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! 

Easy(Lazy) Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole/Soup

Tonight I based this recipe off of a recipe called Lazy Chicken. Basically, you take a chicken breast, add a dollop of cream cheese mixed with chopped jalapeno peppers and cheese mixed in, cover with bacon slices and bake it. Sounds amazing, but I knew my family might prefer it a bit broken down. Which is what I did! 


What you’ll need:

1 1/2-2 pounds chicken, thawed and cubed
2 bricks cream cheese, soften

1 green onion, sliced thinly

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound bacon, lightly fried and drained

2 c shredded cheese, divided

1/2 c pickled jalapenos, chopped

Directions

Chop chicken up and blot dry with paper towels, set aside covered. Partially fry up bacon, drain on paper towel and set aside.
In medium bowl combing softened cream cheese, sliced green onion, minced garlic, and 3/4 c shredded cheese. Stir chicken into cream cheese mixture and spread out into a 9×13 pan in an even layer. Cover top with bacon and bake in a 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes, uncovered. Afterwards, add remaining cheese on top and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven, let it cool for 5-10 before serving

NOK NOTES:

It looks soupy, letting it sit out to cool before serving will help it to tighten up. This can be served with tortilla chips(if you can handle the carbs), salad, or eaten by itself. I ate mine just as is, very filling too! For 1/10th of a serving it comes out to 1.3g net carbs, so not only is this incredibly low, but did you notice that I didn’t mention salt in the ingredients list? With a pound of bacon on top you really don’t need any extra salt. Now, I leave it up to you if you want to add some black pepper. 
In my above picture I didn’t let it cool before serving. I dished mine out as soon as I pulled it from the oven. Hence why I call it soup on my Instagram post. You don’t have to let it cool if you don’t want to. Serve it immediately, whatever floats your goat! Leftovers are great the next day on low carb wraps and on salad! 

Hope you enjoy and happy low-carbing!!!

Keto Bread (Review)

Hey y’all!! I know I haven’t done a recipe review in a while and with this particular recipe I will admit I was a tad leery of it. Mostly because I have had the oopsie bread and numerous others like it in the past. The one thing all these recipes have in common are eggs. There’s no escaping it, when you remove gluten from any recipe the go to ingredient to add in its place are eggs. I am still on the look out for a low carb bread that is soy free and still looks like bread with a similar texture. I know, wishful thinking perhaps, but a girl can dream! πŸ˜‰

This Keto Bread recipe provided a nice addition to our Friday night meal of meatball casserole and caesar salad. Click HERE to get the recipe for this bread and to see their scrumptious pictures. Right off the bat what sold me on trying this recipe was that all the ingredients were items that I already had! Almond flour, eggs, baking powder, butter, salt, and cream of tartar. I didn’t have to have psyllium, tapioca, rice or oat flour. The second thing that sold it for me is that it’s 1.3 carbs per slice! That’s a HUGE difference from 11 carbs per slice of store bought bread.

All week I spent a little time each day looking through the reviews seeing if anyone had any questions, concerns, or possible ideas on how to take this basic recipe and do other yummy things with it. That’s when I decided to turn it into cheesy garlic bread, cutting it into sticks was something on the fly at the moment when I realized loaf slices wasn’t going to happen for me.

After checking all the loaf pans in my possession, I discovered that I didn’t have an 8×4 loaf pan(that is going to be remedied soon), instead I had an 8-in round cake pan, which I then lined with Reynolds Non-Stick foil. The recipe said to butter the dish, personally I prefer to reduce the amount of dishes I have to do. But you’re welcome to flour the pan if you prefer. Don’t let my laziness deter you! πŸ˜‰ Resolved on the pan I plan to use, I set about following the recipe to the T! For me baking is something I don’t take lightly, ingredients are expensive(especially almond flour) and this is why I measure carefully. Always. The only time I relax on not measuring ingredients exactly is when I’m cooking, which is totally different.

It really is an easy recipe from egg separating, egg white whipping, to the making of dough. Which you can either usea food Β processor or a hand mixer(I chose the latter, gee wonder why?!). The only part I was remotely concerned about was when I had to incorporate the whipped egg whites into the almond flour dough. My concern was that I was going to lose all that wonderful air, thankfully I didn’t. After letting it bake for 30 minutes, I removed it from the oven and let it cool on the stove top.

