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Monday, October 20, 2014

PEPPER JACK SQUASH CAKES





PEPPER JACK SQUASH CAKES

These squash cakes are the best I’ve yet made, I think.  I think I ate four of these before they even made it to the table!  Very addictive with the little bit of Pepper Jack cheese in them and the crispy edges.  I’m not one for very spicy food, but this was just right for me - I mixed it with regular Monterey Jack cheese in order to make them a bit milder for my taste. Try them, I think you will also love them!  I am making them again this week!  Can't wait!

4 cups grated squash, (1 L)
  (I used ayote squash (common here - click on the highlighted text) – can use butternut squash too)
1/cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, OR (75 mL)
  do a mix of almond flour, or ground almonds and coconut flour!
4 oz Pepper Jack cheese (125 g)
1/cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (125 mL)
2 eggs, fork beaten
1 tsp seasoning salt (5 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (2 mL)
1/cup bacon fat (60 mL)

In large bowl, combine squash, Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (or alternative), Pepper Jack cheese and Monterey Jack cheese. 

In small bowl, beat eggs with fork and stir in seasoning salt and black pepper.  Add to squash and mix really well.  Form into patties.

In nonstick frying pan, in bacon fat, over medium heat, cook a few cakes at time.  Flip them as necessary, so that they are lovely and golden on both sides.  Push down with the spatula on the cakes from time to time to reduce moisture in them and make them flatter and crispier on the outside.

Yield:  10 squash cakes 
1 squash cake (with bake mix)
151.8 calories
6.3 g protein
12.8 g fat
0.3 g fiber
2.7 g net carbs


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

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

MUSHROOM AND GREEN BEAN BAKE




MUSHROOM AND GREEN BEAN BAKE

Here is a good marriage between green beans and mushrooms.  I love mushrooms with parsley, so added that as well.  These green beans were great...not too many strings.  I always remove those.  Typically, I like to buy the long green beans, as there are no strings attached!  Sounds funny, but you know what I mean; much less work!

1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced (0.45 kg)
2 tbsp bacon fat (30 mL)
1 lb green beans, cooked (0.45 kg)
1/tsp seasoning salt (2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)
1 cup chopped, flat leaf parsley (250 mL)
4 oz cream cheese (125 g)
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (30 mL)
1/cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (125 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In nonstick frying pan, over medium heat, cook mushrooms a few minutes in hot bacon fat, tossing to coat.  Place lid on pan (slightly ajar).  Cook a few more minutes until water releases.  Sprinkle with seasoning salt and pepper, tossing to coat. Add parsley on top. Continue to cook with lid slightly off pan and when a small amount of water remains, add cooked green beans, cream cheese and Parmesan; toss.  Cook until cream cheese has melted.  Pour into a 1 qt (1 L) casserole dish.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
156.0 calories
8.5 g protein
10.1 g fat
2.4 g fiber
8.0 g net carbs 


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

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

"BREADED" CHICKEN STUFFED WITH SPINACH, FETA AND CREAM CHEESE





“BREADED” CHICKEN STUFFED WITH SPINACH, FETA AND CREAM CHEESE
My hubby raved and raved about this chicken.  He is said it was better than any restaurant meal we have enjoyed lately. :)  I love how beautifully feta and spinach go together and now add a creamy base for that combo and it is heavenly for stuffing chicken.

3.3 lbs chicken breast, (1.5 Kg)
  (I used 4 large chicken breasts)
6 oz frozen spinach, thawed (170 g)
3/cup crumbled Feta cheese, (175 mL)
  (drain before using)
4 oz cream cheese, softened (125 g)
1/tsp crushed garlic (2 mL)
Bacon fat, butter, OR oil as needed
Breading:
2 eggs
1/3   cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 OR use ground almonds and some coconut flour (75 mL)
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (30 mL)
1/4   tsp black pepper (1 mL)
1/8   tsp Montreal Chicken seasoning (0.5 mL)
1/8   tsp paprika (0.5 mL)

Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). 

Remove any bits of bone from chicken breasts.  Pat dry with paper towels (do not rinse…been proven too dangerous as it can spread bacteria around).  Slice longitudinally in half and not all the way through, just as though you were going to butterfly the chicken breast.  Set aside.

In small bowl, combine spinach which has been squeezed with your hands to remove as much moisture as possible, Feta cheese, cream cheese and garlic.

Breading: In cereal bowl, beat eggs with fork.  On a dinner plate, stir together Gluten-Free Bake Mix, Parmesan cheese black pepper, Montreal Chicken seasoning and paprika.  Move over to one side of the plate.

Dip each chicken breast in egg wash first and then place chicken breast next to breading on a dinner plate, and spoon (important or there won’t be enough breading for all the chicken) breading over chicken on both sides. 

In frying pan over medium heat, in hot bacon fat, butter, OR oil, fry chicken on both sides until golden brown – around 8 minutes in total (turn them over as necessary).  Place in 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) casserole dish. Fry remaining chicken breasts.  Meanwhile stuff each chicken breast with one quarter of the spinach mixture.

Bake about 25 minutes in the preheated oven, however, depending on thickness of chicken breasts, check after 10 minutes.  Chicken should be white throughout without any pink showing and juices should run clear.  Because of the stuffing in the middle, using a meat thermometer, I find, is not an accurate way to gauge things.  This is one time the unscientific method works best.

Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
452.0 calories
66.4 g protein
17.4 g fat
0.2 g fiber
3.1 g net carbs


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

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SOUR CREAM PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE BARS




SOUR CREAM PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE BARS
Rich pumpkins bars, with a firm, thick crust that tastes high-carb.  These were super-good.  This recipe would feed a crowd.  You can certainly freeze these as well and have them more occasionally.  'Tis the season for pumpkin desserts and this one will definitely do you proud!  You use the whole can of pumpkin too, which is handy.  One can't really freeze canned pumpkin leftovers. Have you noticed that?  I'm always left with the dilemma of having to make another pumpkin dessert right away, if I don't use the whole can.  Do use the salt in the crust...it balances flavors....especially if you are using erythritol....if you are not, then add salt in a tiny amount rather....be careful, it could become too salty.

Crust:
1 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (250 mL)
1 cup ground almonds (250 mL)  (You can use almond flour, but it the crust is really special with homemade
  ground almonds)
1/4 cup powdered erythritol (60 mL)
3/4 tsp salt (3 mL)
1/2 cup butter, melted (125 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucaralose or stevia) to equal 2 tsp (10 mL)
  sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)

Filling:
8 oz regular cream cheese (250 mL)
3 eggs
11/2 cups sour cream (375 mL)
15-oz can pumpkin (425 g)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1 cup sugar (250 mL)
1/2 cup granulated erythritol (125 mL)
11/2 tsp cinnamon (7 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
1/2 tsp ginger (2 mL)
1/4 tsp ground cloves (1 mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
For garnish:
Whipped Cream (sweeten it) 
 or my Creme Fraiche (I love this stuff...holds up so well...even as a frosting - instead of xanthan gum, you
 can use 1/2 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder - works fine - not quite as well as xanthan gum, but pretty 
 good...probably could use glucomannan powder also)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). 

Crust: In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, ground almonds, powdered erythritol and salt.  In small bowl, combine butter, liquid sweetener and vanilla.  Press into 9 x 13-inch (2 L) casserole dish.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until turning brown at the edges.

Filling: In food processor or bowl with mixer, process cream cheese and eggs.  Add sour cream; process.  Add pumpkin, liquid sweetener, erythritol, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, cloves and salt; process well.  Pour over baked crust.  Bake 30 to 40 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.  Refrigerate.  


Garnish:  Prepare whipped cream, OR Crème Fraiche, page___.  Serve bars chilled with a good dollop of either.


Yield:  36 bars
1 bar
98.7 calories
2.7 g protein
8.7 g fat
0.5 g fiber

2.4 g net carbs 


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

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

CHICKEN CURRY WITH PEACHES


CHICKEN CURRY WITH PEACHES
This fruity chicken curry with coconut milk has a full-bodied flavor with sweet, salty and spicy flavors mingling together in a most delightful way. This chicken curry is such an easy, quick meal to prepare as you start out with a store-bought roasted chicken!   This recipe is in Low-Carbing Among Friends, Volume 1.  I just used rotisserie chicken from the grocery store - actually from the equivalent of Costco.

2 tbsp olive oil, divided (30 mL)
1/2 cup chopped onion (125 mL)
1 small red pepper, chopped
11/2 tsp crushed garlic (7 mL)
1 tbsp curry powder, OR to taste (15 mL)
1 tbsp sugar substitute to equal 1 tbsp sugar (15 mL)
1 tsp seasoning salt (5 mL)
1 tsp basil (5 mL)
4 cups chopped, cooked chicken (1 L)
  (1 roast chicken)
15 oz can peach halves in juice, drained, OR better yet, use fresh peaches! (444 mL)
1 cup coconut milk (250 mL)
1/2 cup water (125 mL)
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped, optional (30 mL)

In large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and add onion.  Stir fry until turning translucent.  Add red pepper and stir fry until almost tender along with crushed garlic.  Stir curry powder, sugar substitute, seasoning salt and basil into vegetables.  Add remaining olive oil.  Add chicken and stir fry briefly. Stir in chopped peaches. Pour in coconut milk and water; cook until coconut milk reduces to desired thickness.  Taste and add extra curry powder, if necessary.  Stir in cilantro, if using, and serve over Cauli-Fried Rice, page 50.

