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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS




VANILLA PEAR MUFFINS (SEE BLUEBERRY MUFFIN VARIATION BELOW)

A delicious muffin with a tender, cake-like texture. Try all the variations!  I knew my vanilla pear muffin batter would make a great blueberry muffin and I was correct!  One or two slight changes and a beautiful new recipe was born.  Blueberry muffins are possibly one of the most popular muffins.  Blueberries are a great choice as they are high in anti-oxidants and not too carby and low on the glycemic index.  As well, they have been reported in recent studies to improve memory.


21/4 cups Gluten-FreeBake Mix,(560 mL)
2 tsp baking powder (10 mL)
1/2 tsp baking soda (2 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
3 eggs
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 2/3  cup sugar (150 mL)
1/3 cup light-tasting olive oil (75 mL)
1/4 cup granulated erythritol (60 mL)
1 tsp unflavored gelatin (5 mL)
2 tsp real vanilla extract (10 mL)
1/2 cup low-carb milk (125 mL)
11/4 cups diced pears (300 mL)

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

In food processor, process eggs.  Add liquid sweetener, olive oil, erythritol, gelatin and vanilla; process.  Add half dry ingredients and half milk; process.  Repeat, scraping sides once or twice.  Fold pears into muffin batter. Fill 12 greased, regular-sized muffin cups in a muffin tin 3/4 –full.  Place in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).  Bake 25 minutes, or until pointy knife or cake tester inserted in a muffin comes out clean.


Yield:  12 muffins
1 muffin
182.1 calories
5.3 g protein
14.1 g fat

6.9 g net carbs



Variations:  Spiced Pear Muffins:  Reduce vanilla extract to 1/2 tsp (2 mL) and add 2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ginger and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg to the dry ingredients. (7.2 g carbs)

Blueberry Muffins:  Add 11/4  cups (300 mL) frozen blueberries, tossed with an extra 2 tbsp (30 mL) Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___, before folding into the muffin batter.  (6.5 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, July 25, 2013

CREAM CHEESE CREPES WITH BLUEBERRY SAUCE




CREAM CHEESE CREPES WITH BLUEBERRY SAUCE
If desired use the lower carb options HERE or HERE.  I love my low-carb crepes, however, the other two options are excellent as well, if you want an ultra low-carb crepe feast.  I think I'm a bit weird as I like any of these crepes way more than almost any high-carb bread that I can remember.  I love them buttered with my Healthy Butter and low-sugar preserves.  Yum and double yum!!  

Crepes:
1 cup Hood® Calorie Countdown (250 mL)
  OR almond milk
 6 large eggs
3/cup gluten-free oat flour (175 mL)
1/4  cup butter, melted (60 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 4 tsp sugar (20 mL)  Sucralose or Stevia
1/4  tsp xanthan gum (1 mL)
2 tbsp olive oil (30 mL)
Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz cream cheese, softened (250 g) - can use spreadable cream cheese
6 tbsp sour cream, OR yogurt (90 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 1/cup sugar (125 mL)
Blueberry Sauce:
1/cup water (125 mL)
1 tsp cornstarch (5 mL)
2 cups frozen, unsweetened blueberries (500 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 1/cup sugar (125 mL)
1 tbsp powdered erythritol (15 mL)

Crepes:  In food processor or blender, combine Hood® Calorie Countdown milk, OR Carolyn’s Low-Carb Milk, OR almond milk, eggs, oat flour, butter, liquid sweetener and xanthan gum.  Process well, stopping to scrape sides of food processor or blender a couple of times.  Into cereal bowl, pour olive oil.  Using a pastry brush, brush a tiny amount of oil to cover a 6-inch (15 cm) nonstick pan.  Pour 3 tbsp (45 mL) crepe batter in pan (tilt to cover) and cook over medium low heat until edges turn brown and bubbles form.  Flip crepe and cook the other side briefly.  Transfer to a dish with a lid to keep the crepes warm.

Cream Cheese Filling:  In food processor or blender, process cream cheese, sour cream and liquid sweetener until smooth.

Blueberry Sauce:   In small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water. In large pot, add cornstarch mixture, blueberries, liquid sweetener and powdered erythritol.  Over medium heat, bring sauce to the boil and stir until thickened.

