Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Red Chili Courtesy of Gabby

Yesterday, I posted Susi's Papa's Chili recipe, which you will see is infintely easier than mine. Well, not easier, just less time-consuming. So, I recommend that, if you get the urge to try mine, allow a little prep time. Once it's going, there's nothing to it- just let it simmer. Her recipe has no tomatoes, but around here, everyone likes the tomato taste, unless I'm making green chili with pork.

Red Chili with Tomatoes

2 Pounds ground meat ( 1/2 ground chuck- 1/2 ground fresh pork [not ground sausage])
1 large yellow onion diced (or any onion you want)
1 large Jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced fine
1 Poblano pepper, seeded and diced fine
4 large cloves of garlic, minced or fine dice
2 Tablespoons dried oregano
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1 Tablespoon onion powder
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 Tablespoons cumin (This depends on the freshness- If I grind my own seeds in the coffee grinder, sometimes it takes less. If using the powder you buy, sometimes it actually takes more than 2 Tablespoons, as cumin loses potentcy quickly after grinding.)
3 - 4 Tablespoons Chili Powder ( I think you'll find how much you need is dependent on how fresh the chili powder is. Start with a little and add as needed.)
Soy Sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
4 14 1/2 - 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes, including juice (read labels to make sure there is no sugar)
1 -2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
Water as needed at the end to thin if needed
Salt and Pepper to taste

Let me say at the beginning that we like our chili fairly spicy- not hot, but not mild either. So, if you like yours really mild, omit the jalapeno and the poblano, although poblanos have little heat- just a lot of flavor.

I use a large straight-sided skillet to make a pot of chili in. Mine is one leftover from chef days, so it holds an entire pot of chili. This works just as well in a dutch oven, or even in the crock pot , if you brown the meat and toast spices and herbs before hand.

Prepare all vegetables prior to starting. If you are grinding your own cumin seeds, grind enough ahead of time. Crumble meat in the skillet over medium high and begin to brown. Add vegetables to wilt while browning the meat. Once the meat is browned, drain the fat, and then add all the herbs and spices (except the cocoa and bouillon cubes) and cook for a bit till you really start to smell them. This toasts the herbs and spices, giving them a really rich depth of flavor. Sprinkle all with a healthy dollop of Soy Sauce and then add the Worcestershire sauce. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, a little salt and pepper to start, and stir it all together. Add cocoa and bouillon cubes after liquids are in. Reduce to simmer, and after about twenty minutes, taste for seasoning: additional cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, etc. Simmer at least forty-five minutes, adding very tiny amounts of water as needed. We like our chili thick and beef-tasting, so that's up to you. I serve with a little sour cream and grated cheese on top.

Note: Some people like a little more sweetness to the chili, so if it's near done and you do, add splenda in tiny amounts till it seems right.



Saturday, October 30, 2010

Linda's Low Carb Recipes

Here and there our OFL's mention recipes  from Linda's Low Carb Recipes that sound really good. I'm posting the address, so if you want you can take a look. I've been reading through some of her recipes and some sound like things I would definitely want to try!

Carbs in Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Custard

Yesterday, I posted my recipe for pumpkin and/or sweet potato custard. I've been asked for portion size and carb count, so here goes. This is not an exact science, because it depends on a couple of factors. First of all, let me say, the sweet potato has way more carbs than the pumpking, but it can still be managed on Atkins, if you're careful. 

A sweet potato has quite a few less carbs if it's baked than if it's boiled before making the custard- 24 versus 36 carbs for 1/2 cup. If using custard ramekins, I usually make 8 of them.  So each one has about 13  or 14 carbs.  This depends on whether you're using heavy cream or half and half. Add a carb if using half and half. If making a pie, I cut the standard restaurant serving, which is 1/8 of a pie, so the carb count for the custard part is the same. You will have to add carbs to match whatever type of crust you have.

Pumpkin, on the other hand, is a lot more carb friendly. Only around 5 carbs per 1/2 cup if boiled and maybe one more if canned. Make absolutely certain, you read the label on the canned pumpkin to make sure there is no sugar added. Some does have added sugar, even if it's not an actual pie mix. With the eggs and cream, this is a really rich dessert for few carbs expended!Besides, do you REALLY HAVE TO HAVE that crust to get the taste of fall and Thanksgiving?


Sweet Papa's Atkins Friendly Chili Courtesy of Susi

Susi, one of the OFL's relatively new members has made a contribution to our growing collection of creative recipes. This one is totally fine for all phases, and best of all, sounds like something that could easily be put together after a busy day at work!

 I am going to add a recipe here for my sweet old Papa's Chili. It is very easy and carb friendly! I hope that is ok.

Papa's Chili
2 lbs. chili meat
1/4 c. chili powder
1/2 c. flour (I of course don't use this)
2 t. salt
1 T. cumin
1 1/2 qts. water
Brown chili meat, add spices and water. Simmer about 30 minutes. You can use some guar gum or Thick Not STarch to thicken this up. It is quick and easy.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Baked Sweet Potato/Pumpkin Custard or Pie

I don't know about your part of the world, but it seems pumpkins and sweet potatoes are everywhere here. My brother has begun harvesting some, so I'm making sweet potato custard this weekend. This is a rich decadent treat and will bring those holiday memories flooding back. Just the smell of it baking reminds me of holidays!

This recipe can also be used as the filling for a pie. I am refraining from the pie crust, because, like others, I have made a solemn oath to myself to remain Atkins friendly all through the holidays!

Sweet Potato Custard (or Pumpkin Custard)

4 - 6 eggs (for a particularly rich custard, I use six eggs, but four will make the custard just fine)
1/2- 3/4 cup granulated
splenda note- for sweet potato custard, I only use 1/2 cup of the splenda, since the sweet potatoes have a natural sweetness already.
2 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes or 2 cups cooked pumpkin or I- 15 ounce can of pumpkin
   note- this is just straight pumpkin- not the pumpkin pie mix
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3 cups heavy cream or half and half, heated until very hot (do not boil)
Ground nutmeg or cinnamon for garnish- optional 

Makes two eight inch pies, if you are using pie crust.

Whipped cream for topping if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Begin whipping the eggs briskly with a whisk, adding splenda and spices and salt. Make sure there are no strings of egg white in the mixture and all is combined well. Temper this mixture by pouring a little of the hot cream into the eggs, whisking as you go to bring up the temperature of the egg mixture, so it will not scramble in the hot cream. I continue adding hot cream bit by bit until it is all incorporated into the egg mixture. (If you wish at this point, you can strain the whole mixture to make absolutely sure there are no cooked bits of egg. I usually don't bother.) At this point, you have a choice- using custard cups or a straight-sided souffle dish that will hold the whole thing. This should be baked using a hot water bath, to prevent toughness of the custard in the end. I sit the custard cups or souffle dish in a glass baking dish large enough to hold all with a little space around it. Add water around the custard cups or souffle dish, bringing the water ar least half way up the side.

Bakind time will vary- about 20 -30 minutes for the cups and 45 to 60 minutes for the one souffle dish. It is done when the sides are set and the center is still a little "jiggly." Do not wait until this is set firm in the oven, or the custard's leftover cooking time once out of the oven will make it too tough. Remove from the oven and the water bath and sit it on a cooling rack for at least one hour, or until very near room temperature. Then refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. When serving, I use whipped cream on top- really makes you feel like you're "cheating!"

On other note of caution. As you know- all ovens are different, so do check your custard near the end, in case your oven is cooking faster than the recommended time. I always check, because my oven has a psychosis- it cooks on whatever temperature it feels like on any given day!


Cheese Crisps courtesy of Pat

Once again, it has been awhile. Life has not been easy lately, so I'm glad to be back. A long time ago I asked for some cheese cracker recipes or something to snack on. Pat has contributed cheese crisps which sound really good. I intend to try these this afternoon, as when the weather turns a little cooler, I seem to want to snack in the evenings. Not to mention, I need to be on guard and have plenty of Atkins friendly stuff on hand. You DO KNOW the carb season has started with Halloween weekend, and will only end after New Years? So here this one is- sounds really easy and quick! Thanks. Pat!

 Cheese Crisps

The reason "recipe" is in quotes is because it has just one ingredient - cheese. I use pepperjack because it has such a good taste when done, but cheddar works - it is just a bit bland. It can be perked up with some garlic/garlic salt.

Preheat the oven to 400. Grate a couple ounces of cheese. Divide it equally into 12 muffin cups. There should be just enough to cover the bottom of the cup. If you put too much in, it doesn't crisp well. Put in the oven and set timer for....well, it really depends on your oven. In one oven I've done eight minutes and others 15, but 10 minutes seems to be about right. You want to cook the cheese until it is uniformly light brown on top (it is usually lighter in the middle). It will bubble and have little holes all over it. Be sure to check it often towards the end of the time until you know how your oven does.

When it is done, take it out of the oven and cool on the stove top for a minute or two then run a fork around the edge of the cheese circles. They should pop right out and can be dried/drained on paper towels.

1-2 ounces of cheese makes about 12 crisps which are great with salads or snacking when you just want something crunchy. Store in a airtight plastic bag or container. I usually refrigerate them if I don't eat them that day, but they seem to be ok without refrigeration if I carry them to eat at work.

Carbs - 0 to 2 depending on the cheese you use.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Continuing Saga of Tightening Skin Courtesy of Doreen

Here is another little addendum that Doreen has given us for tightening skin- re: products she uses. She's so good at feedback on this sort of stuff, I'm sure we'll find out how it works when she has results to repot!

'Saga of Tightening Skin'

I have been using a product called Oxylift believe it or not, it does seem to help. My Dad's angry scowl over my right eye that I inherited almost disappears after a couple uses. and it does help tighten up saggy jowls. I use a facial cleaner, eye cream and night cream from Aubrey, no nasties in it. I just started last night with their Collagen cream from Aubrey. It has soluble collagen and elastins in it so they will penetrate the skin. I then use the Oxylift to help it get to where it is needed!
I'm also using the collagen cream on my inside upper arm area and inner thighs. I was shocked a few months ago by the fact that they have become very yucky! I'll report in a couple weeks if there is an improvement. I also booked a holiday to Punta Cana for Jan. so they better perk up so I can where cooler clothes there!

Foccacia Style Bread Courtesy of Doreen

Where does our Doreen find the time to do all these wonderful posts? She works like crazy and still finds time to be such a valuable member of OFL's! This is her recipe for Foccacia Style Bread, and the good thing is it is suitable for all phases, even newbies to Atkins!

If you are like me, I used to buy all those rough grain Mediterranean style breads. This sounds like a wonderful substitute for that. If, before this WOE, you were a Wonder bread afficianado, this may take some getting used to, but I suggest you broaden your taste buds a bit and give this great bread a try!

Focaccia Style Bread (suitable for all phases)

"I call this "focaccia" because it is baked in that style -- flat on a sheet pan, and then cut up into whatever sized pieces you want. It works for toast, sandwiches, and other bready uses. It is "rough" in texture like heavy whole grain breads. Since it isn't made with wheat, it doesn't have the same kind of grain as wheat breads, but the carb in flax is almost all fiber. Flax is very useful on a low carb diet, as well as being amazingly good for you.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
2 cups flax seed meal (I use Golden Flax Meal)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 Tablespoons sugar equivalent from artificial sweetener
5 beaten eggs
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare pan (a 10X15 pan with sides works best) with oiled parchment paper or a silicone mat.

1) Mix dry ingredients well -- a whisk works well.

2) Add wet to dry, and combine well. Make sure there aren't obvious strings of egg white hanging out in the batter.

3) Let batter set for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken up some (leave it too long and it gets past the point where it's easy to spread.)

4) Pour batter onto pan. Because it's going to tend to mound in the middle, you'll get a more even thickness if you spread it away from the center somewhat, in roughly a rectangle an inch or two from the sides of the pan (you can go all the way to the edge, but it will be thinner).

5) Bake for about 20 minutes, until it springs back when you touch the top and/or is visibly browning even more than flax already is.

6) Cool and cut into whatever size slices you want. I usually cut it into 12.

I layer with wax paper and freeze them also.

Nutritional Information: Each of 12 servings has less than a gram of effective carbohydrate (.7 grams to be exact) plus 5 grams fiber, 6 grams protein, and 185 calories.

"Variations - sprinkle Parmesan, Rosemary, a few finely shredded onion strings or any savory style spices you like. I usually do 1/2 savory 1/2 plain. Use the savory with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce or for open face sandwiches. This is the sandwich solution for steak or chicken sandwiches, chicken or egg salad sandwiches, bacon lettuce tomato sandwiches. I eat the regular as toast for breakfast with cream cheese on it. Could also serve as a great single serve pizza crust."

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Top Ten Anti-Oxidant Foods

After reading Doreen's research on sagging skin and seeing that the anti-oxidants in berries are good, I did a little research of my own. I am one of those weird people who just doesn't really like any fruit, unless it is a red grapefruit or a pomelo I have picked from the tree myself! Talk about food snobs! Well, I no longer visit my brother's house in south Florida, because he has moved back north, so no more avocado, pomelo or  grapefruit trees to pick from! I found this article on the top ten anti-oxidant foods and was pleased to see some of my favorites- tomatoes being at the top of my list! 

This author's way of using some of these foods is not always Atkins friendly, but we can take the information and make it fit our lifestyles!

Tightening Loose Skin- Part III- Courtesy of Doreen

This is the third and final part of the research Doreen did for us. We should all be beautiful and glowing after a while, if we develop a skin care regimen and follow it!

Part 3.

Foods That Tighten Loose Skin

Fatty foods

Fats will be one of your biggest allies at the cellular level. Essential fatty acids, known as EFAs, help with cell growth and repair. Translation: Fatty acids provide a nice wake-up call to that cellular layer, instructing them to regenerate any damaged cells and ultimately, increase elasticity. Monounsaturated fats also provide a nice buffer between any environmental toxins, such as free radicals, and shield the cell wall.
Beneficial fatty foods are from sources such as butter, oils, raw nuts, avocados, seeds, which is another reason to make sure you are keeping your fat consumption at proper Atkin's levels.

Antioxidant-rich foods

Antioxidants have received much hype in the nutrition world and for good reason. Antioxidant-rich foods are like the palace guards at the United Kingdom---they let no intruder into the palace walls. Tightening loose skin is a cellular process that needs to be protected, too. A few free radicals from unhealthy, trans-fat laden foods can worsen loose skin, and antioxidants help the skin stay elastic by protecting the cell layer. Antioxidant-rich foods are blueberries, blackberries, (Atikin's friendly) others for later in the program are pomegranates and any fruit with a rich dark color. The darker the color, the higher the antioxidant level is in the food.

Basically just live healthy. Eat a well balanced, Atkin's diet, drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, and exercise daily. If you follow these steps you should start to notice improvement, but remember to be patient. Tightening the loose skin may take time. In the mean time enjoy your weight loss accomplishment. Be proud of yourself and the self improvements you have already made. Don't be hard on yourself because there is still work to be done. After all Rome wasn't built in a single day!

Tightening Loose Skin - Part II- Courtesy of Doreen

What follows is Part II of the wonderful research Doreen has done and saved all us lazy people a whole lot of effort! LOL!

Part 2.

Water Water Water

Drink a lot of water. Keeping your skin well hydrated is essential in improving skin elasticity. If you are not properly hydrated your skin will not have the "Bounce Back" that it once had.
Think of a wrinkly raisin: the reason for the wrinkly exterior is due to the absence of water from the fruit. Your skin operates in a similar manner. Keeping your body hydrated enables fluid to flow between cells, which allows your skin to stay flexible and elastic.

Do not chug a gallon of water and eat nothing but fruit for a week and expect to see instant results. Gaining weight was a minimum nine-month process, so expect that same amount of time to see tangible consequences. On the bright side, a good diet has a number of other benefits, such as improved mood, weight loss, improved hair and nails, and other great side effects.

Skin Care

Moisturize Daily. Moisturizer adds up to 70 percent of moisture to your body and will help your body keep elasticity as you lose weight. Using a moisturizer each and every night will really help you tighten up that loose skin and make it seem less flabby. In order to help keep the moisturizer on your skin you might want to wear cotton long sleeves and pants while you sleep. Before we have a discussion of specific ingredients a moisturizer should have, it's important to educate ourselves a little bit more on skin itself and what makes a product good or poor.

The biggest reason our skin, whether on the face or the rest of the body, develops lines and/or starts to sag, is that the collagen and elastin in our skin begins to break down. This is the most technical this page is going to get, so bear with me for just a sentence or two.

Collagen is a protein that is fibrous in nature. What makes collagen different from other kinds of protein is that it possesses great tensile strength, which means, among other things, it provides firmness to the skin. You don't need to be a scientist, therefore, to understand that as collagen breaks down due to aging, the firmness of our skin becomes...well, less firm. Wrinkles appear and skin starts to sag. You would think that buying a product with collagen in it would be a great thing. And the marketers who sell products that contain collagen know this. But it's a bogus ingredient because collagen molecules are much too large to penetrate into the skin when applied topically.
Elastin, too, is a protein that helps skin stay "flexible" and firm. If your skin is stretched, elastin is the protein that helps it return to its original position.
What all of this means for you is that you do not want to purchase a skin care product that is nothing more than a cream that fills in fine lines and wrinkles, giving the appearance of temporarily nicer skin when it's on...but the illusion shattered when you wash it off. You want a product that contains ingredients that actually stimulate new collagen and elastin production in your skin. If you achieve this, you will, in reality, begin to turn back the clock.

