Healthy, Recipes

Taco Cauliflower Rice Casserole

The BEST Keto Taco Casserole is here!

This Keto Taco Casserole is loaded with cheesy taco goodness without any of the carbs. This low carb friendly dish really hits the spot.

I’m a big fan of casseroles because they allow for easy cleanup, and are great for meal prep. This keto taco casserole is sure to be a regular on your meal plan!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cups cauliflower rice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • homemade taco seasoning, two tablespoons store brought
  • ¼ cup water
  • 14 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup canned black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 limes sliced into wedges

HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING

  • 1 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the homemade taco seasoning, add all ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until evenly mixed. Set aside. 

Add oil to a large pan or skillet and bring to medium-high heat. 

Add in cauliflower rice. 

Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. Drain and place cauliflower into a bowl to set aside.

In the same pan, add garlic, onion, ground beef and bring to medium-high heat. 

Cook until ground beef has browned, crumbling the ground beef as you cook it. Drain out excess fat.

Sprinkle taco seasoning across ground beef. 

Stir in the black beans. 

Add ¼ cup water and diced tomatoes (including the liquid). Stir and cook on medium heat until everything is evenly mixed and the sauce has thickened.

Add the cauliflower rice back in and mix with the taco meat, cooking for a few minutes on medium heat. Drain any liquid from the pan. 

Add taco cauliflower rice into a 9 x 12 inch casserole pan. Sprinkle cheese across the surface. 

Bake in the oven at 350F for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Garnish with cilantro. 

Serve with lime wedges.

Pasta, Recipes

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake

This pasta bake recipe features the classic flavors of Spinach Artichoke Dip

Do you love Spinach and Artichoke Dip? I totally do! So I figured why not turn it into an easy pasta dish! It’s simple to make and delicious – just toss the pasta with the thick, creamy spinach & artichoke sauce and top with panko and Parmesan mixture. After 25 minutes of bake time, you’ll have a flavorful yummy dish that is sure to please your entire family!

Pasta bake recipes are perfect to make ahead! You can totally add some chicken to this bake to make this into a more filling meal, or leave it out. Completely your choice.

Looking to make this even easier? Just buy a container of Spinach Artichoke dip, stir in with the cooked pasta and bake.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 8  ounces medium pasta shells
  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • ¼  teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 10  ounces fresh baby spinach, or frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
  • 1  (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2  cups heavy cream (1 pint)
  • 4  ounces grated Parmesan (about 1 cup)
  •  Black pepper
  • 4  ounces grated mozzarella (about 1 cup)

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup Panko
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese , grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

INSTRUCTIONS 

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Turn down to medium-high, and cook the pasta according to package instructions until 2 minutes short of al dente (the pasta will finish cooking in the oven). Drain and reserve.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the onion, garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the spinach little by little until wilted, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chopped artichokes.

Stir in the cream and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. 

Stir in the Parmesan until melted. 

Remove from the heat then carefully stir in the cooked pasta, or transfer to a large bowl to mix together, if necessary. The liquid might appear wet and loose, but it will thicken up as it bakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the pasta to a 2-quart casserole dish. 

In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, Parmesan and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the pasta dish.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbling around the edges and topping is lightly browned. 

Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipes, sweet tooth

Brownie Shortbread Cups

These brownie shortbread cups will hit all your cravings… both buttery soft shortbread and gooey fudge brownies. You can have the best of both worlds.

These brownie shortbread bars have two layers. The bottom layer is a simple shortbread crust made from little more than butter, sugar, and flour.The crumbly cookie crust comes together in a single bowl before being patted out in a muffin pan. While the crust bakes slightly in the oven, prepare the brownie batter, you can also use your favorite brownie mix box. After baking in the oven, the cups are ready to devour. The combination of shortbread and brownies is pretty phenomenal if you ask me

Let’s get to baking!

INGREDIENTS

For the crust:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1–1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the brownie:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1–1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

OR

2 boxes your favorite brownie mix and the ingredients needed

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line an 8 or 9” square baking pan with parchment paper or a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Lightly grease with cooking spray and set aside.

Begin by preparing the crust. 

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour and salt and stir just until combined to crumbs. Gently press the mixture down flat into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until set. 

In the meantime, begin making the brownie filling.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, gently melt together the butter, chocolate chips, and sugar, stirring regularly to melt evenly and prevent scorching the chocolate. Once melted and smooth, set aside. 

In a large bowl, beat the eggs on medium speed with a mixer until they lighten in color and fluff up, about 2-3 minutes. Gently stir in the chocolate mixture. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, stirring just until combined. 

Pour the batter on top of the prepared shortbread and smooth. 

Increase the oven heat to 350 and bake for an additional 30-33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out only with a couple of small brownie crumbs. Do not overbake. 

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely prior to slicing.

Recipes, Small Bites

MARGARITA GRILLED SHRIMP

These Margarita Grilled Shrimp Skewers are loaded with flavor and charred to perfection. If you like grilled shrimp, you are going to love this recipe! 

