Cheesy Jalapeno Cauliflower Cakes

cheddarjalapenocaulicakesThese little flavor bombs are #KetoFriendly and are a multi-meal side dish option.  They can be a nice hot side to meat, savory stews, or even beside eggs for breakfast.  You can even eat them cold, or at room temperature, beside a spicy bowl of chili!

Cheesy Jalapeño Cauliflower Cakes

  • 2 Cups Riced Raw Cauliflower
  • 1 Medium Jalapeño, chopped finely
  • 2 Large Eggs, beaten
  • 2 TBLS Melted Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Cup Grated Gouda Cheese
  • 1 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Grease a 12 Cup muffin tin with olive oil spray and set aside.

Combine the cauliflower, egg, and jalapeno in a medium bowl.

Combine the grated cheeses and the rest of the dry ingredients, then stir into the cauliflower mixture.

Divide evenly between the 12 muffin cups and bake 30 minutes, or until tops are browned.  Turn off the oven and leave cakes in the oven for another 30-45 minutes.

Store any uneaten cakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Chicken Bacon Ranch Balls

chickenbaconranchballsAppetizers and small plates are the easiest way to stay on target when I’m trying to lose a few pounds or clean up my diet.  These chicken, bacon, ranch meatballs are perfect with a small salad and a side of cauliflower mash for an easy weeknight dinner and a great way to snack without guilt at tailgate parties!  Low carb, nut free, gluten free, grain free, and, best of all for me, #KetoFriendly!

Chicken Bacon Ranch Balls

  • 1 Pound Ground Chicken
  • 12 Slices Thick Cut Bacon
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Large Egg, Beaten
  • 1 tsp Dried Dill
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F and line baking sheet with foil and baking rack. Lay bacon strips on baking rack in even layer. Bake bacon in oven until crispy, about 15-20 minutes depending on thickness of bacon.  Crumble bacon into small pieces. (Dispose of foil from baking sheet or use second baking sheet.) Decrease oven heat to 375 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. To a large mixing bowl, add ground chicken, crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar, egg, and spices. Using hands, mix together until thoroughly combined. Form mixture into equal-sized balls, about 1 1/2 tbsp of mixture per ball, place on prepared baking sheet, and lightly press down to slightly flatten. Bake until golden brown and cooked throughout, 25-30 minutes.
  3. Remove poppers from oven, allow to cool slightly, and serve with low carb ranch dressing drizzled on balls or on the side.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Nutrition Information – Serving 1 Ball (Makes 16 Balls)

  • 116  Calories
  • 9 g   Fat
  • 0 g   Carbs
  • 9 g   Protein

 

Low Carb Spinach Wraps

spinachwrapsSince going Keto, I’ve missed sandwiches and wraps, so I’m always on the lookout for a low carb replacement.  Today I tripped across a simple recipe I could adapt for spinach based wraps that I can use for lunches or even burritos! #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Quick & Easy Spinach Wraps

  • 1/2 – of a 16 oz bag of Frozen Spinach (defrosted)
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Psyllium Husk Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1/8 tsp Freshly Ground Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  1. Defrost spinach, then squeeze out all of the water.
  2. Put the spinach and all other ingredients in your blender or Vitamix.
  3. Process for 1-2 Minutes, gradually increasing your speed, until all ingredients are combined and very smooth.
  4. Add in 1/2 Cup Mozzarella Cheese.  Blend another 15-30 Seconds.
  5. Lightly spray a small skillet with the olive oil spray (I used a 6 1/3″ Le Crueset Skillet) and put on stove with flame set to medium-high heat.
  6. After about 30 seconds, lower heat to medium and pour about 1/2 of the batter in the middle of the pan.
  7. Using a spatula spread the batter out to make a tortilla shape – the mix will be thick but not unspreadable, just keep spreading until you have created an even, thin disc.
  8. Cook for 2-3 minutes, you should see bubbles popping like when cooking a pancake, or until the edges start to shrink away; check if cooked by lifting the edge: if it lifts easily, you can now flip your tortilla over and cook the other side for about another minute.
  9. Remove from pan, cool on a wire rack, and fill with your favorite sandwich or wrap fillings.

