To serve appetizers or not on Thanksgiving is always one of my biggest questions. I don’t want to have people be so stuffed they don’t eat the main meal, but I don’t want to have people complaining if things get delayed, as always seems to happen.
The problem with appetizers is twofold: if someone else brings them they bring way too many, and if I do them it’s something else I have to do while also cooking the meal. Then there is the dietary debate…who eats how, etc. The beauty of these Keto appetizers is that they will appeal to everyone (give or take) in the crowd when a couple of them are paired with a simple cheese and/or veggie tray and that should be just enough to keep the troops happy until the main event.
These could also be great side dish options.
Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms
8 oz cream cheese softened
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped spinach
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
20 – 30 white mushrooms or baby bellas
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese, onion powder, garlic powder and salt and mix well. Stir in spinach. Spoon filling into the mushrooms and place in a buttered baking dish. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the mushrooms are soft.
Parmesan Crusted Crushed Turnips
12 small to medium turnips, peeled
3 TBLS extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1+1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground sea salt & black pepper
finely chopped chives
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Place peeled turnips in pot of cold salted water and bring to a boil. Cook 25 to 30 minutes, or until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain and cool slightly.
Place the turnips on a clean, lint-free, dish towel on your work surface. Using a spatula or other large utensil, press down on each turnip until they are all about 1/2″ thick. Let them drain for 10-15 minutes then flip over to a dry part of the towel and let the other side dry.
Combine olive oil, garlic, and salt & pepper in a small bowl. Brush both sides of each turnip with the oil mixture, press each side of each turnip into the Parmesan cheese, and place each turnip on a baking sheet.
Bake 20 minutes then flip each turnip over and return to oven for an additional 15 minutes until they’re nice and golden brown. Garnish with fresh chives. Serve with sour cream if desired. #ThisGirlLovesToEat
The biggest gripe I have about roasting a turkey is that, when roasting the whole bird, to get the thigh to come up to the optimal temperature of 170° you often will end up with a dry, overcooked breast that only needs to reach about 150° to be perfectly done.
This afternoon I came across an article on lifehacker.com that solves the problem! Cook the breasts separately and brine them first in a buttermilk based brine that infuses the meat with an incredible amount of moisture and flavor while also adding some very needed fat to help retain both.
Word to the wise: buttermilk promotes browning so watch your breast carefully as you start to get into the latter stages of roasting. The breast in the picture had foil on it for the last 15 minutes of roasting.
Buttermilk Brined Turkey Breast
4-5 pound bone-in turkey breast
1 quart of buttermilk
1 quart of water
1/2 cup of salt
1/4 cup of sugar
5 smashed garlic cloves
1 teaspoon peppercorns (white are ideal)
1 bay leaf
Citrus fruit slices (A couple of lemons and oranges is plenty.)
Pour the water into a sauce pan, along with the salt, sugar, garlic, pepper and bay leaf. Bring everything to a boil, then remove from the heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Let the brine cool to room temperature. Once it’s cool, combine it with the buttermilk, then pour the mixture over the turkey breast in a brining bag or small bucket. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375℉, remove the turkey from the brine, and let drain on paper towels, blotting to remove excess moisture from the skin. Scatter your fruit in the bottom of a roasting pan or large skillet, place a trivet or rack on top of that, then set the turkey on top. Roast uncovered until the skin is well-browned, covering with foil towards the end if it starts to look dicey. Continue to roast until the thickest part of the breast reads 150℉, about 90 minutes to two hours. If your breasts are Dolly Parton sized 😉 cook them a little longer. Remove from the oven, and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. Sprinkle with some sea salt and citrus zest before serving. #ThisGirlLovesToEat
This week is all about making Thanksgiving desserts that those in your family who live the Paleo or Keto lifestyle can enjoy with you. Yesterday was Pumpkin Mousse, and today we’re taking on traditional pumpkin pie in a keto crust.
The great things about this crust is that it can be used for either sweet or savory pies and that, even if you have the most vocal of coconut haters, they shouldn’t be able to smell or taste that coconut is your secret ingredient.
