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Hey, Gang -
I did it! I turned in the manuscript for my new cookbook. It's called 15 Minute Low-Carb, and it's due out in the fall. In the meanwhile, I have yet another cookbook to start on!
But not right away. This week is devoted to finally getting an issue of Lowcarbezine! published - and then, sadly, to attending Dr. Atkins's memorial service on Friday, in New York City. I know I'll take your thoughts along with me.
In the meanwhile, read on!
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The Joys of the Season
It's May! It's May! And here in the Northern Hemisphere, that means that we're well into spring, with summer on the way (or already begun, if you go by British reckoning.) As far as I'm concerned, it's the most wonderful time of the year to be a low carber!
(Furthermore, many of my Southern Hemisphere readers live where the weather is pretty nice all year round, anyway, which means that they've got an advantage, by my way of thinking.)
Why is it a wonderful time of the year to be a low carber? Let me count the ways:
1) The holidays are far, far away - and of course by "holidays" I mean Thanksgiving and Christmas. No constant stream of cookies and candy coming at you, lurking in breakrooms, thrust at you by easily insulted hostesses (or relatives!)
2) However, we do have holidays coming up here in the States - Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day all lie ahead. (Further, I'm quite certain that other nations have their summer holidays coming up, as well. English readers, there's at least one Summer Bank Holiday, isn't there?) These summer holidays are the best for us! Why? Because...
3) Summer is the time for cooking outdoors! And you know what that means! Grilled steaks! Slabs of spareribs! Juicy, charbroiled chicken! Burgers and dogs! Fabulous, fabulous low carb food abounding!
4) Plus, summer is the time for fresh garden produce! Lettuce of every variety, cucumbers, peppers both sweet and hot, tiny zucchini to split, brush with garlic and olive oil and throw on the grill, fresh tomatoes (they're borderline; go easy), just scads of wonderful low carb veggies at their very best. Time to make a tub of sugar-free cole slaw! Or Un-Potato Salad! (See recipe in Cooking Low Carb! below) Or just put out a plate of veggies and dip; it doesn't get easier than that.
5) Summer is the best time for low sugar fruit! Winter fruits - bananas, pineapple, oranges, apples - tend to run quite high in sugar. Summer fruits, for the most part, are much lower - strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries, cantaloupe and honeydew, apricots, peaches and plums, even cherries (my favorite!) all can fit into a low carb diet, in moderation - and boy, are they wonderful!
Here's a Summer Fruit Carb-Count Roundup:
Apricots are a real bargain. One has just 3.9 grams of carbohydrate, and 0.84 grams fiber, for a usable carb count of just about 3 grams!
Berries - All of the berries are pretty low carb, and are terrific with either heavy cream or whipped cream as a quick-and-easy dessert. For that matter, you could eat them plain! By the way, berries are also among the most nutritious fruits; you'll be getting a lot of benefit from the few carbs they add to your day.
1/2 cup raspberries has 7 grams of carbohydrate and 4.2 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of just 2.8 grams.
1/2 cup blackberries has 9.2 grams of carbohydrate and 3.6 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of 5.6 grams
1/2 cup strawberries has 5.2 grams of carbohydrate and 2 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of 3.2 grams.
1/2 cup blueberries has 10.2 grams of carbohydrate and 1.7 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of 8.5 grams.
Cherries - One half-cup fresh sweet cherries has 9.7 grams of carbohydrate, and 1.4 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of 8.3 grams. (1 cherry has 1.12 grams of carb, and 0.15 grams fiber, for a per-cherry usable carb count of roughly 1 gram.)
Melon - Melon is a great low carb dessert, and very nutritious. If you'd like to fancy it up a bit, sprinkle it with a little lime juice mixed with Splenda and ginger to taste, but it's fine as-is.
1/8 of a medium cantaloupe has 8.4 grams of carbohydrate and 0.8 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of 7.6 grams.
1/8 of a medium honeydew has 9.2 grams of carbohydrate and 0.6 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of 8.6 grams.
1 cup of frozen melon balls has 8 grams of carbohydrate, and 0.7 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of 7.3 grams.
1 cup diced watermelon has 11 grams of carbohydrate and 0.8 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of 10.2 grams. Be wary of wedges of watermelon; they tend to be quite large, because the melon is large.
Nectarine - one medium-sized nectarine has 11.8 grams of carbohydrate, and 1.6 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of 10.2 grams.
Peach - one medium peach has 11.1 grams of carbohydrate, and 2 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of 9.1 grams.
Plum - one medium plum has 13.1 grams of carbohydrate, and 1.5 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of 11.6 grams.
6) What about those summer favorites, frozen treats? I'm pleased to tell you that your selection has never been wider. The nice folks at the Popsicle company make sugar free Popsicles, both in the flavors you remember - cherry, orange, and grape - but also in new tropical fruit flavors! These are not only quite low carb - 3 grams per pop - they're also extremely low in calories, at 15 per. You can also get sugar free Fudgesicles, but watch the serving size - the packaging says that two pops equal a serving, but the carb count is pretty high. Eat just one, though, and you'll get 7.5 grams, and they taste just like you remember from childhood, I swear!
7) Summer is the perfect time to drink vast quantities of my favorite low carb beverage, iced tea. Iced tea is cheap, good for you - it's loaded with antioxidants - and even speeds fat burning. I have a liter-sized glass by me as I write this! I make mine from instant tea - not iced tea mix, just plain instant tea - and keep both regular and decaf on hand. This way, I can mix it to my liking, depending on the time of day; you could do the same thing with tea bags, of course. I also take my jars of instant tea with me on long car trips in the summer, along with a big "sports squeeze" type bottle. Then I can just fill the bottle with ice water whenever we stop for gas, and make iced tea in the car. (Okay, I admit it - I'm cheap. Frugal. Tightwaddy. Whatever you want to call it!)
8) There are other great things to drink in the summer, too. Around here we love this:
8 Celestial Seasonings Wild Berry Zinger bags
1 quart boiling water
1 teaspoon lemon-flavored Kool-Aid type drink mix - the kind with no sugar in it
1 quart cold water
Sweetener of choice
Put the tea bags in a heat-proof pitcher, and pour the boiling water over them. Let them sit till the water is cool. Squeeze out the bags to extract all the flavor, and discard. Then stir in the drink mix and cold water, plus the sweetener of your choice - I like to use stevia/FOS blend - to taste, and pour over ice. This makes a half a gallon, or 8 servings of 8 ounces each. The carb count will depend on what sweetener you use; read the label!
9) Summer is the most enjoyable time to get some exercise! You can go for a walk around the neighborhood, hike through the woods, or stroll through the sand at the beach. You can peddle a bike, or paddle a canoe. You can play 18 holes of golf, or 9 innings of softball, or several rounds of croquet. You can dig in the garden, lift stones for a new wall, or mow the lawn. (Around here we've refused to buy a riding mower for our roughly-an-acre of lawn on the theory that we need more, not less, exercise.) You can ride a horse, walk a dog, or push a baby stroller. Just get out of the house and move!
10) While you're out getting that exercise, you'll also be getting sunlight, and sunlight tends to improve mood and reduce carb cravings!
Hooray for summer! Let's all get out there and enjoy it!
The Revised, Expanded How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds!
I'm pleased to tell you that the revised, expanded How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds! is on its way to the printers very soon, and will be in bookstores by mid-June. We're talking about 100 extra pages, here, guys - whole new chapters, even! Plus added information covering stuff that we've learned in the past 4 years, and lots of information about the newest studies. It's been a lot of fun to go back and make the book even better!
The new How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds! is already up on Amazon.com if you'd like to take a look: http://tinyurl.com/b5ni You can even pre-order, if you like!
I've heard from a lot of folks wanting to know where they can get the book, now that the original edition is out of print. Just hang on a month, folks! A newer and better version is on its way!
Your Best Memorial To Dr. Atkins
I have received a press release from the Atkins Center, regarding the wishes of Dr. Atkins' widow, Veronica Atkins, for all those who wish to express their gratitude for Dr. Atkins' work, and their sorrow at his sudden passing. She asks that in lieu of cards or flowers, all those who wish to memorialized Dr. Atkins participate in the CCARBS study. The information regarding the study is as follows:
Controlled carbohydrate followers who are interested in participating in the study can simply log on to the CCARBS (The Controlled Carbohydrate Assessment Registry Bank Study) website at http://epi.aecom.yu.edu/ccarbs, register, take the initial screening questionnaire and then follow instructions for participation.