Cool completely and make sure wraps are dry before storing in a sealed container, between pieces of parchment or waxed paper, in the refrigerator.  Can be frozen in zip bags as well.

Nutrition Information per wrap (makes 3 large wraps):

  • 168  Calories
  • 6 g  Fat
  • 3 g  Carbs
  • 9 g  Protein

Sausage, Spinach & Feta Egg Muffins

MuffinStack1I eat a lot of portable egg breakfasts on Keto, like: Bacon Wrapped Omelettes, Pizza Egg Cups; Crustless Veggie Quiche; and Pressure Cooker Egg Bites.  I add in days of berries and yogurt but getting enough protein at breakfast is hard if I don’t include eggs.  Unfortunately I get tired of the same foods, so I need to keep experimenting in the morning.

Sausage, Spinach & Feta Egg Muffins

  • 12 Large Eggs
  • 12 oz Raw Ground Breakfast Sausage
  • 1/2 of a 5 oz Bag Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 Cup Feta Cheese
  • 1 Cup Half & Half
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (if desired)
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray

Spray jumbo muffin tins with olive oil cooking spray & pre-heat oven to 375° F.

Roll spinach leaves and slice thinly.  Combine spinach, feta and raw, crumbled sausage in a bowl and combine.  Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin tins but do not pack down.

Lightly beat the eggs in a medium bowl, beat in the spices, and then the half & half.  Divide the egg mixture between the muffin tins and bake for 30 minutes (if using jumbo muffin tins) or 25 minutes for standard sized muffin tins.  Egg muffins are done when they brown around the edges, pull away slightly from the sides and are set in the middle.

muffintin

Nutrition Information (1 egg muffin)

  • 108 Calories
  • 4 g Fat
  • 1 g Carbs
  • 8 g Protein

Muffins can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a week or the freezer for a month.  Heat in the microwave 30-45 seconds.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Skip the Take-Out Beef & Broccoli

Clean eating isn’t hard if you put a little thought into it.  I love Chinese take-out but hate all of the carb-heavy thickeners and calorie bomb, sugary sauces that are used in restaurant fare.  A few tweaks, and a little make-ahead prep, lets me put this weeknight staple on the table in under 15 minutes after work!  The substitutions I made are also #KetoFriendly, which is something this busy Keto girl definitely loves. #ThisGirlLovesToEat

BeefAndBroccoli

Keto Beef & Broccoli

  • 3 TBLS Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 TBLS Olive Oil (I used garlic infused)
  • 2 TBLS Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 2 TBLS Clam Juice
  • 1 TBLS Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Freshly Grated Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients EXCEPT the Xanthan gum and set aside.

  • 1 Pound Lean Beef Sirloin, Boneless Ribeye, Flat Iron, or Flank Steak, sliced very thinly across the grain
  • 2 Cups Broccoli Florets
  • 1 TLS Olive Oil
  • 2 Crushed Garlic Cloves (I use 2 tsp jarred crushed garlic)
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 TBLS Sliced Green Onions  (Scallions)
  • 2 TBLS Sliced Almonds (if desired)
  • 1 TBLS Toasted Sesame Seeds (if desired)

Put the sliced beef and 1/3 of the marinade in a quart sized zip bag, seal and put in the refrigerator to marinate for 4-6 hours (while your’re at work all day) or overnight.

Do ahead tip:  Stir fry the broccoli until it’s just crisp-tender (3-4 minutes) in 1 – 2 TBLS olive oil over medium-high heat, then remove from pan to a large zip bag or covered bowl and put in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to assemble your dish, using a large skillet, (I use my 4.5 quart high sided Dutch oven) heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Discard the marinade and place the beef into your pan.  If you’ve sliced your beef nice and thin, it should take only 2-3 minutes per side to brown.  Remove the beef to the bowl with the broccoli and add the reserved 2/3 marinade, salt & pepper to the pan.  Cook for about 2 minutes then stir the Xanthan Gum into the sauce.  Cook another minute or two, or until the sauce has thickened to a desired consistency and add the meat & broccoli back to the pan to coat in the sauce and warm through.  Add the Green Onions in the last few seconds of cooking.

