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!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Low Carb Philly Cheese Bake

This dish was so quick and easy, it can barely be called a recipe.  More like toss everything in a skillet, top it with cheese, and bake it. 

Ingredients (for one serving)
3 Steak-ums brand steaks
1/4 c chopped bell pepper
chopped onion or onion powder to taste
1-2 tbsp cream cheese
one slice provolone cheese

Place steaks, peppers, and onions in a skillet. *Onions give me a headache when I eat them, so I used onion powder* Cook according to steak package directions.  Melt in cream cheese.  Pour into ramekin and top with a slice of provolone.  Broil until cheese is golden and bubbly.

It has all the flavor of a Philly Cheese Steak without the carbs, plus its super creamy from the cream cheese! And I just love making food in individual servings.  It's so cute baked in its own little dish!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Low Carb Paleo Chicken Pot Pie Soup

I must admit, this is not what I intended to make for dinner last night. I tried to make pie crust with coconut flour but SOMEBODY on Pinterest LIED about their recipe. I did everything exactly as it was written, and that was the worst crust I've ever had. That's what I get for sticking to someone else's recipe when I know it should be different. Oh well. Live and learn, I guess. 

However, the filling to the pot pie that I had intended to make was delicious and made an awesome soup by itself! All the flavor of a pot pie, just no crust. I may have failed at my first attempt, but I still call it a success!

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 can carrot coins, drained
1 can green beans, drained
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup almond milk
Season as desired

Bring four cups of broth to boil. Add in carrot coins and green beans. Add chicken. Heat through. Add almond milk and season to taste. If it's too thin, add some xanthan gum to thicken. If you don't have any, cornstarch works, too. 

I will not quit on my quest for the perfect low carb pie crust. Although I prefer cooking to baking, I need to stretch my limits and be a more rounded home cook. Any low carb crust tips?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Easy Egg Drop Soup

I really didn't have a good day yesterday. Very long, very stressful. I needed my go-to comfort food: egg drop soup. Unfortunately, I don't trust the Chinese restaurants close to my house. 

I found this recipe on Pinterest from So easy and so good!

4 c beef bullion
A dash of red pepper flakes
2 eggs, scrambled
A pinch of black pepper
A sprinkling of parsley

Bring beef bullion to a boil. Add red pepper flakes. Scramble eggs with black pepper. Drizzle slowly into boiling bullion. Boil for 30 seconds more. Remove from heat. Add parsley. 


That's it. 

So good and so easy!

Cauliflower Breakfast Muffins

I have recently started a separate Instagram account for my low carb recipes. In just two weeks, I already have over 600 followers! My favorite part of Instagram is the hashtags. If you're on Instagram, use hashtag #accidentallywonderful to have your low carb recipes featured! This recipe is a spin-off of one such recipe. I changed the ingredients a little bit, but the main ingredients and the concept are the same. They just looked too good not to try!

1 c grated cauliflower
3 eggs
1 c shredded cheese
1/4 c chopped green bell pepper
1/2 lb sausage
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder (to taste)

Preheat oven to 350. Microwave the grated cauliflower for two minutes. Combine the sausage and bell pepper in a hot skillet. Cook until the sausage is browned and the peppers are "crispy tender." Combine with the cauliflower and refrigerate for five minutes. Add egg, cheese, and seasonings. Mix well. Fill muffin tray cups 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes. 

These reheat very well. Simply microwave for 30 seconds, and they taste as good as they do fresh! This is the perfect breakfast on the go!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Low Carb Shrimp Taco Bites

Don't you hate it when you forget to take meat out of the freezer to thaw!?! That was my situation last night. It was almost dinner time and I really wasn't looking forward to having to order out because my sleepy-head self had forgotten to take something out for dinner. I went to take a look in the deep freezer to see if maybe- just maybe- there was something there to save the day. 


Day saved. 

I had a package of shrimp lying there just waiting to be turned into something delicious. 

I knew I wanted something with a Mexican flare. Shrimp tacos sounded great, but I wanted something a little more fun and fancy. I decided on taco bites. I took my 8" low carb tortillas and cut them into fourths. I shaped them into cups by placing them in my muffin tin; no oil or spray needed. Baked at 375 for 15 minutes, they came out golden-brown and crunchy. 

For the shrimp, I sautéed them in about 2 tbsp butter and seasoned them with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and a little salt. Salt just enhances the flavor of the other seasonings. It can be left out of you're watching your sodium intake. 