Keto Low Carb Crust
1tbspextra virgin olive oil
1tspvanilla extract- eliminate for savory
1/4cupSwerve sweetener -eliminate for savory
1/2cupbuttercold cut into cubes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Whisk the eggs, oil and vanilla extract in a food processor or stand mixer.
In another bowl whisk the remaining ingredients together until combined.
Pour the dry and wet mixture into a food processor.
Add the cubed butter. Process by pulsing until it looks like crumbles.
Spray a pie plate with cooking spray and pour crumbles into pie plate.
Press with hands to form dough right in the pie plate. Alternately you can also roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper and flip over into a 9 inch pie plate.
Using a fork randomly make holes into the bottom of the crust.
Bake the crust 10 minutes or until golden.
Cover the crust edges with aluminum foil if using this for a savory or sweet pie that needs to be baked again, otherwise it will burn.
Take crust out of the oven, cool completely, and add your filling.
Easy Low Carb Keto Pumpkin Pie
115-oz canPumpkin puree
1/2cupHeavy cream(or coconut cream for dairy-free/paleo)
2largeEggs(at room temperature)
2/3cupPowdered erythritol (Truvia)
2tspPumpkin pie spice
Beat together all ingredients at medium-low speed, until smooth. (Don’t over mix.)
When the pie crust is done baking, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Cool the crust on the counter for at least 10 minutes, longer if you have time.
Pour the filling into the crust. Gently tap on the counter to release air bubbles.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the pie is almost set but still slightly jiggly in the center. (Check on it occasionally, and if you see the crust starts to brown too much, cover the crust edge with foil and return to the oven until the filling is done. It should still jiggle a bit in the center, like a custard before it sets.)
Cool completely on the counter, then refrigerate at least an hour before slicing. Pie can be refrigerated overnight.
One of the biggest bummers for the Keto crowd during the holidays is feeling left out of all the baked goods and treats that others share at parties and family gatherings. Well, not this year! #ThisGirlLovesToEat
Shape Magazine gathered and shared some recipes that help those living the Keto lifestyle enjoy the flavors of the season without sacrificing their diet goals.
The mousse below takes 10 minutes to make and can even be put into a keto pie crust. If, by some chance, you don’t eat it all in one sitting, this mousse can be stored in air tight containers or in glass cups covered with plastic wrap for 5 days in the fridge.
Keto Pumpkin Mousse
8ozMascarpone or whole fat cream cheese (room temperature for at least 15 minutes)
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
It seems like every appetizer served at parties, large or small, is forbidden to those who follow the low carb lifestyles touted by the Keto, Paleo and Atkins diets, but who has the time, or patience, to spend making some of the recipes for snacks that are allowed?
I went to a couple of my favorite “regular recipe” resources, Epicurious.com and Emeril’s on Planet Green, to see if there were any easy snack recipes that were low carb friendly and was pleasantly surprised! #ThisGirlLovesToEat
Aguachile de Camarón
2 Quarts Water
2 TBLS Kosher Salt
1 Pound Fresh Jumbo Shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 English Cucumber, peeled
1 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Cold Water
2 to 3 Fresh Serrano Chiles, sliced
1 TBLS Chopped Fresh Parsley
Combine 2 quarts water and 2 TBLS cup salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil.
Butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tail intact.
Add shrimp and immediately turn off the heat.
Let the shrimp sit until just cooked through, 2-3 minutes.
Place shrimp in colander, run under cold water to stop the cooking, then drain.
In a blender, combine the lime juice, olive oil, chiles, and 1/4 cup of cold water. Process until smooth then season to taste with salt.
In a non-reactive bowl combine the shrimp with the dressing. Cover and put into the refrigerator for 1 hour. (Can be made up to 4 hours before serving)
Cut the cucumber into thin rectangular slices, about 3 inches long, and divide among 4 small plates.
Arrange the shrimp on top of the cucumber slices, season as needed, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve immediately.
