Low Carb & Gluten Free Brownies

avocadobrowniesAlthough I’m not a daily dessert eater, I do have a wicked love of anything chocolate.  These #KetoFriendly brownies satisfy that love without ruining my diet goals.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Keto Avocado Brownies

  • 2 Ripe Avocados
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 6 TBLS Unsweetened Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Mix
  • 2 tsp Baking soda
  • 2/3 cup Cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 2/3 cup Xylitol (Sugar Substitute)
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract, pure
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line a 8”-x-8” square pan with parchment paper. In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer batter to prepared baking pan and smooth top with a spatula.
  3. Bake until brownies are soft but not at all wet to the touch, 40 – 45 minutes. Let cool 25 to 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Salted Lime Sweet Potato Chips

sweetpotatochipsI’m a savory snack girl, but don’t want to completely derail my hard earned Keto gains by cheating with a bag of store bought potato chips.  What’s a snacker to do?  This snacker chooses to spend her carbs on a healthier version of sweet potato chips, without the store bought preservatives and additives.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Salted Lime Sweet Potato Chips

  • 4 Medium Sweet Potatoes (or yams)
  • 1 TBLS Corn Starch
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • 4 Limes
  • Freshly Ground Sea Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 425° and place oven safe cooling racks on 2 baking sheets.
  2. Wash sweet potatoes and thinly slice with a very sharp kitchen knife or mandolin.
  3. Place sweet potato slices in a bowl and cover them with warm water and corn starch. Soak for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove the potatoes from the water and dry very well with a paper towel.
  5. Lay a single layer of potatoes on each rack and spray each side of the potato slice with olive oil spray.
  6. If you have a small spray bottle, fill it with your lime juice & spritz top side lightly with the lime juice.  If you don’t have a spray bottle, drizzle the lime juice lightly over your potatoes.
  7. Lightly salt the tops then bake for 15 – 25 minutes (depending on thickness of slices), flipping the potato slices half way through the baking process. Check the potato chips frequently, it may take less time if your chips are sliced extra thin, to make sure that they don’t burn! Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information (Serving Size 1 oz):

  • 24 Calories
  • 0 g Fat
  • 4 g Carbs
  • <1 g Protein

Keto Lemon Cheesecake Bars

withberriesA light lemony cheesecake dessert on a buttery shortbread-like crust with a sweet-tart lemon layer covered by creamy cheesecake layer.  You can enjoy this guilt free because #ItsKeto!

Keto Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Preheat oven to 350° F and lightly butter a 13 x 9 Pyrex baking pan.

Using a pastry blender, forks, or your blender/Vitamix, combine the ingredients for your crust until coarse crumbs form.  TIP:  I like to use my Vitamix 750 Pro on the 2 setting, after pulsing to start, so that, instead of coarse crumbs, a light, fluffy dough forms.

  • 1+1/2 Cups Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Swerve Confectioners Sugar Substitute
  • 3/4 Cup Cold Unsalted Butter, Cut into Cubes

Press the crumbs into the bottom of the baking dish.  Bake until golden brown, 18-21 minutes.  Don’t under cook the crust!  Remove from the oven and set aside.

Prepare the lemon layer by combining, in your blender:

  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups Granulated Xylitol or Erithritol (Sugar Substitutes)
  • 1+1/2 TBLS Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour
  • 2 TBLS Lemon Zest
  • 1 Cup Lemon Juice

Pour lemon mixture onto the baked crust.  Skim off any large bubbles from the surface of the lemon layer.

Prepare the cheesecake layer by combining, in your stand mixer or cleaned blender container:

  • 2 – 8 oz Packages Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cup Granulated Xylitol or Erithritol
  • 2 Large Eggs

BEWARE:  If you use Xylitol in this recipe, which I prefer because there’s no aftertaste or cool sensation, Xylitol IS NOT PET SAFESo, no sharing with your furry babies.

When well combined, pour and spread over the lemon mixture.  It’s ok if the lemon layer peeks through, the cheesecake layer rises to the top during baking.  Bake until the filling is set about 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool pan on a wire rack before putting into the refrigerator to chill.  Cut into 24 Bars and top with a couple of fresh berries if desired.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Nutrition Information (24 Servings):

  • 131 Calories (Savings of 125 Calories without real sugars & all purpose flour)
  • 1 g  Fat (Savings of 13 g Fat from traditional recipe)
  • 4 g  Carbs  (Savings of 27 g Carbs from traditional recipe)
  • 3 g  Protein

New Orleans Muffaletta Salad

muffaletta-salad.jpgI love anything New Orleans fare and the Muffaletta sandwich is no exception.  Unfortunately, when you are following a Keto lifestyle, Muffaletta sandwiches, on big French rolls, are out of the question.  Luckily, almost any sandwich can be made into a salad, and the Muffaletta is one of them that makes a great one.

