Archive for the ‘XTRA STUFF’ Category

Doggie Treats

This is not for human consumption, is not low-carb, and I’m not providing nutritional info! 🙂  Oh My!  But I thought I’d share this recipe for those out there who are dog lovers with a dog on your Christmas shopping list.  If your fur friends have many skin allergies, these have been tolerated by my allergy-ridden pooches for years now.  I started making these for my two rat terriers (a breed often plagued with skin allergies) about 10 years ago and it’s the only treat my dogs have tolerated without serious allergic reaction.

This recipe makes a HUGE 13×15″ jelly roll pan full which cuts into 195  1″ squares.  So a batch lasts me over a month for two toy breed pups.   If you have larger dogs, you may prefer to cut into larger pieces.  I freeze them in a gallon plastic bag and just take out a small baggie full each week and keep down in the refrigerator.

My dogs just adore these things!!  http://s217.photobucket.com/albums/cc278/buttonbutt/Girls%20Together/  They go wild when I take them out of the oven to cool!  If using for training treats, to avoid weight gain from over-treating, just break these into even tinier pieces!  If your dogs have allergies to either wheat or oats, obviously these won’t work for you.  You could substitute flax meal for the flour but I don’t know about subbing for the oats.  Sorry.  I’ll have to let you experiment there on your own. Fortunately, my dogs are apparently only allergic to soy and possibly brewers rice/yeast, so often in commercial treats.

I have made these with beef liver, beef heart, chicken liver, chicken hearts, pork liver, pork heart.  You could use sheep organ meat if you have access.  They are received well no matter which meat I use. 🙂


1 c. whole wheat flour

3 c. whole rolled oats

1 lb. carton chicken livers (with juice), beef liver or pork liver

2 eggs

¼ c. oil

DIRECTIONS:    Preheat oven to 350º.  Process liver in a food processor until smooth.  It’s vile looking, but try not to dwell on that.  Add the eggs, oil, flour and oats and pulse until well blended.  Scrape out onto a 13×15″ jelly roll pan that has been sprayed or oiled well.  Using a rubber spatula, spread out evenly, trying to make it as evenly thick as possible.  Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes until center is dry to the touch.  Remove and cool.  Cut into 1″ squares.  When totally cool, use a metal spatula to remove them from the pan.  Store in a gallon ziploc bag in your freezer until ready to use.  The recipe rating below came directly from my two dogs.  🙂


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I’m so pleased to share a low-carb bake mix I’ve put together.  It only has 4.83 net carbs per ¼ cup of mix!  That’s fewer carbs than my Einkorn Bake Mix!  Regular Pioneer Bake Mix has 25 net carbs per ¼ cup; Bisquick has 27 net carbs per 1/3 c. (or about the same as Pioneer); Carbalose Flour has 4.8 net carbs per ¼ c.; Carbquik has only 2 net carbs per 1/3 c. but has a funny background taste to me, even their new and improved product.  So the difficulty when chosing ingredients based on flavor and carb count is indeed very delicate balance.

My inspirational recipe was a low-carb flour mix I saw over on Pam’s Low Carb and Delicious blog (she links to the mix inside the bread recipe).  Hers has 18 NC per 1/2 cup; mine has 9.66 NC per 1/2 cup.  So a nice carb drop, don’t you think?  But isn’t her bread photo a thing of beauty? My goodness, the rise on that loaf in the pic!  I plan on trying her bread soon, but with her original flour mix recipe, nothing tweaked, the first time I bake it.  Then I’ll turn around and bake it again with my new bake mix so I can readily compare the two loaves.  🙂

I modified considerably both what ingredients I chose to use for my mix as well as the amounts of those ingredients.  I have also added several additional ingredients to her original recipe.  The final bake mix has produced two baked items for me already that I am quite pleased with:  a 2-serving vanilla microwave quick cake

Vanilla MW Cake made with mix

Vanilla Microwave Cake

and an oven-baked Blueberry-Lemon Snack Cake (I’ll be posting that recipe soon).

Blueberry-Lemon Snack Cake

Blueberry-Lemon Snack Cake

Both the hubs and I found them delicious, with a very smooth texture.  Best of all, neither had a funny taste that many low-carb breads have.  My next tests will be in my Fluffy Pancakes recipe and I’ll try it in my fav RWS Biscuits recipe. After those, I’ll be trying this mix to make a pie crust eventually, perhaps for my Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie.  Then I’ll know this mix is a keeper.

I think this mix is going to prove to be a good one, so stay tuned for me to be posting new recipes I use it in successfully.  This recipe makes a big batch of nearly 11 cups of mix, so you might want to make up just 1/2 this recipe and play around with the mix in 1 or 2 of your favorite, tested recipes and see  what you think.  I would love your feedback/findings in the comments section below.


4 c. almond flour

1 c. oat flour (I grind mine from rolled oats)

½ c. oat fiber

½ c. Einkorn Flour

1 c. vital wheat gluten

2 c. Carbalose Flour

2 c. unflavored whey protein isolate

1 T. glucomannan powder

4 tsp. baking powder

DIRECTIONS:    If grinding your own oat flour (my 2 local grocers don’t carry oat flour that is pre-ground), do this step first, letting your food processor or blender run a pretty long time for the finest grind possible.  This will lead to better texture in your final baked goods. When you have 1 cup of oat flour ground, place in large mixing bowl.  Measure all other ingredients into the bowl.  Stir well.  Then stir well at least 4 more times!  You want the ingredients uniformly mixed.  Spoon mix into lidded container and store in your pantry for use whenever you want to bake.  Since there is no fat or sweet item in this, you will, of course, have to add butter/oil/fat and and naturally, sweetener if making a dessert recipe.  Eggs and possibly cream/liquid will be needed for binding and moisture to achieve the correct batter thickness.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes about 11 cups bake mix.

1 cup mix: 443 cals, 24.9g fat, 33.78g carbs, 14.44g fiber, 19.34g NET CARBS, 34.4g protein, 223 mg sodium

¼ cup mix: 110 cals, 6.22g fat, 8.44g carbs, 3.61g fiber, 4.83g NET CARBS, 8.61g protein, 55.7 mg sodium

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I made some Moo Shu Pork for dinner tonight.  We love the stuff!  But I needed some Hoisin Sauce to go with it and had none in the pantry.  All the commercial stuff either has sugar, high fructose corn syrup or molasses in the ingredient listing.  I checked my several recipes for this sauce (gathered around the net over the past 9 years) and the only two I had actually tried before were annotated “not so good” and “nothing special”.  :{

So I set about creating my own instead.  Since Hoisin is basically a seasoned plum jam/sauce, and I had an open bag of no-sugar-added prunes (which is just dried plums) in my pantry, I started with 10 of those.  Then I added a few ingredients that store-bought brands mention on their labels, guessing the amounts for those items, tasting as I went along.

Well, I’m here to tell you the final sauce came out pretty darn good!  Not exactly like the high-sugar stuff right out of the jar at the store, but I suspect it will taste much better and closer to that flavor when it has “aged” a bit.  We ate it while it was still warm tonight, so the cloves flavor in the Chinese 5-Spice Powder was pretty pronounced. The aroma and taste of the cloves is already mellowing, after just a few hours, actually.   All in all, not bad for my first shot at a low-carb version of this essential Chinese condiment. Most commercial hoisin sauce has around 8 carbs per tablespoon, so this number is trimmed down in mine.  Using liquid Splenda lowers carbs a tad, but not that much.

