Baked Chicken Caprese

School is back in session, and as a result, so are our busy evenings. There is church, volleyball, committees, events, housekeeping, homework, teacher prep, etc. You name it, we are probably doing it. When trying to eat clean there are a few challenges. One is to find the time and effort to cook at home. Secondly is to not repeat the same recipes over and over again. And the one that I try to stick to more than any other is to cook with seasonal ingredients.

After spending some time in my garden I realized that I had an influx of basil, and a few tomatoes. I wanted a caprese salad, but not everyone will eat that for a meal at my house as I feed a hungry rancher/cabinet maker, and two teen athletes. Enter, baked chicken caprese.

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I needed something that was keto friendly, but also quick and easy to make. This recipe fit the bill.

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I used 4 chicken breasts butterflied (so 8 pieces of chicken). Then I tenderized with my trusty wax paper and rolling pin.

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I put them on a cookie sheet covered in foil and sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. I seasoned the chicken breasts with salt, garlic powder, oregano, and a dash of red pepper. Then I laid down 3 or 4 fresh basil leaves and topped with sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella pearls.

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I folded the breasts in half.

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Than I spread a little mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip or salad dressing) on top and then sprinkled with almond flour. I put it in the oven at 375 and baked for about 35 minutes.

14141666_577742869074880_5516203851653317947_nFor side dishes we had mixed veggies with Parmesan and “fried” okra in almond flour. You could just do a salad, or pretty much any other side. The 4 breasts butterflied made 8 servings and with the four of us there were none left.  I’m hoping to add some more similar recipes to my repertoire soon. Nutritional information.

Information from Fitness Pal Recipe Nutrition Analysis

Calories: 194 / Net Carbs: 4g./ Fat: 10g./ Protein: 19g./ Sugar: 2g.

 

 

 

The reality is….

The reality is….

I have been procrastinating about writing this post and I haven’t been able to post anything else, because well, I couldn’t.

For a multitude of reasons, excuses, life events, I went back to eating like crap.

It started slowly and then before I knew it I was back in my old habits.

I didn’t gain much weight back, only a few pounds, that are already leaving again.

I needed this lesson. It wasn’t about the weight that I put back on. It was about how I felt. I knew I was making poor choices and eating fake food, but I was “busy”, “didn’t have time to cook”, “stressed”. The reality of those decisions was about 10 days ago I started having trouble catching my breath, my headaches and joint pain were back, and I was lightheaded and nauseous.

I immediately knew why I felt like that, and I knew I had hated those feelings.

So….back to square 1 kind of.

I know what I need to do and I’m doing it. Starting over. It sucks, it will be hard, but that’s the consequence for straying off of the path.

If you’ve ever decided that this is the time to start over. Go ahead and start with me. TODAY. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Start now.

 

 

 

 

Bulletproof Coffee

From the beginning of starting Keto, Bulletproof coffee has been my JAM. I wasn’t a coffee drinker, unless it had more sugar and milk than coffee. B didn’t like it either. However, once you start, it’s honestly my crack. After being gone travelling for work, almost the entire month of July, I went back to resetting and drinking it each morning. 20160803_082956_resized

Ingredients:

1 Tbspn. heavy cream (if you have it, but milk works ok, but not the greatest)

1 Tbspn. Kerry Gold Silver Label butter (or any grass fed non salted butter)

1 Tbspn. Unrefined Coconut Oil

10 ounces hot coffee

1 scoop Barleans  Greens (I prefer the Chocolate Silk)

 

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Make the coffee as you normally would, either through brew, Keurig, or instant (I use instant) and then add butter, coconut oil, cream, Barleans.

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Blend well. Use could use a bullet, or any kind of blender, I have an immersion that is quick and easy to use.

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Pour into your cup, or travel mug and drink. It will wake you up, keep you full, and benefit your gut health. I don’t eat anything for breakfast, but drink this and am not hungry until lunch time. No snacking needed.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 301

Protein: 2g.

Carbohydrates: 4g.

Sugars: 0g.

Fat: 31 g.

 

 

 

 

Canning/Preserving: Freezing Corn on the Cob

Our corn harvest usually happens around the 4th of July. This year it happened a little early, which coincided with me leaving to go to Washington DC for 8 days. So the two days before my trip were spent putting up about 200 gallons of corn. There are two ways that I freeze it: on the cob and cut off. Because time was an issue for me, most of it was put up in the cob.

20160624_175119_resizedShuck the corn as you normally would.

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Get a pot of hot water to a roiling boil and place the cobs in for about 90 seconds.

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Take corn out of the boiling pot and place directly into a cold water bath.

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After the corn has mostly cooled place cobs in gallon freezer bags and place directly in freezer.

To reheat place frozen cobs in boiling water until cobs are hot, about 5 minutes and enjoy. It’s a simple way to keep the corn frozen and to put it away. I always enjoy being able to  serve my family garden fresh corn in the winter. Corn will keep up to 18 months in the freezer.

 

Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs (keto)

Yes, yes I know. I have abandoned all ye faithful! It’s not because I wanted to but rather because I have been traveling for work. No one misses my cooking like me…..and probably my husband.  So because you all have been so patient, here is the best recipe!!  Although I have only been making this for a few months, my entire family loves it so much, there for a while we were eating it at least once a week. 20160623_182919_resizedI started with 2 pounds of ground beef. I rolled them into 1/3 pound balls that I would normally make into patties, however,  not this time….kind of.

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Take each ball and roughly smash in into a patty. Get your favorite can beverage and place it in the middle of the patty.
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Build the patty around the can, like this.

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Grab a piece of bacon and wrap it around the patty. Secure with a skewer or toothpick (don’t forget that the toothpick is there and remove after cooking).

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Remove the can and then season the patty on the inside. I just use season salt and pepper.
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In a mixing bowl add 4 oz. (half of a package) of cream cheese, 1 cup cheddar and 1 cup mozzarella. Combine completely.

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Put the cheese in the center of the patties.

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Cook the patties on the grill, just as you would a regular hamburger, but DO NOT FLIP. Just leave them there to cook until they are done to your taste. I left them on about 20 minutes on a 400 degree grill, but all grills cook differently. If you want to check for doneness, just look at the meat on the inside of the burger.

20160623_195710_resizedOnce you have pulled them off of the grill let them set for about 5 minutes before eating. Remove the toothpick and enjoy.

This recipe is something that my family adores. All 4 of us enjoy these and they are keto friendly. My girls remove the bacon and put them on a bun and make it a traditional burger. B and I just eat them with some grilled veggies. So delicious and so satisfying! Enjoy.

 

Meatball Casserole with Zoodles (keto)

So last time I showed how to make and freeze zoodles.  What do you do with the zoodles now? Also, how do you eat healthy and keto when you have a busy evening?  The other night we had volleyball camp, volleyball league, I was in the garden and had two meetings. We were not going to all be home to eat dinner until 8:30pm. I needed something that I could make ahead and wouldn’t take long to bake in the oven. Enter the Meatball Casserole.

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I used ground pork and ground elk, but you could use sausage and beef if you wanted to, or chicken, or turkey, whatever floats your boat. The key to this is the seasoning of the meat. I used granulated garlic, oregano, basil, red pepper, seasoned salt. I also added almond flour and an egg for a binder.
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I rolled the meatballs and put them on a foil lined cookie sheet. I baked them at 375 for 30 minutes. Then I drained off the fat prepared my casserole dish.
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Using olive oil, I prepared the pan, then lightly covered the bottom of the dish with red sauce (I used my homemade, but you could use a store bought with low carbs and low sugar. Then placed the meatballs in the dish, covered with the rest of the sauce and then covered the sauce with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. I then covered the dish with foil and put it in the fridge for later.

20160620_203029.jpgWhile I was watching my youngest at volleyball, I called my oldest and had her put the dish in the oven. It was ready by the time we got home. The zoodles were ones that I had frozen and naturally thawed in the sink all day. I blotted them with a paper towel and put them in a saucepan and sauteed them with 2 tbsp of grass fed butter until they were tender. It took about 5 minutes.  The above picture is blurry because honestly, I was starving, and I took the picture of my plate in a hurry.

The great thing about this casserole is that you can use it with zoodles, or if you aren’t keto, or your kids don’t like zoodles (gasp) you could substitute with pasta. Recipe below.

Meatball Casserole with Zoodles

Ingredients:

1 pound ground pork

1 pound ground elk (ground beef, turkey, chicken, venison, or whatever is a good substitute)

1/2 cup almond flour

1 large egg

1 tbsp granulated garlic

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1 tsp seasoned salt

1/2 tsp red pepper

1 quart spaghetti sauce (homemade or store bough of your choice -low sugar/low carb)

1 cup mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup. Parmesan cheese

Directions: 

1.Preheat oven to 375.

2.  Combine spices, flour, egg and meat in a bowl.

3.  Form meat mixture into meatballs (about an inch in diameter).

4. Line a cookie sheet with foil, and spray foil with cooking spray or olive oil. Place meatballs on the cookie sheet and place in the oven.

5. Let cook for 30 minutes. Drain fat.

6. In a baking dish spray with olive oil or cooking spray. Cover the bottom of the dish with sauce. Place meatballs in baking dish. Cover meatballs with sauce and then cover sauce with cheese. Cover dish with foil.

7. Whenever you are ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 375. Leave foil on and bake for 20 minutes. Take foil off and finish until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown (about 10 minutes)

Serve over sauteed zoodles.

 

 

 

 

Canning/Preserving: Freezing Zoodles

 

When we started the Keto lifestyle, giving up bread was hard, but what was even harder was giving up pasta. Yes, there is gluten-free pasta out there, but it is usually highly processed and full of carbs. I swore I wouldn’t ever eat “zoodles” (noodles made from zucchini), but I tried them and loved them.  Fast forward to this spring/summer and my garden is exploding with zucchini. I finally broke down and ordered a Spiralizer.

Freezing these zoodles would be tricky. I tried a few different ways, but today I’m sharing the one that worked perfectly!

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Wash and dry the zucchini. For smaller zucchini I just cut off the ends, however, for some of the larger ones (that seem to make the best zoodles, I cut them in halves or thirds to be easier to handle.

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This blade is commonly referred to as ‘Blade C’. It cuts thicker noodles that make them easy to freeze.

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Start turning the crank of your spiralizer, and watch the zoodles appear.

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Now here comes the important part. Place the zoodles into a colander. Sprinkle thoroughly with kosher salt (I used Pink Himalayan salt). Let them sit for 25 minutes.  It’s best to place a bowl under the colander as the water will drip off of the zoodles.

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When the time is up, blot zoodles with a paper towel and then place in quart bags. Freeze for up to  a year.

To use, DO NOT MICROWAVE or PUT IN HOT WATER TO DEFROST!!!! Just simply get them out of the freezer and place the bag in a bowl, or in your sink and give them plenty of time to thaw. If you try to add heat, they will be a mess. Once they have thawed then cook as you would fresh ones. It really is THAT easy.