Vegetarian Cucumber Roll

It’s been a little over a week since I’ve finished a 30 day grain, sugar, dairy, legume – free diet, just to get my mind back into the healthy-eating mindset. So where do I go from here?

Last Thursday I caught a stomach bug- ew- and on Friday and Saturday, the only thing I could keep down was white rice and white bread. Well, Sunday and Monday I paid the price. I felt super gassy and bloated, and hungry. I never really planned to add grain or gluten back into my diet, but after this weekend, my decision is final!

Dairy is a different story. I love full-fat cheese and butter. I’ve not noticed any problem in my body since adding it back into my diet and I’ve come this far with dairy as my friend, so I plan to use it in moderation.

All that to say, this vegetarian “sushi” I created for lunch yesterday was so perfect! All the green made me smile and of course I’m happy to have that cheese back in my life. The avocado and cream cheese take the protein roll and the cucumber and carrots are not only for looks. My body thanks me every time I eat colorful meals!

Vegetarian Cucumber Roll

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  • 1 long english cucumber
  • 1/2 an avocado, sliced thin
  • 1/2 large carrot, julienned or cut into small strips
  • 2 oz full-fat cream cheese, cut thinly into aprrox. 8 pieces

Method:

Rinse the english cucumber and pat dry, then, using a potato peeler, carefully run the blade down the english cucumber- length wise. Using the previous peel as a guide, continue to slowly peel down the cucumber until you have 8-10 slices.
Place a single cucumber slice on a paper towel and press dry, then assemble avocado, carrot strips, and cream cheese at one end of the cucumber, then, roll the cucumber from the filling side up until completely rolled. They should stay together well, if not, secure with a tooth pick! Continue until you have used all ingredients, drying each cucumber strip on a paper towel as you go.

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Serve with your favorite soy sauce substitute and enjoy!

Kaitie Holley, housewife

 

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Chia Seed Jam and Low Carb Biscuit Recipes

Okay, maybe I’m a little chia seed-obsessed, but if you remember all the benefits of the little guys that I listed in my Banana Chocolate Chip Chia Muffins recipe, how could one not be?! Chia seeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids which is all super good for your metabolism and they have been known to pack a serious energy punch. I need all the energy I can get in the morning as I prepare for a whole day of babysitting and nannying, so here is another creative chia seed creation I came up with!

Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

Makes: 2 cups of jam

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups strawberry slices (or any berry really! Strawberry jam is Blaine’s favorite kind.)
  • 1/3 cup Organic Blue Agave (A syrup-like natural sweetener that is low-glycemic. Honey can be used as well if you aren’t watching carbs strictly)

Instructions:

Over medium heat, cook strawberries and agave in a saucepan for about 10-15 minutes until the berries are soft enough to mash up a bit. While the berries are softening, add the chia seeds and water to a mason jar and soak for at least 5 minutes. The seeds thicken up and create your “jam-like” consistency all while releasing their awesome nutrients and becoming easily digestible! 14

Once your berries are cooked and mashed to whatever kind of consistency you prefer, add them to your jar of seeds and mix it all together. Let it cool on a cooling rack before serving, and keep in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks!

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Such a perfect breakfast treat!
Now I know you’re not just going to let me post that photo without giving you my biscuit recipe, so I shall bestow that upon you as well.

Low Carb Biscuits

Makes: 6 biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cold butter
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 packet of SweetLeaf Stevia

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°
In a medium bowl, mix together almond meal, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in cold butter until it’s pretty evenly throughout. Place mixture in the refrigerator for 5 minutes. In the meantime, whisk 4 egg whites until they are fluffy and mix in the stevia.
Add fluffed eggs to “flour” mixture and mix well. Pour batter into a greased muffin tin 1/6th at a time. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from oven and pan and let cool for 5 minutes.

Now I, personally, believe that the best breakfast is a bunch of eggs, grapefruit, and some avocado, but these biscuits and jam are wonderful for a change-of-pace every now and then! They will definitely put a little pep in your step (:

Kaitie Holley, housewife

Chia Seed Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Time for a sweet breakfast treat!
First of all- what’s a chia seed? Chia seeds are fibrous seeds that are used as an energy boost. In fact, the word “chia” in the ancient Mayan language means “strength” and Aztec warriors supposedly used chia seeds to boost energy and stamina. They have a nice amount of protein, fiber, omega 3s, and calcium, PLUS the seeds also do a pretty neat trick that you’ll have to keep reading to find out about (: I’ve heard of people taking “chia shots” to start their day off, and as much as I would LOVE the energy… chia shots don’t sound as fun as chocolate chip muffins! And that’s why I came up with these little breakfast muffins. Each muffin is gluten-free, only 14g carbs, and 170 calories (which means there’s still room for bacon…)

Chia Seed Banana Muffins

Serves: 6
Cook Time: 15-18 mins

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 and 1/2 bananas (I cut up and freeze the other half of the second banana for smoothies!)
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 6 Tbsp water
  • 6 SweetLeaf Stevia packets
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • a pinch of salt

Instructions:

Preaheat oven to 350°

Now first, to blow your mind- Chia seeds can be used in baking as a substitute for eggs. WHAT. Yeah I know, it’s so cool..
The first thing you want to do is take your 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and put them in a little bowl, then add 6 tablespoons of water and give them a quick stir. Let them sit for at least 5 minutes and they will start to turn an eggy consistency. (For future reference, to sub for 1 egg it’s 3tbsp water to 1tbsp seeds.)

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How cool is that?!
While your seeds are soaking, add all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and mix together.

Then, mash your bananas in a small bowl.

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By now your seed “eggs” should be ready! Add them to your mashed bananas and add your butter. Mix together well.

Then, combine the wet ingredients with dry ingredients and fold in chocolate chips!

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Grease your muffin pan with coconut oil and scoop out mixture evenly into 6 muffins.
Bake for 15-18 minutes and then let cool for at least 10 minutes on a cooling rack before serving!

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They are so good with black coffee or tea. And yay for chia seeds! A delicious breakfast with an energy boost AND chocolate chips? Count me in every day of my life 😀

Please leave feedback or questions if you have any in the comment section! You guys are awesome.

Kaitie Holley, housewife

Party Chicken

“Party Chicken” is a family recipe passed down from Blaine’s mother’s father’s mother. Her recipe is an easy casserole dish with chicken, rice, and a DELICIOUS party sauce. It is seriously the bomb. And that’s why I have taken “party chicken” into my own hands to recreate the dish without carbs. Because I can’t live without it!

I feel like I should add in a disclaimer here: You may read this recipe and say “Half a stick of butter? Mayo? Sour cream? Won’t all that fat make me fat?” And I say to you- Fear not! leave the carbs behind and the fat is completely harmless. Fat does not make you fat! Eating foods that are high in carbohydrates create sugar stores in your body that harbor any fat that you eat and in result, you get fat. Don’t blame the fat! Blaine and I learned that in cutting out all foods that are high in carbohydrates, we lose weight even while eating meals that are high in fat. So before you run away scared off, decide, instead, to cut out those mean carbohydrates and embrace the fat! And don’t worry, I replaced the grains with veggies so it’s already a healthier dish regardless (:

Kaitie’s Party Chicken Casserole

Serves: 4-6
Cook time: 70 Minutes total

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350° Melt butter in microwave and pour into a 9×13 casserole dish. Roll each chicken breast in the butter and salt and pepper both sides. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. While the chicken is cooking, boil cauliflower florets in water until softened.

 

DSCN1653Now the good stuff! Remove the  chicken from the casserole dish and pour the butter drippings into a large bowl. Then add mayo, sour cream, cream of chicken soup and spices and mix together. DSCN1659

Just a side note- I used this organic brand of cream of chicken soup that I found in the Nature’s Market at Kroger. It doesn’t have any unnecessary ingredients and it’s also gluten-free! DSCN1658

Shred your chicken into pieces and then you’ll layer your casserole dish. First add the cooked cauliflower and salt and pepper. Then, pour half of your soup mixture over top. Next add the shredded chicken and then the rest of the mixture.

Cover with foil and place back in the oven for 40 minutes or until browned and bubbly. DSCN1670

Isn’t it beautiful?! It’s delicious, easy, and a perfect dish to serve to any group of people. It will always be one of my favorites (:

Please leave feedback in the comments section with any questions or comments! I love to hear from all of you.

Kaitie Holley, housewife

 

Spinach Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

All hail the first recipe post!!
I decided that the first one should involve one of my favorite things to cook, and that’s why I decided that my Spaghetti Squash Lasagna was the one- because I. LOVE. Spaghetti squash. Or “God-made noodles.” Call it whatever you like, this squash is magical.

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When Blaine and I cut out carbohydrates in February of last year, pasta was one of the things that had to go. I swear I threw out 4 full boxes of pasta on that day. I was a little bummed, until I heard about the spaghetti squash and made it for myself! It’s an incredible substitute! I almost couldn’t believe it, but now I can honestly say I will never cook wheat pasta ever agin. Not only is spaghetti squash low in carbs, but it’s also a vegetable! All around better than wheat pasta, and you can hardly taste the difference! It makes great spaghetti on it’s own with some spaghetti sauce, but it also make a fun low-carb take on lasagna.

Here’s the thing- preparing spaghetti squash IS intimidating the first time. But it is easy! Here is the way I prepare and cook mine.

1.  Cut the squash in half lengthwise
DSCN16172. Scoop seeds out of the middle and place face up in a foiled cookie sheet
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3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper

4. Bake in oven at 350° for 1 hour

5. Let cool, then use fork to pull “noodles” out of the squash.
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TADA! Easy! I usually prepare my squash whenever I get time to during the day and store it in the fridge so that dinner doesn’t take as long to prepare.
Don’t worry, the worst part is over. So without further ado-

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Serving Size: 4-6

 

Ingredients

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  • “Noodles” from 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 cup marinara without any added sugar (I tried a new brand tonight but my favorite is “Priano” brand found at Aldi!)
  • 1 15oz container of whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 10oz box of frozen spinach, thawed and drained (or 2 cups raw)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • parmesan cheese

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°

In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, spinach, and spices.

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Then, start layering your casserole dish in the following order- Marinara, spaghetti squash, ricotta mixture, mozzarella, parmesan, spaghetti squash, marinara, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan.

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Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until brown and bubbly

Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving

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So there you have it! Thank you guys, again, for all the excitement and encouragement you have all expressed to me in regards to what I’m doing with this blog. It means a lot to me!

Kaitie Holley, housewife