Helpful Hints:  You’re welcome to start with raw chicken breasts, sliced into cubes – 4 large chicken breasts should do it.  Stir-fry the chicken until turning white and set aside.  If the peaches were in light syrup, drain, and rinse the peaches.  If you’d like to use the whole can of coconut milk, the carbs will be just over 10 grams.

Yield:   5 servings
1 serving
322.1 calories
18.3 g protein
23.5 g fat
9.5 g net carbs


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

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

STUFFED EGGS AND A COOL WAY TO MAKE HARD BOILED EGGS


Here is a better presentation!


HARD-BOILED EGGS AND STUFFED EGGS

This is my son, Daniel’s no-fail method for preparing hard-boiled eggs. It is so hassle-free that once you try this method, you will be sold on it!  My eggs are not very pretty.  You can pipe the mixture into the egg whites to get a better presentation. For the roast pork recipe, Go Here.

6 large eggs
hot water 

In medium saucepan, place eggs and cover with hot water.  Almost cover saucepan completely with lid and cook over medium-high heat 20 minutes (set timer).  Remove from heat.  Pour water off.  Pour running cold water over eggs in saucepan.  Remove shells, dipping eggs in cold water, whenever too hot to handle.  Refrigerate in covered container.

Variation:  Stuffed Eggs:  Cut hard-boiled eggs in half and remove yolks. In medium bowl, mash together with 1/4 cup (50 mL) mayonnaise, 1 tsp (5 mL) prepared mustard, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot pepper sauce and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt.  Fill whites with mixture.  Cover eggs and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
Yield:  12 servings.  (0.4 g Carbs).

Vary the filling for Stuffed eggs above by adding 3 tbsp (45 mL) crumbled, crisp-fried bacon or 3 tbsp (45 mL) chopped ham or 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped green onion or chives.


Helpful Hints:  Eggs are a low-carb dieter’s best friend, as they are low in carbohydrates, and they tend to digest slowly, warding off hunger for hours.  To help you stay on track, keep some in the refrigerator for weak moments, when the snacking urge strikes.

Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
74.5 calories
6.2 g protein
5.0 g fat
0.6 g carbs


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

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

PEPPERED ONIONS AND PEPPERS




PEPPERED ONIONS AND PEPPERS
This surprisingly easy recipe is colorful and tasty, making a beautiful side dish for practically any main meal.  I love peppers and onions and often I serve them with my sweet mustard sauce.  To me, that is like the chutney of vegetables.  This dish is more savory and I liked it very much with my steak.  On the dinner plate are my zucchini sticks and roasted potato skins.

1 medium white or red onion (or both!), chopped
3 different color peppers, chopped
1 leek, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp Bacon fat, OR olive oil (30 mL)
Seasoning salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
  
In large frying pan in bacon fat, OR olive oil, over medium heat, fry onions and leeks until onions begin to brown.  Sprinkle with seasoning salt and black pepper, to taste.  Add peppers and stir-fry about 3 minutes more, or until done to your liking.  Sprinkle with seasoning salt and black pepper, to taste.

Yield: 6 servings
1 serving
33.3 calories
1.1 g protein
0.2 g fat
1.6 g fiber
6.2 g net carbs



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

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

COCONUT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES





COCONUT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

This recipe makes a ton of cookies and they can be kept frozen between pieces of parchment paper.  These were enjoyed by my son, Jonathan and his family. Jon said he ate about twenty of them, however, do watch that as they contain coconut, which is high in fiber!

21/cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (625 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
2 eggs
1 cup butter, softened (250 mL)
1/cup granulated erythritol (75 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 11/3  cups sugar (325 mL)
2 tsp vanilla extract (10 mL)
11/tsp unflavored gelatin (7 mL)
1 cup sugar-free chocolate chips (250 mL)  (NO maltitol...which can cause tummy distress!)
1 cup unsweetened, desiccated coconut (250 mL)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, baking soda and salt. 

In food processor or in bowl with mixer, process eggs.  Add butter, erythritol, liquid sweetener, vanilla extract and unflavored gelatin; process well.  Add dry ingredients; process.  Stir in chocolate chips and coconut.

Form heaping 11/tspfuls of cookie dough.  Place on greased cookie sheet.  Flatten slightly and shape into round forms.  Bake approximately 12 minutes, or until brown underneath cookies.  Allow to cool completely on cookie sheets.  Place in freezer or refrigerator in a sealed container.  Use pieces of parchment paper between layers of cookies.

Yield:  48 cookies
1 cookie
94.0 calories
1.6 g protein
8.1 g fat
0.4 g fiber
1.5 g net carbs 



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

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 

http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

CHEESY HAM, CHICKEN AND BACON CASSEROLE

BEFORE going in the oven


OUT of the oven!




CHEESY HAM, CHICKEN AND BACON CASSEROLE
This was over-the-top good!  I think you'll love this simple, but high-on-taste recipe, same as my hubby and I did!  It was delicious is all I can say.  If I had not had my Garlic Parsley steak dinner just a little while ago, I would be hungry again just looking at this dinner.  Turns out though, low-carbing is very satiating.  The minute I go off low-carbing and start sampling white flour or sugar....my weight wants to go up (and normally my weight stays pretty stable week after week), let alone the inflammation it causes in the body.  Did you know inflammation can actually be fattening?  I read that somewhere.  If you eat a food that you know you are allergic to and that will cause inflammation in the body, I believe it is fattening.  I am going by memory, but something to Google, if you are interested.  I just looked it up on my own blog.  Haha!  Here is the article if you are interested...the insulin receptors are blocked by inflammatory foods.

6 slices bacon, cut up into small pieces
4 large chicken breasts
Seasoning salt, to taste
4 oz Deli ham slices, four of them (125 g)
4 oz cheese slices, four of them (125 g)
  (Muenster recommended)
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (250 mL) 

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). 

In frying pan, cook bacon, until just before it gets too crispy.  Remove and save the bacon fat.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels.  Remove any little bits of bone and excess fat.  Slice chicken breasts through, but not all the way, as if you’re going to butterfly them or stuff them.

In frying pan over medium high heat in hot bacon fat, sear chicken breasts on both sides until turning golden in spots, about 6 minutes.  Sprinkle both sides with seasoning salt. Place chicken breast in 9 x 13-inch (2 L) casserole dish.

Stuff each chicken breast with a folded-over slice of ham.  Within each piece of ham, place a folded-over slice of Muenster cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand).  Top with bits of bacon on each chicken breast.

Bake uncovered 15 minutes.  Cover with grated Monterey Jack (or whatever you have) cheese and bake another 20 minutes, or until juices run clear.

Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
384.7 calories
54.9 g protein
16.6 g fat
0.0 g fiber
0.8 g net carbs


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

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

MUENSTER CHICKEN AND HAM CASSEROLE

Before going in the oven

Out of the oven



MUENSTER CHICKEN AND HAM CASSEROLE

Incredibly easy, but also very tasty indeed!  I served this dish to my son, Jonathan, Yara and Oliver.  Even little Oliver enjoyed this.  He is a very picky eater....takes after his Mom, Yara. ;)  Seriously, though, it is difficult to feed some children.  However, Oliver would follow me into the kitchen and asked to help with all sorts of things - then he would be brave enough to sample some things before breakfast or dinner.  When I opened the refrigerator...he would be in there too!  LOL  Oliver is Yara's son and Jon's adopted son.  He is adorable and a clever little boy who is learning to speak English quickly.  He is Spanish-speaking.  I am still patiently waiting for more grandchildren.  I have two married sons.  I hear it's amazing to hold that little baby grandchild for the first time.  Everyone tells me this!   I do know this.  After my two beloved dogs, Happy and Smiley (adopted at 10 years old) died, I have felt a bit lost, but Jon and Yara's Chihuahua puppies have really helped me a lot.  I love them!  It is not the right time for us to have another dog, but as soon as we can, I would like another dog to love...maybe named, "Fluffy."  :)  Is that corny?  It will have to be a small dog, otherwise it might want to "eat" my grand-puppies who are so small. 

1 whole rotisserie chicken
6 slices (not super-thin) deli ham (6 oz; 180 g)
6 slices Muenster cheese (6 oz; 180 g) - not super thin
Condensed Cream of MushroomSoup,  (Click for recipe)
  (you can leave the mushrooms out, if desired)
Cheese Crumb Topping:
1/cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (125 mL)
1/cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, (75 mL)
  page___, OR almond flour/meal
2 tbsp butter, melted (30 mL)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).  Cut chicken up into bite-sized pieces.  Place in 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) glass or ceramic dish.  Cover with ham slices and then cheese slices.  Pour Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, page___ over all, making sure it gets to the chicken underneath.  Bake covered with foil 30 minutes.  Break up the Cheese Crumb Topping and sprinkle over casserole with.  Bake another 15 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Cheese Crumb Topping:  In small bowl, combine Monterey Jack cheese, Gluten-Free Bake Mix, OR almond flour/meal and melted butter.  Sprinkle in 9-inch (23 cm) glass pie dish.  Bake separately in oven until golden brown.  It will crisp up as it cools.

Yield:  6 generous servings
1 serving
405.6 calories
28.0 g protein
31.3 g fat
0.0 g fiber
2.0 g net carbs


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

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced!