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

Air Fried Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

buffalochickenmeatballs2After my first air frying test with the avocado fries didn’t bomb, I moved on to the scary territory of chicken.  Chicken can be hard to cook because you need to monitor the temperature very closely.  It has to be cooked enough so you don’t get sick, but if you cook it too much it turns into a rubbery or dry mess.  The out of sight, cook in a drawer without benefit of monitoring with a meat thermometer, method was a little bit daunting.  It turns out I had no reason to fear.

 Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

  • 1+1/2 Pounds Ground Chicken Thigh
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 1 Green Onion chopped
  • 1 Stalk Celery, finely chopped
  • 2 +1/2 TBLS Almond Flour (not finely ground)
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper.
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 – 1+1/2 Cups Buffalo Wing Sauce (I like Frank’s Red Hot)

Layout a sheet of waxed paper on your counter.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, minus the buffalo sauce.  Mix well using your hands.  Mixture will be sticky, I wear disposable gloves.

Roll mixture into about 2″ balls and layout on the wax paper until all of the meat is formed into balls.

Remove the air fryer basket and grease or spray it lightly with olive oil.  Place a single layer of the meatballs into the basket, put it into the air fryer, set the temperature to 400° F and cook for 13 minutes.  When cooking is complete check your meatballs to make sure they are evenly browned all the way around.  If they aren’t, add another 2 minutes time and finish cooking the meatballs.

buffalochickenmeatballs

When time is done, immediately remove the meatballs from the basket to a serving dish and drizzle with the sauce or put the meatballs into a bowl with a lid and toss the meatballs with the sauce to cover them completely in the sauce.  Serve with low carb ranch dressing and carrot & celery sticks if desired.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

 

Crustless BBQ Chicken Quiche

1A hearty, meat-filled quiche can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  If you skip the meat, it’s a great main course on #MeatlessMonday or during #Lent, and is a perfect way to use up #Leftovers!

This week I made more chicken thighs than we could eat, so they became the star of this spicy main dish pie!  I served it alongside a peppery arugula salad and a big glass of #WesterlyWines Côte Blonde Syrah.

Easy Crustless BBQ Chicken Quiche

  • 5 Large Eggs
  • 1/8 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Or any type you choose)
  • 2 Cups Chopped Cooked Chicken Thighs
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Sliced Mushrooms (Any type)
  • 1/2 – 6 oz Can Diced Green Peppers or Jalapeños (If desired)
  • 2 Cups Fresh Greens (Any type I used Spinach)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 TBLS Low Carb BBQ Sauce (I use Stone Brewing Arrogant Bastard)

Preheat oven to 350° F and grease a 9 x 9 square baking pan or Quiche/pie pan generously with olive oil.  Add 1/2 cup of the cheese to the bottom of the pan and set aside.

In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat, add 2 TBLS Olive Oil (I used garlic infused oil).  Add onions, jalapeños, and mushrooms and sauteé until onions are translucent and begin to soften a bit.  Add the spinach, another TBLS of olive oil, and cook another 30 seconds or so, just until the spinach begins to wilt.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Add chopped chicken thighs to the pan.  Stir in the BBQ sauce and cook about 2 minutes.  Remove from pan and scatter across the cheese layer in the prepared pan.  Top the chicken with the Spinach mixture, making sure to distribute evenly around the pan.  Top with the remaining cheese.

In a medium bowl or large mixing cup, combine the eggs, milk, cream, salt & pepper.  Whip thoroughly with a wire whisk.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetable and cheese layers in the pan.  Put pan into preheated oven and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until center is set.  Remove pan from oven and cool on a wire rack.  If eating immediately, slice into 8 wedges and serve warm.

Suggested toppings:

  • Guacamole
  • Sour Cream
  • Chives
  • Sliced Avocado

If meal prepping, slice into 8 sections and put into a large container in the refrigerator to eat during the week.  To reheat: Microwave a single portion on high for 30 seconds, top and enjoy!  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Crustless Veggie Quiche

1One of the easiest ways to meal prep for the week is to throw a Quiche or two together while you are prepping other meals.  A quiche can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  It can be dinner on #MeatlessMonday or during #Lent, and is a great way to clean out your #Leftovers and veggie drawer once a week!

This week I had some tasty ingredients that gave me a hearty, flavorful pie that fed me all week.

Easy Crustless Veggie Quiche

  • 5 Large Eggs
  • 1/8 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Or any type you choose)
  • 2 Cups Chopped Frozen Broccoli
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Onion
  • 1 Cup Sliced Mushrooms (Any type)
  • 2 Cups Fresh Greens (Any type I used Spinach)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (If desired)

Preheat oven to 350° F and grease a 9 x 9 square baking pan or Quiche/pie pan generously with olive oil.  Add 1/2 cup of the cheese to the bottom of the pan and set aside.

In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat, add 2 TBLS Olive Oil (I used garlic infused oil).  Add onions and mushrooms and sauteé until onions are translucent and begin to soften a bit.  Add the spinach, another TBLS of olive oil, and cook another 30 seconds or so, just until the spinach begins to wilt.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Add broccoli and another TBLS of oil to the pan.  Cook about 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and scatter across the cheese layer in the prepared pan.  Top the broccoli with the Spinach mixture, making sure to distribute evenly around the pan.  Top with the remaining cheese.

In a medium bowl or large mixing cup, combine the eggs, milk, cream, salt & pepper.  Whip thoroughly with a wire whisk.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetable and cheese layers in the pan.  Top with red pepper flakes, if desired.  Put pan into preheated oven and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until center is set.  Remove pan from oven and cool on a wire rack.

