Low Carb Beef Enchilada Soup

As much as I love to bake, I also love to cook! There is a difference and a lot of the time those who excel in one don’t in the other. Not sure why that is. ๐Ÿค” Thankfully I’ve had people confirm that I’m a great cook and baker, all I can say is I love them equally because I LOVE food!

Tonight we made a family fave, low carb beef enchiladas, into a SOUP! Is it GAPS legal? Most likely not. ๐Ÿ˜” However, it IS low carb and the flavor is out of this world! Plus, 6.4g net carbs can’t be beat when compared to the fully loaded soup recipes out there.

It’s a soup-er easy recipe, alright I’ll stop being corny. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Here’s how it goes…

You will need:

2 pounds ground beef

2 pounds ground pork

1 large onion, chopped

1/4 c fresh minced garlic, use less if you want

1/4 c raw organic coconut oil

1 1/2 cans tomato paste

2 c water

4 cups homemade chicken stock

1/4 c chili powder

1/4 – 1 tsp cumin, we use 1/4 tsp since we’re not huge fans of it

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp black pepper

1 packet fajita seasoning mix or equal amount of homemade mix(I make and love this one)

Optional topping: homemade guacamole, sour cream, Mexican blend cheese, squeeze of lime(this is crazy good too)

Directions

In a large dutch oven soup pot over medium/high heat begin browning the ground beef and sausage. Chopping it down as it cooks, add chopped onions and minced garlic. Cover with lip and cook till onions are transparent. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine, reduce temp to allow soup to simmer for 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning as desired and serve with your favorite toppings. (Mine just happens to be homemade guacamole! ๐Ÿฅ‘)

Nutritional Information for 1/12 serving(per MyFitnessPal)

Calories: 597

Fat: 40g

Carbs: 8.8g

Fiber: 2.4g

Net: 6.4g

๐Ÿ”ธThis is a keeper, we all love the flavor the fajita seasoning brought to this dish. Leftovers freeze well too, so go ahead, make a huge pot of soup and freeze it in portioned out servings. Or you do what we sometimes do…we line a clean soup pot with an opened freezer bag and pour the soup into the bag. Zip it shut and set the entire pot with bag into the freezer. That way the next time you’re not in the mood to cook dinner from scratch, just pull out on of those frozen bags of soup, remove from bag, and slowly heat it up over medium/low heat.

๐Ÿ”บPremade seasoning has nothing on the homemade stuff. Plus you can skip out on the hidden sugar, msg, and other chem lab ingredients when you make it yourself.

โ–ช๏ธIf you’re worried about the calories and fat, this recipe is supposed to be that way. It’s low in carbs and high in good for you fat! You can use any amount you feel is best for you, that will change those numbers of course. And for me, since I might eat 1 – 1 1/2 times a day, so a meal like this is totally ok to have!

Hope you all enjoy, have a great Friday, and a wonderful weekend!

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LC/GF/DF Chocolate Chip Cookies w/Pecans

Pinterest came through with a scrumptious cookie recipe that I have twice since last night! Definitely a keeper ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ Click here to see the original recipe.

Ingredients:

2 tblsp raw organic coconut oil, solid not melted

3 tblsp raw organic honey

1 organic egg

1 tsp organic vanilla extract

2 c blanched super fine almond flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

Pinch of kosher salt

8 tblsp semi-sweet chocolate chips

5 tblsp chopped pecans

Directions:

In a medium bowl add coconut oil and honey. Combine completely working out any lumps. Add egg and vanilla extract, mix again. Add remaining ingredients and use a silicone spatula to combine. Using a melon baller, dole out the cookie dough onto parchment or non-stick foil lined sheet pans. Flatten slightly with palm of hand and bake in a 350-375 degree oven for 8 minutes. (I used a toaster oven to bake my batches and found that 350 degrees worked better than 375. Adjust the temp and time according to your oven(s).) Let cool completely on sheet pans and move to cooling wrack or serving plate.

I was able to get 37 cookies.

Nutritional Info for 1/37 of a serving(according to MyFitnessPal:

Calories: 102

Fat: 7.9g

Carbs: 6g

Fiber: 1.5g

Net Carbs: 4.5g

Definitely a keeper and a must try for anyone needing to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Happy Eating!

Paleo Chocolate Pudding

Now, yโ€™all know Iโ€™m not a chocolate fan, but on the rarest occasions I get a craving for something with chocolate. And itโ€™s been worse now since Iโ€™ve been on the GAPS Diet. I finally caved and indulged in ahealthier version of what I was craving. Plus it called for gelatin, and well…

The end result was absolutely spectacular! Super chocolaty, rich, and a small serving is all it took(even though the above picture shows more). 

What youโ€™ll need:

14 oz can full fat coconut milk

1/2 c raw organic unfiltered honey

1 1/2 T bovine gelatin

1 tsp organic vanilla extract

Pinch of Pink Himalayan salt

Directions

In a sauce pan add all the ingredients and cook over low/medium heat whisking constantly. Do not bring to a boil. Cook until gelatin is dissolved. Pout into a glass storage container and refrigerate until set. 

