Bacon and Jalapeno Creamed Cornbread

cornbread

 

Bacon and Jalapeno Creamed Cornbread

12 Servings

 

I tweaked a Jane Brody recipe to better suit our family’s taste; it is a zingy, easy to make cornbread recipe that your family will devour.  I love the little chunks of creamed corn, bits of bacon and a hint of spice from the jalapenos.  Bake the bread in an 8 or 9-inch square pan or if you like a crusty cornbread, try making it in a cast iron skillet.  It is excellent for breakfast, brunch, or alongside a bowl of chili!

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour (if gluten sensitive, use brown rice flour)

1 cup yellow cornmeal (preferably stone-ground)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon of sea salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons very cold butter

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ can creamed corn

2/3 cup buttermilk

¼ cup diced Trader Joe’s Hot & Spicy Jalapenos

1/3 cup cooked bacon bits

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda, stirring the ingredients to mix them well.
  3. Cut the butter into bits and blend in into the flour mixture.
  4. Add the egg, creamed corn, jalapenos, bacon bits, and buttermilk, stirring the ingredients until they are just moist.
  5. Pour into the greased square pan and p
  6. lace in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the pan.

 

 

Juicy Tandoori Chicken

tandoori chicken

 

Tandoori Chicken

8 Servings

 

I found this recipe in Jane Brody’s Good Food and Gourmet Cookbook.  This recipe is not as ultra-spicy as they make it in India, but it is a delicious way to prepare chicken thighs.  We have a local Persian restaurant that makes the most tender, juicy reddish orange colored thighs and this recipe sounds pretty close to how they prepare theirs.  Brody suggests that the spicy dish goes well with basmati brown rice or lentils.  By the way, I have updated the recipe a bit; it is from 1990 during the non-fat food craze.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon paprika (use hot paprika if you desire)

1 ½ teaspoon ground coriander

1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon of sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

¾ teaspoon cayenne

6 pounds bone-in chicken thighs

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the marinade ingredients.
  2. Slash the chicken at intervals across the thigh to allow the marinade to seep into the tissue. Coat the chicken with the marinade rubbing into the slashes.
  3. Place the chicken in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to marinate a minimum of 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Oil the broiler rack and place it 6 inches from the heat — Preheat broiler.
  5. Place the chicken thighs on the rack and broil them for about 10 minutes per side until the juices run clear when pierced with a fork.

Just in Time for St. Patty’s Day! 30 Minute Shepherd’s Pie

sheps pie

 

I found this recipe from the Food Network from 2007 in my recipe file today, and it sounded like pure comfort food!  A lot is going on at once with this recipe, so you might want to wait to make it on the weekend when you can get some extra help in the kitchen.  I tweaked a few things in the recipe because I felt it needed a richer flavor in the ground beef portion of the pie.  The potatoes turned out amazing, and I will use this mashed potato recipe from now on.  They were creamy yet had some body to them and browned up nicely under the broiler.  The recipe filled a 9×9 square pan to the rim, but you could also portion out four portions in individual oven safe deep bowls to save on cleaning up the pan.

If you are having a larger family gathering, you could double the recipe and cook in a deep 13×9 pan.  I hope your family loves this recipe as much as mine!

 

30 Minute Shepherd’s Pie

4 large servings

 

Mashed potato portion of the pie ingredients:

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (the smaller the cube, the quicker they will cook)

2 tablespoon sour cream or softened cream cheese

1 large egg yolk

½ cup heavy cream, for a lighter version, use chicken broth

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 teaspoon paprika to garnish the mashed potatoes before putting under the broiler

 

Filling ingredients:

1 tablespoon avocado oil

1 ¾ pounds lean ground beef or ground lamb

1 carrot peeled and shredded

1 chopped onion

½ cup frozen peas, wait until the last minute to add

Salt, pepper and garlic powder sprinkled over all

 

Gravy ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour or rice flour for gluten free version

1 cup beef stock

1 tablespoon Worcestershire

 

Instructions:

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes.  Drain the potatoes and mash.  In a small bowl combine, sour cream or cream cheese, egg yolk and heavy cream and mix well.  Add to the mashed potatoes and mix well.

 

While the potatoes are boiling, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil to the pan then add the beef or lamb.  Season meat with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Brown and crumble the meat for 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the carrot and onion and cover.  Cook about five minutes.

 

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.  Whisk in broth and Worcestershire and thicken for a minute or two and add to the meat and vegetables.  Stir in peas.

 

Preheat broiler to high.  Fill a 9×9 casserole dish with the meat and vegetable mixture.  Add potatoes and spread evenly.  Top the potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the broiler until golden brown for 7 to 9 minutes.  Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

 

Hedonic Adaptation: Why You Are Not Happier

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I found this term, hedonic adaptation, in notes I took for a class on The Science of Happiness through the Greater Good Science Center last year and decided to research it further.  Basically, through life’s ups and downs, you have a set point for your level of happiness.  I hope you find this article by Elizabeth Scott interesting and find ways to increase your set point.

How Hedonic Adaptation Robs You of Happiness—and How to Change That

By Elizabeth Scott, MS

Updated November 01, 2018

Hedonic adaptation, also known as “the hedonic treadmill,” is a concept studied by positive psychology researchers and others who focus on happiness and well-being that refers to people’s general tendency to return to a set level of happiness despite life’s ups and downs. It is known as “the hedonic treadmill” because of the seeming cot “treading water” experience where we always end up where we started.

Examples of Hedonic Adaptation

There are several different ways that this has been observed, and here are a few interesting examples:

  • People who win the lottery tend to return to roughly their original levels of happiness after the novelty of the win has worn off. (Some even end up less happy because of changes in relationships that can occur.) There is an initial influx of joy, of course, but after about a year, people in their day-to-day lives experience the same general sense of happiness.
  • The same is true for those who are in major accidents and lose the use of their legs. The change in ability can be devastating at first, but people generally tend to return to their pre-accident levels of happiness after the habituation period.
  • Research has found that the first bite of something delicious is experienced as more pleasurable than the third or the tenth. People become accustomed to pleasure rather quickly and soon, the same mood-lifting little treat doesn’t bring the same influx of joy.

How Much Control Do We Have?

Many researchers have examined the hedonic treadmill phenomenon and have attempted to determine how much of our happiness is really under our control. Researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky has examined this set-point and come up with a specific percentage: 40 percent. A full 50 percent of our happiness set-point, her research determined, is due to genetics, while 10 percent is affected primarily by circumstances like where we were born and to whom. This leaves 40 percent that is subject to our influence, which is certainly less than 100 percent but still a significant portion. Other researchers have come up with slightly different numbers, but all have been roughly in this ballpark.

Activities That Are More and Less Affected By the Hedonic Treadmill

Certain activities are more subject to hedonic adaptation—the happiness that they bring dissipates more quickly. Some of these activities are known by researchers and psychologists as “pleasures,” can bring quick bursts of—you guessed it—pleasure, which can also lead to longer-term happiness. Researcher Martin Seligman, one of the pioneers in this field, explained pleasures this way:

“The pleasures are delights that have clear sensory and strong emotional components, what philosophers call ‘raw feels’: ecstasy, thrills…delight, mirth, exuberance, and comfort. They are evanescent, and they involve little, if any, thinking.”

These pleasures can lift your mood and leave you feeling wonderful, but their effects can be relatively fleeting. What’s more, we get used to them relatively quickly. If you have the same meal every day for a week, for example, you may find it to be less pleasurable by the end of the week if you’re like most people. This is true for roller-coaster rides, fresh flowers, drinking tea, listening to a favorite song, watching videos of adorable animals, and many other pleasures. However, there are ways to prolong the enjoyment of life’s pleasures, and they’re well worth including in your life because they can lead to other benefits discussed in a minute.

Seligman also researched gratifications, which are activities that get us into a feeling of “flow” where we don’t notice the passage of time, where we’re thoroughly engaged in what we’re doing, and sort of lost in the activity. This occurs most easily when we face a challenge that’s both fun and the right kind of challenge for our abilities: not too difficult lest we feel discouraged but just difficult enough to keep us feeling challenged. Gratifications, as well as activities that present a strong sense of meaning to us, are more immune to the effects of hedonic adaptation.

On the contrary, the more we engage in gratifications, the more we enjoy them! These are activities that require more effort and thought, but the payoff is higher as well. The more we engage, the more we enjoy. This includes activities that are often thought of as hobbies, like creating art, learning a skill like karate, or even engaging in an activity like meditation. Most, if not all gratifications can be great stress relievers.

