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.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fat Head Dough Pizza and Everything Pretzel Hot Dogs

Sometimes you just want "junk food". I know... that's blasphemous. But, it's true, nevertheless. We're human - we occasionally want stuff that we shouldn't want. After discovering this magical "Fat head dough" recipe - life has just not been the same. It's somehow more vibrant, and colorful, and... oh what the hell am I saying. Fat head dough has made it possible for me to eat pizza again without the use of cauliflower, or broccoli, or any other vegetable that can be grated, mashed, and mixed with cheese. Fat head dough is the bomb-diggity. Yes, I just said bomb-diggity.

Doesn't that look delicious? So much better than take out pizza. Or frozen pizza. I love making pizza at home. And this dough recipe couldn't be easier. We've altered it slightly from the original recipe by subtracting some of the almond flour out, and adding psyllium husk and oat fiber.

2 Cups low moisture mozzarella cheese
2 Tbspn cream cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup Almond flour
1/4 cup oat fiber & psyllium husk mixed together
1/8 Tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp italian seasoning

Microwave mozzarella and cream cheese until the cheese is melted and easily combined with the cream cheese. If it's not incorporating completely, microwave in 15 second increments until you are able to combine. Add the egg, and beat. It will not full incorporate a this point. Add in the dry ingredients, and mix as much as you can with a fork - but then kneed the dough with hands until the dry ingredients are evenly distributed. Place dough ball on a piece of parchment, and put another piece of parchment on top of the dough ball. Roll with rolling pin into a round pizza shape. Remove top piece of parchment and put the dough on a pizza tray. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes - or until golden brown. If still doughy, cook another 2-3 minutes.

Bring out of oven, and add your toppings. We use Mutti sauce which is the lowest carb tomato sauce we've found. More cheese for the top - and then whatever meats and veggies.

Now... we have made everything from pizza, to stromboli, to breakfast cresent rings, to hand pies, to everything pretzel hotdogs with the base recipe for fathead dough. I love recipes that are so versatile. For the hot dogs, you use the same dough recipe - but you divide the dough into 6 balls after the dough is made and ready to roll. Take your favorite low carb hot dog, and wrap the dog with the fat head dough. Place on a baking sheet, brush with a beaten egg, and sprinkle on everything topping (mixture of course salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried onion, garlic, and parsley). Bake 425 for 15-20 minutes.

So easy. So delicious. And truly hits the spot when you are craving something naughty.

N'Oat Meal - Low Carb grain free way to have "Oat Meal" without the guilt

One of my absolute most favorite things in the whole wide world (especially in the fall / winter) is Oat Meal. I LOVE that warm bowl of goodness in the morning. But, those little packets you buy at the store are full of additives and sugar that are so not good for us. The Low Carb worlds answer for this dilemma is a mixture of chia seeds, flax, and coconut flakes. Just... go with me on this. In the beginning, I was hesitant and skeptical, too. I thought there would be no way in hell that these things mixed together would be nearly as satisfying as a packet of cinnamon apple or brown sugar oat meal. But, I was so very wrong.

Now... I use whole seed chia and flax. I like to crush them in a bag instead of pulverizing them in my magic bullet. Why? Because I like my N'oatmeal to have some texture. So this is how this delicious creation is made.

1/8 cup chia seeds, crushed
1/8 cup flax seeds, crushed
1/8 cup flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted
1/8 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/8 cup hemp hearts
1/8 cup unsalted pumpkin and sunflower seed mix
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/8 cup sugar free maple syrup
2 Tbsp swerve sweetener
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Handful of nuts - optional. I prefer walnuts or pecans chopped up.
1 Cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

For a truly nutty flavor, toast the coconut and the nuts in a dry pan first. 2-3 minutes until fragrant, and just starting to turn a light golden color. Take out of pan and put into a bowl. Add the rest of the dry ingredients to that bowl, minutes a handful of the toasted coconut and nuts (to use for topping). Set aside.

In a sauce pan, combine the coconut or almond milk, heavy cream, sugar free maple syrup, and vanilla. Scald the milk mixture - but do not boil. Add the scalded liquid to the dry ingredients and stir. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the chia seeds and flax to soak up the liquid.

Top with reserved toasted coconut, nuts, and optional frozen berries if desired. My favorite are frozen blue berries. Drizzle on a little more maple, a splash of cold heavy cream - and dig in!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Low(er) Carb Orange Cranberry cookies

2/3 cup Hazelnut Flour
2 Tbspn oat fiber
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1/8 cup dried cranberries cut up into tiny bits
Zest of 1 orange
1/3 cup coconut oil, crisco, OR butter - softened
1/3 cup sugar free honey or maple syrup
1 tsp orange extract

Mix together all dry ingredients in one bowl. In separate bowl - beat together the oil, honey / maple, and extract. Take half the wet mixture and put into the dry. Beat with mixer. Add other half of the wet mixture, and mix til everything is combined. Turn dough out onto parchment paper, and work into a ball. Place another piece of parchment on top of dough ball, and roll dough out to 1/8" thick. Place on cookie sheet in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.

Using a 1" cookie cuter, cut cookies from frozen dough. Work quickly, the longer the dough is out - the harder it will be to transfer them for baking. Once the cookies are cut out - Put them on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake 5 minutes in 350 degree oven. Transfer to cooling rack. Roll out the left over dough, and freeze again. Just repeat process.

Melt a dark chocolate Lily's sugar free candy bar - and dip the cookies half into the chocolate, and let it set.