Saturday, May 23, 2015


These reminds me of the coating on one of my old junk food favorites, Hostess Snowballs, those marshmallow and coconut-coated chocolate cakes with a “cream” center (actually a trans fat and sugar center). 

2 ounces frozen or fresh raspberries or strawberries or ¼ ounce dried

2 packets (7 grams each) powdered gelatin

½ cup cold water

½ cup boiling water

High-intensity sugar substitute, such as stevia, monk fruit, or sucralose, equal to 1 cup sugar

4 teaspoons sugar substitute with bulk, such as erythritol, xylitol, Sweet Perfection, or a stevia blend

A few grains of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 egg whites, fresh or reconstituted from powdered egg whites

¼ to ½ cup of finely grated coconut (1 to 2 ounces or 30 to 60 grams)

Granular sugar substitute equal to 2 teaspoons of sugar, such as Swerve, Sweet Perfection, Just Like Sugar, LC Sweet, or Splenda*

Grease an 8- x 8-inch pan. Line with parchment paper and grease paper also. Chop berries into fairly large pieces. Reserve.

Soften gelatin in ½ cup cold water in a large bowl for a few minutes. Heat additional ½ cup water to boiling. Pour over gelatin and stir until dissolved. Stir in first 2 sugar substitutes, salt, and vanilla. Place in refrigerator to chill.

Stir every 5 minutes at first then as often as every 2 minutes until it becomes as thick as raw egg whites. This may take less than 10 minutes or up to an hour, depending on your refrigerator. If the gelatin accidentally sets up and becomes lumpy rather than syrupy, reheat it and start over.

Beat gelatin mixture with an electric mixer for 2 or 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add egg whites and beat for about 3 minutes more or until it forms soft peaks that droop over when the beater is lifted. Quickly stir in berries. Spoon into pan and spread with a flexible spatula. Cover with plastic film and press down to level the top. Refrigerate until firm.

Turn out of pan, peel off paper and cut into 16 squares. Mix coconut and remaining sweetener in a small bowl and roll each marshmallow until coated on all sides. Eat them out of hand or garnish with a berry and a dab of sugar-free Whipped cream and serve with a fork.

Makes 16 squares.
Per serving—Net carbs: 0.4g; Protein: 1.6g; Fiber: 0.4g; Fat: 1.g; Cal: 20
Total weight: 12¼ ounces or 348 grams
Weight per serving: ¾ ounce or 22 grams
Preparation time: 15 minutes active; 25 minutes total plus setting time.

You may use only high intensity sweetener to make marshmallows if you choose, but the small amount of bulk sweetener, such as erythritol, xylitol, Sweet Perfection, or a stevia blend will give a texture more like marshmallows made with regular sugar. Plain ones (without raspberries or coconut) melt beautifully in a cup of hot cocoa. Without the bulk sweetener, they melt more quickly.

To make Plain Marshmallows:
Leave out the raspberries and roll squares in bulk sweetener without coconut.

Don’t use pasteurized eggs in the shell for whipping. They have been heated too much to beat up properly. If you are concerned about safety, you can use reconstituted powdered egg whites.

*Granular Splenda is a high-intensity sweetener because it dissolves and has no bulk when it gets wet. It can be used for the coating in this recipe because it is not mixed with a liquid.

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(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker,

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


My book, Nourished; a Cookbook for Health, Weight Loss, and Metabolic Balance has again been included in a special one-day sale of low carb and keto books on Amazon. On May 20, 2015, the Kindle versions of all 9 books listed below will be just $2.99! (The regular price for Nourished on Kindle is $9.99.) New authors and new books have been added for this sale!

Click titles to see books on Amazon.

More information and sign up for future events here:

(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker,

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Grass-fed ground beef is available at some of my local stores now, but grass-fed roasts, chops, and steaks are harder to find. One butcher told me he quit ordering the more expensive cuts because they didn't sell fast enough and he always had to mark them down. I have to admit, the prices are a deterrent for me too. As a result, ground beef has become a staple in my diet and I'm always looking for new ways to cook it. Here are some of the best recipes I have found to keep it interesting. There is a whole world beyond hamburgers!