Once accepted in the registry, CCARBS participants will receive, in addition to the satisfaction of contributing significantly to scientific knowledg about controlled carbohydrate diets, the following free services:
· Dietary analysis each time they complete questionnaires
· Access to a nutritionist to ask questions online
· Monthly newsletters on controlled carbohydrate topics and other health-related topics
· Controlled carbohydrate recipes
The first scientific tracking system designed to provide researchers with accurate data on controlled carbohydrate eating habits is now up and running on the Internet. The purpose is to investigate long-term weight variations, eating patterns and lifestyles of Americans who follow a controlled carbohydrate nutritional approach. This will be the first time that any medical facility has undertaken this task, applying rigorous scientific and objective methods rather than just collecting anecdotal and random information.
CCARBS will address many of the ongoing and long-term questions posed by the growing role of controlled carbohydrate weight-loss diets in obesity and obesity-related disease management. The study will also function as a unique source of ongoing data for qualified investigators and journalists seeking to answer specific hypotheses and questions. CCARBS is the first database to provide an accurate assessment of the controlled carbohydrate lifestyle population in the United States.
The research is being independently conducted at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and has been made possible though an unrestricted grant from The Dr. Robert C. Atkins Foundation.
I urge you all to participate - this is your chance to contribute greatly to the advance of science, nutrition, and medicine, as well as a fitting tribute to Dr. Atkins.
Reader Review of 500 Low-Carb Recipes
I have NEVER had such a wonderful low-carb cookbook. I have many low-carb cookbooks, and I was always disappointed. Perhaps these other cookbooks had a couple of worthwhile recipes, but so far I am absolutely convinced that this is the best.
The recipes are easy to make, and suprisingly good (even those that sound a bit strange, taste wonderful). My husband really likes them too. I started writing notes in the index by the recipes that I thought were good, but since I haven't run into one that was bad, I quit writing the notes.
A must have for your kitchen!
Saeckelche from Germany
See this and other reviews of 500 Low-Carb Recipes at Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/b907
Carb Smart Goes Bricks-and-Mortar
While I was in Southern California, I did a booksigning at the brand-new Carb Smart retail location in Huntington Beach. Wow! It's just a simple storefront in a strip mall, but what a selection! They've got an astonishing array of stuff, from sugar substitutes I'd never heard of, to every kind of sugar free candy and low carb chip and pasta and mix imaginable. Just great. If you're in the LA area, you owe it to yourself to stop in. Here's a link to a map showing you where the store is: http://stores.yahoo.com/carbsmart/ocm.html Check it out!
If you're not in Southern California, visit Carb Smart online at http://www.webbalah.net/carbsmart.html
Another Quick Note Regarding the Southern California Tour
A big HI! to all the Lowcarbezine! readers who came out to my book signings and Learning Annex classes! It is a huge thrill to me when people come up to me and say, "I'm a Lowcarbezine! subscriber." Thanks for coming, guys, you made my trip.
I also know that I have new subscribers because of the tour - folks who saw me on TV and came out to hear me speak. Welcome to Lowcarbezine! Hope you like it!
Contrary to popular mythology, low carbers often end up eating more vegetables than the average person, not less, and certainly more vegetables than they personally used to. After all, who else is saying, "No thanks, no potato for me - can I have an extra salad?" or, "Gee, the gyros sounds great - could you bring it to me on a bed of lettuce, instead of stuffed into a pita?"
Indeed, salads, especially main dish salads, are one of the all-time-great low carb foods - delicious, nutritious, low in carbs, high in fiber, and infinitely variable. However, there has been one ingredient many low carbers have missed: The crouton. The crouton and its variations - the crispy tortilla strip, the fried wonton strip, etc - add a nice crunch to salads, but, of course, fall into the category of "junk carbs".
Low carbers have found other ways to add crunch to salads, it's true - dicing up pork rinds, adding toasted sunflower seeds. But there's a new low carb item in the produce aisle that is destined to liven up low carb salads all over the country - introducing Sunkist Almond Accents.
Sunkist Almond Accents are, as the name strongly suggests, almonds - they've been sliced, roasted, and flavored. And they're wonderful. Really crunchy, and full of flavor - and, of course, full of the all the considerable nutrition of almonds.
Furthermore, they're not just for salads. Since I was working on a book of fast-and-easy low carb recipes, when I saw Sunkist Almond Accents in my local grocery store I pounced on them, with the idea that they'd let me liven up any number of dishes with no extra work. Hah! They made it into exactly one salad. After that, they got shoveled into various mouths as the snack-of-choice, until they were all gone. With flavors like Bacon Cheddar, Italian Parmesan, Ranch, and Roasted Garlic Caesar, who can blame us? (Sunkist Almond Accents also come in Honey Roasted, which I avoided for obvious reasons, and Original Oven Roasted, which I passed up because I figured I already knew what a roasted almond tastes like.)
However, I intend to buy more at my first opportunity, and this time actually work them into some salads, stir fries, and other dishes, even if I have to buy extra bags of them to make sure they don't all get eaten between meal times. I'm thinking Italian Parmesan mixed into green beans, Ranch style stirred into cole slaw, Original Oven Roasted sprinkled over a stir fry...
Anyway, Sunkist Almond Accents are great, and run about 1 gram of carb per 1 tablespoon serving, with an indeterminate amount of fiber (but likely a fair amount), and are destined to become a fixture in my kitchen. Look for them in your grocer's produce aisle!
Liquid Splenda Petition
Long-time readers know that sporadically I urge you all to nag the folks at McNeil, the company that makes Splenda, to give us liquid Splenda, for the simple and profound reason that unlike the granular Splenda, which is bulked with malto-dextrin, liquid Splenda is absolutely carb-free. For some reason McNeil has stubbornly balked, refusing absolutely to give us liquid Splenda, and even taking legal action to close down etailers who have sold liquid sucrolose bought in bulk (as it is sold to food processors) in repackaged retail quantity. To be frank, they're really starting to tick me off.
So I was pleased when reader called Preesi emailed me this link, for an online petition to try to convince McNeil to release liquid Splenda. If you'd like your Splenda to be carb free, you just might want to add your name:
Thanks, Preesi! Hope you get 15,000 signatures!
Cooking Low Carb!
So far as I know it was Fran McCullough, author of The Low Carb Cookbook ( http://tinyurl.com/b8yn ) and Living Low Carb, ( http://tinyurl.com/b8yp )who came up with the idea of running cauliflower through the shredding blade of your food processor to make cauliflower "rice" - and what a terrific idea it was! Since first reading this suggestion, I've really run with it, especially for the upcoming 15 Minute Low-Carb, which features several side dishes made with this incredibly versatile foods. Here's one of my favorites:
Man, is this good! One of the best side dishes I've ever come up with.
1/2 head cauliflower
3 tablespoons butter (50 ml)
1 cup sliced mushrooms (250 ml)
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic (5 ml)
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons dry vermouth (30 ml)
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules (15 ml)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (175 ml)
Guar or xanthan in a shaker
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (60 ml)
1. First, run your cauliflower through the shredding blade on your food processor. Put the cauliflower in a microwaveable casserole, add a couple of tablespoons of water, cover, and microwave on "high" for 7 minutes.
2. While the cauliflower is nuking, melt the butter over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms, onions, and garlic, and saute them all together.
3. When the cauliflower is done, pull it out of the microwave and drain it. When the mushrooms have changed color and are looking done, add the cauliflower and stir everything together. Stir in everything else but the parsley, and let the whole thing cook for another 2-3 minutes.
4. Sprinkle just a little guar or xanthan over your "risotto," stirring all the while, to give it a creamy texture. Stir in the parsley, and serve.
5 servings, each with 4 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram fiber, for a usable carb count of 3 grams. 6 grams protein.
(From 15 Minute Low-Carb, by Dana Carpender, coming in Fall 2003; reprinted by permission of Fair Winds Press; all rights reserved.)
You are going to be so surprised; this is amazingly like potato salad.
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into small chunks
2 cups diced celery
1 cup diced red onion
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons salt or Vege-Sal
2 teaspoons Splenda
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1. Put the cauliflower in a microwave-safe casserole, add just a tablespoon or so of water, and cover. Cook it on High for 7 minutes, and let it sit, covered, for another 3-5 minutes. You want your cauliflower tender, but not mushy. (And you may steam it, if you prefer.)
2. Drain the cooked cauliflower, and combine it with the celery and onions. (You'll need a big bowl.)
3. Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, Splenda, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the vegetables, and mix well. Mix in the chopped eggs last, and only stir lightly, to preserve some small hunks of yolk. Chill and serve.
12 servings, each with 3 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fiber, for a total of 2 grams of usable carbs, and 3 grams of protein.
(Note: Use the time while the cauliflower cooks to dice your celery and onions.)
(From 500 Low-Carb Recipes, by Dana Carpender, reprinted by permission of Fair Winds Press; all rights reserved.)
That's it for this issue! See you next issue!
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