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Blue Cheese, Bacon and Green Onion Cheese Ball

The holidays are always full of social events. What would it be without a cheese ball rolled in crunchy walnuts? Usually I make mine with Imperial Cheddar from Canada, some softened blue cheese and a package of Philly. This year, something a little different… did I mention it is Keto friendly, if you dip bacon rinds?

Blue Cheese, Bacon, And Scallion Cheeseball

Serves 10

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces bacon, chopped and fried and drained to make bacon bits
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 scallions (green onions), minced
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped and divided
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free blue cheese crumbles (or more, depending on taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped unsalted walnuts, raw or lightly toasted

Instructions

1 In a medium bowl, combine the bacon bits, cream cheese, scallions, 1 tablespoon parsley, blue cheese crumbles, pepper, and salt. Stir together to mix.

2 Using hands or a spatula, form the mixture into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

3 Place the walnuts and reserved tablespoon of parsley in a small bowl. Stir to combine.

4 Unwrap the cheeseball and roll it in the walnut mixture to coat all sides. Press the walnut coating gently to help it stay on if necessary.

5 Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

For 1/10th Of The Cheeseball

Calories: 197

Fat (g): 12.9

Carbs (g): 2.2

Fiber (g): 1.3

Protein (g): 7

Net Carbs (g) .9

simply so healthy http://simplysohealthy.com/

 

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Easy Deviled Ham Salad

Leftover ham from Christmas dinner? No ham? Buy some… this recipe really was good on crackers, etc. Try it Mikey…you’ll like it! (Who remembers that phrase?) Ignore the Keto reference, it really tastes good!

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EASY DEVILED HAM SALAD – LOW CARB & KETO

Author: Mellissa Sevigny      Yield: 5 servings

INGREDIENTS

For the salad:

2 cups chopped cooked ham

1/4 cup chopped dill pickles

3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

2 Tbsp chopped onion

1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic

For the dressing:

1/2 cup sugar free mayonnaise (you decide, I used Hellamns Organic…)

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp Sriracha (or other chili sauce)

1 tsp fresh lime juice

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the salad:

Combine the salad ingredients into a food processor or magic bullet and pulse until a coarse, crumbly mixture is formed – don’t over blend into mush.

To make the dressing:

Combine the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.

Spoon the ham mixture into the dressing mixture and mix until the dressing is fully incorporated into the salad.

Serve chilled on low carb crackers, celery, romaine, or another low carb base of your choice! It was great with bacon rinds!

Nutrition

Serving Size: 1/2 cup Calories: 268 Fat: 24g Carbohydrates: 2g  Protein: 13g

Turmeric and Ginger Chicken Soup

Ok…its a little chilly out there, depending on where you live. Actually it’s chilly in Mexico where the temperature last night dropped to 13 C. Forget Christmas…LOL. It’s chicken soup time! Dig in (to the soup, NOT the snowbanks).

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Turmeric and ginger are excellent additions healthwise BTW.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs , skin removed
  • 12 cups cold water 
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro stems or fresh parsley stems
  • 2 shallots , quartered
  • 2 carrots , coarsely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic , smashed
  • 1 piece (1 inch) fresh turmeric (unpeeled), thinly sliced
  • 1 piece (1/2 inch) fresh ginger (unpeeled), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (approx.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves or fresh parsley leaves
  • OPTIONAL – 1 liter of Campbell’s Chicken Broth

METHOD

In Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine chicken, water and vinegar; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; simmer for 30 minutes, skimming and discarding froth.

Stir in cilantro stems, shallots, carrots, garlic, turmeric and ginger; partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove from heat; using tongs, transfer chicken to cutting board.

Using 2 forks, shred into bite-size pieces; sprinkle with salt.

Strain broth through fine-mesh sieve into separate large saucepan; discard solids.

I prefer my soups chunky, so I used my immersion blender to chop up some of the veggies before I added the chicken back to the pot. At this point I also added the liter of chicken broth.

Return chicken to broth; stir in cilantro leaves. Season with salt to taste.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS

Per each of 6 servings:

Sodium 493 mg

Sugars 0 g

Protein 30 g

Calories 171

Total fat 5 g

Potassium 611 mg

Cholesterol 155 mg

Saturated fat 1 g

Total carbohydrate 0.0

 

Keto Salad Dressings – 5 Minute Caesar & Keto Garlic Dressing

Needing a great salad for a change? Both of these dressings are incredible and cheaper than the bottled stuff! Sorry, no photos today…

Keto 5 Minute Caesar Dressing

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons anchovy paste (I substitute equal amount of fish oil when anchovy paste is not available)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Nutrition  per 2 Tablespoon – Calories 140, Fat 15g, Carbs 0.8 Protein0.1g.

Keto Garlic Dressing

Servings 16 (of 2 tbsp)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-6 Cloves garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Cup olive oil
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Pinch Black Pepper To taste
  • (Optional) Fresh herbs (I used parsley)

INSTRUCTIONS

Making the Keto Garlic Salad Dressing is really simple! – Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until it’s creamy and smooth. You can start with 4 cloves of garlic and add more after you taste the dressing, if you feel like it’s not strong enough.

