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

Companion blog to the e-book
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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Harvest Salad and Holiday Happenings

I am working on the Thanksgiving Diner News. That is quite an undertaking. I try very hard to find wonderful side dishes to make your holiday meals really special. This is a terrific salad. I did take a shortcut though by using a pre-bagged salad mix as the base. I love the variety out there these days. This one is a Fresh Express Sweet Kale Salad. Not too much kale, but a base of cabbage and other healthy stuff. Plus, some roasted pumpkin seeds. I give away the sweetened cranberries  and sugary dressing and add my own. You can too.

I also cut up and bake a squash to use in several recipes. That is a time saver too. To make my Kabocha easier to cut, I pierce it with a fork and cook it in the microwave oven for 5 minutes. It will be hot, so plan on leaving another half hour before you cut it up. You can save time by using pre-cut Butternut squash as well.

Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Dressing

2 cups squash cubes (Kabocha  in the photo)

1 cup whole fresh cranberries
1 tbsp melted coconut oil or butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp erythritol / stevia blend
2 bags Fresh Express kale salad mix (from Aldi)

Toss squash cubes and cranberries in oil or butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sweetener. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pumpkin Dressing:
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup pumpkin
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp  erythritol / stevia blend
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp MCT oil

    Whisk together water and pumpkin puree. Add sweetener, salt, pepper and spice. Slowly beat in the oils. Chill.

    Place the kale mix (reserve the included dressing and sweetened cranberries for a friend) on a serving platter. Add squash and cranberry mixture over the greens. Drizzle with Pumpkin Dressing. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds that came in the salad mix.

Serves 8:  132 calories  7 net g carb

 The roasted cranberries, in  my opinion, are so much better than the sweetened dried. I simply adore the combination of tangy berry and smooth sweet squash. Add the texture of the crunchy veggies and the super crisp roasted pumpkin seeds. Spectacular salad!

The dressing. Pumpkin, of course. What else, this time of year? The sweet vinaigrette is perfect. Remember, when you have small amounts of pumpkin left over from recipes, you can freeze it in ice cube trays then use it for this dressing, protein shakes or hot drinks all season long. Don't let that can go to waste in the back of the fridge!

I am planning to have most of my dear family home for Thanksgiving this year. That is something to celebrate. At the same time, it is going to be a very stressful season for me. I would covet your prayers the next few months. My dear, sweet, wonderful, amazing son, Pearson, has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The mama in me wants to freak out. The child of God knows to have faith. Right now, while the news is fresh (Yes, it has been quite a week at our house, with the stolen recipes going on all at the same time) I seem to bounce between the faith and the panic. My boy is only 26. We have no answers. I can't fix this, but I am ready to help him fight. We are looking at surgery in November, with some more exploration with his salivary glands before that. Without complications, thyroid cancer has one of the best cure rates, so that eases my mind a bit. 

That said, I may have a tougher time getting the December issue of the Diner News ready before the December 1 deadline. So, if you have any original recipes that are Christmas favorites, and would like to share, I would love to publish them in the Diner News. I did that back a few years ago when my roof was blown off our home and my kitchen was a disaster area. My readers were great! Now my house is fine, but my family life is the challenge. I will have to continue at school, but any help I could get which would allow me more time next month to help with my boy would be such a blessing...he is the single one with no wife to care for him. But he will always have a mom to love him. Hopefully, he will have your prayers too.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

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, October 16, 2016

End of Summer Cookout and an Angry Rant!

Indian Summer, That makes it sound too pretty. It is just hot outside! For the middle of October, it is a heatwave. Over 90 degrees tomorrow. Not sitting well with my love of all things fall. The one good thing, is that it is still great weather to grill out. So I am saying so long--for real, I hope--to summer with this delicious meal. I will get to the rant after the meal. If you care, please read all the way to the bottom. If you don't just get the how to on this terrific meal.

In my October issue of the Diner News, I featured Southern recipes. Among them was this fantastic Come Back Sauce. I shared it as we first ate it with fried shrimp, but this is too awesome not to highlight again. I may have messed up the truly southern sauce with one odd ingredient, but believe me, this does make me want to comeback over and over. It is traditionally a blend of mayo, chili sauce and garlic. Yep, but instead of using that familiar bottle of chili sauce, I added the purest of chili sauces. Sambal Oelek. I am in love with this stuff. I tend to use it in all the places I used to use sriracha. No sugar in this one. It adds just the right amount of interest...heat in other words.  You just gotta try a batch. Add hot sauce as you like it and see if you don't come back.

