Three Pepper Cacio de Pepe

Recipes like this are why it’s so damn hard to stay Keto. 😂😂😂 Food & Wine Magazine just keeps enticing me to #TheDarkSide!

Three Pepper Cacio e Pepe

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed pink peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground Tellicherry pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Szechuan pepper
  • 12 ounces uncooked bronze-cut fusilli col buco pasta (such as Giusto Sapore) or bucatini pasta
  • 1 1/2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, grated with a Microplane grater (about 1 cup), plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated with a Microplane grater (about 1 cup)

Get Thee to Whole Foods!

Food & Wine Magazine shared the tip that, today, Whole Foods announced it’s bringing back its popular 12 Days of Cheese promotion. Because Whole Foods loves us and wants us to be happy, 😉 from December 12 to 23, we can eat our way through a choice of high-quality artisanal cheeses at ridiculously prices!

Each day from December 12 to 23, Whole Foods’ will make a different one of its “highest-quality cheeses available at a generous discount, from artisans like 2019–20 World Cheese Award–winner Rogue Creamery.” That discount: 50 percent off—with an additional 10 percent off if you’re a Prime member. This is reason enough to renew my #AmazonPrime membership! #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Here’s a cheat-sheet of the 2019 sale lineup – bonus, Whole Foods loves to let you sample:

Dec. 12: Roth Pavino
“Rich, earthy, medium-firm Alpine cheese with notes of sweet hazelnut. Exclusive to Whole Foods Market.”

Dec. 13: Istara P’tit Basque
“Aged a minimum of 70 days, this creamy and smooth sheep milk cheese has a mild, nutty flavor with a subtle, sweet finish.”

Dec. 14: Uplands Cheese Pleasant Ridge Reserve
“A cow’s milk Alpine-style cheese modeled after favorites like Le Gruyère and Beaufort, with flavors ranging from milky to nutty and grassy. The Pleasant Ridge Reserve is America’s most awarded cheese.”

Dec. 15: Neal’s Yard Dairy Keen’s Cheddar
“This cheese is dense yet creamy with complex flavors ranging from fruity to sweet butterscotch. Each wheel has been hand selected by our experts.”

Dec. 16: Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog
“A goat’s milk soft-ripened American original with a beautiful ribbon of edible ash through the center. Floral, herbaceous overtones, buttermilk and fresh cream flavors.”

Dec. 17: Emmi Cave Aged Le Gruyère
“A firm, almost crumbly Alpine cheese. Robust, deeply flavored, with tangy fruit notes and classic nuttiness.”

Dec. 18: Sweet Grass Dairy Thomasville Tomme
“Raw cow’s milk, handcrafted cheese with a semi-firm texture. Rich, earthy flavors with a finish of light salt, grass and tangy cream.”

Dec. 19: Mitica Cordobes
“Made with Castellana and Merino sheep milk from Spain. Rich and buttery flavors balanced by bright acidity and nutty undertones. Exclusive to Whole Foods Market.”

Dec. 20: Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue
“Aged at least 90 days in Roquefort modeled caves, this organic cheese has briny, earthy flavors with notes of sweet cream and huckleberry. Rogue Creamery recently made history by producing the first American cheese ever to win top honors at the World Cheese Awards in Bergamo, Italy.”

Dec. 21: Klare Melk Truffle Gouda
“Rich, flavorful, semi-firm cheese. Velvety notes of sweet cream and butter, generously laced with earthy truffles.”

Dec. 22: Cellars at Jasper Hill Harbison with Prosecco
“Soft-ripened, buttery, woodsy and sweet with balanced tones of mustard. A wash in Presto prosecco brings out bright citrus flavors. Exclusive to Whole Foods Market.”

Dec. 23: MonS Mary dans les Étoiles
“Stunning, ash-coated geo-rind goat cheese. Creamy and grassy, finished with light citrus notes. Exclusive to Whole Foods Market.”