Crepe Assembly:  Spread crepes with cream cheese filling and place in 9 x 13-inch (2 L) casserole dish.  Pour warm sauce over the crepes.  Serve immediately.

Helpful Hints:  My hubby cannot tolerate xanthan gum these days, so I will be trying my crepes without that in the future.  Hopefully they are still just as flexible.

Yield:  20 filled crepes
1 crepe with sauce
125.7 calories
4.1 g protein
10.0 g fat
4.5 g net carbs

Crepes on their own: 72.9 calories; 2.8 g protein; 5.7 g fat; 2.4 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! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

BROCCOLI, BACON AND SWISS-MONTEREY STUFFED CHICKEN



BROCCOLI, BACON AND SWISS-MONTEREY STUFFED CHICKEN WITH AN ITALIAN DRESSING
Tender stuffed chicken baked in an Italian dressing.  My husband loved this dinner.  My eggplant parmigiana is in the background with some mixed veggies next to it.  The Italian dressing is a useful recipe for salads as well.  Wholesome dinners on our low-carb diet with plenty of delicious fat and bacon and creamy sauces .... are totally legal!  Now, that's just like the late Dr. Atkins said, to quote him, "The low-carb diet is a luxurious diet!"

4 chicken breasts
11/2  cups cooked broccoli florets (375 mL)
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1.5 oz Swiss cheese slices, broken up (45 g)
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (250 mL)
Italian Dressing:
1/cup olive oil (75 mL)
3 tbsp white vinegar (45 mL)
1 tsp crushed garlic (5 mL)
3/tsp onion salt (3 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
1/2 tsp Italian herb seasoning (2 mL)
1/tsp dried thyme (1 mL)
1/tsp dried parsley (1 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).    Wash chicken breasts and remove any bone chips.  In medium bowl, combine broccoli, bacon, Swiss and Monterey Jack cheese.  Carefully slice the chicken breasts open widthwise, butterfly-style (not all the way through to the other edge).  Open each breast along the fold and fill with a quarter of the broccoli mixture.

Place stuffed chicken breasts in 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) casserole dish.  Pour Italian Dressing over chicken breasts.  Bake 45 minutes to an hour, or until chicken breasts are cooked through and no longer pink inside.  Smaller chicken breasts will be ready first. Baste chicken breasts with the dressing a few times during cooking.

Italian Dressing:  In small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, onion salt, salt, Italian herb seasoning, thyme and parsley. 


Helpful Hint:  If you would prefer a less acidic dressing, use 1 (5 mL) to 2 tsp (10 mL) vinegar.  


Yield:  4 servings
1 serving
410.0 calories
38.2 g protein
27.2 g fat

1.9 g net 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! 

VANILLA PEAR MUFFINS




VANILLA PEAR MUFFINS

A delicious muffin with a tender, cake-like texture and pockets of delicious pear "jam". When I was young mother, I used to enjoy a day spent in the Eaton's Center - a shopping mall - in Calgary, Alberta.  One of the first things I'd do, one child holding my hand and another in a pram (stroller) is head to "Mmmmm Muffins" to buy a couple of muffins and a coffee. I shared my muffins with the boys. Muffins are comfort food for sure.  Anyway, that's how I loved to start my day with the children in the shopping mall.  By the time Daniel went to school (he went to school for the first few years before we switched to home schooling (through Alberta Distance Learning Center) since we always lived a good distance from the nearest schools), before grocery shopping, Jonathan and I would stop at "Cinnabon" to share a huge cinnamon bun.  He loves them to this day, but since he mostly low-carbs, it is a rare treat.  Yep, I was not always health conscious or even aware that what I was consuming was not healthy.  It was only later when I had trouble losing weight and was later diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (I am now in remission) that I began low-carbing.  That's when I switched my focus from regular, sugar-free baking with white flour to low-carb baking.  It was quite the learning curve and in 1999 my cookbook was one of the very first out there.  I was blazing a trail with not much to learn from.  My low-carb cooking and baking has evolved and gone from gluten-filled goodies to gluten-free goodies.  I don't think everyone needs to stay away from gluten so strictly, however, I recognized a trend towards gluten-free eating and decided to follow that trend to continue to help others stay on their low-carb diet.  