Comeback Sauce

1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp low sugar ketchup
1 tbsp chili sauce
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp hot red pepper sauce

Combine all ingredients and chill.

 12 servings at 32 cal  <1 net g carb

The meal was really a goody. My hubby's favorite side is my old recipe. Nana's Coleslaw with a Kick. The kick is garlic. The recipe is in my original e-book. A classic at our house. I save tons of time buy using pre-shredded coleslaw. If you have a favorite cole slaw recipe, just add a half teaspoon of garlic powder. It will take it to another level of deliciousness.

My hubby also grilled out some lemon pepper zucchini sticks. Those are too easy for a recipe. Just cut zucchini into wedges. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper. Grill.

 There you have it. This was truly the brightest part of the weekend.

NOW THE RANT:  I have unfortunately, spent way too many hours this weekend trying to defend my work here at the Diner. It seems a competitor has stolen hundreds of recipes from low carb bloggers, removed our copyrights and presented our recipes as their own. I have had to file complaints with Facebook and Pinterest. PLEASE do not support sites that collect the labors of others to profit themselves. The site in question now is 99LowCarb. If you have innocently liked or followed this organization, please reconsider. I spend hours and hours in addition to my teaching to create these recipes. I don't ask a high price for my work, and give so much of it away for free. It is wrong on so many levels to steal someone's labor. Facebook removed the wall posts, but the Pinterest links remain. (as of Sunday, 10/16/2016) So please unfollow them and remove their pins from your account. These people haven't simply reposted my photos, they have created entire web pages for each recipe; sometimes renaming them so the theft is not so obvious. I am hoping most of my pinned recipes will stay, since 99LowCarb flipped many of my images, and cropped them to remove my copyright watermark. Disgusting. If you lose any of my pins, please go back to the Diner board on Pinterest and pin again...from the true creator,

Remember to support me and my cookbook team, Jennifer and Peggy had recipes stolen as well. That is the best way to fight back against these thieves. They are trying to bring down our Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page as well, and keep you from seeing more of our recipes on your feed. Grrrr. THANKS for your support and prayers.

UPDATE 10/19/2016: I would like you to know that the responsible party has now apologized and removed the offending site.

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.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Frosted Caramel Apple Dream

Seems to be the time of year when delicious drinks abound. So many fantastic fall flavors are calling from every coffee shop. This little beauty is so quick to make, but packs more flavor than you would ever expect! What I love most is that I don't have to empty the spice rack and do a lot of measuring to get all the flavor. I also love that I get that hint of apple cider without the sugars in the apple.

Even more, caramels apples are all over the place this time of year. Although I never masted the art of eating one without a mess or a lot of apple left on the stick, their appeal remains. Caramel dip with apples is the go to fall appetizer. Great until you add up the carbs, right?

So what's a low carber to do? We want all the flavor, demand no sugar, and would love for it to be low calorie to boot, right? We have a job cut out for us, indeed. But...

Celestial Seasonings has really done all the work for us. This delicious fall drink is really just an iced version of their tea aptly named Caramel Apple Dream. It is rich with cinnamon and spices, all wrapped up in a base of hibiscus, chamomile  and chicory. No caffeine, no sugar. Not sure how they get the caramel flavor in there, but they do!

I added a bit of cashew milk to make the caramel taste a little creamier. If you like, you could even stir in some cream. Use your sweetener of choice. You really can't mess this up if you start with just a little sweetener and add more to taste.

Frosted Caramel Apple Dream

2 1/2 cups boiling water
2 Caramel Apple Dream tea bags
1 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk
liquid stevia or other sweetener to taste

Boil water. Steep the tea bags for 6-8 minutes. (I do this in a quart sized canning jar) Remove bags, giving them a little squeeze to get the last of the flavor out. Stir in nut milk. Sweeten to taste. Chill or bring to room temperature before pouring over ice. If you are working with hot tea, you will lose some flavor, and may need to add more sweetener.

Calories depend on the almond or cashew milk chosen. I use Silk unsweetened cashew milk with 25 calories per cup. This made 2 smaller servings or 1 all day sipper drink.

I made this on Sunday, when we had really warm temperatures. Thus, the frosted version. Today. we had a cold front, so I will enjoy a cup hot. That is one thing I love about fall. Cooool temperatures early, warm late. Cooler one day, warmer the next. I do feel for those of you who live where you do not get much variation with the change of seasons. I know you love your warm weather, so it is a trade off. I just love the crisp fall air and the cozy winter days. For those of you with everyday at 80 degrees, this one is a fall drink you will enjoy all the more!

