Sunday, March 12, 2017

Keto Quiche made with Cauliflower hash brown crust

People. Seriously. Lets talk about quiche. Quiche is one of those lazy Sunday morning things that just invokes happiness, comfort, and a sense of fulfillment. No? That's just me? Okay, maybe... but quiche is delicious, and you should try this. Because... seriously. Look at it.

I was thinking about how I could make an actual quiche with a crust - that wasn't a crust loaded with carbs. Now... let me preface this with when I started on low carb 2 years ago I freaking DETESTED cauliflower. The only way I'd eat it was battered and fried the way my Dad makes it. That was the only way cauliflower was getting past my lips. But... I learned how to correctly cook cauliflower over the last 2 years - and now? It's a main staple of my diet.

I've been making cauliflower hash browns almost every weekend for months. Weekends are my time to experiment in the kitchen - and we eat full meals on weekends, whereas on weekdays - we intermittent fast and only eat once, maybe twice a day. So, cauliflower hash browns has become a regular event. While I was contemplating the quiche, I thought - why can I do this on a larger scale? Instead of frying them - baking it in a dish? So, that's what I did - and the results are amazing.

Cauliflower creates the perfect port for that quichey goodness. The edges come a nice golden brown, and so crispy. You will NOT miss the traditional carb loaded wheat filled quiche crust that is quintessential to quiche dishes. This cauliflower crust gives this old favorite a fresh perspective.

Lets begin with the crust. This is what you'll need:

1/2 head of cauliflower - riced, and steamed for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes in microwave
1 large egg
1 cup shredded low moisture mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbspn coconut flour
1 tsp pink salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbspn italian seasoning

Mix all of the above ingredients together until well combined. Press the cauliflower mixture into a greased quiche dish, and up the sides. Bake at 375 degrees for a total of 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, take the crust out - and with the back of a spoon, repress the cauliflower up the sides. I found that mine fell - and I had to press it against the sides again and continue baking for another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile - prepare the filling. Here is what you need:

8 large eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
5 White mushrooms
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbspn bacon crumbles
8 ounces shredded chicken
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

In a blender combine the eggs, cream, mushrooms, spinach, salt, and pepper. Blend until everything is well combined. Stir in the chicken, bacon, and cheddar cheese. Once the crust has baked for the full 30 minutes, take out of oven - and pour the egg mixture onto the crust. Put back in oven, and bake for 30-40 minutes - or until the center is completely set. Allow to cool on counter for 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.

Recipe makes 6 servings. 437 Calories per serving, 33 fat, 29 protein, and 4.2 net carbs.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Low carb homemade sushi - Keto friendly!

I love sushi. But I can't eat sushi because of the rice. At this grocery store I kept seeing these nori wrappers. I decided one weekend to give it a go. I picked up some smoked salmon, avocado, cucumber, and cream cheese. The results were freaking delicious. I don't miss normal sushi after having this. I've contemplated possibly using cauliflower rice for the rice aspect - but these rolls truly don't even need it. This is so versatile, and you could really use any ingredients with them. I will definitely be making these again.

Peel the cucumber and slice into little match stick size pieces. Cut the avocado in half, and scoop out one half of the avocado, and slice fairly thin. Spread softened cream cheese on the nori wrappers, and lay layers of smoked salmon down. Top with your cucumber and avocado. Gently roll the nori wrapper as tight as you can without ripping the wrapper. Allow to chill in fridge for about 30 minutes. With a sharp knife, cut into sushi rounds. Top with a little coconut aminos for that nice soy sauce taste. These. Are. Perfect.

I have Endometriosis, PCOS, and Hypothyroidism.

So things have been happening on my end over the past month. As of recent, my weight loss has been stalled now for over 4 months. I had originally chalked it up to not being 100% low carb over the Holidays - but once I got back on track, I still couldn't get the scale to move. In fact, I've felt bloated, my face is puffy, and I've been breaking out with really painful acne. All of which I thought were just response to the PCOS. So, I went to my primary to have a blood panel done to see where I'm at. Not only do I have PCOS, but it's coupled with hypothyroidism, and something I never anticipated hearing, like ever... endometriosis.

I had heard of endometriosis, but I never really read anything on it, and in my mind never had any cause to research it further. But, now that it's been thrown in my face - I have no choice but to educate myself on what this is. And it isn't pretty. The day I found out the news, I think I was more in shock than anything else. Not so much fear, but sadness. Anyone that knows me knows that I have never really entertained the idea of having children. I'm not the mothering type. I really don't like babies, and I hate pretending to know what the fuck a kid is talking about with their half formed words and high pitch squeaky voices. That's just me... I've just never been a kid person. But, I never totally eliminated the possibility that "some day" I might want to have a baby of my own. And I think what hurts the most about this is that - it's no longer "my choice". That choice has been taken away from me. It's no longer "maybe some day if I feel like I'm ready" - now it's "It's probably impossible, and unless I want to risk my health and putting my body under undo stress and medication forever". I've now moved away from fear - and I'm fully engulfed in sadness and anger.

Mentally - I can handle the PCOS and hypothyroidism. Emotionally - I am completely unprepared for what endometriosis means for me, for my husband, and for our future. And it breaks my heart knowing that there is a very real probability that Bj and I will never have a child that is of the two of us. There may never be someone to pass the flame to that is mixed with our blood. He would be a GREAT father. I've always known this about him. I have serious doubts about my ability as a mother - but I'd learn. I really don't know how to process this part of it. I see an oncologist on the 14th of this month - and will (hopefully) have more answers after that. I am trying to not freak myself out about it because I can so easily let this control my life - but I am so positively set on not allowing that to happen. I've worked entirely too damn hard.

Throwing in the towel at this stage would be stupid. It's not something that defines me, just as my weight doesn't define me, or my hair color, or my zodiac. It's just a part of my journey. With that I've decided that there can only be up from here. There can't be pity parties, or excuses, or stop living because of this. It's not terminal - and I can't let a diagnosis I wasn't anticipating give me an excuse to start acting like I'm not breathing. I know there will be hard days - just as there will be good days. My heart is heavy and it hurts - but it doesn't mean it will tomorrow. It could be better tomorrow - and that's the possibility to work towards.

Other than the medical stuff - Bj and I repainted our kitchen. I could not stand the kitchen anymore. It was making me nuts. Cooking in there was just unappealing, and the lighting sucked, and photographing things was impossible. So I got into my head that I wanted to build a coffee bar. Originally I was going to build it out of pallet wood and build it onto the wall - but we utilized our rolling island instead - and bought some really cute wall art. It's not finished - I still need to get little fairy lights to hang around the ceiling on that one wall to illuminate how neat this area is. But for now, this is how it turned out. I really love my kitchen, now. I enjoy being in it again.

This is what the area looked like before:

It was so cluttered and messy. This is what it looks like now (minus the fairy lights that I still need to get and put up):

We drink coffee all the time. So having a coffee bar was not that off the wall of an idea. Eventually I'll get a mini coffee pot for when guests come over - because really all we use is a french press. We entertained the idea of the Ninja coffee bar - but it really wouldn't be utilized. We like our coffee the way we make it now. No need to fix what's not broken.

We've been experimenting with new recipes - and I have a ton of stuff to upload here. I know, I've been slacking. Finding motivation to sit and edit photos for hours hasn't been very appealing. But, perhaps since I'm home sick with the death flu - I'll get a few hours of editing in so I can begin uploading my recipes again. I've decided with absolute certainty that Cauliflower crust pizza is my favorite pizza of all time. Fat head dough is good - but I just love cauli-crust. I'm not sure why that's relevant right now, but I thought I'd share.

Anyway - that's it for now.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Keto style stuffed chicken thighs - Cream cheese and spinach stuffed chicken

Oh. My. Lawwwwdddd....


2 thigh, bone and skin removed Chicken Thigh
4 tbsp Philadelphia Whipped Cream Cheese
0.5 cup Spinach, frozen
1 oz Asiago Cheese - grated
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp Onion powder
1/2 tbsp Parsley, dried
1/2 tsp condiments, salt, Himalayan pink
2 dash Pepper, black
2 Slices center cut bacon


Trim fat and excess from two boneless skinless chicken thighs. Place plastic wrap over top the thighs, and pound out where you would be able to roll them easily.

Mix softened cream cheese, thawed and drained spinach, seasoning, and grated asiago cheese in a bowl. Take the mixture and spread each thigh with the spinach cream cheese evenly.

Tighly roll the chicken, and wrap each thigh with 1 piece of center cut bacon that is has been at room temperature for a bit to make it more pliable.

Place the two thighs in air fryer, and cook 370 degrees for 10-12 minutes - or until reaches 165 degrees internally.

I actually made a vlog to go along with this... but I'm not computer savvy and have no idea how to upload it here. Booo... so the picture will have to do. For now. Maybe I can figure out how to get a freaking video uploaded.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Low Carb Cream of Mushroom and Turkey soup with riced cauliflower

Winter means warm, and comforting, and easy - right? We don't want to make big to-do's over meals - but we want them to be inviting. Bj wanted cream of mushroom soup last night and we looked at a can of Campbells cream of mushroom - we were FLOORED by how many carbs there are in a can of that stuff. So, we looked at the ingredients we had in the fridge and pantry - and this is what we came up with. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. It's simply delicious!

3 cup Chicken stock, home-prepared
32 oz Almond Breeze Almond Milk, Unsweetened Original, shelf stable
16 oz Cream Cheese, Great Value, 1/3 Less Fat Neufchatel Cheese
1 cup, pieces or slices Mushrooms, fresh
16 oz Turkey Loin, cooked and chopped into cubes
1.5 cup Hanover Riced Cauliflower
1 tbsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper, black
1 tbsp Onion - Dried, Minced, McCormick

Put all ingredients in slow cooker, and cook on low 3 hours. My suggestion is to put the riced cauliflower in at the last hour to not over cook.

Serving Size: Makes 12 servings

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 12
Calories: 171.2
Total Fat: 9.9 g
Cholesterol: 45.1 mg
Sodium: 1,026.7 mg
Total Carbs: 7.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 11.8 g

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Modified Oopsie Bread recipe - Bread or Pizza - your choice!

We're really amped up for the next week to be completely amazing. Went to the gym yesterday with Bj, Sarah, and Felicia. I was DRENCHED in sweat when I left. It felt really good. It's also nice that I now have a couple girlfriends that I can go to the gym with for support. Going with Bj is great - but he's at such a different fitness level than I am. He's much stronger, faster, and healthier than I am right now - and I know that I hold him back. Not to say that the ladies I'm going with are not fit and healthy - they are - but it's nice to have females that understand the position and are supportive in ways that a man can't understand / be.

Today we spent the day experimenting in the kitchen. First we made our brunch that consisted of cauliflower hash browns, poached eggs with homemade hollandaise sauce - with a side of steamed asparagus. Recipe will be in a separate entry. But here is a pic. OMG. Just.. omg.

We had all these left over egg whites from making the hollandaise sauce - I decided to make an altered version of the famous Oopsie bread recipe with them.

To the 4 egg whites I already had in a glass bowl - I added 4 more egg whites to it. In a separate bowl, I put the 4 egg yolks with 4 ounces of WHIPPED cream cheese, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and pink salt. Add 1 tsp Italian seasoning. Beat for 2 minutes.

Add to the yolk mixture 1 tsp oat fiber, 2 tsp psyllium husk powder, and 1 tsp baking powder. Mix well. Allow to sit for a few minutes to thicken.

Pour half the yolk batter into the egg whites, and gently fold. Do NOT over mix. It will deflate the egg whites. Add the second half of the yolk mixture to the egg whites - and fold until just incorporated.

With a 1/3 measuring cup, spoon out the mixture onto parchment lined baking sheets that are sprayed with coconut oil. I got 18 individual oopsie breads. Place in oven at 390 degrees, and cook 6-8 minutes - or until golden brown.

Now... to make them into pizza - once out of the oven - put 1 Tbspn of Mutti sauce (this is a low carb pasta sauce) on each oopsie bread. Sprinkle on a little shredded mozzarella cheese, a few mini pepperoni's, and put back in oven until the cheese is completely melted. Net carbs for 1 pizza: 1 net carb

Net carbs for 1 oopsie bread roll: .7 net carbs

8 egg whites
4 egg yolks
4 ounces whipped cream cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, salt
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp oat fiber
2 tsp psyllium husk powder

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Dear 2016

Dear Year 2016,

You were a beast. I admit, there were quite a few times I thought you were going to get the better of me. I lost people I cared for, both to death, and to different paths we chose to take. I lost parts of myself, and rediscovered others. I allowed people to get into my head and derail me from time to time, but also learned to more effectively use the word "No". You took from us artists, and dreamers, and inventors. You were the year for drawn lines in the sand, and finding the people you call your tribe. You, 2016, were a lot of things. But, you were not the winner. Though, you may believe you were.

I didn't push myself as much, or as far, as I could have in the past year. I made excuses, and that lead to plateaus and fluctuations in weight - especially the last 3 months of the year. I also stopped going to therapy, temporarily, to try to get finances under control - a double edge sword. I feel as though my therapy was sort of like my life goal buddy. It was my accountability. I was raw and honest there. I had to face up to my own bullshit because my therapist wouldn't have it any other way. When I fucked up - I had to own that shit. I couldn't just sweep it under a rug, and pretend it didn't happen. I had to look deeper into those things and figure out WHY I allowed them to happen. I haven't had that in months - and I feel my decision between finances and self recovery have been at war with each other. Now that it's the start of a new year, I intend to start going back to therapy again - because I need it still. And that has been evident the past few months.