21/4  cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (560 mL)
2 tsp baking powder (10 mL)
1/2  tsp baking soda (2 mL)
1/2  tsp salt (2 mL)
3 eggs
Liquid sweetener to equal 2/3  cup (150 mL)
  sugar
1/3  cup light-tasting olive oil (75 mL)
1/4  cup granulated erythritol (60 mL)
21/4  tsp unflavored gelatin (11 mL)
2 tsp real vanilla extract (10 mL)
1/2  cup low-carb milk (125 mL)
11/4  cups diced pears (300 mL)

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

In food processor, process eggs.  Add liquid sweetener, low-carb milk, olive oil, erythritol, gelatin and vanilla; process.  Add half dry ingredients and half milk; process.  Repeat, scraping sides once or twice.  Fold pears into muffin batter. Fill 12 greased, regular-sized muffin cups in a muffin tin 3/4 –full.  Place in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).  Bake 25 minutes, or until pointy knife or cake tester inserted in a muffin comes out clean.


Variation:  Spiced Pear Muffins:  Reduce vanilla extract to 1/2  tsp (2 mL) and add 2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon, 1/2  tsp (2 mL) ginger and 1/4  tsp (1 mL) nutmeg to the dry ingredients. (7.2 g carbs)

Yield:  12 muffins
1 muffin
182.1 calories
5.3 g protein
14.1 g fat
6.9 g net carbs

Saturday, July 13, 2013

SKILLET CHICKEN IN MUSHROOM SAUCE


SKILLET CHICKEN IN MUSHROOM SAUCE

This is an incredibly flavorful recipe that once you've made it, you’ll probably make it again and again.  Definitely counts as comfort food!  Serve with cauli-mash or my Veggie Au Gratin Casserole.   I need to make this again.  You can add a bit of turmeric to the mushroom soup.  Turmeric is a wonderful anti-inflammatory spice.

4 chicken breasts
1 tbsp butter (15 mL)
2 tbsp olive oil (30 mL)
1 onion, sliced
11/4  cups canned, sliced mushrooms (300 mL)
1 clove of garlic, minced
Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, (Homemade soup - Please click the highlighted text and scroll down past the crepes.  Thank you!)
  page___ (use 1/2  tsp (2 mL) xanthan gum or a bit of arrowroot powder or cornstarch)
2/3  cup water (150 mL)
1/2  tsp dried thyme (2 mL)
1/4  tsp dried rosemary (1 mL)
1/4  cup half and half (60 mL)
Salt and pepper, to taste

In large, nonstick skillet, brown chicken in butter on both sides over medium high heat.  Remove and set aside.  In olive oil, stir-fry onion over medium heat until translucent and turning brown.  Add mushrooms and stir-fry 4 minutes.  Add garlic and stir-fry 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add Condensed Mushroom Soup, page___ and water, thyme and rosemary.  Add chicken and cook covered over low heat 30 to 40 minutes, or until internal temperature of chicken registers 165°F (74°C).  Remove smaller pieces of chicken first and test the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer (overcooking chicken makes it less tender).  Stir in half and half and salt and pepper, to taste.  When all chicken has been removed (place in covered dish in warm oven that has been switched off).  Cook mushroom sauce until thickened as desired.

Yield:  4 servings
1 serving
478.7 calories
32.5 g protein
34.7 g fat
7.7 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, July 12, 2013

MONTEREY BARBECUE CHICKEN AND BACON





MONTEREY BARBECUE CHICKEN AND BACON
This was really delicious paired with sautéed Red Cabbage and Apple (recipe coming) and Vegetable Au Gratin.  It's a beautiful day in paradise (well, is there really such a place on earth?  Doubtful.), but when it is beautiful on our mountain, it sure is lovely.  We're in the rainy season now and we do get a LOT of rain, but it is very green and pretty with tons of beautiful flowers and most days we see the sun, if not for just a few hours. Having lived almost 30 years in Canada and each year saying good-bye to my garden for many months, this is a treat and I never grow tired of it.  However, I think some people would get bored with fewer seasons.  On the mountain it is spring or summer and in the lowlands at the ocean it is always summer.  Even although the sun is shining, today is a "cold" day for us.  We feel it when the temperature drops several degrees.  I'm wearing my favorite Hawaiian-style dress with a sweater, but my feet feel cold.  I need to go and stand in that lovely sun for a while and warm up, but first I wanted to share this recipe with you all.  Have a wonderful day everyone wherever you are!  I'm sure it is your paradise on earth.  Every place practically has its own charm and fun places to visit.  I know - I've lived many places and loved them all!!

12 slices bacon
4 chicken breasts (some may be smaller and
  the others larger)
16 tsp Barbecue Sauce (80 mL)  (CLICK for recipe)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack (250 mL)
  cheese, divided 

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Cook bacon on bacon rack or on dinner plate covered with paper towel in microwave oven 1 minute (this shortens the cooking time otherwise the bacon might not be adequately cooked for the smaller pieces of chicken). Wrap rinsed chicken breasts completely with 3 slices bacon each.  Place on jelly roll pan and bake 35 minutes.  Check all the chicken breasts for internal temperature periodically, keeping in mind that chicken is done when it reaches 165°F (74°C).  

Increase oven temperature to 400°F (200°C) and bake another 10 minutes.  At this stage though the bigger chicken breasts should reach 160°F (71°C) for the bigger pieces and close to 165°F (74°C) for the smaller pieces of chicken.  Now remove the pan from oven and slather the smaller pieces of chicken with 4 tsp (20 mL) Barbecue Sauce.  Cover each with 1/4  cup (60 mL) shredded Monterey Jack cheese.  Place pan with all chicken breasts back in the oven and bake another 5 minutes and check internal temperature of all the chicken breasts.  Set aside the cooked smaller pieces.  Now repeat and slather each of the larger chicken breasts with 4 tsp (20 mL) Barbecue Sauce and cover with 1/4  cup (60 mL) shredded Monterey Jack cheese.  Bake 7 more minutes until cheese has melted and internal temperature of chicken is correct.

Helpful Hint:  An instant-read thermometer is invaluable for checking that meats are thoroughly cooked, especially chicken and pork.  Smaller chicken breasts will be done sooner.  Don't overcook otherwise chicken will become tough.

Yield:  4 servings
1 serving
401.8 calories
52.5 g protein
16.7 g fat
7.4 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! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

LOW-CARB DINNER - SEE ANY DEPRIVATION HERE?


Roast chicken, Broccoli, Veggie Au Gratin Casserole and Butternut Squash Cakes....hmm, I think we live well on this WOL.  Enjoy your week.  I'm very busy editing volume 4 of Low-Carbing Among Friends.  Don't forget the sale, $5 off each cookbook, Low-Carbing Among Friends volumes one, two and three.  Now is a good time to make use of the discounts and get your books to help you enjoy meals like the one above.

TUNA MELT SPREAD



TUNA MELT SPREAD
I was hungry one day and just stood at the counter making this up on the fly.  I was surprised at how tasty this spread is.  Better than low-carb crackers would be using English cucumber slices.  Even although the photo doesn't do it justice, this is a delicious, quickie snack for two.  

1 can flaked tuna (170 g)
4 oz regular cream cheese (125 g)
1/2  cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (125 mL)
1/2  tsp dried parsley (2 mL)
1/2  cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (125 mL)

Open can of tuna and pour off water.  Press tuna with back of spoon to drain further.  In medium bowl, place cream cheese.  Place side plate over top and microwave cream cheese 50 seconds.  Stir in tuna, 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Monterey Jack cheese and parsley.  Place in small 4-inch (10 cm) square casserole dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and a little extra parsley, if desired.  Microwave 35 seconds or until heated through and cheese has melted on top. Serve with sliced cucumbers or low-carb crackers for a super treat.  It may also be used on low-carb bread or toast.

Yield:  2 servings
1 serving
490.8 calories
38.1 g protein
36.1 g fat
2.4 g carbs

Sunday, July 7, 2013

VEGETABLE AU GRATIN CASSEROLE

I love my Vegetable Au Gratin dish and make it often enough that I've perfected the recipe.  The topping is now crispy and much nicer and I changed the recipe instructions a bit.


This is how my Vegetable Au Gratin Casserole looked before - the topping looked insipid.



