Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Run! As Fast as You Can from Statin Drugs!!

It seems that some of the medical community is at last getting wise to just how terrible statin drugs are! Unless you like muscle weakness, pain, depression, kidney failure etc.- only a few of the side effects of statins! If you are new to our forum and take an anticholesterol drug, you need to read the following article by Tom Naughton of "Fat Head" blog! Then go to spacedoc.com and read Dr. Graveline's statin story- yes, this is the former space doctor and astronaut.  Here's Tom's article:  http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2011/01/20/bad-news-for-statins-is-good-news/comment-page-

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Shrimp and Avocado Salad

If you read the last post of the chicken salad courtesy of Sherri, she also gave us the website of a girl who develops recipes for the South Beach Diet. That diet has similarities to Atkins, but beware- some of it is definitely not Atkins friendly. But there ARE some very good Atkins friendly recipes on that site! I was browsing the site and found this recipe by Kaylyn for Shrimp and Avocado Salad. I think you will like this one.


Basic Atkins Friendly Baked Custard Recipe

Sherri mentioned on our forum that she was looking for a recipe for custard made with splenda, heavy cream and vanilla. This is a basic recipe that I've used often. Sometimes, I add cocomut and a meringue on top after baked and have coconut custard. ( Make sure it's unsweetened coconut- I find it in the "green aisle" of my favorite grocery.

Baked Custard


4 eggs, beaten
Splenda equivalent of 3/4 cup of sugar, or less if you like it less sweet tasting
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups heavy cream (scalded- do not boil!)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Beat eggs, Splenda, salt and vanilla until they are blended well. Scald the cream, but do not boil. Very gradually, stir the cream into the egg mixture. Do not do it all at once or you will have some scrambled pieces of egg. Once the cream is incorporated into the egg mixture, you can strain it to make sure no egg has coagulated. Mostly I don't do this, as I pour the cream very, very slowly. Pour into a glass casserole dish that has been sprayed with pan spray. Sprinkle the top with nutmeg if you like it.

Place an oven proof larger dish into the oven- must be larger than the custard dish by at least 1 inch all around. Fill the larger dish with hot water to reach about 1/2 the way up the sides of the custard, after you have placed the custard dish in the water bath dish. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a straw or toothpick comes out clean. (Ovens vary, so check at 40 minutes.) Remove from oven and place the custard on a cooling rack. This can be served at room temperature or cold from the fridge. Note: When I remove the custard from the oven, I cover the top right on the custard with plastic wrap to keep it from getting a skin on it as it cools. Sometimes, I use almond or other flavored extracts for a change. If there are leftovers, refrigerate- will keep at least two or three days.

Chicken Salad Courtesy of Sherri

One of our dear OFL's, Sherri has contributed a very good recipe for a slightly different chicken salad. Sounds really good! I know there are numerous ways to make chicken salad, but it never hurts to change it up- variety keeps us on our WOE! Do read all the way through. Sherri has substituted straight Mayo with olive oil instead of the combo of regular and light mayo- you do know that light mayo has carbs in it? Also, I think when I try it, I will toss a few chopped pecans in it the way my grandmother always did.

Shredded Chicken Salad with Green Olives, Celery, and Green Onion
(Makes 6-8 small servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

2-3 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded into bite-sized pieces
(you can cook 2 chicken breasts following the instructions below)
1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks celery)
1 cup large green olives with pimento, sliced into crosswise slices
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (or less if you're not that fond of green onion)
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup light mayo
2 tsp. green olive brine (liquid from the jar)
2 tsp. fresh or frozen lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. celery seed (optional, but good)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I didn't use much salt because the olives are salty)
If you're cooking chicken breasts to make this salad, trim all fat and tendons from two chicken breasts, put them in a small pan with enough water to cover, bring to a low simmer and cook about 15 minutes, or until chicken feels firm to the touch. Let chicken cool in the water, then drain.

