LC/Keto Friendly Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole

If you love jalapeño poppers and a good creamy chicken casserole, then I hope you will love this combination! It’s the result of reading through several other recipes and picking favorite parts from each one.

Y’all know I like to keep things simple, easy ingredients and simplified instructions. Whatever makes the cooking experience more enjoyable! That’s why I think this is going to be a hit with a lot of low carb families.

I think the key to this dish is the fresh mozzarella and rotisserie chicken. If all you have is shredded mozzarella or if that’s all you can find then go with it. Use what you can. I chose to use rotisserie chicken. I tend to get two meals from one chicken but this time I used the whole chicken. (TIP: Be sure to save the bones to make stock.) If you can’t find a whole rotisserie chicken at the store or don’t have time to make one yourself, you can use cubed cooked chicken instead. Just make sure the amount you use equals two pounds.

I also opted for pickled jalapeños instead of fresh. I like the ease that the pickled offer, strained half the jar and chopped them into smaller pieces. Simple. If you prefer to use fresh, I would think one to two large peppers would be more than enough.

What you’ll need:

2 pounds rotisserie chicken, deboned and chopped

2-3 small onions, chopped and sautéed in avocado oil*

2 pounds bacon, chopped and fried

1 1/2 bricks cream cheese, softened

1/2 c full fat mayonnaise, homemade stuff works too

1/4 c chopped pickled jalapenos

8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced

1 c shredded cheddar

Directions:

Set oven to 400 degrees. Line a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick foil or use your favorite nonstick cooking spray.

Chop and fry bacon in a large skillet to desired doneness, remove from pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. Remove most of the grease to a heat resistant bowl and add onions to the skillet. Cook till transparent and lightly browned.

In a large bowl combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and chopped jalapeños. Set aside and slice up fresh mozzarella.

Add deboned chopped chicken to the cream cheese mixture, along with cooked onions and bacon. Pour into prepared baking pan and smooth out into an even layer. Top with shredded cheese and mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until everything is melted.

This can be served with a side salad, roasted veggies, or alone.

*You can leave out or reduce the onions, especially if you are just starting to live a low carb lifestyle.

(The nutritional info below reflects the ingredients and amounts I used. Everything was full fat.)

Nutritional Information for 1/10 serving(according to MyFitnessPal)

Calories: 779

Fat: 58.9g

Carbs: 6.6g

Fiber: 0.4g

Net Carbs: 6.2g

This was a hit for the family, they loved the creaminess, thick chunks of bacon, and the cheesy goodness from the fresh mozzarella. I doubt I will have to freeze any leftovers, and dairy tends to not reheat well after being frozen. Any leftovers can be stores in the fridge and reheated slowly on the stove top or in the oven.

Save the Date:

Don’t forget, next month is PCOS Awareness Month. Mark your calendars, I have a lot planned for next month: low carb recipes both savory and sweet, giveaways, live FB videos showing how to make some tasty low carb treats, and more!

Advertisements

Save the Date

Mark your calendars, next month is PCOS Awareness Month! Got some recipes lined up for y’all and a give away of my favorite low carb snacks, cookbook, and other treats! Plus some other fun things in store to help raise awareness, you don’t want to miss out!

Chewy “Granola”

Today’s been a tad busy, but I finally got around to making homemade “granola”. It’s oat free, can be made dairy free, and spices can be added if desired. I love granola in general, especially homemade, but it tends to be too crunchy for my liking and and heavy on the spices and sweetener.

Which is why I love using honey in paleo and GAPS recipes, I’m able to control how much to use and it helps with the final texture. But how can honey be used to make “granola” when it’s not low carb? True, it is 17g of carbs per 1Tblsp serving, but as long as you don’t consume too much every day(per the GAPS Diet code, as I call it) you will be fine. And truly, I have been! Still losing weight a year later and I love to bake with it or have some in my warm lemon water. Those 17g of carbs haven’t impeded my progress, so everything in moderation.

Why did I choose honey for this recipe? Aside from it’s antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-fungal properties, I knew that during the baking process the honey would give the best end results due to it’s natural fructose content. Not over baking it was a good idea too! Honey has a so much to offer us, but not just any honey will do. Specifically, we need to be using raw unfiltered honey. It does have a stronger flavor that some may find unpleasant, but it has the most to offer health wise.

Read more here and here(Dr. Mercola’s site includes a test to know if you have legit raw honey or not).

So here’s what you’ll need:

3 c chopped walnuts, or 1 1/2 c walnuts & 1 1/2 c whole almonds

2 c unsweetened coconut

5 Tblsp ground flax seed

5 Tblsp roasted & salted pepitas

5 Tblsp roasted, salted, and shelled sunflower seeds

3/4 c raw unfiltered honey

2 Tblsp organic butter or ghee

Optional: dried unsweetened cranberries, golden raisins, or dried blueberries

Optional Seasoning: pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and ginger

Optional Nuts: whole or chopped pecans, sliced almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients together. Folding seemed to have worked best in my favor, in making sure that everything was evenly coated.

