Creamy Potato Omelets

This omelet is creamy and dreamy with lots of textures. It is filling so it will keep you full throughout the day. It makes a great brunch! This omelet is based off a brunch recipe my mom made all the time growing up.

My dad was always the adventurous- come up with your own recipes- lover of cooking. My mom, however, had (and still has somewhere in her pantry I’m sure) a yellow recipe box full of yummy comforting casseroles and hot dishes (my Minnesota roots are showing) that I still crave. We grew up on a lake, so my parents entertained a lot. One of the best parts of company was this Wagon Wheel Pie breakfast bake my mom would always make to feed a crowd. It features a layer of creamy potatoes, covered with an eggy bisquick layer baked into a round pie plate with sausage link “spokes”- hence the wagon wheel!

This recipe uses the same flavors and textures but is wrapped up in a protein packed and individual sized omelet! It sounds weird- but stick with me here. It is super good.

Make It!

Makes 2 omelets with lots of left over potatoes for on the side

  • 6 Baby Red Potatoes, cut in half then cut into thing “half moon” slices
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3-1 inch knobs of butter
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Course Ground Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 Cup Cooked Crumbled Breakfast Sausage OR your favorite meatless sausage cooked and chopped (I used Morningstar Farms Maple Sausage Patties chopped into bits to make approximately 1 cup
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 Cup softened Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup onion finely diced – try to use a decent quality sweeter onion. I like Vidalia
  • A good non-stick pan, a lid (a plate, anything that will cover your pan but not touch the eggs) and a flexible spatula. Plan ahead so your omelet doesn’t turn into scrambled eggs….

First make the Anytime Roasted Potatoes:

We make these ALL THE TIME. They are great for dinner, breakfast- anytime. Hence the name…

Crank up your oven to 475. On rimmed sheet pan drizzle a little olive oil (I used about a tablespoon) and pour in your sliced potatoes. Make sure they are spread out to form a thin layer. Place your peeled garlic cloves on your cutting board. Lay the flat side of your knife over the garlic (the broad side with the sharp blade facing away from you… don’t cut your hand off here) and using your fist pound down on knife to smash the garlic. You don’t need it pulverized… just so it opens up a little. Nestle the smashed cloves in with the potatoes. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, onion powder and give everything a VERY generous sprinkle of salt and course ground pepper. Give it all a little stir so the potatoes are covered. Take one of your 1 inch knobs of butter and cut it into 4 chunks and scatter around on top of your potatoes. Place in the oven and bake until toasty brown and amazing. Stir a few times during the cooking process so everything gets browned and be sure to squish that garlic to get all the garlicky goodness out! This takes about 25 minutes or so.

Creamy Sausage Filling:

Prepare the sausage according to the recipe instructions. You only need about 1 cup per 2 omelets. Full disclosure- as you can see from the ingredient list- I used meatless sausage here. I am NOT a fan of sausage, at all, anytime, any place, anywhere. I don’t like it Sam I am. But this recipe works either way, so use what you like!

Drain off the extra oil from the sausage if you went with the real stuff and let it cool down a little. You just don’t want it nuclear hot when you mix with the rest of the ingredients. Mix in your softened cream cheese and diced raw onions. Add a GENEROUS sprinkle of course pepper. Set aside while you make your omelet.

Lets do this Omelet Thing:

I get pretty detailed here- if you know how to make an omelet- feel free to skip ahead!

For YEARS I tried, and failed, to make an omelet. J actually taught me how to do it (something he will NEVER let me forget- that he taught me how to cook something). The key is: lots of butter, a clean non-stick pan (if you cooked your sausage in that pan, clean it before you make your omelet), and low heat. Do not rush this!

I make my omelets one at a time so keep them consistent. So I start with two eggs, whisk them really well. In a medium sized non-stick pan, add half your remaining butter over low heat- go with less heat until you get the hang of this. Let the butter melt (it should be melting slow… if it sizzles you need to turn down the heat) and swirl up the sides of your pan so the eggs do not stick to the sides. You want the whole pan to have a coating of butter anywhere your eggs will touch. Pour in your whisked eggs then DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING. Let the eggs start to solidify. Place your lid (or whatever you’re using) over your pan and let everything hang out for a minute or 2. Your goal is to let heat inside your pan help cook your eggs through so you don’t need your burner on too high of heat. Too much heat in the pan will make the eggs brown- which is a taste I am not a fan of- and could make them stick. Remove the lid- if your egg is mostly set (a bit of liquid on top is fine- we are looking for the whole bottom to be solid) give the eggs a bit of a gentle shake. All you are trying to do here is make sure the egg isn’t stuck to your pan anywhere. If anything is sticking give it a gentle nudge with your spatula. Your goal isn’t to break off any pieces, just to dislodge anything that’s stuck so you can slide it out of the pan easily once its time- not yet though!

