Turkey Day Prep: Creamed Spinach with Bacon

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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.

RouxAdd 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.

cookedAdd 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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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 Asparagus Soup

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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.

Keto Breakfast Griddler

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!

#ThisGirlLovesToEat

Coconut Lime Cauliflower Rice

Lime-Coconut-Cauliflower-Rice

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

 

Keto Sweet & Sour Chicken

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.

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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

#ThisGirlLovesToEat

Spicy Bacon Baby Potatoes

petitepotatoesBeing 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