Buttoni's Low-Carb Recipes

Archive for the ‘HOLIDAY RECIPES’ Category

 

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This was my mother-in-law’s favorite cake.  While still living in her own home, she made it every year at Christmas.  What didn’t get eaten at Christmas Eve dinner, was finished off with breakfast coffee Christmas morning.  She always made hers  with 1 c. chopped pecans, but I leave them out as my husband isn’t so fond of nuts.  To be more authentic, you could substitute sour cream in for the heavy cream, but carbs will be  a tad higher if you do. This recipe is not suitable until the grains rung of Atkins OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss) carb ladder.  Carbquik, much like Bisquick, has some flour in it, albeit specially processed to reduce the carb load. I order my Carbquik at Netrition.com, but you might be able to buy it at your local health food store.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 10-volume set TODAY for special pricing! (also available individually) from Amazon or: here

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. granular Splenda

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 c. Jennifer Eloff’s Splendid Low Carb Bake Mix (for gluten free, use her Gluten-Free Bake Mix)

1½ c. CarbQuik or other low-carb bake mix (for gluten free, use 1½ c. more Jennifer’s Gluten-Free mix)

½ c. plain whey protein

2 T. golden flax meal

1 T. coconut flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ c. + 2 T. erythritol

3 large eggs, beaten

3 T. sugar-free maple syrup

1/4 tsp. maple extract

4 T. melted butter, unsalted (for batter)

2 T. melted butter, unsalted (to drizzle on cake)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

liquid Splenda to equal 1/3 c. sugar (about 20 drops)

2 T. water

¼ c. + 1 T. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT A FULL-SIZED 9″ CAKE.  Grease an 8″ round, deep cake pan or 8″ round ceramic baking dish (the Corning “French” vegetable dish I used is 8″ in diameter, 3″ deep and the cake rose all the way to the top without overflowing).   Mix 2 T. granular Splenda with cinnamon (and nuts, if using) on paper plate and set aside for now.  In a large mixing bowl,  measure and mix all the dry ingredients. In a separate mixing bowl, microwave melt the 4 T. butter.  Beat in egg and add all other wet ingredients and whisk until fairly smooth.  Stir wet ingredients into dry.     Blend well.   Drop approximately 1/3 of the batter onto bottom of baking dish by tablespoons sort of randomly.  Sprinkle with about 1 T. of the cinnamon topping.  Drop another layer of 1T. blobs of batter on top.  Again sprinkle with about 1 T. cinnamon topping.  Drop the final 1/3 of the batter on top in 1T. blobs and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon topping.  Drizzle 2 T. melted butter across top of cake evenly.  Pop into 350º oven and bake for about 30 minutes.  Gently remove from oven and check for doneness with toothpick stuck in center.  Mine took exactly 40 minutes.  It is done when toothpick stuck in center comes out completely dry.  Cool 5-8 minutes before tipping out onto serving platter.  Can be enjoyed either warm or cooled.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 slices, each contains:

250 calories, 20.7 g  fat, 14.23 g  carbs, 9.96 g  fiber, 4.27 NET CARBS  (4.6 NC if you add 2 , oz. chopped pecans), 18.49 g  protein, 218 mg sodium

 

011One of life’s culinary pleasures for me is lobster.  Only thing that comes close is a cooked-to-perfection char-broiled ribeye steak.  We either do lobster on Christmas or New Year’s Eve (my birthday).  This year we decided on the lobster for Christmas as we’re going out to our favorite steak house for my birthday.  Lobster is soooo good and sooooo simple to make.   The lobster I get at Sam’s Club every year is usually from the Bahamas.   The tails we bought this year weighed around 9 oz. each and all were tender as they could be.  They are, I find, a little sweeter than cold water lobster from New England, in my opinion.   This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins.

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends (me included).  Chef George Stella of Food Network fame, also brings to the table a wealth of delicious recipes added to the collection!  You’ll LOVE these recipes!  Order your copy today from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.  Special priding going on right now for the complete 10-volume set!

INGREDIENTS: 

1.25 lb. lobster tails (yields about 12 oz. tail meat after removing shell)

½ stick salted butter, melted (clarified if you prefer, but I do not bother)

DIRECTIONS:    Put about 1½ cups water in a deep boiling pot and bring to a boil. Run two skewers from the base of the tail up the center of the belly, all the way up to the center of the thickest part.  This will keep the tail from curling so tight while cooking.  When the water comes to a rolling boil, insert skewered lobster tail up in the pot.  I usually lean the skewers out the top.  Set a lid on the pot slightly offset to reduce water evaporation, but it really doesn’t have to be 100% closed.     Lower to medium heat and let steam for about 10-13 minutes, depending on their size.  Alternately, you can use more water to cover the tails entirely and boil for 10 minutes if large 9 oz tails, or just for 6-7 minutes if they are the small 4.5 oz tails usually purchased at the grocery store.  Remove lobster tails from pot, remove skewers (if steamed) and holding shell with one hand (using tongs or a kitchen towel) cut with kitchen shears straight up the thinner belly shell (top to base of tail). Pull sides of tail shell apart a wee bit and fork out the tail meat (I like to leave the tail fins attached and in tact as shown in the photo above).  Splay the tail fins out when serving lobster meat on plates or platter.  Makes for a pretty presentation with the tail fins attached!   Serve along a nice green salad or roasted asparagus, along with perhaps my Rosemary Onion Dinner Rolls:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/rosemary-onion-dinner-rolls/

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings and each contains (including ¼c. of the butter):

367 calories, 23.9 g  fat, 2.2 g carbs, 0 fiber, 2.2 g NET CARBS, 34.8 g  protein, 1350 mg sodium

 

 

cranrefrigerator cookies

I created a tasty refrigerator cookie some time ago:  these Pistachio Rosewater Cookies) were my inspiration for this holiday version.  These are delicious and so easy to make!  My mother loved refrigerator cookies you just slice off and bake like these.  A little dessicated coconut (maybe 1/4 c.) would transform them yet again.  Those changes would require you add the numbers to the nutritional info provided below.  It’s nice to be able to freeze this dough and just slice off the number of cookies you want to bake.  Lowers the chance for constant temptation.  I bake a little pan of 6 refrigerator cookies at a time.  This recipe is not suitable until the grains rung of the OWL phase of Atkins.

INGREDIENTS:

2 sticks butter, unsalted, softened

1 large egg, beaten

¼ tsp. salt

2/3 c. fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped (pulsed in processor 4-5 times)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ c. granular Splenda

¼ c. erythritol

1 c. KevinPa’s Bake Mix (see below)

½ almond flour

½ c. Jennifer Eloff’s Splendid LowCarb Bake Mix

2 T. Carbquick Bake Mix

1 T. oat fiber

VARIATIONS:   Add ½ c. unsweetened coconut or orange zest (or both) to the batter.

Kevin’s Bake Mix (slightly modified):

½ c. Carbalose flour

¼ c. wheat protein isolate 5000

1 T.  wheat protein isolate 8000

1½ T. almond flour

1½ T. resistant WHEAT starch (Kevin used resistant corn starch)

1¼ tsp. Splenda

½ tsp. xanthan gum (Kevin used Not/Sugar)

DIRECTIONS:  In a medium bowl, soften the butter and beat the egg into it well.  Add the salt, sweeteners and vanilla.  Measure and mix in each of the bake mixes.  Add chopped cranberries and gently fold in to get berries evenly distributed in the batter.  Shape into a log about 12″ long and 1½” in diameter on waxed paper.  Roll the log up snugly, closing ends of waxed paper and chill in refrigerator for about 1-2 hours, or until firm enough to slice.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Slice off in ¼” slices and place on silicone or parchment lined baking sheet (these don’t spread much during cooking.   Bake for 10-12 minutes (don’t let get too brown) and remove to cool.  Roll any unused dough in waxed paper and store in refrigerator or freeze if you prefer.  If freezing, slightly defrost dough a half hour before attempting to slice or the cookie will likely “break” under the knife pressure.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes about 48  (¼” cut ) cookies, each contains:

58 cals, 5.13 g fat, 1.94 g carbs, 1.05 g fiber, 0.89 g NET CARBS, 1.6g protein, 17 mg sodium

It just isn’t Christmas without sugar cookies frosted with my “cherry/almond” butter frosting.  So I took my low-carb favorite sugar cookie recipe, cut star shapes with my mini cookie cutter and piped with a 1/2 teaspoon dollop of low-carb butter frosting that has almond extract for a cherry flavor.  Both of us just love these just-a-biteful mini cookie treats at our parties!  My recipe usually makes around 40 mini cookies, but of course, your cutter size and rolled dough thickness will make a difference on the per cookie nutritional stats.  I will provide the info below for the entire recipe of batter.  You need to divide those numbers by the number of cookies you get.  Then be sure to add in the nutritional value for your chosen frosting.   These are suitable once you get to phase 2 Atkins.

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe my Sugar Cookie dough

About 1 c. low-carb frosting of choice

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Make up the cookie per that recipe’s instructions.  Instead of making balls and pressing the cookies out onto pans, roll out the dough on plastic wrap with another sheet of plastic wrap on top.  Roll to about 1/4″ thickness.  With a floured cutter, cut into 40 1″ mini star shapes (or whatever mini cutter shape you have) and place onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.  Pop into 350º preheated oven for about 15 minutes.  Watch them so they do not get over-browned.   Remove from oven and completely cool.  While they bake, mix up your preferred frosting recipe.  I made a quick frosting mixture of:  1 stick softened butter, 1 c. powdered erythritol, 1 c. granular Splenda, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. almond extract and some food coloring.  Fill a piping bag (or use a plastic bag with corner clipped off) and with a star tip, pipe 1/2 teaspoon frosting on each cookie.   Plate and serve.  Refrigerate them if you have any leftover.  We rarely do, as I only make them for special occasions and they disappear quite fast.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Entire recipe of cookie dough has 1589.4 calories, 152.64 g fat, 64.26 g carbs, 35.46 g fiber, 28.80 g net carbs, 31.32 g protein and 140 mg sodium.

If you get 40 mini cookies from the dough, each cookie (minus any frosting) will contain 39 cals, 3.8g fat, 1.6g carbs, 0.88g fiber, 0.72g NET CARBS, 0.78g protein, 3.5mg sodium

Einkorn Sausage-Cheese Balls

This is an ever-popular party appetizer that never goes out of favor with your holiday guests.  I’m hosting the appetizers phase of our neighborhood annual Christmas round-robin dinner and this easy treat will be easy to make ahead, heat and serve.  I have another Sausage Cheese Ball recipe on my website that rings in at only 1 net carb per ball but I like this one a bit better.  With fewer ingredients it’s a little easier to put together.  This recipe features my convenient homemade Einkorn Low-Carb Bake Mix (similar to Bisquick and Carbquick).  These tasty treats only have 1.76 net carbs per ball!  Not bad for the convenience of just reaching for 3 ingredients in lieu of a whole bunch of ingredients.   These are not suitable until the grains rung of the carb re-introduction ladder of Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  They are OK for Keto diets if you can fit a few into your daily carb limits.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. breakfast sausage (I used my homemade breakfast sausage recipe)

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

2 c. my Einkorn Bake Mix  (For gluten-free version, use Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten-Free Bake Mix or another GF mix of your choice)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º. Mix the above ingredients in a medium bowl with your hands as you would a meatloaf mixture.  When thoroughly blended, form into 30 1″ balls and place on non-stick baking sheet or one lined with parchment or silicone sheet for ease of clean-up. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove to paper towels to drain off any excess grease (mine had none actually).  Serve warm and ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 30  1″ balls, each sausage ball contains:

95 calories, 7.81 g  fat, 2.4 g  carbs, 0.64 g fiber, 1.76 g  NET CARBS, 4.82 g  protein, 81 mg sodium

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When I was in high school in Kansas, my best friend (also named Peggy) often had me over for dinner (we were neighbors).  Her mother was a former stage actress from Budapest who married an American Army officer during WWII.  To say her mother was a good cook would be a gross understatement.  Dinner at my friend’s house was quite the culinary experience, and as my parents were quite into gourmet cooking, I felt my ability to judge good food was well-honed by high school.

This wonderful apple dessert was like her signature dessert and it has since become a family favorite holiday dessert.  She gave my mother the recipe and I have cherished it ever since.  I have now reworked it for a low-carb lifestyle, using an entirely different crust.  I have also low carbed the filling.   The original recipe is made with all apples, a few raisins and the original crust had 1c. sour cream!  To be more authentic, you could go ahead and use sour cream for the cream called for in my pie crust below without much of a hike in carbs.  🙂  I have omitted the raisins entirely and have made mine with mostly chayote squash, with only one apple for flavor impact.  These bars definitely improve in flavor on day 2 as the rum mellows considerably overnight.

Just so I would know for myself, I worked up the nutritional numbers for making this with 5 small apples and no chayote squash and provide that info below for anyone interested in making this with all apples.  Doing so ups the carbs approximately 2 carbs per bar, which isn’t that bad a price for all apples, really.  🙂  For the holidays, I will definitely make this with all apples.  But the chayote/apple combo wasn’t bad and I would consider doing it this way again.

I hear zucchini makes a wonderful apple sub, but its moisture content in a pastry worries me a little, so I haven’t tried that apple sub yet.  I absolutely do not think this would be good with ALL chayote squash.

This dish should not be enjoyed until late in Atkins Phase 2 OWL due to the rum and apples.  I store my bars in an airtight container in the bottom of my fridge.  To be honest, they don’t usually last long enough to worry about freezing!  I’ve never frozen any of my low-carb pastries, so I don’t know how they’d freeze.

Chayote Squash (also called mirletons)

Chayote Squash (also called mirletons)

INGREDIENTS:

2  recipes Peggy’s “Flour” Pie Crust   (for gluten free, use your favorite gluten-free pie crust recipe)

1/3 c. granular Splenda (or equivalent sweetener of your choice)

2 chayote squash, peeled and sliced ¼-3/8″ thick

1 small delicious apple (2½” diameter), peeled and sliced ¼” thick

3/4 c. pecans, chopped

2 T. rum

1 T. fresh lemon juice

lemon zest of 1 lemon

3/4 c. granular erythritol (or equivalent sweetener of your choice)

2½ tsp. cinnamon

3 egg whites, beaten to frothy/soft peaks

DIRECTIONS:   You need a 8½” x 11½” baking pan for this recipe.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Make the double recipe of pie crust dough per that recipe’s instructions, adding the 1/3 c. Splenda to the mixture.   When pastry is kneaded into a solid ball of dough, form a log and break apart into 60% and 40% (bottom crust takes a little more dough than the top crust).

BOTTOM CRUST:  Take the larger piece of dough, shape in a rough log and place between two pieces plastic.  Roll out dough into a rectangle the size of the pan’s bottom plus the depth of the sides.  Dough will be fairly thin but still manageable.  The dough must be large enough go up the sides of the pan completely to the top and over the edge in order not to fall when baked.     Peel top plastic off carefully and fold in half/lift pastry into the pan.  Adjust pastry to fit.  Carefully remove second piece of plastic and fit pastry well into the walls and corners of the pan without tearing.  Allow pastry to lay over the top edge of the pan to “hold on” and not fall inward during baking.  Prick pastry with a fork at 2″ intervals to avoid it bubbling up during baking.  Bake for 10-12 minutes in a preheated 350º oven just begins to lightly brown.  Remove and cool while you make the filling.

FILLING:  Peel and slice chayote squash and microwave covered on HI for 8-10 minutes until soft.  Peel apple and place in bowl with chayote. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl with electric hand mixer until thick (thick and frothy/soft peaks).  Add nuts, rum, lemon juice and zest, erythritol and cinnamon to the apple/squash mixture and then fold in the beaten egg whites until the fruit and nuts are well-moistened.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape the filling into the half-baked crust.  Spread as evenly as possible, pushing up into corners of pastry.  Level the apples and squash pieces so no pointy bits are sticking up as they may tear the top pastry.  I’ve had that happen before.

TOP CRUST:  Roll the remaining ball of dough between the two plastic sheets, rolling it into a rectangle just a tiny bit larger than the top of the pan. Peel off top plastic and fold up/lift gently onto the filling, being sure the edges are fitting over the bottom crust.  Crimp the top crust onto the bottom crust with your fingers to seal it well.     Pop into hot 350º oven for about 22-25 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and done in the center.  Dough will be a tiny bit soft but dry to the touch.  It will look like the final product below/right when done.  Cool completely before slicing and refrigerating.

More delicious low-carb desert recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or here: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

DISCLAIMER: I do not get paid for this book promotion or for the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so merely because they are GREAT cookbooks any low-carb cook would be proud to add to their cookbook collection

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 24 bars/servings, each containing:

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74.14 calories

6.43 g  fat

7.1 g  carbs, 5.33 g fiber, 1.77 NET CARBS

2.68 g  protein

61.33 mg sodium

40% RDA copper, 22% iron, 29% manganese

FOR THE CURIOUS:  With all apple filling, using 5 small 2½” apples:  93 calories, 7.5g fat, 10.06 g  carbs, 6.36 g  fiber, 3.7 net carbs

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Sorry, I just couldn’t resist when I named this Christmas creation. 🙂  I bought the pictured 14″ tall Wilton Gingerbread Man cookie pan a couple years ago and haven’t really used it with any of my low-carb gingerbread recipes to date.  But I came across a recipe on Robb Wolf’s website, posted by a Kim Ludeman, that inspired me to test this “behemoth” pan.

I changed up the sweeteners considerably to lower carbs and also added currants and raisins for decoration.  Original recipe had no flaxmeal and used all almond flour.  My longtime favorite gingerbread recipe has a bit of vinegar in the dough, so I also added a tablespoon to this recipe (don’t worry, you won’t taste it).  I think it improves rise, but this stiff dough did not rise too much during baking.  The resulting gingerbread cookie was moist and sort-of chewy on the edges, and most DEFINITELY tasty!!  This cookie is less stiff than classic Gingerbread cookies, so it will tear apart in pieces nicely for you.  Next baking I want to try this dough as individual cookies next baking, as I liked the chewy browned edges.

This recipe is fairly carby, since it has molasses in it, so I would not indulge in these unless you are in Atkins Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance phase.  You can eliminate the raisins/currant decorations and decrease the molasses and increase the sugar-free maple syrup by that amount to reduce carbs a bit.  My Paleo-Primal subscribers will of course want to use REAL maple syrup instead of the sugar-free maple syrup.  The Steviva called for is a blend of erythritol and stevia and is about twice as sweet as sugar, but you could use another sweetener (2 T. sugar equivalent) if you prefer.

INGREDIENTS:  

½ c. flax meal (I use 50:50 golden and dark mixed)

2½ c. almond flour

2 pkts. stevia

1 T. Steviva (a blend of erythritol and stevia)

1 tsp. each cinnamon and ginger

½ tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ c. blackstrap molasses

¼ c. sugar-free maple syrup (or regular maple syrup, or omit and use ½ c. total molasses for Paleo/Primal version)

1 T. white vinegar

DIRECTIONS:  Lightly grease or line a cookie sheet with coconut oil.  Preheat oven to 350º.   Beat all wet ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Measure the dry ingredients on top.  Slowly stir the dry into the wet below until smooth.  Dough will be fairly stiff.  If making a giant single cookie, spread the dough evenly onto the baking pan using plastic gloves or baggie “gloves”.  My gingerbread man pan is approximately 14″ tall x 9″ wide.   Use raisins for eyes and button, currants for his nose and mouth.  Pop into preheated 325º oven for about 18-20 minutes.  Do not overcook so you should remove from oven when the cookies are just browning a wee bit around the edges.  Cool and enjoy.

If making individual round cookies, this dough should make about 24 small 1½ round cookies.  I would roll dough into 1″ balls and then press flat into 1½-2″ cookies with your fingers or the bottom of an oiled glass.   The individual cookies should only require 10-12 minutes to get done.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 1 huge gingerbread man or twenty-four  portions town off.  It will make around 24 round 1½-2″ cookies, each round cookie or approximately 1/24 of the giant cookie has: (calculated using sugar-free maple syrup).  If making smaller cookie cutter gingerbread men, this recipe (I’m guessing) would make 8-10 of them, depending on the size of your cutter and how thick you roll out the dough.

107.8 calories, 8.73 g  fat, 6.18 g  carbs, 2.08 g  fiber, 4.1 g  NET CARBS, 2.96 g  protein, 76.5 mg sodium

The Perfect Rib Roast

The Perfect Rib Roast

It seems as though we’re running toward another Christmas feast at breakneck speed.  As we had our annual turkey on Thanksgiving, I’m likely to cook a beef rib roast for Christmas this year (I think I did lobster last year).  This is my favorite method for cooking rib roasts in case some of you also plan on cooking one for Christmas or New Year’s.  This is how my mother roasted them for years and folks, it just doesn’t get any easier or tastier! This method has never, EVER failed me.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Ketogenic diets (and Primal-Paleo if you use coconut aminos in lieu of soy sauce).

My roasts are usually bone-in as I think they cook more evenly with the bones in them.  But I do remove them after cooking to make slicing the meat easier.  I usually served my rib roast with horseradish sauce and typically, French-style green beans or broccoli and a tasty cauliflower mash along with a lovely Grand Marnier fruit salad on the side.  All I can say is……………Mmm, Mmm, Mmm!

We like our beef medium rare and you can see in the photo, it cooks perfectly effortlessly with this method.  My roasts average 3.5 pounds after removing the bones, so I shoot for a 4.5 pound bone-in roast at the market.  I usually get 8 nice 8-oz. servings (3/8″ thick slices) from this size roast.   My little rat terrier usually gets one of the meaty bones for her Christmas dinner.  She is in sheer heaven along with the rest of us.  🙂

Prime Rib Christmas Dinner 2014

INGREDIENTS:

4½ pound beef rib roast (bone-in)

1 T. coconut aminos, tamari or low-sodium soy sauce

½ clove garlic (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)

¼-1/3  tsp. coarse cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat the oven to 325º.  Place the roast on a cutting board or right in your roasting pan if you prefer.  If using fresh garlic, the first step is to cut your clove in half and rub the cut surface all over the surfaces of the meat (all sides, including the bony side).   If not using fresh garlic, step 1 is to drizzle the coconut aminos or soy sauce over the meat surfaces and rub it in with your fingers.  Step 2 is to sprinkle the garlic powder on the meat surfaces.  Last, sprinkle the black pepper all over the meat surfaces.  Place roast bone side down in your roasting pan.  Roast at 325º for 15 minutes to the pound.

Check center of the roast with a meat thermometer (be sure the thermometer tip isn’t touching bone).  The meat is rare at an internal temperature of 115º; medium rare at 120º; well done at 125º and probably overcooked and thoroughly “dead” (dry and tough) at 130º or higher.   I personally think it is a crime to eat such a wonderful cut of meat well done, but to each his own preference.    Since we like our rib roast medium rare, I always take it out of the oven when it reads (115º rare) as it will continue to cook as you let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes before carving.  You don’t want to bypass the sitting period or the minute you start slicing, all the wonderful juices will ooze out onto the cutting board and be wasted.  Carve off the bones and set aside.  Carve up 8 nice 3/8″ slices and serve at once.

I like to deglaze the roasting pan with a dab of water over low heat while the meat is “resting” awaiting slicing. Just stir to get up all the brown bits to make your “au jus” sauce.  Add a dash of salt and pepper to the juice if needed.  Serve your roast with horseradish sauce if desired.  My recipe for that sauce is here:  Horseradish Sauce

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes eight 8-oz.servings (plus the meaty bones leftover).  Each 8-oz. slice contains:

846 cals, 69 g  fat (less if you trim all visible off), 0.7 g  carbs, 0.2 g  fiber, 0.5 g  NET CARBS, 52 g  protein, 209 mg sodium

Chipotle-Lime Sweet Potatoes

Chipotle-Lime “Sweet Potatoes”

OK, it’s officially close to Thanksgiving now that I have bought 2 sweet potatoes to add to my fresh pumpkin dish that has become a holiday tradition in my house:  Chipotle-Lime “Sweet Potatoes”.  I clipped a high-carb sweet potato recipe out of the Houston Post many years ago, but I low-carbed it by using fresh pumpkin (the whole variety) so that I can now have it without breaking the “carb bank”.  I have personally never been very fond of sweet potatoes as a veggie side, but ever since finding this recipe, I just love them!  I bake this recipe OFTEN, and with a wide variety of meats and seafood!

This is NOT your granny’s sweet potatoes!  Chipotle peppers are highly smoked jalapenos and taste nothing like green jalapeno peppers, in my opinion.  They, in combination with the lime zest, add a most unique “twist” to a popular vegetable more commonly seasoned with orange zest.  My brother, who was an Executive Chef at Top of the Mark in San Francisco at one time, just raved about this dish when I served it to him!  He went on to serve it often to dinner guests  in his own home over the years.  When I can’t get fresh pumpkin, I have been known to use butternut squash in this recipe in a pinch, but in all honesty, it’s not quite as good as the fresh pumpkin.  I tried it one time using acorn squash, and it was a “different animal” altogether, and not one I was terribly fond of.

I find this dish particularly tasty with baked, fried or grilled seafood, grilled meat, especially wild game, Texas-style BBQ, baked ham and of course that Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey or duck.  The flavor combination of lime, smoky chipotles and maple extract (¼ c. very high carb packed brown sugar in the original recipe) is a real winner!  The color of the final dish is more golden than orange as it is with all potatoes, thus my addition of red food coloring to correct color aesthetics.

Absolutely DO NOT SUBSTITUTE CANNED PUMPKIN or you are going to be extremely disappointed.  Just not the same dish.  Once you reach the starchy vegetable rung of the OWL Phase of Atkins and can afford a few more carbs,  I would recommend using just 1½ lb. pumpkin and adding 1 lb. cooked, mashed sweet potato (2 medium) for both flavor, color and a much creamier, tastier final dish. You will of course need to adjust nutritional info if you make that change as my numbers are for pumpkin only.

This dish does not freeze well.  As a general rule, cooked pumpkin flesh does not freeze well at all when used as a vegetable side dish.  Its water separates out in the bottom of your baking pan upon thawing the made-ahead dish for final heating/serving.  This doesn’t happen with muffins, cookies and cakes, but in invariably does with veggie sweet potato recipes.  That really ruins the final dish for me.  No matter how I try to drain that water off, it just keeps bleeding out more water it seems!  Totally spoils it for me, so I never, EVER freeze pumpkin.

This recipe appears in Vol. 1 of Jennifer Eloff’s latest cookbook series, LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.   I hope you’ll click the link to their Facebook page and take a look at a sampling of the recipes that await you in this now 10-volume set.  Any low-carb cook would be proud to serve the recipes shared by these very talented cook, ……….including famous George Stella!  You can order the entire set or individual volumes at Amazon or here:  http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

2½ lb. cooked fresh pumpkin (DO NOT USE CANNED PUMPKIN.  It’s horrible in this!)

½ c. heavy cream

4 T. butter

¼ tsp. salt

2 T. fresh lime juice

zest of 1 large lime (2 if they are small)

½ c. granular Splenda

1 tsp. maple extract (or 2 T. sugar-free maple syrup)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1-2 chipotle peppers (canned, in adobo sauce) seeded, rinsed & mashed

few drops red food coloring to achieve orange color of sweet potatoes (optional)

VARIATION:  For very special occasions and holidays, I sometimes reduce the fresh pumpkin in these and add 2 small, “real” sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed for a more authentic recipe that comes even closer to the original recipe. 

DIRECTIONS:  Remove stem and cut a small 4-4½ lb. pumpkin in half.  Remove seeds (you can roast them for snacks) and turn cut side down into baking pan.  Fill pan with 1″ water and bake pumpkin at 350º until tender when fork is stuck into it (about 45 minutes).  Remove and cool enough to handle.  Scoop/scrape  the pumpkin flesh out of skin/shell and weigh. Should yield about 2-2½ lb. flesh.  (freeze any overage for future use).  Cool a bit before whipping the pumpkin with an electric mixer, blender or food processor to get it as smooth as possible.  Add all remaining ingredients except chipotle peppers.

For the holidays or very special occasions, I will bake 2 medium sweet potatoes, scoop out flesh, mash and add for richer flavor, but this ups the carbs quite a bit.  When I do this, I reduce the pumpkin by the volume of sweet potato I sub in.  I have not included any sweet potatoes in the numbers below.

These little chipotle peppers (smoked jalapenos) are very HOT, so special handling is recommended.  Either wear plastic gloves (homemade  “sandwich bag gloves” will do) or be sure you wash your hands well after handling.  Take 1 chipotle pepper (about 1½” long) out of the can.  Rinse, and remove seeds and ribs with a knife.  Finely mash wall flesh into a puree on a flat wooden board or paper plate.  Add to pumpkin mixture, stir well and taste to see if this is hot enough for you.  You don’t want to get this dish too hot.  A little tingle on the tongue is what you’re looking for.

If you want even more smoky taste or a hotter dish, carefully repeat, adding just ½ pepper at a time, re-tasting after each addition.   If you add pepper in stages like this, you won’t ever ruin the whole batch getting it too hot (I did one time).  Never forget that not everyone at your dinner table or social occasion will like things as hot as others.

Stir well and pour into buttered ceramic/glass baking dish.  Sprinkle with a dash more cinnamon and bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Serves 8, each serving contains: (using all pumpkin)

114 cals, 7.6g fat, 12g carbs, 4g fiber, 8g net carbs, 2g protein, 121 mg. sodium

Since there are just two of us now gathering for Thanksgiving, I sometimes just roast a duck to avoid so many leftovers.  This is a delicious recipe for duck which cooks up very moist.  I usually serve a traditional cornbread stuffing and green beans with this delicious bird.  I have never liked orange sauce on duck, so I decided to work up this blueberry sauce with a hint of herbs some years ago and that turned out to be a good decision.  The herbs and bacon in the sauce bring so many flavor layers to the table.  This can be served with your wine of choice, even red.  This recipe is suitable once you reach the berry level of Atkins (OWL Phase 2).  It is suitable for all Keto diets, Primal Blueprint and Paleo if you omit the wine in the sauce.  This Tipsy Blueberry Sauce would be good with turkey, roast pork or probably any other wild game you might be cooking this holiday season.

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends (me included).  Chef George Stella of Food Network fame, also brings to the table a wealth of delicious recipes added to the collection!  You’ll LOVE these recipes!  Order your copy today from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php. Special prices available for the complete 10-volume set.

INGREDIENTS FOR DUCK:

5½ lb. duck

1/4 tsp. each onion powder, dried thyme and rosemary, crushed

Dash my Seafood Spice Blend (optional)

¼ tsp. salt

1 T. butter

DUCK DIRECTIONS:  Remove sauce packet (I throw it away) and the innards.  Boil the innards in 2 c. water for your dog.  🙂  Save the broth for your sauce.  Preheat oven to 375º.  Rub your fingers over duck checking for pinfeathers and remove any you find with the tip of a knife.  Mix the herbs and spices in a small dish with the salt.  Rub over duck skin all over.  Place duck on a grate that is then set down in a large roasting pan.  Baste with melted butter and pop into hot 375º oven for 1 hour.  Remove from oven, baste skin with remaining butter and return to oven for 30-45 minutes longer or until skin is brown, crisp and the duck read internal temperature of 180º.  While duck is roasting, prepare sauce.

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

3 green onions, chopped coarsely

1½ oz. bacon (3 slices), chopped coarsely

1 c. blueberries (dried, fresh or frozen)

1 c. broth (or a little more if you simmer too long)

2 T. Port wine or Sherry

Dash each thyme, rosemary, onion powder and salt

¼ tsp. xanthan gum or your preferred thickener

SAUCE DIRECTIONS:  Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add chopped bacon, brown it nicely.  Add onion and saute until onion is very tender.  Do not drain off grease.  Add all remaining ingredients but the thickener.  Allow to simmer until berries begin to burst open and turn the sauce blue.  Here, I go by smell, and appearance, but when all appears to be cooked and it smells wonderful, slightly thicken to desired level with your preferred thickener.  Allow guests to serve atop roasted duck slices at table.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings, each contains:

385 calories, 31 g fat, 3.82 g carbs, .81 g fiber, 3.10 g NET CARBS, 20 g protein, 277 mg sodium

 

Click to enlarge

Peach Melba

I remember a Russell Stover specialty candy they made many, many years ago.  It was called “Peach Melba”.  It consisted of a wonderful peach/coconut filling covered in rich dark chocolate.  Don’t know if they still make that candy anymore or not.  My Mom loved that candy so much, we’d walk into the Russell Stover candy shop and she’d buy it 2 or 3 pounds at a time!  Dad loved it, too.  In fact, she decided to come up with her own recipe so she could make it at home.  Hers truly rivaled Russell Stover’s!!    But she no longer has that recipe. So I just had to try something similar (low-carb of course).  My hubby isn’t so fond of coconut, so I didn’t put the large coconut chip onto these as I had wanted.

My favorite dried fruits have always been dried apricots and peaches but they’re both fairly high in carbs.  You sure can’t eat many of them on a low-carb diet. But I thought maybe just a very small piece of fruit, a big nut and just a whisper of delicious chocolate might make a wonderful confection worthy of serving during the holidays, without breaking the carb “bank”.   These came out GREAT!  I also did some with dried prunes, which I freely admit came out even better than the apricot version!  Next time I’m going to put a thin slice of fresh coconut between the fruit and nut on some of these, for ME.  I LOVE coconut!

This recipe makes a pretty big batch of the chocolate sauce, around 1¼ cups, so I’m providing the per teaspoon nutritional info and you’ll have to calculate your per serving candy figures because that depends on which fruit you pick, how many you eat or if the sauce is used in other dessert applications how much you used on each serving of that recipe.  This recipe is not suitable until you are way up on the fruits rung of Atkins Phase 2 OWL or Maintenance.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and other talented cooks (myself included) to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Order your 10-volume set TODAY for special discounts! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE SHELL COATING:

1 c. sugar free chocolate chips

1 square unsweetened baking chocolate (or 4 squares Lindt 90% chocolate)

¼ c. melted butter

1 T. coconut oil (or 1 T. more butter)

6 drops liquid Splenda (or 2 tsp.vanilla sugar-free syrup)

DIRECTIONS:  First, cut each dried peach in half and with your fingers or a knife tip, butterfly each half out flat.  Set each piece sticky side up on a small baking sheet (I used a small 11 x 7″ pan as I was just making 10 pieces total).  Cut each dried prune into 3 pieces.  Butterfly them open and place sticky side up onto your pan.  Press 1 almond (or walnut half, or pecan half) on top of each piece of fruit, pressing firmly enough so that the sticky fruit “grabs’ onto the nut and holds is firmly in place.

Next, in a small saucepan, melt the butter in either a double boiler over medium heat.  You can use a makeshift one, where you put your saucepan down in a skillet of 1” boiling water (that’s all a double boiler really is anyway).  Add the square of chocolate and melt slowly.  Add the chips, stirring constantly so the chocolate will stay smooth.  You can add more butter (or coconut oil) in small increments if your chocolate is too thick to be like a nice chocolate sauce.  Melting/smoothness qualities vary from brand to brand, in my opinion.

ASSEMBLY:   Stir the warm chocolate sauce again and with a small spoon, dip about ½ tsp. of sauce onto each candy.  Refrigerate or freeze any leftover sauce for future use on more candy recipes or for a chocolate shell coating for vanilla ice cream bars.  Pop the pan into the refrigerator or freezer for about 10-15 minutes.  When the chocolate is hard to the touch, ENJOY!  The chocolate will melt if at room/hand temperature too long, so these should pretty much go from fridge to mouth, but that shouldn’t be a problem for any of you.   Never has been for me either.  LOL

VARIATIONS:   Dried apricots, dried prunes, coconut chips, almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, dried cherries.

NUTRITIONAL INFO FOR SAUCE:  Makes about 1¼ cups or 20 T. (60 tsp.).  Each tsp. contains:

19 cals, 1.79g fat, .55 g  carbs, 0.21g fiber, 0.34 NET CARBS, 0.2g protein, < 1 mg. sodium

To help you calculate your per serving info I’m providing below the details on the various dried fruit and nets below:

Chocolate Blueberries

Chocolate Blueberries

There’s no law says you have to do chocolate covered STRAWBERRIES for your special occasions.  Other berries (or pineapple chunks) will work, too!  Today, I had big, plump blueberries in the fridge and wanted something sweet.  🙂

This recipe makes a pretty big batch of the chocolate sauce, around 1¼ cups, so I’m providing the per teaspoon nutritional info.  One teaspoon will definitely coat 1 blueberry, maybe even two.  This recipe is suitable once you reach the berries level of Phase 2 Atkins or for Keto diets as well.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS. She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try. Even a few of my recipes are in each of the 5 volumes! Order your set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS/NEEDS:

Some toothpicks

Fresh blueberries (pick the biggest ones in the carton)

Half lemon, orange or apple (for toothpick serving post)

1 c. sugar free chocolate chips

1 square unsweetened baking chocolate

¼ c. melted butter

1 T. coconut oil (or 1 T. more butter)

6 drops liquid Splenda or other liquid sweetener to taste

DIRECTIONS:  First, push a toothpick through the number of large berries you want to make.  Push through the stem scar but not quite all the way out the top.  Lay them aside until the chocolate sauce is made.  Set the lemon half cut side down on your serving plate and set aside.

CHOCOLATE SAUCE:  In a small saucepan, melt the butter and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat or use a makeshift double-boiler, where you put your saucepan down in a skillet of 1″ boiling water (that’s all a double boiler really is anyway).  Add the square of chocolate and melt slowly in the hot melted oil/butter.  Add the chocolate chips, stirring constantly so the chocolate will stay smooth.

ASSEMBLY:   Take each berry pick and dip the berry just deep enough into the chocolate sauce to coat the berry.  Lift carefully straight up and let it drip, rolling to even the chocolate as evenly as you can get it.  When it appears to be stopped dripping, carefully poke the berry pick into the lemon half.  Repeat for all berries.  It will take about ½ tsp. chocolate sauce to coat each berry. Refrigerate any leftover sauce for future use on more berries or for a chocolate shell coating for vanilla ice cream bars.  Pop the plate into the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes so the chocolate can harden.  When the chocolate is hard to the touch, ENJOY!  These should pretty much go from fridge to mouth or they will melt, so it’s not really a good party food siting around on a buffet table.  They are best served right from the fridge.

VARIATIONS:   Big fresh strawberries, pineapple chunks, or orange segments with outer skin/membrane removed.

NUTRITIONAL INFO (sauce only):  Makes about 1¼ cups sauce (20 T.= 60 tsp.).  Each tsp. should coat 1-2 berries.  The berry will add another 0.2 net carbs.  Each teaspoon of sauce contains

19 cals, 1.79g fat, 0.55g carbs, 0.21g fiber, 0.34g NET CARBS (the blueberry adds 0.2 g additional net carbs, so one berry treat has 0.56 NET CARBS total), 0.2 g  protein

 

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake

I created a delicious coffeecake early on in my weight-loss journey.    It’s very filling with my addition of a flax topping.  This will be something I only make on very special occasions as it’s a little carb pricey.  It is very good and when I serve it for special occasions, I’m amazed how well it is received by guests.

This recipe is not suitable for Atkins Induction.  Blueberries would do nicely in this for a nice variation. 🙂  You can pull the carb count down on this coffeecake using liquid Splenda in the cake and cream cheese layer, but I had none on hand the day I made this.  I would definitely stick with the granular erythritol or Splenda for the streusel topping, however.

INGREDIENTS:

2½ c. almond flour (total)

½ c. hazelnut flour (total)

2 T. flax meal

1½ c. granular erythritol or Splenda (or sweetener of your choosing to equal 1½ c. sugar)

3 eggs

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. salt

¼ c. butter, unsalted, only slightly softened

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. sour cream

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 T. oil of your choice (coconut, melted butter, extra light olive oil)

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 c. fresh raspberries (or frozen)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º and grease 8″ square or deep round cake pan (this cake rises up nicely).  In a medium mixing bowl, add 2 cups of the almond meal, 1 T. of the flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 3/4 c. sweetener and mix well.  Add sour cream, oil, extract and 2 of the eggs.  Beat by hand until well blended.  Spread evenly into greased cake pan and set aside.

Now soften the cream cheese and add the 3rd egg.  Beat until smooth with a spoon.  Add 1/4 c. sweetener.  Carefully pour this evenly over the cake batter.  Try not to disturb cake batter too much as you try to get this evenly over the cake.  Next evenly place the raspberries on top of the cream cheese layer.

Make the streusel topping by mixing ½ c. almond meal, ½ c. hazelnut meal and 1 T. flax meal, the cinnamon, ½ c. sweetener and the ¼ c. butter.  A fork is easiest to do this with.  Try to break up the butter in the crumbly mixture as best you can.  You can add a few chopped nuts as well to this streusel (pictured but NOT included in nutritional info below).  With hands, sprinkle all the topping on top of the cake (looks like a lot but use it all, trust me).  Bake for 40 minutes or until done in center   Cut into 16 servings.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 16 servings, each containing:

217 cals, 19.5g fat, 12.56g carbs, 3.13g fiber, 9.43g NET CARBS, 5.73g protein, 93mg sodium

The Perfect Rib Roast

The Perfect Rib Roast

Well, I made it through yet another Christmas feast!  This year I served a baked ham with my Chipotle Sweet Potatoes and roasted asparagus rather than a rib roast.  But I thought I’d post my favorite method for cooking rib roasts in case some of you plan on cooking one for New Year’s.  This is how my mother roasted them for years and years and folks, it just doesn’t get any easier or any tastier! This method has never, EVER failed me.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Ketogenic diets and Primal-Paleo if you use coconut aminos.

My roasts are usually bone-in as I think they cook more evenly with the bones in them.  But I do remove them after cooking to make slicing the meat easier.  I usually served my rib roast with horseradish sauce and typically, French-style green beans or broccoli and a tasty cauliflower mash along with a lovely Grand Marnier fruit salad on the side.  All I can say is……………Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

We like rib roast medium rare and you can see, it cooks perfectly effortlessly with this method.  My roasts average 3.5 pounds after removing the bones, so I shoot for a 4-4.5 pound bone-in roast at the market.  I usually get 8 nice 8-oz. servings (3/8″ thick slices) from this size roast.   My little rat terrier usually gets one of the meaty bones for her Christmas dinner.  She is in sheer heaven along with the rest of us.  🙂  My husband usually gnaws on the remaining bones for a late night snack.

Our latest three volumes of LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks are calling you.  Volume 8 and Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included in both editions are a few tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   Volume 10 is hot off the press with more delectable goodies.  Special Christmas prices as low as $9.77 on some books (free shipping in USA).  Hurry and place your order today for any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php.  When you purchase our books, we would sure appreciate you stopping by Amazon to leave a review here.

Prime Rib Christmas Dinner 2014

INGREDIENTS:

4½ pound beef rib roast (bone-in)

1 T. coconut aminos, tamari or low-sodium soy sauce

½ clove garlic (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)

¼-1/3  tsp. coarse cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat the oven to 325º.  Place the roast on a cutting board or right in your roasting pan if you prefer.  If using fresh garlic, the first step is to cut your clove in half and rub the cut surface all over the surfaces of the meat (all sides, including the bony side).   If not using fresh garlic, step 1 is to drizzle the coconut aminos or soy sauce over the meat surfaces and rub it in with your fingers.  Step 2 is to sprinkle the garlic powder on the meat surfaces.  Last, sprinkle the black pepper all over the meat surfaces.  Place roast bone side down in your roasting pan.  Roast at 325º for 15 minutes to the pound.

Check center of the roast with a meat thermometer (be sure the thermometer tip isn’t touching bone).  The meat is rare at an internal temperature of 115º; medium rare at 120º; well done at 125º and probably overcooked and thoroughly “dead” (dry and tough) at 130º or higher.   I personally think it is a crime to eat such a wonderful cut of meat well done, but to each his own preference.    Since we like our rib roast medium rare, I always take it out of the oven when it reads (115º rare) as it will continue to cook as you let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes before carving.  You don’t want to bypass the sitting period or the minute you start slicing, all the wonderful juices will ooze out onto the cutting board and be wasted.  Carve off the bones and set aside.  Carve up 8 nice 3/8″ slices and serve at once.

I like to deglaze the roasting pan with a dab of water over low heat while the meat is “resting” awaiting slicing. Just stir to get up all the brown bits to make your “au jus” sauce.  Add a dash of salt and pepper to the juice if needed.  Serve your roast with horseradish sauce if desired.  My recipe for that sauce is here:  Horseradish Sauce

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes eight 8-oz.servings (plus the meaty bones leftover).  Each 8-oz. slice contains:

846 cals, 69 g  fat (less if you trim all visible off), 0.7 g  carbs, 0.2 g  fiber, 0.5 g  NET CARBS, 52 g  protein, 209 mg sodium

0131

This is the dessert I am making for Christmas this year.  It’ll just be the two of us and my husband’s brother visiting from up around Dallas.

When I was in high school in Kansas, my best friend (also named Peggy) often had me over for dinner (we were neighbors).  Her mother was a former stage actress from Budapest who married an American Army officer after WWII.  To say Peggy’s mother was a good cook would be a gross understatement.  Dinner at my friend’s house was quite the culinary experience, and as my parents were also well-versed in gourmet cooking, I felt my ability to judge really good food was well-honed by this age.

This wonderful apple dessert, much like hand pies, was Peggy’s mom’s signature dessert.  My family fell in love at first bite!  It has since become a family favorite holiday dessert offering.  I have now reworked it for a low-carb lifestyle, using an entirely different crust.  I have also low carbed the filling.  The original recipe is made with all apples, a few raisins and the original crust had 1c. sour cream!  To be more authentic, you could go ahead and use sour cream for the cream called for in my pie crust below without much of a hike in carbs.  🙂  I have omitted the raisins entirely as they add so many carbs.  I use mostly chayote squash, with only one apple for flavor impact.  These bars definitely improve in flavor on day 2 as the rum mellows considerably overnight so I like to make them the day before I plan to serve.

Just for the heck of it, I worked up the nutritional numbers for this made with 5 small apples and no chayote squash and provide that info below for anyone interested in making this with all apples.  Doing so ups the carbs approximately 2 carbs per bar, which isn’t that bad a price for all apples, really.  Holidays are supposed to be “special occasions”, non?  🙂  Today I plan to make this with all apples, as it’s Christmas once again.

I hear zucchini makes a wonderful apple sub, but the unpredictability of its moisture content in a pastry worries me greatly, so I haven’t tried that in this recipe.  As it is consumed hand-held a soggy crust can’t be tolerated for hand eating.  I absolutely do not think this recipe would be good with ALL chayote squash, so I will never go down that road for this favorite.

This dish is not suitable until late in Atkins Phase 2 OWL due to the rum and apples.  I store my bars in an airtight container in the bottom of my fridge.  To be honest, they don’t usually last long enough to worry about freezing!  I’ve never frozen any of my low-carb pastries, so I don’t know how they’d freeze.

Chayote Squash (also called mirletons)

Chayote Squash (also called mirletons)

INGREDIENTS:

2  recipes Peggy’s “Flour” Pie Crust   (for gluten free, use your favorite gluten-free pie crust recipe)

1/3 c. granular Splenda (or equivalent sweetener of your choice)

2 chayote squash (or zucchini) , peeled and sliced ¼-3/8″ thick

1 small delicious apple (2½” diameter), peeled and sliced ¼” thick

3/4 c. pecans, chopped

2 T. rum

1 T. fresh lemon juice

lemon zest of 1 lemon

3/4 c. granular erythritol (or equivalent sweetener of your choice)

2½ tsp. cinnamon

3 egg whites, beaten to frothy/soft peaks

DIRECTIONS:   You need a 8½” x 11½” baking pan for this recipe.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Make the double recipe of pie crust dough per that recipe’s instructions, adding the 1/3 c. Splenda to the mixture.   When pastry is kneaded into a solid ball of dough, form a log and break apart into 60% and 40% (bottom crust takes a little more dough than the top crust).

BOTTOM CRUST:  Take the larger piece of dough, shape in a rough log and place between two pieces plastic.  Roll out dough into a rectangle the size of the pan’s bottom plus the depth of the sides.  Dough will be fairly thin but still manageable.  The dough must be large enough go up the sides of the pan completely to the top and over the edge in order not to fall when baked.     Peel top plastic off carefully and fold in half/lift pastry into the pan.  Adjust pastry to fit.  Carefully remove second piece of plastic and fit pastry well into the walls and corners of the pan without tearing.  Allow pastry to lay over the top edge of the pan to “hold on” and not fall inward during baking.  Prick pastry with a fork at 2″ intervals to avoid it bubbling up during baking.  Bake for 10-12 minutes in a preheated 350º oven just begins to lightly brown.  Remove and cool while you make the filling.

FILLING:  Peel and slice chayote squash and microwave covered on HI for 8-10 minutes until soft.  Peel apple and place in bowl with chayote. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl with electric hand mixer until thick (thick and frothy/soft peaks).  Add nuts, rum, lemon juice and zest, erythritol and cinnamon to the apple/squash mixture and then fold in the beaten egg whites until the fruit and nuts are well-moistened.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape the filling into the half-baked crust.  Spread as evenly as possible, pushing up into corners of pastry.  Level the apples and squash pieces so no pointy bits are sticking up as they may tear the top pastry.  I’ve had that happen before.

TOP CRUST:  Roll the remaining ball of dough between the two plastic sheets, rolling it into a rectangle just a tiny bit larger than the top of the pan. Peel off top plastic and fold up/lift gently onto the filling, being sure the edges are fitting over the bottom crust.  Crimp the top crust onto the bottom crust with your fingers to seal it well.     Pop into hot 350º oven for about 22-25 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and done in the center.  Dough will be a tiny bit soft but dry to the touch.  It will look like the final product below/right when done.  Cool completely before slicing and refrigerating.

Our latest three volumes of LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks are calling you.  Volume 8 and Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included in both editions are a few tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   Volume 10 is hot off the press with more delectable goodies.  Books are on sale right now (some as low as $9.77) with free shipping in the USA.  You can place your order today for any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php.  When you purchase our books, we would sure appreciate you stopping by Amazon to leave a review here.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 24 bars, each contains:

Click to enlarge

Hot from the oven

74.14 cals, 6.43g fat, 7.1g carbs, 5.33g fiber, 1.77g NET CARBS, 2.68 g  protein, 61.33 mg sodium

FOR THE CURIOUS:  With all apple filling, using 5 small 2½” apples:  93 calories, 7.5g fat, 10.06 g  carbs, 6.36 g  fiber, 3.7 net carbs

 

Click to enlarge

I modified my old rum ball recipe to be suited to a low-carb lifestyle and they taste just like the rum balls my mother made when I was growing up.  I’m hosting one course of our annual neighborhood round-robin dinner this week (20 people) and these will be on the goodie table for sure.  These are not acceptable for Induction unless you leave out the rum, which kinda takes most of of the flavor away, honestly.

Our latest three volumes of LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks are calling you.  Volume 8 and Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included in both editions are a few tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   Volume 10 is hot off the press with more delectable goodies for your holiday entertaining.  Special Christmas pricing as low as $9.77 on some books (free shipping in USA).  Hurry and place your order today at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php.  When you purchase our books, we would sure appreciate you stopping by Amazon to leave a review here.

INGREDIENTS:

¾ c. almond meal

¼ c. unflavored whey protein

1 c. finely chopped walnuts or pecans

½ c. cocoa, sifted

¼ c. erythritol, sifted

4 T. melted butter

14 drops liquid sweetener of your choice (I use EZ Sweets)

2 T. rum  (or bourbon, if you prefer)

FOR OUTER COATING: 2 T. more erythritol + ½ c. more finely chopped walnuts or pecans mixed together in a small bowl.

DIRECTIONS: Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Add liquid sweetener and rum to melted butter and stir into batter until well mixed.  It should begin to form a smooth batter.  Spoon up and using hands, form into eighteen ¾-1″ balls.  To finish them off, roll around in pecan coating (I found I had to press firmly onto surface) for as even a coating as you can get.  Store in air-tight container with wax paper between layers.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.  These can be frozen.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 18 balls, each containing:

136 cals, 12g fat, 3.75g carbs, 1.71g fiber, 2.04g NET CARBS, 4 mg. sodium

Einkorn Sausage-Cheese Balls

This is an ever-popular party appetizer that never goes out of favor with your holiday guests.  I’m hosting the appetizers phase of our neighborhood annual Christmas round-robin dinner and this easy make-ahead treat will be easy to make ahead, heat and serve.  I have another Sausage Cheese Ball recipe on my website that rings in at only 1 net carb per ball but I like this one a bit better.  With fewer ingredients it’s a little easier to put together.  This recipe features my convenient homemade Einkorn Low-Carb Bake Mix (similar to Bisquick and Carbquick).  These tasty treats only have 1.76 net carbs per ball!  Not bad for the convenience of just reaching for 3 ingredients in lieu of a whole bunch of ingredients.   These are not suitable until the grains rung of the carb re-introduction ladder of Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  They are OK for Keto diets if you can fit a few into your daily carb limits.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. breakfast sausage (I used my homemade breakfast sausage recipe)

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

2 c. my Einkorn Bake Mix  (For gluten-free version, use Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten-Free Bake Mix or another GF mix of your choice)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º. Mix the above ingredients in a medium bowl with your hands as you would a meatloaf mixture.  When thoroughly blended, form into 30 1″ balls and place on non-stick baking sheet or one lined with parchment or silicone sheet for ease of clean-up. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove to paper towels to drain off any excess grease (mine had none actually).  Serve warm and ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 30  1″ balls, each sausage ball contains:

95 calories, 7.81 g  fat, 2.4 g  carbs, 0.64 g fiber, 1.76 g  NET CARBS, 4.82 g  protein, 81 mg sodium

 

cranrefrigerator cookies

I created a tasty refrigerator cookie recently.  My Pistachio Rosewater Cookies) were my inspiration.  These are delicious and so easy to make!  My mother loved refrigerator cookies you just slice off and bake like these.  A little dessicated coconut (maybe 1/4 c.) would transform them yet again.  Those changes would require you add the numbers to the nutritional info provided below.  It’s nice to be able to freeze this dough and just slice off the number of cookies you want to bake.  Lowers the chance for constant temptation.  I bake a little pan of 6 refrigerator cookies at a time.  This recipe is not suitable until the grains rung of the OWL phase of Atkins.

INGREDIENTS:

2 sticks butter, unsalted, softened

1 large egg, beaten

¼ tsp. salt

2/3 c. fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped (pulsed in processor 4-5 times)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ c. granular Splenda

¼ c. erythritol

1 c. KevinPa’s Bake Mix (see below)

½ almond flour

½ c. Jennifer Eloff’s Splendid LowCarb Bake Mix

2 T. Carbquick Bake Mix

1 T. oat fiber

VARIATIONS:   Add ½ c. unsweetened coconut or orange zest (or both) to the batter.

Kevin’s Bake Mix (slightly modified):

½ c. Carbalose flour

¼ c. wheat protein isolate 5000

1 T.  wheat protein isolate 8000

1½ T. almond flour

1½ T. resistant WHEAT starch (Kevin used resistant corn starch)

1¼ tsp. Splenda

½ tsp. xanthan gum (Kevin used Not/Sugar)

DIRECTIONS:  In a medium bowl, soften the butter and beat the egg into it well.  Add the salt, sweeteners and vanilla.  Measure and mix in each of the bake mixes.  Add chopped cranberries and gently fold in to get berries evenly distributed in the batter.  Shape into a log about 12″ long and 1½” in diameter on waxed paper.  Roll the log up snugly, closing ends of waxed paper and chill in refrigerator for about 1-2 hours, or until firm enough to slice.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Slice off in ¼” slices and place on silicone or parchment lined baking sheet (these don’t spread much during cooking.   Bake for 10-12 minutes (don’t let get too brown) and remove to cool.  Roll any unused dough in waxed paper and store in refrigerator or freeze if you prefer.  If freezing, slightly defrost dough a half hour before attempting to slice or the cookie will likely “break” under the knife pressure.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes about 48  (¼” cut ) cookies, each contains:

58 cals, 5.13 g fat, 1.94 g carbs, 1.05 g fiber, 0.89 g NET CARBS, 1.6g protein, 17 mg sodium

Chipotle-Lime Sweet Potatoes

Chipotle-Lime “Sweet Potatoes”

OK, it’s officially close to Thanksgiving now that I have bought 2 sweet potatoes to add to my fresh pumpkin dish that has become a holiday tradition in my house:  Chipotle-Lime “Sweet Potatoes”.  I clipped a high-carb sweet potato recipe out of the Houston Post many years ago, but I low-carbed it by using fresh pumpkin (the whole variety) so that I can now have it without breaking the “carb bank”.  I have personally never been very fond of sweet potatoes as a veggie side, but ever since finding this recipe, I just love them!  I bake this recipe OFTEN, and with a wide variety of meats and seafood!

This is NOT your granny’s sweet potatoes!  Chipotle peppers are highly smoked jalapenos and taste nothing like green jalapeno peppers, in my opinion.  They, in combination with the lime zest, add a most unique “twist” to a popular vegetable more commonly seasoned with orange zest.  My brother, who was an Executive Chef at Top of the Mark in San Francisco at one time, just raved about this dish when I served it to him!  He went on to serve it often to dinner guests  in his own home over the years.  When I can’t get fresh pumpkin, I have been known to use butternut squash in this recipe in a pinch, but in all honesty, it’s not quite as good as the fresh pumpkin.  I tried it one time using acorn squash, and it was a “different animal” altogether, and not one I was terribly fond of.

I find this dish particularly tasty with baked, fried or grilled seafood, grilled meat, especially wild game, Texas-style BBQ, baked ham and of course that Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey or duck.  The flavor combination of lime, smoky chipotles and maple extract (¼ c. very high carb packed brown sugar in the original recipe) is a real winner!  The color of the final dish is more golden than orange as it is with all potatoes, thus my addition of red food coloring to correct color aesthetics.

Absolutely DO NOT SUBSTITUTE CANNED PUMPKIN or you are going to be extremely disappointed.  Just not the same dish.  Once you reach the starchy vegetable rung of the OWL Phase of Atkins and can afford a few more carbs,  I would recommend using just 1½ lb. pumpkin and adding 1 lb. cooked, mashed sweet potato (2 medium) for both flavor, color and a much creamier, tastier final dish. You will of course need to adjust nutritional info if you make that change as my numbers are for pumpkin only.

This dish does not freeze well.  As a general rule, cooked pumpkin flesh does not freeze well at all when used as a vegetable side dish.  Its water separates out in the bottom of your baking pan upon thawing the made-ahead dish for final heating/serving.  This doesn’t happen with muffins, cookies and cakes, but in invariably does with veggie sweet potato recipes.  That really ruins the final dish for me.  No matter how I try to drain that water off, it just keeps bleeding out more water it seems!  Totally spoils it for me, so I never, EVER freeze pumpkin.

This recipe appears in Vol. 1 of Jennifer Eloff’s latest cookbook series, LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.   I hope you’ll click the link to their Facebook page and take a look at a sampling of the recipes that await you in this now 10-volume set.  Any low-carb cook would be proud to serve the recipes shared by these very talented cook, ……….including famous George Stella!  You can order the entire set or individual volumes at Amazon or here:  http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

2½ lb. cooked fresh pumpkin (DO NOT USE CANNED PUMPKIN.  It’s horrible in this!)

½ c. heavy cream

4 T. butter

¼ tsp. salt

2 T. fresh lime juice

zest of 1 large lime (2 if they are small)

½ c. granular Splenda

1 tsp. maple extract (or 2 T. sugar-free maple syrup)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1-2 chipotle peppers (canned, in adobo sauce) seeded, rinsed & mashed

few drops red food coloring to achieve orange color of sweet potatoes (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Remove stem and cut a small 4-4½ lb. pumpkin in half.  Remove seeds (you can roast them for snacks) and turn cut side down into baking pan.  Fill pan with 1″ water and bake pumpkin at 350º until tender when fork is stuck into it (about 45 minutes).  Remove and cool enough to handle.  Scoop/scrape  the pumpkin flesh out of skin/shell and weigh. Should yield about 2-2½ lb. flesh.  (freeze any overage for future use).  Cool a bit before whipping the pumpkin with an electric mixer, blender or food processor to get it as smooth as possible.  Add all remaining ingredients except chipotle peppers.

For the holidays or very special occasions, I will bake 2 medium sweet potatoes, scoop out flesh, mash and add for richer flavor, but this ups the carbs quite a bit.  When I do this, I reduce the pumpkin by the volume of sweet potato I sub in.  I have not included any sweet potatoes in the numbers below.

These little chipotle peppers (smoked jalapenos) are very HOT, so special handling is recommended.  Either wear plastic gloves (homemade  “sandwich bag gloves” will do) or be sure you wash your hands well after handling.  Take 1 chipotle pepper (about 1½” long) out of the can.  Rinse, and remove seeds and ribs with a knife.  Finely mash into a puree on a flat wooden board or paper plate.  Add to pumpkin mixture, stir well and taste to see if this is hot enough for you.  You don’t want to get this dish too hot.  A little tingle on the tongue is what you’re looking for.

If you want even more smoky taste or a hotter dish, carefully repeat ½ pepper at a time, re-tasting after each addition.   If you add pepper in stages like this, you won’t ever ruin the whole batch getting it too hot (I did one time).  Never forget that not everyone at your dinner table or social occasion will like things as hot as others.

Stir well and pour into buttered ceramic/glass baking dish.  Sprinkle with a dash more cinnamon and bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Serves 8, each serving contains: (using all pumpkin)

114 cals, 7.6g fat, 12g carbs, 4g fiber, 8g net carbs, 2g protein, 121 mg. sodium

Click to enlarge

Southern “Cornbread” Dressing/Stuffing

I made, baked and froze my Thanksgiving dressing today.  Just have to do those things ahead that do well being frozen.  If you’re looking for a low-carb version of Mom’s cornbread stuffing, you need look no further.  Southern girl that I am, I’m pretty fussy about cornbread dressing!  I had about given up on finding a way to make it with low-carb breads and get MY definition of stuffing heaven. However………. this recipe is a great imitation of cornbread heaven for me.   It will grace your holiday bird, baked chicken, roasted pork or stuffed chops and make you PROUD!  The cornbread brings a slight corn taste to the stuffing (even if made without the corn flavoring!) that none of my previous trials have been able to achieve.  This is so close to my traditional buttermilk cornbread recipe, I’ll never make the higher-carb version again,……………not even for guests!  This can be stuffed in your holiday bird, but I have always preferred the top to get brown and not stuff the bird. 🙂

This recipe is NOT acceptable for Atkins Induction. If you are still in the Induction Phase of Atkins, or on an ultra-low-carb phase of Keto diets, try instead my Induction-friendly Eggplant-Jicama Stuffing.

TIP:  When baking and freezing stuffing ahead, slightly under-cook it so that when it is reheated and browned, it doesn’t dry out too much.

Our latest three volumes of LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks are calling you.  Volume 8 and Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included in both editions are a few tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   Volume 10 is hot off the press with more delectable goodies.  Early orders can be delivered by Thanksgiving.  EARLY BIRD SECRET SALE!!  Special pricing and limited-time free shipping so hurry and place your order today.  You can order these or any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php.  When you purchase our books, we would sure appreciate you stopping by Amazon to leave a review at this site

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe of my Jalapeno Cheese Bread

6 oz. chopped onion

6 oz. chopped celery

1 stick unsalted butter (8 T.)

1 c. chopped parsley

4 tsp. Dad’s Poultry Seasoning (or whatever poultry seasoning you prefer)

½ tsp. black pepper

2 c. chicken broth, preferable homemade (best if 1 cup of this is pan juices from your turkey roasting pan)

DIRECTIONS: Cook the cheese bread (omit jalapenos if you prefer, but I don’t) exactly as instructed in that recipe.  When completely cooled, coarsely break it up into a large bowl  Add the parsley and stir. Set aside for now.  When ready to put stuffing together, preheat the oven to 350º.

Melt the butter in a skillet and saute the celery and onion until very tender.  I do NOT like crunchy bits in my stuffing! 🙂  Add the sauteed veggie mixture, butter and all, to the dry ingredients in the bowl.  Add seasonings and finally the broth.  You may have to add more broth if the resulting mixture is not fairly wet (but not soupy).  Stir well to blend all ingredients.  Pour into a buttered 9×13 baking pan or two round pans.  I personally like to drizzle 1-2 T. more melted butter on top, but that isn’t necessary or included in the numbers below. Bake at 350º for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 12 servings (approximately 3/4 c. each).  Each serving contains:

282 calories, 26 g  fat, 7.16 g  carbs, 3.16 g fiber, 4 g NET CARBS, 9.1 g  protein, 190 mg sodium

pumpkin-cake

Shown cake made with fresh pumpkin.

This moist, delicious pumpkin cake, inspired by a recipe I saw at Fabulous Foods.com, came out simply wonderful.  It cooked perfectly and has a lovely smooth texture.  I don’t care for the texture of cakes made exclusively with almond flour, so I subbed 1/3 whey protein powder into her recipe for a smoother texture.  I also chose to use fresh pumpkin rather than canned.  I reduced the butter called for by 25% as well.  This one’s a keeper for our holiday baking, for sure!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal as well.  The cream cheese knocks this out of suitability for Paleo, unless there is a suitable substitute that meets that program’s requirements.

Our last two LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks, Volume 8 and Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included in both editions are a few tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   EARLY BIRD SECRET SALE!!  Special pricing and limited time free shipping so hurry and place your order.  Or you can order these or any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php.

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When you purchase our books, we would sure appreciate you stopping by and leaving your personal review.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. almond flour

1 c. plain whey protein powder

1 c. Splenda or equivalent sweetener of choice

2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1 T. + 1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. nutmeg

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

3/4 c. (1½ sticks) butter, softened

1 c. fresh (or canned) cooked pumpkin puree

4 large eggs

½ c. sugar-free maple syrup or caramel sugar-free syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Line the bottom of a tube with parchment cut-to-fit, or use a lightly oiled non-stick bundt pan.  Oil the sides and post of your tube pan as well.  In a medium bowl, soften cream cheese and butter.  With electric mixer, blend them well.  Add eggs, syrup, pumpkin and vanilla.  Whip on high until very smooth.  In a separate bowl, measure out all dry ingredients and stir well to blend to a uniform mixture.  Add to the wet ingredients and beat with the electric mixer until a smooth batter is achieved.  With a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the cake pan spreading it as evenly as possible.  Bake at 350º for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and dry.  Cool almost totally before loosening with a knife and tipping onto a cake plate for serving.   You can top with dollop of fresh whipped cream if you  like.

VARIATION:  Use lightly oiled silicone muffin pans for a muffin version.  Should make 12 large muffins that will take about 20-25 minutes to bake at 350º.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 14 slices, each contains:

295 calories, 25.8 g fat, 7.28 g carbs, 2.30 g fiber, 4.98 g NET CARBS, 12.4 g protein, 287 mg sodium

 

Pumpkin Pie

Individual pies (4″ mini pie pans) using FRESH pumpkin

This is my favorite traditional pumpkin pie filling recipe.  I have been baking this recipe of my mother’s for many years now.  It is very light and fluffy as the egg whites are whipped separately.   Of course, those still on Induction will need to leave off crust as shown to the right.  It’s very good that way!

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  9″ large crustless pie using canned pumpkin

Those that are already to the OWL Phase 2 level of Atkins can pour this filling into an uncooked low-carb pie crust of your choice and then bake.  Mine are shown on my “Flour” Pie Crust.  With that crust recipe, each pie (minus topping) contains 9 net carbs. It looks a little dark because I was out of golden flax meal and had to use my 50:50 mixed flax meal.   I usually use canned pumpkin for this but tried it with fresh today and it was delicious, although a tad milder in flavor I think.    This recipe is suitable for Induction if made crustless.  All other phases of Atkins and Keto diets can enjoy these small pies.

Our latest LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, Volume 8 and soon-to-be-released Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included are a few tasty new creations of my friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   EARLY BIRD SECRET SALE!!  For estimated October delivery on Vol. 9, order it or any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php or at Amazon.

DISCLAIMER: By personal choice, I do not accept payment for this book promotion nor for the inclusion of my recipes therein. I do so merely because they are GREAT cookbooks any low-carb cook would be proud to add to their cookbook collection.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 c. granular Splenda (or equivalent sweetener of your choice)

1 T. erythritol (or pinch stevia extract)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground ginger (optional)

1/8 tsp. salt

1 c. canned or fresh baked pumpkin flesh (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)

1/2 c. heavy cream

3 large eggs, separated per directions below

1 recipe my “Flour” Pie Crust

DIRECTIONS:  Make pie crust by that recipe’s directions.  Roll and shape in pie pan(s) of your choice

For the filling, break and beat one whole egg in a medium mixing bowl.  Take out another medium mixing bowl.  Separate the two remaining eggs, putting the yolks into your first bowl with the whole beaten egg.  Put the whites in a clean, dry, separate bowl.

In the bowl with the 1 whole egg and 2 yolks, add all other pie ingredients.  Beat will with a stick blender or hand mixer until smooth, especially if using fresh pumpkin, as it can be lumpy.  Slowly stir in the cream and blend until smooth.

Beat the 2 egg whites to “stiff peak” stage using an electric mixer.  With a rubber spatula, fold the beaten whites into the pumpkin mixture.  When all is incorporated well, pour the mixture into 4 mini pie crusts.  For the crustless version, pour into a buttered baking dish.  For the large pie version, pour into an uncooked, prepared 9″-10″ low-carb pie crust positioned in your pie plate.

IMPORTANT:  For the large pie version, if you use an 8″ pie plate, this amount of filling will likely overflow during baking.  If that’s the only size pie plate you have, only fill the prepared crust 3/4 full.  Put remaining filling into a buttered small dish to bake separately for the kids, who often don’t like crust anyway.

Bake at 350º for 40-45 minutes.  Filling will puff way up during cooking and then fall level when removed from the oven and cooled.  When totally cooled, Serve with a dollop of whipped cream sweetened with the sweetener of your choice.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (for filling):   Makes 4 servings, each contains:  (Does NOT include topping or crust)

191 cals, 15g fat, 9.52g carbs, 2.2g fiber, 7.5g NET CARBS, 6g  protein, 72 mg sodium

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (for crust):  Entire crust contains:  (divide by # servings)

612 cals, 70.7g fat, 70.8g carbs, 63.84g fiber, 6.8g NET CARBS, 26.4g protein, 648 mg sodium

Click to enlarge

I’m not a big sweets eater, as many of my readers and forum acquaintances know.  But my husband IS!  And since he’s Type 2 diabetic, I do try to fix him low-carb treats so he won’t go and buy the awful junk at the grocery store and bakery that is laden with flour and sugar.   This dessert I created for his Valentine’s Day treat some years back and thought I’d share it with my dessert lovers out there.

The basic chocolate cake batter in this recipe is actually not my recipe.  My inspiration was a recipe posted by a wonderful cook on LowCarbFriends forums named Gwen, known there as “The Chicken Lady”.  This cake is a testimonial to her incredible cooking skills. I’m very pleased with this chocolate cake!  And I can’t say that about many low-carb chocolate cakes I’ve tried. Despite it looking sinfully rich, it was very light.   I have made no changes to her original cake recipe.  🙂

I did bake my cake in ONE 9″ round cake (wax-paper lined) cake pan that is unusually deep (2½”) and the cake rose nearly to the top!  It would bake OK in two standard shallow 9″ cake pans also, but reduce the cooking time if you make that pan change.  You’ll have more trouble slicing it into 4 layers, and might prefer to just do a two-layer final cake instead of three.  Or you could bake the cake in a wax-paper lined stew pot/dutch oven.  That has worked for me many a time.  This cake is not suitable until the berries rung of the Atkins OWL carb reintroduction ladder.  Due to the artificial sweeteners and dairy, this dessert is not be suitable for Paleo-Primal followers without considerable modification.

VARIATION:  Substitute raspberries for the strawberries.

This cake is fairly carb pricey, but if you can’t afford the carbs, you could cut it into 12 pieces.  That’s a wee bit better.  This should be considered a very special occasion treat because it IS so carb pricey.  Be sure if substituting other than liquid sweeteners, to add in those carbs!

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, Volume 8, by Jennifer Eloff, Chef George Stella of Food Network fame, and myself.  Volume 8 is almost completely comprised of my recipes! But George Stella and Jennifer Eloff are also including several tasty new delights to try in this latest Volume 8! You’ll LOVE these delicious recipes, so order yours (Volume 8 or ANY of our cookbooks) from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.  For a limited time, there is free shipping if you order 2 or more cookbooks on the same order.  Remember, they make GREAT birthday or holiday gifts!If you’ve already purchased a book, take a moment and drop by the our Amazon page and  leave your personal review on the latest book.  Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂

CAKE INGREDIENTS: 

4 c. almond flour
liquid sweetener to equal 2 c. sugar
½ c. granular erythritol (or equivalent of 1/3 cup of sugar)
4 pkts. stevia (equivalent for 8 tsp. sugar)  
½ c. cup cocoa powder
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/3 c. butter or coconut oil, melted
4 eggs, beaten
1 c. sour cream

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

2½ c. heavy cream, whipped

Pinch (less than 1/16 tsp.) glucomannan powder, dusted over cream as you whip it (optional, to help firm up the whipped cream)

14 oz. frozen whole strawberries, thawed and drained of juice, chopped

1 c. fresh strawberries, chopped (or 1 c. more frozen berries, or use all fresh berries)

Sweetener of choice to taste

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º.   Mix and beat the wet cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl.   If your almond flour isn’t room temperature, make it so and press out any lumps.  Measure and add in all dry ingredients to the bowl and stir well. Line your cake pan(s) with waxed paper or parchment.  Grease the sides of the pan(s) well.  Pour batter into pan spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Tap pan on counter to eliminate air pockets and pop into 350º oven.  Bake for about 60 minutes if using one, very deep pan like I did.  If using two 1″ x 9″ round cake pans, they will cook much faster, in about 25-30 minutes or so.   Toothpick test the center.  It should come out clean and dry when the the cake is done.  Completely cool before attempting to tip cake out onto a board to cut it into layers.  This cake can also be made in a rectangular 9 x 13″ pan, cut in half and each half then sliced laterally to form 4 layers (reserve 1 layer for another use as you only need 3 layers for this cake).  All sorts of possibilities with that cake size.

While cake is in the oven, make the frosting:  Whip the cream until thick.  Run the berries through a food processor (or chop coarsely) for a few seconds, but leave them coarse.  Fold the berries into the whipped cream. Dust the pinch of glucomannan powder over the mixture slowly, folding after each addition, until all of it has been incorporated.  Taste for sweetness and add your favorite sweetener to taste.  Chill frosting until cake is totally cool.

Next cut the cake layers:  I sliced the completely cooled cake very carefully with a long-bladed knife, using a piece of cardboard covered with foil to gently slide each layer onto to set aside while I filled/frosted the final creation.  This cake has a firm texture and is not as crumbly as some almond flour cakes.  All good, but you still need to be careful, as even firm cakes can break.

Place about 1¼ c. of the frosting on the bottom layer of the cake.  Spread evenly with a rubber spatula, going almost to the edges.  Place the second layer of cake gently on the top and press slightly.  Put another 1¼ c. frosting on this layer and spread it out evenly.  Place the top cake layer on the stack, press slightly and spread all remaining frosting on the top and sides. OPTIONAL GARNISH:  Decorate the top of your cake with fresh strawberry slices, a few strawberry leaves  or perhaps a sliced and “fanned out” single strawberry at the center.  Chill in the refrigerator with plastic wrap on top until ready to cut and serve.

This cake was simply DELICIOUS and I will definitely be making it again!   My thanks to The Chicken Lady for her wonderful chocolate cake recipe.  It truly made my Valentines treat a success!

CONFESSION TIME:  The reason I used both frozen and fresh berries in the topping is I only had one 14 oz. bag of the frozen diced unsweetened berries in my freezer.  I thought that would make enough frosting.  But 1½ c. cream and those berries didn’t make enough frosting to frost the sides of the cake!  So I had to whip up a little more frosting real quick with another cup of cream and berries, so the last batch of frosting had to be made with what fresh berries I had on hand.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 10 servings, using the sweeteners specified, each serving contains:

632 calories, 57.8 g  fat, 20.4 g  carbs, 7.05 g  fiber, 13.35 g  NET CARBS  (17.0 carbs, 5.87 fiber, 11.12 NC if cut into 12 , slices), 15.2 g  protein, 521 mg sodium

 

Individual "Irish" Chocolate Cake

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!  A tasty, quick dessert to top off that corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day.  Tasty and quite easy, too!  The cake goes together in minutes, microwaves in 1 minute and the icing is just as easy.  And boy, oh, boy, is this icing ever delicious!  This cake is moist and has just the right amount of whiskey flavor.

I normally bake this cake for 1 minute in a glass dish in the microwave.  But when I want to use a very large, metal shamrock cookie cutter, I bake it in the regular oven (15 min 350º), using foil to form a “bottom” for the cookie cutter.  I would recommend baking this either as 4 cupcakes or as I usually do other times of the year, in a 5″ square or round baking dish.  You could also use two small “mini-cake pans.  If doing cupcakes, fill them evenly, which will be about 3/4 full.  Don’t worry, this batter doesn’t rise too much during baking.

This recipe is not suitable until Phase 2  of Atkins.  Those on other Ketogenic diets may get bumped out of ketosis consuming alcohol, but there is very little in this, so that might not happen.   Of course, you should omit the booze if in the first 2 weeks Induction phase.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS. She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try. Even a few of my recipes are in each of the 5 volumes! Order your set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

CAKE INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 T. butter, melted

4 pkts. stevia (I use Sweet Leaf)

¼ c. erythritol

2 large eggs, beaten

1 T. Irish Whiskey (I used Powers)

¼ c. cocoa powder, sifted

1½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. glucomannan (konjac) powder

1 tsp. oat fiber

CAKE DIRECTIONS:   Spray or grease your dish(s) or pan(s) with coconut oil or oil of your choosing.  Melt the butter and place in a medium glass bowl.   Add the stevia, erythritol and stir well.  Next beat in the two eggs.  Add the vanilla and Irish Whiskey, stirring once again.   Sift the cocoa on top and measure the remaining dry ingredients in next.  Stir gently to incorporate the dry into the wet ingredients.  Beat the batter with a spoon until it is smooth.    Pour into greased glass or ceramic pan(s) and bake for 1 minute on HI.   If using metal pans or conventional oven, bake at 350º about 13-15 minutes or until dry to the touch in the center.  Remove, cool completely and ice.

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:  

1 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 T. softened butter

2 tsp. Irish Whiskey (I used Powers)

¼ tsp. vanilla

2 T. plain whey protein powder (I use NOW brand)

2 pkts. stevia (or 1/2 tsp.)

3 T. powdered erythritol (I just powder it in my food processor)

FROSTING DIRECTIONS:  Soften the butter and cream cheese in a small bowl.  Add the protein, whiskey and vanilla.   Stir well until smooth.  Begin adding the sweeteners slowly, tasting as you go and STOP when it’s sweet enough for you, or add more if needed.  Everybody is different on sweetness preferences.    You can use food coloring to make your frosting green if you like (about 13-15 drops).  Frost the cooled cake(s) and serve at once or chill and then cover with plastic wrap if you must hold them over.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 2 large servings, each contains:

316 calories, 23 g  fat, 11.2 g  carbs, 5.1 g  fiber, 6.1 g NET CARBS, 13.5 g  protein, 434 mg sodium

Strawberry Breakfast Bites

These tasty 2-bite morsels are a slight variation of my Strawberry Egg Puffs recipe.  Make a batch of these for your honey for Valentine’s Day!  If you don’t have the Nordicware pan I used, you can use any mini-muffin pan you have.  These were a cinch to make and so good my husband just couldn’t stop.  They are delightful with morning coffee.  Sprinkle with powdered sweetener and serve them as a dessert with afternoon tea.   These are suitable once you get to the berries rung of the Atkins Phase 2 OWL ladder. They are also OK for most Keto diets.

NOTE: If you are gluten free, use all gluten-free mix, as my Einkorn mix is not gluten free.

INGREDIENTS:

4 large eggs, beaten

¼ c. Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten-Free Bake Mix

¼ c. my Einkorn Bake Mix (or more Jennifer’s mix for gluten-free)

1 c. frozen strawberries, drained and chopped (or other berries if you like)

2 T. erythritol

2 T. Splenda, granulated

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1 T. + 1 tsp. coconut oil

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º. Melt coconut oil in your mini muffin baking pan and brush 24 slots well with oil.

Beat the eggs in a small mixing bowl.  Add the bake mix.  You can use any low-carb bake mix you prefer.  Add sweeteners, vanilla and chopped berries.  Fold all together until smooth.   Using a 2 T. measuring cup, spoon batter into mini muffin pan slots.  Right is the Nordicware pan I used.

They will be nearly full to the brim.  Don’t worry, Mine didn’t overflow in the pans, although they do temporarily rise above the top like a souffle…..and then fall a bit when done and cooled.

Pop into oven and bake for 16-18 minutes or until risen and firm in the center.  Remove, cool a couple minutes and with knife tip, lift them out and serve while warm.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 24 Berry Bites or “mini muffins”, each contains:

32.3 calories, 2.4 g  fat, 1.55 g  carbs, .37 g  fiber, 1.18 g  NET CARBS, 1.67 g protein, 16 mg sodium

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One of life’s culinary pleasures for me is lobster.  Only thing that comes close is a cooked-to-perfection char-broiled ribeye steak.  We try to do a really special dinner on New Year’s Eve because it is also my birthday, so this is what we had tonight.  Lobster is soooo good and sooooo simple to make.   I tested a new Parsley-Cilantro salad dressing https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/parsley-cilantro-salad-dressing/  which really complimented the lobster.  The lobster I get at Sam’s Club every year is usually from the Bahamas.   The tails we bought this year weighed around 9 oz. each and all were tender as they could be.  They are, I find, a little sweeter than cold water lobster from New England, in my opinion.   This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins.

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends (me included).  Chef George Stella of Food Network fame, also brings to the table a wealth of delicious recipes added to the collection!  You’ll LOVE these recipes!  Order your copy today from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.

INGREDIENTS: 

1.25 lb. lobster tails (yields about 12 oz. tail meat after removing shell)

½ stick salted butter, melted

DIRECTIONS:    Put about 1½ cups water in a deep boiling pot and bring to a boil. Run two skewers from the base of the tail up the center of the belly, all the way up to the center of the thickest part.  This will keep the tail from curling so tight while cooking.  When the water comes to a rolling boil, insert skewered lobster tail up in the pot.  I usually lean the skewers out the top.  Set a lid on the pot slightly offset to reduce water evaporation, but it really doesn’t have to be 100% closed.     Lower to medium heat and let steam for about 10-13 minutes, depending on their size.  Alternately, you can use more water to cover the tails entirely and boil for 10 minutes if large 9 oz tails, or just for 6-7 minutes if they are the small 4.5 oz tails usually purchased at the grocery store.  Remove lobster tails from pot, remove skewers (if steamed) and holding shell with one hand (using tongs or a kitchen towel) cut with kitchen shears straight up the thinner belly shell (top to base of tail). Pull sides of tail shell apart a wee bit and fork out the tail meat (I like to leave the tail fins attached and in tact as shown in the photo above).  Splay the tail fins out when serving lobster meat on plates or platter.  Makes for a pretty presentation with the tail fins attached!   Serve along a nice green salad and perhaps my Rosemary Onion Dinner Rolls:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/rosemary-onion-dinner-rolls/

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings and each contains (including ¼c. of the butter):

367 calories, 23.9 g  fat, 2.2 g carbs, 0 fiber, 2.2 g NET CARBS, 34.8 g  protein, 1350 mg sodium

 

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This is the dessert I am making for Christmas this year.  It’ll just be the two of us and my husband’s brother visiting from up around Dallas.

When I was in high school in Kansas, my best friend (also named Peggy) often had me over for dinner (we were neighbors).  Her mother was a former stage actress from Budapest who married an American Army officer after WWII.  To say Peggy’s mother was a good cook would be a gross understatement.  Dinner at my friend’s house was quite the culinary experience, and as my parents were also well-versed in gourmet cooking, I felt my ability to judge really good food was well-honed by this age.

This wonderful apple dessert was Peggy’s mom’s signature dessert.  We fell in love at first bite.  It has since become a family favorite holiday dessert offering.  I have now reworked it for a low-carb lifestyle, using an entirely different crust.  I have also low carbed the filling.  The original recipe is made with all apples, a few raisins and the original crust had 1c. sour cream!  To be more authentic, you could go ahead and use sour cream for the cream called for in my pie crust below without much of a hike in carbs.  🙂  I have omitted the raisins entirely as they add so many carbs.  I use mostly chayote squash, with only one apple for flavor impact.  These bars definitely improve in flavor on day 2 as the rum mellows considerably overnight so I like to make them the day before I plan to serve.

Just for the heck of it, I worked up the nutritional numbers for this made with 5 small apples and no chayote squash and provide that info below for anyone interested in making this with all apples.  Doing so ups the carbs approximately 2 carbs per bar, which isn’t that bad a price for all apples, really.  Holidays are supposed to be “special occasions”, non?  🙂  Today I plan to make this with all apples, as it’s Christmas once again.

I hear zucchini makes a wonderful apple sub, but the unpredictability of its moisture content in a pastry worries me greatly, so I haven’t tried that in this recipe.  As it is consumed hand-held a soggy crust can’t be tolerated for hand eating.  I absolutely do not think this recipe would be good with ALL chayote squash, so I will never go down that road for this favorite.

This dish is not suitable until late in Atkins Phase 2 OWL due to the rum and apples.  I store my bars in an airtight container in the bottom of my fridge.  To be honest, they don’t usually last long enough to worry about freezing!  I’ve never frozen any of my low-carb pastries, so I don’t know how they’d freeze.

Chayote Squash (also called mirletons)

Chayote Squash (also called mirletons)

INGREDIENTS:

2  recipes Peggy’s “Flour” Pie Crust   (for gluten free, use your favorite gluten-free pie crust recipe)

1/3 c. granular Splenda (or equivalent sweetener of your choice)

2 chayote squash (or zucchini) , peeled and sliced ¼-3/8″ thick

1 small delicious apple (2½” diameter), peeled and sliced ¼” thick

3/4 c. pecans, chopped

2 T. rum

1 T. fresh lemon juice

lemon zest of 1 lemon

3/4 c. granular erythritol (or equivalent sweetener of your choice)

2½ tsp. cinnamon

3 egg whites, beaten to frothy/soft peaks

DIRECTIONS:   You need a 8½” x 11½” baking pan for this recipe.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Make the double recipe of pie crust dough per that recipe’s instructions, adding the 1/3 c. Splenda to the mixture.   When pastry is kneaded into a solid ball of dough, form a log and break apart into 60% and 40% (bottom crust takes a little more dough than the top crust).

BOTTOM CRUST:  Take the larger piece of dough, shape in a rough log and place between two pieces plastic.  Roll out dough into a rectangle the size of the pan’s bottom plus the depth of the sides.  Dough will be fairly thin but still manageable.  The dough must be large enough go up the sides of the pan completely to the top and over the edge in order not to fall when baked.     Peel top plastic off carefully and fold in half/lift pastry into the pan.  Adjust pastry to fit.  Carefully remove second piece of plastic and fit pastry well into the walls and corners of the pan without tearing.  Allow pastry to lay over the top edge of the pan to “hold on” and not fall inward during baking.  Prick pastry with a fork at 2″ intervals to avoid it bubbling up during baking.  Bake for 10-12 minutes in a preheated 350º oven just begins to lightly brown.  Remove and cool while you make the filling.

FILLING:  Peel and slice chayote squash and microwave covered on HI for 8-10 minutes until soft.  Peel apple and place in bowl with chayote. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl with electric hand mixer until thick (thick and frothy/soft peaks).  Add nuts, rum, lemon juice and zest, erythritol and cinnamon to the apple/squash mixture and then fold in the beaten egg whites until the fruit and nuts are well-moistened.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape the filling into the half-baked crust.  Spread as evenly as possible, pushing up into corners of pastry.  Level the apples and squash pieces so no pointy bits are sticking up as they may tear the top pastry.  I’ve had that happen before.

TOP CRUST:  Roll the remaining ball of dough between the two plastic sheets, rolling it into a rectangle just a tiny bit larger than the top of the pan. Peel off top plastic and fold up/lift gently onto the filling, being sure the edges are fitting over the bottom crust.  Crimp the top crust onto the bottom crust with your fingers to seal it well.     Pop into hot 350º oven for about 22-25 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and done in the center.  Dough will be a tiny bit soft but dry to the touch.  It will look like the final product below/right when done.  Cool completely before slicing and refrigerating.

Our latest three volumes of LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks are calling you.  Volume 8 and Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included in both editions are a few tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   Volume 10 is hot off the press with more delectable goodies.  Books are on sale right now (some as low as $9.77) with free shipping in the USA.  You can place your order today for any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php.  When you purchase our books, we would sure appreciate you stopping by Amazon to leave a review here.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 24 bars, each contains:

Click to enlarge

     Hot from the oven

74.14 cals, 6.43g fat, 7.1g carbs, 5.33g fiber, 1.77g NET CARBS, 2.68 g  protein, 61.33 mg sodium

FOR THE CURIOUS:  With all apple filling, using 5 small 2½” apples:  93 calories, 7.5g fat, 10.06 g  carbs, 6.36 g  fiber, 3.7 net carbs

Smoked gouda Cauliflower

This recipe is so good, I serve it at almost every holiday celebration now.  If you’re agonizing over what sides to serve for Christmas, look no longer.  This one will be a smash hit!  This recipe was inspired by a recipe I saw in Dana Carpender’s 500 Low-Carb Recipes. Most people do not cook cauliflower casseroles with this particular cheese as it doesn’t melt easily (why it is mixed into the dish here rather than being spread on top).  But once it DOES eventually melt, it truly transforms the ordinary into  the sublime.  In my opinion, it is the smoked Gouda that truly sets this dish apart from all the other cauliflower casseroles I have ever eaten.  I served it to my brother, who was once an executive chef at Top of the Mark in San Francisco and he RAVED about it!  It’s Atkins Induction friendly, too!

This recipe also appears in Volume 1 of Low Carbing Among Friends (click for more) by best-selling author Jennifer Eloff and other talented chefs.  There are 5 volumes already released and two more due out soon!  More info on their Facebook page here:    You can order Vol. 1 or the entire set from here or at Amazon.com.  These cookbooks are filled with easy, gluten-free, tasty low-carb creations by a group of very talented cooks. GET YOURS TODAY!

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium large head cauliflower

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 oz. Smoked Gouda cheese, grated

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

Dash salt

Optional:  chopped chives or green onion to garnish the top and enhance flavor.

DIRECTIONS: Cut up cauliflower into manageable pieces and boil or steam until tender.  Drain off any water and mash the chunks up slightly with a fork (do not puree, however).   Stir in softened cream cheese until it is melted and blended well.  Grease glass casserole dish and spoon half the cauliflower mixture in.  Sprinkle with half the grated smoked Gouda.  Spoon remaining cauliflower into dish and top with rest of Gouda cheese.   Sprinkle with just a dash of salt, as the cheese has a lot of sodium.  If you are sodium sensitive, I wouldn’t add ANY salt.   Sometimes I add some chopped chives or green onion to the top, but this is not in the nutritional info below.  Bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 6, each serving contains:  (you may get up to 8 servings and that will lower the net carbs even more)

190.3 calories, 15.22 g  fat, 6.17 g  carbs, 2.4 g fiber, 3.77 g  NET CARBS, 8.77 g  protein, 312 mg  sodium

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I don’t eat many sweets, but when I do get a hankering for candy, this one I will make at Christmas.  I got to thinking about my Peanutty Coconut Candy yesterday and wondered what it would be like with banana in it.  So I mashed one of the beautiful bananas I bought at the store yesterday morning and just took equal amounts of the main ingredients I wanted to include and formed some of the tastiest candies!  They are very filling, too!  I think I may even like this version better than the original peanut-coconut version!  After popping the candies out of the mold slots, I decided to store them in a zip-loc bag in the freezer.  They don’t get hard, just firm and chewy, so they can be eaten right out of the freezer!

I use 1″ square silicone candy molds to make these,  but you can also just roll into balls and, if desired, coat with more dessicated coconut.  You can also roll into balls and flatten into hockey puck disks.  Or you might roll them into little logs and coat with finely chopped peanuts or coconut!

These are not suitable until the higher fruit rung of the Atkins Pre-Maintenance or Mainitenance Phase.  They are suitable for Keto diets as well.   The sweetener would have to be modified for this to be acceptable for Primal-Paleo.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in the cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS: 

1     6-oz. banana, mashed

1 c. dessicated coconut (unsweetened)

1 c. natural peanut butter (I use Laura Scudder)

3/4 c. erythritol (or other sweetener to equal 3/4 c. sugar)

2 pkts. stevia (I used NuNaturals)

DIRECTIONS:   Using a fork, mash the banana in the bottom of a mixing bowl.  I added the juice of a wedge of lemon to prevent darkening, as candy is slow to be eaten in my house.  Add the peanut butter and stir well to blend.

