Lasagna (Definitely NOT Low-Carb…)

Long time, no blog! Life has been crazy and I haven’t cooked anything interesting in awhile. Maybe not many of you know but I’m currently 24 weeks pregnant and while I totally had the intention of staying low-carb throughout this pregnancy, the lack of carbs was making me so sick everyday. I still keep 1-2 meals and snacks low-carb, usually dinner is high-carb and it just seems to be working for me right now.

Once baby boy is born, I will definitely be back to low-carb to try and get rid of that baby weight! Thankfully, I’ve only gained about 10lbs so far!

I didn’t follow a recipe for this and as usual, my amounts here are just guesses but should be pretty close.

Here is what I used:

1lb ground Italian sausage, crumbled and browned

1 medium red onion

3 garlic cloves

20 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

S&P

1 small pack of sliced mushrooms (optional)

A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)

1 jar marinara sauce

1 small can tomato paste

1 small can tomato sauce

3 cups shredded mozzarella

1 package oven ready lasagna sheets

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

First I began by browning the mushrooms in a little bit of butter. When those were done, I removed them and browned the sausage with onion and garlic in the same pot.

Then I added in all the tomato products and stirred until just beginning to bubble, add in the mushrooms and fresh basil. Taste for seasoning.

Once seasoning (S&P) is adjusted to your liking, take a 9×13 glass pan and put about a cup of the sauce mixture in the pan and spread around. Then layer your pasta in (the box gives instructions on how to do the rest).

Basically it goes like this: sauce, pasta, sauce, cheese, pasta, sauce, cheese, pasta and end with sauce, ┬ácheese and halved cherry tomatoes on the top. Don’t worry if you still have pasta sheets left at the end, I did! It all depends on how deep your pan is!

Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes until the pasta sheets are tender, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until cheese is browned and bubbly.

Easily make this low carb by using thinly sliced zucchini, it will be just as delicious! If I use zucchini, I don’t add the extra can of tomato sauce, it would be to watery.

Service with garlic bread or salad or both!

Enjoy!

 

 

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Low Carb Chicken Nuggets

Yum! These were delicious and I don’t even really like pork rinds. If I had not made these myself, I would never have guessed they are low carb. They are crispy, crunchy and super savory!

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1.5 lb ground chicken

1 tsp seasoning salt

1 egg

Crushed pork rinds

Combine chicken, seasoning salt and egg. Scoop up a little of the mixture, about 1 T and form into a chicken nugget shape and press both sides into crushed pork rinds. Shallow fry both sides in oil until cooked through and crispy. Cool on paper towels. Use dipping sauce of choice.

Next time I’m going to add some Parmesan cheese to the pork rinds and maybe some herbs like Italian seasoning, sounds yummy!

 

Low Carb Catch Up

I’m a little behind in posting (I’m currently on Day 10), so this day will be 3 days worth of posts all in one. Enjoy!

Breakfast:

Iced Coffee, eggs and sausage

Lunch:

Chipotle chicken salad w/ no rice or beans, chicken with some creamy tomato sauce

Dinner:

Rotisserie chicken with salad, pasta-less spaghetti sauce with lots of meat, curry spiced chicken and green beans

 

Snack:

Pecans dipped in cream cheese is SO good!

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Low Carb Day 5

Breakfast:

Eggs, sausage and coffee with heavy cream – YUM!

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Lunch:

A Quest Bar and also some toppings off a leftover piece of pizza, I hate throwing away the bread, such a waste!

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Dinner:

A really big salad with organic greens, tomato, cheese, homemade ranch and some rotisserie chicken – so good!

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So I was going to do a whole30 but decided to do low carb instead, much easier for me right now! I’m already feeling better!

Whole30 (not really…) Day 3

Today was not a whole30 day but I still avoided carbs and sugar so I’m proud of myself!

Breakfast:

Eggs with sausage and steak with coffee

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Lunch:

Leftover meatballs and sauce* from dinner the night before, I added some water and chicken broth to the sauce and it was like a creamy tomato soup. I’m not really a fan of tomato soup but this was really good!

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Dinner:

Smoked, uncured beef sausage and a big salad with ranch and cheese*

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I don’t think I had any snacks yesterday, wasn’t that hungry. I have been experiencing a couple detox symptoms but they’re manageable. Tomorrow WILL BE a 100% whole30 day!