VEGETABLE AU GRATIN CASSEROLE
This Vegetable Au Gratin is a gorgeous-looking casserole (not in the pic above necessarily as we'd already eaten some of it and then as an afterthought I took a photo to show you how I've improved on the topping) that you can serve to your family, take along to parties and so on.  It’s really good!  Instead of carrots, you can add another veggie of your choice.  I'll admit that because we have a small potato occasionally when we're eating out, I will sometimes add one small, cooked and sliced potato or some cooked sweet potato to this dish along with the chayotes and it tastes amazingly authentic.  Obviously this makes the dish a maintenance-style dish for most of us, so keep the veggies more low-carb if you're in a stricter phase of the Atkins diet.  Let me think.  Fresh pumpkin cut in chunks and cooked would be a nice lower-carb alternative to the carrots and would add the orange color.  Mushrooms and leeks are two lovely veggies that would go well in this casserole.

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!

1 medium cauliflower head
3 small carrots
2 chayotes
Cheese Sauce, page___ (doubled)
Topping:
1/2  cup shredded Monterey Jack (125 mL)
  cheese
1/3  cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix (75 mL)
2 tbsp butter, melted (30 mL)

In large pot, place cauliflower chunks and sliced carrots.  Add hot water to cover.  Cook until tender.  In separate pot, cook sliced chayotes in boiling water, about 14 minutes.  Drain vegetables.  Place vegetables in pretty oval 2-qt (2 L) capacity casserole dish or in 9 x 13-inch (2 L) casserole dish.  Place vegetables in 350°F (180°C) oven until piping hot.

Prepare Cheese Sauce (double the recipe and add 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt).  Pour hot sauce immediately over hot vegetables.  Sprinkle with a little extra shredded cheese and bake 5 or 10  minutes more.  Remove and sprinkle with crispy topping and serve.


Topping:  In small bowl, combine Monterey Jack cheese, Gluten-Free Bake Mix and melted butter.   Bake in oven until crispy and evenly brown – usually about 25 to 30 minutes.  Check after 25 minutes.

Yield:  10 servings
1 serving
290.0 calories
10.2 g protein
24.6 g fat
6.1 g net carbs

Thursday, July 4, 2013

LOW-CARBING AMONG FRIENDS 4TH OF JULY COOKBOOK SALE

Read all about it!  Good price on the COOKBOOKS - save $5 per book!  Have a happy 4th of July vacation!

http://amongfriends.us/

Volume 1 is now a BEST SELLER!!!!




MOLTEN CHEESE, VEGGIE AND CHICKEN EGGPLANT BOATS



MOLTEN CHEESE, VEGGIE AND CHICKEN EGGPLANT BOATS
This is quicker than making Eggplant Parmigiana and just as tasty!  The presentation is fun and looks quite fancy.  This makes for a substantial side.  Add some sausage and a salad or another side and you have a lovely meal.  Let's face it.  Most of our good carbs come from veggies.  I love vegetables and it makes a big difference to my meal if our vegetables are interesting, tasty and well thought out.  Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables, but I realize not everyone has an acquired taste for eggplant.  However, if you do, count yourself blessed as there is so much one can do with this vegetable.


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!

3 Japanese eggplants
1 tbsp olive oil (15 mL)
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp crushed garlic (5 mL)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (411 g)
1/tsp oregano (2 mL)
1/tsp basil (2 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
1/cup water (125 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 2 tsp sugar, (optional) (10 mL)
1 cup diced, cooked chicken (250 mL)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (250 mL)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Wash eggplants, dry and cut them in half lengthwise.  Cut out the pulp, leaving a skinny rim around the edges and on the bottom of the boat.  Dice pulp.

In large saucepan, in olive oil, cook diced eggplant and onion a few minutes.  Add crushed garlic; stir fry l minute.  Add diced tomatoes, oregano, basil and salt.   Add water and liquid sweetener.  Simmer until moisture evaporates.  Stir in cooked, warm chicken.

Fill eggplant boats with veggie and chicken mixture and sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese.  Bake in oven 20 to 25 minutes, or until eggplant rims test soft to the tip of a paring knife and cheese is golden.  If desired, sprinkle warm eggplant boats with more cheese.

Yield:  6 eggplant boats
1 boat (half eggplant)
110.3 calories
6.1 g protein
6.3 g fat
8.3 g net carbs

Helpful Hint:  The sweetener is just to balance out flavors.