Use your fingers to shred enough cooked chicken breast to make 2-3 cups. (I like to cut the chicken breasts into long strips and then shred the strips apart.) Slice olives and green onions and chop celery.

Combine mayo, light mayo, green olive brine, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, celery seed, salt and pepper and use a whisk to mix together.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine chicken pieces, diced celery and sliced green onions. Stir in enough dressing to moisten all the ingredients. (You may not need all the dressing, especially if you only have 2 cups of chicken pieces.) Then gently fold in green olives, mixing just enough to distribute them among the other ingredients. Serve immediately or chill slightly.

This will keep in the fridge for a few days, although you might not have any leftovers!

I just love it. I have cut the olives (salt) down and doubled the celery, left out the olive juice, use 2/3 Cup of Best Foods mayo with olive oil, and it’s still wonderful. Also, I have added legumes to my WOE, and the

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lazy Woman's Way of Making Cauliflower and Cheese Casserole

Lately, we've had several contributions of new ways to cook cauliflower which seems to be a mainstay of our veggies! Last night, I had no fresh cauliflower, but did have some frozen. So, being the micro snob I am, I decided that would be the quick and easy method to try something new. I put a single portion in a micro safe bowl with a couple of tablespoons of water and nuked on high for 2 1/2 minutes. Then, I drained the water and added two tablespoons of ranch dip made with real sour cream and two tablespoons of grated sharp cheddar. I stirred that all together and nuked for about thrity seconds, just to melt the cheese. Then I covered the top with grated cheese and nuked for forty-five seconds. Done! Delicious!

If I were going to make this in a casserole for more than one, I would cover the bottom of the dish with cauliflower and add a little more water to nuke.  I would at least double the dip and cheese for a larger casserole and nuke that when stirred in. Then, I would put the grated cheese on top and stick it under the broiler until brown and bubbly for more visual appeal. How easy is that?? And delicious!

Note: This would also be good with some diced onions in it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Flax Meal Pizza Dough from the Atkins Recipe Exchange

I think it's almost universal with all low carbers to miss the occasional pizza. So this is a new pizza dough for us all to try. The person on the recipe exchange used no sugar added spaghetti sauce as a base. It is fairly easy to make a pizza sauce from scratch that tastes more like pizza sauce. So, when I try this dough recipe, I'll use my sauce and report back to you. This really looks like a good recipe!


I've adapted the cheese crust pizza recipe by adding some flax meal. I find it sucks up the oils from the cheese and gives the crust more of a puffy/doughy texture. It could easily pass for a whole grain dough, it fooled my husband even! And you get some fibre. :)

Crust (for one person 6 inch, double the recipe for a 12 inch)

2 Tablespoons Flax Meal
1 cup shredded cheese (mozza or marble works best)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (or garlic powder if you like it less salty)

Mix it up in a bowl then spread it on parchment paper on a pizza pan. Pressing it out with the back of a spoon allows you to spread better and more evenly than with your fingers (less messy too!!!)

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 425 for 15 minutes or until the top gets a slightly beige tint to it. May need 20 minutes for a double recipe.

Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes or so. Then top with sauce and toppings of your choice. Turn the oven on to Hi Broil and throw it back in for about 5 minutes until the cheese melts on the top. Be careful how long you leave it in there as the edges of the “crust” will tend to start burning and once that starts it goes quickly…

Delish!!! I use Classico spaghetti sauce as my pizza sauce, it’s low carb and there is no sugar in it.

Nutritional information for the crust alone:

Calories 475
Fat 32.1g
Carb 9.2g
Fiber 4.1g
Net Carbs = 5.1g
Prot 38.7g

Please note: Don't try this without parchment paper, it has a tendency to stick too easily to just about anything else. I haven't tried a non-stick pizza pan though, so that may work.

Need a few Good Reasons to Stay with Low Carbing?

