Keto Basics, Keto Beginner, Recipes, Uncategorized

Back to Basics: Favorite Recipes, Part IV

Getting your body into ketosis is easy.  You don’t need any special diet supplements or drinks or anything crazy.  You don’t need to pay for classes to learn about keto.  What you need is access to free resources and food.  It’s that simple.  The resources help you learn more about the specifics of what to eat and when.  The food is what you need to get your body into a healthy, fat burning machine.

There are tons of Keto recipes online, in cookbooks and shared among friends.  And yet, it is still so hard to find a great recipe that actually tastes good!  It shouldn’t be that hard, but it is.  If I’ve learned anything about cooking Keto over the past year, it’s that difficult recipes are rarely worth the effort.  Complicated recipes are time consuming, require a lot of (sometimes) usual ingredients, are difficult to follow properly…and, after all of this, the taste doesn’t reflect the efforts and resources.

If you’re looking for a few great recipes, you’ve come to the right place!  Here are a few recipes that my family and I all love, are easy to make, are keto-friendly to help you stay with your macros, and above all, taste great!

FYI: This blog got really long.  So I’m splitting it up by Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks & Desserts (here).  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but I think it’ll be worth it because I have some great recipes and information which include eating out!

Snack Ideas:

Cucumbers w/ Ranch

Cucumbers are amazing!  They’re easy to find at the store, they can be eaten raw with or without the skin (I buy organic and eat the skin), they can be used as something crunchy and even as a cracker replacement.  Am I crazy enough to think a cucumber is a crack?  NO!  But you can use cucumber slices as a vehicle to put other things in your mouth, like tuna salad or dip.

Ranch can be tricky.  You need to monitor the nutritional information and ingredients label to make sure you don’t get something with ridiculous sugar and whatnot.  I’m in love with Bolthouse Farms’ Yogurt Ranch dressing.  It’s 2g carbs per 2 tbsp and it totally worth it.  You can buy this just about everywhere, including Walmart, but it’s in the salad section and cannot be found on the shelf with other dressings and condiments.

1/2 cup of cucumber slices:

  • 7.8 calories
  • 1.6g net carbs
  • 0.1g fat
  • 0.3g protein
  • Lots of vitamins, minerals, sterols
  • 49.5g water

2 tbsp ranch dressing:

  • 45 calories
  • 3g net carbs
  • 3g fat
  • 1g protein

Note: I can eat a cucumber straight.  I love to just cut 1/2 of an Organic English/Hothouse cucumber and munch on it with or without any sauce or dressing to dip it in.  I love it!

Salted, Roasted Almonds, Pecans and Macadamia Nuts

I like to keep an eye out for a good sale on keto-friendly nuts that have high fat, moderate protein and low carb.  Macs (macademia nuts) seem to be the most expensive but have the best macros, so I go crazy when I see them on sale on Amazon or my local market. 

At my home, I like to keep a good stock of roasted, salted almonds, pecans and macadamia nuts to just grab and go.  Sometimes life happens and we need a quick and easy go-to food.  The reason I prefer them salted is because on keto you need to add more salt to your diet and if it’s already salted that is less for me to think about!

We do keep other nuts in the house like walnuts, cashews and peanuts.  But these don’t have such idea macros, so we enjoy them sparingly…or if we want nuts and I’m out of the previously mentioned variety.

Note: I’m not generally a fan of pecans or walnuts on their own.  I usually use them for cooking and baking.  A great idea is to melt some sugar-free chocolate, like Lily’s mentioned below, mixed with some coconut oil and cover the nuts you don’t love on their own.  That is a really tasty, chocolatey treat!  It’s okay to spoil yourself once in a while!

Quest Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips

I’m a crazy huge fan of these Quest Protein products.  I have yet to try the protein powder, but I have tried the chips and cookies.  Well, most of them.  Their newest creation are tortilla chips and they have great crunch and mouth feel.  The flavors are insane.

While my husband and I liked the flavor of the Ranch Tortilla Chips, it has some sugar in it.  So our actual pick is the Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips.  Oh my gosh.  These are both like eating Doritos!!

I haven’t found these at the store, not even the specialty stores.  But you can buy them directly from QuestNutrition.com with 8 single serving bags per box.  It’s a bit pricey at about $2 per bag, but the macros are great (140 calories, 4g net carbs, 4.5g fat and 19g protein), and it’s a wonderful treat on occasion!

Dessert:

Fresh Berries w/ Whipped Cream

Need dessert but want something fresh, simple and satisfying?  This is a favorite in my home and can be customized with crunchy bits of nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes.

Base ingredients include: heavy whipping cream HWC), Swerve or Lakanto, vanilla extract, and fresh berries of choice.

Put very cold HWC in a cold bowl with vanilla extract and sweetener (I prefer Lakanto), and whip until you get stiff peaks.  Put fresh berries in a serving bowl.  Top with your whipped cream…and if you would prefer, add sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, shredded or flaked coconut.

Crap.  This is so good!  It’s high in fat and isn’t too crazy on carbs as you’ll be getting most of the carbs from the fruit.

The macros really vary based upon the ingredients and types of berries you use.  Just put what you’re making for yourself into your digital tracker, like Carb Manager, and it will tell you the macros.

I generally have 1/4 cup of mixed berries, 1/2 cup of whipping cream, a 1 tsp salted sunflower seeds and maybe a sprinkle of hemp hearts.

Lily’s Chocolate Bar or Choc Zero Almond Bark

It’s necessary in my home to always have some low-carb sugar-free chocolate on hand.  I like Lily’s Creamy Milk chocolate bars as they’re easy to get (Sprouts and Whole Foods).  They taste amazing but I get horrible gastrointestinal issues when I eat my 1/2 of a bar.  It’s so sad because I love them so much!  I get this reaction from the erythritol.  My husband, like most people, don’t have any issues at all.  I seem to do fine with the baking chips, but that might be because there aren’t that many.

The ChocZero chocolate is also amazing.  Instead of being sweetened with erythritol, they use mink fruit.  It tastes great and I don’t have any smells farts after.  I have to buy these from Amazon, so it’s not always as easy to get them.  I’ve also dried the milk chocolate and dark chocolate almond bark.  I’m usually a fan of milk chocolate, but hands down, the dark chocolate almond bark is my favorite!  I buy 2 orders every time we are running low (so I get 4 boxes with 6 bars each…24 servings) for about $35.  My only problem with the ChocZero is that is has to be mailed, which some times means the chocolate can melt in transit and resolidifies.  If this happens, just contact Amazon or ChocZero and they’ll gladly refund your money or replace them.  I totally think it’s worth getting a replacement…it’s worth the trouble, trust me!

Both of these bars are great options if you’re looking for low-carb, sugar-free chocolate that will satisfy your sweet tooth.  My husband and I both love them a great deal and definitely recommend trying them both.

Quest Protein Cookies

I mentioned the Quest line earlier in this post under snacks.  And let me tell you, I love these cookies.  I don’t have to bake any thing this summer because I can enjoy a peanut butter, chocolate chip or double chocolate chip cookie with little to no effort.

These cookies taste amazing, have decent macros (though high in protein) and will meet your need for a cookie.  It tastes like a real cookie to me.  A real, big cookie with good density and flavor.  My favorite depends upon my mood.  Sometimes it’s either peanut butter or chocolate chip.

I buy these from Amazon or QuestNutrition directly.  You get 12 in a box and it costs about $25 per box.  I try to keep a box or two in the house so we can grab and go.  In addition to these being a great sweet treat, these cookies also make a decent meal replacement if you’re in a pinch.  Obviously it’s better to eat real food, but life happens and that can’t always happen.  Extra tip: don’t leave it in your purse too long or it will get crushed at the bottom and become a crumby mess.  It’ll still taste good but doesn’t feel like a cookie anymore.

There are so many great recipes.  I’ve given you a few ideas and hope you find this helpful.  If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, please share in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and meal ideas.  There are more, but I wanted to give you three for each category so I didn’t overwhelm you.  You’ll probably notice that none of it is some crazy bread alternative…that’s on purpose.  Keto Bread isn’t bread, so don’t waste your time.  The only one that has worked for us is the Cheesy Bread/Keto Bagel Loaf.

Be sure to follow this blog to get notifications of blog postings by clicking on the Follow button.

I always recommend having a support group of fellow Keto’ers to help you.  You can even check out my group Beck Does Keto…And, So Can You! on Facebook.  We all share a lot of helpful information, encouraging messages and recipes!

Health Progress, Restaurants, Travelling, Uncategorized

Weekend Adventure

 

Visiting non-keto friends and Sea World won’t stop me from success!

This past weekend we went on a much needed trip to Menifee to visit close friends.  They don’t follow keto and have a little girl.  Their little one is so adorable, smart and well-behaved!  Anyway, what do you do when you find yourself in these types of situations?

Knowing that we may need a little extra for the weekend, I packed a few snacks and extras to help us manage (just in case).  I also thought I’d bring my air fryer to make them chicken wings.  So along with the air fryer, I packed some Truvia packets, Propel Zero packets, Quest Chocolate Chip Cookies, and a peanut butter fluff cup frozen dessert that I’ve been dying to share.  I also packed a bag of Quest Cheese and Sour Cream chips and a few ChocZero Almond Barks.  I mean, it’s vacation…so you have to have the good stuff, am I right?

For lunch I ended up making chicken wings with ranch dip.  We also enjoyed the frozen desserts.  My husband couldn’t wait long enough for lunch, so he also had some snacks that I packed.

For dinner our friends generously made us all smoked tri tip and ribs.  We also had a few chicken wings left from lunch, some avocados and grilled zucchini.  They added corn, which we just avoided.  It was all just so darn yummy and filling.  I slept like a snoring log that night!  It was great.

Sunday morning rolled around and I got up before everyone else (except the baby) and made breakfast.  They have the best kitchen, so it really makes me want to cook and brings out the creative juices.  We enjoyed reheated tri tip, asparagus with lemon, avocado and tomato slices, poached eggs and a sad hollandaise sauce.  I really need to work on my sauce game.  It tasted fine but was thin…I think I need to make sure the butter is cold when I put it in the mix.  Anyway, it was delish and so filling!

At some point the baby said she wanted to go to Sea World today…and so we did.  This impromptu adventure was just what I needed!  I love enjoying animals and having adventures.  It did me well not having time to process and analyze the trip because my anxiety would have wreaked havoc and I wanted to just enjoy.  And I did!  I enjoyed the whole trip to Sea World!

While we were there we ate a couple of Quest Chocolate Chip Cookies, had a couple bottles of water on ice (it was crazy hot that day!), and split a lunch of 1/2 rotisserie chicken with the smallest cesar salad I’ve ever seen and some strawberries.  It was a great day of fun in the sun enjoying my friends, my husband and the animals.

I drove home and it took a fair amount of time because of traffic between San Diego and Orange County.  But after such a long day and all that driving I knew cooking was not going to happen.  I also knew that once I got home I would not leave to get food.  So, we stopped at Jack in the Box on the way and took home 2 Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburgers with no bun.  When we got home we enjoyed those burgers with some Propel and called it a night.

I didn’t fast.  I didn’t count carbs.  I didn’t focus on anything but relaxing and enjoying.  I really had the very best weekend I have had in a long time.  Summer is the time when educators get to see their friends and family and I am so grateful we were all able to spend such great time together.

If you’re worried about following Keto while away from the comforts of your home, just know that you can always find options, adjust what is available to you and just enjoy the time away.

What are some of your favorite things to bring with you when you’re on an adventure?  Do you worry about eating properly?  What are some tips and tricks that you rely on for success?

Don’t forget to join our Keto Support and Encouragement group!  We share ideas, recipes, ask questions and provide support.  Check out our BeckDoes Keto Facebook group.

Keto Beginner, Recipes, Uncategorized

My New Favorite Snack!

Keto is great.  But sometimes I’m in the mood to just chew something and gum just won’t cut it.  BTW, my favorite Keto-friendly gum is definitely Velamints.  I buy them by the case at Trader Joe’s.  And, it never hurts to have extra salt in your diet on Keto as it’s usually hard to get enough and you definitely don’t want to be low in salt.

Roasted, salted pumpkin seeds still with the shell are amazing!  Salty, crunchy and satisfying.  I munch on them when I’m watching tv or just want a snack that won’t kill my ketosis.  The best part is, according to MyFitnessPal, a serving size of 1/4 cup is only 71 calories with carbs.  There isn’t any fat or protein noted, but it does meet other great needs.

Last night, my husband and I played a wild game of Monopoly on the Nintendo Switch after dinner and enjoyed them together.  I’m thinking these will be going with us to the next movie to replace popcorn.  We’ve been avoiding popcorn for 10 months, but that smell at the theater is brutal sometimes.

You can gran these at the gas station or the grocery store.  You can get these almost anywhere.  They can even be delivered from Amazon (here’s a good deal on Amazon, if you’re interested).

Try out roasted, salted pumpkin seeds for a snack and let me know what you think.

 

Special note: I tried to make them from home and it didn’t work out that well.  I will try again and if I manage to have a good recipe  I will totally share it.