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
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    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!

    Cobb Salad

    Hey y’all, goodness I’m so glad another week of school is done. Two weeks done and so far so good 🙂 I finally sat down today with the camera and uploaded a bunch of pictures and have since been trying to remember what everything was. Lol that’s never good, but I think I have things pretty much figured out *golf clap*. G-Man is even siked about me having my own youtube channel, yes I’ve yet to get that up but have no fear it is still on the list of things to do! He knows of a good app that I can use on my iPad to make the videos with, something he once used for his stop motion Lego videos. Will see how that works out 😉 In the mean time, hopefully you all will try out this salad recipe I have for you and let me know what you think. It’s a fairly basic cobb salad but you can dress it up however you like!

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    Cobb Salad

    1 bag romaine salad mix

    1 large tomato, chopped

    2 avocados

    6 sweet peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced

    12 eggs for egg salad

    12 Tyson grilled chicken strips, chopped

    favorite salad dressing(optional)

    *Please note this will easily serve 4 people, you can certainly cut this in half or make it a single serving*

    On a large platter arrange romaine salad mix. Add chopped tomatoes, chopped grilled chicken, chopped avocados. Set aside. In a medium bowl chop hard boiled eggs and add mayo, relish, and a squirt of brown spicy mustard. Salt and pepper to taste if you like. Add a few scoops next to the chopped avocados and finish off the salad with slices of sweet peppers. Garnish with your favorite dressing or oil.

    The Tyson grilled chicken strips come frozen, I just let them thaw in a ziploc bag, season them up with a six pepper blend seasoning that we get from Sam’s Club and heat them up in a saute pan with a little peanut oil. Simple. Chop them up and they’re ready to go. I know that a typical cobb salad had slices of egg rather than an egg salad, but it worked out since my Mom loves egg salad and that became her dinner that it just made sense to add it to our salads that night! It was a yummy change!

    You can add croutons if you like, black Kalamata olives, or other little veggies of your choice. For me, a cobb salad can be anything you want it to be and you can add anything that you want or leave off the things you don’t like. Just have fun while you cook!

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    Happy Eating!!

    Mexican Salad

    Evening, I’ve had some requests for the recipe of last night’s dinner. I’m so honored to receive such requests and always happy to share! It’s a crazy easy recipe and really I could have just shared it on the Night Owl Kitchen Facebook Page but I want everyone to be able to see it and try it 🙂

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    Mexican Salad

    1 pound ground beef, cooked

    1/2 onion, chopped

    1 garlic clove, minced

    1 package taco seasoning

    1 can black beans

    1 can Rotel (tomatoes with green chiles)

    salt and pepper to taste

    Salad mix of your choice

    Sour Cream(optional)

    Salsa (optional)

    Shredded Cheese (optional)

    In a medium pan brown ground beef with onions and garlic. If you want you can drain off the fat, but if you’re doing lower carb it’s essential to leave it in.** Season with taco seasoning, add beans and Rotel. Add salt and pepper to your liking and serve over your favorite salad with sour cream and salsa.

    **The reason I mentioned that if you’re doing lower carb to leave the fat in is this…the fat is what helps keep a lower carb eater satisfied. It’s important to get enough fat with each meal so that you aren’t finding yourself munching or craving unhealthy foods. Not everyone needs as much fat in their food, but when you have cut back on your carbohydrates then you need to increase your healthy fat just a bit to compensate. If you are using a leaner meat just add a tablespoon or two of coconut oil(the flavorless variety). Adding homemade guacamole to your salad is another great way to add healthy fat to your meal! Plus, consuming healthy fat will help to burn the existing fat in your body. Sounds like that shouldn’t be possible but trust me that’s exactly how it works. I’m not encouraging anyone to eat lard from a bucket…but don’t be afraid of healthier fat options. The health benefits trump old school weight loss jargon.

    As for the black beans and Rotel, if you are just starting out with a lower carb lifestyle you can leave those out. If you still want it to have a spicy kick, however, just add some chopped jalapenos, tabasco peppers, or red pepper flakes to the meat mixture. Green chiles are low carb friendly, so add a 4 ounce can to the meat for a little heat and flavor.