Serve over cooked cauliflower rice and top with sliced almonds & toasted sesame seeds if desired.

Nutrition Information (Serves 6)

  • 203 Calories
  • 14 g Fat
  • 1.3 g Carbs
  • 15.5 g Protein

Coconut Lime Cauliflower Rice

Lime-Coconut-Cauliflower-Rice

A new spin on a Keto staple.

This recipe is so versatile that it could be:

 

  • A side dish for chicken, seafood, beef, pork, or grilled vegetables
  • A base layer for a sweet flavored (like Keto Sweet & Sour Chicken) Asian inspired main dish bowl
  • A bed for kebabs
  • A layer in a cold chicken salad
  • A taco or burrito ingredient, or even
  • Chilled and served as a “rice pudding” type dessert.

Tip:  This dish is better a day (or at least a few hours) after it’s been made and refrigerated, then reheated.

Coconut Lime Cauliflower Rice

  • 1 TBLS Butter
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Crushed into a Paste (I use jarred, crushed garlic)
  • 1 Medium-Large Head Cauliflower, Riced (About 6 Cups)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Lite Coconut Milk
  • 1 TBLS Lime Juice
  • Zest from 1 Lime

Heat the butter and garlic in a skillet over medium heat.

Steam the riced cauliflower in a microwave steamer for 3 minutes.  Add the cauliflower rice to the skillet, sprinkle with salt and cook for 2 minutes before adding in the coconut milk and lime juice. Cook the rice for 8 minutes stirring frequently until the rice has completely softened and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Sprinkle the rice with lime zest before serving.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Nutrition Information per serving – 6 Servings

  • 68 Calories
  • 2.5 g Fat
  • 6 g Carbohydrates
  • 2 g Protein

 

Keto Sweet & Sour Chicken

Because many of the sauces are so full of sugar and corn starch and the dishes are so carb heavy, with rice or egg noodles as a bed for the featured protein, most traditional Chinese food is very unfriendly to those following a #KetoLifestyle.  This kid-pleasing dish is one of the few I’ve been able to adapt without ruining the spirit of the original.

1

Keto Sweet & Sour Chicken with Broccoli

  • Olive Oil Spray
  • 1 Pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Juice and 1 + 1/2 tsp Grated Zest of 1 Medium Orange
  • 12 oz Small Broccoli Florets
  • 1 Orange or Red Bell Pepper cut into 1/2″ – 1″ chunks
  • 3 TBLS Rice Vinegar
  • 2 TBLS Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 TBLS Xanthan Gum
  • 2 TBLS Honey
  • 1 TBLS  Crushed Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 TBLS Sliced Almonds
  • 1 Green Onion, Chopped
  • White Sesame Seeds

Whisk vinegar, soy sauce, and Xanthan gum in a small bowl.  Stir in the salt and red pepper flakes and set aside.

Spray large skillet with Olive Oil Spray and heat over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, 6-8 minutes.  Remove chicken from pan.

Add juice from the orange and cook for 15-30 seconds, stirring up any browned bits fro the pan.  Add broccoli & bell pepper and cook about 4 minutes, or until they’re just crisp-tender.

Add the honey and garlic to vinegar mixture, then add to the pan and bring to a boil.  Cook about 1 minute, stirring continuously until the sauce begins to thicken.  Return chicken to the pan and continue cooking for another minute, stirring to make sure that all of the broccoli and chicken are well coated with the sauce.  Remove from heat and stir in slivered almonds, chopped green onion, & orange zest.

Serve over steamed or stir-fried cauliflower rice.  Top each serving with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and, if you like more spice, additional red pepper flakes.

Nutrition Information (6 Servings)

  • 163 Calories
  • 3 g  Fat
  • 7 g Carbohydrates
  • 19 g Protein

Nutrition Information (4 Servings)

  • 244 Calories
  • 5 g  Fat
  • 11 g Carbohydrates
  • 29 g Protein

#ThisGirlLovesToEat