Knowing that pleasures are fleeting in their effects may make them seem less worth the effort than other activities like gratifications that can bring more lasting results. There are reasons why they can be perfect for certain situations, however. First, as mentioned earlier, they bring a quick lift in mood without a great deal of effort. This is actually quite valuable because there is significant research that shows that a lift in mood can lead to a chain reaction of positive feelings and increased resilience; basically, pleasures can create an “upward spiral of positivity,” and this can lead to greater happiness and resilience to stress. For the little effort they require, this is a pretty big payoff.

Second, gratifications do take more effort, so when you only have a few minutes or a very limited amount of energy, pleasures are often the simpler and more accessible option. For example, if you’re running errands and having a stressful day, it’s often easier than getting a nice tea and drinking it as you rush (which can create a pleasant experience and can diminish stress) than getting out some painting supplies and honing your craft, even if you may benefit more from the gratification of painting than the pleasure of tea. Sometimes you may only have time for tea, and that’s certainly better than nothing.

Meaningful activities like volunteering for a good cause or helping a friend, incidentally, seem to carry great benefits as well. Seligman found that these may take a significant amount of energy and may not always be enjoyable while a person is engaged in them (they can be challenging), but they bring lasting results in terms of overall happiness and inner peace. Altruism really does have many benefits to the giver as well as the recipients. Meaningful acts should not be overlooked, particularly because they seem to transcend the hedonic treadmill quite effectively.

How to Minimize Hedonic Adaptation

Hedonic adaptation is a fact of life, but when we are aware of how it works and how it functions in our lives, we are more able to work around the negatives and engage in activities that are more immune to the stifling effects of the hedonic treadmill. The following are some ways in which you can move away from the limiting effects of hedonic adaptation and engage in activities that can actually create a greater level of happiness in your life:

  • Be sure your life includes several pleasures, and try to plan for them throughout your day. Get that cup of coffee. Call that friend for a quick laugh. If you feel you don’t have time for too many of these pleasures, see if you can organize your time with a specific intention of including them.
  • Rotate your pleasures so that they always feel new. Just as fresh sheets feel more wonderful than your week-old sheets, a rotation of pleasures is more enjoyable and fresh than the same ones for days in a row. (This may be different if you enjoy the ritual of certain activities, but it’s generally true. Keep an eye on how much you enjoy various pleasures and when you become slightly bored with them and you’ll know what to do.)
  • Be sure you make time for hobbies! If you plan a class once a week, this is one of the most effective ways to benefit from gratifications. You’re sharing what you enjoy with others, you’re putting it on your calendar so you’re more likely to make time for it, and you’re able to deepen your abilities and watch yourself grow. It doesn’t really matter what the hobby is; as long as it’s one that you enjoy, you’ll benefit from it, and these benefits will extend into the rest of your life.
  • Find time for others. This creates greater meaning in your life, and that can create greater happiness. Just as gratifications can work outside of the hedonic treadmill to a large extent, and can help you increase your overall levels of happiness to the full extent that we’re able to change our happiness setpoint, meaningful activities can create these changes as well.
  • Savor your positive experiences. This is a great way to enjoy life more, to maximize the positive in your life, without needing anything else to change. It just takes a bit of focused attention and the effects of pleasures, gratifications, and meaningful activities can all expand. One way to savor these experiences is to keep a journal at the end of the day, a few days a week—write about three things you enjoyed that day. Then you’ll be reliving these positive experiences as you write about them, and can relive them again when you read through your journals.
  • Keep an eye on your happiness levels. If you feel that you could be happier, make time for whatever you can do to lift your mood. If you need a lift, do what makes you happy. And if you can, try something new. If you’re someone who is naturally happy, this can help you to feel happier than you would. If you’re someone who’s naturally less happy or who faces a lot of challenges, this extra attention to minimizing hedonic adaptation can help you to live a more fulfilling life.

A Word From Verywell

Hedonic adaptation—that old hedonic treadmill that we’re all on—is part of us (and it keeps us grounded) but we can still increase our happiness setpoint by working pleasures, gratifications, and meaningful activities into our lives by engaging in the right activities at the right time.

 

Hot Reuben Dip Recipe Just in Time for St. Patrick’s Day!

Hot-Reuben-Dip-Recipe-Culinary-Hill-3

My husband and I got addicted to this dip at O’Neill’s Restaurant in Leawood, Kansas.  They served it with big chunks of marbled rye, and it was terrific, but they stopped carrying it on their menu, so we went in search of a similar recipe.  A shout out goes to our friend Duane for finding this recipe. It has all the flavors of the classic sandwich in one easy, piping hot dip! It’s always a crowd favorite and perfect for a quick and easy St. Patty’s appetizer!

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 (8-ounce package) cream cheese softened
  • 8 ounces deli corned beef coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup Swiss cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut drained well
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Thousand Island salad dressing
  • Triscuit crackers or rye chips/bread, for serving

Instructions

  1. To make Hot Reuben Dip in the oven, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a pie plate or oven-safe skillet with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, sour cream, and dressing and mix well. Spread into prepared pie plate and bake until hot and bubbly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with crackers, bread or chips.

Source:  Culinary Hill blog

 

Comfort Food: White Chicken Chili and Beef Stew with Root Vegetables

It has been an icy mess here in Kansas City this week, and we have been housebound and are getting quite stir crazy!  I tested out a few comfort food recipes that turned out pretty tasty and thought I would share them with you. One pot meals are the best!

chicken chili

White Chicken Chili

4 to 6 servings

Spicy, but not hot.  Each person can doctor their bowl with siracha or Cholula hot sauce if they want more heat in the dish.

Ingredients:

32-ounces chicken stock

3 celery stocks, diced

1 large carrot, grated

1 medium onion, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons pan drippings from cooking the whole chicken

2 cans great northern white beans

1 small can diced green chiles

3 bay leaves

1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2.5 cups diced rotisserie chicken

1 cup shredded kale

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and pan drippings and add celery, carrots, and onions and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken stock, green chiles, white beans, and seasonings to the pot.  Cook until the skins on the beans start to separate.
  3. Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Add the diced chicken and kale and turn off the heat.  Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

beef-stew-with-bacon-650x975

Beef Stew with Root Vegetables

Serves  4 to 5 

Thick, hearty beef stew with a caramelized wine and beef broth.  A perfect bowl of goodness during the winter months.

Ingredients:

2.5 pounds beef rump roast cut into bite-sized chunks

1 -2tablespoon avocado oil

2/3 cup dry red wine

3 celery stalks, diced

2 large carrots, quartered and diced

1 large onion, diced

32-ounces beef stock

2 cups diced Yukon gold potatoes

3 or 4 dashes of Worchestshire sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

3 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground thyme

1 teaspoon Penzey’s Forward seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Over medium heat in a Dutch oven, brown half the beef chunks in 1 tablespoon avocado oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add more oil if needed and brown the remaining beef and salt and pepper.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Add the wine to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula to get all of the brown goodness incorporated into the wine sauce.  Add the celery, carrots, and onion to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes.  If the wine evaporates quickly and a little more and then add the beef stock, potatoes, Worchestshire sauce, garlic powder, bay leaves, thyme, Forward seasoning and salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Cover and cook for about an hour or until the beef is nice and tender.  Uncover and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes.  You want the broth to reduce to just cover the meat and vegetables.

 

3 Delicious and Easy Chicken Recipes

Are you looking for some new ways to prep chicken for your family?  I love these three recipes, and they are relatively easy to make and are all finger foods, which make them even more fun to eat!

chicken-wings-7

Crispy Chicken Drumettes

Serves 4 to 6

This recipe uses organic cornflakes to produce a tasty, ultra-crunchy crust.

Ingredients:

1 cup buttermilk

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves minced garlic

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

3 pounds chicken-wing drumettes

3 cups organic cornflakes

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Instructions:

  1. In a large, shallow dish, stir together buttermilk, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Add chicken and turn to coat.  Cover tightly and refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight.
  2. Arrange a rack on top of a large baking sheet. Place cornflakes in a blender or food processor and blend to make fine crumbs.  In a large bowl, combine crumbs, cheese, and cayenne.  Remove chicken from the marinade and allow excess to drip off.  Dredge each piece in the cornflake mixture and transfer to the rack; let rest 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Arrange chicken in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Drizzle generously with butter and bake 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp and golden.

Source:  organicstyle.com

parmesan-chicken-strips-1

Parmesan Chicken Sticks

Serves 4 to 5

This recipe is one of Ina Garten’s recipes and is tasty and fun to eat!  If you don’t have skewers, you can cook them up like chicken tenders.

Ingredients:

1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts (3 to 4 breasts)

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 extra-large eggs

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

½ cup grated Parmesan

Unsalted butter

Olive oil

Bamboo or metal skewers, 6 to 8 inches long.

Instructions:

  1. Lay the chicken breasts on a cutting board and slice each diagonally into 4 or 5 large strips.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate.
  3. Beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water on a second plate.
  4. Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan on a third plate.
  5. Dredge the chicken breast slices on both sides in the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and roll in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing lightly to coat.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook the chicken strips on medium-low heat for about 3 minutes per side until just cooked through. Don’t crowd the pan.
  7. Add more butter and oil and cook the remaining chicken strips.
  8. Serve each strip on a skewer

Recipe tip:  You can keep the chicken strips warm for about 15 minutes on a sheet pan in a pre-heated 200-degree oven.

Source:  Food Network

chicken taquitos-3_edited-1

Wonton Taquitos

4 servings

Mexican finger food at its finest; crunchy and perfectly sized.  So good and easy to make!

Ingredients:

1 (12.5 ounces) can chunk white chicken breast in water, drained and flaked

½ cup salsa verde (green salsa)

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

¼ frozen corn, thawed and patted dry

1 tablespoon chopped roasted red peppers

16 small square wonton wrappers

Optional dips:  red enchilada sauce, salsa verde, sour cream and guacamole

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken and salsa and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  3. Drain any excess liquid from the chicken mixture. Add cheese, corn, and roasted red peppers to the bowl.  Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  4. Lay two wrappers flat on a clean surface. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the chicken mixture onto each wrapper, and spread evenly over the entire surface of each.  Roll each wonton up tightly into a cigar-shaped tube.  Place wontons on the baking sheet, seam side down.  If needed, secure with toothpicks.  Repeat with the remaining wontons and chicken mixture.
  5. Bake until crispy about 15 minutes.

 

Source:  Hungry-girl.com

 

 

Low Carb Appetizers and Cocktails for Your Super Bowl Party

 

Watch parties or any gathering around food can be a challenge to stay on your low carb eating plan.  These quick and easy apps and drinks should help you stay on point and make you feel like you haven’t missed a thing at the party!

low carb pecans

Chili Pecans

16 servings, ¼ cup each, 4 net carbs

Nutrient-rich pecans take to the spicy taste of chili powder:  the added heat tempers the rich nuts, making them the perfect nibble before dinner with a drink.

 

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon garlic powder

4 cups pecan halves (about 8 ounces)

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt, divided

 

Instructions:

  1. Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven; preheat to 275 degrees.  Line 2 large baking sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. Combine all of the dry seasonings and the brown sugar in a small bowl. Toss pecans with the Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl.  Sprinkle the spice mixture over the pecans, tossing to coat.  Spread half of the nuts on each baking sheet pan.
  3. Bake the pecans, tossing every 10 minutes, until lightly browned and very fragrant, about 35 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet pans to wire racks; sprinkle ½ teaspoon of salt over the nuts on each pan and toss well.  Cool to room temperature before storing in a Ziplock bag or tightly sealed containers.

low carb spinach

Awesome Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Makes 22 servings, 2 tablespoons each

 

Serve with Simple Mills almond flour crackers and assorted veggies.

Ingredients:

1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts in water, drained and finely chopped

1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained

¾ cup grated Parmesan Cheese

¾ cup Hellman’s Olive Oil Mayo

½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients until well blended and transfer to a 9 -inch pie plate or small shallow baking dish.
  3. Bake 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

 

Boar’s Head Ovengold Turkey Roll-ups

8 servings

 

Serve whole or cut into pieces with green leaf lettuce and radishes.

 

Ingredients:

12 ounces softened cream cheese

¼ cup chopped parsley

¼ cup chopped roasted red peppers

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika

½ pound Boar’s Head Ovengold Roast Breast of Turkey, sliced medium thick

Instructions:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cheese, parsley, roasted red pepper, salt, pepper, and paprika.
  2. Spread each slice of turkey with 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture.  Roll coated slices lengthwise and secure with a toothpick.

 

 

Low Carb Electric Lemonade

4 servings

 

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup powdered monk fruit sweetener

½ cup fresh mint leaves

1 cup sparkling water

2 to 3 cups of ice

1 cup of vodka

Mint sprigs and lemon slices for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Chill 4 serving glasses in the freezer.  Combine lemon juice, sweetener, mint, sparkling water, and ice in a blender.  Blend until thick.
  2. Remove the four glasses from the freezer and pour a jigger (1/4 cup) of vodka into each. Top with the frozen lemonade mixture and stir.
  3. Add a straw and garnish each glass with a fresh mint sprig and a slice of lemon.

 

low carb martini

Cranberry and Club Soda

 

2 ounces Finlandia Arctic Cranberry Vodka

4 ounces club soda

Pour over ice in a tall glass and garnish with a slice of lime.

 

Classic Martini

 

2 ounces vodka

Splash of dry vermouth

 

Add all to a shaker and strain into a chilled martini glass.  Garnish with olives.

 

Limetini

 

2 ounces vodka

Splash of triple sec liquer

Fresh squeezed lime juice

 

Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with lime zest.

low carb bloody

Bloody Mary

 

2 ounces vodka

6 ounces tomato juice or Bloody Mary mix

1 dash Tabasco brand pepper sauce

1 dash Worcestershire sauce

Celery salt and pepper to taste

 

Garnish with a squeeze of lime, celery stalk, peppers, and other favorite vegetables.

Hearty Low Carb Chicken Curry

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Hearty Low Carb Chicken Curry

 

I thought everyone might enjoy this belly-warming curry recipe with the Polar Vortex descending on half the country this week.  This is a brown curry that uses Garam Masala Curry Powder as the main spice.  If you can’t find Garam Masala, look for another brown curry rather than yellow curry.  Serve with Israeli Salad to cool the spiciness of the dish.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons avocado oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

2 tomatoes, finely chopped, with juice and seeds

½ cup cilantro, finely chopped

1 tablespoon Garam Masala Curry Powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon chili powder

Salt and ground pepper to taste

Instructions:

Place the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, add the onion and sauté until translucent, about four minutes.  Add the ginger and garlic and sauté two minutes longer.  Add the chicken and sauté approximately four minutes.  Add the tomatoes and their juice, the cilantro, curry powder, cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir until the chicken is well coated with the spices.

Cover, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  As it cooks, the juice from the tomatoes will absorb into the chicken.  (If there isn’t enough liquid, you should add a little water.)  After 30 minutes, if there is still liquid left in the pan, uncover it, turn up the heat to medium, and cook off the liquid.  Serve with Israeli Salad.

israeli salad

Israeli Salad

 

Israeli salad can typically be found at the many falafel stands all over Israel. It is served on its own as a side dish or inside a pita sandwich wrap. This fresh, light, and colorful salad is sure to become a favorite for your family.  It goes great in a pita with falafel, hummus, and tahini, but also works as a side dish with any middle eastern, Greek, or even North African food.

Ingredients:

6 cucumbers, diced

4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and diced

5 green onions, sliced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/3 cup chopped garlic

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup minced fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

Instructions:

Toss the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, garlic, parsley, and mint together in a bowl. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over the salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to serve.

 

Seven Ways to Build Happiness into Your Day

 

According to Shawn Achor, author of the Happiness Advantage, happiness is not the belief that we don’t need to change; it is the realization that we can.  Positive emotions provide a swift antidote to physical and mental stress, what psychologists call “the undoing effect.”  Here are seven ways to capitalize on the Happiness Advantage:

  1. Meditate – it raises the level of happiness, lowers stress and improves immune function.
  2. Find something to look forward to – anticipating future rewards can light up the pleasure centers in your brain much as the actual reward will.
  3. Commit conscious acts of kindness – acts of altruism, giving to friends and strangers alike decreases stress and actively contributes to enhanced mental health. Strive for five acts of kindness per day.  It may be as simple as holding the door for someone or letting them merge into your lane of traffic.
  4. Infuse positivity into your surroundings through décor and pictures, getting outside during the day for 20 minutes (this will boost positive mood and broaden thinking and memory), change surroundings by turning off the television, news, etc.
  5. Exercise – physical activity is an incredibly powerful mood lifter and is long lasting.
  6. Spend money on experiences instead of things; this produces emotions that are more meaningful and lasting.
  7. Exercise a signature strength, such as cooking or love of learning. What is yours?

As you integrate these happiness exercises into your daily life, you will start to notice how much better you feel and your enhanced positivity makes you more efficient, motivated, productive and opens up opportunities for more significant achievement.

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