Spread out onto a lined half sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes. This will result in a chewier texture. Bake a little longer if you want it to be crunchy.

Let it cool completely before storing into food safe jars/container.

The yield for this recipe will depend on how much you plan to consume. We all ate roughly 1/2 cup servings(I had mine with unsweetened almond milk, as pictured above). You can easily measure out less into snack bags and keep to add on top of yogurt, put into your child’s lunch box, or have as a snack for on the go.

And I know in my directions I don’t say “stir every 10-15 minutes”, that’s because I didn’t stir mine. If you want to, go for it. Stirring it while baking will uniformly crisp up the “granola”. But I hope you’ll give this version a try and let me know what you think!

TGIF, have a great weekend!!

~Always Room for Gratitude~

It’s easy to complain about the bad things in life. It’s easy to be negative, to give in to pity parties, and count our losses instead of our blessings.

Today I want to challenge you to take a moment today to think about what you are grateful for. It doesn’t matter if they’re big or small things. Could be anything from someone offering to pay for your coffee this morning to getting a hug from your kid(s) before they left for school. Knowing that a deadline at work has been met and now you can breathe again. Or getting to hold your loved ones hand one last time as they took their final breath.

Gratitude isn’t something we should only feel one month out of the year, it is something we should experience every day. Does this include the bad things in life? Absolutely! If I’ve lost you, let me explain why…

Every day we all experience, at some point to some degree, a bad incident, hurt feelings, anger, etc. We can choose to let that ruin our day or we can choose to find the sunshine through the clouds.

Be like a sunflower, keep your face toward the sun and the shadows will always fall behind you. Count your blessings!

The Fourth Meal Trend Is Back!

Who remembers when Taco Bell came out with fourth meal? It was back in 2007 and for those late night munchies they were hoping you’d show up to get some gut busting snackage in before calling it a night. I don’t recall it going over very well, or lasting very long. 🤷🏻‍♀️

One of the 2018 food trends is the fourth meal. So what is it? Naturally, we already have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The way I understand it, the fourth meal is after dinner but before breakfast. According to certain cultures dinner is already considered the fourth meal. So long as you include tea, biscuits, and jam as the third meal after lunch. (See below)

I have no personal qualms with this notion, if that’s how you roll more power to you. After living in Brazil for a year and half I got used to eating dinner later in the evening as it was cooler and more comfortable to do so. Some nights we weren’t eating till 8pm sometimes as late as 9-10pm. But now, I struggle getting a second and sometimes a third meal in. As for my caloric intake, getting what MyFitnessPal deems what I ought to be getting is an absolute joke! Most days I can barely break 1200. How on earth am I suppose to fit in a fourth meal? 🤨🤔

I recall back in late 2003, I was roughly 5-6 months pregnant with G, both my OB/GYN and Nutritionist told me that I needed to start eating 5-6 small meals a day. I earnestly tried, I did EXACTLY what they said but I started to feel sick to my stomach. It was basically too much food, mixed the constant clock watching, writing it all down, monitoring what I was eating and when…I started to hate food. So, I went back to my three lower carb meals a day, fitting in one to two complex carbs a day with my meals, making sure to measure out the servings, and IF I felt like having a snack then I made sure it was something healthy. I was maintaining the 35 pounds I had gained during my pregnancy, didn’t have a single issue with bloat, Gestational Diabetes, and more or less felt normal. My blood pressure was near textbook which apparently is unheard of for someone of my size. 😒 In the end, I proved for myself, that 5-6 smaller meals wasn’t for me.

Perhaps the fourth meal is designed for the night owls/hawks. With insomnia on the rise it’s plausible, I guess. Would this also include 3rd shift workers? Or other people who work the graveyard shift? I can’t help but wonder though…

…who would have the room for it? With the shoddy metabolism I was blessed with I know I personally don’t. 🤢

Which begs the question, do you see the fourth meal taking off again?

Granted I don’t think it’s about being glutenous, rather it’s along the same lines as having 5-6 smaller healthier meals a day.

Do you think this trend will stick around a second time? If it does, then I think it will only benefit those who are up late at night and people with faster metabolisms. I could be wrong and often am.

Please feel free to comment below! Let me know what you think, who do you think might benefit from it, and what are some healthier fourth meal options?

Happy Eating(fourth meal included)!!! 😉

Back to School Dinner Recipes

“Let’s keep it easy this year. Keep it simple.” That’s what I tell myself as the new school year approaches. Sometimes I’m successful, other times not so much. The problem with living low carb/GAPS is that you can’t order out on those nights when you’re not in the mood to cook. Trust me though, the temptation is there. 😈

Which is why I’ve decided to share some of my favorite go to recipes that take 30 minutes or less to cook. Trust me, I wouldn’t share these if I thought they were anything but reliable.

This is of course a recipe roundup, but it’s all recipes that we have enjoyed one time or another. As most of y’all know, I’m a huge fan of sheet pan recipes. Thankfully those can take up to 30 minutes to bake, taking all the guess work and slaving away over a hot stove out of the equation. Just add it all to a sheet pan, place in the oven and just like Elsa, let it go!

