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. 😠 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! πŸ˜’

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. πŸ˜‘ 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 πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ 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! 

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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…πŸ˜‘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. πŸ˜πŸ˜‰ 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! ☺️ 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 πŸ˜‰, 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. πŸ˜’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. πŸ˜” 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. 😏 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. 😏 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! 

Low Carb Cauliflower & Ham au Gratin


After searching the web for a simple low carb au gratin recipe I beginning to think that I wasn’t going to find one. Mind you I did find several that sounded amazing, even looked incredible, but the list of ingredients were insane. So I decided to do my own thing and take certain ingredients from the few recipes I really liked and created this! 

What you’ll need:

2-16 oz bag frozen cauliflower, thawed, chopped, and sauteed

1 large onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced(or less if you prefer)

2 tblsp butter or coconut oil

Salt n pepper to taste

1 pound of ham, chopped 

8 oz cream cheese brick, softened

4 oz velveeta, cubed and melted

3/4 c plain greek yogurt, or sour cream

2 c shredded cheese

Directions:

First heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 15×11 glass casserole dish with a little coconut oil or your favorite cooking spray. Set aside.

Chop thawed cauliflower into bite size pieces and dice the onion. Cook in a large skillet with butter until onions are trqnsparent. Add minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Stir in chopped ham and set aside. 

In a medium microwave safe bowl add cream cheese and velveeta. “Nuke” on high until velveeta is melted, stirring after a minute each time. Once melted, stir in greek yogurt. And now the fun…

In your casserole dish combine the cauliflower ham mixture with the cheesy sauce mixture. Smooth out into an even layer and top with shredded cheese. Bake covered for 40 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes for the brown slightly. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. 

Goes great with your favorite salad and/or veggie side. 

1/10th serving: 8g net carbs

This has a keeper for us, might tweek it a bit and add some chopped fried bacon next time and maybe sausage instead of ham. Of course, if you want to keep a meat free dish you absolutely can! Whatever works best for you! 

Now my dad wasn’t too keen on the twanginess, I personally didn’t notice it and neither did anyone else. If you are not a fan of cream cheese or greek yogurt by all means cut back on those two or eliminate one all together. I just like how the greek yogurt doesn’t break down as much as say sour cream or mayonnaise. It lent to the creaminess of the sauce which helped to offset the velveeta a bit. 

It is important to cook the cauliflower with the onions. This will help produce a more thoroughly cooked vegetable in the end. I’ve discovered that cooking in the microwave doesn’t cut it, cauliflower still comes out crunchy even qfter baking in the oven for 40-50 minutes. Crazy I know. So be sure to precook it just until the onion is transparent. 

You can also make this amspicy dish, just a dash of red pepper flakes for a kick! Or leave the velveeta out all together and add jalapenos for a jalapeno popper version. Play around with the flavors and enjoy!

Almost forgot, this freezes well too! Just thaw out completely before baking. Have a blessed week!!

Low Carb Pizza Chicken Breasts


A super easy low carb dinner that will even please the non low carbers in your family! Serve it up your favorite salad, pasta for those who can handle the carbs, low carb keto garlic bread(using fathead bread), and you have a complete meal! 

G suffered a fainting spell over the last weekend due to dehydration. It is suspected that he might be suffering from NMH(Neurally Mediated Hypotension). We learned his blood pressure is below what it ought to be for someone his age, height, and weight. Now, I’m not one to run to the doctor for every little thing, especially when the go to treatment includes drugs with side effects that include constipation, abdominal cramps, shaky hands, depression, hair loss, etc. instead I chose to go a more natural route for treatment. I know, I know, that’s not a popular way of thinking and most might assume that I’m not taking this seriously or I would have my child in a doctor’s office having every test known to man run on him. Sorry, if you think that way I hate to burst your bubble because I do care very much, almost to the point of worrying too much, and my trust in doctors is next to nil. The medical community has failed my family too many times and I have had to learn things on my own in order to take care of not just myself but my entire family. 

