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.

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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

 

Chicken in Creamy Mushroom Sauce

A great one-skillet dinner that teams well with cauli mash, roasted asparagus or a side salad. For those in your family not eating low carb, serve over pasta or potatoes.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 container (4 1/2 to 5 1/2 ounces) Boursin cheese with garlic and herbs
  • 1 cup frozen small peas, thawed
  • 8 to 12 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh or dried parsley for garnish

Put chicken breast between sheets of plastic wrap and pound evenly until about ½ inch thickness. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Place the other tablespoon of butter into the skillet, then add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until tender. Pour in the chicken broth and thawed peas, being sure to scrape the tasty brown bits off the bottom of the pan to enhance your sauce.

Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the Boursin cheese until well blended. Add the chicken and tomatoes; stir to blend, cover, and heat through. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

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Black & White Keto Brownies

Bravo to Keto Connect for creating these fabulous chocolate brownies. I followed their recipe and mine turned out moist and fudgy and didn’t actually need any frosting (who can resist a yummy cream cheese frosting, anyway?) but it turned out to be the icing on top!

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 12 tbsp (equals ¾ cup) butter
  • 1/2 cup erythritol (I used Truvia)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  •  pinch of salt
  • 2 oz unsweetened bakers chocolate
  1. In one bowl, combine cocoa powder, coconut flour, and salt, and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, add erythritol, eggs, vanilla and mix with a hand mixer. Mix until the volume of the mixture has tripled in size. This should take about 3-5 minutes on high.
  3. In a third bowl, melt together butter and bakers chocolate. This can be done using a double boiler method, or by repeatedly microwaving for 25 seconds and mixing so that the chocolate does not burn.
  4. With beaters on low, add egg mixture to the butter/chocolate mixture in 3 parts, mixing well after each time. Begin adding the dry ingredients the same way, repeating until all of the dry mixture is used. Batter should look silky and smell like mmm… chocolate!
  5. Pour into a greased 8×4 loaf pan. I put parchment paper on the bottom to ensure it came out in one piece.
  6. Bake at 325F for 45 minutes (the original recipe calle for more time, but mine were ready). Remove carefully from pan and allow to cool completely on a rack before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • ¾ cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tbsp erythritol (I used Truvia)

With electric beaters, mix cream cheese, vanilla and milk. Gradually add in sweetener 1 tbsp at a time and incorporate well. Cut brownies into 8-12 pieces.

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Breakfast Pizza

In our house, we love breakfast and we love pizza. So we combined both loves into one great, low-carb dish that will keep happy tummies satisfied the rest of the day!

Fat Head Pizza Crust (the best low-carb pizza crust recipe we’ve tried by far!):

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella

3/4 cup almond flour

2 tbsps cream cheese, cubed

1 egg

Preheat oven to 400F. Put mozzarella and cream cheese in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir, then microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir again. Add in 1 egg and almond flour and mix well. Put dough on a round pizza pan lined with parchment paper. Top with a similar sized piece of parchment paper and flatten dough to spread evenly. Remove top sheet of paper. Pierce holes in the dough with a fork to let steam out and avoid bubbles forming.

Bake for 8-9 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350F.

This is what I used for toppings: Salsa (instead of pizza sauce), 5 eggs (scrambled and cooked), 6 pre-cooked and sliced breakfast sausage links, pre-cooked mushroom slices, 4 pre-cooked and chopped bacon slices, 2 tbsp roasted red peppers, minced, and 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella.

Spoon the salsa onto the crust, then top with eggs, followed by remaining toppings. Bake for an additional 8 minutes at 350F. Remove from oven and let sit 3 mins before slicing.

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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

Cucumber Salad

This salad is one of my all-time favourite summertime sides; it’s a make ahead dish so it’ll be cold and crunchy and ready to nestle in beside your meaty entree. I particularly like it with grilled pork tenderloin or spicy wings!

1 English cucumber, sliced thinly and halved

1 small packet artificial sweetener

3 tbsp cider vinegar

2 heaping tbsps mayo

2 heaping tbsps sour cream

1/2 tsp dried dill

1/2 tsp dried chives (or 1 tsp fresh chives or 1 minced green onion)

salt and pepper to taste

Put cucumbers in bowl; top with remaining ingredients and mix well until combined. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours. The longer it sits, the better it gets! Stir well before serving.

cucumber salad