Italian Burgers and Jicama Fries (Keto and Primal)

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I’m pretty sure that tonight was the first time the husband and I each made 50% of our meal for the blog post! I was going to make a bunch of Italian meatballs and freeze them so we had a few meals, but all of us wanted burgers, so I altered the recipe a bit and instead made a few meals worth of Italian burgers instead.

We had two jicamas left that we needed to use, so JR prepped them and whipped up some seasoned fries with garlic aioli for dipping.  Here’s the deal: if you haven’t been eating your fries dipped in mayo, you haven’t been doing it right.  The first time I did that was about 15 years ago when I was living in France (OMG…has it been 15 years already?!). They brought out mayo with the fries and I just stared at it in horror. My French and Italian friends were like, “Stop staring. Just try it.” I tried it once and never looked back. That being said, I do not like mayo on skinny fast-food fries…so don’t try it on those and expect heavenly results. You need thicker, rustic cut fries.

This whole meal, start to finish, took about an hour (including prep time). The burgers take about 20-25 minutes to cook, depending on how thick you make them. The fries take 40-ish minutes to cook and about 20 minutes to prep. Not a super quick meal, but it’s not too long to make on the fly, either!

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Jicama Fries

1 lb raw jicama

1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 – 1 tsp cumin

3 Tbsp olive oil

  1. Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or foil plus a light greasing).
  2. Peel jicama and cut into 1/4″-thick fries. Put in a micro-safe container along with 1/4 C of water. Cover and microwave for 8-10 minutes. After the first 4 minutes, stir gently, then finish heating. The bowl will be hot when you remove it, so be careful! Remove to paper towel to drain.
  3. Toss jicama strips in olive oil. Mix spices, then pour over the strips and toss again until coated. Arrange on baking sheet and bake 40-45 minutes.

Nutrition per serving (recipe makes 4 servings)

Total fat: 13.6 g

Sat fat: 2 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 4.5 mg

Total Carbs: 10 g

Fiber: 5.6 g

Sugar: 2 g

Net carbs: 5.4 g

Protein: 0.8 g

 

Italian Burgers

2# ground beef

2# ground pork

2 eggs

1 C grated parmesan

1 C shredded mozzarella

4 T minced onion flakes

1 Tbsp garlic powder

2 Tbsp oregano

2 Tbsp basil

1 Tbsp black pepper

2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

  1. Oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil. Put an oven-safe cooling rack over the baking sheet and spray or grease lightly.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients. Form 8-10 burger patties (we made 8 about 1/3# burgers). At this point, you can freeze them on wax paper if you want to save any of them. I froze all of ours first. After freezing them, pop them into a gallon-size Ziplock bag to store.
  3. Place your burgers on the wire rack to cook. Because mine were frozen, this cook-time will be longer than if you’re cooking them from fresh. From frozen: bake 20 minutes, flip them over, then bake 5 more minutes. From fresh: I usually bake them about 10-15 minutes (watch this closely – I can’t remember my exact cook time from fresh), then flip and cook another 5 minutes. If you want to add a slice of cheese, add it when you flip them so the cheese melts for the last 5 minutes.

Nutrition (per burger at 10 burgers made):

Total Fat: 59 g

Sat Fat: 15.6 g

Cholesterol: 205.9 mg

Sodium: 321.7 mg

Carbs: 0.8 g

Fiber: 0 g

Sugar: 0.2 g

Net Carbs: 0.8 g

Protein: 45.6 g

 

Garlic Aioli

3/4 C mayo

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

  1. Mix all that stuff in a bowl until well combined.

Nutrition per serving (at 8 servings):

Total Fat: 15 g

Sat Fat: 2.3 g

Cholesterol: 7.5 mg

Sodium: 135.3 mg

Total Carbs: 0.6 g

Fiber: 0 g

Sugar: 0 g

Protein: 0.1 g

Skillet Cookie and Cookie Cake (Keto and Primal)

IMG_7247SKILLET COOKIE and COOKIE CAKE (Keto and Primal)

I’m always after keto renditions of all types of chocolate chip cookies.  The weird thing that I’ve found is that overwhelmingly, keto chocolate chip cookies are better the next day than they are straight out of the oven. This was sad for me because with SAD chocolate chip cookies, if you aren’t eating them straight out of the oven as they’re still finishing baking, are you even okay?

