Monday, August 6, 2007

A great meal!

Every Wednesday, my friend Laura and I try a new Denver restaurant. We've both been living here only about a year, and I tend to be the kind of person who gets in a rut...I like to go to familiar places, see familiar faces, and order the same thing I always get...minimizes disappointment, you know? So to break out of this "unhealthy" practice, we initiated the Wednesday nite dinner out. We've tried a lot of restaurants so far, and been mostly disappointed. So many overrated, overpriced restaurants, so many Wednesdays. To date, Solera has been our bright point, offering some really original dishes and a great wine tasting on Wednesdays...but really pricey. Go to the wine tasting for $15 bucks, get a little tipsy, order dinner, bam! $100 bucks on the tab. Worth it, though, if you want a dependably delicious meal...the cheese plate is not to be missed. This past weekend friends Britt and Philip came into town for Aspen and we planned a special dinner out at a restaurant I've been dying to try...Barolo Grill. I've got a real soft spot for Northern Italian and the associated rich food...usually very do-able on low carb. I was so pleasantly surprised, Barolo Grill now takes my "favorite Denver restaurant" category, hands down. Tons to eat on a low-glycemic program...try the tartare, or the pheasant turrine to very many great secondi, and all of the salads and pastas can be ordered as "small plates" or primi, if you just want a little taste! I had lamb chops that were so grilly-grill good, with a mushroom ragout and braised kale (yes, kale!) on the side...and it came that way on the menu! Tried the sea bass, the tenderloin and a little pork too, all lovely. There are so many great "better" sides available too, and I wouldn't have hesitated to ask for a substitution, as the staff (and I mean everyone who came to our table) was friendly, helpful and seemed delighted that we were there...a rarity at most high-end restaurants. I skipped dessert, but had a glass of lovely Barolo wine with dinner. If you're looking for a low-carb friendly, special occasion (or not so special!) restaurant that won't make you feel like you're missing out, Barolo Grill is not to be missed...wave if you see me there stuffing my face at the table next to you!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Getting Started on the Low Carb/Low Glycemic Lifestyle

I've been getting a lot of inquiries from people who want to start on a low carb/low glycemic lifestyle, but either don't know much about it, or are misinformed about it. If you or someone you know is looking for information about this eating program, it's very important that you get the right info from experts in the medical field, for your health's sake. "Doing low carb" incorrectly, or without medical advice can not only be dangerous for those with medical issues, but also lead to weight gain and poor health. Once they've made the decision to make the lifestyle switch, I recommend to all of my clients that they read one of the following books, in addition to taking my 4 hour "quickstart" package that will give them shortcuts, helpful articles, recipe conversions, personal counseling, food choice lists, and meal ideas. Happy reading, and of course, feel free to contact me via comments here if you have any questions.

-The Atkins Essentials, A Two-Week Program to Jump-Start Your Low-Carb Lifestyle
by Atkins Health & Medical Information Services. An easy reading primer.

-The Diabetes Diet, by Richard K. Bernstein, MD. Probably the best and most comprehensive guide to controlling blood sugar, for those with, and without, diabetes.

-Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution, The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars, by Richard K. Bernstein. He was the originator of, and is the authority on, low carb for diabetics Type I and II.

-Atkins Diabetes Revolution, based on the practice of Dr. Robert C. Atkins, with Mary C. Vernon, MD, CMD, and Jacqueline A. Everstein, RN. The Atkins approach to preventing and controlling Type 2 diabetes.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Crack Pretzels

