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Friday, October 30, 2015


These are most unusual and very moreish!  You can use them for dipping or for spreads.  You can serve them with ketchup, mayonnaise or sour cream to dip into.  I like to eat them plain. You can cook them less for a softer result, however, I like them as crispy as possible.  You have to try these!  The Jalapeno idea is something I got from Peggy Hardaway. It's not difficult to be inspired by Peggy.  The next day, my husband warms them up in the pan to crisp them again.  I find they are delicious spread with my healthy butter - see Helpful Hints below.

2/3  cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, (150 mL)
2 oz grated Parmesan cheese (60 g)
  (the kind in a can)
1 tsp dried oregano (5 mL)
1/2  tsp dried basil (2 mL)
1/2  tsp black pepper (2 mL)
1/4  tsp salt (1 mL)
2 large eggs
1 tsp crushed garlic (5 mL)
  (bottled kind)
8 oz grated zucchini (250 g)
  (about 11/4  cups (300 mL)
1 small onion, peeled and grated (3 oz; 90 g)
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (250 mL)
Canned jalapenos (or fresh) for the center of some of them

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).  Grease a cookie sheet and place a piece of parchment paper down (the greased side helps the parchment adhere to the cookie sheet).

In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, Parmesan cheese, oregano, basil, pepper and salt.

In small bowl, whisk eggs and garlic with a fork.  Add to dry ingredients and combine well.

Squeeze as much moisture as possible out of the grated zucchini and onion with your hands.  (I use a food processor to grate my vegetables)  Add to egg mixture; stir well to combine.  Stir in the grated Monterey Jack cheese.

Form tablespoonfuls of zucchini mixture and place on parchment paper.  Form flat ovals, spaced about 1-inch (2.5 cm) apart. Place a piece of jalapeno in the center of some of them. Bake 10 minutes, flip them and bake another 10 minutes, or until golden on both sides.  Leave in the oven until the oven is cool for the crispiest, cracker-like snack results.  However, they are great without drying them out further; I actually think I prefer them without making them too dry. As they cool they get crispier even without drying them out further – just not as crispy as they would be.  I love them spread with my Healthy Butter (spreadable) - CLICK for the recipe.

Yield:  6 servings (makes 36)
1 serving (6 each)
210.8 calories
13.4 g protein
14.6 g fat
0.6 g fiber

5.4 g net carbs

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Thursday, October 29, 2015


The taste of this chocolate is awesome! This chocolate makes a fabulous sauce as well (use right away). The hedgehog shapes are fun and substantial.  If you want fancy-looking, tasty chocolate, this recipe is a great recipe for that purpose.  Again, with this recipe, you're cutting down on the amount of sugar alcohols (tummy distress - who wants that?!) or eliminating them entirely, except for the erythritol, which typically isn't a problem for most people.

  I like them all.  I have to watch dark chocolate as I can get migraines.  I love LOVE chocolate, however, it doesn't always love me back anymore.  That's too bad, hey?  I can typically have white or milk chocolate (in rather small amounts), however.   

1 Batch Condensed Milk (For Baking)
2 oz cocoa butter (melt about 3 min in microwave oven - careful - very hot!!)
1 oz unsweetened baker's chocolate
1/2 cup (3 oz) sugarless chocolate chips, OR
use 70% Lindt chocolate, or gluten-free chocolate of choice
1 - 2 tbsp liqueur of choice (optional)

Prepare condensed milk as directed in blender. Add cocoa butter, melted chocolate (pour boiling water over all the chocolate in a bowl until molten - pour water off - do it twice if necessary) and liqueur, if using.

Spoon into candy molds. One could first add some chopped nuts or whole almonds or hazelnuts to the forms and then pour in the chocolate. Freeze. Use a knife to lift out of forms (from one corner) or flip and flex slightly to release the candies.  Keep the chocolate in the freezer.

In the photo some frosting is visible on the surface of the chocolate, but it does not interfere with the taste which is smooth and creamy.

Helpful Hint: They can be poured into bon bon foil cups (use two foil cups for stability and to keep the shape better).   I don't know how many chocolates you will make, so a carb count is not really possible. The carb count is given for the condensed milk and the chocolate and cocoa butter are minimal carbs spread over many chocolates, so I didn't do the nutritional analysis for the fancy chocolates.

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                             This was the same soup made on another day!  Loved it so much had to make it again!


This is one of the tastiest soups I have ever made! This tastes more like onion soup than celery, however the celery is very necessary to balance the flavors beautifully.  What a great use of healthy celery.  A quick Google will turn up the numerous, exciting benefits of eating celery regularly (and this from someone who avoided celery most of her life!).  I have a friend who ate celery every day and naturally brought her high blood pressure down to normal without medication.  Here is some info on celery:
"Celery is a strongly alkaline food that helps to counteract acidosis, purify the bloodstream, aid in digestion, prevent migraines, relax the nerves, reduce blood pressure, and clear up skin problems. Celery contains compounds called coumarins which are known to enhance the activity of certain white blood cells and support the vascular system. Celery’s rich organic sodium content has the ability to dislodge calcium deposits from the joints and holds them in solution until they can be eliminated safely from the kidneys. Celery is a well known natural diuretic and has ample ability to flush toxins out of the body. Celery also has significant anti-inflammatory properties making it an essential food for those who suffer from auto-immune illnesses. It also contains significant amounts of calcium and silicon which can aid in the repair of damaged ligaments and bones. Celery is rich in vitamin A, magnesium, and iron which all help to nourish the blood and aid those suffering from rheumatism, high blood pressure, arthritis, and anemia. Fresh celery juice is one of the most powerful and healing juices one can drink. Just 16 oz of fresh celery juice a day can transform your health and digestion in as little as one week."

4 cups chicken stock (1 L)
4 cups sliced celery (1 L)
2 tsp bottled crushed garlic (10 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (2 mL)
1/tsp salt, OR to taste (1 mL)
  (depends on how salty your stock is)
1 tbsp bacon fat (15 mL)
1 cup chopped onion (250 mL)
8 oz regular cream cheese (250 g)
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (250 mL)
3/cup almond milk (175 mL)
Extra water, if necessary

In large pot over medium heat, pour chicken stock and add celery, garlic, black pepper and salt.  Cook until celery is soft.  In blender place some of stock and most of celery (leave about 1 cup of the celery solids, which you can chop smaller, if desired) and blend until smooth.  Add back to pot.

In nonstick frying pan in bacon fat, and over medium heat, cook onion until the onion is soft and caramelized.  Add cream cheese in bits, Monterey Jack cheese and almond milk.  Stir over medium low heat until all is melted and smooth.  Add to soup and bring to a boil.  Add extra water if the soup is too thick (the next day, you will need to add extra water – I add extra water and nuke it) and serve hot with Red Lobster-Style biscuits (CLICK for recipe) on the side.

Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
285.7 calories
13.9 g protein
21.6 g fat
1.8 g fiber
7.5 g net carbs 

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Often a rotisserie chicken or two can make a fantastic supper.  I had two cooked chickens on hand for this dinner, but only used 1 cup of cooked, diced chicken from the second chicken.  This is a particularly easy and quick recipe when time and energy is a factor, as happens to many of us from time to time.  Add a veggie or even add cooked mushrooms or asparagus or green beans to the casserole and you have a full meal deal, so to speak.  Could not be easier!

5 cups diced cooked chicken (1.25 L)
4 oz thinly sliced deli ham (125 g)
7 oz thinly sliced Swiss cheese (210 g) (use a mild cheese)
Creamy Sauce:
8 oz regular cream cheese (250 g)
1 cup almond milk, OR low-carb milk, OR cream, OR coconut milk  (250 mL)
2 tbsp water (30 mL)
2 tbsp olive oil (30 mL)
1/2 tsp cornstarch, OR arrowroot powder, optional (2 mL)
1/4  to 1/2 tsp salt, to taste (depending on how salty your ham is) (1 - 2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). 

In 9 x 13-inch (2 L) casserole dish, layer chicken and deli ham. 

Creamy Sauce:  In food processor, process cream cheese, almond milk, water, olive oil, cornstarch, OR arrowroot powder, onion salt and black pepper.

Pour the sauce over chicken and ham layer and stir to combine.  Layer Swiss cheese over the top.  Bake until heated through about 20 to 30 minutes.

Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
500.7 calories
51.4 g protein
30.3 g fat
0.0 g fiber
3.0 g net carbs 

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BIG SURPRISE FOR THOSE WHO ORDER VOLUME 1 COIL BOUND VIA PAY PAL AND OUR WEB SITE - AMONGFRIENDS.US   We ran out of the older versions in coil bound and now have the newer version for sale!!  Photos, big section by George Stella, organized by category and lots of nice new updated recipes from me!:)

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Saturday, October 17, 2015



By DJ Foodie

By DJ Foodie

A review of DJ Foodie's cookbook
 by Jennifer Eloff

I had been chatting to DJ while he was writing his book during those two years prior to publication, and close to publication, I could tell DJ was very excited!  However, in order to get the book to print, he had to give up his life in Washington and move back down to Mexico, where he had a bachelor's condominium on the beach.  His trip back was hurried up due to a hurricane that damaged his building and the swimming pool and beach front greatly.  Once he had it all fixed up, turned out, he had to move and find new place to live.  He did find a nice place and from there he worked hard to get this book to publication.  It was at times like pulling teeth, but still I could hear DJ was excited and very proud of his new project.  Well, nothing could have prepared me for what arrived in the mail for me!!  This book, with a beautiful hard cover, beautifully wrapped in paper, weighs almost 7 lbs.  I kid you not!  This is like an encyclopedia or a coffee table book with beautiful glossy pages and large gorgeous, clear photos.  We are so proud of you, DJ Foodie!  This is a major accomplishment, no question about it.  I highly recommend you add this book to your low-carb cookbook library!  It sits next to my desk along with George Stella's latest cookbook and my own cookbooks!  Yes, highly recommended!

Here are some HIGHLIGHTS of the information in the cookbook, Taking Out the Carbage (clever title) which has color coded pages to help you hop, skip and jump around with ease from section to section.  There is also a gorgeous photo with each and every recipe!

1.  George Stella wrote the Foreword.  Pretty cool!

2.  DJ outlines his own success story, which is very interesting and enlightening, as he lost over 142 pounds!

3.  Paleo versus Low-Carb and no question DJ favors low-carb and he outlines some of the rules he followed in order to lose the weight.  This could be very useful for others wanting to do the same!

4.  Section for carb amounts for common foods and some snack ideas.

5.  BIG section on various sweeteners and several recipes to make your own sweetener combinations and baking blends and light and dark brown sugar copycats, which is probably a lot cheaper than the combo products on the market.

6.  How to read labels on foodstuffs.

7.  What to do about Cravings and Stalls.

8.  How to cook and once a month cooking and menu planning with sample menus for two weeks.

9.  Here’s a biggie….A shopping list – quite comprehensive too!

10.  Then comes the main act….THE RECIPES!! I will highlight a few in each category to whet your appetites!  What I like about DJ’s recipe writing is that he is very chatty upfront with each and every recipe and it is always very interesting. Almost every recipe has its own introductory story.  DJ could definitely be a writer as well as a chef, in my opinion.  It is clear he wants you to enjoy every recipe that you try and he wants you to make it successfully.  He gives tips and ideas (sometimes in great length!) and even the history of a recipe and how it came about is sometimes mentioned.  Highly entertaining and written in a completely real manner and often his sense of humor comes through, even in the recipe titles. You can definitely hear DJ talking through his writing!  Each recipe has a comprehensive nutritional breakdown and the back of the book gives one a detailed account of the nutritional analysis of each recipe.  I have never seen anything like that before.  DJ prides himself in being very accurate and upfront about the nutritional analysis for his low-carb recipes.

The INDEX is very professionally compiled. 

BEVERAGES…how about Watermelon Auga Fresca or Spiced Masala Chai Tea, or be still my foolish heart…Luxurious Eggnog OR Chocolate Shake with Chocolate Sauce!

BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH…Grain-free Pancakes that look like the real deal, Torta Di Rotello (like a breakfast pie), Frittata, Bacon Pancake Wedgie, Orange Walnut Bread Pudding Strata (layered), Spiced Nut-N-Honey Granola, etc. and Eggy McFoo!! ;)

APPETIZERS AND SNACKS…Whole Artichoke (made easy!), Baked Coconut Shrimp, Sweet Thai Chili Wings, Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp (didn’t know it was possible!), more shrimps, chicken and ribs.

SOUPS AND STEWS…Albondigas (meatball soup), Thai Hot and Sour Shrimp, Mulligatawny, Smoked Salmon Chowder, Taco Soup, more chowder and more gourmet, very fancy soups with shrimp and seafood, including Jambalaya and some simpler, tasty soups for the more timid.

SALADS…Besides the Greatest Salad Ever?...Colorful Asian Slaw, Cucumber Mint Salad, Curried Chicken Salad, Mixed Greens with Blackberries, Bacon and Goat Cheese, Shrimp and Mango Stuffed Tomato including the Great Wedge!

