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Thursday, April 5, 2018

MY FAVORITE CHICKEN CASSEROLES




These casseroles below are a collection of my favorite casseroles.  I like most of my casseroles, however, these stand out in my garden of lovely food memories.  Casseroles are the ultimate comfort food.  Also, a casserole will feed a number of people and since it is a one-dish meal, it usually helps make meal preparation quicker and easier for the cook.  Add a salad or one side and supper is served!  When I first embarked on cooking low-carb casseroles, I wondered how interesting I could make them as I always thought of casseroles as something made with starches like potato or pasta.  Turns out there are a myriad of ways to make casseroles without those starches.











































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Sunday, April 1, 2018

PEGGY'S NEW COOKBOOK

😍Our latest Cookbook (starring TEXAN Peggy Hardaway's recipes!) Volume-8 😎STARTS Shipping this week from the Printers in limited quantitySo do HURRY and order yours now! (Paypal) from===>😋AmongFriends.us/FS8.php and get FREE S&H (in the USA🇺🇸ONLY!️) - It arrives at Amazon next week!











CHICKEN FAJITA CASSEROLE







CHICKEN FAJITA CASSEROLE

All the lovely Mexican Chicken Fajita flavors in an easy casserole supper dish. Starting with a rotisserie chicken, it makes the work even lighter.  I fry the chicken briefly to make it more flavorful.  Casseroles are comfort food and so easy to mix them up this way and that to come up with new flavors and new casserole dishes for those days you don't want to fuss too much in the kitchen.  Add a simple salad or one veggie such as delicious "Best Simple Green Beans" with this particular casserole and you're done!
2 tbsp olive oil (30 mL)
4 cups diced, cooked chicken (1 L)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, chopped
Creamy Fajita Sauce:
8 oz cream cheese (250 g)
1 cup chicken stock (250 mL)
1/2 cup whipping cream (125 mL)
2 tsp crushed garlic (10 mL)
11/2 tsp oregano (7 mL)
11/2 tsp cumin (7 mL)
1/2 tsp chili powder (2 mL)
1/2 tsp paprika (2 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
1/4 tsp black pepper (1 mL)
2 cups grated Mexican Blend cheese, OR (500 mL)
  half and half Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). 

In large skillet in 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and over medium heat, stir-fry chicken until browned.  Set aside.

Creamy Fajita Sauce:  In large skillet, place cream cheese (broken up into chunks), chicken stock, whipping cream, garlic, oregano, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and black pepper.  Whisk until smooth and bubbly.

In large skillet in remaining olive oil, cook green, yellow and red bell peppers and onion until turning soft.  Stir in chicken and place in 2-qt (2 L) casserole dish.  Combine with Creamy Fajita Sauce and sprinkle with Mexican Blend cheese over the top.

Bake 35 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese has browned around the edges of the casserole dish.

Yield:  8 servings

1 serving
407.3 calories
32.9 g protein
27.2 g fat
1.3 g fiber
6.3 g net carbs 

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ALMOND SHORTBREAD SQUARES






ALMOND SHORTBREAD SQUARES

Just like shortbread with an almond flavor enhanced by the almond extract that I added.  I was conservative with the amount as not everyone likes a strong almond flavor.  This shortbread requires a nice-tasting butter.  Also, please  use the exact amount of butter suggested and if your mixture is not moist, add a little more melted butter.  The butter is what will give it that shortbread texture and it is also what holds these squares together and prevents them from crumbling.

2 cups almond flour (500 mL)
1 cup Splenda® Granular, (250 mL)
  OR for zero carb, use a combination
  of liquid sweetener and powdered
  erythritol (no more than 1/3 cup (75 mL)
1 stick of butter PLUS 2 tbsp (150 mL)
1/2 tsp almond extract (2 mL)

 Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

In medium bowl, mix almond flour and Splenda® Granular, OR 1/3 cup (75 mL) powdered erythritol.

