Lemon Artichoke Chicken Thighs



2 TBSP canola oil
2 lbs skinless chicken thighs, bone in
2 TBSP lemon zest
2 TBSP (1/2 lemon) lemon juice
1/2 c. dry white wine
1/2 c. chicken stock
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 TBSP chicken boullion
2 tsp dried thyme
12 oz. jar of marinated, quartered artichoke hearts, drained
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large Dutch Oven, or deep skillet. Salt and pepper chicken, then brown in oil, approximately 4-5 minutes on each side. When there are approx. 2 minutes left, add the onion to allow it to soften. Combine all other ingrediants, except the artichoke hearts, in a bowl and stir to combine.

Lower heat on stove to medium, add wine mixture to chicken. Add artichoke hearts on top and around the chicken. Cover and simmer for approximately 45 minutes-1 hour, until chicken is tender.

Remove chicken to platter and spoon artichokes on top of chicken, pour sauce into gravy strainer and remove approx 1/2 of the oil and fat off the top. Drizzle approx. 1 TBSP sauce over chicken thigh and artichokes.

Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 Tbsp dark molasses
1/4 c. lemon juice (I used the bottled stuff, because I’m lazy)
4 cloves / 2 TBSP minced garlic
3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP canola oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients, except the chicken in a large Ziploc bag. Add chicken. Seal bag and move the chicken around in the bag to ensure complete coverage.

Marinade in fridge for 4-6 hours, or overnight. Remove chicken from marinade and grill, basting with leftover marinade twice – halfway through cooking of first side and immediately after flipping. Discard marinade. Serve with grilled veggies, zucchini, squash, asparagus…just about anything!

(I know the molasses is not low carb, but using just a little creates this amazing caramelization on the chicken, and the majority of it is going to be discarded…so no worries. You could also bake this in the oven at 425 for 30-40 minutes, giving it 3 minutes under the broiler at the end to really caramelize the outside.)

Meatloaf (Low Carb…but you’ll never make another version again)

meatloafMeatloaf Mixture

1 lb ground beef (the leaner the better)
1 lb pork sausage (Sweet Italian or Natural Breakfast sausage work well)
2 eggs or 1 avocado
½ c. crushed pork rinds (measured after grinding)
1 Medium onion, minced
2 Tbsp garlic
1 Tbsp Worstershire Sauce
1 tsp Salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste or Pumpkin Puree
½ tsp paprika

Mix all ingrediants until gooey, form into 2 loaves on a pan with side, as there will be some grease and you don’t want smoke in your kitchen…

Bake at 400 for 40-50 minutes

Optional – add in a box of defrosted and well-drained (squeezed…seriously) frozen spinach and/or 1/2 cup of shredded zuchinni

Carb Counts



So – for those of you who are new to this…carb count is essentially the carbohydrates minus the fiber (as your body can’t digest fiber). You want to aim for approximately 20-25 carbs per day…seems crazy, I know…but once you start this and get well on your way, you’ll be fine! Remember this is a goal…but you have to start somewhere.

I would encourage you to start reading labels when you are the grocery store…you will be amazed at things that you considered “healthy” that are actually horrible for you! Let me know if you have questions about any of the items below!

Here are the basic elements of a successful low carb diet

Eat as much as you want:

  • Meat
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Green, non-starchy Veggies – brocolli, lettuce, spinach, peppers
  • Mustards of all kind
  • Mayo

Eat in Moderation:

  • Heavy Cream (non sweetened)
  • Higher Carb, non-starchy Veggies – green beans, onion, garlic, peas, tomatoes
  • Soft Cheeses – cream cheese (get the 1/3 fat…it has the lowest carb count!)
  • Nuts – almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts are the best…but watch your portion size, carb counts will add up quickly.
  • Lower Carb Alcoholic Beverages – Wine,

Cut Out (or at least severly limit):

  • Grains – bread, pasta
  • Fruit – although it’s not bad for maintenance, there is a lot of sugar in fruit…who knew?
  • Sweets, Candy, etc…duh
  • Milk – substitute with Calorie Countdown by Hood.
  • Condiments – ketchup (unless no sugar added), relish, anything with sugar in it. Check your labels!
  • Beans – although they are “healthy”, 1 serving will equal your carb count for the day.
  • Starchy Veggies – Potatoes
  • Soda and Sugary drinks…drink diet, or even better water!
  • Sugar Based Alcohols – Rum, Liqueors

See below for carb counts of some frequently questioned items

FRUIT
Portions are 1/4 cup. Carbs shown are effective carbs, the fiber count has been removed.
Apple – 17.3g
Applesauce, Unsweetend (check your Carb Count) – 6.2g
Apricot – 3.1g
Avocado – 0.5g
Banana – 21.2g
Cantaloupe – 3.0g
Cherries – 4.2g
Coconut, unsweetened – 1.3g
Cranberries – 2.0g
Grapes – 6.7g
Honeydew – 3.6g
Kiwi – 6.5g
Lemon – 3.8g
Mango – 6.3g
Orange – 12.9g
Peach – 8.9g
Pear – 21.1g
Pineapple – 4.3g
Plantain – 12g
Plum – 7.6g
Raisens – 31.0g
Watermelon – 2.6g

