Category Archives: Low Carb

Crispy Latin Chickpeas

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I love an easy healthy snack that’s not only packed with flavor and crunchy, but has no added fat and provides health benefits!  To this end, I have perfected my oven roasted chickpea (aka garbanzo bean) recipe.

Chickpeas are good for you! They’re loaded with insoluble fiber and promote a healthy digestive system, and studies have shown that they provide more appetite satiety when compared gram for gram with other sources of fiber.  1 cup can provide you with 85% of your daily recommended antioxidants. Garbanzos can even help regulate blood sugar!  These and many more health benefits are detailed on one of my favorite sources for nutrition information, World’s Healthiest Foods.

As I mentioned, these chickpeas are super easy to prepare!  First, rinse well and drain your beans.  If you’re using beans you’ve cooked yourself (instead of canned) and they’re completely dry on the surface, go ahead and give them a rinse.  Since we’re not using oil, we need a little moisture for the seasoning to adhere properly!

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While your beans drain, grab a zip top bag – gallon or sandwich size is fine.  Add all of your spices to the bag.

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Add your damp (but not dripping!) chickpeas to the bag and shake, shake, shake!  When the beans are evenly coated,  dump them onto your favorite baking sheet and distribute evenly.

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Bake at 375° for about 25 minutes, depending on desired crispness.  Serve warm or cooled!

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Crispy Latin Chickpeas

1 15 oz can garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) or about 1 cup precooked garbanzos
3/8 t salt
1/4 t cumin
1/4 t smoked paprika
1/4 t cilantro
1/8 t garlic powder

Rinse beans well and drain.  Combine seasoning in a zip top bag, then add drained (but still damp) beans to same bag.  Shake until beans are evenly coated, then spread evenly on ungreased baking sheet (with edges to keep beans from rolling off!) Bake at 375° for 25 minutes,  stirring half way through for even crisping.  This will produce chickpeas with a light crisp on the outside but a fluffy inside.  If you like less crisp, cook 10 minutes less.  If you prefer more crunch, cook 10 minutes more.   Eat warm or cooled! 

Spinach, Feta and Mozz Chicken Roll-Ups

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Yes, you read that correctly.  Spinach, feta, and mozzarella cheese stuffed chicken.  And yes, it’s wonderful.

As you may have read already, I’ve developed a slight obsession with spinach and feta, thanks to our wonderful friends Matt and Alison. They introduced me to feta cheese when they had us over for pita pockets one night.  Love at first bite.  Anyhow, at this point, I’m sure you’re ready for the recipe, so here it is, folks!

Spinach, Feta and Mozz Chicken Roll-Ups

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fat removed

3/4 C fresh baby spinach leaves

2 T feta cheese

3 T shredded mozzarella cheese

salt

pepper

garlic

basil

Preheat oven to 350º.  Place each chicken breast seperately in a gallon-size zip top bag and pound each out with a meat mallet until about 3/8″ thick all over.  Remove from zip top bags and season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic, and basil.  Chop your spinach into small pieces.  I like to roll mine up and do a chiffonade cut, but that’s up to you.  Place about 1/3 of your spinach onto the center of each chicken breast.  Now top the spinach with about 2 t of feta cheese and 1 T of mozzarella cheese.

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Roll up each piece of chicken, tucking in the sides as you go, and pin into place with toothpicks.  (Try to do a better job than I did at keeping all of your filling inside your chicken roll)  Use as many as you need, but keep count so you can be sure to remove them all after cooking!

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Now heat some cooking oil (I use coconut oil) in a frying pan and sear both sides of your chicken rolls.  I cooked mine for about 3 minutes on each side.  If I hadn’t been rushing it, I would have let each side cook just a little longer, until a nice golden brown.  I was in a hurry.

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Remove your chicken roll-ups from the frying pan and place them into a foil-covered baking pan (I used a plain old 9×13 pan) and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before cutting them open.  You can top them with a bit of colby jack cheese if you’d like.  Now enjoy!

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Cupcake’s Homemade Taco Seasoning

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I love tacos.  But no taco is good without great taco seasoning!  After looking at the ingredients in the packets I used to buy at the store without thinking about it, I was mortified.  And thus, I set out to create my own taco seasoning.  Here’s what I came up with!

Taco Seasoning

Cupcake’s Homemade Taco Seasoning

For a single serving:

  • 1 T Chili Powder
  • 2 t Onion Powder
  • 1 t Cumin
  • 1 t Garlic Powder
  • 1 t Paprika
  • 1 t Ground Oregano
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1/4 t Cayenne Pepper (Optional)

Or if you’d like to make up a 12 oz jar like I do:

  • 1/2 C + 1 T Chili Powder
  • 1/4 C + 2 T Onion Powder
  • 3 T Cumin
  • 3 T Garlic Powder
  • 3 T Paprika
  • 3 T Ground Oregano
  • 3 T Salt
  • 2 1/4 t Cayenne Pepper (Optional)

Brown your ground beef, turkey, or chicken.  Also works well with shredded chicken!  Drain excess grease.  Add 3 T of Cupcake’s Taco Seasoning and 1/2 cup of water for every pound of meat.  Stir.  Simmer on med/low until water is gone, stirring occasionally.

I didn’t think to get a photo, but I must say this is gorgeous in the jar before you shake it all up – you’ll see lovely browns, reds, and greens in beautiful cascading layers… It would make a lovely gift for someone.  Just put it in a jar with a ribbon on top, add a label with ingredients and cooking instructions, and you’re all set.  🙂

As you can see, it makes a lovely taco salad… large bed of lettuce, black beans, ground turkey taco meat, freshly grated cheese… Yum!

Taco Salad

 

Spinach and Feta Egg Puffins

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So I’ve seen similar things on Pinterest lately.  You throw meat (normally bacon) into a muffin pan, fill it with eggs and cheese and such, and you have a tasty breakfast muffin-type thing.  It looked interesting, but I wanted to put my own spin on it, of course.  Love bacon, but it’s not always necessary for a tasty breakfast, and it doesn’t exactly fall into my “all natural, no crap” diet.  And I’ve been obsessed with my newfound love of spinach and feta lately.

I had a hard time figuring out what to call them.  “Muffin” screams carbs to me.  “Protein cake” doesn’t work because it’s not a cake.  “Protein muffin” is a maybe, but it’s boring, and still not carby.  But “puffin”.  The protein muffin “puffin” works for me.  Almost went as far as to call it an “egg puffin”… then “egg mcpuffin” came to mind, but I hate McDonalds and want nothing to do with it whatsoever.  😉

So there you have it, folks.  The Spinach and Feta Egg Puffin.  It’s pretty simple:

 

Next, bake those suckers at 350º for 15-20 minutes.  20 gives you a hard-boiled egg consistency.  15 gives you runny yolks.

And look what happens!  Oh glory!

 

 

As you can see, I cooked mine for 20 minutes because I’m paranoid about getting runny whites, but next time I’ll put my paranoia aside and only cook these for 15 minutes.  Either way though, they taste amazing!  They puff up some as they bake (thus “puffins” was even more appropriate) and the flavors somehow all meld together.  Something this good shouldn’t take just 5 minutes prep time, but guess what!  It does!

If you try my puffins, let me know what other ingredients you try with them!