Healthy, Recipes

Beyond Burger Salad

I first tried the Beyond Meat Burger at Epcot’s Flower and Garden festival last year. I couldn’t believe how amazing it was! I immediately fell in love with it! I couldn’t wait to find it at my grocery store so I could create my own recipes. I’ve used the Beyond Meat as a substitution in several of my recipes. It’s that good!

Have you never heard of The Beyond Burger™? 

It is from the company, Beyond Meat, it’s a plant-based burger that looks, cooks and tastes like beef, but is made entirely from plants without ANY gluten, soy or GMOs. It’s good for you, the planet and delicious! 

Skip the meat and try this vegetarian alternative instead!

This Beyond Meat Burger salad is juicy and loaded with toppings like sautéed caramelized onions, red pepper, and mushrooms served over a bed of baby spinach and arugula. you can Seriously you jazz it up with any number of toppings to make it taste just like one of your favorite burgers.

Ingredients:

Burgers:

  • 1 package Beyond Burger
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper 

Caramelized Veggies

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint sliced mushrooms 
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon Liquid Aminos, or soy sauce 
  • Handful of Arugula & Baby Spinach

Instructions:

For the Caramelized Veggies:

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened. 

Add the sliced mushrooms, cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. 

Add the red peppers, stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. 

Add chopped garlic and red pepper flakes, stir. 

Pour Liquid Aminos (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until coated and most of the liquid has cooked off. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Transfer to a bowl; cover to keep warm. 

For the Burgers: 

Preheat the grill pan and olive oil over medium high heat. 

Mix beyond burger meat with seasoning.

Make 5 patties. 

Add the patties and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned. Flip and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. 

Assemble Salad:

Place a handful of arugula and baby spinach on a plate.

Place the burger on top of greens and top with the Caramelized Veggies. 

Drizzle your favorite dressing & enjoy!

Healthy, Recipes

KETO Cheesy Broccoli & Chicken Casserole

This Keto Cheesy Broccoli & Chicken Casserole recipe is super easy to throw together. It’s rich, cheesy, and a quick dinner or make ahead weeknight meal!

I love making casserole at the beginning of the week so I can have them all week long for lunches. This keto friendly casserole is comforting and simple to make. It’s creamy, topped with cheese and filled with perfectly seasoned chicken and broccoli. You can have this casserole on your dinner table in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of Broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 pound boneless chicken, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup Half and Half  or Heavy Cream
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon of Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of Pepper, ground
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese plus 1/2 cup more
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Preheat oil in an oven safe skillet. Add diced chicken and cook it until golden brown.

Add broccoli florets, onion and garlic to the skillet and sauté.

In a medium sized bowl, combine cream, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, mustard, and garlic and salt & pepper. Pour into the skillet, stir to combine. 

Top with the shredded parmesan cheese.

Bake in the oven for ten minutes, pull out of oven, sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese and continue cooking for ten more minutes, until warmed through and the cheese has browned.

Serve immediately.

Healthy, Recipes

KETO Taco Skillet

Perfect for Taco Tuesday!

This KETO Taco Skillet is everything you love about tacos but KETO friendly and cooked in one skillet!

I love creating recipes like this because there’s so many ways you can customize it to what you love. I used lean ground beef but you can use ground chicken or even turkey. For the veggies, you can easily switch any of them out like mushrooms instead of zucchini. The options are endless!

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 2 large zucchini, chopped
  • taco seasoning packet
  • 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar and jack cheese
  • Cilantro, to garnish

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a large pan, crumble and brown ground beef.

Drain excess fat, wipe skillet clean and set meat aside.

Add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes. 

Add onions, garlic and peppers, and cook until through.

Add the taco seasoning, and stir in one tablespoon water to evenly coat mixture (the liquid from the tomatoes will help). 

Add the canned tomatoes with the juices and stir. 

Mix well.

Cover with shredded cheese and place in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbling. 

Sprinkle with cilantro. 

Serve alone, over a bed of lettuce, rice, or in a taco or burrito.

Healthy, Recipes

KETO-Friendly Cajun Parmesan Salmon

This Keto Cajun Parmesan Salmon Recipe is perfectly seasoned pan seared filets smothered in an unbelievably delicious honey lemon garlic sauce.