These are really good straight out of the oven, but they are PHE-freaking-NOMENAL the next day – and that’s when they really take on the consistency of a cookie cake. Add some Rebel ice cream and you’re in business! With this recipe, it makes two 5″ skillet cookies – if you double the recipe, you can make it in a 10-12″ skillet, making it the size of a small cookie cake. See how that works? 🙂

I have another recipe ready to post soon, but since all of my friends who have seen the cookie wanted this recipe first, the Big Mac Meatball Skewers shall wait its turn. Try these out and let me know what you think!

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KETO CHOCOLATE CHIP SKILLET COOKIE

6 Tbsp salted butter, melted

3 Tbsp granulated Swerve

1 Tbsp brown Swerve (if you don’t have this, use an extra Tbsp of granulated Swerve)

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 C almond flour

Lily’s no-sugar chocolate chips

1.- Preheat the oven to 350. Grease two 4-5″ cast iron skillets.

2.- In a large bowl, mix butter, granulated Swerve, and brown Swerve on medium-high until it forms a slightly syrupy consistency (stick your finger in and taste it – delicious!).

3.- Add in vanilla and egg; mix well. Make sure your butter isn’t too warm when you add the egg. You don’t want to make sweet scrambled eggs 🙂

4.- Mix in all dry ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Mix well until it forms a dough. Fold in however many chocolate chips you want (I used probably 1/3 to 1/2 of the bag).

5.- Divide the dough in two (it’s a little wet) and press half into each skillet. Bake about 16-18 minutes (you want it soft, but not too wiggly).

Nutrition Information per Serving (serving size = 1/4 of one skillet)

Total Fat: 20.1 g

Sat Fat: 6.2 g

Cholesterol: 50.3 mg

Sodium: 17.1 mg

Total Carbs: 4.6 g

Fiber: 2.3 g

Sugar: 0.8 g

Net Carbs: 2.3 g

Protein: 5.3 g

Silky Truffle Fudge (Keto)

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I’m back! My work has been crazy busy for the last couple years (yes, YEARS) and I haven’t had much time to experiment while taking notes. We’ve been getting housework done, updating Isak’s acting materials, and having some family time during the quarantine. My job is in sports and entertainment, so I have pretty much nothing to do until this is well beyond back to normal. Instead of gaining the Covid 15, I’ve locked down on my adherence to keto and started coming up with more recipes lately. I’m hoping to post at least a few of them in the upcoming weeks.

I was really craving fudge this weekend, but we’re running low on keto baking ingredients, the stores around here are crazy at all hours, and delivery slots are a week out…so I dug through our cabinets to see what I could put together. This turned out to be the best fudge I’ve ever made (just ask JR, who was flabbergasted that it was keto). I only had a little of the confectioners Swerve left, which I thought was going to be a deal-breaker; however, I found a bag of vanilla egg white protein that has about the same consistency…so I thought, “What the hell,” and threw it in there.

This stuff has great flavor, melts in your mouth, and is SUPER satisfying. It could be a fat bomb on its own, with each piece weighing in at 1.9 g protein, 7.9 g fat, and 0.8 net carbs. Eating one small piece was a whole snack on its own, but adding a few raspberries with it was a delicious addition.

I’m trying to think of more things to make and I have a few more experiments left. What kind of food are you craving? Give me some ideas to play around with!

Happy Quarantine-ing 🙂

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Silky Truffle Fudge (Keto)

1/2 C salted butter

4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate

3 Tbsp dark cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla

8 oz package cream cheese – soft

1/4 C vanilla egg white protein

3/4 C confectioners erythritol

Nuts to top, if wanted

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat baking chocolate and butter for 2-3 minutes, 45 seconds at a time. Snap the chocolate into squares and cut the butter into Tbsp slices to make the heating more even. Stir between heating times to prevent burning. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the cream cheese, erythritol, egg white protein, and vanilla until well-combined and fluffy. Mix in cocoa powder until it’s combined throughout.
  3. Slowly pour in melted chocolate mixture while using the electric mixer to combine. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides a few times throughout.
  4. Pour mixture into a wax paper-lined 8×8 pan. Smooth out the top and sprinkle with nuts (if desired). Chill in the freezer for 30-60 minutes followed by storage in the refrigerator.
  5. This makes 25 squares when cut with five rows on each direction.

