Cocoa Chicken and Artichokes

Easy one dish chicken dinner, full of flavor and perfect for hectic school week nights.
Easy one dish chicken dinner, full of flavor and perfect for hectic school week nights.

Cocoa Chicken with Artichokes and Tomatoes…40 minutes to dinner on the table!

Sooo, I’m a big fan of marinating chicken breasts. I have some serious issues with dry, flavorless chicken and refuse to put that on my family’s table. Most of the time, my solution is a good marinade, however, sometimes I don’t have time or energy to marinate all the chicken breasts I buy on sale, and it ends up in it’s original packaging in my deep freezer. (Not often, but sometimes…) Then, sometimes, I forget to take out my meat far enough in advance to defrost and marinate it for dinner that night…like a few nights ago. I had chicken that was defrosted in my fridge, but it was plain.

What to do? Check Pinterest of course. I had pinned this Italian Chicken recipe awhile ago, and it looked pretty easy, but not exactly what I was going for, with all the cheese and such. Enter…Cocoa Chicken. Why I decided to add raw cacao to my chicken dish, I don’t know…but dang it was good. Really good, like my husband was clamoring for the leftovers good! (That’s the way I know a dish is really good). My 3 year old also really enjoyed the chicken (not so much the artichokes or tomatoes, but that’s ok) portion of this dish.

I’ll totally be making this again, as it was about 5 minutes of hands on time and only about 35 minutes in the oven!

2 lbs chicken breast, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1 can of quartered artichokes (unseasoned)
1 pint cherry tomatos
1/2 large onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup dry white wine
3.5 Tbsp butter, cut into 7-8 pats
1 Tbsp Coconut Flour
1 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder (or unsweetened cocoa)
Salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder

In a 9×13 baking dish (I love my pampered chef stoneware) add the chicken – salt and pepper it liberally and mix with your hands. Top chicken with the artichokes, tomatoes and onions. Sprinkle all with salt and pepper, garlic powder and oregano. (Just sprinkle liberally.)
Pour wine over.
Sift cacao and coconut flour over everything and stir a bit to coat everything.
Space pats of butter on top of everything.

Roast at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked thru.

Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or mashed cauliflower, if desired.

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Nut Free Double Chocolate Cookies (Low Carb)

Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies {crisp and nut-free!}

 

Low Carb Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies that grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, keto

Low-Carb Crisp Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies {grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, keto}

Another cookie recipe? Yes, my friends. This one is crisper and solid enough to pack for a picnic. The kids loved it, as did my hubby and I. They’re also good (although not “double” chocolate) if you leave the chocolate chips out.

1 cup pumpkin seeds, ground (measured before grinding)
1/2 cup coconut flour, measured before sifting, then sifted
3/4 cup Erythritol Sweetener
1 tsp English Toffee Liquid Stevia
1 cup Virgin Coconut Oil or butter (melted)
1/4 cup yellow squash puree (raw) or greek yogurt
1 Tbsp vanilla
pinch salt
3 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp guar gum
2 eggs
1 cup bittersweet (or sugar free) chocolate chips
1 cup Unsweetened Medium Shredded Coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Blend everything except the chocolate chips and coconut flakes with a hand mixer.  Once combined, add chocolate chips (if using) and coconut flakes. They would also be good with some chopped pecans/walnuts or almonds (if you don’t have to be nut-free.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto your parchment lined baking sheet and flatten a bit for a crisper cookie, or leave rounded for more of a cookie ball. They don’t spread much 🙂

Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until set in the middle. Allow to cool completely before you try to remove them to a cooling rack or airtight container. They are fragile initially, but once then cool, they are very sturdy.

*You can freeze the dough, uncooked so that you can have hot, fresh cookies anytime. Just add a couple minutes to the cooking time and cook right from frozen. To do this, simply follow thru the steps before putting in the oven, and instead put your parchment lined baking sheet in the freezer to allow the cookies to freeze separately for a few hours. Remove and put them in a freezer bag, then you can make instant low carb cookies…like refrigerator dough that won’t kill your diet!

Yellow Squash {Gluten Free} Sandwich Rolls

Gluten-free Squash Sandwich Rolls, grain free bread, nut free bread, paleo bread, low-carb bread

Gluten-free Squash Sandwich Rolls

I’m so excited to share this recipe, which in all actuality is VERY similar to my 3 minute bread recipe. I’m sure this would work equally well in the microwave, but I didn’t try it, so I can’t be sure. Personally, I like using the oven for 12 minutes, versus standing at the microwave for 30, but I think there’s definitely a place in my kitchen for both methods.

