Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Grilled Chipotle-Lime Wild Alaskan Salmon

This weekend our Costco had fresh wild Alaskan sockeye salmon for $9.99/lb. That is an awesome deal. Even though I've frozen a bunch already, I love to prepare it from its fresh, never frozen state. I wanted to keep it simple and change it up just a bit (to keep hubby from tiring of it). I could eat it EVERY single day! I made enough so I can have it for my lunch the next couple of days. I served it alongside a fresh green salad and it was the perfect meal for these hot and humid dog days of summer we've been experiencing. This morning it was 73 when we woke up and 97% humidity which is nothing but gross. I snapped a few photos of this evening's delicious grilled Chipotle-Lime Salmon. Those two flavors go excellent together. I only lightly dusted the salmon the ground chipotle and seasoned it with sea salt and topped the fillets with thinly sliced lime to cook. About half way through the 10-12 minute grilling, I squeezed fresh lime juice over the fillets. They turned out so good. I used my Lodge grill pan on top of my grill to make sure I didn't lose a single bite of salmon falling through the grates. Check out the easy peasy recipe below as well as the photos. Enjoy!





Grilled Chipotle-Lime Wild Alaskan Salmon

Ingredients:

2 pounds wild salmon fillets
Sea salt, to taste
Ground Chipotle Powder
1 fresh lime, thinly sliced
Olive oil or olive oil spray to lightly grease grill

Directions:

Rinse and pat salmon fillets dry with paper towels. Cut into portions to fit on grill or grill pan. Lightly oil grill pan or grates. Heat grill to about 400 degrees F (medium-hot). Season salmon with salt, chipotle (lightly dust) and top with lime slices. Place on grill pan or grill grates, skin side down. Cover grill and cook for 10-12 minutes, depending on thickness. About half way through cooking, squeeze with fresh lime juice, if desired.

                

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Chicken-Pickle Salad Biscuits on Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

This evening we got a late start with dinner because we had to take our puppy to the vet because he's been sick the last few days. Hopefully he's on the mend now. It was hot and muggy here today. I decided to make a big bowl of chicken salad and since the only crunchy things hubby will eat in chicken salad is pickles, I went with a Chicken-Pickle Salad. It actually turned out really good and it was super easy to make. I had leftover cooked chicken that I diced up and then I diced Bubbies pickles (my favorite pickles) up and mixed it with some olive oil mayo and served it on some leftover Southern Buttermilk Biscuits that I had leftover from the weekend. They were delicious little "Chicken-Pickle Salad Biscuits" and so easy to quickly put together. I snapped a quick photo below and included the ridiculously easy recipe.


Beautiful Kalanchoe plant on my desk (the flowers are super tiny)

Chicken-Pickle Salad

Ingredients:

3 to 4 cups diced cooked chicken
1/4 to 1/3 cup diced pickles
Mayonnaise to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients, adding desired amount of mayonnaise, to taste. Serve in lettuce leaves or on grain free biscuits or rolls.


         

Monday, July 17, 2017

Chicken Parmesan - Easy Low Carb

This evening I made Chicken Parmesan since I had all the ingredients on hand. I simply seasoned and sautéed a package of Perdue boneless chicken breasts for about 8-9 minutes per side, then placed them in a small casserole dish with pasta sauce (one of my favorites by Del Grosso; Fireworks Sauce). I then topped them with sliced fresh mozzarella cheese (you could substitute regular mozzarella if you want) and then topped with shredded Parmigiano Reggiano (you could also use regular shredded Parmesan). I then popped it into a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes to bake and ran under the broiler for a few minutes at the very end to get the cheese nice and bubbly and browned. I served it with a fresh garden salad and one of my Parmesan Biscuits that I made this past weekend. If you haven't tried them yet, they are worth trying. If you wanted to, you could serve the Chicken Parmesan on top of Zoodles as well. I snapped a few photos below and included my easy peasy recipe. Enjoy!






Chicken Parmesan - Easy Low Carb

Ingredients:

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Generous pinch red pepper flakes, optional
2 to 3 boneless chicken breasts, approximately 1 pound (skinless or skin on)
1 to 1-1/2 cups pasta sauce (about half of a 26-oz jar)
2 1/4-inch slices of fresh mozzarella cheese (I used Bel Gioioso pre-sliced)
1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan

Directions:

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Generously season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Place chicken in skillet; reduce heat to medium and saute about 8 minutes per side until light golden brown. While chicken is cooking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cover bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish with pasta sauce. Place chicken breasts in casserole dish and pour remaining sauce over top of chicken. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until done. If desired, place under a hot broiler for 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Serve chicken with sauce spooned over top.

