Low Carb Pesto Chicken Quesadilla

Sometimes I just really crave pasta. Something about a big bowl of noodles with garlic bread is so comforting after a long day. Pesto specifically has been on my mind.

Since I’ve been eating low carb low sugar I typically only have pasta once a month if that. I had to find an alternative that wouldn’t be so heavy! Sprouts came to my rescue once again!

You can get these ingredients at any grocery store or even make them from scratch, but if you have a sprouts close to you definitely check these out!

I really like the tortilla factory low carb tortillas. They crisp up similar to a corn tortilla and only have 3 net carbs.

I bought the sprouts house made pesto which is extra heavy on the garlic. It is very similar to how I make mine. Mostly herbs and garlic!

I almost used mozzarella cheese, but then decided on Monterey Jack. If you can find cheese without rbgh hormones added that is what I like to use. It melts way faster and is a lot better for you.

For the chicken I just used rotisserie chicken from the deli- skin removed. I like to keep this on hand for salads during the week!

Then a little red sauce for dipping!

Ingredients

Rotisserie chicken shredded

2 tbsp of pesto

1/2 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Low carb tortillas

1 tsp of butter

Directions

Heat a non stick skillet to medium

Add the butter

Coat the pan

Add your tortilla and spread with pesto

Top with 1/4 cup of chicken and 1/4 cup of cheese per tortilla

Let the cheese start to melt

Fold in half and flip

Serve with your favorite sauce!

Enjoy!!!!

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Smoked Pork Sliders

Do you ever shop the bargain cook book section at Barnes and Nobles? I get suckered in every time! I came home with two cook books the other day that are filled with inspiration. Since I’ve been doing Keto I feel like I was in a cooking rut.

These buns clearly are not low carb, but Patrick is not on the diet so I wanted to surprise him. These are inspired from a couple different recipes I found. Which is usually how the best creations come about!

I don’t have a smoker so I just used my charcoal grill. I tossed in some Jack Daniels wood chips to get the smoked taste. The trick here is to cook the meat for 275 degrees for at least 3 hours.

The charred meat on the sweet roll with sriracha mayo and pickles is spot on! I did pair the meat with a whole thirty bbq sauce, but Patrick hated the sauce haha! Not sweet enough for him.

If you are doing low carb this meat is perfect for you. Low sugar and so tasty! If you aren’t low carb it’s still wonderful!

Ingredients

3 lb pork shoulder/butt

Salt

1/2 cup or sriracha

2 tbsp of garlic powder

2 tbsp of smoked paprika

1 tbsp of cayenne pepper

1/4 cup of melted butter

1/2 cup of mayo

Pickles

Hawaiian rolls

Directions

Heat grill or oven to 400 degrees

Rub the sriracha (leaving 1 tbsp out) over the pork and salt liberally

Let sit in the fridge uncovered while the grill heats up

Wipe the pork down with paper towel to dry it

If using the grill use the top rack or put to the side of the coals

Rotate the meat for an even cook every 15 minutes or so

The grill will cool to 300-275 on its own

Lower the oven temp if roasting

Season with the garlic, paprika, pepper and salt liberally again

Turn every 30-45 minutes

Once the pork hits 160 degrees remove and let rest for 30 minutes

Once cooled shred and pour the melted butter over top

Mix the remaining sriracha with the mayo

Serve on the rolls with pickles

Enjoy!!!!

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Louisiana BBQ Shrimp

We always order Cajun shrimp. In our neighborhood there is always an amazing seafood boil a stone throw away. I wanted to branch out and try something a little different. The flavor of this sauce is unlike anything I’ve ever tried!

I made mountain bread in our cast iron skillet and could not wait to make something for dipping! The sauce is so rich and filled with garlic. I added sausage to add even more flavor.

The first time I made this sauce Patrick immediately came into the kitchen to figure out what I was making. The sautéed garlic and onion with the lemon butter is mouth watering.

Ingredients

1 pound of shrimp

Two links of bratwurst or sausage of your choice

1 tbsp of smoked paprika

1 tsp of garlic powder

3 cloves of chopped garlic

1 small chopped yellow onion

1/2 cup of butter

3 bay leaves

Zest from one lemon

Juice from two lemons

3 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp of olive oil

Directions

In a large sauté pan over medium heat warm the olive oil

Add the onion and chopped garlic

Sauté until onions are translucent

Add the sausage and butter

When the sausage is about half way cooked at the shrimp, paprika, garlic powder,worcestershire sauce, lemon zest and juice

You should have a good amount of sauce simmering at this point, if you need more feel free to add a little water or broth

Top with bay leaves and simmer until sausage is cooked

Shrimp will be pink and curled

Remove bay leaves and season with salt and lots of black pepper

Enjoy with super crusty bread!!!!

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Garlic Parmesan Pretzels

Last weekend we were at the mall and the kids wanted to stop for pretzels. Something about the warm buttery dough sprinkled with salt makes me think of summer. Long pool days and mall shopping with lots of pretzel bites.

I wanted to take our favorite treat up a notch with garlic butter, fresh herbs, and Parmesan cheese.

Paired with spicy honey mustard and smoked sausage you can have a perfect appetizer board.

You can use any fresh herbs you have available. Parsley, basil, oregano and rosemary would all be great.

Ingredients

2 cups of AP flour

1/4 cup salted butter

2 tbsp of sugar

1/4 cup of butter milk

1 cup of warm water

1 packet of active yeast

1 egg mixed with a tsp of water

1 tsp of baking soda

For the topping

2 tbsp of melted butter

1 tsp of chopped garlic

1 tsp of chopped herbs

1/4 cup of grated Parmesan

For the mustard

1/4 cup of honey

2 tbsp of hot sauce

2 tbsp of Dijon mustard

Pepper

Directions

Heat water to luke warm and pour into a large mixing bowl with the sugar and yeast

Add in the buttermilk, butter and flour

Using a dough hook to mix until everything is combined

Let rise for at least two hours

I like using plastic wrap to cover the bowl to keep air out

In a large pot boil water and sprinkle in the baking soda

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Roll dough into long strips and tie into knots or pretzel shapes

Brush the egg and water mix onto each pretzel

Bake until they start to brown

Mix the melted butter garlic and herbs

Drizzle over all the pretzels and cover in the Parmesan

Continue baking until brown and cooked through

For the sauce mix the mustard honey and hot sauce

Season with pepper

Enjoy!

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Bee Sting Cake

We spent our mini moon after the wedding in a tiny German inspired town. One of the big things I noticed was all the baked goods were light and airy with some sort of almond topping.

I really wanted to try making a classic Bee Sting Cake. A cross between a bread and cake with honey vanilla pastry cream. I always start out thinking my recipe will be classic, but then I start adding ingredients until it is very loosely based on the original. I couldn’t help but add cinnamon and brown sugar. The flavors just all pair soooo well together!

The texture is much lighter than bread, but still has that yeast feel. The crumble on top of the cake is the only truly sweet element. I added fresh whip cream to really turn it into a summer dessert.

This cake was the perfect time to break out my favorite Rodelle vanilla ingredients! The vanilla bean paste is my all time favorite. That plus the vanilla extract definitely intensify the honey.

Ingredients

For the cream –

3 egg yolks

2 tbsp of Rodelle vanilla bean paste

1 tbsp of Rodelle vanilla extract

1 tbsp of cornstarch

1/4 cup of honey

1/2 cup of sugar

1 1/3 cup of whole milk

For the cake-

2 eggs

1/2 cup of salted butter

2 cups of AP flour

1/2 cup of warm whole milk

1 packet or 2 1/2 tbsp of dry active yeast

1/2 cup of sugar

2 tbsp of honey

1 tbsp of Rodelle vanilla extract

1 tsp of salt

For the topping-

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup of honey

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp of cinnamon

Directions

For the pastry cream-

In a sauce pan heat half the sugar, vanilla paste, vanilla extract, and milk until almost boiling. Little bubbles will rise to the surface. Reduce to medium low.

In a bowl mix egg yolks, honey and remaining sugar.

Add the egg yolk mixture to the sauce pan. Whisk continuously to avoid the eggs from curdling.

In a separate bowl mix the cornstarch with a little water to make a paste. Add to the sauce pan.

Whisk over medium high heat until the cream has thickened and coats the back of the spoon.

Let cool and set the in fridge. I like placing plastic wrap into the top to avoid skin texture from forming.

For the cake-

In a mixer (with a dough hook) add the warm milk, yeast, and sugar. Let sit until the yeast bubbles.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix until ingredients are fully incorporated. The dough will look like a cross between bread dough and cake batter. Slightly loose and sticky.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the dough and let rise for 30 minutes to an hour.

You can grease a 9 inch cake pan or use parchment paper. I prefer parchment.

Place dough in lines pan and spread the best you can. Just try and keep everything even.

Top with the honey, brown sugar, and almonds.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until set.

Let cool before slicing the cake into two layers.

Spread the cooled pastry cream on the bottom layer before placing on the top layer.

Serve with fresh whipped cream if you like!

Definitely made for impressing guests, but would be great for a not too sweet brunch!

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Sweet and Spicy Sticky Chicken

There is a restaurant near us that serves a platter of super spicy crispy chicken, potato wedges, pickled radish, cold corn and tons of dipping sauces.

We were shopping the local section in Publix and came across locally made pepper jellies. I knew right away I wanted to make a glaze with the peach jalapeño jelly. If you can’t find fruit pepper jelly you can get a regular pepper jelly and add peach jam.

I made this chicken the other day and Patrick liked it so much he requested it again last night! Lightly breaded chicken perfectly crispy and salty. The glaze really takes it over the top.

The mix of pepper jelly, honey, jalapeño and soy sauce is just a magical experience when it mixes with the salty chicken.

Ingredients

Chicken thighs boneless skinless

1 cup flour/1 cup cornmeal or 2 cups of autrys chicken breading

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp salt / pepper

2 tbsp of peach pepper jelly

1/4 cup of honey

2 tbsp of soy sauce

1 fresh jalapeño sliced

Oil for frying

Directions

Preheat oil to 350 degrees ( I like to use a cast iron skillet or large soup pot

In a large ziplock bag or Tupperware add the four/cornmeal (or breading), salt, pepper and garlic.

Add the chicken and shake until fully coated

Fry until cooked through around 160 degrees it will rise as the chicken rests

Season liberally with salt and pepper

In a sauté pan whisk, honey, pepper jelly, soy sauce and jalapeño. Heat over low until combined

Drizzle over the chicken

We like to serve ours with potato wedges and garlic greens!

Enjoy !!! ( with lots of sriracha!)

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Pizza Flatbread

If you live anywhere near a Sprouts farmers market you definitely need to download their app. We discovered recently that you can do all your shopping on the app to make a list or have everything delivered! Since I am currently obsessed with fresh lemon and herbs we have been going to the store every few days. This recipe takes everything I love about summer and pulls it together in this awesome appetizer!

The dough takes about 30 minutes to rise. While that happens you can throw together your sauce! Top with whatever you have available and wow your guests (or family) with this super easy flat bread!

The lemon oil and herbs are what make this recipe stand out about the traditional flatbread. Everything is so fresh.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of AP flour

1 packet of dry active yeast

3/4 cups of warm water

1 tsp of lemon zest

Juice from one lemon

1/2 cup of olive oil

2 tbsp of sugar

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1/2 cup of chopped herbs ( I used oregano and basil)

Pepperoni

Fresh mozzarella

2 tbsp of tomato paste

1 cup of chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp of garlic

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Mix yeast, sugar and water and let sit for 5 minutes

Add in the flour, lemon zest and half of the herbs

Mix with a dough hook until smooth ( add more flour if needed)

Drizzle a little oil over the ball cover and let rise

Tip** place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit on top of the oven while it preheats

In a sauce pan heat chopped tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, remaining herbs, crushed red pepper, over medium heat. Add water if you need to as it cooks down. Once it starts to thicken like a paste add 1 tsp of oil or butter.

Pat out the dough on parchment paper and drizzle liberally with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook for 5 minutes then slather the bread with your tomato mixture. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until the dough starts to look golden brown.

Add your cheese and pepperoni. Broil until cheese melts and pepperonis crisp.

Serve with side of olive oil!

What’s your favor summer appetizer?

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Grilled Chicken Adobo Bowls

It has officially been a month since we got married! Today is actually my birthday. Patrick took the day off so we could spent some time together. We have both been working crazy hours to catch up from our wedding time off.

The entire past month has honestly been a blur. We got back our amazing wedding pictures and have been working on framing/hanging them throughout the house. Today we finished putting together some furniture that we desperately needed for our bedroom. Hopefully now I can stop tossing the clean laundry on our folding table 😬.

One thing that has definitely changed is our eating! We were eating straight junk food the first two weeks after we got back. Now that the weather is perfect we have been grilling almost every day.

These adobo bowls are so fresh and delicious! If you are going lower carb like me just skip the rice and beans here.

I love these because if you have anything left over it is so easy to toss into a wrap with some egg and have the best breakfast burrito. PS did you know mission tortilla has mini low carb wraps now? They are the perfect serving size and only 4 net carbs!

Ingredients

Boneless skinless chicken thighs

Chipotle chilis in adobo sauce

Garlic powder

2 limes

1 cup of prepared basmati rice

1 cup chopped peppers and onions

1 handful of asparagus

1 cup of pico or 1 cup of chopped tomatoes, onions, and jalapeños

1 can of low fat refried beans

2 ears of sweet corn

Optional toppings: avocado, cheese, sour cream

Directions

Prepare a grill or grill pan

Marinade chicken thighs with 1 chopped chipotle chili and 2 tbsp of sauce, 1 tsp garlic powder, salt /pepper, half of a lime juiced, 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Grilled until cooked through

Cook off your peppers and onions until fork tender ( I cook mine on the grill with a grill pan)

Grill the asparagus with a little olive oil and salt

Grill the corn with a little olive oil and salt (smoked paprika is good here too!)

Slice off the cobb and set to the side

Heat refried beans through

Toss the rice with the rest of the limes juiced, one lime zested, lots of pepper, salt to taste

Assemble the bowls! I like to put my veggies down and top with chicken, Patrick likes the rice and beans down and top with everything else

These are especially good with the chipotle Tabasco sauce drizzled on top!

Enjoy!!!! These are one of our favorite meals! Super easy for meal prep!

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Everything Bagel Creamy Grits

When I think breakfast I think savory, fluffy, toasty buttered breads. One of our favorite breakfast sandwiches is an everything bagel with eggs and bacon. The garlic onion crunchy topping is perfect.

Sometimes I am in the mood for something quick and we usually don’t have bread in the house so I experimented with some of my favor flavors!

Grits are definitely a southern thing. I actually can’t believe most of the people I meet either don’t like grits or like them with sugar. Anytime I have a grits recipe I usually enlist Patrick’s son to be my official taster. He loves his grits really creamy with lots of hot sauce.

These are soooo easy, but have a lot of flavor. We love the Trader Joe’s everything but the bagel seasoning, but you can definitely make your own. All you need is dehydrated chopped onion, garlic powder, sea salt, and black sesame seeds.

Ingredients

1 cup of fast cooking grits cooked to package instructions

2 tsp of everything bagel seasoning

1/2 tsp garlic powder

5 tbsp of butter

1/4 cup of cream cheese

1/2 cup of smoked Gouda

Directions

Cook grits to package instructions

Add cream cheese and 3 tbsp of butter

whip with a fork until creamy

Add in Gouda and garlic powder

Pour into two serving bowls

Top with butter and everything bagel seasoning

Enjoy!!

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Better Breakfast Sandwich

This past weekend was our wedding shower! Only 21 days until I am a Mrs!

I cannot wait! As much fun as the planning has been the past year, I am definitely ready to wrap it up!

So let’s talk about these sandwiches. One of my guilty pleasures is a sausage egg and cheese McMuffin. Obviously, that is not on my wedding approved food list. I decided to try and make a lightened up version.

These homemade English muffins are so airy and light. Once you toast them they are nearly identical to the popular fast food version. The sausage I made from scratch because I wanted to know exactly what was in them. Lots of fennel seeds and crushed red pepper make them soooo good.

Ingredients

1 pound of ground pork

1 tbsp of garlic

1 tsp of crushed red pepper

1 tsp of fennel

Salt and pepper

3 cups of bread flour

1 cup warm water

1 tbsp of sugar

1 packet of active yeast

1/2 tsp of salt

1 egg

2 tbsp butter

American cheese

Scrambled or steamed egg

Directions

In a mixer attach the dough hook

In the bowl add warm water, sugar and yeast until the yeast bubbles

Add in the butter and egg

Slowly add the flour and salt

Let rise for 1 hour

Roll into 6 even balls of dough

Heat a non stick skillet with oil or butter to medium low

Press down the dough balls

Cook each side for about 5 minutes

Mix the sausage with garlic, salt, pepper, crushed pepper, and fennel

Brown patty shapes in a skillet until cooked through

Toast the muffin and add the sausage, egg and cheese

Still a treat, but slightly less calories!

Enjoy!

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