This Keto friendly meal takes only a few minutes of prep time and comes together in less than 30 minutes, start to finish. It’s the perfect low carb dinner for those hectic weeknights or even a gourmet weekend! Bonus points that it’s an one pan meal, so clean up is a snap.

I recommend getting a good piece of fresh wild caught salmon if you can. Frozen filets are fine too but they do tend to release that funny white liquid when they are cooked. It won’t affect the taste of your dinner, it just doesn’t look as pretty. I also recommend getting filets that are at least an inch in thickness, so that they cook more evenly and stay juicy and tender. 

I served my salmon over sauteed zucchini noodles to keep it low carb but you can always serve it over the pasta or rice. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 (4-oz.) fillets salmon (preferably wild)
  • 2 tsp. Tony’s Chachere’s Cajun seasoning, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 c. low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan
  • Lemon slices, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil.
Season salmon with 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning and pepper, then add to the skillet skin-side up. 

Cook salmon until deeply golden, about 6 minutes, then flip and cook 2 minutes more. 

Transfer to a plate.

Add butter and garlic to the skillet. 

When butter has melted, stir in broth, lemon juice, honey, remaining teaspoon Cajun seasoning, parsley, and Parmesan. Bring mixture to a simmer.

Reduce heat to medium and add salmon back to skillet. 

Simmer until sauce has reduced and salmon is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Add lemon slices to the skillet and serve.

Healthy, Recipes

Spring Salad

I love using fresh produce when they are in season. This weekend, I went to the local market and couldn’t believe how gorgeous all the green vegetables looked! I grabbed a bundle of green beans, snap peas and asparagus and headed home to create this recipe! Simple, bright, and delicious, it’s the perfect way to showcase the season’s best produce.

Ingredients

  • ½ pound green beans trimmed and halved crosswise
  • ½ pound sugar snap peas trimmed and de-stringed
  • 1 pound asparagus trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Pinch of salt

Dressing

  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Scout and Cellar Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 fennel bulb quartered, cored and very thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup shelled roasted sunflower seeds
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Have a large bowl of ice water nearby. Add the green beans, sugar snap peas, and asparagus to the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Drain, then immediately plunge the vegetables into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When cool, drain and shake off as much excess water as possible.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine the dressing ingredients.  

Add the drained vegetables and the fennel and toss to coat well with the dressing. 

Sprinkle the sunflower seeds and parmesan cheese over the top and serve.

Healthy, Recipes

Grilled Swordfish Salmoriglio

Rachael Ray is one of my all time favorite cooks. I feel like we could be family. I love reading the stories behind each of her recipes because it reminds me of my own family memories in the kitchen. She definitely has been an inspiration. She has said her Sicilian grandfather and her Cajun ancestry both exert strong influences on her cooking. She uses ingredients such as fresh herbs, garlic, and chicken stock to boost flavors, and believes measuring “takes away from the creative, hands-on process of cooking.” She, instead, favors approximations such as “half a palmful” or “2 pan swirl.”

I believe my Sicilian and Spanish ancestry has definitely been a strong influence in my cooking style as well. Before I started my blog, I never measured anything. But now since I have been writing and sharing my recipes, I always have my laptop next to me in the kitchen so I can keep a record of what I am creating. 

She has been an inspiration to several of my recipes.  Today I would like to share my Salmoriglio recipe inspired by her. 

Salmoriglio is a traditional condiment from the Calabria and Sicily regions of Southern Italy. The name is from the word salamoia, which means salty or briny.

Salmoriglio is a quick sauce made with olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs – and it’s absolutely fantastic served over this grilled swordfish, as well as other grilled meats, or seafood.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds fresh swordfish 
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter

INSTRUCTIONS 

In a small bowl mix lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper.

Mix and add only half of this liquid to the bag with the swordfish. Seal the bag and let sit for one hour at room temperature.

While the swordfish sits for the hour, add the lemon juice (about ¼ cup of lemon juice) and parsley to the reserved half of the liquid and set aside to serve with the cooked fish.

Heat outdoor grill to high on one side and cool on the other.

Clean and oil the grill grates.

Remove the swordfish from the bag and brush off any garlic or zest and place the two pieces on the hot side of the oiled grill. Brush some of the liquid from the bag over the fish as it cooks.

Cook two minutes and turn each piece one quarter turn to get cross hatch marks. Cook for two more minutes then flip. After two more minutes turn one quarter turn and cook for two minutes. (Total of eight minutes so far.)

Take a sheet of foil and place on the cool side of the grill. 

After the eight minutes of searing both sides, move the swordfish to the foil and close the cover. Try to keep a consistent temperature of 350 degrees F. in your grill.

From here you will cook for 1-6 more minutes based on how thick your steaks are. Our 1 ½ inch swordfish steaks cooked for exactly six more minutes for a grand total of 14 minutes.

You are looking for an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. 

As soon as they come off, place the four tablespoons of cold butter over the top to melt.

To serve, drizzle the reserved sauce over each portion.

Healthy, Recipes

Keto Cajun Chicken Alfredo

This Keto Cajun Chicken Alfredo was inspired by Leah Chase, also known as the Queen of Creole.

This Keto Cajun Chicken Alfredo is creamy and delicious plus it comes together in just minutes. 

This one pot meal is loaded with chicken and sausage, heavy cream and lots of Parmesan cheese, not to mention lots of Cajun seasoning.

Served over your choice of noodles and you have the perfect week day dinner in less than 30 minutes! I used spaghetti squash noodles to make this dish an easy, low carb, gluten free and keto friendly!

This recipe was inspired by Leah Chase, the Queen of Creole. 

She was the executive chef and co-owner of the Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans, one of the most historic restaurants in America. Not only was she a chef, co-owner and cookbook author, she also was a public servant. 

When African Americans were denied a seat in New Orleans restaurants in the ‘50s and ‘60s, she cooked for them and fed meals to civil rights workers on the frontlines. Chase died in June 2019, but Dooky’s continues to be a stomping ground for regulars, and tourists. 

Did you know Princess Tiana, the waitress who wanted to own a restaurant in Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog,” was based on Mrs. Chase. It was the first African-American princess in a Disney movie.

Cajun food lovers- here’s what you’ll need for this easy one pot meal!

Cajun Seasoning- my best friend, Christine, a.k.a the Cajun Queen introduced me to Tony’s Chachere’s Cajun seasoning when we lived together. I always have some in my pantry! It is my go-to Cajun seasoning!

Unsalted Butter- I always use unsalted butter, it’s much easier to control the salt level in my dishes. Since our seasoning blend already has salt in it and the Parmesan cheese is naturally salty. This dish doesn’t need any more salt.

Chicken breast or thighs- I personally love thighs but you can use breast too. 

Andouille Sausage- It’s a pretty spicy sausage. It is made from smoked pork and it makes perfect sense with cajun spices!

Fresh Garlic- Garlic is a must in any Alfredo sauce. 

Chicken broth- This thins out the sauce and adds a lot of flavor.

Heavy whipping cream- This is what makes this keto cajun chicken alfredo sauce rich and creamy!

Parmesan cheese- Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese because pre-shredded cheese usually has added ingredients which help prevent the shredded cheese from naturally sticking together.

Hot Sauce- I love giving an extra kick to my dishes and that is exactly why I add a dash of hot sauce right at the end.

Fresh parsley– A little parsley adds some color to this quite orange-ish yellow dish, plus it adds some freshness and lightness!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Tony’s Chachere’s Cajun seasoning
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
  • 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • 2 Andouille sausage links, sliced
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • handful of fresh minced parsley, divided (save some for garnish)
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded (save some for garnish)
  • Noodles or noodle replacement of choice to serve (I used spaghetti squash)

Instructions

To start, season your chicken breasts liberally with your Cajun seasoning blend. 

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat, and melt 2 tablespoon of butter. 

Sear your chicken and sausage over medium high heat, until it’s cooked thru and reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Once cooked thru, remove from the skillet and set aside. Don’t drain or remove any of the drippings.

Reduce the heat to medium, and add 2 more tablespoon of butter of it to your cast iron. Add in your minced garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Being careful not to let your garlic burn.

Whisk in chicken broth, heavy whipping cream and a dash of hot sauce.

Stir in your parsley, and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle in more Cajun seasoning to taste. Cook until your cheese has melted. 

Cut your chicken into pieces, and add chicken and sausage to the skillet. 

Serve over noodles of choice. I used Spaghetti squash to get it low carb.

Garnish with more parsley and parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Early Riser, Healthy, Recipes

Keto Friendly Breakfast Casserole

Keto Friendly Bacon, Egg, and Spinach Breakfast Frittata Casserole is the perfect quick and easy make-ahead, meal-prep breakfast that is sure to please any crowd!

I love making frittatas; combining a bunch of ingredients that pair well together, whisking in eggs and then throwing in the oven to bake. This recipe is basically a LARGE frittata that is perfect to serve at any family gathering or brunch! It is also great to make on the weekend for meal prep! Then portion out your breakfast for the week and you just like that, breakfast is all taken care of!

This recipe is highly customizable, so you can change out the type of cheese, peppers and even the bacon.  You can make whatever combination you like, maybe sausage or ham instead of bacon. Simply use what you have on hand to make it easy!

Just follow these easy steps!

  1. Sauté the veggies and spinach.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  3. Create the first layer by adding the sautéed spinach and veggies to the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. Whisk the eggs and egg whites in a small bowl
  5. Pour over the veggies. 
  6. Sprinkle cooked, crumbled bacon and shredded cheese over the top. 
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites – You can use 8-10 eggs if you don’t want to use egg whites.
  • 2-3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 chopped red pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Place a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the chopped veggies (excluding the spinach) to the pan. Sautee for a few minutes until the veggies are soft.

Add spinach to the pan, and saute until slightly wilted. 

Add the veggies and spinach to the bottom of the baking dish. Spread the veggies throughout the dish.

Whisk the egg whites and eggs in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. 

Pour the egg mixture over the veggies.

Create an additional layer by adding the crumbled bacon and shredded cheese.

Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Allow to cool before serving

Healthy, Recipes

Keto Meatball Casserole

Juicy, flavorful meatballs cooked until golden and then covered with tomato sauce and cheese.

If you are looking for a new dinner this Keto Meatball Casserole should be it. 

I love this keto friendly meatball casserole because it’s really simple to make and delicious.  It’s also great for meal prep!

I took my grandparent’s meatball recipe, made a couple of changes to make these keto/low carb meatballs. They make epic leftovers… so great for meal prepping! 

The Meat

My personal favorite meat combo when it comes to meatballs is a fifty-fifty of ground beef and Italian sausage. 

The Breadcrumbs

As you know, meatballs traditionally call for breadcrumbs for the binder. It’s purpose is to add moisture and keep the proteins in the meat from shrinking and becoming tough. I used crushed pork rinds! They work surprisingly well in lieu of breadcrumbs and they really play up the flavors.

To Pan-fry or to bake?

This is a great debate between Italian cooks – whether meatballs should be baked or pan fried. 

I grew up watching my grandmother, Meme pan-fry her meatballs. So in this house, we pan fry! Pan frying meatballs produces superior caramelization and a flavorful outer crust. You really do get the best flavor. 

Having said that, you can definitely bake up these too. 

The Sauce

Nothing fancy here, just simple and delicious! One can of crushed tomatoes and ¼ cup of red wine, I recommend Scout & Cellar Gallivant Cabernet Sauvignon

The Cheese

You choose the shredded cheese… Mozzarella, Provolone, Monterrey Jack, Cheddar… I personally like a combination of Mozzarella and Provolone. 

Serve warm on top of zucchini noodles or your with a side of your favorite vegetable. 

Ingredients

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • ⅓ cup grated or shredded parmesan
  • 2/3 cup crushed pork rinds
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried minced onion
  • 2 tsp dried minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Salt and Pepper

Casserole Ingredients:

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix thoroughly. 

Make about 24 meatballs

Heat an oven safe skillet over medium heat. (I used my cast iron skillet)

Drizzle one tablespoon in the skillet. 

Place meatballs into the skillet and cook for two-three minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes. 

Place the skillet into the preheated oven and bake for ten minutes. 

Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, pour the crushed tomatoes and wine over the meatballs. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for another ten minutes. 

Once the sauce is bubbling, sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake for an additional 8 minutes until the cheese is melted. 

Optional: I broiled for 3-4 minutes at the end to toast the cheese. Watch it carefully if you put it under the broiler. The cheese can burn easily.