            

Monday, July 3, 2017

Skillet Sour Cream Coffee Cake - Topped w/ Walnut Streusel

Here's a re-post of a grain free adaptation I created for one of my favorite old recipes for sour cream coffee cake with cinnamon, sugar, and walnut streusel. I created a grain-free version of that coffee cake that is also sugar-free thanks to one of my favorite sweeteners, Swerve. This cake turned out moist, dense, rich and delicious, just like the original version. The recipe is super simple and it is baked in an ovenproof skillet! You can find the easy recipe below. Enjoy!




Skillet Sour Cream Coffee Cake  

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
1/4 cup ground golden flaxseed
1/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup Swerve Sweetener (or other granular sweetener)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure maple flavor, optional (I like Boyajian)
Butter or coconut oil to grease skillet

For the Topping:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons Swerve Sweetener (or other granular sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine almond flour, flax, coconut flour, 3/4 cup sweetener, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; whisk to combine and break up any lumps.

In a separate small bowl, beat buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, sour cream, vanilla and optional maple flavor together. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture; mix just until combined.

For the topping, in a small bowl, mix walnuts, 2 tablespoons sweetener and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon together.

Generously brush or coat a 10-inch ovenproof or cast iron skillet with butter or coconut oil. Heat the skillet over medium high heat, just until hot; remove from heat. Pour batter into hot skillet; top with the cinnamon walnut mixture. Place skillet into preheated oven and bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for approximately 30 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently loosen and carefully slide onto a plate or platter. Cut into wedges and serve. 

            

Berry Cheesecake Tart w/ Butter Pecan Cookie Crust - Festive & Delicious

Here's a re-post of one of my favorite dessert recipes that I created a few years ago with Fourth of July celebrations in mind. I have to tell you...it is one of my favorite dessert recipes that I've created. There are a couple of others that rank up there close...but this one is REALLY...REALLY good! 

It's decorated in festive red, white and blue, but you can design yours however you'd like and use whatever fruits that are your favorite. I used sliced strawberries and fresh blueberries on mine. It is AMAZING...and you are going to love this recipe. It is simple to make. The only baking involved is the 20 to 22 minutes it takes to bake the "butter pecan cookie crust." Trust me, it's worth turning on the oven in July for this one! It has an unbelievable no-bake cheesecake topping and then it's topped with fresh sliced strawberries, fresh blueberries and whipped cream. I sweetened the cookie crust base and the cheesecake topping with Swerve (my favorite non-sugar sweetener) but you can substitute your favorite sweetener if you like. I swear that you would never EVER know that this dessert has no added sugar. Trust me...you could fool all the skeptics with this one! Check out the photos and recipe below. Enjoy!







Behind the Scenes...

Crust before baking
Crust after baking
Cheesecake topping has been spread on the cooled cookie crust


This is the pan I used...how appropriate that it's a "USA Pan" to make a Fourth of July dessert!  If you haven't tried these baking pans before...you will love them. I've been using their loaf pan for a while now and picked this jelly roll pan up and absolutely love it.  I liked it so much I went back and bought a 5-piece set, too. They sell these on Amazon (below)...but if you have a Bed Bath & Beyond nearby, you can get them at a great price and even better if you use their 20% coupon that comes out all the time!

Fresh Berry Tart w/ Butter Pecan Cookie Crust 

Ingredients:

For the Cookie Crust:
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (preferably aluminum free)
1/2 to 3/4 cup Swerve Sweetener, or preferred granular sweetener
1/4 cup butter, softened (1/2 stick)
3 ounces (brick style) cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecan meal

For the Cheesecake Topping:
16 ounces brick-style cream cheese (2 8-ounce bricks), slightly softened
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered Swerve Confectioners Style Sweetener (or preferred confectioners style sweetener

Fruit Topping:
Fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
Whipped cream for serving, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 10"x15"x1" jelly roll pan.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and sweetener. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add softened butter, cream cheese, egg and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix dry and wet ingredients together until blended. Stir in pecan meal.