Instant Pot Spicy Tomato Bisque

TomatoBisque

I bought some organic tomatoes on the vine and a pint of grape tomatoes that I hadn’t finished but didn’t want to go to waste.  Tomato soup is my favorite, but the canned variety is SO full of carbs…enter the #InstantPot and, 20 minutes later, viola #LowCarbTomatoBisque!

Spicy Tomato Bisque

  • 2 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Onion (1 Small to Medium Onion)
  • 3 Ribs Celery, Chopped (About 3/4 Cup)
  • 2 Medium Carrots, Peeled & Cut into 1/2″ Slices
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
  • 4-6 Medium Tomatoes, Quartered (I used 4 + 2/3 Pint of Grape Tomatoes)
  • 1/2 TBLS Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 TBLS Dried Parsley
  • 1/2 TBLS Dried Basil
  • 1 – 10.5 oz Can Beef Consommé (or Vegetable Broth for Vegetarian) + 1/2 Can Water
  • Dried Red Pepper Flakes (if desired)
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese (if desired)

Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add the oil to warm.  Add onion, celery, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, oregano, basil and parsley cook for about 3 minutes.

Add Consommé/Broth and red pepper if using.  Mix well.  Close the Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing and set to cook for 9 minutes.

When cycle is complete, set valve to quick release, open the Instant Pot, and puree the soup using an immersion blender.  I prefer mine a little bit chunky.

Set the Instant Pot to Saute mode.  Stir in cream and adjust spices with salt & pepper as needed. Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Nutrition Information:  Serves 6

  • 152.5  Calories
  • 13g  Fat
  • 6.5 g  Carbs
  • 2 g  Protein

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Keto Strawberry Ice Cream

strawberryiceecream

It’s amazing how easy it can be to make something forbidden on the #KetoDiet suddenly OK just by changing a few ingredients!  I am an admitted ice cream addict and have missed my Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia more than I ever imagined I would.  After seeing how easily I made this strawberry ice cream #KetoFriendly, I’ll be trying my hand at a Copy Cat of my favorite frozen guilty pleasure!  Next time I may even add a tablespoon or two of Grand Marnier to the strawberries (instead of the lemon juice) as they are macerating for a little kick of adult enjoyment!  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Keto Strawberry Ice Cream

  • 2 Cups Hulled and Chopped Fresh Strawberries (I like mine chunky)
  • 3 TBLS Truvia Cane Sugar/Stevia Blend
  • 4 tsp (1+1/2 TBLS) Fresh Lemon Juice (juice from 1 small lemon)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Half & Half

In sealed container, combine the strawberries, Truvia and lemon juice and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Meanwhile combine vanilla, heavy whipping cream, and 1/2 & 1/2 in a 2 cup measuring cup or bowl and refrigerate or 30 minutes.

After strawberries have macerated at least 30 minutes, mash them up a bit with a potato masher or meat tenderizer then add them to your frozen ice cream maker bowl.  Pour your liquid ingredients into the ice cream maker bowl on top of the strawberries.

Turn your machine and process the ice cream until it reaches your desired consistency.  It took me 15 minutes to reach a solid soft serve in my Cuisinart 2 Quart Frozen Yogurt & Ice Cream Maker.

If you want your ice cream to have a firmer consistency you can scoop it into a single container with a lid or, like I did, scoop it in 2 oz portions, into small containers for single servings.

Nutrition Information (8 – 2 oz servings)

  • 140 Calories
  • 12 g Fat
  • 4 g Carbs
  • 2 g Protein

Keto Friendly Anytime Smoothie

AnytimeSmoothieDeciding how you spend your carb allowance, when you are following a #KetoLifestyle, presents you with many options, depending on what stage of Keto you are at.  When you are in your induction and weight loss phase, smoothies are generally not the way to spend your day’s allotted carbohydrates, but this one tops out at 9 Net Carbs so it can be included from day 1.  This light and frothy smoothie a great #PickMeUp for that late afternoon slump plus it gives you a big protein, vitamin and fiber boost without piling on the calories.

Once you’ve hit maintenance phase smoothies packed with a higher berry to spinach ratio are a great way to get your fruits and veggies in with relatively little impact on your carb count.

