I realize this recipe would have been a bit more helpful before the 4th of July but what can I say, that’s when I made them for my family so hopefully you will enjoy them at your next holiday gathering or whenever. Honestly, who needs a holiday to enjoy a delicious food wrapped in bacon. Bacon is amazing all the time!
So the key thing to remember here is that all the heat is in the seeds. Do you want some heat? Mix a few seeds into the cheese mix. Want a lot of heat? Mix ALL those seeds into the cheese mix. Are you like my family and want absolutely no heat and get mad at the guy cooking if it is even slightly hotter than a bell pepper despite the fact that he took the time to not only wrap 2 dozen peppers in bacon but also cook a delicious 4th of July meal out on the grill under the hot sun for the whole day? Just throw those seeds in the trash and rinse the peppers off with water before stuffing them. To each his own!
Oh man, I love hashbrowns. Delicious crispy hashbrowns are one of those things that kind of disappeared from my culinary radar when I went keto. That’s why the idea of creating a recipe for hashbrowns that were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside yet keto friendly was something I just knew I needed to create. This recipe is also vegan, vegetarian, Keto, LCHF, and Paleo.
Keep in mind that you can use this recipe as a base and innovate any way you see fit. Some diced onions in the recipe or some fresh garlic would work great or maybe spice it up with a little jalapeno and cilantro. Almost anything works well.
This week’s recipe is something I threw together for the first time last week when my son came over and we were munching on pork rinds. We wanted something tasty and for some reason I was out of salsa, which never happens….except it did I guess.
Turns out this is an amazing recipe. I was shooting for a kind of Zucchini Hummus but I didn’t have any Tahini so I subbed in the sunflower seeds. I think it was a stroke of genius because I prefer the smoky flavor of the seeds over the tahini. In fact, I’ve made it several times since then trying to fine tune the recipe. Turns out, you almost can’t put too much salt in it. The more salt, the more awesome it tastes.
Also, last night I steamed up some broccoli and used this as a dip and ate the broccoli by hand. It was a great decision and I think I’m going to do it again with just raw veggies for lunch.
So I love crunchy things. One of my favorite snacks in those old 400 lb days was chips and salsa in front of the TV. Sure now I have pork rinds but sometimes you want a snack that’s a little different but still has that crisp texture and tastes great. That’s where baked kale chips come in as a great snack that is easy to make. We will sometimes do this as a side dish for dinner as well when I want something a bit different.
Kale is a fantastic food and probably one we should all be eating more of. It’s high in fiber and Vitamins A, C, and K and has magnesium and folate as well as calcium. It also has 10% of the RDA of Omega-3 fatty acids that protect against inflammation, use a good olive oil in this recipe and that number goes up.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day! We had all the kids and grandkids over yesterday for a little cookout and I made 2 delicious recipe that I want to share with you. The Stuffed Jalapenos I made will go up next week but you can see a picture of them here. For now, I want to show you my favorite way to make fresh green beans. Keep in mind that if you don’t have a grill or a vegetable wok, that you can do this in a skillet just as well. However, if you have a grill, you should absolutely buy a vegetable wok. They are usually less than $20 and make it easy to grill up veggies while you are cooking your meat.
First, get your beans and cut off the tips, then put them in a Ziploc bag or the equivalent. I divided my beans among 2 bags only because I didn’t have anything bigger than a quart size but you don’t have to do this if they will fit. Then add enough Olive Oil to coat the beans, in my case it was about a quarter cup per bag. Then season with Garlic Salt (make sure it contains no added sugar, spice blends are sneaky) or garlic powder and salt. Then shake the bags to evenly coat all the beans and throw throw them in the fridge for a couple hours to marinate.
Then throw the beans into your vegetable wok over an open flame and stir occasionally to cook evenly. Again, you can cook them in a skillet but everything tastes better on the grill.
The beans are done when they darken and soften. They also shrink a bit when you cook them so always make more than you think you need. Serve them warm and enjoy!
Sometimes eating clean and sugar free can be a little tricky during the week. We get crazy busy, things go awry, kids get sick, deadlines approach, etc. The temptations during these times is to just shove whatever piece of food is closest into your mouth and get back to doing whatever is urgent. However, when the tyranny of the urgent rears it’s head, that’s when we have to make sure that what’s important gets handled first and there is nothing more important than your health. Here are a few easy hacks to make sure you stay on that healthy, sugar-free, paleo, keto, clean eating grind.
Tupperware is your friend
When you cook dinner, try to make a little more than what your family can eat. Then put those leftovers in plastic containers and now you’ve got the next days lunch you can carry with you to work or where ever you need to go. I use this Rubbermaid set and it works great.
Plan Your Meals
Meal prep and meal planning is absolutely vital to eating healthy. There shouldn’t ever be a meal where you don’t know what you are going to eat and if at all possible, you should have a lot of it already prepared. This is why I always put up a Sugar Free Meal Plan each week so we have something to go by when we plan our meals for the week.
