Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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Is this real life?

Oh, man. If you haven’t noticed, I am in love with Tex-Mex. This is my second and probably not my last rendition of a low carb enchilada casserole that I can easily transport to work for lunch. Hatch green chile season is upon us, folks, so they make a guest appearance in this fiesta.

IMG_6295If I make this again, I might add some cauliflower rice to the mix to add bulk and texture, as this was a bit more soupy. Still definitely worth trying or modifying to fit your personal preferences! 

 

 

Ingredients:

2 lb. chicken (I like chicken breast, but any chicken works)

1 1/2 cup enchilada sauce- with lowest carbs possible. 

1 cup shredded habanero jack cheese

1 large egg

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup diced green bell pepper

1/2 cup diced Hatch green chiles 

2 tablespoons almond flour

1 ounce cream cheese

1/2 cup shredded cheddar

*modifications: reduce or remove bell pepper and green chiles to save some carbs 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. 

Dice chicken into bite-sized chunks; chop veggies. 

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Get them sautéing while you prepare the rest of the dish. 

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Mix all ingredients (except chicken and veggies). This is the sauce we will pour over them before baking.

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Place cooked chicken and sautéed veggies into 9×13 casserole dish. 

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Pour mixed ingredients over.

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Add shredded cheese. I added a drizzle of enchilada sauce to make it look pretty. 

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

Allow to set for about 10 minutes before cutting into it. 

 

Enjoy, and as always, let me know if you think of any good modifications! 

 

Nutrition: 

1/6 casserole: 568 calories, 30g fat, 65g protein, 9g carbs, 2g fiber, 7g net carbs

1/8 casserole: 426 calories, 22.5g fat, 48.75g protein, 6.75g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 5.25g net carbs 

Oven Roasted Zucchini Fries with Parmesan and Olive Oil

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Getting enough green vegetables in my diet can be a struggle. When I am not in the mood for salad, these oven-roasted zucchini fries are one of my top picks. They bring a bit of crisp and saltiness to the table and I love how good they taste when dipped in ranch dressing. Pair these with a juicy steak or a chicken entree and enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini 

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Mrs. Dash’s table blend or seasonings of choice

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 

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Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. 

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Don’t let the zucchini see the hunger in your eyes. 

IMG_6276Cut the ends off of the zucchini.

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Then, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise.

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Cut in half again the same way.

Keep cutting until the zucchini pieces are skinny enough to look like french fries.

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 Spread evenly over foil lined pan.

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Drizzle with olive oil, seasonings, and parmesan cheese. 

Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until crispy, flipping them halfway through. 

Take out of oven, let cool for a few minutes, and serve!

 

 

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Here they are modeling next to my grilled ribeye.  

 

Nutrition: 

1/2 recipe: 205 calories, 17g fat, 7g protein, 7g carbs, 2g fiber (5g net carbs)

1/4 recipe: 103 calories, 8.5g fat, 3.5g protein, 3.5g carbs, 1g fiber (2.5g net carbs) 

Low-Carb Chocolate Pudding

IMG_6270I found these sugar-free Jello pudding mixes at the grocery store and couldn’t resist. IMG_6263The range of flavors these come in is just phenomenal- you can buy sugar-free Jello in tons of fruity flavors, but there are also several pudding flavors. With the keto way of eating, I find that a small sweet treat here and there goes a long way in keeping this lifestyle sustainable and enjoyable.

The box mix calls for 2 cups of milk, so I did a little online hunting… And I found that many people substitute the milk with a 1:1 ratio of heavy cream to water. I decided to try the recipe with my unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a little less heavy cream to keep the calories lower. The results were delicious and creamy. I’m sure you will LOVE it and wonder if you’re even watching your diet at all!

Ingredients:

1 box of instant Jello pudding mix, any flavor

1 1/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

 

Directions:

Follow the box instructions, subbing your almond milk/heavy cream for the milk.

You will have 2 cups of liquid total so it all works out.

 

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I like this almond milk because it has 1g of carbohydrate per 8 oz. serving.

Mix, cover with whipped cream if you’re feeling fancy, and indulge!

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Nutrition:

1/4 total yield**: 193 calories, 9g fat, 1g protein, 7g carbs (7 net).

**Does not include whipped cream- Would be additional calories/carbs!

 

Pepperoni and Cauliflower Pizza Casserole

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they just NEED pizza. When these cravings hit, I started looking around for low-carb options that wouldn’t leave me crying in a puddle of regret. Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic. But, this recipe is easy, takes about 45 minutes from start to finish, and hey, that’s about as long as it takes for the delivery guy to knock on your front door anyway, right?

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Ingredients:

1 pound ground Italian sausage

1 large egg

28 slices pepperoni

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella

12 ounces cauliflower, frozen

1/2 cup pizza sauce (try to find one with less added sugar)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 teaspoons basil

Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Dice your veggies.

Sautee the veggies in some olive oil on the stovetop.IMG_6252

Brown the sausage on the stovetop until fully cooked.

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Defrost the cauliflower in the microwave (or steam it if you prefer)

Mix everything together except pepperoni and parmesan.

IMG_6251Spread evenly in 9×13 dish.

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Layer pepperoni.

IMG_6258Sprinkle parmesan (or vigorously shake, you cheese-loving fiend).IMG_6259

Place in oven for 30 minutes.

Remove and allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.

I sectioned this out into 6 lunch-sized portions for us and it re-heated well for those 3 days!

Nutrition:

1/8 recipe: 228 calories, 16g fat, 13g protein, 3g carbs, 1g fiber (2g net carbs)

1/6 recipe: 304 calories, 21g fat, 17 g protein, 4g carbs, 1.7g fiber (2.3g net carbs)

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

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I live in Texas, where we put ranch dressing on everything. So when I found a variation of this recipe, I decided to try it out with a dry packet of ranch seasoning. And man, am I glad that I did!

This dish basically has everything right about the world all mixed together. Ranch, bacon, cheese, chicken, and well, broccoli, because that makes it all healthy. 😉 I love making this for lunch because it reheats well in the microwave. 

Ingredients:

2 pounds chicken breast

2 cups frozen broccoli 

1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dip

1 1/2 cup Mayonnaise

1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar

1/8 cup bacon bits 

Garlic powder

Diced shallots or green onions (optional)

Fresh spinach (optional) 

 

Steps: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Dice up the chicken, season it (I used Italian dressing), and cook in a skillet until done. 

While the chicken is frying, take your frozen veggies and steam them in the microwave.

 

 

IMG_6240In a mixing bowl, stir the mayo, ranch packet, and shredded cheese until blended. 

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Add the cooked veggies, bacon bits, and shallots and/or fresh spinach to the mix.

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Stir well and pour into a 9×13 baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. 

Let it cool for a few minutes before cutting into it. 

Enjoy and thanks for reading! 

 

Nutritional info (calculated without garlic cloves, shallots, fresh spinach): 

1/6 casserole: 731 calories, 55 g protein, 52 g fat, 5 g carbs, 1 g fiber (4 g net carbs)

1/8 casserole: 548 calories, 41 g protein, 39 g fat, 3.75 g carbs, 0.56 g fiber (~3 g net carbs) 

Cheesy Beef Enchilada Bake

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Mexican food (well, should I say Tex-Mex) has always been my absolute favorite. Having a bad day? Go out for Mexican. Celebrating something? Go out for Mexican. Now that I’m eating low carb/keto more often, I’m really trying to cut back on my personal fiestas and cook more healthy options at home. With that being said, here is my attempt to satisfy your Tex-Mex cravings! 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon each: Cumin, salt, chili powder, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1/8 cup chopped onion (optional)
  • 1 can of enchilada sauce (look for lower carb options)
  • 4 low carb tortillas (optional, I use Mission Carb Balance)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded white cheese (I used Oaxaca) 
  • 1/4 cup salsa 
  • 8 ounces (1 block) cream cheese
  • 1 egg

 

Steps:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Brown ground meat and drain.

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Add seasonings and chopped onion to meat.

Add enchilada sauce and simmer for a few minutes.  IMG_6235

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, soften cream cheese in microwave.

Add salsa and 1 egg to cream cheese and stir until mixed. 

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Get a 9×9 baking dish and spray with nonstick spray.

 Lay down 2 tortillas, torn in half and staggered to cover most of the bottom. 

I layered the dish in this order:

  • tortillas
  • beef/enchilada sauce mixture
  • cream cheese mixture
  • shredded cheese
  • repeat x 1 

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Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until you can’t stand it anymore. 

 

Makes 6-9 portions, depending on how hungry you…r significant other is. 😉

 

Nutrition info: 

1/6 casserole: 654 calories, 43 g fat, 45 g protein, 19 g carbs, 9 g fiber (10 g net carbs)

1/9 casserole: 436 calories, 28.6 g fat, 30 g protein, 12.6 g carbs, 6 g fiber (6.6 g net carbs)

You can always opt out of the tortillas, salsa, and onion as you wish to lower the carb counts! This dish was creamy and full of beef enchilada flavor. I hope you enjoy. 

 

I would love to hear if you tried this, made modifications, or have any questions! 

Chicken, Sausage, and Cauliflower Casserole

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Since I have been cooking on Sunday to prepare for the workweek, I have been collecting low carb casserole dishes that are delicious, yet not entirely aromatic in consideration of my co-workers.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs of chicken
  • 1 lb ground sausage (I used regular/original)
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 16 oz frozen cauliflower
  • 8 oz shredded cheese (I used white cheddar)
  • Diced onion to taste (1/8 cup for me)
  • Diced celery (2 tbs)
  • Smoked paprika
  • Salt and Pepper

 

So, I have to admit. I had full intentions of taking pictures step-by-step, but I got distracted playing Yahtzee on the side. There will be a bit of visual guesswork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steps:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Dice your chicken into small nuggets. Sprinkle with S+P. Pan fry them until fully cooked.

Meanwhile, dice your celery and onion. Brown it along with your sausage.

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While the meat’s cooking, you can throw your frozen cauliflower into the microwave.

If you wish, chop the cooked cauliflower florets into smaller pieces.

Combine cooked sausage, cauliflower, and chicken into a bowl. Add the softened cream cheese and shredded cheese, then stir.

Pour the mixture into a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with paprika.

Cook covered in foil for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

And it’s ready!

I found that the dish is easier to divide into lunch portions after cooling for a while.

 

Nutrition:

1/6 of recipe: 733 calories, 50 g fat, 63 g protein, 8 g carbs, 2 g fiber (6 g net carbs)

1/8 of recipe: 550 calories, 37 g fat, 47 g protein, 6 g carbs, 2 g fiber (4 g net carbs)