Spinach and Blue Cheese Chicken Meatballs

If you search for meatball recipes on Pinterest you'll discover a huge array of new recipes to try.  Some bloggers are seriously creative when it comes to their meatball recipes and it inspired me to try to create something low carb but equally delicious.  A benefit to using ground chicken (or ground turkey even) is that you could easily make these into burger patties instead and grill them for a sandwich, if you wanted.  I've even made regular beef burgers and put them over a bed of fresh spinach for a twist on the traditional salad, but that's another story.  These chicken meatballs could be really versatile; they're great absolutely plain on their own or with just a dash of hot sauce and a side of steamed veggies, over zoodles or regular pasta in marinara sauce, as a meatball sub sandwich (for the non-low carb crowd), on a salad or with toothpicks as an appetizer.  I wanted to create a sauce to pair them with (hence the hot sauce and sour cream in the first photo) but I decided [Continue reading...]

Crispy Zucchini Fries

Burger and fries is an American classic, but when potatoes are no longer an option, I went looking for an equally satisfying replacement.  Enter the zucchini - this vegetable is so much more versatile than I ever realized!  From zoodles to pizza bases and even lasagna noodle replacements, zucchini gets the job done when living a low carb lifestyle.  French fries are a thing of the past with this recipe.  The zucchini crisps up wonderfully in the oven and offers a much heartier side dish to any burger or grilled chicken dish.  It's no surprise that I'm once again relying on pork rinds to make this dish as they are the perfect low carb breadcrumbs substitute. I began by pre-heating the oven to 425°F, lining a baking sheet with foil and spraying it with non-stick spray.  In my trusty Ninja food processor I poured 1 serving (about 9 pieces) of traditional pork rinds and 3 tablespoons of shredded parmesan (plus a teaspoon of Italian herbs seasoning) before crushing and thoroughly [Continue reading...]

Keto-Friendly Pepperoni Pizza

I realize this will never really substitute for Chicago pizza (sorry Jersey friends, NY-style just isn't as good), but I am glad I have come up with a recipe to fill the void when I'm jonesing for some pizza goodness.  Obviously any toppings can be used in place of pepperoni; I'll probably try my all time favorite spinach & mushroom combination in the future.  There are a lot of low carb pizza crust recipes floating around Pinterest, most of them using cauliflower or zucchini as the base of the crust.  I find those instructions to be labor intensive and the carb count relatively high per slice, so I brainstormed to think of something much easier with less carbs for an individual-size pizza.  Pork rinds to the rescue again!  It's kind of amazing how versatile pork rinds are and I never knew it until a few weeks ago.  I have another recipe on the horizon using them and it's a real winner, too.  This recipe is fast & easy, delivers a great personal pizza and has near-perfect macro [Continue reading...]

Roasted Asparagus

Roasted veggies have become my go-to side dish if I'm not making a stir fry.  They are good just wish a little olive oil, salt and pepper, but sometimes I'm looking for an even more flavorful seasoning.  I previously made roasted Brussels sprouts using Urban Accents' "Balsamic and Roasted Onion Veggie Roaster" and today I am back with another of their seasoning packets.  The Parmesan Mediterranean Veggie Roaster is another delicious seasoning for vegetables.  Although they recommend using it with butternut squash or potatoes, I've made this a few times with asparagus and think it works great.  I cannot speak highly enough about how easy these are to use and how delicious the vegetables turn out.  Once again I followed the instructions on the back of the packet and these turned out great. I began by pre-heating the oven to 350°F, lining a baking sheet with foil and lightly spraying it with non-stick spray.  I poured 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a small bowl and added 1 [Continue reading...]

Pepperoni and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

I know I said I wanted to marry the Brussels sprouts I made a few weeks ago, but I may need to get a divorce because of these mushrooms.  All jokes aside, these are really good...like, really good.  Stuffed mushrooms has always been one of my favorite appetizers as long as the filling is cheesy and they are served warm.  On Easter I brought rosemary, spinach & asiago stuffed mushrooms to my (very generous) co-worker's home when she invited me for dinner with her family; I'll be re-creating those at some point for the blog, but first I whipped up a batch of these.  I was originally going to call these "pizza stuffed mushrooms," but once I tasted them I realized that name didn't really fit.  When served right out of the oven, these are gooey and very flavorful, but not quite "pizza."  Regardless, these would be a real crowd-pleaser for sure. I started by pre-heating my oven to 350°F, lining a baking sheet with foil and spraying it with non-stick spray.  I took 4 ounces of [Continue reading...]

