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

Crustless Veggie Quiche

1One of the easiest ways to meal prep for the week is to throw a Quiche or two together while you are prepping other meals.  A quiche can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  It can be dinner on #MeatlessMonday or during #Lent, and is a great way to clean out your #Leftovers and veggie drawer once a week!

This week I had some tasty ingredients that gave me a hearty, flavorful pie that fed me all week.

Easy Crustless Veggie Quiche

  • 5 Large Eggs
  • 1/8 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Or any type you choose)
  • 2 Cups Chopped Frozen Broccoli
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Onion
  • 1 Cup Sliced Mushrooms (Any type)
  • 2 Cups Fresh Greens (Any type I used Spinach)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (If desired)

Preheat oven to 350° F and grease a 9 x 9 square baking pan or Quiche/pie pan generously with olive oil.  Add 1/2 cup of the cheese to the bottom of the pan and set aside.

In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat, add 2 TBLS Olive Oil (I used garlic infused oil).  Add onions and mushrooms and sauteé until onions are translucent and begin to soften a bit.  Add the spinach, another TBLS of olive oil, and cook another 30 seconds or so, just until the spinach begins to wilt.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Add broccoli and another TBLS of oil to the pan.  Cook about 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and scatter across the cheese layer in the prepared pan.  Top the broccoli with the Spinach mixture, making sure to distribute evenly around the pan.  Top with the remaining cheese.

In a medium bowl or large mixing cup, combine the eggs, milk, cream, salt & pepper.  Whip thoroughly with a wire whisk.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetable and cheese layers in the pan.  Top with red pepper flakes, if desired.  Put pan into preheated oven and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until center is set.  Remove pan from oven and cool on a wire rack.

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If eating immediately, slice into 8 wedges and serve warm.  Suggested toppings:

  • Guacamole
  • Sour Cream
  • Chives, Cilantro, or Parsley
  • Sliced Avocado

If meal prepping, slice into 8 sections and put into a large container in the refrigerator to eat during the week.  To reheat: Microwave a single portion on high for 30 seconds, top and enjoy!  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Quick Cream of Mushroom Soup

Every once in a while you just need a hearty, comforting bowl of soup, especially one that can be put on the table in under 30 minutes!  The great thing about this soup is that it’s #LactoVegetarian and #KetoFriendly so you can keep it as a #GoToRecipe for when you are hosting friends or family who may be making those lifestyle choices.

Once you’ve seen how quick and easy this soup is to make, and how great it tastes,  you’ll never stress about hosting Keto or Vegetarian friends for lunch or dinner again!

creamofmushroomsoup

Keto Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 24 oz Sliced Cremini Mushrooms (681 g)
  • 4 TBLS Butter (1/4 Cup)
  • 4 TBLS Olive Oil (1/4 Cup)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 3 Green Onions (Scallions) Chopped – Reserve 2 TBLS for garnish
  • 2 Cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Brandy
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 Pieces Thick Cut Bacon (Cooked), Chopped – Leave out for Vegetarian
  • Sour Cream or Crème Fraîche (optional)

In a 5 qt Dutch oven, or large saucepan, heat the oil and butter until melted.  Add the garlic and  all but 2 TBLS of the chopped green part of the scallions to the pan.  Sauté for about 3 minutes.

Add all of the mushrooms and stir to make sure they are well coated with the oil/butter.  Season liberally with salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, or until mushrooms have released their moisture and are softened.  Add the vegetable stock and cook and stir for 5 minutes, or until soup reaches a boil.

Remove soup from heat and, using an immersion blender, process the soup until it reaches your desired consistency.  I like mine to have pretty good texture, so I leave it kind of chunky.  If you like it really smooth, you can process the mushroom/broth mixture in batches, in your Vitamix or blender and return the blended mixture to the pan.  Make sure that you don’t over fill your blender container and watch your steam build up.

