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!

Taco Tomato Tuesday (I Won!)

I think I might have won Taco Tuesday. I know, it’s not a contest. But, if it was, I’d be taking home a blue ribbon right now!

So, I was inspired to make this from one of those videos on Facebook. I wish I could remember which site, because I’d totally shout them out (ETA: I remember! It from Delish!). In the video, they used regular sized tomatoes. I took one look and thought “One GIANT tomato!!!” So, I went to the farmers market and set out to find the biggest most beautiful tomato I could find…And I found a one pounder…

Big Tomato
This pic doesn’t do it justice!

Hey – It is huge, yes. However, it’s a tomato. It’s not a deep fried taco shell or a (not carb friendly) flour tortilla. It’s a tomato. A big , beautiful, locally grown tomato. I feel very good about eating the entire thing in one sitting. So, anywho…

I start by slicing this huge tomato. I don’t want to slice all the way down and I kind want to fan it out, like this:

Slices
That slice on the end missed the memo…

Then, I season that bad boy! Yes. The tomato itself must be well seasoned. I learned that from Rachael Ray – you have to season every part of the dish to get maximum flavor. I used Trader Joe’s Chile Lime seasoning, Trader Joe’s Pink Himalayan Salt, garlic powder and fresh cracked black pepper.

Seasoning
“Flavor every layer…” – Rachael Ray

Then, I fry my ground turkey (sorry no pics). I use the same seasonings I use for the tomato.

I top the tomato with the fried ground turkey and top that with a few slices of pepperjack cheese.

Cheese
I LOVE cheese!

I place the loaded tomato in my toaster oven, set on broil. Really just to melt the cheese and in the meantime, I get my guacamole ready…

Guac
These are the small avocados. One was perfect for this recipe…

I make the easiest guac in the world. I just use an avocado (duh), lime juice and Trader Joe’s Chile Lime seasoning (can you guess what my favorite store is?). That’s it.

So, I didn’t take a picture of my tomato just out of the toaster oven. I was so excited to get all of my taco topping on it. Take a look…

The Taco Tomato
WOW! Delish!

This is easily THE MOST DELICIOUS THING I’VE EVER MADE!

Wow! I think I owe it all to the hearty, delicious, juicy, incredible tomato I got at the farmers market on Saturday. That made all the difference!

MAKE THIS! It’s so easy (it’s a taco, in a tomato) and so delicious. YUM!!!

 

Zucchini Roses!

I saw something like this on “Tasty” or one of those random food videos on Facebook. The other recipe had carrots (blech), which made for a more colorful garden, but I think that yellow and green squash worked just fine. It also had a crust, but I am low-carbin’ it so no crust for me!

I started by making ribbons of the squash using my veggie peeler…

Zucchini Ribbons
The vegetable peeler makes great ribbons…

This time making ribbons wasn’t so bad. When I made Zucchini Lasagna in the crock pot it took forever to make the ribbons I needed to fill the pan, even only 1/4 of the way full! I used tiny squashes today, because I was just using my small Corningware dish.

Then I made the base of the “garden”…

All Cheeses
All the cheeses!

I mixed ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and Italian seasoning right in the dish. No need to measure, just mix in however much you want! I also added mozzarella on top of the mixture…

More Cheese
More cheese!

The cheese will help keep the “roses” together in the dish.

Then I started rolling and planting…

Zucchini Garden
Zucchini rose garden…

This part was a little bit more annoying than I though it would be. That’s only because I was hungry and I had no patience. Maybe I was even a little hangry. Just a bit…

I topped off my freshly planted roses with olive oil, more parmesan, salt and pepper…

Cheesed Up
All cheesed up

I popped the dish in the toaster oven for about 30-35 minutes and…

Zucchini Roses

Yay! Something new to add to the low-carb repertoire!

You’ll notice, I like to use the toaster oven a lot. This is especially the case in the summer. If I don’t have to turn on the oven, I don’t.

Try it, it’s easy! Enjoy!