Itโ€™s that easy, sets up beautifully, and surprisingly there wasnโ€™t the tiniest bit of coconut flavor. Now, to make this more low carb friendly simply replace the honey with your favorite natural sweetener. Although hereโ€™s a surprisingly handy tidbit, raw organic unfiltered honey is safe even when living a lower carb lifestyle. Trust me, I struggled with accepting this until I read that our bodies react to honey differently than it does to regular sugar. This makes it safe for even diabetics. This does not mean you should start using copious amounts in everything, moderation is key. I never use more than a tablespoon of honey in my warm lemon water. When I use it in my baked good and desserts I make sure to take a smaller portion and savor the treat. If all of this were false then I should not have been able to lose 35 pounds since August 12th. The honey alone should have sabotaged all my efforts. 

Understanding though that there are those out there that must err on the side of caution for health sake, I urge you to do what is best for you and use the appropriate sweetener for this recipe. 

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I have, it is definitely a keeper. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Hope you all have a blessed weekend!!!

An Update and Recipe

Afternoon everyone!

Been a while since the last post, a lot has changed. Before I get into that, please keep Florida in your thoughts and prayers. I have family and friends who are hunkering down for various reasons and naturally we are worried about them. 

About a month ago I started doing the anti-candida diet. Started out great, lost 10Lbs of bloat that first week everything was awesome. A week later I had gained a pound and the week after that I was up another two pounds. Very discouraging. ๐Ÿ˜  That’s when I started reading about the underlying cause for my candida issue…leaky gut. This wasn’t a new topic for me, I had read about, talked about, and even listened to numerous discussions about leaky gut syndrome with it’s laundry list of issues that come with it. Yay me! ๐Ÿ˜’

So, what’s the go to protocol to treat leaky gut syndrome? GAPS Diet. Gut and Psychological/Physiological Syndrome Diet, it’s designed to help those with leaky gut issues and those who are autistic, have ADD/ADHD, are schizophrenic, and have skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis. It is certainly good for a whole host of other issues as well, especially candida. My mother is currently living with fibromyalgia and suffering from side effects after taking Cipro(she’s been floxed), last night was her first time trying one of my GAPS soups and it was a hit(will share it in another post). 

Currently I have completed two weeks of the GAPS Intro stages 1 & 2. There are six stages in this intro diet and it is not for the faint of heart. I first started out almost immediately with cold like symptoms. I was miserable, cold, coughing, unabel to sleep lying down, beginning to doubt my decision to go stage by stage. Typically beginners are encouraged to do the full GAPS Diet which allows them to eat everything from all six stages and it eases them into it rather than eliminating everything all at once. I was unaware of THAT tid bit of information until I was already halfway through my first week. No matter, I pushed through the first week proud that I had stuck it out. 

You see, I have a lot of food issues. Dairy is usually a biggie for me, eggs, and gluten. This is why I tend to shun such foods and tend to miss out on a lot of low carb treats. For me, going stage by stage is helping me to identify where my real issues are. I’ll break it down…

Stage 1 was not fun, easy but not a walk in the park. Most of what I was allowed to have that first week was homemade stocks, overcooked vegetables, boiled meats, and could only season with salt(either Himalayan Pink or Celtic). Not that exciting. I was developing a sore throat from all the coughing so I drank a lot of warm lemon honey water. I won’t lie, I was miserable since I couldn’t take cough meds because of the alcohol, cough drops were out of the question due to the sugar. I sounded rough and could not wait to get into the second stage. 

Stage 1 meals:

Chicken & Vegetable Soup–basically boiled chicken, homemade stock, carrots, leeks, minced garlic, and Himalayan Pink Salt to taste.

Beef and Vegetable Soup–grass fed beef & stock, leeks, carrots, zucchini slices, minced garlic, and Celtic Sea salt.

Turkey Meatball Soup–homemade raw turkey meatballs, chicken stock, yellow squash, zucchini, leeks, minced garlic, and Himalayan Pink Salt.

Mexican Turkey Soup–chicken stock, half head of cauliflower(destemmed), small onion, oregano, minced garlic, 4oz jar green chiles(big mistake on my part) turkey meatballs, and Himalayan Pink salt.

Stage 2 came and the first thing I made, without even trying, was an egg drop soup. I had been reading about how onions and eggs help with sore throats so I got busy eating lots of eggy onion soups those first few days of that second week. It. Was. Divine! Sweet relief for my throat. By Wednesday I was finally feeling somewhat normal and began including bovine gelatin to my soups. 

Stage 2 Meals:

Egg Drop Soup–chicken stock, a small onion chopped, an egg yolk, minced garlic, ghee, and Celtic Sea salt

Warm Chicken Stock-just warmed up chicken stock with Celtic Sea salt for flavor(very soothing)

Turkey Vegetable Stew–ground turkey meat, ghee, zucchini and yellow squash slices, leeks, Celtic Sea salt and bovine gelatin

Italian Meatball Soup–beef meatballs, carrots, onions, celery(not stage 2 legal, I know), minced garlic, beef stock, chicken stock, diced tomatoes, Celtic Sea salt, ghee, coconut oil, and avocado oil(family loved this!)