Okay, so I spent a little time at home in Ohio with my parents, and niece and nephews and got a little off track...I don't know how people with kids manage to watch their carbs! We try to limit the sugary snacks and, of course, no soda or sports drinks, but it still creeps up on left uneaten on the plate (you're not going to throw that away are you?), the ubiquitous pretzel snack (what kind of a devil-person brings peanut butter stuffed pretzel bites into a house?? Don't you know those things are like crack?!), and of course, a little fast food (oh what the heck, at this point I'll wrestle you for the bun). At 8, 10 &10, these kids are just starting to really learn about food choices, and it's interesting to watch. One loves the little cups of mandarin oranges, but when she's finished with the oranges, drinks the "best part"...the "juice", otherwise known as high fructose corn syrup these things are packed in. Someone get that kid an actual orange! I realize how hard it is for kids to learn about nutrition, what with their cartoon network channels crammed with commercials for fast food and sugary snacks and drinks, but they do like wholesome good food in the absence of other bad choices...........ah ha! Just like me, they do fine unless the bad food options are omnipresent. So why do we bring the stuff into the house? I don't have crack pretzels at my place, so I usually crave those microwave greenbeans dipped in ranch dressing. What if, as responsible adults, we simply didn't make the excuses and refused to buy this garbage? Having grapes and fresh cut fruit readily on the counter when the kids want a snack, instead of the big tub of pretzels and a couple bags of chips makes the decision easy...and they don't ask for anything else. I know, life is full of temptation and hard decisions, and there will always be the equivilent of peanut butter filled pretzels around to lead us astray...but can't we just admit we're human and capable of taking the path we know is wrong, and make it easier on ourselves by not throwing those detours in the middle of our perfectly good path? Grandma, get rid of the crack for me, I'm back on induction.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Been awhile

Been awhile since I've posted, but business is good. I've got a couple of great regular weekly clients, and June was packed every weekend with special events....whew. I'm doing a four-hour "Jumpstart" package now, to get people started or re-motivated on the Low Carb/Low Glycemic lifestyle, complete with cooking lessons and recipes converting their favorite "cravings" into acceptable options. That's going really well, and I get so excited when others get psyched about living this way. Check out my website for details...

We also managed to get in a meetup of our Low Carb Lifestyle Support Group and had a great dinner at BD's Mongolian BBQ. We've just scheduled another one...plans for a potluck BBQ in the works, check it out. I also posted my Romanian Summer Slaw Recipe here: Summer I've never given out before...everyone loves it, as it's low carb, low calorie and low fat...a little something for everyone! (I've been told it tastes like crunchy lemonade)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Jimmy's at it again!

Jimmy's just blogged about our support group, and our most famous member on his Livin' La Vida Low Carb site, and associated low carb news site out the article and check out Karen Rysavy's site

Desserts -- the sweet life!

We're doing it again Tuesday, March 20...trying an evening event. In honor of our next Low Carb Living support group meetup, an 'homage to desserts', I've invited a very special guest to join us and bring a few goodies. The fabulous Rheinlander Bakery right here in Olde Town Arvada, as you may know, has a sugar-free, low carb brand of desserts and boxed mixes labeled Sweet Deliverance. They have recently launched another brand, Celia's Gourmet, for the gluten free/sugar free market. Co-owner Maro has a fascinating background about how she and her food chemist husband got into sugar free from the traditional bakery business, and she'll be on hand to share her story and some of the unbelievable treats they make. Personally can't believe the amazing things they deliver for so few carbs! I hope you're excited, I can't wait to guiltlessly indulge in some of these goodies. We'll also be serving some yummy "mocktails" to complete our "indulgence"...Baja Bob's drink mixes and a few other treats. Can't wait to see everyone, this meeting will definitely be worth the trip!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

What a great day!

we had another low carb lifestyle meetup much fun! we have about eight new members, and everyone's getting really active. it's just such a relief to be among people who understand, accept and embrace this healthy lifestyle...and everyone is so interesting and outgoing...i wonder if that's a side effect of steady blood sugar? we've decided to do desserts and a "mocktail" party for the next one...i hope the turnout is as good, hopefully i can get out of the kitchen on this one and mingle more, i love hearing other people's stories and's so inspiring to me both personally and professionally. everyone in that group has so much to offer...knowledge, encouragement, recipes, friendship...i hate to say it, but it's almost odd to find such a good group of people that have so much and yet so little in common. i guess that's what makes it fun and interesting, and will hopefully keep this bunch going. one of the members, tony, reminded me about how good carbsmart ice cream is...i have a hard time keeping it in the house because it's so good that the portion size is a joke, then i get a tummyache...but i'm going to find it and make him a low carb ice cream sandwich cake for our dessert gathering...and i'll have a piece too.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Mama Mia - Low Carb Goes Italian!