Add coconut and blend it into the mixture until all ingredients are uniformly mixed.  Add sweeteners last and stir.  Press into silicone molds, pressing down firmly.  Set mold on a flat pan and place in freezer for about 2 hours.   The mixture will make 28 small 1″ candies of about 1½-2 T. of the mixture.   Your numbers may vary, so I will provide the nutritional values for the entire recipe so you can calculate your per piece figures from the number you get.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    (does not include any additional coconut/peanut coating)  Entire recipe contains 3,034 calories, 239 g  fat, 133 g. carbs, 48.3 g fiber, 84.7 g. NET CARBS, 95.7 g. protein.

If yield is 28 pieces, each piece contains:

108 calories, 8.55 g  fat, 4.75 g  carbs, 1.72 g  fiber, 3.03 g  NET CARBS, 3.41 g  protein, 37 mg sodium

 

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This was my mother-in-law’s favorite cake.  While still living in her own home, she made it every year at Christmas.  What didn’t get eaten at Christmas Eve dinner, was finished off with breakfast coffee Christmas morning.  She always made hers  with 1 c. chopped pecans, but I leave them out as my husband isn’t so fond of nuts.  To be more authentic, you could substitute sour cream in for the heavy cream, but carbs will be  a tad higher if you do. This recipe is not suitable until the grains rung of Atkins OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss) carb ladder.  Carbquik, much like Bisquick, has some flour in it, albeit specially processed to reduce the carb load. I order my Carbquik at Netrition.com, but you might be able to buy it at your local health food store.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (available individually) from Amazon or: here

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. granular Splenda

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 c. Jennifer Eloff’s Splendid Low Carb Bake Mix (for gluten free, use her Gluten-Free Bake Mix)

1½ c. CarbQuik or other low-carb bake mix (for gluten free, use 1½ c. more Jennifer’s Gluten-Free mix)

½ c. plain whey protein

2 T. golden flax meal

1 T. coconut flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ c. + 2 T. erythritol

3 large eggs, beaten

3 T. sugar-free maple syrup

1/4 tsp. maple extract

4 T. melted butter, unsalted (for batter)

2 T. melted butter, unsalted (to drizzle on cake)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

liquid Splenda to equal 1/3 c. sugar (about 20 drops)

2 T. water

¼ c. + 1 T. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT A FULL-SIZED 9″ CAKE.  Grease an 8″ round, deep cake pan or 8″ round ceramic baking dish (the Corning “French” vegetable dish I used is 8″ in diameter, 3″ deep and the cake rose all the way to the top without overflowing).   Mix 2 T. granular Splenda with cinnamon (and nuts, if using) on paper plate and set aside for now.  In a large mixing bowl,  measure and mix all the dry ingredients. In a separate mixing bowl, microwave melt the 4 T. butter.  Beat in egg and add all other wet ingredients and whisk until fairly smooth.  Stir wet ingredients into dry.     Blend well.   Drop approximately 1/3 of the batter onto bottom of baking dish by tablespoons sort of randomly.  Sprinkle with about 1 T. of the cinnamon topping.  Drop another layer of 1T. blobs of batter on top.  Again sprinkle with about 1 T. cinnamon topping.  Drop the final 1/3 of the batter on top in 1T. blobs and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon topping.  Drizzle 2 T. melted butter across top of cake evenly.  Pop into 350º oven and bake for about 30 minutes.  Gently remove from oven and check for doneness with toothpick stuck in center.  Mine took exactly 40 minutes.  It is done when toothpick stuck in center comes out completely dry.  Cool 5-8 minutes before tipping out onto serving platter.  Can be enjoyed either warm or cooled.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 slices, each contains:

250 calories, 20.7 g  fat, 14.23 g  carbs, 9.96 g  fiber, 4.27 NET CARBS  (4.6 NC if you add 2 , oz. chopped pecans), 18.49 g  protein, 218 mg sodium

 

Since there are just two of us now celebrating Thanksgiving, I sometimes just roast a duck.  This is a delicious recipe for duck which cooks up very moist.  I usually serve a traditional cornbread stuffing and green beans with this delicious bird.  I have never liked orange sauce on duck, so I decided to work up this blueberry sauce with a hint of herbs some years ago and that turned out to be a good decision.  The herbs and bacon in the sauce bring so many flavor layers to the table.  This can be served with your wine of choice, even red.  This recipe is suitable once you reach the berry level of Atkins (OWL Phase 2).  It is suitable for all Keto diets, Primal Blueprint and Paleo if you omit the wine in the sauce.  This Tipsy Blueberry Sauce would be good be good also with turkey, roast pork or probably any other wild game you may be cooking this holiday season.

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends (me included).  Chef George Stella of Food Network fame, also brings to the table a wealth of delicious recipes added to the collection!  You’ll LOVE these recipes!  Order your copy today from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php. Special prices available for the complete 10-volume set.

INGREDIENTS FOR DUCK:

5½ lb. duck

1/4 tsp. each onion powder, dried thyme and rosemary, crushed

Dash my Seafood Spice Blend (optional)

¼ tsp. salt

1 T. butter

DUCK DIRECTIONS:  Remove sauce packet (I throw it away) and the innards.  Boil the innards in 2 c. water for your dog.  🙂  Save the broth for your sauce.  Preheat oven to 375º.  Rub your fingers over duck checking for pinfeathers and remove any you find with the tip of a knife.  Mix the herbs and spices in a small dish with the salt.  Rub over duck skin all over.  Place duck on a grate that is then set down in a large roasting pan.  Baste with melted butter and pop into hot 375º oven for 1 hour.  Remove from oven, baste skin with remaining butter and return to oven for 30-45 minutes longer or until skin is brown, crisp and the duck read internal temperature of 180º.  While duck is roasting, prepare sauce.

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

3 green onions, chopped coarsely

1½ oz. bacon (3 slices), chopped coarsely

1 c. blueberries (dried, fresh or frozen)

1 c. broth (or a little more if you simmer too long)

2 T. Port wine or Sherry

Dash each thyme, rosemary, onion powder and salt

¼ tsp. xanthan gum or your preferred thickener

SAUCE DIRECTIONS:  Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add chopped bacon, brown it nicely.  Add onion and saute until onion is very tender.  Do not drain off grease.  Add all remaining ingredients but the thickener.  Allow to simmer until berries begin to burst open and turn the sauce blue.  Here, I go by smell, and appearance, but when all appears to be cooked and it smells wonderful, thicken to desired level with your preferred thickener.  Allow guests to serve atop roasted duck slices at table.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings, each contains:

385 calories, 31 g fat, 3.82 g carbs, .81 g fiber, 3.10 g NET CARBS, 20 g protein, 277 mg sodium

 

Cranberry-Coconut Cookies

This experiment came out quite good.  Not at all like the crisp sugar cookie basic dough they were made from.  These came out soft, moist and fruity.  We both LOVED them.  It’s the moisture of the cranberries that moistens these cookies right up.  These are not acceptable until you get to Atkins Phase 2 OWL but are suitable for other Ketogenic diets.  They would not be acceptable for Primal-Paleo unless you sub in a plan-acceptable sweetener like honey (to taste).

If you like a crunchier cookie, you might prefer my Refrigerator Cranberry Cookies recipe.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe my Sugar Cookie dough

1 c. chopped fresh cranberries

6-12 drops liquid sucralose to taste (needed to offset tart cranberries]

¼ c. unsweetened coconut

DIRECTIONS: Make sugar cookies as instructed in that recipe, adding the additional liquid stevia to the creamed butter and Splenda.  When all ingredients are blended well, add in chopped cranberries and coconut.  Fold the fruit in until it is uniformly distributed.   Dough will make 18 small balls of dough.  Place balls of dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  Press down with fingers or the back of a fork to flatten a bit. These spread little during cooking, so if careful, you can get all 18 on one pan.  🙂  Bake at 350º for 15-18 minutes until just browned on the edges.  Cool on the pan before removing.  Do not cover until completely cooled off.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 18 cookies, each contains:

97.3 calories, 9.2 g  fat, 4.2 g  carbs, 2.29 g  fiber, 1.94 g  NET CARBS, 1.8 g protein, 8 mg sodium

cranberry-sauceWhat Holiday feast would be complete without a bowl of fresh cranberry sauce?  Most often I make cranberry sauce in the traditional manner, no frills, as shown in the photo above.  But occasionally, I like to add a touch of bourbon and pecans, turning it into almost a chutney, which certainly takes it up a notch or two in flavor!  It’s delicious made this way so I hope you try it some time.  It has proven to be very popular with my holiday guests. This recipe is not suitable until you reach  Atkins Phase 2 “OWL”, when alcohol, nuts and berries are permitted.

Many delicious low-carb recipes like this can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends (me included).  Chef George Stella also brings you a wealth of delicious recipes you will love!  Order yours TODAY! from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. water

1 c. fresh cranberries

½ c. granular Splenda (or equivalent sweetener of choice)

½ stick cinnamon or ¼ tsp. ground

1½ tsp. orange zest/peel

1 T. bourbon

½ c. (about 20 halves) pecans, coarsely chopped

DIRECTIONS: Cook all ingredients but the nuts over medium heat until all berries’ skins have popped open.  Remove from heat, stir in the nuts and chill until ready to use.  Remove and discard cinnamon stick just before serving.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes about 2 cups or 16 servings.  Each serving has:

16 calories, 1.28 g fat, 1.03 g carbs, 0.48 g fiber, 0.55 g NET CARBS, 0.19 g protein and negligible sodium

 

Pumpkin Pie Filling

           Pumpkin Pie Filling

This is my favorite traditional pumpkin pie recipe!  My recipe is very light and fluffy and the cloves doesn’t overtake the entire flavor.  Of course, those still on Induction will need to bake and serve crustless, but those already to the OWL Phase 2 level of Atkins can pour this filling into an uncooked low-carb pie crust of your choice and then bake.  I have only made this pie filling with  fresh baked pumpkin one time and found it so tasteless (though I just don’t know why) I have never used anything but canned pumpkin for this ever since.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 c. granular Splenda (or equivalent sweetener of your choice)

2 T. erythritol (or pinch stevia extract)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. salt

1 c. canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)

1/2 c. heavy cream

3 large eggs, separated per directions below

DIRECTIONS:  Break and beat one whole egg in a medium mixing bowl.  Take out another medium mixing bowl.  Separate the two remaining eggs, putting the yolks into your first bowl with the whole beaten egg.  Put the whites in a clean, dry, separate bowl.

In the bowl with the 1 whole egg and 2 yolks, add all other pie ingredients.  Beat will with a stick blender or hand mixer until smooth, especially if using fresh pumpkin, as it can be lumpy.  Slowly stir in the cream and blend until smooth.

Beat the 2 egg whites to “stiff peak” stage using an electric mixer.  With a rubber spatula, fold the beaten whites into the pumpkin mixture.  When all is incorporated well, pour the mixture into either a buttered baking dish (if making crustless) or into an uncooked, prepared 9″-10″ low-carb pie crust positioned in your pie plate.

IMPORTANT:  If you use an 8″ pie plate, this amount of filling will likely overflow during baking.  If that’s the only size pie plate you have, only pour the crust 3/4 full and put remaining filling into a buttered small dish to bake separately to avoid this problem.

Bake at 350º for 40-45 minutes.  Filling will puff way up during cooking and then fall level when removed from the oven and cooled.  When totally cooled, Serve with a dollop of whipped cream sweetened with the sweetener of your choice.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:   Serves 8, each contains:     (Does NOT include topping or crust)

95.38    calories, 7.53 g.  fat, 4.76 g.  carbs, 1.1 g.   fiber, 3.9 g  NET CARBS, 3.03 g.  protein, 36 mg. sodium

Click to enlarge

Southern “Cornbread” Dressing/Stuffing

If you’re looking for a low-carb version of Mom’s cornbread stuffing, you need look no further.  Southern girl that I am, I’m pretty fussy about cornbread dressing!  I had about given up on finding a way to make it with low-carb breads and get MY definition of stuffing heaven. However………. this recipe is a great imitation of cornbread heaven for me.   It will grace your holiday bird, baked chicken, roasted pork or stuffed chops and make you PROUD!  It is hands down THE very best stuffing I’ve made since I began low-carbing over 4 years ago.   The bread in this recipe brings a slight corn taste to the stuffing (even if made without the corn flavoring!) that none of my previous trials have been able to achieve.  This is so close to my traditional buttermilk cornbread recipe, I’ll never make the higher-carb version again,……………not even for guests!

I’ve managed to trim down the carbs to make it acceptable for those following a low-carb lifestyle, something traditional cornbread stuffing can never do.  This recipe is NOT acceptable for Atkins Induction. If you are still in the Induction Phase of Atkins, or on an ultra-low-carb phase of Keto diets, try instead my Induction-friendly Eggplant-Jicama Stuffing.  By the way, this stuffing freezes well, as I have frozen it many times.  So you will be able to make your holiday stuffing ahead of time as long as you don’t actually stuff the bird cavity.  Just thaw and reheat your stuffing the day you plan to stuff or roast your meat.  TIP:  When baking and freezing stuffing ahead, slightly under-cook it so that when it is reheated and browned, it doesn’t dry out too much.  This can be stuffed in your holiday bird, but I have always preferred the top to get brown and not stuff the bird. 🙂

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in the cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

1 recipe of my Jalapeno Cheese Bread

6 oz. chopped onion

6 oz. chopped celery

1 stick unsalted butter (8 T.)

1 c. chopped parsley

4 tsp. Dad’s Poultry Seasoning (or whatever poultry seasoning you prefer)

½ tsp. black pepper

2 c. chicken broth, preferable homemade (best if 1 cup of this is pan juices from your turkey roasting pan)

DIRECTIONS: Cook the cheese bread (omit jalapenos if you prefer, but I don’t) exactly as instructed in that recipe.  When completely cooled, coarsely break it up into a large bowl  Add the parsley and stir. Set aside for now.  When ready to put stuffing together, preheat the oven to 350º.

Melt the butter in a skillet and saute the celery and onion until very tender.  I do NOT like crunchy bits in my stuffing! 🙂  Add the sauteed veggie mixture, butter and all, to the dry ingredients in the bowl.  Add seasonings and finally the broth.  You may have to add more broth if the resulting mixture is not fairly wet (but not soupy).  Stir well to blend all ingredients.  Pour into a buttered 9×13 baking pan or two round pans.  I personally like to drizzle 1-2 T. more melted butter on top, but that isn’t necessary or included in the numbers below. Bake at 350º for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 12 servings (approximately 3/4 c. each).  Each serving contains:

282 calories, 26 g  fat, 7.16 g  carbs, 3.16 g fiber, 4 g NET CARBS, 9.1 g  protein, 190 mg sodium

Click to enlarge (shown on Grass-Fed Beef Chuck Roast)

(Shown on Beef Chuck Roast)

This delicious sauce was inspired by a recipe I saw on Rhubarbandhoney.com.  http://rhubarbandhoney.com/2013/03/17/drunken-irish-bacon-jam/ .  The 3 key ingredients of my recipe are the same, but there my version parts paths with the inspirational recipe.  I quadrupled the Irish Whiskey, introduced orange marmalade and fresh orange juice, used fresh jalapenos rather than jalapeno jelly and I added fresh cranberries.  My method of preparation was stove-top since I don’t own a crock-pot.  I don’t care for the visual appearance of the processed jam, and preferred to leave mine chunky so the cranberries show up nicely.

I can’t wait to try this chutney with my holiday turkey this year, my next roasted duck or with my next pork roast!  This would probably go well with lamb chops, as well!   It has a simply wonderful sweet and tart taste with a bit of a jalapeno bite that really delivers on flavor!  My thanks to Kimberly for this lovely idea.  It will definitely be in my regular holiday menu from now on, as I’m not so fond of traditional cranberry sauce.  🙂

This recipe is not suitable until Atkins Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance due to the orange ingredients.  Keto devotees can enjoy this as the carbs are pretty low, but it would not be appropriate for Primal-Paleo without several changes, lie using molasses instead of the sugar-free syrup and using a plan-acceptable orange marmalade.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in the cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

1½ lb. bacon (about 16-18 slices), chopped into ½” pieces

2 medium onions (8 oz.), chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. apple cider vinegar, preferably raw,unfiltered

½ c. water

½ c. Irish Whiskey

¼ c. fresh squeezed orange juice

¼ c. my sugar-free Orange Marmalade

½ c. erythritol

¼ c. sugar-free maple syrup

3 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine

1 c. raw cranberries, cut in halves (or ½ c. sugar-free dried berries, but add those before the long simmer so they will get tender)

DIRECTIONS:  Cut the bacon, onion and jalapenos and set them aside.  Mince the garlic and set aside. In a large non-stick skillet or wok, brown the bacon until it is medium brown but not real crisp. Drain on paper towels.  Pour off and store for other use all the grease but 2 T..  In the remaining 2 T. grease, saute the onion, garlic and half of the chopped jalapeno until the onion is tender.  The jalapeno will lose most of its bite during the cooking.  If you don’t like hot jalapeno flavor, you might want to add ALL the jalapeno now.  Stir in the orange marmalade.

Add the vinegar, water, Irish Whiskey and fresh orange juice.  Stir to mix. Now stir in the erythritol and maple syrup.  I using dried cranberries, add then now!  Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer uncovered until it the chutney begins to thicken up a bit as some of the moisture evaporates.  That will be about 1-1½ hours.  Now add the raw cranberry halves.  Simmer just until the berries slightly soften, or 3-4 minutes.  Add the remaining jalapeno and simmer 1-2 more minutes.  This final jalapeno will NOT lose it’s bite as it is virtually uncooked).  Turn off heat.  Best served warm with any meats or wild game you like.

If any leftover, when cooled, spoon into tightly-lidded jars and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Should keep about a month in the refrigerator and should freeze nicely for several months, although I have not yet frozen any of this.  Reheat over low heat or in the microwave on DEFROST just before serving.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 1 quart (4 cups) or sixteen ¼c. servings.  Each ¼ c. serving contains:

92 calories, 5 g  fat, 3.26 g  carbs, 0.63 g  fiber, 2.63 g  NET CARBS, 3.36 g  protein, 197 mg sodium

Individual "Irish" Chocolate Cake

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!  A tasty, quick dessert to top off that corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day.  Tasty and quite easy, too!  The cake goes together in minutes, microwaves in 1 minute and the icing is just as easy.  And boy, oh, boy, is this icing ever delicious!  This cake is moist and has just the right amount of whiskey flavor.

I normally bake this cake for 1 minute in a glass dish in the microwave.  But when I want to use a very large, metal shamrock cookie cutter, I bake it in the regular oven (15 min 350º), using foil to form a “bottom” for the cookie cutter.  I would recommend baking this either as 4 cupcakes or as I usually do other times of the year, in a 5″ square or round baking dish.  You could also use two small “mini-cake pans.  If doing cupcakes, fill them evenly, which will be about 3/4 full.  Don’t worry, this batter doesn’t rise too much during baking.

