Blueberry Jamboree

The recipe: Keto Blueberry Jamboree

The Nitty Gritty: There are 3 phases to this one: crust, filling, and topping. There was time involved (you had to cook parts then let them cool before proceeding). I followed the recipe to the letter and was not disappointed. This is a delightful summer dessert which will appear again at my home.

The Bottom Line: Another amazing dessert from Carolyn Ketchum. It was very light and delicious. A little bit of work, but worth it. Especially during blueberry season.

Second Opinion

The Nitty Gritty: I did not follow the recipe. I’m in use things up mode so I didn’t buy pecan flour, opting to buzz up roasted salted pecan from the cupboard for the pecan flour and chop up some of the same for the crust. I also started the crust first and did the topping second and the middle third. This worked out well as the crust took longer than anticipated in my Stupid Oven, so it needed longer to cool. The pecans were salted so I omitted the added salt in the crust. I also didn’t have a metal 9×9 pan. Or any 9×9 pan. So I used an 8×8 glass pan. It fit! Whew. I was also concerned about getting it cut into 16 pieces in the smaller pan, but it worked out fine.

The Bottom Line: It turned out just as Julie described. A lighter mousse-y cheesecake like one of my favorite recipes, Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake (also from Carolyn) with a kickass pecan crust and delicious blueberry topping. It all works together so well. I will definitely be adding this to my list of summer desserts.

Mojo Chicken

The Recipe: Mojo Chicken

The Nitty Gritty: This recipe comes from Michelle Tam at Nom Nom Paleo (Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nomnompaleo ). I’ve followed Michelle for YEARS (I was paleo for a few years before going keto) and have always enjoyed her recipes. She has several cookbooks and videos, and her website goes into detail on every recipe. Don’t be fooled by the name of the site – she’s added tags to all of her keto-friendly recipes to make them easy to find!

This recipe required a little bit of planning because the chicken needs to marinate for at least one hour (and up to a day). I had every intention of getting mine in the marinade the night before cooking, but I forgot! Luckily I remembered first thing the following morning, so my chicken got to bathe in deliciousness for a solid 8 hours before meeting the grill. I would definitely recommend at least 8 hours for the marinade – next time I’ll let mine go overnight!

The Bottom Line: This recipe is absolutely delicious and I will definitely make it again. The citrus flavors are bright and it was seasoned perfectly. As long as I remember to marinate the night before, this would be a great weeknight dish!

Cauli-tots

The Recipe: Cauli-tots

The Nitty Gritty: There’s a little bit of work involved with these, but not a ton, and your efforts will be rewarded! I used Coastal aged cheddar for the cheese and they were delicious. I paired them with Salisbury Steak and did not need any sort of sauce (like ketchup). I have made them in the past and DID use ketchup (Primal Kitchen), which was also very good.

When making the tots this time, I forgot about the cool-down period (before mixing everything together) so that threw a small wrench in dinner-making but it was no big deal.

I used my OXO medium cookie scoop and got 20 tots (instead of the 24 mentioned in the recipe). That was just fine since a serving is 1/4 of the recipe and 20 is easily divisible by 4!

Pro tip: Trader Joe’s sells frozen cauli rice in 12-oz bags which is PERFECT for this recipe!

The Bottom Line: These are VERY tasty and scratch the itch for tots. Will be in regular rotation on my menu!

YMMV – Your Macros May Vary – These are the macros I calculated for the brands and foods I have available.
Calories: 176
Protein: 12g
Fat: 12g
Total Carbohydrates: 6g
Fiber: 2g
Net Carbohydrates: 4g

Salisbury Steak

The Recipe: Salisbury Steak

The Nitty Gritty: I changed this recipe to 4 servings rather than 6 as part of our attempts to increase protein, but followed the recipe as written.

I divided the meat mixture into 8 mini meat loaves. I didn’t do a good job of squishing them into the 1″ height though, so they did take an additional 10 minutes to bring up to temperature (they were in the oven for a total of 28 minutes). The gravy came together well and was very very tasty. Definitely will continue to use the bacon grease.

The Bottom Line: A immediate winner. This will be going in the recipe binder.

YMMV – Your Macros May Vary – These are the macros I calculated for the brands and foods I have available.
Calories: 499
Fat: 33g
Total Carbohydrates: 10g
Protein: 35g

Bourbon Chicken

The Recipe: Bourbon Chicken

The Bottom Line: Easy and delicious. Great for a weeknight meal. Will definitely make again.