Now As I approach the third stage I am prepping for a little bit more food options such as: boiled and scrambled eggs, fermented foods like sauerkraut(in small doses), fully cooked vegetables that aren’t boiled in stock, and add some new organic vegetables to my menu. The one thing I’ve started doing is taking a drop of organic kraut juice in the morning. Wicked stuff, I say that because I’m not a fan of fermented things anyway, especially sauerkraut. ๐Ÿ˜‘ BUT it’s a must since it’s good for digestion. 

And I decided to try pancakes this morning. These are most likely NOT GAPS stage 2 legal since I chose to use coconut flour instead of butternut squash and a nut butter as the base of my pancakes. (Original recipe for these coconut flour pancakes is here.)


What you’ll need:

1/2 c coconut flour

3 tblsp favorite granulated sweetener–I used about 4 packets of Naturevia)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp finely ground Celtic Sea salt

6 organic eggs

1/4 c coconut oil, melted

3/4 c sparkling mineral water

Coconut oil for cooking

Directions:

Heat griddle over medium heat, just until you’re ready to cook. 

In a medius bowl combine coconut flour, granulated sweetener, baking powder, and sea salt. Add eggs, coconut oil, and mineral water, whisking vigorously until well combined. Let the batter sit for a few minutes to thicken up. Use 1/4 cup of batter per pancake, should yield 12 pancakes. Add a little coconut oil to the hot griddle and add batter. Reduce heat if needed so nothing burns, little bubble will form on top and the edges will dry a bit. That’s when you’ll know they’re ready to flip. 

I ate mine with a thin spread of ghee and a drizzle of raw unfiltered honey(since it’s GAPS approved). So far I’m feeling ok, still full but no discomfort. Will see how I am by tomorrow, please don’t follow my example if you are not sure exactly how coconut flour is going to affect your system. We’re all different, but if you are further along in your GAPS journey then I hope you will enjoy these pancakes! 

This whole experience has been a reeducation of not looking at certain foods as “I can’t have that because of the carbs”, but rather, “I’ll have a little because I do need some carbs but not the entire serving.” Since starting all of this I’ve dropped 19 pounds and obviously everything is working out smoothly. My die off is at a manageable state, my guts have quieted down more, there’s less churning and gurgling without the cramping discomfort. 

I will not be making these pancakes too often, as much as I loved their fluffy goodness! Definitely a keeper ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ Even G liked them! 

If you do give these a try let me know what you think, feel free to share this recipe with others, and reblog if you like! I have shared certain GAPS recipes on on my IG account(nok_amandagayle), but I will be moving those recipes over here so everyone can have access to them. 

Have a blessed weekend! 

Maple Turkey Sausage Patties(LC/DF/GF/SF)

Afternoon all, trust everyone has recouped from the after effects of watching the solar eclipse yesterday. I know a lot of folks were complaining of having headaches, eyes were burning, and feeling tired. If you’re still not feeling well I pray for speedy recovery soon, I know how draining those types of headaches can be. 

Yesterday I spent some time, post solar eclipse, making some breakfast meat for myself. I love maple flavored sausage, especially with extra maple syrup drizzled on top…mmmmm, the best! But carb wise it’s like the plague attacking my body, which is why I haven’t had that in quite awhile. I do miss regular sausage though…and bacon, deli ham, spam, kielbasa…๐Ÿ˜‘I’ll stop. (Le sigh)


Most of what’s available in stores I can’t even trust. There are hidden sugars, preservatives, and msg in almost everything. I’m not being as strict with my anti-candida lifestyle as some folks have suggested. I still eat meat whereas others tend to become vegetarian. Nothing wrong with that at all, I personally cannot go without meat, which is why I think such things ought to be tailored for each person. There is no clear cut and dry protocol that will work for everyone. I’ve learned a lot in the last few weeks about the various candida protocols and have taken from each one customizing what I think will work best for me. So far, everything that I’ve been doing is helping and most of the die off on my chest has cleared up. PTL!! Since I have to resort to making my own breakfast meats, desserts, and meals, it does take a little extra time and effort, but the end results are worth it! 

I do want to mention that the maple flavoring is optional, I only added it because I personally LOVE it. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‰ However, you can use maple syrup if the carbs are not an issue for you. Ground chicken can also be used in lieu of ground turkey. Or you can mix ground turkey with ground hamburger, which I’ve done in the past when making meatballs. It’s just as good and the ground beef lends some fat to the mixture since ground turkey tends to be lean. 

What you’ll need: 

1 pound ground turkey

2 tsp poultry seasoning

2 tsp maple extract(optional)

1 tblsp granulated stevia(optional)

1/8 tsp marjoram

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp Cassia cinnamon(purchased from The Spice House)

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp Himalyan pink salt

Coconut oil, for cooking

Heat oven to 375*F, line sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium size bowl mix all the ingredients by hand thoroughly. There are a few methods with which you can make sausage patties. METHOD 1: on a clean work surface place a piece of wax paper down and add half of the meat mixture on it. Cover with another sheet of wax paper, then use a rolling pin to flatten out to desired thickness. Cut into 8 rectangular pieces and repeat with second half of mixture. METHOD 2: skip the wax paper all together and free form patties by hand. METHOD 3: on clean work surface lay down wax paper, place half of the meat mixture down and flatten out with hands to desired thickness. Use a biscuit cutter cut to shape the patties. Repeat with second half of the meat mixture. Cook in coconut oil over medium heat until browned on both sides. 

You can freeze these raw or cooked, I went ahead and cooked all of mine up to help cut down on my time in the kitchen each morning. I used wax paper to keep the patties separated and put them into a quart size freezer bag. 

Depending on the size and how thick or thin you make the patties will determine how many it yields. I was able to get 16 rectangular patties. The carb count for these is basically non existent. Using maple syrup would change that, so keep that in mind. If you decide to make these with maple syrup just remember to omit the granulated stevia. 

I had three this morning with a couple of egg muffins that I made, such a nice carb free meal! 

(Pictured above: Half of the egg muffins are dairy and meat free for me. The other half have ham, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese which are G-Man’s fave!) A simple and easy low carb breakfast that you can customize with any flavor and add ins. These were really fluffy, the almod milk added a nice light texture to these. I used cajun seasoning, turmeric powder, kosher salt, dried oregano, and dried parsley. Gave a good whisking and portioned it out to all the silicone muffin cups. Baked @375*F for 20 minutes, plan to make more to freeze. I love breakfasts that I can grab and warm up. Makes for a hassel free morning. 

Hope you give these sausage patties a try, play around with the seasonings and let me know what you think. I love getting feedback from you all! If you have any questions please email me at nightowlkitchen@yahoo.com. You can also follow me on Instagram: @nok_amandagayle, for more recipe ideas/inspirations. 

Have a blessed week! 

My Life with Candida Albicans(Here I Go Again)

Afternoon everyone, hope your Wednesday has been a blessed one so far. Today I want to share an update on my candida detox, plus an article I just found that explains what foods to eliminate when you suspect you have a candida overgrowth, and a recipe that I made a couple of nights ago that was absolutely delicious and dairy free! So this will be a jam packed post, but bear with me! โ˜บ๏ธ Below is a picture that is NOT the most flattering, but it shows just how bad this mess has gotten. 

Picture from Sunday night. It spans from shoulder to shoulder, the worst of it in the center. It’s still creeping slowly up my neck, but for now it’s not as bad as it was last Wednesday. As of today, it only itches around the edges of the rash site. There is a soap I found that I plan to try, it’s designed for these areas so I’ll share more after I give it a go. 

For a while now I have been dealing with this candida overgrowth and die off. Ever since my first die off from a few years ago I have done just enough to get over the worst of the symptoms and once the die off would clear up I would slowly begin to add certain foods back into my low carb diet. I can already hear the clucking of tongues from certain folks ๐Ÿ˜‰, trust me I have been kicking myself since last week for not having realized sooner how detrimental that decision was to my health. Just like low carb/keto is more than a diet, it’s a lifestyle, so is eat to keep your candida in check. And yes, EVERYONE has candida in their bodies. It’s a nasty bacteria in your digestive system and when we aren’t eating right, when we are pumping our bodies full of antibiotics(including the animal meats we eat) we are feeding the candida. That’s when things get out of balance and we start having issues with our sinuses, allergies, skin related problems(ie rashes, eczema), flatulence, brain fog, IBS, fibromyalgia, yeast infections, and so on. It just seems to snowball and we can’t figure out why all of the sudden we are having all these issues. 
That’s been my life now since 2011 and quite possibly longer if I think about it. This could explain my most recent issue with the top of my left foot. It was hurting to the point where I could barely walk. Which that has actually started to improve over the last few days! I’m not hobbling around as much and I can stand for short periods of time with minimal issues. This is great news since this means I will be able to get back to my workouts! 

So what is it EXACTLY am I doing to improve my health? What protocol am I following to eliminate the candida overgrowth? It’s not any one thing or method. I spent last weekend reading anything and everything online, refreshing my memory of what needs to be done. The first thing I did was change my diet. Since I am already living a lower carb life, I knew I was going to have to give up more even MORE foods that may have been contributing to the overgrowth. And Saturday night proved to be a near breaking point for me. I was emotionally drained and frustrated by the realization that I would have to give up a lot of my favorite low carb foods for a while(possibly forever) and it all hit me that night. I was hungry and wanting stuffed green olives. My go to snack food when I have the munchies. High in fat, zero carbs, and I can easily eat half a jar! No judging. ๐Ÿ˜’My 13 yr old comes in and asks me what I’m doing. Trying to keep the shreds of emotions in check I tell him I’m hungry and can’t have the things that I would normally go to. At this point I could feels the tears welling up and I absolutely hate crying in front of people. When I cry it’s messy and ugly, so I took a few breaths to calm myself and without skipping a beat G-Man told me “so fix yourself some eggs.” 

