Keto Bacon Cups w/ Spinach, Cheese, & Shrimp

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone!  I hope you all are soaking in the lovely sun, taking it easy, and having lots of relaxing fun with your loved ones.

I wanted to pop in here and share with you one of the many little things that I've been cooking up that fit into my keto diet that I have been pretty faithfully following for a while now.  If you know anything about keto, you know that bacon is your friend.  I mean, could there be a more awesome diet to follow?  The answer is no.

LOL...  seriously though, I do eat about 2-4 strips of bacon on most days that I eat (when I'm not doing an extended fast), but I do want to say that I always incorporate a ton of fresh vegetables, some fruits, and lean proteins so that I'm getting all the vitamins and nutrients that my body needs to stay healthy for a very long time.  I think it's important for anyone doing the ketogenic diet to keep that in mind.  It's not all heavy cream, bacon, cheese, and bun-less Baconators...  it's about really limiting those carbs and getting the low amount of carbs you are ingesting from vegetables and fruits.

I do have my favorite things that I make on a very regular basis that fit nicely into my diet like scrambled eggs with spinach, bacon, and cheese and tuna salad with mayo and lots of veggies with cucumber "chips" or lettuce cups...  but I also like to try and come up with other things to keep it interesting.  The other day I came up with this simple but delicious appetizer and I urge you to make it immediately.  It's so good.  It's also very versatile... once you learn to make these bacon cups, you can fill them with anything you want... the sky's the limit!

To make this tasty treat, start by getting your bacon into a 375 degree oven.  Just take a cupcake pan and fill as many cups as you want with a strip of bacon wrapped around in a circle to form a cup.  As you wrap the bacon strip around, you will have a length of it left that you can kind of bend down to cover the bottom to form a cup.  They don't have to be perfect because as you can see, when they cook they shrink and lose their form a bit, but they basically keep their cup shape enough to fill them with the yummy goodness of your choice.

Once they are cooked to your liking, pick them out with a pair of tongs and let them rest on your cutting board.  Save the bacon drippings by pouring it into a small bowl so you can use some of them to cook the rest of the dish.

Next, cook your shrimp.  After you've shelled and de-veined them, season them with sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and dried parsley.  Toss them to coat, then add them to a hot pan with a bit of the bacon drippings.  Saute them for just a couple minutes until they become firm.  Remove them from the pan and set aside.

Lastly, take several handfuls of fresh spinach and add it to a medium-hot pan with a bit more of the bacon drippings.  Fill the pan as much as you can with the spinach leaves as they will wilt down considerably and you want to have enough to fill all the cups.  Season the spinach with a touch of sea salt, black pepper, and red pepper flake.  Using your tongs, toss and move the spinach around in the pan to coat it with the hot bacon drippings until it is all wilted down.  Once cooked, remove it from the pan onto your cutting board, then give it a rough chop.

Now it's time to assemble the cups.  It's just that easy.  Place your bacon cups on an oven-safe plate and fill each one to the top with spinach.  Top each one with a sprinkle of the cheese of your choice.  I just used a Mexican shredded cheese mix I get at Costco.  Pop the plate in the oven for a minute or so to melt the cheese.  Remove the plate from the oven and top each cup with a shrimp.  Garnish with fresh herbs if you have them.  That's it!

When you bite into these, you get the spicy goodness of the shrimp and the juiciness of the spinach.  They are amazing and so satisfying.  Give it a try and if you do, let me know what you think!  This would be a great appetizer to make any time, but also perfect to serve at a party or cookout.

If you enjoy my recipes and/or want to follow my fitness journey and other interests, follow me on Instagram at tarathefoodie

That's it for now kids...  until next time.

Peace & Love,

Tara Lynn