Get Thee to Whole Foods!

Food & Wine Magazine shared the tip that, today, Whole Foods announced it’s bringing back its popular 12 Days of Cheese promotion. Because Whole Foods loves us and wants us to be happy, 😉 from December 12 to 23, we can eat our way through a choice of high-quality artisanal cheeses at ridiculously prices!

Each day from December 12 to 23, Whole Foods’ will make a different one of its “highest-quality cheeses available at a generous discount, from artisans like 2019–20 World Cheese Award–winner Rogue Creamery.” That discount: 50 percent off—with an additional 10 percent off if you’re a Prime member. This is reason enough to renew my #AmazonPrime membership! #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Here’s a cheat-sheet of the 2019 sale lineup – bonus, Whole Foods loves to let you sample:

Dec. 12: Roth Pavino
“Rich, earthy, medium-firm Alpine cheese with notes of sweet hazelnut. Exclusive to Whole Foods Market.”

Dec. 13: Istara P’tit Basque
“Aged a minimum of 70 days, this creamy and smooth sheep milk cheese has a mild, nutty flavor with a subtle, sweet finish.”

Dec. 14: Uplands Cheese Pleasant Ridge Reserve
“A cow’s milk Alpine-style cheese modeled after favorites like Le Gruyère and Beaufort, with flavors ranging from milky to nutty and grassy. The Pleasant Ridge Reserve is America’s most awarded cheese.”

Dec. 15: Neal’s Yard Dairy Keen’s Cheddar
“This cheese is dense yet creamy with complex flavors ranging from fruity to sweet butterscotch. Each wheel has been hand selected by our experts.”

Dec. 16: Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog
“A goat’s milk soft-ripened American original with a beautiful ribbon of edible ash through the center. Floral, herbaceous overtones, buttermilk and fresh cream flavors.”

Dec. 17: Emmi Cave Aged Le Gruyère
“A firm, almost crumbly Alpine cheese. Robust, deeply flavored, with tangy fruit notes and classic nuttiness.”

Dec. 18: Sweet Grass Dairy Thomasville Tomme
“Raw cow’s milk, handcrafted cheese with a semi-firm texture. Rich, earthy flavors with a finish of light salt, grass and tangy cream.”

Dec. 19: Mitica Cordobes
“Made with Castellana and Merino sheep milk from Spain. Rich and buttery flavors balanced by bright acidity and nutty undertones. Exclusive to Whole Foods Market.”

Dec. 20: Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue
“Aged at least 90 days in Roquefort modeled caves, this organic cheese has briny, earthy flavors with notes of sweet cream and huckleberry. Rogue Creamery recently made history by producing the first American cheese ever to win top honors at the World Cheese Awards in Bergamo, Italy.”

Dec. 21: Klare Melk Truffle Gouda
“Rich, flavorful, semi-firm cheese. Velvety notes of sweet cream and butter, generously laced with earthy truffles.”

Dec. 22: Cellars at Jasper Hill Harbison with Prosecco
“Soft-ripened, buttery, woodsy and sweet with balanced tones of mustard. A wash in Presto prosecco brings out bright citrus flavors. Exclusive to Whole Foods Market.”

Dec. 23: MonS Mary dans les Étoiles
“Stunning, ash-coated geo-rind goat cheese. Creamy and grassy, finished with light citrus notes. Exclusive to Whole Foods Market.”

Chicken Bacon Ranch Meatballs

chickbaconranchmb2

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!

 

The Best and Worst Alcohol for the Keto Diet

Today, for my alcohol enjoying #Keto followers, I’m sharing an excerpt from an article in #HealthMagazine from November of 2018. #ThisGirlLovesHerDrinks

The best (and worst) alcohol for the keto diet

No matter what proof (80 through 100), gin, rum, vodka, and whiskey all have 0 grams of carbohydrate in a jigger (or 1.5 ounces). Have your drink neat, on the rocks, or with a splash of plain soda water. And it’s best to pour your own rather than cracking open one of those pre-made spiked seltzers; one can deliver anywhere from 1 to 5 grams carbohydrate.

If you’re craving a glass of wine, budget for it, and keep the pour size in mind. A glass of white wine ranges from 3 to 6 grams of carbohydrate per five ounces. (The sweeter whites—think riesling versus chardonnay—typically have more carbohydrates.) At home, you’re likely to pour more than five ounces, especially if you have larger wine glasses. And a standard restaurant pour is six ounces. Red wine has a tighter range of carbohydrates, at 2.5 to 4 grams per 5-ounce pour, with little variation between varieties.

