Last minute fixes with Chef Maria Emmerich

By: Maria Emmerich

These quick and easy recipes’ will be sure to be a hit at your socially distant Labor Day BBQ! For more recipes like these, check out my Quick and Easy Ketogenic Recipes book on Amazon!

Prep: 8 minutes 
Cook Time: 30 minutes 
Yield: 4 servings
4    bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs 
1  teaspoon  fine sea salt 
1  teaspoon  ground black pepper 
1    ripe avocado 
2  tablespoon  lime or lemon juice 
1  teaspoon  avocado oil 
1    (¹⁄8-inch-thick) slice red onion, separated into rings 
2    scallions 
1    lime, cut into wedges, for garnish 

1. Preheat a grill to high heat.

2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season on both sides with the salt and pepper. Grill the chicken for 10 minutes, then flip and grill for another 10 to 20 minutes, until cooked through and no longer pink inside (the exact cook time will depend on how large the thighs are).

3. Meanwhile, cut the avocado in half and remove the pit with a spoon. Drizzle the halves with the lime juice and brush with the oil. Place the avocado halves cut side down on the grill along with the onion rings and scallions. Grill for 3 minutes.

4. Remove everything from the grill and place on a platter. Season the avocado with salt to taste. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve each piece of chicken with one-quarter of the avocado and lime wedges.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The chicken and avocado can be served cold over salad greens or reheated in a greased cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes or until warmed through.

labor day menu recipe
Prep: 7 minutes 
Cook Time: minutes 
Yield: 4 servings
6  cups  chopped romaine lettuce 
4    large hard-boiled eggs, peeled & coarsely chopped 
  cups  Greek olives, pitted 
  cups  diced ham 
½  cups  crumbled blue cheese (about 3 ounces) 
1    large tomato, diced 
1    small red onion, diced 
¾   cups  Blue Cheese Dressing, for serving 

1. Arrange the romaine lettuce on a serving platter. Place the chopped hard-boiled eggs on top of the lettuce at one end of the platter.

2. Working your way across the platter, place the olives next to the eggs, followed by the ham, blue cheese, tomato, and onion.

3. Serve with Blue Cheese Dressing.



labor day menu stuffed mushroom
Prep: 4 minutes 
Cook Time: 12 minutes 
Yield: 2 servings
4    large portobello mushrooms 
½  cups  marinara sauce 
1    (8-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced 
  Chopped fresh basil leaves (reserve some for garnish) 
  Halved cherry tomatoes, sliced olives, diced bell peppers, and/ or diced onions 
1  tablespoon  Pizza Spice Mix (optional) 

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and save them for another recipe, such as Mushroom Ragu (page 300).

3. Place the mushroom caps, gill side up, on the lined baking sheet. Evenly distribute the sauce, cheese, and pizza toppings among the mushroom caps. Sprinkle with the spice mix (if using).

4. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the mushrooms are soft. Garnish with additional fresh basil leaves.

To make a single serving, use 2 large portobello mushrooms, ¼ cup marinara sauce, 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, and the toppings of your choice, along with 1½ teaspoons Pizza Spice Mix, if desired. A toaster oven is ideal for making this size portion


labor day menu lettuce wraps
Prep: 10 minutes 
Cook Time: 5-8 hours 
Yield: 16 servings
1    large onion, sliced into 1-inch thick rounds 
1    (3-pound) boneless chuck roast 
3-4    canned chipotle chiles 
2  cups  beef bone broth, store bought or homemade 
  cups  coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar 
¼  cups  lime juice 
2  teaspoon  finely chopped garlic, or cloves from 1 head roasted 
1  teaspoon  fine sea salt 
  tablespoon  chili powder 
2  teaspoon  dried oregano leaves 
  teaspoon  ground cumin 
¼   teaspoon  fresh ground black pepper 
16    large Boston lettuce leaves 

1. Place a layer of onions on the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker. Place the roast and chiles on top of the onions. Pour the broth, vinegar, and lime juice over the roast, then add the garlic, salt, and spices to the slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 5 to 6 hours, until the beef falls apart and can be shredded with a fork.

3. Remove the roast and transfer it to a cutting board. Shred the meat and serve in lettuce or tortilla wraps with your desired toppings.




SHREDDED CHEDDAR CHESE (omit for dairy-free)




SOUR CREAM (omit for dairy-free)



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