Cauli Tots

Many people who begin a low carb lifestyle attempt to re-create their favorite high carb foods with low carb replacements.  Bread, pasta and desserts are most commonly turned into mini science experiments in the kitchen as cooks try to replicate their favorite flavors in a healthier way.  Today I wanted to attempt to replace tater tots with a keto-friendly alternative: cauliflower.  Admittedly, these are not going to have exactly the same crunch as tater tots do, but these are a really great option when looking for a replacement for that style of potatoes. I began by pre-heating my oven to 375°F and gathering the ingredients shown above. First I finely minced the yellow onion into small pieces.  Since these will be folded into the cauli tots, you don't want them to overwhelm the tots, so the smaller they are cut the better. Next I began breaking down the cauliflower florets into small pieces.  Since these are going into a food processor, they don't need to be cut evenly. [Continue reading...]

Bacon Broccoli Bake

Today I have another winning casserole dish for my readers.  It's very easy to put together and kind of reminds me of my [extremely popular] Creamy Brussels Bake.  This could easily be translated into a vegetarian dish (omit the bacon....but, honestly, why would you want to do that?) should you so desire, but I think the bacon acts almost like croutons in this dish; its crunchy texture is delicious mixed with the softened broccoli and gooey cheese. I began by pre-heating my oven to 350°F and gathering the ingredients shown above. First I diced the yellow onion into small pieces and set them aside in a large mixing bowl. I also chopped up the tops of some green onions and added them to the mixing bowl as well. Next I cooked three strips of bacon in the microwave for 4 minutes (on a plate between two sheets of paper towels) and let them cool before crumbling them and setting them aside. I took two large bunches of broccoli and began rough-chopping the florets off [Continue reading...]

Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake

Spring is in the air these days and summer vegetables are more prevalent at the grocery store.  Zucchini has become one of my favorite summer vegetables, and this casserole is a great way to use the veggies in a keto-friendly way.  Typically in the summer I prefer light dishes, bright salads and more berries and fresh vegetables, but sometimes there is a party or weekend meal that requires a hot dish.  This is the perfect compromise that combines tender vegetables with a few higher fat components.  It is extremely easy to pull together and tastes great, too. I began by pre-heating my oven to 350°F and gathering the ingredients for the recipe. First I thinly sliced both ends of the green onions.  I feel the thinner the better as they are just meant to add flavor and not bulk to the recipe. Next I minced the fresh basil into small pieces to sprinkle throughout the dish. I diced the yellow onion into small pieces; these will become tender in the baking process, so [Continue reading...]

Loaded Fauxtatoes

When people commit to low carb eating, they often fear their favorite comfort foods are banned forever.  While we can't regularly eat potatoes after this kind of a lifestyle change, there are options for creating the same great flavors using a lower carb base.  Using cauliflower in place of potatoes, to create "fauxtatoes," is popular in the low carb and ketogenic communities.  I wanted to bring you a version of fauxtatoes that combine mashed potatoes with loaded potato skins.  This dish makes an excellent side dish any time of year and is packed with great flavors and textures that don't leave you longing for starchy potatoes. I began by gathering my ingredients and pre-heating the oven to 325°F.  In this recipe, the sour cream and butter are key ingredients to create the right fauxtato consistency. Next I began prepping my ingredients while I brought a medium pot of water up to a boil on the stove.  I first chopped a medium head of cauliflower into chunks so they would [Continue reading...]

Ranch Mushrooms

Can you believe December is half over already?  I cannot.  With the new year approaching, and so many milestones reached the last 9 months, I am spending time this month thinking about everything I've learned about health and nutrition this year.  As I said in my last post, I am so grateful for everyone who has read this blog or tried a recipe and shared with me their thoughts and encouragement throughout my process.  I am so excited to go home this week and enjoy Christmas with my family and friends.  With just 10 days left to the holiday, I thought I'd share another recipe that would make a wonderful side dish, or even appetizer, on your dinner table.  This week's recipe is so easy I'm almost embarrassed to include it, but it's a two-in-one recipe that will be useful in other dishes beyond these mushrooms.  Everyone has used those packets of ranch seasoning from the store in order to make dips or to season meat or veggies.  Have you read the laundry list of ingredients in those [Continue reading...]