Skip beer: It’s essentially bread in a bottle. A can of beer has around 12 grams of carbs. Though if you must have a beer, seek out a light beer, which comes in at around half that carb load per can.

Two other no-nos: mixers (they’re all pretty much sugar-laden) and sake. A 6-ounce pour is fairly common for sake, and it delivers nearly 9 grams of carbohydrate.

An unexpected perk of going keto

In any trendy diet, there are always nuggets of wisdom buried somewhere—and keto is no exception. Because it involves such a tight carb budget, the diet doesn’t leave much room for regular alcohol consumption. And when you do imbibe, quantity is limited, so you’re likely to stay within the recommended limit. (That’s one drink per day for women, and two for men.) Considering that more and more research suggests moderate drinking may be more detrimental to our health than experts previously thought, the keto diet’s booze restrictions could be a really good thing in the long run.

Keto Banana Muffin Tops

bananamufftopsGetting rear-ended by a #TextingTeenager in my Shiny Red Porsche has left me incredibly sore, unable to exercise, do most things with my hands, lift just about everything, go just about anywhere, and, worst of all for my followers, type my blog. 😦  Unfortunately, for my hard earned weight loss gains, it has allowed me to, once again, sit on my butt and eat. #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Thankfully I have good Keto recipes, a stand mixer to stir for me, and a good friend willing to fix my one fingered typing errors, so I’m kind of back.

Keto Banana Muffin Tops

  • 6 TBLS Egg Whites
  • 1 Whole Large Egg
  • 3 VERY Ripe Small to Medium Bananas
  • 1+1/2 Cups Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour
  • 2 TBLS Butter Melted
  • 2 TBLS Truvia
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Macadamia Nuts, Walnuts or Pecans (if desired)

In medium bowl combine your baking flour, baking powder, and cinnamon.

In stand mixer combine your egg whites and truvia.  Beat on medium/high speed until stiff peaks form then turn off.

In a third bowl combine the whole egg, bananas, butter and nuts (if using).

Add the banana mixture to the dry mixture. Stir until well combined then fold in egg whites.

Spoon mixture into muffin top pan and bake at 350° F for 14 – 16 minutes or until bottoms are browned.  You can also line mini-muffin pans with parchment paper and bake for 18 – 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Nutrition Information

  • 56  Calories
  • 1 g  Fat
  • 4.5 g Carbs
  • 3 g Protein

 

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

#ThisGirlLovesToEat

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

Keto Friendly Anytime Smoothie

AnytimeSmoothieDeciding how you spend your carb allowance, when you are following a #KetoLifestyle, presents you with many options, depending on what stage of Keto you are at.  When you are in your induction and weight loss phase, smoothies are generally not the way to spend your day’s allotted carbohydrates, but this one tops out at 9 Net Carbs so it can be included from day 1.  This light and frothy smoothie a great #PickMeUp for that late afternoon slump plus it gives you a big protein, vitamin and fiber boost without piling on the calories.

Once you’ve hit maintenance phase smoothies packed with a higher berry to spinach ratio are a great way to get your fruits and veggies in with relatively little impact on your carb count.

Keto Friendly Anytime Smoothie

  • 1 Cup Cold Water
  • 1 Cup Halved Strawberries
  • 2 Cups (packed) Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 1 Scoop No Carb Protein Powder (I use Isopure Zero Carb Creamy Vanilla)
  • 1 Cup Ice Cubes

Starting with your water, put all of your ingredients, except your ice, into your blender or Vitamix.  If you have a smoothie setting, like I do on my Vitamix, include the ice, switch to that mode and hit start.  Your Vitamix will stop when it’s ready.  Otherwise, start on a low setting until ingredients are combined then turn your machine up to medium high and blend until smooth.  Without turning your machine off, Open your ingredient addition port (hole in top of blender lid) and add in the ice until desired consistency.

Nutrition Information (Serves 1)

  • 162 Calories
  • 0 g Fat
  • 8 g Carbohydrates
  • 28 g Protein

Keto Breakfast Griddler

Now that I’ve gone to #2ADays with original recipes plus a little something extra, I thought the perfect way to start is with this breakfast to grab and go!

#ThisGirlLovesToEat

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)