Chicken Bacon Ranch Meatballs

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Ground chicken breast is one of my favorite ways to build a base for a #Keto meal!  It’s so versatile, mixes well with most of my favorite ingredients, and is easy to meal prep for the week ahead, that it’s become my go-to for creating new #KetoRecipes.  This recipe for #ChickenBaconRanchMeatballs is fun because you can eat them all alone or pop them on a skewer between a piece of lettuce and 1/2 a plum or cherry tomato and drizzle with some ranch dressing for a fun lunch, light dinner, or appetizer.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Chicken Bacon Ranch Meatballs

  • 2 Pounds Ground Chicken Breast
  • 4 Pieces Thick Cut Bacon
  • 3 Pieces Thick Cut Peppered Bacon
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 4 TBLS Ranch Dressing
  • 1/2 Cup Panko
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Lettuce or Arugula (if desired)
  • Cherry or Plum Tomatoes (if desired)
  • More Ranch for drizzling

Spray 2 mini muffin pans (24 holes) lightly with olive oil spray or prepare 2 cookies sheets by lining with foil and spraying the foil lightly with the olive oil spray, then set aside.  Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cut the bacon into 1/4″ to 1/2″ chunks and cook in a skillet over medium heat until browned.  Remove bacon to paper towels to cool.  Remove the bacon grease from the pan and quickly wilt the spinach in the same pan.  Put the cooled bacon and spinach into your chopper or vitamix mini cup and pulse until bacon is chopped into small bits & spinach is roughly chopped.

Using your hands (I wear disposable gloves), combine the ground chicken breast, bacon, spinach, egg, 4 TBLS of Ranch Dressing, and Panko in a medium bowl until well mixed.  Form the mixture into about 40 2″ balls and pot into either the mini muffin pan or space out on the baking sheets.  Lightly spray the tops of the meatballs with the olive oil spray.

Bake in 350° F oven for 18 – 22 minutes, or until the meatballs register 165° F on your meat thermometer.

Remove the balls from the pans and lay on a paper towel lined plate to soak up any excess olive oil spray.  Serve with ranch dressing on a bed of lettuce and plum or red tomatoes or thread lettuce, meatball and tomato on a small skewer then drizzle with ranch dressing.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Keto Strawberry Ice Cream

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It’s amazing how easy it can be to make something forbidden on the #KetoDiet suddenly OK just by changing a few ingredients!  I am an admitted ice cream addict and have missed my Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia more than I ever imagined I would.  After seeing how easily I made this strawberry ice cream #KetoFriendly, I’ll be trying my hand at a Copy Cat of my favorite frozen guilty pleasure!  Next time I may even add a tablespoon or two of Grand Marnier to the strawberries (instead of the lemon juice) as they are macerating for a little kick of adult enjoyment!  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Keto Strawberry Ice Cream

  • 2 Cups Hulled and Chopped Fresh Strawberries (I like mine chunky)
  • 3 TBLS Truvia Cane Sugar/Stevia Blend
  • 4 tsp (1+1/2 TBLS) Fresh Lemon Juice (juice from 1 small lemon)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Half & Half

In sealed container, combine the strawberries, Truvia and lemon juice and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Meanwhile combine vanilla, heavy whipping cream, and 1/2 & 1/2 in a 2 cup measuring cup or bowl and refrigerate or 30 minutes.

After strawberries have macerated at least 30 minutes, mash them up a bit with a potato masher or meat tenderizer then add them to your frozen ice cream maker bowl.  Pour your liquid ingredients into the ice cream maker bowl on top of the strawberries.

Turn your machine and process the ice cream until it reaches your desired consistency.  It took me 15 minutes to reach a solid soft serve in my Cuisinart 2 Quart Frozen Yogurt & Ice Cream Maker.

If you want your ice cream to have a firmer consistency you can scoop it into a single container with a lid or, like I did, scoop it in 2 oz portions, into small containers for single servings.

Nutrition Information (8 – 2 oz servings)

  • 140 Calories
  • 12 g Fat
  • 4 g Carbs
  • 2 g Protein

Buttery Crackle Chicken Thighs

Today I found this great recipe for Buttery Crackle Chicken Thighs on #SweetCsDesigns.
Buttery Crackle Chicken Thighs are the most delicious, juicy, and super crunchy chicken thighs you’ll ever make!  #ThisGirlLovesToEat 

Buttery Crackle Chicken Thighs

  • 1.5 lbs chicken, medium-large bone-in chicken thighs, skin on
  • 2 tbsp butter, ghee/clarified
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Lay chicken thighs out on a cutting board, and using sharp kitchen scissors, cut out bone from thigh.
  2. Remove bones (save them for chicken stock if you make your own!)
  3. Pound chicken flat and make sure they are very dry, pat with paper towel if needed.
  4. Generously salt and pepper meat side of chicken (don’t salt fat side, as it can easily burn).
  5. Heat a cast iron (or heavy) pan on high heat, so it is scorching hot (but not smoking).
  6. Reduce heat to medium-high.
  7. Add ghee/butter to pan, and let melt.
  8. Add chicken to pan, starting with the fat side down.
  9. Let fat crisp and chicken brown, about 7 minutes.
  10. Flip chicken and cook until 165 degrees internal temp – about 6 minutes.
  11. Let rest 2-5 minutes and pat off any excess butter softly with a paper towel.
  12. If desired, cut chicken into strips.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Amount Per Serving

Calories277 Fat7g Cholesterol95mg Sodium113mg Protein21g

What’s the White Stuff on Cooked Salmon?

The white stuff on salmon is called albumin. Albumin is a protein that exists in the fish in liquid form when it’s raw that coagulates and becomes semi-solid when you subject the salmon to heat when cooking. As the meat cooks, the coagulated albumin gets squeezed out and becomes a white coating.
The more aggressively you cook your salmon the more albumin will appear on its surface.

Think of what happens when you wring out a wet towel. The water inside the fibers of the cloth is pushed out as you squeeze the fibers closer together. The same principle applies to salmon. As salmon cooks, the flesh contracts, pushing out albumin to the fillet’s surface. The higher the heat, the more quickly the flesh contracts, and the more albumin becomes visible.

To have as little albumin as possible visible on your finished dish, follow these guidelines:

  • Cook your salmon at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time. It’s gentler on the fillet, resulting in a super-tender piece of fish with less nasty white stuff.
  • If you are searing salmon (and fish in general), always do so with the skin side down. The skin acts as a protective barrier between the fish and the hot metal pan. **TIP: Even if you plan on taking the skin off, cook your fish skin-side down for 90% of the way, turn off the heat, and then flip the fish so the skinless side cooks on the pan’s residual heat.
  • Don’t overcook your salmon. You want it medium to medium-rare in the center, still a bit translucent. Overcooking salmon is the easiest way to get albumin everywhere. **TIP: When you can push on the top of your salmon with a fork, and the the layers of flesh separate easily and seem moist, your fish is finished cooking.

Thanks to my friends at Epicurious for the cooking tips! #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Low Carb Fruits & Veggies

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Keto Fast Food Options

The team at Thrillist have compiled a pretty good list of options for those living a #KetoLifestyle who occasionally have to seek sustenance when only fast food dining options are available! www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/keto-fast-food-options

Dairy-Free Dole Whip

Extra special thanks to the guys at Epicurious.com for sharing this tasty treat on this extra-hot Sunday!  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

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Homemade “Dole Whip”

  • 4 Cups Frozen Pineapple Chunks
  • 1 Cup Canned, Unsweetened, Coconut Milk
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt
  • 4 Fresh Pineapple Wedges (optional)
  1. Process frozen pineapple, coconut milk, banana, and salt in a food processor (I used my Vitamix) until very smooth.
  2. Divide among glasses or cups and garnish with pineapple wedges, if using.

Nutrition Information (Serves 4)

  • 220  Calories
  • 12 g  Fat
  • 27 g Carbohydrates
  • 2 g    Protein