Keto

Seafood Medley in a Garlic Cream Sauce

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had an amazing week.  In honor of lent I wanted to share with you this seafood medley dish,  Even if you don’t partake in lent this is a wonderful meatless dish. It’s full of deliciousness.  It can be customized to your personal preferences.  If you don’t like one of the seafood in the list of ingredients below feel free to exchange out with something else, omit it all together or just double up on the ones you like.

Don’t let the words “Cream Sauce” deter you. This isn’t an ultra rich sauce. It’s actually very light. There isn’t too much cream in this dish.  If you are following keto, low carb or just trying to be healthier see the Chef Notes for more information.

This dish seems a little time-consuming but part of it can be done head of time. You can cook the shrimp and scallops ahead of time and just have ready to go.

I grew up eating mussels with my Dad.  He loved mussels. Every time he went back east to visit my family he’d get a pizza and an order of mussels from the pizzeria down the block.  Before he passed away he actually taught me how to clean and cook mussels.  I still remember him and I standing over the sink full of water and checking each and every mussel to make sure it wasn’t cracked or damaged in any way and make sure they were tightly closed.  If the mussels were opened most likely they are dead.  You can tap the mussel against the sink and see if the mussels closes. If it doesn’t the mussel is  dead and needs to be discarded.  I love that memory of my Dad and I.  I think about it often.  He was an amazing cook and I carry so many amazing things he taught me with me when I cook.

Ok, now on to the recipe.  It’s a great recipe and perfect for a dinner party.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Seafood Medley in a Garlic Cream Sauce
Servings:

Ingredients:
8 large sea scallops
1/2 lb uncooked shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1/2 lb fresh mussels, cleaned, rinsed and damaged or cracked shells removed
3 cup chicken broth
3 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
1 T parsley fresh or dried
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, diced
1/2 large red pepper, diced
1/4 +2 T heavy whipping cream
5 T butter
2 t xanthan gum or 1 T flour
2 T olive oil
2 T chives, chopped

Directions: Rinse scallops and shrimp under cool water.  Pat completely try with paper towels.  Season scallops and shrimp with salt and pepper.  Heat a medium sauté  pan over high heat.  Add in 1/2  tablespoon of olive oil and let heat 2 minutes.  Add in scallops to the pan and cook on high heat for 3 minutes and turn over once the scallops have a golden crust.  Flip over and cook another 3 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add in another 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and shrimp to the sauté pan.  Cook the shrimp stirring occasionally.  Cook till the shrimp is pink and opaque.  About 5-6 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Next add remainder of oil and heat in pan.  Next add in the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add in 3 tablespoons of butter. (Note: If you are using xanthan gum skip to the next step now. ) If using flour in with the butter a roux.  Cook for 5 minutes stirring once.  

Next add the chicken broth to the pan and mix.  If using xanthan gum add in now and mix until dissolves.  Add in lemon juice and wine (if using.)  Let mixture cook on high about 6-7 minutes as it thickens.  Add in heavy cream and mix and season with garlic and onion powder and parsley.

Reduce the heat to medium high and add in the scallops, shrimp and lump crab. Mix well. Add in the mussels and cover and cook on medium heat 8-10 until the mussels are cooked and opened.  (Note: Mussels are hard to give a cooking time for. Just make sure to keep and eye on the pan and once you see the mussels open they are cooked.)  Once they are cooked mix everything up one last time and season with salt and pepper to your taste.  Remove from heat and transfer to a large serving bowl.  Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Chef Notes: This can be served with any sides you choose. Pasta, potatoes or rice. Anything you like.  Make sure to serve with a nice chunk of crusty bread for dipping.  If you are keeping it low carb/keto use xanthan gum vs flour, omit the wine and serve along side cauliflower rice or veggies and no bread (Sorry).  Feel free to use half and half vs heavy whipping cream if you want it to be on the healthier side.

 

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Buttery Garlic Portobello Mushrooms

I love mushrooms! They are so veresitle. You can stuff them, turn them into burgers, sauté them, fry them and pretty much anything else you can think of.

Funny story, I didn’t always like mushrooms. I would steer clear of them as much as possible. Then probably like 12 years ago I was having dinner at my then boyfriends house with his parents. His Mom asked if I liked mushrooms and my boyfriend chimed in and said “No, she hates them!” Knowing good and well that his mother just made mushrooms as part of dinner. I think my mouth fell to the floor. I couldn’t believe he called me out like that. I ended you putting some mushrooms on my plate because that’s just good manners. Much to my surprise I didn’t hate them.

After years of eating mushrooms now, I’ve been able to develop some amazing recipes. That’s where this recipe comes in. I almost wasn’t going to post because it is so simple. But I decided too because if you like mushrooms you’ll love this recipe. It’s very simple. Maybe a little more time consuming because it does take time to get to the golden mushroom we are looking for with this recipe since there is so much water in mushrooms. The mushrooms need to be cooked until the liquid is completely gone which may take some time. Trust me it’s worth it! Check it out and I hope you enjoy it!

Buttery Garlic Portobello Mushrooms

Ingredients:
16oz sliced Portobello mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T olive oil
3 T butter
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t dried parsley
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Directions: Heat a large sauté pan on high heat. Add in olive oil and let heat 1-2 minutes. Add in garlic and cook 2 minutes mixing constantly. Don’t let the garlic brown.

Next add in the mushrooms and cook several minutes. In order to get a golden mushroom you need to cook the mushrooms to the point where the liquid is completely gone. This will take a while. Probably about 15-20 minutes. You will need to stir every couple minutes.

Once the liquid finally starts to evaporate you will need to cook another 7 minutes or so to get the golden brown color on the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms start to get golden add the butter and mix a few times as the butter melts. Season the mushrooms with garlic and onion powder and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Cook Notes: You can definitely use white button mushrooms as well in this dish. Feel free to try some different spices in this recipe.

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Crustless Sausage & Cheddar Quiche

Happy Sunday Funday! I am super excited to share some new awesome recipes with you all. Stay tuned for more!!!

I’ve been trying to eat food lower in carbs. So, I made this crustless quiche. I’m not a huge fan of eggs. I can only eat them every so often. The problem is eggs are a great food while doing the Keto/low carb diet. I need to change the texture and try and mask the flavor as much as possible to really enjoy an egg dish. Quiches and egg stratas are a great way to accomplish that.

That is where this recipe comes in. The star of this dish is definitely the sausage and cheddar cheese. I mean c’mon who doesn’t like sausage and cheese?

This quiche is definitely low in carbs because there is no crust. If you aren’t watching your carb intake or want to use a crust, feel free to do so. I’m sure it would just make this dish even better. If you want to spare some carbs, don’t worry this quiche is delicious without any crust at all.

This quiche is wonderful left over. Dare I even say better the next day! The flavors seem to intensify really well by the next day and makes this a great left over dish. It’s perfect to prep for breakfasts through the week. If you want to double this recipe, just make it in a larger baking dish and cut into squares to serve vs pie slices.

I hope you give it a try!

Crustless Sausage & Cheddar Quiche

Ingredients:
8 oz cooked breakfast sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream
6 large eggs
2 t salt
2 t pepper
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder

Directions:
In a medium sauté pan over medium heat cook the sausage and break up into small pieces. Cook until cooked through. Remove from heat and drain on paper towel to remove excess grease. Add diced onion to the sauté pan and cook on high heat mixing every so often until onion has softened.

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8 inch pie pan with cooking spray. Spread the onion and sausage evenly on the bottom of the pie pan. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and add the heavy whipping cream, whisk until fully incorporated. Fold in the cheddar cheese.

Pour egg mixture into the pie pan. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Insert a knife into the center of the quiche to make sure it comes out clean. The quiche shouldn’t be jiggly in the middle. If it is put back in for another 5-7 minutes. Let the quiche set 10-15 minutes before cutting to serve.

Chef Notes: To make sure the quiche doesn’t go over and make a mess bake it on a cookie sheet to catch any leaks of the egg mixture. Your oven will thank you.

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Chicken Parmigiana “Pizza” (Keto Friendly)

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I’ve been working on some new recipes lately so expect more coming soon. I’ve been feeling a little under the weather the last week or so and I am just playing catchup with some recipes.

