Keto

Cozy, Rainy, Yummy

Sunday we woke up to rain. Rain rain rain! Downpour, actually! I guess summer is officially over in Portland…So making something cozy for dinner was a must.

I’d been saving this recipe for awhile and finally tried it. And it’s a winner!

FRENCH ONION CHICKEN CASSEROLE

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Red crushed chili pepper flakes, optional
  • Pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or Gruyere)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

1. To make the chicken casserole: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly grease a 9×12-inch baking dish and set aside.

2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-8 minutes until soft.

3. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized – about 15 minutes. Pour in 1/4 cup of broth to deglaze if your pan gets too dry, and keep stirring until onions are browned. 

4. Stir in fresh minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.

5. Season chicken breasts with oregano, crushed chili pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Go easy on the salt because French onion and cheese are already salted. Arrange chicken breasts in the baking dish. 

6. Divide caramelized onions on top of each chicken breast. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and bake for 20-25 minutes in the oven (or more, depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts), until fully cooked and cheese is bubbly. Then broil for 2 minutes to crisp up the cheese. Garnish the French onion chicken casserole with fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately with steamed vegetables or cauliflower rice. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can prepare the caramelized onion ahead of time, and just assemble the casserole at the last minute before baking.
  • You can flavor up the french onion with a dash of white wine, sherry or balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan.
  • The cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken breasts.
  • Go easy on the salt because French onion and cheese are already salty.

I caramelized the onions in butter and 1/4 cup white wine (the good stuff, too!) instead of chicken broth. I used a mixture of mozzarella and gruyere but used more gruyere then the mozzarella.

It turned out GREAT! Michael and I both loved it and wouldn’t change a thing! It was so delicious and the melted cheese (slightly browned from the broiler) was so so good!

I had one chicken breast with the cheese and onion mixture and a side salad with French dressing. Delicious dinner! I will definitely make this again! It’s a keeper!

I suggest you make this recipe asap!

Also, Friday night I made this recipe: BARELY-BLANCHED BROCCOLI SALAD WITH FETA AND FRIED ALMONDS.

It was delicious! I also recommend it.

Fall Cooking

Sunday I made some keto chili. With some help! Logan wanted to chop things. He has a special knife (a toddler plastic knife that is about as sharp as a plastic knife but it can cut SOME things) and he tried to chop celery (that didn’t really work) and then switched to onions. He did that for awhile and then said “the onions got me”. LOL

So I finished up chopping onions and stuff. Then he helped stir a little:

Then he lost interest. 😉 But we are trying! I made a few substitutions. I didn’t have low carb beer, so I used a splash of red wine instead. I also added celery (one stalk). I also did a combo of ground beef and chunks of stew meat to give it a little variety of texture since I wasn’t adding corn and beans and stuff.

The Best Paleo & Keto Chili

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic ran through a press
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 500 g ground beef
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder *
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground cumin to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons paprika to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder optional, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional, to taste
  • 1 400 g can diced tomatoes
  • 240 ml beef broth
  • 120 ml (gluten free or low carb) beer optional**
  • 60 ml strong brewed coffee optional**
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat up olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium/high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook until it just begins to brown (about 8 minutes). 
  2. Lower heat to medium, add ground beef, cloves and a large pinch of salt. Cook until it begins to brown, stirring every so often (5 to 7 minutes). Add in all the spices and cook for a couple more minutes until fragrant. Some peeps enjoy their chili spicier, others strong on cumin, etc… so feel free to adjust the spices slowly as the chili cooks (the fun part!). 
  3. Add tomatoes and continue to cook over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Lower the heat to low and continue to cook for 15 minutes, stirring every so often.
  4. Add in the beef broth, beer (optional) and coffee (optional). Continue to cook for 3 to 8 hours. Adding 1/4 cup water (or broth) at a time, as needed. Remember that the longer you cook it, the more flavor it gets! 
  5. Allow your chili to rest for 10 minutes prior to serving with your favorite toppings.

Recipe Notes

*Chili spices can vary a lot in taste (and preference!). Buying a ready-made chili powder mix is a good place to start. But do feel free to play around with the individual spices to your liking (think chili, oregano, cumin, coriander, paprika, chipotle… you could even add some chili ancho!).

**Adding in some (gluten free, low carb) beer and coffee add a bunch of flavor. But totally optional, and your chili will still be magnificent without them! 

Please note that nutrition facts were estimated per serving (assuming a yield of 6). Nutrition Facts: Calories 251 Fat 17g Saturated Fat 6g Carbohydrates 6g Fiber 2g Sugar 2g Protein 16g

I put everything in the crockpot because I had a lot of stuff to do and would rather do chili in a crockpot all day anyways.

It turned out pretty good but not quite chili. It was more like a beef stew. I topped it with some shredded cheese, chopped red onion, sour cream and some pickled radishes (David Lebovitz’s are my favorite, and if you don’t follow him on Instagram, you should!). The pickled radishes on top were kind of an excellent addition!

Next time I would drain the can of tomatoes so there was a little less liquid.

The other recipe I tried was Lean Green Bean’s Spicy Yogurt Marinated Chicken.

SPICY YOGURT MARINATED CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
3/4 cup plain yogurt (regular or greek)
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, minced
juice from one lime
pinch of salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag.
  2. Close tightly and use your hands to mix everything around and make sure the chicken is well coated.
  3. Marinate in the fridge at least 2 hours. (24 hours is best!)
  4. Remove the chicken and cook as desired, discarding the remaining marinade. I cooked mine on a sheet pan with green beans at 400 for 15-25 minutes. Time will vary depending on the thickness of your chicken. Check internal temperature until it reaches 165. You may need to remove the green beans before your chicken is done!

NOTES

To cook the sweet potatoes, thinly slice, spray with oil, season as desired and bake at 400 or 425 for 20-25 min flipping once.

I let it marinade for over 24 hours and then we had it for dinner Monday night. I loved having a quick and easy meal nearly ready for a Monday night meal.

This one was definitely a winner! It had some spice, too! Loved the flavors, loved how easy it was.

The only changes I would make: I’d use chicken breasts instead of thighs and I’d put the green beans in the oven half-way through the chicken cooking. The green beans got a little overdone. They still tasted great, but were a little soft.

Will definitely make this one again!