Low-Carb

Steak Salad with Avocado Cilantro Vinaigrette

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I love salad! But! When I eat a salad I want one FULL of nutrients and one that has a large variety of textures, colors, and flavors! When I eat a salad I also want to feel FULL. I do not want to be left craving unnecessary calories. This steak salad is all the things and more! I use it often as a part of my weekly nutrition plan to ensure I am meeting my macro goals, loading up on vitamins and minerals, and feeding my body what it needs in order to cut the sugar cravings.

Salad

INGREDIENTS:

6 cups fresh spinach or mixed salad greens

2 bell peppers, seeded and sliced

½ red onion, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 avocados, pitted and sliced

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cucumber, peeled and sliced

4-6 ounces crumbled goat cheese

⅓ cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds

Steak

Marinate and cook 1 pound of steak using Chelsea’s Messy Apron: The Best Steak Marinade.

Avocado Cilantro Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS:

1 avocado

1 cup fresh cilantro

1 lime, juiced

½ lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Salt & pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Marinate and cook steak using Chelsea’s Messy Apron: The Best Steak Marinade.

Saute sliced peppers and onion with olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat till soft and tender (3-5 minutes).

Add avocado, cilantro, lime juice, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, olive oil, cumin, and salt & pepper to a blender or food processor. Blend until combine and smooth.

Lay salad greens on the bottom on a large bowl and add thinly sliced steak. Top with sauted peppers & onions, sliced avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, crumbled goat cheese, and sunflower seeds. Serve with avocado cilantro vinaigrette.

Mom On Timeout: Chocolate Mint Cream Cheese Buttons

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RECIPE REVIEW

This recipe was originally posted on Mom On Timeout.

Everything “mint” and “chocolate” SCREAMS Christmas time to me! Mint hot chocolate before going caroling, mint chocolate M&Ms in the wooded Santa candy box in the kitchen, Andes mint thins left in my stocking on Christmas morning, and so on. While I have worked hard to let go of any emotional attachment to food and to simply view food as fuel, it is difficult to not associate food with some of my favorite holiday memories.

While I cannot magically zap the sugar out of all my favorite holiday treats, I am finding some scrumptious recipes that allow me to enjoy the season while also taking care of my body. With a few simple substitutions, these Chocolate Mint Cream Cheese Buttons bring all the YUM without any of the consequence.

*See ketogenic substitutes and modifications at the end of the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

4 ½ cups powdered sugar

½ teaspoon mint extract

Several drops of green gel food color

1 cup heavy whipping cream

10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine cream cheese and one cup of powdered sugar in a large bowl and use a stand mixer or hand mixer to combine.

Add the extract and gel food color and mix until combined.

Gradually add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Use your hands to combine the ingredients if your mixer is not up to the task. (I usually end up using my hands because it's faster.)

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Scoop out a teaspoon of the dough and form into a ball using the palm of your hands. Place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Use the end of a wooden spoon or a small measuring spoon to create indentations in each bowl. Dust the measuring spoon with powdered sugar if it sticks at all.

Chill the mints until firm, about 1 hour.

Place chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl or large measuring cup.

Bring heaving whipping cream just to a simmer and then pour over the top of the chocolate chips. Stir once or twice and then let sit for 2 minutes.

Continue stirring until the chocolate is fully melted and incorporated.

Transfer the ganache to a ziploc bag and let it set for 30 minutes or so until it has thickened up - think yogurt consistency. You can speed up this process by placing it in the refrigerator, but keep an eye on it or it will get very firm.

Cut the corner off of the bag and pipe the ganache into the center of each mint.

Chill for about an hour, or until the ganache has set up.

Store in refrigerator.

RECIPE NOTES:

For a ketogenic lifestyle:

Substitute the powdered sugar with a Xylitol sweetener. I use Swerve Confectioners Sweetener. The confectioners is like powdered sugar and the granular is like granulated sugar. Be sure to use the confectioners version.  

For the chocolate, I use Lily's Dark Chocolate Baking Chips.

