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Please ignore the rapidly appearing and disappearing pages in the top navigation menu. All except The UnDiet Books page are experiments in offering the readers of 14 Days a special The Grocery List feature. As of now all links in these pages lead to nowhere interesting but are being left up so that beta-readers can test them to see which ones provide the most seamless experience.

$$$avers Gluten Free Low Calorie Recipes

Balsamic Vinegar Reduction – My Secret Diet Weapon

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balsamic vinegar reductionDon’t be put off by the intricate instructions here, a balsamic vinegar reduction is one of the simplest things you can make, it keeps forever, is low cal, and you can use it so many ways if you tried to list them all you’d fill up a page. It will be your new best friend, I promise, but there are a few things you need to get right to make it work, so read through the instructions and then fire up your stove.

You don’t need to buy super expensive balsamic vinegar, but it should taste good when you dip a piece of bread in it. If you wouldn’t eat the bread dipped in balsamic, then you’re not going to like the reduction. You also don’t want to see ingredients such as sugar, or caramel coloring, only vinegar and/or grape must. The added ingredients will mess up your reduction.

Some of my fave ways to use a balsamic vinegar reduction are drizzled over fruit such as strawberries or peaches, roasted green beans, roasted asparagus, roasted Brussels sprouts, steak, ripe tomatoes, green salad with extra-virgin olive oil and some salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Ingredients

balsamic vinegar

Instructions

Pour vinegar into a non-reactive pan such as stainless steel, so that it’s no more than ½ full. The vinegar needs some space to boil without boiling over.  Over medium-high heat, bring the vinegar to a slow boil. If you have large bubbles that are bursting and splashing vinegar all over your stove, then turn the heat down until you have a boil that’s more like a simmer. Allow to boil until vinegar is reduced by at least half, about 15 minutes. Dip a spoon into the reduction to see how thick it is. It should coat the spoon. You can let it reduce even further for a very thick sauce, but I would recommend trying it first reduced by half and then deciding if you want to make another batch that’s reduced even further, or just put it back on the burner and reduce it further. After 15 minutes on the burner start to watch it carefully. As it gets thicker, it will be in danger of burning. As it cools, it will thicken a bit more.

Fruit Gluten Free Kid Friendly Low Calorie Paleo Recipes

Grapefruit Salad

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grapefruit in bowl

This salad is perfect for breakfast on a hot morning, a side dish for lunch or dinner, a picnic, a barbecue … It pairs well with fish, chicken, steak, or burgers. The recipe below is just a starting point. You can use any type of melon, play around with the ratio of melon to grapefruit and oranges and use an endless array of garnishes. If you don’t like grapefruit you can use pineapple or grapes instead.

Because this salad keeps so well I like to make up a big bowl of it.

Ingredients

1/2 honeydew melon, peeled and cut into ½” inch cubes

4 pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented

8 oranges, peeled and segmented

Instructions

Gently toss all ingredients together. Serve immediately or the next day.

While this salad is certainly delish served as is I like to vary it with different garnishes such as:

thinly sliced mint leaves

toasted seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, pine nuts, sesame seeds

crumbled feta cheese

crumbled cotija cheese

lemon, lime or orange zest

drizzle with melted or thinned mint jelly

drizzle with melted or thinned jalapeno jelly

thinly sliced red onion

 

Kid Friendly Recipes

15 Ways to Use Leftover Taco Meat

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taco-1018962_640I like to cook up big batches of taco filling and then use it throughout the week for easy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. I even freeze it in king-size silicone ice cube trays so we can use it for super easy meals on days when the fridge is empty, like the day we return from a long vacation. I love knowing I don’t have to plan ahead or stop at the grocery store on the way home from the airport so we can have an easy dinner when we get home. The ideas below are quick and easy family-friendly ideas which you can (with a little more effort) make-over into low carb, gluten free, or Paleo by using zero-carb pasta, Zucchini Tots (recipe in an upcoming post), and low carb bread.

So here goes – first of all, my taco filling is about half veggies and half meat. The basic recipe is the same as the traditional taco filling recipe, I just sub half veggies for half the meat. I sometimes even use packets of organic taco seasoning mix.