That’s where this recipe comes in!! Who doesn’t like pizza or at least something that resembles pizza taste wise. Since eating low carbs while doing Keto I needed something that was like pizza. I made this chicken Parmigiana pizza. I wouldn’t really say this is like a pizza because you can’t pick it up and eat it. You will need to use a fork and a knife but it’s really a delicious take on it.

This recipe is simple to make and it’s a good way to stay low carb and get in your protein. You can mix up this recipe with your own toppings. I made this with just cheese but feel free to add some extras. This is definitely not the most eye appealing plate of food but it was so good!

Check out this recipe!

Chicken Parmigiana Pizza

Ingredients:

“Crust”
1lb Ground Chicken
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t Italian seasoning
4 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1 t salt
1 t pepper
¼ cup Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese

Toppings:
½ cup full fat ricotta
½ t Italian seasoning
½ cup marinara sauce, low carb/sugar
1 cup shredded Italian cheese of choice
Optional Toppings ideas:
Arugula
Pepperoni/Sausage
Chopped Veggies

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. In a bowl mix together all above ingredients for the crust. Use your hands to mix well. (Use some disposable gloves if you don’t like to get your hands dirty) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Evenly spread the ground chicken mixture on the parchment paper in a round circle. Try and make the mixture as even as possible for even baking.
In a small bowl mix together ricotta and Italian season and set aside.

Bake the crust in the oven at 400° for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken mixture. Remove from oven and drain any liquid from cooking. Let cool a few minutes. Then spread ricotta evenly over the chicken crust, next evenly spread the sauce over ricotta and finally sprinkle with shredded cheese. Broil for 10 minutes checking every few minutes to make sure it’s not over cooking. The broil will help get the cheese all nice and bubbly.

Remove from the oven and cut into pieces. Keep in mind this recipe doesn’t get the chicken crust crispy. When you take it out of the oven it’s going to be flimsy. You will definitely need a fork to eat this.

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Spinach Gratin (Keto Friendly)

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  I’m now a week into doing Keto/low carb diet and so far it’s been pretty good.  I felt like this past week I had way more energy and I didn’t feel like I was craving sweets as much as I thought I would.

This past week has been pretty much protein in the form of some type of meat and than a vegetable side or a salad.  I’ve been trying my best to make veggies taste like something I’d want to eat more often.  So far it seems to have been working.

I made this spinach recipe this weekend and it came out phenomenal.  It was my first time making it and I’m pretty impressed.  Hey I’ll give myself a little pat on the back from time to time.

This recipe is simple to make and can be made ahead of time.  Perfect for a rather quick side dish. This is thicker than an average creamed spinach which is why it’s more of a gratin.  Give it a try!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Spinach Gratin (Keto Friendly)

Ingredients:

16 oz organic frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess liquid removed
6 oz cream cheese
6 T full fat ricotta cheese
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup +2T  grated parmesan or Romano cheese
2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Heat a medium sauté pan on medium high heat.  Make sure that as much liquid as possible is removed from the spinach.  You can do this by putting in a strainer and using a spatula to press down on the spinach to remove the liquid.

Add the butter to the sauté, once it starts to melt, add in the garlic and onion and cook for 3-4 minutes.   Next add in the spinach and mix.  To the mixture add in the cream cheese and break up and mix often.  Reduce the heat to low and stir occasionally until the cream cheese is fully melted.  Remove from the head and stir in the ricotta and all the seasoning.  Taste and add more salt and pepper to your liking.  Lastly mix in the grated cheese, save 2 T for topping.

Spread mixture in a greased oven safe dish and top with remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese.  Bake at 375 for 20-25.

Note: This dish Is perfect to make ahead of time. If you refrigerator make sure to add another 15 minutes or so to the baking time.

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Before going into the oven!

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After baking

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Close up!

 

 

Cauliflower Chowder

It’s been a cold and snowy last week or so in Chicago.  The weather is only about to get worse, unfortunately.   We are looking at more snow and super cold temperatures by the middle of the week.   I keep reading articles talking about coldest temperatures in 25 years.  I hope it doesn’t get that cold. However, what is better on a cold winter’s day but a nice bowl of a hearty soup.

