Monday, March 28, 2011

Cauliflower Popcorn Courtesy of Barb

Do you really miss popcorn sometimes? I do! Well, Barb, another of our dear OFL's has found a recipe for cauliflower popcorn! Sounds great! Here it is:

Cauliflower Popcorn 7.3 Carbs per 1/4 recipe Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
1 head cauliflower
4 T olive oil
Cut or break up your cauliflower head into ping pong ball sized pieces (no smaller as they over cook to the small rock stage). Coat with the olive oil.
Bake 1 hour, turning every 15 min until the edges are medium to dark gold and starting to get crispy.
Remove and enjoy.
I sprinkled some Parmesan over mine as soon as they came out of the oven.

Campbell's Soup Casseroles Revived the Low Carb Way!

Remember those good old Campbell's Soup Casseroles of yesterday- well, I suppose some people still make them...  Not low carb! Well, I found a really interesting one on Linda's Low Carb Recipes today. It even has a recipe for low carb mushroom soup. I do intend to try this! I never could figure out just what Campbell's put in their "cream" soups for that carb count! After all, reducing cream will make it turn thick. Go figure.

Anyway give this a look:

2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion, chopped, 2 1/2 ounces
6 small zucchini, sliced in half moons, 24 ounces
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 batch Dottie's Cream of Mushroom Soup for Recipes
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Brown the ground beef with the onion and a little salt and pepper; drain the fat. Put the meat in a large, greased casserole, 3 quarts or larger. Sauté the zucchini and mushrooms until almost tender; season lightly and add to the ground beef in the casserole. Prepare the mushroom soup and stir into meat and vegetable mixture along with the cheese; adjust the seasoning if necessary. Bake at 350º 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Makes about 8 servings
Can be frozen

Per Serving: 436 Calories; 34g Fat; 28g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 4g Net Carbs

This makes a huge casserole so don't be tempted to try to put it in a smaller dish. If you'd rather save on time rather than cleanup, you can brown the beef and onion in one large skillet while sautéeing the zucchini and mushrooms in another. Once the meat is cooked and transferred to the casserole, you can prepare the mushroom soup in the same skillet. I think you'll like this creamy, comforting casserole. I was tempted to add some garlic, but I think the mushroom flavor probably comes through better with just salt and pepper. 

8 small mushrooms, chopped, 3 ounces
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 tablespoons onion, chopped, about 1 ounce
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Xanthan gum, optional *

In a medium skillet, sauté the mushrooms, celery and onion in the butter until soft. Add the broth and cream. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat a bit and cook until reduced and thickened, stirring frequently and watching closely so it doesn't boil over. Season to taste.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms and Mushrooms Courtesy of Sharon

Sharon, our dear OFL in Israel, made a dish for company that sounds delectable! I love mushrooms and I love artichokes! She uses frozen artichoke bottoms that she buys there. I do hope I can find them here!

For the stuffed artichoke bottoms, I oil the bottom of a very large flattish baking pan, then lay down a layer of tomato slices with garlic cloves cut into matchsticks between them. Then I put in water to just cover the tomatoes. Then I put down the defrosted artichoke bottoms and mushrooms, open side up. (If the pan isn't big enough, work in two layers, artichokes on the bottom and mushrooms on the top.) Then I make my beef mixture -- 1 kg (a bit more than 2 lbs.) ground beef; the leaves from about 12 parsley stems, chopped; 1 grated onion; 1 grated kohlrabi; 2 grated zucchini; 1 grated tomato; 1 huge handful of pine nuts; salt and pepper to taste. (This mixture stuffed 22 artichoke bottoms and 10 mushrooms today.) Then I take the juice of a large lemon and beat it up with about 1/4 c olive oil and spoon it over the meat in each artichoke/mushroom; if there is any left over, I pour it into the pan. Then I cover the pan with aluminum foil (oiled on the side that touches the food), bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes covered, uncover the pan, baste with the liquid in the pan, and bake for 20 minutes uncovered and baste again and turn the oven off.

It sounds like a lot of work but it really is not.

Atkins Friendly Crepes Courtesy of Arlene

Arlene, one of our newer members is obviously a very creative cook! And these crepes she makes are good for all phases of our WOE!

My crepes are simple: take 8 eggs, wire whip them with a little water. Heat a small (8"?) frypan and spray it with Pam; Pour 1/4 cup or more eggs into pan and rotate pan to cover bottom and up the sides a little. Cook until done - doesn't take long. Slide it out of pan onto waxed paper or paper towel. Pour in another 1/4+ cup of eggs and cook another one. When cooled, I fold them over and store them in the refrigerator. You don't have to fold them over, just stack them. When I'm hungry, I slip one out and steam up some asparagus/shredded chicken, taco meat and/or other veggie, and "fill" the crepe. Sometimes, I use cream cheese with some pureed blueberries and a squirt of whipped cream(be careful when pureeing, you can use too much carbs) and heat them up - delicious! And, they are quick. Eggs are on sale this week!

