Recipes

Creamy Tuscan Chicken with Roasted Broccoli

Creamy-Tuscan-Chicken-with-Roasted-Broccoli

I prepped this last Sunday & it was super easy to just grab a portion when I needed it for a delicious meal all week long!

Creamy Keto Tuscan Chicken

Prepare marinade according to package instructions, and marinate chicken for 30 minutes. Grill marinated chicken and place in greased baking dish. You can roast or pan sautee the chicken, but I prefer the flavor of grilled chicken. Meanwhile, add about 3 tablespoons of the oil from the jar of sun dried tomatoes to a large sautee pan over medium heat. Sautee the onions until they are beginning to get translucent. Add the garlic and about 1/3 of the jar of sun dried tomatoes. When everything is aromatic and well combined, add the spinach. Place a lid on the pan and reduce the heat to low. Allow spinach to steam for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent anything from sticking in the pan. Once the spinach is wilted down, add the cream cheese and stir to melt it and combine it with everything else in the pan. Add heavy cream and shredded parmesan, then use 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the chicken stock to thin the sauce to your liking.

Pour the sauce over the chicken in the baking dish. Serve immediately, or store in refrigerator and heat up portions throughout the week.

Roasted Broccoli

  • 3 crushed fresh garlic cloves
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste (salt carefully! the cheese and butter add enough salt for me!)
  • 3 heads fresh broccoli

Combine everything except the broccoli in a large mixing bowl. Chop broccoli into bite sized pieces, then toss with combined ingredients. Spread out on a large foil lined and greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 425- or until done to your liking.

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* This blog will occasionally utilize affiliate links, for which I receive credit. It doesn’t cause anyone to pay more for the item in question, but it helps me be able to create content for this site. You are in no way obligated to use my links, and I will only link to the exact products I use myself, to help you achieve the same results I achieve with my recipes

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Way of Eating

A Week In The Life

I’ve had a number of people ask me, “What do you eat?” “How do you know what you can have?” “Aren’t you hungry?”

The answers are: “All kinds of stuff!”, “I took the time to learn!”, and “NO!- and if I am, I eat something extra!”

People seem to get easily overwhelmed by the thought of making a big dietary change, and I get it. There IS a learning curve- but once you take the time to educate yourself, and just start to play, you’ll find your flow!

I decided to grab a quick photo of everything I ate last week to give anyone who is curious a visual. You’ll note that there is a lot of repetition in my week. I am a lover of routine, and a big weekend prep cook. These 2 things combine to make my weeks see a lot of similarity in meals, but it works for me!

New this week- a Facebook group! I’d love to be able to have a more convenient way to discuss posts & answer questions, so join in! Add your questions & comments under the topics I add when we put new posts up!

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Monday- When I wake up, I always have a small cup of coffee with 1 Tbs of heavy whipping cream- this does not open my eating window, but it DOES help convince me to get out of bed! At 11 am, I open my eating window with a large cup of coffee. Between 1:30 and 3:30- whenever I get hungry- I have my first food meal. On Monday, it was a homemade ketogenic Asiago bagel with an over medium egg on it. I enjoyed a LaCroix throughout the afternoon. For dinner I had my homemade Creamy Tuscan Chicken with roasted broccoli, then for dessert, I had a DELICIOUS homemade ketogenic vanilla bean ice cream bar. 

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Tuesday- The usual coffee routine. I had tested a recipe for a keto cake over the weekend. It had a fair number of issues, so I probably won’t be making it again, but it tasted ok. I had a piece with my big cup of coffee. For lunch, I had a homemade keto everything bagel with cream cheese, tomato, smoked salmon & capers. The rest of the day was the same as Monday. 

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Wednesday- The usual coffee routine, then a toasted homemade keto Asiago bagel with butter and cream cheese with some roasted Brussels sprouts on the side for my first meal. Dinner was a big Italian salad, followed by a keto ice cream bar.

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Thursday- Coffee routine, then a pre made salmon meal from the fridge. I had a snack of guacamole with pork rinds- I KNOW! Don’t knock it until you have tried it, and DEFINITELY try to find some homemade ones. They sell them at Farmers Markets near me. The ones at the store are gross! Dinner was a toasted keto everything bagel with butter and cream cheese.

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TGIF, right??? Friday began like every other day with my coffee routine. Meal 1 was an over medium egg on a toasted & buttered keto everything bagel. Dinner was the last of the Creamy Tuscan Chicken with the last of the roasted broccoli, and I tested a recipe for Lemon Blueberry keto muffins- BIG WIN! You’ll see that recipe in an upcoming post! 
Recipes

Keto Cannoli Cream

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One of my favorite treats ever is a nice cannoli from an Italian Pastry shop, preferably in Connecticut! (Shout out to Libby’s!) You might think that you’ll say good bye forever to cannoli once you embark on a low carb high fat diet- but it doesn’t have to be the case. Try this recipe for a cannoli without the shell- and be sure to let me know what you think about it!

Keto Cannoli Cream

  • 16 oz Mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup Swerve*
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp coarsely chopped 90% Lindt dark chocolate*

Combine Mascarpone and Swerve in the bowl of your stand mixer and mis on low speed until combined. Add the cinnamon & vanilla extract. Mix well. Slowly add cream and whip until light & fluffy. Dust with a little unsweetened cocoa powder & top with dark chocolate, then ENJOY!

*This blog will occasionally utilize affiliate links, for which I receive credit. It doesn’t cause anyone to pay more for the item in question, but it helps me be able to create content for this site. You are in no way obligated to use my links, and I will only link to the exact products I use myself, to help you achieve the same results I achieve with my recipes

Way of Eating

Sweets for the Sweet

I think one of the major game changers with the way we are eating now is that we found a way to satisfy our sweet tooth that doesn’t detract from everything else we are doing.

We were always able to be moderately successful doing a typical low carb diet- similar to Atkins. We’d lose a few pounds, but we could never really stick to it for more than a couple months. I think what really held us back using that way of eating was the amount of fruit and yogurt we were eating to satisfy our dessert cravings. Our bodies treat fruit in much the same way as they treat candy!

I was never able to find a sugar substitute that was pleasant tasting, and honestly, the chemical based ones always made me uneasy- se we’d default to eating lots of fruit, because the net carbs seemed ok.

When I began trying out keto, my friend Nora taught me a lot to get me started and one of the first things she introduced me to was Swerve! It is the most sugar-like sugar substitute I have ever encountered! It is natural, since it is stevia based, and does not cause cancer in laboratory animals. (big win!). It doesn’t have the unpleasant aftertaste or bitter flavor that some stevia products have. It just tastes sweet!

We can now stay away from fruit and indulge in creamy desserts like my Crustless Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, homemade ice cream made with heavy cream + my homemade keto cannoli cream.

If you have struggled with finding a sugar alternative that is palatable, give Swerve a try! This week, I am experimenting with a cake that is sweetened with Swerve- stay tuned for a report in a future post!

* This blog will occasionally utilize affiliate links, for which I receive credit. It doesn’t cause anyone to pay more for the item in question, but it helps me be able to create content for this site. You are in no way obligated to use my links, and I will only link to the exact products I use myself, to help you achieve the same results I achieve with my recipes

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Nora, my keto buddy!
Recipes

Keto Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels-Sprouts

This side dish is a weekly staple for us. It’s great alongside ribeye or salmon. See bottom of post for my pre-packaged salmon dinners- so easy to grab when you’re in a hurry & don’t have time to cook, or to bring along to work for an on-plan meal. I dare you not to eat half the tray of these Brussels sprouts when they come out of the oven. The little crispy individual leaves are irresistible!

Ketogenic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • 16 ounces Brussels sprouts, cleaned, trimmed & halved
  • 3 crushed fresh garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt &pepper to taste (salt carefully- the butter + cheese add enough salt for me)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat the Brussels sprouts with the butter, garlic & cheese mixture. Spread on a foil lined & greased cookie sheet, then bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, or until done to your liking.

Salmon-dinners
Use your roasted Brussels sprouts alongside a keto friendly protein & create easy to grab meal packs. I used salmon here.
Way of Eating

Seeing is Believing

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This week marks 25 pounds officially GONE!

Not gonna lie- I’ve tried a lot of diets, and ways of eating. No, I have never been morbidly obese, but it has always been in the back of my mind that there is a propensity for obesity in my family- and I don’t want to go there! When you pair that with the fact that I love food (I mean, I really love it!), I’ve always been nervous that I was heading down a dangerous road! I love to cook, bake, grill, create, and I love to eat the results! Decadent desserts are my specialty, but in all honesty, I cook good food! People like to come and eat at my dinner parties. I’m not a food snob. I like a cheeseburger combo at McDonalds as much as I like the most elegant plating at a 5 star restaurant.

There were two things that were consistent struggles with every diet I tried, from the Cabbage Soup Diet, to Weight Watchers, to Slim Fast, to the Atkins Diet: a sense of deprivation and just flat out HUNGER! Those two things together are a lethal combo that will have you buying a huge crusty loaf of Italian bread, slathering thick slices of it with butter, and realizing that cabbage soup isn’t so bad after all!

Once the initial adjustment period of entering our new way of eating abated, I found that it’s not hard to stay on this lifestyle! It really is a lifestyle, not a diet. The amount of fat in the foods that you eat prevents hunger, and once your body adjusts, hunger really becomes a very different feeling, if you feel it at all. I wouldn’t believe this if I hadn’t experienced it myself.

In the past, it seemed that we would go on a diet before a vacation- because doesn’t everyone do that? I mean, we want to look good in our beach pictures, right? We’d limp along and lost 10 pounds or so, and then get on vacation and go off whatever plan we were on. We’d get back home and that would be it. We’d just go back to whatever we were doing previous to the pre-vacation diet.

True story- we went to Disney for spring break this year, and we went off plan on our current way of eating. (If you’re interested in our family vlogs through the Disney vacation, check out our YouTube Channel). I’ve shared my thoughts previously about taking breaks from our way of eating. This practice may not be for everyone for a number of different reasons, but I don’t judge other people’s choices, and I appreciate the same courtesy!

We indulged in a number of treats at Disney- but one of the craziest things is that Mark and I REALLY loved getting the salad from the food court at our resort, that with the exception of a few peas and chickpeas, is essentially on plan for our way of eating. It was the thing we came home saying we wish we’d had one more of! We kind of quested through Disney in search of that one treat that would really make us say, “YES!! This is what I’ve been missing!” And while we did enjoy a number of the things we tried, we just couldn’t find that thing that made us even consider giving up our new lifestyle permanently.

When we arrived home after vacation, we didn’t even give it one extra day of being off plan. We both were actually looking forward to getting back into our pre-vacation routine. We had each gained back a few pounds, but found that we were back to where we started pre-vacation at about mid-week of our first week back. We did not go back through any of the withdrawal symptoms, or carb flu symptoms that we experienced when first embarking on our new way of eating.

So, since hunger hasn’t been a challenge for us, what about deprivation? 100% NOT A THING! This lifestyle is nothing like a meal replacement diet where you are drinking an unpalatable shake instead of eating food, or you’re restricted to one food, or restricted to a small list of acceptable foods.

We eat delicious grilled meats, savory casseroles, awesome salads, ridiculously good roasted veggies with lots of butter and parmesan cheese, and we have REALLY good desserts!  Yes, I said desserts!!

Stop back next week to learn how we were able to tackle the challenge of craving sweets in a way that works with our lifestyle- and my Keto Cannoli recipe!

Recipes

Ketogenic Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed-Mushrooms

I’m known as a pretty good cook, and my non-ketogenic stuffed mushroom recipe is a popular one. I tweaked it to be ketogenic by removing the breading. I was worried that the stuffing might not hold together, and was prepared to use almond flour as a binder, but I discovered that it works just fine without a binder!

Ingredients:

  • 2 16-ounce packages of mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed & reserved
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 4 cloves of crushed garlic
  • Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder to taste
  • 16 ounces crab meat
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella

Place mushroom stems in food processor and pulse until finely grated. Add lemon juice & zest, Parmesan cheeses, butter, garlic & seasonings. Pulse to combine. Remove to a mixing bowl and add crab meat. Toss to combine. Stuff the mushroom caps with the stuffing mixture. Place in a greased baking dish. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with shredded mozzarella. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Cool slightly and enjoy! (This recipe makes plenty to share! Halve it if you’re just making it for a few people. You can re-heat these, but they are best fresh out of the oven!)

If you try the recipe, leave me a comment & let me know how you liked it!