Once the shrimp and tortilla bowls were cooked, I stuffed the bowls with lettuce, diced avocado, a few shrimp, sour cream, salsa verde, and lime juice. 

These little cups were so addictive! They'd be perfect for a party, lunch, snack, or dinner. And aren't they so much more fun than a regular taco?!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Baked Chicken with Jalapeno Popper Sauce

I recently saw a friend on Facebook post something about never being able to go on a diet because he loves jalapeno poppers.  Well, do I have an answer for that!

Sticking with my low carb diet, I made a dish that incorporates all the flavor of a jalapeno popper without any breading and with lots more protein.  I simply deconstructed the popper and poured it over baked chicken.

The chicken was easy.  Salt and pepper both sides, brown in olive oil in a hot skillet, and bake for 25 minutes at 375.  Done.

The sauce: just as simple. 

1 block cream cheese
3/4 c almond milk (a little more if it gets too thick)
2 jalapeno peppers, deseeded and diced
olive oil
2 tbs ranch dressing

In a pot, combine the almond milk and cream cheese.  Heat and stir until cheese is melted.  While cheese melts, sautee diced jalapenos in olive oil.  Add to cream cheese.  Stir in the ranch dressing.  Serve over chicken.

This sauce has some serious kick! And it tastes exactly like you're eating a jalapeno popper.  Can't beat that!!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Low Carb Buffalo-Style Fried Pork Chops with Bleu Cheese Sauce

Wasn't yesterday so beautiful? I was here in my section of Alabama. Finally a warm, sunny day! We played outside, blew bubbles, and went for a walk. Someone in my neighborhood was grilling burgers. I joked with my husband that we should just walk until we found the grill and invite ourselves over! But after walking the neighborhood and smelling those burgers on the grill, we were hungry, and I knew dinner needed to be good!

I had pork chops thawed, but I didn't know what I wanted to do with them. I asked some of my Instagram followers what they like to do, and they had some fantastic ideas that I will definitely have to try. Unfortunately, I didn't have some of the ingredients needed for their recipes, so I had to try something else with what I had. I scoured the fridge and found buffalo sauce and Bleu cheese crumbles. Score!! Buffalo-style fried pork chops with a bleu cheese sauce!!

For chops:
4 pork chops (I used thin, center cut)
1 egg
1/4 c almond milk
1/4 c buffalo sauce
1 qt bag of pork rinds, crushed
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying

For sauce:
1 c almond milk
1/4 c bleu cheese crumbles (more for a stronger taste)
1/2 c grated Parmesan

For pork chops:
Heat oil over medium-low heat (1/2" deep)
While oil is heating up, salt and pepper both sides of the chops. Combine egg, milk, and buffalo sauce. Dip chops into egg mixture. Coat both sides of the chops with the crushed pork rinds. Fry for 6 minutes on each side. 

For sauce:
Heat almond milk to near-boiling. Add bleu cheese and melt into milk. Reduce heat to simmer. Add parmesan and stir well. Allow to simmer to thicken. Sauce will thicken more as it stands. Add more almond milk if it gets too thick. 

I served these chops with steamed broccoli topped with grated Parmesan. It was the perfect Sunday dinner! And the leftovers were great for lunch today!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Eggplant Croquettes

While on my quest to try new recipes, I figured I should also try new ingredients. One item in particular has always put me off a little bit: eggplant. I've never tried it; definitely never cooked with it! But since when have I let that stop me. 

A few nights ago, I made eggplant Parmesan for my mom and me. I only used about a third or so of the eggplant. The rest has been chilling in my fridge (get it!)  ever since. 

Well, this morning (last night rather), I forgot to take meat out of the freezer to thaw. Uh oh. Typically that would mean a fast food run or a pizza. My carnivorous husband must have meat *beats chest*

I didn't tell him we didn't have any thawed. Instead, I snuck off quietly into the kitchen and tried something new. 

I had a pretty awesome sous chef :)

One of my sweet students has been bringing cook books to school to look at with me. One of the recipes was for mock crab cakes made with eggplant! 

Sounds interesting, right? I took that idea and made it my own, changing pretty much everything about it along the way. In fact, the only thing that stayed the same was the eggplant. 

I cubed the rest of the eggplant that I had- I'm guessing maybe two or three cups? I put that in my food processor and turned it into almost a purée. He next part, if you know me at all, you'll know was my least favorite part. I squeezed the water out of it. 

I hate getting my hands dirty or even wet for that matter. Oh, the sacrifices I make in pursuit of a good recipe!

I wrapped the puréed eggplant in a dish towel and rung the water out. I got about  1/4 cup of liquid out of it. The eggplant has to be very dry in order to for the croquette to stay together. 

I put the dry eggplant into a medium-sized bowl and added 1 c grated parmesan, 1 quart bag of pork rinds (crushed with a meat mallet), and seasonings to taste (garlic powder, onion powder, and Tony's creole seasoning). Once I had my seasonings how I liked them, I stirred in two eggs. 

I think things fry better once they've chilled for a while, so I let the mixture rest in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes. Then I rolled the mixture into 1.5-2" balls and rolled them in more crushed pork rinds. 

To fry them, I heated my oil over medium-low heat; pork rinds can and will burn easily if the heat is too high. I dropped each ball into the hot oil, flattened them a bit with the spatula, and fried them for six minutes on each side. Drain excess oil on paper towels. 

I also made some of my favorite creamy dill sauce: equal parts mayo and sour cream with lemon juice, salt, and dill to taste. 

I served these over a fried egg over easy. It was amazing. 

Of course the real test was serving my husband. I made my plate first and ate it. He asked what it was, but I wouldn't tell him. When it was his turn, I brought it to him. He said it looked great. When he ate it, he said it was delicious. When I told him it was eggplant... He stared at me with disbelief. You have to understand- this man had vowed never to eat eggplant. He doesn't like how it looks. He wouldn't even try the eggplant Parmesan I'd made. He was absolutely shocked. "This is eggplant?" he kept repeating. He ate the whole thing.  

I'm so glad I was brave enough to try something new. That's how this whole year has been, pretty much. Who knows what lies in store, but I'm ready!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bell Pepper Baked Egg with Mushroom Parmesan Sauce

I have so enjoyed having delayed starts and days off due to weather.  That's one of the best things about being a teacher! (just kidding... sort of...)  I have taken advantage of these slow mornings by actually making breakfast instead of just grabbing my cup of coffee on the way out the door.

Aldi recently had a great sale on their produce! I bought so many bell peppers!  Actually, I bought too many bell peppers because I forgot that I am the only one in my family that will eat them.

I chopped some of them and froze them for later use.  A few, however, went into breakfast dishes like this!

1/2 bell pepper, deseeded
1 egg
salt and pepper
sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp butter
1/2 c almond milk
1/2 c parmesan, grated
garlic powder

Crack the egg into the bell pepper half.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes on 400.
Melt butter in hot skillet.  Add sliced mushrooms and garlic powder.  Sautee mushrooms until browned.  Pour in almond milk and add parmesan cheese.  Stir well.  Allow to simmer.  Sauce will thicken as it stands.  Remove pepper from oven.  Top with mushroom sauce.

I love getting to sit down to breakfast! It helps my whole day feel more relaxed.  I guess breakfast really is the most important meal of the day!

Low Carb Creamy Cauliflower Chowder

A few nights ago, I made mashed cauliflower as a side dish with some steaks I made. I had a bunch leftover, and I knew just what to do with it. 

Potato soup is one of my ultimate comfort foods. I usually make it once a week during fall and winter. However, going low carb, I haven't made it like I usually do. 

After a long day yesterday, I was craving some warm, creamy soup. I figured, if I can make mashed cauliflower to mimic mashed potatoes, why can't I make it into soup?

It was really simple to make since the cauliflower was already cooked. I had used the same recipe to make the mashed cauliflower as I did here. I refrigerated the leftovers- about two cups or so. To make the soup, I just popped them into a pot with an extra cup of water and two chicken bullion cubes and stirred it really well. Once it was boiling, I reduced the heat and added two tbsp ranch dressing, one tbsp buffalo sauce, a cup of cheese, and seasoned it to taste. 

It was perfect! I made myself a huge bowl and topped it with sour cream, a little more cheese, and some bacon bits. I was already to eat it when my daughter, who had already had dinner, comes running toward me yelling "Soups!"

She ate half my bowl. 

I didn't mind. It was healthy! And she's so picky, I was happy to share something she'd actually eat!

I love turning one meal into two. I even have some leftover today for lunch! Perfect for a rainy afternoon :)

Flourless Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday, the students and I needed a snack. I scoured Pinterest to see what I could make with the limited ingredients we keep in our classroom kitchen. We actually had everything needed for these little morsels! The consistancy was a little more sense than a real cookie, but they were still very good! (Original recipe at

1 cup all natural peanut butter
1 large, very ripe banana
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 c dark chocolate chips

Mash the banana very well. Combine with peanut butter and vanilla until creamy. Add egg and maple syrup. Stir well. Add chocolate chips. Let dough chill for 20 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto paper. Top with a few extra chocolate chips. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool COMPLETELY before you take them off the pan. 

The kiddos were excited about trying these cookies, and I enjoyed making them form them. I took the extras home, and my sweet P liked them, too. Even my husband liked them, and that was the real test!

I know there are sugares in chocolate chips and maple syrup, but dark chocolate is full of healthy antioxidants and maple syrup is all natural, so both are much better than refined sugars. No flour also helps keep the carb count way down! 

I'll definitely make these again! The students were already asking this morning what I'm going to ale today. We'll have to see... ;)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Low Carb Shrimp Fried "Rice"

So at the grocery store yesterday, my husband found Yum Yum sauce. I don't know if you know what yum yum sauce is, but it's basically the best sauce ever. It's the creamy sauce at Japanese restaurants that goes so great with steak and shrimp and anything else you can put sauce on. He asked if we could have shrimp fried rice for dinner tonight. The only problem is the rice. I can't eat it. Low carb, remember?

I've seen cauliflower rice all over pinterest and figured it couldn't be that hard to figure out. You know what? It wasn't. 

I didn't even get out the food processor. I just grabbed my cheese grater! So simple and so easy. 

1 head of cauliflower
3 tbs butter plus one tbsp for the shrimp
2 tbsp soy sauce plus two tbsp for the shrimp
3 eggs
Sliced mushrooms and other veggies (optional)
1 lb shrimp, deveined and tails removed
Salt and pepper to taste


Separate the head of cauliflower into easy to hold pieces. Grate the florets on a cheese grater into small pieces. Do not grate the stems. 

In a skillet, melt two tbsp butter. Add shrimp and soy sauce. Cook shrimp until no longer translucent. 

While the shrimp is cooking, heat three tbsp butter in another skillet. Add cauliflower rice and two tbsp soy sauce. Add any extra veggies. Fry until browned. Add one egg at a time. Fry and chop each egg. Mix with cauliflower and veggies. 

Spoon cauliflower rice onto each plate. Top with shrimp, more soy sauce if desired, and don't forget the Yum Yum sauce!!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Strawberry-Banana Peanut Butter Cookies

My poor sweet P was so sick all of February. She's finally feeling better now, but her appetite has been almost nonexistent. One thing she will ask for and eat every time? Cookies. I'm glad she wants to eat SOMETHING, but with so much sugar, I don't want her just eating cookies. 

Or Do I?

I made these special cookies just for her, and she eats them up! The best part is the ingredients are the same as if she were eating a PB&J with the added bonus of a banana. 

Ingredients (makes a dozen cookies)
1 banana, mashed
1/3 c butter, softened
1/4 c peanut butter (natural)
1 tbsp strawberry jelly (organic)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour (you can also use 1/2 coconut flour and 1/2 wheat flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. Combine first five ingredients. Mix well. Add last three ingredients. Mix well. Spoon out mixture on to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and use the bottom of a glass to flatten the cookies slightly. Bake for three more minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing from baking pan. Serve with a big glass of milk, and you've got one healthy snack that your little one will love!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

"Zinguine" Florentine with Shrimp

A few weeks ago, we had some friends over for dinner.  She brought her Spiralizer, and we made some delicious "zoodles" (zucchini noodles).  I've been considering buying one of my own, but wasn't sure about the investment.

Last weekend, I happened upon a Veggetti.  It does basically the same thing as a Spiralizer, but for a fraction of the cost.  I also found this particular Veggetti at Ross, so it was even cheaper than normal. Only $10! I snatched that thing up and dropped it in the cart!

It was super easy to use.  I was worried that it would be hard to twist the zucchini through the blade, but it glided right on through.

Now all I had to do was come up with a sauce!

I came up with this recipe from an Instagram post combined with a recipe from an old 1980s cook book one of my students brought to school for me to look at.  She's such an enabler!

I combined the ideas into my very own low carb version: "Zinguine" Florentine with Shrimp!

Ingredients (per serving)
1 small zucchini
1/4 lb shrimp, tails removed and deveined
1 cup spinach
3-4 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c almond milk
1/2 c grated parmesan
2 tbs butter
Seasonings to taste (I used pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, nutmeg, black pepper, and paprika)

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, garlic powder, and onion powder and cook until they are no longer translucent.  Add spinach and mushrooms.  Sautee until spinach is wilted and mushrooms are browned.  Add almond milk, nutmeg, paprika, and black pepper.  Bring to a boil and add the parmesan.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Sauce will thicken as it simmers and even more as it stands.

