Friday, April 17, 2015

Chicken Philly Soup

Rain, rain, go away! That pretty much sums up how I feel about Alabama in the spring. It has rained every day for a week solid! But, these rainy, dreary days are perfect for staying home and snuggling up with family. They're also perfect days to enjoy a bowl of soup! 

When I was cooking this soup, I took a shot of my peppers and mushrooms sautéing in a separate pan and posted it to my Instagram page. 

Like I said, I'm the only one who eats them. I was surprised how many of my followers were in my same boat.  Oh, well. More for us!!

I kind of felt bad for my husband. Without the peppers and mushrooms, he literally just ate chicken in the broth. I could have been nice and made some rice for him to put in it or some noodles, but I was tired and dinner was dinner. Maybe next time!

I, however, enjoyed my chicken philly soup, complete with all its ingredients. I just added my extras at the end. 

This is a good recipe to make if you have leftover chicken that you just don't know what to do with or if you have a rotisserie chicken to use. I cooked my chicken breasts in advance so I didn't have to worry about taking the time for them to cook. Anything to save me some time in the evenings to spend with my family!

2-4 c cooked, shredded chicken
6 c chicken broth
8 oz cream cheese
Diced green bell peppers and mushrooms- as much (or as little) as you like
Onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste
Olive oil 
Preferred thickener (I use a cornstarch and water mixture)

*I'm going to tell you how I'd LIKE to make this soup instead of how I made it the other night.*

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and add peppers and mushrooms. Sautée until nearly cooked. While the veggies are cooking, bring chicken broth to boil. Drain extra oil from veggies. Add shredded chicken and cream cheese. Mix until cheese is melted. Add chicken mixture into boiling chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes. Thicken with cornstarch. Serve warm. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Low Carb Crab Cake Jalapeno Poppers

I've made jalapeño poppers, and I've made crab cakes, but for some reason I never thought to combine them until now. I have been missing out! 

It started because I wanted to make the cakes, but I didn't want to take all the time to fry them. I thought I'd try baking them this time, instead. And since I was baking them, I thought, "Why not try baking them inside a jalapeño?

I used the same recipe as I did for my tilapia cakes only this time I used crab meat. After I halved and de-seeded the jalapeños, I stuffed them with some of the mixture. I sprayed them with some olive oil to make sure they browned up nicely. They baked for 20 minutes at 400 degrees and came out perfectly!

If you don't want to bake them in jalapeños, you can also bake them in a muffin tin to still make them have the "patty" shape. Just make sure to spray the muffin tin with the olive oil spray I addition to the tops. They turn golden and crispy. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Carb-friendly Cheesecake

In the last few months of me going low carb, I have had so much fun recreating my old favorite recipes into low carb, full flavor versions of themselves.  It has allowed me to get really creative with my choice of ingredients and meals.  My favorite thing, though, has been getting to share all of my creations.  Several of my friends also started eating low carb in January in an effort to be more healthy. Passing along all my new recipes and hearing that other people have tried them and they've actually WORKED is amazing. 

On my Accidentally Wonderful Instagram page, a few followers have asked for dessert recipes.  Here's the thing: I don't typically eat dessert.  Sweets have never been my favorite.  I'd much rather have an extra helping of the meal than a treat afterwards.  Also, I hate baking.  Having to be so precise and measure everything is just not me.  I'm more of a "let's throw everything in here and see how it turns out" kind of person.  However, in keeping in my new attitude of branching out, I thought I'd give a dessert a shot.

I really didn't know what I was doing, but sometimes the most wonderful things happen by complete accident.

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 package sugar-free Vanilla instant pudding
1 cup milk
Sugar-free chocolate syrup (optional)

Combine cream cheese, pudding mix, and milk.  Use a hand-mixer to blend ingredients together. Spread mixture into a round cake pan or 4 small ramekins. Chill for at least an hour.  Top with chocolate sauce. Serve.

The pudding mix creates a super creamy texture and just a hint of vanilla.  It would be good with chocolate pudding mix, too, I think! The best part about this was that I didn't  have to bake! I still got to just throw everything in and see how it turned out!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Roasted Eggplant Bisque

I have been in such a soup mood recently. Even though it's springtime and even though the highs have been in the 80s this week, there is just something so comforting about a bowl of warm soup. 

The last time I went grocery shopping, I picked up another eggplant. I am loving all the new foods being on a low carb diet has gotten me to eat. Eggplant has quickly risen to the top because it's just so versatile. I've made eggplant Parmesan, eggplant croquettes, and now roasted eggplant soup with carrots and mushrooms. Low carb, paleo, vegetarian... I think I've pleased all the major food "groups" with this dish. 

(Now, I only made enough for me since I knew my husband wouldn't want it. Also because I only had part of one eggplant left over. I'm going to write the recipe the way I made it, but feel free to double it to serve more!)