The Whole Foods Marketing Deal by Jimmy Moore

Those of you whole are OFL's know that I've been dealing with the health issues of my 90 year old mother, so I am waaaay behind on our blog. I'll try and get that corrected in the next few days. There are quite a few new recipes from members that need to go up here.

Today, between hospital visits and cooking for my father, I have tried to catch up on some of my regular reading. So, if you are a Whole Foods customer, do yourself a favor and read this post by Jimmy More of "Livin' La Vida Low Carb" blog. Go to:  Then, scroll down to this title and read the post:

Whole Foods Offers Customers ‘Customized Nutrition Plan’ Pushing A Vegan Agenda

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sugar Free Baked Spaghetti

Today, I am making baked spaghetti, a favorite of the Colonel's. This is not too low in carbs, so it's not for induction. When I make it, I make it with Dreamfields Low Carb pasta. Also, I might mention that the day I am making this, I do consider it more of a day off of the WOE. I don't have any other meal that day that is high in carbs, so the splurge of the pasta never seems to make me gain or my blood sugar to spike. Here's my recipe:

Sugar Free Pasta Sauce

1 - 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck or any ground meat your prefer to use
1 stalk of celery including the top leaves, finely diced
1/2 large yellow onion finely diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
About 4 ounces of sliced mushrooms
1 large or two small cloves of garlic minced (or more if you want it)
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes with basil- no sugar added- read the ingredients on the label
1 6 ounce can of tomato sauce (no sugar added)
About 20 ounces of water ( after all ingredient have been put together, add water to the thickness you like- as it simmers, you may have to add a little more in small increments.)
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon basil
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
3 beef bouillon cubes
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/3 tablespoon dark balsamic vinegar (apple cider vinegar will do if you don't have balsamic on hand)
Salt and pepper to taste ( wait till the sauce has simmered a bit to add this- soy sauce and bouillon cubes have salt in them)

Crumble the beef into a non stick saute pan and brown it. Remove it with a slotted spoon and place it in the pot you will simmer the sauce in. Next, add the veggies to the saute pan and cook till the onions have turned translucent and the other veggies are almost cooked done. Add the veggies to the sauce pot, along with all other ingredients. Bring the heat up and stir for a couple of minutes, then turn down and simmer lightly for 1 -2 hours. Near the end of cooking time, check for seasoning and salt and add more if needed.

For Baked Spaghetti:

In a pot of boiling water, add the amount of Dreamfields pasta you want for your casserole. I usually use about 1/2 of a box of spaghetti (This makes a nice-sized casserole for more than one meal- leftovers freeze nicely for further meals. Since I live alone, I freeze mine in individual portions for an easy go to meal.
Cook the pasta exactly as directed on the box. Do NOT overcook as it will destroy the low carb properties of the pasta. Place the pasta in an oven proof casserole and spoon enough of the sauce over the pasta and stir in to coat all the pasta. Do a healthy sprinkle of dried parmesan cheese on top, and then a layer of grated cheese of your preference (I like a Mexica blend.) Place in a 350 degree oven and bake till the cheese has melted and is turning just a little brown. Serve with a salad for a really satisfying meal. If you don't use all the sauce (makes about 1 3/4 quarts, it freezes well for other uses.)

Baked Spaghetti: About 9 - 10 carbs for a 3/4 cup serving (somehow, I can't just eat 1/2 cup)

Note: If you make more pasta and use a larger casserole dish, it makes a nice company meal, even for those who do not eat low carb. The pasta tastes no different from the regular high carb version.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Great Stuff from Jimmy Moore's "Livin' La Vida Low Carb Life!

