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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

SHOPSKA SALAD




SHOPSKA SALAD
A Bulgarian favorite that is just the most beautiful, colorful salad.  I have made this salad several times through the years and thought I should share it.  These sorts of salads are great for summer.

4 Roma tomatoes, OR
  medium-sized tomatoes, finely chopped
4 green onions, chopped
Few olives, finely chopped (optional)
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1/cucumber, finely chopped
1/cup chopped fresh parsley, (125 mL)
  (optional)
Dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil (25 mL)
1 tbsp white vinegar (15 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)
1/cup grated Feta cheese, OR more to taste (75 mL)

In large, shallow casserole dish, combine tomatoes, green onions, olives (if using), green pepper, red pepper, cucumber and parsley, if using.

Dressing:  In cereal bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Pour over vegetables and toss to combine.  Sprinkle with Feta cheese.


Helpful Hints:  The green and red peppers may be roasted and the skins removed, if desired.  I liked the parsley in the salad, however, my husband and youngest son did not care for it.

Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
79.2 calories
2.4 g protein
5.8 g fat
0.8 g fiber
4.3 g net carbs 

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

BANANA ALMOND BUTTER COOKIES





Refrigerated, these remind me a little bit of Fig Newtons®.  I’m not exactly sure why…maybe it is the texture. In fact, I am pretty sure that's what it is. Very good!  These cookies are best chilled.

1/cup almond butter (125 mL)
1/3 cup mashed banana (75 mL)
1/cup butter, softened (60 mL)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 3/cup sugar (75 mL)
11/cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, (375 mL)
  (no gelatin typically required with cookies)
2 tsp baking powder (10 mL)
1/tsp baking soda (1 mL)
1/tsp salt (1 mL)
Chocolate Frosting: (makes 1 1/cups)
4 oz spreadable cream cheese (125 g)
Liquid sweetener to equal 1/cup sugar (125 mL)
1/cup almond butter (60 mL)
1/cup vanilla whey protein powder, OR (60 mL)
  from GNC Gold Standard Vanilla (sugar-free) 
2 tbsp unsalted butter (30 mL)
2 tbsp cocoa, OR carob powder (30 mL)
  (add up to 1/cup for a deeper flavor)
1 tbsp whipping cream (15 mL)
  (increase if using more cocoa or carob powder)
1 tsp light-tasting olive oil
1 sweetener packet (the kind for coffee)

In food processor or electric mixer, process almond butter, mashed banana, butter, egg and vanilla extract.  Add liquid sweetener; process.

In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, page___, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add to almond butter mixture and process briefly until combined.  Use 11/tsp (7 mL) measuring spoon to help form into uniform balls. Flatten slightly with back of measuring spoon.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 10 minutes, or until cookies are brown underneath.  Allow to cool on rack.  Garnish cookies with a swirl of chocolate frosting.

Chocolate Frosting:  In food processor or in bowl with electric mixer, process cream cheese, liquid sweetener, almond butter, vanilla whey protein powder, butter, cocoa, OR carob powder, whipping cream, olive oil and packet sweetener.

Variation:  Banana Peanut Butter Cookies:  Use peanut butter instead of almond butter.  (1.6/1.8 g Carbs) 

Helpful Hints:  It is possible to make the frosting without whey protein powder.  Just be cautious when adding cream, as you may not even need it.  Skip the olive oil. There will be slightly less generous frosting for the cookies, but as long as you resist the temptation to eat it….there should be enough!

Yield:  48 cookies
1 cookie, cocoa/carob
68.8/61.4 calories
1.9/1.9 g protein
6.1/6.1 g fat
0.3/0.2 g fiber
1.7/1.9 g net carbs 
CHOCOLATE FROSTING


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Thursday, June 23, 2016

CREAMY CHICKEN MUSHROOM CASSEROLE





CREAMY CHICKEN MUSHROOM CASSEROLE
An easy, tasty supper casserole. Start with a bought roast chicken and what could be simpler?  I have made this recipe  probably a dozens times, just because it is so easy and quick to make, and tastes good too. You can serve it with a salad,  with cauli mask or with cauli-rice or  mix of cauli-rice and a little wild rice or cooked quinoa  for a more substantial "rice."  This recipe comes from South Africa.  It has a tiny amount of curry powder in it...for flavor mostly (no heat, unless you want it).  

1 roasted chicken
12 oz fresh mushrooms (340 g)
1 tbsp butter (15 mL)
Curry Sauce:
1 cup whipping cream (250 mL)
6 tbsp sugar-free ketchup (90 mL)
1/4 cup olive oil (50 mL)
2 tbsp white vinegar (25 mL)
1 tsp mild curry powder (5 mL)
1 tsp dry mustard (5 mL)
Sweetener equal to 1 tsp sugar (5 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
1/8 tsp black pepper (0.5 mL)
Topping:
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (50 mL)
1 tbsp butter (15 mL)

Debone chicken and cut into bite-size pieces. Place in 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) glass baking dish. In large frying pan, fry mushrooms in butter until softened. Layer over chicken.

Curry Sauce: In medium bowl, whisk together whipping cream, low-carb ketchup, olive oil, white vinegar, curry powder, dry mustard, sweetener, salt and pepper.

Pour sauce over chicken and mushroom layers.

Topping: Sprinkle almonds over casserole and dot with butter.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 30 minutes.

Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
342.7 calories
30.1 g protein
26.9 g fat
3.9 g carbs


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Saturday, June 18, 2016

GINGER BEER





GINGER BEER
This is my go-to recipe for making Ginger Beer.  I love it, as it is so easy to make.  Once chilled, it’s ready to use. When I grew up, ginger beer was a very popular drink in South Africa and many people had their own special recipe.  We could buy it, too (I believe one still can), and it was actually called ginger beer, not ginger ale. :)  

Health benefits of GINGER: CLICK HERE

61/4 cups water (1.5 L)
4 oz fresh ginger root (120 g)
Liquid sweetener to equal 1 cup (250 mL)
  sugar
Lemon-lime, OR plain carbonated water , OR diet ginger ale 
  
In large saucepan, place water.  Peel ginger, cut into large pieces and chop finely in food processor or blender.  Add ginger to water.  Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Pour into jug and refrigerate overnight.  Sieve.  Stir in liquid sweetener.  Pour about 1/2 cup (125 mL) ginger syrup in a tall glass and add 1 cup (250 mL) ice cold lemon-lime carbonated spring water, plain carbonated water, OR diet ginger ale.  Enjoy!

Variation:  Ginger Herbal Tea:  Add 3 tbsp (45 mL) ginger syrup to a cup.  Fill with water and heat in microwave oven 1 minute.  Serve with a slice of lemon, if desired. 

Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
minimal calories
0 g protein
0 g fat
0 g fiber
0 g net carbs 


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Monday, June 13, 2016

PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES



PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

I don’t know why, but I’m always looking for another peanut butter chocolate chip cookie.  That said these would be lovely made with almond butter instead! These cookies have a great texture. Keep these in the refrigerator.  Gelatin is rarely required with cookie recipes, so I didn’t use it as per usual.  My cookies can typically be kept in the refrigerator or the freezer.  I usually prefer the former as the chocolate chips get too hard for me in the freezer.

1 egg
1 cup sugar-free peanut butter (250 mL)
1/cup butter, softened (125 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1 cup (250 mL)
  sugar
2 tbsp erythritol, OR 3 sweetener (30 mL)
 packets (the kind for coffee)
2 tbsp whipping cream (30 mL)
2 tsp vanilla extract (10 mL)
13/cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, (425 mL)
1 tsp baking powder (5 mL)
11/cups sugar-free chocolate chips (375 mL)
  (or Look in Walmart for Hershey's sugar-free)

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). 

In food processor, process egg, peanut butter, butter, liquid sweetener, erythritol, OR sweetener packets, whipping cream and vanilla extract.  In medium bowl, stir together Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 and baking powder.  Add to wet ingredients and process.  Form 1 tablespoonful balls.  Place on greased cookie sheet (or line with parchment paper) and using a fork press down gently on all the balls in one direction only, leaving the cookies fairly thick.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes.  Do not over-bake.  Allow to cool completely before removing to dinner plates.  Place in refrigerator to cool completely before storing in a container.

