Due to my spouse requiring a modified diet for a few days, I decided to make him some rice pudding. Without too much work, this one filled the bill!
Coconut Rice Pudding
Serves/Makes: 4 | Ready In: 30-60 minutes
1 can (15-ounce size) coconut milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup uncooked rice (I used Jasmine)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Combine the coconut milk and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Add the rice and cook until it returns to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and let simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg.Pour into custard cups.
Normally, when I do sausage and peppers, it is in the oven. Since I had time this week I found a slow cooker/crockpot recipe on Pinterest for this method. Come to find out, I liked it much better without having to use the oven. The texture of the sausage was so very different and the peppers were great. Served this with a little side of steamed broccoli. Perfect dish!
FYI…the sausages I prefer are Obertal Argentinian Chorizos, but that is your choice.
Crockpot Sausage and Peppers
1 pkg Italian sausages (5)My preference is Obertal Argentinian Chorizo
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 large onion
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup chunky marinara sauceI substituted a small jar of PACE Medium Salsa
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2-3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1. Heat a skillet on medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan.
2. Sear the Italian sausages 2-3 mins on each side until starting to brown. You aren’t trying to cook them all the way through, you’re just browning the outside a bit which always increases the flavor while slow cooking.
3. Lay the seared Italian sausages in the bottom of a slow cooker/crockpot.
4. Add the uncooked sliced onions and peppers on top of the sausages.
5. Sprinkle the garlic salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning over the top.
6. Spread the marinara sauce or PACE salsa over the onion and pepper mixture.
7. Cook the crock pot sausage and peppers recipe on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours until the peppers are soft and the Italian sausage is cook through.FYI…mine was done at 4 hours on low!
8. The crockpot Italian sausage and peppers are seriously SO delicious as is, but to take it up a notch, take the sausage and peppers out of the slow cooker and spread into a broiler-safe pan and follow the cheese steps in the optional section.
Optional – Add Cheese
1. Sprinkle 1/2 – 3/4 cups of your favorite shredded white cheese, like mozzarella, Monterey Jack, an Italian blend, or Colby Jack would all be great choices.
2. Broil the Italian sausage and peppers mix for 1-2 minutes 4″ from the heat source until the cheese is melted.
Tis the season to be jolly and entertain! NOT! Normally at this time of year we host a “charcuterie” for our snowbird friends. Alas, in these times of COVID, many were not returning to Yucatan. Secondly, we are limited to 4 “guests”in our home at one time. The answer – Host 4 mini charcuteries with our close friends over each weekend with two other couples.
The unfortunate/fortunate part was that with the variety of cold meats and cheeses, etc. I had leftover sliced kielbasa! Pinterest (much better than that Amazon person) – What do I do with the leftover kielbasa which could not be refrozen? The prompt answer – Creamy Kielbasa Pasta IN ONE PAN!
13 Ounces Kielbasa Sausage, (one large link, sliced into bite-sized pieces)
1/2 Cup White Onion, (about 1 medium sized, thinly sliced)
½ red pepper, diced
8 Ounces Penne Pasta, (or any short pasta, dry)
1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth, (low-sodium)
1 1/2 Cups Water
8 Ounces Cream Cheese, (cut into cubes)
Shredded Asiago cheese
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the oil, sausage, red pepper and onion. Cookfor 5 to 7 minutes until the sausage begins to brown and the onions soften.
Add the noodles, broth, and water. Stir to combine.
Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover andcontinue to cook for 12 to 14 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure the noodles don’t stick together. Don’t let all the liquid cook away. There needsto be a little residual liquid in the bottom of the pan to mix with the creamcheese. After the noodles are cooked to al dente or to your liking, add the creamcheese. Stir until the cream cheese is melted and thoroughly combined. Sprinkle on some of the Asiago cheese.
Serve hot. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Hope it is not to late for you to get these ready? The recipe makes about 4 breakfasts. Simply portion the ingredients into 4 small jars, refrigerate overnight. Come morning, dump the ingredients into a mug, add two slightly scrambled eggs, stir and microwave according to the directions!
Make Ahead Breakfast Scrambles
2 oz. ham, diced(I used a strip of bacon per jar).
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
2 tsp butter
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
8 large eggs
1. Divide the ham, bell pepper, onion, and cheddar between four resealable containers*. Cut the butter into 4, 1/2 teaspoon-sized pieces, and add one to each container. Sprinkle about 1/8 teaspoon seasoning salt into each container.
2. Seal the containers and store them for up to 4-5 days.
3. When you’re ready to prepare a microwave breakfast scramble, pour the ingredients of the container into a ceramic mug, add two large eggs, and stir to combine.
4. Loosely cover the mug with a paper towel or another microwave-safe object and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Stir the contents of the mug and microwave for 15 seconds more. Stir again and continue to microwave for 15 second intervals, stirring after each, until the eggs are mostly set, but still moist. Serve immediately.
Some days I just want to be able to throw something together for dinner quickly. Pasta is usually the answer! In this case, I just happened to buy some smoked salmon at Costco to use in salad and I still had some left.
Voila ! Smoked Salmon Carbonara. Bonus – no creams, just fresh eggs and Parmesan for the sauce. Read the recipe carefully, as you don’t want to overcook the eggs and Parmesan. The pasta MUST be a little cool to avoid scrambling the eggs!!! It looked and tasted great. You can skip the capers if it’s not something you like.
NOTE – Capers are immature flower buds from the Capparis spinosa (aka the “caper bush”), which grow all over the Mediterranean, just like olives do. Caper buds are picked before they can bloom into flowers. They are not a fish as some people mistakenly assume, but can be a little salty. Great on pizza, too.
