Friday, June 17, 2016

Lazy Ceviche

I was looking for something super easy to throw together without turning on the oven or stove on a hot summer night. This is my lazy version of ceviche, using store bought pico de gallo. Sometimes I just like to let the HyVee chefs do the chopping for me! I know that ceviche technically cooks the shrimp without heat anyway, due to the acid of the citrus juice, but I already had frozen cooked shrimp in the freezer, so I just used that.

Lazy Ceviche
1 pound bag of small cooked shrimp, thawed
1 pint of store bought Pico de Gallo
1 cup of chopped cilantro
3 small diced avocados
1 cup of tomato juice
1 tsp of salt
1 Tblsp of hot sauce
2 Tblsp lime juice
2 tsp of minced garlic
Thaw frozen shrimp and drain well. Put them in a large mixing bowl, add pico, cilantro,  and avocados. In a cup, stir together the tomato juice, salt, hot sauce, lime juice and garlic. Pour this mixture over everything else and mix well . Serve with Beanito chips or homemade low carb tortilla chips.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A macaroni and cheese miracle!

We are on a roll with the Miracle Noodles lately! I changed my auto ship order from Miracle rice to ziti shaped pasta, and these ziti make a perfect Mac and cheese!
Here's a link to the Miracle Noodle website. If you love their products, I highly recommend enrolling in the auto-ship program. I was getting ten bags of Miracle Rice delivered once a month, but I recently switched it to 20 bags of ziti delivered every two months. I appreciate the ease of switching your order up, or even putting it on hold if you don't want to get them for awhile. And they always have free shipping. That's lucky, since the box can be pretty heavy.
Miracle Mac
2 bags of Miracle Noodle ziti,
3/4 cup of shredded cheese
1/3 cup of heavy cream
3 1/3 inch pats of butter
Rinse the Miracle Noodles well and throw into a dry skillet over medium heat to evaporate the excess water off. They recommend that you boil them for two minutes, but I skipped that step and it was fine.

Combine the shredded cheese, heavy cream and butter in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high in 30 second increments over 3 minutes and whisk until smooth.
By the time the sauce is ready, the pasta should be dried. Pour the sauce over the pasta, add ground salt and pepper over it and toss to combine. Makes 2 servings.
This is so easy and faster than boxed mac and cheese, and with carb counts like this, it is the perfect keto food!
Nutritional information, per serving:
Calories: 271 (242 calories from fat)
Fat: 27g
Carbs: less than 1g

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Keto pancakes!

I love breakfast foods, and the thing I missed most with keto was the breakfast carbs. A person can only eat so many eggs before they get bored with the options. A few more ingredients can turn those eggs into something magically cake-like! I went searching online for low carb options to make pancakes and/or waffles. I discovered this recipe from the Try Keto With Me blog, who I started following on Instagram. She's got some great looking recipes!

Low carb baking seems intimidating to me,  because it usually requires lots of expensive wheat flour alternatives. I like this recipe because the only out of the ordinary ingredient I had to buy was some coconut flour, and it uses so little that my $8 package will last me a while. I chose to pay for the $8 tub with a screw on lid to keep it fresh, rather than the $5 bag that I'd have to clip shut. Plus, since it's a pancake rather than a baked cake, it is quick and easy. I'm all about instant gratification.

Here is the link to the original recipe. I doubled that recipe and left out the optional ingredients, as well as the extra liquid, as I found that I didn't need it. I think it is only necessary if you allow the batter to sit for awhile before cooking it, as it will thicken. I was hungry for pancakes and wasted no time!

Keto Pancakes

  • ounces cream cheese, softened
  • eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons sugar free vanilla syrup
  • tablespoon sugar substitute, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup tablespoons coconut flour
  • teaspoons baking powder

    Soften cream cheese in the microwave. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a heated non-stick skillet (I sprayed mine with butter flavored spray) and cook until bubbles appear on the surface and bottom side is golden. This batter is fairly thin and it will spread quickly when you pour it, so err on the side of smaller pancakes to make them easier to flip. (I learned this the hard way.) This recipe made 10 large 7 inch pancakes, or could make up to 20 smaller 4 inch pancakes, which equals 4 servings. Serve with butter and sugar free maple syrup of your choosing, I recommend Smuckers!
    Nutritional info:
    Serving size:  1/4th of total batch, however many pancakes that makes depending on size
    Calories 407 (279 of those calories are from fat)
    Fat 31g
    Carbs 12.65g
    Fiber 5g
    Net carbs 7.65g
    Protein 18.8g
    • add 1 tablespoon orange zest and 1 cup cranberries (+2.25g net carbs to each serving)
    • add 1 tablespoon lemon zest and 1 cup blueberries (+4.5g net carbs to each serving)
    • add 1 50g size chopped Chocoperfection bar and 1 cup raspberries (+2.25g net carbs to each serving)
    • add 2 teaspoons almond extract and 1 tablespoon rainbow sprinkles for "birthday cake" flavor (+2.25g net carbs to each serving)
    • add 1 tablespoon melted butter to use this batter for waffles
    These pancakes turned out awesome, and I look forward to testing out different variations to this base recipe!

    Wednesday, January 7, 2015

    Chorizo & Egg Breakfast burritos

    A couple of months ago, I ordered a chorizo and egg burrito at the little Mexican place across the street from my house, and it was awesome. What really struck me what how the texture of the chorizo sausage changed when it was combined with the scrambled eggs. Normally, chorizo is finely ground, and pretty greasy with it's spicy red oil oozing out of it. When scrambled with the eggs, the eggs take on the excess oil and it makes them scramble so fine, that they actually look like ground meat. I wanted to test this out at home. Kent was dubious that it would turn out, but then he actually ended up making these, and was amazed at both how good they were and how well it worked. They were delicious breakfast burritos, and very economical! The chorizo was only a couple of dollars to begin with, but adding eggs really stretches out the amount of filling, and if you didn't know better, you'd just think it was a huge pan of ground pork or something. 

    Exhibit A: This is the final texture of one link of chorizo combined with 7 eggs.

    All the ingredients. These tortillas are incredibly soft and flexible! 
     Chorizo Scrambled Egg Burritos

    1 link of chorizo sausage (we used mild)
    7 eggs
    shredded cheese
    sour cream
    low carb tortillas
    optional: jalepenos

    Split open casing of chorizo, and scrape filling into skillet on medium heat. Break up with spoon and cook for five minutes. Reduce heat to low. Whisk eggs together, pour over chorizo, and stir constantly until scrambled but still moist. Remove from heat, and eggs will finish cooking while you warm your tortillas in the microwave and get out the toppings. Assemble burritos to your taste.

    Makes 8 servings.

    Finished product- tasty breakfast burritos!

    Saturday, January 3, 2015

    Seafood Chowder

    This is not the most low carb recipe I've ever invented, but we are kind of poor after Christmas and tried to tailor our grocery list to work around what we have in the pantry and freezer. And what I had in the pantry was canned potatoes, canned corn, and a tin of smoked mussels, an onion, minced garlic as well as a small tub of leftover mashed potatoes in the freezer. It sounded like a good start to a seafood chowder to me. It has a pretty high fat content though, so it should balance out. I'm really proud of myself that we saved those mashed potatoes and then actually used them again a couple of months later, rather than the usual scenario- pushed to the back of the freezer, then finally thrown away two years later.

    The ingredients, 9 out of 13 things that we already had on hand.
    The seasonings, all of which we already had.

    Creamy, seafood-y goodness.

    Seafood Chowder

    1 onion
    2 T minced garlic
    6 T butter, divided
    2 - 14.5 oz cans of diced potatoes
    1 - 11 oz can of corn
    1- 8 oz bottle of clam juice
    4 cups of milk
    1 1/2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes
    1 lb of frozen peeled raw shrimp (small)
    8 oz imitation lobster meat
    small tin of smoked mussels
    1/4 pint of heavy whipping cream
    2 T konjac flour
    Old Bay seasoning
    Johnny's seasoning salt
    cracked black pepper

    In a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Peel and finely chop entire onion,  add to butter. Sautee until softened and translucent. Add minced garlic, and cook one more minute. Add drained potatoes and corn. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning, 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. Remove from heat.

