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Monday, June 30, 2014


Are you wondering what to make for dessert for 4th of July celebration?  Some of us don't have the time to fuss, so here is a great suggestion.  Make individual little bowls (or a large bowl - either way!) of fruit salad made out of berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.  For the "white" part, top with my CREME FRAICHE  (tastes awesome and holds up better than whipped cream) recipe or simply use sweetened whipped cream.  I like to first toss the fruit in a little lemon juice mixed with a titch of sweetener, however, it is not necessary.  This is also fantastic served with ice cream.  Try my homemade Ice Cream Custard.

Carbs will vary depending on how much fruit you serve up in each bowl and which topping option you choose, so I decided to be lazy and not do a nutritional analysis on this one.

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Friday, June 27, 2014


Now we no longer need to feel like lasagna is off the table - this tastes so much like the real thing, that it will blow you away!  Non low-carbers as well as low-carbers love it!  This recipe can be made with the Ultra Low-Carb Crepes, page 46, Low-Carbing Among Friends, Volume 4,(click this link for the recipe) for the lowest carb count, OR if you prefer this crepe recipe.  You can reduce the amount of cheese used in this recipe.  To make things easier, I normally make the crepes the day before making my lasagna.  This way it is less fussy and quicker to put together.  I also make extra, because I actually like crepes more than bread, to be honest.  I know I'm weird.  So, it's fun for me to make the day I make them, as I'll also get some to eat!  Ian likes them for spreading butter on 'em.  I think butter is his favorite food!

 CLICK on the photos to see bigger images.

GARLIC BREAD STICKS ~ Click on the link above the photo. Highlighted text is always a link. I'm amazed at how many people just don't realize that.  That's too bad.

Meat Sauce:
2 lbs lean ground beef (0.9 kg)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (411 g)
51/2  oz can tomato paste (156 g)
2 tsp crushed garlic (10 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 2 tsp sugar, optional (10 mL)
11/4  tsp salt (6 mL)
2 tsp chili powder (10 mL)
1 tsp dried basil (5 mL)
1 tsp dried oregano (5 mL)
1/2 tsp cumin, optional (2 mL)  
1/2  tsp dried thyme (2 mL)
1/2  tsp black pepper (2 mL)
Ultra Low-Carb Crepes (Please CLICK the link for the crepes and skip the sweetener)
  (make a double batch and use 12 crepes)
Cheese Sauce (double the recipe)
21/2  cups grated Mozzarella, OR (625 mL)
  Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Meat Sauce:  In large, nonstick frying pan, brown ground beef.  Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, liquid sweetener (if using), salt, chili powder, basil, oregano, cumin (if using), thyme and pepper. Continue cooking over medium low heat 15 minutes.  Add water if necessary, so that the meat sauce is not too dry. Taste to make sure it tastes good to you...adjust seasonings if required.  Set aside and make the crepes. 

Start with some meat sauce on bottom of a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) casserole dish.  Sprinkle with some cheese, then layer 4 crepes, more Cheese Sauce, page___ and repeat until you have 3 layers, ending with meat sauce.  Sprinkle top with generous amount of cheese.

Cover casserole dish with foil (not tightly as you don’t want too much of the cheese to stick to the foil) and bake in oven 30 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese has melted.

Yield:  9 servings
1 serving
439.7 calories
32.4 g protein
31.4 g fat
1.6 g fiber

4.8 g net carbs 

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014




This idea is not new.  It dates back, I think, as far as 1999, when I first learned about it and when I first began low-carbing.  However, I used to make a wimpy meatza pizza by comparison in a pie dish.  This is grande!  It is made in a jelly roll pan (not a cookie sheet) and it fits exactly. It looked quite impressive and would feed a whole family easily. My hubby loved this and it fed us for several days.  It keeps well in the refrigerator. If you use very lean ground beef, there should be no shrinking away from the edges of the pan.  It is the fat content that makes it do that.  We have very lean ground beef here...almost like ground steak.  We have Brahman cattle that are simply grass fed. 

