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Thursday, July 24, 2014



Do you miss making your own jams?  It's very easy to make low-sugar jams with the pectin I suggest in this recipe.  Follow the link (highlighted text).  Imagine buttering rye crisp bread, low-carb crackers, low-carb English Muffins or a slice of fresh low-carb bread and spreading a teaspoon of this delicious jam on it.  The apricot jam is quite tart, so you could use less lemon juice if you want it less acidic.  My husband loves the apricot jam, and all of them really.  I used to make more jam when we lived in Canada, as the kinds of fruits one needs were more available in Canada than in the tropics.  One gets different fruit here and the imported fruit such as apricots cost a small fortune.  So, to make this jam recently, I spent a small fortune...well, not really, but it wasn't inexpensive, that's for sure. Please be careful...the jam will be very hot!

NOTE:  If you like you can double this recipe.  It works well either way!

6 cups chopped ripe apricots (1.5 L)
1 tbsp lemon juice (15 mL)
Sweetener to equal 3 cups sugar (your choice of no-carb sweeteners) (750 mL)
1 package No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin (Sure Jell - Amazon) (49 g)
1 cup water (250 mL)
1/2 tsp butter (2 mL)

In 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) glass baking dish, cover six 1-cup (250 mL) jars, lids and rings, a large long-handled spoon and a pair of tongs with boiling water to sterilize. In large kettle or pot, combine peaches and nectarines.  Stir in lemon juice.  Add sweetener and stir in well.  Stir in pectin gradually. Stir in water.  Cook over medium high heat and as fruit softens, mash with potato masher (fruit will mostly still be in tiny chunks). Bring to full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Add butter.  Boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Skim off any foam with long-handled spoon. I often start skimming off the foam while the jam is coming to a full rolling boil.

Carefully pick up jar with tongs and tip water out.  Place jar on saucer and spoon hot jam to within 1/2-inch (1 cm) of rim.  Pick up lid with tongs; place on jar.  Pick up ring with tongs and screw on jar tightly, using a clean dish towel. Allow to cool.  Refrigerate up to 1 year or freeze for much longer storage.

Yield:  41/cups (1.125 L)
1 tsp (5 mL) per serving
3.4 calories
0.1 g protein
0.0 g fat
0.1 g fiber
0.6 g carbs

Variations:  Strawberry Jam:  Use 8 cups (2 L) frozen unsweetened strawberries and 2 tbsp (25 mL) lemon juice. Let the strawberries thaw slightly, so that you can slice them to measure (will get a finer-textured jam), if desired, however, I have made the jam with whole strawberries mostly and just measure the cups approximately.  You mash them in any case, while they cook. (0.6 g Carbs)

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam:  Use 6 cups (1.5 L) frozen unsweetened strawberries and 2 cups (500 mL) frozen unsweetened, chopped rhubarb, 1 cup (250 mL) water plus 3 tbsp (45 mL) extra water. Omit lemon juice.  Chop rhubarb as it cooks and softens. (0.6 g Carbs)

Raspberry or Blueberry Jam:  Use 8 cups (2 L) frozen unsweetened raspberries or blueberries, in addition to, 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice. (Raspberry: 0.6 g Carbs)  (Blueberry:  0.8 g Carbs)

Peach-Nectarine Jam:  Use 4 cups (1 L) chopped ripe peaches and 2 cups (500 mL) chopped ripe nectarines and 3 tbsp (45 mL) lemon juice. (0.7 g carbs)

Helpful Hint:  If you’re unable to find the particular pectin which is to be used with low-calorie sweeteners, then use light pectin and stir in 1 envelope (15 mL) gelatin softened in 2 tbsp (25 mL) water at end of cooking.  Use jam fairly quickly after opening, like within 2 weeks or so (if you prefer use the smaller canning jars - half pint jars).  It should last about 1 month in the refrigerator.  You can freeze the jam for up to a year or longer. There is also a brand called Bernardin that makes No Sugar Needed Pectin (CLICK HERE)

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014



Do you miss apple coffee cake from your high-carb days?  I did too, until I made this recipe based on an old beloved recipe of mine from yesteryear. I think this low-carb version is even nicer!  It has a much better texture in my opinion.  It's the same thing with my favorite banana loaf recipe.  It also tastes way better than the high carb version, and I'm not kidding or being big-headed about it.  It is just the case.  Some desserts simply taste better with the Gluten-Free Bake Mix, I find.  Even high-carbers enjoy our low-carb desserts and when that happens it is indeed a win! 

