Many people use the holidays as an excuse to jump off the keto wagon and over-indulge in high-carb and sugary carbage. Why? There are so many delicious keto-friendly recipes out there, there really is no reason to ruin your keto high.
Here are my favorite Thanksgiving appropriate, keto-friendly, delicious recipes for this year.
Turkey is definitely the easiest part of a traditional Thanksgiving meal to convert into a low-carb version, because it’s naturally low carb! So most any turkey recipe out there will work, but I thought I’d include a not-so-average way of making turkey – sous vide – (Thanks for the suggestion, Mike!). Try topping your turkey with one of the compound butter recipes below, too.
Probably the most missed traditional Thanksgiving side dish is the stuffing (or is it mashed potatoes??). But do not fret, dear Ketonian! There are delicious ways to have your stuffing and maintain ketosis.
Too tired, busy, hot, hungry or lazy to cook a meal? Want something that is fast and easy, but also low-carb and high-fat for your keto diet? Here are 20 super easy, keto-friendly, delicious meal ideas that don’t require you to turn on the stove or oven. Or even the grill. Make extra for dinner or lunch tomorrow and your life gets even easier.
Chef’s Salad (bag of mixed greens + sliced ham + sliced turkey + cubed cheddar cheese + pre-cooked hard boiled egg + dressing of your choice)
Cobb Salad (bag of mixed greens + rotisserie chicken + chopped avocado + crumbled bacon + blue cheese + cherry tomatoes + blue cheese dressing)
Slow Cooker Shredded Beef and Salad (put a beef roast in your slow cooking in the morning with a cup of broth and lots of salt. Cook over low heat all day. Before dinner, shred. + bagged salad + dressing)
Pulled Pork and Coleslaw (shredded pork from the slow cooker) for coleslaw a bag shredded cabbage + dressing (1 cup mayo + 1 tablespoon vinegar + dash sea salt)
Shredded Pork Tacos (shredded pork from slow cooker + lettuce for tortillas + sour cream + cheese + hot sauce)
Chicken soft tacos (same as above, but use a rotisserie chicken)
Shrimp and Zoodles (frozen shrimp (defrost by running under cool running water for 5-10 minutes) spiralized zucchini + olive oil + sea salt)
Shrimp Tacos (defrosted frozen shrimp + pico de gallo + sour cream mixed with lime juice + romaine lettuce for shells)
Shrimp Salad (defrosted frozen shrimp + bag butter lettuce + pre-cooked hard boiled eggs + sliced avocado + tomato wedges + dressing of choice)
Caprese Salad (sliced tomato + sliced mozzarella + fresh basil + drizzled with lots of olive oil + sea salt)
Roast Beef, Blue Cheese, and Arugula Roll-ups (sliced roast beef spread with cream cheese, topped with blue cheese, then with arugula, rolled up and secured with toothpick)
I’m launching a 90 Day Keto Challenge in January 2016. Would you like to join me? It includes weekly webinars, meal plans and shopping list, a workbook, and private online support group. For more info, click here.
This is the most nutrient-dense keto dish I have created so far! Go ahead – scroll down there and check out the nutrient information on this recipe. Amazing, right? One of the secrets to packing in so much nutrition in this dish is using chorizo, a spicy Mexican sausage that is made from organ meats. You get tons of flavor in addition to all the nutrients organ meats provide us. (It really is delicious, I promise!) (If you can’t find chorizo, you can substitute spicy Italian sausage.)
And if you love cheese, you’ll love this dish because I was extra generous with the cheese ingredients: 1 pound of mozzarella and 2 pounds of ricotta!
10 ounces of fresh spinach
9 ounces chorizo
1/2 pound pepperoni
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Frank’s hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon water
32 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese (I bought mine at Trader Joe’s)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 pound of zucchini, sliced 1/8th inch thin, length-wise (I used a hand-held mandoline like this one)
1 pound whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat a large pot of water to boiling and blanch the spinach. (Cook in the boiling water for about 1 minute, until it turns bright green.) Remove from heat and pour into colander. Set aside to drain and cool. (Alternately, you can use frozen spinach; defrost and drain well.) Squeeze out all excess water once it has cooled.
In a medium skillet, cook the chorizo for 3 – 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. With a slotted spoon, remove the cooked chorizo and place into a small bowl, leaving most of the grease behind in the pan. Chop the pepperoni and add to the same bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, Frank’s hot sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of water. Stir to combine. Stir the tomato mixture into the medium bowl of pepperoni and chorizo. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, salt, and pepper and stir well. Set aside.
In a 9×13 inch glass baking dish, drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Layer half of the zucchini slices over the bottom of the dish, overlapping slightly if needed. Spread out all of the ricotta mixture over the first layer of zucchini. Top the ricotta mixture with the spinach (be sure to have squeezed out all excess water). Now top with the remaining zucchini, overlapping again, if needed. Top with the meat and tomato mixture, spreading out evenly. Next, sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and spread out evenly.
Place the baking dish onto a sheet pan. Cover baking dish with foil and place into preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 20 – 30 minutes, or until the edges of the cheese start to brown and the whole dish is bubbly at the edges. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Here are more pictures of the layers as I went along:
Yield: 8 servings
Nutrition info: 764 calories, 9.8 carbs, 1.6 fiber, 60 g fat, 45 g protein RDA info: thiamin 26%, vitamin B12 37%, riboflavin 47%, niacin 19%, vitamin B6 27%, folate 27%, vitamin A 91%, vitamin C 35%, vitamin D 15%, vitamin E 10%, vitamin K 232%, calcium 70%, iron 19%, magnesium 20%, manganese 32%, potassium 22%, selenium 71%, zinc 35%
This keto-friendly side dish is made with bok choy, a relative in the same family as broccoli and cauliflower. The base looks similar to broad, white celery, while the tops fan out into dark leafy greens, that remind me of collard greens. Since the bottom needs a bit more time to cook than the tops, this recipe has you cook the bok choy in stages:
2 strips of thick-cut bacon
1 large head of bok choy, trimmed and rinsed, cut into 2 inch chunks
3 tablespoons of tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of freshly grated raw ginger
2 tablespoons of Swerve, confectioners style
6 tablespoons coconut oil
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Roughly chop the bacon into 1 inch pieces. Add to the heated skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Remove bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
Place the white end pieces of the bok choy into the bacon grease in the already heated skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 – 5 minutes, until the pieces start to brown a bit on the ends.
While the white ends cook, combine tamari, sriracha, sesame oil, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and Swerve and a blender and blend until smooth. (Sometimes Swerve can clump together if you try to mix it with a fork, which is why I recommend a quick whirl in the blender.)
Add the green parts of the bok choy now to the skillet, on top of the white parts. Gently stir. Pour the tamari mixture over the bok choy and cook for 2 – 3 more minutes, until the greens are slightly wilted. Add the bacon and stir. Dish into 6 portions, topping each serving with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Serve immediately.
Yield: 6 servings
Nutrition info per serving: 184 calories, 3.9 g carbs, 1.1 g fiber, 18 g fat, 4 g protein
RDA info: B6 12%, folate 16%, vitamin A 86%, vitamin C 78%, vitamin K 55%, calcium 10%,
The weather has still been warm here in the Pacific Northwest and I’ve been on a salad kick for taking to lunch to work, since there are limitless keto-friendly combinations and it’s super fast to put together. I simple take the dressing in a separate container and the salad sits happy in my lunch bag until I’m ready to eat it. This salad combo came about after I stocked up on keto foods the other day at my local restaurant supply store. I bought a giant bag of pepperoni slices, which make a great keto snack on their own, but it started me thinking about other uses for them. I only had cheddar on hand, but mozzarella would be more appropriate for a pizza themed salad. I also had a small jar of black olives on hand, but of course you could customize this salad with your own favorite pizza toppings – bell peppers, cooked mushrooms, sausage, etc. The Tomato Basil Vinaigrette dressing is the real kicker that tastes like pizza sauce. And if you look at the nutrition info below, this might be the most nutritious pizza you’ve ever eaten.
1 large head romaine
6 ounces/112 grams mozzarella cheese
6 ounces/112 grams pepperoni slices
6 tablespoons/96 grams sliced black olives
3/4 cup Tomato Basil Vinaigrette
Yield: 6 servings
Nutrition info: 425 calories, 6.5 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 38 g fat, 15.5 g protein
RDA: 14% B1, 19% B12, 15% B2, 37% folate, 190% vitamin A, 16% vitamin E, 162% vitamin K, 27% calcium, 13% iron, 12% potassium, 22% selenium, 13% zinc.
When I was a kid, one of my favorite dishes my mom would often make was tuna noodle casserole. It consisted of noodles, canned tuna, and a couple of cans of cream of mushroom soup. It was creamy and salty and truly comfort food.
This keto-friendly recipe, packed with nutrient-dense veggies, was inspired by this recipe by Catherine Jarret on Butter + Brie that matched ingredients I had on hand. I tweaked it a bit and it turned out to remind me of that childhood favorite.
6 ounces (168 g) cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
4 cups (300 g) broccoli florets
3 cups (300 g) cauliflower florets
4 cans tuna, packed in water, drained
2 cups (112 g) shredded cheddar cheese
2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, mayo, Parmesan, cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder together.
In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower, and tuna. Pour in the cream sauce and stir well to combine.
Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Place into preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly on the sides and the broccoli is tender (pierce with a fork to test).
Remove from oven and set broiler to high. Sprinkle the cheddar on top of the casserole and top with bacon. Return to oven for 2 – 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before servings.
Time: 40 – 45 minutes
Nutrition info per serving: 388 calories, 24 g protein, 30 g fat, 7 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 5 net carbs.
Rich sources of (select RDA info): B12 31%, Niacin 32%, vit C 86%, vit K 64%, calcium 32%, selenium 72%