Buttermilk Air Fried Chicken

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Yesterday was #NationalFriedChickenDay so, because I adore southern fried chicken, I tried to make it #KetoFriendly without losing texture or taste.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Buttermilk Air Fried Chicken

  • 1 pkg (4 – 5 lbs) 5 Chicken Leg & Thigh Quarters (or your favorite cut)
  • 3 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Pepper
  • 3 tsp Salt
  • 3 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 4 Cups Buttermilk

Combine all of your spices in a bowl and stir until well mixed.

Place your chicken into a bowl large enough to hold your chicken pieces, with room for the liquid.  Wearing disposable gloves, rub each piece of chicken generously with the spice mixture.  Moving the pieces around in the bowl as you go, pour your buttermilk over and around the chicken.  Make sure you are moving the pieces around so the spices that come off the chicken mix into the buttermilk.  Once all pieces are covered, and remain submerged, in the buttermilk, cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 but preferably 6 hours or more.  Ideally, if you can, marinate it overnight or all day while you are at work.

When you are ready to fry your chicken stir together your dredging mixture with a fork in a shallow baking pan.  TIP: I like to put my dredge mixture together at least an hour ahead of frying, if I have the time, so that my spices have extra time for their flavors to absorb into the flours.

  • 2 Cups Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour
  • 1 Cup Superfine Almond Flour
  • 1 TBLS Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder

When you’re ready to cook follow these steps for juicy fried chicken without the grease, extra fat and mess that you get when you fry in peanut or vegetable oil.

  1.  Lightly spray the basket of our air fryer with olive oil spray to keep your skin from sticking
  2. Take one piece of chicken out of the buttermilk marinade and hold it over the bowl until it stops dripping (you don’t want to drop a sopping wet quarter into the dredge mixture)
  3. Lay your chicken quarter in the pan of dredge mixture and spoon the mixture over the chicken.  Lift the chicken up by the drumstick end and lightly shake to release any extra mixture.  You want a thin coating so it crisps up perfectly and isn’t soggy between the coating and the chicken.
  4. Lay your chicken quarter in the basket of your air fryer skin side up.  Repeat with as many pieces of chicken as will fit in your basket but don’t crowd the pieces.  You want the air to flow around the pieces so they all cook evenly.  My quarters were large, so I cooked 3 at a time.
  5. Set your air fryer to 375° F and set your timer according to what pieces you are cooking (except where noted, all assume your chicken has bones/skin):  Leg Quarters 25 – 30 Minutes – Cook to 165° F to 180° F in the thickest part of the thigh.  Time will be solely based on the size/thickness of your pieces.  Cooking to a higher temp breaks down the fibers of the tougher thigh meat and gives you a more tender result.  Breasts: 22 to 25 Minutes – Cook to 165° F in the thickest part of the breast.  Boneless Chicken Tenders:  12-16 Minutes – Cook to 165° F in the thickest part.
  6. Using tongs, turn your chicken pieces over 15 minutes into cooking so that your chicken gets evenly browned.  Turn tenders over 1/2 way through your cooking time.
  7. When your chicken has reached the desired temperature, remove from the air fryer, set on a cooling rack (or your plate if your serving right away) and repeat the steps with your remaining chicken.

Nutrition Information & Comparison to Traditionally Fried Chicken (1 Leg/Thigh Quarter)

  • Air Fried:  290 Calories     Deep Fried: 1262 Calories (972 Less)
  • Air Fried:  5 g Fat     Deep Fried:  85 g Fat (80 g Less)
  • Air Fried:  7 g Carbs     Deep Fried: 56 g Carbs (49 g Less)
  • Air Fried:  23 g Protein     Deep Fried: 66 g Protein (43 g Less)

What you give up in apples to apples crispiness, you more than make up in the health benefits of converting this to a Keto Air Fried recipe!

Angel Food Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Admittedly I prefer cooking meals to baking any day!  My desserts are never pretty. 😐  Regardless, I bit the bullet today and prepared to make something to take to a 4th of July BBQ tomorrow.  I thought about cookies, but wasn’t in the mood for something so labor intensive, then came upon a long forgotten boxed angel food cake mix in my cupboard.  The “best by” date had admittedly passed, but since the only added ingredient was water, I decided to give it a shot… #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Angel Food Cupcakes

  • 1 Box Betty Crocker Angel Food Cake Mix
  • 1+1/4 Cups Water

Add water to cake mix in metal or glass bowl and mix on low 30 seconds then medium for 1 minute.  Divide batter between 24 paper lined cupcake pan holes and put pans into a preheated 375° F oven.  Bake for 18 minutes, or until tops are browned and not sticky to the touch.  Remove from oven when done baking and cool on wire racks until ready to frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 12 Ounces Cream Cheese
  • 12 TBLS (3/4 Cup) Room Temperature Butter
  • 1+1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 4+1/2 Cups Confectioner’s (Powdered) Sugar

Put butter, vanilla, and cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on medium speed until well combined.  Reduce speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until all is incorporated then turn speed to medium and whip until frosting is light and fluffy.

Frost each of the cupcakes & enjoy!  Keep in refrigerator.

Nutrition Information (24 Servings)

  • 236 Calories:  70 Calories (Cupcake)     166 Calories (Frosting)
  • 8.28 g Fat (All from the Frosting)
  • 38 g Carbs:  16 g Carbs (Cupcake)     22 g Carbs (Frosting)
  • 2 g Protein:  1.5 g Protein (Cupcake)     .65 g Protein (Frosting)

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

Air Fryer Chicken Kebabs

chickenonrachOne way to meal prep for the week is to do kebabs in the air fryer.  Not only is it fast, but it’s a perfect way to measure out exactly what you’re eating.  Today I made chicken kebabs and put them together with 3 different sides for 3 different healthy meals this week.  These can easily be laid atop a bed of fresh spinach topped with olive oil and salt & pepper, beside a green salad, or on a mound of cauliflower mash.  Except for needing to remove and heat the kebabs separately with the salad, it’s a quick & easy minute in the microwave for a hearty weekday lunch or dinner.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Air Fryer Chicken Kebabs

  • 1 – 12 oz Chicken Breast, Trimmed (I used chicken breast fillets)
  • 1 Medium Zucchini, Cut into 1/2″ Slices
  • 18 Plum or Cherry Tomatoes
  • 6 Bamboo Skewers or metal skewers supplied with rack
  • 3 TBLS Low Carb BBQ Sauce

Cut the skewers (if using bamboo skewers & necessary) with a pair of kitchen shears, down to just short of the length of your Air Fryer Tray.  Soak the skewers in water for 10-15 minutes.

Cut your chicken into about 1″ Chunks and toss in 3 TBLS low carb BBQ sauce.

Thread each skewer with 3 slices Zucchini (About 1 oz), 3 plum or cherry tomatoes, 2 oz chicken breast cut into 4 chunks.  Start and end with a piece of zucchini for stability and alternate pieces of chicken and cherry tomato with a piece of zucchini in the middle.

If you have a rack for your air fryer (for holding skewers), place as many skewers as will fit without crowding (mine holds 3).  Cook for 9-10 minutes at 350° F then remove cooked skewers and finish cooking the rest.  Brush with more BBQ if desired.

Nutrition Information (Serving Size 2 Skewers)

  • 166  Calories
  • 1.2 g  Fat
  • 10 g  Carbs
  • 28 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