Miracle Pot Roast

This recipe, like lots of things in my life, has a funny story to accompany it.  One week I pulled a pot roast out of the freezer and put it in the meat drawer at the bottom of my fridge.  It takes a long time for a big hunk of meat to defrost so I left it down there for 2 days and forgot about it.  I remembered that it was down there on Sunday morning when I opened to meat drawer to get out some bacon (oops).

Now I  know that it takes 6-8 hours to cook a roast and it was already about noon.  I decided that I needed to go ahead and get this roast in the crock pot if we were going to eat it, and we needed to eat it because at this point it had been in the fridge since Thursday.

I looked around in the pantry and came up with a few ingredients that I hoped would be lovely but wasn't sure about.  This recipe has been dubbed Miracle Pot Roast because all of the odds and ends in my kitchen actually turned out a very tasty dish.  It's a miracle that I didn't poison the awesome boyfriend and myself that day, and I now I'm sharing some of that magic with you.

3 lb pot roast
2 C red wine
1 packet dry vegetable soup mix
4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 of 1 bag baby carrots
1 medium sized yellow onion
4 celery sticks


  1. Add red wine, vegetable soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper to crock pot.  
  2. Stir briskly with a whisk until all ingredients are incorporated.  
  3. Put roast in crock pot, on top of liquid.  
  4. Add baby carrots around outside of roast.  
  5. Chop onions and celery into bite size pieces and add to crock pot on top of roast.  
  6. Cook for 6 hours on low.  
  7. Slice roast with a sharp knife.  Serve slices topped with remaining juices from crock pot.  
  8. Serve with vegetables from crock pot.  Enjoy!
  • I am beginning to believe that you can dump almost anything into a crock pot with a hunk of meat and it will turn out delicious.  
  • I wanted to use dry onion soup mix for this recipe but we didn't have any.  The vegetable soup mix was actually a delicious compliment to the half a bottle red wine that I found in my fridge and dumped into this recipe.  
  • Thursday- Sunday is actually not that long for a piece of red meat to sit in the fridge.  It just seemed like a long time when I opened the meat drawer and realized I had forgotten that there was a pot roast in there.  
The celery and onions are a little bit more delicate than the carrots, which
is why they go on top.  The carrots will cook better partially submerged
in the liquid mixture.  

I always keep this stuff on hand.  I cannot tell you how many times I've
ended up adding it to something for a little extra flavor.  You can find it
in your grocery store near the canned soup.  

So good.  It's also a miracle that this recipe was finished on the first try.
Normally I have to subject the awesome boyfriend to multiple taste tests
before I'm ready to publish something.  

The veggies are good even without the meat.  I took them to work and
ate them as a side dish after we had finished all the beef.  


I love a weekend breakfast.

Whenever I have leftover veggies or meats from the week, I dump them in my weekend eggs.  I think that I had half of a red onion in the fridge and it was pretty tasty with some garlic salt and shredded cheddar.  I only had 3 strips of bacon in the fridge so I split them with the awesome boyfriend, plus half of a deli flat with some onion flavored cream cheese.

I made some coffee in my Keurig, added some heavy cream, and drank it out of my favorite Girl Scouts mug.  Happy Sunday!


Ribs and Greens

Soul food is one of my dirty obsessions.  The awesome boyfriend comes from a family of amazing cooks and on Christmas I eat my body weight in mac and cheese, cornbread, sweet potatoes, coconut cake, and other carby deliciousness.  The other 364 days of the year I quench my soul food thirst with options that are more sensible and won't completely blow my diet.  Lucky for me there are lots of amazing choices.

I love ribs.  Actually, I love pork in general but there is something special about a rack of ribs that has been slow roasting all day.  There's an awesome sports bar (Big Play Sports Bar in College Park) across the street from my office and I like to sneak over there on Fridays for ribs and greens.  I get the BBQ sauce on the side, plus a little hot wing sauce.  Barbecue sauce is mostly sugar, unfortunately, so getting it on the ribs can turn an okay meal into a bad one.  A rack of ribs comes with two sides so the awesome boyfriend and I can split it and both have a good lunch.  Let me caution you that ribs do have a lot of calories.  There's a misconception among low carbers that you can gorge yourself on as much meat as you want and still lose weight.  This is true up to a point, but everything has limits.  If you're eating 5,000 calories a day you're not going to lose not matter what it is you're loading up on.  Naked ribs are a great low carb choice, but please practice moderation and don't eat a rack for lunch and another for dinner on a daily basis.

Another menu item at Big Play Sports Bar that is truly tasty is the collard greens.  I posted a recipe for Creamy Collards yesterday that is delicious, but I have to hang my head and admit that these are better.  I don't know what they do to these greens to create such a perfect salty, vinegary flavor.  They wouldn't give up the recipe, but one of the owners did tell me that it was a family recipe from Georgia.  If you're in the area and you have a hankering for some southern love, I highly recommend you schedule a trip to sample for yourself.


Hormel Beef Tips

I have a love/hate relationship with convenience food.  The angel on my shoulder would say that it's so much better to eat all natural and clean.  There are less preservatives and better nutrients available in a chicken breast than there are in canned chicken, for sure.  The devil on my shoulder would say Kelly, you work full time, go to school part time, write this awesome blog, and do awesome volunteer work.  When are you going to cook a chicken breast?  Fortunately my brain is somewhere in the middle so I end up with convenience food occasionally and go au naturale the rest of the time.

One of the problems with a lot of heat and eat meals is that they are not low carb friendly.  There's often either pasta or potatoes, or a complete lack of deliciousness, which makes me sad.  Whenever I stumble across something that is low in carbs I try to sample it and when the results are delicious I make sure to share.

The new find is these beef tips with gravy from Hormel.  This comes refrigerated, but not frozen.  In my grocery store it's kept near the bacon, but that might differ from place to place.  You just pop the whole thing into the microwave for a few minutes and you get an easy meat dish that is low in carbs.

I was a little bit put off because what comes out of the package looks nothing like the picture on the front of the box.  It looks kind of gross.  We went ahead and ate it anyway because I was tired from making a huge pot of Collard Greens, and I'm glad we did because it turned out to be yummy!

The meat was tender and the gravy was a good consistency.  I think that these beef tips may look more appetizing served over something like tofu pasta or spaghetti squash.  I'll update when we get a chance to try that but for now I give this convenience food a thumbs up.  Maybe just don't serve it at  your next dinner party...

Creamy Collard Greens

Collard greens are one of those things that every good Southern woman should master at some point in life.  My mother never made collards much so I'm not sure where I developed such a taste for them but sometimes I feel like I can't get enough!  There are lots of soul food restaurants in Baltimore that have good greens, including one right across the street from my office.  Making collards is a lot of work so it's not something I do all the time, but the results are so worth it.

2 lbs fresh collard greens
1/2 lb bacon
1 large yellow onion
1 Cup chicken broth
1/2 Cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Cup heavy cream
1 Cup almond milk
1 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Rinse collard greens.  Remove the thick stems from the bottom and then chop the leaves.  
  2. In a large soup pot cook all of the bacon over medium high.  You may have to do this in batches.  Remove bacon and set aside, leaving bacon drippings in the bottom of the soup pot.  
  3. Chop onion.  Add butter, flour, and onion to bacon drippings and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until onion is tender.  
  4. Add collard greens to onion and bacon grease in batches.  Keep stirring with rubber spatula.  When one batch has cooked down, add second batch to pot and continue to stir.
  5. After all of the collard greens have cooked down, add chicken broth, vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Stir all ingredients together with rubber spatula.  
  6. Crumble or chop bacon, and add to greens. Stir with spatula until all ingredients are incorporated.  
  7. Bring pot to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until stems have softened, 15-20 minutes.  
  8. After greens have reached desired level of doneness, add heavy cream, almond milk, and nutmeg.  Stir all ingredients with a rubber spatula until incorporated.   
  9. Continue to cook and stir 5-10 minutes, or until all ingredients have incorporated and warmed through.  
  10. Serve hot, with hot sauce, vinegar, and additional bacon if desired.  
  • These greens will only get better with time.  The first serving was delicious, and the subsequent servings that we reheated in the microwave got better and better.  
  • Creamy greens are a little outside of the ordinary, but I love them.  If you want regular greens just stop and serve after step 7.  
  • This recipe is really easy to double or triple for a crowd.  This pot made enough for 8-10 servings but you can adjust if you want more.  
The biggest pain in this whole recipe is prepping the greens.  I felt
like I was chopping forever.  It's a really important step though because
if you don't chop the greens small enough they will be hard to eat.  

When you cook the greens they'll turn this bright green color.  That
means you are about half way there.  Keep cooking them until they get
really wilted and a little darker.  

You can see here what your greens will look like before and after you add
the cream.  Also, the darker color is the one you are going for.  

Yummy.  Serve with a steak, chicken, or a pork chop.  Or eat alone
straight out of the container if you're lazy like me.  


Sharing is Caring.

Some of you will probably remember that the awesome boyfriend and I spent our anniversary in September at the Chesapeake Inn in Urbanna, Virginia.  The Chesapeake Inn is beautiful and nestled right in the middle of the town.  There are several great restaurants and a couple of bars within walking distance.  We enjoyed lots of fresh seafood and live music during our stay.  There's a gourmet food shop called Taste that has a huge selection of olive oils and flavored vinegars where we spent the better part of an afternoon sampling everything.  We had a wonderful time and it is a vacation spot that I highly recommend.    

Urbanna was about a three hour drive from our home in Columbia, Maryland so it made for a good weekend getaway.  I'm sharing all of this with you again because the Chesapeake Inn is offering a great deal on Groupon this week!  Click the picture below to get to the Groupon website for purchase.

image via
That's $169 for a two night stay, which is a good deal at any hotel but an especially good deal for a nice place like this one.  It looks like this deal is available for purchase until January 31.  I'm buying mine today so that the awesome boyfriend and I can go for a return visit this spring!


Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Chicken

I've been doing a lot of experimenting with cauliflower lately.  In terms of calories and carbs it's similar to broccoli, but it packs more of that starchy taste that I sometimes crave.  Adding a small amount of carb controlled pasta to this recipe really tricked my taste buds into thinking I was eating mac and cheese!  This one is a winner for sure.

2 bags frozen cauliflowe
1 C Dreamfields penne pasta
4 wedges Laughing Cow Original Creamy Swiss
1/2 of 1 block of Velveeta Original
2 cans Chunk White Chicken
1 Tbsp black pepper
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
  2. If you've purchased the steam-in-bag cauliflower, steam in microwave according to package instructions.  Otherwise, transfer the cauliflower to a large Ziploc, punch a small hole for steam to escape, and steam in microwave for 5 minutes.  Cauliflower should be slightly al dente when finished.
  3. Heat a medium sized sauce pan with water over high and boil pasta for 7 minutes.  
  4. Drain water away from pasta and return pasta to saucepan.  Return saucepan to stove and reduce heat to medium.  
  5. Add both cans of chicken to saucepan and stir with a rubber spatula to incorporate.  
  6. Add Laughing Cow, Velveeta, and black pepper to saucepan.  Stir continuously with a rubber spatula until cheese is melted and all ingredients are incorporated.  
  7. Add cauliflower to cheese and pasta mixture.  Stir with a rubber spatula until ingredients are evenly incorporated.  
  8. Transfer entire contents of saucepan to a baking dish.  
  9. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over top of mixture.  
  10. Bake for 20 minutes.  Serve with hot sauce if desired.  Enjoy!

  • The jury is still out on whether or not Dreamfields pasta is an acceptable low carb food.  The front of the box says that there are only 5 digestible carbs per serving but I'm inclined to believe that there is some trickery involved in getting to that number.  It's still pasta after all.  There's only 1 Cup in this whole recipe so the serving is small enough that you're safe even with the higher carb count.  Just don't take this as an invitation to start adding lots of pasta to your every day diet.  
  • This recipe reheats extremely well and will keep for several days in your fridge.  It's a good one for making a large pan and having leftovers for a few lunches.  

I love the Steam Ready cauliflower.  Just put the whole bag in the
microwave for 5 minutes and it's done.  So much easier than messing
with chopping up a whole head of cauliflower.  

You should be able to find this at your regular grocery store in
the pasta section.  

The awesome boyfriend says that chicken in a can is an abomination
against nature.  Of course that did not stop him from eating this delicious
mac and cheese.  If you're also skeptical you can always toss a chicken
breast in the oven and shred it for this recipe.  

My saucepan was getting too full so I transferred everything to a large
skillet.  You can use whatever works.  If you're having trouble getting
everything to mix and melt, a skillet might help you to get the heat
distributed more evenly.  



Loaded Cauliflower Mash

Several weeks ago I ordered the cauliflower mash at Duclaw Brewing Company and I have been trying to replicate it at home without much success.  I haven't figured out yet what kind of sorcery they use to get the mash so creamy and lump free but I have deduced that it must involve some kind of equipment I don't have at my house.  I finally got together a recipe that was tasty in its own regard, although still not quite what I was looking for.  I'll be continuing my quest, but in the meantime here's a delicious substitute for you to enjoy.  

1 head of cauliflower
1/2 C heavy cream
1/2 stick of butter
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder

shredded cheese
bacon bits (the real bacon kind)

  1. Cut the cauliflower down to 1/2 inch pieces, then chop those pieces until you have small chunks.  They should be small enough to steam easily but not so small that they will fall through a colander.
  2. Put cauliflower in a large Ziploc bag and heat in the microwave on high for 3 minutes.  
  3. Place a steamer basket in a large pot.  Empty cauliflower into steamer basket.  
  4. Add enough water to pot so that water is touching the bottom of the steamer basket.  
  5. Heat the water over high.  As the water boils and steams, stir the cauliflower with a rubber spatula to ensure an even steam.  
  6. Once cauliflower is soft remove steamer basket from water and set in sink to drain.  
  7. After water has drained away from steamer basket, transfer cauliflower to a large bowl.  
  8. Blend cauliflower with an electric hand mixer.  Add heavy cream, a little at a time, and keep blending until you have an even, mashed consistency.  
  9. Heat butter in microwave for ten seconds to soften.  
  10. Add butter to cauliflower mash and blend until all ingredients are incorporated.  
  11. Transfer cauliflower mash to oven proof bowls.  
  12. Top cauliflower with shredded cheese and bacon.  
  13. Place under broiler on low for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.  
  • This recipe will make 4-6 servings.  Top with as much cheese and bacon as you would like.  
  • I used salted butter when I made this.  If you use the unsalted kind you will need to add more salt to the mash.  
  • I have found that steaming in the bag first helps move the process along a little more quickly, but you can skip that step and just steam in the basket if you have a good veggie steamer.  
  • This recipe will not taste just like mashed potatoes because, let's face it, cauliflower is not a potato.  It's good, but the flavor and texture is slightly different than what you might be used to.  
Serve with a ribeye.  Yummy.


Ice Cream Machine

It's finally here!  I've been wanting to buy an electric ice cream machine for the longest but I had my birthday and Christmas coming up, and my mom kept telling me not to buy any more crap until after the holidays.

My mom gave me this ice cream machine for my birthday and I was so excited when I opened it.  I'm not sure if you all will remember when I ordered the ice cream shaker a few months ago but I was thrilled to be able to put low carb friendly ingredients in and make ice cream that wouldn't blow my diet.  This is a much bigger and much less messy version of that.

There's actually not much to the ice cream machine.  It has a large metal bowl that you have to chill in your freezer overnight, and a lid with a spatula.

The ice cream machine comes with a small recipe book so I pulled one out of there and added a few low carb tweaks.  Instead of sugar I substituted baking Splenda.  I also skipped the milk and used half heavy cream and half sugar free almond milk.  This recipe also called for some egg yolks and some cocoa powder. It was extremely easy.

After you've frozen the bowl overnight and whisked together your ingredients all you have to do is dump the ingredients in the bowl, snap on the lid, and turn on the machine.  The spatula will stir the ingredients while the bowl freezes them.  The whole process takes about 7 minutes.

When the ice cream gets hard enough that the spatula can't stir it anymore the machine will beep and you'll end up with something that looks like this.  Yummy.

Now for the good and the bad: The ice cream has a good texture and is slightly melty and delicious when you first take it out of the machine.  Some of it will stick to the sides of the bowl and you won't be able to scoop it out but that's okay.  This recipe makes something like 4 cups which is more than you can eat in one sitting.  When I put the leftover ice cream in the freezer and took it back out later the texture was not as good.  It was completely rock hard.  I let it melt in the fridge for about 45 minutes and it softened to a point where I could scoop it.  It was good, but a little grainy and not as good as the first serving fresh out of the machine.

Overall the ice cream machine is a good investment because we can have low carb ice cream whenever we we want it.  I might try to halve the recipe next time and see if that makes less waste.  I also think that the almond milk might have made for a less cream consistency so I'll be trying this recipe again just substituting milk for cream sometime soon.

If any of you have experience using one of these babies and have some tips or recipe suggestions I would love to hear them!  You can leave them in the comments below or email them to me.  And, as always, please continue to send your questions and suggestions to lifelovelowcarb@gmail.com.


Little Turkey Pizzas

I've been doing a lot with turkey cutlets lately.  They are a little bit more expensive than chicken cutlets, but they are much easier to work with.  The shape tends to be more uniform and the cutlets are less slimy than chicken which makes them easier to roll or lay in a pan or whatever you happen to be doing.

I think we've established by now that I love pizza.  It's one of my trigger foods, which means that when I start eating it I cannot stop.  Pizza is one of the only meals that I truly miss from before I embraced a low carb lifestyle.  You'll find low carb pizza recipes popping up here from time to time because I'm trying to get my fix.  These little turkey pizzas are easy to make and totally tasty for when you need some cheesy goodness.

1 lb turkey cutlets
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 packet Italian seasoning
4 Tbsp pizza sauce
2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
whatever toppings you like

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  
  2. Lay turkey cutlets out on a plate and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.  
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high.  
  4. Once oil is hot lay turkey cutlets in skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.  Turkey does not have to be cooked all the way through, but there should be no visible pink.  
  5. Remove turkey cutlets from pan and lay on a paper towel to drain for 3-5 minutes.  
  6. Spread turkey cutlets out on a baking sheet and top each cutlet with a spoonful of pizza sauce.  
  7. Layer shredded mozzarella over pizza sauce.  
  8. Place whatever toppings you like over shredded mozzarella.  
  9. Sprinkle Italian seasoning over entire pan of turkey pizzas.  
  10. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.  Toppings should be cooked through and cheese should be bubbly when turkey pizzas are finished.  
  • The measurements listed above are approximate.  When I made this recipe I just spooned sauce and sprinkled cheese over the turkey cutlets.  Use as much as you feel good about.  
  • We topped our turkey pizzas with whatever we had lying around in the fridge: banana peppers, onions, mushrooms, and salami.  
  • After you cook your turkey cutlets in the skillet make sure to let them drain long enough for some of the moisture to wick away, otherwise you'll have turkey soup when you put these in the oven.    


Low Carb Nachos

I think I've mentioned before how much I love Smart and Delicious tortillas from La Tortilla Factory.  The products range in carb count from 3 net carbs to close to 20, so make sure that you check labels before you buy.  As you might expect, the 3 carb version, Low Carb/High Fiber, will get the job done but they are small and not very tasty.  The awesome boyfriend and I much prefer the Olive Oil Soft Wraps, which still clock in at a respectable 6 or 7 net carbs.

You can absolutely top these nachos with whatever you like, but the awesome boyfriend and I always want the works.  Remember that toppings like salsa, sour cream, and beans can add up quickly so make sure to include them in your total carb count.


1 Olive Oil Soft Wrap from La Tortilla Factory
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 of 1 -4 oz can diced green chilies
2 Tbsp taco seasoning
1 C shredded lettuce
1/4 C salsa
1/4 C sour cream
1/2 C queso cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  
  2. Cut tortilla into triangular chip shapes and lay out on baking sheet.  
  3. Drizzle tortilla pieces with olive oil.  
  4. Sprinkle garlic salt over tortilla pieces.  
  5. Put tortilla pieces in the oven and bake until edges have browned (5-10 minutes).  
  6. Arrange tortillas in a circle on a plate and set aside.  
  7. Head a large skillet over medium high.  
  8. Add ground beef and cook until beef has browned.  
  9. Remove from heat, drain, and return to pan.  
  10. Add taco seasoning and green chilies and stir until ground beef is evenly coated.  
  11. Layer ground beef on plate over tortilla chips.  
  12. Heat queso in the microwave 30 seconds - 1 minute.  
  13. Pour queso over ground beef on plate.  
  14. Top queso and beef with lettuce, salsa, and sour cream.  

One tortilla made all these chips!  I can barely believe it myself!

  • I used the leftover ground beef and queso from this recipe to make an awesome burrito at work the next day.  Whenever I'm making seasoned ground beef I always make extra.  
  • If you use the smaller, lower carb tortillas you can have two.  If you use the larger soft wraps you can only have one, but you'll get about the same amount of chips and nutritional value either way.  
  • When I add the olive oil to the tortilla pieces I squash them around in it a bit to try to get as many coated as possible.  
  • You definitely want to stay near the oven and keep an eye on your tortillas!  Cooking times will vary based on your oven, which tortillas you choose, and what size you cut your chips.  As soon as you see them start to brown go ahead and pull them because they will burn very quickly.  
  • You can add as much or little taco seasoning as you like.  If you want a spicier beef you can also add a little hot sauce or crushed red pepper.  
  • If you want to cut some carbs you can switch out the queso for regular shredded cheddar cheese or a shredded Mexican cheese blend.  
  • When the awesome boyfriend and I last ate this I actually cooked a whole 2 pounds of beef at once.  We each had a little and I saved the rest for taco salads the next day.