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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.

TUNA MELT

Homemade tuna melts taste a heck of a lot better than any restaurant out there. Part of the reason is because you can control what goes in your tuna salad, made with real ingredients, and prevent it from being super greasy. It’s really easy, even more so when you make a big batch of tuna salad to last you a few days ahead. If you’re looking to try a non-traditional version that won’t leave your taste buds hanging you have to try my Tuna Salad recipe. It’s slightly sweet with butter pickles and tangy from pepperoncini’s.

My version of a tuna melt is packed with fiber along with all that protein which is a happy pairing for the digestive system. I love using Alvarado Bakery’s Sprouted Flax Seed Bread because it’s low carb, high protein, and high fiber with just 100 calories for two slices. That leaves you some room to indulge with your favorite cheese for the tuna melt!

If you’re looking to go all out on the homemade end, feel free to try my Homemade Mayonnaise that only requires a few ingredients and a couple minutes to make with a standing mixer. For a healthy mayo it can be expensive so making it at home has its rewards at times. Feel free to use your favorite cheese, personally I love a sharp white cheddar that’s aged 2 years. It goes well with my version of a tuna salad. Enjoy!

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TUNA MELT
Servings
sandwich
Servings
sandwich
Instructions
  1. Spread the mayonnaise on one side of both slices of bread.
  2. Warm a skillet on medium heat.
  3. Place one slice of bread with the mayo side facing down and place a layer of tuna salad on top. Top that with the spinach followed by the grated cheese. Carefully transfer it to the hot skillet and then place the other slice of bread on top with the mayo facing up.
  4. After a couple of minutes gently flip the tuna melt with a spatula and cook for about another two minutes.
  5. Remove from the skillet and slice in half on the diagonal.

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.

CAULIFLOWER PIZZA CRUST

Don’t roll your eyes and runaway! Hear me out. I came up with this  concoction of an amazing pizza crust alternative for many reasons. NOT because gluten free and low carb is a fad these days. I’ll explain.

You don’t have to be gluten free or low carb to be healthy or to eat healthy rather. Not everyone is gluten intolerant (not allergic, big difference). But there are benefits to avoiding wheat flours in general. Not entirely as it varies from person to person. Although, obesity is a huge issue in the U.S. and now many other countries around the world. Diabetes and heart disease tends to go hand in hand with obesity at some point in a persons life. Keeping your carbohydrate intake to a moderation is one of the single best things you can do for yourself to PREVENT the above mentioned. Monitoring it is also one of the better things you can do for yourself if you’re already obese and/or have other health issues that can be easily managed by dietary habits. So, because I’m all about moderation and compromising on this food blog, THESE are the reasons why I wanted to make this and share this. Okay, on to the good stuff…

This is actually a very easy recipe to make and you can make it ahead of time, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use. There’s no yeast involved and no hours of waiting for dough to rise, knead, rise yadda yadda. You can make many of these, freeze it until you’re ready to use. Win win especially with how tasty this is. You can use dairy-free cheese if you’re lactose intolerant or simply replace the cheese entirely with an extra egg. And just a heads up, you might have to eat this pizza with a fork… which I’m sure is the least of anyone’s worries so long as it tastes good. Most parts of Italy you’ll find eat their pizza with a knife and fork so it’s not a sin!

There’s no wrong way to dress a pizza. We all know this. If you’re looking for a good red sauce you can always use my go-to Homemade Marinara. If you like your pizza sauce on the sweeter side just add a little bit of sugar to the marinara when heating it up. Last thing, when squeezing the water out of the cauliflower be careful to start… it does retain heat for a long time so don’t burn yourself. And squeeze the heck out of it. You’ll be surprised how much water is in cauliflower. Have fun!

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CAULIFLOWER PIZZA CRUST
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cut the florets off the cauliflower head, place them into a food processor and run it through until everything is riced super fine. Place everything into a bowl and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 5 minutes.
  2. Fold the cheesecloth in half and place over a strainer, pour the steamed cauliflower into the cheesecloth and let it cool for about 15-20 minutes. Grab all corners of the cheesecloth and squeeze the cauliflower over and over until all the water is removed.
  3. Toss the cauliflower back into the bowel making sure it’s not hot still. Add the egg, Romano cheese, mozzarella, garlic powder, oregano, and salt. Mix everything kneading it altogether like a dough.
  4. Place some parchment paper onto a baking sheet and spread the cauliflower dough in any shape you like to no thicker than ¼ inch. Bake at 450 F for about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Top the pizza crust with any of your favorite sauces, cheeses and/or toppings and bake for about another 10-15 minutes.

GRAIN FREE ALMOND BREAD

Grain free. Gluten free. Low carb. High protein. High fiber. Healthy fats. Nutrient Dense! And it tastes pretty damn good! This is not a sweet bread, it’s a great alternative to everyday bread. Most breads you find in the grocery store use bleached all purpose flour, fortify it with crap quality vitamins and minerals then flavor it with some kind of sugar derivative like the popular high fructose corn syrup that is practically every other packaged good. There are much better alternatives for loaf bread usually found in the freezer section of your grocery store. But, homemade means you can control everything. This recipe is so quick and easy that you don’t need to dirty your standing mixer. Just two large bowls and mix!

What can you use this bread for you ask?! Anything and everything. I’ve tried so many ways already. And I’ll tell you: your favorite sandwich, peanut butter (or other nut butter) and jelly, sliced bananas with cinnamon, avocado with sea salt, pepper, lime juice and some fresh cilantro, EGGS! Spread some real grass-fed butt on it after toasted with sea salt and your favorite jam. Apples and honey. You see where I’m going with this? Anything and everything!

Feel free to add any of your favorite nuts or seeds into the recipe too. You can replace the almond butter with a different nut butter too. And if you’re opposed to ground flaxseed (doesn’t add a taste to the recipe) feel free to add anything else in place of it. This is truly a great recipe to help get you started and comfortable baking your own healthy breads. Enjoy!

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GRAIN FREE ALMOND BREAD
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Coat a loaf pan with olive oil cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl beat the eggs, add the maple syrup, and almond butter. Mix everything together thoroughly.
  3. In another large bowl whisk the almond flour, baking soda, ground flaxseed, and cinnamon together.
  4. Pour half of the dry ingredients into the wet, mix. Then, mix in the last half of the dry ingredients. Make sure everything is incorporated well. The consistency should be thick like cake batter. Add a splash of almond milk if needed.
  5. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake at 350 F degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and keep refrigerated.