Garlic Cauliflower Gnocchi

4I’m all-in on my #KetoLifestyle, but there are certain things I enjoy, like bread and pasta, that I miss incredibly.  I love zucchini, but I can’t accept zoodles as a legitimate replacement for pasta.  Trader Joe’s makes a great cauliflower gnocchi, but it’s not Keto friendly, so I set out to adapt a regular gnocchi recipe to one that fits into my Keto lifestyle.  It’s also a great recipe for anyone following a Gluten Free diet.

Garlic Cauliflower Gnocchi

  • Medium Head Cauliflower
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 TBLS Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Dried Basil
  • Olive Oil Spray

Combine the flour, salt, garlic powder and basil in a bowl and set aside.

Remove the stem from the cauliflower and cut it into florets. You want 5 cups of florets.  Put the cauliflower florets in a food processor (I use my Vitamix) and pulse until it’s riced into crumbles.

SistemaLargeSteamerUsing a microwave-safe steamer (I use the Sistema 6 Cup [Large] Microwave Steamer) cook the cauliflower 7+1/2 to 10 minutes on high – you want the cauliflower done but not soggy.

TIP:  If you don’t have a microwave steamer:  Place all of the cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a paper towel. Microwave for 5 minutes. Remove the cauliflower and spread it on a towel to cool.  Once cauliflower is cool enough to work with, wrap in a towel and squeeze the water out.

Place the cauliflower back in the food processor (Vitamix). Blend until creamy.

Put the drained cauliflower into a large bowl (I used my stand mixer with the dough hook attachment) and add the dry ingredients.  Mix together until your dough comes together.  TIP:  Do not add more flour – it’s OK that the dough is sticky at this point.

Transfer the dough to a floured bread board or counter top. To make the dough easier to work with, you’ll want to add an additional tablespoon or two (no more than that) of flour as you roll the dough. Shape it into a ball, then wrap it in a piece of waxed paper and refrigerate the dough for about 15 minutes.  Take the dough out of the refrigerator and slice it into 4 equal sections.

Roll each section out until you have a rope about 1-inch thick.  Slice the dough into 1/2″ squares with a sharp knife.

I do a two part cooking process.  First I boil the gnocchi in rapidly boiling, salted water for 6 minutes.  Next you have the choice of how (if at all) you want to brown up your gnocchi.  I prefer to brown it to give the gnocchi a nice seal – you can decide on the degree of brownness you like.

To Sauté the gnocchi:  Using olive oil cooking spray (for the least added calories and fat), generously spray a skillet and, working in batches, place a single layer of gnocchi in the pan and then give them a light coating of olive oil spray on the exposed side.  Cook about 5 minutes per side if you like them crisp and deep brown.  You can reduce the time for lighter brown, less crispy, more traditional gnocchi.

To Oven Roast the gnocchi:  Line a cookie sheet with foil and lightly spray it with olive oil cooking spray.  Place your boiled gnocchi down in rows, spray the tops with olive oil spray and lightly season with salt & pepper.  In a preheated 425° F oven, bake for 12 minutes then turn the gnocchi over, return to the oven and continue cooking for an additional 10-12 minutes.  This will give you a nice, crispy, medium brown gnocchi.

To Serve:  I melt some butter in a skillet and add some freshly chopped basil and garlic to the butter and sauté for about 3 minutes over medium heat until the butter just starts to brown a bit.  Drizzle the sauce over the piles of gnocchi and serve immediately.  Alternatively, these hold up great in a spicy marinara sauce with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese too.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Nutrition Information per serving (Serves 4)

  • Calories   100
  • Net Carbs 6.75 grams
  • Fat             2.5 grams
  • Protein    5 grams

Spicy Bacon Baby Potatoes

petitepotatoesBeing Keto doesn’t mean you can’t have ANY carbs, in fact, depending on the stage you are at in your weight loss journey, you can actually enjoy a fair amount of carbs as part of your lifestyle maintenance.

At this point in my journey, I am enjoying 20 to 40 grams of carbs a couple of days a week, especially when I want a real sandwich, sweet potato, or something fun like this mini-potato recipe.

One trick I use to control my carb portions is to only prepare small amounts so I am not tempted to gorge myself on them and derail my health goals.  This recipe is perfect for doing just that.

Nutrition Information for this entire recipe (2 servings)

  • Calories 290 (145 ea)
  • Fat 18.5 grams (9.25 g ea)
  • Carbohydrates 22 grams (11 g ea)
  • Protein 7 grams (3.5 g ea)

The potatoes are an excellent source of potassium (more than a banana) and vitamin C.  Petites are also a good source of vitamin B6 and are fat, sodium and cholesterol free.

