An Amuse Bouche is a flavorful, bite-sized appetizer that “entertains the mouth” as it awaits the main event. Set out dishes of assorted olives and nuts, and no one will complain, but roasting the olives makes them slightly chewy and concentrates the flavors in a way that is guaranteed to keep your bouche amused. Serve them solo with skewers for spearing or with  low-carb crackers or Parmesan Fricos.

1 cup (4 ounces) pitted black olives
1 cup (4 ounces) pitted Kalamata olives
1 cup (4 ounces) green olives, stuffed with garlic, almonds, or pimento
8 to 10 whole garlic cloves (1 ounce total), peeled
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence (recipe follows)
¼ cup olive oil

Add after baking:
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
Sprigs of fresh rosemary and/or thyme for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 425º F.

Drain olives and place on a small, rimmed baking sheet with the garlic, Herbes de Provence, and olive oil. Toss together until well mixed. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until olives are sizzling and garlic is starting to brown, stirring after first 10 minutes. Cool on pan until just warm.
Transfer to a bowl, grind fresh black pepper and grate fresh lemon zest over olives and toss. Garnish with sprigs of fresh herbs, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from Nourished; a Cookbook for Health, Weight Loss, and Metabolic Balance.

Makes 8 servings.
Per serving—Net carbs: 1.8 grams; Protein: 0.5 grams; Fiber: 1.1 grams; Fat: 10.5 grams; Calories: 103

Total weight: 10 ounces or 284 grams
Weight per serving: 1¼ ounce or 36 grams
Preparation time: 10 active; 30 to 35 minutes total

Herbes de Provence (Provençal herbs) is an aromatic seasoning blend made form the plants that thrive on the rocky, sun-drenched, hillsides of Southern France. You can make your own custom mix using some or all of the following dried herbs listed below.

Start with thyme, summer savory, rosemary, and either oregano or marjoram and choose which others to include. If you have one of those cute little terra-cotta clay pots with a cork, keep some of your herbs on the countertop. If you have extra, it makes a great gift.Measurements are for dry herbs

1 tablespoon each of thyme, chervil, rosemary leaves, and summer savory
1 teaspoon each of lavender, tarragon, and marjoram
½ teaspoon each of oregano, mint, bay leaves, basil, fennel seeds, rubbed sage, and orange zest.

Put everything in a spice grinder or processor and blend until fine. Store in an airtight container. (To mix by hand, you will need to first chop or crush the bay and rosemary leaves and fennel seeds.)
Recipe adapted from Nourished; a Cookbook for Health, Weight Loss, and Metabolic Balance.

Makes about 1/3 cup, ground.
Whole batch—Net carbs: 4.3 grams; Protein: 1.8 grams; Fiber: 6.2 grams; Fat: 1.4 grams; Calories: 49

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(c) 2014, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com
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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!
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