GAPS Perpetual Soup

My mom and I were talking about last night’s soup(head on over to my IG profile to check it out, it’s a short video of my version of GAPS butternut squash soup) and how amazing it was. Literally, I just threw things together no big deal. At least not to me, and yet it was the yummiest concoction to date…according to her and dad. 🤷🏻‍♀️

After I put my short video up on IG with the recipe, which I made up on the fly, I was not expecting it to be so well received. That’s when our conversation took a bit of a turn and mom said it was so good she could eat it again tomorrow night. Well gang, that’s exactly what we’re going to do but with a twist!

See, living with a history buff you tend to learn a thing or two. I do so enjoy watching anything about how kitchen life was way back when. And tonight’s soup is paying homage to the Medieval pottage. Minus the lentils and starchy vegetables. It is, however, chock full of GAPS friendly vegetables, herbs, and seasonings and the best part is that the soup from the night before is lending it’s own layer of yummy flavors!

So what is a perpetual soup? In a nutshell…

My pot is currently full to the brim after adding extra ground meat, onions, carrots, green beans, and okra. As it simmers away, I am already thinking about what I could possibly add tomorrow night to keep this incredible pottage going. Broccoli, cauliflower, frozen squash and zucchini, the possibilities are endless!

You can do this with any soup, you don’t have do exactly what I have in the photos. The beauty of this recipe is you can add whatever you have on hand, toss it in the pot and let it go. What I did is used an immersion blender(a.k.a. boat motor) and pureed the previous soup down before adding the extra meat and vegetables. It adds body to the soup and makes room for the extra goodness that you’re about to put in!

To last night’s butternut squash soup I added:

4 cups of extra liquid(beef broth)

2Lbs ground meat

1 onion

3 small sliced carrots

1 bag frozen green beans, break larger beans in half

1/2 c chopped okra

Seasoned with salt

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp sweet summer savory

I already have fresh ginger, a touch of cumin and nutmeg, some turmeric, and minced garlic in there from the night before.

Before pureeing down the previous soup, add the extra liquid. This will help from slowing down the process. Use short bursts to avoid splattering. 😬

I made sure to brown the meat with the onions and carrots first to jump start their cooking process. Added the frozen vegetables directly to my hot soup pot, followed by the salt and herbs. Let it simmer for 25 minutes and enjoy! Easy!

I encourage you to give it a try, GAPS soups don’t have to be boring. If you’re like me you tend to have maybe one or two servings from each batch you make. Puree so e of them down and create a brand new soup! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

Advertisements

Low Carb Creamy Sausage Soup

Tonight I decided to revamp a delicious soup that was unfortunately too high in carbs. Managed to get from 15g net down to 7g net and didn’t sacrifice any of the flavor!

This is a soup my mom wants me to make again, even my picky eater loved it! Helped that I added almost an extra pound of sausage. Extra meaty goodness is never a bad thing. 😉

What you’ll need:

Yields: 14 servings

2 tblsp avocado oil, Chosen Foods brand

2 pounds bulk sausage(I used one hot and one mild of Tennessee Pride)

22 sausage patties(Rudy’s Farm, my addition)

1 large onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

3 large celery stalks, chopped

1/4 c minced garlic

7oz cream cheese(my addition)*

32oz box beef broth(Swanson’s No Salt Added)

2 c heavy cream

1 c Parmesan cheese(I used Kraft Original)

__________________________________________________________

Optional Ingredients Original to Recipe

8oz cremini mushrooms, sliced(for the soup)

1 tblsp Italian Seasoning(for the soup)

1/2 finely diced onion(for the meatballs)

1 celery stalk, finely diced(for the meatballs)

1 egg(for the meatballs)

Directions:

In a large soup pot add cooking oil, sausage, and vegetables. Cook the meat down till it’s no longer pink and the vegetables are tender. Add the minced garlic and let cook for a minute before adding the cream cheese. Do not stir the cream cheese in. Place it on top of the meat mixture, slap a lid on it and let the heat soften it for a few minutes.

Stir the softened cream cheese into the meat thoroughly, add beef broth and heavy cream. Bring soup temp back up and add parmesan cheese. Let cook for a few minutes to allow parmesan cheese to the soup. Serve hot.

*I know 7oz of cream cheese is an odd amount but I had it leftover from a previous recipe. Feel free to add a full 8oz or leave it out completely. It’s not original to the recipe but it doesn’t harm the recipe at all. In fact, the Carb Manager app I use has ranked this soup recipe as Grade A, meaning it’s safe to enjoy! But not everyone likes cream cheese and that’s ok. 👍🏼

Now, for the option of making meatballs:

2 pounds bulk sausage(minus the extra 22 patties)

1/2 c finely diced onion

1 celery stalk, finely diced

1 egg

Mix it all together and portion out into meatballs. Brown in a skillet on all sides; move to a plate while you put the soup together. Add towards the end and enjoy!