 

*Just a little disclaimer: I’ve done enough whole30s to know what works for me and what doesn’t. So this time around I’m doing it a little different. I guess it’s not technically a whole30 but most of these meals/days will be strictly whole30. The number one thing that makes it difficult for me to lose weight and keeps me bloated is carbs/sugar – mainly refined. So I will definitely be avoiding those. I will be having a little dairy here and there throughout these 30 days (hopefully longer) so please DO NOT follow me as an example for whole30 if you are new to this. Definitely visit their website and get well acquainted with the guidelines! I am also breastfeeding so I will be having snacks if I’m hungry or need the extra calories.

Whole30 Day 1

Just a little disclaimer: I’ve done enough whole30s to know what works for me and what doesn’t. So this time around I’m doing it a little different. I guess it’s not technically a whole30 but most of these meals/days will be strictly whole30. The number one thing that makes it difficult for me to lose weight and keeps me bloated is carbs/sugar – mainly refined. So I will definitely be avoiding those. I will be having a little dairy here and there throughout these 30 days (hopefully longer) so please DO NOT follow me as an example for whole30 if you are new to this. Definitely visit their website and get well acquainted with the guidelines! I am also breastfeeding so I will be having snacks if I’m hungry or need the extra calories.

With all that being said, here was day 1:

Scrambled eggs with sausage, onions and this veggie mix and coffee of course!

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Lunch:

Chicken sausage and slaw with bacon, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries (unsweetened) with a creamy dressing

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Dinner:

Worst picture ever but I almost forgot and took it last minute…steak with a yellow potato, shaved brussel sprouts, onions and bacon

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I also had an apple between lunch and dinner. Day 1 was great! No nasty side effects yet, thank goodness!

Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts

One of the most delicious and popular side dishes out there is also super easy to make!

Brussel sprouts with bacon, WITH BACON. Yum.

First, I start off by crisping up some bacon, whatever amount you want is up to you. I used 3 slices for 2 people, but I should’ve used more!

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While the bacon is crisping up, halve some brussels and dice up an onion into medium/large-ish chunks.

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Once the bacon is crisped to your liking, remove from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate or bowl. BUT DO NOT REMOVE THE BACON GREASE!

Now add your brussel sprouts and onions to the hot pan and make sure all the sprouts are cut side down. Add bacon back in along with some salt and pepper.

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Fry them up until nice and caramelized. I should’ve let them go longer than this but we were hungry.

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Stir them around a bit after they have caramelized, cook until they are done enough for you, I like them with a bit of a bite. They can go mushy pretty quick so just keep an eye on them.

Enjoy!

 

Crock-Pot Chicken Leg Quarters

I will cook practically anything in the crock-pot, especially meats. They always come out so tender and juicy! Lately, I’ve been loving chicken in there. Especially these chicken leg quarters! I used a BBQ rub on my chicken but have also used a lemon pepper seasoning by sprinkling lemon zest, garlic powder, sea salt and lots of black pepper then a squeeze of lemon – delicious!

The BBQ rub was one I already had on hand and contains a variety of things like: dehydrated garlic and onion, pure maple syrup granules, dried orange peel, dried red bell pepper, paprika, chili powder and natural hickory smoke flavor.

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I left the skin on my chicken and just rubbed the BBQ seasoning all over the chicken, placed in the crock-pot and cooked on high for about 4 hours. Serve with whatever sides you like, we had it with oven fried potatoes and asparagus!

 

Sweet and Creamy Chilled Coffee (Whole30)

Whoever thought you could have a sweet, creamy, smooth coffee drink while on the Whole30? Well, it’s totally possible! I whipped this up in about 5 mins. If I had coffee already brewed, this only would’ve taken 1 min. It’s SO good! Recipe after the picture… love that foaminess on top!

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Everything is pretty much to taste. It depends on how sweet, creamy or strong you want it to be. I didn’t measure because I threw this together pretty quick but here are my estimates.

1.5 cups strong brewed french press coffee

1.5 cups coconut cream or about a 1/4 cup heavy cream (if you are following whole30 properly, do NOT use heavy cream)

6 pitted dates

Dash of cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tray of ice cubes (maybe 12?)

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth! That’s it! I poured mine over more ice and put the rest in the fridge to replace my morning coffee! I’m sure I will need to do a quick blend in the morning as the ingredients will probably separate some. But it’s so delicious!

If you are not on a Whole30 but just following a paleo diet, this would be AMAZING with some pure maple syrup in it!