Keto Friendly Anytime Smoothie

  • 1 Cup Cold Water
  • 1 Cup Halved Strawberries
  • 2 Cups (packed) Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 1 Scoop No Carb Protein Powder (I use Isopure Zero Carb Creamy Vanilla)
  • 1 Cup Ice Cubes

Starting with your water, put all of your ingredients, except your ice, into your blender or Vitamix.  If you have a smoothie setting, like I do on my Vitamix, include the ice, switch to that mode and hit start.  Your Vitamix will stop when it’s ready.  Otherwise, start on a low setting until ingredients are combined then turn your machine up to medium high and blend until smooth.  Without turning your machine off, Open your ingredient addition port (hole in top of blender lid) and add in the ice until desired consistency.

Nutrition Information (Serves 1)

  • 162 Calories
  • 0 g Fat
  • 8 g Carbohydrates
  • 28 g Protein

Cheesy Keto Cauli-Grits

I like a big breakfast and thought that living a Keto Lifestyle limited my breakfast choices.  A little experimentation corrected that notion.

1

Truth be told, I failed miserably on my first attempt at this recipe.  I envisioned a perfectly browned patty that resembled hash browns on the outside but inside had the creamy deliciousness of cheesy grits.  Not so much.  The ingredients were fine, it was that I thought using a lightly oiled cast iron pan would give me the results I wanted.  Instead I ended up with a burned mess that was impossible to turn.  Strike One!

The second attempt though nailed it!  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Cheesy Keto Cauli-Grits

  • 2 Cups Shredded Cauliflower
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Sea Salt

Tip:  I used my Vitamix to pulse the cauliflower down to rice sized crumbles.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a food processor, blender, or Vitamix, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, salt & pepper, and cauliflower.  Process until combined but not completely smooth.

Scoop the mixture (about 1/4 cup) into mounds about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.  Lightly press each mound down to about 1/2″ thickness.

Bake in 350° oven for 18-20 minutes, or until tops turn golden brown.  Remove from oven and leave on baking sheet to cool for 5 minutes.

Serve alongside scrambled eggs and bacon for a perfect Keto breakfast, or alongside beef, chicken, or fish for a perfect dinner side dish.

Nutrition Information per Patty (8 Servings)

  • 83.25 Calories
  • 7.2 g Fat
  • 1 g Carbs
  • 3.32 g Protein

Foolproof Cauliflower Crust

If at first you don’t succeed…listen to the experts and get a pizza stone if you don’t have one.  I got mine at Pampered Chef, but this Weber 8836 with the carrying tray is a great one too:

Next, find a video how-to on Epicurious.com.


Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Tomatoes & Mozzarella

  • 1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 pound), coarsely chopped
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan (about 3 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup finely ground almond meal or almond flour
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella (about 5 ounces), divided
  • Vegetable oil (for brushing)
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Arrange a rack in middle of oven; place pizza stone or inverted (if rimmed) baking sheet on rack. Preheat to 425°F.
  2. Working in batches if needed, pulse cauliflower in a food processor fitted with the blade, or grate using the medium holes of a box grater, until fine crumbs form and are rice-like in texture. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel and tightly squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible.
  3. Mix cauliflower, egg, Parmesan, almond meal, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl until mixture holds together when pinched.
  4. Line pizza peel or second baking sheet with parchment paper; generously brush with oil. Form cauliflower mixture into a 12″ circle with your hands on parchment. Using a rolling pin, make thickness as even as possible. Carefully slide parchment onto preheated pizza stone or baking sheet.
  5. Bake cauliflower crust until golden brown and firm to the touch, rotating halfway through, 20–22 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with 1 1/4 cups mozzarella. Top with sauce, using the back of a spoon to spread over cheese. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella.
  7. Slide pizza back onto pizza stone or baking sheet and continue to bake until bubbly and browned in spots, 5–7 minutes. Top with basil and red pepper, if using. Let sit 5 minutes, then cut into 6–8 wedges.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat