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I've always abhorred the idea that the only way to lose weight is to starve yourself, eat foods that are foreign to you, or gulp down special weight loss potions. I've proved that it is not only possible, but it's easy and fun to lose weight The UnDiet way. The UnDiet is extremely flexible, allowing you to make deviations based on your personal taste, the choices confronting you at any given time, your mood, your cooking skills and the time you have available. A gourmet cook can be happy with The UnDiet as well as those who don't know or care what saute means. You can eat out at restaurants and parties and still not fall off The UnDiet. You can eat olive oil, butter, cream, meat, mayonnaise and still not fall off The UnDiet. You can eat until you're full and still lose weight, once you've mastered the basic principles of The UnDiet. So dig in to this blog, subscribe to the newsletter for lots of extras not published on the blog and get ready for the Kindle book coming soon.

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Excuse Our Mess!

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low carb membership

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 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?

Would You Like to Know How to Make Your Diet More Successful?

Despite the success many have experienced with Paleo, Atkins, Gluten Free, Food Combining, Weight Watchers, and other diets, 90% of all diets eventually fail. How can you fix the way you approach weight loss so that the results last? The simple solutions identified in “Help! My Diet Isn’t Working” can make any diet more effective.

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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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.

$$$avers Low Calorie Vegan Vegetarian

Using Your Scraps – Radish Greens

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save your scraps

One of my favorite things about radishes are the greens. I wish I could buy the greens by the bagful as I actually like them better than the radishes themselves. And I LOVE radishes!

The first thing I do when I buy radishes is remove the greens, chop and rinse them well. Because I don’t want to take any chance on the greens turning bad, which they do rather quickly, I cook them up right then and there with a little salt, pepper, and garlic. If I have some onion or a shallot I might very thinly slice it and let it cook while I chop the greens.

It’s a bit of effort for not very much food volume so I often will just snack on them while getting the rest of dinner ready, or set them aside and stir them into rice, pasta, or a soup.

Gluten Free Living Food Recipes Vegan Vegetarian

Raw Onion Bread with Endless Variations

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While looking for a low carb bread I first came across a low carb raw onion bread at Mother’s Market in Huntington Beach, California. It was delicious and EXPENSIVE. So the quest began to find a way to make it. I found many recipes for low carb bread with onions, and raw breads, however not all of them worked, and some that worked didn’t taste very good.

I started with a basic recipe that I found on the Internet which turned out crumbly and not super tasty, then tweaked and twittered with it until I ended up with this version which holds together well, is easy to make, and is super tasty. I really like this bread best using my original recipe, but I’ve noticed that whenever I make up a platter with different varieties of it, that people like the other varieties just as much, sometimes better, than the original recipe.

I prefer golden flax seed as I think it has a lighter, nuttier flavor. I also like to purchase whole seeds and grind them myself. Ground flax seed gets rancid very quickly. It’s easy to do, just dump them in a coffee grinder or blender and buzz until finely ground. Tip: clean your coffee grinder by buzzing a couple chunks of bread.

If you want to add some supplements that are in your cupboard such as maca powder, hemp powder, mesquite or green powder you can substitute up to 1/4 cup of your supplement for 1/4 cup of the sunflower seeds or almond meal.

Dry toasting your sunflower or pumpkin seeds prior to grinding them adds an extra step but I think it significantly enhances the flavor of the bread. It does make it no longer completely raw though. Your choice.

You can use any type of oil but a really good oil such as extra-virgin olive oil will give you a much tastier bread. If you have a flavored oil you may want to give that a try. I’ve loved every type of oil l’ve used, rosemary oil, garlic oil, basil oil …

I’ve used every type of onion, including red onions and all have turned out well.

Don’t skimp on the oil. I’ve experimented a bit and anything less than 1/4 cup just doesn’t work with this bread.

This onion bread is one of my favorite things to pack when I’m eating while traveling or running errands. I love it as is, or topped with avocado slices, tomatoes, or cucumbers.

Ingredients

3 large onions, thinly sliced
1 cup ground flax seeds
1  cup ground sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or almond meal
1/4 cup Braggs amino, coconut aminos, low sodium soy sauce, tamari sauce, or shau sauce
1/4 to 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil

Instructions

Stir together all ingredients except onions in a large bowl. Add onions and stir to combine. Don’t worry about how it looks at this point. After you let it rest for 30 minutes the onions will soften and it will look like a thick batter.