Long, Hot Bath

At least 2 to 3 times a week, relax yourself with an hour-long hot bath. Add ½ lb of pure sea salt or a couple cups of epson salts in the tub, as the water is being drawn. Let the salts dissolve properly and then enter the water. The hot bath will help you relax your entire body and muscles, remove toxins from the skin, and improve your skin's tone.

Use a loofah and a good body scrub at least four times a week in the shower to help tighten your loose skin. Using body scrub will help peel away the dead skin and make the new skin regenerate itself faster which will be tighter than the layer of dead skin. A loofah is a great shower tool to use because it helps scrub away the dead skin gently and it is very soft. You can get both of these items at your local retail store for about seven dollars.

Tightening Loose Skin- Part I Courtesy of Doreen

Once again, our sweet Doreen has done some superb research for us! Several of us had expressed dismay over the fact that we were getting the "sags" in skin here and there due to loosing weight. This is wonderful information and well worth reading all three parts! One thing I might add is that we can provide some collagen to our skin from within by using gelatin. So, here is part I.

 Research on How To Tighten Loose Skin
Part 1

The first step in tightening loose skin is to understand what makes it sag in the first place. Skin is actually an organ. It is amazingly resilient. Skin is designed to stretch as our bodies grow and to shrink as we become smaller. This is the first clue that it may be possible to tighten loose skin mother natures way without the risk of surgery. Very severe cases of loose sagging skin may in fact require a surgical procedure but first try the natural way. Understand that it may take some time to accomplish tight skin again but it is far better to avoid surgery if possible. If you have experienced rapid weight loss such as with weight loss surgery, tightening the excess skin may not be an easy task. It will require hard work and life style changes. As well you will need to be patient. Your skin did not stretch over night and you will not tighten it over night.
If you are just beginning your weight loss journey there are things you can do to help prevent large amounts of sagging skin in the first place. Try to lose weight slowly, about 2 lbs. per week. This will allow your skins elasticity to keep up with the weight loss. As well, when you lose weight rapidly, and without proper amounts of exercise, you lose muscle tone. Muscle acts at a prop preventing skin from becoming loose and drooping.


Now if it is after the fact and you are already experiencing loose skin there are things you can do to improve it. Begin a daily exercise routine. Aerobic and cardio exercises work well. Ab crunches, sit ups and weight lifting are great but even if you just walk 30 minutes a day you will see improvement. Exercise helps tighten the loose skin it two ways. It helps to build muscle tone and it will finish burning any leftover excess fat under the skin. Sometimes although we have reachd our goal weight there is still fat deposits under the skin. The deposits of fat weigh the skin down preventing it from tightening back up.

Another important aspect to losing weight and tightening your skin is to lift weights. Lifting weights is a really important part of being healthy and staying in shape and can help build up your muscles. Lifting weights will turn that flab into muscle and will make you look more lean and toned. You can lift free weights starting out with five to ten pounds and then increase the weights each week. You want to do exercises like lifting free weights about three to four times per week for best skin tightening results.

Stomach crunches will naturally help your loose skin turn into a tighter look because of the abdominal muscles that are used during the exercise. Stomach crunches are very easy to do and you can do them anywhere which is why they are important to for tightening and toning loose skin. If you do not like stomach crunches or your day is so busy you can not do them, sit in your chair and do a similar stomach exercise. If you are someone who is often on the computer or sitting at a desk, take your stomach muscles and push them inward. Breathe in very deep and let your stomach muscles go inward and hold that position. You should hold this position for about two minutes and repeat this exercise at least 10 times. This is a very fast and simple exercise to help tighten loose skin especially if you are sedentary throughout the day.

Along with stomach crunches and lifting weights, you should also be doing regular exercises to help tighten your loose skin. Walking, running, jogging, push-ups, sit ups and bicycling will all help tighten up your loose skin.

You should do aerobic exercises every other day to help tone the loose skin and build your muscles and do anaerobic exercises in between those days. You should also give yourself a rest one day per week so that you do not get burned out on exercising within the first week. It is important you give your muscle groups a rest one day in between exercising with them again so that you do not hurt yourself or injure a particular muscle. Exercising is a very good way to tone your body and tighten your loose skin no matter which area of the body it is at. Building muscle mass is also known to make you appear more toned and help bring back your natural skin elasticity.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Doggone Dog by Sharon

Hi, folks, got to thinking about Sharon's coming CD and thought a little tribute was due to her and her great talent. Being a dog lover, I cry everytime I hear the song she wrote about her Ralphie, who passed away. If you haven't heard it, here is a link to it. If you listen, have Kleenex handy- if you don't cry, you are a colder person than most! Give a listen and let Sharon know how much talent she has. She is a real asset to the OFL's! I know I'm buying her coming CD!

