THE Premier Low-Carb store .. .. AND Meeting Place

Friday, September 30, 2011

Almond Flour - Serious Envy!




Cake recipe made with almond flour in the top photo and almond meal in the bottom photo.  Compare the cakes - here is the one made with almond meal and the recipe for this cake.

On a recent trip to the States my sweet hubby, Ian, brought home some almond flour from Honeyville Grains Company.  I was thrilled to receive it, even although some of it spilled in the suitcase as government officials slashed a hole in the packet to check that it was really almond flour. 

Many of you know I use almond meal (ground sliced almonds with a tiny bit of skin on the edges) in my bake mix.  I was slightly concerned that there might be appreciable differences for folks using the convenience of commercially available almond flour, which is usually partially defatted.

I promised I would try almond flour in my Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix as well as coconut flour from Bob's Red Mill (I used Aloha Nu from Netrition.com which may have been discontinued).

Turns out baking with almond flour is a pleasure; love the convenience factor obviously!  The almond flour from Honeyville Grains is apparently the very best and they have a very good price; bought mine in a 5 lb bag.  Another 5 lb bag waits for me in Montana.  

The only difference I noticed is that the baking has a finer crumb and looks lighter in color.  Bob's Red Mill coconut flour performs much the same as the coconut flour I used.  This is all good news!  I think for cakes almond flour is superior but my cake with almond meal was still very good indeed.

I am envious of people being able to easily come by almond flour.  I used to have that luxury in Vernon, British Columbia in Canada.  We had not one but two incredible health food stores in the same little town when I was developing my 5 low-carb cookbooks.  I was so blessed.  Now I have access to a tiny health food store that has a cheek to go by that name.  Waah!  


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to Make Yogurt the Easy Way!




HOW TO MAKE YOGURT
This easy recipe is one I use most often these days.  1 cup of plain yogurt is about 4 grams of carbohydrate.  There are many good reasons to consume yogurt.  Just type yogurt in my blog search box and you'll see what I mean.  Also, why not try frozen yogurt if you're not wild about yogurt - for a real treat.  Here is my favorite recipe.  For a super-quick frozen yogurt treat, in food processor  with metal S-blade begin with frozen strawberries; process.  Add yogurt, a bit of cream and sweetener until you have the right consistency and sweetness.  You can even add a frozen banana if you're doing moderate low-carbing.  Enjoy!

41/2 cups whole milk (1.13 L)
1/3 cup plain yogurt, OR (75 mL)
  a bit more (one small container of yogurt)
1 tsp sugar (5 mL) - for milder taste - divided by 7 servings. (optional - could use Splenda or preferred sweetener but I have not tried that)

In large pot, pour milk and bring to boil - just as it starts to climb the side of the pot.  Allow milk to cool to lukewarm or room temperature.  Pour some milk into a clean pouring jug.  Stir in yogurt and sugar, until sugar dissolves.  Add to the pot and whisk well.  Pour some of milk mixture into pouring jug and fill 7 clean glass jars with mixture. Place in yogurt maker (without lids). Leave overnight.  It takes about 8 hours for whole milk and longer for 2% or skim milk.  If you leave the yogurt too long, it will become quite sour.

Helpful Hints:  The taste and texture of yogurt varies according to the milk and yogurt starter selected.  Also do not move the appliance during the maturing process or this will affect the firmness of the yogurt.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show #500!!!


Jimmy Moore, one of a kind cheer leader for the low-carb community all over the world, just celebrated his 500th podcast.  I was one of the 40 people who got an opportunity to thank Jimmy and congratulate him on that podcast. I felt so honored to be amongst such BIG names.  Wowzers!  Anyway, it was a pleasure to congratulate Jimmy and thank him.  After poor Dr. Atkins died, we were in sore need of a cheer leader to rally the low-carb troops.  I view Jimmy as that person. Here is the podcast - rather interesting.  I thought Dana Carpender's speech was interesting too - she was about third from the beginning.  My speech (although I didn't realize immediately that Jimmy was not with me on the podcast as he normally is - haha -eek!) is about halfway - pull the little bar along if you don't want to listen to everyone.  There is also a link to my previous interview with Jimmy next to my name.