2.6 lbs very lean ground beef (1.2 kg)
3 eggs
1 tbsp crushed garlic (15 mL)
11/tsp salt (7 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (2 mL)
1 tsp bacon fat (10 mL)
14 oz mushrooms, sliced (397 g)
Seasoning salt, to taste
2 tsp bacon fat (10 mL)
6 oz sliced colorful bell peppers (90 g)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (30 mL)
21/cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (625 mL)

Preheat oven to 450°F (220°C).

In large bowl place ground beef.  In small bowl, beat eggs with fork.  Add garlic, salt and black pepper; beat again with fork.  Add to ground beef and combine well.  Press ground beef into jelly roll pan and make a nice 1/2-inch or so high edge all around, just as if it were a pizza crust.

Bake in oven 10 minutes.  Pour off liquid/fat mixture.  Bake another 5 minutes and again pour off the liquid/fat mixture that accumulates. Allow to cool 10 minutes.  Then spread with 3/cup (175 mL) Pizza Sauce. 

Meanwhile in nonstick frying pan, in 1 tsp (5 mL) bacon fat, over medium heat fry mushrooms briefly and toss in bacon fat.  Place lid on pan and cook until liquid evaporates and mushrooms start to brown slightly.  Sprinkle with seasoning salt, to taste and stir fry another minute.  Set aside on a dinner plate.  In same pan in 2 tsp (10 mL) bacon fat stir fry sliced bell peppers until turning soft and slightly browned.  Add peppers to mushrooms and stir in parsley.  Spread the vegetables over the meatza pizza on top of Pizza Sauce.  Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese.  Bake another 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

Yield:  8 to 10 servings
1 serving
367.0/294.6 calories
33.7/25.2 g protein
24.6/19.5 g fat
1.0/0.8 g fiber
5.9/4.7 g net carbs 

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Thursday, June 19, 2014



Fabulous side dish worthy of company!  So simple, yet so very tasty.  This is a pretty side dish with plenty of lovely color.  I know I'll be serving it to my son, Daniel and his fiance soon.  They're coming to visit.  I'm so excited.  I love it when I have more quality time with family.  It is so beautiful and green on the mountain where we live literally in the jungle.  It is our rainy season, but most days we see the sun for a number of hours, so it doesn't bother me.  We do get a lot of crazy thunderstorms and the hardest rain I have ever experienced in my life!

4 cups cauliflower florets (1 L)
  (use 2/cup (150 mL) grated sharp Cheddar)
2/cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese (150 mL)
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
2 tbsp chopped, fresh parsley (30 mL) 

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). 

In pot boiling water, cook cauliflower until tender, or steam the cauliflower. Drain cauliflower well. On chopping board, chop cauliflower into smaller pieces. 

In large bowl, combine cauliflower and Cheese Sauce (see ingredient listing).  Place cauliflower in 2-qt (2 L) shallow casserole dish. 

Topping:  In small bowl combine 2/cup (150 mL) grated Cheddar cheese, bacon and parsley.  Sprinkle over the top of the cauliflower.

Bake about 15 minutes, or until slightly browned and bubbly.  You could put the casserole under the broiler for 2 minutes to brown the cauliflower a little more.

Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
248.7 calories
12.6 g protein
20.4 g fat

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I have made these on two occasions.  Once with toasted pecans and once with chocolate chips.  I actually prefer the toasted pecans, mostly because chocolate gives me migraines.  Both versions are nice in my opinion.  It's nice to have a dessert that makes a lot that one can freeze for company ahead of time.  I often do that sort of thing with desserts.  Besides it means I can experiment to my heart's content with desserts, freeze it, and later we have plenty of people to help us finish the tasty desserts.  This way will power is built in quite naturally.  Haha!  That said, I have halved this recipe before just for hubby and I, and it lasts 2 days and they're all gone!

3 eggs
1 tsp unflavored gelatin (5 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1 cup sugar (250 mL)
1/cup powdered erythritol (125 mL)
1/cup butter, softened (125 mL)
1 tsp molasses, optional (5 mL)
11/ tsp butterscotch extract (7 mL)
2 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (500 mL)
11/tsp baking powder (7 mL)
1/tsp baking soda (2 mL)
1/tsp salt (0.5 mL)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted, OR (250 mL)
  sugar-free chocolate chips
Cream Cheese Frosting:
12 oz regular cream cheese, softened (375 mL)
1/cup powdered erythritol (125 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal to 6 tbsp sugar (90 mL)
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened (90 mL)
2 tbsp whipping cream (60 mL)
11/tsp vanilla extract (7 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  Grease a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) glass baking dish.

In food processor, process eggs.  Add gelatin, liquid sweetener and erythritol; process. Add butter, molasses (if using) and butterscotch extract; process. 

In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add to wet ingredients; process.  Stir in toasted pecans, OR sugar-free chocolate chips.  Turn out into prepared glass baking dish.

Bake 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Allow to cool and frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting:  In food processor or mixer, process cream cheese, powdered erythritol, liquid sweetener, butter, whipping cream and vanilla extract until smooth. 

Yield:  36 frosted blondies
1 blondie with pecans/choc
130.1/130.3 calories
2.8/2.8 g protein
12.2/11.3 g fat
0.2/0 g fiber
2.1/2.0 g net carbs

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Saturday, June 14, 2014


This caramel has the consistency of Nutella.  I can eat it by the spoonful; it is so delicious. I was inspired to make this breakfast, or dessert, if you prefer, when I had something similar in a Mall not too long ago.  I figured I could make a low-carb version...and here it is!  It is every bit as nice, if not nicer, and certainly it's better without the sugar, which invariably causes problems for me, besides starting to put on weight.  Sugar is very fattening, besides being downright addictive.  Nice thing about this caramel is that it doesn't recrystallize.  Keep leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator.

1/cup whipping cream, (125 mL)
  (shelf-stable kind*) OR use regular whipping cream
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1/3  cup (75 mL)
3 tbsp butter, browned in a pan (45 mL)
2 tbsp powdered erythritol (30 mL)
2 tbsp whole milk powder** (30 mL)
1/tsp molasses (2 mL)
1/tsp caramel extract*** (1 mL)
1/tsp vanilla extract (0.5 mL)
1/cup vanilla whey protein (125 mL)

In food processor, combine whipping cream, liquid sweetener, browned butter, powdered erythritol, whole milk powder, molasses, caramel extract and vanilla extract; process well.  Add vanilla whey protein; process, stirring at least once to scrape the sides of the bowl.

Nutritional Analysis for the Caramel:  Yield: 1 cup (250 mL),16 servings, 1 serving:  56.9 calories; 2.4 g protein; 4.9 g fat; 0.9 g net carbs

Helpful Hints:  *I am sure regular whipping cream would work as well.  **You can use skim milk powder, but first blend in a blender or coffee bean grinder until finely ground and then measure. ***I have also used butterscotch extract for a butterscotch flavor.  The caramel would make a good frosting for a cake, cookies or a filling between plain cookies.  Double the recipe if necessary.  In this recipe there will be some crepes leftover.

Yield: Enough for 8 crepes
1 crepe with 2 tbsp caramel
155.7 calories
8.0 g protein
12.4 g fat
2.8 g net carbs  

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014



 I absolutely love the Single Pie Crust with my quiches...incredibly substantial and adds that little something extra that I find difficult to put into words.  The bits of red pepper add nice color to this quiche, which is basically a vegetarian quiche.  My hubby really liked this quiche and liked it even more once chilled.  I am funny that way.  Is it legit to eat quiche cold?  I tend to prefer them that way.

2 tbsp butter (15 mL)
1/cup diced red onion ( 60 mL)
1/cup diced red pepper (125 mL)
1 lb sliced fresh mushrooms (0.45 kg)
1 tsp salt, OR use half No Salt® (5 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)
11/cups grated Mozzarella cheese (300 mL)
4 eggs
1 cup whipping cream (250 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). 