Spicy Guacamole

Guacamole is one food that I slowly came to appreciate over time; I avoided it for many years and I'm not sure why.  Obviously it's delicious with tortilla chips, but it is actually very versatile.  After I made this recipe for the blog I put a big spoonful onto a cheese omelette and it was delicious.  I have plans to use the rest on some salsa chicken salad.  If you're not a spicy food fan, you can tailor the amount of heat to your personal preference - I could have even used some hot sauce or a spicier pepper as I tend to like things hot. I started by slicing open 2 Haas avocados, removing the pits and scooping the avocado flesh into a bowl.  It's important to use ripe avocados when making guacamole.  Since I'm still relatively new to the avocado world, sometimes it's been hit or miss with picking nearly ripe fruits 2 days before I plan on using them, but luckily these were both perfect.  Next I diced 1/4 of a medium red onion (about 1/3 cup) and chopped 1 fresh jalapeno after [Continue reading...]

Chicken Parmesan

Bob Ross once said, "We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents."  I like to think this recipe was a happy accident; I made it up the first time I put it together and it turned out great.  If you ask my parents what my standard go-to meal used to be when trying a new Italian restaurant, it was always chicken parmesan.  The chicken parm became my ruler for comparing Italian restaurants against one another.  (For the record, one of the best I ever had was right after moving to Jersey at a place called Roxanne's... highly recommended, but not if you're eating low carb.)  Being able to re-create a recipe I love and make it really low carb friendly is why I started this blog, so I am really happy to be bringing this to you today. As an aside, today is my 27th birthday and I am so lucky to have generous parents who gave me a DSLR camera to use for this blog moving forward.  I am beyond thrilled with how these first images turned out and I know they will only continue to get better as [Continue reading...]

Zoodles + Meat Sauce

I am excited to be writing today's post as this has become one of my favorite recipes to make the last few months.  Buying a Spiralizer was a great investment and is a handy tool to have in your kitchen no matter what kind of lifestyle you are living.  I first heard about a spiralizer when I stumbled upon the blog Inspiralized.  As you can see on Ali's blog, there are endless possibilities for spiralized vegetables; zucchini, cucumbers, onions, potatoes and even apples are commonly spiralized for her dishes using one of the three blade attachments.  To date I've only used green and yellow zucchini, but I bet other vegetables are equally delicious.  Using zucchini in place of noodles (hence "zoodles") is a must for anyone eating low carb and is a great way to get in another serving of vegetables. Start by chopping 1 medium yellow onion and slicing the ends off 2 medium green or yellow zucchini.  Place a plate with a paper towel in front of the spiralizer to catch the zoodles.  If you [Continue reading...]

Hot Dog Salad

As I mentioned in my first post, spring and summer weather always makes me crave salad, and I don't think I'm alone in that feeling.  While caesar or house salads are good, using several varieties of lettuce, kale or spinach with different toppings and dressings keeps salads interesting and prevents them from becoming mundane.  This hot dog salad is adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe and made low carb friendly.  Personally, I think this salad is good to make in a bigger batch and stored cold in the refrigerator for a day or two as the flavors get even better, but this is a single-serve recipe made on the spot in under 10 minutes total - can't beat that! I started by adding 2 cups of ready-to-eat romaine lettuce and 1 ounce of cole slaw mix into my salad bowl.  I also chopped 1 kosher dill pickle spear and diced 1 small slice of red onion and added it to the bowl.  The dressing is made by using 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 packet of [Continue reading...]

Balsamic-Glazed Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Have you ever made something that turns out better than expected?  Some meals I make hit the mark while others can fall a little short of expectations.  Sometimes, though, I'll try something and it is an instant home run.  "I want to marry these Brussels sprouts" came out of my mouth after several seconds of chewing.  These Brussels sprouts are the perfect combination of salty and sweet and are sure to please a crowd at any family gathering. Admittedly, almost all the work was done for me with the help of a seasoning packet from Urban Accents, which I just happened to notice in the Asian/Indian aisle at Whole Foods last weekend.  The balsamic and roasted onion veggie roaster seasoning is one of four at my local Whole Foods, and it's safe to say I will be trying the others at some point as well.  Since each package can roast three batches of vegetables, I like that it is resealable to prevent loss of freshness.  I followed the suggested cooking method on the package and could not be [Continue reading...]