Sunday, April 13, 2014

Low-Carb Deep Dish Pizza

This is an Atkins recipe from The New Atkins Made Easy. I love this recipe. I've made it a bunch of times, and I am never disappointed. Pizza, of course, is a blank canvas! The original recipe calls for sausage, but I've changed it up many a time. The technique is mostly the same here, but the toppings are what are different. I also let my crust and toppings bake for longer. I also use my 8x8 glass dish for this, so watch yours carefully if you have a dark pan. This yields 4 slices of pizza. The book says this feeds 4, but I find that hard to believe. In my opinion it feeds two, and is a lighter dinner.

Didn't get to take a pic of it after it came out of the oven. :-(

1 cup cooked and riced cauliflower
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (you can use packaged, but fresh tastes better, I've done both!)
1 egg

~ Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Beat egg until yellow and foamy. Add cauliflower and cheese, mix well. 
~ Spread evenly into an 8x8 baking dish or pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 14 minutes or until golden brown. 

1/2 cup low-to-no-sugar added pizza sauce (or make your own with 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, 1 t Italian seasoning, 1/2 t olive oil, sprinkle of sweetener and 1/4 t minced garlic)
2 T chopped jarred bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup chopped onion
4 small slices canadian bacon, diced
2 slices salami, diced
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

~ Sprinkle toppings onto pizza, ending with the cheese. Bake 8 additional minutes, until cheese is melty and about to turn golden brown. Remove pizza from oven and let sit ten minutes. Carefully slice into 4 pieces (serves 2), and enjoy!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake

About two weeks ago the bestie emailed me a lonnnnnng list of recipes I should make, all  from tumblr posts. I've finally got the ingredients, so this week I made a Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake for us. It was posted by muscle-and-h8, so it's not an original recipe or anything, but I took pictures and I had to share! Find the recipe here: Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

My other reason for making this, besides the fact that it looked DELICIOUS, was that I wanted to have something quick for us to grab for breakfast. Inspired by The Lean Green Bean, I wanted to use last Sunday as a food prep day for the week. All my slaving away got us through Wednesday, lol, and then I had to make us something else for breakfast. Oh well, practice makes perfect. :-) This cake turned out a little denser than I thought it would, so next time I will probably shave off about 5 minutes of cooking time. I'll also be sure to get me some 85% dark chocolate, or buy sugar free chocolate chips, because the only ones I had on hand were from a bag of Nestle winter dark chocolate/mint chips, which, as you guessed it, made the coffee cake taste!

Also, I've noticed that the texture of baked goods with Bob's Red Mill blanched almond flour is always crumbly in texture. I tried pulsing the almond flour in my food processor to see if I could grind it more finely, but that didn't really work. I wonder if trying unblanched almonds will affect the texture? Do any of you all out there have any ideas? What's your favorite brand of almond flour? :-)



1st layer after sprinkling cinnamon, sweetener, and choco chips
2nd layer, almond flour batter

2nd layer with cinnamon, sweetener, choco chips! Ready for the oven!

Breakfast Casserole Muffins (Low-Carb)

I love eggs. My mom loves to remind me that as a chubby little baby, I could eat the Gerber eggs from the jar for hours on end. The same is true today. I love eggs cooked any kind of way, and my favorite way to eat them is sunny-side up with a generous sprinkling of black pepper. But heck, if you made me an omelet, or some cheesy scrambled eggs, I'd still be a happy camper! I seriously. Love eggs!! 

This past week for breakfast, I wanted to be sure we had something quick and yummy to grab on the way to work. That's where these guys came in. Having breakfast for the week (or, well, part of it, lol) was a challenge to myself after receiving a blog update from The Lean Green Bean. The mastermind behind the blog, Lindsay, shared her own as well as several other bloggers' Sunday food prep ideas. That got me thinking, and I decided to buckle down once and for all and get some food crackin'! I made the breakfast casserole from The New Atkins Made Easy, but in muffin form! This way the casserole stretched a WHOLE lot more, and, it was fun to eat! The casserole is super customizable, and I usually just make this recipe with whatever I have on hand. Most recently I had canadian bacon and spinach on hand, so that is what I used. 

Breakfast Casserole Muffins 
Serves 4-6

8 eggs
1 t extra virgin olive oil
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped onion
6 small slices canadian bacon, diced
2 cups chopped baby spinach
1 t baking powder
salt and pepper

~ Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
~ Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and canadian bacon, cook 3-4 minutes till onions are soft and canadian bacon is lightly browned. Remove from heat. 
~ In a large bowl, beat eggs and baking powder til just blended. Fold in cheese, canadian bacon and onion, spinach, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
~ Divide evenly among twelve muffin cups.  
~ Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and tops are set.
~ Let cool for several minutes before removing from muffin tin. Use a butter knife or spatula to gently run around the edge of each muffin to remove the egg muffins. Enjoy! 

Low-Carb Oven Fried Chicken Breast

Howdy pardners! 

I love me some fried chicken. I discovered not too long ago that you can use ground pork rinds as a breading instead of bread crumbs or flour to minimize carbs. The wonderful thing is, the fat from the rinds keeps the meat succulent and juicy, and no extra oil or butter is needed. These oven-fried split chicken breasts and a side of broccoli were just the ticket for a no-fuss Monday dinner. 