Yield:  40 cookies
1 cookie
111.1 calories
2.6 g protein
8.7 g fat
0.0 g fiber
2.3 g net carbs 

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Friday, June 10, 2016

CHOCOLATE ALMOND BUTTER PUDDING




CHOCOLATE ALMOND BUTTER PUDDING

A healthy pudding with avocado hidden in it.  Avocado gives a lovely texture to chocolate puddings (similar to what banana would without quite so many carbs, although avocados do have carbs...healthy ones!) and the cocoa or carob powder (for those allergic to cocoa, however, the carbs are maintenance level) disguises it quite nicely.  Here is a chocolate pudding you can eat often.  Did you know that avocados have 3x the amount of potassium that bananas have?  That's pretty cool.  Potassium and magnesium are rather crucial supplements to take when low-carbing.  Do be careful as too much magnesium can be harmful and potassium is contra-indicated for some blood pressure medications (clickable link).

2 ripe California avocados
  (1 lb weighed with seed; 0.45 kg)
Liquid sweetener to equal 1/cup (125 mL)
  sugar
1/cup cocoa, OR carob powder (see blurb above) (75 mL)
1/cup almond butter (75 mL)
1/cup spreadable cream cheese (175 mL)
  (3 oz; 90 g)
1/cup powdered erythritol, OR 6 (60 mL)
  packet sweeteners (the kind for coffee) 
1/cup vanilla whey protein (60 mL)
11/2  tsp vanilla extract (7 mL)
Coarsely chopped almonds for garnish

In food processor or blender, process avocados, liquid sweetener, cocoa, OR carob powder, almond butter, spreadable cream cheese, powdered erythritol, vanilla whey protein and vanilla extract until smooth.  Garnish with chopped almonds (I used my food processor blade to chop raw almonds.) and chill until serving time.

Yield:  4 servings
1 serving
387.3 calories
11.8 g protein
34.7 g fat
4.1 g fiber
11.3 g net carbs

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE BARS





PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE BARS

A rich dessert that my husband raved and raved about!  The crust has a real snap to it due to the chocolate layer on top of it. Delicious!  Three easy steps to make this delicious treat that takes a good while to finish!

Crust:
1 cup ground almonds (250 mL)
1 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (250 mL)
Sweetener to equal 1/4 cup sugar (60 mL)
1/tsp salt (1 mL)
1/cup butter, melted (75 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
Chocolate layer:
3 oz sugar-free chocolate chips, OR (90 g)
  70% Lindt chocolate bar
3 oz cocoa butter, OR more chocolate (90 g)
3 tbsp unsalted butter (45 mL)
Sweetener, to taste
Cream Cheese Filling:
16 oz regular cream cheese (500 g)
Liquid Sweetener  (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1 cup sugar (250 mL)
1/cup sugar-free peanut butter (125 mL)
1/cup whipping cream (75 mL)
1/cup unsalted butter (60 mL)
1 tbsp raisins, optional (15 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
Unsweetened cocoa sprinkle

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). 

Crust: In medium bowl, combine ground almonds, Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, sweetener and salt.  In small bowl, combine melted butter and vanilla extract.  Stir into crust ingredients.  Turn out crust dough into a 9 x 13-inch (2 L) baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and press out evenly to cover the dish.  Bake 12 minutes.

Chocolate layer:  In a double boiler or use 2 pots (one bigger and one smaller) with water in the bottom pot, place the chocolate chips, OR Lindt chocolate and cocoa butter, OR more chocolate and butter.  Allow to melt completely, stirring occasionally.  Allow to cool enough to taste-test, and then stir in sweetener to taste (this is very much dependent on how sweet your chocolate mixture is).  Pour over the cooled baked crust.  Place in the refrigerator or freezer for the chocolate layer to harden.

Cream Cheese Filling:  In food processor, process cream cheese, sweetener, peanut butter, whipping cream, unsalted butter, raisins (if using) and vanilla extract.  Pour over the chocolate layer and refrigerate.  Sprinkle the top with cocoa.

Yield:  24 LARGE bars 
Like a slice of cheesecake
256.6 calories
4.9 g protein
24.0 g fat
0.5 g fiber
3.5 g net carbs 

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Monday, June 6, 2016

HORSERADISH SHRIMP DIP


HORSERADISH SHRIMP DIP
Serve this dip with salad shrimp hung decoratively over side of a dip bowl.   A sophisticated dip and oh-so-good with shrimp (0 g carbs for the shrimpies -  almost - 0.2 grams for 100 grams shrimp).

1/2 cup Mayonnaise (125 mL)
2 tbsp tomato paste (25 mL)
1 tbsp lemon juice (15 mL)
1 tbsp prepared horseradish (15 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1 tsp sugar (5 mL)
1/4 tsp hot chili powder (1 mL)

In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, tomato paste, lemon juice, horseradish, liquid sweetener and chili powder. Stir well.

Helpful Hints: Serve with a few shrimp and/or raw induction-style veggies.

Yield: 3/4 cup, 1 tsp per serving
23.4 calories
0.1 g protein
2.5 g fat
0.1 g fiber
0.2 g net carbs

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Friday, June 3, 2016

BACON CHEDDAR SQUASH CAKES




BACON CHEDDAR SQUASH CAKES

Fabulous way to prepare squash.  I use my food processor attachment in order to grate the squash You won’t miss a starchy side with these on your plate! Great served with sour cream.  I have made all kinds of squash cakes in my time.  This recipe is very tasty!

5 cups grated squash, Ayote, OR Butternut (1.25 mL)
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese (250 mL)
5 slices bacon, cooked and cut into pieces
  (reserve bacon fat)
3 eggs
1 tsp seasoning salt (5 mL)
1 tsp black pepper (5 mL)
1/tsp onion salt (1 mL)
Sour cream for serving (optional)

In large bowl, place squash, grated Cheddar cheese and bacon bits.  In small bowl whisk eggs together with seasoning salt, black pepper and onion salt.  Stir into squash mixture and form 20 cakes. 

In frying pan in a little bacon fat, fry squash cakes a few at a time over medium heat.  Flip when set and cook until both sides are golden brown in spots.  Serve with sour cream.

Yield:  20 servings
1 serving
47.9 calories
3.9 g protein
3.2 g fat
0.1 g fiber
0.6 g net carbs

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SKILLET TUNA VEGGIE ALFREDO





SKILLET TUNA VEGGIE ALFREDO

The flavors of this dish are so good!  I could really overeat on this one.  So quick and easy to make and is great cold out of the refrigerator as well (with the avocado in it…when cold, you can almost imagine you are eating a tuna salad).  Very good!

2 cans chunk tuna, drained
2 tbsp butter (30 mL)
11/cups chopped onion (300 mL)
3 small bell peppers, chopped
Alfredo Sauce:
8 oz regular cream cheese (250 g)
1/cup whipping cream (125 mL)
1/cup water (125 mL)
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese (45 mL)
1 tsp garlic (5 mL)
  (bottled kind)

1 avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped

In medium bowl, place tuna.

In large skillet, in butter, over medium heat, cook onion until turning soft.  Add peppers and cook until as tender as you would like them.  Add vegetables to the bowl of tuna.

Alfredo Sauce:  In same skillet, combine cream cheese (cut it up), whipping cream, water, Parmesan cheese and garlic.  Cook until all the cream cheese has melted and the sauce is lovely, thick and smooth…use a whisk.  Add tuna and vegetables, stirring to incorporate well.  Heat gently, top with chopped avocado and serve.  If you like zucchini noodles, you can serve this over zucchini noodles.  If you are in maintenance, you may like Dreamfield’s pasta or you can serve it over your favorite low-carb bread, toasted.

Yield:  5 servings
1 serving
414.6 calories
29.6 g protein
29.4 g fat
0.7 g fiber
7.8 g net carbs

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