1. Brie and Caramelized Onion Stuffed Burgers from All Day I Dream about Food:

3. Beef-a-Roni from Maria’s Mind, Body, Health:

4. Show Cooker Moroccan Beef from Maria’s Mind, Body, Health:

5. Sloppy Joe Stuffed Peppers from Carb Wars:

8. Magic Meat Muffins from The Nourished Caveman:

9. Paleo Greek Meatballs aka Soutzoukakia from Keto Diet App:

11. Tasty Feta Burgers from Low Carb So Simple:

12. Meatloaf Pate’ from the Nourished Caveman:

13. Meatloaf in a Mug from Low Carb So simple:

14. Salsa Chili from Carb Wars:  

15. Italian Skillet Helper from Fluffy Chix:   

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(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker,

Friday, May 8, 2015


The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans committee is accepting public comments until the end of the day today, May 8th. I will put the link to the comment form at the end of this post. Here is what I'm sending:

    Americans are eating 30% more calories than we did 30 years ago when our government and health agencies first recommended that we cut down on fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol and eat more carbohydrates, especially fruits, vegetables, and grains. A recent analysis of the government’s own data on food consumption reveals that we did just what we were told to do. Fat consumption is down by 25%; carbs are up by 30%, and saturated fat is down by 20%. The percentage of overweight adults has increased from 42% to 66% since 1971. ( These dramatic shifts in the macronutrient composition of the American diet coincided with the rise in our multiple epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes, the predictable outcome of increased carbohydrate consumption and reduced intake of natural fats. (Carbs stimulate the release of insulin, the fat storage hormone; insulin increases hunger.)

    A low-carbohydrate/high fat diet resets the body’s metabolism to burn fat for energy instead of burning sugar and storing fat, a state called ketosis. Following such a plan for three weeks will allow you to be satisfied on one meal a day with no hunger or deprivation. Think of the implications! How much time and energy would be saved if we prepared food once a day rather than three, four, or more times? How much less waste and garbage would we make? How much less fuel would we use for shopping and cooking and how much less would be needed for growing, transporting, processing, and packaging our food? How much less fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, and greenhouse gas would go into the environment? How much less water would be needed and how many fewer rain forests and grasslands would be destroyed to make room for more and more mono-crops to feed our burgeoning population and obese bodies? If a ketogenic, one-meal-a-day diet catches on, it would have the same effect as cutting the world's current number of mouths to be fed from 7 billion to 2½ billion. It could save, not just the lives and health of millions of people, but our very planet.
You will have only 20 minutes to finish your comment, so have it written out and ready to paste. You also need a short summary. The link is here:

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(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker,

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


After I published the new recipe for Picadillo with a picture showing it with a side of Pumpkin Tamales, many of you asked me to share the tamale recipe too. Since this is Cinco de Mayo, I thought it would be appropriate to post it today. I realize that I may be generating requests for even more recipes by posting just the basic tamales. The recipe first appeared in Carb Wars; Sugar is the New Fat along with a lot of variations. (Related recipes from Carb Wars include: Tamale Pie, Sweet Tamales, Tamale Pancakes, and recipes for several different fillings, including Carnitas, Chicken, and Pork Fillings for savory versions and Mincemeat, Cranberry, and Jam fillings for dessert tamales.) Since including all that would make a very long post, I'm going to take the opportunity to get in a plug for the book, which contains these recipes plus many more of my favorites that have not appeared here or in any of my other books.

Masa harina (Mexican cornmeal made from hominy), the main ingredient in tortillas, is generally something to avoid or use sparingly at twenty-one net carbs in one-quarter cup. This recipe, a take-off on the traditional fruit tamales of Mexico, also includes pumpkin purée, butter, and cheese, which cuts down on the carbs. I’m including a recipe for a savory one, with some variations, and a few sweet ones. They are all delicious and very easy to make.