Using a rubber spatula spread and press dough evenly in pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

In a mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese, until creamy and smooth; stir in cream, vanilla and sweetener.  Beat with hand mixer for about 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth, light and fluffy. Spread topping over top of crust until smooth. Refrigerate for several hours until chilled. Arrange berries on top. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Note: If you are unable to find pecan meal locally, it can be ordered online or you can easily make your own by using the pulse setting of your food processor outfitted with a steel blade. Nut meal is more coarsely textured than flour and should resemble the consistency of cornmeal. The pecan meal provides more texture to the cookie crust.

            

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fresh Strawberry Coffee Cake - Moist & Delicious

Today I'm going back through some of my favorite recipes that I've shared on guest posts over the years. I found the perfect recipe your upcoming holiday weekend. If you like strawberries, you are going to love this cake. It's full of fresh strawberries and absolutely perfect for summertime. This cake is moist, flavorful and "oh so strawberry!" It literally screams summertime. 

It's chocked full of strawberries and walnuts. It makes 12 generous servings each containing approximately 7 net carbs, 3 grams of sugar and 11 grams of protein! Now how does THAT sound for a power breakfast? If you are one of the many folks over the years that have asked me for breakfast ideas "other than eggs"...this one is for YOU! You could eat it as a dessert or snack, too.

I hope you enjoy this coffee cake as much as I do. This cake is wheat free, grain free, gluten free and has no added sugar and a great addition to add to your low carb menu. You can find the recipe and photos below. Enjoy!





Fresh Strawberry Crunch Coffee Cake

Ingredients:
1/4 cup PLUS 2 tablespoons coconut flour, sifted
1/4 cup chia seeds
1-1/4 cups Swerve granular sweetener (or preferred granular sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon strawberry extract 
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons oil (coconut oil or extra light olive oil)
3 cups diced strawberries
1 cup chopped walnuts, divided
Half of a 3.5-ounce 70-85% cacao chocolate bar, coarsely chopped into chunks (1-3/4 ounces)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9" x 13” nonstick 
baking pan.

Whisk almond flour, ground flax, coconut flour, chia seeds, sweetener, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon together in a bowl, breaking up any lumps.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs, vanilla extract, strawberry extract, buttermilk and oil together. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in strawberries and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan; spread evenly with a spatula. Top with reserved 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and chocolate chunks.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan.


               

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Asian Style Mandarin Copper River Salmon - Roasted on the Grill

This evening was an absolutely beautiful evening. It was sunny, mid-upper 70s, and lower humidity (for a change). I had a large fresh wild Copper River Sockeye Salmon fillet that I wanted to cook (I bought it at Costco this weekend for $15.99/lb which is a great price). I roasted it in a large open foil packet on the grill. It was delicious. I had a bag of fresh mandarins and decided I'd incorporate them into the recipe. I wanted a light and delicate Asian style flavor, as to not overpower the delicate flavor of the fresh salmon. I included the easy peasy recipe below. I made a very small amount of "marinade/glaze" to brush on the salmon and it took less than 5 minutes to put together and only 12 minutes to roast on the grill at 425 to 450 degrees F (you could do this in the oven as well). I served the salmon with half of a large avocado with a big fat cherry tomato in place of the avocado seed. It was the perfect light summer meal. Check out the photos and recipe below. Enjoy!






Asian Style Mandarin Roasted Copper River Salmon

Ingredients:

1 large fresh salmon fillet (1 to 1-1/2 pounds)
1 mandarin orange, cut in half crosswise across the sections
1 to 2 teaspoons organic gluten free Tamari sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 green spring onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon honey (regular or sugar free honey substitute)
Dash garlic powder
Dash ground cayenne pepper

Directions:

Preheat grill (or oven) to 425-450 degrees.


Place salmon fillet in center of large sheet of foil. Slice one of the mandarin halves in thin slices (to place atop of salmon). In a small bowl, squeeze the juice out of the remaining mandarin half (about 2 tablespoons). Whisk in Tamari, sesame seeds, green onion, honey, garlic powder and cayenne. Spoon or brush marinade over top of salmon fillet and allow to sit while the grill or oven is heating.

Gently crimp and form foil into a packet around salmon fillet to hold juices as it roasts (keep packet open on top while roasting). Place on hot grill and close lid. Try and maintain grill temperature between 425 and 450 degrees F. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and transfer foil packet to a platter or baking sheet. Crimp and close packet tightly to allow salmon to continue cooking gently off the heat for about 5 minutes. Squeeze with additional mandarin, if desired, before serving.

