Fiery Spinach Artichoke Dip

chileartichokedipporkrindsA friend complained that she was spending #SuperBowlSunday at the home of someone who “only eats Keto,” like that was a fate worse than death for her snack choices during the game.  To me that sounded like heaven.  She had no idea what to bring, so I suggested she bring this #KetoFriendly dip with plenty of celery sticks and a couple of bags of pork rinds and she’d be the hit of the party.  I haven’t talked to her today, but she didn’t end up beside me on my couch, so I assume she wasn’t booted from the party. 😉

Fiery Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • 1 TBLS Butter
  • 1 – 4 oz Can Diced Chiles (Any type and heat level) I used Mild Green Chiles today.
  • 3/4 Cup Chopped Green Onion (white and green parts)
  • 3 Cups Fresh Spinach, chopped
  •  1 – 14 oz Can Artichoke Hearts (in water) drained & chopped
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1/8 tsp Cumin
  • 1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease an 8×8 baking pan with butter.  Combine the shredded cheeses in a bowl and set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter.  Add green onions to the butter and saute for 2-3 minutes then add the diced peppers.  Cook another 2 minutes then layer the spinach on top (do not stir in) and continue cooking another 2 minutes.  Add the salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and garlic to the pan and stir to combine the vegetables and spices thoroughly.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine chopped artichokes, cream cheese, and mayonnaise, and mix.  Stir in the vegetable mixture from the pan and 1 Cup of the combined shredded cheese (reserve 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top). Stir until completely combined.

Pour mixture in the greased baking dish and spread evenly.  Top with remaining cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve warm with zero carb pork rinds or low net carb veggies like cucumber slices, celery sticks, florets o broccoli or cauliflower, or slices of bell pepper!

This dip also doubles as a great topping for chicken breasts, pork chops, and even steak!  I’ve even rolled it into slices of deli turkey breast, I’ve had sliced extra thick, for a different take on lunch.  Let me know what you think or how you make it your own! #ThisGirlLovesToEat

 

Rainy Day Keto Veggie Chicken Soup

bssoupWhile veggies are admittedly limited during the most strict part of Keto, there are many ways to incorporate very flavorful options in moderation.  This soup, that serves 4 is one of them.  The higher #GoodFat to calorie percentage, from the olive oil, is perfect for Keto followers!

Keto Carmelized Veggie Chicken Soup

  • 1 Carrot chopped (About 1/2 Cup)
  • 1/ 2 Cup (about 3)  chopped Green Onion (green & white parts)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 8 TBLS Olive Oil, divided
  • 10 – 12 Raw Brussels Sprouts, cut in half
  • 6 Raw Asparagus Spears, chopped into about 1/2″ chunks
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Cooked Chicken Breast either shredded or cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • Freshly Ground Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 TBLS Italian Parsley, chopped

In a 2 quart saucepan, heat 2 TBLS olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add carrot, green onions, and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add another 2 TBLS olive oil and cook another minute while stirring.  Remove carrot mixture from the pan.

Add 2 TBLS olive oil, Brussels sprouts and asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, 6-8 minutes.  Add last 2 TBLS olive oil and return the carrot mixture to the pan.  Cook an additional 3-4 minutes, or until green vegetables start to brown.

Stir in broth.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low.  Add the cooked chicken.  Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Garnish each serving with chopped parsley and shredded Parmesan cheese (if desired).  We spiced ours up with Frank’s Red Hot sauce, but you could also add dried red pepper flakes if you like your soup spicy.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

** Vegetarian option:  Omit the chicken and swap vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

Nutrition Information:  330 Calories  40.5g Fat  21g Protein  1g Carbs

Chocolate Cheesecake Fat Bombs

chocolatecreamcheeseI am a Keto believer, but I have paid little attention to the addition of the fat bombs, touted by Keto experts as a necessity, thinking of them instead as desserts I didn’t need.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Scientists say that, no matter what diet plan you follow, at least 20% of our calories should be from #GoodFats.

  • We need fats to absorb fat soluble Vitamins A, D, E & K
  • Research suggests that monounsaturated fats (from avocados, peanuts & olives) can lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and increase ‘good’ HDL cholesterol
  • Fats take longer to digest, keep blood sugar levels stable, and help us to feel fuller for longer.

While I have lost all of the weight I wanted to initially, and quicker than I thought I would, as I came up on my goal weight I realized that I was starting to lose some of my hard earned muscle tone.  If I was burning so much fat with Keto, how was this possible?  Turns out I was wrong about that as well.  Without adding the required amount of fat to my diet, when my body ran out of fat to burn it was turning to sugars/carbs, of which there are few in a Keto diet, and once those are depleted what’s left to burn?  Muscle!  The same applies to those on any other type of carbohydrate restricted diet, like Atkins.  So, this is me jumping on the #FatBombBandWagon!

Chocolate Cheesecake Fat Bombs

  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 2 oz Confectioners (Powdered) Stevia (Erythritol / Swerve)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 7 oz Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 5 oz Sugar Free Chocolate

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments until smooth when stirred.  Set aside.  Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl, mix on medium speed until smooth.  Add powdered Stevia and Vanilla.  Mix on low speed until combined.  Add the heavy cream.  Mix on medium speed until smooth and beginning to thicken.  Add the melted chocolate and continue mixing on medium speed, until all ingredients are completely combined and the mixture is firm enough to spoon or pipe into small/mini paper lined mini muffin pans or prepared silicone candy molds.  Once all of the liners are filled, cover and chill for at least 3 hours.  The longer they chill the better.  Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and freeze for up to 3 months.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Creamy Bacon-Mushroom Meatloaf

baconmushmeatloaf

Our electrician came by to install a new #Ring camera-light-siren unit on the front walkway today, the one where you can yell at people (I’m so excited), and whistled appreciatively at the smells coming from my kitchen.  As soon as I told him I was making a meatloaf, his attitude changed and he was disappointed.  Why does meatloaf get such a bad rap?  I loved my Mom’s meatloaf…

I’d have no problem serving this meatloaf to guests.  It’s not your Mom’s fatty ground beef, ketchup on top meatloaf at all.  I use high quality ingredients, the sauce is #ToDieFor, the flavors and ingredients pair well with red wine, and it is #KetoFriendly to boot!

Smothered Creamy Bacon-Mushroom Meatloaf

  • 3 Pounds Ground Beef (No leaner than 85/15)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 6 Pieces Thick Cut Bacon (Cut into 1/2″ Chunks)
  • 2 TBLS Butter
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 12 Baby Bellas, Thick Sliced
  • 2 TBLS Worcestershire Sauce
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, eggs, onion powder and a generous amount of salt, and pepper well with your hands and set bowl aside.

In a Dutch oven that will be large enough to hold your meatloaf (5 1/2 Qt), over medium heat cook your bacon until brown and crisp but not overdone.  Remove bacon from pan to drain on paper towel and drain the grease from the pan.  Return pan to medium heat.  Add butter to pan to deglaze.  When butter is melted, add garlic and mushrooms and saute for about 3 minutes until mushrooms become just tender and reduce slightly in size.  Add Worcestershire sauce and bring just to a boil then remove from heat.  Stir drained bacon back in until well coated.

Pour mixture into mixing bowl with meat and then, using hands, incorporate the bacon and mushroom mixture into the meat until it’s well distributed.  Return the meat mixture to the Dutch oven and shape into a rough loaf.

Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the very center of the loaf reads 145°F .  Remove from the oven and tent with foil for about 10 minutes.  This will give you medium-well ends and medium in the center.  You can adjust your cooking time for the degree of doneness you like your ground beef/meatloaf.

bmmeatloafplated

Creamy Bacon Mushroom Sauce

  • 4 Slices Thick Cut Bacon (Cut with kitchen shears into 1/8″ strips)
  • 8-10 Baby Bella Mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 TBLS Butter
  • 1 Clove Garlic Minced
  • 1 Cup Beef Broth
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 tsp Dried Marjoram
  • Freshly Ground Sea Salt & Pepper to taste

In a small heavy gauge sauce pan, fry the cut bacon until browned, but not over crisp.  Remove bacon from pan to drain on paper towel and drain the grease from the pan.  Return pan to medium heat.  Add butter to pan to deglaze.  When butter is melted, add garlic and mushrooms and saute for about 3 minutes until mushrooms start to become tender.  Add the beef broth to the pan and bring to a boil.  Return the bacon to the pan, add the marjoram and cook for about 3 minutes stirring occasionally.   Add the cream and cook for about 3 more minutes, stirring constantly.   Remove from heat and season with salt & pepper to taste.

Spoon Sauce over sliced meatloaf.

This sauce is also great over pork chops and chicken.   #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Weekday Breakfast to Go

eggbitesbaconmushroom

Despite following a #KetoLifestyle, I am lazy about making myself a proper weekday breakfast.  Before switching to the low-carb diet plan, I often ate oatmeal with berries, but, because that isn’t allowed on Keto, I’ve had to give that particular pleasure up. 😦

I need to do a better job of spacing my meals out, so I’m not starving by the time I finally eat a meal, so I’m diving into the craze I’ve heard about but never tried: pressure cooker egg bites.  Once I looked at the recipes, I realized that they’re like a fluffy crustless quiche or hand held omelette, two things I love!  Since I have the tools I need to make them: an electric pressure cooker and a silicone egg mold insert, there’s no excuse left for not giving them a try.

There are many different ways to make egg bites.

  • Pure Protein – featuring just eggs, or eggs and meat
  • Vegetarian – using an egg substitute and vegetables, tofu, vegetarian cheese, or other sources of protein
  • Combo – eggs, meat, cheese and veggies
  • Super Combo – eggs, meat, cheese, veggies, plus cottage or ricotta cheese

Pressure Cooker Egg Bites

  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheese – I used 1/2 Cup Sharp Cheddar & 1/2 Cup Pepper Jack
  • 2 TBLS Finely Diced Onion
  • 2 TBLS Finely Chopped Bacon
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Baby Bella Mushrooms (Or Fresh Spinach Stemmed, Rolled and Chopped)
  • 1/4 Cup Yellow or Green Zucchini Diced (Or Bell Peppers)
  • 1/4 tsp Oregano (if desired)
  • 1/2 tsp Cajun Spice (if desired)
  • Freshly Ground Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Using olive oil spray, or olive oil and a paper towel, grease each individual cup of the egg bite mold.

In a pan, over medium heat, cook the bacon until browned, then add onion, mushrooms and zucchini and cook for about 3 minutes.

Whisk the eggs with your seasonings in a large measuring cup.  Add the cooked vegetable mixture and cheese and stir well.  Spoon or pour mixture into egg bite mold. It should fill all spots evenly to just below rim.  Cover egg mold with foil.

Add 1 1/2 c water to pressure cooker. Put trivet inside and set egg bite mold onto the trivet.  Close the lid and set machine to cook on high for 8 minutes and then allow to release naturally for 4 minutes.  Immediately remove the egg bite mold and then remove the egg bites from the mold so that they do not sit in any water that has pooled in the bottom of the mold.

Eat immediately or cool sightly then store in a covered container in the refrigerator to reheat for later meals or snacks.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat


Nutrition Facts
Calories 109 Calories from Fat 63
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 137mg
Sodium 208mg
Potassium 96mg
Total Carbohydrates 1g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A 14.6%
Vitamin C 15.1%
Calcium 12%
Iron 4.4%


Refrigerator Soup

Nothing is worse than realizing that you have a refrigerator full of expensive groceries that are nearing the end of their freshness and it’s time to cook them or they’ll go to waste.

Unfortunately I found myself in just that situation today, with a ridiculous amount of post New Year’s ingredients that were past their ability to be frozen, so a week’s worth of meal prepping #BetterThanUsual meals began with a soup that my family usually boycotts.  I’m betting that, with a pound of filet mignon, they won’t be boycotting this one. 😉  The bonus for me is that it is #KetoFriendly

refrigeratorsoup

Refreigerator Keto Soup

  • 2 Pieces Thick Cut Bacon cut into 1/4″ strips
  • 1/2 Medium Onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp Fresh Thyme chopped
  • 3/4 Pound Uncooked Steak cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 Medium Zucchini chopped into 1/2″ chunks
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes chopped (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 Can Campbells Condensed Beef Consommé + 1 Can Water or 2 Cans Beef Broth
  • Freshly ground sea salt & pepper to taste

Over medium heat, cook bacon until almost brown.  Add in onion, garlic, and thyme.  Sauté about 5 minutes then add the steak and cook over medium-low heat until just browned.

Add the tomatoes and zucchini and stir in.  Cook about 5 minutes.  Salt and pepper liberally.  Add the consommé and water to the pan and return the heat to medium.  Bring the soup to a boil then return to the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for about 30 minutes.

Serve with shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese over to top if desired.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Keto Friendly – Zoodles Alfredo

filetandZA

I was looking for a quick and tasty, but not boring, side dish to serve with the filet mignon steaks I grabbed from the butcher on the way home tonight and this recipe gave me a great excuse to try out the #ImpulsePurchase of the #SpiralifePro vegetable spiral slicer that I made on Amazon last month.  #WinWin

Zoodles Alfredo

  • 2 Medium Zucchini
  • Freshly Ground Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 2 TBLS Butter
  •  4 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3 oz Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Clove Garlic Minced
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper (to taste)

zuccalfredo.jpgUsing a spiralizer or hand held strip peeler, prepare your zucchini, pile onto a cutting board lined with paper towel or a hand towel and salt generously with the pink sea salt to help draw out as much water as possible.

In a small frying pan, heat about 1 TBLS of olive oil and add the zucchini to the pan.  Stir-fry until heated through then turn heat off.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter then add the garlic, the cream cheese and whipping cream.  Stir until the cream cheese has melted and is combined with the whipping cream.  Simmer for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from scorching.  Sauce will be thick and very cheesy.

Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.  Adjust the seasonings.

Add as much sauce as desired to the zucchini in the frying pan and toss the zucchini until it’s well coated.  Super thick and satisfying.  Store extra sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat