Who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese, whether it be Canada’s KD (Kraft Dinner) or any number of restaurant style macaroni and cheese dishes? One of our fav restaurants in Merida, Yucatan – Merci, does a wonderful macaroni and cheese with jumbo shrimp! What’s not to love about that? Of course, when you do KETO, you avoid pasta, But, since we are now only KC (Keto conscious) we have a little leeway. Don’t tell your family it is KETO. They do not need to know. This is undoubtedly a new fav recipe, with a touch of jalapeno (optional).
KETO Cauliflower Jalapeno Mac n Cheese with Bacon
Ingredients (Vegans, omit bacon)
- 1 large head cauliflower cut into small bites
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese I use a cheddar blend
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 5 strips of uncured bacon cooked and crumbled (bacon grease reserved)*
- 3 teaspoons bacon grease melted
- 2 jalapeño peppers minced (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
- 1-2 tablespoons hot water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: fresh cilantro for garnish
- Add the cauliflower florets to a microwave safe bowl with a plate (or paper plate) on top Microwave for 7-8 minutes or until slightly tender (or your desired texture). You can steam it instead, if you don’t have or want to use a microwave, but I wouldn’t boil it, it might be too watery.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, heat a saucepan over medium. Add in the butter and bacon grease, then sauté the jalapeño peppers until tender, should take just about 2-3 minutes. Add in the cream cheese and stir until melted. Add the remaining ingredients and still until well combined and all the cheese has melted.
- Add in 1-2 tablespoons of hot water if needed, to reach your desired consistency.
- Once the cauliflower is cooked through, you don’t need to drain it or pat it dry. The small amount of moisture will be perfect with this sauce, which as I mentioned, is on the thicker side. Pour cauliflower in the skillet and mix well to coat each piece, then serve.
- Optional: Garnish with fresh cilantro and/or crumbled bacon.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days. It reheats beautifully in the microwave or stovetop.
The amount of jalapeño pepper that you use is entirely up to you, and will depend personal preference. I would recommend using 2 jalapeño peppers for a mild to medium level of heat and flavor. If you’re like me and love a spicy kick and a stronger jalapeño flavor, you’ll want to use a bit more.
Until recently, soft shell tacos were very hard to find here. Yeah, we could have used tortillas which are everywhere!!! It seems lots of people are on low carb diets these days and I was able to find this GREAT recipe on Pinterest. Who needs a crust? The result was awesome, so much so that we couldn’t believe we ate the WHOLE thing at one sitting.
FYI…. you will notice in the recipe Taco Seasoning. It’s quite simple to make and cheaper. I have included the recipe I use for taco seasoning at the end of the Pie recipe…
Low Carb Crustless Taco Pie
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning (see recipe below)
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup salsa (I like La Costena brand with added chipotle)
- 1 cup Mexican blend cheese finely shredded, quantity divided
- 4 large eggs
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- OPTIONAL – a layer of refried beans on the bottom of the pie shell!
- Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Prepare a 9″ pie pan by greasing with butter or spraying with coconut oil.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. If your ground beef is low in fat or if your skillet is not well seasoned, you may want to spray the pan with coconut oil to prevent sticking. When skillet is hot, add ground beef, breaking up into small pieces with a spoon or spatula. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Drain beef and add taco seasoning and cook according to package instructions. Set aside and allow to cool while continuing with the next step.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and heavy cream. Stir in the green onions, salsa, 3/4 cup of the cheese, and the salt.
- Stir prepared taco meat into the egg mixture. Pour this mixture into the prepared pie pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
- Bake pie in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the top is brown and the pie is set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with your favorite taco toppings such as salsa, sour cream, guacamole, sliced green onions, or whatever else you like! Maybe add a few sliced radishes…
Taco Seasoning (enough for this recipe)
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp Onion powder
1/4 tsp Oregano, dried
1 tsp Black pepper
1 tbsp Chili powder
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Cumin, ground
Just in time for your Thanksgiving dinner! Make ahead and refrigerate. Serve as your first course!
