Labneh Dip (Keto, Primal)

IMG_4276This.  Is.  Like.  Crack.  Just trust me on this – it’s good enough to want to bury your face in it for the weekend and eat until you explode.  Typically, you’d eat this with tasted pita bread; however, I serve it with vegetables for parties, and when we aren’t entertaining anyone, I just eat it out of a bowl.  It’s the best “yogurt breakfast” you’ll ever try, and the nutritional components will keep you going all day.

Labneh is a little hard to explain.  It’s made from salted yogurt or kefir that’s been drained of its whey (liquid).  Not just a general straining, but a super strain.  It’s a form of yogurt cheese, but it a little more tangy than traditional yogurt cheese made from Greek yogurt.  It’s the consistency of a slightly softer form of cream cheese.  It’s high in protein and beneficial bacteria.  It’s low in lactose, so a lot of the time people who are intolerant are able to eat it.  I get mine at the Middle Eastern grocery store here – it’s a delicious brand that’s imported from Lebanon.  You probably won’t find it at a regular grocery store, so if you don’t have an Arabic grocery, it’s pretty easy to make yourself.  You can find a recipe to make it HERE.

The toppings listed for this dip REALLY are what make the dip.  Za’atar is a spice mix that you’ll find at the Arabic grocery.  You can also make your own, and you’ll find 10,000 different recipes for it.  Everyone makes it a little different – the major similarities are thyme, sesame seeds, and sumac.  Trust me, you’ll want to keep this on hand at all times.  It makes EVERYTHING taste better.  Simple recipe found HERE. Pistachios and kalamata olives can be found pretty much anywhere.  Pomegranate arils are a little harder to come by (I have a feeling that this would taste equally good with chopped strawberries, but I haven’t tried that yet).  You can scoop them out of a pomegranate if you want…I will always pay slightly more to get the container of arils.  I hate messing with pomegranates.

This is about to become your new “Christmas Crack” that everyone eats at all your gatherings.  I seriously have a friend that I make this for every time she comes over, and she will eat her body-weight in it before she’s been in the house for 10 minutes.

Labneh Dip (Keto, Primal)

Nutrition: (6 servings per recipe) Calories (403), Total Fat (32.1 g), Saturated Fat (12.6 g), Cholesterol (69.3 mg), Sodium (952.5 mg), Total Carbs (8.6 g), Fiber (0.3 g), Net Carbs (8.3 g), Sugars (6.8 g), Protein (16.7 g)

2 C labneh

1/8 tsp salt

2 T chopped mint

2 T chopped pistachios

1 T chopped kalamata olives

1/4 C za’atar

1/3 C extra virgin olive oil

1/2 C pomegranate arils

 

1. – In small bowl, mix mint, nuts, olives, za’atar, salt, and olive oil.  Mix to combine.

2.- Spread labneh on flat plate, about an inch high.  Spoon topping over the labneh and allow to drip over sides of cheese.  Sprinkle the top with pomegranate arils.  Serve with vegetables, toasted pita, and/or minty red tea.

Sahtein!

Pizza Chicken (Keto)

IMG_8467After a long break, I’m back with more recipes! Pizza continues to be a favorite taste; however, I have to spread out how often I have the fathead pizza crust.  It’s delicious, but ultimately I just want the real deal (sidebar: when I’m visiting Kansas City, I absolutely eat the real thing at PIZZA 51–trust me here – it’s worth the carbs).  Ultimately, it’s the flavors of pizza that I want, so I’ve come up with a bunch of ways to get that flavor in different dishes.  They can all be made with whatever toppings you want.  Next time I’ll make this with my favorite P51 toppings: sausage and cream cheese.  Seriously, don’t knock it until you try it – cream cheese is DELICIOUS on pizza!

Today’s vehicle of choice was boneless, skinless chicken thighs (not something I keep around the house, but they were waaaaaaaay cheap at the grocery today, so I picked some up).  I’ve made this with regular chicken thighs before, and it’s even tastier, especially if you manage to keep the sauce around the chicken, and not on the crispy skin part, but this was still really good.  I made enough to eat it for lunch every day this week, and I may even add extra toppings throughout the week.  Try it out and have fun with it!