Smoked Salmon Carbonara
14.1 oz (400g) linguine pasta, or similar
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
5.2 oz (150g) smoked salmon, sliced thinly
1 small bunch fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. of capers (optional)
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the linguine or long pasta shape of your choice. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, cut the smoked salmon into thin strips and finely chop some fresh parsley (this is optional).
3. Next, add the eggs to a bowl and whisk together, add the grated parmesan and a good pinch of salt and pepper, stir to combine.
4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it back into the pot you cooked it in. Sprinkle over the strips of salmon then add the whisked eggs and parmesan mixture, immediately stir the pasta to coat it evenly in egg and to distribute the salmon throughout the pasta evenly.
5. Tip: wait exactly 1 minute before pouring over the egg mixture. If the pasta is too hot the eggs will scramble but if it’s too cool the eggs will remain raw.
6. The pasta should be creamy and evenly coated in sauce. Divide the smoked salmon pasta between bowls and top with a scattering of chopped parsley and an extra grinding of pepper, serve.
I’ve seen and made many pasta carbonara recipes in my time and I find that using 1 egg less as many servings works best. Does that make sense? For four servings I use 400g/14oz of pasta (100g per portion) and 3 eggs.
In January 2017, I posted a similar recipe for this popular Mexican dish made with hominy – essentially a specially dried corn. While we thoroughly enjoyed that recipe, I did find it time consuming. If you are fortunate to have a grocery store which carries Mexican products you can find this on the shelves in a can, as I was fortunate to locate.
Sometimes one just wants to put a hot meal on the table with a minimum of preparation! Since we had a Costco leftover rotisserie chicken available, this was quick! Shred the chicken. Heat the pozole in a large saucepan over medium heat with the chicken added in.
While it is heating, slice up an avocado, set out some sour cream, slice two or three radishes, chop up a bit of cilantro, some shreds of cabbage if you have some?
When the pozole is thoroughly heated, pour into large soup bowls and garnish with the sour cream, radishes, cilantro and avocado. You can add a few tortilla strips if you have them for some added crunch.
How many times have you realized that the only vegetables in the house were in the freezer? Sure you can sometimes steam them, but often they turn out mushy. Thankfully on Pinterest you can find recipes for using them straight from the freezer without thawing! This recipe is a keeper, along with others I found there for using frozen spinach in a pasta and frozen butternut squash. (more on those another day).
Roasted Frozen Broccoli
10 oz bag of frozen broccoli florets
olive oil spray
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Arrange frozen broccoli florets in a single layer on the parchment paper
Spray the frozen broccoli with olive oil spray to coat
Sprinkle on even amounts of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder over the tops of the broccoli (no need to toss or stir)
Roast at 450 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes, checking once or twice, until broccoli is crisped to your liking
Who expects to find butternut squash in summer, let alone summer in MEXICO? Walking into our favourite grocery store in Merida, Yucatan, there were TWO just waiting for us…at the door! No others in sight…was I dreaming? Nope, snatched ’emup fast.
You northerners can watch for them later. This recipe was a keeper. How can you say no to maple syrup and Dijon mustard?
Sheet Pan Maple Dijon Chicken with Roasted Butternut Squash
4 chicken thighs
salt and pepper
2/3 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup Dijon mustard
1 1/2 lb butternut squash, uncooked, peeled and cubed into 1- or 2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 450 F. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet (line it with aluminum foil, as it can be runny)
Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides.
In a medium bowl, whisk maple syrup and Dijon mustard.
Dip each chicken thigh on both sides into maple-Dijon mixture and place on a prepared baking sheet, skin side up, leaving space between all chicken thighs.
Add cubed butternut squash into the same bowl with the remaining maple-Dijon mixture, mix to coat, and add butternut squash on the baking sheet around the chicken, in one layer. If you run out of maple-Dijon mixture, whisk a little bit more.
Roast for 30 or 40 minutes at 450 F, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through.
The original recipe called for adding Brussel sprouts, but I had some leftover fresh asparagus. They didn’t turn out as I had hoped….
These really do not have to be labelled as KETO, they are just plain great for everyone, especially kids. I served them with a dollop of sour cream. You could also add guacamole as a garnish. My zucchini were medium size, hence I ended up with 4 halves. If you are using larger zucchini, you could get along with ONE half and a salad alongside.
*In lieu of the cumin, chili powder and salt, I used my homemade taco seasoning.
Keto Taco Zucchini Boats
4 Zucchini depending on how many people…
1-pound Ground beef
½ cup Bell Peppers mixed Red & Yellow, finely diced
1 tablespoon Chili Powder
2 teaspoons Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Salt
¼ cup Water
8 ounces Cheddar cheese shredded
1/2 cup Salsa
Preheat oven to 400°F
Prepare your zucchini by trimming off the stem end. To do this I just gently round the end of the zucchini with a knife, removing the stem. Then cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a measuring spoon (teaspoon)or melon ball scoop, to hollow out the zucchini forming a boat.
Place the zucchini boats in a greased baking dish and sprinkle a small amount of salt over them.
In a skillet over medium high heat brown the ground beef.
Add bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, salt, and ¼ cup of water to the ground beef. Continue to cook until vegetables are softened and water has been absorbed.
Once the beef mixture is ready fill each zucchini boat with the beef and vegetable mixture.
Top the zucchini boats with cheddar cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes or until zucchini has softened and cheese is melted.
Pour salsa over boats before serving. Optional sour cream and guacamole?