Tag Archives: beyond easy

EAT: Parmesan Chicken

 

Look, I get it… food blogger Keri suxs and it is way quiet around here.  We can talk about all of that some other time – because LOOK AT THIS CHICKEN!!

I posted a pic on Instagram and then (duh Keri) people wanted a recipe.  Ask, and you shall receive…. sort of. Let’s call this a “technique” rather than a recipe.  But DANG – so good!

To make this delicious Parmesan crusted chicken and herb-y butter sauce, I started out by butterflying and then splitting a large boneless chicken breast, so I had two nice pieces that were a fairly even thickness (around 1/2 inch.)

I melted a generous pat of butter in a frying pan over medium high heat, then dipped each piece of chicken into a bowl with a beaten egg, letting the excess drip off before moving the piece to a plate with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese (the Kraft-esqe variety that comes in the shaker,) mixed with a teaspoon of  dried Italian seasoning (or your choice of dried herbs.)

I coated each side in the cheese and then placed the pieces into the frying pan, cooking on each side for 4 minutes.

I removed the chicken to a plate, added an extra pat of butter to the pan along with 1/4th cup pinot grigio and deglazed (encouraged/allowed the bits from the bottom of the pan to come up into the liquid) before removing from the heat.

I served it with some quick steamed broccoli florets seasoned with red pepper flakes and more of the Parmesan shakeys (do other people call that stuff shakeys?  Just me?)

When I served it up, I piled the broccoli up, then set the chicken on top of that, then spooned the buttery sauce down over the top of all of it.

Simple and REALLY good.  (and of course oh-so-keto perfect, should you be so inclined.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Be- Briefly, Eat - Briefly

Eat, Briefly… Pizza Stuffed Peppers

Jr loves pizza. The Hub loves pizza. KERI LOVES PIZZA.

Anything that takes all the flavors of pizza and puts a bit of a new spin on the old fave seems like a good idea to me. In that spirit, I give you Pizza Stuffed Peppers!

To make, pre-heat the oven to 350.

 Then half and clean 2 bell peppers,  and place the 4 halves cut side up in a baking dish. 

In a large bowl, combine 1/2 lb browned  ground Italian sausage, 1/2 lb browned ground beef/turkey/whatever (I brown this when I get it home from the store, then  freeze for easy use later) 1/2 cup pizza sauce, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, and pizza toppings to your liking- I diced up 6 or 7 peperoni slices for the batch, and added black olive slices after reserving 1/4 of the mix for Mr Picky-pants (The Hub.)

Stuff the pepper halves with the mix, top with more cheese, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. 

Pizza is ready!

1 Comment

Filed under Eat - Briefly

Eat, Briefly- Steak Quesadillas (and the salsa I practically drink!)

image

Wednesday was a looooong day at the office and I wanted something quick and comforting.
These quesadillas are filled with chopped up steak leftover from our last delicious grilled london broil (thank you, freezer!) and plenty of shredded cheddar. I brush the carb balance tortillas with coconut oil and bake for 10 minutes at 350, then broil for 2-5 minutes until the top is a little brown and crunchy.

The Hub had sour cream with his, which is fine, but I slathered mine in my favorite store-bought  salsa EVER Santa Barbara  Salsa Taqueria!  It’s got a fresh, spicy flavor that I love. Try it on eggs, cheese crisps, cucumbers, and cardboard  (j/k….. kind of. I’d probably eat it, if I had enough salsa.)

All that spice needs a refreshing drink to cool things down. Margaritas are yum, for sure, but I haven’t found a lower carb version I love l, andplusalso I wanted something easy!
Hello, Spiked and Sparkling!

image

These little beauties are new to our market, and DELISH. Spiked sparkling water with a hint of fruit – my fave so far is the Grapefruit and Pomelo. Refreshing, fizzy, and not sicky sweet or heavy. Also 100 calories and only 2 carbs!  My only complaint is that I wish they came in cans, because these would be perfect for pool days! (Don’t be the jerk with glass at my pool!! I will hunt you down and rip you!)
Tonight we have a fun event that I will happily let blow my macro numbers… can’t wait to share it with you tomorrow!