Pizza Chicken (Keto)

Nutrition: Calories (344), Total Fat (20.6 g), Sat Fat (5.4 g), Cholesterol (28.1 mg), Sodium (509.6 mg), Total Carbs (6.3 g), Fiber (1 g), Net Carbs (5.3 g), Sugars (4.1 g), Protein (34.7 g)

2# chicken thighs

1 Tbsp bacon fat (or fat of choice)

1-2 C Vodka sauce (this is slightly higher carb, but delicious – if you use a different sauce, it’ll alter the nutrition)

2 C shredded mozzarella-provolone blend

1/3 C sliced pepperoni (or toppings of choice)

Pinch each of basil and oregano

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1.- Preheat oven to 350.  In oven-safe skillet, heat fat over slightly higher than medium heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.

2.- When skillet is hot, cook chicken 5-10 minutes on each side.  If using thighs with the skin on, flip the chicken so the skin is up at the end.

3.- Pour sauce over chicken (or around and in between if using skin).  Cover with shredded cheese and toppings.  Sprinkle with basil and oregano.  Put the whole skillet in the oven for 30 minutes (until chicken is cooked through).  Remove and serve with a little extra cheese on top.  Alternatively, you can also add a little cheese at the end and stick the skillet under the broiler for a few minutes.

Buon appetito!

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Avocado Chicken Bombs (Keto)

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A friend and I went out to dinner recently at Chuy’s and discovered something delicious: the stuffed avocado.  Or, at least the version of it that I had them make for me.  It’s typically breaded in panko and fried that way; however, I can’t have panko and they can’t fry it without.  The chef came out to talk to me and we worked out a similar dish, and I thought I would mess around with it once I got home.  The other thing that is like crack at Chuy’s is their jalapeno ranch dressing.  Duh.  Anyone who has been there knows that.

With the same friend coming over to our house for dinner a couple weeks later, that was the perfect time to come up with a similar recipe, try to replicate the dressing, and then unveil the final product at dinner.  This was waaaaaaay better than what they came up with at Chuy’s, so I’m pretty happy about it.  You could make this with a plethora of different layers, but I’ll list it the way I made it last weekend.  Try it–you won’t be sorry!

Avocado Chicken Bombs (Keto)

Serves 4

Nutrition for Avocado Chicken Bombs: Calories (597), Fat (54.2 g), Saturated Fat (10.6 g), Carbs (17.3 g), Fiber (13.5 g), Sugar (1.3 g), Net Carbs (3.8 g), Protein (17.8 g)

Nutrition for Jalapeno Ranch: Calories (101), Fat (10.7 g), Saturated Fat (2.7 g), Carbs (0.7 g), Fiber (0.3 g), Sugar (0.6 g), Net Carbs (0.4 g), Protein (0.2 g)

Chicken

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/2 C olive oil

2 Tbsp chili powder

2 Tbsp lime juice

2 Tbsp sugar-free maple syrup

2 Tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp black pepper

1.- Mix everything but chicken together.

2.- Cut chicken into small strips or chunks.  Put in resealable plastic bag and cover with marinade.  Mix around and allow to marinate for at least four hours.

3.- Heat skillet to medium high.  When pan is hot, add chicken in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.  Fry until cooked through and transfer to baking dish.  When all chicken is cooked, cover baking dish and put in 300′ oven for 20-30 minutes.

4.- Assemble into avocado chicken bomb.

Jalapeno Ranch

1 C mayonnaise

1/3 C buttermilk made from heavy cream

1/3 C sour cream

4 oz can chopped jalapenos

4 oz can chopped green chiles

1/3 C cilantro

1 oz ranch seasoning

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1.- Whiz everything in a blender and enjoy.

How I Layered the Avocado Chicken Bomb, from Bottom Up

1.- Avocado

2.- Chicken

3.-Shredded Cheese

4.- Table Cream

5.- Pico de gallo

6.- Jalapeno Ranch

7.- Crumbled Bacon

8.- Queso Fresco

 

Pumpkin Chai Mug Cake (Keto)

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I’ve tried quite a few grain-free cake-type desserts that all turn out like the consistency of a sweet pile of scrambled eggs.  Well, either that or a super dry scone-brick.  This is light and fluffy (at least while it’s hot–it hasn’t made it long enough to hit the cold stage, so I don’t know what it’s like then).  It’s a little more wet than traditional cake, but it’s not like eating pumpkin eggs.  It packs a wallop of a nutritional punch, and would likely be a great breakfast if you paired it with some bacon!

Unlike many keto or paleo/primal desserts, this is nut-free and coconut-free.  If you want to make this primal or paleo, you can.  You would replace the sweetener with honey or maple syrup–I don’t know the measurements of that replacement, and it would significantly alter the sugar content, but you could do it.

This is nutritionally dense enough that I can’t eat one whole serving by myself, so you might want to find someone to share this with.  Once they smell it, people should be lining up to apply for that position.

Pumpkin Chai Mug Cake (Keto)

1 serving

Nutrition: Calories (282), Total Fat (19 g), Saturated Fat (3.2 g), Total Carbs (12.8 g), Fiber (8.7 g), Net Carbs (4.1 g), Sugar (1.4 g), Protein (18.2 g)

1/4 C flax meal

1/2 tsp baking powder

3 tsp stevia

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of cardamom

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3 Tbsp pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

1 egg

small pinch of sea salt

1.- In small bowl, whisk egg and pumpkin.  Add in all dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.

2.- Pour into mug.  For shorter/wider mugs, microwave for 1:45-2:00.  For taller/thinner mugs, microwave for 2:00-2:30.

3.- To put on a plate, run a knife around the edge to loosen.  Flip the mug over onto a plate.  The cake will be steaming when it first comes out.  If you don’t want your whipped cream to slide right off, let it cool for a couple minutes.

Sheik al Mehshee (Keto and Primal)

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This past Thursday, I went to a Lebanese cooking class at CENTRAL MARKET, the shmancy grocery store next door to us (I mean really, could we live next to a more awesome place?).  It was an AWESOME class, where most of the recipes were adapted from recipes in ROSE WATER AND ORANGE BLOSSOMS, one of my favorite Lebanese cookbooks.  There’s something you should know though: I don’t particularly like eggplant, and I’m not much for tomato sauce, both of which are key components in this dish.  That being said, I LOVE the eggplant in this dish.  Still not big on tomato sauce (plus, it has like 40 bajillion carbs), so I altered the sauce a bit.  Okay, a lot.  It doesn’t really resemble the original sauce at all, other than it contains tomatoes and ground beef.

So, I turned it into a tomato cream sauce (hello, more fat), took out the carby onions, changed up the spices, and added layers of cheese.  Next time I might toss some ricotta in there as well, but I didn’t have any to work with tonight.  Oh well.  According to my husband, he could eat the whole pan, so I guess that means it’s good.  Seriously though, it’s delicious.

Sheik al Mehshee (Keto and Primal)

Serves 4

Nutrition info per serving: Calories (504), Total Fat (44.8 g), Saturated Fat (11.4 g), Total Carbs (11.8 g), Fiber (4.8 g), Net carbs (7 g), Sugars (6.2 g), Protein (18.1 g)

1.5# eggplant, 1/8-1/4″ slices

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

3/4# ground beef (or lamb)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp Lebanese Seven Spice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 can stewed tomatoes

1/4 C heavy cream

1/3 C pine nuts

8 oz shredded mozzarella

1.- Set oven to broil.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Trim each end of the eggplant, then slice and place on baking sheet.  Brush each slice with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Broil until deep brown (about 10-15 minutes per side).

2.- Adjust oven temperature to 375.  In skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef.  Season with 1/2-1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp Lebanese Seven Spice, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.  Stir well and cook until browned.  Add stewed tomatoes and crush up with the meat.  Add in heavy cream and simmer a few minutes until the sauce starts to thicken and spices are incorporated.

3.- Lightly oil an 8×8 square baking dish.  Spread a couple spoonfuls of the sauce on the bottom of the dish.  Layer some eggplant, then cheese, then pine nuts, then more sauce.  Repeat layers, ending with eggplant on top.  Cover with foil and bake for 80 minutes.  Remove the foil, spread another layer of mozzarella, then put back in the oven, uncovered, for another 15 minutes, until cheese is brown and bubbling.  Let cool a few minutes before serving.

 

How to Build a Mezze Platter (Primal and Mostly Keto)

Mezze 1

I had some friends over this past weekend for one of the 2-3 days per year that I deem to be “spa day.”  Basically, I gather up a bunch of body/home product recipes that I want to try out, and a few times a year I make a bunch of them all day.  Many of them become standard holiday gifts that we give out.  Usually I do it alone, but I decided that it would be fun with other people, along with wine and (of course) food.  I’m Italian and Lebanese, so both of my nationalities are known for feeding people.  That’s just what we do.  I’ve all but given up most Italian foods, as pretty much none of them work within the confines of a keto diet; however, many Middle Eastern dishes can become compliant (you just omit the bread).  In the Italian culture, one would make an antipasti plate.  In the Lebanese culture, the equivalent dish is called a mezze platter.  Typically the dishes are HUGE–like, between one and three feet in diameter–and are packed full of food.  You can put basically anything you want on the plate, but the purpose is for everyone to eat off of the communal plate.  Part of the enjoyment of the food is in sharing the food, so this is very important.

 

Tzatziki

Tzatziki (2)

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

Zucchini Hummus

Hummus

Dip/Salad Trio

Mezze 2

Some of the things I put on my platter weren’t entirely low-carb (hello, figs); however, I just avoided those.  If you look up “mezze platter,” you will find thousands of things you can include…but here is what I chose for this:

Seriously, making mezze for your gatherings will free up way more of your time so you can actually enjoy yourself.  Take it from someone who plans 78-course elaborate dinners on the regular…for this one, I got to breathe and eat…the whole time.

Zucchini Hummus

Approximately 15 servings

Nutrition per serving: Calories (115), Fat (10.5 total, 1.6 sat), Carbs (3.4 total, 1.6 fiber, 1.8 net), Protein (2.9)

3-4 zucchini, peeled and chopped (about 3 C)

1/2 C fresh lemon juice

3/4 C tahini

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp cumin

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

4 cloves garlic, peeled

Paprika to garnish

1.- Put everything in a blender.  Blend on high until creamy (about 60-90 seconds).

2.- Pour into container and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.  This will thicken up a little while chilling, but it is a thinner consistency than hummus made with chickpeas.

VBS Goes Primal

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It turns out that pretty much very church on the planet uses the same VBS theme each year.  Are you looking for a business opportunity?  It seems as though someone should come up with a competing company, as there is apparently only one choice!  Because of that, I’ve had the pleasure of discussing VBS snacks with people from six different churches around the country recently…and they all offered zero in the way of nutrition.  I heard everything from candy to chicken nuggets to cookies to crackers.  How many f these snacks will sustain kids through the whole morning?  None.

Last year I played around with the whole “primal” snack thing, and got a decent response–for the most part, the kids didn’t notice that the snacks were any different.  This year I decided to go the whole way to primal, with one caveat: some corn chex in the trail mix.  That is the only place where I haven’t yet found an affordable filler.  Maybe next year I’ll have it figured out.  Anyway, our menu this year went as such:

Monday: Smoothie Popsicles/Applesauce Popsicles

Tuesday: Trail Mix

Wednesday: Ants on a Log (with sunflower butter and/or cream cheese)

Thursday: Fresh Sorbet

Friday: Vanilla-Scented Coconut Pancakes with Strawberries and Whipped Cream

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Smoothie Popsicles

I’m going to be honest–I didn’t measure when I did these, but I have a rough estimate of ingredients.  These and the sorbet basically require a good blender (Vitamix or higher).

1# strawberries

1 banana

1 avocado

1 C unsweetened coconut milk

2 Tbsp flax meal

1.- Whiz it in the blender.

2.- Pour it into Dixie cups.  Stick in a popsicle stick (they will stand up).

3.- Freeze.

These take a LOT of freezer space when you make them for large numbers of kids.  We would put 24 on a tray, then stack a second tray of 24 on top.

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Trail Mix

These two pictures look alike, but because of allergies, they were not.  We had separate snacks each day for the big kids (4 and up) and the little kids (2-3).  This way, I was able to cover all allergies in the group with just one snack.

Big Kids

Corn Chex

Raisins

Cashews

Unsweetened Grated Coconut

Pumpkin Seeds

Dark Chocolate (90%+)

Littles

Corn Check

Unsweetened Grated Coconut

Raisins

Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips

Raw Sunflower Kernels

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Ants on a Log

These should be pretty self-explanatory.  I don’t have a picture of the cream cheese version, but they were exactly the same, just with cream cheese.

Celery

Sunflower Butter

Cream Cheese

Raisins

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Sorbet

This recipe MUST have a good blender.  You will break the motor on a $50 blender in about two seconds trying to make this.

