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In the Kitchen: Snacks that are keto friendly
Avocado
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It seems like everybody is on the Keto diet lately. In a nutshell, the keto diet emphasizes eating lots of good fats and low carb foods, and avoiding all things wheat and sugar related. The theory is that once your body is in a state of ketosis, your body will continuously burn fat, even while you are consuming plenty of foods such as bacon, eggs, and avocados, to name a few.

Meal planning isn’t really difficult when on a keto diet—basically, eat a healthy meat along with plenty of non-starchy vegetables. But when it comes to snack-type foods, things can get a bit more tricky. After all, when most of us think of traditional “snacks” we tend to think of crackers and sugary foods—all not allowed when it comes to keto. Fear not! Here are some delicious snacks that are all keto-friendly.

 Cheddar Crisps

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

10 thinly sliced jalapenos

 Heat a non-stick skillet, put a tablespoon full of grated cheddar cheese in skillet in little mounds. Place a slice of jalapeno on top of the cheddar mounds. Cover with a little more cheddar. Cook for a few minutes, until you are able to flip them over. Cook another minute. Dip in ranch dressing.


 Tuna and Avocado Salad

 2 cans water packed tuna fish, drained

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons Dijon

1 stalk celery, finely minced

1 green onion, finely minced

2 tablespoons dill pickles, minced

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

½ medium avocado, seeded, peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons fresh dill, minced

 Combine all ingredients. Serve on lettuce, in lettuce wraps, or wrap a slice of cheese around the tuna.


 Cheesy Bacon Dip

1 package cream cheese, softened

¾ cup mayonnaise

2 cups cheddar cheese, grated

½ cup green onions, finely minced

6 slices bacon, cooked, drained, chopped

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Pinch of salt and pepper

 Combine all ingredients.


 Stuffed Mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound spicy breakfast sausage

¼ cup onions, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup Parmesan, finely grated

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Pinch of salt and pepper

15-20 mushroom caps, stems removed

1/4 cup Italian parsley, minced

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and sausage and onions. Cook until sausage is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, and cook another minute. Add cream cheese and Parmesan cheese and combine until cheeses are melted. Add salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes. Cool slightly. Fill mushroom caps with sausage mixture. Bake 15 minutes until tops are golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley.


Jalapeno Poppers 

with barbecue sauce

5 jalapeno peppers

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup cheddar cheese, grated

½ tablespoon garlic powder

½ tablespoon onion powder

3 slices bacon, cut in halves 

(not thick bacon)

½ cup sugar-free barbecue sauce

 Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the jalapenos lengthwise —wear gloves! Remove the seeds and veins and discard. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, and onion powder. Fill each jalapeno half with mixture. Wrap half-slice of bacon around jalapeno and secure with a toothpick. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and brush liberally with barbecue sauce. Broil until bacon is completely cooked.

 

Balsamic Cucumber Bites

½ cup balsamic vinegar

1 English cucumber, sliced into 1-inch slices

1/3 cup roasted red peppers, chopped

12 basic leaves

12 Kalamata olives, pitted

 In a small saucepan, boil vinegar and then reduce heat to a simmer and reduce 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool completely. Arrange the cucumber slices on a platter. Dry the roasted red peppers on paper towels. Top each cucumber slice with some roasted red peppers, a basil leaf and then a kalamata olive. Use a toothpick to secure the “bundle.” Drizzle with the reduced balsamic vinegar.

 Forsyth County resident and author Adlen Robinson presents the best of her recipes each Friday for “In the Kitchen.” Please email her at adlen@adlenshomematters.com.