Two days before entertaining for a huge family party, I got a call from a producer. She asked if i was interested in a photo shoot of before and after pics of my abs. Of course I was in. It was just the motivation I needed to drop the winter fluff and quit drowning the stress of a few emotional weeks with awful food. I told her sure and asked her when, expecting her answer to be the standard four to six weeks.
She told me I had a week. A WEEK? After thirty seconds of internally freaking out, I decided I was up for the challenge. Carbs had to drop very low for the week -- which I only suggest for a quick, short term fix and never longer than a few weeks. Otherwise, you'll crash your metabolism and wind up rapidly gaining weight when you start eating normal again. Disclaimer over.
Back to the family party. I needed to come up with low carb recipes delicious enough that my guests wouldn't feel as if they were being deprived -- but that I could eat too.
This low carb, bacon wrapped asparagus recipe was the perfect appetizer. Recipe below.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees or warm grill.
Clean and remove the white tips from the bottom of your asparagus. Wrap each asparagus spear in bacon. Place each wrapped asparagus spear on a lined cookie sheet with the seams facing down. Season to taste. Bake or grill for 20 minutes or until the bacon is crispy. They are amazing right off the grill
I had two separate conversations with friends last week; both had to do with kale chips. One friend said she was dying to try them and needed a recipe. The other told me that her chips aren't ever chips at all. They turn into "dust" every time she tried to make them. The first time I tried I had the opposite experience. Mine turned mushy. With some trial and error, I was able to create the Goldilocks of kale chips -- not too mushy and not too dry -- just right. Here's the recipe.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wash kale. Let it dry completely (or you will wind up with mushy chips). I like to lay it out on paper towels. Once kale has dried completely, transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil and apple cider vinegar on top. Use enough to cover the kale completely, about 1-2 Tbsp each). Add salt, pepper and seasonings.
Massage oil mixture into the kale. You want to really work in the oil, try to get the "wrinkles" in each piece. Don't skip this step! The better you massage your kale, the better they will turn out. This is the trick to getting them crispy enough without them disintegrating and turning into green dust when you touch them.
Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. This is another very important step and a trick to getting the chips crispy. If you layer, they will turn out mushy.
Bake until some chips are slightly browned around the edges but not burnt. Around 10-15 minutes.
*This is the basic kale chip recipe. You can also experiment with other seasonings like cayenne pepper, garlic, chili powder, soy free/gluten free soy sauce (coconut aminos) or for my non vegans and non paleo followers, Parmesan cheese. I sprinkled paprika on top of the chips pictured above.
When I was 16, all of my friends got jobs at the new "Pizza Hut" that opened in our hometown that summer. I worked at the "Dunkin Donuts" in the same shopping center. I'd like to say I worked there because I wanted to be my own person and wasn't a crowd follower but that couldn't be further from the truth. In actuality, I was agonizingly shy. Beads of moisture formed on my upper lip and my voice shook at the mere thought of waiting tables.
I loved working at DD. At the end of the night, employees could take home any left over donuts and throw away the rest. My friends would wait for me in the parking lot after waiting tables all night and I'd bring them garbage bags full of left overs. Anytime I see donuts, I think back to when I was the "donut fairy."
Today, I ran into "Michael's Craft Store" for some Valentine's Day inspiration. When I saw the donut pans, I knew they had to be mine. I have seen gorgeous pictures of Paleo donuts all over Instagram and Pinterest for ages but never got around to creating my own version. Today, was the day. I went back into donut fairy mode for my family. All these years later, they're much more healthy.
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, its perfect timing to whip up these heart healthy treats for everyone you love.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your donut pan (best one I've found here. Or, if you prefer silicone here.)
Mix all dry ingredients (flour and baking soda) in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients minus the eggs (maple syrup, extracts, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar). Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
Beat egg whites until they develop a foam at the top. Fold the eggs into the rest of the batter.
Press batter into donut pans and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool.
In a sauce pan add cocoa powder, bakers chocolate, coconut oil and stevia. Put the heat on low and stir the chocolate mixture constantly until fully melted. Dip donuts in the glaze.
(Note: These donuts were decorated with sprinkles from the regular baking section of the grocery store. For 100% paleo decoration, mix coconut sugar with cinnamon or more cocoa powder and sprinkle on top while the glaze is still wet,
Recently learned fact: The Super Bowl is the second biggest day in America for eating. Can you guess what day earns the number one spot? Hint: I said in America. It's Thanksgiving. Our country is so over indulged.
My father -- who co-owns a pizzeria and a restaurant with my brother -- shared that tidbit of trivia with me. It may or may not have been in a slight fit of delirium after working 12 hours on "Super Bowl Saturday." That's not a typo, I am indeed referring to the Saturday before "Super Bowl Sunday;" when all of the enormous, game day orders flood his phone lines.
In honor of my dad, here's my modified, low carb, gluten free version of his favorite appetizer. Its another one I whipped together for the big game that took place the day after "Super Bowl Saturday."