Creme Da La Crumb: Mediterranean Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

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RECIPE REVIEW

This recipe was originally posted on Creme Da La Crumb.

While most of my weekly meal prepping consists of simple, yet flavorful-packed food, I am always seeking for recipes that "dress to impress". This is one of my all time favorite keto-friendly main dishes from Creme Da Le Crumb. It is simply delicious, full of flavor, and always brings out the "ooooo"s and "ahhhh"s from my dinner guests.

Ingredients:

4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts

⅔ cup chopped roasted red peppers (see note)

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided

4 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Thinly sliced fresh basil (optional)

INSTRUCTIONs:

Combine roasted red peppers, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender, pulse till smooth.

Grease a large skillet. Season chicken with remaining 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Cook chicken in your greased skillet over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side until cooked through and lightly browned on the outside. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Transfer red pepper mixture to the pan and stir over medium heat 2-3 minutes until hot throughout. Add heavy cream and stir until mixture is thick and creamy. Add chicken and toss in the sauce to coat. Garnish with crumbled feta cheese and fresh basil and serve.

Recipe Notes:

You can buy jarred roasted red peppers in most grocery stores near the olives.

Low Carb Yum: Easy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Donuts

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RECIPE REVIEW

This recipe was originally posted on Low Carb Yum.

When October rolls around the #basic girl in me starts craving EVERYTHING pumpkin spice and I ain’t even ashamed of it! There is something about fall flavors and smells that makes me want to wander through a pumpkin patch, drown my home in holiday decor, or bundle up in a blanket while sipping on a hot steamer.

As fall approaches I have been on a hunt for the best recipes to substitute my favorite sugar loaded holiday treats. One of my favorite family traditions of all time was coming home from school on Halloween day to find a giant pot of homemade chili and “spud-nuts” (donuts made from potatoes) laying out to dry while the wet icing slowly hardened.

These Easy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Donuts will most definitely be on the menu this Halloween! All the treat you can ask for without any tricks to your waist line.

Donuts

INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ cups peanut flour*

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk

½ cup steviva blend or ½ cup erythritol and ½ teaspoon stevia extract powder**

3 large eggs

1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a medium bowl, combine peanut flour, salt, baking powder, and spices.

In a separate bowl, mix coconut oil, almond milk, sweetener, eggs, and pumpkin until smooth.

Stir dry ingredients into wet mixture.

Grease donut pan. Spoon batter into the donut molds.***

Bake at 350° F for about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool and top with donut glaze.

Glaze

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup powdered erythritol

2 drops stevia glycerite

INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine all the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and beat until smooth.

Use glaze immediately as it will harden as it sits.

RECIPE NOTES:

*I have made this recipe with both peanut flour and almond flour. Both were good, just a little different.

**As mentioned by the original author, I also would add more sweetener next time. My recommendation is to the double the recommended amount in the donut batter from ½ cup to 1 cup.

***I purchased a Wilton® Doughnut Pan from Michaels.

For a ketogenic lifestyle:

I added 2 ounces of cream cheese to the glaze, because 1) Yum! and 2) it adds a little extra fat to the donuts.

Chann’s Shrimp Tacos with Cucumber Mango Salsa and Avocado Sour Cream Sauce

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I love tacos! Ok, that is an understatement. I REALLY. REALLY. LOVE TACOS! When beginning to practice a keotgenic lifestyle, one of my first questions was, "YEAH BUT! What is life really worth without tacos?" (I was kidding, of course) So I set out to make the best damn keto tacos I could and here they are; a keto-twist on my favorite shrimp tacos, created by yours truly! Enjoy!

Shrimp

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove)

2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

Taco seasoning to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

½ lemon, juiced

Instructions: 

Melt butter in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add shrimp and dust with taco seasoning. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from heat, add lemon juice, and stir.