After letting it sit in the pan for 30 minutes I sliced off a sliver and was not surprised at the familiar taste or texture. Eggy bread, but not too bad. It was definitely something I could work with! That’s when I began to slice the round “bread” and then each slice was cut in half to make short bread stix.(Yes, I spelled it like that on purpose!) See below…


Those who follow my blog know that I make my own garlic butter(click HERE) by the pound. It’s great to keep on hand, perfect on steaks, in soups, sauces, and shrimp scampi. After I sliced the keto bread, I placed it on a half sheet pan, again lined with foil, and proceeded to dress the stix with garlic butter and mozzarella cheese.

At this point I was still iffy about the final results, with my bread loving family I knew it might be hard to sell it to them. Fingers crossed, little prayers sent up, and dinner was finally ready. Who was first to the trough, why none other than G-Man! Shocked me, this child has come a long way. Just this week I made a chicken parmesan and he ate it without hesitation!! He Β dove into the keto garlic bread and right off he said, “this is like cornbread.” That made me nervous, I hesitated at first and asked him if that was a good thing or a bad thing. Mind you this child is a hard nut to crack, he will like something completely or hate it vehemently! He took another bite and he said……”it’s good!” SUCCESS!!!!!! I felt like Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, “thank you, thank you!”

The rest of the family thought it was ok. Dad was expecting something thicker, crispier just like with regular bread. Mom concurred its texture was a bit like cornbread. And JJ, well I haven’t heard from him yet. Usually he walks through and will tell me “Amanda do good!”

For me…I am pleased, I mean it is what it is, but when you’ve gone for so long without bread it’s a welcomed substitute. It’s definitely a keeper in my book since I can eat it without worrying about it messing up my ketosis or aggravating my lower intestines. I think the next time I make this bread I’ll used my square silicone baking cups and make keto bread muffins. Something I can keep on hand in the freezer and pull out when I want a small breakfast sandwich or a roll to go with a hearty soup. This keto bread recipe would make a decent grilled cheese sandwich, pb&j, or toast it to enjoy with eggs and bacon.

As for making this dairy free, all I can say is try it out and let me know how it goes. I’m still new to the dairy free baking realm and lack the expertise. However I am eager to learn since it is better for me to be as lactose free as possible. I welcome suggestions, as long as they are soy free.

Hope this review has been a blessing to you and perhaps persuade you to try it out! Have a wonderful weekend!!

~Homemade Bisquick Mix~

Oh it’s been a busy month so far, but it’s been a good one! Last night I had a few folks ask me at church about the homemade sausage balls I made for our 3’s&4’s Christmas party. I’ll be honest, I haven’t purchased Bisquick mix in years. It’s pointless to do so when the only thing I use it for are the sausage balls and I don’t make those with any regularity! Enter in the homemade mix version! It makes a little over 4 cups worth of mix but that’s at least two batches of sausage balls(about 2–3 dz per batch depending on the size you make).Β 

There is a difference in texture and overall flavor when you make the mix from scratch. It’s a great way to remove the chem–lab flavor from this holiday party staple. I have some not so fond childhood memories of sausage balls, normally they were dry, really hard, and kind of blah in flavor. It was usually one of those things that when you’re moving through the buffet line you’re looking at all the yummy delights until your eyes spy a platter of sausage balls. My heart would sink every time, so when I decided to make these for last night’s party I was determined to not over work the meat mixture and treat them no different than the meatballs we make and freezer. I seriously think it’s all in how you handle the mixture, there’s no need to mix and mix to the point where it becomes stiff. Trust me, you will know and the end result will be a firm unpleasant sausage ball.
Before I get into the recipe I want to first give cred toΒ  Myra over at My Blessed Life for posting this recipe back in 2013. I’ve tried other homemade bisquick recipes in the past, but this has become my go to recipe every time! Be sure to check out her blog to check out her other awesome recipes, diy projects, life hacks, etc.

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Homemade Bisquick Mix

3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 Tblsp salt(I used Kosher)
1 1/2 Tblsp baking powder
1 stick cold butter, sliced

Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse for a minute. Done.

See! EASY! Now if you don’t have a food processor, Myra says you can use a fork or a pastry blender tool. I cannot guarantee that using either of those will get the desired results that you see above in my picture, which is a super fine powdery mix. Using a fork or pastry blender may result in a more crumbly texture, in which case just be patient while working it and don’t fret too much if it’s not the same as mine. You’ll be incorporating it into the meat so no worries!

And I love her recipe for the sausage balls. It’s simple, easy and delicious! I’ve come across other recipes in the past where they add other seasonings and spices…for me Myra’s Three ingredient recipe wins the blue ribbon every time! Here’s what you’ll need::


2 cups bisquick mix(from above)
1 pound mild sausage
1 generous cup of cheddar cheese, shredded

Mix by hand(I wore gloves) but don’t over work the mixture. I used a melon baller to portion out the meat mix. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Let them cool and store in an air tight container until you’re ready to serve.

I don’t have anymore, the evidence of their existence is gone! LOL! Yes, they are THAT good! I will be making more for my family next week, per G–Man’s request, and will definitely take a picture then! πŸ˜‰ In the meantime, you can click HERE to see Myra’s picture on her blog!

Anyway, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

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!!

It’s August!!

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August is here again, it doesn’t seem right. The year is just speeding on by and me without my roadrunner shoes to keep up! We’re kicking off this school week with two birthdays, JJ’s and my Mom!! And today is JJ’s 21st b–day!!! That kid has given me plenty of gray hairs, lots of laughs and enough back talk to last me a lifetime πŸ˜‰

What better way to celebrate a 21st birthday than with some homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream! It’s crazy easy, you’re going to be kicking yourself for not making this sooner…I know I am!

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Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream, not half n half

1 tsp vanilla extract(I used McCormick brand)

2 tsp peppermint extract(I used Kroger brand)

14 oz can sweetened condensed milk(Eagle brand)

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped(Nestle)

1/4–1/2 tsp green food coloring(McCormick)

In a large bowl, whip up the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In a medium size bowl combine the extracts, condensed milk, chocolate chips and green food coloring. You can add more coloring if you want an intense color. I couldn’t control the color, so I added about 1/2 tsp of coloring. You can use less if you want.
Fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture until completely combined. Pour into a loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. It’s important for the plastic wrap to be pressed lightly into the top of the mixture. You want any air bubbles, those would cause crystals to form on top which is no bueno!
Freeze for up to 4 hours or overnight before serving!

Night Owl Notes:

My picture looks blue–green, which is weird since in natural light it didn’t look green at all. It’s a nice shade of green, so don’t pay too much attention to the weirdness going on in my picture. Just use it as a guide for other things such as the loaf pan, the size of the bowl, etc.
I did taste test this before freezing, it has a nice light minty flavor, it’s not overpowering which for this gal that’s a major plus! What’s next on the list?! Cookies~~n~~Cream Ice Cream! OH YEAH!Β 

Stay tuned and have a blessed day!!

Related Posts::

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(click picture)

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Crunchy Top Casserole

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Afternoon everyone, I know it’s Monday. It’s not everyone’s favorite day of the week but I hope you’re making the best of it as much as possible. Our school day is dragging on, my headache in tow. Not exactly sure why I have a headache, woke up with it and haven’t been able to shake it. Just one of them days I guess.Β  -.-

 

Last week, as you may remember, I didn’t menu plan at all and was pretty much flying by the seat of my pants. It’s not an unpleasant thing to do, it tends to open the creative gates every now and then. Which is exactly what it did last Friday night. I don’t suggest that anyone get too lazy and forget to plan a week’s worth of meals. Even when I do meal plan I might leave a couple of days open for whatever pops into my head. And the Crunchy Top Casserole was such a recipe that I drew from other related recipes that I’ve made in the past and just went from there.

I’ll just say this now, my family scarfed this casserole up! In fact, my own mother said I just needed to make the topping on a baking sheet alone πŸ™‚ I love them, when they praise they go all out! I will admit that the topping is quite yummy, a nice contrast to the creamy casserole. Definitely a tried, true and tasty dish!

 

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This is a quick recipe, a little precooking involved, but the over all time is 50 minutes for baking.

