Pork Rind Nachos

This week, chef Graham Elliot introduced his take on ballpark favorites at Wrigley Field in Chicago. His innovative menu included pork rind nachos, which inspired me to try making my own! Keeping with the “piggy” theme, I used pulled pork, but you could go with chicken, ground beef, bacon or whatever kind of meat you prefer. Here’s how I layered it up:

  • 1 ½-2 cups prk rinds (chicharrons) Tip: use sturdier pork rinds that will stand up to cheese and toppings. Some will still soften.
  • 1 cup pulled pork tossed in sugar free barbecue sauce (here’s my recipe)
  • ½ cup Mexican-flavoured cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp green chilies, drained
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream

Spread pork rinds on the bottom of a foil-lined pan. Sprinkle with half the cheese and put under the broiler until cheese is melted and pork rinds brown. Top with chilies, jalapeno and remaining cheese and return to the broiler for 2 minutes. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

FullSizeRender

Sunshine Coconut Shrimp

A little messy to make, but the tropicaltastic taste is soooo worth it!

You will need:

  • 1 dozen medium-sized shrimp, peeled, deveined and (optional) tails removed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ tablespoons coconut flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Dash salt and pepper
  • Optional: add more of your fave seasonings; I added in a few shakes of Old Bay
  • ½ cup (or more) medium desiccated coconut, unsweetened

Heat oil in deep fryer or large pot to 350F.

Place coconut in a shallow container and set aside.

Rinse shrimp and pat dry. Set on a paper towel while you mix up the batter: eggs, coconut flour, baking powder, water and seasonings. It will be very thick and pasty. With clean hands, mold the batter around each shrimp and press into the coconut to coat.

Cook shrimp in the oil, adding no more than three at a time. They will be golden brown, crisped up and float to the top when they are cooked (about 2 minutes).

Serve with this Sweet Heat dipping sauce:

  • 1/3 cup sugar-free orange marmalade, apricot preserves or peach jam
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp sriracha sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and taste, adding more sweet, heat or acidity to taste.

Shrimp

 

Low Carb BBQ Sauce (“Bubba Q Juice”)

I bought my partner a smoker for our anniversary recently, and our first attempt at baby back pork ribs was a lip-smackin’ success! He found this low carb barbecue recipe for Lexington Bubba Q Juice that I was happy to replicate – and now share with you. This would be great on any grilled meat, but trust me on the ribs!!

  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 cup ketchup (Heinz Reduced Sugar)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • A sprinkle of cayenne to taste

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes (longer for a thicker sauce). Makes 3 cups of sauce (about 1 net carb per oz).

ribs

 

 

Bacon-Wrapped Pickles & RB Float

‘Twas a beautiful afternoon for a snack outdoors! I whipped up a sugar-free root beer float and these adorable bacon-wrapped pickles to enjoy a bite in the sunshine.

Bacon Wrapped Pickles with Buffalo Dip

As my pickles were fairly small, I split them each in two and let them sit on a paper towel to drain well. For larger pickles, I would suggest cutting them into quarters.

Slice uncooked bacon lengthwise then wrap each piece around a pickle spear. Secure with a toothpick.

Place pickles on a wire rack set inside a foil-lined cookie sheet. I cooked mine for 8 minutes at 350 and then broiled on high for 4 minutes to crisp them up. Serve with your favourite dip. Mine is a mixture of ¼ cup mayo and 2 tbsp Frank’s buffalo wings sauce.

Sugar-free Root Beer Float

In the blender, combine ¾ can sugar-free root beer (I used Diet A&W root beer), ¼ cup heavy whipping cream and 6-8 ice cubes. Slowly pour into large glass (it will be very frothy!) and top with remaining root beer before serving.

bacon wrapped pickle

Sugarfree Poke Cake

I just discovered that even with a low carb lifestyle, you can have your cake and eat it too! This dessert, adapted from All Day I Dream About Food’s Kentucky Butter Cake is soft and moist and has the same texture of a traditional recipe. This makes a 9×13″ pan.

2 1/2 cups almond flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup whey protein powder

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup softened butter

1 cup powdered artificial sweetener

5 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 9×13 baking pan. In a bowl, whisk together almond and coconut flours, whey protein, baking powder and salt, then set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sweetener together. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually add the almond flour mixture and add the whipping cream and water. Keep beating until all ingredients are well incorporated. Pour batter into baking pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes until firm and golden brown on top. Test the cake doneness by inserting a toothpick and ensuring it comes out clean.

Let cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together 1 package (4 servings) of sugar-free raspberry Jello, 1 cup of boiling water. Stir until Jello is completely dissolved. Add 1/2 cup cold water and continue stirring.

Once cake has cooled, use the end of a wooden spoon or a chopstick to poke holes in the cake about 1″ apart. Pour Jello over the entire cake and let it sink in.

Refrigerate for 2 hours. Top with whipped cream ( 1 1/2 cups heavy whipped cream beaten until stiff with 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tbsp sweetener).

poke cake

Low-Carb Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole

Cabbage rolls are a traditional part of my family’s holiday gatherings, but because they contain rice, I have to pass up one of my fave dishes. By substituting cauliflower for rice in this casserole, I’ve found a low-carb version to dig into!

½ medium head cauliflower, riced

4 strips bacon, diced

1 medium onion, halved and diced

½ lb ground beef

1 ½ cups coleslaw or chopped cabbage

½ cup sauerkraut (drained)

1 small can tomato paste

¼ cup sugar-free ketchup

Salt and pepper

  1. Rice cauliflower and cook in microwave for 3 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Fry onion in pan until crisp. Add onions and continue cooking until they are tender. Remove bacon and onion from pan, reserving as much bacon fat in pan as possible. Fry ground beef until brown, then add coleslaw/cabbage and sauerkraut. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until cabbage softens. Stir in cauliflower and cook for 2-3 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix together tomato paste and ketchup; add a bit of water or chicken stock if sauce mixture seems too thick.
  3. Put meat/cabbage/cauli mixture into a casserole dish. Top with tomato sauce and gently stir together. Cover and bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.

Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole

Tabbouleh Salad with (Surprise!) Cauliflower

A taste of summer! Start by ricing 1 head of cauliflower; microwave for 3 minutes and drain it very well, squeezing out all excess moisture in a towel. Stir in: 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp cider vinegar, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice. Add in: finely chopped cucumber, tomatoes, roasted red pepper, green pepper and 1/2 cup chopped mint. Toss until well combined and chill for 4-6 hours. It’s one of those salads that get better and stronger with time. Makes a great side dish with burgers!

Cauliflower Salad