Saturday, January 30, 2016

Parmesan Eggs w/ Cheesy Italian Breadsticks - Low Carb Breakfast

For breakfast this morning, I made easy Parmesan Scrambled Eggs and served them with alongside a couple strips of bacon, fresh blueberries and my Cheesy Italian Breadsticks. The eggs were easy, I simply added and scrambled in 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese (the powdery style) to 2 eggs and cooked them in some of the bacon drippings. I served the eggs and bacon with my fresh hot out of the oven Cheesy Italian Breadsticks. No, I didn't get up and actually make a fresh batch of breadsticks this early in the morning (although it could easily be done). Instead, last weekend I intentionally wrapped up extra strips of uncooked breadstick dough loosely in parchment paper and stuck it in the fridge so I could see how they would bake up days later. Well, they turned out great! They weren't quite as "bready/fluffy" as when they are baked right away; they were a bit more crisp and absolutely delicious! They went perfectly alongside my Parmesan Eggs. These little breadsticks are so versatile and are great served as bread alongside soup (I did that this week), dipped in pizza sauce (I did that this week, too), or enjoyed as your bread alongside eggs for breakfast like I did this morning. I snapped a quick photo of my yummy breakfast below. The breadstick recipe can be found here: Cheesy Italian Breadsticks. To see photos of the steps, check out my post here: Breadstick Photos. Enjoy!


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cheesy Italian Breadsticks - Low Carb (NEW RECIPE)

Today I'm sharing my new recipe for Cheesy Italian Breadsticks on my guest post at Honeyville (the blanched almond flour gurus). These breadsticks are absolutely amazing! I tested them out on my family over the weekend and they LOVED them! We have eaten them as bread alongside our dinner AND also enjoyed them (a lot) dipped in pizza sauce. We love them! These would be awesome served at your upcoming Super Bowl gatherings. Regardless of how you choose to serve them...just make them! You won't be sorry. I snapped a few photos below of the various steps. To get to the easy recipe, simply click here: Cheesy Italian Breadsticks. Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Spicy Beef & Cabbage Soup - Easy Low Carb

This evening we enjoyed my Spicy Beef & Cabbage Soup for dinner. I usually prepare this soup in my crock pot and cook it all day long or overnight. Recently, I was asked by one of my followers if this soup would work okay cooked in a pot on top of the stove instead (because she did not own a crock pot), so I decided to go ahead and test it out to see how long it would take. I actually prepared the soup last night and then refrigerated it overnight to make dinner quick and easy this evening.

After I browned the beef and onions and then added the cabbage, stock, tomatoes and seasoning, it took about 2-1/2 to 3 hours for the beef to become fall apart tender. It took me 3 hours from start to finish. I tweaked the recipe slightly by increasing the beef to 2 pounds and rather than cut up a head of cabbage I used a 2-pound bag of coleslaw mix that was already sliced up which saved both time and clean up. I also decided to make it more "tomatoey" by bumping up the tomatoes. I added 2 large cans (1 pound 12-oz each) of San Marzano tomatoes that I crushed by simply squeezing them in my hands directly into the pot. When I served the soup this evening, I added a dollop of sour cream to our soup bowls to stir in and add a bit of creamy tang. It was delicious. I snapped a few photos of tonight's modified stove top version of this soup. You can find the original slow cooker recipe by clicking here: Spicy Beef & Cabbage Soup. Enjoy! (P.S. - Stay tuned for a NEW recipe post tomorrow)


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Saturday Brunch - Scrambled Eggs, Biscuits & Sausage

This morning we awoke to 27 degrees with a generous dusting of snow. We are fortunate not to be amidst the blizzard conditions happening up the east coast and to our north. The wind is blustery and cold though. I had a small bowl of my Parmesan Biscuit dough left in the fridge that I didn't use from last weekend so I made a couple of biscuits and popped them into the oven. While they were baking I shredded Cabot's sharp white cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs, then sliced and browned some Aidell's smoked chicken sausages. I mixed the shredded cheese into the eggs along with lots of freshly ground black pepper, then topped it with more cheese. Everything was ready by the time the biscuits came out of the oven. It was the perfect brunch for this frosty morning. Who knew that a low carb, grain and gluten-free breakfast could look and taste this good! I snapped a couple photos below. Enjoy!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Bacon, Baby Greens & Cheddar Frittata - Low Carb

Yesterday I made a quick and easy frittata for dinner and we're having the leftovers for tonight's meal as well (I also enjoyed a piece for lunch today). I made a Bacon, Baby Greens & Cheddar Frittata. It is so easy and so delicious and makes a perfect meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This past weekend I picked up a large container of fresh "Baby Power Green's" by Olivia's Organics at Costco which is a medley of predominantly baby spinach and baby kale, but also has baby collards, chard and mustard greens in it, too. I lightly sauteed them in a bit of olive just until wilted and then squeezed out the excess liquid and chopped them up. I cooked bacon in another skillet until nice and crisp to crumble into the frittata. I used my favorite Cabot Sharp White Cheddar Cheese in this frittata which adds such a nice intense cheddar flavor. I really love Cabot's 3-Year Classic Vermont White Cheddar; it's one of my favorites...but while I was at Costco this weekend, I also picked up a brick of their 5-Year White Cheddar to try and tested it out in the frittata. Well, now I'm torn and can't decide which one I like best! Both are really good and both have BIG cheddar flavor. I snapped a few photos of my frittata below and included the easy recipe as well. Enjoy!

This big container of baby greens morphs into...(continued below)
...this little bowl of wilted baby greens
Best sharp white cheddar ever! 
Ready to come out of the oven...

Bacon, Baby Greens & Cheddar Frittata


8 ounces fresh baby greens (baby kale, spinach, collards, etc.)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
8 large eggs
4 Tablespoons cream or milk
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (powdery style)
1 1/4 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
8 strips of crumbled cooked crisp bacon


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add greens and saute just until wilted. Squeeze out excess moisture and chop coarsely. In same skillet, add 1 tablespoon oil and cook onions until translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside while preparing the frittata. 

Grease a 10-inch Lodge cast iron or other nonstick ovenproof skillet with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and cream together. Stir in Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, chopped greens, and cooked onions; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in crumbled bacon. Heat greased skillet on stove top over medium-high heat until hot. Pour egg mixture into hot skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes (this hastens crust formation and helps to keep it from sticking to the pan). Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until puffed and light golden brown. 


Monday, January 18, 2016

Stuffed Beef Tenderloin - Easy, Elegant, & Low Carb

Last night both of my sons came for Sunday dinner. I made Stuffed Beef Tenderloin. It turned out unbelievably good. The meat was fork tender. I stuffed it with a mixture of spinach, green onions, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano. The tenderloin I prepared was 4 pounds. I know tenderloin is a pricey piece of meat but for special occasions it really isn't as pricey as you might think. The price of my tenderloin at Costco was $67, but when I picked it up a week ago they had a special for $10 off of all of their trimmed beef tenderloins, regardless of their size (trust me, you want to buy a "trimmed" tenderloin). I chose a smaller 4-lb loin so it cost me $57 after the discount. I know that is still a lot for a piece of meat but when you take into account that we got 8 very generous servings from this single piece of meat, that brings the actual price per serving to a little over $7.00 per person for filet mignon! How often have we all spent that much money (or more) at some fast food place for something subpar to eat without batting an eye? To go along with last night's meal, I made the guys oven roasted red skinned potatoes and buttered organic carrots. I also baked a batch of my delicious Parmesan Biscuits. It was a delicious and beautiful meal. I snapped a few photos below and included the recipe below as well. Enjoy!

I purchased an already trimmed tenderloin at Costco
A pocket is sliced lengthwise to place spinach stuffing (careful not to slice through other side)
Tenderloin is closed and tied closed with kitchen twine and placed on a rack in roasting pan
Parmesan biscuits fresh out of oven, carrots cooking on stove top, potatoes roasting in oven and tenderloin waiting to be added to the oven
Dinner in skinned potatoes roasting in the oven for the guys

Stuffed Beef Tenderloin


1 4-pound trimmed beef tenderloin, patted dry with paper towels
Sea salt and black pepper
1 pound lightly cooked fresh baby spinach, well drained and chopped
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green spring onions (about 8), sliced
3 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano (or regular Parmesan cheese)
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a rack in the bottom of a large shallow roasting pan and set aside.

Place tenderloin on a large cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice a long slit lengthwise through center of tenderloin (not through the other side), within 3/4-inch of opposite side, making a long pocket to hold spinach stuffing; open flat. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside while preparing stuffing mixture.

In a medium skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute garlic and onions over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in fresh parsley and cook about 1 minute. In a medium bowl combine drained chopped spinach and onion/garlic/parsley mixture. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes, cheese and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread spinach stuffing mixture evenly down the center of beef tenderloin, pressing firmly. Tightly roll up tenderloin, tucking the small end under so it cooks evenly. Tie beef with kitchen twine at 2-inch intervals. Place beef on rack in roasting pan. Brush with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Bake at 450 degrees F for the first 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and cook an additional 25 to 30 minutes to desired doneness; or until an instant read thermometer inserted into thickest part of roast registers approximately 140 to 145 degrees F for medium rare; 160 degrees F for medium; or 170 degrees for well done (note that meat will continue to cook after removing from oven and the temperature increases approximately 5 degrees as the meat rests). Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil for about 10 minutes before slicing. 


Sunday, January 17, 2016

No-Flip Blackberry Buttermilk Pancakes w/ Fresh Blackberry Buttermilk Syrup - Low Carb

This morning I made my Thick & Fluffy No-Flip Buttermilk Pancakes filled with big ripe fresh blackberries. I picked up a beautiful container of fresh blackberries at Costco yesterday. I placed half of the fresh blackberries in the pancakes and used the remaining half (about 1 cup) to make Fresh Blackberry Butter Syrup to top the pancake wedges with. I served the pancakes alongside crisp strips of bacon. The recipe for the pancakes can be found by clicking here: Thick & Fluffy No-Flip Buttermilk Pancakes. The quick and easy recipe for the syrup can be found below. Enjoy!

Fresh Blackberry Butter Syrup


1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries (or other fresh berries)
3 tablespoons butter (I used Kerrygold)
3 tablespoons sugar free pancake syrup, or to taste (I used Nature's Hollow)


Puree blackberries in a small blender or food processor until smooth (I used a Magic Bullet). Strain through a mesh strainer to remove seeds. Heat pureed and strained berries in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot; whisk in butter and syrup. If desired, sweetener of choice (such as Swerve or stevia) can be used in place of the pancake syrup to add sweetness.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Night Pizza - Low Carb, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free

It was a nasty, cold and rainy day here today so I decided some Friday night comfort food was in order. I made pizza for dinner using my Pizza Crust w/ Zucchini recipe. I topped it with pizza sauce, burrata (balls of fresh mozzarella cheese filled with cream soaked shredded mozzarella), pepperoni, wilted baby spinach, red bell peppers and onions. It turned out great. I could only eat one piece because it was so rich topped with the fresh burrata cheese. It was really good though. I snapped a few quick photos with my cell phone below. The recipe for the pizza crust recipe I used can be found here: Pizza Crust w/ Zucchini. Enjoy!

Before going into the oven
Fresh out of the oven


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Parmesan Biscuits - Low Carb

This evening we enjoyed leftover Minestrone Soup that I made for dinner last night. It was even better this evening...but what pushed it over the top was my Parmesan Biscuits that I made to go with it. They were so good with this soup and made it extra special. If you've never tried these biscuits before, they are definitely worth trying. I baked them an extra minute or two until nice and golden which made them slightly crisp on the outside and still tender on the inside. Hubby said these biscuits were restaurant quality. You can find the recipe for them here: Parmesan Biscuits. Enjoy!


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Minestrone Soup - Low Carb

It was a chilly day here today which put me in the mood for soup. I decided to make Minestrone Soup for dinner which is essentially vegetable soup with an Italian twist. I just happened to have all the ingredients to make it. It turned out great and was the perfect comfort meal for this cold winter day. The soup base is primarily chicken stock along with a can of fire roasted tomatoes which adds a nice tomato flavor. My minestrone soup had onions, carrots, celery, green beans, red bell pepper, baby spinach, zucchini, tomatoes and it was seasoned with a couple dollops of basil pesto in place of dried herbs. I topped our bowls of soup with big flakes of Grana Padano cheese (similar to Parmigiana Reggiano in flavor) that I find at my local Costco. It added great flavor as it melted into the hot soup. This soup would be delicious served alongside my Parmesan Biscuits for a heartier meal. I snapped a couple photos and included the easy recipe below. Enjoy!

Parmesan Biscuits

Minestrone Soup


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
3 small carrots, thinly sliced
3/4 pound fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch long pieces
2 small zucchini, diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 14.5-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes (including juice)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach leaves (about 3 ounces)
2 rounded tablespoons basil pesto, or to taste (I used Barilla brand)
Shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese to garnish soup with


In a medium stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper. Saute approximately 5 to 10 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add carrots and green beans; cover pot and reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes (if necessary, add a few tablespoons of water to prevent sticking). Uncover pot and add zucchini. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until all vegetables are softened.

Add chicken stock and bring to a boil; reduce heat and cover pot. Simmer for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in spinach leaves and pesto. Cook approximately 5 minutes, or until spinach is wilted. Serve soup topped with Parmesan cheese.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Mediterranean Frittata - Easy Low Carb

This morning hubby and I slept in a bit for a change. For our brunch, I quickly put together an easy Mediterranean Frittata filled with spinach, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese and sundried tomatoes. If you don't care for feta cheese you can swap it out with a different type of strong salty cheese like shredded sharp white cheddar or whatever type cheese you prefer. It only takes a minute or two to wilt the spinach and then the ingredients are simply mixed together and then it gets popped into the oven to bake in an ovenproof skillet. That leaves you time to make coffee, cook bacon, or just sit and relax for about 20 minutes while it bakes. I've even got enough leftover for a couple of lunches this week. I snapped a few photos below as well as included the easy recipe. Enjoy!

I picked up this big jar of sundried tomatoes at Costco

Mediterranean Frittata


5 ounces fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
6 large eggs
3 Tablespoons cream or milk
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (powdery style)
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
1 to 2 Tablespoons sundried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and saute just until wilted. Squeeze out excess moisture and chop coarsely. Set aside while preparing the frittata. 

Grease an 8-inch Lodge cast iron or other nonstick ovenproof skillet with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and cream together. Stir in Parmesan cheese, half of the feta cheese and chopped spinach; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat greased skillet on stove top over medium-high heat until hot. Pour egg mixture into hot skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes (this hastens crust formation and keeps it from sticking to the pan). Top with remaining half of feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, and pinch of red pepper flakes. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and light golden brown. 


Friday, January 8, 2016

Greek Style Spanakopita Stuffed Chicken Cutlets - Low Carb

This evening, I'm keeping a promise to my oldest son. All week long he has nudged me to get back to cooking and blogging because he knows how much I love it. It's what I've spent so much of my time over the last 3 years doing. Cooking, creating recipes, and sharing my love of it with all of you is something that makes me happy.

As many of you know, I lost my Mom just a few short weeks ago. It was and is one of the saddest times of my life. I'm now a member of the club nobody wants to belong to. This week has been a week of "firsts" in trying to return to some sense of normal, or at least the appearance of normal on the outside because on the inside, I am still profoundly sad. I returned to work this week after being away for several weeks. I forced myself to cook twice this week. I even pulled my camera out once for the first time in almost 7 weeks to snap a few photos of one of my meals.

The meal I'm going to share with you this evening was the one I made this past Sunday evening for my oldest son when he came to have dinner, Greek Style Spanakopita Stuffed Chicken Cutlets. He told me it was one of his most favorite things I've ever made (I think he was just happy that I was cooking again). I've made something similar to this in the past but breaded it (with almond flour breading). This version includes more spinach and doesn't require any breading which makes it much easier to put together, particularly on a weeknight. It looks beautiful when sliced before serving. I've snapped a few photos below and included the recipe as well. Enjoy!

Lastly, I want to thank all of you so much for all the kind and loving comments, emails, and messages that you've sent. I've read each and every one of them; many more than once. Please bear with me as I put one foot in front of the other as I move forward. Oh, and Steven...I kept my promise to you...this post is for you.

Ready for the oven
Ready to bake


Greek Style Spanakopita Stuffed Chicken Cutlets


16-oz fresh baby spinach leaves

4 green onions (spring onions), sliced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (approximately 6 to 8 ounces)
1/4 cup PLUS 2 Tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided (powdery style)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided (plus additional for cooking)
6 large thinly sliced chicken breast cutlets, about 1/4-inch thick (approximately 1-1/4 pounds)
1/8 teaspoon paprika, optional


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and quickly cook the spinach, stirring frequently, just until wilted. Transfer to a mesh strainer and press out as much liquid as possible; set aside to cool.  Add another drizzle of olive oil to the skillet and lightly saute the green onions and garlic for about 2 minutes over medium heat; set aside.  Finely chop the well drained spinach and place in a medium bowl. Add the cooked green onions and garlic, lemon zest, dill, feta, and 1/4 cup of the grated Parmesan. Season mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.

Spread 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a 2-1/2 quart casserole dish. Place chicken cutlets in a single layer on a cutting board or other work surface. Divide spinach mixture evenly and place in the center of each cutlet. Roll each cutlet up lengthwise and place seam side down in casserole dish. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Top with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Dust lightly with optional paprika. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 40 minutes, or until chicken is done.  If more browning is desired, briefly run under the broiler for a few minutes until browned. Let cool about 5-10 minutes; slice and serve. Serves approximately 4.