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, October 1, 2016

Fried Shrimp with Southern Comeback Sauce

Oohhh. Fried Shrimp and the best dipping sauce ever! What a treat. This month's newsletter theme is Southern Cooking. The recipe for Mississippi Comeback sauce is a southern tradition that is found all over, with many different versions. I fell in love with this one, and I bet you will too.

Rather than the traditional Heinz Chili Sauce, I added a simple chili sauce, Sambal Oelek. Finding this hot chili sauce has all sorts of fantastic applications. It is a little chunkier than the Heinz variety, and certainly makes a mean Comeback Sauce!

The fried shrimp was so easy. I started with frozen shrimp, and used mayo to hold the low carb breading in place. Worked like a charm. Here is the recipe from this October Diner News. Remember you can order it here.

Fried Shrimp with Comeback Sauce

16 oz frozen medium or large shrimp, precooked or raw

1 tablespoon mayonnaise
3 tbsp almond flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp refined coconut oil


1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp low sugar ketchup
1 tbsp chili sauce
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp hot red pepper sauce

Thaw shrimp and pat dry with paper toweling. Heat oil in a skillet. In a medium bowl, combine shrimp with mayonnaise. Add almond flour and salt, tossing lightly to bread the shrimp. Place into hot oil and fry on each side until lightly brown and crispy.

In a jar, combine all sauce ingredients. Serve as a dipping sauce for the shrimp.

Serves 4:  Shrimp: 258 calories  2 net g carb   Sauce: 12 servings at 32 cal  <1 net g carb

Yum. That's really all that needs to be said.

Check out some of the wonderful traditional Southern dishes in this issue:

Banana Pudding

Oven Roasted Okra

Southern Fried Cabbage

Southern Tomato Gravy

Spicy Collard Greens
Bourbon Pecans

Strawberry Cobbler

Okra and Tomatoes

Poor Man's Steak with Mushroom Sauce

Old Fashioned Egg Salad

Old South Chicken Salad
There is even more in this edition. My Low Carbing Among Friend, Peggy, allowed me to share her awesome recipe for Chicken and Dumplings. Gotta try them!

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, September 18, 2016

Tahini and Garlic Roasted Broccoli

Still waiting for the real fall to arrive. Scarecrows are showing their faces around town, but we haven't had a good cool snap yet. At least it was cool enough to crank up the oven today. I have been wanting to try this Roasted Tahini Broccoli from Food 52 for a while. I won't turn on the roasting temps until it is less than 90 outside. Of course, I always add my own spin to most any recipe I borrow. For one thing, I love the convenience of frozen broccoli. I buy mine at Sam's Club. Great price and the best quality. No hard stems, just the good stuff. If the original recipe used fresh broccoli, I have no idea how it was done (to my likinganyway) in that amount of cooking time. But who cares, you are trying my recipe anyway, right? Since I am known to overbake most everything, you may want to check at the 10 minute mark instead of my 15.

I lightly steamed my 1 pound bag in the microwave. It was not piping hot, but all frozen broccoli is more tender than fresh. We could get into the biology of plant cells, but I get enough of that at school. Five minutes was perfect with my appliance. If you stay away from microwaves, just steam it until barely tender. Dry off the broccoli a bit so the tahini sauce will stick, then plunge it into that hot oven. Best of both worlds.

I love broccoli. It goes with so many flavors and has so many prep possibilities.  I don't mind buying that wholesale four pound bag at all. I swear I can use roasted broccoli as snack food....if it wasn't such a gas producer... I have more digestion issues lately. TMI, I know.

So make this broccoli dish. You will like it, I hope. It is not the most visually appealing recipe in your side dish arsenal, but it is quite tasty. A good change from cheese sauce. The sesame, garlic and lemon are natural together.

Tahini and Garlic Roasted Broccoli

1 lb bag frozen broccoli florets
3 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
1/4 tsp black pepper

Cook broccoli in a microwavable bag for 5 minutes, or lightly steam. Drain very well.

In a large bowl, combine tahini, lemon juice, oil, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and pepper. Toss to coat florets well. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Serves 4:  161 calories     5 net g carb (9 g)

If I happened to have some roasted garlic, I certainly would have used that rather than powder. But, I don't have the time for all that today. Got my fall decorations out, so now the place is festive with pumpkins. I can hardly wait for sweater weather.

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.  

