I know you have missed them. If you are a San Antonian, how could you not?? I mean this is an actual mascot here – Henry-The Puffy Taco.
I’ll be honest, me too.
Many times if we go out for breakfast we would order our tacos in a bowl. SO many places are quite accommodating.
But there are few things better than lounging in your jammies, drinking your (BP) coffee, and eating breakfast at home.
Yes, we do bacon and eggs OFTEN but being a native South Texan I like my breakfast tacos. This may sound silly, but the hubs (from Colorado) calls them breakfast burritos and it drives me a little crazy.
A wonderful girlfriend of mine came over last weekend and enlightened me to the lettuce wraps from HEB. Borderline life changing over here. I have had lettuce wrap tacos many times before but I did not know that the actual heads could be purchased at the grocery store.
Here is a full head with a cork to compare size
The heads are smaller and compact. They were perfect! Super crisp, perfect size, incredibly versatile, and made ideal Keto tacos.
These can be used for so many things but this week I made some fantastic breakfast tacos. Check these out-so simple.
Wrap, cheese, and breakfast sausage. They turned out great!
A couple of weekends ago, I made a trip down to our local Farmer’s Market in San Antonio at the Pearl Brewery. I have been wanting to to go for months to pick up some fresh eggs, but something always seems to get in the way – usually the kiddo’s sports games:-).
I finally had the opportunity at the end of June, and I was not disappointed. I grabbed my two youngest, yanking them away from their iPad screens almost kicking and screaming, strapped them into the car, and off we went!
As soon as we got there, my son looked at me and said, “Wow! This isn’t what I expected! It is like a carnival.”
I have to admit, he wasn’t too far off. It was much larger than I remembered from a few years ago. It is very nicely set up, and there were many foods and vendors from which to choose along with music, an information booth, and LOTS of dogs!
I highly recommend going (EARLY) if you have the chance. I say early because when we arrived around 9:30 there were many options and plenty of stock. By the time we left at noon, after seeing everything, I was scraping at the remnants of what was left. I saw there was plenty when we arrived so I didn’t see the need to purchase anything right in the beginning just to carry it around with us. My recommendation would be to take a cooler, buy as you go, and then stash your items in the car so you can keep shopping and grazing.
And grazing you can go! My children tasted everything there you could possibly taste! Look at these happy kiddos! These do not look like the same children I tortured by pulling them away from their electronics! These are my happy children.
Of course, what is not to like after you have just tasted fresh Greek yogurt from grass-fed cows. There was no more kicking and screaming. After a bite of yogurt and some tasty cheese, they asked me if they could come back every weekend.
Like I said, I went for eggs, and there were many suppliers for eggs. The supplier that I liked the most after talking about the hens only had 2 dozen left at noon so I cleaned him out. Next time, that will be my first stop!
While I was in the Wholesome Harvest Farms booth getting my eggs, I picked up some delicious yellow squash as well, to make my yummy squash casserole!
The kids favorite booths were the ones with the yogurt and the many artisan cheeses. They were delicious. All were made with milk from grass-fed cows. You can’t go wrong with those nutrients. Even though I don’t eat yogurt, I certainly let my children eat this fresh one made with all fresh ingredients.
Right next door was the cheese lady. Her products were amazing, and the milk was from a farm in Schulenburg, Texas. Supposedly the best milk in the Lone Star State coming from Jersey Cows that graze the green grass of our great state! We bought two of the four flavors and they are devine. My favorite is the black pepper, but the other one was a cumin flavor that was also out of this world!
We hopped across to the goat milk people and purchased some jalapeño and artichoke cheese made from goat’s milk that is just incredible! So fresh and smooth. I spread it on some parmesan crisps for a crunchy snack.
Moving on, we made it around to the mushroom farmers! This may be the best yet, but oh how hard to judge. I bought some portobellos and white mushrooms, all of which I used for stuffing! Amazing!
Then on to the meat…Pork and Beef. There were two pork ranchers, both of which were organic and grass-fed. The one lady I spoke with seemed to know all about the different farmers and ranchers at the farmer’s market so she gave me some tips, and I purchased from her. I ended up going with some pork belly. I had never cooked the pork belly before, but have loved it as a delicacy in restaurants. It fulfills our fat intake necessity, and actually turned out pretty yummy. It is almost impossible to find except directly from those who raise pigs so this was the place to find it.
Then, on to beef! I found three vendors, and referred to my nice new friend at the pork booth. She recommended one cattle ranch that has been owned by the same family for generations. The meat was fantastic. It was pricey, but worth it! I purchased some steaks and some ground beef that were all devoured.
