Favorite Keto Meals from the Past Month

Jimmy John's Unwich

I’m almost two months into following a ketogenic lifestyle. It’s been so fun experimenting with new recipes and branching out trying new foods. I even hosted our monthly supper club and served an entirely keto menu.

Here are links to some of my favorite recipes recently:

keto cheesecakeCheesy Biscuits keto biscuits

Bacon Ranch Cheesy Chicken

Vanilla Cheesecake

Gingered Zucchini Soup

 

I’ve also found a few go-to restaurants for a fast, keto-friendly lunch…

Jimmy John's UnwichJimmy John’s Unwich Five Guys bunless burger

Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger sans Bun (any burger place really)

 

 

For snacks, I love pork rinds — even took them with me to a Mexican restaurant to eat with cheese dip. My other favorite snack is Parmesan Crisps with spinach dip.

I still struggle saying no to cookies and such, but it’s getting easier with each day.

Please share your favorite keto recipes with me. Thank you!

 

Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs

bacon cheeseburger bombs, keto

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December is the WORST time for me to try to start any new eating plan. I am a sucker for all the holiday cakes, cookies, booze…(don’t judge). But alas, here I am starting the Ketogenic Diet this month. I’ve done okay — fallen off the wagon a few times, but I have lost a few pounds… in DECEMBER no less. It’s really the easiest diet plan for me to follow because I don’t get hungry and the sugar cravings are decreasing. (Sugar is my drug of choice.)

The basic premise of the Ketogenic Diet is turn your body into a fat-burning machine instead of a sugar-burning machine. The diet is high fat, moderate protein and really low carb. I’ll let those more knowledgeable about the the science share with you that part though. I want to share some of my new go-to recipes because Keto food is DELICIOUS!

My friend Rachel over at Unbalanced Balance shared this recipe with me for Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs. She said her family eats it almost weekly, and now I know why. It’s fun to make, tastes great and reheats like a champ.

I added one ingredient to Rachel’s recipe: a package of Lipton Onion Soup Mix to my hamburger meat. Then I followed her recipe until the cooking part — I did mine in the oven on 400 degrees for 25 minutes instead of on the grill because it’s cold and I’m not cooking outside. Here is a photo step by step:

bacon cheeseburger bombs, keto

bacon cheeseburger bombs, keto

bacon cheeseburger bombs, keto

bacon cheeseburger bombs, keto

You can get the full recipe over on Rachel’s website.

I’ve started a Pinterest board called Low Carb Life where I’m compiling all the Keto recipes that I like. Please follow me and comment below if you have any Keto recipes for me to try. I’m going full-force on this thing come January 1. Who’s with me???

Witch’s Finger Halloween Breadsticks

Halloween witch's fingers breadsticks

This recipe uses RawSpiceBar’s Caraway, Fennel & Anise Bread spice. This spice blend is perfect for adding flavor to crusty breads, crackers, salads and vegetables. Toasted sesame seeds, anise, rosemary and caraway create a German inspired flavor that transforms simple shortbread, rye bread, salads and even tea.

All Raw Spice Bar spices are crafted with high quality, whole spices, and freshly ground just before shipping.

Witch’s Finger Halloween Breadsticks

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp active dry yeastrosemary caraway blend
1 tbsp sugar
1 ½ cup warm water
3 ½ cups flour
RawSpiceBar’s Caraway, Fennel & Anise Bread
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp green food coloring
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Sliced almonds

DIRECTIONS

  1. Stir together active dry yeast, sugar, and warm water in a large mixing bowl, until the sugar is dissolved. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast bubbles.
  2. Add 1 cup of flour to the yeast mixture and beat on low speed until well combined. Add 2 ½ cups of flour, RawSpiceBar’s Caraway, Fennel & Anise and salt, and beat on medium speed until a soft dough is formed, about 2-3 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it becomes the right texture.
  3. Place the dough on a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a greased bowl, then cover the bowl with a dry towel. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.
  4. Prepare a floured surface to work on. Divide the dough in 16 pieces, then shape each piece into a 10-inch rope. Cut each rope in half. Place the pieces 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Loosely cover with a kitchen towel for 15 minutes, until the fingers rise.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly score the top of fingers to look like wrinkles on a knuckles. Brush with egg white over the fingers. Press in an almond slice at the tip of each finger for nails.
  6. Bake the fingers for 10-15 minutes until deep golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack, serve & enjoy!

Gluten-free Morning Glory Muffins

Cassava Flour

I received a package of Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour for free for review purposes, but all opinions here are my own.

Whenever I have a couple of too ripe bananas lying around, I make muffins. Today was such a day. And I figured it was a great time to try out this Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour. It’s made from 100% yuca root and is gluten-free, grain-free and nut-free.Cassava Flour

I based my Morning Glory recipe loosely on this one. I almost never follow a recipe exactly. I used a chopped Honeycrisp apple, left out the coconut, two ripe bananas, olive oil and sour cream in place of coconut oil, and a few other minor alterations. I also sprinkled a little sugar (yes, real sugar) on top of each muffin before baking to make a sweet, crispy top for each muffin.Morning Glory Muffins

I tried one with a generous pat of butter hot from the oven. Delicious! I can’t even tell that it was made with a flour substitute. And my taste tester approved!princess

You can learn more about Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour at their website.

Pumpkin Spice Maple Muffins

maple pumpkin spice muffins

Healthy and delicious Five Spice Muffins using Sweet Potato and a kick of RawSpiceBar’s Five Spice powder.five spice powder

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup, plus 2 extra tablespoons for brushing the muffins
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (if flour doesn’t include xanthan gum, add 1 tsp.)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. RawSpiceBar’s Szechuan Five Spice
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick the sweet potato a few times with a paring knife or a fork. Bake until soft (when a paring knife can cut through with zero resistance), about 1 hour. Set the sweet potato aside until it’s completely cool.
  2. Peel the sweet potato, discard the skin and mash the flesh in a mixing bowl with a fork. Whisk the olive oil, almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla into the sweet potato. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, RawSpiceBar’s Szechuan Five Spice and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  3. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and evenly distribute the muffin batter among the cups.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Brush the tops with the extra maple syrup during the last 5 minutes of baking.
  5. Let the muffins cool before serving.

RawSpiceBar Monthly Subscription Spice Box

6 Unexpected Infused Water Ideas

fruit-infused water

I drink a lot of water. These recipes remind me of the delicious water in the lobby of The Chancellor Hotel in Fayetteville, Arkansas. This post is provided by KMR Communications. I like the content, so I’m posting it here for future reference.

While most dermatologists and doctors preach the benefits of drinking more water, water gets boring. Perhaps you’ve done just about everything to make your plain glass of water more enjoyable. If you’re running out of ideas and are tempted to reach for a caffeinated beverage you’re not alone. We talked to the experts who gave us six fresh infused water recipes that will pack a punch of flavor and add health and beauty benefits to your H2O! If you’re new to infused water it’s easy. Chop up the ingredients, let them sit over night in your water pitcher and sip your way to healthy hydration inside and out.

  1. Mango Ginger: This combo might seem weird, but adding the health benefits of ginger and the antioxidant power of mangoes is a surprisingly tasty mix! “Mangoes contain so many vitamins that help boost your immune system. It has antioxidants that maintain youthful glowing skin and aid in the production of blood cells,” says Dr. Christopher Calapai D.O. an anti-aging expert and long-time health advisor to the New York Rangers hockey team.  “Ginger is also helpful in fighting infection, has been linked to lower cholesterol levels, may reduce muscle aches, and helps digestion,” adds Dr. Calapai.
  1. Grapefruit Rosemary: Recently rosemary was found to be the main ingredient eaten by residents of an Italian village with one of the highest populations of people who live past 100! “Rosemary improves circulation and sends more blood to the brain which is linked to greater concentration and potentially reduces risk of Alzheimer’s,” says Dr. Calapai. Grapefruit is not only delicious but it’s a natural fat burner, boosts metabolism and cleanses your liver.
  1. Melon Mix: Cut up watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe chunks and throw into your water over night. “This melon variety tastes great and is amazing for your skin,” says Dr. Kally Papantoniou board certified dermatologist and clinical instructor at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. “Melons are immensely hydrating, meaning more hydration per cup of water. They are also chock-full of antioxidants that keep skin clear plus they contain vitamins that promote collagen production which helps skin cell turnover.”
  1. Citrus Mint: Pick your favorite citrus fruits, cut up into slices and add some crushed mint.  “Adding mint to your water is not only extra refreshing but also improves digestive health and can speed up your metabolism,” says Dr. Calapai. “Mint actually contains salicylic acid, a potent acne fighter,” says Dr. Papantoniou. “It’s also well known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties which work to calm irritation both on your skin or internally,” she adds.
  1. Cucumber Lavender: “The reason so many spas use cucumber based treatments is because it contains many skin friendly minerals like magnesium, potassium and silicon,” says Dr. Papantoniou. “This mix is especially healthy,” says Dr. Calapai “Cucumbers are powerful detoxifiers, flushing out any waste in your system. Adding crushed lavender to the mix not only adds a beautiful aroma but can also help digestion as lavender contains polyphenols that reduce bad bacteria in your gut, making your system run smoother,” he explains.
  1. Pineapple Coconut Water
    This one is almost cheating… almost. Get your favorite store bought raw coconut water and refrigerate over night with large chunks of pineapple. The coconut-pineapple flavor combo is delicious and reminiscent of a piña colada without all the sugar and calories. Although this is not pure H2O, coconut water contains electrolytes which plain water does not, which rehydrate you in record time. “Pineapple is yet another fruit that aids in collagen production,” says Papantoniou “This is not just great for beautiful skin, collagen also has a major role in bone health and tissue repair.”

Clearly there are benefits to keeping hydrated. Water does not have to be boring, it can be delicious. Drink up!

Fruity Meyer Lemon Smoothie Recipe

*Blog post provided by Art of Tea. This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through one of my links, I will earn a small commission, but your cost remains the same. Thank you!

This is most certainly a “wake me up” kind of smoothie featuring Meyer Lemon Tea from Art of Tea! You can play around with this basic recipe, store but we’ve chosen to start with an antioxidant heavy morning blend.

Antioxidants actively help the body fight free radicals, which are chemical compounds that damage cells, DNA, and can even lead to premature cell death. Green tea is reported to have the highest concentration of antioxidants called polyphenols.

Meyer Lemon TeaWe chose to use our Meyer Lemon tea, but any green tea will do for this recipe. Jasmine Blueberry would also be a great blend to infuse. It is easiest to make your iced tea ahead of time, check out our Iced Tea Brewing Guide.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ripe banana, frozen
  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1 cup iced Meyer Lemon or other Green Tea
  • ½ cup plain Greek Yogurt
  • ½ cup ice
  • 2 Tablespoons honey

Directions

Place all ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Tea Gifts

Matcha Mini Cheesecakes



Last Friday, price Anthony, search Kennedy, Maya, Quinn and I loaded up the car and drove to Bentonville for the day. I had wanted to take the kids to the Scott Family Amazeum since it opened, and we finally got a free day to go. Our 12-year-old Madison was at church camp, so unfortunately she missed out this time.

amazeumAmazeum lives up to it’s name! We all had such a great time. Even though it’s geared toward kids ages 4 though 9, it has two play areas for toddlers, as well as managed to peak the imagination of our teenager. Anthony and I enjoyed watching our daughters have so much fun.

We had lunch at Crepes Paulette, a food truck in downtown Bentonville — not too far away from the Amazeum. There was a long line, but the wait was worth it. Maya got a strawberry and Nutella crepe.

Crepes PauletteAfter lunch, we went back to the Amazeum. We had 2:15 passes to the Hershey Lab. I thought we would get to play with chocolate (as in EAT chocolate) in the Hershey Lab, but instead it was an experiment about weights of items. This was my only disappointment of the day because I WANTED CHOCOLATE of course.

After we left the Amazeum, we drove back to downtown Bentonville and parked near the square. We walked to the Walmart Museum and did a quick tour through there, then walked over to Onyx Coffee Lab for a pick up me before the drive home.

It was an awesome day. We definitely want to spend more time in Bentonville — and spend the night next time; maybe even a whole weekend. There is so much to do in this bustling, little town.

Maya and Quinn conked out on the drive home. I call that a sign of a good day. asleep in the car

Please share your favorite family town to visit in Arkansas. I want to do more of these family roadtrips and welcome your suggestions.

Gymboree Sale On Now!
Article provided by my friends at Art of Tea. I am one of their affiliates, information pills
so if you make a purchase through one of my links, vitamin
I will make a small commission. Your price, however, remains the same.

Tea GiftsIt is no secret that matcha is swiftly being recognized as a wonder tea from East to West. Much of this has to do with how much of the benefits of green tea are multiplied by the total immersion of stone ground green tea leaves.matcha

These little matcha cheesecakes are a great addition to any afternoon tea time or party. We’ve added the element of sesame seeds to compliment the elegance of matcha. (For more on Matcha, check out our Introduction.)

Matcha Mini Cheesecakes

You may choose to make the crust a day ahead, to save on waiting on time. We used our Grade A Matcha for this recipe, but it would be very nice with our Ginger Matcha.

Crust

  • 1 cup of cookie or graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted. (Keep a bit extra at room temperature for greasing the pans.)
  • 3 Tablespoons raw cane sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 3 Tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted.

Filling

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup raw cane sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ? cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons matcha powder
  • ¼ cup ground black or white sesame, powder, for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease four 4” springform pans. Wrap the entire exterior of the pans in tin foil.

Grind your cookie crumbs in a food processor until they resemble a fine powder. Add butter, sugar and salt. Pulse until combined evenly. Transfer to a bowl and add sesame seeds. Mix until evenly combined.

Divide the raw crust evenly between your prepared pans. Press down on the top of each crust with the backside of a measuring cup for an even layer. Place pans on a baking sheet. Bake 15-18 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and firm to touch. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

In an electric mixer, with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium high, until light and fluffy. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and incrementally add in the dry mixture. Mix until smooth.

Add sour cream, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix until just combined – do not overbeat.

Add the matcha powder to bowl. Stir gently to combine. Divide the cream cheese filling between the four pans. Set the well sealed pans in a shallow roasting pan. Carefully fill the roasting pan with boiling water, so that it reaches halfway up the springform pans.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. The cakes should be set, with a slight wobble in the center. Turn off your oven and leave the door slightly ajar, with the cakes still inside. Let sit for 45 minutes. Carefully remove cakes to a wire rack. Let cakes cool completely.

Refrigerate uncovered overnight, or at minimum 4 hours in their springform.

Release the cakes from the springform. Dust with sesame or matcha powder before serving.

Tea Gifts

Hummus-Crusted Chicken: #HummusMadeEasy

This post is sponsored by Arkansas Women Bloggers to promote Bush’s Hummus Made Easy. I received free product to sample for this review and am being compensated for my time. However, phthisiatrician all photos and ideas on this blog are my own.Hummus Made Easy

I am on a hummus kick this month, and it’s all thanks to Bush’s Hummus Made Easy. I love this stuff! And it’s a breeze to whip up in a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender.