Once you’ve processed your soup, stir in your whipping cream and chopped, cooked bacon (if you’re not keeping it Vegetarian) and heat soup over low heat, but do not let it reach a boil.  Stir in the brandy for the last minute of heating and then turn off heat.  Keep covered until ready to serve.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Serving suggestions:

  • Top with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche
  • Top with chopped chives or scallions
  • Top with additional chopped bacon

Rainy Day Keto Veggie Chicken Soup

bssoupWhile veggies are admittedly limited during the most strict part of Keto, there are many ways to incorporate very flavorful options in moderation.  This soup, that serves 4 is one of them.  The higher #GoodFat to calorie percentage, from the olive oil, is perfect for Keto followers!

Keto Carmelized Veggie Chicken Soup

  • 1 Carrot chopped (About 1/2 Cup)
  • 1/ 2 Cup (about 3)  chopped Green Onion (green & white parts)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 8 TBLS Olive Oil, divided
  • 10 – 12 Raw Brussels Sprouts, cut in half
  • 6 Raw Asparagus Spears, chopped into about 1/2″ chunks
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Cooked Chicken Breast either shredded or cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • Freshly Ground Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 TBLS Italian Parsley, chopped

In a 2 quart saucepan, heat 2 TBLS olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add carrot, green onions, and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add another 2 TBLS olive oil and cook another minute while stirring.  Remove carrot mixture from the pan.

Add 2 TBLS olive oil, Brussels sprouts and asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, 6-8 minutes.  Add last 2 TBLS olive oil and return the carrot mixture to the pan.  Cook an additional 3-4 minutes, or until green vegetables start to brown.

Stir in broth.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low.  Add the cooked chicken.  Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Garnish each serving with chopped parsley and shredded Parmesan cheese (if desired).  We spiced ours up with Frank’s Red Hot sauce, but you could also add dried red pepper flakes if you like your soup spicy.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

** Vegetarian option:  Omit the chicken and swap vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

Nutrition Information:  330 Calories  40.5g Fat  21g Protein  1g Carbs

Weekday Breakfast to Go

eggbitesbaconmushroom

Despite following a #KetoLifestyle, I am lazy about making myself a proper weekday breakfast.  Before switching to the low-carb diet plan, I often ate oatmeal with berries, but, because that isn’t allowed on Keto, I’ve had to give that particular pleasure up. 😦

I need to do a better job of spacing my meals out, so I’m not starving by the time I finally eat a meal, so I’m diving into the craze I’ve heard about but never tried: pressure cooker egg bites.  Once I looked at the recipes, I realized that they’re like a fluffy crustless quiche or hand held omelette, two things I love!  Since I have the tools I need to make them: an electric pressure cooker and a silicone egg mold insert, there’s no excuse left for not giving them a try.

There are many different ways to make egg bites.

  • Pure Protein – featuring just eggs, or eggs and meat
  • Vegetarian – using an egg substitute and vegetables, tofu, vegetarian cheese, or other sources of protein
  • Combo – eggs, meat, cheese and veggies
  • Super Combo – eggs, meat, cheese, veggies, plus cottage or ricotta cheese

Pressure Cooker Egg Bites

  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheese – I used 1/2 Cup Sharp Cheddar & 1/2 Cup Pepper Jack
  • 2 TBLS Finely Diced Onion
  • 2 TBLS Finely Chopped Bacon
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Baby Bella Mushrooms (Or Fresh Spinach Stemmed, Rolled and Chopped)
  • 1/4 Cup Yellow or Green Zucchini Diced (Or Bell Peppers)
  • 1/4 tsp Oregano (if desired)
  • 1/2 tsp Cajun Spice (if desired)
  • Freshly Ground Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Using olive oil spray, or olive oil and a paper towel, grease each individual cup of the egg bite mold.

In a pan, over medium heat, cook the bacon until browned, then add onion, mushrooms and zucchini and cook for about 3 minutes.

