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!


An Abundance of Tomatoes

tomato harvest

This tomato (and pepper) harvest lead to me getting my butt back into the kitchen and rediscovering what I love.

Although the garden is winding down, in the last 2 weeks we’ve seen huge harvests of peppers (hot and sweet), beefsteak, yellow pear, and heirloom tomatoes. Granted, most of the yellow pear tomatoes are green. We owe that harvest to a squirrel who decided to jump on the plant and shake it clean of fruit.

Despite the ongoing battle with the neighborhood fluffy-tailed rodents, I’m actually quite grateful. That squirrel helped me get back into the routine of cooking our food again. This past year we’ve spent an awful amount of time in restaurants. It was just easier (and less painful) than standing at the stove. Also, we were “getting out of the house” all that. Despite choosing restaurants where we could still eat low carb, we didn’t always do so. And we drank wine …

I figured once my hip stopped hurting, I’d get back into the kitchen. But the pain came and went and we still were eating out. A little honesty: since my most recent reset, we’ve eaten out twice. To be fair, that was an improvement – we used to go out almost every day (and boy did it take a toll on our wallet).

That said I’m still not happy with myself. I hate the idea of letting food go to waste—and my hard work in the garden—and so I’ve started cooking again. I broke out a few tried and true low carb recipes – slow cooked meatballs in yellow tomato sauce, roasted tomato soup, chicken & zucchini au gratin, low carb meatloaf (with a ghost pepper twist), and chicken parmesan.

We mostly stayed true to our keto reset (though glasses of wine did pop in a couple more times). No, we weren’t perfect, but I rediscovered my love of cooking healthy, delicious meals for us. I simply can’t give in to the ease of having someone else make and serve our food. Besides, my cooking is better anyway!

Right now I’m planning my garden for 2020. The plan is to grow more peppers, tomatoes, squash, and greens than I did this year. Which means I need to come up with more keto/low carb recipes for all that food I’m growing…

This is a great lesson to me: if you’re constantly trying to get out of the house, do something that makes staying home more appealing.

Bye for now…

First My Ankle, Now My Voice

quiet post itI wake up this fine, sunny morning with no voice. The sore throat hit Thursday night. Now it’s laryngitis. Great. Of course I was going to shoot a cooking video today. Who says my timing isn’t great?

For those who’ve never experienced the joys of laryngitis, it means my vocal chords are swollen and irritated. Potentially it can last 7-10 days.

The treatment is pretty simple.

  • No talking, shouting, singing, whispering. Not one dang peep.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Breath in humid air – not hard in August.

Well if I can’t make a cooking video, I can at least test out some recipe ideas.

Roasted Salsa Verde & Bonus Recipe

Roasted salsa verde…so easy to make…so delicious.  This 3 cup recipe lasts for a week. Seems like a lot for so little time but I promise you, you’ll want to add it to everything — casseroles, omelets, salads, pork, chicken and fish dishes. Or you can go the traditional route and use it as a dip with your vegetable crudités. Trust me you’ll forget about those unhealthy corn chips.

Bonus Recipe! Salsa Roja
Turns out the day I’m posting my roasted salsa verde recipe, The Domestic Man, posts his Salsa Roja. It looks so tasty that I’m making a batch this weekend. Normally my red salsa is raw — no roasting. But if I’m roasting my salsa verde why not try it with the red salsa too!

Plus he goes the extra mile and uses a mortar to better grind the salsa. Now that is a true chef! Not to fear. A food processor or blender works just as well.

Check out the recipe and his blog. The recipes are healthy and mouth-watering!

Chicken Stuffed Peppers

My dad use to make stuffed peppers when I was a kid. Green peppers, diced onions, cheese, ground beef, hot sauce and “milk.” Actually I think the milk was really cream of mushroom soup, but it’s not like that’s something you can tell 5 food-fussy kids. A man’s gotta do what he’s gotta do, right?

Anyway here’s a version from The Complete Guide To Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung (yes, a fasting book with recipes!). This recipe replaces ground beef with chicken and tosses in some spices and grape tomatoes.

Easy to make and, like other recipes from the book I’ve tried, very yummy.

Corned Beef & Cabbage with Horseradish Dressing

corned beef

My first try at Corned Beef & Cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. My fears of all too tough brisket were unfounded. The dish is amazing and the hubby requested it become a regular menu item.

Well looks like my worrying about making corned beef and cabbage for the first time was all for naught. I generally don’t like boiling meat — it never gets tender enough. But this time it worked.

I did go full Irish with the meal too, adding carrots and potatoes to my pot of brisket and cabbage.  To keep it low carb for myself, I just stuck to the corned beef, cabbage and 2 small pieces of carrot. Yum!

The recipe couldn’t be any easier and it was all cooked in one pot (a big bonus).

At the last minute I decided to whip together some mayo, horseradish, sour cream and chives. I think I made this in case the corned beef wasn’t tender.  You know, something to help with the taste.

Well, not only was the meat tender, but the horseradish dressing was an awesome addition to the plate. The dressing is perfect for any beef or frankly a mixed green salad with an added kick.

Corned Beef & Cabbage with Horseradish Dressing
Net Carbs: 4.6g/serving (includes 1g for 1 tbsp of horseradish dressing; does not include carbs for potatoes)
Servings: 4-6

Corned Beef & Cabbage Ingredients

  • Corned beef brisket, about 2 pounds
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 4 whole allspice berries
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1/2 small head, green cabbage
  • 4 carrots
  • 4-6 small potatoes (about 2″ in diameter), washed & cleaned (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste (recommend only for vegetables)

Horseradish Dressing Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp mayo (home-made or made with olive oil)
  • 3 tbsp horseradish, prepared
  • 1-2 tbsp sour cream


  • Place corned beef brisket in a dutch oven and cover with water. Add seasonings (my brisket came with its own seasoning packet, which I used instead of the seasonings listed above). Bring water to a boil then turn down heat to a simmer and cover. Cook on low for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  • Chop cabbage into 8 pieces. Rinse off and set aside. Clean carrots and chop into 2-inch size pieces. About 20-30 minutes before taking out the brisket add in the cabbage, carrots and potatoes. Depending on size of the potatoes, you may want to add them 10 minutes earlier than the cabbage and carrots.
  • While everything is cooking, mix mayo, horseradish and sour cream into a small bowl. You can add fresh herbs like chives, cilantro or parsley for added flavor if you like. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • When brisket is done, take it out of the pot and wrap in tin foil and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Recover the pot and continue cooking vegetables.
  • Unwrap brisket and slice thin and plate. Add horseradish sauce on top of slices. Serve with vegetables.



Bacon, Cheddar Mock Mashed Potatoes

This healthy, low carb alternative to loaded mashed potatoes is delicious and easy to make.

Getting my ingredients ready! This healthy, low carb alternative to loaded mashed potatoes is delicious and easy to make.

One food I miss is the wonderful potato and all of its delicious incarnations – fried, mashed, baked and soup. But at 37g of carbs, it’s not the best thing for weight loss. Once I’m closer to my goal, I’ll start adding healthy, higher carb foods, like potatoes, back into my diet.

So I’m always on the lookout for low carb recipes to replace my beloved potato dishes. This one is from George Stella’s The Complete Low-Carb Cookbook. Cauliflower purée takes the place of the mashed potatoes. It’s a great, healthy alternative, but I have to admit, this recipe had me at bacon. Read More