This bread is delicious. The squash lends a slight sweetness and flavor that puts my previous recipe to shame, while maintaining the wonderful (gluten-filled bread) texture of the other recipe.  Delicious plain, or slathered with butter. Makes a perfect gluten and grain free sandwich roll or hamburger bun. Yum.

Please try it and let me know what you think!

Yellow Squash Sandwich Rolls {Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, low carb}

1 cup (raw) yellow summer squash puree
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/3 cup Coconut Flour*
1/3 cup Psyllium Husk Powder
1/3 cup whole egg powder OR Unflavored Whey Protein
2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all wet ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Sift each dry ingredient, waiting until all are added to stir. Use a whisk or a hand mixer to blend well. (Work quickly, the batter will thicken substantially within a few minutes.) Allow batter to sit for a couple of minutes.

Line your baking sheet with Parchment Paper. Form dough into rolls and flatten slightly, approximately the size of my palm seems to work. Leave approximately 1 inch between rolls.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until firm to the touch, err on the side of over-baking, as underbaked results in gummy middles. Gross.

Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack immediately. If you don’t have a cooling rack, turn the rolls over on the baking sheet, as if you don’t moisture will collect underneath them as they dry.  Once completely cooled, simply place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. These also freeze and defrost nicely.

There you have it. Bread that meets all of the following criteria:
*gluten free bread
*grain free bread
*low carb bread
*nut free bread
*dairy free bread

*A note on coconut flour – I purchase the 25 lb bag and portion it into large, gallon sized freezer bags. I use a lot of coconut flour. At one point, Amazon was out of the 25 lb bags, so I purchased smaller, 1 lb bags instead for about tripled the cost. I have used both, however the 25 lb bag creates a much denser product, that adds a good bit of volume after being sifted, whereas the smaller bags don’t. So, if your coconut flour seems packed densely, use 1/3 of a cup and then sift it. If it’s more powdery in the bag, use 1/2 cup and then sift it. The recipe is very forgiving, either way, but this is my conclusion after making about 20 batches of this bread.

KETO Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter (Waffles and Pancakes)

Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter Waffles (gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, low-carb, keto)
Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter Waffles (gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, low-carb, keto)

Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter Waffles       (gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, low-carb, keto)

For some reason, very few recipes satisfy me for thinking that I can’t make them better, so I tinker and try new things, almost every time. (For example, I posted a wonderful waffle recipe 2 weeks ago. Oops. It’s still really good, just more ingredients, and a little different flavor) Every once in awhile I hit the recipe holy grail, and then I stop. For this breakfast batter (I’m calling it that because it makes equally delicious, low-carb/keto waffles and pancakes), there is only one flaw. It doesn’t create a crisp outside. However, the pros to this batter are numerous. The flavor IS. SPOT. ON. Seriously, I’ve made quite a few successful waffles and pancake recipes and this one takes the {pan}cake. Haha. It’s too early for jokes, but not too early for waffles. In my opinion, it’s never too early for waffles. In addition to perfectly flavored and sweetened waffles and pancakes, the texture is great, if you can get past the lack of crispness. Without the addition of any syrup or topping, the texture and flavor remind me exactly of waffles or pancakes that have been smothered in syrup, and absorbed all that delicious flavor. But, “dry”. Soooo, these are perfectly portable. Last, but not least, there are only 7 ingredients. This is a score in my book where I always have two little “helpers” that are very helpful at making kitchen messes. This recipe comes together quickly and because of it’s versatility, you can make both pancakes and waffles at the same time, cutting your cooking time in half.

I could go on and on in my Ode to my Low Carb Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter, but alas, Backyardigans is almost over and that means I have to go be a Mom…so here’s the recipe! Try it…you’ll like it, I can almost guarantee it!

Low Carb and Keto Coconut Butter Breakfast Batter (for waffles and pancakes)
{low-carb, grain-free, gluten-free, nut-free, keto}

12 oz (1 cup) coconut butter
½ cup butter
8 oz cream cheese
6 large eggs
5 droppers full English Toffee Liquid Stevia
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 c Erythritol Sweetener

Preheat waffle iron (or non-stick skillet for pancakes*)

Melt the coconut butter (blended coconut, NOT coconut milk or cream, I use homemade but it is sold as coconut manna or coconut butter), butter and cream cheese. Stir until smooth. Blend remaining ingredients into coconut butter mixture. I used a vitamix, but as long as everything is melted, a hand mixer or regular blender should work fine.

Bake in your waffle iron or skillet. For waffles, allow to continue cooking for a few minutes past when the machine tells you they are done. Remove carefully and allow to cool for a few minutes, as they do crisp up a teeny-tiny bit. For pancakes, make sure your pan is hot…then a couple minutes per side is sufficient. When you flip them, push them down a little bit to ensure the bottom touches.

I like them dry. They taste like they are syrup drenched…my 3 year old, however, is a bit obsessed with maple syrup and enjoyed them like that 🙂 A sugar free syrup might make them a bit too sweet, and I would omit the erythritol if I was planning on using a syrup or topping.

PS I plan on tinkering with this recipe to see if I can make it crisp up a bit. 🙂

PPS I don’t get paid to keep this blog. I have added some affiliate links to Amazon to products that I personally buy and use from Amazon, in case you have difficulty sourcing some of the specialty ingredients that make living a low-carb, keto or gluten free lifestyle easier. I may receive a small percentage of compensation from Amazon, should you access these links in my ingredient lists and purchase the items I recommend. This costs you nothing, and typically I have found the cheapest options. If you like what you see here, please feel free to support me at no additional cost by shopping my links or in my Amazon Store (still being built). Thanks!

Easy Fried Veggie Fritters (low carb, gluten-free, grain free, keto, nut-free)

Yum! Veggie Fritters with Squash and Radishes | Cook Well, Eat Better, Live Happily

Yum! Veggie Fritters with Squash and Radishes

Oh my. These are soooo good. And really, you only have the carbs of the veggies, which makes it a win in my book. I have a son with sensory issues, especially in regards to eating (plus cold and water) and he eats a VERY limited diet. Until I created this recipe, he had yet to come anywhere close to a vegetable, so this recipe holds a very special place in my heart.

These taste like a cross between tater tots (which used to be a fan favorite of my sister and I growing up) and breakfast hash browns. The difference being there is no potato in sight and these are essentially carb-free!

I’ve made them at least 10 times in the last couple weeks, and the recipe is VERY forgiving, and also very adjustable. Make sure that you strain the veggies well, I don’t think it would work otherwise, but other than that…grate everything and then mix it with your hands. Fry it in lard, bacon grease or any other high-heat oil and call it a day. Makes an easy side dish for dinner or a breakfast in and of itself. Enjoy!

Easy Veggie Fritters (gluten-free, nut-free, grain-free, keto, low-carb)

1 – 1 1/4 cups veggies*, grated and squeezed to remove juice (measured after straining)
2 eggs
2.5 oz pork rinds, ground into a sandy flour-type texture
4 oz cheese, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried chives

Begin by adding your cooking grease, approximately 1-2 Tbsp to your frying pan. If it’s not non-stick, use more. Heat your pan to med-high

Food process or vitamix the pork rinds and the cheese (Or smash the pork rinds in a bag with a rolling pin and grate your cheese). Add moisture ridden veggies*, eggs and spices.

Once oil is hot (sizzles upon addition of batter), make little patties, 2-3 inches in diameter, of your batter and gently lay them in the hot oil. Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until crispy and well-browned. Remove to a cooling rack and make additional batches as needed. I can usually do it in 2 batches, using my 12 inch frying pan.

*For the veggies, I have used all combinations. Our favorites have been squash and radish (pictured above), carrot & parsnip, and squash, zuchinni and onion. I simply use the grating method with my vitamix to mix them together. To get the appropriate amount, you need approximately 8 radishes 2-3 baby yellow squash, 1 medium zuchinni and 1/4 of a sweet onion, just to give you an idea. After they are grated together, I use a Paint Strainer Bagto squeeze the ever-living crap out of them. Your amount will reduce almost by half when you get rid of the moisture.

PPS I don’t get paid to keep this blog. I have added some affiliate links to Amazon to products that I personally buy and use from Amazon, in case you have difficulty sourcing some of the specialty ingredients that make living a low-carb, keto or gluten free lifestyle easier. I may receive a small percentage of compensation from Amazon, should you access these links in my ingredient lists and purchase the items I recommend. This costs you nothing, and typically I have found the cheapest options. If you like what you see here, please feel free to support me at no additional cost by shopping my links or in my Amazon Store (still being built). Thanks!