Natural medicine hasn’t failed me yet. Prevention is key, living a life to prevent diseases, injuries, and illnesses has become our way of life. Very rarely will we seek out a doctor unless it is an emergency. So for my son I chose the familiar route I had always taken before and it’s working! 

I’ve started to include him, to a degree, in our low carb way of life. He’s a growing lad so I can’t cut the carbs out of his life completely, but I am being extremely choosy about he does get. Once a day he can have a regular carb item, be that rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, etc. The rest of the day must be lower in carbs packed with healthy fats, fiber, and dark green veggies. While also making sure he stays well hydrated, poking into him with a few vitamins and supplements, and making sure he exercises. All these changes of course have been met with opposition each day this week, what child wants to go from chicken nuggets and fries to low carb pizzas and spinach salads?! 

Well, you think G would have protested too much against spinach, but he discovered that he actually likes it! Plain of course with a few bits of shredded carrot and some romaine lettuce for variation. Plus when I offered to make him pizza chicken breasts he was completely on board! Simply because it has all the ingredients he likes: chicken, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! And here’s how it goes….

For the chicken:

1-2 pounds raw chicken breasts, filleted into thirds 

Salt, Pepper, Granulated Garlic Powder

Coconut oil for cooking

LC Pizza Sauce:

15 oz organic tomato sauce, no sugar added

14 oz organic diced tomatoes, no sugar added, drained

A sprinkle across the top of the following: dried basil, dried oregano, onion powder, and sweet summer savory(old school southern measuring for ya) 

1 tsp granulated natural sweetener, I use Stevia

1 pinch of red pepper flakes

Toppings:

Parmesan cheese

Mozzarella cheese

Pepperoni slices

Black olives

Diced peppers

Diced onions

….you get the idea.

For the chicken, filet each breast into thirds, season each side with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Cook in a pan with melted raw organic coconut oil(preferably the kind without the coconut flavor) until lightly browned on both sides. Set oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with non-stick foil. 

Mix all the pizza sauce ingredients in a bowl. 

Now assemble the pizza chicken breasts. Place each piece on the sheet pan, spoon enough sauce on each piece to cover completely. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and add your favorite toppings. For the family I kept it simple by using only mozzarella cheese and pepperoni slices. For mine I added some chopped black olives on top. Just remember whatever toppings you use it will alter your carb count. For my recipe each serving came out to being 4.8g net. 

Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and enjoy!

Simple. Easy. And G loved it! Next day leftovers were great on low carb tortilla wraps. Dad and I split a chicken breast and had a quick meal before heading off to church. Flavors had blended and mellowed, this is also a great meal to prep ahead and freeze before baking. Just be sure to thaw out completely and then bake as directed. 

Thankfully G is on the mend, no more lightheadedness, dizzy spells, and his blood pressure is getting back to normal. 

Hope you all have a blessed day!!

Low Carb Keto Chicken Pizza Crust

This is fairly new to me, it never dawned on me to use ground up chicken as a pizza crust. Now that I have it’s out of this world! 


I had my doubts at first, it seemed like an odd alternative. Wouldn’t there be a strong chicken flavor? Would it hold up to the toppings? Would my family even like it?! That’s a biggy around here, pizza is a sacred thing in my family. You monkey with it and you might as well become an outcast. Ok, that might be exaggerating it just a bit 😏 but all the same, pizza is a serious food for my family. Especially when my mom makes the dough from scratch and uses homemade Italian seasoning, homemade pizza sauce, etc. You can understand my apprehension in making a chicken pizza crust. 


Mine is an easy recipe, you can do this one of two ways: buy ground chicken meat from the store or put raw chicken breasts in the food processor(which is what I did).  I made enough ground chicken for two sheet pans worth of pizza. Please note that during the baking process the chicken crust will shrink up. If you see in the above picture I had pressed a thin layer of ground chicken out all the way to the edge of the pan. The shrinkage isn’t too bad though, still was able to cut it into 15 pieces.