Last night I made Hummus-Crusted Chicken using the Black Beans Hummus flavor and the Classic Hummus flavor Hummus Made Easy. I also included some veggies I had on hand: carrots and a zucchini.

First I prepared the hummus according to the package instructions. Next I pounded out four chicken breasts to an even thickness and sliced up my veggies into spears.hummus  & veggies

I placed the carrot and zucchini spears in a 9×13 baking dish and drizzled olive oil over it, then salt & pepper, then tossed to combine. Next I spread hummus on both sides of the chicken breasts — two with the Black Bean Hummus and two with the Classic Hummus — and placed the chicken over the vegetables. hummus-crusted chickenFinally I sprinkled seasoned Panko bread crumbs over the top and added a little extra spice (because we like spicy at the Valley house).

I baked the dish at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes until chicken was done throughout. Hummus-crusted chickenIt was so delicious. The hummus from the bottom of the chicken breasts made a rich sauce for the vegetables, and the hummus and Panko on the top made a crunchy-gooey topping for the tender chicken. It was a hit with all the Valleys.

You can find Bush’s Hummus Made Easy at Walmart on the canned beans aisle. Hummus Made Easy

You should also check out my Zucchini Hummus Wraps that I made last week using Hummus Made Easy. This recipe is so good that I made it THREE TIMES last week.

Zucchini Hummus Wraps: #HummusMadeEasy

This post is sponsored by Arkansas Women Bloggers to promote Bush’s Hummus Made Easy. I received free product to sample for this review and am being compensated for my time. However, this all photos and ideas on this blog are my own.Hummus Made Easy

Hello May! It’s a busy month ahead with Kennedy’s high school graduation, summer plans to make for the kiddos, and several birthdays (including my own!). And with the warmer weather, I am in need of some fresh menu ideas for my family. My go-to soups and slower cooker dishes are too heavy for the hot Arkansas summer, so this month I’m going to try out some all-new-to-me recipes. Hopefully you will like them too.

Hummus Made EasyMy first recipe to share is Zucchini Hummus Wraps. I made the wraps for the first time today, and it was so fresh and delicious. The basis of this recipe is Bush’s Classic Hummus Made Easy and a can of Bush’s Garbanzo Beans. To make the hummus, you just rinse and drain the garbanzo beans and combine with the packet of Hummus Made Easy. You can do this in a blender, a food processor, or using an immersion blender like I did today.Hummus Made Easy

Zucchini Hummus Wraps (makes 2)

Ingredients
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 2 slices cheese (your choice)
  • 2 large tortillas (flour or gluten-free, your choice)
  • 4 tablespoons Bush’s Hummus Made Easy
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat.
  2. Remove the ends from the zucchini and Hummus Made Easyslice length wise into strips. Toss sliced zucchini in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place sliced zucchini in hot skillet and let cook for 3 minutes, turn and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Set zucchini aside.Hummus Made Easy
  5. Place the tortillas one at a time in the hot skillet for approximately one minute, or just until a little crispy.
  6. Remove tortillas from skillet and assemble wraps: 2 tablespoons of hummus, one slice of cheese, zucchini slices, ½ cup baby spinach.
  7. Wrap tightly and enjoy immediately.

Recipe adapted from Maebells blog.

Hummus Made Easy

I even impressed myself with this recipe! I can’t wait to see what other recipes I can make using this yummy hummus.

You can find this Bush’s Hummus Made Easy at Walmart on the canned beans aisle. Hummus Made EasyBush’s Classic Hummus Made Easy (the one I used for this recipe) is a perfect blend of olive oil, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. There are two other flavors available: Bush’s Southwest Black Bean Hummus Made Easy and Bush’s Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Made Easy. I can’t wait to try them all!

Check out www.hummusmadeeasy.com for more information and up-to-date recipe inspirations. And stay tuned to my blog and social media this month for more recipes from me.

Come on, May! I’m ready for you.