Orange Cheesecake Brownie Cupcakes

Orange Cheesecake Brownie Cupcakes

I LOVE brownies and I LOVE cheesecake…putting the two together is absolute heaven.  These little gems are SO tasty and fairly easy to make.  I have made them with both regular sugar and Swerve (erythritol) and they have turned out great both ways.  They also work nicely in a mini-muffin cup for an even smaller bite-sized treat.  I have not tried them in anything but the silicone liners though so I’m not sure how they’d do in a paper liner…I think they have enough fat in them that they would slip right out but I can’t say for sure.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Ingredients

Orange Cheesecake Layer:
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener or your favorite sweetener (or powdered sugar 1:1 swap)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. orange flavor extract
Brownie Layer:
  • 8 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup Swerve Sweetener or your favorite sweetener (or granulated sugar 1:1 swap)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and set 16 silicone muffin cups on a large baking sheet.
  2. For the cheesecake layer, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered erythritol (or sugar) until smooth. Beat in egg until well combined.  Add orange zest and orange flavor extract and beat until smooth and well mixed. Set aside.
  3. For the brownie layer, in a medium sauce pan, melt butter and coconut oil over low heat, add cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Stir in erythritol (or sugar) and vanilla extract. Let cool 10 minutes.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
  5. Spoon 2 Tbsp. of brownie batter into the bottom of each muffin cup.
  6. Spoon 1 Tbsp. cheesecake mixture over top and use a toothpick to swirl layers together, bringing some of the brownie mixture to the surface.
  7. Bake 20 minutes, or until sides are set and the middle is just barely jiggling. Remove from oven and let cool 20 minutes, then refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Orange Cheesecake Brownie Cupcakes 2

This recipe is an adapted from All Day I Dream About Food’s Raspberry Cheesecake Swirl Brownies.

Shared at:

Gluten Free Tuesday, 5 Ingredient Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Gluten-Free Fridays, Wednesday Extravaganza

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Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies (2 net carbs!)

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This has got to be one of the easiest cookie recipes on the planet!  It’s really just a standard flour-less peanut butter cookie recipe, I just replaced the sugar with erythritol and it’s only 4 ingredients, one mixing bowl, one spoon and one cookie sheet! Oh, and if you eat them all in one day then you won’t even need to dirty a container to store them in (although this is not recommended unless you are sharing!).

I am very new to the low-carb baking world so I am limited in my knowledge of sugar replacements…so far I have only successfully used Swerve Sweetener, which is erythritol.  It is highly recommended by Carolyn at All Day I Dream About Food, which is my absolute favorite low carb blog…she is a genius in the kitchen and every recipe I have tried has been AWESOME!  I like especially like Swerve since it subs 1:1 for sugar in just about any recipe…this takes all the guess-work out of substitutions also, it has no weird after-taste and won’t upset your digestive system!  I do also love stevia as a sweetener but I have yet to master using it alone in baking.  If you are not interested in a low carb version of this cookie it is easy to sub in your favorite unrefined sugar of choice, I think they would be fabulous with coconut palm sugar.

Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup organic unsweetened peanut butter, room temperature
1 1⁄8 cup erythritol (I used Swerve)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.In a large mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, 1 cup erythritol, egg, and vanilla, stir well with a spoon. Roll the dough into 1″ balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. With a fork, dipped in sugar replacement to prevent sticking, press a crisscross design on each cookie. Bake for 12 minutes, turning the cookie sheet halfway through baking, remove from the oven, and sprinkle the cookies with some of the remaining sugar replacement. Cool slightly before removing from the pan to a wire cooling rack.
Makes 16 cookies.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

This is a super easy recipe that is packed full of flavor!

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Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

4 sweet bell peppers (any color you prefer)

2 – 4 oz. cans diced green chiles

1 pound ground beef, pork or turkey

1 egg

1 cup cilantro, finely chopped

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. sea salt

4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a medium bowl combine chiles with ground meat and egg, add cilantro, cumin, chili powder and salt, mix thoroughly.  Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the ribs and seeds.  Slice each pepper in half lengthwise, or optionally leave them whole. Place each half or whole pepper cut side up into a 9×13 (for halves) or 8×8 (for whole) Pyrex baking dish.  Divide the meat mixture evenly between the pepper halves or wholes.  Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.  Top each pepper with 1/2 – 1 ounce of shredded cheese and bake for 15 additional minutes, if you are not using the cheese bake peppers for a total of 60 minutes uncovered.
Garnish with chopped tomatoes, scallions and avocado…maybe even a dollop of sour cream!

This recipe is shared at: Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza

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Stuffed and ready for the oven.

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You can bake them with or without the tops.

Chicken Wings…Spicy, Savory and Sweet!