    In a stock pot, combine mashed potatoes, clam juice, milk, and 1 tablespoon of Johnny's seasoning salt. Bring to a simmer. Remove 1 cup of this mixture into a bowl, and quickly stir in 2 tablespoons of konjac flour. Stir rapidly to remove lumps. Add mixture back into stock pot. Add vegetable mixture from skillet to stock pot of liquids.

    In the skillet, spray with oil, then add frozen shrimp. The shrimp will quickly release a lot of water and juice. Scoop that liquid off, and add to the stock pot. Sprinkle shrimp with 2 teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning, and cook until pink. Add lobster meat and stir to combine. Add seafood mixture to stock pot, along with 1 teaspoon each of salt, Johnny's, and Old Bay. Stir in mussels, the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, and heavy cream.

    Serve topped with freshly ground pepper. Makes 6 large portions that are very filling, thanks to the magic of konjac flour.

    Tuesday, December 30, 2014

    Chopped salads = easiest weeknight dinners!

    My body has been craving salads, which is unusual for late December. I think that it is telling me to get some nutrients after my holiday indulgences, and I agree. I haven't been doing very well with the ketogenic lifestyle lately, and it is time to get back on track.

    Whenever I crave salad, I want something interesting and somewhat gourmet, but I don't always have a lot of time to wash and prep my veggies. I am also somewhat picky about salad greens, because I can not tolerate the chunky white parts of lettuce, so I take a lot of time to go through and remove all of them whenever I make a salad. I discovered these new(ish) Dole chopped salad kits, and they are good! They are easy to eat, since everything is chopped into little pieces, and there isn't much of the chunky white parts to pick out.

    We stopped at the grocery store on the way home from work tonight, and I got a Sunflower Crunch chopped salad kit, which has cabbage, kale, carrots, sunflower seeds, bacon bits and a sweet onion citrus dressing. It was $3.49. I also got a rotisserie chicken for $6. Rotisserie chicken is the best thing ever for low carbers. I don't have time to roast chickens! Nor do I really care to touch raw chickens. $6 is such a low price to pay for the convenience of getting one ready to eat. And they are always so juicy and delicious. We took our ingredients home, chopped up the chicken, dumped the salad and chicken into a bowl, tossed with dressing, and devoured. You can't get much easier and healthier than that! And, compared to our usual habit of going out to eat all the time, it was very economical at just under $10 for two people. I've made it my New Year's resolution to eat way more of this meal in different variations- I am thinking around three times a week. Besides Sunflower Crunch, these chopped salads also come in the following flavors: Sesame Asian, Bacon & Bleu, BBQ Ranch, Chipotle Cheddar, and Summer Garden Blend. (Dole should be paying me for this free advertising, but they're not!) That will ensure I am getting all kinds of good vitamins and protein, and it will be so fast and easy. That is a resolution that I think I can stick to!

    Tuesday, November 25, 2014

    Thanksgiving salad

    organized for your viewing pleasure

    A few weeks ago, Kent made a turkey because we not only wanted a traditional turkey dinner, we also wanted leftover turkey to make jambalaya and for this salad I dreamed up. This is like a Thanksgiving dinner in salad form, and it is delicious! I invented this salad around one of the balsamic vinegars I got from Allspice in Des Moines- a cinnamon pear flavored one.

    Thanksgiving Salad

    1 bag pre-washed butter lettuce
    2 cups leftover turkey meat
    2 pears, thinly sliced
    1 cup dried cranberries
    4 oz apricot Stilton cheese
    1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
    4 oz pecan halves

    1 part cinnamon pear balsamic vinegar (or use Alessi pear infused white balsamic)
    1 part Splenda
    1 part olive oil
    splash of water to thin

    Toss salad, shake dressing, et voila! Makes 2 large meal sized servings.

    nom nom nom