Creamy Brussels Bake

With the holidays rapidly approaching, especially Thanksgiving in the US, many people in the keto and LCHF community are discussing ideas to make a keto-friendly meal without compromising great taste.  One concern across the community is alienating non-low carb guests with food they would not enjoy on their own for a holiday meal.  I feel as though there needs to be a compromise in cases like this; offering traditional stuffing and mashed potatoes to accompany your prized bird is practically a must, so I wouldn't skip out on serving those dishes to others.  You can enjoy your keto-friendly options (turkey, salad, roasted veggies, etc.) while simultaneously pleasing your guests.  Instead of rolls, consider making my jalapeño bacon biscuits that I guarantee both you and those not watching their carbs will enjoy.  Today I am bringing you another recipe that everyone will enjoy.  I think Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables that are very versatile and easy to prepare, yet people [Continue reading...]

Jalapeño Bacon Biscuits

Everyone loves those Red Lobster cheddar biscuits, right?  Today's recipe is a kicked up version of those for 1/4 of the carbs.  According to their nutrition facts, each Red Lobster biscuit has 16g carbs whereas each of my biscuits are only 4g total carbs and just 2g net carbs once you subtract the fiber.  After making today's batch I had to physically restrain myself from eating all of them, so be prepared to have your willpower tested once these come out of the oven.  As the weather cools down, there is something so satisfying about a delicious biscuit next to a hearty bowl of soup or even a crisp salad.  These would also make a wonderful alternative to traditional rolls this holiday season, particularly at Thanksgiving.  They are cheesy and flaky with a subtle hint of heat from the jalapeños - a winning combination that is also extremely keto-friendly! I prepped by pulling out the necessary ingredients seen above, pre-heating my oven to 350°F and spraying my jumbo muffin tin [Continue reading...]

Crispy Zucchini Fries

Burger and fries is an American classic, but when potatoes are no longer an option, I went looking for an equally satisfying replacement.  Enter the zucchini - this vegetable is so much more versatile than I ever realized!  From zoodles to pizza bases and even lasagna noodle replacements, zucchini gets the job done when living a low carb lifestyle.  French fries are a thing of the past with this recipe.  The zucchini crisps up wonderfully in the oven and offers a much heartier side dish to any burger or grilled chicken dish.  It's no surprise that I'm once again relying on pork rinds to make this dish as they are the perfect low carb breadcrumbs substitute. I began by pre-heating the oven to 425°F, lining a baking sheet with foil and spraying it with non-stick spray.  In my trusty Ninja food processor I poured 1 serving (about 9 pieces) of traditional pork rinds and 3 tablespoons of shredded parmesan (plus a teaspoon of Italian herbs seasoning) before crushing and thoroughly [Continue reading...]

Roasted Asparagus

Roasted veggies have become my go-to side dish if I'm not making a stir fry.  They are good just wish a little olive oil, salt and pepper, but sometimes I'm looking for an even more flavorful seasoning.  I previously made roasted Brussels sprouts using Urban Accents' "Balsamic and Roasted Onion Veggie Roaster" and today I am back with another of their seasoning packets.  The Parmesan Mediterranean Veggie Roaster is another delicious seasoning for vegetables.  Although they recommend using it with butternut squash or potatoes, I've made this a few times with asparagus and think it works great.  I cannot speak highly enough about how easy these are to use and how delicious the vegetables turn out.  Once again I followed the instructions on the back of the packet and these turned out great. I began by pre-heating the oven to 350°F, lining a baking sheet with foil and lightly spraying it with non-stick spray.  I poured 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a small bowl and added 1 [Continue reading...]

Spicy Guacamole

Guacamole is one food that I slowly came to appreciate over time; I avoided it for many years and I'm not sure why.  Obviously it's delicious with tortilla chips, but it is actually very versatile.  After I made this recipe for the blog I put a big spoonful onto a cheese omelette and it was delicious.  I have plans to use the rest on some salsa chicken salad.  If you're not a spicy food fan, you can tailor the amount of heat to your personal preference - I could have even used some hot sauce or a spicier pepper as I tend to like things hot. I started by slicing open 2 Haas avocados, removing the pits and scooping the avocado flesh into a bowl.  It's important to use ripe avocados when making guacamole.  Since I'm still relatively new to the avocado world, sometimes it's been hit or miss with picking nearly ripe fruits 2 days before I plan on using them, but luckily these were both perfect.  Next I diced 1/4 of a medium red onion (about 1/3 cup) and chopped 1 fresh jalapeno after [Continue reading...]