Yesterday, I was talking to my cousin, and he was complaining about feeling kinda bad all the time, with no energy. I happen to know he's a pretty high "carber" with lots of refined sugar in his diet. He also has numerous physical problems. So I was talking to him about the energy benefits of a low carb diet, even if he didn't particularly need to lose a lot of weight. Knowing he wouldn't do the research himself, I found him a few articles about research on sugar and cancer, immune disease, heart disease etc. If you ever doubt you are on the wrong WOE, these are the articles for you! Do take time to read them!


"Love Letter From Your Treadmill" Courtesy of Sharon

We all need a little humor in our lives. It has been said that laughter is the best medicine. Sharon found this "Love Letter From Your Treadmill" this morning, and I laughed out loud while reading it. There's a lot of truth in it as well as humor. Dr. Atkins said in his original book, "Exercise is NOT an option." We have to do it to get healthy. So give yourself a chuckle and consider once again to do anything you CAN do to get a little exercise in your life. Have a good read!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Red Salsa Courtesy of Gabby

I use salsa a lot, so I make my own in batches of six jars each and seal them in a canner. If you use it infrequently, here is an easy recipe for just about 1 1/2 jars and it will keep for a while in the refrigerator. 

Red Salsa

1 14.5 ounce jar of diced tomatoes with onions, garlic and oregano ( read the label to make sure there is no
   sugar added
1 small onion diced
1 small clove of garlic minced
1 or more seeded and diced Jalapeno peppers, depending on the amount of heat you want. (If you want no
  heat at all, substitue bell pepper, but the flavor profile will be different)
3/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
juice of 1/2 lime ( lemon can be substitued)
1 teaspoon of Mexican or Mediterranean oregano
1/2  teaspoon red wine vinegar ( if you don't have it, any vinegar will do)
equivalent of 1/2 -1 teaspoon of sugar substitute such as Splenda, according to your taste
1 teaspoon olive oil- this helps develop the flavor of the peppers
salt and hot sauce to taste- taste the salsa before adding these two and after simmering- hot sauce can be omitted

To make add all ingredients at once to a sauce pot, and simmer on medium heat for about ten minutes or until the onions are translucent. Taste for flavor and adjust seasonings to taste.Tranfer to clean jars with lids and let cool on the counter. When cool, refrigerate till ready to use. The flavor will develop even more after a few days. This will keep in the fridge unsealed up to two weeks or so. If you wish to seal it, after cooking, transfer the salsa into sterilized hot canning jars, put the lids on and seal in a hot water bath (boiling), with water covering the lids for five minutes. As they cool on the counter, the lids will seal.


Huevos Rancheros Courtesy of Gabby

If you were reading my post on the Old Fat Ladies forum of the Atkins site, you know that I had Mexican soft tacos for dinner last night. I saved the leftover filling and other veggies in zip-locks and used them this morning for huevos rancheros. Most recipes you see call for a tortilla browned on the bottom of the eggs and fillings. I omitted the tortilla this morning and just stuck to the filling with the eggs. So here is what I made. Serves two.

Huevos Rancheros

If you made soft tacos the night before and saved leftover filling, that about all you need for the eggs. If not, here are the ingredients:
4 larges eggs
1/4 pound of ground chuck
1 1/2 to 2 Roma tomatoes with pulp and seeds removed- diced

1/4 medium onion chopped
1 seeded and diced jalapeno ( more if you like it hotter, or subtitute bell pepper if you want no heat)
1 small clove of garlic minced
1 teaspoon of dried Mexican oregano- if you don't have that, the Mediterranean is fine
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup of grated queso blanco
Olive oil or butter
Sour cream
Red Salsa- check the label to make sure it has no added sugar or make you own

To prepare, crumble the ground chuck in a non-stick skillet. As it begins to brown, add the cumin, oregano, cilantro, garlic and salt and pepper to the meat and let them brown with the meat to increase the flavor.At the last couple of minutes add the tomatoes and let them begin to wilt. Remove this from the heat. Beat the four eggs with a teaspoon of water till fluffy. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel, and add just enough olive oil to barely cover the bottom of the skillet. Heat the skillet to medium and place the eggs in the skillet. Stir them around with a spoon and as they begin to cook add the filling and the cheese. When the eggs are done, remove them to two plates. Top with a tablespoon of sour cream and a tablespoon of the salsa. Absolutely delicious, full of protein and enough energy in this dish to last you for hours! Typically the Mexicans put the egs over corn tortillas which have been browned. I omitted that part because the tortillas have simply too many carbs. This could be served over a toasted low carb tortilla, depending on which phase of Atkins you're on.

Variations- you can fry the eggs, place the filling on the bottom of the plates, top with the fried eggs, sour cream and salsa. If you are at the phase where you can add beans to your WOE, you can use pinto beans instead of the meat. My housekeeper/ babysitter always made it with the meat and scrambled the mixture into the eggs.

Hope you enjoy!


Soft Tacos Courtesy of Gabby

The past couple of days, I've found myself craving the taste of Mexican food. In years past, I had a Mexican housekeeper/ babysitter and she taught me much about cooking Mexican food.  After eating her authentic flavors it was a real shock to eat in Taco Bell. I have to say I have never been back!

That being said, last night I had a soft taco the way Rosa used to make them. On occasion she would have them ready when I got home from work. Just opening the door and smelling the filling cooking would brighten my day! So, here is Rosa's version. You can enlarge the recipe or cut it down as you please. This is for two people.

Soft Tacos

2-10 inch low carb tortillas (I buy Extreme Wellness tortillas with only 5 grams of carbs each)
1/2 pound ground chuck
1/2 small onion diced
2 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced (more if you want more heat and if you really aren't into anything  hot, use bell peppers, although  the flavor profile will be different)
1 large clove of garlic minced
3 Roma tomatoes, diced with pulp and seeds removed
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup of grated queso blanco cheese- or any other grated cheese you like
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano- if you don't have the Mexican, you can always use the Mediterranean
  which is commonly found in grocery stores. ( I get all my herbs and spices from the international section of
  my grocery- much cheaper and very fresh!)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
 Red Salsa- read the label to make sure it has no added sugar ( or you can make your own- that recipe is another post)
Sour cream

To prepare, crumble the ground chuck into a skillet and begin to brown it and as it browns, add the cumin, oregano, cilanto and salt and pepper- adding the spices to the meat browning process really brings out the flavor. When the meat is brown, remove and set aside. Add just enough olive oil to the skillet to make a very thin covering for the bottom of the pan. Add the peppers, onions and garlic and just cook until the onion starts to become translucent. Place the meat back in with the veggies and stir around till all is combined. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. At the last three minutes, add the tomatoes. Remove from heat. Wipe out the skillet and add a little more oil, and lightly brown each tortilla on both sides-do not cook them till they are crispy or you won't be able to fold them around the filling. Place them on paper towels, with the tortillas separated by a towel. If you don't want to go to this trouble, you can always microwave them for about 20 seconds each till warm To assemble, add as much of the meat filling as you want to each tortilla, then grated cheese on top of that. A small dollop of sour cream goes on last. Put the salsa in a small bowl and add it as you wish as you eat the soft taco.

This recipe is Atkins friendly for every phase but phase I. If you are just beginning, this would make a great topping for a salad! In fact, I do this from time to time now. Occasionally, Rosa would serve a little bowl of guacamole on the side also. And avocados are so good for you! If you like to buy the guacamole already prepared, read the label carefully. Many have little actual avacado in them, and some are loaded with carbs. Making home made guacamole is incredibly easy, and I'll get that recipe up soon, also.

If you wish, you can also put lettuce cut into fine strips on your taco- this is the more Americanized version.

Tip- when chopping onions, peppers and the like, I always chop double what I need, and put the leftovers in zip-locks. Also put the leftover meat mixture in a zip-lock, and you have the makings for huevos rancheros for breakfast! Next post for that!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Doggie Treats Courtesy of Gabby

Today on OFL's, we have been talking about imported pet treats, and the dangers of them. For a long time now, I have been making most of Zora's treats and she loves them! Why, I don't know because they are sort of bland and tasteless to me. Of course I'm not a dog either. LOL! So, for those that would like to give it a try, here's the recipe:

Doggie Treats

2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg
1/2 cup of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove the liguid
Chicken or Beef Broth ( or homemade stock)

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Beat the egg with about a tablepoon of water, and stir in the spinach. Pour this mixture into the flour and mix (it will be very thick at this point. Gradually add tiny bits of the broth, until it can be formed into a dough ball. Roll it out to about 1/2 inch thick on a floured board. Cut the treats into the proper size for your dog. Place on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake until they are pretty hard, like dog biscuits you buy. You want them very crunchy as this seems to be what dogs like. Let cool and store in zip-lock bags. I keep them in the fridge and they last a long time. You can vary the flavor by adding other veggies. Zora absolultely loves the ones made with grated carrot! As far as I'm concerned this is the safest way to give her a treat. I KNOW what goes in them!

BTW, if you have to taste them, remember only a wee bite! They are not Atkins friendly! LOL!

Spicy Steak Quesadilla Courtesy of Gabby

Tonight, I was in the mood for Mexican as well as significant protein (read steak.) So, I decided to make an Atkins friendly Quesadilla with lots of cheese and spice to it. It definitely solved my protein longing and was nice and filling. So, I'm sharing the reciipe I use with you.

Spicy Steak Quesadilla

8- 12 ounces of sirloin steak about 5/8 inches thick with salt and pepper to your liking
3/4 cup of grated cheese of your choice
1/4 red onion sliced into very thin strips
1 small jalalpeno pepper in small dice
1 to 2 Roma tomatoes diced fine seeds and pulp removed
1 clove of garlic minced finely
3 tablespoons minced cilantro
Salsa- read the label carefully to make sure no sugar is added
Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 low carb tortillas ( I use Extreme Wellness low carb tortillas, which have five carbs apiece.

Usually, I grill the steak on the outdoor grill, but this being winter and cool and windy, I just used the broiler on my stove. Start cooking the steak while heating a saute pan with just enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Brown the tortillas- about two or three minutes each. Remove from the pan and place on a plate. Add a little more oil to the pan and add all the vegetables and seasonings. When the onions and jalapenos are soft, they are done. After the cooked steak has "rested" for a few minutes, slice it very thinkly and distribute it over one tortilla. Add 1/2 of the cheese and the veggies and seasonings. Add the other half of the cheese and the other tortilla. Cut it into wedges and serve with a couple tablespoons of salsa. 1/4 of the tortilla is usually enough for a meal for me. I save the other parts for another meal.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls Courtesy of Sharon

Our friend Sharon has contributed a solution for when you're out of Atkins bars and wanting a treat. These sound wonderful, and I've added crunchy peanut butter to the grocery list for this afternoon! Give these a try and don't forget to "loose" the peanut butter in the back of the fridge after making them! LOL!

Measure 2 Tbsp of *cold* all natural crunchy peanut butter -- yes, use a measuring spoon.

Put the jar all the way back in the back of the fridge and put something heavy and/or yucky (like a defrosting raw chicken) in front of it.

Take the PB you've measured out, form it into 4 balls, roll them in a mix of cocoa powder, Splenda (or stevia), and flaxseed.

Have them with a cup of coffee.

TELL SOMEONE -- I have to tell a friend on the phone because my partner's in NY now -- "I've had peanut butter today and I won't again until tomorrow."

Believe me, it's a wonderful substitute!


