Bacon-Wrapped Onions


I thought eating low carb (at home) meant that I had to completely give up onion rings. I love a good, beer-battered onion ring and still order them on occasion in a restaurant.

What could be BETTER than crispy onion rings? Well, how about onion rings WRAPPED in BACON instead of the batter? Yes (for us bacon lovers), the answer is absolutely YES.

This recipe comes via KirbieCravings blog and they’re now a staple at home. They also happen to be a nice treat when I cook for my sister’s family too.

Photos: Bacon-Wrapped Onions (recipe below).

Bacon-Wrapped Onions
The original recipe (link and details below) calls for a sriracha, honey and soy mixture. To keep it lower carb, I usually make them with just the onion, bacon and pepper (but the spicy sweet is really good).

Bacon-Wrapped Onions
Bacon-wrapped onions secured with a toothpick.

Bacon-Wrapped Onions
The bacon-wrapped onions are SO great on salads.


Low carb, muffin eggs with bacon-wrapped onions.


Currently my FAVORITE way to use the bacon-wrapped onions is with burgers. Yes, that’s right— the bacon-wrapped onions are the “burger buns”.

Recipe for SRIRACHA BACON WRAPPED ONION RINGS (courtesy of Kirbie Cravings Blog).

INGREDIENTS:

1 large brown onion
20 slices of raw bacon
for the dipping sauce

1/4 cup honey, heated in microwave for about 15 seconds
4 tbsp sriracha
1 tbsp soy sauce
for the glaze

1/4 cup honey
3-4 tbsp sriracha
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water
for garnish

fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Remove outer skin of onion and slice rings about 1/2 inch thick (like photo above). Separate rings, keeping two together for each separated ring (doubling up preserves the onion ring shape). Keep the larger rounds for making the onion rings. You can save the smaller onion parts for another recipe.

2. To make dipping sauce, combine honey, sriracha and soy sauce in a small bowl. Brush each onion lightly with the sauce.

3. For each ring, you will need about 2 pieces of bacon. Wrap bacon around onion rings, tucking ends of bacon into the last wrapped section and then placing a toothpick through at the places where each bacon ends, in order to secure during cooking. You can also use skewers.

4. Dunk each bacon wrapped ring in sauce and then place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

5. Preheat oven to 400F. Bake onions for about 30 minutes. Then remove from oven and flip onions over, cooking for another 20 minutes or until bacon is crispy. Check in on the onions about 5 minutes before they are done to make sure your bacon is not charring too much. You may need to lower temperature or move to a lower shelf in oven for the last few minutes if your bacon is charring too fast before it’s finished being crispy. If your bacon is crispy but is not charred at all, you may need to adjust the temperature higher (about 15-25 degrees) for the last 2-3 minutes until you get a slight char.

6. Remove bacon onion rings from oven and let bacon cool slightly and crisp up further. While waiting, make the glaze. Add sriracha, honey and soy sauce to a small saucepan and bring to a low boil. In a small bowl, completely dissolve cornstarch in water and then add to boiling mixture. Stir until sauce is thickened and then turn off stove. Brush a light layer of glaze on each of the finished bacon rings before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.

YIELD: 10 PREP TIME: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 50 minutes TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 20 minutes

Recipe courtesy of Kirbie Cravings Blog.

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Churrasco + Spicy Herb Sauce


My husband Peter and I love grilled skirt steak and we eat it several times a month. The beef is so flavorful that it really doesn’t NEED a marinade, and it cooks up quickly on the grill or stovetop.

Skirt steak is usually so much cheaper than rib eye or filet mignon, and (in my humble opinion) it tastes better than those more expensive cuts.

Churrasco is (according to Dictionary.com), “a South American method of grilling meat on a wood or charcoal fire, especially in Argentina and Brazil.” The Spanish word churrascar means “to scorch or singe.”

Luckily for us, we have an Argentinian restaurant just up the street, and since we try to eat low carb at home, it’s our “go to” take out dinner when we’re working late.

However, I love it best when Peter and I cook steak together, especially on the weekends when he has time to tend to the hot fire. I do the prep work and mix cocktails while he’s grilling.

Churrasco-Style Skirt Steak & Spicy Herb Sauce:

First, make the herb sauce.

Spicy Herb Sauce Ingredients:
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup jalapeño chilies (I like it SPICY)
1 small white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups fresh parsley leaves (packed)
2 cups fresh cilantro with stems (packed)
1 cup stemmed fresh mint leaves (packed)

To make herb sauce, add all ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth. Cover and chill while you’re grilling the steak.

Grilled Skirt Steak:
2-3 lb. skirt steak (I cut steak to fit grill or pan)
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil

To make the steak:

Bring steak to room temperature before cooking.

Heat your grill to medium-high or heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat.

I like to add oil the actual piece of steak, then add salt and pepper to both sides.

Grill the steaks (turning once), about 6 minutes for medium rare, depending on thickness.

Rest the steaks for at least five minutes before serving with the spicy herb sauce or make a classic chimichurri.

If you want to cut the meat before serving, make sure you cut AGAINST the grain.

Photo above: Skirt steak with spicy herb sauce, avocado with fresh chilies and a quick salad I made with purple cabbage, kale, radish, onions and lime vinaigrette.

Use leftover herb sauce to top eggs, quesadillas or grilled veggies.

If you don’t want to try my spicy herb sauce, here’s a recipe for classic Chimichurri sauce.

Thanks Dictionary.com, for letting me choose Word of the Day!
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EASIER Low Carb Bacon Grilled Cheese (2)


Yesterday (April 12) was National Grilled Cheese Day, so of course I cooked up my favorite low carb, bacon-wrapped grilled cheese. This new version is SO MUCH easier, because instead of cauliflower florets for the “bread”, I used Trader Joe’s Riced Cauliflower .

For the low carb grilled cheese (above), I started with the basic cauliflower pizza crust recipe, then formed bread squares instead of round pizza shapes. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s or can’t find riced cauliflower at your market, just follow the original recipe (using a head of cauliflower) here.


Trader Joe’s Riced Cauliflower basically cuts prep time down in half. I keep extra bags of the riced cauliflower stocked in my pantry for quick, low carb meals.


This is what the basic cauliflower “bread dough mix” looks like. I use this same recipe for low carb pizza, burger buns and tortillas.


Low carb “bread dough” ready for oven. I cooked at 450º for about 20 minutes on a non-stick pan. You want it firm, like a piece of hearty bread.


Low carb bread!


Grilled cheese sandwich assembled. I like old-school, melty American cheese and provolone.


Depending on the size of your bread slices, lay down strips of bacon (I used three thick pieces), then wrap the grilled cheese with bacon. Turn and wrap again and make sure the ends are on one side only. Next, use large tongs and a spatula to start frying (all sides) with the seam (bacon ends) side DOWN. This will help seal the bacon and hold the sandwich together. Take your time – it’s worth it!


Happiness!


My grilled cheese necklace I bought a few years ago on Etsy. I always wear it on National Grilled Cheese Day!

Basic Cauliflower Crust Recipe. Again, I use this same recipe for low carb pizzaburger buns and tortillas.

More Low Carb Recipes (many more added soon)

If you’re on instagram or twitter, I tag all my low carb dishes with #LowCarbJo. Enjoy!

Low Carb Grilled Cheese Video (instagram)

Trader Joe’s Website

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#LowCarbJo

Low Carb "Mac & Cheese"For the past couple of years, I’ve been experimenting with cauliflower to create filling, delicious low carb meals at home. I think the easiest to make is cauliflower “mac and cheese”. You just swap out the elbow pasta for roasted, bite-size florets, use heavy cream, coconut flour (for sauce) and delicious, ground up pork rinds instead of breadcrumbs.

I’ve tried low carb cauliflower crust pizza, tortillas, burger buns, grilled cheese (bacon-wrapped even!), fried rice, and even cauliflower grits. I’ll be posting favorite recipes with photos on the blog soon, but before that, I think it’s important to share WHY I cook low carb at home.

Basically, I needed to STOP gaining weight.

When I started writing about food and travel back in 2008, I continuously gained weight each month and I needed to make it stop. The fact is, when I started eating mostly low carb at home, I STOPPED gaining weight.

I’m not a fan of desserts, so eating sugar-free was easy. But bacon? I’m never giving up bacon and I CAN eat that on a low carb diet. Stinky, French cheese? That’s okay too. I learned that I could pretty much replace any pasta or rice recipe with spinach (or kale), so it was just about getting creative in my (low carb) kitchen. Here’s a list of low carb foods I keep handy at all times.

Regular exercise helps of course too and my fitbit step counter keeps me motivated. I get at least 10,000 steps per day by going to the gym (usually the treadmill) and walking my dogs. Need some workout inspiration? This 2012 L.A. Times article by Rene Lynch got me started on my daily steps and I’ve STUCK TO IT ever since. I started with an inexpensive pedometer and saved up for the fitbit after a few months. The fitbit app is great because I can challenge my friends and keep detailed tracking each day.

The book Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog (by Grant Petersen) has become my low carb bible. I bought it as a JOKE but after I started reading it, I took it all very, very seriously. From GoodReadsIn Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog, Petersen upends the last 30 years of conventional health wisdom to offer a clear path to weight loss and fitness. In more than 100 short, compelling directives, Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog shows why we should drop the carbs, embrace fat, and hang up our running shoes, with the latest science to back up its claims.

Sure, I still want to lose a couple of sizes, but at 51 years old (52 next month), the fact that I stopped the weight gain is the WIN here. I’m not claiming to be any sort of diet specialist but I do know what works for ME. If you’re thinking of trying a low carb diet, do check with your doctor first.

Full disclosure here, I do allow myself a “cheat day” meal each week and try to save it for eating out, but I can usually work around a restaurant menu and still stay on course. The truth is, at the end of the day, I just FEEL better eating low carb.

If you’re on social media, check out my #LowCarbJo hashtag (on twitter, instagram and Facebook). I post links to recipes I plan on trying and also share photos of my low carb home cooking. Happy eating!

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