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

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.

Ham Wrapped Asparagus

asparaguswithhamaf2Talking to friends, I have heard a lot of them losing hope as the months of their dieting, and slow movements on the scale, drag on.  They’re getting bored with the foods they’re eating, or hate the foods that are promised to be the biggest help in losing weight, particularly eggs, on the #KetoDiet.  As one who suffers occasional food boredom as well, I’ve been sharing some of my favorite #MakeAhead snacks and #GrabAndGo meals that make me less tempted to cheat.

Air Fryer Ham Wrapped Asparagus

  • 8 Spears Fresh Asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • 4 Large Thin Slices Ham, sliced in half (I use Columbus Brand Apple wood Smoked Ham)
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper
  1. Lay asparagus spears in the basket of your air fryer and spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray.  Shake the spears in the basket to make sure the spears are coated.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and shake again before closing the air fryer.
  3. Cook spears for 3 minutes at 400° F, and remove from basket.
  4. Wrap each spear of asparagus with 1/2 piece of ham.
  5. Place back in basket, seam side down and lightly spray again with olive oil spray.
  6. Cook another 5-7 minutes at 400° F, shaking once in the middle of the time, until ham is lightly browned.
  7. Remove spears from basket and serve warm with grained mustard, if desired.

This is a great appetizer, light lunch, or even breakfast.  I love to make some of these and put them into the refrigerator to pack for a midday snack at the office!  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Avocado Fries II

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When you get a new #KitchenToy, like the 6 qt, 1700 Watt #DashDeluxeAirFryer you experiment.  My husband said he loved the recipe last week for Air Fried Avocado Fries, but he drenched them in Spicy Ranch dressing, so I’m not sure if he was being objective, and the amount of salt from the almond flour in the main breading component just wasn’t doing it for me, so I decided to give them another shot.  This version wasn’t as heavy, or as salty, and, I think, much better suited to the buttery freshness of the avocado.

Air Fryer Avocado Fries II

  • 2 Medium Avocados
  • 2 TBLS Coconut Flour
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 3 TBLS Extra Fine Almond Flour
  • 2/3 Cup Crushed Pork Rinds (Any Flavor)  I used 4505 Cracklins BBQ

Using a rolling pin, meat tenderizer, or even a rubber mallet from the garage, crush your pork rinds (TIP: I leave them in their bag or use a paper/zip bag to avoid a big mess) until they 1resemble coarse crumbs.  Using a fork, combine with the almond flour in a shallow dish.

Put the coconut flour in a zip bag or shallow bowl.  In a separate bowl lightly beat the eggs.

Slice the avocado in half, remove from the shell, remove seed and slice each half into 4 portions.

Dip each slice in the egg wash then immediately coat with the crumb mixture.  Lay in a single layer in the basket of your air fryer.

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Set the temperature to 400° F and set your timer for 8 minutes of cooking time.  Open the drawer at with 1 minute remaining, and, depending on the thickness of your slices, you may want to add 1-2 minutes if you want them crispier/browner.  When your slices have reached your desired shade of brown, remove the basket from your Air Fryer and immediately move them to a serving dish.  I served with Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch dressing, which has only 2 grams of carbs per 2 TBLS serving, making this a perfect #KetoFriendly treat!  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

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Changing over to a Keto focused diet has meant embracing some foods that I wasn’t a fan of out of necessity, like cauliflower.  But, not having been a prior fan of anything cauliflower related, it’s been a journey making cauliflower my friend.

To be completely honest, without mass quantities of Frank’s Red Hot, Butter, Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning, Pesto Sauce, Cheese Sauce or any version of Queso, and plain old Salt & Pepper, I would likely still be struggling with it…

I’ve had buffalo cauliflower at restaurants but never been able to replicate it at home using my oven. It has either come out overcooked or soggy.  Major fail!  Now that I have jumped on the #Airfryer bandwagon, I have finally managed to create a recipe at home that I’d actually serve people I like. 😉

Air Fried Buffalo Caulifower Bites

  • Medium Head Cauliflower OR 1 Bag Fresh Cauliflower Florets
  • 2 tsp Dried Cilantro
  • 2 TBLS (or more to taste) Frank’s Red Hot or other Hot Sauce
  • 2 TBLS Butter, melted

Either cut the head of cauliflower into florets or empty your bag into a medium sized bowl.  Sprinkle the cilantro over the cauliflower and stir with a rubber spatula to make sure it’s evenly distributed.

Mix the Franks (or other hot sauce) and butter until well combined and pour over the cauliflower.  Toss to coat the cauliflower.

Spray or brush the basket of your air fryer with olive oil.

Pour the cauliflower into the basket and close the drawer of the air fryer.  Set to 400° F and set the timer to cook for 18-20 minutes, depending on how much cauliflower you have.  Shake your basket every 4 minutes.  If, at the end of your cooking time your cauliflower isn’t as browned as you want it (I like mine to be browned at the edges), add some more time in increments of 2 minutes.

Serve with low carb ranch dressing and carrot & celery sticks if desired.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat