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So, have you made your New Year’s Resolutions Yet? Do they include Lose Weight? If so, this might help you out. It’s a list of hand picked delicious meals that are tasty and, get this, GOOD FOR YOU! Skeptical? I know I was at first. How many times have you heard that spiel? Vegetarian diets, Vegan diets, Atkins diets, Paleo diets; there are sooo many diets out there. The trick is finding out which one is right for you and your body type.

ketoIntroducing the Ketogenic, or Keto for short, Diet. I did a bit of reading, and I am not going to lie, I am a bit intrigued by what I have found our about the Ketogenic Diet. I am not sure if it actually works, but one of the main staples of the diet is that you get to eat butter and fat. The Keto diet works by trading out carbs for fat. Your body naturally uses carbs as its main source of energy. The carbs get digested and turned into glucose which goes into your blood and gives you energy. When there is too much glucose and not enough energy being used, all that excess sugar goes to your liver and other muscles. And then it’s turned into FAT! Trading out sugar for fat sounds counterproductive, but hear me out. Apparently, “Keto diets help with weight loss but also keeps the blood sugar on right track, because fats have no effect in blood sugar and insulin levels.” (365 days of Ketogenic Diet Recipes by Emma Katie)

It’s an interesting theory and many of Katie’s recipes are pretty interesting and appealing. So, without further ado, here are 15 Ketogenic Recipes to experiment with and see if they tickle your fancy. If you like these recipes and stick with them a bit, who knows?! You may feel a lot better as a result of your blood sugar levels being back on track. And, you may even lose some weight!

keto

1.  MINI FRITTATAS
Frittatas are very popular in Europe and especially Italy because they are Italian. They make a hearty breakfast and have all the flavor and joy of a quiche but without that carb filled crust. Making your frittatas mini is great for when you’re on the GO! For 12 servings you will need: 10 whole eggs and 2 egg whites, pork sausage (8 oz.) 2 cups diced green & red peppers, ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, ½ cup of milk and salt and pepper to taste. While you’re gathering all these ingredients, your oven should be preheating to 350ºF. Then start with the pork sausage (or, you could substitute turkey sausage crumbles too) and get it nice and browned in your skillet. Remove the sausage from the skillet once it’s done and set it aside. Then use the  sausage grease you just made with a little extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil and then put in your green and red peppers. While the peppers are cooking, stir together your 10 eggs and 2 egg whites with the milk. Then when the peppers are nice and tender, sprinkle them and the sausage crumbles into the bottoms of a 12-hole muffin tin. Pour the egg mixture into each cup until it’s ⅔ full and sprinkle the Monterey Jack on top. You can stir each cup up with a fork if you want before baking your frittatas for about 25-30 minutes. Let them cool and then eat um, or put them in a ziplock bag and refrigerate them to eat later.eggs2. AVOCADO-VANILLA CREAMY SMOOTHIE
Avocados are a huge staple of the Keto diet. They have everything that the body needs to thrive and then some. So this smoothie will help you get your avocado on and help keep you full all morning or night or whenever time you feel like having a smoothie. Simply throw one half of the avocado into your blender along with roughly 2-3 tablespoons of almond butter, a teaspoon of vanilla, 1 cup of almond milk, 1 cup of half & half, a couple packets of stevia or about 10 drops if you’ve got the liquid kind, and a tablespoon of chia seeds. Chug that down and you’ll be energized and good to go go go!

3. SLOW COOKER TURKEY FAJITAS
Are you overwhelmed with turkey leftovers from the holidays because you bought 2 turkeys, threw a big party, and then no one showed up? Sad as that is, at least now you can make delicious Keto friendly fajitas to spice up your life. Depending on your slow cooker’s size, fill that bad boy to about half full with your leftover turkey pieces. I personally cannot stand ground cilantro, but this recipe calls for ½ teaspoon. Blagh. Moving on… Next you’ll need 2 tablespoons of bacon fat, 1 teaspoon of cumin, salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies and about ½ cup of your choice of shredded cheese. To make these tempting fajitas, you first put your bacon fat and garlic at the bottom of the slow cooker underneath your turkey, I should have told you to do that part first… hehe sorry. Then put your turkey back on top. Mix all your spices together and sprinkle them over the turkey pieces, coating them well. Then pour everything else the recipe calls for on top. Don’t you just love slow cooking? Let it cook for about 4-5 on high. Serve it with tortillas and more cheese and sour cream or plain greek yogurt.

4. SLOW COOKER PIZZA
Like slow cooker recipes? Here’s another one coming right up! Did you know you can make pizza in a slow cooker? Mind = Blown right? But there’s a reason this works and it’s because the Keto diet has taken the pizza crust out of the pizza. Before I further confuse you, how about I just tell you how to make it and then you can judge for yourselves. You’ll need: ¾ lb. minced beef, pre-cooked and drained (or those turkey crumbles I mentioned in the mini frittata recipe), ¾ lb. pork sausage, pre-cooked, 15 oz. marinara sauce, 18 slices of pepperoni, 3 cups of mozzarella, and 3 cups of baby spinach raw. In a bowl mix the beef, sausage and the sauce together. Pour half of that mixture into the bottom of your slow cooker. Then layer half of the spinach, half of the mozzarella and then the pepperoni. Pour the other half of the saucy meat and then spinach and finally mozzarella on top. Cook on low for 4-6 hours and eat it when your mouth can handle the heat.

5. GARLIC BEEF BURGERS
Who doesn’t like a good burger every once in awhile? It’s an American delight and there are so many variations. Why not try a Keto burger and start your New Year’s off on the right track?

For 6 burgers, you’ll need: 1 ½ lb. of Ground beef (fatty cheaper kind), 1 tablespoon melted butter, 8 bacon strips, 1 head of garlic, 1 tablespoon of minced parsley (or just use the dried kind from a spice shaker) ½ teaspoon of sage, gouda cheese slices, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and if you really wanna make this burger Keto, you’ll have to get the “low-carb” buns, but I won’t tell if you cheat.  To make these burgers you’re first gonna want to preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the bacon on the sheet and wrap the garlic in foil and put it on the sheet too and bake the bacon for half an hour and then 15 minutes more for the garlic in the foil. Then squeeze out the garlic guts into a bowl. In that same bowl, add your beef, melted butter, parsley, sage and Worcestershire sauce. Squish it all in your hand until thoroughly combined and then make 6 patties. You just gotta cook them now. Whether it be on the grill, in a skillet or with your George Foreman Grill (although, that’s not very Keto) cook it to your desired doneness. Slap the gouda slices on each patty and serve them up the way you usually do, but on low-carb bread. Totally.

food6. TURKEY ZUCCHINI BURGERS
Sounds Healthy right? And it’s full of fat too! If you want to make it, here’s what you’ll need:

1 lb. ground turkey, 1 grated & squeezed zucchini, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, salt and pepper and those blasted low-carb buns again. Then there is a zesty lime sauce that goes with it! For it, you’ll need: 7oz. Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the juice of 1 lime and more salt and pepper. To make your burger just mix the grated zucchini with the turkey, egg, parsley, garlic & cumin. Add your seasoning and then cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make your lime sauce by mixing all the above ingredients together in a little bowl and put it in the fridge too. Then cook your burgers using your prefered cooking method. When they are done, dizzle them with the lime sauce and Viola! That’s a tasty sammich.

7. PECAN BARS
Even the most Ketogenic people get the munchies. Which is why there is an extensive list of snacks available for the Keto-curious out there. I’d like to start the snack list with something to indulge the sweet tooth. Pecan Bars! Here’s what you’ll need: 2 cups of toasted crushed pecans, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/4 teaspoon of stevia, liquid recommended, 1/2 cup of almond meal, 1 cup of almond flour, 2 tablespoons of almond butter. Here’s what you do: Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Combine the pecans, almond flour, almond meal and coconut in a bowl. Then add the remaining ingredients until you get a moist crumbly mixture. Get a cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper and then spread the mixture out onto it evenly. Press it in.  Bake your masterpiece for 25 minutes, then slice it into bars after it has cooled.

8. AVOCADO FRIES
Two great things become one in this simple recipe. You just need a couple avocados sliced into fry sized wedges, 1/2 almond flour, 1/4 cup of crushed sunflower seeds, salt, onion powder, and 2 beaten eggs. After preheating your oven to 450ºF line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make an egg bath with your two eggs and do the ole wet hand dry hand method. Here’s what I mean, you take an avocado slice and drop it in the egg bowl, then remove it with you wet hand and drop it into the bowl that has the sunflower seeds, salt and onion powder and you use your dry hand to put the coated “fry” onto the baking sheet. Repeat this until all of your avocados become fries. Bake them for 20 mins and when they are cool enough, you can dip them in a dipping sauce of your choice. Might I suggest some honey mustard? Sooo good!

9. COCONUT BOMBS
Feeling like you need a tropical escape in the middle of your stressful day? These snacks may be the treats for you! All you need is:
4oz. Flaked coconut, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste and about 20 drops of liquid stevia. coconut bombsPreheat the oven to 350ºF and get out the ole baking sheet and parchment paper. What you are gonna do now is toast your shredded coconut for about 5-8 minutes. They need to be golden so you may have to go in there with the spatula and move them around a bit. When the coconut is done toasting, and has cooled a bit, then you can put the flakes into your food processor. Along with the coconut oil, vanilla paste and stevia. Pulse it together until it’s all wet and then divide the mixture into a muffin tin with paper liners. Put that in the freezer for 30 minutes at least or as long as you need them there. Bring them with you to work and let the stress melt away, at least during your break.

10. MEXICAN COFFEE ICE CREAM
If challenging yourself in 2018 is one of your resolutions, than this recipe might be right up your alley. Because if making homemade ice cream was easy, everyone would do it! Not everyone can afford or have the space for and ice cream maker. But there are some creative and cheaper ways to make ice cream. Youtube has many answers and the one that comes to my mind involves the use of metal coffee cans. These methods take a lot more time and effort, but hey what wouldn’t we do for some great ice cream when the mood calls for it? Especially when it’s Mexican Coffee Ice Cream! Gasp! It’s sounds so exotic right? Here’s what you need to make it: 1 cup of heavy cream, ice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract, 1/4 teaspoon of liquid stevia and 1/2 cup of fresh strong brewed coffee. Over medium heat, bring your cream to a simmer in a saucepot. Add maple syrup and then place the pot aside to cool. When it has, pour it into your blender or food processor and add the rest of the ingredients. Blend well. Pour the mixture into a spill safe container and stick it in the freezer for an hour. Now it’s time to ice creamify it. If you are fancy enough to have an ice cream machine, hat’s off too you, just pour it in and churn it out. If you have to use another ice cream making method, good luck and may the ice cream force be with you!

What better way is there, to ring in the New Year knowing that you can start a new diet and it will be full of yum! Best of luck to you and your loved ones in 2018!

 

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 198 - December 2017
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