           


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday Morning BOT Omelet - Sunshine on a Cloudy Day!

Happy Saturday! This morning we got up early; I'm not sure why that happens on the days when we could sleep in if we chose. Why doesn't this happen during the week I sometimes wonder. I was in the mood for an omelet...and not just any old omelet, but a BOT (Bacon, Onion & Tomato) omelet. I had a cluster of beautiful red ripe large cherry tomatoes on my tomato plant on the back deck that I tiptoed out on the rain covered deck to pick. I diced up a few strips of bacon, a small chunk of Vidalia onion and quartered my freshly picked tomatoes. I added a pat of Kerrygold butter to the pan and started out by sautéing the onions. When they began to soften, I added the bacon and allowed that to cook until the bacon became crispy and the Vidalia onions were nice and caramelized (about 5 minutes or so). I tossed in the tomatoes and cooked them for an additional minute until they just heated through, purposely not overcooking them so I could still enjoy the fresh tomato taste and texture. I added another pat of butter to a small nonstick skillet and beat 2 eggs, then poured them into the sizzling butter. Once my omelet was cooked, I added the bacon/onion/tomato mixture on top of the omelet as well as some diced spicy 3-alarm Colby-Jack cheese and then folded it in half and slid it onto the plate. The omelet was beautiful and added a bit of sunshine to this cloudy day! I grabbed a cup of coffee and headed out to the porch to enjoy a relaxing Saturday breakfast while we sat and enjoyed breakfast while listening to the rain fall. I snapped a few photos below. I think hubby and I will head out to DeKalb Farmers Market a little later when the rain slows down, but for now, hanging on the porch is the perfect place to be. Enjoy!


The smell of bacon and Vidalia onions cooking in the morning is heavenly


Awaiting the big "fold-over"

            

Friday, June 16, 2017

Roasted Copper River Salmon w/ Creamy Dijon Mustard Dill Sauce

For dinner this evening, I kept it quick and simple. It was hot and quite muggy here today after the thunderstorms we had last night. I spent the early evening working on a new bagel recipe so the kitchen was already warm from baking. I decided to make Copper River Salmon and was in the mood for a creamy Dijon mustard dill sauce to go on top...but I wasn't in the mood to turn on the oven and the stove again. I roasted the salmon on the grill in a large open foil packet and rather than make a sauce separately, I decided to whip something quick together and spread it on top of the salmon before putting it on the grill. It turned out great! I needed to keep it thick so it didn't run off while the salmon roasted. It was SO easy peasy. I whisked together some mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and fresh dill (you could add a squeeze of honey or honey substitute, too if desired). It stayed on top of the salmon as it roasted and kept the salmon super juicy and moist; hubby and I enjoyed it. I just sliced up some fresh tomatoes on the side and dinner was served! I snapped a few photos below and included the quick and easy recipe. I also included a sneak peek of my bagel experiment today. Enjoy!







Copper River Salmon w/ Creamy Dijon Mustard Dill Sauce

Ingredients:

1-1/2 to 2 pounds wild salmon fillets (I used wild Copper River Sockeye)
Sea salt, to taste
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (I used a heaping tablespoon)
1 to 2 teaspoons snipped fresh dill

Directions:

Preheat grill (or oven) to 425-450 degrees.


Place salmon in center of large sheet of foil. Season with salt. In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and dill together. Spread the mixture over the top of the salmon. Gently crimp and form foil into an open packet around salmon fillet (keep packet open on top while roasting). Place on hot grill and close lid. Maintain grill temperature between 425 and 450 degrees F. Cook for 12 minutes. Remove and transfer foil packet to a platter or baking sheet. Crimp and close packet to allow salmon to continue cooking gently off the heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. 


            

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Easy Pan Seared Copper River Salmon N' Sprouts

This evening I made a quick and easy meal. I pan seared fresh Copper River Salmon in Kerrygold butter (about 1 tablespoon) in my nonstick Cuisinart wok that has a flat bottom. It is probably the most easy way to prepare it on top of the stove and takes about 6 minutes. After seasoning it with just sea salt and black pepper, I place it flesh side down in the sizzling butter for about 3-1/2 minutes on medium-high; I then turn it over, give it a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and continue cooking it skin side down for about 3 minutes. While my salmon was cooking, I steamed trimmed and halved fresh baby brussels sprouts in about 1/4 cup of water (covered on high) for 5 minutes in the microwave and then drained them well.