3 small apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  (Granny Smith, if possible)
21/cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (625 mL)
1 tsp baking powder (5 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1 tsp cinnamon (5 mL)
1/tsp salt (1 mL)
2/cup unsalted butter, softened (150 mL)
3 eggs
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1 cup (250 mL)
1/cup whipping cream (125 mL)
1/cup granulated erythritol (75 mL)
11/tsp unflavored gelatin (7 mL)
Pecan Crumb Topping:
1/cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (60 mL)
4 tsp powdered erythritol (20 mL)
1/tsp cinnamon (2 mL)
2 tbsp butter, melted (30 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia), to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  Place apples in casserole dish with a little water and microwave 1 to 2 minutes to soften. Grease a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) glass baking dish. In large bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir together well.

In food processor or mixer bowl, process butter.  Add eggs, liquid sweetener, whipping cream, erythritol and gelatin.  Process a couple of minutes.  Add dry ingredients; process.  Spread batter evenly in prepared baking dish. Push apple slices into batter (batter does not need to cover apples).  Sprinkle with Pecan Crumb Topping.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, and surface is golden brown.  Serve with Creme Fraiche or sweetened whipped cream.  I like this coffee cake at room temperature or slightly warm, but my husband preferred it chilled.

Pecan Crumb Topping:  In small bowl, combine pecans, Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, erythritol and cinnamon.  Stir in melted butter and liquid sweetener, if using.  

Yield:  24 servings
1 serving
159.5 calories
3.3 g protein
14.1 g fat
0.4 g fiber
4.8 g net carbs 

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

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Sunday, July 20, 2014


Mushroom Onion Mixture on top of browned pork chops

Alfredo Sauce poured over the pork chops

Just out of the oven!

Plated pork chops

Plated pork chops from another angle

Very tasty recipe, but make sure you use boneless chops, as the sauce covers the chops completely and will hide any bones, making it more difficult to eat.  Despite the campaign to promote pork as the other white meat, it is actually not a white meat according to the United States Department of Agriculture.  It is true, however, that pork is actually not as high in fat as one would think.  Most times a chicken breast will have more fat than a pork chop, not that we are particularly concerned about the fat on our low-carb diet.  It's just interesting info.  Hope you enjoy this uber-tasty recipe.  The sauce is so delicious with pork chops...just transcends it to new creamy heights!

2 lbs boneless pork chops (0.9 kg)
  (about 8 chops)
Garlic Rub:
1/2  tsp granulated garlic (2 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)

2 tbsp bacon fat, OR butter, divided (30 mL)
8 oz fresh mushrooms (250 g)
2 tbsp bacon fat, OR butter, divided (30 mL)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (75 mL)
Alfredo Sauce:
8 oz regular cream cheese (250 g)
1/cup grated Parmesan cheese (125 mL)
1/cup Low-Carb Milk, OR half and half (125 mL)
1/cup butter (125 mL)

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).  Rinse and pat pork chops dry with paper towels. 

Garlic Rub:  In small bowl, combine garlic, salt and black pepper.  Rub the mixture over the pork chops on both sides.  In nonstick frying pan, over medium heat, in half the bacon fat, OR butter cook half the pork chops on both sides until turning brown.  Set aside in 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) casserole dish.  Repeat with the remaining pork chops.

Wash and slice mushrooms.  In nonstick frying pan, over medium heat, in 1 tbsp (15 mL) hot bacon fat, OR butter, toss mushrooms to coat.  Stir fry 2 minutes and then place lid on pan and continue to cook until most of the water evaporates.  In medium bowl, set mushrooms aside.  In same pan in remaining bacon fat, OR butter, cook onions until turning golden brown.  Add to mushrooms along with the parsley.  Spread mushroom mixture over pork chops.  Pour Alfredo Sauce over all the chops.  Cover casserole with foil and bake 1 hour.  Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.