What you’ll need:

3 1/2 pounds raw boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed completely

1 tblsp Italian seasoning, homemade or otherwise

1 tbslp pizza dough seasoning, optional*

1 c grated parmesan cheese

3/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tsp black pepper

Directions

Depending on the size of your food processor will determine how many chicken breasts you will be able to fit in it at one time. I have a 7qt bowl on my food processor so I’m able to fit three chicken breasts in at a time. You’ll want to process it down till it looks like a pate. Yummy! Only don’t eat it, k? 

Once your chicken is ground down, add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Divide the mixture, line your sheet pans with either non-stick foil or parchment paper sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and flatten out the chicken mixture evenly on each pan. 

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes for a lightly browned crust. You can increase the temp to 425 if you want a darker crust. Once baked, add your favorite toppings! One pan was a supreme pizza and the other was half meatza and half Hawaiian-ish. 


Once you add your toppings, you’ll want to pop it back into the oven for 10 minutes. Just long enough for the cheese to melt. Before you cut into it let it rest for about 5 minutes, trust me it makes it ewsier to handle and less likely to burn your mouth! 

This is a nice safe pizza crust version for those with nut and egg allergies. Carb counts will vary according to the toppings you use so please take note of that. The crust is virtually carb free which makes this a safe option for those on induction and a nice break from cauliflower crust. Changing things up helps to keep this low carb keto life a little more interesting and less likely to fall off the wagon. 

I must say though, the next day the pizza was even better! I couldn’t even taste the chicken, all I could taste were the pizza flavors. And the crust held up perfectly! Now, does it get crunchy like a bread dough crust? Nope. Unless you burn it and then you might get close to a more traditional crust. It’s meat, it is what it is and what it’s not is your body will thank you for in the long run! Plus this pizza is more satisfying, fills you up faster. Meat will do that, you won’t be able to eat the entire pan unless you’ve been fasting. I was only able to eat three slices, now with regular high carb pizza I can easily eat half a pie and still want more as a midnight snack. 

My pickiest eater, G-Man, scarfed his pianeapple pizza! He really liked it, but he admits it’s not as good as a regular crust. Dude is preaching to the choir! 

Before I forget…what is pizza dough seasoning? It’s something we make and use in our regular pizza dough. It enhances the flavor. Basically is parmesan cheese and other seasonings, very awesome stuff. I used a tablespoon of each but you can just get by with a tablespoon of Italian seasoning no problem. 

Play with the seasonings, toppings, have fun and have a blessed week! 

TGITW=Thank Goodness It’s The Weekend

Afternoon everyone! Hope you’re hqving a wonderful day so far. I’m so glad the weekend is here! This has been a crazy week, but at least it ended on a high note. I’ve been toying with the idea of designing t-shirts, mugs, and aprons for a while now. I love designing, something I’ve done since I was a kid with my Barbie Designer Stencil Kit…anyone remember those? If not I have just seriously aged myself BIG TIME! πŸ˜‰ 

I’ve used my love for designing as a Promo Rep for a local author designing images for her instagram account and blog to help promote her indie books, not to mention for my own instagram account and blog. So this week I went looking for a credible site that would allow me to upload my designs to be used on a wide range of products. Boy did I hit a jackpot that is going to be a wonderful jumping off place for Night Owl Kitchen Blog and ~finally~ I can start sharing my other passion with you all! I’ve got some planning to do, an online store front to create, and soon I hope to have a link for you all to click to visit. I’m beyond giddy at the moment! 😁

Gonna come down from cloud 9 and share a recipe with you all. I promise I haven’t forgotten that I need to get these other recipes up. If you love bratwurst then you will enjoy this easy low carb dish! You can prep the brats by lightly grilling them or pan searing them, it will add an extra layer of to the dish. Of course you don’t to do that if you prefer not to. 


What you’ll need: 

2-3 pounds Bratwursts, frozen

1 large onion, sliced

Bell pepper mix, green, yellow, orange, and red(omit any that you don’t like), sliced

1 cup chicken broth

1 tblsp Grill Seasoning of your choice

Directions:

In a 4-6 qt crock pot, the larger being size being appropriate if using 3pounds of meat, add everything into the crock pot, and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve with a brown spicy mustard, fried cabbage, and/or side salad. 

It’s that easy! Another way to prep the bratwursts is to preslice them. Par frozen meat is easier to cut, so keep that in mind. This can help cut down the cooking time, just make sure to rough chop your vegetables so everything is in unison and easy to eat. Of course, if you can handle bread these are also great on buns! Make according to the recipe above and serve on hot steamed buns with your favorite condiments and toppings. 

Nutritional Information(according to MyFitnessPal)

Calories: 529

Fat: 58.2g

Carbs: 12g

Fiber: 2.4g 

Net Carbs:  9.6g

I realize that if you’re not eating meals high in fat that those numbers are going to throw you for a loop. But to actually live a successful low carb life you have to have the fat, it helps keep you full between meals, keeps you from senseless snacking, and will actually help you to burn the existing fat on your body! Not popular thinking I know, but I am living it and it’s working great for me! 

Hope this recipe is a blessing those who try it, have a great weekend everyone! 


Low Carb Sheet Pan Stir-fry

Let me preface this recipe by saying, this is not an induction friendly recipe. But why label it a low carb recipe? In truth it is a lot lower than if you were pair it with pasta, rice, and crunchy egg rolls. Right?! However, it is better suited for those who are maintaining, or those who can handle higher amount of carbs. I still think, though, any recipe can be altered to fit anyone’s dietary needs, and I will share some induction friendly options for this recipe.

To keep this induction safe, meaning for those who are just starting out on a low carb lifestyle, you will need to skip over the prefabbed Asian vegetable packs with a sauce at the store. I know, it’s easier to just grab something that is already made for you, but trust me a lot of the time those premade packs are full of sugar, msg, and other carb loaded vegetables that you really don’t need when you’re just starting to cut back your carb intake. Instead, opt for frozen broccoli, cauliflower, a little sliced onion, and maybe green bell peppers. This combination of vegetables is a safer option with fewer carbs and with less of a chance of your blood sugar going through the roof. Stay away from most jarred sauces as well, fermented soy sauce is fine, make sure it’s low sodium, and if you want to add a touch of sweetness to your meal use a little Stevia in the Raw. Not much, maybe a teaspoon or until it is to your liking. 

For a while yet you will want to avoid snow peas, carrots, water chestnuts, and copious amounts of Asian sauces. After your induction phase, you may begin to add, slowly, certain vegetable back into your meals. This is when you should pay close attention to what is truly beneficial and what you should stay away from. While most people can enjoy a wide variety of delicious vegetables, when living a low carb lifestyle one must be mindful to not indulge or over indulge in certain vegetables simply because it is deemed healthy. What works for one person does not necessarily mean it will work for you.

I personally cannot eat a lot of tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, onions, snow peas, corn, or sweet peppers. I can have them on occasion but not often. The vegetables I absolutely avoid are beets and potatoes. I’ve had to learn where to draw the line for myself after recognizing how I feel after consuming those foods. This is of course after years of trial and error with the low carb lifestyle, it wasn’t something I picked up on right away. I don’t know, maybe I’m slow. πŸ˜‰ Just pay attention to how food is affecting you and adjust your meals accordingly. You’ll feel better and be more successful with your new lifestyle!

Now, for this recipe I must say it was certainly easier to do in the oven than on the stove top. Ok, here’s how not with it I am…I don’t even have a wok! It’s alright, I’m a grown woman, shame me all you want, but normally when I make stir-fry for the family I just use a dutch oven pot. 

