Amazing Cheese Spread {With Low Carb & Healthy Options}

 

You know how you have those recipes that you go to over and over again? Every graduation party. Every baby or wedding shower. Every Christmas Eve appetizer party. Yep? Well, this is one of those. I have two cheese spreads/cheese balls that get rave reviews from everyone and that I have made for over twenty years. They’re that good. The first is my Creamy Delicious Cheese Ball that has one of those little glass jars of “processed cheese” (along with cream cheese, cheddar, and other ingredients). It really is wonderful. And the second is a cheese spread recipe from a friend many years ago (not sure where it originated). One of these has literally been on the serving table at every one of my kids’ seven graduation parties and every Christmas Eve. (Why reinvent the wheel, right?)

 

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Smashed, Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Free Grammar/Usage Lesson from Language Lady too!)

 

At our house, we are all about veggies every night–for two reasons. First of all, we are trying to eat more healthfully in general as we lose weight and seek to eat more nutrient-dense foods and feel great. Secondly, since Ray Baby and I both practice Daily Intermittent Fasting, we only eat in a three to five hour eating window each day. We simply have to be sure that vegetables are a part of that eating window as much as possible.

 

I’ve raved about some of my favorite ways to make green beans in my 3 Favorite Green Bean Recipes post. We do a lot of oven roasting, air frying, and stir frying. My favorite way to prepare veggies for ease of cooking is oven roasting. You simply prep the veggies, put them on a cookie sheet (or jelly roll pan for a bunch!), and pop them in the oven. I love those easy preps!

 

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Easy, Convenient Breading Mix – Low Carb & Family Friendly Options!

 

Breading meats (and even vegetables) does not have to a taboo for the low carb cook or the low fat cook or the low calorie cook or the family-friendly cook. We have options! With healthy fats to brush over things, we can pop them in the oven with a healthy breading mix and have chicken nuggets the kids will enjoy. With air fryers, we can bread and fry fish or chicken to our heart’s content—and if we use a lower carb breading mix, we have the best of all worlds: low carb, low fat, low calorie!

 

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Succulent, Pan-Fried Steak (SIMPLE 4-8 Minute Instructions!)

 

We went on a grocery fast of $25 per week–so we had to start eating steak every week…..let me explain! The reason for the grocery fast was to try to empty our freezers, refrigerators, cupboards, and pantry of the excess food we had accumulated from gradually becoming empty nesters, but not really knowing how to shop, cook, or live like empty nesters! Part of this process includes using up five years worth of Omaha Steaks that were gifted to our business.

 

 

True confession: We have seldom ever cooked steaks. Sure, we made hamburger steaks, Swiss steak, chopped steak smothered with veggies, meatloaf steak, “poor man’s steak” (out of hamburger), and even ham steak. But with seven children on one income for over twenty-five years, meat was more of a “condiment”—in casseroles, soups, stews, and other combination dishes–than it was a “per person” type of meal element.

 

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Peanut Butter-Mayo Apple Salad (With Lower Carb and/or Lower Fat Options!)

 

I don’t remember my mom making a lot of salads when I was growing up. I remember some iceberg lettuce here and there on our plates and potatoes cooling in the fridge for potato salad, but that is about it. I do, however, remember the apple salad. Not because I ate it–it has mayo in it! (Yucky! ha ha) But because it was unusual to have anything other than potato salad and cole slaw in terms of “salads.” I quickly discovered that my high school sweetheart (Ray Baby–now my husband of almost 37 years!) loved salads of any kind, and he really loved my mom’s apple salad. So being the dutiful wife, I learned how to make it.

 

It isn’t hard, but it is unique. Every time I take it anywhere, people are always surprised by the combination of peanut butter and mayo–but in a good way. People really like this salad!

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Low Carb 7 Layer Salad (More or Less!)

Low Carb 7 Layer Salad

 

I don’t like dressed salads of any kind. I am a super boring salad eater–if I have the right cheese and my homemade croutons (made in the air fryer with low carb bread), I’m happy! So when I find a salad that is dressed and laid out in detail for me (not “toss with your favorite vinaigrette!”), I am glad to make it over and over. I have made this salad for thirty years.

 

You know how many people buy ingredients just to make a special salad? Well, I am just the opposite. I keep a bag of frozen peas in the freezer at all times–and I make this salad when I am running out of ideas of other things to make! It is so versatile (can have five layers, six, eight, nine…whatever), and I almost always have lettuce, cheese, and eggs on hand. So there you have the start of it!

 

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