Spread the mixture about 1/4-inch thick onto Teflon sheets that fit your dehydrator trays. Dehydrate for 12 to 24 hours (until the bread is dry enough to turn), then flip over onto mesh sheets or straight onto your dehydrator trays and dehydrate for another 6 to 12 hours. The bread can be very moist or continue until it’s almost as crisp as a cracker. I usually pull one tray when the bread is still moist but holds together well, another tray when it’s a little dryer and the last tray when it’s pretty much a cracker.

Variations

Garlic Onion Bread: add 1/2 head roasted garlic or 2 cloves minced garlic to batter.
Italian Bread: 1 tablespoon salt-free Italian seasoning or other herb
Mushroom Bread: substitute 1/4 cup diced mushrooms for 1/4 cup sliced onion.
Olive Bread: substitute 1/4 cup diced olives for 1/4 of sliced onion.

Oven Instructions

When I do try it this will be my starting point – line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the batter on the sheet to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Bake in an oven at the lowest temperature possible. Check after one hour to get an idea of how long it might take. If it’s completely wet after that hour then I would check back every hour until it’s dry enough to flip. Continue baking until bread is the desired texture.

 Make Your Own Substitute for Nama Shoy or Soy Sauce

Ingredients

1 large portabello mushroom
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 cups water

Instructions

Place the mushroom and salt in the blender with 1/2 cup of the water. Blend on high speed for 10 seconds, slowly add the remaining water through the top while continuing to blend. You may wish to strain the liquid to remove any mushroom chunks.

 

I invite you to use the Comments to share any variations, whether they work or not. We learn from both our mistakes and our successes.

Kid Friendly Low Carb Paleo Recipes Vegan Vegetarian

15 Three Ingredient Meals with a Healthy Spin

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You’re committed to eating healthy, but sometimes the effort to plan, shop, prepare, and clean up can be enough to send you screaming to the drive thru with the golden arches. Sound familiar? To give you the motivation to continue your healthy journey I wanted to share with you all some of my quick to make and even quicker to clean up three ingredient meals. I realize that none of these are particularly innovative. However, I find it helps to have a bunch of ideas all in one place that I can go to when I need them.

Below is an excerpt from my book,  14 Days ~ 14 Pounds: Low Carb Daily Plan with 140 Quick & Easy Recipes (Low Carb Daily Plan – High Protein: Menus with Recipes). You’ll notice that some items don’t seem like low-carb choices, in the book I share the low-carb hacks for those.

1. Peanut butter + banana + whole wheat bread or crackers.

2. Boxed soup + leftover cooked veggies+ whole grains or pasta.

3. Sweet potato wedges + olive oil + sea salt.

4. Pasta + pesto + veggies

5. Pasta + parmesan + extra-virgin olive oil.

6. Steak or chicken or pork or turkey or ham + veggies + pesto.

7. Eggs + tomatoes + pesto.

8. Eggs + salsa + shredded cheese.

9. Whole wheat tortilla + veggies and/or shredded lettuce + hummus or cream cheese or shredded cheese.

10. Whole wheat pita + hummus + cucumbers or tomatoes.

11. Hot dog + mustard or ketchup + large lettuce leaf.

12. Frozen veggie burger + pasta sauce + cheese.

13. Frozen whole grain waffle or pancake + chopped fruit + maple syrup.

14. Celery stick, radish, tomato, or cucumber + cream cheese + chopped herbs.

15. Frozen whole grain mac ‘n cheese + frozen chopped spinach + thinly sliced green onion.

Eat healthy, enjoy your life!

Gluten Free Kid Friendly Low Calorie Low Carb Paleo Recipes Vegetarian

7 Easy Summer Recipes For When It’s Too Hot to Cook

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seven easy summer recipes

If the thought of spending time in the kitchen making a hot meal on a hot night makes you want to dial for pizza delivery then check out these seven easy summer”recipes” for when it’s too hot too cook. I’ve put recipes in quotes because none of these recipes actually require a measuring device and they’re all endlessly variable. So here goes …

Braised Artichokes

Whenever I make these artichokes I always make enough to have the next day. They’re nice for lunch, a snack, or another easy dinner. After two days though they tend to get grainy and while not spoiled, don’t taste as nice.

Trim artichokes and cut in half so that each side mirrors the other. Trim the end off the stems and peel off the tough outer layer. Cut out the choke or wait until after it’s cooked, like I do.
Pour some broth and/or wine (red or white) a little less than halfway up the sides of  a large saute pan with high sides. Turn heat to low.

Season broth with black pepper and salt, then add any or all of the following:

  • garlic
  • cayenne pepper
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Italian seasoning
  • Herbes de Provence

Tip: this is not a dish to experiment with curry or Asian spices. Although if any of you have success with this, please let us know in the comments.

Place artichoke halves and stems in seasoned broth. Cover pan and leave it alone for at least an hour. If you need to add more broth or wine, do so, although just enough to keep the artichokes from sticking to the bottom of the pan. When a leaf pulls out easily and I mean like butta’, there should be no resistance at all, then your artichokes are done.

Remove from heat and let artichokes cool in the broth. Remove the choke if you didn’t do so earlier. Serve, hot, warm, room temp, or cold.

Slow Cooker Version

Place two cups seasoned broth/wine in a slow cooker with the artichokes. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours,or on low for 4 to 7 hours (depending on the size of your artichokes). Since you won’t be serving these artichokes hot, the one hour variable isn’t a problem. You can make these earlier in the day then set them aside until dinner.

Deli Plate

This is a meal that will please everyone. If someone doesn’t like something they can just ignore it. Half the fun of this meal is experimenting with different combinations and laughing at someone else’s strange concoction.

Leftovers like steak, chicken, fish, bacon, meat balls, sausage links, or hot dogs can be served cold with this meal or just serve up the deli plate for a light dinner or appetizer.

Get out a big platter and arrange a mix of the following on it:

Proteins

  • thinly sliced meats
  • smoked sausage
  • hard boiled eggs, whole or halved

Veggies

  • dill pickles
  • roasted bell peppers
  • sliced cucumbers
  • jicama
  • lettuce leaves
  • sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil and drained (save the oil to make a salad dressing for another meal)
  • kimchi    http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com/homemade-kimchi.html)

Dips & Spreads

Place any or all of the following in little bowls:

  • hummus
  • ranch dressing (link to UD recipe)
  • sugar-free creamy salad dressing
  • mayo thinned with lemon or lime juice, seasoned with your choice of cayenne pepper, garlic, dill, Herbs de Provence, or thyme
  • mustard
  • barbecue sauce
  • ketchup

Taco Bowl

This meal is so easy to prepare you can pretty much tell your eight year old twins the title of this recipe and nothing else, let them loose in the kitchen and end up with a delish dinner.

Layer in a bowl or on a platter roughly in this order:

  • shredded lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • black beans or kidney beans
  • precooked taco meat or chili (can be warm or cold)
  • salsa
  • avocado
  • sour cream or yogurt

Chili Bowl

You can of course substitute dressed lettuce for the coleslaw.

Layer in a bowl or on a platter roughly in this order:

  • dressed coleslaw
  • cold pre-cooked chili
  • sour cream or yogurt
  • cream cheese or mascarpone cheese with pesto mixed in

Chicken Waldorf Salad

You can use pretty much any protein in place of the chicken, tuna or any white fish, turkey, ham, pork, bacon (better as a garnich rather than mixed into the salad), smoked or pre-cooked sausage.

I sometimes cut the mayonaisse 1:1 with Greek yogurt.

Place in a large bowl and toss together:

  • chopped apples
  • chopped celery
  • raisins or halved grapes
  • toasted walnuts, pecans, or pumpkin seeds
  • your choice of meat
  • mayonaisse thinned with fresh lemon or lime juice or your favorite sugar-free creamy salad dressing
  • sliced green or red onion (optional)
  • chopped fresh parsley, mint, oregeno, sage, or thyme (optional but don’t use dried herbs in place of fresh in this recipe)

The following can go into this salad but aren’t necessary to its success. I will add these just to use up items that I are hanging out in my fridge.

  • chickpeas
  • Great Northern beans
  • lima beans
  • spinach, chopped or thinly sliced
  • kale, thinly sliced and rubbed with lemon or lime juice until it softens
  • feta cheese (use sparingly)
  • blue cheese (use sparingly)

BLT Avocado Salad

The title of this recipe is pretty much the recipe for this dish.

Toss together:

  • cooked bacon, don’t crumble it, chop it into bite size pieces
  • lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
  • chopped tomato
  • chopped avocado
  • mayo thinned with fresh lemon or lime juice or your favorite sugar-free salad dressing

Corn Salad

When it’s too hot to even look at my grill I like to steam my corn in the microwave right in the husk.
Trim the top inch off each ear of corn and microwave 3 minutes per cob. Remove from microwave, let cool and peel off the husks and silk. Bonus, the silk comes off super easy with this method.

Use a knife to seperate the kernals from the cob.

Toss together in a bowl:

  • corn kernels
  • chopped tomato
  • fresh basil, mint, or cilantro, roughly chopped
  • sugar-free oil and vinegar dressing

 

You can of course add a rotisserie chicken from the market, grilled burgers, hot dogs, or sausages to any of these meals. Many of these meals are easily to transport and so ideal for a picnic or a potluck.