Today I made cauliflower chowder.  It’s hearty but light at the same time.  I made this soup as a healthier alternative to traditional cream soups.  It’s very easy to even turn this into a Keto recipe. Check it out.  See cook’s notes below to make Keto.

Cauliflower Chowder

Ingredients:
3 T butter
1 T olive oil
3 T flour
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
1  large red pepper, diced
1 cup gold potatoes, diced
3, 16 oz bags frozen cauliflower
3, 32 oz boxes unsalted or low sodium chicken broth
2 cups fat free half and half
8 oz reduced fat cheddar cheese (more for topping)
1 large bay leaf
2 t dried rosemary
2 t dried thyme
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t chili powder
2 t salt (more to taste)
2 t pepper (more to taste)
1 t crushed red pepper

Toppings (optional)
Shredded cheese
Chopped Bacon
Green onion

Directions:

Heat a large soup pot on medium high heat.  Add in the olive oil and let heat a minute before adding in the garlic and onion.  Once garlic and onion are added cook about 3-4 minutes until the onion is translucent.   Next add in the red pepper and cook another 3 minutes until soft.

Add in the butter and let melt completely.  Slowly add the flour and mix well.  Cook the roux for about 4-6 minutes.  Add in the chicken stock, potatoes and frozen cauliflower and mix.  Add in thyme, rosemary and bay leaf.  Simmer on medium high heat about 45 minutes, stirring halfway through.   Check potatoes and make sure they are soft.  Remove the bay leaf.   Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to break up the cauliflower, but leaving some chunks.

Once blended put back on the stove and add in the 2 cups of fat free half and half and mix well.  Season the soup with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, crushed red pepper and chili powder.  Mix well. Let simmer 15 minutes once the cream is added.

Remove the soup from the heat and add in 8 oz of cheese and mix to thoroughly melt the cheese.  Make sure to put the spoon to the bottom of the pot to make sure the cheese isn’t all fallen to the bottom.

To serve, ladle soup into a bowl and top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese, bacon and green onions.

Chef Notes:  For Keto recipe, replace 3 T of flour with ¼ t of xanthan gum.  Do not add in with the butter.  Make a slurry with the xanthan gum some liquid and add into the pot.  Replace fat free half and half for full fat heavy whipping cream. Omit potatoes entirely.

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Mushroom, Spinach & Mozzarella Egg Muffins (Keto Recipe)

Happy Monday everyone!! It’s officially time to get 100% back on track. I thoroughly enjoyed the holidays but it’s a new year and time to start fresh. Be prepared to see a lot of new recipes. I’m hoping to work in the kitchen on some new things that are healthy and make it easier to stay on track.

That brings me to this new recipe. I’m not a real big fan of eggs. I’d much rather something else besides eggs for breakfast but with having a lower carb/keto diet eggs are a big part of that. I have to make eggs taste like something completely different for me to enjoy them. So, here’s a take on some egg muffins I made. They are super simple and you can definitely add whatever ingredients you want. Note, that if you aren’t doing a low carb diet you can use just regular milk in place of the heavy whipping cream.

Mushroom, Spinach & Mozzarella Egg Muffins (Keto Recipe)

Ingredients:

6 eggs
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped (I used baby portabellas)
¾ cup shredded mozzarella
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Extras:
Cooking Spray
Muffin Tin

Directions: Preheat oven 375°. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs and the heavy whipping cream together. Season with salt and pepper. Spray the muffin pan well with cooking spray. Add the mushrooms and spinach to each opening. Top the veggies with an even layer of cheese. You can use more or less of both the cheese, mushrooms and spinach. Feel free to use different ingredients for inside the muffins. Evenly add the egg mixture to each opening. Fill ¾ of the way full.

Bake the muffins in the oven for 13-18 minutes. Check the muffins to make sure a toothpick or knife comes out clean and they are set. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before removing from the pan. Note: These are great to make ahead of time and have for the week. Just heat them in the microwave for 30-45 seconds for a quick on the go breakfast.

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