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Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Our son, Jonathan, almost single-handedly polished off this pie.  It is very rich with a thick topping of Crème Fraiche and drizzled with a delicious Caramel Sauce.  It's almost American Thanksgiving again.  Here is an interesting link about how the American Thanksgiving came about:

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days.

1 Single Piecrust,  (see recipe below)

15 oz can pumpkin (425 g)
Sugar substitute* to equal 1 cup (250 mL)
2 eggs, slightly beaten with fork
11/tsp pumpkin pie spice (7 mL)
1/tsp salt (0.5 mL)
3/cup half and half, OR heavy cream (175 mL)
Caramel Sauce, page___

Single Piecrust:  Prepare Single Piecrust with straight edge in deep 9-inch (23 cm) glass baking dish as described, however, do not bake.

Filling:  In medium bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar substitute, eggs, pumpkin pie spice and salt.  Whisk lightly.  Gradually add half and half, while whisking.  Pour over prepared crust. Place pie in oven and cover lightly with foil tent (do not allow foil to touch filling).  Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven 50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted near center comes out clean.

Let cool on wire rack.  When it reaches room temperature, cover surface gently with Crème Fraiche and refrigerate. 

Caramel Sauce:  Prepare Caramel Sauce.  Warm sauce in the microwave oven just before serving and drizzle caramel sauce over each slice of pumpkin pie.

Helpful Hints:  *I used a new sweetener called Natural Mate, which is a concentrated form of sucralose and erythritol combined.  They also make a stevia/erythritol blend, if you prefer.  The sweeteners come in a container with a mini scoop that has a long handle to measure the fine, white powder.  Actually, the also have a new product - a granular form of erythritol/sucralose combo or erythritol/stevia combo - it measures 1 cup = 2 cups sugar equivalent.  I haven't tried that one yet, but it sounds great!

Yield:  10 servings
1 serving/with sauce
249.6/293.2 calories
6.3/7.0 g protein
21.0/25.3 g fat
8.3/8.7 g carbs


The problem is erythritol will recrystallize again, but with the 2 egg yolks instead of having great big, chunky chunks, it’s more of a sandy texture, which is more acceptable.  Quickly nuking the sauce, however, renders it smooth again.  So nuke and serve!  The other alternative is to find/use a sweetener with bulk that doesn’t recrystallize; possibly xylitol (but this is deadly for dogs and can upset some people’s tummies) or polydextrose, but those two are out for me. "Just like sugar®", according to Maria Emmerich works well in Caramel sauces.

1/2  cup powdered erythritol (125 mL)
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp butter (30 mL)
2 tbsp heavy cream (30 mL)
2 tbsp water (30 mL)
1 to 11/2  tsp molasses (5-7 mL)
1/2  tsp vanilla extract (2 mL)

In small saucepan over medium heat, combine powdered erythritol, egg yolks, butter, cream, water and molasses.  Bring to a boil and boil around 1 minute, or until the mixture bubbles up and turns caramel in color.  Serve immediately or refrigerate and microwave again briefly before serving over a dessert.

Helpful Hint:  I’m thinking honey might work instead of molasses and sugar-free honey would probably work as well.

Yield:  3/4  cup (175 mL)
1 tbsp per serving
36.3 calories
0.5 g protein
3.6 g fat
0.5 g net carbs


This is a lower-carb and more substantial crust that tastes great.

11/4  cups Gluten-free Bake Mix 1 (300 mL)
3 oz cream cheese, softened (90 g)
2 tbsp powdered erythritol, optional (30 mL)
1 tbsp butter, softened (15 mL)
1/4  tsp baking soda (1 mL)
1/8  tsp salt (0.5 mL)

In food processor or in bowl with electric mixer, process Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1, page___, cream cheese, powdered erythritol (if using), butter, baking soda and salt until mixed.  Form a ball with dough using your hands and cover with plastic wrap.  Chill dough about 1 hour or freeze for quicker chilling.

Roll dough out (if crumbly, chill longer) between two sheets of parchment paper to fit shallow 9-inch (23 cm) glass pie dish.  Remove top sheet of paper.  Pick up sheet with dough and invert over pie dish.  Remove paper.  Use small rolling pin or small cylindrical object in pie dish, if necessary, to further roll dough.  Patch dough where required.  A straight edge up the sides is practical.  Push down slightly from edge onto dough with thumbs and this will make a slightly thicker border for the crust.  Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 10 minutes.

Yield:  10 servings
1 serving
101.3 calories
3.1 g protein
8.3 g fat
3.2 g net carbs

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

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Sunday, October 27, 2013



This cake looks very attractive and has wonderful height for a one-layer cake.  The texture is perfect now - drier than before and more cake-like.  If you are looking for a blueberry coffee cake that will impress your guests, look no further!  This is the nicest low-carb and gluten-free Blueberry Coffee Cake I have made to date.  I knew after I made the Overnight Blueberry Coffee Cake, that I needed to make another one - a fancier cake - a more sophisticated cake - and this is it!!  You can see I could barely wait for the cake to cool down before I frosted it!  LOL  However, the frosting held up well, as I had it in the freezer for 20 minutes or so.  Do wait for the cake to cool completely before frosting.  Don't follow my bad example.  I just couldn't wait to taste it, but you know I still have to frost it, then set up the photo shoot and take photos and more photos.  I'm not pretending to be a great photographer or food stylist. Sometimes I do better than at other times.  Ironically, my husband's hobby is cameras and photography, but he doesn't have patience, so I do it myself rather than involve him at all.  Still, he would probably take better pictures.  I have a nice camera lens though and that helps a lot.  

3 eggs
1/cup butter, melted (60 mL)
2 tbsp sour cream (30 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 2/cup sugar (150 mL)
1/cup granulated erythritol (75 mL)
11/2  tsp vanilla extract (7 mL)
21/2  cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1, (625 mL)
1 tsp baking powder (5 mL)
1/2  tsp baking soda (2 mL)
1/tsp salt (1 mL)
3/cup low-carb milk, OR (175 mL)
  almond milk, OR mixture of cream and water
11/2  cups frozen blueberries (NOT fresh) (375 mL)
1 tbsp Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1 (15 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  Grease an 8-inch (20 cm) nonstick springform pan and dust with bake mix. In food processor, process eggs, butter, and sour cream.  Add liquid sweetener, erythritol and vanilla extract; process very well. 

In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir well.  Add half the dry ingredients with half the “milk” of choice and process; repeat.  In medium bowl, combine frozen blueberries and 1 tbsp (15 mL) Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1.  Stir into batter.  The batter will be very thick (this is normal – the frozen blueberries will help moisten the batter while the cake bakes).  Drop batter in prepared springform pan, smoothing the surface with the back of a spoon.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until turning light brown in places and a knife inserted in cake comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely on a cake rack.  Run knife around perimeter of springform pan and release cake.  Frost with Vanilla Cream Frosting, OR Better than Betty Frosting, if desired. 

Helpful Hints:  Keep at room temperature for 24 hours, but after that make sure to cover and refrigerate the cake.  Take out 2 hours before serving again.  

Yield:  12/16 servings
1 serving
168.4/126.3 calories
5.9/4.4 g protein
13.2/9.9 g fat
5.3/4.0 g net carbs

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

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Friday, October 25, 2013



A super-easy fudgey confection that is reminiscent of Reese’s pieces. You will need cocoa butter, fortunately available at It is great to have on hand for several of my candy recipes.  Here is another Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Recipe.  I think low-carb fudge is very good.  I'm not fond of real fudge as it is way too sweet, but low-carb is not only legal, but also tastes better, in my opinion. Who wants to bite into a sugar cube?  That's how real fudge tastes like to me.  

1 cup chocolate chips*,   (250 mL) (See OPTIONS below in Helpful Hints)
  sugarless (6 oz, 180 g)
1/4 cup powdered erythritol (60 mL)
Liquid sweetener (stevia or sucralose), to taste** (125 mL)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (125 mL)
In a double boiler or heavy-bottomed pan, combine chocolate chips, cocoa butter and sweetener.  Stir occasionally over medium heat until molten.  Stir in peanut butter until well mixed.  Pour into two greased nonstick mini loaf pans.  Freeze until solid, then refrigerate.  With a dinner knife warmed in hot water, cut longitudinally in half and into 6 portions horizontally, making 12 squares per pan.

Helpful Hint:  Hershey's makes sugar-free chocolate chips (available at Wal-mart). *You could use 70% Lindt chocolate or unsweetened baker's chocolate (6 squares) and sweeten to your taste. **Adding any extra liquid sweetener, such as stevia or sucralose is really dependent on the sweetness of the chocolate that you choose to use.  You may not need any additional sweetener besides the erythritol.

Yield: 12 squares per pan
1 square
83.8 calories
1.4 g protein
6.7 g fat
1.1 g net carbs

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Such a delightfully easy recipe and what a time saver!  Gelatin is not required. The frosting makes this cake, so don’t be tempted to skip it. Make the frosting the night before as well.  This is a very simple blueberry coffee cake.  I'm going to make another one soon, but, believe me, it will probably be more calorific than this simple cake, because it is more elaborate.  However, sometimes one doesn't mind breaking the calorie bank when it is a special occasion.  

1 egg
Liquid sweetener to equal 2/3  cup (150 mL)
1/cup powdered erythritol (75 mL)
11/2  cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (375 mL)
11/2  tsp baking powder (7 mL)
1/4  tsp salt (1 mL)
3 tbsp water (45 mL)
2 tbsp whipping cream (30 mL)
3 tbsp butter, melted (45 mL)
1 cup frozen blueberries (250 mL)
Vanilla Cream Frosting, page___, OR

In food processor, process egg, liquid sweetener and erythritol.  In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, baking powder and salt.  Add alternately with water and whipping cream.  Stir in butter.  Fold in blueberries.  Pour into an 8-inch (20 cm) square baking dish. Cover and chill overnight.  Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Bake at 350°F (180°C) 25 to 30 minutes, or until turning golden brown around the edges.  Frost when at room temperature with Vanilla Cream Frosting or Better than Betty Frosting .

Yield: 16 servings
1 serving/with frosting
81.8/115.9 calories
2.2/4.3 g protein
6.5/9.1 g fat
3.2/3.6 g carbs


 A delicious frosting that would be excellent on low-carb cinnamon rolls, cinnamon muffins or cupcakes.

8 oz spreadable cream cheese* (250 g)
Liquid sweetener to equal 2/cup (150 mL)
6 tbsp powdered erythritol, sifted* (90 mL)
1/4  cup unsalted butter, melted (60 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
11/4  cups vanilla whey protein (300 mL)

In food processor, place spreadable cream cheese, melted butter, powdered erythritol and vanilla extract.  Process very well until powdered erythritol is no longer in discernible lumps.  Add vanilla whey protein and process again until smooth.  Refrigerate until frosting spreads easily.

Helpful Hints:  *For a firmer frosting, use regular cream cheese, which has been softened either from standing at room temperature for an hour or by nuking in the microwave oven briefly.

This frosting is better for bundt cakes or other cakes in one layer or sweet breads, etc. This  recipe makes enough to frost between two layers of cakes or for a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) cake. If you leave the frosted cake in the refrigerator uncovered, the frosting firms up in a rather delightful way, but if you keep it covered, it remains spreadable and soft.  Either way, it’s great.  What I also mean is that if you keep the frosting in a closed contained in the refrigerator, it remains spreadable.

To figure out the carbs if you were to use, say, only 1 cup (250 mL) of frosting, you would say, 16 tbsp in a cup, therefore, 16 x 0.5 g carbs = 8 g net carbs.  That amount of frosting would be enough for an 8-inch (20 cm) single layer cake or 12 cupcakes.  This frosting should freeze well.  However, any extra frosting will never go waste – it’s good on so many baked goods, or just on its own, a spoonful here and there!

Yield:  13/4  cups (425 mL)
1 tbsp per serving
41.7 calories
3.0 g protein
3.1 g fat
0.5 g net carbs

Saturday, October 19, 2013


You start with 4 large chicken breasts.  If you like, you can pound them thin, however, I prefer to simply slice them in half longitudinally.  Slice them as if you were going to stuff them, but then keep on cutting until the two pieces separate.  This way you have chicken cutlets!  You can place a piece of plastic over them and pound them thinner, if you like, but I didn't think it was necessary for my chicken. This way of cooking chicken is incredibly flavorful.  You can serve it with your favorite sides.  My family loved this chicken recipe.  

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3/4 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, OR simply ground almonds/almond flour mixed (175 mL)
  with a bit of coconut flour 
1/2  cup grated Parmesan cheese, (60 mL)
  (not the fresh kind)
3/4  tsp salt (3 mL)
1/2  tsp Italian seasoning (see below in Helpful Hints) (2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)
3 eggs
1 tbsp water (15 mL)
4 large chicken breasts
Light-tasting olive oil, for frying
Lemon wedges
Chopped parsley

In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, Parmesan cheese, salt, Italian seasoning and black pepper.  Mix well.  In another medium bowl, beat eggs and water together well with a fork. 

Remove any excess fat or tiny chips of bone from the chicken.  Slice the chicken breasts in half longitudinally.  Slice them as if you were going to stuff them, but then keep on cutting until the two pieces separate.

Dip each piece of chicken in egg wash and then spoon seasoned bake mix over chicken pieces. 

In two nonstick frying pans, place 3 pieces of prepared chicken.  Fry 5 minutes on medium heat on one side until golden brown underneath, flip carefully and fry another 4 to 6 minutes, lowering the temperature, if they are becoming too brown.  Check smaller pieces of chicken first.  Make sure there is no pink and that the chicken is white throughout.  Do not overcook or the chicken will no longer be tender.  You want the chicken to be moist and tender under the “breading.”  Serve with lemon wedges and sprinkle chicken with chopped parsley.

Helpful Hints:  Olive oil has not been taken into account in the nutritional analysis.Italian seasoning is a mixture of oregano, basil, marjoram, rosemary and thyme – mix in equal quantities to make your own version.

Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
224.8 calories
27.0 g protein
10.4 g fat
3.5 g net carbs



This is a fabulous side dish that will never make you hanker after the kind that uses a flour-based cheese sauce.  Seriously!  I also use the sauce in my Veggie Au Gratin Casserole.  You know many people when they begin low-carbing mourn the loss of dishes they used to love and, more importantly, it's a whole new mind set when it comes to cooking and baking.  However, honestly, with so many talented, creative people on the internet and in our cookbooks, nobody needs to feel deprived.  If you worry that you're young and haven't done much cooking in your life, don't worry....just remember if you can read a recipe, you can cook and bake!  It really is not all that difficult. 

 I remember when I was in my twenties, I taught myself how to cook.  I even taught myself how to cook Chinese food.  Oh, my husband loved that stage of my experimenting!  He always went to work with a Chinese dinner in his lunchbox.  I taught myself lots of things - how to crochet.  I used to crochet tiny, pretty doilies and huge bedspreads. I also taught myself to knit and there I excelled!  I knitted the most beautiful, little clothes for each baby I was expecting - coats, sweaters, hats, booties, gloves, blankets, and you name it! Now one thing I never ever did have much talent for, or patience for is...sewing!  Yep, I do admire those who have a talent for sewing.  I never wore anything I made!  LOL  When my husband was just young, he often worked at 2 jobs at a time in the computer industry.  He was even responsible for inventing a gadget that prevents patients from being able to leave a care facility unnoticed.  Well, since Ian was so busy and I was a young woman and not yet with children, I was bored silly even although I had a day job as a secretary. (I had two years of Physiotherapy at the University of Cape Town under my belt, but I realized it was not what I wanted to do.)  Guess what I did?  I took up sewing...for a short while!  Now that gives you some idea of how bored I was. LOL  I still have the sewing machine I bought at the time from Eatons.  I pull it out every now and then to put up hems, etc., but nothing major.  ;)

8 cups (32 oz) broccoli florets (2 L, 0.9 kg)
1/cup grated Monterey Jack, OR (125 mL)
  Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, optional (30 mL).

In pot in boiling water, cook broccoli florets about 10 minutes, or until tender (you may also steam your broccoli).  Drain and place broccoli in 8-inch (20 cm) square, deep casserole dish. 

Prepare Cheese Sauce.  Double the recipe.  Pour over the broccoli and gently toss to distribute the sauce evenly.  Sprinkle with Monterey Jack, OR Cheddar cheese.  Place in 350°F (180°C) oven 10 minutes, or just until cheese has melted.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if using.  Serve.

Helpful Hint:  I really like the broccoli with Monterey Jack cheese in the sauce.  I typically use almond milk in this recipe to cut calories a bit.

Yield:  8 servings
Cream/Low-carb milk
357.6/304.7 calories
12.7/12.9 g protein
32.4/26.4 g fat
4.4/4.1 g net carbs

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013



My hubby raved about this.  He sure loves steak and was surprised that pan-fried steak can be just as good as barbecued steak, or even better!  When Ian was in South Africa, I experimented.  Ian would always jealously guard the steak and would keep it for barbecues only and the barbecue is his domain!  Well, I was hungry for steak one day, tired of all the chicken and fish, and tried it...well, the rest is history as they say!  The veggies on the dinner plate:  Garlic Parsley Cauli-mash, broccoli in cheese sauce, stir-fried red peppers and onions and battered, fried Japanese eggplant served with grated cheese and a drop of ketchup for flavor (think pizza flavors!).

Garlic Parsley Butter, (SEE recipe further below)
2 tbsp olive oil (30 mL)
21/2  lbs grass-fed Rib-Eye steak, (1.1 kg)
  (about 4 to 6)
Seasoning salt, to taste 

Prepare Garlic Parsley Butter.  Spread 1 tbsp (15 mL) Garlic Parsley Butter on the back and front of each steak and place in a casserole dish.  Allow to marinate at room temperature 1 hour.

In two nonstick skillets in 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil, sear steaks on medium high heat for 1 minute.  Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook the steaks for 3 or 4 minutes more.  Turn steaks and cook another 5 to 10 minutes on medium low heat, until cooked to your liking.  During the last 5 minutes, flip the steaks as needed.  Drop about 1 tsp (5 mL) Garlic Parsley Butter on the steaks in the last minute of cooking.  Place the steaks on plates and allow to rest at room temperature 5 minutes, before serving.  Use remaining Garlic Parsley Butter, and top steaks with it while they are resting in those 5 minutes.

Helpful Hints:  If you leave some pink in the middle of each steak, the meat will be more tender.  There will be plenty of pan juices left, stir, maybe add a bit of water and thickener and you have a lovely gravy to serve over cauli-mash!

Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
618.7 calories
35.4 g protein
51.9 g fat
0.5 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: (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced!


Cauli-mash can become same old, same old.  Here is a way to dress up ordinary cauli-mash to new, exciting heights!  This awesomely-flavored butter with fresh parsley is marvelous on steak. Parsley is in the same family as Cilantro, but it is much milder in flavor.  For me, the veggies make my meal.  If they are tasty and substantial, I'm a happy camper.  Sure the meat dish has to be prepared nicely too, however, if the veggies are so-so, then the meal is spoiled, in my humble opinion.  Veggies are good carbs and I do think we need them to feel happy on this WOL. At least, I do.  Although I am in remission for Hashimoto's thyroiditis (take no thyroid hormone after 10 years on suppressive doses), my tests show that my metabolism is slower than it should be (could also be I had not eaten for 20 hours or so - that may have played into it).  In order for me to have a proper T4 to T3 conversion (T3 relates to metabolism), I do need at least 50 grams of carbohydrate a day.  I'm blessed in that I can have even more and maintain.  I think perhaps it is because I've been low-carbing since 1999 and my body is less insulin-resistant today.  I think the body is amazing in how it can heal, if you give it the right nutrients.

1 small cauliflower, chopped
2 tbsp cream cheese (30 mL)
2 tbsp Garlic Parsley Butter, (30 mL)
3/tsp salt, OR to taste (3 mL)
1/tsp white pepper (1 mL)
1/cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (125 mL)

In pot, in boiling water cook cauliflower until very tender.  In food processor, combine cauliflower, cream cheese, Garlic Parsley Butter, page___, salt and white pepper.  Process until smooth.  Add Monterey Jack cheese; process until smooth.

Yield:  4 servings
1 serving
123.5 calories
5.0 g protein
10.4 g fat
2.4 g net carbs

See the bowl of garlic parsley butter in the background? Great for steak, for flavoring cauli-mash or putting on cooked vegetables. You could possibly even use it with stir-fried shrimp.  Garlic Parsley Butter Steak served with Cauli-rice (yellow color comes from turmeric - just do a plain stir-fry with seasoning salt and herbs in light olive oil), battered and fried Japanese eggplant slices, broccoli and cheese sauce and stir-fried red peppers and onions make up the veggies on this dinner plate.

1/2  cup unsalted butter, 1 stick (125 mL)
1/2  cup chopped fresh parsley (125 mL)
2 tbsp chopped onion (30 mL)
1 tbsp olive oil (15 mL)
2 tsp crushed garlic (10 mL)
1/2  tsp salt (2 mL)
1/4  tsp black pepper (1 mL)

In food processor, combine butter, parsley, onion, oil, garlic, salt and pepper; process until smooth.

Yield:  24 servings
1 tbsp (15 mL) per serving
40.1 calories
0.1 g protein
4.4 g fat
0.3 g net carbs
  Our Steak Marinating for an hour in Garlic Parsley Butter