Backyard BBQ coleslaw

As the month of August approaches its end, I’ve been trying to squeeze in as much outdoor time and BBQ fun as I possibly can.

A typical American BBQ usually has the same side salads over and over again – potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, etc. – all of which are dressed in mayonnaise. Unfortunately, mayo is one of the only foods that I really hate. So when I go to BBQ’s, I end up eating burgers and wings with no side dish, except for maybe corn on the cob. Lame!

I love those classic BBQ sides when they are dressed in a vinaigrette rather than all that mayonnaise goop. It’s just so much lighter and more refreshing – not to mention much healthier and fewer calories. This coleslaw recipe is definitely one of my go-to’s when I’m having a BBQ.

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Spicy chick peas & zucchini noodles

I’ve been all about farmer’s markets this summer. There are a few that run weekly fairly close by, and I’ve been making it a point to go and load up on freshly grown produce (among other things).

I prefer to eat a bit lighter during the summertime. Maybe it’s because it’s hot out, or that I’m sweaty, or not as hungry – who knows. But I always see summer as the opportune time to start taking healthy eating a little more seriously and to add a hefty amount of fruits & veggies to my diet.

I have been buying a ton of zucchini. It’s pretty versatile, and can be prepared in a lot of different ways – all of them delicious, and all of them super filling.

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Birthday cheesecake mousse

I love classic birthday cake. There’s just something about a moist vanilla cake layered with super-sweet cream and rainbow sprinkles. Birthday cake flavored things are among my favorite snacks – birthday cake Oreos are now my favorite variety, the Birthday Cake Remix is my favorite thing to order at Cold Stone, and I am going through a phase where I am obsessed with rainbow bagels smeared with birthday cake cream cheese (I’ve been on the quest to find the perfect one – The Bagel Store in Brooklyn is terrific, and so is the Bellmore Bagel Cafe on Long Island). It’s safe to say I like all things birthday cake.

the rainbow bagel with birthday cake cream cheese from the Bellmore Bagel Cafe

 

Since I typically try to limit my carb and sugar intake, I’ve been experimenting with recipes that would allow me to indulge in my birthday cake cravings – without destroying my diet. I have come up with the perfect solution.

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3 Ingredient Ribs

Whenever my husband gets the groceries to help me out, he always buys things that were not on the shopping list (usually some random fruit, meat product, or Entenmann’s cake).

Last week, he brought home pork bi country style ribs.

I’m a big fan of ribs – I could eat them every day. But I’ve never made them before.

For my first time, they came out awesome.

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Hasselback antipasto chicken breast parmesan

Lately I’ve been on an Italian food kick.

I keep craving it.

Something I truly love is a good chicken parmesan – fried golden brown cutlets, drowning in marinara sauce, and oozing with mozzarella cheese.

This was something I needed to eat. I didn’t have any chicken cutlets, only chicken breasts – and I did not feel like pounding them out. I had an abundance of fresh basil and fresh tomatoes from my yard that I wanted to use, and I also have a ton of homemade sauce that my husband froze in batches a few weeks ago. Mozzarella cheese? Check. I also noticed that I had some bonus pepperoni in my cold cut drawer. This was gonna be good.

In my efforts to lighten up my food, I decided to revamp the chicken parm we all know and love. I went the low-carb route, and didn’t use breadcrumbs or fry the chicken… and it was still delicious.

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Zoodle pesto rosso with crumbled sausage and roasted cauliflower

zoodle pesto rosso with sausage and cauliflower
low carb deliciousness

 

Three of my good friends came over last night, and we decided to cook dinner together.

Like me, Andrew has certain dietary restrictions. He too is lactose intolerant. He is also on a health kick, and has lost a significant amount of weight in the last few months by going low-carb, low-sugar, and working out.

We wanted Italian food, but didn’t want the guilt of eating pasta. We went over to the grocery store, loaded up on zucchini and some other items, and headed back. With the help of a spiral cutter, we were going to have zoodles.

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