They can be served as an appetizer or turned into a meal, just serve over rice. 

It’s the perfect weeknight meal or poolside dish! This past weekend, I served them with mini taco shells, a spicy mango dipping sauce and a chili lime aioli.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. raw jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon  chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon  onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon  cumin
  • 1 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon  black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon tequila, optional
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Wedges of fresh lime, for squeezing over top of grilled shrimp

Chili Lime Aioli

  • 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili seasoning
  • 2 2/12 tablespoon Lime juice
  • 1 lime zest

Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce

  • 1 Small Mango ,peeled and diced, about 3/4 C
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh cilantro ,chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Canned coconut milk 

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all ingredients in a bowl & marinate shrimp for 20-30 minutes.

Thread shrimp on skewers and grill 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from skewers and place in a serving bowl.

Chili Lime Aioli & Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce

Mix all ingredients in a bowl or in the blender. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to marry.

Serve shrimp on a platter with both dipping sauces.

Cocktails

The Classic Mojito and Pink Champagne Mojito

If you’re in the mood for a fun summer drink, this mojito recipe is just what you need!
It’s refreshing, delicious, and super easy to make.

Mojitos are ultra refreshing on warm days, and I feel like I’m on vacation every time I get my hands on one.

Here’s two super easy Mojito recipes… the classic Mojito and the Pink Champagne Mojito!

INGREDIENTS

Classic Mojito

5 mint leaves, more for garnish

2 ounces white rum

1.5 ounce Stirrings Mojito Mix

Ice

Club soda or sparkling water

Lime slices and mint leaves, for garnish

Pink Champagne Mojito

6 to 8 fresh mint leaves

1 ounces of simple syrup

1 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice

2 ounce white rum

3 ounces rosé champagne

1 lime, cut into wedges

INSTRUCTIONS

Classic Mojito

Strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with a splash of club soda and garnish with lime slices and more mint.

Lightly muddle the mint in the bottom of a cocktail shaker until aromatic. Add the rum, mix, a handful of ice and shake.

Pink Champagne Mojito

In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, add the simple syrup and the mint leaves. 

Muddle with a muddler. 

Add ice, some lime wedges or slices, rum, and lime juice to the cocktail shaker. Shake. 

Strain into a glass filled with ice.

Top with rosé champagne, garnish with lime slices and more mint.

Recipes

Bacon & Sweet Corn Grilled Pizza

Sweet grilled corn, bacon, mozzarella and goat cheese mingle together on homemade pizza dough that’s grilled for maximum flavor and a perfect char.

This pizza is perfect for a Barbeque party!

INGREDIENTS 

1 recipe homemade pizza crust

2 ears sweet corn

2 tablespoons olive oil divided

4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled

2 clove garlic minced

1 red pepper, diced

1 red onion, diced

½ teaspoon garlic salt

pepper

4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced or shredded

1 Jalapeno, seeds removed sliced

2 ounces Goat cheese crumbled

Parsely, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS 

Preheat the grill to medium-low heat.

Shuck the corn and remove and the silks are still left. Rub the corn with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil and place on the grill. Cook, turning occasionally until charred, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly, then remove the kernels from the cob.

In a pan over medium heat, saute the red pepper, onion and garlic. 

Sprinkle the cornmeal on a cutting board or pizza peel and turn the dough out onto the cornmeal and roll into a 14-inch circle. Brush the top with 1/2 of the olive oil and sprinkle of garlic salt and pepper. 

Place the crust olive oil side down on the grill and cook until puffed and browned.Flip and brush the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil onto the dough, then sprinkle on the sauteed veggies, bacon, parsely, mozzarella, jalapeno slices and charred corn kernels.

Half way through the grilling, sprinkle on the goat cheese crumbles. 

Grill the pizza until the cheese has melted and the crust has a nice char. If the crust is cooking too fast, move the pizza to a cooler part of the grill.

Cookies, Recipes

Melt in Your Mouth Chocolate Chip Bars

Got a sweet tooth and love chocolate? Then these chocolate chip bars are for you!

They start with my brown butter chocolate chip cookie recipe and are filled with milk chocolate and sweetened condensed milk. The brown butter and brown sugar gives a toffee-like richness to the cookie bars. And they are so easy to make in a 9×13-inch pan; no scooping or rolling needed. Just press and bake!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag of milk chocolate chips
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 4.4 ounce large milk chocolate bar, chopped 

INSTRUCTIONS

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, about 6 minutes, until it becomes brown in color. It will foam, reduce, then foam again. Once it’s done cooking the foam is a light brown and it will dissipate after you remove it from the heat. Once it starts to brown, keep stirring so it doesn’t burn. Let sit for about 5 minutes to cool.

Pour into an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. While still hot, add both sugars and mix on low until combined. Let sit to cool for a few minutes.

While the butter mixture is cooling, combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk and set aside.

Turn the mixer on low. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing completely.  

Mix in vanilla extract. 

Add flour mixture one cup at a time to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Line a 9×13” baking pan with parchment paper for easy removal.

Press half the cookie dough in the prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top of the bottom layer (be careful to leave about 1/4” edge around the pan, then sprinkle the chopped chocolate bar over the top. 

Press the remaining cookie dough on top of milk and chopped chocolate bar. Press with your hands to flatten. It will mostly cover but not completely cover the bottom layer.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for about 35-45 minutes until the tops of the bars start to get golden brown. 

Cool completely before slicing into bars.

Healthy, Recipes

Lemon Pepper Salmon

This baked lemon pepper salmon only takes 12 minutes in the oven before dinner is served! 

This baked lemon pepper salmon recipe is such a delicious and easy way to prepare salmon in the oven. It only takes 12 minutes at 400ºF to whip up this healthy dinner idea!

Salmon cooks up so fast, has a beautiful mild flavor without the fishy-ness, and is very easy to find at your local grocery store. You don’t need a whole lot of effort and time to make this salmon taste amazing.

Feel free to turn this into a one pan meal by adding some of your favorite veggies like broccoli, asparagus or even potatoes. 

INGREDIENTS

2 5-oz. salmon filets

1.5 teaspoons lemon pepper

salt, to taste

2 lemon, sliced into wheels

Lemon zest, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

First, preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Next, prepare salmon, by placing a double piece of paper towel on a large plate. Place salmon filets on top of the paper towel, skin-side down and then place another piece of paper towel on top. Use your hands to press the paper towel into the salmon in order to remove as much moisture as possible.

Next, prepare a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray.

Then place the salmon filets on top skin-side down.

Sprinkle on a generous amount of lemon pepper seasoning on top of each filet. And, season with salt to taste and place lemon wheels on top.

Bake at 400ºF for 12-14 minutes or until the salmon is cooked all the way through a

Cocktails

The Classic & The Spicy Margarita

Stop using margarita mix. For a classic margarita recipe all you need is tequila, fresh lime juice, triple sec, and simple syrup.

The classic Margarita is one of the most popular cocktails in the world.I’m a sucker for a classic and a spicy one! The key to the Spicy Margarita’s heat is fresh jalapenos. 

Here’s my two go-to favorite margarita recipes. 

INGREDIENTS

Classic

  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt, for glass rims
  • 4 ounces high-quality blanco tequila
  • 2 ounces Cointreau
  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh juice 
  • Lime wheels for garnish

Spicy

  • 1 lime wedge
  • 2 jalapeno coins
  • 2 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1/2 ounce orange liqueur
  • 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 ounce agave syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt, for glass rims
  • Jalapeno coin, garnish
  • Lime wheels, garnish

INSTRUCTIONS 

If you’d like a salt rimmed glass, slice a lime into quarters and rub one of the quarters along the rim of a glass. Spread margarita salt onto a small plate and turn the glass upside down into the salt. The salt should stick to the rim.

In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients. Fill with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled, about 15 seconds (the bottom of a metal shaker should frost over).

Fill glasses with fresh ice and strain margarita into both glasses. 

Garnish and serve.

Recipes, Small Bites

Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings

Crispy Oven-Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings are so easy to prepare with no need for oil or deep frying.

Buffalo Chicken Wings are the perfect game-day or any day appetizer, marinated in a buffalo sauce, and baked to perfection with just the right amount of heat.

Did you know?
Chicken wings were first cooked in a hot sauce for a late-night snack back in 1964, at a bar in Buffalo, New York. Since then, buffalo wings can be found on most bar menus across the world especially when it’s game-day, you can be sure that tables are full of wings and beer.

This recipe is so easy to make. These buffalo wings are baked instead of fried, but are just as crispy and delicious. And, what makes it even better is that you can eat the wings hot and fresh right out of the oven. Serve them with my homemade Blue Cheese dressing or Ranch for dipping, and you’ve got an awesome snack or meal with less fat and calories.

INGREDIENTS

CHICKEN WINGS

  • 4 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 tablespoon free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Pinch of cracked pepper

BUFFALO SAUCE:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Original Red Hot Sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey, white sugar or brown sugar (adjust to suit your tastes)

BLUE CHEESE Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese softened
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cracked black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminium foil.
Pat dry chicken wings liberally with paper towels, squeezing out as much moisture as you can. Transfer them to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the baking powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper together, whisking well to combine, and sprinkle the mixture over the wings. Toss wings through the baking powder mixture until evenly coated.

Arrange on the prepared pan, leaving about 1-inch of space between each wing.
Bake for 20 minutes; flip and continue to cook for an additional 20 minutes. Repeat these steps until crisp and golden brown, (about 60-80 minutes total), until golden browned and crispy.

While the wings are cooking, whisk together hot sauce, butter and sugar in a saucepan. Once butter has melted and sauce is bubbling remove from heat.
Toss wings through the sauce to evenly coat.

Serve wings immediately with blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing, and celery sticks.