Once the majority of your egg is set up- no more liquid- take half your sausage mixture and gently place a line down the center of your egg circle. Think burrito building here- you eventually have to roll it up so you can’t have it too full. Place a few of your cooked potatoes on top of your mixture- again- not too much! Replace your lid and let everything sit on the heat so the filling can reheat a little. If your pan seems too hot- you can remove it from the heat and just let the residual heat in your pan finish this step. After about a minute- all your eggs should be completely cooked by now- remove the lid and gently slide the WHOLE thing onto a plate. Take one side of your egg and gently lay it over the filling, then flip the whole folded part onto the remaining flap so you have created a little filled tube of eggy deliciousness. Wipe out your pan to make sure anything that fell out is out of the pan and repeat the whole step to make your other omelet (or save the ingredients for another day if you’re eating solo). Serve with some extra potatoes on the side! You can keep your omelet warm in a warm oven or by popping into a closed microwave to keep in the heat.

About that Wagon Wheel Pie…

Here it is if you want to make it- straight from my mom’s trusty yellow recipe box!

Please Save Me from Eating a Peanut Butter Cup and Ruining my Diet Peanut Butter Fluff

I am not really a sweet eater or craver- which is convenient when you avoid sugar like the plague.  BUT, my weakness of all weaknesses is peanut butter.  So when I do get a sweet craving this is my go to! Its super simple and stores well in the fridge.  I have been known to bring this with me in birthday situations when I know I’ll be tempted with cake, so I can vouch for is superb travel-ability!

Check out the variation at the end which is quite yummy as well!

Let’s Do This:

Makes about 2 servings

About ½ cup heavy whipping cream (your looking for a cup whipped)

1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter

2 Tablespoons cream cheese

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Your favorite keto sweetener to taste (I used stevia)

Combine the peanut butter and the cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 20 seconds to soften.  Meanwhile, whip your cream to a firm peak.  You can whip this in a mixer or by hand for an extra forearm workout! Don’t over whip or you will get butter so just keep an eye on it if you are using a mixer.   Remove the peanut butter/cream cheese mixture and whisk it up until creamy and all the lumps are gone.  Add your vanilla and combine.  Make sure your peanut butter mixture is not hot and gently fold into your whipped cream.   Sweeten to your taste (I really am not a fan of super sweet so I only added about half a pack of sweetener to mine, but do what tastes right to you).  Divide into two servings.  If you want to get real fancy, put a little unsweetened cocoa powder in a sifter and give it a gentle tap over the top of your dish for a chocolaty dusting.  

Variation:

Swap out the peanut butter for almond butter and swap out the vanilla for a dash of almond extract (it has a bitter bite to it, so a little goes a long way) and a pinch of cinnamon.  Top with a little drizzle of sugar free chocolate sauce for an almond-y chocolate rift on the original recipe! 

Indestructible and Conveniently Keto Alfredo Sauce

Over spaghetti squash with cubed tofu.. but all that stuff is up to you. This sauce would be good on a flip-flop.

By popular request…  behold, my secret weapon.  Alfredo sauce that wont break, reheats without separating and is also keto! When I gave up pasta I realized it wasn’t the noodle that I craved- it was the sauce! I find that if I make the sauce at home (so I know exactly what is in it- jarred sauces have a ton of hidden sugar) I can still have my “Pasta Fridays” but its just faux pasta now. 

I use this sauce about once a week- you just substitute some of the ingredients to give it a different style. I will include some of my favorites at the end.  Keep in mind- this sauce is totally a feel thing- its not hard but you may need to add a little more liquid or a little more cheese depending on the consistency.  That being said, my ingredients below are my best estimate.  

This is a keto recipe, so its REAL heavy on the fats.  If you want to lighten it up a little feel free to swap out the heavy cream with half and half or milk. 

Let’s do this!