1a

If eating immediately, slice into 8 wedges and serve warm.  Suggested toppings:

  • Guacamole
  • Sour Cream
  • Chives, Cilantro, or Parsley
  • Sliced Avocado

If meal prepping, slice into 8 sections and put into a large container in the refrigerator to eat during the week.  To reheat: Microwave a single portion on high for 30 seconds, top and enjoy!  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Indoor Grilled Swordfish

swordfish

One of the things I hear people complain about when summer ends is that cook-out season is over.  I’ve always thought that was odd.  My family grilled year round.  I remember my dad and grandpa out on the deck of our mountain cabin, even in the snow, grilling steaks on the BBQ.  For some people though, the harshness of the winters where they live just doesn’t make that an option.  Solution: their oven’s broiler and a good broiler pan!

broilerdrawerI’d never consider it if I had to use the hard to clean, slide out broiler pan drawer that was part of my mom’s 1970’s oven.  Thankfully technology has improved enough to encourage me to give indoor broiling a try.  When I upgraded my slide in range there was a parts order form included. The only thing that caught my eye was an easy to clean broiler pan with a roasting rack.  Once I had the part number it was easy to find, and get it faster, on Amazon.  As soon as I got it, I started experimenting with fast & easy indoor grilling recipes for the winter.  This #KetoFriendly swordfish recipe was so good that my husband forgave me for paying #WholeFoods prices for the #WildCaught delicacy.kitchenaidwhirlpoolbroilerpan

Indoor Grilled Swordfish

  • 2 – 4 to 6 oz swordfish fillets
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • freshly ground sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups arugula
  • sliced cucumber
  • sliced tomato
  • bottled red wine vinaigrette
  • olive oil spray

Swordfish:

Remove the slotted top of the broiler rack and set aside.  Line the inside of the broiler pan with aluminum foil (for easy cleanup).  Spray the roasting rack lightly with olive oil spray and place onto the foil lined broiler pan.

Liberally salt and pepper one side of the swordfish steaks and place, seasoned side down, onto the prepared rack. Salt and pepper the top side of the swordfish steaks, then squeeze your lemon over each steak until you’ve gotten about 2 tsp of juice on each steak.  Brush each steak with the melted butter. Put them under the broiler, about 2 to 3 inches from the heat source. Broil the steaks for about 4 minutes.

Turn the swordfish steaks, squeeze your lemon over each steak, brush each with melted butter and broil for 5 minutes longerDO NOT OVERCOOK or your swordfish will get rubbery.  When your steaks have finished cooking, remove the broiling pan from the oven, set on the stove, and tent loosely with foil while you prepare your salad.

Salad:

Divide the arugula between 2 plates.  Divide your tomatoes between the plates, with then just to the side of the arugula.  Stack & quarter your cucumber slices then divide them between the plates, scattering them atop the arugula.  If it’s avocado season, and you like them, slice one up and add it to the top of your salad.  Lightly dress your salad with 2 TBLS red wine vinaigrette.  You don’t want to overpower the lightness of your fish.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Aguachile de Camarón

AGUACHILE-DE-CAMARÓN-18072016
Photo By Chelsea Kyle

It seems like every appetizer served at parties, large or small, is forbidden to those who follow the low carb lifestyles touted by the Keto, Paleo and Atkins diets, but who has the time, or patience, to spend making some of the recipes for snacks that are allowed?

I went to a couple of my favorite “regular recipe” resources, Epicurious.com and Emeril’s on Planet Green, to see if there were any easy snack recipes that were low carb friendly and was pleasantly surprised! #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Aguachile de Camarón

  • 2 Quarts Water
  • 2 TBLS Kosher Salt
  • 1 Pound Fresh Jumbo Shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 1 English Cucumber, peeled
  • 1 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Cold Water
  • 2 to 3 Fresh Serrano Chiles, sliced
  • 1 TBLS Chopped Fresh Parsley
  1. Combine 2 quarts water and 2 TBLS cup salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil.
  2. Butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tail intact.
  3. Add shrimp and immediately turn off the heat.
  4. Let the shrimp sit until just cooked through, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Place shrimp in colander, run under cold water to stop the cooking, then drain.
  6. In a blender, combine the lime juice, olive oil, chiles, and 1/4 cup of cold water. Process until smooth then season to taste with salt.
  7. In a non-reactive bowl combine the shrimp with the dressing.  Cover and put into the refrigerator for 1 hour. (Can be made up to 4 hours before serving)
  8. Cut the cucumber into thin rectangular slices, about 3 inches long, and divide among 4 small plates.
  9. Arrange the shrimp on top of the cucumber slices, season as needed, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve immediately.

**Non-Reactive Bowl:  Stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass—is necessary when cooking with acidic foods, such as lemon, to prevent the food from reacting with the pan.  Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart an off color and/or off flavor

Salami Crisps (Epicurious)Salami-Crisps

  • 1/4 Pound (very thinly sliced) Genoa Salami, Soppressata, Pepperoni, Pancetta, Jamón Ibérico, Finocchiona, Coppa, or other charcuterie type dry cured meat
  • Cracked Black Pepper (if using an unspiced meat)
  • Parmesan Cheese (if desired)
  1. Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Arrange salami slices in 1 layer on 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  3. If using Parmesan Cheese, sprinkle slices lightly.
  4. Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until edges are crisp and beginning to curl, 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Transfer slices to a rack to cool. (They will crisp as they cool.)

Serving Suggestion:  Small slices of cheese, olive oil marinated feta, or some herbs mixed into cream cheese are all Keto-friendly and would be good served with these crisps.