Thai Style Chicken Pumpkin Soup
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T. minced fresh ginger
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 15 ounce can pumpkin
- ½ cup mango nectar
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- ½ cup peanut butter (or more)
- 1 liter low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook about three minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer.
Transfer chicken to crock pot. Add celery, carrots, pumpkin, nectar, lime juice, peanut butter, broth and water. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours,
After the time is up, stir in the following –
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Mix ½ cup heavy cream and 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch together.Stir into soup and turn cooker to HIGH for 10 minutes or less until soup thickens.
Serve over white rice which has been previously cooked. Sprinkle with more chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts.
Source – Crock-Pot Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes.
Been back in Canada and still too early for rhubarb, but fortunately we have been able to find it here for the first time, as I stated in the previous blog. If you thought the pie sounded great you should definitely keep this in mind when rhubarb is in season up north. Of course you need an ice cream machine which our friends Kathie, Holly, Michelle and Dez had previously given to Larry several years ago for his birthday…lucky guy. It is indeed awesome and definitely a flavour for Ben and Jerry to consider!!! Ready, set, go!
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE ICE CREAM Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream
For the Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream Base you will need an ice cream machine, sorry…
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup heavy cream or 1 box of Media Crema (Mexico)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 of your crumbled pie crust (homemade) but you can also just bake a pre-made crust and crumble that. Either way, before baking, brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar.)
First, roast the strawberries. To do so, combine strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar in an 8-inch glass dish (do not spray or oil the glass). Roast at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes, or until just soft. Cool slightly, then puree the berries in a blender. Measure 1/2 cup of the puree and set the rest aside to top the ice cream or for another use. Our preference is not to puree as we like chunky!
In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons milk to form a slurry. Set aside. In another small bowl, mix the cream cheese and salt together. Set aside. Put the rest of the milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a large, heavy bottomed pot (like a stock pot). Bring to a boil and boil for exactly four minutes (I set my phone’s timer to make sure it was accurate). It will boil and foam like crazy.
After four minutes, take the pot off the heat and add the cornstarch slurry. Return to a boil for one minute, take off the heat again. Add the cream cheese to the boiled milk and whisk any clumps out.
Submerge the pan and its contents in an ice bath. If you’re making the ice cream the same day, just make sure the base is very cold before adding it to the machine. Add the base to your frozen ice cream barrel and spin for 15 minutes. The base should be frozen, a little more liquid than soft serve.
At this point, pour in the strawberry puree* and let it mix in completely, until the ice cream is a pretty pink color. Add half of the pie crust crumbles and swirl until incorporated. From here you can assemble the rest of the ice cream.
For the Rhubarb Compote Adapted from Epicurious
- 2 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Grated ginger (optional to taste)
Combine rhubarb and sugar in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring every so often, until the rhubarb is syrupy (the sugar will liquefy over the heat and the rhubarb will break down). Strain through a sieve and chill until you are ready to assemble the ice cream. (You don’t want it too thick)
To Assemble the Ice Cream
Line a bread pan with parchment (or wax) paper. OR use a silicone loaf pan and skip the parchment/wax paper. Drizzle some rhubarb compote on the bottom, then layer with 1/3 of the Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream Base. Sprinkle with pie crust crumbles and drizzle with more compote. Continue layering, ending with a layer of compote and pie crumbles. Drag a knife through the compote to create a marbling effect.
Press some parchment or wax paper onto the ice cream’s surface and freeze for at least four hours. Before serving, let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes. Serve hearty scoops atop (totally optional) mini strawberry rhubarb pies and enjoy! Makes 1 quart.
After 12 years of searching we finally found rhubarb here in Yucatan!! In the last month we have bought up almost all of it, washed it, cut into chunks and frozen in 4 cup quantities for later use. The only problem is that we seem to be using it all up now…LOL. When there’s a glut…??? This pie is incredible, as is the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Ice Cream!!!
Let us know if you make it and what you thought…
Rhubarb / Strawberry Custard Pie (Makes one 9 inch pie)
* Pinterest recipe adapted from the English Kitchen (Marie) whose recipe I found too sweet for my taste and too juicy and I wanted cream in the recipe.
1 short crust pastry to fill a 9 inch diameter, deep style pie dish or just buy one at your supermarket!
4 cups of diced rhubarb / sliced strawberries
¼ cup of caster sugar (icing sugar)
3 TBS cornstarch
2 TBS flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
½ cup golden syrup
½ cup heavy cream
1 TBS butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 230*C/450*F
Place the chopped rhubarb into a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, flour and salt.
Mix in the egg, beating it in well, and then stir in the golden syrup, cream and the melted butter. Mix well.
Pour this evenly over top of the rhubarb and mix well to coat the fruit.
Transfer mixture into the prepared shell.
Bake in the heated 450F/230C oven, covered lightly with foil, for 15 minutes.
Decrease the oven heat to 180*C/350*F Remove foil and bake for 30 to 40 more minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and the rhubarb is tender.
Remove from the oven to a wire rack and cool until the pie is firmed up, about 45 minutes, before serving.
Okay, so I was going to end this blog once I reached 250 posts! We were heading off on a trip to Oaxaca and Puebla and I thought it was a good time to put this blog to rest. The trip was great and now I am invigorated to continue on. (If you are interested in the latest trip then follow this link – www.oaxaca2016.wordpress.com )
This is another Costco recipe – too many mushrooms again! Hope you will enjoy it. It would be great for a brunch!
4 -5 large boneless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 -inch thick strips
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour to coat the chicken
6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 pound fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
Ingredients for the Sauce:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour for the sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup half and half (or 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 cup heavy cream)’OR plain yogurt
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge both sides in flour. Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken and sauté until golden. Work in batches if needed so you don’t crowd your pan. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken through; it still needs to go in the oven. Transfer chicken to a 13×9 casserole baking dish.
2. 2. Wipe down the skillet with a paper towel. Add 3 Tbsp oil along with sliced mushrooms and diced onions and sauté until soft and golden. Add garlic and sauté another 1-2 min. Spread mixture over the chicken.
3. 3. In a medium saucepan (or in the same pan you’ve been using), melt 3 Tbsp butter. Whisk in 3 Tbsp flour until lightly golden (1-2 min).
4. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp pepper, and whisk until smooth. Add 1 cup half & half and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste
5. 5. Pour sauce over the chicken and mushrooms. Cover with foil and bake at 350˚F for 45 minutes. Serve warm or hot over mashed potatoes, pasta or rice.
Check out more of Natasha’s blog, from where I found this recipe!
Not always easy to find fresh leeks in the grocery store, but et voila…this week they were there, along with fresh horseradish (a rarity here). This recipe does not use the latter! Just mentioned it in passing, as I bought some and carefully washed it and took some online advice and froze them whole. At a later date I can grate them for use in my seafood sauce! FYI…I do the same with fresh ginger…. Hope you will enjoy this soup from the kitchen of Emeril Lagasse!
Potato and Leek Soup
- 1 large or 2 small leeks
- 2 bay leaves
- 20 black peppercorns
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or use dried)
- 2 T butter
- 2 strips bacon chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 to 1 1/4 lbs. russet potatoes diced
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (Can substitute with plain yogurt)
- chopped chives (optional)
Trim the green portions off the leeks. Using a sharp knife, slice the leek lengthwise and rinse well under cold running water (leeks can be full of sand!). Slice thinly crosswise.
In a large soup pot, melt the butter and add the bacon. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until the bacon is very soft. Add the chopped leeks and cook until wilted…about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil.
While it boils, pour yourself a glass of the wine just to make sure it is a good year…LOL.
Add thyme, pepper, chicken stock and potatoes, and more salt if you prefer. Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
Have another glass of wine!
At this point you can put everything in a food processor (I do not as I like this chunky)or an immersion blender. Serve with a dollop of heavy cream or the yogurt.
Pour into soup bowls (after you have finished the bottle of wine…LOL).
Chive the snips……oops…snip the chives over top!