Just read Jimmy Moore's "Livin' La Vida Low Carb Life" blog. There is a lot of good information on it and a link to some research done that says a low carb diet is good for diabetics- even from the American Diabetes Foundation! Also, go listen to the wake-up call the crew of the Discovery got on day 12 of their mission, especially if you're a Star Trek fan! Cool! The address is:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Great Article by Tom Naughton of Fat Heads

Sherri, one of our long time dear OFL's, posted he web address of Tom Naughton's most recent blog post. This is well worth reading, and also well worth reading his blog! So go and read!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Images of Beauty Courtesy of Dana Carpender

Having had to cancel my mother's doc's appointment this afternoon, I decided to take the bonus time and read more. Of course the first place I went was Dana Carpender's blog, "Hold the Toast." The latest post is a slide show titled "Images of Beauty." Her whole point is that some of us will never be skin and bones no matter what we do, because of genetics, height, etc. This slide show is images of former stars considered to be the most beautiful of their time. Look at the thighs and hips on these gals! Just goes to show you- beauty is in the eye of the beholder! LOL!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pulled Beef Enchiladas with Homemade Sauce Courtesy of Gabby

This morning, I just knew I wanted Mexican food for dinner, so I have been working on pulled beef enchiladas off and on all day. Before you start, remember you need to commit some time to this. But, I promise the end result is better than any Mexican restaurant serves and certainly better than the carby frozen ones or made with canned sauce!

Before I moved here to care for aging parents, I had a Mexican housekeeper/nanny for my granddaughter I raised from a baby. Rosa would make these for me occasionally, and it was heaven!

This recipe will feed a family, but since I live alone, I make it and freeze it in separate components- sauce and pulled beef in separate freezer containers, ready to assemble when the mood hits.

Pulled beef for filling

1 1/2 to 2 pounds beef for stewing ( I don't buy the expensive beef already cut- mine is usually a chuck roast
   I found on sale and cut into chunks.)
5 cups of water
3 teaspoons of powdered beef bouillon
1 Tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.

In a heavy bottomed pot, place all ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer until the beef can be pulled apart with two forks. I usually do it about 1 1/2 hours- more if it's a tough cut of meat. Take the meat out and let cool. Freeze the cooking liquid for soup base- really delicious! Pull all the beef apart into shreds and refrigerate till ready to put the enchiladas together.

Enchilada Sauce

2 large guajillo dried chiles.  This makes a fairly mild sauce with just a little heat. If you want a spicier sauce use more peppers. The Mexican section of any large grocery usually carries these peppers in bags dried. If you can't find guajillo peppers, dried anchos will work. They are a little hotter than guajillos.
1/4 cup  olive oil
2 large onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced

8 - 10 Roma tomatoes, chopped finely
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
Splenda granular equivalent to 1 Tablespoon of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste ( Wait till nearly the end of cooking, taste and see if you want any.)
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

2 teaspoons cumin
4 tablespoons lime juice

The first task to making the sauce is to toast the peppers. Cut the tops off and dump all the seeds and membranes out- the more you leave in, the hotter they will be. Toast the peppers in a dry skillet- I use cast iron and press the peppers down with a spatula for good contact with heat. As soon as one side of the peppers is toasted, flip it and repeat. Now place the chiles in 4 cups of hot water from the tap and let them soak to rehydrate. Now chop everything. In the same toasting skillet heat the oil, and gently cook the onions and garlic, being careful not to burn the garlic. Remove the chiles from the water (they should have soaked at least thirty minutes,) and reserve the water in case you need it later. Finely dice the chiles and add all other ingredients except cilantro and lime juice to the skillet. Gently cook till the tomatoes are wilted well and cooked. At this point if the sauce seems a little too thick (will depend on the juice in the tomatoes), add a little of the pepper soaking liquid (small amount at the time.) Add lime juice and cilantro and cook for another couple of minutes. When all is cooked, remove from the heat and blend in batches, being careful to only load the blender 1/2 full, and hold a kitchen towel over the lid. This stuff is hot and can explode right out of the blender on to you!

Assembling the enchiladas

Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with non-stick spray. Coat the bottom of the pan with a very little bit of the enchilada sauce. Using low carb tortillas (I use 7 inch ones,) assemble the enchiladas and lay them seam side down in the pan with sides touching. I dip each tortilla in the warm sauce first, add a little beef filling, cheese and a dollop of the sauce- roll like you would an egg roll. When you have filled the pan with enchiladas, cover with sauce and queso blanco (Mexican cheese-white) or a Mexican blend of grated cheese. Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is beginning to brown and is bubbly. Serve with a salad for a truly superb meal. Ole!


Foods to Aid our Memories

As we are called the Old Fat Ladies, it is inevitable that some will experience mild memory loss. It is a fact of aging, but there are certain foods that are helpful in preventing, if not reversing memory loss. I found this little clip from the Today Show. It's not long- very concise and helpful, except for the part about whole grains. So take a look. I think you'll be delighted that almost all of it is what Dr. Atkins recommends for our lifestyle.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dr. Micael Eades on Why We Go Off of Low Carb Eating

Well, today, I have had an unusual day of a bloc of hours of being able to catch up on reading. Came across this article by Dr. Michael Eades and it is well worth your time to read. Also, it triggered a few things with me, as to how to combat those high carb glitches I get into!