I’ll post the Moo Shu Pork recipe as soon as I can calculate nutritionals and get it typed up.  That dish I have been cooking for years, using Gloria Bley-Miller’s marvelous cookbook The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook  as my “Bible” for Chinese cooking.  I can cook Moo Shu pork blindfolded but have been holing off to obtain a couple ingredients I can’t get locally.  This sauce is suitable once you get to Phase 2 of Atkins, since it is used in such small amounts on the “pancake” that you will use to roll up the Moo Shu Pork.  This sauce is totally unsuitable for Primal or Paleo due to the soy beans, as all legumes are eschewed in those food plans.


10 large dried prunes, Delmonte brand has no sugar added (around 4 oz.)

½ c. water

1 T. rice wine vinegar

3 T. low-sodium soy sauce (use regular if you prefer)

¼ tsp. Chinese 5-Spice powder

3 T. granular Splenda (liquid Splenda will lower carbs a smidge)

2 T. Eden soy black beans, well-mashed to a paste (or fermented black bean paste)

DIRECTIONS:  Place prunes in small saucepan with about ½ c. tap water.  Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer until they are soft, or about 5 minutes.  Mash well into the water with a fork until pretty smooth.  You can puree in a blender or food processor if you like, but I did not think this necessary.  Remove from heat.

Mash the beans on a paper plate to as smooth a paste as possible and stir into the prune mixture.  Add vinegar, soy sauce and 5-Spice powder to the pot and stir well.  Spoon into a serving dish or lidded jar and store any not used immediately in your refrigerator.  I do not know how long this keeps yet, and it sure has no preservatives in it.  But since it’s just made from dried fruit+vinegar (a preservative by nature)+soy sauce (fermented), I suspect a pretty long time.  Perhaps 2 weeks?  Maybe longer?  Just don’t know.  The soy beans will be what spoils first in this combo.  I’ll try to remember to post back my findings on that when mine no longer seems to smell/look right to me and I toss it out.  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes about 1 cup (16 Tbsp.).  Each tablespoon using granular Splenda contains:

17.2 cals, 0.1g fat, 3.65g carbs, 0.51g fiber, 3.14g Net CARBS (2.89 NC with liquid Splenda), 0.45g protein, 101 mg sodium


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This lovely-tasting herb blend is common throughout the Middle East.  It is used both raw, mixed with olive oil for a pita bread dip as well as with olive oil atop hummus.  It is also sprinkled on roasted or grilled chicken, grilled fish, or grilled lamb.  I have even used it myself over roasted root vegetables like carrots and parsnips!  WE love the earthy herb flavor profile.  It is all herbs and spices, with some toasted sesame seeds, so it does have carbs, but not many.  This recipe is suitable once you reach the nuts and seeds rung of the Atkins carb re-introduction ladder.  Keto, Primal and Paleo followers can also enjoy this flavorful condiment.

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own copy of our cookbooks  LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  Volume 8 is almost exclusively comprised of my recipes with some new George Stella and Jennifer Eloff creations.  Order your books from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php. If you’ve already purchased a copy, I sure would appreciate your taking a moment to stop by and leave a review of any recipe you’ve tried:  https://www.amazon.com/Atkins-friendly-Wheat-free-Sugar-free-Gluten-free-Cookbooks/dp/099829974X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1523112817&sr=1-1&keywords=Low-Carbing+Among+Friends+Volume-8


1 tsp. dried marjoram

Shown as a pita bread dip.

2 T. dried oregano leaves

3 T. sumac

1 T. toasted sesame seeds

2 T. dried thyme leaves

1 tsp. sea salt (optional)

½ tsp. Aleppo pepper (optional)

2 tsp. onion powder

DIRECTIONS:  Toast sesame seeds over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet or in your oven.  Watch them closely to not over brown.  Remove and pour them onto a paper plate or into a jar (that has a lid).  Add all remaining ingredients and stir/shake well.  Store in a lidded jar in your spice rack.  Will keep as long as the sesame seeds keep, or about a month or so.  Add 1 T. to ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil for a pita bread dip or to use on hummus.  If using on grilled/roasted meats, coat meat surface with olive oil and sprinkle on 1 T. or the spice mixture and cook meat as usual until properly done.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes about ½ cup, or 8 tablespoons.  1 T. contains:

26 cals, 1.51g fat, 3.07g carbs, 1.68g fiber, 1.39g NET CARBS, 0.98g protein, 350 mg sodium (salt can be omitted and added at table).

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When you want to tenderize a tougher cut of meat, like flank steak or London Broil, you have to marinate it to loosen up those meat fibers a bit.  This is one of my favorite steak marinades to use on London Broil.  If you can’t get flank or London Broil, use a piece of lean chuck roast. The flavor on the outer crust of meat is just divine.  The longer you marinate the meat, the more tender the meat will get.  Marinating all day long is preferred, but a minimum of 4-5 hours is a must lest you end up with a very tough, difficult to chew experience.  My husband cooked ours tonight a bit too long (medium) for our personal taste, as we prefer medium rare, but it was still quite tasty and still fairly tender.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins beyond Induction.  If you are still on induction, sub in some beef broth for the red wine.

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own copy of our cookbooks  LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  Volume 8 is almost exclusively comprised of my recipes with some new George Stella and Jennifer Eloff creations.  Order your books from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.


3 lb. piece of London Broil or flank steak

½ clove garlic, minced

1½ tsp. tomato paste

½ c. red wine (or beef broth if still on Induction)

¼ c. low sodium soy sauce

2 T. balsamic  vinegar

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

DIRECTIONS:  Coat the meat with the black pepper and set in a glass or plastic marinating pan.  Add the remaining ingredients, stirring in the tomato paste well until it is evenly distributed in the liquid.  Using a basting brush, drizzle the marinade over the meat and place marinating pan in the refrigerator.  Marinate for at least 4 hours to all day long, drizzling over the meat carefully hourly.  Turn the meat once or twice while marinating.

When ready to cook, prepare a hot charcoal fire.  Lift meat out of marinating pan and discard the marinade.  Place meat directly over the hot coals and grill for about 8-10 minutes on a side or until it reaches your desired stage (around 8 minutes per side for medium rare; around 10 for medium as shown).  These two cuts of meat are really too tough to cook them well done.  Just being honest.  Serve with a nice salad or your favorite green side dish.  This is delicious with compound butter, if you have a favorite recipe.  Here’s the one I used tonight:  Garlic Herb Butter.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  As the marinade is discarded, a firm count per serving is difficult to arrive at.  No more than 1 T. is consumed on the meat surfaces, if THAT much.  1 T. marinade contains around 1.27 net carbs, so that is what is added to the serving below.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Serves 6-7 people nicely (maybe 8), so each serving of meat with 1 T. marinade contains around:

297 calories, 12g fat, 1.3 carbs, 0 fiber, 0 NET CARBS, 44 g protein, 101 mg sodium

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I love mixing herbs and spices into butter and using them on baked, broiled or char-broiled steak, pork chops or seafood.  This is one of my favorites.  FYI for those not familiar with herb butters, also known as compound butters, they are simple mixtures of softened butter and spices, herbs, seasonings that are then used in a variety of recipes, particularly on meats and fish.  This is a GREAT way to re-invent leftover steak. by the way.  It helps disguise that “leftover” taste that beef, in particular, gets when reheated.  This particular herb butter is also good for making garlic bread on your favorite low-carb bread or roll recipe.  When it comes to herb butters, the sky is the limit as to the different combinations of herbs you can create.  As you’ve probably guessed by other recipes here, I love fresh rosemary, garlic and onion powder and that combo makes a wonderful herb butter for pork done on the grill.  Another combination I’m quite fond of is fresh mint and cilantro.  Be creative and experiment!  This flavorful mixture is Atkins Induction friendly.


½ stick salted butter (4 T.)

1/4 c. parsley, chopped fine

1 small clove garlic, minced

¼ tsp. coarse, cracked black pepper

2 T. chives or green onion, chopped very fine

OPTIONAL:  Dash dried tarragon (or a bit of fresh, chopped fine)

DIRECTIONS:  On a paper plate or saucer, soften the butter at room temperature.  Blend/mash all listed ingredients into it with a fork until smooth and uniform.   There are three approaches to serving.  You can (1) serve the herb butter in a saucer at table (reserving 2 tsp.).   You can (2) reserve 2 tsp. and with a small rubber spatula, spoon the rest into the slots of a silicone candy/butter mold, pressing down well (freeze for 20 minutes and pop out the individual servings).  You can also (3) form the butter into a butter-shaped stick or log in plastic wrap, chill and slice off servings at the table.  Your call.

Place 1 tsp. of the reserved butter on top of meat or fish before cooking.  Place your meat or fish in your hot oven, broiler or on charcoal grill and cook to desired stage.  Turn meat halfway through cooking and place remaining tsp. of reserved herb butter on top. Spread with a brush to distribute over the meat/fish.  When your meat is fully cooked to the desired stage, removing to a serving platter and serve at once with the herb butter to garnish.  Let beef set for 10 minutes before slicing to preserve juices inside.  Let your guests serve more herb butter atop their serving at table.  It melts as you eat.  YUM! 🙂

The slots of my candy mold that makes the shape pictured above hold exactly 2T. contents.  This is why I show serving size as 2 T.  But your molds may only hold 1 T. and you can then cut these numbers in half!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Allow 2 T. per serving, so this makes 4 servings.  Each serving has:

105 cals, 11.5g  fat, 0.67g carbs, 0.20g fiber, 0.47g NET CARBS, 0.32g protein, 84 mg. sodium

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I made the Indian version of of Creamed Spinach to have with our ham and yellow squash tonight.  I love creamed spinach so much I’m willing to eat it with so many different foods.  The flavors went quite nicely together!  Thought I’d re-share my Garam Masala recipe for anyone who loves Indian food as much as we do.    The Indian version of creamed spinach is quite unusual and very tasty.  Not hot/spicy, just aromatic with spices.  This spice blend has many uses.  Type “Indian” in the search box to see an array of Indian recipes here on my site to try this spice in. They are all tried-and-true recipes I’ve cooked many times. Give them a try some time!  I think you’ll be pleased if your an Indian food fan.

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! Chef George Stella and Jennifer Eloff are also including several tasty new delights in Vol.  8! Order yours (or any of our earlier cookbooks) from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.  Remember, they make GREAT birthday or holiday gifts!  If you’ve already purchased a book, the team would appreciate it if you would please take a moment and drop by the our Amazon page to leave your personal review.  🙂


6 T. coriander seeds
3 T. cumin seeds
2 T. black peppercorns
1 T. whole cardamom pods (outer part and seeds inside)
5  small cinnamon sticks broken into small pieces
2  tsp. whole cloves
1  whole grated nutmeg (about 1 tsp.)

DIRECTIONS:  In a dry skillet, over low heat, heat the first 6 spices until they become very fragrant. This step is most important, so do not skip it or your results won’t be as good.  When fragrant, turn off heat and remove pan from stove.   Using a spice/coffee grinder (I have a cheap dedicated coffee grinder for spices only), grind all toasted spices to a pretty fine grind, but it doesn’t have to be as fine as salt.  Add grated nutmeg at this point.  When adding this spice to curry recipes, I once again heat the dry skillet and reheat these until they become fragrant and then proceed with whatever recipe I’m making. This is outstanding in all chicken, beef and fish curries.  It’s great on charcoal grilled, buttered  fish and chicken, too!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Each teaspoon contains:

6  calories, 0.31 g.  fat, 1.1 g.  carbs, 0.6 g.  fiber, 0.23 g.   protein, 0.5 g. NET CARBS



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