BBQ Po’Boy Sandwich and Salad

A recipe for BBQ Shrimp Po’Boy sandwiches recently caught my eye. Shrimp, bacon and smokey mayo topped with some BBQ sauce sounded incredible. This is just the type of thing my husband would love. Now I would just have to see if I could create a low carb version so I could enjoy it too.

 BBQ Sauce:

The original recipe called for a homemade BBQ sauce that included a 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Since most store bought BBQ sauces contain a good amount of sugar per serving I pulled a container of my homemade low carb barbeque sauce from the freezer. Yes, you heard correctly. I make a batch of homemade sauce and freeze it in small batches. Gladware containers and quart size freezer bags make storing extra sauce fast and easy. Of course you can always use whatever type of BBQ sauce you have on hand.

Shrimp and Bacon:  

Originally the large shrimp were suppose to be wrapped with a half a piece of bacon. The wrapped shrimp were then to be placed on skewers and grilled until the bacon was crisp. Mmmm…crispy bacon. Sadly the shrimp I had in my freezer were too small. Improvisation was needed.   The sliced bacon was laid out in a 13 X 9 inch pan and baked in the oven at 450F until they were crisp. This usually takes about 30 to 40 minutes. About half way through baking I remove the pan, carefully pour out the melted bacon fat that’s collected in the bottom into a container and use a spatula to flip the strips. The bacon is then returned to the oven and cooked until they are as crispy as I like them. Cook your bacon to the crispness you prefer.   As for the shrimp, I boiled them for several minutes until they were pink and then drained the water. The tails and any bits of shell that remained were removed and the shrimp were added back to the pot. Add: some salt, freshly ground pepper and a teaspoon each minced garlic, dried onion bits and Wright’s liquid smoke. Give it all a good stir and gently warm the shrimp to blend the flavors.

Smokey Mayo:

1 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons Wright’s liquid smoke (or another brand of liquid smoke)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine all the ingredients, mix well and store in a covered container in the refrigerator until needed.

For BBQ Shrimp Po’Boy Sandwiches:  

Your choice of bread or bun

cooked bacon

cooked and seasoned shrimp

smokey mayo

shredded lettuce

sliced tomatoes

BBQ sauce

Spread a layer of smokey mayo on your choice of bread. In the picture above my non low carb eating husband used hot dog buns. Add a slice of bacon, shredded lettuce and several slices of tomato. Top with the shrimp and drizzle the BBQ sauce over them. Eat and enjoy!

Low Carb BBQ Shrimp Salad:

Place the shredded lettuce in a bowl and add well rounded tablespoon or even two of the smokey mayo. Mix well. Put the coated lettuce on a plate and top with the sliced tomatoes, crumbled bacon and seasoned shrimp. Drizzle some of the BBQ sauce over the top and enjoy.   In the picture I packed my salad in a container to bring with me to work. The smokey mayo and BBQ sauce were in two other smaller containers. They were added once it was break time and I was ready to eat. It worked out great.

If you have low carb wraps or gluten free buns on hand feel free to use them. Or go with the salad. It was great!

Low Carb Pumpkin Muffins

Yesterday the wave of hot weather we have been having finally broke. I thought it would be a good time to bake a couple of batches of muffins before the next heat wave hits. This recipe can be made with either flour or homemade low carb bake mix. Both come out well though the low carb muffins do not rise as high as the muffins made with flour.


Pumpkin Muffins

Low Carb Pumpkin Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
This recipe works equally well with several different ingredient replacements. The yogurt can easily be replaced with sour cream. The low carb bake mix can be replaced with flour. The Splenda for baking can be replaced with granulated sugar or brown sugar but this will produce a muffin that is not low carb. If you are looking to make a streusel type topping blend together 2 tablespoons of butter, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup flour and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon using your fingers to mix until crumbly. Divide evenly over the muffin batter and bake as instructed.
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • 1 cup Splenda for baking
  • 2 cups low carb bake mix (or flour)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and grease your muffin pan or line it with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl combine the melted butter, pumpkin puree, yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
  3. In another bowl combine the low carb bake mix, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Divide evenly between the muffins cups. Top with streusel topping (see above for information on making the topping).
  5. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean.
  6. Place finished muffins on a wire rack and allow to cool.

The muffins can be made plain or with the streusel topping. They can also be made with a lightly sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top. I make this by combining a tablespoon of sugar with a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Then I sprinkle a little bit over each of the muffins. The streusel topping and the cinnamon sugar topping will add a few more carbs in. Not much though since it is divided between 12 muffins.

If you choose to use flour to make the muffins they will rise higher than the muffins shown in the picture. Plus they will have nicely rounded tops. The low carb bake mix does not rise as high as the flour based muffins but they still taste just as good.

Store the muffins in the refrigerator or place in a freezer bag and keep them in the freezer until needed.

Low Carb And Gluten Free Portuguese Fried Fish

One of my favorite Portuguese food blogs, Tia Maria’s Blog, featured a recipe for Portuguese style fried fish. Most people are familiar with the English styled battered fried fish that is found in restaurants. The breading covering the fish is very thick and more closely resembles tempura battered foods. The breading used on Portuguese styled fish is much lighter and it’s my favorite of the two styles. Of course liking one over the other might have something to do with being Portuguese myself and growing up eating it this way.

Since I’ve been trying to avoid wheat/gluten I wondered if this recipe would work out using some type of gluten free breading. I had two things I could try using in place of the flour. I have some homemade Low Carb Bake Mix on hand in the refrigerator. I had also purchased Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour while I was out grocery shopping so I could use that as well. I decided to give both a try on some Tilapia that I had on hand. Yes, I know. It’s not Cod fish (traditional fish type used in Portuguese cooking). This Portuguese gal will hang her head in shame that she was out of Cod LOL.


Low Carb Fried Fish

Low Carb And Gluten Free Portuguese Fried Fish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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I made this recipe two different ways. On one fish fillet was rolled in Low Carb Bake Mix. The other was rolled in Bob's Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour.
  • 2 lbs fish fillets (Cod, Tilapia, Haddock or any other white fish)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ to 1 cup of low carb bake mix or gluten free flour blend
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or juice of 1 lemon
  • oil for frying
  1. In a skillet add enough oil to the pan until it measures about ½ inches deep. Turn the heat to medium and being to heat the oil.
  2. Place the fish fillets on a plate or baking sheet and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  3. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fish and allow to set for no more than 5 minutes.
  4. Place the bake mix or flour in a plate or bowl that is large enough to turn the fish to coat it.
  5. In a bowl another bowl beat the eggs and water together.
  6. When the oil has heated being coating the fish. First dip a fillet in the egg mixture. Then place in the bake mix/flour mixture turning to coat both sides. Lay the fish into the hot oil and cook for about 4 minutes. Turn and cook another 4 minutes or until the fish is a golden brown.
  7. Remove fillets and place on paper towels to help absorb the excess oil.

How did the fish turn out using the flour alternatives?

The fillet on the left side of the picture was made using the low carb bake mix. The one on the right was made using the gluten free flour mixture. Both came out quite well. The mixtures stuck to the fish and got browned and crisp. Since the breading is very light it does not puff up like a batter would do when cooked.

This is the first time I’ve tasted the gluten free all purpose flour and it was quite good. It has a slightly sweet taste to it which is probably from the blend of flours used to create it. This didn’t over power the taste of the fish.

I served the fried fish with some salad and everyone enjoyed it. No one knew that it wasn’t made with flour.

TIP: if you are eating low carb use the bake mix replacement. Though both flour replacements are gluten free, Bob’s Red Mill mix is not low carb. It’s made with a blend of garbanzo, fava bean, and tapioca flours and contains 22 grams of carbs (or 19 if you minus off the 3 grams of fiber) in each 1/4 cup serving.

2 Week Wheat Free Update

After a visit to my doctor regarding some issues with hand pain and decreasing grip strength I decide to go wheat free to see if it might help. I do not have Celiac’s disease but wheat has been suspected to cause inflammation and joint pain in some people. While I was waiting for the results of the blood work and xrays I figured it would be worth a try. What did I have to lose?

The results of the blood work and xrays showed nothing remarkable. No labs out of whack enough to give me a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. No xrays showing osteoarthritis. Nothing. The next possibility to look at was fibromyalgia. While I do have many of the sensitive trigger/pressure points I’m not really interested in pursuing more visits to the doctor for a diagnosis of a disease that really isn’t all too treatable. Except for the possibility of  needing to take more medication. I’ll pass for now.

It’s now been two weeks (15 days actually) of being wheat free. Well, except for the burger on a bun at a 4th of July cookout. It’s been rather interesting to say the least. Here’s what’s happened so far:

wheat free

– My hand pain, mostly around the thumb and palm area is gone. Yes, it’s gone. The weakness in gripping things hasn’t changed. I still have a hard time opening jars and such but it hasn’t declined any further. Besides the pain I really had noticed how fast the lack of hand strength came on.

– Over the winter I had returned to my pre-WLS ability of being able to tell the weather by the way my back, hips and knees hurt. Again, while not completely gone the aches and pains have been greatly reduced. Like 75% reduced. I have gone several days with only one sore joint or achy spot rather than all of them screaming at me at the same time.

– Along with the reduced joint pain I’ve noticed that my RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) has been greatly reduced too. The more my joints ached the worse my legs felt at night. I had even begun taking some Tylenol before going to bed in the hopes of easing some of the pain and possibly reducing the leg twitching.

– Fewer mid afternoon episodes of extreme and sudden tiredness. You know the ones. They hit quickly an hour or so after lunch. Coffee sometimes helps but sometimes it does nothing.

I’d say that going wheat free has been agreeing with me. I’m going to keep it up and see if the rest of the joint pain will go away over time.

Have you gone wheat free for some other reason besides being allergic to the stuff?  What made you give up wheat? How did things work out for you?

Chocolate Custard Recipe

Personally I have no problems with eating the same things over and over again. Between eating what my family views as the dreaded “leftovers” I’m happy to just saute up veggies and eat them with some type of meat tossed on the side. Which is one reason why I haven’t posted any new recipes lately. This changed when I had a craving for something chocolatey. I decided to see if I could update my pumpkin custard recipe and turn it into chocolate custard. Not only did the changes work out well but I discovered that if you use Blue Diamond’s almond coconut milk it will give the custard a light coconut taste to it.


chocolate custard

Chocolate Custard Recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Replace the almond milk with Blue Diamond's almond coconut milk and your custard with have a nice, light coconut taste. The chocolate and coconut flavors are great together!
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup light cream
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup Splenda for baking (or other sugar substitute)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 square of unsweetened baking chocolate
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Place the unsweetened chocolate into a microwave safe cup or bowl and add the cream. Microwave for 20 to 30 seconds and stir. Continue to microwave for 20 to 30 second periods, stirring between each time, until the chocolate has melted.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, almond milk, vanilla extract, Splenda and salt.
  4. Slowly add the melted chocolate/cream mixture to the egg mixture whisking while it is being added. Continue to whisk so the chocolate mixture is well blended into the eggs. You may notice small bits of chocolate in the finished mixture and that is alright.
  5. Divide between 4 custard cups.
  6. Place custard cups into a pan. Carefully pour water into the pan, not getting any into the custard cups, until the water level is about halfway up the sides of the custard cups.
  7. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the centers are just set.
  8. Remove from oven and remove custard cups from the water bath. Allow to cool and then chill in refrigerator before serving.

I originally made the recipe with plain, unsweetened almond milk and it was great. I then made it a second time using the almond coconut blend and that was just as delicious. The coconut flavor is very mild and works quite well with the chocolate.

I generally use almond milk because the lactose in regular milk causes some blood sugar issues. I find a little bit of cream helps the texture and doesn’t cause any issues. If you are not lactose intolerant then feel free to replace the almond milk with your choice of milk (regular, 2%, 1% or skim).

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