I won’t lie, I scoffed at that idea. For one eggs don’t like me. Honestly, they make me sulfur gassy(and there goes any hope for finding a future husband). Before I could stop him, G-Man was already grabbing the container of eggs and asking me what meats and veggies I can have. He was shocked when I told him I can’t have sausage patties, deli ham or turkey, and no more bacon. Pitiful, I know. ๐Ÿ˜” So he grabbed tomatoes(which aren’t EXACTLY a safe thing but it added color to my dish), frozen green beans, and a green onion. He stood there watching me fry a couple of eggs in coconut oil with a handful of green beans, added in a few tomatoes for color, seasoned it all with Himalayan seas salt, black pepper, and turmeric. Garnishing the top with thin slices of green onion. And that was dinner! It was so satisfying, delicious, and simple! 

I know not too many folks like to give God credit these days, but I have to take a moment to. If my son hadn’t come into the kitchen when he did I wouldn’t have eaten such an amazing meal. I would have eaten half a jar of stuffed green olives, maybe some cheese slices, and hated myself later. God intervened by using my son to ground me (meaning forcing me to focus) and get me thinking what I should do instead and kept me from eating the very things that have led to this overgrowth and further the issue more. 

Sunday was even better! I had to make the decision to stay home from church since I was experiencing some IBS issues(again I’m just killing my prospects here lol) and didn’t want to chance anything. I rarely eat breakfast y’all, I take after my Memaw, leave me alone for an hour after I get up and let me enjoy my morning coffee(only for her it was hot tea). Coffee fills me up but I made half a cup instead and fried up two eggs just so I could get something into my system. Lunch came and I was starving! That’s when I made this…


All right, it’s not the prettiest bowl of food, but it was tasy! Stir fry veggies and garlic ginger chicken, it made four servings so I had enough for dinner and some to freeze! Sunday afternoon my detox pills arrived and I was actually excited! Me, I hate swallowing pills, but I was actually excited about having THOSE! I know, crazy. ๐Ÿ˜ With my biggest meal I take my pills every day and haven’t had too many issues with them(mild burping…I’m batting a thousand already who cares anymore?!). And this is what is helping me to combat the candida overgrowth. I still pine for the foods that I used to eat, but I know in the end it’s better that I go without and finally get well after years of neglect. 

So…

Goodbye to : dairy(heavy cream, butter, cheeses, cream cheese), processed meats(kielbasa, spam, hot dogs, bacon, pepperoni, deli meats), mushrooms, peanut oil, mini sweet peppers, fathead pizza dough and bagels, creamy/cheesy casseroles, homemade ranch dressing, ketchup, mayonnaise, low carb brownies(because of the chocolate and butter), pork rinds, low carb protein smoothies(because the protein powder I love has whey in it), mashed cauliflower(I tend to make it with cream cheese, parm cheese, and heavy cream), pickled foods(sliced jalapenos, dill pickles, stuffed green olives), naturally sweet veggies and fruit, and the list goes on. 

Say hello to: dark green veggies(kale, broccoli, chard, romaine), cruciferous veggies(cauliflower, cabbage), organic meats(beef, chicken, and pork…not a fish fan), peppers, fermented foods(soy sauce, sauerkrauts, kimchi), squash, zucchini, green beans, onions, garlic, coconut oil, evoo, safflower oil, avocado oil(and avocados), hemp seeds, chia seeds, almonds, eggplant, blueberries, unsweetened cranberries, stevia, xylitol, vitamins and supplements, and candida detox pills(two pills once a day). 

Here’s a link to a site I found today that gives a basic outline of what foods to avoid and what foods are safe when killing off the candida. CLICK HERE

A friend recently asked me how my ice cube diet is going. ๐Ÿ˜ I love her cheekiness! If it were anyone else I wouldn’t have laughed. For the most part I am able to maintain my low carb lifestyle while incorporating more of the anti-candida regimen. I don’t feel as bloated, the gas is slowly going away, mental clarity is emerging, I’m not as tired during the afternoon, but I am still battling with cold extremities, that might take a bit longer to get over since I’ve dealt with it for years. Plus I actually dropped a pound over the weekend which I haven’t been able to do for a while! 

Now, what yummy recipe do I have for you?! 


It’s baked chicken legs(you can use breasts, thighs, wings, or the whole chicken, go nuts!!) with oven roasted broccoli and cauliflower, served over a very basic romain salad topped with spicy brown mustard. 

What you’ll need:

12 chicken legs, skin on

No salt added seasoning of your choice(the one I used is pictured below)

Evoo

2 pounds frozen broccoli

1 pound frozen cauliflower

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

Directions:

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two sheet pans with non stick foil. Coat the chicken legs evenly with salt free seasoning and place on sheet pan. Bake for 40 minutes uncovered. Crank the heat up to 425 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes. 

