Archive for the ‘MAIN DISHES’ Category

Pork Carnitas

Slow-cooked & fork-tender!

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

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

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


½ c. fresh-squeezed orange juice

Juice of 1 lime

Juice of 1 lemon

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 T. fresh spearmint, chopped (optional)

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

¼ dried ancho chili pepper, seeded & chopped

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

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 T. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

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

¼ tsp. chili powder

1/3 c. olive oil

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

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

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

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

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


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Beef Bok Choy

Click to enlarge

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

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


2 T. coconut oil

1 lb. thinly sliced beef

2 oz. onion, sliced

2 stalks bok choy, washed and sliced ½” thick

Click to enlarge

Bok Choy

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

6 medium mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp. ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp. chile sauce (I use Sambal Oelek)

3 T. my homemade Hoisin Sauce

½ c. beef broth

1 T. low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos

a bit your favorite thickener (optional)

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

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

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


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click to enlarge

Shown on a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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

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

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


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

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

2 T. sour cream

1 egg, beaten

½ tsp. baking powder

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

Pinch salt

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

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

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

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

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We were in Sam’s Club last month and picked up what was labeled “Cowboy Ribsteak”.  What it was was a small bone-in rib roast about 3″ thick.  We bought one for my birthday dinner last night.  Yes, I’m a New Year’s Eve baby.  We used my dad’s favorite beef grilling marinade on it and WOW, was it ever good!  My husband grilled it about 15 minutes on a side and it was medium-rare to perfection!

This marinade recipe was truly my Dad’s creation and “pride and joy”.  In his 83 years on this earth, he never found a marinade he liked better.  I confess I have not either.  It’s unique; it’s DELICIOUS!  You grilling fanatics MUST try this recipe sometime!  This recipe makes enough marinade for an 8 lb. boneless rib roast, but my “Cowboy Steak” was only about 3.5 lb, so I made up a half recipe of marinade for this one.  This meat marinade isn’t as tasty reheated, so leftovers are best consumed in sandwiches unheated.

This would also be delicious for grilling a nice lean chuck or sirloin roast.   It is Atkins friendly (after you finish Atkins Induction 2-weeks).  Leaving out the wine just isn’t an option for this recipe, so wait until the Atkins OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss) Phase to enjoy this wonderful hunk of grilled melt-in-your-mouth beef.  I guarantee, this is so good you’ll be fighting over who gets the two end slices, just like at my house.  🙂

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MARINADE INGREDIENTS: (remember, it is not all consumed)

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

1/8 c. low-sodium soy sauce (1/4 c. if you can tolerate the sodium, I don’t though)

1/2 c. dry red wine (I use burgundy or claret generally)

1 T. tomato paste (or tomato sauce)

1½ T. coarse ground black pepper (or enough to entirely coat your meat thickly)

DIRECTIONS:  Pound the coarse ground black pepper over all surfaces of a nice rib roast or extra thick rib steak using the butt of your palm or a meat cleaver. Use less pepper if doing a smaller piece of meat. Place meat in glass dish. I drizzle marinate every half hour (as often as you can remember to stop and do it) most of a day (minimum 6 hours). Most efficient way to marinate without disturbing pepper coating is to use a basting brush. Do not touch the meat with your brush, or you’ll wipe all the pepper off! Hold it over the meat and let it drip off the brush. When surface is soaked, put in refrigerator to marinate.  Baste hourly with my drip method until cooking time.

COOKING:  This recipe really is not good cooked inside in an oven. Not sure why, but trust me on this one, it just isn’t, so grill it for sure.  It seems the marriage of the marinade with charcoal smoke makes this recipe flavor profile so magical.

Prepare your charcoal fire and when coals are white hot, set the meat slightly off to the side (not directly over the coals).  Discard marinade now and do not baste again during cooking so raw meat juice doesn’t contaminate your meat at the end of cooking. You need to grill a 3-3½# piece of meat for about 30 minutes total time (15 minutes on a side) for medium-rare (125º internal).  Larger roasts of 4-6# will take around 20 minutes on a side.  If cooking a 6#-8# roast for a large dinner party, I would cook for 60-80 minutes total cooking time, (30-40 min per side) checking often with meat thermometer until an internal temp of 125º is reached for medium rare.  You should turn the meat every 10 minutes during cooking.  Rib roast/steak is best if not cooked past medium-rare or medium stage unless you like dry, tough meat.  I take mine off when my meat thermometer reads 120º degrees and let it sit on my cutting board for around 5-7 minutes to “rest” before slicing to avoid juices being lost when sliced.  Always remember that a piece of meat over 3# will continue to climb to higher temps while resting on the board (why I err on the side of removal at 120º).

This recipe always gets the WOWS when I serve it so I hope you folks will try it sometime! You won’t be sorry you did!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  The marinade is discarded when you cook the meat.  No further basting should be done while cooking as there is now raw meat juice in the marinade.   Calculating how much marinade is consumed is difficult.  It would also be impossible for me to know how many servings you are able to get out of your roast.  So I’m providing the totals for the entire batch of marinade and you will have to see how much it makes and how much is left in the pan before discarding to determine roughly how much is staying on the meat and thus consumed by how many people you are serving.   Most of the sauce goes down the drain, to be perfectly honest, so you’re getting mostly sodium from the soy sauce and a few carbs from the wine and tomato paste that cling to the surface of the meat (a little more if you get the end slices).  The figures below DO NOT INCLUDE THE MEAT.