Makes enough to serve 2 pretty large adult sized portions

¾ brick cream cheese

1 cup (have more just in case) parmesan cheese.  Use either a brick that you have grated or oddly enough the kind in the green sprinkle jar works well too. Pre-shredded will not work.  It will congeal in your sauce and cause the whole thing to seize up into a gloopy (is that a word?) mess…   no bueno

About 1/2 cup broth (typically chicken but anything will work)

½ cup heavy cream

½ stick butter

1 clove garlic chopped

A whisk.  I know its not an ingredient, but you need one.  I am surprised by how many people I know do not use whisks!   So don’t attempt this recipe until you have one…..   trust me.

Start by melting your butter in the pan over low heat.  Add in your garlic and cook until fragrant. While this is happening, put your cream cheese in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  When it comes out whisk it up so its creamy.  This will help it incorporate into your sauce more easily. 

Once your garlic is softened and smelling all yummy like it does, add in your cream cheese.  I stir it around a bit, let it warm in the pan.  Start to whisk in the broth.  Use your whisk to get out all the clumps. It should start to resemble a creamy sauce now.  

Now is where you have to feel it out.  Don’t worry- its hard to mess up but it still will take some experimenting on your part to get the consistency that you want.   Add in about half your cheese.   Let it melt.  Now add half your cream.   Let everything get melty and see where you are at.  If its too thick, add in your cream.  You can add more broth too!  I wouldn’t recommend adding more than half a cup of cream- if at that point you still need more liquid go with the broth.   If it is to thin then add more cheese- but keep in mind, the cheese will take a little time to melt so be patient and add  it little by little.  

Once you get the consistency you like, add in some fresh cracked pepper, salt to taste and your ready to go!  At this point you can use the sauce later and reheat (I just whisk in a bit more cream if its thickened), I’ve put it in a crock pot and held it on warm for a pasta party- seriously, its indestructible!

Serve over your favorite Keto noodle: shirataki noodles, zoodles, spaghetti squash, over meats without noodles or if you are really daring- cubed air fried firm tofu (I know. I’m weird- Tofu is my comfort food.  It is really yummy however)

Variations:

Okay so the sauce is essentially (1) a oil/butter type fat (2) cream cheese (3) a liquid so by arming yourself with this knowledge you can pretty much swap out anything but the cream cheese and get a creamy sauce!

  • Pan Sauce:  I call a pan sauce any sauce I make from the drippings in a pan after cooking meat.   So here we see steak that was cooked in a pad of butter and a drizzle of olive oil.  Those drippings you can use in place of the butter in the original recipe. The rest is the same.  In this picture I added cherry tomatoes and used it to top off the steak. 
  • BACON:  I mean… everything is better with bacon, right?   I cooked the bacon, removed it once crisp then used the drippings in place of the butter.  Add the bacon back in at the very end so it doesn’t get soggy. I topped it here with celery because, again, I’m weird.
  • Pink Sauce: The only thing better than alfredo is tomato alfredo!!  In this variety I added in about a tablespoon of tomato sauce before the cream cheese.  The rest of the recipe is the same, except I did not use as much broth. 
  • Tex-Mex: I cooked chicken with some taco spices in the pan. Used the drippings just like in variation #1. I added tablespoon of salsa and a sprinkle more of the taco spices and swapped out the parm cheese for a Mexican cheese blend and a dollop of sour cream. 

An Ode to my Love of Brussels Sprouts…

“Garlic Butter Squished Brussels Sprouts”

Served here with broiled steak and mashed cauliflower.

Ahh… brussels sprouts…. seems like people either love em or hate em. I am from the “love em” group. Remember that scene in Forest Gump when Bubba goes on and on about shrimp? That’s me. “ya got your pickled brussels sprouts, your aug rotten brussels spouts, your fried brussels sprouts….” I’ll spare you and just tell you about one of my new favorites: Squished Brussels Sprouts. Slightly crisp, buttery, garlicky- they remind me of fried potatoes!

