Monthly Archives: January 2014

Roasted Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

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This recipe for Roasted Broccoli & Cheddar Soup hits the spot on a cold day! Although I don’t know the exact carb count, I am considering this to be “lower carb”. By roasting the broccoli and infusing the flavor of bacon throughout the soup it adds tons of flavor without adding too many carbs. I would say this recipe rivals Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Their 13 oz portion has 23 grams of carbs, I would like to say this recipe would be less than that for the same portion, but I didn’t calculate all the totals so if you are really strict on your carbs you might want to take that into consideration and make substitutes where necessary. Here’s the recipe……

What you need;

  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 cup of diced yellow onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 3 oz of Velveeta cheese, diced into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • Salt & Pepper

How to make;

Preheat your oven to 400. Wash and dry the head of broccoli. Remove the florets and toss them with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Lay the broccoli out on a sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and soft. While the broccoli is cooking start the bacon in the soup pot you are planning to use. Once the bacon in crisp remove it from the pan and drain off all but about a tablespoon of the bacon grease. Saute the diced onion and garlic in the bacon grease until translucent. Add in the chicken broth and milk, bring to a simmer. Stir in the Velveeta cheese until melted. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted. If you like your soup chunky then put the broccoli right into the soup pot when it comes out of the oven, if you like smaller pieces then dice up or pulse the broccoli in your food processor before you add it to the soup. Once everything is added, taste for salt and pepper and add as necessary. Simmer the soup for 15-20 minutes and serve warm. I topped mine with the crispy bacon and more cheese for dinner last night. For lunch today I used french fried onions. I must say the soup is even better the second day! I hope you enjoy!

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Low Carb Peanut Butter Balls

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If you’re a low carb eater, you know how hard it is to find low carb sweet treats that aren’t full of processed junk and artificial sweeteners. Not to mention ones that actually taste good and don’t cost a small fortune just for one piece! I have a major sweet tooth, I don’t miss pasta and bread as much as I miss fruit and CHOCOLATE! All things in moderation, I do allow myself fruit or juice on my cheat days and I can have these peanut butter treats with CHOCOLATE, anyday! Just 3 ingredients and no baking required, these treats will satisfy your sweet tooth and not ruin your low carb lifestyle!

What you need;

About 2 cups of original pork rinds (whole pieces)
1/4 cup peanut butter (I use Peter Pan Natural)
1 tbls of milk chocolate chips (I use toll house)

How to make;

Crush the pork rinds into about rice krispie size pieces. A food processor will make quick work of this but don’t turn them into powder! Mix the crushed pork rinds with the peanut butter until incorporated. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for about 20 seconds. They wont be fully melted, but stir the chocolate and it will all melt together.  Don’t over heat in the microwave or the chocolate will get hard. Take a teaspoon and make 10 balls out of the peanut butter mixture. Drizzle melted chocolate over each ball. Refrigerate for a few hours until they firm and enjoy!

The whole tray of 10 treats is 21 grams of carbs. The 1/4 cup of peanut butter has 12 grams of carbs, pork rinds are 0 carbs and the tablespoon of milk chocolate chips has 9 grams of carbs. Divide that up among 10 peanut butter balls and that’s just 2.1 grams per piece! Different brands have different carb totals so be sure to check your peanut butter and chocolate because your carb total might be a little more or a little less.

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Check out my other low carb sweet treats here….

https://simple2something.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/low-carb-sweet-tooth-snacks/
https://simple2something.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/low-carb-cheesecake/

Roasted Parsnip Puree

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Need a low carb potato substitute? Parsnips fit the bill! Tonight was the first time I’ve tried parsnips and I must say that I’m impressed and already looking for more ways to use them. Tonight to accompany our roast chicken and broccoli I made a very simple roasted parsnip puree. It has the same texture as mashed potatoes, even looks like mashed potatoes but the slightly sweet flavor makes them better than mashed potatoes. Here’s the recipe….

What you need;

4 parsnips
1 tablespoon diced garlic
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

How to make;

Wash & peel the parsnips. Cut into 1 inch chunks and coat with a few drizzles of olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking tray and bake at 400 for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, add the garlic and toss around. Bake another 12 minutes. Take the parsnips and garlic with any oil left over on the tray and put them in a blender or food processor. Add a few tablespoons of milk and butter to the blender and pulse until your desired consistency. Taste for salt and pepper, add more if needed. I served garnished with green onion and the onion with the slightly sweet flavor was very good. Next time I will add more green onion. This is a great low carb side and substitute for potatoes. This amount made 3 good size side portions. Enjoy!

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Bacon Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers

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These low carb peppers are sure to curb your cheeseburger craving. All the flavors of a cheeseburger stuffed into a pepper and cooked in your slow cooker.

What you need;

1 lb cooked and crumbled ground beef
1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbls yellow mustard
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 can diced tomatoes
4 bell peppers
Salt and pepper

How to make;

Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds. Mix the ground beef, bacon, onion, ketchup, mustard, cheese and 1/2 cup of the tomatoes together in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stuff each pepper with the mixture. Place the peppers in the slow cooker and pour the remaining diced tomatoes and juice over the peppers. Add a few tablespoons of water to the bottom of the slow cooker to prevent burning. Cook on low for 4 hours.

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Top with shredded cheese before serving and enjoy!

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Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! What a great year 2013 was for me and my family……I started this blog with little expectation, but with a lot of courage. Everyday I’m amazed at how much love, encouragement and support I receive towards my blog and I’m so glad so many people are enjoying it. I also started a new hobby making scarves and it’s turned into a successful side business. My husband turned the big 3-0, and we celebrated in Florida with our best friends. Our son turned 2, and has grown so much in 10 months…..he continues to amaze us everyday. I turned 27, and although it wasn’t a milestone birthday, I felt very happy and fortunate to be healthy and celebrating another year older and wiser. We had many great mini vacations as a family and enjoyed watching our first garden flourish and grow this summer. We welcomed our beautiful baby girl, Maci in November and she is the perfect addition to complete our family. 2013 was also full of challenges and some disappointments, but the good ALWAYS outweighs the bad! As we start 2014, I have a positive outlook, a happy heart & a peaceful soul. I know 2014 will be a great year for our family, and I’m looking forward to all the blessings, challenges and opportunities it may bring!

I greatly appreciate all of my blog followers and I want you to know there will be more tutorials, recipes, tips and DIY posts coming soon! I have been enjoying my maternity leave home with my children and I appreciate your support while I take a brief hiatus. Many good thing to come though in 2014!

My mom gave me this idea to start a jar full of memories in 2014. I’m going to write down any memorable events, moments or important things I want to remember in 2014 and put them in a mason jar. On Dec. 31, 2014 I will open the jar and read all of the great things that happened. What a great way to reflect on the year!

Also we are starting the 52 Week Money Challenge again (see my post from last year). Instead of weekly, which is hard to remember, you can figure out the average and make monthly deposits. That’s what we plan on doing and I set up auto transfers from our checking to our savings account so I don’t have to think about it every month. Other options are figuring out the average weekly amount so it’s the same amount every week or starting with week 52 and going backwards so you don’t have the higher deposits during the holidays. What will you do with your savings next year?

I wish you all a great 2014, and thank you for your support!

– Kelsey