Monday, April 24, 2023

RECIPE: Keto Moroccan Nachos

My husband asked me what was for dinner.  When I said, "Moroccan Nachos,"  he said, "What?  Is that a joke?"  No, it wasn't a joke, and they were delicious!  They were so good we had them three days in a row!  

The original recipe is labor intensive, so I simplified it.  I used prepared salsa and stirred the honey and harissa into it, and rather than guacamole I served sliced avocado.  It might be better if you follow the original recipe, but I loved the fact that I didn't have to do all that extra work.

These do not keep - the chips get soggy - so make only enough to eat right away.  I make a full recipe of kefta but only use half the first day, and use the rest the second day.. 

Original recipe: Moroccan Nachos

Keto Moroccan Nachos

Serves 3-4

For the Salsa

  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa, purchased or homemade (I use Kitchen Garden Farm
  • 1 T. honey
  • 2 t. ground cumin
  • 2-4 t. harissa, depending on how much heat you can tolerate

For the Kefta

  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb (I use lamb)
  • 1 small onion, minced or grated with juices reserved
  • 1/2 packed cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 packed cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 packed cup mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 heaping t. sweet pakrika
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1 t. himalayan pink salt
  • 1 t. cayenne or to taste
  • 2 T. ghee or olive oil
For the Nachos

For Serving

  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 avocado
  • sliced grape tomatoes
  • chopped cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Prepare the kefta: Heat the fat in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until it is no longer pink, about 7 minutes.  Make sure the meat is dry - if it's wet, it will make the chips soggy!   (This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days)

Assemble the nachos: spread the chips on a baking dish in a single layer.  Top with the kefta, sprinkle with the onion, and add a layer of cheddar.  Bake until the cheese has melted, about 10 minutes.

Moroccan Nachos before baking

Moroccan Nachos after baking

While the nachos are baking, stir the salsa ingredients together.  Slice the avocado.

Remove the nachos from the oven and serve immediately with sour cream, salsa, sliced avocado, sliced tomatoes and chopped cilantro. (The original recipe instructs you to top the nachos with these extras, but we prefer to add them to our plate, to taste.)

Moroccan Nachos

Thursday, April 6, 2023

RECIPE:Seed-oil-FREE Mayonnaise made with Butter or Ghee

When we gave up seed oils last year, one of the first things I did was change the way I made mayonnaise.  Mayonnaise is where most seed oils entered our diet.  (OUR diet, not necessarily your diet.  You may be getting them from other sources.)  Having used this method for a year now, I've tweaked it a little so I'm creating a new post.  

The biggest change is that I now use duck egg yolks because they have more nutrition than chicken egg yolks.  Duck eggs seem to be more readily available here, but if they aren't available where you live then chicken yolks are perfectly fine.  NOTE: if you're sensitive to chicken eggs, it might be the white that's the problem.  My husband can have duck yolks, but he can't have duck whites.  If you can't tolerate either, you can use aquafaba.  I'll post a recipe using aquafaba the next time I make it.

The other change I made is to use a 3-cup wide mouth Ball jar instead of a pint jar.  Ball calls these 1.5 pint or 24 ounce jars.  I prefer them for this recipe because they're the same width as the pint jars, but they're taller so I can add seasonings without risking an overflow.  They're just tall enough that I can use 3 sticks of butter instead of 2 (12 ounces of ghee instead of 8oz) if I'm making a flavor we use a lot of, like the two shown below. 

I will usually make two of these jars - one plain and one seasoned.  

Here's my original recipe: spreadable hollandaise to use as mayonnaise

SEED-OIL-FREE MAYONNAISE Made with Butter or Ghee

Makes 3 cups


  • 1 24oz wide mouth ball jar
  • Immersion blender
  • Small sauce pan
  • Small heat-proof pitcher, at least 12oz


  • 3 duck egg YOLKS or 4 chicken egg YOLKS from WASHED eggs.
  • 3/4 t. himalayan pink salt
  • 5 T. water
  • 3 T. lemon juice
  • 12 ounces butter or ghee (3 sticks of butter)  
    • 1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers plus 1.5 t. berbere spice
    • 4 T. curry powder sauteed in 2 T. ghee or butter
    • 1 minced garlic clove, 1 T. each chopped dill, parsley, and chives
    • 2 T. Dijon mustard (or 2 T mustard powder mixed with 1 t. vinegar)
    • 1/4 cup grated horseradish
    • 1/4 cup harissa or to taste


WASH THE EGG SHELLS with soap and hot water and dry them BEFORE REMOVING THE YOLKS!!  You must do this even if the shells look clean.

Separate the yolks into your jar, discarding the whites and the shells*.

Add the water, salt and optional seasonings.

Heat the butter or ghee in a small sauce pan until it's totally melted and small bubbles appear.

Pour the butter/ghee into the small pitcher.

Add the lemon juice to the yolks (they will start to cook the yolks so I add them at the last minute), DON'T add it to the hot fat, as it will foam up out of your pitcher!  Insert the immersion blender into the jar and turn it on.

With the immersion blender running, S_L_O_W_L_Y pour the melted fat into jar.  Raise the blender to the top of the liquid occasionally and then push it back to the bottom.  

When all the fat has been added, the mixture will still be very runny.  This is how it should be!  When it cools, it will be the consistency of mayonnaise.

Put the lid on the jar and transfer it to the fridge for 1-2 hours until cold.  

If it's still too thick, you can stir in warm water, 1 T. at a time, until it's the consistency you prefer.


*I throw out the whites, because my husband can't eat them, but I keep the shells because they're a good soil amendment for tomato plants. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

RECIPE: Chicken Breast with Cheese and Poblano in Manchego Crema

This recipe was developed by Cacique, a company that sells some of the ingredients.  Cacique isn't sold where we live so I made substitutions.  I also decided not to roll the breasts - I layered them in the baking dish with the cheese and chiles in between.  It worked, but it was hard to serve, so next time I may slice the breasts into small pieces.  

The flavor was phenomenal - we both loved it!

Original recipe: Chicken Roulade in Mexican Crema

Chicken Breasts with Cheese and Poblano in Manchego Crema

Serves 4-5


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts 
  • 2 T. EVOO
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 T. fresh cilantro chopped, divided
  • 2 T. ground cumin
  • 2 t. cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 t. himalayan pink salt
  • 10 oz melting cheese (I used mozarella) cut into 1/4" slices
  • 3 large poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded* and cut into 1/4" strips
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 t. Dijon mustard (original recipe called for 1T, but I thought it overwhelmed the sauce)
  • 1 c. shredded Manchego cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


Preheat oven to 400F.

Pound the chicken breasts to 1/2" thick.  I had to cut the large pieces in half horizontally to do this.

Mix the chicken breasts with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, 2 T. cilantro, cumin, cayenne and garlic.  Let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes.  Doesn't that look delicious?  The chicken is good even without the cheese, chiles and sauce!

Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes.

In a small shallow baking dish, lay half the chicken on the bottom, cover with the melting cheese and half of the poblanos, then layer the remaining breasts on top. My baking dish was 6" x 9"

Chicken, then cheese, then poblanos.

Chicken on the bottom, then cheese, then poblano, then chicken on the top.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, puree the remaining poblanos and cilantro in a blender or food processor with the chicken broth and the Dijon mustard.  Bring to a simmer over low heat and stir in the sour cream.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the shredded Manchego.  Stir until melted.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover to keep warm until the chicken is ready.  Serve immediately over the chicken.

I served this with Blackened Cauliflower and it was a marriage made in heaven!

Blackened Cauliflower on the left, crema in the center, chicken breasts on the right.


* I process these in the fall and then freezer them, which greatly simplifies preparation time when I use them!

RECIPE: Blackened Cauliflower

Oh, my, is this delicious!  I'm sure the recipe will also work with root veggies.  (I tried it with broccoli and did NOT like it!)

The original recipe is from The New York Times.  I made it as written and I thought the smoke in the paprika overwhelmed the other spices, so I made some adjustments and we both liked my second effort better.  Less smoke and more spice!  Reduce the pepper flakes if you can't handle hot. 

We eat a LOT of vegetables, and one pound of cauliflower is barely one meal for us, so I tripled the recipe, which saves a huge amount on power consumption, especially since the recipe calls for such a hot oven.  It reheats beautifully - 10 minutes in a 350F toaster oven.

Original recipe: Blackened Cauliflower

Blackened Cauliflower

serves 6


  • 3 pounds frozen cauliflower, defrosted (or 3 large heads, cored and separated into florets, about 3 pounds)
  • 4 T. EVOO
  • 1 T. himalayan pink salt
  • 1 T. onion powder
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 1.5 t. dried thyme leaves 
  • 1.5 t. sumac powder (preferably cured with salt)
  • 1.5 t. smoked paprika
  • 1.5 t. hot pepper flakes, or to taste (I used cobanero chili flakes)
  • freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 450F.  Place rack in center of oven.

Mix the seasonings, excluding the black pepper, in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil.  Add the seasonings and mix to coat the florets evenly.

Transfer to a jelly roll pan (13" x 18"), using a rubber spatula to scrape every last bit of the seasoning onto the cauliflower, and spread the florets out evenly.

Grind the black pepper to taste over the cauliflower. 

Cauliflower ready for the oven.

Roast until nicely browned but not black.  In our oven, it takes 30 minutes, using frozen cauliflower.  When I left it in for 35 minutes, some of the edges were burnt.  My husband liked them but I don't like to eat burnt food!  

The original recipe recommends 35-40 minutes, using fresh cauliflower, and stirring halfway through.  

I served this with Chicken in Poblano Crema and it was a perfect combination!

Cauliflower on the left, poblano crema in center, chicken breast on right.