Nutrition – Calories 123, Fat 13.5g, Carbs 0.5g, Protein 0.1g

 

Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Rice

New diet equals new foods! Just in at Costco – Cauliflower Rice! Pinterest has recipes for almost everything…shown here with roasted peppers, grilled salmon and avocado salsa. Supposedly all Keto friendly.

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Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower “rice” is now widely available in many supermarkets, including Costco Merida. There are many different recipes for using it, but this one is very simple!
Ingredients
5 cups cauliflower rice
3 T butter
3 garlic cloves minced
7 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. EVOV (Extra virgin olive oil OR coconut oil)
Chopped parsley
Directions
In a small saucepan, combine butter and garlic, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t let it burn!
In a separate fry pan, skillet or wok add 1 Tbsp. EVOV (Extra Virgin Olive oil OR coconut oil). Medium heat. Stir in the cauliflower rice and continue stirring until it is warmed through.
Pour I the butter mixture and stir to blend.
Top with the shredded Parmesan and mix well. Add chopped parsley! SERVE.
Instead of the butter and cheese, try pesto sauce…OR cilantro and lime…

 

Greek Moussaka

In the process of cleaning out our freezer and realized I had 500 gm of ground lamb. What to do? I have always liked moussaka in a Greek restaurant, but never made it at home. Good old Pinterest to the rescue, for what appeared to be an easy recipe and without the potatoes on top….less calories. The recipe looks complicated, but I decided to prepare the ground lamb ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator until I was ready to make the complete dish. It gave me time to prepare the eggplant while I was cleaning up from the lamb prep. The dish turned out perfectly, with our guests taking home this recipe! The photo below is from the Pinterest pinner…we got so carried away enjoying the dish that I forgot a photo. Check out Sniff It Out on Pinterest for more tantalizing recipes!

Moussaka

Greek Moussaka

About 500g of lean minced (ground) lamb
2 Aubergines (Eggplants) medium to large in size
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 heaped tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 rounded tablespoons tomato purée
3 fl oz. (75 ml) red wine or more
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the yogurt topping for the Greek Moussaka – I used a large CorningWare casserole dish and ended up doubling the yogurt in order to cover the top.

150ml Greek yogurt (double if necessary)

1 medium egg, beaten

50g feta cheese or more

25g freshly grated parmesan or more

 

  1. Preparing the Aubergines

Leave the skins on and slice the Aubergines into approximately 10mm thick slices.

Put the slices into a colander and sprinkle them with about 1 level dessertspoon of salt. Stand the colander on a plate to catch the water which comes out of the Aubergines and put another plate on top of the aubergine slices.

You now need to weigh this plate down with something heavy (I find that a couple of tins of soup works quite well) and leave them for about an hour to let the juice come out.

After an hour, squeeze out any of the excess juice from the aubergines and dry them well in a clean cloth.

Spread the aubergine slices on a baking sheet and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over them tossing them around to get a good coating.

Put the baking sheet in a pre heated oven (around 200 degrees) and roast the aubergines for 30 minutes or until they are browning at the edges.

I usually roast the eggplant simply because the baking tray is much bigger than the frying pan and I can get the slices done all in one go, but, if you would rather sauté the eggplant to use in the moussaka you can do that too.

 

  1. Preparing the lamb for the Moussaka recipe (I did this step first)

    Because the mince can have quite a lot of fat come out of it I usually dry fry the mince until it is nicely browned then remove it from the pan and put it to one side then discard any of the fat which has come out of it before using it to make the moussaka.

Then heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions, garlic and thyme gently, without colouring, for about 10 minutes.

Stir the minced lamb back in and add the parsley, cinnamon, tomato purée and red wine and stir to combine the ingredients. Season the mixture well and cook gently for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  1. Prepare the topping for the Greek Moussaka recipe

    It’s true that Moussaka isn’t the most healthy dish on the planet, that’s why I prefer a yogurt topping for my moussaka recipe because it is a bit lighter than others I have tried but that is purely my preference. Mix the yogurt with half of the cheeses and the beaten egg and season with ground pepper.

 

  1. Putting everything together for the Greek Moussaka!

    Line the bottom of a casserole dish with slices of aubergine, then spoon over some of the meat mixture. Build the layers of the moussaka up until all the meat and aubergine has been used.

Cover with the topping mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC / 350ºF for about 1 hour until golden and bubbling.

Let the Moussaka stand for about 20 to 30 minutes before cutting and serving and this will ensure that it keeps its shape when you serve it.

 

 

 

Lobster Thermidor

Just before I get to the recipe, I want to say thank you to the 6000 visitors as of today, who have checked out this blog. You give me inspiration to keep going just when I think I should move on to something else!!

The following recipe was posted by Rachel Ray who has her own cooking show.  I almost hate to say that I was clearing out the freezer and found small lobster tails asking to be used for dinner…LOL. I know, its a little rich, but consider it for a special dinner, make that ROMANTIC dinner…hope you will have an opportunity to try it.

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Lobster Thermidor (Rachel Ray)

Ingredients

4 (6 to 8-ounce) packaged lobster tails,  jumbo shrimp or prawns can be substituted

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Splash dry white wine or dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup milk, eyeball it
  • 1/3 cup grated white cheddar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika or crab boil seasoning, recommended: Old Bay
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
  • Handful parsley leaves mixed with 2 cups baby greens, for plate garnish

Directions

Bring a pot of water to a boil, 3 or 4 inches deep. Add lobster tails to the water and boil 7 to 8 minutes. Drain and shock under cold water to cool. Use kitchen scissors to cut away soft underside of tails. Remove meat and save the shells*, arranging them in a shallow casserole dish. Chop the cooked meat on an angle into chunks.

Preheat your broiler to high.

Heat a medium skillet and a small saucepot over medium heat. To the small saucepot, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add finely chopped onion and cook 3 to 5 minutes until very soft. To the skillet, add remaining 2 tablespoons butter. When the butter melts, add chopped lobster meat and sauté.

Add flour to sauce pot with onions and cook together another 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in wine or sherry, then milk. Remove sauce from heat and stir in cheddar cheese and paprika or crab boil. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over lobster meat and stir to combine. Pour lobster into and over the shells* in a casserole dish and top with Parmesan and bread crumbs. Broil on high until golden, 2 or 3 minutes. Serve each tail, spilling over with lobster bits in sauce, on a bed of mixed baby greens and parsley with wedges of lemon along side.

  • I did not use the shells…so much for my presentation…

Roasted Garlic and Asparagus Soup

My mom always instructed me to snap off the bottoms of the asparagus stalks when I was a kid as they were never tender and I still follow that rule. She always threw them away in the garbage! I have started to save the end pieces by putting them in a freezer bag for latter use…i.e. soup! This latest find for soup combines two strong flavours  – asparagus and garlic. This recipe can be served cold by putting it in the fridge the next day OR serving hot. The former is more of a asparagus gazpacho. The latter is great with some shaved Parmesan cheese added after serving.

I would be interested in your opinion…

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Roasted Garlic and Asparagus Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
  • 10 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • cracked pepper and chopped parsley, for garnish

 Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  3. Toss asparagus and garlic with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Arrange asparagus and garlic on prepared baking sheet in one layer.
  5. Roast for 12 minutes, or until asparagus is soft, stirring once.
  6. Remove from oven and transfer asparagus and garlic to a blender. (I never blend it all as I like it a bit chunky).
  7. Add broth and milk.
  8. Blend until smooth. Depending on how large your blender is, you might have to do this part in batches.
  9. Transfer soup to a soup pot.
  10. Warm soup over medium-high heat, thinning with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if desired.
  11. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
  12. Ladle into bowls.
  13. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Fennel, Granny Smith Apple and Pecorino Salad

He is back! We are finally here again after our long trip away where we ate too much and drank too much wine…LOL. We did pick up some great new recipes which I will be sharing with you in the coming weeks. This first one was prepared by our good friend, Carole, up in Sault Ste.Marie, Ontario. I am not a great fennel fan, but this was very tasty and not strong on the fennel taste. If you are a GREAT fan of fennel use the 2 bulbs called for…we however only used one smallish one.

Fennel, Granny Smith Apple and Pecorino Romano Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 medium fennel bulbs (according to your love of fennel)
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
  • About 1½ ounces pecorino Romano, shaved with a vegetable peeler (½ cup shavings)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

 

  • Instructions
  • Chop off the fronds where they meet the body of one fennel bulb. Halve the fennel, then thinly slice it, using a mandolin or a very sharp, thin-bladed chef’s knife. Repeat with the other bulb. You should have 2 cups of slices. Set them aside. Chop 1 tablespoon of the fronds and set it aside separately. Discard the remaining fronds.
  • Put the fennel and apple slices in a bowl. Add the pecorino Romano, lemon zest, ¼ cup olive oil, and parsley. Toss gently. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange the salad on a large, chilled serving plate. Drizzle more olive oil generously over the top, and scatter with the chopped fennel fronds just before serving.

 

  • VARIATIONS
  • If you can’t find pecorino Romano cheese, or simply prefer Parmigiano-Reggiano, by all means substitute it.
  • Crisp, sweet pears, such as Bosc, are a good autumnal replacement for the apples.

Coconut Chicken (pollo al coco)

Here is a straightforward recipe for a quick meal. I came across it in our local Costco magazine this month and decided to give it a try. My suggested changes are in red as always.

Pollo al Coco (Chicken with Coconut)

  1. MIX together –

1 teaspoon cumin. 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon cilantro

  1. BLEND into –

4 pieces of chicken cut into cubes ( I used thighs)

  1. COOK in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 8 to 10 minutes until cooked through
  2. ADD –

1 teaspoon of olive oil

1 small chopped onion

1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger

2 jalapeno chilies minced without seeds (can be omitted)

2 teaspoons minced garlic

SAUTE to blend the spices with the chicken

  1. ADD –

1 can cubed tomatoes

  1. SIMMER 7 to 10 minutes, stirring very frequently.
  2. ADD –

400 ml of coconut milk (next time I would use coconut cream to make a thicker sauce)

  1. HEAT through…

SERVE over rice…sprinkle with chopped parsley