Leave a comment

Filed under Beyond Easy, Drink, Eat, Eat - Briefly, My Faves

Eat – SO EASY Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise sauce.

People have funny reactions to Hollandaise sauce.  Some people think it’s disgusting. If you are one of those people, I have two things to say to you:

  1. This post is probably not for you.
  2. We maybe can still be friends, but you cannot besmerch the good name of the Hollandaise, or it’s gonna get ugly fast.

Annnywayyy…

For those who know a good thing when they taste it enjoy Hollandaise, it can still be kind of a love/hate relationship.

Hollandaise, I’m afraid, gets a bad rap.  The reasons are two-fold, it seems – but I am here to clean up this sauce’s reputation, or at least strongly  plead its case.

“It’s fattening.”

Well….  it has a high fat content.  I will give you that.  There are some calories in there, for sure.  (My recipe has 182  a serving which isn’t insignificant, I get it.)

BUT for those of us partaking in a Ketogenic- Low Carb/High Fat nutrition plan, it is actually kind of a dream sauce.  It has the fat content that we rely on to keep us  feeling full and satisfied, AND burning fat as fuel.  Butter and eggs?  Those are LCHF staples!!

Regardless of your nutritional preferences, there is room in there for some fat.  You will enjoy what you eat, you will feel satiated for longer periods, and fat is important for keeping our bodies functioning properly. Come on, live a little.  Have the Hollandaise.

“It’s too hard to make.”

Yeah, nope.

I get it, in culinary school I was terrified making Hollandaise – it seemed SO complex, and so easy to screw up.  All of that double-boiler/ bain marie bullshit, trying to whisk like hellfire and stream in the butter.  AND WHAT IF IT DID CURDLE!?

THE PRESSURE!!!!

Except not at all – it is super simple and (I swear) actually pretty well foolproof – and I am a Grade A fool, so we can say it is “Keri Proof” if you do it like I do.  Here we go:

WHAT YOU NEED
image
4 egg yolks

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)

½ – 1 tablespoon lemon juice  (pardon my squeezy lemon, it was all we had)

Pinch dry mustard (optional)

Pinch cayenne pepper or dash of hot sauce (optional)

Hot Water (as needed)

*Makes 6 servings (but no one will judge if it doesn’t go down that way at your house, I promise.)

WHAT YOU DO

Place the egg yolks and lemon juice into the blender.  I start with 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice because I don’t like a really lemony sauce.  If you do, you can easily adjust when finishing, but once you have over-lemoned, there is no unringing that bell.

I like a pinch of dry mustard in my Hollandaise, just to give it a little extra something in the background.  BUT, just a pinch.  I don’t want it to actually taste like mustard.  Some folks prefer to add a little cayenne pepper for a bit of a kick.  I am a traditionalist, but you do you – add either of those now if you would like:
image
Cover and give the contents of the blender a pulse – 5 seconds or so.

In a measuring cup (or other microwave safe container with a pouring spout,) melt the stick of butter until it just starts to boil.

Remove the center of your blender top, turn the blender on to a low to medium-low setting, and slowly stream in the hot melted butter:
image
Oh yeah.

People tend to over think this step – don’t be too fussy, let it all stream in, then let the blender run for 30 seconds or so and you will be good to go.

If it is too runny, let it sit a bit and it will thicken…  if it gets too cold, microwave for 10 seconds (it will curdle a bit, but see the next sentence to solve that problem.)   If it is too thick, or if the butter has caused the eggs to curdle up, then add warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and give it a good whisk.  It will come right back together and thin right out. I pinky swear.

Give it a taste to see if you want a bit more lemon, and then start finding stuff in your kitchen to drown in it top with the golden goodness.

This morning I actually used the whites that I had left over from separating the eggs, fried with a little bacon and one full egg to make a quick scramble.
image

Hello, you beautiful sauce, you.