Whisk the eggs with your seasonings in a large measuring cup.  Add the cooked vegetable mixture and cheese and stir well.  Spoon or pour mixture into egg bite mold. It should fill all spots evenly to just below rim.  Cover egg mold with foil.

Add 1 1/2 c water to pressure cooker. Put trivet inside and set egg bite mold onto the trivet.  Close the lid and set machine to cook on high for 8 minutes and then allow to release naturally for 4 minutes.  Immediately remove the egg bite mold and then remove the egg bites from the mold so that they do not sit in any water that has pooled in the bottom of the mold.

Eat immediately or cool sightly then store in a covered container in the refrigerator to reheat for later meals or snacks.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat


Nutrition Facts
Calories 109 Calories from Fat 63
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 137mg
Sodium 208mg
Potassium 96mg
Total Carbohydrates 1g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A 14.6%
Vitamin C 15.1%
Calcium 12%
Iron 4.4%


Holiday Rush Cooking: Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

roastedgarliccheesycauliflowerWhen the hustle and bustle of the December holiday season is in full swing, the last thing I want to worry about is making dinner.  This main dish casserole can be made ahead and served with a salad for a great weeknight meal.

If you don’t eat, or don’t like pork products, you can easily substitute shredded chicken (grocery store rotisserie or home prepared) for the ham and either leave the bacon out or substitute turkey bacon.  Another option is to cut leftover steak or prime rib into cubes as a substitute for the ham and leave in the bacon.  If you are vegetarian you can leave the meat out completely and add more bell pepper (red, yellow, orange or green). It’s a recipe that’s easy to get creative with.

Roasted Garlic Cheesy Cauliflower

  • 2 Heads of Cauliflower
  • 2 Cups Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 2 Cups Shredded Aged Gouda (or Trader Joe’s Gouda/Parmesan Blend) Cheese
  • 4 TBLS Butter
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper Diced
  • 3 Chopped Green Onions
  • 6 Slices Cooked Bacon
  • 2 Cups Diced Cooked Ham
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Roasted
  • 3 Shallots, Roasted
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • About 1 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 2 TBLS Almond Flour
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 Pyrex baking dish and set aside.

roastedgarlicPeel away the papery skin and cut off the top of the garlic clove.  Place inside a square of foil, drizzle with olive oil, close up the foil package, and place in a shallow pan in the oven.  Do the same for the shallots.  Bake 30-40 minutes and remove from oven.  Set aside for a few minutes then open up foil pouch to let cool.

Break apart cauliflower heads, discard the stem and steam in a steamer in a large pot until tender but not mushy (about 20 minutes per head – you may have to do it in 2 batches).  Transfer cauliflower to Vitamix Container or Food Processor and pulse until florets break apart but do not pulverize.  Remove the cauliflower and put into a large mixing bowl.  Add diced bell pepper, ham, half of the chopped green onions, and half of the crumbled bacon.  Toss to combine.

In heavy saucepan squeeze the roasted garlic and shallots out of their skins and add 3 TBLS butter.  Cook over medium heat until butter melts.  Using a fork or an immersion blender stir/blend until the garlic and shallots are crushed and well combined.  Add a generous amount of pepper, the cream (or 1/2 & 1/2) and bring just to a boil.  Combine the last 1 TBLS of butter (melted) with 2 TBLS of the Almond flour (all purpose if Keto isn’t a concern for you) and blend or whisk into the mixture in the pan until the mixture begins to thicken.  Add the cream cheese then 1 Cup of the pepper jack and 1 Cup of the gouda, stirring constantly until melted.  It may not be a flowing sauce, but resemble a big melted blob – that’s ok.  Remove from heat and pour into the cauliflower mixture in a large bowl.  Use a large rubber spatula to stir together until well mixed.

Spread into prepared 9 x 13 pan, sprinkle remaining bacon, green onion and cheeses over the top, cover loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes; remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is brown and bubbly.  Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes. I serve with a bottle of Frank’s Red Hot for those who like more spice. #ThisGirlLovesToEat