Update:  You have to listen to Tom Naughton - right at the end more or less.  He is hilarious!!


Gut Feelings - Real or Imagined?


This was an interesting read and another reason to take probiotics or eat yogurt.  Turns out probiotics, the kind you find in yogurt have a profound effect on the brain and moods!  Here is the article.

"When Mr. Bravo looked at the brains of the mice, he found that those fed probiotics had more GABA receptors in areas associated with memory and the regulation of emotions. (This change mimics the effects of popular antianxiety medications in humans.)"

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Possible Link Between Diabetes and Dementia

This is scary.  It is important to make sure if one has diabetes or is pre-diabetic to get a good handle on blood sugar by following a strict low-carb diet, if necessary.  Here is the article.

This makes any of us who do not have diabetes even more determined to stay the path of low-carbing to prevent hyperinsulinemia and hyperglycemia. 

It is something to keep in mind but don't panic unduly.  I did know a lady who had diabetes for the last 10 years of her life (induced by prednisone and putting on 40 lbs), but only in the last month or so of her life did she start losing her faculties.  It is not a foregone conclusion, but nevertheless a good idea to avoid by going low-carb.  This lady that I knew followed the traditional diabetic diet - high carb (very!) and low-fat.  I could not convince her to go low-carb although she was always astonished to see her blood sugar drop after a sojourn at my house for a weekend.  She was just too old to change and really trusted her dietitian despite the evidence - plus, she didn't want to spend time cooking in the kitchen.  It was so much easier for her to grab convenience foods like cereal, milk and a banana, for instance.  Whenever she went into the hospital I was always astonished to see the high-carb meals she was fed.  Just before eating, the nurse would give her an insulin shot.




Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Artisan Sesame Hamburger Buns (GF)




ARTISAN SESAME HAMBURGER BUNS
Great for hamburgers, tuna burgers or anything you would normally put on a bun.  This is a substantial bun and very bread-like.  I have yet to experiment with yeast breads that are gluten-free and low-carb.  Until then, the breads I have come up with recently will almost always be lower in carbs.  This is a fairly neutral-tasting bun and is based on my sandwich bread recipe.  We love it!  See the helpful hints as to why I gave alternate amounts in two spots.

These buns keep my husband satiated for hours.  He typically has only one at a sitting but even if he has more, there have been no adverse consequences on his weight loss.  At the same time, I have also lost weight eating my gluten-free baked goods. I have always lost weight with difficulty but this time it's been a breeze.  :)

Hope this recipe will make life even more enjoyable on a low-carb and gluten-free diet.  Remember the glycemic load is what counts, not just the individual glycemic index or carb count of individual ingredients. My Splendid Gluten-free bake mix is quite low in carbs and quite acceptable in most recipes.  Obviously it is not for people on Induction but for people following a more moderate low-carb diet, which is what I prefer due to hypothryoidism.  Going too low-carb, I don't feel well and I can't keep it up for long.  At any rate I am almost at goal weight, so I lose easily on this bake mix and my husband who is truly intolerant of wheat and gluten is losing weight very nicely and should soon be at goal. The total carbs per serving is what counts and ask yourself, does it have wheat or gluten in it?  The wheat or gluten is what keeps those of us intolerant of it hungrier and less successful on a low-carb diet.  The small amount of oat flour in my bake mix has been proven to be heart healthy (helps reduce cholesterol) and is far from the wheat family.  It does not have the same properties and is gluten-free (only in facilities that also process wheat can some contamination occur, but usually it is very small and fine for those of us who are merely intolerant.)  If you have Celiac disease, then use the certified gluten-free oat flour from Bob's Red Mill or use an alternate gluten-free flour.  

How do you like the hamburger meal?  That was my hubby's meal the other day.  The Crispy Potato Skins are here on my blog. They make a great substitute for fries.  I didn't picture the diet coke I gave my hubby as well.  There was one thing seriously missing and dear hubby picked up on it.  Can you guess what it was?

The BACON! 

An IMPROVED VERSION?  You be the judge. :)

12 oz regular cream cheese, softened (375 g)
6 large eggs
1 tbsp olive oil (15 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
21/4 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix*, (560 mL)
  page___ 
1/4 cup almond flour, OR* (60 mL)
  almond meal
11/2 tsp baking powder (7 mL)
3/tsp baking soda (3 mL)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (500 mL)
Glaze:
1 egg white
1 tsp water (5 mL)
Toasted Sesame Seed Topping:
3 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted (45 mL)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease 2 nonstick muffin top pans (with 6 large forms each).  In food processor with sharp blade or in large bowl with mixer, process cream cheese.  Add eggs, olive oil and vanilla extract; process well on low speed.  In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___, almond flour, OR almond meal, baking powder and baking soda. Add to cream cheese mixture and process until thickened.  Add cheese and process until incorporated.  Place 2 level ice cream scoopfuls in each form (use a spoon to scoop out the dough).  Using a frosting knife, smooth the surfaces and shape the buns. 

Glaze:  In small bowl, whisk egg white and water really well with a fork.  Using a pastry brush (or clean paint brush used for kitchen purposes), brush the tops of the buns (being careful not to go over the circumference).  Repeat once more.

Toasted Sesame Seed Topping:  In dry nonstick pan, toast sesame seeds over medium heat.  Stir while toasting and keep an eye on them as they burn quickly.  Sprinkle buns with toasted sesame seeds. 

Bake in oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool and refrigerate; keep a few out as their texture changes in the refrigerator.  Nuke refrigerated buns briefly or toast them to enjoy again.

Helpful Hints:  *Use 2 cups (500 mL) Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___ and  1/2 cup (125 mL) almond meal, OR almond flour for a slightly lower carb and lower calorie bun and make 2 extra buns (14 buns). If you do not have muffin top pans, line a large cookie sheet with foil and grease well.  Drop the dough onto the foil. Proceed as above.  You can slice these buns into 3 pieces for toasting.

Yield:   12/14 buns
1 bun/alternate amounts*
323.2/277.8 calories
14.6/12.6 g protein
26.2/22.7 g fat
6.0/4.8 g carbs

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Flexible Wraps (GF)



FLEXIBLE WRAPS
Such a quick and easy recipe compared to any of my other soft tortilla recipes. Sorry for the quality of the photo - it was a truly stormy day today.  Lightning, lighting up the dark skies and very loud thunder claps were sounding behind my back while I took photos on the terrace - the only place with half decent lighting.  Make taco meat and fill your tortilla with taco meat, chopped avocado, tomato and shredded Monterey Jack cheese, or your preference.  Serve with sour cream and salsa. 

Update: My friend, Donna, tried this recipe and it was a bit fiddly for her (it was for me as well, but I managed).  The dough was too sticky to work with easily.  I suspect her food processor is more powerful than mine, which is an old dinosaur.  I apologize if anyone else got frustrated with this recipe.  So, I'm thinking cutting down the water to 1/3 cup might be helpful.  She found that dusting the surface with rice flour made for lovely tortillas but that is a bit high-carb for most of us - so using bake mix or almond flour or oat flour would be less carby.  I will test these again and report back soon!

11/4 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (300 mL)
  page___
1 tsp SPLENDA® Granular, (5 mL)
  optional
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (2 mL)
1/2 tsp onion salt (2 mL)
1/2 cup warm water (125 mL) - try 1/3 cup instead

In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___, SPLENDA® Granular if using, xanthan gum and onion salt.  In food processor, combine dry ingredients with warm water.  Process until a sticky dough ball forms.  Allow dough to sit for 15 minutes (becomes less sticky and easier to handle). Form 7 balls (roll them nicely into a firm ball), weighing approximately 1.5 oz (43 g) each.  Between two pieces of plastic wrap, roll dough out to about a 6-inch (15 cm) circular shape.  Remove top sheet of plastic wrap and flip onto a lightly “floured” surface (use bake mix or ground almonds). Remove plastic wrap and place tortilla in small, nonstick frying pan that has been brushed with a small amount of olive oil.  Cook over medium-low heat until brown spots appear underneath, flip and cook briefly on the other side.  Repeat.

Helpful Hint:  Store the wraps in a sealed plastic bag, either at room temperature or in the refrigerator for longer storage.  

Yield:   7 wraps
1 wrap
90.5 calories
3.2 g protein
6.4 g fat
4.1 g carbs

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Donna's Pancakes (GF)





DONNA’S PANCAKES
These lovely, hearty pancakes taste like wholegrain pancakes.  This is a recipe from Donna Hodach-Price, who inspired me to persist in finding a good low-carb and gluten-free bake mix.  She helped with quite a bit of testing as well.  Thank you, Donna!  This recipe is also in the cookbook, Low-Carbing Among Friends, volume-1.  

3 large eggs
2 tbsp light-tasting olive oil, OR (30 mL)
  butter, melted
1/2  cup Hood® Calorie Countdown  (125 mL)
  Milk (this may be discontinued), OR Carolyn’s Low-Carb Milk, OR
  a mixture of whipping cream and water (half and half)  
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 2 tbsp sugar (30 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
1 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___(250 mL)
1 tbsp baking powder (15 mL)
1/4  tsp salt (1 mL)

In food processor, in large bowl with mixer, or in blender combine eggs, olive oil, OR melted butter, Hood® Calorie Countdown Milk, OR Carolyn’s Low-Carb Milk,  OR a mixture of whipping cream and water, liquid sweetener and vanilla extract; process. 

In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, baking powder and salt.  Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients and process at least one minute.  It will thicken up.

Preheat sparingly greased, large nonstick skillet (you definitely want nonstick!) until cold water droplets "dance" when sprinkled on hot surface.   Using a scant 1/4  cup (60 mL) of batter, drop onto hot skillet, about 3 or 4 at a time, without letting them touch.  The batter should spread out to about a 3-inch (7.6 cm) diameter and as the batter gets thicker upon sitting, help spread it out.

Allow to cook until they begin to significantly 'puff'. Then using a flexible pancake turner, lift one edge of the pancake to check the underside. If it's a nice golden color, the pancake is ready to flip and cook on the other side.
 
Yield:   10 pancakes
1 large pancake
103.3 calories
4.1 g protein
8.0 g fat
2.9 g carbs

~~Bits & Bites~~
Donna says, “This recipe is an adaptation of a regular flour recipe I used for years with success.  While this recipe may be suited to someone on a more moderate carb plan, it sure is delicious and definitely beats the rice-based, gluten-free pancake recipe that I used to use which was much higher in carbs.”


For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Coconut Macaroons (GF)


 COCONUT MACAROONS
Easy recipe.  I assume xylitol would work really well or the Stevia blends (but I don’t tolerate those well) in this recipe.  High fiber cookies – what a nice way to get one’s daily fiber. Remember xylitol is deadly for dogs.  I have some in my pantry but I dare not use it on account of little Smiley.

1/3  cup granulated erythritol  (75 mL)
Liquid sucralose to equal 1/3  cup (75 mL)
    SPLENDA® Granular
1/4 cup water (60 mL)
1 tsp honey (5mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2 cups unsweetened coconut (500 mL)
  (finely shredded)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  In medium saucepan, combine erythritol, liquid sucralose, water, honey and salt.  Bring to the boil and boil about 1 minute.  In small bowl, beat egg whites.  In large bowl, combine coconut, syrup and add egg whites gradually until dough forms and it is easy to form small balls.

Using a tablespoon measure with a round bottom, measure dough and using a teaspoon release rounded coconut macaroons onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 8 minutes, turn pan and bake another 4 minutes or until light brown underneath.

Helpful Hints:  I may have boiled the syrup a little longer, so needed the 2 egg whites.  It really depends on the fineness of your coconut as well as the amount of syrup you have.  You want the dough to be just wet enough to easily form rounded cookies.

Yield:   22 macaroons
1 macaroon
63.7 calories
0.9 g protein
5.6 g fat
1.7 g carbs

Low-Carb High Protein Diets For Lowered Cancer Risk



LOW-CARB HIGH PROTEIN DIETS 

FOR LOWERED CANCER RISK

Guest post by Allison Gamble who has been a curious student of psychology since high school. She brings her understanding of the mind to work in the weird world of internet marketing.

My thoughts:  When Allison speaks about bread, think of low-carb bread and when she talks about whole grains, remember we keep that to an absolute minimum in our diet.  We also eat fruit in moderation.  Allison obviously follows a very moderate low-carb diet but for many low-carbers, this is not an option.  However, it is a very important observation - lowering the blood sugar and reducing carbs starves cancer cells. 
Also, the other point I need to make is that many folks think low-carbing is a high protein diet.  It is not meant to be.  It is an adequate protein diet but also a higher FAT diet.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) showed the obesity rate in 2011 as being approximately one-third of the United States population. A typical western diet, high levels of carbs and too many sugary, refined foods, may be to blame for weight issues. Though carbohydrates do have their place in our body's metabolic processes, the common American diet is making us sick, and it's time to change that.

Our bodies look for carbohydrates first when they are in need of energy. They keep the body from using muscle tissue as energy. However, consuming more carbohydrates than your body needs can lead to excess fat storage in the body. It doesn't take a psychology degree to know that food isn't just food: food is comfort, food is love in many cultures. However, only by breaking ourselves of our addiction to the social connotations of food can we change our health for the better.

It turns out that consuming too many carbohydrates might have a greater effect on the body than just weight gain. A study done by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in June of 2011 revealed that humans could likely live healthier on a lower carbohydrate diet. The study took two groups of mice, both injected with cancer cells, and assigned two different diet plans. The first diet was a typical western diet, which is characterized by the study as about 55% carbohydrate, 23% protein and 22% fat. The second group was given a diet that was higher in protein and only contained approximately 15% carbohydrates (comparable to the South Beach Diet). The study found that tumor cells had a slower growth rate in the second group of mice.

Mice that were prone to developing breast cancer were also divided and put on the two diets. The study maintained that the 70% of mice on the high carb diet developed breast cancer, while only 30% of mice on the high protein diet did.  It should be noted that only one mouse in the first group lived what is considered a normal lifespan (about 2 years).

The scientists involved in the AACR study explained that tumor cells need more glucose to grow. The reason the second group of mice had a much lower rate of tumor growth could be explained in their lower carbohydrate diet. The restriction of carbohydrates limited the blood glucose, therefore limiting the tumor growth in the second group of mice. In addition, diets high in protein can boost the immune system, which may explain the reason the mice in the second group had a longer lifespan and lower rate of tumor growth.

What does this mean for humans? The scientists involved in the study ascertain that the findings are significant enough that an effect in humans should be measured. The study suggests that a diet with more protein and less carbohydrates could promote a longer and healthier life.

In the past, it was argued that a lower carbohydrate, higher fat diet could have a detrimental effect on the arteries but recent studies funded by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute showed that this type of diet, when coupled with regular exercise, did not have a harmful effect. The short-term effects of a low-carb, high fat diet were examined and found that no additional stress was put on blood vessels as originally thought.

How do we begin to eat healthier, and get over the love of carbohydrates? Carbs chemically create soothing effects and a short-term burst of energy. They are contained in all the comfort foods we love. But we know that in the long run, they cause weight gain when eaten in excess, and that energy burst will only lead to a crash.

First, start by balancing your diet with complex carbs to limit the cravings for simple carbs or simple sugars. Complex carbs include brown rice, fresh fruits, and whole grains. Second, increase your protein intake. Protein helps to reduce cravings between meals. Making small changes can lead to permanent healthy eating habits and not just temporary, quick fixes.

Eating several smaller meals throughout the day instead of three larger meals is a good start for changing your diet and preventing overeating. Many people say they don’t have time with their busy schedules to eat smaller meals. Some of the meals can be eaten on the go like nuts, a protein shake, fruits, string cheese, or half a sandwich on whole grain bread. Another trick for preventing overeating is a healthy snack before dinner. Toast a piece of whole grain bread (complex carbs), and a teaspoon spread of extra virgin olive oil (Omega 3). Your stomach will feel fuller before the larger meal, and keep you from overeating in the long run. All of these tips can help to prevent that over-full feeling, and promote healthier eating habits in the long run.

Excessive, simple carbohydrates are at least in part responsible for obesity rates, and possibly, after looking at the study by the AACR, the promotion of tumor growth. The American Cancer Society shows breast cancer as being the second leading cause of cancer death among women. Factors like obesity and high cholesterol make one at higher risk of developing these types of diseases.

There are many reasons everyone should choose a healthier way of living. Cravings can be difficult to control and get over, but the AACR only adds to the list of reasons that a change in lifestyle should be made. Eating an unhealthy diet is like putting a ticking time bomb inside our bodies. No one changes overnight, but small changes made over time can aid in promoting a longer and healthier lifespan.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Glazed Lemon Raspberry Bars (GF)



 GLAZED LEMON RASPBERRY BARS
Tart but sweet, moist lemon bars with a hint of raspberry – pretty bars!  This delectable treat is sure to please.  Lovely with a cup of tea and over conversation with a good friend.  Garnish them prettily with flowers from the garden (Impatiens) and they go over even better.   This recipe is from Splendid Low-Carb Desserts which received a makeover to make it completely gluten-free.

Crust:
1 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (250 mL)
  page___
1 cup ground almonds, OR (250 mL)
  almond flour
1/4  cup SPLENDA® Granular (60 mL)
1/2  cup butter, melted (125 mL)
Topping:
2/3  cup raspberry, OR strawberry fruit spread, (150 mL)
  sugarless (raspberry jam sieved to remove seeds)
4 extra-large eggs
Liquid sucralose to equal 11/2 cups (375 mL)
  SPLENDA® Granular
2 tbsp certified gluten-free oat flour (30 mL)
1/2  tsp baking powder (2 mL)
1/2  cup lemon juice (125 mL)
3 tbsp water (45 mL)
Glaze:
3/4  cup powdered erythritol (175 mL)
2 tbsp butter, melted (30 mL)
2 tbsp vanilla whey protein (30 mL)
1 tbsp lemon juice (15 mL)
1 tbsp water (15 mL)

Crust:  Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___,  ground almonds, OR almond flour, SPLENDA® Granular and butter.  Place in 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap; press crust out.  Bake in oven 10 minutes. 

Topping:  In small nonstick saucepan, heat raspberry, OR strawberry fruit spread.  Drizzle over warm crust and spread gently with back of dessert spoon to cover crust.  In food processor, in blender or in bowl with electric mixer, process eggs.  Add liquid sucralose, OR SPLENDA® Granular, oat flour and baking powder; process, scraping sides occasionally.  Add lemon juice and water; process.  Pour over raspberry layer.  Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 15 minutes, or until set.  When cooled, spread glaze gently over top.  Refrigerate and when chilled cut into bars.

Glaze:  In food processor with metal blade or in blender combine powdered erythritol, butter, vanilla whey protein, lemon juice and water.  

Yield:  36 bars
1 bar
71.7 caloires
1.9 g protein
6.1 g fat
2.3 g carbs

Saturday, September 10, 2011

CHICKEN AND BLACK BEAN CHILI


  CHICKEN AND BLACK BEAN CHILI
This chili was different to the chili I normally make with ground beef.  I rather liked this actually.  This is also the first time I started out with dried black beans, rather than the canned variety.  This is a diet maintenance-style recipe.  The eggplant was totally my weird idea and may be replaced with diced red and green peppers and onion, if desired.

2 tbsp olive oil (30 mL)
3 lbs chicken breasts, diced (1.4 kg)
2 tsp minced garlic (10 mL)
2 tbsp chili powder (30 mL)
1/2 tsp seasoning salt (2 mL)
1/2 tsp No Salt (2 mL)
3 cups water (750 mL)
2 Japanese eggplant, diced
2 cups black beans* (500 mL)
51/2 oz can tomato paste (156 mL)
1 tbsp chopped jalapenos, OR to taste (15 mL)
  (canned)

In large skillet, in olive oil, brown chicken and garlic and season with chili powder seasoning salt and No Salt.    Add water and eggplant.  Cook 10 minutes.  Add beans, tomato paste and jalapenos.  If need be, add more water and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes, or until thickened.

Helpful Hints:  *If using dried black beans, place in crock pot and cover with water by a few inches above the beans and leave overnight on low. I did add seasoning salt, black pepper and no salt and after cooking you can add more seasoning, to taste.)  Otherwise, if time is a factor, use canned black beans.

Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
303.0 calories
44.3 g protein
6.5 g fat
12.2 g carbs


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

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

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

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wheat Belly - A Book That is Going to Revolutionize Our Thinking About Wheat



It is a book that is taking America by Storm and soon no doubt the rest of the world will get wind of it.  Certainly the Grain Foods Foundation feels threatened and up in arms.

Here is an interesting podcast interview with Jimmy Moore.

My interjection here:  My husband is losing weight hand over fist and his blood pressure has come down substantially.  He uses half the meds.  He still needs to get off his beloved beer and things would probably be even better; he has a couple of beers maybe once or twice a week. There is gluten-free beer but I think it is expensive - still, he should make the switch.  Incidentally it is not just the weight loss that has affected his blood pressure because when he goes back on gluten, his weight goes up, his belly gets bigger and his blood pressure goes up.  I, on the other hand, have always had low blood pressure, however, I don't doubt I react to too much in the way of grains by gaining weight.  I have seen that time and again - even when I was in my teens and early twenties.  I didn't overdo anything like that until I started writing my Splenda dessert cookbooks and by the end of the second book, I had to seriously diet.  I was only 37 years old.  I know of plenty of people who are not affected by eating grains and stay slim, so I don't think it applies to everyone.

Some people maintain that autoimmune diseases can be caused by gluten.  Maybe that is so but in my case it was definitely a mycoplasma infection that set in when my own immune system defenses were down during a prolonged few years of grieving over the loss of my old family.   If it were not so, I would not get better on a small daily dose of antibiotic.  I am substantially better and only take a tiny amount of thyroid hormone each day; any more and I become seriously hyper and overstimulated.  Here is the article for the skeptics. 



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Heads Up Comments for the Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix


Many people have tried the Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix either in their own favorite recipes or in some of mine and here is some positive feedback all in one place.  This might help encourage some people who are a little worried about trying something so new and with potentially expensive ingredients. Thanks everyone for your wonderful feedback!  Have a great day!  You have sure made many of my days Great!!

Donna Hodach-Price and I keep in touch and she recently wrote me a letter regarding the zucchini loaf she made using her own favorite recipe:

"Once cooled, I sliced a small piece to compare it with the...ughh...OTHER loaf that I made with the commercial mix.  OMG!!! There is NO comparison!!!  

Commercial mix loaf: Heavy, gritty, slimey and that aftertaste I just can't get over!  A non-GF person would easily be able to tell that something was off in the baking. (Remember this is a high carb gluten-free bake mix that Donna used.)

