Shrimp

Chann's Favorite Party Appetizers

There are few things better than getting together with those you love, celebrating the holidays, and creating new memories. All of these things are made even better by a smorgasbord of yummy food to snack on while enjoying the festivities. Unfortunately, most snack food is packed with unnecessary carbohydrates and sugars. Here are just a few of my favorite low-carb party go-tos.

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Meet, Cheese, and Fruit Plate

I am a total sucker for a great cheese plate. Pair the right cheese with the right meat and fixings and WA-LAH! Heaven on earth! There are SO MANY different kinds of delectable cheeses, meats, and spreads out there. You really want variety on your platter. Here are a few of my favorite combos.

INGREDIENTS:

Option #1

Brie (soft cheese)

Prosciutto (Italian dry cured ham)

Pepper jelly

Option #2

Parmigiano Reggiano (hard/firm cheese), thinly sliced

Sopressata (Italian dry salami)

Honey

Option #3

Smoked Guoda (smoked semi-hard cheese) or Farmhouse Cheddar (aged semi-hard cheese)

Dry cured salami (made of beef or pork and mostly air dried)

Chutney

Option #4

Herbed Goat cheese (crumbly soft cheese)

Apples

Walnuts

Fixings

I also always add something…

  • Sweet: like berries, grapes, or chocolate

  • Salty: like pistachios, cashews, or almonds

  • Crunchy: like carrots, celery, or cucumbers

INSTRUCTIONS:

Arrange cheese, meats, and fixings on a large platter with small cheese knifes and meat forks.

Place spreads in small bowls or dishes and place strategically around the platter.

Consider labeling items with small pieces of paper taped to tooth picks.

Serve with a selection of bread and/or crackers.

RECIPE NOTES:

For a ketogenic lifestyle:

Stick to the cheese and meat alone and then load up on the veggies for stacking and dipping.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Bacon! Cheese! And shrimp! Oh my! Three of my favorite things put into a simple, yet seriously delicious, appetizer.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound of bacon

1 pound of jumbo shrimp, raw

1 8-ounce brick pepper jack cheese, sliced

Garlic salt, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Wash, peel, and devein shrimp. Leave the tail on. Pat dry with a paper towel.

Place a small cube/slice of cheese on top of each shrimp.

Wrap each shrimp with 1 slice of bacon (or a ½ slice of bacon if your shrimp are smaller). If the bacon is not staying in place you may stab a toothpick through the middle to hold everything together.

Place shrimp on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or tin foil.

Lightly sprinkle the shrimp with garlic salt.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until bacon is at desired crispiness and the shrimp is pink.

Serve warm.

Sausage Cream Cheese Dip

This one is a Thompson family favorite! It is SO EASY to make and is packed full of flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

1 pound ground sausage, Italian or regular/plain

1 10-ounce can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained

INSTRUCTIONS:

Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until cooked all the way through and no longer pink. Drain excess grease.

Add cream cheese and mix until melted.

Stir in Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies.

Serve warm with tortilla chips.

RECIPE NOTES:

I have a small, dip sized, crock pot I keep the dip in to keep it warm and/or to take to parties.

For a ketogenic lifestyle:

Serve with celery sticks, cucumber slices, and/or thick-sliced bell peppers.

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.