LUNCH…Italian Turkey Club, Spicy Cheese-Stuffed Burger, Greasy Pork Sandwich,  Pizza Pucks, Chicken Nuggets (Yum!) and Sandwich Wraps, using All-purpose Crepes.

PASTA…Eight different directions that pasta can go under the low-primal umbrella.  Each of these ideas are fun, tasty, relatively easy to throw together, quite filling, and nutritious.  The Crepe Fettucine is what caught my eye and the Meat Lovers’ Lasagna also utilizing crepes for the pasta. Some vegetable “pastas” and tofu shiratki noodles, angel hair…Singapore-style Noodles!

MAIN DISHES…The heart of the cookbook as DJ says.  A delicious array of main dishes featuring beef, lamb, pork, chicken and seafood meets the eye!  The Jerk-Inspired Pork Chop is SO delicious! Try it – you won’t be disappointed!  This is an incredibly impressive chapter...this is worth the price of the book alone!

SIDES…From Simple Buttery Brussels Sprouts, and Creamed Spinach, Carrot-Squash Hash, to Fried “Rice” and recipes using Miracle Rice to Fancy Vegetable Casseroles – i.e. something for any dinner table from simple to downright fancy!

SAUCES, SPREADS & DIPPITY DO’S…This title put a big grin on my face.  This is a thoroughly impressive chapter.  His thick, goopy Alfredo Sauce is awesome not to mention his Pesto Cream Sauce that is one of DJ’s absolute favorite sauces.  Here is what DJ says: “The issue that I personally have with pesto cream is that I could drink it from a lavish goblet all day and never grow tired of it!” He recommends ¼ cup per serving or it will simply feel like a tease!

DESSERTS…Ah, here we find some of DJ’s famous One Minute Muffins! I sometimes jokingly refer to DJ as the One Minute Muffin King. Chocolate Pies, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Mock Danish, awesome-looking Strawberry-Kiwi Popsicles, Bread Pudding, Chocolate, Sorbets, Panna Cotta, Fat Bombs, a delicious-looking Strawberry and Whipped Sour Cream Trifle, Cookies and one that made me smile: Blueberry-Cream Cheese Eggy McFoo.

BAKERY…A nice-looking Paleo Bread catches the eye (using almond butter and coconut flour). Just spotted large jars of unsweetened Almond butter in PriceSmart (Costco) the other day! Yay! Guess what I will be making soon.  Crackers, Fauxcaccia, One- Minute Cheddar Buns and savory muffins … mmm, yummy!

EVERYTHING ELSE….and call it a WRAP!  The all-Purpose Riccotta Crepes have been very popular on the Low-Carbing Among Friends’ Team Facebook Page as well as the Cheddar Taco Shells in this chapter.

Friday, October 16, 2015


An easy supper with with lots of vegetables. I made something similar with chicken (without the mushrooms) and it was really popular.  So, I got to thinking that it might be nice to do something with steak as well for steak lovers out there.  The steak was so good that I found it hard not pick out the steak and mushrooms before I called my husband to dinner.  How naughty and inconsiderate is that....resist the temptation! 

1 lb rib-eye steaks (0.45 kg)
Seasoning salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp bacon fat (30 mL)
1 lb mushrooms, sliced (0.45 kg)
2 small green peppers, chopped
1 small yellow pepper, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
Seasoning salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese (250 mL)

In nonstick frying pan, in 1 tbsp (15 mL) bacon fat, cook steaks on medium high heat until seared on both sides, then reduce heat to medium low and continue to flip frequently until the insides are still slightly pink, or as pink as you like your steak to be. While they are cooking, sprinkle with seasoning salt and black pepper on both sides. Leaving a bit of pink allows for a more tender steak.  Cut steaks into thin strips.

In nonstick frying pan, in 1 tbsp (15 mL) bacon fat, fry mushrooms until turning brown.  Add 1 tbsp (15 mL) bacon fat and green peppers, yellow and red peppers and stir-fry until as tender as desired. Sprinkle with seasoning salt and pepper, to taste.  Add steak strips and toss.  Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese.  Place lid on pan to allow cheese to melt.  Serve.