Jennifers mix: Light, smooth and perfectly tasty. There is NO WAY that a non-GF person would be able to tell the difference between the GF zucchini bread and a loaf made with regular flour...actually...my husband likes the texture of the loaf made with the GF mix BETTER than the same recipe made with regular white flour!
Also, recently,  Kathy wrote to me about using my bake mix in her recipe for banana bread (here is my recipe):
Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for posting your low carb gluten free bake mix without flax. I didn't see your tweak on reducing the xanthum gum to .5 tsp from .75 tsp, so hopefully we won't have tummy issues. I've got banana bread in the oven right now, can't wait to see how it turns out. Have you ever tried baking your bread in a ceramic pan? That's what I'm using now, hoping it works out alright. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Thanks,
Kathy
Jennifer said...
Hi Kathy, I have switched back to 3/4 tsp xanthan gum. Typically, unless I really overdo my baking, I don't have any issues these days - thankfully!

I have never tried using a ceramic pan. That should be interesting. I recently bought smaller loaf pans - 8 x 4 inch and definitely nonstick. The bread is super made in that. Also looks bigger because the pan is a bit smaller than the usual 9 x 5 inch.
KathyAC said...
Hi Jennifer,
Kathy, here again following up. The loaf popped right out of the ceramic pan after sitting for about 5 minutes. There was negligible fall in the middle of the loaf. I didn't do sugar free, but your GF bake mix substituted great for a recipe I had. The whole family liked it! Whoo hoo!

I'm thinking of trying your scone recipe next. Have you ever tried holding your batter/dough overnight in the refrigerator to be made the next morning?

Thanks for spending all the time and money developing your mix and sharing it with the world, fantastic!
Kathy

Sherry said about my biscuits:

Hi Jennifer! I just "stumbled" across this site a few days ago, went to the health food store and loaded up on baking ingredients. I must say I've been scared of low carb bread since I tried it many years ago and it was not good…..disgusting, actually! I made the cheese biscuits and breakfast hash this morning.....DELICIOUS!!! Thank you for so much sharing your recipes!

Another person said about my sandwich bread:

I just baked this bread and it's absolutely fabulous! I'm a long-timer who misses bread, but hates the "eggy" or "flaxy" subs. This is so much like real bread! My daughter's friend with Celiac's is going to be thrilled, too. Thanks!

Vicki Allwardt said about my Carrot Cake Loaf:

Carrot Cake and frosting rated a 10 from my hubby! I think you could market this....

High praise from Philis for my Foccacia Bread:

"Jennifer I made this yesterday & really really like it. I made your mix using buckwheat instead of the oat flour. I only made a 1/2 recipe not knowing if it would turn out alright. In my mix (1/2 recipe again: used 1 T less of the Buckwheat & 1 T more of the coconut flour. The foccacia Bread was very good. Next time I plan to add more cheese to make a cheese bread maybe as small rolls for the fun of it. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your creativity. This is the best gluten free bread I have made. Beats just using almond or coconut flour!"


Philis

And the Redhead said:

"Oh, my stars! I'm really late to the game on this one, but I wanted you to know I finally got around to trying this. Wow! I've been low carbing for almost 8 years and have tried many, many recipes for breads that I hated. I don't like flax, either. I have a beautiful 14 month old granddaughter and thankfully, my DD is listening to me and keeping the baby sugar and grain free as much as possible. I just made this bread for her and I know she'll love it. Thank you, thank you, thank you."

Friday, September 2, 2011

Almond Butter Cheesecake Cutouts (GF)


 ALMOND BUTTER CHEESECAKE CUTOUTS
These cute, heart-shaped cheesecake cutouts I made today and served them to my very happy and appreciative hubby over a pleasant tea date in the jungle.  It was a welcome respite from work.  Click on the photo to see a bigger image.


Yield:  14 servings
1 serving
189.0 calories
4.6 g protein
17.9 g fat
2.5 g carbs

Thank you for your interest in my recipes.  Find this cute dessert in Low-Carbing Among Friends.