Cucumber Mango Salsa

Ingredients:

1 english cucumber, diced

2 roma tomatoes, diced

1 mango, diced

¼ red onion, diced (optional)

¼ cup cilantro, minced (less if you want)

1 teaspoon chili powder (less if you want)

1 tablespoon honey (For a ketogenic lifestyle, use a xylitol sweetner, such as Swerve)

1 lime, juiced

Salt to taste

Instructions: 

Mix cilantro, chili powder, honey, and lime juice in a medium mixing bowl. Add cucumber, tomatoes, mango, and red onion (optional). Mix and salt to taste. Refrigerate 2-3 hours before serving.  

Avocado Sour Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

1 avocado

¾ cup sour cream

¼ cup heavy cream

2-3 tablespoon fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove)

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: 

Mix all ingredients in a bowl or blender.

Recipe Notes:

For a ketogenic lifestyle:

Place shrimp, mango relish, and avocado sour cream sauce over a bed of lettuce with some queso fresco for a salad or in a cheese taco shell. For simple and easy, one-ingredient, instructions check out Crispy Cheese Taco Shells on LowCarbMaven.com. Serve immediately.

For a non-ketogenic lifestyle: 

Place shrimp, mango relish, and avocado sour cream sauce in a small corn tortilla with some queso fresco. Serve immediately.

Food Network Kitchen: Flourless Chocolate Torte

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RECIPE REVIEW

This recipe was originally posted on Food Network.

If there is one thing I have missed the most since beginning to practice a ketogenic lifestyle it is chocolate cake. Though I do not crave sugar near as much as I used to, when the craving hits, it hits hard. This Food Network Kitchen Flourless Chocolate Torte has always been a favorite of mine, and with two simple substitutes, it hits the spot. YUM!!!

INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter or margarine, cut into small pieces, plus more for the pan

12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

6 large eggs

½ cup granulated sugar

Pinch of kosher salt

Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom and side of a 9-inch springform pan. Combine the chocolate and 1 ½ sticks butter in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water) and stir until melted and combined. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and let cool slightly.

Combine the eggs, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and thick, 5 to 8 minutes.

Gently fold half of the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until just combined, then gently fold in the rest. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the top is no longer shiny and barely jiggles and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few crumbs, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely in the pan. Remove the springform ring and transfer to a platter; dust with cocoa powder.

RECIPE NOTES:

For a ketogenic lifestyle:

Substitute the sugar with a Xylitol sweetener. I use Swerve Confectioners Sweetener. The confectioners is more like powdered sugar and blends more easily into the cake than the granular. 

For the chocolate, I use Lily's Dark Chocolate Baking Bar.

Keto Connect: Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip

RECIPE REVIEW

This recipe was originally posted on Keto Connect.

Okay guys, this summer I had TONS of delicious potlucks at my work. Often times, it was hard to find anything keto-friendly I could eat. So, I decided to make it easier on myself and bring a keto item to the party!

After a few hours of searching I found this dip! Keto Connect is one of my favorite resources to get recipes! Matt and Megha are seriously amazing! If you are a member of the keto community, these two are no strangers to you.

I modified the recipe a little by using a mixture of Franks Buffalo Sauce and Frank’s Original sauce. I also used a rotisserie chicken. It was glorious.

I cannot tell you how amazing this dip is! It takes the cream cheese a second to melt, but once combined it’s the most delicious appetizer I’ve ever had.

I suggest serving it with celery sticks. The crunchy and warm combination made the perfect combo.

Whoever said eating keto was restrictive is lying! This appetizer was a HUGE HIT at my company party and is now requested any time we have a potluck!

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups shredded chicken (cooked)

¾ cup blue cheese dressing

¾ cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce

12 ounces cream cheese (softened)

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ cup jalapenos (optional, for topping)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Add cream cheese and hot sauce to a medium heat saucepan.

Once fully combined stir in the blue cheese dressing and chicken.

Once fully incorporated, slowly mix in 3/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese.

Once fully incorporated transfer mixture to an 8x8 baking dish. Layer the rest of the mozzarella cheese on top.

Place in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Serve warm and enjoy!

Nutrition: 346.5 calories per serving | Fat 28g | Net Carbs 2.4g | Protein 20g