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

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

 It is almost Valentine's Day. I keep seeing this commercial that makes my husband cringe. A young couple...a dramatic build up...she opens her gift and her heart is obviously touched. How did he know? What she truly wanted was not an engagement ring. No, she longed only for a heart shaped ice cream cake. While they swoon, my less that romantic hubby complains. Every. Single. Time.

I guess he has given his share of stupid gifts. Yes, even my sons still tease him about giving me the vacuum clearner cover that looked like a maid. Somehow, he thought she was cute and that I would love telling all my jealous friends that I had a maid. Actually, she was even scary to look at. My boys were totally creeped out at the sight of her. John learned a good lesson. He sticks with flowers and teddy bears now.

But in honor of that commerical, I present this treat from last summer's Diner News. Yes, some of you may want an ice cream cake more than diamonds or teddy bears. In that case, make this. Your blood sugar will thank you, and you may be around to enjoy more holidays with your sweetheart.

This has all the things that fancy one on TV has. Except the sugar.  A chocolate cake base, wonderful strawberry ice cream filling. and a chocolate magic shell topping. Extra pretty with a few fresh berries to garnish. So go out and enjoy that steak dinner. Skip the dessert and come home to  this!

Strawberry Ice Cream Cake with Chocolate Magic Shell Topping

Begin this by making microwave chocolate mug cakes:
4 tbsp almond flour
4 tbsp flax meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup erythritol/stevia blend
1/2 recipe sugarfree strawberry ice cream 

Combine all ingredients. Spread half of the batter into a small (6”)  round silicone cake pan. Microwave one minute or until set in center. Repeat with remaining batter. Let cakes cool. Cut cakes to be flat on top. Place each cake in the base of a mini springform pan. Spoon softened strawberry ice cream over the cake. and smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze several hours or overnight.

Remove cakes from freezer to counter. Release and place on a serving plate. In a mug, combine 1/4 cup coconut oil with 1/4 cup cocoa and 1 tbsp sweetener. Stir and heat until liquid. Pour over the cakes.                                           

Serves 6:    242 calories   3 net g carb

I originally thought this would serve 4, but it is rich and half a cake each was a bit too much. You can use any baking pans you have, even making this as a loaf or individual cakes. The strawberry ice cream recipe is in the August issue of the Diner News. You do know that you can order the 2016 Bundle if you don't have them all.  You could use commercial low carb ice cream, or head over for my recipe for a super simple blender Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. A bit pinker, but it would still be gorgeous for Valentine's Day. So good either way.

It would be a great idea to make some sweet treats this weekend so you can stand strong against all the chocolates and sugary sweet treats that may come your way this week. My number two son, Pearson, starts his radiation treatment this Valentine's Day. What a time to become radio-active! His poor girlfriend is such a good sport about it. He has to be quarantined for three days. We have faith that this will be the absolute end to his cancer. This weekend, I am making him some of his favorite dishes to have in the fridge while he goes through this last hurdle. I hate that he has to be alone. Prayers are appreciated.  Love to you all!

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, January 31, 2017

Stuffed and Stacked Portobellos

This dish is awesome. Unusual and not hard to make. Take a big mushroom cap, stuff it with ricotta and an awesome sausage and veggie mix. Then  stack those layers again. The mushrooms are meaty and quite satisfying. A little like lasagna, but easier--much easier.

I took one to school today. A few finicky ones looked at me funny when I told them that I was eating a portobello mushroom cap. Who cares? These are people who somehow sustain life on ramen noodles and spicy Takis. Aah, youth!

The February issue of the Diner News is going out tonight. It features comforting foods for chilly weather. Let's enjoy cozy foods while the winter chill is still in the air. I do not mind winter at all. Maybe because I love a good bowl of stew or chili. I adore hot tea and coffee. I prefer oven baked casseroles to salads. So, I love winter! Of course, I also do not live in a super cold climate. As a teacher, I have not even been blessed with one snow day vacation this year.

Stuffed and Stacked Portobellos

Meat Sauce:
½  lb bulk pork sausage
14 oz canned diced tomatoes
½ cup water
1 yellow summer squash or zucchini
1/4 cup sliced bell pepper
1 tbsp cooking sherry
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
2 packets stevia
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

4 large Portobello mushroom caps
Olive oil spray
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp almond flour

Brown sausage. Roughly dice the zucchini, and bell  pepper. Add the vegetables to the pot. Pour most of the liquid from the tomato sauce into the pot. Use an immersion blender to puree the tomatoes. Pour the tomatoes and water over all. Add spices and stevia. Simmer, covered, 30 minutes or until vegetables are very tender.

