Creamy Brussels Bake

With the holidays rapidly approaching, especially Thanksgiving in the US, many people in the keto and LCHF community are discussing ideas to make a keto-friendly meal without compromising great taste.  One concern across the community is alienating non-low carb guests with food they would not enjoy on their own for a holiday meal.  I feel as though there needs to be a compromise in cases like this; offering traditional stuffing and mashed potatoes to accompany your prized bird is practically a must, so I wouldn't skip out on serving those dishes to others.  You can enjoy your keto-friendly options (turkey, salad, roasted veggies, etc.) while simultaneously pleasing your guests.  Instead of rolls, consider making my jalapeño bacon biscuits that I guarantee both you and those not watching their carbs will enjoy.  Today I am bringing you another recipe that everyone will enjoy.  I think Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables that are very versatile and easy to prepare, yet people [Continue reading...]

Philly Cheesesteak Casserole

Apologies in advance to any Philadelphia natives that may read this; I know this is not a true, authentic cheesesteak by any means, but I'm pretty excited about this low carb alternative.  There is something very satisfying about peppers, onions and steak that gets even better when you add some cheese.  You don't even need the bread when the outcome tastes this good - bonus points for it being easy to prepare, making it the perfect weeknight meal. I began prepping by gathering my ingredients and pre-heating my oven to 350°F.  I forgot to include the mushrooms in this photo, but you'll want sliced baby bellas to go in this dish as well. Next it was time to chop the onions and peppers.  Be sure to leave them in big pieces so there is plenty of body to the casserole.  A true cheesesteak uses green peppers, so feel free to substitute with those, but I prefer the sweetness of the tri-colored bell peppers.  Make sure to remove all seeds and membranes from the inside of the peppers [Continue reading...]

Cheddar BBQ Mini Meatloaves

Comfort foods are an integral part of the Standard American Diet and often remind us of mom's homecooked meals.  Your favorite comfort foods probably vary depending on where you grew up and your family's nationality and traditions, but the constant is that everyone has one or two meals they find satisfying time and again.  One of my favorites is my mom's slow cooker chili recipe (which I will be happily indulging in when I travel home for Christmas), for example; it is stick-to-your-ribs good in the winter and is the perfect pairing with Sunday Night Football.  Another favorite of mine has always been meatloaf.  This recipe is great as it pre-portions the meat into individual mini loaves and uses keto-friendly ingredients.  Pair this with a nice side salad or my roasted asparagus or Brussels sprouts and you have yourself a complete meal that is healthy and delicious.  If you're not a fan of BBQ sauce, you could find reduced sugar ketchup and use that in its place, of course.  As always [Continue reading...]

Slow Cooker Sausage Soup

One of the most comforting meals in autumn and winter is a hearty soup.  I've grown to love my slow cooker especially when it comes to soup recipes.  Learning to make soup from scratch, without any carby fillers, has been a fun process, and today I present my favorite creation to date.  As with most slow cooker recipes, this soup only takes a few minutes to prep and throw together and then cooks on low for several hours - low maintenance, my favorite.  The key is using already smoked sausage; I don't have to worry about checking the sausage is fully cooked, only that it is heated through.  In this recipe I use linguica sausage which is a smoked cured pork sausage seasoned with garlic and paprika that comes from Portuguese-speaking countries.  You could easily substitute kielbasa (Polish sausage) or any other smoked sausage you may prefer. To start I plugged in my crock pot and set it to low.  My slow cooker is very small compared to standard size crock pots; I am not the original [Continue reading...]

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

I was a self-proclaimed pastaholic in my past carb-loaded days.  I could have probably enjoyed pasta multiple times a week, so I thought when I turned to keto I'd miss pasta terribly.  Turns out no, I really don't, which is a miracle in itself.  That said, from time to time I do enjoy an Italian-flavored dish (hence my love of zoodles) and this recipe fits the bill perfectly.  This is kind of a three-in-one recipe as I explain how to make super delicious and easy meatballs, how to cook a spaghetti squash to perfection and how to put it all together into one meal.  You're welcome!  Just kidding, but really you could make just the meatballs as a wonderful appetizer (I'm thinking on toothpicks for a Superbowl party perhaps?) or the roasted spaghetti squash as a holiday side dish (with a little butter and parsley on top - yum!).  Spaghetti squash is packed with Vitamins A, C, and E, magnesium and calcium, so aside from cutting the carb count significantly (7g vs 75g carbs per 100g of [Continue reading...]

Jalapeño Bacon Biscuits

Everyone loves those Red Lobster cheddar biscuits, right?  Today's recipe is a kicked up version of those for 1/4 of the carbs.  According to their nutrition facts, each Red Lobster biscuit has 16g carbs whereas each of my biscuits are only 4g total carbs and just 2g net carbs once you subtract the fiber.  After making today's batch I had to physically restrain myself from eating all of them, so be prepared to have your willpower tested once these come out of the oven.  As the weather cools down, there is something so satisfying about a delicious biscuit next to a hearty bowl of soup or even a crisp salad.  These would also make a wonderful alternative to traditional rolls this holiday season, particularly at Thanksgiving.  They are cheesy and flaky with a subtle hint of heat from the jalapeños - a winning combination that is also extremely keto-friendly! I prepped by pulling out the necessary ingredients seen above, pre-heating my oven to 350°F and spraying my jumbo muffin tin [Continue reading...]

Spicy BBQ Chicken Thighs

First, an exciting update:  On October 1st I reached 75 pounds lost since March when I began living a ketogenic lifestyle.  I am thrilled with my progress to date and I am looking forward to future successes as well.  I've been going to the gym 4-5 days a week, using the stationary bike for some cardio as well as working on strength training both with machines and free weights.  Keto has cured me of my cravings for bread, pasta and potatoes and has a long list of benefits in addition to the weight loss.  I've truly enjoyed my experience and only wish I had found it earlier, to be honest. Today's recipe is so easy I'm almost embarrassed to include it on my blog.  This is a no-fail 10 minute prep dish that comes out juicy, tender and full of robust flavor.  I've started branching out by using chicken thighs in addition to chicken breasts as they are a more keto-friendly option (more fat in the skin and dark meat than the lean white meat chicken breast).  My preference is usually white [Continue reading...]

Tuna Cakes

I guess I'm on a tuna kick lately but it's such a versatile protein.  Tuna salad is great by itself or in a low carb tortilla, in lettuce wraps or perhaps stuffed into a portabella mushroom.  This week I made tuna cakes which taste just as good as crab cakes for a fraction of the cost.  Crab could easily be used in place of tuna in this recipe, but the more economical choice here is tuna, obviously.  These tuna cakes are flaky, moist and flavorful and extremely easy to make. I began by pulling out all the necessary ingredients for the recipe including 3 cans of tuna in extra virgin olive oil.  For keto, it's preferred to use tuna packed in oil (better macro ratios) but it's okay to use tuna in water if you're not monitoring macros as closely. I thoroughly drained all three cans of tuna, flaked large pieces with a fork and added it to a bowl along with the diced red onion, two eggs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and red pepper flakes.  I used my food processor to turn the [Continue reading...]

Stuffed Zucchini Cups

Although autumn officially begins this week, I'm still knee-deep in my new found love of zucchini.  Hopefully Whole Foods continues to keep the vegetable well-stocked into the colder months as I have been eating 1 or 2 a week all summer.  This recipe will show you how to make zucchini cups that could be served as appetizers or entrees; you could also turn the zucchini into boats (slice end to end and hollow out the flesh the same way as demonstrated here) and stuff them that way instead, if preferred.  These are simple to make, low calorie and surprisingly filling - a winning trifecta for any recipe I try. I pulled all the ingredients out of the fridge and pre-heated the oven to 350°F.  Please note, I forgot to include the jar of salsa in the above photo and realized too late (ie vegetables already chopped and meat already cooked) - don't forget it!  I have nearly a pound of ground beef in the package and I cooked all of it but only used half of the meat mixture when stuffing the [Continue reading...]

Portabella Tuna Melts

I used to really enjoy tuna salad on white bread in my pre-keto life, but long gone are the days of reaching for highly-processed carb-loaded bread at the grocery store.  (Don't get me wrong, bread is still delicious and I will indulge on vacations and some holidays throughout life, but it is a thing of the past in my everyday living.)  I was a bread fiend back in the day and just before converting to a ketogenic lifestyle I learned to make tuna melts panini-style on my George Foreman grill.  This version using portabellas  bring the same great taste and satisfying warmth of a traditional tuna melt without the unnecessary carbohydrates. I started by pre-heating the oven to 350°F, lining a baking sheet with foil and spraying it with non-stick spray.  I also gathered all of the necessary ingredients as seen above.  For this recipe you want to use tuna packed in olive oil as opposed to water to raise the fat content, especially because tuna is packed with so much protein. Next I [Continue reading...]