Keto Party Food!

***Interesting Pre-Note: I wrote this before I knew the outcome! The tense may jump around a bit…***

Every time I start a “lifestyle change” a food related event pops up. It could be something big like a relative’s birthday, or a major holiday. Sometimes it’s just a small thing, like an office recognition dinner or “The Big Game”. Well, last week’s celebration could be considered “The Big Game”. Let me just get it out, quickly…It’s WrestleMania. There, I said it.

I was not one of those people who grew up watching wresting. I knew about Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage (“Snap into a Slim Jim!”) because their fame surpassed the ring, but that was pretty much it. When I got older, my sister and my cousin would talk about “Raw” and they had crushes on Triple H and The Rock (I did take a peek at him back then…), but I still wasn’t into it.

Related(-ish) side story: When I was 21, 22, I went to a local bar with my friend and this guy kept cornering me. Not in a stalky way, he was just keeping all the other guys away from me by being in my face. I knew him from around town, but I wasn’t interested. He wasn’t terrible, he just wasn’t my “type”. My friend agreed – “He wouldn’t be so bad, especially if he wasn’t wearing an ‘NWO 4-Eva’ shirt!” Yeah, I think that was it. Yuck. My 9-year-old sister is into those shows! So when I thought of wrestling, I thought of that…

Fast forward about 17, 18 years. I meet a great guy, fall in love and move in with him and his dog (it happened that quickly too). I’m under the impression that things are great and then one day he says “Do you want to watch wrestling with me? I record it and fast forward through most of it.” Mmm hmmm. “There is the flaw!”, I thought. Well, I’m willing to try anything so, “Yeah! Why not?” I watched and it wasn’t that bad. What helped was that my boyfriend explained what was going on and gave me some technical and background information throughout. He’s not just a mindless fanboy about it, he understands the business. He also made it really funny, which helps a lot!

Needless to say, we’ve been watching Raw and Smackdown every week since I moved in. It’s a plan we make now, since he DVRs it. I have a couple of favorites (Elias, Matt Hardy and Braun Strowman bits are ridiculous/hilarious, Naomi is an impressive acrobat and yay Nia Jaxx, just because, I get it!).

SO NOW: Wrestlemania!

My boyfriend picked up his snacks – tortilla chips, seven-layer dip, things like that. But what can I have? I am on a low carb-keto life change right now! Why is this happening?! Well, I thought of somethings I could have, and maybe I’ll share them with him. Here are the recipes, for you!

I’ll start with the easy stuff – Cheese Crisps! I’m craving flavorful cheese, so these are perfect!

Cheese Crisps
I love silicone baking sheets!

 

I put Trader Joe’s Chile Lime seasoning on the three white cheddar mounds for a little kick, Italian seasoning on the three Italian blend cheese mounds (obviously) and Trader Joe’s Seasoning Salt on the three mild cheddar mounds because I haven’t used it yet and I want to know how it tastes (sometimes it’s that simple!)…

Cheese Flavors
There they are – the cheeses with the matching spices!

 

Put them in a 375 degree oven for, well, until they melt, and then take them out and let them cool into crisps! Easy stuff!

Cheese Crisps Done
Cheese Chips are (almost) done! I put them in the freezer for five minutes to help them crisp up faster!

 

Another simple recipe: Egg Salad and Bacon Chips!

I make the easiest egg salad. It’s especially easy now since we have the “Egglettes”. No peeling! Yay!

Eggs
Hard boiled eggs cooked in Egglettes!

 

I am making a 4-egg salad (because Egglettes comes in a pack of four and this is just for me and the BF), so I’ll add:

  • Mayo
  • Dijon Mustard
  • 21 Seasoning Salute

 

Egg Salad
Maille is the best Dijon mustard ever!

 

That’s it. I don’t like crunchy stuff in my egg salad (NO onions, blech) so this is a really easy recipe. Everyone is so into the Everything But the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s now, but 21 Seasoning Salute is amazing with eggs. I still love it!

The bacon chips are so easy, I’m not going to even type out what I did because it’ll offend you. I will say that I use Morningstar Farms “Facon” because it is slightly better for you and, as a bonus, it’s more chip-like than real bacon.

Egg Salad with Facon
Egg Salad with “Bacon” Chips

 

Here comes a recipe with more steps: Loaded Zucchini Skins

I found this recipe on Pinterest but I changed it up a bit to make it more stuffed with goodness, more like Zucchini Boats with loaded potato fixins.

I halve a coupla large zucchinis and remove the zucchini guts (sorry, what’s another word for that? I can’t think right now…).

Zucchini

I put the hollow zucchini halves in the air fryer for about 7 minutes. I do this because I want to kinda dry them out so they’re more like potato skins. (*Hint* After they were done my boyfriend suggested that I drizzle some olive oil on them before putting them in the airfryer, and putting them in for 10 minutes. Will do next time!). I have no pics of this step for some reason! Well…

I heat my protein crumbles and zucchini guts through and add some of this Sriracha salsa that I love.

Crumbles
I had to add some spicy!

 

I stuff the zucchini halves with the crumble mixture and add shredded cheese on top.

Zucchini Stuffed
Covered and smothered!

 

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the cheese melts about 5-7 minutes

Top with sour cream, “facon” crumbles and chives for authenticity!

Zucchini Done
Artistic shot (my boyfriend took it)!

 

Recipe with the most steps: Spinach Balls

Here’s what I used:

  • Fresh Spinach (two bags)
  • 1/2 Cup of Almond Meal
  • 1/2 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup of Shredded Cheddar
Spinach Ball Ingredients
Two bags of spinach only yielded this much!

 

I had to add something green today, since none of this really has any nutritional value (Let’s be real, it’s awesome, low-carb and keto, but it’s still junk. It’s a party!)

I started by making a little almond meal using a small bag of blanched almonds. I am using these in place of the breadcrumbs that were required in the original recipe.

Then I cook the spinach down in scallion olive oil. Shout out to The Twisted Branch for making my new favorite olive oil – scallion olive oil – YUM!

Scallion Olive Oil
Best local find! Shop local!

 

I whisk the egg and then add the spinach, almond meal and the cheeses. I also sprinkle in garlic powder for some flavor.

I put this in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour so the balls will be easy to form.

I form the balls using an ice cream scoop and put on my silicone baking sheet (a HUGE lifesaver), place in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Spinach Balls
Big ole’ spinach balls…

 

Since I made such huge balls, they flattened down into spinach patties and they were excellent! I can see making these for a meal prep…

Spinach Patties
They baked like cookies!

 

Yum!

So that’s all for the food I pre-planned to cook today. My boyfriend suggested that I make my “famous” onion dip, which is actually a supremely keto recipe.

Onion Dip
This is pre-bake (and sideways)!

 

I already made this and posted it on Instagram, so you can find the recipe as a highlight on my Instagram account!

That’s all! Done! I know I’m having some of that seven-layer dip though (with the cheese crisps!) and we are set!

Whole Party
I added yellow plates and the book for “tablescaping” purposes! Ha!

 

So, these appetizers can be used for any occasion where you might be concerned about a high carb menu. I knew my boyfriend was going to have some stuff that I couldn’t have so this was perfect!

(Booooo! At the actual outcome of WrestleMania) Now, let’s hope that Roman Reigns beats Brock Lesnar! (Yes, I realize that I just said that…)

Enjoy!

An Autumn Meal – Part 1

I know, it’s been a long time since I have posted on “The Dweeb” (that’s what all the cool people are calling it), but it’s been for good reason. Reasons I can’t get into right now, but I will soon. Well, by the end of the year, at least. So, anyway…
I noticed that I’ve been making up a lot of my recipes, so I decided to look in one of the millions (slight exaggeration) of cookbooks I own to make a new and delicious meal. This week I looked to my Orange County Bounty cookbook, which was gifted to me from my friend Marian.
OC Bounty
Yes, I am one of those “tabbers”!
I like this cookbook because the recipes are organized by season and the recipes revolve around the fresh local produce of that season. In the Fall section, and I found this great recipe for Stuffed Swiss Chard.
OC Bounty Open
Redactions for copyright reasons!
I have most of the ingredients already, yet it’s something different from my usual fare. I made a special effort to leave the recipe as it is and not change it around too-too much. Changes: from rice to quinoa – it’s always good to add a healthy protein and I only made enough for one serving (4 leaves for me!).
Here are the ingredients:
Mise En Place
I only mise en place for the camera (stuntin’)…Walnuts, celery, onion, cottage cheese, feta cheese, quinoa and an egg to act as a binder.
So I mixed it all up used it as stuffing in my rolled Swiss chard leaves…
Season Water
Season every layer!

After you roll the leaves you fill your baking dish halfway, with water. I decided to add some 21 Seasoning Salute to the water. If I had broth on hand, I’d probably use that for even more flavor.

I decided that I needed a side…and it had to fit in with the fall theme…AND it had to use my new crinkle cutting tool. So butternut squash it is! I was inspired by Instagram to make the squash fries…
Crinkle Cuts
Yay! Crinkle cutting tool! I saved the bulb-y part for soup…
I tossed the fries in a baggie with some olive oil, pink Himalayan salt and garlic powder…
Fry Prep
Fry prep!
I put both in the convection oven (it’s still too warm to use the regular oven!) at the same time, but the squash fries took slightly longer (and they would not have if they were in one, single layer)…
Ready for Oven
These colors make me happy!
After about 35 minutes the chard was done and 45 minutes, the fries were done…
Chard and Squash
Healthy and delicious! Yay!
This is such a colorful meal! It makes me so happy just looking at it, and I’m ecstatic tasting it (that’s why I’m a dweeb)!
I am enjoying this meal with an awesome seasonal beer from Harpoon Brewery (Boston, MA).
Seasonal Beer
Yum!
I actually haven’t had beer in a few months (since a wedding) so this was really good and refreshing.
So, make this! It’s easy! Oh…what? Dessert you say? Well, okay then…
How could I make a fall meal, this beautiful, without dessert? I couldn’t!
Since October is National Apple Month: Hasselback Apples!
People are hasselbacking everything these days, so I thought “why not apples?” I thought I was being innovative until I looked it up on Pinterest. Yeah, other people have thought of this as well! So, here’s my take on it…
Hasselback Prep
Preppin’ like crazy today!
It is a pretty standard “crumble” recipe, on top of a half sliced apple. I used Cinnamon Oat Kodiak Cakes mix instead of regular flour and/or oats. That adds protein and lots of flavor. I used coconut oil instead of butter to form the crumble, just because I bought a new jar.
Golden Delicious apples are my favorite, so I used them of course!
Pour on the cinnamon blend (try to get in between the cuts, I actually let it cook for about 15 minutes and then when back in to put more of the mix inside the cuts) and cook for about 30-40 minutes. I covered my pan with another pan of the same size and added cinnamon water to the bottom of the pan so it would steam them a bit…
Hasselback Apple
NOM!
I topped it with some amazing Halo Top just for some extra autumn-ness!
Halo Top
Oatmeal Cookie, for more cinnamon and oatness!
So, now, enjoy! Make a day of this deliciousness!
I’ll be back next week with a fall recipe from another cookbook (that had been wasting away on the shelf!)…

Broccoli Frittata (Frittatleson!)…

This is coming to you a little late. I actually prepared this frittata last Sunday (9/3) and ate it with the zoodles on Tuesday (9/5). Things are a little cray, but, a great kinda cray!

Anyway! This is a very easy recipe, great for meal prepping.

I made one small frittata – I only used two eggs…

Wet Ingredients

To the eggs, I added:

  • 2 tablespoons of chickpea flour
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese 
  • The smidgiest-smidge of baking powder (I have a fear of flat frittatas!)

Yes! I did give up cheeses, mainly of the soft variety, because I think I was overdoing it in the “cheese is low carb” department. It is low carb, but it’s not the best choice to make if you are looking for something salty/fatty/healthy. Cheese is salty and fatty and can curb hunger, however, not so healthy. I’ve decided that I should go for avocados, nuts and olives to satisfy that fatty need. BUT, I use parmesan as more of a seasoning. I don’t feel the need to eat a cup of parmesan in one sitting – like I have to stop myself from doing with a block of mild cheddar…Speaking of seasonings…

Spices
The “Spice Trinity”…

I add several shakes of each to my egg mixture. Plus, I had some leftover broccoli, which I added as well…

Broccoli

I, most definitely, sprayed my 3-cup Pyrex dish with Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil Spray…

Pan Sprayed
No sticking!

I popped it in the convection oven for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

It comes out like this…

Finished

Yummy! I cut it into triangles to serve, on a bed of zoodles…

Whole Meal

So easy, so delicious! The chickpea flour makes it almost into an egg pancake. It’s not quite as flat as one though, and it’s not as airy as a quiche. It’s so good! I had the other two wedges the next day, so this dish keeps nicely for meal prep (I also had it with zoodles – it was a zoodly week…)…

Enjoy!

OH! Frittatleson! – That’s a family joke. When we don’t remember someone’s last name we’ll say its Frittatleson. If we don’t know their name at all, they become Abe Frittatleson. We are all dweebs!

 

Burmese Tofu!

I don’t really remember how I got obsessed with making Burmese tofu. I think I was reading about how terrible soy is for women (especially if you have hormonal dysfunctions like I, and so many women, do), and I was looking around for a substitute (probably, sounds like me). I do remember this was several months ago. I have been wanting to make this recipe for a while now. I had the bag of chickpea flour, just waiting in the wings. When I started making mug cakes and waffles with the flour I knew I had to use it for what I originally bought it for (because I would end up making 101 chickpea mug cakes and no tofu). So, here’s how I started…

Ingredients
First time using pano on my phone and it’s for food!

The ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Flour
  • 3 Cups of water
  • Several shakes of turmeric
  • Two shakes of crushed red pepper
  • As much garlic as you can stand in your cooking (I can stand a lot!)
  • About four grinds of Himalayan Pink Salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper

As you can see, I’m really precise (heh). The most important thing is the flour and the water – you can season this however you like. Some people use broth or stock in place of water and, hey, if I had some I’d probably use that too. So, you boil two cups of the water and, in the meantime and in a separate bowl:

  • Blend the flour, and the spices, with the remaining cup of water.

Once the two cups of water have reached a rolling boil, add the flour/spice/water mixture. It’ll look like this:

Mixed Tofu
Glossy…

So, you have to whisk-whisk-whisk away to get rid of any lumps and until the mixture looks glossy (like it goes in the picture). You are now ready to pour the mixture into your prepared pan. To get your pan ready, line it with parchment paper. I used an 8×8 Pyrex pan.

Spread Tofu
Smooth it better than I did! I should’ve used a bigger pan…

Smooth it out in your pan, using a spoon or a spatula.

Then, once it’s spread out in the pan, let it sit until it gets room temperature (so condensation doesn’t form when you put it in the fridge). Which brings us to the next step: put it in the fridge! I let it sit out for about an hour and put it in the fridge for about three hours and I got this:

Refrigerated Tofu

After it firms up in the fridge, you can cut up your tofu in any shape you want for your dishes. I cut mine two ways – in triangles and small rhombuses (yup, I said “rhombuses” – wait, is it “rhombuses” or “rhombi”?).

Stir Fry Pieces
Rhombuses (rhombi), for stir-fry…

Here I am frying the triangles in some olive oil:

Golden Brown
Try not to use too much oil – these are like little sponges…

They are SUPER YUMMY! Take a look at this:

Cooked
Golden brown and delicious!

Crisp on the outside, a little soft on the inside. Seasoned perfectly (if I do say so myself)!

So, I made some meals with it:

Meals

I will most definitely share my stir-fry on Instagram!

So this was an easy, delicious recipe. A success! I can add this one to my repertoire, change it up a bit, make different sides. A great soy substitute!

Enjoy!