The Nitty Gritty: Another winner from Maria Emmerich! The list of ingredients was pretty standard for Asian-type meals and therefore I had everything on hand. The process was easy too – cook the chicken, cook the sauce, combine. We served it with roasted broccoli with garlic, another easy weeknight dish.

Kay’s Clusters – Hazelnut Edition

The Recipe: Kay’s Clusters – Hazelnut

The Bottom Line: Simple, quick to throw together, and delicious. A great dessert, reminds me of something in the Ferrero Roche family.

The Nitty Gritty: Julie pointed out Kay’s Instragram feed and this jumped right out and needed to happen. As easy as they look and just as tasty. Will definitely make again, maybe trying her original peanut/pecan version. My salt didn’t dissolve well, so I think next time I will leave it out of the melted chips and spread and instead sprinkle a bit on top so I can control distribution better. They do get a little melty if you handle them too long, store in the fridge.

Definitely a dessert with the macros I calculated so be careful, they do taste quite good and it would be easy to eat a few!

YMMV – Your Macros May Vary
Protein – 1g
Fat – 3g
Carbs – 5g


Keto Crackers

The Recipe: Almond Flour Keto Crackers

Raw crackers headed into the hot box.

The Nitty Gritty: This recipe comes from Annie at KetoFocus. She’s got a great YouTube channel and loads of easy, delicious recipes. I made these crackers very recently and was amazed. I did make a few modifications: I didn’t have butter extract, so I subbed melted butter for the olive oil; and instead of Italian seasoning, I used a ranch dressing mix (I got it from Penzeys – it wasn’t the chemical-laden one from the grocery store. Yes, there is a SMALL amount of sugar in it. Worth it, in my opinion).

I had to bake my crackers much longer than directed – maybe my oven temp is off? They weren’t browning (even after about an hour in the oven), so I upped the temp a bit and they finally got some color. Next time I’ll try 275° and I expect I’ll get the browning I anticipated.

I tried the crackers the day I made them, I could really notice the xanthan gum in the texture. They had a bit of a gumminess as I chewed, but that really mellowed by the next day. Annie recommends a paper bag for storage, but I live in a very humid climate, so I didn’t think the paper bag was a good idea for me. Instead, I stored my crackers in a ziptop bag with a food-safe desiccant pack and they’ve stayed nice and crisp. These will be my go-to crackers!

The Bottom Line: These are BY FAR the best keto cracker recipe I’ve tried. They are easy and delicious and I will definitely make them again.

Caprese Pork Chops

The Recipe: Caprese Pork Chops

The Nitty Gritty: I discovered some pork chops in the freezer so I went searching for a recipe to use them. I found this on tablespoon.com a site I wasn’t familiar with. It has minimal ingredients and relatively simple prep both of which sounded pretty great. The package of chops I had was roughly 1 pound and I turned this into 2 servings.

I made this as written and I really enjoyed it. I thought for a hot second about putting them back in the oven for a minute after putting the tomatoes on top, but decided to stick to the follow the recipe the first time rule.

The Bottom Line: Pork chops aren’t something I usually gravitate towards, but this recipe was easy and delicious. I found that after 15 minutes in the oven they were a little over done, but still moist. Next time I might either decrease the sear time or the bake time.

YMMV – Your Macros May Vary – These are the macros I calculated for the brands and foods I have available.
Calories: 616
Fat: 36g
Total Carbohydrates: 9g
Protein: 67g

Easy Pad Thai

The Recipe: Easy Pad Thai

The Nitty Gritty: I’m generally pretty confident going into a gnom-gnom recipe. I could do without all the flashing bits and pop up videos, but the recipes have been solid. I made this recipe almost exactly as written, however I did increase the shrimp to a full pound to increase the protein levels per serving. This recipe serves 2.

I followed the directions as written, except I didn’t dry my shrimp quite enough so instead of scrambling the eggs in the same pan, I did use another. Next time I’ll pay better attention and hopefully will be able to do it in the same pan.

The Bottom Line: I enjoyed this recipe and will definitely make again. Each serving is only roughly 400 calories and the fat content is low. So I did notice not feeling satiated like one of my regular meals. Next time I will think about pairing with a side with some fat to combat this.

YMMV – Your Macros May Vary – These are the macros I calculated for the brands and foods I have available.
Calories: 402
Fat: 20g
Total Carbohydrates: 4g
Protein: 55g