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

Companion blog to the e-book
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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.

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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.

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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.  

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Beer Brined Country Ribs

We have been enjoying a rather large number of ribs around here lately. The husband came home with a huge package from a meat sale. He had every intention of smoking them outside. But, a combination of summer heat, a busy schedule and general lack of motivation hampered his great plans. When we were recently gifted with some food donations for school, we needed some freezer space cleared up. So the ribs finally got cooked. Yum...and them some!

This recipe for country pork ribs is a but unusual for me. A beer brine is a new thing I tried for the "manly food" issue of the April 15 Diner News. Still a favorite of mine. And his. Forget the giant buckets you need to brine that Thanksgiving turkey. Here, a gallon freezer bag will suffice.  Most of you know, I love to use beer as a marinade. Even though I never have liked to drink beer for the taste, I do love the flavor it imparts to meats. Unlike a marinade, though, a brine is very salty. That is where the magic of the chemistry happens. We wash the brine off before cooking, and we still have a very tender entree with fabulous flavor.

Beer Brined Country Ribs
1-1 1/2 lb country style pork ribs 
3/4 cup Michelob Ultra beer (or other light beer)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tbsp granular sweetener

1 tbsp barbecue rub (watch out for sugar)

Mix the brine ingredients together. Pour over ribs in a gallon Ziploc bag. Let the meat sit in the brine for 3 hours or overnight.. Remove the ribs and rinse with fresh water. Sprinkle ribs all over with the rub. Place into a baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees.

Serves 4

359 calories
1 g carb

My ribs were boneless, but you may purchase them either way. This particular cut was well trimmed and easy to eat. I added a little home made barbecue sauce too. Here is my recipe for a sauce with Sriracha!  Another is my Mesquite Barbecue Sauce. Actually, I have several more recipes also , but lately, I have appreciated the sweet taste of G. Hughes Sugarfree Barbecue Sauce. Really sweet. My local Walmart ordered it and had it available for free pick up. I didn't have to make it and it keeps in the fridge. The honey and the hickory flavors taste almost the same to me, so don't lose too much sleep choosing one. I have even added some hot sauce to it to make a hotter sauce. I hope Mr. Hughes will forgive me.

G Hughes Smokehouse Sugar Free Hickory Flavored BBQ Sauce, 18 ozIf you can't find a sugarfree barbecue rub, just combine 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp black pepper.

This recipe would be perfect for those of you serving a Labor Day feast. If not, just a nice choice for an end of summer get together. School starts next week, and although I have been busy getting ready, the real fun is about to start again. 

I am ready for fall, my favorite time of year. Tomorrow, I will try out my first pumpkin recipe of the season. It is a pumpkin pie breakfast bowl to go into the September issue of the Diner News--a tribute to healthful and delicious bowl meals. Be watching!

Until then, John and I will be celebrating our 30th Wedding anniversary on Monday. What a ride it has been.

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, August 12, 2016

Thai Tuna Bowls

It is salad season around here. On hot summer days, I love meals that don't require any cooking. Thanks to the fact that I had some of my new rice substitute blend all prepared ahead and chilled, that is. I am focused on making incredible new bowl meals right now. That will be the theme for the September Diner News. Yes, I do constantly work on that! Lots of wonderful ingredients all placed inside one bowl! Most of them call for a rice or grain base, and my new substitute works really well.

I will get that recipe to you in the new Diner News come September. For now, just make this recipe with cauliflower rice or Shirataki rice. Use the Konjac type and you will never have to cook for this yummy bowl at all! I know, lots of you just can't handle that texture, but I really think the rice version beats the noodles. Plus, there is so much going on in this salad, the texture is not a big deal. But here is a sneak peak at the rice sub I used. Please don't hate me for not sharing this recipe right now--I do need to keep some valuable recipes for those of you who purchase my newsletter. We really do rely on that small income since my hubby is still without employment. (10 months now and trying not to count.)