Alfredo Sauce:  In nonstick frying pan, combine cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, Low-Carb Milk, OR half and half and butter.  Keep stirring until the sauce turns smooth.  

Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
431.2 calories
26.5 g protein
34.2 g fat
0.7 g fiber
4.1 g net carbs 

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Here below is a store-bought rotisserie chicken leg with Honey Roased Barbecue Sauce - transcended it to new heights!

Bakes in the oven bathed in Lisa Marshall’s Honey Roasted Barbecue Sauce, page 254, Low-Carbing Among Friends, Volume-1.   This recipe could not be easier and the chicken is moist and tasty.  Thank you, Lisa! :)  This recipe I included in Volume 3 of Low-Carbing Among Friends, page 119.

3 lbs chicken breasts (1.4 kg)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Honey Roasted Barbecue Sauce:
1/2 cup light olive oil (125 mL)
1/4 cup sugar free honey substitute, (60 mL)
  OR sugar free maple pancake syrup
  (my idea)
2 tbsp vinegar (30 mL)1 tbsp Dijon mustard (15 mL)
1 tsp sugar free ketchup (5 mL)
1 packet sweetener
3/4  tsp liquid smoke (3 mL)1/4 tsp paprika (1 mL)1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
1/4 tsp lemon juice (1 mL)1/8 tsp pepper (0.5 mL)
1/8 tsp garlic powder (0.5 mL)
1/8 tsp onion powder (0.5 mL)
1 egg yolk, OR 
1/4 tsp xanthan gum, my idea (1 mL)
1 tsp water (5 mL)

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).  Wash chicken breasts under running, cold water.  Pat dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste on both   sides.   Place chicken breasts in 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) casserole dish.  Pour “Honey” Roasted Barbecue Sauce over all.  Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 165°F (74°C) and juices run clear.  Using a spoon, baste chicken with sauce drippings a couple of times during the baking period.

Honey Roasted Barbecue Sauce: In blender, combine olive oil, honey substitute, OR sugar free maple pancake syrup, vinegar, mustard, ketchup, sweetener, liquid smoke, paprika, salt, lemon juice, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, egg yolk, OR xanthan gum and water.  Blend until smooth.

Helpful Hints: This recipe produces fabulous, moist chicken breasts with wonderful flavor.  Lisa Marshall’s sauce which mimics a special request item at Chick-Fil-A will also transcend ordinary, cut-up and warmed roast chicken from the grocery store into something special that you could even serve company with the right trimmings on the side.  Pour the sauce (room temperature) over it.  By the way, I simply blend the sauce in my blender, but Lisa cooks hers first.

Yield:  5 servings
1 serving
507.8 calories
63.6 g protein
26.2 g fat
1.1 g net carbs

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

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Thursday, July 10, 2014



Parsley is the world’s most popular herb.  It derives its name from the Greek word meaning “rock celery”, since parsley is a relative of celery.  Plant it in the garden and it will return year after year once it is established. It is high in vitamin K which is great for strong bones.  Fresh mushrooms are often expensive in the tropics, but lately not so much, so I've been making some mushroom side dishes for a change, before the prices go up again.

1 tbsp butter (15 mL)
1 lb mushrooms, sliced (0.45 kg)
1 cup chopped, fresh parsley (250 mL)
  (flat-leaf variety)
1 tsp crushed garlic (5 mL)
1/tsp seasoning salt (2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)
1/tsp onion salt (1 mL)
1/tsp lemon juice (2 mL)
1/cup grated Gouda cheese (125 mL)
Fresh parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). 

In nonstick frying pan, in melted butter and over medium heat, toss mushrooms to coat with butter. Stir in parsley and crushed garlic. Place lid on pan and allow mushrooms to cook until most of the moisture evaporates.  Sprinkle with seasoning salt, black pepper and onion salt.  Toss to coat well, cook briefly and then add the lemon juice and toss again. 

Place mushroom mixture in 1-qt (1 L) shallow casserole dish.  Spread Gouda cheese evenly over top.  Bake 15 minutes, or until Gouda has melted.  Garnish with fresh parsley in center of mushroom dish.

Yield:  4 to 6 servings
1 serving
124.4/83.0 calories
7.4/4.9 g protein
8.4/5.6 g fat
1.5/1.0 g fiber
5.5/3.7 g net carbs

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

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I love the simplicity of this delicious, attractive side dish. The bacon fat gives the green beans and especially the almonds such a good flavor.  One could almost call this Green Beans Bacon Almondine!  It's amazing how tasty these were.  I kept eating them and eating them before they even got to the table!  That's usually a sign of a good recipe where I am concerned.  I'm such a nibbler!

1 lb green beans (0.45 kg)
2 tbsp bacon fat, divided (30 mL)
1/cup sliced almonds (60 mL)
Seasoning salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 tsp lemon juice (5 mL) 

De-string the green beans and cut into shorter lengths. In pot of boiling water, cook green beans 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. 

In nonstick frying pan in 1 tbsp (15 mL) bacon fat, over medium heat, toast almonds until browned.  Set aside.

Add remaining bacon fat to frying pan and toss beans in the hot fat, stir frying until hot. Sprinkle green beans with seasoning salt and black pepper, to taste.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and toss.  Plate green beans high on a smallish platter with the toasted almonds on top.

Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
84.6 calories
2.2 g protein
6.3 g fat
1.8 g fiber
4.5 g net carbs 

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

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This is the best mashed "potato" recipe I have yet made.  I f you are not happy with the cauli mash recipes you have tried, this one is most likely to change your mind.  This is every bit as nice as loaded mashed potatoes!  You have to try it to believe me.  I even like eating it cold out of the refrigerator.  Now that tells you a lot doesn't it? ;)

6 cups cauliflower florets (1.5 L)
3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
4 oz spreadable cream cheese, (125 mL)
  OR regular
1/cup sour cream (75 mL)
2 tbsp mayonnaise (30 mL)
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, (15 mL)
1 tsp salt, OR to taste (5 mL)
1/tsp white pepper (1 mL)
1 cup grated Gouda cheese, (250 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). 

In large pot in boiling water, cook cauliflower florets, about 10 minutes, or until soft.

In nonstick frying pan, over medium heat with lid on pan, cook bacon.  Turn off heat and flip bacon.  Place lid on pan and cook until well done, but not very crisp (the contrast would be too much otherwise with the soft mashed cauliflower).  Cut bacon into small pieces when cool.

In food processor, combine cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise; process.  Add cooked cauliflower, 1 tbsp (15 mL) parsley, salt and white pepper.  Process until smooth.  Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Gouda cheese; process.  Place mixture in square 8-inch (20 cm) dish.  Sprinkle with remaining grated Gouda cheese, bacon bits and remaining parsley.

Bake 25 minutes, or until hot and the Gouda cheese has melted.

Yield:  6 to 8 servings
1 serving
247.6/185.7 calories
13.1/9.8 g protein
19.1/14.3 g fat
1.8/1.4 g fiber
5.5/4.0 g net carbs

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

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Monday, July 7, 2014



Here is a delicious, easy recipe for a mushroom side dish. The fresh parsley adds bright color to the flavorful, roasted mushrooms. Mushrooms, did you know contain more powerful antioxidants than colorful vegetables such as green peppers, green beans, carrots and even tomatoes!  The great news is that mushrooms contain antioxidants that are not deactivated or destroyed by cooking them.

1 lb mushrooms (0.45 kg)
  (remove stems and cut bigger ones in half)
3 tbsp light-tasting olive oil (45 mL)
2 tsp crushed garlic (10 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)
2 tbsp butter, cut into pieces (30 mL)
1/cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (60 mL)
1 tsp lemon juice (5 mL)

Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). 

In large bowl, toss mushrooms with garlic, oil, salt and pepper.  Place in shallow 1-qt (1 L) casserole dish.  Top with butter.  Roast 20 to 25 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender and golden brown.  Stir in parsley and lemon juice.

Yield:  4 servings
1 serving
172.9 calories
2.7 g protein
16.4 g fat
1.5 g fiber
4.7 g net carbs 

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
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Sunday, July 6, 2014



Surprisingly easy for such a delicious meal.  Both my hubby and I enjoyed this one for its rich flavors.  This meal you can make ahead of time and bake later!  Lately I've been working hard on the next Low-Carbing Among Friends' cookbook, Volume 6!  I'm very excited as it is going to be a beauty!  I just know it!

21/lbs chicken breasts (1.1 kg)
  (4 large, sliced in half)
3/cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix (175 mL)
  (Click for recipe or use ground almonds or ground almonds and a bit of coconut flour )
1/cup grated Parmesan cheese (75 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)
3 eggs
1 tbsp water (15 mL)
Olive oil, OR bacon fat
2 oz sliced Mozzarella cheese, (60 g)
  per chicken breast
1/4 cup Marinara sauce (Click for the recipe or use a commercial product)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  Slice chicken breasts in half as if you were going to stuff them, but continue cutting right through.  Try to cut evenly.

On dinner plate, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  In small bowl, beat eggs with water using a fork.  Dip chicken breasts in egg wash, and then spoon dry “breading” over breasts back and front.  Place in large frying pan over medium heat in hot oil, OR bacon fat, and fry 2 to 3 minutes each side.

Place chicken in a large 2-qt (2 L) casserole dish.  Top each piece of chicken with 1/cup (60 mL) Marinara Sauce and sliced Mozzarella cheese.  At this point, you can cover the casserole and refrigerate to cook later, if desired. 

Bake uncovered 20 minutes, or until cooked through.  Serve with my Cheesy Buttery Garlic Bread Sticks and a Caesar salad, if desired.

Helpful Hints:  To shave 2.7 g carbs off this meal, use 2 tbsp (30 mL) Marinara Sauce per half chicken breast.  

Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
376.8 calories
31.5 g protein
23.3 g fat
0.1 g fiber
9.3 g net carbs 

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Commercial mayonnaise is often filled with sugar! This recipe is delicious. Hope you will give it a try! Using 3 tbsp lemon juice gives this mayonnaise a bit of a bite so reducing it is fine too.  Adjust sweetness to taste.  Using lemon juice instead of vinegar is smart if you suspect a yeast infection or intestinal yeast overgrowth (runaway appetite and flatulence are a couple of symptoms).  This tastes more like Miracle Whip to me.  This recipes lasts at least a week or more in the refrigerator, but it is easy enough to halve the recipe.  I like it for things like faux potato salad or a salad dressing or for egg salad, tuna salad, that kind of thing!

Note:  For those who don't like Miracle Whip, reduce or remove the sweetener...and wallah, you have Hellman's Mayonnaise!

1 extra-large egg
  (organic, if possible)
3 tbsp white vinegar, OR (45 mL)
  lemon juice  (this can reduced to 2 tbsp (30 mL))
1 tbsp water (15 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 3 tbsp sugar (45 mL)
2 tsp prepared mustard (10 mL)
1/tsp salt (I used half No Salt) (2 mL)
1/tsp white pepper (1 mL)
1/tsp Thickening Agent (1 mL)  I used xanthan gum (an 1/8 tsp was enough)
1 cup light-tasting olive oil (250 mL)

In covered blender, blend egg, vinegar or lemon juice, water, liquid sweetener, mustard, salt and white pepper at low speed.  Uncover blender or through hole in lid, add Thickening Agent, OR xanthan gum and at low speed in slow, steady stream, add olive oil, until mayonnaise is thoroughly mixed and thickened.

Helpful Hints:  Cider vinegar may be used instead of white vinegar, if desired.  

Yield:  11/2  cups (375 mL)
1 tbsp (15 mL) per serving
84.3 calories
0.3 g protein
9.3 g fat

0.4 g carbs