**Non-Reactive Bowl:Stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass—is necessary when cooking with acidic foods, such as lemon, to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart an off color and/or off flavor
Salami Crisps (Epicurious)
1/4 Pound (very thinly sliced) Genoa Salami, Soppressata, Pepperoni, Pancetta, Jamón Ibérico, Finocchiona, Coppa, or other charcuterie type dry cured meat
Cracked Black Pepper (if using an unspiced meat)
Parmesan Cheese (if desired)
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 325°F.
Arrange salami slices in 1 layer on 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
If using Parmesan Cheese, sprinkle slices lightly.
Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until edges are crisp and beginning to curl, 10 to 12 minutes.
Transfer slices to a rack to cool. (They will crisp as they cool.)
Serving Suggestion: Small slices of cheese, olive oil marinated feta, or some herbs mixed into cream cheese are all Keto-friendly and would be good served with these crisps.
Everyone who follows this blog regularly knows that #ThisGirlLovesToEat. Anything that lets me eat unregulated amounts of food that I like, except kale #IHateKale, without bursting out of my jeans is something that is going to catch my attention. Sounds unlikely? I know, I doubt it too, but I’m willing to be a guinea pig!
According to scientists, you can eat as much of these 14 foods and not gain any weight due to their high water and low-starch fiber content while containing very few calories.
These foods are not high in muscle building (and fat burning) protein, but they are filled with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants.
Contains potassium, folate, fiber, and 30% of your daily requirement of vitamin K
Has about 6 calories per serving
Eat when fresh – celery loses most of it’s nutritional benefits after 5-7 days
One of the few foods that contains an Omega 3 Fatty Acid
1 Cup has about 33 calories
High in vitamins and folate
Champion in the Antioxidant world – has more than any other fruit
1 cup has about 85 calories
1 cup has 14% of the recommended daily requirement of fiber
16 calories per serving
Seeds and skin contain most of the Fiber and Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene) which is good for your eyes
Contain lycopene, a carotenoid, which helps fight against chronic diseases
High in vitamins A, C, and B2, as well as folate, chromium, potassium, and fiber
1 medium-sized tomato has about 25 calories
High in fiber, which stabilizes blood sugar helps you feel fuller for longer
1/2 a grapefruit has about 50 calories
High in Vitamin C and folate
Grapefruit has been found to help in weight loss, lowering cholesterol, and improving digestion
Contains an anticarcinogen known as sulforaphane
Most nutritious when eaten raw or steamed
Contains vitamins A, C, E, and K
1 serving contains 20% of your daily fiber requirement
1 serving has about 31 calories
Contains beta carotene, a form of vitamin A that promotes healthy eyes
Contains more than 100% of your daily recommended value of vitamins A and C
1 serving has about 55 calories
Contains antioxidants and phytochemicals to help fight off chronic disease
An excellent source of folate, fiber, and vitamins C and K
Has about 25 calories per serving
Blackberries can help your brain to stay alert
Rich in vitamin C as well as antioxidants known as bioflavonoids
Can aid with digestion
Tightens tissue, leading to younger-looking skin
1 serving has about 62 calories
Whether Romaine, Green Leaf, Red Leaf, Romain, etc.: 96% Water
Folate, iron, and vitamins A and C
1 serving has 10 to 20 calories
High in Vitamin C which is crucial in collagen production: oranges help keep skin free of damage and looking good
Medium orange has about 80 calories
You need to eat the white stuff under an orange’s skin (pith) it contains a lot of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels
Fat-free, sodium-free, and cholesterol-free (healthy for the heart)
More vitamin C in one serving of strawberries than there is in one orange
Tons of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant
A good source of potassium and fiber
1 Cup of strawberries has about 50 calories
Only slightly more calories per serving than cantaloupe (64)
Contains over half of the recommended daily value of vitamin C
Contains over half of the recommended daily value of copper, which is crucial for healthy skin
If you are interested in more scientific details, you can read the original article on INSIDER.
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