After the salmon was cooked, I scooted it over to a sheet of heavy duty foil and loosely covered it to keep it warm. I wiped out my wok, added another tablespoon or two of Kerrygold butter and as soon as it began sizzling I added the drained steamed sprouts, seasoned them with salt and pepper and lightly sauteed and browned them a bit in the butter. I gave them a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice, too. I placed my sprouts on my plate, added the salmon on top and scattered some fresh blueberries over top (you could omit the berries if you want...but I liked the contrast of flavors). I snapped a quick photo below. Enjoy!


              

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Easy Chicken Salad - Sunday's Cool Dinner

This evening I wasn't in the mood to prepare anything that would heat up the kitchen and I didn't want to be out in the heat and humidity standing by a hot grill. I was in the mood for chicken salad so I picked up a rotisserie chicken and cut it up. I diced up 1 large stalk of celery, 1/4 of a large red bell pepper, 2 green spring onions and some pickles, then mixed them in with the chicken and added mayonnaise and a bit of sea salt. You'll notice in the photos below that I don't use a lot of mayonnaise in my chicken salad, so it doesn't stick together as tightly as if there more mayo. I don't like a lot of mayo and I don't use a lot of dressing on my salad and I've never really liked gravy...I'm just weird like that!  I topped the chicken salad with chopped roasted almonds and at it "as is" without any additional sides. It was just what I wanted and the best part is that I have enough left to eat for lunch for the next few days, too. Win/win! I snapped a few photos below. Enjoy!




             

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Copper River Salmon - Greek Spanakopita Style

This morning, hubby and I got up early, around 6:30 a.m. and watered all of our flowers and tomatoes before it got hot. I was so excited when I found out that the "ugly thorned vine" growing on a trellis in our backyard, and one that I almost pulled out this spring, actually turned out to be a raspberry vine with beautiful little ripe raspberries all over it! What a pleasant surprise. They were much smaller than commercial raspberries but brilliant red, super sweet with very tiny seeds. They were some of the prettiest I've ever seen and looked like little red jewels (rubies). I enjoyed them on top of Greek yogurt this afternoon. Since  hubby and I got up so early, we arrived at Costco when they opened this morning to see if they received another shipment of Copper River Salmon...and they had, but not a lot of it. I picked up 3 more packages.

This evening my youngest son came for dinner and I was excited to prepare Copper River Salmon for him. I wanted to make it different so hubby doesn't tire of it -- as for me, I could eat it every single day! I decided to go with a Greek Spanakopita Style theme (topping it with chopped fresh baby spinach, fresh dill, lemon zest, feta cheese, olive oil and black pepper). It turned out amazing! I "roasted" it on my grill using it as an outdoor oven. It took 12 minutes to roast at about 450 degrees in a foil packet opened at the top and then sealed tightly and removed from the heat to sit for about 5 minutes or so. I brushed the salmon with olive oil and gave it a light dusting of Penzey's Greek Seasoning, then topped it with slices of lemon and then the spinach-feta topping. I loved it. I snapped a few photos below and included the easy peasy recipe. Enjoy!







Spike is so excited we're having salmon for dinner -- he LOVES Copper River Salmon!

He's patiently waiting while it cooks on the grill

My first raspberries that I didn't know I had!  

Copper River Salmon - Greek Spanakopita Style 

Ingredients:

1-1/2 to 2 pounds wild salmon fillets (I used wild Copper River Sockeye Salmon)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Greek Seasoning (or substitute salt and pepper, to taste)
1 medium lemon, sliced
8 ounces fresh baby spinach, cooked/wilted and chopped
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh dill
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

Directions:

Preheat grill (or oven) to 425-450 degrees.


Place salmon in the center of a large sheet of foil. Brush salmon with 1 tablespoon olive oil; season lightly with Greek Seasoning (or salt and pepper). Arrange lemon slices on top of fillet. Gently crimp and form foil into a packet around salmon to contain juices as it roasts (keep packet open on top while roasting). 

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, spinach, feta cheese, black pepper, dill, and lemon zest. Top salmon with spinach-feta mixture. Place open salmon packet on hot grill (or oven) and close lid. Try to maintain grill temperature between 425 and 450 degrees F. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and transfer foil packet to a platter or baking sheet. Crimp and close packet tightly to allow salmon to continue cooking gently off the heat for about 5 to 10 minutes.