Pork Carnitas

Slow-cooked & fork-tender!

I’ve been meaning to make some carnitas for some time so I recently bought some pork tenderloins on sale so that’s what I used to make these for dinner tonight.  Of course, you can use fattier cuts of meat, like pork butt or shoulder roast (some people actually prefer the fattier cuts for this recipe).  Your choice on cut.carnitas (wrapped ready to eat!)

This recipe can be done in your oven on low temp (275º-300º), in a roaster oven low setting, in your crock pot, just as you would any slow-cooked roast or pulled pork recipe.  I actually like to cook mine stove-top, in a lidded stew pot, on the lowest burner setting.  Any method will render fork-tender, delicious shredded meat for eating in flour tortillas with your favorite sides.  I just had a guacamole salad on the side; the hubs spooned his guac right into his tortillas along with the meat filling!  Made them a little messier to eat, but that didn’t slow him down.  These were delicious!One filled me up; the hubs had two.

This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, but if still on Induction, you need to sub in meat broth for the wine.


½ c. fresh-squeezed orange juice

Juice of 1 lime

Juice of 1 lemon

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 T. fresh spearmint, chopped (optional)

¼ c. cilantro, chopped (omit if you’re not a fan)

¼ dried ancho chili pepper, seeded & chopped

1 tsp. dried oregano leaves, crushed (or 1 T. fresh chopped)

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 T. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

6 oz. white wine (omit if still on Atkins Induction)

¼ tsp. chili powder

1/3 c. olive oil

OPTIONAL:  ½ tsp. sea salt, but I like the sweet edge of the citrus and didn’t use any

DIRECTIONS:  Use with this sauce, your choice of pork tenderloin, boneless pork loin, pork shoulder or butt roast.  Heat olive oil in a stew pot on high heat.  Sear your pork (whole) on all sides until brown.  Add rest of ingredients to the pot.  When it comes to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and tightly lid the pot.  Simmer for 3-4 hours or until meat is falling off the bones or a fork slides right into it easily.  Check every hour and add a bit of water to the pot if all your liquid is cooking away too fast before meat is fork tender and fully done.  Remove from heat and set meat on a cutting board or platter.  Using 2 forks, pull the meat off the bone, separating into shreds.  Slide the meat shreds back into your pot and stir well to coat with remaining juices/sauce.  Serve at once with warm low-carb flour tortillas (I use HEB’s “Carb Sense”) and a nice guacamole salad.  I like to serve some chopped lettuce, tomato and fresh cilantro at table as well.  Cilantro (if you like it) is really good added right before eating.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes about 1 cup sauce or 16 tablespoons.  Each 2 T. serving of sauce (sauce only!) contains:

FYI:  2 oz. pork will add about 5g. fat, 115 cals and 16g protein.  My HEB tortillas are 3 net carbs each.

116 cals, 9.1g fat, 5.11g carbs, 0.48g fiber, 4.63g NET CARBS, 0.57g protein, 4.37 mg sodium (more if you add the optional salt)


Blackberry Cobbler

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              Truly my favorite dessert!

My husband and I just adore blackberry cobbler.  It has always been my favorite dessert int he world.  I make a fairly small pan of this using my “Flour” Crust with some regularity.  This recipe has 5 small servings because blackberries are quite high in carbs.   I’m pleased with this recipe as it has just the right amount of fruit, liquid and sweetness for our taste.   It gets even better overnight (if there’s any leftover, that is).  This recipe is not suitable until the berries rung of OWL.


1½ c. frozen blackberries (no sugar added)

½ c. water

½ c.granular Splenda

½ c. + 2 T. erythritol

1/3-½ tsp. xanthan gum (or your favorite thickener)

2 T. cold butter

1 recipe Peggy’s “Flour” Pie Crust

DIRECTIONS:  Make up the pie crust per that recipe’s instructions.  You will need 1/2 of the dough for this small cobbler.  Freeze the rest of the dough in a sandwich bag for up to 1 month for some other use.  Set dough aside while you prepare the filling.

Preheat oven to 350º.  Put the Splenda, erythritol and xanthan gum in a small mixing bowl and stir.  Add berries and water stir well.  Butter a 5×7 baking dish  and add berry mixture.  Dot with the 2 T. butter.  Roll pastry out between two pieces of plastic to slightly larger than your dish size.  Peel off the top plastic, lift pastry in middle by lower plastic and fold/lift to put over fruit.  Center the pastry over the dish.  Slowly peel of remaining plastic.  Fold excess crust edges inward and crimp against the side of the dish to prevent bubble-over during cooking as much as possible.     Pop into a 350º oven and bake until lightly browned, which will take about 3o-35 minutes.  Partially cool.  I think this is best served warm.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 5 servings, each contains:

140 cals, 10.82 g  fat, 16.72 g  carbs, 9.04 g  fiber, 7.68 g  NET CARBS, 3.22 g  protein


Beef Bok Choy

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The Bok Choy was particularly fresh and pretty in the grocery store yesterday so I bought the first bunch I have bought in a very long time.  The day before we charcoal grilled a marinated piece of grass-fed beef brisket and there was a lot leftover.  So I slivered some of the leftover meat just as thin as I could slice it to create this dish. Upon examining the refrigerator, I could see fresh mushrooms and a pretty red pepper were calling out to be added to this creation.. Mmmm.  The final dish was delicious!  This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Paleo-Primal as well.

I make my own Hoisin Sauce and the link is the recipe I’m currently using.


2 T. coconut oil

1 lb. thinly sliced beef

2 oz. onion, sliced

2 stalks bok choy, washed and sliced ½” thick

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Bok Choy

2 oz. red bell pepper, sliced or ½” dice

6 medium mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp. ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp. chile sauce (I use Sambal Oelek)

3 T. my homemade Hoisin Sauce

½ c. beef broth

1 T. low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos

a bit your favorite thickener (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Slice, dice and mince all the listed vegetables and set by the stove burner. Set the bok choy white part and leafy part in two separate stacks   Gather all other ingredients and have them close at hand.  Heat a wok or large skillet and add the oils.  When the oil is hot, add the onion and saute 1 minute.  Next add the beef and saute about 2-3 minutes or until no longer pink.  Add all  vegetables BUT the green leafy part of the bok choy.  Also add garlic and ginger.  Saute all until vegetables are tender crisp, about 2-3 minutes.  Now add the leafy part of the bok choy to the pan.  Add the hoisin sauce to the beef broth and stir well.  Add this mixture and all other ingredients and allow flavors to blend a couple minutes, stirring several times.  If you want a thicker sauce, sprinkle a dash of your favorite thickener and stir until slightly thickened. Serve at once either alone or atop steamed riced cauliflower.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

281.3 cals, 15.5g fat, 7.73g carbs, 2.08g fiber, 5.65g NET CARBS, 27.7g protein, 512 mg sodium


mashed-cauliflowerAlthough I have been mashing cauliflower since I began low-carbing in 2009, I only recently discovered a way to really firm up this ever-popular dish, as they can mash up a little “soupy” if you get in a rush.  That secret ingredient is glucomannan powder, derived from the konjac tuber.  Although a bit pricey, a bag of this stuff will last you a year (or longer!), as you use such tiny amounts in cakes, cookies and puddings for thickening or texture enhancing of your baked goods.  In this recipe, only ¼-½ tsp. is needed to do the job.  Glucomannan is what they make shirataki noodles from if you do not know this factoid.  I purchase it from at Netrition.com.  It’s pure fiber and will do wonders for your mashed cauli if you have problems with moisture bleeding out of the cauliflower after whipping, resulting in a “soupy” batch.  It is also said to help maintain steady blood glucose levela, so a good food for my Type2 diabetic husband to consume regularly.  This mashed cauliflower makes a wonderful Shepherd’s Pie topping!  Suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.


1 medium head cauliflower

4 T. butter

2 T. cream cheese

1/8-¼ tsp. sea salt

¼-½ tsp. glucomannan powder

VARIATION:   Add 2-4 T. heavy cream for even richer results

DIRECTIONS:   Stem and cut up cauliflower into flowerettes.  Place in 4-qt. saucepan, cover with water and bring to boil.  Lower heat to medium and cook until very tender when poked with a knife or fork.  Drain off water in a colander or sieve.  After water is drained, using the back of a spoon, press the cauliflower against the wall of the colander or sieve to press out even more water until most appears to be released.  Spoon back into the saucepan.

Add the butter cheese and salt and whip with a hand mixer or stick blender until very smooth.  Add ¼ tsp. of the glucomannan and pulse the blender/mixer a few seconds.  If still a pretty loose mixture add the rest of the gluc powder, whipping once again to incorporate it throughout the mixture.  The mixture will continue to firm up a little more more as it sits on your table.  You don’t want to overdo gluc powder, as it will REALLY get stiff if you put too much!  Any leftovers on this dish are fantastic great reheated with a bit of chopped green onion and cheese on top. 😉

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains: (not including any heavy cream)

109 calories, 11.36 g fat, 5.26 g carbs, 2.45 g fiber, 2.81 g NET CARBS, 2.35 g protein, 96.33 g sodium

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Shown on a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Sadly, most low-carb breads made with alternate flours simply do not toast well.  They just won’t get…….ummmm……………toasty!!!  😦

This individual serving bread recipe I developed I think is particularly suited for grilling sandwiches.  It toasts up better than any other low-carb bread I’ve tried toasting in 10 years of low-carbing and bread experimentaation. Not sure which ingredient is facilitating that toasty quality though.  Likely it is the oat fiber, but am VERY glad whatever ingredient is doing that!

You can bake this in any microwaveable square container.  I have a plastic bread-shaped container (which isn’t so healthy to cook in actually), so I have switched to using my 4″ square glass dish.  I have not tried baking this bread in a conventional oven, but suspect it would need 350º for around 10-15 minutes.  One recipe can be sliced laterally into two thinner slices after cooling to make 1 sandwich, as shown in the photo above. This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto diets.  It is not suitable for Primal-Paleo lifestyles.