One egg plant, halved
10 baby carrots (or one big carrot, cut in quarters)
3 mushrooms, sliced
Olive oil
Garlic powder
Onion powder
2 c vegetable stock (can use chicken broth if you'd rather)
1/4 c almond milk (or regular milk)
Salt and pepper
Tony's seasoning (optional)

Place eggplant, carrots, and mushrooms in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and add onion powder and garlic powder. Roast in 400 degree oven for 40 minutes. 

Carefully scrape out eggplant pulp and discard the skin. Place eggplant, carrots, and mushrooms into a pot with 2 cups of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until most of the liquid is gone. 

Slowly pour soup into a blender. Purée until there are no large pieces. Pour back into pot. Add almond milk. Simmer lightly. Add more vegetable stock or almond milk to this as needed. Season to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with sliced mushrooms and parsley if desired. 

Even my two year old loved this soup. It is loaded with veggies and incredibly healthy. It is so rich and creamy. Just the one bowl was enough to fill me up. And look at that color!! Gorgeous!! This is definitely a soup I'll be making again... Just maybe when it's a little cooler outside!

Spinach Dip Chicken Breasts

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! Easter Sunday happened to be the last day of our Spring Break, so we definitely made the most of it. We just celebrated as a family of three, but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I am blessed to have the most wonderful husband and daughter I could ever have hoped for.

For Easter dinner, I opted not to make the traditional ham that I think most everyone else makes. My grandmother had cooked one when we went up to visit over the break, and I was not about to try to follow that performance! I had chicken already thawed in the fridge, so that became our Easter dinner. 

I baked the chicken and topped it with a creamy spinach made with Neufchâtel cheese. It tasted absolutely incredible and only took about 40 minutes from start to finish, leaving me plenty of time to spend with my family.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
8 oz Neufchâtel cheese
1/4 c milk
Onion powder 

Preheat oven to 375. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken. Bake for 15 minutes. 
While chicken is baking, combine spinach, cheese, and milk. Heat until mixture is melted and bubbling. Add onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste. 

When the chicken has baked for 15 minutes, remove from oven and top with spinach mixture. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 15 more minutes. 

This was such a good meal. And even better company. And an ever better reason to celebrate! Happy Easter, everyone. Christ is risen!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Low Carb, Oven-fried Drumsticks with Lemon Cream Sauce

This was a really fun recipe to create! It was a blend of two Pinterest inspirations. I used drumsticks because they were on really good sale, but plain old boneless chicken breasts would be great, too!

For the chicken, I actually used crushed pork rinds and parmesan to make a crust. I kind of felt weird combining the pork rinds and the chicken... I don't know, something about mixing meats... But it's delicious so I got over it pretty fast. 

Ingredients (for chicken)
1 quart size ziploc bag filled with plain pork rinds, smashed
1/2 c grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper
4 drum sticks or chicken breasts
Olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 375. In a gallon size ziploc bag, combine crushed pork rinds and parmesan. Coat drumsticks with salt and pepper. Place in ziploc bag. Shake well to coat. Spray with olive oil. Bake for 35-45 minutes until chicken reaches an internal tempurature of 165. 

While the chicken is baking, make the lemon cream sauce. This stuff is amazing!! Next time, I think I'll double the recipe, especially if I'm making chicken breasts. If you're not doing low carb, I bet it'd be amazing over some orzo pasta!! Or cauliflower rice, if you'd prefer!

1 c chicken broth
1 c whole milk
3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Thickener of choice (I just use cornstarch)

Bring broth to boil. Stir in milk and lemon juice. Season to taste and thicken if desired. 

I also sautéed some mushrooms to add to the dish because, let's face it, I pretty much will add mushrooms to any dish that sits still long enough for me to add them. This was such a simple dish, but it's absolutely satisfying and delicious. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Stuffed Avocados

My husband is out of town with his students for their band trip, and my daughter spent the night with her grandparents last night so I could work on some class work.  I don't quite know what to do with a house to myself!  I stayed up late at a friend's house just talking. Before I'd realized it, it was 1:30 am! I slept in this morning until nearly 10:00, which was glorious! I haven't done that in years! I enjoyed a quiet, relaxing morning all to myself with a cup of my favorite coffee.  I wish every week could be spring break!

I even cooked a real breakfast today, and it was delicious! Not an egg in sight! Most low carb breakfasts I've found are all egg-based, and  I'm just a little tired of them. These yummies are strictly meat, cheese, and avocado.  Delicious!

2 avocados, halved and pit removed
1/2 lb ground sausage
2 tbsp cream cheese
Seasonings to taste (onion powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes)
Shredded cheese

Preheat oven to broil. In a hot skillet, heat sausage. Scoop out most of the insides of the avocado halves, saving the skins. Set aside. When the sausage is about half-way cooked, add the cream cheese.  Melt and mix throughout.  Reduce heat.  Add avocado.  Stir to combine.  Season to taste. Drain excess oil. Fill avocado skins with sausage mixture. Top with shredded cheese.  Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden.

Tons of protein in the sausage, healthy oils and fats in the avocado... This is everything you could ask for in a low carb breakfast!