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BALSAMIC DIJON CHUCK ROAST

Who doesn’t love food that gives you a hug from the inside on these cooler nights? Or ONE POT MEALS? Are you tight for time? Don’t feel like standing in the kitchen long? Use a slow cooker or if you don’t have one, a dutch oven! Okay, this recipe is one of your answers of all possible options. It’s a nice rendition on a standard slow cooked chuck roast and I’m sure you’ll love it. So, if you’re going to be gone all day and want to walk in the door with dinner ready then, go the slow cooker method on low for 8hrs. Otherwise, you can do all the same quick prep work, put it in a dutch oven, and walk away for about 3 hours. Either way, you can’t mess this up!

If you plan on having guests over, this is a great way to have great food. You’ll be able to spend more time with your guests and focus on any of the other food items you plan to prepare. Personally, I’m a sucker for anything made in big batches because I love the convenience of leftovers. I love having days where I can dive deep into all the things I need and want to do where having something I can reheat quickly doesn’t take a lot of my time. Before you tackle this greatness make sure you use a decent quality balsamic vinegar. It doesn’t have to be super expensive but select your cooking balsamic like you would select your red wine. If you can’t imagine enjoying a particular balsamic vinegar in a dressing then you won’t enjoy cooking with it. If you don’t know what to select, my favorite go-to is Gran Reserva Balsamic Vinegar of Modena by Lucini.

Because this dish is very meat centric, you can keep this fairly low carb with a few baby golden potatoes and carrots. Also, feel free to add your own flare to this. Some times I like slicing a bunch of fresh garlic cloves in half and tossing it in the pot. Add more spices or other favorite veggies if you want. When it comes to one pot meals like this, you can add in anything you like. One of my favorites is rough chopped fennel. But when it comes to leftovers, you can totally slice the meat up super fine like shown in the images, make a beef sandwich, add Italian sweet cherry peppers, dip it into the au jus, and slather some damn good horseradish. You see what I’m saying? Okay good! Happy eatings!

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BALSAMIC DIJON CHUCK ROAST
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Rub both sides of the meat with salt. Drizzle a large pan with olive oil over high heat and sear each side of the chuck roast for about 3 minutes to get a nice crust.
  2. Place the chuck roast in a slow cooker or dutch oven.
  3. Saute the onions with garlic powder in the drippings over medium-high heat in the same large pan that you seared the meat in. After two minutes, add the balsamic vinegar. Let simmer and stir frequently until it becomes syrupy.
  4. Turn heat off and stir in the Dijon mustard. Add this balsamic Dijon mixture in with the meat. Throw in the thyme sprigs, baby potatoes, whole carrots, salt, pepper, and the beef broth.
  5. Cover and let it cook on low for 8 hours in a slow cooker. Or about 3 hours on 300 F degrees in the oven.
  6. Add the sliced mushrooms an hour before done.

LOW CARB PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES

Lets face it. We all love cupcakes, if not cake. Cupcakes are the perfect dessert to share with minimal mess because you don’t have to cut into it to serve and they’re easy to transport. Maybe it’s just me but I’ve never had enough people to help me finish off a dozen cupcakes much less the ability to feel some what healthy-normal eating more than one cupcake with all the sugar. SO! I discovered a basic low-carb, sugar-free blah blah muffin recipe and did all kinds of tweaks to it. Some times you need something simple to give you an inspiration kick-start. Long story short, I came up with this half dozen recipe of technically pumpkin spice muffins BUT it’s instantly an incredible tasty cupcake when you put a vanilla cream cheese frosting on top!

Feel free to omit the cream cheese frosting and enjoy these first thing in the morning as a decent start to your day. It’s loaded in protein and low in carbs to not give you the spike in blood sugar that’s ever so responsible for making people feel tired and more hungry after eating. And if you do need a dozen of these you can simply double up the recipe. One of my favorite things to do after making them is eating it with a big dollop of unsweetened apple sauce on top. Even though you use apple sauce to make them. It’s so yummy as a light breakfast.

And by the way, feel free to use store bought pumpkin spice but a lot of times you will find that the flavors fall weak when baking unless you know of a great brand. I stopped buying it quite a few years ago when I realized I tend to already have the spices in my pantry to make it at home. It always packs an amazing punch of flavor in my opinion. If you’re interested in spending literally two extra minutes making your own check out my Pumpkin Spice Blend recipe. You’ll have to double or triple the recipe to have enough pumpkin spice to make these muffins.

One more thing, make sure your cream cheese frosting is room temperature and the muffins are cooled before you put the frosting on. If the frosting is too cold it will tear the top of your muffin off and crumble. Oh and as far as sugar goes, I like using Stevia In The Raw for baking but feel free to use any sugar substitute that you like. Real sugar should work with this though!

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LOW CARB PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
MUFFINS
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
MUFFINS
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Instructions
MUFFINS
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees.
  2. In a large bowl whisk the almond flour, ground flax seed, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and sugar substitute.
  3. Then, add the unsweetened apple sauce, melted unsalted butter, and eggs. Whisk everything together.
  4. Spray only 6 spots of a muffin tray with the cooking spray and evenly add the batter to each one about 3/4 of the way with a spoon.
  5. Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until the edges are golden and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  6. Let cool.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
  1. Place the cream cheese, unsalted butter, sugar substitute, and vanilla extract in a standing mixer. Let it all incorporate over medium speed. Scrape the sides down if needed and continue a few more seconds.

LOW CARB CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

These cookies are made with almond flour (blanched, but almond meal works too), and you’ll find that almond flour bakes a little bit darker than your usual all-purpose flour. So, don’t let the dark edges that appear almost burnt turn you away. These are crunchy, crumbly on the outside with a nice caramel flavor with a soft center. And I kid you not they taste even better frozen. Which is the weirdest thing I have ever heard of but it’s no joke. The best part about that is you can make a huge batch of these, keep in the freezer for longer shelf life, eat frozen or let them thaw. And, if you want them to taste like they’re fresh out of the oven you can stick a few in the microwave for 5-10 seconds depending on your microwave.

I’ve been on a mission the last few months to find healthier alternatives to pretty much anything edible without so much sugar and refined carbohydrates. Had I not gone on that mission I would’ve never discovered how amazing going keto with a chocolate chip cookie recipe would be. It’s so amazing that quite frankly, I don’t care to have another regular chocolate chip cookie ever again. For the brown sugar substitute, there are tons of brands with different ingredient options out there that you can choose from. But personally I like the ones that use stevia.

The carb count is ridiculously low at about 40 grams of carbs for the entire batch of approx. 3 dozen cookies should you use chocolate chips sweetened with stevia like Lilly’s Chocolate Chips. Which means just a few carbs per cookie max. Just keep in mind though, while these are much healthier to eat, they still are high calorie so that doesn’t mean you can eat a ton of them and not gain some weight! Lastly, when using a cookie dough scooper to portion out the cookies I like to use a spoon wrapped in plastic wrap to squash them a little for a proper cookie shape. Although, you don’t have to! If you don’t, you’ll want to bake them an extra minute or two so the center gets cooked through.

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LOW CARB CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix the almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  2. Combine the butter, coconut oil, and brown sugar substitute together in a standing mixer. Then, add the vanilla extract and eggs.
  3. Once everything is mixed well, add the flour in two parts.
  4. Toss in the chocolate chips and use a large spoon to mix them into the dough.
  5. Use a tablespoon cookie dough scooper to evenly portion out the cookies onto a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Bake at 375 F degrees for about 11-13 minutes. Let cool before transferring to a plate.

LOW CARB BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Anyone can enjoy muffins health-fully now. I’m still amazed by the idea that we can take nuts, grind them up to a fine powder, and use it as a flour substitute. If you’ve never heard of this, I swear this is true. And it tastes amazing. Almonds have a lot of healthy fats so when used as a flour it yields a very moist muffin. So, no oils needed in this recipe. I’m sure this can be made using regular flour but I’m so not interested. These are super low carb, high protein, flavorful, diabetic friendly, and surprisingly filling.

Recently I discovered One Minute Muffins (OMM) which is basically a single serving of a muffin made in a coffee mug in the microwave; mostly prepared as a low-carb, high protein breakfast or dessert alternative. Sounds kinda weird but it’s incredible. I took the idea of a basic recipe, created my own version, and multiplied the ingredients for a half-dozen recipe to make in the oven to last through the week. They’re moist and they hold so well!

You can split this recipe in thirds and make just two muffins in ramekins. All you have to do is cook them in the microwave for about a minute to a minute and a half depending on your microwave. The amount of blueberries doesn’t have to be exact, it will if anything affect your cooking time, and you don’t have to spray the ramekins with cooking spray. All you’re looking for is a solid rise. Use a toothpick to poke down the center. If it comes out clean, they’re ready!

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LOW CARB BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
RECIPE FOR 2 MUFFINS
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
RECIPE FOR 2 MUFFINS
Instructions
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven at 375 F degrees.
  2. In a large bowl add the almond flour, ground flax seed, sugar and brown sugar substitute, and baking powder. Whisk everything together. Then, add the melted unsalted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract into the dry mixture. Mix everything together.
  3. Spray 6 of the muffin reservoirs of a muffin tray with cooking spray and add the muffin batter about 3/4 of the way.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes give or take. Edges should be golden, peaks stiff, and toothpick through the center should come out clean.
  5. Let them cool before removing. They're very moist, using a butter knife or spoon may help to scoop them out.
Recipe Notes

Feel free to use muffin liners instead of cooking spray.

CHOCOLATE BERRY PROTEIN SMOOTHIE

Here’s a clean smoothie option to get a good amount of protein, fiber, and healthy fats to start your day. I love using Garden Of Life chocolate which is a vegetable based protein powder. It’s easier on my digestive versus whey protein. But use what works best for you. Maca powder supports healthy vitality and energy. Cacao nibs are packed with tons of nutrients but it adds more depth to the chocolate. Feel free to use your favorite nut milk. Lately I’ve been using unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Always go for unsweetened!

With about 8 grams of net carbs mainly from the mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries), this is definitely low-carb and diabetic friendly. It gives just the right bit of sweetness to the smoothie. If you want to keep your net carbs lower, then omit the maca powder which brings your smoothie net carbs down to 5 grams.


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CHOCOLATE BERRY PROTEIN SMOOTHIE
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place everything into a high speed blender until smooth.