  1. Frozen Amy’s Organics Burritos topped with 1/4 cup taco filling mixed with 1/4 salsa.
  2. Quiche – use taco filling in place of veggies. I sometimes even add extra cooked veggies.
  3. Scrambled Eggs topped with taco filling, sliced avocado and cheese.
  4. Tomato Soup – with taco filling and beans added to make it a meal.
  5. Sopa de Tortilla – add taco filling and brown rice to chicken broth. Garnish with chopped avocado and shredded cheese.
  6. Nachos – spread tortilla chips on a baking sheet. Top with taco filling and cheese. Bake until cheese is melted.
  7. Pasta Mexicali – add taco filling to macaroni and cheese. We like Amy’s Organics but you can use whichever is your favorite.
  8. Taco Pie – in an oiled baking dish or pie plate layer tortilla chips, cheese, refried beans, and taco filling. Bake until dish is hot. Top with cheese. Return to oven until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with chopped avocado, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and any more of your favorite taco toppers.
  9. Taco Casserole – in an oiled casserole dish mix cooked brown rice (or quinoa, or couscous, or millet, barley, buckwheat, bulgur, or farro) and leftover taco meat, beans, sour cream or yogurt, and corn. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and bake or microwave.
  10. Chili – add to a pot taco filling, kidney or pinto beans, canned tomatoes with their juice, and a chili seasoning packet. Heat to a low simmer and cook for at least thirty minutes. This is also a good crock pot meal.
  11. Taco Tots – bake up the tots. Top with taco filling and cheese. Return to oven until cheese is melted. Garnish with your favorite taco toppings.
  12. Stuffed Potato – top a baked potato with taco filling. Garnish with your favorite taco toppers.
  13. Taco Pasta – toss together cooked pasta, taco filling, cheese and sour cream.
  14. Taco Salad – top a salad with taco filling and your favorite taco toppers. Dress with ranch dressing.
  15. Taco Grilled Cheese – make a traditional grilled cheese sandwich, then open it and add some taco filling.
$$$avers Diet Plans Gluten Free Low Carb Menus Recipes UnDiet Eating Plans

FREE on Kindle: 14 Days – 14 Pounds ~ Low Carb Daily Plan

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14Days-Phase1 Low Carb

This book is what you’ve been waiting for, the missing piece of the low carb puzzle & it’s FREE on Kindle until 5-27-18.

This complete guide will take you through your first three weeks of low carb eating, from “What should I eat today?”, to “Wow nothing in my closet fits anymore!”
There are lots of books that tell you how low carb works.
There are even more books that give you low carb recipes.
But there are very few books that put the two together and give you a simple step-by-step plan along with the recipes to make it all happen. Everything that you need to lose weight eating low carb is in this book – recipes, menus, Quick Snacks, Quick Meals, Guide to Getting Started on Low Carb, Low Carb Food lists, What To Do After Phase 1, and much more.

Indulge in extremely low carb recipes that will make you wonder why you didn’t start eating low carb years ago!

There are 26 zero carb recipes and 41 one carb recipes! Most of the recipes are under 6 carbs, and ALL of them are perfect for anyone going through Phase 1 or the Induction Phase of a low carb eating plan. Even if you’ve graduated to Phase 2, 3 or Maintenance, these are recipes that you’ll want to have at your fingertips for days where you need to recover from a high carb meal or two.

While the author gives you five recipes per day, if you don’t want to cook on a particular day, just use the list of 0 Carb, 1 Carb, 2 Carb, 3 Carb … foods to replace any of the recipes for that day or use the Quick Snacks section to make a quick meal.
Save hours per week with these quick and easy recipes.

14 Days 14 Pounds is divided into 6 sections:

  • – 14 Days of Daily Menus – all menus are under 20 carbs/day
  • – The Recipes – 13 categories of recipes!
  • – Recipes By Carb Count – allows you to swap one recipe for another and stay within your daily carb count
  • – Low Carb Vegetable Chart
  • – Ground Zero – one week of easing into low carb
  • – References to help you continue eating low carb

And finally – to make everything as easy for you as possible the author has set up a free service – Shop Hop, which readers can use to automatically build a shopping list using the recipes in the book just by clicking on the recipes!

Download The Book ~ Follow the Plan ~ See The Results!

$$$avers Recipes

10 Healthy Ways to Use Leftover Pasta Sauce

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eggsinpurgatoryI abhor wasting food and I was getting tired of cluttering up the freezer with 1/2 jars of pasta sauce just because I was afraid I wouldn’t use it before it went bad. So I set up a challenge for myself. If I opened a jar of something I had to use it up within a week. The ideas below (I’m not calling them recipes because you barely need to measure a thing) show you how I used up an entire family-sized jar of pasta sauce in five days – serving it up for both lunch and dinner.

Pizza Quesadilla

Heat a lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat.

Spread pasta sauce on a whole wheat tortilla. Top with your choice of pizza toppings and shredded mozzarella cheese. Place in skillet and cook until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the tortilla has light brown spots.

Slide off onto a plate and fold in half.

Pizza Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Melt butter with a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

Spread pasta sauce on a slice of whole wheat bread. Top with your choice of pizza toppings and shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another slice of bread. Place both slices of bread in skillet and cook until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the bread is lightly browned.

Slide off onto a plate and serve as two open-faced sandwiches or put them together for a gooey-delish pizza sandwich.

Quick Lasagna

Spread pasta sauce to lightly cover bottom of your choice of pans. You can make a personal lasagna by using a small pie plate or serve a crowd using a large baking pan.

Layer over sauce precooked whole grain or carb-free lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese, pre-cooked sausage, pre-cooked veggies or frozen spinach that’s been thawed and squeezed dry, and mozzarella cheese. The last layer should be the noodles, then sprinkle on some grated or shredded Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until the dish is hot and bubbling and the Parmesan is melted and lightly browned. If the dish is ready to take out of the oven but the Parmesan hasn’t melted, just turn the oven to broil and broil for a minute or two until the Parmesan is browned.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the top off one or more bell peppers and scoop out the seeds and membrane.

Mix together pasta sauce; cooked grain such as rice, quinoa or couscous or even Miracle Rice; cooked veggies; cooked hamburger or sausage (optional); mozzarella, Parmesan, Gouda, Havarti, and/or Monterey Jack cheese.

Place stuffed bell pepper in a lightly oiled baking dish. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the pepper is al dente.

Italian Soup

Add pasta sauce to boxed or canned tomato soup, tomato basil soup, potato soup, chicken noodle soup, chicken rice soup, French Onion soup, or just some broth. If you have some cooked sausage you can add it to the soup.

Cocktail Sauce

Stir in horseradish to taste. Serve it up with shrimp and you’ve got a party!

Eggs in Purgatory

Bring 1 cup pasta sauce to a light simmer in a skillet. With a spoon create a well and crack in an egg. Do it again. Put the lid on the pan and cook until the whites are just barely set. Remove from heat. Top with shredded cheese if desired.

Variation

If you don’t have enough pasta sauce you can add salsa to make up a cup of sauce.

Ratatoulle

Saute chopped bell pepper, eggplant, onion, and summer squash seasoned with salt and pepper in olive oil. Add 1 cup pasta sauce and ½ cup water or dry red wine to the pan. Allow the mixture to simmer until tender.

Low Cal Buffalo Wings

You won’t miss the butter with these wings.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Mix a sauce of 1/2 pasta sauce and 1/2 hot sauce. Toss wings in the sauce. Bake on a sheet pan for 40 minutes.

 Shellfish Marinara

Stir together 1/2 cup white wine, 1 cup pasta sauce, 1.5 pounds clams or mussels in a saucepan. Bring the sauce to a low boil, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until the shellfish opens.

 

$$$avers Tips

7 Tips for Saving Overly Salty Food

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potatoes-save-the-day

Did the top of your salt shaker fall off and dump a load of salt into the fabulous dinner you were making for your dinner party? Did you misjudge how much salt was needed for that huge bag of spinach that’s now wilted down to 1 cup in your pan? Did a favorite blogger’s recipe steer you wrong? No matter how things went wrong, there’s no need to dump your recipe into the garbage. It’s quite easy to fix an overly salted dish.

The easiest fix is to add something to the recipe that normally needs to be salted. You may need to add some more of the herbs that were in the original recipe, but that should do it. If I don’t have anything in my fridge to add I always have frozen spinach, frozen corn, frozen riced cauliflower. Check the label though. Sometimes the manufacturer adds salt to frozen veggies.

If you don’t want to mess with the recipe you can add a starch like a potato. If the dish has a lot of liquid then you don’t need to cut it up, you don’t need to peel it, just add it to the dish and allow it to soak up some of the salt.

No potato on hand? Just add water and continue cooking. You’ll dilute the other flavors also, so you may want to add garlic, pepper, or herbs so your dish isn’t bland.

If your dish can handle it add some fresh lemon or lime juice, or a little vinegar. If you’re not sure about this fix, scoop a little of the dish into a cup, add a dash of the acid, give it a taste and see what you think.

If the food you over-salted is something you were dehydrating. Dump the whole thing into a bowl of water. Let soak for an hour or two, drain and place back in the dehydrator.

Mix your over-salted food with an under-salted food. This works especially well with dehydrated foods, or for layering such as a sandwich, salad, quesadilla, or casserole.

Make it creamy – add cream, sour cream, yogurt, or mashed avocado.

 

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Free Book: Help! My Diet’s Not Working

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HelpMyDietIsntWorkingAre You Frustrated with Trying to Figure Out Why Your Diet is Failing?

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Find Out Why Your Best Efforts Aren’t Working

This book takes you through 6 of the most popular diet plans: Low Carb – Gluten Free – Low Calorie — Paleo — Vegetarian — Food Combining to identify factors that may have stalled your weight loss and gives you a clear step by step plan to get back on track and stay with your chosen diet plan for long-term success.In addition to dissecting the diet plans above the book takes you through 14 additional factors that can stall weight loss with any diet plan.

And tomorrow through Thursday you can download the book for free! And don’t forget to leave a review :)

Gluten Free Low Carb Neutral

Browned Butter Asparagus

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asparagus

I had all this lovely browned butter which I’d made a few days ago so I thought I’d use it to saute up some asparagus. That turned out to be a good decision :)

There’s not really a need for a recipe, basically you want to bring some browned butter to a sizzle in a heavy-bottomed pan, add a little extra-virgin olive oil (just a little to keep the butter from burning), then add your trimmed asparagus so that there’s no more than a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Saute for about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus. When it’s just barely tender, although it may have some browned spots on it which is fine, remove from the heat. Serve immediately, which I recommend but any leftovers can be stored in the fridge and used in an omelette or frittata anytime within the next few days.

I served mine topped with a sunny-side-up egg which you can do or maybe you’ll want to add some bacon, ham, or steak on the side.

Kid Friendly Starches

Browned Butter Couscous With a Twist

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cauliflower rice

Warning – this isn’t a gluten-free, Paleo, vegan, or low-carb recipe. It is a healthy recipe and a delicious way to cut down on gluten and carbs, but it’s not by any stretch of the imagination actually gluten-free or low-carb.

I hadn’t intended to make couscous this evening. I was simply browning up some butter to use in recipes later in the week. But when I was done, the pan I had used to brown the butter had lovely coating of salty browned butter which I couldn’t bear to wash down the sink, so I decided to use the same pan to make some couscous. Big mistake, or the best thing ever, you decide.

I brought 1 cup water to a boil in the pan, removed it from the heat and added 1 cup each of riced broccoli and whole wheat couscous, covered the pan and let it rest off the heat for 5 minutes.

Before stirring the couscous I added the zest from 2 lemons and 4 tablespoons of browned butter, and a pinch of sea salt. Tasted. Added more browned butter. Tasted. Added the entire stick of browned butter and called it done.

Next time I need to “clean” a butter browning pan, I think I’ll warm up some cooked veggies or cook them in the pan with the addition of a little extra-virgin olive oil, or not. I’m really liking this Browned Butter Couscous.