Creamed spinach may not seem like a side dish that pairs well with the traditional Thanksgiving meal, but the creamy richness is an especially nice companion to turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing, and a nice change from the same old green bean casserole. It’s also great with ham and, of course, any type of beef. It’s #GlutenFree when you use #BobsRedMill Paleo Baking Flour and pretty #KetoFriendly too! #ThisGirlLovesToEat
Creamed Spinach with Bacon
- 2 – 16 oz pkgs Frozen Chopped Spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 3 Cups Warm Whole Milk
- 1 Pound Bacon, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 Cup Finely Chopped Onions
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2/3 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour (Grain & Gluten Free)
- 6 TBLS Butter, melted
Cook bacon slowly until browned but not crispy. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate and leave the grease in the pan. Over medium heat, cook the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent.
Add the salt & pepper and stir in the flour. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes, until a very light brown, fluffy roux forms. Slowly stir in the warm milk (I microwave mine in a Pyrex measuring cup for about 2 minutes) and stir until smooth.
Add the bacon back into the pan and cook for about another minute, stirring continuously. Add the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, over low-medium heat until all of the spinach is mixed in and warmed through.
Cover the top with the melted butter until ready to serve.
Nutrition Information: (Makes 12 – 14 Half Cup Servings)
- 165 Calories
- 5 g Carbohydrates
- 6.4 g Fat
- 8.2 g Protein
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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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While my market still has asparagus in the produce department, I’m making soup! #ThisGirlLovesToEat
Quick & Easy Keto Asparagus Soup
- 1 Sweet Yellow Onion, chopped
- 1 TBLS Olive Oil
- 2 Pounds Fresh Asparagus, chopped into 1″ pieces (discard ends)
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 3 Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Stock
- 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 Cup Chopped Pancetta or Prosciutto, sautéed
- 2 TBLS chopped chives
- Freshly Gound Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste
In a large dutch oven, over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion becomes translucent.
Add the asparagus and chicken stock to the pot. Cover and boil until the asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes. Check for tenderness by stabbing with a fork. Add the heavy cream to the pot and cook for an additional minute. Season with salt & pepper.
Transfer the soup to your Vitamix, blender, or food processor and process until smooth. Make sure there are no chunks of asparagus. You want a really smooth soup.
Divide soup between 6 bowls and garnish with the pancetta/prosciutto and chives.
Now that I’ve gone to #2ADays with original recipes plus a little something extra, I thought the perfect way to start is with this breakfast to grab and go!
A new spin on a Keto staple.
This recipe is so versatile that it could be:
- A side dish for chicken, seafood, beef, pork, or grilled vegetables
- A base layer for a sweet flavored (like Keto Sweet & Sour Chicken) Asian inspired main dish bowl
- A bed for kebabs
- A layer in a cold chicken salad
- A taco or burrito ingredient, or even
- Chilled and served as a “rice pudding” type dessert.
Tip: This dish is better a day (or at least a few hours) after it’s been made and refrigerated, then reheated.
Coconut Lime Cauliflower Rice
- 1 TBLS Butter
- 1 Clove Garlic, Crushed into a Paste (I use jarred, crushed garlic)
- 1 Medium-Large Head Cauliflower, Riced (About 6 Cups)
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Lite Coconut Milk
- 1 TBLS Lime Juice
- Zest from 1 Lime
Heat the butter and garlic in a skillet over medium heat.
Steam the riced cauliflower in a microwave steamer for 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower rice to the skillet, sprinkle with salt and cook for 2 minutes before adding in the coconut milk and lime juice. Cook the rice for 8 minutes stirring frequently until the rice has completely softened and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Sprinkle the rice with lime zest before serving. #ThisGirlLovesToEat
Nutrition Information per serving – 6 Servings
- 68 Calories
- 2.5 g Fat
- 6 g Carbohydrates
- 2 g Protein
Because many of the sauces are so full of sugar and corn starch and the dishes are so carb heavy, with rice or egg noodles as a bed for the featured protein, most traditional Chinese food is very unfriendly to those following a #KetoLifestyle. This kid-pleasing dish is one of the few I’ve been able to adapt without ruining the spirit of the original.
Keto Sweet & Sour Chicken with Broccoli
- Olive Oil Spray
- 1 Pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
- Juice and 1 + 1/2 tsp Grated Zest of 1 Medium Orange
- 12 oz Small Broccoli Florets
- 1 Orange or Red Bell Pepper cut into 1/2″ – 1″ chunks
- 3 TBLS Rice Vinegar
- 2 TBLS Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 TBLS Xanthan Gum
- 2 TBLS Honey
- 1 TBLS Crushed Garlic
- 1/4 tsp Dried Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 TBLS Sliced Almonds
- 1 Green Onion, Chopped
- White Sesame Seeds
Whisk vinegar, soy sauce, and Xanthan gum in a small bowl. Stir in the salt and red pepper flakes and set aside.
Spray large skillet with Olive Oil Spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, 6-8 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.
Add juice from the orange and cook for 15-30 seconds, stirring up any browned bits fro the pan. Add broccoli & bell pepper and cook about 4 minutes, or until they’re just crisp-tender.
Add the honey and garlic to vinegar mixture, then add to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook about 1 minute, stirring continuously until the sauce begins to thicken. Return chicken to the pan and continue cooking for another minute, stirring to make sure that all of the broccoli and chicken are well coated with the sauce. Remove from heat and stir in slivered almonds, chopped green onion, & orange zest.
Serve over steamed or stir-fried cauliflower rice. Top each serving with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and, if you like more spice, additional red pepper flakes.
Nutrition Information (6 Servings)
- 163 Calories
- 3 g Fat
- 7 g Carbohydrates
- 19 g Protein
Nutrition Information (4 Servings)
- 244 Calories
- 5 g Fat
- 11 g Carbohydrates
- 29 g Protein
Being 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
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
This is the recipe made famous by the Southern California prime rib institution, Gulliver’s, with the barest of modifications to take away the baby food consistency and make it meatier. There is also a seamless modification to make this a perfect Keto side dish.
Chunky Bacon Creamed Spinach
- 2 – 16 oz packages frozen chopped spinach
- 12 pieces thick cut bacon (Usually a 12 oz pkg) I buy from the butcher so it may be more than 12 oz
- 3 cups milk (I recommend whole milk)
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped (1 1/2 tsp if jarred minced garlic)
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour (for Keto use 1/3 cup almond flour)
Thaw spinach and squeeze as much liquid out as possible.
Cut bacon into about 1″ pieces and cook in a large saucepan or medium dutch oven on the stove top over medium heat until it’s brown but not yet crispy. You want as much fat to render as possible so it’s not too chewy. Using tongs, remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towel.
Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. While onions are cooking, microwave your milk on high for 4 minutes. Stir in pepper and flour, stirring continuously for about 2 minutes.
TIP: Pre-packaged bacon tends to be fattier, so you’ll have more grease and a better roux. You may need to add a little butter (olive oil if you used almond flour) to the pan to give your mixture a better consistency if it’s too dry, if you used bacon with less visible fat. If your bacon gave off more grease than whichever flour you used could absorb, add more a teaspoon at a time, thoroughly stirring in between additions until your roux is holding together and not too wet or dry.
Add milk and whip until smooth. TIP: If you don’t like the consistency of your almond flour, at this point you can use your immersion blender to smooth everything out, including the onions and garlic.
Stir and cook another 2 minutes, or until a slow boil starts. Add bacon back in, then add spinach Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. TIP: I like the creaminess of adding an additional 1/4 cup of heavy cream when it’s done cooking, but before the next. step, especially if you are doing the Keto version. Cover top with 1/2 cup melted butter and lid until ready to serve. If you can make this the day before, it is one of those dishes that gets better the longer it sits in the refrigerator. Just warm it up slowly in the oven. #ThisGirlLovesToEat
I love seafood! Cooked or raw, I love it all, so I was pissed when I developed an allergy to one of my favorites, scallops! Lobster, crab, & clams are my first choices if available, so, thankfully, that was the only shellfish that I’m affected by or it would definitely be #HoustonWeHaveAProblem!
Because I actually like to taste the clams, and don’t want to have to dig through a murky sea of potatoes in search of a few scattered slivers, there are few places, outside of Ivar’s in Seattle & Atlantic Fish Company in Boston, where I choose the cream based New England Clam Chowder that most people are familiar with. If given the choice, I much prefer the spicier, tomato, broth based, Manhattan Clam Chowder.
Because few places on the west coast offer a decent version of the chowder I prefer, I found a couple of recipes that I was able to pull parts from to create one that’s both satisfying and can be made with minimal effort.
Manhattan Inspired Clam Chowder
- 48 little neck clams
- 2 – 8 oz bottles clam juice
- Quarter pound bacon, roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 7 cloves garlic, chopped
- Pinch dried, crushed red pepper
- 2 celery stalks, quartered & chopped
- 2 carrots, quartered & chopped
- 2 large white potatoes, cut into half-inch cubes
- 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 Cup dry white wine (Chardonnay is fine)
- 3 sprigs fresh parsley
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Freshly ground salt & pepper to taste
- 2 TBLS chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
- Wash the clams well under cold running water in colander.
- Place clams in a large pot, and add enough water to cover clams by 2 inches.
- Cover the pan and place over high heat.
- When the water comes to a boil, give the pan a good shake.
- Turn the heat to low, and cook clams another 30 seconds or so.
- Remove from the heat, and take out all the clams that have opened, using a slotted spoon. If any clams remain closed, put back on the heat, with the lid on the pan, and cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Remove remaining clams, reserve, discard any clams that have not opened.
- Pour the clam juice through a fine strainer and measure. If you have more than 4 cups, simmer to reduce to 4 cups.
- Put the bacon into a large, heavy saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the bacon begins to brown. Pour off excess fat, leaving behind the bacon and about 3 tablespoons of fat in the pan.
- Add the onion, celery, garlic, and crushed red pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes.
- Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up all of the brown bits
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute more.
- Tie the parsley sprigs, fresh thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the pot.
- Add the reserved clam cooking liquid, the bottled clam juice, the potatoes, and the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
- While chowder is coming to a boil, remove clams from their shells and chop coarsely. Add to chowder and reduce heat to low.
- Cook over low heat for another 5 minutes; check to make sure potatoes are soft and chowder is well seasoned.
- Remove and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Divide among warm soup bowls and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately.
For a fancy touch you can leave a few clams in the shell and float a couple in the bowl. Serve with crusty sourdough bread and butter and a salad for a hearty meal. #ThisGirlLovesToEat
You have a few wine options with this chowder:
- (White) Partially-Oaked Dry California Chardonnay pairs nicely with the crushed red pepper, potatoes, thyme and onion in this dish
- (White) Unoaked Medium-dry German Riesling is a nice compliment to the tomatoes, onions, peppers and potatoes in this dish
- (Red) Oaked Italian Barbaresco pairs beautifully with the peppers, potatoes, onions and celery in this dish
Westerly Wines 2014 Bentrock Chardonnay – Rated a 93 by Wine Enthusiast: Available at The Original Wine Club
Dr. Heidemanns Bernkastel Auslese Riesling – Rated a 93 by Wine Enthusiast: Available at Totalwine.com for $19.99.
Rivata Barbaresco – Intense, cherry spiced, medium bodied, and available at Totalwine.com for $21.99. #GirlsGoneWine