Saturday, June 8, 2013


Tonight it was chicken night and this one was taken from epicurious again with a couple of my own touches. It was really good with a nice tang to it and the blend of tomatoes, basil, shallots and kalama olives was very bright. I can't eat it myself, but cheesy rice (below) was a nice addition for my boys. 

(Serves 3)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 chicken breasts 
  • 1 shallot, thin sliced
  • 4-5 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 6 kalama olives, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive brine
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan
  • Salt & pepper chicken breast and cook (about 5 minutes per side until cooked through
  • Remove chicken from the pan and set aside
  • In oil left in the pan, saute shallots until translucent (about 2 minutes)
  • Pour in wine and deglaze pan - cook until alcohol has burned off
  • Add basil, olives, tomatoes and brine and cook until reduced (about 4 minutes)
  • Add in spinach and cook until wilted (about 1 minute)
  • Add chicken, cover well with sauce and heat through
  • Serve with cheesy rice (below)
NUTRITION: Calories 188, Carbs 11, Fat 9, Protein 18, Salt 314, Sugar 5

(Serves 3)
  • Prepare white rice per package directions (2 cups water to 1 cup rice)
  • Mix in 2 tbsp butter
  • Grate about 1 cup cheddar cheese and mix into hot cooked rice (or mix some Parmesan or other cheese)
  • Salt & pepper to taste 


This is a pretty typical meal for a lazy Saturday morning and very easy to fix. I have also added mushrooms, substituted bacon or ground sausage for the rope sausage, or added fresh basil. Salt & pepper to taste, as always, and sometimes thyme. For a little more savory scramble add salsa & fiesta chili powder. I am not a fan of peppers, but if you like them, you can add red and green for some additional color.

(Serves 2)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 oz. (about 2") of rope sausage, coursely chopped
  • 1 green onion, coursely chopped
  • 1 cup Italian (flat) parsley, coursely chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced raw tomato
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Beat eggs and cream together until foamy
  • Melt butter in medium frying pan over medium high heat
  • Add sausage and cook until brown
  • Add egg mixture - stir and cook until almost done
  • Add parsley and onions and mix well
  • Add tomatoes and cook for another minute - remove from heat
  • Sprinkle cheese on top and let sit until cheese is melted (1-2 minutes) 
  • Serve with a sprig of parsley for garnish
NUTRITION: Calories 797, 10 Carbs, 66 Fat, 37 Protein, 1184 Salt, Sugar 4

Friday, June 7, 2013


I'll try to include some recipes in here for breakfast and lunches but to be honest, I've found that the simpler the better for these two meals, only because I never have time to cook during the week, so I've taken some shortcuts and eat mostly the same things during the day:

My favorite meal (at least right now) is eggs, ham and cheese with a slice of tomatoe:
  •  2 tomato slices (1/2" thick)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 piece oval ham (cut in half - I use Kroger's sliced ham from the meat department)
  • 2 slices of cheddar cheese (or American Cheese - one of my guilty pleasures)
In a medium frying pan melt the butter until foamy. Put in eggs and break the yokes, trying to keep them round. I use "egg rings" to cook my eggs, but you can just fry them too. Add ham on outside edges. Using smaller lid cover and cook until yokes are hard.

Place tomato slices on plate, then ham, then egg. Add cheese on top and either wait until melted (about 1-2 minutes) or put in microwave and zap for about 30 seconds. Eat with a knife and fork. Note: The ham has more than enough salt for this dish, though pepper is always nice. Delicious and a great way to start the day - takes me to lunch without a problem and is amazingly easy to fix.
Nutrition: Calories 396, Carbs 7, Fat 28, Protein 25, Salt 939 

I mix lunch up some and pre-cook things to take during the week. For example: Cooked sausage with deli mustard (watch the sausage for sugar), tuna salad with mayo, celery seeds, a scrape of onion, celery and some tomatoes mixed in are delicious with a side salad or an avocado. Marinated artichoke hearts are also good on the side. Boiled eggs crumbled over lettuce with blue cheese dressing and crumbles of blue cheese or feta are yummy and easy too. And of course leftovers from the low-carb dinner from the night before (although, if you're like my family, the poor meal never makes it that far!) Chicken thighs or drumsticks are usually very cheap and you can get a large package of them for about $6-7. On Sunday, I'll sprinkle salt, pepper, thyme, garlic granules, and paprika on them, arrange them on a deep cookie sheet and bake them at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Then, after they have cooled, I put 2 each in plastic containers, put 2 containers in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. I use the 2 during the early part of the week and take one out of the freezer the night before for the rest of the week. Add a salad with raspberry vinagrette, an avocado, or some cut up tomatoes and cucumbers, and you have a great lunch. (Nutrition: Chicken, Salad with tomatoes, Raspberry vinagrette: Calories 628, Carbs 11, Fat 22, Protein 32, Sodium 209+). The point is you can make lunches that are quick and easy with a little planning. If I have to order lunch at work (sometimes) I'll try to stay on my food plan and order meat salads (like chicken or tuna), green salads, or cheeses. I've found that if you ask for a chicken salad without the bread, that makes a pretty good lunch! I'll even go to a hamburger joint and ask them for a hamburger without the bun (or ketchup, since that has tons of sugar). Those are delicious too! Nothing better than a flame broiled jr. burger with cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo,  mustard and pickles. Add a side salad with light Italian dressing, and a diet soda (although I order water) and you've got it made... without the guilt! (405calories, 11 carbs, 34 fat)


So tonight we went with beef and mushrooms, inspired by a couple of different recipes (which I can't seem to find now). Very good with lots of elegant flavor. Would be a great dish for guests... I used just regular stew meat since that's what I had but a nice tri-tip or filet cut up would probably be more tender, though the stew meat wasn't bad.

(Serves 4)

  • Melt butter in large frying pan until foamy
  • Saute mushrooms until cooked through and remove from pan (leaving liquid in pan)
  • Let liquid cook on medium high until reduced (about 2-3 minutes), stirring occasionally
  • Salt & pepper meat thoroughly
  • Add meat to pan and saute until medium rare (about 5 minutes) - remove meat from pan and set aside
  • Add wine to pan and deglaze drippings (stir with a wooden spoon until all the leavings are off the bottom of the pan) until alcohol has cooked off (about 1-2 minutes)
  • Add shallots and cook until just transparent
  • Add anchovy paste and mix and then cream and mix - stir with a wooden spoon on medium heat until thick
  • Mix meat, mushroom, basil and parsley into sauce and cook for another 1-2 minutes until greens are wilted
  • Serve over rotini for your carb-loving family or right out of the pan for yourself
Nutrition: Calories 308, Carbs 11, Fat 19, Protein 24, Sodium 669 (you can decrease this by removing the anchovy paste from the recipe), Sugar 1


1.    Make appointment with a good nutritionist and/or your doctor to go through what is best for you.

2.    For Diabetics: Read Robert Bernstein’s book: – NOTE: For diabetics only. People with normal blood sugar should consult with their doctor before following this plan

3.    Walk 2-4 miles every day.

4.    Eat 3 low/slow carb meals per day with enough fat to get you through the next meal. Try not to snack. Carb levels need to be: Breakfast = 6; Lunch = 12; Dinner = 12. *See below list of what you can eat. (Note: For Diabetics only)

5.    Sign up @ to keep track of what you are eating and your exercise. Be religious about keeping track until you are trained on what to eat. Will take about 4-6 weeks.

6.    Research recipes online that will get you to the numbers above for low-carbs, but that are tasty and varied. It’s easy to get bored with this food, so doing research helps to keep it fresh.

7.    Weigh yourself about every 2 weeks and keep track of your weight. Adjust your diet from week to week depending on these factors:

a.    If you are getting hungry between meals, try adding another protein to the previous meal.

b.    If you have to snack, snack on proteins like nuts, boiled eggs, cheese, etc. Avoid foods with carbs in them.

c.    If you get a sweet craving, try sugar-free jello (10 calories and no carbs) + heavy cream (unsweetened). It’s delicious and fulfills that sweet craving.

d.    Try to avoid diet drinks if at all possible.

e.    Try to eat all natural foods and avoid pre-packed foods, if you can.

On Dr. Bernstein's program, foods that produce a rapid blood glucose rise are out. Forbidden foods include the following:

Sweets and Sweeteners

·         Sugar, honey, fructose, corn syrup, molasses, etc, or foods which contain them such as candy and regular soda
·         Foods containing other ingredients which are types of sugar (see Sugar's Many Disguises)
·         Sugar alcohols such as maltitol, sorbitol, etc., or foods which contain them, including sugar-free candy and other "diet" or "sugar-free" foods
·         Most desserts - pies, cakes, cookies, etc.
·         Powdered artificial sweeteners add carbs(see section on artificial sweeteners in the "Allowed Foods" section)
Grains and Grain Products
Any product made from wheat, barley, corn, rice, quinoa, rye, etc., including:

·         Breads
·         Crackers
·         Other products made with flour
·         Cereal, including oatmeal
·         Pasta
·         Pancakes and waffles
Sweet or Starchy Vegetables
·         Potatoes
·         Parsnips
·         Winter squash
·         Beets
·         Carrots
·         Corn
·         Yellow Bell Peppers
·         Legumes
·         Onions (except in small amounts)
·         Raw Tomatoes (except in small amounts)
·         Cooked tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce
·         Packaged vegetables containing sugars or flour
Fruits or Fruit Juices
All, except, for some people, tomato juice in a Bloody Mary if it doesn't cause blood glucose rise
Dairy Products
·         Milk
·         Sweetened yogurts
·         Most low fat and nonfat yogurts have added carbs
·         Cottage cheese, except in small amounts
·         Powdered milk substitutes and coffee lighteners
·         Evaporated or condensed milk
Other Foods
·         Nuts except in small amounts (count the carbs)
·         Most processed and prepared foods, snack foods, etc.
·         Most condiments, including balsamic vinegar

The following foods are allowed on Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Diet:
Most meats and protein foods, unless carbs are added:
On most of the popular low carb diets, most meats and related protein foods are acceptable. These are some exceptions:
·         Be careful to avoid breaded meats (including “breaded from within” dishes like meatloaf) and meats served with high carb sauces.**
·         Atkins points out that mussels and oysters have carbs, so be sure to count them.
·         Some organ meats contain carbohydrates. Atkins recommends limiting organ meats to 4 oz. per day. One ounce of raw beef liver has about 1 gram of carbohydrate - one ounce cooked has 1.4 grams.
·         Be aware that hams and luncheon meats often have added sugars - check the labels or have the deli worker do it.
·         Limit consumptions of processed meats, especially with nitrites (hot dogs, bacon, etc).
·         On diets which limit saturated fat (e.g. South Beach, Zone), the fattier cuts, such as the dark meat of poultry, are to be avoided. Cuts of meat low in saturated fat
·         Some plans, such as the Zone, limit egg yolks.
·         Half a cup of tofu has 10 grams of protein and 1 gram of effective carbohydrate (with 1 gram of fiber)
**I’ve found that if you buy pork rinds and grind them up they make a great substitute for bread crumbs.
Vegetables not listed above - count 1 cup raw, 2/3 cup cooked, or 1/4 cup pureed or mashed as 6 grams of carb
Low-Carb Vegetables
This list is roughly arranged from lowest to highest carbohydrate counts, but all are non-starchy and generally low in carbohydrates. Exact carb count depends on serving size. Remember when counting carbs in vegetables that the fiber is not counted, and can be subtracted from the total. For more information about each vegetable, including carbs, calories, glycemic index, and recipes, click on the vegetables that have a link.

·         Sprouts, alfalfa and other small seeds (sprouted legumes have more carb)
·Greens – lettuce, spinach, chard, etc.
·Hearty Greens - collards, mustard greens, kale, etc.
·Radicchio and endive count as greens
·Herbs - parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.
·Bamboo Shoots
·Sea Vegetables (Nori, etc)
·Cabbage (or sauerkraut)
·Cucumbers (or pickles without added sugars)
·         Green Bell Peppers
·         Red Bell Peppers
·         Jalapeno Peppers
·Water Chestnuts (note: water chestnuts are starchy root vegetables, but usually used in smaller quantities than other root vegetables)
Dairy Products:
·         Cheeses - count one gram of carb per ounce for most
·         Yogurt - full fat, unsweetened - 11 grams of carb
·         Cream - half a gram of carb per Tablespoon
·         Unsweetened soymilk can be used as a milk substitute
·         Butter or Margarine
Grain substitutes:
·         Soy flour has 7.5 grams of carbohydrate per 1/4 cup
·         Certain bran crackers (read labels)
Artificial Sweeteners are allowed unless they have added sugar (usually in the form of dextrose or maltodextrin), as most powdered sweeteners do. Exceptions are liquid sources of artificial sweeteners or those which come in small tablets.
Nuts - allowed, but count carbs, and Know Thyself, as many people can't get themselves to stop
Condiments and flavorings - those without sugar include spices, herbs, mustard, sugar-free/low carb salad dressings, and sugar-free flavorings and extracts
Many condiments are riddled with all forms of sugar. Before you start reading labels, get familiar with sugar's many disguises:
Although for most purposes simply knowing the carb count is enough information for those following a low carb way of eating, there are times when we want to know whether and how much sugar was added to the food during processing. For example, if the label for a bottled sauce says that a teaspoon has “zero carbs” that could easily be due to rounding, so that a few tablespoons may start to have carb levels that you care about. By reading the label, you see whether sugar was added to the sauce, and can sometimes get an idea of how much.
What Are Added Sugars?
Sugars are a type of carbohydrate sometimes called “simple carbohydrates”. Sugars occur naturally in many foods, especially fruits, but manufacturers also add sugars to most processed foods these days, because people seem to buy more sweet foods. The presence of these sugars often signals a higher glycemic index in the food.
Sugar Has Many Disguises
Careful reading of labels is necessary to know how much added sugar you are getting. Sometimes there will be small amounts of many types of sugars, so none of them end up being in the the first few ingredients of the label. Other times, sugar masquerades as apparently more “healthy” ingredients, such as honey, rice syrup, or even “organic dehydrated cane juice”. These are sugar. Sometimes fruit juice concentrates will be used, which sound wholesome, but usually the juices chosen, such as white grape, apple, and pear juices, are among the least nutritious of the juices. By the time they are “concentrated”, very little remains but the sugar.

Here is a list of some of the possible code words for “sugar” which may appear on a label. Hint: the words “syrup”, “sweetener”, and anything ending in “ose” can usually be assumed to be “sugar”. If the label says “no added sugars”, it should not contain any of the following, although the food could contain naturally-occurring sugars (such as lactose in milk).

·         Agave Nectar
·Barley Malt Syrup
·Corn sweetener
·Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids
·Dehydrated Cane Juice
·Fruit juice concentrate
·High-fructose corn syrup
·Invert sugar
·Malt syrup
·Maple syrup
·Raw Sugar
·Rice Syrup
·Sorghum or sorghum syrup
·Turbinado Sugar
Remember, your body doesn't care what the label says, it's all just "sugar"!
A Word About Sugar Alcohols: A lot of "Sugar Free" foods have ingredients called sugar alcohols in them such as maltitol and sorbitol. These ingredients can be as bad or worse than sugar. More information about sugar alcohols
·         Mustard (except sweetened mustards, especially honey mustard)
·         Cider and wine vinegars
·         Most bottled hot sauces (such as Tabasco)
·         Most salsas
·         Soy sauce or tamari
·         Mayonnaise –0 look especially for brands high in monounsaturated fat (example: Saffola)
·         Sugar-free salad dressings, preferably brands high in monounsaturated fat, such as olive oil (check labels carefully)
·         Capers
·         Horseradish
·         Pesto
·         Herbs and spices (but watch for mixtures with added sugars)
·         Lemon or lime juice (1 gram of carb per tablespoon)
·         Extracts (vanilla, lemon, almond, etc.)
·         Broth or bouillon
Variable Carbs – Check Labels
·         Balsamic vinegar
·         Rice wine vinegar
·         Worcestershire sauce
To Buy
·         Low-carb ketchup
·         Dill pickle relish
·         Sugar-free salad dressings
·         Low carb jams and preserves (check labels)
To Toss
·         Regular ketchup
·         Tomato-based chili sauce and cocktail sauce (unless sugar-free)
·         Salad dressings with sugar
·         Tartar sauce
·         Plum sauce, sweet and sour sauce, oyster sauce
·         Teriyaki sauce
·         Steak sauce (most)
·         Most sauces, including barbecue, have a lot of sugar –- check the label
·         Jams, jellies, preserves
Beverages - include water, sparkling water, club soda, diet soda, coffee, and tea. Also, low carb alcoholic beverages in moderate amounts.
·         Readymade Sugar-free Jell-O Brand Gelatin or other truly sugar-free brands of gelatin - check especially for maltodextrin. The powdered kinds are more apt to have maltodextrin.
·         Sugar-free puddings can be made with low carb dairy alternatives and can count as six grams of carbs as part of your meal plan
·         Homemade Low Carb Desserts - such as are in Bernstein's book (Laura's Low Carb Dessert Recipes)
Low-Carb Desserts
Here are some of my favorite desserts, which are low carb and sugar-free. You will see that I use nut flours (especially almond flour) and "liquid Splenda" a lot. Powdered Splenda can be substituted, but add the extra carbs into the count. Erythritol is often included in the chocolate recipes.

Sugar-Free Raspberry Chiffon Squares
These raspberry jello squares made with cream cheese are easy to make and are a nice sugar-free, low-carb dessert.
Top Low-Carb Dessert Recipes
Here are Laura's most popular dessert recipes on the site.
Sugar-Free Lemon Curd
Delicious lemon curd recipe, without the sugar or carbs.
Microwave Apple Almond Dessert
For me, baked apple is a comfort food. Regular recipes are full of sugar and raisins. This is sort of a cross between baked apple and an individual apple crisp, but it's done in the microwave, so it isn't crispy. Sometimes I top it with yogurt, or mascarpone cheese mixed with the flavored sugar-free syrup.
Low Carb Chocolate Ganache (for Truffles or Sauce)
This sugar free low carb chocolate ganache can be used to make truffles or a chocolate sauce.