It has a lot of ingredients, and involves a lot of chopping, but the end result is SO worth it!  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

New Orleans Muffaletta Salad

First, whisk together your dressing so it can chill while you are prepping the salad.  The dressing is a great one to have extra of for regular salads and even marinating chicken with, so I usually double or triple the recipe when I’m making this salad.  So I can store the extra for easy use later, I use an OXO Good Grips Salad Dressing Shaker:

  • 3 TBLS Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Crushed (I use 1 tsp jarred crushed garlic)
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Basil
  • Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper to taste

To create the salad, combine and toss the following in a large bowl:

  • 1 Bag Romaine Lettuce (9 oz Size)
  • 1 Stalk Celery, Chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • 1/2 Medium Red Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 4 ounces sliced salami, chopped
  • 4 ounces sliced Sopressata, chopped
  • 4 ounces sliced Mortadella, chopped
  • 4 ounces sliced Provolone cheese, chopped
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar Giardiniera salad, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 6-8 pepperoncini, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Once your salad is prepared, drizzle all of the dressing over the salad and toss thoroughly.  Serve cold.

Nutrition Information (Serves 6 Main Course Servings):

  • Calories:  295Salad  158Dressing  (453)
  • Fat:  22.5Salad  18Dressing  (40.5)
  • Carbs:  5.5Salad  0Dressing  (5.5)
  • Protein:  17Salad  0Dressing  (17)

Chicken Bacon Ranch Balls

chickenbaconranchballsAppetizers and small plates are the easiest way to stay on target when I’m trying to lose a few pounds or clean up my diet.  These chicken, bacon, ranch meatballs are perfect with a small salad and a side of cauliflower mash for an easy weeknight dinner and a great way to snack without guilt at tailgate parties!  Low carb, nut free, gluten free, grain free, and, best of all for me, #KetoFriendly!

Chicken Bacon Ranch Balls

  • 1 Pound Ground Chicken
  • 12 Slices Thick Cut Bacon
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Large Egg, Beaten
  • 1 tsp Dried Dill
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F and line baking sheet with foil and baking rack. Lay bacon strips on baking rack in even layer. Bake bacon in oven until crispy, about 15-20 minutes depending on thickness of bacon.  Crumble bacon into small pieces. (Dispose of foil from baking sheet or use second baking sheet.) Decrease oven heat to 375 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. To a large mixing bowl, add ground chicken, crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar, egg, and spices. Using hands, mix together until thoroughly combined. Form mixture into equal-sized balls, about 1 1/2 tbsp of mixture per ball, place on prepared baking sheet, and lightly press down to slightly flatten. Bake until golden brown and cooked throughout, 25-30 minutes.
  3. Remove poppers from oven, allow to cool slightly, and serve with low carb ranch dressing drizzled on balls or on the side.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Nutrition Information – Serving 1 Ball (Makes 16 Balls)

  • 116  Calories
  • 9 g   Fat
  • 0 g   Carbs
  • 9 g   Protein

 

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

Air Fried Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

buffalochickenmeatballs2After my first Dash Air Fryer test with the avocado fries didn’t bomb, I moved on to the scary territory of chicken.  Chicken can be hard to cook because you need to monitor the temperature very closely.  It has to be cooked enough so you don’t get sick, but if you cook it too much it turns into a rubbery or dry mess.  The out of sight, cook in a drawer without benefit of monitoring with a meat thermometer, method was a little bit daunting.  It turns out I had no reason to fear.

 Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

  • 1+1/2 Pounds Ground Chicken Thigh
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 1 Green Onion chopped
  • 1 Stalk Celery, finely chopped
  • 2 +1/2 TBLS Almond Flour (not finely ground)
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper.
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 – 1+1/2 Cups Buffalo Wing Sauce (I like Frank’s Red Hot)

Layout a sheet of waxed paper on your counter.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, minus the buffalo sauce.  Mix well using your hands.  Mixture will be sticky, I wear disposable gloves.

Roll mixture into about 2″ balls and layout on the wax paper until all of the meat is formed into balls.

Remove the air fryer basket and grease or spray it lightly with olive oil.  Place a single layer of the meatballs into the basket, put it into the air fryer, set the temperature to 400° F and cook for 13 minutes.  When cooking is complete check your meatballs to make sure they are evenly browned all the way around.  If they aren’t, add another 2 minutes time and finish cooking the meatballs.

buffalochickenmeatballs

When time is done, immediately remove the meatballs from the basket to a serving dish and drizzle with the sauce or put the meatballs into a bowl with a lid and toss the meatballs with the sauce to cover them completely in the sauce.  Serve with low carb ranch dressing and carrot & celery sticks if desired.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat