KETO RECIPES !!!
(Scroll down past the introduction to see the recipes)...
You asked for them, folks! I've lost about 25 pounds while being able to keep a smile upon my face and ya'll have asked how it's done, so here are the best KETO recipes we've come up with throughout weeks & weeks of experimenting. There are hundreds of recipes online and we found that a vast majority of them didn't work out very well... (those "5 star" ratings are probably click-bait for ad-revenue, after all). As you fiddle with exotic and unfamiliar ingredients such as "psyllium husk", "vital wheat gluten" and "almond flour", you start to get a feel for the way they work. This just might save you a lot of time, a lot of wasted ingredients and the recipes are definitely worth it.
Disclaimer: I'm NOT an expert! Just sharing my experience with the rest of you, and you'll find all sorts of information online if you need to know more. If you have any health issues, you'll probably want to look into the details before you try the KETO diet... or ask your doctor. There are lots of articles out there, like this one from MAXIM Magazine:
Article: Top Cardiologist Says No One Should be Doing KETO
I`m told that your gall-bladder with be working overtime to aid in the digestion of fats while you`re on KETO, so I imagine you`d better make sure that thing is in good shape before you do this, right? I`m also told that too much protein is hard on your kidneys, so you`d better be conscious of that as you prepare to change your eating habits, too. This would probably infer that you should drink a lot of water on KETO, which might infer that you`d better make sure your water source isn`t too high in mineral content if you`re concerned about kidney stones, (article below).
Wow!!! ... is it really this complicated? It surely wasn`t for us, but this does not mean that your experience will be the same. Ask your doctor if you`re concerned. Read all about it online. We hit Ketosis in 3 or 4 days and felt the surge of energy and awakeness almost instantly. If it doesn't turn out this way for you, then my guess is that you should back off and look into it before you go any further. We didn't experience any negative side-effects, apart from the Netflix-oriented KETO-flu for a couple of days in the second week.
Medical opinions, differing opinions, success stories, cautionary tales... there's a lot of info out there. Like any new adventure, it makes sense to analyze the map before you hit the road. You'll read good things and bad things about KETO, and you should consider all of it. I don't have anything bad to say about KETO at this point, but that could be because I haven't experienced any negative effects, right? They could be coming. I feel great, but I'm keeping my eyes open for any sign that there could be something wrong. Everything in moderation is a good way to approach just about anything. We did KETO for 2 months before returning to carbs for 4 months. It seemed like a reasonable approach to us and it's worked out very well. Read the article:
Business Insider: Keto, Kidney Stones & How to Avoid Problems
SCROLL DOWN FOR THE RECIPES !!!
Background - - Our Story
We did the KETO diet for a couple of months back in the spring and felt fantastic. Aside from losing more than 20 pounds in (most of) the right places, any number of aches and pains from my days as an extreme sports wannabe had disappeared after about 6 weeks away from the sugar & carbs. That was a pleasant surprise that I hadn't expected! We also experienced an incredible surge in energy and alertness, great sleeps, great poops and an all-around feeling of robust healthiness that we hadn't had in forever. I swear to you, I think my eye-sight even got better. We didn't work out or exercise at all throughout the diet. I DID cut down on my alcohol, which could account for some of the pleasant side-effects.
Transition Back to Carbs
Satisfied with what we'd accomplished after about 2 months, we returned to carbs and resumed the reasonably healthy diet that we'd enjoyed before KETO. We were really looking forward to returning to the occasional breads and stuff, so the first meal we enjoyed was a beef dip with fries & a coke! But to tell the truth, it wasn't as great as we expected. KETO food is rather awesome, and the extra fat content makes it unbeatable for satisfaction and flavour. I still find it amazing that you don't have to feel guilty about eating all this fat, but the reality is that it's hard to get enough of it. The transition back to carbs was barely noticeable, although we missed the added energy we'd been experiencing almost immediately and felt pretty bloated at times. Turns out that this bloated feeling is something you forget about entirely on KETO, but you remember that it's always been this way when you were eating your regular diet. In about 2 months, we were missing the added energy entirely... and the pains in the hip, knee and toe came back, too. This is the biggest reason I'm back on KETO again, although I'm already enjoying the extra energy and deep sleeps after just a few days.
Before KETO, we were finding it tough to stay awake through an entire movie before heading to bed. On KETO, we were watching 2 movies before heading to bed while still awake and energized, but we were able to fall asleep in minutes. Napping was out of the question... even if we wished for it. Back on the carbs for about 6 weeks, this benefit was first to go. The energy and alertness subsided gradually, and after 8 weeks back on the carbs, my aches & pains made a comeback. On the bright side, we could enjoy naps again. On the down side, was everything else. Of the two of us, I did NOT put any weight back on, but my belly did get a little bigger after a couple of months. Another interesting tid-bit about life on KETO... no farting! This'll be an eye-opener when you start eating carbs again... for you and your friends.
Life with or without carbs is a great thing and we surely enjoy our lives either way. But we've decided that life on KETO is just "a little bit" better. Despite the great food we enjoy while on a normal diet, the food we've learned to eat on KETO is even better! It's not really a "diet" after all... there's no regimen to follow, no food portions to measure out, and no calories to track. Some people do these things, but in my estimation you'll begin to eat smaller meals and settle into KETO after a few weeks anyway, so you shouldn't worry about it too much in the beginning. There are things I can't eat every day on a regular diet, (like burgers, fries, pizza, fast food, etc.), and there are things that I can't eat on a KETO diet. It's easy enough to manage because I frequently walk away from many of those "regular" foods... I know they aren't good for me. On KETO, I just walk away from them with greater resolve, and it gets to the point where it's really easy. Once you've been on KETO for a while, you'll discover that you can even enjoy cheat days without kicking yourself out of Ketosis. Although it's nice to have the option, the funny thing is that you'll probably find that you don't enjoy carb-filled indulgences as much as you thought you would? Not after trying these recipes!
* Skip down a few paragraphs if you want to get to the recipes right away *
There's KETO pizza, KETO rice, KETO cookies, KETO desserts, KETO pasta, KETO bread... just about anything you can imagine. Fattier the better! It's all amazing because it's full of the fattiest, most delicious stuff that the food world has to offer. When you cheat with additional carbs for a day, you'll really find yourself wondering, "why did I bother"? Unless it's wine, of course... but you can plan for that.
The Principle Behind KETO...
There are a couple of analogies that really made sense to me while I was trying to understand how this works. Although I'd witnessed the results with other people who had done this, it really didn't make any sense to me:
1. You're lost in the woods without food for a few weeks. Starving in the woods, you're going to lose weight, but most of it is going to come from your muscles first. How disappointing to come out of the woods and still have a pot-belly, huh? Your glycogen reserves will be gone in the first few days, and then your body will turn to fat for energy because the sugar is all gone. On KETO, your goal is to get enough protein to sustain your muscle mass, (25% of your diet), and enough fat to feed your body, (50% of your diet). Keep reading and it'll make more sense...
2. You're switching fuels from gasoline to diesel. If sugar is gasoline, then fat is diesel. Once your body isn't running on sugar anymore, then you'll have to keep filling the tank with diesel or you'll simply run out of fuel. When you run out of fuel, it'll be just like starving in the woods again, and your body will react the same way... eating your muscles first and leaving your love-handles for later. You cannot starve yourself! You have to eat!!! Get enough protein to feed your muscles, and enough fat to fuel your motor, and your body will literally become a fat-burning machine... that is, a machine that burns "fat" for "fuel". 20g to 50g will be your daily limit for carbs, and you're best to get those carbs from healthy veggies and stuff instead of wine and fireball shots... but more about that later. Why 20g to 50g of carbs? Because this is apparently the magic number at which your liver will start producing "Ketones". What are "Ketones"? They're something like a signal from your liver telling your body that there's no more sugar left, so it's gotta burn fat to keep you going. "Hello, Gallbladder... wake up and metabolize some fats, buddy. We're outta gas and we're switching to diesel". Does this sound like something a doctor would say? Again - - I'm not a doctor. If you have serious questions, please ask a doctor.
The Problem with KETO...
1. Food preparation takes time. It's not a terrible commitment, but fat bombs, chocolate mousse, bread baking, cookies... it all takes time and apart from pepperoni sticks and roasted chicken, I'm not sure that you can buy very much KETO-friendly stuff pre-made. How much time? You could eat a boring diet or chicken thighs, bacon, eggs & buttery broccoli and probably do well enough on KETO. You just might put some more time into it when you feel like something different.
2. Cream cheese & Almond Flour is expensive. You'll go through a lot of it, but if you have a Costco membership, then the almond flour and 1 liter tubs of cream cheese are the best deals we've been able to find by quite a margin. You'll go through a lot of butter and eggs too. Fortunately, you start eating a lot less food as you progress, but grocery day is always going to be expensive if you do some baking & cooking to keep your meals interesting. Asparagus, Cauliflower, Broccoli & Berries aren't usually among the cheapest items at the grocery store, either.
3. Snacking on the road. You'll begin to realize that everything within easy reach is full of sugar and carbs, but it's manageable if you reach for the pepperoni sticks, beef jerky and cheese when you're running around town. Running into the grocery store for a big bag of jerky really isn't a hardship, is it? Grocery stores often have roasted chicken and great stuff in the hot lunch section, too. Meat & cheese! Green Veggies & Ranch! It really ain't so bad.
4. Eating out. It's not really a problem! There are all sorts of KETO friendly meals out there, even if they're not intended to be that way. You can always sub salads with fatty dressings for the fries or potatoes that you can't eat. Stay clear of bread and breaded stuff and have the Cheeseburger without the bun... double-bacon heaven! Try lettuce for a bun. Maybe a taco-salad without the chips... extra sour cream makes up for that. I'm able to eat chicken wings, too... lots of Ranch dip and stay away from sugary sauces. Yes, the dusting of flour and vegetable oil contains carbs, but it's apparently not enough to kick me out of Ketosis. You'll have to watch this for yourself, but KETO gives you a lot of options. It's not what you'd call a restrictive diet.
5. DEHYDRATION. Notice that's in CAPITAL LETTERS? Drink plenty of water. I found the thirsts that come along with KETO are out-of-the-blue and very dire. One minute you're fine... the next minute, you feel like you've been wandering the dessert all day. That's your body telling you something. I surely drink 2L of water every day, and I always have it available. If you don't like regular water, then mix it with MIO or Kool-Aid. Many brands of these flavour bottles have sucrose, but many have stevia if you appreciate the more natural option.
6. YOU CAN'T CHEAT. Well, you sorta can after a month or so has passed. But you don't want to kick yourself out of Ketosis all the time because the fat you consume when you're waiting 3 days to get back Ketosis is probably going to get stored on your butt all over again. I've heard about pills that get you back into Ketosis more quickly, but I'm not sure they make sense to me... I'm NOT a doctor. Ketosis is all about your body running out of sugar and performing in a different way. If you're using pills to get into Ketosis while there's still sugar being processed in your body, then where does all the sugar go? Are you running on two fuels, now? All I'm going to tell you is that KETO works well the way it is and it's very simple. If you're cheating so frequently that you need pills to make up the difference, then perhaps you should consider trying another diet.
Alcohol & Drinking
I can drink like a fish, and everybody who's still reading at this point is probably giggling because most of us do it from time to time. On KETO, I find that I lose my drive to drink very much, although I'm still not completely sure why this is. I understand that your liver is really quite bored while on KETO, as it's not busy breaking down sugars and carbs all the time. When you drink, your liver fires up and breaks down the alcohol so efficiently that you're bombed after only a few drinks. Does that sound like Doctor Talk? I still enjoy a few social drinks, but prefer soda water & MIO to a rye & coke. You're able to drink just about anything without sugary additives, without fruit juice, and without sugary pop, and you're able to drink low-carb beers without kicking yourself out of Ketosis, too. There are about 5g of carbs in a glass of wine, so you've gotta make that part of your carb count for the day if you're indulging. On the bright side, there are only 1.5g of carbs in a glass of champagne. Finally, a reason to be classy!
Verdict: you don't have to stop drinking, but you probably will. It's no fun being completely bombed after 4 of 5 drinks, and the buzz that you're used to getting from alcohol takes away from the energy you're enjoying from KETO. If you're like me, you'll find that too much alcohol brings you down very noticeably and you'll stay away from it after a time.
It's easy to begin: just stop eating carbs. The lists below will tell you how to do it, and there's a chance you know most of this stuff already. Have a lot of snacks ready to go in the fridge, because you'll be grazing frequently when you set out: cooked bacon, pepperoni sticks, bite-sized cheese, hard-boiled eggs. The feeling of peckishness is due to your body missing all the sugar it's used to being fed so regularly. Your body is telling you that you're hungry because you're running out of gasoline. Aha! It takes a few days to switch over to diesel and adjust to your new fuel source. Perhaps the hardest part is wondering what to snack on when you're watching a movie. Parmesan Crisps from Costco are an awesome snack, and so is a personal meat & cheese platter, double pickles... with KETO crackers! Veggies from the lists you'll see below are terrific, as you can pretty much eat all the ranch dressing you can stand. You'll also love a KETO hot chocolate with a cookie or two. That hungry feeling won't last for very long.
Your first week, you'll likely find that you're eating way too much protein. This can apparently cause problems over the long term, so you should definitely pay more attention to it once you get going. You'll figure out how to eat "fattier" once you've settled in. When you've started eating enough fat and balanced out your diet properly, you're likely to get a couple days of sluggishness that people refer to as, "The KETO flu". It's simply your body adjusting to the new fuel, I suppose. Your food portions will become much, much smaller after this point, and as the fat content gets higher and higher you'll probably find that you're dropping pounds like quarters at a casino. You might even find that you're going an entire day without eating, and that you don't even think about it? A lot of this weight is sure to be water, and your weight could fluctuate quite a lot from day to day if you're tracking it too often. As long as you're feeling healthy and happy, don't worry about it too much. Those jeans you haven't worn in three years are about to fit! You've heard of "fasting" once in a while for the best results? It sounded absolutely horrible to me at first, and there was no way I would ever agree to do it. Yet, after a few weeks, I was surprised to find out that it's really easy. I've elected to not do the fasting thing thus far, because I'm not in this to lose any more weight. I'm sure it wouldn't bother me at all if I decided to do it. I like knowing that there's fuel in my tank every day, and it's worked well for me to this point.
My typical meal on a regular diet might have consisted of a couple chicken thighs and a big plate of pasta, but on KETO I eat much less than half of this, smothered in fatty sauces and all things delightful. You'll probably find that your food costs drop considerably once you've been doing KETO for a month because the portion-sizes are so much smaller and you eat less frequently. The food is very satisfying and your belly always feels full.
So with that said, I hope you enjoy the recipes and have a great time! Thanks for reading...
No one has to tell you "how" to make water. DRINK WATER. It's the first recipe and it's the most vital recipe in this list. I'm not a huge fan of regular ole' boring water unless I'm really thirsty, but the Kool-Aid and MIO flavour bottles make water easy for me to enjoy. Since I enjoy it so much, I drink a lot of it. A lot of water is good, although perhaps your Doctor would have something to say about artificial sweeteners. Again, I am NOT a doctor. This is stuff that works for me.
* Read the article on kidney stones in the above paragraphs *
CREAMY, SMOOTH, RICH & DELICIOUS HOT-CHOCOLATE
This is hot chocolate like you've never had before! So smooth and creamy, it makes an amazing movie snack with a couple of chocolate chip cookies. Really... this is like dessert, and if you've had a big meal, it's very, very filling.
- In a medium-sized pot, bring the Almond Milk and Whipping Cream to a boil while stirring occasionally
- Add the rest of the ingredients in no particular order and stir for another minute until blended nicely. You don't have to wait until the pot is boiling... throw it all in there... doesn't matter.
- Remove the pot from the stove after boiling and stirring for a minute and use either:
a. a hand-held blender (emulsifier) OR...
b. put the mix into a blender
- Blend until smooth and frothy
- 1.5 cups of Almond Milk
- 1.5 cups of half & half cream
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 1/3 teaspoon of cinnamon
- add sweetener until it's sweet enough
- just a 'pinch' of salt
There are a few varieties of fat-bombs, from the regular ones to Tiramisu, to Peanut Butter. They're all pretty awesome! Mouth-sized chocolate-coated treats that contain a lot of the fat you're going to need for the day. We find they're best kept in the fridge, but they stand up well at room temperature and can be brought along as snacks throughout the day.
- 1 CUP Cream Cheese OR Marscapone Cheese
- 1/4 CUP Butter
- 1/4 CUP Coconut Oil
- 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 2 to 4 Tbsp of sweetener (taste the batter)
- 1/2 CUP Almond Milk OR Brewed Coffee
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- Dark Chocolate 90%
- Sweetener (to taste)
- Soften the cheese, coconut oil and butter.
- Mix them all together and add the cocoa powder, vanilla and sweetener.
- You can add the almond milk or coffee at any time to make mixing easier
- Leaving the mixture to settle should firm it up to the point you can roll it into balls with your hands
- Place the balls in the freezer
NOTE: If the mixture is too thin you can thicken it by adding more more cheese, you can cool it in the fridge, or you can use less coffee or Almond Milk as you go.
- Next step: use a double-boiler setup to melt the chocolate. * If you're unfamiliar with this, simply boil water in one pot, and melt the chocolate in a pot above the boiling water. Don't even bother trying to melt chocolate in a pot directly upon the burner.
- As the chocolate melts, add your sweetener and stir until it's a sweetness that you're happy with.
- Cover the balls in the chocolate and place them on a rack, silicon mat or parchment paper as you go.
- Place them in the freezer or fridge when you're finished.
These little appies are truly amazing! A great treat that you can leave uncooked in the fridge until you're ready to cook them up in about 10 minutes in the toaster oven. You'll have to work with the dough quickly, as it sets up in about 15 minutes and becomes hard to work with. It's cheese-based! It's not a terrible rush, just make sure you're properly set up so you don't waste any time... that's why I'm putting the folding instructions at the beginning of the recipe. Folding a Simosa is easy... make a 4" x 4" square, start at the bottom corner and roll it into a cone... tuck the filling in quite tightly with a spoon or your fingers... close the open end and press the edges down with a fork to make it look pretty.
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 6 ounces of finely diced cauliflower
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro (fresh is best)
- 1 medium-sized white onion (red has many more carbs)
- 1 Tbsp of freshly chopped ginger
- 1/2 Tsp of Coriander
- 1 Tsp of Cumin
- Ground Red Chili Flakes: less than 1/2 Tsp unless you like it hotter.
- 1/2 Tsp salt (add a little more if you like the taste)
- Melt the butter in a good-sized pan or skillet, and add the cauliflower & onion
- Add the salt and stir until it's thoroughly cooked and the mix starts browning on the edges
- Add all the other stuff, (except the fresh coriander) while stirring for a few minutes to let the flavours mingle
- Last, add the coriander and maybe a little more salt to taste
- 3/4 cup of Almond Flour (fine works best)
- 1/4 teaspoon of Cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 8 ounces (200+ grams) of shredded mozzarella
- 2 Silicon Baking Matts, or parchment paper
* Use very low heat, or a double-boiler for melting cheese.
A double-boiler is either: A. bringing one pan of water to a boil, reducing the heat, & placing a 2nd pan on top for cooking or B. Take a bigger pan of boiling water off the burner once it's boiling and place the cooking pan within the bigger pan.
(Either technique produces gradual, even heat). Use about 2 inches of water. The important part is that the cooking pan doesn't touch the burner... a hot spot will kill your mix.
- In a 2nd pan, mix the Almond Flour, Cumin, Salt & Mozza.
- Place the cooking pan over the water pan... stir as it heats
- When the Mozza is melted, the mixture will form a dough.
- Spread the dough onto the silicon matt or parchment paper and knead it for a few minutes to make sure it's well-mixed. Don't let it sit too long, as it gets hard to work with in about 15 minutes! That's plenty of time to make this recipe, but you want to be efficient as possible.
- Put another mat or sheet on top, and roll it thin & even. If the phone rings or there's an explosion in the driveway, place your sheets in a warm oven to buy yourself some time.
- Cut into 4" squares, and then start making the samosas one by one. Make a cone, stuff it with the samosa mix, and then close it up and put it on the plate for the fridge. It's great to have two people to do this together, as the dough sets up quickly. Unlike regular dough, this is mostly cheese-based. No amount of butter or prayer will bring it back to life, although keeping it warm buys you some extra time. It's not a terrible panic, but don't waste any time by having everything ready in advance so things go smoothly.
- If you'd like to cook the Samosas immediately, place in the oven on a cookie sheet at 350F for about 10 minutes until golden brown and a little crispy on the edges. They're okay when re-heated, but absolutely amazing when baked as you need them!
- Serve with tzatziki, mango chutney or plumb sauce... even hummus is nice! Look up some Indian recipes for sauces if you like.
Loaded mashed potatoes
Chocolate chip cookies
Shortbread cookies whipped
Steak with cheeseball
Keto crackers - almost flour & mozza in a pan
3 pages of what you can eat & carb count
Cheese Bomb: pack cream cheese, half cup shredded mozza, half cup shredded parm, chili flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, mix it up... add parsley, etc... back it at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes until it's melty...