This recipe is not suitable until Phase 2  of Atkins.  Those on other Ketogenic diets may get bumped out of ketosis consuming alcohol, but there is very little in this, so that might not happen.   Of course, you should omit the booze if in the first 2 weeks Induction phase.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS. She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try. Even a few of my recipes are in each of the 5 volumes! Order your set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

CAKE INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 T. butter, melted

4 pkts. stevia (I use Sweet Leaf)

¼ c. erythritol

2 large eggs, beaten

1 T. Irish Whiskey (I used Powers)

¼ c. cocoa powder, sifted

1½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. glucomannan (konjac) powder

1 tsp. oat fiber

CAKE DIRECTIONS:   Spray or grease your dish(s) or pan(s) with coconut oil or oil of your choosing.  Melt the butter and place in a medium glass bowl.   Add the stevia, erythritol and stir well.  Next beat in the two eggs.  Add the vanilla and Irish Whiskey, stirring once again.   Sift the cocoa on top and measure the remaining dry ingredients in next.  Stir gently to incorporate the dry into the wet ingredients.  Beat the batter with a spoon until it is smooth.    Pour into greased glass or ceramic pan(s) and bake for 1 minute on HI.   If using metal pans or conventional oven, bake at 350º about 13-15 minutes or until dry to the touch in the center.  Remove, cool completely and ice.

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:  

1 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 T. softened butter

2 tsp. Irish Whiskey (I used Powers)

¼ tsp. vanilla

2 T. plain whey protein powder (I use NOW brand)

2 pkts. stevia

3 T. powdered erythritol (I just powder it in my food processor)

FROSTING DIRECTIONS:  Soften the butter and cream cheese in a small bowl.  Add the protein, whiskey and vanilla.   Stir well until smooth.  Begin adding the sweeteners slowly, tasting as you go and STOP when it’s sweet enough for you, or add more if needed.  Everybody is different on sweetness preferences.    You can use food coloring to make your frosting green if you like (about 13-15 drops).  Frost the cooled cake(s) and serve at once or chill and then cover with plastic wrap if you must hold them over.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 2 large servings, each contains:

316 calories, 23 g  fat, 11.2 g  carbs, 5.1 g  fiber, 6.1 g NET CARBS, 13.5 g  protein, 434 mg sodium

Click to enlarge

I don’t eat many sweets, but when I do, it’s usually candy or pure chocolate.  I got to thinking about my Peanutty Coconut Candy yesterday and wondered what it would be like with banana in it.  So I mashed one of the beautiful bananas I bought at the store yesterday morning and just took equal amounts of the main ingredients I wanted to include and formed some of the tastiest candies!  They are very filling, too!  Just one takes the edge off my occasional sweet tooth.  I think I may even like this version better than the original peanut-coconut version!  After popping the candies out of the mold slots, I decided to store them in a zip-loc bag in the freezer.  They don’t get hard, just firm and chewy, so they can be eaten right out of the freezer!

I used 1″ square silicone candy molds to make mine,  but you could also just roll into balls and if desired, coat with more dessicated coconut.  You could also roll into balls and flatten into hockey puck disks.  Or you might roll then into little logs and coat with finely chopped peanuts!  HAVE FUN SHAPING THEM or use whatever shape candy molds you may have!

These are not suitable until the higher fruit rung of the Atkins Pre-Maintenance or Mainitenance Phase.  They are suitable for Keto diets as well.   The sweetener would have to be modified for this to be acceptable for Primal-Paleo.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in the cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS: 

1     6-oz. banana, mashed

1 c. dessicated coconut (unsweetened)

1 c. natural peanut butter (I use Laura Scudder)

3/4 c. erythritol (or other sweetener to equal 3/4 c. sugar)

2 pkts. stevia (I used NuNaturals)

DIRECTIONS:   Using a fork, mash the banana in the bottom of a mixing bowl.  I added the juice of a wedge of lemon to prevent darkening, as candy is slow to be eaten in my house.  Add the peanut butter and stir well to blend.

Add coconut and blend it into the mixture until all ingredients are uniformly mixed.  Add sweeteners last and stir.  Press into silicone molds, pressing down firmly.  Set mold on a flat pan and place in freezer for about 2 hours.   The mixture will make 28 small 1″ candies of about 1½-2 T. of the mixture.   Your numbers may vary, so I will provide the nutritional values for the entire recipe so you can calculate your per piece figures from the number you get.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    (does not include any additional coconut/peanut coating)  Entire recipe contains 3,034 calories, 239 g  fat, 133 g. carbs, 48.3 g fiber, 84.7 g. NET CARBS, 95.7 g. protein.

If yield is 28 pieces, each piece contains:

108 calories, 8.55 g  fat, 4.75 g  carbs, 1.72 g  fiber, 3.03 g  NET CARBS, 3.41 g  protein, 37 mg sodium

pumpkin-cake

Shown cake made with fresh pumpkin.

This moist, delicious pumpkin cake, inspired by a recipe I saw at Fabulous Foods.com, came out simply wonderful.  It cooked perfectly and has a lovely smooth texture.  I don’t care for the texture of cakes made exclusively with almond flour, so I subbed 1/3 whey protein powder into her recipe for a smoother texture.  I also chose to use fresh pumpkin rather than canned.  I reduced the butter called for by 25% as well.  This one’s a keeper for our holiday baking, for sure!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal as well.  The cream cheese knocks this out of suitability for Paleo, unless there is a suitable substitute that meets that program’s requirements.

Many delicious low-carb recipes like this one can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends (me included).  Chef George Stella also brings you a wealth of delicious recipes you will love!  Order yours TODAY! from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. almond flour

1 c. plain whey protein powder

1 c. Splenda or equivalent sweetener of choice

2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1 T. + 1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. nutmeg

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

3/4 c. (1½ sticks) butter, softened

1 c. fresh (or canned) cooked pumpkin puree

4 large eggs

½ c. sugar-free maple syrup or caramel sugar-free syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Line the bottom of a tube with parchment cut-to-fit, or use a lightly oiled non-stick bundt pan.  Oil the sides and post of your tube pan as well.  In a medium bowl, soften cream cheese and butter.  With electric mixer, blend them well.  Add eggs, syrup, pumpkin and vanilla.  Whip on high until very smooth.  In a separate bowl, measure out all dry ingredients and stir well to blend to a uniform mixture.  Add to the wet ingredients and beat with the electric mixer until a smooth batter is achieved.  With a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the cake pan spreading it as evenly as possible.  Bake at 350º for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and dry.  Cool almost totally before loosening with a knife and tipping onto a cake plate for serving.   You can top with dollop of fresh whipped cream if you  like.

VARIATION:  Use lightly oiled silicone muffin pans for a muffin version.  Should make 12 large muffins that will take about 20-25 minutes to bake at 350º.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 14 slices, each contains:

295 calories, 25.8 g fat, 7.28 g carbs, 2.30 g fiber, 4.98 g NET CARBS, 12.4 g protein, 287 mg sodium

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake

I created a delicious coffeecake early on in my weight-loss journey.    It’s very filling with my addition of a flax topping.  This will be something I only make on very special occasions as it’s a little carb pricey.  I’ve only made it 2-3 times in 5 years I think.  But is sure was GOOD!   Thumbs up from hubby, too!  Made it again for company at Christmas so I thought I’d share it again with my readers who haven’t seen this one.

This recipe is not suitable for Atkins Induction.  Blueberries would do nicely in this for a nice variation. 🙂  You can pull the carb count down on this coffeecake using liquid Splenda in the cake and cream cheese layer, but I had none on hand the day I made this.  I would definitely stick with the granular erythritol or Splenda for the streusel topping, however.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

2½ c. almond flour (total)

½ c. hazelnut flour (total)

2 T. flax meal

1½ c. granular erythritol or Splenda (or sweetener of your choice to equal 1½ c. sugar)

3 eggs

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. salt

¼ c. butter, unsalted, only slightly softened

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. sour cream

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 T. oil of your choice (coconut, melted butter, extra light olive oil)

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 c. fresh raspberries (or frozen)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º and grease 8″ square or deep round cake pan (this cake rises up nicely)

In a medium mixing bowl, add 2 cups of the almond meal, 1 T. of the flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 3/4 c. sweetener and mix well.  Add sour cream, oil, extract and 2 of the eggs.  Beat by hand until well blended.  Spread evenly into greased cake pan and set aside.

Now soften the cream cheese and add the 3rd egg.  Beat until smooth with a spoon.  Add 1/4 c. sweetener.  Carefully pour this evenly over the cake batter.  Try not to disturb cake batter too much as you try to get this evenly over the cake.  Next evenly place the raspberries on top of the cream cheese layer.

Make the streusel topping by mixing ½ c. almond meal, ½ c. hazelnut meal and 1 T. flax meal, the cinnamon, ½ c. sweetener and the ¼ c. butter.  A fork is easiest to do this with.  Try to break up the butter in the crumbly mixture as best you can.  You can add a few chopped nuts as well to this streusel (pictured but NOT included in nutritional info below).  With hands, sprinkle all the topping on top of the cake (looks like a lot but use it all, trust me).  Bake for 40 minutes or until done in center   Cut into 16 servings.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 16 servings, each containing:

217 calories, 19.5 g  fat, 12.56 g  carbs, 3.13 g  fiber, 9.43 g  NET CARBS, 5.7 g  protein, 92.8 mg sodium

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Sorry, I just couldn’t resist when I named this Christmas creation. 🙂  I bought the pictured 14″ tall Wilton Gingerbread Man cookie pan a couple years ago and haven’t really used it with any of my low-carb gingerbread recipes to date.  But I came across a recipe on Robb Wolf’s website, posted by a Kim Ludeman, that inspired me to test this “behemoth” pan.

I changed up the sweeteners considerably to lower carbs and also added currants and raisins for decoration.  Original recipe had no flaxmeal and used all almond flour.  My longtime favorite gingerbread recipe has a bit of vinegar in the dough, so I also added a tablespoon to this recipe (don’t worry, you won’t taste it).  I think it improves rise, but this stiff dough did not rise too much during baking.  The resulting gingerbread cookie was moist and sort-of chewy on the edges, and most DEFINITELY tasty!!  This cookie is less stiff than classic Gingerbread cookies, so it will tear apart in pieces nicely for you.  Next baking I want to try this dough as individual cookies next baking, as I liked the chewy browned edges.

This recipe is fairly carby, since it has molasses in it, so I would not indulge in these unless you are in Atkins Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance phase.  You can eliminate the raisins/currant decorations and decrease the molasses and increase the sugar-free maple syrup by that amount to reduce carbs a bit.  My Paleo-Primal subscribers will of course want to use REAL maple syrup instead of the sugar-free maple syrup.  The Steviva called for is a blend of erythritol and stevia and is about twice as sweet as sugar, but you could use another sweetener (2 T. sugar equivalent) if you prefer.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella, myself and several other talented cooks.  Together we bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  special discounts on complete 10-volume sets.  Order yours TODAY! (books always available individually as well) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:  

½ c. flax meal (I use 50:50 golden and dark mixed)

2½ c. almond flour

2 pkts. stevia

1 T. Steviva (a blend of erythritol and stevia)

1 tsp. each cinnamon and ginger

½ tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ c. backstrap molasses

¼ c. sugar-free maple syrup (or regular maple syrup, or omit and use ½ c. total molasses for Paleo/Primal version)

1 T. white vinegar

DIRECTIONS:  Lightly grease or line a cookie sheet with coconut oil.  Preheat oven to 350º.   Beat all wet ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Measure the dry ingredients on top.  Slowly stir the dry into the wet below until smooth.  Dough will be fairly stiff.  If making a giant single cookie, spread the dough evenly onto the baking pan using plastic gloves or baggie “gloves”.  My gingerbread man pan is approximately 14″ tall x 9″ wide.   Use raisins for eyes and button, currants for his nose and mouth.  Pop into preheated 325º oven for about 18-20 minutes.  Do not overcook so you should remove from oven when the cookies are just browning a wee bit around the edges.  Cool and enjoy.

If making individual round cookies, this dough should make about 24 small 1½ round cookies.  I would roll dough into 1″ balls and then press flat into 1½-2″ cookies with your fingers or the bottom of an oiled glass.   The individual cookies should only require 10-12 minutes to get done.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 1 huge gingerbread man or twenty-four  portions town off.  It will make around 24 round 1½-2″ cookies, each round cookie or approximately 1/24 of the giant cookie has: (calculated using sugar-free maple syrup).  If making smaller cookie cutter gingerbread men, this recipe (I’m guessing) would make 8-9 of them, depending on the size of your cutter.

107.8 calories, 8.73 g  fat, 6.18 g  carbs, 2.08 g  fiber, 4.1 g  NET CARBS, 2.96 g  protein, 76.5 mg sodium

IMG_4371

I’m planning on making this again for my Christmas dessert tray this year.  One of my mother’s favorite recipes. To give credit where it is due, this basic low-carb sweet bread batter was inspired by a Basic Quick Bread recipe at Sugar Free Low Carb Recipes website.   I added vanilla, sweetener, baking powder and glucomannan powder and I believe the smooth texture is now perfect.  No crumbling!  You can vary the fruit, berries and nuts in this but you will have to recalculate the carbs for any changes.  This recipe is suitable once you get to  Atkins Phase 2 OWL or farther.  If you require gluten-free, you will have to omit the Einkorn and sub in the same amount of “oat flour” ground from 100% certified gluten-free oats.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in each of the 5 volumes! Order your set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

IMG_4370

Slight rise in 8″x5″ loaf pan.

1/3 c. coconut flour

1/3 c. almond flour

1/3 c. Einkorn flour (or low-carb bake mix if unavailable)

¼ tsp. sea salt

1 T. glucomannan powder

1½ tsp. baking powder

Stevia equivalent for ½ c. sugar (I used ¼ c. Steviva, a blend of erithritol & stevia)

1 stick (1/2 c.) unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp. vanilla

8 large eggs, beaten

½ c. chopped dried apricots

½ c. unsweetened dried cherries, chopped (I dehydrate my own)

½ c. chopped nuts (I used Brazil nuts)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease a loaf pan.  I use a standard aluminum loaf pan.  I can get fourteen approximately ½”slices out of the loaf.  Mix dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Melt butter and add to bowl.  Also add vanilla and the eggs and beat until you have a smooth batter.  Use an electric mixer if necessary, but I did not find I needed to do that.  Fold in your desired fruit, nuts or flavorings and stir well.   Spoon batter into greased pan, level with a spoon and bake at 350º for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into center comes out slightly damp (this cake is THAT moist), but clean of any batter.  Cool a bit, slice into fourteen ½” slices (or to lower carbs, cut into 16 slices for 6.23 net carbs per slice).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 14 servings, each contains: (numbers are specific for apricots, cherries and brazil nuts.  Recalculate for other additives).  Cutting into 16 slices reduces count to 6.23 g. net carbs.

122.3 calories, 8.59 g  fat, 8.9 g  carbs, 1.96 g  fiber, 6.94 g  NET CARBS, 5.64 g  protein, 124 mg sodium

Click to enlarge (shown on Grass-Fed Beef Chuck Roast)

          (Shown on Beef Chuck Roast)

This delicious sauce was inspired by a recipe I saw on Rhubarbandhoney.com.  http://rhubarbandhoney.com/2013/03/17/drunken-irish-bacon-jam/ .  The 3 key ingredients of my recipe are the same, but there my version parts paths with the inspirational recipe.  I quadrupled the Irish Whiskey, introduced orange marmalade and fresh orange juice, used fresh jalapenos rather than jalapeno jelly and I added fresh cranberries.  My method of preparation was stove-top since I don’t own a crock-pot.  I don’t care for the visual appearance of the processed jam, and preferred to leave mine chunky so the cranberries show up nicely.

I can’t wait to try this chutney on my holiday turkey this year, my next roasted duck or with my next pork roast!  This would probably go well with lamb chops, as well!   It has a simply wonderful sweet and tart taste with a bit of a jalapeno bite that really delivers on flavor!  My thanks to Kimberly for this lovely idea.  It will definitely be in my regular holiday menu from now on, as I’m not so fond of traditional cranberry sauce.  🙂

This recipe is not suitable until Atkins Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance due to the orange ingredients.  Keto devotees can enjoy this as the carbs are pretty low, but it would not be appropriate for Primal-Paleo without several changes, lie using molasses instead of the sugar-free syrup and using a plan-acceptable orange marmalade.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in the cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

DISCLAIMER: I do not get paid for this book promotion or for the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so merely because they are GREAT cookbooks any low-carb cook would be proud to add to their cookbook collection.

INGREDIENTS:

1½ lb. bacon (about 16-18 slices), chopped into ½” pieces

2 medium onions (8 oz.), chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. apple cider vinegar, preferably raw,unfiltered

½ c. water

½ c. Irish Whiskey

¼ c. fresh squeezed orange juice

¼ c. my sugar-free Orange Marmalade

½ c. erythritol

¼ c. sugar-free maple syrup

3 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine

1 c. raw cranberries, cut in halves (or ½ c. sugar-free dried berries, but add those before the long simmer so they will get tender)

DIRECTIONS:  Cut the bacon, onion and jalapenos and set them aside.  Mince the garlic and set aside. In a large non-stick skillet or wok, brown the bacon until it is medium brown but not real crisp. Drain on paper towels.  Pour off and store for other use all the grease but 2 T..  In the remaining 2 T. grease, saute the onion, garlic and half of the chopped jalapeno until the onion is tender.  The jalapeno will lose most of its bite during the cooking.  If you don’t like hot jalapeno flavor, you might want to add ALL the jalapeno now.  Stir in the orange marmalade.

Add the vinegar, water, Irish Whiskey and fresh orange juice.  Stir to mix. Now stir in the erythritol and maple syrup.  I using dried cranberries, add then now!  Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer uncovered until it the chutney begins to thicken up a bit as some of the moisture evaporates.  That will be about 1-1½ hours.  Add the remaining jalapeno (this jalapeno will NOT lose it’s bite as it is virtually not cooked at all).     Now add the raw cranberry halves.  Simmer just until the berries slightly soften, or 3-4 minutes.  Turn off heat.

Serve immediately or when cooled, spoon into tightly-lidded jars and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Should keep about a month in the refrigerator and should freeze nicely for several months.  Reheat over low heat or in the microwave on DEFROST just before serving.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 1 quart (4 cups) or sixteen ¼c. servings.  Each ¼ c. serving contains:

92 calories, 5 g  fat, 3.26 g  carbs, .63 g  fiber, 2.63 g  NET CARBS, 3.36 g  protein, 197 mg sodium

Click to enlarge

I modified my mother’s favorite rum ball recipe that I have always made for the holidays.  My new low-carb version is quite tasty!  They look and taste just like the originals, in fact.  These tasty treats are not acceptable for Atkins Induction unless you leave out the rum, which sort of takes away the best flavor, sadly.  But as a chocolate/nut confection, they are still a treat……..just not spiked.  🙂

Many delicious low-carb recipes like this can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends (me included).  Chef George Stella also brings you a wealth of delicious recipes you will love!  Order yours TODAY! from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.