Low-Carb Oven Fried Chicken Breast
Serves 2

2 6-8 oz split chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
1 1/2 cups ground pork rinds (can grind in food processor), seasoned with 1/2 T ground red pepper and 1/2 t Lawry's low-sodium seasoning
pepper to taste

~ Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. 
~ Sprinkle chicken liberally with pepper. Roll chicken in the ground rinds and press gently but firmly so that the rinds adhere to the chicken skin. Be sure all sides are covered, and roll the chicken in the ground rinds a second time if needed. I like a lot of coating, so I rolled and pressed as much as I could so that the chicken breast was covered in yumminess!
~ Bake chicken for 40 minutes, then carefully turn and let cook 10 minutes more. 
~ Serve with your favorite veggie, hot sauce, and sweet tea! :-)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Quickie Mussel Stew

Do you shop at Aldi? If not, drop everything and run there now. Questionable to some, but an opportunity for me, they sell frozen mussels for $2.99 with three different flavors--one with natural juices, another with white wine and garlic sauce, and another with a tomato sauce. 

Today, after a small breakfast, I got hungry rather quickly and the time came to finally use the last box of frozen mussels in my freezer. I'd been wanting to make a mussel stew for a few days so I got down to business. It came together in about 15 minutes and was super yummy!

Quickie Mussel Stew
Serves 2

1 14 oz box frozen mussels in their natural juices
1 14 oz can chopped tomatoes with juices
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 t dried italian seasoning
1 t minced garlic
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 t dried shallots
1/4 cup red cooking wine
1 T chili-infused olive oil
dash salt and pepper

~ Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, italian seasoning, dried shallots, and give a few stirs. 

~Add in the tomatoes and spinach, stirring to coat with the oil and seasonings. Add wine, salt and pepper, stir, then add mussels.

~Turn the heat to high and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover, then reduce heat to low, and cook 5 more minutes. Remove lid, stir, and cook 2 minutes. 

~Divide immediately between 2 shallow bowls. If desired, serve with crusty bread. We didn't have any bread, as we are on Atkins, but I am sure it would be great with this stew! 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Pesto-Stuffed Chicken Breasts and Blog Musings

One day I will surely get it together and be consistent in my blog-writing. It is still my dream to have a popular, well-visited blog, but unfortunately I am not there yet. Recently I have been visiting a lot of blogs in my low-carb eating quest, and have found a few things that bloggers are doing nowadays.

  1. Bloggers are writing their very own recipe e-books. That is so impressive! A lot of bloggers are either selling these, or offering a small, free one upon subscribing to their email lists. 
  2. Bloggers are participating in, or hosting, panels!! Who knew! So innovative. There are low-carb panels, panels on how to bake with coconut flour, and more! A panel will consist of several bloggers sharing their ideas on whatever the topic is. 
  3. Bloggers are asking questions. A lot of the blogs I like to follow have questions at the end of the blog posts. What a great way to get others involved, and to start a conversation. After all, blogging isn't only for the blogger, it's for the reader too. Love that.
  4. While many bloggers follow and tweak recipes, and link from this or that website, many bloggers are true bonafide recipe developers, playing around in the kitchen and experimenting to create their recipes. I think this is what I need the most improvement on. That, improving my p.o.v., and just overall creating my blogging presence. I'm glad that there's room and time to grow!

I am proud to say that I was able to whip up a yummy chicken dish the other night on my own. I'd seen a recipe for stuffed chicken breasts weeks ago and wanted to use up some of what I had in the fridge to make a dish similar to it. I haven't made stuffed chicken breasts in a long while, but making them reminded me that they were one of the first dishes I ever made for my dad and brother once I moved to my dad's house after graduating from college.  Ah, the good old days. :-)

Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Spinach
Serves 2
2 medium sized chicken breasts, sliced in half  laterally and pounded thin
4 Tbsp pesto (I used Pesto Genovese, Aldi brand, but scratch made pesto would work just as well)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup red cooking wine (or the real thing if you have it)
1 Tbsp garlic infused olive oil
4 toothpicks

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pork-Rind Pork Chops

So we have been on Atkins for the last several weeks. Day before yesterday the bestie tells me she saw a post on Tumblr that says you can bread meat with ground pork rinds. I was like, hey-hey!! So yesterday night, I made pork chops and it is true!! You can oven-fry meat with pork rinds and minimal added oil or fat. Here's the recipe I used, and of course, there are so many variations, so get creative! I still have half of a bag of pork rinds left, so I will be using the rest to make chicken fingers next time. Who knew?!

Pork-Rind Pork Chops (Serves 5)
(Adapted from Giada De Laurentis' Family Dinners cookbook)
5 pork chops, bone-in (I had an assorted mix) (mine were about 1/2 inch thick)
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (I used shredded romano), placed in a shallow dish or pie plate
1 cup ground pork rinds (I used half of a large bag, pulsed in a food processor til ground), placed in a shallow dish or pie plate
2 eggs, beaten in a shallow dish or pie plate
1 Tbsp italian seasoning
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
salt and pepper

- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
- Mix italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder into ground rinds.  
- Salt and pepper the pork chops on both sides. 
- Dip one pork chop  into the cheese, coating both sides and patting to adhere. Dip pork chop into egg, coating both sides, let excess drip off, then dip pork chop into ground rinds, coating both sides. If it is hard to get the ground rinds on the skinny sides of the pork chop, gently shake the pie plate with the rinds and pork chop in it. The jostling movement will cause the rinds to coat the sides. 
-Repeat with other pork chops. As you finish each pork chop, place them into a roasting pan or shallow baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. 
-Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Flip pork chops and bake for another 10 minutes. Pork chops should be golden brown in color with no pink remaining and juices should run clear. 

Note: After flipping pork chops, watch carefully. I should have written down how long I baked these for, but didn't. I know I started with 15 minutes and flipped, then added 5 minutes to the clock a couple times, so I think this is accurate, but watch them to be sure! The end result is a crispy-coated, juicy pork chop that is super flavorful! So with a little TLC and careful eyes on the clock (sorry!), you can get this too!! 

Happy Eating!!