This past weekend we had planned to have friends over for dinner. I love spending the week before planning out what I’m going to make for our guests.
I always love a good challenge in the kitchen, and whenever a bunch of us get together as a group, there’s always dietary restrictions. This is a gluten-free household, so that was taken care of.
One of my friends recently was diagnosed with epilepsy after having experienced a few seizures. I cannot even begin to imagine how scary that would be for someone to go through.
Since then, she has adopted a low-carb diet, because it’s been proven to help reduce seizures, and other symptoms that accompany epilepsy.
I wanted to make something that was a little out of the box. I knew I wanted to make some kind of tomato based dish.
I love Pinterest because you can always get so much inspiration! I decided to do chicken and pancetta baked in my favourite marinara sauce, with lots and lots of cheese.
As you can see above, it turned out super cheesy, and it was so good.
But in order for this to stay low-carb, pasta noodles are out of the question. And since there was going to be eight of us eating, I also didn’t have time to spiralize 10 zucchinis. So I opted for one of the first low carb recipes I’ve ever made.
Garlic and cheese cauliflower muffins.
These are the perfect addition to any saucy dish that requires some “mopping up.” It’s the most delicious alternative to garlic bread.
I was super excited for everyone to come over and try my new creation. I am always a little nervous trying new recipes for guests, but my friends love to be my guinea pigs, so I couldn’t wait for them to try it…
But as the day went on, people were dropping like flies. My niece woke up with a stomach bug, and our other friends’ daughter also came down with the flu. Everyone had to cancel, I had all this food, and no guests.
In the end, it was just the three of us. Myself, Mr. FIL, and Bentley.
Mr. FIL and I devoured dinner, played Monopoly and were in bed by 10 pm. It was a wild Saturday night!
Chicken and Pancetta Marinara Bake
Perfect for a busy weeknight, this baked chicken dish comes together in a flash. It’s perfect served on a bed of fresh pasta, or over top of some fresh zucchini noodles.
- 2 lbs chicken breasts 4-5 breasts
- 1 cup pancetta cubed and cooked
- 5 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 cup parmesan cheese shredded
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Place the chicken on a greased baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until it is no longer pink in the middle. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and spread it evenly in a large casserole dish. Add the pancetta, and pour the marinara sauce over top. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until the cheese is nice and melted, and the casserole is bubbling.
Let it rest for 10 minutes. Serve with fresh pasta noodles or zucchini noodles.
Cheesy Garlic Cauliflower Muffins
The perfect low-carb alternative to garlic cheese bread! These “muffins” are full of all the good stuff: fresh garlic, parmesan and old cheddar cheeses. All of the garlic cheese bread flavours without the heavy carbs.
- 4 cups riced cauliflower* see note
- 3 eggs
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese grated
- 2 cups old cheddar cheese grated
- 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp coconut flour or sub almond flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients, and mix until well combined.
Line a muffin pan with paper liners (or skip the liners, but make sure you grease the muffin tins extra good). Spoon the mixture into the cups, and press down, filling each cup about 3/4 full.
Bake for 22-25 minutes, until the outside edges are lightly browned and crispy. Let them rest in the tins for 5-10 minutes. You can either serve them hot right away or let them cool on a rack.
When you’re ready to serve, reheat in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
You can buy riced cauliflower in the produce/frozen sections of the grocery store.
To make your own, place washed and dried cauliflower florets into a food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower is crumbly.