Response to requests for recipes for low carb meal shown on March 1st and more…Last year’s first day in Marrakech…A visual explosion of color!

This is an African Tulip Tree with the pod that blooms into these gorgeous flowers.

Tom says I mention food too often on this site. Let’s face it, we eat every day. It’s a big part of all of our lives.  Some of us obsess over it. Others could care less about food, only eating what is readily available and easy.  Others, like me, enjoy planning meals, grocery shopping, and cooking for daily meals.

Although I’ve lost interest in spending hours cooking, I still find a certain degree of satisfaction in preparing meals for our way of eating, at times challenging. Tom, who’s a picky eater, makes it all the more challenging.

Seedpod from the Pandanas Screw Palm. These are often the size of a grapefruit or larger.

At any given time, we have beef, pork, chicken, and fish in the freezer (or fresh when available) in varying forms; steaks, patties, fillets, chops, ground, and such. In many cases, the meat is locally grown and grass-fed and the chickens are free-range eating only natural vegetation as opposed to being grain-fed.

With a severe sensitivity to grains of any type, if a cow eats grains, there is no doubt those grains will be passed on to the consumer. As a result, it’s a necessity for me to eat grass-fed sources of protein when possible. On occasion when not available, I’ve had no obvious ill effects from a single incident of eating grain-fed meat or non-organic vegetables.

Jetties provide a more sheltered swimming area for safe swimming. Many other beaches are often rough and dangerous with riptides in more open areas.  It’s important to check online to determine safe areas to swim. Please click this link for a list of safe beaches in Kauai.

Hawaii’s farmers and citizens are passionate about non-GMO, grass-fed meats and organic vegetables, readily available in most local markets. Although prices are usually higher for these options on the mainland, much to our surprise, it’s been less expensive to purchase grass-fed meats and organic produce here in Hawaii than in other parts of the US, from what I recall when shopping over two years ago.

As a matter of fact, we’ve experienced excellent availability of grass-fed meat and organic produce in all of the countries in which we’ve lived to date. Yes, it’s pricey to shop here in Hawaii, but the more I become familiar with prices and products, I see our grocery bill inching downward.

Coconut trees are often found along the beaches often with more coconuts growing than we’ve seen further from the shore.

Another factor is that at this point in time, we’ve accumulated an inventory of the many staple ingredients we commonly use. If only we could send these items to Australia without paying customs fees and high shipping costs. Incurring these extra costs negates the value of shipping ingredients ahead of us.

With 89 days upcoming in Trinity Beach, Australia, as always, we have no choice but to purchase these staples once again. If we only ate a protein source and non-starchy vegetables, we’d avoid purchasing many of these staples. But, who wants a steak, veggies, and salad one night, and chicken, veggies, and salad the next? It becomes too boring.

The sparkling waters from the morning sun.

The meatloaf and muffin recipes listed below are perfect examples of additional items needed to add interest to our meals.  Last night, Tom had two pork chops, broccoli salad, green beans, and one low carb lemon poppy seed muffin which I made yesterday (recipe below).

I had a seafood plate with grilled yellowfin tuna, cod and scallops, fresh broccoli, salad, and a muffin. It’s not unusual that a few times a week we have two different entrees, based on the fact that he doesn’t care for fish, except for a rare occasion lobster tail or serving of crab legs.

Most beaches in the Hawaiian Islands have areas not suitable for sunbathing and swimming as is the case here.

Part of our lives revolves around the nourishment of our bodies with food and, the nourishment of our emotions with the planning and preparation of how we’ll accomplish this never-ending feat. Every day is a new day and the process begins again.

Many may perceive that my restrictive way of eating which I’ve adopted three and a half years ago as a lifetime commitment, is limiting and unsatisfying. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I live a pain-free life, easily maintaining a steady weight to ensure my meager wardrobe still fits and I find the challenge of making it work from country to country all the more challenging.

The Queen Emma lily.

Since arriving in Hawaii, I’ve researched and revised recipes to see if they work for our limitations and Tom’s taste buds. Our former list of only 10 favorite meals, as is typical for most families, has suddenly grown to 20 favorites. The search will continue as we try more and more recipes.

Included today is the recipe for the low carb, grain-free, starch-free, sugar-free muffins, and biscuits we have with dinner most evenings. I know. Variety is good. 

Kealia Beach in Kapaa is an easily accessible beach with ample parking, restrooms, picnic benches, and grills, a perfect spot for a day at the beach.

Escaping the temptation to repeat and repeat is difficult when one finds a particular recipe appealing. As I continue to search for more variety, these muffins topped with a glob of real butter, are hitting the spot, satisfying the desire to have the taste and feel of a bread-like item. At less than two carbs each, it’s a no brainer!

Here is the repeated photo that generated a number of requests for recipes, all of which are listed below.

Sweeteners included in low carb recipes always precipitate questions. You may use any sweetener you feel is best for you, your health, and your preferences. 

Low Carb Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup low carb ketchup (Heinz has a low sugar option)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds grass-fed ground beef

4 hardboiled eggs
12 strips nitrate free (or regular) bacon

Boil the eggs, cool, and peel, keeping them whole.

Combine everything except the bacon and hardboiled eggs in a large bowl. Mix well then shape into the bottom
half of one large loaf using ½ of the meat mixture.

Evenly place the hardboiled eggs into the center from end to end. Top with the remaining ½ of the meat mixture, sealing the two sections evenly and tightly.

Lay the whole bacon strips across the width of the loaf tucking the ends underneath the loaf. Bake at 350 degree for one hour or make into two loaves and bake for 45 minutes. 

If bacon isn’t fully cooked, turn on the broiler and set the kitchen timer for 30 seconds and broil until bacon is
cooked, repeating if necessary.  Watch the timer carefully.

Makes 8 servings

Here’s an extra recipe I’ve thrown in today’s mix. For the past few weeks, we’ve had one of these muffins with dinner each night.At first, the flavor is a little off-putting but by the second bite, the good flavors hit home.

Jess’s Low Carb Coconut Flour Drop Biscuits

8 eggs

½ cup melted butter or coconut

6 packets of choice of sweetener or 12 drops liquid sweetener

½ teaspoon salt

2/3 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 375.

Line a baking pan with parchment and drop by spoonful.

Blend all ingredients, mixing well.

Bake for 15 minutes until lightly brown.

Makes 8 biscuits.

Two grams carb per muffin.
This is how a baked Low Carb Lemon Poppy Seed muffin looks. If over-baked they become extremely dry. 

Jess’s Low Carb Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
These muffins are intended for those choosing a low carb, grain-free, starch-free, and sugar-free diet. They do not have the texture or flavor of a typical muffin of this type and the sweeteners may add a taste one finds less desirable. Tom likes these!

2 cups almond flour or almond meal
1 cup golden flax meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 cups of a granular sweetener you choose to use (I use 40 drops of liquid sucralose
which doesn’t contain chemical fillers, available online at
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure lemon extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup water
4 eggs, beaten
In a medium bowl, stir together the almond flour, flax meal, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds, and sweetener. In another larger bowl add the melted butter and all of the other ingredients.  Pour the dry ingredients into the larger bowl and stir gently with a spatula. Don’t over stir. The batter will be thick. Using a tablespoon drop dollops into muffin papers. 

Bake at 350 for 18 minutes or until tops very are lightly browned

Makes 18 small muffins or 9 jumbo muffins. We freeze them, taking out a few as needed an hour before eating. For extra moistness, microwave muffins for 15 seconds, then cut open and add
butter. The recipe may be halved if preferred.
Two carbs per small muffin.
Yesterday, I made these 18 muffins in three batches when the muffin tin we have on hand is for only six muffins.

                                             Photo from one year ago today, March 3, 2014:

Within 25 feet of our front door down a short hallway, we were inside the souks. The colors, the endless displays of merchandise was like nothing we’d ever seen.  For details of our first day in Marrakech, please click here.

Comments and responses Response to requests for recipes for low carb meal shown on March 1st and more…Last year’s first day in Marrakech…A visual explosion of color!

  1. liz Reply

    Being a 'foodie' myself I love it when you write about your food. It is always informative and non judgmental. What a coincidence that I also made a gluten free recipe (coconut and rice flour based pancake) for breakfast today. I am slowly introducing and converting my husband away from his love of bread! The pancakes were delicious with kiwi, blueberries and strawberries- although I know you don't do fruit Jess (too high in sugar). thank you for the recipes I look forward to trying the muffins.

  2. Jessica Reply

    Liz, you made my day. As I'm sitting here now preparing today's post, soon to be uploaded, I find myself apologizing to the non-foodie types who may not enjoy reading about food and recipes. I try to keep the food discussions to a minimum and will continue to do so. But, knowing that you and some other readers enjoy food talk and recipes is very comforting. I couldn't help but read your comment aloud to Tom saying, "See, Liz and others do like the occasional discussions on food."

    Glad you are experiencing some good gluten free recipes. The fruit always sounds good and I do miss it on occasion. But, who's complaining? Not I.

    Wonderful to hear from you. Hope all is well you way. We often tell the story of you, the wonderful Liz, took a train from Bristol to London to meet us in person this past August. It was indeed an honor for us, one that we'll always remember.

    Jess & Tom

  3. Janet Reply

    Ms Jess, I've been following your blog since your post on JB's Sane testimonial a few years back. I'm also grain free, low carb, etc. due to a thyroid issue. Please tell your dear husband to eat MORE vegetables and that many of your followers DO enjoy the foodie side of things, especially when we're trying to survive in the SAD world which is the cause of chronic illness. Love and follow your travel/trivial/wisdom/humor/etc, etc,etc blog. Let Mr. Lyman know that we foodies are out there and hoping that he soon finds something more than green beans to pile on his plate! Kudos to you Jess for your constant commitment to following a life-style (I will not use the word diet) plan that reversed your ill health and has proven that food is medicine and can reverse illness. Happy travels to you and your husband. I look forward to your posts!

  4. Jessica Reply

    Ms Janet! You are too cute! Thanks for sticking up with me on my desire to get Tom to eat more "green things" as he call them. When I encourage Tom to eat more green things, he says, "I'd eat plenty of green jelly beans!" We both laughed heartily reading your adorable comments!

    The fact that he eats salads and green beans is a huge victory. When we met almost 24 years ago, he never ate even those, just meat and potatoes and bread. Now he's given up the sugars, starches and grains and eats a salad and his green beans almost every night. He also likes corn but that's not on the menu in this household!

    Oh, Janet, would that it could be perfect but sadly, it isn't. I commend you for your dedication in following this way of eating also. Its a huge commitment that few are willing to undertake over the long haul. For me, its motivated by a fear of illness and disability which would put a fast end to our travels and quality of life. From that perspective, its easy for me to do.

    I'm thrilled to know that you and others have written to say they like the references to food and the impact it has on all of our lives. Thanks so much for your support on this topic! Also, thank you for following along with us all this time. What a comfort it is to both of us knowing we have loyal followers such as you.

    Thanks for commenting and yes, more foodie photos and stories are yet to come in the future.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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