Another Denver Low Carb Lifestyle Meetup is coming popular demand, we're going Italiano -- low carb conversions of classics so delicious you'll swear my great-gramma was cookin'! (Except of course you'll get all the recipes...that woman never wrote anything down...)
Pesto white pizza and eggplant parmesan appetizers, a big antipasto "kitchen sink" salad, low glycemic spaghetti and Tuscan meatballs with vodka sauce, and for dessert (drum roll please) homemade Kahlua tiramisu (and a demo on how to make it!).
Special guest Sharyn from Low Carb Cravings market in Centennial will bring along for sale many of the products we'll be sampling in our meal, as well as a Pavarotti-sized sampling of other great products (including cookbooks!) so bring your shopping shoes...and a friend or two! Click the Meetup link on the left for info about how you can join us!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

In Aspen Cooking

I'm back in Aspen this week, cooking for a family that's rented a beautiful vacation home here for the week. I really lucked out, they're wonderful people and the kids are great. They've been so generous with me, very warm and thoughtful, I love taking care of people like's the best part of my job as a personal chef - meeting new people and having the privilege of feeling like I'm cooking for my own family! Things are going really well with the Low Carb Lifestyle Meetup group, we've got 4 new members so far! I'm really looking forward to our next meeting...the food's going to be amazing and hopefully we'll get to meet a few new members...and Sharyn from Low Carb Cravings will be there too to offer some products for sale...should be great. Anyway, it's a beautiful day here, snowed 5 inches last nite and now the sun is shining, I'm going to hike to get a little fresh breakfast every day is killing me - I am not a morning person!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Busy Week! (and a recipe)

So it's been a really busy week, trying to get the Low Carb Lifestyle Meetup up and running. I'm really excited to have worked out a partnership with the Low Carb Cravings market in Centennial CO to invite their customers to join our support group. So...a trip to office depot and 200 postcards later, we're getting off some snail mail invites as well as the emails owner Sharyn will be sending. Hopefully this will boost membership so we can do more events! I'd like to get to the point where we're offering something, a meeting, mixer, cooking lesson, etc., once a week. Right now we've got a base of members, but not everyone's active...I've tried everything to get some of these folks to respond...geez, just email me back to be removed from the group or remove yourself if you don't want to play...but knowing that you're causing an effort and not having the courtesy to respond one way or another is just disrespectful to the rest of us...okay, done with rant. Anyway, I was supposed to leave for Aspen today, got another good cooking gig for a vacation rental...$16.5 mil house, so the kitchen's REALLY nice...but I-70's been closed all day...very non-productive. I'll have to high-tail it there in the morning hoping it's clear. Gave me a chance to post some more good articles on the Meetup site in the files section...and a low, low carb pancake recipe. Check it out, just go to the meetup site and hit the files section...Laura Dolson from is one of my favorite authorities and source for great info, so there's lots of goodies there from her site and others. Speaking of Laura, she actually saw a post of mine on a community board and wrote to me...i was so flattered and thrilled. Okay, enough rambling, here's a good recipe as a thank you for reading this far!

Bridget's Exotic Moroccan Chicken Salad

-30 oz chicken (canned, leftover or pickup roasted)
-1.5 tsp curry powder (or your choice of curry paste, check carb count,adjust to taste)
-3 T unsweetened coconut milk
-2 T splenda (or equiv. alt. sweetener)
-1/3 cup low carb ranch dressing (Ken’s Steakhouse Ranch = 1 carb per 2 T)
-1/3 cup chopped sweet bell pepper
-1/3 cup chopped green beans
-1/8 cup chopped blanched almonds (or sliced)
-1 T no-sugar/low carb apricot preserves (optional)

Roughly chop chicken. In a separate bowl, mix curry with coconut milk, splenda, ranch dressing and preserves. Add dressing mix to chicken and toss with vegetables. Refrigerate before serving over greens. Recipe yields 17.5 grams carbohydrate in the whole batch, ind. serving count varies with number of servings (Tip: leave out the apricot preserves for a total savings of 5 grams carb.)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Butter Cookie Recipe

So today was our first Meetup...a luncheon for members of our Low Carb Lifestyle Meetup. I met two great people...Mary (who's lost 150 lbs in 2 years) and Tony (who eats low carb so he can enjoy the foods he loves without gaining weight). The lunch was really's so great to be able to connect with people who are passionate and love food as much as I do. We shared a lot of hints, tips, and coping strategies, as well as re-affirmed our beliefs in the lifestyle. Such interesting people with so much to offer...I think we're all looking forward to getting together more often in the future! See here for info on our Denver area Meetup. I also gave attendees a little Valentine's Day prezzie...some of my famous butter cookies, some spiced snack chips made from low carb wraps and my favorite Dove low carb chocolates. I'm including my butter cookie recipe here for anyone to try, I'm constantly trying new things in the kitchen, and perfecting the perfect low carb cookie is a lifetime pursuit...these ones are good!

Bridget's Budda Cookies
1/2 c. butter, softened
4 oz. full fat cream cheese or ricotta
1/4 c. splenda or liquid sweetener equivilent
1/2 c. vanilla soy protein powder (available at Whole foods or GNC, check label for sugar additives, should have 0 carbs)
1 egg
1/2 c. almond meal/flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthum gum (binder/thickener available at whole foods or on line)

Chocolate topping:Melt your favorite low-carb chocolate bar (i like Dove individual meltaways in regular, mint or raspberry chocolate flavor) and drizzle on top of cookies, or dip tops of cookies in melted mixture. Melt chocolate bars in the microwave on half power for 1 minute at a time until soft and "stir-able". Add appropriate carb counts for the type and quantity of chocolate you use...a little goes a long way flavor-wise.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and cream cheese or ricotta with splenda. Add beaten egg to butter mixture and combine well until light. Sift together protein powder, almond meal baking powder and xanthum gum...sift well to distribute/combine evenly, then mix into butter/egg batter. Roll small portions of dough into balls, then "squish" flat onto baking sheet with your thumb (you can press in a whole almond, pecan or walnut now to decorate/flavor). Alternatively, you can use a pastry bag and large tip to pipe out shapes, or a cookie press with this dough. Cookies do not rise or spread, so they can be placed close, and the shape will remain the same once baked. Bake until lightly browning (start checking after 12 minutes) cookies will remain firm, but soft. Storage in an airtight container will make cookies soft, open air storage keeps them crispier. Yields approx. 2.5 doz. cookies 1.5 inches in diameter or so. Recipe without additions yields a total of 20.5 grams of carb, calculate individual servings according to portion size.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Low Carb Lifestyle Meetup Denver

So we've got our first meeting set for Monday, February 12...check it out here: it should be a lot of fun, always good to meet new people who have such an amazing thing in common. It's a lunch, and everyone in the Denver area is welcome (just make sure you join our meetup and rsvp). I'll be making my killer Moroccan chicken salad and a few choice appetizers (gorganzola and hot italian sausage stuffed olives anyone?) then wrapping up with a lesson on low carb cheesecake varieties (oh, you know, some drizzled with chocolate, some with strawberry coulis, mint chocolate...the usual) so no one will go home hungry! Everyone will, however, go home with recipes...and I'll post a few here too...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

X Games

I'm back in Aspen this weekend (I lived here for about 7 years before moving to Denver) for X's such an amazing time to be in town. I'm actually working, cooking breakfast every morning for the Red Bull athletes and crew. It's really great, everyone is so grateful for a hot breakfast...and two of the athletes placed 1st and 2nd in the skier superpipe event last night: Tanner Hall and Simon was an awesome contest. Local boy Peter Olenick came in third, so that was great too. Check out the X Games here: and Red Bull here: . Red Bull is doing the greatest gallery of photos on Aspen Mountain, too. It's this amazing display of their sports photography contest with entries from all over the world, all illuminated on light boxes. It looks "otherworldly" at night in the middle of the mountain face, and their opening night party up in the gallery was off the hook...take a peek: . So not-so-early to bed, but early to rise for me through Sunday...but managing to have a good time despite the ungodly wake up call! ;-)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Denver Low Carb Lifestyle Meetup