For wrapping:
Dried Cornhusks (or cooking parchment)

For the dough:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces (one-half of a 4-ounce can) diced green chilies
1 cup canned pumpkin or cooked and puréed fresh pumpkin
3/4 cup masa harina (recipe was tested with Maseca Instant Corn Masa Mix)
1/4 cup (11/4 ounces) grated Cotija cheese
2 tablespoons cream

Optional Fillings: fill each tamale with 2 teaspoonfuls of meat from Carnitas recipe (see p. 199), or with chicken or pork filling for Tamale Pie (see p. 174), or with cooked and drained ground beef.

Use purchased cornhusks if possible, as they are larger than what we typically get from fresh corn on the cob. Cover the husks with hot water and let them sit for several hours or microwave for a few minutes to soften. Choose a few of the longest husks and tear into narrow strips to use as ties. Cut off the narrow ends of the remaining husks so that they are more square in shape. Blot the husks with
paper towels to dry thoroughly. Four- by eight-inch pieces of parchment paper can be used in place of the cornhusks, if desired.

Combine the butter, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a mixer and beat until fluffy. Add the chilies, pumpkin, masa harina, cheese, and cream and beat to incorporate.

Spread about ¼ cup of the dough on each husk. Make the layer in the shape of a rectangle about ¼ inch thick that comes all the way to the edge on one side. Leave at least 1 inch on the other side and 2 inches or more on each end of the husk uncovered. If using a filling, place 2 teaspoons of filling down the center of the masa-covered section.

Fold the masa-covered part of the husk in half so that the filling is enclosed, leaving the extra inch or more of husk to overlap the seam. Fold the two ends toward the center and tie in place with the husk strips, leaving it loose enough for the dough to expand. (For quicker preparation, fold up and tie one end only and stand the tamales to steam with the open end up. If your steamer is too large for them to stand upright, crumpled foil can fill in the open spaces to keep them stable.)

Put a few inches of water in a large pot or steamer with a rack and heat on low. The rack should not touch the water. Place the tamales upright on the rack or in a single layer. Cover the pot and steam for
about an hour. Check the pot every 15 minutes or so to be sure it doesn’t boil dry. When done, the dough should be firm and it should pull away from the husk cleanly. Unwrap one to check for doneness.

Serve the tamales with salsa verde or enchilada sauce. Unfilled tamales are a nice accompaniment for chops or steaks; the filled ones can serve as a main dish for lunch or dinner.

Servings: 14
Total Carb: 6.5g Fiber: 1.1g Net Carb: 5.4g

Masa harina is flour made from a kind of dried, fermented corn, similar to hominy. The hard corn is treated with a solution of lime and water, called slaked lime, to remove the hulls. The lime also softens the corn and makes its niacin content bio-available so that it can assimilated by the body.

Cotija cheese may be called queso añejo or añejo de Cotija. It is a dry, salty, crumbly, aged
cheese. Cotija was the name of the town in Mexico where it was originally made. Look for it in
the cheese display or with the Mexican foods at the grocery store. If you cannot find it, substitute Romano cheese.

Salsa is always a carb bargain, but the green kind is especially so. It is made with tomatillos, the little green “tomatoes” encased in a papery husk. Embassa brand Salsa Verde claims to have one gram of carbohydrate with one gram of fiber, which cancels it out, for a net carb count of zero. (See Sources.)

Tamale Pancakes
If you don’t have time for filling the cornhusks and steaming the tamales, here is a shortcut. Form the dough into balls about the size of a walnut. Flatten into small pancakes and fry in butter or oil until brown and crunchy. Turn and brown the other side. Serve as a side dish or top with shredded cooked meat, cheese, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and salsa as for tacos.

Servings: 28
Total Carb: 3.3g Fiber: 0.6g Net Carb: 2.7g

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(c) 2015. Judy Barnes Baker,

Thursday, April 30, 2015


A rich, moist, basic cake that can be varied by using different flavorings, frostings, and toppings. It is sugar-free, grain-free, gluten-free, and delicious.

¾ cup (3 ounces or 85 grams) almond flour
¾ cup (3 ounces or 85 grams) coconut flour
¼ cup (2 ounces or 56 grams) granular erythritol or other bulk sweetener*
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
½ cup (4 ounces or 1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
4 ounces whipped or regular cream cheese, softened to room temperature
High-intensity sugar substitute equal to ¾ cup sugar, such as stevia. monk
   fruit, or sucralose (recipe was tested with 18 drops EZ-Sweetz**)
6 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut, almond, lemon, or other extract
¾ teaspoon xanthan or guar gum, for better texture, optional

Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan, line with a circle of parchment paper, and grease the paper also. Dust with coconut flour and tap out the excess. Put almond flour, coconut flour, erythritol and/or any other dry sweetener, baking powder, and salt in food processor. Process for about 2 minutes until well mixed and erythritol, if using, is very finely ground. Alternately, grind erythritol in a spice or coffee grinder and whisk with flours, baking powder, and salt. Reserve.

Beat the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add one egg and beat until incorporated. Blend in extracts and any liquid sweetener. Sprinkle xanthan or guar gum over butter mixture, a little at a time, and beat in. Add remaining eggs, one at a time, alternating with reserved flour mixture, and beating until smooth after each addition. Beat for an additional minute. Scrape batter into prepared cake pan and level the top. Bake at 350º F for 45 to 55 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted near the center tests clean.

Set cake on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen. Turn cake out of pan and place, right-side-up, onto a cake rack. Leave until completely cool. Frost with Chocolate Butter Cream, recipe below, or serve with sugar-free whipped cream or sugar-free ice cream.

Makes one nine-inch layer. For a two-layer cake, as shown above, double recipe or cut cake in half and stack layers with frosting between. (Double the nutrition counts per slice.)

Makes 10 servings. Per serving, cake only, with zero-carb sweeteners—
Total carbs: 11.1g; Net carbs: 3.3g; Protein: 7.8; Fiber: 4.2g; Fat: 21.6g; Calories: 249
Total weight: 1 pound 6 ounces or 715 grams
Weight per serving: 2½ ounces or 72 grams
Preparation time: 25 minutes active, 1 hour 5 minutes total

* Bulk sweeteners include xylitiol, Swerve, Sweet Perfection, LC-Sweet, Just Like Sugar, Truvia, and Natural Mate (use 1/2 the amount for the last one).

**EZ-Sweetz liquid sweetener comes in stevia, sucralose, or monk fruit versions. All have zero carbs.

Insulating wraps are available for cake pans so the layers will be level rather than uneven on top. Look for ones that fasten with velcro strips.

No need to feel guilty when you indulge in this rich, chocolaty frosting. Double the recipe to fill and frost two layers.

¼ cup (1¾ ounces or 48g) erythritol, Swerve, or other sweetener with bulk
½ cup (4 ounces or 1 stick) butter, softened
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cream or coconut milk, more if needed
1 teaspoon sugar-free vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
High-intensity sugar substitute to taste, such as liquid sucralose, stevia, or
    monk fruit (Recipe was tested 6 drops EZ-Sweetz)
1 raw egg yolk, preferably from a pasteurized egg, optional (but good!)

If using granular erythritol, whirl it in a coffee or spice grinder or a food processor for a minute or two, until fine—let it settle before opening the top. Beat the butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer or by hand until fluffy.

Beat sweeteners into butter, then beat until smooth. Blend in the cocoa powder (slowly or it will escape). Beat in the vanilla, salt, and the cream or coconut milk and the egg yolk, if using. Add additional high-intensity sweetener to taste, starting with a small amount. Store frosting in the refrigerator, but let it warm up a bit before serving.