Yield:  3 servings
1 serving
460.1 calories
47.0 g protein
24.2 g fat
3.5 g fiber
11.2 g net carbs 

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Thursday, October 15, 2015



These are bound to please, especially when it is time for pumpkin desserts again! Rich color and you can use the spices or not.  I made these with 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract as well (skipping all the spices), and they are super that way too…so it’s up to you whether you like the spices in your pumpkin muffins.  I think they are good either way.

4 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin (250 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 3/4 cup sugar (175 mL)
1/cup granulated erythritol (125 mL)
2 tbsp coconut oil (30 mL)
11/tsp unflavored gelatin (7 mL)
21/cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (560 mL)
1 tbsp cinnamon (15 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1/tsp ground ginger (2 mL)
1/tsp nutmeg (2 mL)
1/4  tsp salt (1 mL)
1/4  tsp baking powder (1 mL)
1 cup sugar-free chocolate chips (250 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In food processor, combine eggs, pumpkin, liquid sweetener, erythritol, coconut oil and gelatin.  Process really well.  In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg and salt.  Add to pumpkin mixture; process until well combined and thickened.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spoon batter into 12 greased muffin pans.  Bake in oven 20  to 25 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean and muffins are turning brown.

Variations:  Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins: 1 cup (250 mL) frozen, unsweetened cranberries chopped finely in food processor. Omit chocolate chips. (7.0 g net carbs) 

Apple Pumpkin Muffins:  Use one small apple, peeled and chopped finely. Omit chocolate chips.
(7.8 g net carbs)

Yield:  12 muffins
1 muffin
213.0 calories
6.5 g protein
4.2 g fat
0.5 g fiber
6.9 g net carbs 

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Whole Pie just waiting to be taste-tested!

An inviting slice of pie about to be eaten!

 Raw dough - rolled and flipped into dish and patched with fingers and pressed up sides

Lightly baked crust - for this pie I suggest only 5 minutes or it will darken too much later.

Finely chopped raw almond mixture - tastes yummy on its own!

 Pie filling poured over top of the nut mixture and ready to be baked to perfection.


My husband really approved of this pie and ate most of it by himself.  He liked the texture contrast between the crushed nuts and the softer, smooth pumpkin filling and said the filling almost tasted like caramel to him.  

SINGLE PIE CRUST (Choose from 2 recipes)  - SEE RECIPE BELOW - (made with the original bake mix with xanthan gum.  If not using the xanthan gum, add 1 to 2 tsp finely ground pysillium husks and add more dry ingredients if is to refrigerate dough first...but I was impatient).  If desired, use the Miracle Dough Pie Crust that I recently developed for sweet pies.  Yummy too and easier to roll out and work with by far.  Here is the LINK FOR THE ALTERNATE PIE CRUST.

Almond Layer:
1 cup finely chopped raw almonds* (250 mL)
1/cup powdered erythritol (75 mL)
3 tbsp butter, melted (45 mL)
2 tsp Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, OR almond flour  (10 mL)
1/tsp almond extract (0.5 mL)
Pumpkin Filling:
11/4 cups canned pumpkin (300 mL)
Liquid sweetener  (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1 cup sugar (250 mL)
1/cup powdered erythritol (75 mL)
4 oz regular cream cheese (125 g)
1/cup sour cream (75 mL)
2 eggs
1 tsp molasses (5 mL)
1/tsp almond extract (1 mL)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). 

Single Pie Crust, RECIPE BELOW:  Prepare as directed below.  Bake 5 minutes.

Almond Layer:  In medium bowl, combine chopped almonds, powdered erythritol, melted butter, Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 and almond extract.  Spread this mixture over the lightly baked crust.  Press down slightly.

Pumpkin Filling:  In food processor, process pumpkin, liquid sweetener, powdered erythritol, cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, molasses and almond extract until smooth.  Pour over the almond layer.  Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until set.

Helpful Hint:  *A food processor fitted with sharp blade makes short work of chopping the almonds.  If the food processor has a pulse button, use that, as it will help with control.

Yield:  10 servings
1 serving
301.2 calories
9.3 g protein
25.6 g fat
2.4 g fiber
7.6 g net carbs 

If you decide not to use the Bake mix with the xanthan gum, add 1 to 2 tsp finely ground pysillium husk powder (I buy it already as a powder and then grind in a coffee bean grinder, if necessary, to get rid of any gritty bits as I cannot stand grit in baked goods.)  The xanthan gum and the pysillium husks make this dough easier to work with.  Chilling the dough also helps with that.

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

In food processor or in bowl with electric mixer, process Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page 71, 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

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