As always, I encourage you to play with the seasonings, change things up to fit your dietary needs, and make substitutions where needed. You don’t have to follow the recipe exactly, unless you want to. Plus the bulk of these recipes your kid(s) can help prepare. Hope you all enjoy and welcome back to school!!

20+ Easy Low Carb Dinner Recipes:

  1. Roasted Peppers Onions with Italian Sausage
  1. One Pan Garlic Lovers Shrimp and Veggies
  1. LC Sesame Chicken and Broccoli Sheet Pan Meal
  1. Sheet Pan Meatloaf with Potatoes and Green Beans (turnips or cauliflower maybe substituted for potatoes)
  1. Low Carb Goulash
  1. Baked Chicken and Zucchini Casserole
  1. Eggplant Mini Pizzas
  1. Where’s the Crust Pizza
  2. Easy Chicken Paprika with Sour Cream Gravy (Low Card, Gluten Free)
  1. Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan
  1. Sheet Pan Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon (good served with pan roasted vegetable medley or salad)
  1. Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs with Bacon (boneless thighs is preferred)
  1. Sheet Pan Taco Bowls
  1. Low Carb Jalapeno Popper Chicken (a family fave, I like using rotisserie chicken)
  1. BLTA Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
  1. Low Carb Chili Cheese Dog Casserole (a great recipe to use leftover low carb chili with)
  1. BBQ Chicken with Bacon and Cheese (low carb, keto friendly)
  1. Easy 10 Minute Asian Zucchini Noodles
  1. Cowboy Butter Chicken and Zucchini Noodles
  1. California Turkey and Bacon Lettuce Wraps with Basil Mayo
  1. Quick Keto Dinner
  1. Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Popper Casserole
  1. Chicken in Creamy Parmesan and Sun-dried Tomatoes (serve with Zucchini Noodles and Salad)
  2. Keto Broccoli Casserole
  • What to Eat When It’s THAT Time of the Month 😑

    Right off the bat, let’s just get this out there…ladies that time of the month is the absolute pits and the LAST thing you want to eat is a bunch of healthy food. I’ll even admit it, I crave pizza, mac n cheese, Chinese dumplings, ice cream you name it. Over the last few months I’ve been trying to do better, choose healthier options during my “shark week” and I will admit I have noticed a difference. Minute as they are, but it’s just enough to take some of the edge off.

    Life with PCOS it’s not always a guarantee that I will have a period every month. Sometimes it’s so light I wonder if I’m having one at all. Other months there is NO doubt it is present. Aside from the obvious, the bloat, acne, cramps, and constantly being cold is at times unbearable. I joke that one day I plan to kick Eve in the shins. 😏

    This month I’m trying to do my best to not rely on pain reliever as much. Being dependent on those isn’t as healthy as relying on nutrition. Is it going to be instant relief? No, and the effects aren’t as lasting as pain relievers but in the long run eating the right foods(not just during your monthly cycle but every day) is better for you. No ill side effects and your body will truly thank you!

    So here’s a mockup menu on how to beat Aunt Flo’s painful stay.

      Breakfast: Pineapple-Carrot-Turmeric Spritzer This is a refreshing and a surprisingly tasty drink. No funky ingredients. If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a blender and strain the juice into a glass.
      Lunch: Smoked Salmon on Romaine – Skip the thick creamy dressing, those are loaded with sugar. Opt for avocado oil and vinegar. Keep it light and simple. Add some berries, or almonds with dark chocolate on the side for a sweet treat!
      Snack: Greek Yogurt with Berries and Nuts – If you are feeling peckish grab a lower carb snack. The best option is homemade yogurt. If you aren’t brave to attempt it, you can always go for store bought. Personally, I skip the yogurt and go for zesty dill pickles. At 1g net carb per serving I can splurge a little and eat about 3 whole small/medium pickles. Kills the sweet tooth and fills me up without feeling like I’ve eaten another massive meal.
      Dinner: Organic Red Meat – I will leave this up to your incredible imagination! I am not a steak fan, however I do love ground beef. During my shark week I tend to eat more ground beef in the form of meatballs, ground beef steaks, and in soups. My favorite recipe is the GAPS Diet soup I make, Roasted Pepper and Acorn Beef Soup. It’s full of good for you stock, vegetables, beef, and is the best comfort food during your period. See recipe here. You can swap out the acorn squash for other seasonally available vegetables such as zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, fresh or frozen okra, even turnips and parsnips are great additions as well!
      Dessert: Holy Cow, LC/GF Brownies – these are incredibly easy to make, freeze well, and can be made with peppermint extract for a yummy grasshopper version!

    The above two pictures show how you can turn them into Cheesecake Swirl and the Grasshopper version, I was getting ready to add the low carb chocolate ganache on top. They are both low carb and gluten free. These will definitely fix that late night sweet tooth without compromising your waistline.

    Hope these ideas will help you, inspire you to try something new, and encourage you to take your health back! Have a blessed Sunday!!