Book Review: Low-Carbing Among Friends, Volume 1

I just read “Low-Carbing Among Friends, Volume 1” by Jennifer Eloff, Maria Emmerich, Carolyn Ketchum, Lisa Marshall, and Kent Altena.  Per’s rating system, I give it five stars (“I love it”).

♦   ♦   ♦

If you’re serious about low-carb eating, you’ll want this book.  Five well-known low-carb cooks and chefs present many of their best recipes in a straightforward format.  All recipes are gluten-free, wheat-free, and sugar-free.  I read through over half of the recipes and understood all the instructions; I’m confident I could make anything in this book.

Some of of the recipe ingredients will be a little hard to find. You may have to order a few of them online, and the authors tell you where to order. Unless you’re just dabbling in low-carb eating, you’ll want to stock up on some of these anyway. 

I have an incurable sweet tooth.  I like to share my cooking with my wife, but she has, um, (ahem)… “gastrointestinal problems” with my usual non-caloric sweetener, Splenda.  That’s not very common, but is a well-known phenomenon.  I was glad to learn herein that erythritol is a trouble-free alternative, GI-wise.

One thing I miss about standard high-carb eating is baked sugary items like cakes and muffins.  Sure, I’ve read that if you stay away from those for four to six months, you’ll lose your desire.  Not me.  And I tried.  In my next stretch of days off, I’m making a batch of Jennifer Eloff’s Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix and spending some time in the kitchen!

Not being previously familiar with him, I was particularly impressed with Kent Altena’s background.  Starting at over 400 pounds (182+ kg), he lost over 200 pounds (91+ kg) and reenlisted in the U.S. National Guard and started running marathons (26.2 miles)!  Thank you for your service to our country, Mr. Altena.

The book is laced with commentary from low-carb proponents, including Dana Carpender, Jimmy Moore, Dr. John Briffa, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, Dr. Robert Su, and me.  I am honored to have been invited.

By the way, recipe measurements are given in both U.S. customary and metric units, which non-U.S. residents will appreciate.  Serving size nutrient analysis includes digestible carb grams (aka net carbs).  All recipe carb counts are under 10 g; most are under 5 g.   

If you’re tired of eating the same old things, I’m sure you’ll find many new dishes here that will become time-honored classics in your household.

Steve Parker, M.D.

 Disclosure: As a supporter of low-carb eating, I contributed two pages to the book.  I did not and will not recieve any remuneration, and I purchased my own copy of the book.

PS: Recipes I want to try: Cinnamon Swirl Cookies, Green Bean and Bacon Salasd, Gingerbread Biscotti, Tuan Burgers, Blueberry Muffins, Pecan Sun-Dried Tomato and Bacon Cauli-Rice, Spicy Shrimp with Avocado Dressing, 24-Hour Chili, Harvest Pancakes, Breakfast Casserole, Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers, Stuffed Mushrooms, Broccoli Bacon Salad, Seven Layer Salad, Sausage Quiche, Low-Carb Pancakes, Stuffed Hamburgers, Eggplant Parmeson, Flax Bread, Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix, and Mock Danish.


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9 responses to “Book Review: Low-Carbing Among Friends, Volume 1

  1. Neat. I will check into.

    Splenda gives me the trots as well. Truvia works far better without any follow on excitement. I am always guarding against getting any slenda loaded stuff.

    Thank you

  2. Thank you for your great book review and very kind words, Steve. It is very true that the sweetener decision is not a “one size fits all” solution, and being able to customize or tweak the recipes as desired is crucial. I have tried to denote on my site and recipes if any sweeteners didn’t work, for instance I have a cookie recipe that required the granulated sweeteners not the liquid ones.

    I am glad that books like these prove one does not necessarily have to give up all their past comfort foods when they change to eating healthy low carb lifestyle. They just need to be potentially tweaked to work.

  3. Thank you, Steve. What a nice review! I know you bought a cookbook (thank you!) but I’m wondering if you received the 2 cookbooks that the folks at the Printers in Florida were asked to send to you? I looked at the original request and noticed there was no address for you as I expected them to look up your address from your original order. Please let me know and if they were not sent, please accept my apologies, and we’ll send them right away from Amazon.

    It’s funny I’m just the opposite to Jim Snell. Truvia and Steviva Blend cause gastro-intestinal stress for me. Weird, huh? Everyone is different and people can feel comfortable using their own preferred sweeteners.

    A word to the wise re erythritol. It can leave a “cooling” effect in the mouth that some people find unpleasant. This can be mitigated or eliminated by using smaller amounts and combining it with another sweetener like sucralose or stevia or something else for the synergy they provide. You may be able to use something like Truvia or Steviva Blend (erythritol and stevia blend) on its own without those “cooling effect” problems. I suspect so.

  4. Kathy Hall

    My only Christmas present this year was this book and I love it! Every recipe I’ve tried has been good. As for sweeteners, I’ve found that quality seems to be important. For instance I only like the KAL brand stevia. I have also found that the NSI brand of Xylitol works very well. I used to use erythritol but now mostly use some xylitol with a tiny bit of stevia.

  5. Pingback: Dieting for the Rest of Us » Blog Archive » Book Review: Low-Carbing Among Friends, Volume 1 | Diabetic …

  6. Hi, Jennifer.
    I received two copies of the book, one of which was unexpected. I’m cool with it. No need to look into further. I’ll give one of the copies away to a blog reader.

  7. Thanks for the wonderful review for my friend Jennifer.
    Her contributions to the low carb. way of life are
    outstanding. She pioneered Splenda for Canada and
    then for the U.S.A. She is a work in progress.