Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Zucchini

 

Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Zucchini

  • 10 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 ounces romano or parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Mrs Dash garlic and herb seasoning (or your favorite)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 large zucchini

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350f.

Cut zucchini in half long ways.

Using a melon baller or carefully using a knife, hollow out each half to make “boats”.

Save the inside part for soup or something.

In a food processor, pulse the romano cheese to break up if you use a hard cheese not already grated.

Add the ricotta, eggs, and seasoning and pulse to blend.

Then add the spinach and process to incorporate it into the mixture.

Your finished filling should be pretty much all green.

Fill each zucchini boat with ¼ of the filling.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until zucchini has started to soften and the filling is hot and bubbly.

If you like, you can sprinkle mozzarella on top and bake an additional 5 minutes to melt.

Makes 4 boats.

**Note: the carbs are actually lower than this indicates because you’re removing over ½ the zucchini, but I didn’t weigh them so I have no idea how much to subtract. I’d guess since 1 medium zucchini with skin is 6g carbs and 2g fiber, you could subtract 2g carbs and be pretty close to the actual count.

 

***If you don’t want to fuss with the boats, slice the zucchini thinly and layer it and the filling in a greased casserole. I’d increase the eggs by 1 or 2 to get it to set more.

stuffedzucchini

 

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Instant Pot Beef with Mushrooms and Zoodles

Quick post to share a recipe I was fiddling with yesterday 🙂

Instant Pot Beef with Mushrooms and Zoodles

  • 2 tbsp, Coconut oil
  • 2 lb(s), Ground Beef (I used 85/15)
  • 1 lb(s), Button mushrooms, cut into quarters
  • 1 cups, Onion diced
  • 2 clove, Garlic, raw slivered or minced
  • 1 tsp, Spices, marjoram, dried
  • 0.50 tsp, Ground Thyme
  • 0.50 teaspoon, Sea Salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 cube beef Bouillon dissolved in 1 cup hot water
  • 1 lb(s), Zucchini Raw Organic “zoodled” or just cut into slices

Heat the oil on “saute” in the Instant Pot (referenced as IP in the rest of the instructions).

Add the ground beef and break it up as it cooks. You only want to saute it enough so it’s not a big clump any more, so just a few minutes.

Add the garlic, onions and spices and saute for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in the dissolved bouillon and water, then the mushrooms and finally lay the zucchini on top (this will help prevent it from overcooking and getting mushy).

Switch to “manual” and “high pressure”, and set the timer for 4 minutes.

Once it has finished cooking, do a fast release of the pressure, once it has released stir the zoodles into it and serve.

IF you like, you can set the IP back to saute and add in 1T arrowroot or tapioca starch that has been dissolved in 2T water. Stir well and bring to a simmer for 1 minute to thicken. (1T arrowroot will add 29 calories and 7g carbs to the whole recipe)

Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 402
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28 g 42 %
Saturated Fat 13 g 67 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 100 mg 33 %
Sodium 563 mg 23 %
Potassium 284 mg 8 %
Total Carbohydrate 8 g 3 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g 7 %
Sugars 4 g
Protein 32 g 64 %

A Quick Instant Pot “Chicken Crack” Recipe

I wanted to pass my experiment along to you guys, it’s not real precise, but you can adjust to taste! It was really good and warming in this cold weather.

Instant Pot Chicken Crack Slaw

  1. 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
  2. 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
  3. 1 cup hot water
  4. salt to taste (I add 1/2 teaspoon since the broth gets removed)
  5. 4oz cream cheese, softened and cut/pinched into small pieces
  6. 1 can rotel diced tomatoes with green chilis, or plain diced tomatoes
  7. 2 8oz bags of shredded cabbage, or 1lb, or 1lb cabbage that you chop or shred
  8. 1/2 cup shredded very sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

Add oil to the IP and saute the chicken thighs until lightly cooked and the color changes.

Add the water and cook under high pressure for 5 minutes. Do a quick release of pressure, drain out the broth and save to drink or for another dish.

Add to the chicken in the IP the rotel, cream cheese and cabbage. Stir then cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.

Do another quick release and add the cheddar and stir it in to melt.

Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

This makes 4-5 servings and is very rich and filling.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 5.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 505
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30 g 47 %
Saturated Fat 11 g 56 %
Monounsaturated Fat 10 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 185 mg 62 %
Sodium 970 mg 40 %
Potassium 810 mg 23 %
Total Carbohydrate 9 g 3 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g 10 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 49 g 98 %

 

Finding Inner Calm In A Brain Busy Day

If you’re like me, your brain is never quiet.

You finish one thing and your brain is already planning the next.

Whether it’s the grocery list, cooking a meal, prepping for the next meal, mowing the lawn, paying bills,  exercising, reading the mail, laundry, dishes, that next work meeting or project: there’s never any real “quiet”.

I think it’s important to be able to just take a few minutes to NOT think.

Disconnect from social media, don’t answer the phone, turn off the news, whatever your “constant connection” may be, even if it’s just 5 minutes a day.

I used to do this in the shower, now I’m like “darn! add toothpaste to the grocery list” or “I need to launder the towels”.

All this constant “up time” really does add a level of stress and even anxiety. Neither of those are good for general health OR weight loss. Not to mention mental health.

I find I’m anxious all the time. I worry more. I see more negative and a lot less positive. I tend to react first more rather than think before acting.

I downloaded some meditation sounds for my Amazon dot and I paired a wireless headset to it so I can just relax. I have the time, I just don’t have the inclination or the discipline to just NOT be doing something.

Starting today I’m going to take 10 minutes in the morning and afternoon to just relax. I’ve got my sleep mask to block light, and my headset all paired and ready to go.

Now to just make myself do it!

 

Cooking For Different Dietary Preferences in the Same Home

This can be a conundrum, especially if you’re cooking for picky eaters (or just bratty adults!).

While I’m sticking to lower carb, my husband and son both love rice, potatoes, beans, bread and pasta.

I won’t force them to eat my way, but it can be frustrating.

Obviously I don’t want to cook high fat foods for them AND high carb things, so it’s a bit of a trade off.

Example would be that I may make them chicken and dumplings (using canned biscuits), but I’ll only use the breast meat and skim the broth for them, while I enjoy the dark meat and a salad.

If they want tacos, I’ll cook the meat “cleanly” with just spices, then I can have a taco salad, or the occasional low-carb tortilla, and they can have the real thing (don’t tell them: I switched their tortillas to the low-carb Mission ones lol – they have never noticed!).

I can cook a pot roast without potatoes and I can remove a serving of the meat for me then make a gravy and potatoes for them, and steamed zucchini with  butter for me.

I buy a  pack of dinner rolls and freeze all but 3 (1 for son, 1 for DH dinner and his lunch the next day).  They thaw quickly and heat up fast in the microwave or toaster oven.

I can be pretty easy, but it takes a mindset to work it out and not be annoyed!

 

Happy New Year!

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Well another year has passed. I hope you all had some good memories from it.

Here on the Texas coast we had Hurricane Harvey and all the ensuing chaos it brought, rain early in the year, drought (amazing right? A few weeks after Harvey and we were back in drought!). A rollercoaster to be sure.

I don’t make resolutions per se. I do hope I can be a better person this year than I was last year.

I used to resolve to control my snark, and experience taught me that won’t work lol.

My “good” from 2017: my husband and I celebrated our 30th anniversary; we’re all in relatively good health; we paid off our mortgage!; I found out I have a gluten sensitivity and that is a good thing, because THAT I can control; my grandmother celebrated her 91st birthday, she’s suffering from dementia, but 75% of the time she’s all there and fine.

I count that all as a win for 2017:)

New Years Day we always have a traditional meal of:

Pork of some kind (sausage, chops, roast, whatever); cabbage or sauerkraut; and black eyed peas.

This seems to be predominantly a Southern thing, and it varies from state to state.

I will make pork chops, probably pan fried with a mushroom cream sauce; cabbage shredded and fried in bacon fat and blackeyed peas simmered with onions. Technically the peas aren’t keto friendly, but for traditions sake I’ll have a tablespoon or two.

Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2018!

Wicked Stuffed, Where Have You Been All My Keto/Low-Carb Life??

If you have not heard of wickedstuffed.com, get thee there ASAP!

The recipes use simple, easily found in most grocery store, not “specialty” ingredients.

I’ve tried several recipes from the blog and Amanda’s cookbook on Amazon:

And have loved them all.

If you’re thinking Keto but haven’t taken the plunge yet, she has some fantastic information and recipes free on her site:

http://www.wickedstuffed.com/keto-tips/basic-keto-diet-plan/

With the new year barreling down on us like a freight train, do yourself a favor and check her blog out 🙂

Her ideas and recipes remind me a lot of the original Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution plan: KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetie).

Although she has a lot of dessert recipes (one of my pet peeves: all desserts, no meals/real foods) she has a lot of side and main dish recipes. And her cookbook (above) is not all desserts! On that alone, I’d recommend her!

I highly recommend starting with her Chicken Ranch Bacon Tacos:

http://www.wickedstuffed.com/keto-recipes/ranch-chicken-bacon-taco-shells/

Anyway, I hope you have all had a great Holiday season so far, and wish you well in the New Year!

 

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and may you be Blessed with health and happiness.

Busy morning.

Meal plan is always a little odd since we plan for anywhere from 3 to 15 as people drop in during the day.

  • Smoked brisket
  • pinto beans
  • corn bread (fathead muffin for me IF I want one)
  • potato salad
  • cole slaw
  • green beans sauteed in bacon fat with onions
  • Pecan Pie
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Cinnamon Apple crumble (gluten free)
  • halo top vanilla ice cream

As you can see, not traditional at all lol.

The cinnamon apple crumble is easy and I made it ahead and just kept the crumble separate so I can toss it in the oven and let it just bake off in the residual heat after everything else is cooked. Since I’m probably the only one who will eat it (instead of the pies and whatever else everyone brings) I make a small batch.

Cinnamon Apple Crumble (for 2)

  • 1 apple (I use a granny smith) peeled or unpeeled, sliced thin, diced or spiralized your choice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon tapioca starch, arrowroot or thickener of your choice dissolved in 1T water or heavy cream
  • *1-2 packets sweetener of your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts or pecans or whatever nut you like, optional

In a small skillet, add the water and 1 packet sweetener, along with half the cinnamon and the prepared apples.

Let simmer until apples are soft, add more water if needed, but you don’t want it swimming.

Add the starch and the liquid it was dissolved in and simmer just until it’s thickened slightly. Add 1/2 tablespoon butter, stir in and set aside to cool. Refrigerate until you’re ready to bake it.

For the crumble, mix the almond flour, remaining cinnamon and sweetener then crumble it with the butter by working it with your fingers.

If you’re not baking it right away, put the crumble mixture in a container in the coldest part of your refrigerator.

The nuts are optional and you can add them to the apple mixture OR the crumble, depends on your taste.

When you’re ready to bake, put the apple mixture in a small oven safe dish (I have a 6″ pyrex pie pan and it’s perfect) and crumble the crumble over the top. Add more cinnamon if you like.

Bake at 350f for 10-12 minutes or microwave for 1-1/2 minutes or until it’s hot and bubbly.

Since almond flour doesn’t need a long cook time like other flours, it works fine either way.

Planning Christmas Eve Day’s Food

Traditions, we all have them

When our son was young we would drive around once it was dark and look at all the decorations and lights. Then we’d stop at our favorite truck stop (lol yes -it’s gone now but…) and get a peppermint hot cocoa and these amazing cookies that Barbara the waitress (I’m pretty sure that was her actual name :p) made that were kind of a combo of chocolate chip, snickerdoodle and oatmeal. They were so good, and about the size of a salad plate!

Kids grow up and traditions change. But the memories stay with you:)

What we do now is keep a lot of snacky foods on hand, for anyone that drops by, and I usually prep what I can for Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve day. We listen to Christmas songs and might watch an old classic like White Christmas.

Since I’m really keeping the gluten to a minimum, I’ve shopped ahead of time and will do:

  • assorted cheeses
  • summer sausage and Italian salami gluten free
  • deviled eggs
  • rice crackers
  • a variety of olives and peppers
  • cream cheese wrapped olives rolled in bacon crumbs
  • shrimp cocktail (for me melted butter instead of cocktail sauce)
  • marinated/pickled mushrooms
  • cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, broccoli and bell peppers cut up with Ranch and a Spinach Artichoke dip on the side.
  • Guacamole and chips for them, veggies for me to use as “chips”
  • I usually do a fruit fluff thing with canned fruits, gelatin and cool whip but I think I’ll opt for some fresh fruit (berries, grapes, etc) instead

That’s pretty much it for the Eve day.

We don’t do a lot of sweet stuff since Christmas Day usually has a variety of pies, cakes and cookies.

I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the Season 🙂

Well I Disappeared Again, sorry!

I last posted in May and, well it’s been a weird Summer.

I won’t go into all the gory details, but I did find that I have a gluten sensitivity that triggers migraines IF I eat past a certain threshold.

I found this out trying Weight Watchers (summer, fruits, all that “not good for low carb” stuff, turned into daily grilled cheeses, and all THAT stuff – which is why I can  never go back to a high carb plan, I have zero control).

I found my threshold is: I can eat a little gluten. Say a low-carb pita or something like that, but only once every 3-4 days. More than that and it’s migraine city.

So I’ve been working that into my plan, figuring it out, you know all that stuff.

My plan is to be low(ish) carb, and 99% gluten free.

Now onto other things.

I joined a low-carb support forum on facebook, finally. That’s a roller coaster ride.

Did you know people get really offended if you tell them something they don’t want to hear?

You know, like “that’s for 1 serving, not the whole box”.

 

Anyway, I’m back-ish and will try to be more supportive :p