Have Clean, Sugar-Free, Keto-Friendly Snacks available
If I know I’m going to be out for a while, I make sure I have something on me just in case I get a little peckish. I don’t ever want to give myself a chance to cheat in a moment of weakness. I usually go with almonds or other nuts but sometimes I take a few slices of cheese or maybe some beef jerky. Just be sure that the jerky doesn’t have any hidden sugars in the ingredients.
Boil Some Eggs
Buy a dozen eggs, hard boil them and put them right back in the carton they came from. (Just be sure to mark it so you don’t confuse it with your fresh eggs) Now you’ve got the perfect snack ready to go at all times. Grab one to stave off hunger pangs or for the perfect late-night snack. I also like to chop them up on salads or just have them as a side dish.
Carry a Water Bottle
Sometimes those hunger pangs aren’t really hunger pangs, you just need some water. Stay hydrated to control cravings.
Use these Clean Eating Hacks to stay the course, lose weight and get a little healthier each day. Please also subscribe to my daily email to never miss a post!
Living in the South, there are some meals that are so culturally ingrained in your life that the idea of removing them from your diet is a bit painful, like you are losing a bit of your history. For me, that meal is Chicken Fried Steak. (Or Chicken Fried Chicken, but that’s a recipe for another day I think.)
As much as I love that meal and it is 100% my go-to whenever we go to a “Southern Home-Cooking” restaurant like Black-Eyed Pea or Cracker Barrel, I just couldn’t do it anymore. Every part of it was determined to make me fatter. From the flour in the batter and the gravy, to the heaping scoop of mashed potatoes I always had on the side, to the vegetable oil it was cooked in. So, the hunt was on. I needed to come up with a way to cook this meal and have it taste awesome but get rid of all those carbs.
Step one was the batter and that turned out to be the easiest to deal with. Sub in Almond Meal for flour and it makes for an awesome coating for the steaks. It gets crunchy when you fry it and tastes amazing.
The next part was the oil. I haven’t really talked too much about the different oils on this site but ever since I read David Gillespie’s book Seed Oil many years ago, I only use saturated fats in my cooking so that means butter, coconut oil, or olive oil. There are a few others but those are the big 3. Sometimes I cook my steaks in coconut oil, sometimes olive oil. There’s no difference in the taste but sometimes I think the gravy tastes a little better with a coconut oil base but that varies on the quality of the olive oil I use. For some reason, the cheaper the olive oil, the better the gravy tastes. I have no idea why that is.
Finally, I needed to tackle the gravy and I have to say, this was tough. To the point that I thought it was going to be impossible. I tried every single low carb or gluten free flour you could possibly think and nothing would make the dang gravy thicken. That is until my Walmart started carrying Arrowroot and out of desperation, I picked it up. I’m happy to say that it actually works! It doesn’t work very fast and you have to whisk the gravy constantly but if you will stick with it, it comes together pretty nicely. Don’t use too much though, you will have a gummy mess on your hands.
Also, just as an aside, I also bought a plastic whisk so I could whisk to my heart’s content and not worry about scratching my pan with a metal one. Also, if you want a low carb mashed potato substitute, check out my recipe for mashed cauliflower.
I am always on the lookout for new ways to eat veggies. Sometimes the selection at my local farmer’s market or Walmart produce aisle can get a bit narrow and I want to do something different with what’s available. I remembered in the back of my mind that a couple years ago I saw someone somewhere making chips with beets and thought that sounded a bit interesting so I wanted to give it a try. (Upon further research, I’m pretty sure it was The Minimalist Baker’s post I saw but I can’t be sure.)
It took me a few tries to figure out exactly how to do it. I found the key is to cut the beet just absolutely paper thin. In fact, I had to order a Mandoline Slicer from Amazon because my knife skills weren’t up to the task. Once I got that, it all came together pretty quickly, although occasionally I had to turn the broiler on the last few minutes of the cook time to get the edges crispy like I like.
I was happy to find out that beets are high in Vitamin C, Potassium, Manganese and the B vitamin folate. They also turn your urine pink which is no big deal if you are expecting it but it can come as a bit of a shock if you are still wiping the sleep out of your eyes and when you look down, it looks like your toilet bowl is fighting breast cancer.
Butternut Squash was something that was never really on the menu growing up and because of that, it was never on the menu for my family once I was in charge of the cooking. In fact it was a bit intimidating at the grocery store because it looked like something a bit exotic and difficult to cook. That all changed a few years ago when I decided to pick one up and just see what I could do with it. It took a few tries to find something I could do with it that my kids would like but eventually we settled on a cinnamon-nutmeg mixture that was easy to make and tasted wonderful. I hope you like it as well!