In a large mixing add frozen broccoli and cauliflower. Drizzle on evoo and season with pink Himalayan sea salt. Spread out on remaining sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes or until it reaches a desired doneness. 

Serve with chopped organic romaine lettuce and use your favorite dressing. It’s simple, it’s easy, and leftovers are great the next day for breakfast with a couple of fried eggs. Leftovers can be frozen or used for those Bento boxes. Just make sure to debone the chicken first before storing. Makes it easier to enjoy later on! 

Below is the no salt added seasoning recipe I used. 


I store mine in a regular mouth glass jar and washed off a screw on lid from a Kraft Parmesan cheese container. This way I can shake on the seasoning on one side or measure it out from the other. I can’t remember if I doubled or tripled the recipe at the time I made this, but it is worth it! I use it on my eggs, veggies, beef, pork, and of course chicken. 

You can make a non-spicy version by leaving out the cayenne pepper. I think the next batch I make I’ll add turmeric and ginger powder since both of those are amazing anti-candida seasonings. 


If you have any questions please feel free to ask me below or email me at nightowlkitchen@yahoo.com, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram(@nok_amandagayle). I tend to post a little more frequently on IG these days since it’s quicker. But I hope this post has helped to shed some light on this growing issue. If you suspect you are suffering from a candida overgrowth, here is a link with a list of symptoms. CLICK HERE. This is definitely something you DO NOT want to leave untreated. I will be honest with you, there is a lot of controversial information out there, please be careful with your research and take a majority of it with a massive grain of salt. What works for one person won’t always work for another, there is no one size fits all protocol. There’s a basic outline that we all have to follow, but how I am approaching treatment is not necessarily going to work for the next person. 

In the meantime, take care, happy healthy eating, and hope you all have a blessed week! 

Lazy Day Goodness

I love having days where I don’t have to worry about what to make for dinner because dinner was taking care of itself in the crock pot. Which left time for other fun things…like laundry, school work with G-Man, and trying out an oh so yummy peanut butter cookie recipe! I might have to make a second batch tonight just because they are THAT good! 

What you’ll need:

1-2 pounds frozen chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

1 tblsp paprika

1 tblsp granulated garlic

1/2 tbslp black pepper

2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tblsp onion powder

1/2 tbslp cayenne pepper, or less if you wish

1/3 cup peanut oil or coconut oil

Directions:

In a 4-qt crock pot add everything and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Just before serving shred with forks or hand mixer(love this method). Serve over salad, on low carb tortilla wraps, or on romaine lettuce leaves. 

Nutritional Information(according to MyFitnessPal per 1/8th serving)

Calories: 301

Fat: 14.7g

Carbs: 2.5g

Fiber: 0.7g

Net Carbs: 1.8g

Have mercy this is an easy recipe! Just sprinkle your seasoning over the chicken, slap a lid on it and just like Elsa, let it go. ๐Ÿ˜‰ As always season to your liking, I added more because I have to make more for my family. This freezes nicely too! You can easily make more in a larger crock pot and portion it out into freezer bags to keep for future meals. I highly recommend that. 

Ok, are y’all ready for some gluten free, low carb, dairy free, and sugar free cookies?! These are crazy good…

What you’ll need:

1 egg

1/2-1 cup granulated sweetener, I used Stevia

1 cup natural peanut butter, smooth or crunchy

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking pan with either non-stick foil, parchment paper, or silicon baking mat. 

Combine everything in a medium bowl. Using a melon baller, scoop cookie dough, release into your hand and gently roll into a ball. I was able to get 24 balls. Use a fork and lightly press on top to create a crisscross pattern, or use your fingers. Either will work. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on pan for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack. 

Nutritional Information(according to MyFitnessPal for 2 cookies)

Calories: 134

Fat: 11.1

Carbs: 4.3g

Fiber: 1.3g

Net Carbs: 3g

Please note, these are fragile. Because it lacks the stability from coconut or almond flour they do break easily. Now, with that  said, I am going to make another batch and use some dark chocolate to either dip the bottom half of the cookie in or drizzle it over the top. Also note, if you use Stevia in this recipe, as I did, DO NOT use the max amount. It is way too much. Start with a half cup, taste the batter after you’ve mixed it, and add more if needed till you get it to where you like it. 

These are incredible, no joke! Been having a devil of a time keeping G-Man out of them!!! He says they almost remind him of the “real” peanut butter cookies. Nice to know I make fake cookies now. ๐Ÿ˜’ Kids lol! 

Please let me know what you think below, share, pin, or reblog. 

Have a blessed week! 

Baked Garlic & Herb Chicken

  

This recipe is simple and great with salads or roasted vegetables. You can use any cut of chicken you prefer, I personally like chicken thighs. It’s a fattier meat which is good when you are doing a low carb lifestyle, since the fat is what keeps you full long after you’ve eaten. 

Ingredients:

6 chicken thighs, with bone and skin

Light drizzle of low sodium soy sauce

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 TBLSP dried chives

1 TBLSP poultry seasoning

2 tsp sweet summer savory

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 TBLSP dried parsley

3 TBLSP expeller pressed coconut oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, line a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick foil and drizzle with soy sauce. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix together minced garlic, chives, poultry seasoning, sweet summer savory, salt, and pepper. Set aside. 

Rinse and pat the chicken dry, separate skin from the top of each piece of chicken and rub on garlic herb mixture. Place skin back over the top of chicken and place in lined pan. On top of chicken, smooth room temp coconut oil over the skin and sprinkle with dried parsley. You can add a little extra salt and pepper on the skin if you like. 

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce oven temp to 375, continue to bake for 35 minutes. If you would like a crispier skin, remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes. 

This yields 3 servings(2 thighs per person) or 6 individual servings. Leftovers can be frozen. 

Nutritional Information(1/3 serving size or 2 thighs):

Calories: 600; Fat: 48.1g; Carbs: 3.6g; Fiber: 0.4g; Net Carbs: 3.2g

After deboning the chicken, I chopped it up and added it to my romaine salad. Since I can’t have salad dressing, I used the pan drippings as a substitute. Extremely delicious, very filling, and low in net carbs. As I mentioned before, you can use any cut of chicken: breasts, legs, wings or do this to an entire chicken! If you decide to use an entire chicken I suggest slow cooking in a crock pot. It’s hassel free and ready for you when you get home after a long day. 

Hope you all enjoy and have a blessed day!!

Carrot Cake (LC/GF/DF) & Update

Happy Tuesday to you all! I trust you all had a great Easter weekend with your family and friends!

I realize I didn’t give an update last week, there has been a positive turn with my health. Last week I checked my right breast for any signs of lingering blood and all is clear! Five weeks of eating clean, taking supplements, laying off dairy, gluten, and carbs as much as possible have really helped! This is why I’m thinking that my issue was a hormone imbalanace, which goes hand in hand in my PCOS. It’s amazing what a change in lifestyle can do!

Going low carb has not been easy for me, especially when the majority of recipes call for butter, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, and heavy cream. All of those I used to use in great abundance, especially the cheese and butter!! Learning to go without has been difficult but worth it! Last week I lost another four pounds for a grand total of 21.9 pounds, I’m extremely pleased and shocked that in just five weeks I could lose that much. This has all been due to a change in what I’m eating, I plan to start exercising once I lose some more weight. My track record with exercising isn’t too good, I usually wind up injuring myself, which leads to months of recovery, depression, and undoing all my progress by eating all the wrong foods again. It’s what I’ve done for four years now, so this time HAS to be different. Easing into exercise, even at a snail pace, is the only way I can ensure I don’t overdo anything. And out of the rabbit hole now, lol sorry! Back on topic…

Low carb food options are even harder to come by when you HAVE to exclude gluten and dairy. One of the ways I’ve been able to manage without dairy is to use raw organic cold pressed coconut oil. It lacks the coconut smell and taste which allows me to use it for everything from cooking my morning eggs to baked goods. It measures the same as butter(eg. 1/2 c melted butter can be replaced with 1/2 c melted coconut oil) and I have used it in my baked goods with great success! And one such recipe was the carrot cake I make for Easter!

   (Voila!!! This is a crazy easy recipe and thankfully it doesn’t take everything in the kitchen to make it. I do have some slight adjustments I plan to make the next time I make this, such as reducing the amount of carrots and nuts. The original recipe is found at Ditch the Carbs site, and below I have copied here.)

INGREDIENTS

Low Carb Carrot Cake

3 cups grated carrot

5 eggs

200g / 7 oz butter melted

3 tbsp granulated stevia or sweetener of choice to taste

1 ยฝ cups ground almonds/ almond flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice

ยฝ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

2 tsp vanilla essence

ยฝ cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting

200g cream cheese

1-2 tbs granulated stevia, or sweetener of choice, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Low Carb Carrot Cake

Beat eggs, melted butter, stevia, and vanilla together.

Add grated carrot, walnuts, and coconut then mix ground almonds, spices and baking powder.

Pour into a greased and lined tin. Bake at 180C/350F for 30 minutes or until a fork pushed in, comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Warm the cream cheese in the microwave for 20 seconds to soften it.

Stir in 1-2 tbs stevia or sweetener of choice.

You could also add some lemon zest to give it more flavour. This would add a small number of carbs.

Cover with cream cheese frosting.

NOTES

I used an 8 inch/ 20 cm cake tin.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Serving size: 1 slice iced Calories: 321 Fat: 31.6g Carbohydrates: 5.8g Sugar: 2.9g Fibre: 2g Protein: 5.7g

Yes, this is a dense cake with a tremendous amount of flavor! It was so nice to be able to enjoy one of my favorite cakes without all the guilt. With that said, I did make a couple of changes to the recipe in order to make it dairy free and to make up for the lack of mixed spice(which I’m sure pumpkin pie spice could work also). 

I swapped out the butter and used melted coconut oil instead, very easy adjustment, and in place of the mixed spice I added 1/8 tsp each of ground nutmeg and ground cloves. Both enhanced the cinnamon flavor beautifully! I did make the cream cheese frosting, but chose to not add it on top of the cake. I left that as an option for my family to add to their own pieces. 

For myself, I made a whipped coconut cream, very easy and can’t remember where I saw this idea. If I run across it I’ll be sure to update this post. All you do, is the night before you make this, place a can of unsweetened full fat coconut milk in the refrigerator. Do not shake it up before doing so. What you are wanting to do is chill the separated fat from the coconut water that is on the bottom. The next day, open the can and scoop out just the chilled coconut fat into a small bowl(the leftover water can be used in low carb smoothies, in soups, and sauces, or you can just drink it straight), sweeten with a couple packets of stevia, a dash of cinnamon, and about one teaspoon of vanilla extract(or any extract flavor you like). Use a handmixer and whip the contents for 30-40 seconds, or until all the lumps are gone. And then enjoy! 

I wish I had known about the whipped coconut cream sooner, it’s also delicious in coffee! It doesn’t have the staying power of whipped cream, but hey the yummy cinnamon flavor is still there and it fills my coffee with healthy fat goodness!  What more could a low carb gal ask for?! Pizza smothered in cheese…but I won’t go there. ๐Ÿ˜’

Hope you all enjoy this recipe, please leave your reviews over at Ditch the Carbs for the cake recipe and I look forward to sharing more of my health journey with you all later and hope everyone has a very blessed day!

YAY!!!

LC/GF/DF St. Patrick’s Dayย 

  

๐Ÿ€I trust everyong has had a fantastic day, filled with amazing food, fun activities, and made some new memories!! ๐Ÿ€

So what exactly is there to eat when you’re living a low carb life? It’s hard, especially when recipes such as colcannon and yummy soda bread keep popping up in all the search results. It gets even harder when you have to factor in gluten free and dairy free needs. There are some ingredients I don’t have access to, such as psyllium powder, and other ingredients I can’t use like tapioca starch and rice flour. I felt defeated thought I would have to finally accept that I wasn’t going to get my traditional soda bread to eat with a creamy potato chowder. It’s ok, I’m not pouting…that’s when I decided I could still have potato soup and bread, but with a twist! 

  

LC/GF/DF Potato Soup and Savory Zucchini Bread

Soup:

1 onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

32 oz frozen cauliflower, thawed and chop the bigger chunks

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound bacon, chopped and fried (reserve bacon grease)

Salt and pepper to taste

8 cups homemade chicken stock or broth

Directions:

Cook and drain bacon, set aside. Add half of the hot bacon grease to a large dutch oven soup pot, to this you’ll sweat onions, celery, and carrots. Once they are tender pour in chopped cauliflower, minced garlic and cook covered for 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and pour in the stock or broth. Lower temp to simmer till the vegetables are soft. Reseason if needed before serving. 

Bread:

2 cups zucchini, peeled and shredded

6 eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

2 tsp vinegar(apple cider if you prefer)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp sweet summer savory or 1 tsp drief thyme

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup coconut flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and either use coconut oil to grease a loaf pan or line with Reynolds non-stick foil. 

Peel and shred zucchini, do not squeeze out moisture with paper towels. Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine eggs, melted coconut oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and sweet summer savory or dried thyme. Use a handmixer to thoroughly mix together. Stire in shredded zucchini. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix together coconut flour and baking soda. Add into wet ingredients and stir to combine. Mixture will not be loose. Spoon into prepared loaf pan and make sure it’s spread even. Bake for 42-50 minutes, depending on your oven. Start checking it after 42 minutes with a knife in the center. If it comes out clean with no gooey uncooked dough stuck to it then the bread is done. Let it cool for a few minutes in the pan before turning out onto serving platter. Serve warm.

To serve:

Ladel the mock potato soup into bowl, add a slice of zucchini bread, and a chunk of kielbasa or Irish sausage. 

For me, I personally LOVED the zucchini bread in the soup. I tried a piece as soon as it came out of the oven and even though there were all those eggs and oil in the dough, the nature of the coconut flour still came through…very drying. It sucked the moisture out of my mouth. This is why I ate it with my soup broth and it was ๐Ÿ€perfect๐Ÿ€!! This is my new favorite soup and bread! I will update this post later with carb counts, I think the bread is a little over a carb per slice. Will make sure to double check. 

Let me know if you try this and what you think! I enjoy hearing feedback, however in order to comment below you have to sign up with WordPress. It’s free and you don’t have to have a blog in order to have an account. You can also sign up to follow my blog, it’s free as well! You’ll receive an email with my latest post every time I put up something new! 

All righty gang, stay safe, and see you all later! 

๐Ÿ’šLove and blessings to all๐Ÿ’š