Preheat oven to 325
Remove the mushroom stems and set them aside. Pour olive oil into a medium bowl. Toss the mushroom caps in the oil and set them aside.
Melt ghee in a warm skillet. Add garlic, onions, a dash of salt and pepper and cook until the onions become translucent. Add sausage meat (casings removed) and cook until the meat is browned. You'll want to continually break apart the sausage while its cooking, so it resembles chopped meat when its done.
Chop mushroom stems and pepper while the meat is cooking and add them once its browned. Cook for 5 more minutes. Add almond meal, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well then remove from heat.
Place mushroom caps on a baking sheet, fill each mushroom with "stuffing" and bake for 30-40 minutes (until the stuffing has browned).
Enjoy warm. Serve with Paleo ranch dressing.
It was a few minutes after 10:00 am on Saturday morning. "Can I get you a magazine," my hair colorist's assistant politely asked me. "Nah, I'm okay. I've got this," I replied as I pointed to my (legal) crack...err, I mean my cell phone. As I settled under the heat and my color began to "cook," it dawned on me that the following day was Superbowl Sunday. I was having family over AND I was a week away from a photo shoot. No starch, no dairy, no alcohol. I wanted to participate in game day festivities: eating, watching commercials, salivating for the halftime performance, taking bathroom breaks during the game, talking about the halftime performance and what they wore while getting "shushed" by the football fans in the room and well, more eating.
Ahhh....What was I going to make?
"Any low carb ideas for tomorrow?" I texted my BFF and my older sissy. Wow! They pulled through. Less than an hour later, I left the salon with fresh locks and inspiration for this new recipe.
Mix all dry seasonings together in a small bowl and set aside*.
Cut the steak into strips (about 2x6 inches) and rub with the seasoning. Set aside.
In a skillet, heat olive oil. Add peppers, onions and a little of your pre-mixed dry seasoning. Cook until the vegetables are slightly softened (4-5 minutes). Remove the pan from the head and let cool (another 4-5 minutes.
Place some of the peppers & onion mixture on top of a piece of steak. Roll it up and secure with 1-2 tooth pics. Repeat until you've rolled-up all steak strips.
Cook your roll ups on the indoor or outdoor grill (about 10 minutes) or bake in a 350 degree oven until your steak is cooked through. Serve with homemade guacamole (recipe coming soon). Enjoy!
*Store left over seasoning in an air tight container and save it for future recipes.
I woke up with a sore throat, itchy ears, pressure in my head and my eyeballs. Grrrr! As the day progressed, I felt worse. Now, let me interrupt myself to let you know that my immune system is stellar. Like freakishly good. Once I decided to get healthy, I worked had to keep it in tiptop condition. So, the second I feel slightly less than "good," I go into immune boosting overdrive. Confession: I kind of O.D. My family lovingly teases me that sometimes I try to do too much at once and I wind up with a stomach ache AND a virus. hah. However, ask me the last time I had the flu? I'll answer you honestly: I cannot remember. For all the skeptics -- God love ya -- no, I don't get the flu shot. More on that another time.
Naturally, I had to start all of my immune system boosting home remedies immediately. "I'm catching this cold in its tracks before it can catch me," I thought as I popped one of my trusty organic zinc tabs. I swear by them -- dissolve one in your mouth every 2 hours as soon as you feel something coming on and you'll kick it. If you do wind up coming down with the bug, I promise it will be significantly lighter in both duration and intensity. You're welcome.
I wanted soup but the last thing I wanted to do when I got home from work was to start cooking. When I'm already not feeling well, I don't trust getting it out. I quickly threw together this Paleo Italian Wedding Soup and added an egg drop for extra lean protein and good measure.
Here's the recipe:
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium sized bowl, combine all meatball ingredients. Mix well (I kneaded the meatball mixture with my hands until it was mixed evenly). Roll meatballs to desired size* and drop onto a lined, lightly sprayed cookie sheet. (Cooking spray is full of chemicals and flame retardants. EW! So I use this handy piece of equipment). Bake meatballs for 15 minutes or until fully cooked.
*For reference, I rolled mine to the size of Swedish meatballs. That makes them easier to eat than trying to figure out how to cut them with a spoon. ;-)
While the meatballs are cooking, melt Ghee in the bottom of the (soup) pot. add garlic, onions and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook until onions become translucent. Add carrots and celery. Cook for five more minutes. Add kale and cook for another 3 minutes, until it wilts. Add stock and spices. Add water until all of the vegetables are covered completely. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Adjust spices as necessary.
Optional: To thicken the broth and add more lean protein, you can add an "egg drop." Beat eggs in a medium bowl or measuring cup. Vigorously stir the soup until it is all moving in one direction. Slowly drizzle in the egg and gently stir with a fork until it forms thin strands.
Rosanne is a life coach, has her degree in Sports Medicine, is a former state champ and national level NPC figure competitor. As a foodie & lover of all things health & wellness she is determined to make the world a healthier place by sharing one fit tip at a time. She serves up real, easy to digest advice for real people.