Makes frosting for 9-inch cake (10 servings) or about ¾ cup total.
Per serving with zero-carb sweeteners—
Net carbs: 0.6g; Protein: 0.9g; Fiber: 1g; Fat: 11.1g; Calories: 108
Total weight: 7 1/3 ounces or 206 grams
Weight per each of 10 servings: ¾ ounce or 21 grams
Preparation time: 10 minutes active and total

Recipes adapted from Nourished; a Cookbook for Health, Weight Loss, and Metabolic Balance.

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Nourished on Amazon in print or Kindle format >

You can get the Kindle version, a $9.95 value, for FREE (via Matchbook deal) when you purchase a print copy from Amazon or if you have already purchased one in the past;

(c) Judy Barnes Baker.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


The secret to making crisp crab cakes that don't fall apart without flour or bread is to drain the crab mixture very well. It can be made a day ahead and the cakes can be formed and refrigerated for several hours before cooking. (Recipe adapted from one by David Hagedorn featured in the Washington Post.) 

1 pound of jumbo lump crabmeat
2 green onions, white and light-green parts, finely chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp seeded and minced jalapeno pepper. optional
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp of fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp powdered mustard
1 large egg
1/2 cup real mayonnaise, home-made preferred
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp light olive oil (not extra-virgin), bacon fat, or other high heat fat (See Note.)

Go through crab meat and pick out any bits of shell or cartilage, leaving lumps intact as much as possible. Place picked crab in a large bowl.

Add green onions, parsley, cilantro, jalapeno, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Old Bay, and mustard to bowl. Carefully fold in without breaking up the lumps of crab meat.

Beat egg in a second bowl; add mayonnaise and mix well. Gently fold into crab mixture and place in a strainer. Set strainer over a large bowl. Cover strainer and bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Discard liquid and shape mixture into 6 cakes. They should be about 3 inches in diameter and about 1/2-inch thick. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Place a baking sheet in oven and preheat to 200°F.

Heat half the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers in the pan. Place half the crab cakes in the skillet and cook without moving for 3 minutes or until the bottoms are well browned. Turn them over with a wide spatula. Cook for another 3 minutes until second side is brown. Transfer to heated baking sheet and put in oven to keep warm until the remaining cakes are cooked.

Wipe out skillet and add the rest of the oil. Heat oil as before and repeat the cooking process. Serve warm.

Many stores sell fresh crab in 1-pound cans that can be stored in the refrigerator for quite a long time. I'm not sure I want to know how they do that, but it is very good, with large, meaty chunks of crab, and it is also relatively inexpensive compared to the fresh crab at the fish counter.

Be sure to get "real" mayonnaise. It will have real eggs and no sugar. Better yet, make your own fresh mayonnaise. (Dr. Mary Dan Eades's wonderful recipe is in Nourished.) The nutrition data shown is for purchased real mayonnaise, such as Hellman's, Best Food's, or Duke's.

Some of the fat used for frying will be left in the pan. The amount left in the crab cakes is estimated in the nutrition data.

Yield: 6 servings.
Per each crab cake: 257 calories; 19.4g protein; 18.5 g fat; 0.3g fiber; 0.6g net carbs

"Light" olive oil has the same number of calories as other olive oil but it is more refined, giving it a higher smoke point than extra-virgin  and making it a better choice for frying and high-temperature cooking. Extra virgin olive oil is best reserved for salad dressings and quick sautéing. Other oils that can take the heat without being damaged include natural lard, beef and poultry fat, bacon fat, and some nut oils.

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SPECIAL OFFER: If you buy a print copy of NOURISHED from Amazon or if you have already bought one in the past, you can get the Kindle e-book, a $9.99 value, for FREE! Go to the Kindle detail page here:

(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker,

Saturday, April 18, 2015


It's rhubarb season! Shirley Lowry mentioned on Face Book that she was going to give her old recipe for  a rhubarb custard pie a low-carb makeover. I had this recipe in Carb Wars; Sugar is the New Fat, so I thought I'd save her the trouble. I thought I'd have to make a pie before I could post it because I didn't have a picture, but I remembered that a friend had made my pie and sent me the gorgeous photo above to show me how well it turned out. (This is for you,Shirley!)

Rhubarb Custard Pie
Rhubarb is a Godsend for low-carb dieters. Not a rhubarb aficionado? Try this recipe. The soaking takes out some of the sourness and eliminates the astringency that some people find objectionable; the lemon juice keeps the bright red color from leaching out and prevents the rhubarb from becoming mushy. If you still don’t like it, try replacing half the rhubarb with strawberries. 

Pie Crust for a 9-inch single crust pie
1 pound fresh rhubarb stalks (4 cups, sliced)
3 eggs, well beaten
Sugar substitute equal to 1 cup sugar
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Wash the rhubarb and trim the ends. Cut into 4-inch lengths and cover with cold water. Let soak for 30 minutes.

Place the pastry in a 9-inch pie pan and flute the edges. Prick the crust with a fork or use a perforated pan. Bake the crust in a 425º F oven for 5 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and let it stand
for three minutes.

Beat the eggs with a fork in a small bowl. Spoon a small amount of the beaten egg into the hot crust and tilt the pan to coat the bottom and sides. Pour any remaining egg back into the bowl with the rest of the eggs. If the hot crust does not cook the egg, return it to the oven for one or two minutes until the egg is set. (This keeps the crust from getting soggy.)

Remove the rhubarb from the water, drain, and blot dry. Cut it into ½
inch slices.

Position the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to
425º F.

Mix the sweetener and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat in the eggs, then the cream, butter, and the lemon juice. Put the rhubarb into the pastry-lined pan and pour the custard mixture over the top. Set the pie on the lower rack in the oven and bake at 425º F for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400º F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes more or until puffed and golden and the center is set.

Servings: 10
Total Carb: 4.8g Fiber: 1.2g Net Carb: 3.6g

My current favorite pie crust is in this post for my Chocolate Tart:

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Photo by Stephanie Martindale, 2011

(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker,

Sunday, April 12, 2015



This is no ordinary pizza! It makes a delicious and beautiful vegetable side dish or appetizer for family meals or entertaining.

1 regular or 3 or 4 Asian eggplants, about 1 pound as purchased (peeled weight 14 ounces)

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup (2 oz) sun-dried tomatoes packed in garlic-flavored olive oil (plus 1 tablespoon of the oil)

¼ cup (2 oz) Marinara Sauce (Nourished, p. 295) or purchased no-sugar added marinara sauce

6 ounces (1½ cups) shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese

¼ cup (1 oz) chopped red onion

4 slices (¼ pound raw) bacon, cooked until almost crisp and chopped

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat broiler and grease a rimmed baking sheet.

Cut ends off eggplant and peel if desired. (The dark skin looks pretty, but it may be tough.) Cut eggplant into ½-thick slices. Salt both sides of the eggplant slices and place in a colander or a paper towel-lined bowl to draw out the bitter juices and remove excess moisture. Put a heavy dish on top to press out the liquid. Let stand for 1 hour. Rinse to remove the salt and blot dry with paper towels.

Brush both sides of slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in a single layer on baking sheet. Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat source for about 5 minutes or until starting to brown. Turn over and broil for an additional 5 to 6 minutes until second side starts to brown and eggplant is cooked but still firm.

If sun-dried tomatoes are not already cut into small pieces, cut them with kitchen scissors or knife, reserving garlic flavored oil. Place in a medium bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the flavored oil and Marinara Sauce. Spread sauce on eggplant slices, dividing equally. Cover with cheese. Sprinkle chopped onion over cheese and top with bacon pieces. Broil for an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. Watch carefully so bacon doesn’t burn.

Grind fresh black pepper over pizzas. Serve hot as a side dish, as an appetizer, or a snack.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving—
Total carbs: 6.5g; Net carbs: 3.7g; Protein: 8.5g; Fiber: 2.8g; Fat:11.5 g; Calories: 161
Total weight: 1 pound 7¼ ounces or 658 grams
Weight per serving: 37/8 ounces or 109 grams
Preparation time: 25 minutes active, 70 minutes total

VARIATION: You may use a slice or two of pepperoni per pizza instead of bacon. Microwave pepperoni on paper towels for a few seconds to remove some of the grease before using.

For more uniform slices, choose a long, thin eggplant, rather than a fat, round one. A one-pound eggplant will yield about 18 (½-inch-thick) slices of varied diameter. Substitute 1 pound of small Chinese or Japanese eggplants to make appetizer-sized servings.

To substitute dry tomatoes for oil packed: place ¼ cup of chopped, dried tomatoes and 1 peeled and minced clove of garlic in a small saucepan or a microwave dish with enough extra-virgin olive oil to cover. Heat through. Mix with Marinara Sauce as directed in recipe.
"The 236 recipes in 52 menus contained in Nourished demonstrate just how sumptuous, indulgent, and satisfying this way of eating can be."  

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(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker,

Sunday, April 5, 2015



The very best low-carb recipes are the very best recipes, period. This is one of those. Add a Garlic Aioli for dipping if you like, but even without a sauce they have a wonderfully spicy taste. 

By far the easiest way to make them is to start with prepared artichoke hearts from a jar.*See notes. 

These bloom out in the hot oil like a fan of crispy little chips. Serve them as a side dish in place of french fries or with a dip as a snack or appetizer. 

12 fresh baby artichokes or use prepared artichoke hearts from a jar 
2 tablespoons lemon juice and a bowl of water if using fresh artichokes, optional
High heat oil for deep frying

For fresh baby artichokes:
Wash and cut off the stems from fresh baby artichokes. Cut off and discard the top third of each artichoke. Peel away the green outer leaves until only a yellow-colored cone remains. Trim the remaining leaves with kitchen shears to remove any tough tips or thorns. Drop the fresh artichokes in a bowl of water with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to prevent browning. 

For artichoke hearts from a jar:
Trim away any tough outer leaves or leaf tips. 

Slice the fresh or prepared artichoke hearts vertically into eight narrow wedges. The jarred ones may be  available quartered so you only need one additional cut per piece. You want narrow wedges with the leaves intact so they will fan out when they fry. Drain and gently blot them between paper towels to get out as much of the liquid as you can, so they won’t splatter. Prepared artichokes will be soggier than fresh, so let them air dry for several hours if possible. 

Heat the oil to 360º F and fry the artichokes in several batches until brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot.

Servings: about 3 (I really don't know how to figure serving sizes for something this good--we just eat them till they're gone!)

PER SERVING (about 32 pieces):
Calories: 35; Fat: 2g*; Protein: 2.4g; Total Carb: 6g; Fiber: 3g; Net Carb: 3g
* Estimated fat content of drained, fried artichokes.

*My local Costco store sells large jars of Kirkland artichoke hearts packed in brine. They are bigger than the ones in cans and they are not pre-sliced, but they are perfect for this recipe. You have to buy two jars, but once you've tried them, you will be glad you have a lot of them! Each jar should make enough for 4 to 6 servings. I let them air-dry, uncovered, in the refrigerator overnight before frying them.

Baby artichokes do not have a fuzzy choke that needs to be removed. If using Kirkland jarred hearts, any fibers in the choke will be crisp and edible so they don't have to be removed either.

About Artichokes: 
Artichokes are the flower buds of a thistle. Different sized artichokes come from different parts of the plant. Large ones, weighing about 10 ounces, come from the top. Medium-sized ones, about 7 ounces, come from the side of the plant and ripen a week or so later. The baby ones, which sprout where the leaf meets the stalk, are the last to be harvested.
Recipe adapted from Carb Wars; Sugar is the New Fat. 