You’ll want to add the mushrooms to the soup along with the onions, carrots, and celery. I left this out simply because I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms any more and saved myself some carbs in the process.

As for the Italian seasoning, I left this as optional simply because I didn’t have any to add tonight. We tend to keep a homemade version on hand. It’s part of the original recipe but honestly I don’t think it needs it. I liked it without since the sausage lends so much flavor anyway. But I leave that up to you to decide.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Hope you all enjoy my lazy version! 😉 It came together quickly in about 30 minutes, and leaving out the step to make meatballs was for the best since I really wasn’t in the mood to cook. Garfield is my spirit animal this week as I approach my weigh in day. I’m just thankful that my scales can’t talk to me. That joker would not live long if it did. 😏

Hehe, enjoy your week! 😜

Guest Post: Sugar Scrub

(Hey everyone, I’ve asked a sweet friend of mine to write a post about a soothing gift just in time for the holidays. Who could use some pampering right about now? I know I could! Truly, this is perfect for any time of the year. Birthdays, baby showers, gifts for bridesmaids…you get the idea. I didn’t realize just how affordable sugar scrub is to make until I read through her post. So, without further ado, here’s Ginger!)

Sugar Scrub by Ginger

A few weeks ago, I was trying to figure out something to make for a large group of people. I didn’t want to cook something because we are all trying to be on some diet and not wanting to gain some pounds even though food is incredibly unavoidable at the holidays! Haha

Well, I searched online for easy things to make for a decent price and I came across sugar scrub. I instantly said to myself that this is it! Something that every girl will love and it won’t add to the waist line. 🙂
I modified the recipe a bit because it called for a 1/4 cup of almond oil. I figured that almond oil may be a bit expensive, so I decided to use baby oil instead. Who doesn’t love baby oil!
I haven’t really looked for purple food coloring, but I came across the cake frosting coloring. Be careful with this stuff, it is a bit thick and a little goes a long way!

You can add flare with a little wooden spoon and attach it to the jar if you are giving this as a gift. I found a pack of 24 little wooden spoons in the cake decorating aisle at Walmart for $2.47, along with the cake frosting color.
All in all, I made nearly 5 jars of this with a bag of sugar, one bottle of baby oil (but I had to use a small bit from another bottle), and with the cost of the jars it all came out to be less than $5 a person! You can’t beat that for a gift.
What you’ll need:
2 cups of sugar
3/4 to a cup of lavender baby oil
3-5 drops of lavender essential oil
Purple food coloring (the more drops, the darker it gets)
Glass jar that can be closed tight
Directions:
Add all ingredients in a bowl and stir!
How simple is that?! 🙂
(Thank you so much Ginger for sharing this incredible idea! This definitely gets the NOK Blog’s seal of approval! Cannot wait to try it and I hope you all will too. This recipe can easily be customized to your scent and color preference. Have a blessed weekend, a Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year!)

Sheet Pan Lemon Pepper Chicken

Need a quick and easy dinner? This week I’m pulling out sheet pans for a few meals this week. Everything is low carb, keto, and gluten free. Perfect on those nights when you don’t have time for a big meal.

You’ll Need:

3 large chicken breasts, cubed

2-3 small onions, chopped

2 pounds frozen broccoli, thawed, drained on paper towels

1-2 tblsp Tones lemon pepper seasoning

2 tsp granulated garlic

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper, optional

1 tblsp dried chives

Pompeian Coconut Oil Spray

Directions

Heat oven to 425 degrees and line sheet pan with foil or parchment paper. Spray lightly with coconut oil.

Cube chicken, chop onions, and squeeze broccoli gently to remove excess moisture. Add chicken and veggies to sheet pan. Mix seasonings in small bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle half of the seasoning mixture over the chicken and vegetables, combine to coat. Sprinkle on remaining seasoning mix for extra flavor. Spray lightly with more coconut oil and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Enjoy as is or with a side salad and keto dinner rolls.

Low Carb Sheet Pan Quesadilla

Don’t think I’ll make quesadillas the same way ever again.

One of the easiest ways to make a quesadilla for the entire family. True, you can’t customize the filling this way, but my crew can be easy to please at times. Any filling you can think of will work with this recipe. I chose sausage, peppers, and onions.

No other seasonings needed, spicy sausage can be used as well. Chicken, beef, turkey, steak, shrimp, turkey pastrami and pepperoni…whatever your preference. Prep everything accordingly, for me the sausage was cooked through in about five minutes.