Important for Low Carbers- Vitamin D Levels- Courtesy of Judy

One of our newer members of the family, Judy, contributed this information about Vitamin D. I never realized it could cause cardiac problems! So, I think this is information we all need to read!
Few people know that Vitamin D deficiency can lead to heart attack and stroke. Sometimes that's what it is. Here is a link to WebMD where they talk about it: and PubMed I

Eggplant- Mini Burger Stir Fry Courtesy of Sharon

Our composer and singer, Sharon from Israel contributed this stir fry recipe using eggplant and mini burgers. Sounds really good! We are getting beautiful eggplants right now in Florida, so I intend to try this one. Doesn't sound too time-consuming, either.

I invented something so good for dinner yesterday -- oiled the wok, stir-fried an eggplant peeled and cut into cubes with a few cloves of garlic cut in quarters, then took a pound of ground beef with some scallions chopped up into it and made a whole bunch of mini-burgers about as big as the circle between your thumb and forefinger. When they were just barely done (medium rare), I put them into the wok with the eggplant and added soy sauce and a little cracked pepper and tossed them gently around a bit. If I had had any sesame seeds I'd have thrown them in at that point. It was *so* good even without the sesame seeds, though. 

Atkins Friendly Fresh Cranberry Sauce Courtesy of Doreen

Well, again I haven't posted in a while due to my mother's illness. All has calmed a bit and I have some time to myself, so am making and effort to catch up.

I know our Canadian friends have already had Thanksgiving, but all of us from the US have it fast-approaching. And who wants a turkey dinner without cranberry sauce? I just looked at a can of whole berry cranberry sauce I have in the pantry, and about had a heart attack when I saw the carb listing! Doreen has solved that for us! Here is her version of Atkins friendly cranberry sauce. Thanks, Doreen!

I make a kind of low carb cranberry sauce. For 1 bag of cranberries you add 1 Cup Splenda and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a slow boil, the berries will start to pop. I take a potato masher and help them along! If it is not thick enough add a little xanthan gum. Put it in sealer jars and yummy! Nothing tastes better than homemade cranberry sauce!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cinnamon Crispy Pork Rinds Courtesy of Doreen

Once again, Doreen has contributed another recipe that our OFL's have been trying and it is a good one for a snack. She found this in "Linda's Low Carb Recipes."

1 ounce pork rinds
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Cinnamon/granular Splenda mix
or Truvia or any granular SF sweetner

Spread the pork rinds out in a single layer on a dinner plate. Drizzle the butter all over them then sprinkle them liberally with the cinnamon/Splenda mixture. If you like, you can warm them for about 20-30 seconds in the microwave.

Makes 1 serving
Do not freeze
1 ounce of pork rinds will pretty much cover a dinner plate in a single layer. I tried to select pork rinds that were somewhat flat but any shape will work. I didn't measure the cinnamon and Splenda because I already had some mixed in a shaker jar. I'd guess you may need about a teaspoon or two of Splenda and 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. The counts are based on 2 teaspoons Splenda and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Per Serving: 289 Calories; 28g Fat; 13g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb

Pumpkin Pie Courtesy of Doreen

Well, for our Canadian friends, Thanskgiving is here, and for the ones of us in the US, it is fast approaching next month. So, our dear OFL Doreen contributed a really delicious sounding recipe for Atkins friendly pumpkin pie! I will definitely be trying this one, because I have picked up numerous pecans from the new crop under our trees (what I could beat the squirrels to!) And my brother is in the mountains of North Carolina and will bring home fresh pumpkins BTW, I have made numerous pies with the canned pumpkin, but it is amazing how good the fresh pumpkin makes a pie. Here is Doreen's recipe:

Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Crust

2 Cups shelled raw pecans (I add 1/2 C Almonds too)
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 Tbls Splenda
1 1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
4 Tbls butter melted
2 Tbls water

Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 can (15 ounce) pumpkin (not the pie filling one)
1 1/2 Cups heavy cream
3 eggs
3/4 Cup Splenda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp blackstrap molasses
1 Tbls pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg)

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Put the pecans and almonds and salt in a food processor with the S blade in place. Pulse until the nuts are chopped to a medium consistency.
3. Add the Splenda, molasses, and butter and pulse again until well blended. Add the water and pulse again until combined. At this point you'll have a soft sticky mass.
4. Spray a 10" pie plate with nonstick cooking spray or butter it well. Turn the nut mixture into it and press firmly in place all over the bottom and up the sides by 1 1/2" or so. Try to get it an even thickness with no holes and if you wish run a finger or knife around the top edge to get an even, nice looking line.
5. Bake for about 18 minutes (I did 10 because it burns) Remove and cool
6. Increase the oven temp to 425F
7. Combine the pumpkin, heavy cream, eggs, Splenda, salt, molasses, and spice in a bowl and whisk together well. Pour into the prebaked and cooled pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes then lower oven temp to 350F and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Cool and serve with whipped cream.

Yield: 8 servings, each with 14 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber, Net carbs of 10 grams and 6 grams protein

I used a 28 oz can of pumpkin so I doubled the filling mix and baked the rest in ramekins. I liked them better than with the crust plus it will lower the carbs by a lot.

Barbecue Pork Rinds- The A Friendly Way!

Well once again our dear OFL Doreen has supplied us with a delicious recipe! This is for barbecue pork rinds without any carbs to speak of. I haven't tried them yet, due to long periods at the hospital with my mother, but I have tried the rub in the past on pork, and it is delicious! It can only improve the pork rinds.

Here it it:

A quick btw, for anybody who wants a savory snack I made pork rinds using the classic barbecue rub mix over the butter, and I also did some using a BBQ seasoning I buy at the health food store (there is no sugars in it at all) and both turned out really yummy. I use the rub seasoning mix on a lot of stuff now. The next batch I make I'm going to cut back on the sweetner by half though. Here is the recipe again.

Classic Barbecue Rub ( from The Low Carb Barbecue Book)
¼ cup splenda
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp celery salt
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp sage
1 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp cayenne

Combine everything, stir well, and store in a shaker. Sprinkle heavily over just about anything, but especially over pork ribs and chicken.

Yield: Makes just over 2/3 cup, or roughly 12 tbsp.

3 grams of carbs, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams net carbs, 1 gram protein

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Attention All Diabetics and Pre-Diabetics!

As most of you know, I'm (as Dr. Mike Eades puts it) mad as hell at the pharmaceutical industry! I was browsing through Dana Carpender's blog "Hold the Toast" a while ago and came across this post. Once again, I saw red! It reminded me of my aunt who died of complications during surgery to amputate her foot. She was a Type I diabetic from her teen years, and taught all the nonsense of low fat, high carb eating, and to just cover anything she ate too much of with a little more insulin! Her doctor was ignorant and probably believed the lies of the pharmaceutical reps who came around giving free samples and spouting their lies! These very lies cost her her life! How many people have to suffer before we become wise to the pharmaceutical industry?? Anyway, enough of me- have a read of what Dana has to say:

American Diabetes Association ties to Big Pharma

Those of us in the low carb community have long shaken our heads, wondering why, oh why, the American Diabetes Association still insists that the best diet for people with severely impaired carbohydrate metabolisms is a low fat diet loaded with starch -- aka "lots of sugar holding hands." The research and clinical experience of doctors like Dr. Richard Bernstein and Dr. Mary Vernon seems to affect them not at all. Nor do years of positive clinical research, or the stories of millions of diabetics who have controlled their blood sugar through low carbohydrate diets.
They also seem oblivious to the fact that before hypoglycemic medication was invented, low carbohydrate diets were commonly recommended for diabetics: Dr. John Rollo, Surgeon General in the Royal Artillery of the British Army being credited as the first modern doctor to recommend such a diet for treatment of the disease. This text, Diabetes Mellitus and Its Treatment, by R.T. Williamson MD, was published in 1898, and includes this statement:Ever since Rollo published his book on diabetes in 1797, and pointed out the value of restriction of the carbohydrates in the food, it has been acknowledged that of all forms and methods of treatment this dietetic one is the most important.
Yet the ADA continues to recommend a diet of the very foods that destabilize blood sugar, instructing diabetics to "cover" those "healthy" carbs with higher and higher doses of medication -- this, despite it being generally recognized that tight blood sugar control is the most important preventive of diabetic complications. Why?
Take a look at this: a list of the ADA's top corporate sponsors. See the "Banting level" sponsors, the biggest bankrollers of the ADA? All but one of them are pharmaceutical companies. The remaining one -- BD -- is a medical supplies corporation whose business includes "diabetes care" and "pharmaceutical systems. All of them make money off of diabetes. All of them. They are all making money, very big money, off of diabetes medications. I question whether those sponsors have any corporate interest in diabetes interventions that would dramatically lessen the quantity of drugs diabetics have to take.
The Bible says "A man cannot serve two masters." The same holds true of a corporation. And for any publicly traded corporation, their "master," their main and driving goal, must be shareholder profits. Legally, ethically, that is their greatest responsibility. Not one of these companies can, therefore, have the health of diabetics, their toes, their kidneys, their eyesight, as their greatest concern. Their greatest concern is, must be, the bottom line. Anything that reduces shareholder profits is inimical to their mission.
I don't know if the folks at the ADA are actually doing the Mr. Burns finger-steeple-ing thing, intoning "Excellent!," as they plot the further enslavement of diabetics to their Big Pharma corporate masters. I actually doubt it. On the other hand, I can't help but think that thirteen companies (Hmm. I just counted them. That there's thirteen of 'em just seems so... theatrical.), each contributing a minimum of a cool mil a year, have at least a modest degree of influence.