Nutrition (per serving)

Total Fat: 7.9 g (4.6 g saturated)

Cholesterol: 15.1 mg

Sodium: 30.7 mg

Total Carbs: 1.9 g

Fiber: 1.1 g

Sugars: 0.1 g

Net Carbs: 0.8 g

Protein: 1.9 g

Calories: 84

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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Salmon with Lemon Coconut Cream (Keto, Whole30, Paleo)

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You know how sometimes you have a bunch of random items in the pantry and you’re wondering what you can do with them for dinner?  That’s how this came about.  I am a big fan of cream sauces.  BIG.  But when I first made this, we were doing a Whole30, so cream was out.  Next best substitute?  Coconut milk!  And I’m not talking light, low-fat, or coconut milk from a carton.  I’m talking full-fat, thick, many times solid coconut milk in a can.

We love salmon at our house.  It’s one of the four or five types of fish that Isak will eat.  He’s 5, so he’s picky about what fishes are “acceptable” and what fishes aren’t.  Yes, the correct word in this instance is “fishes,” just in case you were wondering.  Fun fact: if you are talking about the plural of one type of fish, the plural is “fish.”  If you are talking about more than one type of fish (e.g. catfish, salmon, and swordfish), the plural is “fishes.”  There’s your random fact for the day.  I’m convinced that kids either like or dislike fish based on two factors: taste and texture.  If it tastes too “fishy,” most of them don’t like it.  If it doesn’t feel “meaty” in the mouth, most of them don’t like it.  Salmon is a win-win in this case.  It’s not overly fishy and it feels more like chicken than fish in the mouth.  Score!

As a general note: this sauce can be made with pretty much any protein, so it doesn’t have to be limited to salmon.  You really can make it with anything–you’ll just have to alter the length of cook on it.  Pretty soon you’ll see this recipe on my awesome trainer, Jean Carlos’s site in a video series called Foodie Fridays.  Last week’s video can be seen HERE!  If you want to see my testimonial that I did for TBT, look HERE! Seriously, if you’re near San Antonio, you need to come in and work out with us.  Jean Carlos is a ROCK STAR!

Salmon with Lemon Coconut Cream

1 pound salmon fillet

1/2 C canned, full-fat coconut milk

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced thick

1/2 C diced shallots (or yellow onion)

3 cloves garlic, minced

juice of 1 lemon

zest of 2 lemons

salt and pepper

coconut oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Salt and pepper both sides of the salmon and place in a greased baking dish.
  2. In a medium saute pan over a medium-low/medium heat, heat 1-2 tsp coconut oil.  When oil is hot, add in mushrooms, shallots/onions, and garlic.  Cook until mushrooms start browning and shallots are getting soft.
  3. Add in coconut cream, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Stir to integrate.  Brink to a slow boil and stir for a couple minutes, until everything is heated through and well-mixed.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour sauce mixture over salmon in baking dish and bake, uncovered, for around 15 minutes.  In the video, I cooked just under 1.3 pounds of salmon and that took 21 minutes, so keep checking it if you’re cooking a larger piece.
  5. Plate it and chow down.

 

Keeping Keto at Disney World

mk_crystalprerover_20170201_7938321358Last week we took Isak and met my parents at Disney World for the week.  We go every January near the end and celebrate Isak’s birthday early.  It is literally my favorite week of the year.  This year, I had lots of people ask me if we were breaking our food rules for the trip.  Nope, not at all!  It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, I’m not going to lie.  Not because there were so many temptations, because at this point, temptations aren’t really a “thing” anymore.  Yay keto–cravings disappear.  It wasn’t the easiest thing to do because literally, 95% of the food found at Disney contains grains or sugar, which we avoid.  There was one night at Epcot where we each had a quarter of a gluten-free roll.  It was really good as far as gluten-free goes…but most of that stuff feels like wet sawdust in my mouth, so the texture wasn’t appealing.

The thing about staying keto at Disney is that you have to implement some preparation and research.  I did not find any acceptable snacks on the menus of any of the restaurants beforehand when I was researching, so I knew that we were going to have to keep easily portable snacks.  Also, there isn’t much in the way of breakfast food (that isn’t ridiculously overpriced), so we knew we were going to keep a bunch of compliant stuff in the fridge at the resort.  Typically I don’t eat breakfast because of the intermittent fasting (though as of this week I’ve flipped my fast over, but that’s for a later post), but when we’re walking 10-15 miles a day in the parks, I eat more often.

For the fridge and pantry in the resort, we kept: pre-cooked bacon, black forest ham, cream cheese, french onion dip, string cheese, pork rinds, and pepperoni.  If you haven’t tried pork rinds with french onion dip, you’re missing out.  Try it now.  For portable park snacks, my only requirement was that they didn’t need to be kept chilled.  I didn’t want to carry a cooler pack in the park.  We carried macadamia nuts.  Lots and lots of macadamia nuts.  I also kept a few Atkins bars in the bag, and for Isak we had single bags of nut/dried fruit mix.

Now for the fun part…the meals!

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Neither of us could remember where the turkey legs were sold at Magic Kingdom, but after asking 900 cast members, we finally got the right location: the tavern in Adventureland, across from Pirates of the Caribbean.  This was our first stop as soon as we got to the park.  Usually we fly in and wait until the following day to go to the parks; however, we were able to snag an extra day, so JR and I went as soon as we got off the Magic Express and got Isak situated in the resort with Gammy and GrandDan.  We split one turkey leg between the two of us and dipped it in a few packets of mayo.  Everything tastes better at Disney, you know.

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Breakfast on official day one: steamed heavy cream with sugar-free vanilla syrup from Starbucks at Epcot.  This is Isak’s favorite drink.  He calls it “warm chocolate,” no matter what sugar-free flavor it is.  The vanilla though…it tastes like hot-off-the-stove vanilla custard filling.  It’s delicious.  That and a handful of cashews kept him going until lunch.

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This one was my favorite table-service meal of the trip (and yes, I left the handful of fried wonton skins on–they weren’t enough to kick me out of ketosis and Epcot is always where we walk the most).  This is the Beijing Roast Duck Salad from Nine Dragons in China, in the World Showcase at Epcot.  One alteration had to be made: the hoisin sauce dressing was out because, well, hoisin sauce.  Instead, they gave me a small pitcher of the potsticker sauce, which was to die for.  Seriously, my favorite meal of the week.

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In The Seas, at Epcot, there is a restaurant called Coral Reef.  Honestly, we go here for the experience because you’re basically eating inside a giant aquarium.  In my opinion, the food is decent, but it’s not the best food ever.  I got the grilled New York strip steak with double veg instead of veg and mashed potatoes.  We had them bring out extra butter because it wasn’t nearly fatty enough.  This is where the gluten-free rolls were.  Like I said, as far as gluten-free rolls go, those were pretty good, especially when slathered with butter.  If you’re looking for that option, definitely hit up Coral Reef.  JR got the heirloom tomato salad thing here.  I gave him half of my steak and we pretty much ate off of each other’s plates.

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You can’t really tell what this is from the picture, as is frequently the case when making keto alterations, but this is a bacon cheeseburger from Cosmic Ray’s in Magic Kingdom.  They have a topping bar there where we added the mushrooms, onions, and (not pictured) some garlic ranch dressing.  It was a pretty good burger.  JR and I split the burger and…

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…the Greek salad, from the same place.  It was a pretty rockin’ Greek salad, in case you were wondering.  The chicken looks huge, but really it’s just pounded out thin.  The feta wasn’t as good as the stuff we get from Ali Baba; however, it was a decent substitute (and let’s be honest, if you don’t have a refined palate for Middle Eastern food, you won’t notice the difference).  We also put the garlic ranch on this salad.  Yeah, I really liked it.

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This was an Italian sausage without the bun from whatever that sausage company is at Disney Springs (what used to be called Downtown Disney).  The sausage was our least favorite thing of the trip.  It was just “meh.”  Those pickles were awesome though.  Seriously awesome.

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This is actually one of the meals we had at the airport in Atlanta on the way back to San Antonio.  I forget what the place was called, but it’s similar to a Chipotle-type deal.  It was a steak burrito bowl.  Why do deconstructed foods always look like a pile of stomach contents?  Regardless, it was tasty.

I didn’t remember to take pictures of all the food we ate in the parks, so here are the other items we had that I can remember:

Chili Cheese Coney without the bun from that Casey’s hot dog place on Main Street in Magic Kingdom (a delicious addition to our curbside seating for the Festival of Fantasy parade!)

Caesar salad with salmon at the Prime Time Diner in Hollywood Studios.  This restaurant was so fun!  The staff is a hoot and the decor is hilarious.  The salad was great.

If you have any questions about going keto-friendly at Disney, feel free to ask me!  Before going, I spent an hour on the phone with one of their dietary people, who helped me navigate all of the menus in order to find compliant food that wasn’t all burger-without-a-bun situations.  But really, if you’re only going to try one thing from this list, get the salad from Nine Dragons.  You won’t be disappointed.

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.