1# frozen strawberries

1# frozen pineapple

1 avocado

1/2 frozen banana

1 tsp honey

1 C unsweetened coconut milk

2 Tbsp flax meal

1.- Layer the liquid and soft items first–coconut milk, honey, avocado, flax meal.  Add in the frozen fruit.  Turn on the blender and slowly rev it up to high.  Use your tamp to shove everything down to the bottom and within a little bit, you’ll have four lumps form on top.

2.- When it’s the consistency of ice cream, you stop the blender and eat it.

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Vanilla-Scented Coconut Pancakes with Strawberries and Whipped Cream

One recipe makes 15-20 pancakes, depending on their size

8 eggs

1/4 C melted butter

1/2 C coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp honey

1/2 C coconut flour

Pinch of salt

1 tsp banking soda

1.- In blender, mix eggs on medium-low until frothy (takes about 60-90 seconds).  Add in butter, vanilla, coconut milk, and honey while continuing to mix.  Add in dry ingredients and mix until well-combined and lumps are gone.

2.- Let rest for 15 minutes–it will thicken.  If it gets too thick, add in more coconut milk or water.

3.- Heat griddle to medium and grease appropriately.  Cook pancakes.  Coconut flour cooks a little differently, so just watch them and make sure you don’t turn them too early.

4.- Serve with whatever on top.  We chose strawberries and sugar-free whipped cream

 

German Chocolate Doughnuts with Chocolate Ricotta Frosting (Keto and Primal)

German Chocolate Doughnuts

This coming weekend will be Isak’s first time going to a birthday party since going sugar-free and (most recently) grain-free.  I don’t want to always bring him his “own” treats, but I also don’t want to undo all of the hard work we’ve done, blowing it out of the water with birthday food.  Fortunately, it’s a morning party, so the likelihood of cake was going to be low.  I asked the girl’s mom what kind of food would be there, and she said they’d have fruit, so score on that one!  But she also said that at the party (which is an art party), they would be decorating doughnuts.  I told her I would come up with a doughnut and bring it for Isak with some whipped cream so he could “decorate” too.

This is the first recipe I tried.  It was originally just a plain, coconut-flour cupcake.  I decided to add some actual coconut and some cocoa to it, as Isak loves coconut and all things chocolate.  Then I made a ganache with butter, cocoa, and erythritol, but it didn’t mix correctly for some reason.  I added some ricotta, mixed it on high, and it whipped up like a fluffy frosting!  I haven’t give them to anyone who still eats sugar yet, so I don’t know what they taste like to “lay people.”  But…I know that Isak chowed down three of them today…so apparently they’re a hit.  If you like coconut and chocolate together, they’re AMAZING!

German Chocolate Doughnuts with Chocolate Ricotta Frosting (Keto and Primal)

Makes 10 Doughnuts

Nutrition per doughnut including the frosting: 223 calories, 20.4 g fat (14.7 saturated), 4.9 g fiber (3 net carbs), 5.5 g protein

1/3 C coconut flour

1/3 C unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 C cocoa powder

3 lg eggs

1/3 C coconut oil, melted

1/4 C heavy cream

3 Tbsp erythritol

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp liquid stevia

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1.- Preheat oven to 350.  Grease doughnut pan with coconut oil.

2.- Add all ingredients to large bowl.  Mix on high until completely blended.

3.- Pour dough into doughnut pan or mini-bundt pan.

4.- Bake 15-20 minutes.

 

Frosting

3 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp heavy cream

1/4 C whole-milk ricotta

2-3 Tbsp cocoa powder

1-2 Tbsp erythritol

1/4 tsp vanilla

3-6 drops liquid stevia

1.- In microwave-safe bowl, add butter, cream, cocoa powder, erythritol, vanilla, and stevia.  Microwave until liquefied.

2.- Remove from microwave and beat on medium-low for about a minute.  Add ricotta and whip on high for another minute or so.

3.- Spread onto cooled doughnuts.

 

Bacon-Wrapped Spinach and Pancetta Stuffed Portobello Caps (Keto and Primal)

Bacon-Wrapped Creamy Spinach and Pancetta Stuffed Portobellos

I love portobello mushrooms.  Like, when I was younger and used to hang out at the sheet music store pretty much every day (don’t judge–I’m a nerd), I would order a portobello burger from the restaurant next door pretty much every day.  They’re perfect.  They’re even more perfect when they’re stuffed with delicious creamy things.  But what would make it even better?  Wrapping it in bacon, duh.

These were something that I just sort of conceptualized this past weekend while I was sitting at the San Antonio Stars game with my son and a friend.  Magically, they were PERFECT on the first try.  Do you know how often that happens?  I can count on one hand the amount of times that has happened and not needed any tweaking.  Side bar: they are perfect as is; however, I really want to try these next time with pine nuts.

Bacon-Wrapped Spinach and Pancetta Stuffed Portobello Caps

Makes 4 caps

Nutrition per cap: Calories (165), Total Fat (12.3 g), Saturated Fat (4.7 g), Cholesterol (24.6 mg), Sodium (420.3 mg), Total Carbs (3.6 g), Fiber (1.2 g), Sugars (0.7 g), Net Carbs (2.4 g), Protein (8.5 g)

4 portobello caps

5 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained

2 Tbsp cream cheese, room temp

1 Tbsp sour cream

1/4 C grated Parmesan

1 oz pancetta

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 C chopped pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts

Salt and pepper, to taste

8 pieces of bacon

Olive oil

1.- Clean out portobello caps (scrape out gills and cut out stem) and brush them lightly with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt on both sides.  Place on foil-lined baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes on each side.

2.- Drain and squeeze spinach to remove excess water.  Lightly saute chopped pancetta over medium heat until heated through.  In medium bowl, mix cream cheese and sour cream until smooth.  Stir in spinach, pancetta, garlic, Parmesan, nuts, salt, and pepper.  Spoon about 1/4 C into each portobello cap.

3.- Place two bacon slices side-by-side on a cutting board or piece of plastic film.  Set the cap down and pull the bacon edges over, wrapping the cap.  Wrap each cap individually in plastic film and place on plate.  When all caps are wrapped and on the plate, chill for at least an hour.

4.- Heat oven to 400.  Place caps on foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until bacon is starting to crisp around the edges.

 

 

Artichoke Dip Chicken (Keto and Primal)

Keto Artichoke Chicken

One of my favorite things in the world is artichoke dip…but a specific artichoke dip from a local place here called Cerroni’s Purple Garlic.  I don’t know what it is about it (though I think they may have recently changed their recipe), but it has this great flavor, texture, and the way they serve it is great!  First, it is generally still bubbling when they bring it out.  Like…for 10 minutes after it gets to your table.  They serve it with a basket of toasted bread.  It’s all I want to eat when we go there.  If I could, I would make it my entire meal.  Alas, I found out they use flour in it, so I can’t even get it and eat it without the bread (yes, it’s good enough to just eat with a spoon).  At one point a few weeks ago, I started trying to replicate it, and though I’ve gotten close, I’m not a dead ringer yet.  That being said, artichoke dip with fried chicken is DELIGHTFUL.

There are two ways that I cook this, and I’ll let you decide which way you make it: chicken on top, or chicken on bottom.  If you cook the chicken on top, the skin retains that great crisp that you work hard to get in the pan, prior to baking.  BUT…if you pile the artichoke dip on top of the chicken, it really keeps the chicken moist and the flavor soaks in.  It’s good both ways, so try it both ways and see how you like it.  This is also one of those meals that usually holds me over for 15-20 hours before I eat again, depending on what I ate prior to this.

Artichoke Dip Chicken

Serves 4

4 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)

1/2 C sour cream

1/2 C mayonnaise (homemade is the best)

8 oz soft cream cheese

1 C grated Parmesan

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1.- Heat iron skillet to medium.  Salt and pepper the skin of the chicken.  Put chicken in the pan and fry it for 10-15 minutes per side (until they are almost cooked through and the skin is crisp).

2.- In medium bowl, use mixer to mix sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, garlic, and Parmesan until smooth.  Add in salt and pepper to taste.  Fold in the artichoke hearts.

3.- Heat oven to 350.  If cooking chicken on bottom, place chicken in the bottom of am 8×8 glass baking dish.  Cover with artichoke dip.  If cooking chicken on top, spread the artichoke dip on bottom of 8×8 glass baking dish and place the chicken on top.  I grated a little Parmesan over the chicken skin at this point.

4.- Put dish in oven, uncovered, and bake for 30-40 minutes (until dip is starting to bubble).  Take out and enjoy!

Nutrition (per serving):  Calories: 596; Carbs: 12 g; Fiber: 3 g; Net Carbs: 9 g; Fat: 48 g; Protein: 32 g; Sugar: 4 g