Snack Attack Tip Courtesy of Doreen

Once again, Doreen has given us a little more variety for our low-carb eating! This idea for snacking came from Linda's Low Carb Recipes. Doreen made the comment that these could also be turned into a savory snack using sea salt and garlic or other savory spices. I love that idea, as I've never been a heavy sweets snacker! I'm not really qualified to comment, as I haven't tried this yet, but I can just see those beautiful big salt crystals and taste the garlic! 

Quick Snack Attack Tip

1 ounce pork rinds
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Cinnamon/granular Splenda mix
or Truvia or any granular SF sweetner

Spread the pork rinds out in a single layer on a dinner plate. Drizzle the butter all over them then sprinkle them liberally with the cinnamon/Splenda mixture. If you like, you can warm them for about 20-30 seconds in the microwave.

Makes 1 serving
Do not freeze

1 ounce of pork rinds will pretty much cover a dinner plate in a single layer. I tried to select pork rinds that were somewhat flat but any shape will work. I didn't measure the cinnamon and Splenda because I already had some mixed in a shaker jar. I'd guess you may need about a teaspoon or two of Splenda and 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. The counts are based on 2 teaspoons Splenda and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Per Serving: 289 Calories; 28g Fat; 13g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb

Linda's Comments-
Although I don't care for snacking on pork rinds plain because they tend to be very dry and stick in my throat. However, pouring melted butter over them solves this problem and the cinnamon mixture makes them unbelievably tasty. You may be able to get by with just a tablespoon of butter but I'm trying to get more fat in my diet so I went all out. It's the little pools of melted butter inside the pork rinds blending with the cinnamon mixture that make these so yummy so try not to skimp on the butter. Whatever you do, don't wear a black shirt while eating these! By the time I was finished munching, I was covered in pork rind dust. I polished these off before I even had time to get out my camera to take a picture.

Copied from Linda's Low Carb Recipes

I found them very tastey indeed!!

Flax Meal Bread Courtesy of Becky

This recipe from Becky is definitely a keeper! And you don't have to be low-carbing it to like it. I tried it out on my parents today- toasted slices under the broiler and spread with cream cheese- they loved it! And variations of what to put in the bread are endless. When I made it, I used 1/2 cup of grated zucchini and pecans instead of walnuts. It was wonderful!

Flax Bread 1 1/4 Cups ground flax meal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 Cup sugar (Splenda)
1/8 cup chopped walnuts
1/8 cup blueberries, cranberries, craisins
or raisins or zucchini or applesauce
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon plus vanilla or any other flavor
5 Eggs
1/8 cup plus a tad of any fat (I use butter or sour cream)

Bake in greased loaf pan at 350, 35 minutes in a convection oven.\ (Sugar and raisins are for my Dad who needs to gain weight)

Take 1/5 of this recipe ( except baking powder still need at least a quarter tsp) combine in a small bowl or cup and microwave for about 2 minutes for a MIM

One other comment I had about this- dried fruits such as raisins and craisins are very sugar concentrated, so if you're not on maintenance or at least phase three with Atkins, they should be avoided pretty much. I also used almond extract instead of vanilla because I was out of vanilla and it worked fine. I just used one teaspoon. Thanks Becky for adding a little more variety to our low-carbing life!