Are you still with me? (Listening for crickets…)

I know, I’m just full of all kinds of shock lately…first I use a recipe from a can for my guacamole, and here I am outting myself that I don’t even use a wok when I cook Chinese food…and now I’m baking it in the oven! Before anyone kicks me to the curb, hear me out and give this recipe a try, because it is the ONLY way I am going to make a stir-fry ever again! 


(That’s an extea piece of chicken thigh meat there in my bowl.)

What you’ll need:

2 pounds chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 pounds of frozen vegetables, I used Members Mark Asian Stir Fry Mix from Sam’s Club, with sauce pack

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup Robert Rothschild Farm Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Glaze & Finishing Sauce, optional

Directions: 

Heat oven to 425*F, line sheet pan with non-stick foil(shiny side down, dull side up). Set aside

Begin by chopping up chicken so that the pieces are roughly 1-inch in size. Add to a large bowl with defrosted vegetables, sauce pack, soy sauce, and Robert Rothschild sauce. (This is why this is not an induction friendly meal, but it is optional to use.) Stir to combine and pour contents out onto lined pan. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately. 

Nutritional Information: 1/6 serving(according to MyFitnessPal)

Calories: 327

Fat: 1.7g

Carbs: 33.7g

Fiber: 3.3g

Net Carbs: 30.4g

See, this is why I say this particular recipe is not safe for anyone just starting out with a low carb lifestyle, and it is certainly not recommended for those with diabetes. I used Robert Rothschild Farm sauce because for one it is absolutely amazing!! It rarely ever gets used in our house unless I make a stir-fry(which isn’t often) and two it’s a hold over jar from Christmas Eve when we made a mass batch of pork eggrolls. Yeah, not winning any brownie points, am I? πŸ˜• If you choose to forego the sauce, but you still want to add heat, add in some diced jalapeno or habanero, a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, or a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. 

Well, all I can say is, if you’ve been good all day and had less than 10g net carbs then splurging a bit with this meal isn’t going to set you back too much. That’s why it’s not a good idea to eat this particular meal too often. Once every few months is fine, but not every week. In fact, keep it for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, or family get togethers. This way you won’t feel guilty in indulging because hello, birthdays, anniversaries, and get togethers are when carbs, calories, and fat don’t count! πŸ˜‰

So tuck this recipe away for special occasions and enjoy the time you’ll save in making this amazing meal! Oh, and if you’re wondering where you can find the Robert Rothschild Farm Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Glaze & Finishing Sauce(say that fives fast), click the picture below. You can also find it at Walmart and Sam’s Club(check online first to see if it you can find it locally). 


Hope you all have a blessed weekend!!

Vegetable Beef Soup

It’s been a chilly day, you get home and all you want to do is get the fireplace going and enjoy a bowl of hot soup and melt away the damp chill that has consumed you. 

With all the rain we’ve been having and now the cold has moved in, all I wanted was to feel warm and cozy again. Inspiration hit me whilst looking up recipes for an up and coming Christmas party I’m throwing with a couple of my friends for some very special kids. While scrolling, I saw a recipe for beef  soup, which called for stew beef(not a fan of). Remembering that we had a package of ground beef in the fridge I decided to make a soup from my childhood! Mom would make vegetable beef soup with ground beef and after living in Brazil we switched over to a vegetable chicken soup. Whichis absolutely scrumptious, but tonight’s soup brought back so many wonderful memories! After letting it simmer for 20 minutes I felt like a little girl again. Flavor train had pulled in and I was totally on board!! 

  

Vegetable Beef Soup

2 Lbs ground beef, cooked, drained

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tsp beef bouillon granules

1 1/2 tap kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp dried basil

2 bay leaves

2 cans of diced tomatoes

2 cans beef broth or stock

1 10 punce package frozen mixed vegetables(I used Asian mixed veggies)

1 can yellow corn, drained

1 cup filtered water, optional

In a large dutch oven pot over med/high heat, brown ground beef with onions and garlic. Drain fat if desired. Stir in beef bouillon granules, kosher salt, pepper, dried basil, and bay leaves. Pour in beef broth/stock, frozen vegetables, diced tomatoes and drained corn. Stir and reduce temperature till soup is just simmering, cover for 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings if needed and add water if too thick. Serve with your favorite salad, crackers, cornbread, or dinner rolls. 