We also did buy some beef sticks and dried sausage from one other cattle rancher that the boys ate in no time for a quick snack. Those beef sticks are one of their very favorite snacks!
When it was time to go, we still had lots of smiles, and a request to return every weekend! If not for all the samples, just to watch the puppies tour around the market. There were many. This was a great outing not only for healthy food, but for family togetherness – away from those mesmerizing flat screens. I actually got to see my children enjoy each other, nature, great food, and a little culture all mixed in together.
If you have a chance, try to get out to your local market on a weekend. It is quite an experience and a great haul at the same time!
The type of crunch I am talking about is the loud tortilla chip kind of crunch! On Keto, I think it is safe to say, that one of the things we miss the most is that crunch of a chip or cracker. One of my summer-time favorites was corn chips and salsa. Needless to say, the corn is gone forever, but the salsa is here to stay. So what does one do for that crunch, scoop, or dip?
For a long time, I used a ton of celery, and still do for many things. It can scoop, it’s refreshing, full of fiber, and I can have it for all those wonderful Keto dips out there. It is not good for salsa though. Then I discovered the cheese crisps we posted a few weeks ago. Love those, especially for guacamole. The cheese is the perfect accompaniment with avocado.
But, what about the salsa? Well…zucchini was again on sale at Sprouts last week, so I bought a bunch to experiment. Over the weekend I tried three different recipes for zucchini crisps. I will share two of them with you, and you can choose which you prefer.
The first is a simple chip, and when I say simple, all you need is time and a few ingredients:
Wash and dry your zucchini. When I say wash, I mean wash with soap and water!
I used a Mandoline to slice my zucchini very thin. This also makes it a fast process. You want them very thin. Mine were probably less than 1/8 inch thick.
Now, I will tell you what I did, and also how you can do it differently.
The first thing I would change is to either slice my zucchini on the diagonal or lengthwise. The reason being, they shrink tremendously when they dehydrate so if the purpose is for dipping, these left very little surface area to do such.
Pour your coconut oil into a small pyrex or similar bowl. Just something shallow will do.
Dip each “chip” into the oil and place on your parchment. They can be close together. Variation: You can lay all your zucchini out and then brush them with the oil. You just have to flip them half way through baking.
Once you have dipped or placed all your zucchini on your parchment, sprinkle a very scant amount of salt on top. This was a huge mistake of mine. I used a normal amount of salt, but they shrank so much, they were literally coated in salt. A little goes a long way on these!
Place in a 200 degree oven for 2 hours. Yes, two hours. This will dehydrate and crisp them. I flipped my cookie sheet around about half way through so they cook evenly.
This is how much they will shrink, and why I recommend slicing the opposite direction for dipping chips:
Place on a paper towel to absorb the remaining oil. Once dry, seal them in a ziplock bag or they will get soggy.
These were described as tasting just like a “Cheez It”. In other words, a great snack for the kids looking for that healthy crunch without any grain!!!
These are similar to above, except for the cheese. Follow the same directions until you finish with your oil.
Grind your parmesan cheese in your Mini-Prep Cuisinart (unless you have already dirtied your big one.) The parmesan adheres to the squash much easier when it is a bit finer, but still melts well, unlike the super fine ground you buy off the shelf.
Pour your finely grated cheese into a bowl.
Take your squash one by one and dip into the oil first, and then into the cheese. Place each on a lined cookie sheet.
These will not need salt because your cheese is already salty. You can add pepper if you like for taste. You can always add extra cheese to the top if you have extra left over.
Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. They should be a little darker than golden brown to ensure they are crisp. Serve immediately with your favorite dip or eat just as they are.
Store in a sealed container or Ziplock in the refrigerator.
This is one of Erin’s recipes that I love. She does many of her recipes by feel and look, but I did my best to measure most of these simple ingredients. I literally did these yesterday, and thought, why not make my post on this now?
We had a dinner party last night, for which I was assigned an appetizer. Sometimes, when dining with many, it is hard to please everyone with a Keto dish, which is why I usually sign up for an appetizer or a salad. You can do a lot of Keto appetizers such as guacamole, hot artichoke dip, spinach dip, stuffed mushrooms, different kinds of poppers, etc. There are many!
Yesterday ended up being busier than expected, and I had all of these ingredients on hand, so I went for the mushrooms. They are always devoured in minutes, and really only take a few minutes to make as long as you soften your cream cheese first. After you make them once, you won’t even need the recipe!
Sausage and Cheese Stuffed Mushroom Appetizer
Your portions will change based on the amount of mushrooms you want to stuff. I did one large package of mushrooms from Costco.