The following step was super easy. Lined a sheet pan with either non-stick foil or parchment paper. The size of your tortillas will determine how many you’ll have to use. Our low carb tortillas are 8 inches(🤷🏻‍♀️), so I wound up using ten for the bottom and sides. You’ll want to make sure to allow about half the tortillas to hang over the side. To make sure that the bottom edges would fuse together, I added a light layer of shredded cheese and topped it off with the cooked sausage mixture.

We’re a cheesy bunch 😉 I had some leftover sliced provolone that I added, plus the rest of the shredded cheese. Ohhhh yeah!!!

The next part might seem a tad tricky, but trust me it wasn’t as difficult as it may seem.

~The folding of the edges over the top~ 😱

For me, I had to use an additional 6 tortillas over the top before I could flap the edges over shut. See below…

See? All right, so it’s not “pretty”, but let me tell you this meal was spot on! To help hold the shape as it bakes, place another sheet pan on top. This joker crisped up perfectly!

You’ll Need:

16 low carb Mission Tortillas

1 pound mild sausage(or any meat you prefer)

1 large onion, chopped

1 each green and red bell pepper, chopped

2 c shredded cheese

6 slices provolone cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425*F. Line pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper. Drape eight of the tortillas halfway over the pan’s edge and place two down the center. Sprinkle with a light layer of shredded cheese. Set aside.

Cook sausage with peppers and onions; add on top of the shredded cheese layer. Place six more on top and fold the edges up and over. Place another sheet pan on top and bake for 20 minutes. Remove top sheet pan and bake for another 5 minutes till browned. Let cool and cut into 10-20 servings.

Per 1/10th serving the net carbs, minus nacho cheese sauce, comes out to 9.6g. Granted that may seem like a lot, works out for me since this was the only thing I’ve eaten today. As for the nacho cheese sauce, this is entirely optional. I used the recipe from Officially Gluten Free. Easy and tasty, I added 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp paprika, and 1/4 tsp granulated garlic for that “nacho” flavor.

This entire recipe is an absolute keeper! A huge hit with me and the boys, the cheese sauce was on point too! Imagine making a massive pizza quesadilla with a low carb homemade marinara sauce! ☺️

Need I say more? Nah, the pictures speak for themselves, with endless possibilities! Philly Cheese Steak, chicken or steak fajita, tex-mex, spicy shrimp, cheesy ground turkey, pizza, sloppy joes, vegetarian…

Happy Eating!!

Pumpkin Pie Spice Muffins(Muffin Monday)

I could NOT resist! Seriously, I have had this bottle of pumpkin pie spice for a month now and I couldn’t wait any longer to open it. I don’t know about you, but when I opened that bottle it smelled like I was being enveloped in fall goodness! Incredible!

At 1am this morning I decided I wanted to have some muffins for breakfast. Since I have a strict criteria of what I can and cannot have, I knew I had to be mindful and look for the following: they had to be low carb(✔️), keto friendly(✔️), soy free(✔️), gluten free(✔️), grain free(✔️), and if possible dairy free(✔️). I got crazy lucky when I came across Healthful Pursuit’s recipe. The carb count comes out to about 4g net carbs per muffin, which is perfect really! You can have this alongside a scrambled egg and bacon for a well balanced meal. I plan to enjoy mine with a poached egg and some homemade turkey sausage patties.

I did take a little liberty in tweaking the recipe to my liking, here’s what I did.

You’ll Need:

4 large eggs

1/2 c avocado oil

1/2 c lactose free milk

2 tsp homemade vanilla extract

2 c almond flour

2/3 c granulated Stevia sweetener

1 tblsp + 1 tsp baking powder

1 tblsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

a healthy pinch of kosher salt

1/2 c Hemp Hearts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with muffin papers or use a silicone muffin pan. I used silicone muffin cups on a sheet pan.

In a medium bowl mix eggs, oil, milk, vanilla extract until emulsified.

Add dry ingredients, except hemp hearts, and mix till well combined. Fold in hemp hearts gently. Use a muffin scoop and portion out muffin batter. (Original recipe makes 12, I got 15 1/2) Bake for 15-18 minutes(mine were done after 16 minutes). Let cool and enjoy!

♦️Now, you could do as the original recipe and dip the tops of the muffins in coconut oil and then into your cinnamon “sugar” mixture for a snickerdoodle effect. Or you could make cinnamon ghee spread.

You’ll Need:

2 tblsp organic ghee

Granulated Stevia and Cinnamon to Taste(or you can use Pumpkin Pie Spice)

Directions:

Mix these ingredients in a bowl and spread on a warm muffin.

Alternative Spreads:

Low Carb Apple Butter

Low Carb Pumpkin Butter

Almond Butter

Sun Butter

Cashew Butter

🔷If you aren’t a fan of ghee, you can use organic butter instead. Whatever works best for you!

🔶If you would like more info about hemp hearts and their healthy benefits, click here.

Hope you enjoy and have a great Muffin Monday!

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!!

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
  • Keto Meatloaf Steaks

    This recipe is crazy easy and doesn’t heat up the kitchen unlike baking a whole meatloaf in the oven does. Why did I not think of doing this sooner?! For real!

    This is an oddball week for us, since my dad is home all week on vacation. Dinners are going to be low carb, as low as I can possibly make them, and hopefully not heat up the kitchen at the same time. I swear, I saw two hobbits earlier today tossing a ring into our backyard! Yes, it was THAT hot!

    What You’ll Need:

    2 1/2 pounds ground beef(80/20 preferred)

    1 pound sausage, raw and thawed

    1-2 tblsp dried minced onion

    4 garlic cloves, minced, or more if you like

    1 tsp kosher salt

    1 tsp black pepper

    1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, optional

    1 tblsp dried parsley

    1 tsp dried basil

    3 large eggs

    1/4 c heavy cream

    1 c almond flour

    Directions

    In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients together and let sit for five minutes covered. (Letting it sit for a few allows the heavy cream to help tenderize the meat and for the dried minced onion to soften.) Heat up a large skillet over a medium heat and use your favorite cooking oil. I used refined coconut oil. Avocado oil works great too!

    Shaping

    The simplest way to explain this is…take some meat mixture and gently roll it into a fat, squatty oblong shape. In one hand begin patting it out to roughly the length of your hand. Meaning from the tip of your middle finger to the bottom edge of your palm, at the same time fitting it to the width of your hand as well. Exactness will vary, so don’t get too hung up on it being perfect. Place gently into the hot skillet, cook till well done and lightly crispy on the outside. You’ll know it’s done when the juices that flow are clear.

    Serve with your favorite sides: country style green beans, fauxtatoes, salad, roasted veggies, or enjoy on a low carb wrap with sautéed peppers and onions, mustard and mayo!

    Nutritional Information for 1/16 serving(as per MyFitnessPal)

    Calories: 247

    Fat: 16.8g

    Carbs: 2.1g

    Fiber: 0.8g

    Net: 1.3g

    Now, I was able to render 16 patties for this recipe. These freeze up great! So if you are a single person and balk at the idea of making that many patties, think about this…these are great for meal planning! Make a few for your current meal week and freeze the rest for the following month! Just thaw, warm up, and enjoy! Simple.

    They’re tender, juicy, and oh so amazing with lots of yummy homemade mayonnaise! My picky eater gave these two thumbs WAY WAY up and we now have zero leftovers! Which is fine by me, means less that has to be stored for later.

    Hope you all enjoy this K.I.S.S. recipe(keeping it simple, silly)! I have a couple of desserts I’m prepping for this week and will definitely share asap!

    Take care!

    Low Carb Cheeseburger Salad with LC Burger Sauce

    What You’ll Need:

    1 whole romaine heart, thoroughly rinsed and dried

    1/3 red onion, diced or thinly sliced

    1 pound ground beef, cooked and seasoned with favorite burger seasoning

    1 small onion, chopped

    1 rounded tblsp of fresh minced garlic

    1 tblsp coconut oil

    For the Burger Sauce:

    1 cup full fat mayonnaise, homemade is preferred

    1/2 cup full fat sour cream

    Dash of hot sauce or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

    1/4 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV)

    1/4 c ketchup, homemade is preferred

    1 tblsp Wickles Relish, or your favorite

    1 tblsp dried minced onion, more if you want it stronger

    2 tsp granulated garlic, mor or less according to your preference

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Garnish

    Shredded cheese

    Jalapeños

    Chopped bacon

    Tomatoes

    Pickle slices

    Drizzle of mustard

    Directions

    Clean and dry romaine leaves. Set aside.

    In a medium pot brown the ground beef with onions and add coconut oil to keep from sticking. Season with your favorite burger seasoning. I just used salt, pepper, a little cajun seasoning, and some of my dad’s favorite grill seasoning for some extra kick. Add garlic once onions are transparent and cook for another minute before removing from heat. Set aside.

    Mix all the ingredients for the burger sauce in a medium size mixing bowl. (You can make this up a day ahead to allow the flavors to blend together.) Adjust the spices according to your preference.

    Assembling Salad

    Tear the lettuce to your desired amount, usually I use about 4-5 leaves and I like big chunks. Now from here you can “dress” the salad as you wish. Add a spoonful of meat and garnish with the diced red onion, cheese, burger sauce, etc. How you finish this off is up to you! Use your favorite cheeses too. This is why the carb count will vary.

    Hope you enjoy, please let me know what you think about this recipe. If you’d like to see more salad recipes like this one, please comment below.

    Have a great week!