Recipe: Cucumber Salad

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I gave this family favorite a makeover to make it keto friendly. Growing up, my parents made cucumber salad a lot. There always seemed to be some in the refrigerator (probably because my dad had a mini garden in the backyard and too many cucumbers)! There is something so yummy about this salad that has a little bit of everything - sweet, sour, spice! It’s super healthy and a great snack especially when you swap out the sugar with sweetener.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cucumbers

  • 1 small onion (optional)

  • 1/2 cup Vinegar (or enough to cover cucumbers)

  • 3/8 tsp (or 1 1/2 packets of Truvia (or to taste)

  • pepper to taste

  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Slice the cucumbers, removing skin if desired. I feel like they soak up the vinegar better if you remove the skin, but if you’re too lazy, it still turns out great! I’m not super precise with this recipe so I usually just kind of wing it, tasting as I go!

Add to a bowl or tray and cover with vinegar. Add Truvia or sweetener of choice, pepper, and salt, to taste. Stir to combine and let sit in the refrigerator for an hour or two so the cucumbers soak up the vinegar. The longer it sits, the better it tastes! But I usually can’t wait that long.

Review: Epic Artisanal Pork Rinds - Sea Salt and Pepper

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I have a confession to make. I used to hate pork rinds. Back in my old low carb days, I tried them and almost gagged. I hated them. I hated the smell, the texture, the taste…all of it. When I started Keto, I decided to give them a try again. I got a different brand and started with pork rind nachos, figuring if they were covered in cheese and salt, I wouldn’t notice the taste.

The Smithfield Farms ones I got from my grocery store actually weren’t bad. Either pork rind technology had changed since 10 years ago or I just got a better brand. I still wouldn’t binge on them, but with salsa, cheese, and sometimes guac, they were pretty tasty.

Enter Epic Artisanal Pork Rinds. I saw them on sale at the grocery store and picked up the sea salt and pepper flavor and the chile and lime flavor figuring I should expand my pork rind horizons. I popped open the sea salt and pepper ones and gave them a cautious taste. Holy cow (or should I say pig?)! These are incredible. The flavor was amazing. They had a nice crunch. It was almost like eating potato chips. I was in shock. I was actually eating pork rinds without smothering them in cheese! They are made with “organic, non-gmo, pastured, and pork raised without antibiotics combined with simple seasonings” and I think that makes the difference.

I’m really hooked on these now. The sea salt and pepper is definitely my favorite of the two I got, but I got some queso and I’m going to try some pork rind nachos with the chile and lime…but the great thing is I don’t NEED to. I have eaten those on their own and they are just as good plain.

I never thought I’d be a pork rind lover, but here we are. If you see them, give them a try and you might get hooked like me! They also come in:

The Best Seaweed Snack I've Had So Far

Let’s be real, I’ve probably had like 2 seaweed snacks total so this is not as ground breaking as it may seem, but this was pretty damn good. Seaweed is one of those things people either love or hate. My girlfriend wouldn’t touch seaweed with a ten foot pole while I’m over here eating an entire package of seaweed in one sitting. To each their own.

Most people are familiar with seaweed as a wrapper for sushi. Seaweed snacks are similar, but often are cut into smaller bite-size pieces and have seasonings added like sea salt or sesame. This particular one by gimMe Organic was Teriyaki flavor and OMG it was the perfect blend of salty and sweet. This is the kettle corn of the seaweed snack world. Thank god they are only 25 calories and 1 carb per serving (2servings per package) because I ate the whole damn thing.

That’s sort of my problem with seaweed snacks in general. They aren’t filling. They’re paper thin so even eating a whole package isn’t really going to fill you up. They might satisfy a craving if you’re jonesing for something salty or sweet or crunchy. But they were a fun little snack and the flavor of this one was so good, I enjoyed it.

These were super cheap at my grocery store. They were on sale for around $1.50 so I took the plunge. I’d definitely stock up on these if I could catch a sale. I’m not sure I can justify a full-price buy (they were around $2.50) since I’d probably get more full eating two actual dollar bills. Amazon has a 20 pack for $15.99, which averages out to about 80 cents per package, which is a good deal. Clear the shelves - I need to make room for this herd of seaweed snacks!

Two More Sparkling Whips I Made!

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I am absolutely obsessed with these whips! Between the Sparkling Ice flavors and the other brands, there are so many possibilities! These have become my night time treat. The Sparkling Ice has 0 carbs and 0 cals so you only have to worry about counting the heavy cream in your totals! 2 tablespoons of heavy cream is approximately 1 carb and 100 calories.

I tried two flavors recently. The first was the Black Raspberry Sparkling Ice. This is MY Pink Drink. This was so good. I’m going to be stocking up on Black Raspberry this weekend! The next flavor was a store brand version that was Orange Mango flavor. This was good, too. It reminded me a bit of Orange Julius (I’m showing my age!).

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The great thing about these is that they are an easy “treat” that won’t add a lot of carbs and you’re getting some water in as well. I don’t drink enough throughout the day. No matter how hard I try, I get busy, I forget. So, this is an easy way for me to drink more liquids that taste great and aren’t going to mess up my totals for the day. Because of the heavy cream, they also are filling!

You can expect to see more of these on my blog and Instagram dash!

GimMe Organic Seaweed Snacks - Did I Really Just Binge Eat an Entire Package of Seaweed?

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If you told me I would binge eat an entire pack of seaweed snacks, I would not have believed you. But it happened, folks. Granted 1 serving was half a package and there were probably 20 tiny sheets of seaweed total, but what the hell!?!?!

At first, I didn’t see the fuss over these. They taste a lot like seaweed wrappers I’ve had with sushi, but these are flavored with sea salt and I think that’s what made them so bingeworthy. They’re a little weird to eat because you either have to rip pieces off with your teeth like an animal, rip it into smaller bites like some DIY crafter, or just wad it up in a ball and pop it in your mouth like a kindergartner eating paper.

But none of this seemed to hinder me from eating the whole damn package. My only saving grace is that they are so low in carbs and calories that it was only 50 calories and 2g carbs for the whole package. These actually would be a great snack for when you are craving chips or something salty/crunchy. They seem pretty harmless and as a seaweed lover, I thought they tasted great.

They come in other flavors like sesame, teriyaki, wasabi, and olive oil. I think my grocery store had the sesame flavor and sea salt but none of the others. I would definitely try the other flavors!

Why Can't I Stop Eating the Kool Ranch Kale Chips?

These kale chips from Rhythm Superfoods are so weird, you guys! They look sort of odd and I couldn’t decide if I liked them or not, yet I couldn’t stop eating them. I had a few and set the bag down and walked away and next thing I know, I’m back with my hand in the bag! They don’t taste exactly like Cool Ranch Doritos, but they seem to have the same addictive qualities. This is like Kale Crack.

I usually don’t buy packaged kale snacks because they’re costly for how much you get and you can make your own kale chips super easy for super cheap. Just buy a gigantic bag of the prewashed kale, remove the ribs and tear into even pieces, drizzle with olive oil, and add salt and pepper or other seasonings, and toss with your hands. Bake in an oven preheated to 300 degrees for 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Keep any eye on them so they get nice and brown, but don’t burn to a crisp. You want them cooked enough so they aren’t soggy, but not so much they disintegrate when you pick them up!