Raosted Whole Cauliflower Courtesy of Sharon

Sharon, our family member from Israel, has just contributed a very interesting recipe for roasting a whole head of cauliflower she found in her newspaper. Since cauliflower seems to be a mainstay of a number of OFL's, this is a good one to try for something different! We DO have to keep variety in our diets! So give this one a try!

The daily newspaper I get here has a wonderful Atkins-friendly recipe (not induction -- it has some yogurt in it) for whole baked cauliflower:

1 fresh whole cauliflower
1 Tbsp salt (for boiling water)
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 tsp mustard powder
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 c yogurt
1/4 tsp hot paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 or more cloves of crushed garlic
1 tsp salt (for sauce)
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil.

Fill a large pot about 2/3 full of water, add 1 Tbsp salt, put in the whole cauliflower and parboil for about 8 minutes. Take out and let drain in a large colander for a few minutes, then place in baking pan.

Now take all the other ingredients and mix them together in a bowl. Spread evenly over entire surface of cauliflower. Bake 40-45 minutes, till surface begins to brown. Serve with lemon wedges and more yogurt on the side. Serves 4-6.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Why to Eat Low Carb Courtesy of Dana Carpender ("Hold the Toast")

Today, I've been catching up on reading pertaining to the low carb life, and I always check in on Dana Carpender's blog. Her New Year's day post was an especially well thought out article about the reasons for sticking with low carb eating, other that the obvious of weight loss. I hope everyone will take the time to read this information. Is is well worth the few minutes it will take!  The address is:  

And I just finished listening to the first radio/podcast of Dana Carpender's new weekly show for the low carb life. This is also worth a few minutes of your time. Just click on first podcast and turn your speakers on. It's a good show and bound to get even better with time!  The address for the show is:

Beef Veggie Soup by Gabby

Today it is constantly raining outside and it just felt like a soup kind of day, So, I made my favorite beef vegatable soup, made with meaty shank bones. In case you've never used shank meat for soup or stew, it produces absolutely delicious beefy flavor. These are the same shank bones I roast for making beef stock after cutting the meat off. So here is an approximate recipe. You can add or subtract whatever you want.

Beef Veggie Soup

1 -1 1/2 pounds of beef shank bones with meat
1 quart of beef stock or 2 - 14.5 ounce cans of beef broth.
1 tablespoon soy sauce (optional, but really does enhance the flavor)
1 medium yellow onion chopped about medium
1 stalk of celery and leaves, chopped finely
1 clove of finely minced garlic
hearty sprinkle of onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste (Add after simmoring and before the veggies are added)

The above ingredients are the base of the soup no matter what veggies you use. All of the ingredients are placed in a pot  and cooked at a brisk simmer until the shank meat can be cut into 3/4 inch chunks and placed back in the stock. Depending on the meat, this can take up to two hours, and you may feel like adding more liquid as the level cooks down. Taste it though as the cooking concentrates the beef flavor, and you may feel like a little water is called for. The marrow from the bone is delicious and full of nutrients, but if it doesn't appeal to you, your dog will certainly like it!

Once you have removed the meat from the bones and place that back in the stock, chop and add veggies according to what you like.  Today, I put a handful of little frozen green peas in at the last, about half of a large carrot chopped,  a small tomato chopped and chopped okra. Simmer again until the veggies are just done. I just used what was on hand without going to the store. Each time I make it the veggies are different.

If you are not on Phase one of Atkins and want a little pasta for your soup, cook about half a cup of  Dreamfields rotini or macaroni separately in water and  toss in the soup at the last (Do not cook the pasta in the soup liquid as that will destroy it's low carb value.) This makes at least four hearty bowls of soup. You can use the carb counter on the Atkins site to figure out the carb count of your soup.Total carb count of the base of the soup is about 15 or 16 net carbs. So one bowl of the soup would be about 4 carbs. Add  the carb count of the veggies you use and divide by four to get the carb count of one serving. Make this on a day off when you have time to let the base simmer properly and develop flavor!