Prepare crust of choice, but only bake the Single Pie Crust, not the Almond Parmesan Crust - about 10 minutes. If you bake it longer than that, it has a tendency to become too dark (if that begins to happen, just cover the whole pie lightly with a foil tent...if it touches the quiche, it will still remove very easily)

In nonstick pan, in butter over medium heat, stir fry onion until turning brown.  Add mushrooms and red pepper (reserve some for top of quiche).  Stir fry 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place lid on pan and simmer over low heat until moisture evaporates.  Stir in Mozzarella cheese.

In large bowl, beat eggs with fork and stir in whipping cream.  Add vegetable mixture.  Pour over baked crust.  Sprinkle reserved red pepper on top (or keep for after baking and press gently into top of warm quiche).  Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until set.

Helpful Hint:  To reduce calories, use half and half cream.  You may need a little more bake mix for the Single Pie Crust, because the powdered erythritol did contribute to the structure of the crust.

Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
368.3/343.9 calories
12.9/13.9 g protein
31.4/29.6 g fat
8.3/5.6 g net carbs

 I worked on an easier-to-roll-out recipe for the revised version of volume 1. Actually just made it at the ninth hour!  See variation below!!

11/4  cups Gluten-free Bake Mix 1, (click for recipe) (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, 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 plastic wrap to fit shallow 9-inch (23 cm) glass pie dish.  Remove top sheet of plastic wrap.  Pick up sheet with dough and invert over pie dish.  Remove plastic wrap.  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

Variation:  Miracle Dough Pie Crust:  Use 3 oz (90 g) grated Mozzarella cheese.  Place in bowl and microwave 50 seconds or until molten.  Pour 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter on top of cheese and stir (won’t mix well).  Add to dry ingredients (Use Gluten-Free BakeMix 2, page 242 and omit salt.  Add 3 tbsp (45 mL) powdered erythritol and 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla and 1/4  tsp (1 mL) baking soda) and work dry ingredients into cheese mixture until soft dough forms.  If it becomes difficult to mix, nuke cheese another 20 seconds and continue to incorporate the dry ingredients.  Place on parchment paper on countertop and using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to fit the pie dish.  This dough is a dream to roll out (if not, nuke 10 seconds and roll the dough out with ease), plus it makes a substantial crust. Roll over top edge and then pinch to make it look pretty.  Bake 15 minutes at  350°F (180°C).
Nutritional Analysis: Yield: 10 servings, 1 serving: 110.3 calories; 4.1 g protein; 8.8 g fat; 0.0 g fiber; 3.1 g net carbs

Helpful Hints:  If you decide to use Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, page 242, with the original recipe above, then add 1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 mL) powdered pysillium husks to help with the consistency.  Add a little more of the dry ingredients if necessary.

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Monday, June 9, 2014



Not too acidic and just tasty enough for me!  If you like vinegar, feel free to add up to 3 tbsp (45 mL) apple cider vinegar.  I imagine one could us chayotes that are pre-cooked and soaked in a bit of lemon juice instead of the apple for lower carbs.  Then add in the last few minutes of cooking.

2 lbs cabbage (0.9 kg)
1 large apple
2 tbsp butter (30 mL)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup water (250 mL)
1/cup powdered erythritol (granulated is probably fine too) (60 mL)
1 tsp molasses (5 mL)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (5 mL)

Shred cabbage.  Peel, core and dice apple.  In nonstick frying pan, melt butter and over medium low heat, cook cabbage and apple.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Cook about 5 to 8 minutes.  Add water, reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.  Add erythritol, molasses and vinegar.  Cook a few minutes longer.

Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
66.4 calories
1.7 g protein
3.2 g fat
7.0 g net carbs

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Sunday, June 8, 2014


This was surprisingly delicious, not to mention the lovely golden color imparted to the eggplant. Turmeric is a powerful, anti-inflammatory spice and anti-cancer agent that we all should think of consuming at some point in our lives.  Here you can read more about it.  These were rather addictive and I kept snacking on them before dinner!  You can use the more common, bigger eggplant as well, just make sure to slice them thinly, as the skin tends to be more bitter.  I've never gone to the trouble of salting eggplant.

1 lb sliced Japanese eggplant (0.453 kg)
1/cup olive oil (75 mL)
3/tsp salt (3 mL)
1/tsp turmeric (2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)
1/tsp dried thyme (1 mL)

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

In medium bowl, combine olive oil, salt, turmeric, black pepper and thyme.  Add eggplant slices and toss to coat well.  Place eggplant on cookie sheets and into the oven on the middle shelf.

Turn eggplant discs after 10 minutes.  Check again after 5 minutes and remove eggplant discs that are fully roasted.  Return any that need more time, but keep an eye on them, as they can burn quickly.

Yield:  4 servings
1 serving
188.6 calories
1.2 g protein
18.1 g fat
7.1 g net carbs

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
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Friday, June 6, 2014


Hmm, comfort food at its best.  Do try the homemade marinara sauce.  It’s delicious in this easy recipe.   I am doing intermittent fasting at the moment, which means 2 meals a day for me, so my carbs can actually be a bit higher than if I ate three squares and had snacks.  By the way, with intermittent fasting, if one gets hungry a protein and cheese snack will be fine in between, as insulin response will be next to nil.  My hubby does that quite successfully.  He likes sausage and cheese. 

NOTE: Now I've discovered that the "bread" crumbs can be made out of almond meal - homemade ground almonds in a coffee bean grinder using sliced almonds that I buy at the equivalent of Costco.  That's a whole lot cheaper than using my precious Honeyville Grains almond flour, which I prefer to keep for baking only.  Love, love, love topping my casseroles with a "breaded" topping.  So delicious.  You'll never miss breadcrumbs again.

6 cups diced rotisserie chicken (1.5 L)
21/cups Marinara Sauce, (below...whole recipe) (625 mL)
1 tsp dried oregano, OR basil, OR (5 mL)
  use fresh herbs up to 2 tbsp (30 mL)
11/cups grated Mozzarella cheese (375 mL)
“Bread” Crumb Topping:
3/cup “Bread” Crumbs (175 mL)  OR simply use ground almonds or almond flour!
1/cup Parmesan cheese (60 mL)
1/cup butter, melted (60 mL)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). 

In large bowl, combine cooked, diced chicken and Marinara Sauce.  Place in bottom of 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish.  Sprinkle with oregano, OR basil, OR fresh herbs and Mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle with Crumb Topping below.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

“Bread” Crumb Topping:  In medium bowl, combine “Bread” Crumbs, Parmesan cheese and melted butter.

Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
551.0 calories
47.3 g protein
36.2 g fat
7.1 g net carbs

Sometimes homemade tastes best.  This sauce is very easy to prepare.  I made it specifically for my Italian Chicken Marinara Casserole above. Pureeing the sauce ever so slightly deepens the flavor.

2 tbsp olive oil (30 mL)
1/cup finely chopped red onion (60 mL)
28 oz diced canned tomatoes (840 g)
1/ cup water (125 mL)
Liquid sweetener equal to 2 tsp sugar (to balance flavors - optional) (10 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
1/tsp dried basil (2 mL)
1/tsp dried oregano (2 mL)
1/tsp dried thyme (2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (0.5 mL)

In frying pan in olive oil, cook onion over medium high heat until turning brown.  Add tomatoes, water, liquid sweetener, salt, basil, oregano, thyme and pepper. Simmer gently about 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.  In food processor, pour mixture and pulse until the sauce is a bit finer in texture, but not juiced.

Yield:  21/cups (625 mL)
1 tbsp per serving
12.3 calories
0.2 g protein
0.7 g fat
1.4 g net carbs

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

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