Friday, September 9, 2016

Roasted Garlic and Asiago Cauliflower Whip

I love fall. It is my favorite time to bake. Every year, I look forward to my return to the kitchen. The cooler weather with the oven no longer my enemy. Alas, we are not yet to the cooler weather here in Oklahoma, but they promise it is coming. Since I work a little ahead of you all getting recipes for my upcoming newsletters, I am firmly planted in fall dishes right now, even if the temperature is still in the 90s. A cool front is on its way, so I am planning to turn on the oven this weekend! So I took a little stroll to memory lane. About a year back in time.

I made so many amazing side dishes last fall--especially for the November Diner News, my annual Thanksgiving special. This is one of those really tasty sides, complete with Asiago cheese. One of my personal favorites. It is worth heating the oven to get that roasted garlic. Totally worth it.

Roasted Garlic and Asiago Cauliflower Whip

2 heads garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large heads cauliflower
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the tops from garlic bulbs just enough to expose the top of the cloves. Brush with olive oil. Arrange cut side up in a small roasting pan. Pour any remaining oil into the base of the pan. Top with foil. Roast at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Remove and cool.

Boil cauliflower until tender. Drain very well, but keep hot. Add the butter and cream cheese. Mash with a potato masher. If you want a smooth puree, use a stick blender. Squeeze the roasted cloves of garlic from the papery skins. Stir into the mashed cauliflower. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with additional cheese and dried parsley.

Serves 8:   300 calories  8 g carb
Serves 10:  240 calories  6 net g carb

If you want to go all out, make this even cheesier by adding even more Asiago. This really is an amazing side dish. All creamy and that perfect flavor of Asiago. Something about that cheese. Of course, you could sub Parmesan as well.

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.  

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Banh Mi Bowl and the Bowl Meal

Buddha Bowls are all the rage in the vegetarian world. That's not me on many levels, but I do love the idea of meals in a bowl. So hold the Buddha, but bring on the bowl. Plus, I really fell in love with the flavor of the Banh Mi Pork I made for the Food Truck issue of the Diner News this last June. I mean truly enamored of the flavors going on here. I knew it was a perfect choice for a bowl meal. It was just calling out for this combination!

 So why bowl meals? All sorts of good things that go great together. Like a big loving family. Not baked together like a casserole. Only mixed all together if you want them to be. I have one child who eats one food at a time if possible. He is not so OCD that they are not allowed to touch, but still, he is so methodical about it all. NOT ME. I love jumping from savory to sweet, tart to mellow, creamy to crunchy. Bowl meals please us both.

Some may ask why I consider this a bowl meal and not a salad. For me it is the warm meat and the addition of rice. Most bowl meals are constructed on a base of rice or some other grain. Well, that is not going to work for us. I made a combination of good ingredients that function like rice in these bowl meals, but don't add the carb load. I call it the Three Friends. You can find that recipe in this month's Diner News. Order that here. It is totally worth it! Until then, you can make this with caulirice, like I did for this particular photo shoot. See that yellow orange stuff? That is a new take on cauliflower rice. One super fast trick to is buy the bags of riced cauliflower from Trader Joe. I sauteed this with some Red Palm Oil to get that gorgeous hue. Any oil will do, but this is just so beautiful

Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches are traditionally topped with lightly pickled veggies. I copied that here with some cabbage, carrots and onion. They are topped with cilantro and jalapeno peppers, so of course, those go on too.

Banh Mi Bowl

3 oz leftover Banh Mi pork, heated
1 cup uncooked riced cauliflower
1 tsp red palm oil or coconut oil
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 slice red onion
1/4 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
3 slices jalapeno pepper
1 tsp sambal oelek (optional)
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp erythritol/ stevia sweetener
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Sauté riced cauliflower in red palm oil or coconut oil. When tender, place into a serving bowl. Combine the dressing ingredients. Place sliced vegetables and pork in a serving bowl and drizzle vegetables with dressing. Add a spoon of Sambal Oelek for heat.

So delish. Remember, you can go get the recipe for the Banh Mi meat on this post .

And for an idea of the other Bowl Meals I created this month, take a look:
Three Friends "Rice" Blend
Punkin Pie Bowl

Apple Pie Breakfast Bowl

Chipotle Salmon Breakfast Bowl

Candy Bar Bowl

Thai Tuna Bowl

Country Breakfast Bowl

Smoothie Bowl

Barbecue Chicken Bowl

Lemon Poppyseed Bowl

Greek Chicken Bowl

Chicken Fajita Bowl
Don't those look fabulous! Breakfast, lunch or dinner, we have you covered. It is just $6 a year for my monthly Diner News. Order today.

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.