The entire batch of marinade has:

131 cals, 0.7g fat, 18g carbs, 4.6g fiber, 15.4 NET CARBS (entire batch), 5.5g protein, 1070 mg. sodium

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I haven’t cooked a pork tenderloin in ages and picked up a couple twin-packs at the store this week on sale.   I prefer mine pan-seared for sandwiches, but decided to roast a couple tonight for a change of pace.  Just started putting things on top and popped them in the oven.  They were done in 25-30 minutes flat as they were fairly small tenderloins (from a small pig)!  My kind of quick meal prep!  I served these with a combo of butter-sauteed red radishes and onion along with some some green beans seasoned with ham drippings from my Christmas ham.  We loved this particular seasoning tonight!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto programs provided the wine is omitted for those still in their first 2 weeks of Induction.

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 on many of our books, some as low as $9.77 (also free shipping in USA!).  Hurry and place your order today for any of our books 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.


2-2½ lb. pork tenderloin (mine weighed 2#)

2 T. any dry red wine (optional, omit for Atkins Induction)

1 T. low-sodium soy sauce

½ tsp. onion powder

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

1½ T. sliced fresh shallot

½ c. homemade pork or chicken broth (as needed)

1-3 T. olive oil (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 375º.  Place the two pork tenderloins on an appropriate size baking pan (I used metal, but any oven-proof pan will do).  Stir the onion and garlic powders with the black pepper in a little saucer.  Holding each piece of meat up for easy handling, sprinkle this mixture on both sides of meat and lay them back down on the pan.  You can sear off the meat in a hot skillet of oil first if you prefer.  I did not, but did pop mine into the boiler for 5 minutes at the end of cooking.  Sliver the shallot and lay separated slices atop each piece of meat.  Mix ½ c. of the broth with the wine and soy sauce and baste each strip of loin.  Drizzle meat with olive oil if desired (I did).  Pop in 375º oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 130º-140º.  Check pan halfway through cooking and gently pour the broth mixture around the outside of the pan.  Remove when meat reaches temperature.  Broil 5 minutes if you prefer yours browner.  Rest the meat on a cutting board with a piece of foil laying on top (to retain heat) for 5-8 minutes.  This wait will help retain the juices in your meat.  Slice on the diagonal about 3/4″ thick.  Baste slices with any pan juices and serve at once with your favorite sides.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 5 adult servings, each contains:

2131 cals, 6.3g fat (more if you use olive oil drizzle), 1.26g carbs, 0.08g fiber, 1.18g NET CARBS, 38.9g protein, 228 mg sodium

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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


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

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Water/broth version.

This particular base curry recipe is the one I keep coming back to again and again.  One can substitute tomato paste or sauce in the gravy, rather than whole tomatoes, but I prefer the fresh tomatoes in my curry. This is easy to make and incredibly delicious!  This dish is OK for Induction and is also suitable for Primal diners.  Paleo followers need to use coconut milk instead of cream, but coconut milk is GREAT in Indian curries!  The sky’s the limit on what vegetables or meat you use in this basic curry recipe.

Cream-based version

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.


1 T. cumin seed (or 2 tsp. seed + 1 tsp. ground)

2 T. each olive oil and butter (or any combination of same)

3 oz. sliced onion

2 deboned 7-8 oz. chicken breasts, cut into 1-1½” chunks

¼ tsp. salt

¼-½  tsp. cayenne pepper  (use ½ tsp. only if you like it HOT)

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ T. minced fresh ginger

½ tsp. ground turmeric

1 T. my homemade Garam Masala 

4 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

1½ c. chicken broth

2 Roma tomatoes (3″) , cut into 1″ cubes (use 1 Tbsp. tomato paste for a redder Butter Chicken look and taste)

10 oz. eggplant, cut into 1½” large cubes

1 jalapeno, seeded and slivered very thin

¼ c. heavy cream (Paleo-Primal folks should use coconut milk)

VARIATION:  Omit cream or coconut milk in the sauce and have what is called a “water-based” curry gravy. 

DIRECTIONS:  In a dry non-stick skillet or wok, dry roast the whole cumin seed, stirring, just until they become fragrant but not burned (about 1-2 minutes).  Add olive oil, butter and onions & saute a few minutes.  Add chicken, turmeric and continue to saute until chicken is opaque.  Add all remaining ingredients except heavy cream (if using). Simmer covered on lowest heat about 30 minutes until tomatoes are tender but not falling totally apart.  Add heavy cream and continue to simmer 5-10 minutes longer.  If desired, slightly thicken with a few successive, light dustings of xanthan gum or glucomannan powder, whisking or stirring vigorously between additions to allow it to “develop/thicken”.  Optional:  serve over steamed cauliflower or basmati rice for non-low-carb dinner guests.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 5, each serving contains: (includes cream, but not suggested cauliflower or rice “bed”.

425 cals, 34.3g fat, 7.7g carbs, 2.64g fiber, 5.06g NET CARBS, 21g protein, 404mg sodium


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