This recipe will easily serve 8–10, perhaps more if you choose to serve 1-cup servings. This soup will also freeze well and will make enough for another meal. Which is great on a night when you don’t want to cook but want a quick meal!  G–Man is not a vegetable fan, he did enjoy the broth and bits of meat, making sure to eat around pieces of tomato and pepper of course. He even went back for seconds! Being able share this dish with my son makes it even more special and perhaps one day he’ll get his aversion to vegetables! πŸ˜‰ 

Hope you all enjoy this soup, stay warm and have a blessed evening! 

Butter Pecan “Ice Cream” Dessert

Good morning, we’ve made it this far in the week and Friday is almost here πŸ™‚ Boy I tell you, it’s flying by, before you know it Christmas will be here!! Don’t groan, hehe, in October I’ve got some posts planned that will help get you ready for your holiday baking. Planning ahead for it will help you have a more enjoyable holiday season! You don’t want to miss out πŸ™‚

I hope you all have been enjoying the frozen dessert posts this week, especially with all this hot weather having something cold on hand is a blessing. I’ve shared before a childhood memory of my Memaw and Papaw making homemade ice cream with the old hand cranked ice cream maker. Of course now you can get electric motor models which I guess do a good job in making ice cream. I’ve never used one though, but I am partial to the no machine way of making “ice cream” πŸ™‚ It’s so easy and QUICK!! Dad was asking me a couple of nights ago if it took long to make the “ice cream”, which of course it doesn’t. The only time it really takes is to whip up the heavy cream, which that can vary from batch to batch. If you put your bowl and beaters in the freezer 15 minutes before whipping then it will help cut down the time.
I’ve done it both ways and I guess I’m lazy enough to where I don’t mind using room temp bowls and beaters. My advice, do what works best for you πŸ™‚

Since discovering a homemade butter pecan “ice cream” recipe, my Mom refuses to eat any other kind now! Well, homemade is better after all, and since yesterday was her birthday I decided to not only make her a butter pecan frozen dessert, but to kick it up a notch with Heath Bar Toffee Bits and Breyers Caramel Sauce. Even I was impressed!

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The key to this recipe is toasting the pecans. This helps to release the oil in the pecans and intensify the flavor!

Butter Pecan “Ice Cream”

2 cups heavy cream, whipped
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup pan toasted pecans
3 Tblsp butter, melted
1/2 cup Heath Bar Toffee Bits
1/2 package Breyers Caramel Sauce

In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
Toast chopped pecans in a dry skillet for a few minutes. Stir occasionally. You will know when they are done when you can smell a nutty toasty scent. They will burn easily, so don’t toast over a high heat or flame(gas ranges). Set aside in the bowl with sweetened condensed milk. Melt butter and add to the pecans mixture, stir to combine and add in the Heath Bar Toffee Bits.
Fold in the whipped cream until everything is mixed completely. Pour half of the mixture into your loaf pan and spread evenly. Drizzle with caramel sauce and with a knife swirl the caramel around. Sprinkle a small handful of toffee bits over the caramel and top with the remaining “ice cream” mixture. Drizzle more caramel sauce on top and top with more toffee bits and pecan pieces if you like. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 4 hours or overnight before serving.

 

This is my Mom’s favorite now, we no longer buy the stuff from the store. It’s super creamy, rich, and has a fresh flavor without all the chemicals. It’s definitely a keeper!

What’s your favorite ice cream or frozen dessert? Leave a comment below and who knows, I just might get a wild hair and make it!!!

Have a blessed day!!