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

Companion blog to the e-book
Available at http://www.247lowcarbdiner.com

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 
Brine:
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.

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
Dressing:
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:               https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbingAmongFriends

 Order any of our great cookbooks at  http://amongfriends.us/24-7-LCD.php

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:               https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbingAmongFriends

 Order any of our great cookbooks at  http://amongfriends.us/24-7-LCD.php

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: http://www.247lowcarbdiner.com/html/newsletter.html

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:               https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbingAmongFriends


 Order any of our great cookbooks at  http://amongfriends.us/24-7-LCD.php

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Peanut Butter Cup Pops -the Most Amazing Summer Treat!


These are the best popsicles I have ever made. Hands down.

I happen to love chocolate and peanut butter combined, so that was a no brainer. These are super easy to make. The hard part will be waiting for them to freeze--especially if you licked the bowl like I did.

They are not icy hard either; even after a night in the freezer. The peanut butter keeps them on the creamy side. So delish. My son came for dinner tonight and gave them a big thumbs up.

A couple of notes for the purists. This recipe does take a couple of shortcuts that some might consider to not completely match a whole food approach. I did depart from my usual choice of sweeteners. I added a packet of Diet Swiss Miss cocoa for the chocolate flavoring. (now labeled "Light") Chocolate is tricky to sweeten, so I often use a combination of sweeteners. I took a shortcut by using hot cocoa mix that has Sucralose and Ace-K. It is just one packet for 4 servings, and I can live with that. You do what is best for you. You may want to experiment with some straight cocoa powder and some extra sweetener. I haven't tried that yet. When I do, I will let you know.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pops

1 1/2 cups unsweetened  cashew or almond milk, plain or vanilla
4 tsp erythritol/ stevia blend
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (Smuckers is my brand)
1 envelope Swiss Miss Light cocoa mix
Optional:
1/4 cup cashew or almond milk
2 tbsp sugarfree chocolate syrup

Add sweetener to cashew or almond milk. Spoon peanut butter into  a medium bowl. Gradually mix half of the cashew milk into the peanut butter. Add the envelope of cocoa mix and stir until no lumps remain. Slowly add the remaining cashew milk. Pour this mixture into 4 popsicle molds and freeze 4 hours or overnight.  Optional: Combine 1/4 cup cashew or almond milk with 2 tbsp sugarfree chocolate syrup. Add to the top before inserting sticks.   

Serves 4 large pops:   232 calories   4 net g carb


If you go with the cocoa mix, be sure not to choose the sugarfree label. That has more carbs and calories. I know, the world is just not fair, right? The optional chocolate layer is what I needed to fill up my cups. Depending on size, you may not need the chocolate layer. While interesting, it is not as good as the peanut butter portion, so you won't be missing out if you leave it off.



 Now that all the possible issues have been dealt with, back to the raving. So yummy. Such a treat. Far better than a cheat with a real fudgesicle or peanut butter shake from Sonic.

We are treating ourselves a lot lately. The next Diner News will feature all sorts of frozen foods and drinks. Perfect for August's heat. Be watching!



Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:               https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbingAmongFriends


 Order any of our great cookbooks at  http://amongfriends.us/24-7-LCD.php

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

National Ice Cream Day- Maple Pecan Ice Cream


I understand. It is national ice cream day. That means ice cream treats are everywhere. But not for us. All the ads, all the discounts, all the hype. Just for something that will raise our blood sugar and make us feel like...well, you fill in the blank. But it doesn't have to be so. The hubster and I are celebrating today with this treat. Maple Pecan Ice Cream...made at home, Diner style.

Of course it is sugarfree. Not that hard to make, either, or I just wouldn't do it. The August issue of the Diner News is going to feature all sorts of frozen treats, so today I was sure that I made ice cream. I am not an expert at this by any means. I must admit that my thrift store ice cream maker was stuck in the back of the pantry for quite some time. I scanned a lot of recipes for home made sugarfree ice cream. This is what I put together from those. I didn't want to cook a custard, but I did want richness. That is the egg. If you don't trust your eggs, leave that out, as it is raw. I also added glycerin. This is an experiment for me. There are lots of ideas on how to keep sugarfree ice cream scoopable, not bricklike after the first serving. With two at home, there is no way not to have leftovers on this one.  I had tried vodka once before; it did not do the trick for me. We will see. I was in a hurry to taste it and served this one a bit on the soft serve side. I used glucomannan for the thickener, but xanthan gum would work just as well. I always add one or the other to my protein shakes to give them that smooth mouth feel.

 I had a marvelous idea to make a ribbon of maple flavoring. It worked--at first, but then I ran it too long. You can fix that and get the ribbon that eluded me. I will tell you how to one up my effort so you can learn from my mistake experimentation. Being a teacher, I know that any effort, even one with less than stellar results is not really a mistake. That said, if you don't care about that ribbon, just blend the maple flavor on in and it tastes wonderful. We really don't lose either way. I mean, it is ice cream.

Here is the write up from the Diner News. Aren't you glad I gave it to you now instead of making you wait for August?

Maple Pecan Ice Cream

2  1/2 cups unsweetened cashew milk

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup erythritol/stevia blend
1 tsp glycerin (optional)
1 tsp glucomannan
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp caramel flavoring
1/4 tsp maple flavoring
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp vanilla stevia
1/2 tsp maple flavoring

In a blender, combine cashew milk, heavy cream, cottage cheese, egg, sweetener, glycerin, glucomannan, vanilla, caramel and maple flavoring and salt. Process until smooth and pour into an ice cream maker.

While the ice cream is churning, toast pecans and set aside.  In a small bowl, melt coconut oil. Stir in maple flavoring and vanilla stevia. (It may not mix completely)

When ice cream is soft set, add toasted pecans. When those are incorporated, stir the coconut oil well and immediately add it in a steady stream. Allow the machine to produce a ripple effect then turn off. This happens quickly.

Scoop the soft serve into a freezer container. Freeze two hours until firm.

4 large servings : 271 calories  4 net g carb
6 servings: 180 calories 2 net g carb

So today, I have to be pretty darn please with myself. I made ice cream. Made my hubby happy--besides, he grilled out while I made the ice cream. That is a deal. I used two of my thrift finds. My Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and this pretty ice cream dish. I have to say the ice cream tasted extra delicious in such a fine vessel. ( and it only cost me 50 cents) Happy National Ice Cream Day!

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:               https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbingAmongFriends


 Order any of our great cookbooks at  http://amongfriends.us/24-7-LCD.php

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here 







Saturday, July 9, 2016

Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Cups

Here I go again with lemon paired with blueberries. It really is a favorite combo of mine. I do love my lemon desserts! Or breakfasts. That's what I did with this recipe. You choose. Breakfast. Snack. Dessert. Whatever!

Ricotta cheese desserts have been around the low carb world forever. Honestly, I am not always a huge fan of the texture of ricotta. Great for lasagna, yes. This I had in my Chicken Zucchini Patties from the July Diner News. It gave those a nice texture. I had half a tub leftover. That is where this recipe comes in. It is nice. Kind of like a muffin; a little like a custard; a tad like a cobbler. If you like any of those, you should like this! Gotta say, it is so simple!





Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Cups

1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/8 cup Master Mix Baking Blend #2 (or #1)
2 tbsp erythritol / stevia blend 
1/4 tsp lemon flavoring (I use Simply Organic Lemon Flavoring)
1/2 cup blueberries

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg, Master Mix Baking Blend, sweetener, and lemon flavoring. Divide berries among 2-3 ramekins, reserving several berries for each cup. Spoon the batter over the berries and smooth the top with back of a spoon. Push a few berries in the top of each. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 20 - 25 minutes, or until berries have burst and top is set.

Serves 3:  199 calories  6 net g carb (8 full)
Serves 2: 300 calories  9 net g carb



I got three ramekins from this recipe. If yours are larger, you may get only two. Don't fill the cups to the top, as the batter will puff quite a bit in baking. It will deflate as it cools. That's how I got that beautiful overflow on the cup. I like it, but be sure to have a piece of foil or parchment paper to catch the drips.

This recipe is good warm, room temperature or chilled. My breakfast version was slightly warm. Dessert tomorrow will be chilled.


I love blueberries. They are art all in themselves. Look at the lovely colors bursting forth. Beautiful, citrusy and that berry flavor that just pops through the creaminess. Don't rush through this one. Enjoy your food!

Get more great recipes at the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook Page:               https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbingAmongFriends


 Order any of our great cookbooks at  http://amongfriends.us/24-7-LCD.php

Order my original e-book or the latest version for couples and singles,  A Table for Two here