Best Low-Carb Waffles {nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free}

Coconut Flour {nut-free, gluten and grain free, dairy-free} Protein Waffles…easy and delicious!

5 eggs
1/2 cup milk (almond, coconut, raw cow’s/goat’s)
1/3 cup brewed coffee (or water)
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup Virgin Coconut Oil 2-3 full droppers English Toffee Liquid Stevia 2 oz. 2 Tbsp Erythritol Sweetener 1 Tbsp vanilla
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin 2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup Organic Coconut Flour 2/3 cup dried egg* (or egg white) powder or unsweetened whey protein

Begin preheating your waffle maker, as hot as possible.

Blend eggs, milk, coffee, ACV, coconut oil (if not using a high powered blender, melt it first and then add it slowly, while hand-mixing) stevia, erythritol and vanilla in a high powered blender, or in a large bowl using a hand or stand mixer. Add the chia seeds and gelatin with mixer/blender going to ensure no clumps. Allow to rest for 3-5 minutes and then blend again before adding dry ingredients.

Sift coconut flour and (choice) protein powder, along with remaining ingredients into your bowl.

If your waffle maker is non-stick, go ahead and pour on your batter to the hot griddle and cook until done. I usually let mine go about 45 seconds past when the waffle maker tells me they are done to get a little crispy (the best I’ve gotten with no nuts and coconut flour based waffles). Use a spatula to remove to a cooling rack.

Makes 12-16 waffles, depending on your machine.

*I use Honeyville dried egg powder, as my oldest son is allergic to whey. Before we discovered this, however, I VERY successfully used Jarrow Formulas Whey Protein, which I ordered off of Amazon using Subscribe and Save. It appears that the price has gone up substantially since then. Almost all of my recipes with Jarrow Formulas Whey Protein work with a 1:1 sub of the whole egg powder or NOW Foods Eggwhite Protein, 1.2 Pound. I just found that Honeyville’s egg powder was MUCH cheaper than egg white protein.

PS I don’t get paid to keep this blog. I have added some affiliate links to Amazon to products that I personally buy and use from Amazon, in case you have difficulty sourcing some of the specialty ingredients that make living a low-carb, keto or gluten free lifestyle easier. I may receive a small percentage of compensation from Amazon, should you access these links in my ingredient lists and purchase the items I recommend. This costs you nothing, and typically I have found the cheapest options. If you like what you see here, please feel free to support me at no additional cost by shopping my links or in my Amazon Store (still being built). Thanks!

Parmesan Ranch Kale Chips

Parmesan Ranch Kale Chips

Parmesan Ranch Kale Chips

So, I’ve made kale chips before, you know…olive oil, salt and pepper. I’ve even gotten crazy and added a little onion powder. That said, I kept seeing all these blog posts for cheesy (vegan) kale chips, that everyone claimed were out of this world. I wanted to try. However, I didn’t have any cashews, and they’re kind of high carb for me right now. Plus, I don’t really care whether or not the final result was vegan. Hence was born…3 ingredient Parmesan-Ranch Kale chips. Sooo good. Sooo easy. The hardest part was not eating both pans worth!

1 head of Lacinato Kale (the flatter kind…they crisp better, in my opinion without burning)
1/3cup ranch dressing – I used Ken’s Buttermilk ranch, because that’s what I had.
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Wash and spin (or dry on paper towels) your kale and de-stem it. Rip each leaf into a few pieces and place in a large, clean bowl. Dump ranch and parmesan on top of the leaves and use your hands to mix it well. You want ranch dressing on Every. Single. Leaf.

Once ranch-ed and cheese-ed, add the salt and pepper and mix again.

Using 2 large baking sheets (or 3), lined with parchment paper (don’t skip this step…they will STICK!), lay your kale leaves out as flat and as single-layered as possible.

Turn your oven on to 325 and place pans in the cold oven. Allow it to heat up with the chips inside. Check after approximately 15 minutes. You might need to pull some out, if they are crisp. Flip some over, you get the idea. Put anything that’s not crisp back in the oven and check every 5 minutes so that you don’t burn them, but they all end up nice and crispy.

Try not to eat the whole pan, or 3. If you have any left, save them in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. If they get un-crispy, just stick them back in the oven for a few minutes.

(This would probably work with other kinds of kale, however, I have never had luck cooking curly kale into chips evenly.)

Chocolate Zuchinni Mini Donuts (coconut flour)

Chocolate-Coconut Zuchinni Donuts

Chocolate-Coconut Zuchinni Donuts {low-carb, gluten-free, grain-free, paleo}

Chocolate Zuchinni Mini Donuts (coconut flour)
*grain-free*gluten-free*low-carb*paleo*

½ cup coconut flour (sifted)
½ cup raw cacao powder {or cocoa powder}
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup erythritol
3 droppers English Toffee Stevia
1 tsp plain stevia {Better Stevia isn’t bitter}
½ cup coconut oil {or butter}, melted
1 cup pureed zuchinni {or 1.5 cups shredded}
4 large eggs

OPTIONAL ADD-INS
3 raw chicken livers (I don’t recommend this without a high powered blender)
1 egg shell, boiled-dried-powdered, ½ tsp
½ cup chocolate chips

Mix all the liquid ingredients. (I use my vitamix, but you could use a hand blender or stand mixer…you just want it well-mixed.)

*If you are using the livers and/or the egg shell, add it now and let it blend for at least a minute. Nothing ruins a good chocolate donut like a fat bite of chicken liver or egg shell. As long as you mix them well, you can’t taste either and it’s a great addition of the nutrients from the offal and/or the calcium from the egg shell!*

Add the erythritol, then add the baking soda and baking powder, followed by the cocoa powder. Mix well before adding the sifted coconut flour (the sifting just ensure you don’t get ball of coconut flour in your baked goods. Not tasty friends, not tasty at all.)

Mix everything well. If you are using the chocolate chips, add them now.

I use my handy little mini donut maker (kind of like a waffle maker, but for mini donuts). But, if you didn’t have a mini donut maker and have no plans to acquire one, you can still make these treats as muffins or even in an oven donut pan.  In the mini donut maker, I can make 6 donuts at a time, and it takes about 2.5 to 3 minutes per batch. In the oven for muffins, I bake them at 325 for about 30 minutes. I’ve made both…and they are equally delicious.

For a finisher, I LOVE toasted coconut and always have some available. I simply melt coconut oil, dip the cooled donut or muffins in the oil and then in a little bowl of coconut. Not necessary, but definitely takes them up a notch…

Coconut Flour Pizza Crust

By far our favorite when it has come to gluten free pizza crusts, and the fact that it’s low carb to boot makes it a win win for our family. 

This is seriously great crust…and it’s easy and there’s no yeast, so there’s no rise time! Plus, you can cut a real slice of pizza and actually hold it in your hand! When was the last time you could do that with a low carb crust? Enjoy!



Coconut Flour Pizza Crust
Look Mom, no fork!
1/3 c coconut flour

1/3 c grated parm (the cheap stuff in the green can)
3 T almond flour
4 eggs
Pinch of salt
½ tsp baking powder
2 T Italian seasoning (or pizza topping, if you can get it from the Amish Pantry in Clarksville)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 T grapeseed or olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp xanthan gum

 Add everything to a foodprocessor and process until smooth, a minute or so.

 Using wet (like from water) hands, spread the “dough” out onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. You may need to rewet your hands a couple of times.

Bake the crust at 375 for 15 minutes, then add toppings and bake for another 10-12

*You can also forego pizza and make this a flatbread by adding cheese to the top before the first baking.  We had it like this with pepperjack cheese with chili the other night and it was delicious!

Pepperoni Bread – low carb and gluten free

3 eggs
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
3/4 c  coconut milk (UNSWEETENED!!!!)
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
2 tbsp almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
25 deli (sandwich size is better) pepperoni, thinly sliced

Beat eggs, add remaining wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients and stir.

Lay pepperonis out on pan, (on parchment) and then spread dough on top…the thinner, the better.
Bake 15 mins at 375, take out and flip over. Bake for an additional 5 mins before adding sauce and additional cheese, if desired.  It’s good either way 🙂 once you add sauce and cheese, bake for an additional 10 mins at 350 or until cheese is melted.

Texture is a bit different than regular flour…but the thinner you make the crust, the less noticeable it is.  This is due to the coconut flour. It is, however, a lot more healthy than traditional “gluten free” crusts 🙂