Whole Lotta Cookin’ Going On

chicken zoodle soup

Evenings are quite cold now. Time for my carb chicken zoodle soup.

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. The husband and I decided to pack up the pup and take a road trip to Texas to visit my sister. We loved the trip and it’s always great to see family. But once home, I got back into the kitchen. The thought of eating out again made my head spin.

So over the last few days I’ve whipped up some of my favorite and easy dishes: chili, chicken zoodle soup, Scotch eggs, taco omelets, and huge Cobb salads.

I also had a good time trying out a few new recipes. The biggest mistakes I made with my garden this year?  Not enough low carb/keto recipes for all the food I grew.  Planning is well ahead for 2020. I finally figured out what I want to grow. Now it’s time to start concocting some tasty and keto friendly dishes.

taco casserole

Layering the first test of my taco casserole. A few more tweaks and it’s a go!

This week I tried out 3 recipes. Two need work. The third…a disaster never to be spoken of again.

  • Shredded chicken taco casserole (too many eggs, not enough smokey salsa!)
  • Roasted poblano soup (too many carbs!!!!),
  • “What was I thinking” casserole (always make sure the diced zucchini you grab isn’t actually cucumber instead).

After several days of cooking, experimenting and cleaning, the itch to go out for dinner hit me real hard. Thankfully my husband just ignored my hints and I went back into the kitchen to cook some Peruvian chicken with green sauce and green beans.

hungry pup

My constant companion while I cook. Just waiting for morsels to fall or a few scritches.

Dinner was delicious. We saved money. Most importantly, I’m loving being back in the kitchen.

And the timing is good with Thanksgiving just weeks a way. Let the cooking (and recipe testing) commence!



Here is a low carb attempt at gumbo that turned out pretty tasty.  I’ve made LCHF approved gumbo before, but this is the first time I made it with roux. For those of you from New Orleans, please forgive me. I didn’t use wheat. Instead I combined coconut and almond flour with butter.

Still it came out tasty.  The husband was able to try some before I added the shrimp and he loved it.

Attempting Homemade Broth Again

broth 3

Success! After my first failed attempt at making broth, I finally succeeded. This lovely vegetable broth is destined for my tomato soup!

For the last few weeks I focused on getting back into the kitchen. We’ve been eating out way too much for my liking. The pounds I lost recently is a clear sign that good things happen when you control the ingredients.

So this week I was making a tomato soup and decided to try yellow heirloom tomatoes as they finally appeared at my grocery store. I was determined to make it from scratch but that meant making my own vegetable broth. Ugh!

My previous attempt at making my own broth didn’t go that well. I used my Thanksgiving turkey carcass. The actual cooking was just fine. It was the storage where I ran into problems. Once I let the broth cool, I ended up dumping it into freezer bags.

  • First problem – I’d have to thaw a whole bag rather than just what I need.
  • Second problem – When I did thaw a batch it tasted like it sat in a plastic bag in the freezer for about a month.

I ended up tossing the broth. Read More

The Best Soups of 2015!


Easy to make, soups are a great way to eat healthy and stay warm during winter. Low carb recipe blogger All Day I Dream About Food put together a list of the 21 top recipes of 2015. Enjoy! Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net and rakratchada torsap.

What better way to officially welcome winter than with soup recipes. But not just any recipes — 2015’s best low carb and ketogenic soup dishes.

Courtesy of All Day I Dream About Food (an awesome low carb food blog if there was one!), here you’ll find recipes for:

The recipes were pulled from great low carb, paleo and keto recipe sites.

As a soup lover, I can’t wait to start whipping these recipes up. I think I’m going to start with the Chicken & Chorizo Stew.



Bacon & Turkey Soup

bacon turkey soup 1

My version of Bacon and Turkey soup. To lower the carb count I used an orange bell pepper instead of a sweet potato. Still got my splash of orange and comfort out of the soup on a very cold Virginia day.

My 15-pound bird yielded a lot of meat. I wanted to do something different with the leftovers than the standard turkey sandwiches (on oopsie bread of course!). So I thought of making a soup. I found a lovely recipe on I Breath. I’m HungrySmokey Bacon and Turkey Chowder.

I just made a few minor changes to the recipe, based on what I had in my house. My goal was not to run out to the grocery store for leftover soup.

My Changes
I used Applegate Naturals Uncured Sunday Bacon* rather than the cherry hardwood smoked bacon. While I love the idea of cherry hardwood smoked bacon, I can’t find any in my neck of the woods that is uncured with sugar. So I just remedied the lack of smoky flavor by adding a bit more liquid smoke. Read More

Healthy Loaded “Potato” Soup On Cold, Winter Day

My faux potato soup hit the spot on a very cold day. Cauliflower is an amazingly versatile veggie.

My faux potato soup hit the spot on a very cold day. Cauliflower is an amazingly versatile veggie.

The wind is howling, rain is on the way and it’s terribly cold outside. Time for soup! Yep, I’m in soup mode.  Earlier in the week I tossed cauliflower, onion, green beans and beef in some broth and made a veggie beef soup.

But I’m craving potato soup. Yum!

I love potato soup but it’s too high in carbs for me to enjoy at the moment. What’s a low carb girl like me, with a desperate need for potato soup, to do? Switch out the potato with a medium head of cauliflower!

Cauliflower?  Oh, yes.

This soup made a wonderful lunch on a cold winter day. Plus it’s outrageously fast, filling and easy to create. Most importantly I got my potato soup fix with just 4g of net carbs. Read More

Broccoli Basil Butter Soup… So Yummy!

A big improvement over the cream of broccoli soup recipe I posted a few weeks ago. The basil butter make this recipe a delicious winner.

A big improvement over the cream of broccoli soup recipe I posted a few weeks ago. The basil butter make this recipe a delicious winner.

This weekend I decided to crack open Low Carb 1-2-3, a cookbook with just 3 ingredients per recipe. I picked it up a few months ago but only really started looking at the recipes on Saturday. I must say I started drooling as I leafed through the pages.

With 2 lbs. of broccoli in my fridge, I planned to make some cream of broccoli soup. But scanning Low Carb 1-2-3, I found a broccoli soup recipe that called for…basil butter!?! That sounded too tasty to pass up.

The soup is fairly simple to make, but you’ll need a food processor to make the basil butter. Trust me, it is worth it.

Oh, while Low Carb 1-2-3 only uses 3 ingredients per recipe, I strongly suggest adding 2 more ingredients for this dish – salt and pepper. It’s needed to boost the flavor. The recipe does call for salt and pepper, but they are not listed on the ingredient list. Read More

Whipping Up Some Vegetable Soup Italian Style Tonight

Made a batch of Italian style vegetable soup, compliments of Simple Start. Perfect for a cold night like tonight.

Made a batch of Italian style vegetable soup, compliments of Simple Start. Perfect for a cold night like tonight.

It’s 23 degrees out and freezing rain is on the way. A perfect night for soup, no? I’m making a vegetable soup following the Simple Start recipe with two additions — spinach and red bell pepper.

I am kicking myself for not buying kale today.  Kale is wonderful in soups. I went with baby spinach and the soup still tastes great.

I made a big batch for the week for a filling, comfy snack (yes, soup is a snack in my book!) during this cold streak.

Vegetable Soup
Net Carbs: 9g
Weight Watchers PlusPoints: 1
Servings: About 10-12


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • black pepper and sea salt, to taste
  • 2 c spinach
  • 2 c low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 c water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (low carb)
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 c whole wheat elbow macaroni


  • Add oil to pot over medium heat; add garlic and simmer until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add carrots, celery and onion, stirring occasionally; add salt and pepper to taste; cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables become soft. About half way through, add the red bell pepper.
  • Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, water and basil; add salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Add spinach and pasta; simmer until pasta is cooked.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup For Start of Fall

Fall's almost here? That means it's time for soup.

Fall’s almost here? That means it’s time for soup.

I’m seeing fall colors on our trees. The turning of the leaves signals the start of soup season for me.

I love making my own stews, soups and stocks. Mixing and matching my own ingredients…creating great flavors…how could you not love that?

The real beauty of home-made soups? Soup is hard to screw up. It’s very forgiving.

So what’s on tap for the weekend?  Roasted Red Pepper Soup. Yum.

Recipe Changes
Today, I’m working on converting my soup recipes from high to low carb. Most are easy to alter.  Just replacing one veggie with another.

For other recipes, I’m looking for ways to replace flour and cornstarch as thickeners. Slimy, bad tasting low carb thickeners are plentiful.  It looks like pureed vegetables and heavy cream will be my thickening staples.

But I might experiment with two options I’ve come across on the Paleo Diet forums – vegetable gum, and nut butters and meals.

  • Vegetable Gum – Gums like xanthan and guar suck out moisture and leave a gel. A little goes a long way. Too much gum and soups and sauces become gooey rather than creamy.
  • Nut Meal and Nut Butters – My friends following the Paleo Diet swear by their nuts. Nut meal doesn’t clump like flour (bonus).  However, both the meal and butters increase my carb count. So I’ll need to use caution.

I’m not sure if I’ll play with these two options just yet. Pureed veggies just seems fresher (they are!) and easier to control the carb count.


Cooking Day! Prepping For The Week

food prepWhen I go to my Weight Watcher meetings, I always hear people talk about how they don’t have the time to plan ahead and that causes them to make bad food choices.  Well, I use to think like that too.  I did the 16-hour daily grind. Sat in traffic for an hour to get home. Did drive thru or order pizza for dinner because my day was grueling.   I use to tell myself I just don’t have the time. But that was really a lie.  I just wanted easy…and I got fatter.

Anyone who tells you they don’t have minutes to spare for their own health is fooling themselves. They just haven’t made themselves a priority.

And in fact, planning for the week only takes minutes. Every Saturday I do a weekly menu-10 minutes tops! Then on Sunday I cook a few items for the week. Not only is this a time saver, it takes the guess work our of what I’m eating each day and ensures that I eat healthy, low carb foods. Today, I’m whipping up:

Cream of Broccoli Soup
Grilled Chicken Breasts
Lime Chili Wings
Curried Egg Salad
Lots O’Chopped Veggies (snacks!)

Just try starting off prepping a few items, like chopping veggies for snacks or grab and go lunches. It will make your life easier and healthier.

Recipes will be posted after I do some chopping. But here is the cream of broccoli soup:

Low Carb Cream of Broccoli Soup

Makes 6 1-Cup Servings
Carb Count: 4g (if you make it without cheese, 3g)
1 lbs Broccoli, cut into florets, stems trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 C Chicken broth (can substitute veggie broth)
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 C Heavy Cream
1 C Sharp Cheddar Cheese (optional, buy why leave tastiness out?)

Combine broth, salt and pepper in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat; bring to boil. Add broccoli, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until broccoli is tender, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer soup to a blender. Blend at low speed to puree soup. You’ll want to do this in batches. Place pureed soup into a sauce pan. Stir in cheese. Bring back to simmer over medium-high. Whisk in heavy cream; simmer and whisk occasionally until thick, about 5 minutes. Serve.  This can store in the fridge for up to 3 days.