My lovely parents allow me to use them as my guinnea pigs with my cooking pretty much every weekend when we visit. This was a recent test meal and it got the big thumbs up. For your viewing pleasure is a nice action shot of cooking that steak in the corner of that picture up there. We set off all the fire alarms multiple times and finished our meal prep with all the windows and doors open in the midst of a Wisconsin snow storm…. the usual for us. Notice Oscar the dog looking on with concern…

You Will Need:

About 1 dozen Brussels Sprouts (with the outer weird leaves removed)

3 cloves of garlic

1/2 stick butter

Grated Parmesan Cheese (you will use maybe 1/2 a cup total)

Start out by melting your butter in a small sauce pan over low heat to make your garlic butter. Once totally melted, add your cloves of garlic and let simmer away on low heat

You can totally make more of this butter and freeze it. I use it in tons of things- as a compound butter on steak, in mashed cauliflower, as a body moisturizer (okay, maybe not)… its super versatile.

In a pot of boiling water, boil your Brussels sprouts, whole, until they can easily be pierced with a knife. Drain.

On a greased pan lay out your sprouts. Leave enough room between for them to squish out and take up a little space.

Using a glass, gently push down on each sprout squishing it well but making sure not to go too far that the sprout breaks apart. If this doesn’t easily happen, throw them back into your water- they are not done.

Now return your attention to the butter. At this point it should have been simmering away, doing its magic, for a while. Take a wooden spoon and gently give the cloves of garlic a little smash. They should be golden brown, easily squished and there will likely be little bits in your butter- that is good! Squish all the flavor out of those little cloves.

Don’t. Throw. This. Stuff. Out! Let the extra cool and re-solidify, spoon onto some plastic wrap, elongate into a tub and twist off the ends. it will store in your fridge or even your freezer.

Using a sauce brush, generously brush the garlic butter over the sprouts then top with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and the Parmesan cheese.

Pop the squished sprouts under a broiler until the edges are crisp and the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

So- to answer any lingering questions, the steak that set off the smoke alarms turned out great. No dogs were harmed during its cooking process. The snow had to be pushed back outside on the deck and if you have never had the joy of checking out a Wisconsin lake in the winter, below is a photo snapped the next morning from my parents deck. That is a lake and yes those are cars and little houses right on the ice!

Ice fishing in Wisconsin!

Bestie Birthday Delivery!

Featuring Coconut Chicken Bites!

V, Chicken Nuggets and I go way back…

Chicken nuggets… I have fond, somewhat hazy memories of late night McDonald’s runs, munchies before heading out for a night at of fun, or just simple “girls nights” on the couch with snacks and sweatpants- Chicken nuggets always seemed to be a staple. So this year for a belated birthday get together I wanted to find something we both could snack on that was Keto-friendly. These little bites come out crunchy with a very mild coconut taste that makes you not miss the breading at all. Even the “non-coconut” fans in my house gobble these up!

My bestie V is pregnant! So I decided to come to her this year with a care package of snacks, N/A drinks and presents. With kids, life, ice storms- the birthday celebration looks a little different these days, but is filled with laughs, inside jokes and lots of memories just as it has always been. Here’s to another trip around the sun to my “sista from another Mista”!

V is that ride or die friend who would hop in then ask where we are riding to and why we are dying, assuming I must have good reason. In 14 years of friendship we have shared pregnancy, laughs, victories, failures, dreams, and adventures.

Let’s Do This…

Makes enough for 2 good sized servings with a few left overs (or for your best friend’s hubby to have some too- if you let him)

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • half a bag of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • A good pinch of smoked paprika

Lets start with that coconut. After making this a few times, I’ve concluded the best coating is half ground coconut and half shredded. The powder helps the coating stick and the shreds give it a fun texture. So, I throw about a cup of the shreds into my food processor and pulverize until you have a powder consistency. Toss in with the shredded coconut and add in a pinch of salt, pepper and a good sized pinch of smoked paprika.

Get yourself organized here before you start your chicken assembly line. It will help prevent you from making a huge mess and getting chicken, egg, coconut goop everywhere.

Start with your bowl of chicken, next to that set your whisked up eggs, and next to the place your coconut coating. Then you need a landing pad for those chicken pieces- I use a large baking pan.

It really helps to keep one hand out of the mess so you can grab something if need be- the faucet, a dropped spoon, a kid- whatever inevitably arises the minute you start a messy task in the kitchen. So, using your dominant hand, take few pieces of chicken, roll them in the egg then let the extra drip off. Then using the same hand, pop them into the coconut and roll them around, finally landing them on your sheet pan. Continue until all your chicken is coated.

Next we have to get your chicken crispy. You can bake, pan fry- whatever your set up to do. However- I highly recommend an air-fryer! I cooked them in batches on the french fry setting- as long as you don’t make your chicken chunks too large, they come out crispy and the chicken is cooked through.

Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce (or if you are like me ALL the dipping sauces mixed together).

It is Game Day! Let’s bust out the Buffalo Chicken Dip!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Truth be told, I could care less about the game. For me it is all about the commercials, the half-time show and, of course, the food!

I love a good dip… And from a Keto perspective, dips are super easy to stay on track while not missing out on the yum! Just swap out the chips for a crunchy veggie. I wouldn’t normally advocate eating a meal pretty much entirely comprised of cream cheese BUT if it’s either that or totally blowing it and chowing down on chips and pizza- it’s not a bad plan to get through those “special occasion food” situations. I often arrive at a party with a crock pot of my Buffalo Chicken Dip, a bag of chips to share and a bag of celery for me!

Below is one of my “go to” dip recipes- and if you have been to my house you have most likely had this dip! It is great on chips and veggies alike.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Did you know: 35 million people are enjoying dip on Super Bowl Sunday

Gather Together (Enough for one large crock pot of dip)

  • 2 bricks of cream cheese
  • 2 10 oz cans of shredded chicken breast meat, drained (more on this later)
  • 1 container of Hooters medium hot sauce
  • Half an onion, diced
  • 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounce container crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Celery sticks (for dipping)

I feel the need to defend my canned chicken choice here: There are only two instances in life I use canned chicken…. this is one of them (the other is in a chicken salad recipe I make, if you were curious). I’ve made this recipe with chicken I’ve baked and shredded myself and it just doesn’t taste the same! I am not sure what it is, but the canned shredded chicken really is the way to go here.

Start out by heating a tablespoon of olive oil on the stove over medium heat. Throw in your onion and cook until softened. Toss in both cans of chicken, breaking up the larger chunks and incorporating into the onions.

Dump in half a container of your Hooters hot sauce.  I have tried several different hot sauces in this recipe, Hooters Medium Buffalo Sauce is the best for this dip.   

The other Hooter’s flavored sauces are not as creamy I find. If you want it hotter, just add some powdered habanero or cayenne pepper.

Use this stuff- it is the perfect mix of creamy and tangy that goes perfect with the cream cheese and blue cheese!

Incorporate the sauce, then add in your container of blue cheese, ranch dressing, and shredded cheddar cheese. Give it all a good mix and let the cheese melt down. Remove from heat and dump into your crock pot.

Add your bricks of cream cheese (bring them to room temperature first, it makes the melting go a bit quicker) and set the crock pot to high. As soon as the cream cheese is melted, turn the pot to “warm” and it is ready to enjoy!

This recipe reheats and freezes really well too- I once made this the night before a bachelorette party, popped it in a cooler right from the fridge for a 3 hour drive to Chicago, hauled it several blocks down the side walks of Chicago along with a balloon bouquet, rolling suit case and an entire crew of girlfriends only to reheat after stumbling home from the bars to be enjoyed at about 3 am… And the rest of that story will stay in Chicago…

Happy Super Bowl and enjoy your game day eats.

Chicken Noodle Soup for people who hate Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s winter, its freezing, everyone is sick…. It’s the perfect time for soup! This isn’t the most “keto” of my recipes (you can certainly make it that way however, and I’ll give you some tips at the end), but it is one of my most requested recipes! So, it belongs on the blog.

Backstory… I have fond memories making chicken noodle soup. My grandma and I would spend the day making soup nearly every time we were together. We would hand make the noodles and dry them in the living room, hanging them from dowel rods spanning two kitchen chairs. She would cool down my soup with an ice cube and tie an old kitchen towel around me to catch the flour and kitchen mess. These are some of those memories you want to squeeze every detail from and hang onto forever. My first memories in the kitchen were making soup and helped developed my love of tedious cooking tasks… like making pasta.

As special as that was- I never really liked chicken noodle soup! I thought it was boring (hopefully grandma isn’t reading my blog up there) and I’ve always been a little picky about meat- chicken in particular.

Fast forward a few decades (I will leave exactly how many to your imagination)- a close family member received a scary diagnosis. In the midst of all the emotion, I did the one thing that felt right: cook. I sought out to make a batch of chicken noodle soup that even I would like. I wanted it to taste like a big, warm hug- as if my soup could cure the incurable and fend off the scary thoughts.

And thus, this special recipe was born. I make it when we’re sick, when I’m sad, or whenever my kids request it– which is rather frequently.

Gather Together (makes enough to feed a small army:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken (found in the deli section)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2, 32 ounce containers of low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 carrots (estimating here)
  • 2 parsnips (it’s like a white carrot- trust me, they are awesome)
  • 1 onion
  • 5 stalks of celery
  • 1 container fresh poultry seasoning or separate containers of fresh sage, thyme and rosemary. DON’T SUB DRIED SPICES!!!!!
  • 2 lemons
  • Your favorite rustic noodles (or make your own… or egg noodles)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

There is a lot of prep in this recipe, so get out a good knife, put on some good tunes and settle in for some choppin’. Roughly chop the onion, carrots, parsnips and celery, reserving those little leafy tops from your celery- we’ll get to those in a minute. Mince up your garlic cloves. From your poultry seasoning (or individual packets of seasoning) pull out about 3 big sage leaves, one spring of rosemary and about 3 or 4 sprigs of thyme. Pick off the leaves and mince everything as fine as you can. Then mince those celery leaves up and put them in the “spice pile”- don’t waste those! They have a perfectly good celery taste! Grate all of the lemon zest off one of the lemons.

In a dutch oven or a large stock pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil and then toss in your onions, carrots, parsnips, celery and garlic. Sweat down your veggies just until they start to get fragrant. You don’t want them to soften or they’ll be mush before your done. We just want to get some of the flavor out of them here.

Right on top of those veggies, set your chicken. Keep that little tie on the back feet- it will help to keep the whole thing together when you fish it out later. Cover everything with your chicken broth. You don’t want to fully submerge your chicken, but you want it to be sitting in the liquid. Imagine it’s a hot tub- give him a good soak but not drown him. Simmer until the legs start to separate from the body

Now that your chicken is done, you can gently remove it from the pot. Try to keep it together as best you can because you don’t want bones or anything gross in your soup. I use one of those tools for fishing food out of a fryer- (not sure the name, sorry). You can remove your pot from the heat, or just turn it off- this next step will take a moment.

You want your chicken too cool enough where you can break it apart without burning your fingers off (or if you’re like me, just burn your fingers off because you’re too impatient). You need a “discard” bowl and a “keep” bowl. In the discard bowl put all your skin, bones (make sure you pick through real good for those tiny little buggers- they are the perfect size to lodge in a throat and that’s never a good quality of chicken soup), cartilage and anything else you do not want floating around in your soap. In your keep bowl you should be left with moist light and dark meat. Shred it up with your fingers a bit and add it back to the stock.

Turn the stock back on to bring to a simmer. Add your herbs, the lemon zest and then the juice of both your lemons. Add a healthy dose of fresh ground pepper and some salt to taste and let your pot simmer until the veggies are soft. You can also transfer all of it into a slow cooker and let it do its magic in there- it will require less supervision.

Now for the noodles…. I actually boil mine separately. I can’t have a gluten sensitivity… And I feel it actually takes away some of the flavor of the broth. So I add the boiled noodles to the bowl then ladle the finished soup over the top and garnish with some grated Parmesan cheese.

So to keep this keto- its pretty easy. Leave out the parsnips and use WAY less carrots. I often use chicken breasts when I do this instead of a whole chicken so my meat to veggie ratio is a bit more “keto friendly”, and its a bit of a shortcut.

Surviving the Polar Vortex with Pizza Omelettes

Wisconsin is in the midst of a “Polar Vortex”. Sounds futuristic and crazy right? Well it kind of is! With the windchill it has gotten down to -50 degrees out. The kids were off school Monday (blizzard), Wednesday and today (Thursday) because it is just simply too cold to do anything. Businesses are closed. The poor dog can poop outside… It’s nuts. The kids are stir crazy.

Current temp at the time the photo was taken was -23 WITHOUT the windchill taken into account….. Help Us!

As part of Keto, I intermittent fast. It sounds super intimidating if you haven’t done it, but when you are in ketosis, it somewhat happens naturally. It just takes longer to feel hungry! Usually my first meal is this weird not really lunch, not really breakfast type situation. So lets combine that with kids who slept in and are crazy board and the Pizza Omelette was born!

Lots of oozy cheesy goodness without the guilt!

So we let the kids get involved. I made the omelettes and the kids each picked out their pizza toppings. We had breakfast sausage, pepperoni and olives. The kids had the task of unwrapping their cheese sticks and bellied up to the stove when it was time to sprinkle on the cheese.

Omelette Making 101:

I make omelettes like… 5 times a week. Once you figure out how to do it, its simple to put whatever you want inside there to keep it interesting. It takes some practice though! I think it took me a good year before I figured out how to successfully roll one without it turning into scrambled eggs so, I will do my best here to help!

Gather together (for ONE omelette):

2 Eggs

Pizza Sauce (about 2 Tablespoons per omelette)

1 Tablespoon cream cheese, softened

1 mozzarella cheese stick (you can use shredded too, we thought this was a bit more fun)

Your Favorite pizza toppings (cooked of course)

2 Pads of butter

Start with a 2 omelette base. You whisk up the eggs really well then melt about a pad of butter into a good non-stick pan. Not the pan where the non-stick is wearing off… the one that everything slides out of like butter. If you don’t have one- pause now and get yourself one! The size also matters here- you want your pan to be large enough that the eggs can spread out into a really thin, almost paper thin, thickness. Too thick and it will break when you try to roll it.

Over medium heat (error on the side of too cool), pour in your eggs. Then LEAVE THEM BE!!! Don’t touch, don’t wiggle, don’t put anything in the pan. Just don’t.

When everything is set, so the eggs are no longer shiny on top and it seems all the liquid has set, now and ONLY NOW may you put the toppings on. Start with a thin schmear of cream cheese. Then your your mozzarella cheese stick, a little drizzle of sauce and the rest of your toppings.

The flecks are pepper… I am a fresh ground pepper fanatic!

Turn off the heat and cover the pan with lid. This will help to melt your cheese but prevent the bottom of your omelette from getting too brown. Once the cheese is melty you can get your roll on!

This part can be a little tricky and it takes a bit to get the hang of it. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold a corner of the egg sheet over your toppings. Then GENTLY using your spatula, from the bottom, flip that folded part covering the toppings over AGAIN so you have a roll. Then you can gently slide the whole thing out of the pan on to your plate! And you can breath again also (I always hold my breath during the suspenseful rolling part).

Top with another little drizzle of sauce, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and a preview of the toppings inside so you know what to expect when you dig in!

Keto tip: watch you sauce!! Always check the labels on your sauce before you start so you know how many carbs your dealing with. I often opt to just make my own tomato based sauces because then I know what is in them! Either way- know what your working with before you drench something with sauce and find out there are like 15 grams of carbs in one serving… because that’s always a huge bummer.

Hi There!

First things first, let me introduce myself! I am a mom from Wisconsin raising two crazy boys in the land of cheese and cows and all things green and gold! I love to cook– its how I show my love I guess. That being said, my metabolism doesn’t always love how much I love food! So, part of my journey I’d like to share is how to balance creative cooking for the family with a healthy lifestyle! I love to run, lift weights, and in general stay active but I am also one of those people who can look at a bowl of pasta and gain 20 pounds it seems!

My recipes are a wide variety of familiar favorites I grew up eating- but with a fresh spin, adventurous new flavors I’ve read about and researched, and light, body fuel recipes I’ve developed to keep eating healthy fun! I recently found out I am sensitive to gluten (I can have some on occasion) and I am a picky meat eater living in a house of meat eating dudes- so often times my recipes are easily adapted to be vegetarian friendly or gluten free.

Why the name?

The Joyful Tomato… why? I’m not even a huge fan of tomatoes! The name is a nod to my Grandparents on my mom’s side. Both are no longer with us, but I find so much of what I love comes from them! Cooking, music, writing, the importance of tradition, and how you can truly put your love into a bowl of soup… As a kid, I LOVED to help my grandma in the garden. She loved tomatoes and so many of my memories of her include them! Sitting on her lap while she ate a salted tomato, cradling a shirt-full of garden tomatoes with my toes in the garden dirt, standing on her old step stool to help her rinse off our garden haul- I can remember the smells, the tastes and the sounds of those moments. If my grandma was going to name a blog- it probably would have included “tomato” in the name!

So whether your here for a recipe, a story, or some diet and fitness tips- thanks for reading and welcome to our crazy family!

This is us! Kristi, J, T, A, Domino, Artie and Oscar!