Crispy Keto Taco Shells

Tomorrow is #CincoDeMayo and, if you’re Keto like me, you can feel left out. This recipe for Keto taco shells changes that in a flash! Most people just make a taco shell from cheese, much like the #FatBomb cheese crisps I love, but Sugar Free Londoner made a shell that’s crispy and more like a hard shell, with 1.1 net grams of carbs per shell, that I’m pretty excited about. #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Crispy Keto Taco Shells

  • 2+1/4 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Flour (25 g)
  • 2 tsp Ground Psyllium Husk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 Celsius / 350 Fahrenheit.

  2. Mix all ingredients in a food processor or with an electric mixer until they resemble small crumbs. 

  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw circles of 6 inch / 15 cm diameter on the parchment. I traced around a small saucepan lid, but you can use any round object that size. 

  4. Scoop 1/4 cup of the taco shell mix onto each circle and spread out inside the circle.

  5. Place a second parchment paper on top and press down the dough with your hands or use a rolling pin. Press down well – you want it nice and compacted

  6. Remove the top parchment paper and bake in the oven for 7 minutes or until the edges of each taco have browned. 

  7. Remove from the oven and hang each taco shell over the side of a large saucepan until cooled. I like to use something a little bit wider than a pan edge, like a piece of sanded, clean 1/2″ dowling, so that there’s more room inside to stuff with fillings.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving 1 Taco Shell (23 g)

Calories 103 Calories from Fat 57
Total Fat 6.3g Saturated Fat 4.1g
Total Carbohydrates 3.3g Dietary Fiber 2.2gSugars 1.1g
Protein 8g

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

Banana Muffin Tops

muffintops2I’m in the maintenance phase of Keto, where I have more leeway with the number of carbs I’m eating, which makes me a lot happier.  I’ve missed bread & pizza the most, but don’t want to completely erase my positive health gains by going back to high carbohydrate baked goods.  That leaves me few choices because, frankly, I have been very unimpressed with #KetoApproved recipes for breads.  It’s been really frustrating.

I’m stubborn though, so I keep trying.  I am still working to modify my recipes to create  #KetoFriendly baked goods that don’t taste like cardboard, have a too-dense, unenjoyable texture, and that I’d want to eat more than once.  This one was a win!

Banana Muffin Tops

  • 1 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats (they’re Gluten Free)
  • 1/2 Cup Ground Flax Seed
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Liquid Stevia
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 2 Medium Ripe Bananas (6″-7″), mashed
  • Chopped Macadamia Nuts, Walnuts, Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Chips, Unsweetened Coconut Flakes (if desired)

Preheat oven to 350° F and lightly spray a baking sheet or muffin top pan with cooking spray (TIP: Don’t use an Olive Oil based spray – it will change the flavor of your muffin tops).

Combine oats, flax seed, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, lightly beat the eggs, then mix in vanilla, stevia, milk, and mashed bananas.  (TIP:  If you are adding unsweetened coconut to your muffin tops, add it into the wet mixture)  Leave mixer on low and slowly add dry ingredients until well combined.  Let the batter sit for 5 minutes.

If you are using a muffin top pan: Divide the batter equally between 12 top-cups.  Make sure you mound the batter – don’t smooth the batter flat. (TIP:  If you are adding nuts or chocolate chips, etc., to your muffin tops, gently press those items on top of your mounded batter)  Bake for 20 minutes and allow to sit in the pan to cool for 5 minutes before removing to cooling racks.

If you are using a cookie sheet: Divide the batter into 6 equal mounds per sheet remembering not to smooth the batter flat.  Tops will spread a little bit, so space them out on the baking sheet.  Bake for 18 – 20 minutes and allow to sit on the pan to cool for 5 minutes before removing to cooling racks.

Store the muffin tops in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.  These are great plain, but you can also spread peanut butter or cream cheese on them for an extra decadent treat.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Pizza Egg Cups

5

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

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

Sometimes Keto Sucks

Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly proud of the 44 pounds I have lost since I decided to convert to a #KetoLifestyle in November of 2018.  By being mostly good, I have lost all but 5 of the pounds since I got married 19 years ago.  But I was really skinny when I got married, and that wasn’t my goal at all.  It’s certainly been a really nice benefit to need to have all of my clothes taken in though!  My goals actually were:

  • To lose the 30 pounds that 8 surgeries in 4 years had added to my not big body
  • To see if a #KetoDiet would help reduce my deep tissue inflammation
  • To see if removing processed foods from my diet would allow me to eliminate any of the cocktail of medications that I’d been relying on for 8 years to be able to walk and even to sleep at night.

Happily going #Keto did all of that, but no good thing comes without a cost.  In my case, the cost is that I am a serious bread, cracker and pasta-a-holic and I hate every recipe I’ve tasted for the, so called, lo-carb replacements.  They came out pretty much tasteless and, to be completely honest, they blow. #IMissBread but even more, #IMissPizza 

I set out on a quest to solve that problem and discovered Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour!

BRMPaleoPizza

Keto Friendly Paleo Pizza Crust

  • 1+1/4 Cups Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 TBLS Water
  • 2 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Dried Basil and/or Oregano if desired

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a baking sheet or pizza pan.

In a small bowl, combine Paleo Baking Flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, water and oil. Add flour blend and mix thoroughly. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Roll out and shape dough between two pieces of oiled parchment paper. Remove and discard top piece of parchment and slide bottom parchment and crust onto the baking sheet or pizza pan.

Bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and add your favorite toppings, then bake for an additional 5–7 minutes. Increase the heat to 400°F for the last 5 minutes for a well-done.

Now I just need to remember, everything in moderation.  Just because Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour is Low Carb, doesn’t mean I can wolf down the entire pizza in one sitting. 😉 #ThisGirlLovesToEat

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.