Well I bit the bullet and decided to organize this group. Meetup is a website where you can find people in your area who are interested in the same things you are, or start your own special interest group. I think it's great...there are groups of people who meet to do everything from hiking to board games, single moms, winetasting, you name it! It's an easy and fun way to meet new people who share your interests, and I belong to a couple of groups. Don't you think every city should have it's own low carb meetup? The Denver low carb group will be fun, we're currently in the process of planning our next meeting for the second week in February, and we're hopefully going to incorporate a light meal and a cooking/hints and tips demonstration (with samples, of course) so that should make it really fun and interactive. To find out about our group, visit us here: and please feel free to join, or comment here to my blog for meeting details if you just want to "check it out"...everyone is welcome!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Low Carb Meetup Group

So the meetup group I just joined for low carbers in the Denver area has lost it's leader. (Check out to see all about this cool way to meet people who have common interests) I think a group like this would be great for support and sharing, and I'm thinking about taking the plunge and heading the's a lot of work, though, and costs some money. I was hoping this would be a great way to rally some low carbers where I live, we'll have to see...maybe with a co-organizer I can swing it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Tonight I made some great cookies, coconut and macadamia nut with chocolate ganache icing. I've been experimenting with recipes, and have found that adding marscapone or cream cheese gives them a lighter and chewier texture. I've tried all sorts of combos of "low carb bake mix", soy protein isolate (vanilla flavor) and almond flour...almost always having to add additional baking powder (for "poof") and a bit of xanthum gum to bind. Tonite's recipe used half bake mix, half spi, chopped macadamias, additional baking powder, splenda and some grated unsweetened coconut for the dry ingredients...and eggs, butter, marscapone, and a little sugar-free davinci's syrup in caramel flavor for liquids. The result was a light and moist cookie with a good level of sweetness and nut flavor that I dipped in melted dove sugar free chocolate and additional chopped nuts. Low carb baking is tricky, but very "do-able" just requires experimentation and patience, as well as research into your alternative ingredients and their role in the food chemistry. For some good basic recipes to work with, try starting with an easy one from a good low-carb cookbook, then alter it batch by batch to your taste.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

La Vida Debut!

So today, low and behold, Jimmy Moore blogged about me on his (in)famous Livin' La Vida Low Carb! See the link at left...imho, Jimmy's blog is THE most influencial reading in the low carb community. Jimmy's no-nonsense style and straightforward, unwavering belief in this cause makes him our "mouthpiece" and public voice. If you don't read it, you should, if only to keep your motivation and inspiration...he certainly has inspired me. Jimmy's encouragement and upbeat attitude are such a shot in the arm. Whenever I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall, I read a little La Vida, and am reminded how many of us there are out there, and how hard we're all struggling, whatever the challenge. Thank you Jimmy, for all you do!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

'Caulimash' Cauliflower Puree Recipe

I thought it would be appropriate to make my first entry one of my favorite recipes...cauliflower puree (I call this Caulimash, since it tastes so much like mashed potatoes!). Once you've tried this, you'll forget all about mashed potatoes...I don't even crave them anymore! Vegetable purees are a great way to add variety to your sides, try adding different spices and flavors to some old standards like squash, eggplant, zucchini, etc...try experimenting with different combinations and tastes! Cream cheese, butter, sour cream, or ricotta adds "mouthfeel" that makes the puree taste smoother and "richer". It's up to you to figure out how much, if any, of these you prefer and/or fit into your nutritional plan...enjoy!
Cauliflower Puree - makes approx. 6 half-cup servings
1 head fresh cauliflower or 1 large bag frozen
2 oz butter
2 cloves fresh garlic chopped fine or 1 teaspoon from jar
2 green onions chopped fine, white and light green parts only
2 oz cream cheese, softened
Salt and pepper to taste
Steam cauliflower until very tender (stovetop or microwave). Chop cauliflower into small pieces, using only florets and upper parts of stems, set aside. Melt 1 Tbl butter and saute garlic and onions until browning, but not burnt. Add garlic/onion saute, remaining butter, and cream cheese to warm cauliflower. Whip in blender, standing or hand mixer, or immersion blender (my preference) until smooth. Add additional butter, salt and pepper to taste. Experiment with different flavors, adding some chopped bacon and shredded cheddar at the finish is a great option with barbecue!