    Play around with your toppings, if you have the time make your own lower carb tortilla chips to serve with it OR make ultimate nachos! Those are always a hit with our family 🙂

    Enjoy!

    Creamy Pasta Salad

    Morning everyone, have I got a tasty dish for you!! Here in the south pasta salad is pretty much the norm, just like mac–n–cheese, you can’t have a cook out or picnic without pasta salad. This can be made with any pasta you prefer, I personally love using rotini(cork screw shaped pasta). I love how the mayo gets down in and all around the pasta making sure that each bite is flavor packed! This is the easiest recipe I’ve made yet, not a whole lot of ingredients and it’s best to make this up the day before to allow the flavors to blend.

    Creamy Pasta Salad

    Day Before Serving:

    3 celery stalks, diced or chopped

    1/2 onion, minced or chopped

    2 cups mayo

    salt and pepper to taste

    On the day of serving:

    2 cups Dreamfields pasta, cooked and drained

    1/2 large tomato, diced

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    Slice celery into four strips and dice thinly. You can cut this as thick or as big as you like, me I like smaller bits.

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    Mince or chop the 1/2 onion. Add both celery and onion to a large bowl. Season with three healthy pinches of salt and black pepper. You may need to reseason later.

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    2 cups of mayo sounds like a lot, you can use less if you like but note it will be dryer and less creamy. When I was short on mayo I have added sour cream to make up the difference. That’s really good too and helps with the creaminess! Let this sit in the fridge, covered, overnight. It will let the celery and onion mellow out. On the day of serving, boil up 2 cups pasta in salted water. Cook pasta til it’s al dente. Softer pasta won’t hold up when stirred or stabbed with a fork.

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    Drain pasta and shock it in some icy water. Drain again really well and gently stir into mayo mixture. Remove pulp from 1/2 tomato and dice or you can use cherry tomatoes cut in half which I’ve done before too! Smaller tomatoes are preferred since you don’t have to go the extra step in removing the pulp. Reseason if needed and serve immediately!

    And there you have it! A creamy bowl of pasta salad that’s perfect for any cook out, picnic, or just because you want some!

    Have a blessed day!

    Amanda Gayle

    Egg Boiling Tip & Recipe

    Ran across a neat kitchen tip and decided to give it a try. Over at Mzuka’s Kitchen Tips & Recipes on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mzukas-Kitchen-Tips-Recipes/331527696870533) there’s a post for boiling eggs in salt water.

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    Seriously! Seeing how I hadn’t eaten yet I thought what a perfect time to try it out. I did eight eggs and wasn’t too sure how much salt to use, I guessed and did four healthy pinches.

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    Eggs in salt water

    I let them boil for about 10–13 minutes, doing up some dishes helped the time pass quickly! Once the time was up, drained the pan and ran cold water over them for a minute giving a little stir to help release some more of the heat. The results after peeling weren’t too bad actually…

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    Three out of eight boo-boo eggs

    Yes, three out of eight of the eggs came out a bit messed up. My Mom came in around time these were boiling and she shared with me that she always puts salt in the water as did my Memaw (her mother). That’s the first time I’d ever heard that! I don’t always have a problem when it comes to peeling eggs, the occasional egg from the pot that decides to be different never bothers me since most of the time I’m making egg salad. For deviled eggs this would definitely not be good.  But no worries, I had a plan already in mind for these babies!

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    Quick Egg Salad

    8 eggs, boiled, peeled, rinsed

    1 cup mayo, less if you prefer

    salt and pepper to taste

    relish of your liking, optional (I used my Mom’s homemade zucchini relish!)

    Boil, peel, and rinse the eggs. In a medium bowl chop the eggs with a pastry blender. Stir in mayo, salt, pepper, and relish(if using). Serve on bread, salad, or just grab a spoon and dig in! 

    I had a lurker at one point…

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    Felt like I was in a scene of Jaws!

    The finished product!

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    My lurker turned photographer! Great picture too!

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    Egg salad with zucchini relish on top.

    Because certain family members don’t care for relish in the egg salad I just add it on top. Hope you have a wonderful Friday and a safe weekend!

    Amanda Gayle