(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker,

Friday, March 27, 2015


Even children will love sauerkraut when it is prepared this way. The bacon, apple, and onion make it surprisingly sweet and mellow. Use it as a vegetable or side dish, or layer it with a variety of smoked meats, such as ham, smoked pork chops, hot dogs, or sausages to make the classic French one-pot meal called, Choucroute Garni. If you use sugar-free meats, the carb count will be the same as for sauerkraut alone.

Bavarian Sauerkraut
Real, fermented sauerkraut is a traditional food that deserves its reputation as a superfood. When using sauerkraut in recipes, I reserve some of the liquid. After the dish is cooked and has cooled down a bit, I spoon some of the liquid over the plate to replenish the live microbes before serving. To get the full benefits of the active, live probiotics you must eat fermented foods cold or just warm. 

1 package or jar of fresh sauerkraut (most brands come in 28 ounce jars),* drained, reserving liquid
¼ cup water or white wine
1 apple, cored but not peeled, cut in half
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
¼ pound (4 or 5 slices) bacon

Put sauerkraut in a deep pot, with about half the liquid. Add the water or white wine to the pot and bury the apple, cut side down, and the onion in the sauerkraut. Lay strips of bacon over the sauerkraut. Cover the pan and place over low heat. Cook for about an hour or until the apple and onion are very soft, checking occasionally and adding water if necessary. Remove the apple and onion before serving. If you are careful not to move them while cooking, they can be scooped out with a spoon, even if they have disintegrated. (You can eat them if you choose, they are delicious, but will add carbs to the dish.) Top each serving with some of the reserved juice after placing on plates, if desired.

Makes about 3¾ cups or 7½ servings of ½ cup sauerkraut.

Nutrition Data: 
Most sources list sauerkraut as having 1 gram of carbohydrate and 1 gram of fiber, giving it a net count of zero, probably because the numbers are rounded and the portions are usually small. The count below includes some of the sugar in the sauerkraut that will have been eaten during fermentation, so it may actually be very close to zero.

Per serving—Total carbs: 3.8g; Protein: 2.3g; Fiber: 3.1g; Fat: 8.8g; Calories: 104; Net carbs: 1.5g 
Total weight: 1 pound 6 1/3 ounces or 631 grams 
Weight per serving: 3 ounces or 84 grams
Preparation time: 10 minutes active, 1 hour and 10 minutes total

Choucroute Garni
For this easy and delicious French one-pot meal, the sauerkraut is layered with a variety of cured or smoked meats and cooked until the meats are meltingly tender. 

Add a variety of cured pork to the Bavarian Sauerkraut recipe above.such as smoked pork chops, sliced ham, hot dogs, and/or sausages. Use white wine rather than water. Place smoked pork chops, if using, in the bottom of a large, greased pot and cook on medium-high until just brown. Add onion and apple as in recipe above and layer with other meats. Cover with sauerkraut and lay bacon strips over top. Cover pot and cook on low heat for about an hour until apple and onion are tender and very soft. Spoon meat and sauerkraut onto plates and top each serving with some of reserved juice.

*Fresh, crisp, sauerkraut can be found in glass jars or plastic pouches in the refrigerated cases at most grocery stores, usually near the fresh pickles. Look for ones that are “naturally fermented,” like Bubbie's. The ingredients list should say only, "cabbage and salt." You can also buy it at a delicatessen. Better yet, you can also make your own sauerkraut from shredded cabbage. There are lots of recipes online for making it. Here's one from Sarah Pope, a fermented food specialist with The Weston A. Price Foundation:

The liquid from naturally fermented sauerkraut can be used as a tonic. Dilute it with water, add a little sweetener, and serve over ice. Think of it as living lemonade! You can do the same thing with the juice from natural pickles or apple cider vinegar.

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Recipe adapted from Nourished; a Cookbook for Health, Weight Loss, and Metabolic Balance.

(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker,

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