To make the "zinguine," twist the entire zucchini into the Veggetti, catching the strands in a bowl.  Microwave the zucchini strands for one minute.  You do not need to add any water to the bowl; the zucchini has enough stored in it to steam it just fine!

Top the zinguine with the shrimp and sauce mixture.  Garnish with Italian seasoning or extra parmesan if desired.

I am looking forward to seeing what else I can come up with using the Veggetti.  If you've been considering getting one, or even if you've never heard of it before, I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Low Carb Sausage Balls

While I love eggs for breakfast, I am getting a little tired of having them every day. These guys are a great quick breakfast! Grab a few on the way out the door, and you're good to go!

1 lb mild pork sausage
4 oz cream cheese
1 large handful of shredded cheddar
1 c crushed pork rinds (I like hot and spicy)
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400. Combine all ingredients. Form into slightly-smaller-than-a-golf-ball sized balls. Bake for 20 minutes. 

These will be much greasier than regular sausage balls because there is no flour or bisquick to sop it up. Let the oil absorb into a paper towel before serving. They will also be much softer than the other kind. They pretty much melt in your mouth! And so filling; three of these and I was full. 

I love taking old recipes and transforming them into low carb! Makes sticking to this diet much easier :)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Double Dose of Chicken Soup

I don't know about you guys, but I am so ready for winter to be over! I'm tired of being cold.  I'm tired of my daughter catching every single bug that's been going around.  I'm ready for spring and warm weather.

But, alas, my wishing is for not.  It looks like Alabama will be getting another batch of winter weather later this week.  With cold temperatures approaching and germs on the war path, I know just what my family needs: chicken soup.

What kind of chicken soup was going to be the issue.  I was craving something with a kick to battle this congestion I've had.  My husband doesn't really do spicy (unless it's a buffalo wing!!), so that wouldn't work for him.  He loves chicken noodle soup, but I'm on a low carb diet, so that wouldn't work for me.  My solution: I made both.

Both of these soups started with the exact same base: chicken and broth.  I put two huge chicken breasts (that I got for $1.77/lb at Aldi!!) into the crockpot with 8 cups of chicken broth seasoned with extra garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.  I cooked the chicken on high for 5 hours.  If you don't want to use the crockpot, you can easily do this on the stove by allowing the chicken to simmer for 20 minutes or so. I just prefer the ease of the crockpot; plus it makes my whole house smells good!

Once the chicken was finished cooking, I removed the breasts from the broth and divided the broth between two pots.  The first soup I made was the chicken noodle.

4 cups chicken broth
spiral noodles
1/2 can veg-all 
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
salt and pepper

Bring chicken broth to a boil.  Add noodles.  Cook al dente.  Add  veggies.  Allow to simmer until the noodles finish cooking and the veggies are hot and flavorful.  Stir in the chicken.  Simmer until chicken is hot.  Season to taste. Serve.

That could not be any simpler.  It took all of fifteen minutes because the chicken was good beforehand.  My husband was thrilled to have some home-cooked chicken noodle soup to warm up with!

Now for my soup!

I saw an idea for this soup on Instagram.  Chicken, avacado, lime... It immediately called my name! I spiced it up a bit with some jalapenos to give it some kick and make it my own.  It came together with almost as little effort as the chicken noodle.

4 cups chicken broth
Garlic powder
Onion powder

1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
Olive oil
1/2 tsp taco seasoning
1 lime
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/2 avocado (per serving)
 Sour cream (optional)

Bring chicken broth to a boil.  While the broth is heating, sautee the jalapeno in olive oil with a sprinkling of garlic powder and onion powder.  Once the broth is boiling, add the jalapeno and taco seasoning.  Reduce heat to a simmer.  Add the juice of one lime into the pot.  Add in the chicken.  Simmer until flavors combine and the chicken is hot.  Ladle into soup bowls.  Cube the avocado half and place it in the soup.  Top with a dollop of sour cream if you want.  Serve.

Let me just tell you, I make soup probably once a week.  This one is a definite favorite! The spicy jalapeno, the citrus of the lime, the creamy texture of the avocado... Absolute perfection.  And, of course, it's low carb.  

I dare the germs to try to invade us after we loaded up on these soups! And while I am still most assuredly sick of the winter, I guess still having a reason to make soup makes it a little more bearable!

Stay warm, friends!