Large package of mushrooms, washed and stems removed
2 8 oz packages of cream cheese
2 packages of ITALIAN sausage (I did one mild and one hot) removed from casings (There were 5 links per package, and I had a ton left over. I used about 2 cups of the crumbled sausage and saved the rest for breakfast in our eggs.) Use as much as you like though.
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
Kerrygold for baking
That is it folks!
Remove casings from your sausage and brown on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until crumbled.
Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl (hopefully in advance to soften)
Add sausage and combine with cream cheese.
Add Cheddar and mix until evenly distributed.
Take your mushrooms, from which you have removed the stem, washed and dried.
Using a teaspoon, fill the caps of the mushrooms until there is a heaping amount. Place in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Put a few slices of Kerrygold around the perimeter of the mushrooms as well as the middle. You want it to melt for a nice non-stick surface that gives a wonderful flavor.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Plate and serve!
Make sure you serve these with a napkin. They are so delicious, you may find yourself drooling!
Most of you know by now that I love squash! All squash, but especially summer squash! Lucky for me, it is summer, and all those summer squashes are plentiful. The yellow is my favorite!
About a year ago, we celebrated my dad’s birthday at a great restaurant in San Antonio called Bohanan’s. It is a wonderful special occasion restaurant if you have not tried it! Most of my family would consider themselves foodies, and really enjoy a great meal. I am no exception! You can always count on having a great meal at Bohanan’s. Not only do they have some of the best steaks in Texas (which is saying a lot), but they have great seafood and side dishes as well. One of my favorite side dishes we were served that evening was their Baked Squash. It is melt in your mouth delicious, with just the right amount of savory paired with the sweet. The sugar in ours is, of course, replaced with Swerve or natural sweetener of your choice.
Just a few weeks after my father’s birthday, I found the squash recipe in our local Sunday paper. I just love restaurants that publish their prized recipes! It was so close to being Keto, that I knew I could tweak it to make it healthier for our family without the sugar and flour. I think I have mastered it enough to share:
Sweet Life Baked Squash
Serves 10-12 (Can half, but saves great for leftovers)
3.5 lbs yellow summer squash
1/2 brick of Kerry Gold butter (extra for top)
20 slices of Kraft cheese
4-5 tsp of Swerve granular
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp Celtic salt
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Almond Flour for top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and gather your ingredients.
Start by washing the squash, trimming off the ends, and cubing it.
Place your squash in a large saucepan and cover with water and a pinch of salt.
Boil for about 10 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork.
Drain in a colander, place back in the pan, and cook over medium heat to release more of the moisture in the squash. Stir for a few minutes, and then remove from heat. Most (not all) of the moisture should be evaporated from the pan at this point.
Stir in your Kerrygold, Kraft cheese, Swerve, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper.
Mix until all the cheese is melted.
Beat the eggs lightly in a small bowl, and temper them by adding a small amount of the squash mixture. Then pour them into the pan, and mix well. It will look super runny, but it will firm up when you bake it.
Pour your mixture into a 9×13 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.
Top with a sprinkle of Almond Flour and a few dabs of additional Kerrygold.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
This dish goes great with any kind of bar-b-que, hamburger patties, steak, fish – really anything. I was going to serve it with some brisket, but my husband was in the mood for burger patties so that is what you see.
I hope you enjoy this great side dish with your next summer meal! Enjoy!
What else can I make besides scrambled eggs and bacon? This is in the Top 10 list of questions we receive.
Eggs are great! We know that, but we also get tired of the same old thing every day!
A Quiche is a great way to dress up your eggs in a beautiful way that the whole family can enjoy for any meal of the day. It is filled with all the great nutrients that eggs provide, and anything else you wish to add to give it that special touch. It is also a method to hide vegetables if you have picky eaters! And…best of all, it cooks great without a crust. No need to add carbs to something so savory and wonderful already!
These are great with the end of school approaching because you can prepare it a day ahead, and it reheats quickly and perfectly. It is also delicious as a weekend dish straight out of the oven! Fresh quiche just melts in your mouth. Prepare to be creative and enjoy!
Gather your ingredients, and chop your onion, garlic, and broccoli. This is my favorite garlic chopper!
Sauté your onion and garlic in the butter. Then add your broccoli to soften slightly.
Spray your pie dish with coconut oil spray (you can find it here).
For a Quiche, you want to layer your ingredients. Start with your sautéed vegetables, and then top with bacon. This goes for any type of quiche – veggies on the bottom, then your meat, then cheese, then top with your egg mixture.
Sprinkle the cheese on top of the bacon.
Mix your eggs, cream, nutmeg, ground mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper.
Pour over the cheese.
Place your quiche in your preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat after 15 minutes to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
It should look puffy and delicious when you remove from the oven:
As it cools, it will sink slightly. Allow to cool for 20 minutes or so if you want to enjoy it right away. If you are preparing ahead, allow to cool completely, cover with saran, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. This will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in the oven or in the microwave for about 30 seconds a slice.
Be creative with your ingredients. My children have requested ham and cheese for the next one. You can do spinach and parmesan, vegetable, bacon and cheese, or any other combination you can imagine. Just remember to layer in the order above and cook accordingly! Enjoy!
This is one of my favorite side dishes for a Bar-B-Que when you have gone Low-Carb! Perfect for the Memorial Day holiday and filled with many of our favorite ingredients!
We hope that everyone has a safe, fun weekend filled with laughter, and time spent with loved ones and friends! Special thanks to all who have served to protect our freedom this Memorial Day!
Bar-B-Que Broccoli Salad
8 Slices of Bacon Cooked and chopped
2 heads of Broccoli (chopped and lightly steamed-emphasis on lightly)
2 cups of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/2 red onion finely chopped
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup xylitol
3 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1. Cook your bacon and lightly steam your broccoli. Cool.
2. Mix together your red wine vinegar, xylitol, black pepper, salt, lemon juice, and mayonnaise. This is your dressing!
3. Combine your broccoli, cheese, bacon, and onion, and combine together for your salad.
4. Slowly pour and mix your dressing with your salad, tossing to combine well. Start with half of your dressing, and add more to your desired taste. Let it sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours before serving.
That’s what I heard on Friday! My kids wanted crackers, and honestly it sounded pretty good to me too. What to do when you want a high-carb snack on a low-carb diet? Get creative!
We were already planning on having fajitas, minus the tortilla, for dinner which meant guacamole was on the menu. What is better than plain old guacamole? Guacamole with cheese! What a way to Keto up guacamole – cheese, cheese, and more cheese! And, maybe some jalapenos!
This time of year, with the end of school, planning summer vacations, packing for camps, attending recitals, baseball games, graduations, ceremonies, parties, and planning fundraisers, (Whew – makes me tired just typing about it!) we are all exhausted and out of time! I promise this is easy, and look how delicious!!!!
First line a cookie sheet with Parchment Paper – Very Important!
Start with shredded cheese. Any kind will work – whether you buy it shredded or shred it finely yourself. I used a Cheddar and Monterey Jack blend. Use your favorite!
Make little circles of cheese and press down so it forms a “cheese pancake”. Don’t make them too thick or they will not crisp.
If you want a little spice, add a sliced jalapeño to the middle, and press into the cheese.
That’s it! Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Allow the “crackers” to cool so they crisp nicely. Then, enjoy your carb-free snack with your favorite dip or eat them plain! I made two cookie sheets, and they were devoured before dinner!
Let’s face it…being on a Ketogenic diet with REAL food is not inexpensive! We are trying to be as healthy as possible, which comes at an expense to our wallets. In fact, today, while listening to a Livin’ La Vida podcast, a nutrition expert and author was discussing the fact that higher income countries are actually consuming less grains now than low net income countries because those packaged foods and grains cost pennies compared to “real food” which is actually nourishing. Very sad! I totally believe it is worth every penny to feed my family well, but at the same time, I try to save where I can! This is where buying in bulk can help, especially when feeding a hungry family of five. I have two growing boys that eat constantly.
Now, I do have to say, a high fat, real food diet, keeps you full much longer that the recommended, low fat Standard American Diet (SAD), so in terms of food, you are not eating the same quantity. There are certain foods that we consume more often than others, so using a store like Costco or Sam’s can help you. One of the more frequent questions we receive is where we buy our groceries. The answer is…everywhere, but I don’t shop at every store every week. I probably make a Costco run every two weeks, so I thought I would share the basics I keep on hand in bulk.
From left to right:
1. Almond Flour: I have said this before, but do not even try the other brands…Honeyville is far superior to any of the others. I have tried all of them, and hands down, Honeyville bakes the best with the least amount of heavy texture. Costco saves you a ton…you can’t find a lower price even on Honeyville’s own website!
2. Berries: (On both sides – All organic!) While we do not recommend a large amount of fruit on a Keto diet, berries are by far the best choice. They are the lowest in fructose and have a high amount of anti-oxidants. These are primarily for the children, but every once in a while, I will have a small handful in a bowl of sugar-free whipped cream (homemade) with Swerve and vanilla for a sweet treat. Remember to always eat protein and carbs with lots of fat so you stay a fat burner!
3. Avocados: Costco usually has bags of five or six avocados. I use these for lunch filled with shrimp salad or plain with salt and lime or on salads. We ALWAYS have guacamole in the house. We use it on eggs in the morning and meat in the evenings. You can never have too many avocados.
4. Cheese: One of the biggest differences between the Ketogenic diet and the Paleo diet is the allowance of dairy. We love cheese! I bought the blocks of cheese because many of the shredded cheeses use potato starch to keep the cheese from clumping. I use my food processor attachment to shred the cheese for large quantities. I DO cheat, and buy shredded cheese on occasion to keep in the fridge for morning eggs and a quick grab, but the blocks are better as well as cheese sticks. All are a great buy at Costco or Sam’s.
5. Organic Ground Meat: I keep these in the freezer for an easy throw together dinner. You know we prefer the Grass-fed beef, but in a pinch these are great to have stored. While not as great as Grass-fed, it is a better alternative than your antibiotic and hormone ridden meats.
6. Kerrygold Butter: Need I say more? I think you all know how we feel about Kerrygold. It is delicious Grass-fed butter from Irish cows! It comes in packs of 3 at Costco, so I always pick up a couple when I am there!
7. Sausage: My kiddos love sausage. My husband grills it, and we serve it over zucchini noodles or eat it plain. Kiolbassa is also made in San Antonio so you are supporting a local business if you live here!
8. Daisy Sour Cream: I always have sour cream and cream cheese (I buy cream cheese at Sam’s) on hand for sides to add more fat. Remember, you want full fat. The low fat and fat free versions are NOT REAL FOOD! They are filled with chemicals and additives. Stick with the good ingredients our great-grandparents used, and their ancestors before them!
9. Veggies: We LOVE veggies…We are fortunate that Costco has many organic vegetable options. Not all of them are organic, however, so please wash well! A friend was over recently, and I was washing fruit with soap and water when she questioned me about it. Water alone will not wash off the chemicals. You really need to wash in a fruit and veggie wash or use a soap. I make a bath of soapy water and soak them in the wash and then rinse in a colander with cold water. This still does not guarantee the removal of all chemicals, but it is a better bet. I love the cauliflower, spinach, and mushrooms at Costco. These are always on my list. I also stock up on limes in the summer to make infused water and iced tea. I must admit, that I also like a cocktail on the weekends made with a lot of fresh lime juice mixed with vodka and soda, or dare I say, tequila, for a homemade sugar-free margarita! One drink usually takes 4 to 5 limes (or more) so that explains the bulk on these. Broccoli and celery were also on the list this week. Please make sure you wash your celery VERY well. It can be a really dirty one!
10. BACON: Who can have too much bacon? Always on the list. Try to buy bacon as naturally as possible without a lot of curing ingredients. Each Costco carries different bacon I’ve noticed, so look at your labels.
11. Coconut Oil: It is not in the picture, but another staple that we all buy at Costco is Coconut Oil. This makes great Bulletproof Coffee for all of us each morning! A definite staple, and a much better buy at Costco or Sam’s.
Any questions or comments? Leave us feedback. We would love to hear what Low-Carb High-Fat foods you like to buy at Costco or Sam’s!
So, I was ruled out on my dinner choice this evening! My husband wanted steak, and the kiddos wanted potatoes. “Hmmm,” I thought to myself. Let’s see if I can slide those cauli-mashers by them without notice.
Worked like a charm! My super picky four-year old said this was the “best dinner in the world!” She also told me that “these are the best potatoes ever!”
If you missed Erin’s post on Cauli-mashers, they are a breeze to make, even when you get outnumbered at the last minute in the kitchen.
I steamed one bag of Costco fresh Cauliflower florets until fairly soft. I don’t have the emersion mixer like Erin, so I just used my KitchenAid hand mixer, and beat them until they were the consistency of mashed potatoes. I added a half block of Kerrygold, a half block of cream cheese, and a handful of chopped parsley. I then added a generous amount of salt and pepper. Mixed it all together with the mixer, poured into an 8×8 pyrex, and topped with some Colby Jack cheese. I popped it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, and to the delight of everyone, it was devoured.
Served with grass-fed New York Strips topped with sautéed mushrooms (in Kerrygold no less), and a side of asparagus topped with Kerrygold!
Every plate was clean, and every face had a smile!
So my sweet 8 year boy (the middle child) wanted me to share his dessert with you tonight! He was very proud of his extra helping of steak and his two dark chocolate-coconut fat bombs (posted last week) that he used to make a smiley face! He said, “This will show your viewers how happy I am right now!” So, how could I refuse? Here is Colton’s sugar-free dessert!