir in 1/4 cup butter, egg and orange extract until dough comes together. Gently stir in sliced almonds. Place dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Form into a long loaf shape about 5 inches wide at the widest. Bake at 350 degrees for 25—30 minutes or until the center is firm to the touch. Let cool two hours. Slice the loaf into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange on cookie sheet and bake again for 30 minutes, turning cookies over at the halfway point. Turn oven off and allow cookies to cool in the oven. Melt chocolate chips with coconut oil and drizzle over biscotti. 

Makes 10 Biscotti: 155 calories     2 net g carb

This recipe is from the last edition of the Diner News. I have retired from the newsletter. It was so much work every month with such a strict deadline. My subscriptions are down, and my time is limited. I am still going to be doing recipe development, but I am planning for more specialty e-books and such. My family has changed with all the boys grown and out of the house. My hubby is never home for dinner anymore, as he is working nights. More often than not, I am cooking pretty simple meals. I still plan to keep up my blog and social media. In fact, that may increase with less effort going into the Diner News. We will see. I need a little time to recuperate and energize. The new year always inspires me. I will share more of my holiday recipes, and then we will delve deeply into healthier eating for the new year. I have two diabetic friends who want to lose weight, so hopefully, we can focus on health together. My oldest son in low carbing now. Sadly, he is in Arkansas, but I am sending him ideas and products to try. Needless to say, the 24/7 Low Carb Diner will still be around.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!