In small bowl, place butter and nuke about 50 seconds, or until butter has melted.  Add liquid sweetener if using to equal sweetness of 2/3 cup (150 mL) sugar, and almond extract; stir.  Make a well in the almond flour mixture and pour in the butter.  Stir to combine well.  Turn out into an 8-inch (20 cm) glass baking dish.

Bake 20 minutes or until the edges are turning golden brown.  Allow to cool 10 minutes and then using a serrated knife, score the shortbread into 4 rows both ways to make 16 squares.  Freeze for 1 hour and refrigerate or simply do the latter and wait the extra time for the squares to set up properly.

Yield:  16 squares

1 square/Splenda/No Carb
150.0/144.0 calories
3.1/3.1 g protein
14.2/14.2 g fat
1.5/1.5 g fiber
3.0/1.5 g net carbs 



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Thursday, March 29, 2018

NO BAKE PEANUT BUTTER PIE








NO BAKE PEANUT BUTTER PIE

If you love peanut butter, this rich, creamy Peanut Butter Pie will delight you! The shortbread crust compliments the pie very nicely.  I prefer Skippy® natural peanut butter as it is smooth and creamy and there is no need to stir it.  Smucker’s® natural peanut butter has no sugar, tastes a bit too salty and it needs to be mixed (not easy – best is to scoop it all out and process in a food processor and then return to the jar) but they both have the same amount of carbs, so I prefer the former for sure.

Shortbread Crust:
11/2 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, (375 mL)
1/3 cup powdered erythritol, OR (75 mL)
  8 packets coffee sweetener
1/2 cup butter, melted (125 mL)
1/8 tsp almond extract (0.5 mL)
Filling:
4 oz cream cheese, softened (125 g)
3/4 cup peanut butter (175 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1 cup sugar (250 mL)
Cool Whip® Substitute:
1 cup whipping cream (250 mL)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (0.5 mL)
4 oz cream cheese, softened (125 g)
Liquid sweetener to equal 2/3 cup sugar, OR (150 mL)
  8 coffee sweetener packets
11/2 tsp vanilla extract (7 mL)
Garnish:
Unsweetened Baker’s® chocolate

Shortbread Crust:  In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, OR Gluten-Free Grain-Free Bake Mix and powdered erythritol, OR coffee sweetener.  In small bowl, combine melted butter and almond extract.  Place in freezer for half an hour or until firm.

Filling:  In food processor, process cream cheese, peanut butter and liquid sweetener. 

Cool Whip® Substitute:  In bowl of mixter, process whipping cream and cream of tartar (if using) until soft peaks form.  In food processor, process cream cheese, liquid sweetener, OR coffee sweetener and vanilla extract until smooth.  Add to the bowl with whipping cream in thirds around the mixing bowl.  Beat until stiff peaks form.

Fold the Cool Whip® Substitute into the peanut butter and cream cheese filling and spread evenly over the prepared chilled crust.  Sprinkle with grated unsweetened chocolate, if desired. Refrigerate. 

Yield:  10 servings

1 serving
390.4 calories
9.6 g protein
35.5 g fat
0 g fiber
7.8 g net carbs

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

CHICKEN AND BACON "POTATO" SKILLET DISH









CHICKEN AND BACON “POTATO” SKILLET DISH

So many delicious vegetables and lots of protein and did I mention lots of molten Monterey Jack cheese in this dish? It makes a lot, so this should comfortably serve 6 people.  Topped with sour cream and finely chopped green peppers (or green onions), this is a delicious meal and it looks good, too!

1.3 lbs cauliflower, cut into (590 g)
  small florets
6 strips bacon
2 tbsp bacon fat (30 mL)
4 cups diced cooked chicken (1 L)
  (use a rotisserie chicken)
1 tsp seasoning salt (5 mL)
1/2 tsp black pepper (2 mL)
1 small onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
3 oz cream cheese (90 g)
Seasoning salt, to taste
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (500 mL)
Garnish:
Sour cream
Reserved green bell pepper, diced, OR
  chopped green onions

In pot of boiling water, cook cauliflower until soft.  Cook bacon the way you usually do (I use a bacon tray in the microwave oven) and reserve the bacon fat.  When cool, using kitchen scissors, cut bacon into small pieces.  Set aside.

In large skillet in 1 tbsp (15 mL) bacon fat, stir-fry chicken over medium heat and sprinkle with seasoning salt and black pepper.  Stir-fry until chicken looks more golden brown.  Set aside.

In large skillet in remaining bacon fat, fry onions and peppers (reserve some of the green pepper for garnish, if desired) until soft.  Add cream cheese broken up into bits.  Stir in cauliflower and cook 2 to 3 minutes, tossing gently until cauliflower turns more golden. Add seasoning salt, to taste, if desired. Spread chicken over top and sprinkle with grated Monterey Jack cheese.  Cover skillet with lid until cheese melts. Sprinkle with bacon bits. Serve with sour cream and diced green pepper.

Yield:  6 servings

1 serving
466.2 calories
47.0 g protein
26.2 g fat
2.6 g fiber
7.5 g net carbs

😍Our latest Cookbook (starring TEXAN Peggy Hardaway's recipes!) Volume-8 is Due out in 2-3 weeks time ... But you can 😎PRE-ORDER it now at ===> www.AmongFriends.us/FS8.php (Free S&H only in the🇺🇸️)


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Thursday, March 15, 2018

VANILLA PEAR, SPICED PEAR AND BLUEBERRY MUFFINS










VANILLA PEAR MUFFINS, SPICED PEAR MUFFINS AND BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

A delicious muffin with a tender, cake-like texture. Try all the variations!  I knew my vanilla pear muffin batter would make a great blueberry muffin and I was correct!  One or two slight changes and a beautiful new recipe was born.  Blueberry muffins are possibly one of the most popular muffins.  Blueberries are a great choice as they are high in anti-oxidants and not too carby and low on the glycemic index.  As well, they have been reported in recent studies to improve memory.

NOTE:  I have made the Vanilla Pear Muffins with the Grain-Free Bake Mix using Anthony's Buckwheat flour (this brand has a nice texture and a very mild, neutral flavor).


21/4 cups Gluten-FreeBake Mix 2, OR Grain-Free Bake Mix (560 mL)
2 tsp baking powder (10 mL)
1/tsp baking soda (2 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
3 eggs
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 2/3  cup sugar (150 mL)
1/cup light-tasting olive oil (75 mL)
1/cup granulated erythritol (60 mL)
11/2 tsp unflavored gelatin (7 mL)
2 tsp real vanilla extract (10 mL)
1/cup low-carb milk, OR almond milk (125 mL)
11/cups diced pears, OR fresh or frozen blueberries (see just below) (300 mL)

Blueberry Muffins:  Add 11/4  cups (300 mL) frozen blueberries, tossed with an extra 2 tbsp (30 mL) Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___, before folding into the muffin batter.  (6.5 g carbs)

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

In food processor, process eggs.  Add liquid sweetener, olive oil, erythritol, gelatin and vanilla; process.  Add half dry ingredients and half milk, OR almond milk; process.  Repeat, scraping sides once or twice.  Fold pears into muffin batter. Fill 12 greased, regular-sized muffin cups in a muffin tin 3/–full.  Place in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).  Bake 25 minutes, or until pointy knife or cake tester inserted in a muffin comes out clean.

Variations:  Spiced Pear Muffins:  Reduce vanilla extract to 1/tsp (2 mL) and add 2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon, 1/tsp (2 mL) ginger and 1/tsp (1 mL) nutmeg to the dry ingredients. (7.2 g carbs)


Blueberry Muffins:  Add 11/4  cups (300 mL) frozen blueberries, tossed with an extra 2 tbsp (30 mL) Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___, before folding into the muffin batter.  (6.5 g carbs)


Yield:  12 Vanilla Pear muffins
1 muffin
182.1 calories
5.3 g protein
14.1 g fat

6.9 g net carbs

😍Our latest Cookbook (starring Peggy Hardaway's recipes) Vol8 is Due out in 2-3 weeks time ... But you can 😎PRE-ORDER it now at ===> www.AmongFriends.us/FS8.php


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