Nika’s Salsa – Keto Friendly Salsa – Authentic Salsa

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I know this blog is long overdue and much anticipated by many. For years now I have had friends dropping off empty jars and a few bucks to cover ingredients because they love this salsa so much. It is time to share the recipe with the world. If you want the video, you will hear me explain that I am never going to jar and sell it, so I want to share it!

We are Native Arizonans. My husband and I both spent about 30 years or so in Arizona. If you asked me to pick just one thing I miss about AZ I would be torn between the mountains, my family, the authentic Mexican food and the sunsets. But, at the end of the day it would be the food. Haha. Just kidding Mom, :). We moved to North Carolina five years ago and absolutely love it here. But, I will tell you, authentic Mexican food is sparse here. Especially salsa! I may have done something crazy and flown a batch of it home from my favorite restaurant back in AZ just to try and get as close to the recipe as I could. I would thaw little bits each time I tried a new recipe until I got as close as I could. And, my salsa was born. ūüôā

Enjoy! You can watch the video for a thorough description. Don’t judge, it is literally my first YouTube video ever. I didn’t do my hair or makeup beforehand. I didn’t have the forethought to not get caught coughing up a storm from inhaling pepper. So, enjoy, laugh and have fun making this!

What You Need

2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes

1 bunch of fresh cilantro
(I wasn’t going to say it… but I am going to say it. Check the tie around it if you are unsure – cilantro and parsley are near each other in the produce section and look similar in that they are green, fluffy and leafy… cilantro has a very distinct scent and larger leaves).

2 tbs fresh garlic (or 4-5 fresh cloves)

Lime juice – I use the stuff in a bottle, you can use it out a lime too, in which case 2 large limes would be ideal.

1 tbs onion powder

Salt to taste (you’ll start with 2 tsp and work your way up)

1 tsp Mexican Oregano

Dried Chili Peppers (4 to 15 to taste)

Green onions (optional)

Olive oil (optional)

What to Do

  1. Wash and pat dry your cilantro, once it is dry chop loosely, you’ll want the entire bunch. I am going to shamelessly plug out favorite knife right here. It is the only thing we still own that my husband owned when we met 10 years ago. It is a Cutco knife and with 20 other knives in the house I reach for this one 100% of the time.
  2. Get your food processor ready to go. I have an older version of this Hamilton Beach one and I love it. I use it for salsa, grating cheese, etc. I used to use our Ninja Blender too. Either one works really.
  3. Open your canned tomatoes ahead of time.
  4. Place 4 – 15 dried chili peppers in your food processor. This is IMPORTANT, read first. We love it spicy, like make you cry, kind of spicy. If you can’t handle much spice go with 4, if you like a little kick, try 7, a healthy spice 10-11, make you cry is 12-15 range. The fresher your peppers are the spicier they will be. If they have been sitting in an open bag on the shelf for awhile they will be less spicy.
  5. This is also very important. Tomatoes are next, be ready to go from peppers to tomatoes quickly without breathing in. You will thank me if you do this correctly. Turn the food processor on high and blend the peppers alone until they are ground red pepper. Before you open that lid be ready to hold your breath.
  6. Open the lid, pour the tomatoes over the top of the peppers evenly and close. Let it sit for a second. This should settle the pepper so you can open the lid to put everything else in while breathing :).
  7. Add lime juice. If you are using bottled lime juice, seven quick squeezes will do. If you are pouring, seven quick small pours (like 7 tsp), if you are using fresh limes, the juice of about two limes should make around 7 tsp, use that.
  8. Add onion powder, fresh garlic (I wrote 2tbs in the recipe, in my video I say one heaping tablespoon, you will see by watching, it is basically 2 tbs), salt, oregano and evenly disperse the cilantro around.
  9. Pulse a few times until it is a consistency you are happy with. If after a few pulses it isn’t smooth enough for you, do it a few extra times. You can also add about 2-3tbs of olive oil to smooth it out if you would like. (I didn’t do this in the video)
  10. Taste, you’ll know if it is perfect. If it is missing something, that is salt. Add 1 tsp at a time until you get it right. We like things a little salty. I probably use 4 tsp in our batch.
  11. If you like green onions, chop them up and toss some in too. I personally LOVE adding them. But, my husband prefers it without, so I didn’t when I made this batch.
  12. Serve over our Carne Asada Bowls, Scrambled eggs, Tacos or just with pork rinds for a yummy low carb snack!

Macros (per 2tbs) makes 24 servings

Protein: 0g

Fat: 0g

Carbs: 1g

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The PERFECT Steak – Sous Vide and Grill Method

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It’s Steak Day here at KetoFam! Well, on the blog at least. Actual Steak Day is Sunday. It has been this way in our house for years! Steak Sunday is a real thing here and we LOVE it. Our whole family looks forward to it. Fun fact, the very first food we gave to all three KetoFam babies was a big hunk of ribeye. They all LOVED it. And… they never stopped! Their appreciation for a great, medium rare, steak is their saving grace on the days they challenge us the most as parents. We just remember this fun fact about them and decide, they can in fact stay. ūüôā

All kidding aside though, when we moved to North Carolina we discovered some great butcher shops and really became passionate about a great Ribeye. While our house was being built, we lived (four of us at the time, the tiniest version came later) in an 800 sq ft apartment. My husband would take these beautiful steaks out and cook some kick ass (yeah I said it) steaks on this tiny $20 Walmart charcoal grill under the stairs outside our apartment.

That was pretty much the beginning of Steak Sunday. Now, we shop around for the best quality steak at the best price and he has tried pretty much every steak cooking technique in the book. This is the sound, foolproof way he gets it perfect every time. That is important because sometimes we splurge on a few Prime steaks and you do not want to ruin those!

I am going to be link heavy for our favorite things in this post, just to help you get an idea of the best tools to keep in your kitchen for a perfect steak. Enjoy!

*You do not have to use Ribeye, I might judge you if you don’t, but anything will do. Ha, kidding. Use what you like!

What You Need


1lb Thick Cut Steak (we use Ribeye)

To choose the perfect steak – Specifically, when it comes to sous vide, you want a steak that’s thick enough to sear without overcooking. 1.5 to 2 inches is best. Avoid Select grade, you want at least Choice, but preferably Prime. The more marbling in the steak, the more juicier and flavorful it’ll be. We find great prices on Prime at Costco. Check your local butcher shops too. We also love Butcher’s Market.

A Sous Vide

This is a spiffy contraption that cooks, then holds meat at a specific temperature for a designated amount of time. It basically ensures you get perfectly cooked meat all of the time.

We now own this awesome Instant Pot that includes a Sous Vide feature. We try to keep the kitchen appliances to a minimum in our house – so choosing this one took some research, but we could not love it more. It has 11 features, the best being pressure cook, dehydrate, air fry, slow cook and sous vide. It really is the ultimate kitchen appliance.

Previously we used this Sous Vide, it worked great. You will need a 12 qt container to hold the water and meat in. I suggest this specific container, but really any 12 qt container with a lid will work.

A Vacuum Sealer

This would be my suggestion for a vacuum sealer, you will also need sealing bags.

A Grill

There are many ways to sear the outside of the steak, I will add other options later. But, for now I am putting just Gas Grill.

We have this Weber Grill attached to natural gas at our house and has been a very very worthwhile investment. It still looks brand new and is 5 years old.

What To Do

  1. Make sure your steak is vacuum sealed. We often buy ours in larger packs from Costco and just vacuum seal when we get home and freeze them. If you do this, just seal them in 1 – 2 packs. Then take it out to thaw the day before and keep it cool in the fridge until steak day.
  2. Fill your sous vide to the appropriate line with water, then preheat to 130 degrees.
  3. Once it has come to temperature, fully submerge the steaks (still sealed in the vacuum bag) in the water. Leave it there for 2 hours, on.
  4. About an hour and half into cooking, preheat the grill, all burners on full heat for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Take the steaks out of the sous vide, cut out of the bags and pat dry gently with a paper towel.
  6. Place steak on a plate, or we use a cookie sheet with a cooling rack. Season heavily on both sides (a lot burns off, better to do it heavily). We use Montreal Steak Seasoning.
  7. Place the steaks in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  8. Take the steaks out and sear on the grill for 1-2 minutes on each side, just until you get a nice dark brown char on the outside.
  9. Serve immediately. We usually pair it with a small side salad.
  10. ENJOY!

Chicken Clubs

As I was getting ready to make last night’s dinner, I was shocked to realize that I had not blogged this recipe before. This isn’t one we do frequently, but it has been around our house for awhile. It’s all of the deliciousness of a crispy chicken sandwich with no bread!

What You Need

4 thin boneless skinless chicken breast

1/2  cup almond flour (I use a lot of this and have found it’s best to order it here instead of paying $11/lb every week or so at the grocery store/0.

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 cups grated parmasean cheese

5 tbs paprika

4 tbs onion powder

3 tbs garlic salt

3 tbs garlic powder

3 tbs chili powder (optional)

4 eggs

Deep fryer or deep skillet (We have this deep fryer and love it)

You could also air fry these – we have THIS amazing 11 in 1 Instant Pot that air fries and would work for these too.

Peanut (or other high heat oil) for frying

Meat thermometer (We have this one, we’ve had it for a few years, it’s inexpensive, great quality and hasn’t let us down!)

The Execution

Flatten the chicken breast using a mallet

Mix all dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk thoroughly to break up and clumps.

In another large bowl break 4 eggs and mix thoroughly.

Then coat the chicken breasts in egg, then breading, one at a time.

For a good thick coating, after you have coated all four once, go back and put them one at at time in egg and through the breading again.

Place two of the chicken breasts into deep fryer, uncovered for 3-4 minutes at 350 degrees. (Use a meat thermometer to make sure they are around 165 when removed).

When you are done frying, set them aside and cook the other two.

While everything is cooking, slice tomatoes and onion and get out any other toppings you want. We use sliced cheese, tomato, onion, jalapeno , pickles, mayo.

Once chicken is all cooked, cut in half, place toppings on top of one half then then top with the other chicken breast!

Macros (per chicken breast, toppings not included)

Fat – 11.5g

Protein – 15.5g

Carbs – 4.75g

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Ribeye Carne Asada Taco Bowls

It’s Taco Tuesday, so what would be more fitting than a Taco Tuesday recipe, right?!

I think so.

So, without being too long winded, let me give you a little background how this specific AMAZING recipe came to be a very regular staple in our house. Both my husband and I are from Arizona. If you have ever spent any time in Southern Arizona, you know that very authentic, very amazing Mexican Food is not hard to come by.

When we moved across the country to North Carolina, this is a thing we have missed terribly. We have found a few places around here that are CLOSE, but nothing quite fits the bill. This is the same way my awesome salsa recipe came to be. That blog is coming soon, I promise!

We have tried SO many carne asada recipes. They have been good. But, carne asada that is delicious enough to stand on its own, without a tortilla, not so much. One day I was grocery shopping and a package of very thin sliced rib-eye caught my eye. I thought, “hey, maybe that will make some decent carne asada”. Well… that little thought? Life changing. Haha!

So, I bring you Ribeye Carne Asada Taco Bowls. They are super easy and insanely delicious!

What You Need
1-2 packages of thin sliced ribeye (not shaved) – We buy ours at Walmart and we buy 2 packages )1.5lbs total
Tajin Seasoning
Lime Juice
Fresh Cilantro, chopped
Onion, diced
Salsa
(You can add shredded cheese if you really want, but you do not need it! We have it out because our kids like it!)

What to Do
1. Prep your cilantro (chop it) and onion (diced), set aside
2. Preheat a pan. We use this cast iron pan and it is the best! I highly recommend it.
3. Place the steak in a bowl and pour a splash or lime juice in and mix it well.
4. Fry the steak, on high,  in the pan a couple slices at a time.


5. Once you have fried it all until it is brown (not crisp, just freshly turned brown), slice it all in one direction, then in the other so it is many small pieces.


6. Season the steak with a little bit of Tajin, then pour all of it into the pan. Fry for a few minutes until the edges start to crisp slightly, toss, and repeat until it all has a little bit of a crisp edge.

7. Serve in a bowl with a little bit of diced onion, cilantro and salsa.

Macros (per serving with 8oz of steak)

Fat: 40g
Protein: 44g
Carbs:  4g

French Toast Sticks – Gluten Free, Low Carb, Keto, Grain Free

This is another one of those “easy to make” breakfasts that you can make the morning of or ahead of time and freeze! The recipe is for a single batch. You can easily double, triple, quadruple… whatever, the recipe and make lots!

What You Need

3 tbs almond flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 egg

1 1/2 tbs butter (melted)

1/2 tsp cinnamon 

1 tsp Pyure Stevia

 

What To Do

Mix together all the ingredients in a well greased microwave safe dish. A square or rectangle dish works best for this. If you feel like being fancy… hold the cinnamon, then sprinkle it on top and swirl it in. ¬†Microwave for 90 seconds. From this point it is up to you how you want to cut them when you remove them from the container. I cut them into sticks. If you have a toaster that is a great option to crisp them up. I used a cast iron pan to crisp mine up a little. I would do this step before freezing any that you plan to save for later. Serve alone or with a little sugar free syrup for dipping.

 

Macros

These are per each serving above.

Fat: 32g

Protein: 11g

Carbs: 3g net (6g total, 3g dietary fiber)

My Fitness Pal Link

Breakfast ideas for the keto kid, parent or family on the go!

Okay! Let’s talk breakfast! In our house we have two young boys with never-ending appetites! So… they seem to want breakfast every single morning – keto has not changed that in them. My husband and I stopped wanting breakfast every morning a long time ago. We usually tend to fast through breakfast. While I have been pregnant I have been a little more hungry than usual in the morning, but nothing a couple sausage links or cup of BPC won’t fix… I still don’t want a full plate of bacon and eggs or anything else like that. If you or your household is anything like mine, making a full, hot breakfast for the kids every single morning is just not ideal. So, browse this post and find all the recipes I have blogged or linked up. I keep ¬†batches of multiple options in the freezer at all times so that I can just heat up what the boys ask for in the morning. If your kids are older, they can even heat theirs up themselves in the morning. Just because all that easy, processed junk is out of our houses, that does not mean ¬†convenience has to be completely out the window… you just have to do a little prep once in awhile!

Keto Waffles! I love these because the recipe makes a ton, they freeze easily, reheat easily and are simply a staple in our house – we almost ALWAYS have them in the freezer.

PINTEREST LINK FOR WAFFLES

Chocolate Chip Mini Pancakes! This is another one that freezes well! This one is great to heat and run with, you can toss them in a paper towel or bag and eat them on the go! 

PINTEREST LINK FOR MINI PANCAKES

French Toast Sticks! These came to me after remembering how something my oldest loved back in the non-keto days from a fast food chain. So easy for a quick, easy breakfast! Also perfect from the freezer!

PINTERST LINK FOR FRENCH TOAST STICKS

Keto Pancake Sandwiches! If you ever loved drive-thru breakfast sandwiches, these are awesome. I keep all the separate pieces frozen in bags then pull out whats needed for one when they are requested and just heat it up and assemble. If hubby is hungry in the morning this is a great one to put in a piece of foil after heated and toss on top of his lunch box for him to grab on the way out the door. 

 

Bacon and Eggs… I mean this is an old standard. We buy the 3lbs of thick sliced bacon from costco, cut each pack in 1/2 (so we get 4 days of bacon per 3lbs) and bake. I place the bacon on a well greased, foil lined baking sheet and bake at 425 until desired doneness. For our eggs, I only scramble… just beat the eggs and add in some heavy whipping cream – cook on medium until fluffy. This seems like something you can’t do ahead, but leave it to me to figure that one out too. Buy THESE awesome meal prep containers – undercook your bacon and eggs. Portion some of both into the containers and freeze – remove the bacon when you heat up the eggs – the bacon only needs about 30 seconds in the microwave to unfreeze.

Another good one that I blogged as a snack, but is GREAT for running out the door are “granola” bars. These are quick and easy and take ZERO effort to prep.

PINTEREST LINK FOR GRANOLA BARS

These are some great ideas to really get you started! I will come back and add more as I cook / bake and photograph them!

Keto Waffles – Low Carb, Keto, Gluten Free

I love that keto waffles exist! I am not a fan of making a fresh cooked batch every single morning that they are requested however… so I make a ton and they freeze and reheat GREAT!

What You Need

8 eggs

8 oz cream cheese (softened)

1/2 cup butter (melted)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup Pyure Stevia

1 cup almond flour

3/4 cup coconut flour

1 tbsp baking powder

Water (as needed)

 

Makes 10 large waffles or 40 waffle pieces (my kids only eat 1 or 2 or a day so this recipe is awesome for us!).

How it’s made!

In a mixer or a blender, (I LOVE our blender and use it for a better mix on these),¬†¬†add all ingredients except the water. Blend or mix until smooth. ¬†You want the batter to be a little bit runny, if it is too thick, add in a little water and mix until smooth. Pour a small amount of batter into the waffle iron¬†(you don’t want to put too much or it’ll overflow, about 1/2 a cup of batter should do). Keto waffles can always use to cook about twice as long as it takes for that little green “finished” light to turn on. When you are finished let them cool, cut them and then you can put all the extras in a large plastic bag and freeze!¬†These freeze and re-heat perfect! This recipe makes 10 whole waffles for me!

Macros

Per whole waffle

Fat: 31g

Protein: 11g

Carbs: 1g net (6g total, 5g dietary fiber)

Mini Keto Chocolate Chip Pancakes – Grain Free, Sugar Free, Gluten Free

I know I am not the only one that is always looking to mix things up for breakfast options for the kiddos. Like many keto parents, I tend to fast through breakfast (though, now that we have our THIRD little boy on the way I do find myself hungry in the morning more often than usual). So… I am always looking for easy to make breakfasts that I can make in bulk for all those days I want the ease of a quick re-heat and serve. These are definitely one of those options. So, create, freeze and enjoy the convenience of these teeny tiny crowd pleasers!

What You Need

8 eggs

8 oz cream cheese (softened)

1/2 cup butter (melted)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup Pyure Stevia

1 cup almond flour

3/4 cup coconut flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 cup sugar free chocolate chips

Water (as needed)

 

Makes 36 regular mini pancakes or 72 mini pancakes.

How it’s made!

Preheat the oven to 350!

In a mixer or a blender, (I LOVE our blender and use it for a better mix on these), ¬†add all ingredients except the chocolate chips and water. Blend or mix until smooth. ¬†You want the batter to be a little bit runny, if it is too thick, add in a little water and mix until smooth. Add in the chocolate chips and mix with a spoon. Pour a small amount of batter ¬†(literally only enough to cover the bottom of each spot) into the bottom of well greased muffin tins. For teeny tiny cakes you can always use a mini tin (which is what is pictured here).¬†If you’d like a silicone version of that, click here. In this same batch I made muffin sized pancakes in our silicone muffin tins – those things are foolproof… all you do when it cools is turn them upside down and they fall out! These freeze and re-heat perfect!

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes. Watch them. When they are slightly browned and not squishy in the middle, the are done. The edges should be separating from the side of the pan a little.

Macros

Per regular mini-pancake

Fat: 9g

Protein: 3g

Carbs: 1g net (2g total, 1g dietary fiber)

Keto Gummies!

My kids LOVE these keto gummies! I am not even going to blog the recipe… I am just going to direct you to the one I follow! But, it took me forever to order the gummy bear mold and I have no clue why! This is the second time I have made gummies in these and it is such a breeze. My kids LOVE the little bears. I found these awesome little containers at the Dollar Tree the other day and they’re perfect for about 10 little bears. I keep them stacked on the bottom shelf of my fridge with all the other snacks that I leave right at the kids reach.

Keto Churros – Low Carb, Keto, Gluten Free, Sugar Free

I was browsing through saved recipes this morning to create our menu and grocery list when I happened upon a churro video (you know… the real kind with nasty sugar and real flour…). I was inspired to go make some keto churros! I have to tell you, I have made a TON of keto friendly treats. I almost never crave sweets, but my kids like treats, so I do it for them. The things I have made never pass the taste test for me… they tend to be fine for my kids, but if it doesn’t taste downright amazing, it isn’t worth eating to me. These… yeah, I’d eat them… probably a lot of them!

Ingredients

1 cup Water

1/3 cup Butter + 1/2 cup for coating later

1 1/2 tbs Granulated Stevia +2 tbs for sprinkling (I use Pyure, I highly suggest using this or Swerve)

1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt  (We also use these grinders and they are AWESOME!)

1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

1 tsp Baking Powder 

3/4 cup Almond Flour (buying it here will save you a ton!)

1/4 cup Coconut Flour

2 Eggs

1 1/2 tbs Cinnamon

 

The “How To”

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Place water, butter, 1 1/2 tbs of stevia, salt and vanilla into a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil.

3. While waiting for the above mixture to boil, in a dry bowl, mix together both flours and baking soda.

4. Once the wet ingredients have been removed from the stove, pour the flour mixture into the pot and fold together until well mixed. The dough should be almost (not completely though!) crumbly, if it is not, sprinkle in a little extra coconut flour at a time until it seems dry enough.

5. Crack both eggs into the pot and fold them in until well mixed. The dough should be very smooth.

6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

7. Use a rubber spatula¬†to place dough into either a large plastic bag and cut the end off. Or… get one of these AMAZING frosting guns like I have (that I use ALL the time)… and place the dough in there.

8. Squeeze dough out into mini-churro sized pieces (about 3-4 inches long) on the parchment paper.

9. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 10-15 minutes (until lightly golden brown).

10. While churros are baking, mix together extra stevia and cinnamon in a small bowl. Then, melt the extra butter in a separate bowl.

11. *You DO NOT have to do this step… it’s up to you. I had my deep fryer out and on, so I tossed the churros in there for about a minute to give them an extra crisp. They were perfectly delicious before I did this, so do not feel like you need to do this!

12. Brush churros with butter using a silicone basting brush, then take a pinch of the stevia/cinnamon mixture and sprinkle it over each one a little at a time.

13. Let them sit and dry, then you can toss them in a plastic bag to store in the pantry.

14. ENJOY!

 

MACROS  (per churro РI got 30 out of a batch)

Fat: 7g      Protein: 1g     Carbs: 1g (1g dietary fiber) 

*Though this recipe is technically 0g net carbs, knowing there is almond and coconut flour in it, I would go with 1g net carbs per churro.

 

To add it to your My Fitness Pal log:

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/view/269414238522541