While meat sauce is cooking, prepare mushroom caps. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray caps with olive oil and grill 2 minutes on each side in a grill pan. Set the caps on a wire rack on a cookie sheet, gill side up. Spread half of the ricotta cheese on the mushroom cap. When sauce is finished, top each mushroom with tomato sauce. Add the remaining ricotta over the sauce. In a cup, combine Parmesan cheese and almond flour. Sprinkle over each mushroom cap. Bake for 15 minutes. Heat the leftover sauce to pour over the top when plating the dish.
Serves 4:     312 calories     11 net g carb

Yum! Want to take a peek at some of the other recipes in this month's Diner News? Thought so! These dishes are great for warm you up meals.

Shredded Beef Chili

Warm Bacon Coleslaw

Pennsylvania Dutch Warm Radish Salad

Beef Stew Francais

Sheetpan Sausage and Veggies

Dutchy's Beef Stew

Roasted Eggplant Shakshuka

Mediterranean Roasted Cabbage

Sheetpan Chile Lime Salmon

Cinnamon Cashew Sipper

Order a year of the 24/7 Low Carb Diner News! Just $6 a year.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Chinese Red Pork--Because No Meal is an Accident

Last January, my Diner News gave you all sorts of ideas for planned leftovers. For instance, roast a large pork loin and then remake it three, four or even more times. Each time as a different flavor. That is the beauty of the Diner system. Afterall, no meal is an accident. Yes, I love that thought so much, I actually crafted a plate with the quote.

This particular idea calls for eating roasted pork loin once, fresh from the oven with traditional sides. Then, you have the opportunity to enjoy a French meal with Pork Loin Sauterne. Another meal is Pork Loin Italian Skillet. You might like the down home flavor of Twice Baked Pulled Pork. Soup is an option, with Chinese Noodle Soup. All the recipes are in the January '16 issue of the Diner News. But my favorite was the Chinese Red Pork--a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce you may have seen in restaurants.

Chinese Red Pork

If you are a fan of Chinese barbecue, with it’s sweet, red sauce, this is your answer. Forget the sugary sweet sauce you find in the restaurants, this is a very close flavor and is healthy!

2 tbsp water

2 tsp molasses
1 tsp sriracha sauce
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp orange extract
1/4 tsp Chinese 5 Spice powder
2 tbsp granulated erythritol /stevia blend
1/8 tsp red food coloring

Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Pan fry 12 ounces of pork slices in a non stick skillet. When hot, pour the sauce over the pork and stir to coat. Sauté an additional 5-10 minutes until the sauce begins to brown.

Serves 4:   183 calories  3 g carb

This is not a thick syrupy sauce, but a light coating. The wow factor comes with the bit of red food coloring. You can leave it out, but it makes the dish more fun. This dish is certainly nothing like the original roast, so no one will get bored. It is super fast too, and perfect alongside some stir-fried veggies. Dinner could not be easier.

Now, a little sneak peak to those other dishes I mentioned...

As I type, my hubby is putting together the 2016 Diner News Bundle. That means if you missed out on last January's issue, you can purchase the whole year of monthly newsletters for just $6. People keep telling me I should raise the price. But for now, get them for that original price. I really want to make these lifesaving ideas available and affordable. Yes, I do put a lot of work into them! Each has 8-10 pages of recipes, and each month is a different theme. Still coming up with new ideas here in our 8th year!  Go here to order. Get one year or a mega bundle of every year from 2010 on. Mega Deal!

Don't forget my e-books which outline the whole cooking and planning system. And the Low Carbing Among Friends Cookbooks which are simple the best of the best!

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.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Blackened Chicken with Poblano Cream

The holidays are behind us. Real life starts up again. Time to get serious about being healthy again. For me, that means lots of meals with boneless, skinless chicken breast. It just helps to have some clean eating and lower calories. Plus, boneless breasts are easy to cook with. Inexpensive. Adaptable to so many flavor profiles. Fast cooking. And a personal perk for me--maybe some of you--no bones to hide from my dogs.

This is a recipe I featured in the January Diner News. Between holiday events and a fun little stomach virus I got a couple days after, I had a sprint to finish the Diner News for January. You would be jealous to see how many chicken dishes I have stocked up now. I am generally much more practical and spread my recipe development throughout the month. The holidays always seem to get in the way. Both with my endeavors for healthy cooking, and my resolve to stay away from sugar. (My hubby is the diabetic, so I fall off the wagon more than he does! No A1C to tell on me...) Just keeping it real. Of course, now it is January. and I am far more committed to healthy eating for us both.

This recipe is spiced and spicy! Serve it up with a nice green salad and you have a super healthy, low carb, low calorie meal. If you don't like heat, be sure to cut the seeds out of the pepper or use one bell pepper and one poblano pepper to make the sauce.

Blackened Chicken with Poblano Cream

2 fresh poblano chile peppers
1 tsp refined coconut oil, melted
8 oz boneless chicken breast
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp Adobo seasoning
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp Adobo seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub poblano peppers with oil. Bake on a cookie sheet for about 20 minutes until charred and soft. Let rest on the counter while you prepare the chicken.

Slice  1/2 inch slits into each chicken breast, leaving the base intact, Sprinkle with chili powder, pepper and Adobo seasoning, being sure to get seasoning inside each slice. Transfer to a nonstick grillpan and  grill until cooked through and seared on both sides.

Remove stems from peppers. (Remove seeds if you don't like heat) Roughly chop. Add to a medium bowl. Add yogurt, lime juice and 1/4 tsp Adobo seasoning. Process with an immersion blender. To serve, top each breast with Poblano Cream.

Serves 2:  173 calories   5 net g carb

You may have a little sauce leftover. It would make a great dip with jicama strips.Or you could make 4 breasts of chicken and serve more without doubling the sauce. You might not be so extravagant with the sauce on each serving. This was a little hot for my hubby, but my mom and I enjoyed the recipe quite a bit. I got inspiration from Fit to Savor. Love the idea.

If you would like some great new ideas for boneless, skinless chicken breast, you will want the January edition of the Diner News. Look at this!

Angel Dust Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken Skillet

Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce

Creamy Sundried Tomato Chicken

 Breast Chicken with Greek Salsa

Greek Salsa

Oven Baked Lemon Chicken

Crockpot Orange Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

Texas Red Enchilada Chicken

Cajun Chicken and 'Rice"

There are also a lot of ideas on how to flavor up crockpot shredded chicken. Who wouldn't want more ideas on what to do with chicken?

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.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Birthday Muffins

It is my hubby's birthday tomorrow. He hates having it so close to Christmas, so I always treat him special. He has been very good this holiday season, not giving in to sugary treats. So these peanut buttery muffins will be his birthday cake. They really are easy to make, and remarkably good for you. Since these are not as sweet as traditional cupcakes, you may want to add just a touch more sweetener. We like them this way, though.

The frosting is so simple--no messing with lots of butter or cream cheese. A nice Greek yogurt thickened with peanut flour. We really liked it! The original recipe is from the June 2015 issue of the Diner News.

It features my baking blend. I will add that recipe below. I really do use my baking blends often. They work better than any flour substitute alone. Plus, it is less expensive to make up your own baking blend rather than buying a commercial blend. The initial cost is there, purchasing specialized ingredients, but they will last a long time, so you will end up saving.

Peanut  Muffins

2 eggs
2 tbsp erythritol / stevia blend
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup Master Mix (#2)
1/4 cup peanut flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp MCT or coconut oil
2 tbsp cashew milk

1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp peanut flour
1 tbsp erythritol / stevia blend
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 pinch salt

In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Stir in sweetener and vanilla. Add master mix, peanut flour, baking powder, oil, vanilla and salt. Stir until smooth. Add cashew milk one spoon at a time. Fill 4-5 muffin cups with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

To make frosting, combine all ingredients. Top cooled  muffins.
Serves 5: 129 calories  2.5 net carbs   10 g fat

This is a great recipe that makes a small batch. Sometimes, you just don't want to overdo. He will be eating a big steak dinner too, so this is just about right to share with our smaller family. Just one son home for Dad's birthday.

Master Baking Mix #2

1 1/2 cup coconut flour
1 1/4 cup oat fiber
3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup whey protein powder
1/2 cup flaxmeal
1/4 cup ground psyllium husk
2 tbsp glucomannan
2 tbsp beef gelatin

Combine all ingredients in an air tight container.

18   - 1/4 cup servings  116 calories 2 net g carbs

 This is the mix I use for heartier muffins and breads. It is slightly less expensive than my Mix recipe #1. Either would work if you have one already made up. Now I am off to celebrate his birthday and work on the January edition of the Diner News.

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, December 18, 2016

Candied Christmas Mints

These little cuties are a quick little holiday sweet that pleases anyone who loves chocolate and mint together. And how festive!

The case is a cream cheese mint--yes just like those served at weddings. Tinted with some red and green for Christmas. I remember making dozens of these in pink and green for my sister's wedding back in the seventies. Those chocolate candies in the center are the trickier part. Those are Atkin's sugarfree chocolate candies. If you can find them, they make these so special. The package comes in assorted color m & m type candies, and I just picked out the red and green ones. I happened to find these at Big Lots the other day. No promises on you finding them at your local store, you know how that goes. You can order them through Amazon too.

Candied Christmas Mints

4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered erythritol / stevia blend or other confectioner's style sugar substitute
food coloring
2 pkg. Atkins Chocolate Candies, red and green only
optional: 1/4 cup powdered erythritol / stevia blend

Beat together cream cheese, butter, peppermint and vanilla. Add powdered sweetener, one half cup at a time. Divide the mixture and tint with food coloring. Chill for 1 hour. Roll into small balls.  press a candy into the center of each ball. Keep chilled. If serving these at a party, you may choose to dust each ball with additional powdered sweetener before pressing the candy in. This will make them less sticky to the touch if they get a little warm.

Makes approximately 36 candies. Each mint has about 20 calories and less than half a carb.

I have an approximate measurement on the sweetener, because the stiffness of the mint mixture will vary by brand. I have used powdered xylitol with this recipe and found I needed a bit more. Remember, if you don't have confectioner's style, you may grind it yourself in a blender. Just watch the cloud of dust when you open the lid. Don't ask how I know this!

These are perfect to keep in a small container in the fridge. Perfect for a sweet tooth and a drive by snack. They would be wonderful in a little candy paper cup as an after dinner mint.

Christmas is fast approaching. With married sons, my holidays are all over the place. Rather than having the boys all at home, they are all over the country, visiting with the bride's families. To get it all in, we will exchange gifts three different times. Sad, but a mom of boys will take what she gets. I am finding it much harder to get into the holiday spirit. Now that my boys are grown and our nest is so empty, John and I are trying to put more emphasis on serving. Yesterday, we battled  single digit wind chills to ring the bells at the kettle for Salvation Army. We will volunteer at several services at our church too, and of course I have all my kids at school. I miss Christmas with little ones, though. My prayers are that next year I will have my family all together in one place--and perhaps a grandbaby to love.

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, December 11, 2016

Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake and all the Parties

So many events this time of year. I would like to say that I have been baking up a storm for you, but alas, I have not. This year seems to be a little more on the crafty side for some school projects. But no bother, I have chosen one of my favorite desserts that I have never featured here on the blog. It  was a star in the December '15 Diner News. I took it to my Lifegroup party last year and it was a big hit--even among those who would never be low carbers, simply unable to give up sugar! Since I just got home from this year's party, I decided to share it with you now. Tonight I took my Roasted Delicata and Cranberries. I got raves on that dish too!

This is a big, rich cheesecake. Great when you have a crowd to feed. It is prettier than it looks in the photos. The flavor is rich and decadent. So full of the cinnamon flavor, and perfectly complimented with the pecans. That cinnamon sauce is awesome--you might want to make more for other goodies!

Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake

1 cup pecan meal
5 tbsp butter, melted

Cinnamon Sauce:
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup stevia/erythritol blend equal to sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp coconut flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3 tbsp half-and-half

5 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup stevia/erythritol blend equal to sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
5 eggs

24 pecan halves for garnish

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, melt butter. Stir in the pecan meal and mix until the nuts are moist. Press into the base of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan. Butter your fingers to rub an inch along the base rim of the spring form pan. Bake for ten minutes. Remove crust from oven and change the oven temperature to 500 degrees.

    Meanwhile prepare the Cinnamon Sauce: melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sweetener, cinnamon, salt, and cloves and cook while stirring constantly until mixture is smooth. Whisk in coconut flour until well combined. The mixture may be lumpy. Cook 1 minute while stirring constantly. Add half-and-half, one tablespoon at a time, whisking until smooth and thick. Remove from heat.

   In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Incorporate the sweetener 1/4 cup at a time. Add in the salt, cream, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks and beat until incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, continuing to beat between additions. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the pan. Smooth the top and tap for air bubbles. Spoon the cinnamon sauce into circles on top of the batter. Drag a knife through in one direction to make swirls.

   Bake on a lower middle rack of the oven for exactly 10 minutes. At the ten minute mark, turn the heat down to 200 degrees. Do not open the door. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. (If top is browning too much, place a foil guard loosely around the edges.) Remove from oven. The cheesecake should be firm around the outer edges and still slightly jiggly in the center. Let cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife along the edge to loosen it and help prevent cracking. Let cool at room temperature for an hour, then transfer to the refrigerator for several hours.

Serves 16:  351 calories    3 net g carb

You may, of course substitute almond meal for the crust, and use the sweetener of choice. This is one of those recipes that makes the holiday events special. Hope your season is blessed and your hearts are full of love.

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.