Chicken Wings…

Hello Lover…

I hate to admit it but I’m hopelessly addicted.  It started innocently with a fabulous recipe from Paleo Comfort Foods for Spicy Chicken Wings and then I branched out to a second wing recipe, Garlic Parmesan and now I’ve added a third wing recipe to the mix…Honey Dijon.  Holy cow…what’s next?

This past week as my husband and I were diving into a huge plate of wings (I was still only in the two recipe mode) we commented on how long we’ve been on the path in search of the perfect “home-made” wing.  We reminisced about the countless ways we’ve tried to make them…we’ve grilled them, deep-fried them (breaded and not), shallow pan-fried them, roasted them…in glass pans, foil pans and on baking racks, we’ve steamed them, chilled them and then baked them (courtesy of Alton Brown)…Oy Vey!

I’m happy to report that I have finally settled on the best way to make chicken wings…OFTEN.  But, in all seriousness, I have found that my favorite way is to pat them dry (this is necessary for a crispy skin so don’t skip it!) and bake them at a high temp on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 30 minutes…they are juicy and crispy with very little mess!

Classic Hot Wings…my current favorite.

Spicy Chicken Wings

1 pound chicken wings

salt

2 Tbsp. butter

1/4 cup hot sauce (I like Franks Red Hot)

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp white pepper

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp celery seed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Rinse the wings and then transfer to paper towels and pat them dry.   Sprinkle with salt and place skin side up onto the lined baking sheet.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.  While the wings are baking combine the remaining ingredients in a large sauce pan and heat over low heat until butter is melted and sauce is combined.  Remove the wings from the oven and toss in the sauce to coat.  Serve immediately.

A perfect compliment to the hot wing…

Garlic Parmesan Wings

1 pound chicken wings

1 tsp. Mexican oregano

1 tsp. rosemary

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cumin

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. basil

1 Tbsp. chopped garlic

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Rinse the wings and then transfer them to paper towels and pat them dry.  In large bowl, whisk together oregano, rosemary, cumin and salt. Add chicken wings and toss to coat, making sure that all wings get some of the herb mixture.  Place skin side up onto the parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.  In another large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, basil, chopped garlic and Parmesan cheese. Add cooked wings and toss well to coat.  Serve warm.

The newest addition…we call this one “dessert”

Honey Dijon Chicken Wings

1 pound chicken wings

salt

2 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1/4 cup honey

dash of cayenne

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Rinse the wings and then transfer to paper towels and pat them dry.   Sprinkle with salt and place skin side up onto the lined baking sheet.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.  While the wings are baking combine the remaining ingredients in a large sauce pan and heat over low heat until butter is melted and sauce is combined.  Remove the wings from the oven and toss in the sauce to coat.  Serve immediately.

Serve wings with ranch or blue cheese for dipping along with a nice side of raw carrot and celery sticks for good measure!

This recipe is shared at:

 Tasty Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Fight Back Friday, Fill Those Jars Fridays

Italian Bacon~Spinach~Tomato Mini Frittatas

This a simple recipe that uses fresh and flavorful ingredients and it’s easy to put together.  I used raw milk cheese in mine but if you are dairy-free you can simply leave it out.  Enjoy this high protein, low carb dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a nice side salad or even some oven-roasted sweet potatoes.

Pastured eggs, nitrate-free bacon, vine ripe tomatoes, baby spinach and raw milk cheese…beautiful!

Italian Bacon~Spinach~Tomato Mini Frittatas

This recipe makes two servings (the photo above was for one).

Ingredients:

4 pastured eggs

4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 large tomatoes, sliced thin and seeded

1 ounce baby spinach

2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 4 ramekins or 2 individual size serving dishes, set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together eggs and Italian seasoning.

In each dish layer tomatoes, spinach, cheese and bacon…depending on the size of your dish you should have enough room to repeat the layers.

Pour the whisked eggs over the layered ingredients evenly (about 1/4 cup in each ramekin).

Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are set.

Baked to perfection!

You can pop these easily out of the ramekins or serve them directly in the baking dish.  Either way…Delish!

This recipe is shared at:

Fill Those Jars Fridays, Fresh Bites Fridays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays, Made From Scratch Mondays

Grilled Pineapple-Pepper Pork Chops

Grilled Pineapple-Pepper Pork Chops with Squash Chips

This is a super simple recipe (adapted from here) that can be prepped ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer.  When you are ready to eat just pull them out and pop them on the grill, voila…dinner!  I used to make these all the time using a store-bought teriyaki sauce but once I cut sugar and soy from my diet that wasn’t really an option.  I finally found a great recipe for a homemade teriyaki sauce (adapted from here) that I substituted pineapple juice for the sugar and coconut aminos for the soy sauce…I have to say, it came out great!  So, these will definitely be back on our menu rotation!

Grilled Pineapple-Pepper Pork Chops

 1 boneless pork chop per person

1 slice red onion per person

1 bell pepper ring per person

1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple chunks per person

1 1/2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce per person (recipe follows)

1 Tbsp butter, ghee or coconut oil per person

salt and pepper

For each serving, lay a pork chop on a large square of heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Top each chop with onion, pepper and pineapple chunks.

Drizzle with the pineapple-pepper teriyaki sauce and top with butter, ghee or coconut oil.

Wrap tightly in the foil, rolling ends to completely seal the package.

At this point you can freeze or refrigerate the packets.

When ready to eat, place the packets directly on a preheated grill for 15-20 minutes.  Check to see if the pork chop is cooked through; re-wrap and cook a little longer, if necessary.  Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Pineapple-Pepper Teriyaki Sauce

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice (reserved from can of chunks)

2 1/2 Tbsp. water

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (balsamic would be nice as well!)

2 Tbsp. coconut aminos

2 tsp. arrowroot

2 tsp. minced fresh ginger

In a small saucepan, combine jalapeno, pineapple juice, water, vinegar, coconut aminos and arrowroot.  Heat on medium-high and bring to a boil.  Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in ginger.

This recipe is shared at:

Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Made From Scratch Mondays

Real Food Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesday

Green Chile Chicken Fajita Frittata

A Frittata by definition is an egg based dish similar to an omelette or Quiche, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables and pastas.  It may also be flavored with herbs.  Unlike an omelette, which is traditionally made to order for one, a frittata can be made in a larger pan, sliced and served family style.  Frittatas are extremely versatile, they are classically made for breakfast or brunch but are also great for a light supper.  I like my frittatas hot, however they are great at room temperature or even cold out of the refrigerator.  The possibilities are endless for ingredients and flavors…

Green Chile Chicken Frittata with Avocado Slices

Green Chile Chicken Fajita Frittata (serves 2 generously)

4 eggs

1 Tablespoon water

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

pinch of black pepper

1 – 4 oz can green chiles

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

4 medium mushrooms, diced

1 teaspoon minced garlic

4 ounces cooked chicken (breast, thigh or rotisserie)

Butter, coconut oil or lard

Sliced avocado, salsa and chopped cilantro for garnish

Preheat broiler.  Whisk eggs, water, chili powder, salt, pepper and green chiles in a medium bowl until frothy and set aside.  In a 10″ oven safe skillet melt fat over medium heat, add onions, peppers, mushrooms and garlic, cook until vegetables are soft.  Add chicken and stir to combine with vegetables.  Lower heat to medium-low.  Pour egg mixture evenly over chicken and vegetables.  Cook the frittata slowly until the eggs are set almost all the way through.  Shake the pan occasionally during cooking to ensure the frittata isn’t sticking to the bottom.  Place the pan under the broiler for 3 – 5 minutes to set the top of the frittata completely.  Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.  Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.  Garnish with avocado, salsa and chopped cilantro.

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love, Make Ahead Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Jicama and Sausage Breakfast Pie

Check out that jicama crust!

Everyone says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day…I don’t know whether or not that’s true but I DO know it’s my favorite meal of the day…even if I’m eating it at 6 o’clock in the evening!  Since starting the Whole 30 Program I’ve been dairy-free which really made it difficult to navigate most of my previous breakfast go-to recipes which usually contained some sort of dairy (cream, butter, raw milk cheese, Parmesan…).  Oh sure, I was able to adapt my omelets and frittatas easy enough but some of my favorite breakfast casseroles just don’t work without the dairy!   This recipe is an adaptation of Jan’s Sushi Bar’s Sausage Mushroom Breakfast Casserole, her recipe calls for sweet potatoes as the crust, which is absolutely wonderful, I just prefer a lower carb/glycemic breakfast (and one that I can eat everyday).  I have often used jicama as a substitution for potatoes in latkes or hash browns and it worked beautifully in this recipe as well.  This is a really hearty, filling dish that would be great for any meal of the day and it keeps well for leftovers, too.  Now, I will say that this recipe is a bit labor intensive, nothing difficult, just a lot of steps…you won’t be disappointed though, it’s totally worth it!  I know that in these pictures it looks like I’ve loaded the casserole up with lots of gooey cheddar cheese but the bright yellow color is actually from my pastured eggs from Larga Vista Ranch, the yolks are always SO yellow!

Layers of yummy goodness!

Jicama and Sausage Breakfast Pie

serves 4

12-14 ounce jicama (weight is before peeling and shredding)
8 ounces ground pork, seasoned** (or your favorite breakfast sausage)
4 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1  tablespoon coconut oil, divided
1/2 medium roasted red bell pepper, peeled, seeded and chopped (I used Mediterranean Organic jarred peppers)
1/4 large onion, diced
6 eggs
3 ounces coconut milk (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a glass pie pan or an 8×8 Pyrex dish with 1/2 tablespoon of the coconut oil.

Peel the jicama and run it through the shredder disc of your food processor, or shred it using the large holes of a box grater. Place the shredded jicama in a large bowl and generously sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, stir and then set aside.

Crumble the sausage into a large, heavy skillet and cook over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Remove with a slotted spoon to a medium bowl and set aside.

Without draining the fat, reduce the heat slightly and add the mushrooms in a single layer to the skillet. Don’t crowd them – you want them nicely browned and almost crisp.  Too many in the pan at once will cause them to steam, rather than brown, once they begin to give off moisture. Cook them in batches if necessary. Once they are nicely browned, remove with a slotted spoon and add them to the sausage.  (I know you may want to just throw them all in the pan and be done with it but this step is important…the crispy mushrooms add a lovely texture to the casserole…don’t skip it!)

Add 1/2 tablespoon of the coconut oil to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the onions until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and add to the bowl with the sausage and mushrooms.

Lightly toss the roasted, chopped bell pepper with the sausage, mushrooms and onions. Set aside.

Pour the shredded jicama into a colander lined with a kitchen towel and squeeze as much liquid out as possible.  Return them to a dry bowl and toss them with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, then spread them over the bottom and sides of the greased baking dish (just the bottom if using an 8×8 dish). Sprinkle the sausage/mushroom mixture evenly over the jicama, covering it as completely as possible.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and coconut milk together with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until well-blended. Pour the egg mixture over the sausage and jicama in the baking dish, making sure the eggs are distributed evenly.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the eggs are set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the foil and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes to brown the top. Allow to rest for 10 minutes; cut into 4 equal portions and serve.

**I use fresh ground pork and season it to my liking for breakfast sausage rather than buying pre-made breakfast sausage because most of them contain some sort of sweetener…

Here is what I use for 8 ounces of ground pork:

1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon ground sage

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Voila! Dairy-Free Breakfast Pie!

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday & Monday Mania

Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday & Tasty Tuesday

Gluten-Free Wednesdays & This Chick Cooks

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Butter Cups

I grew up eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups…I loved them, especially when they came out with the Reese’s Miniatures…those babies were so fun (and easy!) to eat.  I still crave peanut butter and chocolate…probably more often than I should but now I have found a lovely little alternative that satisfies my craving and nourishes my body all at the same time.  In this recipe I used almond butter and macadamia nuts but you could easily substitute any nut butter or nut that you like in their place.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Butter Cups

 Chocolate Macadamia Nut Butter Cups

24 whole raw macadamia nuts

6 Tbsp shredded coconut

6 Tbsp raw cacao powder

6 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

6 oz coconut butter or manna, softened

Pinch of Celtic sea salt

1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract

1/4 – 1/2 tsp liquid stevia (optional)

2 Tbsp almond butter

24 mini cupcake liners

Line a mini muffin pan with the 24 cupcake liners.  In a medium bowl combine coconut, coconut oil, cacao powder, coconut butter, salt, vanilla and stevia (if using).  Stir ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Spoon the mixture into the paper liners evenly.  Using a small spoon place a 1/4 tsp dollop of almond butter on top of each candy, place the macadamia nut on top of the almond butter and press the nut lightly down into the cup.  Put the muffin pan into the refrigerator to chill the candies, about 30 minutes.  Keep refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Taste just like a Reese's to me...

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday & Tasty Tuesday

Gluten-Free Wednesdays & Wellness Weekend

Almond Butter Coconut Bites

These Almond Butter Coconut Bites are the perfect little “primal” treat.  They will satisfy any sweet tooth with just one (ok, maybe two) bites!  Again, these are easy to customize to your own taste…substitute your favorite nut or seed butter for the almond butter and any sweetener for the coconut nectar…and go crazy on the toppings too!

Almond Butter Coconut Bites:

Almond Butter Coconut Bites

1/4 cup coconut oil (softened)

1/3 cup almond butter

2 tsp. coconut nectar

3 Tbsp. shredded coconut

1/2 oz. dark chocolate, grated

sea salt

Mix coconut oil, almond butter, 2 Tbsp. coconut and coconut nectar together in a bowl.  Spread onto a small parchment lined pan (see note below), sprinkle with a dash of sea salt, the grated dark chocolate and 1 Tbsp. of shredded coconut. Freeze for one hour and then cut into 12 small squares.  Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the freezer.

**I live in Colorado and do not have air conditioner in my home so my mixture was very runny and there was NO way I could spread and shape this mixture on any kind of pan with out sides so I opted to use a nut butter cup candy mold…worked like a charm!  A small casserole dish would probably work nicely as well…

This Recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays & Tasty Tuesdays

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