ALCOHOL – 1 Shot Serving
(Remember…while the counts are low, alcohol actually stops the body’s ability to burn fat, it won’t set you back in small amounts, but frequent drinking will definitely show up on the scale.)
Another side note – mixers are NOT included in these counts…see below for mixer counts.
Armagnac – 0g
Beer (12oz) – 12.5g…if you have to drink beer, please drink Michelob Ultra
Bourbon – 0g
Brandy – 0g
Cognac – 0g
Gin – 0g
Rum- 3g (sugar based)
Scotch – 0g
Tequila – 0g
Vermouth, Dry – 1.4g
Vermouth, Sweet – 4.5g
Vodka – 0g
Whiskey – 0g
Wine, Red (4oz) – 2.0g
Wine, White (4oz) – 0.9g

MIXERS
There is only 1 good option listed below for a mixer…
Apple juice, unsweetened (8oz glass) – 29g
Coca cola (8oz glass) – 30g
Seriously…who only uses 8 oz? This is 1.5 days worth of your entire count!
Cranberry juice (8oz glass) – 36g
Diet soda (8oz glass) – 0g
Lemon juice (1oz) – 2.5g
Lime juice (1oz) – 2.7g
Maraschino cherry (1) – 2g
Olive (1) – .5g
Orange juice (8oz glass) – 26g
Pineapple juice (8oz glass) – 34g
Tonic water comes in a number of carb levels – check your bottle!

VEGGIES – Servings are 1/2 Cup…most people eat approximately 1 cup as a serving, so remember to double the count if that is the case!
Artichoke – 6.9g
Asparagus (6) – 2.4g
Beans, green – 4.9g
Bok Choy – 0.7g
Broccoli – 1.7g
Brussels Sprouts – 7.6g
Cabbage – 1.1g
Carrot – 5.1g
Cauliflower – 1.5g
Celery – 0.8g
Corn – 14.1g
Cucumber – 1.8g
Eggplant – 2.0g
Lettuce – 0.5g
Mushroom – 1.0g
Onion – 4g
Parsnip – 9g
Peas – 6.5g
Peppers, Green – 3.4g
Peppers, Red – 3.3g
Pickle (1 medium) – 2g
Potato – 14g
Potato, Sweet (1) – 28g
Pumpkin – 6.3g
Radish – 0.5g
Rutabaga – 4.0g
Spinach – 0.2g
Squash, yellow – 1.4g
Tomato – 3.2g
Turnips – 2.3g
Zucchini (green squash) – 3.3g

Fantastic Cookbooks…

So, for those of you just embarking on your Low Carb Journey…I highly recommend that you purchase the following cookbooks – as they are amazing! I recommend adding salt and pepper to the majority of the recipes, but otherwise they are highly flavorful and very healthy.

Dana Carpenter – 500 Low Carb Recipes
– Low Carb Slow Cooker Recipes
– 15 Minute Low Carb Meals

Happy Eating & Losing!

Alcoholics Chili without Beans

2 lbs Ground Beef / 1 lb ground beef & 1 lb ground turkey
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1 Large Onion
2 TBSP pre-minced garlic (6-8 cloves)
2 TBSP tomato paste
5 stalks of celery, chopped
5-6 pieces bacon
2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1/4 c. sugar free ketchup
1/2 c. red wine
12 oz light beer
1 1/2 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Ground Cayenne
2 tsp black pepper
1 TBSP salt
1 tsp Thyme

Heat frying pan w/ Olive Oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and half of the salt and pepper. Saute until onions have slightly browned. Add tomato paste and red wine. Stir gently to combine and keep on heat until liquid has evaporated and mixture gets slightly pasty. Remove from heat.

In soup pot or Dutch oven – cut up 5 strips of bacon into small pieces. Cook until bacon is nearly done, stirring frequently. Add celery and cook until softened. Do not drain. Add ground beef, break up large pieces while cooking and incorporating celery and bacon. While beef is browning add chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, and half of the salt and pepper Once beef if browned, combine pastey frying pan mixture to the Soup Pot. Add canned tomatoes, ketchup, and beer. Stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, add additional salt and pepper as desired. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer on stove for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with sour cream and cheese.

Optional Changes/Add in:

  • Add crushed red pepper at the end for addl heat
  • Add 1 cans of drained kidney beans when you add the tomatoes, ketchup and beer
  • Add bell peppers instead of or in addition to the celery

Turkey Spinach Burritos Pockets

Turkey Spinach Burrito Pockets –

6 Low Carb Tortillas (or regular if you don’t care about carb counting)
1 lb ground turkey/chicken
1 6 oz bag of washed baby spinach, chopped
1 med onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup salsa
3/4 – 1 cup Feta Cheese
8 oz. Mexican cheese blend
2-4 tsps salt
1 tsp pepper

Heat oven to 350. Heat non-stick skillet at Med-High heat until pan is hot. Add olive oil and garlic, reduce heat to medium. Allow garlic to release flavors (You’ll know it’s done when you begin to smell the garlic) approximately 3 minutes. Add chopped onion to pan and saute until onions are translucent. Add 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper to onion mixture.

Add ground turkey/chicken to pan. Break up meat as it begins to cook. Once it starts browning, add another tsp of salt and remaining pepper. Cook until meat is brown throughout. Add spinach in portions, stirring to allow it to cook down. Once spinach is wilted, add approximately 3/4 c. of salsa.

Lay out tortillas on a large baking sheet. Put approximately 1 TBSP Feta in the center of each tortilla. Add 1 TBSP Mexican Cheese blend on top of Feta. Spoon a ladle full of spinach mixture on top of cheeses. Fold sides of tortilla in, then fold top over bottom and roll until you have a squarish looking pocket. Flip over so that seam side is down. Spoon 1 Tbsp of Salsa on the top of the burrito pockets and sprinkle cheese for garnish.

Bake in oven for 10 minutes to allow flavors to mix and burritos to heat through.

Enjoy!