I rediscovered my love for creating. Not just in my writing, but in painting, and photography. I haven't painted in over a decade. I always compared my work to that of my Mom, and I never thought I was as good as, or could ever be as good as she was. So I gave up. I put restriction on myself because I was trying to be like someone else. I wanted to be perfect, and I couldn't be. But I started painting again - and while I may not have the same technical skills she does - I am still really good at what I do. And painting has helped me relax. When I first started, I wanted to throw my paint brushes... but I stepped back, and allowed myself to breathe. Focus on one thing at a time. Don't try to make it perfect. Let it be what it is going to be.

I remembered the important things in life are not getting up every day and going to work, or making every meal perfect, or spending every free minute cleaning the house. The things that make this life so precious are the moments in between the static. A surprise snow storm in the middle of the night. The dead silence that the snow fall brings, where you can hear trees creaking, and the snow pack under your feet. Awakening that child in you that wants to go outside, and stand under the street light - letting the snow flakes fall and melt on your eye lashes. Laughing like a kid, and building a snowman with the person you love. I remembered why we love the north east part of the country, and even the blistery cold that it offers. Nothing else feels like this kind of magic. And it is magic, no matter what anyone says.

2016 offered one of the most beautiful Autumns I've experienced in a long, long time. I captured it's beauty and it's solace as best I could with a lens. I took trips down memory lane, and made new discoveries on roads not previously traveled. I marveled at the beauty of all that God has created and given to us. I found part of my soul in the woods of Vermont, and that my heart is still firmly planted in the soil of that state. Jordan's passing last March brought me home. It was his life that made me stop and re-evaluate my own, my own goals, what's important, and what I am fighting for. What we all are fighting for. 2016 took a great man from us - but gave me so much in that death. We were mechanical before this. We woke up, worked, kissed our family at night, went to sleep - and started again the next day. This loss brought pause to the repetition. We don't want complacency any longer. We don't want mechanical lives. We want to live with purpose.

2016 claimed our baby, Truman, who had been sick for well over a year with hyperthyroidism. No matter what we did, we couldn't save our baby. This loss stung quite a bit, and for quite some time. It's still hard for me to look at his picture. He was such a good boy. He talked - constantly. Sometimes, annoyingly so. But he loved us - more than himself, he loved us. He behaved more like a dog, than a cat. We couldn't watch him suffer, and the night we came home to find he had thrown up blood in his bile - we knew. He was just living for us. He was fighting for us. And that wasn't how we wanted him to live. I held him while he was euthanized. I felt his heart beat stop. And a part of me died with him.

2016 was a time for rebuilding friendships, letting go of the past, and focusing on building a better and more fulfilling future. It's the year that both Bj and I decided that Pennsylvania is just a stepping stone to where we want to be. It's been good to us, and we're grateful for the experience here - but our hearts belong somewhere else. And we are working toward that end. It's kindled a fire in both of us that makes going to work every day more purposeful. We know that someday, someday soon we hope, to be back in Vermont as permanent residents - and building the life we've only talked about while living here in PA. It will be sad to leave this behind - but we know that it's part of our path - that we have to discover what is next for us.

This past year was a time for firsts, and a time for realizing that no matter what other say or think - I am enough, and no one can take that from me. Bj experienced his first tattoo at 37 years old. It was a great first experience for him - and while I had already experienced mine in my mid twenties - I finally got my second tattoo that means so much more to me than just the words inked on my skin. We both over came many things together as a couple this past year - but also did many things for ourselves that we'd be putting off because of time, or money, or (insert excuse/reason here). I'd say we're becoming more comfortable in our own skin.

So, 2016 came to an end, and here we are at the cusp of 2017 - a brand new year, a fresh start, and a whole 365 more days to either live with purpose and passion - or allow the past to haunt us into complacency. I hope for you and yours - that you chose to live well, with love in your hearts, and goals in your sights. Smash the hell out of them, love with everything you have, love yourself - love others - be kind, be patient, and be open to new things. While we might fall from time to time in 2017, and experience heartaches, and loss... it's how we come back from those things that make or break our year to come.

Good-bye 2016, it was nice knowing you. Welcome home, 2017 - lets begin a new journey.