Crunchy Top Casserole

(Yields 8-10 servings)

Ingredients

1 pound tater tots, thawed and crumbled**

1 small onion, chopped

1 pound sausage, cooked

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans cream of chicken and mushroom soup

8 oz sour cream

1 large jar pimentos, drained

4 oz potato chips, crushed**

2 cups shredded cheese

1 Tblsp paprika

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Crumble thawed tots into baking pan(I always use a disposable aluminum roasting pan for our casseroles, but you could use a 9×13 or a lasagna pan). Set aside.
Brown sausage with onions and garlic. Drain off fat. Stir in soup, sour cream, and pimentos. Fold into the crumbled tots in pan and smooth out evenly. In a gallon size bag crush potato chips(not into a fine dust, leave some large bits), combine with cheese and paprika. Spread over casserole, cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes to finish melting the cheese and to crisp up the topping. Remove from oven and let sit a few minutes before serving.

**COOK NOTES**

You can certainly use any form of frozen potatoes that you like. We keep tater tots in the house most of the time. You can choose to use shredded potatoes, cubed hash browns or hash rounds. Just be sure they are thawed completely. If you choose to use hash rounds they will need to be crumbled just as the tots. The shredded or cubed potatoes will not needed to be crushed or crumbled.

To avoid having to measure out potato chips to crush, simply grab 4–1 oz bags of potato chips. Open them and crush them inside each bag before adding them to the bowl of shredded cheese and paprika. Cuts out the use of a gallon size bag.

Now, if there are any questions feel free to shoot me an email(nightowlkitchen@yahoo.com), comment below, or leave your Q’s on Instagram (@nok_amandagayle) where I have shared the above picture. Hope you all enjoy and have a wonderful day!!

 

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Crunchy Creamy Goodness

~Breakfast for a Crowd~

Good morning everyone!! I’ve had the pleasure last night and early this morning in making some goodies for my Dad to take to work today πŸ™‚ I love making things for him to share with everyone, it’s fun, relaxing and it’s therapy that I can afford lol! Any time I can get in the kitchen to whisk something up and try something new is always enjoyable for me…just wish I had a kitchen fairy to clean up afterwards hehe!

So last night I made a family favorite(honey bun cake), and I really need to thank The Country Cook for sharing the recipe in the first place. Honestly, it is the easiest cake you’ll ever make and is perfect for any breakfast, brunch or dessert! Your family is going to love it, friends are going to request it, and be sure to have the recipe on hand to share. It is a keeper!

 

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Honey Bun Cake via the Night Owl Kitchen

 

I did cut the cake into 15 pieces, you can certain cut them smaller or larger depending on how you want to serve it. I wanted to give the option to cut a few pieces in half in case someone didn’t want to take a full piece. Be sure to head on over to The Country Cook‘s site to snag the recipe! You can click the above picture to visit her site or click HERE.

Not everyone is a fan of breakfast casseroles, frittatas, or quiches. Especially guys, and the guys I know cringe when you use the word quiche. So when Dad sent me the link to the Huevos Rancheros Casserole I was shocked! I did tweak the recipe just a tad to make it more “manly” and less chickie. I added chopped fried bacon and some onion powder, seriously you can’t have a mexican style casserole without an onion flavor. It’s just criminal! Instead of bacon you can add crumbled sausage, chopped ham or turkey. πŸ˜‰

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Huevos Rancheros Casserole via the Night Owl Kitchen

As with any breakfast casserole recipe I like to spray and flour the pan, helps to remove each serving just a smidgen easier. The Better Homes & Garden recipe wasn’t too specific about what “potato nuggets” were, so we just went with tater tots. They’re a bit more substantial than hash browns and actually worked perfectly! You can certainly use the little cubed version that comes with or without the onion and green bell pepper bits. Just make sure they are mostly thawed before you use them for the best results. I would probably go a step further and cook those up in a skillet to get them somewhat browned before baking in the casserole. That would help them to hold up better and not become a mushy mess.Β 

You can certainly spice this up, add some chopped jalapenos, red crushed pepper flakes, or diced Tabasco peppers. To serve this, add a dollop of sour cream, your favorite salsa and fresh cilantro. The picture truly does not do it justice and I wish you all could scratch n sniff the screen. I was tempted to take a scoop for myself, but I didn’t πŸ˜› You can click the above picture to view the recipe or click HERE.

What’s your favorite breakfast recipe to serve to a crowd?

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 πŸ™‚

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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 πŸ™‚

Enjoy!