Leave a comment

Filed under Eat

Eat- super simple ceasar salad with DIY dressing

I love Caesar Salad.  It’s my “menu option anxiety” killer.  You know that thing where EVERYTHING on a menu looks amazing and you can never ever choose between all the goodness- but the sever is coming back and you can’t put him or her off again. THE PRESSURE IS ON, YO!
Except not for Keri. When Keri feels this way she closes up that menu and responds “I’ll have the Caesar Salad, please. And another glass of Chardonnay.”  (Duh, always.)
I always love a Caesar Salad. (Ok, I’ve had like two bad experiences with blecky interpretations in my whole life. That’s a good track record considering the number of Caesar Salads I’ve eaten in my life.)
DIY Caesar dressing at home can be intimidating. It involves anchovies. It also involves raw egg yolks. Andplusalso for good measure emulsifying .
But Keri is here to save you, because her culinary-school-drop-out self is WAY too lazy for slowly incorporating fat and oil; and I am pretty sure if I brought anchovies into the house, The Hub would gag and straight up move out. So… let’s cheat our way to the best Caesar dressing you’ve ever tasted, shall we?
I adapted this Epicurious recipe to make my dressing, generally cutting corners everywhere I can; because I am so lazy that even their simple version was too much work. (Oh Keri. Sad.)
This works well for four side-salads, or two entree-sized portions topped with a protein of your choice. Here I’ve used this sweet and spicy chicken since I had some left in the fridge. Shrimp are tasty and quick cooking, or leftover steak is yummy too.

(Mmmmm, steak. ::drool::)

WHAT YOU NEED
image

1 head Romain lettuce, washed
6-8 ounces protein of your choice (if you are using as a main course)
Croutons – if you are so inclined

For the dressing:
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup olive oil
The juice of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons garlic paste
1 teaspoon Worcester sauce

WHAT YOU DO
Rip or cut the lettuce to your liking into a large bowl and set aside.
To make the dressing, squeeze the lemon juice into a blender (I do this first in case a seed gets away from me; then I can wrangle it without having to use a strainer or be careful or whatever. Because, lazy.) Then add the cheese, garlic, oil, and Worcester sauce:
image
Blend on high/liquefy until the dressing is smooth and combined:
image
I make mine ahead and then store for up to a week in the fridge. A jar with a tight lid lets me give it a good shake before I use it:
image
Pour over your greens, toss to combine, then sprinkle in croutons and protein:
image

Look at you, making Caesar dressing from scratch.
So. Much. Yum.

So there you have it. A month of salads to get the new year started off right – good and good for you!

Uo next I am sharing a regional favorite from a state I’ve never been to (brave AND shocking, Keri,) and I am giving it a Low Carb/High (good) Fat makeover too!

2 Comments

Filed under Eat

Eat- Father in law salad

WOO HOO, Week 3 of our month of salads!! I can’t be the only one who gets excited about salads, right?  I have a doozy for you this week.  It is sweet and tangy, with lots of great textures coming together for that perfect bite each time you spear a forkful.

I confess, I can’t take credit for this salad – my awesome Father-in-law first introduced me to his version of it it several years ago.  I believe he had something similar at a party or restaurant, and he decided to recreate it.  Him and I have that in common; the recreating dishes we love from restaurants, I mean.  We both do a version of a steak with chimmichurri butter served over fries that was one of our family’s favorite dishes at one of our favorite restaurants  until it was taken off the menu.  (Ahem, still mourning the loss, Steubens.)  BUT  I digress greatly – as usual.

This salad. This salad is the direct opposite of a boring salad.  It is an explosion of flavors and textures that come together so nicely, even anti-salad people love this salad.  It is a great “company’s coming” salad – whip it up ahead of time, toss the dressing into it last minute, and it is a really nice starter (no need for the protein if you are serving it this way.)

But I LOVE it as a meal- especially with the addition of the smoked salmon.  All of the sweet elements, contrasted with the salt of the fish and the crunch of the almonds?

Yasssss.

Here we go:

WHAT YOU NEED:

image

1 bag fresh spinach, rinsed and dried
1small can mandarin oranges, drained well
1/2 bag dried cranberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 ounces crumbly goat cheese
Raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing
4-6 ounces smoked salmon

WHAT YOU DO:
Place the rinsed, dried spinach in a large bowl. I like to tear off the stems from the majority of the leaves – a few left is fine, I just don’t care for the texture of them to be overwhelming.

image

Crumble in the goat cheese, and add the oranges, after draining VERY well (or the dressing won’t cling to your salad, and that’s just sad.)

image

Next, in with the almonds and dried berries :

image

Then the dressing. I know I’m being lazy here with the bottled dressing, but I like to keep the ingredients for this dressing on hand in case we have last minute guests or I just want something different for lunch. Knowing this tasty dressing is waiting, ready to go at a moment’s notice? It’s like my sweet, flavorful, dirty little secret.

image

The whole thing gets a really good toss, but gentle hands here, people – don’t want that spinach all creased and crunched.
image

Seriously – try it.  Feed it to your “non-salad” people.  (Look out for my kid though, he will steal all your oranges and crasins. It is a salad so good that it makes 4 year olds throw what little salad ettiqute they know straight to the wind.)  This will feed two hungry adults a nice-sized meal, or split it up into four if you are using as a side.

I come back to this again and again.

I should really thank my father-in-law sometime.

Next week – a fresh and fast all homemade version of everyone’s favorite classic salad.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Eat

Eat- BLT salad with creamy avocado dressing

Congratulations – you’ve arrived in the second full week of January!! Minds, waistlines (and livers) have started to recover from all those holiday hijinx and we are off and running into 2016!
Being the low-carb/high-fat convert that 2015 made me, if I find myself feeling bored or deprived with what I’m eating, I reach for some “good fats.” Something that will give me some creamy, heavy texture and stick with me so I don’t find myself clamoring for a snack in an hour.
Coconut oil, eggs, a small serving of nuts… all good ideas, for sure.
But NOTHING makes Keri as happy as avocado.
Here, it’s a thick avocado dressing with bright zingy lemon that really clings to lettuce leaves. Mmmmmmm.
Fun fact – when I was pregnant with Jr, I ate at least one BLT every day for over 6 months. I could not get enough BLT.Of course some of those were actually BLATs – bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato; a very tasty combo all its own.  EVEN after all of that BLT consumption,  if I see one on the menu it is always in serious contention for my lunch order.

Bringing the great fat and flavor of the avocado together with the salty, crunchy perfection of a BLT in a salad makes a really satisfying lunch or dinner  that is anything but depriving.

WHAT YOU NEED:

image

1 head Romain lettuce
1 large ripe tomato
1 lemon
1/2 clove garlic (or equivalent garlic paste)
1 ripe avocado
6 strips cooked bacon (this Hormel pre-cooked is good if you want to keep things quick)

WHAT YOU DO:
In a blender, combine the avocado, garlic, and juice from 1/2 of the lemon :

image

Blend on high/liquefy until smooth. Check consistency.  I like it thick, but still pourable, so if it looks more like a spread, I add the juice from other half of the lemon:

image

While that is blending together well, cut the tomato – I like wedges so the seeds and juice stay in the tomato a bit better, and don’t forget to give them a,sprinkle of S&P, because an unseasoned tomato is the sad panda of the salad world:

image

Also dice the bacon:

image

For this salad, I like to just dress the lettuce so everything else stays crunchy and the bacon stays, um, bacon-y (really important and highly scientific terminology.)

image

Then I plate up the lettuce and pile the other goodies on top:

image

Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes.

This recipe makes 2 good-sized dinner salads, or could be split 4 ways as a side for something else. (OOO- it would be so good with fried chicken!! Damn. Now I want fried chicken. )
But I digress- LONG LIVE THE BL(A)T!

Leave a comment

Filed under Eat