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 so well with most of my favorite ingredients, and is so 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
  • 1 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 4 TBLS Ranch Dressing
  • 1/2 Cup Panko
  • Olive Oil Spray

 

Using your hands, combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl until well mixed.

Spray the basket in your air fryer lightly with olive oil spray, place a layer of meatballs, with space between for the air to flow around, set the temperature to 380° F, and set the timer for 8 minutes. Cook the meatballs, shaking them to turn them about halfway through so they brown evenly.

Quick, easy and oh so tasty!

 

Turkey Day Prep: Pumpkin Hummus

You know you need something to let people snack on before the big meal, but you don’t want them to be too full to eat the meal you’ve been slaving over for days…

This recipe, from November 2015’s Food & Wine Magazine, takes the edge off but won’t ruin anyone’s dinner! #ThisGirlLovesToEat

How to Make It

In a food processor (I used my Vitamix), combine the chickpeas with the pumpkin, lemon juice, garlic, cayenne and 1/3 cup of water and puree until smooth. Season the hummus with salt and pepper and serve with pita chips or crudités.

Make Ahead

The pumpkin hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Lemon Pepper Shrimp

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Once school starts, week night sit down dinners together for most families become a memory.  This recipe requires few ingredients, can be made in under 30 minutes (while Mama is sipping her glass of wine), can be made ahead and reheated, and makes week night dinners together something that doesn’t have to stop as soon as summer is over!  This serves 4 but can easily be doubled to serve a larger family or guarantee leftovers. #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Lemon Pepper Shrimp with Linguine

  • 1 – 8 ounce package linguine pasta
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 1 TBLS olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic minced (I use the pre-chopped jars which would equal 3 tsp)
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, like sauvignon blanc
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 TBLS chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 TBLS chopped fresh basil
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Whole basil leaves for garnish

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil
  2. Add linguine and return to a boil
  3. Cook according to package directions for al dente pasta (usually 11 to 13 minutes)
  4. Drain the pasta and put into a large bowl
  5. Toss with 1 to 2 TBLS olive oil and set aside
  6. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and saute garlic about 1 minute
  7. Mix in chicken broth, wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, & pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is reduced by about 1/2
  8. Mix shrimp, butter, parsley, and basil into the saucepan
  9. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, until shrimp is opaque
  10. Stir in the cooked linguine, and continue cooking 2 minutes, until well coatedWesterlySauvBlanc14

To serve, place a mound of pasta in the center of dish and divide the shrimp and sauce evenly between the plates. If desired sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese atop and garnish with leaves of basil.  This dish pairs nicely with chilled Sauvignon Blanc. #GirlsGoneWine

Weeknight Salmon in Parchment

For all of us trying to get more fish, and heart-healthy Omega-3’s, into our diets, this quick and easy recipe from Tastemade (the link takes you to the video – which is handy if you have trouble folding the parchment) takes 15 minutes from prep to cook to table!

INGREDIENTS

  • 30-inch long piece of parchment paper
  • ½ bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
  • 1 large scallion, cut into 2-inch-long pieces
  • 4 oz salmon fillet
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • 1 slice lemon
  • ¾ Tbsp butter
  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Fold parchment paper in half and cut out a large heart shape. Fold open the heart.
  3. In the middle of the right side of the heart, place 3–4 pieces of scallions and a few pieces of fennel. 
  4. Place the salmon skin-side down on top of the scallions and fennel. 
  5. Top salmon with salt, paprika and the lemon slice. Add the pat of butter on top.
  6. Fold the heart-shaped paper over the fish until the edges meet. (This means the crease will lift off the table.) Begin overlapping folds from the top left and work your way around to the bottom left, at which point you can twist it or paper clip it.
  7. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in oven for 8 minutes, or until meat thermometer reads 140ºF. Serve in the bag on a plate.

Toss a salad together while the salmon is baking and you’ve gotten a completely healthy meal on the table in under 30 minutes on a weeknight!

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Decadent Sunday Dinner

FullSizeRenderEvery once in a while I get a craving I just can’t shake for a thick, juicy steak and a moist, tender lobster.  Thankfully we are in an area where there are Asian markets with whole live Maine lobster in a tank, ready to be steamed for me on the spot, that are surprisingly affordable ($9.99/lb!).

Yesterday I got the craving while shopping in Costco (On a Sunday! What was I thinking?) and I just couldn’t face the weekend crowd we were sure to encounter if we trekked to the Ranch 99 Market.  I knew I had a pair of thick filet mignon steaks in the freezer and Costco had previously frozen Canadian lobster tails that looked meaty enough to satisfy my craving, so I decided to give them a try.

Knowing timing would be my biggest hurdle to making sure everything would be ready and warm at the same time, I set my cooking schedule for a true 30 minute meal:

FullSizeRender_35:30 – Get the steaks started.  I turned the burner to medium-high and pre-heated my favorite pan in my kitchen arsenal, my cherry Le Cruset Square grill pan, then added a spray of olive oil spray, seasoned the steaks with Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning, then put them on the sizzling pan to cook.  Assuming your filet mignon steaks are at least 1 inch thick, turn steaks over after 8 minutes (for medium rare), 10 minutes (for medium/medium well), or 12-13 minutes (for well done).  When you have turned cook the steaks for the same amount of time for your desired degree of wellness and, when there is about 2 minutes left in your cooking time, put a pat of cold butter on top of the steak.

In a pan with a lid, put in 1 inch of water and a steamer insert then bring to a boil.  When water reaches a boil, place the lobster tails inside the steamer insert, cover, reduce heat to low-medium and steam for 8 minutes.  While the lobster tails are steaming, in a small pan (or a ramekin in the microwave) melt a half cube of butter to dip the lobster in.

Open a bag of frozen C&W (A.K.A. Birdseye) whole petite green beans, pour into a covered 2 quart dish and set the microwave for 6-7 minutes on high power.

FullSizeRender_2This timing will have all of your parts done at the same time so that you can quickly plate and serve your dinner at 6:00.  I opened a bottle of  Eberle Rare & Reserve 2012 The Ravelin red wine blend to serve alongside.  The wine was a perfect complement to the boldly spiced steak.  Bon Appetit’.

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Spicy Shrimp Risotto

grillrenderWhat’s the best part about the day after a barbecue?  Leftovers of course!

Chicken went home with my girlfriend, the spicy Italian sausage and bacon wrapped jalapenos were devoured by everyone, but there were still some grilled vegetables and a dozen of the large freshwater shrimp left for me to toss into tonight’s dinner!

Spicy Shrimp Risotto

  • 8 – 12 Grilled Large Freshwater Shrimp (Tails and Shells removed)
  • 1 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper Chopped
  • 1 Large Portobello Mushroom Chopped
  • 1 -2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Cup (dry) White Arborio Rice
  • 1 TBLS Butter
  • 2 1/2 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth

In a 2 qt saucepan combine the rice with the butter and 2 1/2 cups of the chicken broth. Bring to a boil then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to steam another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another 2 qt saucepan, over medium heat saute the olive oil, mushrooms and bell pepper for about 8 minutes.  Chop the shrimp into chunks then add it and the red pepper flakes to the vegetables.  Simmer on low for about 5 to 7 minutes then cover and remove from the heat.

When the rice has finished steaming add it to the pan with the shrimp and vegetables. Season with salt, pepper and more crushed red pepper flakes if desired.  Serve with chopped avocado and your favorite hot sauce.

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. I may not write a blog post every day, but there are daily updates to my This Girl Loves To Eat community at: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood