Tag Archives: soul rebels photography

My favorite chicken salad sandwiches recipe (keto friendly) and fun chaos!

Ya’ll!!!! I cannot even believe it has been so long since I’ve written a blog post. I’m sure it has been crazy where you are and I’m no different. I could begin to catch you up if I tried. My kids are growing and doing well this school year. I’ll be honest and say with a freshman, an 8th grader, 6th grader and a 4th grader…the fun never ends!!! Lmao! It’s like a big party 24/7. The kind of party that sometimes you think you just as well burn the house down after it’s over than to try to repair the damage but a party none the less. Think Sixteen Candles with the pizza on the record player, Long Duck Dong falling out of the tree and you get the picture. 😂😂

Pretty much. This. Every morning 😂

That exactly. Every day of my life with teenagers and preteens. I tell people it’s like a game of whack a mole. I get one calmed down and another one pops up. But you know what? I’m going to say it keeps me young and I would not have it any other way. When you have 4 kids in less than 5 years, challenges are to be expected. Heck, my mama had 4 in ten years and there were challenges a plenty!! 4 girls!! Can you imagine?!

3 of my best blessings (Lisa, Me, Jenny, Claire….aka the Mayeux girls)

Challenges for Bernie and Steven sure but man these girls are my best friends. So I’m hoping that one day my kids can get as much joy from their siblings relationships as I do from mine.

Photo credit Soul Rebels Photography (check her out!!)

And it’s not always been an easy road. But it’s worth it. Which brings me to why you are likely here and not to here me go on and on about my sisters and my kids. Or maybe you’re here for both!! Also on my list of not always an easy road but worth it…keto. I fell off the wagon over the holidays. Yeah. I did. And that’s ok!! I actually jumped off screaming “weeee!!!” Lol! But the good thing is I realized how much better I feel when I eat mostly keto. My stomach troubles go away, less inflammation, less anxiety, just better in general. I ate keto for over a year so the blessing there is I know how worth it is to get back into it. So I’m getting back into it.

At the end of the day, it’s not about the numbers on the scale. What size jeans I wear. I mean those things are motivators, especially in the beginning. But doing this as a lifestyle, I’ve gained an appreciation for how it makes me feel. And that motivates me the most. Last year I learned I’m a better version of me when I go to Mass regularly and when I eat keto. But I’ve told y’all before I keep it simple. I do like trying recipes. And I might make the occasional fat head dough or make a nice low carb bread…but mostly I stick to my meat and low carb veggies. The first few days getting back into it are hard, but after that it’s all good mostly. Biggest piece of advice, stay hydrated and keep it simple!!! So in that same vein, I am sharing one of my favorite simple keto recipes. My favorite chicken salad. You can make a huge batch for the week and eat it by itself or over a bed of fresh spinach.

All the Mayeux grandkids…12 in all…for now…😉
Mama and her girls

My younger two kids adore it and will eat it in a sandwich. I made a batch for my family’s big Christmas shindig and it went fast!! Granted it was served on bread but it’s so good with or without bread! Momou used to throw a huge buffet style shin dig every Christmas Eve. Almost everyone would come. My Momee and some of mama’s family would even come. Second cousins in town for Christmas would come. Her Christmas Eve buffets were legendary (at least in Bluetown 🤷🏻‍♀️) and chicken salad sandwiches cut into triangles always made an appearance. I loved them. So this year for our Christmas Eve, my sisters and mama and I kind of recreated that same buffet style situation. Meatballs, dips, and yes…chicken salad sandwiches.

Claire and JP showing off our smorgasbord

This exact chicken salad. But with bread. So this is a versatile recipe. I never knew Momou’s exact recipe but this tastes pretty close. And a little side note…if you are looking at keto meal prep for the week, make some egg salad, deviled eggs, ham and cheese roll ups…the list of simple lunches is endless! You can so do this. I can so do this!!

Any how…on with my favorite chicken salad recipe!!

Cajun Mama’s Favorite Simple chicken salad! (And it’s keto friendly!!)

Stuff you need~

Servings-a serving or two for my lunches and then enough for 2 sandwiches for the kids so double as needed

3 chicken breasts, boiled and deboned

Plenty of mayo *

White pepper

Himalayan pink salt

*check labels and use the lowest carb one….I.e. the least or no sugar. You can make your own…I don’t, but if you are so inclined then by all means. I am ketoish. Meaning I use regular mayo and that’s good enough for me

What to do with the stuff~

If you have a food processor, then I would definitely go this route! I have a Pampered Chef one that I use when I am not making a huge batch and it works perfectly! I’m a Pampered Chef consultant and I got one in my start up kit and it’s awesome! I love the consistency that running the chicken breasts through the processor gives my chicken salad….but feel free to just chop your chicken up. Do you!!

Now the mayo…listen everyone is different. Some like their chicken salad more moist and some like their chicken salad on the dry side. I know I add at least 1/2 cup to three chicken breasts. So start out with less and add more as needed. Remember that the mayo is a needed fat in this situation and much needed to keep you full!! You do not want a bunch of protein with no fat. Use the mayo made with olive oil if that helps you. Now sprinkle in white pepper. It’s an acquired taste and has grown on me over the years. Another wonderful chicken salad recipe I posted a few years ago from one of my most favorite restaurants in Shreveport Fairfield Grocery chicken salad, uses white pepper and I have incorporated it into different recipes since then. I suggest you try it if you have not before. Then sprinkle In Himalayan pink salt to taste and you are set! It will stay good in a sealed container in the fridge for a few days…but it never lasts that long in my house!!! I’ll add pictures when I make some after while. It’s so delicious!

My daddy always finds a recliner to nap on during any family function. And he really sleeps!
Big Daddy and my sissies…💗💘
Reasons my daddy naps 😂 but we have fun!!
Seems so serene…but we are a wild bunch
This is so us.

A HUGE shout out to my ultra talented and precious friend, Natalie Parnell, and Soul Rebels Photography For these fantastic family photos. She manages to capture our family at its core….fun chaos while somehow showing the beauty in all the chaos. She is so talented and just a dear precious soul to work with. She manage to get some great shots in less than an hour. If she can do that for us…she can do it for your family! Check her out here!! Also look her up on Facebook! She truly is amazing.

That’s Nat (Soul Rebels Photography) and my Madame Toot!!

Low carb lasagna and change is good!

So I have lots of friends doing keto and low carb right now. That’s an excellent thing since it means lots of support and also they send me lots of recipes. As many of you know, I am also a pampered chef consultant and a friend of mine wanted to a virtual party because she, like me, loves Pampered Chef. Being a consultant and doing keto puts me in touch with lots of friends who have common interests and I love that. I have fallen in love with being a consultant and it’s a natural fit like I would never have imagined. Over the past year I have absolutely amazed myself with my ability to push past limits I had set for myself. I feel like I have stepped into this place where God wanted me to be and it’s all happening. It’s a wonderful thing and it has strengthened my faith twofold. I never thought my oldest could get accepted to an excellent high school Magnet engineering program and I’d not melt down and cry because he’s growing up. I never thought I could handle the THOUGHT of that transition.

And yet…I have.

I never thought my quiet, meek child would so bravely approach horse back riding like she has.

And yet…she has. She’s growing more confident with each lesson. Taking life on like a boss!

I never thought I could lose almost 60 pounds but it has happened. And I’m not done yet, peeps!!

I never thought I could go back to work full time and my family be ok. Somehow we have all thrived. I just thought it would be too much. It’s not. It’s exactly what I was supposed to do. I have found this wonderful community of support and positivity at the school where I work. When I say work I mean sub almost everyday. I am praying for a day when it becomes a real full time gig. I don’t know what to do with myself when I’m not there. My kids have thrived. My older two catch the bus to the school where I work and my two younger kiddos go to school. I never thought they’d love riding the bus but they do. I never thought we could leave our old school and feel at home and so much a part of a new school. And yet it is has happened. That my child who was “the problem kid” in class could excel and be so happy, just as he is.

And yet…he has. He has blossomed. Amazing what a little change can do! Even change we are so scared of and think it will never be ok. Never be the same. And no, they are not the same…they are different in a whole new, wonderful way! Change is good!!

My younger two babies are content and happy and feel at home. I never thought our family would be the same if Big Daddy did not work at Farm Bureau, and yet we are even better. He’s happier and his insurance business is thriving.

Thriving. That word. We have gone beyond surviving . Our family is THRIVING! My marriage is thriving.

We have walked through the fire, we have endured controversy and come out stronger. God has made a way when I saw absolutely no way. It’s amazing and wonderful and thrilling what he has done. No, life is still not perfect but somehow we are here and BETTER THAN EVER!! We have a wonderful support through our family and friends. They have held us up through prayer, through encouragement and little ways and big ways. The people I work with, the people he works with, the principals of our schools, the teachers at both schools, the people where we go to church. So. Much. Support. Literally a village. Our families have held us up and never faltered.

We have such wonderful people all around us!

What I thought would be a horrible time has turned out to be this beautiful time where things did not fall apart. No. They came together in a whole new beautiful way that I could never imagined. I say all of this to remind you that you are capable of so much more than you think. The people around you are behind you so much more than you know. If they are not, find new people. When things are falling apart, that is just a chance for God to help you rebuild in a whole new way. He can. He will. I’m getting somewhere with all of this, my friends. I just needed to take a minute to say things you think will never work, when your worst fear is realized, it can be ok. It can be better than ok. Trust, pray, believe.

How does this all tie into a low carb lasagna recipe, you might ask? Oh well let me tell you. When my friend, Michelle, sent me this recipe for low carb lasagna, I thought, I’ll try it but ain’t no way this is better than my mama’s lasagna. That recipe is here. It’s the best. I thought I’ll make this to stay in my macros dang it, but I know I’ll still want real lasagna, I’ll know it’s not the same. But wait. As with life, I was amazed. No lack. This lasagna is amazing. It’s so tasty. It’s full of flavor. I’m not lying y’all. It’s so good!!! I made my mama’s lasagna right alongside this low carb version for my family and I was not even tempted!! So take that for what it’s worth. Just like life can surprise you and something you think will be the end, only marks the beginning of something new…a low carb/keto lasagna CAN be satisfying and delicious. Just my two cents. And I had several taste testers (a teacher I work with and two of Big Daddy’s coworkers at Reeves, Coon, and Funderburg all liked it too!!)

Low Carb Lasagna with Meatza Layer (adapted from Low Carb Yum)

stuff you need ~

Meatza layer

2 pounds lean ground beef

1/2 cup Grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon chili powder, more or less depending on preference

Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper to taste

3-4 teaspoons Italian seasoning *

1 egg yolk, beaten

Lasagna~

Meatza layer

10 ounces fresh spinach

1 cup ricotta

1 jar Rao’s marinara sauce (Walmart)**

2 egg yolks, beaten

2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup Grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

A few turns of cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

What to do with the stuff~

Ok. First off you will need parchment paper. So if you do not have any, get some. This recipe was a little extra, I’m not gonna lie and I have revised it some to make it less complicated but the parchment paper is important.

First off, make this meatza layer. It’s the foundation of this whole operation.

Preheat oven to 450.

Line 2 9 x 13 inch baking dish with parchment paper. One for meatza layer and one for actual lasagna.

In a large mixing bowl…add all the meatza ingredients. Ground meat, beaten egg yolk….

Mix it together real good

Press into your parchment paper lined baking dish.

Bake at 450 for 10-15 minutes or until done. Drain.

Now to make lasagna …

In other parchment paper lined baking dish, spread a little marinara sauce on the bottom (which is on top of parchment paper…to be clear)

While meatza layer is cooking, go on and sauté your spinach. Warm olive oil over medium heat and then sauté your spinach in it until wilted. Sprinkle in the onion and garlic powder, add a little black pepper.

When meatza layer is cooked, you can slice the meatza layer to fit nicely in the bottom of this pan.

Now, spread some marinara sauce all over top of the meatza layer. Sprinkle with some of the Parmesan.

Top this layer with the spinach.

Add the ricotta and 2 beaten egg yolks to a bowl and blend together. Now spread that ricotta cheese egg mixture all over this spinach. Top with half of the mozzarella.

More marinara, more Parmesan.

Now finish this with the rest of the mozzarella. Sprinkle it all over. Load it down.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until the cheese is all melted and irresistible looking. Like you cannot handle how good it looks. And why yes, that is an old school Pampered Chef stoneware baker. I inherited it from my mother in law (shout out to Deb!) I use that thing more than I ever imagined, just as I use all my Pampered Chef. I guess that’s why I became a consultant! And guess what? It’s been a blessed business and I give God all the glory!! He continues to bless my path every time I ask Him to come in and do His thing. Just saying. But I digress..back to the lasagna!

Only 3 grams of carbs and it is perfection. Noodles? I don’t need no stinking noodles!! It’s a dish I will crave and make over and over again. I can eat this and stay in my macros? It’s keto and I love it!! Hope y’all enjoy it! Thanks Michelle for sharing this recipe with me! And keto peeps, I have started a Cajun Keto Mama Facebook page if you’d like to join me on there! This is a journey, not a destination y’all. Remember that and be patient with your body. Just keep at it!! Drop me a comment and let me know if you need anything!!

*original recipe called for all sorts of spices and I just did Italian seasoning. The spices were basically all the spices in Italian seasoning.

**you can use any marinara but Rao’s is fantastic and low carb. Just a thought

***cotton field pics photo creds go to my precious friend, Natalie, with Soul Rebels Photography. She’s an amazing friend and photographer who also works at The Razzberry Restorative Salon, owned by two of my good friends, Jessica and Whitney. That’s where I get my hair did. And my soul restored. More of my people.