Wonderful Expressions of the Pharmaceutical Industry

This morning, being free of family duties, I've spent a couple hours reading the archives of Dana Carpender's low carb blog "Hold the Toast." I can't tell you what a wealth of information is there! Instead of watching the TV for a while, take time to browse through some of the posts. This is a little tongue in cheek video she posted. It'll give you a laugh, but it is "serious as a heart attack!" Watch after the song for a few seconds and you will see the sponsor.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Atkins Friendly Seafood Chowder Compliments of Gabby

Lately, I've been wishing for seafood chowder, so that was the order for dinner tonight. I think it was triggered when my brother went fishing in the Suwannee River near here and brought me some fillets of fish. It's incredibly simple and delicious to make, so give it a try sometime.

Seafood Chowder

1 shallot or small onion very finely diced
1/2 stalk of celery finely diced ( I used the top half and the leaves also for flavor)
2 -3  Tablespoons of butter
4 oz cream cheese
1 bottle of clam juice
1 cup of water
1 1/2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
1 pint half and half
8 oz heavy cream
4 - 6 oz fish or any amount you want roughly chopped into bite sized chunks
4 - 6 oz of uncooked shrimp or any amount you want
8 oz can of oysters plus the liquor in the can
1 small can of clams plus liquid
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley ( I like Italian parsley for the flavor but the curled French will do.)

Note: You can use any seafood you like- doesn't really matter- the more you add, the thicker and richer the chowder will be. Or you can use just one type of seafood- this really doesn't matter- do it according to your own preferences.

Use a heavy bottomed pot big enough to hold all the chowder. Melt the butter gently and add shallots (or onions) and celery and saute very gently till they are tender. (Do not let the butter brown.) Add clam juice, water and bouillon powder and stir till dissolved. Add clams and juice and bring the mixture up to a gentle simmer (this means just a few bubbles along the side of the pot, not a boil. Then, add half and half, cream cheese and  cream and again bring it up to a gentle simmer while stirring to dissolve the cream cheese (never boil the creams!) When the temperature is right, add the oysters and liquor along with the fish and shrimp. Very gently simmer until the shrimp turns pink, fish is opaque and white and the edges of the oysters are a little curled. Do not overcook- the seafood will be tough. At the end, add the fresh parsley and stir for about thirty seconds. Remove from heat and enjoy.   

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dr. Oz Interviews Gary Taubes (Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It)

Sherri2, another of our OFL's shared with us the web address of the interview of Gary Taubes by Dr. Oz. I agree with a lot that Dr. Oz says, but he is off base with some of his nutritional guidelines. Gary Taubes is the author of "Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It." It is amazing that Dr. Oz asked very pertinent questions and Gary had some very scientific "low carb" answers for him. This is worth listening to- about ten minutes. Thanks Sherri2!

Interview with Dana Carpender by Dr. Matt Andry

I just listened to the radio interview of Dana Carpender, my outspoken low carb hero, by Dr. Matt Andry. Dr. Andry was a proponent of the low carb way of life even before he finished his training. This is a great informative interview with lots and lots of pertinent low carb science and information. They cover, not only, insulin release in the body and what triggers it and what causes fat storage, but hormones, enzymes, etc. in an easy to understand format. This one is well worth your time to listen!! Here it is.

Vitamins C and D-3 for Prevention of Colds by Dr. Ben Kim

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Kim's newsletter about taking vitamins C and D-3 for preventing colds. I have also copied and pasted this rather than paraphrase what he said. 

Bear in mind that his smoothie is not for Atkins folks unless you are on maintenance and even then it is not something to indulge in every day. I am in the process of researching and trying to develop a vitamin C rich smoothie that is Atkins friendly. In the meantime, I think the main message is we should all be taking Vitamins C and D-3 daily, even if it's in the pill form.

With viruses being passed around like hot sweet
potatoes, this is the time of year when it's
probably wise to increase intake of micronutrients
that boost immune system strength.
The two most important ones are vitamin C and
vitamin D-3. 
My favorite way of getting plenty of C into my
famiy's diet is via smoothies.  Here's a look at
a post from last year that shows how we make
beautiful, vitamin C-rich smoothies:
To increase vitamin C content of such smoothies,
simply add a teaspoon of acerola cherry powder for
each serving.
If you're not taking a tablet version of vitamin D-3,
you can add vitamin D drops to your smoothies - this
is how we do it with our boys.  We use Carlson Labs
1000 IU D drops - two drops for each boy, every day.
On days when I can't drink as much acerola cherry
as I'd like, I make sure that I take a tablet of our
whole food vitamin C formula:
If you're not eating cultured or fermented foods,
another supplement to consider taking to support
your immune system is a high quality probiotic.  One
that I can strongly recommend is:

Important Stretches for Healthy Hip and Knee Joints from Dr. Ben Kim

As most of you probably know, I subscribe to Dr. Ben Kim's Natural Health Newsletter. I find lots of pertinent information in there. I do not follow some of his dietary recommendations, but mostly I find his recipes and advice Atkins friendly and very helpful.

On that note, today's newsletter has a group of easy enough stretches to strengthen hip and knee muscles to protect those vital joints. I know a lot of us OFL's have had problems with these areas, so I think this might be helpful for us.  I have copied and pasted the newsletter portion about the hips and knees. I love his quote at the end!

Dr. Ben Kim's Natural Health Newsletter
March 1, 2011
Dear Reader,
I think it's important to stretch all of your
major muscle groups.  But if pressed to pick just
one area to stretch regularly, I would go with
the muscles that surround your thighs and hips,
particularly those that line the inner portion
of these areas. 
No other muscle groups have greater overall effect
on the health of your hip and knee joints, except
possibly your hamstrings.
For a look at a few different ways of stretching
your inner thighs and groin, view my latest post
You may also want to review a related post on how
to use a ball or foam roller to massage and strip
these areas:
It takes real intelligence to work at preventing
health challenges rather than waiting for them to
develop.  Regular stretching is one of the most effective
wellness tools that all of us have - amazing when
you consider that it's free.  If we have time to watch
television in the evenings, we certainly have time
to stretch while we're watching, no? 
I'll bid you adieu for today with the following
reminder on the power of now, from Eckhart Tolle:
"Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as
if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against
it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This
will miraculously transform your whole life."
To the power of accepting, then acting,
Ben Kim
Box 23017, Barrie, ON L4N 7W8, CANADA

Gabby's Phase I Chicken Salad- only 4.3 net carbs!

As most of you know, I am in the middle of a week of going back to induction to put myself on the straight and narrow once again. So, as happened in the beginning of my Atkins journey, I find myself coming up with different recipes so I won't be bored. The only thing I really ever missed after retiring as an executive chef was the constant recipe development I did to keep the customers coming back. So, now, I inflict this on you OFL's. LOL!

Gabby's Phase I Chicken Salad

3/4 cup diced chicken  (I cook chicken leg-thigh quarters in chicken stock and take the meat off the bones and dice, but canned chicken drained will do as well.)
1 strip of bacon crisply cooked and crumbled or diced
1 boiled egg finely diced
1/2 stalk of celery finely diced (I use the top half and dice the leaves in also- really adds the flavor!)
2 Tablespoons finely diced red pepper (green or yellow bell pepper will work fine, but I like the added sweetness and color of the red)
1 Roma or 1/2 medium tomato seeds and pulp removed and finely diced
About 1/8 cup of shredded red or purple cabbage ( the lazy way out of this is to add a couple of tablespoons of cole slaw mix minus any dressing) Can be omitted entirely if you don't have it on hand.
Romaine lettuce leaves (or any lettuce you prefer)

1 1/2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoons of spicy brown mustard (regular mustard is fine if you prefer)
1 teaspoon dill relish (must be dill relish, not the sweet relish)
dash of Worcestershire sauce
dash of red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh basil finely diced
If desired, about 1/8 to 1/4 packet of Splenda can be added for a little sweetness- I don't do this, but I know a lot of people like a sweeter dressing.

After preparing all ingredients for the salad except the lettuce leaves and placing in a bowl, mix the dressing ingredients in another small container and let sit at room temperature at least 1/2 hour so the flavors will blend well. Then re-stir the dressing and pour over the chicken mixture and mix in well. Refrigerate at least 1/2 to 1 hour. Then arrange a couple of lettuce leaves on a large salad plate and mound the chicken salad on top. This can be enhanced with a squeeze from a fresh lemon wedge if you desire. Enjoy!

Carb counts:
Chicken and bacon- 0 carbs
Egg- 0.6 carbs
Celery- 0.4
Pepper- 0.4
Cabbage- 0.1
Tomato- 1.7
Mayo- 0.8
Worcestershire Sauce- 0.1
Vinegar- 0

Total net carb count is only 4.3 net carbs! This is a delicious filling way to get your lunch time carbs. You even can add another veggie if you like to increase those veggie carbs.

Note: for those on phases past induction, chopped pecans or any nut of your choice can be added as well as a little grated carrot. I sure other additions can be put in to enhance flavor as long as it follows the WOE.