VARIATION:  Use bourbon instead of rum.

INGREDIENTS:

¾ c. almond meal

¼ c. unflavored whey protein

1 c. finely chopped walnuts or pecans

½ c. cocoa, sifted

¼ c. erythritol, sifted

4 T. melted butter

14 drops liquid sweetener of your choice (I use EZSweets)

2 T. rum

FOR OUTER COATING: 2 T. more erythritol + ½ c. more finely chopped walnuts or pecans mixed together in a small bowl.

DIRECTIONS: Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Add liquid sweetener and rum to melted butter and stir into batter until well mixed.  It should begin to form a smooth batter.  Spoon up and using hands, form into eighteen ¾-1″ balls.  To finish them off, roll around in pecan coating (I found I had to press firmly onto surface) for as even a coating as you can get.  Store in air-tight container with wax paper between layers.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.  These can be frozen.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 18 balls, each containing:

136 calories, 12 g  fat, 3.75 g  carbs, 1.71 g  fiber, 2.04 g  NET CARBS, 4 mg. sodium

Chipotle-Lime Sweet Potatoes

I clipped a high-carb recipe out of the Houston Post many years ago that has since become a holiday tradition at our house.  I low-carbed it so that I can enjoy it without breaking my daily carb limits.  I have personally never been very fond of sweet potatoes, unless baked into pies, cakes and muffins.  But ever since finding this recipe, I just love them!  I bake this recipe OFTEN, and with a wide variety of meats!

This is NOT your granny’s sweet potatoes!  Chipotle peppers are highly smoked jalapenos and taste nothing like green jalapeno peppers, in my opinion.  They, in combination with the lime zest, add a most unique “twist” to a popular vegetable more commonly seasoned with orange.  My brother was an Executive Chef at one time and just raved about this dish when I served it to him!  He went on to serve it often to dinner guests and said he always got the same reaction.  FANTASTIC!  It has become tradition in our house at the holidays when fresh pumpkin is so plentiful.  When I can’t get fresh pumpkin, I have been known to use butternut squash in this recipe in a pinch, but in all honesty, it’s not quite as good.  This recipe does not work well with acorn squash, as I tried that one time and didn’t care for it at all.

I find this dish is particularly tasty with baked, fried or grilled seafood, grilled meat, especially wild game, Texas-style BBQ and of course that Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey or ham.  The flavor combination of lime, smoky chipotles and maple extract (¼ c. very high carb packed brown sugar in the original recipe) is a real winner!  To make this dish Atkins Induction acceptable, I have substituted 100% fresh cooked pumpkin flesh for the sweet potatoes.  Could hardly tell a difference, other than the color is more golden than orange, thus the addition of red food coloring to correct color aesthetics.  Absolutely DO NOT SUBSTITUTE CANNED PUMPKIN or you are going to be extremely disappointed.  Just not the same dish.  Once you reach the starchy veggie rung of OWL and can afford a few more carbs,  I would recommend using just 1½ lb. pumpkin and adding 1 lb. cooked, mashed sweet potato (2 medium) for both flavor, color and a much creamier texture.  You will of course need to adjust nutritional info if you make that change as my numbers are for pumpkin only.

This dish does not freeze too well.  As a matter of fact, in my opinion, pumpkin flesh does not freeze well in many dishes, as its water separates out in the bottom of your baking pan upon thawing.  That can really ruin the texture and appearance of some dishes.  More than once has this happened to me and ruined my favorite baked pumpkin dishes when serving to company!  No matter if you try to drain that water off, it just keeps bleeding out more water!  Totally spoils it for me, so I never freeze pumpkin. Pumpkin baked goods, on the other hand, freeze beautifully.  Go figure!

This recipe appears in Vol. 1 of Jennifer Eloff’s latest cookbook series, LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.   I hope you’ll click the link to their Facebook page and take a look at a sampling of the recipes that await you in this 5-volume set.  Any low-carb cook would be proud to serve the recipes shared by these very talented chefs…..some of the best on the web, including George Stella!  You can order the entire set or individual volumes at Amazon or here:  http://amongfriends.us/order.php

Disclaimer:  By personal choice I do not receive payment for this promotion nor the inclusion of my recipes in these books. I promote them simply because they are GREAT cookbooks by some VERY talented folks!

INGREDIENTS:

2½ lb. cooked fresh pumpkin (DO NOT USE CANNED PUMPKIN.  It’s horrible in this!)

½ c. heavy cream

4 T. butter

¼ tsp. salt

2 T. fresh lime juice

zest of 1 large lime (2 if they are small)

½ c. granular Splenda

1 tsp. maple extract (or 2 T. sugar-free maple syrup)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1-2 chipotle peppers (canned, in adobo sauce) seeded, rinsed & chopped

few drops red food coloring to achieve orange color of sweet potatoes (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Remove stem and cut a small 4-4½ lb. pumpkin in half.  Remove seeds (you can roast them for snacks) and turn cut side down into baking pan.  Fill pan with 1″ water and bake pumpkin at 350º until tender when fork is stuck into it (about 45 minutes).  Remove and cool enough to handle.  Scoop/scrape  the pumpkin flesh out of skin/shell and weigh. Should yield about 2-2½ lb. flesh.  (freeze any overage for future use).  Whip pumpkin with electric mixer or food processor to get it as smooth as possible.  Add all remaining ingredients except chipotle peppers. For the holidays or very special occasions, I will bake 2 medium sweet potatoes, scoop out flesh, mash and add also for richer flavor, but I don’t do this for everyday consumption as it ups the carbs.  I have not included the sweet potatoes in the numbers below.

These little chipotle peppers (smoked jalapenos) are very HOT, so special handling is recommended.  Either wear plastic gloves (homemade  “sandwich bag gloves” will do) or be sure you wash your hands well after handling.  Take 1 chipotle pepper (about 1½” long) out of the can.  Rinse, and remove seeds and ribs with a knife.  Finely mash/chop the pepper almost into a puree on a flat wooden board.  Add to pumpkin mixture, stir well and taste to see if this is hot enough for you.  You don’t want to get this dish too hot, but a little tingle on the tongue is what you’re looking for.

If you want even more smoky taste or a hotter dish, carefully repeat ½ pepper at a time, re-tasting after each addition.   If you add pepper in stages like this, you won’t ever ruin the whole batch getting it too hot (I did one time).  Never forget that not everyone at your dinner table or social occasion will like things as hot as others.

Stir well and pour into buttered ceramic/glass baking dish.  Sprinkle with a dash more cinnamon and bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Serves 8, each serving contains: (does not include the 2 sweet potatoes!)

114 calories, 7.6 g  fat, 12.0 g  carbs, 4.0 g  fiber, 8g net carbs, 2.0 g  protein, 121 mg. sodium

RoastedLemon-GarlicDuck

I just love duck!  I often cook it during the holidays.  Here’s my newest recipe for preparing it that is delicious!  Although duck is very nice cooked on the grill outside, it is also good just roasted in the oven. But no matter which way you choose to cook it, it will likely be very tasty.  Duck is traditionally eaten slightly pink, but you can cook it longer if you prefer.  This VERY nutritious recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins (use broth if still on Atkins Induction) and is suitable for Paleo-Primal followers if broth is used rather than wine.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS: 

1 c. white wine (use chicken broth if still on Induction)

4 T. my Lemon-Parsley-Garlic Butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

Dash each:  salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder

1  whole 5-lb duck, neck and giblets removed for other use

DIRECTIONS:  Remove neck and giblets from duck and save for other uses.  My dog usually gets the giblets and neck meat I simmer until tender, but the neck will make great stock for soup if you want to add it to the carcass bones after dinner in a pot of water with chopped onion and carrot.  Duck stock makes delicious soup!

Butterfly (spatchcock) the duck by cutting up the backbone and spreading it out in a marinating dish.  Add wine (or broth), minced garlic and other spices.  Marinate covered in plastic on your refrigerator shelf for 2-4 hours, turning and basting 1-2 times during this period with a basting brush.

VARIATION:  Cook the marinated duck on a grill like you would grill chicken.

You’ll need to allow about 1½-2 hours to oven roast a 5# duck to internal temperature of 180º.  Duck is traditionally served a wee bit pink. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375º.  Remove duck from refrigerator and lift out of the marinating dish. Pour marinade off into a small saucepan.  Add compound butter and simmer for 5 minutes or so to allow raw duck juices to fully cook. Place duck skin side up in a large baking pan, baste with marinade and pop in hot oven.  Using a basting brush, baste duck with marinade and pan juices every half hour.  At 1 hour cooking, remove duck and cover wing tips and leg tips with small pieces of foil so they will not over brown/burn.  Pop pan back into oven, lower oven to 350º and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour longer (ovens will vary), or until a meat thermometer reads 180º at center thigh and center breast.   Serve at once with your favorite sides for fowl.  I served mine with steamed broccoli and broiled tomatoes.  If I had char-grilled the duck, as originally planned, I was going to grill some fresh pineapple slices to go with it.   Mmmm.   How I DOOOOOOOO love grilled pineapple!  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

791 calories, 65.3 g  fat (duck is much fattier than chicken), 2.4 g  carbs, 0.2 g  fiber, 2.20 g  NET CARBS, 36.4 g  protein, 485 mg sodium

Mom's Favorite

My Mom just loved baked sweet potatoes with nothing but butter on them.  Me, I like to dress them up with a hint of cinnamon and a hint of brown sugar.  So I have blended her favorite way to cook them along with mine for this creation.  This method of preparation is effortless, fast and you can make a lot of them for a crowd at one time using a larger baking pan!   I just love to have any leftover halves for breakfast the next day, dotted with more butter and cinnamon. 🙂

Now sweet potatoes aren’t something a low-carber should be eating daily, mind you, but for the Holiday table, I will spring for these tasty treat!  They are so nutritious and have a fiber deduction on the carb count as well, something white potatoes can’t really boast about.  These are not suitable until you are in Pre-Maintenance or have reached goal weight.  Added note:  these are wonderful with baked fish, pork or BBQ beef.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS. She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and other wonderful cooks to bring you a wealth of recipes you will love! Some of my low-carb creations appear in each of the 5 volumes! Order yours TODAY! from Amazon or our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:  

1    medium 6-oz sweet potato, washed

2 T. melted butter

1/8-¼ tsp. cinnamon (I use Vietnamese cinnamon from Penzey’s)

OPTIONAL:  few drops maple extract stirred into the melted butter for brown sugar flavor

DIRECTIONS:  Wash potato and cut tips off each end.  Cut in half lengthwise.  Turn oven on to 400º.  Melt the butter in pan as the oven preheats, right in your metal baking pan. Remove pan from oven and stir in the cinnamon and maple extract, if using.   Now rub the cut side of the potato in the cinnamon-y butter.  With cut side of the potatoes still down, place pan back in oven and bake at 400º for about 30 minutes (longer for larger potatoes).  When a knife tip can be inserted easily, they are done.  Remove, serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 2 servings, each contains:

175 calories, 11.5 g  fat, 17.35 g carbs, 2.7 g fiber, 14.6 g  NET CARBS, 1.54 g  protein, 48 mg sodium

Einkorn Cranberry Walnut Cake

The flavor combo of walnuts and cranberries is hard to beat in my book.  This application of that flavor affinity is simply delicious.  So simple to make and what a lovely addition to your Holiday dessert offerings!

This recipe isn’t suitable until you reach the nuts and berries rung of the Atkins Phase 2 OWL carb ladder.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS. She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try. Even a few of my recipes are in each of the 5 volumes! Order your set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. my Einkorn Bake Mix (or use a lower-carb bake mix)

1/3 c. heavy cream

3 large eggs, beaten

3/4 c. erythritol sweetener

1/8 tsp. KAL stevia (or sweetener of choice to equal 1/4 c. sugar)

1 c. fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped

½ c. walnuts, coarsely chopped

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease a baking pie plate or quiche dish with coconut oil and set aside.  Chop the berries and walnuts coarsely (I did so in my food processor pulsing a few times).  Add the bake mix and sweeteners and stir/pulse until blended.  Add the eggs and cream and pulse 1-2 more times to mix well into a chunky batter.  Scrape batter into prepared dish, spreading evenly.  Pop into 350º oven for 35-40 minutes or until center passes a toothpick test.   Slice into 6 servings and serve warm with coffee or cool and add a dollop of sweetened whipped cream when serving if you like.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains :

264 calories, 23 g  fat, 9.25 g  carbs, 3.01 g fiber, 6.24 g  NET CARBS, 9.81 g  protein, 97 mg sodium (use a lower carb bake mix without Einkorn flour in it to pull net carbs down)

Click to enlarge

These spice cookies will appeal to the chai tea lovers out there and be a hit on your Holiday dessert table.  They will certainly be on my Thanksgiving dessert tray this year.  These are sort of like an cinnamon oatmeal cookie with a “twist”.  Nice thing about them, they just seem to mellow and get tastier every day they sit in your fridge or freezer.  I know there are a lot of ingredients, but it’s why they are so good and  SO WORTH EVERY ONE OF THEM.  These are truly the best low-carb cookie I’ve developed!  I do hope you’ll try this one.  🙂

You might want to add chopped pecans or walnuts to these, but my husband doesn’t like nuts much and I also wanted to post just a basic recipe with the dried prunes (a great raisin replacement for lower carbs).  I have added nutty-tasting hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds) and some chia seed for the bit of crunch and nutrition these two ingredients bring to these cookies.   The sugar-free honey is essential for these to be chewy, so do not sub out this honey with any other sweetener or you are NOT going to get a chewy cookie (trust me, been there, done that).   This recipe is not suitable for Atkins Induction.  Wait until you are nearing Pre-Maintenance to enjoy these, as they are a little higher carb than most of my cookies, having prunes in them.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS. She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try. Several of my own creations appear in each of the 5 volumes! Order your set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

½ c. coconut oil (preferably not in liquid form, so do not melt)

2 T. almond butter

1 T. vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

¼ c. sugar-free honey (I can buy it at Walmart)

4 dried prunes, chopped (DelMonte brand has no added sugar)

1½ c. almond flour

¼ c. + 3 T. hemp hearts

1 T. ground chia seeds (I use 50:50 white and black)

½ c. coconut flour

1 T. oat fiber

1 tsp. glucomannan powder (or xanthan gum)

1/8 tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking soda

1 T. erythritol

½ c. granular Splenda or equivalent sweetener to equal ½ c. sugar

2 tsp. my Chai spice blend

VARIATION:  You can just use 2 tsp. ground cinnamon if you are not fond of Chai spice flavors.  Another delicious variation would be to use dried cranberries for the prunes in these. 🙂

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Measure all the wet ingredients into a small bowl.  Beat with an electric hand mixer until smooth.  Stir in the chopped prunes and if using nuts, add them now.  In another bowl, measure out all the dry ingredients and stir well.  Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until all are uniformly mixed into a solid cookie dough.  It will be pretty thick and stiff if your coconut oil wasn’t liquid.   Form into 24 roughly 1″ balls (I use a scooper to be sure they are all about the same size) and set on parchment lined cookie sheets about 3/4″ apart.  These don’t spread much during cooking. Slightly press the ball of dough to flatten on top a wee bit (not too much though).

Pop into preheated oven for about 12-13 minutes.  Ovens can vary, so yours may take a little less or a little more time.  They will be slightly firm to the touch in the center when done, and just beginning to brown a bit on the edges.  Remove and DO NOT REMOVE FROM PANS UNTIL COMPLETELY COOLED.  These are quite fragile when hot and will break apart if not cooled completely before handling.  When fully cool, remove from pans and ENJOY!  Store remainders in a lidded container.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 24  2-inch cookies, each cookie contains:

126 calories, 10.9 g  fat, 5.44 g carbs, 2.38 g fiber, 3.06 g  NET CARBS, 3.36 g  protein, 53 mg sodium

Click to enlarge

I’ll just say right up front that this Holiday recipe is probably the highest carb recipe on my website.  Now that I have that unpleasant admission out of the way.  But during the holidays, I’m willing to scrimp on carbs elsewhere so that I can enjoy a dish my entire family associates it with the holiday feasts.  This dish was a favorite of my Dad’s and continues to be a hit with guests whenever I serve it.  Ways you can lower carbs a bit here:  ditch the maraschino cherries and use fresh; ditch the sweet potatoes and use chunks of fresh pumpkin.

This side is a lovely complement to roast turkey, baked chicken, roast duck, goose and other game meats as well.  I usually use Sharwood’s or Sri Lankan curry powder, but any brand will do here.  If you’ve never had curried fruit, I’m certain you’re in for a treat with this. This is not suitable until the “higher-carb fruits” rung of the Atkins OWL carb re-introduction ladder or when you have reached the Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance phase of the plan.

Many delicious low-carb recipes like this can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends (me included).  Chef George Stella also brings you a wealth of delicious recipes you will love!  Order yours TODAY! from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. unsalted butter, melted

1 T. curry powder

Sweetener of choice to equal 1/4 c. sugar

½ tsp. maple extract

1 T. erythritol (or 1 packet stevia)

6 pear halves, natural juice pack, drained & cut in half

4 slices pineapple, natural juice pack, drained and cut into thirds

6 oz. nectarine or peach, sliced (I don’t peel)

10 maraschino cherries (or fresh, pitted)

5 oz. sweet potato, peeled (or fresh, cooked pumpkin chunks)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Peel sweet potatoes, cut into medium-size chunks and boil in sauce pan for 4-5 minutes only. You just want to half cook them.  Alternately you can use fresh pumpkin chunks instead to lower carbs.  Drain and set aside.  While they are boiling, melt butter in baking dish in oven.  Remove and stir in extract, curry powder and sweeteners. Slice nectarine into the butter/curry mixture.  Add pear quarters and pineapple pieces.  Add whatever cherries you’re using next (pit them if using fresh).  Last add the partially cooked sweet potatoes.  Toss gently with a large serving spoon so as to get some of the seasoned butter to coat each piece.  Pop into a 350º oven and bake for around 35-45 minutes, tossing the fruit in the sauce once during baking.  Serve hot with your favorite roast fowl or game.  Leftovers reheat nicely (I dot with more butter when re-heating).  You’ll be glad to know this dish is one of those that taste even better the second time around!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 6 servings, each contains:

124.8 calories, 4.15 g  fat, 22.32 g carbs, 3.23 g  fiber, 19.09 g  NET CARBS, 1.13 g  protein, 16 mg sodium


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