But forget about the rice substitute. With all the flavorful ingredients in this bowl, you don't even taste it. Who would with lime juice, sambal oelek, peanut butter and soy sauce? Add all that to the crunch of Trader Joe's Cruciferous Crunch fresh produce blend. I love this mixture of cabbages, brussels, kale, and broccoli. Joe does the cleaning and chopping. All I have to do is grab a handful and throw it in my bowl. Easy. If you don't have that, use any leafy green.

Don't like tuna? You could easily use chicken. Or leave out the protein altogether and serve it as a side dish. Can't take the heat? Leave out the chili sauce. No big rules here. I made a generous amount of dressing, so you could definitely add more greens to stretch this out to feed more people.

Thai Tuna Bowl

1/2 cup rice substitute
5 oz can tuna, drained
1/4 cup julienned cucumber
3 tbsp diced bell pepper
2 tbsp diced red onion
4-6 fresh basil leaves
1 tsp finely chopped peanuts
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp MCT oil (or light olive oil)
1 tsp Sambal Oelek chili sauce (optional for heat)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp ginger

Chop vegetables and arrange in groups in a bowl. Place tuna in the center. Combine dressing ingredients and pour over all. Garnish with basil leaves and  chopped peanuts. 
334  cal.  12 net g carb

That carb count seems a little high. But remember, like George says, not all carbs are created equal. These are from fresh veggies. If you need to keep carbs down more, cut back on the onion. This is an entire meal also, so 12 fits within our goals.

So eat up this easy to make bowl, and I promise you will feel healthy all day.  I always feel proud when I eat kale. I have read that we should rotate our greens, and buy having this mixture already filled with a variety, that is already happening for me too! Any shortcut I can find is a good thing, no?

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.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Steak Salad Italiano

This is not a new recipe. I am still tired from making so many frozen treats last month. That with school and getting the recipes ready for the Low Carb Comfort Food Tasting Fair, I have hardly a moment to spare. I bet life feels like that for lots of us!

This simple recipe is from the August '15 Diner News. It takes advantage of some grilled steak...and it is amazing! So simple, but the flavors are just so perfect. When my sweet hubby takes me out to dinner, I often order a bigger steak than I need just so I can have leftovers for this delicious stuff. And I do mean delicious. Of course, it is just as good to grill your own. That way, you can make even more of these incredible salads!

Steak Salad Italiano

3 oz grilled steak
12-16 grape tomatoes
2 oz mini mozzarella balls
6 leaves of fresh basil
1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
1 tsp minced garlic

Serves 1: 324 calories     6 net g carbs

If you want to fill up even more, by all means add some additional salad greens and a bit more dressing.  This salad is just so incredible with home grown tomatoes and fresh basil from the garden. The flavors are all so outstanding in combo. I just can't say enough about this. You gotta try it.

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, July 31, 2016

Cool Off with Frozen Treats! Frosted Lemonade

Get ready for a cold blast. It may be hot outside, but that doesn't mean you have to be overheated too. This month's Diner News has lots of new ideas to cool off with some sweet summer treats. Yum!

One of the fastest ways to cool off is this incredibly yummy Frosted Lemonade. It is a little tart and a lotta sweet. Cool and quick. Prefect for summer afternoons. Get that blender ready.

Frosted Lemonade

1/3 cup  unsweetened cashew or almond milk

3 tbsp  lemon juice
1 tbsp cream
1 tbsp  whey protein isolate
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring or 2 drops lemon essential oil 
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp glucomannan or xanthan gum
Stevia to taste
2 cups ice cubes

Process all ingredients in a  high powered blender until smooth. Adjust sweetness and serve.          
  Serves 1: 45 calories 4 net g carb

Now, take a peek at the amazing desserts and snacks that are in this August issue of the Diner News. You can order it at:

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Frozen Meringue Creams

Blueberry Crunch Yogurt Bark

Cinnamon Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Cranberry Limeade

Fro Yo Berry Bites

Lemon Cheesecake Pops
Maple Pecan Ice Cream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pops

Pineapple Kool-Aid Slushies

Red Wine Pops

Strawberry Ice Cream Cake with Magic Shell Topping

Strawberry Ice Cream

Very Berry Frozen Yogurt

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