If you prefer these to be Vegetarian, omit the bacon.  The Vegetarian nutrition information is:  Calories 219  Fat 13.5 g  Carbs 22 g  Protein 3 g

Spicy Bacon Baby Potatoes

  • 5 oz (About 1 Cup or 20) baby/petite potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 Slices Bacon, diced while raw (I use kitchen shears)
  • 1 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Chopped Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Red Pepper Flakes (+/-)
  • Freshly Ground Sea Salt & Pepper to taste

In a skillet heat the oil and red pepper flakes for about 1 minute on medium heat.  Add the bacon and the potatoes.  Cover and cook for about 4 minutes.  Remove the lid, turn the potatoes and finish browning the bacon.  Remove the bacon to a paper towel to drain.  Add the garlic to the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 3 – 4 more minutes.

When potatoes are fork tender (total of 7-8 minutes cooking time), remove them to a small serving bowl and add the bacon back in.  Toss to distribute and add more red pepper flakes if desired.  Serve warm.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Pizza Egg Cups

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I love bacon, but this #KetoGirl needs to switch things up once and a while to avoid breakfast boredom.  Enter pepperoni and breakfast is a whole new ballgame.

These are easy to prepare and a nice change from routine bacon and egg cups!  I only make a few at a time because they are a stronger flavor that I don’t really want to eat for breakfast every day during the week.  When I make these I change up breakfast with hard boiled eggs, berries and fat-free Greek yogurt, a 2 egg-veggie scramble, or breakfast pizzas.

Pepperoni Pizza Egg Cups

  • 12 Slices Unsulphured Deli Pepperoni, cut in half (I buy a pound at a time from the butcher at Whole Foods)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 TBLS Milk or Heavy Cream
  • 1 Slice Provolone Cheese, cut in quarters
  • 1 TBLS Diced Green Onion
  • 2 TBLS Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Line 4 cups in a 12 hole muffin tin with the pieces of pepperoni.  Place the muffin tin in the oven and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove pan from the oven and move the semi formed pepperoni cups to new holes.  Sop up the grease from the holes they cooked in.

Place one 1/4 piece of the cheese within each pepperoni cup and the green onion between the 4 cups.  Put the pan back into the oven for 3 minutes.

Lightly beat the eggs with the milk and divide them between the 4 cups.  Sprinkle the top of each with the cheddar cheese.  Bake for an additional 9 – 10 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked through, and then remove from the oven.

Immediately loosen and remove the egg cups from the pan.  Serve immediately or store in a tightly covered container.  Reheat in microwave for 30-45 seconds.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Keto Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

cheeseburgercasserole

Your family will have no clue this is Keto!  Throw a green salad alongside and it will be just like eating a bunless burger at a restaurant!  I had barely put this on the plates before my family was scarfing it down and asking for seconds.  Next time I will definitely need to double this recipe!

Keto Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

  • 1/2 pound thick cut bacon cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • 1/2 small red onion chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound 90/10 ground sirloin
  • 2 dill pickles chopped
  • 2 Roma tomatoes chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 TBLS tomato paste
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2+1/2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Cajun seasoning (if desired)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Cook the bacon and onions in a high sided dutch oven or over sized skillet.  Drain, put into an 8 x 8 baking dish, and put into a pre-heated 350° F oven. Season the beef with the Cajun seasoning, and brown it with the garlic in the same pan used for the onion & bacon.

Combine the eggs, whipping cream and 1 Cup of the cheese and set aside.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the browned meat from the pan to get as much of the grease/liquid out as possible.  Combine the meat with the tomato paste and then layer the meat mixture on on top of the bacon.  Next add tomatoes and pickles to the top of the meat layer in the pan.  Pour the egg mixture over the top of everything (Do NOT stir).  Top with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 15 – 22 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and browned on top.  Let the casserole set 5 – 10 minutes before cutting.

Mine served 6 very generous portions. Serve with Frank’s Red Hot sauce. You could also make it fancy and top with lettuce and some diced tomato & avocado. This recipe is definitely a keeper.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Air Fried Coconut Shrimp

You might be able to tell I’m obsessed with my air fryer.  It’s so stinkin’ easy to use, clean up, and it’s great for healthy cooking!  The best part of having the air fryer is that the possibilities with it are endless.  All I’ve had to do so far is go to Google for recipe inspiration.  Today’s ingredient: raw shrimp.

airfriedcoconutshrimp

Coconut Shrimp with Honey Lime Sauce

  • 1/2 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour
  • 1+1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Large Eggs (I use Eggland’s Best)
  • 2/3 Cup Unsweetened Flaked Coconut
  • 1/3 Cup Panko Crumbs
  • 24 Medium Peeled, Deveined Raw Shrimp, Tail-on
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Lime Juice
  • 1 Serrano Chile, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp Chopped Fresh Cilantro (Optional)

Stir together flour and pepper in a shallow dish.  Lightly beat eggs in a second shallow dish.  Stir together coconut and Panko in a third shallow dish.  Holding each shrimp by the tail, dredge shrimp in flour mixture, making sure not to coat tail; shake off excess.  Dip in egg, allowing any excess to drip off.  Dredge in coconut mixture, pressing to adhere.  Coat shrimp well with cooking spray.

Place half of the shrimp in air fryer basket in a single layer, and cook at 400°F until golden, 6 to 8 minutes, turning shrimp over halfway through cooking.  If you have larger shrimp it may take up to 10 minutes.  Season with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt.  Repeat with remaining shrimp and salt.

While shrimp cook, whisk together honey, lime juice, and Serrano chile in small bowl. Sprinkle shrimp with cilantro, if desired.  Serve with sauce.  Note: If you are keeping to a Keto lifestyle, skip the honey based sauce and just squeeze a bit of lime juice on instead.

Serving size 6 shrimp.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Nutrition Information per serving (Shrimp only – no sauce):  Calories 213  Fat 11  CarbsProtein 14

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Cooking Frozen Chicken Breasts

airfriedchickenSometimes, when you haven’t planned ahead, you get backed into a corner trying to make dinner with no thawed meat.  If you have a bag of #FlashFrozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts in your freezer, you don’t have to #ThrowInTheTowel and call for a pizza.  With your air fryer you can still salvage a quick and healthy dinner and look like you planned it all along. #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Usually air frying thawed boneless chicken breasts at 375° F, takes about 13 minutes.  When they are frozen I kick the temperature up and add 6 to 12 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the breasts.

4 breasts fit in my 6 quart air fryer, so I place them into the basket, set my temperature to 400° F and set the timer for 18 minutes. 

Open the fryer at about 8 minutes to turn the breasts over (for even browning) and continue cooking.  Check each chicken breast at about 14 minutes, by slicing into the thickest part of the breast, in order to ensure that is well-done.  Mine weren’t quite done at 14 minutes, so I added another 4 minutes and they came out perfectly browned, juicy and ready to decide what to do with them.

I can shred the breasts and turn them into #ChickenTacos,  cut the breasts into strips to top a #ChickenSalad, cut them into chunks and toss with some Buffalo sauce to eat as a snack, leave the breasts whole to serve alongside some vegetables for a healthy, low carb dinner, or leave them whole and make a #ChickenSandwich on grilled sourdough or a hamburger bun.  Once the chicken is cooked, you’re limited only by what other ingredients you have on hand.

Ham Wrapped Asparagus

asparaguswithhamaf2Talking to friends, I have heard a lot of them losing hope as the months of their dieting, and slow movements on the scale, drag on.  They’re getting bored with the foods they’re eating, or hate the foods that are promised to be the biggest help in losing weight, particularly eggs, on the #KetoDiet.  As one who suffers occasional food boredom as well, I’ve been sharing some of my favorite #MakeAhead snacks and #GrabAndGo meals that make me less tempted to cheat.

Air Fryer Ham Wrapped Asparagus

  • 8 Spears Fresh Asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • 4 Large Thin Slices Ham, sliced in half (I use Columbus Brand Apple wood Smoked Ham)
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper
  1. Lay asparagus spears in the basket of your air fryer and spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray.  Shake the spears in the basket to make sure the spears are coated.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and shake again before closing the air fryer.
  3. Cook spears for 3 minutes at 400° F, and remove from basket.
  4. Wrap each spear of asparagus with 1/2 piece of ham.
  5. Place back in basket, seam side down and lightly spray again with olive oil spray.
  6. Cook another 5-7 minutes at 400° F, shaking once in the middle of the time, until ham is lightly browned.
  7. Remove spears from basket and serve warm with grained mustard, if desired.

This is a great appetizer, light lunch, or even breakfast.  I love to make some of these and put them into the refrigerator to pack for a midday snack at the office!  #ThisGirlLovesToEat