¼ c. + 1T. flax meal, preferably golden flax meal

1 T. butter  (plus dab more for skillet or panini pan grilling)

2 T. sour cream

1 egg, beaten

½ tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. oat fiber, no substitutes! (omit for gluten-free)

Pinch salt

DIRECTIONS:   Melt the butter in microwave in a small mixing bowl.  Add beaten egg and sour cream. Add all dry ingredients and stir well.  With a rubber spatula, scrape batter into a 4″-5″ square microwaveable container and zap on HI power for 70 seconds or until dry to touch in center (microwaves can vary). Cool a minute and tip out onto cutting board.  Laterally slice as evenly as possible with a long-blade  knife to form two thinner slices.

When ready to construct your sandwich, melt a little butter or olive oil on a non-stick griddle and baste one side of each slice of bread.  Place one slice on griddle, buttered side down.  Add slice of your preferred cheese or meats and top with second slice of bread, buttered side up.  Brown well on both sides for best, “toastiest” results.  Slight over-browning is a GOOD thing here! 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 thin slices after cutting.  Entire recipe contains: (does not include sandwich fillings)

425 cals, 37.4g fat, 14.1g carbs, 11.3g fiber, 2.8g NET CARBS, 13.8g protein, 497mg sodium

Cheese Puffs

I decided to modify my Cheese Thin Buns recipe by adding some Carbquik to the ingredient line-up.   What a marvelous change that makes!  These tasty little snacks are less than 1 net carb per puff!  We both love snacking on cheese bread, but what we buy at the store isn’t exactly low-carb.  This is my answer to a late night snack that is suitable on a very low-carb diet.  These are easy to make and I’m certain they’ll be a hit with your family.  If you don’t like things spicy, omit the cayenne; if you do like things spicy, you may even want to increase the amount of cayenne!  🙂  These are suitable once you get to the end of Phase 2 Atkins.

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3 eggs, beaten

½ c. water

2 T. olive oil

2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

1 T. + 1 tsp. glucomannan powder (there is no substitute for this)

¼ c. whey protein powder (plain, unsweetened)

1 T. (3 tsp) baking powder

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. onion powder

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional, but greatly enhances flavor profile)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1 c. Carbquik (use a gluten-free bake mix if needed)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Measure out the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir well to evenly mix.  In a separate medium mixing bowl, beat the wet ingredients with an electric mixer or whisk.  While you are whisking the egg mixture, slowly add in the dry ingredients until all is well blended into a batter resembling pancake batter.  Stir in the cheese and mix it well.  Let the dough stand a few minutes as it will thicken/stiffen up a bit.

I used a non-stick mini-muffin pan.  The cheese will bleed out some oil, so you shouldn’t have to oil a non-stick pan.  But if yours is NOT non-stick, oil the cups of your mini-muffin pan lightly with a brush.  Using a measuring spoon, put 1 level tablespoon of batter into each cup raking it out with a finger to get it all.  Will make exactly 34 muffins, so a second baking will be necessary unless you own two mini-muffin pans.  Pop into 350º oven and bake for 17 minutes or until browning on top.  We found browning enhances flavor, so you may want to even bake yours a bit longer.  Remove from oven and cool a couple minutes.  If cooled a bit, they will come out of the pans with a knife tip’s help without tearing apart.  If removed too hot, you are going to tear them up.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 34 Cheese Puffs, each contains:

50.6 cals., 4.52 g fat, 2.13 g carbs, 1.43 g fiber, 0.70 g NET CARBS, 3.06 g protein, 138 mg sodium

Raspberry-Lemon Bites

Raspberry-Lemon Bites

Raspberry-Lemon Bites

I got this idea from a Lemon-Raspberry Cheesecake recipe by Stacey Crawford over at Beauty and the Foodie.  I made some raspberry sauce to keep on hand for a variety of uses as well as some lemon cookies this week and thought I’d combine the two.  What a WONDERFUL decision!  Delicious flavor combo, Stacey!  These are OK for all folks who have reached Phase 2 Atkins or beyond.  Keto fans can enjoy them if the carbs fit your daily limit.  These cookies would not be suitable for Primal or Paleo followers.


1 recipe my Raspberry Coulis

1 recipe my Lemon Cookies

DIRECTIONS:  Make the cookies per that recipe’s instructions and chill.  Make the Raspberry Coulis per that recipe’s instructions and chill.  When ready to serve, remove them from the refrigerator and place 1/2 tsp. of the raspberry coulis atop each cookie and plate decoratively.  Enjoy at once!  If these are held over, the sauce may run off the top, but that won’t affect the flavor.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:     Makes 36 little cookies, each contains:

82 cals, 7.1g fat, 3.6g carbs, 1.8g fiber, 1.8g NET CARBS, 2g protein, 375mg sodium